7 Must Visit Restaurants Around Taft

7 Must Visit Restaurants Around Taft


1. 8065 Bagnet



@ayramae, instagram.com


As the name says, Bagnet is their specialty, so if you’re craving for some deep fried pork belly, this is the place to go. Make sure to come early since the place usually gets packed around lunch time, but don’t you worry, they have a second floor and an outdoor seating when it gets really packed. Did you know that the first branch is located at 8065 Estrella Street, San Antonio, Makati City? Hence the number 8065.



@ayramae, instagram.com


        Must order: Bagnet Sisig (Budget Meal – P125 , Good for Two – P200)

        Address: Leon Guinto Corner Estrada Street,Malate, Manila

        Opening Hours: Mon-Sat 11AM-10PM


2. The Barn Cafe



Patricia Echavez


The barn, more famously known as a drinking place especially during Thursday nights because of DLSU’s four-day class schedule, also has a cafe located at the second floor. Their entrees may be a wee bit pricey for those who are on a tight budget, but nonetheless, worth every peso. Trust me, your tummy will thank you for it. P.S. Try their milkshakes!



@cottoncandyydd, instagram.com


Must order: Roast Chicken (P190), Beefy Mushroom (P175)

Address: 2226 Fidel A. Reyes Street, Malate, Manila

Opening Hours: Mon-Fri 10AM-12MN


3. Chomp Chomp



@emljsn, instagram.com


Craving for some heat? Chomp Chomp’s Singaporean laksa will surely satisfy your tastebuds. Fun fact – they have another branch in Banawe called Bugis Singaporean street food, but they basically have the same menu.



@chikkanessave, instagram.com


Must order: Singapore Laksa (P180), Hainanese Chicken (P205)

Address: 2/F Bellagio Residence, Leon Guinto cor. Estrada St., Malate, Manila

Opening Hours: Mon-Sat 10AM-10PM


4. Samgyupsalamat





Your Korean barbeque fix just around corner (literally). This restaurant is located at a tiny street in Leon Guinto and may be easy to miss for new dwellers, so keep your eyes open for the Samgyupsalamat signboard. Tipid Tips: Bring your friends, since there’s a minimum of 2 orders before you’ll be able to grill some meat. Plus, you’ll be able to share the experience and get to pig out with your besties, win-win situation right?


       Must order: Daepae Samgyupsal (P240), Beef Samgyupsal (P320), Bibimbap (P200)

        Address: 911 Kapitan Tikong Corner Leon Guinto Street, Malate, Manila

        Opening Hours: Mon-Sat 10AM-11PM, Sun 12NN-11PM



Candyd Sia


Insider Tip: They have an unlimited Samgyupsal promo every weekend and holidays. The free side dishes are also refillable so you can eat until your hearts content.

5. Rap Steak and Cakes



Patricia Echavez


Feel like eating steak, but you’re on a tight budget? Then visit the most raved about steak place in Taft. You can opt to switch your sides to mashed potatoes or pasta instead of rice for an additional P30. Plus, They give you a whole pitcher of gravy, which is the definition of “sauce palang, ulam na”.

        Must order: T-bone steak (P245), Glazed beef short ribs (P220)

        Address: 879 Dagonoy Street, Malate, Manila

        Opening Hours: Mon-Sat 11AM-10PM


6. Topside Diner



Sail with this nautical-themed restaurant and get ready to get your hands dirty with their juicy buffalo wings. This tiny diner is usually packed with hungry students so make sure to come early. Waiting is the game, but it’s totally worth it when you get to try their cheese topped-buffalo wings (Garlic Parma).


        Must order: Garlic Parma Combo w/ Drinks (P99)

        Address: 2589 Leon Guinto St., Vito Cruz, Malate, Manila

        Opening Hours: Mon-Fri 9AM-9PM, Sat 9AM-7PM


@bncalmanon, instagram.com


Insider tip: You can order from the lemonade stand outside and ask them to bring it right at your table.


7. Exile 



Candyd Sia


It’s time for dessert! This quaint little restaurant serves the best brownies in town! Top it off with their homemade ice cream and prepare to see heaven. It’s a little tight in this place, but they also have an outside seating if you’re up for grabbing late night drinks with your barkada.


