Baguio is Home

You can never go home again, but the truth is you can never leave home, so it’s all right. — Maya Angelou

Sometimes I feel there’s a love-hate kind of relationship that exists between me and Baguio, the city I call my home. Occasionally I think it is too small and limited regarding opportunities and expanding my horizon. I once left the city for three years thinking it would be a real escape from forgetting the bad memories of a failed relationship. I thought leaving Baguio was a good excuse to explore the things outside my comfort zone. It made me believe that leaving my home will help me find where I want to be, and who I want to become.

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After ten weeks of backpacking around Europe, I was reminded that there is no better place like home… that there is no better feeling than being in the city that I love so much. So here are the main reasons why I will always be happy to stay in the City of Pine, Baguio.

The Weather: Baguio has the best weather from among the Philippine cities. Well, it may have gone a little warmer over the years, yet the weather here is incomparable. Moreover, the smell of the cold air is so comforting to my body and soul. You’ll feel it the moment you arrive in the city. It is distinct from anywhere else. I think this is the prime reason why a lot of people come to visit Baguio.

The Good Food: I want to believe that Baguio offers an array of excellent food. I am a self-confessed foodie and so exploring food possibilities with my palate is one thing I love doing. I go out and try new gastronomies whenever a new café or restaurant opens. I want to think that Baguio is one big food hub ideal for a food crawl. Home-grown eateries like 50s Diner, Vizcos, Arcas Yard, and Canto are some of my favorite. Just like Baguio’s unruffled weather, the food here is soothing to the soul.

The People: Baguio may have become a melting pot already, but Baguio people remains to be some of the most hospitable and genuinely kind individuals and families. Aside from having the best taxi drivers in the entire country, on a personal note, the people I have met here in Baguio are incomparable. These people I call friends and family, these people whom I have made a lot of memories, these people who have contributed much to my growth as a person – are the main reasons why I love Baguio to the core. Not all of them may no longer be here with me (as they are already living their own lives), but the moments we have shared together are here to stay no matter what.

Lastly, I love Baguio because this is where I get to enjoy my time and my space. I love that reassuring feeling that I will be fine whatever the circumstances are because I am in Baguio… because I am home.

Captivating Auckland City

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From among the cities I have been the past 12 months, I have left a piece of myself in the City of Sails. The moment I have set foot in Auckland, I knew right there and then that I would love the city the way I have always loved my ex-girlfriend. I tried my best to think through the reasons why I have been enamored by Auckland but I almost always end up lost for the right words.

Because of this dilemma, I just opted to let you see this beyond alluring city through my lens. Here are some of my uncountable Auckland City photographs.

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Don’t be a wasted soul, be Juanderlust. Take it easy everyJuan.

Romblon, PH

It’s a pretty lazy Sunday. So I opted to go through my Facebook photos and saw this Romblon album. It brought back memories of my stolen hard drive where all of my 2005 to 2013 HD travel photos were stored. Twas one of the most heartbreaking things that happened to me.

So I am reposting here the photos from my Hambil Island, Romblon in June of 2013. The photos were just downloaded from my FB so quality may not be very good.

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San Jose is a fifth-class municipality in the province of Romblon, Philippines. It is more commonly known as Carabao Island, or Hambil Island, and is located the southern tip of Tablas Island. It is in close proximity to the world-renowned Boracay Island, separated by a narrow body of water called Hambil Channel.

In June of 2013, during a trip to Boracay, I came to see what this Romblon paradise has to offer. I stayed 2 days and 1 night in this island and I must say that it is a more serene counterpart of its neighbor, and understated in terms of its natural beauty.

Once you are in the island, you can hire a habal-habal/ motorcycle for about P300-P500 per day. You can go visit notable spots like Lanas Beach (where sunset is amazing), be brave and do cliff diving at Kuding-Kuding and Angas Cliff (with a P100 entrance fee) or just stay at Hambil Beach which can rival Boracay’s white sand beaches (plus a spectacular sunrise view). You could also rent a boat that could bring you around the island and check some hidden caves and coves.  The over-all ambiance of Hambil is pretty laid-back… Really a great way to commune with nature.

