Discover places you'll love in the Philippines
Caffeine lovers, rejoice! You can now get the best tea and tea-infused products in Manila as the expert in tea manufacturing has arrived. Ten Ren's is the largest and best known tea manufacturer for over 40 years (and counting). Founded in Taiwan in the 1950s, the company guarantees nothing but the finest tea products to its customers worldwide. They offer a wide variety of products to cater to everyone's needs, such as tea bags, tea powder, cold brew tea, milk tea, tea pots, and even green tea ice cream. They also have lovely gift sets to give to your loved ones. I was able to try their oriental beauty and jasmine tea bags, green tea ice cream and taro green milk tea. |ORIENTAL BEAUTY My first sip of their oriental beauty tea bag was phenomenal. I was taken back to my days in Taiwan where I had my first oolong tea. It's a rejuvinating drink without the added calories. |JASMINE TEA The aroma of this tea alone is enough to awaken your mind and soul. The taste of Jasmine was also great. |TARO GREEN MILK TEA I think I would have enjoyed the drink more if I didn't have the sugar level reduced to 50%. This was my first choice out of all the drinks because it's recommended, and it's not too often that I get to encounter taro milk tea. I enjoyed the small taro bits that I got from my every sip. I'll try this again next time. |GREEN TEA ICE CREAM This is no fake green tea ice cream. The taste of the tea in the ice cream was strong, so I doubt that they used artificial flavorings (unlike others who offer the same product). Be sure to finish this as fast as you can, as it melts quicker than normal dairy ice creams. To be honest, it took time for me to be able to write about my Ten Ren's experience because I've been meaning to grab more of their products before sharing my thoughts. I do, however, think that I've said enough, and I'll just add some more once I finally have the time to revisit them. I already have some items in mind and I can't wait to try them all out.
Satchmi is not your usual third wave coffee shop. They are a café AND a vinyl records store — complete with a listening room! And they also sell other vintage and interesting hipster stuff. I've always been curious of the place, so when the boyfie and I were in SM Megamall last weekend, we made sure to check them out. The place was packed when we got there, which I'd have to admit I didn't expect. The ambiance has a vintage and old school vibe to it, which I loved! Very different from other coffee shops in the metro. We got the following: Avocado with Salmon Bruschetta (220php) — Egg salad with a cream chive spread, salmon, avocado slices and sous vide egg. I super loved this one! It was really good and it gives you this pretentious healthy eating feeling because of the avocado. Lol! The smoked salmon was amazing + avocado slices were fresh. And the egg, ermahgerd the egg! Serious #eggporn fam! 🥚🥑 The only downside to this was the serving size, beshie ang liit! Mas malaki pa yung Gardenia sliced bread! Hanggang lalamunan lang hindi umabot sa tiyan. Don't go for this if you want something filling, pabebe food lang po siya. Pero masarap pa rin, promise! Affogato (180php) — Vanilla ice cream + espresso. Need I say more? Café Mocha (160php) — My basis of an awesome coffee shop is their version of a mocha. Be it iced or hot, nothing beats a good cup or glass of amazing coffee. Satchmi's Café Mocha is definitely mocha-ng me crazy! (Sorry I just had to! ) The bittery sweet taste of the espresso + the chocolate was an amazing welcome to the tastebuds! ️ If you happen to be in Megamall and looking for a good coffee fix, drop by Satchmi! And make sure to check out the stuff they have in the store, you might find something interesting.
