Summer Fun at Bosay Resort

Yeah, it’s summer and you’ve been yearning for not exactly its deadly heat but the fun and relaxation that go with it. Yet there are two problems: time and money. With time, I’m off limits there, since it’s you and your friends or family—or holidays—who have to make way for it, but money? I can lend you some. Haha. Just kidding, we’re on the same boat on that part.

Affordable summer getaways near the metro are getting more and more abundant these days. Just visit Antipolo City and you’ll never go out of great and budget-friendly day and night resort options. And with this, I chose Bosay Resort, through the recommendation of a co-worker, as my personal birthday treat and summer bonding destination with my family.

Bosay Resort

Bosay Resort (30)

 

Getting There

Since I’m from Pasig City, getting to the resort is soooo easy. From Brgy Rosario, where all the public utility vehicles going to Antipolo City and other Rizal provinces on one side and Cubao and Greenhills on the other pass through, my family and I rode a jeepney with sign boards “Antipolo Shopwise” and “Baras” for 20 pesos each person and got off at Unciano Colleges in Brgy San Roque, Antipolo City. At the side of the establishment is a tricycle terminal where we asked the first driver in line to take us to Bosay Resort for 50 pesos, and that’s it, we were dropped off near the resort’s cashier area.

Another route, as told by my friend, is from Ligaya Intersection in Marcos Highway where in would-be Bosay Resort guests have to get to an “Antipolo Sumulong” jeepney, drop off at Taktak Road in Antipolo City, then ask a tricycle driver there to take them to Bosay Resort. It is that accessible to commuters.

 

The Fees

Entrance fees are affordable at Bosay Resort. For only 170 pesos each for a day swim (from 7am – 5pm) for adults, 190 pesos per head for a night swim (from 7pm – 5am) for adults, and 140 pesos each for 4ft below kids whether night or day, everyone can already have fun at every part of the resort.Bosay Resort (10)

And then depending on the number of occupants, cottages are also available ranging from 600 to 3,000 pesos, pavilions from 10,000 to 12,000 pesos, and even houses from 2,500 to 3,000 pesos. Caretakers are stationed everywhere to keep all the areas clean and in order all the time.

Round Table Cottage for 600 pesos. It is good for 8 to 10 people.

Round Table Cottages, good for 8 to 10 people, for 600 pesos.

There are also additional charges for every electricity use (please see below).

Bosay Resort (12)

For those who want to stay overnight and have one of the most relaxing times, a hotel can also be found inside the resort vicinity with rooms ranging from 5,000 to 7,000 pesos. The hotel is located just at the front of the resort and it has a nice wooden facade.

Bosay Hotel with room ranging from 5,000 to 7,000 pesos

Bosay Hotel with rooms ranging from 5,000 to 7,000 pesos

 

The Resort

You’ll feel closer to nature at Bosay, a Waray term which means “waterfalls”, because trees are everywhere at the three-hectare land it is located in. Figures are also scattered everywhere like the photo below. Aside from those, pools are also positioned in many different areas.

I asked my Mom to take a shot  of me with this yellow statue, and look at the photo. hahahaXD

I asked my Mom to take a shot of me with this yellow statue, and look at the photo. hahahaXD

... So what I did is to take a photo of the icon by myself. hehehe

… So what I did is to take a photo of the icon by myself. hehehe

The one nearest the Round Table Cottages is the Therapy Pool, that one with the so-called therapy shower and 3 to 7 feet depth. Though just close to us, my siblings and I weren’t able to dip into it since there were already too many people in it. I don’t think the place is usually crowded though. We went to the resort on a holiday, the Araw ng Kagitingan (Day of Valor), so naturally, it was a time to take advantage of and sneak into the best or/and nearest place to have some leisure just like us.

While taking some rest from going from pool to pool, I heard a stranger say in Filipino, “I don’t get why it’s called a Therapy Pool,” and I wondered just the same.

The Therapy Pool at near closing time

The Therapy Pool at near closing time

Next is the Turtle Pool which was as crowded as the Therapy Pool. We couldn’t understand why people settle in this and the other. Perhaps it was because there were more people in the inexpensive cottages where these two are in, so instead of going farther they just concentrate on these two…?

