Vanj Padilla http://vanjpadilla.com Mon, 17 Jul 2017 07:46:00 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8 Cultural Heritage Tour Immersion: NCCA’s way of promoting culture and heritage to the people http://vanjpadilla.com/2017/05/24/cultural-heritage-tour-immersion-nccas-way-of-promoting-culture-and-heritage-to-the-people/ Wed, 24 May 2017 06:56:20 +0000 http://vanjpadilla.com/?p=663 The National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) partnered with the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) to enlist media practitioners in various regions to go on a cultural and heritage seminar with onsite immersion to educate the media about our our local culture and heritage. It was a great idea in the first place. Better […]

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The National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) partnered with the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) to enlist media practitioners in various regions to go on a cultural and heritage seminar with onsite immersion to educate the media about our our local culture and heritage.

It was a great idea in the first place. Better that they included bloggers and social media influencers in the tour.

Our fist stop was the farthest, Region 2- the Cagayan Valley. Form our point of origin, Pangasinan, we travelled for almost 14 hours by land to reach our destination because we went to convoy with the Cordillera group.

The mural outside the Metropolitan Cathedral in Tuguegarao

 

St Peter Metropolitan Cathedral

The Saint Peter Metropolitan Cathedral is one of the largest Cathedrals in Region 2. It is an 18th century baroque church which is the seat of Catholicism in Cagayan Valley. In 1982, the National Historical commission installed a marker about the brief history of he church.

As a non- Catholic, I focused on the design of the structure. Its walls and ceilings not to mention the bell tower beside it. I was wondering about how it was made, for how long and who are the Filipinos that helped in the construction. The ceiling was remarkable, they designed it so well.

Panic Batil Potun is the cultural gastronomic experience in Tuguegarao

Pancit  Batil Patong (Potun, to some) is an experience in itself. It is made up of fresh noodles cooked in soy sauce and spices topped with almost all imaginable meat dishes. They have  crunchy chicken skin, chicharron, crispy-fried minced pork, ground beef etc. On top of it is a poached egg. Served with the panic of Chinese origin is a small bowl of chopped white onions, calamansi and soy sauce with a thick egg soup.

After a brief tour at St. Paul University in Tuguegarao to check out their monuments and their chapel, we boarded the bus towards the Municipality of Lal-lo. Its  far-away town but it uses to be a capital because of the Nuestra Seniora de Segovia. Now it would be the sub-capitol in the province. It also has a church, ruins and the municipal officials really wanted to invite in investors, universities and business in this town which will soon have an airport of its own.

The fountain statues at the Municipality of Lal-lo

Do you know where Camalaniugan is in Cagayan? It is the house of the oldest bell in PH. It is also where the most interesting ruins are found. And these ruins are so Instagrammable, I mean photo-worthy. If you are lucky enough, you will find Manong fisherman  there at the riverbank just behind the ruins.

The church marker for Camalaniugan 

 

inside the church
The oldest bell in PH is here. Tour guides say that it also came from Sta. Barbara, Pangasinan

 

The ruins of the old Camalaniugan church destroyed by strong typhoons, earthquakes and war

At the end of the day, we were housed at Claveria, Cagayan because our next stop is the Province of Ilocos Norte, Region 1.

What were our key takeaways during the trip to Region 2? That they have a lot of old churches and  those who have the faith can always turn to the church not only as a structure, but also a a good example Filipino resilience.

My next blogposts will be about Region 1, CAR, Region 3 and NCR. Stay tuned folks:)

Do you know where is this place?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Best Places to Eat in Pangasinan: Matutinas – Gerry’s Seafoods http://vanjpadilla.com/2017/05/08/best-places-to-eat-in-pangasinan-matutina-gerrys-seafood/ http://vanjpadilla.com/2017/05/08/best-places-to-eat-in-pangasinan-matutina-gerrys-seafood/#comments Mon, 08 May 2017 14:25:18 +0000 http://vanjpadilla.com/?p=641 Matutina’s is an icon in Pangasinan dining experience. As it grows, it also evolves. We were able to taste Matutina’s – Gerry’s Seafoods thru the owner Mam Meng Pasion Austria. You will love her the first time you see her. She is like your best Tita ever or the best Ninang. Kindhearted, down-to-earth, very accommodating […]

