Day Hike | Crossing Boundaries for Mt Mamara

At the summit of Mt Mamara with the summit of Mt Daraitan behind
At the summit of Mt Mamara with the summit of Mt Daraitan behind

Change of plans. I love it when my companions are just ready for anything. Meeting hiking buddies Christine and Marky early Friday morning in Cubao, we were supposed to go to another mountain. As fast as the changing wind, we decided to visit another mountain at the vicinity of Daraitan – Mt Mamara. A smaller brother of Mt Daraitan in Tanay, Rizal, Mt Mamara was opened as an alternative to climbers who got cut-off from the maximum 300 pax per day limit of climbers for Mt Daraitan. It may be a minor mountain but the rewards of the climb is equally captivating.

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Laguna | Paete Woodcarving Capital and its Masters

Paloy Cagayat at his workshop in Paete
Paloy Cagayat at his workshop in Paete

There’s a distinctive smell of wood amidst the mixture of paint and thinner lingering in the air. I could hear the constant pounding of multiple mallets on chisels carving away pieces of wood to make form to an otherwise large piece of wood. Occasional sawdust fills the air when sudden gust of wind blows through this open air wood carving workshop. Paete Woodcarving has been a thriving industry since the Spanish era until now. A walk at the town’s market road, it is hard not to notice the rows of shops, selling variety of wood work and paper mache. This crafty town of Paete, north-east of Laguna have earned its declaration as the Woodcarving Capital of the Philippines back in 2005. Thanks to proud Paetenians whose generations of wood carvers passed their skills and dedication for elevating the art. Here we meet some of the master woodcarvers that have etched their legacy in the town’s history.

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Laguna Stay | Seda Nuvali: The Eco-city Lifestyle Hotel

Seda Nuvali at night
Seda Nuvali at night

It’s familiar earth colors of brown, black and white on the modern-themed building is a distinctive character of a Seda Hotel. Easily recognizable from afar as we drove in from a distance as it mirrors the one at the heart Bonifacio Global City. This lifestyle chain-hotel is standing in the midst of the burgeoning development of the eco-city, Nuvali. I’ve often passed by this place en route to Tagaytay and Batangas and I was just in awe of the fast-paced development since last I went through here. I couldn’t almost recognize the place. Nuvali, in Sta Rosa, Laguna is now a destination itself, not just a transit stop and Seda Nuvali is ready to cater to guest, weather business or leisure, to experience living in this eco-city.

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A Year in Travels July 2013 | The Laguna and Rizal Art Loop

A young wood carver in Paete Laguna
A young wood carver in Paete Laguna

I didn’t travel that much the month of July this year, but I did take on one of the most interesting magazine feature I’ve done so far. Maybe I was looking for a change than the usual destination stories on beaches, hotels or food but more on the people and personalities. The InFlight Magazine assignment brought me around the different towns around Laguna de Bay to discover the creativity, the richness of the culture and the masters of art. I have written them on the blog yet but it’s something to look forward to. Here’s to give you an idea.

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Laguna: Going Extreme at Enchanted Kingdom

Enchanted Kingdom Facade at Laguna
Enchanted Kingdom Facade at Laguna

I love theme parks! I enjoy them ever since I can remember. It’s one of those places where you seem to enter a different world beyond the entrance gates. And it’s that time of the season once again where theme parks spark back to life. We may not have Disneyland in the Philippines but we do have Enchanted Kingdom which has been the country’s premiere park since it opened in 1995. It’s been almost a couple of years since my last visit, so I gladly took their invite on their Media Appreciation Day and see what has changed.

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Laguna: All shook up at Enchanted Kingdom

Elvis Walking in Enchanted Kingdom

Elvises Walking in Enchanted Kingdom

It’s been quite sometime since I have visited Enchanted Kingdom, considered as the premier amusement park in the Philippines. So when the opportunity came through an email invitation from Myla of Enchanted Kingdom to take part on the event, I thought this would be a fun day and decided to join in with the other bloggers. The last day of the month of January pays tribute to the king of rock and roll – Elvis Presly!

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A Laguna Weekend

PCIT IT Challenge in La Corona de Pagsanjan

It’s been a fun weekend in Laguna. Well yesterday our company had our “IT Challenge”, sorta like a team building activity but it was quite enjoyable. We met up at our office building lobby early at 6am, each of us were given an envelope and a piece of a clue on what we should do next. Well it was a bit of an amazing race thing as 2 groups were now in a race headed to La Corona in Laguna, Pagsanjan were we did some challenging rope courses. Well, The Wall was the most challenging I think followed by the High Y (as seen above). I think everyone enjoyed the activity.

Acacia Homes Calamba

I didn’t go back to Manila that day, and since I’m in the vicinity, I headed to my Tito and Tita’s place in Calamba Laguna. I’m not a regular in the place but we do have a house there that’s been neglected for quite a while and I decided to visit since I haven’t been there for quite sometime. Good thing my Tito Jose’s been keeping our unit tidy but it’s deteriorating since no one is actually living there. I do like the view from our street there. Well, I talked to my Tito on the cost on renovating the house and fixing it up. Quite a responsibility but I can’t let a good ol little house left to rot.

Now am finally home, looking at the pictures I took of the IT Challeng event. And will rest up a bit in a while. Catch up on some sleep….