Revisiting Sonya’s Garden – Tagaytay

We were saving tummy space for the bulalo in Mahogany Market so we just had a quick stop at Sonya’s Garden for some bread after our Caleruega pilgrimage.

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Because despite the healthy options in Sonya’s buffet, the spread is quite filling. I admit I salivated a little when I saw the salmon belly and shitake mushrooms! :D

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Before we went to the panaderia, we visited the souvenir shop first. I wanted to see Humpty Dumpty again.

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Didn’t see Humpty. This Harlequin doll was sitting where he used to be. Anyway, pareho naman silang creepy! ^_^

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Still wanted to grab some dainty teacups and coffee cups for my collection, but I still don’t know where to put them, so next time na lang. There are also many plates that I want to take home!

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Here’s Miko singing his own version of I’m a Little Teapot. Sabi niya, I’m a little teapot sitting on a tree. K-i-s-s-i-n-g! When the water’s boiling, hear me roar!!!” Ang labo lang ng boyfriend ko. :p

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We also checked out the cottage where they sell toiletries.

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Didn’t get to see any hair product that I liked though.

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But I saw this cute pig. Walang konek. Hehehe.

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On to our agenda! Panaderia!!!

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Love going here because the whole room smells delicious. The smell of freshly baked bread is always a happy treat!

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Aside from bread, they also have freshly-picked lettuce,

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noodles, ginger tea, dried fruits, pickled vegetables,

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even bottled bacalao!

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Also suman sa lihiya and cassava-ube.

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We got chocolate bread, bacon bread, and my favorite adobo bread. It’s 150-200php for a pack of 6. Noticed that their Spanish bread is spelled liked this. Uhmmmm… :)

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Didn’t leave Sonya’s without getting our picture taken here. Thanks to the kind stranger who took our photo. :D

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You can read my post about Sonya’s Garden from almost 2 years ago here.

Caleruega Church – Nasugbu, Batangas

Visita Iglesia 2015 is coming up, so I want to share with you the pilgrimage we made to Caleruega after our stay at Balinsasayaw Bed and Brunch in Tagaytay.

Take note, pilgrimage po. Hindi po church-hunting for the wedding. :p

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Caleruega is already part of Nasugbu, Batangas, though it’s only few minutes away from Alfonso, Tagaytay. Coming from this side, it is way past Chapel On The Hill. You will have to pass a bumpy road to get to Caleruega. Maganda naman ang view, so okay lang. Please refer to the map below. :)

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There are stalls selling fruits, vegetables, coolers, and local snacks outside the chapel. There are a lot of kids who will be super kulit in asking you to buy the bags of camote or bananas that they’re selling para daw pang-school nila. Magpa-uto ka na. Minsan lang naman eh. :)

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We opted to eat some dirty ice cream before we started the tour. Buti na lang we ate first because I didn’t expect the church grounds to be so huge! Don’t forget- there is an entrance fee of 30php.

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Caleruega was named after the birthplace of St. Dominic de Guzman, the father of the Order of The Preachers. Wishing to honor and remember the legacy of their founder, the Filipino Dominicans established Caleruega with the hopes that it will, like the town of Caleruega in Spain, be a birthplace- a genesis for the people speaking to and for the Divine Creator.

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The first that you will see is the Fountain Compass, then the Cenaculum or refectory. This is also where you can get Caleruega mementos.

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Caleruega’s vision and mission is to be a mode amidst the beauty of nature where pilgrims are open to prayer, to creative transformation, and to Gospel values.

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I love their sculpted stations of the cross that can be found at their Manaoag Drive Via Crusis.

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There are relaxing and refreshing spots inside Caleruega, and guess which one caught our attention……….

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The Garden CafΓ© of course! Hehehehe! There aren’t many choices though. May hotdog sandwiches ako nakita and mga chichiria.

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You can eat at the cafΓ© or bring you can bring it to one of the tents.

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Or bring it to the Japanese Garden while watching the kois swim.

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There’s a hanging bridge that you can cross to get to Kampo Arriba or the Worm Farm.

