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#Travel

#Travel

Desert Safari Arabian Night

Authentic Arabian Belly Dancers

The Dubai’s Desert Safari organized by Dubai’s biggest operator Arabian Adventures is one of my coolest adventures to date! It is an exciting experience from the late afternoon start at 3.30 pm until it ends at night at around 10pm. It starts with Dune Bashing where you are inside a 4×4 vehicle and you drive through the sand dunes of the Arabian Desert for almost an hour in the Al Maha Desert reserve. It is guaranteed that this is even better than a roller coaster ride, and guaranteed to make you shriek and laugh with excitement. After the desert drive, the tour stops over in a Camel farm where I came in close encounter with a camel for the first time in my life. Before heading to the camp site, it is a must to see the orange sun sets in the arabian desert horizon. This is a great backdrop for fun shots and group photos while on top of the Arabian Desert sand dunes.

Finally, the group heads over to the Arabian Desert camp site where you are greeted with a free camel ride and an Arabian BBQ Buffet dinner. We decided to stay in the majlis (low cushions) in the Shee Sha area instead of the traditional Bedouin tents area. After satisfying your craving of hummous, arabian bread, arabian BBQ and mousaka for dessert; the gracious belly dancer seduces the audience. The best belly dancer makes you fall in love with her via the hypnotic gyration of her hips and graceful playfulness of her hands. At this point, we are all enjoying smoking the strawberry flavored Shee Shas while enjoying the open bar of wine and beer. But the best part of the night happens when they close all the lights in the campsite to have pitch black effect where you can only see the stars and if you stare long enough, the satellite slowly orbiting the earth. At this point, you don’t want to leave but the entire surreal experience is only enjoyed for a few minutes before you head back to your hotel.

This is a must experience when you are in Dubai! The safari costs Dhs. 250 (US$ 68) for adults and Dhs. 180 (US$ 49) for children between 3 and 10. Since we booked via our hotel, it costs us 295 Dirhams about $80. The good thing is it is all inclusive and generally you don’t need to pay anything extra during the entire tour (except for minimal tips to some).

Definitely an Awesome Experience you shouldn’t miss in your lifetime!

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#Travel

The Great Pyramids of Giza


The Great Pyramid of Khufu or Cheops ) 146m high, the oldest and largest pyramid in Egypt!

I never understood the word, surreal until I saw the Great Pyramids of Giza. It is like watching a dream of seeing the sole survivor of the Ancient Seven Wonders of the World. It is like being transported 2,500 years before the birth of Christ when these great Pyramids where build by three generations of Pharaohs –the father, Khufu (Cheops); the son Khafre (Chephren) and the grandson, Menkaure (Mycerinus). I even hesitated to use the word, awesome, because it felt like these pyramids were built by aliens and it was an out of this world experience. Until now, I still look back at the pictures, and I can’t believe that I saw, I touched and I even entered the Great Pyramid of Khufu — the oldest and largest pyramid in Egypt!

This is my humble attempt to share the experience with you, and I feel that there are no words to describe accurately the experience. I immediately went over to www.new7wonders.com to vote for The Great Pyramids of Egypt as part of the new 7 wonders of the world which will be announced on July 7, 2007. Thanks to papa Procter for making this surreal experience with the Great Pyramids of Giza in Egypt a reality!

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#Travel, Food

Eating Turtle, a slice of Snake and a Water Bug in Guangzhou, China



WARNING: Please don’t read this post. The pictures are disgusting but I wanted to blog about this to serve as a blog memory for me on my exotic adventures in Guangzhou, China. Hopefully, it will never happen again.

In my post, Snake, Water Bug, and Centipede looking Shrimps

Q. What do these animals have in common?
A. I ate all of them for dinner in Guangzhou, China.

This was the second time I ate snakes in China. It was tolerable, and the Guanzhou locals loved it. It actually taste like lamb ribs with fish bones. It looks slimy but is is not. The skin is tender instead of rubbery and if not for the stripes you will forget that you are eating snakes. But still, every time I look at the picture above, I want to throw up and I can’t imagine eating these disgusting snakes.

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#Travel, Food

Josephine’s Restaurant — a Filipino Resto experience in Central London

I had an argument with my brother before I finally convinced him to go to this only Filipino Restaurant in London. It was a first time for both of us in Central London. We spent two and a half days, going to the different tourist places and usually we eat on the go to save time. We were debating on why do we need to eat in a Filipino restaurant in London. First of all, eating in a restaurant would set us back at least 2 hours and why do we need to eat Filipino cuisine in Central London when I am from the Philippines and going back the next day! Endless discussion but in the end, my argument of loving our own and supporting our fellow kababayans outside our country won. Also, I’ll tell you an open secret, the Londoners have no food that they can call their own — except for Fish and Chips. I hated all the food I ate and I was dying to eat Filipino food. After having the food trip in Singapore, I thought I would also be able to do this here but I was dead wrong! I was already dreaming of eating at least a decent meal in a Filipino restaurant only to find out that there is one and only Filipino restaurant called Josephine’s somewhere around the Oxford shopping area.

