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.
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.
I have not posted anything in almost four months. I have regrettably been MIA in blogsville for quite some time because… life happened. Lots of shitty stuff happened within those months and TBH, they drained the life out of me. And if it wasn’t for my new-found love (addiction) for K-drama, I would have lost a lot of sleep overthinking stuff which could have ended pretty badly with me wearing a straitjacket. Probably. Haha.
So, life happened to dump its crap on me for a while, but it happens to everybody. And while it was all happening, I kept on keeping on and still lived my life anyway, minding my own business – eating, drinking, going on trips, watching my K-drama and even jogging now. And I guess the better stuff of life involves eating a great deal.
Well, since I’m not one to dwell, let’s talk about M Plaza instead. It is located along Diversion Road in Triangulo, Naga City and a good place to hang out and have a fun time with friends and family because they have restos offering good food and a good ambiance.
I have been there around four times already. The first time was with Caressa, a new co-worker of mine . We tried it for the first time and ate at this resto called Oppa, which is a Korean fusion restaurant. Oppa’s food were reasonably priced. We had Samgyeopsal (Php 270.00) or pork belly that we grilled ourselves and Cheese Teokbokki (Php 130.00) which was spicy rice cakes with gooey cheese on top. Yum!
The second time, there was already four of us and we tried the Japanese restaurant near Oppa. Their prices were a little on the high side and the portions were not very much as well, but the dishes we tried were tasty.
We had Naruto Ramen, although the waitress said that three persons can share this one but I’m pretty sure I can finish this bowl alone. The broth was lovely and I especially like the fried pork belly rolls. So good!
I always love California Maki, and this one is good!
M Plaza is a good place to hang out during a cool breezy evening such as when we had soju and beer.
It is also very kid-friendly as they even have a play ground for kids with swing, see saw, a jungle gym and a go-kart rental.
I guess that’s that for now. Thanks for stopping by! =)
Good news for the residents of Del Rosario, Naga City, nearby barangays and towns, All Day Supermarket is now open! It is located at Vista Mall, a mall which is still under construction as of this writing. However, the residents of Del Rosario, such as myself, will find it accessible to do their grocery shopping at All Day Supermarket which opened last June 15, 2018 with Alex Gonzaga as the celebrity guest.
I was meaning to post this real time but I was struggling with my own… oh, just got a bit lazy, I guess.
Anyway, we went there during the opening night because we figured there’d be too many people during the day who would wanna go in first. When we arrived, Alex Gonzaga was just being called to the stage, which was situated outside the mall near the entrance. We stayed during her first two song numbers but went inside the supermarket soon after that because we were really far and couldn’t really see anything anyway.
So, there were still a lot of people inside the supermarket.
I have seen all sorts of food items that you would expect from a supermarket – grains and beans, canned items, eggs, milk, fresh produce and a lot more. They even have various kitchen tools, bags, slippers, toys and even underwear.
In the fresh produce section, I got excited to buy some fresh black cherries because I never had fresh cherries before. It doesn’t grow here in the Philippines and we don’t often see it in our grocery stores. It’s kinda expensive though at around Php500 per kilo so I just bought a few pieces just to taste.
They also have other imported fruits such as peaches, strawberries, kiwi fruits, grapes and lychees.
Local fruits that were on display are avocadoes, guyabano, papaya, bananas and coconuts.
What they have that other supermarkets and groceries around here don’t have are these imported ready-to-heat food such as pizza, pasta, risotto, roti and burrito.
Another thing they have that others don’t is this service called “Paluto” where you can buy fresh seafood and meats and have them cooked inside the supermarket. There are tables and chairs there where you can relax and enjoy your meal, much like Dampa style.
The only thing they have to improve on though is the cashier being too slow. People get frustrated while lining up at the cashier because, let me say it again, really slow. Almost not moving.
The All Home, Vista Mall’s appliance and furniture store, is also now open. This store is huge and the employees are friendly.
I think Nagueños and other town folks will definitely like their display of household items, lighting, home decorations, furniture and appliances. The words I can think of to describe their stuff are updated, affordable and plenty of choices.
So, there it is, if you happen to be in the area, you might wanna check this new supermarket out and pretty soon, the Vista Mall will be opening too.
Our trip did not seem very promising. I slept late the night before and initially woke up at 4:30 AM and it was raining heavily. I know we decided to go through with it, rain or shine, but I had second thoughts about bringing Julienne along. Will it be okay to bring her in this kind of weather? Anyhow, the rain was not able to keep us from taking a short trip to Hibiscus Camp in Consocep, Tigaon, Camarines Sur.
Our first stop was along the meandering road on our way up to Consocep. We were on an elevated road and found ourselves enchanted by the picturesque landscape. It was very windy and the sky was gray, it did really feel like we were in “the middle of nowhere” but we loved every minute of it.
