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Sunday, March 31, 2013

GRAN CANARIA : Why Go?

It’s always difficult to decide where to head on your annual summer holiday, especially as it’s so looked forward to and you really want to have the perfect break from the daily grind.
You’ll find cheap Gran Canaria holidays online, but is it the destination for you? Here’s what’s great about Gran Canaria:

The Climate

As one of the Canary Islands, Gran Canaria benefits from a beautiful year round climate. This makes it a fantastic budget holiday choice for those who want to avoid the peak summer holiday period. It’s also a safe bet for some winter sunshine.
Puerto Rico, Gran Canaria
GRAN CANARIA Puerto Rico
photo credit HERE

AMAZING PINOY:THE ULTIMATE FUN RUN EXPERIENCE on April 27

Have you had your first fun run yet?If not,what's keeping you?A little more motivation perhaps?Other than the health benefits,what about seeing The Philippine Volcanoes and the Azkals in an exhibition run?Now,that's something you don't see often.

And if that is not good enough, think about the people you are going to help with the proceeds of this event.The AMAZING PINOY:THE ULTIMATE FUN RUN EXPERIENCE on April 27, 2013 5:00AM at Bonifacio Global City will benefit Clark Foundation and the Filipino Children Needy Fund.

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THE AMBASSADORS CHRIS EVERINGHAM( @CHRISEVRO ), SHEENA VERA CRUZ (@SHEENAVERACRUZ ), ANDREW WOLFE AND JON AVILA

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Wagyu Burger and Double Black Angus Burger at CHARLIE'S GRIND AND GRILL

Who cares if they have bitchy staff and that CHARLIE'S GRIND AND GRILL has an unflattering location next to a car wash? They have really good Waygu Burgers, Black Angus Burgers and more!

Thanks to Tripadvisor phone app I found Charlie's Grind and Grill after checking out at Ace Hotel and Suites during our staycation + Ace Water Spa experience last month.Also,good thing we resisted eating at Figaro Coffee which is located at the entrance of D'Ace Plaza.We walked less than a kilometer from there and we were at Charlie's in no time.

The entrance leading to Charlie's Grind and Grill you can mistake for a cheap restaurant.Also,it's next to a car wash (which makes sense coz rich kids and brats could dine in while waiting for their cars to be cleaned), but wait tell you see the menu board.It's packed with food I never heard of before but I know are not the usual ones you can buy anywhere.If the price is of any indication.Hindi basta basta ang food offering nila dito.

And what about 210 php for the cheapest burger?
CHARLIE's Grind and GRILL_Black Angus Burger
Double Black Angus Burger at CHARLIE'S GRIND AND GRILL

Thursday, March 28, 2013

SAN SUNG Korean Restaurant Makati: intro to Korean food #fail


Knowing that my wife loves spicy noodles,I thought it's high time to introduce Korean food to her.We were actually searching for a Kebab Restaurant in Burgos Street Poblacion Makati during our stay at MNL Boutique Hostel last week when being lost for direction,we ended up in a Korean Restaurant.The name is kinda strange SAN SUNG,sounds like a corruption of the famous electronic giant from South Korea.

This is where we had late lunch during our stay at MNL Boutique Hostel.
Read: Feel the Vibe and Socialize at MNL BOUTIQUE HOSTEL.

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Dolsot Bibim Bab at SAN SUNG Korean Restaurant Makati

Monday, March 25, 2013

Good Vibe + Good Crowd at MNL BOUTIQUE HOSTEL

Consider it a dry run for my upcoming Southeast Asia backpacking trip.Three Countries,Six days.It's gonna be an Amazing Race kind of tour.I though about travelling light and on a budget.That means staying in the cheapest accommodations possible without sacrificing comfort and vibe.I have tried staying in hostels in two occasions ----the first in Macau and the second in Penang.It was more of minimal-interaction-with-fellow-travelers though.That's why last weekend,I decided to check MNL BOUTIQUE HOSTEL to feel the vibe of being around backpackers and interact with them.

I felt the good vibes the moment I stepped in the place. Lakas maka-"foreign feel" ng hostel na to!.In my head I was thinking, "what took them so long?".We need more cool spaces like this in Manila and yes, all over the country.

