SELAH GARDEN HOTEL | ONE OF MY BEST CHOICES FOR STAYCATION IN METRO MANILA

If you just can’t wait to have that elusive vacation but do not have the time and budget to go out of town whether alone or with family and friends, then the Selah Garden Hotel in Pasay City could be your best option.

The Selah Garden Hotel, Pasay City
The Selah Garden Hotel, Pasay City

My brother was here two weeks ago on a short nine-day vacation. He is a flight attendant based in the United Arab Emirates. We wanted to maximize his short stay with fun and excitement without having to leave Metro Manila. So the day he arrived, I packed my bags of clothes and shooting equipment and we booked a Grab Car and headed to the Selah Garden Hotel.

I love the Selah Garden Hotel
The Selah Garden Hotel in Pasay City, Metro Manila.

The Selah Garden Hotel is a boutique hotel near the Makati Business District and various historical landmarks such as Intramuros and Luneta Park. Likewise, the Selah Garden Hotel is accessible to the airport and the Mall of Asia (one of the biggest shopping malls in Asia).

The Selah Garden Hotel
The Selah Garden Hotel is an 83-room boutique hotel located near the Makati Central Business District and historical landmarks such as Intramuros and Luneta in Manila.

Upon arrival, we were warmly welcomed at the lobby by the receptionists with refreshing welcome drinks. Check in time is 2 PM and check out is 12 noon. We stayed in a Flagship Double Room.

The Selah Garden Hotel Infinity Pool
The Selah Garden Hotel Infinity Pool

The Selah Garden Hotel has 83 rooms of varying types that can fit different guest preferences. Below are Selah Garden Hotel’s type of accommodations and corresponding published rates:

  • Flagship Room at Php 3,200 per night for two with breakfast and Php 3,800 per night for three with breakfast
  • Cozy Room at Php 3,800 per night for two with breakfast
  • Fantastic Loft at Php 5,100 per night for four to five occupants with breakfast
  • Fantabulous Loft at Php 6,700 per night for seven occupants with breakfast
  • Fabulous Suite at Php 5,900 per night for five to six occupants
  • Stellar Suite at Php 13,000 per night for ten occupants
  • Bunk Room at Php 800 per occupant per night, good for four, six or eight occupants
  • Clique Room at Php 800 per occupant per night, good for ten occupants
The Selah Garden Hotel Room
The Selah Garden Hotel has 83 rooms of varying types that can fit different guest preferences

Amenities include:

  • Air-conditioned rooms
  • Complimentary wi-fi access
  • Welcome drinks
  • Safety deposit box
  • 24-hour room service
  • TV with cable channels
  • Daily complimentary bottled water per person
  • Hot and cold shower with toiletries set
  • 24-hour elevator service
  • Refrigerator
  • Laundry service upon request

Hotel features include:

  • Function rooms
  • Table Restaurant
  • Spa by Selah
  • Infinity pool
  • Scuba diving course
  • Team-building facilities with high rope activities

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It was a tiring but fruitful day one at the Selah Garden Hotel. My brother and I tried out Selah Garden Hotel’s high-rope activities such as wall climbing, zip line, control descent, Burma Bridge, multivines, Jacob’s Ladder and broken bridge with the other bloggers. We also joined the team building activity arranged by the hotel staff.

The Selah Garden Hotel Zipline
The Selah Garden Hotel offers extreme activities to spice up one’s stay in the urban oasis.

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It was a hot and humid day and the infinity pool was just too tempting. I, however, conserved all the energy I had left and postponed swimming the next day. It was, anyway, going to be a long and fun Karaoke night with the gang as we celebrated our fellow blogger and friend’s birthday at the TLC Room of the Selah Garden Hotel.

The Selah Garden Hotel TLC Function Room
The gang at the spacious and super comfy TLC Function Room of the Selah Garden Hotel to celebrate Lee’s birthday.

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After eating a sumptuous dinner, chugging on some drinks, singing our hearts out and basically had one of the most fun get-together’s we have ever had, we called it a night.

The next day, my brother woke up early and decided to have an early swim. I, on the other hand, slept in and woke up much later.

I had breakfast with some of the not so early birds. After breakfast, I went for a quick swim and met new friends. I also took some aerial shots. I did not fly my drone too high because I am not so at ease flying my drone in the city.

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Overall, my brother and I had a grand time in The Selah Garden Hotel, a quick getaway found right smack in the middle of the city.

For more information, visit The Selah Garden Hotel’s website here.

For booking and inquiries, please contact:

  • Mobile: +63917-9582760, +63925-5111131, +63998-8810864
  • Landline: +632-5111331 or +632-8997080

You may also book via their Facebook Page here.

Signing out for now. Remember to never stop exploring the world one story at a time. Peace!