The waters of Masbate has probably one of the most beautiful shades of green and blue out there. Seriously. It's dark blue when you're at the deepest, then turns into a lighter shade, to aquamarine, then to green when you're near an island. It's just so beautiful! The drive to the port from Alabang took us 9 hours due to the traffic in Quezon. Too many buses and trucks. Huhu. It was also the Holy Week break, hence, the heavy traffic. When you go island hopping here, you will usually visit 5 islands: Animasola, Tinalisayan, Sombrero, Dapa & Alibijaban. Each island has its own unique beauty that makes it hard for someone to choose which is the best. Animasola Island (photo #5-8): The 1st island we that we've visited from San Andres port. The boat ride is about 2 hours. What's unforgettable about this island is its very unique rock formation. So amazing! You can also snorkel here (like we did) where you can see several types of fish. Tinalisayan Island (photo #1-2): The 2nd on the list and my personal favorite island. ️ It has a small hill where you can see the beauty of everything around you.. from its green water and white sand to its sandbar! Ahh.. so beautiful here, I can't! Sombrero Island: The 3rd and last island for the day, and also the campsite. There were a LOT of people (as expected) when we arrived, but we still found a spot to pitch our tents. I haven't tried exploring this one as I was already dead tired from all the traveling that we did since we left Manila. If you're not used to camping, I suggest you go back to San Andres port to check in a hotel since this place isn't for the picky. The island doesn't have electricity nor source of clean water. The locals get their clean water from another island, so the water here is gold. They put it in a container and sells it for 50 pesos each. Restrooms are okay, but the challenging part is standing in line and wait for your turn to use one. I've waited for an hour. Huhu. The locals use generators to light up the restrooms, so that's a relief. The boat ride from Tinalisayan is about 40 mins. Dapa Island (photo #3-4): The 4th on the list. This island reminded me of the rock formation in Bolinao. It's a good thing I brought my aqua shoes with me as you'll be walking on a huge dead coral reef to go up and see the view. This island has the clearest and greenest water I've ever seen! No need to filter your photos! You can also do cliff jumping here. I told myself that I won't swim anymore since it's a hassle to shower, but damn, I just couldn't help myself so I jumped into its beautiful water and snorkel. So worth it! ️ The boat ride from Sombrero is about 30 mins. Alibijaban Island (photo #9-10): The last island on the list. Most people will pronounce it wrong, like me. It's pronounced as "a-li-bi-ha-ban". Gosh.. Sobrang ganda rin ng water dito, you don't need to filter your photos! I'm just sad that we arrived late and we missed the sandbar. Huhuhu! This is the nearest island from the port of San Andres, maybe about 20 mins. of boat ride only. Tips: * If you'll be coming from the south area of Manila, the travel time is usually 6-7 hours to San Andres, Quezon. * Plan your island hopping accordingly. Coordinate with the DOT personnel at the port to help you choose which islands should you visit in order because it depends on the time that you arrived. I joined a group tour, so I didn't have to think about this. Also, it's where you have to register and pay the environmental fee. * At the port, kids will try to sell you huge plastic bags to protect your stuff from getting wet. I suggest you buy it, it's very useful. You'll also have to change clothes there 'coz you'll definitely get wet while you're on the boat. The waves can get REALLY insane when it's windy. Don't forget to put on sunblock. * Bring a liter or 2 of water for each person before leaving the port. The prices are crazy when you buy stuff from the islands and not all have stores. I also suggest buying food at the market nearby. * I recommend having a pair of aqua shoes with you or any sturdy footwear to protect your feet from getting cuts. * Bring a flashlight if you're planning to camp on Sombrero Island. The restrooms are not that bad. They're not smelly, surprisingly. I guess the locals clean it all the time. * You can ask the locals to cook food for you for a price. I have no idea how much, though. Overall, I loooove Burias! ️ One of the best group of islands out there.
