Here is our collected list of utility companies, telecommunication, and a few banks offering later date or deferred payments.
Author: Paula Ferrer
We love taking road trips and this time we decided to explore further down south Luzon, Sorsogon City. After doing a multi-day Albay Food Crawl we decided to spend 48 hours in this town.
Sprawls of beautiful mountains, lush groves of rice fields, and not to mention all the coastal landscape you could ever dream of. Come away with we share our travel narratives.
How to Reach Sorsogon
By Car From Manila
This road trip series is part of our Bicolandia journey and that’s why we opted to drive from our place in south o Metro Manila to Sorsogon. Having multiple stopovers along the way.
- Drive time/KM: 10 h 32 min (507 km)
- Map driving direction here
By Bus From Manila
By bus: Buses are available in Pasay Bus Station and Cubao Bus Station. Travel time takes 12-14 hours depending on the traffic. Take the AC bus as non-AC buses are slower.
By plane from Manila-Legazpi/ Cebu- Legazpi/ Tagbilaran-Legazpi
Major Airlines have daily flights to Legaspi City, Albay. From Legaspi City, you can take the van or buses that go to Sorsogon, travel time more or fewer 2hours.
A #DayOut in Sorsogon
Note: This itinerary is based on our architected list. Get this self-guided tour activity on our Google Trip
A Pili Farm
We went to a Pili farm to understand to better understand how these nuts are being cultivated, harvested, and processed. We learned that the majority of the Pili produce comes from farms in Sorsogon.
We had the opportunity to try the freshly harvested Pili. Once you take them from the tree you will need to soak the pili in a bowl of warm water. It’s key to make sure that it’s warm and not boiling as it makes the pili hard as opposed to soft when soaked in warm water. When the Pili is soft, you can now peel it revealing this yellow pulp that resembles ginger in appearance. You can eat the pulp by itself or dip it in fish sauce. The taste is a very mild and nutty flavor that is very subtle.
Once you finish the pulp this will reveal the seed that, when you crack the seed of the pili fruit that reveals the pili that we typically find sold in stores. Fresh pili nut has a nice fresh and light flavor. It’s better than what we’re used to with ones that are usually made into a candied snack.
The visit to the farm was such a learning experience where we were able to harvest the pili fruit, try the pulp, crack it open, and taste the nuts right out of the seed.
Have Lunch in Mango Grill
One of Sorsogon’s best family-style restaurant that serves Filipino comfort food is Mango Grill. Originally known as Kristina’s pub and delicatessen they first opened in 1986, before finally settling on the name Mango Grill in 2004. Today, they are even known in Manila for serving their very cheesy Casava cakes. So if you were wondering, where that came from if you’ve tried those cakes, it comes from Sorsogon.
Whenever you order for a big group or group meals, its usually a combination of items you love and like. Here at Mango grill, their family boodle comes with your favorite Filipino dishes: Lechon Manok, Kare Kare, Crispy Pata, and Fresh Lumpia that comes with Adobo fried rice.
It is imperative that you order their pork sisig to compliment your meal! No need to add any more sauces here, it’s crunchy, flavorful, and perfect with mounds of rice.
Warm melted cheese on casava. If you haven’t tried this before it’s a must! You have this nice melted cheese complimenting the flavor of the sweet cassava. The texture itself is soft and smooth. Definitely one of our favorite desserts.
Lola Sayong Eco-camp Surf Resort
- Location: Gubat, Sorsogon
- Surf Lessons: 350php/7USD per hour
- Accommodation options here
There was plenty of buzz hype about this eco-surf resort for the past 2 years. This eco-surf camp brings you back to basics where you are provided with a backpacker type accommodation.
Their advocacy is for this eco surf camp is to help make it financially possible for the boys and girls of their community to go to school and college and helps to fund health and environment educational projects for the area.
Opportunities for improvement:
- Accommodation: We booked a cottage for 4-8 pax, but the allotted mattress and linens were only for two people.
- They need to do a beachfront clean-up. There were plastics littered randomly along the shoreline.
- The Food Experience: During our visit, we tried their specialties the smoked fish out of hell, their adobo, chicken sheet, and their pork with salted egg. Unfortunately, the smoked fish just tasted like atchara sauce mixed with bottled smoke tinapa that is then served with rice and a side of atchara. The taste was uncanny and unnatural. The chicken adobo was served raw at the center that we had to send it back to the kitchen. The other dishes were also a bit strange. We suggest bringing your own food and cooking it there, just know there is a corkage fee at 95 PHP or 2 USD per head.
