Blake’s Wings & Steaks

Marikina has not failed to fill my tummy of delicious but affordable food. Every visit is a journey to discovering new dining places where great food is served. Just recently, my bf and I experienced what it’s like to eat and not want your tummy to be full as you’d want to take in more and more of what you eat. That’s how great the food is at Blake’s!

We tried their best-sellers: wings, ribs, and steak!

Their meals include java rice, veggies, and iced tea. You can also order by the kilo. Kindly check their menu in Blake’s.

They are true to what their menu says about their ribs – they fall off the bone! These are all a must-try when you visit Blake’s.

Our order seems to be good for 3 – 4 people (depending on appetite) and our bill cost Php750. Really worth your time and money! Looks like I’ll be raving about this for quite a while. I’ll be back there next week! 🙂

Location: Mayor Gil Fernando Ave., Marikina (map)

 

✔ Price

✔ Taste

✔ Place

Will I come back here? YES 🙂

 

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Virgin Beach Resort on a Budget

Have you ever tried going on a trip without any reservations? on a payday weekend? Yup, for all control freaks out there, it’s jaw-dropping but it wasn’t my trip to plan. I was a guest traveler.

Travel Destination: Laiya, San Juan, Batangas

Travel time: approx. 3 – 4 hours from Quezon City

I think we managed to drop by to most of the beach resorts in Laiya just to find a place where the rooms are good, has a great view of the beach, and of course, suits our budget. Of all the resorts, Virgin Beach Resort stood out. They have an awesome view of the beach, fine white sand (almost like in Boracay), and their beach is free from seaweeds or rough sand. What’s the catch? The room rates: weekend overnight for 4 persons is Php10K plus a required purchase of their meal (breakfast, lunch, dinner) worth Php1600. The rates were quite steep so we decided to pass on this resort (after much deliberation).

Fortunately, we found another resort with reasonable rates and comfortable accommodations. Dona Nena may not be as popular as the other resorts in Laiya but that made it a peaceful refuge for all the hustle and bustle of a payday weekend beach experience. The cottage is airconditioned, with 5 beds, 1 comfort room, a TV, and is equipped with gas stove and griller. We were not able to swim at once because of the low tide but we enjoyed the homey feel the resort offered. Yet we can’t stop raving about how beautiful Virgin Beach Resort was.

After a good night’s rest, we were prepared to take a dip into the beach but we just can’t take our minds off how almost perfect Virgin Beach Resort was so we decided to take the Picnic Day Tour of Virgin Beach which was Php300/head. The Picnic Day Tour has no corkage fee so you could bring all the food you need and cook it there. You may see their rates at their website. Little did we know that such tour requires a Dining parasol rental of Php1350 but we just went on with it just so we could stay at Virgin Beach Resort once and for all and we made the right call!

I have to commend their logistics system for being so organized. They have enough parking space and beach space for all the guests. It didn’t feel crowded probably because of the long stretch of beach that they own. It was really a relaxing and exciting experience! If it were not for the sunburn that we took home with us, I’d probably be back their on the next weekend.

Planning to visit Virgin Beach Resort? Here are my tips:

1. Have a reservation. I’m not sure though if Day Tours may also be reserved. You may contact them here.

2. If you’re on a budget, just take the Picnic Day Tour and find sleeping accommodations on a nearby resort. 🙂

3. Bring food as there are no corkage fee for the Day Tours but please read their House Rules.

4. Put lots and lots of sunblock! You’ll definitely spend a lot of time swimming under the sun!

This trip (overnight at Dona Nena and picnic tour at Virgin Beach Resort) cost me a total of Php3000 (includes toll fees, gas, automobile rental, food). There were 5 of us. This will be cheaper if you’ll have more friends with you.

Categories: Batangas, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The beauty of Puting Buhangin-Borawan-Dampalitan

Here’s a gallery of pictures from Puting Buhangin-Borawan-Dampalitan

Puting Buhangin: Great place to swim!

