Best Blogger Tips

Planning for a Trip

Best Blogger Tips


I've planned for so many trips and tours for myself and my friends that I thought I'd share how I do it. Of course, I'm assuming that you have already saved for your trip.

Although I agree that the best way to experience a place is to NOT plan at all but rather to just go and let your feet take you anywhere, this is sadly not an option for me. I have a full time job and only a number of available vacation leaves per year. I don't have the luxury of getting lost in some remote place because I simply don't have the time to kill.


So what happens is that most of the itineraries I make use time as efficiently as possible and is designed to visit the most number of attractions that we can in the allotted time. This kind of itinerary often involves taking overnight transportation to a destination and visiting multiple places in a day.

Sometimes, it can also get expensive because I opt to rent a vehicle instead of commuting to a place in order to save time. For me, time really is gold and I will usually choose to save time rather than money. But overall, I am a cheapskate and will try to get the best value for my money.

Also, since I usually travel with a group of friends, I don't need to check on child prices or a child-friendly environment. Please note this when reading this post.

So, enough about that. How do I plan for a trip?

1. The first thing I do is to when I already have a destination in mind is to visit PinoyExchange, click on the Travel and Leisure section, and search for the thread of my destination of choice. I always value the tips of fellow Filipinos who have already visited the place because they give me an idea of how much I will actually spend on the trip. If I read reviews from foreigners, especially Caucasians, what may be cheap for them may not be cheap for me. However, if Pinoys say it's cheap, then it really is!

Also, the sample itineraries posted by forum members usually coincide with our local airlines' flight schedules. This is especially true for trips abroad. Our budget airlines fly at odd hours (11PM-1AM) because they choose not to pay certain airport fees. These are some of the inconveniences we have to pay for their cheap prices.

2. Next, from the sample itineraries, I jot down all the places they have mentioned and then I google each one to see if it's a place I would like to visit. For example, parks and zoos don't really interest me but if there's something unique about the place, I will visit it.

Most of the time, a certain country or city will have a tourism site where all the information you need are already in one place. Sometimes, I discover other attractions not mentioned in the forums from these sites. You just have to be sure that their information is updated. Virtual Tourist and Trip Advisor are great ways to find out more about a place.

3. In a spreadsheet, note down important details. What are these?
     a. What are the opening and closing times of the place
     b. Is the place open all week?
     c. How to get there. Via train? Subway? Bus? You may need to do more in depth research for this.
     d. language used. Should you bring index cards with common phrases? Download a mobile app for translation?
     e. Admission fees and other expenses
     f. How long will it take to visit the place - this is important if you're pressed for time.
     g. What other nearby places can be visited? Can this place be lumped together with other attractions for a day?
     h. Usually, I also have a "comments" column in the spreadsheet to write down the highlights of the attraction
     i. any must try food?
     j. Are there shows at a specific time?
     k. Where are the nearest money exchangers? Do shops accept credit cards?
     l. VISA requirements?
    m. Consider printing maps of a city or locale. A tourist map where all attractions are already highlighted is preferred.

4. If you're done with the above, then congratulate yourself. By now, you have a very good idea of what to expect from each place you plan to visit. The next step is optional but sometimes, I still make an effort to do it.

I look for the best places to eat. If they're close to the attractions I've chosen, all the better. I try to search for places that have unique dishes or have a unique ambiance (Taiwan's Modern Toilet, anyone?). Just be prepared that the menu prices don't give you a surprise. If possible, see if you can view the actual menu.

5. The next step is one of the most important, finding the right accommodation. First, if you're having a long trip, decide how long you will stay at one place or city. See how many nights you need to book. If you're taking an overnight transportation to somewhere, do you still need an additional night?

Consider guesthouses or inns. If you don't plan to stay very long in the room and only use it to sleep, do you really need other luxuries? For example, a television may not really be that important to have in a room. For me, though, a basic necessity is a private bathroom. Safety is also a primary concern, though I also sleep with my valuables like money or small electronic gadgets under my pillow.

As usual, location, location, location. If your hotel or inn isn't close to the attractions, it must at least be close to a subway or bus stop. Read reviews of the place. No matter how safe the place looks, never leave your valuables in the room.

The most common sites I use to book are Hostelworld and Hostelbookers. If you check reviews, make sure there are a good number of feedback and not merely 5 or less. For local Philippine inns and hostels, I usually rely on recommendations from PinoyExchange.com.

6. Souvenirs. Often, I need to buy souvenirs in bulk to give to office mates and family. Your best bet for this is the local market. But see if you can find other places.

