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Visiting the Borobudur Temple Compounds

Considered a must when visiting the region of Yogyakarta is Borobudur temple. Built in the 8-9th century AD, this Buddhist temple in Magelang City is a glorious structure, made up of 3 tiers surrounded by stupas. Its base has 5 square terraces, topped by 3 circular platforms and then 1 huge stupa at the top, a total of 9 floors, covering an area of 2,500 sqm.
Going around, you will find detailed stone carvings  on the walls, a depiction of Javanese culture and Buddhist doctrine (Source: Lonely Planet), but what I found most fascinating is how it was built by hands and kept intact by interlocking stones! To a playful mind, it's like walking inside a giant lego structure.  A volcanic eruption has kept it buried under volcanic ash, until it was rediscovered in 1815. With the efforts of the government together with UNESCO, it was restored to its grandiose state.  Along with two other smaller temples, Mendut and Pawon, it's collectively known as Borobudur Temple Compounds and inscrib…
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Food Trip : Pacing's House of Barbeque (Navotas)

I rarely venture far from home because of the traffic - unless it’s for a travel or hiking trip, but JZ, an old friend, outdoorsman turned entrepreneur had started a food business in Navotas, roughly 25 KM away from my comfort zone and I wanted to show my support.

Opened in May 2016, Pacing's House of Barbeque features an heirloom recipe from JZ's late grandma, wine-marinated barbeque that she used to serve during family gatherings.
Its interiors are simple, giving it an atmosphere that's pretty chill, a place where you can bring your family and friends for good food without having to bother about what you're going to wear. It's a go to place when you want to skip cooking or if you're craving for something tasty after a tough day. 
Aside from the savory chunks of pork barbeque, it also offers a variety of sizzling dishes - pork, seafood (shrimp, fish) and tofu; other Filipino favorites, calamares, SILOG (Sinangag and Itlog) paired with meat like barbeque, tapa (ma…

SOCCSKSARGEN Region : A Morning at GenSan's Fish Port Complex

Initially, I wasn't keen on joining my friends for an early morning trip to the fish port, a popular attraction in the country's tuna capital, GenSan. Due to lack of information, I had misjudged the place to  be a big tourist trap, chaotic, wet and smelly. Admittedly, I was wrong and I'm thankful I was swayed to join them. 

General Santos Fish Port in Barangay Tambler covers 32 hectares and is the Philippines' second largest fish port, next to the one in Navotas.(See traveller reviews on Trip Advisor here.)

That morning, we were up before the sun lit up the sky. Fortunately, our hotel, Square Suites, was willing to serve breakfast earlier than usual (Book here). By 5:00 AM, we were out trying to hail a tricycle to the fish port complex (if I remember correctly, we paid around 200 Pesos for 4 people). It's about 25 KM away from the hotel and by  6:00 AM, we were at the gate. We registered and left one  ID for the entire group. Then we hitched a ride to the office to r…

Experiencing PT KA's Priority Train from Jakarta to Yogyakarta

The region of Yogyakarta is the jump-off to popular attractions, Borobudur and Prambanan temples. One of the most convenient though lengthy way to get there is by taking the train from Jakarta to Yogyakarta. The  8-hour journey maybe long but once you get to the countryside, you can enjoy an enlivening scenery of vast farmlands and mountains. 

Related Post : Visiting the Borobudur Temple Compounds

The PT Kereta Api Wisata's (KA) Priority train are private carriages attached towards the back of the train. It's open to tour groups who reserve the entire cart and is similar to the one taken by the president and his staff  when traveling to other provinces.

From Hotel Aryaduta, where we spent the night,  we headed to Gambir station, one of the major stations in Central Jakarta. Since the hotel's only 1.1 KM away, we got to the station  quite early for the 8:30 AM trip.  While waiting for the train, we stayed at the VIP lounge where there's free flowing coffee and water.
Though…

Hiking at Masungi Georeserve's Legacy Trail

I've been busy adjusting to a new job that I'm unable to hike as frequently as before (I used to hike 1-2 times a month), so I was really happy when my friend Celine invited me, to visit a new trail in Rizal. We were also joined by two other friends, Kara and Ferdz, giving us a chance to catch up! :) 

Our group was led by Ann Dumanglas, an inspiring, young lady (I feel old saying that, haha!) and one of the family members behind Masungi Georeserve. Opened in June, the Legacy Trail offers a moderately challenging approach to enjoying the mountain scenery of the Sierra Madre mountain range. Easy to  reach from Manila, it makes a convenient escape from the city. Commuting from Cubao only took 1.5 hours on an early Saturday morning. 
The hike starts at KM 46 of Marcos Highway, just a few minutes from the Masungi Georeserve gate at KM 47. From here, it's a  sweaty stair climb up! 

Though I prefer walking on natural trails as it's less stressful to the knees, having an establis…

Got 24 Hours in Angeles City? Here’s Your Itinerary for an Amazing Time

With a population of 400,000 people and rising as of 2015, Angeles City certainly qualifies as a large urban city. Compared with the huge metros of the Philippines like Quezon City and Manila, this jewel of the Central Luzon region looks downright quaint. Amid Angeles City’s diverse history and modern urbanization, you’ll find a blend of hard working, friendly citizens and rich culture. Here, enchanting history, delicious food, beautiful hotels and exciting nightlife await behind every turn.

Let’s pretend you have 24 hours to spend in Angeles City, which is plenty of time to absorb many of the local greatest hits. What exactly do you do? Let’s take a leisurely stroll and see what this city has to offer.
Historic and Cultural Sites and Outdoor Parks Museo Ning Angeles If you’re looking for a taste of local history, this small museum with its knowledgeable staff members features dioramas and exhibits showing the rich history of the area and culture of Angeleños. Nestled in the Sto. Rosario …

Mt. Mamara (Tanay, Rizal)

With numerous mountain trails offering dramatic views, the province of Rizal is a  convenient option for Manila-based hikers looking for a one day adventure. Hikers can decide on a whim and plan a hike in minutes just by doing a quick Google search, just like we did.  Joined by blogger friends, Ferdz (Ironwulf.net) and Marky (Nomadic Experiences), I returned to  Brgy. Daraitan, in the municipality of Tanay to visit a smaller peak, Mt. Mamara. Sharing the same starting point as Mt. Daraitan, the more popular peak, it was opened as an alternate hiking destination when Mt. Daraitan reaches its maximum visitors of 300/day. 
While Mt. Mamara has a shorter trail than Mt. Daraitan and considerably much easier, taking less than two hours to reach its peak, the views are just as rewarding. A free standing mountain in the middle of a beautiful landscape, it serves as an excellent vantage point for Tinipak river and the mountains around it.  It was already late in the morning when we reached the ju…