Philippines Vacation in Spring 2013

I went to the Philippines for a month vacation in Spring from April to May 2013. I was able to spend time with my mother and family as well as spent some time in Manila, Pandan, Boracay, and Batanes with very close friends.

My friends and I were able to attend a special birthday celebration of a very good friend and a relative as well who has been an inspiration to us. It was just a simple birthday celebration but it was so worth it knowing that the celebrant had such a grand time.

When it comes to food and restaurants, I had either drinks or lunch or dinner with my family and friends at Abe Restaurant in Alabang Town Center Alabang, John and Yoko Japanese Restaurant in Alabang Town Center Alabang, SumoSam Japanese Restaurant in Shangri-la Plaza Mall Mandaluyong, Mondo Juice in SM Megamall Mandaluyong, Max’s in SM Megamall Mandaluyong, Hossein Indian Restaurant in Serendra Bonifacio Global City, CIBO Restaurant in Greenbelt 5 Makati, Via Mare Cafe and Oyster Bar Express in Greenbelt 1 Makati, Chesa Bianca Swiss Restaurant in San Antonio Village Makati, RK Garden Restaurant in Bel Air Makati, and MARU Korean Cuisine Restaurant in Poblacion Makati.

When it comes to short trips, of course, I did not forget going to Pandan in Antique, then Boracay Island in Aklan, and Batan Island and Sabtang Island in Batanes. I went to Pandan and Boracay with a very close friend. I went to Batanes with my childhood close friends.

We were able to visit local resorts in Pandan, Antique, namely, Pandan Beach Resort in Dionela, Le Palme Beach Resort in Zaldivar, Phaidon Beach Resort in Tingib, and Malumpati Health Spring and Tourist Resort (Malumpati Cold Spring) in Guia.

We were able to attend different events and activities during the Tugbong Festival in Pandan, Antique from April 21 to 25, 2013. We were even able to watch a concert of Aegis Band at the Pandan Auditorium at the plaza.

We were also able to attend the beach party of Barangay Baybay during its fiesta. We had such a great time at the beach party as there was no dress code. We even danced without slippers. We danced barefoot.

When we went to Boracay Island in Malay, Aklan, we stayed at Jony’s Beach Resort. The people at the resort were very friendly and accommodating.

Jony’s Beach Resort has its own restaurant called MAYAS Restaurant. We ate at MAYAS Restaurant of Jony’s Beach Resort most of the time.

For the rest of our Boracay escapade, we just enjoyed the White Beach and took a lot of photos. We also met some friends at Juice Bar in Boracay. Time was just not enough in Boracay. For sure, we will go back to the island of Boracay.

When we went to Batanes, we stayed at the Seaside Lodge and Restaurant in Basco in Batan Island. In our three nights and four days of stay in Batanes, we were able to see and visit a lot of places.

We had either breakfast or lunch or dinner in Basco at Batanes Seaside Lodge and Restaurant, Amboy Hometel Bed and Breakfast, Basco Lighthouse Restaurant, Fundacion Pacita Batanes Nature Lodge Restaurant, and Pension Ivatan Restaurant.

During our day tours, we had lunch at Disvayangan Beach in Mahatao in Batan Island and Morong Beach in Malakdang in Sabtang Island.

On our first day, we went around Batan Island and visited a lot of places, namely, Vayang Rolling Hills in Vayang Ranch, Valugan Boulder Beach in Valugan Bay, Dipnaysupuan Japanese Tunnel or Japanese Hideout, Basco PAGASA Radar Station, Mahatao Chawa View Deck, Paderes Point, and Basco Lighthouse in Naidi Hills.

On our second day, we again went around Batan Island and visited more places, namely, Basco Viewpoint, Mahatao All-Weather Boat or Ship Shelter Port, Batanes Blank Book Archive, Fallen Sumhao Windmill or Sumhao Wind Turbines, Mahatao Lighthouse or Tayid Lighthouse, Diura Fishing Village, Disvayangan Beach, House of Dakay, Honesty Coffee Shop, Alapad Rock Formation, and Marlboro Hills Country.

