Thursday, October 1, 2009

Davao Butterfly House

I love butterflies and I still remember a butterfly pillow embroidery project I made in grade school. It took me loads of time to finish, but I certainly enjoyed the project since I was doing a replica of something I love. 

I was amazed the first time I went to the Davao Butterfly House last March and I knew I had to bring Miguel to see it for himself. I knew he was also going to enjoy taking photos of the animated-colorful creatures. And I was right.

Here are a couple of photos from the two trips I made to the Davao Butterfly House:

Davao Butterfly House (see map)
Riverfront Drive, Corporate City
Diversion Highway, Ma-a, Davao City

Entrance Fee: PhP50 per person


Friday, September 25, 2009

Bacolod: Grand Regal Hotel

I thought I wasn't going to push through with my trip to Bacolod, but luckily manage to free up my time so I proceeded with my trip. Ended up staying at Grand Regal Hotel where the event was held. Everyone was billeted there too.

Grand Regal Hotel is located in one of Bacolod's busiest streets. Across the street is Gaisano Mall and just 2 blocks away is the Bacolod Planta Hotel (where I was supposed to stay). Anyway, the room at Grand Regal Hotel was just right and I didn't have to leave the TV on to lull me to sleep.

Cafe Masskara is the resto located at the lobby area of the hotel. I had 3 meals there -

Uber late lunch, spaghetti bolognese -

Breakfast, longganisa -

Lunch, beef stroganoff -

I have a theory, longganisa made in Luzon is made of yum, but the farther you are from the region the worse it tastes, so I guess this is the last time I'm ordering longganisa outside of Luzon. The spaghetti bolognese and beef stroganoff were unexpectedly flavorful and servings were big. I wasn't able to sample any dessert though. Maybe next time :)

Must have: beef stroganoff

Can do without: longganisa!

Food price range: approx. PhP200 (with drinks already)

Room rates: Promo (PhP999), Superior (PhP2,000), Suites (PhP3,500 - PhP10,000)

Wifi access: Free, but don't count on it

The Lakwatsera's Rating: hotel staff were friendly but service was slow, good thing the food made up for the long wait

Grand Regal Hotel (map)
Araneta Street, Singcang,
Bacolod City, Negros Occidental
+63(34) 432-2888/433-2276/434-9208/432-0888/708-5888
grandregalhotel_bacolod (at)

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Dieting Your Luggage

I used to be a terrible packer. I would pack in everything I want to bring. I'd even have choices for outfits! So I've experienced paying for extra baggage a couple of times already.

My day of reckoning came when I gave my best friend a hard time when she helped me carry my baggage across the street to her flat in Singapore. We were scared that we might get arrested because my luggage was bulging.

Here are some tricks I learned along the way:

1. Just fill up 50% of your bag. Why? So you'll have space for pasalubong and souvenirs. I got that tip from Boy Abunda who mentioned it in one of his shows.

2. Plan your outfits. Know the weather before flying in so you'd know what to bring. Instead of bringing a bulky jacket I just bring around a shawl. Sticking to a color scheme also helps.

3. Try to use only the pair of shoes that you travel in. Extra shoes take up a lot of space especially sneakers/rubber shoes.

4. If you are staying at a hotel find out what toiletries they provide. You definitely don't need a huge shampoo or lotion bottle. Transfer them in small bottles or just bring sachets.

5. Towels take up a lot of space. Only bring one if you are staying with a friend.

6. Bring just one reading material/book, unless you are a speed reader. More often than not you really won't have time to read except in the airport or plane.

7. Try to charge all of your gadgets before your trip so you won't have to bring all of the plugs.

Number 1 Rule is: Bring only what is necessary.

I used to think that it was impossible for me NOT to check in baggage. But I can proudly say that I've done it twice! Wee!

Happy trip!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Bacolod: Time Out

Unfortunately I wasn't able to sample the famous Bacolod chicken inasal (I'm allergic to chicken boohoo), but I got to sample the babi (pork) inasal.

The huge serving was brought together with a saucer full of peanut sauce. At first I thought it was gravy. I ignored it since I'm not really fond of gravy, but eventually got curious and dipped a piece of meat in the sauce. I was surprised to find out that it was actually peanut sauce! The sauce and atsara definitely added character to the yummy inasal I had.

I managed to take photos of my food and the resto, but forgot to find out the price range of the resto. Phail. LOL.

Time Out (map)
Galo-Lacson Street
Bacolod City

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Philippine Airports: New Bacolod-Silay Airport

The first time I went to Bacolod, the airport was still located at Bacolod City. It was small, did not have aircon and if I remember correctly I didn't even need to pay for airport terminal fee. I heard back then that a new airport was being built.

I only learned about the new Bacolod Silay Airport when I was looking for a hotel to stay in. I got confused about the location since it said in news articles that it was in Silay. I thought that Silay was hours away from Bacolod City. So I promptly buzzed my friend, Jako, to ask if Silay was far from Bacolod. He told me not to worry since the airport was just 20 minutes away from Bacolod City.

The last time I flew in Bacolod it was dawn so I didn't see the landscape. I flew out the same day after sunset so I again didn't see the landscape. When I flew in yesterday I was awed with the lush greenery that welcomed me as the plane was landing. Like Iloilo, the Silay landscape was flat and green, green with tubo.

What a beautiful city! The airport is also a tremendous upgrade from the old Bacolod City airport.

Quick info:

Location: Silay City (map)
To-Fro Bacolod City: 20 minutes
Taxi Fare: PhP400 (better haggle because they won't meter it)
Wifi: they have one, but don't count on it
3G: via Globe, non-existent

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Ice Cream on Merengue

This uber yummy ube ice cream on merengue was gobbled up at Bahia, Hotel Intercon.

Paul Calvin's

Paul Calvin's Deli. I knew the name sounded familiar. It was Sweetie who remembered when we entered the cozy deli. Paul Calvin's Deli was the caterer for the National Geographic event we recently attended. Too bad I was too full, the pasta and yums looked really delicious.

We decided to go to the resto early since we didn't know where it was exactly. We immediately found it on Rizal Drive (Global City) and thought that it looked really cozy. After parking we walked
around the area first because we were too early. We were surprised to find another nook filled with new restos in the vicinity.

In the resto we were welcomed by its managing director/co-owner, Jay Em, who was very sweet and personable. I mentioned to him that I almost sampled his food from the NatGeo event. He said that aside from the resto
they also cater from very small parties (50 pax.) to really big ones (1,000 pax), but mostly for company celebrations and promotional events. Aside from catering they also do wholesale supply of cakes and pastries.

It was a good thing we took a walk since there was quite a lot of stuff to sample. Check this out -

I had the pork belly, specially cooked spaghetti and carbonara by Chef Paul, salad, baked sweet potatoes and pineapple and mushroom soup. I wasn't able to try the chicken teriyaki (because it's chicken huhu) and the fish tofu.

And, of course, dessert -

We had mixed tarts, betamax brulee, and malunggay loaf.

I could barely get myself down the stairs because I was so full! Good food also came with great company: Sweetie, Jonas, Jane, Winston, Poyt, Fritz, Eric, Ryan,

Must have: pork belly and the dalanghita juice

Can do without: sweet potatoes and pineapple (but that's just me since I'm not a fan of pineapple)

Price range: PhP275 per person (for buffet)

The Lakwatsera's Rating: Paul Calvin's Deli is a cozy resto. Nice place for a romantic dinner :)

Paul Calvin's
Unit F 111 Forbes Town Center, Rizal Drive
Fort Bonifacio Global City, Taguig

Monday, August 10, 2009

Haagen Dagz

Got this yummy treat at Haagen Dagz, Mall of Asia, last weekend.

Yummy ice cream, `nuff said.

Look at the pics and drool...

Breakfast at Jollibee

One of the things I look forward to whenever I travel out of town is the chance to eat breakfast at Jollibee! Yup! I just absolutely love their longganisa meal and their pancake sandwiches (with lots of ketchup please!).

