Blissful Twenty-seventh at RSM Lutong Bahay, Tagaytay

Last month, I celebrated my twenty-seventh birthday (coincidentally, on the twenty-seventh of November). Of course, the best way to celebrate a special day is always with the family.

My birthday OOTD

On that day, my goal was to find a place where I could have good food while enjoying a spectacular view of nature; plus, a place I really have not been yet. Since Tagaytay is less than an hour away, it was the top choice. I did some researching beforehand and voila, we were headed to RSM Lutong Bahay.

La Charica Inn & Suites: Your Home Away From Home

La Charica Inn & Suites was our home sweet home in Puerto Princesa for four days while attending the 2013 National Annual Conference for Nurses.

Welcome to La Charica!
Personalized greeting at the entrance. Appreciated much!


Located at the quiet street of Abad Santos, it is a five to six minutes ride from the airport and accessible to the rest of downtown Puerto Princesa via tricycle (8 pesos minimum fare).

Where to Eat in Palawan: Badjao Seafront

Hey readers, I'm so, so back! And for this comeback, I will be sharing with you my most recent trip in the 'Last Ecological Frontier' more popularly known as the province of Palawan. I've been to Puerto Princesa City last October for the 2013 National Annual Convention of the Philippine Nurses Association (PNA) and because of that I got the opportunity to explore and discover the beauty of the City in the Forest. 

For the firsts of the Palawan series, let me share with you a glimpse of one of the most popular and must try restaurant in the city- Badjao Seafront.

Thanks to Ms. Jam of La Charica Inn (see separate post) for this added feature in our City tour. Badjao Seafront Restaurant is located at Abueg Road, Puerto Princesa City. It is a floating restaurant that offers mouthwatering yet affordable food. 

From what I have read from other bloggers, reservations are a must because oftentimes it is fully-booked. For those who do not have a vehicle with them, better rent the tricycle you rode coming to the restaurant to avoid the hassle of finding one after dining (the restaurant is not situated on the main city road).

Almost everything was built and designed with wood and wooden handicrafts. From the entrance, a bridge built on stilts above the mangroves will lead to the restaurant. I would commend the owners for maintaining the cleanliness of the place especially the water (when we arrived, someone is cleaning the water under the bridge). From the restaurant, a spectacular sight will greet you.

Posing at the entrance; that's the bridge that will take
you to the floating restaurant.

Lost but Moving On with God's Grace

Posted on: Monday, October 07, 2013 | , , ,
I'd rather view a broken dream not as the end of the world rather a beginning of something new. 

A birth of something that's beautiful and perfectly written by the Master Writer, 
the Creator and Giver from Whom perfect love is exemplified.

Dear Lord, 

I may not understand why I have to go through this over and over again 
but I am keeping my faith in Your promises for I know that Your plans are not just better 
but the best than what I could have imagined for myself. 

I know Lord in Your perfect time, 
that perfect story and that perfect moment will all come true. 
Teach me Lord the virtue of patience 
and help me be faithful to You always. 


Photos from Spiritual Inspiration. Visit them on facebook and tumblr

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Maybelline Clear Smooth Aqua Gel Foundation

I am always in search for products that are skin-friendly and worth my cents. Skin-friendly refers to products that does not trigger pimple/acne breakouts, because you see I have a long history with pimples and acne when I was younger so I am very careful in choosing what to apply on my face. When I'm satisfied with the results, no matter how cheap or expensive it may be, I could say that it is worth my cents.

Meet my new kikay buddy

I have been using this product for months now and I just love the fact that Maybelline has formulated products suitable for Filipinas. So how does Maybelline Clear Smooth Aqua Gel Foundation differs from the rest?
  1. It has a water-based formula that gives skin a light and fresh sensation.
  2. It controls shine for an all day perfect and healthy-looking complexion.
  3. Evens out skin tone and covers imperfections.
  4. It feels soothing and cares for your skin with chamomile, aloe and Vitamin E.

My Birthday and Christmas Wishlist

Posted on: Thursday, September 19, 2013 | , , , ,
Longer nights, soothing carols and relaxing morning breeze - can you guess what I'm thinking? Yes, Christmas it is! As one song goes, "It's beginning to feel like Christmas." This lengthy Filipino celebration began as soon as September approached (-ber months as we Filipinos call it) and the countdown to one hundred days before Christmas started.

