PHOTOGRAPHY CULTURE FOOD ART & A BOX OF LIFE FULL OF SURPRISES

Tag: travelfeed

Take Me to Church “Nabua Church” – Beautiful Sunday

Take Me to Church “Nabua Church” – Beautiful Sunday

My Share for #BeautifulSunday initiated by @ace108 After that amazing close encounter experience with the deer at Ocampo farm. We headed back home at the quiet coastal village in Balatan to plan our next stop. It has been months already since I last visited a church and our […]

The Antlers of Ocampo – Beautiful Sunday

The Antlers of Ocampo – Beautiful Sunday

My Share for #BeautifulSunday initiated by @ace108 Welcome back to another part of our adventure in the beautiful Bicol region in the Philippines. Last time we enjoyed a hot bowl of Kinalas and was also taken away the gorgeous view around the area. I have been wanting to […]

A Charming Mountainside Food Shack – Beautiful Sunday

A Charming Mountainside Food Shack – Beautiful Sunday

My Share for #BeautifulSunday initiated by @ace108

Welcome back to part seven of our Bicol region adventure in the Philippines. Last time we closed the episode of our visit to Hibiscus Camp. It was a pleasant visit as we had an amazing time dipping in the pool while enjoying the magnificent view. We didn’t have much to eat during our stay so I went out and looked for a place where we could buy food. We ended up with an amazing experience. Come with me today as I share with you a simple yet charming food spot that we discovered on our way down the mountain.

A Charming Mountainside Food Shack

 

Have a peek our adventure on the links below.

Part 1 The Long and Winding Road to Bicol

Part 2 Balatan Public Market

Part 3 Baresbisan Beach Resort

Part 4 Discovering Life by the Road

Part 5 Embraced by Nature “Hibiscus Camp”

Part 6 A Tranquil Afternoon “Hibiscus Camp”

 

 

The food place that we discovered is just seven minutes away by car. Located in Hanawan Consocep Road, Ocampo Camarines Sur the place would be hard to miss if you are coming down from Hibiscus Camp.

Before we go to the food shack, let me just tell how we ended up there. Last time I mentioned that the resort just had one food option which is fried yellowfin tuna. We didn’t want to eat tuna for lunch so we just ate nuts and the bananas that we bought from the fruit stall. We were about to leave and I was getting hungry so we went out of the resort and looked for a store where we could buy food.

We found a Sari Sari store which is type of store that can be found all over our country.

A Sari Sari store sells all sorts of junk food, candies, soda, alcohol and other some daily necessities like soap and shampoo.  We bought a soda and a bag of chips but was not satisfied with it as I wanted real food.

We stumbled upon this dog and her puppies which eating the chips. The puppies were giving me the look and I ended up sharing my chips with the. I love dogs and could not bear the sight of puppies begging me for chips.

Just beside the store is a food eatery which is common in our country. Not all offer good food but there are a lot of gems out there that are exceptional.

Their sign says Kinalasan sa Isarog (Kinalas is the name of the dish and Isarog is the name of the mountain where we are at). I do not know what Kinalas is but on the photo on their sign, it looks like some sort of noodles with meat. I always want to try something new, told the lady that we would like to order four bowls of Kinalas. After a minute the lady came out of the kitchen and said that they just have enough for one bowl.  Well, we cannot share just one bowl as it is only good for one person. It was a disappointment and we decided to just leave and look for another place where we could eat. But Kinalas has gotten into me and I wanted to taste it so badly.

I asked our guide, Ate Daisy if there where any other place where we could eat Kinalas. She told me that we should find a place as it is a very popular noodle dish in the region. She gave me a little insight into what the dish is. Bony parts of beef are boiled until the meat falls off the bone and are mixed with flour noodles. Just thinking of that tender meat and rich broth made my mouth water even more. After driving for around 7 minutes we saw this small shack and the sign says Kinalas. I parked the car on the side immediately and I was very excited.

Another dish that they are offering is Batangas Lomi. It is a noodle dish that can be spicy with a very thick soup. Batangas is a province in my home town where this dish originated from. Lomi has become so popular that it has become widely known in our country. Still my choice is Kinalas as it is something I have not tasted yet.

