Monthly Archives

September 2019

#Travel, Japan

Central Japan Itinerary: Toyama, Nagano, Gifu! (via Rental Car)

There is a good number of great cities in Central Japan such as Toyama, Nagano and Gifu, which are full of history, culture, nature and quiet countryside scenes. Join us as we visit the oldest castle in Japan, stay overnight at a 200-year old gassho-zukuri homestay with a local family and even try one of the best places for affordable high-grade sushi in the land of the rising sun! The area is specially recommended for second-time visitors to Japan who have already been to major cities such as Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka.

And if, like me, you love discovering hidden gems in Japan, there is a region I would highly recommend to you, the Chubu region which is also called Central Japan.

Check out our awesome 5-day itinerary to make the most of your trip…

Day 1               (Toyama City- Nanto City)
9:40-10:40       Flight Haneda-> Toyama Airport (NH315 ANA)
11:20-11:40       Toyota Rental (Take Free Shuttle From Aiport)
12:30-13:30      Lunch: Ayuryourinomiseayunosato (鮎料理の店 鮎の里)
13:40-15:25       Shogawa Gorge Cruise 庄 川 峡 遊 覧 船)
14:30-15:00      Shogawa Water Memorial Park (Eat Yuzu Soft Cream) 水記念公園 (ゆずソフトクリーム)
15:50-17:30       Kokiriko Traditional Songs and Dances「世界遺産五箇山合掌集落」
17:40                  Gokoyama (Nanto City) 五箇山:山城予定 泊 Yamashirou Homestay

 

Day 2              (Nanto City- Tonami City- Takaoko City)
9:00-10:00       Leave Gokoyama
10:00-11:00       Ride Doraemon Tram 高岡市ドラえもんポスト
11:00-12:00      Gokayama Washi-no-sato (Traditional Paper-making Workshop)道の駅たいら・五箇山和紙の里
12:00-13:30       Lunch
14:20-15:30       Nousaku Corporation 能作(鋳物製作体験)(Copper casting workshop)
16:00-16:40      Amaharashi 雨晴海岸・道の駅雨晴
17:30-18:00      ANA Crowne Plaza Hotel【富山市内:ANAクラウンプラザホテル富山 泊】
18:00-21:00      Dinner: Fukuya (冨久屋)

 

Day 3            (Toyama City-Omachi City-Azumino City-Matsumoto City)
7:30-8:30       Tateyama Station 立山黒部アルペンルート
8:16-8:40       Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route
8:16-8:47        Tateyama-Bijodaira Cable Car
9:00-9:50      Bijodaira-Murodo Bus
11:15-11:25     Murodo-Daikanbo
11:50-11:57     Daikanbo-Kurobedaira (Tateyama Ropeway)
12:00-13:10    Restaurant Kurobedaira
13:20-13:25    Kurobedaira- Kurobe Dam
15:05-15:21     Kurobe Dam- Ogizawa
17:40- 18:30   Matcha Making Workshop
18:40-20:00   Drum, Ninja & Samurai Workshop
20:00               Check-in to Hotel

 

Day 4            (Matsumoto City-  Gero City)
8:40-9:30      Matsumoto Castle 松本城
9:35-10:20     Kaichi School 旧開智学校
11:30-12:30    Kamikochi Gosenjaku Hotel
12:30- 16:30   Kamikochi National Park 上高地
17:30-18:00    Gero Onsen: Suimeikan 【下呂温泉:水明館予定 泊】

 

Day 5             (Gero City-Nagiso Town-Seki City-Toyama City)
8:30-9:30       Gero Onsen Gassho Gassho Mura 下呂温泉合掌村
9:40-11:00      Tsumago-juku 妻籠宿 & Magome-juku 馬籠宿
12:30-13:30    Lunch
14:50-15:40     Seki Traditional Swordsmith Museum 関鍛冶伝承館
18:00-18:30    Toyama Airport -> Haneda (NH322)

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#Philippines

Top Caterers in Manila @ SMX’s Culinaire 2019!

