And the ball keeps rolling: My 7 Links

Adventurous Feet tagged me with her post and has passed me the ball to keep the #My7Links project rolling.  I wasn’t really familiar with how this thing goes but as I checked the pages of my blogger friends, I was able to get a glimpse of what to write about it.  It’s time to dig into the chest of blog posts!..😛 And here they are:

1.  Most Beautiful Post – Panagbenga Festival 2011 | Street Parade

Isn't that beautiful?

Why? – I’d like to think that festivals here in our country are as rich as our heritage.  It’s actually the first time I saw a festival that is as vibrant and lively as this.  It’s really worth the effort to get to Baguio regardless of the 6-hour travel time from Manila.. and additional 1 hour from Antipolo..🙂

2.  Most Popular Post – Lazer Maxx @ Eton Centris

Unexpectedly popular

As of this writing I am still getting a lot of page views for this post and it’s still the most read of all I’ve written.  It has an overall 4o96 page views since I wrote it last March.  Now talk about Famous eh?..😛

3.  Most Controversial Post – Witness Batanes

Controversial on it's own

I first thought Prenup shoot gone wrong? was the most controversial but after giving myself a few minutes to think, I ended up picking Witness Batanes. I wrote this post for a contest thrown by SEAIR to all bloggers/writers who can write the most creative and interesting about Batanes.  Since I have never been there, I joined the contest to try my luck and of course to tell the world that I long to see this place up north.  A few days after publishing it, I noticed someone commented and I was surprised to know that some of the things I wrote there offended him.  I didn’t realize that until I read the post again and subsequently exchanged comments with him.  To make it short, I apologized and explained that I wrote it without any intentions of hurting anyone.  Some mistakes may have been overlooked.  Humbling yourself is one of the best things to feel.

4.  Most Helpful Post – Cathy’s Homestay | Feels like home indeed

L-R: Gepay, Gian, Rodem and Ate Cathy

This post was really meant to help Ate Cathy promote her simple lodging as my way of saying thank you.  I really felt the kindness she showed us during our stay in Pagudpud last January 2011.  The simplicity of her living and cleanliness of her intention to make a living out of this homestay will surely give her more guests to accommodate in the future.

5.  A Post Whose Success Surprised Me – Lazer Maxx @ Eton Centris

Oh boy, I am suprised!

Honestly, I thought only a few will come to read this post.  I never thought it will generate a lot of views.  And just recently, one of my officemates told me that my post about Lazer Maxx was second in the retsuls when you do a search in Google:

Surprised!..

6.  A Post I feel didn’t get the attention it deserved – Sidetrip: PASIG River Cruise

Pasig River Cruise neglected?

This was one of my first posts when I was still starting to blog in wordpress.  This cruise experience is a must try for it will open your eyes on the true status of the Pasig River and how the Kapit-Bisig Para sa Ilog Pasig project works in the process.  It may not be your ordinary mode of transportation but it’s very interesting to try it once in a while. Perfect for taking photographs as the last station (Westbound) will take you to Intramuros and the rest of Manila.

7.  The Post I Am Most Proud Of – What I gave myself this Christmas?

Holiday treat to my pamangkins

As I am getting older, I tend to realize the value of money.  So every time “bonuses” comes, I make sure I spend it very very wisely and save some as well.  Instead of buying expensive gaming consoles and high-end phones for myself, I preferred to give my  two of my “pamangkins” a movie treat and stroll around Eastwood City.  This is something that I don’t get to do frequently. And this is why of all the posts I have, it’s the one that I am most proud of. Instead of buying them things that they only get to use for a few days, I thought of something that they can share with their classmates and friends when school resumes and also remember when they grow up.🙂

I’m passing the ball now to:

1.  Gepay of Ang Babaeng Lakwatsera

2.  Maricar of Tara Usap Tayo!

3.  Marx of Marxtermind

4.  Pao of Kalongkong

5.  Kev of Geekev

Your turn guys!🙂

Lago De Oro – Wakeboarding 101

Though the weather wasn’t that good, we still pursued our plan to try wakeboarding in Lago De Oro. It was a two-month plan born out of our surfing trip last May. We’re supposed to leave at 6AM but because of sudden turn of events (me being late.. :P), we left at 8AM… My bad..🙂 In approximately 3 hours and a few minutes, we reached the place coming from Ortigas, Pasig City.

We had our lunch first at a nearby eatery located in the town proper.  It was a 15-20 minute drive and if you missed buying snacks on your way to Batangas, you can definitely purchase goodies at a nearby grocery store.