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The bangus at the facade of the restaurant represent Dagupan’s pride, the tastiest milkfish

Matutina’s is an icon in Pangasinan dining experience. As it grows, it also evolves. We were able to taste Matutina’s – Gerry’s Seafoods thru the owner Mam Meng Pasion Austria. You will love her the first time you see her. She is like your best Tita ever or the best Ninang. Kindhearted, down-to-earth, very accommodating  and a good conversationalist.

Mam Meng Pasion Austria and husband Gerry own the restaurant

She accommodated us very well. Telling stories about how they started. It was her husband who thought of deviating from the original Matutina’s brand which belongs to their mom. Then his sisters eventually continued the Matutina’s branches in Bonuan where it began.

Sampler crab-a dab-dab in buttered garlic

Gerry, Meng’s husband and the heir to the Matutina brand put up his own, Gerry’s Seafood but still attached to the original name from the mom for goodwill.

The Austria couple strengthened their brand with seafood. Filipino dishes and seafood, Pangasinan seafood.

“Actually, Pangasinan seafood is the best, we have the best-tasting bangus, oyster, crab and other sea bounties” shares Mam Meng to the Norte Bloggers. True enough, we were served one of the best tasting seafood dishes in Pangasinan.

How can you say no to this big fat crabbie crustacean?

Can you ever say no to a King Crab? He will punish you with thick, hard crabby fat but drool. This is soo good. No, good is an understatement. This is fit for a queen. And kings and little royalties. A good amount of crab once in a while is also good for your sanity. Haha.

So go and indulge. Reward your palate.

Buttered oysters

Buttered Oysters are our second favorite. There are people from Manila that come over to Pangasinan just to eat buttered oysters from Matutina’s Gerry’s Seafood- and its not even a joke. If they are willing to do that, then their oysters must be that scrumptious.

We are Pangasinan, we live in Pangasinan where oysters are abundant, but for us to like the oysters at Gerry’s Seafood, it means ‘talagang masarap sya ha‘!

Pinakbet

Pinakbet is perhaps one of the most ordered veggie dish. It combines the abundant local vegetables cooked in fish sauce or bagoong, slices of pork and chicharon.

Hipon Crispy

You can talk all day and munch on this crispy-fried shrimp. Just dip it in the vinegar-garlic and spice sauce and you’re all good.

Pork Barbecue

No doubt, we are all barbecue lovers. I try to avoid red meat but when you see this pork barbecue in front of you with a piping hot bowl of rice, say goodbye to your diet plans. Its mouth-watering, I am honestly craving for barbecue while writing this post.  🙁

Singing na malaga

If you crave for that savory fish soup, order the Sinigang na Malaga. Malaga or samaral or siganid is a freshwater fish that has white meat and commands a premium price. It is usually served on special occasions. Their sinigang na malaga emphasizes the flavor and taste of the malaga, the savory, sour soup complements it.

Inihaw na Dagupan Bangus

You can find Inihaw na Dagupan Bangus anywhere in Dagupan but their bangus is definitely from a reliable Dagupan fishpond. So you actually taste its difference. Try also their Bangus sisig as well as the Kilawing Bangus. 

I will not forget to tell you to try their desserts which have stories of their own. Order the buko pandan, fruit salad, or the creamy leche flan.

Matutina’s – Gerry’s Seafoods can be found in De Venecia Extension, Dagupan City. Call them to reserve your table at 0977.826.0228 or 0932.853.9901. Look for Ms. Cherry, the ever-friendly manager.   Check out their Facebook page, too. They also have a branch in Urdaneta City along Mc Arthur Hi-way Nancayasan, San Fernando City, Pampanga and Tarlac. 

After the pleasant food experience, its time to take a photo of busog-faces.

