Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Handuraw Pizza, An Iconic Cebuano Pizzeria

After checking out of Crimson Resort and Spa Hotel, my kids began to be tad cranky and luring them with Cebu's best lechon was the only thing they look forward to.  The day was definitely long, and walking from 10 in the morning till 4 pm around and under the heat of Cebu's sun isn't what I would want either.

Reading from different blogs, I knew Cebu has a lot in store for wanderers like our family . Not only is it a gem for historical landmarks, the metropolis is buzzing with noises from booming modern developments and ahhh, it is a definite, definite haven for foodies.  

The Breathtaking Beauty of Sheridan Beach Resort and Spa, Palawan

Photo taken by Charmie Joy Pagulog of Philippine Star at Sabang Beach
From the time I said "OK Lord," during my bleakest moments, life has become a constant balancing act with many facets.  I have learned not to inhabit in these moments anymore, so I gathered myself together and decided to live my life basking in God's blessings.

I have learned to enjoy more of me, togetherness with my family and appreciate even the smallest of things about my friends. Yes!  I'm so "mababaw" (shallow-thinker) and can be easily pleased, but above all, I have learned to live life to its fullest, though it's  riddled with challenges.  In that way, I was able to see clearly and marvel in the beauty that surrounds me.

I do admit though that there are times that I cheat myself out of today, when tomorrow seems to rob away my moments, and today trickles away like water down a drain. Then realizing, waking up the next morning and that today I have wasted is gone forever.  It's now yesterday.  Some of those moments may have had spectacular things in store for me, though now, I'll never know.

Photo taken by Charmie Joy Pagulong of Philippine Star
The good thing is, I have started living in the "now" and have ceased every minute of it, making my yesterday (yesterdays, if that's grammatically acceptable) a great adventure and quite a story to tell.

So now, as I am typing every words in this article, I'm in awe of what have occurred during these past days.  Allow me to share my yesterday and I hope this doesn't only invite you to enjoy summer more but to live it in its majesty, as what I have let myself into.


Friday, March 27, 2015

Lenten Specials at Burgoo and Gumbo

If you are sticking to the worthy tradition of meatless meals on Lent, and are wary if your fave restaurants might not have something to replace your usual meat cravings, fret not, Burgoo and Gumbo offers sumptuous seafood blessings.  Here are some of their Lenten offerings. 

Bon apetite!

          Burgoo highly recommends Shrimp Fajitas this Lent.  It’s made of  char-grilled fresh shrimps, served with tomato salsa, sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese and tortilla wrappers.  Burgoo’s menu includes a wide selection of mouth-watering seafood dishes such as Shrimps and Chips, Seafood Jambalaya, and Shrimp Popcorn.  Also available are Seafood Linguini, Spinach Grilled Salmon, Quatro del Pesce, Golden Pan-Fried Salmon, Prawn Oreganato, Seafood Caesar Supreme, Lemon-Peppered Grilled Lapu-Lapu, Grilled Squid ala Pobre, etc.  Also, one should not miss Burgoo’s meatless but delicious alternatives like Baked Potato Slices, Mozzarella Sticks, Supreme Onion Rings, Bread with Spinach-Mushroom Dip, Caesar Salad, Vegetarian or Margherita Pizza, among others.

           Visit Burgoo at T. Morato in Quezon City; Powerplant Mall in Rockwell Makati; The Podium in Ortigas; The Promenade Mall in Greenhills; Gateway Mall in Araneta Center Cubao; Robinsons Galleria in Ortigas; SM City The Block in North EDSA; Mall of Asia in Pasay; SM City Marikina: SM Southmall in Alabang, The District in Cavite, and newly-opened The Terraces Mall in Fairview.  For reservations and inquiries, please call 9277424, 8381815, 6875254, 7263578, 9136112, 5560091 or 6336256.


   This Lent, Gumbo offers sumptuous seafood dishes you should not miss!  Top of the list are: Barbecued Shrimps, Cream Dory Mango, Steamed Pacific Clams, Cheesy Baked Oysters, Jumpin’ Shrimp & Peel, Calamari Friti, Shrimp Remoulade, Cajun Blackened Salmon, Ultimate Seafood Feast, Seafood Boil, Oyster Rockefeller, Fish Aglio Olio, Blackened Norwegian Salmon, Seafood Jambalaya and Seafood Gumbo.   Likewise, highly recommended is Gumbo’s Seafood  Aglio Olio, made of generous amount of fresh shrimps, clams, mussels and calamari sautéed in olive oil and garlic, seasoned with Cajun spices and green onions.  Indeed, these seafood treats are the best and healthy alternative this season.
           Gumbo is located at the 2nd Level Entertainment Hall, SM Mall of Asia in Pasay; 3rd Level Robinsons Manila Midtown; 2nd Level SM City The Block, North EDSA; 2nd Level Atrium Bldg. in SM Megamall and Robinsons Magnolia in Manila.  For reservations and inquiries, please call 5560238, 4420106 and 5271925.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Hotel Review: JMM Grand Suites.