Why go on a Monday? – We had a line up of company activities that fell on the weekends  of July and that’s one enough reason we didn’t push it on either a Saturday or Sunday.  Second, rates during weekdays are cheaper and the number of guests shall be considerably fewer than that during weekends.  (Take note of that as a tip)… Lastly, it’s my rest day.. but it’s just a coincidence..  a coincidence to my advantage.. haha🙂

Situated in Calatagan, Batangas where the golden sunset is viewed, Lago de Oro Cable Ski Park and Resort is considered the first Cable Wakeboard Park in the Philippines.  It’s a 3-4 hour drive coming from Manila.  It has two areas for wakeboard sessions – Easy Start for the beginners and the Main Cable for the pros and the not-so-beginners.

Main Cable - this one's for the pros

Easy Start - the smaller one for the beginners with no ramps for exhibitions

Arriving at noon wasn’t that bad at all for we all decided to do half-day session. *Kasi walang choice, late kami dumating eh.. hehe*

Guests can choose from either doing a whole-day wakeboarding session or just simply half-day.  Sessions begin at:

A.  9:30AM-12:30PM & 1:30PM-4:30PM during weekdays (rate is 700Php/person)

B.  9:30AM-1:00PM & 2:00PM-5:30PM during weekends (rate is 1,000Php/person).

Before we start the afternoon session, we spent time checking other areas of Lago.

The Reception - this is where you'll get your ballers as passes to the two cable systems

Tidy road and fresh-looking greens

Swimming pool with sauna on the side

The pool is 4-6ft deep.  The deepest is on the far side so if going there with kids, better stay in the jacuzzi looking pool. :)  If kids doesn’t want to go for a dip, there’s a small playground where they can enjoy and a trampoline which the resort rents for 50php/15 minutes.

Holy Sheeeeeeeeeep!

Upon entering the gate, you’ll see a bunch of sheeps on the sides.  Guests can also have the chance to feed them.🙂

Meee-eh-eh-eh-ehhh.... Loud yet tame

Would you care for an overnight stay?

Though we opted for day tour, getting a room for a day of extended stay would’ve been rewarding as well.  The rooms looks simple and neat.

Now it’s time to get excited.

Extreme but still fashionable

Foreigners also enjoy waterskiing in Lago

Doing some tricks

Waiting in line made this guy sleepy..🙂

Jump on the ramp

Gonna get some splash!

Making it look a lot easier.. with one hand!

Who says it's only a sport for men?

Two heads are better than one..

Prepping up

Briefing - in 5.. 4.. 3.. 2.. 1 Photo credit: Meimei

At first, I wasn’t that really up to the challenge but it would be fun to give this a try.  I was a bit nervous to try it – who wouldn’t be? First Time is always nerve-wracking..😛 lol The instructor is soft spoken.  I can barely hear the things he’s telling me.  But to sum it up all he wanted to say is:

1. Straighten your arms

2. Put your right foot a bit forward (for the right-handed)

3. Don’t pull back or else you’ll fall

4. If you fall, let go of the cable immediately

5. Just feel the pull and don’t get nervous – MADALI LANG YAN..😛

Inip na?😛 Photo credit: Meimei

Aria! Photo credit: Meimei

Looks pro? Nah... I fell right after taking that shot..😛

The cable pull is machine-operated.  It’s not as fast as what you think it is, but it gradually gains speed as you reach the other end.  Then on the other end, you must position yourself to go back for the cable will pull you again once you are  ready.

You must complete the turn to be able to get back and unfortunately, I was only able to complete one way – WEAK!😛 But falling into the water doesn’t hurt.  It’s just waist deep so you can walk your way to get back and stand in line again.  It will really be worth it if there were only a few guests lining up.  In our case, we were able to maximze our time.  Half day session is enough though there were  other groups who were present that day.

Aside from wakeboarding, other activities include jetski, billiards, table tennis, darts, basketball, volleyball, snorkelling and boating.

If you are planning to try something new for an adventure, check Lago de Oro’s packages here.

P.S. If someone might be asking for the meaning of Lago De Oro – it’s Golden Lake.

Cebu Pacific’s 99 Peso Promo Fare

As one of the Philippines’ largest airlines, Cebu Pacific announces its latest treat to every JUAN – 99Php (one-way) to all Domestic Flights.

Booking Period is from July 21 to 22, 2011 or until seats last.  Travel dates would be from October 1 until November 30, 2011.  It will surely be hard to find promo fares for famous travel destinations like Boracay (via Caticlan or Kalibo), Bohol (via Tagbilaran), Coron (via Busuanga), Puerto Princesa, Cebu and Cagayan de Oro to name a few.  That’s how it goes every time there’s a seat sale alert.

