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Posts Tagged ‘Nature Tripping’


I miss traveling around, finding places where silence still reigns. I miss the fresh green of the countryside.  How I wish I am close to places like these.

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sual2 I took the first three pictures along the highway in our province in Pangasinan while we were on our way to Manila. The last two shots  were taken at  a  hilltop  somewhere in Sual, Pangasinan where you can see the Lingayen Gulf at a distance.

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This may come a bit  late for last week’s challenge  but you may have noticed that I don’t get to blog everyday nowadays. Just too busy catching up on things at home that blogging has become my least priority. Well, for one thing, I just set up another blog for my grandson so I am somewhat focused there.

I have only two shots that I want to include here, not because they reflect the challenge at hand but they remind me of the happier days when we used to go on road trips with the kids. These were taken at The Farm, a spa facility that boasts of large gardens and  nature at its best. This is located in Lipa City, Batangas, about three hours away from Metro Manila. Would love to come back here one of these days, God willing.

This is their Lagoon where I spent so much time reading and just looking at the ducks feeding nearby. Why not try visiting this place, they have some excellent reviews from people who’ve been there.

 

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Five years ago, we spent new year in Batangas to get away from the noise and pollution of Metro Manila. Nestled at the foot of Mt. Malarayat on the outskirts of Lipa City is a 47-hectare spa resort amidst lush, verdant greens, serene ponds and manicured lawns. The landscape is simply awesome. Facilities include the reception hall, the restaurant, library, a large swimming pool, orchidarium, spa, gym and villas.

The health resort can accommodate around 55 clients. There are five different kinds of accommodation each according to style,size and price. We stayed at the Sulu Terraces which are designed after rice huts and have open seating areas on the ground floor. All rooms are air-conditioned. They call the restaurant 85/15 Gourmet Restaurant, meaning, the food served is 85% raw and 15% cooked. The food is a bit pricey though and you are not allowed to bring “baon”. Where would you find a cup of coffee worth P350.00? I almost choked when I saw the price but it was all worth it. Such bliss in a place like this, because I love every corner of their vast gardens. It was another family road trip that we all enjoyed.

Their reception area boast of a water fountain in front and a small store that sells souvenirs.

Just love the verdant greens….

Looking at the views from here, can’t wait to explore the place.

Taken in front of their large swimming pool.

It was more than a two-hour trip from Metro Manila. Tired….

They have these in all corners…meditation huts where you could rest your tired feet.

My youngest…..

Exploring…

#10 Sulu Terraces

We occupied two huts. Good thing they have small safes installed for valuables.

Can’t wait to see what the place has to offer.

The gate of Sulu Terraces…nice long walk.

The ferns are taller than I am.

A close-up view of the peacock, showing its lovely form.

So peaceful, I could stay here all day  just watching the pond or reading but they have a lovely library nearby.

  The lagoon, my  favorite spot during our stay here, a perfect place to idle the time away.

A century old tree…I forgot its name!

Dreaming of my own garden like this!

Ah! The Secret Pool, we all loved it and had a night swim later. The water is heated and the place is secluded.

Look at the intricate carvings at the door, it was simply beautiful.

Going on road trips is such a joy, discovering new places, just relaxing. It was the first time we spent new year away from home.

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There are circumstances and events that live in one’s memory more prominently than the others and going on road trips with the family is one of them – remembering the happier days. I am transferring some of my family albums from Multiply which according to news will close in a few months and I can’t resist posting this particular album here since I loved the place when we dined there more than three years ago, a few months before I discovered that I had colon cancer. It changed my perspective about life because after my surgery, we have cut down on taking trips like this. It was replaced by regular trips to the hospital, diagnostic centers and my doctors. I am so grateful though that before  that life-changing ailment, I was able to visit here.

This was when I was still starting my love affair with my camera. I can’t remember now which one I used here, because I used to have a Pentax Optio and a much-lower-priced Samsung. I am using a Canon Ixus now with many added features. These are raw shots that were never altered, not even cropped.

Breakfast at Antonio’s (that’s actually the full name of the restaurant), is a high-end restaurant that serves breakfast meals all day long.  I remember the date, it was January 15, 2009. We came from our first road trip to Caleruega and we were on our way back to Manila. We were talking of where to take lunch even before we left Caleruega. And the kids were unanimous in saying that we will have it in Tagaytay so they could also enjoy the view of the Taal Lake. It was quite cloudy when we were there so I suggested why not try Breakfast at Antonio’s? It is about two and a half kilometers from the main highway but it is worth the time and the wait. We waited for about thirty minutes to be served. There were only about three occupied tables when we arrived. It’s gourmet dining at its best. Hubby was impressed. My two kids ordered chocolate milk drinks while  hubby  had tomato juice. I just had plain water because I had so much coffee while we were in  Caleruega.

