Tuesday, April 28, 2009

La Vista, Pansol Laguna

Laguna is widely popular for its wide variety of pools especially hot springs. These geothermal heated water is scattered all over the area. With all types of resorts from all shapes and sizes, the question is, what would be the best of them all. Pretty tricky don't you think?

Before plunging into the water, there are several things you have to consider.

1. Private or Public Resort
There are tons of public resorts and private once are also catching up. Do you need a more peaceful outing or just enjoy swimming around with strangers? Your call.

2. Budget
Private resorts, of course, are more expensive than its public resort counterparts. If you're in a budget of roughly around Php 5,000 - Php 10,000 bucks, might as well rent a private resort. This is inclusive of rooms, kitchen, videoke and of course, unlimited use of the pool. Whoooo!

3. Space
Try considering the space. Whether you're in a group activity or just a simple outing with your family or friends.

With these tips in mind, Club Tourists recommends La Vista in Pansol Calamba Laguna. This is a public resort lots of amenities that will surely caught you by surprise. Good for family outing, team building or just simple relaxation.

They have attractions such as Wet & Wild, Bukal, Tree House, Ilang-ilang Area, Animal Park and Golden Shower. They also have several function rooms for meetings or gatherings.


Wet & Wild

Wet & Wild

Wet & Wild

For the rooms, lot of options to choose from! Dormitory type, rest house, family rest house and even executive type.

Rest House

Tree House

Visiting La Vista is not a pain in the neck. You can just experience the resort on a day trip with as much as Php 80 bucks for the basic pools and Php 180 bucks for the wet and wild part. But if you want to have an overnight with a group of 16 pax, an insane Php 4,500 only for the dormitory type of room. Not bad right? For complete list of rates, visit this.

For more Information:
Laguna Office: (049) 545-1850 . 834-1121 (02) 520-8805
Manila Office: 521-6078 . 400-7236 . 404-3598

E-Mail: hazelb_luisaridge@yahoo.com
Website: http://www.lavistapansolresort.com/
Address: Norville Subdivision Brgy. Pansol, Calamba Laguna

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Isdaan, Gerona Tarlac

Isdaan is one fine restaurant that you wouldn't even think existing in the landlocked province of Tarlac. Being here is like you're in another country or some sort. With its very remarkable setup, good food and display, this restaurant should be included in your list.

Upon arriving in
Gerona's more than a hectare restaurant, the name "Isdaan" means fishery really speaks for itself. Huge sculptures of fishes are atop a pond filled with several types of fishes - mostly kois. These fish sculptures are somewhat re-enacting a scene where a bamboo pole has caught a fish. As you look at it, you can really imagine how the fish would act from the time it was trapped from the sharp hook.

As we walked through the restos bamboo flooring, we've noticed lots of different statues are all over the place. From sleeping security guards, rooster, huge monkeys playing around, dinosaurs from ancient times, bronze Thai buddhas, native aetas bearing jar clays and their catch of the day and even famous personalities of the late
Jaime Cardinal Sin and former President of the Philippines Corazon Aquino. You're eyes are really filled with these masterpieces and would definitely get excited to survey the area.

One of the best sites in the area are the nipa huts. These are suspended over the pond where school of kois are around waiting for some food. These huts were some sort of guarded by the waiters with their laminated-cardboard like menus. Asking you what to eat and even guiding you where's the best location the restaurant has to offer. Warm and hospitable are the common thing for these "pampangueño" folks, not to mention their mastery of food making.

Seafoods are sold like pancakes because of its guaranteed freshness. An average of P300 bucks per meal is not bad for a taste of their home-grown "tilapia" or "bangus" Not to mention some seranade going on while you are eating. Sweet!

After getting busy with our meal, we were a little bit curious of the sounds of breaking glasses. Then Club Tourists discovered "The Tacsiyapo Wall". How to do this? Buy a P15 bucks worth of cups or P20-P50 bucks worth of plates. Then select from the following from the wall:

Sip-sip! Taksil! Bolero! Bolera! Intrigera! Tsismosa!

After selecting one, Shout out loud - TACSIYAPO! (means shame on you!). One of the best way to release stress and anger with a cost of course.

Don't ever go to Isdaan without trying this one!

For more information regarding Isdaan:

Gerona, Tarlac
Contact Number: 045-9312196

What other Blogs say about Isdaan?

