Blog Archive

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Yodisphere Year in Review » An Amazing First Year of Blogging

It’s an exciting place, the blogosphere – and it’s unfortunate that I just discovered blogging this year. Though 2011 has been busy: with my regular work, other personal projects and non-essential stuff, I’ve tried to continue posting, though not as consistently as I would like.

This blog just celebrated its first blogversary last September 1, thus still at its infancy. However, 2011 was a great starting year for me. I got a Google PR 3 already, has a daily average of 500 unique visitors, had the chance to meet and network with some inspiring Pinoy bloggers and attended a few blogger and PR events.

As this year comes to a close, I wanted to take a moment to look back at my top posts and share to you exciting things that I’ve learned.

But before I get on with it and before I get too excited about what's to come next, I would like to review the main contents that I have covered on this blog this year.

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Thursday, December 22, 2011

10 Crimes Against Christmas That Filipinos Tend to Commit

The Grinch Who Stole Christmas Photo
© Universal Pictures
The holidays are in and most of us are now savoring the festive mood that fills the air. During this magical season we do our most treasured Filipino holiday traditions — the ones we cherished during childhood and are now passing along to our own families. 

Christmas in the Philippines is definitely unique and known to be the longest in the world. However, Filipinos has also started to pick up some bad habits, especially when it comes to Christmas.

The Pinoy Christmas is very nice and meaningful in itself but there are some minor observations that accompanies it.

Here are the ten Filipino Christmas habits that are not really a Grinch but maybe needing attention:

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Friday, December 16, 2011

[Mobile Snapshot] Christmas Rush

Christmas rush photo of turtle on Christmas Tree background
Christmas Rush

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Thursday, December 15, 2011

Are You Living Your Life in Style?

Enjoying and living life to the fullest as a professional has never been easier in the Metro. However, it is inevitable anyone can now live in style as contemporary cosmo-lifestyle is slowly taking root in major cities in the Philippines. With a positive economic outlook, most of the Filipinos are in a good position to find it a pleasure to work, live and play in Manila’s economic microcosm. 

Not living your life in style yet? Why not welcome 2012 and celebrate the good life by registering at Hyundai’s grand lifestyle event, the One Hyundai Club Life in Style.

Let me give you few details of this exciting event. 

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Friday, November 25, 2011

Mt. Batulao » 10 Amazing Life Lessons You Can Learn from the Trail

Silhouette of Man rock climbing on mountain ridge
Mt. Batulao is not something imposingly sublime, but its peaks could etch something inspirational on you like a ladder of life. Climbing its multiple peaks, jagged slopes and valleys can make you realize the significance of trekking and the meaning of mountains on your personal life.

Yes, Mt. Batulao is called the “Illuminated Rocks,” also tagged by pilgrims as “Mountain of Salvation.” However, do not deceive yourself that climbing this mountain, or any other mountain can make you enlightened. We do not climb mountains to seek enlightenment; we should not probe for deeper meaning. It will come to us because we value life.

Nevertheless, Mt. Batulao can always confront you with the edge, enough to make you enlightened. Let me share to you my personal experience.

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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

[Mobile Snapshot] » Playing with Infrared

Bird in Cage infrared shot
Caged in the Wild: A lonely Quail bird in captivity

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Thursday, November 17, 2011

Anti-Epal Bill is OK but how about the Kapalmuks?

Image Source: Walee.com
FACT: The practice of putting up billboards or signages bearing the names, initials and images of government officials on government programs and projects has been noticeably abused and misused by some public officials for their personal interest and has taken the credit away from us, the taxpayers who are paying for such programs through our tax payment.

Inquirer columnist Randy David, called the practice “the new narcissism,” while the street punks called it “Ka-epalan” or “epal” which simply means the shameless self –promotion of attention grabbers, scene stealers, or people who crave a role (mapapel) in affairs that are not necessarily theirs to handle or decide.