Visited an Old Spanish Ruin
- Free entrance
The town of Barcelona in Sorsogon served as an important port stop during the Spanish rule. The watchtower and the “a Presidencia” was used as the office for the Governdocillo. The structure was used as a fortress to look out for Moro raids during the 18th-19th centuries. You might be wondering why “Barcelona”? Because of homesick Spaniards because it reminded them of home.
Marvel at Mount Bulusan National Park
One of the key highlight destinations of this trip would be finally seeing Lake Bulusan. We drove up the mountain to reach this elevated lake – don’t worry the roads are well built and wide enough. The edge of the forest will lead you to the flourishing canopy of lush forest circled around the lake making it appear as nature’s grand amphitheater
- Entrance fee is only at 10php
- Kayak Fee is at 200php/4USD
- Boat good up to 5 pax is at 600php/6 USD. Comes with your own designated boatman and guide.
It is remarkably beautiful. The kind of beauty that will make your heart flutter with excitement as you approach the main barge. Deep emerald green waters gave that feeling of mysticism and tranquility both at the same time by which I haven’t felt by any body of water we’d previously experienced.
We circled the lake for a good 30-25 mins. boat ride.
The Best Public Beach
- Location: Bulusan, Sorsogon
- Entrance Fee: 10php
- Cottage Fee: 100php
Before heading back to Daraga we were hoping to find a good swimming beach and luckily as we drive back to the town proper we came across this public beach call the Dancalan Beach. It is literally beside the main highway!
This beach resembles the shape of a crescent moon. The first few meters are still shallow and the waves aren’t that strong by making this beach the perfect swimming beach.
The sun basking over you but you won’t mind the heat because it’s gorgeous rays compliments the azure water.
A Quick Visit To a Bee Farm: Balay Buhay sa Uma
- Location: Brgy, San Roque, Bulusan
- Entrance Fee: 100php/ 150php use of swimming pool
- Overnight accommodations available. Check rates/book here.
This bee farm is a 3-hectare property tucked in the foothills of Mt. Bulusan that resembles a typical retreat house in Tagaytay City. You can enjoy quiet garden walks, organic meals, and learning activities related to agriculture and stingless bee farming.
Always Explore The Local Market
If you want to hear the local heartbeat of a place you make it a point to head over to the town’s local fresh market. The typical route for a tourist is to visit the “must-see” places, but the markets are where the grit, grunge, and rawness of a place represents its townfolks.
This also goes without saying that local markets are the best places to buy fresh produce, straight from the source. In this way, you contribute as a traveler. You are able to support the families who depend on agriculture for their livelihood.
We travel to search for inspiration from the people that we interact with along the way. To be put in situations that don’t make sense, to push our minds to think beyond our daily routine, to learn, and ultimately become awake from our daze. Traveling grounds us and gives us awe with the world that we live in.
The exhaustion from the very long drive went away as the Sorsogon’s beauty immediately welcomed us with its open arms and our heart jolted with excitement. We had fallen in love with instantaneously and we wish we had more than 48 hours to stay.
- Official Facebook Page
- Official Instagram Page
- Official YouTube Page
- Official Spotify Page- Curated MixTapes/Playlist
- Zomato Reviewer Profile
- TripAdvisor Top 2% Contributor
The Fringe Manila Festival enters the second half of its first decade, returning to fill some holes and bridge gaps in Metro Manila!
MANILA, Philippines — The Binondo food trail has attracted numerous curious food hunters both local and international. There are plenty of Chinatowns across the world, but what makes ours different from the rest of the world is that it’s actually the oldest known Chinatown that dates back to the 1500s. For our audience who aren’t from the Philippines, please do take note that this food crawl guide is NOT a good representation of a real Filipino heritage cuisine. If we’re to put things into context, we can safely say that it is more of a socio-cultural experience. We’ve associated going out and getting Chinese food during celbratory occasions where we’d all sit it and eat family style. These dishes are indulgent, familiar, and it also serves as our own comfort food.
Binondo food crawls are always top rank in people’s Google searches and you’d find several operators offering guided tours, but we believe in frugality and making your own experience! Hence, this is our curated list of Where to EAT when in Binondo .
You’ll find plenty of places as a “Must-Try”, but we believe in shortlisting the best and diversity of what you should be ordering.
