Category Archives: Travels

Celebrating Five Years of Fun at Citadines Salcedo Makati!

MANILA, Philippines, 07 May 2019 – Citadines Salcedo Makati, the first Citadines property in the Philippines, is celebrating its 5th Anniversary on May 2019. This month marked the launch of a month-long celebration of five years of fun.

Since its opening five years ago, Citadines Salcedo Makati has established a new kind of unparalleled service in Makati. Our guests keep returning not only because of the facilities we have, but because of the bond we have created, especially with the enthusiastic service from our associates,” said Daniel Wee, Country General Manager.

CSM Turns 5 Promo eDM


SR_Philippines_Manila_Cit Salcedo_1BR Dlx_Bedroom-HR
Citadines Salcedo Makati One-bedroom Deluxe

Take advantage of the special anniversary room rates valid on all Fridays to Sundays of May. For weekdays, book a Studio for only Php 5,000nett with complimentary upgrade to a One-Bedroom Deluxe or Php5,500nett for a One-bedroom Deluxe. Enjoy a weekend retreat in the city for only Php6,751.25nett for a One-Bedroom Deluxe. Ascott Star Rewards member get a special weekend rate for a One-Bedroom Deluxe for only Php6,143.64 nett. All these offers come with standards inclusion like complimentary WiFi, breakfast for two at Flying Pan, and use of amenities. Guests are in for a treat as they get to choose one special inclusion valid on their next stay which includes a complimentary 3:00 PM check-out, one additional daily breakfast, massage voucher for one and upgrade from Studio to One-Bedroom Deluxe.

SR_Philippines_Manila_Cit Salcedo_1BR Dlx_Living Dining Room-HR
One-Bedroom Deluxe Living-Dining Room

The celebratory mood continues at the lobby where a month-long indulgence and game booth is held for guests as epitome of fun.

SR_Philippines_Manila_Cit Salcedo_Lobby2b-HR
Citadines Salcedo Makati Lobby

Citadines Salcedo Makati will cap off the celebration on 30 May 2019 with a celebrated affair by the poolside, indulging aficionados in an amusing experience.

For inquiries and reservations, please call (632) 550 3200 or email Visit The Ascott Limited’s website at for updates and promotions.

About The Ascott Limited


The Ascott Limited is a Singapore company that has grown to be one of the leading international lodging owner-operators. It has more than 58,000 operating units in key cities of the Americas, Asia Pacific, Europe, the Middle East and Africa, as well as about 42,000 units which are under development, making a total of more than 100,000 units in 670 properties.

The company’s serviced residence and hotel brands include Ascott, Citadines, Citadines Connect, Somerset, Quest, The Crest Collection, lyf, Préférence, Vertu, Harris, Fox, Yello and POP!. Ascott’s portfolio spans more than 170 cities across over 30 countries.

Ascott, a wholly owned subsidiary of CapitaLand Limited, pioneered Asia Pacific’s first international-class serviced residence with the opening of The Ascott Singapore in 1984. Today, the company boasts over 30 years of industry track record and award-winning brands that enjoy recognition worldwide.

Ascott’s achievements have been recognised internationally. Recent awards include DestinAsian Readers’ Choice Awards 2019 for ‘Best Serviced Residence Brand’; World Travel Awards 2018 for ‘Leading Serviced Apartment Brand’ in Asia, Europe and the Middle East; TTG China Travel Awards 2018 for ‘Best Serviced Residence Operator in China’; Business Traveller Asia-Pacific Awards 2018 for ‘Best Serviced Residence Brand’; Business Traveller UK Awards 2018 for ‘Best Serviced Apartment Company’ and Business Traveller China Awards 2018 for ‘Best Luxury Serviced Residence Brand’. For a full list of awards, please visit

About CapitaLand Limited

CapitaLand is one of Asia’s largest real estate companies. Headquartered and listed in Singapore, it is an owner and manager of a global portfolio worth more than S$88 billion as at 31 December 2017, comprising integrated developments, shopping malls, serviced residences, offices, homes, real estate investment trusts (REITs) and funds. Present across more than 150 cities in over 30 countries, the Group focuses on Singapore and China as core markets, while it continues to expand in markets such as Vietnam and Indonesia.  

CapitaLand’s competitive advantage is its significant asset base and extensive market network.  Coupled with extensive design, development and operational capabilities, the Group develops

and manages high-quality real estate products and services. It also has one of the largest investment management businesses in Asia and a stable of five REITs listed in Singapore and Malaysia – CapitaLand Mall Trust, CapitaLand Commercial Trust, Ascott Residence Trust, CapitaLand Retail China Trust and CapitaLand Malaysia Mall Trust.

Visit for more information.

Issued by: Ascott International Management (Philippines) Limited


Address:  The Ascott Limited, Glorietta 4, Ayala Centre, Makati City, 1224, Philippines

For more information, please contact:

Mary Eunice Lodripas, Marketing Manager

Tel: (+632) 755 8829


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Yoki’s Farm – What you need to know and why you should pay a visit

Farm tour is one of the activities our family loves to do. Last year alone, we have visited around 5 farms. And this time, we visited a surprisingly unique farm in Mendez, where almost all of what we love to do are rolled into one farm experience!

Tagaytay tour itineraries seem to be the same over and over and this wonderful farm may be a sweet addition to your travel list.

So what did we discovered at Yoki’s Farm? And why you should include this on your next Metro-Tagaytay itinerary, find out here:

Yoki’s Farm

📍Located at 003 Tabluan Road, Palocpoc 1, Mendez, Cavite

📍 Contact (046) 4097527, 09178079588 / 0464097527

📍 E-mail

📍 Like their fb page at Yoki’s Farm

FARM MAP Conan is excited to explore!

