• New Menu of Cafe Plazuela at the Avenue Plaza Hotel

  • Relax and unwind at La Huerta de Rosario Farm, Baao, CamSur

    Baao, CamSur

  • Travel Guide to Mercedes, CamNorte


Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Chan Lim Family and Students' Exquisite Chinese Paintings in Naga City

Naga City - The Chan Lim ® Family of Artists and Students opened its gallery of Chinese Scroll Painting and Oil Painting  last August 20 and will run until September 5 at the event center of SM City Naga as part of the Mid-Autumn Festival celebration. 

The Chan Lim Family of Artists has been actively involved in the arts for more than four decades now. The family patriarch, Chan Lim, has dabbled in Western art, specializing in Oil and Watercolor. The Chan Lim siblings Alex, Rolex and Jolex are all engineers by profession and are actively engaged with multinational companies. Bound by their passion with the arts, the Chan Lim family of Artists has conducted numerous art classes, workshops, seminars, and on-the-spot painting demonstrations. They have joined several exhibits locally and internationally. The 3rd generation Chan Lims follows in the footsteps of both the family patriarch and their fathers nurturing their artistic talents. To date, the family has staged thirteen family painting exhibits.

The Chan Lim brothers during the presscon.

Painting is Chan Lim's another way of giving back to the community. Apart from their own professions as owners of prestigious companies and as providers of employment, painting is a nourishing way of giving back to the community. Through painting they are able to help nourish the artistic ability of people. Painting is at the same time therapeutic allowing us to let loose our inhibitions by the use of strokes and ability to combine colors. SM has supported Chan Lim back in 1995 with the first exhibit at SM Megamall and until now by showcasing their work in the different SM Supermalls around the Philippines. Truly, when passion throbs in the heart of this family, sharing it to the community comes next. There are about five Bicolanos by blood in the group sharing their time and effort in teaching Chinese painting.

A demo on how to paint a bamboo and flower was amazingly done by one of the Chan Lim brothers, Felix Chan Lim of Stanford University. I noticed that when he paints, he paints from the picture of a bamboo and flower from his mind. No models or pictures but just pure visualization of a bamboo and flower where it's all natural and free flowing. The creative energy just flows out in every stroke thru his brush and paint. 

Notice the combination of colors? In one brush there are two colors when painted. 

And so after the demo, we indulged ourselves in experiencing Chinese painting. The mopit / brush is a familiar tool for me since I am also an alumna of Saint Joseph School. Back in the days we have never experienced using the water color because we only used the black ink for Chinese characters or words. So to speak, this was an entirely a different experience for me. As a first timer, of course I was nervous. Good thing Ms. Dolly was very patient in teaching me how to paint a bamboo. Shout out to her!

Presenting my very first Chinese painting, nakakahiya haha. 
(This photo was taken by Frances of www.francesandflair.com)
For me, I realized that the key to a Chinese painting is to be free from all anxieties or worries. Just relax and go with the flow of energy. I noticed that, the more I was relaxed, the more that I was able to at least follow the instructions of Ms. Dolly. Practice pa more!

The free workshop was participated by students from St. Joseph, Naga Hope Christian School and other organizations such as Salingoy Art Group.

Presentation from the students of Naga Hope Christian School.

The kids had fun under the supervision of the Chan Lim Family and students. 

The paintings in the gallery are there for us to appreciate, but remember not to touch them so that they may last for more decades to be appreciated by the next generations.

The middle portrait with blue birds was done by my teacher Ms. Dolly. Galing!

The Chan Lim students who were very excited to teach the kids. Happy to meet them too!

The #ChanLim family is one of the few remaining notable Chinese brush painting artists in the country today, and is sought after in this field. Art classes are conducted in the family studio located in Pasig city. Their paintings can be found in private collections here and abroad. 

You may email them at chanlim@yahoo.com or view their artworks at www.chanlim.com. Don't forget to visit SM City  Naga, the gallery is open until September 5.

More power to Chan Lim Family and Students and Dios Mabalos for the unique and nourishing activity! May you continue to inspire more people through your passion.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Run for Wellness 7

Naga City - The Run for Wellness of South Star Drug Inc. scheduled on September 11, 2016 4:30 am at the Plaza Quezon, is now on its seventh installment! This year's theme is South Star Drug Run for Wellness: The Viral Challenge. The Viral Challenge is a fun run event where participants need to save their “lives” from viruses that will attempt to steal their lives as they run to finish their chosen course. At the start of the race, participants will be given a belt with 3 flags attached to it representing their health. These flags are what the viruses will try to steal from the participants during the race.  Runners who finish their course the fastest and with “lives” to spare shall win the race.