📍 Ying Ying Tea House
234 Dasmariñas St, Binondo, Manila
📍 New Pong Heng
627 Carvajal St, Binondo, Manila, 1006 Metro Manila
📍 Dong-Bei Dumpling
642 Yuchengco St, Binondo, Manila, 1006 Metro Manila
📍Shanghai Fried Siopao
Sabino Padilla St, Santa Cruz, Manila, 1008 Metro Manila
📍 Tasty Dumplings
Norberto Ty St, Binondo, Manila, Metro Manila
650 Ongpin St, Binondo, Manila
For this list, our actual budget spent when we tested out this food crawl:
Total Budget: 500php-60ophp (1o-12 USD) per person for a group of 3-4 friends
Hiring a tour guide for 1,600php/ head
Ying Ying Tea House
Location: 234 Dasmariñas St, Binondo, Manila
Opening days/hours: Daily from 7 AM to 2 AM
Phone: (02) 387 2797
This restaurant serves a full roster of Cantonese favorites from roasted meat, dumplings, and staple starchy Chinese dishes. This is where we would normally go to get a good hefty meal when we are in the area with family & friends. Generous servings and unbelievably cheap.
Dimsums starts at 80php/$1.60 and an average platter of viand would only start at 150php/$3USD
What to Get?
Location: 650 Ongpin St, Binondo, Manila
Opening days/hours: Daily from 6 AM to 10 PM
Telephone: (02) 288 8888 Ext 230
For a sizable midday snack, you can head over to Café Mezzanine. Located at the 2nd floor of Chuan Kee Fastfood (oldest fast food in Binondo)
What to Get?
New Po Heng Lumpia House
Location: 627 Carvajal St, Binondo, Manila, 1006 Metro Manila
Opening days/hours: MTWThFS from 7 AM to 9 PM; Sundays from 8 AM to 5 PM
Known for its lumpia and misua guisado, this little shop, located in the pink Uysubin Building, is hard to miss. It’s a canteen of sorts, and their bestselling lumpia only costs Php95. Your Binondo Food Trip will not be complete without this resto in your list of restaurants to visit.
What to Get?
The Binondo food experience won’t be complete without this stop. Known for their fresh lumpia (spring rolls). The stuffing is made with freshly-sourced local vegetables, peanuts, shrimp, and pork– all finely chopped and cooked.
This is perfect when you want something delicious yet light.
Location: Norberto Ty St, Binondo, Manila, Metro Manila
Telephone: (02) 242 5195
What to Get?
The Crispy Pork Chop Rice is a staple dish, and we also recommend getting their Hongma and Silver Roll Bread. Hong Ma is their version of Fujian Chinese Soy Sauce Braised Pork. Hong Ma is also the origin of our Visayan Humba.
Shanghai Fried Siopao
- Location: Ongpin St., Binondo, Manila
- Opening days/hours: Daily from 8 AM to 10 PM
Walk along with an endless number of random general merchandise shops next to each other and keep an eye on the big signage that slates “Fried Shanghai Siopao”.
What to Get?
Imagine biting into warm siopao with a lightly crisp bun. The meat is minced, chopped with garlic, onions, and kuchay. The first bite is crunchy and is subsequently followed by a gooey texture brought by the tenderized meat.
Dong Bei Dumplings
A Binondo food experience staple. This hole in the wall establishment in Chinatown favorite that is — Dong Bei. 15 years ago, Lisa Lee migrated to The Philippines and sought a new home in Manila together with her family. They hoped for a better life in a more democratic land and better education for her children.
A Chinese immigrant from Dong Bei, China brings a piece of her heritage comfort food to Binondo, Manila with these freshly-made Northern Chinese dumplings.
What to Get?
They only serve one (1) food item which is their dumpling.
A straightforward dumpling shop serving northern China comfort food. The dumplings are made fresh every day and they will only steam each plate order upon request.
In a matter of a few minutes, you’ll be served with steaming hot dumplings– don’t forget to dabble these babies with their soy sauce and put a dash of chili oil.
For takeaways and snacks to take home. Make sure to drop by these shops:
📍 Eng Bee Tin Chinese Deli (650 Ongpin St, Binondo, Manila)
📍 Ho-land Hopia & Bakery (551 Yuchengco St, Binondo, Manila)
Delve into this historical place of trade, mom & pop business, and good food finds. It is gritty and exhausting, but Binondo still has that dynamic character that’s truly magnetic.
