I 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.
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
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
No family is perfect. We argue, we shout, we fight. We even bully
and stop talking to each other at times. But in the end, family is family… and
we really need to endure this once a year Christmas get-together.
Celebrating our sparse yet healthy Christmas party at
Wabi-Sabi. By the way, wabi-sabi
represents a Japanese world view or aesthetic centered on the acceptance of imperfection.
“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
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
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.