Registration fee and inclusions:
Php 300 both for 3k and 5k. Includes singlet, bib number and race kit.

Registration Venues:
Naga - Crown Hotel bldg. cor. E. Angeles and P. Burgos St., Naga City
         - 77 Concepcion, Pequeña, Naga City
Daet - Elevated Plaza, Vinzons Ave., Daet
Legaspi - Rizal St., Legaspi City
Iriga - Alfelor St. cor. Rotary Road, Iriga City

For more details, please contact:  Mr. Shamemar O. Bonsol – 0932.876.5560 or at shamemar_bonsol@southstardrug.com.ph

Friday, August 12, 2016

40th Milo Marathon 2016 Naga City Race

40th Milo Marathan 2016 Naga Elimination 
Sunday, August 28, 2016 3:00 AM - 9:00 AM (Philippine Time)
SM City Naga Road

Source: milo.com.ph

3km: PhP150.00
5km: PhP150.00
10km: PhP650.00
21km: PhP750.00

Online Registration Closes Two Weeks Before Race Day
21k & 42k participants are required to upload their "FIT TO RUN" medical certificate.
All online registrants must upload a photo of  MILO 300g pack receipt.

For on-site registration please contact Mr. Francis Barja on 0919-3909199 / 0917-6551000

40th Milo Marathon Rules & Regulations – Download Here
40th Milo Marathon Registration Form – Download Here
Singlet Chart HERE

*Image and race details are from milo.com.ph

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Travel to Naga Via SkyBus Premiere

Bicol Isarog Transport Systems Inc. has really stepped up their game ahead of the other bus companies in delivering style and comfort here in the south. The newest bus in addition to the business class buses of Bicol Isarog is the SkyBus Premiere (Peñafrancia Bus) with a "massage seat" available for the first 4 passengers in the first 2 rows of the bus using a 1x1 arrangement. A Naga City Deck follower shared his experience regarding the Skybus Premiere around 2 weeks ago. The following are his photos and review about the new bus with permission for posting.

There are two Skybus Premieres available at the moment, SkyBus 600 and SkyBus 700
First 4 seats (with massage) is P1,800.00 1x1 seating. Third row onwards are at P1,100.00
Departs for Naga from Araneta Center Bus Terminal (Cubao) at 8:30pm
Departs for Manila from Bicol Central Station (Naga City) at 8:30pm
One stopover at McDo Tiaong

Skybus 700

Back rest is clean and no folding tables or cup holders as its beyond your reach due to long legroom space.

Yes, you do have a folding table.

Side view of the special seat, very wide and spacious

Skybus premiere uses "2 class designs". After the toilet you'll see a 2 x 1 arrangement [front view] which is similar to that of Skybus 200. 

Storage, cup holders located at one of the armrest [an airline fleece blanket, bottled water, coffee travel mug will fit nicely]

The good: Excellent leg room [not for my legs but rather if you want to bring reasonable size luggage beside you rather than stow it at the baggage compartment], personal storage, very good width kinda like business class seat on long haul flights, electronic controlled backrest/ leg support swivel, your own personal table.

The bad: No usb/ ac outlet socket, flexible gooseneck lamp attached to the side of your head rest [for reading].

The in between: You can't make use of the leg rest as I felt my feet are "hanging" unless I'm 3 foot eleven. So rather, for all the duration of the journey, both feet are resting on the floor. As for the electronic massager, it does work, but its anyone's preference if they find the need for it.

It's worth the experience...though for the money, privacy, flat bed experience, bigger storage space inside the bus, I'll go for the Sleeper Bus S1.

Below are the Skybus 100 / 200's interior which are RSL buses which are still under Bicol Isarog TSI. All Skybuses have a stewardess on board to introduce the the bus' features, the driver and other customer service related concerns. And oh, they also serve a simple snack and water for the passengers. 

I have yet to experience the Skybus Premiere's special seat with massage. I guess I will agree with Sir Bong's review that the down side of the bus is not having an outlet for gadgets especially for passengers who really work while on board. Probably if I'll be taking the Premiere bus, for posterity sake and experience, I might book for it for only once. I'm good with the Skybus 100/200 priced at P1,000 or even the Deluxe Bus of Penafrancia Tours. CLICK HERE for my review of Isarog Line's Sleeper Bus S1. They also have a speed limiter, which beeps if the driver exceeds 80 kph.
Skybus 100

Skybus 100
Facebook: Bicol Isarog
Website: http://bicolisarog.com/
For contact details visit http://bicolisarog.com/contact-us/

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

The Battle of Cafes in Naga City

Due to the increasing number of cafes, I decided to visit one the other day. But before I say something the food I ordered. Here are a few thoughts regarding cafes in the city.

