Lakbay Norte: El Kabayo, Paradise Ranch, and Lakeshore

The Lakeshore

Mt Arayat viewed from the Lakeshore

It is Sunday, the last day of our 7-day Lakbay Norte tour. It seems most of us have exhausted our wardrobes that we started wearing some of the shirt giveaways we got throughout the trip. I get to curl up more on Holiday Inn’s comfy beds longer as our call time isn’t that early. We still have a few activities for the day and as soon as we finished breakfast. The group was once again split into half to do some horseback riding and a jeepney tour.

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Lakbay Norte: Cruising Subic Bay to a Kapampangan Night

Hanjin Subic Shipyard

Hanjin Subic Shipyard

5:00am I came down at White Rock’s lobby and joined a table that turned into some sort of internet café. I think I only had at two and a half hours of sleep and opening my laptop seems like a heavy task. Its day 6 of Lakbay Norte tour and I still wish I could have tried those other rides at Treetop yesterday. But I already got used to having only portions and a taste here and there. Besides this is a familiarization tour. The point is to get “familiar”.

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North Luzon: 7 days up North at Lakbay Norte Media Tour

Lakbay Norte Morning at Paoay Sand Dunes

Lakbay Norte group Morning at the Sand Dunes

Pardon the lack of updates for the past few days as I was too busy to do advance post. I just got home from sweep tour of 4 regions, 8 key province stops and 1798Km road trip up North Luzon Philippines with 26 travel-hungry people aboard a Victory Liner Bus. It was packed, tiring but also fun. It was the Lakbay Norte NPVB (North Luzon Visitors Bureau) Media Tour with the aim to rediscover the north. I’ve always wanted to do this up-north horseshoe route and now here it is. Here’s a quick look of our 7-day sojourn up-north from January 24-31, 2010.

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Pampanga: A Sparkling Christmas at the Giant Lantern Festival 2009

Pampanga Giant Lantern Festival

The Pampanga Giant Lantern Festival last December 19, 2009

Along with the puto bumbong, bibingka, and the traditional Simbang Gabi, the Parol (Christmas Lantern) is one of the Filipino symbols of Christmas. I remember having seen parols in Cambodia which they also display during their new year but I think the Christmas Lanterns are more associated with Filipinos. The tradition of Parol making has evolved through the years from simple bamboo and paper to a more complicated use of materials and circuitry. And every year, we see the height of Christmas Lantern reach gigantic levels in the province of Pampanga as they celebrate the Annual Ligligan Parol or Giant Lantern Festival.

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Fill ‘er up and fly

11th Philippine Hot Air Balloon Fiesta

11th Philippine Hot Air Balloon Fiesta

It’s the Philippine Hot Air Balloon Fiesta once again and this annual event is now on its 11th year. I really had plans on going back here once again since I enjoyed last year’s spectacle. At first I wasn’t sure if I could make this trip since a friend of mine who originally invited me to come suddenly backed out due to an unforeseen gig scheduled at that time. Fortunately, another friend texted, asking me for some info about the event. It turns out she’ll be going with her friends and I asked if I could join in. Everything was last minute though, as we had to leave that Friday night since we were going to stay at a villa in Mimosa. No one from the group wanted to wake up and drive early morning. So from the office, I hurried home, pulled out a small bag, grabbed a few clothes, took my camera equipments, dashed through my dinner and hurried to the place where they’ll pick me up.

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Car vs Plane

Car vs Plane

Car vs plane on a speed race. Whose faster?

Whose faster, a race car or a plane? If you asked me that I would definiely answer “Plane” no doubt. In the recent Phlippine Hot Air Balloon Fiesta in Clark, one of the highlights in the event was the Car versus a plane race. So who do you think won?

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