Monthly Archives

April 2010

Food Tours

BGC Food Tour with Ivan Man Dy :)

The Food Tour of Ivan Man Dy (of Old Manila Walks fame) in Bonifacio Global City last April 24 was great! It’s actually a restaurant tour organized by Bonifacio Global City management to promote selected restaurants in Serendra, Bonifacio High Street (BHS) and Fort Strip.

The best thing about it is it’s for FREE and open to BHS, Serendra and Fort Strip visitors. You can register as walk-in guests at the Concierge Desk in Bonifacio High Street for the upcoming May 1, 2pm tour.

Here are some of my interesting discoveries during the food tour…

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Manila Life

The Delivery Wars: 87878 vs. 2121212

 

Manila’s getting served — in a good way! We are in the middle of the fight between City Delivery 87878 and Delivery 21 (formerly Quick Delivery) 2121212 for Delivery Supremacy in Manila. Because of this “war”, a lot of innovation is happening in the food delivery industry and the foodies are getting improved service faster. Let me know if you have any feedback regarding your experience with both delivery services.

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Tagaytay

Fish Feeding and Boating @ Solenad, Nuvali

It’s the first time I’ve seen so many Koi at one time! Some of them were literally out of the water already as they were being fed. It started as a mix of small and adult carps until they flourished so well in the lake environment with minimal mortality rate.

Feeding the fish, boating around the lagoon and dining al fresco beside the lake are recommended activities with your kids when you visit Solenad, the first retail area in Nuvali.

Why “Solenad”? Solenad comes from “sol” meaning sun and “nad” from the word promenade. Solenad does justice to its name given its outdoor scenery, parks and lush greens within a neighborhood center.

Here is a photo essay of our Fish Feeding and Boating experience

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#Hotels

The Food @ Bellarocca [2 of 3]

OAP | Bellarocca Blog Series
Bellarocca Rocks! 
The Food @ Bellarocca Awesome Things to do in Bellarocca

The second part of the Bellarocca series focuses on why the food needs a lot of improvement in the resort. This post is not meant to discourage you from going to Bellarocca but to be straightforward about what to expect and what will you be paying for.

Also, I want to challenge Bellarocca to improve its dishes because it is really unfair to serve not-so-good food at such expensive prices. We don’t want the Philippines to be known for having 5-star resorts with ho-hum food, do we?


Greek Salad (P420 +10%sc). Feta cheese, tomato, cucumber, bell peppers, onions, olives. Served with red wine vinegar and olive oil dressing.

This salad is one of the few Greek-inspired food in this Santorini-themed resort’s menu. The vegetables are good — not freshly picked but at least they don’t look tired. The dressing’s healthy but forgettable.

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Family Escapades

Bellarocca Rocks! [1 of 3]

OAP | Bellarocca Blog Series
Bellarocca Rocks! 
The Food @ Bellarocca Awesome Things to do in Bellarocca 

Bellarocca, which means beautiful rock, is the latest, much-talked about destination in the country. I would like to share our experience with you to sort through the hype. We did have an awesome experience in Bellarocca but with a few disappointments — particularly with the food.

 

The Santorini-themed geometric architecture (with its super white walls against a backdrop of deep blue sea and clear blue sky) is psychologically refreshing when you see it. To have the best experience, reserve the garden or cliffside villas where you can have a private scenic view that you can enjoy in your own infinity pool. 

 

 

 

 

 

People visit this rock island off the coast of Marinduque to re-energize and have a relaxing, incognito escape. I was expecting to have decent food for its 5 star-hotel priced menu, but the food was not good for me. Also, with its Greek theme, we were expecting some Mediterranean options at least, but it was only limited to continental and Filipino dishes. I felt robbed every time I ate because we were “captive customers” of their food for 2-3 days. I don’t mind paying for overpriced good food but paying for overpriced ho-hum food is a bit insane.

 

Quality of food aside, the overall Bellarocca experience rocks because of the unique ambiance and the French GM who interacts with every single guest. To think, the resort is allegedly second to Amanpulo in terms of revenue even with its not-so-good food and not-so-great beach. I’m amazed actually by how they were able to market the place. (I salute the PR agency that promoted this island rock, turning it into one of the hottest places to go this 2010.)

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Food Tours

Last Culinary Tours for Summer :)

Join us for the last culinary tours for this summer in four of the hottest places to go to this May!

