Tuesday, June 30, 2015

The Old Spaghetti House (Mall of Asia Branch)

ABBEY: I admit; this is the restautant where Wilma and I used to date as it is near my office and she'll wait until work is over. Also, I like spaghetti. So after our Boracay adventure  we went to Mall of Asia and found out their branch there. It was nostalgic; going back to where you started makes you more in love with your partner in life. 

We had red sauce pasta, carbonara, 2 large pizza and a serving of fried chicken. We ordered their promotion during that time and it only costs us Php2,599++; enough for 10pax. 

The kids have their strawberry and chocolate milkshakes.

WILL: This is not my first time to eat here, Abbey dated me here when we were still a boyfriend/girlfriend status. 

So when I found out that Mall of Asia have a branch of The Old Spaghetti House, I excitedly told to my siblings that we will have a dinner there. They were happy because they never tried it before. 

It is Thursday night and luckily there are some space available for a big group like us. We ordered one of their Real Deal bundled meal. Since the pesto pasta is not included on the package, I ordered for an ala-carte. The taste never changed, gosh! Memories of their pasta rushed back to my brain. Haha! I love their pizzas. I took 4 slices and one my niece look at me and asked the 4th slice for her, and happily gave that piece. Hehe. (Minsan kasi madamot akong tita)

Total experience is very good. The waiters are very energetic and ready to take all our requests. Thanks TOSH Mall of Asia for the time spent with noisy customers like us. ;)

Monday, June 29, 2015

The Green Market (SIN7) - Changi Terminal 2

ABBEY: We're always excited going to airport as it means we'll go for vacation and we also get to used our lounge passes. Green Market is one of them. It serves Japanese cuisine. 

Upon arrival, we were given comfy seats and then we headed to the buffet. I got a bowl of salmon soup. It was hot and comforting. Each chuck of salmon melted on my mouth, no chewing needed. (Just apply pressure, haha) I also tried their pasta salad. 

It is creamy and aromatic because of capsicum strips. I also had a couple of plates of maki. Too bad their Unagi don is a one-time serving only; it was really delicious. 

Of course, unlimited tea and coffee are available after filling up your tummy with sumptuous food.

WILL: Again, special thanks to Priority Pass from Citibank for the opportunity to have a complimentary access to different lounges not only in Singapore but to other countries. This is our second time to use the Priority Pass and on this we took the chance to check out the Green Market at Changi Terminal 2. 

It is located at the 3rd floor just beside McDonalds. It is a Japanese cuisine. Please take note that sashimi is limited, so savour it on every bite. I kept coning back for their sushi and salad pasta. 

They have food, tv and magazines to entertain their guests. Well, I can stay there for hours and eat all their salad pasta. Haha! A peaceful place to visit before your flight. 

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Dinner Buffet at Riverwalk Tandoor (20 Upper Circular Rd Branch)

ABBEY: I've been here a couple of times but this is the only time I got to write up for Riverwalk Tandoor as this is time I dined there with my wife. Others occassions are with my colleagues. 

In here, I got my favorite chicken tandoor. Partner them with mint chutney or briyani rice and it is heaven. Pappadums are endless. I think I ate 5-6 bowls of it. Order a serving of freshly made butter or plain naan and dip in their chicken or mutton curry. I'm drooling while writing this. They also have menu for vegetarian and have dessert as well (wow, gulab jamun). 

The restaurant is located at 20 Upper Circular Road, B1-38 The Riverwalk. Dinner buffet costs 19.90++ (Mon-Thurs) and 20.90++ (Fri-Sun). Check their site for promotions and other prices.

WILL: Abbey have been for a number of times due to official meetings. Well, if he can tag me along why not. But on those instances I cannot go with him. So on the day that he want to make a farewell to one of his colleague he chose to celebrate it in Riverwalk Tandoor. 

It is just beside the MoM at Clarke Quay. It's dinner on a Monday we do not expect it to be full but all the seats were occupied around 7pm. Good thing we made a reservation.

I love the most is their Tandoori Chicken that i smothered the mint sauce and ate it with their biryani rice. I can't remember how many times I went back to buffet table for papadum. Why? Their papadum is not oily but still crunchy. I love it!
Abbey's colleague is picky in food but this restaurant made her full. It only means that Riverwalk Tandoor has delectable menu. Cheers! 

