Royal Caribbean made a double historic ship call in the Philippines last June 8 in Subic and June 9 in Manila. Ovation of the Seas is the largest cruise ship and the first ship of its kind with the highest number of guests (4,700) from around the world to call in any Filipino port.
Ovation of the Seas is Asia’s largest and most revolutionary cruise ship. The 1,138 feet long behemoth of a floating destination—equipped with 2,091 staterooms, 18 restaurants and 8 pools—can host 4,905 guests and carry 1,500 crew members for a total of 6,405 people!
The high-tech ship also boasts of exciting features that include North Star, a 300-ft high viewing capsule with roller skating, bumper cars, skydiving & surfing simulators and robotic bartenders at the Bionic Bar.
The city of Manila is gearing up to ring in New Year’s Eve 2018! If you love to eat good food, spend staycations with the family or are more into the club scene here’s a list of New Year Eve’s parties and packages happening around the Metro…
Our party-planning guide won’t be complete without a dazzling display of fireworks, fantastic feasts, and music to usher partygoers into the New Year.
1. OKADA MANILA
Start the year right and indulge in a complete experience of comfort and sophistication. Spend a night in one of our deluxe rooms with a complimentary breakfast buffet for two and enjoy a relaxing head, neck, and shoulder massage for only PHP 14,730 nett.
You can also witness the world’s biggest multi-color dancing fountain here, before heading off to party at the Cove Manila.
The Feast of the New Year
Exclusive dining offers from our signature restaurants.
Venue: Medley Buffet, Red Spice, Goryeo, Japanese Kappou Imamura, La Piazza, Enbu.
Date: December 31, 2017
Time: 6:00 PM onwards
New Year’s Eve Countdown: A Spectacle of Light, Music, and Water
Live Entertainment at the Crystal Corridor. Enjoy live music in the evening from DJs and bands and a special projection mapping show along the Crystal Corridor. Witness The Fountain in its full splendor.
Venue: The Fountain and The Crystal Corridor
Date: December 31, 2017 to January 01, 2018
Time: 6 PM to 12:30 AM.
Grand Fireworks Display
Welcome 2018 in style with the best view of the fireworks.
Venue: The Fountain and The Crystal Corridor
Date: December 31, 2017 to January 01, 2018
Time: 12:00 MN
Grammy Winner for Best Remix in 2013 for his version of Lana Del Rey’s ‘Summertime Sadness’. A monthly Spotify audience of over 5 million listeners. Billboard, UK & ARIA Chart Top Ten Hits. Multi-platinum selling singles. Beatport, Buzz, Hype Machine & Cool Cuts Charts Number 1′s. 2 BBC Radio One Essential Mixes. 3 Essential New Tunes. A weekly Global Radio show. These are just a few things that have been making French born Miami resident Cedric Gervais one of the most sought after House DJs & electronic music producers in the world today. With his imprint ‘Delecta Records’ where he releases regular singles, alongside a major label deal with Universal Worldwide (Island). Dance to his beats as you celebrate the start of 2018 in the newest and biggest premier club in the Metro.
Cove Manila, envisioned to be the biggest lifestyle and nightlife destination in Southeast Asia, is the newest premier club to open in the metro!
The $120M mega-structure boasts of a 9,000-sqm luxurious beach club and nightclub fitted with a butterfly-shaped pool and three-storey buildings, which house luxurious cabanas with private hot tubs, all found under one massive dome structure!
Located within the biggest integrated resort in the Philippines, Okada Manila, Cove Manila opened its doors last Friday, with Grammy-nominated DJ Steve Aoki fittingly as the headliner. Did I mention it can fit up to 4,500 people?
Here’s what to expect when pools and club music come together…
Take a timeless journey through the Philippines last frontier!
Fall in love with the northernmost islands of the Philippines not only for its beauty but also with its cultural heritage, well-preserved villages, yummy Ivatan cuisine, and most of all the islands’ proud Ivatan people.
