Kandle Cafe

Unique concept, cool vibe and very relaxing atmosphere, this is what Kandle Cafe can offer you!

This coffee shop is different from your usual coffee place, it’s not cramped, it’s totally spacious!

For photo addicts like us, the statement wall is the bomb! I love the vintage knick knacks displayed here.

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Staycation @ Okada Manila

Omg! Had a chance to stay at one of Okada Manila’s luxurious rooms and boy was that a dream!

Pink hues everywhere! I love it!

The grand lobby starts off with decadent chandeliers in pink with colorful gems!

Hallways are as pink as well!

Once up in the hotel tower, the elegant chandeliers adorn the elevator lobby.

Same goes with the pathway to our hotel room!

Once you’re inside the room, you just don’t want to leave anymore! A room, more like a unit as big as this, costs so much. I checked the website and it’s about Php 18,000 plus plus for a night. So I am very thankful for my cousin and her friends for the chance to experience Okada Manila’s Junior Suite even for a night.

Are you ready?

A mini office greets you upon entering.

Then the receiving area.

There is actually a door going into the bedroom.

The luxurious bedroom with its own sofa by the foot of the bed.

The mini bar

The walk in closet

And of course, the spacious bath room with your very own jacuzzi bathtub and a wonderful view of The Fountain!

And although I am not the person who really likes IG worthy pictures of myself, I just couldn’t let the chance pass, so forgive me if I’ll indulge myself for a few pictures in the bathtub.

Thanks to my hubby for my pictures!

Another reason why I didn’t want to leave the room, everything is fully automated! There are 2 ipads you can use to turn on / off the lights, draw the curtains, change the channels of the television, choose from a list of movies or series, watch vloggers review Okada Manila, etc, etc… so much to do with the touch of a finger!

Of course, the kids wouldn’t let the bathtub gone unexplored as well!

After enjoying the tub, they moved to a bigger space and went down to the pool area.

Enjoyed the sunset while having some lemon water and chilling at the cabana.

Check out www.okadamanila.com for more details!

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Medley Buffet @ Okada Manila

Buffet Lovers like me, be sure to find your way to the Medley Buffet of Okada Manila.

Before you get to the restaurant, you will first be amazed with the Grand Lobby that is Okada Manila. Pink hues will welcome your arrival. Colorful gems adorn these gigantic shell shaped curtains dropping from the ceiling!

Medley Buffet is fast becoming the star of all buffets. With its very classy interior and its vast selection of international cuisine, people are really flocking to see what’s in store for them!

We managed to reserve the private room. Look how dainty it is. Even the chair is intricately carved.

I randomly took photos of the buffet spread. From Filipino cuinese to Japanese cuisines, to Korean, to Chinese and other international cuisines, you can find it all here.

And more importantly, so much variety of desserts they offer here!

Medley Buffet has weekdays promo now, so better enjoy it while you can.

Bon Appetit!

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What to do and see in Bohol?

One weekend last September, I have the chance to visit Bohol and I enjoyed every inch of our trip!

Took Philippine Airlines’ morning flight and before noontime we have landed at Tagbilaran Airport. I just wish they improve the airport as it was a little cramped for a plane full of passengers getting their luggages. Don’t expect an air conditioned airport.

We were picked up by the service bus of Henann Resort. It was about 30 minutes or so until we reached the beautiful Henann Resort at Alona Beach. While waiting to be checked in, decided to take some photos.

It’s a fine day and just seeing the beach from afar excites me.

Lunch was served at their restaurant and we waited so long before we were checked in. But I must say, it’s worth the wait. We got a villa but it doesn’t have the pool access.

Our colleagues got the villa with direct pool access, it’s basically the same room except the pool is just outside their balcony.

Supposedly, this is rest time. But instead of resting inside the room, I decided to explore the beach. I love how it’s not hot and humid anymore. It’s so breezy and lounging in front of the beach doing nothing is the best!

Nightime came, had dinner again and after resting, we managed to schedule a massage at Nuat Thai Panglao outside the resort. You could ask Nuat Thai to pick you up from your hotel. Then we walked back when we realized it’s just so near.

