Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Filipino Alcohol

We're big advocates of patronizing local made products and that goes for anything and everything Filipino, including alcoholic drinks (haha!). You first read how we endorsed Vuqo, the first Philippine made Vodka (read our Post about it here) and now we introduce you to another two very tasty alcoholic drinks:

I've tried Mango Rhum years before and I've found it really tasty especially when used in mixes. It tastes distinctly like Philippine mangoes and tastes uniquely Filipino. I, however, have yet to taste Amadeo's Coffee Liquer.

Amadeo's may ring a bell because there are a couple of Amadeo coffee shops spread around the Metro. They're famous for their coffee so when I saw the label Amadeo's, I got super excited! So, how did it fare? Well, it's a little too strong for me. Or maybe it's not meant to be taken in a wine glass (which I stupidly did), and instead be taken in a shot glass. I thought I'd be partial to coffee but in the end, I think I like the mango rhum more than the coffee liquer. Still, good job Destileria Limtuaco! Thank you for being such staunch advocates of Filipino products!

I am excited to see these two hit the international shelves soon! :)

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Double Dose of Bohol

It's only the first month of the year and I've already been to Bohol twice! It seems like Bohol and I, we've got things going for us this year. Haha.

Simply put, Bohol was breathtaking. But I think it was our adventures and misadventures which made both trips memorable.

To give you an overview, my first trip was memorable but it was a MAJOR disaster. It started out smoothly but ended up really messy (haha, read on to find out more why I say so). Fortunately, my second trip to Bohol made up for the first one.

I was excited to go to Bohol because I've heard so much about its beaches and the sights. Our trip got to a good start, we were checked in at an exceptional hotel, our itinerary was well planned, and we were all looking forward to bonding with one another.
Our flight schedule enabled us to see the sunrise from the plane. We got welcomed at the airport by the hotel staff with a pearl garland. Arrived at a very peaceful and breezy resort hotel.

We were so mesmerized with the place that we explored it even before we got the chance to check-in our rooms.

On our first night, it was in our itinerary that we would dine at Bohol Bee Farm. Again, I was looking forward to dinner because I've read about rave reviews about Bee Farm's organic salad and honey pesto spread.

Before going to Bohol Bee Farm and eating dinner at Bohol Bee Farm

In fairness to the restaurant, everything was delicious. Unfortunately, something was wrong with their food and after dinner, things started to fall apart for our group. Hours after we got back to the hotel, a handful of people from our group got sick and had to be rushed to the hospital to avoid getting dehydrated. As dawn approached, more and more people were getting sick. When morning came, 1/3 of our group was sick and a few more were starting to feel queasy. I thought I was saved from getting ill but I spoke too soon. After breakfast I started feeling sick too. Because of that, I wasn't able to join the activities planned for us that day, a Bohol Countryside tour. Instead, we rushed to the hospital to get ourselves checked for food poisoning.

While in the  hospital, we learned from some of the staff that 1. in the past, some of them also experienced getting sick after eating at Bohol Bee Farm and 2. they've had a handful of cases of people getting sick after eating at Bohol Bee Farm (there were cases of Typhoid Fever and Amoebiasis!). I'm not trying to scare you, I'm just saying BE CAREFUL when visiting Bohol Bee Farm. I didn't want to write about our experience but after my officemates' prodding and all the unreported food contamination cases, I decided that I should do my part and try to inform people about it. Our case was NOT the first but I sure hope that it would be the last.

I pray that their management does something about their food handling and hygiene especially because Bohol Bee Farm is one of the recommended places to visit in Bohol. I do, however, recognize them for owning up to why our group got sick and paying for all the expenses brought about by their food. I would also like to commend the Bellevue Hotel team who tirelessly accompanied our group and gave in to our every request.

Anywaaay, I know this post seems so heavy and stressful. I promise, my next posts on Bohol would be nothing like this. ;) I'll be featuring the much talked about sights and the good food I've tried on my wonderful second time in Bohol. :)

Thursday, January 24, 2013

So much fun in the Philippines!

