Monthly Archives

September 2014

Manila Life

2015 Awesome Calendar: Breakout Year for Philippine Tourism! @TourismPHL


2015 is declared by DOT as the “Visit the Philippines 2015 because of the big international events happening in the country next year.  I’m excited for the Papal Visit, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Ministerial Meetings and Leaders’ Summit and the much anticipated Madrid Fusion 🙂
DOT targets 10 Million tourists in 2015 and launched a microsite: to showcase the cultural, lifestyle and entertainment events happening next year. You can also register your own event in this official events directory to showcase it to the tourists.
I’m excited for 2015 not only because it would be a breakout year for tourism in the Philippines, but also because of the 10+ long weekends without the need to go on vacation leave! I’m publishing the Awesome Calender 2015 earlier so that you can plan your vacation and travel schedule now. 
Here’s Our Definitive Guide to Philippine Holidays, Philippine Festivals, Philippine Fiestas, Liturgical Events, and Awesome Events!


Long Weekend #1: January 1 to 4 (4 Days)
Crowd w: Fireworks 2
1  NEW YEAR’S DAY | Thursday (Every 1st of January) | Philippine Regular Holiday. 
Solemnity of Mary Mother of God  HOLY DAY OF OBLIGATION

2 NEW YEAR LONG WEEKEND | Friday | Special Non-Working Holiday. 
Solemnity of Mary Mother of God  HOLY DAY OF OBLIGATION

9  FEAST OF THE BLACK NAZARENE | Friday | Quiapo, Manila
An intense, day-long festival highlighted by a mammoth procession through the streets.

The Black Nazarene
(Flickr Photo by Ronald Hilton)

15-19  PAPAL MANILA VISIT | Manila
His Holiness Pope Francis will make an apostolic visit to the Philippines from January 15 to 19, 2015, marking the 20th anniversary of the World Youth Day in the country.
Pope Francis I appears on the central balcony
For more information, visit the official website:

18 ATI-ATIHAN 2015 | 3rd Sunday |Kalibo, Aklan
Commemorates the 13th century land deal between 10 migrating Bornean chieftains and the aboriginal Ati King Marikudo. It also honors the town patron, the infant Sto. Niño.

#3 in the 10 Most Awesome Fiestas of the Philippines

Kalibo Ati-Atihan-11.jpg
Related post: KALIBO: What to Expect in the Sto. Niño ATI-ATIHAN Festival in Kalibo?

For more information, visit the official website:

18 SINULOG 2015 | 3rd Sunday | Cebu City
Cebu’s biggest and most popular festival in honor of the Holy Image of Senyor Sto. Niño

#2 in the 10 Most Awesome Fiestas of the Philippines

Sinulog 2006 - 45
Related Blog Posts: Sinulog Fluvial Breakfast! and The Sinulog’s Grand Parade

For more information, visit the official website:

25  DINAGYANG FESTIVAL 2015 | 4th Sunday | Iloilo City
Street dancing characterized by frenetic stomping of feet and hypnotic drumbeating. It is a colorful whirl of thousands of people dressed in unique costumes dancing & chanting all day and night.

#1 in the 10 Most Awesome Fiestas of the Philippines

Dinagyang 2012-106.jpg
Related Blog Post: Iloilo’s Dinagyang: Hala Bira! Viva Señor Santo Niño!

For more information, visit the official website: 

31  FEAST DAY OF ST. JOHN BOSCO |  Saturday (Every 31st of Jan) 
Celebration of the feast day of the Father and Teacher of Youth who founded the Salesian Society.

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#Restaurants, Food

TAAL VISTA: Best Negrense Buffet by Chef Fernando Aracama! @TaalVistaHotel

Taal Vista Culinary Gems-97.jpg

People always ask me what our favorite cuisine is, and I would always answer, Filipino Food. We especially love the regional cuisine from Pampanga, Negros, Ilocos, and Bicol.

So it’s great news that Taal Vista–in celebration of their 75th anniversary–is featuring the best Filipino chefs from Manila. As part of their weekend buffet at Cafe Veranda, each chef gets to feature their specialty Filipino dishes for two weekends.

The campaign, called “CULINARY GEMS: A Festival of Filipino Flavors“, kicked off last weekend with Chef Fernando Aracama’s Negrense food specialties. And we loved it!

Here’s a photo essay of one of the Best Negrense Buffets, which also kicks off the series on What’s New in Tagaytay 2014…

What’s New in Tagaytay 2014 Series:

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#Restaurants, Food

IPPUDO Philippines: #WorldFamousRamen Now in Manila!

Featured as MEGA FASHION HALL: 10 BEST New Restaurants @SMMegaMall in 2014!