On the way to Masasa Beach, Tingloy  Batangas.
On the way to Masasa Beach, Tingloy Batangas.

MY DRONE FLEW AWAY IN BATANES

Here is how I lost my drone in Batanes.

For better definition, watch it on youtube here:

I went to Batanes to cover the wonderful and amazing tourist spots. I went to Vayang Rolling Hills and took off. My first attempt failed as I chickened out and decided to land as soon as I felt the gustiness of the wind. I told myself, “next time, Jaws… next time.”
And then in ten minutes, I took off for the second time. I struggled piloting my drone…. until I could no longer control it. I wanted it to return to me but the wind just won’t let it. I could feel my drone’s yearning to come home to me… I stared at the distance counter on my mobile go higher and higher as my drone went farther and farther away. I watched my drone as it grew smaller and smaller in the horizon until we lost contact.
Thanks to my fellow travel blogger Cai Dominguez of Travelosyo and Kuya Wilson for staying with me and helping me look for my drone. Special thanks, too, to Mark Lawrence B Lechuga of Safetravel Philippines and Mike Barcelona Acebes of Katuvang B&B for their concern.

I will never forget Batanes. Batanes will hold a special place in my heart not only because of this unfortunate experience but because of its sheer and mystical beauty. I am going down in history as the first person to lose his drone while in flight in Batanes.
I am not giving up. I am only on my second day in Batanes. I will come up with a beautiful travel video featuring Batanes with or without a drone. Not yet signing out… sorry. Peace!

TREKKING, CLIFF JUMPING & SWIMMING IN TANGADAN FALLS, SAN GABRIEL, LA UNION

Almost every three months, my Dubai-based brother and I would spend quality time together by visiting a destination that we have not yet been to. #BROSontheROAD.

San Juan, La Union Road Sign
Surfing Area Road Sign, San Juan, La Union

Last April 2018, we went to San Juan, La Union with our mom and aunt who both opted to stay in the hotel room most of the time. On the other hand, my brother and I spent most of the time outside as expected.

On our first day, we went frolicking in San Juan’s Surf Town. I will post another blog about how we spent our day in San Juan. That night, I suggested that we go check out Tangadan Falls the next day. My brother said he would rather just stay in San Juan. I said “Okay, I am going anyway.”

I guess he felt I was so determined to go even by my lonesome. That is why the next day he woke me up and told me he was tagging along to explore San Gabriel and check out Tangadan Falls.

Trivia: I was told that San Gabriel is Vice Ganda’s hometown. 🙂

Below is the short #BROSontheROAD Travel Video featuring Tangadan Falls in San Gabriel, La Union. We went trekking, cliff jumping and swimming.

For better definition, you can watch the travel video posted on Youtube below instead:

There is also an IG TV version. Watch it below:

 

Getting To Tangadan Falls, San Gabriel, La Union

Flotsam & Jetsam Hostel Entrance, Urbiztondo, San Juan, La Union
Our Mom and Auntie in front of Flotsam & Jetsam Hostel in Urbiztondo, San Juan, La Union

 

We were billeted in Flotsam and Jetsam Hostel, Urbiztondo, San Juan, La Union. Just outside the hostel was a tricycle queue. We hired a tricycle to bring us to and from Tangadan Falls’ Jumping-Off Point  for P 500 or P 250 per head. I guess we got a good deal already since getting to San Gabriel would normally take about 45 minutes worth of gas tops and tricycle fare would be P 300 per person.

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We wore comfortable clothes and footwear and put on a generous amount of sunblock and insect repellent.   We left Flotsam and Jetsam at 8:15 AM. We got to the jumping-off point to meet our tour guide, Leo, at about 9 AM.

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It was an hour-trek to the cliff jumping point. Although, it was fairly an easy and enjoyable trek, I must say that one must be fit and ready for an hour of walking, climbing and crossing streams. Bringing the kids and elderly members of the family along may not be a good idea.

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There was also a resting area where snacks and refreshments were being sold.

Tangadan Falls Trek Vendor

Upon reaching the cliff jumping point, I immediately assembled my drone to get some aerial footage. My brother, on the other hand, did not waste time and went straight for the cliff and jumped into the water. I needed to stop whatever I was doing to capture his jump on video.

After ten minutes of flying, I packed my drone and jumped off the cliff to get underwater footage.

I would have wanted to stay a bit longer to get more photos for my Instagram feed but my brother was in a hurry and was already giving me the look. By 9:30 AM, we were back on the trail to the main attraction of San Gabriel, the Tangadan Falls. I asked my brother what was bothering him. He said he was worried that we would not be able to make it back on time to the hotel for check-out. Our check-out time was 11 AM.

