December 29, 2013

Mabuhay Temple Water Drop Tea House

Do good deeds.
Speak good words.
Think good thoughts.

Fried dumplings

Chicken curry

Lotus tea

And always eat veggies.

Water Drop Tea House
Fo Guang Shan Mabuhay Temple
#656 Pablo Ocampo St.
Malate, Manila
Tel. No.: 559-9540

December 25, 2013

Banaue Hotel

guess spending the holiday in Banaue wouldn’t be such a bad idea. The breathtaking living cultural landscape seems closer to heaven. And the ideal place to stay while in the Cordillera Region? Banaue Hotel always tops the list.

Established in 1974 during the time of President Ferdinand Marcos, Banaue Hotel is the first premiere hotel of Banaue, situated 4,000 feet above sea level. From the hotel’s rooftop, one could see small rice terraces and hills which look ethereal during the break of dawn.

I wish I could still see the day when all my dreams come true. But for now, contentment is not the fulfillment of what’s more lacking in my life, but the realization of how much I already have.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Banaue Hotel and Youth Hostel
Tam-an, Banaue, Ifugao
Tel. no.: (074) 386-4047

December 22, 2013

Café Shibuya: Home of a Perfect Toast

Shibuya, one of the busiest streets in Tokyo, Japan, is a beautiful mess. Its crossing with people meeting from four different directions, is always a spectacular chaos, a harmonious disorder. There’s nothing like it in the world. Just like Café Shibuya’s toast, perhaps there is nothing like it in the world.

One of the interesting new restaurants at the UP Town Center, Café Shibuya is a casual, homey restaurant specializing on toasts. Their journey literally took them to four different international airports, spanning over 20,000 air miles, over a year’s worth of product tinkering, hundreds of hours kneading, and endless revisions for the concoction of one amazing toast.

Green tea strawberry toast


Shibuya Benedict

Mentaiko pasta

Ferrero hazelnut toast

I’ve been eating bread toasts all my life, but this is the first time I’ve tasted a toast which is crunchy on the outside but soft, pillowy and sweet on the inside. There’s no other toast like a Shibuya toast. I’m betting one of the best gifts (angas jacket) I received this Christmas, on it!

Café Shibuya
G/F UP Town Center, Katipunan Ave.
Brgy. UP Campus,  Quezon City

December 20, 2013

Casa de Carlo

“Anyone who falls in love is searching for the missing pieces of themselves. So anyone who's in love gets sad when they think of their lover. It's like stepping back inside a room you have fond memories of, one you haven't seen in a long time.”
- Haruki Murakami

Spending a day or two at Casa de Carlo reminds one of good old times. Tucked away in one of the residential subdivisions in Tagaytay, the Casa owned by Carlo Callejo, is a Castillian-inspired bed and breakfast with a restaurant, events venue, spa and villas set amidst a Spanish country garden setting. It may not have the amenities of a five-star hotel but guests are assured of the warmth and hospitality of a home.

The Casa has a very masculine living room adorned with the owner’s vintage collection of deer head mount, animal horns, bows and arrows, spades and knives, trumpets, chinawares, paintings, wine barrels, miniature figurines and anitques. A billiard table awaits wannabe snooker players.

An old Robinson grand piano begs to be played.

But isn’t it nicer to sit by the fireplace, even without the fire, just reading a children’s book or simply reliving wonderful childhood Christmas memories?

The brick and stucco Spanish-inspired villas have rooms with the smell of old European charm. It is furnished with ancestral pieces and memorabilia.

Relaxation comes from letting go of negative thoughts. One could detoxify at the Queen Spa or take a dip at the outdoor jacuzzi.

At the heart of Jardin Ma. Lourdes, a lovely landscape bursting with floral wildlife and sensual statuettes, is Cocinar serving Spanish and inter-continental cuisine to in-house guests.

Every love story is beautiful, so must be weddings. For couples who long to celebrate in a paradise that's all their own, the Casa offers an exclusive haven and two unique automobiles (1964 Ford Mustang Coupe and Horse Drawn Carriage Princess Version) that guarantees an enchanting and intimate experience.

Just make sure to marry someone who loves you for who you are, who you have been, and who you’re gonna become.

Casa de Carlo
C. Callejo St., Las Brisas de Tagaytay
Crossing Mendez West, Tagaytay City
Tel. No.: 0918-5456343