MNL Boutique Hostel

Sunday, March 24, 2013

B3X: The BAGUIO-BENGUET BLOGGERS Appreciation Tour 2013

The rise of other tourist destinations and the availability of cheap flights has meant decline in tourist arrivals in Baguio.The City of Pines is therefore constantly transforming itself to continuously lure tourists,most of which are loyal to the place.In short,Baguio is putting up with the competition.And I think it is doing a good job.Tourist arrival I heard is going back to healthy levels.Much is to be done of course.The scheduled completion of TPex (Tarlac-Pangasinan Expressway) mid this year is expected to cut travel to the city to around 4 hours compared to grueling 6 hours.That is expected to boost arrivals.

Of course much of the work has to be done by the locals.It's nice to know that some sectors are putting up to the challenge.Blogging for example has been a dead zone in Baguio until recently.After the success of the 1st Baguio Blogging Conference last year ,Cordillera bloggers are positioning themselves to be the social media authority in the City of Pines.

I was therefore excited when their leader,Vince of http://lakbaybaguio.com/ invited me for the first ever B3X: Baguio-Benguet Bloggers Appreciation Tour 2013.

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Cebu  and MNL Bloggers for BAGUIO-BENGUET BLOGGERS Appreciation Tour 2013

Saturday, March 23, 2013

bring me back in your arms TAM-AWAN

If you feel like Baguio is too much of a combination of modernity and old culture, go to TAM-AWAN Village where you can re-connect to the old Baguio and the Cordilleras.

Tam-Awan Village might look boring on the surface but what you get here is a deep cultural appreciation.If you are, lucky as we did the 2nd time, you get to see dancers in traditional costumes they call bahag.I am not really sure what particular dance they were performing when we arrived but it seemed like a courtship dance to me which I find interesting.The performers are young and I could tell that the boys take it into heart.The girls seem to be novice though and not serious about what they are doing.
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the traditional dancers at Tam-Awan Village

Friday, March 22, 2013

the #Not so GOOD TASTE Restaurant Baguio


Be careful how you name your brand.It could be a good asset but it could also backfire.It seems like a brilliant idea to call your food stall ---GOOD TASTE RESTAURANT but make sure it really tastes good or else suffer the backlash from customers.

We were here during Panagbenga2013 and B3X,the Baguio-Benguet Appreciation Tour to sample if they really have Good Taste.
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Steamed Chicken GOOD TASTE Restaurant Baguio

Thursday, March 21, 2013

The PUZZLE MANSION Bed & Breakfast Tagaytay

Much of the public's attention these days is on the Puzzle Mansion's Puzzle Museum with the Largest Collection of Jigsaw puzzle in the world and the title holder Gina Gil-Lacuna becoming an instant celebrity.Little people know that there is another component to the place ----The PUZZLE MANSION BED AND BREAKFAST.

Puzzle_Mansion_Bed and Breakfast
PUZZLE MANSION Bed & Breakfast

Monday, March 18, 2013

The PUZZLE MANSION Tagaytay and Gina Gil-Lacuna's 1,028 puzzles and growing!

Chances are, if you will tell me 'jigsaw puzzle' prior to March this year, I would automatically dismiss it as child's play.That change when I came face to face with the 1,028 pieces puzzle collection of Gina Gil-Lacuna at the Puzzle Mansion in Tagaytay.

This vast collection of course landed her at the Guinness Book of World Record as the Largest Collection of Jigsaw Puzzle of Any Shape and Form.

The PUZZLE MANSION_Museum_Tagaytay (9)
Puzzle Museum at PUZZLE MANSION Tagaytay 

MALIA 2013:Can You Afford It?

It goes without saying that you want to book your Malia 2013 holiday this year. However, if cashflow is a little on the slow side you might be thinking that you have to give your stint in the sun a miss this year. Think again. With a bit of crafty forward planning, Cinders, you will go to the ball (beach/pool/club)!

Put in the Hours.

Can you put in extra hours at work (if on overtime rates then so much the better!). If that’s a no go, what about a second job? Ok, so it sounds about as appealing as a day out with your dear Auntie Gladys right now, but it’s got to be worth it for a week on the Malia beach, right? It doesn’t have to be anything fancy. Deliver pizzas, stack shelves, set up a dog walking business (you entrepreneur, you!). Extra cash that you’re not used to having in your pocket quickly adds up.
 Malia beach, Crete
photo credits here

Saturday, March 16, 2013

B3X TOUR 2013: Pic and Pick at the STRAWBERRY FARM

I never thought strawberry picking could be this fun.Seriously.I have been to the Strawberry Farm in Benguet several times but I haven't enjoyed the experience this much.

That until I was with a group of bloggers from MNL and Cebu for the B3X Tour.