We love Batanes for its picturesque landscapes and breathtaking views. Imagine green grasslands as far as your eyes can see, towering limestone cliffs, crystal clear waters, and beautiful views that look straight from a scene of Lord of The Rings, Jurrasic Park, and Moana! It’s not hard to understand why Batanes is on every Filipino’s bucket!
Here’s our guide to Batanes’ top three islands- Basco, Sabtang, and Itbayat…
Aidan Congratulates Jollibee on their 30th year Anniversary!
I’ve always wanted to congratulateJollibee, Philippines on their 30th Year Celebration! I got reminded about it when I saw their sponsored house during the Pahiyas Festival. This is one Filipino company I truly admire. Given a choice between Jollibee and McDonald’s, I would go for Jollibee every time!
I’m just imaging, what would become of Our Awesome Planet 30 years from now. I will be in my senior retirement years. I still continue to blog away about how to eat healthy, lessons learned in 30 years of blogging and the secrets in living for 100 years. Aidan will be 33 years old and this was about the time I started OAP. We would be blogging together in OAP and we would have posts like what happened to the GB5 restaurants or what happened with Chef Florabel, Chef Laudico and others… I do hope OAP wins blogging awards locally and globally like Jollibee. OAP will be a multimedia site with photos, videos, and music about the beautiful things about the Philippines and Asia. In 4 years time, I would have posted my 1,000th blog post so 30 years from now, I do hope to post my 10,000th blog post. Market Manila and Dessert Comes First would still be there and we would reminisce together the early years of blogging in the Philippines. My imagination goes on and on… What do you think will happen with OAP and the blogosphere 30 years from now? Please post your predictions and let’s look back at this blog post 30 years from now, hahaha!
Jollibee, Philippines 30th Year Celebration 1975: The Tan Family opens ice cream parlors in Cubao & Quiapo, the first Jollibee outlets. 1978: Jollibee Foods Corporation is born as a 100% Filipino Company 1980: Chickenjoy is hatched. Jollibee Mascot debuts. 1984: The Champ is Launched1985: Jollibee becomes the #1 fastfood chain in the Philippines 1987: Efforts to establish a foothold abroad gained ground with the opening of an overseas outlet in Brunei 1991: Jollibee opens its 100th store in Bolton, Davao 1993: Jollibee becomes the first food service corporation to list its share in the PSE. 1995: Launch of MaAga ang Pasko sa Jollibee 1996: Jollibee opens its 200th store in Malolos, Bulacan and opens stores in Hongkong and Vietnam 1998: Jollibee opens its 300th store in Balagtas, Bulacan and its first in Daly City, USA. 2001: Jollibee opens its 400th store in historic Muralla, Intramuros. 2001: Jollibee hailed as Best Employer in the Philippines by Asian Wall Street Journal. 2003: For the 6th straight, the Far Eastern Economic Review ranked JFC as the Philippines’ Leading Company 2004: Jollibee opens its 500th store in Basilan. 2004: Tony Tan Caktiong receives “World Entreprenuer of the Year” award from Earnst & Young 2006: CNBC Asia awards Ernesto Tanmantiong the “Corporate Citizen of the Year” award in Hong Kong 2007: Jollibee opens its 600th store in Aparri, Cagayan, and Las Vegas becomes the first US Jollibee store outside California
Anyway, Congratulations again to Jollibee! Paglaki ko, gagayahin ko kayo mga idol!
Havaianas launched the “Flipping for the Beach” Contest this summer to discover the unexplored gems and favorite coastal destinations in the Philippines. Department of Tourism Secretary Ace Durano fully supports the contest and declares that the 7 winning destinations will be included in DOT’s focused tourism destination next year. Secretary Durano, together with Vince Rodriguez, Executive Producer of Studio 23 ‘s News Central, Ms. Anne Gonzalez, Managing Director of Terry S.A, and top 7 travel writers in the Philippines will form the panel of judges for the contest. I’m honored to be part of the panel of judges and recognized as one of the country’s top travel writers along side with the editor in chief of Mabuhay Magazine, Travel Life and the other travel publications in the country.
