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TH EA E N GL O E C RT RE H F EK AC BA E & GS

FOLLOW PAMPANGA’S SCORCHING SUMMER TRAIL

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A V E L ISSUE 6

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Z I N E 9 APRIL - JUNE 200

OH POI ! A FUN ATTRACTION ON THE BEACH SPECIAL

FROZEN TREATS

MOST EXTRAORDINARY ICE CREAM FLAVORS

THE P500 CHOW-LLENGE HUNT FOR INEXPENSIVE EATS IN THE METRO

VOLUME 2

ISSUE 6

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PARADISE UNCOVERED

A GUIDE TO PHILIPPINES’ HIDDEN BEACHES & WHITE SAND ISLANDS

CALAGUAS GUMASA BANTAYAN NAGSASA + MORE

NEGROS OCCIDENTAL A SWEET MIX OF OLD & NEW

+ ILLUSTRATED DESTINATION MAP


CONTENTS COVER STORY

Paradise Uncovered Ivan Anthony Henares gives a fresh take on travel destinations for summer. Join him as he revisits the beaches and islands in the country not usually found in your vacation list.

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ALSO ON THE COVER Special Feature : Negros Occidental Frozen Treats - Unique Ice Cream Flavors Oh Poi!

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TRAVEL ESSENTIALS 18 Beach Basics

Know what to bring to your most awaited summer vacation

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FOOD TRIP

Merry Mix-Up: Halo-Halo Tales

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The P500 CHOW-llenge

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Clare Amador shares where to find various versions of this interesting Pinoy summer treat

Dianne Monsod tours the Metro for tummy fillers that are easy on the budget

COVER A photo of the twins Chris and James Sanchez playing on the beach of White Island in Camiguin. The island of Camiguin is located off the northern coast of Mindanao. PHOTOGRAPHED BY RON ARGUELLES

ATTENTION ALL SHUTTERBUGS! Explore your creativity with Sidetrip! We invite you to send us a photo that best describes or represents a VINTAGE WEEKEND – the theme of Sidetrip’s next issue. Turn to page 8 for details.


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CONTENTS TRAVEL TALES

Pampanga In the Sun

Join Anne Elicaño as she explores what Pampanga has to offer beyond its kitchens.

Negros Occidental: A Sweet Mix of Old and New

Walk with Maica Lagman and Glenn Diaz as they visit notable heritage houses and structures Gaston, Hofileña, Lopez, The Ruins of the sugar capital of the country.

Take Home Treats from Negros Occidental

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Maricar Cadavicio gives a rundown of pasalubong to take home from sugarland.

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PEOPLE, ARTS & CULTURE Welcome to Ugu’s Playground

This summer, Pryme Queblatin follows the way of the sun to Ugu Bigyan’s Pottery Workshop in Tiaong, Quezon.

Celebrity Traveler: Gaby Dela Merced – Beyond the Fast Lanes

Bookmarked

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Weekend Cover Contest Letter of the Issue Subscription

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REGULARS Sidetrip Staff Contributors

Christa De La Cruz chats with Gaby dela Merced to find out what she loves to do when she’s not on the race track.

Editor’s Note Fiesta Calendar Directory

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PLUS!

SPECIAL SECTION:

EXCLUSIVE PHOTOS

SUMMER TOOL BOX

Conquer Zambales

Sidetrip provides fun facts and advisories to help you prepare for a memorable and excitingsummer escapade.

A-Z Bakasyon Grande Travel Tips

READERS SECTION

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EXPLORE YOUR CREATIVITY WITH SIDETRIP!

For the full mechanics, please visit www. sidetriponline.com or email us for inquiries.

SOL RACELIS

Creative Director

J.R. FELIPE

Associate Editor Editorial Assistant Illustrators Photographers

We invite you to send us a photo that best describes or represents a VINTAGE WEEKEND – the theme of Sidetrip’s next issue. The winning photograph will be on the cover of the magazine and the owner will receive a surprise gift pack from us. Email your photo entries (at least 350dpi) to sidetripmag@gmail.com or picomanila@gmail.com with your contact details (name, age, address and mobile number) and a short description of the photo in 50 words or less. Subject line should read “WEEKEND COVER CONTEST.”

Managing Editor

Contributors

Publishers

KRISTY ANN TEXON CHRISTA DE LA CRUZ MARIE MONELLENE JIMENEZ LUCILLE ANTONETTE TUNGOL OCHELLE MAE DALUYO IAN ONG, IVAN ANTHONY HENARES, BIKOY VILLANUEVA, JETHER AYALA, JEROME BALUYUT, AMY LEIGH ROLLERA, ALLAN BARREDO, CHESTER CATILAGO, ALLAN R. ASCANAO, JOEL V. SISON, PAWEL ZUREK IVAN ANTHONY HENARES, DIANNE MONSOD, MARICAR CADAVICIO, CLARE AMADOR, ANNE ELICIAÑO, GLENN DIAZ, MAICA LAGMAN, PRYME QUEBLATIN, APRIL YAP, CONSIGLIERE DE LENA, MIGUEL VILLEGAS