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How to Reach Hambil:

From Caticlan Port: One may charter a tricycle to take you to Tabon Baybay, it is where you can find the port of boats going to Hambil (San Jose). A passenger boat leaves for Poblacion or Lanas, daily between 8AM to 9AM. So make sure you don not miss it. The travel time is around 1 hour (depending on the waves (which by the way can be really scary. The fare is P80-P100 per passenger. The trip back to Caticlan is between 5AM to 6AM. It is pretty early so you have to be early as well so you won’t be left behind.

Another option is from Boracay. In here, one may charter a boat good for 10 people for aboutP3,000 to P4,000 round trip day tour. Make sure to practice your acting and haggling skill. The travel time is about 45 minutes to an hour. Again depending on the sea condition. The boat will either dock at Brgy Lanas or at the Port of Said in Brgy Poblacion on the eastern side where Hambil beach is.

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Don’t be a wasted soul, be Juanderlust. Take it easy everyJuan.

Jurmala: A Sunset Experience in Latvia

Mahatma Gandhi once said, “When I admire the wonders of a sunset or the beauty of the moon, my soul expands in the worship of the creator.”

As a nature-enthusiast, I want to think that nature sends cherished messages in inimitable ways. At times, I feel like we humans, just have to be more open with our senses and see, and feel what nature is providing us. Surprisingly, life becomes more meaningful when we spend more time with nature, like what sunset can teach us.

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Do you love waiting for and watching the sunset by the beach? I do. I especially like it when the sun touches the horizon, and for a fleeting moment, it disappears giving a more beautiful glow. Makes you realize how beautiful these moments are. They are beyond priceless, and all we need to do is to be patient and pay attention to its beauty.

A sunset experience goes beyond the sense of sight. That modest feeling of being in the presence of something grand and ostentatious is very inspiring. It makes you realize how wonderful it is to live and to love. It also reminds me of how small my space is. It such a lovely reminder that challenges in life isn’t really big after all.

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Moreover, a sunset is my constant reminder that there is something good in goodbyes. It motivates me to move on. Obviously, once it has drifted, the day is gone and it’s not coming back. Just like some things in life like love, opportunities, and even bad experiences. It tells us that we aren’t going to have another chance to live the day over again. And so, why waste your time and energy.

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My most memorable sunset experience during my Europe trip happened in the Baltic. Jūrmala is a seaside city in Latvia that is approximately 25 kilometers west of Riga, Latvia’s capital. The resort city is sandwiched by the Gulf of Riga and the Lielupe River. Once a favorite holiday and summer destination from among local and foreign tourists, Jurmala has a long stretch of off-white-sand beaches.

Today, Jūrmala still attracts a number of vacationers. The sunset by the Riga Gulf and the wooden houses in the Art Nouveau style are some splendid reasons to visit this coastal paradise. The shallow waters are pretty much suitable for children. The beach is ideal for long walks, biking, and even camping as it has a very wide beachfront. Also, the beach I have tried at the Melluzi area are equipped with playgrounds and some benches. Aside from Melluzi, other notables beach regions are Majori, Bulduri, Dubulti, Dzintari, and Pumpuri. I have learned that sports activities like beach football, volleyball, windsurfing, and kitesurfing are popular in these areas.

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It was a short stay in Jurmala but a memorable one. I was here in April so the weather by the seaside was still a bit biting and chilly. Nonetheless, I enjoyed my afternoon stroll as I wait for the sunset. I was totally satisfied when the sun starts to drift from the horizon and the sky turns into a canvas painted colorfully. It was such a beautiful sunset at this side of Eastern Europe.

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During my overnight visit to Jurmala, I stayed at Daina Jurmala Beach Hotel & SPA. It is located in a quiet part of Melluzi, Jurmala. It is just a stone’s throw away from the shores of the Gulf of Riga. Also, the train station is a good 5-minute walk and is a 10-minute drive to the center of the city. All rooms have a cable TV, a work desk and a private bathroom with free toiletries. WiFi is available. The room I had has a balcony. Other amenities they provide include a sauna, massage rooms, and an array of sports and leisure activities. But the best part of my stay at Daina is their super sumptuous selection of food during breakfast!

