MRJJGUERRERO

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This belfry is the lasting reminder of that violent eruption of long ago. today, this place, called Cagsawa Ruins, is a major tourist destination in the province.


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Mayon: Falling in Love with Beauty and the Beast

A permanent background of the province of Albay, Mayon volcano is unique because of its almost perfect cone feature. Many recognize it as the 8th wonder of the natural world, giving the province added identity and prestige. Surrounding it is the Mayon Volcano Natural Park, a protected area of the Philippine government. The name Mayon is derived from Magayon, meaning beautiful, of the local legend that tells the story of how the landform came to be. True enough, Mayon volcano is an ever beautiful sight, inspiring artists and poets to elevate their crafts and captivating tourists from all over the globe.

As an active volcano, however, Mayon, once in a while, would erupt to varying degrees of strength. As a kid, I have witnessed some of the catastrophic events brought about by the eruption. I was in first year high school (2001) when I had the rare moment of seeing the sky turn to grey and ash falling over the entire city. The night of the same day, it was no longer ash but rocks as big as ping pong balls that hurled down. And yes, they were slightly warm.

Years following that, Mayon erupted several times but had not caused major tragedies. I still can remember tourists coming in to witness the lava flow from the volcano’s mouth. It was, in a way, boosting tourism.

When visiting the province of Albay, stop by Cagsawa Ruins, a lasting reminder that beauty could be beastly as well. In a major eruption long ago, only the belfry of the church remains today while the rest is buried by the lahar flow. While there, you can have a 45-minute to a little more than an hour ATV experience that takes you to the rugged terrain of Mayon’s slopes.

This belfry is the lasting reminder of that violent eruption of long ago. today, this place, called Cagsawa Ruins, is a major tourist destination in the province.

This belfry is the lasting reminder of that violent eruption of long ago. today, this place, called Cagsawa Ruins, is a major tourist destination in the province.

The ATV experience will let you see the rugged terrains of the vicinity of Cagsawa ruins. Always a great opportunity to have lots of photos with Mayon volcano as background!

The ATV experience will let you see the rugged terrains of the vicinity of Cagsawa ruins. Always a great opportunity to have lots of photos with Mayon volcano as background!

Afterwhich, drive up to the Parish Church of Daraga and gaze upon the entire view of the volcano. Just hope, though, that no clouds obstruct the view.

Too bad this shot does not show the majestic volcano. But the Church is a lovely sight as well. An old church built on top of the hill, the Parish is witness to communal events such as weddings, baptisms, and others.

Too bad this shot does not show the majestic volcano. But the Church is a lovely sight as well. An old church built on top of the hill, the Parish is witness to communal events such as weddings, baptisms, and others.

Legend says that when Mayon is covered with clouds, the lovers Magayon and Ulap are kissing. Climb Lignon Hill and you might get a chance to witness that show of love that defies form. =)

Oops! They're kissing!

Oops! They’re kissing!

Sinuglaw. Complete your CDO trip with this!


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CDO: The City of Golden Friendship

Known and named after its huge gold deposits, Cagayan de Oro City is now made richer because of the real treasures it has: the warm, hospitable and friendly people of the place. Perhaps, it’s one of the happiest places in the country, maybe the most friendly, too! No wonder, we call it the city of golden friendship. =)

We were about to hit the city. Stayed at Tune Hotel for three days!

We were about to hit the city. Stayed at Tune Hotel for three days!

At Limketkai Center, one of the biggest mall complex in the country. =)

At Limketkai Center, one of the biggest mall complex in the country. =)

An almost two hour plane ride from the capital city of Manila, Cagayan de Oro, or CDO, is a premier city of Mindanao. Raising the bar for peaceful and trendy living, the place is home to world-class adventures and continuously striving to catch up in terms of infrastructures, tourism and development. In 2013, it was named second,  just a little behind Makati City, the business hub of the country, among the top grossers in terms of economy. The white water rafting (which I’m gonna try when I come back hehe) is a trademark of the city, and no where else in the country can you find a laughter as tintinnabulating as that of a Kagayanon. =)

Gaston Park. Haha can't remember why I'm posing this way. haha

Gaston Park. Haha can’t remember why I’m posing this way. haha

The city's museum was closed when we got there. It was a Sunday.

