Thai Mango by Chef Kim: Not Your Ordinary Smoothie

Delicious, tropical, creamy, and fresh– these are just some words to describe your perfect smoothie. And you can savor this kind of drink only with Thai Mango Dessert by Chef Kim.

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A Day Tour in Cebu City

Cebu city or also known as the Queen City of the South is one of my favorite places in the country because I have been in the city for many times.  The location is close to my heart because of its rich culture and history, delectable food that is available everywhere, and lots of wonderful places to visit.

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Cobalabamba: A Taste of Mexico

I can’t deny the fact that Mexican food will always be one of the top choices when it comes to the best food in the world. Just like what CNN posted in an article entitled “Which country has the best food?” Mexico is in the 9th spot. Needless to say, Mexican cuisines are indeed delicious because the taste and aroma of these Central-American food are so distinct.

Continue reading “Cobalabamba: A Taste of Mexico”

Beauty and Batanes (2/3)

SECOND DAY (SABTANG)

After a chill NORTH BATAN trip, now it’s time to explore the nearby island, SABTANG.

Sabtang, is one of the municipalities of Batanes that is comprised of 6 barangays namely Chavayan, Malakdang, Nakanmuan, Savidug, Sinakan, and Sumnanga.

Since the island is only accessible by a boat ride, we took a tricycle going to Ivana Port from the town of Basco in order for us to discover Sabtang island. It’s roughly 30-minute boat ride going to the town proper of Sabtang and it cost Php 100 per person for one way.

REMEMBER: Don’t forget to pay the environmental fee worth Php 200 per person at Sabtang Tourism Office

TIP: Take the earliest boat ride going to the island to avoid strong waves

SAVIDUG VILLAGE/BARRIO

This is one of the best parts when visiting Batanes– checking out all the traditional Ivatan stone houses. These shelters serve as shields against strong storms and typhoons hitting the island that is usually happening every year.

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Old Beaterio

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An Ivatan wearing a traditional Vakul

This place is most likely the first stop when you are in Sabtang.

MORONG BEACH/NAKABUANG BEACH

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Morong Beach

Morong beach is only one of the few beaches in Batanes where you are allowed to swim. The waves are also calm and meek during a good weather. The fine and white sand of Morong beach is perfectly made for your sensitive feet, thus you’ll really enjoy the place.

Unfortunately, the weather was not that good when we visited the beach. We instead enjoy the view, the mutual relationship of the wind and the wave, and the sprinkle of the rain brought by the monsoon wind. So it’s advisable to visit Sabtang during summer season.

CHAVAYAN VILLAGE

Chavayan is also a village for stone houses and it’s a place for the Sabtang Weavers Association where local women weave traditional headdresses made of dried palm leaves that are used to protect the Ivatans from sunlight or rain.

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An Ivatan Woman Wearing Traditional Vakul

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Ivatan’s Local Products

CHAMANTAD-TINYAN VIEWPOINT

Chamantad-Tinyan Viewpoint offers the best view spot in Sabtang where you can see wonderful cliffs and the vast Pacific Ocean. On the area, you can purchase some good local delicacies and products.

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Chamantad-Tinyan Viewpoint

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Ivatan Kids

FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH (Sidetrip)

Since we already have finished a half-day tour in Sabtang, our tour guide took us for a sidetrip in Fountain of Youth or locally known as Rakuh-a-idi Spring in Mahatao. The design of the mini infinity pool is man-made, but the place will assure you that the water is coming from a natural spring.

You can bring your food and enjoy eating in the hut located near the pool. But don’t forget to bring a garbage bag in case you will have trashes after eating.

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Fountain of Yout Man-made Pool

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Infinity Pool Feels

When you want to visit this serene and peaceful place, you need to take a trek for about 30 minutes. So be ready with your trekking or comfortable shoes and extra strength for this activity.

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Beauty and Batanes (1/3)

Beauty and Batanes (3/3)

HYDRO Manila Music Festival 2018

In just 24 hours, Hydro Manila Music Festival 2018 will once again bring a bigger and stronger rain in the metro!

