Friday, April 9, 2021


 Location:  Barangay Banaoang, Santa, Ilocos Sur, Philippines

The 4-span 456-meter arch Quirino Bridge

I have been dreaming of walking by foot over this bridge whenever the vehicle I am boarding passes through this point.  By this time, I called the shots because I was the organizer of the 3-day 2-night Ilocos Sur-Ilocos Norte Trip package catered by Biag's Mark Travel & Tours operated by my former PNB colleague, Cherry Abad with her husband, Perin.  This was with the approval of my boss, Mrs. Lucia M. Llego.  With that, I requested Perin to allow us to stay shortly on the bridge for picture taking.

The Bantay-side bridge entry point

This majestic steel bridge is sometimes called Banaoang Bridge and some locals when  you ask them this is Santa Bridge.  No wonder why, because it connects picturesque rocky mountain slopes of the town of Santa and the tail end of Bantay, both part of the province of Ilocos Sur.

Capturing the bridge's runway while onboard our chartered vehicle

On the other hand, this bridge is legitimately called Quirino Bridge, because it was named after the late former 6th Philippine President Elpidio Quirino, who is a native of Vigan.  As per record, it is classified as having the old Parker-type (camelback) structural design.

The fascinating Abra River as captured from Quirino Bridge

The bridge is not only praised by its bewitching engineering grand design, but also for strength and durability when it survived the bombings made during World War II.

The 7-span 456-meter long New Quirino Bridge

Due to damage caused by Super Typhoon Feria, which washed away one of its steel spans in July 2001, it was reconstructed installing a different third quarter K-truss portion to make it passable.  However, a construction of a new replacement bridge spanning 456 meters long started in December 2007 which is just 350 meters away from the old bridge.

A monumental walk with my colleagues over this majestic bridge

Finally, on December 30, 2009, the new Quirino Bridge was inaugurated by former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo where it was subsidized under the Japan-funded Urgent Bridges Construction Project for Rural Development which plans to replace old bridges with new bridges, on national roads that lead to urban centers all over the country.  To date, the bridge is still  passable and maintained by the national government for tourist attraction.

Thursday, December 31, 2020


 Location: Tagaytay, Cavite, Philippines

The main gate of Tagaytay Highlands

Tagaytay Highlands is a vast real estate property development with a total land area of 1,290 hectares.  It is one of a kind mountain resort where its highly lucrative residences nestled in a breezy climate very intimate to lush green ecosystem is in a variety of themed communities inspired by architecture and culture from different countries.  No wonder, the place especially at the Midlands is a combination of different communities showcasing various international architectural designs. The vastness of this real estate development partly covers  three provinces, namely: Cavite, Laguna and Batangas.

The road  leading to the Golf Club

Every part of Tagaytay Highlands is postcard picture perfect.   It even becomes cooler as thousands of Norfolk pine trees are being grown on it.  Most of its open spaces are being landscaped with well-maintained grasses and planted with a variety of ornamental plants.

Just beside the Golf Club

From the Golf Club, guests can see the distant backdrop of Mount Makiling.  The SPA and the Cabin can be seen from the second entrance before the Golf Club.

Aerial view of the Golf and Country Club

Visiting this place was actually an invitation of a former PNB colleague,  Brenda Magsino where her sister Madame Helen Villarino who has a good friend happened to be a member of Tagaytay Highlands. This is just to inform others who wish to visit the place, that it is not accessible to everyone, unless guests secure a Guest Card from Altamira Boutique House.

A scenic view taken from The SPA and Lodge at Tagaytay  Highlands

For those who will take a private car, this is just to advise you that driving towards the main gate is so challenging for it is very steep.  The road drops down so deep and ascends again heading to the main entrance, but behold because the view is so stunningly superb.

A highly-prized scenery still taken from The SPA and Lodge at the Highlands

By the way, this trip was last November 2019, and by the time we had this trip it was really chilling cold here. The fog at around 10:00 A.M. was thick even at the vicinity of the Golf Club.

Spacious car park at The SPA and Lodge

It was not difficult to move around, because there is a provision service vehicle or a 6-seater golf car for free.  The resort staff are very accommodating.  The cars that our group boarded were just parked at the Golf and Country Club and we used the service vehicles of the resort.

Taken from the ridge of the Golf and Country Club

I really do not have an idea prior to our trip, how huge the place is.  With the brochures I have read and an online property search at the Golf and Country Club, I learned that it is mainly divided into three, namely:  The Highlands, The Midland and the Greenlands which is searchable at Tagaytay Highlands.

The Golf Club which is a part of The Highlands

The Highlands is consist of the following residential subdivisions:
  • The Woodridge
  • The Woodridge Place
  • The Woodridge Place II
  • The Woodlands Point
  • The Woodlands
  • The Belle View
  • Pinecrest Village
  • The Villas
  • The Hillside
  • Aspen Hills
All these are searchable on its website.

