Don Bosco Batulao Batangas

We decided to drop by at Don Bosco Batulao also known by its name  Mary Help of Christians Center of Spirituality since it's located in the same area as Caleruega. The primary goal of our trip was that my elder sister was planning to organize a retreat and wanted to inquire about it.

The place was peaceful and surrounded with lush greenery. I instantly noticed the two rustic wooden chairs with bible verses at the front door of Mary Help of Christians Spirituality Center. The image of the Sacred Heart of Jesus welcomed us by the time we entered at the spacious main lobby. We happened to meet one of the resident priests. Turns out, he knows my sister. We also discovered a main chapel and went inside to quietly pray and take it all in the spiritual connection. I felt blessed.

Don Bosco Batulao is a place for retreats, recollections and other spiritual experiences. They also offer wedding ceremonies at Chapel on the Hill, which regretfully we failed to see as we had no idea about it. Anyway, I cannot express how thankful I am just to be able to visit this place.

Mary Help of Christians Center of Spirituality
Don Bosco Batulao, Brgy. Cahil, Calaca, Batangas

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Caleruega Philippines: An Ideal Place for a Blissful Respite

Visiting Caleruega is always a relaxing respite from the hot and bustling city of Manila. It was just so wonderful to surround ourselves once again with well-kept garden, perfectly manicured outdoor space, lovely big trees and gorgeous tropical flowers. It's a hidden gem seemingly in the middle of nowhere. A popular place for wedding ceremonies, spiritual retreats and recollections. Admission ticket is Php30. You can read my previous article on Caleruega HERE.

Caleruega was named after the birthplace of St. Dominic de Guzman, father of the Order of Preachers. Caleruega Philippines founded in 1995, is a Retreat Center administered by Fathers and Brothers of the Dominican Province of the Philippines.
Caleruega Philippines
Brgy. Kaylaway, Batulao,
Nasugbu, Batangas

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Seoul: The War Memorial of Korea

We made our way toward the War Memorial of Korea located in Itaewon-ro, Yongsan-gu, Seoul. It's a huge war history museum divided into indoor and outdoor exhibits, and was built in memory and remembrance of the Korean War (1950-1953).

Here you can see majestic sculptures and monuments. The Indoor Exhibition space is about 110,770 m2, which is made up of seven halls. Unfortunately, we were not able to explore the indoor halls due to time constraints.

facade of The War Memorial of Korea

Defending the Fatherland Statue

The Korean War Monument

In the Outdoor Exhibition, we roamed around for a while looking at the various displayed vehicles, war tanks, field artillery, aircraft, guns from warships, submarines etc., which were used in World War II, Korean War and Vietnam War. The good news is that visitors can get the chance to enter some of the aircraft display.

The PKM-357 National Security Exhibition Pavilion pays tribute to the 6 heroes of PKM-357 who have died with honor. The hull has been manufactured identical to the original ship on a 1:1 scale. The actual ship is currently exhibited at the National Security Park located in the Republic of Korea Navy 2nd Fleet Command.

war tanks on display at The War Memorial of Korea

C-119G 'Flying Boxcar' Transport (U.S.A), a U.S. military transport aircraft designed to carry cargo, personnel, litter patients, and mechanized equipment, and to drop cargo and troops by parachute. C-119 saw extensive action during the Korean War as a trrop and equipment transport. It was also served in the Vietnam War.

Mk2 Dual Mount 40mm Naval Gun (USA), the U.S. anti-aircraft auto cannon
The War Memorial of Korea is a must see for history buffs and combat vehicles fans alike. There's also a Children's Museum here with a diverse range of activities and a fun outdoor adventure. Open 9:00AM-6:00PM. Closed on Mondays. Admission is Free.

29, Itaewon-ro, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, 

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Lunch Buffet at Cafe Veranda Taal Vista Hotel Tagaytay

After more than an hour of travel from Manila to Tagaytay, all we needed was a decent meal. It was my elder sister who suggested to have a very filling restful lunch break at Cafe Veranda, a nice restaurant located at the upmarket Taal Vista Hotel.

Taal Vista Hotel Tagaytay

The buffet lunch at Cafe Veranda offers a variety of Continental and Filipino dishes. Like any eat-all-you can buffet, the Cafe Veranda is divided into several sections. They have a salad bar area with a wide selection but different from the traditional salads that we often see in the buffet spread. They have beetroot salad, bitter melon, chicken and pineapple, marinated grapes, rice salad and peas, roasted vegetable salad and so on. They also have a build-your-own salad bar with lettuce, dressing and toppings.

Cafe Veranda

build-your-own salad bar

Most of the main courses are delicious and fresh. Desserts are just okay. Although cakes are not anything special.

Tilapia Fillet ala Pobre

Hinurnong Manok sa Sampalok (Roast Chicken in Tamarind)

Pork Asado

Beef Ribs Caldereta

Mashed Potato / Baked Cheesy Cauliflower

Fruit and Dessert Section

Cafe Veranda Cakes

Taal Vista Hotel also offers guests a spectacular panoramic view of the Taal Lake and Volcano. Truly, a breathtaking sight not to be missed!

Taal Volcano and the surrounding lake

Sky Eye Ferris Wheel can be seen from Taal Vista Hotel

Before heading out to our next destination, we grabbed a few boxes of the hotel's must try Pan de Coco at the The Cakeshop located near the entrance of the hotel. This bread is stuffed with sweet filling and topped with a creamy glaze and toasted coconut shavings.

The Cakeshop at Taal Vista Hotel

Taal Vista Hotel Pan de Coco

assorted baked treats

Cafe Veranda's weekday lunch buffet rate is Php 788 + tax (11:3 0AM to 2:30 PM | Mon-Fri ).

Taal Vista Hotel is an 8-minute walk from the Sky Ranch, 4 km from Lourdes Church and 13 km from The People's Park In The Sky.

Taal Vista Hotel
Kilometer  60, Aguinaldo Highway
Tagaytay City 4120, Philippines

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Seoul: Cheonggyecheon

Cheonggyecheon or Cheonggye Stream used to be a neglected and polluted waterway hidden by an overpass but has been restored into a lovely recreational area and also created a wide variety of pedestrian amenities. This is one beautiful 10.84 km long modern stream that runs from west to east below the street level of downtown Seoul. There are bridges and stepping stone pathways across the stream. Very popular spot among locals and tourists.

a two-tiered stone waterfall on Cheonggyecheon

Mojeongyo bridge is the first bridge you will see on the west end of Cheonggyecheon Stream

There's also a wishing well where you can throw a coin and make a wish. It is said that the coins will be used to help the underprivileged.

Cheonggyecheon wishing well
a frozen fountain during winter

a small bridge if you want to cross to the other side

Then we had a decent late lunch at a nearby restaurant.

Cheonggye Stream is a nice place to stroll around, very relaxing and also appears to be relatively clean. Good thing it was not crowded when we visited that day. Definitely worth a visit if you want a long walk along the stream or just chill out.


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