New Year's Eve Party in Manila

New Year’s Eve Party Ideas: Manila Countdown to 2020!

The city of Manila is gearing up to ring in New Year’s Eve 2020! 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.

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#Philippines

The Citic Hotel Boracay Experience

If you need a vacation, how about a stay in one of Boracay’s fabulous resorts? There are so many resorts to choose from all over the island, but CITIC HOTEL BORACAY might just tick all of your boxes. Location at Station 1? Check. Premier rooms with direct connection to the pool? Check. Massive outdoor pools complete with inflatable floats? Check. Delicious food and cocktails? Check.

Citic Hotel, sitting along Boracay’s quiet Station 1 with 339 spacious and creative rooms, features 4 spacious dining facilities that serve both local and international cuisines.  The hotel is accessible from the main road and less than a 3-minute walk to the famed white-sand beaches that have constantly won Boracay the title of the world’s best island.

Here’s a photo essay of our staycation at Citic Hotel Boracay…

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#Hotels, Staycation

CRIMSON BORACAY: The Most Awesome Family Experience in Boracay!

We had the best family staycation ever on the island at Crimson Boracay because of its family-friendly foam party, the awesome villas with plunge pools, the food at Azure Beach Cafe and the never boring activities in this sprawling property in Station Zero. Best to just stay and enjoy the resort with the family throughout your stay.

Here’s our guide for your awesome family experience at Crimson Boracay…


First Things First

Crimson Boracay, designed by WATG (Wimberly, Allison, Tong & Goo), makes use of a geometric landscaped architecture that provides ocean views at every angle of the sloping property.

Crimson Resort & Spa Boracay
Barangay Yapak, Boracay 5608 Philippines
Telephone: +63 (36) 669 5888
Email: [email protected]
Facebook: Crimson Resort & Spa Boracay
Instagram: @crimsonboracay

Check out low Crimson Boracay rates and availability.

The resort provides direct transfers from Caticlan port to Crimson Boracay in Station One using their own private speed boat service.

You get a warm drumbeat welcome as you take off your shoes, imbibe the Boracay vibe and walk towards your home villa at the resort.

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#Hotels, Staycation

Midori Hotel: Zen Living in a 5-star Luxury Hotel in Clark

Set in a lusciously green landscape in the rising business district of Clark, Pampanga, the Midori Hotel & Casino is one of the newest and biggest 5-star luxury hotel-casinos in the city.

It is located just 5-minutes away from Clark International airport, which caters to both domestic and international flights, and about 1.5 hours from Manila.

The hotel is positioned as the premier hotel in the North and is hailed as the new gateway to Clark.

MIDORI HOTEL & CASINO
Recto St, Clark Freeport, Angeles, Pampanga
Website: https://www.midorihotel.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/midoriclarkhotel/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/midorihotelcasino/
Email: [email protected]
Contact: +63 45 308 8888

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#Philippines

Where to Celebrate Christmas in Manila?! (2019)

Gather your loved ones and celebrate the most wonderful time of the year with mouthwatering feasts and sweet escape promos around the Metro.

Who says you have to travel far to enjoy staycation choices, various sights, and activities to unwind, bond and relax with the Family as you celebrate the holidays?

Here’s a list of ideas for an awesome 2019 Christmas in Manila…

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Uncategorized

Hard Drive Recovery: Ontrack is Your Best Bet for Data Recovery!

This is a true story.  I’m sharing this recommendation to help those creators desperate to recover data from their failed hard drive.

All hell broke loose last October when my precious SSD (Solid State Drives) decided to die on me out of nowhere.

I was in the middle of editing a very important video for Japan when all of a sudden my SSD, a modern device more reliable than a standard HDD (hard disk drive), crashed and refused to boot.

For some reason, my SSD of 2 years decided to die on me while I was working on an important project. I was shocked and I didn’t know what to do. All my work and personal files were inside and I have never backed them up EVER. When it crashed, I immediately searched the internet for information and directions.

At that point, I knew that my SSD was pretty much unresponsive and that it definitely needed to be looked at by professionals. So the next day I brought it to a highly rated data recovery center in Manila.

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#Philippines

10 Best NEW Homegrown Restaurants in Manila of 2019!

Greetings of a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from Our Awesome Planet!

Here are the Best NEW Homegrown Restaurants by Young Chefs and Restaurateurs in Manila of 2019:

1. Metronome

Duck

METRONOME is a modern French restaurant in Makati by Joël Robuchon-trained Chef Miko Calo, RJ Galang of Bakere/Man Eat Manila fame, Restaurateur Elbert Cuenca and Alain Borgers, formerly from the Shangri-La Group.

This is the much-anticipated restaurant opening of 2019 in Manila because of the rave reviews about Chef Miko’s food in the underground supper clubs, not to mention the place was featured in Chris Dwyer’s CNN article—Great plates: 15 new restaurants to try in 2019.