Yoki’s farm is a 10-hectare farm brainchild and owned by Mr. Wilson Ong nicknamed Yoki founded in 1996. Right now, only 4-hectare of it are used for tours, the other parts of the farm are still off limits to guests. It is the biggest hydroponic farm in CALABARZON and managed by his son. Plans for development like having additional playgrounds for children and a resort are on its way and which we can expect in the future.

Kids enjoyed their learning of hydroponics farming. Yoki’s farm is the biggest hydroponics farm in CALABARZON

Touring Yoki’s Farm

1. Hydroponics Farm – Hydroponics farming fans will surely enjoy their visit at the largest hydroponics farm at Calabarzon which is the Yoki’s Farm. Hydroponics is a subset of hydroculture, which is a method of growing plants without soil by instead using mineral nutrient solutions in a water solvent. In Yoki’s they grow their plants in coconut husks. The tour has a 15-minute orientation to learn about hydroponics farming.

Yoki’s farm is the largest Hydrophonics Farm in Calabarzon


You can pick and pay for just Php 100, and pay Php 200/kilo of Lettuce varieties


Violet lettuce variety
These lettuce are grown from coconut husks and of course water.

2. Vegetation of all types – we saw a variety of vegetation growing in the farm this includes tomatoes, cucumbers, papaya, bittermelon (ampalaya), Chilli, among others.

magtanim ay di biro
Papaya, ampalaya and other vegetables

3. Mulberry Trees – We were amazed at how big their mulberry fruits are, indicating the rich soil of the farm.

Stop and pick some mulberry fruits as you tour around the farm
Mulberry tree

4. Orchidarium and  ornamental plants – Yoki Farm grows orchids and they sell it too!



5. Aviary – the farm showcases different collections of birds, dwarfed chickens, peacocks, parrots are just a few of their aviary collections.

Golden Pheasant


Lady Amheist Peasant
Lady Amheist Peasant Origin: China, Myanmar
Common Peafowl


As if entertaining the guests, the common peafowl showed off her feathers

A peacock at the Buddah Museum displaying her majestic feathers
They have a display of different colored variety of parrots
There are different varieties of birds in these aviaries, and small chickens are roaming around the area too!

6. Reptile Park

Tortoise their shells are really hard!
Albino Burmese Python
Can you see me? ask the little frog

7. Inter-active zoo – Get up-close and personal with your favorite zoo animals!

At first, I was hesitant to try the parrot ride at Conan’s shoulders, but after trying it myself I think he can do it too! Quite afraid but he loved the experience!
Me saying to this creature – “Stand still! haha!”
See how happy Conan is feeding the amiable zebra!
You can get up-close to the pony but still be careful not to stand behind
Hello Guests! this ostrich seem to say! Look at how cute she smiled at the camera. Photo credits to my daughter @juliennecolene
This is the area where the ponies and goats freely roam. Encased are the zebras and ostriches.

8. Museum – Here you will see the vast collection of Mr. Yoki’s Buddha sculptures and other interesting finds. He loves collecting antique made of bronze and brass sculptures. Among his collections are pieces of sculptures depicting some god/goddesses from other lands. There are I think a thousand collections of ceramics, porcelains, Buddha sculptures, Egyptian statues, bronze wares, jade model ships, vases of all types, and other interesting items including SULTAN (A head sculpture which seemed to open its eyes at night). There are also other items like old telephones, typewriters, and creepy things too! He also have a collection of wine and liquor bottles. Good thing Marie Kondo is not trending at the time, or else we might not be enjoying these collections. It is as if Mr. Yoki wouldn’t want to throw anything and that made it into this huge court of antique collections. I thought I might find the dragon statue here, lol! Pls. check out my fb page for more photos Diaries of a Transport Queen

You will be welcomed by the biggest laughing Buddha in the Philippines


god/goddessYokis farm

Green Jade Dragon Boat
Green Jade Dragon Boat
Bronze collections
collection of typewriters
I was surprised to see a collection of typewriters too!

9. Accommodation – To complete your farm experience, you can check in at any of their available rooms. The rooms are clean, and with an old look homey feel. Check out the room that is most convenient for you or your family. All rooms are inclusive of breakfast and farm tours. 

TWIN/DOUBLE Rate: P4,500 good for 2 inclusive of breakfast
Premiere room
Premiere good for 4 persons, Rate: P7,200 inclusive of breakfast

family room

Family room, Rate: P9,000 good for 5 inclusive of breakfast

swimming pool
Swimming pool for guests with accommodation
room rates
Contact them at the numbers posted here

10. Farm to table restaurant – I love the concept from the restaurant interior and of course the farm to table concept of food preparation. Freshly picked vegetables will be served. Staffs are all friendly and will ask you from time to time if you need anything else. We also loved the big servings of their dishes. 

All day breakfast restaurant
Dining area of their farm to table restaurant.

Yoki’s Signature SaladFreshly picked vegetable salad with mulberry and edible fruit . This salad would be much better if the dressing weren’t mixed at the time of serving. It cooked the lettuce which lessened its crispiness. Also, it is great if there’s a choice for other type of dressing like the famous TID or Ceasar’s. I love the generous addition of mulberry fruits.

vegetable salad
Yoki’s Signature Salad P290, the bowl is big good for the whole family to enjoy

American Breakfast – Generously served soft scrambled egg, sausage, bacon, grilled tomato, and sliced toast. This plate is too big and can fill up good for 2 persons. I love the sausage and bacon!

