Places to Visit in Mati, Davao Oriental

Mati is an abundant and peaceful city in Davao Oriental. It has a total land area of 79,109 and it houses twenty-six barangays. Mandaya, Cebuano, Boholano and Kalagan are the four major dialects in the region but majority of the people can speak and understand English. For various guests and visitors, the entire region is now an ideal haven for relaxation, honeymoon destinations for newly weds and reunion of friends and family.

Tourist Attractions

The Sleeping Dinosaur is located at Sitio Baso of Barangay Badas. This long stunning island is one of the major key attractions in the city, which offers a wonderful break from the landscape.

The Waniban Island is a four-hectare island. If you seek for pleasurable activities under the scorching heat of the sun, this is the place you want to be. Here, you are free to sunbathe, to have picnic, to swim and to camp with your entire family.

The Dahican Beach is just a 15-minute ride from the Poblacion. The resort is largely known for its strong wind, the reason why it has become the ideal site for windsurfing.

The Philippine Eagle Sanctuary is a tropical forest located in Barangay Cabuaya and Luban. Come and see this place as you will understand how these eagles are preserved and taken care of.

Have you been to a plantation? If not, this is your chance to see one. The Menzi Citrus Plantation is rented by DOLE Philippines and they produce a series of quality fruits such as cashew, grapes, pomelo, grapes, banana and mango.

At the peak of Mt. Hamiguitan lies the astonishing view of Bonsai Forest. This is undeniably the nicest place for the nature lovers and plant lovers. You will surely get spellbound by the series of trees in different sizes. The small ones are kept in the containers or pots. The forest is also your ideal setting for reflection and for yoga.

Not satisfied? Continue with your travel but you should never fail to include these tourist attractions in your list: Pygmy Forest, Jericho Camping Site and Guano Cave.

Loving the Greek-Style Pizza at Jimmy's Pizzeria in Walpole, Mass.

Jimmy's Pizzeria, East Walpole, Mass (photo by Eric)
When I crave a Greek-style pizza, I opt for Jimmy's Pizzeria in East Walpole, Mass. Owners Themis and Athena Kalemkeridis and their staff produce a full-bodied pizza that's not too greasy (so often, Greek pizza is too greasy!) and rich in homemade tomato sauce and a tangy cheese.  Jimmy's doesn't skimp on toppings, either, as add-ons like pepperoni and meatball significantly block the view of the tomato and cheese.

Jimmy's atmosphere goes way beyond the basic house of pizza decor and ambiance with a good-sized, well-lit spotless semi-circular dining room surrounded by several windows overlooking the attractive St. Mary's Church in the quaint industrial village look of East Walpole. I also enjoy other delicious meals at Jimmy's like the gyros dinner, broccoli and chicken calzone, oversized salads, subs, chicken cacciatore and pasta dinners which all rival those found at the glitzier higher-priced restaurants in the area.  We love the "Themis Special," too, a white pizza with feta cheese, sliced tomato, peppers, hamburg, pepperoni, sausage and oregano. Wow!

Jimmy's also serve beer and wine, and has a large selection of soft drinks -- and even Yoo-Hoo chocolate milk!

Perhaps Jimmy's greatest attribute is Themis' and Athena's sense of community by reaching out to local public schools with fundraisers and knowing so many locals by first name. Often, you'll see older family and friends of the Kalemkeridis family at one table conversing away.

Themis and Athena run about the tightest ship I have ever witnessed in a pizza restaurant (Prince Pizzeria in Saugus, Mass., is another shining example), working with focused culinary precision and skill, treating employees well, and offering a dependable, consistent, friendly dining experience to the customer. All this would be to no avail if the food was sub par. Happily, the fantastic Greek pizzas and other dishes make Jimmy's the place to be if you're in the Walpole area.

Jimmy's Pizzeria
4 East St.
Walpole MA
Tel. (508) 660-6700

Places to Visit in Cagayan De Oro

Tagged as the Gateway to Northern Mindanao, Cagayan de Oro is now a golden city naturally gifted with series of picturesque landmarks and breathtaking tourist attractions.

Getting There

Travelling by plane is your and only fastest way to get to Cagayan de Oro. Numerous flights of different airlines are available daily throughout the country. If you find it a little expensive to book a plane ticket, you can take ferry boat trips and fast crafts instead. Long hours of bus trips are also available for those people who live in Mindanao.