A few tips:

– If you’re traveling alone, it would be cheaper if you don’t avail of the baggage allowance options.  Just travel light and leave your cabinet at home.

– If you’re planning to have a vacation with your friends, inform them before hand so that when a promo fare like this is announced, you can easily book them for the trip.

– Always look for an alternative flight if you’re visiting a certain place. For example, to get to Bohol, you should book for Tagbilaran.  If there’s none available, Dumaguete or Cebu would be a good alternative.

– If you still can’t avail the promo fare, be patient and wait for other airlines to announce theirs.  For the sake of competition, others will definitely throw promos or even cheaper fares.

Mapanuri’s First!

I didn’t notice that it’s been a year already.  I started this mapanuri blog on blog.com but a few months after that I got curious in transferring it to the more popular wordpress.com.  I started a few blog posts November of 2009 and just July of last year, I started to transfer all the posts.

A look from one year ago

It’s not the original look, it’s something yellow-ish and amateur-ish back then.. hehe

A brief history.  This came to the online world because of the blog conference hosted by our company.  The first time I blog and I won a netbook out of it – lucky eh?.. Since then, it gave me the motivation to put up my own blog – the thing that I have been wanting to do since college.  Why Mapanuri? My creative thinking is not working at that time so I just based it on how I am as a person.  I am the kind of person who is keen to details (if perfectionist is the word for it, so be it.. :P) but I am not perfect, so is everyone else that’s why I don’t consider myself a perfectionist.🙂 I just want to utter my opinions on certain things whether it be entertainment, food, political, social, financial or whatever as long as I know that I am a part of it and it concerns me.  But along the way, it evolved and had some sense of direction (??).  I realized my love to travel.  With the motivation put on me by the travel blogs I am reading (see blogroll), I was greatly encouraged to push myself and get out of my comfort zone.   January of this year, I started plotting my own travel calendar (see Travels)🙂

One year old! and getting older..

Before I was planning to put up a mini-contest, just like other blogs to give thanks ( as if andaming readers… haha) aside from boosting the site’s traffic in my blog’s first year lol.. I might do it some other time. 😛 Surely, I am very much thankful to all my readers and even blog-hoppers who are spending time to type in mapanuri.wordpress.com on their browsers, search mapanuri on google and click my link on other blogs, my fb/twitter walls as well as on my Yahoo Messenger status.  I appreciate it a lot.

Right now, I’m planning to transfer again and utilize/monetize my own domain which is http://jeffzapanta.com.  As some of you might notice, I am not very active in writing blogs recently because I’m also working and doing other personal stuff (pamangkin-sitting on the side hehe).  I’m keeping myself from multi-tasking, it gives me a headache.🙂 But if I had that itch to write, no one can stop me.  I just want to make use of my own website and blog about my interests there – the usuals..🙂 Been also wanting to make it a travel/photoblog because I envy those travel photographers that are really good in taking photos of such beautiful places.🙂 Soon, I’ll make up my mind and you’ll just be suprised.. lol😛

Again, I am just thankful that some random people here on earth took time to read and comment on every blog post I make – though some are only a repost from news and current events.  I really really appreciate it! More thankful to those that I don’t personally know but due to consistent exchange of conversation, I was able to establish this kind of “online” relationship with them.  Someday, I would definitely meet all of you in person. But soon would be better..🙂 Basta walang magpapalibre.. hehe😛

So that wraps up the first year and now on to the second. This is my 162nd post.  Compared to others, this is considerably few.  More active blogging on the 2nd year!.🙂

One year old! and getting older..

Prenup shoot gone wrong?

It came across my facebook wall early this morning and here’s the complete link to read the rest of the article.

This is about a prenuptial shoot that was taken at the Libingan ng mga Bayani which gained a lot of mixed reactions in the online world.  Even AFP disclosed their disappointment over the matter.  Saying that Libingan ng mga Bayani should be treated with respect and honor.  This is the resting place of Filipino soldiers and dignitaries.

Here are some of the pictures taken of the controversial prenup shoot:

Picture came from interaksyon.com

Picture came from interaksyon.com

Being a photography enthusiast/hobbyist myself, I have my own reaction on this.  I have seen a lot of prenuptial shoots but I prefer not to disclose it in this post. 😛

TGIT – Thank God it’s Tramway

Ate Dot celebrated her birthday last July 2 and so a day before her BIG day, she invited us for an all new eat-all-you-can experience in Tramway, Timog Ave. Quezon City.  The good part is it’s her treat but the best part is yet to come.🙂

An affordable buffet restaurant

Come in!

