Monday, June 14, 2010

Orchard Road

By Lakwatsero

Welcome to Orchard Road !!!!!
Friday night, one of the busiest day of weekdays, and it's my payday too. It's been a while, since we visited Megamall too, of course, after buying something for our kids, and it is also advance payday that time, we have a chance of discovering another food trip for my blog, I'm really a fan of eating different kind of dishes and cuisine, but it has to be pork, chicken and beef....hehehehe...because im not eating fish dishes, so another unexpected food discovery we recently had, Orchard Road… a Singaporean food chain located in Megamall. I heard singaporean dishes taste well and this is our first time to eat and dine in a Singaporean Restaurant.

Orchard Road Entrance Area

Here's my wife paying...(orange shirt)

Orchard Road's open pay counter

As the name implies, they specialize in Singaporean food. Singaporean food is an amalgam of Malay, Chinese, Indonesian, Thai, and Indian food – Hainanese Chicken, Dumplings, Tom Yum, Chicken Curry, etc. What I love about the store is that the seats are laid out around a open kitchen which is enclosed in glass. As in you can see everything the chefs do while preparing your food. It gives off a very nice hawker vibe so it adds to the authenticity of the experience. But I can definitely say that Orchard Road is different from other resto's because,

(1) they have their own order style, do you remember using PCOS machine on elections, hehehehe....
(2) the food tastes better (as this is our 1st time to eat and dine singaporean dishes),
(3) for me, their prices are more reasonable,
(4) located in Mega Mall, very much accessible to everyone, that are craving for Singaporean dishes.
(5) quick service,
(6) friendly crews, and most important of it all is,
(7) taking pictures is allowed…yes!!!!

Here are some shots of Orchard Road’s open kitchen and pay counter.
Once you arrived, you will be given this order slip, you just have to select your desired foods and drinks then give it to the cashier when done. You will be given a number and have to wait for your order to be served. Waiting time was just fine.

Orchard Road Menu and Order Form

So here we go again, seeing the menu with different types of food, we can’t easily decide on what to order and just ordered what we feel and think would be great for us…and for few minutes of walking and decision making..we finally come up with this orders...we were just 2 and our order was really too much for us and so we even had some take homes for our kids.....hehe....
Black Pepper Pork Rice @ P145

Black Pepper Pork Rice, one of their most ordered dishes coming from the Mini Wok or Kuali set. It tasted really delicious and with good amount of serving.Wanton Noodle Soup @ P135

My wife just want to have soup that night together satay chicken and shrimp dumplings...tasted good as my wife said..

Char Kway Teow @ P150

We also had Char Kway Teow, our favorite stir-fry noodles, very tasty and we both loved it!

Another favorite food, Satay Chicken(my wife's choice), Singapore’s barbecued style dish with peanut sauce. Flavor tasted strong and rich. Peanut sauce was a bit spicy.

Shrimp Dumplings 3 pcs @ P99

We can’t eat without dimsum and so we ordered for their Shrimp Dumplings (my wife just ate this because i don't eat shrimps instead i get the wanton on her soup...hehehehe); tasted just the usual… Good!

Teh Tarik (Iced) @ P50
As for our drinks, I had Pepsi Soda and my wife had Iced Teh Tarik. Teh Tarik is tea with condensed milk, you can have it hot or iced. As i tried it tasted good and reasonably priced.

I maybe not a fun of eating singaporean dishes but i think know, i'm already hooked up..hehehehe...For me everything is good - food, service, price and location. I hope they can maintain this positive look, good quality and service.
Thanks!!!! Orchard Road for giving us the opportunity to taste singaporean dishes. By the way, Orchard Road is named after the popular road in Singapore that is known for retail, entertaiment, and food hub. While here in Manila, Orchard Road is a Singaporean food stop located inside 3rd flr. Bridgeway, SM Mega Mall, Mandaluyong City.
Satay Chicken 4 sticks @ P110

Friday, June 11, 2010

Calauan: Camping and River Exploring of Balumbong River

by lakwatsero

After few hours of rappeling it is time to head to our campsite, where Balumbong Mini Falls and River waits.....Balumbong Minifalls is just a few minutes away from Old PNR Balumbong Railway Bridge, as i remember it took us just less than 10 min. from the bridge to reach our campsite.

