Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Protect a Hectare Project

by lakwatserong tatay

Here's is one of my stories that was been part of my draft post, luckily i have enough time to make a short story about this trip. That entitled as Protect a Hectare happened at La Mesa Ecopark last September 3, 2011. This was a company project that was participated by different LOB's in our company, of course our depart was included on this project for a cause, but this project was opened for limited attendees, and i was lucky to be chosen and part of saving the remaining Watershed in Metropolitan Area.
It was Saturday morning, our meetup happened infront of our office lobby with two buses waited for us to chartered us back and fort from our office to LaMesa Ecopark. Im with my co-teammate Lorna, we were 2 of the luckiest person had the chance to join this monumental event.
Bus #1 were i was included...
Bus #2, from other LOB's
We arrived in the venue on time, and formed in the lobby of La Mesa Ecopark's Pangasiwaan, were our company was welcome and guided to area of Bahay Punlaan. Being a backpacker/mountain climber, this kind of activity is one of my priorities, having the chance to protect our environment from deforestation, and seeing at least a city in Metropolitan having this kind of forest park is really a great achievement.
The volunteers
This is not my first time to do tree planting activity on this ecopark, my first time to do tree planting on this place happened wayback 2008, my group SPIMC had a tree planting activity at the La Mesa Watershed with 186 employees and friends joined this fun overnight activity. Our group was given 200 tree seedlings to plant but our group actually given double than that so its more or less 400 trees that we plant in the watershed. Even it was raining that time, our spirits for a few moments actually damped but it wasn't able to ruin the spirit of the entire group. (SPIMC's adventures).
The "Pangasiwaan" assembly area of our group which we were welcome by the staffs and caretakers of the ecopark.
Our assembly area...
One of the best area for photo opps and wedding photo shots, actually that time this area is used by two couples having the pre-nuptial photos....^_^.
La Mesa Eco Park......astig toh!
We straight ahead at Bahay Punlaan, for the briefing and short presentation about we will be doing that day. Our objective that was supposed to be tree planting at watershed but that time tree planting in watershed that time was prohibited, as i've heard it was regarding the illegal settlers that was sheltering around the watershed. So we had just the briefing on how to make a tree plant place in a small black bag by using a decompose and porous soil.
Bahay Punlaan
The lecture is all about environmental awareness, tree planting and nursery activity and of course some important reminders on how we could help our environment even your in work and home.
the volunteers....
Each of the volunteers has the naming rights of the trees given to us, in short we do have bantay kalikasan adoption certificate...i do really hope that by the years pass by together with my kids i'll go back to visit those's the photo opps of my name tag....^_^.
My tree name tag....^_^
The step by step process on how to plant a tree, starting on a small black bag placed together with very owned made decompose material.
lorna's photo opps while on practice...
all are in action and super active..^_^
The finished product, just waiting to be poured by water and of course our tree plant that is waiting to be buried on this decompose material.
the finished product...wahahaha...
And then we proceed outside the Bahay Punlaan for the actual tree planting session, each one of us was given 2 or more trees to be plant on those small black bags.
the trees is handed over....
Here are some of my shots while on our tree planting session....
all was active even under the scorching heat of the sun...
This trees are waiting to be transferred on there designated area in watershed.....i hope this trees will grow and be seen by my kids....^_^.
This is the overall finished product....^_^
As i've said, we did not have the chance to go to watershed, so we had another learning session called Composting and Vermiculture (Solid Waste Managmeent at Home and Office), actually most of the volunteers did not like this part specially when this thin and long earthworms are getting out of this decompose materils made of dried leaves and biodegradable materials like left over foods..etc.
the main ingredients....
do you like to hold this...have one...^_^...
After those two learning session, our last destination is the ground breaking monumental photo opps for our company together with our bosses...hehehehe...and the hand over of the Bantay Kalikasan Adoption Certificate. But after doing that our facilitator that day, do the actual tree planting on the ground, she show to all of us how to make the hole in the ground, how deep you should plant the tree, how to water it and buried again with decompose material.
our facilitator in action....^_^
It was already mid-afternoon when we finished all of the activities and have the photo opps for the group. It was quite hot day, but all of us were happy and proud to be part of this event in helping our mother nature..^_^
A Brief History about La Mesa Ecopark:

La Mesa Watershed in Quezon city is our primary source of drinking water of about 12 million Metro Manila residents. The property is owned by Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS), a government agency. This watershed is 2700 hectares, 700 hectares of which is the reservior and 2000 hectares of which is the surrounding forest. This is the only remaining forest in the Metro as of now. Due to lack of funds, illegal settling, poaching and logging, La Mesa Watershed was startted to be destroyed. In 1999, thru the efforts of ABS-CBN Foundation, created the Bantay Kalikasan, in partnership with the MWSS, undertook the Save La Mesa Watershed Project. As of now, the park continues to be a popular destination for family gatherings, outings, and picnics. Aside being used as ecopark, it has outdoor activities, to boasts of the following activities. For more informations you may visit their website.....
Ecoparks' entrance fees
the pathway to it's ecopark....
It's amenities....
For more information:
La Mesa Eco Park
La Mesa Dam Compound, Greater Lagro, Quezon City
Tel no.: 430-4051 / 430-5207 (telefax)

Hope to see this tree in the future....Lakwatserong Tatay...

Monday, December 5, 2011

Don Henrico's Pizza, Pasta and more....

by lakwatserong tatay

It's been a while since i shared my food trips, the last one i did was, when i was in Palawan. Eating in different places, turo-turo, carinderia and restaurants, is one of my favorite hobby...hehehehe...i really love to eat but sad to say i do eat only beef & pork meat, chicken and vegetables, all kinds of seafoods delicacies sorry po...i really don't know but as far as i remember i got traumatized with a fish bone stuck in my throat, maybe that's one of the reason why until now i did not eat any kind of seafoods....

So let's get back to my food trip story, last friday (Dec. 2), together with my teammates and our supervisor, we celebrated our christmas party at Don Henrico's, SM Mall of Asia branch, before we got into this place, we did have actually so many choices, were we should celebrate our christmas party, and after few weeks of battling for different restaurant, our group finally decided to go for Don Henrico's, we find this restaurant suite to our budget and we will have different food choices were each of us could choose.

We pre-ordered all what we could order for 18 persons, most of our food choices were good for 10-15 persons, of course i do have my personal choice like Dip & Nachos, Chicken Fingers, Spaghetti Meatballs, The Meat Pizza and the best seller in Don Henrico's it's Buffalo Wings.
Don Henrico's Ristorante
Here's what we ordered:

In Don Henrico's, they called this is Antipasti (means "before the meal"), a traditional first course of a formal Italian meal.

DIP and NACHOS - warm cornmeal nachos wtih creamy cheese sauce and taco sauce.
Dip & Nachos - P180.00
There's no something special with dip and nachos, but i do really like it's taco sauce, in fact we refilled it many times....hehehehe.

CHICKEN FINGERS & POTATO WEDGES - deep-fried chicken tenderloin with potato wedges as a side dish with honey mustard dressing.
Chicken Fingers & Potato Wedges - P195.00
This is one of my favorites in Don Henrico's because of it's golden and tasty brown chicken meat and add to that a common french fries, that reminds me of KFC's french fries...personally i do not really like the sauce, but to be fare enough i used the taco sauce to replace the honey mustard dressing...hehehe.

CALAMARI FRITTI - slice ring squid that is lightly battered and fried to a golden finish, served with marinara sauce.
Calamari Fritti - P175.00
As my teammates says, it just like the usual calamares that we could just find, although the breading itself add addtional taste to the squid and having an special marinara sauce, that i think it became unusual to other calamares....

BAKED MUSSELS - baked mussels in garlic butter-wine sauce topped with Bechamel and cheese.
Baked Mussels - P175.00
For this baked mussels, only two of my teammates ordered this dish and they both said, at first it taste good but the rest is just fine like getting tired of a certain food that you've eating for a while and the mussels is quite small for a serving...hehehe..

In every italian restaurant you must not missed to check out their pasta's for this time we ordered as follows:

SPAGHETTI MEATBALLS - spaghetti in tomato sauce topped with beef meatballs.
Spaghetti Meatballs - P220.00
I really love eating pasta specially meat spaghetti, but an italian type of spaghetti meatballs made me think of first to eat, because we all knew that italian type of spaghetti is quite sour, because of amount of tomatoes used as a sauce. but for this one, it's just an average italian spaghetti, the beef meatballs is not quite tasty as i expected.

