Browse Month by December 2017
Family, Relationship, vanj padilla

What have I learned in 2017

What have I learned in 2017
What have I learned in 2017

This year has been a tough, so I’m sharing with you what have I learned in 2017. I wish it was easy like 2012 or 2013. But it wasn’t. I had my fair share of ups and downs, just like any other person walking on the face of the earth.  Some are quite relevant, some not really.

1. Its not easy to start anew

It started with a new company we have to register as an offshoot to the previous start-up. New company that needs new documents and financials. And it was hard coz we barely had savings in 2016 to finance its requirements. I had to give up so many things to just make it stand up. Its a given.

Then there were a few trips abroad, I treat them as gifts from wonderful people and The One up above. But it has taxed the new company too. I haven’t really automated it so my absence really took its toll. But that was taken as part of the learning curves. No regrets.

2. Real friends stay and support

Along the way, I met new people, made new friends. Visited new territories and tried to blend in. New language, new culture and I think it was fun  too.

This year, we made a leap to another region. I felt it was right time to be there to share their stories. There was a need and I felt in my heart I can help. So there. Its was also a leap of faith. I haven’t done that without the help of other people like Jimrey Biosa, Kuya Isaias a brother from another mother 🙂 and his wife Janette who treated me like family. Then there was Kuya Benjamin De Yro who eventually introduced me to Madam Irma Maguigad and the rest is history.

A piece of my life in 2017
What have I learned in 2017

3. You win some you lose some

I lost a few people too, Reginald was with us for five years. He has been part of the company since Day 1. But since we were incubating, and he has other dreams, we have to let him go. We cannot afford him just yet. 🙂

Some clients were too difficult to please. So it was time to let go, some ideas are born ahead of their time so it was also time to rest it for a while. We can  only proceed with three of them. And we were happy with it.

4. Reflect. Rethink. Restrategize

This year was a lot of reflecting. And a lot of thinking sessions. We recalibrate the strategy and we stood by three. The survivors were Tourism Radio, Shareable Stories and Shareable Academy.

Tourism Radio is the only tourism focused online radio station webcasting from Cagayan valley to the world. Our target market is the Filipino living outside of the Philippines and their circle of influences such as their families and friends as well their communities. We also reach out to domestic and international travelers looking in to the Philippines as their  preferred destination. Lastly, local government units wanting services on how to further boost their destinations and attractions and how will visitors stay and spend in their respective areas.

Shareable Stories is the mother unit of Shareable News. We innovate how people consume news through visual storytelling. Expect video, audio and text formats as part of this innovation. We saw how people reject newspapers because publishers seem to have neglected the needs of its readers. So we are taking them back though Shareable Stories.

Lastly, we introduce Shareable Academy. It is the learning arm of the company. We don’t have to be left behind or left out. Shareable Academy will share  events, learning sessions, training and consultancy to our clients.

5. Start strong and finish it stronger

I also learned to start the year strong and finish it stronger. Start it early. Work hardest in the early days and give it your all. Then by November and December, finish it early and stronger. I learned to take it slow during the last days of the year. Because the faith is calling. And it is far more important than anything.

This year, I was able to do this. I started strong but slowed down in the middle and finished stronger by saving what is the most important thing in my life which almost cost my sanity.

6. What have I learned in 2017 ? Fight for people who matter

In my quest to be better at career, I seem to have forgone people who matter. I messed up at relationships. I have no time and patience because I was always busy and I hated negative news.  I was always chasing my schedule. I stopped listening.  Really. And it was a mistake. Listening is caring. I stopped caring because my hands were so full. And my mind is so cluttered.

I stopped fighting for people. I got tired. Then I realized I have lost my best friend. My anchor. Those who make me happy day in and day out.

So it was time to win them back. I put down everything, including my pride ( which is not easy to disregard ) to bring back people who matter.

And there was no regret. I learned my lesson very well. I could continue fighting for the world but if there isn no reason to fight for, what is there to gain?

These are a few of what have I learned in 2017. What have you learned this year? I’m interested to know.. Comment ‘what have I learned in 2017’ below and let us discuss.