Culinaire is an annual SMX culinary event held as a thanksgiving to clients and as a signature showcase of SMX Convention Center’s 15 accredited caterers’ food and set up excellence. This year was a battle among the 15 caterers who competed for 7 awards last September 5, 2019.

Congratulations to the Top Caterers in Manila: Juan Carlo, The Creamery and Bizu Catering Studio for winning the prestigious awards at SMX Culinaire 2019!

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#Philippines

Southbank: Alabang’s Secret Melbourne-inspired Cafe

It’s starting to feel like Melbourne in the south because of the demand for better cafes and better lounge and food experience in the Alabang Area.

This motivated Patrick Leyble, Wendy Esteban and Stevie Ang, who moved back from Melbourne to start a new wave of cool cafes and lounges inspired by the Melbourne scene, to create Southbank. We loved the food, the gin+cocktail program and the warm hospitality of the owners.

We tried this out for breakfast and lunch with the family, and here are our favorites…

 

SOUTHBANK Cafe +Lounge
Central Plaza, Westgate Center, Alabang, Muntinlupa City, Philippines
Operating Hours:
Weekdays 7.00am – 1.00am  Friday – Saturday 7.00am – 3.00 am
Mobile: +63 916 247 8516
Email: [email protected]
Instagram: @southbankcafelounge
Websitehttps://www.southbankcafelounge.com/

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#Hotels, #Philippines, Staycation

Maremegmeg Beach Club: The Chillest Beach Resort in El Nido, Palawan!

Tucked away in a quiet beach just outside the busy town of El Nido is a small family-owned resort that offers the perfect escape to a tranquil getaway in the island—intimate yet accessible with an awesome view to match and, quite possibly, the best and only swimmable beach in this side of town.

Maremegmeg Beach Club is the future of eco-luxury beachfront resorts in El Nido, Palawan!

Maremegmeg Beach Club
Sitio Maremegmeg, El Nido, 5313 Palawan
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MaremegmegBeachBar/
Instagram: http://instagram.com/maremegmegbeachbar
Contact: +63 918 257 2981

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#Philippines

Chug Beers & Munch On German Food In Okada’s 6-Day Octoberfest Celebration!

Prost! To an authentic Bavarian celebration at Okada with an authentic German experience drinkin’ and munchin’ the true flavors and spirit of Octoberfest.

To make things even more exciting, Okada Manila is building a replica of the Bavarian village inside the Crystal Corridor, featuring free-flowing Bavarian Weihenstephan beer served by beer maidens. What is Octoberfest without German food? Get your stomachs ready for some hearty platters of bratwurst, pork knuckles, oven-baked chicken, meatloaf and more! And adding further to the festive mood is a live band playing authentic German music from Monday 23 September to Saturday 28 September at Okada’s Crystal Court.

Here’s a photo essay on what to expect…

Okada’s Octoberfest 2019
Crystal Court, Okada Manila
Atlantic Ave, Parañaque
Tel: 555 5799
E-mail: [email protected]

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Musicals

HIMALA Isang Musikal: Must-Watch Iconic Filipino Musical!

One of my regrets in 2018 was missing the maiden run of “Himala: Isang Musikal” which eventually won 8 awards in the 11th Philstage Gawad Buhay Awards (the equivalent of the Tony’s in Manila).

I finally watched it last weekend. It is the kind of show that will resonate with you in understanding the Filipino psyche and challenge the way you deal with people and your relationship with God. It’s also an inspiration for creative professionals to deliver excellence in their work and make a positive impact on the lives of people.

Thank you to 9 works theatrical and Sandbox Collective for the 2019 rerun of this awesome musical that every Filipino should watch.  It’s highly recommended. Best to watch without reading this review or any post about Himala. Buy your tickets before it is too late.