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Official Poster by HYDRO Manila Music Festival

Hydro Core Events and Productions Corp. is presenting its annual installation of the new but well-known Hydro Manila Music Festival. The said music festival conquered the music and rave scene through incorporating various local and international acts to perform and spin for the public. And this event is open to all people who wants to celebrate youth and music in one night.

This year, the music festival is set to commence on August 18, 2018 from 5:00 p.m. until 3:00 a.m. at SM Mall of Asia Concert Grounds. The party event will feature live performances of Philippine’s favorite local DJs and artists like Michael Pangilinan, Al James, DJ Patty Tiu, DJ Katsy Lee, DJ M.O.D., DJ Franco Zarate, DJ MC DM, and more.

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Photo: https://www.facebook.com/HydroManila

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Photo: https://www.facebook.com/HydroManila

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Photo: https://www.facebook.com/HydroManila

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Photo: https://www.facebook.com/HydroManila

When you’re in the event proper, Hydro Manila in collaboration with C1RCA Philippines will sell exclusive tees for the party goers. So be early to grab limited shirts that will serve as your souvenir for this once-a-year hydro party.

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Photo: https://www.facebook.com/HydroManila

UNFORTUNATELY, tickets for HYDRO Manila Music Festival 2018 is already sold out. This seems to be a fun party of the year! Next time, be quick for another round of hydro event on 2019.

The event company is one of the biggest productions in the Philippines specializing on music festivals and parties. Hydro has successfully organized more than 20 events all over the Philippines. For more updates about HYDRO events, you can follow their social media accounts in facebook and instagram .

Kandle Cafe: Dining in a Peaceful Place

Just located along the street of 113 Mother Ignacia Avenue, Quezon City, Kandle Cafe is hidden in a greenery and simple old brick wall that will make you feel at home upon entering the restaurant.

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THE KANDLE CAFE

Kandle Cafe offers different cuisines from appetizers to desserts which will make your gastronomic journey complete. The outlet also shares rustic interiors and good ambiance upon dining– furnitures and decorations are instagram-ready whenever you want to take snaps of yourself and the restaurant.

Unlike other cafes, Kandle Cafe has this peaceful vibe even the outlet is being swarmed by diners especially during weekends. The restaurant also got enough seats for all the guests whether you’re a couple or in a group.

The plants and trees all over the outlet are the ones that are making your time dining in Kandle Cafe more relaxing and refreshing. The greens loosen up your stress from a tiring day of work or other personal concerns.

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There is also a dessert corner that is displayed when you enter the restaurant. This area invites your sweet tooth to order them after a good meal at Kandle Cafe.

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THE KANDLE FOOD

Well of course, this is not just about the setup of the cafe but it’s also about their special cuisines on the menu.

So, we ordered Pomelo and Shrimp Salad (Php 340), Mr. Egoy and Ms. Eggy (Php 310), Beef Sirloin (Php 270), and Carrot Bar (Php 100).

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Pomelo and Shrimp Salad

All fresh and healthy if you opt to order healthier food in the cafe, likewise, ordering Pomelo and Shrimp Salad is the best diet for all the diners in Kandle Cafe as this recipe gives a perfect tanginess. Obviously, there’s a generous amount of shrimp and greens on the salad. And to add up, the candied walnuts give a different texture to the mix.

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Mr. Egoy and Ms. Eggy Pasta

One of the famous dishes of Kandle Cafe is the Mr. Egoy and Ms Eggy Pasta. Though different from a normal color, the squid-ink pasta is flawlessly mixed with cream sauce and cheese topped with perfectly poached egg. And to give that full blown taste, the pasta is sprinkled with crispy bacon bits.

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Beef Sirloin

Sizzling and hot– that’s how the Beef Sirloin is done in Kandle Cafe. Served in a sizzling plate with grilled veggies, the beef sirloin recipe will surely make you drool for a couple of minutes as its aroma from smoke adds desire to your appetite.

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Carrot Bar

And to cap the meal, a healthy Carrot Bar is ideal for all the customers. This dessert gives you a light taste that is not too sweet and will not make you guilty after dining in Kandle Cafe.

