Author Archives: Coca Valandra

The Beach Pebble of Mabua

mabua pebble beach resort surigaocity

Surigao, a place which is known of having majestic shoreline has a number of good beaches around.  From enjoying the waves of the Siargao Island to diving the depths of various Surigao Reefs, every place is a worth visiting for.  pebble beach of mabua

I had to buy my time so I could wander around the prominent shorelines of Surigao.  So far I have visited some in the north section facing the Siargao Island.  But one among the good beach pebble shorelines I have visited is the one in Brgy. Mabua.  It is located about 8 Kilometers of the eastern part of Surigao City.  mabua shoreline beach

Mabua is a common place for locals but hides its fabulous rounded stones on its shores.  Unlike any other beach shoreline where you will see white sand or near like, the beach of Mabua Surigao shoreline is held by captivating round stones of different sizes much bigger by 10 times or more than the marbles we have commonly known.  It is also known as pebble beech.  This makes the seawater clear looking where you can even see the ocean floor near the shoreline.

Fascinated by this ground formation, it had invited me to go into a dive to observe the depths of this area and it is more than I have been excited meeting the see creatures within.  A lot of water species can be found in these waters and when you move forward to the depth of more than 8 feet it will reveal the white sand that is kept by its stony shorelines.

It’s a good idea to visit this place by yourself.  Bring your family or friends along and enjoy this shoreline along with them in Surigao beach.  mabua pebble beach sunset

Surigao pebble beach resort is in the Northernmost part of Mindanao and is an hour and half fly by Cebu Pacific or Air Philippines.  Once a day, these air carriers have flight going to Surigao on different schedules.   It can also be reach by 45 minutes flight from Cebu.  If you are coming somewhere else in Mindanao, you can take land trip by Bachelor Bus but you will have to bear with the long haul trip which is about 8 hours from Davao City and 7 hours from Cagayan De Oro City.

So what else are you waiting for?  If cash budget is not a real problem, then start resort beaches and plan your trip now.  A 5 cents tip is to stay at least 3 days or more so you can hop around.

FHM Philippines bares Top 10 Filipina in FHM 100 World’s Sexiest Women of 2013

FHM Magazine known to be top in adult reading material in the Philippine had just bared their unofficial list of Top 10 Filipina World sexiest Women for the year 2013.  These women include Marian Rivera  who is in Number 1 place in has been dominating the top position for the past weeks.  Others are:

  • Sam Pinto in Number 2
  • Angel Locsin in Number 3
  • Solenn Heusaff in Number 4
  • Jennylyn Mercado in Number 5
  • Anne Curtis in Number 6
  • Cristine Reyes in Number 7
  • Heart Evangelista in Number 8
  • Ellen Adarna in Number 9
  • Empress Schuck in Number 10.

This partial result becomes eye-catching for FHM readers and for sure this will be followed by most readers until the final result goes out.  To those mentioned candidates, goodluck Ladies! 🙂

Church in Laguna: Where to go for Visita Iglesias 2013

#pila_laguna #sta_cruz_laguna #pagsanjan #pagsanjan_laguna #lumban_laguna #pakil_laguna #paete_laguna #liliw_laguna #visitaiglesias #bisita_iglesia #lentenseason2013 #holyweek2013 #lagunachurches #churchesinlaguna

Visita Iglesias is the most popular activity in the observance of the Lenten season.  While many have already planned how to do this ahead and where to go, a lot are still having difficulty in collecting ideas of names of churches for visita iglesias and where to find these churches.

A couple of days ago just right before the Lenten week breaks, my family have planned to do the Visita Iglesias ahead so we can still enjoy the luxury of roads with lesser traffic hassle.

We then decided to move ahead with our plan and aimed our trip to the Southern part of the Calabarzon Region in the Philippines and particularly started our way into Laguna.  It was still Saturday and it was a day before Palm Sunday.  The road was a-OK and even we have started our trip just before noontime, everything turned out well in our trip.

From Binan City we took our way via the South Luzon Expressway and exited at Calamba exit.  Calamba is one of the busiest city in Laguna being the hub of business in  this region.  After exiting Calamba, we have went through the shortcut road going to Los Banos and passed along the Calamba City Hall.  It was a nice looking new City Hall and its design is far better than those in Makati and Manila.  This is because this Calamba City Hall was just built recently.


In image above is the Calamba City Hall Arc.

city_hall_of Calamba_main_building

In image above is the Calamba City Hall Main Hall.

Moving forward with the trip, we turned right southward upon reaching the intersection from the Calamba City Hall.  We have then headed towards Los Banos; passed through Victoria, Laguna and our first stop was Pila, Laguna.


Image above shows Victoria, Laguna’s natural panoramic view.

In Pila, Laguna is where the Pila Church sits.  The original church was located in Pagalangin, which was was built in 1616 while the Franciscans have already built a Printing Press here ahead back in year 1606.

