Events: Quezon City’s 75th Anniversary

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QC CircleThis October, Quezon City celebrates its 75th year of cityhood. October 12, 2014 marks the city’s Diamond Jubilee, and it looks like all six districts of Quezon City are gearing up for a lot of festivities.

Aside from commemorative events, the city will play host to arts festivals, concerts, health and wellness outreach programs, religious activities, and sports/fitness programs. There are a LOT of events lined up, but here are a few of the highlights that might interest the general public: Continue reading

Maginhawa: The Eat Street

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Originally posted April 2011, updated September 2014

I feel really fortunate to be living on Maginhawa Street, one of the best go-to places for a food trip around the metro. There’s a great range of restaurants and types of cuisine to fit any mood and craving. A lot of the restos in the area also have this laid-back and artsy vibe, which I love.  Since a lot of the Maginhawa establishments have come and gone since I first wrote about this, I decided that it’s high time that I updated this post (after my article in Sunday Inquirer Magazine came out.)

Below is an updated directory of where to to eat along Maginhawa Street, Teachers Village, Diliman, Quezon City. I’ve also included a few notable restaurants in the Maginhawa orbit/Teacher’s Village/Sikatuna area that are not necessarily on Maginhawa street. Check back often because this post gets updated frequently. Lots of new restos have opened up on the street that I’m still planning to try :)

 - Places I highly recommend or regularly frequent

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In celebration of Quezon City’s 75th anniversary, there will be a Quezon City Food Festival this coming October 11, 2014, to be held along Maginhawa Street! They’ll be closing down the whole street for the food fest. For updates, check this page on Facebook.

quezon city food festival maginhawa

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Chapters Book Cafe in Dipolog

The Little Prince (Le Petit Prince) is the most famous work of the French writer and poet Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. Many people have been touched by this beloved classic, which while written as a children’s book, speaks volumes about life and relationships.

03. chapters book cafe dipolog the little prince mural

So stumbling into a Little Prince-themed cafe was an unexpected surprise during a trip to Dipolog, Zamboanga del Norte. Continue reading

5 Things to do in Real, Quezon

For those in the regular workforce, vacations can be tricky. Not everyone has the luxury of time to do long-term backpacking or visit exotic locales every month. But everyone needs a beach and adventure fix once in a while. Located just 3-4 hours away from Manila, Real in Quezon offers such a quick weekend getaway.

01. real quezon boat

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Ili-Likha Artist Village in Baguio

From above, the broken tiles decorating the stairway resembled a rainbow. Old wine bottles jutted out from the cement wall in an odd pattern. Right behind a computer workspace, the sunlight streamed through a wall revealing quirky cutouts and glints of colored glass. Everywhere I looked there was something vibrant, colorful and interesting.

baguio ililikha artist village 01 stairs

I mentally tried to digest everything as I went trigger-happy shooting every beautiful detail I could. There was a lot to take in. Continue reading

70th Shinyo Maru Commemoration in Sindangan

On September 7, 1944, the Japanese warship SS Shinyo Maru was sailing for Manila. The vessel was one of the “Hell Ships” used by the Imperial Japanese Navy and Army to transport Allied prisoners from the Philippines to elsewhere in the Japanese empire. Unaware that it was carrying 750 prisoners of war, mostly American survivors, the American submarine USS Paddle SS263, which was tasked to search for the Japanese ship, attacked it. The US submarine torpedoed the Shinyo Maru about a mile or two away from Sindangan point in Zamboanga del Norte. Of the 83 prisoners of war who made it to the shore, one died after they came ashore and was buried on the hill of the town of Sindangan. The 82 remaining survivors were cared for by the locals of Sindangan.

70th shinyo maru commemoration 05

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Red Rock Waterfalls near Dumaguete City

Steam hissed out from the side of the hill as the scooter made its way up a small winding road. To the left of the road was a serene river. To the right was a cliff wall emitting sulfuric fumes. I was on my way to a waterfall with red rocks located in the town of Valencia, near Dumaguete City, and I was finding the scenery very surprising.

pulangbato falls valencia dumaguete 01

Dumaguete, the capital city of Negros Oriental is known mainly for being a quaint University Town with all the modern conveniences. But it’s also a good jump-off point to different beaches, dive spots and eco-adventures. Continue reading

Holiday Haven in Baguio: Azalea Residences

No matter how many places in the Philippines I’ve been to, there’s really something about Baguio that’s just special. I will always have fond childhood memories of eating fresh strawberries, picking up pine cones, horseback rides, and sitting by a fireplace with hot chocolate during family summer trips to the City of Pines. Later on, work-related trips or trips with friends meant scouring the markets for awesomely cool designer jackets and boots, videoke sessions, food tripping along Session Road, and even playing airsoft!

azalea residences baguio 01

Despite all the changes the city has gone through, Baguio remains one of the most popular tourist destinations year-round for families and friends. It always feels comfortable and easy to come back here yet there’s always something new to look forward to. Over the weekend, I got to visit old favorites and discover fun new things to do in the Summer Capital.

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Spice Adventure with Bal Arneson

Fancy a grilled chicken with creamy corn risotto after rock climbing? How about some spice-crusted rib-eye steak and seared scallops and prawns after bungee jumping?

01. AFC spice adventure - spice crusted rib eye steak

Most people wouldn’t associate gourmet food with extreme adventures, but Canada-based celebrity chef Bal Arneson shows that “a dash of spice can add flavor to your food and your life.” Her show “Spice of Life with Bal Arneson” which airs on Asian Food Channel takes her family on one-of-a-kind adventures in the kitchen and outdoors. From fishing, to camping, to demolition derby, this feisty chef whips up exciting dishes to complement their action-packed lifestyle.

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5 Unique Bike Date Places in Marikina

Most guy bikers I know don’t usually care where they eat during or after a ride. Any food – even if it’s questionable looking carinderia fare that’s been sitting out for several days – is fair game if you’re hungry. Any gas station or sari-sari store is a potential pitstop.

Well, if you want to get your girlfriends or wives to ride with you more often, you may want to put a bit more thought into the destinations. I can’t speak for all girl bikers out there, but while I don’t mind roughing it out every now and then on the trails, I also like being treated like a girl sometimes. Good food, unique ambiance and decent restrooms are probably the three things I look out for in dining places, whether or not I’m biking. Oh, and lots of Instagram-worthy details.

01. Bike date Marikina Cover

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Volunteering as Tributes: Archery in Makati

The Hunger Games Trilogy (The Hunger Games, Catching Fire & Mockingjay) was one of those things I could not put down. I must have spent one weekend just reading through all three books. I love the character of Katniss Everdeen in the books and how she was portrayed in the movies. Her skill with the bow and arrow is just so badass. The same goes for Tauriel in The Hobbit. Though she doesn’t appear in J.R.R. Tolkien’s original book, the woodland elf in The Desolation of Smaug shows off awesome archery skills comparable to Legolas. I’ve always hated the “damsels in distress” stereotypes in movies so it’s refreshing to watch movies with strong female warrior characters.

01. kodanda archery range travelup

Trying to channel Katniss in a Hunger Games District 12 training jersey

However, my previous experience with archery has been somewhat limited to virtual adventures. In Skyrim, (aside from shouts & destruction magic) bows are the most useful ranged weapon you use to damage the legendary dragons when they’re in flight. My demon hunter character in Diablo III also uses a variety of crossbows and bows to battle the minions of The Lord of Terror.

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