May 26, 2013


We were  travelling along  Laguna's National Highway en route to Cavinti when these commanding structures suddenly caught our attention, ISDAAN in Calauan, Laguna is definitely an interesting sight you don't usually get to see in this country.

ISDAAN, Calauan, Laguna

At some point I thought I was transported in some part of  South East Asia. I alighted from the car and check the possibility of having our lunch here. And yes, they would let our dogs in! :)

ISDAAN, Calauan, Laguna

ISDAAN in Calauan, Laguna is a floating restaurant serving Filipino food and a theme park in one, owned and operated by the Barrio Fiesta Group of companies, in other words the Ongpaucos and Evangelista families. I think their first branch is up north at Gerona, Tarlac.


ISDAAN, Calauan, Laguna

We toured around even under the scorching heat of the sun and took lots of shots of these Balinese inspired resto-theme park. They've certainly succeeded in capturing the interests of travelers going some place else but decided to drop by and have their lunch here by providing these enticing sights and attractions.

ISDAAN, Calauan, Laguna

You'll see Filipino themed performances while walking and checking the different alleys of the place and some circus characters keeping the place alive and busy. There's a free boat ride too if you're up to it.



Another interesting addition to this place which might benefit those under extreme stress is these TACSIYAPO Wall. I'm not familiar with the term Tacsiyapo and so did a little research and learned that it's a Kapampangan vernacular, a vulgar word that means "put***-ina" in Tagalog or  "son of a bitch" in English.

The idea is to throw in the plates directed to that spot that's causing your anger. Can you see the piles of broken plates there? That's quite a lot :)). The plates will cost you 30 pesos a piece, so if you don't mind shelling out some cash to release that burning anger, go and hit that spot and hit it hard!

ISDAAN, Calauan, Laguna

You'll even bump into some famous people while doing your rounds. ;-)

ISDAAN, Calauan, Laguna

I doubt if these tables get occupied during lunch but I'm pretty sure this is a beautiful spot for dinner.


ISDAAN, Calauan, Laguna

Barrio Fiesta is a legend when we speak of Filipino cuisine and that will give you an idea how the food should taste. We still ask our waiter to serve us their specialties and what we had were Bulalo, Ginataang Hito, Lechon Manok, Pinakbet, Lumpiang Sariwa and Bagong saing na kanin.

For the meal we ordered, we're charged a total of 2,500 pesos or 415 pesos per head. I guess it's fair enough since we didn't just pay for the food but for the whole experience of being in this place. My only suggestion is to please maintain the quality of food that Barrio Fiesta is known for.

ISDAAN, Calauan, Laguna

I'd love to experience Isdaan at night, it's most likely a lovely sight with all the lights on and none of the heat from the sun.

ISDAAN in Calauan, Laguna is worth the side trip if you're going somewhere south and if your direction is somewhere north, there is one in Gerona, Tarlac.

May 19, 2013

Mother's Day Weekend at Porta Verde Resort, Cavinti, Laguna

I Was here more than a decade ago when the place was still a private vacation place  of the Imperials (who was a friend of a friend and I just happened to tag along). They've expanded the place and turned it into a resort called  Porta Verde Resort Villas. I got excited when I recognized this place being offered at 50% off a night stay at one of those groupon deals site I used to frequent and right away decided to snag the deal. Regular rates range from 10,000 pesos to 13,000 pesos a night depending on the type of villa you wish to stay and  50% off that amount meant huge savings. What made the deal more attractive is the fact that I can bring my parents and my dogs, yehey to that :))

Porta Verde Resort Villas
woke up 7am to these awesome creation

The Deal

The deal offers 50% off the tariff rates, accommodation for 6 pax, plus 2 minors below 10 yrs old and pets allowed, unlimited use of kayak and free motorized boat tour around Lumot Lake (a manmade lake just like Caliraya that's located on the other side). I'd say that was an awesome deal I wouldn't want to miss. After the purchase, I called the reservation number and book the date coinciding Mother's day so we can celebrate the event here.

