All posts by Elrap Master

Treasures of Bolinao

Bolinao is well-known for its pristine beaches, fresh seafood, enchanting caves, and its lighthouse. It may not seem popular for people who aren’t from the Philippines , so it would be a good idea to experience its perfect beauty before it gets crowded and trampled on! Knock on wood on the trampling!
bolinao1One of the best places to visit is the Cape Bolinao Lighthouse which is located at Patar, Bolinao. It rises 351 feet above sea level in the top of Punta Piedra Point, a towering hill of solid rock which is the sharp point of Cape Bolinao itself. It was constructed by the American, British, and Filipino engineers in 1903 on a 351 feet high point at the western area of Cape Bolinao. The lighthouse still sends signals to vessels passing by the area. This is a recommended place to catch the sunset.

bolinao2Enchanted cave – the place completely justifies its name. You will come to recognize it if you plunge yourself in its crystal clear water. It is so pure and captivating and has the power to refresh your soul. Enchanted Cave is one of the must visit attractions of Bolinao. The entire place is truly enchanted since it is a huge coral reef that emerged from underwater.The coral remains, evidence that the beachhead of Bolinao extended almost a kilometer from the current beach line. The cave, on the other hand, was a product of nature’s peculiar tricks. From walls of coral stones, we descended into a labyrinth of corals and limestone walls.

bolinao3Swim and dive at Bolinao Falls, This also ranks as one of the best places in Bolinao as it has a large area to swim and a 15 feet high main waterfall and another which was about 20 to 25 feet high. The surrounding trees and the fine clean waters unite to create a green colored water with shades of blue. The water is so clear that you can see rocks at the bottom.

bolinao4From the white sand to the rock formations, the best view of Bolinao is just in front of the coast. It is truly amazing! The stunning view extends to about 20 kilometers of rocky formations on the left end. It is still unknown to many, so go see this natural wonder. Bragging its clashing features of rock formations and its elegant stretch of white sand beach on opposite ends, it can awe just about anyone!!

In contrast to other famous tourist destinations in the Philippines though, where you can easily spot a number of bars, restaurants, cafés, and fast food chains, the establishments in Pangasinan, where Bolinao is located, are quite limited. So if you have your own ride, make sure to shop for your needs prior to taking the trip. Enjoy!!!

Of Great Heights and Amazing Views: Baler’s Paradise

view from lighthouse - retrieved from thedriveandgrind.wordpress
If you are looking for the best place to retire here in the tropical islands of the Philippines, then Baler, Aurora may be the perfect place for you! This small town has been featured in numerous shows and publications as well as visited by a lot of notable personalities both from here and abroad. Baler is known for being the last stronghold of the remaining Spanish forces in the country during the Philippine Revolution and Spanish-American War. The Spaniards took shelter at the Baler Catholic Church as its last show of resistance but eventually surrendered, finally ending the 300 dark years of Spanish rule in the country.Aside from this historical siege, Baler also prides itself for its one of a kind geographic formations, breathtaking views, rich culture and tradition, as well as its very hospitable locals.Retiring in the Philippines, especially in the simple town of Baler, will undeniably give you that peace, comfort, and adventure that you are yearning for.

Dubbed as “the birthplace of Philippine surfing,” Baler has the splendid Sabang Beach that is a perfect spot to learn how to ride the waves. It can get up to a towering nine feet in height which greatly attracts surfers from across the globe during the surfing season from September to February. Aside from these huge waves to ride, Sabang Beach is also the best place to have some ‘vitamin sea’ – feel the warmth of fine sand under your feet, enjoy the cool Baler breeze, soak up some sun, and enjoy the beauty of the ocean this side of the world.

You can also reconnect more with nature while you venture on a hike up to Baler’s Lighthouse. If you want more adventure than just sunbathing on the beach or surfing the waves, then hiking is definitely for you. Baler’s Lighthouse, popularly known as Parola, is one of the newest tourist spots in town. It is found along the line of the impressive Diguisit Rock Formations which you will reach after a 15 to 20 minute mountain climbing. The path is very steep and slippery after a rain, but you can already see a stunning view of the ocean as well as Baler’s shoreline halfway through the hike. It may be a challenging adventure but it absolutely pays off when you get to the top of the lighthouse where you get a superb 360-degree view of the seascape!

If you prefer biking over surfing or hiking, then you can enjoy the way to Baler’s PAGASA Weather Station. Located at the hilltop of Barangay Zabali, you are going to have to bike quite a lot up to this area that is around 178 meters above sea level. This is a very popular destination for bikers because who would not want to enjoy an incredible view after a very exciting and adrenaline-inducing activity? Just like at the lighthouse, what you see from this hilltop is breathtaking! You will be taken aback with how spectacular the view is – you breathe in fresh air to catch up with all the exhaustion, cool down with the refreshing light breeze, and marvel at the beauty of nature.

Being situated along the Philippine east coast, you can expect that most of the wonderful spots in Baler have jaw-dropping views of the serene and sparkling bodies of water.Just remember that these are only some of the places you can check . Baler has plenty more to offer than just unforgettable views! If you are looking into a low cost retirement in the Philippines, you can be at ease in Baler, living a peaceful life with the ever friendly Baleriano. People in Baler help each other in every way they can, coming from a very collectivistic culture. Filipino people in general, greatly value relationships with their family, friends, and other people. You will not have a hard time adjusting to your new environment. There are other expatriate retirees who live comfortably well in Baler, who can give you tips on how to cope. Moreover, you will not have to spend much in moving and living here from your home country.

Baler is just a small and simple provincial town in Aurora. It may not seem like much but it is a worthy place to settle in when it comes to retiring in the Philippines. It may not have all the luxurious things you find in a city but when it comes to humble and quiet living, Baler can be the perfect place for you.
view from pag-asa - retrieved from tupanggala

The Filipino Culture: Love for Food and Family

For the last few years, the Philippines has often been highlighted as a must-go-to destination for a perfect tropical paradise vacation. With its 7,107 islands (and counting), there are a lot of different islands to visit that are just the epitome of the perfect beach holiday. With the natural, geographical barriers of the country (the separation of islands), you’ll experience a variety of different cultures, no matter which part of the country you decide to visit. And with these different cultures and traditions, specific characteristics of the Filipino people stand out – characteristics that makes anyone who has visited or lived in the country fall in love with it in an instant.