At the rate we were going, I highly doubted we would make it back on time. But this I kept to myself and tried my best to entertain him in between climbing rocks and crossing streams. I told him not to worry in that our aunt can handle the check-out process. I also told him that I would advise our aunt via SMS that we might be running late and that she would have to just wait for us to get back. By the way, our Mom left early in the morning. She could not be away from her fur-babies for too long. Tough luck, there was no telecommunication signal in the area and was not able to advise our aunt just the same. LOL.

After 20 minutes, we reached Tangadan Falls. We paid the Environmental Fee of P 30 per person. I unpacked my drone for some #dronescapade while my brother… well… jumped immediately into the water.

My brother having a grand time in Tangadan Falls, San Gabriel, La Union.
My brother having a grand time in Tangadan Falls, San Gabriel, La Union.
Life vests for rent for P 50, Tangadan Falls, San Gabriel, La Union
Life vests for rent for P 50.
Tangadan Falls Souvenirs
Souvenirs for sale onsite.

My brother, ever since, has always had a strong affinity to water. Even as a toddler, he could and would stay in the water until his skin got all wrinkled up. And so, he swam away in Tangadan Falls and completely forgot about the check-out time. LOL. We stayed in Tangadan Falls for almost two hours.

Swimming in Tangadan Falls, San Gabriel, La Union
My brother has always had a strong affinity to water. Even as a toddler, he could and would stay in the water until his skin got all wrinkled up.

On the way back to the jumping-off point, we opted to rent a habal habal (motorcycle) for P 250 each. However, we had to do another twenty-minute trek to get to the pick-up point. Talk about delaying self-gratification. The trek to the pick-up point was quite challenging. It was a steep climb. I was literally gasping for air on the way up.

Tangadan Falls, San Gabriel, La Union
Raft or balsa for rent for P 250 per hour

The motorcycle ride back to the jumping-off point was another highlight of this trip. The concrete-paved road was narrow and full of peaks and troughs. It was like riding a roller coaster. I had fun being the adrenaline junkie that I am. The only downside was… well, we were not given crash helmets to wear. Perhaps, this is something that the local tourism office should address to ensure the safety of tourists.

Paved narrow road from the trail head of Tangadan Falls to the jumping-off point
Paved and narrow road from the trail head of Tangadan Falls to the jumping-off point.

We arrived at the jumping-off point by 12:30 PM where the same tricycle and driver were waiting. By the time we got back to Flotsam and Jetsam, it was already 1 PM. True enough, our aunt single-handedly managed to bring out all our stuff from the room, did the whole check-out process and was cozily waiting for us at the reception area. Thanks, auntie Bing!

Not all road trips with my brother is smooth sailing. Just like any siblings, we would bicker a lot and agree to disagree (NOT). I must say though that every road trip with him is memorable and always an opportunity to get to know each other more. He will be coming home this month. We have not yet finalized where we will be going to next but I am sure we will both have a grand time.

Screen Shot of  Jem's Post on his Facebook Page describing our trip to Tangadan Falls, San Gabriel, La Union.
Screen Shot of Jem’s Post on his Facebook Page describing our trip to Tangadan Falls, San Gabriel, La Union.

 

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Me with our tour guide, Kuya Leo, in Tangadan Falls, San Gabriel, La Union.

Signing out for now. Peace!

SERIOUSLY? 3-NIGHT STAY IN JAKARTA AT ZENROOMS SCBD FOR LESS THAN P2000!

After booking a budget ticket to Jakarta via Air Asia, I thought that the next best thing to do was to book a hotel that would be easy on the pocket as well. I was going to Jakarta to attend two meetings. The venue of the first meeting was located at the client’s office in South Jakarta. I opened Google maps and typed my client’s office address. After the location pin showed up, I typed “hotels nearby”. A number of hotels showed up in an instant with their corresponding room rates per night. I was easily intrigued by the room rates of ZEN Rooms SCBD at P 553.49 per night.

Wow! What a bargain! I clicked their icon and was directed to their website. At those budget-friendly rates, they offer the following amenities:

  • 20 Sq m Room
  • 24-hour Front Desk
  • Common Kitchen
  • Flat Screen TV
  • Non Smoking Room
  • Parking
  • Smoking Room
  • Study Desk

Their online customer service was also very helpful. I chatted with Dayne and she was accommodating with my inquiries. I did not book my stay immediately because I was a little bit wary quite frankly. How can a hotel charge so low and be able to provide the amenities that they claim? So, I gave it a thought for a week. Well, honestly, I did not really have time to think about it since I was too busy. A week before my date of departure, I finally decided to take the risk and booked my stay at ZEN Rooms SCBD anyway. I mean, what was there to lose? I am not picky. I just needed a place to sleep in.