FOOD QUALITY

All food that we’ve ordered are just perfect for our taste, not too salty nor bland, not too sweet as well for the dessert (For me, the recipe for each dish is well-thought of). You can sit and just wait for your food and expect it to be just right for your tastebuds, and yes, it really is. Though the bread in Mr.Egoy and Ms. Eggy Pasta is a bit tough, the overall experience with Kandle’s food is excellent. I’ll give it a 4/5.

SERVICE QUALITY

Service wise, all the staff from the cashiers to the waiters were all attentive. Since the area is full of trees and plants, we can expect that there are mosquitoes in the restaurant. And when a staff saw us dining outside the outlet, he immediately put an outdoor insect repeller.

On the other hand, food service was just right. We didn’t wait a long time for our orders to be served. And if not mistaken, I passed by the owner of the restaurant and he smiled at us when we entered the cafe.

Lastly, this cafe is pet-friendly! My animal-advocate heart is so happy knowing that this cafe allows pets in the restaurant. So it’s a 5/5 for the service.

FACILITY QUALITY

If there’s one thing that I also appreciate in Kandle Cafe, that is their design. The refreshing feel from the outside going to the interior design makes you want to stay longer in the restaurant.  The peaceful vibes and the homey atmosphere of the cafe are also added points. With these things, it’s a 4/5.

PRICE QUALITY

Price list is just fair as everything I tasted is worth paying for. The food were great, service and facilities too are nice, maybe that’s why I call it a fair pricing. When we dined in Kandle Cafe and tasted their food, we didn’t mind how much we paid or whatnot. As long as we enjoyed their food and the ambiance, then price will just remain a price. It’s more on experiencing the bests of a certain restaurant and its offerings to the customers. So it’s a 3.5/5.

Overall, the hidden gem in Mother Ignacia Avenue in Quezon City is a perfect spot for people who are looking for a good food, nice service, and peaceful place. The feeling of creating memories with the people you love and spending it in Kandle Cafe will make it more special.

Kandle Cafe is open from Monday to Sunday 11:00 am until 11:00 pm. They serve lunch and dinner while you can also order pastries and coffee. For more info and updates about the cafe, you can check their social media pages, facebook and instagram.

NOW OPEN: Eco Store Refilling Station

Last August 9, 2018, Eco Hotel Philippines opens its first zero-waste store at Spaces by Eco Hotel, Makati.

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True to its name, Eco Hotel Philippines supports environmental practices and causes that can help our mother nature rise up again, little by little. The company implements specific measures to gradually conserve our mother earth through protecting the ecosystem, preserving the natural and cultural heritage, educating the locals regarding the environment, and conveying a message to the hotel guests in taking part to the company’s mission in order to help the nature.

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And as a business company, they aim to be profitable while being responsible like promoting a zero-waste lifestyle– that is, eliminating the idea of trash altogether. Though in reality, zero-waste isn’t totally 100% achievable but Eco Hotel Philippines are exerting efforts in eliminating wastes one step at time.

ECO STORE- REFILLING STATION

The goal of the refilling station is to get rid and reduce single-use plastic just like a sachet of shampoo or unnecessary container of lotion, and their call to action? BRING YOUR OWN BOTTLE (BYOB).

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This is the first of Eco Hotel Philippines in introducing a refilling station of bath essentials and lotion. The store is open to guests who want to take home their signature shampoo, conditioner, bath gel, and lotion as long as they bring their own empty containers for reuse.

As of now, the store is open every weekends at Spaces in Makati, Cabins and Containers in Tagaytay. And after a long run of the campaign, the eco store will be opened daily.

Additionally, the eco store will launch an online store on the second week of October 2018. Aside from the stated products, the store will also offer coffee and other items as soon as the store will be up and running.

THE PRODUCTS

Currently, the eco store offers basic liquids like shampoo, conditioner, bath gel, and lotion with its own distinct scent. The introductory price of the products is only at PhP 99 per 250ml of container.

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Since the products are partly organic, it will last up to 12 months as long as it is in a tight-capped container. And in order to prolong its shelf-life, customers must avoid mixing the products in water and exposing it to direct sunlight.

Eco Hotel Philippines are open for partnerships for individuals or other business establishments who would like to get the brand for their respective locations.

