Archive for March, 2013

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Bantay is the Ilocano term for mountain, and abot translates to hole. In direct translation, Bantay Abot could mean ‘mountain with a hole’. However, it’s not really a mountain, LOL. There’s actually no cave there, too. I think this makes my title very misleading haha! (*scratches head*) But to my defense, that’s really how the locals call it. :p

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After a very relaxing afternoon at Blue Lagoon, we decided to check out Bantay Abot which we saw earlier on the way to the beach. To reach the mountain (or more like a hill), we had to go from the road down a very steep path with uneven steps. The path leading to the hole can be menacing too – one wrong step and you could slip and crack your head open in one of the sharp, jagged rocks. So mind your footing! 🙂

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I was taken by the beauty of this wall of rock. The colors are so pretty and you can clearly see the difference of textures of the lower part (where the waves hit it) from the upper part (still jagged and pretty much untouched). For easier walking, stay close to the walls because the flat stones in the middle area are very deceiving. They can be very slippery due to moss.

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We climbed up through the hole and were greeted by this. From inside the hole, we had a clear view of the waters of Blue Lagoon. It was also colder in that part I guess mainly because of the trapped air in the concave created by the walls of rocks. You can also hear the echoing sound of waves crashing to the shore. So serene…

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The hole is purely natural though I don’t know exactly how it was created. Some say it might have been due to an earthquake way back. Others claim that strong waves that battered the mountain/hill eventually created a hole.

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These last two shots were snapped on our way back up to the road. Mountain + clouds + sea = perfect. ♥♥♥

I just came back to the Metro from attending my sister’s high school graduation in Ilocos. Separation anxiety is hitting me big time so I guess I should just blog about the places I got to visit for the very short time that I had to spend with my family.

I touched down at Laoag International Airport late Saturday afternoon, no thanks to Cebu Pacific Air’s perennial delayed flights. Hay naku, what’s new. That day was put to waste because of a delayed flight. Tsk. So anyway… On Sunday, my mom finally brought out the lobsters that were frozen for a long time (coz they were waiting for me to come home, sweet! ♥♥♥), and decided to go out of the house and spend the day at the beach.

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We drove for more than an hour to get to Blue Lagoon in Pagudpud. I have been to Pagudpud many times over the years but I’ve never really been to Blue Lagoon before. We always used to go to Saud, mainly because it is relatively nearer from where we live. Driving further up north was worth it, though.

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The weather was so nice that day. One thing I love about being in the province is that it was still very breezy despite the sun being all out Mr. Bright. We rented out a small hut where we could feast on our lunch. After filling up on lobster and watermelon (yum yum yum!), the oldies settled down for siesta time. The young ones, including me lol, opted to bake under the sun.

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The best part is that we felt like we had the beach all to ourselves. Apart from our group, there were only a few others who were around that area. I guess most tourists were drawn to the more famous and much more crowded nearby resort – Hannah’s. I especially loved watching those three kids play around the water.

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The water at Blue Lagoon is so mesmerizing. The varying depth of the sea resulted to a beautiful mix of blue hues. The clean, white sand provides a perfect base for all the blue colors. One needs to be wary when getting in the water, though. It might be scary for non-swimmers because the waves could pull you in farther into the sea really fast and this could be disastrous because the sea bed dips low so suddenly.

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The waves are so strong I actually saw this girl lose her bikini top. LOL. And I might have seen a few too many buttcracks that day. O_O

Two other tourist spots to visit will be featured in my next entries. Stay tuned!

Of all the household chores there is, the only thing I like doing is cooking. As often as I can, I try to prepare and bring packed lunch (and sometimes dinner) to work. It’s just more economical and healthier than the common fast-food alternative. As much as I can, I try to cook clean but still try to keep it exciting. (Read: TRY) I could always use new recipes, though. Leave in the comments what easy recipes you love to cook. 🙂

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(1) The usual suspects: pan-grilled chicken breast with veggies. Sometimes I replace the chicken with skinless porkchops.
(2) Steamed cream dory with bok choy and chayote tossed in oyster sauce.
(3) Simple pasta with spicy tuna.
(4) Corned beef omelette topped with grated cheese: a clear sign that I’m running out of fresh produce and that I need to do my groceries ASAP.
(5) The usual way I prepare my veggies: steamed or pan grilled with some butter and pepper.

 

You can view other Weekly Challenge posts here: Weekly Photo Challenge

Sariwon Korean Barbeque

Posted: March 14, 2013 in The Daily Grind

Late last year, I got a chance to eat with my team at Sariwon Korean Barbeque. It’s one of the relatively new restaurants in the BGC area. I’m not really an avid fan of Korean cuisine – or any other Korean stuff for that matter (no offense to ‘anything-Korean-fanatics’, looking at you little sister). That sounds pretty contradicting seeing as I already booked a visit to Korea come end of year, but whatever.

