Tag Archives: Food

Vigan, Ilocos Sur: Vigan Empanada

Vigan, Ilocos Sur: Vigan Empanada

I was really excited about this when we confirmed our Ilocos itinerary last May 2015. I’ve tasted several empanadas here in Manila. Which is too orange for me. The crust could be thick thus starchy and would sag once cold.

I was keen to taste Batac empanada but didn’t get the chance as we’re too early on site and the stores are still closed then. The color of their empanada resembles the one that they offer in Manila, I’m not sure about the taste though.

If you want to try Vigan empanada, head out to Plaza Burgos and pick from the long row of empanada stores just at the foot of the plaza. We got confused looking around where to eat, so we picked the one with most patrons and asked the locals if it tastes good!



The Vigan empanada has a thin crust with only a slight hint of yellow and is super crunchy. It has another Vigan delicacy inside, their longganisa with vegetables and fresh egg cracked right before they fry it under high heat.


Vigan empanada

It’s a staple merienda in Vigan at an affordable price of (around) P35.00. I really wish I can make this at home!

Notes that can come handy, it can be very hot in this area since all stores serve freshly cooked empanadas. There are some electric fans within the shared dining area. Drinks could be overpriced.

Again, traveled last May 2015. Details may vary.

Ilocos Sur: Bantay Church Bell Tower

Ilocos Sur: Bantay Church Bell Tower

We traveled to Ilocos last May 2015.

Part of our Vigan itinerary is to go to Bantay Church Bell Tower which is located within the compound of Saint Augustine Parish Church or more well known as Bantay Church.



The compound is spacious. There’s a lot of people when we went there though, so you have to wait in line to take a picture against the bell tower. We were not able to go up the belfry itself since it’s very hot at that time and we have tagged along kids with us.


The church itself is very old. I did some research and it is said to have been built from the 1500s. You can very well see from its stone walls that it has stood the test of time.


You will also find Chapel by the Ruins at the back of the church. It’s an open area, more of a garden where one can meditate in peace.


After our tour inside the church, we went straight to a small ‘panciteria’ just right outside the gate of the church. They sell pancit delicacies of the north. We tried batil patong, it is very delicious and affordable! This large bilao which is already good for 6-8 persons only cost us under P200.00.


Notes that can come handy, parking is available and there’s a working toilet inside the church’s compound.

Again, travel happened May 2015. Details may vary from present time.

Ilocos Norte: Mama Aket, Dawang’s Place

Ilocos Norte: Mama Aket, Dawang’s Place

I’m doing back dated blog posts to hopefully help traveler’s itineraries. Ours happened May 2015, please note that details may have changed from current time.

When we travel, it’s a must that we try local delicacies. And since this eatery generally acquired positive reviews around, we decided to give it a shot.

First of all, please note that this is a “carinderia”, not a fancy restaurant. The place is located along Maharlika Highway, San Nicolas. It looks like a house transformed into an eatery. You’ll pass by their kitchen should you choose to sit in their enclosed area. Someone will attend your orders, do not hesitate to ask for translations as some terms are in local language.

Their menu is quite limited to house specialties. Some of them are Tinuno (grilled pork), Igado, Dinardaraan (crispy dinuguan), Papaitan. I must say everything is so good! Not to mention that you’ll get your fill within very little budget (P 100.00 or less per head).



This place is highly recommended especially for budget travelers. We will surely include it under our list in our next Ilocos trip!

Note that parking is scarce and information provided were based on our trip last May 2015. Details may have changed.

Cebu City | Philippines ~ Part II – Plantation Bay Resort & Spa


The 2nd installment of my Cebu blog will mainly focus on Plantation Bay.  Since we wanted to go to Bantayan Islands for swimming, we’ve decided to celebrate my son’s birthday here.  We were budget-conscious travelers so we availed the Day Trip Package and picked Goldberry Suites as our main accommodation.  For P2000 per head, you’ll get to utilize the following amenities from 9AM-5PM –lagoons & pools, wall climbing, bicycles, nip floaters or kayaks, access to their game room, children’s center and shower rooms.  You are also entitled to a set lunch with a choice of drink, courtesy of Kilimanjaro Cafe.

We went straight to the registration area and were immediately attended by their staff.  The receptionist was talking in straight English even though we were obviously Pinoys, their resort’s policy maybe.  Payment settled, off we went to the pools!

We need to squeeze everything from 9AM-5PM

View from the reception area

Plantation Bay has man-made lagoons

Plantation Bay has several swimming areas –man-made lagoons, freshwater pools and beach.  We chose our best spot and went for a swim.  A friendly reminder, the man-made lagoon has decorative rocks that might cause injuries because they are not that obvious.  There are parts too that leads you to deeper areas of the lagoon, so it pays to keep an eye on your kids.  Kayaks are included in the package but for 15-minute use only.