For more updates and information about the first zero-waste store of Eco Hotel Philippines, you can call them at +63 2 881 5318 to 19 or follow their social media accounts, facebook and instagram

 

 

Southpole Central Hotel: A Cheap Stay in Cebu

Almost all goods and services in Cebu do have the same rate range as Metro Manila’s. Sometimes as travellers or tourists, we always have a budget plan when it comes to our food, fare, and a place to stay. And when you’re in Cebu, worry not about your budget because Southpole Central Hotel perfectly caters to tourists and travellers who prefer budget-friendly accommodations without compromising a good sleep.

Southpole Central Hotel is located at 29 Junquera Street, Cebu City. It’s just near the seaport and shopping malls in the city. The hotel is just beside the main campus of University of San Carlos and few blocks away from the famous street of Colon.

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THE ROOM

The hotel has 3 room categories; Superior (PhP 1,800/night), Deluxe (PhP 2,100/night), and the Business Suite Room (PhP 2,400/night). Room rates are affordable if you will base it to other hotels in the metro.

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I booked 2 superior rooms for 3 nights together with my parents. That already includes breakfast for 2 persons for each room. We mainly used the rooms as sleeping quarters and baggage area because we really intended to have tours in the city and meet some close friends who are already living in Cebu.

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All room types have either 2 singles beds or 1 single bed and 1 double bed. The room is fully air-conditioned and has basic room amenities like telephone, LCD television with cable channels, 2 bottled water, a work desk, and an open cabinet. Guests can also access and enjoy the free wifi of the hotel.

On the other hand, comfort room provides a cold and hot shower with comfort room essentials such as shampoo, soap, dental kit, and a bidet. And if it’s a hassle to bring your own bath towel, the budget hotel has a couple for you.

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DINING

For a cheap accommodation in Southpole Central Hotel, it offers a breakfast buffet to start your day full and right. If you stay for more than a day in Southpole, you may claim your meal stub daily at the front desk so you can avail of the breakfast. The buffet is open from 7:00 am – 10:00 am only.

While if you prefer having ala carte orders, the hotel has a mini restaurant located in the ground floor just beside the front desk. The outlet offers different cuisines from appetizers to desserts.

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INTERACTION QUALITY

Staying in a hotel is worthwhile if the service that you expect is above par. But sometimes you will really think that staying in cheap hotels or any lodging establishments might compromise the service. But Southpole proved me wrong, staff in the hotel were great and all smiling.

There’s one instance that I have a room service because I got hungry. The staff who is assigned for the food I ordered gave me a wrong amount of change from a purchase I’ve made. I didn’t even notice it until he called me on the phone. Then swiftly, he gave the remaining change.

Honesty is indeed the best policy. I’ll rate the service and honesty with 4/5.

FACILITIES QUALITY

Soutpole’s facilities are just average, well it’s a budget hotel. But I’ll just point out some factors that may affect the entire stay of a guest (1) The rust on shower and its hose is visible, (2) The bed doesn’t have a duvet. In my own view, I just felt like duvet is a basic amenity in any hotel businesses, and (3) I noticed that there mosquitoes in the lobby and in the hallway which might irritate the guests.

But the bed and pillows are really comfortable. I didn’t have hard time sleeping because normally, if the pillow is not that comfortable and not in line with my preference, I find it hard to sleep.

The hotel’s buffet breakfast is just okay. Nothing really special but I guess it’s fair enough for the money I spent on my stay at Southpole.  It’s 3/5.

OUTOME QUALITY

I can say that my whole stay and experience in Cebu was great. Maybe because there is Southpole Central Hotel that didn’t break my wallet for the accommodations. It served as my sleeping quarter and baggage area for my stuff everytime I leave and discover Cebu City. The place is also safe because only the guests who have keycards can exclusively use the elevator going to their respective floors.

The outcome of the accommodation in the hotel was overall satisfying in a way. I can recommend this budget hotel to those who are looking for a place to stay that will not greatly affect their budget when visiting Cebu.  I will give this a 3.5/5.

SOUTHPOLE CENTRAL HOTEL is located at 29 Junquera St., Cebu City, Philippines.

For reservations, you can email them at reservations@southpolecentralhotel.com or call them at +6332-234-7777.  You can visit their social media accounts facebook , instagram and website for updates.