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Blogworthy & Travel: Boracay 2013

Sunday, March 29, 2015
View from our villa

I was going through my photos and I saw my 2013 Boracay photos. I checked my past entries and was surprised I didn't post a single entry for this trip. Call me weird, or whatever you want, but I really want to (still) blog about this because our stay here deserves a post... two years after.

✰ This post is going to include LOTS of photos ✰

My family and I are Shangri-La fans mainly because they have the best service ever. There are other 5-Star hotels in the Metro and in places like Boracay, but in our hearts and minds, we are sure that nothing will ever beat their service.

1. Arrival at Caticlan Airport ✦ Shangri-La Lounge

As we arrived at the airport, there were already people from Shangri-La waiting for us and they assisted us with our luggage - we didn't have to pick them up. They asked us to tell them which were ours and they would do all the job. I had to mention this because the expressions of their personnel didn't show any hesitation with all the help they give. They always talk to you in smiles unlike other personnel who makes you feel that they're just doing their job. These people have the "happy to serve you" face all the time.

I was pretty delighted to find out about the lounge. If I remember it correctly, there were three lounges: Shangri-La, Discovery Suites and the general lounge. Obviously, it was air conditioned, they had nice and soft couches, super friendly staff (as usual), and they served juice. We only stayed at the lounge because we were waiting for the speedboat that would take us to Boracay. The waiting wasn't really that long; I know because I didn't finish my juice and I am a sucker for Calamansi Juice.

2. Speedboat to Boracay

In my other Boracay entry, I posted there a photo of the boat we rode. Of course, this would be far better since there's actually no cheap room in the hotel so they just better give you a good ride.

My brother would usually get seasick, but this short ride from the airport to Boracay didn't make him feel dizzy or anything. Personally, I liked the white - it kept the simple yet sophisticated look. The seats were very comfortable, I must add. 

3. Villa 8 ✦ Villa Kanluran

Welcome to Villa 8 ✦ Living Room / Receiving Area

This is my favorite (smoking) spot. Wouldn't you enjoy this view?
4. Rooms

Master's Bedroom & Bathroom

Master's Walk-In Closet + Display & the other bedroom and bathroom

I'm telling you - they aren't just photogenic. It would even more appropriate if I say that it looks even better in person. The ventilation and temperature were perfect. The pillows, bed, towels - they were all soft and smelled really good.

...but these photos do not give justice yet. Here's my favorite part of the Master's Bedroom:

Paradise at your doorstep

Yes, that's right. When you leave the curtains on the side, you have a view of the ocean and the sky. Isn't it AMAZING?! It has access to the back part of the villa. I was slightly disappointed to know that my mom didn't know that it was a door, not a full window. Nevertheless, she enjoyed her view before sleeping and waking up.

The villa included two butlers (yes, butler): One during the day and one during the night. If you're seated on the porch and you want water, juice, or anything you like, you can just call or text him and he would bring you what you requested. And yes, it came with a cell phone. That's where the butler's number is (well, duh).

5. Restaurants: Vintana Cafe & Sirena

Vintana Cafe
So these are the only photos I have of the restaurant. We had lunch here after checking in. I remember ordering my all-time favorite, Adobo. My brother had Steak, and forgot what my parents ordered. Regardless, we all know Shangri-La restaurants serve good food.

This is also where the breakfast buffet is held.

From their website:

Perched on a cliff top above crystal-blue waters, Sirena, the resort's signature seafood restaurant, provides a casual, carefree dining experience.

Sirena serves culinary creations fresh from the market and a wonderful selection of wines from around the world.

Food was great, as usual. It's the experience I wanna talk about. Never in my life did I imagine that I'd get to have dinner by a cliff. Spending this quality time with your family is another thing.

Exemplary Service:

My brother was whining about his eye being itchy, and the waiter who was serving us noticed and asked what the problem was. When my brother told him about his eye, he excused himself and came back with an eye drop, and told him to keep it. Again, this is with no hesitation and was done with his lips smiling from ear to ear. Well, let me reiterate - we didn't request for an eye drop. 

Random words:

I was browsing through tumblr when I saw this photo:

I feel overwhelmingly blessed to have experienced this while it's on most people's bucket list. I need not to explain, but this photo, that spot, is exactly where we were seated (as seen on photo above). When I saw this on my feed, I immediately thought, "hey, this looks familiar". 

Given these, can you just imagine how I'm pretty pissed with myself for not blogging about this earlier? 
and YES, we had our own pool. 


Food: Tagaytay, March 2015

Saturday, March 28, 2015
© Tina Cembrano, iPhone 6
I'm not crazy about thin crust pizza but by the looks of this pizza, who wouldn't want to divulge into this goodness? 

I gathered this from Zomato:

Uncle Cheffy Favorites: Oven dried tomatoes, mushroom garlic, anchovy, chili flakes, basic and 3 cheese.

Uncle Cheffy, you had me at 3 cheese.

© Tina Cembrano, iPhone 6
In Sky Ranch Tagaytay, it's actually Uncle Cheffy / Kuse. Kuse is more of the traditional Filipino cuisine but we just ordered this delicious Sweet Potato Creme Brulee. I don't remember having tried potato and cream together - mainly because I don't really eat potato; but this turned out to be a really good combination.