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Villa Escudero Plantations and Resort

ABBEY: Spending quality time with family is a reward for every OFW. But being with them in an out-of-town trip with food and travel is more than a reward. Planning and booking at Villa Escudero got everyone excited and finally the day came. 

We left Manila by almost 7AM and got there by 10. We were welcomed warmly by their staff as well as their welcome drinks. And we were led to the cashier for the tickets. But before going in, we ate our breakfast. Everybody preferred to hop to the cart pulled by a carabao rather than motorised vehicle. I think the carabao got a hard time pulling the 20 of us. A folk singer rendered us native songs along our way to the Waterfalls restaurant. The kids went first to the pool and enjoyed the waters and each adult went for their own selfie time. 

Lunch time is at Waterfalls restaurant. Eat to your stomach's content while the stream of water touch your feet. I think I ate more than 15 lumpiang toge and pork adobo but with less rice. That's how you do buffet. Siesta became alive while the performers (staffs of the resort is part of this too) showcased cultural dances to the tunes played by the string band aside from drinking freshly brewed coffee. After the presentation, the audience had the chance to take snaps with them. 

We stroll along the resort riding a long golf cart; the resort has a church, halls for weddings and meetings, and cabins for guests who will stay overnight. 

We visited their museum which exhibits church relics, coins and notes from different countries, clothes used by former Philippine presidents, and war articles like guns and uniforms. 

It was a fun-filled day and ended up on a sip of hot bulalo of Leslie's in Tagaytay. Hoping there would be more like this.

WILL: This is supposedly a celebration of my mother's bday. In the very last minute, mother backed-out the idea. Well, we still pursue to visit the famous Villa Escudero. 

We traveled without traffic for almost 4 hours. Whew! I enjoyed the ride because of the non-stop conversation with my siblings. And you will not dare to sleep because Ate Sol relentlessly taking shots of the person who's snatching some slumber. Haha!

We were greeted by genuine smiles of the people at the concierge. We informed them that we have a reservation and we settled the fees. They accept cash and major credit cards. We ate some breakfast at the before we went inside. 

Carabao!!! We got into the cart and carabao pulled us to our destination. When the children saw the pool, instantly they took off their shirts and changed to their swimming outfits. Within a second their already in the pool enjoying the cold waters in it. 

Rafting is free and I love to do it again. Yes! This is my second time in the place. Abbey was partnered by my Kuya Ric and I was with Papa RS. Luckily Papa knew how to operate the raft. We sailed with a great speed. Blissfully enjoyed the experience. 

After our tiring-but-enjoyeable rafting, we went to the manmade waterfalls for our buffet lunch. It made my tummy almost burst. Haha! What ate mangoes, vegetables and lumpia. I made three trips for that. Drool!!! We spend 2 hours of non-stop-chewing. Haha. 

We went back to the pool and my siblings lie down on the beach seats for siestas. 3pm the performance starts. We watched while sipping a hot coffee. After the show we decided to go roam around the villa. You can hail the whole vehicle and they will tour you to the whole land owned by the resort. 

Our last stop was the museum. No cameras were allowed. Strictly for your eyes only. What's inside? Catholic images and a lot of paraphernalia. I hope they preserve and showcase it in a more organised way.  

We walked through the gate and saw our photos. My siblings happily bought it as their souvenirs.  

The long journey of 6 hours back and forth is worthwhile. Time spent with your loved ones is never been a wasted time.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Southwest Tours Boracay - A Hassle Free Boracay Transportation

ABBEY: It was my first trip to Boracay and I can say that the travel time is not boring nor irritating. Thanks to SouthWest as they took care of us for all the transfers that we need to go thru. Yes, from Kalibo airport to Boracay and back. 

Their service is great. Just put the "sticker" to your chest, look for SouthWest staffs or follow their signs, then you'll get to your destination safe and sound. No worries if you'll be in different hotels when you arrive and depart. Tell them the locations and they'll be there ahead of your schedule. Their staffs are always smiling and accommodate the guests well. 

Thanks SouthWest.

WILL: Who doesn't want a stress free vacation with your loved ones? Everyone is aiming a perfect vacation right but a multi-mode of transport holiday is quite tiring. Its either you will book on the spot to save some pennies or to book advance and skip the queue. 