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Thursday, November 10, 2011

Pundaquit, Zambales » I Shall Return When the Waves Died Down

Yodi doing Harry Potter jump shot
Yeah, I know, backpacking is miserable during rainy season. That's nothing new, and of course the first rule of bad-weather traveling is "stay at home." 

However that's not always possible for the itchy-feet backpackers like us. It’s a long weekend and the thought of staying at home doing nothing for three days is just oh-so deadly boring.

Hence, despite the obviously crazy skies, we still go with our quickly planned Zambales island-hopping weekend escapade. Yes, you read it right – island hopping at Camara Island, Capones Island, Anawangin Cove and Nagsasa Cove. Awesome destinations, but it is something of a gamble on this bad weather really.

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Saturday, November 05, 2011

Kamay Ni Hesus » Lucban Quezon Spiritual Side Trip

Kamay Ni Hesus Ascending Christ Grotto
Lucban Quezon is actually great for any kind of traveling, as it also provides many attractions including the colorful Pahiyas Festival, food tripping - pancit hab-hab, as well as gorgeous nature - Mt. Banahaw. However, aside from old churches, places of interest also include spiritual and healing sites. 

Visitors wishing to benefit their spiritual life and seeking to get healed, physical and spiritual, should definitely take a side trip to Kamay ni Hesus Healing Church in Brgy. Tinamnan.

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Thursday, November 03, 2011

[Mobile Snapshot] Sun and Silhouette » The art of enjoying the outdoors

Serenity

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Friday, October 28, 2011

Mt. Gulugod Baboy » A Romance of the Mountains

"I may not know it,
But these are the moments that I'm gonna remember most,"
- The Climb by Miley Cyrus -

Sensuous summit curves; Sea in perpetual tranquility; Vibrant tangerina sunset and glorious sunrise; Wild mushroom blossoms; Tantalizing breezes; Snaking silk fog… 

When it comes to romance, Mt. Gulugod Baboy looks like love, caressing, fresh, vibrato, mango-sweet. There is no question about it. This mountain is sensuous.

Please read on and let me guide you on your online climb…

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Friday, October 21, 2011

Best Pasalubong from Ilocos

It is interesting how we always allocate as much as we can for pasalubong whenever we travel, simply because we want to make sure office colleagues and folks back home feel “remembered” while we are having our vacation. It’s a Pinoy thing!

Pasalubong or bringing homecoming gifts is our distinctive and widely practiced tradition. It’s like “a must” for us to bring some souvenir or food items for our loved ones, friends and officemates after we came back from a trip or a vacation because we don’t want to hear them complaining “Wala ka man lang pasalubong?

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Monday, October 17, 2011

Magic to Success: Money, Love and Health » an Interactive, Theatrical Seminar

How happy are you in your life? How’s your financial state, relationship and health? If you don’t have a 100% YES answer, please attend: 
  • Magic to Success (Money, Love and Health), an Interactive, Theatrical Seminar 
  • Venue: Ortigas Foundation Library, 2nd Floor of Ortigas Building, Ortigas corner Meralco Avenue, Ortigas Center, Pasig City [Please refer to location map below] 
  • Date: October 22, Saturday
  • Time: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Seminar Investment: 280.00 Php
To maintain high quality of training, D.E.P. will only accommodate 50 participants on this seminar. There are only a few seats left, so reserve your seat now!

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Friday, October 14, 2011

Calle Crisologo Vigan Ilocos Sur » Sojourn to the Past

This little place in Ilocos Sur seems to be on every tourists’ list of must-visit Ilocos tour agenda but we put it on the last part of our Ilocandia two-day itinerary – and we didn’t regret saving the best for last. Definitely, a sojourn to Ilocandia is incomplete without a nostalgic walk down the cobblestone streets of Calle Crisologo and the neat rows of ancestral houses in Vigan, Ilocos Sur, aptly called the “heritage village.”