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Jack Kornfield says that in the end, three things would matter the most: “How well we have lived, How well we have loved, and How well we have learned to let go”.

Don’t be a wasted soul, be Juanderlust. Take it easy everyJuan.

WN Hilltop BnB (Baguio City)

I want my home to be that kind of place–a place of sustenance, a place of invitation, a place of welcome. Mary DeMuth, Live Uncaged: Find the Freedom You’ve Always Wanted

An Airbnb is defined as an online marketplace and hospitality service. This allows people to rent short-term lodging. This may include apartment rentals, bed and breakfast places, homestays, or even hostel beds. I first tried this when I went to Auckland, New Zealand last year. Having a pretty high cost of living, a hotel stay for 2 weeks seems not a good and practical idea. So I opted for the way cheaper alternative – that is to try Airbnb. Fast-forward, a few weeks ago, I told myself that I should try an Airbnb in Baguio City, and at an instant, I was accommodated by a nice Airbnb host named Lex.

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Perched on top a private property, in a seemingly unobtrusive wood-carving neighborhood along Asin Road in Baguio City, is a home-turned-BnB. It is simply called WN Hilltop BnB. Asin Road is a major thoroughfare in the City of Pines that isn’t exactly at the center. It’s the main road that goes to nearby Tuba’s hot springs and the famed Ben Cab Museum. With that in mind, it may not instantly be a top choice for a place to stay in Baguio, especially if what you want is something very near the major Baguio tourist attractions.

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I, myself was a bit worried that transportation or travel time be a problem if I’d stay in such BnB. BUT, why don’t you check the place for yourself? Because I was pretty surprised (in a very good way) as to how lovely, QUIET, and relaxing this home is. Lex, the owner of the BnB is such an amazing host. He is very accommodating and is readily available to everything his guest’s needs.

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The room I had is beyond exquisite! I love how tastefully decorated the walls are with beautiful art pieces. I also adore the fact that I have a comforting view of mountains, a golf course, and if you are lucky with the weather, a stunning sunset too! When I saw my home for 2 days and 2 nights, I suddenly had a change of plans. Instead of checking nearby places like Ben Cab, Tam-awan, and Lourdes Grotto, my mind and body instantly wanted to just enjoy my stay at WN Hilltop BnB. It was a perfect place to spend your time watching your favorite Koreanovela or do a movie marathon. I myself spent most of the time eating, drinking tea and coffee while reading a book.

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Since it is a BnB, a simple breakfast of bread and pressed coffee (which is so good) comes with your stay. There is also a welcome tea drink and cookies. Oh, how I love these simple things. Lex also gladly showed me the other rooms of his home, and I must say they are all lovely. I also like that each room has a terrace. Some units have their own toilet and bath while others have to share a bathroom.

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Things guests might want to take note of are the following:

Lex and his partner have 2 dogs – Bali and Coco. Wifi is available but it isn’t very fast. But that is okay as disconnecting from your social media could further make your stay at WN Hilltop more relaxing and stress-free.

A golf, spa, and restaurant are within walking distance. The Pinewoods Golf Course and Clubhouse is actually the one you get to gaze at from your window and is approximately a 15-20 minute walk or if you have your own car, it’ll be around 5-minute drive. As mentioned earlier, the Ben Cab Museum is near the area. So you can just wait for a jeepney or taxi that pass by the area and go visit the museum.

I have to agree when Lex said that the location of his BnB is best for those who want to capture a snapshot of living in Baguio City and of course, those who’ll like a pretty quiet place to stay especially at night. Those who choose to go for the extra mile will surely be rewarded!

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How to Get to WN Hilltop BnB: So here are the various options for getting around.

If your point of origin is SM Baguio, take a taxi. It would usually cost around PHP 70-120 depending on the traffic. If you opt to take the public transport, the jeepneys going to KM4 in Asin Road is at the Baguio City Market (locate Panadero Bakeshop). The Asin Road jeepneys are found in here. The fare is less than Php 10.00. Get off at Pamela Store or if you see the orange colored bridge (Asin Bridge Number 2), then you are on the right track. You will see an uphill to your right, walk your way and you will see a big gate on your left, go walk straight until you see WN Hilltop BnB.

