Sunday, September 18, 2016

Talent Search 2016 Pictorial

Mr. and Ms. STI candidates 
and school officials from
different STI branches pose for one group shot

Thank You Maui and Son's for sponsoring the Casual wear worn by Joseph Fernandez Jr. of STI College Sta. Maria and the rest of the contestants

Jadilyn Morales of STI College Malolos models the STI Originals shirt

 Aubrey Mendoza of STI College Baliuag models this Maui and Sons off shoulder Top

Clea Isabel Magnaye's smile is captured in this Instagram Pose

Sophia Marie Sefarady of STI College Dasmarinas shows her winning smile

Keith Mendoza (STI College Tarlac) Kyle Marasigan (STI College Batangas) and Migi Abadines (STI College Sta. Cruz) showcase their elegance with their hot pink ties in their Robert Zamora Suits

Me I just enjoyed time spent with the new batch of Mr. and Ms. STI candidates

thanks to Good Shot Photography for their wonderful photos

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Guimaras Restaurant: The Pitstop Restaurant

If its your first time in Guimaras, or maybe if you are returning and is looking for a good meal, all roads will point you to The Pitstop restaurant for your Pit stop.

I arrived at around 1:00 pm and the place is still packed with customers and it took me another 15 minutes to be seated.

One thing I liked in this restaurant is that there is a tarp on the wall that promotes other places in Guimaras that you can visit. That was where I headed after my lunch.

The specialty of the house, the one that made me go to this restaurant, their famous Mango Pizza. Fortunately it lived up to its billing and I liked it i ate the whole pizza.

Of course what is a good meal without something to drink. A pitcher of this Guimaras Blend is to die for. Luckily I was so parched because of the heat.

You can see on my face the inevitable - another happy tummy!

And wait, there's more - while I was there I also tried their Bangus - Mango Sisig! Honestly it was just sisig with Mango and the taste does not vary from the regular bangus sisig even if they put Mangoes on it.

Finally, the main meal - my source of Protein. Disclaimer - I did not finish this Baby Back Ribs and left some for dinner. A man can only take as much!

When you visit Guimaras go and visit this Restaurant for you to know if their Mango Pizza is really worth it.

Guimaras Activities: Island Hopping

One of the many things that you can do in Guimaras is Island Hopping

At the Alibuhod Beach you can actually rent a boat like this for P 500 for the first hour and an additional P150 per hour to go to different islands

The Islands near the Alibuhod beach have some hidden caves that boats can go to

Just one of the things you can do while stopping on some islands

I was supposed to go to the caves here at the Turtle Islands, unfortunately because of my bad back i did not go through with it since according to the tour guide there are lots of crawling inside. The cave are for thin guys only hahaha.

In this Island there is a grotto on top of the Isle

Another shot of the Turtle Islands, unfortunately the turtles were all gone

Looking at Raymen's Beach from afar

Another look at the Alobijod Cove from the Ocean

Hopefully, when i come back, this resort will be operational

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Guimaras Resort: Raymen Beach Resort

As i scoured for a place to stay in the Island of Guimaras, everything pointed to this place in Alibuhod Beach - Raymen Beach Resort. I was at first hesitant to book here but what convinced me was the fact was the place is like a one-stop shop and luckily it did not disappoint.

Here is a look at the Resort from the boat I rented to go Island Hopping. Just like what i mentioned, you can go o the beach and rent a boat for you to go aroudn the Islands. Some resorts do not have that luxury. 

The Resort also rents out cabanas just in case you and your friends would just like to have an afternoon of fun and excitement. These Cabanas can be rented from P500- P600 pesos. 

Another thing nice is that there is a small Sari-Sari store inside the resort just in case you forgot some drinks or some food you wanted to bring. They also serve lapaz batchoy in this store. 

 This is the building for the rooms. You can rent a room for yourself, for two people, for four, for a family or even your barkada. You can rent a room that is airconditioned or just a fan room Talk about flexibility.

This is the restaurant of the Resort which serves almost everything and they also specialize in seafood.

Presenting their sumptuous buttered shrimp dish which was so delicious i ate this all up in record time.

Of course my meals are not complete if there is no "Kilawen na Tangigue" on the side. The cook used their native "Sinamak" vinegar for this dish which had a different and unique taste but delicious nonethelss.

Of course since I was in Guimaras, rather than getting a dessert, glass of their sweet ripe Mango shake was a great way to cap my meal.

Just for fun here is their Menu which shows how affordable their meals are.

