Monday, December 26, 2011

Happy Holidays 2011

Hey Everyone! I'm sure by now your pockets are either (1) empty -- if you are the one giving gifts; or (2) full -- if you're the one receiving. I'm guessing most of us in the workforce belong to category (1).

It's Christmas and one of the traditions of the Filipinos when they celebrate this season is abundance of FOOD.  Food symbolizes blessings, and the more blessings you have, the more you have on your dining table. Noche Buena is never complete without Ham or Queso de Bola. And of course, some booze to toast to Christ's birth.

Merry Christmas, everyone! Let us forget our diet for this month, and start again next year. Cheers!

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Monday, December 19, 2011

Manila Restaurants: Ajisen

My boyfriend, Marc, and I rarely visit Robinsons Place Manila because it's a bit far from where we both live, so we decided that we'd eat at a place we don't normally see in the malls near us. After going around in circles for a couple of minutes, we finally settled for this little ramen place near the corner of the 3rd floor.

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The first time I saw the place, I really got curious. Marc and I are both fans of Japanese food, especially the shake sashimi (Raw Salmon slices) and various, out-of-the-box rolls. But when we stepped in Ajisen, we didn't immediately go to the Rolls and Sushi page, but our eyes were fixed on their Ramen menu. And so we did order ramen, and we tried some of their rolls.

First let me tell you about their rolls. They were okay. Nothing special, not extra-ordinary, but above the passing mark.

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But the ramen? Now that's a different story. I don't want to spoil to spoil this for you, so I suggest you try it yourself. =^.^=

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Here are some pictures of the place:

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Their very friendly staff

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Marc and Pats
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Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Davao (Part 4)

We spent our last day in Davao just touring the city some more and meeting up with friends. Upon going back to the city, we checked in at the dormitel once more and prepared for the rest of the day's activities. Our friends brought us to the Crocodile Farm that afternoon, and we really enjoyed the place. We were lucky that we were able to make it in time for the Animal parade, the Crocodile show, and of course the Cultural and Fire Dance show in the evening. Here's how our afternoon went:

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1:30 PM - Lunch at the Crocodile restaurant. We tried their exotic dishes such as the Crocodile Sisig and the Ostrich Curry. Actually tasted good!

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L-R: Crocodile Sisig, Sizzling Bangus, Ostrich Curry, Chicken Inasal

3:00 PM - Tour the farm. The farm was like a zoo -- it had lots of animals from the birds to the mammals to the reptiles to the insects. It was an adventure!

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The Philippine Eagle showing off

4:00 PM - Start of the Animal Parade and Crocodile show. The birds were the star of the show, and they showcased their talents by showing off several tricks and treats for the audience. The final scene stealer was Pangil, the 21-foot long crocodile. Prepare to get wet!

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Pangil, the 21-ft Crocodile

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They made a replica of the Crocodile swarm. Can you spot the lurking Crocs?

6:00 PM - Cultural dance and fire show. Totally WICKED! You cannot miss this show. I haven't seen anything like this before, and I was truly amazed.

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The awesome cast and crew of the cultural dance show

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The dancers showing off the Singkil

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Finally! The Fire Show! Truly wonderful!

Before going back to the hotel and preparing for dinner, we stopped by the famous pasalubong place, Aldevinco to buy some pomelos, pearls, and souvenirs.

That night, we decided to have dinner at Jack's ridge, the famous night spot for tourists similar to Luzon's Antipolo. The view is just spectacular, Davao at night is magical. Our friend, Dabaw, even shared his story of how he proposed to his wife in that place. A very romantic place, and also a very nice place just to hang out.


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Davao at Jack's Ridge

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Jack's Ridge

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View from the top (Jack's Ridge)

But our Davao trip had to end. After hitting the sack, we woke up the next day just in time for our flight back to Manila. I will definitely be back, Davao!

Today's expenses:

Php 500.00 - Accommodation
Php 200.00 - Taxi (all day)
Php 0.00 - Crocodile Farm (But the entrance fee is Php 150.00 -- our friend treated us)
Php 0.00 - Lunch (Our friend also treated us to lunch. Average cost is at Php 200.00)
Php 300.00 - Pasalubong
Php 0.00 - Dinner (Again, our friend treated us to Dinner, but average cost is at Php 300.00)
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Total: Php 1,000.00

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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Davao (Part 3)

Wow! It actually took a while before I wrote about our Davao trip. I know this is really long overdue, but things have been crazy recently at work that I haven't found the time and the resources to write about it. Anyway, without further adieu, I am now going to share with you our third day in Enchanting Davao -- and how we spent it at Samal Island.

Originally, our plan was to check in at out chosen resort, Blue Waters, and then proceed to Maxima Aqua Fun to enjoy the rides and the attractions. Unfortunately, the weather really wasn't cooperating with us that we decided to just sleep the entire afternoon. LOL. I know, our Samal trip was pretty useless if you ask me. But personally, I thought it was perfect. Our trip to Samal was actually a major relaxation getaway: eat, sleep, get drunk, sleep, and be lazy.

Ain't that what we all want to do? Hahaha. We were able to swim and try their pool and beach, but we didn't last long because it was freezing! What better way to warm up than to have some alcohol. Hahaha. What's funny is that at night, the resort attendants would actually leave the resort to go home. So basically no one was there but us guests!! At 9PM, we were alone and we couldn't order any food or drinks anymore, so back to sleep it is!

