food

Bacolod 2014 [B.I.G. Adventure 2]

After a very sumptuous breakfast at La Paz, we went back to our hotel to check-out and rode a cab to the port. We bought a Libre Balik ticket to Bacolod for P410 at Ocean Jet. Travel time is 1 hour.

Scorching heat welcomed us as we arrived at lunch time. We quickly hailed a tricycle going to the nearby SM City Bacolod for our luggage check-in. Spending only a few hours here so we didn’t want any unnecessary weight. And since we’re kind of tight with time, we decided to hop in a cab to go to the famous local site, The Ruins. We agreed on a P400 rate which I think is a bit of a rip-off but, yeah with the heat and all that, I’d rather pay for some comfort.

Entrance fee for The Ruins costs PhP80. We thought it’s a bit too small to be a mansion but it’s beautiful almost unreal, to be honest! The photos I’ve taken did not look real. Few groups were in there and it’s almost quiet. No tours going around. Not minding the heat, we went around the place while the dry grass tickled our feet.

DSC_0105DSC_0104DSC_0089We asked the cab driver to drop us off the capitol. From there, we just went around looking at different places. There’s a wide lagoon at the park before the capitol. Beside it is the Negros Museum and Cafe (entrance fee is PhP100-150).

DSC_0132DSC_0135The highlight of our Bacolod trip is Calea! We rode a pedicab from the capitol to Calea. There are lots of cake choices and I can’t choose one! We’re not that hungry but we decided on ordering a few bites since our trip back to Iloilo would be too long since we’ll go straight to Guimaras.

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Calea made up for the rather expensive and quick trip we had in Bacolod. Literally, the White Chocolate Cheesecake which we deemed as the Redeemer did it! I can say, hands down, that it’s the best cheesecake I’ve ever had. And what’s more awesome about it is that it only costs PhP85/slice!

DSC_0147We might have enjoyed Calea a little too much. We ended up missing our ferry back to Iloilo. we had to pay another PhP100 to Ocean Jet for the rebooking.

All in all, Bacolod has still a lot to offer which I haven’t seen yet. Maybe it’s just because we didn’t have much time to roam around and commute, that’s why I felt this quick trip is a bit too expensive. Maybe next time I need to dedicate a day to explore and not ride cabs! 😉

If you’re planning to do the B.I.G. adventure, I’d suggest you start with Bacolod than Iloilo. Fly to Bacolod from Manila then depart from Iloilo back to the Manila. Would cost you less with the ferry fare.

Next and last stop — Guimaras!

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Bantayan Island, Cebu 2014

After one hour of flight, four hours of bus ride and another hour of travel by sea, we were welcomed by this paradise located in northern Cebu. Thank God for a cloudy day!

DSC_0119We stayed at Kota Beach Resort. I was seriously surprised with how beautiful and peaceful the place was! It was far from the noises of mainstream Boracay (though Boracay still has finer sand). We booked a standard fan room through Agoda for only P1, 200 that’s good for 3 pax without breakfast. Their beachfront cabanas (shown below) cost from P3,400-3,800 per night. I would totally be checking in to one of those when I return.

DSC_0007The resort’s service is really, really good. As soon as we arrived, we ordered lunch before checking in. In less than an hour, we have settled in to our basic room and our food is already prepared. First time to eat kilawin (raw fish marinated in vinegar with chili, tomatoes and onions)!

DSC_0020Wasted no time, right after lunch, we went to the beach and enjoyed the sun. More than the water, I enjoyed the quietness of the place. No noise is heard aside from the waves! The shore is very much stretched so it doesn’t feel crowded.

DSC_0025DSC_0018DSC_0034We rented bicycles for P130 each/ 24 hrs. I already forgot the last time I rode one so it’s quite a feat to get back on this. We biked around the island in the late afternoon and stopped by a bakeshop to have snacks.