Likewise, I have started the countdown to my 27th birthday. Oh yeah! I'm turning 27 few months from now and I am grateful! With these celebrations in mind, I have listed down my wishlist and I will be very happy to receive these stuff from generous people around. (*clearing throat*) Online stores such as Lazada makes shopping convenient and easy, that's a promise. 

Here it goes:

 1) Samsung Galaxy S4

With specs like a super-fast-quad-core processor and a 13MP auto-focus camera with LED, this phone is just superb. I won't be resentful for a gift like this. 

2) HTC One

Apart from having an Ultrapixel camera which capture good photos in dim light, this phone is also equipped with a flash player which is needed to run certain applications. A definite plus, plus for this phone.

3) External hard disk

Honestly speaking, this item was in my wishlist last year and hopefully I will be able to cross it out come Christmas time this year. As a photography-enthusiast and a struggling Master's student, I have so many files that consume the space of my laptop. An external hard disk will help save space and keep my files safe in case my laptop finally retires in the future. 

Dakasi Milk Tea

Posted on: Sunday, August 25, 2013 | , , , , ,
I have been a fan of milk tea from the day we met. Over coffee and milk tea, I would choose the latter because it's more beneficial. It's a big hit nowadays especially that people are slowly gaining consciousness on being healthy.

I have tried a couple of milk teas from different stores around the area; I came across Dakasi when it opened few months ago at SM Santa Rosa and of course being the milk tea fan, I checked it out.

Cutie-patootie star

Dakasi originated from Taiwan in the 90's. Today, they have stores established in Southeast Asia particularly in Taipei, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Hongkong, Indonesia, Shenzhen, Nanjing, Thailand, Malaysia and Philippines.

Remembering Ninoy

Posted on: Wednesday, August 21, 2013 | , ,
Benigno 'Ninoy' S. Aquino, Jr. (Source)

21st of August 1983, the year that was. In the tarmac of then Manila International Airport with the Philippines eagerly waiting for your return. A bang, a gunshot - it took your life, but never your legacy.

"But I knew, that somehow, I will regain my freedom, maybe not in this world, but elsewhere, and I knew, that sometime, somewhere, Mr. Marcos and I will meet, and in that meeting I will have my satisfaction." Freedom rally symposium by the Movement for Free Philippines. Wilshire Ebell Theater in Los Angeles, California; February 15, 1981 (Credits: Quotation Source)

Thirty years after (now it's raining and flooding like forever in your Motherland), we remember and celebrate your greatness. Your death sparked a realization that there is power in unity and that the government is for the Filipinos.

"I have carefully weighed the virtues and the faults of the Filipino and I have come to the conclusion that he is worth dying for because he is the nation’s greatest untapped resource.” (Quote taken from here)

Luca Cucina Italiana and Lodge

Located in Talipanan Beach, the final stretch of sand connected to White Beach, Luca has been popular to both local and foreign tourists in Puerto Galera for its authentic Italian taste. The restaurant is nothing fancy, just a simple structure with wooden tables and bamboo chairs.

View of Talipanan beach from Luca

From Tamaraw Beach Resort, we headed to Luca to have our late lunch. We decided to walk along the shore to save money and to discover the stretch. But when we arrived in front of the luxurious Sunset at Aninuan, it was high tide and we were apprehensive of the water's depth, so we decided to take the tricycle going to Luca.

Tricycles are found at the main road, just opposite to TBR's entrance. The regular rate from Tamaraw Beach Resort to Luca is 150 Php but you can always TRY haggling. In our case, we paid 120 bucks for the bumpy road ride. Travel time is about 7-10 minutes, the catch is the tricycle will not really stop in front of Luca, it will stop after the uphill rough road just before the downhill path which we walked to reach Luca. For this reason, I think the tricycle rate is both reasonable thinking of the fuel consumed during the ride and quite unreasonable because it did not really drove us to where we were really going. From the downhill path, we passed by Bamboo Beach House (we're coming from the back) then walked our way to Luca.

The steep downhill path
The rough uphill road

Skimboards for rent

Fresh Pasta and Brick Oven Pizza at Bistro Ravioli, MOA

After a day of errands in Manila, we dropped by MOA for dinner before taking the bus home. Because Doc K was very supportive of my blogging craze, she said we need to dine at a place where we haven't gone before so we have something new to taste and blog about. Driven by our curiosity to know what ravioli is, we settled at Bistro Ravioli. And indeed, we made a wise decision.

