Monthly Archives

September 2009

Food Tours

Here we go… Ultimate Philippines Tours Summer 2010!

Finally, here is the calendar of tours everyone is waiting for the summer of 2010! We decided to focus on the tours that made us famous and to execute them with perfection. Thanks to all those who joined us this summer and provided us with excellent feedback and testimonials!

You can now plan your vacation and join us for a travel and culinary experience you will never forget. We are proud to announce the Ultimate Philippines 2010 Culinary Tours Calendar!

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#Philippines

“A Nation Run Like Heaven”

The Philippine Economic Miracle Part 3 of 4 by Willy E. Arcilla

[I'm republishing the articles written by my friend Willy Arcilla, the marketing genius behind the success of C2 in the Philippines and Vietnam, on his 2020 vision for the Philippines. I share this vision that soon all of us will say, "I Live an Awesome Life in the Philippines." – Anton, Founder/ Editor of  Our Awesome Planet ]


What happened to the Philippines, or IN the Philippines over
the past 12 years?  

Based on research and interviews with government officials
and church leaders, management and labor in the private sector, ordinary
citizens and experts from the academe, the country started to turn a new leaf
in early 2008 when it was faced with the threat of the fragile economic
recovery stalling again after posting a 17-year high growth rate of 7% in 2007.  Buffeted by extraneous challenges such
as the US recession and ensuing global credit squeeze; depressed by worsening
poverty and destitution; anxious over a widening rich-poor gap causing social
unrest; frustrated by incurable graft and corruption; weary from incessant destabilization
plots and military discontent; incensed at a morally bankrupt government; distracted
by overzealous presidential aspirants for the 2010 elections; and bedeviled by
a runaway peso that has crippled exports, rendered BPOs and local tourism
uncompetitive, and most of all, caused “self-strangulation” for 10 million OFWs
and emigrants supporting 40 million dependents who were propping up the country’s
consumption-driven economy, the Philippines was faced with an imminent implosion
that could have led to a major social upheaval. But the worst was averted.

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Cagayan de Oro

A Fun 8-ft Waterfall Slide…

Mapawa River Trek Waterfall Challenge (3 of 5 Series)

[Mapawa River Trek is one of the awesome adventures that await you in Cagayan de Oro, where you follow the natural path of the Mapawa River through Five Waterfall Challenges. Can you conquer your fear and survive the Mapawa River Trek?!]


This was the easiest waterfall challenge. The slope is a bit gradual and waters are mild.

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#Philippines

Can You Go Down this 11-ft Waterfall with Raging Waters?

Mapawa River Trek Waterfall Challenge (2 of 5 Series)

[Mapawa River Trek is one of the awesome adventures that await you in Cagayan de Oro, where you follow the natural path of the Mapawa River through Five Waterfall Challenges. Can you conquer your fear and survive the Mapawa River Trek?!]


The second waterfall challenge needs the use of ropes for safety purposes because the water current is too strong…

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#Philippines

“To See Is To Believe”

The Philippine Economic Miracle Part 2 of 4 by Willy E. Arcilla

[I'm republishing the articles written by my friend Willy Arcilla, the marketing genius behind the success of C2 in the Philippines and Vietnam, on his 2020 vision for the Philippines. I share this vision that soon all of us will say, "I Live an Awesome Life in the Philippines." – Anton, Founder/ Editor of  Our Awesome Planet ]

But perhaps nothing beats visiting the archipelago of 7,107
islands as to see is to believe. 
One can now fly on an Airbus A380 and land in the modern Philippine
International Airport (formerly DMIA and Clark)
in Pampanga that now rivals
Singapore’s Chang-I, take a high-speed train for 15 minutes over 80 km of
well-manicured ricefields
along the route, then get off at a spanking NAIA
international terminal (formerly NAIA 3)
now akin to Kuala Lumpur.  One is greeted at the airport by young
and courteous immigration officials and even “bellhops” to lend luggage assistance
for free.  Philippine-brand
taxicabs are brand new and clean,
metered with official receipts, and driven by
honest and polite drivers who speak English and some colloquial Spanish and
Russian, Mandarin and Cantonese, Korean and Japanese, Malay and Arabic, enough
to take first-time tourists to their destination.  One’s  cellphone
beeps with a welcome message and language options appear with a tourist
helpline for emergencies manned 24/7 by courteous multilingual staff.
  Scores of tourist information centers
dot the cityscape.