Our Awesome Planet
by Anton
Backpacking Philippines and Asia

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Cagayan de Oro - White Water Rafting

Wiki says "Rafting or whitewater rafting" is a challenging recreational activity utilizing a raft to navigate a river or other bodies of water. This is usually done on whitewater or different degrees of rough water, in order to thrill and excite the raft passengers. The development of this activity as a leisure sport has become popular since the mid 1970s." With the description given above, one word comes up in our mind and that's "EXCITEMENT".

Club Tourists traveled almost 500 mile Southeast of Manila to reach Cagayan de Oro. When we're talking about White Water Rafting in the Philippines, Cagayan de Oro is the top choice. As a first timer in this extreme sport, CDO river will definitely give up some "ooohhhs" and "aahhhhs" while conquering almost 20 rapids at an average interval of 5-10 minutes. The river stretch from Baraga Dansolihon to the city provides you with a picture perfect view of the river's rocky walls, coral reefs that are already exposed due to low tide, a glimpse of Bukidnon from the other side of the river and some water snakes neighborhood are just some add-on thrills.

The Crew
Before taking the thrill-seeking ride, one of the top priority is to choose what white water rafting company to choose from. Safety should be the top of mind since we have kids aboard. There are several provider across Cagayan de Oro and Club Tourists chose The Red Raft. They are one of the established group in the business and we are pretty sure they know what they are doing. The crew provides the state of the art raft, personal flotation devices, helmets, paddles and all other safety gears that are needed for the ride.

Safety First

White Water Rafting is a team sport. Paddlers are strategically placed in every part of the raft and should have synchronization. Without this, you'll end-up falling in the water with the rest of the group.

Helmets and life vests are two of the most important tools in this sport. This gives you the needed security in this extreme scenario. Don't ever cross the rapids without it.

Crew from The Red Rafts gave us some briefing. First piece of instruction is the Paddle. Basically, it has 3 main parts: The T-grip, the shaft and the blade. Proper way to hold the paddle is (assuming you're seated in the left side of the raft) hold the T-grip with your right hand. Hold it as if you're holding a bar.This will prevent your hand from slipping (Note: Club Tourists suggest to use a gloves to avoid cuts and bruises during paddling). Your left hand should hold the shaft almost 1-2 foot away from the blade. When paddling, submerged the blade in the water for some power.

Next stop, the crew gave us a brief description on how to be safe in the Raft. The raft has a foot lock in it that will give something to rely on when the rapid gets tough. Make sure to put your foot/feet in it to make sure that you hang on.

Another important orientation is if we fall down the raft. We practiced what to do in the water and then the ones on the raft practiced how to get the person who fell back in the raft.

One mind-blowing reminder from the navigator is to make sure we listen to each and every instruction if we want to have a fighting chance to survive the rapids. Hard or easy paddling, whatever is needed, we should comply. It's not that simple mind you guys.

Understanding the Rapids
There are several grades or classification of the rapids. The international standard for white river rafting has 6 classification. 1 being the most "friendly" and 6 being the most dangerous or should we say - life threatening. Cagayan de Oro's river is classified as a Class 3. This means rapids have fairly high waves, broken water, exposed rocks and small falls. The passage may be difficult to recognize from the river and maneuvering to negotiate the rapid is required. With this classification, listening to your navigator is vital.

Encounter with the Mighty Rapids

When our group are all in the raft, excitement filled over the raft. When we took our first taste of the rapids - whew! Multi-tasking is a key ingredient since we need to paddle and listen to whatever our navigator is instructing us.

The navigator shouts:

"Get ready guys, HERE COMES THE RAPIDS....


Again!!! HARD PADDLE!!!




We are all anxious of falling in the water since its gonna be one heck of a ride.

The navigator is the driver and we are his engine. When we need to maneuver our way in the rapids or in between boulders of rock, we'll hear different instructions like PADDLE RIGHT that means only the people seated at the right side of the boat will paddle and PADDLE LEFT only the ones seated on the left side will paddle. STOP PADDLING means we'll just go with the flow of the rapids.

After a successful run in the rapids, the navigator shouts.


This is where we raised up all our paddles with blades up after conquering the mighty one and shout out loud in celebration! "WUHOOOOOO!!!"