Tramway offers whole day buffet meals (check their site for schedules) and serves Chinese, Japanese and Filipino dishes but with separate time-durations.  There’s lunch and dinner, I just didn’t ask if there’s breakfast.  There will be two batches for the dinner buffet.  First is at 6PM-8PM, second is at 8PM-10PM.  We’ll have the first batch.  Does that mean that we have to finish eating before 8PM and leave on the dot? Answer is Yes. But according to one personnel, they don’t force the people to go out.  Good thing about it is they inform all the guests beforehand of the policy. Setting of expectations is an SOP.🙂

I arrived as early as 5:20PM.  Thanks to my assumption that traffic going to MRT Ortigas Station from our office will be heavy and train going to Kamuning Station will be jampacked, I came in 40 minutes early.  But it’s not as bad as I thought.  As a matter of fact, I was able to take advantage of it because they opened at 5:30PM and the buffet table was ready.  I just waited for my sisters to arrive and secure a table for the four us.  A few minutes later, it’s CHOW TIME!🙂

The interior

Reservations can be made

It would be helpful to make prior reservations especially during weekends.

And there's a lot of people already.. and it's only 5:40PM😛

I should’ve prepared my camera minutes before people invaded the buffet table so that I got better shots of the food served.  I can’t blame them. We’re all hungry. lol

The Buffet haven

Sweet and Sour Pork + Yang Chow Rice

Sweet and Sour Pork is juicy and a little sweet.  I didn’t notice the “sour” part.🙂

Chopsuey + Pansit

I am a fan of mixed vegetables because the mixture brings a better-tasting (not to mention, healthy) flavor.

Honey Glazed Ham? + Mapo Tofu

The ham is soft and the juiciness undoubtedly add enjoyment to your digging..

Steamed Fish

The belly part is…. delizioso..🙂 It’s sauce has a good mixture of salty and sweet ingredients.

Shanghai Rolls + Fried Chicken

Not quite sure if it really is Shanghai Rolls but I think it’s just wrapped with one. And oh,  Max’s offers unlimited fried chicken (which is until July 10 only), right? In Tramway, I can have it even beyond July 10.🙂

Spiced Clams

To balance the heavy meal, they also serve this one of a kind dish. A treat to seafood lovers.

Maki galore

So that your mouth won’t get satiated with the common foods around, they placed a variety of Maki to fill up those hungry tummies.

Cream Puffs

Fried Wanton

After plunging ourselves to the main course, how about a dose of neautralizers for a healthy digestion?🙂

Fruits and Veggies table

If you’re thinking about going back for a refill, worry not.  Though it looks like there’s a lot of people lining up, you can get as much food as you want.  Servers do not let the buffet table be empty with food.  They are always on the look out and make sure that the servings are more than enough.

Reminders...

Just like in any other buffet or eat-all-you-can restaurants, make sure to consume all the food you get.  Mind you, it’s EAT-ALL-YOU-CAN..🙂

The experience is great especially when shared with your family and loved ones.  For only 205Php (adult) and 138Php (kids), you can surely satisfy your bellies with good-tasting food.  Very much affordable, isn’t it? I just hope on the next visit, I would see cake slices of various kinds on the desserts’ table. 🙂

Some tips:

– Make sure to be ahead of the time to secure a table.  Though buffet dinner starts at 6PM, they allow people to get in as early as 5:30PM.

– If you’re going out in a big group, make reservations ahead of time.  They ask for 70% deposit.

– Check the buffet schedules so that no inconveniences will be encountered along the way.  They only accept CASH and has NO SERVICE CHARGE.

For more info, visit their site here.

 

Djokovic wins Wimbledon 2011

Defending champ Rafael Nadal lost to Novak Djokovic in the recent Wimbledon 2011 Men’s Final.  The Serb took advantage of the game, 6-4, 6-1, 1-6, 6-3 winning most of the sets’ break points.

Djokovic kisses his Wimbledon trophy

This is Novak’s first Wimbledon title. 

“It is the best day of my life,” Djokovic said. “This is the tournament I always dreamed of winning. I think I am still sleeping, still dreaming. When you’re playing the best player in the world … I had to be on top of my game. I played probably my best match on grass courts ever.” According to the new World No. 1 seed.

For me, it’s one of the few games that Nadal wasn’t in good shape producing several unforced errors.  Djokovic advanced with the first two sets but Rafa came back to claim the third.  On the fourth set, Novak continued to dominate the grass court winning the last set at 6-3.

Честитамо Ђоковић!! (Congratulations Djokovic!)