Bataan: Turtle Releasing Program at Pawikan Conservation Centre in Morong

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Pawikan Conservation Centre in Morong Bataan

From Pilar to Orani to Morong, we went on a scenic drive to reach to the other side of Bataan to visit the Pawikan Conservation Center, a humble but important sanctuary.

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Bataan: Vista Tala Resort & Recreational Park

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Continuing from my last blog post, I'll share here about our experience at

VISTA TALA RESORT AND RECREATIONAL PARK

Vista Tala Resort and Recreational Park

After our sumptuous dinner at Ima Floras Pamangan, we drove up to Orani and checked in at Vista Tala Resort & Recreation Park at Barangay Tala. This mountain resort is perched at the top of the mountain with an incredible vista of what seems to me is part of Manila Bay if I am not mistaken and Mt. Natib with luscious vegetation.

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Bataan: Mt. Samat l Dunsulan Falls l Ima Floras Pamangan

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There's some sort of a running joke now in the family, we call it the B series.

Mt. Samat National Shrine Pilar Bataan

Our first family road trip was in the Bicol region (located at the southernmost part of Luzon). I previously shared our story here and here if you'd like to read them. For our annual vacation in December last 2018, we visited Bataan, also known as the home of the brave 

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Lechon Pork Belly Roll

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Here's my take on the Crispy Crackling Pork with Herb Rice Stuffing by Marion Grasby. We Pinoys call it Lechon (Roasted Pork Belly).

To be honest, I feel intimidated to cook Lechon when everybody else was doing it and even making a business out of it. True story. Some have turned their love for cooking Lechon into a business while I'm scared that I wouldn't be able to give justice to this special-occasion-show-stopper-dish so I never tried cooking it. I just enjoyed eating it when friends brought it to potlucks. Not until the husband asked me if I can cook it for our 2019 Christmas dinner.

Determined to please the family, I searched for the best roast pork recipe online. I found Marion Grasby's Crispy Crackling Pork with Herb Rice Stuffing on Facebook. It looked beautiful and festive. I thought it is the perfect recipe for me. So I followed her instructions and the result is wonderful

presenting...

Lechon Pork Belly
Click on the photo to enlarge
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Camping in Hatta Dubai

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Hatta is a town in the UAE located in the foothills of the Hajar Mountains. It is an exclave of Dubai and is located about an hour and a half from the city center. It is separated from the main part of the emirate by Sharjah (which is part of the UAE), and Oman. It is the town Emiratis escape to in respite from the heat in the city during summer.

I thought I would never be able to visit Hatta. Every time we plan to go, there's always some hold up. I'm glad we finally visited and actually camped out there for real.

The main reason we are drawn to Hatta is because of this jewel.

The Hatta Dam

Hatta Dam

*please click on the image to enlarge
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Camping at Jebel Jais, Ras Al Khaimah

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We started the camping season in UAE this year on a high note. We went back up to the spectacular Hajar Mountains in Ras Al Khaimah and camped at 1,934 m above sea level, with temperatures 10 degrees colder than the city's heat and a hundred times better than your camping gig (lol)

I am just messing around with you guys. I know that anywhere you camp out here in the UAE is way cooler than just staying indoors. If you like camping and outdoor adventures, it is time.
It was just me and Ferald, no kids. It's our alone time together. Ferald and I always try to make it a point to go out from time to time without the kids. It's a way of refreshing our bond as husband and wife.

Plus, isn't it so nice to wake up next to your special someone in weather like this up in the mountains?


For those who are not aware, Jebel Jais is a mountain of the North-Western Hajar range in Ras Al Khaimah, United Arab Emirates and also in the Musandam Governorate of Oman. It is one of our favorite camping spots come wintertime.

The last time that we were here, we left Dubai early morning with our friends just to catch the sunrise. This time we set up camp for overnight camping armed with all necessities.

Grilling is allowed at the campsite as long as you keep it off the ground. Authorities patrol the area and check out on campers from time to time. There are bins for used coals if you need to throw them out.


Ferald and I spent the night chatting just about anything over coffee and grilled sausages (aka Purefoods chicken cheese hotdog) and meat (aka inihaw na liempo) under a stary night sky.


We went to bed and had at least 2-3 hours of sleep. Even then, I had a heavy contented sleep. Unfortunately, some campers on the same campsite were up all night playing cards that kept Ferald mainly, awake.


I made coffee for him and myself


and cooked some breakfast while the morning awakes and the mountain that surrounds us is flooded with sunlight.




We enjoyed our meal basking in the sunshine while entertaining a few guests who came to say hi.


These mountain goats seemed used to people, they're not afraid to come close. When they had their fair share of our strawberries, they move on to the next camper

We finished our food and pack up. Drove up a little higher to see the newly built Jebal Jais Viewing Deck. The entrance fee is 5 dirhams for 2 hours


It has twelve binoculars overlooking superb vistas of the Hajar Mountain valleys





and the Arabian Gulf






Just before leaving, we saw a group of hikers starting their trek. Something Ferald and I thought of doing soon.


UAE has plenty of nice camping areas. If you come back, I'll share some more soon. What about you, where is your favorite camping spot in UAE?
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Eat, Explore, Play, & Shop at Singapore's Changi Airport

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Eat, Explore, Play, & Shop at Singapore's Changi Airport

I was never excited about airport layovers. From my previous experience, it meant boredom and long waiting hours. But that's not true anymore in our most recent travel, not with Singapore's Changi Airport.

The four hours we spent at Changi Aiport last January (2019) was the most entertaining airport stopover we've done so far.

*If you are traveling and transiting in Singapore from now onward, continue reading until the end to know a secret.
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