The name of the eatery is Tirs and Quel and it seems they also offer Baka Rabut. What is Baka Rabut? Well I found out that is just like the Philippine popular dish called Sinigang. A sour soup dish that can be made from different kinds of meat, seafood, pork and in this case beef. Log log is another noodle dish with a very thick sauce that is either shrimp based or made from stale bread.

Enough waiting let’s go up the stairs made from bamboo and order our food.

The moment we climbed up beautiful flowers greeted our way. From this point, I immediately knew that this place is one of those gems. A lone food shack at the mountainside almost feels lonely but that’s what makes it special. Surrounded by beautiful flowers, wide-open spaces, cool weather and I will share with you the view shortly.

My mother in law was so fascinated with the flowers and asked the owner if she could ask for have some plants. The owner was very kind and said that she would give her some to take home.

It was time for us to order our late lunch. We ordered two bowls of Batangas Lomi and two Bowls of Kinalas. It seems that they also offer some home-cooked local dishes here. Didn’t pay much attention as my eyes were set on my hot bowl of Kinalas.

They also had a small Sari Sari store on the side and selling what looks like native chips

There was one table inside that could sit around six persons but we wanted to eat in the native hut we saw outside.

While waiting for our order let’s explore the first place and enjoy this beautiful location. Just outside the store are tomato plants and it has a couple of tomatoes already.

On the right side, they planted other plants and in the way, they are arranged it could be vegetable plants.

We noticed that there is some sort of plantation near the area. We asked the owner what they were and we were surprised that the plants were strawberries. There were no fruits yet during this season but I was so fascinated as I thought strawberries only grew in Baguio which is the Mountain City of Pines in the country. The good soil and cool temperature here must have been a good condition to plant the strawberries.

In this area, they have some strawberry plants in black plastic bags. They may be buying the plants from somewhere else and then replanted here.

Since there were no fruits yet the owner said they can sell us some plants if we wanted to try planting them back home. I am not sure though if it would flourish back home as we have a very hot weather and the soil is not good.

My mother in-law still bought a couple of plants and try her hand planting them.

After a few minutes it was time for us to leave the small plantation as security in the form of this dog is headed our way. The dog was barking and was protecting his territory.

We got back safely near the eatery but our food was not yet ready. While waiting I took some more photos surrounding this area and Mt. Isarog is breathtaking. Imagine eating a warm bowl of noodles surrounded by this view. A cool wind blows brushes your face as the clouds cover the top of the mountain.

They have set up a table for us outside while waiting. The owner said that we could either eat outside or inside the hut.

It would be great to eat out but mother in-law said that it was getting a bit chilly and she would prefer to have her meal inside.

Let me share with you more photos of the landscape on the other side facing the hut.

A small hut made from bamboo just near the entrance is guarded by a dog. I am not sure if someone sleeps there or if used for something else.

There is small house further down and could be the owner’s house.

I saw these plastic containers and I believe they also make and sell vinegar. Could be coconut vinegar as they are abundant in the area.

After enjoying the gorgeous landscape it was time for us to eat. Let’s go inside as the hot bowls of goodness is ready to be served.

The shack has only four tables and materials used are mostly bamboo and nipa leaves as roofing material. Aside from us there was another group also waiting for their order. We had a small chat and found out that they were teachers on break. They said that they love visiting this place as it is so peaceful and the food tastes great.

That first that arrived was the two bowls of Batangas lomi. The soup is very sticky but very delicious and has thick egg noodles. It is topped with half boiled egg, pieces of meat, liver, crunch pork rinds and topped with toasted garlic. If I recall correctly the price of one bowl is around 60 pesos or $1.17 USD.

How would you like to try a bowl of the Batangas Lomi?

Now for the noodles that I have been waiting for. The moment it arrived the smell was very appetizing and I couldn’t wait to taste it. It is served with one whole egg, lots of meat and topped with crunch pork rinds. The broth is very beefy and the meat was so tender. The noodles were perfectly cooked and I enjoyed every bite. It is also best if you squeeze in the calamansi (our local lime) provided on the side for a little bit of sour taste.