Anyway, here's a breakdown of our expenses that day. The next day, we went back to Davao City for another city tour and some time with friends. I'll write about that again next time. =)

Expenses:
  • Php 67.00 - Samal Island Boat trip (Php 200 per trip divided by 3 of us)
  • Php 50.00 - Drinks (Shakes)
  • Php 600.00 - Accommodation (Standard Room is Php 1,500.00 for 2 pax, Additional Php 300 for 3 pax = Php 1,800.00 divided by 3)
  • Php 180.00 - Lunch
  • Php 180.00 - Dinner
  • Php 200.00 - Beer / Drinks
  • Php 50.00 - Cooler Rental (We rented a cooler because they closed their bars at 9PM)
  • Php 150.00 - Breakfast
  • Php 67.00 - Boat trip back to the City (Php 200 per trip divided by 3 of us)
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  • Php 1,544.00 TOTAL

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On our way to our boat ride -- we thought it would be the speed boat (left), but it was the other one (right) that brought us to the island.

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That's already Samal Island beyond the waters. That's how near it is.

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The resort's greeter -- the fisherman statue

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Welcome!

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View from the resort -- yes, that's Davao mainland across the waters. The resort has a swimming pool as well. See how the clouds are dark? =(

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Entrance to the resort

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The beach isn't as lovely because of the corals and rocks. But the water was crystal clear.

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Weather definitely isn't cooperating.

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Our cottage -- where we were most of the time LOL.

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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Davao (Part 2)

On to the second day of our Davao adventure!

The itinerary I made for the day was to focus all activities on the city tour. Wake up time should be 7am, but unfortunately we were just too lazy and too tired to go out. In the end, we left the dormitel at around noon time. All the activities I've planned for TOTALLY changed haha. Just a tip to all planners out there -- this might disappoint you -- but not all things go as planned. It really depends on everyone's moods so better have a back up plan or just be plain spontaneous. Don't go dwelling on the disappointment because you won't enjoy. =)

Anyway, here's how our day went. No more Eden Park or Philippine Eagle Sanctuary. Hello, Malls. LOL!

11:00 AM - Left the dormitel. Since the sun was in its peak, we decided to cancel the trips to the far places. We needed to grab lunch, and the best place to find that is --- yep, at the mall. When we got to the cab driver, we asked Manong what the newest, most celebrated mall. And brought us to Abreeza, an Ayala-owned mall newly opened with ambiance similar to Greenbelt and Trinoma. We looked for a restaurant that we didn't see in Manila, and so we had lunch at Mooon Cafe. I remember having dinner in Cebu, also at Mooon Cafe. I wonder why they don't have a branch in Manila.

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Hindi sila kuripot sa cheese. =D

1:00 PM - After malling, we continued our "city tour." I really wanted to go ziplining, but it was still to early so we decided to just visit the nearest tourist spot. Thus, we arrived at The Gap Farm. I searched the internet for this and I've seen positive reviews. Unfortunately, it just didn't serve our interests.

Don't get me wrong. The place is lovely, green, and very educational. But it's not for a group of adults who want to explore fun, adventurous stuff. Well anyway since we were already there, what the heck. We just went on with the tour. (When we talked to our Davaoeno friends about visiting Gap Farm, they just laughed at us, saying that the only time they were there was probably during their 2nd Grade field trip. LOL.)

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The famous Land of Promise

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That Carabao is forever urinating!!!

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The gang at the Land of Promise

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The Cyclops under the "Japanese Shelter House / Cave"

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My first time seeing a kasoy fruit

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Conference of Filipino folklore

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Conference of Heroes and Presidents. I learned that Davao was once the place where everyone held meetings / conferences. That's what Gap Farm was trying to tell us.

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OMG his "you-know-what" thing is too distracting!!

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Better pray!!

Anyway, after the Gap Farm tour comes the most exciting part of our trip. Zipline!! Woohoo! Next to White Water Rafting, Zipline is probably the next most adventurous experience in Davao City. Of course we had to try it.

2:30 PM - Zipline. There were two courses: one very steep, very tall fall -- you have to cross a cliff; and one accelerating very fast. It was definitely worth it!! It was drizzling that time, and it was very scary but things went well and I had one heck of an experience. Luckily, the rain just started to pour heavily right after we finished the course. The Gods truly love us. =)

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This is the view from the cliff -- where the zipline all starts

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That's the cliff where we started the zipline adventure. See how tall it is?

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This is the second part of the zipline -- faster speed!

7:00 PM - Our friend (the guy who got married yesterday) treated us to dinner. We were supposed to go to Jack's Ridge, but the rain was really heavy and he said that the place isn't too good when it rains. So we settled for the next best thing -- Lyndon's Worst Ribs and Awful chicken. Crazy name, but it's actually opposite of what their food tastes like. Buurrp. Too bad I wasn't able to take photos of the actual ribs, I was too hungry to think of taking pictures. =P

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We finished the night having a one-hour massage at a nearby spa. What a day! Tomorrow it's Samal Island. Wait for my next post!

Here are the day's expenses:

Php 150.00 - Lunch
Php 30.00 - Gap Farm Entrance
Php 10.00 - Gap Farm "Cave" Entrance
Php 500.00 - Zipline adventure
Php 300.00 - Massage
Php 300.00 - Taxi
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Total: 1290.00
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