American Breakfast

American Breakfast – Sausage, bacon, tomatoes and egg sandwich, P320

Mediterranean Chicken Skewers – grilled chicken, onion, bell pepper, garlic yoghurt sauce, pita bread or buttered rice

Mediterranean chicken skewers
Mediterranean chicken skewers P295

Mushroom Arugula – white sauce, shitake mushrooms, button mushrooms, arugula. Arugula is a popular vegetable and salad ingredient that is full of nitrate and very good for your health – Medical News Today. It was my first time to try a very healthy pizza like this, the sauce is yummy and offers a different taste to your palate.

Mushroom Arugula P325

Tenderloin Beef Tapa – homemade beef tenderloin tapa, fried egg, garlic rice, salted egg and tomato relish. This dish is a YES for me! I love the softness of the beef and the sauce it’s a twist to the usual beef tapa.

beef tapa
Tenderloin Beef Tapa P290

Parmesan Crusted Fish Fillet – white fish, dill cream sauce, garlic tomato quinoa, French beans

fish fillet
Parmesan Crusted Fish Fillet P290

Beef Kebab – tenderloin beef, onion, bell pepper, garlic yoghurt sauce, buttered rice

Beef Kebab
Beef Kebab P295

DRINKS – If you are a fan of vegetables you better try the basil lemonade and pipino calamansi. I tried the Pipino Calamansi Fresca and the taste was more of cucumber, I hope they can improve on this one by balancing the calamansi with the cucumber. The strawberry yogurt was a refreshing treat.

From left to right – Pipino Calamansi Fresca P85, Basil Lemonade P85 and Strawberry yoghurt smoothie P185
Have a coffee or two at this garden table
all day breakfast restaurant
Restaurant crews were stationed here

11.  Landscapes – Enjoy taking photo ops at their green landscapes

Of course, what do kids love but to run and run!
jump shot
In this side of the landscape, is a wooden fence overlooking trees and vast grass greeneries. We thought of having a jump shot! We had fun trying to have a good shot!
Japanese inspired parks perfect for your photo ops
Tired of walking from the tour? then take some time to sit and relax at this Japanese inspired mini park

12.  Playground

Time to play!
Happy at play!

Yoki’s Farm Farm Rates


The Farm Table Menu

photo grabbed from Yoki’s fb page
photo grabbed from Yoki’s fb page

The Transport Queen Experience

We enjoyed our tour with the assistance of tour guide Ms. Katherine, who cheerfully answered all our queries during our farm tour.

tour guide
Our Tour guide for the day

Comparing to those we have seen so far, this one is the biggest plus there are variety of things you can see aside from vegetation alone. The collection of animals are also interesting and we noticed that there are no unusual smell which is common in some farms. Their farms are well kept, clean and not smelly. The animals seem to be taken care of properly. The ponies though as mini as they seem still should be tied to a tree when guests are roaming, during our visit one of the male ponies went on to one of the female (of course, we got scared). But the staffs handled it all fairly well. It was a pleasant experience for adults and kids alike to get a close encounter with the animals, feel their environment and get to know more about them. My little kid loved the farm, he also loved running on the landscapes and jumping here and there. He really loved the visit that we find it difficult to get him to say goodbye to the place, ha! ha!

I enjoyed looking at the vegetation, in some farms I’ve visited there are only the same types of vegetables like lettuce, basil and some herbs. Here at Yoki’s there’s a wide variety of vegetables they grow which includes ampalaya which I seldom see at other farms we visited.  I saw some tomatoes and cucumbers falling off the ground and unharvested, I wish they do something about it to prevent the foods from being wasted.I love art and sculptures, and their museum out beaten all the museum we visited comparing to Bencab and Orlina Museum, they have an awesome collection of brass sculptures from different cultures.  We suggested though to put labels in the collection so we can know where those came from, from what era, if it’s antique or just replica.

child at play

Plus, you can feel the personal touch of the owner, the collections speaks of the owners rich love for sculpture and history, the vast love for his collections which was kept and continued on by his son. It was really an awesome experience!

Yoki’s farm is highly recommended for kids and kids at heart. For educational tours, and those who want to learn hydroponics farming. You can be a Farmer for the day for just P1,500! I would definitely wanted to be back at Yoki’s Farm!


Like my facebook page to see more awesome photos of our visit at Yoki’s Farm at Diaries of a Transport Queen

yokis farm

A day at Yoki’s Farm with The Happy Tandem @standoutconan

And thanks to my #Southbloggers family follow them too! @travelwithkarla, @thinkablebox, @taralet’sanywhere and especially to @hapyandbusytravels   

Disclosure: Our food and farm tour was sponsored by Yoki’s Farm. However, I wrote this article with full honest opinion. 

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Yoki's Farm

Museo Orlina – A Virtual Tour

It was a fine Saturday, and our family decided for a quick get-away to Tagaytay. I was thinking of places we haven’t visited yet, and finally decided to check out Museo Orlina – which I’ve been seeing mostly in google searches for places to visit in Tagaytay. Finally, we arrived.

It was a 30-minute drive from Gen. Trias going to Museo Orlina in Tagaytay. You could easily find the place using Google Map or Waze. The road leading to Museo Orlina is steep, so better be careful esp. those with vehicles.

Museo Orlina is a former residence of the internationally acclaimed Artist/Sculptor Ramon Orlina. It was one his dreams which finally came true to have a museum of his artworks. The building design itself is an artwork and once you get inside numerous glass sculptures will greet you.