Anyway, that plus the water was cold, so my sister and I just tried going under the turtle then we decided to go to the next pool.

Turtle Pool

Turtle Pool

The Olympic Pool is really grand, and thank goodness there weren’t much people in it maybe because of the 4 to 6 feet depth. If only I could swim, I might have enjoyed this pool to the fullest, but since I couldn’t, all I did there was feel the water and watch my siblings swim ’cause they know how to.

Olympic Pool. (Photo grabbed from bosayresort.com)

Olympic Pool (Photo grabbed from bosayresort.com)

Oh, by the way, there’s a Nylon-Spandex-only swimming attire policy in some of the pools at Bosay Resort, and the Olympic Pool is one of them.

Swimming Attire Policy

Swimming Attire Policy

Right beside the Olympic Pool is the Disco Pool, or what seemed to me the Ursula Pool because it’s dark inside with paintings of sea creatures on the walls and a big  sculpture of an octopus right at the middle of pool. It is said on the resort website that it has disco lights, and if there are, we didn’t experience it maybe because it was daytime. I also saw a room for the DJ so maybe it’s really fun there during night.

This pool, though the swimming attire policy also applies here, is our favorite since the water is warm and we would just play with the water by constantly splashing it on to each others’ faces and not caring about the other people around.

Disco Pool. (Photo grabbed from bosayresort.com)

Disco Pool (Photo grabbed from bosayresort.com)

Have you ever felt like wanting to try the exciting long pool slide but couldn’t ’cause there were just too many people? Well, that’s what my siblings and I felt at the Pool with Slide. There were too many people that sliding was next to impossible. Anyway, we just looked at it and went away immediately.

Pool with Slide (Photo grabbed from bosayresort.com)

Pool with Slide (Photo grabbed from bosayresort.com)

And then there’s the Infinity Pool, the most relaxing if you’re up for some peace and quiet. My siblings stayed here a little long as my sister taught me how to dive and pass in between the legs of a person. It was awesome, I learned something in swimming! HAHA.

Infinity Pool (Photo grabbed from Bosay Resort's Facebook page)

Infinity Pool (Photo grabbed from Bosay Resort’s Facebook page)

The last pool, located near the entrance, is the best attraction of Bosay Resort, the StormWave (Please see topmost photo).

As its name suggests, it’s a combination of storm, because of its many fountains, and wave, courtesy of the Wave Ball located at the deepest side of the pool. I found it funny when I first saw it and realized that the big blue ball that kept bouncing at the far end of the pool was responsible for all the disturbances in the water.

from Bosay Website 03

Wave Ball at the StormWave (Photo grabbed from bosayresort.com)

Perhaps I was just used to Splash Island’s and Club Manila East’s wave pools where the system responsible for all the current is part of the wall of the pool not some funny big ball. Anyway, once I got used to it, the funny turned into all-out fun.

Bosay Resort (39)

Having fun at the Wave Pool. :)

Having fun at the Wave Pool. 🙂

 

When the Water Falls

Oh, here comes the hardest part, the cons. Errr… Maybe not. :P

I can’t say anything about the large crowd for the fault was ours, we went to the resort on a holiday. But that aside, one of the only two cons I observed was that since Antipolo is mountainous, naturally, guests would walk on slopes from pool to pool and it was absolutely tiring and I felt the muscles on my legs contracting as I walked around the area.

The second negative was a total turn off: The women’s shower room at the Round Table Cottage area was a disaster. Almost all the cubicles’ doors were broken and most had no locks making it hard for one to  take a bath after a nice time at the pools. And there was no anything to hang our wet and dry clothes on. Because of this, my sister and I took turns in washing ourselves off.

The worst part was that the drainage was clogged, creating a mini pool in the shower room with all the bubbles, empty shampoo and conditioner sachets, and for crying out loud, a used pantyliner, floating while we were washing ourselves clean. Talk about unhygienic! :-S I just hope the resort’s management would address this problem immediately for it would be such a bad feedback if this won’t be fixed soon.

