MYOH 2015: An Aloha state of mind

UntitledPalm trees, hibiscus flowers, fresh fruits, seashells, blues, splashes of white, sandy shores and Havaianas.

Havaianas 10 Years of MYOH

Did you know that Havaianas was inspired by the Hawaiians and their hang loose culture? To celebrate the 10th year of Make Your Own Havaianas, our favorite flip-flop brand is all set for the biggest customization ever. It’s a nationwide luau celebration from May 7th to the 10th! Flash the shaka! In Ilocos, Robinsons Ilocos Norte Activity Center will be echoing the warm air of Aloha Hawaii. Aloha hula girls, ukeleles, tikis and pineapples!

MYOH 2015MYOH 2015MYOH 2015MYOH 2015MYOH 2015 - Ilocos

© Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2015

FoodPrints with Sandy Daza: From the cobbled streets of Vigan to the back road of Ilocos Sur

FoodPrints Ilocos Sur

If you will remember, Chef Sandy Daza began his FoodPrints journey in Ilocos Norte. On Season 3, he goes to neighboring Ilocos Sur to dig deeper into the humble Ilocano “banga”.

Casa CaridadLocal Flavors of Ilocos Sur

Ilocos Sur has a truly interesting history. Many say the province throws back the entire history of the country because it has done a splendid job in preserving heritage.

The province’s cuisine is a fusion of ancient native and adopted traditions. To narrow it down, the Vigan cuisine alone is alone in many ways. The Vigan empanada and pipian, for example, are all theirs.

From storied Vigan, Sandy goes further to search the best bagnet and discovers “chicharon” and so much more along the road.

Vigan Bagnet

Tune in to FoodPrints on the Lifestyle Network on May 17 and May 24 (Sundays), 8PM, for the Ilocos Sur episodes. Sabsabali!

You might spot me there:)

Vigan Empanada and OkoyFoodPrints Ilocos Sur with Chef Sandy Daza (photo with Edmaration)Bistro 23Chef Sandy and Sta. Maria ChicharonDardarat Fishing VillageBounties of the SeaSandy Daza makes balicuchaVigan TortaBungro Ice CreamRoyal BibingkaPaella NegraDudolAbuos Pizza by Chef Nic RodriguezWho else can think of making abuos pizza?

Photo 6 by Edmar Guquib
Photographed by Blauearth © Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2015

The Portabaga Falls Park and Resort


From Balaoi, Pagudpud, we went farther north to visit Portabaga Falls in the charming, verdant little town of Sta. Praxedes, the first town of Cagayan if you are entering from Ilocos Norte. It’s May weather hot all over. Caught Mayor Esther Aguinaldo before the huge TV, awaiting the fight of the century (as of this writing, we all know what happened next).

Portabaga Falls Park and ResortPortabaga Falls

The water cascading to a mix of adult and kiddie-friendly catch pools is cool, fresh spring water. She explains that the pools are emptied at the end of the day, but the water doesn’t go to waste as it is used to nourish farmlands. Through diligence and support of benefactors, the nature park has prospered with additional facilities, particularly comfortable family, standard and dormitory-type accommodations, a spacious function hall and more shaded areas, and is projected to boost tourism in her town. It’s wonderful to know that trekking to the forested environs is another activity being offered by the local government-managed park and resort.

Here’s a video of the waterfall (taken during cooler months I assume), which I found on the net.

Portabaga spring water poolsSta. Praxedes OTOP

Woven sarakat aka pandan products are the town’s OTOP. Leehua bought herself a chicified bayong. Love it in a mix of summer orange. The town is also a producer of dried gamet (Porphyia.sp) or local nori. A great idea, the Sta. Praxedes Gamet Gatherers and Vendors Association pack them with accompanying indigenous recipes.

The town celebrates the annual Sarakat Festival starting middle of May. Hope to be able to go and explore more of Pagudpud’s neighbor, Sta Praxedes.

SarakatPortabaga Falls Facilities
Photographed by Blauearth © Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2015

Sunshine. Moonlight.


Took the weekend off with Leehua to Casa Consuelo at the low-key end of Balaoi, Pagudpud.

IndigenousThe Pink of SummerSolid as RockReefSea SnakePagudpudCatchDos HermanosPalm TreeBlue Lagoon from a distanceFull MoonEvening ComesNoisy Silence
Photos of author by Leehua Lu, Richard Tamayo and Alvin
Photographed by Blauearth © Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2015