Southwest Tours was recommended by almost all of the hotels of Boracay for their airport-hotel-airport transfers. I checked their rates online and compared to friends who always visit Boracay. They confirmed that if I would like to wait and haggle for some hundred pesos they would recommend for me to skip Southwest and book it walk-in. The catch? You will trade few minutes or even an hour to wait until the bus/boat/tricycle to get full. Well, time is more important to me and Abbey so despite of few peso we opted for Southwest Travels and Tours. 

When we arrived at Kalibo Airport a small banner indicating our name greeted us. We were given a sticker and tickets. We were led immediately to their bus and not more than 20minutes our bus is speeding its way for a 2-hour journey. Seat is comfortable, bus is clean and I never passed the opportunity to take some snooze. Haha. 

We alight from the bus and we were guided by staffs of Southwest until we reached their small yacht. No more than ten minutes, we sailed. Half an hour we reached Caticlan Port. As usual there are their staffs waiving at us and guiding us. We then took a small van up to our hotel. 

On our way back to Manila, their service never fail. Our call time is 1130am for them to pick us up and the hotel concierge informed us that the Southwest staff is there waiting for us from 1030am. They are not on time. They are ahead of it. Haha! 

I felt so VIP on our tour at Boracay. Thanks Southwest Travels and Tours for making our vacation hassle-free. 

Please do visit their website. Please click here.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Golden Phoenix Hotel in Boracay (Station 3)

ABBEY: This is the second hotel we stayed in during our Boracay trip. Since it is at station 3, we sprinted to Station 1 to meet our contact for parawsailing and stand-up paddling. We were greeted by tables of food coming back from our water adventures. It is a buffet dinner. I took a lot of pork and chicken barbecue and made it a feast. I also have siopao and some fruits. There's not much guest during that time.

We went for a foot massage after dinner at their in-house Hotel Dream Spa. For less than 1000php, you can have an hour of relaxing and ache-removing massage. The massage is awesome and I had a good night sleep. My feet got very tired after all the activities but it was gone the next day. 

The next morning the rain poured but we were not dampened by it as the "unlimited" breakfast is waiting for us. Omelletes, sunny side up, dumplings, watermelon, and fried rice were available. Good thing we stayed for a while as they brought out lechon later; crispy lechon skin. Wow.

Wifi is chargeable per day. But during our stay it is free.
Few items though for them to improve. As I'm working on bank, I know how critical information security is. When we are doing our booking at the hotel, the staff is asking us to give the credit card number. Yes, this is ok as most hotel is asking for this. But they are also asking us to give a scanned copy of a valid ID copy and back of the card which the CVV is located. For what? Once the CVV is given, security is lost. Maybe it is part of the hotel's protocol, but once that info is out anybody can use the card. This is the only hotel who asked us for that.

Next is, Wilma is having a habit to put her feet up on the chair while sitting. I don't know the reason why, but she was told to put it down and we obliged. Maybe she has very short shorts. Thank you for the concern.But the next morning while eating, I saw one guest who did just what Wilma had done and wearing "short" short also but she was not reprimanded. That same staff is there eating as well. I waited for the staff's action, but resulted to none. Is there any different policy between a foreign tourist than a local one? If there is none, then better to check your staff's behaviour.

WILL: Because I want to experience the both world that is why we stayed at MNL Hostel at Bulabog Beach and I looked for a beachfront hotel at the stretch of white beach. 

Then I stumbled upon at the Golden Phoenix Hotel. They are having a free dinner buffet promotion and that enticed me to book on their hotel. 

What I like about this hotel? First, is their feather-soft pillow, no unnecessary smell and so white and clean. Second, their breakfast. Dimsum is overflowing. I think I have up to 10 servings of it, and 5 of those are spareribs. Third, their Dream Spa is open til midnight. For 60minutes, I slept there while Abbey and I are on a session of foot reflex. 

What are the cons? The pool seems full of sands so we do not dare to hop in to the pool. No white light inside the room, not totally lit. When we are having a dinner, a very loud speaker is in front of the hotel, it is irritating. No bidet?! And the last..I have this attitude that I always put my feet up on the seat. It is either on indian seat or fetal position.While we are waiting for our keys to check-in, one of the staff approached me and requested to put my feet down. I obliged without a word. But when Abbey saw a foreigner while eating breakfast and her feet are on the seat and nobody approached her, my husband is like a volcano ready to erupt. Haha! I told him that I am okay to stop his anger. 