There are so many different aspects of the culture in the Philippines that can just steal your heart in a beat. First of all, a culture that revolves traditions and morals around the love for food is a culture no one can resist. In the Philippines, this is evident – anywhere you go, with anyone you meet. By simply entering someone’s home, you will always and automatically be offered a meal or a snack. Every occasion calls for the celebration of food and the gratitude one has for its abundance. This love for food has built a food culture that revolves around many Filipino adaptations of different cuisines. And this means that the variety of tastes found in the food culture in the Philippines is one you can’t beat. The love for food is contagious.

There is always this conservative romance that can be felt anywhere in the Philippines. Family is valued with utmost importance. This love is often reflected in many cultural traits of the country. The love of family can be seen through the generosity and kindness of the Filipinos not just to their own but to anyone that they welcome into their home. There’s plenty of care, kindness, and hospitality that’s spread around. This romance is felt through the famous hospitable nature of the Filipino culture, a romance that’s so easy to fall in love with.

To find a culture that celebrates giving love through the hardships of life, generosity despite scarcity, and kindness in a world of cruelty, there’s just so much to love about the culture in the tropical paradise we call the Philippines. Discover the country of hospitality and fall in love with everything this great country offers!

The Secret of Ganduyan: The Pride of Mountain Province

Ask anyone from the Philippines or anyone who has travelled around this country, and I can guarantee that only the rare and observant individuals know of the beautiful town of Ganduyan. Before you even try to search it on Google, there really isn’t any information that is easily attainable on Wikipedia. Ganduyan is a municipality discovered only by those who visit it and have the curiosity to ask how it has become what it is now. Let’s just say, it is a town that’ll make you wish of retiring in the Philippines!

Here’s my first hint. Ganduyan is the beautiful town known as the pride of Mountain Province.It is the most culturally preserved town in the Cordillera region of Luzon. The locals have not only preserved their traditions that date back hundreds of years, but according to the Ganduyan Museum, the elders of Ganduyan were part of the only tribe in the Cordilleras that managed to defeat all intruders who tried to take over their land. And for further proof of these triumphs, they overcame these outsiders who had rifles and guns, with just hand crafted weapons and spears. Now that’s a true victory! Any guesses yet?

Ganduyan is not purposely kept a secret, but it is the result of an unfortunate misunderstanding. Ganduyan is actually the traditional Kankanaey term for the beautiful town of Sagada. The name Sagada came from an old story told by local elders. The tale goes that there were these two explorers who went to the town and asked a local farmer what the local name of the town was. This local farmer was carrying traditional Filipino brooms, or ‘Sagad’ as they call it in the local dialect of Ilokano, and he thought these foreigners were asking what he was holding. So, the farmer responded with ‘SAGAD’. The explorers from then on assumed the name of the town was Sagada, and the rest was history.

Sagada or Ganduyan is a beautiful town filled with untouched traditions and cultures that can only be seen in the Cordillera regions of Luzon. It is specifically known for its historical burial tradition it shares with only a few cultures in China and Indonesia – theHanging Coffins. This tradition of hanging coffins on the side of the mountains was believed to be more in-tune with giving back to Mother Nature. They have been preserved for hundreds of years and is really a fascinating site to see.

Sagada is so serene and lovely in its own charming way. It is a small town where locals not only make the most of their beautiful agriculture and land, but they also respect it and take care of it dearly. Because of this, everything you can and will eat when in Sagada is organic, tasty and cheap – from their large choices of fresh vegetables to their appetizing red and black rice, and let’s not forget their delicious coffee! If you want low cost retirement, Philippines has Sagada to offer. This town in the mountains is really an easy choice to take.

If there is anything I love about exploring new places, it is discovering new things that you can’t see anywhere else in the world. Sagada’s unique delicacies such as ‘Pinikpikan’ and their traditions, including the different ways they show their respect to their land, are really something anyone should get the chance to experience.

From their Hanging Coffins, to their many discovered and undiscovered underground caves, and the beautiful town itself, Sagada, or may I say, Ganduyan, is one travel-goal I could recommend to anyone who wants to experience truly preserved traditions and a culture that dates back hundreds of years. Like I said, it’ll make you consider retiring in the Philippines.

Life in the Philippines from a Young Expat

In my short time in the Philippines, I have experienced quite a bit. I have lived here for just 6 months but I have been blessed to see many different parts of the country. I have seen some amazing places both in the city where I live and in my travels. And now I have a better understanding of the phrase “low cost retirement in the Philippines.”

I live in Baguio City which is known as the summer capital of the Philippines. I have traveled up and down the West Coast of this country and have yet to explore the East Coast of the Philippine islands. Although I am making my first trek to Puerto Princesa next month, I will take some time to tell you about my travels along the West Coast.

Baguio City
I am told that those who live in Manila come to Baguio to get away from the heat. I grew up in a region that snows 4 months out of the year so I cannot handle the heat. Baguio is nearly the perfect temperature with its cool evenings and mild days. The absolute best and mind blowing part about the weather here is that the only change is how much it rains. In the summer, it rains more; in the winter, hardly at all. Other than that, Baguio offers some gorgeous mountain views. Some of my favorite places to visit are Mt. Santo Tomas, Camp John Hay, Mines View Park and anywhere that doesn’t include the mall. I am more of a nature lover and I prefer to stay away from the center of the city.

If you are looking to eat in Baguio City, there are a few very delicious restaurants I could suggest. Café in the Sky is one of my favorites because of the amazing view with your meal! The coffee is also delicious there. If you are looking to eat at a place that will please the entire family, there is a food community called “Ketchup Community” near Wright Park that has something for everyone. Some of my personal favorite eateries are Amare pizza (just up the road from Wright Park) and the Baguio Craft Brewery. You absolutely cannot go wrong with any of their craft beer.

San Juan
If you are looking to try your hand at surfing, there are some amazing resorts along the beach in this area. I have stayed at some of the nicest hotels in my life along the coast in San Juan. My favorite place to stay is Awesome Hotel which offers a beautiful beach front property complete with a pool and swim-up bar. There is nothing I crave more than to come in from the beach to lounge around a shady pool and be served drinks with my swim. The surf is also very serious in San Juan. There are surf instructors littering every beach and you can take a lesson for very cheap. For the more serious surfer, there are also several places to stay away from beginners and catch some insane waves.

