Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Awesome Brands That Spread God's Words and Inspire People | Spontaneity




According to Mark 16:15, Jesus said to his disciples "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature". This has been followed and practiced by our church leaders, pastors, and priests for many years now. By using different means to pass the good news, the religous leaders and groups have been successful in that one goal.

So, what methods did they use to achieve such objective? Traditionally, Priests and Pastors would preach and worship. Same goes with youth organizations where leaders would set a recollection of some sort and then tell the youth everything about the gospel. In modern society, spreading the gospel has evolved to the next level. The religous organizations or even religious members would open up a brand that will spread the gospel and inspire others.

In the course of scrolling through social media, I chanced upon these two brands that deliberately distribute a ray of sunshine to everyone.


InsideOut Prints

Photo credit: InsideOut Prints Facebook Page

This brand is showcasing an "inspirational" theme to their designs. They focus more on encouragement and positivity. They aim to bring a mood-booster to everyone - not just to the one wearing it but also to the one reading it. 


Photo credit: InsideOut Prints Facebook Page



They also offer strings bags, of course with those optimistic words. It's perfect for going out or even for your back-to-school OOTDs. 


Photo credit: InsideOut Prints Facebook Page


I actually joined their giveaway, and I fortunately won 5 t-shirts. How cool is that? They share their blessings to their followers. Also, the thing that I like about them is that they are very kind. They shouldered even the shipping of the shirts and they made sure that the shirts are delivered immediately. They saved me the time for going to their store or office to claim the prize. They respond well to messages as well. 

Their shirts are comfortable to wear - it's neither irritating to the skin nor thin enough to make you uncomfortable. The shirts' prices range from 159-190 Php, nothing above that. Very affordable, right?!

If you want to know more about them or if you want to check out their designs, visit their social media sites: 



On their Facebook page, they also share words of wisdom. So if you happen to have a bad day, their wise encouraging words will help.



Scripture Move Life

Photo credit: Scripture's Facebook Page

This brand is the one who focuses on reaching out to people to share the gospel of the Lord. With their unique designs, they definitely hit the goal. Their shirts state verses from the bible - the so-called Scriptures.


Photo credit: Scripture's Facebook Page


Like InsideOut Prints, their t-shirt prices range from 159-190 Php. They also have the same quality of shirts.

To know more about them, visit their social media sites: (Note: they share bible verses on their Facebook page)




Have you noticed some similarities on these two brands? Well, they are apparently sister brands. They share the same goal, and that is to bring happiness and hope to each and everyone of us. By wearing their t-shirts, we also join the mission to spread God's words.

Read More »
Share this PostPin ThisEmail This

Saturday, June 3, 2017

The Ultimate Guide To A Perfect Movie Night | Spontaneity


Summer is almost over and kids will have their classes resume in one or two weeks now. Some will get their last hurrah and enjoy the last few days of the season. 

As the rainy season approaches, people are preparing to go back to their old activities, indoor activities to be specific. One of the most common indoor activity is binge watching or movie marathon. This is the perfect bonding with family and friends and a perfect time alone as well. 

There are many ways to achieve that perfect movie night experience. Well, it depends on your own interest but to give you an idea, here's a checklist to get you started. 




Whatever movie genre you're fond of, the 3 essentials above are critical to gain that movie experience you are longing for. Now, what do the items above specifically pertain to?






Having a cozy spot while watching your favorite movie gives you comfort. It helps you focus more on the movie and relaxes you at the same time. Cozy spots maybe on your bed, on the sofa, on a lazy boy chair, or anywhere depending on your preference. 

I've mentioned that rainy season is coming. A warm spot to curl up and even wrapping a comforter around you is a factor for a perfect movie night.





The common snacks during a movie are popcorn, chips and dips, and any known finger-food. However, I have this one favorite movie snack that maybe some people haven't seen yet. It's called Prawn Crackers, Besuto is the company which manufactures these kinds of crackers. It is made of fresh shrimp, salt, sugar, msg, flour, starch, natural spices and seasonings. 