Find us at Klook PH!
Restaurant Tapenade at the Discovery Primea introduces new signature dishes and an enhanced Salad Room. A Fat Girls Day Out Dining Experience.
This is the Baguio Guide I have been meaning to write. We all know that there are tons of “Baguio Travel Guides” available on the internet and I’ve been contemplating as to how to make this content piece more resonating to you in such a way I’d be able to create a unique piece. If you’ve been a reader of this platform you’re familiar with our Neighborhood Series guides —
Known as The Philippine’s upland, pine-clad retreat from the heat and dust of the lowlands, albeit nowadays we can say that it also processes the same chaotic character of Manila only a notch lower. This is the kick-off point should you want to reach the hill tribe’s culture in Sagada, Banaue, and Kalinga.
Although presented with loads of jeepneys, taxis, and tourist’s private vehicles, and not to mention the SM Mall marring every view – Baguio still has this natural draw- an airy and cold place where you can tolerate the mayhem of small-scale urban spaces, a burgeoning restaurant scene, and a pretty decent public market are still a refreshing experience for outsiders.
Come away with us during our #Day Out as we show you Where to Eat, Where to Go, and What to DO if you have only 48 hours to spend in the city of Pines.
How To Reach Baguio via Manila
Via Public Transportation
Several bus companies ply the Manila-Baguio route. You can catch a bus at the following terminals:
- CUBAO TO BAGUIO – VICTORY LINER
Regular aircon: P485
- CUBAO TO BAGUIO – JOYBUS
- PASAY TO BAGUIO – JOYBUS
- PASAY TO BAGUIO – VICTORY LINER
Regular aircon: P496
3 h 55 min (245 km) via R-8 and N Luzon W Expy/R-8
- Continue to Balintawak, Quezon City
- Follow E1/R-8 and N Luzon W Expy to Tarlac – Pangasinan – La Union Expy in Urdaneta City
- Continue on Tarlac – Pangasinan – La Union Expy to your destination in Baguio
Considerations For Visiting
Busiest months in Baguio would be December, February (Panangnga/ Flower Festival) and during the Holy Week. I personally will always avoid those months to avoid heavy traffic in the city area.
April is the hottest month in Baguio City with an average temperature of 70°F (21°C) and the coldest is January at 64°F (18°C).
Visit the Baguio Public Market
Whenever we’re in Baguio we always make sure to always to visit the local public market. There you will find the freshest produce at its regional base prices.
- Fresh coffee beans from Benguet region
- La Union grapes
- 100% Pure Honey
- Fresh oyster mushrooms
- Plump tomatoes and cherry tomatoes
- Romaines/ Lettuce
- Sagada oranges (when in season)
For us, the best time to go to the market would be pretty early in the morning.
- Location: Magsaysay Ave, Baguio City.
- The market is located at the bottom of Session Rd. (the main street of downtown Baguio) on Magsaysay Avenue. It’s easiest to get there by through several entrances along Magsaysay, or from the back near Abanao Square.
- Another resource: A dedicated blog resource for the Baguio City Market
A Visit To BenCab Museum (outside Baguio)
I personally helm this as one of the best collection of contemporary art, Cordillera collections (animalist, sacred wood figures), and not to mention the almost complete collection of the artist Benedicto Reyes Cabrera (BenCab).
A beautiful space by showcasing ultra-modernism mixed with traditional Filipino crafts. Make sure to spend at least 3 hours at this place and roam around its floors and outskirt mini forest at the back.
- P.S: Read up about Art Etiquette in 4 Ways
- How to reach (via public transportation): Asin Rd jeepneys get you here from Abanao St near City Hall or a taxi costs P150.
- Facebook Page
This artists-centric colony is located in 366-C Pinsao Proper. This artist colony showcases indigenous craftsmanship and a venue where local artist from the Cordilleras can come together and create art. Visitors can participate in art workshops, learn dream-catcher or bead making, and enjoy indigenous music and dance demonstrations.
The Chanum Foundation, headed by the national artist Ben Cabrera, developed the project in line with its mission to preserve and teach the art and culture of the Cordillera people. This is probably one of the best vantage point to see the South China Sea.
- You can rent its nine traditional Ifugao homes and two Kalinga huts for the night.
