ILOILO FOOD TRIP: Where are the BEST Places to Eat in Iloilo?

ILOILO FOOD TRIPIloilo is the center of commerce in the Western Visayas region. It is the home of the famous Batchoy, Breakthrough and Miag-ao Church. Here are the must-visit foodie places in Iloilo:

1. Breakthrough

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The undisputed king of fresh seafood in Iloilo and the number one tourist spot in the city. It is famous for its Aligue Rice and the Managat fish (also known as red snapper or mangrove jack). Native Chicken Inasal and fresh/baked oysters are also served here.

The restaurant is the brainchild of marine biologist Raymundo Robles, who just wanted to have a side restaurant business for his wife. It was named after every scientist’s aspiration, which is to achieve a breakthrough in his/her field.

The best part of the Breakthrough experience is being able to enjoy the glorious food (and the popular vinegar called Sinamak) with the fresh sea breeze blowing around you.

Read More: ILOILO FOOD TRIP: Breakthrough, Number 1 Tourist Destination in Iloilo!

Breakthough now has a branch called Ponsyon by Breakthough located in Plazuela de Iloilo. Another alternative is Tatoy’s, which offers almost the same cuisine and is located near the same beach area. Some foodies like Villarosa by the Beach and look for Orly’s.

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KALIBO: Where are the Best Places to Eat in Kalibo?


KALIBO is a melting pot and transit hub of the Aklan province. Its food offerings are most often overshadowed by the best fresh seafood in the nearby province of Capiz or the yummy Ilonggo food in Iloilo. Most people just pass by this municipality that aspires to be a city one day.  

It was a bit hard to research online about places to eat in Kalibo. Most of the recommendations online are intended for the transit tourists or the Ati-atihan backpackers but not for foodies looking for yummy local food to better appreciate the Aklanon culture.

After a three-day food trip during the Ati-Atihan Festival with more misses than home runs, here are the best places to eat in Kalibo:


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KALIBO: LATTE Coffee Cafe @ Marzon’s Hotel

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LATTE is the best place for breakfast in Kalibo. It opens as early as 7am and offers your breakfast favorites, comfort food and yummy cakes. 

It’s conveniently located in the road that leads to the airport and beside the best hotel in Kalibo. 

It gets mixed reviews because of inconsistencies, but we love the selection of comfort food.

We kicked off Aidan’s 8th birthday celebration with a yummy breakfast here:


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KALIBO: SAYLO Cuisine – The Best Restaurant in Kalibo?

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SAYLO is a Visayan term which means “to welcome” or “to invite to come in“.

It is also a term which means “to transfer” which has a double meaning — it’s a good transfer stopover when you are flying via Kalibo International Airport, or if you are tired of Latte –  you transfer to Saylo.

We love the hip ambiance, offering of authentic Aklanon food with a good presentation and the yummy pasta. The only thing that turned us off  was the “provincial” service from the staff – lax, not trained well, and inattentive. 

Still, SAYLO gets our vote as the Best Restaurant in Kalibo! Check out our Saylo Experience…


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#Philippines, Kalibo

KALIBO: What to Expect in the Sto. Niño ATI-ATIHAN Festival in Kalibo?

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Kalibo’s Ati-Atihan is the mother of all the big Sto. Niño festivals of Sinulog in Cebu and Dinagyang in Iloilo.  It’s the biggest fiesta that is “non-commercialized” and stays true to its Filipino Fiesta vibe. It’s a “participative fiesta” where you dance with the performers vs. a “spectator fiesta” where you just watch in the sidelines. They say you have not experienced a Filipino fiesta unless you’ve been to Ati-Atihan.

Ati-Atihan means “to become like Aetas” or in modern terms an “Ati Cosplay“. It was originally a pagan animist festival that the Spaniards adapted in honor of the Sto. Niño celebrated every third sunday of January.

