Dayrit’s delicious Roast Beef

Don’t go back for more :(

Finally I was able to eat in Dayrit’s which for the longest time I’m just seeing it along Buendia. Now, they moved in Magallenes already where they have spacious parking and a canteen like ambiance. I don’t have alot to say about Dayrit’s because so far, only the Roastbeef is great. All the rest, burger and non-beef food like sizzling fish is a big disappointment. So, if you are a meat lover and you happen to be in the Magallanes area, this is something to try out for a change.



Power Lunch @ Chef Ed’s

Image764_1G/F GF & P Building
139 H.V. Dela Costa Street
Salcedo Village, Makati City
Tel# 812-0016, Cell# 0921 740710

Awesome Power Lunch!!

I’ve always wanted to eat and try out Chef Ed’s famous cosmopolitan cuisine specially the famous paella. Yesterday, I had an opportunity to eat during lunch time with the phils leadership team in Salcedo. We arrived at 11.15am (they open at 11.30) and this was just a perfect time for us to order the paella which should be ordered one hour and 15 minutes in advance! Yes, we have to wait but it was worth it 🙂 Lunch was heavenly specially with all the happy discussions we are having with the team. You should also try out their laing lumpia, crispy cochinillo, and the decadent cake! we tried the grilled salmon tocino on vegetable sinigang but it was just OK.

Just a couple of advice for people eating here, you should alot at least 2 hours for lunch, call one hour in advance, and prepare a power budget of >P500 🙂


Food Tours

Carlos Celdran noble cause to change the way we look at Manila!

Anton, Mike, Bill, and Carlos 

Fantastic Tour! Way to go Carlos!

I remembered to post this article when Mike Best, my visitor from Cincinnatti, gave me a thank you gift which I received via mail last week. He appreciated the tour very much and I enjoyed joining the carlos celdran tours as well. Finally, I was able to meet the funky down-to-earth carlos and I joined not only one but two tours in one saturday afternoon. The first one was a scheduled Funky Imelda tour of the CCP complex buildings (CCP Main Theater, Folk Arts, and PICC). I learned the great importance of the Leandro Locsin architecture and understand better Imelda Marcos and how the CCP came to be. Then, we had a private tour of Intramuros which started with the tour of San Agustin Museum, Casa Manila and finally Fort Santiago. This tour talks alot about the spanish colonial era and the liberation of the Philippines by the Americans. There has been alot of articles already written about the tour and everything they said about Carlos is true. What I like most about the tour would be:

  • Carlos funky getup and how he starts all his tour with the Philippine National Anthem.
  • There are alot of funny anecdotes, controversial insights and unwritten gossips about the history of the Philippines.
  • Carlos is a great promoter of the Philippines and we should have all tourists to our country to have the celdran tours as a must in their itinerary.

By the way, we requested Carlos to bring a psychic friend, Jessica along to cap the day with ghost stories and psychic readings. It was truly a fun saturday with Carlos.

Here are some of the links and reviews:
>> Carlos Celdran Intramuros and Funky Imelda Tour Photoset
>> Planet Philippines Article on Carlos Celdran
>> Philippine Business Magazine: Volume 12 No. 4 – Lifestyle. A Walk through History
>> Time Article March 7, 2005: Walk the Talk
>> Official Blog: www.celdrantours.blogspot.com



Awesome Places to visit next in the Philippines

***UPDATE  9/22/11: The Balesin island cannot be visited anymore and membership will by invitation only. The island is now owned by Alphaland Corporation. ***

There are still alot of places in the Philippines that I would loved to visit and conquer. One of my dreams is to visit all these beautiful places and hopefully capture its beauty in my photos. Someday, I’ll publish a coffee table book on these awesome places in the Philippines. Here are my top 10 lists of places to visit in the next 6-12 months:

1. Relaxing vacation in the Fantasy island of Balesin, Quezon
2. Sand Shower experience in Pinatubo Wellness Spa
3. French Fine Dining at Navarro Humprey’s Parallel 45 in Mandaluyong
4. Rare encounters with the whale sharks of Donsol, Sorsogon
5. Honeymoon in Pansukian in Siargao Island, Surigao del Norte
6. Experience Lady Laguna’s Tina Decal Culinary Tour of Quezon
7. White water rafting in Tuguegarao
8. Explore Sagada and the famous Banaue Rice Terraces
9. Savor the Ananyana experience in Bohol
10. Summer Vacation in Lagen Island, El Nido Palawan

Send me a note if you want to join or similarly interested in any of these places.