Last week, bloggers were treated to breakfast and some yoga and tai-chi at Jollibee. Despite heavy rains and strong winds I was happy to see blogger-friends. Here are some photos from the event -

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Church of Lucban

I've been to the Church of Lucban several times already since Lucban is my Dad's hometown. It hasn't changed since I was a kid but my Dad said that the church was rebuilt several times because it was ruined by fire. My Tita Liling also used to play the organ in the church when she was alive.

The church was all dolled up when we went since there was a scheduled wedding. I'm sure the bride would be pretty tired by the time she reaches the altar. :)

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Church of Lucban
Lucban, Quezon

Monday, June 29, 2009

Singapore: Han's Cafe & Cake House

Food for the hungry traveller. I ended up staying at M Hotel last time I was Singapore and I was quite hungry after a day's work. Han's was just around the corner from the hotel so I tried it out.
One thing I love about Singapore is the fact that teh tarik is available anywhere you go. Of course, that's what I ordered for my first dinner.

I also had a huge plate of sweet & sour pork. Definitely filled me up!

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Han's Cafe and Cake House

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Eden Nature Park

I've been to Eden Nature Park & Resort in Davao a total of three times and the experience is always the same. It's one of awe at nature.

Aside from the wonderful view, fresh air and fresh food, there are a lot of things one can do at Eden. There's the Sky Rider (zipline), horse back riding and my favorite past-time, the Indiana Jones! (see my photo). I also love their collection of flowers and plants and I hope one day I can bring my Mom there too. 

Here are a couple of photos from some of my trips to Eden:

Photos by Andrew

Photos by Miguel

Eden Nature Park & Resort (see map)

Park Entrance Fee: ranges from PhP180 - 450

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Davao Crocodile Park

One of the taxi drivers during my last trip to Davao asked me how many times I've been to the city. I wasn't able to give him a number since I realized that I have been going back and forth to Davao since 2004. I fell in love with the city and I honestly would like to live there. 

It was only this year though that I managed to visit the famous Davao Crocodile Park. The first time I went was during the Davao F.A.T. last March and I knew then that I had to bring Miguel to Davao to see it.

Here are a couple of photos I took from both trips, some are by Miguel.

Davao Crocodile Park (see map)
Tel. No. +(82) 301-CROC

Park Entrance Fee: PhP100 per person


Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Davao: Bangkok Wok

I am addicted to iced tea with milk and about a year ago I influenced Drew too. When we were in Singapore last month we took every chance we could get to drink teh tarik and even went back to Thai Express several times just to get a glass of thai style iced tea. So before I went to Davao, Drew took some time to search for the best iced tea with milk in the area.

And he found it at Bangkok Wok

Luckily we found some time before I headed off to the airport to sample Bangkok Wok's thai iced tea. It's very potent though and kept me awake until 2 in the morning.

Also tried out the spring rolls. It was yummeeh!

Thanks Koya!

*Photos by Andrew dela Serna.

Bangkok Wok
Ground Floor Robinson’s Cybergate, 
J.P. Laurel Ave., Bajada, Davao City

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Davao: Delongtes

I still could not stop giggling over the jingle of Delongtes which played over and over again when we dined their last weekend. It wasn't annoying mind you, but it was the first time that I heard a resto's whole menu being sung! Yup, you gotta hear it!

When I told Andrew that my friends and I wanted to eat inihaw he immediately suggested that we have lunch at Delongtes. I trust his judgment and so that's where we had lunch.

I had longganisa and pork barbecue -

The kinilaw was yummy too -

We all had to help my best friend finish the bottomless liempo she ordered -

And we also had durian shake for only PhP45. 

Servings were generous and you'll already be filled-up with just PhP100.

Delongtes (map)
Tulip Drive
Barangay Matina Aplaya, Davao City

Thursday, May 28, 2009

I Love Lachi's

This is my nth post about Lachi's. Last weekend I had the chance to eat my favorite Lachi's dish, the pork marinara, and dessert, their famos sans rival, and I was already in heaven... until...

This was served -

Creme Brulee Cake

I was beyond heaven after. I wish I live in Davao. 

Monday, May 25, 2009

Images of Samal Island

I got the chance to go back to Paradise Island last weekend and I truly enjoyed my whole day stay with my son, best friend and high school amigas

More info about Paradise Island and how to get there can be found here.