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!”
“Family is like music, some high notes, some low notes, but always a beautiful song.”
I’m so glad to have brought my family to dine at Balay Dako… It just occurred to me that when they planned going to Tagaytay, I instantly thought of bringing them nowhere else but at Balay Dako.
And because me, my son and her girlfriend were outnumbered by oldies, what we ordered were those that are a little “healthier”, even if I wanted a lot from the menu to try for myself, please take a look:
I actually can’t figure out what matches it. We just had the beef shanks soup (“Bulalo” in Filipino), and normally green mango salad fits best with fried food.
I still want to try more from their menu, I’ll come back soon. =)
Menu Photos courtesy of: http://antoniosrestaurant.ph/balay-dako/#menu-section
I’ve tried most of their desserts, so we can always go out and find another, there’s a lot of places in Tagaytay where you can find a good one to get your sweet cravings. So it’s like hopping from one place to another, besides Tagaytay is a very beautiful place. You wouldn’t mind just looking around.
Prado Farm – A whimsy and quirky place in Lubao, Pampanga
“Seeing how beauty and functionality have been coaxed out of chaos, perhaps accounts for the sense of magic that one feels for Prado Farm”. ~Mariel Francisco~
It is a rare occurrence that I get to find things that are new to me. Things that inspire, fascinate and drive me to move forward. Even slowly but surely getting where I want and who to be.
Over the years, I have explored in my own little way and maybe more in the coming years if I can afford them already. A few friends inspire me too, pushes me to my limits because they know and desires seeing me making my big dreams come true.
They knew what’s it like how to place random items together and uncover a new-born artistry. They don’t just know how, they feel it.
Targeting a place somewhere in Bulacan, as I do my research, I went farther north and landed to a farm in Lubao, Pampanga. Thanks to fellow bloggers, they unveiled to my senses a place that arrested my attention.
I researched further if those who wrote about it are professional photographers as their photos are really amazing and soulful. It reminded me that it takes two to create beautiful pictures. Someone who’s got the eye for it, and the subject itself. I didn’t include a modish dslr, cool tripods/ monopods or even gargantuan lenses. All it takes are young convivial hearts that are unafraid, seeking and lovers of fun with their up-to-the-minute mobile phones. And voila!
So their photos brought us one weekend to Pampanga. A few hours travel by bus and we reach our seasoned and whimsical destination.
Prado farm is located at Siongco, Prado in Lubao, Pampanga. It is strategically situated in the main road and can easily be spotted if you have your own vehicle or just riding a bus.
The gate that’s made of old gas tanks was the only thing that I wanted to see in my own eyes, but Jen introduced me to several Instagram photos that there’s a lot more to it. Seriously, I don’t know what inspired the owners but the place is a mixture of anything which results into a very bewitching place.
I even got a vintage coaster which has a “1930” stamped to it. There’s a lot of grizzled items but they’re a bit pricey. Just to get there is sufficient to me already and to shop is something I candeal with another day soon.
I must say the 5-hectare farm is truly a “wander and wonder” thing to me.
The Souvenir Shop
The Blue House
The Old Train Station converted into a Museum
On our way to the Yellow house
The Yellow House
On our way to the Hotel
I opted not to visit the pool as like a mermaid I might plunge into the water instantly, rather, listed in our bucket an overnight stay with them soon.
Junk architecture, sustainable designs, vivid colors, a vast flora, unique innovativeness, organic food, a set of artworks here and there that are literally surprising, country and vintage feel, a place that brings you back in time, giving you feelings of incredulity yet reckon that they are real right there in front of your eyes. All quirky and whimsy. =)
If you want to visit the farm, their address is: Km 94 -95 Jose Abad Santos highway, Prado Siongco Lubao, Pampanga. You may call contact them at: 0920 903 0964 and you can visit their website too: http://pradofarms.com/
“Balance is not something you find, it is something you create.” -Jana Kingsford-
It is vacation mode. A few days back, all the shades of excitement are in our faces. We all know, that in a fast-paced corporate life, a time will occur that there’s a need to reconnect with nature. Be recharged. And be alive. The best time is? Summer!!!
Going to Acua Verde, Laiya, Batangas on a road trip that took us less than 4 hours en route the newly constructed Star toll way.
We arrived a little late for lunch and we headed straight to the restaurant.
The sumptuous buffet were waiting for us. The free flowing coffee is what I love best. Without guilt, I took advantage. Instead of the famous “tamarind juice” that they served as welcome drink, I had coffee over lunch. I do not want to be sleepy when everyone is basking under the sun. After taking some photos, we headed to each of our rooms and snag our forty winks.
The place was such a lovely site to behold. It’s a vast resort – Filipiniana theme, made use of bamboos as posts and cogon grass as finish for the roofing.
Our suite was at par, with 2 pieces of soft pillows and sheets and towels that smells ultra sweet. There is a hot and cold shower, hair dryer and personalized stuff. The personnel themselves are very friendly and assisted us with grins on their faces.
Those huge trees that were lined up left and right, back and forth made me confused to decide who among them is the prettiest like a muse. I ended up surrendering to admitting that each of them inherits individual beauty.
I devoured on where my feet are stationed and revel on the loveliness that’s all around me. The trees are truly welcoming. The wind softly blows allowing my hair to prance on my shoulder and whether they came from the north or south, I do not have the slightest idea. I only knew two things. I am free then and happy being with wonderful people. It made me forget the not so good things part of everyday life.
When the sun is still capable of kissing our skins, we didn’t mind going around and explore the surroundings. Me and my bff as usual are natural explorers with our feet, eyes and cameras always ready.
We’re like hunters for picture perfect subjects and didn’t get tired taking photos in all angles, appreciating the beauty of almost anything that captures our attention, in return, we capture them too. Fortunately, there were plenty.
I have collected these stunning panoramas.
For 2 days, short as it is. I have come to savor the incredulity of being with one with nature and good friends. Beauty from both. Captured. It is liberating. It was comparable to an emotional outburst of being free.
There are some activities that are too attractive to miss. We played like kids on the crystal clear water before riding on the banana boat.
It was so much fun!
The jet-skis are like begging for us to ride on them. So we did!
The ride created a lovely base for summertime. I have yet to find a more amusing way to describe the ride. It’s just so addicting, you wanted to do it again. Even in some other time. I noticed my skin (or our skins) getting darker due to the heat of the sun, but what else can be lovelier If we would not enjoy being under it so much if we didn’t sizzle?
It is so worth it and getting a tan won’t hurt just to be able to bid this specific Summer goodbye…It’s already June anyway.
So long Summer of 2014, looking forward to Summer of 2015! I just can’t wait! =)
I am taking this in as my finale… (–,)
Acua Verde is located at San Juan – Laiya Rd., San Juan, 4226 Batangas. You can get in touch with them at 02-651-5967.