This blog is all about roaming the Bicol Region, Philippines wisely on a budget. We'll talk about what Bicol has to offer when it comes to great hotel deals, good food and where to go on your vacation. So, I hope this blog site will be helpful to those of you on the look out for great deals while you have fun in Bicol. Also, I will be sharing what my life here is like and some of the things that I find interesting in my side of the world.
This is my second time to blog about Manna Korea. The first time I did, it was still located in Barangay San Felipe. Now, they have moved their business in Avenue Square building along Magsaysay Ave. in Balatas so it is now easier to find.
So, during the first time we ate at their new location, we noticed the prices have gone up a bit for some of their dishes. However, I must say that they were able to maintain the quality and taste of their food.
We ordered half of this dish called Tangsuk for Php 200.00. It was deep fried pork and sweet potatoes with salad greens on the side. The pork was awesome and not oily at all.
At first, we mistook this one (below) for another dish that we did not order so we called the attention of the waitress. It turned out to be the dipping sauce for the Tangsuk, a sweetish sauce with carrots, apples, pineapples and spices that was served in this big pretty bowl.
Of course, we had my absolute favorite Korean dish – Korean seafood pancake!
Then, the Soy Garlic Chicken (this half order costed Php 200.00). Yum! I can say with all my heart, Manna korea has not disappointed me yet.
I was not able to take pictures of the place because it was a bit awkward to put a camera infront of people’s faces when they’re obviously busy stuffing it with food and spending quality time with their families. The place was simply packed for dinner. It just didn’t sit well with me that time. So this is all I got for you, this nice painting on the wall.
Last Sunday was market day for us. We bought our pork cutlets and buto-buto (for sinigang) at Lehman’s in Magsaysay Avenue then we went to Robinson’s Supermarket along Diversion Road for our groceries. After that, we went to Centro to try to buy aranghita or dalandan (local citrus fruit resembling ponkan oranges but green even when ripe). Unfortunately, we did not find any aranghita to buy that time.
After all our errands, Yoy, Julienne and I were so hungry that we went to Cely’s Kinalasan only to find it closed. We then went to Dayangdang and came across this attractive little eatery called Mister Sabaw (Bulalo-Kinalas).
I wanted to try the Lechon Kinalas (Php 65.00) but it was not available that time, so that’s a shame. Yoy and I each had the Pork Kinalas. My fast verdict: The soup was savory and satisfying but the pork bits still needed more cooking time.
A little info guys, according to Wikipedia, “Kinalas is a Bicol dish created by cooking noodle garnished by scraped meat from pork or beef’s head and other parts, enhanced with a thick deep-brown sauce coming from the brains of a cow or pig. The dish is further flavored with spices and served in hot broth. Boiled egg added is optional.”
As to how attractive that sounds, I just don’t know. Actually, prior to this writing, I didn’t know that the sauce came from the brains of cows and pigs. How was I eating this stuff and never knew about this? Anyway, looking at the dish, there was just no telling that all those gory details had to transpire in order for me to enjoy this Nagueno delicacy lol.
Kinalas is paired best with these condiments – ground pepper and red chili oil.
Julienne had the Loglog (just noodles and soup, no meat) for Php20.00 only and her favorite soda pop (any drink is her favorite as long as it’s carbonated).
It was our first time to eat at Mister Sabaw and I hope to try their Bulalo (bone marrow soup) next time.
This is a late post. Apparently, I thought I already posted this some months ago when in fact I only started it then put it away in my archive files, completely buried and forgotten. And when I was re-categorizing my posts yesterday, I was looking for this post about White Bean Café and even thought that maybe I deleted it by mistake. Turns out, I never got to finish it and never posted it in the first place.
This is how I originally started to write it:
“I have been off the grid for a few weeks now. Then, I was practically sick these past three days. I learned only too well that I’m not getting any younger, and the hard way too. The truth is that I’ve been busy stressing at work during the day and barely sleeping at night watching my K-dramas. It all ended up with me having the worst kind of migraine attack for three whole days. I was barely functioning and had to sleep and sleep until my brain was able to repair the damages I caused it. Yep, the signs of aging.
So, last week, I was just at White Bean Café with Ate Franz, Jael and Mabel, all friends from work. When Jael invited me to have lunch together, my mind suddenly wondered where we might go. I thought of White Bean Café almost instantly, it’s somewhere I haven’t been but was always curious about.
The café’s location is a prime spot, right smack in the center of the Centro Naga, it is situated inside Nagaland Hotel, just across from E-Mall.
The place has a nice ambience, it is a cafe after all.
