Good morning Vietnam!

18 11 2012
Tuesday, 13 November 2012
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

It feels morning all the time in Vietnam! People are friendly and there’s good food all day round!

After having your healthy balanced Vietnamese food with fresh herbs, meat and spice, the best way to end the day is to go around HCM on motorbike during the night. Hire a 100 cc bike and enjoy the cooler green environment and breathtaking scenery of the areas Districts 1 to 3 where tourist spots, clubs and good restaurants are located. There are 24 districts in HCM and you do not need to see all these areas for sure!

Enjoy the city’s folk and ancient Vietnamese architecture rich in brick, pottery, ceramic with unique dimension and correlation. While on motorbike, I feasted my eyes looking on to the  well-lighted 68th floor high skyscraper Bitexco Financial Building, 262.5 meters (861 ft). Good thing I wasn’t the one driving! Thanks to both Minh and Tuyen for I reached back the hotel safely! 

Other related blogs >>

ADVENTURE PROMPT: As a precautionary when on motorbike, carry your backpack in front of you. h


What’s Truly Malaysia for you?

16 11 2012
Friday, 16 November 2012
Klang, Selangor, Malaysia
(32km West of Kuala Lumpur)

1. Food. Nasi Lemak goes number 1 on the list for only 1 RM (Malaysian Ringgit) or 14php/33cents. It is a rice-based staple food with some peanuts, dried chillies, cucumber, salted fish, coconut milk, boiled egg and a lot of tasty sauce that you could devour! (Don’t forget to drink “daun teh” green tea afterwards!)


2. Green. Your eyes could only hope to see up close and personal the rich   environment  surrounding even right in front of your hotel! 

3. Infrastructure. Towering skyscrapers,  impressive roads and highways will really fuel you to go to various places in the country! h

See how Necochea People Cracks Joke!

26 09 2012
Southwest of Buenos Aires Province, Argentina
Tuesday, 18 September 2012

There is only one corner Necochea people will go to in case of fire and when they get hungry. h

Want to Hike Mt Maculot?

7 01 2012
Saturday, 7 January 2012
Cuenca, Batangas

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Here are the reasons why Mt Maculot fuels the enthusiasm of outdoor enthusiasts:

1. Elevation. The 600m asl/1968 ft elevation of this mountain is a generally 2-hr hike going up

2. Trail. Don’t get me wrong, the trail starts off from a main concrete road jump-off at Barangay Poblacion and will surely surprise you with the steep ascending forested terrain.

3. Scenic. As you catch up with your pace, you will be taken away by the breathtaking view of Taal Lake, the rock formation at Rockies and the foggy trail near the Philippine Air Force marker.

4. Value for  Money. In less than 500php (10 USD), your outdoor fun may already be completed! Registration is only 10php (.22 USD), tricycle to jump-off from the town market is only 20php (.45 USD) Bus cost going there is only 150php (3 USD), just don’t forget to budget also your coming back to Manila!

5. Good local food. Try the famous local coffee called Kapeng Barako and the various kakain (native delicacies) within the Public Market before and even after hiking. Just choose your preferred carinderias or localized fast-food. You could find relatively clean ones with servers even wearing flashy red aprons!

6. Distance. Cuenca is only approximately between 90km-98km or 3-hr ride from Manila, Taft -Buendia Avenues within Luzon island.

Sample full 12-hr DAY HIKE ITINERARY via Rockies:

6:30    Meet up

07:00 Aboard JAM Bus line from Taft-Buendia Avenues or EDSA bound to Lemery / Cuenca Batangas

10:00 ETA Cuenca Public Market. Then take the tricycle to the jump-off. On your way, register but please do not expect to log out after your hike. The tricycle driver knows where the registration is.

10:20 Start ascend

12:10 ETA Summit, then go to Rockies area for photo opportunities

12:30 Start descend

13:00 Have lunch

13:30 Continue descending

15:30 ETA Jump-off, get on board a bus bound to Manila (either via Cubao or Buendia)

18:30 ETA Manila

What are you waiting for? C’mon let’s hike this year!

*Mt Maculot is also known as the training ground of the Philippine Air Force. h

Who got a Turkey this Thanksgiving?

