A long walk to water follows two protagonist with different lives in different timeline. This is also based on a true story and was made to promote Dut's Program, Water for South Sudan.

Salva Dut, an 11 years old boy who lost his family in Second Sudanese Civil War. He walks in hopes of finding his family and on his journey he led 1,500 lost boys to a refugee camp. Several years later, he arrives in America and lives in New York. When he found out that most of his family was alive he later starts a volunteer group to build wells in South Sudan called Water for South Sudan.
Nya, an 11 years old girl who walks eight hours to fetch water for her family. Through the story, her sister was sick and to be able to support her and her family Nya has to walk twice a day to fetch water. When Water for South Sudan reached their home she was overjoyed as they don't need to walk far and the water will be safer to drink. She then introduced herself to Salva Dut.

Overall, the story was touching. You see how similar the story were, the struggles both the protagonists experienced, and how they overcome the challenges in life and being able to give back. The moral I got from this book is that as long as you don't give up, you will have a lot of opportunities on your way. You may have the worst day today but remember that the sun will still shine tomorrow to show you that there will be new hope coming. With the pandemic, I find this book very timely. The premise might be different but as we live our lives differently, helping in every way we can, may it be through kind, finance or prayer, will go a long way. Don't Give Up and just keep going!



Big Al's Cookie Jar is a bakeshop that is famous for its Original Decadent Chocolate Cake in a pan. They also do Homebaked Chocolate Cakes, Cookies, & Ice Cream since 2004. They are located in Antipolo, QC, Makati, and BF Paranaque, as they have a lot of branches, everyone can get a hold of their delicious cakes! You can checkout the pricelist and order here.

We ordered the Junior Decadent Chocolate cake for Tita's birthday. They just opened again due to pandemic so there is no waiting time. Right now, I think they have their cut offs. I got really excited as we got the cake so I didn't get the chance to take a photo. 



  Our verdict? I LOVED IT! As it was just plain chocolate and it was not that sweet, IT WAS PERFECT FOR ME. But for tita, she said she liked Polly's better. I think its because the one we ordered at Polly's has caramel in it. Though, we will definitely order again! 
Check them out:
https://bigalscookiejar.com/

Prices:
Decadent Chocolate Cake (4 sizes)
Loaf (8x4"); 350php
Junior (8x8"); 650php
Birthday (9x12"); 1,100php
Party (10x14"); 1,650php
 Other Products:
Chocolate Caramel Cake : 400php - 1,950php
Butter Caramel Cake : 400php
Cookie Jars (varies per flavor) - 300php - 350php
Ice cream - 300php

Last weekend, we visited my great grandmother in Batangas. As we had a lot of free time in our hands, we decided to check out the open beach near us. There were really not much to prepare as we are practically residents there, but everyone in the resort (and us) are wearing face masks and shields. The guests are also separated, if a new one comes they will be placed far from the ones already in the resort.

We went to Matabungkay, a 5 minute drive from our place. Matabungkay is famous for their Balsa and various beach resorts. For this weekend, we chose Hip Nautic Beach Resort as it has a pool, near the beach and most importantly, its AFFORDABLE.


The place is still rather new, so it is clean. A cleaning service is needed for the shower rooms and comfort rooms but the cottage and tables are still new. They have 2 swimming pools, one for kids and one for adults(4ft to 6ft), the beach is also near, they have a pathway to take you to the shore. They also have paluto but when we were there I believe they told us that the cook was out, but they can still buy us what we want from other locals. The cottage we stayed in was 1.5k(you can haggle!) and tables/chairs are 200php. Overall, the experience was great. The staff was really friendly, not a lot of people and easily accessible for us, but its a 4hour drive I think from Manila to Matabungkay, so not bad! If you want to know more check them out:
The locals in the beach resort are very friendly. If you want to inquire, check out their facebook: Hip Nautic Facebook Hip Nautic Facebook Page

Check out our video for a quick tour!

