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Thursday, August 27, 2015

Le Cheat Kitchen + Bar : On Milkquakes, Mocktails & Churros @eatlecheat

Le Cheat Kitchen + Bar
DAILY 11AM - 1AM | 

The surprise find in the area was Le Cheat, it is a restaurant and bar with hip food offering definitely fit for the kind of crowd in the place. You know, La Salle and St. Scho? They sell comfort fusion food x Artisanal Cocktail Experience.

Milkqaukes, quesodillos, raw-rritos, stella, craft burgers. Pangalan palang so chic na. Add to the modern vibe of the place pa. It lies at the street corner opposite Hotel Benilde and the mural on the wall immediately got my attention. I knew the place is nice then and there.

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Monday, August 24, 2015

Review: CIRCLE HOSTEL ZAMBALES #HostelStay @thecirclehostel #SanFelipe


Other than Baler and San Juan La Union, there is a other surfing destination in Luzon that is rising in popularity ----San Felipe Zambales. Makes sense because San Felipe is the 2nd town from San Antonio which is well known for its coves Anawangin and Nagsasa as well as Capones Island. That said, the place is only approximately 3 hours away from Manila via NLEx and SCTEx, half the time you need to travel for both Baler and San Juan. So if you are a beginner who wants to learn the 101 of surfing, San Felipe is the place to go.

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There are only a few accommodations in the beach area (less than 10 in my count) and some of them are private vacation accommodations but the fact that a popular hostel brand -- The Circle Hostel --has put up a branch here means this place is in for bigger things.

And that's where we stayed for two nights last month. Not so much to surf because we knew the weather will be not good due to an incoming storm but we were there to feel the place and chill.
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GETTING THERE

By Car
-urn left upon exiting the Kalaklan Gate.
-Go straight and pass through the following towns: Subic Town, Castillejos and San Marcelino
-You will hit an T-intersection with a Petron. Make a right.
-Straight until through San Narciso until you see the San Felipe arch.

Commute
We got here by taking public transport. Took Victory bus from Caloocan station bound Iba Zambales.
We were in San Felipe at around 9:30 am. Had a quick breakfast at their public which if I could say is clean and organized for a public market. Took the tricycle to Circle hostel for 80 pesos and that's it. Cost is normally 70 pesos but it rained heavily the day before so the clever tricycle drivers unanimously agreed among themselves to raise the rate by 10 pesos. tsk tsk

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

THE NEST DINING IN THE SKY HIGHLIGHTS #VivereHotel&Resorts

Indulge yourself at The Nest Dining in the Sky; an alfresco restaurant perched at the 31st floor of Vivere Hotel & Resorts new dishes on the menu.

Savor with The Nest Dining in the Sky’s “Pepper-crusted Pork Belly,” a common dish done uncommonly well. Smothered in rock salt, black pepper and herbs then roasted low and slow, topped with crispy pork crackling. Served with pickle relish in sweet and spicy vinegar paired with steamed rice or baked potato for Php585.00. Best matched with Ice cold beer!
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Relish a fresh twist on desserts with “Salted Caramel Brownie with Bacon Ice Cream,” a harmonious blend of fudge brownies layered with salted caramel sauce and homemade bacon ice cream. A dessert for all ages and will astonish even the most die-hard chocolate and bacon lovers for Php300.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Say Hello to RED PLANET HOTELS: In 10 Locations in the Philippines! @RedPlanetPH


How come Red Planet Hotels already have 10 locations in the Philippines but no one ever heard of the brand until a few weeks ago? And for those who are familiar with Tune Hotels, they cannot help but notice that Tune Hotels are now called Red Planet Hotels. What is with the re-branding? Well, Tune Hotels in the Philippines are owned by the Red Planet Group and they decided to end the agreement with Tune Hotels and manage the business on their own using the Red Planet brand. That's what happened? So what do we expect? Except the same value-added services, five-star beds and facilities at 3-star prices, unbeatable customer service, good locations and now, it has gotten even better. Talk about painting the town red, the brand has become even more Red Hot!

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About Red Planet Hotels


Red Planet Hotels was incorporated in 2010 and is a privately-owned regional hotel company focused on Asia’s expanding value hotel sector. The company owns and operates 24 hotels in Indonesia (7), Japan (3), the Philippines (10), and Thailand (4) for a total of 3,783 rooms, growing its portfolio through both acquiring existing hotels and also developing new hotels. 

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Food Review: BAD BOY BELLY Boneless Cebu Lechon

When we tried Peking Duck in Beijing last year I instantly realized the similarity of the superstar dish to our famous lechon in the Philippines. Mind you, if you search "attractions in Beijing" on Tripadvisor, it's not the Great Wall that comes out at #1. It's the mighty Peking Duck. And I thought, if people go crazy over this dish and they are willing to pay at least 2,000 pesos for a small size duck, we can easily turn our lechon into a global sensation. The taste is there. We just have to promote it extensively. Logistics too. It is after all easier to transport a duck than a whole pig.

And Cebu has the dominance when it comes to lechon. They have a couple of well known restaurants/brands there --- Rico's, Zubuchon, CNT, Ayer and Chonas. Manila on the other hand has Lydia's, Mila's and Aling Loring to name a few.

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The thing about lechon is that the whole pig is roasted, that includes the bones. But we Filipinos love anything boneless. Boneless bangus, boneless chicken, even boneless back ribs. And so there is a new craze in Cebu and that is boneless lechon. A few years back, a group of yuppies from Manila tried it for the first time and thought about bringing it to the Metro thus Badboy Belly Boneless Cebu Lechon. 