28 11 2011
Thursday, 24 November 2011
Guam, USA

Mr Grill hosted our Thanksgiving. Instead of the usual staple turkey, his culinary dinner was a bountiful deer feast.  While his other friends had some platter to share, I brought home some memories to care. As he said, “what more could I ask for, food and friends!”  h

12 Monthly Reasons why we should all enjoy Philippines

24 11 2011
Thursday, 24 November 2011
Guam, USA

1. HIKING to Pulag in JANUARY – via Ambangeg trail, hike up the highest mountain in Luzon at 2,922 asl. Enjoy the breeze and see the most beautiful sunrise

2. Balloon ourselves up for the HOT AIR BALLOON in FEBRUARY – every year, Clark has the most extravagant celebration of hot air balloon and aviation sports event

3. Join or arrange your own OUTREACH programs in MARCH – go any where in the country to help indigent families

4. SWIMMING with the Butandings in APRIL – go south of Luzon to the Bicol region and enjoy swimming with the quite gentle yet humongous whale sharks of about 15 ft

5. SUNDUNE in MAY – make sure it is the early rush for you to go up north the Ilocos region and enjoy a 4×4 short circuit. If you miss the first two weeks of the month, rainy season will already be a hindrance to your fun!

6. SNORKELLING to the Cross Marker and Sunken Cemetery in JUNE – challenge yourself while you “fight with the tide” as you reach the marker of Camiguin island. The current is so strong that you will end up riding a boat on your way back to the main island.

7. ZIP LINING in  JULY – go to the longest zip line of Bukidnon and enjoy the view of Mindanao while you are wearing a harness

8. WHITE WATER RAFTING in AUGUST – get the splash of your life in Davao during the Kadayawan festivities. It may be a prelude to your Mt Apo (the highest in the country at 2954 asl) adventure.

9. SEPTEMBER REEF WALKING in Boracay  – go to the Visayas region and look like an astronaut for once, with your diving helmet

10. CATCH the vinta* REGATTA in OCTOBER with your lens – be amazed with the colourful ala Latin festivities of Zamboanga City in the island of Mindanao, southern part of the country

11. PAY TRIBUTE to the Kabayan Mummies of Sagada in NOVEMBER – take the late bus bound to the north of the country and immerse with the culture and prepare yourself as a travelling archaeologist

12. DECEMBER MOUNTAIN BIKING in BATANES   – cool down and enjoy the slow-paced life in the Batanes area, the north most part of the country. And surprise yourself if you are still in Asia or not..h

*vinta-traditional boat

Have you tried Tarlac Bike Trail Lately?

23 10 2011
Sunday, 23 October 2011
Tarlac, Tarlac, Philippines

If you have ONE day to spare, try Tarlac for a new perspective!

Tarlac is 104 km away from Manila. If you want to try biking around Tarlac, then hop on your bike in the trunk of Victory bus liner early morning say 6 0r 7am and expect to be back around 10pm, same day.

That’s what I just did today! Cham, my Chamorro bike, and I reached the bus station at 7am. Few seconds, we saw Bucopie waiting. Then the three of us took the bus heading to the town of Gerona.

Gerona town

After 3 hours and 30 minutes, we all reached Gerona where GT has been residing since February. GT is Bucopie’s silver bike.

Gerona is also the place for the fine food of Tarlac. It was my first different Philippine cuisine taste. And I was very glad we stopped at The Halfway to the North Floating Restaurant for our 12n lunch after we got GT. I ordered  the spicy “tahong” (mussels), a fusion of the spicy food coming from the provinces of Pampanga, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Zambales, Pangasinan, and the Ilocos Region. Bucopie tried the local version of Tilapia fish.

Tarlac City

After 13 km of peddling on Mc Arthur Highway, we reached Tarlac city and turned left coming from Gerona. Our next target was La Paz. While we were on Santa Rosa-Tarlac Road, we stopped for a drink and had some photo opt. The landscape of the landlock and plain province started to show. We passed by Matatalaib, Maliwalo, San Jose, San Manuel, Balingcanaway, Amucao, Caramutan, San Isidro, Rizal, Balanoy and finally Dumarais. Cham’s odometer already reached another 19km.

Dumarais Off trail

Dumarais is a barangay with vast agricultural land in the small town of La Paz. Both Bucopie and I started to feel the rush and the power of  both GT and Cham. We were already standing while pedaling. We met some friends of Bucopie in Dumarais and in Sierra, (another town of about 2.5 km from Dumarais). Within this area, I saw the nicest sundown, interesting rice paddy and even had my second carabao (water buffalo) ride!

Since it was already 5pm, we started to head onto the last portion of the off trail. On our way, we saw hundreds of ducks crossing the dirt road and caused a short traffic jam! I didn’t think they could demand an imaginary stop light that fast! Whoa! After hitting the sugarcane field, we saw the SCTEX pavement that traverses Luisita Access road. Then we just headed onto Mc Arthur Highway in oder for us to go back to Tarlac city Victory bus station where we started.

Cham’s overall reading upon reaching Manila was at 56.9 km. So try Tarlac next weekend! Who knows, you may reach 100 km!

NOTE: While you cruise Tarlac city, don’t be surprised seeing men in uniform along some post since it is part of the Operation Enduring Freedom project of the government.

BUDGET: bus fare <500php (10 USD) + food of your choice. h

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