Anawangin Cove
This was one of the very first places I visited during my stay in the Philippines. I was very surprised, after a 4 hour drive from Baguio, at how amazingly beautiful the beach was at our hotel. The first morning that we stayed at Canoe Beach Resort, we took a hike around the backside of the mountain and came out in the beautiful and non-developed Anawangin Cove. Not only was it one of the most beautiful hikes that I’ve ever taken, but I was so thrilled to come on to a beach not surrounded by giant buildings or resorts. There was no electricity and the only noise came from several boats ready to take us back to our hotel when the sun went down. This part of the trip was so relaxing and lovely, I would surely return!

These are only a few of the places we have visited in our time here. We have seen some amazing sites, and the people of the Philippines are always friendly. If you are looking to take a trip or an extended stay or even retiring in the Philippines, rest assured knowing that you will see some beautiful sites, enjoy some delectable food and be welcomed by the friendly smiles of the locals.

When in the Summer Capital of the Philippines – Baguio City!

I have been living in Baguio City for years, but I have to admit that I never really explored the city. Every time a friend shows up and asks, “So, where should we go?” I would give a blank stare and say, “I don’t know…SM?” – a supermall with branches all over the country. Then, we would discuss on where to go, until yup, we end up in SM.

If you ask me about places I have been to in the city? Here are a few – Burnham Park (who would miss the park at the center of Baguio?), Wright Park, Mines View Park, Camp John Hay, Philippine Military Academy, The Mansion, The Diplomat Hotel, and most of the MAIN tourist attractions in the area. Aside from the low cost retirement, Philippine’s Baguio doesn’t disappoint when it comes to tourist attractions.

But when I said “explored the city,” I was actually pertaining to other matters like places to visit when you need quiet time for yourself (or someone special), when you want a good cup of coffee or a new dish you never tried, or simply a great place where you can do some catching up with a friend. Here’s a short list of places I have never been to in Baguio and nearby areas in Benguet but would definitely try this coming 2016. (I heard that they are really AMAZING!)

Café in the Sky
As the name suggests, it’s a café in the sky – skies of Santo Tomas, Cabuyao that is. The restaurant is located at one of Baguio’s highest peaks (near the “twin radars”), which means you get to have a great view of the city if it’s not covered in clouds (which works perfectly for me, either way).

The restaurant has a high-ceilinged spacious dining area. Also, it’s got a fireplace (ooohhh, sounds cozy) where you can warm yourself up in case it gets a bit cold, especially early in the morning and late in the afternoon. Their menu is mainly Chinese Food such as stir fried highland vegetables, beef with broccoli and fried lemon chicken among others. They also serve noodle pasta dishes, rice toppings, desserts, and different beverages (hot, cold and alcoholic).

Actually, I have seen the place, because I’ve been to Mount Cabuyao a few times for some hiking, outdoor rappelling and rock climbing activities, but Café in the Sky was not in operation at that time. I guess I have another reason to visit Mount Cabuyao early next year.

Ketchup: The Food Community
Visiting the place is like hitting five birds with one stone (yes people, FIVE!). It’s actually a place that features five locally owned restaurants, so I guess that’s where “The Food Community” term was coined. A friend once told me, “If you want to dig into good-tasting food while enjoying great ambiance and distinctive architecture, this is the place to visit.”

The five mini restaurants include Rancho Norte which serves Filipino dishes, some you might not have tasted before like their specialty dishes tapangbaboyramo, tapangusa, and tapangkabayo. If you are into Thai-inspired dishes, then Happy Tummy is your place. I heard that their Crispy Tilapia in Tamarind Sauce is a must-try (noted!). If you are searching for oriental dishes, Indonesian and Malaysian cuisines are served at Rumah Sate. As for those who are health conscious, try out Green Pepper. This is a healthy gourmet diner that aims to preserve culinary traditions and serve meals from the freshest organic ingredients. They also do catering services! Finally, there’s Canto which is probably the most popular of the five because of their Lomo Ribs. This is an American restaurant that offers tacos, fries, steaks and the like, so I guess that’s another reason why it’s well-known.

Wow, after all that, I won’t know where to start when I finally do visit the place. Soon, I hope! It’s located near Wright Park.

Baguio Craft Brewery
Okay, I may not be your drinking buddy, but I can buy you a drink or two! And, I want to see the place simply because it sounds cool when you can say, “Hey, I’ve been to Baguio Craft Brewery, and the place is awesome!” Also, I am honestly curious about their strawberry craft beer “Lagud” because a lot say it’s sweet. I got a sweet tooth! Also, they have a roof deck where you can enjoy the cool breeze of Baguio and the view of the city while enjoying your craft beer with family and friends (or your special someone, again).

Baguio Craft Brewery is the first and only craft brewery in Baguio. They offer 16 different freshly brewed beer which you can taste individually if you are undecided which to gulp down. So, for beer lovers out there or those who want to buy pasalubong (gift/souvenir) for their beer-lover friends, Baguio Craft Brewery is located at the RKC Building along Marcos Highway, just 15 minutes from Session Road!

Mt. Cloud Bookshop
I LOVE books (and the smell of it!). Unlike a movie – (I also love movies by the way!) – you are free to imagine things as you read them and create whatever world you want that fits the story (or not!). Everytime that I get to walk the streets of the city, I try to drop by any bookstore whenever possible. It’s always an exciting thing for me because you’ll never know what you can find. And one thing I learned from past experience is: If you see a book you like, it’s either you buy it or lose it; that guy behind you is eyeing it too!

That being said, Mt. Cloud Bookshop is definitely a place to visit for people who love reading books, bibliotaphs out there. This is located at the top of Session Road, right beside Hill Station, Casa Vallejo Building. See you there!

BenCab Museum
For someone who loves art, like myself, having not visited this museum is a crime. Guilty as charged! I don’t even have a good excuse as to why I never stepped foot on the place! What’s worse is, my siblings have already seenit! This is definitely one of the places I NEED to visit!

The museum is located along Asin Road in Tuba, Benguet about 30 minutes from Baguio City (without traffic). This is a four-level building that features the artworks and collections of Benedicto Reyes Cabrera (Ben Cab), a National Artist for Visual Arts. From time to time, it also features works by some contemporary artists from all parts of the country. And, after satisfying yourself with incredible art masterpieces, you can also go and satisfy your tummy with home-cooked specialty dishes at their café downstairs. It features some of the family’s own recipes. Oh, I can’t wait to meet Sabel (and Mr. Ben Cab of course)!

