Manila Life

#Travel, Food Tours

An Invitation to a 7-Day Culinary, Cultural & Pilgrimage Tour of Northern Italy: Pilgrimage to San Antonio de Padua, Romantic Tour of Venice and Verona, & Shopping in Milan and Outlet Villages!


I would like to personally invite you to join us for a 7-Day Culinary, Cultural & Pilgrimage Tour of Northern Italy!

I’m personally excited about this trip because we will be going on our first European Food Trip in 2013 from Milan, Padova, Venice, Bassano, Verona and Vicenza in the Northeastern Part of Italy.

Also, I’m excited to go finally to a Pilgrimage to my Patron Saint — Saint Anthony of Padova (Padua in English). Saint Anthony is popularly known as the patron saint of lost articles but little do people know that he also helped a lot of Filipino entrepreneur devotees with miracles in their businesses. We will have a Sunday English Mass at Saint Anthony Basilica🙂

Finally, we will go on a romantic tour of Venice, the city in the sea and Verona, the city of Romeo and Juliet 🙂  Of course, there will be enough free time to do your own shopping!

Here is the detailed itinerary of our trip to Northeastern Veneto Region in Italy:

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Awesome Festivals

Manila’s Awesome Guide to Year End Christmas Celebrations and BEST New Year’s Eve Parties to Welcome 2013!

12/30/15 Update: New Year’s Eve Manila 2016: Awesome Guide to a Dazzling New Year!

(Photo: Symphony of Lights @ Bonifacio Global City)

As the Mayan Calendar ends its 5,125 year-cycle, we continue to celebrate life and forever thankful for all the blessings we received in 2012.

It’s never been this great to be in Manila during this Christmas Season. Manila is bustling in every corner of the Metro with festive buffets, innovative festivals and celebratory parties.

We welcome back Spiral at Sofitel, and welcome the new Spectrum at Raffles and Fairmont Hotel. Foodies kept on raving about Impressions, recognized as the Best Hotel Fine Dining Restaurant in the 2012 MBKRS Awards, for its ala carte and Sunday Brunch buffet.

Don’t miss to experience the modern festivals in Manila — SM Mall of Asia’s The Grand Festival of Lights Parade, Cucina Andare’s Food Truck Festival every weekend in Glorieta 3 Park, and the first ever Nuvali’s Lantern Parade.

On New Year’s Eve, you can choose to party at Makati’s Official Countdown entitled, “One World. One Makati“; GMA 7’s Official Countdown at SM Mall of Asia, or Eastwood City Countdown featuring Iyaz, Ely Buendia and Up Dharma Down.

On January 1, 1 AM, the party continues at 31 to 1. 100% Rockwell New Year Party!

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all Our Awesome Planet Readers 🙂

Here’s the Manila’s Awesome Guide to:
Year end Christmas Celebrations & BEST New Year’s Eve Parties to Welcome 2013!

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@CucinaAndare: 10 Pioneering FOOD TRUCKS to Kickoff 2013 as the Year of Food Trucks in Manila!

Read First: CUCINA ANDARE: The First Food Truck Market Opens in Glorietta Park!

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2013 is the year of the food trucks in Manila!
It all starts here at Cucina Andare, the
first Food-Truck Market in Manila located at the Glorietta 3 Park fronting  Shangri -la Hotel Makati. 

Cucina Andare means “Kitchen On-the-Go” and Glorietta 3 Park  is where all the food
trucks in Manila converge every weekend – Friday, Saturday and Sunday,  4PM to 3AM.

Let’s welcome the 10 pioneering food trucks in Manila and check out the 5 reasons why you should go to Cucina Andare: 

Related News about Cucina Andare:

Food Truck Hunting Series:

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RAMA HARI Ballet Musical: Must-Watch Pop Ballet Show!


First, a disclosure: this is the first ballet show I’ve watched.

We were in grade school when the first Rama Sita was staged by Ballet Philippines in 1980 with Basil Valdez as Rama, Kuh Ledesma as Sita, and Leo Valdez as the evil demon Ravana.

I’ve watched the adaptations of the Hindu epic Ramayana twice in Indonesia: first in the Pramayana Ramayana Ballet in Yogyakarta, and the Kecak Dance version in Uluwatu in Bali. I wonder how different Rama Hari would be.

I thought that Rama Hari is another one of those hyped up star-studded musicals but I was wrong.

We were literally blown away by the beautiful ballet dance choreography and the powerful tagalog musical score.

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The Morning Mercato Vibe-1.jpg

Welcome to Morning Mercato!

Yes, we are back every Saturday and Sunday mornings from 7am to 2pm at the original location of  30th street and 9th avenue  (beside Bonifacio High Street and across Serendra). 

The biggest difference between Morning Mercato and Midnight Mercato is the Organic and Natural products available in the morning. 

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Food Tours

LIGLIGAN PARUL 2012 + BALE DUTUNG Christmas Tour! (Dec. 15, Saturday)

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Mangan Tamu! Ligligan Parul! The Ultimate Pampanga Food and Heritage Tour

Journey to the central heartland as we immerse ourselves in things Kapampangan!

