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. =)

Blue Ginger Restaurant – “Blame it on my Gypsy Soul”

Blue Ginger Restaurant – Blame it on my Gypsy Soul

“One of the beautiful effects of living your passion is that it inspires other people to live theirs.” ~ Curiano Quotes

I found it difficult what title should I bestow in this specific blog of mine. I truly enjoyed the brimming colors of Blue Ginger interiors and of course the food they offered and how beautifully they were presented. So I considered titles that has something to do with colors, like “Color your life” or “Live your color”. Especially now that I’m needing inspirations for my crafting. =) However, I have mull it around my head, the common ground of what really fascinates me is when a place exudes diversity. During college days, one of my professors call it “eclectic”.

Like a gypsy’s collection from her travels curated in just one place. Arranged aesthetically when upon seeing, you will truly admire. This what struck me when I accidentally discovered Blue Ginger. I really had to see it. =)

While for the delight of our tummies, Blue Ginger exceeded our expectations.

From the prawn kropek with a very nice vinegar sauce. The healthy and delicious Tom yang soup we got as starter. We both craved for veggies, so we had their fresh lumpia. It was a good choice, the sauce tasted great. It’s always in the sauce right? It came with chopped peanuts and roasted garlic.

The satay platter is nicely presented too. I must say it’s really in the sauce. =)

I stressed my buddy out, due to her busy schedule, we only had the chance to visit 2 weeks after New Year when I told her about the place as early as December while I was doing my Christmas ornaments. And I’m so happy to be there. The wait is truly worth it. I’m planning to go back and bring my loved ones there too.I should say, the pictures are worth a thousand words.

Jen wanted the raw chopped garlic and voila, they granted her wish in no time, in that cute little dish.

What else, that apple crumble cheesecake is why I’ll keep coming back here. =) Or maybe try the others: Ube cake, blueberry, red velvet and salted caramel alongside a slice of my apple crumble.

It was good to end this with something that really surprised me when I visited their Al fresco area. Those lanterns! It blew my mind because I didn’t see it from the researches I’ve made before our visit. It’s definitely unexpected and a sight to behold! =)

You might remember how I loved lanterns! =) That festive feel and whimsical mien of adorning a place. You saw them from my previous blogs like Another Story (same owner), Cafe Juanita, Fourteen Four Cafe, and about to post Tagaytay’s Cafe Voila soon, which happens to be of the same creator: Miss Ica Sebastian. She’s an instant idol of mine. =)

I can’t wait to see more. =)

Blue Ginger is located at The Wharf at Lakefront, East Service Road, Sucat, Muntinlupa City.

Bricx Cafe & Bistro Bar

Bricx Cafe & Bistro Bar


“True friends are families you can select.”~Audrey Hepburn 

Sometimes, I had this realization that I do not need to go as far to find some beautiful places to dine. Sometimes, it’s just a stone throw away from where I am located.

Jen and I recently discovered (accidentally) a cool place to dine and unwind: Bricx Cafe & Bistro Bar located in Pacita Complex, San Pedro, Laguna.

brx 5

It is inviting due to the rustic interiors which you can perceive from the outside because of their glass facade.

brx 7
brx 3
brx 4
What’s important nowadays to most people is that they have WIFI! =)

And this “attention-grabber” signage.

I even interviewed the attendant as to when did they open and why the news didn’t reach me. ahaha!

Out of excitement, you will notice that the combination of our orders are a bit weird as they didn’t complement one another. It’s like I wanted to try everything in their menu.

I got a burger, Jen got nachos and we craved for shrimps too.

It is recommendable if you happen to be nearby, the ambience feels expensive, yet, the menu list is affordable. And taste might not be “to die for” though it can meet expectations. The attendants are very accommodating too. They were trained to focus on up-selling too. =)

And there’s a spot which you can consider Instagrammable! =)

It is located at Pacita Avenue, Pacita Complex 1, San Pedro, Laguna. For reservations, you can call them too: (02) 838-4659.

Mama Lou’s Italian Kitchen

Mama Lou’s Italian Kitchen

“Eat the spaghetti to forgetti your regretti.”

