February 15, 2018

The Wild Poppy, Poblacion

Some people need space when they are hurting and others just need an umame salad. Give them what they need plus some pok pok bites.   







Love you very matcha

Umame salad

Hoi belly rice bowl

Pok pok bites

Bananachan





  
The Wild Poppy
2/F 5666 Don Pedro St.
Poblacion, Makati City

February 8, 2018

Purple Beetle Café, Lipa

The Beetle remains a classic, even if it’s purple.








Cinnamon French toast

Beef cheese fries

Lasagna rolls

Red velvet fudge







The Purple Beetle Café is a unique car-themed café in Lipa City. Its main attraction is the iconic purple Beetle bar counter; several Beetle toy cars are also on display. They serve tasty and affordable comfort food – pasta, burger, fries, waffles, pancakes, coffee and shakes. They also sell dream catchers, which could be a charming car accessory.

As their tagline says “Hop in and enjoy the ride!”
  
Purple Beetle Café
Ayala Highway, Mataas na Lupa
Lipa City, Batangas
Tel. No.: 0998-8557732  

February 6, 2018

Aloguinsan: Lunhaw, Hermit’s Cove, Bojo River

Spending time with nature can be transformative and healing.


A research I’ve read says that nature provides great distraction from pain or heartache. Plants offer psychological comfort; they take away some of the anxiety and tension of the immediate now by showing us that there are long, enduring patterns in life. Their growth is steady and progressive, never erratic.

When in Southern Cebu, I can think of no other R&R place than Lunhaw Farm Resort in Aloguinsan, which best showcases the therapeutic and soothing beauty of nature blending with vernacular and green architecture. Aloguinsan, was once a sleepy town, but now gaining popularity as an eco-tourism site because of its pristine, natural attractions. It’s like a mini Panglao and Loboc of Bohol rolled into one. 


Lunhaw is a Bisaya term for “verdant’ or “green”. And aptly, the resort is perched on a green hill, surrounded by thick foliage and greenery. Upon arrival, I was in awe of its traditional-modern design, with a touch of Filipino class and elegance. The resort, which is owned by a prominent political family in town, is still a work of progress according to one of the staff. But quite honestly, I already love its present set-up – a main common hall and three private villas patterned after a bahay kubo (but modern and sophisticated in style) and a lot of open, green space.



The main hall is an open structure that houses the lounge, dining area, and bar. It is a showroom of indigenous, and stylish furniture and fixtures – capiz-inspired bar, log tables, chairs made of wooden branches, carabao yoke, and giant tear-shaped lights.







There is a fish spa by the entrance which at first I thought was just an indoor pond. I didn’t try though because there’s a resident frog swimming with the fishes.

There are two types of villa – couple’s and family’s – made of concrete, wood and bamboo with thatched roofing. The couple’s villa has a king-size bed, air-conditioned, a spacious bathroom with tub, and has a veranda overlooking nearby hills. I love how earthly the room is. I could stay in here forever.
 







The family villa on the other hand is pretty much like the couple villa only bigger with two beds and instead of a bathtub, has its own Jacuzzi.






The in-house restaurant offers delectable Filipino and Italian cuisine. Their pizza and pasta really taste good.






Some of their menu’s main ingredients and herbs come straight from their organic backyard farm.


They also make their own tuba and vinegar, since they have aplenty of coconut trees growing in their farm.


Aside from pure relaxation, guests are free to use the swimming pool, one of the most gorgeous I’ve seen. The pool is surrounded with lush flower garden and palm trees.


Conveniently, Lunhaw has its own private pathway that leads directly to Bojo River, another prime tourist spot.

I availed of the Bojo River cruise – a tour of the beautiful and clean Bojo River, passing by mangroves and limestone rock formations, up to where the river meets the sea. The river is managed by the Bojo Aloguinsan Ecotourism Association, which was named best in community-based tourism in Asia Pacific by the Pacific Asia Travel Association. The fishermen tour guides who advocate sustainable and responsible tourism, were very knowledgeable of the plants growing on the river, birds, as well as some folklore about the river.




A short habal-habal ride from the river is the Hermit Cove, a white beach fishing community. Locals recount a story of a hermit who lived in the cove a hundred years ago. The beach is secluded, virgin and its crystal-clear waters so inviting that I couldn’t resist swimming. There are also a lot of friendly dogs in the area.
  







Most of the time, I prefer to be a hermit. I desire more to be with nature. I only want to hang out with people if they’re sweeter than my solitude.

From Mactan Cebu International Airport, take a taxi cab (or jeepney) to Cebu South Bus Terminal. Take a bus going to Aloguinsan via Mantalongon Barili or Naga Uling Road and get off at Aloguinsan Public Market. Take a habal-habal or tricycle going to Lunhaw, Bojo or Hermit Cove.