I couldn’t bother with the price but I think the price is almost the same with the Batangas Lomi. All in all noodles that they served here is like comfort food out here beside the mountain. The noodles has exceeded my expectations and I was very satisfied.

Of course it would not be complete without a dash of chili oil.

How about you? What would you like to taste? Would you like to try the sticky soup of the Batangas Lomi or the fall of the bone goodness of the Kinalas? Thank you for joining me today and I hope you enjoyed this humble meal with us.

Hope to see you again in the next part of our adventure and if you love animals you would surely not want to miss our next stop. Until then have a very warm and #beautifulsunday everyone.

 

[//]:# (!steemitworldmap 13.609427 lat 123.415055 long Tirs and Quel Eatery d3scr)

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All photos are original and taken with

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A Tranquil Afternoon “Hibiscus Camp” – Beautiful Sunday

A Tranquil Afternoon “Hibiscus Camp” – Beautiful Sunday

My Share for #BeautifulSunday initiated by @ace108 It was a beautiful afternoon and the weather was perfect.  After our dip in the cool waters of the pool, we took a little walk and explored more of the resort. The resort wasn’t that big but I was told that […]

Embraced by Nature “Hibiscus Camp” – Beautiful Sunday

Embraced by Nature “Hibiscus Camp” – Beautiful Sunday

My Share for #BeautifulSunday initiated by @ace108 After that short stop at the fruit stand along the way. We continued to our original destination to Hibiscus Camp located at Consocep, Tigaon, Camarines Sur Philippines. A small resort that will truly capture the hearts of nature lovers with a […]

Discovering Life by the Road – Beautiful Sunday

Discovering Life by the Road – Beautiful Sunday

My Share for #BeautifulSunday initiated by @ace108

Welcome back to the fourth episode of our Bicol Region trip only here in the Philippines. You have seen the long unending road that we traveled to reach the region. I took you on a tour on one of the local markets and ended up exploring a beach resort. Today take a ride with me to see more of this beautiful region. We often look forward to our destination but along the journey, we discover things that are worth the stop.

Discovering Life by the Road

Follow our journey on the links below

Part 1 The Long and Winding Road to Bicol

Part 2 Balatan Public Market

Part 3 Baresbisan Beach Resort

 

Our original destination is a lovely place called Camp Hibiscus near the foot of Mt. Isarog but on our way there something caught our attention. From Pararao which is the coastal village where we are staying will take you around 1 hour and 30 minutes to get there.

 

This place is unmarked if you would search for it on the map or any navigational app. But it can easily be spotted along the way if you are going to Camp Hibiscus.

But before we get there let me just share with you the road and the scenery on the way to our destination. Within that 1 hour and 30 minutes of travel you will see a lot of interesting things and relaxing scenery.

Here I realized that in this region they to maximize the means of public transportation. A bit dangerous if I would say but it seems this is the way of life here in this area.

The second most popular means of transportation here in the Philippines is the tricycle. It is meant to have a maximum of four passengers. A motorcycle with a sidecar attached on the side. Three passengers can fit inside the sidecar and the fourth passenger sits behind the motorcycle driver. In this case, they have added a metal platform on the back and the side of the tricycle as a way that passengers can step on and grab on the roof.

Curious about the tricycle? You can check out more about this vehicle from one of my old posts.

Born to be Wild

An arch that tells you the town that you are about to enter. It is very common in our country and you would often see the name of the mayor or a government official just beneath it. An arch to me is like a gateway and there is always something to discover in every town.

Here is another tricycle that is like a school bus that takes students to school and back home.

I love wide-open spaces and farms near hills and mountains. Rice fields can be found everywhere in our country but are slowly diminishing due to land conversion. Some landowners and farmers sell their land to be converted to residential subdivisions and commercial space. I hope that would not be the case in provinces like these.

What I love the most about driving in the province is the long empty roads. Not many vehicles and you could just cruise along the highway with not much stress. Just the sound of the road and a good music playlist to keep you awake. Sometimes the sound of the road can hum you to sleep especially in the afternoon.

Here you could start to feel the upward incline of the road. I was informed by our guide that there are parts with sharp turns and a little bit steep incline. I have seen a lot of those in our journey so it wouldn’t be a problem for me.

