Thursday PM at Paoay Church, Stone House Cafe and Tayamen’s

A glimpse of Paoay Church

It’s mid-summer in the Philippines… the height of the Ilocos heat, but what the heck, I wrapped my head in my Red Dot silk scarf and cajoled Alexa to go with me to Paoay. Although I’ve posted photos of Paoay Church a few times, I realized I’ve never shot the inside except for a casual midnight mass 2 Christmases ago.

We parked by the Herencia Plaza and checked out the souvenir shops. At Nazarene, I got beautiful, colorful summer cotton scarves — one in tie-dyed rainbow and another large one in vibrant tribal print I intend to wear as a sarong. Alex and I each got a Sagada friendship bracelet. I also picked a cute bamboo ear reliever:)  All in all, we spent 400 pesos, which means, we still had 100 pesos (a little more than 2 US dollars) for merienda.

A rainbow of scarvesAlexandraPrintscolors of friendshipdainty crochetIlocos garlic

The nearby Strasburg Coffee serving fine blends

Paoay Church

The Paoay Church aka St. Augustine Church is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  It is one of the Philippines’ most beautiful churches. In earthquake Baroque style, surprisingly, it’s made of coral stones, bricks, egg whites and lime. Construction of the church was started by the Augustinian friars in 1694 and was completed and re-dedicated in 1894 during the Spanish era..

I honestly don’t like the newly installed official marker. For photographers, it is a serious annoyance. I like a clean view of the church and the bell tower with just the foliage enhancing the gorgeous panorama. More often than not, less is more.

Bell Tower and ButtressesTo churchAngel of Holy WaterConfessional BoxPrayersJesus in Stained GlassInto Paoay Churchthe young once and the young onesAt a glance...yellow bellsUnhurried Thursday

I guess Stone House Cafe (by the Airport Road in Laoag) doesn’t like Alexa. The door was open, but no one would welcome us. A little better than last time.  A nice thing, though, ‘coz our remaining 100 pesos won’t be even enough for two cake slices perhaps.

The colors inside were so refreshing that we took photos of each other. I promised Alex to take her some other time.

white wallscute guinea pigSOOC Portrait

We hopped to Tayamen’s, where surely, we can relax and eat fishballs, kikiam and isaw (barbecued pork intestines) to our heart’s delight. Tiong and Tiang were cool as ever serving street food (outside the streets) to their well-dressed and hip patrons. Mind you, the no-frills Tayamen’s is always full. We paid a sick 92 pesos for our 4 sticks of isaw, and 4 servings of fishballs and kikiam plus ice cold soda. A filling Thursday jaunt;)

Kikiam at IsawFishballs and Sukang Iloco with Sili
[Tip: Better eaten with well-aged sukang Iloco (vinegar) and sili (chili).]Barbecued Pork Intestines aka Isaw

Photographed by Alexa and BlauEarth
© Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2012

The warmth of tropical living in Casa Consuelo

For the longest time, my good friend Leehua has been inviting me to this place (in Pagudpud) called Casa Consuelo. She’s also a very busy person, so it was hard scheduling this staycation. While I was absolutely clueless about the casa, I packed my bag and when she picked  me up at my home, I also didn’t know we were bringing along her friend Vivian… three’s company:)

The biggest surprise of all — Casa Consuelo is located right infront of Dos Hermanos near the end of the road going to Blue Lagoon. I got stoked while we were still entering the gate, I kept on thanking Leehua. Omg, and another surprise! The casa is owned by Armi Tamayo, an old friend who also happens to be an old friend of my mom. Richard, who’s the manager, took good care of us while the mom is still in Laoag. Soon after showing me around, he got us to trek to this idyllic hill overlooking the Blue Lagoon. The setting sun made the mood all the more dramatic.

The beachTropical Living at Casa ConsueloDos HermanosSky HighBlue LagoonDreamy Beach Mood

We stayed at the main casa, the Casa Consuelo, which has 4 beds, a daybed, no air-conditioning, but still the best “room” ever, promise!

“We give you your own space,” answers Richard when I asked him what sets Casa Consuelo apart. By the way, it’s not a resort, but a homestay. And it’s the best ever homestay in the Blue Lagoon area, spot on! I felt like we were the only people on a secluded island.  I congratulated him for having a most ideal location.

We had delicious homestyle gamet (nori) omelet, poque-poque and bagnet for dinner before strolling to the neighboring big resort under the pale moon light, hahah, like hopping to the island city with bright lights.

Back to our dim-litted little casa… took a nice hot shower before curling up in bed. The sound of the ocean was my Celtic harp music for the night.

I divided this feature into two parts. With a gorgeous place like Casa Consuelo, one can become shutter happy. Here is waking up to a breathtaking sunrise in Casa Consuelo.

Casa Consuelo (island reef) Sitio Baniaran, Brgy. Balaoi, Pagudpud Contact: Landline (077) 607-08-84 (077) 676-17-35 CP +639189590757/+639189905385/+639175541860 Check their page on Facebook.

Photographed by Blauearth © Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2012

Going Places…Bantayan Island, Cebu

Ericke did it again. She goes with the cousins to Cebu to have a swell time. While frolicking on the sands of Bantayan Island, a photography crew tries to talk her into modeling for one of the new resorts. I think it’s for Anika’s promo materials. She looks typically Asian, she’s a real tourist, and she’d be shot with tall Swiss girls, “not sleazy” as she says, so there, she’s an accidental model in Cebu. BTW, she says that the hotel is green as in eco-friendly, sustainable:)) They gifted her with a free overnight stay certificate.

I don’t remember how many times I’ve been to the southern city. What can’t escape me is — we chose Cebu as our destination when the hubby and I eloped for the third and last time before my extrastrict mother finally gave her blessings. (Hello, mom!)

There’s so much history at the chapel (in downtown Cebu) housing the Magellan’s Cross. 1521, Ferdinand Magellan discovered the Philippines.

My favorite eating place in Cebu! I think I’ve blogged about AA BBQ in a very old post. The first time my friend brought us to the barbecue-han, we loved it so much, especially with puso (steamed rice wrapped in leaves) and tomato and sili in soy and suka island sawsawan (dip that’s even better than sinamak), that we had to go back the next day via a rented car:)

What we didn’t have was the baked scallops that she was raving about. Jeez, they look mouthwatering!

So jealous. No one goes to Cebu without pigging out on Zubuchon "best pig ever!" -- Anthony Bourdain's "best pig ever!"

She says -- the Zubuchon kamias shake is something one should explore.

I’m absolutely missing out on Cebu’s gastronomic treasures! And, of course, Bantayan Island, which I have yet  to explore.

His and hers Sinulog Festival  tees, otap, 7D dried mango and Mangorind pasalubong from Martine and Ericke. (Thanks!)

Bantayan Island and AA BBQ photos by Samantha Co, and Cebu and Zubuchon photos by Surprisingly Kitsch. Bottom photo by Blauearth.
© Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2012