Friday, 29 June 2012

Pagburnayan Jar Making in Vigan

When we went to Vigan, the tour guide told us that one of the highlights of the tour is visiting the pagburnayan jar making site.

 The root word “burnay” is an earthenware jar crafted by a potter’s hands with the aid of a potter’s wheel.

 A local pottery maker molds the clay into a fine-looking jar at RG (Ramon Go, owner) jar factory

 It uses fine sand (anay) as a tempering material and fired at a high temperature in a huge brick-and-clay ground kiln that makes it is harder and more durable than other terra cotta.

If you are up for scuplting your very own jars, you can actually do so by requesting the local potter to guide you. But be sure you are ready to get down and dirty.
 These jars are the most sought after by local and foreign visitors in Vigan.

Unvarnished Mini-burnay or red clay jars at RG Pagburnayan Jar Factory are priced at P35 per jar. Those with varnish are priced a bit higher.  

How to get there: 

You may ask your receptionist where you might be staying if they offer a tour package which includes pagburnayan pottery making. 

The attendant at Grandpa's Inn was accommodating enough to contact for us their in-house local tour guide.

City Tour consists of: 

a.) Calesa Adventure:

Rates: Tricycles P8 -P10 within city limits
Private Calesa - P150/hr
Whole Day Calesa Adventure - P1000

(For a comprehensive tour, you may request Sir Norbert's Calesa #143 and his horse "RODMAN" at Grandpa's Inn)

Tourist Spots Include:

St. Paul's metropolitan cathedral, archbishop's residence, plaza salcedo, plaza burgos, ayala museum, crisologo museum, mindoro beach resort, baluarte, pagburnayan, camangaan abel weaving, st. augustine church, mestizo district, hidden garden

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Isla Del Fuego, the Siquijor Adventure

Siquijor is known to be a mystical province famous for the mythical creatures that usually roams at night. Little does people know that it is a virgin paradise waiting to be explored.

san juan de capilay spring park

The Capilay spring is a natural spring made into a swimming pool at the center of San Juan town. Families from the vicinity and even tourists crowd the place during summer for a cool dip at the pool.
 san juan de capilay spring park

Surrounding the park are benches for people to sit on while relaxing or resting from taking a swim at the pool.

The road to mt. bandilaan is actually very steep and quite a long journey. But the trip was all worth it once you reach the top.

Mt. Bandilaan has its own station of the cross. With its mountainous path and thick array of forest trees, doing the way of the cross is fairly a memorable religious journey.

 one with the anito's at coco grove

It is called Island del Fuego or Island of Fire during the Spanish Colonial period. The island is covered with Molave trees which serve as a sanctuary for the swarm of fireflies. Hence, it is named Isla Del Fuego.

 Sipping the mango shake to cool off the afternoon heat at coco grove was really refreshing.

 century old balete tree

The tree is believed to be enchanted because of its eerie outline created by hundreds of roots and vines hanging down.

 st. isidore labrador church, lazi

  st. isidore labrador church, lazi

St. Isidore Labradore Parish Convent, Lazi

The Spaniards constructed the country's one of the reputed biggest and oldest convents in the Philippines. Declared a historical landmark by the Philippine Historical Commission, it is believed to have been the vacation house for the Diocese's priest at that time.

Cambugahay falls is the only enchanted falls in the island. It is secluded and definitely a refreshing site to see that one might want to take a dip.

Salagdoong beach resort is one of the island's most frequented beaches. Covered with powdery white sand, surrounded with high rock formations and an inviting crystal clear waters.

 Being the most famous of Siquijor's over 45 explored and unexplored caves, Cantabon cave's long, winding and difficult trek is definitely a challenge for thrill seekers and spelunkers.

inside cantabon cave

 Inside the cave runs a subterranean stream while beautiful stalactites and stalagmites abound the cave's huge chambers.
behind me is supposedly the pool in the cave where tourists can take a dip

How to get there:

There are 4 shipping companies operating in Cebu City with trips to Siquijor: WEESAM EXPRESS, Cokaliong Shipping Lines, Inc., f.j. Palacio Lines Incorporated and Ocean Jet.