DSC_0006Fell asleep when we came back to our room and woke up for dinner. We went to Arjaymay to have lechon manok. It’s located adjacent the church, two blocks away from our resort. The chicken costs P170. It’s delicious and juicy! Two thumbs up for the taste and service!

I almost haven’t slept a wink after that. By 5AM, we were out to wait for the sunrise. I was sitting in the damp sand while clicking on my camera. One of the loveliest sunrises I’ve ever seen, really.

DSC_0077DSC_0085DSC_0095DSC_0104Our stay in Bantayan ended to soon. Since we’re on a 3D/2N trip and we still have the city to visit, we left after breakfast (which was also good, by the way, just a little pricey) and headed back to the city.

Will definitely return to Kota soon! Really worth every penny.

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Hapag Vicentico’s

We left Baler around midday on Easter Sunday. And since most tourists are on their way back to the city for Monday’s work, the expressway is jammed with vehicles. We let it ease up and detoured to Cabanatuan, Nueva Ecija to look for their famous Hapag Vicentico’s.

Hapag Vicentico’s is a restaurant serving Filipino food. It is located at the plaza, just in front of the city’s capitol. The interior of this well-visited place is like an old house – walls made of hard wood, delicate lights, windows with capiz and pieces of furniture like a rocking chair, wooden sofa and chairs.

DSC_0540DSC_0541DSC_0547DSC_0548Food served was superb. Authentic Filipino dishes for a reasonable price. The whole place gives you this old, Filipino under the Hispanic regime vibe. Would definitely come back and try more dishes.

DSC_0555DSC_0556DSC_0558DSC_0559DSC_0560DSC_0561Recommended food/drink/dessert: beef pochero, sinigang na hipon, buko shake with a dash of caramel and leche flan 😉
DSC_0568DSC_0573—Visit their website at http://www.vicenticos.com/.Like them on Facebook, click here.

Banana Choco Walnut muffin (Tully’s Coffee)

Banana Choco Walnut muffin (Tully's Coffee)

One of the hidden coffee shops in the metro serves the tastiest muffin I have ever had. The soft banana bread becomes awesome with gooey chocolate chips and crispy walnuts in each bite. This is perfect for an afternoon treat for only P65!

Make your snack even more awesome and pair it with a hot Cafe Americano.

Tully’s Coffee
McKinley Park Residences
31st Street corner 3rd Avenue, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig, Philippines

Very Berry Hibiscus

Over the weekend, I thought about starting to blog about coffee shops and their beverages since it’s my thing. This isn’t the official start of it but, I guess, I gotta make a post regarding this new drink. I haven’t posted in weeks!

Even before my day started, I thought of buying myself a coffee smoothie from Chatime. It’s a block away from my workplace which is not that long a walk. But it rained! And it poured hard! So, I thought of splurging and just buy a Hojicha with Earl Grey Tea Jelly Frappuccino at Starbucks which is located in the building next to ours.

Little did I know that my favorite coffee shop launched their new beverages today! New non-frappuccino drinks named Cool Lime and Very Berry Hibiscus. Refreshing beverages! They don’t quite fit our local weather as it’s raining all day for the past few days! But it’s summer in the States so I guess that’s why they offered it now here in the Philippines. But a little cold drink in this season won’t hurt you, would it? 🙂

So, I tried Very Berry Hibiscus with green coffee extract and real blackberry fruits. I ordered the tall one for P115. I’m not a fan of sweet drinks. Well, lucky me it’s not that sweet. Of course, it’s got its fruity taste on it but it’s just right for my taste buds. But if you want it sweeter, ask your barista to add a little classic syrup. You gotta love it with more ice! I might as well try Cool Lime the next time I visit.

It’s a great alternative if you’re palpitating from ordering frappuccinos, lattes or macchiatos! Well, that’s why it’s called a refreshment, right? 🙂

Plus, I got a complimentary beverage at the store opening nearby! It pays to be a good customer!:) Go, try it and be refreshed!

(Branch I visited: Starbucks, Net Quad Bldg, 4th Avenue corner 30th Street, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig)