Friday, September 1, 2017

AZURE URBAN RESORT RESIDENCES

Location: SLEX West Service Road, Bicutan, Paranaque, Metro Manila, Philippines



The Rio de Janeiro Building of Azure Urban Resort Residences


The Azure Urban Resort Residences is a Century Properties 6-hectare real estate development consisting of 9 high-rise buildings with the names of famous beaches in the world, namely: (1) Saint Tropez - French Riviera in France, (2) Santorini - Greece, (3) Positano - Italy, (4) Rio de Janeiro - Brazil, (5) Miami - Florida of USA, (6) Maui - Hawaii, (7) Maldives - South Asia Island in Indian Ocean, (8) Boracay of the Philippines, and (9) Bahamas of the Caribbean. Each tower is designed by the award-winning masterplanning and architectural firm Broadway Malyan, with a breathtaking tropical modern aesthetic that provides optimal natural ventilation, light, and shade.

The Children's Beach Playground and partly the Azure Beach


In the picture above has its backdrop from left to right of Santorini, Saint Tropez and Bahamas Buildings. The Beach Bar is found right of the Children's Beach Playground where guests can order drinks and some food. Beach benches are very welcoming to the guests.

Just part of the Children's Beach Playground


Inspired by Miami’s white ocean-swept aesthetic, the Azure Urban Resort Residences are a one-of-a-kind tropical-themed residential project featuring the Philippines first man-made beach and a wide range of amazing amenities like an open park, zen garden, multiple playgrounds, lap pool with cascading waterfalls, kiddie water slide, poolside bar, beach volleyball area and a basketball court – all for a rich natural environment that supports recreation, health and well-being.

The Beach Volleyball area


Indeed, this urban residences is within the urbanscape of the metropolis as it is directly beside 1.8 hectares (112737 square meters) of retail space with the SM Bicutan where it offers an endless shopping opportunity. In terms of proximity to other resorts in the metropolis, it is 2.7 miles from Resorts World Manila; 4.3 miles from City of Dreams Manila and is 4.5 miles from Bonifacio High Street of the Bonifacio Global City of Taguig.

The Paris Beach Club


The picture above features the kidney bean-shaped clubhouse which complements an organically formed lustrous landscape that capitalizes on the uniqueness of an artificial beach. This in turn asserts a sense of identity and legibility to the different character areas within the 6-hectare site. The Paris Beach Club is a world-class facility where guests can maximize their enjoyment.

An aerial view of the Azure Beach and the Lap Pool from my accommodation at the Penthouse of Positano


It was such a great opportunity for me and my friends having fully enjoyed the amenities of Azure including the gym, the lap pool, beach bar, the beach volleyball, the beach with a wave pool and its scenic landscape which is quite unique with a beach-inspired development. Our overnight stay was within their promo where for a group of four at P3,000, a 2-bedroom unit at Positano penthouse was given to us though we paid P200 for the parking. We brought with us our food and we cooked for all our meals.

Basking at the Azure Beach


Azure condominium units are available for investors and private individuals who want to own this lucrative real estate development. It can also offer apartment for rentals and staycation purposes for an overnight, couple of days or longer with a choice of an Airbnb accommodation. You can book your staycation in advance to avail of their promo. It is better to get rooms which are beach view than the city view. Ours was booked thru Miss Rachelle German Cataquiz with mobile number at 09167786165 and we paid thru the bank for reservation fee of P1,000 and its full payment of P2,000 was paid on the day that we checked in.

Enjoying a swim at the lap pool


Guests are allowed to use the lap pool for a maximum of 30 minutes where it opens at 7:00 A.M. and closes at 7:00 P.M. Monday is the maintenance cleaning day of the pool and so the Azure Beach is closed but the Children's Beach playground is open while the lap pool is only open from 7:00 A.M. to 12:00 Noon. The Wave Pool at Azure Beach is only enjoyed by guests till 5:00 P.M. everyday except for Monday.

The totality of Azure Beach


For more details, you can check on its website at www.azure.com.ph.

For those who are living in the provinces where Cebu Pacific airline has regular flights to Manila and wanted to avail the luxurious Azure residential units, the airline offers promo airfare all-year round. To make yourself updated, you may access them through their links at www.cebupacificair.com or through its Facebook account at www.facebook.com/cebupacificairphilippines/?ref=br_rs.