Post-it-Notes Mosaic

post-it note elvis
Originally uploaded by ih8gates.

I continue to be amazed by the level of creativity of people in flickr. I was blown away with this post-it notes mosaic of elvis. I’m now thinking of how can I reapply this in the office to ignite creativity into the organization as well. Maybe I’ll create a photomosaic of our general manager in the boardroom with post-it.

I’m glad that there is a how-to-tutorial. You just need a basic knowledge of photoshop of course to makee this happen. Here is the link to the how-to-post-it-mosaic.

Photo is courtesy of ih8gates photoset.


Photo Mosaic and Rasterized Pictures

I’m beginning to get addicted with alot of the digital programs that creates Photo mosaics and recently Rasterized pictures. On Photomosaics, I have tried Mosaic Magic from Fishsoft (the website is down now), Andrea Mosaic (which has a rough interface and not userfriendly) and Centarsia which I use for the photomosaic above with 100 pictures (click on it to see full blown). Also, for the rasterized image, I used rasterbator which creates a PDF file that contains the rasterized image.

If you want to try out these cool programs check out their website:

Centaria Website: http://www.happyhumans.com/centarsia/
Rasterbator Website: http://arje.net/rasterbator


My Wellness Journey

Sanctuario — The best filipino inspired Day Spa @ the heart of Malate

Awesome Spa!! I’m going back for more.

It’s been a while since I’ve blog about stuff in our awesome manila because we have alot of offsite meetings in the office (which I don’t usually blog about them). Last Sunday, I took the opportunity to check this famous day spa @ the heart of the malate area. I was flabbergasted by the beauty of the filipino inspired spa inside a spanish old house in Malate. This is really fantastic and just in the heart of the adriatico circle.

I’ve been a spa addict ever since and in fact we still have a spa membership in Westin Philippine Plaza Spa and Suriya Spa across Gold’s Gym in Glorietta. While in Suriya, I’ve read in one of the spa magazines all the best spa in Manila and the previous two spa was mentioned (Westin Spa and Suriya @ Intercon). Mandarin Spa is also mentioned that is in my next list to visit but what surprises me is the mention of Sanctuario in Malate. Yes, another sanctuario but not the resto in Tagaytay but a day spa. What makes me interested in this spa, is the famous Roberto Nacario who is a true manghihilot who uses a coconut oil made by him during good friday and a menthol oil that is really icy soothing. Enough with the background, but for all those spa addicts out there here is my review on Sanctuario:

1. Try out the Banahaw Mystique! I guarantee you that it is a totally different spa experience that is truly Filipino I should say. You start of by have a shower, steam, sauna and enjoy the different open air pools in aquaria. Then you take a dip in a wooden bath tub with hot water of Pito Pito. After this you get an authentic Hilot Remedial Therapy by Tatang Robert. He is also performing the Bentosa (also called suction cups) which involves “sucking of certain acupoints in negative pressure environment” to clean your system, activate blood flow, stimulate nerve systems. Then you finish off with Dagdagay which is an authentic Filipino Tribal foot massage using bamboo sticks. Total damage is P1,550 which is not bad considering the number of treatments for 2 hours.

2. Roberto Nacario is a must! He is on a by appointment basis only so you should call or set an appointment via the website. Yes, the website appointment system actually works. He is a down to earth guy who is part time manghihilot and in the morning drives a jeepney. Also, expect that his hands would be rough already and he is already mid 50’s but the pressure is the best. He would give you alot of insights on alternative healing. He is also available on home service basis @ P500 per visit. His cell number is 0919-2551151 for home service appointments.

Sanctuario is a full blown spa, salon and restaurant also. To give you an idea about the massage prices, aromatheraphy goes for P1,020, and reflexology/shiatsu by P780. Check out their entire line up of services.