Ippudo Philippines-72.jpg

IPPUDO is the most popular Hakata-style Tonkotsu (pork-based) ramen in the world. It was founded in 1985 by Ramen King Shigemi Kawahara in Fukuoka City, Kyushu.

Its name literally means “One Wind Hall” and is symbolic for the restaurant’s going against the wind and revolutionizing the ramen era of the time. It was the first shop to offer ramen in a carefully crafted setting, so that both men and women can enjoy an elegant bowl of noodle soup. It was also the first to refer to its broth by colour Shiro (white) for the classic and Aka (red) for spicy.

After months of waiting, Ippudo Philippines has finally opened to complete the Ramen Craze in Manila. 🙂

Here’s what to expect from the Ippudo experience in Manila (in comparison to Ippudo Singapore)…

3F Mega Fashion Hall, SM Megamall, Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong City
Telephone: +632 470-1837
Operating Hours: Open Daily 10.00am to 10.00pm
FacebookIppudo Philippines

Note: Strictly No Reservations Accepted, No Take Out

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#Restaurants, Food

VA BENE Pasta Deli by Chef Massimo Veronesi @ BGC Cinemas

As featured in BEST OF TAGUIG: 10 Most Awesome NEW Restaurants in BGC & Taguig 2014! 

VA BENE Pasta Deli-25.jpg

VA BENE is a yummy artisan Italian pasta deli by Chef Massimo and Carolyn Veronesi. Originally located at Petron Gas Station on the corner of Edsa and Pasay Road, it is best known for serving what many consider the Best Italian Pasta in the Metro

After 3 years of operation, they finally opened their 2nd branch near the BGC Cinemas, with a bigger kitchen, a bigger dining area, and more offerings. We recently visited the new branch with our La Salle Engineering batchmates and we all loved it!

Here’s our Va Bene BGC experience…

Cinema Level, 3/F (same level of 4DX Cinemas)
Bonifacio High Street, 5th Ave. corner 30th Street, Bonifacio Global City Taguig
Contact Person: Carolyn Veronesi
Mobile: +63 917 722-5780
Telephone: +632 556-9442 | +632 216-9879
Operating Hours: Monday – Sunday 11.00am – 11.00pm

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#Restaurants, Food

A’TODA MADRE: Tequila 101 in the Most Extensive Tequila Bar in Manila!

A Toda Madre Tequila Bar-22.jpg

A’TODA MADRE Tequila Bar is the most extensive Tequila Bar in the Philippines, with now over 105+ tequila varieties. It’s the 2nd Tequila Bar to open in the country, next to Maya in Cebu (which we’re still waiting to expand in Manila).

Most of us have bad memories of tequila from our college days. We were drinking the Jose Cuervo Mixto kind–a blend of 51% blue agave tequila and 49% sugars, which is notorious for causing bad hangovers. I’m also willing to bet that the only way you know how to drink tequila is to put some salt on your hand, down the tequila in one shot, lick the salt, and suck some lemon

A’Toda Madre offers the authentic tequila experience. Using only 100% blue agave, you smell the aroma of the tequila, then sip and enjoy like wine–just like how they do it in Mexico. 

Thanks to Francis of our Ex-P&G IT Mafia for introducing us to A’Toda Madre. 

Check out this Tequila 101 post and what to expect…

A’ TODA MADRE Tequila Bar
GF Sunette Tower, Durban St. corner Makati Ave. Makati City
FacebookA’Toda Madre
Contact: Aljor Perreras 
Mobile: +63 998 999-1521, 
Operating Hours
Monday – Saturday: 5:00 pm – 2:00 am
Sunday: 6:00 pm – 2:00 am

Notes: Special limited time introductory prices – No VAT, No Service charge

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#Restaurants, Food

My First Time at The German Club (Deutscher Klub 1906) of Manila! #OctoberFestNa!

The German Club of Manila-25.jpg

The German Club offers the best German food in Manila. It’s for members only, so you have to be accompanied by a German host to be able to eat here.

We were invited by Michael Hasper, Deputy Head of Mission, and Carmina Barcelon, Press and Cultural Section of the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Manila, to recap and reminisce our Berlin trip with Camille Co. 🙂

Here’s our German Club experience in Manila, as a teaser to the OAP Berlin Series entitled “BERLIN – The Best Kept Secret City in Europe!“… 

5f Penthouse, Eurovilla II Building , 118 V.A. Rufino
(formerly Herrera Street), Legaspi Village, Makati City
Telephone: +632 817-3552, 818-3552
FacebookGerman Club, Manila, Philippines
Restaurant Hours: Monday to Saturday from 11 A.M to 11P.M. 