        Must order: Y Tu Mama Brownies ala mode (P85 + P50 single scoop)

        Address: Unit 2, 2428 Leon Guinto Street, Malate, Manila

        Opening Hours: Mon-Sat 10AM-11PM


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7 Must Try Restaurants Inside UP Diliman

7 Must Try Restaurants Inside UP Diliman


1. Snack Shack



Snack Shack, Facebook.com


Snack Shack is one of the first establishments you’ll see once you enter UP Diliman’s Area 2. It offers freshly grilled juicy burgers, which are a hit among students and professionals alike. In fact, you will frequently see students from other universities queuing to get a taste of their best-selling quarter- (P80) or half-pounders (P155). Lines tend to get long on busy days as the patties are cooked only upon order. Their burgers are packed with tomatoes, lettuce, onions, and condiments. Aside from these buns, Snack Shack also offers sausages, bacon and fries, and add-ons such as blue cheese and jalapeno. Snack Shack has gained quite a following since its first branch and has opened branches in Sikatuna and Marikina already.    



Snack Shack, Facebook.com


Address: Area 2, J.P. Laurel, UP Diliman, Quezon City

Hours: Monday to Saturday, 11:30 AM – 7:15 PM



2. Khas Food House





Aside from housing the University’s swimming pool, the UP Arcade is also home to a hidden foodie gem unknown to many Iskos and Iskas. Because of its low-key location and unassuming interiors, Khas is easy to miss. Usual customers are University dormers and exchange students who live in the International Center across the Arcade. Khas Food House offers spice-packed Persian dishes perfect for students who want an exciting meal. Start your meal with the Combination Platter (a combination of samosas, pakoras, and onion bhajis), followed by Biryani Beef/Chicken/Vegetable (P150). Or if you’re feeling a little more adventurous, order “That’s Not What You Think” (P85), lean back, and wait for the chef’s surprise!


Address: UP Arcade, UP Diliman, Quezon City

Hours: 10:30 AM – 8:30 PM



3. Lutong Bahay

One of Area 2’s classics, Lutong Bahay, usually called “LB” by its patrons, is a favorite of many students because of it’s affordable lutong-bahay meals– perfect for the average college student’s appetite and budget. LB’s familiar and homey vibe keeps students coming back regularly. Its most popular combo meals include barbecue, siomai, or shanghai with rice. LB is also popular for serving the best Mango and Mango-Graham shake (starts at P50) along Area 2. Make sure both your hands are free when ordering this as you get a big plastic cup and a bonus small cup both filled to the brim with sweet and creamy mango shake!


Address: Area 2, J.P. Laurel, UP Diliman, Quezon City

Hours: 8:00 AM – 8:00 PM 


4. Endless Summer Café



Czar-John Panganiban, Facebook.com

Strolling along Area 2 for the first time, you’ll surely spend a few minutes checking out the day-on-the-beach themed interiors of the Endless Summer Cafe. The designs on the walls and the over-all vibe of the cafe succeed in making you feel “endless summer” any time of the year. Dine here if you feel like relaxing on a busy day and need to be teleported to the beach ASAP. Endless Summer Cafe offers a variety of food choices including silog meals, sizzling meals, and their best-selling buffalo wings (P85). Pair your meal with their best selling summer smoothies. Their choco banana chocnut summer smoothie (P90) is a must try! If you’re around Maginhawa, you can catch Endless Summer Cafe in StrEat (Maginhawa Food Park) as well.


Address: Area 2, J.P. Laurel, UP Diliman, Quezon City

Hours: 8:00 AM – 9:00 PM


5. Rodic’s Diner





It’s impossible to talk about UP Diliman’s food scene and not mention Rodic’s Diner and its classic Tapsilog. Having been around for more than half a century already, generations upon generations of Iskos and Iskas have, at one point in their college life, ordered this tapsilog in a box, hurriedly mixed all its components into one heaping goodness, and drowned the concoction in generous spoonfuls of vinegar. Aside from the Tapsilog, you also shouldn’t miss their baconsilog, another favorite of many UP students.





Address: UP Shopping Center, Diliman, Quezon City

Hours: 7:00 AM to 8:30 PM


6. Mashitta Korean and Japanese Restaurant



Jaekah Mae Preligera, Facebook.com

If you’re craving for cheap Asian food, try out Mashitta on your next lunch date with your orgmates! Like it’s neighbor, Rodic’s, Mashitta has gained quite a following throughout the years because of its affordable and filling Korean and Japanese meals. Upon entry, the restaurant looks cramped, but the stairs in the corner of the room leads to a more spacious second floor. Order a bowl of Ramyun (P109) plus a side of Tuna Kimbab (99) to get your Korean fix!


