22 May 2011

Getaway Within The City

     Summer is about to end and everybody is in a rush to take their last minute summer vacation,  in the beach or the mountain resorts here in Negros or anywhere in the country.  But if you don't have time for a long drive and you only got a weekend available, there's a resort within the city that is great for an overnight or two getaway. Palmas Del Mar is located in JR Torres Avenue in Bacolod City. A five-hectare resort facing the sea surrounded by lush green vegetations.
     My brother tagged me along to Palmas Del Mar last Saturday evening to join them for an overnight stay together with his high school friends. I haven't been there for so long so I decided to go with them. It was 7:30  pm when we arrived. The swimming pool as teaming with overnight stayers and even the billiard tables are occupied. They had booked the Costa Dorada family room in Iberian-their newest hotel.  It had a queen size bed, 2 single beds and a pull-out on one single bed, a 50 inch flat screen plasma tv with cable service, a phone, a dvd player and hot and cold shower. What's nice is that it is 20 steps away from the kiddie pool which is adjacent to the big pool. You can watch your kids swimming while having a drink on the rooms front porch.

     After dinner we decided to take a dip on the pool and enjoyed the warm water on the pool for over an hour. Swimming pool is open until 11:00 pm. It was almost 11:00 when one by one we hit the bed, the boys had their chit chat while drinking beer and I enjoyed watching movies on HBO. It was past four in the morning when I decided to get some sleep. I woke up early, went around the resort and took some photos. Their garden setting is perfect for weddings, debut, birthday and any special occasion. When I got back to the room, we ordered for breakfast. I had an English breakfast set while they have their all time Filipino breakfast. The breakfast was mouth-watering except for the overripe pineapple that we did not ate. The whole resort has WIFI so I spent the rest of the morning checking my facebook and emails.

21 May 2011

Healthy Carrot Cake

     This carrot cake is for my friend Corrie's parents who had celebrated their 44th wedding anniversary yesterday. Wow! They have already come this far and wishing them to reach 50th. Then probably they might want me to make their golden anniversary cake hehehe.
     This cake is made from carrots with ground cinnamon, crushed pineapple and raisins. I used raw sugar (we called it here Mascubado) because of its not too sweet and the vitamins and minerals are still present on it.While it is in the oven, the whole house smells like a combination of everything... smells heavenly! It made my mouth watery and want to take a bite from it.  I guess the neighbors are drooling over the sweet scent on the air coming from the oven.  The icing was made from cream cheese, a little of butter, vanilla, lemon and some confectioners sugar so the taste isn't too sweet... just the right amount of sweetness.
     I delivered the cake personally to her parents. They already moved to Talisay City so I have no idea where to find them. Good thing I'm familiar with the subdivision and there were only few houses. The address says block 5 and I find myself asking for direction in block 18... Gosh! Thirteen blocks away. I laughed at myself thinking why I haven't asked someone in the guard house. Then I remember, there's no one in the guard house. I was texting Corrie who's in Aussie right now asking for directions. Luckily, someone pointed to me about a new house being constructed and when I got there I saw Corrie's father. Her mom let me in to their new house. A cute modern bungalow type house with wide space for gardening but the place isn't finish yet. Have a chat with her mom like 30 minutes or more before going home then call it a day. 

19 May 2011

Happy Birthday to my Papu Soryme

Another year had been added to your life. Whether it  was good or not so good, I'm still thankful because I was part of that whole year that had passed. And now that we are undergoing some misunderstanding, I felt that you are drifting away from me or did you intentionally drift away from me? But i'm still hoping we can patch it up together before its too late. Still wishing you the best in life and hope all your heart's desire to come true.. Wherever you are... Take good care of yourself.. Still loving you so much.. Happy Happy birthday.

02 May 2011

La Carlota City's 32nd Pasalamat Festival 2011



      May 1, Labor Day, while the the whole country are having an annual celebration held to honor our Filipino workforce, La Carlota City's drumbeats roared across the whole city as they once more celebrated their annual Pasalamat Festival.
     We left Bacolod City around ten in the morning, our destination is the City of Lights, La Carlota City. Also called as the Drumbeat City of Beauty and Dance, La Carlota City is about 45 kilometers away south of Bacolod City. By private car, the city can be reached within 45 minutes and an hour by public utility vehicles.  There are only 2 minibus companies that operates the Bacolod-La Carlota route - OMC and SDL.