It’s an architectural showcase, notice the high beams, it blends so well with the place.

While waiting for our food, we had one of the waiters take a shot of the four of us.

The fun part – eating! They call this Sausages and Scrambles.

Beef  tapa, a must have for a nourishing breakfast but we had it at lunch.

Ham and Swiss Cheese Roesti

Croque Madame

More than the food, I just love the ambience of the place.

This greets you at the reception area, a room full of antique items on the walls and as decors too. Even the floor entices you to go barefoot.

Ah, the Koi, we all love Koi!

Love that big pot of Anthurium, part of the charm of the place.

The main door stays closed but they open it for clients and diners.

My two kids….

A rare shot of the four of us – as always, we have to set up the tripod for this.

Love those paintings on the wall. This dining area has that airy atmosphere which is just perfect for a lovely chat.

I love that picture window and the garden beyond.

And this lush Koi pond….

The Koi fish are bigger than the ones they have at Caleruega.

Couldn’t resist these  lovely blooms….

Another shot of the reception area…

The garden in front…

That’s my son enjoying a few minutes of walking around the place.

I really hope one of these days, we could come back here and sample their other menu on the list.

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I took these series of shots in one of our road trips this year. We were on a long, long highway going to Tanay, Rizal and I was fascinated by the clear view of the countryside, but since we can’t stop and admire the mountains looming ahead, I have to aim the camera through the car window.

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I was actually trying to take some shots of the clouds one sunny afternoon at SCTEX on our way to Manila from Pangasinan, but the sun showing its  almost perfect orb was just a bonus. I took these series of shots from the car, never even focusing  on the subject properly.  It tried to hide its face behind those thick clouds  but its rays were still visible somehow.

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The early years – when I could not resist taking shots of flowers and blooms. They never fail to put a smile on my face every time I see them. I wish I could compile all the macro shots I took  (hundreds of them) as far back as four years ago. The details, the place and the moments of joy when I took them are golden memories I’ll always remember with fondness.

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REJOICE fellow Filipinos and be proud of our country. Puerto Princesa Underground  River is now officially confirmed as one of the new seven wonders of nature.

Palawan is one of the best places to visit  where you really can enjoy the pristine beauty of nature. Puerto Princesa City is the capital of Palawan. Add to  these are the beautiful  islands of Coron, El Nido, Amanpolo, Busuanga. Such  lovely  places, all within one’s reach. What more could you ask for?

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A few kilometers from the shores of Pundaquit in San Antonio, Zambales lies Capones Island – white beaches, high rock cliffs, colorful crushed coral. You can reach the island by taking a boat ride from the Pundaquit shores. The waters surrounding the island is known to be rough but it is generally calm in the early morning until noontime. If you are into quiet places where you could see a wide expanse of blue waters and sunny skies, this is the place for you. It’s actually a big lump of rock formation  but the sea surrounding it is simply awesome.

It’s really more fun in the Philippines, why not try visiting us?

It’s like a small dot in a sea of blue, that’s Capones Island seen from the Pundaquit shores.

Such amazing rock formations, tempered by the elements.

Sea and sky!

And a wide beach….

Peaceful

Gray on blue!

The joys of living….

And a touch of green…

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I’ve always been fascinated by distant places where all you see are vast sea of green, hills,  mountains, highways, country roads, the clear blue sky and clouds. Oh, not necessarily in that order because aside from flowers, clouds are my favorite subject  in photography. Never mind that sometimes, I have to tell hubby or whoever is driving  to slow down a bit so I could take shots of the place.Hubby knows this and he is indulgent enough to offer to stop for a few seconds but then, when it is not practical to do it and we are traveling a winding road, I just click my camera even when I am inside the car.

Last January 2,  hubby and I went on our first road trip for the year going the long distance route from our place in Cainta to Tanay, Rizal. Passing by Marcos Highway was such a breeze because there was no traffic.  Hubby loves driving along curves and bends on a concrete long highway where sometimes all you see are just mountains and the fantastic view of foamy and cotton clouds hovering above.  These are those times when you think of life and how blessed you feel communing with nature. Here are some more shots I took (sorry, if they  look a bit grainy, took them all while traveling) on our way to Regina RICA. The Sierra Madre mountain ranges and the view overlooking Laguna De Bay are simply breathtaking. You won’t even think that this is just about 70 kilometers away from Metro Manila.

Traveling in the heart of the country….what bliss!

And all these remind me of the song, I See You Lord which goes this way:

I’m so blessed my Lord
I can see you
In all the lovely things
So fine and true
I see you in the beauty
Of the flowers and the rain
I see you between the lines
Of a sweet refrain
I’m so blessed my Lord
I can see you
Even when I’m lonely and in pain
I see you in the beauty of the stars at night
I see you in my life
I feel alright.

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