If you are a tourist and you only have two days, would you spend the time to eat in a Filipino Restaurant in Central London? Or, maybe I’m just weird.

Josephine’s Restaurant was a 5 minutes walk from Tottenham Court Tube station corner Oxford street. It was the best meal I had in London, and my brother would agree. The food is home cooked Filipino Fusion that could rival Guava or Filos in the Fort. They have been operational for 10 years now this September.

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#Travel, Food

SINGAPORE FOOD TRIP: Makan Food that did not make the cut


1. Fish Head Curry — My wife wanted to try this out and so we did. It was just okay, nothing to rave about or maybe we just had too much of everything that night. The huge snapper head served was enough for the three of us but with the other food on the table, it was way too much. There was so much fish meat that i thought it was an endless eating. Cooked in a spicy, tangy, tamarind curry with okra and tomatoes.

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#Travel, Food

SINGAPORE FOOD TRIP: Makan Food Trip – My Top 10 Favorites!

I always dread going to Singapore because I thought the place is so boring and the food is uninspired. I was only exposed to my usual routine of hotel to office and eating in Orchard Road, Clark / Boat Quay, or Suntec City Malls, the usual tourist route. Boy, was I dead wrong.

Singapore is a foodie haven! My taste palette just got expanded when I tasted the best of Singapore Makan delights. In fact, Singaporeans are known for their 24-hour passion for makan — the malay word for “food” or “eat”. Armed with a Uniquely Singapore Makan Delights brochure, a popular book called Makan Sutra (singapore makan bible), and a singapore local foodie, my family went on a makan food trip in Singapore. I now respect and appreciate Singaporeans passion for food and as they say, the best food is found along the streets. That I would have to agree 100%!

Here is my top 10 Makan Favorites! For those who will have a chance to go visit Singapore, you have to seek out these Makan Delights! Just an additional tip if you are going on a Makan food trip: a) bring your own tissue/ water and, b) you can say no to the wet towels and peanuts which usually comes with a fee.


1. Bak Kuh Teh — This is the Singapore/ Malaysia version of our Bulalo. There are two versions the one with clear, aromatic broth that is full of garlic and white pepper and the one with a dark broth full of Chinese herbs that is good for your health. I like the latter one (dark broth) and it is usually served with white rice, yu tiao (chinese fried dough fritters), sliced red chillies in soy sauce, and a pot of Chinese tea.

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#Travel, Food

Shanghai Si Chuan Surprise :)

Hi! I just got back from the young and vibrant Shanghai City. I was smitten by the beauty of Shanghai and if ever I would leave Manila for an overseas assignment, Shanghai is on top of my list. The Shanghai city skyline is one of the best in the world. I was fortunate to have seen this magnificent beauty and capture it with my camera. It was a short business trip so I did not really have the time to explore. I have a few photos to share with you and I do hope I get to have a chance to go back to explore this city. I love Manila but Shanghai is number 2 in my list of favorite cities in the world.
Just one unsolicited advice, the new generation of Filipinos need to learn Mandarin. There is no doubt in my mind that China will be the next economic super power and Shanghai is a glimpse of China’s dominance in the future. The next generation of global Filipinos will be speaking three languages English, Tagalog and Mandarin to become successful in this information age. I would make sure that my son, Aidan would learn to speak Mandarin. ( Let me know your reaction to this… )

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#Travel, Food

[Los Angeles vs. Manila #3] Porto’s Cheese Roll


I still can remember a couple of years ago when eating a carbo-loaded krispy kreme donut is a cool thing when you visit the US. Now, that’s a thing of the past, and Porto’s bakery is a better alternative. Its famous cheese roll is a must try along with the other cakes and other pastry delicacies. The cheese roll taste like Otap baked to perfection with cheese inside it, similar in texture to a croissant. It’s super addicting and I easily ate 5 pieces in one sitting. Porto’s Bakery is a cuban family-owned and operated business that has served Glendale and its surrounding areas for over 35 years and they recently opened a beautiful new store in Burbank.

One could argue that Becky’s or Conti’s taste a lot better, but the I’ve never tasted a cheeseroll as delicious as porto’s. If you can manage to bring one home as a pasalubong, it is highly recommended.

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