© Tina Cembrano, iPhone 6
© Tina Cembrano, iPhone 6

The gang decided to have dinner at my aunt's friend's restaurant. Unfortunately for me, these are the only photos of the restaurant I have. It's a newly opened restaurant named La Finca. I haven't established the whole theme of the restaurant but judging by its ambiance, it seems very Western. They don't have a website/Facebook yet (or maybe I just can't find one), but they also serve breakfast dishes and Filipino.

La Finca is located at Joaquin's Bed & Breakfast. It is the restaurant of the hotel. The whole place is really pretty. The architect/s of the place did a really great job. I believe I'm coming back to this place some time in the future.

© Tina Cembrano, iPhone 6
First of all, I'm not a bread person. You will never see me eat the side bread of my pasta, steak, or whatever. But I love this type of bread. I cannot mention the name or type of bread since I am not very knowledgeable with bread. Nevertheless, I think I had requested for 5 more of this since I love how it compliments the butter, and vice versa.

© Tina Cembrano, iPhone 6
Like I've mentioned above, they do serve Filipino food. If I'm not mistaken, they called their Caldereta something like Batangas Caldereta - but I am very uncertain. Judging by the photo, the serving's not that big. I was told by the head waiter that their Caldereta used to be a part of the to-share menu, but after a few suggestions, they put it into the solo meals. In my opinion, they should have stuck to the to-share menu. For its price (P525), I think anyone who orders this deserves at least 1 more piece of meat. Although I would like to commend this dish's taste - it was superb. The beef was very tender and it was very very tasty.

© Tina Cembrano, iPhone 6
My mom ordered Banana Cake since she's on (serious) fasting and abstinence. I tried it too, and the cream cheese really added up to its delish flavor. I'm not being biased, but I still like my mom's version of Banana Cake more.

My uncle, aunt and cousin ordered the following dishes:
  • Sinigang na Bulalo
  • Grilled Barbeque Pork
  • Binagoongan na Bagnet
I wasn't able to take photos of their order (because I think it's actually rude), but I was able to taste the Sinigang and and Bagnet. The Sinigang's taste was perfect. It was spicy and sour - two things I look forward to. The Bagnet, on the other hand, was very innovative.

Bonding on the side, yesterday was perfect.

Lunch at Bali, Seafood Paluto
Family photo at La Finca

Food: Meat Our Blends

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

I'm not really a burger person, but I can use some sometimes. After running, Rab and I went to UP Ayala Town to finally try the famous burger. Knowing myself, I ordered a burger patty, rice and egg. There's nothing really special about my order. It's not even on the menu but I love how they let me order it in the first place.

This was Rab's order. I tasted it and it was good. Really good. I give it an A. I never liked cheese and burger together. I'm weird, I know. But this Bleu Burger made me change my mind about cheese and burger. When the time comes that I crave burger, this is where I'm going to go.

Food: Eat More Shrimp!

We were supposed to go to Dreamplay last Friday but since I wasn't able to wake up on time, we missed our chance. Since we only had the chance to go there because of Carol, and we didn't make it, my mom got worried she might feel bad about it so she decided to invite her to watch a movie yesterday.

Since she worked in Pasay, we decided to once again go to Greenbelt, hear mass, have dinner, and watch Cinderella. After hearing mass, we decided to eat at one of my childhood favorites: Bubba Gump. If you have watched the movie Forrest Gump, you would have the idea that the restaurant's specialty is shrimp. I'm allergic to shrimp. But I remember my dad telling me to keep on eating shrimp so my body would get used to it. So I did.

My brother and I ordered Shrimp Rigatoni, but requested for linguini pasta since we're both not crazy about rigatoni. It was good, and the fact that there were like a dozen or more shrimps in the pasta made it even better. I was getting nervous about eating this since I am allergic to shrimp, but I still tried my best to enjoy my food since I could take medicine anytime.

Shrimp Rigatoni
Tender sauteed Shrimp, Rigatoni, and fresh Spinach are tossed in a creamy Sundried Tomato Pesto Cream Sauce, and topped with fresh Parmesan Cheese.

The BBQ Cheeseburger was Rab's order. I had the chance to taste the fries and onion rings and all I can say is that it was really good and worth its price.

BBQ Cheeseburger
Their classic burger with sweet tangy BBQ Sauce, Cheddar Cheese, and Frizzled Onions

My brother also ordered the Shrimp Platter which they call:

Run Across America Sampler
The platter consists of Bubba's Far Out Dip and Chips, Chilly Shrimp, Spicy Chicken Strips, Hush Pups, and Mama Blue's Fried Shrimp.

While we were enjoying shrimp dishes, my mom ordered salad since she's on her lenten routine, fasting and abstinence. She then ordered the Yin Yang Shrimp Salad

Yin Yang Shrimp Salad
Tender shrimp, fresh Greens, tropical Mango, Peanuts, tangy Asian Wasabi Dressing, and crispy Wanton Strips

Kuya Kenneth and Carol both ordered their pork chops.

Simply Grilled Pork Chops
Two pieces of Grilled Pork Chops served over Jasmine Rice and Succotash

I'm very sorry for not having photos of the other orders. Nevertheless, I've gathered the description from Bubba Gump Manila's website to give you a better description of what we had yesterday.

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