Thursday, October 11, 2018

JBD in PAL's Mabuhay Magazine.

If you are flying PAL, hope you can check out our Simbolo in one of the pages. 

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Weekend Bliss at Anya Resort.

Thanks to Toni Gregory and Lia Bernardo, I was able to see and stay in Anya Resorts in Tagaytay. As soon as I could, I had booked for another weekend stay because I wanted to bring my Dad and my daughters to see this beautiful place that's only an hour and a half away from Makati.

My dad, who's very critical about every single thing imaginable, was very impressed. 

During our stay, we were able to enjoy a wide variety of dishes for breakfast, a great time at the pool and sleep soundly in their very comfortable villa. 

I also met their Executive Chef, Jonathan Bouthlauz from Saint-Malo, France. At a young age of 33, this talented chef has a history of working for 5-star hotels all over the world, some of which have the much coveted Michelin star. 

He started his career 16 years ago and his passion for cooking has landed his first Executive Chef position in Anya Resort, his first assignment in Asia. He began working for Anya October 2017 and being his first time in the country, he had to learn how to cook Filipino dishes and add his own signature to the menu. 

I asked him about the challenges he has faced as a chef and confidently he says, "None, I have a relationship with my meat and seafood suppliers from Dubai, Australia and Europe and they continue to bring me the best of what they have to offer. It is what I want the guests of Anya to have as well."

"The oysters we serve come from France, steak from Australia and sea bass and salmon from Europe. For dessert, I work with a very talented Filipino pastry chef. We try to infuse my knowledge with his in creating delicious sweets using local fruits and ingredients. I like for him to explore French ideas so that the guests can have a taste of both culinary worlds." 

And that we did. My dad, Jody and Jacqui and I left Tagaytay with a sense of happiness about having a place like Anya to run to for a restful weekend. 

To the whole staff that made our stay wonderful, THANK YOU. We shall be back for more. 

Thursday, August 16, 2018

I Shall Return to Siargao.

First of all, let me say this, YES to Siargao. 

We loved everything about the island. Here's why:

-They are earth friendly. They discourage the use of plastic bags and straws. For your fresh coconut juice, you are given a straw made out of bamboo which you can use for the whole duration of your stay. 

-The entrance fee to the tourist spots are not heavy on the pocket but they keep the place clean and orderly. 

-The food is great! Mostly grilled but there are specialty restaurants that serve good food, superb service and wallet friendly. 

-The MEN, they are almost always shirtless, gold tanned and rugged. For those who know me, I like my white meat and Siargao has got plenty of them just roaming around in their half nakedness. Go to Bravo for sunset drinks, that's where they hang. 

-Beautiful villas. Next time I go, I would like to stay in Isla Cabana or Bravo. We stayed in Siargao Island Villas. They have a great Indonesian restaurant. 


-Kayak and paddle boards in our villa. Basically, the beach front is not so great for swimming. The shore is shallow so you need to walk about half a mile to get to where you can swim freely so what my gang did was to use beach boards and of course, pose for photos. 

I was already burned so I just stayed by the fish sanctuary. 

-Alegria beach is the place to go for a nice swim in the beach. The sand is nice, the place almost deserted. It's about an hour away by Bingo from our villa but it was worth it. 

-The Tayangban Cave is lovely. It's not a hard hike and there's a reward at the end of the cave exploration. When you go down, do not bring a bag. Get ready to get wet up to your neck. Wear aqua shoes. 

-Hire a Bingo, a tricycle that can accommodate 3 (plus driver) comfortably. We were 5 in total so it was quite tight and the motor had a hard time climbing roads. It's a nice way to experience the island because you can feel the breeze on your face as you go but it does take about an hour to get from one place to another which lessens your hours of just frolicking about. There's plenty of vans for hire that if shared by many, can be cost efficient. 

My seatmate, Bea Ledesma. 

Our driver was also our photographer. 

-L'Osteria is probably the fanciest restaurant in the island. The open kitchen, Italian restaurant serves brick-oven baked pizza, assorted Italian cold cuts and cheeses. 

-Magpupungko Beach and Tide Pools is a must. I wasn't at all interested to enter when I saw the entrance but I am so glad that the gang insisted that I check it out. It was so much fun and beautiful. If you bring a bag, make sure it's waterproof, wear plenty sunblock and wear aqua shoes. 

I climbed the big rock and jumped like a crazy woman. It was fun! You guys should do it. 

The real reason we went to Siargao? The wedding of Jessica Tan Gan and Earl Yap. 

We were transported to Guyam Island.

While waiting for the ceremony to begin, the gang of four pose for a photo. 

Then the couple tied the knot officially. It was scorching hot but everything was so beautiful as the sun promised to set in a spectacular way. 

I was able to sneak a photo with the bride and mother of the bride, Lulu Tan Gan. 

And baby Benjamin is just too cute for words. 

Before heading to the reception, we were whisked to Naked Island to view the sun go down. I had my white meat keep me comfortably cool during the journey. 

Siargao is just so photogenic that one can't resist doing mini photo shoots. Watch out Mark Nicdao, I may be your new nemesis. 

Dennis Lustico

Ivarluski Aseron

Bea Ledesma

Your bloggerina, shot by Ivar. 

At the reception, I had 4 shots of tequila so I am going to skip that part of the story. 

THANK YOU Jess and Earl for a wonderful experience. Congratulations!!
Siargao was a great idea.