There are almost 20 rapids along the beginner course and its pretty much enjoyable to conquer all of them without falling down the water. There are other challenging courses to choose from and Club Tourists will take you there the next time.

The package includes the food. Pretty descent and tasty food was served. Native barbecue chicken, tuna fish, banana, rice and mineral water are part of the treat. Don't forget the tasty "
pinakurat" (sauce) that compliments all the grilled viands. Yummy!

This is White Water Rafting at its Best! Enjoy team work with your group, the fascinating sites and views and not to mention a little bit of splash into your face. For family, team building or just thrill-seekers... this is BEST for you.

Club Tourists is now in YouTube!

For more information about White Water Rafting Operators:

The Red Rafts
Contact Numbers: 09289355358, 09224835457
Email Address: captrek@yahoo.com
Contact person: Rex Tapongot
Video and Picture coverage are not part of the package. Damage of 2000 bucks.

1st Rafting Adventure
Contact Numbers: 8571270 / 09177073583
Contact person: Rupert Domingo

Kagay Whitewater Rafting
Contact Numbers: 8563972, 09162174035
Contact person: Roldan Kaamiño

Great Whitewater Rafting
Contact Numbers: 85655555
Contact Person: Jerome Garcia

Golden Friendship Whitewater Rafting
Contact Information: 8589007

The Red Crab's Sea Food Club

The author speaks:

From my childhood days, i was very much oriented with eating crabs. As a kid who grew up eating anything that are served in the table, crab won't be a stranger anymore. From the types of "talangka" (shore crab), "alimasag" (blue crab) and even "alimango" (regular sized crab), i can definitely squeeze the juice out of the crabs claws. I'm even familiar which crabs are male and female. How? Male crab
has this pointy wedge while female crab has wide wedge just below its body that you can use to open up a crab. Usually female crab has eggs in it. This adds up to the crabs taste by the way. Enough of this Crab 101.

Anyways, this evening was like a celebration but didn't have any occasion to celebrate on. I guess we're just hungry, that simple. And then, The Red Crab literally "fills the gap." This was the first time I've seen a very HUGE crab and served in our dining table! You'll feel me as you see some photos of the crustacean below.

Name of the dish is the "Crab Szechuan" under the "Alimango Club" of the Menu. This mouthwatering nocturnal specie is
sautéed in The Red Crab's irresistible Szechuan sauce. One of the favorite among other crab specialties! Price range is around 105 per 100g for male crabs, 145 for female. Female crabs are more expensive because of the added fats and eggs inside that makes it special. Warning, please mind your cholesterol level while eating this sumptuous fats.

We didn't just ordered for the "Crab Szechaun", we even tried The Red Crab's dinner buffet. Filipino-inspired buffet with series of delectable
entrée like breaded "daing" or dried fish dipped in special sauce, crunchy "talangka" and fresh vegetable salads. Main course consists of grilled beef, crabs and fish. Not to mention desserts like crepe, ice cream and fruits. This buffet will definitely give your every peso counts. You may check out The Red Crab's menu for a wide variety of selections.

Fine dine with a twist! Ambience is not your ordinary feel-good restaurant. Cracking is a common sound. Not to mention the fine red bow-tie "bib" that is wrapped-around your neck and of course the set of tools that you need in order to give those crab their fate.

Highly recommended. Try visiting their branches at the following:

The Red Crab Seafood and Steaks Tomas Morato
104 JS Building, Tomas Morato Ave. cor. Scout Delgado, Quezon City
Phone Number:
(63 2) 374-8406, (63 2) 412-4323

The Red Crab Seafood and Steaks ATC
Alabang Town Center
2nd Level, Corte de las Palmas
Alabang Town Center, Alabang-Zapote Road
Muntinlupa, Metro Manila
Phone Number:

The Red Crab Seafood and Steaks Clark
Cardinal Santos St. Clark Field

Phone Number: (63 45) 599-5345

4. The Red Crab Seafood and Steaks Palm Village
121 Zodiac St., Palm Village
Phone Number:
(63 2) 890-0384

The Red Crab's The Seafood Club Greenbelt
Shop 210, Level 2 Greenbelt 3
Ayala Center, Makati, Metro Manila
Phone Number:

The Red Crab Seafood and Steaks Malate
536 Remedios St., Malate
Phone Number:
(63 2) 400-9980