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Can you believe this? I only paid P 1,660.46 for a three-night stay in Jakarta, Indonesia!

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Upon arrival at the CGK or Soekarno–Hatta International Airport in Jakarta, I grabbed my mobile, clicked the GRAB icon, inputted ZEN Rooms SCBD and requested for a GRAB driver. I paid IDR 128,000 or PHP 486 for GRAB and IDR 35,000 or PHP 133.00 for toll fees.

 

 

Here is ZEN Rooms SCBD on Google Maps:

Jasmine Residence

Arriving at the hotel, it almost felt like I was coming home to my former apartment in Project 8, Quezon City. It was homey and I was welcomed by Echo, the receptionist aka caretaker. I received a ZEN Rooms Toiletries Bag containing a bottle of shampoo, bath gel, soap and a dental kit.

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The room was tidy and smelled clean. Of course, it was not a five-star hotel accommodation but it was decent and just right for my budget. It had good air-conditioning, LCD TV with basic cable channels, personal refrigerator, safety deposit box, closet and two bottles of complimentary mineral water.

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The room had a wall clock but no battery. LOL.

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ZEN Rooms SCBD Jakarta offers budget accommodation with good air-conditioning, LCD TV with basic cable channels, personal refrigerator, safety deposit box, closet and two bottles of complimentary mineral water.

Unfortunately, there was no hot shower. But who needs one anyway when in tropical Jakarta? There was also no adapter available. Good thing I brought my Air Asia Travel Adapter.

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ZEN Rooms SCBD Jakarta offers  20 sq meter rooms with a Queen size bed and toilet and bath.

So if you are a smart traveler, you might want to choose ZEN Rooms in Jakarta, Indonesia.

ZEN Rooms operates in Southeast Asia’s top destinations offering quality and affordable accommodation. They have 5,000 rooms across 50 cities in 7 countries.

With ZEN Rooms, I was able to spend less on accommodation and got extra money to go around Jakarta and spend on good food.

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DISCOUNT COUPON CODE

By the way, I have a discount coupon code  that you can use valid until June 27, 2018. Just click here. Avail of $20 discount* at ZEN Rooms Hotels when you travel to Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and Hong Kong.

*$50 Minimum booking value. 

Signing out for now. Peace!

Me on board a kapal finisi or traditional inter-island cargo ship off the coast of Sunda Kelapa Harbour, Jakarta, Indonesia
Me on board a kapal finisi or traditional inter-island cargo ship off the coast of Sunda Kelapa Harbour, Jakarta, Indonesia

EAT OR EEK? | NOBU MANILA’S SEVEN-COURSE MEAL

Verdict: EAT!

If you are into authentic Japanese cuisine, then you have to try Nobu Restaurant located at the Level 1 of Nobu South Tower, City of Dreams Manila, Aseana Boulevard corner Macapagal Avenue Brgy.Tambo, Paranaque City. They serve Nobu-unique modern Japanese dishes fused with Peruvian influences.

On February 21, 2018, I had the most wonderful opportunity to feast on a specially prepared seven-course meal comprised of both cold and hot dishes at the world’s most recognized Japanese restaurant Nobu Restaurant . Thanks to Blogapalooza for inviting me to dine and meet with fellow Travel and Lifestyle bloggers.

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Me having a blast and fantastic food at the world famous Nobu Restaurant

I arrived with fellow travel blogger Erica Poyauan of thegirlwiththemujihat.com. We met up in the SM Mall of Asia and grabbed a cab to get to the City Of Dreams.

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Selfie with Erica Poyauan by the Sushi Bar of the Nobu Restaurant.

At the reception area, we were welcomed with the usual Japanese greeting  “Irasshaimase!” or “welcome to the store” in English by the accommodating staff.

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The Nobu Restaurant Staff, all clad in black with warm smiles, gladly posing for the camera.

Nobu Restaurant’s classic and orderly ambiance coupled with the fine luxuries of a five-star hotel no less got me transported back in time when I last visited Japan in May 2016.

View this post on Instagram

I love #Japan. #nomad

A post shared by JOEL JAWS ANDRADA | B/Vlogger (@joeljawsandrada) on

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Me doing the “blogger pose”.

Erica and I were then escorted by the Restaurant Manager, Ms. Melanie Dimayuga, to the patio area to meet the rest.

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Nobu Restaurant’s Constant Haloot (Assistant Restaurant Manager)  and Melanie Dimayuga (Restaurant Manager) posing for the camera
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Diners may also opt for al fresco at the Nobu Restaurant Manila

In no time, we were asked to proceed inside where a private dining area was reserved for us. I found the chefs at the sushi bar busy preparing the meals for the guests. Despite that, they agreed to pause and pose for a photo opportunity.

