Wednesday, March 30, 2011

wakamatsu yakiniku - eat till you drop

it was around 3 years ago when i came to know a yakiniku tabehoudai (eat all you can grilled meat) in cebu that has the same setup like in japan.

a bit of history...

working in a fast-paced life in an IT company brought so many things into my life. everyday late overtimes, few out of town team-buildings, several nights of intoxication and throat-clinching videoke sessions, and of course the last but not the least FOOD!

there was that time when i was in the same cubicle with 3 people who have the same penchant for food as i do. we even started our own friday sessions but that's another story. anyway, this one cubemate suggested wakamatsu, a yakiniku restaurant that has its real japanese feel.

from then on, i found myself in wakamatsu time and again...


my recent stint in wakamatsu was for my sister's birthday. she was too excited for this, even counting down the days ever since january. haha!

for the penny-pinching people like us, wakamatsu does not come very often. we have to wait out for that very very special occasion in our lives.

here are our pics in wakamatsu. it's like we teleported to japan! let us dream, okay? haha

Saturday, March 26, 2011

my travel notes: legazpi, albay and donsol, sorsogon

no two experiences are the same. both may involve the same destination but it would be a whole different thing the second time around.

not that i've been to legazpi and donsol before. it's just one of those too seldom prolonged breaks that i have, to get away with everything and to seek my so-called fleeting sanity. in layman's terms, a breath of fresh air! like what i always implore during those days when things get crazy. but things proved even far crazier than i thought. LOL

anyway, all's well that ends well. :D

Mayon Volcano as seen from Legazpi, Albay

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

legazpi airport hotel

legazpi airport hotel is considerably a new accommodation in legazpi, located just inside the airport's perimeter. this comes convenient if some inopportune time you miss your flight and have to wait a few days till you get another flight out. hehe

there's not that much info about this hotel across the web yet. other known accommodations usually come up in the top searches but maybe it has that nifty post somewhere in the 100, 000th hit. ^^ well, that's an exaggeration 'coz i initially came across this hotel in backpacking philippines, which i now occasionally dig in for other travel tips with costs fairly in mind.

Legazpi Airport Hotel

it's so new that it's still under construction. :P the mound of sand at my back was used for the hotel's restaurant that was under construction at that time and it's only in their restaurant that you can access their wi-fi at great speed, probably because we were the only ones using that time.

this hotel is literally a stone's throw away from the airport's runway. if your plane is still taxiing the runway, you just have to climb the fence and run like a mad man to catch your plane. :P this hotel comes so convenient in very extraordinary ways. :D

why it worked for us?

Monday, March 21, 2011

albay park and wildlife

we still had a few hours left before our flight that afternoon but we weren't too lax either because if we missed our flight, we would be stuck in legazpi for another 2 days, till we can fly back to cebu. or we could go to manila and catch a plane from there but heck, it's too far out already! yes it was boring 'coz we made it on time. :P

back to a roadside wildlife, well with just a few steps away from the road to lingñon hill, we met time and again another set of derelict caged animals. ;(

Albay Park and Wildlife

entrance fees to the park are inexpensive.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

my gratitude to japan

i have been arguing myself in these 3 months that i am finally active in my blog, if i will recall my experiences in japan back in 2009. then, for a time i decided against it because i might be carried away and write a hundred plus posts! yes, japan holds many of my great memories, the memories that i will treasure forever.

i now cannot imagine japan, after it had its greatest tragedy ever recorded. it happened last friday, march 11, 2011 at 14:46 jst when a 9.0 magnitude earthquake struck the northeastern part and even cascaded down south including the tokyo area. to make it worse, the strong earthquake triggered a 33-foot tsunami that swallowed most of the coastal part in sendai. more in wiki

i guess it is an appropriate time for me to write a post in summary of what japan had done for me in the short time of 6 months that i was there.