Bistro Ravioli is at the Ground Floor, North Arcade of SM Mall of Asia. Taking it from their website, Bistro Ravioli started out as a small kiosk in the food court of a bustling mall in the Ortigas Business District. Simply called “Ravioli”, the kiosk put the spotlight on this traditional Italian dish of stuffed, savory pasta pillows, inviting hungry mall-goers to try “the goodness of fresh pasta”. The kiosk rapidly gained widespread acclaim for its delicious and refreshing take on specialty pasta, and less than a year after it served its first ravioli to the public, a bistro was born.

We were so intrigued with what they offer in Bistro Ravioli that we ordered their must-try foods for their ravioli, chicken and barbecue, pasta and pizza choices.

We ordered Spinach and Feta Cheese Ravioli in Pesto Sauce. So what is ravioli to begin with? They are small, square pasta cases stuffed with meat, cheese or vegetables then cooked in a pan of boiling water and served with tomato or other flavored sauces and often grated cheese (Source: BBC). The one they serve at Bistro Ravioli contains spinach and feta cheese enveloped in pasta pillows and sautéed in their traditional pondoro sauce topped with pesto (Source).

Spinach and Feta Cheese Ravioli in Pesto Sauce

Food Adventures at Buffet 101

Posted on: Friday, August 02, 2013 | , , , , ,
Howdy everyone! I have been hibernating for the past month that I eventually missed my very first blogversary. Oh yeah! Despite that, I am glad I was able to keep my new blog running. I have been blogging for years now, but it's the first time I was able to offer something new to people who were interested to read my posts. Before, I used to blog about my personal experiences, my rants and raves (I believe I am still doing it here) but there's an addition of some informative travel and food escapades. I am also thankful I reached my target views on my blogversary, 2700+ views. Hallelujah! *insert drumrolls and party poppers here*

To kick off with my second year, I will share my food adventure with my dentist friend, Doc K at Buffet 101 at Mall of Asia.

Buffet 101 is located at MOA Seaside Blvd., San Miguel by the Bay, SM Mall of Asia Complex, Pasay City. It boasts of its 'five star hotel feel' of course, at a cheaper price. When I entered the restaurant, I felt like I was transported to a new dimension; indeed, the interior and ambiance were convincing of a five star hotel feel.

This plant added beauty to the place

No Leftover
No Take Out
No Sharing

Food variety in Buffet 101 is not as many as in Sofitel, so as in Vikings (I have read in some blogs). Despite that, as a customer, I would rate the restaurant as satisfying because all of the dishes that I believe I have missed out trying in Sofitel (because I was so overwhelmed) were available in Buffet 101. Apart from that and my happy tummy, let me run down other reasons why I had a great time at Buffet 101.

Hello Puerto Galera!

Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore. ~ André Gide
I made it a point every summer to travel and enjoy the beach. Although I don't know how to swim, I still find the sand and the sea very inviting. Perhaps, it is in the beach that I am able to pick-up pieces where I left off, like returning to the old me but getting better. I am one heck of a nature lover! I believe that summer is a perfect opportunity to bond with family and friends because it's not as busy as the other months.

One of the perks of my work is being able to reach places in CALABARZON (although I am not the type who's been awarded out of region seminars), I still believe that I am lucky because there's so much to see in the region and I am getting there free with allowances. Before summer ends, I want to set foot on another region I have never been. And it came true last May 1.

After almost a month of planning, rescheduling and almost cancelling it off, DC and I sailed to the Port of Galleons. Puerto Galera is located at Oriental Mindoro and is dubbed as one of the most beautiful bays in the world. It is one of the more budget-friendly destinations and because its accessible to Manila, it is a perfect place for weekend getaways.