So, there you have it, a short list of must-visit places to start my/our 2016. Life’s too short to be spending hours thinking of where to go when a friend shows up on your doorstep. And to those retiring in the Philippines, particularly in Baguio City or Benguet, then you can try out these places, too. Let’s all find out how good they are!

Mt. Pulag: It’s more than just a Sea of Clouds

When Mt. Pulag enters the conversation, people immediately associate it to a “Sea of Clouds.” Well, not for me (or at least not yet). The thing is, I’ve been to Mt. Pulag twice but have not seen that infamous “sea.” A friend of mine had no luck three times! And, I am quite sure that several other people have not had the best of days more than thrice. Please, do not feel sorry for us, because if you have not been to Mt. Pulag, we should feel sorry for you.

Before we proceed, I would like you to know that I am not an expert mountaineer nor do I have a lot of mountain climbing experience. So, do not take this as expert advice, because I don’t want anyone ending up in a ditch. I am just sharing my own experience in the hope of giving you inspiration to pursue the things you may have always planned to do, but failed to even take the first step. Also, this is a way for me to give back to the wonderful creation we’ve been blessed with – The Philippines. So, join me as we take a short hike to the highest peak in Luzon.


Welcome sign at the DENR Station.

The Geography
Towering at 2,922 meters (9,587 feet) above sea level, Mt. Pulag is Luzon’s highest peak, and the Philippine’s third. This alone made me antsy days before my first climb, aside from the fact that it is usually included in many Filipinos and foreigners’ to-do list – mountaineer or not.

The peak of this majestic mountain meets the borders of three provinces: Benguet, Ifugao and Nueva Viscaya. It is one of the premier national parks in the country and home to 528 documented plant species, including the endemic Dwarf Bamboo, and 33 bird species. If you are lucky, you will also get to meet the Philippine Deer, Long-Haired Fruit Bat and the Giant Bushy-Tailed Cloud Rat (locally called “Bowet”), which I believe are not really that sociable, as none of us got the privilege to see a hoof, a wing nor a tail (maybe next time!).

The Trails
To reach the summit, there are four major trails to take you there – three from Benguet: Ambangeg Trail (easiest), Tawangan Trail (second longest), and Akiki (most difficult/challenging); and one from Nueva Viscaya: Ambaguio (longest). Our team took the Ambangeg Trail, as most of us were newbies.

The Journey
I heard a lot of Mt Pulag’s beauty – the fauna and flaura, the people, the grasslands, and yes the majestic “Sea of Clouds” – so when a friend of mine invited me, it took me half a second to say “Let’s go!” And, it also took me another half a second to realize I did not have the proper gear (as I said, I am not a mountaineer). Luckily, my friend, who is a walking gear shop, lent me a backpack and a sleeping bag, and told me not to worry about the tent, because he was bringing in two (or three?). A real pro this guy, so he had things a beginner friend like me could borrow. Also, he was the organizer of our team of 15.

Everything was planned and readied, then the day came. Of course, I was so excited for at last one of my desires would be scrapped off my to-see-list. The fun all started when we took a hired jeepney to the Mt. Pulag National Park Protected Area Office of the DENR (Department of Environment and Natural Resources) to have us registered, pay some fees (which is for the maintenance of the park and a portion for the people), and undergo a short orientation of the DOs and DON’Ts in the park. We even got to “top load” along the way. Be advised, however, that this is not safe and that an accident was reported to have cost a man’s life a few weeks after our trip which prompted local officials to prohibit “top loading.”


A view of the vegetable fields at the start of the hike.

From the DENR office, we headed to the Ranger Station where the hike would start. It was also where we hired a guide, as it was mandatory. When everything was set, we stretched some muscles and started to walk via the Ambangeg Trail. Being one who spent almost 25 years in the mountains and surrounded with green and nothing but green, I found the trail quite easy. It is actually something I would recommended for a novice climber. The only challenge you will face during the hike is not the trail itself but your baggage – food, water, extra clothes, utensils, tenting gears and other essentials. However, if you know how to pack light (which is something I have yet to learn) then you will not even find it a problem.

Our destination for the first day’s hike was Camp 2 where tents were set up for the night. What I enjoyed most about the hike was the beautiful landscapes that surrounded us, and for most parts, the trail is shaded with trees which offered us cool and clean air to breathe. Luckily, the weather that day was great considering that rain predominates the whole year, and showers are almost always expected. As we made our way through the seemingly endless trail of mossy forest, one question echoed more than a hundred times, “How much farther is it?” and the answer would always be, “Almost there.” Then, we would burst into laughter and amuse ourselves on how sweaty and haggard we all looked. At an average speed, including a lunch break at Camp 1, plentiful rest periods in between and picture taking sessions (of course), it took us about three hours to reach Camp 2.

The Mossy Forest we had to go through to reach Camp 2.

The Mossy Forest we had to go through to reach Camp 2.

The Camp
When we arrived, the first thing we did was to find a suitable place to anchor our tents, especially that the weather was turning cold and rain was just around the corner. Then, while the others were resting, I found myself exploring the area (typical me). The place was just magnificent! And I was thrilled just by thinking of what the summit had to offer. I took a few pictures then went back to camp.

Golden grasslands hit by the setting sun.

Golden grasslands hit by the setting sun.

The skies grew even darker, and as expected, there was a downpour all afternoon until late that night. And in between, two of my friends were cursing inside our tent because we were almost drenched, and it was quite difficult to catch some Z’s.

A rainbow graced us with its colors against the dark skies.

A rainbow graced us with its colors against the dark skies.

When the rain stopped, you could hear other campers protesting. Everybody was just soaked, except for a few in our group. So, some of us decided to come out of our tents and enjoy the night under the beautiful stars. It was freezing cold, but we managed to keep ourselves warm by drinking hot coffee! Yup, remember that walking-gear-store friend of mine? He did boil water for us. In fact, for almost all other adjacent campers. First, we hear from a neighbor tent say, “Do you have extra hot water please?” and the next things was, we were collecting water from others and boiling it so that they could keep themselves warm as well. I was not dry and cozy that night; I was tired and cold, and only managed to catch an hour’s sleep, but that experience is something I treasure.

