October 27, 2010

Remembering Bacolod's Fine Scallops

In my previous trips to Bacolod, I fell in love with the scallops which we devoured upon the recommendation of my 'in-laws'. Since then, I constantly craved for it and would search for that particular kind in the markets back here in Manila.

Last Saturday, I chanced upon those same scallops sold in Farmer's Market and they were at PhP 350 a kilo! But my mouth already watered from the memory of its taste and I asked HB if he could duplicate the way it was cooked in Pala-pala in Bacolod.

Scallops in Buttered Lemon Sauce from Hyksos Tulahan in Bacolod 

Here is HB's version:

HB's version of the Buttered Lemon Scallops

Hmmmm ... not quite the exact way it was cooked but nonetheless I savored every morsel. HB needs one more batch to get it right ... or perhaps, it's time to go back to Bacolod?

October 26, 2010

The Boracay Sands Hotel

The Boracay Sands Hotel was our haven in the paradise island of Boracay. Located at Station 3, it was a good distance away from the crowd and bright lights of the island's hub that is D'Mall (or Station 2 for that matter). Travelers who long for a bit of respite from any semblance of cityscape would love the quiet spot of the Boracay Sands which is but a few steps away from the beach.

The Boracay Sands Hotel at Staion 3

The hotel boasts of a Mediterranean theme, with arches greeting guests from the entrance to the whole courtyard, the center of which was an indoor pool.

indoor pool

indoor pool at night

When we were ushered to our room, I appreciated this nice touch:

a sea shell on our room number

Our room was tastefully furnished, with mostly shades of brown in a variety of textures. I felt instantly enveloped in the warmth exuded by the finishings.

DeLuxe Room

The bathroom was nice and modern.

toilet and bath

In the course of our stay, the hotel staff were gracious and never failed to greet the guests. They were also accommodating and were well trained to please the mostly Korean tourists. Somehow, I felt proud of  the Filipino brand of hospitality.

With amenities that could give the five-star hotels a run for their money, coupled with warm and friendly staff, the Boracay Sands Hotel is one simple but luxurious hotel and guests would truly emerge as recharged and relaxed. We will definitely be back!


Boracay Sands Hotel
Station 3, Sitio Manggayad
Manoc-manoc, Boracay Island, Malay, Aklan
Telephone numbers: (+63 36) 288 4966 to 67

A Photoblog: Eat, Pray, Love ... in Boracay

Boracay in Habagat Season

EAT. Pray. LOVE.

This was pretty much what HB and I did in Boracay amidst the rain showers, howling winds and strong waves. Can't say it was a bummer as we did the best we could and truly, truly enjoyed ourselves.


Jonah's - famous for its fruit shakes, also offered meals 

Surf and Turf Set Meal: 
Beef Steak and Garlic Shrimps
with salad, fresh fruit slices

Smoke Resto - near D' Mall Palengke - 
continue to serve good affordable meals.
A better alternative to Andok's and Mang Inasal.

Lechon Kawali

Prawns in Garlic and Butter Sauce

Eskinita Barbecue - cheap and quick grilled food

Red Pirates Pub - located almost at the end of Station 3,
away from the bright lights and crowd of D' Mall

My choice of drink - Absolute Vodka and Sprite

Breakfast Buffet at the Sands Hotel

Jammers - found at the entrance of D' Mall

Jammers' Classic Cheese Burger

Cake Selection from Cafe del Sol - also located at the entrance of D' Mall

Cafe del Sol's best seller - Mango Cheese Cake


mementos of our trip - rosaries made of shells


sweet entanglement on the shore of Boracay Island

October 24, 2010

Discovering Dumaguete - Part 5 - Dating at the Rizal Boulevard

HB and I felt like college kids as we first headed out to Rizal Boulevard  -- which was immediately right after freshening up in our hotel room on our first night.

As soon as the smell of the street food wafted to our senses, we stopped the tricycle and excitedly ordered our "appetizers". We chose a stall and our table. The manang selling the street food took one look at us and smiled. She continued to smile when she served our "tempura", squid balls and balut.

HB and I tried to blend with the crowd of students and some office workers unwinding. We tried hard but I guess we were obvious because we were also busy posing and trying to take our picture :D  After much frustration with taking our self-portraits, we asked the manang to take our picture. Here is our souvenir shot of that "date".