There are several beaches in Puerto Galera, White Beach is the most popular among them. Affordable resorts and bars are in this stretch. Aninuan/Tamaraw Beach is home to only two resorts: Tamaraw Beach Resort and the luxurious Sunset at Aninuan Resort. Talipanan Beach is home to Mountain Beach Resort, Mariner's Resort, Bamboo Beach House, El Cañonero, Luca's lodge and restaurant and the newly built Infinity Resort. White Beach, Aninuan and Talipanan beach are in the same stretch separated by hills and boulders. Sabang Beach in Sabang Port is a haven for divers.

a - Ticketing booth of Minolo Shipping Lines at Batangas Port;
b - While waiting to board the ferry;
c  & d - Boarding Golden Falcon,; e & f - Pictures at the ferry-boat;
g - The view from where we are during the trip;
and h - Puerto Galera Yacht Club at Sabang Pier

HNS Goes to Liliw Resort

The town of Liliw in Laguna is well known for its affordable and quality footwear. Little did I know that this place also boasts of its cold water resort set at the foot of Mt. Banahaw (thanks to Ate Digna for suggesting this place to us). Last Saturday, June 01, we went to Liliw for our annual team building, which I think is a good way to end summer and to welcome June, the beginning of the school year and of another busy year for Health and Nutrition personnel.

From Santa Rosa, we drove to Liliw, Laguna via Calauan. Our first stop is at Liliw Resort. The resort is located at the innermost part of the town and from the entrance/parking, a downhill path will take you to the heart of the resort. Do not be bothered if you have not researched the resort's location because there are signs posted along the road; besides, you could always ask the locals for directions.

The pathway leading to the resort.

Welcome to Liliw Resort!
Day tour entrance for adults costs 50 Php. For a group of 15 adults and 2 kids, we were charged 750 Php for the entrance (children were free of charge).  For those bringing their rides with them, you will be charged 20 Php parking fee for every vehicle.

Arabela: Camello's Bakehaus and Coffee Shop

Arabela Restaurant in Liliw, Laguna

We left Liliw Resort at past twelve in the afternoon. The original plan was to head straight to Arabela for lunch but since we knew that the restaurant is still full (it opens on 11:15 in the morning and reservations are not allowed during weekends) we went to stroll and shop for shoes.

Big violet wedge display in one of the stores

Footwear stores are located on a straight street so it's easy to roam around and shop. I spent more than 1,500 bucks for my shoe haul which includes a shoe for my dad, two shoes for my mom and myself. It is best that you visit the stores first to compare which one sells at a lower price and gives bigger discounts. One observation though, for most of the stores they have a uniform discount of 10Php for every shoe but you could still try to haggle for more, who knows they might give in.

One of the more famous brand of Liliw footwear
My shoe haul (Mom's, Dad's and mine).

Our shoe shopping was cut temporarily because it's time for lunch. At 1:30 in the afternoon, we walked our way to Arabela Restaurant. As expected, there were no available seats inside the restaurant, good thing there were tables available outside and Doc Alain was able to reserve it for us. The tables occupied half of the roadside but because we cannot afford to be that picky (we are 17 in the group) we settled and enjoyed our lunch there.

Arabela restaurant is located at 503 Rizal St., Liliw, Laguna. The restaurant facade is nothing fancy; it occupies the silong of an old, ancestral house (I guess that accounts for its very low ceiling, when I say low I really mean LOW). The space inside is small, around seven tables occupy the place. Walls are in green and violet hues.

Jap Tuesday at Domo Tomo, Nuvali

Inasmuch as I love eating, I am not really into Japanese cuisine. I have nothing against Japanese, in fact, I find their food one of the healthiest (alongside Korean dishes) because of the vegetables and fishes incorporated in every meal. I think one reason why many Filipinos love Japanese food aside from the taste and preparation is the fact that they would not be missing out on their favorite staple food a.k.a rice when eating Jap.
After work, we strolled around Nuvali and ate at Domo Tomo.

Door signage (taken inside the store)

Project 2013: March Edition at The Old Spaghetti House

Project 2013 is the term I formulated to call our berkz monthly get-together. Berkz or berks is an urban Filipino word derived from barkada which means group of friends. The goal of this so-called project is to be updated on each other by having a monthly get-together. The fact remains that we will not be complete most of the time,  but as long as we get to see our 'absentee' friends more than once in a year, it's goal met already. Ever since we graduated from college not so long ago and started building our own careers as young professionals, we made it a point to see each other on birthdays and Christmas (which by the way, is the most consistent gathering we have).

I was told by Mitch sometime last year that Marlon suggested that we should be scheduling a monthly get together. This was a good idea because we will get to see each other more often and keep track on what is happening with one another. Also because when we have our get-together for most of the time, a whole afternoon will never be enough for story-telling and catching-up. But because we were busy on the first two months of the year, the activity commenced just last March. Better late than never as they say.