Finding the unique taste of every shop will stand out eventually after being compared to the others. Taste and preference will always be very subjective. Talking about coffee, I can honestly say that some of our local frappes, hot and iced coffees are actually tasting similar to one another and differs only in presentation. When asked "How's the coffee?" and if just I answer "kape", then your coffee is just like many others available in the city. 

It's a must for cafes to realize that patrons will come back if you have something in your menu that are not offered by others and you can proudly say that somehow you started it here in Naga and it's UNIQUELY YOURS. 

As an observation, these are the things that patrons usually consider when visiting cafes (hopefully I can find time to conduct a scientific study about this haha):
1. Good food and unique offerings
2. Affordability and value for money
3. Ambiance and "social media picture perfect / instagrammableness"

For owners, if you are innovative and creative in all those three areas, chances are you will last longer than those who gets stuck after reaching the comfortable state of earning what you are targeting to earn. When there's no more upgrading, you'll get stagnant and might end up like FRIENDSTER.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Review: Transcend DrivePro 220 Dashcam

Naga City - Our city roads are not all the time driven by responsible drivers. While we can safely say that provincial drivers are a bit more responsible than those in the metro, still we cannot the deny the fact that stubborn drivers also exists here. Last December 2015, I bought a dash cam with an intention of showing Naga City streets on a day to day basis and not mainly to submit photos or videos to a motoring magazine/social media account. For quite some time, I was using my smartphone as a dashcam. Most often than not, it heats up and worries me that it might not serve anymore its purpose considering that its capacity is only 16GB (As a blogger, you know it's difficult to delete photos or videos). I said to myself it's high time for me to get a dash cam or else my phone will wear out easily. Thanks to this motoring magazine, Top Gear to be specific, that I chose Transcend DrivePro 220 as my "reliable eyewitness on the road" showing a clear cut comparison to other brands of dash cams available in the market.

HERE's a full detailed specification of DrivePro 220 from Trancend's website.

Bought the unit here in Naga, at Hypertech Computers at ALDP Plaza Mall, Diversion Road. Last December 2015, it was around P7,600 but was able to get it around P7,300 inclusive of a 16GB memory card. Price at that time was similar to online stores like in Lazada. As of writing it ranges around P6,400 to P7,300 depending on the offer. DP220 can record in 1080p at 30fps or 720p at 30fps.

Here are my Top 3 Favorite features of Transcend's DP220. 

1. Forward Collision warning System to keep a safe distance and the Speed Alarm

"DrivePro 220's Forward Collision Warning System (FCWS) will warn the driver when the driving speed exceeds the preset value and the vehicle gets too close to the car ahead. In such case, the system will alert the driver with a warning sound and warning sign on display."

The Speed Alarm feature is really advantageous in our long drives. I usually preset the Speed Limit to 90 kph or sometimes 80 kph

2. Lane Departure Warning System (LDWS) 

"Designed to prevent potential incidents by warning the driver when the vehicle begins to move out of its lane. The system monitors the lane markings on the roadway, and shows an alert picture on the screen plus a warning sound whenever the driving speed exceeds the preset value and the vehicle starts to deviate from its lane."

3. Built-in WiFi and App

A one-minute Full HD 1080p at 30fps is around 111 mb in file size while the 720p at 30fps at 50 mb. Videos are easy to transfer to my smartphone and ready to edit just in case with an App that gets to be updated from time to time. The unit buttons are easy to navigate as well as the mobile App.

There's also a built-in battery to ensure uninterruptible recording. On full charge, it can record at around 30 minutes. An emergency recording red button is also in place just in case you need a video that needs to be secured and saved since the unit goes on a continuous recording mode cycle. I realized that its better to record in 60fps since we need a more detailed graphics in videos. At night, it compensates automatically for glare. 

Sample Video - FULL HD 1080p at 30fps

So there, at this point in time, my unit is still in good running condition. More videos are posted on my Facebook Page for reference. Pretty sure there are new models out in the market today, but if DP220 is still available, I would recommend purchasing this dashcam. Oh btw, the lower version which is the DP200 has almost the same features except for the GPS. 

Monday, June 27, 2016

Alternative Route to Bicol: Quezon Eco-Tourism Road

As a frequent traveler going to and fro Metro Manila, the usual route has been pain in the neck, legs and arms of drivers especially when you reach Southern Tagalog roads. While others have the luxury to travel by air, our family tradition going on a south road has been a luxury of time for us.

