Saturday, January 30, 2016

Davao 2016 Itinerary and Guide: Things to do, where to go, what to eat

My first trip for 2016 is where life is, Davao City.

I was in Davao, the land of promise, for three days haha but I wasn't able to do a lot of things, wasn't able to visit a lot of attractions even so I'm definitely looking forward to my next visits. A visit when I'd have more than 1 hour of sleep prior my flight huhubells.

I'm going to confess something though, another reason why I wasn't able to roam around that much is because I left the itinerary I made at home. I thought that I had taken a picture of it but I realized when I was at the airport that I did not. 

Here it is:
An itinerary for first timers (or not) without a Samal Island tour.

Day 1

Arrival at Francisco Bangoy International Airport
Lon Wa Buddhist Temple
Magsaysay Park
People's Park

Visited: 1/4

Day 2

Attractions at the city outskirts:
Eden Nature Park
Philippine Eagle Center
Malagos Resort
Japanese Tunnel
Crocodile Park
Jack's Ridge
Durian Candy Factory

Visited: 6/7

Day 3

Osmena Park
San Pedro Church
Museo Dabawenyo
Davao City Hall
Bankerohan Market
Rizal Park
Aldevinco Shopping Center

Visited: 5/7

What actually happened in my Davao Trip... posting them SOON. :))

Where to stay?

Hotel Uno

Not the best in the city but for its affordability, location, and hospitable staff. I think I did a good job in choosing this as my hotel. I'll post pictures of the room and everything soon.

Who to contact?
Kuya Joey

He is very accommodating.
He offers reasonable rates.
His taxi has a free wifi connection.
My angas pictures and videos wouldn't all be possible without him and his connections. Haha!

Like his Facebook page to know more about the different packages he is offering:

Davao Tour Package with Kuya Joey Davao

A photo posted by Tin Gallemaso (@xtintina) on

A photo posted by Tin Gallemaso (@xtintina) on

A photo posted by Tin Gallemaso (@xtintina) on
The three pictures were taken at Philippine Eagle Center. Not all tourists, especially those who are a part of a large group, can take their pictures while holding the birds. Hehe. It was all because we had Kuya Roy, the center's caretaker and a recent recipient of the Tourism Hero award, that we were able to take pictures with the caged birds.

A video posted by Tin Gallemaso (@xtintina) on

Kuya Joey took my video as I was cycling in the sky. Can't show it to you because I kept on taking selfies while cycling. Kahiya. HAHAHA. So sinabi ko pa rin diba. You can't blame me though! Riding the Skycycle and Skyswing is a dream come true. :))


I have always wanted to visit Davao because of the articles I've read that it's a safe city and I'm glad I was able to do it this year. It's really a beautiful, clean, safe, and a peaceful city to be in. Congratulations and good job po, Mayor Duterte! Sayang lang I had no time to see more and visit Samal island pero soon, I'll be back real soon Dabaw! 

I took a picture of this ref magnet and the person manning the souvenir shop told me, "Oh, that's Mayor Duterte's tagline!"

It's not everywhere you could confidently walk holding your phone and camera at 10 in the evening. Wala lang, it just felt so safe. Even all the Duterte jokes I was told were full of respect for him: "Mam, isang beses binagyo kami rito pero hindi agad umalis kasi natakot sa speed limit policy ni Mayor Duterte." Ay! Grabe siya! Takot lahat. Hahaha! I didn't feel that they fear him though, it was more of him being so loved by his people. 

Hoping I get to see more of Davao and the rest of the provinces in Mindanao. Ehem Surigao ehem South Cotabato ehem Iligan. 

Monday, January 25, 2016

Galli Village Cafe, San Antonio Village, Makati

This is located at YMCA hotel in front of Sacred Heart Church, Makati but they also have a branch in Maginhawa Street, Quezon City. 

To give you a brief history of the restaurant, the word Galli is a combination of the owners' surnames Garcia and Villongco. 