My siblings

My siblings

My sister and I

My sister and I

All in all, the stay at Bosay Resort was satisfactory, especially because I got to spend quality time with my family. If you’re looking for a nice getaway destination on a budget and just near Metro Manila, you may try this resort out. Maybe just take a bath in other shower rooms. I tried taking a leak at that one near the Infinity Pool and it was perfectly clean.

 

 

Bosay Resort
Marigman Rd Ext. Brgy San Roque
Antipolo City
Tel. #: (+632) 695.1807
(+632) 661.9011
(+632) 661.9012
(+632) 703.7973
Mobile #: 0917.667.9382
0929.344.4403
E-mail: info@bosayresort.com
Operating Hours: 7:00 am – 5:00 pm, 7:00 pm – 5:00 am

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Fine Dine with Fam @ Nagomi

Group-buying sites are blessings to both businesses and their customers.

For the businesses, these sites are the perfect spots for the promotion and exposure of their establishments, products, and services; while for the customers like me, we get to discover something new and avail them at lower prices.

In fact, it was because of Ensogo, one of the most popular group-buying sites in the country, that I discovered Nagomi Japanese Restaurant, which became the perfect venue for a dinner date with my family. And the best part is, I got the meal for four at a very affordable price.

Photo taken by my brother.  I don't know why he took it tilted. :P

Photo taken by my brother. I don’t know why he took it tilted. 😛

Nagomi 01

My brother, Carlo, Mom, my sister, Charisse, and me

My brother, Carlo, Mom, my sister, Charisse, and me

The restaurant is located at El Pueblo Real de Manila in Ortigas Center, Pasig City, a commercial area that used to be unknown to me though I always pass by it on my way to SM Megamall. It only got to have a name when I saw Nagomi’s address and I used Google Maps to know where it is.

Anyway, the thing most worthy to take note of when buying vouchers from these sites, especially those of restaurants, is that you have to call the establishment and make reservations of usually three days prior your planned visit. So when my family and I were already standing outside, hiding and wondering if we were in front of the right place, a Nagomi crew came to us asking if we were the guests under Ms Reyes’ reservation (Hey! That’s me! I thought.). I said yes and as we all followed her to our table, I remembered what I learned about a Japanese employer’s reminder to his workers that goes, “Okyaku-sama wa kami-sama desu”, or “Customer is god” in English, because the staff’s gesture showed just that: Superb customer service.

The interiors of Nagomi is dandy and very Japanese like those ones that can be seen on movies. It’s like once you enter the place, you’re instantly transported to the Land of the Rising Sun. Even the utensils and everything else on the table have a touch of authentic Japan which got me really excited since I love anything Japanese.

Nagomi Interiors

Nagomi - on the table

Nagomi - condiments

Then the food. I bought the voucher for 599 pesos and for such a price, my family and I were able to enjoy and share with each other Kani Salad, Ramen, Salmon Teppan Yaki, and Sushi with cold tea. The whole bunch is valued at 1,500 pesos and is good for 4-5 persons.

The Kani Salad is made up of crab meat sticks (“Kani” is the Japanese word for ‘crab’), crab eggs, lettuce, ripened mango, cucumber, and mayonnaise. The veggies were definitely fresh and Mom loved it mainly because of its healthy ingredients, while for me, it was okay except that I disliked the ripened mango (Even on maki!) because it seemed like it was disturbing everything with its sweetness. But anyway, that’s the Japanese style, I guess. Kani Salad’s real price is 170 pesos.

Kani Salad

Kani Salad

Then the Ramen showcases how healthy the Japanese are with how the dish is tossed with noodles, slices of meat, and various vegetables, making it one healthy meal. It was delicious and it brought warmth to my tummy because of its hot soup. I don’t know what kind of ramen was served to us, but according to Nagomi’s menu, its prices range from 260 to 340 pesos.

