DIY Travel Philippines goes to my hometown

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If there’s one Facebook group that I am most engaged and hooked – it would be DIY Travel Philippines. DIYTP was indeed a  lot of help when I was travelling over the past year. Seriously. If not for this group, I won’t have tipid travels from Mike of Tripidito Travel. (I had the pleasure of getting their services for my mom’s birthday in Palawan and my Be Whole in Bohol escapade). There would’ve been no discounted tours, no random weekend getaways, not to mention the guides I have contacted for my Cebu adventures, Rizal hikes and of course – the friends I gained along the way.

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Speaking of friends, here they are to name a few, L-R: DIYTP Admin Midas, Dwynn, JP aka The Rustic Nomad, Redg, Ynoh, Mommy Edna, Wilbert, Joyce and another admin Bryan.

For the longest time, I have been planning on bringing my friends to Isla Verde.  There were plans, chat groups, official hashtags, even memes, but it never panned out. I can even fill an entire sketch pad with our island life drawings. Well not until last November 2016 where I actually brought three of my closest friends at work in my hometown. So – I wasn’t planning of returning anytime soon. However, there were recent unforeseeable events that literally blew me in a bad, bad way. For me to cope with it, I had to do something, I needed to be anywhere. I had to forget and think things through. Then, the DIYTP Summer Getaway happened.

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I didn’t quite realize how much the island changed the last time I was here – maybe because I was excited to tour my friends back then. But now, those “recent” events took me to a dimension like no other, a perspective no one should see. There was this certain gloom that loomed in the island. Perhaps since most of the people I know were either dead or relocated in the city.

Yes, this is a happy post, an eventually you-will-feel-good write up. Bear with me.

We arrived at Surface Interval resort around 3:00 pm. Some of us were tired and hangry (I think, aka me), but the DIY admins were very apologetic and accommodating you were not gonna be mad at them. Oh come on, we’ve been in their shoes – organizing, planning an event then things spiraled out of control.  We understood. And boy, the admins made it up to us big time. Feeding us with lechon, raffling off loads of stuff, tours to Cebu / Pangasinan / Sagada among others, travel gadgets and the coveted Trip for 2 to goddamn freaking Maldives! Thanks, Dragonfly Holidays #BakaNaman. The items to be given away were too many, we ended up getting one or two (or more – hello Mark with the three power banks). Thanks also to the organizers that sponsor the event, Robin, Geri, to name a few. Even Kim of TripZeeker was there, too!

The funny thing was, the first item to be raffled was a GoPro lanyard. The first ‘casualty’ to receive this item was a 16 year old girl named Joy. Little did we know, Joy would be the last. Yes, she got the grand prize! How lucky can she get, right? From lanyard to Maldives, real quick. Congratulations Joy!

Props to Midas and Jad who aside from hosting the program, made us laugh all the way through. Such fun times!

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DIY Admins preparing the feast. (L-R: Rach, Mich, Jad, Gold, and Midas)
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And by feast, I mean these!
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Everyone got their prize/s – now waiting for the announcement of the grandest prize of them all – Trip for 2 to Maldives c/o Dragonfly Holidays!

What did I win? A free trip to Hundred Islands from LMTA for one. Yes, I guess I’m going solo. Rub it in, DIY.

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Gimme some Open Forum vibes before Socials (pina susyal na term for walwalan)

The part I was looking forward – the walwalan portion. I had shisha c/o Muhamed, free flowing drinks, and this ingenious card game which will defo get you drunk. Thanks to Midas the mastermind. What more can I ask for! We were done at around 6am. Oh yeah, we drank, laughed, shouted, cursed more than we should, sang a few songs and maybe cried a little bit, the entire night. After we cleaned up the area, I took a nap on a bench and had breakfast on light head.

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I spent a total of 3 mins inside this tent. So much for walwaling.

The island tour began – first off to Bgy. San Andres where my father grew up. My brother and I used to go here almost every summer during our childhood days. I sort of toured some of the DIYers in the area and brought them to the light house, yes, it’s a photo ops spot.

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View from Lighthouse

Next spot, the infamous Sampalukan corals. We snorkeled and free dived – it was exhilarating! Not that this was important, but these corals happened to be a few meters away from my cool Lolo’s place.

