Pasayahan sa Lucena


I've passed by Lucena a number of times but never really had a chance to roam around the city even once. And when I learned about the city's weeklong celebration of Pasayahan sa Lucena (Chami Festival), I made it a point to visit the city to learn some on what the festival is all about.

Armed with my cellphone's Google Maps application, I left the house at 9:30 AM last Saturday, May 28, 2011. The programme I found on Facebook said the Grand Tricycle Parade would leave the assembly area in Quezon National High School at 1 PM. With further research, I learned that the parade would pass by Merchant Street, turn right towards P. Gomez Street, proceed to Old Manila South Road then head straight to SM Lucena.


It was almost 1:30 PM when I reached the Lucena Grand Central Terminal so I decided to go straight to SM Lucena which was the end-point of the parade. I learned, though, that there's no passenger jeepney that goes straight to SM from the terminal. I had to go to Bayan first then ride another jeepney going to SM. Those were two short rides of minimum fare each. Made me wonder why they wouldn't have jeepneys that will take passengers straight from the terminal to SM.


In Bayan, the jeepney terminal going to SM was near Merchant Street, and the parade wasn't even near Merchant when I got there, which was a good point. I haven't had breakfast nor lunch yet so my plan was to grab a quick meal when I reach SM. I got to the mall a little past 2. I roamed the vicinity and asked around where the parade would be heading. One guard told me it would go directly to the event area at the third floor. Huwat? I thought it was a tricycle parade. The tricycles would go inside the mall? To the third floor?

I went to the third floor and found a small Pasayahan stage ready for GMA 7 stars. Further found out that the celebrities performing there were in the parade itself. And that explained that the tricycles were not really going up the third floor. But oh noes! The guard must have thought I was waiting for the celebrities! But whatever...

I had a fastfood breakfast/lunch/meryenda, and yes, it was my first meal of the day at 2:30 PM. If only I had a host. LoL! But come to think of it, I really wasn't able to sample their famous "chami."  I passed by a karinderia selling chami but my stomach is really sensitive I'm afraid to eat anything I'm not used to when I'm traveling. I'll save chami for next year na lang when I already have a host. LoL!

By 3 PM, I went outside to where the parade would pass by. The sun was oh so shining and it's a good thing I brought with me the bush hat my niece Angel brought in Tutuban for me. Anyway, after waiting for some time, the beautiful tricycle floats arrived.


The Tricycle Parade is a contest among Lucena's different barangays. Each one has to make a tricycle float with the theme of whatever it is that their barangay is famous for like farm crops or fishes or boats or whatever. Also included in the parade were winners of different contests held during the weeklong celebration, as well as the personalities that made Lucena proud (e.g. someone who won a national beauty title). But of course the contest remained with the tricycle floats.


It rained hard towards the end of the parade so the GMA 7 celebrities locked themselves up inside their vans, so less chaos. People only got to see Dennis Padilla and someone-I-don't-know for celebrities.

I took video clips using my Kodak Zx1 and put them together by cutting and pasting like that (I'm no good with video editing, sorry). You can watch it below.

I believe the Dalahican float (the boat) won first runner-up and the Market View entry (tilapia) was the champion.

It was a fun Saturday, indeed. Despite the rain and long bus rides, getting the feel of the fiesta atmosphere distinct to festivals like these is an enough reward.

Click here to see my Pasayahan sa Lucena photo album.

Pasayahan sa Lucena started in 1987. It became a big success reason for it to be held yearly. The Chami Festival started in 2006 to feature Lucena's very own native delicacy.

How to get to (SM) Lucena:
- from Alabang, ride a Lucena Grand Central Terminal-bound bus (ordinary fare is P147 as of this writing)
- at the "Grand," get on a jeep headed for Bayan (P8.00) and tell the driver to drop you off at Pretty 99
- walk a few steps to the east towards the jeepney terminal
- ride a jeepney going to SM (P8.00)

5.7-Magnitude Quake Rocks Mindoro (May 23, 2011)


A 5.7-magnitude earthquake has rocked the Philippines a while ago, May 23, 2011 at exactly 12:42 AM. The epicenter was 18 kms. N 2° W of MAMBURAO (OCC MINDORO).

