Welcome 2012!

Like me, I'm sure most of you have calendars filled with Christmas dinners and post-Christmas celebrations and parties, leaving little time for anything else.



New Years Eve 2011 in Las Vegas.


When Parents Give Kids Bad Presents.

Last Halloween for a YouTube challenge, Jimmy Kimmel asked parents to tell their kids they ate all of their Halloween candy. And now, in the spirit of Christmas, Jimmy Kimmel once again asked parents to pull a prank on their kids by giving them horrible advance Christmas presents. It's really funny. Watch it :)




Subic (part 3): Texas Joes.

After our Zoobic Safari adventure, we were hungry. Like, REALLY HUNGRY. So we went to our favorite restaurant in Subic... Texas Joes.






Subic (part 2): Zoobic Safari.

Day 2

It was raining when we left Subic Grand Seas but nothing could stop me and T from seeing the tigers in Zoobic Safari!




Subic (part 1): Subic Grand Seas Resort.

Day 1

My camera got stolen together with a few other gadgets 2 weekends ago. Even worse, I wasn't able to upload our anniversary photos that were still in my camera. So last weekend, T and I decided to drive to Subic for another getaway.





Soderno Food Fair.

Food fairs have been quite a trend this year, the most popular being Mercato in Bonifacio Global City. This month, the organizers of Mercato are visiting the south to bring us Soderno.

Soderno isn't as big as Mercato. There are only two medium sized tents, one has a/c while the other one is open. We went there on their opening night and the place was packed!





Sumilon Bluewater Resort (part 3).

My Sumilon Island exeprience was featured in Smart Parenting's website. Read about it HERE. Thank you Ms Matet Reyes :)

Day 3
30 October 2011

This was our last day in Sumilon Island so we woke up really early. So early that we got to see this low tide view of the beach by the pier.



Sumilon Bluewater Resort (part 2)

Day 2
29 October 2011

We were up bright and early the next day because I finally convinced T to take diving lessons with me. We first had breakfast at the pavilion. I got pancakes with a side of bacon.





Sumilon Bluewater Resort (part 1): Welcome to Sumilon!


WARNING! Read this blog entry before purchasing a Sumilon Bluewater deal from a MetroDeal.  As of the time of this blog post, I confirmed with Sumilon Bluewater that their only partner site is Deal Grocer.    

Day 1
28 October 2011


According to our tour guide, Sumilon comes from the word sumilong ('take shelter' in Filipino) because fishermen used to go to the island to seek protection during storms and strong winds.




Sumilon (Prelude): Discovering Another Paradiso.


While I'm organizing all the photos, here's a sneak peek of where I was last weekend...




Trick or Treat!

Halloween is a holiday celebrated on the night of October 31. Halloween has its origins in the ancient Celtic festival known as Samhain.

Samhain was a time used by the ancient pagans to take stock of supplies and prepare for winter. The ancient Gaels believed that on October 31, the boundaries between the worlds of the living and the dead overlapped and the deceased would come back to life.

At an abandoned monastery that was bombed by the Japanese during the 1940's.  Something is truly wrong with the place.  My sister and I love the thrill of ghost hunting but this one left us with a heavy, heavy feeling in our hearts.  Probably too many tortured souls still trapped in there.


RIP Steve Jobs.

To the man who changed the face of technology... A visionary, a genius, a legend. You will always be remembered in the hearts of millions of people around the globe. You really are the 'Thomas Edison' of our times.




Swatch + Kid Robot and Jeremy Scott.

I remember every kid and teenager being obsessed with Swatch watches in the 90's.. Including yours truly. And now, the brand is making big waves again with its unique collaborations.

Like the Swatch + Kid Robot collaboration that was launched last month.

Image credit: kidrobot.com


Bistro Saratoga in Tagaytay Highlands.


One of my happiest childhood memories is going to Tagaytay Highlands Golf and Country Club every weekend with my family.  I fondly remember ordering a basket of buffalo chicken from the Irish pub (which isn't there anymore) or tempura from the Japanese restaurant and eating them by the veranda, playing bowling and table tennis at the sports club, hanging out in the library, or having a massage at the spa.

Since then, there has been numerous additions to the area and one of them is Bistro Saratoga at The Midlands.



Old Swiss Inn


First post written on the spot. Still in the restaurant with T, waiting for the food to go down. Hurray for the powers of technology!

I first discovered Old Swiss Inn while looking for a place where I could study and eat at the same time. 



Beabi.

As you can see from my post about TOMS, I love fashion collaborations for a cause. So when Beabi, a store known for its bag organizers, teamed up with designer Rajo Laurel, world-renowned boxer Manny Pacquiao and actress Kim Chiu, I had to check it out.

Each artist designed one small tote (P1,395 or $35) and one large tote (P1,695 or $45). The proceeds from the sale of the bags will be given to the charity of his/her choice.




Designer Rajo Laurel chose Bantay Bata as his beneficiary because "he believes that the youth are the building blocks of a nation and that they should be given proper care and support if they are to grow into responsible citizens".




Actress Kim Chiu chose Bantay Bata and Bantay Kalikasan because "she believes in helping children in need and preserving nature, as these two are keys to a country's successful future".




Boxer Manny Pacquiao chose his own foundation Pacqman Partnerships for the Poor Inc.




