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Vigan Itinerary and Travel guide Coron Itinerary and Travel guide Baguio Itinerary and Travel guide Tagaytay Itinerary and Travel Guide Iligan City Itinerary and Travel Guide Bacolod Itinerary and Travel Guide Antique Itinerary and Travel Guide Tarlac Itinerary and Travel Guide Corregidor Itinerary and Travel Guide

Lester Ledesma’s Photo Treks Sapa Valley

Nothing says I've been there! better than a set of awesome travel pictures. This coming 23-26 September, join the multi-awarded photojournalist Lester V. Ledesma on a shooting trip to northern Vietnam. Participants will get to experience the stunning terraced landscapes of Sapa Valley, along with the bustling street scene of the capital, Hanoi. There'll be excellent food, nightly photo critique sessions, plenty of shooting tips and endless photo opportunities.
Lester Ledesma’s Photo Treks Sapa Valley Other highlights of the Vietnam PhotoTrek include a visit to a tribal market at the Vietnam-China border, and an overnight stay at a H’mong house amidst the sprawling paddies. The all-in fee for this exciting trip is only Php35,000, and includes the roundtrip flights, meals, accommodations and transportation. In addition, the best shots of the participants will be featured in the next issue of UNO Magazine.

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Posted by Christian Sangoyo on Sunday, August 2, 2015
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Minalungao National Park

We watched from the shade of a craggy white rock as a makeshift bamboo raft effortlessly glides across the calm, coffee brown waters of PeƱaranda River. We were at a the limestone gorge in the town of Gen. Tinio and we missed the sparkling green waters of the Minalungao National Park by a single day.

Minalungao National Park
NO GREEN WATERS FOR US

It rained the previous night, a sentry along the road told our van driver as we shelled out a few hundred pesos to enter the road leading to Nueva Ecija’s only Natural Park. We pushed on despite the warning. After almost an hour of driving, we were almost at Minalungao, it seemed such a waste to turn back now.

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Posted by Christian Sangoyo on Saturday, August 1, 2015

Rosenda’s Cabanatuan Seafood Caserole

One after another, plates and bowls of hot steaming dishes clinked on the glass surface of our table. Soft music piped in across Rosenda’s spacious dining hall, the only patrons that night, us. Despite what our tummies were saying, we looked on with watering mouths.

Rosenda’s Cabanatuan Facade
ROSENDA’S DYNAMIC FACADE

We absolutely have not recovered from our supposed snack at NYOrK, and less than half an hour later, we were sitting on a dining table once again. That huge round table, reminiscent of my grandma’s, complete with a spinning tray in the middle.

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Posted by Christian Sangoyo on Friday, July 31, 2015

NYOrK Kapitan Pepe Cabanatuan Cafe

What the heck is NYOrk?! In hushed tones, I asked my seatmate as our van rocketed across the highway from Gapan back to Cabanatuan City. We were on the last leg of our Microtel Cabanatuan Nueva Ecija tour and we’re gonna eat again, this time at NYOrK. NYOrK?

NYOrK Kapitan Pepe Cabanatuan Interiors
INSIDE NYORK CAFE IN CABANATUAN

This was becoming more of a food trip by the minute than a provincial tour, but my friends don’t mind. Cabanatuan City has been surprising us with one excellent restaurant after another, so, I really don’t mind too.

And before dinner, we finally parked at The Podium, a two-storey modern building set in the quiet neighborhood of Kapitan Pepe. Hello NYOrK, we finally meet (and where’s Bjork, by the way?).

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Posted by Christian Sangoyo on Thursday, July 30, 2015

Gapan Virgen La Divina Pastora Church

Like little kids left to our own devices, we roamed around Delos Reyes Street snapping away with our cameras and posing against ancestral houses to our hearts content. I never knew that Gapan, a town we usually pass by en route to my mom’s hometown in Cabanatuan City, held such architectural gems from bygone eras. Like most locals, I usually dismiss Nueva Ecija as quite wanting when it comes to tourist attractions. I was proven wrong that afternoon.

Gapan Virgen La Divina Pastora Church
GAPAN’S VIRGEN LA DIVINA PASTORA CHURCH FACADE WITH ITS CENTRAL BELFRY

Still catching my breath from a very Filipino lunch at Hapag Vicenticos, we again boarded Microtel Cabanatuan’s van and headed to the oldest town in the province and one of the oldest in the Philippines, Gapan. The sun was hitting the stately edifice of the National Shrine of Virgen La Divina Pastora just the right way when we arrived.

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Posted by Christian Sangoyo on Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Hapag Vicenticos Cabanatuan

Absolutely no one was paying attention to the four trays of karioka set on our food-cramped table at Cabanatuan City’s Hapag Vicenticos. We were already starving, but it was our job to take photos of the food first before wolfing it all down.

The restaurant’s chicharon bulaklak was the first casualty of the day; everyone was taking potshots at it while we took pictures of the other dishes.

Hapag Vicenticos Cabanatuan
HAPAG VICENTICOS BEAUTIFUL COMPOUND

We just came from the Aquino-Diokno Memorial at Fort Magsaysay via Microtel Cabanatuan’s van. It was almost an hour drive and it was past noon when we arrived at this quaint restaurant fronting the city’s Freedom Park. I don’t easily use the word quaint, but once you stepped inside Hapag Vicenticos’ compound, you’d find yourself blurting out the words, how quaint!

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Posted by Christian Sangoyo on Friday, July 24, 2015

Aquino-Diokno Memorial Fort Magsaysay

From a barbed compound surrounded by sawali walls, we literally entered one of the dark chapters in Philippine history. A couple of cells located inside this nondescript bungalow once held two of the country’s brightest mind in total solitary confinement; their windows shut to sunlight, their rooms bare. For thirty days, Senators Ninoy Aquino and Jose W. Diokno were imprisoned here on charges of subversion (Diokno, however, wasn’t charged with anything) by the late president Ferdinand Marcos.

Pahingahan Fort Magsaysay
FORT MAGSAYSAY’S MAN-MADE LAKE APTLY DUBBED AS PAHINGAHAN

I used to frequent Nueva Ecija when I was still a kid, as my mom hails from Cabanatuan City which we fondly call ‘Tuan. During summer breaks, we’d visit our grandparents and spend two months doing nothing but eat mangos.

But besides the farm fields and the brook at the back of our grandpa’s house, we hardly ever ventured out. It was only decades later, after Microtel Cabanatuan invited me on a tour that I got to see that there’s quite a lot of history behind our dear province.

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Posted by Christian Sangoyo on Thursday, July 23, 2015

Bistro 360 Cabanatuan Panizza

It wasn’t long after our impromptu sunset shoot at the grounds of Microtel Cabanatuan that we went out to town again—not to drink and party, mind you (but that would’ve been swell as well)—but to have dinner. After a few minutes of driving around, we parked in front of Bistro 360, another homegrown food place frequented by Novo Ecijanos in Cabanatuan City.

Bistro 360 Cabanatuan Bar
BISTRO 360’S BAR

The first thing I noticed as we entered their dim and cozy interiors was their bar. Tan-tan-tan! Open the red curtain, my friends, they have Red Horse beer! But oh, we were so here for the food. Yes, the food.

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Posted by Christian Sangoyo on Wednesday, July 22, 2015