JOANNA MARIE MONTOYA J.R. FELIPE

Advertising Managers

ROMMEL BOBILES

Advertising Executive

MARK VERGEL ROSOS

Marketing Coordinator

MELODY MAGBANUA

Subscription Officer

MELINDA VALENCIA

Sidetrip is a quarterly travel magazine published by Pico Integrated Marketing Agency, 3328 Matanzas St., Palanan, Makati City, Philippines. Phone (+632) 832 2067. Telefax (+632) 556 7262. Email EDITORIAL & ADVERTISING at sidetripmag@gmail.com or picomanila@gmail.com. Manuscripts and photographs must be accompanied by a self-addressed envelope. While every reasonable care will be taken by the editors, Sidetrip is not responsible for the return of unsolicited submissions. Opinions expressed here are solely those of the writers and not necessarily endorsed by Pico. Reproduction of photos in full or in part is probihited, unless permission is secured from the editor and/or publishers.

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CONTRIBUTORS ANNE ELICAÑO regularly writes for Philippine glossies and won the 2007 International Essay Competition for Young People award from UNESCO and the GOI Peace Foundation of Japan. She was bitten by the travel bug when she joined an international non-profit organization in 2005, a job which took her to various countries in East Asia, Southeast Asia, and Europe.

IVAN ANTHONY HENARES is a young man who is well on his way to exploring the country’s 7,107 islands and more. His candid and well-written travel journals in Ivan About Town (www.ivanhenares. com)—named Best Travel Blog at the 2007 Philippine Blog Awards— give his readers a glimpse of Philippine culture. A staunch heritage advocate, he is a trustee of the Heritage Conservation Society and represents the Philippines in the ICOMOS International Cultural Tourism Committee (ICTC). Henares is currently the Marketing Operations Manager of the North Philippines Visitors Bureau (NPVB).

APRIL YAP has a day job in the media industry but is a closet writer. She leans towards humorous nonfiction when she has the time to write but has to admit there aren’t that many funny things about advertising.

PRYME QUEBLATIN always has a lot of things on her mind. Most of the time, it revolves around finding a way to fund her next travel stint.

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MIGUEL VILLEGAS is a Sagittarius whose centaur hooves mean that he’s got itchy feet. He loves to travel, something he’s been doing since he was a child with his family. He believes no matter how far you may travel, there will always be new horizons to push. He also loves to write, having written for a variety of magazines and newspapers, as well as being a part-time performance poet, aspiring author and English teacher.

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DIANNE MONSOD doesn’t consider herself a writer. But since she’d like to find good deals and tell people about them, she decided to share her finds with Sidetrip. Having a day job at the country’s largest oil company, she finds writing for a travel magazine an outlet for her desire to experience trips and adventures (even if it’s just in the metro).

GLENN DIAZ is a freelance writer who dabbles with something as mundane as “Grey’s Anatomy” spoilers and things as weird as corporate annual reports and reviews on postmodern stage plays. He has written for several magazines, specializing in travel, cafe lifestyle, and business, among others. He also freelances for PR agencies and once or twice has given workshops on campus journalism to teachers. He earned his secondary education degree from UP Diliman in 2008.

CLARE AMADOR is part of Youth Trip Philippines, a volunteerbased group that promotes responsible travel and sustainable local tourism. http:// www.ytrip.org.ph

MARICAR CADAVICIO Previously a production manager and episode writer for a local cooking show, Maricar continues to prowl the Philippines for good eats and great getaways as she hums to the tune of Discovery Channel’s “Boom De Ah Dah” on her ipod.

MAICA LAGMAN After writing and editing several books, Maica Lagman decided it was time to shift from writing full-time to growing her herbs and whipping up original Filipino salad dishes. Her new project, tossed.multiply.com, keeps her occupied for now. Email her at iwanttossed@gmail.com.


EDITOR’SNOTE F

our years ago, I set foot on the powderfine sand of Boracay for the first time and fell in love with the island immediately. Fast forward to 2009, while most people—myself included—still seem to be enchanted by this piece of paradise and consider it a summer staple working for a travel magazine has led me to discover that with an archipelago like ours, the list of “paradisos” yet to be explored and enjoyed seems endless. We’ll take you to some of these uncommon beach destinations in the article “Paradise Uncovered” and also introduce you to other treasures found in Negros Occidental beyond its sugar plantations—the heritage houses and structures reflective of the strong Spanish influence in the province. This is but the second Summer issue of Sidetrip but we already have so much to be proud of, much to be thankful for and much more to offer to you, our dear readers. Starting with this issue, Sidetrip comes to you in wider and more colorful pages so you can better enjoy our travel features and food finds. You will also get a chance to know more about celebrities and their travel stories, PLUS get an interesting review of the metro’s restaurants and dining places; see a sampler in our P500 Chow-llenge. Aside from coffee shops, restaurants, hotels and terminals, you will see more of Sidetrip in leading bookstores nationwide. Each of these milestones is possible because of your continued support, our dear readers. And for that, we are truly grateful. This summer and hopefully, for countless summers in the future, I encourage you to share in our journeys as we open doors to new adventures and discover a world of never-ending possibilities.

