January 17, 2017

Sagada Bilza Lodge

Sagada is a town in Mountain Province, it is 5 to 6 hours travel from Baguio. Unlike in Baguio, there are no hotels in Sagada but there are inns, homestays or lodges. The accommodation offers basic things that you need like the bed and private or shared bathroom. 

My husband has been meaning to visit Sagada, he even reserved a room last 2015 for our anniversary but I told him to cancel it. I wanted to go to Sagada when I was still single but things changed when I got married. Before I have no idea about the zigzag road of Sagada but after few years of reading blogs, natakot na ko so we had glamping instead of Sagada Trip. 

Fast forward to 2016, my husband wanted to visit Sagada again and since he is the one who wanted to pursue the trip, I let him searched, booked and paid for our accommodation. I just told him that I want a private room with private bathroom. It was not easy to find an accommodation because we’re going there on holiday and 3 weeks before the trip pa lang siya naghahanap. 

He asked his officemates who already went there for recommendations and one of the suggestions is Sagada Bilza Lodge. His officemate stayed here way back December 2014 and according to him, bago pa lang daw yung lodge. 

My husband called, texted and messaged Sagada Bilza Lodge for reservation. Thank God that they still have an available room. He was advised to make a 50% downpayment to confirm the reservation. And because of that, I have no more reason to cancel the reservation, sayang ang bayad. 

Welcome to Sagada Bilza Lodge. As you can see in the photo, the lodge is under construction but we did not see any construction worker there, maybe because peak season, stop muna ang expansion. There are Ifugao Huts too, I wanted to experience this room too kaso separate ang bathroom. 

My husband went to the reception and he was ushered to room 205. Sharing with you the room. Sorry for the quality of the photos of the room, brownout kasi nung dumating kami. Ang saya-saya. Hehehe! 

They charged us P1300 per night, we’re 2 adults and 1 kid but I think the room is good for 4 persons since there is a pull-out bed. As I mentioned, the accommodation in Sagada is very simple, so we have a private room, private bathroom and small veranda. There are one blanket, one towel and four pillows. No free toiletries so bring your own. 

May ilaw na! :)
I did not bother to ask for extra blanket and towels because we brought our own stuff. We have toiletries, towels, blankets, pillows and even comforter. Yes, always ready.

The room package has no free breakfast but the Lodge has a restaurant so you can eat breakfast, lunch and dinner. The breakfast meal is from P100 to 115. Coffee is P30, Hot Choco P25 and Milk P30. 

Sagada Bilza Lodge is far from the town proper but it is few minutes walk from Sumaguing Cave. If you don’t have your own transportation, I suggest you book any accommodations near the town proper. But if you have your own vehicle, you can stay in Sagada Bilza Lodge because it has its own parking area. We have a good view of pine trees too.

Sagada Bilza Lodge
Mampukong, South Road,
Sagada, Mountain Province

January 15, 2017

3 Days in Puerto Princesa Palawan with Kids

A few days ago, I posted our 4 Days Adventures in Coron, Palawan. Now, I decided to share our 3 Days Puerto Princesa Palawan trip with the fambam. Almost seven years ago we went to Puerto Princesa, Palawan for our family outing. This was a much-awaited trip because this will be the first family out of town of via plane. Four generations kami, from my grandmother up to our own kids. 

Read: 4 Days Adventure in Coron Palawan

Ysabelle Mansion

We’re group of 13 people so a month before the trip I already booked our accommodation at Ysabelle Mansion and rented a van for our three days tour.  We stayed in Ysabelle Mansion for our 3 days and 2 nights trip. It is a hostel that offers basic accommodation. The rooms and bathrooms are clean. The service staffs are all friendly and nice. It is very near in seaport, airport, market and restaurant so transportation is not difficult.  

Day 1: Honda Bay Island Hopping 

Our rented van picked us up at the airport and we dropped by at the hostel to leave our baggage and off we went to sea port for our Honday Bay Island Hopping. Since our flight was delayed for almost an hour, we only have limited time for island hopping. 