Monday, June 12, 2017

A POST SUMMER GETAWAY IN REAL, QUEZON

Municipality of Real, Quezon Province, Philippines



Rainy season has already started and in fact, there were sporadic rains and showers as we traveled from Mandaluyong City of Metropolitan Manila to the municipality of Real in Quezon province. On our way, we had a drive thru to Pililla Windmill Farm in the province of Rizal which was a kilometer away from the highway. Our destination was to spend an overnight at Real Surf Camp which was more than 3 hours drive from our point of origin to celebrate the 26th anniversary of Philippine National Bank Mountaineering Club (PNB-MC) where I am a member since 1998.

Nonok Water Falls


THE REAL SURF CAMP

The Real Surf Camp


It was still raining when we arrived at the Real Surf Camp. We had booked for 1 big cabana and 1 small cabana where they are located in separate locations on the camp. We were equipped with tents since were more than 30 and the big cabana can only accommodate 8 people and 4 for the small cabana.

The camp's cafe where guests can comfortably dine or chat


The cafe's dining area serves as the movie theater at night showing very recent movies with such a very wide screen giving a feel that you are really inside a movie house.

The small cabanas accommodation


Beach view captured from the cafe


Surf trainers are available upon request of the guests equipped with surf boards. There are enough shower and comfort rooms inside the camp always cleaned by the staff to make it tidy and clean all the time.

Small cabanas are on beach front


The small cabanas are strategically located fronting the beach and since we had one reservation for its kind, we stayed there for our socials. We cooked our food near our big cabana accommodation since it was close to the kitchen.

The beach front scene


The surf camp is not blessed to have white fine sand but the waves has its nature of giving the surf lovers what they desire and look for most particularly on seasons that the swell is as its best.

Capturing a subsiding swell


Swimmers and surfers while on wait for a good swell of waves


Swimmers battling the force of the swelling waves


The post swell effect


The surf trainer in action


A late afternoon swim


Preparing for the evening socials with my close friends at the small cabana


Evening socials is at its best at the Real Surf Camp. Our group which celebrated its 29th Anniversary of Philippine National Bank Mountaineering Club (PNB MC) has chosen the venue for this beach overnight party. In the picture above from left to right are: Lani Santos, Mary Jane Gumba and Connie Vasquez.

During our evening socials at the small cabana


With me in the above photo are: (standing) Alfred Garcia, (seated from left to right) Ed Rojas, Maria Jeannie Mendoza and extreme right is Jun Lee.

In the photo are: (standing) Jhun Banela; (seated from left to right) Lani Santos, Connie Vasquez and Rina Falcis Lee


Our group in our siesta moment fronting our big cabana accommodation


Jenny Ferrer Tan (seated) with her dog, Budoy was with us


A SIDETRIP TO NONOK WATER FALLS

Nonok Water Falls registration site


Just after lunch, I decided to have a walk to look for buco where I wanted to sip the juice and eat its raw fruit. It was a long walk maybe 900 meters away from the Real Camp Surf. On my way back to the camp, I saw a billboard with the pictures of the tourist destinations of the place. I was amazed with the water falls and so I asked a local. He told me that the first water falls named Nonok is just 2 kilometers walk.

A directional board leading to the water falls


The local told that I can ride in a tricycle in going there at P10 one way going there. Unfortunately, there was none and so I just walked and finished the 2 kilometers. While walking, I see the picturesque rocked coastline. Anyway, it was not at all exhausting because I was amazed with the view of the beach at the right side and the green mountain slopes at the opposite side of the road.

The river that flows coming from the water falls


The registration site can be seen from the highway. The signboard was so visible that you don't have to ask somebody. The registration fee is P20 per head for the adult and P10 for the children. From the registration site, I trek and cross a stream. I continued the trekking. You can see houses along your way.

The water falls covered by the rich flora


From the highway to the water falls is just barely 5 minutes and there is no need for a guide. A varied flora species is visible on your way to the water falls.