Business, Food, tourism, Travel

There’s always something new at Hilaria’s

I love Hilaria’s, its a fact. I always find something new in there. To me, its where you commune with friends, people and have a grand time enjoying food and drinks. The last time Norte Bloggers visited last March, it just barely opened. Going back after a few months, we were wowed.

Hilaria‘ is the name of the owner of the house. She is the grandmother. Now his grandson has transformed her house into a hub where young and old converge, commune and have clean fun.

Big Craving Big Serving
Big Craving Big Serving at Hilaria’s

Whats new?

  1. Its wider or so we thought and the bar chairs are  “exclusive” to regulars.  

When we visited Hilaria’s to check out their holiday packages, we saw Dr. D – the mysterious regular who has his own chair at the bar named after him. There was nothing like that before. According to Aldrin Cu the owner, Dr. D is a vegetarian who happens to love the secret menu. Gee, this physician is mysterious. Although he was there that time, we never bothered to disturb his peace. He was like a permanent fixture in the bar.

Wider with an exclusive chair
Wider with an exclusive chair

   2. It has mini-meeting rooms and conference room for a handful of people. 

Whether your idea of fun is a boardgame night with your friends, a movie marathon, documentary or GoT screening or  a mini company event away from other customers, they have a place for you.

We love this space at Hilaria's
We love this space at Hilaria’s

Upstairs, check out the Green Room and see what fun activities can you do there with your friends or family.

3. It has DJ Live sets that spikes up the party mode every Friday and Saturday 

Get the party going and the let out the groove with DJ Maj and DJ Marty thru Hype Beats

Hype Beats at Hilarias
Hype Beats at Hilarias

4. You can rent a mobile bar 

Partying at your place has never been so much easy. Just call Hilaria’s and they bring the house down. Haha. Complete mobile bar experience within budget.

Hilaria's Mobile Bar
Hilaria’s Mobile Bar

5. More good food.

Need I say more?  Meallenial rice meals are affordable rice toppings catering to those who have, yes money to spend- millennials. They try to capture the market that malls turn away during meal time because of academic restrictions.

Meallenial Rice Meals
Meallenial Rice Meals

Insider tip  

  1. Try the Nachos Basket.
  2. Buy and take home a chili sauce there.
  3. Ask for the secret menu. 
  4. Get your own chair too and join Dr. D at the bar
  5. Check out their collections upstairs 

Where to find Hilaria’s

Hilaria’s is all over the social media. Check them ou, their username is @hilariashome 

Here’s the location:

Food, tourism, Travel

On a weather like this, Im craving for Captain Sausage

This blogger is not from Tuguegarao. But apparently, I love hotdogs and sausages. Because versus burgers, I think it is easier to consume a sausage than a burger. But that is just me. Then, there’s Captain Sausage a place where comfort food is just an order away. Are we serious?

Captain Sausage
Captain Sausage

Owned and managed by  Jerome Tumolva and his wife, Captain Sausage started in their kitchen garage. It originated out of the family’s love for food and their quest to find interesting dishes outside of Tuguegarao.

When Norte Bloggers reviewed the bestsellers, we were greeted with the aroma of cooked tapa and german sausages. It made us hungry immediately.

What’s on the menu, Captain Sausage?

Our eyes feasted on what was served in front of us. A platter of sausages in a bed of fries! I can’t count how many varieties of sausages were thrown into this plate but its definitely a must-try. Two of your favorite things in one single platter, how cool is that?

The sausages were great, though coming from Manila, the are regularly delivered fresh and stable. No need to worry if you run out of  sausages. Argh, that would be a disaster.

Sausage platter in a bed of fries
Sausage platter in a bed of fries


Then Sir Jerome said it was time to taste the Potato Fiesta, a tray of mashed potato balls, wedges and fries. How come this captain offers two of my favorite things? Its potato and sausages.  The potatoes are good but the dip is even better. Haha. Its a house blended dip perfect for the dish.

Next on the menu is the Overload Meal. It has the best of both worlds. Beef tapa and sausage.  Woah! You’re lucky to have it at only P148.00. The tapa is chewy and easy to chew, no need to fight with just like tapas from other sources.