Sometimes hotel is good but because of the attitude and management of the people working in there make the business flap down.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Cheap Dinner Buffet at La Carmela de Boracay

ABBEY: After a 3-hour trip from Manila to Boracay and walk along the beach, we ended our first day with a buffet dinner at La Carmela. It is a 12-15-minute walk from D Mall. After paying PHP700 for two, we were led to the table where sumptuous food is waiting for us. I got some onion rings for appetizer. Then I took a plateful of beef mushroom sauce and chicken cacclatori; had some fruits and greens also.

We got a table on the beach and enjoyed our dinner with a view of the sunset. I think I made 3 trips to the buffet. 

The night ended with a fire dance. Make sure to empty your plate else you'll be paying double. This is their initiative for their anti-food wastage drive.

WILL: On our first night at Boracay, we would love to have a buffet in preparation of tomorrow's activities. Haha! As I have read too many blogs, Buffet at La Carmela is worth the price of Php350.00

Not so many choices but having a sky's-the-limit mini crabs and shrimps sufficed the amount we paid.

Having a dinner by the beach is romantic but it is more sweeter if you are eating while marvelling the magnificent bursts of colours of the sunset.  Around 7pm, the fire dancers arrived and we watched their performances. After that we ate again and that time I go for the Mongolian bbq. Excellent!

A cheap alternative eatery for a hungry tummy.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Jurassic World Singapore

ABBEY: Jurrasic Park awed me when it was released on 1993. It was a good movie about those enormous creatures. And seeing them interacting on the guest of the park is really amazing. That's the same feeling I had when watching Jurrasic World. 

The park was reopened after years of waiting. As the technology advances, there'll be more way to study and breed dinosaurs. They even shown that you can make your own, when they raised Indominus Rex. A beast larger than tyrannosaurs rex and is a combination of multiple species. The owner of the park thought it was a good idea to have attraction like that; more terrifying, have more teeth, and more "cool". Little did they know what hell will they be in if it is out of its containment. 

The movie still give me suspense, keeps my hand sweating, and wondering when it will attack. It is good that they still kept raptors there (Go Blue). Now my wife want one as pet. Haha.

But I'm just wondering with these: Why Claire is the only one sweating a lot when all of them kept on running from the dinosaur? Does she has hyperhidrosis? She looks hot though. How can she manage to run that much wearing heels? Can Vin Diesel hire the boys as mechanic for putting an old vehicle back to action again?

WILL: The island was ruined again. Anyways, even it was destructed time and time again I still wish that there's a place with real dinosaurs. Haha. 

Steven Spielberg nailed this and topping chart again after the Jurassic Park last 1993. When I saw the trailer there is an urge from inside of me to watch this. My instinct as always is correct. It made me clapped after the movie. It awakens the wanna-be-bone-digger (Palaeontologist) in me. 

Jurassic World is very appealing to children rather than the blood raising and heart stopping Jurassic Park. Why? In the 2015 film shows that Tyrannosaurs Rex have a heart and will follow human command. This movie made me love dinosaurs more. Awwww! I love to have a T-Rex as my pet. Haha!

I recommend to my colleagues to watch this movie and promised that there is no dull moment. 5/5

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Real Coffee & Tea Cafe - Boracay, Aklan

ABBEY: This restaurant is a must-go-to when you're in Boracay. You know why? They are offering calamansi muffin. Whoa, a muffin that is sour :) But it is not. It costs Php60.00 a piece. Here's a fun fact, they are selling it per box for Php300.00. Got discount right? But it is only for take aways. I didn't bother to ask the staff if I can buy a to-go box and eat it inside. Baka mag-init pa ulo ni ate. :) 

We ordered four pieces (1/2 for Wilma and 3 1/2 for me). It was sweet and tangy on every bite. "Siksik"; that is the word I'll describe for the muffins. They were heavy compared to other. I even kid the staff that I'll complain as my arm hurt in lifting the pastry. 

I partnered it with iced coffee and my merienda was fixed.

WILL: Denise and Ate Nini suggested us to go for some of the famous muffins of Real Coffee. Actually it is on my list but I am ready to skip it once we experience a time shortage. Haha. 

