A PHP26.1MM floating playground opens in Paoay Lake

Photo from IN Tourism

A resident of Paoay before moving to Laoag to live with my family in the mid-sixties, my (nanny) manang Cion had a fave story to tell me when I wouldn’t sleep at night — the folklore tale of the Paoay Lake which was about an inundated village punished for its extreme greed for wealth and material gain.

During the Marcos rule, another Malacañang Palace was built by the lake. My manang Cion had a new story to replace the story of the bejeweled tilapia and other lake creatures. Their family house was among those displaced for the rise of a palace.

Declared a national park in 1969, the serene protected area became an important bird destination for birding enthusiasts in the country. The arrival of the great cormorant in Paoay is an awaited event. I was able to attend a bird census at the lake a decade ago (story here). Only recently, the bird sanctuary as a birdwatching tourism destination was unveiled by the Department of Tourism (story here).

Last week, amid promotions for the opening of a new multimillion inflatable island project by the Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte, more fit for the beach, news of E. coli made the rounds and sparked discussions among Ilocano residents. Other than the health and safety hazards, environment protection and conservation issues, considering the status of the lake as a national park under the National Integrated Protected Areas System, is an ongoing debate among commenters on social media. In a public post on FB, local birder and staunch environmentalist, Dr. Petrus Calope commented, “Distorted sense of beauty! Is the $$$ more important than nature?”

Amid the E. coli news, the great vinyl park in a protected area opened to the public with a no swimming rule. Play at your own risk.

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Cefi & Me opens at Paseo de Paoay

Cefi & Me 25

Sunny, effervescent, refreshing — those three words enter my mind as soon as I step into Cefi & Me. The baker in Toni Carag has been unleashed and baby Cefi, the frosting to her cupcake, appears to be getting a thrill from the whirling scent of confections inside the patisserie.

Cefi & Me is situated at the corner of pristine Paseo de Paoay close by the painfully beautiful Paoay Church. (I live in Ilocos, but it feels like I am in a different world whenever I catch a glimpse of the church’s striking architecture.)

Cefi & Me 4Cefi & Me 14Cefi & Me 24Kristine Manuel and Kit Mandac had the honors to cut the ribbon.

Cefi and Me 22Cefi & Me 8Cefi & Me 9Cefi and Me 23Cefi & Me 16Cefi & Me 19Cefi & Me 11Cefi & Me CupcakesCefi & Me 10Reishan Paredes and Joanna Jimenez light up the room.

GyrosCefi & Me 13Cefi & Me 15Cefi & Me 12Cefi & Me 26How time flies, Toni and her cousin Tina’s babies! Our godson, MJ (in black), is all grown up. But I love it that Toni always calls me “manang”. The other baby in the photo below is Cooper, the cute son of Carlos and Janina Fariñas. Hihih, and Nerisa might just have given birth.

Cefi & Me 6Cefi & Me 2Cefi & Me 20I made sure I had a photo with photographer Glenn Tumaneng because he had to take my photo (at the bottom of the post). Of course, you shouldn’t believe me ‘coz the vibes of the afternoon was cheery.

Cefi & Me 21Cefi & Me 18Cefi & Me 17Cefi & Me 3Cefi & Me 1Radiant Kristine Manuel. I saw the light and I had to pressure her for this photo.

Cefi & Me Menu

Check out the interesting menu. We had gyros, penne, fresh dragonfruit and I bought cheese cupcakes. Yum! If I were not too full, I would have ordered kesong puti bun d’ sal.

I want to congratulate and wish Toni all the best in her new endeavor.

Other photos by Kit, Glenn T and Joanna
Photographed by Blauearth © Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2014

Where Sugar Is

Ant

When spontaneity hits, Chef Nic Rodriguez’s Rufino’s is our new go to for desserts. We had the Bailey’s and chocolate cakes first. For dessert, we split a Caesar salad, roast beef pita and Sunny Vigan Pizza. Hahah, I know! An instance when cakes make good appetizers. The ant sculpture just gave me the idea to make ant our totem.

Bailey's Cheesecake and Chocolate CakeCaesar Saladsunny Vigan pizza

The Sunny Vigan Pizza is not for everyone. It has egg in the middle, and normally Vigan longaniza has that quirky smell. The ham bits add a salty kick. It makes a savory breakfast food.

You can’t go wrong with their Caesar salad, one of the best in Ilocos. I already did a post on the roast beef pita a couple of months back. It’s like shawarma with ranch dressing.

I like the cafe’s ambiance better at night. Even the well-lit Paoay Church photographs so well.

Roast Beef PitaRufino'sEugenePicture 436Window ViewPaoay ChurchPaoay doorStone WallThat sucks! Who does that to a UNESCO World Heritage Site?LaoagLaoag by night..

Photographed by Blauearth © Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2014