If not now, When?

If not now, When?

“By doing what you love, you inspire and awaken the hearts of others.” ~ Satsuki Shibuya

I came across this sort of quote from Steve Maraboli’s posts (I am an avid follower of this guy): “If not now, When?” And all those things I wanted to do came bursting in my mind. One of them is to really be able to surf, to stand in that board and really experience what’s it like. So getting an opportunity to be gone out of town, I chose going to Baler for my surfing experience.

I’ve always thought that surfing is so much fun. =) Even if I discovered some bruises when I get home. Lol!

There are actually several places in the country that can give you the best waves, when this is my choice due to other reasons (one of which is that, it isnt just a pleasure trip but a business trip too!)

So come weekend, there I was catching the last trip bound to Baler with Jen, my foodie travel and all things in between buddy. Aside from the surfing experience, we definitely love the food in Baler.

FOOD

HOTEL

Jen was the one in-charge as to where we’re staying and I really love what she got for us. It is very affordable (via Agoda), very clean and the staff are so accommodating and helpful. I don’t mind staying there again when we go back.

Though, I found these equally great places to stay in Baler. So, we might try them too.

Photo credits: http://www.traveltrilogy.com/2019/03/cube-baler-aurora.html
Photo credits: https://dealgrocer.com/

And my original choice to stay: Balituk.

If you’re commuting, it is best to reserve your seats a few days prior your intended date to visit. There are only two trips bound to/ from Baler:

While when you’re driving, it’ll take you four (more or less, because stop overs are really awesome right?) hours to get there if coming from Manila.

Aside from being able to stand in that surf board, we also get to see the biggest Balete tree in Asia. And a side trip to the Hanging bridge in Zabali. Said bridge connects two Barangays, Brgy. Tibang and Brgy Sabang. It is located at the endpoint of Zabali road. It isn’t just a spot for tourist but very useful to the residents too.

PLACES

Hanging Bridge

Aint afraid of heights! charot! =p

Balete Tree

Towering more than five stories high, this 600-year old Balete tree or is also known as Millennial tree is one of the reasons why I can’t wait to visit Baler. Weird to some as it may sound, It’s been years when I learned to get my energies from trees. So I took advantage staying with it for long and leave the place with a smile in my face. =)

Dogtown Collective

Oh, please also visit my niece’s cool place: @lilwarung.baler and @kokoanatural.ph located at Dogtown Collective. She’s got a lot of great stuff in store for you. =)

What’s travelling without buying local goods? =) When I shop, I really get to appreciate the artistic skills of my fellow Filipinos. Isn’t it great to earn while doing what you love?

PS

I definitely must go back, because I missed the Light house. =( And there are three. And some really great rock formations along the way. =)

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Southbound Cafe

“It’s not just about seeing beautiful places, it’s about seeing the beauty in every place…”

I have been blogging about Interiors lately. And this blog I must say is more about Interiors more than their food offerings.

We spotted this new cafe in our home town, in San Pedro City, Laguna. You will find it on your right if you’re coming from Manila. Upon reaching the city it is just across the huge sculpture of the rooster. The landmark of my hometown. Which I think is a very strategic location indeed.

What bricks can do.
The car plates are kinda masculine for me.
I love it when there are paintings on the wall. =)
The ropes, gave the entrance a rustic feel.

So it is a fusion of rustic and industrial and a dab of little quirkiness. I think I have loaded my mobile phone with more than 50 photos in all angles, the place has a charm of entertaining you in an amazing way and now I had this dilemma of choosing what photos to include here. Whew!

So, please take a look.

I think this coffee mural is the focal point of the place.
Be that as it may, not until upon looking upwards, I saw this striking chandelier.
I thought this shade of orange might be too bright for a place, though they were able to balance it with a teal. =)
Waiting area.

If you want it quieter, there is an enclosed area, providing you privacy.

There is actually a certain masculine feel on it. Due to the different symbols of cars: mags, plates, wheels, car logos, depicting the owners’ “could be” hobby.

My car for years. =)
My soul sister’s car =)
Our car when I was a kid. =) #beetle
Did I miss Toyota? I think this one will do and he will really love this! =)
An Audi perhaps.

So let’s check their food. =)

Aww, look at those Chefs! =) And that Sto. Nino…=)
The muffins looked good! =)
There are home-made donuts too.
Tableas.
Theirs is from Allegro.

Allegro is the exclusive distributor of the finest espresso machines, brewers, coffee beans, syrups, sauces and teas from Italy, Switzerland, France, Germany, Spain, Sweden, Ceylon, the Netherlands, and the United States. Our products cater to hotels, casinos, culinary and educational institutions, restaurants, cafes, and franchise chains.

It is the result of someone’s passion with coffee and brought with him over 30 years of entrepreneurial and financial experience managing 7 Italian Cafes and a coffee equipment wholesale distribution company in Dallas and Houston, Texas, USA.