Whenever I get invited to eat out, I used to feel lazy and would rather just go home and rest, or I used to think that maybe I should be spending money on more important stuff instead of eating at a pretty café or resto. That only changed when I started blogging. Sure, I can blog using information that I can find on the internet, grab some pictures from reputable sites and cite them as source, but I had to experience it for myself, I had to have eaten it or seen it in person to be able to talk about it. I guess it would not make me feel confident to write about something I haven’t experienced first-hand. So, blogging made me want to eat out, try new things and go to places I’ve never been.”
As much as I wanted to write something different, say something new, I figured I cannot just throw away my thoughts and feelings during that time because, honestly, that was just how it was. So, I decided to keep them.
As for the food and drinks, these were what we ordered. I have to say sorry that I might not be able to remember the exact names now. The first one was a Matcha Milk Shake, then the rather simple but yummy Mango Shake and my Iced Tea, which was just a perfect blend of tea and lemon.
As for the food, they offer lots of choices from Filipino fares like Kare-Kare to the usual favorites like filleted fish, pasta and chicken dishes (like the one we ordered which was buffalo wings).
I would say the price range was not the cheapest, but the food, drinks, the nice ambiance and the service made up for it. It was a good first experience for me and I hope to come back again soon. For each person, one might spend around Php250-Php300. Next time, I will discover if they have more affordable meals for those of us on the budget, just like me on most days haha (wink wink).
Cjzave Barbeque & Grill is located along Magsaysay Avenue, Naga City, just across the street from Tapsi Terminal restaurant. We discovered this place while walking back after jogging at Basilica Church grounds. Its location is conveniently camouflaged among several establishments and can easily be overlooked if you do so much as blinked.
Last December though, we had a small gathering there (sort of like a Christmas party) wherein we even exchanged gifts. Nothing fancy. All in the spirit of fun.
Well, this restaurant is a Korean style barbeque and grill wherein for only Php 199.00 per person, you can enjoy their unlimited pork belly (samgyeopsal), bacon, seafood (shrimps & squid slices), flavored meat slices and even hotdogs. They also have side dishes like kimchi, zucchini salad, fresh lettuce, cherry tomatoes as well as fresh fruits.
The thing is, you may get and grill as much as you want to eat for one (1) hour. Then how long you take to finish the food is completely up to you. Apparently, this is their version of unlimited. But judging from how our stomachs were filled to bursting that night, the system wasn’t so bad after all.
First things first. In order to eat, one must toil. In this case, one must grill…
And grill, for what seemed like eternity…
Until finally, you have this spread in front of you…
And then you can enjoy it too…
Oh well, I’m coming clean. We also ate while grilling, so, we didn’t really hold back so much lol. None of us really suffered that night.
Meet the advance party. The others arrived an hour or two later…
Have you ever been to a restaurant and bit more than you can chew? Or ordered more than you can eat, for that matter? Well, we have, not too long ago. This was in Grissini Ristorante, located in Magsaysay Avenue, Balatas, Naga City. One of the few sort of high-end restos in the city.
The ambience? It was a good spacious place. It felt open and bright because of the big windows letting the sunlight in.
The complimentary bread basket.
Guys, I am feeling a little lazy today so I am just gonna go straight to my thoughts on the food we ordered. Well, let’s start from my most favorite which was the Pizza Margherita. Ain’t she pretty? This pizza was simple but it was really good.
Next was the Spaghetti Al Pesto which was delightful because of the pesto sauce. I love this because the flavor was not overpowering and the pesto balanced the creaminess of the other pasta dishes we ordered.
This next one was called Pasta Scampi. It was mainly spaghetti with sauteed shrimp, broccoli in garlic, chili flakes and olive oil. I liked it because it had no creamy notes to it at all. This was a welcome break from feeling “umay” from eating a lot of creamy pasta dishes we ordered.
Speaking of creamy pasta dishes, my personal order was the Spaghetti Ala Puttanesca. It was a good pasta dish, and if I happened to have it at home, I’d definitely be eating it happily all day (well, sporadically, that is). My thing was, I got overwhelmed with the portion and felt like I was force feeding myself in the process trying to finish the whole serving.
Then, the Lasagna Al Ragu. Although this one was creamy, but it was really very delicious. I’d order this again – It was baked lasagna pasta layered with bechamel and meat sauce topped with mozzarella and parmesan cheese. Who doesn’t love a very cheesy creamy lasagna?
Another order was Spaghetti Parmigiana. By this time, I was hardly distinguishing the individual taste of dishes. I was beyond full. So I’d rely on my companions’ opinion that the chicken on this one was superb.
This was us…
And this was my plate…
The food was superb and delicious but we ordered so much pasta than we can eat because we had no idea that the portions were actually good for sharing. So, when you check out Grissini Ristorante, keep in mind that each pasta dish can feed two to three people. We could have been satisfied with just three pasta dishes and two pizzas, instead of ordering one dish per person.
As always, it’s a pleasure having you visit my blog. Enjoy the weekend ahead! =)
Disclaimer: All photos are mine except those I give credit to whom credit is due.
