Category Archives: Urdaneta and Beyond

The Medical City Clark in Pampanga

The Medical City Clark in Pampanga

The Medical City Clark Emergency Entrance

If it weren’t for my dad’s fracture in his femur, I wouldn’t have known about this hospital. The local hospital here in Urdaneta doesn’t have an MRI and we were told of two places that have it – the TMC in Clark, Pampanga and in Dagupan, Pangasinan. We wanted the earliest one that was available and that was Clark.
The travel time there by car from Urdaneta is about an hour and a half thru TPLEX. The TMCC is quite new. It was built sometime in 2013 with state-of-the-art facilities. SM City Clark is just a few minutes away (about 4 km) and they offer a free shuttle bus to and from the mall every half hour daily.

The Medical City Clark Cafeteria

The room rates are relatively affordable at P2,800 (De Luxe) a night. You get 3 meals a day, housekeeping and 24/7 excellent service from the caring staff of TMCC. Patient’s family who are visiting can grab a meal from their cafeteria or drop a coin in their vending machine for a cold drink. If you prefer a fastfood meal, you can take the free shuttle ride to SM City Clark. Their website at http://www.themedicalcity.com/newsroom/news/the-medical-city-hostel-close-to-loved-ones also mentions about a 23-room hostel located at the 9th floor of the Nursing Tower.

The Medical City Clark Guest Elevator

As a PhilHealth-accredited institution, it also provides inpatient and outpatient benefits to member foreign nationals and their qualified dependents, as well. Visit this link for more information – https://www.philhealth.gov.ph/news/2017/expands_coverage.html.

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Pinares Pagkaing Pinoy in Baguio

Pinares Pagkaing Pinoy in Baguio

Pinares Pagkaing Pinoy

There’s a new restaurant in Baguio City that replaced Kuya J at the Travelite Express Hotel by the Shuntug Road near the City Hall.

Pinares Meal Menu
Pinares Ala Carte Menu
Pinares Drinks, Desserts, …

The Pinares Pagkaing Pinoy is an all-Filipino restaurant that is operated by the hotel. The advantage of being run by a hotel is the emphasis on customer service. I had a slight problem with how my order was cooked and the manager apologized repeatedly and corrected the issue immediately. He even gave us a free dessert, courtesy of the Chef as a gesture of an apology.

Pinares Pakbet Rice
Pinares Chicken Halang

Food was great! Even with the low price, the serving size exceeded my expectations. This would be our regular place from now on whenever we’re in the City Hall or the Court House area.
We were there during their dry run but their opening will be on August 2, 2018 and they will be open from 7 AM to 9 PM.

A 5-star Treat at The Manor in Baguio

A 5-star Treat at The Manor in Baguio

The Manor Hotel Le Chef Garden Baguio.jpg
The Manor Hotel by the Garden

“Yes!”, was my next reaction after the Front Desk lady told us that they have upgraded our Deluxe room to a Suite. My first reaction was disbelief followed by the question, “Is it for the same price?”

Since we arrived here in the Philippines, I have heard about The Manor in Baguio City at least three times in separate occasions. When a time came to celebrate a special moment, I went online and booked a room from their website at https://campjohnhay.ph/accommodation.php. Their price already includes the taxes. I found it cheaper going directly rather than using any of the online travel booking sites due to their added service charge and fees. To give us an idea of what to expect from their famous Le Chef restaurant, we searched for their menu and found it here – http://www.munchpunch.com/le-chef-the-manor/menu. We found out later that the prices have increased and the Filipino Specialties are no longer available.

The Manor Hotel Suite

Their suite room was like a whole house. It has a living area with a veranda, dining, kitchen and its own bathroom. The master bedroom comes with a vanity, closet and a bathroom. There was no A/C unit but they have ceiling fans and screened doors and windows.

The Manor Hotel Baguio City Children Playground
The Manor Hotel Children’s Playground

The view at the veranda was so serene – it’s overlooking the well-manicured garden with the pines and the mountains in the backdrop.

