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

Hibiscus Camp (Consocep, Tigaon, Cam Sur)

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.

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Photo credit: Mam Cha’s FB

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.hibiscus camp ocampo cam sur 3

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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.hibiscus camp ocampo cam sur 5

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.hibiscus camp ocampo cam sur 6

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 😉

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Photo credit: Mam Charinne’s Facebook

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Hey, did I mention it was foggy?hibiscus camp ocampo cam sur 14hibiscus camp ocampo cam sur 12

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.hibiscus camp ocampo cam sur 15hibiscus camp ocampo cam sur 16hibiscus camp ocampo cam sur 18hibiscus camp ocampo cam sur 41The 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.hibiscus camp ocampo cam sur 20

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.hibiscus camp ocampo cam sur 34

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.

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Passion fruit or “Mirinda” as we call it…

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.

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The young hibiscus plants of which the camp was named after

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.hibiscus camp ocampo cam sur 36

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 =)

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hotels

Second (and Definitely Last!) Stay at Selvina’s Hotel, Sorsogon City

I was debating with myself whether or not to still post this because I really regretted our second stay at Selvina’s Hotel in Sorsogon City. Just thinking about it now is still upsetting even though it’s been a month. It’s such a shame because I raved about this hotel during our first stay, that experience was a far cry from the second time we were there. So what happened, Selvina’s?

First, let’s start with the good points. Same as before – they have good firm beds, the room has a terrace (dirty by the way), complementary coffee and toiletries. List ends there.

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Now, the upsetting part.  First of all, there was no personnel manning the reception and we rang the bell many times. We took the liberty to fetch someone from their resto or we would have spent hours waiting in vain at their reception area. This employee who checked us in acted like she did not expect us. She stared at the confirmation booking for too long without actually having an idea which room to put us in, like looking at a complicated puzzle and no idea how to solve it. So, maybe she’s not the receptionist. After all, she was fetched from the resto. Still, any decent establishment that dares call itself a hotel needs a receptionist. And still, it’s more than a bit awkward for the guest because they made us feel like an inconvenience for them. Something I mind a bit when I’m paying more when I could have spent a lot less elsewhere if I’m just getting lousy service.

One more thing, their cleaning lady (who arrived, I assume, to assist Ms. Clueless) was rude. She made a rude remark after I asked if the room was on the second floor. Something about “Duh, of course all our rooms are on the second floor” but in Sorsoganon dialect. Ok, I was tired and the important thing was we finally checked in, so I let that pass.

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You can see the highway from the terrace

It got worse, the A/C in the room was very noisy and unable to cool the entire room. Summer here in the PH has a reputation for getting really nasty hot so I was already contemplating of complaining at the front desk. But thinking there was probably nobody manning the front desk again anyway, I decided against it. Instead, we went out to visit my parents, put the A/C on timer to run for two more hours and hoped that it will eventually cool down by night time when we got back.

The heat wasn’t as bad at night and we were able to sleep. The room they put us in had a queen bed and a single bed. I expected just one queen bed, just like the one we booked on our first stay, but since they really did not know what they were doing, gave us the wrong room. I should be grateful for the extra space, but I really would much rather have the room we first stayed in because it had a functioning air conditioning unit.

So maybe you’re thinking it wasn’t that bad. You’d be wrong. They cut the water supply of the hotel at 10:00 in the morning! Without so much as a warning. Can you believe a hotel cutting the water supply on their guests? Were they even aware that they still had guests to begin with? Fortunately, we woke up and showered early but what if we didn’t? We’d be stinking and all thanks to them. The pseudo receptionist mumbled some poor excuse of a water leak or something but not even an apology. What kind of operation are they running blah blah blah? (BLAH because I. Have. No. Words. and Blah because that’s how I feel about this hotel now. How was my stay? BLAH.)

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The outdated bathroom where we could have missed a shower if we happened to wake up late the next morning

So, against my better judgement, I am posting this to mark my second and DEFINITELY LAST STAY at this hotel.

Hotels

F2M Tower (Legazpi City, Albay)

Hello there! I’m glad to be back after almost three months of no activity here in my blog. It made me a bit sad and guilty at the same time that I have neglected my blog for that long but I’ve been busy and had some things that required my attention. One thing is for sure, I have made it a point to visit other people’s blogs and read a bit before I go to bed every night so that I still feel in the loop although my own blog has been a bit forlorn lately due to my lack of post haha.

Anyway, I just would like to share with you guys that we have taken yet another trip to Albay and Sorsogon City last week, which happened to be a holiday here in the PH (Holy Week). We’ve been doing this since I’ve moved to Naga City about five years ago to see my parents in Sorsogon. I wish we had a car so we could have taken a lot of detour and see places off the beaten path. That would have made a lot of stories for some worthwhile blog posts. But since we had to take a commuter van (UV Express), we couldn’t do this.  What I can do however, is to share with you our hotel experience during our stay at F2M Tower in Legazpi, Albay.