Nagomi - Ramen

Ramen

The Salmon Teppan Yaki was my sister’s and brother’s favorite for the night. The dish is salmon, either grilled, broiled, or pan-fried, and bean sprouts mixed with carrots, onions, and green bell peppers, then poured with a sauce for added taste. Because they loved it, my siblings couldn’t stop themselves from requesting me to buy them rice so I bought three for us. It’s 340 pesos.

Nagomi - Teppan Yaki (Salmon)

Salmon Teppan Yaki

Then finally, the Sushi Platter. It was my favorite because I love raw fish and good thing my family isn’t into it so I was able to masticate the two all by myself. The fish was really great and fresh. Nagomi doesn’t really sell the sushi in platters but an order of it costs 60 to 120 pesos.

Sushi Platter

Sushi Platter

Nagomi - Sushi!

 

If it wasn’t for Ensogo, I wouldn’t know that such a wonderful Japanese restaurant exists, and even if I knew, I wouldn’t be able to bring my family there and treat them because if you open the menu, you’ll see how expensive their offerings are. The three orders of Japanese rice even costed me already 214 pesos. But then maybe, that’s really the price of an authentic Japanese experience.

All in all, our dine at Nagomi Japanese Restaurant was memorable not just because of the sumptuous dinner that was friendly on my budget, and with wonderful ambiance and customer service, but also because my family and I got to spend quality time together laughing and chatting.

DONE. :)

DONE. 🙂

 

 

Nagomi Japanese Restaurant
El Pueblo Real de Manila
Julia Vargas cor. ADB Ave., Ortigas Center
Pasig City
Tel.#: 635.4546 / 632.1736

A Taste of Health at Pho Hoa Noodle Soup

When the digits on your age are already telling you to drop the dilly-dally, maybe it really is the time to finally take some parts of your life seriously. Your health, for instance.

So why not try Pho Hoa Noodle Soup, which dubbed itself as the “Health Conscious Choice”?

Considered as the world’s largest Vietnamese restaurant chain, Pho Hoa Noodle Soup takes pride in serving its food offerings with the right mix of meat and vegetables, making them balanced meals.

I’ve known Pho Hoa ever since I got both the ability to roam around malls and read, and I used to just pass by it, not even thinking to ever eat at it. But on a night when all the people in the world seemed to be in Araneta Center, Cubao, and there was no other dining place that could accommodate me and Mom but this restaurant in Gateway Mall, we discovered a goodness that we should’ve tried a long time ago.

Pho Hoa Noodle Soup, Gateway Mall, Araneta Center, Cubao

Pho Hoa Noodle Soup, Gateway Mall, Araneta Center, Cubao

The interiors, including the comfortable chairs and tables, are pretty decent, and the prices of the food are very affordable.

Mom is always on a diet, so she ordered Chả Giò, which is classified as an appetizer, for only 195 pesos. It is made up of minced pork and vegetables, rolled in rice paper and deep fried, much like the Philippines’ Lumpiang ShanghaiInstead of being dipped in banana ketchup or sweet and sour sauce, Chả Giò comes with a mix of sugar, nuoc nam (fish sauce), vinegar, chili paste, and a little bit of sliced carrot. It is also served with lettuce, slices of cucumber, and some rice vermicelli noodles for that healthy twist.

Pho Hoa's Chả giò

Pho Hoa’s Chả Giò

For my part, I ordered a Vermicelli Bowl called Bún Thịt Nướng Chả Giò. For only 280 pesos, its single small serving is already good for two so Mom and I shared on it though Mom refused at first since, like I said, she’s on a diet. We both think it’s also a Chả Giò, only the rolls are thicker and the slices are smaller, tossed with other ingredients to make it balanced. Aside from the fried rolls, the meal also contains grilled pork, then vegetables like carrots, cucumbers, and lettuce, all sliced in julienne cut, and of course, the rice vermicelli noodles. It is also served with the same dip as with the Chả Giò.

Pho Hoa's Bún Thịt Nướng Chả Giò

Pho Hoa’s Bún Thịt Nướng Chả Giò

All in all, our dine at Pho Hoa was nice, delicious, and definitely healthy. My Mom especially loved it that she said she and Dad will eat there again the next time they go to a mall that has it.