TUTTO DE MARE - composed of shrimp and squid cooked in flavorful marinara sauce with added selected herbs, garlic, chili and tomatoes smothered over linguine noodles.
Tutto de Mare (Hot) - P280.00
For this seafood pasta, again two of my teammates ordered this one, they both said that it just an average type pasta, it has the right type of chili flavor and all in all they both like it.

We had also Chicken Al Pesto P240 (share) - penne pasta with fresh button mushroom, tomato, chopped garlic and garlic sliver, tossed in a cream pesto sauce, topped with deep-fried chicken breast. Actually im not a fan of eating pesto pasta, so i wasn't able to taste it, and forgot to take a picture of it....hehehe.

We also ordered one of my favorite, Pizza, and of course were in an italian restaurant, Don Henrico's offer's a wide range of pizza choices, that our group has the chance to choose of.

THE MEAT PIZZA - made of pepperoni, ham, ground beef, and italian sausage baked with pomodoro sauce and mozzarella cheese.
The Meat Pizza - P730.00
Actually i did not have the chance to get a slice of this pizza, because it's just like been blown into the wind as it was served.....hehehehe...but based from my teammate who got the chance to take slices it taste really good, btw. this is the biggest size 18 inches with 10 slices.

RUSTIC ITALIAN PIZZA - made of pepperoni, italian sausage, mushrooms, garlic sliver, onions, diced tomatoes, and mozzarella cheese baked with creamy garlic sauce.
Rustic Italian Pizza - P760.00
I did have the chance to taste it, but it was just bit because im really full that time, and have a the chance to take out a slice of short sa bahay ko tinira...

In an Italian Restaurant there is usually called Entree also called as a first course, appetizer, or starter, a dish served before the main course, or between two principal courses of a meal.
Here's what we ordered:

PAELLA VALENCIANA - a rice in tomato sauce and olive oil, together with chicken, seafood and chorizo makes it a full meal.
Paella Valenciana - P180.00
Actually im not used in eating paella's like this specially with seafoods but based from my teammates who ordered this paella, it just an average paella rice, that looks been newly mixed steamed rice that was mixed with its ingredients makes it a paella valenciana....this was just based from them...hehehehe.

CAPTAIN CRUNCH FRIED CHICKEN - tender cuts of chicken marinated with special seasoning, and cooked to golden crisp and served with gravy sauce.
Captain Crunch Fried Chicken - P720.00
Again, i did not have the chance to taste it, but as i look it, it was just like an average marinated chicken when doing it your own houses, and based from my teammates who ordered it, it just taste like the usual fried chicken, they didn't tell any comparison...hehehehe.

DON HENRICO'S BUFFALO WINGS - deep-fried tossed with Don Henrico's Buffalo sauce served with creamy ranch dipping sauce.
Don Henrico's Buffalo Wings - P720.00
This dish is my favorite in Don Henrico's specially when it served really hot, and when you tear it apart you will actually see the smoke that is freshly cooked and eat while it is hot....hehehe...
All in all, we had a full enough our stomachs and definitely we had great food choices that we shared. For total cost don't ask because it was quite pricey as we all know, this is Don Henrico's, the serving was quite good it was really depending on the dish. For the food is was average, based from my co-teammates and of course coming from me.
Will I comeback? Yes, of course to taste again my favorite Buffalo Wings and maybe to try different dishes.

Don Henrico's Ristorante
SM Mall of Asia
Ground Lvl., North Wing, Entertainment Mall, MOA, Pasay City
Tel. nos.: 556-2848; 556-2904

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

My Sidetrip: Mt. Sungay (Tagaytay's People's Park in the Sky)