Please excuse the pictures. Haha! 
Tin was late (again)
Don't be like Tin.
Always anticipate the hellish traffic jams. 

So there, I came in late thus they were already eating when I arrived. But these pictures I have here would still work. :))

Their paella is only made if there's an order to ensure the freshness and the taste so be prepared to wait for 45 minutes but you can also order in advanced. But, if you decide to wait then I assure you that this is going to be worth it. Uy, walang hugot. Masarap kasi talaga.
Beef Salpicao

Unfortunately, this wasn't that remarkable for me but they only use beef tenderloins so it's not surprising that this was tender. 
Shrimp Gambas

Not only because I am shrimp biased but this one was my favorite of all the viand I had for that night. You know how bad I am at describing food but this one's really really really good that I took the last piece. HAHAHA. Alam mo naman nagkakahiyaan sa last piece diba?  E you could really taste how fresh the shrimps are so huhu obviously, I wasn't able to resist.

Nga pala, they only use sugpo for this one.

 I love that they always make sure they're only cooking the finest ingredients yet still manage to make everything reasonably-priced.
Chicken Al Ajillo

Bet with rice! If I were to rank the viands I had that night, this comes in second to the shrimp gambas.

Galli Village Cafe may be a small restaurant in Makati but the pictures and paintings there are big things. Hehe.

All the decorations found are remembrances and souvenirs from the owners' previous travels in several countries.These pictures undoubtedly added a different feel to the restaurant - and even made the place much closer to the heart hehe. Of course, more inspiration for us who have been bitten by the travel bug.
I wasn't able to take pictures of the entire place but there are a lot more decorations, travel magazines even.

Btw, you may reserve the whole area for small celebrations or family gatherings.

Thank you, Ms. Christine for having me again and Aldous for organizing this event. :))

Aozora Japanese Cafe + Bistro, Tagaytay link: here.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Ying Ying Tea House, Binondo, Manila

Binondo Food Wok 2013 (Tasty Dumplings, Dong Bei Dumplings, Binondo Church, Wai Ying) link: here.

From somewhere in Manila, I oftentimes suggest going to Chinatown to eat. Unfortunately, two of those several times, we got stuck in intense hair-pulling, nerve-wracking, mood downer traffic ordeals. As in, buti na lang there's Ying Ying Tea House in Dasmarinas Street Corner Yuchengco. Didn't have to reach the gate of Chinatown, pwede na umikot agad para umalis na sa super ma-traffic na area especially last December. I wasn't even able to make it to a blog event for Mesa in Eastwood because I got stuck in traffic there. Sorry po. :( 

ANYHOW... these pictures were taken in two different visits.
Pay attention to the different watermarks. Haha. I was in the phase of deciding which one should I use and what domain should I replace my old domain with.
Thanks Ying Ying for saving the starving us twice.

Sincerity Chicken and other restaurants inside Chinatown were all close yet soooooo far and nahihiya na ko 'cause my companions all looked irritated. Hangry mode on na. We could've eaten at the nearest fast food joint but no. hahahahaha. Too much for always being the reason why they're inconvenienced. hahahahaha. But I still am the reason why they get to taste the food at different restaurants, right????? Pwede na. The end justifies the means. hahahahahahaha.

Good thing I saw the sign of Ying Ying Tea House and I was like, "Pwede kaya tayo mag-park para dyan na lang tayo kumain?!" Our driver was like, "Oo, pwede naman." Me: "Sige, Kuya dyan na lang tayo."
I wasn't able to read online reviews about Ying Ying but we still entered because we were famished and we wanted to get away Binondo real quick. I immediately saw that the place was packed and there were a lot of Chinese Nationals, it was only then that I felt okay with our decision. Haha.