7. The last thing I do, but certainly not the least important, is to google the place for tourist scams. It always pays to be careful. I was saved from one such scam in the Vietnam Airport because I knew of it. Otherwise, we would have forked over $10 for a $0.5 fee. Taxi scams are common all over the world. I only take a taxi if I don't have any other choice.

That's it! Have an enjoyable and safe trip!

How I Save for A Trip

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Many of my friends and family members think I'm loaded because I frequently travel, both locally and abroad. I'm not. My secret is that I just manage my money well.


I guess this whole post is not really limited to how to save for a trip, but rather on how to save money in general. Take note that I will not go into ways on how to actually grow your money. That should be a whole new post in itself. I will just be talking about how I save money for my own trips.



Bad Debts and Credit Cards

First things first. Before you even think of going on a trip, make sure you don't have any bad debts, especially in your credit card. Bad debts will never go away if you just  keep paying the minimum amount and the interest piles up. Besides, you can't truly save if you have debts.

My technique is to only use my credit card for convenience, not necessity. I never buy anything with my card that I can't already cover with the money I have.

Online Banking Facility

When payday comes, I login to my online banking facility to view my payroll sheet. Most banks have an online banking facility that lets you do a wide range of stuff from the comfort of your home, like balance inquiry, paying utility and credit card bills, opening new accounts and investing in the stock market. This service is free. You need only to call the bank to ask how to enroll into this service.

By using the online banking facility, I know exactly how much money went into my account, down to the last centavo. I suppose I could also check my payslip but our company is delayed in releasing them.

Salary Breakdown

Next, I divide my pay as follows:

50% - Necessities. Covers everything from utilities, to clothes, to food and daily transportation.
20% - Investments. Mostly for stocks and mutual funds.
10% - Give. I set this amount for gifts, office blowouts or when my family needs it
10% - Luxury. This is usually my travel fund. Or other stuff I want but don't need. Mostly electronics or toys.
10% - Random. The above breakdown is sometimes not enough and there will be an area that will be lacking in funds. Usually by December, I put an additional 10% in the Give portion. Or if I suddenly find myself in a shopping spree, then the 10% goes to necessities. This is really up to you.

Since travelling for me happens only a few times a year, the luxury area grows until I have more than enough for my next trip. I also don't buy electronic gadgets frequently so I don't dip into the funds often. My largest portion, as expected, is the investment area. I never touch it so it just grows. But following it is the luxury portion.

I know that this system doesn't work for everyone. Basically, it entails living on only about 60-70% of your income. I know I have a hard time getting my boyfriend to follow the same system. Do you see how it has no room for debt? If you have debt, you will need to pay it before doing the breakdown. Or, pay the debt from necessities or the random 10%.

I also practice a "borrowing" system. If say, for example, you need more money for the Give area, then that area will "borrow" from some other area, like luxury or necessities. You just have to remember to "return" the "borrowed" money to the right area.

AnMoney (Free) - Android Application

I use a very handy Android application on my mobile to keep track of this. It's called AnMoney. I just use the free edition although there's also the PRO version. I suggest creating two books.

AnMoney Screenshot
The first book will contain all your bank accounts. You only update when you receive your salary and when you withdraw money from your accounts. Keep this as accurate as possible so that you always know how much money you have in the bank. I never need to do a balance inquiry. ^_^

The second book will contain the 5 areas above: Necessities, Investments, Give, Luxury and Random. When you receive your salary, enter the breakdown accounts into their respective areas.

The total amount of the first and second books should be equal. If you withdraw money from your bank account, deduct the amount from book one, and also deduct the amount from the correct area in book two. The two books should always be updated together.

The second book will let you know just how much is left from each of the areas. If that's too confusing, let me give an example:

Book 1  
Savings Account Php5,000
Payroll Account Php5,000
Total Php10,000
Book 2  
Necessities Php5,000
Investments Php2,000
Luxury Php1,000
Give Php1,000
Random Php1,000
Total Php10,000

The first book will contain exactly how much money you have stored away while the second book shows your spending limits.

Personal Experience

Before I followed this system, I used to just group all my money in a single bank account. Of course, as time went on and my money reached a certain amount, I would think that "Hey, I'm saving a lot of money. Where should I spend it on?"

However, seeing it broken down into areas helped me focus on my limit for spending.