Borawan: They have the best restrooms (use of restrooms are free but they have higher entrance fee than the other islands)

Dampalitan: Best place to view the sunrise; restrooms are cemented as well

Related post: Puting Buhangin-Borawan-Dampalitan

Categories: Borawan, Quezon | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Puting Buhangin-Borawan-Dampalitan

Another item in my travel list is Borawan, Quezon. It is said to have the fine sand of Boracay and the rock formations of Palawan. I only dread the long bus ride going there, similar with Cagbalete, Quezon. But, as always, it’s worth the 4 to 6 hours of sitting in a bus full of excitement and anticipation.

Going to Borawan usually entails island hopping to Puting Buhangin and Dampalitan islands as well. I was more concerned with the logistics – which island should we go to first and on which island should we stay overnight? I read several blog posts, specifically those posted recently but there were only a handful under 2015. I wanted to be prepared coz I have the impression that basic necessities might not be as easily available there. One thing’s for sure – we’re spending the night at Dampalitan as sunset is said to be best viewed there (and indeed it was!).

How to go There:

1. From Kamuning, take (JAC Liner) bus to Lucena and alight at Lucena Grand Terminal (took us 3 hours but average travel time is around 5 hours; Php218/person).

2. Take bus going to Padre Burgos or Unisan (takes 1 1/2 hours; Php40/person).

3. From Padre Burgos (alight at QCRB Bank), take trike going to Bgy. Basiao then you can rent a boat from there. 🙂

Boat rental for Borawan-Puting Buhangin-Dampalitan is fixed at Php1800.

What to Bring:

1. Cooking utensils: Going through this trip is DIY at it’s finest. You really have to do everything by yourself. You may have the option of asking the locals to cook for you but let them know ahead of time and, of course, for a price.

2. Sleeping gears: Bringing your own tent is cost-efficient but if you go for comfort, you could always rent a nipa hut (no air conditioned rooms there yet).

3. Toiletries: Just bring the usual – tissue paper, shampoo, soap, etc. but you could also buy them there.

Tips:

If you want a cost-efficient trip, here are some tips:

1. Bring your own tent. A hut costs Php850-1000. Pitching a tent costs Php200 only.

2. Bring as much food as you can. I know you don’t wanna travel with all those packed food but bring just enough that you can carry (ex: hotdog, marinated pork, etc). We bought cooked rice (Php50) at Puting Buhangin and it was good for lunch and dinner.

3. Drinking water may be bought at Bgy. Basiao (just ask the boatman). Water for bathing, on the other hand, may be bought at the island either by container (Php50) or by drum (Php5oo).

4. Puting Buhangin is the farthest of the 3 islands from Bgy. Basiao. You might want to go there first then pass by Borawan or Dampalitan, wherever you decide to stay the night.

5. The more the merrier (the cheaper).

Total Expenses: Php2,116 (if only 2 of you are travelling)

Breakdown:

Activity Amount/person Estimated travel time
Bus going to Lucena (From EDSA Kamuning) 218 3 hours
Bus going to Padre Burgos 40 1.5 hours
boat 900
drinking water 25
cooked rice 25
Entrance Fees:
   Puting Buhangin 80
   Borawan 115
   Dampalitan 75
Tent Pitch Fee 100
Table Rental Fee 150
Water for bathing 100
Trike to Padre Burgos 10
Van to Grand Terminal 60
Bus to Kamias 218
Total 2116
Categories: Borawan, Quezon | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

The Z Compound

As I looked for more interesting places to eat at Maginhawa St., I stumbled upon the Z Compound at #33A Malingap St. Quezon City. It is near the vicinity of Ally’s All-day Breakfast.

The Z Compound is a place where different food stalls with their own specialties come together just like in a food court. My first visit there was really exciting. You’ll feel like a kid in Candyland. You don’t know where to start and you want to try a little something from all the different stalls and restos. There are around fourteen of them in 1 compound and the food varies from Asian, Mexican, Mediterranean (shawarma), and American (burgers).

Chamba Juice serves the popular fishbowl raspberry drink. You’ll see at least one of that drink in most tables. It costs Php80 but is good for 3 – 4 people.

