This is a rough guide on how to enjoy a family vacation in Boracay – home to one of the world’s best beaches – without having to eat cup noodles and canned meat twice a day while on the island. And yes, there’s a trick to getting your own free beachfront chairs that doesn't involve checking-in at a fancy, beachfront hotel.
Since I dedicated a few hours of my precious weekend writing about BGC restaurants that Toto and I didn't like (focusing my energy on negative things, I know), I figured it’d also be nice if I wrote about the ones that we did like.
Nope, you’re not gonna see the ‘next big thing’ or ‘the top 5 avant garde restos in NCR’ or ‘the new kids on the block you should all watch out for’ here. These are all just regular restos that have a special place in my tummy – so regular and common that other people might place them on the same tier as fast food chains. Yakimix, Racks, Café Mediterranean, and Chili’s. Ring a bell?
So why am I wasting my bandwidth on them instead of writing generic reviews on TripAdvisor or Zomato? Because…just because, uhm, I have so much time in my hands. And I’ve got a fab blog that needs updating once in a while... Sue me.
Put your eyebrows down, fans and patrons of abovementioned restaurants. This isn't going to be a hate post - well, actually, it might possibly have a teeny weeny probability of sounding like one but...okay, fine! This is not exactly an 'OMG!-super-duper-worship-the-chef-creator-owner-of-this-food-joint' kind of blog post.
A case of bad timing or poor food choices or assumed modus operandi or whatnot. Hey! We can't always have the goods one, can we?
Crisp on 28th by Erwan Heussaff & co. (yes, he’s the only one whom I’m familiar with) is like an awkward teenager during “transition years.” Or like a 20-something-year-old yuppie in the midst of a “quarter-life crisis.” Or a middle-aged man who can’t figure out if life indeed begins at 40 or not. Or a menopausal 50-year old woman who can’t decide if she wants a new bag or a pair of shoes for Christmas. Oh wait, make that any woman…
No! I’m not saying that Crisp on 28th is like a fickle-minded lady on her 2nd day of period who just doesn't know what to do with her life. What I’m saying is…it’s a restaurant that’s still testing the waters - it’s relatively new (opened last July) and is managed by a young team.
After my first visit last August, I told myself that I’d come back again to try other items on their menu because I was unfortunate enough to order a Php510-toast box that looked like a whimsical Betsey Johnson creation but tasted like a boring Martha Stewart cookie. It would be unfair of me to pass judgment on this new restaurant based on that bloody toast box. Besides, I really liked the vibes and ambiance of the place – classy but a bit funky, chill but vibrant, posh but not intimidating.
It all started with an FB chat. An exchange of a little bit of gossip and I miss you's. Then Noynoy Aquino's declaration of an extra holiday for 2014 that fell on a Monday. And then an early morning rendezvous at McDonald's North Avenue.
And theeeeen, we were off to Sandbox in Porac, Pampanga for a much needed mini reunion with college buddies. It's been what? Two, three years since we last saw each other?!
P299 buffet (drinks included!) and Bonifacio Global City in one sentence? I KNOW RIGHT?! I heaved a massive this-must-be-the-pot-of-gold-the-Irish-like-to-talk-about sigh of relief because I felt that this was where my quest for affordable but satisfying BGC resto would all end. I could practically hear my pockets dancing to Pharell's Happy when I saw the sign, and it opened up my eyes, I saw the sign. Ay, ang corny ko ples. Sorry, but the big and bold P299 dinner buffet sign/poster on Kuse's glass walls really made my eyes pop. I borrowed that line from Ace of Base's The Sign, by the way, just an FYI in case you're from a different generation (gahd I feel so old).
One of the things I like about being employed is the yearly company outing outside of Metro Manila. I’ve heard of other companies holding theirs in Boracay and I’ve personally seen one in Coron, Palawan (I know right?!), but anywhere away from this grimy city is fine with me – even if said place is the walang-kasawaan-walang-kamatayang dun dun duuun…Tagaytay.
Because, really, who can say no to an all-expense-paid overnight trip that promises clean, wholesome fun *wink wink* with fellow overworked employees? And I don’t mean “sex on top of the table while everyone’s watching” kind of fun (you horny, little wench!) but more like “literally kick each other’s asses and smother one another’s faces with armpit sweat” kind of fun. Ewww, gross. But what can I say, I’m competitive like that.
So! The location of choice was Piña Colina Resort. I must say that I was impressed with the pictures on their website. What's more impressive are the prices. Very, very affordable! And it also has very good reviews on TripAdvisor - well, as good as how far your trust in this site goes :p
My eyes bulged out of their sockets when I saw the ‘withheld tax’ section in my pay slip this morning. You’d think that by now I would already be used to seeing the same amount every two weeks since getting a new job a year ago but no… it still shocked me today the same way it did the first damn time.
Where do my taxes go?
A rhetorical question in a perfect country where public health and education are top priorities, the roads are paved, the mass transit is effective, the streetlights are fully operational at night, most people are generally happy with their lives, and yada yada yada. You get the drift.
Filipinos like to complain (like what I will do in the next paragraphs). We complain about the littlest of things and I can totally understand why.
We have public officials who gargle bullshit every morning and eat bullcrap for breakfast. We have government employees who are ready to eat you alive if you so much as throw them a seemingly “mundane” question in the middle of their afternoon nap. We have roads that don’t last long enough to witness a new mayor being sworn to the office. We have…oh wait, “new” mayor isn't a thing in this country where political dynasties are everywhere.
Wait a sec… please allow me to calm my tits first before I go berserk and strangle the nearest plant in sight.
Mahigit isang taon na ang nakalilipas mula nang una kong maranasan ang bagsik ng MRT rush hour. First day ko sa bagong trabaho noon.
To cut the long story short, umalis ako sa bahay ng 6:30am at nakarating sa opisina ng 8:57am.
Hindi ko naman nakuha 'yung memo na ganoon pala ang mga kaganapan sa MRT kapag rush hour?! Ngani-ngani ko nang tawagan ang HR para mag-tender ng resignation dahil hindi ko yata kakayanin 'yung araw-araw na pakikipagbuno sa MRT. Eto ba 'yung first day high na sinasabi?!
GANON KALALA ANG FRUSTRATION KO, K!
Pero sabi nga nila, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. (char!)
I didn’t quite understand a lot of people’s fascination with El Nido. For the longest time, I stuck to my biased belief that once you’ve visited Coron, you have practically seen everything there is about Palawan. Besides, I didn’t want the inconvenience of a butt-numbing 6-hour land travel from Puerto Princesa to the town of El Nido.
Flashback to November 2013: Air Asia seat sale. Two MNL-PPS-MNL tickets. June 25-29, 2014.
Oops. Time to break some long-held, self-limiting beliefs.