Why Boneless Cebu Lechon by 
Bad Boy Belly ?
  • Taste the spices and the marinade infused from the crispy skin to the tender meat of the lechon
  • Waste no gram and get to enjoy tasty lechon cebu to the fullest without the unedible bones
  • The sheer size of 1 slab makes it perfect for sharing with up to 35 people for dinner, parties, and other gatherings
  • Strict sanitary standards are always applied when meals are prepared and only fresh ingredients are used
  • Now in 4 locations!

Thursday, August 6, 2015

SECRET SPOT Baler: In the Quiter Side of Sabang Beach #Baler2015 #BalerSurfing

People notice that I have been featuring budget accommodations lately. It makes sense because after trying expensive hotels, you get a sense that you are wasting money on them plus they give the same feel. But hostels are different. The socialization you get from them talking to different travels from different backgrounds and counties is something. I can't wait to feature Circle Hostel in Zambales soon but first another budget accommodation in Baler. If you are looking for one then hope this blog can help you decide.

But First, here is a comprehensive Travel Guide I wrote about Baler back then:

I mentioned Circle Hostel because I found out during our stay in Circle Zambales that they already have a branch in Baler. In 2012, we stayed in KL Javers Homestay.



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It took a while before I returned here. Three years to be exact. I love Baler and for all its attractions but I also remember the haggard commute so it was off my list for a while as a weekend getaway. Until last April. This time, we took Genesis Joybus for a non-stop commute of 5.5 hours. Not bad because Joybus is really comfortable with a little price difference.

JoyBus (Deluxe) 
Cubao Quezon City, Metro Manila >>>>Baler, Aurora  

Friday, July 24, 2015

PINK MANILA HOSTEL Weekend #HostelStay

I wanted a repeat of the pleasant hostel stay experience we had a few years back where we checked in at MNL Hostel in Makati on a weekend where it felt like being in another country since we were the only locals in a foreign tourist dominated accommodation. We spent most of the time in common areas of MNL Hostel socializing with fellow travelers sharing their wonderful stories on the road and learning about their experiences in and out of the country. Some of the foreigners I talked to have been to more destinations in the Philippines than I have been to so it was really a good chance to get tips from them.

Since MNL Hostel is located in the happening district of Poblacion Makati, we also got to explore the area for food choices. Poblacion prides itself with lots of restaurants, pubs and the nightlife here is really
alive.Read: Good Vibe + Good Crowd at MNL BOUTIQUE HOSTEL

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There are only a few such accommodations in Metro Manila so I was excited when I found out that another hostel opened in Manila City and this one has a pool! Yes, PINK MANILA HOSTEL has one. It is rare to find a hostel with a pool. I actually don't remember any in the country with
such facility.

Finally had the chance to try the place last month. Booked via Agoda for around 490php for a bunk bed. I was surprised to be greeted by a young French guy at the front desk who asked for our passports. I immediately told him we are locals and that we are here to just chill and feel the place. The guy is a university student in France doing volunteer work here . His English is a bit difficult to comprehend at times but good enough. He assisted us to our room and oriented us about where things are.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Filipino Food Overload at THREE SISTERS' RESTAURANT Pasig



Located along the East Capitol Drive in Brgy. Kapitolyo, Three Sisters' Restaurant was established back in 1941. People would visit Three Sisters' Refreshment Parlor for their halo-halo and noodle dishes.

With over 70 years of existence, they are still serving hearty Filipino dishes from the founder, Lola Rosa's original recipes. With such a long history in the restaurant industry and a list of mouthwatering foods-to-try on their menu, Three Sisters’ is one of the suggested place to try in Kapitolyo.

Having read the reviews online, I was excited to try their bestsellers and forget about what diet is.

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Pancit Bihon at Three Sisters' Restaurant Pasig

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

PRIVATO HOTEL Staycation + Food Finds in #KapitolyoPasig


I love cityscapes. And with the fast growing skyline of Metro Manila, it's an exciting time to savor the view. This is one of the reasons why I wanted to try Privato Hotel in Kapitolyo Pasig. I saw a couple of photos of the hotel pool with the wonderful view of Ortigas Skyline and I thought I have to try the place. And I was not disappointed. Crave satisfied. We checked a few weeks ago. June is officially rainy season in the Philippines but we were blessed with not-so-gloomy weather. Perfect for another relaxing staycation weekend.

Privato Hotel is an Italian-inspired business and lifestyle hotel in Pasig City, strategically located near Capitol Commons, an upcoming lifestyle and dining development, and the Ortigas Central Business District. The hotel boasts of 177 rooms designed in contemporary style.

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Wednesday, July 1, 2015

BPI EXPRESS CREDIT is Your Practical and Reliable Travel Companion



We Filipinos love bringing tons of cash, to the joy of pickpockets and holduppers. At the mall for example, we prefer transacting in cash instead of just having our card swiped at the counter. The inconvenience. We fail to take advantage of the benefits of cashless society because of misconceptions and lack of information. This is also true when it comes to credit cards.

I have been a Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) client for years and for the most part, I was like everybody else. Every out-of-the-country trip, I go to my bank, buy dollars and have them exchanged in the local currency upon reaching my destination. Part of the fun, but also part of the hassle.
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BPI Express Credit

In our recent China trip, we tried something different. Sure we still brought with us dollars, but in China, you get charged per transaction when exchanging dollars. So it's not the amount that you exchange but how many times you do it. In short, it is not practical to exchange small denominations multiple times. Once at your destination, you need a small amount of local currency for the airport-to-hotel transfer and other small purchases and the significant difference in exchange rate at airports means it is not the best place to have all your money exchanged. That is when your credit card becomes handy.

We have BPI Express Credit but other than using the credit card to book flights, we were hesitant to use it abroad. I was worried I might get charged high on foreign conversion or incur hidden charges. That is about to change.
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