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Clearwater Resort and Country Club

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Clearwater offers a lakeshore kind of vacation.

As soon as the American bases pulled out from Clark, Pampanga back in the 90’s, this buzzing town of foreigners and locals were mostly replaced by sounds of crickets at night. Much of the PX stores closed down, the casino closed down, many establishments ceased operation as the American soldiers bade goodbye.

It seems like a sad story (or not, depending on your political view) but I was fonrtunate enough to discover a gem within this semi-deserted town. In a trip with my colleagues when I used to teach in school, we had our annual retreat and vacation at this place: Clearwater Resort. I know, it’s not a beach, it’s not fancy hotel in the city- it’s a place close to nature where I could actually write a book or paint a portrait.

Imitating a lakeshore vacation spot somewhere in the US, Clearwater Resort is like a summer camp place with log cabins, dirt paths, and giant trees. When I went there, I thought it was a perfect place to reflect and take a step back in life. I was so inspired by my surroundings that I just immersed myself in taking photographs of the place and my colleagues enjoying it. And that time, we just had it all by ourselves.

This beautiful respite offers some peace of mind and some great activities as well. You can do enjoy all of the following: fishing, kayaking, boating, swimming by the lakeside, playing beach volleyball, biking, playing basketball, swinging under a tree, exploring the dirt paths, and sleeping in their comfortable beds.

NOTES

- Clearwater Resort is just an hour or two from Quezon City via NLEX.

- Pleace is perfect for office retreats and team-building activities.

- Food is not offered in the place. You can bring food, take-out from nearby restos in Clark, or have it delivered.

- Activities mentioned above have separate charges and fees (like boat rental, rental of fishing equipment, etc…)

- Bring a torchlight. It can get quite dark at night.

WEBSITE

http://www.clearwaterphilippines.com/wordpress/

MAP

IMAGE GALLERY

 
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Posted by on August 18, 2014 in Clark

 

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In Photos: Hunter Valley Gardens

wonderful landscape of Hunter Valley

We end our Hunter Valley Trip in the most picturesque location in this county. The green rolling hills, the cool autumn breeze, and patches of flowers growing by the countryside… No wonder, so many weddings happen on this place- the Hunter Valley Gardens. We timed our visit during the cold season so there aren’t much people here. It’s during the summer, when all the flowers are in bloom, that grooms and brides flock to this side of Sydney.

But this scenic countryside spot still looks magnificent in its autumn shades. And it’s perfect for an afternoon respite, a simple picnic over wine, cheese, and crackers.

It’s also good to know that even during off-season, the village (where the souvenir and chocolate shops are) and chapel are open for your convenience!

Check out the gallery to see the nice pictures we took! And make sure to include this in your itinerary when you visit Sydney!

MAP

PHOTO GALLERY

 
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Posted by on August 17, 2014 in Australia

 

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Hungarian Pastries in Sydney

Erica, my sister’s Hungarian friend living in Sydney, was kind enough to invite us for a late afternoon snack after our visit to Wine Valley. She had prepared some really nice Hungarian pastries worth remembering!

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Hungarian Sour Cherry Cake

Feta Cheese and Spinach Puff Pastry

Feta Cheese and Spinach Puff Pastry

 
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Posted by on August 17, 2014 in Australia

 

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A Sentosa Adventure Part 1

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Sentosa Island is such a massive theme park/island resort that it has its own transportation system. So I’m warning you, touring the whole place by foot is something you might want to avoid (you can rent out a segway if you want, and feel like you’re Tron or something).

So by bus, we had our group dropped somewhere at Siloso Point where the plan was to visit Singapore’s Underwater World. Unfortunately, we were too early and everyone else in the area was still setting up. Even the Ben and Jerry’s joint, whose ice cream I am a big fan of, was still tightly shut.

It was truly unfortunate, but we had to move on. So off we went for another bus ride to Imbiah Lookout which was right at the centre of the island. I guess this is the most tourist friendly place because you’ll find the information centre here, ATMs, currency exchange, and some souvenir shops. Tickets for rides are also sold here. Somewhere around the area are several attractions like the Butterfly Park and the Sentosa Nature Discovery. But I decided to skip those and opted for the rides that’s going to give me the adrenalin rush.
Well we didn’t have much time in our itinerary, so we had to choose: the Tiger Sky Tower or the Luge and SkyRide Adventure. Well the group agreed for the two-in-one and I’ll tell you what happened in the next post.
So we’re off to our next stop!

MDR

Check out the RSW MAP!

http://www.rwsentosa.com/language/en-US/RWSMap

 

MDR

 
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Posted by on June 15, 2014 in Singapore

 

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Australia’s Wine Country: Hunter Valley Chocolates

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After dropping by the Visitor Information Centre (as in my previous post), we’re now headed to Hunter Valley Chocolates. It’s not a trip to the winery yet but we just could not resist the urge to dip our tongues in chocolate. Located inside the Peterson Wine House just along Broke Rd., we dropped by this little stone shack which is home to the region’s finest chocolates. Wines, chocolate, champagne… Don’t they all go well together?

Once inside, we found stacks and racks of different chocolates produced by Hunter Valley. They’ve got dark, white, milk chocolate, with nuts, with fruits, with both… It’s a sweet tooth haven! Now enough about what we saw because the more thrilling story is what we got to taste!

What actually caught our attention was the chocolate fondue swirling at one of the store’s displays. For $2 they’ll dip a marshmallow for you. For $2.50 they’ll dip a fresh strawberry for you. And for the wild child, go for the $3 for a shot of pure chocolate madness.

Without hesitation, we tried them all. And heavens be, the chocolate was darn good. It was warm, silky, not so sweet but very luscious.

This chocolate store is one of the three located within Hunter Valley. The second store is in Hunter Valley Gardens while the main store and factory is located at Lovedale Rd.

This is a must try if you plan to visit the area!

Special Note: You’ll find some VERY naughty candies here!

WEBSITE: http://www.hvchocolate.com.au/

MAP

MDR

 
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Posted by on June 15, 2014 in Australia

 

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Australia’s Wine Country: Pokolbin

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One of the best experiences I’ve had in Australia was being able to visit their Wine Region in New South Wales. Known as Hunter Valley, this region boasts hectares upon hectares of vineyards, producing some of the best wines exported around the world.

It’s quite a long journey to the valley if you’re coming from the CBD or the Sydney suburbs. It was a three-hour trip for us by car and might take a bit longer if you take it by rail. In my previous posts, we travelled westward from Sydney to the Blue Mountains. This time, we headed north of Sydney.

As soon as we were out of the metropolitan area and through the Pacific Motorway, we already got a feel of the Aussie countryside. The lush greenery, the open road, and cool breeze just make you savour the moment. This is what makes travelling such a fulfilling experience.

More photos after the jump! >>

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Posted by on January 8, 2014 in Australia

 

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Throwback: Movie Night at Hoyt’s

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Sydney movie houses are quite different from what we have here in Manila. After the crazy and jam-packed recent film festival we’ve had, I remembered watching Iron Man 2 at Hoyt’s. It was a strange experience having almost nobody in the cinema. There were no lines at all.

Important thing to know though is that movies are more EXPENSIVE in Sydney. A ticket costs around $20. And interestingly, some our our movie houses in Manila are actually fancier and more modern-looking.

If I recall correctly, cinemas here operate 24 hours a day on certain occassions. So even if the malls and supermarkets close early (like 6pm), you can still watch a movie!

But don’t get me wrong, I still enjoyed watching Iron Man 2! The cinema was all ours!

MDR

LOCATION

 
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Posted by on January 4, 2014 in Australia

 

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