At the top of Nivel Hills overlooking Cebu City is Tops Lookout. It offers a beautiful panoramic view of Cebu City and the surrounding islands such as Mactan Island and Olango. Tops Lookout is not only a great place to chill and watch Cebu City lights come alive but it also offers an escape from the city noise, pollution and heat. It’s best to visit early in the morning or late afternoon to avoid the midday sun. We visited around five in the afternoon and waited for the sunset. However, I think we were on the wrong side because there was no sun I was surprised that the sky was dark already. Bring an SLR if you want a nice picture of the city lights. We enjoyed taking photos and relaxing. The sun was about to set and the cool breeze was slipping in. It would be the perfect place to have a chill drinking session with your friends and family. Too bad though, the friends I went with don’t drink. There are a few stalls up there selling snack foods and drinks. Some of these include grilled meat, instant noodles and chips. Do expect that these will be pricey. If you prefer having a full meal, there are some restaurants, Lantaw and La Tegola to name a few, on the way up that also offer beautiful views of Cebu City. I liked the design of the eating area. It’s a scenic place to take photos of as well. How to get there: Tops Lookout is 30 minutes away from the city. We took a car going there and I suggest taking a car or taxi as the way going there is uphill and dead steep, similar to the ones in Baguio. But you may also opt taking habal-habal if you’re travelling in a small group. If you’re going by taxi, fare is around Php1,000, including waiting time. Entrance Fee: Php100 per head. P.S. Be careful of ant hills. I stepped on one and had fire ants attack me. It’s still painful until now
We went to S'Maison for a Mediterranean cuisine. And we saw Huma Mediterranean. THE PLACE The place is very inviting with its beautiful interior. According to the staff the decorations are made in Kuwait. Aside from the gorgeous and spacious design of the restaurant, I was also fascinated with view of Manila Bay, especially during the sunset. It's very romantic. THE FOOD All the food were inspired by the owner's mother with a touch of Lebanese flavor. Baba Ghanouj for Php180.00 (Grilled eggplant, sesame seeds paste, lemon, olive oil) - ️️️️4/5 Hummus for Php180.00 (Chickpeas, tahini, lemon, olive oil, mixed altogether) - ️️️️ 4/5 Tabbouleh Traboulsieh for Php200.00 (Finely chopped parsley, tomato, onion, lemon, and pomegranate) - ️️️️️ 5/5 Eggs with Sujuk for Php300.00 (Two eggs with Turkish beef sausage and sesame oil) - ️️️️ 4/5 Jawaneh Dajaj for Php200 (Stir fried chicken wings with huma sauce and spices) - ️️️️ 4/5 Sahan Falafel for Php180.00 (Deep fried ball made from ground chickpeas, parsley, onion, coriander and Lebanese spices) - ️️️ 3/5 Kebbeh Maklieh for Php200.00 (Bulgur, fried ground beef, onions, pine nuts and Lebanese spices) - ️️️ 3/5 Grilled Kebab for Php580.00 (Minced meat, onion, parsley and Lebanese spices) - ️️️️ 4/5 "My favorite is the Tabbouleh Traboulsieh paired with Pita. I just want the sour taste of the dip to balance the strong flavor of what ate." "Maybe I am not a fun of Falafel. For me, it taste dry and bland." THE SERVICE I think they need more to be attentive because Huma Mediterranean is big. Sometimes the staff are not around, we need to go to the counter or kitchen area to find them. #ilovetoeatph ️
If you want to disconnect, have a gadget detox or just be enclosed in nature, then this resort is for you. I've always been curious about Glamping as I've read a few articles about it already. In New York they offer Glamping services on their penthouses so you can look at the stars, away from the light pollution below. Thankfully, you can now experience Glamping right here in the Philippines at nayomi sanctuary Resort! The resort is tucked away in hilly Balete, Batangas but it is easily accessible via the star toll way. It is even nearer than Anilao and laiya. Upon entering the gates you can see the an open area to the left and the front desk to your right. We were assisted right away by super friendly and helpful staff (led by ate len) and was then led to our tent via electric golf cart. It was about a 3 minute ride with some climbs. It was drizzling when we arrived and they assured us that the tent is totally waterproof so no worries. Each tent is strategically placed under a tree of course to reduce the heat of the sun and to provide shade too. The tents are far away from each other and each has its own picnic area (no eating inside the tent) and a good sized bathroom with bidet. You can bring chips, cookies and water. Inside the tent there are 3 queen size mattresses which are surprisingly thick and comfortable. A lot of pillows, a huge fan, a couple of lamps and an electric mosquito killer. There are also enough outlets inside the tent for charging. I immediately took a nap as the weather was cool and it was so great to reconnect with nature. No TV's, no wi-fi. There is a decent 3G signal if you want to browse and post pictures. When my niece and nephew arrived we went to the pool (even though it was raining). It was an infinity pool and it also had a jacuzzi like area where you can relax with jet stream bubbles. There's also a bar (not manned though). Pool is shallow so it's pretty safe. Come night time, the weather was good enough to enjoy an outdoor movies, we watched Moana and it was hilarious. There was also a bonfire when you can roast hotdogs and marshmallows. The weather was much better the next day and we were able to explore the resort. It was so quiet! It was like we were the only ones there! Less one star though cos the food is not too good. I ordered inasal for dinner and there were still some bloody spots inside, the ribs were tough and all the breakfast food seemed to have come from CDO (they have a facility nearby). It's just unfortunate because you have no other choice, there are no other establishments nearby. Ate len mentioned that the chef was from Manila, maybe they should hire a local chef to promote the dishes of the locality. Also, I counted 3 power outages during our stay (twice during the movie). Overall it was really nice, the place was beautiful, well kept and clean. Will definitely go back when the food improves.
My friend Kenneth, who's my teammate from the office, organized the day hike. He's the one who created our itinerary for the hike. Upon going there, he rented a van that cost Php 4,000. We were 10 in the group so we paid 400 each. We departed from Makati at around 5:00 AM and arrived in Pililla, Rizal at around 6:00 - 6:30 AM. The major jump-off was located at the Ynares Multi-Purpose Building, Barangay Malaya. It was in front the Elementary School. We registered there and paid Php 20 before we start the hike. We started the hike at around 7:00 AM, we walked through the cement road first on the 15 minutes of the hike. We reached Manggahan, the camp site area, at around 8:00 AM. The Manggahan Falls is near the area with 5-10 minutes hike going to the falls. There's another registration that costs Php 10. The locals even sell Buko at around Php 20. We reached the North summit at around 9:30 AM. It was sunny and windy at that time. We took some pictures, ate biscuits and chocolates and had few minutes of chitchat and rest until we continue to the South Summit. We continued at 10:00 AM and arrived at around 10:30 AM. It was extremely hot and a bit windy because the South Summit is higher than the North Summit. We went down at around 12 NN and arrived at Manggahan by 1:00 PM. We had our lunch there. I brought tuna paella in can, biscuits and banana chips. Since I was already full from the lunch I took, I tried the buko juice that were being sold by the locals. It was so refreshing, I even bought 3 of it since I didn't have enough water to drink for the trail. Some went to the Manggahan Falls, and I didn't get the chance to go anymore since I've got big blisters on my right foot. It was really painful, I even tried putting alcohol and I was really screaming because of pain. Haha! It was worthy of experience though! #BattleScars We started our trail again by 3:30 PM. Reached the cement area by 4:30 PM. There are houses where you can take a bath but you just have to pay Php 20. We arrived at around 5:00 PM at the Barangay Hall, some of us took the shower there for free. Itinerary: 5:00 AM- Departure from Ayala Avenue, Makati 6:300 AM - ETA to Barangay Hall, Pililla, Rizal 7:00 AM - Start Climb/Hike/Trek 8:00 AM - ETA Manggahan camp site 9:30 AM - Summit Camp Site 10:00 AM - ETA North Summit 10:30 AM - ETA South Summit 11:15: AM - Descend to North Summit 11: 45 AM - ETA North Summit 12:00 NN - Descend to Manggahan 1:00 PM - ETA Manggahan Camp Site -------- 1 hr lunch -------- 2:15 PM - ETA Manggahan Falls 3:30 PM - Descend 5:00 PM - ETA to Barangay Hall 6:00 PM - ETD to Manila 8:00 PM - ETA to Manila It was a very fun experience and I'm hoping to climb/hike/trek more this year. There were even lots of hugot before, during and after the hike. Rey even tallied how many hugot lines were thrown and it totaled to 82! We even called the hike as Hugot Hike. Some of the lines were: 'Kahit naman malalakas na tao eh napapagod din.' 'Ang layo layo pa ng tingin niya, andito lang naman ako.' 'May mga bagay talaga na kailangan mo hintayin at tiisin para worth it.' So much feels. Thanks for the good company! I really enjoyed the whole event. Until the next hike! :)
Blanco Family of Angono, Rizal is known as the family of Artist. The head of the family, Jose “Pitok” Blanco, influenced his wife and his seven (7) children to create variety of art work that depicts the life in Angono, memories about their travel, and subjects that interest them. The youngest Blanco, Peter Paul, started his work of art at the age of eleven (11) months. He grew up playing with colors, canvas and brushes at their family studio. He is the youngest artist that exhibited in the Cultural Center of the Philippines and to have a one-man show at the age of nine (9). Peter Paul's subject are his pets and his discoveries around the world. Gay Blanco is the youngest daughter of Pitok. Contrary to everyone, Gay learned to draw first before she could start writing. She was exposed as an Artist during the family exhibit in Malaysia and Singapore. In 1983, young Gay won an bronze medal on one of the exhibits that they participated in Hongkong. Gay loves to paint women and children. Jan Blanco is the fifth child of Pitok. At a young age, Jan showed interest in painting birds. On his paintings he showed how birds are being domesticated and how some freely roam on the fields of Angono. Aside from birds, he is also active in making work of arts related to social concerns such as poverty and ecological balance. Joy Blanco- Balcita is the eldest daughter of Pitok. Her favorite subject are people of all ages and in different walks of life. Pitok’s third son Michael started to draw at the age of 10. Among all the members of the family, Michael has the most outstanding portraits. His portraits are detailed, precise and full of life. Aside from portraits, he also excel in landscape and genres particular to the daily activities of his folks. Noel is the second son of Pitok. He loves all sorts of water form and mood. He consider it as his element and subject. As the eldest son of Pitok, Glenn was challenged to follow the foot steps and standards of his father. As a young artists he joined local and international exhibits and contest. He loves to paint nature scenery and landscapes. He also mastered the art of drawing and painting tropical fruits, vegetable and flora of rare authenticity. Loreto Perez Blanco is the loving wife, support and nurturing guidance of the Blanco Family. She loves painting mature woman and mothers that incorporate her feelings and emotions towards raising their family. Jose Blanco also known as Pitok Blanco is the head of the family. Pitok was born and raised in Angono, Rizal. He graduated in the University of Santo Tomas with the degree in Fine Arts. In 1971, He was able to showcase his work of art on a one-man show. It was also the year that he started to teach and impart his knowledge about art to his family. Pitok’s famous masterpiece is the “Angono Town Fiesta”. It is an oil mural painting that shows the jovial celebration of the San Clemente Festival. Blanco Family Museum is open daily from 9 AM-12 PM and 1 PM to 5 PM. Admission Fee starts at Php 70.00 for children and senior citizen and Php 100 for adults.
When you visit Chotto Matte for happy hour it's not complete if you don't have a taste of the savory dishes by Izakaya Sensu. Just a curtain seperating Chotto Matte and Izakaya Sensu. Sensu got a more vibrant vibe. On this 2nd visit we got some of our old favorite and go to try some other new dishes. 🥢Sushi Omakase 6 - a delectable plate of fresh sushi. Sushi lover can't go wrong with this. A perfect combination of six favorite variant of sushi. 🥢Sensu Roll - in my 1st visit this was one of my fave and still on the 2nd try it was still so good. A combination of Tempura Asparagus Spicy Tuna Roll and Mango Crabmeat roll. A perfect combination. 🥢Yakitori Omakase 7 - this what made me fell in love with Izakaya Sensu. Their Yakitori are just so simple yet so flavorful. Everything on it was just so yummy. 🥢Sensu Kawari Kusi 5 - five sticks of BBQ chicken breast topped with different japanese sauces. My fave amon the five was the Mune wasabi. Love the spicy wasabi flavor. Another fave of mine is the Mune Mentaiko. Flavorful pink cod roe and mayo gave the chicken breast a powerful delicious flavor. 🥢Bento Box - their bento box is a perfect heavy meal for the heavy eater. The Chicken karaage variant is my bet. The sesame coated chicken was juicy delicious and perfect when dipped in their japanese mayo. Another variant was the Buta Saikyo. This one is miso pork belly it was also good just not too good for the healthy conscious peeps. 🥢Wagyu Harami Steak - Wow wagyu steak perfectly cooked. Love that pinkish color of this juicy meat. Yummy! DESSERT: 🥢Matcha Belgian Chocolate - I love this but for a matcha lover this one was lacking the bitterness that we love in our matcha. Maybe the sweetness of the Belgian chocolate overpowered it a bit. But as a dessert this one is good! 🥢Miso Chocolate Cake - this one is my fave among the dessert. Simple delicious chocolate cake. Yummy! Overall Izakaya Sensu serve real delicious Japanese dishes. They also serve lovely bento boxes for take-out at only 320PH. Perfect for peeps on the go that need some tasty delicious heavy meal.