For decades, from being a passenger during my childhood years to earning my driver's license, I have seen different road conditions that you can ever imagine which can be tantamount to imperfection. But, it is in this sense of imperfection that we get to see the reality of our government and even politics. Beyond all these, we have the chance to enjoy the scenic view of southern Luzon. Exploring alternative routes and recently taking bypass roads like in Candelaria and Tiaong has been in the past years due to recent developments.

Please don't use image without permission. 
Most of our roadtrips are motivated by family gatherings and since we have relatives all over Luzon, it's a good excuse to travel every year. I first heard of Quezon Eco-Tourism road from Inquirer's post HERE. With a trip in queue back in April 2016, we never had second thoughts of taking this alternative route mainly because, first, we love seeing new places and secondly, easing a little bit of traffic just to get in time to our destination is a must.

Below is my recorded dashcam video, southbound. Recorded by a Transcend DrivePro DP 220 at 720p. 

Alternative route going to Bicol staying away from San Pablo, Alaminos, Tiaong, Candelaria, Sariaya. (Video taken last May 1 when we were homebound to Naga). This route is different from the exsiting bypass roads in Candelaria and Tiaong.

From SLEX, go straight to Southern Tagalog Arterial Road (Star) Tollway and exit to Ibaan. Take San Juan then Rosario, Batangas road then turn right to the new Quezon Ecotourism Road. (Just put "Quezon Ecotourism Road" on Waze and everything is fairly easy, yup its accurate, don't worry.) Traverse through coconut plantations (my favorite part), farmlands of vegetables with signages of numerous resorts in Sariaya. Traffic here in Batangas towns are tolerable rather than Tiaong, Candelaria, Sariaya and even adding up San Pablo.

Please don't use image without permission. 

If you are northbound: After Lucena, turn left to Quezon Ecotourism Road, you will see a signage anyway. Then left to Rosario, San Juan, exit to Ibaan Star Tollway, then SLEX. The route is actually longer in a few kilometers, but considering the traffic in Sariaya, Candelaria, Tiaong and San Pablo, I'd take this route instead. We have experienced for so many times being stuck in San Pablo for more than an hour at around 2 in the afternoon, imagine the heat. Remember, it's not always traffic-free like in town centers for Rosario and San Juan, but again, I'll reiterate that it's tolerableCheck out the comments thread on that video on Facebook from fellow motorists for feedback and other suggestions.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Father's Day Specials in Naga 2016

On this page you will see offers for Father's Day this June 18, 2016 in Naga City.

It's time to reward our hardworking Dads! Celebrate a feast on ocean fresh succulent Lobsters and high-grade Steaks meticulously prepared just to your liking. A culinary haven for your family to delight in this Father's Day. Treat him to a one-of-a-kind buffet spread in Naga City that's fit for a King!

Reserve your tickets for Avenue Plaza Hotel's SUPER DAD LOBSTER AND STEAK Buffet Dinner! Call 473 9999 for ticket reservations.

The Healing Bread in Naga City

Naga City - It's almost one year since The Healing Bread (THB) opened here in our city. Offering healthy bread, buns, wine, cakes, burgers, pasta, pizza but with all organic ingredients. It's only yesterday that I had the chance to stop by THB. Even though Panganiban Drive is a daily route where THB is located, the idea that it's just there made me delay my visit, which I now regret haha.

Probably the only organic garden bakery in Bicol Region to date and Naga City is indeed blessed and lucky to have this kind of place. THB offers artisan breads meaning, distinctively made in small quantities traditionally by hand, making sure that the bread is of high quality and guaranteed fresh. 

This is one place that is totally guilt-free but not sacrificing good taste and flavor. 

They have this Blue Ternate Veggie Pizza which I want to try the next time I visit. The crust is made from the goodness of moringa, oat whole wheat course and watered with guyabano tea. Sounds really really healthy. They have lots of cake too.

Since it was early in the morning, I ordered for take out, Pandesal (3 pcs for P10) and currently my favorite the Moringa Basil Wheat Bread which is perfect for sharing for only P50.

Hoping to come back sooner next time. The mushroom burger, veggie pizza and cakes are on my list!
Let's live healthier, patronize local bakeshops like The Healing Bread. 

Door 8 Duplex 3 Panganiban Drive, Naga City
(Near Naga City Subdivision entrance)
Email: thehealingbread@yahoo.com
Contact No.0917-807-5004 or 0918-663-0534