Discipline

Still, just like any system, this method requires discipline. There are a lot of compulsive buyers out there and if your Luxury fund increases, you may get itchy fingers to just spend it all. But, look on the bright side, at least you'll just be spending your luxury fund and not all the others. You'd still have your investments and necessities.

Also, this system requires you to constantly update the application. At the very least, you have to update it twice a month when you receive your salary. More if you constantly withdraw money.

How about for those who actually withdraw ALL their salary?

Well, ask yourself this. Are you living above your means? Why do you actually NEED to withdraw everything? Do you have more bills than you can handle?

Maybe the lifestyle that you're living in now is above what you can truly afford. If you got a salary increase this year, does that mean you can't live on the salary you got before?

Final Thoughts

If this system helped you, let me know! I'd be glad to know that it was beneficial to someone other than me. Lol!

Bellarocca: A Beautiful Rock

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Bellarocca Island Resort and Spa is a Class AAA Resort situated in a picturesque island off the coast of Marinduque. Formerly known as Elephant Island, the place was developed and transformed into a luxurious sanctuary for the wealthy.

First glimpse of the island from Lipata Port
The whole resort structure is made up of white, pristine, modern buildings atop seaside cliffs. Several accommodations were built entirely with privacy and isolation in mind, such as the terrazas, the casas and the most expensive of the lot, the villas. Each accommodation, including the cheapest (at USD 680) boasts its own balcony with a splendid view, climate control, a king-sized bed, a 32-inch Sony Bravia LCD TV, private refrigerator and a spacious, sexy, see-through, bathroom with a hot tub.

The Main Lobby
It calls itself the Santorini of the Philippines, and while I've never been to Greece, I sincerely doubt the comparison.

This is blog post is essentially a review of our 3D/2N stay at Bellarocca, literally, a "Beautiful Rock".

The Reservation

Reservation was a breeze. We were lucky enough to grab a fast-selling voucher from Deal Dozen, so all we had to do was email our voucher and our preferred dates to Bellarocca. They responded promptly, and answered all our questions. Days before our trip, they called me to confirm where and when we would be picked up and wished us a happy trip.

Our room. Notice the glass-walled bathroom.
Getting to Bellarocca

There is only one airline that flies once a day to Marinduque: Zest Air. I'm not particularly fond of this airline as they are known to be always delayed. And their schedule shaves a half day off your vacation time because they arrive in Marinduque at around 12:30 pm.

We went via land. I reserved tickets from JAC Liner at Kamias for Php 880 including the terminal fee. This is for a one way trip to Buenavista. The bus will board a ferry (locally known as roro) and make its way across the sea to Marinduque. There is only one trip per day and it leaves at 5:30 pm. We arrived in Buenavista at 5 am.

A tricycle took us to Lipata Port for Php 200. The drive took roughly 20 minutes. From there, a speedboat from Bellarocca picked us up for a 5-minute ride to the island.

Sunrise by the marina
The Welcome

Apparently, if you arrive very early in the morning, you are not served any welcome drinks or given flower necklaces, as I've read in other blogs. Perhaps we were not welcome for waking them up so early in the morning? The staff also did not offer to carry our luggage for us to our rooms. They only did when I handed my bag to one of them but my companions still carried theirs.

The Rooms

We stayed at Sparta IV. This was one of 21 units of Hotel Deluxe Rooms. Despite being the cheapest of all the accommodations, the room was spacious and tastefully furnished. In addition to the amenities I already mentioned, the room also provided a Skype-enabled phone, LAN cables for internet connection, a safe to store your valuables, lots of bath towels and hand towels, bath robes, and a complete line of toiletries like toothbrushes, glasses for gargling, a hairdryer, hair conditioner and a shower gel.

The sheets and pillows were very comfortable. Our balcony had a view of Mt. Malindig, an inactive volcano which was the source of the hot springs in Buenavista.

I was very happy with our room, which was good considering that we spent most of our time here. Lol.

Golf cart service to get you around
The Facilities

On our second day, we took advantage of their complimentary tour of the island. So we rode a golf cart while our guide pointed out the sites. The resort had a meditation room, a helipad, a marina, an aqua sports facility, a souvenir shop, a spa room, a karaoke room, a gym, an entertainment room and two pools: one inside the hotel and the other was an "infinity pool" overlooking the beach.

Relax
I especially liked the location of the spa. It was situated on a high cliff with a Jacuzzi out in front. All around were trees and plants and the atmosphere was very calming. Too bad that I felt the spa itself was overpriced at Php 1,900 for 60 mins. If it was half of that price, I would've tried it.

