Happy Valentines Day to all of you! Valentines’ used to be a big day full of anxiety because of preparation of a wonderful surprise gimmick for my loved one. These days, it’s about planning an escape to spend an evening dinner together at a secluded restaurant. I actually don’t mind traveling all the way to the end of South Super Highway and visit Esperanza’s Farm Dining in Calamba, Laguna. However, what I do mind is traveling all the way and be disappointed with the taste of the food. So, there won’t be any food shots in this post 🙁 I know that there are risks sometimes for visiting places for the first time and not yet tried and tested. Oh well, since we paid for the ambiance then we will just shoot the ambiance and build our collection of couple pictures 🙂 On normal days, they serve ala carte for P550 (which should be better than the buffet we had) and by reservation only.
I got an inquiry on Viaje del Sol on what to expect and how much would it costs. I decided to provide a link post for all my best post on this Viaje del Sol journey. I’ve visited here twice already and I’m going back for a third time to try out the new additions to the Viaje del Sol route.
Viaje del Sol Index
[Viaje del Sol Series.1] Breakfast @ Kusina Salud
[Viaje del Sol Series.2] Step into Nina’s Kusina Salud
[Viaje del Sol Series.3] “Starbucks” stop @ Jay’s Kinabuhayan Cafe
[Viaje del Sol Series.4] Postcards from Kinabuhayan Cafe
[Viaje del Sol Series.5] The Charm of Kubli Springs
[Viaje del Sol Series.6] Sumptuous Lunch @ Ugu Bigyan!
[Viaje del Sol Series.7] Ugu Bigyan’s Pottery Garden Postcards
[Viaje del Sol Series.8] Carlitos’ Workshop – Our Last Stop
Viaje del Sol Review
Get Engaged in a Balloon 🙂 Don’t laugh now, in fact there was somebody who proposed in this Total Balloon — oh boy, that was an awesome proposal. Not sure who it was but maybe some of my readers would know and give some info. My ultimate dream is still to ride in one of these balloons… Someday I’ll do it and share it with you.
After all the balloons left, you can hang around and still see the flying acrobatic show and I’ll show you some pics on what else can you do here. There are a lot of activities for the kids, so this is an ideal Sunday gimmick. Actually after the event, you can decide to go to Zoobic in Subic and that would have been a really great Sunday treat for the family.
If you don’t wake-up early, this is the awesome scene that you will miss. During this time, I was with my brother, Rommel (who took some of the photos in this series) and his barkada. The highlight for me was this big pedigree dog who asserted his big presence among all the other balloons. Even the so-called Newspaper balloon did not stand a match for this dog. On the last day, the race is all about a lead balloon who takes off 30 minutes earlier before the other balloon will start to beat that balloon to the finish line. That is why by 7am, all the balloons have taken off already and all of them leave one after another. I’ll take you through the launch of these balloons and hopefully convince you that this is another one of those world class events that you shouldn’t miss next time in Manila 🙂
This is a trilogy series on the 10th Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta (PIHBF) @ Omni Aviation Field, Clark Field Pampanga. Finally, I was able to savor the beauty of the balloons on the fiesta’s last day and I was not disappointed. Unlike in the World Pyro Olympics which you have to stay awake until late at night, in the Hot Air Balloon it starts at 5.30am in the morning when the hot air balloons start to setup and leave before 7am. Also, for some reason, the internet sites in the Philippines lack any experiential information on what to expect in this fiesta except for the official website: http://www.philballoonfest.com and the press releases. In this series, I would like to share with you this awesome experience and it felt like I was not in the Philippines with all these world class balloons (total of 21+ I believe)!
This is the final post on the [Bantayan+Malapascua] Series and Malapascua is such a nice place for enjoying beach and nature. In this final post, I would leave you with some visual ideas on what to do here in the charming island of Malapascua. I’m starting to miss this place everytime I look at the photos. Enjoy and share this post with your friends special those planning to go to Malapascua this summer!
I can’t imagine how an authentic Italian restaurant exist and able to survive in an island called Malapascua. When the first time I visited here, 4 years ago, this place does not exist– it is only about 2 years+ old. This is run by two Italian couples who fell in love with Malapascua and spends 6 months in the Philippines each year. La Dolce Vita, also boast of a sugary fine beach sand that rivals Boracay’s station 1 beach sand. All of us were surprised at how good and authentic the food really is, in this far far away island of Malapascua. Although, this is located at the south beach and you have to walk all the way to the end of Malapascua’s main beach (there are alot of signs along the way). After eating here, we decided to extend one more day in Malapascua — we just fell in love with it!
It was tough leaving the island of Bantayan. As much as we want to savor the serene ambiance of Kota beach, we have to leave as early as possible so that we don’t catch the big waves enroute to Malapascua. The boat trip took us 2 hours+ and it was a rough, wet boat ride. Also, the biggest banca in Bantayan is small compared to the banca in Malapascua. It was just enough for the six of us to seat under the trapal covers. One of the problems I had was it costs us P4,000 for the one way boat trip and I know that this is too much (should only be around 2,500+) if we went from Malapascua to Bantayan. Check out this photo tour of the trip from Bantayan to Malapascua trip.
UPDATE Feb. 8, 2006: Finally I was able to complete this Antonio’s article in time for Valentines. Although, if you are just reserving just now, forget about it because the valentines day and valentines weekend is fully booked!
Almost every year, I have the privilege of having dinner at Antonio’s @ Brgy Neogan, Tagaytay by renowned Chef Antonio Escalante. It continues to be the best special dinner you could ever have in Manila. This is the food paradise place where you won’t complain about how expensive it is (P2,000+/person) because you are paying for the dining experience with perfect food, perfect ambiance, and perfect service from Antonio’s and his staff. You would even appreciate how slow they would serve the food because they make sure that they it is cooked fresh when you order it. For those who have not been to this place or planning to go on any season, here is a guide on how to have the best Antonio’s experience.
Massimo is one of those restaurants in Tagaytay where it is very homey with a country feel to it, having a siesta atmosphere while indulging in the excellent cuisine of Chef Hazel Yu-Galvez, who sharpened her culinary skills in Italy. It is a european type of dining experience where you savor the food and each dish is served one by one without any hurry. I love the al-fresco dining outside where you can savor the tagaytay cool weather and sweet breeze. Although, this is also the smoking section where you could savor tabako smoke if you are lucky 🙂
Anyway, I’ve eaten here almost two years ago and I just started my blog January of 2005 so I don’t really have a detailed post on this. But I’ll just leave you with a sample of her valentine’s menu from feb. 11-15, 2006 for P1,995++ per couple. I don’t mean to promote it but just check this menu out and if I have not eaten here yet, I would be sure to reserve on these dates…