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Sushi Bar, Nobu Restaurant Manila
Sushi Bar 3
Sushi Bar, Nobu Restaurant Manila
Sushi Bar
Sushi Bar and Dining Area, Nobu Restaurant Manila
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Chefs at work, Nobu Restaurant Manila
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Chefs pausing and posing for a photo opportunity

Nobu Restaurant Manila has a total seating capacity of two hundred ninety one (291) people. They have two (2) private dining rooms and two (2) Teppanyaki tables.

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Dining Area near the entrance of the Nobu Restaurant Manila
Dining Area
Nobu Restaurant Manila has a total seating capacity of two hundred ninety one (291) people.
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Dining area of the Nobu Restaurant Manila
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Teppanyaki table, Nobu Restaurant Manila
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Nobu Restaurant Manila also has a separate bar where guests can order sake and other alcoholic beverages

They are open daily and below are their operating hours:

Breakfast
6:00 AM – 10:30 AM | Monday to Saturday
6:00 AM – 10:00 AM | Sunday

Sunday Brunch
11:30 AM – 3:00 PM | Sunday

Happy Hour
5:00 PM – 7:00 PM | Everyday

Dinner
6:00 PM – 10:00 PM | Monday to Thursday
6:00 PM – 11:00 PM | Friday to Sunday

Bloggers at Nobu Manila
Photo opportunity with fellow travel and lifestyle bloggers and friends from Blogapalooza.

To me, the seating arrangement was impeccable because we all got to sit next to someone whom we were meeting for the first time. It was a riot sitting between Me-An Clemente  and  Janelle Lazo Tee as we indulged our way to the very end of this seven-course meal. I might just post a vlog soon.

Nobu Manila;s Seven-Course Meal Menu
Nobu Manila’s Seven-Course Meal Menu. IMPRESSIVE. Got my taste buds all excited!

Each one of us got an Origami bird placed next to the menu of the seven-course meal. I must say that the meal selection consisted of seafood, vegetables and Wagyu meat to name a few got me and my taste buds excited! I am no food connoisseur and I will not pretend to be one. Hence, I will be sharing with you how I visualized my taste buds’ reactions to the food assuming that my taste buds had a mind of their own. So here it goes…

ZENSAI

We started with Zensai or  hors d’oeuvre in Nihon-go. Do not be deceived. This small and seemingly simple “taco” dish was explosive. The adage “size does not matter” seemed appropriate to describe it. It prepared my taste buds for what was to come. My taste buds were pretty much warmed-up for some jumping-for-joy moments! #smallbutyummy

Zensai or hors d'oeuvre in Nihon-go
Zensai or hors d’oeuvre in Nihon-go. Do not be deceived. This small and seemingly simple “taco” was explosive. It prepared my taste buds for what it was to come.

FIRST COURSE: SASHIMI DUO

The first course consisted of two equally strong dishes, the Yellow Tail Jalapeno & the Oyster New Style. #notonebuttwo

1st Course: SASHIMI DUO
First Course: SASHIMI DUO Those oysters were to die for from slurp to burp. The yellow tail jalapeno was spot on. Naks parang #masterchef

Oyster New Style 

I had second thoughts of eating the oysters out of fear of getting an upset stomach. I first sniffed one oyster. The aroma that filled my nostrils was reminiscent of my growing up years in the province of Pangasinan.  And the next practical step for me was to open my mouth and succumb to it. Me-An told me that the best way to eat it is to suck and slurp. So I slurped the second one till I burped as  my taste buds swayed to some calming music. #maalaalamokaya

By the way, the Kumamoto Oysters originated from Japan. They were brought to and raised in Australia just to end up in my mouth. #yunlang

1st Course SASHIMI DUO Oyster New Style Nobu Manila
Oyster New Style
Janelle and Joel Slurping an Oyster
Janelle and me doing the slurp-to-burp

Yellow Tail Jalapeno

Next stop was the Yellow Tail Jalapeno. Oh, did I mention that this was just the first course? LOL.

The Yellow Tail or Dalagang Bukid in Filipino melted in my mouth. It was that good that my taste buds were in full synchronicity bowing their heads while chanting in complete unison “we are not worthy” as this world famous sashimi blanketed my palette. #grabesya

1st Course SASHIMI DUO Yellow Tail Jalapeno Nobu Manila
Yellow Tail Jalapeno

Further, the first course came with a pickled relish that cleansed and prepared my palette for the next course.

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Me about to devour this pickled relish to cleanse the palette

SECOND COURSE: CHEF’S CHOICE SUSHI

The second course was composed of assorted Nigiri and Spicy Tuna Crispy Rice placed on a rectangular plate that was almost two feet in length.