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Address: 0976 KM 4 Asin Road, Baguio City
Phone Number: 0956 407 6649
Facebook: WN Hilltop FB Page

More of WN Hilltop (especially reservations), please do check Lex’s Airbnb profile for the price and other essential details HERE.

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My stay at Lex’s place was marked by comfort and serenity. Thank you, Lex kabsat for the asikaso ken istorya nga addu!

Don’t be a wasted soul, be JUANderlust. Take it easy everyJuan.

Old Orangewood BnB (Baguio City, PH)

The magic thing about home is that it feels good to leave, and it feels even better to come back. – Wendy Wunder

Baguio is, and will always be my favorite Philippine city. I mean who wouldn’t love the City of Pines? It seems that it never runs out of charm, well, besides the fact that a lot of people love it for its cool weather. Having spent a long time in this city, a lot of my people I know would consider me as the person to go to about places of interests, and of course, accommodation.

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So here is one homey and really cozy place I recommend called Old Orangewood Bed and Breakfast. Yes, it is an old house (one that is post WW2 I suppose) that is given a new look. And yes, it is an orange one. A hue that matches the entire vibe of this simple and laid-back home.

This once abode of a group of diverse Baguio foreigners now caters the growing population of Baguio tourists, travelers, backpackers, and even local who want to do a staycation in their own city. The house features old wood and stone pillars and which I like. I really have a soft spot for anything wooden. Since it is located at the backroads of Baguio’s main thoroughfare, it is spared from terrible traffic. Nonetheless, it is still within walking distance to the central business district and a jeepney away from most popular Baguio sites.

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It has 11 rooms of different sizes. Interesting to note that each room is named after famed landmarks and tourist attractions in the Cordillera (primarily in Baguio). Moreso, each of which has a distinct “personality”. The color of the room, the bed sheets and pillows, mural artworks by artist Kelly Ramos, and even some hand-crafted decors make each room unique. And did I mention that they also have a special playhouse for toddlers and young children that are just beside their café? Perfect while you have your coffee and at the same time, watching over your young.

So here is the current rate for each room (as of July 2017):

Name of Room # of Pax Off Peak Rate Peak Season Rate
Asin Hot Springs 4 – 6 3, 600.00 3, 800.00
Banaue 2 1, 600.00 1, 600.00
Burnham Park 8 – 10 650.00 /head 650.00 /head
Botanical 2 1, 600.00 1, 600.00
Camp John Hay 4 – 5 3, 600.00 3, 800.00
Kennon Road Rooms (1, 2, 3) 2 pax or solo 1, 100 (for 2) or 700 if solo 1, 100 (for 2) or 700 if solo
Mansion 3 – 6 3, 900.00 4, 000.00
Mt. Pulag 1 900.00 900.00
Sagada 2 – 3 2, 200.00 2, 300.00
Scout Hill 2 – 3 2, 200.00 2, 300.00
Session Road 2 – 4 2, 800.00 3, 000.00
Tam-awan 2 – 4 2, 800.00 3, 000.00
Wright Park 1 – 2 1, 600.00 1, 600.00

***Please do note that these rates are subject to change so it is best to confirm with them through the contact numbers enlisted below.

The Burnham Room is a dorm-type room wherein there are bunk beds.The Mt. Pulag room and the Kennon Road rooms are the rooms ideal for solo travelers/ tourists. The Botanical and Banaue rooms have 2 single beds while the Tamawan and Session Road rooms have 2 double beds. John Hay room has 1 queen-size bed and 2 single beds; Wright Park room has 1 King-Size bed; Sagada and Scout Hill rooms each have a double bed & a single bed. While the Mansion room, true to its name, has 3 double beds. Note that each room has its own toilet and bath except for the 3 Kennon Road rooms wherein T/B is shared. The T/B is equipped with a hot shower.

During my 2 night staycation here, I had the Mount Pulag room. I just love everything about it. It’s the topmost room so I get a beautiful view of the sunset during late afternoon, and some nightscape after sundown.