WEESAM EXPRESS has trips every day
- Leaving from Cebu City Pier 4 wharf at 07:30 AM, and arriving at Siquijor wharf at 11:45 AM

Cokaliong Shipping Lines, Inc.
Cokaliong Shipping Lines, Inc. has trips on Mon at 01:00 PM
- Leaving from Cebu City Pier 1 wharf at 01:00 PM, and arriving at Larena wharf at 08:00 PM

f.j. Palacio Lines Incorporated
f.j. Palacio Lines Incorporated has trips on Mon, Wed, Fri at 02:00 PM
- Leaving from Cebu City Pier 1 wharf at 02:00 PM, and arriving at Larena wharf at 10:00 PM

Ocean jet has daily trips from Cebu to Siquijor. It departs Cebu at 3:35 PM and arrives in Siquijor at 8:25 PM. The fare for tourist class is P950and P1350 for business class.

Or you may log on to for more information about the vessel schedule or contact them at 255-7560 or e-mail at

Monday, 25 June 2012

Bohol Bee Farm

BEEautiful, BEEwitching, BEElicious Bohol Bee Farm

I have always wondered how it feels to eat a fresh salad of flowers that are newly picked and carefully combined with other greens garnished with a tasty honey mustard sauce. So off we go to Bohol Bee Farm.

The Buzz Souvenir Shop

The buzz shop houses numerous souvenir bohol items and pasalubong stuffs such as fridge magnets, photo frames, native bags, et al. They also sell their own breads, muffins & pastries, and even organic soaps and personal hygienic bits and pieces.

organic honey for sale

organic and herbal tea for sale

carrot muffin @ P15

The restaurant in bee farm offer not only comfort because of the milieu that is both relaxing and enjoyable but also pure gastronomic delight due to the healthy goodness in food.

wash area

cozy dining place

native restaurant

It is also complete with amenities conveniently available for visitors and tourists both local and foreign.

beach view

swimming pool

clean and unique toilets

urinal and wash area

Bohol Bee Farm is the place to be when it comes to authentic organic foods. Indulge in their organic menus ranging from the main course, soups, breads and muffins to their salads and refreshments.

organic red rice topped with boiled sweet potato

 seafood platter @ P780 (grilled squid, grilled prawns, grilled marlin and kinilaw)

bee farm lumpia with honey mustard sauce (A yummy treat of veggies such as carrots, native turnip (singkamas), cucumber, greens and mango plus peanut butter wrapped in a soft lumpia wrapper)

spare ribs with organic red rice 

Even the menu being used tells of an organic material since it is made of a hand-woven indigenous fabric.

Just beside the buzz shop, is the Buzz Ice cream which sells organic flavors like buko pandan, malunggay, tomato, mango and a lot more. Talk about healthy dessert options for the sweet tooth.

regular halo-halo topped with organic ice cream @P140

While waiting for the orders to be served, they will provide you an on-the-house treat of their delicious home-made organic bread paired with 3 types of spread.
complimentary food (squash bread with 3 choices of spread: butter, pesto and mango)

At first glance, the freshly picked organic garden salad was not appealing because who would want to eat a flower salad not to mention a colorful one. But then again, once you get to taste it you will surely never stop. For me the honey mustard sauce brings out the flavors of these assorted romaine lettuce, radish, turnips and assorted flowers like Cosmos and Bougainvilleas. A bouquet of flowers therefore is edible after all!
 Organic Garden Salad with Honey Mustard Sauce ( a must try)

Bohol Bee Farm is the definition of “fun times” because it is not just about exquisite dining experience. It is a resort, restaurant and sanctuary rolled into one.

How to go there:

There are a lot of transportation means going to Bohol Bee Farm – metered taxi’s (roughly around P240 to P260 from pier to Bee Farm), van for hire @ P1500 (for large groups), (waiting) tricycle @ P300 and even habal-habal (motorbikes that can transport 3-4 people) from P200 to P400 depends on haggling skills.

If you are from Manila, you can take the direct flight Manila to Tagbilaran. If from Cebu, you can go to Bohol Bee Farm either going directly to Tagbilaran from Cebu through fast crafts or ferry or catch a ride via ferry from Cebu to Tubigon and continue the trip by riding a bus going to Tagbilaran City.

We went there via Oceanjet (a 2 hour travel from Cebu to Tagbilaran) and availed of their round fare promo which is P420 and took their earliest trip 6am.