Sol Racelis sidetripmag@gmail.com

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TRAVEL TALES

PAMPANGA SUN IN THE

BY ANNE ELICANO PHOTOGRAPHED BY SOL RACELIS

Food trips to the province of Pampanga—a mere three-hour drive from Manila—have always been all the rage. But while the restaurants dotting the culinary tour trail are open all year round, there are certain things about Pampanga that are best experienced during the summer. When the skies are clear and the sun is golden, it is time to go beyond Pampanga’s kitchens and fully enjoy its heritage sites, idyllic barrios, and rugged terrain.

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Here are the spots we recommend for your Pampanga Summer Trail:

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San Guillermo Church, Bacolor Old Philippine churches will tell you much about a town’s legacy and history, and San Guillermo Church is no exception. First built in 1576, the church looks like it has been transplanted directly from Spain and into her former colony. Augustinian friars supervised its construction, but all of the handiwork—from the intricate carvings on the retablados to its wrought iron chandeliers—has been made by Pampanga’s talented artisans. Mother Nature also had a hand in San Guillermo’s overall


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Betis Crafts Inc. Retablo of San Guillermo Church

design. In 1995, a flooding of lahar (a deadly mix of volcanic ash and mud) from nearby Mt. Pinatubo submerged half of the church. As a result, San Guillermo’s windows have been reduced to low and almost hobbit-like concaves on its side walls. Residents of Bacolor, ever mindful of the church’s rich heritage and place in town life, have since then lovingly excavated and restored the formidable church to what it is today.

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Showroom, Guagua

The sleepy town of Betis has been known within these parts for its woodcarving and its furniture makers. The world is also taking notice. One of the town’s biggest furniture firms, Betis Crafts Inc. (BCI), supplies And So To Bed in the United Kingdom and Williams-Sonoma and Restoration Hardware in the United States, among others. It also counts no less than

The San Guillermo Church is also known as the “Half-buried Church”

TAKE A SIDETRIP TO: Betis Church, also in Guagua, Pampanga and known as the “Sistine Chapel of the Philippines.” Intricate designs depicting significant events and figures from the Bible are painted on its walls and ceilings. This century old structure is also the 2nd oldest church in Pampanga and declared as a national cultural treasure of the country by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCAA).

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Hillary Clinton as a customer. Although BCI is mainly an exporter, its showroom in Guagua is open to the public. Visitors can witness how traditional materials—such as dried banana tree bark—can be fashioned into chic, contemporary designs. While the furniture on display is a must-see, the vast garden surrounding the showroom is also to be enjoyed. BCI owner and managing director Myrna Bituin is as passionate about her garden as she is about furniture design, and it shows. In partnership with local tour organizer TEAM RH 500 Expeditions, she plans to showcase the best of Pampanga woodwork, and also serve refreshments here. Not to be missed are her lemon grass juice and Kapampangan merienda (afternoon tea) staples from local bakeries such as taisan,golgoras,andsampaguitacookies.

La Moderna Treats – served as afternoon snacks at Betis Garden

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Ostrichland

Leisure Farm, San Luis There are only five ostriches in the farm, and they are kept as pets and not as livestock. However, that does not seem to be the point of the 12-hectare property owned by the Manliclic family. While not your typical working farm, Ostrichland seems to have captured the best elements of the Philippine countryside. The main road cuts through sampaguita groves and ilang-ilang trees. A bamboo nipa hut (the traditional Filipino farm house), a pond, tropical fruits on the ground, and wildlife are


part of the scene. Perhaps the only modern fixtures here can be found in the Log House, a sprawling wooden guest residence with modish furnishings. Originally intended to be a place where the Manliclic clan can spend the holidays together, Ostrichland can also be reserved for private picnics and corporate summer outings.

4x4 braving the riverbed of lahar, rocks and sand

Sacobia Riverbed,

Sapang Bato4

Gorges, rugged valleys, and canyons all became part of the Pampanga landscape when Mt. Pinatubo erupted in 1991. An ideal place to experience the scenery would be driving through the Sacobia River, which runs through where the earth split during the volcanic quakes. Sacobia should only be traversed during the summer season, when the riverbed—made up of lahar, sand, and rocks—is mostly dry. Tearing through rocky crossings and craters in off-road 4x4 vehicles is not only the best way to get really close to the terrain, but is awesome fun as well. Visitors who need a break from the bumpy ride can pause and take a dip in one of the eight spring pools along the way.

Contact Betis Crafts Inc. at (045) 900-0309. For Ostrichland Leisure Farm, contact Anne or Jun Manliclic at (0917) 792-8121. All locations are part of Team RH 500 Expedition’s “Secrets of Pampanga Revealed” tour). Contact Poch Jorolan at poch168@gmail.com or (0917) 245-4834 for other schedules and details.

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SIDETRIP June 2009  

The Handy Philippine Travel Magazine