Places to See

All Day Supermarket is Now Open! (Del Rosario, Naga City)

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.vista mall naga city my bicol blog 1

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.vista mall naga city my bicol blog 2

So, there were still a lot of people inside the supermarket.vista mall naga city my bicol blog 6

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.vista mall naga city fresh produce my bicol blog 13

They also have other imported fruits such as peaches, strawberries, kiwi fruits, grapes and lychees.vista mall naga city fresh produce my bicol blog 12

Local fruits that were on display are avocadoes, guyabano, papaya, bananas and coconuts.vista mall naga city fresh produce my bicol blog 9

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.vista mall naga city imported foods my bicol blog 14

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.vista mall naga city my bicol blog 25

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.vista mall naga city my bicol blog 3

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.vista mall naga city all home my bicol blog 17vista mall naga city all home my bicol blog 16

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.

Thanks a lot for reading! Till next time.

 

 

 

 

 

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Resorts

Agua Vista (Naga City)

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.agua vista naga city 15

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.agua vista naga city 14

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 . agua vista naga city 10

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. agua vista naga city 9

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).

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Inside the cafe

So, the pool size was decent and even though it was the weekend, the place was not so crowded.agua vista naga city 18agua vista naga city 1

The kiddie pool was on the small side but there was free flowing water to the kids’ delight.agua vista naga city 20agua vista naga city 22

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.

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Dressing Room/Shower Room/Toilet

We were the last ones to leave so we were able to take photos without ’em  photobombers lol.

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On the background was Robinson’s Place Naga, where we walked to for afternoon snacks before heading home…

With the sad lack of beaches nearby, I think we need more of these in Naga City.

 

 

Where to Eat

Green Earth Cafe (Naga City)

I have long wanted to feature Green Earth Café in my blog ever since a friend of mine introduced me to the healthy dining experience it offers. The right opportunity presented itself when my aunts and cousins visited from Manila and I thought I’d bring them there for lunch because both my aunts cannot eat just anything anymore. They have limited food choices now that they’re older. They always have to eat healthy.green earth cafe naga city 14green earth cafe naga city 21green earth cafe naga city 4

So, Green Earth Café was the first thing that popped into my head that I know serves healthy food in Naga City and with a really cozy ambience to boot.green earth cafe naga city 3

green earth cafe naga city 5green earth cafe naga city 6The food took a long time to prepare, something that I have not taken into consideration beforehand, knowing that my guests were tired from the long trip. And tired often leads to hungry eventually. On our table was a reminder warning that healthy food preparation may be slow but it is worth it, or something to that effect. The reminder advised that to avoid waiting for a long time, better call or text your order ahead of time. Why did I not know this before?

So, after what seemed like a looong wait, the Nacho with Salsa dip was served. The nacho tasted like it was made from scratch which I like. Everyone liked the salsa dip because it was fresh and laced with mint leaves. My kid liked this dip even though she does not eat veggies unless wrapped in lumpia wrapper and deep fried.green earth cafe naga city 2

Next that came out was the Tofu with Black Pepper Sauce. This was a good healthy dish and the tofu was homemade.green earth cafe naga city 9

Then there was the Shiitake Mushroom in Sesame Sauce which I thought was very similar to the dishes you can eat in a Chinese restaurant because of the sesame seeds and sauce. It also had tofu, carrots and young pechay leaves. This might be my new favorite among the dishes we ordered.green earth cafe naga city 8

We ordered brown rice and they even made an effort to plate the rice with a sprig of mint. This mint eventually went into Nay Henring’s glass of warm water.green earth cafe naga city 10

We also ordered the Vegan Mushroom Sandwich, also a favorite of mine, but not such a huge hit in our crowd of eight. green earth cafe naga city 7

The Vegan Pad Thai was the very first dish I tasted at Green Earth Café. Bianca and I went to this café twice. And on the two occasions that I have been there, we ordered this dish, which is good for 3-4 persons. I usually like the noodles but I think they overcooked it a bit because it did not seem as al dente as I remember. And the last time I had this dish from this same café, the peanuts were young, crunchy and fresh and just barely cooked so when you munch into them they give that delightful milky taste. However, this time I forgot to get some peanuts for my plate so I cannot say that they were the same but I liked the crunch of the sprouted mung beans.green earth cafe naga city 11

We also had the Thai Spring Rolls which was made of sprouted mung beans, grated carrots, nuts and herbs wrapped in lumpia wrapper and served with Thai style peanut sauce.