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From left to right: Tamago or egg omelette with white fish and shrimp, Anago (sea water eel) cooked tempura-style, Tasmanian salmon sushi, Lapu-lapu sushi and crispy sticky rice topped with spicy tuna.
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Me and Me-An showing off the length of the plate

I asked the waiter where to begin. Do I start from the left to right or otherwise? No further instructions were given. I guess I just got to trust my gut on this one. My taste buds could not agree more as they prepared for this delightful marathon. My taste buds said, “STOP over thinking and just get one ASAP!” #nowna #walanaakongmasabi #bastamasarap

2nd Course: CHEF'S CHOICE SUSHI
Second Course: CHEF’S CHOICE SUSHI
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Me-An looking so excited to munch on that crispy sticky rice topped with spicy tuna

THIRD COURSE: SASHIMI SALAD

The last of the cold dishes, this salad was composed of a lightly sheared big-eyed tuna with mixed greens and Matsuhisa dressing. People close to me know that I am not fond of eating just raw fish. I have always preferred Sushi over Sashimi. But my taste buds told my eyes to close and leave the tasting to them and told my mouth to shut up and partake! And I did… happy I did. That Matsuhisa dressing complemented the tuna.

3rd Course: SASHIMI SALAD
Third Course: SASHIMI SALAD
Sharing is caring
Sharing is caring. Ace Gapuz of Blogapalooza getting a piece of Lee Rosales’s (not in photo) Tuna Tataki as Zandy Palisoc hands over the plate while Kenneth Surat looks on and is just having a grand time enjoying his meal.
Chef Kirika Oi of Nobu Restaurant Manila
Susi Chef Kirika Oi of Nobu Restaurant Manila briefly discussing his selection of cold dishes

FOURTH COURSE: PAN ROASTED SNAPPER

The fourth course introduced us to the first hot dish. The perfectly pan-roasted Snapper or Maya-maya in Filipino resting on that golden stash of Miso butter and mixed vegetables such as bok choy, baby corn and shitake star drizzled with sweet chili cilantro sauce on top was a bomb!

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Fourth Course: PAN ROASTED SNAPPER

“Aaaawww, poor little fish looks so unhappy”, I said. My taste buds did not care and by this time decided to do the Zumba with zest!

4th Course: PAN ROASTED SNAPPER
Fourth Course: PAN ROASTED SNAPPER Miso butter, sweet chili cilantro sauce, bok choy, baby corn, shitake star Hot meal time! That perfectly cooked fish resting on that golden stash of goodness was a bomb! “Aaaawww, poor little fish looks so unhappy”, I said. My taste buds did not care and were doing the Zumba.

FIFTH COURSE: AKA MISO BRAISED WAGYU CHEEKS

The fifth course was Aka Miso Braised Wagyu Cheeks with Soba noodles, onsen egg and Kizami nori. After devouring the succulent pan-roasted Maya-maya, I was already full to the brim. But my taste buds were now out of control and mounting a mass picket.

“Wag you ako pigilan… wag ako… “, they clamored.

“Besides, wagyu is wagyu so why not?”, they added.

#Nagwawalanasila #paEDSAnasila

5th Course: AKA MISO BRAISED WAGYU CHEEKS
Fifth Course: AKA MISO BRAISED WAGYU CHEEKS Soba noodles, onsen egg, kizami dori By this time, I was full to the brim. Wag you ako pigilan… wag ako… sabi ng taste buds ko. Besides, wagyu is wagyu so why not? Nagwawala na sila!

SIXTH COURSE: BLACK COD HOT POT

This clear soup looked all too simple but this sixth course cannot be undermined. I thought it was going to be bland and boring. Well, I thought wrong. As always, when it comes to food, the final verdict rests on the sense of taste and not of sight. The perfect blend of tofu, mixed mushrooms and negi was just right to settle down the joyous chaos experienced by my taste buds from the first course to the fifth. The sixth course also made sure that my taste buds had a good cool down, ready for dessert.

6th Course: BLACK COD HOT POT
Sixth Course: BLACK COD HOT POT tofu, mixed mushrooms, negi. Again… DECEPTIVE. This clear soup looked too simple. I thought it was going to be bland and boring. I thought wrong. #akonalanglagi By this time gusto ko na matuto ng Nihongo

SEVENTH COURSE: MISO CAPPUCCINO

Delightfully satisfied with the six courses I just had, I thought that there was nothing better to cap the night than a cup of coffee to get me going on my way home.

And so I picked up the spoon intending to mix that cappuccino.

“This cup of coffee is too small for me”, I thought.

Lo and behold, it was not a coffee beverage. I guess I was not being attentive to John Christian Ochoa when he served the last course. Or was it Fidel Cebreros? I can not recall. I was too engrossed sipping my soup that I missed the detailed introduction and whoever delivered it. LOL.