On our way to sea port, we went to 7 Plates Building to book our Underground River Tour, we bought mineral water and picked up our food. I ordered BBQ liempo, Grilled Pusit, Spicy Garlic Shrimp, Ensaladang Talong, Lato Rice, Grilled Baby back ribs, Buttered lobster, Kangkong w/oyster sauce and Atchara. The food were placed in a bilao and plastic container. I also brought disposables just in case magkulang. Good thing that I already ordered our food in advance because we were all hungry before we reach Snake Island. Sa sobrang gutom, walang pictures ang mga food. 

Boat rental is P1500 good for 6 person, additional pax is P250 including kids. There are different islands in Honda Bay that you could visit such as Cowrie Island, Bat Island, Lu-Li Island (lulubog-lilitaw), Dos Palmas Island, Pambato Reef, Pandan Island, Starfish Island and Snake Island. Each island has its own entrance fee except for Snake Island but you have to pay for cottage. 

Pandan island entrance fee        P 50/head 
Starfish island entrance fee       P 50/head 
Pambato reef entrance fee        P 50/head 
Pandan island cottage               P 400/cottage

Snake Island 

We only choose Snake Island, Star fish Island and Pandan Island. First stop is Snake Island, where we ate our lunch. The place is quite crowded maybe because there is no entrance fee. You will enjoy swimming and snorkeling even you are not a good swimmer because you can see school of fishes at knee deep of water. 

Starfish Island 

Next stop is Starfish Island but we just dropped by and moved to Pandan Island

Pandan Island

Pandan Island has the best facilities and amenities among the three islands. They have their own comfort room, restaurant and massage place. So we already stayed in this Island till 5PM.

Bilao at Palayok 

After Honda Bay Island Hopping, we went to Bilao at Palayok for our dinner. It is one of the most recommended restaurants in Puerto Princesa so we want to try it. The place has native ambiance and look. 

We ordered Boodle Feast, Lengua Estofado, Buttered Garlic Crab and Ginataang Seafood. Among the food, my favorite is Lengua Estofado. For 13 persons, our bill is less than P2000 so price is very reasonable. Don't forget to bring your insect repellent. We took tricycle on our way back to Ysabelle Mansion. 

Day 2: Underground River Tour 

It’s been raining the whole night because there was LPA. I am bit worried that our Underground tour will be canceled but thank God for giving us good weather in Sabang. The travel time going to Undeground River is almost two hours and expect that is very long and winding road. It is not a smooth ride because some roads are not cemented.  

Fortunately, we had stopover at Viewdeck because some of us are really dizzy and about to vomit. So don not forget to take bonamine to prevent biyahilo moments. This road is the same road that I will need to travel if I want to go to El Nido so I am really thinking twice about El Nido

Underground River Expense 

Van Rental P3000 
Permit P150/head local, 200/head foreigner, 13-17 yrs old P50, 6-12yrs old P30 and 5yrs old below free 
Boat (good for 6pax) P 700/boat 

Tip: Do not forget to bring ID because they will look for it. I forgot the cost of terminal fee. For toddlers, bring your own life vest. 

You need to ride boat to get to Underground River, it is just 15 minutes travel time. Upon arrival, you have to wait for your turn, yes pila ulit sa boart for Underground River Tour, it is about 45 minutes tour inside the cave. You will not get bored because the tour guide is really good, he will explain everything to you. I am proud that I have been here. 

We availed the buffet lunch at the beach for P200 per head. The food is just ok so it is not worth the price especially for the kids because they have the same rate. 

Puerto Princesa City Tour 

After lunch, we decided to proceed with City Tour since we still have time. Itinerary for the day: Iwahig Penal Colony, Cathedral, Crocodile farm, Mitra’s house -Sta. Monica Ranch and Baker’s Hill. 

Crocodile Farm and Nature Park

First stop is Crocodile Farm, there is a souvenir shop where you can buy pasalubong while waiting for your turn. I bought crocodile stuffed toy here. Between Crocodile Park of Davao and Crocodile Farm, I like Crocodile Park because there is so much to see in their park. But in Crocodile Farm, we were able to hold baby crocodile. 

Then we visited Iwahig Penal Colony, Mitra’s house -Sta. Monica Ranch and Baker’s Hill. At this point, my grandmother was already complaining bakit hinto daw ng hinto, hehehe! City Tour nga e! So we did not stay long in each spot because our grandmother was just staying inside the van.