That night, after we had dinner at Wooden Board in Sta. Cruz, Naga City, the little one was not ready to go home yet and was all smiles when we decided to look for a coffee shop to hang out instead. We decided to check out this new coffee shop along Barlin St. Sta. Cruz, called Marie-Alyjah’s Cafe. This cafe is located right inside Domus Residences building, and has no sign board outside with its name. In fact, we only learned its name when we went inside, all the while I thought it was called Domus Cafe or something like that.
The ambience was good enough and the place was clean and well maintained. Like any decent cafe, they have good air conditioning and ample seating.
As for the food, we ordered one of their house-blended drinks called the Talamansi Tea (Php 53.00). C found it was too sweet at first and asked it to be watered down twice. The taste of dalandan (local lime) was delightfully strong in this one and it was a great blend nonetheless.
I got the Choco Fudge Mini Frappe (Php 51.00). We were actually surprised at how affordable their prices are. This drink looked too sweet but the actual sweetness level was just right upon taste.
Julienne had Hot Choco (Php 57.00). We liked this drink best because it wasn’t too sweet and loved the creaminess of the milk. This was probably because we didn’t stir it any so the sugar/sweetener stayed at the bottom (lol).
We also ordered Nachos to munch on. It was a nice pica-pica which C and I enjoyed but the little girl is such a picky eater and do not like stuff with greens on them (sigh).
I’m posting a part of their menu so you can see how affordable their prices are.
As usual, I’d like to thank you guys for taking the time to read my posts. Drop by again soon! =)
Hello there! How are you guys? Hope you’re all feeling well and happy today. As for me, I’m doing just fine. I mean, life kicks me in the butt time and again but that’s life, right? But really, I have been dead tired these past few days from travelling to and fro Sorsogon City to care for my sick mother. One can’t even imagine how hard it is to care for an aging parent, especially when they’re sick, unless they’ve done it themselves. So, I will be forever grateful to my brother Bong, and have so much respect for his commitment to stay by Mama’s side full time in this difficult time.
As I was saying, I was so tired and have not slept properly for three days. My mind was full of thoughts of my mother being sick and all the negative emotions from the horrible fight I had with my father. Well, he’s notorious for his drinking problem so that’s pretty much self-explanatory. Still being in this state yesterday, I was only grateful when Caressa invited me to go out and try this resto called Wooden Board in Sta Cruz, Naga City.
Caressa discovered Wooden Board though a Facebook post and she contacted the owner to inquire about the location and stuff. We met at a 7/11 branch infront of University of Nueva Caceres (UNC) and took a pedicab going to the resto. No worries, the pedicab drivers know the place. It is located in a residential area, a sort of crowded place, but it’s hard to miss because of the large signage.
The entrance, which was enclosed with a bamboo fence and vines, led to a small garden. We proceeded inside and instantly noticed the cool reggae theme of the restaurant’s setting with music playing in the background.
We were expecting a crowd but surprisingly, we were the only ones there. This was a bit odd considering it was a Saturday night.
The staff who appeared to be the owners themselves (or I could be wrong) were friendly and attentive. I just had a couple of issues that they might need to work on like #1. They need to do something about the mosquitoes, #2. The first table we sat in had been used as sort of an ashtray so we moved to another table and #3. They need air conditioning (to finally take care of that mosquito problem for good) because if they won’t shoo the mosquitoes away, they’d be shooing potential customers away.
The food though was good and reasonably priced.
We ordered these burgers called Hashtag Andrea (with lettuce, 100% beef patty, mayo mustard, hash brown and melted cheddar cheese) and Smokey Dale (with lettuce, 100% beef patty, bacon, mayo mustard, hash brown, melted cheddar cheese and caramelized onion). These were yummy burgers, beats the s@*% out of a McDonald’s or Jollibee buns any day.
We also had Fries Overload, which I enjoyed a lot. I think I’d be happy eating on my own with just this and one of their burgers. What made it even more appetizing aside from the cheddar cheese were the herbs sprinkled on top. I love that little detail.
For Julienne (who tagged along), we ordered Mac and Cheese but she didn’t really like it as much as she liked the fries and burgers. The pasta was filling but all the cheese made us crave for beer. San Mig Apple, yasss please.
Over-all, I really enjoyed it and hopefully, they’ll address the issues soon and turn this place into an ultimate go-to for all the passionate eaters and foodies out there.
About two weeks ago, we had a lunch gathering with friends who also happen to be co-workers. Jael initiated the meet-up while Caressa and I decided on where we should eat, which was at Quickstop Cafe, located on the second floor of Quickstop Convenience Store along Magsaysay Avenue, Balatas, Naga City.
It was Caressa’s second visit and she took the photos as I forgot to bring my camera that time.
The cafe looked like a regular cafe with ample seats and nice cool ambience where young people can hang out and probably bring a date.