The Philippines is made up of 7,641 islands that are categorized by three major geographical division: Luzon, Visayas, Mindanao, these are then further divided into 81 provinces thus creating the Project 81. Basically, filipino travellers are aiming to visit all 81 provinces to experience a glimpse of their unique culture and to capture their beauty. As the islands are individually mesmerizing, doing the Project 81 will never be uninteresting, each of them can offer you unforgettable moments and per island you will meet amazing and hospitable people.

I am aspiring to finish it before I reach 30, so far I have travelled 22 provinces and IT WAS BEAUTIFUL! I will go back to each one if I have the chance!

Luzon

Luzon Provinces

Abra

Camarines Norte

Laguna

Pangasinan

Albay

Camarines Sur

Marinduque

Quezon

Apayao

Catanduanes

Masbate

Quirino

Aurora

Cavite

Mountain Province

Rizal

Bataan

Ifugao

Nueva Ecija

Romblon

Batanes

Ilocos Norte

Nueva Vizcaya

Sorsogon

Batangas

Ilocos Sur

Occidental Mindoro

Tarlac

Benguet

Isabela

Oriental Mindoro

Zambales

Bulacan

Kalinga

Palawan

Metro Manila

Cagayan

La Union

Pampanga


Visayas


Visayas Provinces
AklanIloilo
AntiqueLeyte
BiliranNegros Occidental
BoholNegros Oriental
CapizNorthern Samar
CebuSamar
Eastern SamarSiquijor
GuimarasSouthern Leyte

Mindanao


Mindanao Provinces
Agusan del NorteDavao OccidentalSouth Cotabato
Agusan del SurDavao OrientalSultan Kudarat
BasilanDinagat IslandsSulu
BukidnonLanao del NorteSurigao del Norte
CamiguinLanao del SurSurigao del Sur
CotabatoMaguindanaoTawi-Tawi
Davao de OroMisamis OccidentalZamboanga del Norte
Davao del NorteMisamis OrientalZamboanga del Sur
Davao del SurSaranganiZamboanga Sibugay


Batanes is the smallest island in the Philippines and is located at the nothernmost part of Luzon. For travellers, this should always be in their bucket list. Luckily for me, my father's family has relatives in Batanes, so we get to have free lounging and tour. If ever you need a tour, I believe you can contact Batanes travel and tours. I can also give you the contact for our relatives there as they also work as a tour guide just message me if you need it. 

 As we land to the island, you can already feel the difference of the atmosphere and the surroundings. When we were at the airport, it was small and filled with local restaurants and merchandise. It was not crowded and it has a garden at the middle. As we got our luggage, we then hurry on my auntie's house. We did a couple of stopovers and I can say the ride was really wonderful! The sight was amazing! There was a stopover at a simple grotto on our way to Mahatao (auntie's hometown). The grotto was located at a cliff with stairs so you can get this amazing view of the ocean and of Mount Iraya. On our way, we were greeted by a jeep that was overloaded! There people at the top of the jeep along with their luggage. You can still see some old stone houses in Mahatao but not as much in Sabtang. 

 On our second day, we went around Mahatao to meet some of auntie's colleagues. We ate at Paulvana's, we ordered a soup with tatus (coconut crab) as the main ingredient and some silogs for the kids. It was delicious and the place was very homey. I believe you need a reservation for the availability of the ingredients. Actually, I noticed that reservation is required in every restaurant in Batanes. On our trip to a land my auntie owned, we had a feast filled with Ivatan cuisine! We had the yellow rice (sticky rice cooked in yellow ginger (turmeric) extract) and Uved (Grated banana root with ground pork) those two are the most memorable as I find it so good.


For the third day, we visited one of my favorite places so far, Rakuh-a-idi Spring (Spring of Youth / Fountain of Youth). It was really peaceful and because you need to do a 30-minute trek to reach the spring there is a 100% chance that you will be able to keep the place to yourself. The spring was cold and I really found it relaxing. I believe its because of the spring and the view. Unfortunately, Mt. Iraya was shy when we came.


We explored a lot of places and IT WAS ALL BREATHTAKING! Their tagline really suits them. 







