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Hotel Felicidad in Vigan City

Images of old and stately ancestral houses, silent sentinels against the moonlit sky, were flashing through my slept-deprived mind as our van bounced through the road en route to Vigan City. Departing Manila by midnight, we expected to arrive at the only UNESCO-stamped city in the country by sun up.

Breakfast at Hotel Felicidad in Vigan City Breakfast at Hotel Felicidad in Vigan City

Our first taste of Vigan City came in the way of breakfast. Arriving at Hotel Felicidad by sunrise, our bags were immediately hauled to our respected rooms and our group, herded through the hotel’s dining area. A buffet of Vigan longanisa, danggit, eggs and a few other assortments greeted us.

Always a sucker for longsilog, I queued up, grabbed a couple of garlic sausages and headed for their al fresco dining area. Plateful of goodies and a steaming cup of brewed coffee in hand.

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Posted by Christian Sangoyo on Monday, September 1, 2014

Inflight Traveller Magazine Cover by Lakad Pilipinas

Having one’s photograph grace a cover of a magazine is one of the greatest joys for any individual who held a camera and pressed its shutter. I’m not really a professional photographer, so the pleasure of being featured out front, on a glossy magazine is, I guess, double for me.

InFlight Traveller brought forth one of my photos from Lake Bulusan in Sorsogon for this quarter’s issue of their magazine. It shows a brightly-colored boat, swaying against wind and rain as the lake was being drowned in a downpour.

Taking the photo required me to bring my non-weather sealed camera through the gushing rain, set up my tripod as I held on to my umbrella and keeping my ND110 filter free from stray raindrops. It took quite an effort, but as I realized now, it definitely paid off.

This is the second time I got my photo on a cover of a magazine, the first one was through Lonely Planet Philippines, but I have to say, it is no less thrilling than the first.

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Posted by Christian Sangoyo on Sunday, August 31, 2014

Jonash's Pancit Batil Patong in Quezon City

Metro Manila was covered with lashing, umbrella-bending rain, but it was not enough to keep us from checking a Pancit Batil Patong place we saw on Facebook. Tucked at an unknown street deep in the heart of Quezon City, we braved the flooded roads and risked breaking our umbrellas; we simply got to know if Jonash Panciteria and Carinderia offers an authentic version of our favorite noodle dish from Tuguegarao City.

Jonash Panciteria and Carinderia in Quezon City

It wasn’t hard to find the place, although I had to walk some minutes from the KFC at the corner of Roosevelt and Mindanao Avenue amidst the roaring rain; there simply was no other way to go at the said panciteria. Taxi is of course not an option for me.

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Posted by Christian Sangoyo on Thursday, August 28, 2014

Pacquiao Statuette at J.J. Sports Bar in Parañaque City

A display cabinet filled with boxing, football, racing and basketball mementos—some even signed by their respective sport heroes—stands right at the heart of a sports bar at one of the unlikeliest places in Parañaque City.

I was invited to cover this bar’s opening, which was graced by not a few PBA basketball stars, but I was on the northern part of the country, busy revisiting Vigan City. A few weeks after, en route to Terminal One of the Manila International Airport for a flight outside the country, I decided to visit the bar rather than wait at the airport and see what the fuss was about.

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Posted by Christian Sangoyo on Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Huts at ATC Ihawan in Dagupan

I’ll take over that mic and sing once the sun sets, so says J as the song book was pushed into his hands. It was the last day of our Pangasinan trip and we were at a stilt-hut standing over a fishpond somewhere in Dagupan City. After enjoying the air-conditioning and coffee at Yellow Tree Café, we decided to end our journey by having a couple of beers and belting out songs away from the glimmering lights of the city and the curious ears of strangers.

Pathway to the Huts at ATC Ihawan in Dagupan

We were quite particular on the hut we wanted to spend our last hours in Dagupan in. It has to be over a fishpond and it must look very local. We wanted nothing too polished and touristy.

After checking out a few of the restaurants situated at the ponds along Judge Jose de Venecia Highway, we were almost ready to give up. Good thing M remembered a place she bought some soft drinks on during the city festival a few months back that perfectly suited our requirements.

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Posted by Christian Sangoyo on Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The Old Dagupan Cathedral

Like a gem hidden behind the busy modern facade of Dagupan City, the old Dagupan Cathedral shines with its old regal architecture. Resurrected from the ruins, it now towers as a testament to the city’s foregone era; before malls lined its streets, before concrete paved its highways.
Historical Marker at the Old Dagupan CathedralEven masked by a concrete veneer, one can clearly see the history behind the facade of Dagupan’s Neo-Classical Sanctuario de San Juan Evangelista.

According to historians, the original church along with its convent was burned down in 1660 by Andres Malong, a rebel during the Spanish era. The cathedral has been rebuilt and renovated numerous times since due to earthquakes and flood.

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Posted by Christian Sangoyo on Monday, August 25, 2014

Frappes at Dagupan’s Yellow Tree Café

Is there a legit coffee shop here in Dagupan? C asked M who’s been the resident blogger of the city. Hmmm… There’s a newly opened Starbucks here, but you probably don’t really want that. I know just the place.

Still not knowing where to go next, we decided to regroup and have some chill moments first at a café somewhere within the city.
Dagupan’s Yellow Tree CaféFrom Hotel Le Duc, we rode a tricycle and alighted at a stately building just a few minutes from our hotel. It didn’t look like a coffee shop at all. From a winding and carpeted spiral staircase, we emerged on the second floor where our query awaited, the Yellow Tree Café.

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Posted by Christian Sangoyo on Sunday, August 24, 2014

Calasiao Church Facade

When one mentions Calasiao, the thing that immediately comes to mind are its small, bite-sized rice cakes or puto. It was the same for me; that was until I actually visited the town, which is located in Pangasinan. While hunting for some pasalubongs to bring back home, we stumbled upon another of Calasiao’s treasure, its heritage Baroque church.
Puto Calasiao VendorGetting there was easy enough, from the Dagupeña Restaurant, we simply rode a jeep and alighted at Calasiao’s Poblacion where the numerous puto and kutsinta vendors are centrally located. Calls immediately rang out, the vendors all vying for our attention.

Puto Calasiao’s difference from most putos is that it is fermented for days on jars before being processed. A plastic of the delicacy cost a measly Php20.00, about 1/4 kilo, and is very addictive.

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Posted by Christian Sangoyo on Saturday, August 23, 2014

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