Sunday, July 14, 2019

Pong Travels: Sagada - Buscalan 🌄🌳

Hello! It’s the Sagada – Buscalan coming right up. Lol. It’s been 5 months since this trip happened, pero kebs, here we go.


Sagada Homestay always feels like home

Initially, this trip is just out of frustration between me and my friend, Tec, since paragliding was cancelled for all the reasons in this world. We’ve decided to go even if it’s just the two of us. We’ve invited some folks whom we think are easy to talk to when it comes to trips like this, but they cancelled – of course they cancelled in the most politest way possible (hi, Topher, lol). Tec managed to invite his friend, Tong, and coincidentally, Erika (a blogger friend – check her page) and her friends will be on the same bus enroute to Bontoc - Sagada. Erika and her friends dropped off to Bontoc, and us 3, to Sagada. We stayed for a night and then woke up early to go to Buscalan.


Brekky at The Lemon Pie House


This is my third time in Sagada and, I might have different folks with me each time, but feels is always the same. Iba siguro hangin don, haha, one of my happy places talaga. So we arrived earlier than expected in Sagada. Travelling to Mountain Province has been so lengthy so we have to plan smart. We settled in The Sagada Homestay were I booked a room for 3 for a night. (We were given the same room from the last time I was there).Then we headed out to eat – we had brekky at The Sagada Lemon Pie House. I initially wanted to eat at Sagada Brew as their Hot Chocolate is so delish, but they were still closed when we arrived. Been craving for the wheat bread, too. Got it from the Pottery House. 
Happy kid
Walking around Sagada is a breeze because of the chilly weather. Sarap! But of course, we also have to consider the slopes. (Assault, Hehe) We checked the Tourism Office for the spots open for the day. First stop, Church. It’s just walking distance from the place we’re staying – St. Mary the Virgin Church – this is an Anglican Church. Was able to attend an Anglican Mass the last time I was there. We met this guy (forgot the name) when we’re headed to Bomod-Ok Falls. It’s cheaper when you have more folks in your group as the Guide Fee will be divided amongst you guys. It was so hot during our trek. We managed to be back around 3pm. We had our late lunch at The Sagada Homestay Restaurant. For only PHP150, its already a full meal – chicken, lechon kawali, veggies, lumpiang shanghai and rice.  We also went to the Danum Lake where we witnessed the Sunset. Sunsets are always beautifully anywhere in the world, agree? We had some cute convo while waiting for the sun to go down.


Tec inside St Mary's



on the way to the falls

Sunset gang


Sunset the the Danum Lake


Tong chillin'

Tec and Tong were gracious enough to help me find Sagada Pine Café. For folks who have been to Sagada, this is a super chill place where you can have a few drinks with your friends. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to find it. Huhu. Guess it’s closed already. We had a few drinks at The Homestay instead. The boys recreated their photo 10 years ago, I took the photo and edited it.
We were still undecided if we were to go to Buscalan as Tong needs to be home for work reasons (want to buy a car? Ping him here) and Tec’s legs are sore. So we rested and we decided to go the next morning.


Tong and our guide having some convo

It was yet another lengthy trip, more or less 5 hours including the trek to Buscalan Village. No signal or anything, so kwentuhan gaming kami. Saya. Sobrang simple lang doon. We ate tuna, pancit canton, drink a few, kwentuhan, tulog. Kape. Ganon lang. Fate made its way for us to see Erika there – no signal kasi. Took some photos and that’s it. Hehe. There, you will realize that life can be very simple yet so beautiful. Tec and Tong had their tatts done. We weren’t able to meet Whang Od though. She was not feeling well the afternoon we arrived and somebody passed away, she had to go to the wake as their tradition and as the oldest in the community. We let it pass, as we have to work the next day. 


We made it! Pagoda!
Erika and her friends

 

Simple life at Buscalan Village

Tong getting inked




Poor Tong, upon arriving in Manila, only had a few hours to rest and go straight to his office. Such a hard working dude. Tec and I have known each other for so long, college days. And Tec and Tong have been friends since I don’t know. Tong and I had the chance to have a convo while waiting for our ride in Bugnay. Felt like I’ve already known him in the past.
This trip has been tagged as one of my favorites. Chill lang, the trek was so hard though as I am so fat. Hehe. Masaya lang e. Wouldn’t have it any other way. #tectongpong





Sagada Expenses:
CODA Lines (insert link) – Cubao
Manila to Sagada (via Banaue) – if you want to go straight to Bontoc, just tell the conductor to drop you off Bontoc. More or less, travel time is 12 hours.
First trip – 8:30PM (Better book online, chance passenger is okay, but better be sure than sorry. Trip is so long)
Fare: PHP760 + PHP35 (when you book online)
     PHP980 (Deluxe, with CR)

Where to Eat in Sagada: Some famous spots include Sagada Brew, The Sagada Lemon Pie House, Yoghurt House, Salt and Pepper, Gaia Café & Crafts
Prices: PHP120/meal – PHP200/meal (x3)
*Just enjoy walking around and you will find a lot – try their famous Pinikpikan

