February 28, 2017

Novotel Manila

Since 2014, mayors from around the world convene in the biggest international gathering of city and local leaders known as “Global Mayoral Forum” to share their experiences in governing migration, address migration-related issues affecting their locality, and strategize on how to work collectively. The previous fora were held in Barcelona and Quito; the latest was in Quezon City, at Novotel to be exact.

Our office was one of the organizers of the three-day event, and being part of the documentation team granted us a 3-night workation in QC’s most posh hotel.

Novotel is part of the French multinational hotel group, Accor Hotels. It is strategically located right beside Araneta Coliseum in Cubao. The spacious hotel lobby looks very chic with its colorful lounge chairs, smiley carpets and modern drop lights. There’s a Power Mac area where guests can access internet for free.

Human rattan sculptures adorn the lounge area near the function rooms.

The hotel boasts of 400 rooms.  I stayed in a deluxe room with a view of Shopwise Araneta area. The room is equipped with a double size comfy bed, LCD TV, tea and coffee making facility, and mini bar.

Amenities of the hotel include a gym, children’s playroom, and swimming pool. It also has an outdoor garden wedding reception and tent, where we always have our lunch.

Personally, the most memorable part of my stay at Novotel is the buffet breakfast. Their corned beef and bacon tastes heavenly. And their freshly squeezed fruits, I drink a minimum of four bottles every meal.

But officially, the most unforgettable was the showing of a touching photo in one of the closing presentations during the forum – a conspicuous banner is displayed in front of Madrid City Hall that says “Refugees Welcome”.

Simple but heartfelt words; it articulates “true love begins with acceptance”.

Novotel Manila
General Aguinaldo Ave.
Cubao, Quezon City
Tel. No.: 990-7888

February 20, 2017

The Food Hive, Visayas Ave.

The most eye catching among the stalls at Food Hive is Blaze Flaming Sizzlers. It appears to be blazing especially at night.  It was designed by my friend Nes, who was actually one of the brains behind the newest food park along Visayas Ave. in QC.

What makes this food park a little out of the ordinary is the amazing line-up of celebrity chefs who carefully crafted their food creations especially for the Food Hive followers. Nope Chef Boy Logro isn’t part of the roster; but those included are Chefs Rosebud Benitez, Ed Bugia, Niño Laus, Wado Siman, Jonah Trinidad, Gem Tee, Plamen Yordanov, and Luigi Muhlach.

Following its successful launch last month (where I was invited by Nes together with some of our close high school friends), I returned to savor the good food I tasted that night.

Strawberry and cucumber basil tea of Juicifi

Meatball pasta in a cone of Pappare

Po Bo of Potato Bomb

Vreteno of Yordanovi

Dessert Bubble Wraps

Char-cool and On Mayon ice cream of Cool Juans

Other food stalls at Food Hive are La Carnita, Bab and Boy’s Smokeshack, Goatcha, Wingfather and the Fry Mafia, Pixelstop, and Mozafrio. It also has a stand alone Japanese restaurant – Hamaru.

I over-ordered, and finished the rest at the nearby movie house when I watched “I’m Drunk I Love You”. The film is good, funny and heartbreaking. When Dio was telling his bestfriend Carson “Mahirap lang talagang hindian ang taong minahal mo nang sobra”, I know for certain that this isn’t going to be a happy romantic ending.

Anyway, ang Po Bo, Bubble Wraps at On Mayon ice cream ay mahirap din hindian.

The Food Hive
#80 Visayas Ave., Tandang Sora
Quezon City