The Summit
At around 3AM, we were up and preparing for our summit ascend. Then after 30 minutes, we were all lined up on the trail, ready with our flashlights and headlamps. Careful with our every step, we reached the summit by 5AM just in time to watch the sun rise. The weather was great; the sun played several colors of red, yellow and orange, but there was one thing missing, the Sea of Clouds! The horizon was not completely covered, so I guess we could call it the“Lake of Clouds,” instead. “Where is it?” – I knew was the question in most of the climbers’ minds. But me? I honestly did not feel any disappointment or frustration. I was lost in the moment and was relishing every second of the experience. I was so grateful for such wonderful creation and that I got the chance to witness it.

With a partial Sea of Clouds, we waited for the majestic sun to light up the day.

With a partial Sea of Clouds, we waited for the majestic sun to light up the day.

And as the sun was rising, the amazing grasslands were also being slowly revealed to us. Then I noticed one thing and thought to myself, “Wow. One wrong step and it would be my last.” Apparently, losing your balance in certain areas of the trail could lead you down to who knows where, but I shrugged that thought off. Then before we knew it, it was time to head back to camp. I didn’t want to leave, but boy was the sun burning hot! So, as we made our way down, I was still taking more pictures with my camera and my memory. I guess, we all were.

Trying to take a picture of the beauty that is Mt Pulag and saving it in my memory. Thank God for this wonderful creation.

Trying to take a picture of the beauty that is Mt Pulag and saving it in my memory. Thank God for this wonderful creation.

Although the Sea of Clouds is a huge plus for the experience, I honestly believe that Mt. Pulag offers a lot more than just a view of a cloud-filled horizon. There are no words that can capture its magnificence. It’s something you need to experience to understand. And with that, I leave you with this maxim that every traveler should bear in mind, “Take nothing but pictures; leave nothing but footprints; kill nothing but time.” But let me add, “Buy nothing but souvenirs (haha), and keep nothing but memories.”

Journey to and in the Philippines by Morson

-A Diving Adventure-
By Christopher Morson

Christopher Morson recently visited the Philippines on a reconnaissance trip, with an eye toward retirement here. An avid diver, he took the opportunity to indulge his passion on board the M/Y Vasco through Cebu in the Visayas to Tubattaha Reef. He has kindly allowed us to share his impressions, both of the diving and of the Philippines…

A delayed flight meant missing the connection to Manila, so I arrived about seven hours late at Moalboal Blue Orchid Resort in Cebu. Not bad, very mellow resort owned by an English expat and former taikwondo (I think) world champion who now lives mostly in Japan.

We dived the Cathedral and the sardine run, millions of these fish in a concert of movement, and one beautiful wall full of soft corals. We went from there onto Malapascua Island where we saw the Thresher sharks (go to YouTube and search Thresher Sharks and Malapascua).

Chocolate was a great site where we saw sleeping sharks, the millipi (a huge nudibranch that disguises itself as a weed), Frogfish,mating crabs and sea horses amongst other beasts, great and small, of the sea.

Next was Kalignan, an idyllic island about 90 minutes from Malapascua,but it was beset by a lot of inexperienced divers which made the experience a little less than it could have been, but diving with Freddy,a Swiss expat dive-operator from the Red Sea, saved the day.

We continued on to Sea’s Springs in Anilao where Mike,the owner’s son, was a great divemaster.The place has profuse macro wildlife, and I will be back to explore this area more thoroughly.

Onboard ship, the M/Y Vasco…first night was a little boozy as they had an electrical issue and couldn’t pull anchor, which resulted in the ship’s crew providing copious amounts of alcohol in compensation. As divers we were obliged to help the captain with our consumption! There is now a new cocktail we have christened as the ‘Vasco’….gin ,ice and green tea…..very refreshing and surprisingly tasty.

We have a lovely group of people on board with a good level of competency underwater. Francois, an excellent 75 year old underwater videographer shared some of his experiences in Lembeh and Raja Ampat; Brooke from Tasmania; a couple from Montreal (he works with artists and the creative side of media marketing);Nico a young French guy who has dived 48 days in a row until yesterday; an American woman, Jocelyn,who works for TI in the Philippines; a Filipino doctor, ‘Pipit’, from southern Mindanao; Bob from San Diego who has dived in almost every condition imaginable and in some extremely remote places (he also is extremely knowledgeable on the fauna and flora); and Mike from Vancouver who is in the construction industry–a grey fox who is probably the least experienced of us, but fun and knowledgeable.

We dived Apo Reef for the first day, which reminded me a little of the northern Red Sea when I was there in the late 70’s and early 80’s. White tip sharks,turtles, a large tiger or bull shark which was difficult to identify as it was deeper and going away,profusions of nudibranchs and clouds of chromis. We saw tuna hunting in the blue and other species, too many to mention here.

I have to say that being out on this converted Russian spy trawler, with the sunsets, warm waters, good company and food, feeds the soul,exercises the body, and relaxes the heart and mind. I am content.

Francois and I are discussing how to use his video. He wants me to do the English commentaries and we are discussing how to market them in the US under the aegis of a 503c where we can use the proceeds to do something in sustainable maritime ecology. Hopefully there are ways to educate the dynamite fishermen and provide alternative ways to help them support their families. At least that is the direction we are headed.

Quimatin turns out to be quite memorable… interesting garden of macro creatures. It is a huge volcanic rock in the middle of nowhere. There were some extraordinary nudibranchs, a diversity of crabs, one of which nobody, at least on this boat, has ever seen before….a crab that had ‘buried’ its back in what may have been a white sponge….a very large and heavy disguise maybe thirty times the size of his body…..not a decorator crab, but something akin, but small like a porcelain crab.

So we are now underway to Tubattaha Reef, a seventeen hour steam overnight to this UNESCO protected reef.

What a place.

Visibility today was, in places 140+ feet. Walls,walls, walls…white soft coral forests, huge sea fans and sponges I have not seen the like of since the Red Sea in the 70’s! Turtles,oceanic white tips, a huge tiger shark,reflective white sand with coral formations, a rare dart fish,clouds of snapper, schools of sturgeon and jack, so much that the senses are overloaded in the mill pond conditions and warm water! The magnificence is hard to describe, and the over-used word ‘awesome’ does not seem to do it justice.

As I write the sun is setting and the sea has turned pink, reflecting the colors on the horizon in the water.

Day 2 in Tubattaha:

This morning started with a sunrise, naturally (ahem!).
A great orange ball slowly emerged from beneath the mirrored sea, casting some kind of golden path that glistened and lead to nowhere. Sleepy heads emerged from below,slightly resentful but expectant of the impending dives,clutching tea and coffee mugs that helped us all introduce the day to our brains.

