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The Guisi Lighthouse in Guimaras

Vines crawl along the old walls of an outpost situated on a promontory along the southwestern coast of Panay Gulf; somehow, along with the dreary weather, it reminded me of banyan roots clinging along the more ancient sites of Cambodia. Taking a few steps forward, a short roofless corridor led directly to a dilapidated rusty farola; after three visits, I finally got a glimpse of Guimaras Island’s Guisi Lighthouse.

Guisi Point Lighthouse Starting Point in Guimaras

It was my fourth day in Iloilo City and after church-hopping myself to high heavens, I finally ran out of churches to visit. With nothing else to do, I decided to revisit the island of Guimaras, which is just a song away from the city. Meeting a local guide, Kuya Cherald, at the Jordan (pronounced as Hordan) Port, I quickly asked him to whisk me away to the Guisi Point Lighthouse.

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Posted by Christian Sangoyo on Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Teppanyaki at the Souq Restaurant in Pampanga

Twilight was almost upon us as we alighted from our van for the last stop of our tour. The day has been filled with Pampanga’s giant lanterns interspersed with Kapampangan dishes generously spread in between. We thought we’ve seen and tasted everything until we visited San Fernando City’s The Souq.

The Souq at San Fernando, PampangaTranslated from Arabic, the word souq means marketplace. And from the central alley that traverses the restaurant, the name suits the place quite well. The concept, our host said, was to incorporate various mini-restaurants along both sides of the alleyway.

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Posted by Christian Sangoyo on Friday, December 12, 2014

Susie's Cuisine in San Fernando, Pampanga

In between visiting the giant lantern makers in San Fernando City, we also visited numerous restaurants where we lunched, snacked, and snacked some more. And yes, we do have an excuse for our food binge; Pampanga’s title of being the Culinary Capital of the Philippines. We’re uncovering the province’s little gems, one plate (or two) at a time.

Susie's Cuisine in San Fernando, Pampanga

One of the interesting places we visited was Susie’s Cuisine. Located at an air-conditioned building along MacArthur highway, you wouldn’t really think much of it. At first glance, it looks like any ordinary restaurant, that is until servings of their famous pancit luglug and tibok-tibok were plunked right in front of us.

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Posted by Christian Sangoyo on Thursday, December 11, 2014

Giant Lantern Festival Preparation

On an open plaza somewhere in San Fernando City, a twenty-foot freestanding structure mysteriously covered by a tarpaulin stands at the center of the square. It was almost Christmas time, and like a giant gift, a massive Christmas lantern, one of Pampanga’s famous giant parols, was slowly being unwrapped right before our eyes.

Making the Giant Lanterns of Pampanga

I have never attended Pampanga’s famous Ligligan sa Parul festival where barangays from all over San Fernando City proudly showcase their giant lanterns, but I do have a somewhat hazy memory of seeing them when I was a kid at the now defunct Paskuhan Village.

Now, decades later, I’m back at Pampanga to witness how these giants are made.

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Posted by Christian Sangoyo on Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Breakfast at Nona's Kitchen in San Fernando, Pampanga

A huge plate filled with pasta, spring rolls, veggies and salad was laid down on our star-spangled table. Everything looked familiar, but not quite. Before our host left, I quickly asked her for the name of the dish. She turned back, smiled and said, I usually serve this at home and I haven’t even thought about giving it a name just yet.

The Outdoor at Nona's Kitchen in San Fernando, Pampanga

It was our first stop for Pampanga’s giant lantern tour and we were at Nona’s Kitchen. Well, we really don’t get to see the lanterns at their grandest and brightest since it was still a week before they were to be unveiled, but what we were here for was to see how they’re made.

And yeah, we’re here to eat. A tour of San Fernando City wouldn’t be complete without a culinary adventure.

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Posted by Christian Sangoyo on

Buffet Dinner at Hotel Rembrandt

Kebab skewers line one of the buffet tables along the lobby of Rembrandt Hotel in Quezon City. I sauntered from one table to the next, having a hard time picking my dinner. It’s not that I don’t like the food, but more like I like everything.

And I’m on a diet.

Hotel Rembrandt in Quezon City

The Hotel Rembrandt is one of the pioneering hotels in the city. It is nicely situated along Tomas Morato near Timog, the nightlife district of Quezon City. It stands seven stories high and is rated as a three-star hotel. It boasts of 71 rooms, a grand ballroom for events, a spa, a couple of bars and dining halls.

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Posted by Christian Sangoyo on Saturday, December 6, 2014

Antonio's LaPaz Batchoy House in Makati City

It was past eight in the evening as we rolled along the Zobel Roxas street somewhere in Makati City and stopped at a talyer where sleek sports cars were being serviced.

I thought we were going to a batchoy house? I asked my companions.

Yup, we are, this is it.

Antonio's LaPaz Batchoy House in Makati City

Welcome to Antonio’s LaPaz Batchoy House. Located at a barangay aptly named La Paz, it is somewhere between the boundaries of Makati and Manila. It looks like any ordinary eatery except it’s not. Here, they serve two of Iloilo’s specialty noodle dishes, batchoy and molo, plus a few more.

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Posted by Christian Sangoyo on Friday, December 5, 2014

AirAsia Travel 3Sixty°’s Precious Antique

A fellow travel blogger friend messaged me a few weeks back asking if I still have the photos I took from the Manggad Kang Antique Heritage Tour we both attended a year ago. Definitely, I replied. Would you mind if I take a look at some people shots, Travel 3Sixty, AirAsia’s own inflight magazine is looking for a few, she quickly reverted.

No problem, I told her. I sent her the photos and promptly forgot about it.

AirAsia Travel 3Sixty°’s Precious Antique

A few days ago, I was browsing through Instagram when I saw Gael Hilotin’s Antique article has now been published. I messaged her, and indeed, a few of my photos along with travel blogger extraordinaire Marcos Caratao made it into the magazine.

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Posted by Christian Sangoyo on Thursday, December 4, 2014