Travel & Culture

Celebrate the Last Days of Summer at the Best Resorts in Zambales

Resorts in Zambales

For travelers, the first places that come to mind are the country’s most popular vacation spots like Boracay, Siargao, or Palawan. But if you are looking for a quick getaway that won’t break the bank, then you can head over to the Iba, which hosts the best resorts in Zambales. For those who don’t know, commuting from the metro to Zambales will take you four hours via provincial buses. The fastest route to get to Iba is through Olongapo.

Now that you’ve jotted that down, it is time to choose a place to stay. Good news! The resorts in Zambales offer great accommodations at a reasonable price. Here are a few suggestions.

Resorts in Zambales: Surfing and Chilling in Iba, Zambales

Bakasyunan Resort and Convention Center

Bakasyunan Resort and Convention Center is probably the largest resort in all of Iba. It is situated on a 3-hectare property in front of a beach that extends up to 100 meters long.

Bakasyunan Resort and Convention Center

The rooms and suites are nestled on the seaside, and it is adorned with trees and the resort’s other amenities.

Bakasyunan Resort

Room rates start at ₱1,500 for two persons. Larger groups may save money by booking the dormitories, which can house up to fifteen people for just ₱7,000 a night. The resort’s most popular rooms are located on the beachfront. These rooms can accommodate six people maximum at just ₱4,500 a night.

Photo of the beach front rooms (₱4,500/night)

Bakasyunan Resort and Convention Center Rooms

Bakasyunan Resort also offers nipa hut (Filipino traditional homes) accommodations to allow visitors to really embrace island life

Bakasyunan Resort and Convention Center Nipa Hut

They also have air-conditioned tree houses for ₱2,500 a night (houses two people)

Bakasyunan Resort and Convention Center Tree Houses

Bakasyunan Resort is located in Sitio Lawak, Barangay Amungan. Aside from their cozy accommodations, they also offer other recreational activities such as fishing, mini golf, kayaking, and other team building materials. Nearby attractions include the Subic Bay Freeport, Ramon Magsaysay Market, Calanga Reef, and St. Agustine Parish Church.

Official website:

Palmera Garden Resorts

If you aren’t one that enjoys big resorts, then Palmera Garden is for you. It is marketed at the only three-star resort in Iba, Zambales. The resort has been open since 1996 and is constantly praised for its clean, comfortable, and affordable accommodations. Rooms start at ₱2,200 per night while air-conditioned cottages are priced higher at ₱2,350.

Visit their website:

Herra Beach Resort

Herra is a great place for families and casual travelers. The huge parking area is suitable for large vehicles. Room rates start at ₱1,500/night.

Visit their website:

Herra Beach Resort

Tammy’s Beach Resort

Tammy’s Beach Resort has one of the best ambiance in all of Zambales. The resort offers a variety of activities such as boat riding, boarding, etc. It is also an ideal location for weddings, reunions, and company team buildings. Room rates start at ₱2,000 and ₱200 for extra people.


Tammy's Beach Resort

Lindamar by the Sea

Situated next to Tammy’s is another popular resort, Lindamar by the Sea. The resorts offer cheap accommodations but unfortunately does not have its own restaurant. Air-conditioned rooms that can house three people at only ₱1,200 a night.

Lindamar by the Sea

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Homemade Otap Recipe

Otap Biscuit

Otap biscuit is a sweet and crunchy wafer, a popular delicacy in the Queen City of the South along with dried mangoes, dried danggit and pusit—a must-buy pasalubong for those visiting Cebu. Otap biscuit also makes a good travel snack slash companion whether you’re traveling solo or with a group. Having a pack of this tasty bread in your bag won’t get you bored, it will keep your mouth and hands busy for the duration of your trip.

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Although otap biscuit is available in most supermarkets, it’s always worth learning new recipes as delicious as otap.