Norte Bloggers pose with Mam Meng after the Food Crawl

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Best Places to Eat in Pangasinan: Caffe La Tea http://vanjpadilla.com/2017/05/07/best-places-to-eat-in-pangasinan-caffe-la-tea/ Sun, 07 May 2017 14:50:40 +0000 http://vanjpadilla.com/?p=625 Caffe La Tea is strategically located at the Star Building, Arellano St. Dagupan City. Just below the DTI office near Nepo Mall Dagupan. It mainly serves coffee, milk tea and Filipino food. Its a hip combination of a cafe+ a full service restaurant. It has a good concept offering both coffee, food and dessert. What […]

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Caffe La Tea is strategically located at the Star Building, Arellano St. Dagupan City. Just below the DTI office near Nepo Mall Dagupan. It mainly serves coffee, milk tea and Filipino food. Its a hip combination of a cafe+ a full service restaurant. It has a good concept offering both coffee, food and dessert.

What caught our attention is the creativity put into their dishes. This Crispy Binagoongan with Rice is surprisingly good. It has the right balance of salt, pepper and chunky crispy meat on top of a binagoongan rice.

Its unique, isn’t it? You and me might not guess at first glance that indeed it is crispy binagoongan. This best for breakfast, lunch and dinner dish is so versatile you can order it anytime of the day.

Crispy Binagoongan with Rice

I love the cozy interior of the cafe. Its relaxing and just the chill vibe that we all want while dining alone, with friends or family.

Cozy interior
Affogato is a dessert made of  ice cream or gelato, milk and cream in one glass

Affogato is a coffee-based dessert. It usually takes the form of a scoop of vanilla gelato or ice cream topped or “drowned” with a shot of hot espresso. But in this case, its milk. And you will surely appreciate its combined flavors.

Caffe La Tea’s drink spread

You must order Perfect Matcha, CLT Houseblend Ice Tea, Green Apple Ice Tea and Lemongrass tea. These drinks will not only quench your thirst but make your taste buds ecstatic. All their drinks are the best, but my personal favorite is the Lemongrass tea coz I like it hot.

The food spread

We were intrigued with the CHIZ BUCO, a fried roll composed of cheese, young coconut or buko and other delectable filling. Chiz Buco is one of Caffe La tea’s signature bestsellers. The dip is so good, it really enhances the already flavorful ‘chiz buco’.

Look at the ambiance, it feels like your family living room area.

Our overall verdict for the experience is ” YOU MUST TRY THIS” and “ITS REALLY, REALLY GOOD.” 

Look at how the crew carefully and meticulously prepare every drink

The pasta is to die for. We have finished eating the pasta in less than a minute 🙂

Chicken pesto ( gone in almost 60 seconds)

 

Clubhouse sandwich, a comfort food

I wonder how devil this Devil Tofu is but it actually tastes so good. It became my instant favorite. Tofu is healthy and the gravy or sauce that CLT mixed in this dish is simply appetizing!

Devil tofu

What we love about Caffe La tea is its wide selection of menu as it offers a fusion of ‘east meets west’ cuisine and the Filipino comfort foods have taken an innovative transformation and presentation.

How about you? What is your favorite Caffe La Tea experience?

Call them for inquiries and reservations (075) 540.2237 and like them on Facebook

 

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Best Places to Eat in Pangasinan: Lucky Ba ngoAi’s Kitchen #9 http://vanjpadilla.com/2017/05/07/best-places-to-eat-in-pangasinan-lucky-ba-ngoais-kitchen-9/ Sun, 07 May 2017 08:55:37 +0000 http://vanjpadilla.com/?p=592 Its very hard to pronounce its name so we call it the only Vietnamese restaurant in Dagupan. Its Lucky Ba ngoAi’s Kitchen #9. You can finish their bestseller Pho faster than trying to say the restaurant’s name. Well, three visits later and two food crawls after, I still find it challenging. Haha We were served […]

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Its very hard to pronounce its name so we call it the only Vietnamese restaurant in Dagupan. Its Lucky Ba ngoAi’s Kitchen #9. You can finish their bestseller Pho faster than trying to say the restaurant’s name. Well, three visits later and two food crawls after, I still find it challenging. Haha

very Vietnamese? Bloggers love the greens 🙂

We were served unlimited greens. And we loved it. Fresh rolls, light and yummy, its the kind of creatures you’ll gladly stuff in your tummy and it won’t complain.