Truly, chances can sometimes make us stumble on hidden treasures. I am recommending Pho Hoa to my health-conscious friends. 🙂

Jamaica for You!

Imagine that as you take a bite of that Jerk Chicken, you hear the lovely voice of a flight attendant over the microphone saying, “Ladies and gentlemen, we have just landed the Norman Manley International Aiport. Welcome to Jamaica!”

That was what I felt with every sample I took from Racks’ newest food offering, the Jamaican Jerk Chicken. The food was so good that it was like I was being transported to that island off the Caribbean Sea the whole time I was eating.

My family and I seldom eat at expensive restaurants, but as we were all craving to have a taste something new to our palates, one of these few days luckily fell on my birthday, while we were at a mall, already hungry with all the walking we were doing. It was then when we passed by Racks with its tarpaulin advertising its new Jamaican Jerk Chicken which is sold for 275 pesos. “Not bad for this special occasion,” we all agreed.

Departure to Jamaica

Racks

We entered the restaurant, got greeted by one of the friendly crews, and was escorted to our table. My family ordered whatever that sounded good to their ears on the menu while I decided to go for the Jamaican Jerk Chicken, thinking, “Hey, a new food for a new year in my life. I hope this one’s good.”

And that day proved to be a great one not only for myself but also for my taste buds and tummy. I wasn’t wrong in choosing Racks’ new addition to its menu.

Made up of grilled boneless chicken thigh and seasoned with the best Jamaican Jerk ingredients: Scotch bonnet, allspice berry or the Jamaican pepper, and thyme, the Jerk Chicken had that perfect smoky taste and was rich in flavor due to it being marinated. I really felt like its Jamaica brought right on to my plate!

It was also served with java rice which had a different twist to it, I think, vegetable salad, corn on the cob, fried plantains, and any side dish of your choice, which all made me sated and full when my plate was finally empty.

Considering the price and the amount of satisfaction it gave me, I can say that every penny spent on that food was surely worth it!

*Article originally published here.

Lee Min-ho and My Fangirl Momma

My Mom is so much in love! ♥_♥

And no, not with my Dad, but with someone else whose age is almost the same as mine, and I totally don’t mind it, in fact, I support her all the way. He’s tall, handsome, seems nice, and the name is Lee. Min. Ho.

The guy is pretty famous among girls, but if you’re not familiar with him, let me help you get to know him a bit.

Lee Min-ho for bench

Lee Min-ho is a South Korean actor popularly known for his roles in the TV series Boys Over Flowers (2009) as Gu Jun-pyo, and the hit action drama series City Hunter (2011) as Lee Yoon-sung. With a face and body like his, it wouldn’t be surprising at all that he already has more than 20 endorsements, the latest being for the Philippine-based clothing brand bench/.

My Mom is a dedicated housewife for already 16 years, a full-blooded homebody, and her only leisure these days is to go head over heels for this Korean hottie. So when I read the news at Yahoo! News Philippines that Lee Min-ho would be visiting the country on November 16, 2012 for a Benchsetter Fun Meet at the Smart Araneta Coliseum, I immediately informed her, and oh boy, you should’ve seen her reaction and how she swore in excitement.

It was a fun sight, seeing my mother so elated. And so, as a supportive daughter, I offered to pay for the tickets and to go with her, which included me not going to work since the event fell on a Friday.

We learned that what we needed to be part of the fan meet were invitations which we could acquire through purchases of bench/ items with Fix Professional products. Seat locations depended on the minimum single-receipt amounts:

Patron – 1,500 pesos

Lower Box – 1,000 pesos

Upper Box A – 800 pesos

Upper Box B – 500 pesos

We opted for the 500-peso worth of invitations, which were then exchanged with actual tickets at the ticket booth of the coliseum on the day of the event.

Invitation and tickets to Lee Min Ho Benchsetter Fun Meet

Invitations and tickets to Lee Min-ho Benchsetter Fun Meet

Combining my mother’s extraordinary patience and her determination to see Lee Min-ho in person (though not close), she waited in line from the time we arrived at around 2pm ’till 5pm when the gates at The Big Dome were opened, while I wandered at the nearby mall since I have the tendency to drop dead (figuratively) whenever I stand doing nothing in idle lines.