Unlike any other snacks which you could eat immediately after opening, the Besuto Prawn Crackers must be cooked first. You just have to simply deep-fry it. For your convenience, here's how. 
  1. Pour cooking oil into the frying pan (about 2 to 3 inches deep). Let the pan and oil heat for 5 minutes or until smoke appears around the pan.
  2. Place the crackers (don't overcrowd the pan) and wait until cooked. You'll know it's cooked when it floats or if the color turns to golden brown.
  3. Remove crackers from the pan and drain the oil.
  4. Serve and enjoy!
You could create your own dip but it is best for vinegar. 






Ain't it fun to watch a movie with your family and friends? You'll have someone to share your insights regarding the movie, someone to laugh, cry, and shout with, and someone to cuddle with during the cold weather. It is not only the perfect movie night but also a perfect bonding for you and your loved ones. You know, in this day and age where everyone is just disconnected from each other, this is one of the ways to re-connect. 

Speaking of connecting, there is one ultimate movie buddy that will connect you to movies you haven't seen before. PureFlix.com is the perfect movie buddy for you and for me. They offer the greatest family-friendly movies and videos for all ages such as:
  • Kid's Animated Films
  • Documentaries
  • How To's 
  • Hobbies
  • Educational 
  • Health & Fitness
  • Sports, Outdoor, and Travel
  • Inspirational and Devotional 
To share the blessing with everyone, they are generous to give us a one-month free trial. Check out their site and all the family-friendly movies available here.

Basically, Pure Flix is just like Netflix or Iflix but with a more family-friendly and wholesome shows. It is a family-oriented site where you could enjoy tons of exciting movies to choose from. It is also a catalog of a huge Christ-centered movies that will be easily accessible to everyone - such movies include God's Not Dead, Apostle Peter and the Last Supper, Noah, and a whole lot more! Spread this good news and enjoy the presence of such movies.

I know you have your own movie essentials, comment below so we could discuss about yours!




Read More »
Share this PostPin ThisEmail This

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Ilocos Region Trip 2017 (With Sample Itinerary) | LakBayan Diaries




People have been eyeing to see the astonishing attractions in the Ilocos region. It is the home of one of the 7 Wonders of the World (2015), Vigan. I'm truly thankful to be one of the lucky travelers to visit it this year. No there's nothing special in Ilocos this year, it's just that I'm happy to be blessed with all my travels this year.

Enough with the drama, let me virtually tour you in Ilocos Sur and Ilocos Norte. Let's start with the attractions in Ilocos Sur.


Bell Tower of Santuario de Nuestra Senora de Caridad and Church


This Bell Tower, which is also known as Bantay Ball Tower is located in Bantay, Ilocos Sur. Its name relates to what it was built for in 1591 - a watchtower for defense against enemies.

The view of the Bell Tower's facade is extremely fascinating. It's situated on top of a hill and within a large hectare of land. It's good that they have been continuously taking care of the tower. You have to register and pay or give donations at the gate before entering the vicinity, I guess for maintenance purposes. When we paid a visit inside the church, we saw that the altar was being constructed - again, for maintenance. 



If you go at the back of the church, you'll see an outdoor chapel. It's clean and well-maintained as well. 


Baluarte ni Chavit



Chavit Singson, a former Governor of Ilocos Sur, owns this Zoo in Vigan, Ilocos Sur called Baluarte ni Chavit. It is a wildlife sanctuary where animals could freely interact with visitors. The eighty-hectare park is the home of different kinds of animals. Some of which are not usually seen in other Zoos like camels, kangaroos, etc.

I read that admission is free before, but unfortunately the park has an entrance fee of 50Php per head now. You also have to pay if you want to take a picture with an animal, I'm talking about a souvenir picture with a print-out (you can take pictures with your phone for FREE of course).



Aside from having sight of the animals, you could also view Chavit's very own museum where he showcases his hunting prowess. Also, he has his own rest house (a Golden Building in particular) inside the park.