Read more: METRONOME by Chef Miko Calo: The Best French Bistro in Manila? (Review)

Verdict:

Overall, at the end of the meal, we asked Chef Miko, “Why is your food so good?” It looks simple, classic French (not fusion), but when you taste it, the flavors overwhelm you with their simplicity. Ang galing!

For the best experience, make sure to reserve the banquet tables which are very conducive for conversations with friends until closing time. Definitely, order the Egg and Spaghettini for the small plates, the Duck for the mains, Chocolate Textures and Baba Au Rhum for dessert. Budget ₱2,500/head for the dining experience or + ₱1,000 for the tasting menu + drinks. Indeed, it deserves all the hype and the food is worth every peso.

Metronome is the best French bistro in Manila.

METRONOME by Miko Calo
G/F The Grand Midori Makati, Bolanos St., Legaspi Village, Makati
Operating Hours:
Monday to Saturday 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm
Reservations taken between 10:00 am – 10:00 pm
Mobile: +63 917 147 3776
Telephone: +632 618 4337
Email: [email protected]
Facebook: Metronome
Instagram: @restaurant.metronome
Website: www.restaurantmetronome.com

Metronome Menu: Small Plates | Mains | Tasting Menu | Desserts | Coffee, Digestif
Drinks Menu: Champagne, White, Rose | Red | Bar List Spirits | Cocktail, Beverages

 


2. a mano

Located at Rockwell’s Power Plant Mall in Makati, a mano is a modern Italian restaurant by Amado Fores—son of Asia’s Best Female Chef, Margarita Fores—that promises faithful and fresh Italian food. a mano means “by hand,” pertaining to the handcrafted quality of the ingredients, the food and the service.

2019 witnessed the osteria battle of new Modern Italian concepts in Manila and, for us, a mano is the winner in that battle in terms of high quality of pizza, pasta, steaks and overall vibe. Ang galing!

Read More: a mano: Best New Italian Restaurant in Manila!

Verdict:

Overall, we love a mano because of the hand-crafted quality of the food and the overall service. You can come back here every day and order different items, so you get to enjoy every dish on the menu.

Order our favorites: Taglierini O Tajarin, Bianco for the pasta, Stracciatella for the Pizza, the Bistecca or Pollo al Burro for the main, and don’t miss the Tiramisu for dessert. Budget about: ₱1,500/head for a full 4-course meal.

I think Amado is the next Larry Cruz, who was a great restaurateur (before my blogging days)—with well-executed restaurant concepts based on his well-traveled background and taste for good food even though he does not know how to cook.

Don’t miss Amado’s awesome concept, and make sure to reserve.

a mano by amado fores
R1 Level (Stall 144), Lopez Drive, Power Plant Mall, Rockwell
Operating Hours: Open Daily 11:30 AM – 3:00 PM, 6:00 PM – 10:00 PM
Mobile: +63 917 552 6266
Email: [email protected]
Facebook: a mano
Instagram: @amano.ph

A Mano Menu: Antipasti, Insalate | Pizze | Paste | Secondi (Mains) | Dolci (Desserts)

 


3. Test Kitchen 2

The Test Kitchen 2.0 moved from the actual test kitchen of the Bistro Academy in Kamagong to the posh neighborhood of Rockwell with bigger space, a la carte versions (vs tasting menu) and the cool kitchen lab playground of Chef Josh Boutwood.

Read more: Test Kitchen 2.0 by Chef Josh Boutwood in Rockwell

Verdict:

Overall, this feels like eating in a Michelin-star restaurant in London with food grounded on aged meats, seasonal ingredients and in-house fermented food. It’s updated with the latest trends (but not faddish) with a nice curated selection of natural biodynamic wines. I love the tour of the test kitchen, aging rooms and different fermented ingredients used in the menu.

Start with the charcuterie and bread of the day and order the appetizer of cucumber, squid, dill and beef, horseradish, cauliflower. For your mains, the chicken, seabass and wagyu steak are quite good. Best to eat family style. The desserts were not remarkable so just order what you want to try to end on a sweet note with cold brew.

Budget about ₱2,000/head for a 4-course meal plus ₱1,500/head if you’ll get the steak and the wine pairings.

The Test Kitchen 2.0 by Chef Josh Boutwood
G/F One Rockwell, Rockwell Drive, Rockwell Center, Makati City
Operating Hours: Tuesday to Sunday 11.00 a.m. to 3.00 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Mobile: +63927-958-9727
Email: [email protected]
Instagram: @thetestkitchenmnl

The Test Kitchen Menu: Snacks, First | Second, Third | Beverage Menu | Wine by the Glass

Drink Menu: Red Wine (France) | (Italy, Spanish) | (USA, South Africa, South America) | White Wine (France, Italy) | (Spain) | Rose Wine (France, Italy), Dessert Wine/ Port, Sparkling Wines/ Champagne

 

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#Restaurants

Linamnam by Don Baldosano: Joshua’s Birthday Celebration (A Review)

As featured in 10 Best NEW Homegrown Restaurants in Manila of 2019!