Free 15-minute use of kayaks

Natural beach

They have a small beach, the natural one.  They prohibit swimming that time because there’s no lifeguard on duty.  The beach is clean and we easily spotted several kinds of fishes near the dock.  We took advantage of the jet ski and took pictures of the guys aboard it! 🙂

There are fishes all around

After several hours of swimming and exploring the different areas of the resort, we went to Kilimanjaro Cafe to claim our free set lunch.  Excited we were since we already researched about it and we already have our choices in mind.  We ordered different sets of lunches so we will be able to share and taste a variety.  So to start with the appetizers, bread and butter were served plus we had a choice of the following –mushroom soup, mixed green salad and chicken & beef satay.  I recommend the latter if you are a heavy eater, very tasty!

Appetizer ~ Bread & butter

Appetizer choice #1 ~ Mushroom soup

Appetizer choice #2 ~ Mixed green salad

Appetizer choice #3 ~ Chicken and beef satay

For the main course, they only offer two choices from –Lechon Kawali and Roasted lemon chicken.  The potato wedges are given in place of rice but since I wasn’t informed, I got both.  Thank you very much for the consideration! 🙂

Main course choice #1 ~ Lechon Kawali

Main course choice #2 ~ Roasted lemon chicken

They offer ice cream (strawberry, mango, chocolate) for dessert, we had ours but my husband ordered coffee instead.  No problem with them anyway.  For drinks you can choose from –ice tea, mineral water, soda, local beer and fruit juices.

Dessert ~ Ice cream (strawberry, mango, chocolate)

We were so full and we can’t hardly breathe after eating lunch.  So we rest a bit and went for a walk around the resort.  We spotted an E-jeepney and was thrilled to try it out.  The driver also took our group picture aboard the vehicle.  After our round trip, the boys tried wall climbing and we brought the kids to the children’s center.  The children’s center is air-conditioned, packed with toys and amenities that would cater the needs of the toddlers, babies and moms.  They also have a washroom and diaper changing rooms inside.

Riding the E-jeepney

Free wall climbing

Children’s center – has fully loaded amenities

Archery and shooting areas are available but for a fee, so we skipped them.  They also have a tennis court and mini golf area.  We resumed swimming at the freshwater pool and opt to spend the last hour in the game room.  Game room offers –billiards, darts, arcades and Wii area.

We really enjoyed our stay but everything has to end.  To conclude, their service and amenities serve your money’s worth.  So drop by Plantation Bay some time when you go to Cebu!:)

For inquiries, contact:

Plantation Bay Resort and Spa
Marigondon, Mactan Island, Cebu, Philippines

Homemade Shrimp Tempura


On a Jap craving but your budget’s too tight? Why don’t you whip something by yourself!

Homestyle shrimp tempura in a snap!! ^_^

Shrimps (deveined; seasoned with salt & pepper)
Bread crumbs
Cooking oil

1. Coat the shrimps with flour.
2. Beat the eggs and dip the flour-coated shrimps in there.
3. Coat the shrimps with bread crumbs.
4. Deep fry until golden brown.
5. Place cooked shrimp tempura in a paper towel or kitchen tissue to remove excess oil.

Homestyle Shrimp Tempura


For the original dipping sauce, you will need Japanese ingredients that are not so budget-friendly and it is way too complicated to make. So if you would like to try something new, I recommend a Japanese dipping sauce, Bull-Dog. Available at any leading grocery stores (around P150+). Just pour it straight out of the bottle. Plate and serve!! Enjoy! ^_^

Bull-Dog dipping sauce



Cream-O Crinkles


Crinkle’s one of my fave snacks since I was a kid. So when hubby bought this, was surprised that they actually have a crinkle line now. Since I regularly buy this brand, I got really excited to munch the first bite.

A few clicks first (for blog purposes 🙂 ), then we are ready to roll. Opening its pack as if I am opening a bag of goodies..

Cream-O Crinkles

And I say, it’s an epic fail at first bite! It lacks the soft-brownie texture that originally baked crinkles have. Of course I am not looking for the authentic one, but I find calling it “crinkles” unjustifiable. Better call it something like “little-softer-than-cookies-with-confectioner’s-sugar”.

I really do not want to whine here, just exhaling my personal sentiment and utter disappointment over this product. Which completely burst my memory bubble! 😦

On the other hand, to give them a shot of fresh air.. Here’s worth chomping on, try their Original/Deluxe version. Truly, FTW! 🙂