     We arrived a few minutes after 11:00 and went straight to a friend's house to have lunch. Stayed for a couple of hours chatting with some friends to keep up with the lost time and to update each others whereabouts while waiting for the rest of the company to arrive.  It was almost 3:00 pm when we went out to the street. The main street was already packed with cars parked on the side and people waiting for the street parade to begin.
     It was past 3:30 when the sound of the drums filled the air combined with samba steps on the crowded street turned the whole main street of La Carlota into a mardi gras. One couldn't help but move or sway to the sound that emanated from the beat of the drums coming from the different beaters accompanying each of the 21 competing tribe. Garbed in elaborate and colorful costumes, the dancers of each tribes displayed gracefulness in spite of the scorching summer heat.

     It was gloomy that afternoon and the shade of the trees on the street made it hard for me to get good photos. But still, I managed to get some decent photos using the point and shoot camera. We positioned on the starting point of the parade and it was very tiring standing on the street for almost two hours, each tribe was like 50 meters away from each other. Maybe they don't want the street dancers to get confused if the drum beats from one tribe to another got mixed.  But in total, it was a new and great experience for me.

30 April 2011

Meriah Hazel's Baptism Cake

     This simple cake made of orange chiffon frosted with boiled icing and decorated with sugar flowers is for my newest goddaughter Meriah Hazel. This isnt my first time to make boiled icing but all failed in the past. It always gave me headache wondering what went wrong. Makes me think that the problem must be with the ingredients, my sugar must not be ready yet, the procedure or is it because I'm only using an electric hand mixer.  My first try with boiled icing was a total failure. It icing became runny after I put colors on it, even if I'm using a gel color. And the colors sink to the bottom after a few minutes. Then the next one, I overcooked the sugar which makes the icing crunchy, with solid crystals on it.  My third try was kinda alright. It has the perfect firmness but after I put colors on it, it became a little bit soggy.  This is my fourth try, its not perfect because I was in a hurry and the sugar wasn't ready yet.  With more practice I think I'll be able to do it perfectly next time.

29 April 2011

Mambukal Mountain Resort Attractions

     Mambukal Mountain Resort is a famous summer getaway in Brgy. Minuyan, Murcia because of its cool climate even during summer.  Situated 1,200 fett above sea level, it serves as an entry point to mountaineers who wanted to experience climbing the glorious Mount Kanlaon volcano. The Mambukal Mountain Resort offers beautiful sites both man-made and nature working at its best.

28 April 2011

Easter Sunday Getaway to Mambukal Mountain Resort

     Last Easter Sunday my family decided to have our first family outing this summer in Mambukal Mountain Resort in Brgy. Minuyan, Murcia. After several days of fasting and observing the season of lent, Easter Sunday would be the perfect day for a celebration and family bonding. This isn't our first time to be here and as a matter of fact this place is very close to my heart.  This is where Ruel realized his true feelings for me.

     Mambukal Mountain Resort is 1,200 feet above sea level and serves an an entry or gateway to mountaineers who wants to climb Mount Kanlaon. From Bacolod City, it is 20 to 30 minutes drive by private car and 30 to 45 minutes by public utility vehicle.  There are plenty of PUV's plying the Bacolod-Mambucal route and their terminal is located on the south portion of the Libertad Public Market. Transportation fare is somewhat between Php 35-40.

18 April 2011

Spending a Day in Paraiso Beach Resort

You really can't deny the summer heat even though its chilly in the evening.  Last Saturday, Mheck, a friend of mine from call center days asked if we wanted to hang out with her in a beach.  She did not only invited me but some of our friends from Uzzap days also.  The nearest beach destination within the city is the Puntatytay where several beach resorts could be found.

This is Paraiso Beach Resort, one of the several resorts in Brgy. Punta Taytay in Bacolod City. It has several like "fifty" day time cottages or more lol. Some are small and there are others that can accommodate large groups. For only Php 100 - 300, you can rent the cottage hut till midnight.  Entrance fee is only Php 5.00 for adults and if your coming in a large group children are sometimes free.

Getting there is not a problem. There are public vehicles or jeepneys routed Central Market to Punta Taytay. Just ask the driver if they can take you to the beach. Jeepney fare is Php 15.00  from downtown area to the beach resort.


If you happen not to bring any food, there are restaurants in the area that serves fresh seafoods that wont robbed your pocket.  Recommended just for hanging out or spending quality time with friends or loved ones but not for swimming.  The beach is next to residential area. You know what I mean.

15 April 2011

Panaad Park: Touring Negros Occidental in a Day, Going South This Time Part 2

ISABELA  -  Isabela was known before as a part of Binalbagan when the Spaniard arrived to the island of Negros. The place was once inhabited by native people with full of tattoos in the body called “Pintados”.