Address: Shopping Center, UP Campus, Diliman, Quezon City

Hours: 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM


7. Art Circle Gallery Cafe



Art Circle Cafe, Facebook.com


Great food and art perfectly combine in this quaint cafe-slash-gallery tucked in the Bahay ng Alumni. Even if food prices are a bit steep for a student’s budget, students regularly visit the cafe for a quiet, air-conditioned, he(art)y food break. From time to time, it becomes a study place for Iskos and Iskas or a place to hold intimate org meetings. Employees and professionals are regular customers as well. Art Circle serves all day breakfast, sandwiches, rice meals, and pasta. Their flavor-packed Spicy Pasta Negra is a must-try!



Art Circle Cafe, Facebook.com


Address: Ground Floor, Bahay ng Alumni, UP Campus, Diliman, Quezon City

Hours: 9:00 AM to 7:00 PM


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12 Hours Around Manila

12 Hours Around Manila


Visiting the Philippines and you have one spare day for a day trip around the country’s capital city – Manila?

Are you not sure what places are worth visiting in Manila?

We’ve got it covered for you.

Known as the Pearl of the Orient, Manila has important and great things to offer to you. Manila could give you a taste of both the present reality in Manila, and the rich history of Manila. Manila will show you both the rich and the poor, the present and the past. It’s a good place to learn about the Philippines and experience the Filipino culture.

So what can you do for a day in Manila?

To start your day, visit Rizal Park or Luneta Park early in the morning. Rizal Park is a famous landmark in Manila. It is located along Roxas Boulevard. It houses the monument of Dr. Jose Rizal – an executed Filipino nationalist during the Spanish regime in the Philippines. At this place, you could go for an early morning workout at the park, while visiting this historical park.





If you have spare time, you could also check out Manila Bay. But, I would suggest you visit Manila Bay also along Roxas Boulevard just before sunset. Manila Bay is a harbor serving the Port of Manila which is known for its iconic sunset. And it is one of the best things you would want to see in Manila.





Next stop, would be Fort Santiago in Intramuros, Manila.

Fort Santiago is a citadel which was built also during the Spanish era as a form of defensive structure to protect Manila – a newly built city that time. It’s the famous Walled City of Manila. Some people usually visit this at night and join a historical and ghost walk tour.





Then, next stop could either be Manila Ocean Park, Binondo – the oldest Chinatown in the world, or Star City.

Whichever of the three places could be a good choice for you depending on your preferences, and the type of experience you would want to try.

Let’s start with Manila Ocean Park.

Manila Ocean Park is Philippine’s first world class marine theme park. The park is open from 10 am until 8 pm. Aside from their marine theme park, they have Hotel H2O within the park and fast foods and restaurants.






Another possible stop is, Binondo – Chinatown.

It’s one of the best places to visit in Manila where you’ll experience the richness of the Filipino – Chinese cultures that had flourished for a long time already. Chinese fast foods and restaurants line the whole Binondo, you’ll spot authentic Chinese dishes and delicacies all over the place. It’s a taste of the Chinese culture within Manila. You also can enjoy shopping within this area, lots of malls to find both rare and common items at an affordable price.





If otherwise, you are looking for fun and excitement. An amusement park is within your reach in Pasay, Manila. It would be more fun if you could be at this place for a whole day, but you only have 12 hours around Manila. You really have to choose your rides wisely.

For your last stop for the day, one of the largest shopping malls in the world, SM Mall of Asia (MOA). MOA is one of the tourist destinations in Manila, other than as a shopping center SM Mall of Asia also offers concert grounds, seaside restaurants and bars, amusement rides, skating rinks, IMAX theatre and many other features.





This is a good last stop for a 12 hour day trip in Manila. It can offer you a lot of things, and it’s nice to be here at night.



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Your Ultimate Checklist of Southern Cebu Experiences

Your Ultimate Checklist of Southern Cebu Experiences


Cebu is truly blessed with countless attractions from historical spots, natural wonders, vibrant festivals, and thrilling adventures. There’s just so much that it isn’t enough to see and experience everything in just one visit. Here are some of the South Cebu experiences you shouldn’t miss!