My husband asked me “I think your getting fond of art these days?” After featuring the carvings of Paete with ice, wood, and fruit as mediums now I get to see Glass Sculptures. Once inside, we instantly recalled the Bencab Museum of Baguio City. One can compare the almost identical ambiance of the building and the garden. But the main difference is the medium or instrument used to display the art.

Museo Orlina’s glass display is very UNIQUE & AMAZING. I instantly thought of having one these pieces as a piece of furniture, a design maybe on the living room or on the bedroom. One can relate the artwork and can actually use for everyday living since the artwork designs are minimalist and modern.

Let me take you to a virtual tour!


museo orlina
Replica of the 1976 original glass sculpture

museo orlina

museo orlina

museo orlina

museo orlina

museo orlina

museo orlina

museo orlina

The Sculpture Garden


  • Tuesdays to Sundays (Closed on Mondays, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day)
  • 10am to 6pm


  • Adults and Professionals P100
  • PWD, Senior Citizens, Students with Valid ID P80


📌Hollywood Subdivision Road, Brgy. Tolentino East, Tagaytay City 📌Landline: (046) 413.2581
📌Mobile: 0906.434.0862 📌Email:

The Transport Queen’s Experience:

Location: 👸👸👸👸👸

Ambiance: 👸👸👸👸👸

Things to see: 👸👸👸👸

Things to do: 👸👸👸

Price: 👸👸👸👸

Recommendation: Over all visiting the Museo Orlina can be a real family bonding experience. The only thing that we were not able to do is the interactive activity as shown in the brochure. Some parts of the art galleries are closed for renovation or cleaning I guess. The Cafe is also closed at this time. But despite of this, one can enjoy the art of Museo Orlina. I can say it is a “must place” to visit in Tagaytay specially when you have younger ones with you.

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Top Things to do in Paete, Laguna

Paete is a simple town located nearby Pagsanjan and Liliw, Laguna. The ambiance of the place offers you a laid-back feel, back to old Filipino cultural days, and traveling around town is easy. I went to Paete for the second time and bring along my Roadmates with me. The time spent was all worth it, here, take a look at the top things to do when you find yourself in this place of Luzon.

Let’s Go! 

1. Climb to Tatlong Krus Lenten season is getting near. Why not place Paete on top of your itinerary? Offer a sacrifice by marching your way up to Tatlong Krus. Climbing your way is never easy, always check your health condition with a doctor before attempting to climb, going up will take around 500 steps. 

How to get there?

1st Option – From the town of Paete, climb your way up (around 500 steps). There are guided rails along the way, but climbing is never easy since there is no straight walkways up, steps are stairway type so you have to get your knees ready.

2nd Option – If you have your service car, you will have to drive up the mountain (zigzag roads), and drop off where the sign (Tatlong Krus) are. This is the option we chose, and after the Tatlong Krus we walk our way down to our next things to do.


 2. Refresh at Matabungca Falls – Either you climb up or just jump off at Tatlong Krus, there’s no better way to refresh yourself than to bask in the cold water of Matabungca Falls. There are no private accommodation near the area. However, there is one bathroom provided by the Municipality if you wanted to change clothes, water for rinsing is also directly coming from the falls, and mind you — you can drink it! We tried it, totally refreshing!


3. Learn Ice Carving – Enjoy art and learn art. On the Carving Capital blog post feature of Paete, I posted mostly of wood carvings and artworks. Now, I also tried ice carving.

Ice Carving Demo Fee: P2,200 – inclusive of 2 ice blocks to be carved, transportation and carver’s talent fee.

I got to enjoy  Ice Carving with the Honorable Mayor of Paete, Mayor Rojilyn “Mutuk” Bagabaldo who is very eager to show tourists how ice carving is being done. He is a very hands-on Leader of this small town, catering to tourist whenever he is available.


4. Learn Wood Carving – Though I didn’t got to try hands-on wood carving, watching their handicrafts is a real pleasure. Imagine, looking at these canvass, we cannot fathom how they do it on the same exact manner without a duplicating machine just pure hand work, amazing!                                          

      Wood Carving Demo Fee: P400

5. Learn Fruit & Vegetable Carving – The best food carvers came from Paete, you can check it on google and see their amazing works. I didn’t get the chance to watch fruit carving live because it took us some time to freshen up from our climb in Tatlong Krus, maybe next time I can get to see fruit & vegetable carving in person.

Fruit & Vegetable Carving Demo Fee: P1,400


Photo credits to Pat Mateo.  Check out full article at F&B Report

6. Connect with the Taka Ladies and learn Papier-mache making. – This is my second time to meet the Taka Ladies and introducing these group of ladies to my roadmates was an awesome experience! When you visit Paete, get to meet these ladies, ask their stories and schedule for a demo. 

Papier-mache Demo Fee: P400

7. Complete your Instagrammable home art collections – Bring extra pocket money to buy something for your home. Most of these were made of wood and paper. I hoarded tissue holder boxes in square, round and rectangle shape for our home and as souvenir give-aways. I also bought one for our kitchen. Mommies, daddies, sons and daughters will surely enjoy choosing from these artistic crafts. These are ranging from paper crafts to wooden crafts, which also includes some toys. 


8. Recollect at St. James The Apostle Parish Church or simply known as Paete Church – Catholicism is very evident in this town and old traditions are still being practiced liked the sounding of the bell during a funeral parade, which we happened to witness during our tour. You may also visit other big churches near the Municipal Town Area. You may check other information of the Paete Church on this link Paete Church

9. Visit the Organic Farm – One of Mayor Mutuk’s project is converting raw land to Organic Farms. I happened to know that this Project exists from our last DSWD Learning Visit, and Mayor Mutuk himself described how he envisions on expanding the farm. Most of the land in Paete has been barren and needs to be treated to convert into farming. When I get back to Paete, visiting the farm will be on my next list. 

