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Friday, October 31, 2014

Delicious Finds at Best Food Forward 2014!

After years of missing out, I finally got to attend Best Food Forward, held last October 11-12, 2014. Best Food Forward is an annual food fair that features amazing food finds around the metro. :)

Here are some the food discoveries (or re-discoveries) I found during the event:

1. Crack Pie by The Red Hot Oven

We were told that this dessert was named such because it should be as addictive as crack. And it really is. :P

It comes in 5 different flavors: Classic (Php 700), Peanut Butter (Php 750), Pili (Php 850), Coconut (Php 750) and Coffee (Php 750).

2. Peppermint Brownie Ice Cream by Moo-La-La!

I rarely liked anything minty on my dessert, but Moo-La-La's Peppermint Brownie was an exception. This new homemade ice cream brand also creates Filipino-inspired flavors, such as the Tibok-Tibok. I would love to try their other flavors soon. A pint is only Php 275 each, and they also cater to parties. :)

3. Voila Jars

I once tried to do a mug cake at home, but it wasn't that successful, so I was glad there's Voila! Old Fashioned Jar Cakes. To prepare, you just need to add water into the jar, pop into the microwave and voila!

Current flavors are Belgian Fudge No. 5, Peanut Butter Mudcake and Red Velvet Vanilla Fudge, for only Php 150 per jar. 

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

3rd Anniversary Giveaway #4: Brotzeit!

Note: The giveaway has ended. Winner has already been announced. 

My anniversary celebration extends til Oktoberfest!

I'll be giving away Php 1500 worth of GCs from Brotzeit.

I have to Brotzeit numerous times and I have always enjoyed their authentic Bavarian offerings, and of course, the Paulaner beers.

Brotzeit it also the perfect place to watch your favorite sports events, while enjoying homemade sausages and their bestseller, the Pork Knuckle, along with a cold glass of beer (or two or more!)

Monday, October 27, 2014

1780 by SariSari: The Hidden Gems of the Philippines in 1 Website!

I was invited last October 15, 2014 to witness the launch of the the sub-portal dedicated for the products from the different parts of the archipelago to reach out on a wider market: 1780 by SariSari.

These products are carefully sourced from 17 regions, 80 provinces, Sarisari highlights the best that the Philippines has to offer in terms of gastronomy and craftsmanship. 

1780 by SariSari puts a modern flair to a variety of Filipino products. Patti Grandidge, owner of handcrafted cupcake store Sweet Patti Cakes, has created a limited edition cupcakes using the organically-grown Dark Chocolate from Kablon Farms. Amina Aranas, a local designer and fashion influencer, collaborated with one of 1780 by SariSari's merchants to craft a bag using native materials which will be sold exclusively on the site. 1780 by SariSari was also joined by Ivan Henares, a traveler and tourism influencer, who discussed his advocacy towards heritage products and sites around the country. 

Limited Edition Cupcake (made from Kablon Farms chocolate) by Sweet Patti Cakes

Here are some of the products that will be sold in the site:

McNester's Mango Products from Guimaras

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Wang Mai Cafe, Bangkok

During our stay in Thailand, I realized that we rarely sat down to have a quiet breakfast. One of those rare moments was when we were looking for a place to have coffee before we proceeded to The Jim Thompson House. While walking along National Stadium area, we found this cute little coffee shop: Wang Mai Cafe

Located within the National Stadium compound, Wang Mai Cafe is quite straightforward: they only offer coffee and tea drinks -- hot, iced or frappe. 

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Original Muscovado Peanut Butter by TheBasics

As a health food convert, I'm always on the lookout for healthier alternatives of the food I indulge myself with. I was glad to find out about TheBasics.

Just a few weeks old, TheBasics intends to make food products from natural ingredients, with no preservatives. 

First in their product line is the Original Muscovado Peanut Butter.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

My First Airbnb Experience in Bangkok Thailand

As a traveler, I believe that the accommodation is part of the adventure. I have tried staying in a dormitory in Davao, pension house in Iloilo and Bacolod, and an eco-friendly boutique hotel in Siem Reap, Cambodia. For my trip to Bangkok, we decided to try this cool website called Airbnb. 

