A first.

Last Sunday, October 9, my friend Charitie sent me a link to Travelicious.world‘s page. The page is inviting aspiring writers to write about their travel experiences for $40AUD/1000 words.

I thought about it and went through the steps required so my application would be approved.

The first requirement was actually an investment. I needed to have my own blog site. That meant I cannot use this blog site under WordPress. I had to buy my own domain. I thought hard if this is going to be worth it. I browsed on GoDaddy (Travelicious recommended) and went through the steps on creating my own domain, checked on the price first before deciding to buy.

The cost of the domain was on sale so I grabbed that chance. Finally, though unplanned, I checked my domain out. Yay! 😁

Ever since I started this blog Read My Thoughts in 2008 (title changed through time), I have always dreamed to have my own blog site. Finally the day has come.

To introduce to you my first ever own, self-hosted blog site, here’s Pasyal ni Jok (please follow the link to see the page). The title Pasyal ni Jok was Charitie’s idea when she helped me come up with a title.

Another first.

So after my application to Travelicious.world was approved (thank God!), I then started to write my first article. It was just about my experience when my friend Maya and I went to Sandbox at Alviera in Pampanga (PH).

The article was reviewed by the administrators I guess of the travel web site based on their format and set guidelines. Then after 2-3 days, I received an email telling me the good news! My article is approved! And true enough, I got paid on the day they published my work. Yaaay! 😂

If you want to read my work, please click Weekend Getaway: Sandbox at Alviera. (thanks in advance!😉)

But the challenge is just beginning. I may have been paid for this article, but in order for me to get my next writing assignment, Travelicious.world shall first check on my article’s performance to determine or decide whether I can really work/write for them. 😊 (honestly I am not that proud of what I wrote compared to the other articles by good and experienced travel bloggers, so I am not expecting it, my work, to get anywhere really)

I am rather challenged than discouraged by this. I have this mindset that whether or not my article’s performance fail, I will still continue to write here or in my new blog site, and share my thoughts on Read My Thoughts, share my experiences through pictures on Watch What I Photograph, and my travels through Pasyal ni Jok. 😊

Pasyal ni Jok


Started only a week ago, so it doesn’t have any content yet, except for the first post which is more like an introduction, and the About page.

I intend to post here all the places I had been to, as well as my future travels. I’m still working on my format so all posts would be uniform. I wish I could find time to write everything!

Also, I’d be using this new blog as I try to make a trip around the 81 provinces of my country, The Philippines (a bucket list). 😉

So, there! 2 firsts! 🤗

A Day in Antipolo

Last Saturday, April 23, my friend Charitie and I went on a day trip to Antipolo. I have only known Antipolo for its Hinulugang Taktak falls mentioned in the folk song “Tayo na sa Antipolo” but never been there until this weekend. Charitie found a list of things/places to go when in Antipolo thru an article “5 Things to Do in Antipolo”. We went over the list and planned to visit each place listed there as the addresses were already provided in the article. We were not able to visit all 5, but anyway, here is the list of where we went and what we did when got there.

Tara! Tayo na sa Antipolo!

Antipolo Cathedral (also known as the National Shrine of Our Lady of Peace and Good Vayage). The easiest way to get around Antipolo is to start with the Antipolo Church. From Starmall in EDSA Shaw, we rode an FX van with the sign “Antipolo – Simbahan”. We were lucky to board with a very nice driver – he was so kind to tell us where he’d drop us off and where to find transportation going back to Manila.

Antipolo Cathedral
They say that you can make a wish if it’s your first time in a Church. Since I was entering the Antipolo Church for the first time, I’m entitled to make one (Yay!). I’ve been praying for this thing already and I believe wishing it here in this Church would just make the prayer stronger. I will let you know once this prayer is answered (promise!).

Before leaving for our next stop, Charitie and I lighted candles (outside the church, just left side of the entrance gate) and prayed to Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage. According to Charitie, most people, specially the OFWs who would leave to work outside the country would come to Antipolo Church to pray for a safe trip. As I realized, it was actually a good idea that it was a our first stop before we started our day trip in Antipolo as we really had a safe trip within the city.

Casa Abuela (Abuelita’s Cakes and Pastries).

Casa Abuela
We went to Casa Abuela just one tricycle ride away from Antipolo Church. Casa Abuela is not limited to serving only cakes and pastries as they also have affordable meals. Charitie and I both ordered Arroz Ala Cubana for brunch which only costs 150php each inclusive of Coffee Amerikana and Sylvanas for desert. I am not a food critic, and the only way I know how to judge a food is by how many times I say “hmm sarap. hmm sarap sarap” (with mouth full) as I eat. So, if I were to judge the meal that we had at Casa Abuela, I’d say it really tastes good – meaning I kept saying “hmm sarap sarap” many times, enough for me to confidently recommend them. Hehe! 😉

The food is not only the good thing about Casa Abuela. The place is really nice, too. It’s a place you’d want to stay to chill and rest before starting another trip. We also had the chance to speak with the owner who was very accommodating. He accidentally overhead us wanting to ask for an official receipt which the waitress failed to understand so he nicely confirmed to us and assisted her to give us the right receipt. According to him, Casa Abuela only opened 6 months ago. No wonder the tricycle drivers are not yet familiar with the name. They only knew the shop as the “pagawaan ng cake” that Charitie even had to consult Google Maps to find the exact location.