 

The bestseller is Pho-bo-ga-tom

Pho-bo-ga-tom is a Vietnamese Beef or Chicken or Shrimp Noodle Soup and they serve it with fresh bean sprouts, lime and basil leaves. The aroma of the fresh herbs blends perfectly well in the hot soup. For only P178 pesos, you can have this Pho all to yourself. If you are like me whose tummy is as big as my fist, you can share it with a friend.

Come to Lucky Ba ngoAi’s Kitchen hungry and you will leave happy ever after.

Norte Bloggers in action

Norte Bloggers can’t get enough of these goodies. Everyone likes the spread. And the rolls are super healthy. Fresh veggies are wrapped to goodness!

caught in the act

Goi Cuon sold at P50 per piece is a Vietnamese spring roll with pork, prawn, vegetables, bun (rice vermicelli) and other ingredients wrapped in Vietnamese rice paper. And take note, bloggers were actually caught doing their thing with the rolls. Haha.

Vietnamese Young coconut as dessert

My favorite food was of course the dessert! The young coconut dessert sold for only P120 is a great buy. I can finish two if really hungry. Its different, a jelly with the goodness of coconut in a not too sweet dish.

And the Ca-phe-nong (Vietnamese coffee), hmm, it sounds like the owner’s name, isn’t it? But don’t come to Lucky Ba ngoAi’s without ordering this coffee. Its heavenly good, trust me.

Ca-phe-nong Vietnames coffee

 

Cha gio (minced pork rolls)

These Cha gio Php128 minced pork rolls are one of the appetizers that is offered and its a must-try because the dip is uniquely different from our Filipino dips and sauces.

We went in hungry but we went out happily full. Its because we ate happy food and it could also happen to you. After the eating, its time to take a photo.

The staff/s  at Lucky Ba ngoAi’s are warm and friendly. When we came over, they gamely joined us in a photo.

Pangasinan Food Crawl featuring Norte Bloggers happy faces, happy tummies

The Vietnamese Restaurant is located at Malta St. Tapuac District Dagupan City. You may call them at 09260373312 and like them on Facebook .

 

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Best places to eat in Pangasinan: New Leaf Japanese Restaurant Dagupan http://vanjpadilla.com/2017/05/07/best-places-to-eat-in-pangasinan-new-leaf-japanese-restaurant-dagupan/ Sun, 07 May 2017 06:01:26 +0000 http://vanjpadilla.com/?p=607 After having a successful food appreciation tour in Pangasinan, Pangasinan Bloggers together with Norte Bloggers and some bloggers and influencers all over Luzon and Visayas we were able to recommend some of the best restaurants in town. New Leaf participated in the 2nd #PangasinanFoodCrawl. New Leaf Japanese restaurant is cozily located along Perez Blvd. Dagupan […]

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After having a successful food appreciation tour in Pangasinan, Pangasinan Bloggers together with Norte Bloggers and some bloggers and influencers all over Luzon and Visayas we were able to recommend some of the best restaurants in town.

New Leaf participated in the 2nd #PangasinanFoodCrawl.

Cute and unique chandeliers

New Leaf Japanese restaurant is cozily located along Perez Blvd. Dagupan City. Its interiors has that cherry blossomy- Japan feels. Owned and managed by spouses Julio and Leslie Dela Cruz, the brave couple who bring foreign restaurant concepts in Dagupan, New Leaf is a must-go to destination.

The spread that New Leaf prepared for us is an eye feast in itself.

Japanese spread from New Leaf

My personal favorites are the Cali Maki rolls and the Kani Salad. Its authentically Japanese and from the look itself its a pair of deliciously clean, nourishing food. Fans of Japanese food will love New Leaf and its menu. They serve the freshest ingredients and present them in visual artistry. Your eyes and body will thank you for it.