Reported Intensities:
Intensity IV - Ilijan, Batangas
Intensity III - Tagaytay City; Malate, Manila; Puerto Galera; Alabang, Muntinlupa; Clark,Pampanga
Intensity II - Malolos, Bulacan
Intensity I - Nichols, Pasay

I am in Taguig and was sleeping when it happened so I don't know if it was felt here. Did you feel it?


Mossimo Bikini Summit 2011


The Mossimo Bikini Summit 2011 (Mr. & Ms. EcoTourism Philippines) is happening on June 18, 2011 at the Canyon Cove in Nasugbu, Batangas. View the 16 male and 16 female candidates here and here respectively. Then place your bets.

Mine's numbers 2, 8, and 16 for the boys and number 6 for the girls.



After failing with Machete, Aljur Abrenica proves he's still relevant by starring in this new TVC for the Century Tuna Healthylicious Hotdog.

Now how hotter can becoming a hotdog endorser make you? Watch:

An "Unguided" Adventure to Manabu Peak


Two weeks after climbing Mt. Batulao, my itchy feet couldn't wait to climb again. I helped K's parents in building a business which had a grand opening that week, and after all the pressure of finishing everything up in time, I decided to unwind a little.

And what best way to unwind than to go out of town and climb a mountain? Well, at least for me. So I texted K two days after the opening day and invited him for a climb. Cool enough, he also has an itchy feet. So off we traveled to Sto. Tomas, Batangas for a Manabu Peak climb that morning of April 14th.

It was both our first time to climb Mt. Malipunyo (where Manabu Peak is part of), and we both agreed that we wouldn't get a guide. Mountain climbing is an adventure in itself, but figuring out the trail on your own provides more thrill to the adventure. It's just a minor climb, anyway, and internet articles say the trail is pretty well-established so we figured it would be the best mountain of choice for those who wanted to go on their own for the first time.

True enough, it was an easy trail. But something happened before we got the the jump-off. Internet how-tos say that if you're from Manila, you can hop on either a Lucena or a Lipa-bound bus and asked to be dropped off at Brgy. San Pedro in Sto. Tomas, Batangas. But these how-tos don't tell you that if you chose to use the Lucena route, you'd be shelling more money for the tricycle ride to the jump-off than if you used the Lipa route.

Since we used the former, we shelled out P250.00 to get to Sulok. Had we rode a Lipa-bound bus, we could have dropped at the Fiesta Mall and chose to just walk to Sulok as warm-up.

Anyway, the trail to the summit was very established even a first-time climber could have done it alone. A few meters into, you would pass by a hut (with caged monkeys, guinea pigs, etc.) with a map of the trail. The trail splits at one point but you can choose either way and end up at the summit.

We chose to go right first and passed by Mang Pirying's hut. He's quite famous for treating climbers to cups of coffee but since the hut was already full of mountaineers that time, K and I decided to just go on with the trek (and I regret passing on a photo op with Mang Pirying and having a taste of his famed homemade kapeng barako).

It was a pleasant climb; no hurrying. At 760+ MASL and a minor climb, we knew there's no reason to hurry to catch the last bus trip to Manila. But even with a slow pace, we were able to reach the peak in 1 hour and 45 minutes. 15 minutes less than the internet's maximum of 2 hours.

A group of high school students together with two male teachers were at the camp site when we got there. They said they were from a nearby school and it was part of their summer scouting training. All were friendly and K, blessed with good looks like that, was an instant crush among the girls.

It was scorching hot at the peak it was hard to take pictures with the white cross. More than that, the mountaineers at Mang Pirying's hut caught up with us while we were at the peak. It was hard to take pics especially that the sole girl in their group would insist on joining us in pictures. She wouldn't leave the cross, really. So we decided to just go back to the camp site first to have lunch.

Manabu Peak camp site:

The peak was already clear after we had lunch so we packed up to have our photo op with the white cross. About that time, the kids were also about to leave.

We used the other trail to go down. It was much steeper than the other trail. The grotto was also along that part where there's a water source.

The grotto area was a cool place to hang out with water and shade and benches and a big table. It was so cool that a lot of empty wine bottles were left in the area by, obviously, "mountaineers" who had so much fun they forgot to bring their trash. I couldn't have brought all those bottles with me, I would need a bigger bag than the one I was using if I wanted to.

