For a recent non-work related activity that I squeezed-in over a very busy weekend, we were able to spot this new cafe and enjoyed our favorite pastries while being awed with the interiors of the hotel. How I wish to spend a night here soon. I was taking photos at every corner like a tourist and passers-by are acknowledging it as if they are also admiring its’ beauty. =)
Fresh orchids – in pink, yellow and violet! (–,)
Can’t help it!
There are artworks too!
Giant vases were a a focal point too..
And a painting depicting Filipinas..
So after the activity, off we rushed to the nearest cafe, the two of us had croissants, dessert, our liquid doze of nicotine and of course macarons at Cafe Macaron situated at the…
“Good food is all the sweeter, when shared with friends.”
The word Patis Tesoro is a name I will always remember because of this fancy dream to have my wedding gown done by them. I wished for it because I learned that the whole entourage of my mom was by Tesoro’s. Her wedding dress was handmade and was a pina. It is a kind of fabric meant for gowns and “Barong Tagalog” for men.
June 30, 1968…
Said dream didn’t manifest but I could not exchange my wedding gown for anything.
It was sewn by my mama and the swarovkis from Italy was carefully taken cared of my cousins. I wanted to do it but according to the elders, the bride is not supposed to touch her wedding gown, only on the wedding day itself when she’s about to wear it for the ceremony.
I might sound redundant but I’m really thankful to discover Kaparkan falls leading me to a lot more exciting places to see in this specific province that’s sometimes patented to be unsafe. Actually it is safe. We didn’t encounter anything shaky the whole time we were there. But of course, we always pray for safety each time we go out right?
So the news we’ve been hearing (mostly politics related), didn’t deter our eagerness to visit this province.
On top of Kaparkan Falls, here are some of the places our travel agency flaunted to us. These and the team spirit (good vibes) made this trip a memorable one.
Don Mariano Marcos bridge (Abra Kalinga National Road)
San Lorenzo Ruiz church (Bangued, Abra)
Bangued is the capital of Abra.
St. Catherine of Alexandria Cathedral (Tayum, Abra)
Both churches are still closed, and since it’s my first time being there, I made my wishes and prayers. =)
Tangadan Welcome Tunnel (San Quintin, Abra)
Gabriela Silang Monument (San Quintin, Abra)
Abra Pasalubong Center (San Quintin, Abra)
Open Theater at Victoria Park (Bangued, Abra)
View deck at Victoria Park (Bangued, Abra)
Balay ni Gian/ Carl Louie (for the longganiza and bagnet)
Gabriela Silang Carino Gallery of Fine Arts (Tayum, Abra)
Come lunch time, we had ours at “Hidden Garden” – Vigan City
Crisologo Street – Vigan City
On our way back to Manila, they were already discussing when and where to go next. Most of our photos are with hashtag: #wheretonext
“If it doesn’t scare you, you’re probably not dreaming big enough.” ~ Tory Burch
I have always been inspired by bloggers all these years and as I do my daily readings, I came across this place: Kaparkan Falls in Tineg, Abra.Upon research, Abra is a landlocked province of the Philippines in the Cordillera Administrative Region in Luzon. Its capital is Bangued, and is bordered by Ilocos Norte on the northwest, Apayao on the northeast, Kalinga on the mid-east, Mountain Province on the southeast, and Ilocos Sur on the southwest. Reference: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abra_(province)
I have been to the Ilocos region several times, and I honestly wondered why I missed this spectacular province. Thanks to the bloggers I follow who’ve been there and densely illustrated its’ beauty and what to expect. In my heart, I knew then, Abra is one I shouldn’t miss. Specifically that falls in Tineg.
So one weekend of October, our travel agency announced that it’s time to go, it has been postponed for several times already due to the typhoons in the Philippines and my heart is pounding at the thought of waiting for another year to see Kaparkan falls. The best time to visit is during rainy season as it runs dry during the summer months. However, I’d still insist to call it my own Summer in October. =)
I have to thank the agency: Traveler Point PH for being so organized, caring and had us experience this “ABRAMAZING” weekend.
Day 1 – Friday night:
Our pick-up point is at Greenfields (Mandaluyong City) at 9:00 pm, our organizer is a couple who loves to travel too, we shared the trip along with 8 millennials who made the trip more exciting and full of fun despite of the perplexity of reaching our destination(s). We arrived at The Department of Tourism Office, Tineg around 6:00 am, it is estimated at 8 hours travel time from Manila, however due to several stop-overs, it took us 9 hours to reach Tineg, Abra. We were briefed before hitting the road. And at exactly 7:00 am, we are ready.
I am actually surprised knowing we’re riding on this Army truck.
Its’ tires at 1100 x 20 (all terrain), I thought I was lucky that my assigned seat is at the front with 2 millennial girls who made me laugh the whole time. While Jen is at the back along with the other travelers. I was telling her she wouldn’t like it in front, and she’s also saying I wouldn’t like it too at the back. As they say: “Sa harap, kitang-kita, sa likod, damang-dama!” (English translation: “The rough road is so visible in front, while the roughness and bumpiness is felt most at the back!”)