Food should not be made complicated. I like my food simple and nourishing. And I found that in New Leaf. And its worth sharing with you, too. People who would prefer their food ba-chic ( a combination of basic and chic) need not look far because New Leaf satisfies it, beautifully.

Kani Mango salad

The Kani salad is refreshingly tasty, its  carefully plated veggies are a feast to look at. Its crisp and crunchy with a perfect balance of dressing and the right amount of sweet and sour the mango has to offer.

I recommend you order both as well as the BAKED SALMON. Its really, good.

Baked Salmon

Yakitori Chicken with Onion Leeks which is soft and tender perfectly cooked, two sticks is not enough.

Yakitori Chicken with Onion Leeks

 

Ebi Tempura

At New Leaf, ask for  tea. Just like the Japanese do. Don’t just take my photos for it. Check them out. you can thank me later.

Mandatory pose with the chef

I personally asked the chef for a photo and a moment to thank him for an excellent job on the food and the presentation. Its undeniably impressive and I want to personally express my appreciation for what he is doing. And the management too. Good job Team New Leaf.

For orders and reservations, New Leaf has a Facebook page, and they can be reached at (075) 5225323

Have you tried to dine at New Leaf? Did you like it? Share your stories to me on the comment or tweet me @vanjpadilla.

Or if you enjoyed New Leaf, leave a review on their Facebook page and on Google Maps.

 

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DuterteNomics to be unveiled http://vanjpadilla.com/2017/04/17/dutertenomics-to-be-unveiled/ Mon, 17 Apr 2017 04:23:56 +0000 http://vanjpadilla.com/?p=595 The Department of Finance (DOF) and the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO), in cooperation with the Center for Strategy, Enterprise & Intelligence (CenSEI), will unveil DuterteNomics in a forum on April 18, Tuesday at The Conrad Hotel, Pasay City. DuterteNomics is the President’s economic and development blueprint for the Philippines. It includes the current administration’s […]

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The Department of Finance (DOF) and the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO), in cooperation with the Center for Strategy, Enterprise & Intelligence (CenSEI), will unveil DuterteNomics in a forum on April 18, Tuesday at The Conrad Hotel, Pasay City.

DuterteNomics is the President’s economic and development blueprint for the Philippines. It includes the current administration’s main governance and fiscal policies, comprehensive big-ticket infrastructure programs and upgraded social services targeted to accelerate growth, and by 2022, transform the Philippines into a high middle-income economy.

Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea will open the forum while Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez, a member of the President’s economic team, will deliver the keynote address.

The forum is divided into six sessions – Session 1: Economic Overview and Philippine Development Plan (PDP) Highlights; Session 2: BuildBuildBuild Infrastructure Plan; Session 3: Fiscal Issues on Revenue and Spending; Session 4: Mindanao Economy/ Major Development Initiatives in Mindanao; Session 5: International Context and Environment for the Philippine Government; and Session 6: Reactions to DuterteNomics.

The six sessions will be presented by notable panel of speakers from the President’s Cabinet. Secretary Ernesto Pernia, Director-General of the National and Economic Development Authority (NEDA), will report on the focal points of the Philippine Development Plan 2017 – 2022 which embodies the Filipino people’s dreams and goals as also envisioned in the AmBisyon Natin 2040.

Secretary Martin Andanar of the PCOO, Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella, Secretary Mark Villar of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Secretary Arthur Tugade of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and President and CEO Vince Dizon of the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) will talk about the Comprehensive Infrastructure Investment Program bringing about ease of access to electricity and water, increase in productivity, inter – island connectivity and overall improvement in the people’s standard of living.

Secretary Benjamin Diokno of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) will provide a summary of the necessary fiscal and budgetary reforms for financing the infrastructure and social spending programs.

Representing the business community is Mr. John Gaisano, Chairperson of the Board of the Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industries, Inc. who will discuss the major development initiatives for Mindanao. Professor Richard Heydarian from the academe will tackle the international context and environment for the Philippine government.