It took us exactly 1 hour and 20 minutes to descend. That included a long stay at the grotto area. It's a really nice place for people to hang out and talk, that is, when you have the place all to yourselves.

The store owner at the jump-off kinda talked to us a little which ended with us buying Coke. She also (kinda) talked us into hiring a tricycle to take us to the bus station. It cost P150.00 and when I asked for an alternative ride, she said it was too far.

A freelance mountaineer named Jay (who's climbing that afternoon with his girlfriend) befriended us. He told us that it'd be better to just walk a few meters to the main road and ride a passenger jeep that would take us to the bus station. But when we told the store owner we changed our minds about the tricycle, she told us she has already texted the driver and already on its way. Talking about being fooled.

Anyway, Sir Jay, upon learning that I also climb freelance, got my number. He told me he'd invite me when he got an invitation to climb (networking, is that you?). We also had a story exchange on the mountains we've already climbed and one mountain he talked about with much interest was Mt. Talamitam in Nasugbu. And it immediately got my fancy.

After we washed up, the tricycle arrived. The ride was not that long for P150.00 really. We passed by the Fiesta Mall and the driver dropped us off at a familiar place near the Tanza Municipal Hall. Familiar cuz that was also where the van from Alabang dropped us off when we went to Pico de Loro.

The bus left the station at 4 PM and it was almost completely dark when we reached Alabang.

At that moment, I remembered the first time I climbed a mountain. I don't know why but I especially remembered how my legs were so aching at that time that I literally clung on the bus door's handlebar when I was going down.

The memory gave me a nostalgic feeling – that happy feeling of being on my own; of traveling alone. And I knew I had to climb solo again.

*View my Manabu Peak photoset by clicking here.

How to get to Manabu Peak (our way :D):

- ride an ordinary Lucena-bound bus and ask to be dropped off at Brgy. San Pedro in Sto. Tomas, Batangas (P57.00)
- hire a tricycle to take you to 'Sulok' in Brgy. Sta. Cruz (P250.00)

The best way to get to Manabu Peak:

- ride a Lipa-bound bus and drop off at Fiesta Mall along the Sto. Tomas-Lipa Road
- hire a tricycle to get to the jump-off in 'Sulok' in Brgy. Sta. Cruz

Play Big – Up-size Your Game This Summer


How would you like to play NBA 2K11 on a 100 square meter screen? Creativeworx Inc. will kick up the heat this summer by bringing PLAY BIG – a one-of-a-kind event where virtual athletes and fighters can have a larger than life gaming experience on May 20, 21 and 22, 2011.

The CCP LED board, which measures 100 square meters, will be the screen for participants as they play NBA 2K11 using PS3 as their console. This is the first time in the Philippines that a screen this huge will be used for a gaming event.

The press release:

Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard, and Derrick Rose… on a 100 square meter screen!

Yes, we’re kicking up the heat by bringing you PLAY BIG, a one-of-a-kind event where virtual athletes can have a larger than life gaming experience.

Convert those NBA semifinals woes and joys into your very own epic tournament by playing NBA 2K11 on the giant LED board beside CCP. Show off your skills, wow the crowd, and get a chance to win Php10,000 plus your very own PS3 console!

To register, simply log on to, LIKE it, and follow the steps on our wall or call us up at 5325400 loc 108. Registration ends on May 18, 2011 (Wednesday). LIMITED SLOTS left!

Be there on the first event day, May 20, and witness our physically challenged friends play basketball! Is that awesome or what?

So what are you waiting for? Up-size your game this summer! Grab a friend and join PLAY BIG today!

This event is brought to you by Creativeworx Inc. in cooperation with Infinite Grafix and Outdoor Advertising Inc.

Justin Bieber Performed Sick at His MOA Concert Last Night


Justin Bieber had a successful concert last night at the MOA grounds and while it was sold-out and the audience for sure had a lot of fun, a lot of rants had been heard especially from the ticket holders of the VIP area. The VIP had seats and while it is a pop concert, most of the VIPs preferred to sit down – that, or also because the security told them to sit down.

