Anyhoo, point is, I was having a conversation with my family over a video call when I was on a trip, and I told them that I’m not gonna stop traveling. My Mom smiled and whispered, “Patay, hindi na talaga mag-aasawa” (“Oh dear, she’s definitely not planning on getting married”), which I heard. I responded by saying, “Yes, Ma, I’ll just buy a cat.”
Mom tried to argue with me that having a cat is the same with having a baby, because you have to feed it, bathe it, and take care of it. Then I said,
But Ma, you don’t need to send cats to school!
Mom burst into laughter, but refused to say she agreed. But I know she did.
Perhaps he does not have an idea how much the minimum wage is in different countries, especially in the developing world. Perhaps he does not have an idea how much it costs to raise a kid. Perhaps he does not have an idea that education is becoming more and more expensive. Sometimes, couples who opt not to raise kids are not necessarily selfish, they could be in fact selfless because they chose to save a potential life to experience all the crap happening in this world.
I had the chance to do a mini-hike at Mount Maculot and take photos using a GE X500 Digital Camera. As you can see, the photos produce a film-like effect but usually bulges in the middle, especially if a shot is close-up. The photos were post-processed using the M6 filter of VSCO. Also, don’t forget to check out the rest of my photos at my VSCO portfolio. Enjoy!
SNAPSHOTS: ASIA Trailer
SNAPSHOTS: ASIA PHOTO ESSAY #20: A MORNING AT MOUNT MACULOT (PIN IT! )
Are you on a trip down south and looking for unusual places to visit? Check out Magdalena Laguna Tourist Spots to satisfy your wanderlust!
Magdalena is a very quaint, unassuming town in Laguna that is not your typical tourist destination. Laguna has a lot of municipalities, but given the more popular ones such as Liliw and Nagcarlan, Magdalena might not be on the top of your mind.
Apparently, like any other small towns with hidden gems that remained unexplored, Magdalena unknowingly also has a lot to offer to tourists. In fact, it is the hometown of Emilio Jacinto, a Filipino hero who led and fought with the Battle of Maimpis during the Spanish Colonization Period in the Philippines.
Magdalena is also known to have been the filming locations of several local movies. According to the actors who experienced filming scenes in Magdalena, there will be almost no one among the locals who would flock and watch the filming activities. Locals would just continue with their usual business despite the presence of entertainment personalities. Given that, it has also inspired several recent TV shows and films to choose Magdalena as their filming location. Among the popular films that are shot here is Heneral Luna.
Magdalena is a 5th class municipality (hence the very small town vibe), and it was formerly part of the town of Majayjay, until it was separated to become a standalone town initially named “Magdalena de Ambling”.
So without further ado, listed below are some of the “hidden gems” you can visit during your trip to Magdalena, Laguna:
This beautiful parish church was one of the remnants of the Spanish Colonial Period in the Philippines, hence the architectural features. It was named after their patron saint, St. Mary Magdalene, the heroin of love. This is obviously where the town got its name.
The whole structure of the church might look like any other stone-built Spanish colonial church in other parts of the Philippines, but Magdalena Church has its own unique type of charm. The bell tower looks magnificent, and climbing up here is worth experiencing.
Magdalena Municipal Hall
The facade of Magdalena Municipal hall signifies how elegant the structures way back in time and it also signifies how Magdalena was able to preserve the building’s original beauty, when most municipal and city halls have been replacing their buildings with modern ones.
Bahay Laguna is a museum in Magdalena which houses memorabilias belonging to former Governor Felicisimo T. San Luis, who was also known as “The Living Legend of Laguna”.
Emilio Jacinto Shrine
Located inside the Magdalena Church, this shrine houses the bloodstained bolo and hat of General Emilio Jacinto when he fought the Battle of Maimpis.
The bamboo industry has a big contribution to the livelihood and local economy of Magdalena, hence the town celebrates the annual Kawayan Festival.
In Magdalena Park, you will find the “Walk of Fame” and the Marvel Heroes Statue, because this part of the province is also known as “The Little Hollywood of Laguna” because of its role in the film industry.
Jose Rizal and Emilio Jacinto Statues
Just right by the Magdalena Church, you will see a statue honoring Emilio Jacinto and another statue honoring the National Hero of the Philippines who is a native of Calamba, Laguna, Jose Rizal.
Agarao Bridge connects one part of the town to another separated by the Balanac River. It looks like a typical suspension bridge that you can find in other provinces, but this one provides a nice view of the Balanac River. It just needs to be repaired, though.