Burgers and Fries are served by The Burger Hub for as low as Php95.

Love Me Long Time serves Vietnamese and Thai food. As I haven’t tried real Vietnamese and Thai food, I can’t say if their food tastes like the original. I tried their Bahn Mi and it’s good. It’s like a sandwich from Subway. It’s priced at Php99 and is really loaded with fillings. I have yet to try the Vietnamese and Thai iced coffees though.

Samu Eats, one of my favorites (we’ve been back here at least 3 times), serves Japanese food at very reasonable prices. Their Bento box is priced at Php120 and includes miso soup, cabbage salad, and red iced (which tastes like the raspberry drink from Chamba Juice). I’ve tried their chicken Bento box and I was really satisfied. My tummy was happy.

Of course any Japanese resto isn’t complete without the sushi and sashimi. Their spicy tuna sashimi is priced at Php140 while their California roll is at Php99. They are okay (according to my bf) but not that good if you’re expecting something more authentic.

What I like about the Z Compound is that they are generous with their servings at affordable prices. There are still a lot of cuisines to try at the Z Compound and it’s always delightful to go back. They are open from 3PM and are closed every Tuesday. Best time to go there is from 4PM to 5:30PM. After that, people start to rush in and the crowd thickens. Will definitely come back here for more!

How to go there:

From Quezon City Circle (near the city hall), ride a tricycle near PNB (Kalayaan Ave). Instruct the tricycle driver to drop you off at Malingap St. or Z compound. Fare is at Php30 – 35.

✔ Price

✔ Taste

✔ Place

Will I come back here? YES 🙂

Categories: Food, Quezon City | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Maginhawa Resto#8: Frosted Desserts & Barkin’ Bakes

After having peri-peri chicken for lunch at Tornado, we walked around the area to look for a place where we could get our dessert. Good thing we stumbled upon Frosted Desserts. Upon entering the place, we were welcomed by some dogs who were customers of the Barkin’ Bakes, a “treat cafe for pets and their humans”.

We were not really into trying the cupcakes although they looked good. I just wanted to have my caffeine for the day so I ordered coffee while my bf ordered their apple crumble. We were happy with what we had.  🙂

More than our orders, we were fortunate that the owner (I assumed she’s the owner or at least one of them) was there preparing a cake order for her client’s dog. She shared a lot of interesting information about a dog’s diet. You’ll see how passionate she is about what she’s doing. Really inspiring indeed!

Products from Barkin’ Bakes are made available at Frosted Desserts. Dog lovers would be delighted to know that you could have cakes and pastries made for your dogs. You could even have a party for your pet at the cafe!

I enjoyed our stay there not just because the place was cozy and I felt that we were well-entertained by the owner, but also because there were few customers then. I heard the place gets crowded towards the evening.

I wasn’t able to get the name of the owner but we’ll definitely come back and know more about her. 🙂

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Frosted Desserts is located at 57 Maginhawa St., UP Village, Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines

 

✔Price

✔ Taste

✔ Place

Will I come back here? YES 🙂

Categories: Food, Maginhawa | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Maginhawa Resto#7: Tornado Peri-peri Chicken

I’ve been wanting to try out Tornado Peri-peri Chicken when I saw it featured in Poptalk. The guests from the show seemed to like what they had from this Maginhawa restaurant. I googled their location and menu to make sure that I’m prepared when I get there.

Tornado-Peri-peri

We ordered their 1/4 chicken with side dish and rice (Php125) and an iced tea (Php30).

The sauces add zing to the peri-peri chicken. You can choose from original (the green sauce from the right picture above), tiger’s fury (left pic above), and dragon’s breath.