1. Dolphin Watching





There are several spots in the Visayas region where you can see dolphins, and one of the best spots is Cebu. When you try Pescador Island Hopping in Moalboal, this will be your first stop. Witnessing these amazing creatures play in their natural habitat is sincerely a spectacular experience. They usually swim near the water surface early in the morning. But always remember that these dolphins are in the wild and there isn’t a 100% guarantee they’ll show up during your visit.


2. Swimming with Sea Turtles





Another marine creature you’ll love seeing are the sea turtles! There’s a specific area you’ll visit during island hopping where the turtles normally stay for feeding. They look so calm and peaceful while swimming in the clear blue waters of Moalboal. The local guides will help you spot and swim along with the turtles.


3. Sardine Run





Oh, the sight of millions of sardine fish is simply jaw-dropping! The synchronized movements of the sardines against the backdrop of the deep blue water makes a picturesque view. No wonder this spot is popular to scuba and free divers. Even if you’re not into deep diving, you can witness this underwater marvel while snorkelling.


4. Osmena Peak






Catch a magnificent view of the sunrise from the highest peak of the province of Cebu! Found in Dalaguete, Osmena Peak reaches 1,013 masl yet it’s considered a friendly hike and good for beginners. The view up there is a sight you must see when visiting Southern Cebu!


5. White Sand Beaches





There’s always an inner beach bum inside every traveler. Worry not, because you also have several options of white sand beaches for some sweet time under the sun. There’s Basdaku White Beach in Moalboal and Sumilon Island in Oslob.


6. Waterfalls Hopping





There are plenty of beautiful waterfalls in South Cebu. There’s Aguinid Falls where you can climb eight levels of waterfalls. The highest falls in the area is Mantapuyan Falls in Barili. There’s also Tumalog Falls, and of course, the famous Kawasan Falls where you can book a canyoneering trip with local guides.


7. Whale Shark Interaction





Swim with the biggest fish in the sea — butanding! Whale shark interaction is the most unique experience you can find in South Cebu. Tan-awan, Oslob has been very popular for this attraction. Even foreign travelers visit Cebu just to see whale sharks! These marine animals are very friendly and are considered the gentle giants of the sea. Seeing them is an experience you surely can’t miss!


Tell us about your favorite South Cebu experience!


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Siquijor Island Tour

Siquijor Island Tour


Siquijor is an island province located in Central Visayas. Compared to other provinces in this region, only few people visit this humble island. Siquijor is also considered to be the third smallest province in the country. It’s small enough that you can tour the best of spots in the island in just one day. Regardless of its size, Siquijor still has lots of amazing island adventures to offer.




Getting there


If you’re coming from Manila, the best entry point to Siquijor is by flying to Dumaguete, Negros Oriental. Cebu Pacific and Philippine Airlines have daily flights going to Dumaguete City, flight duration is about an hour. From Dumaguete airport you can rent a tricycle to take you to Dumaguete port. There are several ferries that can take you to Siquijor. Travel time is 45 minutes to 1 hour, and fare starts at Php 160. Other entry points going to Siquijor are Cebu, Bohol, Dapitan, and Iligan.


Touring around the Island




Rebecca Weeks, flickr.com


The best way to get around Siquijor is by renting a tricycle, especially if you’re traveling with a small group. The usual rate for chartering a tricycle for a day tour is Php 1000 – Php 1500 for 3 to 4 people. The tricycle driver can also be your local tour guide since they are very knowledgable about the island. For bigger groups, there are also multicabs you can charter for your island tour.


Best Spots to Visit


1. Capilay Spring Park






Capilay Spring Park is a public recreational park located in the heart of San Juan. The main attraction of the park is the emerald green spring water pool where people can take a dip and swim. This is an ideal place to chill and eat merienda while enjoying the province life.


2. San Isidro Labrador Church and Convent in Lazi





The 18th century church and convent is one of the historical landmarks you should visit when in Siquijor. The convent is considered the largest religious convent in Asia and has been declared as a National Historical Landmark by the Philippine National Historical Commission.


3. Old Balete Tree and Fish Spa





Under the mystic balete tree in Lazi, you can find a shallow pool of water where you can enjoy a fish spa. Just dip your feet in the water and watch the fishes lightly nibble on your dead skin. In this spot, you can also shop for the best pasalubong treats and items such as bracelets, keychains, and Siquijor’s famous gayuma (love potion).


4. Cambugahay Falls





The turquoise waters of Cambugahay Falls will surely capture your heart. This waterfalls is famous for it’s Tarzan experience where people can take a swing and land on the cool water of the falls. It’s surely a fun experience you would want to try over and over again!