Dress Code: Smart Casual with Collared Shirt for Men
No Short Pants, No Sandos, No Rubber/House Slippers

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Manila Life

The “I Dreamed Of This” Top 5 U.S. Travel Destinations @idreamedofthis

Thank you to my travel blogger friend Nathan for this US destination list to inspire our next trip to America.

Cable Car in San Francisco, California

The "I Dreamed Of This" Top 5 U.S. Travel Destinations
by Nathan Allen

It is known that my favorite place in the world is El Nido  in the Philippines… but I thought it would be fun to do a "top 5" list for my home country, the U.S.!  It is a beautiful and diverse country that I had the pleasure of exploring quite a bit before I journeyed overseas. 

So are you ready?  Here we go!

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#Travel, Food, Food Tours

Announcing… AWESOME TAIWAN FOOD TOUR with Anton Diaz on November 21-23! @JeronTravel

Favor: Please share this with your friends and family who might be interested to join this awesome food trip in Taiwan 🙂


Dear Our Awesome Planet friends,

Greetings from Our Awesome Planet!

I would like to invite you to an Awesome Food Tour of Taiwan this coming November 21 – 23, 2014 🙂 It would be an awesome weekend food trip to remember in Taipei!

I love Taiwan! I’ve been to Taipei a couple of times and I fell in love with the people, its history and most specially the food 🙂

I partnered with Jeron Travel, the leading travel agency in the Philippines specializing on travel to Taiwan, to create an itinerary of my favorite places to see, the yummiest food to eat, and the best route to experience all of these in one weekend.

During the trip, we will visit the awesome destinations in Taiwan which include:

    • Ximending and Shilin Night Market
    • Chang Kai Shek Memorial Hall
    • Toilet Restaurant, Tian Wai Tian, Du Yue
    • The original Din Tai Fung
    • Jiufen Tea House 
    • Eslite Bookstore and more!

    Check out the Awesome Taiwan series in the blog:

    TAIWAN: Guide to an Awesome Experience in Taipei! #CometoTaiwan

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    #Restaurants, Food

    CHEF DU PARTIE (CDP): A Global Table Restaurant by MMF, KKA, & KGL (A Review) @PowerPlantMall

    As featured in MAKATI: 10 Most Awesome NEW Restaurants in Makati 2014! @MakeItMakati 

    Chef Du Partie Restaurant (CDP)-25.jpg

    CHEF DU PARTIE (or CDP for short), is a restaurant offering global cuisine by Malou Fores (MMF) of Mamou & Recovery Food fame, Katrina Kuhn-Alcantara (KKA) of Mesclun & Chuck’s Deli, and Kristine del Gallego-Locsin (KGL), formerly of Lu.

    They offer dishes inspired by Paris, New York, and Manila. They also specialize in cocktails and have a well-curated wine list by their partners. It’s a great destination for foodie dates or food and wine pairing.

    I took my wifey out on a date in CDP for the first time since giving birth to our youngest son, and here’s what we think about it… 

    Chef Du Partie (CDP) Global Table Restaurant
    148B Level R1 Power Plant Mall, Lopez Drive, Rockwell Center, Makati City 1200
    Telephone: +632 556-4454
    Contact Anne Berges +63 917 832-9828,
    Operating Hours:
    Sunday to Wednesday: 12.00nn to 3.00pm, 6.00pm – 11.00pm
    Thursday to Saturday: 12.00nn to 3.00pm, 6.00pm -2.00am
    Notes: Credit Cards Accepted. Reservation is a must.

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    #Restaurants, Food

    VASK Gallery: 40 Days & 40 Nights Degustation (Chef J. Luis Gonzalez x Chef Julieta Caruso) @VaskManila

    4/16/2016 Update: VASK GALLERY: 15-Course Alamat Menu (2016) of Asia’s 39th Best Restaurant! 

    VASK Chef J. Luis Gonzalez x Chef Julieta Caruso-20.jpg

    VASK Gallery’s 40 Days & 40 Nights Degustation is a collaboration of Chef J. Luis Gonzales and Chef Julieta Caruso, former Head Chef of Mugaritz (World’s Top #6 in San Sebastian, Spain), based on their 40-day food trip to discover authentic Filipino flavors all over the Philippines.

    The limited degustation menu highlighted native and everyday local ingredients presented in gastronomic dishes. Much of the inspiration behind this effort came from their collective desire to acknowledge the deep historical connection the Philippines shares with Spain, through sustainable cooking.

    The resulting flavors from the collaboration were very memorable. Witnessing what can be done with Filipino ingredients was a mind-blowing experience. This was one epic dinner that changed the way I look at Filipino cuisine and made me feel proud to be part of culinary history in the making in Manila.

    Here’s our 40 Days & 40 Nights Degustation experience…

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