My Mom and I while waiting in line.

My Mom and I while waiting in line.

I came back at around 4:30pm and the crowd was impressive. I went to McDonald’s for some fries and saw that the lines stretched up to the Telus building in Gen. Macarthur Ave., Araneta Center. How’s that for a simple fan meet? O_o

To our front

People in front of us

On our back

People on our back

Gates opened at 5pm and by around 6pm, we were already comfortable on our chosen seats at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. Our location at the Upper Box B was pretty decent considering that we only paid 500 pesos for it. I actually felt sorry for those in the Patron area ’cause the event wasn’t a concert, so I guess it didn’t feel all that good to be standing and pressing themselves against each other, while the spotlights seemingly incubated them like chicks. Many of them had their arms raised, fanning themselves for some air.

Inside The Big Dome at around 6pm

Inside The Big Dome at around 6pm

While waiting for “the moment”, my Mom tested her binoculars (Yes! Like a girl scout, she brought our real, heavy binoculars from home! XD) to see if she could see the people on the stage from her place. Luckily, yeeeeeeessssss, she could totally see up close!

Mom testing her binoculars

Mom testing her binoculars

On a side note, I had an interesting find inside The Big Dome. There’s this pair of foldable binoculars called Eyemax that’s made of paper and, of course, lenses for only 75 pesos. For that price, it can make its user 4x closer to its subject, though it’s not very comfortable in the eyes. Patented by Ivergo International, Eyemax is handy and perfect for concert places like the Smart Araneta Coliseum. 🙂  

Folded Eyemax

Folded Eyemax

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unfolded Eyemax

Unfolded Eyemax

 

Testing, testing!

Testing, testing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anyway, I didn’t know Lee Min-ho’s real effect on girls until that day. At past 7pm, the crowd started screaming when photos of him were shown on the stage. I’m talking about mere images here, of him, for his bench/ endorsement. No real him yet. O_o

No Lee Min-ho yet, just images.O.o

No Lee Min-ho yet, just images, yet people started screaming. O.o

Then it was proved how age doesn’t matter when it comes to being a true Lee Min-ho fanatic. With an emcee talking on stage, an energetic grandma was shown on the screen for the audience to see. She was, indeed, very proud to be an enthusiast of Lee Min-ho.

Grandma is an enthusiastic fan!

Grandma is an enthusiastic fan!

And I guess the guy is really that hot to be able to capture even the heart of an old lady. If not, the fan meet wouldn’t gather such a large crowd. Can you believe that the 16,500-capacity Smart Araneta Coliseum was full that night just for such an event?

So many people for a fan meet. @_@

So many people for a fan meet. @_@

There was even a pissed off lady who sat beside my Mom who said that she was supposed to be in the Patron area, but she couldn’t be accommodated anymore, so there she was, unfortunately sitting with us in the Upper Box B. But what could be more unlucky that night than not being able to get in? Yes, she also said that there were still more people waiting outside.

The event’s organizers surely knew how to push the right buttons of girls. Before 8pm, the crowd began cheering as the stage showed… No, not Lee Min-ho yet, but dancers walking to the center where they danced to popular K-pop songs Nobody by Wonder Girls, Sorry, Sorry by Super Junior, Fire by 2ne1, and Gangnam Style by PSY.

I want nobody, nobody, bachu!

I want nobody, nobody, bachu!

Sorry, sorry, sorry, sorry... So apologetic! haha

Sorry, sorry, sorry, sorry… So apologetic! haha

Eh, eh, eh, eh, eh, eh, eh... 2ne1...

Eh, eh, eh, eh, eh, eh, eh… 2ne1…

Oppa Gangnam Style!

Eeeeehhh~ Sexy lady!

Everybody sure was ecstatic when the dance numbers were done! After all, it wasn’t those that the people went to The Big Dome for.

Mom waited patiently, but still screamed with other fans

Mom waited patiently, but still screamed with other fans.