Homemade Otap Biscuit Recipe


  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup cane sugar
  • 1 tsp iodized fine salt
  • ¼ cup shortening
  • ¼ cup oil
  • 1 pc brown egg
  • 1 tsp instant yeast
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 1 cup water
  • ¾ cup shortening
  • 1 cup cake flour
  • Oil or butter for greasing dough and board

Cooking Instruction

  1. In a mixing bowl, pour the flour, sugar, iodized salt, shortening, oil, egg, yeast, vanilla, and water. Mix thoroughly and knead until the dough is smooth and rubbery. Divide into two and set aside.
  2. Create shortening mixture by combining shortening and cake flour, then again, divide into two.
  3. Grease the table with oil or butter then sprinkle with some flour.
  4. Spread each dough on the table and roll out.
  5. Pour the shortening mixture.
  6. Enclose the shortening mixture by gathering the dough’s edges.
  7. Pour some oil on top of the dough and let it stay for 15 to 20 minutes.
  8. Flatten the dough thinly on a greased board.
  9. Using a brush, slather the dough with oil or butter.
  10. Roll the dough tightly like a jelly roll. Each dough makes two rolls about 1-inch thick.
  11. Brush the dough again with more oil and let it stay for 10 to 15 minutes.
  12. Chop the dough crosswise into preferred size.
  13. Brush the dough with oil or butter and let it stay for another 10 minutes.
  14. Flatten each portion. Douse one side with sugar and transfer to the greased baking sheets.
  15. Bake in the oven over 350°F for 10 to 12 minutes or until light brown.

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Travel & Culture

Must-Visit Places in Mindanao to Spend an Unforgettable Vacation

Must-Visit Places in Mindanao

Mindanao has several paradises hidden in the lush greenery that surrounds the region, just waiting to be discovered. Only it is overshadowed by the stigma that hounded the region since several hundred years ago due to the never-ending conflicts that started when Christian Spaniards colonized the country and displaced the locals populations who are mostly Muslims.

It all changed when a Mindanaoan won the country’s presidency last year. His popularity is so unprecedently high that people are willing to forget everything and start believing that maybe this time, the elusive peace is finally within reach.

Just when people begin to see Mindanao in a different light, the Marawi incident happened. It jolted people to reality. Is peace truly achievable, or will it remain just a dream? Only time can tell.

Whatever you think, allow us to show you just how beautiful Mindanao really is—a proof that the region is truly the Land of Promise.

Discover Must-Visit Places in Mindanao

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Great Sta. Cruz Island, Zamboanga

Great Sta. Cruz Island

Despite the stigma that is connected with its location, this gorgeous pink sand beach in Zamboanga has recently been hailed as one of the best in the world by the National Geographic. The island is larger (and more beautiful) than the world-famous, commercialized Boracay Island, spanning 3,425 hectares. In January, DOT secretary Wanda Teo visited the place to show tourists that the place is safe.

Siargao Island, Surigao del Norte

Siargao Island

Siargao Island is dubbed as the Surfing Capital of the Philippines where two international surfing competitions are held. Just 800 km away from Manila, it’s one of the must-visit places in Mindanao. The island also has several white sand beaches that visitors will surely enjoy.

Camiguin Island, Camiguin

Camiguin Island

This alluring pear-shaped island is actually the second-smallest province (Batanes is the first) and one of the must-visit places in Mindanao for its hot and cold hot springs, unspoiled powdery white sand beaches, and turquoise blue water. You just have to bring your own necessities as there is no available accommodation for you to stay in or store you can buy something from or even a tree to shelter you from the heat of the sun.

Rizal Shrine in Dapitan

Rizal Shrine

From our elementary textbook, we learned that our national hero was exiled in Dapitan during the Spanish regime. But where exactly Dapitan is, many have no idea. Dapitan is in Zamboanga. Rizal stayed in the place for four years. Using the money he won from a lottery, he bought lands; built houses; became a teacher, doctor, farmer, painter, architect, biologist, composer, inventor; and helped improve the lives of the people in Dapitan, proving that our national hero is the jack of all trades.

Maria Cristina Falls, Iligan City

Maria Cristina Falls

Of the more than 20 waterfalls found in Iligan, Maria Cristina Falls is probably the most especial. At 320 ft high from the ground, it’s the second-highest falls in the country. It also serves as a stable source of energy for the entire region, supplying 70 percent of Mindanao’s power needs. Swimming is not allowed in the area because of the very strong water current; however, there is a viewing deck open to the public to watch the mesmerizing cascading of water below. Fun activities like zip line and rock climbing are also available for adventurers.

