Visit to Casa Flor de Liza of Angat , Bulacan

108 Dr. A. Villarama street corner P. Capistrano Street , Barangay Marungko, Angat, Bulacan province – Philippines

Lakad Pamana and Sir Roy Vincent Santiago together with the group of participants decided to have an unplanned road tour of the town of Angat just a few kilometers away from Norzagaray .

Maximo Fernandez and Adelaida Mendoza Ancestral House

After a brief stop over at the Angat Church ( more on that in my later post) . We visited the old Casa Flor de Liza was constructed around 1888 by Cabezang Maximo ” Imong” Villarama- Fernandez and his wife  a religious woman, Adelaida  ” Ima Idang” Mendoza Fernandez.

old family photos

The house is located along Dr. A. Villarama street corner Capistrano street within Barangay Marungko, Angat -Bulacan.

Dr. A . Villarama was a former Secretary of Health 1954 while P. Capistrano was a former Mayor of the place in 1906.


The house is also known as Maximo Fernandez and Adelaida Mendoza Ancestral House.  The house had a neatly manicured garden with lots of  flowering vinca or chichirica, euphorbia milli hybrids , pinsarai , tropical fruit trees such as Bangkok guava, chico , pomelo and Dendrobium orchid hybrids.

an heirloom family collection of old religious figures

The house had a lot of interesting furniture sets with carabao bone inlaid designs.

Mr. Roy Vincent Santiago together with Dr. Maximo Santos

Mr. Maximo Fernandez “Meng” Santos is the the fourth generation of the clan with his wife, Dra.Queenie Santos, MD, inherited the ancestral house. He was the youngest member of the clan.


The floors were very clean and made from large narra planks .

groupie photo courtesy by : Mr. Roy Vincent Santiago

After a brief tour of the ancestral house , the group have a photo opportunity with the host and we left the place.


Kangay Restaurant : Bagnet and Coffee Restaurant

Norzagaray , Bulacan province-Philippines

Kangay restaurant is a new restaurant chain in Norzagaray , Bulacan. According to the proprietor , They opened a small restaurant about 4 years ago and had been doing well. This prompted them to open a new coffee shop and restaurant a few months ago.

Kangay’s restaurant facade

The new restaurant is quaint and had a sitting capacity ( air-condition ) of between 35 to 40 people at any given time. There is also a small patio area good for 4 to 5 people sitting outside.

interior of the restaurant and coffee shop

According to Mr. Roy Vincent Santiago – Kangay is a term ” To Eat ”  used by local people of Norzagaray whenever there are occasions such as town fiesta or special events.

menu board

The restaurant’s menu offers coffee , ice cream, beverages, snack items like nachos, spaghetti , carbonara, fish fries, french fries , pansit canton, rice topping like Beef Pares and Chilli Thai Beef only at Php 79.00 per meal

cream frappes with double chocolate chips at Php 69.00

sundae ice cream -strawberry

We must say that it was the in-house specialties like Bagnet Rice , Kare-Kare Rice and Bicol Express ( Kangay’s Bagnet ) which the group had eaten .

bagnet rice with bagoong and fresh slices of tomatoes and onion ( condiment )

kare-kare with bagnet and bagoong ( shrimp paste )

bicol express with bagnet

 sweet and sour fish fillet with rice

sinigang soup

The participants enjoyed the food, coffee , desserts and creme frappes . One must try this coffee and restaurant when one is visiting the place.
Address: 786 General Alejo G. Santos Highway, Partida, Norzagaray, 3013 Bulacan
Operation Hours : 10:00am to 9:30pm weekdays Monday to Friday
9:30 am to 9:30pm weekend Saturday and Sunday
Phone:(044) 342 0510
(Cellphone )0917-6943634

Flores de Ermita at Manila Hotel

Manila Hotel, Manila-Philippines

The Ermita Malate Business Owners Association ( EMBOA) Flores de Ermita Parada ng mga Sagala and the Kasuotang Pilipino Fashion Show is taking a giant leap forward showcasing the annual Flores de Ermita event with young fashion designers of the Fashion Designers Association of the Philippines . This is the second year that the group is staging their event.

officers and members  of EMBOA and Manila Hotel manager

This year’s parade of carriage and mini-fashion show begun at the historic Manila Hotel and ends at Robinson’s Place-Manila .

