Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Nashville Music City

I have heard from a friend that if you certainly love music and you want to search for a great music destination, then Nashville is really a good option.  This is where you can watch your dream shows and concerts with that music festival atmosphere.  Isn't it cool to visit Country Music Hall of  Fame and Museum?  How about exploring legendary music venues like Grand Oly Opry and Ryman Auditorium. How about shopping for that Hatch Show Print which is a perfect Nashville souvenir? There's a lot to explore visiting this Music City, a must destinations for music lovers/travelers. 

However, if you just like to shop for some authentic and quality brands of musical instruments and accessories, then you need not go further.  You can get the Apogee's top of the line by simply shopping online.  Pick your choice, they have all these state of the art equipment at guitar center.

I'm not really into music but I have friends who are. I'm sure they will find Nashville to be a great destination although I would prefer a place where I could catch a glimpse of nature.  But that;s what traveling is all about. To derive pure pleasure seeing what you really love.  So whether you are a music lover, a nature tripper, souvenir hoarder or simply want to back pack, there's a lot more to explore when it comes to traveling.  

On the second thought, Nashville City can be in my bucket list. What do you think?

Searching For Cheap Tickets

I've seen this travel hack and wonder if it;s true. I've seen searching for cheap tickets for future travels with the family and I am clueless except for the fact that buying ahead of time is the absolute cheapest.  I am not aware though that there is also a day and time required so seeing this travel hack is really cool.  Perhaps, I would give this a try and see if it works. There's nothing to lose but something to gain, isn't it?  I think I have to start choosing my destination first, from there I could do a search for the cheapest airline ticket.  I'm not really a fan of travel packages as I find the itinerary jampacked without the chance to enjoy and explore. I prefer DIY coz I got to choose what I want to see, what I want to do and what I want to enjoy.  Some travelers have that distinct preference for places and attractions, so I think that DIY tours is a better choice.  This is for me though as I could not speak for the rest but working with all the options is a must so you could find the right one for you.

Happy Travel! 

Monday, December 5, 2016

See The World For Free

I've been watching this new talent search for Pinoy Boy band members and for someone who is not really into music, I get to understand what it takes to be a band superstar.  You don't need just talent, you need the looks and the charm to captivate your audience.  Being a band superstar requires a total package, so to speak.  Now, I am thinking how challenging and difficult it is for some band members to travel around the country and the world to perform.  So many things need to be done, that's why they need a tour manager to fulfill this obligation.  I just think that this job is kind of exciting if you does not really have a talent for music but you wish to travel as much as artists do.  Last time, I dreamed of a job that would let me travel for free like a Flight Attendant, an airline staff or any job that would let me see the world and at the same time earn some money.  That's really coo, right?

However, sometimes things happened not exactly the way you wanted it. I managed to travel though by working overseas and took some days off crossing across the boarders and seeing another country. Looking back, I don't have any regrets.  Sometimes, we do not get things exactly how we wished for but something closer to it.  That's good enough, right?

Now, I just get contented having occasional trips not to work but to get pure pleasure. :)

Thursday, September 15, 2016

There's More to Traveling Than You Know

My family loves to travel but this has taken a back seat for the past couple of years due to our busy schedule and of course due to our never ending home improvement projects.  My daughter has been urging me to travel again but I've explained to her that I have to set priorities and our home improvement projects and investments should come first.  After all, we can still enjoy going for trips as soon as our projects are completed.  On the second thought, traveling does not only pertain to those expensive trips abroad, local travels are also  least go for included, so I told my son one day while I was reading the interview with p-nut that we should at least travel once every year whether locally or abroad, the most important thing is we are able to see new places each year.  If our budget is till tight, we could choose a destination which will not really require us to spend a lot and that we can still enjoy.

We have agreed to visit a place or two from the top local destinations during their scheduled home leave.  I guess this will not be an issue to their Dad who also love to go for adventures with the family.  So I guess, from now on, we will try to schedule a trip or two each year.

I love traveling!