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The lobby at F2M Tower

When we arrived at Legazpi City Terminal, we just walked for a few minutes and after asking around where F2M Tower was, we finally found it beside Pacific Mall (Gaisano). Check in was a breeze since their staff knew right away who we were and did not even ask for a copy of the confirmation booking. I like it when hotels are efficient and their staff are polite and competent.

When we opened the door to our room, the air felt so fresh and it smelled really nice, like you know right away the room is clean. Yoy and Julienne liked it a lot.  F2M has only 6 rooms that they rent out and I was told by Jho (the staff who checked us in) that their concept is that of a condotel. So there are no staff to cater to your needs after their office closes, but it doesn’t matter when it is located in the heart of Legazpi. Whatever you need, you can just buy from the mall that is just a few steps away.

The bed was really nice and white. The sheets smelled and felt fresh (Ok, I’ve been saying that a lot lol). F2M TOWER LEGAZPI CITYDSC00317

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The faces she makes these days!

Now, let’s  check out the bathroom. It’s real clean too (almost immaculate in my opinion). It was a pleasant surprise how everything was thought of and furnished. There were towels available, hot/cold shower worked, there was a soap dispenser and a hair dryer. F2M TOWER LEGAZPI CITY 3DSC00312DSC00313DSC00315

There was also a water heater, utensils and a mini refrigerator inside the room.DSC00320

I liked the mirror of the closet’s sliding door so I took a selfie (Gaaaaahh!). Not posting this on Facebook, just here.DSC00299DSC00301

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In the evening, Yoy and I had one  bottle of beer each over a plate of sisig that we bought near 101 Mall while the little girl enjoyed her Vitamilk (don’t worry she’s not drunk in this picture, just tired lol)

Over all, I liked it. It was the cleanest budget hotel we’ve stayed in in Legazpi City. And to better get your money’s worth, try online booking for promos and to get discounts.

Summer is here and a lot of people are going on out of town trips. I hope you will find this post useful! =)

 

 

Hotels

Asia Novo Boutique Hotel (Sorsogon City)

Happy New Year Blogsville! I hope you all are happy and well this 2018.

I’m posting one of my hotel reviews now lest I forget the things I want to say about my stay at Asia Novo Boutique Hotel in Sorsogon City where we stayed last December 22.

Actually, we liked this hotel. The hotel is new so the room we stayed in, which was the Queen Deluxe or Queen Suite, was fresh and smelled fresh too (so important!). I like new hotels for a reason after having experienced staying at pitiful old establishments with old rooms that smelled of mold and mildew (yikes). NOVO HOTEL SORSOGON 4

I especially liked that the sheets were white so you can see if it’s really clean or not. NOVO HOTEL SORSOGON 1

This room we stayed in at Novo was also spacious and bright since there was ample lighting inside the room.NOVO HOTEL SORSOGON 5

Also, the cable TV was working well and the A/C was split type so it tends to get very cold.NOVO HOTEL SORSOGON 3NOVO HOTEL SORSOGON 7

However, the room was not without its issues like wall paint coming off, less than immaculate bathroom, and that housekeeping forgot to provide us with bathroom tissue, bathroom door mat and trash bin (there was only one and it was inside the bathroom). Also, I noticed that the bathroom wall was wet and had map-like patches from within which I suspected was the result of heavy rains in Sorsogon and something like a glitch in building construction.NOVO HOTEL SORSOGON 8

On the upside, I like that their staff on the front desk were gracious and welcoming. I’m happy they let us check in early (around 1:00 PM) even though when I booked, it was indicated that check in time was 2:00 PM, but I like that they accommodated us so we were able to leave our bags inside the room before we went to my Mama’s house. However, I noticed they were not very keen about online booking since they did not confirm to travelbook.ph that I stayed at the hotel on the date of my booking so I was almost penalized because I was declared as a no-show (Wait, what?! Does this look like a no-show?). So, after a few exchange of emails with the said booking site with me sending them pictures as Exhibit A, B & C (so hard when the burden of truth is on me), I finally got myself acquitted from the charges and was declared innocent beyond reasonable doubt (I hope).

So, what’s more to like? The hotel has an elevator for the convenience of the guests. That’s my baby Julienne between the elevator door and the Christmas tree.NOVO HOTEL SORSOGON 13

Below is the view from the third floor where One Burgos Resto is just across the street. Their meals tasted great and were reasonably priced. We had our lunch there after we checked in at the hotel.NOVO HOTEL SORSOGON 11

The next morning, we just ordered coffee and Nissin Seafood instant cup noodles from the front desk and Yoy went out to buy delicious breads from Kambal Bakery nearby before we checked out.

Over all, I am happy with my stay at said hotel, especially that I got it for only Php681.00 (24 hours) through online booking at travelbook.ph using the Php300.00 discount promo they sent me as a member. Thank you for the discount!NOVO HOTEL SORSOGON 12