The city’s museum was closed when we got there. It was a Sunday.

San Agustin Cathedral has English masses. So don't worry about not understanding the ceremonies. =)

San Agustin Cathedral has English masses. So don’t worry about not understanding the ceremonies. =)

A stroll around the city will take you to Gaston Park, a hyped place for trade, a usual playing and dating grounds, and proximate to the city museum and the San Agustin Cathedral.  Beside it are restaurants that offer good food at a better price. Try La Tegola Cuccina Italiana, for example, at Hayes Street for an authentic Italian cuisine and which might make you Ratatouille-ish once you see the interior and taste the food. If you watched the movie, then you’ll probably know what I mean and which part of the movie I’m referring to, and yes, Ratatouille is French haha

Penne Diavola at La Tegola

Penne Diavola at La Tegola

And there is the Kagay-anon Restaurant at Limketkai Center. They serve good food, kinda pricey but worth it.

Pinakbet served in real squash. We really wondered if we can eat the squash. haha We weren't able to ask haha If you happen to order this, please do!

Pinakbet served in real squash. We really wondered if we can eat the squash. haha We weren’t able to ask haha If you happen to order this, please do!

Avariety of juices from Kagay-anon Resto

A variety of juices from Kagay-anon Resto

Because I'm Bicolano, I can't eat without chili in soy sauce. Hot!

Because I’m Bicolano, I can’t eat without chili in soy sauce. Hot!

For night life, try the Lifestyle District. Don’t worry about drinking because the place is friendly. If you opt not to take in the liquor, just order from the restos and eat away!

The Lifestyle District. Similar to Roxas's Grandville and Iloilo's Smallville.

The Lifestyle District. Similar to Roxas’s Grandville and Iloilo’s Smallville.

Which do you like, huh?

Which do you like, huh?

If you’d like some chill time, try Coffeeworks at Corrales Avenue, stone’s throw away from Xavier University. Order some blueberry cheesecake and a cup of hot coffee. =)

Ain't mine haha

Ain’t mine haha

One of my favorites!

One of my favorites!

Food are as friendly as the people. They do not taste foreign to the palate because they’re still Filipino but with an added twist. Pastel, a yema-filled pastry (what is yema in English?), is a superb pasalubong! Buy them at Vjandep on your way back to Laguindingan airport, or try them with coffee or chocolate or whatever you want at Missy Bon Bon. Finally, never leave CDO without the gastronomic star of the city: the Sinuglaw! It’s a mix of grilled pork belly and fish ceviche. Whether you eat it as your main dish (which we did hehe) or just an appetizer, you’ll surely have that taste lingering in your mind for so long.

Sinuglaw. Complete your CDO trip with this!

Sinuglaw. Complete your CDO trip with this!

CDO is not a perfect city. Which one is, anyway? But it does have that dash of homey vibe and a friendly atmosphere making it a top destination for everyone!

Cupcakes topped with fresh grapes and kiwi! Yakimix has them!


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The Hungry Traveler

The metropolis is teeming with them. Eat-all-you-can restos are dominating and changing the gastronomic landscape. The great selection of dishes attracts many because servings are not limited, never confined to how and how much the restaurant has to place in a single plate, and mix and match is possible to suit your palate. We’ve tried two restaurants, Yakimix and Buffet 101. I was able to take photos of selected food only because I just pop them in my mouth like a pro! hehe

Had to try all variants of this at Buffet 101 hehe

Had to try all variants of this at Buffet 101 hehe

Seafood medley at Buffet 101

Seafood medley at Buffet 101

Chocolates. Heaven!

Chocolates. Heaven!

Pastries. Cheesecake, Blueberry cheesecake and chocolate mousse at Buffet 101

Pastries. Cheesecake, Blueberry cheesecake and chocolate mousse at Buffet 101

Cupcakes and tart. =)

Cupcakes and tart. =)

Don't leave an eat-all-you-can resto without eating fruits. =)

Don’t leave an eat-all-you-can resto without eating fruits. =)

Both Yakimix (we tried the one in Robinsons Magnolia) and Buffet 101 (at Robinsons Pedro Gil/Manila) are both gastronomically explosive. Main difference is that Yakimix has some sort of a cooking whatsoever at the center of the table. That makes it a bit fun at the beginning but a bit dragging once you start eating. I liked how Buffet 101 managed to provide a large selection of already prepared food. That eases out the choosing part because food is up for grabs already.