You will enjoy the Baker’s Hill because there is a playground for the kids. The place is big and it is not just a bakery. You can also buy food pasalubong here, the famous here is hopia. 

Last stop is Cathedral na ako na lang ang bumaba just to take pictures because pagod na ang lahat. They did not want to go out anymore for dinner so we just ate at Ysabelle Mansion. 

By the way, there is Vietville, Plaza Cuartel and Butterfly garden too but we did not include them in our itinerary. 

Day 3: Palawan Museum 

This was our last day in Puerto Princesa, since our flight was still 2PM, we decided to go to Palawan Museum. We just took a tricycle to get there. P10 for entrance fee. 

We checked-out at 12 noon and naiinip pa kami na ihatid sa airport. Yun pala sarado ang airport, hindi man lang kami ininform na nagsasara pala yun. So we waited more or less an hour bago nag-open ulit ang airport. 

Ysabelle Mansion 
214 Abad Santos Extension 
Puerto Princesa City Palawan, Philippines 5300 
Contact Nos.: Landline (63)(48) 723-0992 
Mobile No. (63)918-4089377 / (63)929-2417797 
Email: info@ysabellemansion.com 
Website: www.ysabellemansion.com

January 13, 2017

Baguio: Cafe by the Ruins

We used to go to Baguio when I was in college but things changed when I moved to Southern Luzon. Now we prefer going to Tagaytay if we want to experience cold weather.  It’s been five years since our last visit in Baguio. It was just a quick trip but we were able to visit most of the tourist spots within 24 hours.

Read: 24 Hours Trip in Baguio

Last month, we were supposed to spend one day in Baguio but my husband learned that there is number coding scheme in Baguio so we extend our holiday in Pangasinan and revisited Lingayen Pangasinan. Waah! Natapat pa talaga sa coding. 

Read: Day Trip in Lingayen Pangasinan

So Last December 29, off we went to Baguio. We just ate breakfast at Cafe by the Ruins. I’ve been hearing and reading a lot of reviews about this restaurant but I haven’t tried it yet. My husband was surprised when he learned na hindi pa ko nakakain dito so he decided that we will eat breakfast in Cafe by the Ruins before going to Sagada

The parking was limited and good thing that we’re still early so we were able to park. The entrance was not appealing but when I entered the restaurant I was surprised, maganda pala sa loob. Indeed, it is Baguio's best-loved restaurant because it is unique when it comes to interior and menu. 

The menu was already on the table so we browsed it immediately. 

My son ordered Pan de Sal P85+. A traditional Filipino bread with a choice of regular, whole wheat or malunggay variations + a choice of cheese, jam or butter for spread. We were shocked when we saw the pandesal, it was enormous, malaki pa sa kamao ko so my son was not able to finish even one piece of it.

I ordered Bacon and Egg P340+ so I can share it with my son. The meal includes thick slices of home-cured bacon, one egg and your choice of garlic rice or pandesal. I have no idea that they will served red rice, Waah! I requested for white rice but they don’t have any so I have no choice but to eat it. It is not bad naman but I prefer white rice lang talaga.

My husband ordered Mt Data Tapa Rice P340+. The meal includes cured beef tapa, tomatoes and onions with scrambled egg. I liked his order. hehehe!

All breakfast meals have free coffee or tea and a cup of fresh fruits so it is already a complete meal. My husband suggested that I should try the hot chocolate because it is good so we upgraded my drinks to hot chocolate for additional fee. He also requested for strawberry and mango fruit shake which we liked it too. I’m not sure if it is included in our breakfast meal. 

The breakfast meal is not cheap but I think the price is already reasonable because you have fruits, drinks and main course. The serving is big too and if you don’t eat that much you can really share the food with your kids, just order extra rice or bread.

Now I know why I haven’t tried this restaurant before. Mahal pala siya and last trip namin sa mga mura lang kami kumain. Hehehe! But if you have extra budget, don’t forget to drop by in this restaurant if you will visit Baguio. 

From the menu

... Its menu changed quarterly according to the seasons, represents not only a restaurant concept but an ethos. The food reflects the ecology and rhythm of Baguio and Cordilleras. It is fresh, representing the best of the day's market; it is home-cooked and reflects the vision of native tradition and of health. 

Read: Food Trip in Baguio