And much more okay when I was able to taste the service hot tea. LOOOOOOOOOOOVED THIS!!!! I think it was a mild wintermelon tea. 
For 90.00/bowl, their serving is already huge.
This is White Chicken Mami.
Same story as above, we didn't make it to Chinatown so we ate here again. HAHAHA. I was quite disappointed when I found out that for that day, it was jasmine hot tea. The variant I prefer the least. :( Iba iba pala... 
Xia Long Bao
Sarap naman.

I was a victim of food poisoning so back then, I was really cautious as to what I am stuffing my mouth with (HAHA!). Seeing that their Dimsums were placed outside, as in para siyang isawan na nasa labas tas may mga dumadaan na cars at tao pero may cover naman, I was apprehensive while ordering this. I obviously did and I'm still okay. Safe naman.

That set-up isn't something that all people would feel comfortable in because it looks unsanitary tbh.

For the overall cleanliness of Ying Ying, I can't say that it's the cleanest restaurant I've been to but it's also not too shabby. The crowd, service, price, and the taste of food compensate eh. Keri lang. 
Soy Chicken Rice
Not my order though I love the dip. 
I forgot what's the name of this but I had slices of Roasted Peking Duck, Asado, and Liempo. 

All of these were good. Also, notice the big serving of rice. Hindi namin naubos 'yung one cup nila. 
Because they have one of the best mami that I have tried so far. Just that the soup of beef mami and soy chicken mami are more flavorful than the soup of this (Dumpling Mami/Wanton Mami).

And who knows?
Ying Ying could save us again in the future so I'm looking forward to our third visit. 

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Real and Infanta, Quezon Day 3: Wish Pool and Home

We arrived at the area while Tatay was still cleaning it. The idea of this pool is to divert the flowing cool water from river to here. ANG LINIS AT ANG LAMIG!!!! Way to heal our then worn out bodies. 
Sarap sobrang lamig!!
They're barely visible in this picture but my legs, feet, (arms and hands) had a lot of scratches. 
In just a few minutes, the pool was filled with fresh water. HUHUHU. Okay na!
"Tay, ano po pangalan nitong lugar niyo?"
"Wish Pool"
Water Source
Sarapppppppppppp!!!! Para kang nasa cold spring, ang perfect para sa summer na sobrang init.
Bye, Little Baguio!!!!!


Real and Infanta, Quezon Day 3: Morning & Landslide

We slept in a tent on our second night.

Only few of the scratches I got from the mountain. HAHA!
The third morning was once again foggy and windy. Pinagbigyan lang kami talaga of a better weather for the descent and ascent.
Salamat, Little Baguio!!!

Para sa lahat ng saya at hirap na binigay mo sa'min. haha!

The fog was back as if to wave us goodbye... but was it really goodbye? Not yet!!
There is no water supply in the area and they only run a generator at night for electricity. The residents just harvest rain for their water supply and since we almost used up all the stored water in the house we stayed at, nag-igib muna kami on our third day while some cooked breakfast. 
Just on of the pictures showing how windy it was there.

Nakakamiss 'yung lamig.

Sa totoo lang, pag-uwi ko ng Manila, asar na asar ako sa init. HAHAHAHA!
We decided to go swimming before we head back home but in order to go to the nearest falls, we had to pass through the landlslide area. :(  Nakakalungkot dahil may landslide... dahil may putik na naman kaming maapakan. Napakagood job kasi ng suot kong footwear that time. Kain putik. Haha.
Grabeng pahirap man... this view was enough to comfort me and my battered body and soul. HAHA!

Real and Infanta, Quezon Day 2: Lilim Forest Conservatory and Ascent

We were allowed to go around the Lilim Forest Conservatory.

For reservations to this place, refer to their Facebook account link: here.
The owner of this place was one of the people responsible in making Lilim a protected area.

Thank you for your efforts, Sir!
Most of the time, retreats and recollections are held in this place.
One day, I want to go back not by trekking down though. HAHA. 
Picnic Tables
They have a lot of amenities like this pool and more are still being developed.
See the peak there, 'yung nasa gitna na matulis???! That was where we came from!!! LOVE IT!!!! Still can't believe we made it back. HAHAHAHA!!!
Overnight huhuhu

Thinking of the ascent, we wanted to spent the night there.