Info source: http://www.allegrobeverage.com

Honestly, I loved their coffee. =) Nothing spectacular with our pasta, though it met our expectations, and the nachos is okay, however, I rather see fresh tomatoes than ketchup like a real salsa. =(
You need not worry if the cake you choose will fill the bill. As they’re carrying a popular branded one. That famous maker of “Mango bravo” which is Conti’s.
So I instantly know what to get. =) The Choco overload cake. =)
I can’t ignore the fact that they’ve chosen a good color scheme. ❤
This fab bouquet administered a soft and feminine feel when masculinity is found everywhere. Nice move. =)

Nowadays, the loos are no longer left-out. Like there’s a match as to where is the prettiest loo. =)

I love the pebbles on the wall and that modern spatial lamp.
Look! We’ve got freebies too! =)
Photo source: quotesbook.com

So I am agreeing to this quote. =)

There are other tempting dishes from their menu. So, definitely, we will be back. =) As for the Interiors. All the elements were finely doled-out in all corners. =) Good job!

Their address is at #87 Mabini street, San Antonio, San Pedro City, Laguna, Philippines.

Chef RV’s passion in the kitchen – Chef RV Manabat Cafe & Resto in Binan City, Laguna

I’ve always been a sweet tooth. My craving for sweets is unbelievable. Something I acquired from my mom who wraps up her meals by having desserts or something sweet. Good thing about her is she is okay with fruits. The bad thing with me is I’m not so much fond of fruits, so I ended up with cakes, ice cream and other sweets. No worries, I’m a work in progress. I quit on drinking soft drinks three years ago. Please acknowledge me for that effort. =)

One scorching afternoon, my cravings plus the weather led our feet (Jen and I) to Binan, City. To try Chef RV’s version of halo-halo.

The place exceeded my expectations, I have seen their Instagram account and there are not much photos of the place. So seeing it in my own eyes, is quite amazing.

The interiors are well thought of, so comfy, well lighted and organized. Mind you it is only then I’ve witnessed such a huge showcase of collection of something that’s surely close to the owner’s heart. I could just imagine how many elephants does he keep at home?

Honestly, each time I saw one, I remember him. I am a collector too, however, I am not into collecting just one, and I was asking Jen if I’m going to do it, what would it be among my many collections? =)

So, enough of me, let’s go to the place virtually. And see the awesome collection in different forms and kinds. =)

Here’s the facade of the restaurant. You will be welcomed by their logo with an elephant. And a trellis with lots of elephants hanging as decorative charms.

Upon going inside, there’s a wooden elephant too.

On that glass door are elephants too. =)
While checking the cakes on the chiller, there are elephants too.
I’ll just try them soon, I can’t eat them with halo-halo altogether.
How many elephants you saw?
Whoa there’s another one in front of me!
Jade ones too! =)
This one is cute. =)

So here’s our halo-halo. We paired it with a moist and warm bibingka (a famous cake in the Philippines which is made of rice.).

Yum!
Loved that “sossy” pitcher! =) Pitchers I used to see only in hotels! =)
It was a nice pair. =)
Can you see the elephants?
A baby elephant? ehehe
And a framed one.

You will be glad to know of the many choices you can bring home.

There’s a blue one.

It was such a delight to discover a nice place somewhere near. And to discover that they have lots to offer on top of the famous halo-halo. =) Till next time! =)

Having tasted different version of this very famous Filipino dessert, I might come up with my top 5 soon. =)

Chef RV’s Cafe & Restaurant is located at 172 Manabat Street,San Antonio, Laguna. They have schedules for cooking and baking class too. =)

PS – Being here, brought me back down sweet memory lane as I had my grade school years in Binan, Laguna. #ohhappyday

Chichario MNL – Peri Peri Chicken + Cocktail Bar

In youth we learn; in age we understand. – Marie Von Ebner-Eschenbach 

I have a very simple celebration of my 47th birthday and asked the kids if they just want to eat out. We agreed to try Peri peri Chichario Manila which is located at Molito Lifestyle Center. Initially, my son eyed Cilantro (We both love Mexican cuisine or something similar to it), so I suggested to him that I spotted someplace new nearby, showed him photos from its’ Instagram account and he okayed it. We were with his girlfriend and we also tag along my foodie buddy Jen who also celebrated her birthday a day before mine.

Menu

What I first noticed at Chichario MNL is their attractive plating. Comparing their photos from their posts at Instagram VS the actual. It is like “What you see, is what you get.” And that’s nice right than being attracted to the photos and not get the real thing in person.

Pizzadilla as served. Pizza and Quesadilla combined. =)

Their offering are great-tasting. Nothing we ordered disappointed me or us. I love their Ads from Instagram, It is mainly why I got attracted, their use of colors, their lines, they have a very creative person taking care of their Marketing ads.

The famous chicken.

I like their cilantro rice, and those different kinds of condiments. =)

I love their nachos!
Their Carne Asada. Perfect for meat lovers.

We can’t order everything and we missed their Crispy Chipotle Sisig (talking about spicy food), they have their own version of Salpicao, Ceviche, Paella too and the desserts. I actually love their menu. =)

Place/ Ambience

The place is full of colors too, everyone knows that I am a big fan of vivid and bold colors. One of the reasons why my first thought is that this is a Mexican restaurant. However, as seen on their Ads, Chichario is a restaurant inspired by South America.