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I am afraid of heights but because even the kids were having fun crossing the bridge, nakigaya na rin ako. sa lagay ba na Γ½on eh sila lang ang kayang umalog ng bridge? :p

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Si Miko chill na chill lang o.

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We saw a small sari-sari store and bought bottled water (20php/500ml) and sat on the grass to take a break from all the walking. Tsaka ang init nung pumunta kami. Tanghaling tapat ba naman.

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May families na nagpi-picnic under the trees. May mga barkada na naghahabulan.

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And shempre, may Foodie and Takaw na nag-selfie. Nyehehe!

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We walked for a couple of minutes more to get to the main reason of our visit– the Transfiguration Chapel. Ang ganda ganda! Corny na, but seeing it brought tears to my eyes. Thank You Lord at narating ko na rin! It’s one of the most beautiful places of worship I’ve ever seen.

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Didn’t expect the chapel to be that small though. It’s gorgeous nonetheless. The altar is magnificent. Ganda nung stained class.

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The chapel is surrounded with vibrant flowers and lots of trees. Truly picturesque. No wonder a lot of couples choose to get married there.

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They also have halls that can be used for receptions. Their Veritas hall can accommodate 200 people, while the Gazebuko can accommodate 70. Not sure how many for Plaza de Aza (open-air roofdeck), but they say it is made for huge gatherings.

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We had some fresh buco juice (20php per cup) before we left. What a cool way to cap off a lovely visit to Caleruega that warm sunny Sunday afternoon.

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I cannot wait to go back. :)

Here’s the map for all those planning to visit:

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Caleruega
Batulao, Nasugbu, Batangas
caleruega_Philippines@yahoo.com
09212709890, 09218304226
Office Hours 8am – 5pm daily

// listening to Pentatonix – Rather Be

Balinsasayaw Bed and Brunch – Tagaytay

Almost all of the good hotels were booked on the weekend we went to Tagaytay. The available ones were toooooo pricey. Yung tipong, kesa ipambayad ng hotel, ipangbili na lang naming ng plane tickets. :p

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We tried to look for accomodations that google didn’t show on the search results. We went to the side that’s on the way to Nasugbu, because we also had plans to go to Caleruega. We chanced upon the newly opened Balinsasayaw Bed and Brunch.

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Ain’t it pretty? I love the glass walls!

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One of the staff, Georgia, showed us the available rooms. The first room she showed us (I didn’t take photos) was located on the ground floor. It’s pretty spacious and nicely decorated, but no view of the Taal Lake. the room is priced at 3,500php.

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The room that we liked and got (4,400php) is located at the 2nd floor with an awesome view of the lake.

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Hello there, Taal!

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Bagay pa ‘yung outfit ko sa furniture.

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O di’ba? Terno kami! Hahaha!

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The bathroom’s not so big. They use Watson products.

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There’s no tub, but there’s a hot and cold shower.

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This is the living room.

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Here’s the kitchen.

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The pool.

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Ang gandaaaa! Parang nakakalula lang mag-swimming dito! And with the super chilly weather two Saturdays ago, even if we brought swimwear, I don’t think we would have braved the waters. :p

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After paying, we left our home for the weekend and went to Bag of Beans for snacks, then to Spa On The Go to get some massage. Sports for him, Swedish for me. Mer-Ben Tapsilogan for their extra special bulalo. But of course, we didn’t leave Balinsasayaw Bed and Brunch without getting a photo with the famed volcano in our background. :)

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We got back around midnight and we had problems opening the door. Nag-loose thread daw. The caretaker was able to fix it naman in a matter of minutes. :) We woke up early the following day, excited for our brunch!

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They serve breakfast as early as 8am. There was no telephone in the room and I think I got the wrong number of the staff, so I went down to the reception area at their pavilion to order.

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Their dining area at the pavilion looks terrific, but I wanted to eat at the humongous table at the dining area on our floor.

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The brunch comes free with the cost of the room. If you want extra, just pay around 200php per breakfast plate. That comes with coffee or hot chocolate.

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I haven’t been in Balinsasayaw Restaurant yet. It’s been around for quite a few years. I heard the food there is great, so I expected our brekky to be great as well. :D Well, the hot chocolate or batirol was thick and fantastic.