Pila Church was then the center for all sick Franciscan Missionaries and was maintained between year 1618 and 1673.


Due to frequent flooding however, the church was transferred to its current location in the 1800.

The church and the convent construction was completed in 1849 but earthquake destroyed the church in 1880.

Our next stop, Sta. Cruz Church in Sta. Cruz, Laguna.

Trivia:  Did you know that Sta. Cruz, Laguna is the Capital of Laguna?  Here sits the various government offices, the office of the Town Mayor and likewise the Office of the concurrent Governor Mr. ER Ejercito, who happens to be an actor under the screen name of George Estregan, Jr. and a known relative of the former Philippine President Joseph Ejercito Estrada; another movie actor between the 60’s and early 90’s.

In Sta. Cruz, Laguna you will find the Church of Sta. Cruz.  It was firstly built in the year 1608 using stone blocks and was enlarged in year 1672 by adding wings on both sides making it to look like a cross from top view.


The Church of Sta. Cruz was remodelled in year 1850 where the Altars were improved but the church was destroyed by fire in January 26, 1945 during the time of Japanese occupation Liberation in World War II.

The Church of Sta. Cruz was reconstructed in 1948 during the post-war era.

Next, we go to Parish of Our Lady of Guadalupe.


The Parish of Our Lady of Guadalupe will be found in Pagsanjan, Laguna.


Commonly known as the most visited tourist attraction in the district of Laguna, Pagsanjan not only offers the rapids of the Pagsanjan Falls but also this historical church of Pagsanjan.

Next road to take is the way uphill to Lumban where you and your family can take a break for a while sightseeing, dine, and relax in the famous man-made lake of Caliraya which is use as a hydrothermal power supply for many parts of the region.



Picture above shows the halfway scenic view of the Lumban-Caliraya Road.


Done with the bonding? It’s time to move ahead.  Let’s go to Pakil Laguna and see the Church of Paete.


Above photo shows the front view of the Paete Church at a distance.


Photo above shows the side entrance and exit of the Paete Church which is usually use by visitors due to the position of the church building.

Trivia:  Did you know that Paete, Laguna was the home for wood carvings in Laguna?  Paete came from the word Paet or “chisel” which is the name of a tool mainly use to carving woods.  Wood carving experts in this small town can do literally anything you may have in mind or wish to carve for you.

Next, lets go to the nearby town of Pakil, Laguna and visit the extra-ordinary Pakil Church.

The initial Pakil Church was built in 1676 using Bamboo and Nipa materials.

The convent was built later on and the church was constructed in 1732 using stone materials.  However, the church was burnt in 1739 and reconstruction was completed in 1767.

A couple of events happened that destroyed this church and the current church you will see now was another reconstruction completed in 1959.



There are many churches you can still go around Laguna – these are good and historical churches but we decided to move to the other side and visit the Church in Liliw, Laguna on the way to Quezon.



The Church of Liliw is one of the best churches I have visited this time. It has a good interior which most I have taken photos and I will share to you in my next article.

The place of Liliw is clean, people are nice, and there is a lot of souvenirs you can take home starting from fruits, sandals, local vinegar, and Lambanog.

For some people who would want to stay longer in theses places, surely a hotel is available nearby.  You can check hotels room accommodation in Laguna or check for Hotel Deals of the Day in Pagsanjan Laguna.

Since I have other things to do on the next coming days including travel to beaches in Batangas, me and my family have called it a day. From Liliw, Laguna we went straight back home and a 2 and half hour drive from Liliw going back to our home in Binan City is not bad at all.

Best Travel Practices: Will you Fly or Roll?

flying or rolling travel hoteles

As traveling is not a new thing to me, I came to many experiences that made me learned and understand the beauty and the ugliness of traveling.  Since 1990s, I have been into different places; rolled or flew in any way I would decide.  I actually consider myself a jetsetter as I made many number of flying using different airlines.  I have also traveled a lot in road thus made me a route savvy cruiser; means that I can easily make a plan which road to use when I wanted to go into cruising a long drive.

But what is it really taken into consideration in order to decide whether to fly or roll the wheels?  The answer for experienced travelers would be simple. Go on and read and read my tips.

Flying will lessen the time you need to travel but will not be too exciting more than the taking-off and landing.  Believe me you will just see the airport, the skies, and your co-passengers all the while when you ride a commercial airline.  Flying is a less tiring but a boring journey.  Money matter is also another consideration as at times it can save you some money for airfare but will cost you more cost on taxis or transfers.

Flying can make your travel fast, delayed, or your flight for the day may be cancelled for one reason or another.  Cancelled flights can also result to another problem if you have flight connections for another carrier in order to get you into your final destination.  When your flight is cancelled, you may be obliged to arrange a hotel for yourself as there are times that some medium-scale airlines do not answer for accommodation you can use to stay overnight in order to wait for your replacement flight schedule the next day.  This kind of situation mostly happens when you make domestic flights.

