Tag Archives: Philippine

Payag Restaurant – Tagbilaran City

More about Payag Restaurant here from Leia’s blog:
Address: 18, Alturas Mall, C. P. G. North Ave. Cor. B. Inting St., Tagbilaran City, 6300 Bohol
Phone:(038) 501 7852

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Filed under Bohol, food, Travel

Rizal Park 2012

Here we were at Rizal Park when we were in Manila last month. This was before we went to Manila Ocean Park which is just right across Rizal Park or colloquially called Luneta, Luneta Park. Rizal Park is a perfect place to unwind, great for family picnics and get into a friendly duel with fellow Escrimadors early in the morning, if you are an Escrima practitioner.

It has a rich history from the execution of Jose Rizal (Philippine national hero), declaration of independence from American rule to the political rallies of both Ferdinand Marcos and Corazon Aquino. The latter sparked the EDSA revolution that toppled the dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos.

Rizal Park is located along Manila Bay and it is also adjacent to the old walled city of Manila called Intramuros. Quirino Grandstand is also right across Rizal Park where Manila Ocean Park is also situated.

Jose Rizal Monument back

La Madre Filipina

DSC_0063 wm

Jose Rizal Monument front

Philippine Flag Pole (at 351 feet is the tallest standing flag pole in the nation)

Part of Roxas Boulevard

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Filed under Historical Places, Luneta Park, Luzon, Manila, Philippine Heritage, Pinoy, Travel

Yoh Froze and Pepper Lunch

So it’s been more than two weeks since my last post. My super duper hectic schedule is keeping me from blogging. I still have to run after this post so I better make this quick or I’ll be lumped with more backlogs later on. Heck, I already got a lot of backlogs in the first place.

So let’s rewind the clock when we were still in Manila.

Before we actually hit the railway tracks to Intramuros, we passed by at Rustan’s Shangri-La Mall to buy some bottled water. If you’re planning to go hiking in the concrete jungle of Manila, arm yourself first with water because the sweltering humidity can render you senseless.

Before Intramuros: Yoh Froz!

Okay, so as we passed by their grocery section, our eyes laid on to something or more like froze with Yoh Froze. Perhaps it’s nothing special for the locals, but for us promdi’s (people from the province), it sure did piqued our curiosity.

It’s really good, healthy, not too sweet and tasted just right in my palette, but nothing monumental. Still, this can give you a moment of serenity and by the way, this is not an ice cream – it’s “frozen” yoghurt for those who don’t know. This is more fun than plain o’l Yakult.

After Intramuros: Pepper Lunch!

After Iligan to CDO to Manila to Intramuros in less than 12 hours, we were starving like zombies so we went to MOA or Mall of Asia to have our dinner at Pepper Lunch.

Beef Pepper Rice

Beef Teriyaki Pepper Rice with Egg

Yep, they served really nice hefty meal that was enough to make my eyelids heavy. I was so full and satisfied I wanted to sleep right there. Lol!

The food is basically jammed packed with everything that you need to raise your cholesterol up, in a good and satisfying way though.

Tip: If I remember it correctly, we took a ride to this compact MPV (they call it FX perhaps from Toyota Tamaraw FX, but what we had was Innova) turned into a bus/taxi hybrid for only P50 for the both of us from Intramuros to MOA. Way cheaper than taking a taxi and more convenient than taking a jeep or bus.  You can get this ride at Plaza Roma where the Manila Cathedral is situated.

Advice: The weather in Manila is like a show run by Loki (the Asgardian god of mischief) that bakes you in the day with so much sunlight, then when your all red with sunburn, he throws you a torrential monsoon downpour later in the afternoon as his way of being kind. So better bring an umbrella to protect you from the killer sun rays and heavy rain if your planning on metro trekking.


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Filed under food, Intramuros, Luzon, Manila, Travel, Uncategorized

From Ninoy Aquino International Airport to Felicity Den


Ninoy Aquino International Airport or NAIA is the largest airport in the Philippines. It is one of the busiest airports in Asia with over 29.5 million passenger traffic in 2011 alone. Okay let’s cut the wiki sounding section and get on with our experience in NAIA.

Luggage Handling:

It was not my first time in Manila so obviously not my first time as well in NAIA, but it was my first time to experience NAIA’s incompetent luggage handling. Leia’s cute mickey mouse trolley case was badly scratched and a small area got its laminated portion ripped off despite the FRAGILE sticker.

FRAGILE? Just drag it!

Yep, its fragile alright.

Poor Mickey. >_<

So okay, word of advice – if you have a cute precious suitcase that’s worth like a smart phone, don’t bring it to NAIA or it’ll get trashed. I don’t know if it’s the NAIA personnel or Cebu Pacific Airlines Personnel (which I think it is Cebu Pacs people), but yeah, they’ll just throw and drag your precious luggage like it’s a garbage bin.

Here’s NAIA Terminal 3 on our arrival:

Looks squeaky clean.

We’re still smiling until we discovered the damaged trolley case.