Where to go and what to see: (there is a corresponding fee per spot)
St. Mary Church ✅ (free)
Sumaguing - Lumiang Cave
Echo Valley – Hanging Coffins
Mt. Kiltepan
Lake Danum ✅ (PHP500/group) (167/head for us 3)
Bomod-Ok Falls ✅ (PHP500/group) (167/head for us 3)
Marlboro Hills
..and a lot more..
Environmental Fee: PHP35
Note: please make sure to coordinate with The Sagada Tourism Office for fees and open spots during your visit

Total: PHP3528 (+fare)

Sagada to Buscalan

Jeep to Bontoc – PHP45
Bus to Bugnay, Tinglayan (from Bontoc) – PHP100 (x2 for Roundtrip)
1 Motorcycle Ride – PHP100 (on our way back, a good Samaritan let us ride on his pick-up, free)
Environmental Fee – PHP75
Tour Fee for 5 Pax – PHP1500
Overnight Stay: PHP350/pax
**unli rice and unli coffee
Total: PHP1270/head (for 3 pax, does not include food)
Food & Drinks say: PHP300 (Medyo pricey don because grabe ang trek dun, please understand ang hirap ng porters, help na din natin sa kanila)

Total: PHP1570

Bontoc to Manila: (Coda Lines) PHP685


Note: Having a tattoo is optional and price starts at PHP100. Whang-Od only does the 3 dots - her signature and other designs can be made by a lot of mambabatok in Buscalan. 

GRAND TOTAL: PHP5783


speak from the heart,
pong 🐢💙

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Pong Thoughts: Random na Random 💫💭

Hello! How’s it going? Was so pre-occupied again but I told myself that I will make time doing the things I love. And just in time, my writing soul arrived.



So what is this random post truly about? I miss the beach. I need a break from the city, I guess. Just a breather. Am dreaming about Elyu. The sound of the waves, so relaxing. I was there in 2015 and it was a blast. We had a good time – me and some friends. Troublemakers is what we called ourselves, all smiles every time I remember all the things we did there. Good times!

It been a really hot summer! Super! I mean, I love the summer season, but as the Kamikazee song goes “shet sobrang inet, abot singet”. Am thinking of going to Baguio, too. Sagada is a bit far so I guess Baguio would suffice. Elyu-Baguio trip, no?

Yesterday, I was able to spend some time with Ean’s fam at The Shang. It was a rough day and I needed to get some good vibes from the kids and to really vent out. Spent an hour at JCo alone, too. Did help, but now, I am so sleepy. I need to go home early later and get a lot of sleep. Zzzzz

Rocky’s inurnment is happening on the 29th. It’s been 9 years since he passed. Soon, it would’ve been his 32nd birthday, too. Sometimes, I still wonder what it’ll be like if he is still here. Miss you, Rock!

Just an insertion - there's always better way to communicate matters. And unfortunately, not everyone is capable of doing so. #FACTS

It’s been a month since I joined a team of passionate young professionals and a team so generous of knowledge, there’s nothing else you’d feel but welcomed. Support has been overwhelming, too. You know the saying that if it does not feed your soul, then you should let go. Indeed, it is true. We should let go of something so heavy so we can move on smoothly. Sometimes, it is the only way, you know. Good byes are never easy but is indeed necessary.

I am to publish our Sagada-Buscalan trip as I plan to be back there soon and I need to post it before heading back. It has been long overdue. It is one of my favorite trips of my existence. Definitely worth a page on my site. Hi, Tec & Tong!

Silver lining is real. You know fate always has its own ways we will never know. Thankfully, I am surrounded by a few amazing people which is more than enough. 

→ Sagada-Buscalan trip up next!

Speak from the heart,
Pong





Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Pong Eats: Cafe Juan Miguel

Hello! Today, we're featuring one of our newest discoveries in Cavite - Cafe Juan Miguel. 😊 It was my sister who introduced this spot to me and when I had the taste of their spring rolls, I fell in love with it right away. Just enough reason to share their foodie goodness on my blog. Yay!

CJM, Entrance

During our time of visit though, my fave Spring Roll was not available - a reason to come back. Yes? Definitely! We even had our to go pastas (snap below). 🍝

Staff were very nice. The place is cozy. You can chill with your friends, have a great chit-chat while indulging with good food. As I always say, almost everything is a best seller. Can't wait to try them all. Katakawan at its finest. Haha! They do accept reservations, too- for casual meals, private functions and on site catering. The place can accommodate 70 pax max. They have set menus ranging from PHP200/head to PHP400/head depending on your preference. Inquiring is the key. Go, give it a go! 

Hi, Tibzi. 

