Manila Chronicles (Part 2 of 3): Spaced Out

            Here’s the continuation of my Manila trip from the end of last year. Sorry it took me so long to finish this. I’ve been drowning in a lot of backlogs but anyway, this is one of the times I’ll be baring myself to you as I share my first ever roller coaster ride. :D

Day 3 – Saturday, Dec. 28, 2013

            Enchanted Kingdom used to be just a familiar place I’d keep hearing about from friends who’ve been to Manila… until this day. I only realized during our trip that I haven’t been to any ‘legit’ local amusement or theme park. I’ve been to Hongkong’s Ocean Park and Disneyland and Singapore’s Sentosa. But, this was finally the day I’d get to meet the wizard in the purple robe.

            If I had been here before the international theme parks, I would’ve thought it was pretty grand for our third world country. The entrance, though not as magically grandiose as Disneyland’s, was good enough to believe that there was something to look forward to.


Cebu in the Bag Celebrity + Bloggers Food and Fashion Bazaar

Hear, hear, dear readers! For those in Cebu, the biggest sale of the year is happening on June 13-15 (Friday to Sunday) at three venues - Ayala Center Cebu, Parkmall, and The Outlets at Pueblo Verde - in commemoration of Cebu Business Month. I have to say the most exciting one is at The Outlets at Pueblo Verde where there will be a Celebrity + Bloggers Food and Fashion Bazaar from 4:00-10:00 p.m, the first of its kind in Cebu! 

Of course, I'm going to be there to sell my Team Brownie goodies. I'd really appreciate it if you come over and try some of my warm brownie cups. This is a chance for us bloggers to meet our readers and you can bring home some souvenirs from us, too. This big event will be attended by celebrities such as beauty queens and Manila's top bloggers - Kryz Uy, Lissa Kahayon, Camille Co, and David Guison - aside from Cebu's very own bloggers who will be selling their own products and merchandise. 

Team Brownie and more of the interesting new food to check out will be there. Some of these are only around during bazaars like these too so don't miss it! 

If you don't know where The Outlets is or find it quite a distance from where you are, no worries! FREE shuttle rides to and from Ayala Center Cebu and SM City Cebu are available for you to drop any excuse for not being there. Just refer to the poster below for the schedules. 

BPI card holders are given special privileges of getting in the bazaar for FREE during the first hour which is 4:00-5:00 p.m. to get the first glimpse of what's in store. All you need to do is present your card! The first 100 shoppers each day also get a free bag.

For non-BPI cardholders, you can get the chance to MEET & GREET the celebrity bloggers for only a minimum purchase of P500 at the Bazaar or P1,500 from any of the stores at The Outlets. 

You've got nothing to lose for dropping by really. Feast your eyes and taste buds on all the beautiful people who will be there, and the food and clothes that the bloggers will be selling! So, I hope to see you there! Save the dates! ;)

 MEZ 2, Basak, Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu


Pizza Republic Pick + Mix by Giuseppe Genco

Buckle up, Cebu! Something very exciting is about to open its doors very very soon! Like, TOMORROW soon! 

I was privileged to be invited to the dry run of a restaurant that's the first of its kind in Cebu two weeks ago. I've noticed this development in Lahug beside Chikaan during the recent months and I forecasted that it may be a spin-off of Project Pie in Manila. Since I saw this before my Manila trip (which I'll be telling you about soon!) earlier this month, I was hoping to go check out Project Pie so I can compare it. But upon hearing of the lack of customer care and considering the innumerable choices for my restaurant marathon, I was convinced to leave this for the next trip instead. 

Giuseppe is reputed to make the best pizza in town. Even celebrity Chef Gene Gonzalez has this on his list as one of the best restaurants in Cebu. Pizza Republic Pick + Mix by Giuseppe Genco is a fast casual restaurant that offers quality Italian pizza cooked in a wood-fired brick oven at a very reasonable price. Keywords there are quality, Italian, and reasonably priced!


Getting Cozy with Kuya J

Kuya J's has long been in my Cebu Secret Chows list back when it was a little home restaurant in Capitol. It breaks my heart when a Cebu Secret Chow spot moves on to join the "commercial bandwagon" before I get to write about it as it was. I'm just selfish like that. However, at times, when it proves to be the right direction for them, I move on and feel happy for their progression.

Leaving its original nook in Orchid St., Capitol Site, Kuya J's has branched out to Escario St., SM City Cebu, and most recently, SM Consolacion. 

I was invited to their SM City Cebu branch last month but just the night before, I had dinner at their Escario branch for a high school reunion where I had a taste of their Crispy Catfish, Crispy Pata, Sinuglaw, and Baked Scallops. I enjoyed everything and was curious to see if the quality was the same in the SM branch. 

 Kuya J's in SM City Cebu took over the space that was formerly Goldilock's. The restaurant has a modern Filipino design and markedly comfortable seats. I was led to their function room to join the media and bloggers for dinner. 14 dishes awaited us, most of which were new on the menu, and these came simultaneously to our tables. Boy, were we in for a treat.

For appetizers, the Chorizo Dinamitas, Lumpia Presko, Tokwa't Baboy,  Baked Scallops, Chicken Tagudtud, and Sinuglaw were laid out on our table. Whew! And that's just the appetizers. I don't know what will become of us if the number of entrees will exceed this. I'm not complaining though. I just feel sorry for the imminent leftovers.  

Chorizo Dinamitas
deseeded jalapeño with Cebuano chorizo & cheddar cheese wrapped in pastry wrappers, deep fried and served with garlic mayo dip
This would have to be the most interesting one. I don't normally fancy stuffed peppers but I loved the texture and flavors of this one - mandatory crispness from the pastry wrapper, heat from the chili that slowly creeps up your throat, creaminess from the cheese, sweetness from the Cebuano chorizo, and a welcome coolness from the garlic mayo dip. This is a must-order when dining here.  

Lumpia Presko
sauteed crabmeat & bamboo shoots stuffed in malunggay-infused wrapper with sweet garlic sauce
This already healthy dish is made even healthier with their version of malunggay-infused lumpia wrapper. Indulge in this nutritious morsel to lessen the guilt of engorging in the Crispy Pata that follows… because it's almost impossible not to order that Crispy Pata when you're in Kuya J's. You'll see. ;)


10 Dove Flies to a New Nest

         The elusive, quaint, little restaurant that's named after its address in Sto. Nino Village has now moved to greener pastures at Oakridge Business Park. Keeping the same name, 10 Dove Street has built its nest in a more accessible location where parking is no longer a problem and accommodation is slightly larger, occupying two floors now. If you'd like to see the original restaurant, I wrote about it for my Cebu Secret Chows. Just click this link: Ten Dove St.

         Word had spread quickly about 10 Dove's new location and I was raring to visit. Fortunately, I was invited by the management for dinner just a week after their soft opening. My dinner date was none other than one of my favorite piggies, Mustachio! Little did Mustachio know he would be one of the lucky ones to witness my subtly monstrous appetite. ;)

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