On our third day, we went for a Faluwa boat ride from Batan Island to Sabtang Island. We visited places in Sabtang Island, namely, the Municipal Tourism Information Center, Chamantad-Tinian Viewpoint, Morong Beach, Mayahaw Rock Arch Formation, Sabtang Lighthouse, and Chavayan Village with its beaches, its Idjang stone houses, and chapel called Chavayan Chapel or Sta. Rosa de Lima Chapel.

In all those tours, we have visited some churches and chapels, namely, Mount Carmel Chapel, Mahatao Church or San Carlos Borromeo Church, Ivana Church or San Jose de Ivana Church or San Jose de Obrero Church, Uyugan Church or San Antonino De Florencia Church, Our Lady of Miraculous Medal Church, San Lorenzo Ruiz Chapel, Sabtang Church or San Vicente Ferrer Church, Chavayan Chapel or Sta. Rosa de Lima Chapel, and Basco Cathedral or Santo Domingo De Basco Church.

With all those short trips, I would not like to forget that I was also able to attend a few more events and activities in Pandan, Antique after the Tugbong Festival.

I was able to eat in Pandan the food that I have been craving for not only those food in Manila, Boracay, and Batanes during my escapades to those places with friends.

The get-aways from Manila to Pandan, Boracay and Batanes were awesome. We definitely had a great and fabulous time going around those beautiful islands. We will surely go back to those places, both Boracay and Batanes.

Thank you, my dear family and friends for everything, for all the time that you have spent with me. I deeply appreciate all the time and effort that you have been spending with me every time I go to the Philippines. See you again on my next vacation. I love you all!

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Bel Ombre Savanne Mauritius Golf Vacation in Winter 2013

We went to Mauritius in Winter in February 2013 for a golf vacation particularly in Domaine de Bel Ombre (or simply Bel Ombre), a village in the district of Savanne.

The district of Savanne is situated in the south of the island of Mauritius. Bel Ombre was about 55-63 kilometers south of Port Louis.

We stayed at Heritage Le Telfair Golf and Spa Resort located along B9 in Domaine de Bel Ombre, Mauritius.

We played golf at Heritage Golf Club / Golf du Chateau (Heritage Le Telfair Golf and Spa Resort / Heritage Resorts) in Domaine de Bel Ombre in Savanne.

We also played golf at Tamarina Golf Club (Tamarina Golf, Spa and Beach Club) in Tamarin Bay, and at Paradis Golf Club (Paradis Hotel and Golf Club) in Le Morne Peninsula in the district of Riviere Noire.

Regarding food and restaurants, we had a 3-Course Menu dinner every day at Annabella’s restaurant at the hotel for the duration of our stay.

We also ate at Le Palmier restaurant on the beach area of the hotel and at the clubhouse of Heritage Golf Club.

Other than playing golf, we also went for a sightseeing tour from Bel Ombre to Pamplemousses to Port Louis, then to Chamarel.

We went to the city of Port Louis, the capital and the largest city of Mauritius, also in the district of Port Louis.

We went to see the Chamarel Watefalls and the Chamarel Seven Coloured Earth(s) in Chamarel in the district of Riviere Noire.

Our vacation in Mauritius was quite relaxing. Maybe, because of the rain but I actually liked it when it was raining for about 15-20 minutes only during the day.

With the rain, it was not at all so hot in Mauritius.

I like Mauritius and I really would like to be able to go back there. Time will tell! :)

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Estoril Portugal Golf Vacation in Autumn 2012

We went to Portugal in Autumn in October 2012 for a golf vacation. We also joined the finals of Traumreisen Trophy 2012 in Estoril having been qualified for it. It was the third time we visited Portugal.

Estoril was a civil parish of the municipality of Cascais in the district of Lisbon. Estoril was about 25-30 kilometers west of Lisbon.

We stayed at Hotel Palacio Estoril located along Rua Particular in Estoril, Portugal.

We played golf at Estoril Golf Course (Clube de Golf do Estoril/Estoril Golf Club) in Estoril for the Traumreisen Trophy 2012.

We played two more courses for fun, at Belas Golf Course (Belas Clube de Campo) in Belas, Sintra, and at the Oitavos Dunes Golf Course in Quinta da Marinha, Cascais.

Regarding food and restaurants, we again ate at the two restaurants we have been to, namely, Restaurant Duke Pub and Mar do Inferno Restaurant in Cascais. Another restaurant was Bougainvillea Terrace which was located at the Hotel Palacio Estoril.