We thought there would be other stuff to show, but then, there he was, finally! Waving to thousands of his fans in a very demure way. So ironic with how wild his admirers went upon seeing him. hehe.

Lee Min-ho waving to fans who went wild upon seeing him.

Lee Min-ho waving to fans who went wild upon seeing him.

Lee Min-ho's Profile

Lee Min-ho’s Profile

The whole program comprised of a question-and-answer portion wherein the questions were sent by millions of fans to Twitter, Spin a Prize, Look Alike contest, and Act that Scene, wherein lucky contestants were picked before the dancers performed.

Lee Min-ho with interviewer/translator. Forgot her name, though. V^_^

Lee Min-ho with interviewer/translator. Forgot her name, though. V^_^

Funny thing about the event was that, I’m quite confident that about 99% of the audience can’t understand Korean, but then they roared in excitement every time Lee Min-ho spoke… in Korean! The same goes for his every movement, especially whenever he licked his lips or smiled. It was funny, amazing, and mystical at the same time. And of course, it was even more amusing to see my Mom going crazy right beside me, so I didn’t try to stop her.

A simple lip-licking sent fans to paradise. XD

A simple lip-licking sent fans to paradise. XD Fans: Kyaaaa~ / Me: (~-_-)~

Lee Min-ho and fans. @_@

Lee Min-ho and thousands of fans. @_@

The fan meet ended past 9pm. Like a ride in the amusement park, we spent more time waiting in line than the actual ride itself. But I guess it didn’t matter to the frenzied enthusiasts who might have went home very much contented, and who knows, maybe many of them weren’t able to sleep that night or even the succeeding nights. hehehe.

The end. :D

The end. 😀

As for my Mom, of course, I don’t have to say how the night made her year. She. Is. Mad. About. Him. In fact, she also went to SM Mall of Asia with my sister and her boyfriend the day after next for another Lee Min-ho event. Her location was way closer to the guy that time that even my sister’s boyfriend understood why she is enamored with the Korean star.

One happy lady. ;)

One happy lady. 😉

Mom is a very simple person. She’s never into material things (Except perhaps when it comes to lotsa food! ^_^). So for her simple pleasures (which are just a few), we support her and let her do what she wants. 🙂

At Home at Balaw Balaw

Eating together on one table bonds people, but sharing the food in a single container makes the relationship tighter. And uh… the competition with food fiercer. :p

My paternal grandparents’ graves are located in two different places in the province of Rizal. So every All Saints’ Day, it is always part of my family’s agenda to eat at Balaw Balaw Specialty Restaurant in Angono, Rizal for lunch since we are not often around the area. And though we weren’t able to do the annual tradition for the departed loved ones for the last two consecutive years because my father suffered a stroke, we didn’t forget the restaurant and it was even the first that we remembered when dad is already half okay and my mom finally learned how to drive this year.

Welcome sign upon entering the restaurant

The Filipino restaurant, best known for its exotic food, was already featured on the CATV show Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern a few years back, adding to its popularity among locals and foreigners.

We’ve been there for already a few times prior to the feature, but we didn’t know about its bizarre food offerings until we saw the show. And although we have seen how Andrew Zimmern munched in the still moving uok (or coconut rhinoceros beetle larva) on the boob tube and still looked okay, my family and I aren’t adventurous enough to experience its taste so we ordered the best-seller Minaluto for this year’s All Saints’ Day lunch (I am actually adventurous, but I would never ever eat or even look at anything that wriggles, and though I wanted to taste a frog, since my family doesn’t want to, I had to adapt. So… Sorry for me.).

Family-sized Minaluto (good for 6-8 people) for only 1,200 pesos

A regular Minaluto order, good for one person, comprises of steamed rice, mussels, prawns, crabs, water spinach, pork adobo, tomatoes, and salted red eggs at the price of 250 pesos. If you want to change your steamed rice with yellow rice, the price is 280 pesos, then 270 pesos for binagoongan rice, and 280 pesos for pink rice.

The medium order of Minaluto, good for three to four people, also contains the same viands as with the regular one at the price 970 pesos. But with yellow rice, it is 1,100 pesos, 1,050 pesos with binagoongan rice, and 1,100 with pink rice.