Sightseeing & Nature Tripping

Cagayan de Oro is well-recognized for its historical sights and adventure parks. Anyone can experience the nature at its finest at Macahambus Adventure Park. Just a 25-minute ride from the heart of the city, the park is one of the most popular destinations during summer. Ziplining, crossing sky bridges, rappelling and hiking are only four of the thrilling activities to embark on during your stay. After all that fun in the park, find your way through the St. Augustine Cathedral, the city’s main Catholic Church. The church was built in 1845 and underwent a series of reconstruction. Only its wooden cross remain unharmed until this very day.

Other sightseeing in the city worth your visit are: Mapawa Nature Park, Gaston Park, Museo de Oro and Macahambus Cave.

Budget-friendly Accommodations

Inexpensive hotels and suites are available around the city. Choose to stay in De Luxe Hotel if you are in seek for low rates but rooms spacious and well-maintained. There are other hotels available nearby. You can search for them in the Internet or ask your friend who lives at the city. Advanced reservation is highly-recommended to avoid missing a spot.

Eat, Eat, Eat

Hungry? Just look around and see a number of best restaurants in town. For tasty and authentic Filipino dishes, you should try the variety of dishes served at Kagay-anon Restaurant. The Sentro 1850 serves the most delicious tenderloin steaks in the city and will surely satisfy your gastronomic cravings.


The adventure does not stop here. Cagayan de Oro has several nice things to offer. Just visit the place and you’ll see it.

A Fun St. Patrick's Day Morning at The Raven's Nest, Walpole, Mass.

What a great St. Patrick's Day morning it has been at The Raven's Nest in Walpole, Mass. This authentic-looking Irish pub and restaurant opened this morning at 5 a.m., serving traditional Irish breakfasts (and delicious scones) and offering live Irish music as well as step dancing and tap dancing from members and staff of the world-class caliber Harney Academy of Irish Dance in Walpole. Reporter David Robichaud from WBZ-TV Channel 4 was there to cover the event and seemed to have a ball, talking it up and joking with many of the locals. The place was packed and the first pouring of the pint occurred at 8 a.m.  Throughout the day, Irish music will be played and live entertainment will return tonight.

I can't say enough good things about The Raven's Nest.  Husband and wife owners Mark and Maura McAuliffe have brought a true gathering place, of sorts, to the heart of downtown Walpole -- and with a dedication to what an Irish pub looks like from Mark's native land. The food is phenomenal!

Here are some of the specials on today's St. Patrick's Day menu at The Raven's Nest:

Full Irish Breakfast
(served St. Patrick's Day until noon and all weekend)

Guinness Beef Stew

Corned Beef and Cabbage

Sheppard’s Pie

Fish and Chips

Bangers and Mash

Corned Beef Reuben Sandwich

Happy St. Patrick's Day and enjoy the video of Irish music and dance above!

St. Patrick's Day Activities, Events and Dining Around Boston, Massachusetts

Photo Credit: Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau
With a strong Irish foundation, Massachusetts is traditionally filled with wonderful St. Patrick's Day activities.  Boston will be once again be celebrating St. Patrick’s Weekend, March 17-20, in grand style with great performances, tours and the famous Sunday St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

Log onto The Thrifty New England Traveler for some of the St. Patrick's Day events and attractions in Massachusetts. We strongly encourage you to visit the Boston Irish Tourism Association Web Site for  comprehensive information on events, attractions and Irish cultural venues.

Also, we, at, have written an article on some of the best Irish-American restaurants and pubs in the Boston suburbs. We recommend calling each restaurant to find out how they will be celebrating St. Patrick's Day.  We also know that The Raven's Nest in Walpole, Mass., will be celebrating St. Patrick's Day first thing in the morning on St. Patrick's Day with a traditional Irish breakfast starting at 5 a.m.! WBZ-TV is planning on broadcasting live from the Raven's Nest from 5 a.m. to 7 a.m., with ace reporter David Robichaud. Dancers from the world-class Harney Academy of Irish Dance of Walpole, and Irish musicians Amy Basse, Dillon Basse, and Michael Kelleher will be on hand to provide entertainment.

You can read our review of The Raven's Nest to get a feel of what this fabulous new restaurant is all about.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

A Few Thoughts While at the Gas Station and Beyond...

Gas prices haven't been that amusing lately, but I've been able to find some humor while at the pump. OK, let me explain...

Have you noticed the self-serve gas pump card prompt that reads, "Please remove card quickly"?