Restaurant Duke Pub and Restaurante Mar do Inferno were both located in Cascais but Duke Pub was located at the center of Cascais while Restaurante Mar do Inferno was located in Boca do Inferno which was about 10 minutes walk to the center of Cascais.

Despite not winning at the Traumreisen Trophy 2012, we still enjoyed our short vacation in Estoril. We were able to play two more golf courses that we have not played yet when we went to Cascais, Portugal in Spring 2011 and Spring 2012.

As I see it, I do not think that playing golf in Portugal will stop there. I still have not really explored Lisbon yet. I am not sure when but we will surely go back to Portugal. :)

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California USA Vacation in Summer-Autumn 2012

After a week vacation in Toronto, Canada, we went to California in the Unites States in September in Summer-Autumn 2012 for another week vacation particularly in San Francisco and Sonoma Valley.

We stayed at The Fairmont San Francisco Hotel along Mason Street in San Francisco and The Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn and Spa along Boyes Boulevard in Sonoma.

In San Francisco, we got to see around fifty Ferrari cars in front of the hotel along Mason Street after the day we checked in because The Fairmont San Francisco Hotel was one of the main sponsors of the FOG Charity Rally 2012.

For the duration of our stay in San Francisco, we just spent our time going around the city walking from one place to the other but we also got to ride the cable car from Powell Street near the Market Street up to California Street.

We went to the Lombard Street and took photos of the said crookedest street in the world.

We went to the Fisherman’s Wharf, Pier 39, The Embarcadero, Market Street, Powell Street, Union Square, Chinatown, Presidio, Alamo Square, among others.

We went to shops like Golfsmith, Ecco, Williams Sonoma, Nike, Ria Shoes among others but we did not really do a lot of shopping.

We went to eat at Cathay House Restaurant along California Street, Cioppino’s on the Wharf along Jefferson Street, Campanula Kitchen and Bar along Union Street, Grand Cafe along Geary Street, Caffe Cento along Powell Street, and Peña Pachamama Nuevo Latin Fusion Menu along Powell Street aside from eating at Laurel Court Restaurant and Bar at the hotel.

Outside San Francisco, we went to eat at Zen Bistro along Broadway in Millbrae, and Murray Circle Restaurant in Port Baker in Sasaulito.

We went to the Treasure Island one night after dinner and took photos of the skyline of San Francisco at night.

We went to four different places, namely, Vista Point in Sasaulito, Bridge Pavilion Information and Store in San Francisco, Conzelman Road at the Golden Gate National Recreation Area in Sasaulito, and Presidio of San Francisco at the Golden Gate National Recreation Area in San Francisco just to take photos of the Golden Gate Bridge.

We also got to take photos of Alcatraz from Vista Point in Sasaulito.

We spent four nights and five days in San Francisco, then went to Sonoma Valley and spent another three nights and four days there.

In Sonoma, we went to eat at El Dorado Kitchen along First Street, Sante Restaurant at The Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn and Spa, Sonoma Golf Club Grill at the Sonoma Golf Club by The Fairmont Sonoma along Arnold Avenue, and The Big 3 Restaurant by The Fairmont Sonoma along Boyes Boulevard.

We also went to Buena Vista Winery along Old Winery Road in Sonoma.

We also went to Napa Valley. We went to Domaine Chandon along California Drive in Yountville and O’Brien Estate Winery along Orchard Avenue.

We also went for a ride on a hot air balloon in Winters and Sacramento areas.

We went to eat at Bistro Don Giovanni along Howard Lane in Napa Valley.

Our stay in Sonoma was short so we were not really able to explore Sonoma Valley and Napa Valley.

After Sonoma, we went back to San Francisco for an overnight stay at The Fairmont San Francisco along Mason Street before our flight back to Switzerland.

I considered our stay in California as short, having spent only five nights and six days in San Francisco and three nights and four days in Sonoma Valley. Despite that, we were still at least able to meet a few good friends in San Francisco.

Thank you, friends, for spending some of your time with us. We deeply appreciate it.

San Francisco is such a big city. There is a possibility that we might go back to San Francisco.

The only question is, when? :)

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