Our Villa

Catmon Terrazo Suite, Porta Verde Resort Villas
Catmon Terrazo Suite
Catmon Terrazo was our villa of choice, it was the main villa where we stayed before that offers an unobstructed awesome view of the whole place. It has two air-conditioned rooms, a servant's room, a huge living room with sofa beds, a functional kitchen, 2 comfort rooms with bathtubs and a very spacious balcony where you can just lie down and admire the view. All kitchen utensils was provided and then accounted for at the end of our stay. A gallon of mineral water a night is also free. There's no TV or Radio in any of the Villas but they offer free Wifi, I guess that's enough to stay connected with the world. You won't also need to bring your towels because those are provided as well. Just bring your food and no corkage fee will be charged. Just a quick tip, if you are grilling your food, bring some charcoals with you, they don"t provide it here. If you can't avail of this villa, just pick the one beside the jacuzi and infinity pool, that accommodation offers nice views as well.


Activities at Porta Verde Resort
  • The place is really picturesque and if you're into photography, you can definitely use that skill to capture the place.
  • You can do morning, noon and night swimming in the infinity pool or in the lake. They will require you to wear a vest if you choose to swim in the lake. They say its 30 ft deep.
  • Kayak all you can, just wear a vest and sign the waiver.
  • Motorized  Boat Tour within Lumot Lake for groups.
  • Riding a Jet Ski would be perfect if you can bring your own and ride it here.
  • Fishing is also allowed, just bring your fishing gears.
  • Free unlimited billiards and Karaoke for a fee
  • Relax, eat, enjoy the nature or read a book
Kayaking at Porta Verde Resort Villas
getting ready to kayak

playtime with my dogs

How to Get There

Google map directions showed that from Alabang, you can get to Porta Verde in less than 2 hours. Well, that's if you have no idea how congested traffic is once you enter Calamba. Our travel time took us more than 4 hours to reach the place with several stops to ask for directions. My suggestion is just go to Pagsanjan, Laguna the best way you can and once you reach the Pagsanjan arch, check the Pagsanjan Municipal Hall on your right, if the Pagsanjan-Cavinti bridge is already repaired, turn right and access that road, that's 2 kms less travel however if its not yet accessible turn left and pass thru Lumban, that's what we did since we have no choice. When you see a fork road, just keep right and there's a check point, from there the road will be uphill and zigzag. You will pass thru Caliraya Springs Resort, Lagos Del Sol and when you reach Lumot arch, try to slow down and look for a signage on your left (I only saw one) that says Porta Verde Resort - turn left (just turn left, right away) its a narrow road leading to Porta Verde. The zigzag road from Lumban to Porta Verde took us 25 minutes  covering 20kms.

Google map to Porta Verde

One final group shot before saying bye bye, see you again next time. We really enjoyed our stay. Thanks to all the helpful staffs :)

If you want to get more details about Porta Verde Resort Villas, their other accommodations, rates, amenities, etc., you can check their website here.

May 6, 2013

PH 2013 Election : How and Where to Vote?

Its only a few days left before Philippines 2013 Election and once again even if it pains us to see how the unqualified gets elected for the nth time, still let's exercise our right to vote and be counted this May 13, I always believe hope springs eternal.

To those who are still researching on who to vote for and how to vote should check out this web page at Google Philippines just launched this election portal to assist voters on making wise decisions and provide updates on all matters related to our 2013 Election.
Philippines 2013 Election

There are several tools provided by Google to help voters locate the local candidates running in their area, just key in your city or municipality to find out the details. Precinct finder is also available to access your voting centers and precinct number.

Just several thoughts you might consider while preparing your list of candidates to vote for:
  • Please don't base your vote on a candidate's popularity, always check their credentials and what they've accomplished before they run for a higher position. Remember we are not looking for trainees here but leaders, our elected officials should be well versed and fully equipped in legislation if they are running for a senate or congressional seat otherwise there's barangay election coming soon which suit them more. 
  • Check those candidates who disregard election rules. If they can't follow simple rules, how do you expect them to function on more complex matters.
  •  Also do a research how much fund were poured in on the candidate's campaign and if they went beyond the allowed budget, don't vote for them. More often than not the source of these funds came from donors who expect a triple return of their investment and these candidates for sure will prioritize returning that favor rather than serving the interests of their constituents.
  • Please vote wisely. Let's put a stop to these greedy politicians and wealthy businessmen who think that Filipino voters are too shallow and gullible.
May we all be guided accordingly and come May 13, get ready with our written list and head out early to our precincts with a clear mind and cast our votes for the 2013 Philippines Election.


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