Fashion Designers Association of the Philippines

The event started past 2:00pm at the main lobby of hotel, starting with beautiful ladies wearing Filipinana designed by members of the fashion designer association of the Philippines .

Philippine National Police

 models going down the stairs

“To celebrate the city of Manila’s special version of the well-loved flower festival in May, the Flores de Ermita does not only celebrate the beauty in fashion but also revisit the charm of the Philippine capital and once known as the ” Pearl of the Orient” says Ms. Michelle Pe ( EMBOA – President)

model with escort

model and escort in front of Manila Hotel

horse-drawn carriages

After the presentation , The models rode horse drawn carriages ( kalesas and karetelas) to Remedios Circle for another photo opportunity at the Remedios Circle.Park. The park is neatly manicured with newly planted palms and ornamental plants.

Remedios Circle fountain

The Remedios Circle fountain serves as a focal point for the urban renewal and beautification program of the organization and the city of Manila.  The mood is very festive with upbeat Caribbean street band and cheerful children .

group photo

The mission of EMBOA of positive image , pride of the place remains strong and they are proud of renewal agenda for the residents, arts , cultural promotion , good neighborhood and business partnership in making stronger alliances with city government and various stakeholders for the revival of Ermita-Malate as a tourism destination . The author had a chance to get invited in one of their community outreach project last year.

Junior New System

Junior New System group was founded in 2009 which gives a new twist to the hip-hop dance in Sampaloc ( District 4 ) of Manila . They are best known as one of the finalists at the recent Asia’s Got Talent feat held last year in Singapore .


Miss Earth 2015 Ms. Angelia Ong and Mayor Joseph ” ERAP” Estrada

Ms. Earth 2015 Miss Angelia Ong lead the Santacruzan at the Robinson’s Place and was highlighted the night fashion show .

Ms. Angelia Ong – Miss Earth 2015

After the mini-fashion show , the designers were given recognition for their tireless efforts.  A short message was delivered by Ms. Digna Rosales ( President ) Fashion Designers Association of the Philippines – The organization is celebrating their 35th anniversary this year.

Here are the Winners of the Sagala ( Design ) Contest

Flores de Ermita – Model #12 Designer Miss Nica Castro

The Filipinana dress was inspired by the 1930’s Manila carnival era with modern twist and a high slit

Flores de Malate -Model #14 Mr. Don Cristobal

 The Filipiniana dress was a mix of Indian , Middle Eastern design and native Philippine tribal pattern.

Flores de Turismo -Model #17 Mr. Renelson Espaldon
 The light bluish Filipiniana dress was designed by Mr. Renelson Espaldon with classic bead works. The event  was hosted by Mr. Tetsuhiro “Show”  Suzuki  ( far right ).
Those interested in getting involved with the group projects, please try to contact EMBOA administration office at 526-1866, 0908-542-2952
Note : Photos are taken by the author

Meralco Advisory at Pandesal Forum : Consumers Enjoy Lower Power Rates in May

Kamuning Bakery , Quezon City -Philippines

Meralco announced earlier this month that the rate for its residential customers in May would go down by 41 -centavos per kWk, thereby bringing it down to Php 8.44 per kWh.  There was a press conference earlier today held at the iconic Kamuning Bakery in Quezon City .

For a typical household consuming 200kWh , this translate to a reduction of around Php 82.00 in their electricity bill.

L-R    Mr. Wilson Lee -Flores ,Mr. Joe Zaldarriaga ( Meralco spokesperson)  ,  Mr. Jose Antonio -Valdez ( Vice President and Head -Marketing Consumer Solutions and Product Development ) MERALCO, Little Joe and Little Miss Maita

monthly changes in April and May

This month ‘s overall rate is lower by Php 1.54 per kWh compared to May 2015’s Php 9.98 per kWh. It is also the lowest since January 2010, or over a period of six years.