Travel Quotes

Having traveled to some destinations locally and abroad, there's only one thing that I've realized, and that is there's a lot more to learn from other people and culture.  Sometimes, we thought reading books and articles is all what we need to know everything but through my years of traveling, I've learned that the best way to learn and educate myself is through real life experiences... that is interacting with people, observing their culture, learning their language and seeing their way of life right in front of your very eyes.

There's a lot more to travels than enjoying a beautiful spot and feasting with the foods.  It's the experience, it's the pleasure of being with people that matters most.

I love traveling! 

Useful Apps For A Frequent Traveler

If you are a frequent traveler, chances are you always wanted to stay connected.  This is already expected as nobody wants to miss any important updates from home while you are enjoying on your much awaited trip.  Well, the good news is, the advent of technology made it easier for us to travel without worries.  Here are some travel apps that were surely proven to be very useful by most travelers:

First of course, who doesn't know about SKYPE?  Communicating with your family, friends and business associates will never be easy without SKYPE.  Calling from PC to PC is free and you can also save a lot calling a cellphone by just availing of SKYPE credits which are relatively cheaper than availing the normal CP to CP charges.

Triplt is another APP that could help you access many important information and at the same time organize your travel documentations.  This could help you save time and hop in from one destination to another in a breeze.

If you're traveling in a group and everything is a shared expense, Trip Splitter would be a good option as it helps you to map your expenses complete with photos and receipts.  I have heard about Journ but I can't say much as I have never really explored it's features but I guess, this is another APP that is worth checking.

For sending photos, you may want to try Postagram.  As we are already in a digital age, sending post cards through a snail mail won't really be the best option as you need to spend time going to the physical store, buy postcards, go to the post office and if you are unlucky, you may need to waste time to fall in line just to send your post cards.  You may opt to spend that time for shopping, buying souvenirs or looking for some great finds like mitchell instruments.  Maybe this is cheaper compared to your own country, who knows?

Having these APPS handy would be of great help especially when you are only have few days before your planned trip and preparing everything in an instant would be next to impossible.  I might be exploring more apps soon and hopefully there are still more that we could use and enjoy. :) 

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Buma Hotel and Restaurant Subic Bay

Our visit to Buma Hotel and Restaurant was unexpected.  My daughter suddenly felt like she wants to spend the day swimming and so, we suddenly packed our things and leave. That's it, no fuss, no waiting. :) 

Mika already had advance information about Buma Hotel, so it wasn't hard for us to think, although we are also considering another hotel which is the Mansion Garden Hotel, but since we've been there already for a night as this was our chosen venue for Mika's Debut Party, we opted to try another hotel this time.  Buma is not as modern as the other hotels we've visited in Subic but it was fine for a day's relaxation especially that there's only the two of us anyway.

If you don't like to sleep over, you can opt to go for swimming only.  The fee is reasonable at Php300. This is consumable so it is already considered to be a good price. But bear in mind that you are dining inside a hotel so do expect that foods do not come cheap.  In fact, just for very simple and plain afternoon snacks, I paid Php800.  Anyway, this includes the access to swimming facility, so I guess, it's good enough but they do charge 10% service charge so be prepared to pay a little extra.

The pool is basic and simple. We were lucky that we went there on a weekday, so it wasn't crowded. We had the entire pool to ourselves aside from few other guests.  They have a dress code and rules just like any other hotels but they are not that strict though.  The shower room is not good though, it's very very small and not maintained well although the staff told us that we can use the hotel's comfort room to change our clothes.


It rained for about an hour during the time that we were swimming.  Mika was pleased to swim in the pool and under the rain just like her childhood days but luckily, it wasn't too cold, if not, I could have stopped swimming right away (lol).

They have a good lounge area though beside the pool and I love their wicker inspired chairs and bed which are actually made of plastic.  No wonder, the staff didn't mind it at all when it rained. The area of the pool that we have chosen is facing the beach area, so this is an added attraction as you can have the full view of the sea.

We ordered a club house sandwhich and the plain and simple Miki Bihon Guisado plus a Mango Shake for Mika and Melon Shake for me.  The food presentation is not so pleasing to me. I have eaten in several restaurants inside hotels and this is one of the simplest presentation I've seen. The service is not that good as well.  Service staff are less attentive.