Being a sweet-tooth myself, I must say that this Miso Cappuccino is probably one of the best desserts I have ever had. The candied pecan loaded at the bottom of that vanilla miso custard revved up my already calm taste buds. They stood at attention as they crazily waited for that spoonful to land in my mouth. I finished this last course in less than two minutes! We (my taste buds and I) wanted to ask for seconds. LOL.

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Seventh Course: MISO CAPPUCCINO candied pecan, vanilla miso custard I thought I was having only coffee to cap the 7-course meal… again… I was wrong… #akalamolang mali na naman ako… ang sarap nito!!! nasa loob ang kulo kumbaga! You gotta dig deep!

Truth be told, this Miso Cappuccino got us all energized that we just kept on and on with our exchanges. We went around the restaurant to take more selfies and photos of the place, too.

Check out our Instagram and Facebook accounts for more. LOL.

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Nobu Restaurant’s Head Chef Michael De Jesus paying us a visit to make sure that we enjoyed the seven-course meal specially prepared for us (Video Screen Shot)

It was already past 10:30 in the evening when we decided to call it a night. We started dinner at seven. We had so much fun that I lost track of time. I did not expect that this was going to be a seven-to-eleven seven-course dinner affair.

Erica and I were among the last ones to leave the venue. We took the 11 PM City Of Dreams bus en route to the SM Mall of Asia and went our separate ways. I got home feeling great and not overfed. Tucking into bed, I messaged my brother in Dubai who is a big fan of Japanese cuisine to tell him that we visit Nobu Restaurant Manila the next time he comes home. He said yes and even commented on my Facebook post that featured the photos of the seven-course meal.

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Oh, by the way, I did not get an upset stomach.

 

For reservations:

Call: +632 800 8080 (24 hours) +632 691 2882, +632 691 2885

Email: ​noburestaurant@cod-manila.com

Signing out for now. Peace!

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Candid shot by Erica Poyauan at the Sushi Bar of the Nobu Restaurant Manila

TRAVEL | Bric’s Bellagio Collection: The Harmony of Fashion and Function

 

 

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The most sophisticated travellers set their eyes on the most luxurious destinations and covet only the most premium experiences and amenities: a relaxing cruise in St. Tropez, a ski trip in Zermatt, Switzerland or a weekend beach trip in the Bahamas.

When it comes to their preferred travel luggage, the most privileged clienteles demand timeless beauty that stands out, and dependable durability that supports their jet setting lifestyle.

Italian heritage brand Bric’s captures the perfect balance between breathtaking fashion elegance and reliable functionality with its core collection, Bellagio.

The vintage-looking Bellagio collection recalls classic travel bags and the tradition of elegant travel trunks, whose merit is the perfect recovery of such flavors in an item of groundbreaking functionality, strength, and lightness.

Bellagio is recognized by its vaguely squared shape with a somewhat retro allure, enhanced by leather details, like the straps that characterize the front frame and cover the corners.

Each piece from the collection oozes with functional style. The compact luggage’s exterior is made of high-performance polycarbonate trolleys in four sizes – light, convenient, strong, functional and handy. Smooth Japanese wheels, a convenient and ultra-light tow, a new TSA lock, leather-coated handles are just a few of the structural pluses of this line.

In order to satisfy the need for neatness, comfort and lightness, the interior’s structure has a soft lining with herringbone pattern; both compartments are closed with a zipper and hook respectively to allow perfect arrangement of items and clothes which ensures maximum storage options.

Meanwhile, a hook for the garment bag is provided, but the latter was intentionally not included to avoid too much weight in case this option is not desired by the client. A sleek and small hot-printed leather pocket is also included which bears the Bric’s name and recalls the company’s experience in travel items: Italian travel bags and fine leather goods since 1952.

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Bric’s Bellagio Collection

Leather is used abundantly to enhance the precious craft manufacture of this product, also shown by the leather’s grain and by the exposed stitching in contrasting yarns. There are different colors available, all with tan leather trimmings: cream, blue, black and olive green. New colors: shiny red and shiny grey.

Ultimately, Bellagio simply embodies the harmony of fashion and function in its elegant range of trolleys characterized by utter functionality, deliberately designed and created as “cross-products” of Bric’s in that the selected colors allow matching with other Bric’s travel lines: Life for olive green and red, Magellano for black, and Firenze for cream.

These lines, in fact, offer a variety of carry-ons and semi-stiff trolleys in the same hues to perfectly match with Bellagio and thus create sets that fit all types of journeys and transfers and respond to various needs of modern travelers.

The collection is available in SM Aura Premier, Shangri-la Plaza Mall, Ayala Center Cebu. Bric’s luxury luggage is distributed in the Philippines by Beawmont Distributions Inc.