We boarded the tenders in still damp wetsuits, from last night’s night dive, and then dropped into gin clear water over the reef. I know it may be boring to read that once again we visited with turtles, sharks (grey reef and oceanic white tip),moray eels, clouds of jacks, an incredible profusion of chromis, of trigger fish busy building nests (they form a circular depression in the sand,clearing it by blowing water and then picking the small exposed pieces of dead coral and rock in their mouths, and placing them around the periphery),schools of fusiliers,nudibranchs and other macro life. The walls here have a plunging magnificence reaching in places to 100 metres before the next ledge, and after that so sheer,deep and straight that even with this wonderful water clarity there seems to be no bottom. Sea fans grow into the current and have spans that are larger than an American SUV, and we saw sponges the size of a Fiat 500.

This is challenging diving as, between the currents that will push you along and take you deeper than planned, there is also the problem of cumulative nitrogen uptake (from 4 + dives daily), and maintaining rigorous depth management and air consumption monitoring. Not for rookies, if one is to get the best experience from one’s surroundings.

Day 3:

Well this morning’s dive was a bit abortive… started out fairly calm but ended in the washing machine….the current was probably eight or nine knots and had vortexes in it…you could have gotten flushed! We saw very little except in passing (quickly and don’t blink!).

The second dive was definitely more interesting, and easier,some turtles but of greater interest were the two Thresher sharks we saw while at depth…perhaps 5-6 foot bodies and eight to ten feet with the tail.

Third dive today was pretty special; same place as this morning but without the current.Two encounters out in the blue with sharks, the first was impressive but the second was really quite extraordinary ……at the very least a dozen, schooling around a school of jacks,round and round and round but no attack we (I) saw. It is thought generally–and I agree–that they were Silky sharks, which are quite rare compared to white tip and grey reef sharks which are more solitary Pelagics. Afterwards, since we had been deep and most were at,or close, to obligatory deco stops, we spent time in the ‘octopus’ coral garden at 15 or 20 feet looking at young fish and beautiful corals of every different hue.

Day 4:

One abortive dive looking for hammerheads in the morning, but this afternoon’s dive made all the difference. I found another operculum on the way out to the reef drop off, then we saw schooling grey reef sharks up close who were hunting a school of Jacks. There was a great shoal of barracuda, a huge Merou (Malabar Grouper) maybe six feet. A large tuna cruising the reef edge passed me within two or three feet, and a large marble ray, but the highlight, of course, must be my first whale shark, about 20 or perhaps 22 or so feet in size would be my estimate,taking into account that things seem bigger underwater. On the reef I have seen Napoleon Wrasse (which is endangered) and bump head parrot fish amongst many others. What a magnificent beast….gentle,huge and deceptively fast.

Juan was in the right place at the right time photographically and we think he got some great shots.

One more dive to go on M/Y Vasco…can it get any better?This was a very special trip and one that I will not forget. I will return.

We are leaving for port, Puerto Princesa in Palawan, and the seas are rolling, so it will be an interesting night.

El Nido (Palawan):
After disembarking and an ‘exciting’ van ride from Puerto Princesa to here, I checked in my hotel.

The driver of a grossly overpacked van with children, chickens, baggage and the bag boy riding the roof was, to say the least, a little creative with the accelerator. The guy in front of me who spoke no English (unusual here in Philippines), simply made the sign of the cross,EVERY time, we started after dropping or picking passengers! Not guaranteed to give me hope for a long and enjoyable life.

Anyway safely here, and met a nice Finnish guy…we spent a few beers together. I have done three dives in surprisingly cold water, only one of which was really good, but I am told this is exactly the wrong time of the year for this spot. One dive was particularly interesting though, a devil,or Mobular Ray,a large area of cabbage coral, schools of jacks, some tuna, barracuda, clouds of xanthia , a smaller version of a kind of tuna(?)in schools and a profusion of copulating nudibranchs. Fish too…..seems that Spring brings the urge of love wherever you are….

Also have met a lovely Filipina who lives and works in Singapore and she has been wonderful about teaching me about the language and culture in the few days we have dived together.

I am getting increasingly comfortable here, liking the people, the weather, the joy in simple things that the people express, the food…and most of all the SMILES.

Off to Coron, Manila and Davao next…..

Ingat ka (take care) until my next missive!

St. Luke’s Medical Center: Internationally acclaimed Health Care Facility

St. Luke’s Medical Center:
Internationally Acclaimed Philippine Healthcare Facility

st-lukes-global-cityJust recently (April 2015), a website whose mission is to provide high-quality information to help people make the best decision about nursing education has ranked St. Luke’s Medical Center (SLMC) – Global City as number four among its list of 25 Most Amazing Modern Hospitals in the World. This is not the first international recognition that SLMC has received. Back in 2012, it was also named as one of the most beautiful hospitals in the world by, a “health care information network and daily publication focusing on trends facing executives working in the health care industry.” In the list, this hospital was ranked 11th place. And yet another one in 2014 when the Diplomatic Council cited St. Luke’s Medical Center – both Global City and Quezon City branches – as two of the “20 Best Hospitals Worldwide.”

There is no question that SLMC is one of the best hospitals in the Philippines, if not the best. It is a wellness-centered infrastructure that offers state-of-the-art medical technology and 5 star hotel-like ambience. Because it is one of the internationally recognized hospitals in the country, it regularly receives patients from across the globe, including Asia, Middle East, Micronesia, Europe and the United States. The hospital holds a 650-bed capacity and houses a team of over 1,700 physicians and 2,600 non-medical employees. Some of the technological advancements the hospital is ready to offer you include 3-Tesla Magnetic Resonance Imaging, 3D echocardiography, 4D ultrasound, 64-slice CT scanner, electron microscopy, positron emission tomography scanner & cyclotron , radiofrequency ablation, and several others.

SLMC has earned the admiration and respect of both local and international organizations. It is accredited by the following organizations:

The Joint Commission International (JCI)

This US-based, independent, non-profit organization is the international arm of the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organization (JCAHO) which is the oldest and most prestigious health care accreditation institution in the world.

TEMOS (Trust. Effective Medicine. Optimized Services.)

This is a German-based independent certification body that certifies hospitals, dental clinics and primary health care centers worldwide based on adherence to their stringent and comprehensive criteria and the Quality Management Systems standards.

The Diplomatic Council

This is a non-government organization established as a Global Think Tank which adheres to the principles of the charters of the United Nations. They strongly believe that commercial diplomacy is the foundation of international understanding which is key to a more peaceful interaction among nations.