10. Taste their native delicacies – at the corner of a street in Paete, you will find these delicious snacks. 

This is made from coconut milk and casava topped with margarine.

These are caramelized camotes, and on the lower right are  “maruya” -fried banana with sugar

11. Kape Kesada Art Gallery – Coffee and art, anyone? Well, this is the perfect spot to relax after you are done with your tour or with your shopping. It is just along the main street leading to the Paete Municipal Hall. Kape Kesada is a coffee shop and an art gallery. Interesting pieces of sculpture and portraits can be found. Too bad they do not allow posting of pictures of the art gallery on social media.

12. Give a portion of yourself! Do outreach Program for the Taka Ladies or the people of  Brgy. Papatahan. Our Coop had a paper and clothes donation drive and the appreciation of Paete people is priceless!

There we go with our TOP THINGS TO IN PAETE, LAGUNA. I hope you find the list enjoyable and easy to do. Do share us your stories of your own explorations of this little quiet town. For an easy – breezy trip, don’t forget to book your tour with ROAD RENT A CAR  Transport Service Cooperative. 

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DSWD Learning Visit – Ikot sa CALABARZON 2018 – Part III

If you have been following these 3-part blog series of our DSWD Learning Visit, we already have tackled 2 of the most popular program of DSWD – 4Ps and SLP.  Now we are going to see the project Kalahi-CIDSS, what it is, and what are the impacts of the projects to the community.

 It was a beautiful Saturday morning, and we checked out early from Patio Rizal Hotel and headed to Mauban, Quezon. It was an hour drive from Lucban. We stopped over at the nearby road where our next destination was, while waiting for the other van who fetched the LGU Officer at the City Hall. We enjoyed the green sceneries, it is noticeable that Quezon is one of the largest producer of copra (coconut). And it is also evident as well in Mauban. 

DSWD Ikot sa Calabarzon

Our next community we visited is located at Brgy. Remedios II, Mauban, Quezon, take a quick tour to this awesome town hidden from the highway.

Brgy. Remedios river
Breathtaking view of the town’s river, where the residents still use the flowing water to wash their clothes, kids take a bath here too!

Our vehicle stopped by a river, and we walked and crossed 2 hanging bridges. This is the only means to get to the baranggay. Safety while crossing the Kinaimit River to get inside and outside the community has been a long time problem of the residents. The previous hanging bridge they were using were already damaged by Typhoon Glenda. The broken bridge had affected the delivery of assistance and had delayed the emergency response to the community. Children and farmers are the most affected as they are the ones who frequently goes in and out of the community. With this experience, the residents worked together and proposed to apply for Kalahi-CIDSS to helped them with the construction of a new hanging bridge.

This is the landmark going to the bridge leading to Brgy. Remedios
Main sources of livelihood in the area are copra and horse transportation (rentals).

Aside from the need of a hanging bridge, the Remedios Elementary School Annex A used to have only three classrooms catering to around 150 students from Kinder up to Grade Six. These rooms weren’t enough to hold classes which are adequate for the learning needs of the students. Thus, they proposed to build an additional three-classroom school building through the funding assistance of Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, a development partner of DSWD’s Kalahi-CIDSS. 

So What is Kalahi-CIDSS?

“Kalahi-CIDSS, otherwise known as the Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services, is one of the poverty alleviation programs of the Philippine Government being implemented by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).” –read more here

Comparing to 4PS and SLP, the Kalahi-CIDSS caters to communities which 1) belong to the poorest area; 2) priority for those who are considered as calamity-stricken communities; 3) with the recommendation of the LGU whose community to prioritized for the fund.

The residents had a meeting and pinpointed their most important priority to be done for the community and come up with  these 2 projects (Hanging Bridge and  additional classroom buildings), they are the ones who made the proposal, provided for the documents needed and the residents actually monitored and were hands-on during the purchasing of materials, construction up to finishing of the project.  Through this “Bayanihan” the residents were able to lower the costs, and instead of hiring construction companies and workers, the volunteer-residents did it themselves and were paid compensation for the work. They said they have a feeling of ownership of the project thus lead them to take care of   it even more. They even discipline and reprimands other residents who abuses the use of the hanging bridge.

Brgy. Remedios II, Mauban, Quezon  residents

Hanging bridge sub-project

  • Total Project Cost: Php461,046.00 
  • No. of households served: 118 households
The Hanging Bridge Project of KALAHI-CIDSS

1-unit 3-classroom school building sub-project (AusAID)

  • Total Project Cost: Php2.46 Million
  • No. of households served: 152 households

The building of the new hanging bridge brought convenience to the residents, and as per one resident said “It is a benefit that is not financial per se, but of convenience to us. We used to cross the river when the bridge was broken, there was no other way for us to get to town except for the hanging bridge. We can now carry sacks of rice, copra without worrying being swept into the river. However, the animals (carabao and horses) still needed to cross the river. We do not allow people with animals to use the hanging bridge, this is to protect it so we can use it on a longer time.”

I remembered I asked the residents;

Me: Why didn’t you build a concrete bridge in order for vehicles or animals to cross over too?”

Resident: We are thinking of the immediate solution for the community and beside there are only but few who have vehicles here. We acted on the urgency of the need for our children, the students who goes to school. 

