Saturday, August 18, 2012

Twelve Reasons Why The Sun Shines on Philippine Tourism

    boracay beachers     (photo by armand alcayaga)
boracay    (photo by Joan Yalung-Agdeppa)

1.  Boracay is the no. 1 tourist destination for 2012 besting Santorini, Greece and Bali, Indonesia according to Travel and Leisure magazine in Europe. - Manila Bulletin

2. The Palawan Underground River is One of the Seven New Wonders of the World. - Manila Bulletin

3. Filipinos can communicate in English.

4. Filipino travelers/bloggers have become the unofficial tourist guides by sharing their experiences to the world.

5. Travel mart spurs a lot of promos for travelers to avail..

6. Cam Sur’s El Verde Movement aims to plant 12 million trees in 2012 spearheading a project that can motivate Filipinos to plant more. 

7. Filipinos are naturally friendly and entertaining. We love to smile, sing, laugh, and party!

8. Palawan is well on the way to having modern infrastructure to accommodate the influx of tourists. -Cruising magazine

9.  Manny Paquiao and Charice are ambassadors of goodwill showing world class talent and character.

10. We take personal hygiene seriously.

11. Our Overseas Filipino Workers are still the best tourist market and the ones responsible for keeping our economy on a steady rise.

12. According to Conde Nast Traveler (an international magazine) survey, Manila Hotel is Top Twenty among the hotels in South East Asia in 2012.- Manila Bulletin

Palawan Underground River     ( photo by Tina Uy)

anawangin cove

The list is growing.

How about you. Do you find any reason why tourism is now booming?

Friday, August 17, 2012

Google Me and The Art of Plagiarism

I noticed that when I googled my article "The Quest for Anawangin Cove" published in Manila Bulletin, it appeared in so many travel blogs. They reposted it without permission and without even the decency to name the author meaning  'mwah' myself and I.

Anyway, plagiarizing is not uncommon nowadays. Even high powered individuals ( who couldn't even hire a good ghostwriter) resort to it( claiming they don't know about it. )

But don't they know it's so easy to google and find out ? Many bloggers do this. They set up a blog, copy other peoples works and voilah!

It's so lame.

Color my World: Restoring Manila

History etched in these walls

  It was morning. Alvin and I went to Manila Bulletin where we both contribute lifestyle articles every now and then.
         We were elated because after a long time we can traverse that path again. This area is part of Intramuros where there is the Club Intramuros Golf Course and some schools like LPU (Lyceum of the Philippines University) Lunsod ng Pamantasan ng Maynila, Letran, Mapua to name a few.

         Alvin was a little nostalgic because he went to LPM for a while. I am also an alumnus of PNU(Philippine Normal).
        We were impressed by the edifices that mark the journey of our history. This is just a small fraction of what great history remains. It is a sad fact that many are deteriorating. The paints are peeling, the buildings has 'beards of moss' ( like what Joel Toledo said). 

        I saw how the old buildings of Macau were restored. They look pretty and so inviting. What I like about the buildings there are the plants that they accessorize them with.

       I enjoy taking pictures of old buildings that have character. Many buildings here in Manila need only a coat of paint to restore them.
       I noticed that in the Philippines, many buildings are bare. People don't paint houses. We lack the aesthetic sense that make a country interesting. We lack the vibrancy of colors.
       Only the jeepney is colorful. That's why it's interesting!
Here are some interesting buildings in Intramuros...

grass choked yard

Guardia Civil

The Great Wall of Intramuros

Wild Plants
Moss choked Building. Loved it

Alvin with the Guardia Civil

At the background is the iconic Manila City hall clock

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Swagat: Authentic Indian Cuisine

  Swagat Indian Cuisine
  FCC Building on Rada Street, Legaspi Village, Makati (tel. 752-5669)

         The only Indian food that I know are curry and samosa. So when my Japanese friend came back to the Philippines after touring India, she told me tales about it.It really made me curious.
        There was an Indian restaurant that many Pinoys are already raving about, so we went there.It's called Swagat (welcome)
          Such a simple  unassuming place. There were Indian decorations, very colorful and alive. My friend said that Indians love to decorate colors with tiny round mirrors.
         The dishes that we ordered were all vegetarian dish. In India, the servers ask whether you are vegetarian or non vegetarian. People are very religious in India. There are different kinds of faith in that mystical city. We decided to go vegan.