Overall, Buma Hotel and Restaurant is still worth a try if you're just looking for a simple day tour or a quick weekend get away, otherwise, you could look for more affordable and yet  attractive hotels and resorts around Subic Bay.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Acoustic Night At Chopping Board

This was not our first time to dine at Chopping Board.  We usually go here whenever we attend mass at San Roque Church because of it's close proximity to the church.  I would admit, I really love the ambiance of this resto.  Me and my daughter are really fascinated with the restaurant's nice interior decorations.  Your eyes would feast looking around, reading quotes posted on walls.  Though this is not the first time that we dine at this resto, we were not aware that they have Acoustic Night every Fridays.  The songs were nice though the sound system is not that excellent.  They should have checked electronic drum guide at thehub. :)

We did not really intend to listen to their acoustic band that night, but it came as a surprise.  However, because we still need to buy something at the super market, we did not stay there long enough.

We just ordered sandwiches as we just had a snack at Harbor Point before we attended the mass, so we were not really that hungry during dinner time.  Their Cheese Burger and Lechon Baka Sandwiches were great, but I find it to be a bit pricey as these only come with 3 pcs of potato wedges and don't even have even a small salad on the side.  Nevertheless, it was good to try their lechon baka sandwich which I think is one of their best sellers.

Nothing really special abut their drinks, we've tried pandan and lemon grass tea a couple of times and their fruit juices is the usual store bought canned juice (Gina).

I understand that it was crowded the night we went there but to wait for almost 45 minutes just for sandwiches definitely turned me off.  They also have 10% service charge which is not reasonable considering the kind of service they deliver to their customers.

However, for the ambiance  and for the foods, I may consider giving it another try. :)

Friday, March 25, 2016

Texas Joe's House of Ribs Subic Bay

It was my first time to dine at Texas Joes House of Ribs.  It was a dinner treat by my lovely niece. My brother is looking for a good place to dine and we suddenly remembered Texas Joe's due to the positive reviews about the place.  We know that Texas Joe's served mostly American foods, baby back ribs being it's specialty.  Price of the foods here is a bit expensive but they serve a large portion of meal, thus the foods is worth the price.  I also love the presentation of the foods especially their salads.  We did not have the chance to take a photo of the foods served to us as we were busy chatting and laughing.  At any rate, we've enjoyed our meals that night.

The ambiance of the restaurant is so nice.  It's cozy and very presentable.  I like the service, too.  The service staff are very accommodating and they look so well with their Cowboy uniforms.

Photo taken from Texas Joe's FB Page

It was a bit crowded the night we went there.  This place is such a hot to both local and foreign tourists.  I swear to be back here with hubby and kids for another great dining experience.

Texas Joe's House of Ribs is located at waterfront Road corner Mc Kinley St. Subic Bay Freeport Zone.  You may contact them at (047) 252 3189.  They are open from 11Am to 10PM on weekdays and 11AM to 11PM during weekends.

Monday, February 29, 2016

Driftwood Beach Olongapo City

Going out from the usual posts, I've decided to feature here a place to hang out which is not cozy, not touristry but simple, beautiful and serene.  Not everyone can afford a luxurious travel nor everyone can afford expensive entrance fees.  Sometimes, a person or a family just want to have some time together... to bond, to unwind, to relax or to simply create a beautiful memory.  I have proven one thing... it's not about the place, it's about who you are with.

This is what I've realized when we went out for a day of bonding at the beach.  The decision was impromptu, it was done the night before.  We were not ready with anything.  It was a quick decision, we would spent the entire morning at the beach where we could jog, walk, stay under the sun, swim, play with our two cute pets and have a simple breakfast.  There is really a truth to what they always say...unplanned outings are always the best.  So, we even watched a movie at night before we sleep so we ended up on bed quite late.