Hidden Garden


As opposed to its name, Hidden Garden is not hidden at all because it's already known to a number of tourists. Well, you have to drive all the way to a non-city center area (Brgy. Bulala, Vigan City), hence the term hidden.

They offer different services - landscaping, spa/massage, and restaurant. The place has a Filipino ambiance, especially the restaurant. If you would tour around, you'll see such beautiful potteries and plant arrangements.



Menu: They serve popular Ilocos dishes like Bagnet, Warek-warek, Poqui-poqui, Vigan Longganisa, and more.

You may visit their website to know more, just click the link. --; Hidden Garden's Website



Calle Crisologo



Your Vigan trip won't be complete without a visit to Calle Crisologo. When people say "Vigan" the first thing that comes to my mind is this street.

Upon visiting, we noticed that this street, along with the nearby ones, still has the Spanish era vibes. People of Ilocos maintained this street that way in order to preserve their culture during those times. It is indeed, nostalgic to visit places like this as we tend to discover what the old Philippines looks like.The old houses are turned into souvenir shops, inns, and restaurants. You may also ride a Kalesa if you don't feel like walking along the street.












Vigan Cathedral


One of the known churches in Vigan is the Vigan Cathedral. It's situated in front of the town plaza (with a huge fountain that dances during the night).

We stayed in a small house-like inn and rented a room for 10 persons. The place is called Balai Mestizo and its just a few blocks away from Calle Crisologo. If you just need a place to stay in for the night, then you could try Balai Mestizo, but if you opt for more luxury while taking a rest, you may check-in to any of the hotels in Ilocos Sur by clicking below. 


Now, let's go to the must-see attractions in Ilocos Norte. 

Marcos Museum


If you want to know more about the late President Ferdinand Marcos, then this is the perfect place to visit. The museum showcases every bit of details about Marcos. It is located in Batac, Ilocos Norte.


Paoay Church


I'm blessed to witness this picturesque view of the church. This was the biggest church I've seen so far. The St. Augustine Church, commonly known as Paoay Church, has a unique earthquake baroque architecture and a strong foundation. That is why it has been around for many years, of course it's being maintained simultaneously. Beside the church is a bell tower - just like the Bantay Bell Tower, this belfry served as a watchtower for the people of Ilocos Norte,

It is now considered a UNESCO Heritage Site, the organization aims to preserve such cultural treasures.




La Paz Sand Dunes


I consider this the highlight of our Ilocos trip. I'm into extreme adventures that's why I was deeply excited when we were on the way to La Paz Sand Dunes. Aside from being it my first time, I also felt happy chills because I knew I was about to cross off one item on my bucket list. 

There are certain activities that you can do:

  • 4x4 Ride - 2,500 Php for 4 to 5 persons (that's the maximum number the vehicle could accommodate).
  • Unlimited Sandborading - This comes with the 4 x 4 Ride. I'm not quite sure if you could avail of this separately.
  • ATV Ride - 2,000 Php per hour.
You have to inquire and register at the booth first, then sign a waiver. While riding the 4x4, there are photographers who'll capture every disgusting face you'll make (haha). You may check the pictures at the registration booth. Printing of the pictures costs 150 Php each picture. But if you want to get the soft copy of all the pictures, they offer a promo to have 3 pictures printed (150 each) then they'll give you the soft copy. Be sure to bring a flash drive with you!





We literally had the best time of our lives. 



Kapurpurawan Rock Formation




Kapurpurawan in Ilocano means "white" - this brought justice to the tourist spots name, Kapurpurawan Rock Formation. Most rocks in the area are white. However, we were not able to explore the area because some parts have been restricted. Also, I was not able to focus because I lost my money. I was busy looking for it. Anyways, there are also windmills around which adds to the string wind coming from the Kapurpurawan beach,


Bangui Windmills



This is yet another iconic destination in Ilocos, the Bangui Windmills. It's the largest wind farm in Asia composing of 20 units of the windmills. The 70-meter wind turbines were built along the shores facing the South China Sea. 



When visiting the wind farm, be sure to cover all parts of you body as the sand being dragged by the breeze hurts.  


