Saturday, December 9, 2017

Birthday Road Trip to Kamay ni Hesus

Wondering of a special thing to do for my birthday weekend led us to a roadtrip to Kamay ni Hesus Shrine.  Kamay ni Hesus is a famous pilgrimage site, known for it Healing Church.

It sits on a 5 hectare land that also includes a Via Dolorosa Grotto, Noah’s Ark, Sea of Galilee, Holy Family Park, and the Pastoral Center founded by the Healing Priest, Fr. Joey Faller.

I thought it would be nice to attend mass to give thanks for the past wonderful 41 years and pray for an even more blessed years ahead.

The Healing Church


We arrived at 10am and missed the  9am. The following mass starts at 5pm anticipated masses during Saturdays (I have appended below the daily mass schedule, for reference).  

Next stop is the Via Dolorosa Grotto, which features the Fourteen (14) Stations of the Cross. 

It was a tiring walk up the grotto's steep (290+) steps, you would literally have to carry yourself to reach the top.

So tired, but we got to look fresh in front of the camera...

Yehey, almost at the top :P

Made it...

The Kamay ni Hesus grounds is truly picturesque, with activities even for the youngest member of your family.  

Our 9 year old,  enjoyed and lingered a bit at feeding Koi fishes at the Sea of Galilee.

I never thought, feeding Koi Fishes will be so relaxing.
I could play this video, over and over again.

Beside the Sea of Galilee is the Noah's Ark.  This building houses accommodation, for retreatants and those wanting to stay overnight or longer at Kamay ni Hesus.

Kamay ni Hesus is a perfect place to rekindle faith, give thanks and seek guidance.


7:30AM, 9:00AM, 10:30AM, 11:30AM,
2:30 - Healing Mass
Monday/Tuesday: 9:00AM
Wednesday: 9:30AM - Healing Mass
Thursday/Friday: 9:00AM
9:30AM - Healing Mass
5:00PM - Anticipated Mass

For more information, please visit Kamay ni Hesus webpage:


If you are looking for a place to spend the night in Lucban Quezon, you may want to check my post on  Villa Elma (Back to Nature).

Friday, December 8, 2017

Back to Nature at Villa Elma ~ Lucban Quezon

For my birthday weekend, we went on a family road trip to Kamay ni Hesus Shrine (a well-known Catholic pilgrimage site).
As it was quite a long drive back home to Manila from Lucban, Quezon Province, so my husband and I decided to stay the night at Villa Elma.

Villa Elma is a scenic nature park with bed and breakfast, located at the foot of Mt. Banahaw.

We stayed at the Log Cabin.  This accommodation is good for 6+ guests.  There is a room upstairs with a queen sized bed and a sofa that converts to a bed on the ground floor.  There is a small restroom downstairs and full bath on the 2nd floor.

Only the upstairs bed room is air-conditioned, but it was okay at the ground floor too, as weather at the foot of Mt Banahaw is fresh-cool.  It felt like we were in Baguio.

The room upstairs is nicely decorated ~ adorned with paintings and other work of arts.

There is also a veranda upstairs.   

Our window opens to this delightful view (Yes, I wanted to take this papaya tree home with us).

Chickens roaming around ~ This is rural living!

It was raining a bit (and the steps slippery)  during our stay so we never got to visit the rest of Villa Elma.   

The cold weather is perfect for snuggling (bring a light jacket).

  1. There was very little to do at Villa Elma. There is no television and no wi-fi (we brought our own, but signal was intermittent). You might want to bring board games to pass time, if you have kids along ~ A true "no-gadgets" weekend.
  2. Villa Elma boasts meditation and prayer areas  and a brook to go swimming, but since the weather was off, we did not get to see these.
  3. Weather is wonderful.  We loved the cool mountain breeze, especially when we woke up the next morning.  We felt so rested and relaxed.
  4. Food options at there restaurant is limited.  You can bring in cooked food though or go out to buy food or just eat out. Villa Elma is about 10-15 minutes drive the town proper.
  5. As you are one with nature, expect to see lots of bugs and insects around.  Though the room upstairs was clean, there were a lot of ants down stairs.
  6. The bathrooms were clean too, however, I cant seem to make the hot and cold work.  We had to take cold showers. 
  7. Staff were nice and very accommodating. 

Villa Elma
A. Mabini Street, Brgy. Palola,
Lucban, Quezon Province
Tel No. +639955045385
Email Address.
Website: Villa Elma

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Pawikan Conservation Center Bataan

We dropped by the Pawikan Conservation Center Bataan on our to Las Casas de Acuzar.  