We woke up at 7 AM, hubby cooked a quick breakfast, fried eggs, longganisa, tuyo (dried fish), hotdogs and sweet ham plus of course, steamed rice.  We get everything ready before 8 AM and soon than expected we were already at the beach.  Driftwood beach is the nearest beach to our place and it is not a private beach, it's government owned so residents of Barrio Baretto where the beach is situated can enter for free.  It so happened that we own another house at Barrio Baretto, so we are free (lol).

From the looks of it, this beach is not any different from the other private beaches along the main highway of Barrio Baretto.  It's currently being improved as we saw a number of new cottages being constructed.  I am not sure, if they will impose higher entrance fees later but the overall view of the beach front is considered beautiful and worthy of photo shoots. These are some of the photos taken during our morning at the beach.

We did not even rent a cottage.  It was morning, so the sun is not so hot yet and we've found a corner in the beach which is shady, so we had a sort of a picnic there.  Putting table cloth on the sand, sitting, walking, lying and running with the pets.  We had our scrumptious breakfast later and hubby and my son Edmar had the opportunity to swim before we finally decided to get back home.

Our morning spent at the beach was the happiest during his entire vacation, according to my husband and it was one of my favorites, too. We were so happy that time that we did not even notice the passing of time.  Our two adorable pets, Lucio and Marcus also had a great time. They don't have that opportunity to run and swim all the time, so we really saw how happy happy they are.

Now I realized that going for a short break does not mean that you have to spend much and choose the most coziest place.  It's about spending the time with people who matters most to you....your family.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Xtremely Xpresso Cafe At Subic

Right after we attended the Sunday Mass at San Roque Church, we've decided to go to Xtremely Xpresso for our lunch.  No only because it was the nearest one to the church aside from Chopping Board but because we haven't been here for quite a while now and I'm pretty curious about the improvements they have introduced to their menu, facilities and services.

The last time we visited here, I was with my daughter Mika and we just opted to dine "Al Fresco" and had some pizza and pasta.  It was late afternoon then when I picked up Mika from school so eating outdoors with the sight of the water fountain and passers by was a perfect idea.

This time, it was extremely hot, so having our lunch inside the cafe would definitely be a better option. The resto  was almost full when we came in and we were seated to the table near to the cake display area. Nothing much had changed except for adding more seats and a private area.  Everything looks the same from the decors to the counter, etc.  Even the outdoor seating is almost the same as last time.  I wonder why they have never introduced much changes considering that it is one of the most visited restaurants in Subic,

We were given a menu as soon as we're settled on our table which also doubled as our place mats.  I've noticed that new selections were added to the menu and it was indeed a good idea to try their main courses that either comes with plain rice, garlic rice or mashed potatoes.  We've ordered the following:

At the Entrance

 Korean Beef Ribs

Stuffed Pork Chop

Creamy Fish Fillet

The food was great and the presentation is pretty nice, almost the same with Ben's Kitchen which I think is a sister company.  Creamy fish fillet was my choice because I love to eat fish and I told my kids that as much as possible, I'll be ordering fish whenever we dine out as most of the time, I am cooking chicken, beef and pork at home.

Korean Beef Ribs was Mika's order and it a bit sweet but the beef is so tender making it a good choice for Mika who really loves to eat beef. My son opted for Stuffed Pork Chop which unfortunately, I didn't like. We ordered Iced Tea for our drinks and opted to have some dessert elsewhere.  Price range is quite reasonable too. The only thing that disappoints me was the absence of free wifi service.  How can a coffee shop like Xtremely Xpresso omit this? People usually go there to hang out either alone or in group and it would be much better if you could at least do something when you drop by there alone or at least for people who can't be separated from their gadgets. :)

As for the service, I would consider it fair but not great.  Service staff were not so attentive, I don't know maybe because it was lunch time and the place is quite crowded.

At any rate, I would still recommend the place to local and foreign tourists or even for local residents who just need a break form their daily life routine.

Xtremely Xpresso Cafe is located at No. 1 Dewey Avenue, Subic Bay Freeport Zone. For reservations, you can call them at (047) 252 - 3681.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

What do Music Lovers and Coffee Lovers Have In Common?