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Sampalukan Sunset

Want to DIY Isla Verde? See my itinerary and expenses here.

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Sunset view from Surface Interval

Before I forget, the reason we’re doing this summer getaway was because DIYTP reached another year! We are now 2 years old with over 459,000 members and counting. So if you’re still not part of our community,  go ahead and join this wonderful bunch. Not only will you get access to countless itineraries, events, tips and promos, you’ll definitely gain new friends!

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Even Facebook took notice! Hi Tim and Mommy Edna who I met here in this summer getaway…
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Lighting up candles for that, congratulations DIYTP!

To know more about DIYTP, kindly visit this link. Yes DIYTP is expanding. Stay tuned for some exciting news.

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“Buti pa yung kahoy, may picture” #SquadGoals #KuyaKamiNaman

Let’s take it to the top, shall we?

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drone2Thank you JP for giving me permission to use your sick drone shots! Perhaps I bored you with words – let me show you some live visuals then.

Video credit to the amazing Tim of The Secret Adventures of SkywalkTim.

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Til my next escape to Isla Verde…

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Quickies, out!

 

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Quezon Buffet – Best Sisig in the Metro

Traveling at my own cost really took a toll on my personal savings (or what’s left of it). Laughs – not really. Reviewing a newly opened buffet restaurant was definitely a breath of fresh air. Since it’s free, that’s where I gotta be.

When you had something for free and it was bad – you don’t have a say. On the contrary, if it was good and free at the same time – it’s like winning a raffle. In my case, a lottery.

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I arrived at Fisher Mall at half past four – way late from the 2:00 pm call time. Although, I came all the way from Cavite, I thought to myself, well if the event’s done, I deserved it cos of my ever reliable time management. Lo and behold, it’s as if the event waited for me. The counters were all served with sumptuous offerings. Other dishes being replenished as I salivate at the side.

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What Quezon Has To Offer

Quezon buffet boasts its decadence array of strong Filipino – Spanish tie through its immaculate dishes of gastronomic proportions.

I couldn’t even put to words my exact thoughts when I had my first sisig bite. It just exploded in my palate. Their sisig dish comes in three’s: Bangus, Chicken and Pork. I know sisig isn’t for everyone – but please take my word for it to drop by whenever you’re around the area.

I’m not skipping the best part (for most foodies). Not far where I left my heart lay another heart wrenching dish – lechon! Yes I’m not that of a huge fan; but, oh boy, the crispness, texture and flavor can be compared to the infamous Cebu’s Zubuchon. And they serve it at a buffet – how dope! Lechon Chili Belly all-you-want definitely sounds my cup of tea.

I know, I know these dishes must be paired with rice, right? Quezon buffet didn’t disappoint offering yet another scene stealer – Paella. Filled with mussels, pork bits and veggies. Kanin pa lang ulam na!

Other food choices include Beef Kare Kare, Sinigang sa Pula, Dinakdakan, Callos, Bulalo Steak among others. I had a few portions and came back to refill my plate. Nothing is going wrong for Chef Kalel and his team!

How rude of me not to talk about desserts! Their leche flan (crème caramel) and brazo de mercedes were to die for! Not literally of diabetes cos they have a balanced level of sucrose – not too sweet making me feel less guilty I gave in to temptation. Make your own halo-halo, turon with langka, sticky pudding with mango purée, palitaw and other kakanins completed the line up of the desserts. Very Pinoy, indeed.

Ambiance & Staff

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Faint lighting from their posh chandeliers wrapped around the banquet making the ambiance very cozy and relaxing. The restaurant can host around 200 people – perfect for all occasions. Although the opening was swamped (not seen in the photo) and looked undermanned, the staff were accommodating and more than willing to satisfy everyone’s needs. They sure replenish the food fast – perhaps because it’s the opening with media and celebrities gracing the event.

I do wish they continue this going forward – cos it makes or break a buffet restaurant.

Price

Absolutely affordable. Treat your family, friends, colleagues here. Quezon buffet will do the rest.

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So it is now safe to say I am a travel foodie. Thank you thewanderjunkie for accompanying me gatecrash this event.

We sure had a lot of laughs and our stomachs full.

Thanks again Quezon buffet for showcasing and being the forefront in promoting our rich Filipino cuisine.

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