They do have a wi-fi. All rooms are inclusive of a daily breakfast, per person. It has a resident café called Hotcat Café where breakfast is served. Well, you can also opt to eat at their newly created dining area found at the back of the house. (By the way, if you intend to bring with you a private vehicle, they do have some parking space but let Sir Nic know about it in advance).

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Old Orangewood BnB’s house rules:

  • Check-in time is 2 PM, Check-out time is at 12 NN.
  • Extra mattress is Php450, inclusive of breakfast.
  • Laundry services are offered for a fee.
  • Flexibility on pricing can be discussed for a longer stay.
  • Breakfast is served between 6 AM and 10 AM only. (You can let them know your preferred time).
  • Rooms and extra beds must be paid before checking-in.
  • Pets are NOT allowed at The Old Orangewood.
  • Rooms will be cleaned only upon request.
  • Handle keys with care. Since there will be a fine for lost or damaged keys. Leave your room key at the front desk or keep it with you whenever you leave the premises.
  • Smoking is prohibited in the rooms or anywhere else in the house. There is, however, a designated area for smoking.
  • Conserve water by NOT running the faucets and showers unnecessarily and turn them OFF when not needed. Please report any signs of leakage or damage to water closets/appliance.
  • There is a QUIET TIME observed between 10PM-7AM. So refrain from shouting and running around in the common area.

FOR RESERVATIONS and INQUIRIES

Contact: 0928-970-7357 (Smart), 0956-645-2249 (Globe), 074-442-5060 or 074-244-9384 (landline)

Email: theoldorangewood@gmail.com

Location: 20 Gomez st., Lower P. Burgos, 2600 Baguio City, Philippines

You can also check their Facebook Page for promos. OLD ORANGEWOOD BnB

Shout out to Sir Nik, Mam Danette, their adorable daughter Lilu (who would come to me and have some really nice conversation), and her brother Noah for accommodating me with utmost warmth. And to all their uber friendly and helpful staff – keep it up! You truly add up more warmth to Old Orangewood BnB, and Baguio’s cool climate.

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So, the next time you look for a place to stay in Baguio, and you want some place totally relaxing and really homey, give The Old Orangewood Bed and Breakfast a try.

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Don’t be a wasted soul, be JUANderlust. Take it easy everyJUAN.

 

Anda: Bohol’s Kept Secret (No More)

Bohol, the 10th largest island of the Philippines, has always been a fascination to both local and foreign travelers. Together with the islands of Palawan and Cebu, this island province has proven to be a major tourism hub. Attraction drawers like the Chocolate Hills, Panglao Island’s exquisite beaches, the Loboc River Cruise, and the very charming primate tarsier have kept the visitors number increasing in this tropical paradise.

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And just like that… all the while we have seen the best of Bohol. It was during my 4th time in this alluring island when I got the chance to visit the north eastern town of Anda.  Being a secluded town, it isn’t that surprising that it has some of Bohol well-kept shorelines. And just like most Philippine beaches, it boasts off pristine, crystal clear waters, fine white sand BUT with a lesser crowd.  Sounds like the perfect spot, at least for me who isn’t into teeming beaches.

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My one-day stay in Anda, hopping from one beach to another, proved that indeed there is more to Bohol. So if you want to go beyond the usual Bohol itinerary, be willing to take on the extra mile by travelling up-north and enjoy this quaint town beaches like the beautiful public beach QuinaleBeach to the more secluded Bitoon Beach, and Bugnaw Beach. 

Also, the town have other attractions worthy of a visit like Can-umantad Waterfalls, Cabugnow Cave Pool, and Limanok Island. Twas quite unfortunate that I wasn’t able to visit these because of a heavy downpour during the rest of my stay. Well, there goes a good reason to go back to Anda.
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How to Get to Anda, Bohol

Anda is approximately 100 kilometers from Tagbilaran and it takes two to three hours to reach by bus or private vehicle. Several buses and V-hire vans available at Dao District also have several scheduled trips to Anda.