The worst hotel service ever!

There are times when you wake up in the middle of your sleep in the wee hours because of such a disappointment.  Waking up in a hotel, that felt like, you were like at home but not in a good way.  Will elabirate on that as the story progesses.

It all started when my husband wanted us to have a simple get-together with her only sibling for my birthday, his sister's birthday and my daughter's 17th birthday.  We've been doing this for a couple of years now, booking a hotel suite/s (that is not so strict in accepting a number of guests) for celebrating family members' birthday, our favorite had always been Linden Suites.

This time we wanted to have it on a different hotel.  We searched at Tripadvisor for good recommendations and tried to look at Expedia.com for availabilities.

My husband's search had been quite futile, aside from Linden Suites, there was only one that comes out, and it's JMM Hotel.  It's located near one of my favorite hotel, Pan Pacific and Robinson's Place Manila.

Our view from our room's veranda

However upon checking, they have gotten bad reviews from their guests and their hotel ratings are really bad.  We became hesitant of getting this from Expedia or Agoda.  My daughter who goes to PWU, Taft Manila, had been requesting that we push through with the idea as she wanted to have a movie marathon with a couple of her batchmates.  We couldn't do it in our home cause we have a dog who's having pups in a couple of days, and we don't want to stress her out.

Plus, we love trying out different hotels, makes our lives more adventurous.

So we decided to give JMM a visit first and see whether we would like the place.  The location is a plus factor since my daughter will be hosting a small group of friends dinner and my SIL will cook for us.

It was a surprise to us to find out that their receiving area is located at the 22nd floor of The Birch Tower.  Upon getting to the said floor, we were guided to their office, and on the counter we were greeted by a personnel, we then proceeded with our questions since we were really eager to see the room/s.  After asking about the three bedroom suite, which was available on that day and on the Saturday, which we would like to book the room, she said we can be assissted to visit the room.

After seeing, we decided to get the room already and to make it short, husband withdrew money to pay the whole amount to make sure we get the room for ourselves.

Now here comes the horror story...

After preparing all the things we need for the mini get together, at the room we booked which is at the 48th floor, we went straight to the hotel though arriving late at 3pm.  At the office to get our keys, the General Manager of JMM who is an Egyptian wax there, he was the one btw who explained to us that its cheaper to book straight from their website or through them in an instant.   However, he mentioned, that they don't allow the 3-bedroom to be booked through Agoda.  Now, upon getting our receipt and seeing our booking, he called one of the personnel, Ms. Mitch to assist us.  When the lady, skimmed through the receipt, a sorry, sullen expression became evident on her face and I heard the worst phrase a customer would hear from a hotel staff- "I'm sorry Maam..."

Okay, I'm sorry is an unacceptable word in the hotel and restaurant industry, the main reason of your business is to give utmost satisfaction to clients, and are to treat them as guests, no wonder why this aforementioned hotel had gotten poor reviews in Agoda and Tripadvisor..

So the next thing happened, we were assigned to two rooms, one is a two-bedroom suite and the other a  one bedroom suite, instead of the one we got which is the three-bedroom suite.  Apparently, that one is not  available anymore.  What!  We booked it on a Thursday and apparently they have given the same room to some other customers and to my demise one of the staff have told me that it might have been given to a foreign customer most likely their same nationality, for the owners are Egyptian.
I could not even calculate how that would be acceptable, all I felt was that my rights as a consumer had been violated, worst on our birthdays.

I have been to a lot of hotels, upscale one and the not-so-high end ones and I have never felt this kind of treatment.   However, I just had to calm myself down and not ruin this day for me, and my daughter.  So I accepted their offer.

I thought it's going to be okay, until the next day, the switch to the living room, where the TVand wifi are connected and the electric stove got busted.  So we have to endure hours without TV and internet. Good thing my SIL brought her camping stove with her, thus we were able to at least have breakfast even without their stove.

Yes it was that horrendous...

Friday, March 20, 2015

OMG! I'm already 39, so what now?

Another OMG moment slightly going on in my mind right now.  Today is my birthday, no grand celebration, no cooking, no nothing, just what I want it to be.  In fact, i'm just at home, enjoying my loved ones' greetings, calls and text messages and here in Bloggers sharing my thoughts.

One year more and I'll be saying good bye to my thirties, though many say that I don't look my age, soon enough my years will take its toll on me.  So as much as I can do to hide my real age, years of hardwork, stress, sleep-deprivation and a lot more will show.  

But as Leroy "Satchel" Paige had put it "Age is a question of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter."