Private charters can be arranged at the front desk. That is what the helipad is for. According to our kayak guide, the owner flies in via a private helicopter.

Work Out
The Activities

Well, aside from snorkelling and swimming, there's not much to do. We rented some DVDs from the entertainment room, played foosball, and kayaked around the island.

Playing monopoly in our room entertained us for a bit but most of the time, we just watched Discovery Channel, Nat Geo and Animal Planet.


The two infinity pools
The internet connection at the entertainment room was painfully slow but there was free wifi at the hotel lobby.

We did some exploring and climbed the 299-step view deck but the peak was kinda disappointing. It was overgrown with foilage. At one point, it might have been a lovely picnic area but when we got there, it just looked neglected. The view of the sea was partially obstructed by more trees.

We sang at their karaoke room until 10:30 pm in the evening, and at first, we had the room all to ourselves. But gradually, other guests came in and we let them have their turn. Lol.

The Food

Food was okay but nothing spectacular. I felt it was overpriced for the quality of the dishes prepared. The crispy pata cost Php 1,800 but tasted like paper and the lack luster sauce didn't compliment it. The beef with broccoli was good, though. The sinigang tasted the same as all sinigangs do.

Pork tocino for breakfast
On our first day, we took our complimentary set breakfast in our rooms and ordered pork tocino, a Filipino favorite. Portions were good and large but the tocino was just so-so.

On our second day, we had the buffet breakfast and this was better. There was fried rice, tapa, tocino, arrozcaldo, scrambled eggs, bread and butter, fruits and watery lemonade.

The bar at the karaoke room
I was disappointed with the dinner buffet. For Php 850, I expected more choices. But there were only 4 or 5 main entrees, no soup, two choices of desserts, a few fruits and only water. Of the main entrees, only the mixed seafood tasted good. The lechon kawali tasted the same as the crispy pata. Bland. There was only plain rice.

The Service

Despite the non-welcome we received on the first day, service was still overall excellent. The staff were all smiles and were helpful. They were eager to assist us and promptly brought us towels when we went swimming, even when we didn't ask for them. They were also very friendly.

I made friends with the man who accompanied me when I went kayaking and learned that he was from Palawan and was previously employed at Miniloc Resort in El Nido. We talked about stuff about El Nido, while he also pointed at various far off islands and told me trivia about them.

Most structures look like this
The Farewell

Our package included roundtrip airport transfers so we joined the people leaving for the airport at 10:30 am. When we asked the front desk how much we needed to add to be transferred to Cawit Port, they told us it would cost a whopping Php 1,750. In the same breath, they told us that we could instead take a tricycle for Php 30 per head. It made me wonder why they couldn't extend their service for a mere 15-minute drive to the port.

We left Bellarocca promptly at 10:30 am and took the 5-minute boat ride back to Lipata port. From there, a van took us to the airport. Total duration was an hour.

Aqua Sports Activities
Massage Services

We took the aforementioned tricycle to Cawit Port but when we arrived, we were told that the ferry was cancelled and that the next schedule would be at 7 pm. That was definitely bad news.

Fortunately, we had another option. There was another ferry at Balanacan Port which would leave for Lucena at 2:30 pm. So we rode a tricycle to Boac for Php 50 per head, then a jeep to Balanacan Port for another Php 50 per head.

We arrived at Balanacan Port at 1:30 pm and bought pasalubong here, too. The ferry tickets cost Php 260. There were people who sold bus tickets in advance at the port. So we bought bus tickets going to Ortigas for Php 176. I'm not sure if this is actually cheaper that what fares from Lucena to Ortigas actually cost.

By 5pm, we had arrived in Lucena and boarded the JAM bus. We arrived home some five hours later.

The Verdict


The Virgin Mary shrine at Balancan Port
Would I recommend Bellarocca to other people? Sure, if they get a promo deal. Otherwise, I could think of many other adventure-filled ways to spend almost Php 30k a night.

The place is still great for privacy and relaxation and I guess people looking for those will greatly enjoy it.

The natural beauty of the place pales in comparison with other popular destinations in the Philippines. Corals are dead and sites of interest are not on the island itself, but on the surrounding baranggays, like the hot springs and caves.

I think 3D/2N is enough to enjoy the island. Stay longer and you may get bored.


Balaw Balaw Restaurant: An Extraordinary Fare

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Crescent Moon Cafe Culinary Experience
Angono Petroglyphs
Art Houses: Nemiranda and Blanco Museums
Balaw Balaw Restaurant: An Extraordinary Fare

So maybe the exotic menu of this restaurant is perhaps the weirdest selection I've ever come across up until now, but that's what makes the Balaw Balaw Restaurant a great attraction.