The setting sun was already painting the sky with striking hues of orange and blue when we reached the heritage village, adding an antiquated aura to the place. For me walking on a street carpeted by cobblestones is a kind of time travel, hence I immediately set foot to the villages’ cobblestone street, which reminded me of the stone patios of Intramuros in Manila –  but this one seems older and always freshly raped by constant tourists’ excited feet.

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Friday, October 07, 2011

Rediscover the North » Lakbay Norte 3: Outdoor Adventures of the North Blogger Contest

The North Philippines Visitor Bureau (NPVB) is a non-stock, non-profit organization created in 2006. Founded by the Manila North Tollways Corporation (MNTC), NPVB was created for the purpose of promoting tourism in North and Central Luzon, primarily through meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions (MICE) and by enhancing the visitor experience in the region.
 
One of their major projects is the Lakbay Norte , an 8-day, 8-night media familiarization tour of North Philippines for 20 travel media writers and bloggers on board a Victory Liner bus.

The third staging of Lakbay Norte is scheduled for January 22 to 30, 2012.

So for all the Filipino travel bloggers out there, you may want to try your luck here. I'm also planning to join this contest -- wish me luck!

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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

[Mobile Snapshot] Seeking Serenity After the Storm

Spider web catching beads of dew after the rain
   O Seth, son of Nut, god of storms, 
We offer these beads of silver dew,
To appease thy wrath.


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Friday, September 23, 2011

Ilocos Tour - Guerilla Style » 5 Interesting Places to Visit On Your Way Out of Ilocos

If there is one lesson I have discovered over my travel experiences is that you need to be very creative when coordinating your gigs in order to cover and experience what a place can offer. For instance, a place like Ilocos offers lots of interesting spots to visit so if you are there for a quick weekend getaway you need to apply guerilla tactics to truly enjoy Ilocandia’s chopsuey of travel destinations.

So we’ve already successfully visited Ilocos Norte’s major tourist destinations starting from Laoag to Pagudpud going to Batac. Based on our Ilocos Tour Itinerary, our final destination before heading back to Manila is the famous Calle Crisologo in Vigan City – yep, we saved the best for last.

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Monday, September 19, 2011

[Mobile Snapshot] » Rambubetlog

Rambutan fruit funny photo

Rambubetlog: Rambutan for the green minded.


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Saturday, September 17, 2011

[Snapshots] Color Your World » Pahiyas Festival Photo Set

Today I'm adding post series to my blog by accepting snapshots and photo sets from visitors and friends. I'm still experimenting on accepting guest posting on this blog so I got no rules yet. Here are some photos submitted by my friend Aldan Reposo. 

Somebody

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Friday, September 16, 2011

I Am Not A Rapist

“No one would confess to so heinous a crime had they not committed it.”
Larry A. Hammond

I came back at Robinsons Galleria to pick up my clearance, two weeks after enduring the exhausting NBI clearance new application process. However, I was advised that I needed to undergo a personal interview at the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) head office before they release my clearance. I am totally bored that day, so I thought maybe this unusual glitch on my daily routine could put some color on my uninteresting day.

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Friday, September 09, 2011

Contagion Movie » Bloggers During A Pandemic: Voice of Sanity Or Scaremongers?

I watched the “Contagion” movie premiere at Greenbelt last night. Although it is a star-studded humanity-in-peril movie about a lethal virus, it didn’t strike me as entertaining. It just felt rather bland, and it failed to really bite me. For me, it lacks the necessary tension-action twist. But don’t blame me because I’m a Star Wars kind of movie buff.

What caught my attention was Jude Law who played as a kind of mad blogger railing against the pharmaceutical industry and government. His raging posts against big pharmacies and the government turn provocative when people start dropping like zombies.

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Thursday, September 08, 2011

Paoay Church in Ilocos Norte » Architectural Heresy and Our Obsession with Heritage

I had already poked my head into enough elegant churches in Bohol and other old towns in the Philippines but I should not miss Paoay Church, although I used to think all Spanish-era churches in the Philippines are alike. San Agustin Church in Ilocos Norte, popularly known as Paoay Church is definitely unique.  