Finally, the Nonok Falls


There are cottages around the water falls. Comfort rooms are also available to take shower and change clothes. It was raining that time and so the crystal clear waters of the falls looks brown. However, during non-rainy days, the water is really crystal clear.

ANOTHER SIDE TRIP TO BALABAG WATER FALLS

Approaching the entrance of Balagbag Water Falls


After I had exited from Nonok Water Falls registration site, I continued walking which the local told me another 1 kilometer to reach Balagbag water falls. True enough, I counted 1,910 steps wherein for each 2 steps is roughly estimated at 1 meter. If this is the case, it was less than 1 kilometer going to the place. I walked because I can't see any transport available.

Finally, the signboard of the Balagbag Water Falls near the entrance


The entrance of the water falls is dotted with sari-sari stores selling food for the guests. You also have to pay P20 for the entrance fee per head.

The parking space opposite the road to the entrance


These landmarks can be seen when you are at the highway. I can see some guests parking their vehicles in this area as they trek to the water falls.

The friendly trail


From the entrance to the water falls is barely three minutes trek. It is just a gradual and narrow trail. The trail is parallel to the river flowing from the water falls.

The trail descending to the water falls lagoon


There a few cottages around the water falls but just the open nipa type where food and guests stuff can be stored while they are on a swim. The comfort room/changing room is only limited to three of unisex use.

The majestic view of Balagbag Water Falls


Like Nonok Water Falls, Balagbag Falls is situated also in same barangay. Cottages costs P300.00. To get more information, you may contact Mrs. Elecinita Aceboque at 0912-229-4894 for the resort reservation.

The totality of Balagbag Water Falls


It was raining then, thus, the water was brownish. The pond or the lagoon is too small to accommodate guests. Guests can also have the alternative to trek up to the second level.

The mini cascading falls as part of the mother falls


HOW TO GO THERE

Option 1 (Via Antipolo - Shorter Route):

Using a private transportation vehicle, the route is shorter via Antipolo/Tanay/Siniloan which is more than 3 hours drive. For a group of 10 to 15 pax, it is convenient to hire a van thru Bong Rosales where you can contact him at 09228235781 with an overnight rate of P6,000 all in via Antipolo or P6,500 via SLEX for a capacity of 14 pax.

Option 2: (Via Lucena - Longer Route)

Ride the bus going to Lucena either in Cubao or Buendia. In Buendia, the bus companies available are Lucena Lines, Jacliner, DLTB or Jam. Travel time from either Buendia or Cubao to Lucena is approximately 4 hours. Fare in Cubao to Lucena is P218.00 and it is 132 kilometers. Fare in Buendia is P209.50 and it is 127 kilometers. Alight at the Lucena Grand Central terminal,and then ride either AH bus or the van going to Infanta, Quezon. Fare in the ordinary bus from Lucena to Real is P158.00 and travel time is 4.5 hours. While the fare in the van going to Real is P200.00 and travel time is 4 hours. (Source: Smart Backpacker)

OTHER SIGNIFICANT INFORMATION

The town of Real in the province of Quezon is also the gateway (port) to Jomalig Island (5-6 hours), Cagbalete island (4 hours) and Polillo Island (2-3 hours).

Globe subscribers has no network access in Real, Quezon, just the Sun and Smart subscribers. Totally, no internet access.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

PILILLA WINDMILL FARM

Brgy. Halayhayin, Pililla, Rizal, Philippines



This windmill farm is just another kind of its counterpart in Bangui and Kapurpurawan in Ilocos. This US$177.9 million project has its service contract granted to Alternergy Philippine Holdings Corporation which covers an area of 4,515 hectares under the Department of Energy WESC No. 2009-09-018 with its commission date in 2016. The units operational are Phase 1 - 27 with an energy production of 54-megawaatts.

The windmill turbines of Pililla


Pililla Windmill Farm (Photo credit Blue Dreamer blog)


Overlooking the picturesque Laguna de Bay


We've come to visit this place as a side trip going to Real of the province of Quezon. While there, you can buy a lot of fruits from the fruits stalls and vendors as well as some souvenir items. Unfortunately, it was raining then when we visited there and so cloudy and it was so difficult to capture a good view. Climbing the elevated viewdeck has loss rocks and so you might slide down again and again.