Mango lassi (yogurt with mango flavor) 60Php  Rose lassi

I like lassi because it's not too sweet and it is refreshing as well as healthy. The cup was brass and added to the experience.

samosas with chutney
Samosas are like fried gyozas but I find these samosas not oily at all. They were crisp and delicate to the tongue. Inside is potatoes and green peas. They are dipped in tamarind chutney(which is sauce with fruit,vinegar and sugar).

aloo baigan (potato and eggplant) with masala  125php

 palak paneer (cottage cheese with spinach) 125Php

naan ( garlic and plain) 30Php each


          I was surprised that I would like the taste so much because of the flavors doing the macarena and the hustle in my mouth. The flavors of the different dishes really complement each other. The chef has to know how to blend these exotic spices to come up with something as energetic and vibrant as these foods.

My Japanese friend (in pink)

Rada St. Legaspi Village
 The price is not prohibitive that I plan to come back to taste some more. I heard (and read) that  a British diplomat even head  a testimonial for this place. It had been featured in various local newspapers too.

The house of mirrors

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Coloane: Quaint Village in Macau

               Taking a leisurely walk down the streets and alleyways of Coloane Village on an afternoon, you can see a sleepy town that was once a bustling port. As you view the traditional stone houses you can feel the eerie atmosphere that emanates from the small passageways we had to meander.

               Seeing the looks of surprise and unease of the locals who suddenly come out of the small houses, we smile with a vow or a nod.
Coloane used to be a fishing village and if the stones can speak they can tell us about the pirates of old and the merchants that used to occupy the seaside port.

quaint house

serene sidewalks

scenic Coloane

gourmet sandwich (285Php)

portuguese tart (40Php)

 The original Lord Stow coffee shop is where people go to have a sampling of egg tart which is crusty and flaky on the outside soft and creamy in the middle.

Panda and me

The Panda Sanctuary is located inside the   Park where you can find a   hectare enclosure that you can walk for a few hours on end. The pandas were a little shy but they were appreciated by the crowd.

Hac Sa beach

Although the sand is gray, it's fine and clean. The atmosphere will give one a relaxed mood.

Monday, August 13, 2012


When something stirs
That something quite familiar
Yet so strange
A locket dangling
Upon a chain
How soft the images inside it lain
Those photos they assure
Me of those days
When meeting glances were like carefree wings
An innocent vestige that leaves a trace
Like vespers whispered between church bell rings
Or soliloquies on a silent stage.
An empty doorway looks beyond from room to room
Contemplate the magic of a barren scene
Once filled with laughter and surprise
What tragic thoughts must sure to memorize.


Cerveseria: Voted One of the Philippines' Best Restaurants

Cerveseria is located at G/F Greenbelt 3, Ayala Center, Makati. Tel: 757-4791.

What is tapas?
Tapas is popularly known as finger foods, canapes or any  dish that combine well with wine and other liquor. It's not appetizer nor a main meal, it's sort of in between. In Spain, it's  a part of culture. People hang out and enjoy sharing different kinds of food without over stuffing themselves very early on. 

If you go for tapas and good wine, Cerveseria is the place. With fine dining ambience, smack in the middle of cosmopolitan Greenbelt, It’s the hang out of celebs, like Georgina Wilson, Anne Curtis, Raymond Gutierrez, Richard Gutierrez,Lucy Torres, Loren Legarda, Tingting Cojuanco, and many more.

You can have their  San Miguel dry beer for 100php(Buy 1+1 promo) or wine buffet for 588Php .

Their specialty includes paella (760Php) which is good for 3-4 people 

It is a little pricey. Dinner for two is 1500Php++ if you want to be satisfied. Wine not yet included.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Dear Darla Pizza at Yellow Cab

Yellow Cab Market! Market! is on the 2nd floor near Watson's.

Well, I'm a pizza girl. Whenever I go out with my family, they know that it's easy to pull me if it's pizza.
So I have favorites too.

The best tasting pizza I have tasted is the Dear Darla Pizza (18"- 660Php). What a statement.. I think I crave for it because of the veggies that go with it. Alfalfa sprouts and arugula. How can you go wrong?

How to eat Dear Darla?

There's a technique to eating Dear Darla. First separate a slice and sprinkle with beansprouts and small pieces of arugula, drizzle with pure virgin olive oil.

Next,roll the pizza like lumpia, or spring roll. There's nothing like it.Crunchy, bitter,scrumptious, oily, and

And of course it goes well with Chicken Alfredo (245Php) with the ohhh so creamy alfredo sauce.

And don't forget my all time fave...four cheese Pizza! (18" - 510Php)

The decadence makes me eat only once a month but that's me. Chow time! Galit galit muna.