The Balumbong Mini Falls (photo courtesy of Noel Tomalabcad)

One of the locals store besides Balumbong river (photo courtesy of Noel Tomalabcad)

One of the best part of Balumbong River is this place....i really like their Restroom...hehehehe

auto flush...hehehehe!!!!!

Besides the river, their also some Nipa huts that you can used. I can't remember how much is the payment for each Nipa huts, because our group stayed at the upperpart of this river, fronting the Balumbong Mini Falls.

nipa huts for rent!!!!

Of course, what you will do if your camping in a river and a falls...of course you have to swim and photo opps will not be gonna forgotten.....hehehe...

group pic souvenir.....

Xplorerboyz w/ new found friend "Mazzy"

Of course, after doing swimming & river exploration after the rappelling activity, we have to go back to our campsite, situated on upperpart land infronting the Balumbong Minifalls. And prepare our foods for dinner.
of course group woudn't be missed....

our dinner (corned beef & hotdog)

Night time arrived, of course it is nice to have a campfire while doing socials...Photo opps while socials is also would be missed....and "toma time" is would be missed too, luckily it this place there are some stores that you can reserved early for some of the group drinking session.....

some of the groups pics while socials time

red horse for sale!!!!!!

After a tiring 1st day, and drinking sessions last night, We had a beautiful morning.....As we woke up you can see a very calm and refreshing water like this...A very nice day to start new activities..
a very relaxing river flow

what a nice day to start...lets go swimming.....
Like what i have said earlier, it is nice to start the day with new activity, but.....look what happen....hehehehe...early morning drinking session...started again...but this time we had a really nice placed to have the drinking session...drinking in the river....hehehehe....

it just started only in a group picture and then drinking session followed.....

After our early drinking session we have to prepare our Brunch (combi of Breakfast & Lunch). Our menu for that day, was maling and corned beef omelet....
our way of boodle fight...
Lunch time is really getting near, and the time of departure is getting near, most of us after eating Brunch, had a last swim to the river, and few our starting to breakcamp, disassembling their tents, and preparing to depart.
I was really nice to have this kind of experience...Staying at Calauan, Laguna, doing those activities, was really indeed a remarkable experience. Hope to be back on this place, even not doing rappelling, just to stay on the river and swim on its cold waters. Thanks Balumbong....definitely ill be coming back....
our campsite
group pic with some of the Tropang Balumbong

last group at campsite
photo opps parin kahit pauwi nah..
Once again, thanks Migs for inviting us to join this activity. Hope you will always include us, as your possible attendees for your different activities....mapatrekking, rappelling, beacheneering...etc...

Calauan: Rappeling at Balumbong River (PNR Bridge)

by Lakwatsero
June 5-6, 2010
Calauan, Laguna

It was the 1st weekend of June(06/05-06/06, 2010), It is the 3rd time by Yabag to organize an Adventure to Balumbong River (PNR Bridge) Rappelling, Camping and River Exploration. Of course, yours truly was part of this activity together with my trekking body, Jobari....

The sun is already up when we arrived at (Jollibee) San Pablo, Laguna, where the chartered jeepney is waiting for us. To take us to the jumpoff start (Calauan, Laguna area) for the trekking to reach the Balumbong PNR Railway Bridge.

photo opps @ Jollibee San Pablo (together with new buddy Mazzy)

My breakfast & also my pack lunch....

It was almost 8 am when we arrived at the start of the trek. We have to wait for the 2nd batch to arrive, because we've been divided into 2 batch because (hindi na kasya sa Jeep...andami namin in short!!!!!)..Of course what to do if you will just wait for others....syempre, photo opps time....

upon arriving .....

the 1st batch to arrive....

of course....nde mawawala ang JUMPSHOT!!!!!!!!