Situated in a Valley,the Strawberry farm in Benguet is the perfect place to grow strawberry.I said that coz there are many other strawberry farms around Baguio City pero according to locals, (not from the strawberry farms) iba parin lasa ng mga galing mismo dito sa Strawberry farm.Mas maasin yung sa iba.

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Pic and Pick at the STRAWBERRY FARM

Friday, March 15, 2013

B3X TOUR 2013: Diplomat Hotel Baguio

It used to be a hotel turned headquarters of the Japanese army during world war 2 turned ghost building turned events place.When we were there last month,renovation was ongoing.I am pertaining to the former DIPLOMAT HOTEL of Baguio City.

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bloggers at the former Diplomat Hotel Baguio

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Anak ng Putanesca &Talong Parmigiana at OH MY GULAY Session Road

How many times have you been here in Baguio? Asked Vince of http://lakbaybaguio.com/. I quipped --"more than a thousand times". Of course I was just exaggerating back there but I said that to indicate that I have stopped counting long time ago.

It is a shame therefore that of all the times I've been here, I have never tried this restaurant along Session Road known for it's art-deco interior and vegetarian menu.

I am referring to OH MY GULAY. Omg talaga!


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anak ng putanesca at Oh My Gulay Session Rd.

Magical EASTERLAND at Hyatt Hotel and Casino

It's EASTER once again!Treat the children and the whole family with a passport to a magical adventure.  Hyatt Hotel and Casino Manila will not only keep the magic alive – it is a family celebration complete with glorious elements, including food, games and activities meant to fire up the bliss and excitement.

For only PHP 800 net for both children and adults from 11 am to 3 pm, Le Salon is transforming into a magical enchanted garden where everyone can look forward to meeting candy fairies, wizards and dwarfs  Not only are these characters a surprising delight, the afternoon buffet snacks are pouncing with sweet and savoury choices personally hand-picked by Executive Chef Josef Miklavc and his team. Fruit Magic’s refreshing fruit shakes are also available featuring their most popular concoctions.

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Magical EASTERLAND at Hyatt Hotel and Casino

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

DR. KONG: Healthy Shoes for kids and adults alike

The feet is the most neglected part of the body-----not just in terms of sanitation but also in care.With care I mean.That includes straining it during long trips and also with not wearing the proper shoes fit for our feet type and activities.This is because most shoe brands focus mainly on what is fashionable rather than form.Or should we blame it on our choices?

Dropped by Dr.Kong at the 3rd Level of Robinson's Galleria the other day and realized that at age 31,I still don't know so much about choosing what the best shoes for my foot type.

WHY IS IT IMPORTANT? Because wrong foot soles could mean foot pains and especially for kids,random selection of shoes could easily affect children's normal foot development.I do experience foot pain during long travels and choosing the right fit could ease the possibility of foot pain.
DR.KONG Shoes_
DR. KONG shoes

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

PANAGBENGA FESTIVAL: Colorful but lacks Consistency and Enthusiasm from Locals

Ok. Since I officially declared late last year that Masskara has sparked my love for festivals and reinforced by Ati-Atihan in January, panindigan na at isama ang PANAGBENGA FESTIVAL 2013 sa list. Parang napilitan lang? hahaha

Well, it was kinda difficult to choose.That Feb.26 weekend, three simultaneous events were scheduled. Panagbenga, Clark Hot Air Balloon Fiesta and Caracol in Makati. Never mind Caracol because I really can't see the point of having such festival in the financial capital of the Philippines. Anotehr copycat? Enough na ang Aliwan. But the Hot Air Balloon Fiesta is quite interesting too, especially because Clark is only 2 hours North of Manila where I reside. But it was Baguio City where we converged.We means four (4) bloggers from Manila, five (5) from Cebu and one (1) from Benguet. It was a dual event with Panagbenga on one hand and Baguio-Benguet Bloggers Appreciation Tour (B3X) on the other.

There's so much to write about but today is for my observations of the Panagbenga 2013 event first.

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Shamcey Supsup in PANAGBENGA 2013

Monday, March 11, 2013

SKY EYE: The Giant Ferris Wheel in Tagaytay #SkyFun

Tagaytay has become semi-dead (unless you own a prime property here) until recently when SM and Robinson's realty entered the scene.And now,there's another reason to be in Tagaytay ----- SKY FUN AMUSEMENT PARK.