The Magalonas, on the other hand, who are Bieber fans and entertainers themselves, refused to sit down even if the VIPs sitting behind them were already complaining. They grooved with the music of JB who got kinda pissed cuz the crowd wasn't getting wild.

Saab Magalona even tweeted, "Nakakahiya kay Justin Bieber sobra. Imagine he was performing grabe and yung nasa harap niya nakaupo hindi manlang naggroove at all!"

Below is the video of Justin's encore and watch how he stopped in the middle of the song to tell the crowd that either they went wild or he would leave.

And would you believe he was sick during the concert? According to TMZ, the singer repeatedly took breaks during his concert in the Philippines to run backstage and vomit.

Sources close to Bieber tell TMZ, JB came down with some kind of chest infection last week -- and when he hit the stage last night in Manila ... the wooziness was way too much to handle.

Poor Justin. Let's just hope that the next time he performs here there'd be no seats so everyone would be grooving like that.

Alay Lakad 2011


The Alay Lakad from Ortigas to Antipolo Cathedral is a yearly thing for many. It wasn't my kind of thing before, finding it silly and nonsensical. It was a form of repentance as well as sacrifice to commemorate the suffering of Christ. But I knew only the minority of those who do have the true intentions.

I knew it's better to just go to church or read the Bible and ask for forgiveness of your sins through sincere prayers, than to show the world you're doing a pilgrimage just for the purpose of showing off.

I must admit I did the Alay Lakad last year just for the fun of it, but halfway through the walk, I realized sore feet and aching leg muscles make you more in touch with what Jesus Christ had to go through to save us. Not that we had to go through the same physical pain like those who choose to be nailed to the cross, but a little bit of pain makes your faith stronger (at least in my own experience).

We were still in Antipolo last year when I made the vow to do it again this year, and the years to follow as long as my feet and legs could still carry me. The people who joined me last year even promised that we'd do the Alay Lakad together. But something happened that I ended up cramming the last minute to invite people to go with me. And thank you to these people for joining me this year:

It was a small group, but I love small groups better than big unruly ones. And besides, it's easier to move from one place to another when you're not that many.

We arrived at the Antipolo Cathedral 1 AM, but since the church was still closed, we spent the night at Via Dolorosa. The toll of walking got to us the minute we laid our backs on the sapin na sako we bought for 10 pesos each.

We woke up quite late so we reached Antipolo Cathedral around 7 AM, which was a good thing because the campers in front of the church were already gone. After saying a quick prayer, I decided to bring my group to the Mystical Cave which was a few kilometers away from the church.

None of them have been there yet so I figured it would be fun.

We had to climb these steps in order to get to the opening of the cave, which was in the middle of the hill. I heard it's seven storeys down but people only go to the main cave.

We climbed the hilltop first. There are three crosses there where people, well, take pictures. I bet they used to pray up there but we didn't see anyone who did. Aside from the scorching heat of the sun that morning, there's really no  place to kneel and pray. It's all rough stones and blaring sun.

After the hilltop, we entered the cold sanctuary of the Mystical Cave. It's supposed to have stalactites and stalagmites forming religious figures but honestly, I find it not as convincing. And besides, we found a part of the cave manually altered. I just forgot to take some pics cuz it's at that part where you have to duck/crawl in order to get to the other side.

No offense, though, to those who believe. But really...

And I'm not sure but the below photo is supposed to be like the Holy Family or something.

So you can get a guide to show you around and explain what certain formations are, but there's no fixed guide fee. "Bahala na po kayo." And I really shy away from those kinds of arrangements. I just know I'd end up paying more than the normal.

How to get to Inday Nelly Deles Mystical Cave (our way)

- walk from SM Megamall to Antipolo Cathedral :)
- from the church gates, hire a tricycle to take you to the Mystical Cave (P150.00 as of Lent 2011)

The Scorching Hotness of Mt. Batulao


I've heard about Mt. Batulao even before I started climbing mountains. Words about how pleasant and easy it is to climb, and how well-frequented the mountain is by mountaineers and non-mountaineers alike who just want to have a taste of the mountain, make Mt. Batulao a very famous minor climb.

But that fact kind of made me shy away from climbing Mt. Batulao. It's very accessible; ride a Nasugbu-bound bus and ask to be dropped off at Evercrest and that's it.