What we got was the family size, which is for six to eight people. It is composed of steamed rice, squid, mussels, prawns, crabs, water spinach, fried pork, fried chicken, salted red egg, tomatoes, eggplants, and okra for 1,200 pesos. With yellow rice it is 1,350 pesos, with binagoongan rice 1,250 pesos, and 1,370 pesos with the the pink rice.

Placed in a bamboo container lined with banana leaves, the mix of food was perfect. It was authentic Filipino cuisine, and it could make one think of and appreciate the once very simple Filipino life, that which still makes one genuinely laugh and smile despite all the lemons being thrown at him.

When the server placed the container on our table, I had to forcefully stop everyone a couple of times for the camera. Everybody was already hypnotized by the Balaw Balaw food right in front of them that I had to remind them that without a group photo, I won’t give my share on the bill (haha! Whatta blackmail! XD). And so they stopped and looked at the my camera patiently.

SMILE! Before we started gorging our scrumptious food

And since I, myself, was already starving, I let them go after two shots, then we forgot we were related for a few minutes until nothing’s left but a few specks. Times like that, silence was especially important since all our food was in one container. We had to eat faster to make sure no one was successfully greedy to discreetly eat our share. And ehem… Ehem… Please do not underestimate our body sizes. These days, gluttony can not be based on how thin or not the person is. Believe me, I’m a living proof. 😀

Proof that we love Balaw Balaw’s Minaluto

My sister craved for something sour that day so we ordered Sinigang na Hipon, too. But to my palate’s dismay, the viand wasn’t sour at all. I had some on my bowl just for the sake of having a soup.

I don’t know if it was really cooked that way in Angono, Rizal, but my mom’s version of it is definitely better, in fact, I think she cooks the best tasting Sinigang using only natural ingredients.

Sinigang na Hipon (I forgot its price)

The food offerings at Balaw Balaw Specialty Restaurant is superb, if not, why would celebrities and businessmen, among others, flock to it? And if you think Filipino cuisine is all there is to it at Balaw Balaw Specialty Restaurant, think again.

Situated in the Arts Capital of the Philippines and home to two national artists, Lucio San Pedro for music and Carlos “Botong” Francisco for arts, the restaurant also serves as a gallery for visual arts.

Aside from the native style, the interior is decorated with a lot of masks, while the tables have paper-mache on them.

Masks on the ceiling

Masks on the wall

Balaw Balaw Specialty Restaurant is accredited by the Department of Tourism and is a member of Philippine Convention & Visitors Corporation

The restaurant is also a receiver of numerous awards and plaques.

Paper-mache on the table

Then farther into the place are paintings and one of the spiral staircases to the second floor.

Paintings here…

… Paintings there

More paintings lying on a table

When you enter the restaurant, there’s a door on the left side. The room there also contains paintings, some sculptures, and another spiral stairs.

The spiral wooden staircase to the second floor.

On the second floor are religious and non-religious sculptures, while on the third are giant paper mache creations. Frankly speaking, if I’m not into art appreciation, I would be very scared of these two upper floors.

The Last Supper

Another religious art

On the second floor

If I was alone, I would be scared of this place.

Still on the second floor

Photo op with the giant paper-mache on the third floor.

Can’t get enough of the Balaw Balaw Specialty Restaurant? There’s a pasalubong area located at the right side of the place where fermented shrimp pastes and paper-mache creations are on display together with their prices.

Pasalubong corner

Fermented Shrimp Paste

Cocodan all-natural coco jam

Burong Hito

Burong Dalag

Sauteed Shrimp Paste

 

Going to Balaw Balaw Specialty Restaurant is definitely worth it. That’s why my family and I will never get tired of going to it every year. 🙂

 

 

BALAW BALAW
Specialty Restaurant Folk Food, Folk Art

16 Doña Justa Subd. Ph. I Angono, Rizal, Philippines 1930
Tel. #: 651-0110
Mobile #: 09237144209
E-mail: balaw2x@yahoo.com