Pagudpud Beach


We dipped into the cold salt water of Pagudpud. With its white sand and blue water, you'll definitely get the relaxation you are longing for. 





Patapat Viaduct


This is an elevated coastal bridge that connects Ilocos Norte with the province of Cagayan. With the measurement of 1.3 kilometers long, this is said to be one of the longest bridge in the Philippines. 

It's perfect for picture taking, but be cautious about the vehicles approaching. It also has a prefect view of the West Philippine Sea and it follows the curvature of the mountain alongside it.

Since we traveled to Ilocos Norte, we must book another hotel that is near to our next destinations. So, we checked in to Palm Grove. It's an "okay" accommodation. I mean, the people are welcoming but there are certain polocies that we don't like. We respect their rules but these kinds of hotels are just not for us. What I'm talking about is that they have strict curfew. If you are the type that parties or stays up late, then Palm Grove isn't for you too. On the other hand, if you just want to get a good night sleep and no noisy neighbors, then this is the perfect place for you. It's just a matter of perspective. If you are the former, you may try and check-in to any other hotels in Ilocos Norte by clicking below.

  



Sample Itinerary

Just to give you a quick guide if you're planning to DIY your Ilocos trip, here is a sample 3-day itinerary prepared by my sister Jaycee Melencio (Thank you, Ate!). Remember that you could always re-arrange or remove items from the list. I hope this helps.

Ilocos Trip Itinerary
Thursday - 10PMETD from ManilaDay 3- Sunday
Day 1 - Friday6:00AMFree time/Swimming
6:00AMDrop-off and ETA in Bantay, Ilocos Sur6:30AM Breakfast
6:30AMBreakfast7:30AMKabigan Falls
7:00AMBantay Church and Bell Tower9:00AMPatapat Viaduct
8:00AMProceed to Baluarte ni Chavit9:30AMAgua Grande Park
10:00AMProceed to Hidden Garden11:00AMPrepare for check-out in Palm Grove
12:00AMLunch at Hidden Garden12:00PMCheck-out at Palm Grove
1:30PMProceed to Balai Mestizo (Hotel)12:30PMTimangtang Rock
2:00PMCheck-in at Balai Mestizo (Rest/Free Time)1:00PMBantay Abot Cave
6:00PMProceed to Calle Crisologo (Buy souvenirs/Dinner)2:00PMOff to Manila
Day 2 - SaturdayNote: We were not able to go to some of the destinations in the itinerary because time got out of our hands. So, I advise that you thoroughly take note of the time. 
6:00AMPrepare for check-out in Balai Mestizo
8:30AMBreakfast
10:00AMArrival in Marcos Museum 
11:00AMPaoay Church (then lunch at Café Herencia)
12:30PMMalacanang of the North
1:30PMLa Paz Sand Dunes
3:00PMArrival and Check-in at Palm Grove (Hotel)
3:30PMBurgos Lighthouse
4:00PMKapurpurawan Rock Formation
5:00PMBangui Windmill
7:00PM Go back to Palm Grove


The Ilocos Region is definitely a must-see. It's full of amusing attractions and also a place of history. No wonder more and more tourists visit this province. Have you gone to Ilocos? Tell me your experience down in the comments section!

Read More »
Share this PostPin ThisEmail This

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Must-see Attractions in Tiwi Albay (Plus Side Trip in Legazpi) | LakBayan Diaries


The region of Bicol has always been on travelers' bucketlist because of its fine and breath-taking destinations. I hear people talk about the city of Legazpi - the home of the popular Mayon Volcano. Being the capital city of Albay, tourists would visit Legazpi more often than the other cities. Regardless, I'm pretty sure there are other famous cities and municipalities in Bicol, but I would like to focus on just one, Tiwi.




I have never heard of Tiwi, a municipality in Albay, until I have explored it myself. It may not be as known as the other cities and municipalities in Bicol, but it is definitely as majestic.

