Monday, April 29, 2013

Healthy Grounds Cafe

After driving for more than an hour with no open spa or massage place in sight, DB and I decided to just look for a place to eat. It was a Holy Friday which means that almost all establishments this side of the country are closed.

Driving to Tagaytay crossed our minds but hearing how terrible traffic was from friends whom I spoke with earlier that day, we decided to let go of the idea. Good thing we saw a lighted signage that reads Healthy Grounds along the highway.

On the table

Triple Caramel Freeze - Php128.00

Contrary to what this looks, it wasn't as heavy as I expected! The sweetness was just perfect and it was so refreshing as well.

Bolognese - Php95.00

I think it was a steal for its price considering that they didn't scrimp on the ingredients that made it so yummy and the pasta was cooked al dente.

HG Club Panini - Php115.00

Now this Grilled HG Club Panini on the other hand lacks egg, bacon and more lettuce and tomatoes to properly call it a Clubhouse Sandwich.

Angel Hair Pesto - Php90.00

Of all our orders, this Angelhair Pesto is my favorite! It was nutty and cheesy with just the right amount of oil that doesn't overwhelm my taste buds.

A must-try!


Healthy Grounds Cafe
Tanzang Luma V, Emilio Aguinaldo Highway 
Imus, Cavite, Philippines
Tel.: (63922) 885-7050

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Sunday Treats No. 3

"Trader Joe's Speculoos Cookie Butter is a deliciously unusual spread reminiscent of gingerbread and made with crushed biscuits."

Speculoos Crunchy Cookie Butter - Php350.00 per bottle

Speculoos Cookie Butter is probably the most popular spread nowadays thanks to the power of the social media. I've been hearing a lot of great reviews about this delicious and addicting Cookie Butter but they are so hard to find! Good thing we were able to grab two bottles of the crunchy version in the H2H's Favorite Things store in Makati. As of yesterday, they only have 3 boxes left so grab your keys and drive to the store now!


H2H Favorite Things
2F of Golden Spoon, Gateway Center Bldg.
Paseo de Magallanes, Magallanes Village
Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines
Tel.: (632) 854-7055

Sunday Treats No. 2


Golden Bay Restaurant
Block A2 CBP, Macapagal Avenue
Pasay City, Metro Manila, Philippines
Tel.: (632) 556-7525 to 7527

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Summer Bonding in the Island Paradise

My sister and I love Boracay. Its the powdery white sand and pristine turquoise waters that make me wish to be flown to Caticlan especially when I'm in dire need of R&R. My sister on the other hand, loves the night life and the party scene in the island. When my nephew turned one last January, a trip to Boracay is what the little one wants according to my sister. As if he can speak!

Two months later, together with my sister and our mom who is also a first timer, my nephew PD had the glimpse of what his mom and Tita Ninang have been raving about.

My initial plan was to book a resort either in Station 1 or 2 with a swimming pool so our little kiti-kiti will have the option to swim in the beach or the pool. However, our trip fell on the Holy Week season hence the instant increase in the rates, adding to the fact that all my preferred resorts were already fully booked.

Until a friend suggested that I check out Bans Beach Resort located in Station 1.

After checking the reviews and comments on travel forums, I decided it was the most practical accommodation we can get -- location and rate wise. We booked a Nipa Hut Cottage for Php2, 800 per night for 3 adults and 1 infant. The room was basic and outdated but clean and most importantly, a working shower heater.

Can you spot the tree inside the room?

After settling down and unpacking our things, my sister went to the bathroom while my mom and I were busy playing with my nephew. A couple of minutes later, we heard a scream then saw my sister hurriedly getting out of the bath still dripping wet! It turned out that she saw a hand trying to open the window from the outside! 

See the tiny window in the cemented area? That is where the culprit was trying to peep
on whoever is in the bathroom. This photo was taken the morning after the incident.

We immediately went to the reception area to report the incident. Together with the supervisor and the guard on duty, we all went and inspected the side of the room where we saw a ladder directly leaning to the window of the bathroom! Fearing that someone is actually watching us, I demanded to be moved to the second level of the two-storey building of the resort.

The room was bigger and newer compared to the Nipa Hut Cottages.

We vowed to forget the incident, at least for the meantime, so our vacation won't be totally ruined. Since we were traveling with a kid, it was basically a relaxed trip -- no island hopping or extreme outdoor activities, we just spent the four-day vacation swimming, eating and sleeping.

Skimboard expert

PD: Too many choices!

Strawberry Banana Shake from Jonah's

My nephew playing with a local kid in Boracay.

Dinner at I Love Backyard Bbq

March is Lumot (Algae) Season in Boracay

I wonder what he's gonna ask for his next birthday -- trip to Hongkong or perhaps the latest iPad? 

I guess Tita Ninang must start saving now!


Bans Beach Resort
Station 1, Brgy. Balabag
Boracay Island, Malay, Aklan, Philippines
Tel.: (6336) 288-3156 / 288-3837

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Black Saturday at Balay Indang

It has become a tradition between my friends and I to meet on Holy Thursday for Visita Iglesia. Or if most of us are unavailable, we move it some other time like in this case, to Black Saturday. Prior to this, I got a text from my friend asking me if I wanted to go to Balay Indang. I've been to this serene place last year and I thoroughly enjoyed the brief time I spent there so I said, Yes!

Read my previous post on Balay Indang here.

Our initial plan was to spend the night here but later on decided to just go for a day trip since it's just an hour travel from home. Reservation is required as the food are prepared depending on the number of guests and day trippers they are expecting to arrive.

After checking my name on the list, the guard on duty instructed us to proceed to the main house which also serves as their reception area.

The living room is adorned with beautiful and extraordinary treasures bought by the owners from their travels abroad.

You have the option to dine by the lanai or in the (air-conditioned) main dining area.

The hot weather seems unbearable so we requested the food to be served inside the house. Day trip in Balai Indang costs Php600 per person which includes free use of their facilities except the swimming pool and sit down buffet lunch.

On the table

Fresh Dalandan Juice


Salmon Pasta


Shrimp Skewers

Grilled Chicken

Tuna Wasabi

Seafood Omelet

Everything were exceptionally delicious and well-presented! I especially like the slight kick of the Wasabi on every bite of Tuna which instantly became my favorite dish.

As with most sit-down buffets I've been, dessert is simple and ordinary.

Sweetened Banana

To burn off the calorie intake, I suggested for us to walk and explore the rest of the resort. We were surprised and delighted to see that there's a Station of the Cross on the far side of this vast property. Good thing my friend downloaded the Way of the Cross on his phone so we were able to complete all fourteen stations.

More random photos we took in Balay Indang.

Balay Indang is like a lovely garden inside a farm with fruit bearing trees, beautiful flowers and lush greeneries. There's something about this place that will relax and calm your mind and body.

Our happy tummies and the breezy afternoon made all four of us sleepy and just wanted to lie on the ground to take a nap. Lucky for us we found this three-story tree house with a rocking chair and a sofa bed! A few minutes after we stepped in and we're off to la la la land.

For guests staying overnight, use of the swimming pool is free of charge. But for day trippers like us, there's a corresponding fee of Php100 per person and extra Php50 if you forgot to bring a towel.

I have yet to experience spending the night in one of Balay Indang's cozy rooms and I am definitely looking forward to trying out their other delicious dishes. Hope to be able to squeeze in another trip here before the summer ends.

"He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly, to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God." -Micah 6:8


Balay Indang
88 Mahabang Kahoy Cerca
Indang, Cavite, Philippines
Tel.: (63917) 866-5825
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