May 1 – 3 – Ultimate Pagudpud and Vigan Culinary and Heritage Tour

 

Tour Description:
 It’s about time you experience the ABCs of the Ilocandia: antiques, bagnet and churches! In Ilocos, nature and history is intertwined. But at Ultimate Philippines, we think this is combo best savored with bagnet and beer so we’re exploring this provincial belle… our style!

Let’s journey up to the north and take a time-warp through the colonial city of Vigan. We’ll walk through cobbles, munching our way through the town’s traditional street fare and home-cooked feasts, from yummy empanadas to tasty longganisas.

More historical bites and pinakbet pizza as we take a peek at the life of ex-strongman Ferdinand Marcos in the town of Batac and admire two masterpieces of Ilocos’ unique Earthquake Baroque architecture: Paoay and Santa Maria Church.

Capping off, we’ll surf through the waves of Mairaira Beach in Pagudpud ending our journey in time to join the revelries of the annual Tres de Mayo fiesta in Vigan.

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Blogging

10 Common Mistakes Freelance Writers Should Avoid

( My freelance writer friends are launching their first How to Jumpstart Your Freelance Writing Career Workshop this coming Saturday, April 24. They are among the best Freelance Writers in the country today. I’ve asked them to share some of their learnings with OAP readers. Enjoy! )

10 Common Mistakes Freelance Writers Should Avoid
by Writer’s Block Philippines — Ana Santos (SexandSensibilities.com), Nikka Sarthou &
Nina Terol-Zialcita (TheArtofChangeMaking.com

Like any other business, you need to organize a working system to manage your own freelance career – all three of us found that out the hard way. We want to share with you what we have learned from our personal experiences, so you’ll know what mistakes to steer clear of and what to do about it. Here are 10 tips to help you become more successful as a freelance writer. 

1. Never take contracts for granted. As a freelancer, the only person who can ensure your financial and professional security is yourself. Pay special attention to contracts and terms of reference, and don’t be satisfied with simple verbal agreements. Learn to operate like a small business and keep yourself protected from abusive colleagues or from lawsuits from clients. 

2. Be clear about the scope of work. It’s easy to assume your scope of work when you’re simply writing an article for a publication. However, the minute you start taking on larger projects with more tasks and more coordination work (managing a publication, for example), be clear about your scope of work and expectations from both your clients and team mates. Never assume anything and always put terms, conditions, and payment agreements in black-and-white. 

3. Even when dealing with friends, be professional. It’s easy to cross professional boundaries when dealing with friends whom you’ve known for a long time and whom you trust. However, when it comes to freelancing and managing your own micro-enterprise, you need to draw professional lines. Let friends sign contracts and agreements, prepare payment vouchers, mind your paperwork, do everything professionally.

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#Restaurants

Pig Out of Town!


We finally found a unique restaurant in Nuvali worth raving about: Pig Out!

Solenad, the lifestyle area fronting the Nuvali property, is becoming the best stopover for people going to/from Tagaytay. We even saw the Magsaysay family (of Ilog Maria Bee Farm fame) dining in the area.

Pig Out! is the second locally conceived theme restaurant of the Bistro group (think Friday’s and Italianni’s). I didn’t really like Flapjacks, their first locally conceived resto, because of its overall ho-hum taste — although it tries hard to be the next Country Waffles. This is the Bistro group’s first establishment in Nuvali, and foodies are raving about the Inihaw na Spare Ribs Adobo, Curry Rice and their creative concoctions of Healthy drinks.

For Manila-based foodies who are looking for out-of-town foodie escapes, Pig Out! is a great place to try. Kanin Club has competition now (it’s sad that their Kanin Get it restaurant in Nuvali was poorly executed).

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Blogging

Blogging For Foodies

I had the opportunity to give a 5-minute talk during the Entrepreneur Networking Night, which was focused on Food Businesses. Instead of talking about the Our Awesome Planet story, I shared my learnings in my 5 years of blogging to the Foodie Market in the Philippines.

From my standpoint, if the entrepreneurs could understand my blogging mindset when relating to foodies, then they could adopt that same stance if they decide to blog or market their food businesses online. (I’m also sharing my insights with you, dear OAP readers. Read on! 🙂 )

It was a great networking event! Thanks to Entrepreneur Philippines for inviting me for the second time to share my expertise during the networking night. Congratulations also for the 10 Strong Years of Entrepreneur Magazine!

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