The uniqueness of this church lies in the unceasing nature of its struggles against time and the history it depicts, in its dramatic architecture and the mysterious heresy hidden within its elaborate brick design.

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Thursday, September 01, 2011

Yodisphere at One Year » First Year Blog Anniversary

Today just happens to be the first year anniversary of yodisphere.com, a blog detailing my life, my travel hacking gigs, commentaries and anything I find amusing.

Some thank you notes, looking back and a peek to the future are in order.

Yodisphere.com has gone through surprising transformations over a year, and that is something that gives me some sense of fulfillment. Looking back, before I made this a hobby, I had no idea what the next year would bring. I could go on writing intermittent posts about how amazing my day was and a handful of my life’s memorable moments [but mostly frustrations]. However, I realized blogging is not about myself so I move on from being sentimental to informative, although some posts still reflects my static career and personal life.

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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

NBI Clearance New Biometric System » How to get it without losing your patience

Most probably you already know what is happening at NBI right now and how slow it is to get an NBI clearance. Let’s review the facts: 
  1. Mega Data Corporation has been servicing the computerization requirements of the NBI since the early 70’s. It started opening NBI Clearance Renewal Centers in malls, and had been providing the NBI various computers, data capture, image capture and card production equipment and supplies, to serve the bureau’s data processing needs for almost 30 years.
  2. Mega Data’s contract with the NBI expired last June 30.
  3. Mega Data had pulled out its equipment and software a day after its contract with the NBI expired last June 30. The pullout resulted in a breakdown in the processing and issuance of NBI clearances. Long queues formed at the bureau’s main office in Manila as a backlog in document processing ensued.

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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Batac City, Ilocos Norte » Understanding the Final Argument of a Dictator's Town

My Ilocondia getaway seems rather uneventful in the retelling. I know. And it surprises me a little to say that my travel experiences in Ilocos has become a meaningful part of my summer which was rather really short and scorching, maybe because of climate change or maybe because it is naturally hot in Ilocos. I review my Ilocos tour blog posts and realized that they are sprinkled with subtleties – an unconscious way of looking at things and at life. The reason maybe has as much, or more, to do with life context as with the Province of Ilocos. Ilocandia makes me feel old and think old, and I like it.

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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

[Mt. Pinatubo] Walking on Ashes » Why trek towards the crater of destruction

With the realization that a lot of what I do lately are mostly stressful and that a lot of my priorities are slowly dying in spite of – or perhaps because of – having been too cautious and afraid to make sudden decisions, I registered for the Mt. Pinatubo bloggers’ trek without a second thought. Also, I guess I badly need to remove myself from the mad rush of my daily routine.

However, the night before the trek I got this second thought and asked myself what the hell do I want out there in the endlessness of ashes and volcanic rocks? I’m silly and mad sometimes, I know that, and maybe this is one of those find-yourself-on-spiritual-walk kind of thing I used to do before.

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Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Banchetto » Street Food Fiesta for the Hungry Insomniacs

''Humans are inherently nocturnal eaters'' - Ori Hofmekler, Author of The Warrior Diet.

After long weekdays of working like ants, we usually meet up with friends and officemates on Friday nights to chill out, have a bottle of beer or simply satisfy our cravings to reward ourselves for surviving a toxic week. On a TGIF night out, my officemates and me normally go to a nearby pub, usually at Cuba Libre in Starmall or Central BBQ Boy Grill in Madison Square. 

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Thursday, August 04, 2011

Hong Kong Hustle » Three Days In The Shadow of the World's Most Vertical City

It ends like a 10-minute dream carried by a greased lightning. Yet all was vivid – the zooming train, high rise buildings, cable cars, Disney Land, giant buddha, crazy shopping and the smell. Yes, I’ve been to Hong Kong. All the pre-departure excitement was now replaced with thrilled nerves, sore feet, and a nice dose of Hong Kong aristocracy and sarcasm.