As with the food, we anticipated that preparation would take some time so since C and I got there ahead of everyone, we texted them to ask what they wanted to eat and ordered for them. This way, they didn’t have to wait too long for the food to be served.
These are some of the food we sampled:
The Buffalo Wings were so good and for the price of a little over a hundred pesos only, there were 6 pieces and it came with garlic mayo dip.
The next was Chicken Teriyaki bowl. Unfortunately, I did not get to try this one but since J had no issues with it, it must be good.
This was my order – Special Daing na Bangus. It was fried milkfish with achara (pickled papaya with tomatoes and onion), rice and garlic vinegar for dipping sauce. Although the fish was a little smaller than I expected, it was still filling enough for me. I’d have it again in case I get a craving for fish.
Another dish that I really liked was the Chopsuey Rice because it was tasty, you can tell that the vegetables were fresh and cooked just right (not overcooked), plus this one already comes with rice (not in picture). Even the picky eating buntis (expecting mom), Arleyn, liked it.
We also ordered Beef Tenderloin Tips served on a sizzling plate. I found it was tasty enough but I tended to gravitate more towards their chicken dishes.
Irene’s order was Chicken in Soy Garlic Sauce. She arrived before her order was served but was pleasantly surprised when her order came out and there were six pieces of chicken cutlets to share. This was also very good.
As for dessert, C and I ate a Panacotta before the meals were even served and way before the others arrived since we were famished, but had to wait for the others simply because it was good manners, of course, lol.
Finally, we washed down all that food with a refreshing pitcher of cold Cucumber Lemonade (Php150.00).
Added bonus pics: Caressa was nice enough to lend me some of her pictures of the first time she was at Quickstop Cafe with a friend wherein they had Carbonara and Chocolate Mousse, among others. Posting it here for additional reference of the variety of food that they offer.
If you noticed, I did not put all the prices. It was because their prices were so reasonable that every dish we ordered were just a little over Php100.00 and their desserts in jars costed, more or less, Php50.00. Not too bad at all, right? And oh, we did not order drinks like coffee or tea that time so I have no pics of those yet, but I will try to update you as soon as I can. =)
So, I guess that’s it for now. If I was able to help you guys out in some way through my posts, in keeping you informed or whatever, I’m just glad I could do as much.
From my last post, I was talking about our trip to Jose Panganiban, Camarines Norte, which is Yoy’s hometown. As it turned out, there were only two hotels that popped up when I google searched hotels in J. Panganiban, they were Victor Hotel and Apolonia Hotel, the rest were room/house rentals via Airbnb.
Apolonia Hotel was were we ended up staying in for the night. My early verdict: not the best budget hotel I have ever been in but not the worst (yet) either.
Like every budget hotel, it is pretty basic. As it is located in an old building and the fact that I was already given the heads up prior to the trip that there were no nice accommodations to be had in J. Panganiban, I have kind of also adjusted my expectations to match reality. And avoid much disappointment in the process.
So this was the room. It had lots of cabinet space than we actually needed. I have never been in a hotel room and seen a lot of color pink than when I entered this room. Even with all that pink glory, it still had that unmistakable old place vibe. It was like the feeling of entering the studio apartment I used to rent in Legazpi City, and not like being in a hotel.
Then the bathroom was so dated that the fixtures have obviously seen better days. It was not the cleanest I have seen, but since my expectations have been adjusted, I did not find things very disappointing. Well, except for the fact that the water in the faucet was almost (really!) non-existent the next day. Apparently, the water situation was hard in the area and the hotel was no exception.
More pics of the old building…
Then, this was what it looked like outside of the room. It really reminded me of an apartment than a hotel.
It was an OK stay for the night for Php1,000.00 but the experience made me rethink the wisdom of trying out Airbnb next time around when I find myself again in this part of the Bicol Region.
Hello everyone! It’s me again, updating you on what’s hot and what’s worth your time and money if you ever find yourselves in Bicol.
Last week, we took a trip to Jose Panganiban, Camarines Norte and one of our stops was lunch at Lucban’s Ksarap Restaurant, located along Vinzon’s Avenue in Daet, Camarines Norte – just infront of SM Hypermarket.
Mama Pat suggested that we have lunch there as the said resto is best-known in the area in terms of serving good food. The ambiance was not bad either. They even have a machine that produces mist by the entrance to help cool the place from the sweltering heat somehow. They have a pasalubong shop, parking space inside the compound and a koi pond.
Even though the place was packed when we got there, we were able to secure a spot inside and enjoy a few of their dishes like Sotanghon (Php220.00), Pork Sinigang (P130.00) and Lumpiang Shanghai.
We shared a slice of yummy Blueberry Cheesecake for dessert.
I must say, we enjoyed our stopover. I hope you will too! =)