For the new classroom, the volunteers are very proud of this achievement, even one mother said she was pregnant then, when she volunteered to assist in the documentation, she went to and forth their Baranggay Captain and to the Municipality to sign documents, she even participated in the construction helping the workers in mixing the cement, the ladies cooked meals for the workers. Most of them who volunteered were housewives because their husbands have to focus on their livelihood. But on free days their husbands do their share to in helping with the construction.  This volunteer mommy, were even called “Kalahi” and she said even her son got “Kalahi” as his nickname. 

The new school building with 3 classrooms

The residents’ involvement in the project played a major role on how the residents take care of the given projects by the Government. They learned first hand the financial, the due processes a project needs before it materializes. Though of course, they are being assisted still with licensed engineers, the DSWD officials and the local LGU. They have yearly budget of P10,000 for the maintenance of these structures.

The community prepared their native dishes for our lunch and I enjoyed them. 

Most of their meals are flavored with coconut milk as these are abundant in the area, we had laing, adobong manok (looks more of tinola), pancit habhab and bico (sweet rice).

After visiting the project beneficiaries of Kalahi-CIDSS, I learned to appreciate the Government efforts in reaching out to the poorest people. If your not exposed to this type of communities, and been only seeing the situation in Manila and the media, you will think that the only project the DSWD have are calamity assistance, repacking of goods, and the like. Being exposed to these type of DSWD projects opened my mind that there are so much more the agency have to offer. We just to need to RESEARCH and REACH OUT. 

Information are in just one touch of a finger thru the internet,  you may check the ff: website for more information of the DSWD Programs and services: DSWD information

Here’s a list of the DSWD Programs and Services: Source: DSWD mini-handbook

  • Tulong Medikal (Medical Services)
  • Tulong Pampaaral (Educational Assistance)
  • Tulong Pampalibing 
  • Tulong Pamasahe
  • Pagbibigay ng Food Packs (Kapag May Disaster)
  • Cash for Work / Food for Work
  • Social Pension para sa mga indigent na Senior Citizen
  • Supplementary Feeding Program
  • Pagsagip sa mga Batang Napababayaan at Naninirahan sa Lansangan
  • Solo Parent Id
  • Programa at Serbisyo para sa mga PWD
  • Travel Clearance para sa mga Menor De Edad
  • Programa at Serbisyo para sa mga Kababaihang Biktima ng Pang-aabuso
  • Lingap at Gabay para sa May Sakit (Lingap sa Masa)
  • Sustainable Livelihood Program
  • Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program

Beneficiaries selection process:

The current process in selecting beneficiaries are those included in the Listahanan. 
“The Listahanan or the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR) is an information management system that identifies who and where the poor are in the country. The system makes available to national government agencies and other social protection stakeholders a database of poor families as reference in identifying potential beneficiaries of social protection programs.” 

See more information on the Listahanan here –About Listahanan

If you think you are eligible for any of this programs and are not receiving any information or benefits, you may visit your Local Government Unit to check if your listed as indigent, if not, you may request to be added and the LGU MSWD officer will check on your current situation, they may do some investigation to prove your eligibility.

Pantawid Pamilya Pilipino Program Summary:


  • P300 every month per child studying in Elementary
  • P500 every month per child studying in High School
  • Up to maximum of 3 children are covered 
  • P500 every month in each household

Conditions of the Program:

Before a beneficiary received any benefits, they must oblige with the following:

  • School attendance of not  less than 85% per month
  • Monthly check-up of children 0-5 years old and pregnant women
  • De-worming of school children twice in one year
  • Monthly attendance to Family Development Sessions (FDS)

Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) Summary:


  • Families listed in the Listahanan (mentioned above)
  • Beneficiaries of 4Ps or families listed as indigents
  • Belonging to vulnerable sector such as native tribes, senior citizens, PWDs, out-of-school youth and others


  • Skills Training
  • Seed Capital Fund
  • Pre-employment assistance fund
  • Cash for building livelihood assets

I know somehow, you are enlightened with these different programs of DSWD. And I’m sure you still have a lot of questions, you may reach DSWD at the ff:

  • Office address: DSWD Field Office IV-A Alabang-Zapote Rd., Alabang, Muntinlupa City
  • Contact no.: 807-7102
  • Email at:
  • Like their facebook page: DSWD Region IV-A
  • Twitter: @dswdservesfo4a

After our visit to Mauban, we headed to Majayjay, Laguna for a stop-over and a refreshing break. We stopped over to Angelina’s Garden Bed and Breakfast. Our team decided to try and trekk Bukay Falls — Soon on my next blog..

Bye for now, and see you on my next adventure!

So what happened to my adventure at Bukay Falls? Wanna know?

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DSWD Learning Visit – Ikot sa CALABARZON 2018 – Part II

November 16, 2018 – 2nd day of our Learning Visit, and I was excited as I am just like the 1st day. We had a delicious breakfast at the Pagsanjan Falls Laguna Lodge, where we stayed after visiting Paete, Laguna. We had fried bangus, egg and friend rice perfectly partnered with coffee while overlooking the quiet river leading the way to Pagsanjan Falls. This day was filled with curiosity, as we will explore different communities and places.

Our first drop was at the town of Luisiana, Laguna where we visited the Lala Ladies and their products, another beneficiary of the SLP (Sustainable Livelihood Program). 


Since their organization in 2016, the Lala Ladies has been producing various pandan woven handicrafts such as bags, purses, storage boxes and cushions that come in various sizes and colors. Through the efforts of the SLPA and their local government, these handicrafts were showcased in different trade fairs in and outside CALABARZON region. 

The moment I stepped into their handicraft store, I was in HEAVEN! Gosh, I love native bags! And it was awesome that these native bags were all made from Pandan leaves. Imagine how zero-waste it is, if in case it was already damaged or you no longer need it, it is completely biodegradable. As you well know, that I am also an advocate of the “Zero-waste/minimalist lifestyle” so seeing with my own eyes how these things were made, were just awesome!

