Monday, March 21, 2011

PNR adventure from makati to tutuban

last saturday, my friends and i were finally able to take the PNR train from pasay road in makati to tutuban.

i was able to find schedules online at the philippine railways blog. we were supposed to catch the 932am from the buendia station, but since we woke up late, we aimed for the 1030am train instead. we were running on the road behind waltermart and cityland at about 1028am, thinking we were going to miss the train. luckily, all our watches were set in advance, and we made it with a couple minutes to spare.

fare from pasay road to tutuban is a very affordable P10.00 each, and the ride took about 35 minutes--hard to beat if we had driven to binondo instead. the trains resembled the LRT2 trains, were air conditioned, and looked sturdy. there were a lot of people inside, but since the trains were pretty spacious, we all fit quite comfortably.

i was very, very happy to see that a lot of people were using the train, which means it will be in use for a long time. i hope they can add more schedules to it, because at the moment, trains arrive at hourly intervals.

i'm currently perusing the philippine railways blog, and i am pleasantly surprised to read that we will soon be having sleeper trains for long journeys. there is also one entry about a trial timeline to naga, which is exciting news, as this means we can get to the bicol region via the railway.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

las casas filipinas de acuzar

we are currently coasting along sctex, on our way back from las casas filipinas de acuzar.

it was lunchtime when we got there, so we availed of their 'la parilla' lunch offering, where we got to choose from a variety of fresh meat and seafood, and it will be served grilled. susie and i chose the prawns, and had an additional dish each for Php 150 more--he the pork belly, and i the squid.

on top of that, entrance to the complex is at Php 650 per head, which includes a two-hour tour of the estate.

i have absolutely nothing bad to say about their staff--they are all very warm and accommodating, and more importantly, knowledgeable.

as for the whole complex, the place definitely has a lot of potential. it isn't fully operational yet, there are still houses that are being fixed and restored. but there are four or five houses that can already be rented, and the hotel rooms are already open for guests. there are two restaurants, a tavern, souvenir shop, and a refreshment stand.

the houses from the outside are impressive, even moreso when you realize that they were all transported from their original locations to bagac, bataan. mr. acuzar, the owner, tries his best to use original materials when he rebuilds them.

the interiors, though, could use more authenticity. there are a few touches that i found quite tacky, which took away from that sense of being in another century. will expound more when i review my photos.

despite that, though, i can't wait to be back there again in a few months. i'm sure the place will look a whole lot better, especially when casa binondo III, their first class accommodations, is finished. :)

photo: the plaza at las casas filipinas de acuzar, casa luna on the left.

on our way to bataan

susie and i are driving through sctex at the moment to get to las casas filipinas de acuzar.

the view on the highway is just stunning. so many beautiful views that passed too quickly that there wasn't time enough for a snapshot. i saw men sitting on the branches of a sturdy mango tree, farmers busy harvesting, with mounds of the day's harvest dotting the square parcels of green.

hatd to believe that these landscapes are just a couple of hours away from busy, insane manila.