The place is quite small – 3 tables inside and 2 tables outside which can accommodate a total of 20 people. So if you plan to go there, try off peak hours. 🙂

 

✔Price: affordable

✔ Taste

✔ Place: as long as you go there on off peak hours 🙂

Will I come back here? YES 🙂

 

*Tornado Peri-peri chicken is located at 104 Maginhawa Street, Teachers Village, Diliman. Quezon City
Categories: Food, Maginhawa | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

The Satchmi Experience

Picture this: a cozy place where you could drink your coffee, read a book, and listen to music being played at a turntable. Yep, there is such a cafe and it’s found in Megamall (4F, Mega Fashion Hall). I’m glad I stumbled upon Satchmi. I really enjoyed my coffee experience here. It wasn’t so much about the coffee I’m drinking. It was the vintage feel of the place with all the turntables and vinyl records around you plus the books that you can read while sipping your coffee. I highly recommend vinyl record lovers to check out the place. I just don’t frequent Megamall but if I do, it will be another favorite nook of mine aside from Parvati.

Satchmi also sells vinyl records, turntables, ties, and socks at their store. You could also check out their website at satchmi.com.

Categories: Food, NCR | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Matabungkay Beach at Batangas

As 2015 drew near, I knew I’d have less travels for this new year as I’ve decided to scrimp a little more than last year (Dubai and Singapore trips from last year are still pending to be posted). I kind of want to start the year away from the hustle and bustle of the city so I can do some personal reflections and goal settings.

My bf’s friend organized this Batangas trip and I assumed the role of a gf tagging along the trip. You see, I like planning and organizing trips. I like going through blog posts checking where our possible venue could be. But I also decided that this year, I’ll be less stressed by anything around me, to be more fluid, to be more affected by things that are really important.

For the first time, I went into a trip with no room reservations made, no itinerary, and no cooking or eating essentials. In short, the trip was short of a surprise! 🙂 And I was happy/OK about it. It was an opportunity to put one of my 2015 goals into action.

Resort Hunting

We initially inquired at The Coral Beach Resort. We were quoted with their peak season rates: Php2800 for their Standard room (good for 2 persons) and Php3800 for their DeLuxe room (good for 4). The resort has a small swimming pool and a restaurant. While checking out the beach front, we noticed that there were a lot of small boats “parked” which makes beach swimming quite not comfortable. A local approached us and told us that the rooms beside Coral Beach are priced for as low as Php2000/room. We checked it out but apparently the Php2k/room were only for off peak season.

We drove off to Bella Resort and found their rooms more affordable: Php2500 (good for 2-3 persons). They have no restaurant so we had to buy and cook our dinner later in the evening. They also have a swimming pool bigger than that of Coral Beach Resort. The beach front had no parked boats and the ambiance of the place was really relaxed unlike Blue Coral’s which felt busier. We were free to use their grilling area along with a gazebo-like beach shelter.

Here’s a quick comparison of Coral Beach Resort and Bella Resort

Coral Beach Resort Bella Resort
Price more affordable
Restaurant                     /
Swimming pool                    /       / (bit bigger)
Wifi                    /                 /
Ambiance busy, night life chill, relax

Almost everything is expensive in the area of Matabungkay. A calamansi costs Php1 each, a litre of softdrinks costs somewhere between Php75 – php100, a kilo of pork costs Php190, etc. In short, bringing your own food (and ingredients) is a lot cheaper.

The staff of Bella Resort were very accommodating in the sense that, apart from being courteous, they were willing to cater to our needs like hot water for our morning coffee and cup noodles and cooking our rice (for a fee of Php100).

We were happy with our decision to stay in Bella Resort because when the night came, the Coral Beach Resort area played loud music. We wanted a more relaxed place where we could spend the night exchanging stories while warming our bodies with alcohol. The climate was really cold that you’d turn to alcoholic drinks for warmth. 🙂

It was a fun, fun, fun experience!

My expenses for the trip ranged from Php2000 to Php2500 in a group of 4 persons. Again, the more, the merrier, the cheaper!

Categories: Batangas, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

2014 in review

I’m lucky to have been to different places this year, both local and international. Downside are the backlogs of posts waiting to be shared.

It is in this year that I decided to share my food experience as well since travelling usually goes together with the food experience.

Again, thank you to all the readers!

Here is the annual report prepared by WordPress for my blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 13,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 5 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

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