I met Ate Venus R. Banta, the President of the Lala Ladies Sustainable Livelihood Program Association. She said they started on September 30, 2016 and they are all 4Ps beneficiaries. All of these 4Ps parents were gathered and formed a group of 20, and they are also makers of Pandan Handicrafts. They were given by DSWD a grant of P200,000 (P10,000/each), and another P100,000 for the Association and 2 machines (like the presser) as their working capital. 

Through the help of the trainings from SLP  they managed to grow their livelihood business. DSWD assisted them with business registration, BIR Filing and linked them with DTI for Trades and Exhibit Fairs. Each of the members also help in the promotion of the groups’ products, and aims to target the orders in time. They were able to earn at least P2,500/week and it helped a lot to augment their household income. The ladies were also proud to be featured in different tv shows, and proud that their products are being showcased in different trade fairs and bazaars. I am so impressed with their Association as it shows true cooperation among their members and they are all talented; the help the DSWD extended to their group is really a BIG HELP to those who are lacking in capital. This also help preserve their tradition and indigenous knowledge through teaching new members the skills needed to do these pandan handicrafts. 

Materials: Pandan leaves (most of these were harvested in their local store or in their own backyards)


  • Pananagpas – the cutting of Pandan leaves from its tree
  • Pag-hihininik – the process of removing of thorns in both sides of the leaves and removal of hard and excess part of the leaves
  • Pag-lilinas – cleaning of the leaves using an instrument “agpang” and cutting it into its correct size (thick and thin measure accdg. to the product that is being made 
  • Pag-iilo – the process of thinning using a presser machine
  • Pag-lalala – finally, the process of weaving 

I tried weaving a basket, the leaves should be placed in an alternate manner, it was easy but you have to pull the leaves tight (and this was the hard part for me haha!). Oh, leave it to the expert weavers. 

Pag-lalala or Weaving

Finished Products:

Almost anything can be made out of pandan leaves like bags, baskets, trays, placemats, coin purses, laundry boxes, storage box, clothes for fashion events, and many more!

Instantly, I remembered that I need to buy a souvenir or like a door prize for our Thanksgiving Party in our Cooperative so instead of buying to big malls or groceries, our team (via group chat) agreed to buy egg baskets from Lala Ladies, and another member also asked me to buy for her, so I bought 60 pcs of egg baskets, 1 egg basket for me, 1 bigger bag, and 3 coin purses. The Lala Ladies were all happy, smiles lifted, and thanked me for they said “an early Christmas gift.” But on the other hand, I should be the one thankful for finding these goodies, an instant  checked off my list of things to do for the party. And these woven materials are a good way to start a livelihood business, just add a little creativity and this finished product can go a long way. 

Brgy. San Jose, Luisiana, Laguna

Lala Ladies SLPA

  • 20 MEMBERS
  • P200,000 capital assistance

To know more about the Lala Ladies, you may visit their facebook page at

Beside the Lala Ladies Handicraft store is the Tahisiana Enterprises SLPA, but I was not able to interview their members, so I just took some photos of their production area.

Tahisiana Enterprises SLPA

While the Lala Ladies is focused into weaving, the Tahisiana Enterprises focuses on dressmaking. They are located just beside the Lala Ladies handicraft production and store area. 

You may check out more of Tahisiana Enterprises on their facebook page

After Luisiana, we headed to Lucban, Quezon and had a short visit to Kamay Ni Hesus. Check out my blog Short Visit to Kamay Ni Hesus. From there, we checked in to Patio Rizal Hotel, the Hotel was located just in front of the Lucban Municipality, and perfectly situated beside the town plaza. See full review of this hotel on this link Patio Rizal Hotel and Restaurant.

Our next drop is at the Lucban Farmers and Traders Sustainable Livelihood Program Association.

One of the main sources of income in the Quezon Province is farming. Traders and farmers often struggle and borrow money from loan sharks. This problem led to the formation of the Lucban Farmers and Traders SLPA (LFTS). 

The Lucban Farmers Trading Post is a project of the local government unit of Lucban, the goal of this Trading post is to create a venue for farmers in and out of Lucban to have a common ground for trading. Most of the traders that were given SLP assistance do trading in Divisoria. 

I got the chance to interview Mrs. Maribel Ho, one of the seller/trader and member of the LFTS. She narrated that joining the Association last 2 years when it was started was by force. There were resistance on the side of the traders on why they were being re-located in the Lucban Farmers Trading Post. They had confusion since they were quietly just doing business on their own homes then suddenly being asked to be stationed out of of the main town, and were “forced” to do trading here in the post. The first year was a struggle according to her, since the post have no potential clients yet, and they have to pay back the grant weekly. The group had a “mis-understanding” of how the grant works. But eventually, after 2 years now, the Association and the Post started to grow, there was an increase in commercialism in the area, and they were able to bring own produce (harvest) to Manila and vice versa. The traders only stay up to 2pm (those with deliveries), and then head to Divisoria while the remaining products were on display and for sale at the stalls that they are paying for P30/day. Mrs. Ho said today, after 2 years, she can say that the Lucban Farmers Trading Post and SLPA is a big help for them and increased their income. They earn as much as P800 – P1000 per day. Some of their members were also 4Ps beneficiaries. 

Here’s Mrs. Ho with her warm smile after our small chat, she was glad to share her story and was a little bit shy when we took a selfie. 