Former Secretary Cielito Habito will serve as a reactor of Dutertenomics.

Former Chairperson of the Philippine Civil Service Commission (CSC) Ricardo Saludo will host the forum while Associate Professor Gary Olivar of the Asian Institute of Management (AIM) will serve as the moderator of the forum.

The event’s official hashtag will be #DuterteNomics. Registration will start at 12:30PM.

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Book Review: Break Free by Don Soriano http://vanjpadilla.com/2017/04/16/book-review-break-free-by-don-soriano/ Sun, 16 Apr 2017 11:19:34 +0000 http://vanjpadilla.com/?p=587 Don Soriano is a Filipino book author who wants to share his experiences from a bankrupt entrepreneur with half million debt to financial freedom and success in less than three years. He shares his story about how he messed up big time and how he rebounded back by using the principles he shared in his […]

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Don Soriano is a Filipino book author who wants to share his experiences from a bankrupt entrepreneur with half million debt to financial freedom and success in less than three years. He shares his story about how he messed up big time and how he rebounded back by using the principles he shared in his book.

Break Free by Don Soriano

In his book Break Free, 8 Principles to get from employee to employer in 3 years or less he wants to make a first world out of the Philippines which is not actually impossible.

Break  Free the book is an easy read. You can finish it in an hour. It tells people who have bright ideas and planning on going into business not to quit their jobs unless the passive income is higher than the salary. I heard that from successful business mentors, too.

The eight principles embodied in the book tells us about not giving up the job just yet, what is the best investment that you’ll ever make, teaches us how to manage money and how to make it work for us and also the power of leverage and how others use it to their advantage.

If you are going into business, what are the first steps. And have you heard of the Law of Association and how it can benefit you. You will also understand financial freedom and ways to achieve it. Then finally Don Soriano shares that success is only 20% skill and the rest is mindset. And thru mindset, you can teach yourself mastery. Mastery that will lead to success, like habits and self- motivation.

My favorite part of the book is his claim that even regular people like us can do it. You do not need to have special powers to be successful. You just need to start. And then comes the money jars. I used to have money jars too. and it keeps me motivated. Until shit happened and I lost them to fire.

I also enjoyed the quotations in each page from prominent authors, successful people that inspires your to act upon your dreams.

Nonetheless, its never too late to start. And this book is a friendly guide to help you out become financially free or achieve your dreams.

We all have dreams. We all need mentors. And Don Soriano in his book churned out digestible bits of wisdom to help everyone who wants to make a dent in the universe.

Vanj Padilla Break Free Book
Get your copy

Get your copy by visiting the author’s Facebook page and order here. 

 

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Air Asia is back in Clark  http://vanjpadilla.com/2017/02/26/air-asia-is-back-in-clark/ Sun, 26 Feb 2017 13:22:42 +0000 http://vanjpadilla.com/?p=418 Air Asia Philippines is set to resume its flights at the Clark International Airport, a move to seen as a welcome development by authorities of the state-run Clark International Airport Corp., the operating arm of the international gateway north of Manila.  Air Asia will launch thrice weekly Clark-Kalibo flights starting March 27 and four times […]

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Air Asia Philippines is set to resume its flights at the Clark International Airport, a move to seen as a welcome development by authorities of the state-run Clark International Airport Corp., the operating arm of the international gateway north of Manila. 

Air Asia will launch thrice weekly Clark-Kalibo flights starting March 27 and four times weekly flights to and from Davao by April 22, two routes that are expected to further boost CRKs passenger traffic.

“CIAC’s efforts to attract more airlines have been rewarded and we are glad that Air Asia has finally agreed to resume flights this year,” Alexander Cauguiran, CIAC’s President and CEO, said during the second leg of the CRK Roadshow in Dagupan City on Friday.