 

Ricky Lee and Vincent A. deJesus’
HIMALA: ISANG MUSIKAL
Co-presented by: The Sandbox Collective and 9 Works Theatrical
Limited Engagement: September 20 until October 20, 2019
Venue: Powermac Center Spotlight in Circuit Makati.
Tickets are now available through Ticketworld Online or +632 891-9999,

Mobile: +63 956 200-4909, +63 917 554-5560
Telephone: +632 586-7105.
Facebook: The Sandbox Collective / 9 Works Theatrical
Twitter: @thesandboxco / @9wtonline
Instagram: @thesandboxco / @9wtonline
Official Hashtag: #Himala2019

 

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#Philippines

Harry Potter in Concert in Manila Review

It was our first time watching a CineConcert where the entire film is shown on a 40-foot screen playing only the original dialogue (with subtitle), with the music performed live by a symphony orchestra in sync with the movie.

It was indeed a magical experience to watch the original Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone™ with the musical score performed live by the ABS-CBN Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Gerard Salonga.

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Ultimate Taste Test

And the Winners of The Ultimate Taste Test 10th Anniversary Edition are…

This was literally the best Ultimate Taste Test ever!

Thank you to our Lord for making the event memorable and successful. Thank you to all the purveyors, foodies, blogger friends, industry partners and sponsors for making the UTT 10th Anniversary Edition a historic success.

And the Winners of The Ultimate Taste Test 10th Anniversary Edition are…

Live an Awesome Life,
Anton
Founder, Our Awesome Planet


A DECADE OF FLAVORS: Ultimate Taste Test XVII 10th Year Anniversary
Text by Roxi, Photos by Carmi

Sweet, sour, salty or simply oozing with umami—the Ultimate Taste Test has been serving it for ten years. And in a 10-hour feast held last August 31, Our Awesome Planet did it again!

Dubbed as the longest-running tasting event in the country, OAP’s Ultimate Taste Test XVII may have just bagged the biggest taste event title as well as it filled up the SM Aura SMX Convention Center with 40 food entrepreneurs and ~1,000 food enthusiasts.

With so much more hunger to raise the bar, this year’s banquet included 20+ beverage purveyors from Agos Pilipinas. Agos is a community of beverage enthusiasts providing avenues for the showcase of spirit cocktail, craft beer, artisanal coffee and specialty juices.

For a first-timer attending a tasting event, this notable addition has undeniably elevated my experience! I found myself wandering the hall without a care about time as I indulged in an enthusing cycle of sampling mouth-watering food and trying out delectable drinks.

Probably one of the things I appreciated most about this gathering was that it gave equal power to food lovers—seasoned and newbies alike, to quantify their food encounters. Through an online voting system, we were equipped with voices to express our verdict. We spoke and we were heard.

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#Restaurants

Best Restaurants in Manila: The Choice Awards 2019 goes to…

This year’s The Choice Awards is special because:
• It is our 5th year anniversary in honoring Manila’s favorite restaurants, hotels, and personalities through a popular vote,
• We had the biggest response rate with 3,438 respondents to the survey last July 1-31, 2019, and
• The awarding was attended by the restaurateurs and who’s who of the food industry in Manila.

Thank you to all the people who voted and supported The Choice Awards 2019!


About The Choice Awards

We’re now in a Golden Age of Philippine Restaurants and Hotels that we’ve never experienced before.

In the first six months of this year alone, over 500 new restaurants opened … and that’s only all over Metro Manila! The construction boom in hotels and resorts all over the country is likewise accelerating at a rapid pace.

Every month, every week, and almost every day it seems, there’s a new restaurant opening its doors. There are a lot of great new dining choices, side by side with the perennials, the classics that we grew up with.  As food bloggers, writers, and members of the F&B industry, we’re always very curious about the crowd favorites. The popular vote, if you will.  What are the beloved favorites? Let the voice of the people be heard!Read more

#Travel, Malaysia

Ipoh, Malaysia 2-Day Itinerary! (+Vlog)

This Ipoh itinerary covers the northwestern Malaysian city’s best attractions. From epic landscapes, to quirky street art, to iconic architecture, to mysterious temple caves, to fantastic accommodations. It even includes directions on how to travel from Kuala Lumpur to Ipoh!

Ipoh is famed for being the place where white coffee originated, but there are certainly a few more factors that make it charming to the wandering tourist. Check out my 2-day Ipoh Itinerary to get the most out of your visit…

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