Connecting Tayum and Dolores municipalities:
is The Don Mariano Marcos bridge. The third longest bridge in the country with a total length of 886.812 linear meters. #thisthingwithwelcomearchs
As oriented, this “one hell of a ride” is more or less than 4 hours, and less than an hour trek to reach our destination.
It is my first time to experience one such ride, upon being there, and finally witnessing this magnificent falls, I hear everyone saying “Oh My God!” several times! Myself, speechless. I must say it (bruises, scratches, broken nails, etc.) was truly worth it, I totally forgot about that “ride” upon seeing Kaparkan falls. Let these pictures speak for themselves. =)
Nature has it’s own special way of taking my breath away.
Those rows of limestones are naturally formed in that wondrous presence through the years, though it made me wonder, they aren’t slippery. I was too careful as it glistens when one of them told me that it isn’t slippery. Because of this, I began my wanderings and conquered my fear. =)
Our coordinator must know how famished we’d be, upon reaching our Transient home dinner time, they had this “Boodle fight” dinner set-up to welcome our group. Yum! =) We have fresh fruits too!
Our itinerary come Sunday is composed of some interesting places which I will blog separately.
Just this one at Kaparkan Fallssubstantiates that my more than a year waiting time to visit Abra is truly worth it. While there’s more this province can offer.
It is the highlight of this trip while I have my own personal highlight too, it is our visit to Gabriela Silang Carino Gallery of Fine Arts, which really satiated not just my eyes but my soul too.
Our itinerary for Day 2 includes: A visit to St. Catherine of Alexandria Cathedral,Tangadan Tunnel,Gabriela Silang monument and Abra Pasalubong Center, passed by Don Mariano Marcos bridge, the open theater and view deck at Victoria park, another visit to an old heritage church: San Lorenzo Ruiz churchat the Camposanto, Bangued, side trip to Calle Crisologo, Vigan City, we also went to Balay ni Gianto buy Vigan longganiza and Bagnet(at Carl Louie) as pasalubong (goodies for loved ones at home). Our itinerary includes the Bantay Church Bell tower, the Gourd hat maker, the Loom weaving village, Acosta panciteria (that famous Abra pancit miki). But due to time constraint, we missed those ones. But it’s okay. For those who will visit Abra, these are also some spots you would want not to miss.
So this is how we spent this one amazing weekend at Abra. I must agree whenever they say it’s “Abramazing!”
So much of our future lies in preserving our past. ~Peter Westbrook~
Aside from food, Jen and I shared our love in exploring new places and travel together as far and as much as we can. Anything new to us. She had been requesting from me for years to bring her to Bataan, at “Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar”. However, we’ve been busy lately and when I discovered that there’s an extension of said place somewhere in QC, I am thrilled to inform if she’s okay into venturing to this one that’s nearer, for now.
So up we went one Friday, and reveled in its’ own version of preserving and restoring one of the old manors in Quezon City – Casa De Juico.
They converted the place after being sold to Jerry Acuzar: The owner of San Jose Builders, it is complete with a boutique hotel and a restaurant by one of Asia’s Best Female Chef: Margarita Fores.
After the attendants with pleasing demeanor took our food choices, we wandered around the place with its’ classic ambience and took pictures (a lot) while Jen is checking from time to time if our food is already served. We were starving as we arrived there at almost 2:00 pm.
We were ushered by two smiling faces and directed us to the dining hall and let us choose where we want to be sitted.
I definitely enjoyed chosen spots which they call Instagram worthy. Little did Jen know, I’ve spotted some favorites since I already saw them several times from Instagram. =)
So here’s what we’ve got: Spaghetinni con Mariscos (Seafood pasta), Callos (Ox tripe, Chorizos and garbanzos), Tres leches (a slice of chiffon cake topped with smoked coconut and dried mangoes and jackfruit) for dessert and red grapes shake for me (which I so loved) and yellow mango shake for Jen. She loved her pasta as it is thinner than usual, they used Spaghetinni, my Callos were made of slow-cooked to tenderness tripe.
We also had Huevos con gambas, for a starter. It’s hard-boiled egg topped with prawns relished in paprika.
It’s just one manor, unlike the one in Bataan, there are more than 20 Casas there, but just this one brimmed our phones with pictures both inside the place and outside as well, I actually enjoyed more the “Al fresco” feel. You wouldn’t know how much I belong to it. The trees, the grass and all. =)
For a different experience, visit Las Casas Manila and it’ll stir your senses until you realize that you’re heading to Bataan the soonest you can. =) Either places, I’m sure, you will enjoy. =)
You can make reservations thru: 866-8500 and 0917-711-3714. They’re open from Tueday to Sunday from 11am to 10pm. Las Casas Manila is located at 134 Roosevelt avenue, San Francisco Del Monte, Quezon City. You can also check them out at: https://www.facebook.com/LasCasasQC/