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The kapeng barako was quite strong. Stronger than the one I had in Bag of Beans.

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Miko had the Hungarian sausage plate with scrambled eggs. Sarap nung sausage! Spicy!

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I had the bacon plate. Sarap rin nung bacon! Thick slices and well-salted.

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Shempre bitin sa bacon, so we got more bacon with pancakes. The pancakes tasted good, but they’re not fluffy.

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There’s something about putting lemon slices in cold water that I really, really like. :)

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After breakfast, we lounged around the house and took more photos. Here’s Miko na umaala kate Winslet sa Titanic. Hehe.

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And here’s me with my favorite art piece in the house as my background.

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We were set to leave at 12noon.

Oh wait! Did you know that a balinsasayaw is a bird? It’s edible-nest swiftlet in English! You know, yung gumagawa ng nest na ginagawa sa Nido soup! :D

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And did you know that Balinsasayaw is owned by the Binays daw? I wonder how true that is.

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Anyway… Before we left, we went down to the garden to check the view of Taal from that area. Hopefully, in a couple of months, they will have more flowers by the time we come back.

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Hope to see you again, Balinsasayaw Bed and Brunch!

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Balinsasayaw Bed and Brunch
Aguinaldo Highway, Alfonso, Tagaytay City
0999-4965683

FOLLOW US ON INSTAGRAM!

// listening to Scandal – S04E15

Mer-Ben Tapsilogan – Tagaytay

What’s a trip to Tagaytay without the power combo of bulalo and tawilis? We’ve already tried the bulalo in the more popular restos, so we thought of going to Mer-Ben. You can choose to be seated in the restaurant or in one of the huts.

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We had a medium bowl of Bulalo Special (390php), a plate of Crispy Fried Tawilis (180php), 3 cups of garlic rice, a can of Coke, and a mango shake. Total bill was around 700php.

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We loved the bulalo. Sabaw pa lang, masarap na. malinamnam! The meat was tender, but hindi mautak ang bulalo nila. The tawilis was so-so. The garlic rice was super good. Parang may Star margarine! :p Miko loved the shake, ka-lasa daw nung sa Fruitas.

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Please excuse the lighting of my photos. I only realized that I messed up the settings when we left the bulaluhan/tapsilogan.

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They also have a pasalubong station at the ground floor, in case you wanna get goodies like suman, pastillas, or mangosteen tea.

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You can also buy dried tawilis that the manongs and manangs sell in the parking lot.

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Mer-Ben Tapsilogan sa Tagaytay
Aguinaldo Highway, Tagaytay City
046 4830768

FOLLOW US ON INSTAGRAM!

// listening to House of Cards – S03E07

Revisiting Bag of Beans – Tagaytay

Bulalo was the primary priority of our Tagaytay Trip, but we were already hungry. So we decided to have something light for our merienda.

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Rootbeer float for the gentleman. (130php)

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Kapeng barako for the lady. (95php) :p I actually am not fond of this strong brew, but I was missing my coffeeholic besty Jap so bad that I got this so I can tag her on Facebook to make her inggit. It worked. >:P

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Miko got his favorite Shepherd’s Pie (130php)

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and pinaliguan niya ng hot sauce. Ayun, naubos niya tuloy agad yung rootbeer float niya. Mwehehe!

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I had the Chicken and Mushroom Pie. (130php)

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Loved it’s chunky filling and creamy sauce.

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I talked to their myna bird before we left Bag of Beans. I said Hi and it said Hello. Then I said Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious and it didn’t reply. Bakit kaya? :p Siguro naisip niya, loko itong babaeng ito, tukain ko kaya sa mukha? :p

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Haven’t tried their breakfast or brunch buffet yet. Well, that’s something to put on the list of activities in our next Tagaytay Takaw Trip. ;)

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Bag of Beans
115 Aguinaldo Highway, Mendez Crossing West,
Tagaytay City
(046) 413-4356, (046) 483-0475
0922-8818265, 0920-9546370

FOLLOW US ON INSTAGRAM!

// listening to Incubus – Dig