Though we stayed there in just three days, I have lots of things to tell you. It was a whole new set of exciting travel experience but it’s not all fun. All of it deserves separate posts.

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Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Mt. Romelo (Famy) Laguna Hiking » How to Torture Yourself to a Trek and Be Happy About It

July seems to be not a good time to experience the magic of mountains. Late July brings bitter weather and wetter days, however Mt. Romelo surprised me, even at this time of the year. Ignoring a forecast for overcast skies and crazy rains, we conquered Mt. Romelo in Siniloan Laguna. Call me crazy, but I don’t see how anyone can tolerate a sit-on-your-ass all day cubicled job staring at the computer, so yes, even if it’s raining (and a possible typhoon coming) I decided to go trekking at Mt. Romelo, a lovely mountain range which is part of the legendary Sierra Madre, known to mountaineers simply as Famy.

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Friday, July 29, 2011

Mt Pinatubo Hiking » Capturing Beauty out of Chaos: Mobile Phone Photography

This is another attempt on mobile phone photography and I think it shows through a little bit of improvement from my previous photos so I´m going to post my Pinatubo set almost entirely, and as such I would like some feedback and advise on my shots because I still find them lacking composition. Sorry about this being such a wall of greens and ashes but the background story in text is rather complex, and deserves a separate post - I’m still editing it (meaning I’m still on lazy-mode) so please bear with me.

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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Burning of Philippine Presidents

I still have to ask, what is the meaning of the burning of Philippine presidents in effigies especially during state of the nation address (SONA)? But then I realized the answer to the question seems obvious. Aside from catching media’s attention it is also like the “Burning of Judas,” a ritual in many Orthodox and Catholic Christian communities, where an effigy of Judas Iscariot is burned.

In the Philippines, burning political figures in effigy usually highlights protests and rallies. These effigies are usually crude representations of a despised political figures especially the President. Burning of these effigies are usually held during State Of the Nation Address (SONA).

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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Trapped Ideas and Laziness » Note on Blog Hiatus Status

I’m busy saving the world (I mean my own personal world) that is why it’s been weeks since my last post and you might think I abandoned blogging, but hell no – this is not yet a zombie blog. Weather can automatically switch me on and off to lazy mode and [damn!] this rainy season puts me on hiatus status. Although, yeah I’m naturally lazy, I admit that.

Work is also eating up lots of my reserved energy and giving me a taste of hell for the past few weeks. It’s work and I already stripped myself the right to complain – because it’s my choice – but hey, I still have the right to rant and I got this blog.

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Friday, June 17, 2011

Allegory of the Bantay-Abot Cave and Timmangtang Rock » Is there such a thing as end-of-the-road?

"When you're at the end of the road, And you lost all sense of control, 
And your thoughts have taken their toll, When your mind breaks the spirit of your soul
Your faith walks on broken glass, And the hangover doesn't pass, Nothing's ever built to last
You're in ruins"
[21 Guns – Green Day]

They are wrong. It is not a "Lover’s Rock," it is a metaphorical monument for our wrong choices in life. Bantay Abot Cave and Timmangtang Rock are solid reflections of us being victims of our own poor choices. Sometimes in our foolish search for greener pasture, adventure and material happiness we struggled to leave the protection and safety of the cave only to get stuck in the middle of nowhere, drowned by the sea of human ambitions, leaving us confused and beaten.

But would you rather leave and experience pain than stay? How would you know what’s the right choice? Is there such a thing as end of the road? Ahhh, another bouts of my dusty foot philosophy. Allow me to expound.

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Monday, June 13, 2011

Magical Blue Lagoon and the Cascading Agua Grande » Pagudpud Tricycle Tour Pit Stop


In the center of the mountain’s embrace forming half circle, blanketed by random greenery upon the azure sky fighting the gray clouds, there is a lagoon, and there on its center is the mystical blue riding the sea ripples from its pulsating heart. I look upon it and thought that mystical knowledge was hidden beyond it, like a deja vu of an oblivious soul who has known many things that the years had hidden.