White Water River Rafting
The Balanac River has currents that are perfect for river rafting, and in fact, the river rafting activity in Magdalena is gaining popularity among tourists from outside the town. The river rafting activity will be a fun 3-kilometer experience.
Balanac River Irrigation Dam
This irrigation dam has been a popular diving site for adventurous locals in Magdalena. Most of the time you will find boys having fun at this place.
Kart for Rent
There are Mario Kart-type rides which you can rent for Php20 per hour to drive around the premises of the municipal hall.
At the end of the day, you can choose to relax by this part of Magdalena Park where beautiful artificial flowers are lit.
MAGDALENA LAGUNA TOURIST SPOTS: Your recommendations are welcome! 🙂
There you have it! Please let me know if I have to add something to add to this list of Magdalena Laguna tourist spots by sliding a DM to my Instagram account @wheressherlyn. Happy travels to Magdalena and enjoy!
HOW TO GET TO MAGDALENA, LAGUNA
From Manila, ride a bus going to Santa Cruz, Laguna. From Santa Cruz, ride a jeepney bound for Magdalena.
WHERE TO STAY IN LAGUNA, PHILIPPINES
You can check available accommodations in Laguna via agoda.com
Tagaytay City is a popular weekend getaway especially to those who are from Manila because it is only 1-2 hours away from the city. The view of Taal Lake and the cold weather give the visitors a relaxing experience. Tagaytay City is also known to have so many restaurants and coffee shops that offer a nice ambiance and yummy food at the same time.
In my journey to constantly search for Instagram-worthy places in this planet, I have stumbled upon this cute country home-themed restaurant in Tagaytay City owned by actress Jolina Magdangal: Memory Lane Country Diner.
The ambiance will give you a typical American country home vibe. The interiors are retro-inspired. Very beautiful!
They also have a gift shop just beside the restaurant. I actually found some butterfly barette. So Jolina and so 90s!
Want to know how the bathroom looks like? Still, retro-inspired.
So, what did I order?
I only ordered dessert since I have eaten my lunch somewhere else. I ordered the American Halo-Halo which contains corn flakes, marshmallows, whip cream, and fruit cocktail. This is different with a typical Filipino halo-halo which contains crushed ice.
I must say, the place is really stunning inside out.
I have always admired the hustle of Calamba City in Laguna. It’s a huge city with almost everything — historical sites, resorts, restaurants, offices, malls, name it. Anyone would choose to live here will definitely have everything they are looking for. In my case, since I frequently go to Calamba City, I am always in the hunt for local coffee shops, restaurants with unique food, and places to chill and work with my laptop. Since I have so many relatives living in Calamba City, I asked one of my cousins what her favorite restaurant/coffee shop is, and she took me to a very amazing place named OJ’s Brew.
OJ’S BREW: OVERALL AMBIANCE
OJ’s Brew looks very simple and unassuming from the outside. It looks like a well-lit house. They also have parking spots in front, so you don’t need to worry about your cars.
The overall interior design of OJ’s Brew is plain but beautiful. I really love the travel-themed interior of this place. One side of the wall has clocks showing the time in selected cities and I love the passport stamp design of the counter.
This side of OJ’s Brew has a nice wall design showing a world map and some major landmarks around the world such as the Big Ben, Taj Mahal, and Leaning Tower of Pisa. Love it! They also have a reading corner with books.
OJ’s Brew also lends board games which you can use while dining in. You just have to deposit your ID to borrow them.
OJ’S BREW MENU
From the outside, the facade does not show that OJ’s Brew’s interior is travel-themed, but this chalkboard giving an overview of the menu shows otherwise.
Below is the menu of OJ’s Brew. The menu is so overwhelming and it’s really hard to choose which ones to eat because we want to order almost everything. 🙂 They have finger food, appetizers, pasta, rice meals, sandwiches, wraps, breakfast meals, and burgers.
They also have a vast selection of drinks, including their specialty coffee.
OJ’S BREW FOOD: OUR ORDER
I dined in at OJ’s Brew with my cousin, my sister, and my niece. We ordered the following yummy food:
FRIES ON-THE-GO: OVERLOAD FRIES (Php100)
Overload fries has ground beef, cheese, and other dips. This is a must-order while waiting for your other orders.
NACHOS ON-THE-GO: PIZZA NACHOS (Php150)
This was recommended by my cousin because she said it’s really good. I haven’t tried any pizza nachos in the past so we gave it a try, and it’s really yummy. Oh, it has pineapples. Yum!