The decrease in the overall rates was primarily due to the generation charge , which decreased by Php 0.21 per kWh from last month . May’s generation charge is the lowest since October 2004.

The current repricing covers months when crude oil spot prices in the world market fell to as low as US$31 per barrel.  The three natural gas plants supplied more than half, or 54%, of Meralco’s requirements.

egg pie  chart – based on 2015 overall average cost of power

We were grouped into 5 members per team ( 3 teams ) . The one who finish the first with correct answers wins.

54% goes to generation companies , 18% Meralco , 11% transmission , 12%taxes aand 5% others.

Based on 2015 overall average rates – taxes=value added tax +universal charg +local franchise tax

others=system loss charge +subsidies +feed-in Tariff Allowance ( FiT-All)

winning team

Transmission charge likewise registered a decrease of PhP0.10 per kWh due to the reduction in NGCP’s ancillary charges and slight decrease in Power Delivery Service (PDS) charge.

Taxes and Other Charges also decreased by PhP0.10 per kWh following the reduction in generation and transmission charges.
Meralco’s distribution, supply, and metering charges, meanwhile, have remained unchanged for 10 months, after they registered a reduction in July 2015.

customer engagement 

The company is expanding the coverage areas for pre-paid electricity system to about 140,000 homes across different areas of Metro Manila and nearby municipalities like Cainta, Angono , Taytay and Rizal.

Mr. Jose Antonio T. Valdez -head Marketing , Customer Solutions and Product Development ( Meralco)

The Meralco Orange Tags are easy-to-understand labels that indicate estimated energy consumption in kilowatt hours (kWh) and estimated cost per hour to inform consumers on how much electricity a household product consumes.

Meralco has started putting Orange Tags on different models of refrigerators, air-conditioning units and washing machines found in leading appliance stores in Metro Manila. The appliance units have undergone testing at the Meralco Power Lab to determine their electric consumption and equivalent power cost.

Orange Tags also indicate the appliances’ brand, type, model, power rating, Meralco average rate used and testing date. Information found in the Meralco Orange Tags and other Power Lab test results can also be viewed at the Meralco Power Lab website at


bloggers and media enjoyed the hearty lunch

 The bloggers had a great time at the Pandesal Forum and we learned a lot about energy saving tips, the advocacies and project of MERALCO .


Note: The group won Philip’s -induction cooker as winners of the game ( group 1) 

A Visit to Arca’s Yard and Restaurant

Baguio, Tip Top Road , Ambuklao Road near La Trinidad- Benguet

This was a house which was turned into an anthropology , library, research center and restaurant , .  The house started from humble beginning and started opening their doors to the public sometime around 2013. There is also a small space for pocket garden .

large tea pot 

One can see the large tea pot which is a tourist attraction of Arca’s Yard. One cannot miss the place .

Arca’s Yard facade

This is a quiet place to visit especially on weekdays or during holidays . A prior booking for large group should be made prior to the visit .

 love lock for lovers and visitors

tables and chairs which overlooks the surrounding mountains

Portion of the house are also rented-out for backpackers .  The house had a nice verandah and patio area which overlooks the surrounding hills and mountains plus pine trees.

wooden spoons 

Our group spend a little more than 2 hours chatting and taking photograph of the place.

collection of face masks from different parts of the world

a family sitting at the table with hamburger and fries 

One of the unique experience within Arca’s Yard is removing your shoes and sitting in a care free environment.

Reading is highly encourage ,  There is an attic where a mini -library is set-up which could be heaven for book-enthusiasts .

Arca’s Yard had an interesting collection of books , jars and cordillera arts, utensils and anthropological items.

hardbound book of Philippine Orchids

There is also some hard to find book like the Book on Philippine Orchids authored by well-known orchid experts and botanists Mr. Reg S. Davis and Ms. Mona Lisa Steiner.

sweet potato pie topped with vanilla ice cream is best accompanied with ice tea  or coffee 

The restaurant had a sitting capacity of between 80 to 130 people at any given time. Among their specialties are the sweet potato/ camote pie topped with vanilla ice cream , ice tea , pasta, hamburger .


Facebook Page: Arca’s Yard



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