The amusement park has rides like Ferris wheel,Viking, Nessi Coaster, Merry-Go-round etc. all crowded in a small space.SKY EYE is the name of the Ferris Wheel which is to date the largest in the Philippines.It measures 63 meters tall.Still pales in comparison with the Singapore Flyer but since it is located on the Taal Volcano-side, (next to a cliff)along Aguinaldo Highway, it gives an even more elevated feel.

In my case,I tried to ride Sky Eye because I wanted to see Tagaytay and Taal Volcano in another angle.Purpose achieved.It is refreshing to see the lake and the volcano from this perspective.

SKY EYE at Sky Ranch Tagaytay 
view of Taal Volcanoe from Tagaytay Eye aka SKY EYE

GINA GIL-LACUNA: The Queen of Jigsaw Puzzles, a true inspiration

Dressed in ordinary skirt and long sleeves,she would blend in the crowd as one of those women in her early 60's enjoying her retirement.

But she's no ordinary lady.You will easily notice her presence coz other than her high-pitched voice, she exudes of pride and an energy level equal that of a lady in her prime.

In an exclusive interview with bloggers,we got know more of The Jigsaw Puzzle Queen.
GINA GIL-LACUNA---- the Guinness World Record holder for the Largest Collection of Jigsaw Puzzles.

Guiness_World's Largest Jigsaw Puzzle Collection
 GINA GIL-LACUNA w/ blogger Florencio Jusay

Sunday, March 10, 2013

B3X TOUR 2013:Fun Shots at the Diplomat Hotel Baguio

Other than Panagbenga 2013,Nine bloggers from MNL and Cebu converged in Baguio City on Feb.24-26,2013 for another reason -----the Baguio-Benguet Bloggers Appreciation Tour 2013 (B3X TOUR).

And just to give you an idea how fun the tour was,here is one of our (many) group shots.Taken at the former DIPLOMAT HOTEL Baguio.

MNL x Cebu x Cordillera Bloggers =1 Wacky bunch.

PS:notice the last photo.hahaha.
Azrael went amok!!! 

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MNL x Cebu x Cordillera Bloggers at DIPLOMAT HOTEL Baguio

Thursday, March 7, 2013

come Home to AZALEA RESIDENCES Baguio

Since I mostly go on out-of-town weekend trips,I usually stay in hotels on an overnight basis.I do enjoy it,but to think of it, I don't really get to deeply connect with the place.

During Panagbenga 2013,I decided to extend my usual weekend trip in Baguio so I got to stay for 3D/2N at Azalea Residences.I love this hotel. And since I stayed longer this time,I got to appreciate it more.I could finally say I was finally able to stay and connect with the place.Watching the Panagbenga parade and touring around Baguio to experience good food and beautiful places and going back to Azalea at the end of the day is like coming back home.
 AZALEA_Residences Baguio 
come Home to AZALEA RESIDENCES Baguio

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

ACE WATER SPA Pasig: back to where "my love for spa" started

I have a lot for Ace Water Spa to thank for.It has introduced the wonderful world of Spa lifestyle for me.Discovered the brand a few years ago via another blog.Although a little far from Pasig (where we used to live), we used to frequent Ace Water Spa Banaue.It was during one of our visits when I heard of their plan to open a branch in Pasig.In my mind,I said halleluiah!

A lot has changed.We eventually moved to Binangonan and the farther east meant we haven't been to Ace Water Spa Banawe for a couple of years.Have tried other spas and massage establishments since then.
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ACE WATER SPA Pasig

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

breakfast buffet at ACE COFFEE LOUNGE Pasig

Whoever is the Master Chef of Ace Cafe Lounge,he is doing a good job.Other than the contemporary design and fresh feel of the restaurant,their food selection for the breakfast buffet is sufficient and sumptous.

Breakfast buffets as complimentary for hotel guests often disappoint in-house guests.The selection is either too few (tinipid) or the taste too plain (para di makakain ng marami).With the many hotels and accommodations I tried,the factors I mentioned above are directly proportional to how dependent the restaurant wing is on in-house guests.I mean,other than those who check in,it is important that the restaurant also gets a lot of customers who just walk in to dine.I noticed that with Ace Coffee Lounge.At any time of the day,people come and go to eat.And they come in groups (usually with family).The Hotel division and the Spa division works perfectly in synch.They bring in constant customers and the restaurant wing is doing a good job in complimenting the other divisions.

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ACE COFFEE LOUNGE Pasig

Monday, March 4, 2013

ACE HOTEL & SUITES: my #staycation2013 started with an Ace!