Anda Bohol Tourism Contacts

Municipality of Anda
Anda Tourism Office
Poblacion Anda, Bohol
Mobile: 0908-793-6643
Email: lgu@andabohol.gov.ph / toiurism@andabohol.gov.ph
Website: http://www.andabohol.gov.ph/

Lamanoc Island Tours
Operating Hours: 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Tour cost: Php300 pesos (inclusive of entrance, guided tour and boat trip)
Contact Numbers: (038) 510 8094 or 0917 3245917

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Special thanks to a very generous instagram friend of mine, @rey_of_light for allowing me to use some of his Anda photos. Follow him on his Instagram and you’ll be delighted to discover more of Bohol’s wonders.

Don’t be wasted soul, be “juan”derlust. Take it easy everyJuan.

Taipei City (Taiwan)

While I am still putting into words my Taipei City experience, allow these photographs to do the enticing.

Taipei – a city that offers a world of captivating divergences for it is a fusion of the modern and traditional, with an unstinting energy and pleasant vibe making it one of the must-do trips in Far East Asia.

Taipei City nightscape featuring Taipei 101.

Here is a quick rundown of some places you can visit if you have 2-3 days in Taipei:

Day 1:

The National Palace Museum

Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall

Longshan Temple

Museum of Contemporary Art (Old City Hall)

Taipei 101

Red House Theatre of Ximending

Night Markets like Shilin andRaohe

Day 2

Yehliu GeoPark

Elephant Mountain trek

Shifen Waterfalls

Day 3

Yamingshan National Park

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Unravel this island gem in Asia through stunning Taipei!

Don’t be a wasted soul, be “juan”derlust. Take it easy ebri’juan’…

Campuestohan (Negros, Philippines)

Nestled between two of the most advanced cities in the province of Negros Occidental – Bacolod City and Talisay City, Campuestohan Highland Resort is a massive, 5-hectare property overlooking Mount Makawili. In recent years, this theme park has attracted locals, and other visitors further catapulting the island region as a tourist hub.

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The highland resort, that gets chilly in the afternoon and at nighttime, have the following amenities/ facilities: swimming pools, a restaurant pavilion, a coffee shop and ice cream parlor, children’s playground, gigantic statues (from King Kong to various Marvel superheroes), spa service, photo services and a function hall.

If one intends to do a day trip, the following should be noted: An entrance fee of Php150.00 per person although children 2 years old and below are exempted from paying the fee and from the headcount.  If a child is over 2 years, he/ she is subject to paying the entrance fee at the same rate as adults.

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Various cottages are available. From a Big Cottage (Good for 20 persons – P1,000.00) while a Small Cottage (Good for 12-15 persons – P600.00). If you are a group of 10 and below, an Umbrella Hut can be rented for only P500.00.

Overnight stay would be great as the resort have several unique and picturesque accommodations to choose from. These ranges from a Log Cabin (P3,000.00 to P5,000.00), Bonita Huts that look like hobbit homes (P2500.00), Indian Teepee Hut Family Room (P5,000.00), and King Kong Room (P6,000.00). These are provided with en-suite bathrooms, while some of them have air-conditioning. Also, breakfast and park entry are complimentary.

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The most exciting features of this theme park are its various rides that include the following:

RATE of VARIOUS RIDES

Zipline P200.00/person Hamster Wheel P 100.00/person
Rope Course P200.00/person Grand Carousel P 30.00/person
Sky Bicycle P 100.00/person (one-way) Mini Train P 30.00/person
Horseback Riding (15 minutes) P150.00/person Wave Pool

I have heard that more exciting rides will be opened soon.


So, what are you waiting for? Bring your family, and or barkada or even workmates in this mountainous playground. Take note that reservations must be made at least 3 days ahead if resort visit will fall on a weekend and at least 1 day before if coming on a weekday.
Don’t be a wasted soul, be “juan”derlust. Take it easy ebri”juan”…

Staycation 101: Tagaytay City, PH

A vacation is almost always equated with traveling. And traveling, most of the time would involve island hopping, beach-bumming, and sight-seeing or even engaging in various adventures to a significantly distant place. While it is true that there is an undeniable amount of joy doing these activities, I admit that it can be pretty tiresome too. So when an opportunity to unwind at some place near the metro came about, I instantly took the chance and experience what most people call “staycation”.