I only had a quick peek at this half-moon shaped bay called Blue Lagoon in Pagudpud but I remembered it as “magical.” The sad fact about travel is that you always had very limited time, but it makes the experience more exciting. This lack of time and hurried glimpse against this magical lagoon was like looking through the eyes of Aragorn when he is looking at Arwen, the Lady of Rivendell – always bestowing an aura of hurried admiration, trying to imprint that awe-inspiring, almost numinous portrait on that quick glimpse.

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Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Bubusugin Ulit Tayo ng Max's » Fried Chicken All You Can is Back!

Image Source
Remember Max’s Fried Chicken eat-all-you-can dine-in promo last year? Maybe you also gone crazy over sarap-to-the-bones fried chicken that time. We had the chance to try it and I remembered these photos we had while waiting for our orders. 

We are so patay-gutom that time, we go around Megamall and Shangri-La branch but all their branches was full of waiting customers. During the promo, you can actually saw long queues on all Max's restaurant within our office in Mandaluyong. We got to try the promo in Starmall and I'm sure that Max's marketing gig was a success.

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Monday, June 06, 2011

Patapat Viaduct and Kalbario Patapat Natural Park » Pagudpud Tricycle Tour Pit Stop

If there is something notable in Ilocos aside from amazing beaches and panoramic mountains, it is the wide concrete roads. Ferdinand Marcos makes sure Ilocandia got that. So a viaduct in Ilocos would not be surprising. However, what makes the Patapat Viaduct amazing is, they not only construct it wide, they also make it poetic.  

The Patapat Viaduct, located at the municipality of Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte  is a scenic elevated highway snaking around the coast at the foot of the North Cordillera Mountain Range. It was constructed to connect the Maharlika Highway from Laoag, Ilocos Norte to the Cagayan Valley Region. Its piers rest on spread footings founded on outcropping bedrock.

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Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Jun and Carol Beach Resort Review » Affordable Pagudpud Beach Front Accommodation

Jun and Carol Resort
If you are on a tight budget or your backpacker group is looking for a cheap Pagudpud beach resort to stay while touring the beautiful town of Pagudpud in the province of Ilocos Norte, or you just want to enjoy the famous Pagudpud beaches, you might want to consider Jun and Carol Beach Resort. Although you can find lots of front beach resorts along Saud beach, most of them are not so affordable (based on our group's inquiry.)

One of our major weekend getaways this year is our two-day trip to Ilocandia and of course, the tour will not be complete without a refreshing side trip to Pagudpud. We decided to stay at Jun and Carol Beach Resort because it is the only resort that fits our very limited budget.

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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Kabigan Falls, Pagudpud Ilocos Norte » The Best Lazy Trekking to Waterfalls in Ilocandia

Pagudpud is famous for its scenic beaches, but staying too long in the waves can bore you and sometimes you felt this need to escape the salty breeze . So, for a little freshwater twist in your Ilocos Norte tour, never miss this lazy trek to the Kabigan falls.

Kabigan Falls is surrounded by thick forest and well-known for its concaved basin, located at the eastern part of Barangay Balaoi, around 1.8 kilometers away from the national highway.

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Chasing Summer » Akyat Pinatubo Bloggers Climb For a Cause

This summer is too short. We already got intermittent rain showers a few days ago signalling the wet season, so we only got a few more weeks to enjoy the sun and have outdoor activities. 

Although I love beaches, I want to try something different. Fortunately I came across the Let's Go Sago blog and learned about the "Akyat Pinatubo Bloggers Climb For a Cause", a bloggers' travel activity this coming weekend. This event is for the benefit of Tahanang Walang Hagdanan and is also open for non-bloggers who would like to join this worthy cause.