I’m excited to be a part of the judging on May 10. We will choose seven (7) winners who will receive the following:
– An exclusive Havaianas pair
– A 3 day/ 2 night all-expense-paid trip for two to the destination he or she wrote about
– Summer goodies from David and Goliath, T-Box and Dakine
(7 Waves in Anawangin Beach. The 7 waves special Havaianas series celebrates the Brazilian ritual of welcoming the New Year. Dressed entirely in white, Brazilians go to the edge of the sea and hop over 7 waves just after midnight. This ritual is believed to bring good luck and to open new paths for the year that is just beginning. I think the 7 waves for Men was inspired by Anawangin beach..)
Please make sure that you adhere to the contest guidelines:
1. It should be about a Unique Beach Getaway in the Philippines
2. Focus on distinctive experiences that you can expect from that destination
3. Deadline is on May 1, 2008
4. Write with no more than 500 words!
5. With at least photos taken at the destination. Make sure to take a picture of yourself in the destination as proof that you have been there.
6. Document via video (60 to 90 seconds running time in VCD or DVD format)
7. Photos and videos don’t necessarily have to have Havaianas featured in them. (But if you have one, why not?)
For more details on the mechanics, please see flyers and counter-standees in select stores and for other inquiries, please call the “Flipping for the Beach” Secretariat at (632) 7809898 landline, (0927) 6621127 mobile, or email [email protected]
My IKEA Valentines Blog Writing Contest For a Cause!
ABOUT IKEA PH IKEA PH is an importer of quality IKEA products and they source most of their stuff from IKEA in China. I know of 2-3 IKEA importers but IKEA PH provides the best reasonable prices out there. If they don’t have it locally, you can order from the IKEA catalog and they would make sure to bring it in their next shipment. They have a small showroom store in 120 Kamias, Quezon City but you can see most of their inventory at ikeaph.multiply.com.
1. Write a blog post on the theme: Why I love IKEA!
2. Put the following links inside your blog post: IKEA linked to ikeaph.multiply.com Valentines linked to Valentines.com.ph 3. Put a comment on this post linking your official blog post entry. 4. Deadline for entries will be onFebruary 29, 2008!
BONUS: Throughout the duration of the Blog Writing Contest, all Friends of Our Awesome Planet are entitled to a5% discountat IKEA Philippines. For each purchase, anadditional 5% will be donated to Kythein your name!
I just want to share with you an interesting article on Branding the Philippines by Junie del Mundo and Robert de Quelen. You can download the entire article here: Download BrandingthePhilippines.pdf (975.8K). I would like to share with you my insights based on that article…
More than just serving gourmet food and the right ambiance, these restaurants take the overall dining experience to a higher level Sunday Inquirer Magazine (September 16, 2007)
What makes restaurants awesome? One would say as long as it serves great food. However, “great food” is subjective and it varies with each person's experience and background. To be considered awesome, restaurants have to take the food and overall dining experience to a higher level. Food that leaves an indelible mark in your taste buds, experience that imprints lasting memories in your mind, and ambiance that carves a special place in one's heart for you to share it with every person that you meet.
Each restaurant is carefully chosen to be prestigiously included in this list. Each one serves gourmet food with the freshest ingredients. It combines nature elements, artifacts or a sense of history in its overall ambiance. Simply, these restaurants have a story to tell which spreads out via word-of-mouth. I can proudly say that you can only find these restaurants ONLY in the Philippines.
KUBLI SPRINGS @ KINABUHAYAN CAFé, DOLORES, QUEZON
The road to Kubli Springs is literally a road less traveled where you'll be glad you decided not to drive your sedan car. Flashlights, candles, mobile phones, and the moon are the only source of light. Occasionally, they would put up Christmas lights connected to portable battery source to make the place special. You will find yourself in the middle of the forest, with boulders as your neighbor. The spring water flows through your feet as you look up and appreciate a clear black sky with twinkling dots. You sit on rocks and make shift benches as you smell the steak grilled on the spot. Ah, this is the perfect time to play the acoustic guitar and sing with the barkada without shame and the fear of disturbing anybody.