Le Chef Restaurant Schedule/Hours
Le Chef Dress Code

Le Chef Dinner Char-Grilled Baby Back Ribs
The Manor Hotel Le Chef Garden Restaurant .jpg
Le Chef outdoor dining

Dining at Le Chef restaurant was impressive. It has a main room and about three extra rooms. There is also a covered area by the garden next to it if you like the feel of an outdoor dining. Service is great – they pull the chair for you and put on the napkin on your lap. The food was served quickly and there were a lot of servers standing by to cater to your needs.

Le Chef Breakfast Buffet Pastries
Le Chef Breakfast Buffet Eggs and Salads

Breakfast buffet was delightful with all the different varieties and volume of food available to satisfy your taste and appetite. They have meat, seafood, eggs (regular, red and black – century egg), cereals, pancakes, pastries and fruits.

The Manor Hotel Camp John Hay Baguio Concierge
Smiling faces at The Manor Hotel Concierge

After checking out, the helpful concierge by the entrance called a taxi for us. Wow, that’s what I call initiative! From check-in to check-out, we had enjoyed our five-star experience at The Manor Hotel.

‘Maayong’ Travel Tips for Iloilo

‘Maayong’ Travel Tips for Iloilo

The City of Love, as they call Iloilo City, is about an hour and fifteen minutes flight from Manila. The best time to take a trip to Iloilo is the week before the fourth Sunday of January which is the city’s Dinagyang Festival.

Travel Tips Iloilo Dinagyang event at Plazuela

It is an event that is similar to the well-known Ati-atihan Festival in Aklan, a neighboring province. Book your accommodation close to SM City in Mandurriao, Iloilo for convenience specially if you’ll be using public transportation – they have a Grab taxi booth there that can assist in your travel needs. If you’re flying to Iloilo, it is best to reserve your ticket early so you can avail of cheaper price. To get there from Urdaneta City, you can take a bus that is headed to Pasay City (via TPLEX will cut travel time to 3.5 hours) from the bus stop infront of CB Mall along the McArthur hi-way. From the bus’ Pasay terminal, grab a taxi (or any of the available app-driven transport) to the domestic airport.

Arriving in Iloilo days before the festival will give you the opportunity to visit some of its fascinating places.

Megaworld

Travel Tips Iloilo Megaworld

Those who enjoy urban life can find themselves at home in Mandurriao’s Megaworld area

Travel Tips Iloilo iQor

and vicinity. It is the newest section of Iloilo City where it is being developed with the live-work-play concept. You will find new hotels, businesses and dining areas.

Travel Tips Iloilo Marriott Courtyard and the adjacent Convention Center
Travel Tips Iloilo Casa de Emperador

It is a few minutes away from shopping centers like the SM City, Plazuela

Travel Tips Iloilo Plazuela

and Atria and the Festive Walk Parade or the Esplanade

Travel Tips Iloilo Esplanade

where you can get a relaxing stroll. You can also enjoy a pedal boat ride along the river

Travel Tips Iloilo Esplanade River Ride

or rent a bike and tour Esplanade 1 & 2 and the Festive Walk Parade. When exhaustion hits you, there are coffee and snack shops along the route to recharge one’s energy like the Riverside Boardwalk.

Travel Tips Iloilo Riverside Boardwalk

Garinfarm

Travel Tips Iloilo San Joaquin Garinfarm

If you have a religious background or love outdoor activities, you might like visiting the Garinfarm in San Joaquin. Travel time is about 45 minutes to an hour ride from Iloilo city. Take a taxi from SM City to the Mohon jeepney terminal where you can get a ride to San Joaquin church. A tricycle can take you from there to Garinfarm. Aside from the heavenly scene atop a hill,

Travel Tips Iloilo Garinfarm heavenly scene on top of a hill.

they also have several activities that young and old can enjoy such as a zip line across a lake, horse back riding, water rides, etc.

Travel Tips Iloilo Garinfarm fees

You’ll also get the chance to feed the doves, fish and the sheeps during their feeding time at around twelve noon.