Coming from having a burger style pizza a week ago, Jen and I craved for the usual style of pizza that we know about. Either that New York style or an authentic Italian one. We chose the latter.

And we ended up asking the Grab driver to bring us to Evia where Mama Lou’s Italian Kitchen is located. The original one is in Aguirre Street, in BF Paranaque which we saw twice, passed by it after we visited some restaurants from this popular street, it is actually included in our Bucket list and in one of my category “When in Aguirre street”.

Typically, when we are handed the menu, we browsed on it and asked the attendant their best sellers. For the pizza, they suggested the “All meat” and “Mama Lou’s special”. We opted for the former.

We also had the mozzarella sticks called in advance although they served us some complimentary breads with olive oil and balsamic dip while waiting for our orders. We also ordered for their seafood home-made pasta.

Ideally they have it all, when it comes to Italian dishes: Antipasti, Zuppe, Insalate, Pasta (oil or tomato base), Pizza, Risotto, Pollo, Carne, Sea food and Desserts.

I should agree that if you’re craving for Italian food, you won’t regret trying theirs.

I am thinking of coming up with my top 10 mozzarella sticks and I think I’m including Mama Lou’s version.

The pasta tasted delicious, there are shrimps, squid rings that were cooked just right. They surrounded the whole serving with mussels and clams and Jen took charge of them. ehehe!

The pizza includes pepperoni, ham, Italian sausage and bacon, there are no ground beef though. Don’t miss the arugulas. =)

The dining hall is quite large, there are enough tables for big and small groups, they occupy 2 floors in Evia actually and I saw it during peak hours that both floors are jam-packed.

There are touches of vintage stuff probably to coincide with the theme, they used bricks on their wall, some beautiful plates were mounted on one wall, neatly arranged wine bottles in the bar which if emptied they utilized as water bottles too. =)

You might ask that smiling woman is Mama Lou. Yes it is her. =)

There are equally amusing restaurants in the area, though Mama Lou’s stand-out in her own special way.

Jen liked Evia as much as I do so I’m expecting she’s eyeing another visit of these days. I might bring her to Another Story too. =)

We had it at HEAT – Edsa Shangri-la Hotel

We had it at HEAT – Edsa Shangri-la Hotel

“It is lovely, when I forget all birthdays, including my own, to find that somebody remembers me.” ~Ellen Glasgow~

Each year, we usually celebrate our birth month in different places due to our busy schedule, Jen used to call it our month-long celebration.

This year, our last celebration was at Heat Restaurant. Heat stands for Healthy Eating and Amazing Treats.

It is located at the lobby level, Tower wing, 1 Garden way, of Edsa Shangri-la hotel fronting the huge swimming pool, so each time guests passed by our table in their swimming gears, I am no longer surprise.

We tried their buffet for a slightly late lunch (conflict of schedule it is), so we have very limited time bonding and consumed our food like were frenemies. I was telling her that “Hey, I can cook this!” but she says we need to just enjoy eating the more that we were not the ones who got tired preparing it.

This is what we’ve had:

No soft drinks for me. And i really liked that bottomless iced tea.

Should I be awkward with that rice? =)

Especially when Jen opted “no rice” instead.

But she had lots of these.

And some Japanese food too…

While I savored the greens..

And the hakaws!

And of course the sweet treats!

I especially loved this blueberry ice cream topped with unlimited walnuts…=) Of course I took advantage, walnuts is one of my favorites just like pistachio.

Jen isn’t much of a sweet tooth, though she truly enjoyed scooping from the dessert station.

This is what she actually wanted, but we can’t make it for dinner time, she had to work and I have to be home before 7pm, curfews nowadays isn’t only for teens…

So we will just have to set another date for Jen’s lobsters.

While I indulged on the sweets.

If you want to try this gastronomic treat, you can book a table thru:

Phone: (632) 633 8888
Location: Lobby Level, Tower Wing
Operating Hours: 6am – 12 midnight (Mon – Sun)
Dress Code: Smart Casual
Smoking Policy: The hotel’s designated smoking area is located at the 2nd floor, beside the tennis courts.