First, we had to trek to reach the Balumbong PNR Railway Bridge. That bridge was chosen to be the spot of our rappelling jump. It took us almost an hour to reach this bridge, at first most of us were still brave, doing some jokes, and of course, photo opps will not be miss along the trek. But in an hour, most of us had the same feeling....This is it!!!!!! Here are some of the photos while where on our trek going to Balumbong PNR Railway Bridge.

where just starting!!!!!

a very rocky trek...hehehe

Actually, Im familiar with this kind of trollies, because my places is really near in a PNR station in Sta. Mesa. But this trolly is different from the trollies of Metro Manila, it looks like a acute triagle shape, that can be take two to three passengers (depende sa laki...hehehehe), actually i really want to try that, that day but im afraid because of its shape, (mukhang hindi ako kaya!!!).

some of local riders on this place...

we have to go side ways..baka sagasaan kami!!!!

a very very very long railway.....

At last, we finally arrive to the site. Of course, pahinga galore ang marami, kasi mas crowded kame ng girls, kesa boys. The bridge was about 50 meters (160 feet) high, and most of the girls was scared to see that!!! The bridge was made up of old sturdy woods and rusty railways. The i think one of the biggest problem is crossing it because some of the wood braces are already can used as "uling" shown below...hehehehe...and the gaps were too wide!!! So Migs, has to put a support rope along this way for guide and safety. But in fairness sa view.....Astig....

mawawala ba naman ito!!!! pero ako wala nga...huhuhuhu!!!!

the rusty old PNR railway bridge

the views are really breathtaking!!!!!

Like what i have said earlier, do want to have an Uling...hehehehe...most of us including was a bit afraid upon seeng this wood, maybe because.....what do you think?....

uling for sale?
a very long way down...

Upon arriving to the bridge, our jumpman (aka Derek Ramsay), and Migs, are getting ready to setup the gears, ropes, harness, and etc for safety.

"derek ramsey" & Migs

thank you for the patience....

It took us "the xplorerboys" more than hour for our turn to actually rappel down..actually i think it was almost lunch time. Of course hindi mawawala nag mga photo opps....
hi, it's me brian aka "lakwatserong tatay"

hi, im jobari, one of the x-plorerboyz....

Here are some of the pictures while we were waiting for our turns....

it was really hot that day...

One of the locals has this bird, Jobari took this photo..We really don't know where will be the local bring this crow, sayang baka binibenta nya...hehehehe....

hello there....birdie!!!!!

At last, it was my turn, thanks also mr. derek ramsey, for securing the ropes, my harness, before letting me to jump.....thanks to johari my co-xplorer.....for the fantastic shots......yahooo.....

pilit na ngiti....hehehehe!!!!

this is it.....wala na atrasan....hehehehe!!!! e2 obvious pilit na ngiti!!!!

Here are some of my shots while im doing my rappeling down to this bridge.....Hope you will like it.

Hay!!!!.....At last......This is my 2nd rappelling activity together with trekking buddy jobari.......
Rappelling from the Balumbong PNR Railway Bridge was already done and part of my accomplish rappeling checklist....

go for the next entry....and time to head to camp...where Balumbong Minifalls is waiting...

Here is the propose itinerary by Yabag:


04:00am - Assembly (to be announce on pre climb)
04:30am - ETD Alabang to San pablo city
06:30am – ETA San Pablo, Trike or hire jeep to Jump off
07:00am – Jump off have courtesy call to brgy captain start trek to Balumbong bridge,river
07:45am – ETA Bridge, pack breakfast
08:00am – Rappeling, swim
12:00pm – Lunch
15:00pm – Descent to River, swim, Socials, set camp, enjoy
17:00pm - Dinner, socials


07:00am - Wake up call(prepare Breakfast)Have Break fast
09:00pm - Break camp(explore area, river, falls, swim)
12:00pm - Lunch at Balumbong falls(swim, socials)
15:00pm - Tidy up
16:00pm - Start trek to jump off or exit at calauan.
16:30pm - Jump off or Calauan
17:00pm - ETD to Manila
19:00pm - ETA MANILA

What to Bring, What to Expect/Explore:

• Flashlight, preferably headlamp
• Change clothes
• FOODS:Packed lunch, Dinner, day 2 breakfast, Day 2 Lunch
• Trail water/water container
• Pair of Gloves for rappeling
• Clothes for swimming
• Snacks
• Camping gears(stove, cookset, lantern, Tent for those who want to stay overnight
• High Angle Rappeling
• Swimming
• Mini falls
• River Exploration
• Camping experience

For contact informations:

Miguel Mapalad
aka "Migs" (09052688275)


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