Overload Meal
Overload Meal

If you crave for the bestsellers then you can either choose the tapa or the sausage . It already has a sunny side up egg with it making it an all-day, all-weather breakfast.

Beef Tapa
Beef Tapa with Rice and Egg

But, on second thought, I’d still go for the Sausage with rice and egg. Will stamp my loyalty on this one this season 🙂

Sausage and egg
Sausage and egg

A full stomach  means a great day. And the  December weather in Tuguegarao which is unpredictable- sometimes windy, sometimes hot and sometimes rainy but definitely cold gives you a reason to indulge in a comfort food at Captain Sausage.

where to find the Captain?

Now I can’t concentrate blogging, wait. We’re going to see the Captain and say Aye Aye, Sir!

The Norte Bloggers with the Captain and his wife posing in pirate hats in tiny space at the second floor

See you there, pirates.. Here’s the map to their second branch. Find them on Facebook too. 

tourism, Travel

A memorable stay at Hotel Juliana

It was a rainy and muddy morning in Tuguegarao when we had the second leg of Cagayan Food Crawl. After a day of intense food tasting, the members of the Norte Bloggers need a place to cocoon, rest and get settled for another food-filled day.  Good thing there is Hotel Juliana, a cozy little hotel located at Blumentritt St. Centro 4, Tuguegarao City.

Hotel Juliana
Hotel Juliana is located at Centro 4 Tuguegarao City

Don’t be intimidated by the looks outside, just enter the lobby and you will be welcomed by the friendly staff.  Look for Katherine, the supervisor. She’s friendly and accommodating.  There are three room categories here.

The De Luxe room will only cost P1,750. It has a queen sized bed and major amenities being offered. You get an air-conditioned room, with flat screen TV, hot and cold shower with toiletries, free airport and bus terminal transfer if you need it. You also get free breakfast and coffee with 24 hour housekeeping services.

For those who want to share a room but not a bed, there’s the Executive De Luxe. Its priced at P1,900. You get the same amenities as above except for the bed. This room has two single beds.

For groups or families, the Suite Room is perfect for you. It has 1 king sized and 1 queen sized bed. For as low as P2,800 you can enjoy the comfort of a hotel situated in the central business district while peacefully and nicely tucked in the hotel.

Hotel Juliana room
Norte Bloggers stayed in this room

Hotel Juliana


Executive De Luxe Room
Executive De Luxe Room

Looking for a nice hotel in Tuguegarao is a challenge especially in the center. Hotel Juliana has a parking area in their other building near the hotel. There is a guard that watches over your vehicle.

The wifi is strong in the lobby and the third floor. You just need to ask the attendants the best spot. We were not able to connect in our rooms that time so we went out in the breakfast area to connect to the internet.

Hotel Juliana lobby
Hotel Juliana lobby

Check in time is 2:00 pm and check out time is 12:00 noon.  Hotel Juliana also offers 12 hour rates at half the price and Wash Up rates for three hours at only P500. For reservations, dial (078) 396.9658. Call or text them at 0917.598.8089/0998.972.0747.

How to get there

Business, Food, tourism

World’s Largest Rice Cake Mosaic to be set by Calasiao

Puto Mosaic
Puto Mosaic

The current world record for the largest rice cake mosaic is 64 square meters. It belongs to Japan. Tomorrow, December 8, 2017 the municipality of Calasiao will attempt to set a new record of 200 square meters.

I made the application to Guinness World Record upon the prodding of two people, Christopher Parayno and Richard Poserio, both consultants to the municipal government on a fine day months ago.

World's Largest Rice Cake Mosaic to be set by Calasiao
Me at the Puto factory

Since I was also the one who started the puto festival last 2011, where we organized and staged the first one recognizing and promoting the white gold of the town, Puto Calasiao, I was excited to be once again on the consultant board for this event in its bid for the largest rice cake mosaic.

Heading the documentation team which is one crucial task, we made sure to capture all requirements set by Guinness World Records for the largest rice cake mosaic.

In a conversation with Mayor Joseph Arman Bauzon, who gave the green light for the bid to push thru, he said that he wanted to help further boost the town’s economy by promoting the puto industry as a whole.

