Sanctuario Revisited: Ho-hum food?

Ho-hum dinner food

After 9 months (read my january post here), I had a chance to eat again in sanctuario, tagaytay. I was disappointed with the ho-hum food this time around which costs us P400/person and I was looking for the food that I raved about last time. I don’t know what happened but eating there on a wednesday night at 8pm in the evening with only us around might be one of the reasons. I just want to share with you my experience and be cautious next time you visit this place. My conclusion is Sanctuario is best for the merienda — coffee, dessert, bread.

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Flickr+Qoop and Blogcards Experience

Early September, I tested out two online services of QOOP.com and Streetcards.com. I finally got my orders and you will be surprised that our Phil Mail system still works 🙂 Qoop.com is a digital to print web service currently running beta printing products to two of my favorite online photo service: Flickr and Buzznet. Streetcards.com offers a service of innovative business cards and I use it for ordering blogcards with gapingvoid designs. Here is my experience on cost and reliability of the service.

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WordPress.com Golden Ticket

“A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away you entered your email address on http://wordpress.com/

We’re now inviting small groups to use WordPress.com and your email address was selected today!

Visit this address to get started: http://wordpress.com/invite/c6ca510cdec7f29f52cb9bc055800a6d

While you’re on a string of good luck it might be a good day to buy a lottery ticket. Better move fast though, because this invite will expire in a week.

The WordPress.com Team”

I finally got my own wordpress.com golden ticket yesterday! What’s cool about it is that I still got anton.wordpress.com — fantastic! This really means that somehow I was still early in the invite food chain. Thanks wordpress.com and my 40 days search for this coveted golden ticket has ended (which started on my blog post last Aug. 26)


The Coolest Town in Singapore

Visionary technology ideas in the year 2020 for the Philippines?

I wanted to write this post about my coolest town in Singapore experience. Not because I want to blog about the coolest technology stuff but to be able to recollect back in time once these technologies become available in the future. How far is that future — 5, 10, 15 years perhaps? Let us check out some of these technologies:

Digital Home. Alot of people are banking on this to happen pretty soon where the Media PC would be the center of all the devices and appliances in the digital home enabled. The digital home prototype is not impressive although it demonstrate the convergence of TV, Audio, Video, Photos, and computer in one powerful media PC and only one output LCD screen. If you look at the center of the prototype above, the LCD screen acts as both mirror and the TV which is a very neat architectural execution (which gave me an idea for my condo). The idea is that not only the appliances are fully connected but also, the home is connected to the outside world via webservices from internet sites like airline carrier, radio stations, google sites, etc. The infrared keyboard was cool as well although, it is a one finger at a time typing technique and cannot take in simultaneous keyboard strokes. Bottomline, the keywords would be Convergence, Appliance Networking, and Web Services in the future.

Virtualization. On 3d virtualization, there was an interesting demo on virtualizing a physical space (in this case, the lobby of cool town) in a tablet PC and as you move it, it changes views to where you are physically oriented or looking at. It was able to determine it by having GPS or location based detectors and respond to it accordingly. Now this is cool 🙂 We are now experiencing the power of google earth using satellite images and imagine being able to recreate the world’s environment in 3d and not use top-level satelite point of view.

Digital Pen. A digital pen where whatever you write gets recorded. You can also have a specially printed form where if you use a digital pen to write on it, it can record your actual entries and its relative location on the form.

Future Workspace. Hmmn, lets see if people will start working isolatedly in a bike or spaceship type of mode where it promotes two screens, one for business applications and one is for personal/ games so that you can work life balance 🙂 We’ll see about that.

Interactive Posters. Advertisement on posters or even billboard someday would be able to communicate with mobile phones or PDAs.

Poster Kiosks. Buying artworks (reproduced) in museums can now be done interactively with this proof-of-concept kiosks.

RF ID Cafe. The idea is that the coffee mugs in a cafe would be identified to the person drinking it so that it enables a personalized experience when you are inside enjoying your coffee. It could let the barrista know personal information about yourself and your preferences.

However, I think the best technology in this coolest town is this self-service printers in the reception lobby where you can plug in your CF card and print your own photos instantly! Maybe not a revolutionary technology but it works we had fun taking pictures and printing it. Really cool! This gaves me an idea for a business venture ….


Viaje del Sol

Viaje del Sol Review

Viaje del Sol is the newest destination 2 hours away from Manila (besides Tagaytay). I checked out all the places already and I can save you the trouble of being disappointed in going to Patio Verde or the Laguna Lake. Sorry for starting this on a sour note, but we were disappointed because the Patio Verde is a hole in the wall grilled beerhouse and even if the food is great, the whole ambiance and crowd is not appropriate. The laguna lake on the other hand, is ugly, and I do hope they are able to revitalize this lake — soo sad 🙁

I’m glad that is out of the way, here are the best of Viaje del Sol:

Collete’s Original Store — This is big and you can say that you have bought your buko pie from the original store in San Pablo. You will see this immediately after entering San Pablo along the Maharlika hi-way. There are a lot of pasalubong goodies and they opened a new cafe beside it.

