Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Sumilon For the nth Time

I don't even know how many times I have been to Sumilon. But every time I go there, I always feel it's my first time. For this post, I will be posting pictures of the resort but using my iPhone and Instagram. I have so many shots on my iPhone that I never post on this blog, so I hope this is a start.

Monday, December 2, 2013

The Charm of Sonya's Garden

For years, we may have made the journey to Tagaytay to savor the organic cooking of Sonya's Garden. Known for serving up delightful buffets of pasta and salad, this Tagaytay institution should be given credit for making this burgeoning city of the South into the food mecca that it is today.

The Island Explorer Rating

Before I move on writing, let me just explain a new feature on my experiences with hotels and resorts. At the end of each write up is a score board that churns out a rating (score) based on my experience. The criteria are:

Ambience: the over-all character and atmosphere of the place
Room: the quality and amenities of the room
Service: the one key thing that separates a five-star hotel from the rest
Facilities: activities and places in the hotel and resort like the gym, business center spa, etc.
Dining: the most overlooked criteria of a hotel and resort, also the state where you dine in
Over-all Experience: was I happy, satisfied and wanting to come back at the end of the trip

These sum up to the Island Explorer Score, which is a 0 to 5 rating that I give to all the hotels and resorts I have visited.

0 - forget it
1 - unacceptable
2 - fair
3 - good
4 - excellent
5- perfect

So far, the highest score goes to El Nido in Pangulasian with a score of 4.6. Congratulations! You are indeed the best in the country so far. I will try to rate the rest of the hotels and resorts so you can have an overview of what to expect in each property. But then again, if I write about it here, then the property must have made an impact to me. For once, I already have preselected these places, thus, they were already my choices.

So with that, happy travels!

Pico de Loro: Unexpectedly SM

When someone mentions about Pico De Loro, I can't help but think SM. I know it seems very racist, but I couldn't help downgrade my expectations of a place when it has the brand SM to it. And I am ashamed, since I just can't give them the benefit of the doubt. So when we arrived at Pico Sands, the only hotel in Pico de Loro, a seaside development by SM, I naturally gave a half smile.

Surf's Up: Baler

One may go to Baler for one reason only. That is to surf. Baler is an emerging surfing destination, following the footsteps of San Fernando in La Union, Daet in Camarines Norte and of course, Siargao. Being closer to Manila, Baler is indeed a growing mecca for surfers old and new.

Ditumabo Falls: Baler

Whenever people ask me where the best place is nearby Manila, I always mention Baler. It may not be appealing to some, but I have found my place in this secluded town eastern seaboard of Luzon. But Baler is not all about Sabang Beach and surfing. Many find new places to explore, such as mountain and waterfall hikes. Here we explore the most famous waterfall in town, Ditumabo.


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