Guimaras island

Travel Tips Iloilo Guimaras Island view from Iloilo City

Then if you want an island adventure, take a 15-minute travel on a pump boat ride to the Guimaras island. From SM City, grab a taxi to the Ortiz wharf downtown and pay a ticket

Travel Tips Iloilo Guimaras Jordan boat ride ticket booth

for the boat ride to Jordan, Guimaras. Once there, register at the Tourism Office

Travel Tips Iloilo Guimaras Jordan Tourism Office

where they’ll help you find a transportation to your destination. Although all the roads are paved, we opted to rent a jeep for the travel for P450 instead of P250 for a small tricycle due to my stature. We went to Raymen’s Resort in Alobijod (or Alubihod) beach, Nueva Valencia. Here you can rent a room (the hotel type has private bathroom) overnight and explore, swim and/or play in the un-crowded beach. They have their own restaurant that serves cheap but good food

Travel Tips Iloilo Guimaras Raymen’s Restaurant.

which is very convenient since the beach is far from from the town. Check also with the front desk if you want to go island-hopping and enjoy nature at its best.

Bearland Paradise Resort

Travel Tips Iloilo Bearland Paradise Resort in Tigbauan.
Travel Tips Iloilo Bearland Paradise Resort fees.

If you just want to just soak in the water without the waves or sand getting in your flip-flops or shoes, you will love this inland resort in Tigbauan. It’s about a 30-minute travel time from Iloilo city. From the same Mohon terminal, take a jeepney ride to Tigbauan then a tricycle ride to the resort. They have several size pools overlooking the beach where you can wade and bask in the sun.

Travel Tips Iloilo Bearland Paradise Resort infinity pool.
Travel Tips Iloilo Bearland Paradise Resort pool.

Go to bearlandparadise.com to reserve an accommodation if you plan on staying overnight.

Travel Tips Iloilo Bearland Paradise Resort accommodations.

If you visit around January and February, they’ll have fewer guests and youll have a more enjoyable stay.

Recommended gadgets for travellers:

Phone holder
Mini tripod with remote control
Selfie light
Power bank compact high-speed
Selfie stick pro with remote control

Masangret Cove – The “Blue Lagoon” of Agno, Pangasinan

The “Blue Lagoon” of Agno, Pangasinan
The Blue Lagoon of Agno, Pangasinan (aka Masangret Cove).

https://goo.gl/maps/WME11vz3Bo32

The cove is located at Masangret, Agno, Pangasinan but accessible through the Cabongaoan beach of Burgos, Pangasinan by

Rocky trails from Cabo Beach to the Death Pool.

heading northward on rocky trails past the famous Death Pool and just over Mary Hill.

Approaching Death Pool with Mary Hill in the distance.
Mary Hill (a youth camp) is between the Death Pool and Masangret Cove in Pangasinan.

Its official name is Masangret Cove but I’d like to call it the little Blue Lagoon after the movie with the same title because of its resemblance to the pristine body of water used in the film although in a smaller scale. For those who prefer a tranquil and kids-friendly swimming, this is a perfect spot to go. There are no waves to watch out for not like the neighboring Cabongaoan beach or the Death Pool.

Adventurous dudes who prefer excitement and adrenaline rush should try the Death Pool. It has a diameter and depth of about 20 feet. The level of the water rapidly goes up and down as the waves rush in and out sucking the water from the hole like a flushing giant toilet bowl. There is a smaller version nearby called the Date Pool. It is more like for dipping ones feet while sitted around its edge. You can also ask an unsuspecting friend to peek into a hole that randomly burps out streams of water. These are found on the other side of Mary Hill.

Couples or individuals who just want to stroll on a white sand, collect shells or feel romantic watching the sunset, there’s the Cabo (short for Cabongaoan) Beach nearby.

Cabo Beach in front of the Allen Beach Resort (https://m.facebook.com/aencabowhitesandbeach/photos/?ref=page_internal&mt_nav=1).

Sunset at Cabo Beach.

Whatever age group you belong to and if you’re looking for a quiet beach getaway that is not yet crowded and commercialized, Cabongaoan Beach is the place to be.

Sunset stroll along Cabo Beach.
Masangret Cove – our Blue Lagoon.

Recommended gadgets for travellers:

Phone holder
Mini tripod with remote control
Selfie light
Power bank compact high-speed
Selfie stick pro with remote control