I am so in love with the new Philippine Tourism brochure!

The "banig" pattern is not only colorful, it's also very relevant!

It has all these tearable memes of people's interpretation of the tagline "It's more fun in the Philippines" with a description of the tourist spot/activity behind each photo. It's so cool!

The new brochure is more interactive and more personal. It's dubbed as the "people powered" brochure because the photos featured are submissions of Filipinos and tourists.
 I especially love the fact that you can tear out each photo and keep it! It's so interactive! I find myself tearing out my favorites and lining them up in rows! lol! Everything about it is fun!

I've selected some of my favorites from the memes:
This is the best of all country brochures I have ever seen! The campaign works because it takes on an integrated approach. Everything that can be pegged as "fun" is used to make the brochure effective. The memes are creative, it's colorful and it's interactive!

Congratulations to the DOT! Good job, you guys! :) I think this is one of the few brochures that tourists would never forget. It just stands out from the rest!

Brochures? It's definitely more fun in the Philippines!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Obsession du jour: TLJ

A few weeks ago, I had all three of my impacted wisdom teeth removed. It was a relatively painless process but the recovery part was the worst. I was on a soup and ice cream diet the first week, moved to a soft diet and now I'm in the bread/semi-soft food diet. The first day of my semi-soft food diet, I craved for cake. Soft, fluffy, rich cake. The craving drove me insane. I needed cake-- and not just any cake, it had to be really tasty cake. Well that craving led me to Tous les Jours, a Korean bakery shop specializing in delectable European pastries.

8" Mocha Cake Php598.00
I don't normally buy mocha-flavored cake. I mean, it's so common! What else do you think could they do to a mocha cake to make it more special? Well, Tous les Jours took me by surprise. Their mocha cake is divine! I absolutely love how soft and moist the cake was. The icing was thick but not sweet. The coffee icing on top was also incredible! It was baked in perfection, much like how I imagine cakes eaten by royalty in Europe. To describe it in a word, it was sophisticated and if I may add another word, classy.

Bear Cake Php498.00
 A few days after, I was back in Tous les Jours for another cake (no, not for me). It's for a colleague's birthday. Got her this cute bear cake! Normally, cute cakes don't taste good but this one's an exception. It's a chocolate cake with butter cream icing. The cake part was not as soft as the mocha cake and was a little more "grainy" than the former but it's really tasty too! It's not so sweet and again, it tasted sophisticated.  I would have this while drinking tea in the afternoon.

Apart from the cakes, I also went crazy-obsessed over their breads! Here's my stash from yesterday:

I am crazy over their cream cheese filled breads and so I got all products which had the label "cream cheese" on them. My favorite of the stash, however is their black bean cream cheese filled bun:
 The bread is so soft! It's like eating clouds! Kidding :P I also love the one without the black sesame seeds, just the plain cream cheese.

I don't think my Tous les Jours obsession will end anytime soon, especially since I keep discovering more and more tasty treats everyday (and also because I drop by the bakery almost everyday!). Thank you Tous les Jours! I'm a big fan!

Friday, January 4, 2013

It's Sophia's birthday!

Happy happy birthday to my partner in crime and fellow misfit, Sophia! :)
It's truly a wonder how two people who are geographically apart can meet at a certain place and time and strike the most beautiful friendship. From South to North, North to South, we both learned that distance is never a hindrance to being friends with someone. Friendship is about connecting-- regardless of background, history, social class, religion or nationality. It's a bizarre and marvelous thing which I could only explain as destiny :)

To Sophie,

I am grateful that destiny brought us together. You are truly one of my cherished friends. From serious stuff to getting me out of a bad date (hehe), you have proven what an amazing friend you are. Thank you so much S! I love you to the moon and back!

I could only wish for your continued happiness and that you finally get your heart's desires. Angels got your back, so don't worry :) And like what I said in IG, here's my gift:

I hope I did your photo justice. I took inspiration from your photo in the sidebar. Lol! Have a great birthday S! I miss you and I love you! :)

p.s. so when do you want to get your gift? meet me!

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