I climb for the peacefulness of the mountains. I climb for serenity. Thinking about climbing a mountain with so many hikers kinda makes me think twice.

But at the back of my mind, I knew I had to climb Mt. Batulao at one point. And last March 27th, I found myself with K debating whether to climb Manabu Peak or Mt. Batulao. We both haven't been to Manabu yet and it would be an additional expense to hire a guide, while he already climbed Batulao last January with the MSOC (and I was in Mindoro when they invited me the day before they climbed so I wasn't able to join them) and he already knew the trail.

It was already 9 AM when we reached Evercrest. The breeze was cool despite the cloudless sky. We walked all the way to the jump-off which was so far from the main road. You can ride a tricycle if you like but we preferred to walk as a sort of a warm-up.

Mt. Batulao is a grassland. Good thing I learned from previous climbs not to underestimate a mountain however easy the internet claims the climb to be, and I brought stuff that I usually bring every time I climb. A pair of arm warmers is a must-bring for a Batulao climb, not because you need your arms to be warm but for protection from the sun. It's better if you'd wear a long-sleeved dri-fit, but that's not for me unless it's a really cold mountain.

Caps can shield your face from the sun but bush hats with really wide brims are much better. You wouldn't want your nape to burn. Don't let the coolness of the wind fool you. It really is hot.

For this climb, though, I used K's beige brim hat because I couldn't find mine. In exchange, I let him borrow my white and red dri-fit shirt because he couldn't find his own. LoL!

We used the new trail to climb up the summit. It wasn't that hard but it's kinda dangerous cuz you'd be walking on cliff-edges with a very high drop.

At one point (before the cliff edges), we stayed away from the usual trail by passing through a forested area to hide from the heat of the sun for a while. And that's where we found this:

Is this illegal logging, or is this logging illegal? Let's just hope it's not. But what else could that be?

Mt. Batulao's summit is a little small with statues of the Virgin Mary lying on the ground. It's such a shame that they couldn't even find the effort to secure the statues in place. Would it cost much considering the number of hikers who pay the registration fee every day?

One of the statues was even beheaded! C'mown! I think it would be better if we take these religious statues down than leave them there like that.

Anyway, we used the old trail to go back to the jump-off. It's much, much, steeper than the new trail and had we known, we would have opted to use the old trail for the ascent.

But the thing was that even if you already paid the registration fee for using the new trail to climb up, you need to pay another registration fee of Php 20.00 per head if you chose to use the old trail for your descent. Or vice-versa.

Here's a view of the mountain from the old trail:

We stopped for a while to drink sabaw ng buko which cost Php 20.00 each. It was quite refreshing considering the scorching hotness of that day. We took that moment to rest and clean up a bit with our towels. There's a broken mirror at the buko stand and we laughed at ourselves for looking so grimy - dust and sweat and all that.

My Mt. Batulao experience could be summed up as fun. The sceneries were superb and balancing yourself so you wouldn't slide down with the powdery dry soil was a challenge. Good thing my Sandugo sandals still served me right despite its being already worn down.

We were at Evercrest by 3 PM. There's a wedding ceremony going on at the Caleruega Church that I wasn't able to take pictures. Shy din naman ako paminsan-minsan. Besides, we looked so dirty against the tuxedo and Barong Tagalog clad guests. LoL!

3 PM is still early despite the fact that we started out late. And since it's early enough to still roam around, we decided to have a late lunch at Nasugbu's town proper.

But that's another story.

How to get to Mt. Batulao

* board a Nasugbu-bound bus
* asked to be dropped at Evercrest (P106.00 from Pasay Rotonda to Evercrest as of this writing)
* walk or ride a tricycle to the jump-off (going towards the direction of Evercrest)
* pay dayhike registration of P20.00 (registration area is way deep into the mountain; overnight fee is P30.00)
* pay another registration fee of P20.00 if you decide to use a different trail to go down (there are two trails – the new and old)
* wash up at the stores lining the Tagaytay-Nasugbu road where you dropped off (costs P20.00)
* wait for a bus back to Baclaran or Pasay (we're told the last trip passes by around 8:30 PM)

View my Mt. Batulao Facebook album by clicking here.

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