Casa Abuela
Opens 5am-10pm, Sundays to Saturdays
Located at: 167 Ortigas Ave Extension, De la Paz, Antipo City (fronting Evergreen Executive Village)
For Orders (they also deliver) and Reservations: (02) 697-4866, (632) 917-894-6491, (632) 908-888-2599
Facebook Page: Casa Abuela / Abuelita’s Cakes and Pastries

Hinulugang Taktak.

Hinulugang Taktak
One of the famous waterfalls in Luzon – the Hinulugang Taktak. As I said earlier, it is mentioned in the famous folk song “Tayo na sa Antipolo”. If I can remember the lyrics right, the song goes like:
Tayo na sa Antipolo
at duon maligo tayo
sa batis na kung tawagin ay Hi-hinulugang taktak
at duon tayo’y kumain
ng Manga, Suman, at Balingbing..
kaya’t magmadali na! at tayo ay sumama
sa Antipolo!

Hinulugang Taktak falls.jpg
However, not true to the lyrics anymore, we can no longer enjoy a nice shower in the Hinulugang Taktak waterfalls as it now became a National Park. The place now had an area for the pool where everyone is free to swim. There is also no fee, just register your name at the entrance. Let’s also take this as a lesson and reminder that in order to fully enjoy and experience nature, we must, at all times be responsible for it. Imagine if we had been good to Hinulugang Taktak, then we would still be allowed to take a dip there.

Pinto Art Museum is an Art Gallery that showcases beautiful and meaningful works of talented artists – from wide-long paintings, abstract, to wooden and metal sculptures. It is a good place to bring and educate children as these days I observe that educational field trips are rare.

Pinto Art 1Pinto Art 2
Personally, I am most amazed with the metal sculptures. These artworks also brings awareness specially to our surroundings – life and nature. There are also pieces that depict, illustrate current affairs like the ones below: “Delete Mo” by Antipas Delotavo and “MRT Sardines” by Jamel Obnamia (photo by Charitie)

Pinto Art Museum
Opens 9am-6pm Tuesdays to Sundays
Entrance/Registration Fee: Php 180 – regular ticket, Php 150 for Senior Citizens and PWD, Php 100 for students (Note: Please bring valid ID for Senior and PWD citizens, and school ID for students)
Located at: 1 Sierra Madre St., Grand Heights Subdivision
Contact No: (632) 697-1015

Monte Café

Monte Cafe.jpg

A more homey and cozy than the usual coffee shop, Monte Café is an artful coffee shop that serves comfort food, refreshing drinks and specialty coffee. A good place to rest and re-charge after being under the sun looking for our next destination.

 

We ordered Mango Smoothie to quench our thirst and tried their Choco Caramel Cake (not too sweet, yet really yummy!), then chose a spot near the outlet as we badly need to re-charge our phones and sat on the comfy couch with pillows. It felt really homey that I wanted to sleep for an hour before moving on to our last destination. Hehe!

Monte Café
Opens 11am-11pm
Located at: 2/F Citywalk Building, M.L. Quezon Extension, Antipolo City
Contact Nos
.: (632) 956-914
Facebook: MONTE CAFÉ
Instagram: @montecafe

Yellow Lantern Café
The farthest among the first 4 destinations, the Yellow Lantern is located in lower Antipolo. The tricycle driver from Antipolo Church was kind enough to take us there, which is already out of his regular route for a fare of Php 250. Judging from the distance the Google Maps showed, it really is far. One of the highlights in Yellow Lantern is the Sunset view, which is actually the only and main thing we were after. We got there 4:30pm as planned. While waiting for the sunset we ordered Spaghetti Aglio Olio and Nachos (so so yummy!!). The servings are so big for the two of us that I had to take some home.

Yellow Lantern.jpg

The place obviously lived up to its name – it’s so Yellow and full of different styles of lanterns. It has TVs installed which made me wonder if people gather here to watch big events like NBA and PBA games, Manny Pacquiao fights, or even the Presidentiable debates.

They also have very friendly crew. We initially sat by the spot overlooking the city skyline but they insisted that we move to a much cool place because the spot that we chose is directly hit by the sun. We told them that we are after the sunset view and they promised to just move us back before sunset. And they did! We’re so happy that we were able to catch the sunset and document it in pictures and timelapse videos. 🙂

I am not a photographer and not even good in shooting, I just love taking pictures so please bear with my sunset shots. Hehe 🙂

Sunset 1Sunset 2Sunset 3

Yellow Lantern Café
Opens 11am-12am daily except Mondays
Located at: Comodaville , Sumulong Highway, Brgy. Mambugan, Antipolo City
Contact Nos.: (632)  471-4168
Facebook: Yellow Lantern Café

So, there! Antipolo Day Trip achieved! Thank you to the friendly Kuyas and Manongs and Ates in the city who made our trip fun and a little bit easier. 😉

Now, how to go back to Manila? Just cross the street opposite Comodaville and wait for jeepneys or fx with “Cubao” signs. 🙂