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A staycation is a portmanteau of the words “stay” and “vacation”. It means staying in or hanging out in one’s local area instead of traveling domestically or internationally. The idea is for a person to stay at home OR does leisure activities within driving distance – like sleeping, cooking, reading and doing other stuff inside a homey place. To a certain extent, staycation could also mean taking a day trip to local tourist sites, swimming at a backyard pool or to nearby resorts, or visiting museums.

So what benefits can one derive from staycations? Well for one, staycations are less costly than a vacation involving traveling. Lesser lodging costs and obviously, the travel expenses are minimal especially when one opts to spend a vacation at home watching movies and series or catching up with reading your favorite book.  Furthermore, staycations do not bring about stress associated with travel, such as packing, long drives/travel time, waiting hours at the airport and the thought of delayed flights. The most one has to worry about is how to keep one’s self-entertained. A staycation is also easier to plan.

And the best part of a staycation? Utmost relaxation! If you’re constantly stressed out by work, family obligation and or other issues, then a staycation is exactly what one needs to relax and one gets to set his or her own pace where strict schedules are not implemented. True enough, staycations are a great way to unwind.

Tagaytay City, a popular place for a quick getaway south of Manila, is one perfect place for a staycation. With its cool and breezy climate, strategic location (sitting on a ridge above Taal Volcano Island) and bounded by numerous easy-to-access sights and restaurants, this city is surely a hit to people yearning to have a relaxing escape from the metro’s hustle-bustle.

Through a friend’s recommendation, I had an amazing and truly relaxing staycation in one of Tagaytay’s suburb. Immediately after work, with my light packed bag, I made my way to Tagaytay’s Highland. A friend brought me to this residential village called Woodsborough Log Homes. This is a protected community with gated entry points staffed by a security guard where only guests can enter.

I arrived night time and I was greeted by cool wind and some fog hovering the area. I noticed immediately that trees bound the area. My eyes became ecstatic to see the various American log houses built inside the village. I was then ushered to the house where I am staying. To my surprise, my abode for the night is a 3-storey log house with 4 rooms. And I was the only 1 who’s staying. I am not very good at describing how satisfying and lovely the home is so I am leaving these photos to entice you, my readers.

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The following day, I got to explore the village. I was even more amazed to see how serene and pleasant the area is.

All houses are exquisitely designed concrete log duplex with a porch, a living room with country style furnishings and a kitchen. The rooms are cozy with beds that are truly relaxing. I also like that large picture window greets every visitor as they walk up the stairs. The area of each home is surrounded by flowers and trees giving that “I am one with nature” feels.

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The subdivision is in close proximity to The Puzzle Mansion. So I just walked leisurely towards the mansion and had a great time marveling at the owner’s awesome puzzles collection that includes the world’s largest. Also, I went to check nearby restos and tried some sumptuous eats. My friend also brought me to some resorts that I am most certain of trying out the next time in Tagaytay. I spent 2 days at this beautiful abode doing nothing except for some visit to nearby places. The very essence of a staycation indeed is achieved. Will I do another staycation? Well definitely yes. To my friends who has been asking, here are some details. Besides the beautiful log homes of Woodsborough, you might also want to stay at other equally relaxing and homey places (for rent) like these ones.

Arthur’s Place have the following amenities: 7 villas, 3 function halls, a half basketball court, playground for children, a swimming pool, and an activity area that is conducive for various events like weddings, birthday parties and even company outing.

The Hidden Villa, on the other hand, is a residential place with 4 bedrooms (2 with aircon), 4 toilet and bath, kitchen with cook wares, a pretty dining room. Other amenities include wifi, a pools that is 3 feet to 6 feet in depth, and videoke. The place is nestled in a quiet community, away from busy streets and activities.

Kubo-Kubo, as the name implies, are tiny homes in “kubo” or Pinoy cottage style. Aside from the cute kubo with cozy bedrooms, amenities include a 6-foot pool (for adults), and 3 foot kiddie pool. There is also a barbecue grilling station, and a videoke (Read this videoke lovers).

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If you are looking for a great place to just relax and unwind, enjoy a weekend staycation at these places. You may contact the following numbers 09178450523/ 09176376045/ 09328800676. You may also check out http://www.houseforrentintagaytay.net

Don’t be a wasted soul, be “juan’derlust. Take it easy ebri’juan’.