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Note: Not the exact number of spring rolls because lucky fingers got to them first lol

The last order that arrived was the Veggie Spring Rolls which was basically lumpia with sprouted mung beans as the main ingredient. It came with vinegar with chilli and mint, and a side dish of tomato enchilada.green earth cafe naga city 12

After our meal and while waiting for my aunts and cousins outside, Julienne and I had a good look around.green earth cafe naga city 20green earth cafe naga city 18

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The daughter took my photo… Good job!
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Siling Labuyo… hot!

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This cafe is located at 3rd St., Villa Sorabella Subdivision, Concepcion Grande, Naga City. How to find it when you’re driving: take the Maharlika Highway going to Concepcion Grande then look out for the building which houses Banco De Oro (BDO) or Olivan Home Depot, take the right turn (assuming you came from Naga City proper) going to Villa Sorabella Subdivision, just a few houses straight ahead and you’re sure to spot their signage. Its the left turn for vehicles coming from Legazpi City. For commuters: Take the jeepney going to Concepcion and ask the driver to take you to Royal Ann. The building that now houses Olivan Home Depot and BDO used to be the Royal Ann Hotel, and until now, commuters always say Royal Ann instead of BDO so as not to confuse the driver and miss their stop.

Most of the dishes at Green Earth Cafe are priced higher than Php150.00 but with all our orders, our bill only reached up to Php1,300.00+. Good healthy food and good value for money. No wonder the restaurant has a regular following. It’s a must-try for tourists and those of you who want to embrace a healthier lifestyle.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Where to Eat

24 High St. (Triangulo, Naga City)

Hi guys! I’m happy to report that this is my third post for the month of April and I think I’ve outdone myself in the posting department. As another blogger friend, Anne, told me just weeks ago, even if I come up with only one post per month, the important thing is to not give up. Thanks a lot for cheering me on Anne! Means a lot! ❤

So, last Monday after office hours, I went out with two of my friends from work, Irene and Arleyn, who took me to this new food barn in Naga City called 24 High St. It was really nice and thoughtful of them to ask me to eat out just because they thought I could use it for my blog. Well, the place is blog worthy anyway, so why not?

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Ooops, the drinks are almost gone but where are the burgers???

24 High St., located in Brgy Triangulo,  is easy enough to find and not just because of the classic VW Beetle which was hoisted and placed about 12 feet from the ground as landmark but because it is just at the back of St. Joseph School and very near Bicol Access Health Centrum. However, it is not included in the jeepney route so you will need to take a tricycle to get there (fare is Php8.00 per person).

Inside the food barn are several food stalls selling assorted food and drinks from barbeque, chicken, noodles, coffee, fruit juices, soda, french fries, pasta, sandwiches, burgers, nachos and even lechon belly. There is even a bar that sells beer and other alcoholic beverages.24 high st naga city 10

I ordered from the stall of a coffee shop called Single Ancestry. I was in a less than adventurous mood that time and I already know this shop so I got the Matcha Over Ice which is a sweet green tea milk drink and the Shrimp Pesto Pasta. To be honest, the Matcha Over Ice was delicious but a bit too milky for my taste. I should remember to ask for more green tea and less milk next time.

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Matcha Over Ice (Php100.00)

The pasta was delicious as well. They did not scrimp on the pesto sauce and the black olives balanced the nutty flavour of the dish. The only let down maybe was the shrimps being on the small side, and oh, the portion was not a lot. I could eat two servings, and I eat like a bird.