Satchmi BLT My friend had this & she seemed satisfied with how it was. She didn't elaborate though. Avocado with Salmon Toast The sort of salty salmon went well with the bland avocado 🏻 Wagyu Burger Miggy found this yummy as it wasn't salty. He fortunately finished it Dirty Fries Just not what we expected when we hear fries. This just seemed like Picnic with egg Pesto with Chicken Their pesto didn't fail my pesto-loving taste buds that I didn't even care if the chicken strips were quite limited. In terms of customer service, I'd say good. They replaced my friend's iced tea which a fly chose to swim in I was expecting some form of denial but none When you need a place to study, finish some work & conduct some brainstorming, this is recommended. Most customers are students & yuppies trying to accomplish something
Mandarin Sky is a very popular Chinese resto along Banawe. It's been here for 7 years (though I've heard that they were longer in existence but they re-opened, I guess), and they have a pretty good following. Since I had stuff to do in the area today, we decided to check this out. I loved the food here, especially the new ones I've never tried before. You go into these Chinese restaurants and end up ordering the usual sweet and sour pork, Chinese beef tenderloin, yang chow, noodles with seafood, etc. etc. But not here. I'm glad today, we tried mostly new stuff. Among the traditional ones we ate, they were decent, but not better than I've ever tried before, be it the dimsum or the two way duck. But the prices are good, not over the top expensive. The awesome Must-Try's that I've never eaten anywhere else were: 1. Beef Cubes in Garlic (off menu item) 2. Oysters in XO Ssuce 3. And the piece de resistance, their Avocado Sago for dessert 🤑 yummmmmmy Mandarin Sky, at a Glance: > Food & Beverage: 1/2 > Service (Dine-In): > Kitchen Service: (the 2nd of the 2 way chicken took long) > Ambience: 1/2 (it's nothing uber fancy but feels fine) > Value for Money: OVERALL: 1/2 but I'll round it up to 5 coz of how great these new dishes were ___________ > Worth a try - Yes (or their other branch on Panay Ave near Roces and Fisher Mall > Worth a return - Absolutely! I'd go back just for dessert, that Avocado Sago is to die for. > TIPS: copy pasting what I wrote above, The awesome Must-Try's that I've never eaten anywhere else were: 1. Beef Cubes in Garlic (off menu item) 2. Oysters in XO Ssuce 3. And the piece de resistance, their Avocado Sago for dessert 🤑 yummmmmmy > VERDICT: I'll come back here or their Panay Ave branch, for sure!
Kayangan lake, also known as Blue Lagoon, is one of the island hopping destinations in Coron. Out of all the places we went, this had the most stunning view, possible after just a small hike of a hundred and fifty steps. The turquoise-blue waters and beautiful limestones made my insides awe in its beauty. If it was not for the long line of tourists who wanted to take pictures at that spot, I would have spent a whole day appreciating its exquisiteness. Moving on, to reach the somewhat hidden lake, another hundred and fifty steps down were made. The beauty down there did not lagged anywhere behind the magnificence on top. Kayanagan lake is actually hailed as one of Asia’s cleanest lakes and it truly is. The turquoise-blue waters were so clear that you can see the floor bed. I was actually standing on the wooden ledge when a local went down and dived into the waters. Even as we went four feet down, I could still see him crystal clear. Make sure to bring your googles and aqua shoes as the view underwater is spectacular. If your confident in your swimming abilities, ditch your life vest, take the plunge and prepared to be stunned with the breathtaking view below Also, I recommend going during the morning, preferably before ten to enjoy the stillness and beauty of the place. Once you reach lunchtime, the place feels too hot and jam-packed with people. P.S. Kayanagan lake has a “Leave No Trace” policy. Take everything with you when you leave, including your trash. This way, Kayanagan Lake can maintain its cleanliness and beauty. FYI, Kayanagan Lake was once closed to the public and now, a certain part of the lake is still restricted from the people.
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