>> Casa San Pablo — Cozy Place for a retreat

Casa San Pablo — A writer’s retreat place. When you enter the main city of San Pablo, you would see this. Check out my detailed blog post on this with the link above. I’m checking this out and have an overnight stay on my next trip.

Contact Information/ Directions:
Gomez Compound, Barangay San Roque, San Pablo City, Laguna
It is along the main road going to San Pablo city proper (see website for map)

email: [email protected]
website: http://www.casasanpablo.com/index.html
mobile: 0917-8126687, 0917-5268628

>> Quezon Culinary Night Cap @ Kusina Salud

Kusina Salud — Bohemian atmosphere with an excellent food. Patis Tesoro was the one who started this Viaje del sol concept and I’m glad that they marketted the whole San Pablo and Tiaong as one destination rather than competing with each other. Buffet lunch on the weekend and massage is one of the things you can enjoy here.

Contact Information/ Directions:
One you are in the main highway, Maharlika along San Pablo City, There are alot of signs going to Kusina Salud. You won’t missed it.

Mobile: 0921-7726985, San Pablo: 049-2466878, Manila: 726-5058/ 59
email: [email protected]

>> Carlito’s Workshop 1– Intimidating House with Surprisingly Hospitable Host!
>> Carlito’s Workshop 2 –Photogenic House with an Outstanding Garden 🙂
>> Carlito’s Workshop 3 — Carlito’s Coffee

Carlito’s Workshop — I was smitten by this place that I had to wrote a series on this. No food here, just plain coffee, puto and rambutan/lansones during this season. But it is a must to have a good chat with Carlito and that would complete your afternoon coffee break.

Contact Information/ Directions:
Just a word of advise, there are no signs from the maharlika highway going to Carlito’s workshop. If you are coming from Manila, after passing the left turn going to kusina salud, you will make a right turn to Brgy. Sta. Ana. The only landmark is a direction going to 3j foods corp. It’s a big road with alot of tricycles in that corner.

Carlito Ortega Cellphone # 0919-837 7755 or (049) 5620351
Open on Saturdays. For the rest of the week, please call to give prior notice.

>> Quezon Culinary Series 10: Ugu Bigyan’s Secret Pottery Garden

Ugu Bigyan — This is a winner by itself and you go here for pottery, food, and ambiance. I’m raving about this place so you should check this out if you decide to venture into Tiaong, Quezon

I don’t have the passion to blog about Villa Escudero not unless there would be something new or I’m accompanying a balikbayan. But, one of the last place I want to visit would be Kinabuhayan Cafe and I’ve heard alot about this place. Maybe this coming long vacation, we’ll take the opportunity to check it out. Good luck on your own adventure!

Contact Information/ Directions:
If you plan to go here, there are no signs along the national highway because Ugu wants it to be a secret. I made a mental note of landmarks along the national highway in Tiaong, Quezon which is the Ebreo Castillo Agri Poulty Supply, Lusaca highschool, and old Petron Station.

Ugu Bigyan
Telefax: (042) 545-9144
Mla. #: 250-8416


Awesome Filipinos

We are glad you are alive Romi

Congratulations again Romi for the first Filipino (based in the Phils) for achieving and climbing Mt. Cho Oyu at 8,000m! We are glad that you are alive and your indigenious children would be very happy. Here is an excerpt of his post in his blog:

Hello from Kathmandu

Greetings from Kathmandu Nepal! Hello again, and thank you for the congratulatory notes & birthday greetings (I celebrated in ABC w/ the yaks, no beer and sisig unfortunately). We just got back in KTM last night after 2 days of fast walk from ABC, down to Chinese basecamp, then a fast jeep ride to Tingri (Tibet) then over the China-Nepal border in Zangmu then finally KTM , now on recovery and healing mode — we all looked like POWs or soldiers who just got back from war =) the injuries, the burns, malnourished bodies, etc… ;)”

see related articles:

>> New Filipino Altitude Record Set by Romi for Climbing Mt. Cho Oyu @ 26,000ft (8000m)

>> The Road to Mt. Everest by Romi Garduce

For perspective how significant this achievement is, here are the 7 peaks which are the highest mountain in each continent:

Mt. Kilimajaro (Africa) 5,895m
Mt. Denali (North America) 6,194m
Mt. Everest (Asia) 8,848m
Mt. Elbrus (Europe) 5,642m
Mt. Carstensz Pyramid (Australasia) 4,884m
Mt. Aconcagua (South America) 6,960m
Mt. Vinson (Antartica) 4,897m

As you can see, Romi is already close to Mt. Everest altitude (8000m known as the Death Zone).


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