For more details about Bric’s Bellagio collection, visit www.facebook.com/bricsphilippines.

 

TRAVEL | Bric’s Celebrates 65 Years of Timeless Italian Travel Bag Design and Exemplary Craftsmanship

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For the past 65 years in the business, Bric’s has become a catalyst in enriching the travel experience with its long standing territorial roots and passion in producing fine craftsmanship and manufacturing – as well as attention to detail which has been the centerpiece of Bric’s.

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Bric’s Mix and Match

Bric’s success is founded in its quest to continuously seek for constant development as it navigates to new horizons where research and Heritage, innovation and tradition, functionality and elegance are intertwined and balanced with skilled craft, advanced technology, and interpretation of new trends, creating a perfection fusion between shape, function and design.

For this reason, Bric’s finds itself imprinted in history as the ambassador of Italian style in the world, where it capitalizes on the potential of the global marketplace and at the same time, staying true to its motto “Made in Bric’s”, which represents the philosophy and culture of “Made in Italy.”

Ideas and the ability to turn resources into winning products are the main assets of Bric’s, as well as its mastery of creativity in marrying marries innovation and tradition. By observing the perfect blend of functionality and beauty, Bric’s has successfully tackled ambitious projects of well-established style, which continues to be the driving force as it enters new frontiers.

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Bric’s Store Galleria Milan

Today, Bric’s mission remains the same as when it started – to become a leader in the luggage and travel bags industry with its products that have become renowned for its image and functionality, and a positive quality/price ratio.

With an established worldwide distribution, Bric’s finds itself in the Philippine soil as it looks to cater Filipino connoisseurs of fine design and craftsmanship when it comes to luggage and travel bags.

Bric’s currently has three stores in the Philippines located at SM Aura Premier, Shangri-La Plaza Mall, and Ayala Center Cebu. Bric’s luxury luggage is distributed in the Philippines by Beawmont Distributions Inc.

For more details about the Bric’s collections, visit www.facebook.com/bricsphilippines.

EAT OR EEK? | MALAYSIA’S LIQALIC FRUIT POPSICLES BY M FRUITS

This is part one of my travel vlog about my recent visit to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to have a quick meeting and, of course, to see, taste and feel what Kuala Lumpur has to offer. The last time I visited Kuala Lumpur was in 2016 to attend a major meeting of the company that I used to work for and I did not have the opportunity to experience what they call the country that is ‘Truly Asia’, Malaysia.

The video below is a special episode of EAT OR EEK?, my version of a food review, where  I tried and tasted LIQALIC Fruit Popsicles by M FRUITS (a product of Malaysia). Is it EAT or EEK? Watch the video to find out. Have you tasted this yet? Did you like it? Let me know in the comments below.

It was a quick visit and unfortunately I did not get to see the outskirts or the countryside of Malaysia. I will be posting Part 2 (blog and vlog) soon to share with you the tourist spots that I was able to visit in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Special thanks to Pullman KL Bangsar Hotel for the warm accommodations.

I need to go back to my laptop to resume editing. Signing out for now. Peace!

TRAVEL | MY VISIT TO LPPCHEA – LAS PINAS PARANAQUE CRITICAL HABITAT ECOTOURISM AREA

Here is a short video featuring my visit to the Las Pinas Paranaque Critical Habitat and Ecotourism Area or LPPCHEA during the media familiarization tour initiated by the Department Of Tourism last January 30, 2018.

LPPCHEA is a 175-hectare secluded area off Manila Bay. It comprises two islands: Long Island and Freedom Island. LPPCHEA serves as a sanctuary to over eighty (80) species of birds, migratory and resident. It has a 36-hectare mangrove forest, a collection of indigenous plants and trees, coastal lagoon and beach area.

 

 

LPPCHEA was declared as a critical habitat on April 22, 2007 by Presidential Proclamation No. 1412 and was included in the list of Ramsar’s Wetlands of International Importance on March 15, 2013.

The Villar SIPAG (Social Institute for Poverty Alleviation and Governance) and The Wild Bird Club of the Philippines have been important partners of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in supporting and protecting LPPCHEA, the last mangrove island in southern Manila Bay.

LPPCHEA is a protected area.  If you are interested in visiting the bird sanctuary, contact the Conservation and Development Division of the DENR at +632-435-2509 or the Manila Bay Environmental Management Project in Metro Manila at +632-435-2410.

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LPPCHEA Boardwalk

How to get there:

For more information, visit DENR-National Capital Region LPPCHEA webpage here.

Visit the website of the Wild Bird Club here and their Facebook here. To contact the Villar SIPAG, visit their Facebook page here.

Signing out for now. Peace!