We celebrated Joshua’s 12th 🎁 at Linamnam private dining by Don Baldosano at their kubo-inspired home in Greenvale 2.

Linamnam serves modern Filipino food 🇵🇭 with a 16-course tasting menu at ₱1,700/head.

Here is our Linamnam experience with the family…

Linamnam MNL by Don Baldosano
31 Greenvale 2, Marcelo Green Village, Parañaque City
Operating Hours: Wednesday to Sunday 6:30pm onwards
Mobile: +63 917 573-0246 (By reservation only)
Instagram: @linamnam_mnl

 


First Things First

We had a hard time finding 31 Greenvale 2 (Dr. Baldosano’s house), inside Marcelo Green Village (via the service road between Sucat and Bicutan).

It’s a quaint bahay kubo with a hardin courtyard and an outdoor open kitchen where Don cooks. (Tasting Menu and Family A La Carte Menu)

Don Baldosano, the cook, has Junior Masterchef experience, training at Toyo Eatery and a culinary degree at Enderun and is going for internship abroad soon.

Since we were celebrating with seniors and kids, Don agreed to create an a la carte set for the kids and seniors while serving the tasting menu to the adults.

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#Restaurants

METIZ Modern Filipino by Stephan Duhesme (A Review)

As featured in 10 Best NEW Homegrown Restaurants in Manila of 2019!

METIZ is a modern Filipino restaurant by French-Filipino Chef Stephan Duhesme who moved back to Manila from his restaurant stint in Bogotá (formerly Tria Neo Bistro) to embrace his Filipino roots, push our cuisine forward and be part of the young Filipino chefs who are driving the chef-driven restaurant dining scene in Manila.

The name is mestizo-inspired as a tribute to the mixed heritage of Filipino food and the chef’s roots. The menu is a fixed 5-main course experience using 100% local ingredients at ₱1,500/head. We had a Christmas dinner date with the Lechon Diva and here’s what we think…

 

METIZ
Karrivin Plaza, Ground floor, Building A, 2316 Chino Roces Ave, Extension, Makati, Philippines.
Open for dinner 6.00 pm and 8.30 pm from Tuesdays to Saturdays.
Mobile: +63917 898-5751
Email: [email protected]
Instagram: @metizresto
Facebook: Metiz


It’s located at the back of the first building of Karrivin Plaza where Toyo is and  in front of the Moment group’s Mess Hall.

The open kitchen felt like one big living room with Stephan and his Colombian girlfriend Karen Urriago welcoming you as you enter.

If you are going with a group of 6-8, make sure to reserve the special private table with cool leaf-covered lamps.

Stephan’s food philosophy revolves around fermented ingredients and vinegar as the distinctive difference of Filipino cuisine versus other Asian food.

Our favorite spot is this Chef’s table where you feel part of the kitchen action yet still feel like you’re in a private nook with good lighting for your photos.

Five Courses choice of mains

Five Courses choice of mains (₱1,500++). Dishes vary according to the seasonality and availability of our locally sourced, organic and sustainable ingredients.

Metiz Menu: Menu Carte Blanche | Cocktails | Wines

Stephan personally wants you to experience a progression of flavors in 5 courses with a choice of main course based on what’s seasonal and fresh.

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Staycation

The Sphere Manila x Little Flour Makati Staycation!

The Sphere Serviced Residences is a cool place to stay at the heart of Salcedo Village for your next family staycation in Makati. The rooms are bigger with a chic modern fit-out and a fully equipped kitchen to enjoy nice meals in the room.

Breakfast is served at the Little Four Cafe for an awesome morning start, and you can enjoy the cafe during lunch, dinner and dessert sessions. It’s a central place where you can have your business meetings around Makati, while your family enjoys the room and dining at Little Flour.

Check out our The Sphere Manila x Little flour staycation with the family.


First Things First

The 120-room serviced residences, owned by Singapore-based Six Stratos, is located on the 21st-26th floors of The Stratosphere.

The Sphere Serviced Residences
The Stratosphere 136 Valero Street, Salcedo Village, Makati
Operated and managed by Hospitality Innovators, Inc. (HII)
Telephone: +632 8635-7288
Email: [email protected]
Facebook: The Sphere Serviced Residences
Instagram: @thespheremanila
Website: www.thespheremanila.com

Check out low The Sphere Manila rates and availability from Booking.com.

(L-R) Lisa Zakharka (Group Director), Alec Yatco (The Sphere Operations Manager), Luis C. Monserrat (HII Founder and CEO), Mitzi Gonzales, Agnes A. Luna (HII Executive Vice President and CFO)

There are 20 well-appointed studio and one-bedroom suites per floor, all managed by Hospitality Innovators, Inc. (HII).

The Stratosphere lobby, sandwiched by Starbucks and Little Flour Cafe, also serves as the check-in counter of The Sphere.

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