Had to cook the food in Yakimix. That lengthens the time of waiting for the food to be in your mouth hehe but it's fun doing that. That gives time for friends to chat!

Had to cook the food in Yakimix. That lengthens the time of waiting for the food to be in your mouth hehe but it’s fun doing that. That gives time for friends to chat!

With my college best friends here. =) Food always tastes a lot better when you share it with people!

With my college best friends here. =) Food always tastes a lot better when you share it with people!

Filipino pastries at Yakimix. =)

Filipino pastries at Yakimix. =)

Cheesecakes at Yakimix

Cheesecakes at Yakimix

Cupcakes topped with fresh grapes and kiwi! Yakimix has them!

Cupcakes topped with fresh grapes and kiwi! Yakimix has them!

Fried prawns. =)

Fried prawns. =)

For the conservative (is that even a right term to use? hehe), you can always opt for the traditional plated orders from the local restos. Bigg’s Diner, a food industry giant in the Bicol Region, offers a variety of food delights dashed with the flavors of the region.

This chicken and salad combo is worth it. Bigg's bigger and better mantra is true! =)

This chicken and salad combo is worth it. Bigg’s bigger and better mantra is true! =)

Don't like chicken? Try this fish creole. =)

Don’t like chicken? Try this fish creole. =)

For those with bigger budget, try the newly opened Crown Park Restaurant at Legazpi City. They serve some traditional Chinese and Japanese cuisine and some others with contemporary zest.

Sizzling squid. =)

Sizzling squid. =)

Banana split. hehe I just to insert that hehe

Banana split. hehe I just to insert that hehe

Fried chicken! yehey!

Fried chicken! yehey!

I really can't eat without rice!

I really can’t eat without rice!

Siomai =)

Siomai =)

The 1st Colonial Grill, in the province of Albay, is known for the tasty and unique ice creams they serve. Best of them is the sili ice cream, which will make your tongue burn while drenched in the coldness of the gelato. If you aren’t ready for that, you can try other flavors such as the Malunggay, Taro and the Cucumber flavors.

Malunggay - flavored ice cream. Now, who would have thought this would work?

Malunggay – flavored ice cream. Now, who would have thought this would work?

Taro. Looks like ube ice cream but unique to the taste buds.

Taro. Looks like ube ice cream but unique to the taste buds.

Cucumber - flavored ice cream. Clean taste. =)

Cucumber – flavored ice cream. Clean taste. =)

Eating is like dressing up. Mixing and matching are skills we have to learn, plus budgeting without compromising style and elegance. In the case of food, we have to learn the art of spending for the best filled-up plates. Finally, the best food are found in the comfort of your own home. As for me, nothing compares to the food prepared by the loving hands of mom. =) Enjoy the weekend!

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Roxas City: Seafood Capital of the Philippines

The Sea Food Capital of the Philippines has grown from a simple haven of sumptuous seafood meals to one that is now gaining national focus because of the new investments in infrastructures and tourism. Last year, it was awarded as the cleanest city, and one of the ten cities to look forward to in the years to come. Roxas City, home to a Philippine president and a president wannabe, has a culture of its own, probably rising from the sea calm and the salty sea air.

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The city center is wide enough for a stroll. Hire a rickshaw to tour you around the place.

As a small capital city of the province of Capiz, Roxas is known for the abundance of marine life. It became a city in 1951. It is a two-hour drive north from the, well, city of love Iloilo (hehe) and a two-hour drive from west of Aklan, where Boracay Island is. The city is now investing on a huge infrastructure project with Robinsons to create that “city within a city”, a wide area for leisure, entertainment, transport and what nots.