Clark Intl Airport President Alexander Cauguiran discussing the plans of CIAC

Cauguiran added that Air Asia’s business decision is a positive effect of President Rodrigo Duterte’s thrusts to further develop and encourage additional flights at the airport of the north

“(Department of Transportation) Secretary Art Tugade’s marching order is for us to entice airlines to ensure first-rate operations of Clark airport,” Cauguiran added.

Air Asia, awarded the World’s Best Low Cost Carrier for eight consecutive years, has earlier committed to connect domestic cities to the North and Central Luzon regions and to choice tourist destinations in the country.

The resumption of Air Asia’s flights at CRK is seen to strengthen domestic hub. It also marks the airline’s return after it suspended operations in 2013 and transferred operations at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

“The target market (of passengers) from central and Northern Luzon is ripe and we expect that passenger volume will grow in years to come as we continue to promote CRK as the next choice gateway of the country,” Cauguiran said.

Philippine Airlines had already made its strong presence at CRK with domestic flights to Caticlan, Cebu, Davao, and international flights via Incheon in South Korea. The flag-carrier is also set to launch its Palawan route via Puerto Princesa and Busuanga domestic flights by March 26.

Clark International Airport hosts other airlines such as Emirates Airlines via Dubai, Qatar Airways via Doha, Asiana Airlines via Incheon, Jin Air via Incheon and Busan, Cebu Pacific Air via Hong kong, and Tiger Air via Singapore.

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Sunflower Maze in Tayug is an agritourism destination http://vanjpadilla.com/2017/02/16/sunflower-maze-in-tayug-draws-huge-crowd/ http://vanjpadilla.com/2017/02/16/sunflower-maze-in-tayug-draws-huge-crowd/#comments Thu, 16 Feb 2017 14:38:45 +0000 http://vanjpadilla.com/?p=406 Allied Botanical Corporation has put up  an amazing Sunflower Maze believed to be the first in the country.  The maze, since the announcement has drawn a huge crowd from nearby towns and provinces to farm enthusiasts in various parts of the country.  This was the first time they focused on agritourism as the Agritourism development […]

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Allied Botanical Corporation has put up  an amazing Sunflower Maze believed to be the first in the country. 

The maze, since the announcement has drawn a huge crowd from nearby towns and provinces to farm enthusiasts in various parts of the country. 

This was the first time they focused on agritourism as the Agritourism development Law has been passed. They used to showcase their produce from the seeds they develop and offer to the market. 

Allied Botanicals are market leaders for Pinakbet seeds in Luzon. They sell seeds of edible herbs, Baguio vegetables, corn, onions, squash, peppers of all shapes and sizes. If you can name all the veggies in the ‘Bahay Kubo‘ song, they have it. 😄😄 

The Sunflower maze has mini-themed gardens inside it. So visitors can go through the maze and be welcomed by the floral beds in various themes. 

Aside from the flowers,  you will enjoy picking fresh produce in the farm. You can also buy seeds and agricultural products and farm inputs from the booths inside the demo farm. 

Be inspired to plant your own herb garden in thier own version of an edible garden. 

There is a pick and pay session that visitors will surely enjoy. Just be ready to shell out P100 entrance fee when you come over. 

Our farm day experience was worth the trip. We not only learned to appreciate the beautiful view, but most importantly we learned that agritourism is highly profitable if more farms such as Allied Botanicals will follow the lead. 

The sunflower maze is located in Lichauco Tayug Pangasinan. 

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Dasol Dazzles Bloggers http://vanjpadilla.com/2017/02/15/dasol-dazzles-bloggers/ Wed, 15 Feb 2017 14:25:57 +0000 http://vanjpadilla.com/?p=375     It was a quick and unplanned trip to the Land of the Solar Salt — the dazzling town of Dasol. Pangasinan Bloggers are to meet the Pampanga Bloggers in Tambobong Beach Rains Resort on the first weekend of February. We took a bus to Dasol, afraid that our little car might not be able […]

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Dasol’s Colibra Island

It was a quick and unplanned trip to the Land of the Solar Salt — the dazzling town of Dasol. Pangasinan Bloggers are to meet the Pampanga Bloggers in Tambobong Beach Rains Resort on the first weekend of February. We took a bus to Dasol, afraid that our little car might not be able to endure the rocky ascent of the road to Tambobong.