American College of Radiology (ACR)

stlukes-medical-center-qcACR is a non-profit medical assistance association based in Virginia dedicated to serving the society by empowering radiology professionals to advance the practice, science and profession of radiological care. Since their establishment, they have accredited over 35, 000 facilities in 10 imaging modalities.

Aside from accreditations from the different international organizations mentioned above, St. Luke’s Medical Center was given the Reader’s Digest Trusted Brand Award 2014 during the annual brand performance survey where seven Asian countries participated in. The hospital also received the Gold Brand in Hospital Category in 2007 and 2008; and a Platinum Trusted Brand from the year 2009 to 2014. Furthermore, SMLC is affiliated with the following international hospitals: New York Presbyterian Hospital, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, Weill Cornell Medical College of Cornell University and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.

Both Quezon City and Global City branches of St. Luke’s Medical Center are a state-of-the-art healthcare canter that fuses the expertise of locally and internationally trained and experienced doctors, and medical and nonmedical professionals. Partnered with high-end technology, facilities, techniques and procedures, SLMC is one of the best hospitals, not only in the Philippines, but across the globe.

For more information, you may visit:

Philippine Expressways: Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (TPLEX)



The Philippines has a network of expressways, mostly found in Luzon, providing a smoother and faster travel time for motorists. The first expressway systems in the country built in the 1970s were the Northern Luzon Expressway (formerly North Diversion Road) and South Luzon Expressway (SLEx, formerly South Super Highway). In 1999, the first Elevated Toll Road in the Philippines called Metro Manila Skyway was completed, while the first Electronic toll Collection was introduced in the SLEx and Skyway Systems in 2001.

Highways are very essential structures that not only greatly improve the transportation system, but also a country’s economy. With the increasing number of automobiles, the need for more highways or expressways becomes even more apparent which is why another expressway is currently on the works and is expected to be completed as early as this year, 2015, or early of next year 2016, three years earlier than the initial projected date of completion.

The Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (TPLEX) is a four-lane express way currently under construction north of Manila. It stretches 88.85 kilometers, connecting northern and central Luzon with its northernmost terminal currently located in Rosario, La Union, and its southernmost terminus located in Tarlac City, Tarlac. So, people (especially those traveling north) will experience a virtually traffic-free ride with the opening of the TPLEX. Once the entire project is completed, it will only take about three hours of travel time from Balintawak, Quezon City to the country’s summer capital, Baguio City. Imagine the time saved – families from Manila who want to enjoy a cool weekend and breathe fresh pine-filled air can absolutely have what they want!

Coolest Cities and Towns in the Philippines

The Philippines is framed by the equator and the Tropic of Cancer, making it a generally hot and humid country. However, there are certain places that locals and even tourists visit during summer – aside from the breathtaking beaches! – to escape the heat of the sun. These are the “cool towns” that are an ultimate paradox to the country’s tropical climate!

Burnham-Lake- Baguio-City
For 99 years, the city has been celebrated as the Summer Capital of the Philippines. It was once the playground of the Americans who built the city in the 1900’s for a sanatorium for heat-oppressed soldiers, which later was transformed into their vacation spot.

At 5,200 feet above sea level, the city enjoys low temperatures – the coldest morning on record was at 6.2 degree Celsius in January of 1961.


Hanging coffins-Sagada

This is a municipality in Mountain Province which is not only famous for its hanging coffins and incredible caves and waterfalls, but also for its cool climate that can reach as low as 10 degree Celsius in the months of January and February. It is situated 5,300 feet above sea level, offering an ideal climate for those seeking for refuge from the summer’s heat.


If you want to escape the heat of the city, particularly Manila, then Tagaytay is the perfect place to go. This is among the popular tourist destinations of the country because of its outstanding scenery, most especially the view overlooking Taal Volcano. It has a cool climate being 2,300 feet above sea level and is easy to get to since the travel only takes an hour and half from Manila.


Banaue Rice Terraces
A municipality in the province of Ifugao that is widely known for its Rice Terraces and for being a UNESCO World Heritage Site – Batad and Bangaan Rice Terraces. With its highest mountains towering at 4,900 feet above sea level, the town experiences about 20 degree Celsius during the months of April to September, and about 16 degrees Celsius from November to January.

Don Salvador Benedicto

Don Salvador Benedicto
This is dubbed as “Little Baguio,” and “Summer Capital of Negros Occidental.” This town was built primarily for the consolidation of the remote Barangays (towns) of a city and two municipalities that seemed neglected. It is 2,500 feet above sea level with the coldest months – December, January and February – having temperatures ranging from 16-27 degrees Celsius.

Canlaon City

You might have heard of the country’s famed oldest tree that is believed to be more than 1,300 years old in this municipality in Negros Oriental, but this is not the only reason why people visit the place, especially during summer. Aside from the numerous waterfalls and an incredible trek experience up Mount Kanlaon, the city has a cool micro-climate being 2,600 feet above sea level, appealing to those who want to stay cool during the warmer seasons.

Davao City

Contrary to the concrete jungles and high-rise structures that dominate most Philippine cities, Davao City will welcome you with towering mountains and breathtaking green landscapes.

This is also one of the three cities that share Mount Apo, the country’s highest peak at 9,692 feet above sea level. You can also opt for the mountains of Toril, Marilog and Calinan for pine-canopied trails, fresh air and invigorating waterfalls.


Bukidnon is a province that houses cool locales, including Dahilayan and Malaybalay (another “little Baguio”). However, the coldest among these plateaus is Lantapan. With its fertile land at 4,000 feet above sea level, it is not only an ideal basin for vegetables but also for people who want to experience a cool climate. Additionally, it is also known as the gateway to the country’s second highest peak – Mount Dulang-Dulang.

Located only 200 meters from the tip of Taiwan, this is the northernmost municipality of the country. Farthest from the equator, Itbayat actually has four seasons instead of two, and can have temperatures as low as 7 degrees Celsius from the months of November to December.

Unique Spots in Cebu You Probably Did Not Know About

If you think you know everything about Cebu, think again. Yes, most of us probably heard of the place to be one of the most developed and promising island provinces in the Philippines, what with it being the center of trade, commerce, education and industry in the Visayan area. Even more so because of the several wonders it has to offer to both the locals and the tourists. But can you honestly say you have totally explored the place?

