Friday, September 18, 2015

Maxine's by the Sea (Hundred Islands - Alaminos, Pangasinan)

When we made the decision to travel to Hundred Islands, we listed Maxine's by the Sea as one of the choices for us to stay at because my sister wanted to stay near the beach (or the water) so we could also enjoy the view. However, off-peak season meant low prices on some accommodations, and in the end we decided to choose a transient home instead. Still, we told ourselves we would eat our lunch at Maxine's by the Sea before we travel back to Manila, and that was what we did.

Maxine's by the Sea has two dining area - this, on the ground floor and another bigger one upstairs. When we got there, it was still early (around 11:30am), so we were escorted to the ground floor dining area. Though smaller than the other area, we just loved the refreshing wind that helped eased the high noon heat.

They offer a lot of choices, but because we have been eating a lot of fish the past few days, we decided to go for these dishes instead:

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Eating in Pangasinan

Last weekend has been a wonderful one for us, because we celebrate mom's birthday in her home province - Pangasinan. Initially, my sister and I were planning that us three girls would stay at a hotel somewhere and we would visit nearby interesting places... but while on the road two weeks before (Caramoan trip), our companion mentioned about us doing a Pangasinan trip and it sparked an idea between mom and I... that instead of staying at a hotel, might as well travel to Pangasinan and spend her birthday with Aunt Mary, one of her sisters. Good thing, Aunt Mary is scheduled to travel to Pangasinan as well, so a definite plan was set.

We traveled 11pm from Cubao and reached their hometown of Bolinao around 4am. Uncle Arthur met us and we took their boat going to the fish cage where there is a hut for us to stay at. We slept a little, got up at 6:30am and we then laid out our proposed plan so everything will be coordinated.

Our first destination (12 September) was in Tondol Beach, located in the town of Anda. It was our first time to see the place, and we were in awe of its beauty! I can actually compare it to Boracay - with its powdery whitish sand and clear waters that made us feel as if we were in a big swimming pool. The downside was that as time passed, the water of the beach subsides little by little, and that there weren't much water to swim on because there's a part in the beach with lots of seaweeds. We didn't wear any slippers, so we didn't dare walk on those parts in fear we might step on some sea urchins. My tip... if you want to go to this beach, be there as early as possible so you can fully enjoy the water, and I heard sunrise here is spectacular.

The next day, we traveled to Hundred Islands in the town of Alaminos. Coming from Bolinao, it was already near lunch time when we got there, so our island hopping was actually shorter than expected, because we opted to go for the "service" type of trip, which supposed to allow us to visit whatever island we wanted to visit (the regular trip will only allow visit to the three major islands in the area). Anyway, I am happy to see Hundred Islands again - it was refreshing to see the changes in the area, though part of me was sad as well, because I personally wanted to see the islands as is - and seeing a concrete kind of development sort of "ruins" the experience for me.

If there's one kind of concrete development I am grateful for, it would be this railing atop the Governor's Island. When I first traveled here in 2010, there was only a thick rope that acted as a fence, which was a little risky to put up.

Overall, I enjoyed the island hopping. We didn't get to set foot in Children's Island anymore because the rain started to fall, but we were able to enjoy the waters of Clave Island and we got to pass through Cuenco Tunnel as well. This place already earned a soft spot in our hearts, and we are sure to visit there again.

Okay, food. Hahahaha.

Prior to this trip, I got to see pictures posted by a friend on Facebook and I loved the way she chronicled all the food she ate while she was on her trip. I told myself I will do the same for this trip, but I guess I am still adjusting to owning a camera again, that I wasn't really able to do such. Still, here are some of the food I ate while I was in Pangasinan:

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Bigg's Diner (Pili, Camarines Sur)

Bigg's Diner - Pili, Camarines Sur
picture grabbed from Iris
It was (I think) around 8am when we left Caramoan, and because of its distance and the road repairs, it was past lunch time when we reached the town of Pili. At first, the vans parked in front of Jollibee - which was a little cute thinking that our first meal in Bicol was at this Jollibee branch and that our last meal in the region would be there as well, but because our companions thought that they will eat Jollibee the day they come back to work, they decided to find somewhere else to eat. We didn't really wanted to eat at a very high end restaurant, eating at road side eateries (carinderia) would be okay for us because it would allow us to save money and have a taste of what the town has to offer.

We were only given an hour to eat lunch because traveling back home would sure take a lot of time and we were still going to do one more side trip to CWC, so when the carinderia hunting didn't give us results within 15 minutes, I suggested we go to Bigg's Diner instead. It would eat a lot of our time walking there, but from what I knew of, Bigg's Diner is proudly Bicolano... I am not sure if it branched out of the region, but when one say Bicolano restaurant, Bigg's Diner will be one of the very first ones to mention.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Eating in Caramoan

* picture heavy post *

While we were traveling back to Manila from Baler (Aurora) last June, my companions were already talking about our next weekend getaway, saying that there will be another long weekend come August. At that time, we all agreed that Sagada would be our next destination, but early August, we received the invitation for a weekend getaway to Caramoan. It was first scheduled August 20 - 23, but our companions had work-related responsibilities, so they decided to cancel and re-schedule. Thankfully, the next weekend was another long weekend here in the Philippines, so we pushed through last August 29 - 31.

Caramoan is located in the province of Camarines Sur in Bicol region. I first heard of this place in 2009, but the willingness to travel there intensified when it became the location of choice for the hit US reality television show, Survivor, which shot back-to-back seasons in Caramoan (Survivor Philippines - season 25 and Survivor Caramoan: Fans vs. Favorites - season 26).

Caramoan, Camarines Sur Caramoan Church Caramoan, Camarines Sur
Caramoan, Camarines Sur Caramoan, Camarines Sur Caramoan, Camarines Sur
Caramoan Church Caramoan, Camarines Sur

Traveling to Caramoan took us 14 hours. It was a long and tiring ride (as there were a lot of road repairs), but when we got there, it was like all our wearies were washed out. We spent most of our time island hopping, and because this place is not highly commercialized yet, there weren't a lot of restaurants in the area, so most of our meals were eaten at the dining area of the resort where we stayed at.
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Jenn, the Foodie

I come from a family who loves cooking and eating. I never had any formal training in cooking and that I taught myself how to cook based on the handed down recipes, but I could say that I can cook good food. In 2008, I started documenting my food trips for my travel blog, and since I have quite enough to start a food blog, might as well put all those food trips in one location. Thus, a food blog is born - thanks to the new Friendster Blogs. However, due to several problems, I was left with no choice but to pack bags again and move here instead. Here's the permanent address, promise! Enough talk, let the food trippin' begin! {Know More About Me}