Thursday, March 28, 2013

Food + Travel: Gastronomic flavors at NAPA Restaurant and Bar

I had the opportunity of dining in Napa Restaurant & Bar one January evening with blogger friends --- those who I had the honor of working with at last year's FBW 1st Grand Eyeball. The admins and I wanted to treat the volunteers from that event to a thanksgiving dinner of sorts. Thus our post-Christmas gathering at NAPA.

COZY AMBIANCE 

NAPA is actually a casual dining restaurant in Quezon City (by Scout Borromeo). A nice place where warm greetings will immediately welcome you. The food establishment that serves both American and Italian dishes looked a lot like a cozy and stylish home. But other than that, the beautiful interiors of NAPA was also inspired by the rustic vineyards of Napa Valley in San Francisco, and was lovingly designed by Cynthia Gaerlan.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Turista Magazine's Pagudpud Edition: Of Waterfalls and Windmills

I therefore conclude that my right foot is totally injured! Yes, I tripped somewhere down the road -- and this was just yesterday after attending my niece's graduation. But this latest issue of TURISTA Magazine has certainly made my crippled day WORTH SMILING about! 

Please get a FREE copy at any of the NAIA Terminals and check-out my Pagudpud Feature. Ü Rubel and I are on print again.. Hooray for BUDGET BIYAHERA! Woohoo!! 


UPDATED: As much as I would like for you to read the online version, Turista Magazine's link no longer exists.

Explore & Be Free!
Mai

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

4 Things that I graduated from since I started traveling

I have to admit. I've never really bought anything expensive for myself. So if you were to ask me, most of my pricey stuff were given as gifts by my family and friends. So if it's not food, all of my savings goes directly to my travel fund. Believe it or not, I've graduated from obtaining and/or keeping 'material things' as investing on trips and journeying off to different places has given me more fulfillment in life than the former.

So what have I graduated from since I started traveling extensively? I've marked off...

My Inhibitions

“Cities were always like people, showing their varying personalities to the traveler. Depending on the city and on the traveler, there might begin a mutual love, or dislike, friendship, or enmity. Where one city will rise a certain individual to glory, it will destroy another who is not suited to its personality. Only through travel can we know where we belong or not, where we are loved and where we are rejected.” 
― Roman Payne

I am an introvert. Well, I still am. But I've managed to control it through the years. I mostly travel with my family and close friends. So meeting new people on the road wasn't an option to me from the very beginning (due to personal reasons). But all that's changed when I finally broke free from my shell. That's when I gradually pushed myself to meet and talk to new individuals, which lead me to experience bigger opportunities and new found friendships. I enjoyed being in the company of like-minded people when I started to leave behind my inhibitions. Since then, my network has expanded.


Monday, March 4, 2013

Hotel H2O: A marine-themed urban resort in Manila

My beau really ain't the romantic kind. But he's thoughtful and quite generous. And when I do ask him to plan certain events, he would usually go above and beyond with the preps and all. So when I asked him to plan our 5th anniversary last December, I was already looking forward to spending a memorable time with him. And guess what? He made it happen!

I commend Rubel for not peeping a word about his surprise, despite my constant questioning. But he did however mention an overnight stay at a hotel somewhere in Manila. So when that day came, he asked me to meet him for lunch at Mall of Asia after his duty. He was coming from a graveyard shift, so he looked very tired. Nonetheless, his excitement to surprise me gave him that extra boost of energy. 


Sunday, March 3, 2013

Food + Travel: A Gold-Struck deal at Midas Hotel

I've become the queen of coupon purchases!

My love affair with all the good deals online made me buy some of the most essential and not-so important goods and services. But these hard to pass up offers also lead me into experiencing one of the best dishes in the metro. Other than my Prestige Cruises encounter, I've also managed to buy an All-You-Can-Eat-Sausage promo from eBay Kuponan. I also got the opportunity to buy a few Midas Buffet vouchers from Metrodeal.com on two separate occasions. 

For now, let me start by sharing to you my food affair with Midas Hotel's buffet dinner.

I've been to Midas Hotel twice now. One was in December 2011, and another last February 2012. And compared to what Prestige Cruises offered from their deal, Midas completely came through with their own advertisement. They truly promoted how good a catch their offer was. They were the real deal indeed. 

Anyway, here's a peek at what they offered through Metrodeal in 2012:


Food + Travel: Al Fresco Dining at Emohruo Beach Restobar, Pagudpud

The first thing that we asked from our host in Saud (Ms. Cathy) was where to eat for dinner, and she immediately suggested to dine at Evangeline Beach Resort's -- Emohruo Beach Restobar. Although she warned us about the price, she still recommended that we try their food just for the experience of it. Good thing that we listened to her!

And as posted from their website: the excellent chefs of Emohruo Beach Restobar serve a unique blend of innovative Asian cuisine that they themselves have created. The menu boasts of a variety of offerings ranging from creative seafood fares to spicy Thai curry sauces, all made from the freshest ingredients and herbs freshly-picked from the resort’s very own organic garden. Apart from the magnificent food choices, we also have a selection of wines for our guests and their discriminating palates.

Food + Travel: Vigan cuisine at its finest, only at Kusina Felicitas!

Rubel and I visited Vigan a few weeks ago. And it was a trip that consisted using different modes of transportation. We flew to Laoag for almost an hour. Road the bus from the airport to Laoag city proper. Took the tricycle towards the Partas Station. Then rode a bus that was bound for Vigan, which took 2 hours. We were only able to step foot on the Heritage City of the Philippines at exactly 2 pm -- which was the exact and allowed time for checking-in at our accommodations: Grandpa's Inn. Great timing, right? :)

Since we were really running on empty, Rubel and I no longer wandered off the streets to explore the best restaurants nearby. We just went straight to Grandpa's Inn's signature restaurant, which was Kusina Felicitas.

Now, a brief background on Kusina Felicitas (taken from Grandpa's Inn's website)

Food + Travel: Dining at Cafe Leona, Vigan City

I've heard about Cafe Leona from several blogs that I follow. And most of them have had great reviews of the restaurant. I, on the other hand, would have to be on the neutral side of things. The famed restaurant by Calle Crisologo was a tourist site on its own. But I wouldn't really rave so much about their food -- or at least, with the ones that we ordered that night. 

With our good friend, and co-travel/food blogger friend Edmar. 

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