Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Exhilarating Tour of Islas de Gigantes

The view that made me want to travel to Islas de Gigantes in the first place.

Cabugao Gamay Island

Breakfast was served after our sunrise tour at the North Gigantes Lighthouse. As expected, the cook surprised us with yet another variation of Scallops, breaded and deep-fried this time. By 9am, our group was already crisscrossing the rough seas onto our first stop, Cabugao Gamay Island.

Cabugao Gamay Island

Perhaps the most photographed spot in Islas de Gigantes, Cabugao Island is famous for its clear waters, white sand beaches, lush trees and majestic rock formations. Climbing all the way to the top of the cliff is definitely worth the time and effort if you wish to get the best view of the islet.

Bantigue Island Sandbar

Accessible only during low-tide, Bantigue Island Sandbar is a long stretch of white sand in the middle of the ocean. The sand may not be as fine as in Cabugao Island but this is where we had a great time swimming as the waves is not as harsh as in the other islands. The rocky shoreline in the far end of the island is also a favorite spot among photography enthusiasts.

Antonia Island Resort

Snorkeling, dining by the beach, camping, beach volleyball and water sports activities like jet ski and banana boat are only some of the things you can do in Antonia Island Resort. In fact, it was the only island that had a resort-like feel among all the islands in Gigantes. Antonia Island is also known for its colorful marine life and amazing coral reefs which we failed to explore because of the strong waves crashing into the rocks, quite a frightening sight if I may add.

There are so many places I have yet to explore in Islas de Gigantes like spelunking at Bakwitan Cave and the famed Tangke Salt Water Lagoon that was unsafe and inaccessible to swim into because of the high tide and strong current. I am definitely coming back next summer!

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Sunday Treats No. 51

Green Tea Sherbet - Php199.00


See Sun Juice Bar
Pan Pacific Manila, Adriatico Square
M. Adriatico St. cor. Malvar St.
Malate, Manila, Philippines
Tel.: (632) 536-0351 to 54

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Budget Lodging at Red Planet Hotel, Malate

With the worsening traffic we're experiencing all over the Metro, going home after a night out has been a challenge lately -- defying more congested routes while driving 10kph in manual transmission for hours! I've always loved living in Cavite but when you're stuck in traffic almost everyday, having a place nearby seems like a perfect idea. Since renting a place is a commitment, I've been on the look out for an affordable accommodation for those nights that I don't want to stress myself for hours on the road and Red Planet (formerly Tune Hotel) has been my savior!

Conveniently located in the heart of the busy Malate District, Red Planet Ermita is a value hotel with 167 rooms of all-inclusive rate that goes as low as Php1, 200 per night. All rooms are equipped with a double bed or 2 single beds, air-conditioning, ceiling fan, a cable TV, toilet and bath and complimentary Wi-Fi. Red Planet being a budget hotel does not have a restaurant but there's a 24-hour Chinese place and a 7-11 store by the lobby for your late night cravings and binges.

Verdict: Affordable rates + complimentary parking + convenient location + helpful staff + tight security + comfortable and clean rooms + complete room amenities = highly recommended!


Red Planet Hotel
1740 A. Mabini Street, Malate
Manila, Metro Manila, Philippines
Tel.: (632) 708-9888

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Reliving Vietnam at Pho Hoa

One rainy August night, CS and I joined a group of tourists from Vietnam for a delicious and savory dinner at Pho Hoa. Before my first trip to Ho Chi Minh back in 2010, I never really paid much attention to Vietnamese cuisine. My initial impression was that Chinese and Vietnamese cuisine only revolves around noodles and nothing more. Though I was able to try authentic street food in Saigon, it was my trip in Hanoi in 2013 that changed my perspective about Vietnamese food.

Read more here:

Food Trip at Old Quarter, Hanoi
Green Mango Restaurant, Hanoi
Breakfast at Calypso Grand Hotel, Hanoi

What we ordered

Fresh Spring Rolls - Php145.00

A refreshing appetizer enough to fill some space in my hungry tummy and leave some for the main entree, these Fresh Spring Rolls dipped in peanut sauce is a must order in Pho Hoa.

Grilled Chicken, Veggie and Fried Rolls Vermicelli - Php290.00 (Small) Php340.00 (Large)

Great minds think alike.

CS and I both ordered Rice Vermicelli dishes -- he had the Grilled Chicken, Veggie and Fried Rolls Vermicelli while I ordered the Prawn, Veggie and Grilled Pork Chop Vermicelli. Apart from the huge serving, what really surprised us is instead of having more Vermicelli like most restaurants do, both our bowls had more vegetables (about 2/3) that it felt like we're actually eating salad!

Prawns, Veggie and Grilled Pork Chop Vermicelli - Php310.00 (Small) Php360.00 (Large)


Pho Hoa
G/F North Wing, Mall of Asia
Pasay City, Metro Manila, Philippines
Tel.: (632) 556-0636
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