Mount Apo, Mindanao

Mount Apo

With 9,692 ft high above sea level, Mt. Apo is the highest mountain—well, it’s actually a volcano—in the Philippines. It has three peaks that provide breathtaking views of the vast virgin forest of Davao. The flat-top mountain is crowned by a small crater lake about 500 meters wide. Among the attractions you’ll see in the area are unique plants and trees, waterfalls, wild boar, and sometimes, a mountain deer. It’s truly one of the must-visit places in Mindanao for mountaineering junkies.

Vega Ancestral House, Misamis Oriental

Vega Ancestral House

If you happen to be in Misamis Oriental, don’t forget to drop by Vega Ancestral House in Balingasag. It is the oldest structure in the area made of molave, a high quality of wood found in the country. But even if it’s old already, the house has an interesting design.

Asik-Asik Falls, North Cotabato

Asik-asik Falls

The once-sleeping town of Alamada in North Cotabato is now a flourishing tourist destination, thanks to the Asik-Asik Falls. A truly magnificent gift of nature, this tourist attraction has pristine waters rushing from the stone wall covered with lush vines down straight to a shallow river. The place will remind you of fairies and magical creatures from old story books, making it one of the most enchanting and must-visit places in Mindanao you will never regret going to.

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Bulalo (Beef Bone Marrow Soup)


You are probably already familiar with bulalo. It’s a flavorful beef soup dish almost similar to nilagang baka except that bulalo recipe uses particular beef cuts—beef shank and beef marrow bones. This dish is popular among Filipinos, and one of the popular Southern Luzon cuisine in Tagaytay. Although you can cook this at home, it’s widely available in most restaurants and carinderias. It’s best consumed during the cold and rainy season.

Cooking bulalo involves simmering of the beef for an hour and a half up to two hours or until the meat almost seems to fall off the bones. If you have eaten this dish before, you must have noticed that thick and oily feeling in your mouth, it’s the beef’s fat and collagen that melted and mixed with the liquid after the cooking process. While it’s what makes this beef soup dish so delicious, it’s also what makes it unhealthy. If you want a healthier bulalo recipe, here’s what you should do.

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Bulalo Recipe

A Healthier Bulalo Recipe


  • 2 pounds of beef shank
  • 1 medium sized piece of ginger, peeled then sliced
  • 1 medium-sized onion, quartered
  • 1 head of garlic, crushed then peeled
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons of black peppercorn
  • 3 pieces corn on the cob, cut into 2 12 inch long pieces
  • 1 small bundle of bokchoy, stem base trimmed
  • 12 small cabbage, cut into wedges
  • Patis to taste
  • Calamansi and patis combined with chili for a dipping sauce


  1. Put a large cooking pot on a stove. Add water enough water. Bring it to a boil.
  2. Once it starts to boil, put the beef shank with bone, ginger, onion, peppercorns and garlic.
  3. Let the liquid boil again. Once you the scum rising on the pot, lower the heat and scoop the scum and fats using a large spoon.
  4. Cover the pot again and continue to simmer for about 2 hours over low heat or until the meat is very tender. If you think you’re low on water, feel free to add more.
  5. Remove from the heat and let it cool down. Once it’s not hot anymore, transfer it to a container and leave in the fridge for at least 3 hours.
  6. Open the container and you’ll see the heart disease–causing, cholesterol-rich, white scum floating above the soup. Remove it using a spoon.
  7. Now that your bulalo dish has lesser fat, transfer it to a large pot and reheat.
  8. Once it boils, add the corn and cook again for another 10 minutes.
  9. Add the vegetables (cabbage and bokchoy) and salt. Cook it for about a minute or two, then turn off the stove. Don’t overcook, unless you want your veggies soggy.
  10. Transfer to a big bowl and serve.

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Simple Ube Halaya Recipe

Ube Halaya Recipe

Ube halaya, also called ube jam, is a favorite Filipino dessert made from purple yam. It is usually served during special occasions or given as a giveaway or gift to friends during the holiday season in December when purple yam is most abundant. Preparation of the dish includes boiling and mashing this tuberous vegetable before mixing it with the other ingredients including coconut milk and sugar.

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Ube Halaya

Ube is one of the few vegetables that can be made into a delicious dessert. Ube halaya has a thick and gluey texture and is one of the favored halo-halo components, though it’s sweet and delectable enough to be eaten alone. Others like ube halaya as a sandwich or cookie filling.