You can actually try other resorts, but this one is quite practical when you are in Guimaras.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

The Guimaras Hour

When I first visited Iloilo in 1998 one of the places that captured my fancy is the Island where they say produces the best and sweetest mangoes – the Island of Province of Guimaras. The Province of Guimaras is one of the smallest in the country and is located between the Island of Panay and Negros. That is why backpackers often go here from Iloilo and then to Bacolod and if you have more time you can also go to Dumaguete. 
The Guimaras Mangoes

Our country is full of Festivals and the province of Guimaras celebrates the Manggahan Festival every May to promote the province and celebrate its foundation day. The Province has more thatn 50,000 Mango trees planted and claims to have the sweetest mangoes in the world. Before, when you talk about Guimaras, it was all about its Mangoes, but now it has become a preferred tourist destination and I hope that in the next few years more resorts and developments come to this province.

This is the 50-seater boat from Iloilo to Guimaras

If you come from Manila, take the Manila – Iloilo flight either via Philippine Airlines or Cebu Pacific. At the Airport, you can either wait for a van that will take you to SM Iloilo and take a taxi from there to either Parola Wharf or Ortiz Wharf. You can also look for a metered taxi at the Airport and pay and additional P 50 so you can get straight to the Wharf. That’s what I did, the meter stood at P340 and gave the cab P400.  At the Wharf it takes just 5 – 10 minutes to buy a P14 ticket for a boat that will take you to Guimaras. The boats easily fills up to 50 passengers and will just take 15 to 20 minutes to get you to Guimaras. In Guimaras, depending on where you will stay, its either you take a jeep which is so crowded or a tricycle which charges up to P300 depending on where you will go.

This is where I stayed at the Raymen Beach Resort

Guimaras has five towns namely Jordan, Nueva Valencia, Buenavista, San Lorenzo and Sibunag. The main wharf from Iloilo brings you to Jordan and there are lots of places to stay in but I would recommend getting one at the Alobihod beach which is in Nueva Valencia. There are four resorts sharing the same shoreline and after checking out reviews at Trip Advisor I stayed at the Raymen’s Beach Resort and I was quite content with what the place had to offer.  The place is a 45- minute tricycle ride from the Jordan Wharf and with lots of bumps along the way. I paid P 250 to the driver going to Raymen’s and P300 going to the Jordan Wharf when I left the place. As menteiond by the tricycle driver, the resort is 26 kilometers from the Wharf.
Happy to fit in the trike

Since I was dead tired when I arrived, I tried to cramp all activities in one day. The good thing about Raymen’s is that it’s all there, the beach and the people you need to talk to when you go island hopping. At the same I told myself after the island hopping I can go around and visit the other tourist destinations in the province. 

No Man is an Island Hopping

Good thing with the Island hopping is that they have fixed prices with the boats so you don’t have to haggle yourself around. Depending on how many you are, you can actually rent a boat for yourself for P 500.00 for one hour and add P150 for the succeeding hours. Depending on how many you want to go to and how long you want to be in one island will be proportional to how much you will pay. I just rented the boat for two hours and snorkeled at the Ave. Maria Islet. The rental for the snorkeling gear is P100. The other islands I just passed by and took pictures.
You need to eat here before leaving

As I mentioned, read and experienced, most tourists take the tricycle to go around the province.  Recommended places to go to are the Trappist Monastery where you can buy lots of pasalubong, the Guimaras Provincial Hall where I took my Guimaras picture, you can also eat at the Pitstop Restaurant, check out the smallest plaza which has the image of Jose Rizal and Mango Reasearch Center – all of which are in Jordan.  Other sites which I did not go to is on the far side of Guimaras, the Guis Lighthouse also in Nueva Valencia and the San Lorenzo Windmills in San Lorenzo. These places are perfect for picture seekers.

Can't wait for this resort to get finished

The only thing missing here is the intervention of the Tourism industry to promote and improve the place. The beaches are great but needs much more improvements. Transportation is a chaos because of the exorbitant rates the tricycle drivers charge because the tourist sites are so far from each other. I hope that in the next five years I can visit again and this time check out the other areas I was not able to visit. 

Sunday, August 21, 2016

STI 33rd Anniversary Celebration

August 21, 2016 is the 33rd Anniversary of STI as an institution. Every year we celebrate this event with a party. Today we moved the party to the Eusebio H. Tanco Gymnasium complete with the food, drinks and entertainment. Just check out the pictures of the event.

The Barkada preparing to 
attack the buffet

The hosts after their 
Tatlong Beki "BIBE" Dance number 

The now traditional dance of new employees of STI 
Rock the night away

Surprise number from ME!  I myself was surprised to perform. I must admit I felt a little rusty at the start but then again rocked the house when I got going. Sang three songs, A Big 3 Sullivan Favorite, A Spoof song and a rap composition of mine - the STI Way. Thanks to the Parokya ni Aspa for Backing me up.  

The Photo Wall with the Lunch mates 

HANdsome SOLO moment 

 ME with Da Gurls on a fun pose