Here I am in a Beabi store trying to decide what bag to get. Anything but the Kim Chiu totes though (no offense but I think they look tacky if seen on someone over the age of 16)!




But I think it's obvious what my favorite bag is.. The Rajo Laurel large tote! I find it so pretty with the tree silhouettes and the orange accent.




I think I've been using this bag almost every day since I bought it 2 weeks ago. The organizer is a real plus, too!




A bit of caution though. If you're petite, thin or not into huge bags, you might be better off getting the smaller totes because the large totes are really, really big. So big it can pass off as an overnight bag. In that case, I'd recommend Rajo Laurel's smaller tote, which is also pretty.




How about you? Which one's your favorite? I promise I won't take it against you even if you say Kim Chiu ;)


Beabi





Branches:
Level 1, Greenbelt 5, Ayala Center
Level 3, Eastwood Mall, Eastwood City
Level 2, East Wing, Robinsons Galleria
Lobby Level, Mindanao Level, TriNoma Mall
Level 3, Main Building, SM City North Edsa
Ground Floor, The Annex, SM City Fairview
Level 2, Entertainment Mall SM Mall of Asia
Level 1, Midtown Wing, Robinsons Place Manila

Official Website:
http://www.beabi.com.ph/






Image Credit:
Beabi's official website


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Vikings: A Feast By The Sea.

A luxury buffet by the bay. The first time I heard about it, they told me it was better than Sofitel's Spiral at only 30% the price.. Could it be?




Before I give my verdict, let's go through the spread first. The buffet is a fusion of different cuisines -- Chinese, Japanese, Filipino, American and Italian. Strategy-wise, I suggest you hit the Japanese section first.




They have a wide range of choices for sushis and makis... Make that bright-colored makis.







Make sure you find the partly hidden shabu shabu and sukiyaki corner and order for your table since it takes a while to cook.







Next, hit the carving station. They have lechon, lamb and tenderloin. But this is during dinner time. When I ate in Vikings for lunch, they didn't have lechon and lamb.




Be careful not to waste any meat. Get only what you can finish because they'll charge you P100 ($2.50) for every 100 grams leftover.




The steak was so-so and I don't eat lamb so I cant give you feedback but the lechon was superb. Crunchy! Although later that night, when one of our friends got a serving of lechon, it wasn't that crunchy anymore.




Go to the seafood section next. Everything is fresh so get as much shrimps, fish and squid for your table because all of it has to be cooked.




Beside the seafood section are the pastas and pizzas. Pasta and pizza are on an order basis, customizable to your liking. Meat toppings include bacon, ham, sausages, meatballs, and herb chicken. Seafood toppings include squid, fish, mussels, shrimp, and anchovies. Vegetable toppings include black olives, green olives, mushrooms, white onions, green bell pepper, red bell pepper, broccoli, capers, and truffle paste. Sauces available are pomodoro, b├ęchamel, olive oil and pesto.




Since you've ordered everything, you can now visit the appetizers section. Of course, they have the usual salad bar.




They also have cold cuts, cheeses, spreads, bread, crackers and best of all.. Caviar!







After getting your fill of appetizers, head over to the main courses. There are two rows of meat and veggie goodness including curry, osso bucco, and lengua.




There is also a vast range of Chinese food but I'm not fond of that cuisine so I wasn't able to take photos. Maybe it's worth mentioning that they serve duck (but I also don't eat duck so..)

And now for the fun part, DESSERT! Carrot cake, ube cake, chocolate cake, fondue, cookies, strawberry mousse, strawberry panna cotta, mango mousse.. Name it, it's there!







They also have ice cream, both sorbetes and soft serve.







And don't forget my favorite part... the sprinkles! I think I had a gazillion number of trips to the dessert station before I became officially full.










What I love about Vikings that no buffet (other than hotel breakfasts) has is unlimited drinks. Coffee, tea, juice and even beer.. Everything is refillable!







A little reminder though :)







So now the verdict.. Is Vikings better than Sofitel's Spiral? Definitely not! BUT.. I'd have to say it is worth your P888++.







A little tip before rushing to Vikings: Call beforehand and make a reservation especially on a weekend. If you don't, chances are you won't get to eat until it's 9:30. And call at least 2 weeks in advance if you're aiming for a Sunday dinner thing. Trust me.


Vikings
Most Recent Dining Date: 14 August 2011





San Miguel By The Bay
Seaside Boulevard
SM Mall of Asia
Pasay City
Philippines

(632) 846-3888
(632) 846-4888
(632) 846-5888
(63917) 565-3888

NEW RATES (Starting September 1)
You still have 2 days before they increase their prices for weekend buffets!

Weekdays

Lunch
Adult P688
Children (3ft to 4 ft) P288
Children (below 3ft) Free

Dinner
Adult P888
Children (3ft to 4 ft) P388
Children (below 3ft) Free

Weekends

Breakfast
Adult P388
Children (3ft to 4 ft) P188
Children (below 3ft) Free

Lunch
Adult P888
Children (3ft to 4 ft) P388
Children (below 3ft) Free

Dinner
Adult P1,088 (when we visited it was only P888)
Children (4ft to 4'6ft) P688
Children (3ft to 4ft) P488
Children (below 3ft) Free

75 years old and above will be given a 50% Discount.
All prices are exclusive of 5% Service Charge.










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