ROADTRIP SANDWICHES: CHICKEN SANDWICH (Php90)
I was told that all the bread served at OJ’s Brew are home-baked and therefore explains why they are yummy! This chicken sandwich is good!
COUNTRY PASTA: FETTUCCINE ALFREDO (Php130)
My favorite among all the food we ordered! The pasta was perfectly cooked, and the sauce was very delicious.
COUNTRY PASTA: CHICKEN PESTO (Php130)
I love how they put just enough olive oil in my pasta, and I could smell the Parmesan cheese and garlic as I eat this pesto. Perfect!
ALL-DAY BREKKY: LECHONSILOG (Php120)
This deep-fried lechon really goes well with their home-made achara. You can have the egg cooked in any way you want. Just request them to the staff. 🙂
TRAVEL RICE BOWLS: OJ’S BIBIMBAP (Php135)
Anyone up with some Korean rice bowl? Try this bibimbap and you’re going to enjoy it.
BLENDED DRINKS: STRAWBERRY SMOOTHIE (Php120)
You know what I love about this drink? This is 100% legit strawberry.
BLENDED DRINKS: SIGNATURE RED VELVET (Php150)
I love how this blended red velvet is not too sweet and the whipped cream makes the taste better.
DESSERT: BLUEBERRY CHEESECAKE (Php99)
According to my cousin, OJ’s Brew Cheesecake tastes better than Starbucks, and the cheesecake lover in me can’t help but try this to know for myself if it indeed tastes good. We ordered not one, but two blueberry cheesecake slices! It was really good and moist, and I could confirm that this is better than Starbucks cheesecake, and definitely waaay cheaper!
We had a really fun dining experience at OJ’s Brew Calamba, and we were very full because the food was really good and the servings were big. I also love how the staff of OJ’s Brew were very pleasant and accommodating. The ambiance of the restaurant allowed us to comfortably bond and exchange stories with one another. I’m definitely going back to OJ’s Brew when I go back to Calamba to try the menu items I haven’t tried yet, especially their specialty coffee. I was told that at OJ’s Brew, everything gets better with coffee. 😀
Considering a quick weekend getaway outside Metro Manila? Here are Calamba Laguna tourist spots that you should check out!
Calamba, Laguna is considered as one of the busiest cities in the CALABARZON region because aside from it is a center of commerce, there are a lot of reasons to travel to the city. Calamba Laguna has a lot of tourist spots, including the hot spring resorts in Barangay Pansol, which are popular among locals but not from outside the region. Calamba Laguna tourist spots are very underrated and unheard of. However, recently, it has becoming one of the nearby road trip destinations of tourists going outside of Metro Manila because of its proximity and accessibility from the country’s National Capital Region.
Hence, it is only fair to give them a little exposure. It is also the gateway to the other parts of Laguna province. A lot of my relatives from the father side live in Laguna, so I go here frequently since I was a little girl but I never had the chance to actually tour around.
I tried going around Calamba to see its tourist spots and it feels weird to be treated as a tourist in this very familiar place. I just needed to give this city a justice, because as a travel blogger, I always take for granted all the places that are within my reach.
Considering that the city is only more than an hour away from Manila, I highly recommend that you check out what the city has to offer. Here are my list of the top three spots you should check out if you happen to travel to Calamba City, Laguna:
CALAMBA LAGUNA TOURIST SPOTS
Rizal Shrine is the birthplace of the National Hero of the Philippines, Dr. Jose Rizal. The house resembles a typical stone house by a middle-class family during the Spanish Colonial Period. Upon visiting this, you will learn not only about the life of Dr. Jose Rizal but also the situation of the Philippines during the Spanish colonization. It is located along Mercado and Rizal Streets.
Just near the Rizal Shrine is the Calamba Claypot. Also known as the Calambanga (Calamba + “banga” or claypot) or Calamba Jar, it is believed to be the largest claypot in the world. It was constructed to immortalize how the city got its name.
Just near the Rizal Shrine and the Calamba Claypot is the St. John the Baptist Parish Church or the Calamba Church. It was known as the christening spot of Dr. Jose Rizal.
Where to Eat in Calamba, Laguna: OJ’s Brew
OJ’s Brew Calamba is my favorite go-to restaurant in the city. Aside from its quiet but accessible location, you can practically find almost all types of usual food items that you desire — from sandwiches to pasta to dessert. Oh, this restaurant is also travel-themed!