27 April 2005

Road trip



Yesterday, Chu the Man, Fisherpau and I went on a road trip with the mission to find the best weekend destination. This is a condensed version of the trip, as we prepare for another one today. The first day takes us to the north of Manila; today, we go south.

This is the first time we saw the North Luzon Expressway since its major renovation. The roads are indeed nicely constructed, and the trip across this major road was a breeze. However, we got the fright of our life when we discovered the exorbitant fees they charge!

Our trip started at 10AM; we found ourselves wending our way to Bulacan, where 8 Waves by lunchtime. It was a nice place to stay for hanging around swimming pools. Lots of shaded areas for picnicking outside without the summer sun bearing down on you. And they have a wave pool as well!
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The next part of the trip sent us to Clark Special Economic Zone, one of the former US military bases here which was evacuated at the onset of Mt. Pinatubo's eruption in the early 90s. We visited the Mimosa Golf and Country Club and Fontana.

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Both has cottages which can comfortably fit 6. While the former's facilities are more accessible by foot (swimming pool, large green field for outdoor activities), the latter has a very nice water park, also with a wave pool.

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Later that afternoon, we headed off to Subic (another former US Military base) enroute to White Rock Beach Resort and Hotel. This is by far the nicest place we have seen! White Rock is situated near the beach, and the grounds are wide-spaced. There is plenty of room for everyone, with cottages fronting the beach. There are also shaded hammocks for relaxing the day away. Too bad it was already nighttime when we arrived so I wasn't able to take photos with my camera phone. The photos are with my colleagues. The downside is that this is also quite a far-off place. It will take around 4 hours to get here from Manila.

After the long trip, we headed off to Gerry's Grill in Subic and had bulalo, crispy pata, and grilled squid. With a couple of beer for good measure.

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The road trip lasted around 14 hours, and we made it back to Manila by 12 midnight. I should have worn sandals or more comfortable shoes; my feet are killing me! But many thanks to Chu for driving!

That's it for yesterday. Today, we go south!
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