Here are other information on Sanctuario:
website: http://www.sanctuario.com.ph/
address: George Bacobo corner Nakpil, Malate Manila.
Telephone Number: 450-1127
>> Sanctuario Pictures in Flickr


Shopping Secrets

Mango and branded apparels at Factory Prices!

Awesome Factory Sale!!

I can’t believe it 🙂 It is like a factory outlet store in Manila that actually has quality branded apparel goods at less than 500 pesos per piece. It was a great sale indeed that only happens twice a year (Mid-year, and Christmas) in a warehouse in Meycauayan Bulacan. There are three things that makes this certified awesome sale:

1). People shop in crates! Yes, people actually hoards the clothes and fills up the crates. My wife and two of her friends bought P6,000+ worth of clothes. I can’t believe it either but I’ve seen it with my own eyes and my credit card is my witness. Yes, they accept credit cards — can you believe it? If you know the owner, you can simply ask for additional 5% discount on the total purchase — who can beat that?

2). A Secret Place that only Chinese people know. I watched the people go into the sale with excited faces and these are mostly young Chinese women. You know that something is really good if you can see Chinese girls shopping in the store (they are the most value conscious people). Also, if you don’t see sedan cars in the parking area– mostly you can see Toyota innova, Toyota Revo, Ford Explorer, Honda CRV, Toyota Hiace and other family or 4×4 cars. This is strictly by word of mouth through the rotarians network but once you are in their contact list of the factory sale owners, you get informed when the sale gonna be held.

3). Original Mango Apparel at 1/3 the costs! My wife and his barkada would visit all the mango stores in metro manila to check out the great Mango sale. They cannot believe it when they saw some of the same clothes that are being sold in the mango stores for P900+, you can buy it in the factory sale for around P300! The warehouse have an air conditioned room where all the mango clothes can be found and the non-aircon area would have the men’s shirts and other branded apparel. There are no imitation in this factory sale.

By the way, the Chinese owners are very nice and they even offer you soft drinks or bottled water when you shop. Really amazing!

What’s the catch in all of these?

–> The products are overruns from export factories, from Hong Kong/ China, or Marshalls from the US. We suspect that the clothes are bought in bulk by weight. Some are from export companies in the Philippines so you would also see Ralph L made in the Philippines (but there are also made from other countries like mexico, etc.)

–> The factory store is located in Meycauayan, Bulacan which is the 2nd exit in the North Luzon expressway. Here is the address:

Star Trends Apparel Corporation
Block 4 Lot 3 Acefree Street, Sterling Industrial Park
Meycauayan, Bulacan Tels 2996061, 2996120

From Balintawak Northbound, take the North Expressway and take the Meycauayan exit (the big exit after Valenzuela, right after the Ever Memorial Park). Upon entering Meyc exit, turn left at the rotonda towards Iba (there is a sign), go straight past all the gas stations and you will see a big water tank of sterling on your right that marks the industrial park. Look for the second gate which is on your right (approximately 1.2kms from the rotonda). When you enter gate 2 (you have to leave ID), take the first left (Orion St.) and take the first right (Acefree St.). The gate is the 2nd gate from the corner (green).

–> The sale was already finished last June 30 until July 2, Saturday only. So keep posted on this blog for the next sale in November/December.



Around Laguna Lake in 11 hours! Yahoo!

Finally, together with some of our friends, we were able to complete a day trip to the Laguna area via going around the Laguna Lake! This is the first time I tried it last Black Saturday. We left Manila at around 8.30am, had a stop over @ petron in south super h-way to grab big chill and jamaican patties. Then we proceded to Calauan Laguna for to visit Field of Faith at around 11.30am. After an hour in FOF, we left Calauan at around 12.45pm enroute to Exotik restaurant for lunch @ around 2pm. After 2 and a half hours, we left the restaurant and dropped by the famous Paete Church. Most of the shops are closed because of Black Saturday in Paete but you can still see some wood carving shops in the middle of the town. After praying for 3 wishes, we head back to Manila via Rizal @ around 5pm. We arrived in Ortigas at around 7pm — woohoo! Still have plenty of time to have dinner @ Metro Walk.

The map above is courtesy of Paete.org.
See the collection of photos from me, Maong, Diwat —> Pictures of Laguna Lake Caravan


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