Mt. Sungay (Highest Point in Tagaytay)
by lakwatserong tatay

This is one of my co-sidetrip when i visited Tagaytay last May, together with my co-tripper, Ichan, Roger, Aleli, Jheng, and Ritz. This place is known to be the highest hill in Tagaytay where you will have a good view of Manila Bay, Laguna Lake and Taal Lake. We all knew that Tagaytay is one of the famous getaway near Manila area. One of the closest option to Baguio City because of its awesome ambiance and cold temperature like.
People's Park in TH Sky signage....tsk..tsk..
This park was previously known as Palace in the Sky, built by the former President Marcos to house President Ronald Regan and his first lady for their visit in the Philippines. Unfortunately, the palace was unfinished because the Marcos regime ended and this palace is still under construction that time. Today the formless structure of the palace remained, and does story tell a part of Philippine history making it a landmark and one of the best tourist spots in Tagaytay City.
the entrance....^_^
Part of the Tagaytay Ridge, starting from west is Mt. Batulao and in the east is Mount Sungay, currently known now as People's Park in the Sky, the highest point in the province of Cavite at 709MASL. This area serves the best spot to see Taal Lake and Taal Volcano and some other picturesque spots like Manila Bay & Laguna Lake. If you and your group were lucky to get a good weather in your visit, the view here will surely give you a breathtaking experience. But most of the time, do expect thick fogs that blocking the spectacular scenery.
the walkway up to the palace....
The park entrance fee is Php15 per person. Here's a guideline post for the tourists/visitors but sad to say this was not really happening if you will happened to be here....tsk..tsk...
Guidelines in the park
The building to the front of main park area is the Shrine of Our Lady, Mother of Fair Love. The shrine was inaugurated in February 2003 in honor of Mama Mary. the top of the shrine is accesible to visitors and is good vantage point for taking photos of Taal lake and the whole Tagaytay city as the background.
The shrine of our lady mother of fair love

The Lady Mother of Fair Love
the inauguration marker
the big sculpture at top..
This one big sculpture of our Lord Jesus Christ is one of the perfect spot to view the whole town of Tagaytay, but sad to adjacent to this spot this sculpture was not been treated good enough and maintained by the government, as you can see below i could not really recognized the name of the sculpture due to vandalism/graffiti around it, even the base of statue has different vandals/graffiti around it, list of names, date and time that they visited this park and this is one of the saddest part when i used to travel seeing this kind of distraction in of one historical landmark for our country make me sometimes shamed of, aside from seeing some tourist also reacting negative why the visitors have to do this kind of activities....
Sculptured by Marcial G. Bimalo
As you arrive, do expect a palace that looks like an abandoned building. I can imagine it appearing amazing if this was only finished. You can see a mini amphi theather, a huge pond that has a bridge up on it but now currently looks like a garden. There's a shrine and a constructed satellite communication tower right beside the shrine. A dilapilated 3 storey building that only the ground area was used by souvenir shops, where at least tourist and visitors could get some souvenir items like shirts, native delicacies, house decors and furniture and wood crafts. But at least this building could be used as a roof deck viewing where the tourist could enjoy the 360 scenery of Tagaytay.
one of the umbrella shed....
this was supposed to be pond...tsk..tsk...
unfinished mini amphi theater (?)
the ground floor: souvenir stores....^_^
But even though this park really need some major maintainance, i'm still happy to see this majestic and awesome view when your in this park. Where some of the tourist, family groups and even students touring around, enjoying the cool and fresh air, and as you roamed around the park you will be impressed with the wonderful scenery of Taal Volcano from a far. In a sunny day, you will  have the chance to see the Manila Bay and Laguna Lake. This is also a good point to see the neighboring towns of Tagaytay, which offers an uplifting view of greenery of the whole place.
The subdivision view in the palace...(?)
The Taal Volcano view in the Palace in the Sky
The road up to this People's Park
Here's is one of our photo souvenir at People's Park Mini Amphi-Theater....thanks...roger...^_^.
group photo opps while were on chilax mode...^_^
How to go People's Park Tagaytay:

If you're going to Tagaytay via public transportation, ask the driver to drop you off at your destination at Tagaytay Rotonda or 7-11 Convenience Store where you can ride jeepney or tricycle to your target place/spot in Tagaytay. The cheapest way is to ride public buses that can be found in Lawton area in Manila of Pasay/ Rotonda Terminal.

People's Park in the Sky can be reached by riding jeepney from Tagaytay Market. Be warned that riding jeepney going to People's Park during weekends and holidays is not easy were you have to compete with other people, just like when you're riding a jeepney in Metro Manila...^_^....Or you may opted to choose tricycle but this may cost much bigger in your transportation cost. People's Park jeepney's also passes Picnic Grove, one of the most famous park of Tagaytay.
Lakwatserong Tatay x-plored People's Park of Tagaytay....
All in all our visit to People's Park is fine, because i really love nature, seeing those majestic landscape when your in a highest place of Tagaytay is one remarkable experience. I do hope that park administration or government of Tagaytay would renovate People's Park before i will have the chance to go back again and hopefully together with my wife and kidz....^_^.


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