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Monday, May 23, 2011

Pagudpud Beach in Saud, Ilocos Norte » Detecting Your Average Summer Happiness Level

“This time it was going to be different,” I thought to myself. However, when we arrived at Pagudpud beach in Saud Ilocos Norte, I instantly got the feeling, from the looks of it, that this is just another beach; maybe this is what you got when you’ve been to a number of beaches around the Philippines, or maybe I’m just tired. I’ve been to the overrated Boracay, pristine Tingloy, Bolinao, Panglao and Bantayan Island – and I can safely conclude that, basically Pagudpud is your typical bummer-swim-and-go beach. It is exciting when you first see it but becomes boring on the second day.

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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Bangui Windmills » Catching Scattered Memories Beyond the Wind

Have you ever visited a place for the first time that instantly triggers memories of your happy childhood? A far-off place with totally different landscape and foreign scenery but with an ambiance that evokes a familiar “feel” within your subconscious. Sometimes it could be the place’s scent that instantly exhumes buried and long forgotten memories. Childhood memories that you think you’ve lost when you discovered the adult world.

It would be nice to once again feel that carefree feelings right? So folks, let me show you the Bangui windmills of Ilocos and at the same time let me also share pieces of my treasured childhood memories.

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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Defending the Caveman » Fun Way to Understand D.ckheads’ Sensitivities and Nagging Women

Millions of books, articles shows and movies were already published and produced dealing with the differences between men and women, so it is definitely a fact we all know.

Actually, it is already a boring subject.

However, I’m able to watch Rob Becker’s one-man show “Defending the Caveman” starring Joel Trinidad last Friday at the RCBC Plaza with my office-mates. I never thought gender differences could be that fun. I got a nice dose of Friday night “sosyal” entertainment.

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Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Cape Bojeador Lighthouse » Death of Elegance, Creepy Tales and A Spark of Wisdom

We expect bright sunny day on our visit to the majestic Cape Bojeador Lighthouse but no, egotistical weather decided to give us gray clouds and gloomy rain showers. It seemed that the weather was trying to make a point - solitary sentinels of the sea are best visited when the circumstance has the aura of immense loneliness. Well I got the point, and I love it.

I looked up, and saw the outline of the towering Bojeador Lighthouse, hazy due to the drops of rain falling like tears on my old eyeglasses. It was like Severus’ giant wand ready to cast the unforgivable Imperius Curse to the world – hoping to control its chaotic ways. And I was like an elf, climbing the cold stone steps, diminutive, weary and nonchalant.

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Friday, April 29, 2011

Moronic Wisdom Tooth » Odontectomy and Forced Penitence

Everyone’s got to have one vanity. Mine is my complete set of permanent teeth with two wisdom teeth that popped up in my early 20’s. They say you are so lucky if you end up having great teeth that are permanent without the help of a dentist. Well I guess I’m lucky or maybe I got this from my father who also has perfectly aligned teeth. Another way to have great teeth is of course if you have so much money and you can spare some for what we consider as celebrity’s vanity. Though imagining I’m a celebrity is sometimes included on my hot afternoon daydreaming sessions (and I know you did too), I am not spending a fortune on my teeth. My vanity only includes a regular whitening toothpaste, nice toothbrush, floss and annual prophylaxis.

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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Ilocos Tour » Sinking Bell Tower and McDonalds’ Rising Golden Arch

Laoag was still slumbering when we arrived at around 5:00 am. We made a quick stop at the Laoag City Central Plaza at the foot of the magnificent Don Mariano Marcos Bridge also known as Gilbert Bridge and the third longest bridge in the Philippines. The only restaurant open was the ever-present McDonalds. It’s a good thing this McDo branch has free WiFi - literally our one hand was holding our smartphones updating status on Facebook and Twitter, the other hand was doing the most important thing in the morning, which is breakfast. (Seems crazy because Facebook and Twitter are now vying for the most-important-thing in the morning category.)

With full stomach and Facebook status updated, we are now ready for a quick plaza tour. We first checked out the St. William the Hermit Cathedral and the Sinking Bell Tower.

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Monday, April 11, 2011

Ilocos Tour – Laoag, City of Sunshine » Waking up in the Sparkling Gem of Ilocandia

Then I woke up, noted where I am and started thinking “Are we really in Laoag? And alive to blog about it? Fascinating!”