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The combo massage was oh so good! I had a good sleep and ready for a whole day of tour and activities!

First on our list – The Bohol Bee Farm. We learned a lot here! The bees give you no harm because they are European bees and they are not aggressive. Got to hold the frame that contained hundreds of bees. According to our speaker, whatever happens, don’t panic. The bees will just be aggressive if they think they will be harmed. Even if it stays on your skin, just let it be. These bees give us the high quality honey we enjoy whether for beauty use or for consumption.

They also promote organic farming here. They promote the different uses of these plants as it could really be helpful to our everyday life.

They also provide livelihood activities in the farm, the women weave bags, display scrolls and even hammocks. They use only the best quality.

I tried their Ice Cream and it’s so sweet – the flavor I chose is Peanut Kisses, the famous cookie pastry shaped like the chocolate hills. What I like the most is its Cassava cone. Totally different from the usual sugar cone.

After shopping, we went ahead and drove to our next destination.

Baclayon Church
La Purisima Concepcion de la Virgen Maria Parish Church

The church was founded in the year 1596 by Jesuit priests. Became a parish 1717 and the coral stone structure was completed 1727. It is the oldest coral stone church in the region. It was destroyed when an earthquake struck last 2013. It was fully restored just this 2017. Thankful that we were able to visit the place and say a prayer, it just reopened last February 2018.

Next stop – Tarsier Sanctuary

The Philippine Tarsier and Wildlife Sanctuary aims to protect the natural habitat and the extinctions of tarsiers. They do so by promoting awareness and establishing protected areas in the whole province of Bohol. Little research has been conducted and this should not be the case. This gentle creature should be protected at all cost.

And we must thank people like the ‘Tarsier Man’ who has dedicated his whole life in protecting them. He used to hunt for them when he was little as his father was a taxidermist. They sold each tarsier at Php250.00. At 12, when he realized that the numbers of tarsiers were dwindling down, he decided to care for one and learned about it. He started breeding and was successful. From then on, he has dedicated his life in raising awareness to protect these tiny primates. Good job and thank you Mr Lito Pizarras.

After our cute encounter with the tarsiers, we proceeded to the Loboc River to have lunch while cruising aboard a ferry.

Loboc River Cruise

Don’t expect too much with the buffet spread, but be awed with the beauty surrounding your floating restaurant. The Loboc River Cruise is certainly enjoyable because of its uniqueness. Imagine you are aboard a floating restaurant, with food, a very good singer serenading everyone, a beautiful scenery, and the famous Loboc Children’s Choir singing and dancing as the grand finale of the cruise. Guests could also join them in their “tinikling” (bamboo) dance.

I got teary eyed watching these families perform, they were so happy and grateful with whatever we could give them.

On our way to see the Chocolate Hills, we passed by the Loboc-Bilar Man Made Forest. Beautiful and tall mahogany trees line the road and stretch for about 2 kilometers. Once you enter the forest, you will feel that it’s cooler compared to the hot and humid non forested part. Tourists often stop and risk their lives trying to get a good shot in the middle of the road, because cars won’t stop and let you have your picture on your own sweet time.

And before we finally see the majestic hills, we went on to have an ATV adventure along the foot of the hills. This 30 minute or so drive was exhilarating! I got all muddy during the drive, it’s so hot that I got so sweaty and red, but it was worth it. When we finally reached the highlight of our route, it’s amazing.

It’s my first time riding ATV and it will definitely not be the last.

Finally, we come to the finale of our daytour, the Chocolate Hills.

This is the view when you don’t want to climb the Observation Deck. But I wanted to go up because I want to see the Topview.

One has to climb about 214 steps to get to the Viewdeck which is the highest of all the hills.

Thousands of these hills surround the town of Carmen.

The 214 steps uphill climb left me breathless but it was so worth it. The view was breathtaking.

Went back to the hotel, had dinner and rested before enjoying ourselves in the pool for Happy Hour.

The next day, woke up early so I could enjoy the beach.

That ends our Bohol Trip. So much more to explore. Till next time!