The center's volunteers help in the conservation of "Pawikans (or Sea Turtles)" by patrolling the shore and watching the turtle eggs hatch to ensure they are same from predators.

The center is also home to injured "Pawikans", rescued from sea.  Rescued "Pawikans "are treated here and rehabilitated until they are strong enough to go back to their habitat.

With P50, visitors may “adopt a baby turtle” for release back to the sea.  

Bataan Tourism
Pawikan Conservation Center, Nagbalayong, Morong
Mobile: +63917 6716995
Landline: (047)237-4785
Facebook: bataan.tourism

VIP Treatment at the Magaul Bird Park

A quick detour to Subic Bay on our way to Las Casas Bataan 
 (See related post here Las Casas de Acuzar Bataan Tour) led us to Magaul Bird Park.  

Magaul Bird Park is a birds' amusement park with shows and interaction programs located inside Subic Bay's Jungle Environment Survival Training (JEST) Camp.  This camp is known for its jungle survival training programs. 

The park was named after Magaul a magical, mythical bird also known as "Sarimanok". It is said to bring good luck to anyone able to catch it. It is also bird that pecked the bamboo from where "Malakas and Maganda" were born from. 

When we visited the park, CHED has just recently issued a moratorium suspending off campus activities including field trips in the country, following a deadly school field trip bus crash leaving about 15 students dead.

This left the Jest Camp almost without visitors (due to cancellation of scheduled field trips)  ~ we literally had the park all to ourselves (yup like VIPs).

Entrance to the Magaul Bird Park costs P350, inclusive of park tour, jungle survival demonstration and the bird show.

There are two (2) shows scheduled at 11:00 am and 1:30 pm on weekdays with an additional show at 4:00 pm on weekends.

Most of the birds we saw were inside cages, though there were a handful of ducks and peacocks running freely.

We love this little guy the most,  we were just passing by, when he made a ruckus that made us come back.  Our assigned tour guide, was so nice, we gave us bird seeds to feed this guy.  

We got to enjoy the Bird Show a lot, as we were the only ones there.  We got to take part in every portions of the show. We were the ONLY Volunteers (Lol)!!!  

After the bird show, we went to see a Jungle Survival Demonstration.  Our instructor showed us how to extract water from tree vines, make kitchen utensils from bamboo and start a fire without matches.  

Starting a fire without matches (with nature's resources).

Our instructor making stuffs using bamboo looks so easy, NAH!

Water taste good actually.

This experience, taught me that in a Zombie apocalypse,  I won't last a night in the jungle and would probably be left in the city as Zombie food. 

  • A trip to Magaul Bird Park as VIPs is a truly wonderful experience. We were attended to literally like royalties. It was cool to have the park to ourselves. 
  • The place is perfect for families with young school age children.  It is a good place to teach about love for nature and environment. 
  • We have been to bird parks and zoos outside the country, the best one being the Singapore Zoo and Jurong Bird Park in Singapore. Although, Magaul Bird Park failed in comparison, the effort and determination to educate the public, especially the children the love for nature cannot be downplayed.   
  • There are plenty of activities inside the park, that will certainly keep both kids and adults entertained such as: Angry Bird play area, Winged Wonders Bird Show, Brunch with Birds, Goliath Swing and Kiddie Rappelling.

Magaul Bird Park 
 Jungle Environment Survival Training Camp
Upper Mau, Cubi-Triboa, Subic Bay Freeport Zone,
Zambales, Philippines

For questions and inquiries
Phone: Telefax: 63 47 252 1489
Smart: 639088207048
Sun: 639228832763
Globe: ‎639770938435

Business Hours: 8.30 am – 5.00 pm Everyday

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Bakasyunan Resort Tanay Review

We were looking for an easy 1-2 hours get-away near Metro Manila to unwind and catch up with family friends.
As we live in Taytay, our default go to place is the hills of Tanay, Rizal.

Resorts abound in Tanay, so choosing one that fits our requirement was a bit of a challenge.  

We wanted a place with a back to nature ambiance with panoramic view, but with the comfort of a hotel. This led us to "Bakasyunan Resort".

The resort sits on a 15 hectare property with a view of the Sierra Madre mountains and Laguna de Bay.  

We booked 2 Carneros Inn.  The Carneros are private rooms located a few meters away the main pool.  The rooms have 2 Queen sized beds, perfect for a family of four (4).  

I am so sorry, I forgot to take pictures of the room interiors.  I got this picture from Bakasyunan website instead.