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Family

Dear Mother Putnam – a Civilian “Blog Posts” on World War II in Manila

Marcial Lichauco, a 39-year-old “civilian”, recorded the atmosphere and happenings in his surroundings in Manila during World War II. His “posts” covered the period of the start of the war in December 1941 to the liberation of Manila (with his last posts being in February 1945). He wrote it as a series of letters (in a blog-like diary format) to his “Mother” Putnam, who took care of him while he was studying in the US. (Lichauco was the first Filipino graduate from Harvard.)

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Cagayan de Oro

Can You Slide Down this 20-ft Natural Waterfall Slide?

Mapawa River Trek Waterfall Challenge (1 of 5 Series)

[Mapawa River Trek is one of the awesome adventures that await you in Cagayan de Oro, where you follow the natural path of the Mapawa River through Five Waterfall Challenges. Can you conquer your fear and survive the Mapawa River Trek?!]


To reach the first waterfall challenge — a 20-ft natural waterfall slide in Mapawa River — you have to bear a 30-min tractor ride inside the Mapawa Nature Park and hike for another 45 minutes.

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#Philippines

“Your Faith Has Made You Well”

The Philippine Economic Miracle
Part 1 of 4 by Willy E. Arcilla

[I'm republishing the articles written by my friend Willy Arcilla, the marketing genius behind the success of C2 in the Philippines and Vietnam, on his 2020 vision for the Philippines. I share this vision that soon all of us will say "I Live an Awesome Life in the Philippines." – Anton, Founder/ Editor of  Our Awesome Planet ]


The Philippines, long lamented as an economic laggard or the “sick man of Asia”, whose checkered past has been marked by repeated false starts coinciding with frequent changes in political leadership, has finally found its redemption, and the whole world is cheering.

The UN has lauded the Philippines as the Success Story of the early 21st Century for accomplishing all the 8 Millenium Development Goals, specifically the eradication of extreme hunger and poverty, attainment of environmental sustainability, disease prevention, reduction of child mortality, and achievement of 100% literacy. The IMF and WB have praised the country, not only for its impressive record in sustained economic growth while simultaneously improving income distribution, but also for starting to become a net donor country to multilateral lending agencies to help poorer countries now eager to emulate or adapt the Philippine economic miracle.  This was despite the Philippines’ boldness to refuse compliance with IMF/WB conditions after it finally realized it had to stand up on its own, following instead in the footsteps of Asian tigers that prospered with little or no intervention from the US multilateral lending agencies.

For all these gains, Time Magazine honored all Filipinos “People of the Year” for 2020.


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#Restaurants

Breakfast at Alexandre

Update April 18, 2012: This restaurant is now closed and replaced by Harvest Gastro Pub in BGC.

Read First: Alexandre’s Authentic French Bakery, Cafe (and Lounge soon…)


Breakfast “Bonjour” (P250). Served from 7am to 2pm only. Assorted Fancy Breads & Petit Croissants: Butter, Chocolate & Almond, accompanied by Honey, Strawberry & Mango Marmalade with a choice of any regular size of Hot Beverage.

Despite the argument whether real French Croissants should be more flaky, I love going to Alexandre for breakfast when the breads are baked fresh and served straight out of the oven. I also love having meetings in Alexandre for a cool chat over coffee and almond croissant. Most people are intimidated by the ambiance, which is probably why it is still not crowded even during peak hours. I like the minimalist design, the cool background music and stable wi-fi. 🙂

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#Restaurants

Cafe Francais in BF


Hamburger Steak (P280). Beef Patty in mushroom sauce.

Cafe Francais was voted as one of the good restaurants in BF, based on my informal poll of foodie friends who live in the area. In fact, some Manileño’s would often drive all the way to BF just to eat in Cafe Francais. Aside from its French name and a few French words in the menu, this bistro & restaurant is popular because of its Italian offerings (not French), especially the thin-crust pizzas. For me, the fresh, juicy hamburger steak is enough to get me driving and braving the traffic on SLEX. For my wife, she prefers to eat somewhere else.

(Updated 9/16/09: But apparently, a lot of people don’t like this restaurant. What’s your opinion?)

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