We met at Paseo de Santa Rosa which is strategic for most of us and sufficed our gastronomic cravings with pizza, pasta and laughter at The Old Spaghetti House (TOSH).

A pasta lover will definitely like it here.

Million Volunteer Run 2: I Ran to Save Lives

Last February 10, the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) launched the Million Volunteer Run (MVR) 2: Run to Save Lives. Through the run, the PRC is completing its extensive network of one million volunteers in order to deliver their services effectively and successfully. By becoming Red Cross' partner in this project, people can empower the nation’s most vulnerable against the debilitating effects of disasters (source: MVR- facebook).

Yey! I finished the run!

Come in Hungry, Walk out Happy at Army Navy, Nuvali

Name somebody who lives near Nuvali who has not heard the buzz regarding Army Navy since its arrival in Solenad 2. I think even kids know that Army Navy is one of the most popular places to satisfy your big cravings here in Santa Rosa City area. And when I say big, I really mean BIG.

Last February 05, after a very hot and tiring afternoon spent at the school for the celebration of the Oral Health Month we gave in to our cravings and ate at Army Navy.

The counters

Make Everyday Valentine's Day

Posted on: Friday, February 15, 2013 | , ,
As popular as the old cliche, "Make everyday Christmas day"; I am coining my own by saying, "Make everyday a Valentine's day."

Wondering why? I would like to believe that expressing love and spending time with our loved ones need not to be done only on special occasions, rather it should be celebrated everyday, for each moment can be regarded as special even without an event.

Yes I know this is a little late (by this time, it's already February 15 in the Philippines), I would like to greet you guys a Happy Hearts Day. And let me share with you one of my favorite Bible verses about love.

Photo taken from here.

Spread the love everyone! Let's make everyday a Valentine's Day!


In God's Time...

Posted on: Tuesday, February 05, 2013 | , ,
Today I was reminded of how much I value honesty and truthfulness. I was also reminded that God loves me so much that He saved me from wrong people, wrong decisions and a pitfall.

I know that God is busy writing my story and that it will come true on His perfect time with the one He chose for me. I may be single but there is no drop of desperation running on me. There's no need to rush and there's no need to worry for someday all my hopes and dreams will come true. As written in Ecclesiastes 3:11: "He has made everything beautiful in its time."

Photo taken from google.

As for now, I will seek to become somebody better. Someone that my perfect match is exactly looking for.


Heavenly Halo-halo at Razon's of Guagua: Mangan Ta Na!

Halo-halo is a popular iced Filipino desert made out of the mixture of sugar, milk and different toppings such as saba (a variety of banana), gulaman (jellies), sago (tapioca), beans, pinipig (roasted and pounded young green rice grain), leche flan and ube halaya. It is topped with vanilla ice cream for a more delightful taste.

Razon's of Guagua at SM City Sta. Rosa

Maybelline Clear Smooth BB Stick

Posted on: Monday, January 21, 2013 | , , ,
Let me start off this blog by reminding you that I am not an expert in make-ups nor a beauty guru. It just so happened that I realized that my face seems to darken during the latter part of the day (which can be attributed to my hyperacidity) so I needed a product that will help me maintain my normal skin tone.

The Maybelline BB stick
In this era where BB creams have risen to popularity, I have been curious about this product and decided to try one. I have read several blogs regarding the BB cream of Maybelline, but only a few about BB stick. As a Maybelline sucker, I gave this one a try. So here's my thoughts about the product.

As written in the label, the Clear Smooth BB Stick has 8-in-1 benefits namely:
  1. Controls shine
  2. Lasts all day
  3. Clears
  4. Refines
  5. Conceals
  6. Evens
  7. Smoothens
  8. Protects

The Spiral Restaurant Experience at Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila

Last Monday, 7th of January, we held the HNS Christmas party (since Christmas is a lengthy season in the Philippines, we were still in time for this celebration) simultaneous with the birthday celebration of our big boss, Doc Alain. We celebrated our two-in-one party together with her beautiful and nice wife, Doc Sarah.

We left the office at 3:30 in the afternoon and arrived at Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila at 4:30 pm. We waited at the Sunset Bar where we took pictures here and there and watched the magnificent Manila Bay Sunset.

Manila Bay in the background
Moi, pardon the narcissism

Glamour pose
Familia Zaragosa pose HNS version
The beautiful lights add romance and beauty to the place

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