As the car continued to ascend on the zigzag road that climbs uphill, we reached our second stop. We enjoyed yet even more picturesque landscapes.
Photo credit: Mam Cha’s FB
There was a little house there and beside it were these fresh produce on display – bananas, sweet potatoes and even avocadoes. The problem was, nobody was around so we couldn’t buy anything. And we really really wanted to buy some. Don’t worry, the only things we ever took were these photos.
We continued to drive uphill and passed by the entrance of Consocep Nature Park. We had to pass that one up because of the weather and the younger kids couldn’t handle the trek. I looked it up online and I know there are three waterfalls to see in that place. A few meters up ahead and we reached Hibiscus Camp. It got seriously foggy in these parts too.
This wooden cabin was the first thing we saw (amidst all the fog). I could have taken nice photos of the cabin but then it started to rain heavily, so we had to rush for shelter. So, grabbin’ this photo (below) from Mam Cha’s FB instead 😉
Hey, did I mention it was foggy?
I like my views misty. Reminds me of the time I went to Sagada with some friends. It was really an amazing place and wonderful people too.The camp has a three-tiered swimming pool but I decided not to go swimming because it was cold, so when the fog cleared up a bit, I explored the place by myself.
I was hoping to not leave a stone unturned but I regret not being able to take pictures of the inside of the cabin. When I got there, someone was cooking in the kitchen and having conversation with another person, and I didn’t want to intrude.
To tell the truth, this place is probably the prettiest I have seen in Bicol so far. It is being dubbed as Bicol’s “Little Baguio” right now and you can see why from the coolness of the place, high altitude, the flowers and the mist.
You will definitely like it if you’re into nature and stuff. It is perfect for celebrations and pre-nuptial photo shoots, but during weekdays maybe. It is fast becoming a popular destination that there is not enough cottage during weekends. Also, the area is not that huge and still under developed but the views are surreal.
They have no rooms for overnight accommodations. It would have been nice though. And it would be best to visit in the summer because when you’re high up on a mountain, I found out that the rain can be a real pain in the rear.
How to get there: From Naga City, take the Diversion Road in Pili, Cam Sur and upon reaching the junction at Anayan, take the left turn going to Ocampo. It takes approximately 30 minutes and you should reach the junction at Hanawan, Ocampo that will take you up to Consocep. Around 8 kilometers along the zigzag road and you will pass by the entrance of Consosep Nature Park and a few meters up ahead, just along the road, is the Hibiscus Camp.
Entrance Fee is P25.00 only per person for those who just want to have a look around and take pictures. For those who want to swim: Adults are charged P100.00 while kids are charged P50.00.
It was easy enough to find and the road, although zigzagging, is solid concrete. It was our first time to go there and we didn’t get lost at all.
P.S. : All photos are mine except those I give credit to whom credit is due =)
Just at the back of ALDP Mall, along Diversion Road of Barangay Triangulo, Naga City, we discovered Agua Vista. Not that we were the first ones to discover its existence, but more like delighted to discover how nice it was. We have been hearing about it for a while and the little one had been bugging us to take her there to go swimming.
This is the entrance way going to Agua Vista, which is located within what they call as the The COMRES 100, a Commercial Residential Park.
Upon entering, the first thing we noticed was the three-storey building that was described in their brochure as “A grand fusion of 3-storey commercial/building in a self-contained and walkable community situated in the highly urbanized city of Naga.” It is still under construction at this time though .
They also have a koi pond where they keep quite a number of koi in different sizes and colors.
The entrance to the pool is through the door of the cafe (behind us in the photo below) where they have attendants who cordially greeted us. We paid the kiddo’s fee inside so she can swim.
This is their going rate: WEEKDAYS: Adults are charged P200/day rate and P250/night rate while kids are charged P100/day rate and P150/night rate. During WEEKENDS AND HOLIDAYS: Adults are charged P250/day rate and P300/night rate while kids are charged P200/day rate and P250/night rate. Also, they are strict with the dress code, as in swimwear only, and no food or drinks from outside are allowed. You have to buy from the café or if you must bring food, I think they charge for corkage. The good news is the use of their amenities is free (no cottage fee).
So, the pool size was decent and even though it was the weekend, the place was not so crowded.
The kiddie pool was on the small side but there was free flowing water to the kids’ delight.
I am thrilled about Agua Vista because it is a nice clean place where we can take our loved ones that they will surely enjoy. I am happy to learn about it because every time I have guests, I keep on asking Google where I can take them to have fun, and it always tells me the same thing – take them to the Hot Spring Resort in Panicuason or to Haciendas de Naga, which are kinda far and a hassle to go to when you don’t have a car. Agua Vista is in a prime location and very accessible indeed.
We were the last ones to leave so we were able to take photos without ’em photobombers lol.
With the sad lack of beaches nearby, I think we need more of these in Naga City.