A twenty-minute drive from the city center is the Panay Church where one will find the biggest church bell in Asia and the third in the world! It was made out of the 70 sacks of silver and gold coins donated by the townsfolk. Weighing a little more than 10 metric tons, I wonder how it was carried up to the belfry. The Church has been recognized as a historical treasure in 1997 by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines.

The Panay Church is one of the historical treasures of the country. Although damaged by typhoons, it still stands on the same ground bearing the same semblance as the original.

The Panay Church is one of the historical treasures of the country. Although damaged by typhoons, it still stands on the same ground bearing the same semblance as the original.

This bell is the biggest in Asia and third in the world. It's a problem if this crashed over me and I can't get out. haha

This bell is the biggest in Asia and third in the world. It’s a problem if this crashed over me and I can’t get out. haha

Adjacent to the Church are a souvenir shop, a chancery and many stalls. haha I just had to do this one photoshoot through the hole of the Church door. hehe

Adjacent to the Church are a souvenir shop, a chancery and many stalls. haha I just had to do this one photoshoot through the hole of the Church door. hehe

If the city bores you, try a short trip to Olotayan Island, about 45-minute boat ride from the city. The island’s name literally means head and stomach (from olo and tiyan). Rent a boat (costs around 500-1000 pesos depending on how good you are in negotiating hehe) to take you to the island and back to the city. At night, you can party or chill at Grandville, ironically smaller than Smallville of Iloilo City, which is grander than Grandville. haha Check our Ce Brew in Grandville and order one of their Starbuckish coffee hehe

Tranquil and serene. This place is best to escape the rush of the city.

Tranquil and serene. This place is best to escape the rush of the city.

Ce Brew in Roxas City is reflective of Starbucks. The packaging, if your not careful, can mislead you to believe it is Starbucks haha

Ce Brew in Roxas City is reflective of Starbucks. The packaging, if you’re not careful, can mislead you to believe it is Starbucks haha

Of course, a trip to Roxas City is never complete without trying seafoods! Seafoods in the city is cheap, delicious and always fresh. Photos below can never describe the euphoria of eating them! hehe

Grilled squid in Roxas is cheap. Cooked well so that it's not gummy to chew.

Grilled squid in Roxas is cheap. Cooked well so that it’s not gummy to chew.

Angel Wings Shell, locally known as Diwal, is one of Roxas's specialty. I did not leave the place without trying this. hehe

Angel Wings Shell, locally known as Diwal, is one of Roxas’s specialty. I did not leave the place without trying this. hehe

Baked oysters with garlic toppings. =)

Baked oysters with garlic toppings. =)

I don't know how they cooked these shrimps but they're deli!

I don’t know how they cooked these shrimps but they’re deli!

Sinigang na Hipon. Soooobbbrrraaaaang Saraaaap! No English term kasi to describe the gastronomic pyro! hehe

Sinigang na Hipon. Soooobbbrrraaaaang Saraaaap! No English term kasi to describe the gastronomic pyro! hehe

 

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The Walled City of Intramuros

Also known as the Walled City, Intramuros is a historic reminder of our pursuit for freedom from foreign rule, a lasting evidence of our resistance from our Spanish colonizers. Situated within the modern Manila, this tourist destination boasts of a 0.67 square kilometer of land area and home to many educational institutions such as the Colegio de San Juan de Letran and the Mapua Institute of Technology. Today, locals and foreigners alike can re-imagine the scenes of the battles fought and personalities who, in one way or another, have given a piece of themselves in defense of our sovereignty.

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Intramuros is open 24 hours a day, so everyone can tour the place responsibly. =)

Going around the entire perimeter of Intramuros can take an hour or so. That would depend on how much you examine details, and how much you chat with your friends. hehe I had shopping before we went here. That explains the paper bags. hehe

Going around the entire perimeter of Intramuros can take an hour or so. That would depend on how much you examine details, and how much you chat with your friends. I had shopping before we went here. That explains the paper bags. hehe

Could have had a good photoshoot here, but the rain was about to pour so we had to hurry up. huhu

Could have had a good photoshoot here, but the rain was about to pour so we had to hurry up. huhu

Intramuros is a good place to start when you wish to have a familiarization of Philippine history. Entrance to the place is absolutely free of charge, and access to the place is simple, either by taxi or any form of land transportation. Guards, donning the Philippine army costume from more than a hundred years ago, can add up to that historic hype. Plus, they are friendly too! hehe There are scheduled tours of the place, these you may check out with the local tourism office, or you may opt to just be with your friends and enjoy the long walk. Along the way, you’ll encounter Spanish-era influences such as the Fort Santiago.