What if you don't? I haven't had the courage to do this, so perhaps someone that has inserted the credit card in for an extended time can shed some light on this.

Have you seen the pump message "Press 'Yes' for receipt" ?

Why even have this? There's no option to press "No," so why not just have the receipt come out automatically?

How about "Please don't leave pump while fueling"? This is disappointing.  Last summer when reading this pump message, I really wanted to go to Six Flags New England while the car was filling up on gas. So I've learned to be patient and not leave the pump while fueling.

Last summer while leaving a gas station with all these weird messages, I proceeded to a local diner. Perhaps "fueled" by these upsetting prompts, I needed to use the restroom. Above the latrine, a message stated, "Please do not places large objects in the toilet."

Gee, it's not like I carry my Bocce ball around everywhere looking for a toilet to discard the object -- so I can break my habit of playing this ancient game.

As I drove by the "Thickly Settled Means Slow" sign (actually thickly settled means "highly populated") and past the"No Outlet" posting (wow, those poor people in that neighborhood with no electricity!), I took it as a "sign" to get home "promptly!"

Editor's note: do you find any public or private signs or prompts amusing? Tell us about them by commenting below.

Palawan: The Philippines’ Frontier

Tagged as the country’s frontier, Palawan has been highly-recognized for its preservation of natural habitat, dramatic landscapes, unique underwater views and abundant rainforest.

Whoever you are, wherever you are, whether you want to spend your vacation in beaches or at the top of the mountains, Palawan should be your number one destination for a fun-filled summer vacation that is hard to forget.

If you happen to visit Puerto Princesa, never fail to see its underground river. With the river’s cool stalagmites and natural formation of stalactites, the entire place simply deserves to be called as one of the seven new wonders of the world. Walking along the trail to the monkey path’s entrance can be a little scary experience especially for the little children but for the grown-ups, it is surely a sensational activity.

The Kayangan Lake ranks second in TripAdvisor, as the most-recommended tourist attraction in Palawan. The picturesque lake is located in the interior of the island and just by staying at one side; you will surely be amazed by the unspoiled beauty of the series of views.

Calling all the attention of the young divers and divers at heart - The Diving Centre in El Nido is offering courses for everyone who wants to learn the fundamentals and advanced techniques of the exciting activity. The courses are tailored for beginners, for those who dive for fun purposes only and for those people who are very determined to become skilled divers. Also, assure yourself that all the divemasters are trained professionals and all sets of equipment are new and well-maintained.

No interest for diving? Do not fret. You can still enjoy other fun activities in El Nido, which include snorkeling, island hopping, swimming and fishing.

Summer vacation, celebrating wedding anniversaries, memorable birthdays, unforgettable honeymoons and many more, these are all accomplish while your stay in El Nido.

The Fury of the Ocean at Scituate, Mass., in March

Thought you might like to see the fury of the ocean after some stormy New England weather.  This video was taken at the Minot neighborhood in Scituate, Mass., which tends to fly under the travel radar when its comes to costal New England. It's really a beautiful spot.  Clearly, this was not an optimal day for an ocean walk, but it does illustrate the many personalities of the New England sea. Personally, we'd rather have a sunny day at the beach, but there's something to be said about experiencing crashing waves with the mist splashing right up in your face!

Top 3 Countries for Honeymoon Destinations

What constitutes a memorable honeymoon destination? Every newlywed couple out there might say it’s the place, some will say it’s the weather and others prefer just anywhere as long as their budget fits right.

These days, there are hundreds of great locations ideal for your honeymoon. There are seven continents in the world and each country in each continent has something so extraordinary to offer. Whether you choose to live in a five-star hotel, get tan while getting wet in the beaches or tour around the historic ruins, the final decision to where to go is all up to you and your partner.

Of course, never ignore the amount of money you are willing to splurge. Months before your wedding day, it would be cost-effective if you already have booked a direct flight to your destination, applied for any affordable packages and every little thing you’ll need is locked inside your suitcase. This way, you and your better half will feel stress-free as the departure day arrives.

Where Are You Going?

United States of America: What things can you ask for in a land of milk and honey? There are plenty, right? It is also understandable that USA is a big country and it is clearly confusing you to choose the specific state to hang out. Yes, this decision can be difficult but take some time to research and you can surely trim down your choices to two.

According to, Hawaii ranks as the number one in terms of honeymoon desirability is concerned. This archipelago of eight islands is well-blessed with beautiful beaches, hidden coves, first-class hotels, mouth-watering cuisines and fair weather. Whether you choose to be in Maui, Moloka or O’ahu, there is an ideal spot of attraction for your romantic getaway.