For P500/ person, you get fresh salad with flowers, grilled steak, Jay's special rice and fruit platter. The meal ends with friendly Lambanog and special roast of Barako coffee. Water is served from a bamboo "faucet" with mineral water coming from the mountains. Drinking and taking a bath from fresh mineral water is one unique experience. Your dining experience is a mixed emotion of satisfaction, fear, and happiness. Somehow, you wished the night will never end.
Kinabuhayan Cafe Bed and Breakfast Tel (042) 565 6828 Jay +63 917 368 0054 Winston +63 917 327 1106
You'll get excited every time you enter the entrance doors of Antonio's. It is like entering a magical portal to a world where any of the food you choose is something worth raving about. The service feels like you are in a six-star hotel where you don't have to worry about anything. Even going to the restroom is a chance to appreciate nature and its beauty. The positive energy in the place encourages conversation and it bears witness to thousands of memorable life stories.
You don't mind waiting for your food because you know that it is being prepared to perfection. The real flavor of the meat and ingredients stands out without any of the sauce overpowering its taste. Any of the wine selections seems to match with the food that you order. My favorite in Antonio's includes the Salad with Foie Gras, the steaks or sea bass dish, and the soufflé dessert to end the night. I envisioned our silver marriage anniversary to be held in Antonio's because of the food, service and its garden.
It still continues to be a secret place in the Tiaong area because Ugu never advertises the place. There are no road signs that points you to it and even their neighbors never realized that such place exist. One of the amazing things about Ugu's Pottery Garden Restaurant is that the entire place is a labor of love of the entire family. They designed everything from the huts, layout of the garden, the pottery designs, and its food concept.
Ugu is known for his dishes namely, Kulawo and Lato. Kulawo is charcoal grilled banana heart with a smokey flavor taste and it taste like Tuna while Lato is seaweed in vinegar. Both are traditional Filipino dishes that you seldom find in Metro Manila. It is home cooked Filipino food artistically presented and served in Ugu Bigyan's signature pottery. I do hope it remains to be a secret.
Isla Naburot resort is like wine – the older it is the more exotic it becomes. Electricity is supplied by solar panels that can only support the incandescent bulbs in the room. Your mobile phone will be lucky to survive after one day because there are no charging stations nearby. All you have to do is swim in the clean beach, play sunka, and spend quality time with the family.
The main attraction is doing nothing and eating gourmet Filipino dishes prepared the traditional way. Fresh seafoods are patiently grilled in a way that their natural juices are kept intact inside the meat. You enjoy each meal with home made sinamak vinegar. Fruits are abundant specially the famous Guimaras mangoes. The taste of the food is enhanced by the fresh air environment and by the love of the people cooking it. It is a foodie heaven and I can’t wait to go back this summer.
Isla Naburot Mobile #: Ana +63920-9275372
LA COCINA de TITA MONING’S, MANILA
As you enter the gates of this old mansion, you can't help but be transported back to the Old Rich ambiance in the Malacanang area. You are welcomed with drinks and pica pica in the patio before starting with the mini-tour of the mansion. You'll be fascinated with the antiques and the old-fashioned design of the living room, bedroom and especially, the bathroom. The dining area is small enough for a big group to easily dominate with their presence and laughter.
It is a treat to enjoy Spanish food cooked from recipes handed down from generations. You will leave La Cocina raving about its paella and its bread pudding. The former could rival the paella’s in Manila’s Spanish restaurants. The latter tastes like milk bread leche flan that melts in your mouth. The service is slow but sure. What is important is that they serve you with a smile and put every effort to make the experience memorable. I never forgot our La Cocina experience ever since January 2005.