MOISES PADILLA -  Moises Padilla was a former barrio of Isabela a neighboring town and its original name was Mgallon and later became Moises Padilla when it declared it as a town.   The name of the town was changed after the death Mr. Moises Padilla a mayoralty candidate who was tortured and killed by assassins of a certain prominent family in Negros Island due to political reasons. 

14 April 2011

Panaad Park: Touring Negros Occidental in a Day, Going South This Time Part1

Now that we're done with all the cities and municipalities on the northern part of Negros Occidental it's time to move down to the south.  Sit back, relax and enjoy.

BAGO CITY  -  the top rice producer in the province and is home to industries like the Maao Sugar Central, Viva Mineral water bottling plant, Ginebra San Miguel distilled products and the Alter Trade muscovado mill.

PULUPANDAN  - derived its name from the vernacular phrase “pulo sang pandan”, meaning “isle of pandan”, due to the wild forest of palms in the town during the early days before it became a bustling seaport. 

13 April 2011

Panaad Park: Touring Negros Occidental in a Day, Going East

Now that we're done with the cities and municipalities on the northern part of Negros Occidental, lets proceed to the two municipalites and one city on the eastern part.

MURCIA   -  Convergence of the North and South and where East meets West. Murcia is home to the province’s flagship tourism attraction, the scenic and romantic Mambukal Summer Resort., the Bacolod Golf and Country Club, the Tanduay Distillery  and PNOC Geothermal Power Plant.

DON SALVADOR BENEDICTO  -  Located at the center of the mountains of northern Negros Occidental.  Tagged as the "Little Baguio of Negros Occidental" because of the cool weather and the beautiful pine trees that lined the main road.

12 April 2011

Panaad Park: Touring Negros Occidental in a Day, Going North Part 2

MANAPLA  -  known for the Cartwheel church and the delicious Capulso Puto Manapla.  The town got its name from the wife of the capitan, fondly and respectfully called by the residents as Manang Pula.  Later, the Manang Pula as name of the town was shortened to Manapla, the name carried on until now.

CADIZ CITY  -  dried fish capital of Negros Occidental  and the famous tourist attraction, Lakawon Island Resort.

11 April 2011

Panaad Park: Touring Negros Occidental in a Day, Going North Part 1

Every year, the Panaad sa Negros Festival is always flocked by both local and international tourists to witness the week long celebration of  the "Mother of All Festivals".  Aside from the food and the activities lined up for the whole celebration, one of the reason that people purposely flock the Panaad Festival are the booths of different towns and cities of Negros Occidental.
I took the liberty to take photos of all the booths and what's in store for the visitors. To all Negrosanons on the other side of the planet, I hope these photos can make you feel like you've have been here celebrating the festival with us.

Let me start from my very own city, Bacolod City, then we''ll head north.  Okay?  Enjoy as I tour you around the Panaad Park.

BACOLOD CITY - dubbed as the City of Smile, the capital city of Negros Occidental, home of the Masskara Festival and the famous Chicken Inasal (grilled chicken).
The Balay Bacolodnon sa Panaad booth is a fusion of the old and new Bacolod., with the plaza gazebo and bandstand as icon of the city's old world charm and the New Government Center as symbol of the modern City of Bacolod surging ahead.

This giant mask greets the visitors on the entrance of Bacolod booth.

09 April 2011

Panaad sa Negros Festival Dance Competition Part 3

Sinigayan Festival of Sagay City
An annual thanksgiving in honor of St. Joseph, showcasing the best of Sagay’s arts, culture, products, and people.

Manlambus Festival of Escalante
“Manlambus” is a Visayan term meaning “to strike with a club” - because its coastal waters were then teeming with fishes that catching them could be done simply by clubbing.

Babaylan Festival of Bago City
Babaylan Festival is based on the rituals performed by the Babaylans or shamans, like rituals on marriage, baptism, healing, harvest and others. Babaylans get their healing powers from the unseen spirits.

Sag-ahan Festival of Toboso
Sag-ahan is derived from the original name of the settlement near the Sag-ahan River many years ago In the local dialect “sag-ahan” means to take or catch fish with the hands, This method of fishing was popularly used due to the abundance of fish in the area.

Kalag-kalag Festival of Isabela
This Festival is celebrated during the All Soul’s Day to remember the departed. The dance routine depicts dead people, and some skeletons dancing to the drumbeats.

Bailes de Luces Festival of La Castellana
Its unique feature is the use of lights or “luces” as props and adornment and its nocturnal festivities and streetdancing.

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