It’s a mask! So I thought of Brazil!

I got more confused with the prominence of the Toucan which is the National bird of Belize, a South American nation.

So it made me understand the resemblance, since this region is bordered by Mexico to the north, Colombia to the southeast, the Caribbean Sea to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west and south. Central America consists of seven countries: Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama.

Info source:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Central_America
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Central_America#Geography
https://www.tripsavvy.com/south-and-central-america-1490418

But then, I see the “Our Lady of Guadalupe”, I see my favorite Mexican artist “Frida Kahlo” so I assumed that it’s a fusion of these two: The South America continent and North America since Central America is actually part of North America, along with Canada, the United States, Mexico, and the Caribbean island countries.

So since it is bordered by Mexico, the similarities in food, in culture, the way they dress, their love for color, is there. That is why at first peek, you might assume it is a Mexican restaurant. Not to repeat mentioning photos of Mexico, the buntings and all. Hmmmn, this is teaching me patience on doing researches.

Service

For their service, is a bit disappointing. There is one attendant that can’t hide her facial expression with my “kakulitan” (repetitive) for asking too much questions because I couldn’t understand one option from the menu right away. I strongly feel the 2 guys sitted beside our table are Managers or Owners, I’m not sure, but unexpectedly, they didn’t bother to assist the attendant just so to appease their customers.

The same attendant was also talking loud in our presence while bad-mouthing someone she encountered somewhere like they’re the only ones in that place. And no one called her attention. We visited the place in the afternoon, so it isn’t peak yet. This is also why we weren’t able to see in person (or go upstairs) to check the bar known as Chicha’s Hide-out.

Chichario Manila is a great place to dine and unwind, really great food, however, there had to be some enhancements to be made when it comes to their service.

A beer. Locally crafted. Proudly Filipino. =)

By the way, I had to research what a Peri – peri is. It is a pepper. Infused as marinade for the chicken so when they served it and tried it, they warned me immediately since I am not into spicy food. I tried it just for the taste of it and yes I had a hard time managing it. =)

Info courtesy of:
https://www.nandosperiperi.com/explore/what-is-peri-peri

Verdict

I’d still recommend the place, just be more observant as to how the attendants will behave, I hope they’ll address this immediately. It isn’t just a feast for your tummies but for your eyes as well. =)

It is located at Madrigal Ave. corner Commerce Ave., Molito Commercial Complex, Alabang, Muntinlupa, Metro Manila
You can call them at: 0917 556 6004

Apartment 1B – Henry Hotel

If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world. ~ John Ronald Reuel Tolkien

Each time I am visiting a new place. It feels like a Get-away or an escape from the usual humdrum of daily life. It sets my vibe. Like when I visited Arte Mondo at the Artelano 11 inside the compound of Henry Hotel at F.B. Harrison, Pasay City. It is a Pre-Holiday Gathering of Premier Filipino Design, a collaboration between Artelano 11 and The Travelling Trunk.

After the canvasing and shopping and “Can’t get enough mode” of taking photos from this exhibit, very timely for the upcoming Christmas season, all we wanted to do is eat. We actually, had DIC (Jen, where is our photo of Mamang Sorbetero?) already.

We were very lucky to find one at the lobby of Henry Hotel: Apartment 1B, I’ve heard a lot of good things about this restaurant, owned by Chef Marivic Diaz Lim and that there are two branches in Makati (One in Salcedo and another one in Rockwell Center). they offer gourmet comfort food and is actually under the wings of The 1B Group along with Kitchen 1B and Pablo. The former is a healthier version of their amazing offerings while the latter is a Continental Bistro bar.

Jen had pizza and I had pasta. We also tried their coffee, I had cafe latte and Jen had Vittoria coffee and espresso.

Simple syrup for my coffee.
I just love cheese. =)

My foodie buddy took care of the menu as I took joy in taking photos. I fell in love with their interiors while enjoying the piped-in music that softly played songs of Carla Bruni. And even if I do not understand most of it, It was so relaxing.

I was able to capture my moments hours ago because I was surrounded by things I love. You may check the link of my separate blog about “Arte Mondo”: https://beautsantua.com/category/my-bohemian-blood-2/arte-mondo/

Simple yet impressive Architecture.
Lovin’ those tiles! ❤

And we really appreciate the experience of being here. The people are very nice. The place was old and they were able to preserve (and restore) most timeworn elements, the windows with decorative glass, the doors, especially those floors. F.B. Harrison street is very rich in history, passing along by it, you’ll see quite a number of manors that’s been sublimely standing still after many generations.

Love it here! =)

Jen and I were wishing that soon we will go back to stay at Henry Hotel even for a few days. It is located at the heart of Pasay City but the feel is very different while we’re inside the compound. It is so tranquil and composed and those greens are very relaxing.

Art in every corner. Those greens are old bottles of wine.

Should you wish to visit, it is located at: 2680 F.B. Harrison Street, Pasay City, Metro Manila. Below is a map for your reference. =)

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Source: https://www.apartment1b.com/a1b-menu.pdf