Inside CJM

CJM, Outside Seats

CJM, Outside Seats 

CJM Counter


I have some snaps to share - food, the place, etc. Go give it a try! Pong recommends! 👍👍👍


CJM's menu

their famous "Pangarap kong nachos", PHP260

Longsilog, PHP175

Cordon Bleu, PHP300

Pork Katsudon, PHP200

Twilight Smoothie, PHP165

Refillable Coffee for Coffee Lovers

Our to go: Cheesy Baked Penne, PHP160

To go #2: Spanish Sardines, PHP155

LOCATION:
Medicion 1st, Imus, Cavite 4103
Phone: 046 5734058, 0916 3737626
Email: cafejuanmiguel@gmail.com



Speak from the heart,
Pong 🐢💙




Sunday, March 24, 2019

Pong Eats: Quick Palabok Fix - Pastora Pancit Palabok

Hello! Finally, I found Pastora Pancit Palabok in Quinta Market, Quiapo Manila. I have been trying to go and look for their spot since 2017 (see my previous Pancit Malabon post). Thanks to my friend and kumare, Teng for accompanying me! 💜

the legendary Pastora Pancit Palabok @ PHP60

More than 30 years of Palabok godness, Pastora's stall in Quiapo is the only one that we have in the country. They have been featured in different TV shows and in a lot of blogs and newspapers but they still remain in their humble Quinta Market abode. Kuya said that their rent for the spot is P500/day. Sounds cheap, right? Or no? They have been offered to branch out but they opted to stay in Quiapo. Who knows, konting pilit pa? 😋

When I had the chance to have a taste of Pastora's, I knew I had to put in on my blog. Thanks, Wilmae for bringing it in the office! It took me forever to post, but better late than never! 😊

Their sauce does not have any shrimp content, so it's good for those who are allergic to it. Fatty Chicharon (pork crackling), tofu in achuete (annatto seeds), squid and hard boiled eggs are the toppings that their noodle has. Quite sinful, but sinful is good in moderation. Yes?  And this legendary palabok costs PHP60 only. Try it! 😋

Price list: 
Short Order: PHP60 (ang dami, promise, you can share if you're on a diet)
Bilao: PHP450 (12 inches, 7-8 pax)
           PHP650 (13 inches 10-12 pax)
           PHP750 (14 inches, 12-13 pax)
           PHP850 (15 inches, 14-15 pax)
           PHP1000 (16 inches, 16-17 pax)
Halo-Halo: PHP60

Address:
Quinta Market, Carlos Palanca, Quiapo, Manila 1001

Photos:

sauceless 

squid

chicharon

Ate Preppin' the pancits

sauceless #2

signage you will see

tofu

Mareng Teng enjoying her food

never an empty seat at Pastora's

Next stop: Ado's Panciteria in Pasig

Also try: Dolora's http://www.joanepong.com/2017/08/pong-eats-doloras-hauz-of-pancit-malabon.html
and Laurio's http://www.joanepong.com/2017/08/pong-eats-doloras-hauz-of-pancit-malabon.html


speak from the heart,
pong 🐢💙

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Pong Eats: The Black Apartment 😋

Hello! 😘

How's everyone? So, today, I decided to finally publish another blog.The Black Apartment post has been sitting in my drafts for a while, but better late than never, right? Here we go!




I joined my sister and her friends to go and try TBA. I knew someone from there (Hi, Marc) but he manages the Imus Branch but still, I sent him a message. And there, he called the Pag-asa Branch to have our seats reserved. We were like 12, more or less at that time. 


That's Tibzi right there - TBA, Pagasa Branch

How was our stay at TBA? Ang saya! Ang tagal namin dun! Haha! We started around 6PM and closed na kaya umalis na kami. Haha! I guess, that explains. One of the kids, si Basty, had two rounds of Smores Milkshake. Almost all of us tried different burgers, two of Ate's friends, I guess ate a rice meal. We tried their chicken wings, too. Masarap? Nag take-out pa ko! Haha! 


Basty contemplating on his 2nd Smores drink


table for 12

Congrats, TBA. I read your Facebook Profile and am happy that the business which started with group of friends just hanging out has two branches already. Love your burgers, the concept and I can say that this place is one of the ultimate hang-out for Cavite folks. 

Have some snaps to share. See below and try 'em! 
Hole in the Wall

Hot Chicks Next Door

Dark Choco Almond Milkshake

Mango Lychee
Gio & Tibz
Burger Menu
Burger Decsription - Zoom in. I hope it is clear


Menu


Drinks


BRANCHES:
Bahayang Pag-asa Branch
Sunday - Thursday: 12nn - 10pm
Friday & Saturday: 12nn - 12mn

B1 L1 Avenida Rizal St., Bahayang Pagasa Subd., Molino 3 Bacoor, Cavite
(046) 456 5321


Imus BranchMonday - CLOSED
Sunday, Tuesday - Thursday:12nn - 10pm
Friday & Saturday: 12nn - 12mn
Jed Padre Apartment C Osteria St., Medicion 1A, Imus, Cavite
(046) 5738531



speak from the heart, 
pong 🐢💙