Monday, May 18, 2009

Pahiyas : Habhab Colorful Parade

After touring the colorful houses ( see here ), we joined people watching the road in anticipation of equally colorful parade.

Led by a marching band, they played music as announcement of something grand to happen in the road.

A mural was moving right infront of me. It was a huge float painted with seeds!!! amazingly creative!

Then came the group of rainbow colored padyak, (a bicycle with passenger seat),

each bearing the most popular dish of the town - habhab. It's a noodle dish locally known as pansit. Habhab is the version of Lucban. The uniqueness mainly credited to the way it's being eaten. In banana leaves and w/o utensils. See photo :)

I tell you, these participants were quite generous too...

they gave free samples of habhab to the delight of the

This was actually a contest and this happy participant obviously had the sweetest smile on her face for bagging the 2nd place.

More huge attractions of the parade walking d
own the road...

.. the higantes, giant mascots.

Well-groomed farmers' bestfriends_ carabao pulling pretty floats bearing proud local produced products.

This rider on a beautiful horse was also a scene stealer, like a character from a cowbow film.

The parade didn't end here.
There are more..

Sunday, May 17, 2009

The Tamarind Tree (part2)

Part One => here

Stairways To Heaven
This way up to the club house or the function hall where events like weddings or what so parties happen.

To The Pool
Half way of the stairs to the clubhouse, take a left turn to reach the swimming pool with the an elevated location like the function hall.

What A Beauty!
Look how sweet is the swimming pool. To your right is a view of the ocean and pics of islands, and to your left..

Real Pretty!
.. is like a landscape painting.

Bamboo Showers
Ofcourse as in any pool rules, take a shower first before dipping in the pool. These outdoor bamboo showers really spell pretty rustic.We love them! And the stone floor_very relaxing to the feet.

As spf roof, you can stay and relax in this cottage beside the pool.

Ready to use with minimal rental fee.There's single and there's for the couple.

Going-up To Eat
Meals are serve at the cafeteria,if you're staying (like we do) at the frontbeach cottages,you have to climb up to the hills on this road or the stone stairs at the other side. They don't allow food in the cottages.Everyone must really go up this way to eat.Those staying at the uphill cottages have the advantage as they are nearby the cafeteria.

Lunch At The Cafeteria
This is the only place where you can eat. The place wears the consistent rustic appeal of the whole resort. Even the plates are made from native materials and on top of each plate is a banana leaf used as paper plate.The place is decorated with native hats (which are also for sale) from Lucban Quezon (a neighboring town ).

With our family package comes three meals (breakfast,lunch,dinner)of the day of fish,meat dish,vegetable, rice all you can, and fresh fruits for desserts. Snacks are cook to order, so you have to do the ordering in advance with additional fees. Drinking water is serve free.

Outside The Fence
An extension of the beauty of the resort continues .

The Beach
As for the highlight of the resort_it has a fine nearly white beach infront.

A Calm Sea
Water is clear and quiet. So inviting for a swim.Very safe for kids too. And one can never ignore the beautiful view of the islets sitting pretty in the ocean.

We Want more!
So we hired a boat for island hopping.The rest of the trip was wonderful! (see previous blog>Borawan & Dampalitan Islands).

Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Tamarind Tree (part1)

While goggling for a place to stay in Padre Burgos, 2 resorts showed. One with fresh & green website with accessible booking office near my house. The other one with nothing but an email add, not even on line, no phone nos, too. I chose the one with easy booking access ofcourse.
Before that, I called my friend who was based in our (Quezon) home town,a 3 hours drive from Padre Burgos. I asked  if she could suggest a place to stay or had she ever visited Borawan Island? Her answers were negative and even warned me not to go there at all because of the risk of security hazards (there was a buzz regarding the town as NPA hiding place). Needless to say, I didn't believe her, but ofcourse when I made the reservation, I nailed the people from the resort to reaffirm our security, countless times.
I went to the bank and made a deposit of 50% of the room rate. The resort is not yet ready for credit card and only accepts over the counter payment.