Since Feb.14 fell on a Thursday,I wasn't really able to date my wife.Consider this as our post-valentine date therefore and the start of my 2013 staycation series which premiered with an Ace,literally --------thanks to ACE HOTEL and SUITES Pasig!

We have already moved to Binangonan from Pasig when D' Ace Plaza opened a few years ago so we didn't get to check the place until recently.I am very familiar with the brand because it was Ace Water Spa Banawe which introduced me to the wonderful world of public baths may years back.D'Ace Plaza is visible if you are passing through Shaw Blvd. and I always see the building since that's the route we take every time we go back to Binangonan.I have always wanted to try the place but has regarded it as a secondary priority thinking that the hotel wing is not to be taken seriously.I was mistaken.
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 ACE HOTEL & SUITES Pasig lobby

Sunday, March 3, 2013

ELLIS ECOTEL Embarcadero de Legazpi

I have been using the word 'classy' a lot,especially in our Legazpi trip.Yes,I loooove classy accommodations---especially if they are affordable.ELLIS ECOTEL located at the 3rd floor of Embarcadero de Legazpi is one example.

In our first night in Legazpi,we stayed at The Oriental.That hotel of course is one of the most sought accommodations in the city.It sets a very high standard when it comes to luxury so I was hoping Ellis Hotel would not disappoint.Ang hirap kung subrang glam ng unang pinag-stayhan nyo tas biglang pangit ayt?I was relieved therefore when we tried Ellis,it met my expectation.Actually,it went beyond my expectation.
ELLIS HOTEL Embarcadero De Legazpi 
 ELLIS ECOTEL Embarcadero de Legazpi

SILI ICE CREAM at 1st Colonial Grill Legazpi

One good thing about Legazpi City is that the airport is in the city itself.Lignon Hill is even farther.A tricycle ride to there would only take 20minutes.Knowing that Pacific Mall is along the way,I instructed the tricycle driver to make a quick stop at the mall.I went in to take out one of the things one should not miss experiencing when in Legazpi City ---SILI ICE CREAM!

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SILI ICE CREAM at 1st Colonial Grill Legazpi

DARAGA CHURCH: a testament of Albaynon's strong faith

In an attempt to cover more attractions in the area.We rented a tricycle for 100pesos to directly take us to Daraga Church immediately after our ATV Adventure.The tricycle dropped us along the main road leading to the church as it is too steep for tricycles to reach.

From the main road,you have to walk a few meters uphill to get to the church.It is situated in the highest section of the town.Understandably because this is where the faithfuls of Cagsawa Church transferred after the explosion of Mayon in 1814.It is therefore a testament of  Albaynon's strong faith.

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DARAGA CHURCH Albay

Saturday, March 2, 2013

BICOL ADVENTURE ATV Extreme + ATV Packages

For a motorbike rider like me,I thought this one is going to be child's play.Sure it makes things a lot easier but I wasn't expecting it to be this fun.With a landscape dotted with big lava rocks ejected by the explosion of Mayon Volcano more than 100 years ago,the Mayon ATV RIDE sure isn't short of excitement.

ATV stands for All Terrain Vehicle.It is a four wheeled bike very easy to operate even those who don't know how to ride a motorbike can easily manipulate it.I know coz my wife and another friend didn't have any knowledge in riding but they learned it after a few seconds.

At their base  near Cagsawa Church,they will teach you how to ride the bike.Everything is on the right handle.All you need to do is press a ledge to accelerate and retract another to brake,all on your right handle.Once at full stop,the engine doesn't turn off.

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 CAGSAWA TRAIL by Bicol Adventure ATV Extreme

Friday, March 1, 2013

CAGSAWA RUINS Fun Shots less Mayon Volcano View

Seriously,I haven't been to Cagsawa Ruins (since it's my first time in Bicol Region),but because this church ruins is sooooo popular, (maybe even more popular than Mayon itself) I felt like I have been to the place many times.Since we were already in Legazpi, why miss the opportunity of seeing it in person?Who cares if it is a touristy place.

We went here because it has been almost 48hours and we haven't done anything significant yet,other than our stay at The Oriental Hotel of course!

Why is Cagsawa Ruins Popular?
Because you get a good view of Mayon Volcano from here.It's at the backdrop of the church ruined when Mayon decided to get bitchy and buried more than 1,200 people who took refuge in the Church.

Mayon was again bitchy that day and it didn't appear for our pictorial in front of the church.Darn! :)
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