Airbnb is a website with accommodation listings around the world. These listings can be entire homes, apartments, hotels, private rooms and many others. 

For Bangkok, we rented a private room for 2 days in Sathorn area. 

Prior to our arrival in Bangkok, we were given specific instructions on how to go to the place by one of our hosts, Jesse. He also gave us his mobile number should we get lost or when we are near his place. 

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Night Out at Descanzo Bar & Resto

I've been working in Ortigas for years, and though I have been here for quite a long time, I still haven't been to a lot of hang-out places around this area. 

I was glad to chill out last weekend in one of the newest bar and resto in this business district called Descanzo Bar & Resto

Descanzo, which means "to relax" in Spanish, is located at the heart of Ortigas. Opened last February 2014, the place is open for breakfast to late dinners and drinks. 

We were able to try some of their dishes and sample their cocktails as well, while listening to live music. :)

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Free Seminar on Setting Up Your Food Stall Business at Mercato Centrale on October 25

Do you have a great-tasting dish or do you have an innovative food concept that you think would sell well in a weekend food market?  Then we invite you to join us for a FREE SEMINAR on HOW TO DEVELOP YOUR BUSINESS FOOD IDEAS during our STARTUP FOOD ENTREPRENEUR WEEKEND on October 25 (Saturday) from 3:00pm to 6:00pm at Mercato Centrale, at the corner of 34th Street and 8th Avenue in Bonifacio Global City. 

The half-day seminar will include topics on how to start up and run a food business, identifying food businesses with franchise growth potential, current food market business trends, digital and social media marketing for small food businesses, and the stories of successful food market entrepreneurs.

Among the speakers for seminars include Armando Bartolome of GMB, Franchise Developers (whose previous clients are Mang Inasal, Potato Corner and Lots’A Pizza), Anton Diaz and RJ Ledesma of Mercato Centrale, resource speakers from Go Negosyo and Globe MyBusiness and successful Mercato food entrepreneurs Jill Gerodias Borja of Manang’s Chicken and Suzy Lee of Spring by Ha-Yuan. 

“Over the past several years of running the Mercato Centrale markets in Makati, Taguig, Quezon City and provincial locations, we’ve seen potentially successful start up food businesses that were not capitalize on a good product because they needed to fix up their operations and marketing efforts.” shared Anton Diaz, the co-founder of Mercato Centrale and the man behind popular food and travel blog www.OurAwesomePlanet.com “The aim of this seminar is to help budding food entrepreneurs greatly improve their chances of success by sharing with them the insights we’ve gained through operating our markets and working with various food stall vendors.” 

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Getting Lost in Bangkok [Day 2]

We spent the morning of our second day in Bangkok exploring the tourist spots around the city. It was more challenging than our first day because the locations are a little far from each other. Thankfully, strangers who we asked for directions are more than willing to help, proof that Bangkok is not as dangerous as some people thought it was. 

The Jim Thompson House

From our guesthouse, we took the BTS to National Stadium Station (W1), Silom Line. We took Exit 1 and walked straight to Soi Kasemsan 2, a 5-minute walk brought us to the Jim Thompson House. 

The Jim Thompson House was the exact home of American businessman Jim Thompson, who revitalized the Thai silk industry during the World War 2. His home now serves as a museum for his antique collections, with a retail store for Thai silk and restaurant.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Temple Run in Bangkok [Day 1]

We devoted a full day to explore the temples and famous landmarks of Bangkok. We figured out that the Grand Palace alone will consume much of time so it was our first priority for the day.

The Grand Palace Complex

From our guesthouse, we rode the BTS to Saphan Taksin (S6), Silom Line. Saphan Taksin station is connected to the Sathon pier where we rode the Chao Phraya Express Boat.

A one-way ticket for the tourist boat is 40 Baht (Php 54) per person.