We were climbing higher and higher up the mountain. Here you could almost see the summit of Mt. Isarog covered by clouds.

As we drove further we saw a couple of huts on the side of the road. I figured I needed a quick break and it would be great to stop for awhile.

The huts were fruit stalls and everyone got excited as they wanted some fresh fruits for the road.

I learned that some of the vendors lived in the huts up here by the roadside. Somehow they managed to establish a source of living in this area. I had no idea that some people live out here along the sharp curves up the mountain.

They have very few options but I guess these are the fruits that are available during this season.

Avocados, Rambutan, and Bananas look freshly picked from the tree. Some Avocados are still unripe and would take a couple of days before it could ripen. One way of speeding up the ripening process is storing it with rice grains which proves to be very effective. Although fruits that ripen from the tree is always the best.

They were also selling some sort of yellow liquid in Coca Cola bottles. I asked the vendor about it and he said it was native honey. I have never seen honey with this color before and I was hesitant thinking it could be fake honey. I asked the vendor about the color and he said that the color gets darker with age.

Some sell honey which is just made from sugar.  It is really hard to tell and I have no idea how to test if it is authentic honey. We decided to just skip the honey for this round.

A kind of pumpkin that we saw earlier at the Balatan Public Market. Seems like this kind of pumpkin is very common in this region.

The fruit stalls up here has a certain kind of charm that is very different from the stalls in the flatlands. This is their daily peaceful way of life and the fruits were probably harvested from up the mountain. I do not know if they can sell all their fruits within the day but I think people here get by thru life every day.

Aside from fruits and vegetables they also sell other few items. On display in the background are sachets of shampoo, instant coffee, soy sauce and what looks like to be Ajinomoto seasoning.

Another stall looks like to be a small store and maybe they also sell cooked food at times of the day because of the table setup that they have.

Our tour guide Ate Daisy who is just enjoying the view.

Now I realized why this is the perfect stop over for this trip. We are just barely up the foot of the mountain but it feels like we are so high up already. Along with the cold wind gently brushing on your face, the view from here is gorgeous. Imagine waking up to this view every day would be magical. The folks who live here may not be well off but with the scenery, they have every day is like worth a million.

Here are just a few of the photos of the area.

We haven’t seen the other side of this area yet which had one fruit stall.

They had a lot of bananas and my wife bought a cluster. This type of banana is called “Senorita,” my favorite variety as the sweetness is just right. The texture is a bit firm and not too mushy.

On the other side of the road is a small open hut and a great spot to have lunch. It would be nice if they also served local dishes but I am not too sure if it would take off as I have only seen a few cars pass by since we stopped over. Best to leave it as it is just a peaceful quiet spot.

A nice peaceful spot along the road and the stopover is very much worth it. We had a glance of the life of people around here, how they live and what they see every time they open their eyes each morning. Thank you for joining me again today and I hope you enjoyed the stop by the side of this road. Please do join me again next time as we explore our original destination which is Camp Hibiscus. I am sure you would be delighted on our next adventure. See you soon!

 

[//]:# (!steemitworldmap 13.610178 lat 123.417947 long Hanawan Consocep Road Fruit Stalls d3scr)

Visit and follow @steemitbloggers AKA #powerhousecreatives. A community that is exceptional, talented and engaging.

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All photos are original and taken with

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Baresbisan Beach Resort – Beautiful Sunday

Baresbisan Beach Resort – Beautiful Sunday

My Share for #BeautifulSunday initiated by @ace108 Hello everyone and welcome back to another adventure to the Bicol Region in the Philippines. Last time we visited a market in Balatan where we saw an abundance of dried fish, vegetables and some local sweets. It was a hot day […]

Balatan Public Market – Beautiful Sunday

Balatan Public Market – Beautiful Sunday

My Share for #BeautifulSunday initiated by @ace108 Also my share for #Marketfriday  by @dswigle It’s another beautiful day and it is time again for me to share another part of our travel, in the Bicol Region of the Philippines. Last time I took you along with me on […]

The Long and Winding Road to Bicol – Beautiful Sunday

The Long and Winding Road to Bicol – Beautiful Sunday

My Share for #BeautifulSunday initiated by @ace108

Welcome back to a brand new series of our travel here in the Philippines. A series where I will take you with me to visit popular sites, discover places and learn more about our culture. In this new series we will be going on a road trip to explore the Bicol Region. A region popularly known for an active volcano, spicy food, Spanish Churches, natural parks, ruins and a few other surprises. So get ready to take this long drive with me on this first part of our adventure.