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Aquaria Water Park and Beach Resort

Our last beach outing before we went back to school! Taking this trip with friends who turned into families made it more worth the while.

This was just an overnight beach trip but we really felt the bond with nature. Why wouldn’t we when our houses were located in front of the beach! The beach wasn’t that perfect but the fact that it was just a few steps away from where we stayed took all the stress away. I love how I was woken up by the sound of the waves crashing to the shore.

Aquaria Water Park is located in Calatagan, Batangas. It is just an hour and a half drive from Tagaytay.

Accommodations:

We booked our beachfront villa through one of the hotel sites. One side is all glass (with curtains for privacy) so you could hear and see the beach a few steps away from you!

I could stay on this swing all day! What can beat fresh and windy air.

Sofa Bed is available for use.

You can choose to have a queen bed and a double deck or 2 double decks!

The shower and toilet area’s just the right size.

Amenities:

Beach – a long stretch of fine sandy beach can be enjoyed.

There is a bar by the beach and instead of the usual bar chairs, you have swings!

Kids washing their sandy feet with the ‘banga’ (huge jar filled with water) outside our beachfront villa.

The kids and adults enjoyed the beach!

I personally was at a high just taking these wonderful pictures of the beach. I could just stare and immense myself in the beauty of God’s gift.

Pools:

The whole resort has about 5 pools everyone can enjoy. They also have a lot of cottages / spaces where you can lounge and chill while the kids swim.

Enjoyed this slide pool! It’s just tiring to go up with the inflatables, but so fun to go down!

Restaurants:

Taza Coffee – they serve breakfast, lunch and dinner plus coffee, shakes and liquors

Some of our breakfast…

The Sands – this is the main restaurant.

Some of our food for lunch and dinner.

Service

The service personnel were all very accommodating, nice and friendly. Not even the strong wind and rain at nighttime can hinder them from servicing us and our needs. 2 thumbs up for them!

Best of all, there’s not much people around when we were there. It’s like us and nature only. I would definitely like to be back and just chill.

Our beachfront villas are booked through Crusoe Cabins, you may book directly through their website by clicking the picture below!

You may also check their Facebook page, Crusoe Cabins.

Life’s a beach!πŸ–πŸπŸ–

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Our Taiwan Food Trip

Before our trip, pictures of Taiwan’s best eats are just that – pictures!

In a short span of 3 days, we tried to eat as many Taiwan famous food (especially street food) as we could.

Prepare to get hungry!

Din Tai Fung’s Xiao Long Bao, Shrimp Dumplings and Beef Noodle Soup

Ay Chung Misua Noodle

Everyone’s favorite, Stinky Tofu in Ximending

Jap Resto in Ximending open till 4am

Jiufen’s famous beef noodle store

Jiufen’s famous fish ball soup

TKK Fried Chicken

Taipei Main Station Underground Mall

Famous Pork Bun at Raohe Street Night Market

Wagyu Beef Cubes – Raohe Street Night Market

Resto in an alley near Tomorrow Hotel – Korean Style Pork Bbq Rice Toppings

Hot-Star XXL Fried Chicken

Prince Cheese Potatoes – food alley in Ximending

Taiwan Sausage – found everywhere

Taiwan Sausage in Sticky Rice – food alley in Ximending

Spring Onion Pancakes

Pan Fried Xiao Long Bao in Shilin

Chicken Wings stuffed with Rice – Shifen

DRINKS / DESSERTS

Chun Cui He Milk Teas

Sold in Carrefour at NTD 22.00 to 23.00, in 7-11 at NTD 28.00 to 30.00

Brown Sugar Boba Milk Tea

*look for this near H&M in Ximending, this is the cheapest and the best!

Another famous brown sugar milk tea but that one πŸ‘†is better.

Pineapple Shake at Shifen

Yakult Yogurt Smoothie at Shifen

Frozen Fresh Mango

Mango Smoothie in Yehliu Geopark

Oh boy! Wanna go back and eat some more!

