Monthly Archives

January 2012

Bonifacio Global City, Food

ARIA Mania in Manila?

Aria Cucina Italiana in Manila!

ARIA was the talk of the town when it first opened in D’Mall Boracay in 2003. Foodies raved about its homemade pasta and wood-fire oven pizzas (see: Top5 Bora Restos!, and What’s New in Boracay in 2010?). After 9 years, it finally opened its doors in Manila. 🙂

We’re curious to know if it would create the same buzz among foodies amidst really good Italian restaurants in the metro. Cyma Boracay’s expansion to Manila was very successful, setting up shop in various malls.

As for Aria, it decided to expand to a super high-end mall with relatively higher prices–will it click? Will we see Aria Mania in Manila?

Bonifacio High Street Central Restaurants:

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Cebu

The Raw Beauty of Tumalog Falls in Oslob, Cebu

Tumalog Falls, Oslob, Cebu (Photo by Benji)-8.jpg
Another must-see and recently discovered place in Oslob is the raw beauty of Tumalog Falls.

The falls have mini-umbrellas that cascade fine strands of cold, fresh water in a rain-like fashion.

Unlike in Kawasan Falls near Moal Boal, where it was overdeveloped with ugly cement structures and huts that destroyed its natural beauty, Tumalog Falls can be developed correctly as an eco-tourist destination without building structures near the falls itself and using only natural materials.

Related Blog Posts:

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Musicals

♬ Mamma Mia, ♪ Here I Go Again ♩My My, How Can I Resist You? ♫…

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For people like us, who grew up in the “Dancing Queen” generation, watching Mamma Mia was pure pleasure. How we wished we could interact with the show!

Once the musical started, I kept reminding myself not to hum, lip sync, nod my head, tap my feet, or play invisible drums with my hands because theater etiquette dictates that one should respect and not disrupt the viewing experience of other people.

But it was quite hard to resist.

Ever since I watched Mamma Mia in Las Vegas, I’ve longed for the musical to be shown here in Manila (see Petition Post here: Mamma Mia in Manila! 2009?).

Finally, Mamma Mia opened last night to an enthusiastic and dancing crowd in Manila. 🙂  

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Cebu

Butanding Watching, Is it Really More FUN in Oslob?

Read this First: Daily Mail UKJaws my friend! The touching relationship between a fisherman and a very sociable whale SHARK  | Shortlink of Article: http://oap.ph/OslobButandings

Oslob Butandings by Vic-18.jpg

I can’t believe we actually had a super close encounter with whale sharks (locally known as butanding) in Oslob in the South Eastern Coast of Cebu (3 hours away from the city)!

Our experience here’s better than in Donsol. In Oslob, the whale sharks congregate in one area near the beach where the fishermen feed them krill (small saltwater shrimps) every morning.

Also, they seem to act like pets of the fishermen and are now getting used to the presence of humans watching them everyday.

Unlike Donsol, there’s a higher chance you’ll see the giant creatures up close without the need to chase them.

Is Whale Watching in Oslob really more fun for the fishermen, the tourists, the whale sharks and Mother Earth?

Read on about our Whale Shark Encounter, and what we think of the issues surrounding the Butandings in Oslob… 

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#Restaurants, Food

To P.F. Chang’s or Not to P.F. Chang’s in Manila?

Read FirstP.F. Chang’s in ManilaShortlink: oap.ph/PFChangsManila

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P.F. Chang’s, the popular American Chinese Restaurant of Philip Fleming and Philip Chiang, finally opened its first branch in Asia. With 200 restaurants across the US, and branches in Mexico, Puerto Rico, Kuwait and UAE, it also now calls Alabang home.

When you eat Chinese food in the US, your friends would probably take you to either P.F. Chang’s or Panda Express. (Check out my P.F. Chang’s experience in California.)

Its appearance in Manila caused quite a stir. A lot of people question whether or not an American Chinese restaurant concept will work here. 

We decided to celebrate Aidan’s 7th birthday there when P.F. Chang’s in Alabang opened its doors to the public recently. Here is a rundown of our P.F. Chang’s experience… 

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Musicals

Love, Loss, and What I Wore

Love Lost, and What I Wore

Watching this play brings back memories of Vagina Monologues with a focus on clothes (instead of Vaginas) as witness to memorable events in a woman’s life. Each of the women shares her story and memories about Bras, Boots, Purses, Birkenstocks, the Madonna era, etc.

Yes, it is a show for women, but the guys could learn a few things to understand women a little better. This is one of those shows where it starts the discussion and you finish it by sharing your own reflections after the show.

It is a straight 90-minute play with one setting (see photo) where the top 5 actresses in Philippine Theater read through their monologues and occasionally interact with the other women.

It is always fun to watch Menchu Lauchengo-Yulo’s performance because she really embodies the role and empathizes with all the characters she portrays.

My favorite is Bituin Escalante’s sharp and witty portrayal of Mary in Fat/Thin segment, and her solo on the “I Hate my Purse” story of Nora.

Lastly, I personally love the segments on “The Bra”, “Madonna” and “I Just Want to Say”.

This is highly recommended for  a romantic theater date! (Catch its limited run only this weekend!)

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Cebu

The BEST of Maribago Bluewater Beach Resort

Best of Bluewater Maribago-23.jpg
During our Sinulog Experience in Cebu, we stayed at the Bluewater Resort in Maribago. 

We enjoyed the food, the Benji-designed rooms, and the island beach resort feel away from the city.

Here are our favorites…

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Cebu

Sinulog Fluvial Breakfast!

Shortlink: http://oap.ph/SinulogFluvialBreakfast

BEST of Sinulog Fluvial-100.jpg

Sinulog in Cebu is the biggest festival in the Philippines, celebrating the feast of the Child Jesus, Santo Niño de Cebú, with a dance ritual to the beat of the drums. Held every third Sunday of January, it is the largest and most attended fiesta in the country with an all-day-long parade and party.

You can read about my 2006 Sinulog experience here:

One day before the Santo Niño procession, the image of the Child Jesus visits his Mother in Lapu Lapu City via the sea. Early in the morning of Saturday, the Santo Niño returns to Cebu City, reenacting the coming of the Spaniards through a Fluvial Parade on Cebu’s Pahina River. 

This is one of my best Sinulog experiences ever, not only because of the parade, but also because of the great fluvial breakfast I got to taste there!

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#Restaurants, Food

NAV Modern Thai Cuisine Reunion

A Nav Reunion-13.jpg

Here’s another restaurant worth checking out in the Brgy. Kapitolyo Food Street: Nav Modern Thai Cuisine. 🙂 The place is run by the Naval brothers (hence the name) and Chef Francis Lim (my cousin-in-law) who used to work in People’s Palace.

Nav serves modern Thai cuisine that is suited to the Filipino taste (read: preference for sweeter dishes). We celebrated my wife’s LIM family reunion in Nav, so we got very good recommendations on what to order here…

Kapitolyo Food Street Series:

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