Another inconvenience of flying is when your luggage got offloaded or misrouted; you shall not be able to have access to your important wardrobes or other accessories until sometime and the impact could become worst if it takes a couple of days before you can have your luggage from the airline.

So what about rolling?  Of course if you are just into a domestic travel, rolling would be an alternative.  I will not lie that cruising is my first choice only if I have the liberty of time.  While rolling takes longer for you to reach your destination if you are traveling a few hundred or a thousand kilometers, it provides you the opportunity to enjoy the scenery.  It may take days for a thousand or more kilometer cruise but you can always take a break any time you wish.  Resting will not be a problem if you need to stay in a place for an overnight since you can always choose any travelers-inn or a quality hotel accommodation along the way.  Like any common travel plan, money is always a consideration.  Be prepared to fund your cruise and ensure that you have the money in your pocket.  When you roll, you have all the freedom to stay or hop into scenic places, historical landmarks and the food specialty in each region.

Make sure that your vehicle is in top condition before starting to roll as there might be instances that you will be cruising in isolated places where you cannot buy parts or a shop.

I have also provided some tips on road travel in one of my articles which allows you to take note what important things you should prepare when taking a long cruise journey.

So whether you are flying or rolling, all it needs to take is to be practical while not compromising the fun in your journey.  🙂


Top 8 Ladies Bags and How Is It Use

latest fashion bags 2013

Fashion Bags are ladies best friend.

Ever wonder why we ladies have a number of bags in our closets? It is because it’s essential for us. Yes, you heard me right. 🙂 Next to shoes and dresses, fashion bags are on top to our best friends. And when we chat about bags latest fashion, we do not only mean one piece of gear. We say bags for different occasion and usage especially for 2013 events.

Fashion Bags in general could be of any kind as long as it complements our daily attire and style. We normally carry a bag of the same hue that enhances our dress or simply give a touch of matching with our shoes.  Having said that, I know there are a lot of men raising their eyebrows from what they have heard.  I could help you understand your wife, girlfriend, partner and your daughter as well why we keep more than one piece of bag.  There’s more to it by just being fashionable.

Hear me out gentlemen. 🙂

Tote Bags

Tote bags are usually worn and used during our market days hence this kind of bag can carry a lot of stuff from grocery items to several stuff. Today, most of the supermarket and grocery sell re-usable tote bags in contribution to “Save the Earth” using green bags instead of using plastic shopping bags. We’re into green guys! 🙂

Hobo Bags

Hobo bag is called that way because it resembles the shape of the brindle on a stick that hobos are portrayed as carrying over their shoulder in drawings and cartoons. Hobo bags are very useful hence it can carry a lot of things from our make-up, perfumes, and other ladies need. Being carried like a standard shoulder bag and it is normally made from soft leather materials which can be sized in assortment.

Clutch Bags

Small and petite in size but can be very chic. Clutch is small enough to grip. Here we put our hankies, paper towels, keys, cosmetics, a hairbrush, mobile phone etc. Clutch bags are our basic needs during party and formal event.

Satchel Bags

This kind of bag commonly has a strap in the middle of the cover bag to secure the bags for not easily be open. A double secured lock to ensure safety of the things we put inside. Years ago, it is used only by students since they carry a lot of school paraphernalia.  But later it has evolved into a fashion icon as well.  Satchel bags can be made from various leather type, canvass and strong fabric of different prints and tones.

Baguette Bags

This bag has the same function as wallet only it has a strap equally looking like clutch, only it has a strap to facilitate the consumers. It is normally rectangular in shape, flat and narrow resembling a French loaf called baguette. Baguette bags are usually leather and synthetic leather made.

Messenger Bags

This is similar to what postman use to carry letters. To date, it is widely used as carrier not only to postman but to people who gets to carry paper works and various office documents at home. This is another must-have to mothers who like to travel together with her child/children.

Kelly Bags

Now sprouting over the market is the Kelly bag. Its’ basic feature is like a suitcase normally leather of good quality. Kelly bag is a creation of HERMES; the renowned manufacturer of high-end hand bags and was named after Grace Kelly, a famous actress during 50’s. This bag can be useful in carrying laptop. Simple in form but has a classy touch.


Pouches are round in shape which is generally made of fabric. This is used to store small pieces like lipstick, face powder and some coins. Other designs it with laces, patches and different embellishments.

Now that you are aware that all our bags has its purpose, most of you guys will no longer question us why we cling to those bags in our closet.

And in case you wanted to surprise your wife, partners and girlfriend with a gift on your anniversary? Buy one! These well-loved bags can be bought from department stores and designer’s boutique. There are also various site selling authentic bags of different designers to choose from. It is a known fact however that designer bags are quite expensive thus buying such can be considered as investment.  But who cares, right? Pampering your lovey can be rewarding at times!

Happy Shopping!