HOW TO GO THERE

Via Public Transport

Take a van or jeep from Starmall Shaw-Edsa heading to Tanay Public Market. Then take a trycycle going there. The cost of the tricycle per trip vary from P200 to P250 roundtrip which would depend on your haggling skills. Though it is better to go there during late afternoon where the grass seem to look gold.

Via Private Transport

Source: Pusang Kalye Blog

1. Get to Tanay Town
2. Go up Brgy. Sampaloc in upper Tanay
3. At the intersection of Sampaloc, take the road which leads to Real Quezon. Locally, the most famous attraction along this road is JE Camp where Erap was to serve house arrest. Ask locals for directions.
4. Roughly 1km from Sampaloc intersection, look for Sampaloc Inn on the left. That is your hint.
5. Then look for the first waiting shed on the right which is only a few meters away from Sampaloc Inn.
6. Make a right turn -- Masalat Road. At the corner is a small shop named My Little Store Pasalubong Center and Coffee Shop.
7. A few meters after turning right, turn left.
8. Follow that road and the end section will be Pililla Wind Farm.

WHILE IN A HIGHLY INDUSTRIALIZED BUT CULTURALLY-RICH 6-DAY JAPAN TOUR

I have been to 10 countries already of which I consider Singapore and Dubai of United Arab Emirates (UAE) to be highly industrialized like that of Japan but the latter is a standout in terms of its accommodating and tourist-friendly citizens. It is however a problem when it comes to language as most of them do not speak English but you can feel it from them their willingness to be of help to the tourists. By means sign language, you can understand them. I really love Japanese people. I was so in love with the country because of its people. With this, I am planning to go back to Japan to see more its tourist destinations. For now, I am sharing to you the places I have visited during my 6-day Japan tour.

The Fuji Shiba-Sakura Flower Festival (4th day of my tour)


Our accommodation booking was thru AirBNB which we had in Osaka and Tokyo. The first two days, we were booked for an AirBNB accommodation in Osaka with an address at 6 Chome-14 Tanimachi, Chuo-Ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka-fu 540-0012, Japan for a total bill of P6,022 which is equivalent to US$125.92 at an exchange rate of 48 per US$1 and that is good for 4 persons.

The following are the links of the destinations I visited in the whole of 6 days in a chronological order: Sinsekai (Osaka), Dotonbori (Osaka), Fushimi Inari-Taisha Shrine (Kyoto, Higashiyama District (Kyoto), Universal Studios (Osaka), Osaka Castle (Osaka), Fuji Shiba-Sakura Festival (Motosu), Sky Tree Tower (Tokyo) and Sanja Matsuri Festival (Tokyo)

We have two destinations during our first day and it included the Sinsekai and Dotonbori District, both in Osaka.

The Sinsekai District

A haven of seafoods restaurants


The Tsutenkaku Tower


Dotonburi District

The entry point to Dotobori Street


The busy and festive street of Dotonbori


Friday, June 2, 2017

WITNESSING THE JOVIAL SANJA MATSURI FESTIVAL

Location: Japan, 〒111-0032 Tokyo, Taito, Asakusa, 2 Chome−3−1



This is the second destination in my 5th of 6-day tour in Japan. My first destination of the day was in Tokyo Skytree in Sumida ward. This is just two substations away from Skytree.

The Daigyoretsu Parade of Sanja Matsuri Festival


Daigyoretsu Parade is a part of the Sanja Matsuri Festival in the Asakusa District of Tokyo. This parade is consist of a large procession of priests, city officials, geisha, musicians and dancers wearing the Edo Period costumes. It is usually an annual festival that usually takes place over the third fall weekend in May. It is held in celebration of the three founders of Sensoji Temple, who are enshrined in Asakusa Shrine next door to the temple.

The Kaminarimon Gate


The Kaminarimon is the outer of two large entrance gates that ultimately leads to the Sensō-ji in Asakusa, Tokyo, Japan. The gate, with its lantern and statues, is popular with tourists

Kaminarimon Gate at a distance


This site is just few blocks away from the subway station of Nishi-magome. It was already 7:00 P.M. when we arrived at the place where it was the second day of the festival.

This road is just left of Kaminarimon Gate