The Resort
The resort is called The Tamarind Tree. The name appealed to me as very organic and fresh. The resort's website said it all and I was sold.

Rugged Road
It seems like this is not in the town proper but in a remote area. But don't be deceived by the short rugged road, it is very much in the "poblacion", actually this is the private road of the resort which is obviously not yet developed. On the other hand, the road compliments the rustic appeal of the resort.

The Entrance
Look how pretty!..and nice..and fresh!This is the entrance of the resort_on top of the hill, the rest of it unfurl down to the beach front. From here you could already enjoy a glimpse of the ocean with islets sitting on it.

Uphill Cottages
A number of these nipa hut cottages are located near the entrance of the resort which is uphill. The sizes vary_from small hut (for 2-4 persons) to a big one (10-12 guests).

Going Down
To get down to the beach front, there are two ways, one is to use these stone stairs, passing by bushes of greens and colorful flowers.

Drive Thru
Or run down on this drive thru which is actually for the cars. But if you're in a hurry, this one is a short cut!

Almost There
Close reach to the beach you would pass by some bamboo bridges and benches inviting to take a breath of freshness.

Sweet Lil' Bridge
This bridge will bring you to the largest of the only three cottages at the beachfront.

Beach Front Cottage
This is a fresh air cottage and so the rest of the cottages are. There's no cottage w/ ac and walls are scarce here.

The interior is like an exterior. It's open and has curtains hanging ready as cover- up when the need arises. Even the upper floor has big open windows.

A Bali Hut
This is another one of the three cottages in the beachfront, a medium size hut..

No Walls Too
..and carries the same fresh air open windows just like the rest.

At This Point
Maybe you are wondering how about mosquitoes at night? With this open windows architecture, I asked the same question..

Giant Kulambo
..and found the answer when the night came. They have a specially made mosqueto net (made to order from Laguna) as big as the hut where everyone still has a room for each own activity. Now, that's clever and how innovative!

Green Ground
This big open space is a multi function ground which is also a suggestive camping site. The resort has tents for rents or you can bring one.

Part Two here

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Old Zigzag Road (Quezon)

Going to Bicol?  

 Don't think twice_choose the Old Zigzag Road! Opps, for light vehicle only please.

From here you could turn off your aircon, open your windows and breath the fresh green aroma of the forest.

Welcome embrace by the old giant trees.Immediately, the greens take away the travel stress that surely builds up the moment you start your engine.

Fresh green air and smooth pavement of the road relax you as if to prepare you to upcoming challenging part of this road trip.

The challenge begins_ you meet lots of edgy corners as you go up.

If this is your first time as a lucky passenger, you might skip a number of heartbeats and recite few Bible verses.

Or the opposite_enjoy the roller coaster ride!!!

Along the road_water falls like these are just a common sight. Only here that you can feast your eyes with this beauty of nature_free of charge!

Old trees standing tall and mighty from the bottom of the mountain up to the highest point of the forest road.

Then when you reach the highest point_you'll meet this character  inviting you for lunch at this one stop park.

The landscape of the park is just as natural as the rest of the forest.

Road side picnic spot..

...or at the bottom of a mountain.Your choice!Picnic tables and benches/chairs waiting to be used for free! Be sure to pack your lunch or you can buy at the canteens here.

When it is raining,you can opt to eat at the roofed area with a new level of view_yesss>>tables are still free of charge!

The park somehow has seen my children growing up. We started crossing and stopping by this park since they were babies to toddlers and now they are already a teen and a tween.

And they never get enough of it. Never get tired of this over familiar place. It is always as if they are seeing the place for the first time.

Lunch break is over.Time to hit the road and continue our trip.

The road downward is equally as heartbeat skipping as it is going up.It's not even easier for the driver, because he still has to pass thru edgy corner turns.

But for the passenger who loves the thrill of the roller coaster this is one heck of a ride that he definitely would enjoy!