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Shrimp Pesto Pasta (Php146.00)

My two companions were just there a few days before and Irene really liked the Hong Kong Style Noodles that she ordered again and the black gulaman drink. I liked this noodle too since I used to have this for lunch or snack when I was still working in Manila. It included two pieces of siomai and crunchy mung bean sprouts topped with sauces (teriyaki, soy sauce, chilli garlic, etc.) that is added according to your taste.

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Hong Kong Style Noodles
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Black Gulaman

Arleyn had the Watermelon Shake from Single Ancestry, which she said was really refreshing, and the Burger Platter with three small burgers (cute pink buns), nachos and fries. The taste of the food on this platter was satisfying but I think the portion was just enough to feed two people, not three. It’s a shame I do not remember the name of this stall that sold the burgers but I remember clearly that it took them almost an hour to prepare and serve the food. So, service was sluggish.

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Watermelon Shake (Php65.00)

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The ambience of the place though is really nice. Even though there were a lot of people that time and they were showing something on the big TV screen and playing relaxing music at the same time, we were still able to hear ourselves talking. When night time came, even more people began to arrive, mostly students and yuppies. The atmosphere of the place was warm and friendly. 24 high st naga city 924 high st naga city 11

Over all, we had a nice time eating, chatting and just spending quality time to talk about everything under the sun (Yes, you can actually hear yourself talk). I hope 24 High St. will continue to grow and improve to become a top foodie destination in Naga City.

 

My Bicol

Summer Feels from our Garden

How do we know it’s summer in the PH? For one, the sun feels really hot outside that I need to use my umbrella even in the morning, the usually cold A/C can barely be felt anymore because it is just way too hot. Summer is here, and it cannot be denied when it’s all over the TV – special features about where to go this summer like beaches, spring pools, resorts and just about every activity that families and adventure-seekers can do this season. Even in our office, people are already planning the (mandatory) summer get-away where it is conveniently called “team building.”

For me though, summer means the garden will come back to life again. Like right now, flowers are all in bloom which is a real nice view to wake up to every morning.DSC00520DSC00521

The impatiens and periwinkle always go together rather nicely in our plant boxes  located outside of the fence.   DSC09930DSC00233

But wait, the bougainvilleas will not be outdone. They have been boring and flowered sporadically for the past months but they are finally coming out!DSC00505DSC00570DSC00509

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My little model is always up for this =)

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This summer is also the first time our cacao tree yielded its first fruits and hopefully the summer sun makes the fruit really sweet. We plan to roast the beans and make them into tsokolate or tableya after. DSC00498

Yesterday, I came home after work and harvested these eggplants. Our eggplant “tree” is about 6 feet tall already. It grew so tall because it has to compete with other plants to catch the sun’s rays. It has been around for so long, around three years maybe, and every time we try to cut it, it just yields more fruits/veggies. So I guess it has amazing survival tactics lol.DSC00500

And the good old herbs – basil, mint, rosemary, chili peppers…DSC00506DSC00526

Not everyone is aware that due to the implementation of the TRAIN Law in the Philippines, additional taxes have been imposed on the consumers and everything has been getting more expensive than ever now, especially food items. Food should be affordable for everyone as a matter of principle, but our lawmakers obviously think otherwise. What real schmucks they turned out to be. So, why not grow our own food right at home? I have started by putting these green onions in soil so we don’t need to buy anymore. It’s a small start but it’s a start.DSC00511

So there goes the start of my summer feels. I finally know it’s summer when the garden feels and looks like this, as it should. It’s summer!

Thanks for reading! Have a happy weekend ahead =)

My Bicol

Home Garden (Naga City)

I was just going through my picture files and saw these pictures of our home garden here in Naga City. Last year, there was a time when we were not particularly very busy, especially Mama Pat, who tended our home garden which used to look like this.DSC07699DSC07701

Our garden is mainly for food than for beautification purposes, although flowers were abundant especially during summer. Like these Rosas de Alas Dies as they call it here in Naga, but my Mama used to call it “Oro Alas Dose” in Sorsogon, so called because the flowers bloom in the morning but by noon, the flowers wither.DSC03951