Felicity Den at CityLand Shaw Tower in Shaw Boulevard

From NAIA to Shaw Boulevard, Mandaluyong City didn’t took 1 hour despite the horror traffic stories you’ll hear about Manila. Just take the C-5 route going to Mandaluyong area and you can have your blood pressure maintain in optimum levels.

We took the regular taxi instead of the airport yellow taxis which is more expensive. A close friend of mine once took the yellow one – NAIA to Pasay Ermita = P800 and Pasay is way super near than Shaw boulevard. The regular taxi we took – P220 from NAIA to Shaw Tower.

Thanks to Rodney Cue for telling us to get the regular taxi instead. Still, you need to be more vigilant with regular taxi’s because they might tour you around in circles to bill you more.

If you’re in a hurry and you have the extra dough, then go for the yellow taxis, but if you’re fine, just get the regular white ones. Make sure you don’t look like a lost gazelle (5. know your map – previous post).

Felicity Den:

The room or rather the condo pad is really nice, cozy and neat! It is a small pad with one room, kitchen, bar, a bathroom and a spacious living room. However, Lulu converted the living room into a guest room which makes it a one big room with everything in it.

Yes, we have everything we need except for the internet but I have a smart bro stick (which I wasn’t able to use). The room doesn’t have an outside view of the city, but it has windows just in case your wondering.


Shaw Tower (Felicity Den) is located along where St. Francis (street) and Shaw Boulevard meet. Shaw Tower is just beside Shangri-la Plaza Mall and the MRT-3 Shaw Boulevard Station is just a walking distance from the Shaw Tower. What’s even cooler, Star Mall which is just across Shangri-La is where
MMDA EDSA Starmall- Shaw Bus Terminal Southbound‎ is situated.

Just click on the highlighted names above to see it on Google map.

If you need some groceries for the duration of your vacation then you got Shangri-La to cater your needs. If you want to go nearby cities and want to avoid the traffic then you got the MRT Station besides Shangri-La. If you’re planning to go Tagaytay and see Taal Volcano, right across Shangri-La is the Star Mall Shaw Bus Terminal Southbound. Perfect!



NAIA’s  only glitch so far is their luggage handling. I don’t know if they’re treating your luggage with dignity and respect. Maybe because of the rush hour they don’t have time for gentleness, but I believe they can improve and not treat your stuff like a sack of rice.

Lulu’s Felicity Den

Lulu was a lifesaver and a pocket saver! Her place is way cheaper, but way better than most above average hotels in terms of room accommodation and location. Lulu also gave us helpful tips plus an MRT/LRT map to guide us with the railway transit.

Fine, hotels may offer you a bathtub, a swimming pool and a restaurant, but can you have a whole kitchen with great stuff plus a stationary bike for more than half the price of average hotel room rates in Manila? Whew, that’s a long sentence. It doesn’t mean that hotels are bad, but if you’re on a budget like we do or you just want to save more, Lulu’s place is more than a bang for the buck!

Thanks to Lulu Saldivar and also to JMson Calalang for hooking us up with Lulu.

Here’s Lulu’s Place: https://www.facebook.com/FelicityDen

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Filed under Airports, Luzon, Manila, Travel

Invading Metro Manila

Metro Manila, one of the most densely populated cities in the world with over 25 million people alone as of 2007. Being a gamut of all sorts, Metro Manila is the center of the Philippines from politics to economics to star biz gossips to NEWS reports.

However, it is probably the only place in the country that has a smorgasbord of restaurants and food joints that’s too many to count. It is a heaven for food bloggers, travel enthusiasts and vacation addicts.

This was my nth time in Manila and Leia‘s first. Remember, just like any other over-sized city in the world, you gotta have some smarts in you or you’ll end up scratching your head with the street wolves.

7 Basic Tips before Invading Manila

  • 1. Prepare an itinerary beforehand. You don’t want to be wasting your time figuring out where to go in a place like Manila. The traffic alone will eat a huge chunk of time.
  • 2. Set a budget. Wherever you go, your budget will go with you and it won’t exceed as long as you got a lid on your budget.
  • 3. Ask for tips. That means you should contact people you know who are living in Manila. It really helps a lot and I mean a lot. If ever your a foreigner, at least ask some folks you know who have been to Manila or just read blogs like this one.
  • 4. Be vigilant. That means, you have to be conscious of your valuable belongings especially your wallet and other important stuff with you like passports and gadgets.
  • 5. Know your map. Come on, I know you don’t want to look like a tourist with a map sprawling in front of the locals so you better do your assignment by being familiar with the map beforehand. You don’t have to memorize the map like Jason Bourne, but it pays a lot to have an idea where you are and where your destinations are located.
  • 6. Use the MRT/LRT.  Those letters stands for: Manila Light Rail Transit System, or the LRT, and the Manila Metro Rail Transit System, or the MRT (Wiki). Both of these will save you a lot of time crossing between cities. Even if you have the money to burn for taxi rides, the traffic will still spoil your vacation. Rush hour is from 7-10 am and 5-9pm for both roads and railways. Better getting sandwiched in an MRT/LRT in a rush hour than in a traffic, at least you save time albeit smelling each others armpits.
  • 7. Last, but not the least, check your stuff before leaving the hotel, your friend’s condo unit or your relative’s house. If your staying in a friend’s place, don’t ever forget leaving the keys to your host especially in Manila because you won’t have time to get back to return the keys once your on the road. The traffic will lock you up in one direction to your destination and there’s no turning back. Take it from me, because it happened to me on this trip. Crap!