This is the wonder of wandering around, you hastily jump in a van, sleep and let the driver take charge of you life, dream of a far off destination and wake up in unfamiliar place. Waking up in the same place every morning is boring, so I have to take a few out-of-goddamn-Manila trips once in a while.

Having this Ilocos tour is one of my ideal backpacking trips because this part of the Philippines can take in both stunning scenery, culture and history, and city life. Ilocos is also included in the top backpacking destinations in the Philippines because it offers an unbeatable combination of urban life, significant Spanish heritage points and jaw-dropping scenery which doesn’t cost a fortune.

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Thursday, March 31, 2011

April Calendar of Major Philippine Festivals » Lakbay Pilipinas

It’s summertime once again and what a better way to enjoy the fine weather than taking a road or boat trip to various destinations and festivals around the country.

Experience Igorot culture in the Lang-Ay Festival of Bontoc on the way to celebrations in Gawagaway-yan and Cocowayan Festivals in Isabela. Celebrate bountiful harvests in the Dagupan Bangus Festival and Pistay Dayat in Pangasinan. Feel the excitement and beauty of the Bicol region in Rodeo Masbateño and Magayon Festival. Or renew religious fervor in the Turumba Festival, Panaad and Pamalandong Ha Palo.

There are many places to visit this summer and here’s a short list. Have fun travelling around the Philippines!

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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Ilocos Tour » Laoag-Pagudpod-Vigan Impromptu Weekend Getaway

I say unplanned trip is way better than planned one, maybe you won’t agree. But for me, those quick getaway trips are more gripping and remarkable especially if it’s one of those arbitrary barkada gigs. That’s the beauty of randomness – always tickles our unconscious desire for chaos. We always have that hidden desire to escape routine and a wish for that sudden bump on a boring road.

Conversely, best-planned trips are always impacted by cancellations. Of course we all know how safe and sane it is to plan a vacation in advance: we save for the expected expenses, cheap resort is booked, itinerary is neatly pre-decided and vacation leave is filed. There is no way the trip could go wrong. However, I don’t know if it’s just us (I mean our backpacker group), but most of our long planned barkada gigs are always being cancelled.

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Saturday, March 19, 2011

Dear SmartBro, I need You, Now Na! » Why subscribing to Smart Bro NOW is as exciting as playing Angry Birds

So I woke up today on a rainy Sunday morning, stay curled up on my bed, shirtless and feeling so comfy with my oversized boxer brief suddenly thinking about whether the world will really end in 2012, and whether Lady Gaga is really human while staring at the albino lizard on my wall. But before I could ask my lizard roommate, it ran off. Probably got scared with that morning hump on my baggy boxer brief. This part of the day, this “angry-bird morning salute,” which is of course is a natural morning phenomenon for guys (but a miracle for viagra-dependent baby boomers) usually bewilders me.

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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Cebu City Side Trip » Bantayan Island Getaway at Sta. Fe Beach Club Ogtong Cave Resort


bantayan island ogtong cave beach jump shot


I don’t know why these first few months of the year always gives me extra stress. Maybe it’s because of that nagging desire to accomplish more, to plow the field early to avoid the afternoon burnout. Fresh start is not always easy as rebooting a laptop. The whole shebang gives me headache, and the energy surge always nearly bursts my sanity bubble.

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About the Blogger

Yodi Insigne
Yodi de Veas Insigne is one of those delusional sorts who imagines himself a useful contributor to the greater blogosphere (Well, that's what he's trying to accomplish).

He started blogging for three reasons:

1. He always felt he has something important to say,
2. Books can make him cry, and cliff jumping can make him high,
3. He want to sleep at night.

He is a self-certified bookworm, travel junkie, shutterbug, movie freak, Mangyan hiker who sleeps a lot and think a lot. He got a little vice, which is black coffee and cashew nuts. He got colorblindness on yellow and green - and he freaking loves it!

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