Monthly Archives: August 2012

Kagay-anon Restaurant


If you want to taste food that is truly Pinoy in the heart of the city of friendship, one great place to get stuffed with Filipino favorites is at Kagay-anon Restaurant located at 2nd level of Rosario Arcade, Limketkai Complex, Cagayan de Oro City.

The restaurant name simply indicates it’s a Cagayan de Oro City restaurant by the Kagaya-nons or the people of CDO. Okay that sounds kinda dumb, but yeah that’s what I think.

Kagay-anon was actually selected as one of the top ten restaurants in the country back in 2010 and I don’t know if that still stands true today, but I won’t be surprised if it still does.

Their famous dishes are Ostrich Salpicao and Pinakbet. Unfortunately, we didn’t feel like having an ostrich meat that day so instead we opted for:

The Amazing and Super Healthy Pinakbet!

One of my all time favorite: Sizzling Pork Sisig, wait.. where’s the sizzle?

Leia’s favorite: Grilled Prawns with Lemon Butter Sauce! Actually, anything that has prawns or shrimps is Leia’s favorite.

A Filipino all time favorite: Halo-halo in a coconut shell!

So there you have it! We had one wonderful heavy Pinoy Lunch at Kagay-anon Restaurant. *burp

Chada kaayo diri bai!

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Filed under Cagayan De Oro, food, Pinoy, restaurant

Manos Greek Taverna


FLASHBACK

When we went to Tagaytay way back 2007, it was actually my 2nd time to visit this popular tourist destination. My first visit was  4 years earlier (2003).

The first time was a nice cozy sunny day where I had a great view of the famous Taal volcano. The 2nd time wasn’t that good in terms of the weather because it was raining, cloudy and in fact, Manila was flooding when we left for Tagaytay.

However, the trip was not entirely bad thanks to our awesome lunch at Manos Greek Taverna that day. Yes, that’s a Greek restaurant in the middle of Bulalo country. Tagaytay is also renowned for its Bulalo aside from the world famous Taal Volcano and its cooler climate.

For me, it was the closest thing to be in Greece for an hour or so because of the authentic Greek cuisine, ambiance and the very owner himself – Mr. Manos Sapountzakis.

THE FOOD

Armed with a now prehistoric SC-500, I took the pleasure of snapping some photos.

Greek Salad: tomatoes, onions, cucumbers, green peppers, olives and feta cheese.

These are potato fries and a bowl of fresh tidbits of carrots, corn and green peas (I think) which you will add to your meal instead of rice.

Saganaki: Baked shrimps in tomato sauce with feta cheese and spices.

I think this was Lamb Gyros soaked in thick yogurt sauce.

My Greek lunch: Grilled lamb (or it could be pork chop), Mousaka (mainly zucchini, potatoes, minced meat, eggplant, eggs, cheese, onions), Lamb Gyros, potato fries, feta cheese, and other lovely tidbits.

For me, the food was awesome though a few might find the Greek taste strange for the Pinoy palate, but overall it was great. All of the food here by the way were cooked in olive oil which adds a nice flavor to the dishes. No wonder olive oil is different from our over-the-store vegetable oil.

That’s me in the brown shirt next to Mr Manos with my teachers and classmates.

THE AMBIANCE

Its simple Aegean blue and white theme with little Greek mementos scattered here and there seems to give you that relaxing feeling as if your in Santorini, Greece. I can imagine hearing the subtle frothy sea waves just outside the window.  The place feels so homey it’s like your having lunch in a friend’s house.

Okay, this was like almost 5 years ago so I’m pretty sure their prices went up a few notch, but I believe its not bordering anywhere near to fine dining level which would be great for both our pockets and palates. I can’t wait to get back to Tagaytay and bring Leia to Manos Greek Taverna or their new Hellenic Hotel Taverna and have a great Greek lunch treat.

Εις το επανιδείν!

p.s.

I’ll be posting photos of my first visit in Tagaytay some other time because it was a pre-digital camera era where Kodak film was the Instagram of its time.

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Filed under flashback, food, Luzon, Tagaytay

Tadakuma in Cagayan de Oro


Last Saturday (Aug 18) me and Leia went to Cagayan de Oro to have our lunch in Kugi Bulgogi, a new Korean restaurant in Lim Ket Kai mall. Instead we ended up in Tadakuma, because our good friend Miguel (boyfriend of Ritz – Leia’s best friend) took us there for lunch and to check out his friend’s interior designing prowess. I guess Kugi Bulgogi have to wait.

So, may I present to you Tadakuma!

The interior is simple, the color theme is comforting to the eyes and the place is actually small, but it doesn’t feel crammed.  The place can probably accommodate not more than 40 people which is fine.

There were actually a lot of people the moment we came in and all of them were Filipino-Chinese. I guess they’re one big family because they all left at the same time when they finished their lunch.