This is our whole group just within the Golf Club vicinity

Our group is composed of my eldest sister,  Ate Rose Ambos;  Spouses James and Jenny Tan; Madame Helen Villarino, Madame Paz Castro and daughter; Lenlen Secreto and her three kids; Ining Dalmacio, Nancy Capistrano and son, Lex Ivan; Brenda Magsino; Neth Holgado and of course, the Queen of Pictures, Glory Lynn Quiacos.

On the other hand, The Midlands, which is a variety of themed community is consist of the following:
  • Sierra Lago
  • Pueblo Real
  • The Horizon
  • Alta Mira
  • Lakeview Heights
  • Lakeview Fairways
  • Kew Gardens
  • Terrazzas de Alva
  • Lakeside Enclave
  • Tivoli Place
  • Cotswold
  • Katsura
  • Yume
  • Sycamore Height
The foggy Golf Club vicinity

Finally, the third major section of the resort is the The Greenlands with the  following:
  • Fairfield
  • Nob Hill
  • The Verandas at Saratoga Hills
  • The Parks at Saratoga Hills
  • Plantation Hills
The beautifully-landscaped Golf Club

This is my second time to visit this place.  My first visit was better compared to this since by then, we had the opportunity to ride at the cable car to the Country Clubhouse where on top, you can see the Woodlands log homes, the golf course and the clubhouse.  Another best experience then was riding the funicular train from the Highlands down to the Midlands, and both were free.  However, this time of visit, these facilities were not under operation.

Still a part of the Golf Club

I knew I had pictures then during my first visit boarding  a cable car and funicular train but that  time, we were still using the non-digital cam equipped with a roll of Kodak films, and since they were just hard copies, I already lost them having no scanned copy.

Lush green garden at the Golf club

Just from the Golf Club, guests will be overwhelmed with the breathtaking views on a 360 degrees and they will notice that time flies.

Early lunch at the Golf Club

Just as we were so tired then, we easily got hungry that we decided to have our early lunch at the Golf Club at The Highlands Golfers Lounge where it serves guests with Asian and International cuisine. Its dining service varies from:  Monday to Thursday - 6:00 A.M. to 9:00 P.M.; Friday and Saturday - 6:00 A.M. to10:00 P.M.; and Sunday - 6:00 A.M. to 9:00 P.M.

The following pictures were taken on its Country Club after we had a free ride from the Golf Club.

The pool at the Country Club

Still a part of the Country Club

A boardwalk leading to the Country Club

Another angle shot of the Country Club

Pool benches at the Country Club

My captured photo at the Country Club

The following captured pictures are from the Sports Center Complex of Tagaytay Highlands equipped with a lapping pool, basketball court and tennis court.

Spouses James and Jenny Tan in their romantic mood

The lapping pool

Other captured pictures of Tagaytay Highlands

Contact Details

Hotline: +63 915-658-8977   |   +63 925-800-3866




Location: 6821 Ayala Avenue, Barangay Bel-Air 1226 Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines

The inviting pool of The Columns Ayala

The Columns Ayala or what we call The Columns Residences is located in such a very strategic location where Makati Business District is located in the corners of Ayala and Buendia Avenue.  I happened to have a quick tour on it when after attending the birthday of our former AVP Susan Billones of Philippine National Bank held at one of the Glorietta high-end restaurants, Mrs. Cynthia Molina, my immediate boss in PNB Loans Administration Division invited us to their condo unit here at The Columns.

The convenience of swimming at the hidden height of the condo building

This urban real estate development is actually an Alveo Leasing 3-tower 30-storey property with 800 residential units ranging from studio units to two-bedroom condominiums.  Its ground floor has commercial units where restaurants and other business establishments lease a space for their business operations.

The open space for functions and activities just adjacent to the pool area

I was with two other former PNB colleagues:  Miss Lucille Sarmiento and Brenda Magsino and we were toured by Madame Cynthia around the 3-tower residential development area. Had we brought with us a swimming gear, then we should have enjoyed a dip in the 25-meter lap pool.

This open space is also adjacent to the clubhouse

Aside from being equipped with commercial establishments at the ground floor, the development property has the following facilities and amenities of an urban-living provision:
  • 25-meter lap pool
  • kiddie pool
  • kids' play area
  • landscaped jogging path
  • 450-sqm fitness gym
  • sun deck
  • function rooms for parties and other event
The following photos captured are still part of the property and some are its neighboring visible landmarks.

The neighboring RCBC Tower Plaza

The  neighboring RCBC Tower Plaza

Taken from the distant Makati Central Post Office

Along Gil Puyat Avenue