The place looked nice, nothing too extravagant to rave about. Every table comes with a built-in smokeless grill which is rather nice because we were all going back to the office right after lunch and as delectable as it might sound, no one wants to smell like burnt meat. They also have those dehydrated towels that transform to hot towels when water is poured on them. I was amazed by that, but then again I’m a kid at heart so I’m easily amazed. Haha!

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As soon as we were settled down, the servers brought an extensive array of complimentary side dishes to our table. There was Kimchi (which I never liked AT ALL), Moosangchae (pickled Korean radish), Tanhobak Sarada (mashed sweet pumpkin and potato), Shigumchi (blanched spinach leaves), Kochu Meolchi Dokkeum (roasted anchovies) and Kaeinyachae (house salad). I Googled all those names by the way, there’s no way in hell I’d know them from the top of my head. For refreshments, I got their refillable House Blend Iced Tea (P115). They also have a good selection of beer, Soju and Korean wine.

Side dishes in the background. I didn't take a good shot of them alone.

Side dishes surrounding the grill. I was not able to tale a good shot of them alone.

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For our appetizer, we had their Haemul Pajeon (P350), a traditional Korean pancake made with squid, shrimp, oysters and green onion. I remember it to be a tad bit on the oily side.

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Next to arrive were our order of Dak Galbi (P350), grilled boneless chicken delicately marinated overnight in a secret spice sauce for that tangy taste served in a sizzling plate. Followed suit by Dwaeji Galbi (P350), juicy grilled pork loin which was almost the same as the Dak Galbi but much more oily. They even look the same in photos, haha!

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I got excited when our server fired up the grill in the middle of our table. Our order of Seng Galbi (P780), juicy and premium USDA Choice beef short ribs was freshly grilled at the table. You may opt to eat it with your rice or with Sangchoo, a mix of sesame leaves, lettuce, garlic slivers and chili paste. Simply stack a piece of lettuce and sesame leaf, grab a piece of beef and top it with garlic and chili paste. Yum!

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Then the servers changed the setup of our grill for them to cook our next order. Deungsim Yangnyeom Bulgogi (P495), honey marinated slices of USDA Choice beef grilled at the table served with freshly made sweet potato noodles and a healthy bulgogi soup.

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This was my second favorite (next to the Seng Galbi) because I love anything with soup. And it was my first time to eat sweet potato noodles. It was so delicate and… uhm… sweet. Haha!

After our meal, they served us complimentary dessert drink — Sikhye, a traditional sweet drink home-made with malt and rice. It was rather refreshing but I didn’t finish mine because it was too sweet for my taste.

Sariwon Korean Barbecue is in the Upper Ground Floor, West Superblock of BHS Central. 

Nolita is one of the many new restaurants in BGC area. It’s so amazing how fast the number of food establishments grew in just a year.

Last December, i met up with two of my batchmates from DKS for a quick dinner before we all went off to our own holiday breaks. We were originally planning on going to Elias but unfortunately, the whole restaurant was closed off to the public that night. We walked around the area looking for an alternative. When we saw people dining outside Nolita with platefuls of pizza, we were sold.

We each got a slice of pizza — I opted for the vegetarian Spinach and Artichoke at P210 per slice. My friends got the Pesto Grilled Chicken with Sun-Dried Tomato (P250) and Chicken Parmesan (P250). Unfortunately, mine was not very tasty – I had to slather it with pepper and hot sauce. I got a bite of each of my friend’s pizza and they were both good.

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Because the pizzas were thin crust and we were really hungry, we decided to have side orders of Honey Garlic Buffalo Wings (P330) and Beer Battered Onion Rings (P130). I’m not really a fan of sweet sauces (I prefer spicy) but the wings were all wiped out. Man, we must have been really hungry. LOL. I liked the onion rings though – the onion slices were sweet and tasted fresh.

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We each had a glass of their spiked Watermelonade (P160). It was also good, not too sweet and just rightly spiked which gave us a very light buzz. For beer lovers, they have a selection of Craft Beers which I might try on my next visit.

NOLITA Restaurant is in the upper groundfloor of BHS Central, just above Slice and Jamba Juice

This week’s challenge is all about showing off where I live. And since I basically spend more time in the office than at home, I guess this should count.

What I love most about Bonifacio Global City is its simple modernity whilst not lacking the natural feel of it. I swear the air here is much fresher than in other neighboring business areas (case in point: Makati and Ortigas).

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(1) Late afternoon coffee breaks at our 18th floor pantry.
(2) BGC is slowly but surely being filled with buildings and parking lots. I dread the day when it would be as crowded as Makati.
(3) Stepping out of the office for some fresh air. I have a love affair with clouds.
(4) The infamous tree sculpture at Burgos Circle.
(5) Another shot of our neighbor building. Look at the glass reflection on the street. Amazing!

You can view other Weekly Challenge posts here: Weekly Photo Challenge