Anyway, this was all what we had for lunch:

This dish here is made up of Japanese rice (I think) with minced fresh tuna meat on top, wasabi, (I think that’s) onion spring super minced and others. It’s a great dish with a biting taste due to the Wasabi. If you love Sashimi, you’ll love this!

You can correct me if I’m wrong, but I think this one is called Shoyu Ramen. I’m not sure, but all I can say is that it tasted awesome! The Naruto in me just love ramen!

This one is called Tempura Odon. The only name my girlfriend remembered and we never even got to taste it because this was Miguel’s order.

Okay, we apologize. We love the food, the cozy ambiance, the nice interior design and the color theme which feels traditionally Japanese I guess, but at the same time contemporary.

We had so much fun when we left, we actually forgot to take note the names of our dishes. A big blunder!

For us, Japanese food names are not easy to remember unless it’s simply called sushi, California maki and sashimi.

Anyway, if you love Japanese food like we do, Tadakuma is worth it if you find yourself in the city of friendship and it’s not that expensive too.

Tadakuma is a Japanese restaurant that just opened at Don Ramon Chavez Street, Cagayan de Oro City.

Arigato Gozaimasu!

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Filed under Cagayan De Oro, food, restaurant

Sta. Cruz Falls


Sta. Cruz Falls

(more photos below)

It is dubbed as the Niagara Falls of Mindanao and getting there was definitely both awesome and a shocking experience. Seeing the falls was worth it, but the word “worth” can be totally subjective on this matter though.

It solely depends if your willing to climb steep hills, treading carefully on lose earth and rocks along the cliffs, crossing  rivers/streams jotted with rocks and boulders (from landslides) and finding your way through giant wild thorny shrubs.

The road going to the falls was destroyed by landslides and flood when the falls overflowed like a bursting dam a couple of years ago. Basically, the only access to the falls was already claimed by mother nature when we got there.

OH NO!

What’s even worst, we were dressed like we were going to a park. No ropes, mountain boots, tools, sandals, food and heck, not even a single bottle of water! There were like 9 of us and three of those were folks past their 50’s. Yep, that’s my girlfriend’s parents and her aunt together with her sister , 3 helpers and us plus 3 more guides/motorcycle drivers.

Why Unprepared?

So how did we end up going there unprepared? Well, one of their helper told us back in Iligan a few days before that there’s a beautiful waterfall in Kapatagan aside from the Cathedral falls that we should visit. She said that it’s just near and we were assuming it was like going to Cathedral falls which was basically effortless.

We thought there would be small “Sari-sari” stores along the way for us to buy water and snacks. It turns out the last time  their helper went there was years before the road was demolished by a landslide.

20 minutes of walking through in the middle of nowhere gave me a bad feeling that this was going to be one of those misadventures we’ll be talking about for the rest of our lives.

We actually made it through hell and back after a 5 hour ordeal of going through difficult terrain. Thank God!

What’s in our bags?

If you thought we’re carrying some “baon” or food in our bags, you couldn’t be more wrong. My bag contents: a net-book,  shirt and a towel. Leia‘s bag contents: some make up and other ladies stuff.

No food, water, flashlight, camping tools and first aid kit whatsoever.

Greatest Concern

Our greatest concern were the 3 senior citizens in our group, but they made it too and back albeit swearing “never again!”

Word of Advice:

Next time a house-helper of yours tells you it’s just near – DOUBLE CHECK IT!

The Mysterious Falls

You can’t find Sta. Cruz falls on Google maps, not even articles about it on Google. It is only mentioned in Lanao del Norte tourism sites as part of their attraction, but there’s no photos of it. So far, only Leia was able to blog about it and I’m probably the 2nd guy to blog about Sta. Cruz falls.

If you search it on Google images, all you see are photos taken by us when we went there. Technically, it was a mysterious water falls before we finally laid our eyes on it.

If You Dare

If you dare going there for sheer adventure, it’s not really a challenge if your an experienced mountain climber/hiker. However, if you want to go like how we went through it, try dressing up like your going to a mall on a date without a bottle of water and food, not even a biscuit.

Just don’t bring your parents, aunts or any oldies with you or they might think you want them dead.

How to get there:

Santa Cruz falls is just 10-15 minutes away or 2km from Kapatagan’s bus terminal by “habal-habal” ride for P100 back and forth. Actually, you’ll be stopping at the river where you’ll see an impassable bridge or what remains of it and that will be your starting point onward.

From the starting point to the falls can be over an hour or two which used to be a 10 minute ride before mother nature decided to apply some total makeover. But without the oldies, you’ll probably get there like an hour maybe or even less which depends on your cardio.

The trek starts easy, but slowly becomes harder and harder until your near to the falls. Oh, and go there with a guide, at least two if your planning to go without equipment like us because they will be your human ladder literally. Just pay them extra for helping you stay alive.

Have fun!

p.s.