Meeting people in different races.

i was damn lucky that i was able to go to japan as a trainee in my previous company and i'm forever grateful for my leaders and everyone else for that. with how each of us has this preconceived notion regarding a certain race, i was able to break away from these biases and worked myself to understand instead.

Monday, March 14, 2011

lingñon hill and japanese tunnel

we were up again early on our last day so that we could hike up the lingñon hill in the morning when the sun's heat is less of a torture. but who would start his day late when on vacation, anyway? you can always catch up with sleep when you're back home! i'm sure i've used this one quite a number of times already. :D

Lingñon Hill

we were able to come here as early as 7 am since we were staying in legazpi airport hotel and this hill was just near. if only we could walk across the runway, we could have saved that tricycle fare. :D

Sunday, March 13, 2011

lost in kapuntukan hill

this is now my 7th post for legazpi. i had to finish this series soon, before everything fades from my memory. i would then be left with our pics which are saved in multiple hard drives and external drives in case another bad luck strikes time and again. :-/

Kapuntukan Hill

it's the same scene as my embarcadero post because those siamese hills behind embarcadero are singly called as kapuntukan hill, a great photo opportunity for those shutterbugs who want a view of legazpi's harbor and mayon volcano.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

donsol's gentle giants, the butanding!

during the days when we all get bored or way too stressed at work, we usually talk about the things we want to do, what comfort food we want to eat, and what places we all wish we could go! then one ordinary day, my officemate talked about on how she had experienced swimming with the whale sharks in donsol and all of us listening were like, say what?!

it's sad that when your work sucks the entire life out of you, you tend to forget how beautiful the world is and you soon realize the many wonderful things you're missing...

meeting with the whale sharks was then included in my imaginary list of to do's. so brave in thought even if i can't swim! LOL almost a year after i added that to my list, i was finally able to cross it out in this narrative.

How to get to Donsol from Legazpi?

Legazpi Central Terminal

Sunday, March 6, 2011

food and dine in legazpi city

i was looking forward to actually taste the authentic bicol food, like the spicy bicol express which is almost all over the philippines already. i would like to know if the bicol express i had tried came close to the original.

Bicol Express and Pinangat

bicol by the way is the region where albay belongs to, the region that is famed with their spicy food and most food are with coconut milk.

LCC Mall's Food Court

 Kusina ni Pay's Combo Meal with Pinangat and Batchoy

around legazpi city with madam

i like legazpi. it does not compel me to go anywhere by going through multitudes of people or do something in a rush. it’s just laid back.

given a day, one can already familiarize the main streets of albay’s capital city. transportation is the usual, jeepneys, more tricycles, and a few taxis which are almost toyota avanzas as what my brother and i had observed.

in what we had experienced, hailing a tricycle in legazpi  almost always went this way:

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

nostalgic in embarcadero de legazpi

my brother and i finished up in cagsawa earlier than planned but we didn't want to confine ourselves in our hotel's room just yet. without any argument, we then proceeded to embarcadero which is near legazpi's harbor.

from cagsawa, we took a jeepney bound for legazpi and paid Php15 each.

Embarcadero de Legazpi

Legazpi's Harbor

this harbor is part of the albay gulf that faces the pacific ocean. it's the closest i had been to smell the breeze of the largest ocean in the world. not evident in the picture is legazpi's port which is in my left side. it was windy when we got there and it surely gave us the chill that i wished cebu had, so as to put out my city's distressing heat.

Way to Embarcadero

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

cagsawa ruins from history books to reality

the picture of the mighty mayon volcano with the cagsawa ruins on its side was etched in my mind since my elementary days. i remember it in the history books that i never liked, in post cards and in charts hanging on my classrooms' walls.

there may be a moment or two in my life that i told myself, i'm surely gonna see the actual grandeur of mayon and the wonders of cagsawa ruins.

fast forward to almost 2 decades, i finally set foot in cagsawa ruins and marvel on mayon volcano! to my history teachers, thank you!

Cagsawa Ruins

Cagsawa Ruins and the Cloud-covered Mayon Volcano