Tag Archives: Philippines

Raving about Shangri-La’s Boracay Resort & Spa

9 May

shangri-la
shagrila
What is the most amazing place stay while visiting Boracay, Philippines? Shangri-La’s Boracay Resort & Spa is the place to be, hands down. An hour flight from Manila to Kalibo, then an hour and a half shuttle to Caticlan, and another 15 minute speed boat ride to Shangri-La, this private resort offers the ultimate experience of a lifetime. With everything accessible by a short buggy ride to and from each place on the beautiful property, we couldn’t help but feel pampered in paradise. There were so many amenities that were offered, so many options of activities to keep us entertained, and the access to exclusive beaches makes every guest feel like a Very Important Person. I owe a huge thanks to Jax and her family for the invite and the hook-up for my amazing stay here.

balconyview
The view from the balcony was breathtaking.

sunsets

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beach
The sunsets and views were stunning, some of the most beautiful I have ever seen.

drinksonthebeach
I never went thirsty. There was a full bar and buko stand accessible from the beach. I also never went hungry. The room was stocked with fresh fruit and replenished daily. There was also I variety of food options.

cielo
At Cielo restaurant, I tried the flatbread, an order of the asian rolls, and a lychee martini.

SirenaSolana
At Sirena seafood restaurant, I had tried the clam chowder, a mussel appetizer, artichoke salad, and the pusit (stuffed squid) with rice.

roomservice
For room service before leaving the hotel, I had the vegetable lumpia, sinigang with salmon, a mango float (mango, cream and graham crackers), and halo-halo.

breakfastbuffet

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breakfast1
Each morning, we woke up to the breakfast buffet, which was second to none, absolutely delicious.

fitnesscenter
The fitness center was also available to work off all of those amazing breakfasts, and the locker room was equipped with a sauna, steam room, and jacuzzi.

wakeboard
In addition to scuba diving and other water sports, they offered wakeboarding. So much fun!!

ChiSpa

What better way to end the trip with a massage at the Chi Spa. An almost two hour massage that ended in being wrapped in banana leaves. I had one of the most amazing, rave-worthy stays at the Shangri-La.

Savoring The Dive At Baling Hai

8 May

scuba

fishpeace

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sleepingfish

Is it weird to wonder, while scuba diving, why Sebastian from the movie The Little Mermaid looked so much more like a lobster instead of like a crab? While diving the Baling Hai site off of Boracay, Philippines, a lobster was one of the many things that I had to pleasure of seeing and I couldn’t help but be reminded of Sebastian, the lobster-looking crab, who had me singing in my head, “Just look at the world around you, right here on the ocean floor. Such wonderful things surround you, what more is you lookin’ for? Under the sea, under the sea, Darling it’s better, down where it’s wetter, take it from me…” With so many amazing sights to see in the ocean, but not much to listen to, I was left with my own thoughts and tunes to narrate my experience in the depths of the ocean.

After gearing up and doing a back-roll off of the side ledge of our boat, my dive buddy, Randy from Scotty’s Dive Center, guided us down the coral wall to an unforgettable underwater adventure. There is so much to see in the ocean. Most times, when looking one way to see something, we miss seeing something else. That’s why it’s best to dive with some one who can point things out, even when it’s to let me know that I missed a stingray. There was; however, so much that I was able to see, like a huge sponge, tons of different types of fish, and coral. The best part of the dive was seeing a school of fish completely still and sleeping, and now I can actually say I know what it’s like to sleep with the fishes.

Craving Chocboard

7 May

chocboard

When we’re in another country, isn’t it common to, at some point, crave food that isn’t typically served in all of the restaurants around town? In Manila, after having Filipino food almost every meal, I finally had the opportunity to go to Chocboard, which I had been hearing so much about. Just a block away from SM Manila Mall, in Ermita, Chocboard offers a variety of vegetarian meal options, refreshing beverages, and tasty treats. It’s a new trendy and hip cafe and bakery that breaks the mold of the run of the mill places to eat in town with cool music playing, wi-fi, and an ambiance that invites us in, and makes us not want to leave. I had tried both of the pastas on the menu, one with tomato sauce and one with white sauce, both served with yummy garlic bread. Chocboard also serves the best orange juice I think I’ve ever had. I must have ordered three glasses throughout the evening, it was that good. If it wasn’t for being being half way around the world from home, I would definitely be a regular Chocboard.

Raving About Subic Bay and Gerry’s Grill

6 May

subic

gerrysgrill

gerrysdeli2

What do most people do to get out of town and away from the hustle and bustle, the noise, and the sea of grey concrete of a big city? One option would be to head to the beach, to see the blue ocean and a backdrop of lush greenery. Subic Bay offers just that nice charge of scenery, just two hours away from metro Manila, driving on a road full of one pay toll after another. That’s where (thanks to Jax’s Dad, Mr. R) Jax, Di, their husbands and relatives, and Lin and I went to enjoy the day to relax, hang out, and ride jet skis. After a few hours on the beach and in the ocean, we ordered Filipino food from Gerry’s Grill. I had a refreshing Filipino drink called Sago’t Gulaman, and we all shared Pancit Bihon, Kangkong Ala Pobre, Green Mango with Bagoong, Calamares, and Tuna Belly. I couldn’t be in the Philippines and not leave without having Halo Halo, so I took advantage of the opportunity to order this amazing dessert topped with Ube Ice Cream. While it is considered summer here in the Philippines, we all had fun in the sun like it was spring break.

Craves and Savors from the Philippines

5 May

filipino food

aristocrat

What’s better than satisfying genuine Filipino food cravings in the Philippines? Sharing the experience with family and friends. While staying the Manila, I was able to visit my family members who I hadn’t seen for a long time, and some members who I had never even met before. Despite the distance, how well I knew my relatives, or how well they knew me, they made me feel right at home as gracious and generous hosts. One thing about Filipinos is they love it when their guests eat, and I was happy to oblige as the food continued to be placed in front of me. Filipino food has been a long awaited craving that I rarely get to satisfy, and every meal was ready and waiting, and offered with lots of love. A typical Filipino meal that I enjoyed was white rice with egg, fish, and sliced tomato in soy sauce or vinegar. Every means was also accompanied with delicious fruit like papayas, pomelos, yellow mangos, bananas, or watermelon. My uncle even took me to Jonas for dinner, where I had mami (noodle soup) and was happy to indulge my cravings of leche flan and banana bread. I loved being able to spend time with my family members before I met up with my friends and their family members, for more time spent savoring the company of loved ones, and eating more Filipino food. For lunch at Aristocrat I satisfied more Flipino food cravings: Palabok (a signature Filipino noodle dish), Pinakbet, (a signature Filipino vegetable dish), Puto (a Filipino delicacy), Garlic Rice, and I washed everything down with Buko (young coconut water). Having lunch with friends in another country, enjoying our time together in the Philippines and sharing our experiences with one another is something that should never be taken for granted. Also, being in a city of a third world country, where poverty is apparent on every block, is a truly humbling experience. Everything that I’ve eaten and enjoyed is just that much more savored and appreciated, as not every one has the luxury of constant and steady meals. Everything so far craved and Savored have been accompanied with feelings of being very blessed and thankful for all that I have in my life, and every one in it.