This blue marnate vine literally covered the window of Mama Pat’s room. You can’t even tell this is a window. Anyway, this vine has been removed a few months ago because it was getting too big already. I miss the flowers, they are actually edible and can be found to adorn salad plates in some restaurants.DSC07703

In front of our house are bougainvilleas that also yield a lot of flowers in the summer and the blue flowering plant that I don’t know the name of.17190791_1619408251409407_5117129497669685115_n17265245_1619408431409389_1668838369552764419_n We also have a guava tree, cacao tree, moringga tree (malunggay) and rows of turmeric still rooted on the ground. Some plants we still have include culinary herbs like holy basil, mint and oregano. There are also aloe vera, okra, bitter gourd and eggplant.DSC07721DSC04946DSC07707

We are not as lucky growing the bitter gourd. They never seemed to grow just right, either they got eaten by insects or they ripened when still way too young so I don’t remember eating these. Although, that might be a good thing since they’re just way too bitter!   bitter gourd

And these string beans? They’re gone by now but we used to have them stir fried in soy sauce or with meat dishes like the Filipino favorite “Sinigang,” made with pork (or shrimp) with a savory and sour soup base.DSC07574

Our garden at home made me a believer that God’s blessings are truly abundant and within our reach. Because of this garden, we were able to save a lot of money since we didn’t need to buy our vegetables, we grew them (although most of the effort of course is due to Mama Pat). There was also something very special about harvesting food from the garden which always left me in awe. There was something really special about eating too knowing that there was no pesticide added and they were freshly picked. Last year, we were able to harvest this (below) almost every other day.DSC07814

Gardening truly brings joy to the heart and food to the stomach. I hope that this new year 2018, we will be able to bring our garden back to life, if our time and schedules will allow.

Thank you for reading!

 

Places to See

Celebrating Christmas (Naga City Metropolitan Cathedral)

Yesterday was Christmas Day and it was all about fun, love, food, lights, family, togetherness and the best gift ever- Jesus! We spent it in a simple way and we were happy with it as long as we spend it together.

We didn’t forget to go to church on Christmas Day. We went to Naga City Metropolitan Cathedral as we know San Francisco Church will be so full.NAGA CATHEDRAL 4NAGA CATHEDRAL 6

This is how it looks on the outside:NAGA CATHEDRAL 7NAGA CITY CATHEDRAL 1

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So when we got home, I greeted everyone on Facebook with a picture saying “Jesus is the reason for the season.” Someone asked me yesterday that if Jesus is the reason, then why did Santa Claus become the center of Christmas? And things like why do we even have a snowman decor when Jesus wasn’t even born during winter? And proceeded to say how it is a Western influenced fake tradition, etc. etc. He probably asked this because it is what he sees everywhere and I also don’t agree about how Christmas has been turned into a commercialized and secularized tradition that most people have lost the meaning of it. I mean, why do we really celebrate Christmas? We celebrate it because when Jesus Christ was born, we were SAVED from eternal damnation because no amount of good works can wash away all our sins to make us acceptable in the eyes of God. This is the reason why we rejoice and “give  love on Christmas Day.”

So, what if Jesus wasn’t exactly born on December 25? What if we like to eat, drink and be merry this season? Or what if we make our kids believe in Santa to get them to be nice? That doesn’t make us bad people. That doesn’t exactly put us in the same category as terrorists now, does it?  But to say that we shouldn’t celebrate Christmas at all and calling people who celebrate it as gullible fools is overstepping the bounds. For the record, we do have free will. And we should all use it to however we see fit. You may not celebrate the season but really you cannot judge those who do. We should all be tolerant of each other’s differences because if we can’t be tolerant and respectful of other’s beliefs, we’d all be terrorists. And it’s not nice to call others gullible or fools just because their set of beliefs is different from your own. Remember, your truth is not the only truth. Who knows if what you know to be the truth is even the truth? Confucius said that “To know that you know what you know and that you do not know what you do not know. That is true wisdom.”

That said, I will continue to celebrate Christmas the way I want, and not the way other people think I should do it. Ho ho ho!