He met with the puto producers association and laid down his plans, and the group were very elated with the Mayor’s support to boost the industry.

World's Largest Rice Cake Mosaic to be set by Calasiao
Shareable Newsteam checks the puto mosaic

Measuring more than 200 square meters, and using up approximately 300,000 puto or rice cakes spread out in a table of 70, the Municipality of Calasiao would attempt to break the existing world record of 64 sqm.

World's Largest Rice Cake Mosaic to be set by Calasiao
Puto Mosaic

The construction of the giant mosaic started three days before the main event. It was held at the Calasiao Sports Complex. 43 young men and women volunteered to help create the huge unconventional art designed by Pangasinan artist Kel Cruz. Kel is a famous pixel art mastering photo mosaics using materials such as matches, lipstick, masking tape, stamp pads, and other items found in the surrounding.

The image, depicting older generation passing the torch to younger ones and passing on the industry’s future to the next generation to nurture and grow better.

30 Puto Producers all each contributed to the weight requirement of the mosaic. Some were assigned with specific colors used in the image.

The record attempt to be held at the Municipal Plaza on the 8th of December at 5pm will be graced by the Provincial Governor Amado I. Espino III and other distinguished guests.



Food, tourism

Cagayan Food Crawl tastes Lokal-Kanan+ Pasalubong

Lokal owner Eric Lim worked in the States for 13 years, then went back home in Tuguegarao to help with his mom’s business selling blinds for windows.

Lokal Owner Eric Lim
Lokal Owner Eric Lim

“On my 3rd year, my brother opened Billy Jack’s Panciteria and then we got inspired and me and my sister Angel opened Lokal-Kanan+ Pasalubong, my sister and I designed it.

The place used to be a spa, then it was abandoned, since we were close to the airport, and Tuguegarao is a hub, so we thought of catering to the tourists. To highlight what people love to eat, we also serve food coming from other parts of the province such as Solana, Piat and other areas”, narrates Eric Lim.

So on July 15, 2015, Lokal opened its doors to the dining public. It faced challenges too, but because the siblings are in the food industry, Billy having owned a unique panciteria under his name Billy Jack’s, Lokal managed to get through the market.

Lokal Kanan+ Pasalubong facade

Its main customers are families and groups. Its a good place to meet and commune, converge and savor the flavors of Cagayan. The Norte Bloggers are fortunate to have caught up with him and we were served a delectable feast that we also promote for our readers’ holiday food packages.

Sinanta- is a native Cagayan rich noodle soup dish. It has vermicelli or rice and flat noodles in thick anatto and pork broth soup. Sinanta is best shared with family or friends while reminiscing the good times.

Lokal's sinanta, comfort food in a gloomy weather
Lokal’s sinanta, comfort food in a gloomy weather

Try the Kammo ( Boodle meals in a Bilao), no need for words, the photo says it all. The combination meal is composed of a generous serving of Java Rice, deep-fried native catfish, calamares, barbecue liempo, ensalada, salted egg, fried dumplings, carajay. The bilaos, or boodle sets will feed 4-10.

Lokal Kammo group meals
Lokal Kammo group meals

Alugbati salad. This salad is so healthy. You can tell by just looking at it. Your body will say, you need this food to cleanse your blood, rich in iron and other vitamins and the chlorophyll…. yum. It has an aftertaste though it tastes like vine (haha) , but you must try this.

Alugbati salad won the day
Alugbati salad won the day

Lokal also served appetizer, a plate of street food, called Tusok- Tusok Platter.

Tusok Platter
Tusok Platter

Lokal also offers deep-fried birut small freshwater fish, from Penablanca.

Bestsellers include Sinanta and Igado– staple in Cagayan, Pinakbet coz instead of the usual pork, Lokal uses tinapa. Ibanag pinakbet differs from Ilocos pinakbet because of squash. Sarabasab– Ilocano dish of grilled pork, then chopped into small pieces then mixed with vinegar and onions. Dinakdakan too, but they adopted the downstream version with mayonnaise.