Thursday, March 19, 2015

2nd Entrepreneur and Franchise Expo 2015

As the Philippine economy powers up in 2015 add to that the upcoming ASEAN integration, and annual growth of 20 percent in the franchise industry, the country has the potential to become the franchising hub in global manner.  Did you know that there are over 1,300 local and international franchises, thus making franchising a preferred route for many Filipinos to start their own business.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Precious Moments at Century Park Hotel Easterland

Two of my favorite names will be making more meaning to Easter this year- Precious Moments and Century Park Hotel.

Mark your calendars as Century Park Hotel turns your Easter moments into a precious celebration.
Rejoice with fellow parents and kids in a fun-filled day on April 5, 2015 from 9 am to 1 pm at the Grand Ballroom.

My girls and I have a few of our fun Easter moments with the last two years at Century Park.  To see how the two Easter event were hosted by the said hotel, do click on these links:

A Fun Easter Celebration at Century Park Hotel (2013)

Our Easter Egg-venture at Century Park Hotel (2014)

It's time to bring your kids, heck, why not the whole family and wander in a land full of exciting activities like interactive games, coloring contest, face painting, mascot dance, enchanting magic show and the traditional egg hunting. Enter Easterland and get a chance to win raffle prizes and bring home bag of give-aways from their  participating sponsors – Trolli, Asia Brewery, Chips Delight, Happee Toothpaste, HBW, Lemon Square, Leslie’s, Lotte, Manila Bulletin, Miramar Confectionary Corp., Oishi, Toy Kingdom, Yakult, Mentos, Fun Ranch, Jack ‘n Jill, Farm House, Pizza Pedrico’s, Aficionado, J.Co Donuts and Coffee, Enchanted Kingdom and Star City.

For inquiries, please call 528-5840 or email sm@centurypark.com.ph

Sunday, March 15, 2015

M Cafe's Dimsum High Tea is My Kind of Meryenda

When you're caught unaware where to bring your friends or colleagues for an afternoon snack that's not crowded, noisy and that can bring a candid break from the usual coffee and cake afternoons, then head on at M Cafe or  Kabila.  

For a mere P595 you get a pot of Twinings Lady Grey tea, assorted dimsums and sweets. 

Don't you know that the term "high tea" was made apparently to fill up rich people in between lunch and dinner.  It's a variation from "afternoon tea" which was developed by English rich people where teas are enjoyed with an addition of light savory noshes that are easy to prepare on a regular high table.  So while Afternoon Tea was largely a social event for their upper class counterparts where tea is paired with shabby scones and pastries, high tea became part of the daily meals served in such homes and noble dining places.

Friday, March 13, 2015

An Enchanting Pampering at Aum Spa

Crimsom Resort wouldn't be categorized as a spa for nothing.  I've been to a lot of spa and wellness centers in Manila but Aum outshines them all.  Tourists make way to take a break from civilaztion and allow themselves to be cocooned in the lavish treatments that Cebu has to offer.  Aum is just one of the man examples of Cebu's signature warmth and kindness.  

Wining last year's World Luxury Spa Awards (2014), it only shows that Crimson does not compromise on guests' luxurious relaxation, and they are serious when they say the facility is an enclave of wellness that exudes serenity and bliss.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Hotel Review: Crimson Resort and Spa Mactan, Cebu

I've heard so many good things about Crimson Hotel in Alabang from the blogs that I constantly follow.  According to Rina of Rina's Rainbow, they have a couple of  wow factors  which always surprise guests.  I've been meaning to have a weekend escape to the said hotel but without much luck, and Bhogs persistence going out of Manila, it never became a part of our plan.  Another blogger, Je's Anatomy, wrote in here blog, "Joie and I said only one thing when we first stepped into the reception area. WOW! We could not stop admiring its elegance. It’s as if even the smallest detail speaks of grandeur – the fountain, the couches, the chandeliers and even the warm lighting."

So my expectations of Crimson Resort and Spa Mactan was high and when Bhogs and I were planning for our family's Cebu get-away we made sure that we would stay in a hotel where family guests' welfare and comfort are their first and foremost priority.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Niu by Vikings Launched Resdiary Online Restaurant Reservation Service

Nothing beats a sumptuous feast at Vikings! 

I've been to several of their branches already, five out of the eight branches that they have to date, and Vikings in SM Jazz mall have always been my favorite. This time I got an amazing experience at the newest branch down cold.  Coined as the most luxurious of their luxury buffets, Niu by Vikings proved to be a haven for gastronomy and gourmets longing for a feast-for-the-vikings with

Let me quote Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin for me to fully describe what anyone can expect in Niu,  "Its purpose is to ensure the conservation of men, using the best food possible..."  This is how he have defined gastronomy, my most favorite topic of all, next to talking about God's fullness of Grace in my life.  Niu have definitely put themselves on this major category.