The Long and Winding Road to Bicol

To give you an idea, Bicol region in located on the eastern part of the Philippines. It is composed of six provinces called Albay, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Sorsogon, Catanduanes and Masbate. During the Spanish colonial era Bicol was know as “Ibalong” which was taken from the word Ibalio which means “to bring to the other side.” Other meanings include “hospitable people who gives visitors gifts to take home.”

 

Our destination is in Camarines Sur, Balatan in a small coastal village called Pararao. Travel from our location to Pararao will take approximately  take 10-12 hours drive. This travel time estimate includes rest stops and may take longer depending on the traffic in some location.

 

We left home at the break of dawn, it was raining a little during that day. Good thing the weather cleared up while we were on the road. This is going to be a challenge for me as this is the first time I would be driving this long.

After passing the major towns and cities the way to Bicol is filled zigzag roads and endless highways.

Navigation is easy now these days and my favorite navigation mobile app is called Waze. The app finds the fastest route to your destination and even informs you of hazards ahead of the road. I can’t imagine driving without Waze these days as I often have a weak sense of direction.

The navigational app directed us to pass thru this national park road. It seems that going this way will cut minutes of our travel time.

Not a lot of vehicles pass thru this road as would require moderate driving skills. Of course you need to be extra careful of the falling rocks which I believe only occurs when there is heavy rain. Aside from the warning of the falling rocks driving here is a bit difficult due to a lot of zigzag and sharp curves. Well, I drove a bit slower, opened the windows and just enjoyed a quiet drive around nature.

After that driving experience thru the natural park more roads await us. This time I had to speed up a bit around 100 -120 km/h as the roads here seems to be endless. As you have noticed, there are not a lot of vehicles travelling this road. Along the way we did a few rest stops and check if we are getting near our destination. What’s funny is every time we check our location it seems that we are still so far away even though I have driven hundreds of kilometers already.

I kept thinking. “Are we there yet? Are we there yet?” The road would not end, more turns, curves, zigzag roads and road seems to go on forever.

More trees and mountains along the road and in this area there are no more houses to be seen. No one lives here as this area as my head tells me that we are in the middle of nowhere.

Just when I was getting tired of the long roads something caught my attention. This is called the Jeepney a popular symbol of Philippine public transportation. Normally, the jeepney could accommodate around 13- 22 passengers. I think there are around 50 passengers on this vehicle and I have never seen a jeepney so loaded this before.

Looks definitely unsafe especially with the difficult road going to the village. One reason I guess is because there are not a lot of vehicles that goes to the small village. Most probably the passengers wanted to go home badly and their only option is either riding on the roof or hanging by the side of the jeepney.

There are no rails on the roof to hang on to and it puzzles me how could they be so calm enjoying the ride on the roof.

I got a quick shot of the side of the vehicle and was surprised that a lot of the passengers on the roof were young ladies. How about you, will you be willing to take a ride on the roof of a jeepney?

We are getting near our destination after a 10 hour drive, but we encountered a slight problem along the way.

The village that we are going to is not mapped out in our navigational app. We stopped for awhile to see if I could find it on the map, but to no success. It was uncharted on the map and it was up to my mother in law to lead the way as she used to live here when she was very young. I asked her if she could remember any landmarks and remarkably she was able to direct the way. It is along the coastline and we just need to keep heading towards the ocean.

Although, some of the beach resorts are mapped the actual name of the the small coastal village is unnamed. The name of the village is called Pararao and you would not be able to find it in Waze that is for sure.

This is how the village looks like and my mother in law was surprised to see that the road is now cemented. She said before it was all dirt road and was very muddy especially when it rains. Aside with the road improvements the provincial atmosphere can still be strongly felt. There is a calm feeling when you are in the province and time seems to move slower here.