- Official website
- (via public transportation) take a Quezon Hill–Tam-Awan or Tam-Awan–Long-Long jeepney from the corner of Kayang and Shagem Sts (P11)
- Facebook Page
Mt. Cloud Bookstore
I’ve been in love with this bookstore for 9 years and this is arguably one of the best bookstores to get all the curated local authors. If you love collecting books about history, ethnographic non-fictions, and novels written by great writers then Mt. Cloud should be on your checklist.
Make sure to visit their social channels to see what kind of event they’re hosting — Author meet & greets, food tasting, novel reading sessions, and related lectures.
- New location: 1 Yangco Road, Corner Brent Rd, Baguio
- Monday/Sunday 10am-7pm
Camp John Hay
Visiting this 246- hectare old US military is an oasis should you want to see open grounds of greenery and heaps of natural pine trees. True to its reinvention as a mountain resort, where you can choose to stay in any of its posh hotels or for the most of us frolic the grounds and enjoy a restful coffee or perhaps ice cream afternoons.
- Other activities: golf, mini-golf, ziplines, walking trails, and outlet shopping (although prices are still relatively the same as Manila’s)
- (via public transportation) Camp John Hay is very spread out, and jeepneys are not allowed in, so your best bet is to take a cab.
Drive up to Dominical Hill Retreat House (perhaps see a ghost or two)
Up the hill is the Dominical Retreat house where it used to be back in 1911, American friars and nuns of their orders in Baguio seek solace and R&R. It became a refugee place during World War II from people escaping the terror of Japanese soldiers, but when the same forces advanced and invaded the property they turned the retreat house as their headquarters. Brutal imperial armies committed unspeakable acts of inhumane violence– decapitating priest. raping nuns, and barbaric torturing of those captives of war. During the end of the Japanese occupation and as the American forces were slowly liberating each this section– Japanese armies committed suicide to refuse defeat.
The Dominican Hill Retreat House, also commonly known as the Diplomat Hotel, is now an abandoned structure atop Dominican Hill. Famous for its ghost sighting stories, but the whole property on which it stands has become a Dominican Heritage Hill and Nature Park. A panoramic view of the city unfolds from its vantage point and a great garden is surrounding the entire property.
- Dominican Hill, Diplomat Road, Baguio
- Closes at 5pm
There are heaps of options where to eat in Baguio and taste will always be subjective based on preference and price point will always be a consideration. So let me subdivide our recommendations based on our Where to Eat Categorization.
Good view/variety of dishes
- Arca’s Yard (Ambuklao Rd.)
- Good Taste Cafe & Restaurant (Near Burnham Park)
- Solibao (Familiar comfort food)
- Balajadia Kitchenette Slaughter House
- Point & Eat Grill (Session Rd.)
Pizza and Pasta
- Amare La Cusina (#1 Ignacio Villamor St.)
- Cafe Yagam (25 J.Felipe Street, Lualhati)
- Farmer’s Daughter (inside Tam-Awan Village)
Unlimited Korean BBQ
- Korean Palace Restaurant (38th South Drive)
Unlimited Japanese Yakiniku
- Tajimaya Charcoal Grill (Military Cutoff Road)
- Oh My Gulay! (Fortune Care, 108, Session Rd)
- Forest House (Loakan Rd, Camp John Hay)
- Le Chef at The Manor (Camp John Hay)
- Mario’s (Upper Session Rd)
- Strawberries and Ice Cream (Camp John Hay)
- Choco-late de Batirol (Igorot Park of Camp John Hay)
- Chaya (72 Legarda Rd, Brgy. Campo Sioco)
- Foggy Mountain Cookhouse (Overpriced, inconsistent, and the view isn’t that great due to Meralco wires obstructions)
- O’ Mai Kan (Poor customer service)
- 50’s Dinner (Yes it is still cheap, but the quality drastically changed)
- Pizza Volante
The drive to perfect long drive road trip to the north where every town is feels different and yet familiar at the same time. A lowlander’s dream of cool weather- Baguio will always be this attractive out of town destination. What’s your fondest Baguio memory? comment below! We’d love to hear your feedback and recommendations for our next Baguio trip.
- Book An Appointment
- Official Facebook Page
- Official Instagram Page
- Official YouTube Page
- Official Spotify Page- Curated MixTapes/Playlist
- TripAdvisor Top 2% Contributor
Kanto Freestyle is that perfect stopover when you want to sober up after a night up drinking and partying- check out the rest of Top Best Grubs Places After Drinking. Go for the good food, level-up plating, and superb value for your money.