Next, I got to talk with was Mr. Bionic, he is the Vice President of the Lucban Farmers and Traders SLPA. He is a farmer and also a trader. He said he just rents the land, hires the farmers who grow crops and other vegetables in season. After 2 months, the biggest income potential ranges from P30,000 and up. Whew! that’s a good income! But sometimes, crops died during stormy weathers, or if caught with pests, or disease. Mr. Bionic, gave us bags of sayote and sweet potato (camote) which we divided among our team so all of us got to taste Lucban vegetable produce. 

Of course, I bought some vegetables from Mrs. Ho’s stall – cabbage, baguio beans, eggplant, carrots, bell pepper, lettuce, and onions. I thought it was cheaper than in Tagaytay, but they say they also get these types of vegetables from either Baguio or Tagaytay. Their local produce are sayote and camote. A kilo of sayote costs only P17/kg, in Manila it costs P35-40/kg. 

Our last community visit was at the Calumpang Sustainable Livelihood Association in Tiaong, Quezon. 

Calumpang SLPA is composed of 100 members, they received a grant of P1,020,000 from DSWD. All members of Calumpang SLPA were also recipients of the Pantawid Pamilya Pilipino Program (4Ps). Out of this amount, they were able to build a Community Store, a Party Needs Store and a Water Refilling Station. The income were recorded on a daily basis, and are shared to the 100 members as a dividend. The Calumpang SLPA are also on its way to register as a Cooperative (the next level target of SLPA), in order for them to be more independent and do more with their capital. The business registration, BIR requirements, bank withdrawals were all being monitored by DSWD, they were mentored so they can run the business well and not put their capital into waste. Withdrawal of money cannot be done without the supervision of DSWD. All members should be informed of the in and out of the financial status of their Association. 

Water Refilling Station
Party Needs Store
Community Store

After Tiaong, we headed back to our hotel at Patio Rizal and it was still early so we had more time and explored Lucban.  See more of my Lucban adventures here —

I have yet one more day of the DSWD Learning Visit, I can’t wait to share it with you. 

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Lots of love,

The Transport Queen

Short Visit to Lucban, Quezon – Kamay Ni Hesus Shrine

Just a few hours drive from Luisiana and Pagsanjan, Laguna is the quaint town of Lucban. I have known Lucban for its Pahimis Festival, but I haven’t really get down and see Lucban, not until I joined the DSWD Learning Visit. 

We visited Lucban to see the Lucban Farmers and Traders SLPA, but before that, our generous DSWD ROI Sir Joseph, allowed  us to visit one of the main attractions in Lucban which is the Kamay Ni Hesus. 


Kamay Ni Hesus in Lucban is a pilgrimage site, I was glad to come here without the overwhelming crowd. It is considered a sacred ground for everyone who wants to repent, give thanks and pray for healing. The Kamay Ni Hesus Healing Church is a 5-hectare shrine constructed on February 2002 and located at Brgy. Tinamnan, Lucban,  Quezon. I only happened to see the Healing Church, Noah’s Ark, Garden of Eden, Holy Family Park and the colorful stalls of souvenir items in the area.

You will be welcomed with REMINDERS before you start your climb, and an image of the Blessed Mother Mary.


Going up to the top of Kamay Ni Hesus is not easy, it will challenge you and rip you out of energy. So better check if your fit enough to climb 300+ stairs. Good thing, they have handrails and corners where you can hold and stop, breathe and collect yourself.


The journey going up also enable you to see Lucban in full view, each level will show you a different picturesque view of Lucban. 

On the way up, are images of the Stations of the Cross.


Once you reach the top, seems like victory where you can pray “Thank you Lord!”. For me, I always pray and thank God for surviving to climb each level, ha! ha! ha! It wasn’t that easy going down back to the ground, and I even had my rubber shoes damaged as I slipped my foot on some rock. I just thought of it as some kind of a remembrance of my adventure.


We spent just an hour of tour here, and I admit I didn’t get the chance to see all of what Kamay Ni Hesus have to offer, an hour is too short to explore the whole area. You can view other photos in my facebook page Diaries of a Transport Queen.

When we came back to the hotel in the afternoon, had a quick rest and explored the town again. Lucban town is a picture of old provincial town, establishments were still of those Spanish era designs, no modern building around the town Plaza. As if getting me to think, am I still looking at the same place a few centuries ago? It is that feeling of simplicity and peace.

A 7-11 Store in an old Spanish Style Building

We roamed around town and at last found “pancit habhab” and tried it for just P10.  At first, we do not know how to eat “habhab” style but managed to eat it anyway, without fork. To eat habhab means to eat with your mouth and eat the pancit straight from the banana leaves. OH, definitely a ZERO-WASTE lifestyle check! Why can’t all the pancit stores serve like these, hehe! I bought a kilo of fresh Lucban pancit for just P40.


We stayed at Patio Rizal Hotel — check my review in the blog _—–


Via Private Transport

  • Traverse SLEX and exit to Calamba, Laguna. You will pass by the towns of Los Banos,  Sta. Cruz, Pagsanjan, Cavinti and Luisiana

Via Public Transport

  • Check out the bus terminal at Cubao or Buendia Taft bound to Sta. Cruz, Laguna. At Sta. Cruz, take a jeepney ride going to Lucban. Then ride a tricycle going to Kamay Ni Hesus

I will definitely have the Pahimis Festival in my bucket list to complete my Lucban experience, I also wanted to explore more of Lucban and hoard their fried pancit snacks which Conan, my baby, instantly loved. Ooops, I also forgot to taste their best selling Lucban longganisa so I really have to come back for a day or two. 

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The Transport Queen