Le Sucré Lab Chocolates is a chocolate shop that is located in Sta. Ana, Manila. Their bestseller is the gooey chocolate cake called Chocolate Dream cake. It is composed of 5 layers of chocolate with different texture which makes it so irresistibly good, imagine a cake layered with ganache, goo, shards and cocoa powder. 


 My coworker was the one who introduced the cake to me. I am not really a fan of cakes that is why I was hesitant at first. But as she was really telling me that it was delicious and won't regret trying it, I then give in and ordered one (she actually ordered the truffles with matcha alongside mine so, the truffles is still with me and my tita has been eyeing it since friday). The first bite was not really a WOW factor as I only got the first 2 layers, but when I realized I needed to completely scoop all the layers, that is when I got an awakening(WOW). The different texture and taste of the different layers mixes so well, they compliment the sweetness and bitterness of each other which makes it one flavorful tasting cake that you won't get enough eating. The hype was indeed well deserved!

We are planning to order again as we really found it AMAZING! If you want to get yours please check their instagram or facebook page. They also have the truffles which has 4 flavors you can choose which flavor you want or you can order all of it. 
Chocolate Dreamcake - 475php 
Truffles Collection - 675php 
Flavors 
  • Klasik Dark 
  • Dark Mocha 
  • Matcha Karamel 

 Shout out to Lalamove for the fast delivery!

Keto (Ketogenic Diet) is a low carb, high fat diet that involves reducing carbohydrates and replacing it with fat. By doing so, you then puts your body in a metabolic state called Ketosis.

A simple explanation will be by reducing carbs you now uses fat to fuel your energy thus the diet works. It also has a lot of health benefits mainly that it lowers blood sugar and insulin levels and shifts the body’s metabolism away from carbs and toward fat and ketones.

I've been on and off this diet for couple of years now and alongside the Keto I also do intermittent fasting. It has been really effected, but because its really works I just forget about it and say that I will do it someday that it will still work by then! (it does but still really lazy)

Now, I have another reason to give keto a try! I saw this ad a couple of months ago and as I journal junkie, I decided to buy it! 

It has everything you need to know about keto and more! Informative articles, motivational quotes and even witty jokes. Unfortunately, this is only available in the Philippines and major parts of it are in tagalog. You can check them out on the links below and see my flip through of the Keto Journal!

Follow Keto Journ:

Facebook
Facebook Group
Order yours! (shopee)

Puerto Galera is located in Oriental Mindoro and is a quite popular destination in the Philippines both for locals and foreigners. It has two main beaches, Sabang Beach and White Beach. If you are into scuba diving and snorkeling Sabang is the beach for you. If you are more into the night life and just plain swimming white beach is much suited for you. HOW TO GET TO PUERTO GALERA :
  • Ride a bus to Batangas Pier.
    • We waited for one along EDSA and of course we were standing through out the trip.
    • If you want to go to a terminal instead there are terminals in Cubao, Buendia and Pasay. I believe JAM liner has regular trips to the pier.
  • Go directly to the ticketing booth.
    • A lot of locals will offer you to buy tickets from them. DON'T.
    • The ticket is 250php going to Muelle port. It is inclusive of the terminal fee.
    • The boat ride is around 1hour to 1 hour and 30 minutes.
  • You can ask the locals for the free shuttle going to White Beach.
    • The hotel we stayed in has a free boat service.
WHERE TO STAY : 
We stayed in Edgewater Dive and Spa Resort for 1 night. I suggest to book directly at their site as they have promos for every direct booking. Unfortunately, this is not located directly neither to the two beaches but the staffs are very accommodating and will call a tricycle for your trip. Upon check in, we were served with complimentary fruits and water. We were also offered to order before we settled in our room. 
complimentary fruits

view from hotel

 Our room was a one bedroom with veranda and a complimentary breakfast. The hotel was nice and if you are into diving it is conveniently located at the edge of the water (hence, the name). The owner and the staff are very friendly, the owner even initiated small talks. 
Sabang Beach 
 We opted to go to Sabang beach first but upon reaching the beach we found that its more like a port. As this is recommended for scuba diving I believe a boat ride would be needed to experience it. There are a lot of food selection in Sabang. If you are into samgyupsal, Sabang is perfect! Everywhere you look you will see a samgyupsal buffet. I was really excited to eat there for lunch on our second day. But the boat ride was scheduled to leave at noon, so we didn't had the chance to. Also there a lot of bars and clubs in the beach. 
White Beach 


 Next stop was White beach, to get there we chose to ride the habal habal as this was faster. The ride was around 30 minutes and it costs us 150php each. We also had a deal with the habal to take us back to our hotel. (If you are interested to contact him, here is his number : 09064721531) He was really friendly and I believe they were having a conversation while I was sleeping at the back (DRUNK!). 

