August 19, 2017

The Gingerbread House, Alfonso

Always schedule a playdate with your inner child.

The Gingerbread House inspired from Hansel and Gretel

Hot choco mallows

Rainbow burger and blue cheese fries

Longganisa pasta

Minion choco cupcake

And don’t forget to be a Fruit Loop in a world full of Cheerios!

From Manila, take Nasugbu-bound bus from Buendia or South Terminal in Pasay. Get off at Splendido in Brgy. Upli, Alfonso. From the highway, take a tricycle going to Gingerbread House.  

The Gingerbread House
Matagbak-Palumlum Rd.
Brgy. Palumlum, Alfonso, Cavite
Tel. No.:  0917-6303124

August 16, 2017

Siama Hotel, Sorsogon

Childhood is a phase in life that is often a source of beautiful, happy memories. Katherine Rodrigazo Naval knows this by heart for she had timeless treasure of memories growing up in her home province in Sorsogon, especially at a time when her Lolo Siama was still alive. Her grandfather whose real name was Luis Lee, an immigrant from Amoy, China, had a sprawling coconut plantation on the outskirts of the province’s capital. He was then engaged in the copra and abaca business. In an era when there was still no FB, Twitter, IG, Netflix and state of the art gadgets, young Katherine’s past time was playing around in this expansive, exotic field and greenery.

Many years later, Katherine married Milo Naval, a famed furniture designer who mainly uses indigenous materials in his works, which are exported worldwide. The couple decided to build their home and eco-friendly boutique resort on the lush family property of Katherine because of its promising location. They named it after her Lolo Siama. They opened it to public way back in 2013, and ever since it has been dubbed as a showcase of native-modern Filipino architecture and design, truly Milo’s magnum opus.

Though the resort is still within Sorsogon City, it felt like I was in a far-flung barrio because of its seclusion. The place is surrounded by countless coconut and fern trees, a sight I rarely see in the city. It is a perfect homebase when exploring Sorsogon’s diverse natural sights and attractions. 

A giant ball made of coconut husks adorn the gate of the property. It looks like a unique foreign object as if from outer space.

The resort is a hybrid between a modern dwelling and a traditional Filipino hut.  

The open lounge area and sala of the resort has comfy and cozy lounge chairs, wicker chairs and arm chairs made of rattan and hardwood for lazing and relaxing. Sinamay was creatively used as sunscreen. Locally made pieces and decorations such as Christmas trees and pendant flower lamps made of shells are work of art and ingenuity.

Across it, is the dining area with three gorgeous acacia tables with woven rattan and leather circular seats. Some coconuts were also made into decorative ornaments.

If guests want an authentic Bicolano food, they should be ordered in advance. But anytime, their chef could whip a good gourmet meal be it a pasta or sandwich.

The resort is naturally ventilated with its outdoor-meets-indoor design. I was fascinated with the airy feel of wooden slats, which is one the resort’s aesthetic trademarks.

There are over 30 rooms with minimalist, Zen style design spread all over the resort. Most of the rooms has a four poster bed with spotless white sheets and a slatted bamboo headboard. There are also live plants inside the room, making it more homey and relaxing.

The architectural beauty of Siama is complemented by its cool, flourishing surroundings. Peacocks roam around the resort freely, while birds and crickets provide a soft background music.

A modern forest pool is the main attraction of the resort, a tropical oasis that simply makes Siama a haven that is truly breathtaking and an exquisite contrast of sort – provincial yet modern, a hotel yet a home.

I was simply captivated. I know love is better shown than spoken.

From Manila, take Sorsogon-bound bus (terminals in Cubao, Pasay or Malate). Travel time takes about 12 hours. In Sorsogon City, take a tricycle going to the resort (about 15 minutes from the city proper). But the fastest way would be to take a plane going to Legazpi City. From Legazpi City, take a van or bus bound for Sorsogon.

Siama Hotel
Sitio San Lorenzo, Bibincahan
Sorsogon City, Sorsogon
Tel. No.: 0917-8816497, 0998-9828101

August 6, 2017

PriZone Café, Malate

PriZone Café is a cute One Piece-inspired café in Malate. One Piece is the best-selling manga series of all time in history.

Green tea latte

Spaghetti meatballs ala Mama

Super shrimp curry

Waffle heaven with ice cream

How I wish they have an off menu that sells Devil Fruit, the one that turned Monkey D. Luffy into a bad-ass Mr. Fantastic.

PriZone Café
G/F D' University Place Residences
#2421 Leon Guinto St.
Malate, Manila