When we got there, we were welcomed by the sumptuous breakfast served to us by Kuya Greg and family who owns the Rains Resort. It was a feast and we were not able to resist. Resorts and home stays in Tambobong can cook meal for guests, using fresh harvest from the sea. Guests can just request the keepers, and they will be glad to do it for you for a minimal fee.

Breakfast at Rains Resort

After breakfast, we had our gears on to island- hopping. Boat ride costs P1,500 and each boat can accommodate 6 people.  There are three islands to visit.One is the Slipper Island, Colibra Island and the Crocodile Island. The first island is where the Sinmimbaan Cave is, it is like a cathedral cave. If the waves are not that strong, one can get off the boat and explore or take photos. I enjoyed the Colibra Island though. Docking to Colibra Island or the island where the sea snakes are will require you to shell out P100. Add another P25 per head as entrance fee and if you need to settle down and use their benches, pay another P100 bucks. I told their municipal tourism officer that they should standardise the pricing and fees as well as collect once so as not to surprise tourists with the fees and charges.

You can stay overnight or the whole day at the Colibra Island. It is one of the most interesting islands that I’ve been to.

Colibra island

According to a young tour guide by the name of Jeremy, one of the most unique spots in the island is the swimming pool where mermaids stay during full moon. I checked it myself and it was indeed interesting.

No wonder this island is the most visited island in Dasol. Aside from the sea snakes that thrive in the island, it has remarkable spots from old coral reefs and limestones hundreds of years back.  We were lucky to find a fisherman selling his catch, a fish I am not familiar with. It looks like a swordfish but its not.

fresh catch from the sea

Amid the bushes in the island, I found my happy corner in this side. Sitting down in the branch of a tree, a horny bush in the background and stones all over the place– this is where this blogger found solace. I felt I belong to the island.

my happy corner

 

the view from the bushes

We were not able to land at the Crocodile Island because the waves are furious. Believe it or not, while we are at the boat I was able to sing Josh Groban’s You Raise me Up three times because I was so scared of the bumpy boat ride. But that’s what made the trip more exciting.

Upon returning to the main island Tambobong, it was lunch time. Then a short nap to recharge the body then off again to the unexplored cave nearby. Did you know that Dasol has about 300 unexplored caves? I will make another blogpost when we visit some of them. And Dasol is one of the best dive sites in Pangasinan with its fish sanctuaries?

This sunken ship is now fully submerged and only professional divers can go down to see it

I was once told that a major submarine by the United States docked in Dasol was bombed by the Japanese during the World War II and so it remains submerged deep into the waters of Dasol.

The nameless underwater cave

So this short, quick and sweet trip to Tambobong white Beach Dasol made possible by Rains Resort in collaboration with Pampanga Bloggers and Pangasinan Bloggers was such a hit. Don’t go there without a definite place to stay. Contact Rains Resort Beach Front, Madam Salazar compound Osmeña,Tambobong Beach with mobile number 0927.764.6545 and look for Kuya Greg for all the arrangements.

How to go to Dasol? 

From Manila, allot at least 5 hours travel. Hop on a Victory Liner bus to Alaminos City or Bolinao and get off a Alaminos City. Ride another bus going to Sta. Cruz and board off at Bobonot, a few meters before the town proper of Dasol. Ride a trike for P250 to Tambobong. If you are lucky, you can haggle for a lower price.

If you have a car, take the Luisita exit along SCTEX. Take the Camiling route leading to Alaminos City. From Alaminos, drive towards the route going to Zambales. You will pass by the towns of Mabini and Burgos before reaching Dasol.

Pangasinan and Pampanga Bloggers at the beachfront

More of Dasol escapades when we return for a bigger project and a longer stay. Stay tuned for more discoveries and photos and/ or videos of the Dazzling Town of Dasol. Will do a separate post for their solar salt industry and the mysteries of their unexplored caves.

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