Niu by Vikings' aim is to bring utter satisfaction to epicures and food-lovers who have discriminating

Friday, March 6, 2015

Truly Flawless Skin at RCC Amazing Touch

It has been probably six years since I last visited an RCC Amazing Touch clinic.  Believe it or not I have acquired some skin disorders, other than pimples and wrinkles.  Pimples can be easily ruled out if managed properly, wrinkles however is a different issue in itself.  The other problem I have on my skin is the appearance of mini bumps that the derma specialists does not like to handle, unless be electrically cauterized.  I'm not talking about warts, but the ones I have are the pesky little white spots which had clustered under my eye bags, some above m cheeks and on the sides of my nose.
I used to be annoyed and might I mention that I'm ashamed of sharing this to you.  But I adhered to the saying that a problem shared is a problem solved.  I used to have them in clusters and no amount of make-up have hid them and frequent visits to the facial center didn't help as well.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

The Family's Bluewater Maribago Escapade

If you've clicked on this post you are one of three people: 1) someone who wants to know how to enjoy summer even with kids 2) a hater who wants to criticize me for bringing my kids on our wedding anniversary at this very romantic beach or  3) you are my mom (Thanks Mama, who is in Milan).

Well, yes, yet again we brought our kids with us to celebrate our bond of love, and we are on our 19th year.  Whew!  Believe me it wasn't all bed of roses and I'm no "Supermom" at all, as many would tell me.  Rearing four kids, a dog and a husband can easily burn one down, add to it some business on the side and the family's not so good medical condition. 

If you are one or two, I have news for you! Chances are you will definitely be taking my words on this.  Bhogs and I have ditched our plan to go out of the country to do something extra as a means to celebrate and welcome another beautiful year of togetherness.  Instead, he bought tickets ahead bound for Mactan, Cebu and I took it from there.  After experiencing Bluewater Sumilon without him and the kids, I have sincerely prayed that my next island tour in Cebu would be with them.  

Diana Stalder's Go for Gold Campaign at dS Beauty Cafe

Diana Stalder is fully committed to support their clients' desire to be beautiful inside and out.  By this means offering the best services and products that targets the distinct needs of the rapidly-changing and diverse skincare market.   From skincare services. products, to specialists and now a beauty cafe. These stand as a testament to the top-notch brand that had established a reputation in the beauty industry for 18 strong years.

My last visit to Megamall was a blast, not only that I had discovered a lot more restos and cafe that had recently opened, one that I did find unique is Diana Stalder's Beauty Cafe.  It's a nourishment section inside dS which is their solution to a healthy weight management system, where in they provide refreshments such as custom tea, coffee and ready to serve products that fall under Ideal Protein Weight Loss Method.

Incidentally, my visit to dS is for the launch of Go for Gold Campaign featuring the VIP GOLD MEMBERSHIP program coincided with the start of the Chinese New Year.  

"Everyone, not only the regular clients of dS is entitled to be a member of the VIP Gold," according to Ms. Dina Dela Paz-Stalder, CEO and President of Diana Stalder Face, Body, Skincare (dS). Having a VIP Gold Membership Card  means a full calendar year of pampering of the face, body and skin that suit everyone's active lifestyle on a very reasonable mean.

A gold that's only 6000 Php but worth more than what glitters. All dS VIP Gold Members will enjoy tons of privileges and benefits at premier branches the very moment you enrol.

A full year of pampering for members includes:
  • 3 Facial Supreme Treatment
  • 3 Gold Facial Treatment
  • 6 Underarm Bleaching Treatment
  • 4 Whole Body Massage Treatment
  • 4 Paraffin Wax Treatment
  • 6 Skin Awakening Treatment
More exclusive privileges are:
  • Free dS signature coffee or tea
  • personal hygienic kit in a personalized golden pouch
  • personal therapist by appointment
  • exclusive gold treatment rooms at premier branches 
  • exclusive invitations to promotions and sales events
  • special discounts on sparty and other parties
  • earn points in three was: purchases, member get member, and pre-appointments
  • Convert points for free Gold memberships, birthday sparty, or exchange for products 

The membership and all the services and  perks is valid for one year and can be used at all premeier dS branches such as dS Gateway Araneta Center, dS SM Megamall, dS Svelte Eastwood and dS Calamba.

In the photo above is the first ever member who signed up for the VIP Gold Card, and have been a regular customer since the first time she tried dS,

For more details about Diana Stalder's VIP Gold Card, visit Diana Stalder branches at Gateway Cubao, SM Megamall, Eastwood and SM Calamba. You may also call the hotline number 984-8188 or 0925-300-6395. 

Do follow them on Facebook/DianaStalderByDermaline, Twitter @diana_stalder and Instagram @dianastalder.