From Buro to Baroque, it’s a fun-filled day as we poke around and get intimate with the very best of Pampanga’s cultural offerings. Gaze at the jewel-box of a church in Betis while wading through the lahar-buried town of Bacolor. 

We’ll stuff ourselves silly with a pre-Christmas Kapampangan noche buena fare by one of the country’s best known Kapampangan chefs! And to it cap it off, get a front row view of the most dazzling display of Kapmpangan artistry the Ligligan Parul (Giant Lantern Festival) of San Fernando! It’s a tour with nothing but Kapampangan cool!

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#Philippines, Events, Food, Ultimate Taste Test

NEW ZEALAND NATURAL ICE CREAM’s Hokey Pokey and Macadamia Supreme

(Read first: Ultimate Taste Test X @ Rockwell: Foodie’s Cheat Sheet)

UTT X: Rockwell Winner #1


  182 foodies rated 5- Awesome! I would recommend it!
  100 foodies rated 4- I love it!
    46 foodies rated 3- We had a good time.
    19 foodies rated 2- It is OK.
      2 foodies rated 1- Thanks, but it could be better.

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They say that the secret to the best ice cream is the quality of milk used. New Zealand is known to produce the best milk from the stress-free, well-fed, happy cows there.

No wonder New Zealand Natural Premium Ice Cream won the overall Top 1 spot in the 2nd Rockwell Ultimate Taste Test! What a coincidence — last year’s overall winner in Rockwell’s Ultimate Taste Test was also a premium artisan ice cream — Paco Magsaysay’s Carmen’s Best.

New Zealand Natural offers unique flavors, and the signature one is the Hokey Pokey, which is a honey-flavored ice cream with crunchy butterscotch balls. For the macadamia lovers, you’ve got to try the Macadamia Supreme (ice cream with roasted Australian macadamia nuts). If you are going for the healthy treat, try the Superfruit Sorbet with the antioxidant power of pomegranate, blackcurrant, goji berry and passionfruit.

You can find its stalls in SM Fairview, SM Megamall and Robinsons Place Manila. I do hope it opens in more high-end places for better accessibility for foodies. 🙂

Congratulations, New Zealand Natural for winning the top #1 spot in UTT X!  (The overall winner also wins a free booth in one of Rockwell’s bazaars 🙂

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#Philippines, Events, Food, Gawad Kalinga, Ultimate Taste Test

BAYANI BREW’s Purple Leaf Tea! (A Product of Gawad Kalinga’s Enchanted Farm)

(Read first: Ultimate Taste Test X @ Rockwell: Foodie’s Cheat Sheet)


UTT X: Rockwell Winner #2


  167 foodies rated 5- Awesome! I would recommend it!
  118 foodies rated 4- I love it!
   92 foodies rated 3- We had a good time.
   41 foodies rated 2- It is OK.
     5 foodies rated 1- Thanks, but it could be better.

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Bayani Brew (P45 SRP – 400 ml)

I’m impressed with the products that come out of Gawad Kalinga’s Enchanted Farm. The social entrepreneurs from the farm know that you have to sell really good quality products first, and that the social cause is not an excuse to be mediocre.

You have to try their Bayani Brew’s Purple Leaf Tea! Yes, it is made from the purple leaf of kamoteng kahoy. 🙂 It is very Filipino and produced by the community of Gawad Kalinga’s Enchanted Farm.

Gourmet Keso’s Chevre Goat Cheese from GK Enchanted Farm was the first to win the UTT series (Rockwell UTT 6.0 rating 3.88). Now, it’s the turn of GK Farm’s Ice Tea Brand called Bayani Brew to win big — the top 2 spot — in the Rockwell UTT X series. Wow! Congratulations! 🙂

Check out all the GK Enchanted Farm Products in the Morning Mercato every weekend in BGC!

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#Philippines, Events, Food, Ultimate Taste Test

VILLA DEL CONTE’s Milk Chocolate with Hazelnut Chips & Dark Chocolate with Coffee Cream Filling

(Read first: Ultimate Taste Test X @ Rockwell: Foodie’s Cheat Sheet)


UTT X: Rockwell Winner #3


  152 foodies rated 5- Awesome! I would recommend it!
  105 foodies rated 4- I love it!
    54 foodies rated 3- We had a good time.
    24 foodies rated 2- It is OK.
      0 foodies rated 1- Thanks, but it could be better.

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Villa Del Conte is a Filipino Brand of artisan chocolate made from a rural town in Padova, Italy. Check out the complete story of VILLA DEL CONTE Chocolates.

Our favorite flavors are:

  • Praline Balls in Dark Chocolate with Coffee Cream Filling (Black Wrapper), 
  • Praline Balls in Dark Chocolate with Hazelnut Cream Filling  (Silver Wrapper),
  • Salted Toffee,
  • Tartufone (Chocolate with Hazelnuts), and
  • Chocolate-coated Castañas

No doubt, this is the best chocolate in Manila this holiday season. 🙂

Congratulations, Villa Del Conte, for winning the #3 spot in the Ultimate Taste Test series!

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Looking for a new place to eat?
Or a guide for your next destination?

Looking for a new place to eat?

Or a guide for your next destination?

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