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.
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.
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.
The only Korean restaurant in the city! It’s been a while since we have eaten Kalbi and Bulgogi. Although they didn’t have them, their pork ribs were close enough. Their main dishes, which you can choose from three choices, come with the typical Korean side dishes. By the way the noodles are so good, you’ll keep on asking for more. They offer an unlimited or all-you-can-eat serving but they’ll charge you extra for leftovers. You cook your own food on a stove-top griddle that is on every table which is great so you can control the tenderness of the meat and its fat content.
The price is P299 and up depending on your order. And each comes with a pitcher of ice cold tea. So if you have been craving for some good Korean dish, stop by at 125 Mac Arthur Highway, Nancayasan, Urdaneta, Pangasinan. They are open from 11 AM to 8 PM.
Have you ever checked in to a hotel or resort and find out that there is no Wi-Fi signal in your room? Or you have just arrived at the airport and can’t use Uber because your phone ran out of juice.
Backpackers, like soldiers, need gears to survive or adapt to an unfamiliar place that is missing some of the necessities found in the comfort of home. Those include devices they use as they go about in their daily activities. For shutter bugs and vloggers, they might need to bring a kit version of their studio to save on luggage space. For some who just can’t leave their work behind, they throw in their laptop or tablet as well.
Having traveled here and abroad in some occasions staying overnight or several days, here are the list of gadgets that fill my backpack other than the grooming kit.
1) Quick-charge Power Bank – Do you often get that dreaded low battery status on your phone before the day ends? You even get it quicker when you’re taking pictures of everything that looks cool or when you’re engaging with 100+ social media friends and followers. Guess what? There are no charging stations at the beach or on the bus.
This compact power bank can save your day by quickly charging your phone not just once but several times over. I’m not talking about the freebie you got from some sales promo or from work. They will not cut it. Stick with a reliable and proven product such as this one.
2) Multi USB wall charger – Newer devices such as phones, power banks, cameras, etc. use USB chargers. Instead of bringing their own chargers, why not carry just one but with multiple USB ports. These can even charge at a faster speed than what came with the devices and with less clutter.
3) Long USB fast-charging cable (10ft.) – Most lengths of USB cables that manufacturers include with their devices are sufficient if the power outlet is close to your bedside or don’t mind hugging the nightstand. Some hotel rooms, especially in some countries, have just one and if it happens to be across the room, a long USB cable would come in handy. Also, charging stations at the airport usually gets crowded. Having a long USB cable will allow you to run it to the nearest sitting lounge where you can have more elbow room and privacy.
I prefer using a darker color so the grime from the floor will not be visible. You would want a durable cable that will withstand all the pulling and bending. Not all cables are created equal. Some create bottlenecks. But this cable is fast-charging and will complement the charger described above. There is also an iPhone version available if you need one.
4) Universal power adapter – Different countries have different sizes, shapes and ratings of power outlets. Some have 2 holes, 3 holes, flat holes, round holes, slanted holes, you name it but this universal adapter will let you plug in your USB wall charger just fine. Fortunately, most chargers are rated to run on 100V-240V just like this one making it adaptable to any power source. Just plug it in to this universal adapter and you’re good to go.
5) Portable Power strip – If you have been in a hotel room on a vacation with your family, you know how hard it is to find an available power outlet for everyone’s gadgets. You can covertly replace theirs with yours and risk ruining the vacation or you can plug in your power strip and you’ll even have a spare spot to share with others. A travel-size one will fit nicely in a backpack and will not slow you down.
6) Back-to-back USB memory stick – Do you remember getting the “memory full” notification in your phone? This memory stick or flash drive can fix that problem by allowing you to transfer old pictures or videos from your phone or tablet and thereby freeing up much needed space. If you want, you can load it up with your favorite movies that you can watch while waiting for a bus ride. It does not need any adapter so it connects directly to an android phone, tablet or an iPhone.
7) Pocket WI-FI – How would you feel if you’re on a trip and your phone’s data signal is barely making a blip and loading a page is taking forever? And not every place has a free Wi-Fi. That’s when I grab my pocket Wi-Fi and fire it up. This one gets its signal from another provider and most of the time it’s stronger. The pay-as-you-go is perfect for traveling, money-wise, since you only use it when needed and there are no roaming charges. When you travel to another country, you’ll have a backup Wi-Fi to use as soon as your plane has landed. Then, at a later time, load it with a local SIM card of your choice, if you want, to save on money even more and get a stronger signal.
You can enjoy your vacation with the same convenience you have at home, well almost, with these gadgets. You can give some of these to your friends and family as a present and they’ll be grateful you did.
Coming up soon: 7 Things You Should Do to Keep Your Home Safe When You Travel
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.
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.
Those who enjoy urban life can find themselves at home in Mandurriao’s Megaworld area
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.
It is a few minutes away from shopping centers like the SM City, Plazuela
and Atria and the Festive Walk Parade or the Esplanade
where you can get a relaxing stroll. You can also enjoy a pedal boat ride along the river
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.
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,
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.
You’ll also get the chance to feed the doves, fish and the sheeps during their feeding time at around twelve noon.
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
for the boat ride to Jordan, Guimaras. Once there, register at the 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
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
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.
Go to bearlandparadise.com to reserve an accommodation if you plan on staying overnight.
If you visit around January and February, they’ll have fewer guests and youll have a more enjoyable stay.