We actually went to Santa Cruz falls in the last week of May 2012, but it’s just now that I’m able to blog about it. More backlogs to come! *wipes sweat*

Here’s Leia’s side of the story: http://reiyakhu.tumblr.com/post/23986273297/the-niagara-falls-of-mindanao-santa-cruz-falls

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Filed under Kapatagan, Lanao del Norte, waterfalls

INJ


From top left to bottom right: Baby Back Ribs, Grilled Blue Marlin and Pasta de Calamari at INJ Iligan.

INJ is actually a restaurant with a car wash or a car wash with a restaurant (scratches head) in Palao near The Strip. I think you can see it where there’s a utility tricycle in the photo.

The place is really nice and the food was okay, but I like the grilled blue marlin. I think you could never go wrong with a blue marlin no matter how it is cooked. The calamares was specially good too, but the pasta sauce tasted like ordinary plain ketchup. They could use a better tomato sauce or cook real tomatoes in olive oil for the pasta.

I heard they have one of the best burgers in town… a day after we came here. Toink!

We still enjoyed our “luncher” or “drunch” (I’m just coining the term between lunch and dinner) or our mid afternoon super heavy snack.

*checks bp at home*

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Filed under food, Iligan City

Prenuptial Photo-shoot Mockup


For the first time in my life, I was asked to “model” for a photo-shoot along with my girlfriend. Leia‘s been doing this for the past 5 years so she’s pretty much the veteran here while I’m obviously the greenhorn.

Despite my  busy work schedule, I agreed and we had a blast. It was fun and I enjoyed the shoot very much. DreamCatcher Creatives (the team behind the shoot) did an awesome job! oh, and my girl is part of the team. ^___^

It was pretty hard maintaining our position and I’m pretty sure you get the idea how these photos were done. The team thought I’ve done this before because they said I looked like an experienced photo model.

Ahem, seriously, it never even occurred to me to do this kind of thing, but I’m always open for some career change. lol!

Concept and photos done by DreamCatcher Creatives and they’re based here in Iligan City.

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Filed under Art, Iligan City, photoshoot, self

It’s Good To Be “Blog” Again!


Okay, I know the title sounds grammatically incorrect, but yeah, what I meant was it’s good to be back again (i know it should have been “it’s good to blog again!” but whatever).

So I’ve been gone like over 10 weeks since my last blog post and it felt like 10 years had already passed. Seeing my last post (The Pacquiao Bradley fight) felt like looking at ancient history.

The reason for my absence was because I got sick last month (been sick since summer actually, but last month was the worst). I had to do some drastic lifestyle change.

I used to be a night person and I choose to work at hours when everybody’s hugging their beds to never land. Now, I work at daytime (I finally understand why it sucks to be a twilight vampire) and sleep at night like normal human beings do.

I completely stopped drinking energy drinks, reduced my coffee intake, avoided junk food and other salty dishes. Now I’m having oatmeal for breakfast, no late night snacks and grab on anything healthy such as fish, fruits and vegetables.

I actually became a pseudo pescetarian for a couple of weeks. No, its not a religion, but a diet of fruits, vegetables and seafood. I say pseudo because I still eat chicken meat minus the skin.

Well, actually, I got better just before July ended, but I couldn’t find time to blog because I was catching up with work and classes like crazy.

Once in a while, me and my girlfriend still went out to places and restaurants to enjoy and relax, but when I got home, I was too tired or too busy to blog.

Until now, I’m having a hard time juggling between work and school (took up a two year diploma course in digital media arts just this semester).

If you’re wondering what curse struck me, well it’s no curse, but an equally evil whatchacallthis condition….

HYPERTENSION!

Yep, my blood pressure was reaching almost 160/100. After 5 months of feeling really heavy like an anvil was tied around my neck, I decided to visit the doctor.

Thank God my blood pressure is now back to normal ( an average of below 120/80) even before taking up my bp med. A month ago, my day would start with a 130+/90 blood pressure reading before taking my med.

The reason why I was suffering with hypertension? My cholesterol level was off the roof courtesy of bad diet, no exercise and lack of sleep.

For your information, I used to be a health buff for the past four years, but by the first semester of 2011 I stopped cold turkey. No exercises whatsoever at all for 10 months until I decided to hit the gym again last April, but it was too late the hero.

My bp was already hitting 140+/90 and the only way to reverse it was to have a combination of eating right, some medication, exercising regularly, shed off some lbs and get a good doze of sleep but that didn’t happen until the first week of July after a visit to the doctor.

If you’re a health buff, don’t stop being one. If you’re not, you should start being like one because once the sickness bug hit you, life isn’t gonna be easy. It’s not too late to reverse things before it gets critical.

Now I’m living healthy and will do this for the rest of my life.

Oh, and I got a lot of backlogs to take care with, but so what! It’s good to be “blog” again!

Hallelujah!

Time to hit the bed!

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Filed under Iligan City, Mindanao, self