This hut is where the local police are. Taking a selfie with them is not a problem hehe

This hut is where the local police are. Taking a selfie with them is not a problem hehe

Because this place is meant to defend, large areas such as this are meant to provide mobility for soldiers on rotation.

Because this place is meant to defend, large areas such as this are meant to provide mobility for soldiers on rotation.

In 2010, Intramuros is listed as one of those structures on the verge of irreparable loss. This, perhaps, presents a challenge to all. The responsibility to maintain this historic landmark is not vested solely on the history-savvy but a shared duty of all. Besides, we share the same freedom which Intramuros had so long defended, and hopefully will so long be a bastion of.

Intramuros is long walk, a good long walk. Each step is reliving a past that may have been forgotten. Remembering that piece of history is always a good exercise. =)

Intramuros is long walk, a good long walk. Each step is reliving a past that may have been forgotten. Remembering that piece of history is always a good exercise. =)

 

Blueberry cheesecake, the traditonal meets modern feel.


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Afternoon Delights: Cupcake Wars

Thank God it’s Friday! Ending a tiring week is a challenge for most of us. But for the foodies, it ain’t a problem. Just grab a plate of your favorite delights and chill out with your friends and mates as you wait for the clock to tick 5:00! =) what about trying some of these delectable cupcakes?

Red Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting.

Red Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting.

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Ferrero rocher-filled cupcake with nutella Buttercream frosting.

Ferrero rocher-filled cupcake with nutella Buttercream frosting.

Blueberry cheesecake, the traditonal meets modern feel.

Blueberry cheesecake, the traditonal meets modern feel.

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Want some of these? Our friend PJ is baking and delivering them fresh from the oven! send him a message on Facebook and he might give you discounts! =) Enjoy the weekend!

 

ties


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Sell All, Leave Nothing Campaign: Takers List

After a thorough reading of your comments [which were funny, practical, straight-to-the-point and whatnots] and checking whether you guys followed the instructions very well [some did not =(], here’s the list of those taking the items! =) Check on the items if ever you forgot what you fought so hard for by clicking the photo below.

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Delivery/ turnover is on July 14, 2014, either you get if personally from me, I’ll meet you somewhere else or ask your friends to take it for you. All items need to be paid first anytime this week [non-negotiable - that's Monday to Friday]. I hope you guys add P12.00 for every item you’re taking for the charity. =) You can pay personally, through bank [PM me at twitter @jjiameguerrero, Facebook or Instagram - JONATHANJAIMEGUERRERO for bank details], or by any other means you think is possible and convenient. haha If you are unable to pay this week, will give the items to those next in line. =)

So here they are! Thank you for taking part in this campaign!

Nicole Toledo – Item 4

Amytita Salando – Items 6, 27

Mheljor General – items 8, 38, 48, 69

Sichuan Rayco – Items 10, 30, 54, 64

Christian Antiquera – Items 11, 34, 36, 61

Jed Pena – Items 14, 23,

Karlo Aquino – Items 15

Jeini Relova – Items 16, 51

Jonas Sergio – Items 17, 45, 47, 62, 68 (each necktie is P88.00. Which among them are you taking?)

Rap Abinal – Items 19, 26

Marbie Princess Grivialde – Items 20, 32, 52, 56

Jeremy Nacido – Items 22, 31, 44,

Vanessa Mae Sta. Ana – Item 24

Karl Llana – Item 25

Ardin Longaza – Item 29

Angelo Bagagnan – Items 33, 35, 39

John Cyril Yee – Items 43, 49

Diomerl Baldo – Item 46

Carl Mayor – Item 50

Christine Arcueno – Items 53, 55

Berbs Aje -Item  65

Thank you very much! Your support will go a long way! I will be forever grateful! =)

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