It started when 10 Bornean Datus escaped from the island of Borneo and migrated to the Island of Panay in the 13th century (c.1200 A.D.). They bought the Panay Island plains from the Ati’s who were the original settlers in Maharlika (former name of the Philippines before the Spaniards) with gifts of golden salakot, brass basins,  bales of cloth and a very long necklace for the Ati chieftain.

The Aetas celebrated the occasion with eating, dancing, and merry making that became the inspiration of what we now call as the Filipino Fiesta.

Finally, I was able to bring the three boys to a cultural immersion and had fun in celebrating the mother of all fiestas — The Ati-Atihan in Kalibo. Here’s our Ati-Atihan experience:



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#Travel, Catanduanes

CATANDUANES: Exploring the Catanduanes Isles in Bicol

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Catanduanes holds a special place in my heart because this is where our roots are. My mom was born into the Soria and Rojas families in Bato, Catanduanes.

I remember visiting Catanduanes when we were still kids and I was excited to go back and explore the southern part of the island from San Andres to Virac to  Bato, and all the way to Puraran in Baras.

Here’s a photo essay of our Catanduanes trip:


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#Travel, Catanduanes

CATANDUANES Food You Should Not Miss to Eat :)

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I love Catanduanes food specially the Mud Crabs and fresh seafood, Pili Nut (which is like Macadamia nut), the Catanduanes Cacao, and different kakanins.

Food in Bicol uses a lot of coconut milk (gata) but those in Catanduanes are not as spicy as in other Bicol towns. 

I also love the scenic picnic lunch by the beach and boodle fight in Sea Breeze.

Your Catanduanes Trip is not complete without trying these Catanduanes food:


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#Travel, Catanduanes

CATANDUANES: PURARAN’s Majestic Wave (From a Non-Surfer’s Point of View)

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One of the top surfing destinations in the country today is Puraran in Baras, Catanduanes.

It is home to “The Majestic Wave” that top surfers from all over the world visit during the surfing season, July to October.

For non-surfers like us, we love Puraran Beach because the beach area is wide and not crowded, the beach-surfer food is yummy, and you can really smell and feel what clean air is all about. Just be careful because the island life in Puraran will seduce you to stay for a couple more days. 

Puraran is the top destination in Catanduanes — here’s a photo essay of our experience: 


For surfers, please read this:
When in Manila | When in Catanduanes: Surf Majestics (or at least try to) by JB Gamboa

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#Restaurants, Tagaytay

BREAKFAST at ANTONIO’S: Welcoming 2013 with a Yummy Bang along the Ridge!

Kicking off 2013 with a yummy Breakfast at Antonio's in Tagaytay! Happy New year :)

BREAKFAST at ANTONIO’S is now back where it all started at the Tagaytay Ridge with an unobstructed view of the Taal Volcano. 

We love the much- improved Antonio’s Breakfast with a more focused menu for All-Day breakfast dining 7 days a week.  They now make their own bread, jams, pates and deli-meat in-house.

The ambiance is elegant black-and-white motif, with natural air conditioning from the Tagaytay breeze, and a stunning view of the Taal Lake as backdrop. I love the way nature is integrated into the design of our new breakfast favorite in Tagaytay.

(Take a look on how it looked before: Breakfast @ Antonio’s “Halfway House”)

Here are some tips to have an awesome Breakfast at Antonio’s experience:

The Best of ALL-DAY BREAKFAST Craze:

What’s new in Tagaytay in 2013 Series:

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Boracay Island

BORACAY’s White Christmas: 10 Never-Boring Experiences to Enjoy with your Kids!

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This is the first time that we visited Boracay in December. I must agree with most that December is the best time to be in Boracay because the beach is whiter, the sky bluer and the ambiance cooler. Hence, this time is known as the Boracay’s White Christmas.

It was also the first time for our three boys to experience the white powdery sand beaches of Boracay. But what can one do in an island (with kids) made more famous by its vibrant night life and adult-oriented activities?

Here are 10 Never-Boring Experiences to Enjoy with your Kids in Boracay:


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