We stayed in our family friend's house (I'm deeply grateful for their hospitality and kindness) and they toured us around. We may not toured as much as we wanted to, but every destination was sufficient. So, without further ado, let me show you the must-see attractions in Tiwi Albay.



Corangon Shoal




This is my personal favorite (it should've been an attraction where I could nearly touch the Mayon Volcano but that's just too mainstream).

It's a small island in the middle of a marine reserve. It is considered as a fish sanctuary that's why according to our guide, it's was just open during the Holy Week (it's not always open for visitors).



With its golden brown sand (corals are on the shore) and the clear blue water, you'll definitely have the perfect relaxation. You could also get a far view of the Mayon Volcano.

However, don't go there during times where the sun is striking. There are no shades because there are no trees. Be sure to always bring a big umbrella or anything that could protect you from the UV.

Cost = 3,000Php for the tour + 300Php for the boat's gas.


Church of San Lorenzo



The church is located in front of the town plaza and beside the wet market. Since we were there during the Holy Week, we joined the Prusisyon ng mga Santo where images of the Saints are being paraded through the town. The start point of the procession was on the church grounds.




Joroan Church



Joroan Church, also known as Nuestra Senora de Salvacion, is located in the town of Joroan (obviously). You may have difficulty in getting to the church as you have to go through several alleys.

The structure of church seems like it was well-handled and maintained. If you could notice, the Church of San Lorenzo and the Joroan Church pretty much look like each other. Upon researching, I stumbled upon the information that a chapel in Joroan could not be fully established due to devastating storms. Because of that, people built a replica of the chapel in Tigbi (Tiwi). After a long time, the chapel was then brought back to Joroan, but the replica remained erected.


Busayan Falls



According to the locals, the waterfalls is named Busayan Falls. It is tucked in a mountain near the Geothermal power plant in Tiwi, Albay. 

To reach the falls, you must hike for about an hour through large rocks and humid forest. Don't fret because the exhaustion and body pain that the hike may bring will all be worth it. 



PhilCeramics



Pot-making is a one-of-a-kind experience for me. It taught me that patience, dedication, and imagination would create a beautiful masterpiece. 

PhilCeramics, which is located in Brgy. Putsan, offers experiential tour for visitors. For 350Php  + 15Php/Clay, you can mold and make your own pot. You will be guided by one potter there, so don't worry if you don't know how pot-making works (it's my first time making one as well). You may bring home your work. However, if you are just a tourist, you could bring home just the molded clay. The whole process of cooking the clay takes 3-5 days. I never got to bring the clay here in Manila.



Mayon Skyline (Legazpi)



Our visit here should've been more amusing if the clouds weren't covering Mayon. Nevertheless, it's still great to see the whole city from above. 

Tip: If you plan to go there, bring a sweater or jacket because it's super cold!




Hoyop Hoyopan Cave (Legazpi)






Hoyop Hoyopan Cave's name came from the Bicol word "Hoyop" which means "blowing of air". The locals named it as such because of it's cool ventilation. The cave's openings allow air to enter. Also, it is a cave with a lot of cool structures. Here, all you need to bring is a camera and your imagination.



The stalactites and stalagmites form images of different things like a head of a dinosaur, a skull, an alligator, etc. There is even a huge dance floor at the center of the cave.

Cost = 350Php for entrance fee and a fee for the tourist guide.


Cagsawa Ruins (Legazpi)



I mentioned above that the Mayon Volcano was covered with clouds during our visit, that's why you could not see it in the picture (I wish I had a chance to see it). 

The famous Cagsawa Ruins, located in Daraga, Albay, are the remains of a Franciscan church. The church was destroyed during the volcano's eruption in 1814. Its name means "too much" or "excess", which obviously speaks for itself - the excess or remnants of a church. 

You may try renting the ATV in the area and you may buy souvenirs and take-homes as well. 




Despite the bad weather, we honestly enjoyed our stay in Tiwi, Albay. I must say, one could really find gold even in the smallest cities or towns in Bicol. You just have to dig and search deeper.


Read More »
Share this PostPin ThisEmail This