Here we will meet my mother in law’s relative named Ate Daisy. The word ate means “sister” it is one way to show respect. We will be staying at her home for the next three days. Our home for this adventure as we explore this region.

We met up Ate Daisy and settled in, but I was anxious to see the ocean. As you know how much I love the ocean and hope to live near the ocean one day. I felt the ocean breeze on my face as if calmly whispering to me that it is time to relax.

This is how the coastline looks like and most of the people here make their living thru fishing. I was expecting the beach would be clean as the village is isolated. Sad to say due to the recent storm the waves has brought garbage from other towns on their shores.

The community helps out to clean out the garbage brought on their shores and it is unfair to see other people suffer for the disregard of others for their trash.

Children here spend most of their time playing on the beach and not glued on mobile phones.

Here is one of our local fishing boats docked on a vacant lot. Fishermen often go out in the ocean during early mornings and some go fishing late in the afternoon.

After a short rest from our very long travel, Ate Daisy wanted to take us for a walk around the village. She wanted us to take a stroll on the farther end of shoreline, along the way I saw this papaya tree with so much fruit, but still unripe. Even though it is near the beach the soil here must be very rich to make the tree bear so much fruit.

A river runs near the village and passes thru here where it meets the ocean as their final destination.

We passed thru this large tree to get to the beach and was very much excited to see this side of the shoreline.

Just beside it is a large canal and could have been made to help prevent flooding in the villages during the stormy season.

In this area is a beach resort and they used to operate this floating cottage. Ate Daisy told me that they stopped operating the floating cottages due to the cost of operation. Must have been a great experience to take a ride on one of these. Having lunch on a floating cottage must be really fun. Now it just sits here waiting for the elements to slowly dismantle it.

Here is Ate Daisy on the left who is the jolliest and hospitable person you would ever meet.  She has so many funny stories and keep you entertained all the time. She even told us a story when she saw a ghost while she was walking one night. The way she told it somehow made it funny instead. Her business here used to be renting out karaoke machines and sometimes she goes out at night really late. In her story one night on her way she saw a very large dog from a distance staring at the mountain. As she came closer the dog became smaller and as she talked to the dog to not hurt her. The dog looked at her and slowly disappeared. After that encounter, she went running back home and quit her karaoke business the next day.

Ate Daisy is very nice and everyone in the village knows her. She told her neighbors about her encounter with the strange dog. Her neighbors said that since the dog didn’t hurt her it could be  one of her neighbors who knows her really well. A shape shifting supernatural being called the “Aswang.”

The sun was slowly dying down and the air was getting a bit colder. It was a tiring journey getting to this village, but the calm sounds of the waves has relaxed my nerves. I still feel tired, but a good night sleep would definitely give me a recharge for our next days adventure.

Here are some of the scenes during our stroll while we headed back home.

The tide was low at this time and this part of the shore is littered with rocks and pebbles. You might find some interesting shapes and colors if you look a little closer.

 

 

The day has almost come to an end and the day was mostly spent on the road driving. At first, I was a bit hesitant to push thru with this trip due to the long travel time. Reaching our destination has never been more rewarding. Just staring across the ocean at this time of day will tell you that it is all worth it and tomorrow will be a new day to see more of Bicol.

Thank you for joining me today in the introduction to our new series in exploring the Bicol Region in the Philippines. I hope you go along with me again in this series as I take you on a tour to see what more the region has to offer.

Thank you everyone for the support and until then have a very #beautifulsunday.

 

Resources

Bicol Region

 

[//]:# (!steemitworldmap 13.328947 lat 123.227057 long Pararao d3scr)

 

Visit and follow @steemitbloggers AKA #powerhousecreatives. A community that is exceptional, talented and engaging.

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All photos are original and taken with

Lumix GX85 12-32 mm kit lens

and

Sigma 50 mm

 

 

 

Take Me to Church “San Jose Church” – Beautiful Sunday

Take Me to Church “San Jose Church” – Beautiful Sunday

My Share for #BeautifulSunday initiated by @ace108 Travel leads to discovery, experience, learning and sometimes it makes us realize who we really are. Our trip to the Island of Corrigedor in the Philippines has been an amazing experience for me and my family. Although all things comes to […]