To know more about our Taiwan Trip. Check out these blogs…

Taiwandering 2018

Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall

Taiwandering 2018 – Preflight

Tomorrow Hotel Ximending

Taoyuan International Airport Free Lounges

Portablee WIFI Rental by Kkday

Din Tai Fung Original Branch

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Exploring Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall

Managed to fit visiting Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall into our itinerary. Took the Metro Train and alighted at Chiang Kai Shek Memorial Hall Station, exited at Exit 5.

The back of the National Theatre greets visitors coming from the train.

Walk on the side of the National Theatre and you will be in awe! Liberty Square is so huge, you will see the Archway, the National Theatre, the National Concert Hall and afar will be the CKS Memorial Hall.

The Archway is the main gate to Liberty Square. It stands magnificently in its blue roof tile and white facade. There are actually 3 gates surrounding the whole square. They are the Gate of Loyalty and the Gate of Piety.

This is the Gate of Integrity.

The National Theatre

National Concert Hall

These twin structures are two of the first major modern performing arts facilities in Taiwan. It lies on the South and North sides of Liberty Square, and on the east of CKS Memorial Hall.

According to Wikipedia, the National Theater contains a smaller Experimental Theater and the National Concert Hall holds a more intimate Recital Hall. Outdoor performances can be staged simultaneously on the square.

And now, we go to the main attraction of this visit. At the east end of the square lies Chiang Kai Shek’s Monument.

Found a good samaritan to take our picture. πŸ˜€ Halfway through.

There are actually 89 steps to this stairway, representing the age of Chiang Kai Shek when he passed away.

It’s a bit hard to get to the top but the view is magnificent.

2 guards stand by the giant statue of Chiang Kai Shek. They also have guard changing ceremony. They usually come from the main hall downstairs and march up to the statue.

On this same floor, they house a mini library with details about how the place was built.

Down the main hall, a museum for Chiang Kai Shek can be found. They exhibit here his old clothes, military uniforms, memorabilias, letters and his magnificent cars.


Explored some more then left for our next adventure.

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Din Tai Fung – Original Branch

When Din Tai Fung arrived in Manila, everyone lined up to have a taste of what is known to have the best xiao long baos (steamed dumplings). During this trip to Taiwan, of course, we wouldn’t let the chance to visit the original branch pass. To get there, take the Metro Rail at Ximen Station and hop down at Dongmen Station, take the Exit 5, cross YongKang Street and walk straight.

You wouldn’t miss the shop becaus3 a lot of people are outside. We arrived around 11:00am and we had to wait for 60 mins. If you plan to go here, be sure to be there before their 10:00am opening.

The receptionist will give you your number and a checklist. It’s in English and the price is also written. They will take this once your number is called.

Outside is the enlarged menu board with pictures, if you can’t picture what’s written in the checklist.

After 60 years, minutes rather, we were finally seated at the 3rd floor. The main branch is just a small branch so it can really be tight! But you’ll still feel like you are in a restaurant with the service and the service charge of 10%! 😁

Yey! Our orders finally arrived! The girls from the other table were looking at us because there’s only the 2 of us and the food’s so many!

The xiao long bao! So juicy, it really does tastes better than the other xiao long baos in the market. Best to devour it when hot and fresh.

For first timers, they have a guide on how to eat it.

Dip the dumpling into the sauce.

Poke a hole on top to release the broth before eating it. Danger here – it can be so hot!

Next to try is this Shrimp and Pork Dumpling. Unlike other shrimp dumpling, this one is filled with real shrimps and pork. It also has some juice inside. Tasty as well!

Their Hot and Sour Soup tasted good also. Didn’t mix it so the hotness was all consumed by my husband. Afraid I can’t take it. I still like the soup. Sourness is just right.

We were curious with this on the menu, so we ordered it. Turned out it’s just Machang, pork wrapped in sticky rice. Not their specialty.

Up next is the Beef Noodle. The soup’s too oily. The one we had in Jiufen is better. But the texture of the noodle is good.

On the 1st floor, the dumpling making station can be viewed through a glass partition. I wonder how many xiao long baos they make in a day?

When we left the shop, it’s a chaos outside. People can’t resist that cute little dumpling though!

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