Hotel Dominique Review

Hotel Dominique 2

I’ve decided to travel with my mom every year during her birthday so for this year, I decided to treat her to an overnight stay in Tagaytay. Good thing I was able to purchase an overnight stay voucher at Hotel Dominique through a group buying site. The original price of the superior room is PHP 3,300 but I bought it almost half of its price.

Hotel Dominique is located in Aguinaldo Highway and just near the Tagaytay Rotunda. We don’t have a car so we only rode the bus from Manila (particularly at the bus station in Edsa – LRT – behind Sogo motel). The bus passed by Coastal Road then took the Bacoor, Imus, Dasmarinas then Silang, Cavite route. If you will be taking this route, you won’t miss Hotel Dominique because it’s just at the right side of the road and before you reach Olivares (Tagaytay Rotunda). You can tell the bus conductor to drop you off at the Olivarez terminal or Pink Sisters. If you drop off the Olivarez terminal, you’ d have to walk around 10 meters which is relatively ok if you only have your backpack with you. 

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Church of the Angry Christ in Victorias, Negros Occidental

Inside Church of the Angry Christ - 3

Inside the Church of the Angry Christ

Victorias in Negros Occidental is popular because of the Victorias Milling Company, the largest sugar mill in the Philippines and the largest combined sugar mill and refinery in the whole world. This made Negros Occidental the “Sugarbowl Capital” of the Philippines. Its popularity came into a downfall after the Japanese occupation in the 1940’s but was able to slowly revive itself in the 1990’s.

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Appreciating Art and Heritage in Pagburnayan

Pottery Makers at Pagburnayan

Pagburnayan is a small barangay in Vigan, Ilocos Sur that is famous for clay pots and earthenwares which is popularly known as burnay jars. In this barangay, you can find here a lot of potteries. Before, they only use these jars for storage of basi, vinegar, rice, water, etc.

We were only able to visit Ruby Pottery. We went there via a calesa from the city proper of Vigan.

How to make a burnay jar

At Pagburnayan

First, they let a carabao stomp in a hole full of red clay. After the texture of the clay is consistently fine, the potters get mounds of clay. The size of the mound of the clay that the potters get depends on the size of the jar/pot that they will make. Before they put the clay on the potter’s wheel, they put some sand on it so that it won’t stick. After placing the mound of clay, they will turn around the potter’s wheel using their foot. Simultaneously, they mold the clay using their hands. They do it until they have achieved their desired shape, size and texture.

Making a Pot at Pagburnayan - 6

After that, the jar/pot will be dried first (about a day) before putting inside the kiln. These jars are baked for three days (at 1200 degrees Celsius). Then, the jars will be removed from the kiln and shall be cooled down for 20-22 hours or until it hardens.

Pots at Pagburnayan

Visitors in these potteries may also experience making a jar or a pot. We were offered by the potter if we wanted to try but we declined because we didn’t want to get our hands dirty. Hehe. 😀

These beautiful burnay jars just show the quality of Filipino craftsmanship.

Circle Inn in Bacolod City

Circle Inn Restaurant and Lobby - 1
Restaurant and Lobby

During our trip to Bacolod last February, three of Sha’s officemates joined us. We are 5 (five) in the group. Instead of getting two separate rooms, we decided to get the Family Suite where we just added an extra bed. The room is perfect for group and family holidays because our room has four single beds, one sofa, and a dining table and chairs that’s good for four people.

Circle Inn - Family Room - 1
Single beds

For the bathroom, there are two cubicles for shower and there are two cubicles for the toilet which I like because it would be hard to follow our schedule if there’s only one shower and one toilet to be used by all of us. There’s a TV inside the room (yes, they do have cable). They also provide free Wi-Fi access which is available in all of the rooms with no extra charge. I’m sure that bloggers, and for those who will go to Bacolod for a business trip will surely enjoy this.

Circle Inn - Family Room - 2
Dining Area

What I don’t like about the Family Suite is that there are a few outlets available for us to use for charging our cameras and mobile phones. Thus, if you’ll be checking in at Circle Inn’s Family Suite, I suggest for you to bring an extension cord. 😀

Circle Inn - Family Room - 3
TV and sofa

It’s too bad that the plunge pool jacuzzi is turned off at night. Thus, they were only able to swim at the other pool. If you plan to use their jacuzzi, just go there earlier. 😀

Circle Inn - Family Room - 4

Another thing that I like about Circle Inn is that there’s a nearby convenience store. It became easy for us to buy snacks and bottled water since we do not need to ride a jeep or walk further to be able to buy those items. 🙂

Circle Inn

Lopez Jaena – Malaspina Streets, Capitol Shopping Center Bacolod City 6100 Philippines
Telephone: 63-34-709-9111 OR 63-34-709-9009
Telefax: 63-34-433-2538
Mobile/Text Messaging: 63-917-445-9972

Uniquely Designed Chapel Made of Cartwheels

Chapel of Cartwheels - 2
Chapel of Cartwheels (outside)

Who would have thought that indigenous farm materials such as cartwheels (carriage wheels), wood and plows can’t be made into a place of worship? In Manapla, Negros Occidental, there is a chapel commonly called “Chapel of Cartwheels” built in the 1960’s at the middle of Hacienda Rosalia. I found out about this chapel while researching our Bacolod itinerary back in February 2011.

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Embracing Nature at Mambukal Resort

1st waterfalls at Mambukal Resort
1st waterfall at Mambukal Resort

It was in February when we first went to Mambukal Resort. From Circle Inn (the hotel where we stayed), we took a jeep and went off at Libertad (7 pesos). And then, we took a non-air-conditioned bus going to Mambukal which costs 35 pesos/pax (one way). Just tell the conductor that you’ll get off at Mambukal. And yes, the bus stops in front of Mambukal Resort.

The travel time from Bacolod to Mambukal is around 1.5 hours. It’s not that long. On the way to Mambukal, you’ll enjoy the scenery of the vast fields of sugar cane and of Mount Canlaon. 🙂

Upon arriving Mambukal Resort, just go inside, and pay an entrance fee of 30 pesos for adults and 10 pesos for kids.