Your important allies in Manila:

Your presence of mind, itinerary, friends, maps, and of course your budget on hand.

Your worst enemies in Manila:

Traffic, pollution, traffic, hustlers (anybody interested of ripping you off), traffic, street cons, traffic, rain, traffic, dark alleys, traffic, NAIA luggage handlers, traffic, grumpy airline personnel.. wait, did I mention traffic?

So without further ado, here are some of the photos we took in Manila:

From the plane:

This could be Cavite area.

Javier Bridge in Pasig City connecting to Cainta

That could be Makati and Mandaluyong where the tall buildings are situated.

Inside Intramuros:

Arzobispo Street (?)

The Papier Tole Shop since 1668, Wow!

Cathedral of Manila

Reducto de San Pedro (Right), Part of Intramuros Golf Club (left) and Manila Hotel (background building)

Luneta, Rizal Park, Roxas Boulevard and Quirino Grandstand:

Intersection of Kalaw Ave and Maria Orosa Ave. This is just a walking distance from LRT1 United Nations Avenue Station.

Central Lagoon, Rizal Monument and the Philippine Flag Pole at Luneta Park

Luneta Park

Eton BayPark Manila (left bldg) and Boracay Mandarin Island Hotel (right bldg) at Roxas Boulevard

Quirino Grandstand, Manila Ocean Park entrance (left) and Manila Hotel at the background (lone bldg)

MRT Station, Mall of Asia’s Ice Skating Rink and Inside PepperLunch at MOA or Mall of Asia:

MRT3 Shaw Boulevard Station

Mall of Asia Ice Skating Rink

Pepper Lunch at MOA

Here’s our itinerary –

1st day:

CityLand Shaw Tower (where we stayed.. Super thanks to Jmson and Lulu!)

Ortigas Center (Lunch)


Mall of Asia – dinner

2nd Day

Luneta Park

Ocean Park

MOA – lunch

Global City – dinner

3rd Day

Tagaytay Batangas Border – left at 10 am from Shaw Boulevard

4th day:


Ninoy Aquino International Airport or NAIA – headed for Cagayan de Oro

Next, I’ll be blogging more about the places we visited in our 4 day trip in Manila.



Filed under Intramuros, Luneta Park, Luzon, Manila, Travel

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!


Filed under Cagayan De Oro, food, restaurant

An Epic Dinner at Epic – Boracay, Aklan

Our visit to Boracay – one of the best beaches in the world!

Finally, after traveling across Panay Island from Iloilo to Capiz to Aklan, we finally arrived in Boracay Island via KaliboCaticlan route. Boracay is touted to have one of the best beaches in the world by beach bum pundits, travel magazines and vacation gurus. Having a 5 kilometer stretch of fine white sand, who am I to argue with the rest of the pack.

Despite the beautiful beach, pristine blue waters and breath-taking view of the horizon, Boracay has become a commercial hub of non-stop construction. Buildings are sprouting everywhere like spores within the island and along the coastline.

Boracay used to be a paradise for backpackers and nature lovers, but now it is a haven for party zealots and business hordes as well. Anyway, no matter what, Boracay is still one of the best vacation spots on the planet.



Anyway, when we finally entered our “budget”” hotel (P2000 a night!), the first thing that came to mind is to see the famous beach front. Whenever you see posters of Boracay’s beach front, you’ll be seeing those pretty coconut trees like royal guards saluting to every sun lovers passing by.

However, hidden behind those trees are arrays of buildings and establishments from hotels and restaurants to banks and boutiques, it’s like a one big mall beside the beach. In fact, they do have D’Mall which is… like a mall with sandy floors.

If your planning to stay longer in Boracay and fully enjoy their offerings, make sure you bring a fat wallet because Boracay is expensive. Sure, they do have fast food chains that are cheap and common all over the Philippines, but if you’re on a vacation, might as well enjoy the food you don’t see ever-day in your hometown and neighborhood.

Speaking of food, we found this nice looking restaurant just in front of the D’Mall called Epic. Our eyes popped when we saw Lamb Shanks and we ordered one right away along with Caesar’s Salad. It was our first time to eat a lamb meat and it was… Ayosa oi!!! The exclamation points means what it means. Too bad, the flash batteries were drained and so this is the best we could get from the photo shots.


After 6 days and nights of exploring the wonderful places and great food in our Panay Island tour vacation from Iloilo to Roxas to Kalibo to Boracay, we were glad to end our food trip with a high note thanks to Epic’s Lamb Shanks!

We can’t wait to start another adventure the next time around. Cheers!



Filed under Aklan, Boracay, food, Travel, Visayas