Category Archives: Where to Stay

The Beautiful Life at Bellarocca (Marinduque)

The Bellarocca is a resort full of contrasts. “Bella” is Italian (or Greek?) for beautiful, “rocca” is rock. This small, green island off the edge of Marinduque (Philippines) is home to white-walled architecture inspired by Santorini (Greece). The white structures beautifully float from the green foliage and the azure sea, framed by the blue sky. Continue reading The Beautiful Life at Bellarocca (Marinduque)

The Manor at Camp John Hay, Baguio City

They say the early bird gets the worm. True. But there’s more. Those who rise early get to discover that this early, the first week of November, there’s fog in Metro Manila. Yes, fog, not smog. A truly wonderful sight. It’s so beautiful (well, at least for those with roof over their heads), with the blinking red light on top of the nearby cellsite greatly muted and dispersed. It’s like being in Baguio City. Except nothing really substitutes for Baguio. Continue reading The Manor at Camp John Hay, Baguio City

Spiral at Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila

Spiral. It’s a curve which emanates from a central point, getting progressively farther away as it revolves around the point. This is how “spiral” is characterized in mathematics and in general language. In cuisine, Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila characterizes “spiral” in this manner: “Manila’s most fashionable eatery is a concept restaurant with multi-cuisine open cooking stations. Indoor and outdoor environments blend beautifully in the spacious, natural setting.” One rainy Saturday provided us a window to explore the Spiral. Continue reading Spiral at Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila

Zoocobia Fun Zoo and Paradise Ranch (Sacobia, Clarkfield, Pampanga)

A destination oftentimes presents a welcome surprise, a deviation from the usual image associated with it. Take, for instance, Clarkfield in Pampanga. Foremost that may come to mind is the U.S. airbase, long gone, and the existing economic zone. There’s the Macapagal airport, hub of budget airlines. It’s the venue of the annual hot air balloon festival. It’s hard to think that an educational establishment like the Nayong Pilipino and ecotourism site would be found here. Continue reading Zoocobia Fun Zoo and Paradise Ranch (Sacobia, Clarkfield, Pampanga)

Manila Hotel: A Historical Landmark

General Douglas MacArthur, the Commander of the U.S. Armed Forces Far East (USAFFE), lived at the Manila Hotel. His comfortable stay was disrupted by the Japanese when it attacked Pearl Harbor on 8 December 1941, reaching the Philippines shortly thereafter. With the Philippine defenses crumbling, Gen. MacArthur retreated to Corregidor then to Australia in 1942, where he made his famous vow: “I shall return”. He surely had a real good reason to do that, but I figure he was also thinking of his luxurious home, the Manila Hotel. Continue reading Manila Hotel: A Historical Landmark

Peace of Mind in Club Balai Isabel (Talisay, Batangas)

Many times we want to visit a particular place. It could be a spot or resort that we’ve passed along the way or saw in a magazine or TV. Many times we have a number of excuses not to go. It could be a tight budget or a hectic schedule. Sometimes, however, the universe pushes us to go, rendering any excuse an absurdity. Continue reading Peace of Mind in Club Balai Isabel (Talisay, Batangas)

Taal Volcano and Taal Lake (Batangas)

We all know that the Philippines sits on the Pacific Ring of Fire. We have volcanoes for neighbors in our communities. The beautiful Mayon Volcano in Albay, with its world-famous perfect cone. Mt. Pinatubo,which exploded in 1991, the world’s largest explosion in living memory that caused global temperature to dip half a degree (celcius). Continue reading Taal Volcano and Taal Lake (Batangas)

Microtel Inns & Suites (Sto. Tomas, Batangas)

The location of Microtel Inns & Suites (Sto. Tomas, Batangas) makes sense if we consider that it’s inside an economic zone, the First Philippine Industrial Park, which naturally holds foreign-owned locators (various economic zones scattered throughout the Philippines, under the Philippine Economic Zone Authority or PEZA, offer tax breaks and other incentives to encourage foreign investors). Continue reading Microtel Inns & Suites (Sto. Tomas, Batangas)