“We’ll add more marketing and we’ll see the trend”, the Lokal owner said

Try one of each item in the menu. Birut is also a must try but usually there is no birut in December. Ludong, the most expensive fish is not legal to sell. It is also called El Presidente fish because only politicians get to taste that. Senator Juan Ponce Enrile used to give it to Presidents as gifts.

“We’re open till 8:30 am to 9:00 pm. We are a family-focused restaurant. We serve beer but we want to keep it as a family restaurant. We cater to up to 70 pax, we haven‘t started yet”, said Eric

In the future, we plan to open another restaurant with Billy Jack and Lokal+Kanan food park style. There will be more restaurants in one place.” Lim told the Norte Bloggers

It was a sumptuous brunch at Lokal. Their Silam vinegar sold in the store is an upgraded authentic Ibanag vinegar with spices. Its a good dip for anything fried.

Silam, Ibanag vinegar
Silam, Ibanag vinegar

You may contact Lokal at (078)-304-2037/ 0917.724.6636 for advance holiday party food package orders. Don’t forget to check their Instagram and Facebook page Lokal.

Have fun, everyone! Don’t forget to share 🙂

Some Norte Bloggers with Sir Eric Lim
Food, tourism, Travel

Cagayan Food Crawl revisits 8th Avenue Coffee & Tea Lab

The Norte Bloggers missed the always- smiling owner of 8th Avenue Coffee, Mam Anj who is in New York, USA with her fiancé,  Rann. The two of them are about to get married next year and we are equally excited about it, just like a family 🙂   

So we were met by Dom Angco Baccay,  for the second Cagayan Food Crawl. 8th Avenue Coffee, a cute little coffee shop in Magallanes cor.Legaspi St. joined us on our first food appreciation tour.

Our main strength is the ambiance and the quality of our coffee or coffee-based drinks. We sell more beverages over ice“, says Dom.

They served Christmas drinks non-coffee based frappucino. Because their themed christmas concoctions are fruity and fruit-based, bloggers need to try and taste them all. 🙂

Christmas taste frap– fruity, raspberry flavored frap that is light to the  palate but with just the right amount of sour and sweet raspberry flavor. Berries abound on ber- months and this is the right time to taste them

white pine
White Pine

Apple mint frap– slight taste of green apple with a twist of peppermint, topped with white chocolate chips and cotton candy  


Christmas cookie frap– tastes like your favorite cookie dough- topped with cookie and drizzle of caramel  

White passion frap– passion fruit mixed with white chocolate topped with cotton candy sprinkles  (*Norte Bloggers favorite)

Christmas-themed fraps from 8th Avenue
Christmas-themed fraps from 8th Avenue

Honeydew latte–  fruity, honeydew flavored coffee

Chocomint– Santa Claus loves chocomint, this is a powdered choice-based drink which sounds and tastes like comfort food.  its really comfort food

Chocomint coffee

Ice Salted Caramel macchiato– salted caramel macchiato, I personally  love caramel macchiato and adding rock salt into it is a big bonus 🙂

8th Avenue has a promotion from December 1 up to December 31,  you can either get a planner, tumbler or surprise gift. All you have to do is complete the sticker to avail the freebie.

8th Avenue Tea Lab 

The concept of the tea lab is similar to a chemistry lab, since the the owner is a medical technologist. Her mother  took charge of  the interior design of the Tea Lab, hence the unique and interesting design.

Choco berry milk tea a combination of milk and strawberry tea to fit the season. It is also served with black pearl or tapioca

Passion fruit tea– the all time best seller, ‘is sobrang sarap’. Passion fruit is kween, no wonder it is the undisputed favorite.

They call their beverage sizes atomic (small)  and molecular (large)


If you are a regular at 8th Avenue, I’m sure you have your own happy place. The Norte Bloggers also have our happy place here.  Check this space out 🙂

with the 8th Avenue and Tea lab crew
with the 8th Avenue and Tea lab crew

Chill at 8th Avenue coffee at Josefina’s Place corner  Magallanes and Legaspi St. Tuguegarao City. Check out their Facebook Page for more details. Also with Tea Lab.

Have fun, everyone! 🙂 Don’t forget to share.