The following day, we were again at the Boulevard to view the bay and the Acacia tree-lined path. And since this was a university town, we tried to dress the part so we could blend in with the locals. We strolled the whole stretch and just soaked in the fresh sea breeze.

Later that afternoon, we again found ourselves in the vicinity and we did something that the locals do: we sat on a bench fronting the sea and found ourselves wonderfully happy with such simple pleasures!

HBs at the Boulevard
(this photo was taken with a small tripod)

Discovering Dumaguete - Part 4 - Sans Rival Cakes & Pastries

Sans Rival Cakes and Pastries is Dumaguete's biggest attraction for people with sweet tooth like me. We stumbled upon the shop while we strolled along the Boulevard and I remembered all the raves I previously read from other blogs.

It is a tiny shop tucked in one of the streets perpendicular to the Rizal Boulevard. When we entered, the shop was abuzz, it's interior was almost full and the staff were on their toes. 

Aside from Sans Rival, they also offer various cakes and pastries.

But we were set to get their classics:

yummy silvanas

yummier sans rival 

I was completely floored with the melt-in-your-mouth sans rival! It was buttery and yet it was not too sweet. It was absolutely perfect! The silvanas was also good, although it took us about three bites before we fully appreciated it. I guess HB and I completely got enamored with the sans rival.

But I must say that both were truly perfect with brewed coffee!

We ordered these treats as well to bring back to Manila and arranged for pick up that night. We were told that the cakes should not be out of the freezer for more than 4 hours so we asked our hotel to keep our cakes frozen overnight. The cakes were wrapped and boxed very nicely. I guess they have perfected this art as a lot of tourists do bring home the sans rival as pasalubong.

Here are pictures upon unpacking when we got home.

carefully wrapped and packed sans rival

foil wrapped silvanas

Our sweet tooth satisfaction lasted for three days ... I wonder who's going to Dumaguete so I can ask him/her to bring me back these goodies. Hmmm ... anyone? 

Discovering Dumaguete - Part 3 - Cityscapes

As soon as we finished breakfast, we headed out to tour the city on foot and via short tricycle rides. Armed with nothing but a list of must-sees, we bravely ventured out to explore the city of Dumaguete.

Our first stop was the Siliman University, which is famed as the oldest American University in the Philippines. Aside from being called the "City of Gentle People", Dumaguete is also touted as a University town, with the Siliman University as the most famous educational institution.

campus map by the entrance

the Katipunan Hall

the Siliman Cathedral

Siliman Museum

And then we found ourselves at the Rizal Boulevard, close to the port.

the port of Dumaguete

the Rizal Boulevard

This is the famed Rizal Boulevard, named after our country's national hero who walked this path on his way to Dapitan for his exile.

We continued to stroll down the boulevard and saw this landmark which marks the landing of the seven Sisters of the Congregation of  the Sisters of St. Paul of Chartres. These sisters founded the first St. Paul University in the country in 1904.

And then we walked further down and turned right near the other end of the boulevard and found ourselves in the vicinity of the Dumaguete Cathedral.

St. Catherine of Alexandria Cathedral

HB and I took some time to go inside to marvel at the interior and say a few words of praise and thanks.

a historical fact about the cathedral

details above the altar

The belfry, also called the Campanerio de Dumaguete, was found a few meters off the church. It is considered to be the one of the city's  popular architectural landmark which was originally built in the 18th century and served as a watchtower to warn the people of Dumaguete against the attack of Muslim pirates. At present, an Our Lady of Lourdes  Grotto is found below the belfry and we lit some candles for love, peace and prosperity.

the Dumaguete Belfry

Belfry historical marker

After discovering these historical and religious sites, we ventured to the "commercial side" of the province and found out that this quaint city of Dumaguete is not unfamiliar with "malls". The oldest shopping center is the Lee Super Plaza which was located a couple of blocks from the Cathedral.

Dumaguete's local "mall"

While the newest addition to the city is a Robinson's Place.

Robinson's Place Dumaguete

In a nutshell, these were the highlights of our city tour. There was little and there was much to see. We have toured the city in half a day. And from what we saw, there is indeed much reason for the people to be gentle in this town.