Filipino Dessert

Luckily, making this dish is so simple, you can easily make one at home. The only challenge in making this ube halaya dish is in the mixing of all the ingredients. It needs to be continuously stirred for at least 25 minutes or longer to be able to achieve the ideal texture.

Purple Yam

For the complete instruction on how to make an ube halaya at home, follow this recipe.

Ube Halaya Recipe


  • 1 lb grated purple yam
  • 2 cups coconut milk
  • ¾ cup cane sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cooking oil


  1. Place a cooking pot on a stove and pour the coconut milk. Bring to a boil.
  2. Once it boils, add the sugar, lower the heat, and stir the mixture until the sugar dilutes completely.
  3. Add the grated purple yam. Stir continuously until the texture is sticky enough, That would take you around 20 to 30 minutes to achieve it. (Note: continue stirring to avoid the mixture from sticking at the bottom.)
  4. Using a clean cloth or your finger, grease the llanera with cooking oil. Transfer the cooked ube halaya to the oiled container.
  5. Let it cool down to room temperature. You can it eat it right away or place in the fridge covered with a cling wrap.
  6. And you’re done!

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Modern Home Designs

Take a Tour Around Horizons 101

Horizons 101 Tower 2

Over 800 units at Horizons 101 Tower 1 project have already been sold, but it seems it’s not enough as there has been much appeal for more units. To meet the demand, Taft Property Venture Development Corporation immediately developed another skyscraper in the same vicinity—the Tower 2. While Tower 1 has 55 stories, the tallest condominium in Cebu City, Tower 2 has 46 levels, providing a spectacular viewpoint of the Metro.

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Horizons Cebu Tower 2

One of the huge pulls of Horizons 101 is its location. Positioned along General Maxilom Avenue, it’s just a few minutes away from major establishments like schools, hospitals, shopping centers, banks, and restaurants.

Masterfully designed, Horizons 101 boasts world-class amenities for residents and visitors to enjoy, including Japanese gardens on several levels, gazebo, mini theater, multipurpose hall, 150-meter jogging path, 25-meter lap pool, Jacuzzi, kiddie pool, wet and dry play areas, air-conditioned playroom for kids, ample parking spaces, and a commercial area at the ground floor.

With all the luxury it offers and being a peaceful home to come back to in the middle of the busy city, Horizons 101 redefines urban living.

“Taft Properties is taking residential living in Cebu to the top with Horizons 101. This project has been meticulously planned and will highlight one of Taft’s core principles which is Comfort by Design,” says Mr. Chris Narciso, president and COO of Taft Properties.

Horizons 101
Taft’s concept, “Comfort by Design,” aims to change the quality of life through innovations, amazing features, and superior amenities in all of their developments. Horizons 101, Cebu’s tallest landmark, is considered as an “engineering wonder.”

Both towers have its own state-of-the-art security and convenience features like easy-open lever-type doors, windows with limiters, fireproof standard-sized premium doors, soft-closing cabinet doors, safety switches, no-spill kitchen counter, grease traps, wide corridors, porcelain tiles, and rain shower heads—all of which add to the superior quality of modern living.

For swift transport within the buildings, four fast-moving elevators with key-card access were installed for residents’ maximal security. Backup power is also available to ensure continuous life at Horizons 101.

Horizons 101 Unit Offers

Regardless of your lifestyle, Horizons 101 can provide options in top living spaces in Cebu City that suit your needs.

Studio model unit

Horizons 101 Studio Unit

Their studio units are perfect for young professionals, students, or vacationers with an active lifestyle!

1-bedroom model unit

Horizons 101-1 Bedroom Unit

Whether you live alone and need more space or starting a family, Horizons 101’s one-bedroom units are just the right fit for you.

2-bedroom model unit

Horizons 101-2 Bedroom Unit

The two-bedroom units are perfect for small families!

3-bedroom model unit

Horizons 101-3 Bedroom Unit

Situated at the premium floors of Horizons 101, the three-bedroom units are the most sought-after spaces in the tower. They’re perfect for those seeking bigger and more luxurious living spaces.

1-bedroom suite

Horizons 101-1 Bedroom Suite

Horizons 101’s one-bedroom suite is the best choice for executives, smart and classy.


For more information and inquiries:
Phone: +63 32 2666 101
Address: General Maxilom Ave, Cebu City, Cebu

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