"foods. travels. experiences. thoughts. learnings." cruelsan's Profile


They say sagittarians are born travellers. Maybe that's why I love going places. I dream of visiting places I only see on TV and I hope that someday I will.

I've only been to a few places - mostly local and only two countries outside the Philippines:
1. Nueva Vizcaya
2. Ifugao Province
3. Manila
4. Pampanga
5. Olongapo - Subic
6. Zambales
7. Tagaytay
8. Laguna
9. Batangas
10. Boracay
11. Iloilo
12. Hong Kong
13. China - Shen Zhen and Shanghai

Last year, I've visited HK and Shen Zhen for the nth time. Then we also went to Boracay, which was already my 3rd visit. That's when I vowed to myself that I'd visit a new place - whether locally or internationally - each year.

This year, we are planning to go to KL and Genting. I'd like to thank fellow VT members who are extremely helpful in giving tips, pieces of advice and recommendations on things to do and see in Malaysia. I'll try to remember as much as I can about my experiences there (sometimes I suffer from short-term memory problem...LOL) and share them with you.

You see, I'm a neophyte when it comes to travels. But very recently, I've become very passionate about food and travel that I try to document them as much as I can. I've also developed the skill of remembering good places to visit, eat at, relax, etc. and I am very good at research. So I think somehow, in my own right, I can give good tips about certain places...and I'm looking forward to sharing them with you! :)

foodie at heart

Thanks to my ex-boyfriend, I've become a foodie and have grown bigger! Though I don't regret it much because he's brought me to a few good places and has helped me discover the wonderful world of food! :)

Actually, I grew up being around a lot of food. We used to dominate the food business in our province: restaurant, snack houses, ice cream houses and bakeries. So you can just imagine my childhood weekends - watching cartoons while snacking on banana split and pizza...LOL! :)

These businesses are no longer running but I'm optimistic we'll get back on it. One day, I'd like to have my own grill bar and cafe :) But for now, I feel fortunate and am contented that I have tried some of the best food places in the country:
1. Heat, EDSA Shangri-la - lobster and bacon (breakfast)!!!
2. Summer Palace, EDSA Shangri-la - seaweeds! :)
3. Shang Palace, Makati Shangri-la - steamed lapu lapu and peking duck
4. Jeepney Cafe, Hotel Intercontinental - pastries
5. Antonio's Tagaytay - (see review below)
6. Duo
7. Balducci - thin crust pizza
8. Je Suis Gourmand - lengua and chocolate souffle
9. Casa Armas - File Minon (fillet mignon)
10. Terry Gourmet - paella, shrimp gambas, and tarta imperial rusa (sans rival)!!!
11. Florabel - pasta, but quite expensive
12. Banana Leaf and Curry House - I wasn't really impressed on my first visit
13. Nanbantei of Tokyo - japanese cuisine with a twist
14. The Red Crab - chocolate fountain :p
15. Sentro
16. Cascada - skewer sampler
17. Cafe Breton - crepes, crepes and more crepes! :)
18. Cafe Adriatico
19. Recipe
20. Kanin Club - everything!!!
21. Cottage Kitchen - best ribs and reasonably priced too!
22. Cafe Benissimo - gelato ice cream :p
23. Jack's Loft - I like almost everything! :)
24. Pho Hoa
25. Mannang - lechon kawali is the best and cheap!
26. Mann Hann
27. Gloria Maris - love their noodles! good serving size and reasonably priced!
28. Kalye Juan - very good Filipino food and cheap too!
29. Bubba Gump - love their spinach artichoke and shrimp poppers!
30. Outback - beef salpicao is their best.
31. Friday's - grilled chops and chicken mushroom chicken.
32. Italianni's - pasta!
33. Bizu - ooh...love the cakes!
34. Cheesecakes Etc. - love the cakes too!
35. National Sports Grill
36. Oody's - chicken pandan
37. Serye - boneless crispy pata
38. Superbowl
39. Royal Garden, Ongpin - ooh love the dimsums! :)
40. Chocolate Kiss, UP Diliman - devil's food cake! :)
41. Dulcinea - churros!
42. Kitchen - under the sun (seafood pasta) and pomelo shake
43. Mangan
44. Market Cafe, Hyatt Hotel Manila - tempura and chocolate fountain
45. Emperor Court, New World Renaissance Hotel - peking duck
46. Conti's - garlic sotanghon, chicken pastel and mango bravo

(I'll try to update this list in the future and also post some pictures of food and/or restaurants I've visited in my photo album)

Anyway, this picture was taken at the famous-strictly-by-reservations-only Antonio's Tagaytay. It's their famous suckling pig that costs an arm and a leg - thank goodness my boss took care of the bill! PhP10,000.00 for the pig with soup, salad, dessert and coffee or tea for a group of 10. Is it worth it? Am not sure. But it's definitely good - a bit salty I think- but I love the pickled apples that came with it :)

We also ordered Angus beef steak but only the boys tried it - the girls are not really up for medium rare steaks. They said it was very good. It better be - it was PhP3,600.00!