The Balaw Balaw restaurant is pretty close to Nemiranda's Art House and in fact, when we came, Nemesio Miranda was presiding over a meeting with (I presume) other artists. Perhaps the Atelier he founded? We were too shy to come forward and talk to him. We recognized him from the photos we saw at his Art House.

The wild boar and breaded frog legs dishes. They don't look scary at all.

I suppose I shouldn't have been surprised but really, to find out that the restaurant doubled as a folk art museum, brought our art tour to a whole new level. That meant every single place we visited today was an art stop, even the restaurants. Lol.

The owner and artist of the restaurant is Perdigon Vocalan, now deceased. His paintings and sculptures can be found mostly on the second floor of the restaurant.

I wanted to try the creepiest dish (in my opinion anyway), which was the uok, or beetle larvae, but my companions weren't as adventurous. So we ended up ordering the wild boar, breaded frog legs and a minaluto, which were decidedly less risky than the other exotic dishes. A minaluto is a huge basket with everything on it: pork, salted eggs, chicken, fish, squid, clams, shrimp, various vegetables and a huge mountain of yellow fried rice on a bed of banana leaves. A single order of this was enough to satisfy our group, which was composed of seven people. I found it to be really delicious.

The delicious minaluto
Other exotic dishes were frogs marinated in wine, crickets, cow butt and balls, aborted duck eggs (balut) in banana leaves, and freshwater eel. I'd like to return one day to try one of these.

This final destination ended our Angono Art Tour teambuilding activity and we went home with a higher sense of cultural knowledge about the Philippines.

Balaw Balaw Specialty Restaurant: Folk Art 16 Dona Justa Street, Angono Rizal
Contact No: 651-0110

Art Houses: Nemiranda and Blanco Museums

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Crescent Moon Cafe Culinary Experience
Angono Petroglyphs
Art Houses: Nemiranda and Blanco Museums
Balaw Balaw Restaurant: An Extraordinary Fare

Next on our list was the Nemiranda Art House, owned by Nemesio Miranda, Jr. He is a well know painter and sculptor, and his works can be seen all over Angono. In 1975, he founded the Angono Atelier Association, the first group in Angono to popularize sculpture in concrete.

Nemiranda's Gallery

The Art House itself, was surrounded by huge sculptures of his work, often mythical figures in graceful poses. This particular sculpture below is known as the Mermaid of Angono.

The gallery of paintings showcase the paintings of Nemiranda and his children. I think I was more interested in exploring the house. It just had so many twists and turns, and was by itself, a form of art. In my opinion, anyway. Lol.

The Mermaid of Angono
Our next stop was the Blanco Family Museum. On the way, we were awestruck by the sheer number of sculptures, murals and paintings that lined the streets of Angono. If we had more time, I wouldn't mind just walking along the streets to get a better look on the art pieces.

Did you know that there is a family from Angono whose every member is an accomplished painter? The head of the family is renowned artist Jose "Pitok" Blanco. All his seven children are gifted painters and their museum showcases their work.

Done by one of Pitok's children
The gallery is arranged from the works of the youngest Blanco child up to the father, Jose Blanco. The children's works had their ages posted together with the painting. Even at 7 years old, the Blanco children's work rivaled professional painters. As the children grew older, their styles became more developed and the vast improvement of their skills really shone through.

Jose's wife, Loreto "Loring" Blanco, also paints but she started much later, at the age of 48. Jose Blanco was inspired by the works of Botong Francisco. One of his works I particularly liked was the Filipino version of the Last Supper, where a group of 13 fishermen dined on shrimps they caught.

The man who is bent over is said to be "Judas"

The "Angono Fisherman's Festival" is also considered to be Pitok's Obra Maestra. All the people depicted in this painting were people Pitok personally knew and he obtained permission from each one to include them in his masterpiece. Pitok also painted himself and his family in this painting.

Angono Fisherman's Festival

Interestingly, the Blanco Family logo was an upturned fish with a bulging belly. The museum guide explained that Jose Blanco was the son of a fisherman and people often called him "Pitok Bunggan" because he was bald with a huge stomach, vaguely resembling an upturned fish when he was asleep.

All too soon, it was time to go and we needed to heed the calls of our growling stomachs.