New York is the second state recommended for honeymoon destination. If you are looking for best restaurants, expensive hotels, non-forgettable theatrical plays, nothing can beat the busy streets of the Big Apple.

France: When someone is discussing about Europe, France is surely one of the most-discussed nations during the entire discussion. The country has a very rich history in terms of culture, arts, music, architecture and cuisine.

Its romantic city of Paris is considered the Grand City of Light, where hordes of historic attractions (Louvre Museum, Eiffel Tower, Centre Pompidou, Musee d’Orsay and Arc de Triomphe) are found. Other world-class cities in France that offers unlimited fun and loads of exciting activities are Cannes, Lyon, Nice, Marseille and Lille.

Thailand: It is already expected that almost half of beautiful tourist attractions are found in Asia. Asia is the biggest continent in the world and it is composed of sixty-percent world’s population. As of this writing, Thailand has been tagged as one of the, if not the first choice, destinations for honeymoon. The water-activities in Phuket are just never-ending. Dive, swim, fish, snorkel, boat etc. all these things are here. However, if you and your partner choose not to get wet, the Chiang Mai is just the perfect place for the both of you. The city will keep your mind busy with a series of physical activities such as camping, raft riding and mountain trekking.

Bangkok is also a popular destination. Every travel advisor online recommends this big city as your destination for either vacation or honeymoon. Like New York, it’s also the place for various shopping malls, hotels and amusements. All things are similar but you know the big difference, the country boats its Chao Praya River where you need to ride a boat to visit a temple (Wat Phra Kaew), to eat at street stalls or row in the south to visit the Asia’s largest outdoor market.

Just a quick reminder: It is advisable for you to visit the country between November and February. The weather is cooler and there are lesser rains during these months.

"Extreme Neighborhood Makeover" in Armory District of Providence, R.I.

Rhode Island Monthly Magazine just named the Armory District in Providence, R.I., as one of "The Best Places to Live" in Rhode Island. The Magazine hit the newsstand today, and the article can be viewed online though a subscription. In the article, you'll find the lowdown on many other highly-regarded Rhode Island town and city neighborhoods.

The Armory District, located in West Providence, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and has really undergone an "extreme neighborhood makeover" with homes (including many Victorians) being restored to their former glory, and shops and restaurants opening.

Channel 10 NBC WJAR television anchor/reporter Alison Bologna, did an outstanding job, as usual, reporting on the Armory District's progress. We encourage you to take a look the Channel 10 video above. This is the way reporting should be done,  and it's nice that the Armory District is the subject matter.

We realize that areas around the Armory District are definitely a work in progress, but the strides made toward making this area of Providence special are undeniable. We look forward to more good news in the near future in regards to the Armory District. In the meantime, enjoy the Rhode Island Monthly article and/or the Channel 10 video!

5 Good Reasons Why to Visit Seagull Mountain Resort

Seagull Mountain Resort is located 4200 feet above sea level at Buda Road between Bukidnon and Davao City. The entire place is widely known for its cold and comfortable ambiance. Though, you need to be extra careful with the mountain fog. It appears even in the daylight.

The entire resort is surrounded with lush pine trees. It is your ideal getaway for romantics picnics, family get together or weekend outing.

Amenities, Activities and More!
  1. There are plenty of impressive amenities you can hop on. To forget all types of stress an urban city can bring, live at their campsite for a day or two and experience how it feels to live freely.
  2. Travel by foot to arrive at their hidden natural waterfalls. The hike may be long but you just need to consider this activity a challenge. Hiking is your natural workout to lose weight. After the long hike back & forth, it is just the right time to chill at the poolside.
  3. The size of their swimming pool is good for the whole family and friends. The pool allows you to feel the freezing but natural running water from spring.
  4. Take time to explore the Strawberry and Organic Vegetable Garden after touring the hidden waterfalls. It cannot be denied this is one of the best attractions in the place and it is a pure joy to see a unit of ripe strawberries in the fertile land.
  5. Getting to Seagull Mountain Resort is easy. If you live in Davao City, you just need to ride a bus which will probably last for two hours. Upon arrival at the place, there is a day-tour-package that you can avail that cost Php 580. The package includes a ride on air-conditioned tour bus, the use of facilities (Open Cottage, pool, television, etc).
I was able to visit the place last December with my best friend and I definitely had a wonderful time!