5. Salagdoong Beach





This beautiful beach is one of the main attractions in the island. You will admire the alluring sight of the sea with different shades of blue. Aside from swimming in the crystal clear waters, Salagdoong is also a popular destination for cliff jumping. This will surely be an exciting spot when traveling with your cool barkada!


Have you been to Siquijor? Tell us about your favorite destination!


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Fruits and Places

Fruits and Places

Sun, sea, beach, and fresh fruits!


Aside from visiting the breathtaking spots in the Philippines, you should also try the different fruits grown in the country. While you can always buy most of them in supermarkets, there’s joy in tasting these fruits from where they were grown and harvested. Taste the Best Local Produce in the Philippines! Here are five of the fruits found in the Philippines and where you can find them in the country.



1. Lanzones of Camiguin


If it’s not getting ants, it’s not sweet enough!





Lanzones is a seasonal fruit with yellow to light brown peel, oval-shaped, and grows in clusters. Its translucent flesh tastes similar to grapefruit but sweeter, and with less juice. This fruit is rich in fiber, riboflavin, and antioxidants.




The lanzones grows among the southern islands of the Philippines, but Camiguin wins the crown on the province that produces the sweetest fruits. Every year during the high season of lanzones around October, they celebrate the bountiful harvest in the Lanzones Festival. Aside from October, lanzones also grow abundantly on the month of March to April. Prices in the local market can go as low as Php 20 per kilo.


2. Durian of Davao 


 Painful smell, delightful taste!





Durian is considered as the king of tropical fruits. The fruit is known for its large and spiked scale, and its scandalous sulfuric smell which resembles the smell of rotten onions. Despite the stench, the durian is still loved by many for its sweet and creamy flesh. Most durian fruits in the Philippines are grown in the Mindanao, concentrating in Davao region. The fruit is even turned into different delicacies that sells well as pasalubong treats for tourists. Some of these delicacies include durian candy, durian chips, durian jam, and even durian ice cream! High season for durian in Davao is during the months of August to October when prices drop as low as Php 20 per kilo or Php 80 per sack.


3. Mangoes of Guimaras


The sweetest ones in the world!





Mango is the regarded as the national fruit of the Philippines, and it’s practically a sin not to eat mangoes when traveling to the country. These are the golden yellow soft-peel fruits that have a sweet, tangy, and succulent taste.





Guimaras, known as the Mango Capital of the Philippines, has over 50,000 mango trees in the province. Mangoes grown in Guimaras are internationally called Manila Super-Mango and is considered as one of the best mango varieties in the world. Guimaras also celebrates Manggahan Festival, an event promoting the mango industry in the province. They also use mango as a prime ingredient for the local delicacies such as dried mangoes, mango jam, mango cakes, and a lot more.


4. Strawberries of Benguet


The summer blush of the mountains!





Strawberries, being known to cultivate only on low temperature areas, seemed unlikely to cultivate in the Philippines. This is why the country is truly blessed to have the Cordilleras, the mountainous region in the Northern Luzon where the climate is cool enough to grow sweet strawberries.





In La Trinidad, capital of Benguet province, one of the popular attractions is the strawberry farm where guests can hand pick fresh strawberries for themselves. It’s truly a unique experience in the country. The best time to visit La Trinidad for strawberry farm is during the first quarter of the year when the strawberries are big, red, and extra sweet. The holds the annual Strawberry Farm in Benguet during the latter weeks of March.


5. Pineapples of Camarines Norte


The sweet queen of the tropics!





Pineapples must be the iconic fruit when picturing a tropical vacation. The exceptionally juicy flesh and vibrant taste of pineapples are the perfect complement to the sweet view of beach waves.



Chris Corthouts, pinterest.com


While the big plantations of pineapples are found in Mindanao, there’s a small province in Luzon that produces a sweeter variety of pineapples — the Pina Formosa. The Pina Formosa grows abundantly in the province of Camarines Norte. It is relatively smaller than the common pineapples sold in the market, but is generally sweeter too. The province also celebrates the Pinyasan Festival, formerly known as the Pineapple festival, where hundreds of pineapples are given away and cooked into different delicacies.


Aside from these fruits, the Philippines also has an abundant supply of bananas, mangosteen, atis, avocados, and a lot more. What’s your favorite fruit? Tell us about it!

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