Our room is clean, but was in need of upgrading, especially the bathrooms (the hot and cold shower wasn't working and so is the bath tub).  

The air-condition was freezing, which was great since we were there on a humid-hot day.

There is a TV, but channels are limited. 

It is a huge resort with facilities for team building activities. 

There are also plenty of activities for families to enjoy, so you really don't ran of things to do.  My boys enjoyed playing mini-golf.  

  • We managed to have fun.  Our boys enjoyed the resort's outdoor activities.   
  • The price is reasonable.  Our package came with Dinner and Breakfast. Food quality is good and servings hefty.   
  • Since the resort is just 1.5 hours away from our place and with light traffic, we got to spend more time relaxing than travelling.
  • Tanay weather gets a bit chilly at night, so expect cold pool waters for night swimmers.  

  • As it is a huge resort with steep terrain, PWD and Seniors might find it difficult to navigate.  If you are travelling with those requiring special assistance remember to mention this during booking/reservations and request for a room closest to the main building.  

For booking inquiries check Bakasyunan Resort Tanay website: or contact them through:
Tel No.: 7064509
Mobile : 09175755116/09989942513/09178303438


Monday, November 27, 2017

Relaxing Stay at Sol Y Viento Laguna (for my father's birthday)

For my Father's 74th birthday, my sister and I thought he would appreciate the relaxing hot spring of Pansol Laguna. 

Hot springs are a rich source of sulfur, helpful in treating skin irritations and infections such as rashes and eczema. Sulfur-rich hot springs are also thought to help treat dry scalp, arthritic pain and internal problems such as menopausal symptoms and digestive disorders.  

My dad sided with the idea of a weekend birthday is a hot spring resort, right after he heard ~ soothing pain (go figure)...

Our resort of choice is Sol Y Viento Hotels and Resort.

We left Manila at 9am and found ourselves at the resort's doorsteps about 2 1/1 hours later.  We were too worried being stuck in traffic, we arrived way too early for check-in.  

Enjoying the breath taking view of Laguna Bay from the resort...

While waiting for the 2pm check-in time,  we decided to have an early lunch in one of the resort's restaurants.  They actually have a couple of restaurants to choose from.  The restaurants are located in the same building as the reception area.

For lunch we ate at Barrio Fiesta. We ordered a group meal (good for 6, though we were 8... serving was hefty and there were leftovers after we've finished), as it was hard to choose from the menu list (I wanted to order all).

The group meal comes with pitcher of lemonade.

~ buttered chicken

~lumpiang shanghai
~sinigang na tiyan ng bagus (this was my favorite) 

~ crispy pata (sinful right?)

 ~ pancit canton (for long life)

~ and kare-kare (sabaw palang ulam na :P)

Food was mouthwatering as expected. I forgot how much we paid, but I know it is about P2500+

We were still early for check-in, but was allowed to enter one of the three Cabanas we've booked.  

The Cabanas were located farther from the main building and it could be difficult for senior citizens to walk (since some of the steps were steep).  Good thing that the resort has golf carts. 

It was just a short ride though to our Cabanas since we specifically requested for units nearest to the main building for my parents.  

The Cabanas are Sol Y Viento's best accommodation.

The rooms are spacious with indoor natural hot spring Jacuzzi

(I was really excited about the indoor Jacuzzi). Amenities include cold and hot shower, cable TV, coffee/tea making set,  minibar and internet access.

On our way to our Cabana ~

The bathrooms were clean, but in need of upgrading.

Comfortable beds ~

And the Jacuzzi ~ which we decided to fill up with water immediately... 

Hot Spring water in the comfort of your room ~  super relaxing (need I say more?)

Sol Y Viento's pools were very inviting, we cannot say no a relaxing dip the following morning after our sumptuous  breakfast the following day.  We went to the pool area (they have 2 main pools, 2 mini hot pools for soaking and a man made falls) for some picture taking, but ended up swimming... 

The temperature of the pools are controlled.  

Us girls trying the 38 degrees pool (hot, hot, hot)...


We achieved our goal for this out of town trip ~

Our celebrant was able to relax and 
everyone had a wonderful time...

Sol Y Viento is highlight recommended for quick family getaway ~ the calming and rejuvenating hot spring water something, many would love to experience.

Sol Y Viento Mountain Hot Spring Resort
Km. 55 Makiling Heights, Brgy. Pansol Calamba City
Laguna Philippines

For inquiries:

+63 49 545-0052
+63 2 584-4973