We got off Ta Chang Pier (N9), which is a few meters away from the entrance gate of the Grand Palace Complex.

Note that there is a dress code you should adhere to when entering the Grand Palace Complex. Shorts, short skirts, sleeveless tops, cropped tops, flipflops are not allowed. However, you can borrow clothes for 200 Baht (Php 272) deposit per item.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

10 Things I Love About Thailand

The wanderlust in me was unleashed once again as I went on a 5-day trip to Thailand. I have visited two cities, Bangkok and Chiang Mai, and I totally loved the whole experience! I couldn't wait to share all the places I have visited, the friends I have gained along the way, and the amazing food I discovered.

Before I even planned my trip to Thailand, I have heard most people say that Thailand is much like our country. However, I would like to disagree with this impression because Thailand knows how to treat tourists better than we do (sorry, Philippines, it's true).  

Here are some of the things I loved about the Kingdom of Thailand, and the reasons why I'm itching to go back and stay longer. 

1. The trains in Bangkok

We went to our guesthouse in Bangkok from the airport riding the trains, using the Airport Link to the BTS, and it was so convenient. The people were very disciplined as well. No pushing, no shoving, and lots of space too. The waiting times are reasonable too. 

2. The affordable accommodations

We opted to rent a private room in Bangkok through AirBnB, instead of booking a hotel room. It was a good choice, and our host was very helpful. There are a lot of cheap accommodations around Bangkok and Chiang Mai that you can stay for a week without burning a hole in your pocket. 

3. Helpful Thai people despite the language barrier

We got lost lots of times in Bangkok, but Thai people would go out of their way to give us directions (one even took us to the right bus stop) even if some can't speak English. 

4. The freshly brewed Thai coffee

I almost cried when I sipped my first Thai coffee, it was indeed delicious! The rumors are true: the best ones can be found on the streets. Price ranges from 17 Baht (Php 23) to 55 Baht (Php 74). 

5. The street food is delicious

During our stay, we rarely ate in a mall or restaurant because the street food was sooooo delicious, aside from cheap. The ingredients weren't scrimped as well. More about it in my future posts. ;)

Friday, October 10, 2014

How to Become the Next Big Food Entrepreneur this Holiday Season

Aside from being the country’s premier night food market destination, Mercato Centrale has helped give birth to some of the country’s newest and most innovative food concepts.  Popular chains like Manang’s Chicken, Merry Moo Ice Cream, Mochiko, Brasas Latin American Street Food, Spring by Ha-Yuan, Kristina’s Premium Inutak, Baked by Anita, and many more started off as food stalls in Mercato Centrale before they became successful food businesses.  

But prior to their multi-million food ventures, many of these entrepreneurs started off as home-based food businesses or just passionate cooks and bakers who had a pioneering food concept, unique style of cooking, or a secret or heirloom recipe that they ‘incubated’ in the Mercato Centrale food market. 

Building on its commitment to support food entrepreneurship, Mercato Centrale brings back its much-awaited “Next Big Food Entrepreneur Contest” along with www.ourawesomeplanet.com, Mastercard, Globe My Business and partners Entrepreneur Magazine, Yummy Magazine, Yummy Ph, Philippine Star, WhenInManila.com and Go Negosyo.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Uno Lounge, Revisited

My friend and I decided to go unwind at a place familiar to me: Uno Lounge. I have first visited this bar more than a year ago, and it was nice that the place hasn't changed much. 

Since they offer Happy Hour Appetizers for only Php 99, we ordered Onion Rings and Nachos with Cheese Dip, along with a pitcher of Margarita.

Margarita with Nachos

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Weekend Bonding at Mountain Lake Resort, Caliraya Springs (Part 1)

Extremely ecstatic, that was my feeling when I was invited to have a weekend getaway with my college friends at Caliraya Mountain Lake Resort.

We arrived at the resort early Saturday morning, and we were lucky to be greeted with lots of sunshine, refreshments, and this lovely view from the clubhouse:

From the Clubhouse, we couldn't help walking towards the golf course. The vast field was indeed breathtaking. 

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