Friday, November 13, 2009

Batanes: Book now for the 2010 Ultimate Batanes Culinary and Heritage Tours!

Ultimate Philippines Tours announces its Batanes schedule for 2010. We're posting our tour dates early for the benefit of those who want to plan their trips way in advance, especially the balikbayans.

Tours leave Manila early morning Friday and arrive back mid-morning Monday. We have six dates to choose from: (1) March 6 to 9, (2) March 20 to 23, (3) April 9 to 12, (4) April 30 to May 3, (5) May 14 to 17 and (6) May 28 to 31.

The tour fee is Php34,000 all-in, which includes the round-trip SEAIR Manila-Basco flight, accommodation at Fundacion Pacita, all meals, activities and transportation in Batanes. Due to increases in rates of accommodation for next year, we had to increase our tour fees. But if you deposit the P15,000 down-payment on/or before December 15, 2009, we'll give you a Php2,000 discount on the tour fee.

To reserve for the tours, please e-mail or contact my tokayo, Ivan Man Dy at +63 917 3291622. Find out more about our tours here.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Imang Salud ensaimadas in Town & Country Philippine Edition (November 2009)

Our family ensaimadas are featured in the November 2009 issue of Town & Country Philippine Edition:

We bring some good news to the ensaimada connoisseur. Imang Salud ensaimadas are soft and rich, not too sugary, with real butter and topped with nothing less than Holland queso de bola. Its traditional "heirloom" Kapampangan recipe dates back to the 1930s, developed and modified by Salud Dayrit-Santos, one of San Fernando's renowned cooks of her time, and passed on from one generation to the next. Her granddaughter Meliza Henares introduced the recipe to Manila in 2005. This homemade ensaimada is delightfully huge--six inches in diameter, to be exact. Its rich, buttery flavor literally melts in your mouth and the sharpness of the imported queso de bola is balanced beautifully with the right amount of sugar. Once you take that first heavenly bite, you'll be craving for more. These delicious ensaimadas and other delicacies like plantanilla and tibuk-tibuk are available every Sunday at Imang Salud, Henares' stall at the Legazi Sunday Market in Makati. Plantanilla are rich and delicate crepe-like eggrolls filled with sweet latik, also made following an heirloom recipe of Lola Salud. Tibuk-tibuk, dayap-flavored maja blanca, is made of carabao's milk and coconut milk. If a relative abroad is homesick and craves traditional Filipino sweets, just let Henares know; she can prepare your pasalubong and pack them especially for travel. Henares accepts orders at 0920.947-8819 and 837.0842. (Mawi de Ocampo)

Monday, November 09, 2009

La Union: Surf, yoga and samba in La Union!

Mark your calendars for a a weekend retreat of the senses! The San Juan Surf Resort in La Union will host the FLOW Surf.Yoga.Samba Weekend Retreat from November 28 to 30, 2009.

It's your chance to learn Vinyasa yoga, commune with nature, ride quality waves, dance to the beat of the drums and nourish yourself with healthy wholesome food. It's about time you take a breather from your everyday lives and create a space where you can feel the benefits of living a healthy lifestyle.

For Php6,500 per person, you will get two Vinyasa yoga sessions by Monica Eleazar-Manzano, two surfing lessons with Luke Landrigan of The Billabong Surf School, and two samba lessons and jamming with Escola de Samba Manila. That also includes round-trip transportation from Manila to La Union, aircon accommodation at San Juan Surf Resort (3D 2N), vegetarian meals (with chicken and fish options) and many more freebies.

To register, visit their website at or email them at

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Manila: You Jie Xiao Chao Chinese restaurant near Rockwell

There's a rumor going around about this really good restaurant with no signage near Rockwell, a hole in the wall if you may, that serves authentic Chinese food from Hunan Province. Well, it's true!

It was hard finding the restaurant since it really did not have any signage. But this unpretentious nook called You Jie Xiao Chao Chinese Food (I had to ask someone to write this down for me in Pinyin since their card is in Chinese) serves really great Hunan cuisine! This restaurant is located at 6404 Camia Street near the Barangay Hall of Guadalupe Viejo. And the only distinguishing mark is the house number 6404.

Originally, they only had a menu in Chinese. But now, they have two photo albums where you can point your order to the staff.

We tried out the Hot Pot Duck which is a bit on the spicy side but really good (Php350), Steamed Dumplings which you can also have fried (Php120), Chinese Pizza which is actually an egg pancake (Php60), Fried Pork Ribs (Php240) and Steamed Pork (Php200). And the best part is that for Php20, the steamed rice is unlimited!

You Jie Xiao Chao Chinese Food
6404 Camia Street, Guadalupe Viejo, Makati City
+63 915 4252972
+63 927 7876999

Correction: It's food from Hunan Province not Yunnan Province. Thanks!

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Eid al-Adha no longer national non-working holidays

Isn't Malacanang just lame? Allow me to rant here because Malacanang just flip-flopped on its Eid al-Adha holidays declaration last April. Sorry folks but November 27 and 28 are no longer national non-working holidays now that the Palace downgraded them to regional holidays only in the ARMM.

According to the DOLE, "MalacaƱang Palace has declared November 27 and 28, 2009 (Eid'l Adha) as regional holidays in the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) by virtue of Proclamation No. 1808-A.

"Labor and Employment Secretary Marianito D. Roque thus clarified that November 27 and 28, 2009 are not to be observed as holidays throughout the country.

"Roque said that the new issuance effectively amended the earlier Proclamation No. 1808, issued earlier on April 21, 2009, which had declared November 28 and 29 this year as national holidays."

Sorry guys if you made travel plans. But that's just the way it is.
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