We ended the night with chocolate souffle and flourless chocolate cake for desserts. Love them! :)

my family

My family loves to travel. Maybe it's because there are two sagittarians in the family: my mother and I. Or, maybe there's just a traveller in every one of us. Whatever the reason may be, we try to travel as much as we can.

We used to travel at least once year that my dad coined the term "Tour of Luzon". Mostly during summer time, we spend at least a week on the road - hopping from one hotel/resort to another, one province to another. We would start from north going down south. It was such fun! :) Oh those were the days...

This picture was taken in HK Disneyland in May 2007. My jurassic digicam reset and that's why the correct date was not captured. Oh well. Still, this travel can not be easily forgotten as this is probably the first time we've toured together in years - my father and youngest brother (3rd and 5th from left, respectively) stayed in the US for two years and have recently returned. Then a few months later, my father had to fly back to his hometown (HK) to work. We'll see him again soon and travel together again as a family. This time, we're visiting a place that all of us have not gone to yet. Am already very excited! :)

where I grew up

This is the road going to my humble province - Nueva Vizcaya. I grew up in a town called Solano - spent a good 12 years of my life there, until I was shipped to Manila.

My family doesn't really live together - I was sent to Manila right after grade school graduation to continue my Chinese studies, which wasn't really quite a success because I only reached second year high school of my Chinese class :p I was living alone (with a yaya) while my parents and then only brother (1st from left) lived in the province (he's now staying with me to study nursing). My two youngest siblings, who are still studying and living with my mom in the province, grew up without seeing and knowing me. I was a total stranger to them, but I am now the authority haha! :)

Back to the topic...this road is as zigzaggy as the one going to Baguio. It's also cold here during the months of November to January. I remember, during my childhood years, waking up to fogs covering the entire town during these months.

Our town is more progressive than the provincial capital, Bayombong. We have more banks and we have already been invaded by the big franchises such as Jollibee, Greenwich, Chowking and McDonald's is soon to come.

Apart from that, there really isn't much to say because there really isn't much to see. All I could think of is the better-than-Collette's-buko-pie from G&B, Tuao. It's a town where a lot of coconut trees grow, hence a lot of fresh coconut and buko pies for sale. Also, that we are only about 1.5-2hours away from Ifugao Province - where the world-famous Banaue Rice Terraces are - and about 4hours from Sagada - which we ironically haven't visited yet. We're also only 8hours from Pagudpud Beach, which I also haven't had the opportunity to visit (because of my previous work schedules...sigh), but my family has gone to at least twice already.

Overall, it's a quiet and sort of boring place. But like in any other province, people here are great and hospitable.

"events coordinator"

This is me with my best college girlfriends. This was taken in Josephine's Tagaytay, where we celebrated Rachelle's birthday (1st from left).

I was the one who organized this. The OC that I am, I've become the designated "event coordinator" among us friends (and also with my family). Whenever we want to get together, I'd start looking for new places and restaurants to visit and try to work around everyone's schedules so everyone can come. It's a tough job, but one that I love doing :) I hope I could put this "skill" to use one day and start my own business :)

(I'll post more pictures of my friends and our get-togethers in my album)

Boracay - one of my favorite places to visit

I've gone to Boracay about three times. I don't really remember much from my first visit except the banana boat ride, crystal cave, that we travelled back via super ferry, and my perfectly done sunburn :)

The second time I went here was in 2006. It was sort of a backpacking adventure with my friends. It was an impulsive decision brought about by Cebu Pacific's 1peso seat sale - we just had to stay there for a week to get the cheapest rate. Also, a friend said it was okay to stay there a week because she knows someone who owns a hotel/resort. But it turned out to be a not so good one...and far from the beachfront too. So, for lack of choice, we stayed there on our first night. The moment we woke up the next day, we started scouting for a better yet affordable place to stay at, what with our huge and heavy luggages...LOL! :) Luckily, we've found Eriko's guest house - it's just a 1minute walk to the beachfront and conveniently located in station 2!

The third time I visited the island was last year (July 2007). I guess my one-week stay there made me a Bora-Guru to my family (and some friends) that I ended up as a travel agent/guide to them :) I booked flights and accommodation and planned itineraries on my own. It would have been great if only there wasn't a storm. poor first-timers, they didn't enjoy much :(

Oh well, I still want to go back nevertheless. But maybe in a few years...I'd like to explore other Philippine provinces first :)

  • Intro Updated Apr 1, 2008
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