I am a certified coffee drinker and to put it bluntly, I never spent a day in my life without having a cup or two. As a matter of fact, my day will never be complete without it. There's certain kind of magic in coffee that it became my constant energy booster (blame it to the caffeine). :)

I also noticed that when I'm feeling low or sick, I would always resort to drinking coffee and this will improve my feelings instantly.  I'm not a music addict though, probably last time when I'm a bit younger, but now I would say that I am more addicted to coffee than music although there are things that music lovers and coffee lovers have in common.

Music lovers and coffee lovers both love to travel.  They are always hungry to discover new places and they are usually the adventurous type of people.  They both want to explore and they both have passion for the arts and are usually nature lovers.  I always imagine myself drinking a cup of coffee while watching the beauty of nature.  Music lovers on the other hand are not very particular on the kind of instruments they are using to play their music.  Whether it's a les paul junior or the one of lesser quality, it doesn't matter as long as while the music plays, you know who you are and everything you wish to be.  

Monday, January 18, 2016

Chopping Board Cafe and Bistro, Subic Bay Freeport Zone

It was my first time at Chopping Board and this was on my daughter's birthday held first week of this month.  My daughter has been asking me to try this place for months now as she's been here several times with her friends.  I was quite hesitant to go and visit this place as I am thinking that this might be just another normal restaurant inside the Subic Bay Freeport Zone and the fact that it's quite far from the Main Gate turns me off.  I've been telling my daughter that there are lots of restaurants to try inside Harbor Point so going a bit farther for just another normal restaurant wouldn't be a good idea.

Since it was my daughter's birthday, I just let her decide where she wanted to dine and this gave me the unwelcome opportunity to try the place.  As we approached the place, I've already felt the cozy ambiance of this restaurant.  There is an outdoor seating for those who would like to dine in a la fresco and for those who would like to have a private space, you can just proceed to the main dining hall. The place is tastefully decorated and I would say simple but modern.  It reminds me of Ben's Kitchen located at Ayala Harbor Point because of the food selection in the menu.  They mostly served pasta, sandwiches, salads and assortment of desserts but they also have a section in the menu wherein you can find some authentic Filipino dishes.  Nothing is actually unique in this restaurant as far as foods selection is concerned but I like it very much that they served not so common drinks like Pandan Juice and Lemon Grass Juice which is quite good as an option for healthy conscious customers. :)

Since that wouldn't be our last stop for the night, we just opted for pasta and drinks.  My daughter wanted to see a live band later in the night, so we have reserved some space in our tummy for pizzas, chicken, cheese sticks and some appetizers.  

The pasta serving is just of the standard size (good for one person) and the cost ranges from 120 to 145.  The taste is more to Italian flavor but I did love my Spaghetti Bolognese which comes with a slice of garlic bread.  Hubby ordered Carbonara and my daughter and his friend ordered Chicken Pasta ( I forgot the exact name, lol).

Overall, I love the ambiance of the restaurant, it's clean and very inviting.  The food is rated 3 star though and the price is comparable to Ben's Kitchen and Extremely Expresso.  This could be an option when you get tired of eating at the usual restos at the Harbor Point but going here regularly may not be budget friendly though.

Chopping Board is located at Lincoln St Subic Bay Freeport Zone.  It's near to San Roque Church and Bldg 229.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

A Road Trip Playlist

If you love traveling, then I'm pretty sure you are the type who would bring any gadget that could help you listen to your favorite music.  Why not? Listening to music while traveling definitely adds flavor to your trip.  I am a person who easily gets dizzy on long trips and listening to music while on the road helps me forget about my dizziness.  Music also keeps me awake.  I love watching the beautiful scenery while on the road but I often fall asleep when I get dizzy.  Listening to music is one of the best remedies for travel sickness.  I've seen this Road Trip Playlist online and it contains a selection of nice music that will surely bring you to an awesome road trip experience.

To be able to have that sound trip experience while traveling, of course you ought to have the best music player.  One that is handy and could provide you the best sound.  If you are looking for one, then you may want to browse online.  You may check musicians friend stupid deal of the day for the best value for your money.  I'm sure there are lots of good stuff there that could surely bring you the best road trip ever.

Happy traveling! 

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