Take note: You can reach it by riding a vehicle, iba 'yung daan. Galing kami sa taas (Little Baguio) area pero meron daan from Quezon talaga. 
Viewing Deck
Like the one in Kamay ni Hesus.
About to go through the arduous ascent again. 

It was my toughest one hour as in I can't and I won't be able to replace that special moment. It was a lot harder than Mt. Pulag's assault! As in seryoso, namanhid ako sa sobrang hirap. HAHAHA! It was so slippery and the mud always stuck to my sandals plus we were time pressured since ayaw namin abutan ng gabi dun. This is a "virgin forest," a lot of monkeys, snake and wild boar still live there. Ang liit ng ibang daan tapos.ang daming branches na pag tinignan mong maigi, bangin na pala 'yung nasa ilalim. You wouldn't want to fall to an abyss, noh! Sarap pa mabuhay. hahaha.

Buti na lang we had dogs who trekked with us, it felt safer.

There came a point when I didn't care about anything anymore, I only wanted to get back alive even if it meant a lot of scratches and ant bites to me. Sobrang dami kong sugat that time nakakaloka pero lampake ako!!!! Rather than slip down, it was better to hold onto branches, some of which, had thorns :(( The rattan (sobrang daming thorns ng young tree) tree are also abundant in the area. huhuhu!

You wouldn't know how strong you are talaga unless being strong is the only choice you have. 
After all the hirap, you know what's amazing???

We went it back in an hour!! We descended for three hours and the harder ascent, we did in an hour.

This is only one of the reasons why Sierra Madre Mountain Range is special to me. Haha
Cheers for all the moments when we felt like giving up but held on!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

May we never lose hope even in the hardest and trying times... we'll get there eventually. Go lang! Before you even know it, you've reached your summit. :)))

Real and Infanta, Quezon Day 2, Part 1

The weather was clear for day 2. 
The fog was nowhere in sight.

We needed to go down the mountain to visit one Barangay but it was impossible to reach it by car since there was a landslide that occurred and damaged the bridge. You may look for Jay Taruc's Motorcycle Diaries TV program to know more about the landslide, he has an episode where they gave out relief goods to the affected residents. 

I climb mountains, yes.
I love trekking, yes.

But I wasn't prepared for this at all. Descent was exhausting and punishing because this isn't a mountain that is frequented by mountaineers and tourists so the trek is, well, kind of hell with all the thorns, mud and steep descents.

 HAHAHAHAHAHA. I don't remember how many times I slipped and how many scratches I got from our 3 hours long descent.
The only time I hated my Sandugo sandals. Gave it away after this trip. HAHAHAHA!

I forgot his name but he made my descent a lot easier.

"Malapit na ba?"
"Oo, malapit na."


But he saved me though when I didn't know where to step at when a huge earthworm greeted (mej kasing taba siya ng ballpen) us there. He also helped me stand everytime I slipped. Grabe talaga!!!!!! As in best ever. 
We reached the area alive! HUHUHUHU ALIVE!!!!! But not unscathed. :)))
I don't know what this place is called. Okay, I knew it but I forgot it now. HAHAHA.

We were able to talk to the barangay chairman and tourism activities are already in the works for this area to divert the livelihood of the residents from illegal logging, kaingin based livelihood to a sustainable tourism based one. Much better. A lot better.

Someday, I hope I'll have a chance to work with an agency or organization that would promote sustainable and responsible tourism here in the Philippines or in other countries. I hate it when I see irresponsible residents and tourists. HAHAHA. Kala mo kung sinong responsable...
Cleaned up my leggings and scratches before eating.
Sarap maligo!!
Boodle Fight for lunch.

Thank You for the gift of then budding friendship. <3
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