29469276If you want to visit one of the country’s most iconic heritage spots, Cebu is the place to visit. It is the first Spanish settlement in the Philippines, and it has the oldest city in the country as its capital – Cebu City. It is also called the Queen City of the South, and rightly named so. The province is one of the favorite destinations of those seeking to explore and experience the harmony of culture, history and modernism.

imagesOne of its most popular spots is the Magellan’s Cross which marked the conversion of the locals to Christianity by the Portuguese Explorer Ferdinand Magellan; the Basilica del Santo Niño. This houses the country’s oldest religious relics – a statue of the Child Jesus dated back to 1591; the Colon Street which is the country’s oldest street; and several other tourist attractions like pristine white beaches, world-class cafés and restaurants.

Setting Cebu’s most famous places aside, keep yourself open to some other unique spots you most probably haven’t heard of yet.


If you are into waterfalls, springs, rivers and beaches, you will surely find these places very interesting, known only to most locals and a few adventure buffs:

  • Ka-Tinggo Falls (CatmonDaan)
  • Binaliw Spring (Sogod)
  • Kabang Falls (Talamban)
  • Virgin Beach (Daanbantayan)
  • Bagatayam Falls (Sogod)
  • Lambug Beach (Badian)
  • Bojo River (Aloguinsan)

For families who want to have a unique getaway, then you will definitely have a blast in these places :

  • Medellin Zipline (Medellin)
  • GL Highland Resort (Balamban)
  • Mainit Spring (Catmon)
  • Hidden Paradise (San Fernando)
  • Boardwalk Zoo (Alcantara)
  • Mactan Aquarium (Mactan Island)

If you want to appease your palate, these incredible dineries restaurants will surely provide you with dishes which will make you come back for more:

  • Alex Kafe (Argao)
  • DukoDuko (Catmon)

To those who simply want to relish the beauty of nature and Cebu in general, you will absolutely love these spots, and get ready to take beautiful photos!

  • SRP Backroad (South Road Properties)
  • Cantipla Flower Farms (Cantipla)
  • Day-as Boardwalk (Cordova)
  • Hideaway (Medellin)
  • Marmol Cliffs (Tuburan)

Or, maybe discover the mysteries behind the recently discovered chapel which is equally historically valuable as it is intriguing:

  • Kapilya de Sakripisyo (Argao)

5440075 catmon-hot-spring-bridge

Get to be among the first to try these unique spots in Cebu! For more information regarding these incredible places, feel free to check out this page:


I have a relationship with this wonderful country for 34 years now, in which I have lived full time here over 25 years and part time the balance. And WOW, competition changed everything as far as amenities and customer service is concerned (although still heavily dominated by the elite families) but not entirely, as the richest man in the Philippines, Henry Sy came from nothing (owner of SM Prime Holdings and malls), as well as Manny Pangilinan (PLDT), and John Gokongwei Jr. as who is a major owner of malls in the country.

With smart phones, laptops, and tablets, there are so many choices. The competition is fierce, although not quite yet like the 1st world, but major changes brought on by this competition.

Philippines, in the old days, when you drop your Coke at McDonald’s? Too bad.
If you take something home from a department store and decide you don’t like it? Too bad.

But TODAY, many companies and stores have become extremely customer-oriented when it comes to amenities that give perks to clients, providing customer care and satisfaction.

Why is that? Because competition rules and it drives the market.

For my wife’s birthday present, I got her a beautiful VAIO laptop for P37,000 (or approx $840).

For the first few months, there were no problems. Then a battery recall from the main office was announced, in which I gave the company credit for taking precautionary measures as such. I bring the laptop to their service center as was told a particular week to bring in: “Sorry sir, the batteries are not here yet.”

So then I ask them “Can you pick-up the unit at my place?”
“Sorry sir we cannot do that.

After a week, I was finally able to drop off the unit.

Suddenly, the electrical component starts to act up. The laptop will not turn on.

I sent my wife to have it checked and she went back and forth to a Sony store branch at the mall. Each time was a success, but after a day, it stops working again. We only had this unit for 4 months and all I can say is wow, bad unit.

The laptop then crashed, and Sony store advised that we bring it to their service center, which we did, and after waiting several days, we found out the motherboard had crashed.

Three weeks later, the main office said we can already pick up the laptop, so I went. It was a local holiday. They were closed.

Several days later, at my insistence, the unit was delivered to our Condo since I refused to go back to their service center.

On a parallel note, I have HP laptops and printers. I had bought one of the printers in the US. It stopped working one day, so I brought it to HP service center to have it repaired. They looked at the code on the unit and said my warranty is still intact after 11 months. They honored my warranty here in the Philippines even if it was bought from the US, and guess what? It gets better. When they could not repair the printer, they gave me a brand new one! Now that is evolution, and maybe the American headquarters want their reputation around the world as being honest and service-oriented. They have won me over. I walked in the door expecting to pay for repairs, but it turned out so pleasant.

Now back to our Sony Laptop, the unit is still fluctuating power-wise after the mother board was replaced. This unit is a lemon, as we call it or something for the junkyard. I asked for a new equal unit and the higher up executive (hiding and delegating down in their old style of doing business here), sent their clerk for the answer: A big NO.

As an alternative, I asked for a year warranty from the date the mother board was fixed. An answer came back as ANOTHER BIG NO. Best they could give was one month extended warranty.

I guess the Japanese head office doesn’t care, although I will send this article to them.

For all my time wasted and inconvenience, getting a defective unit, and using the old style of service of a very non-progressive company, I give Sony Philippines an F, and I advise that YOU DO NOT BUY ANYTHING SONY IN THE PHILIPPINES.

Get HP or SAMSUNG instead.


I enjoy working in my local community to give back as is my physical makeup thanks to my father who is a legacy in this arena. This article is purely to acknowledge some fine folks and a successful company, or should I say corporation which is  SM Prime Holdings  which primary success has come in their large number of modern Malls here in the Philippines.

First, I would like to thank Marc, the operational GM at the Baguio SM mall for helping to get the corporate office to renovate our city children’s park here in Baguio City. Marc is now working with an associate of mine who has a foundation here to help the deaf population. With a little luck SM will donate some greatly needed computers and I-pads in the very near future.

Also a thanks to David the store manager of SM appliances also here in Baguio for getting the corporate office to pay for transportation of a donated Refrigerator/Freezer to a local orphanage as every little bit of help is a gift.

SM we all say, keep up the good work.