 We had a little dip in the ocean but as it was raining hard earlier in the morning, the waves were strong. The sands are pebble-like so I really suggest wearing beach shoes. There were also water activities available in the beach. (I'll try to list all the activities below.) There were a lot of hotels to stay in and restaurants to eat to. As we are staying late at night, we chose to eat at the beach, we ate at a karinderia near the beach. We ordered Garlic Shrimp(750php) and Flaming chicken(350php) with white sauce. It was delicious but the price was a bit much. 
 


 White Beach was an entertainment place at night, there were fire dancers and comedy shows. It was fun and amazing to watch as they were really interacting with the audience. They are also accommodating those who are not a customer at their place. The fire dancers are also offering free trial if you are brave enough, they are also ready to pose for a picture with anyone. Every interval they will be performing comedy acts, there was never a dull moment in the performance. They will be doing singing, dancing, and reenacting some of the filipino tv shows. 
photo op with fire dancer

 On the second day, we ate breakfast overlooking the sea. There were complimentary and again with fruits. You get to choose at their breakfast menu with filipino silogs and american breakfast paired with chocolate drink or coffee. After eating, we swam in the hotels swimming pool, as it was an off peak season, we were the only one swimming. We weren't that brave to actually try scuba diving but we were told that it was just 1200php to take us in the scuba diving spot. 
 
breakfast

 We rode a boat back to Muelle port and paid 250php for the boat going back to Batangas. Souvenirs stores and food stalls are available near the docking area. I got some souvenirs that are only 10php to 50php. Going back to Manila, there are buses within the pier's vicinity so no need to worry.

 Overall, the experience was fun and I believe we can still experience this in a much cheaper price. I suggest you book a beachfront hotel so the additional cost for transportation can be used for food instead or other activities. 
 Beach Front hotels : 

Water Activites : 
  • Banana Boat - 2000php/15mins/upto 10 pax ; 250php for addtl. pax 
  • Dragon Boat - 2500php/15mins/upto 10 pax ; 250php for addtl. pax 
  • Jetski - 2000php/30mins/upto 4 pax ; 3500php/1hr 
  • Disco Boat - 2000php/15mins/upto 6pax ; 350php for addtl. pax 
  • UFO - 2000php/15mins/upto 6pax ; 350php for addtl. pax 
  • Band Wagon - 2000php/15mins/upto 6pax ; 350php for addtl. pax 
  • Flying Fish - 1500php/15mins/upto 3pax ; 800php for addtl. pax 
  • Doughnut - 2000php/15mins/upto 6pax ; 350php for addtl. pax 
  • Fly Board - 3000php/30mins/ 1pax 
  • Wake Board - 3500php/30mins/ 1pax ; 5000php/1hr 
  • Watersky - 3500php/30mins/ 1pax ; 5000php/1hr 
  • Jet pack - 3500php/30mins/ 1pax ; 5000php/1hr 
  • Knee board - 3500php/30mins/ 1pax ; 5000php/1hr

 


Thank you for visiting my blog. A little introduction should be in place, the name is George but I use appleshiii as a pseudonym for the net. I have been using the name since 2009 and got into blogging around that time too, but because of laziness I never really push on doing it regularly. 

I have used blogger, wordpress, tumblr and whatever site you can think of. Though, I am very much comfortable of using blogger as I find it the easiest and its FREE!

Basically, this blog is about food, travel and everything I love. I will be writing as my heart pleases about anything that excites me. I do enjoy writing but as I have a day job I can't keep up with it.
I hope we can connect and to get to know more about you!