Angono Petroglyphs

Best Blogger Tips

Crescent Moon Cafe Culinary Experience
Angono Petroglyphs
Art Houses: Nemiranda and Blanco Museums
Balaw Balaw Restaurant: An Extraordinary Fare

Now this teambuilding activity is really more like an art tour. Did you know that Angono is called the Arts Capital of the Philippines? It's really not surprising, after seeing the number of National Artists the region has produced. Almost every corner we turned boasted some sort of sculpture or painting.

Information on the Petroglyhs from the mini-museum

Therefore, there was no better place to be the home of the oldest work of art in the Philippines, the Angono Petroglyphs. These are 127 human and animal figures carved onto the surface of a rock that dates back to 3000 BC.

From Crescent Moon Cafe, we travelled to Fiesta Resort and Casino in Binangonan, since this was the site of the petroglyphs. See the map below.

Map to the Angono Petroglyphs. Click to enlarge.
Before actually going to the petroglyphs, we passed through a short, unlit tunnel and took a five-minute walk to the mini-museum. There was an entrance fee of I think Php 20 or Php 30 per person. I can't really remember. A guide accompanied us to the viewing deck.

The figures
I could make out a turtle, some frogs, and a group of people gathered in a circle for some sort of celebration. It was unfortunate that erosion has caused some of the figures to be less discernible.

I learned that this site was discovered by Carlos V. Francisco, popularly known as Botong Francisco and (surprise) a National Artist of Visual Arts. Didn't I mention already that this place had a lot of National artists?

Anyway, I also learned that before there was an organized effort to preserve the site, local superstition believed that the place had power, and albularyos (folk healers or medicine men), held their rites here, thereby contributing to some of the vandalism.

 Today, the Department of Tourism and the National Museum are trying to preserve this heritage site, and it is listed as one of the Cultural Treasures of the Philippines.

Crescent Moon Cafe Culinary Experience

Best Blogger Tips

Crescent Moon Cafe Culinary Experience
Angono Petroglyphs
Art Houses: Nemiranda and Blanco Museums
Balaw Balaw Restaurant: An Extraordinary Fare


On one particular occasion, I was given the task to plan for our team-building activity. Even with a very limited budget, we wanted something different, and not the usual swimming or bowling.

Crescent Moon Cafe Interior
By sheer coincidence I had read about interesting attractions in Angono and Antipolo in Rizal province just the week before. This was the perfect opportunity to visit them. It was nearby, cheap, unusual and took only one day to explore. What more could I ask for?

A co-worker suggested that our first stop would be at Crescent Moon Cafe in Antipolo. We were supposed to have brunch here but we late in starting so it became lunch, instead.
Feeding the koi

We left Ortigas at 10am and arrived at Crescent Moon at around 12 noon. The place has a very homely feel.  It is owned by Lanelle Abueva-Fernando, the niece of the National Artist for Sculpture, Napoleon Abueva.

This restaurant is unusual in that it has no set menu. You walk in and order whatever is the dish of the day. It's still guaranteed to be awesome. While waiting for our meal, we had fun exploring the place.

It was obvious that careful thought and love went to building the restaurant, with small personal touches here and there, like the crescent shaped tiles in the walkway, or the shell and starfish windchimes. There was also a pottery workshop, while the finished pieces were displayed in the restaurant.

It was a pleasant surprise when we were handed a small bowl of fish food to feed the huge koi in the pond. One of them vaccuumed the food straight from my hand!
Appetizer

The restaurant is famous for its's appetizer, called the alagaw. The alagaw leaf is said to contain medicinal properties and it is used as a wrapper to hold the ingredients such as bean paste, dried shrimp, minced onions and coconut shavings.

We had fun wrapping them in the alagaw leaf and taking a bite. The taste is unusual but definitely a must try! Next, we were served a bowl of pumpkin soup that I positively enjoyed. I'm not usually a fan of vegetables but I really liked that soup. Lol.

The rest of our meal proved to be just as awesome. I can't name them though. I'm not good at cooking and can never identify half of what I eat. Lol. Let me just say that the food was great and leave it at that.

Suman with mango

I know the desert, though. It was suman (sticky rice cake wrapped in coconut leaves) with a slice of mango. The suman was so delicious that we bought a dozen more to take home.

On weekdays, meals cost Php 350 and Php 450 on weekends. It's also a good idea to make a reservation first so that you won't have to wait too long for the food. You can reach them at 658-3866 or 09175232356.


A map to Crescent Moon Cafe is provided below.

Map to Crescent Moon Cafe via Ortigas

Next, we headed to Angono to see the ancient Petroglyphs.

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