It was after our island hopping. Even though we have a buffet lunch we still managed to make some space for some desserts. 

We got 4 of the famous kalamansi muffins. And 3 and half was all eaten by Abbey. I love muffins but the sour and tanginess of it do not fit my taste. Maybe it will suit a hot coffee or tea instead of cold ones. Anyways, next time I will try that. 

Abbey want to bring some boxes of it to Manila but we forgot to by on the next day.

Monday, June 15, 2015

SEA Games 2015 - Tennis Finals

ABBEY: The 28th SouthEast Asian (SEA) games is one of the events for the celebration of 50th year of Singapore. Most of the tickets of popular sports events were sold out. Good thing that tennis is for free at Kallang Tennis Center. We went to watch the finals. The event was delayed as it is waiting for the rain to stop. It started at 1PM; two and a half hour behind schedule. Nevertheless, the excitement rose once the spectators saw that the courts were being prepared.

The first match we watched is Mixed Doubles between Philippines (Denise Dy and Treat Huey) and Thailand (Peangtarn Plipuech and Sonchat Ratiwatana). Filipino fans' cheers roared at the bleachers giving encouragement to the pair. Dy and Huey bagged the gold on the third set. Filipinos stood up and waited for the match to end on the last couple of serves. Even Huey waved up his hand telling the fabs to cheer more. It was a good match.

Then at 3:15PM, the Women's doubles commenced. Again it is between Pinoys and Thais. After the mixed doubles, Dy was paired up to Katharina Lenhert to step up against Noppawan Lertcheewakarn and compatriot Varatchaya Wongteanchai. The first and second sets were both exciting as the Pinays really exhibited their talents to beat the Thais. But the Thais were not giving up so easily as well. Philippines got the silver for the event. The crowd roared loudly for all the players and awarding ceremony capped the day.

WILL: I love rain and this is the first time I want it to stop. 

Tennis finals is behind schedule and on our luck at almost noon the pouring stopped. We were comfortably sitting at the centre court and one of the ushers announced that Philippines vs Thailand on mixed doubles will be held at the court #4. The stomping, the cheers and applause seems never ending when the Denise and Treat won the match. 

Without lunch and all we had are free bottles of water, we queued to go back at the centre court. This is where the match for women's double. Thailand vs Singapore again. This time, Thailand's people answered back the Filipino cheers. There are laughs when the shouts of encouragement copies each other. Haha! Thailand won the first two sets. 

I am so proud to be a Filipino. Tennis is not an easy sports and not a cheap one for Filipino to get into it. But still some exist to compete internationally and bagged some titles. 

SEA games! Roar!!! I hope Olympics will be held in Singapore too. I know Little Red Dot can accommodate that big event.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Smoke Resto Boracay at D'Mall

ABBEY: Wilma knew about Smoke from the famous Pinoy travel show host Drew Arellano. They said that there are two branches of it in D Mall, Boracay and the one we found is located in the center of D Mall. I didn't bother to search for the other one as I'm already hungry :)

I ordered spicy garlic pork. Yes, you read it right. Even the noontime sun made us sweat finding that place, I still prefer to eat spicy food. But that's ok, I got their calamansi shake which cooled me down. It was delicious and refreshing. The restaurant also offers other Pinoy food like pork sinigang and tapsilog. You won't believe what Wilma had, check her entry below.

WILL: A research will lead you to a pretty perfect holiday. And I stumbled upon Drew Arellano's "Biyahe ni Drew". They covered Boracay and how to save some pennies for an extravagant experience. And Smoke caught my attention.

After we checked-in on our second hotel, we headed to D'Mall for lunch. We were both tired from our land tours and the walk from Station 3 to Station 2 seems unending. We stepped in to the D'Mall and saw the Andok's as landmark but the Smoke where nowhere to be found. 

We walk, walk and walk and luckily we asked one of the local and guided us that it was located at the back of Andok's. Gosh! 

We sat, ordered and minutes later the hot bulalo and kaopad are on our table. I ate the food as if I never eat in my entire life. Yes we are at the beach and the sun gave a scorching heat but the bulalo still gave me a relief. Their version of bulalo has a spike of ginger. Its soup soothes well with my rice with shrimp paste.

Smoke Resto is definitely worth my long walk.