Panoramic Breakfast at Panorama Beach Club and Resort, El Nido, Palawan

View from Panorama Restaurant

Hello, team Lakan Diwa! I was off the grid for two weeks and now I'm back armed with more experiences and more than 7000 pictures, ugh! Spent a week in Puerto Princesa City and El Nido, with side trip at the longest beach in the country located in the municipality of San Vicente, Palawan. Another week was spent in Taipei, Taiwan - got a lot of new stories to tell, new places to share, and of course more food discoveries. Please stay tuned for my upcoming blog entries and the stories behind the fantastic images I'll be sharing soon.

First stop: Panorama Beach Club and Resort, El Nido, Palawan - a boutique hotel hidden in Lugadia, Corong Corong, El Nido Palawan, about 5-minute tricycle ride outside the center of town. My cousin Mabel, a civil engineer and long-time resident of El Nido brought me here along with her sister, Ara for breakfast on our way back to the city. 


The hotel has an impressive green, "modern Filipino" landscape, well designed - every space is instagrammable and photogenic from the moment we stepped in the lush greenery walkway leading to the restaurant. The resort was fully booked at the time of our visit, but the restaurant was almost empty at the early time of day with 2 tables occupied. 


We asked for show room but the newly-built hotel is in high demand and was fully booked at the time of our visit. A night rate is Php 12,000 per night according to the receptionist. With excellent ratings on Agoda (8.8) and Booking (8.9), I got to secure at least a night the next time I'll be here to experience the "excellent service and superior facilities" the resort is known for. 

The staff were accommodating and let us peek at the wooden walkway near the private area exclusively for resort's guest where their 8 rooms are located while waiting for our orders to be served. That pool surrounded by lush greens seems inviting and perfect for lounging while reading and sipping Piña Colada. Hmmm, gotta go back in El Nido anytime soon!


The beach-front restaurant offers the best panoramic view of paradise in El Nido while enjoying our American breakfast, showcasing an unparalleled view of the ocean and El Nido's limestone cliffs. 

While late breakfast is idyllic with lesser crowd and clear view, the restaurant has the most spectacular sunsets and is best for a romantic evening meal in the breathtaking silhouette of the Bacuit bay as I've seen on their Facebook account. Scattered camas at the front is perfect lounging area after a day of island hopping.

The restaurant's menu has fair selection of local and foreign cuisine while the breakfast menu offers the following;

 American Breakfast, Php 380 - slices of toasted bread with scrambled eggs bacon and cheese with signature coffee and juice

Spanish Breakfast - Php 380, 2 slices of toasted bread with olive oil, salt, and tomato jamon with signature coffee and juice.

Continental Breakfast - Php 380, 2 slices of toasted bread with fruit jam and butter, 2 pieces of French patisserie with signature coffee and juice.

American Breakfast - Php 380, 2 slices of toasted bread with 3 eggs of your choice, bacon and cheese, with signature coffee and juice.

Fruit Breakfast - Php 280, fruit platter with signature coffee and juice.

Cereals with milk - Php 280, cereals of your choice with a jar of fresh milk.

Pancake - Php 330, banana pancake with syrup & signature coffee and juice.

Big applause to restaurant's signature coffee! one of the best and perfect for afternoon break. Ara refused breakfast and ordered the creamiest mango shake. 

American breakfast is huge and I'm guessing its Manchego cheese slices which is one of my favorites. Overall, I've enjoyed the breakfast at Panorama immersed in visually stimulating surroundings. 


Picture of the Week | Sweetest Escape

Ahh, its midweek and I caught myself staring at my favorite place on earth, the Malampaya Sound. Dreaming between sipping my Christmas Blend coffee I'm officially become my grandma 😄😄😄Sad that I only seen it in an image today. I hope I'd be able to come back home anytime soon and reconnect with nature in my Palawan homeland. Re-sharing this photo to you to join me in my dreams of coming home and take a glimpse at cultural and enchanted mountain. This image was captured using my old buddy Canon EOS 550D and enhanced on PicMonkey.

I was raised in New Guinlo, Taytay, Palawan. By the bay of Malampaya Sound, I learned how to swim in the brackish water along with my peers. One of the best treasures of my hometown in Palawan is the majestic Mount Capoas. There are many strange and enchanted stories from the elders of our community. Old folks said that there are giant golden crabs guarding the mountain. Some said that Limahong's treasures are buried somewhere there, let's go and find 'em hahaha.

With a peak of about 1,030 meters above sea level, Mount Capoas ranks as the third highest mountain in northern Palawan. It is located along the Malampaya Sound Protected Landscape. If you are planning to hunt Limahong's treasure, forget it, per my research, climbing the peak is prohibited for safety reasons. The mountain is reserved for research and tribal residency. 

Reflection to Life: Home. It is where our heart is. Think of home when things have been a 'lil rough.  Look-up, close your eyes, and let your sadness fades into the clouds. Happy Hump day!

Rome Review | Syudad by Barrio Fiesta

When the pressure is on, turning to a sugary treat or a delicious fat-laden mouthful can feel like an easy way to get a little relief, isn't it? and what else is more comfortable than indulge in our classic Filipino favorite dishes such as Kuhol sa Gata (Snails in Coconut Milk) and Litson Kawali ( Crispy Pork Belly) with steaming hot rice on the side.

Kuhol sa Gata (Snails in Coconut Milk), Php 295

We've finally tried to dine-in at the Filipino inspired restaurant - Syudad by Barrio Fiesta located at the newly built Caloocan City Hall Complex. I was with my constant foodie buddy, Gladys who also live near Syudad's new outlet. We always do stress-eating when we're both needing some time to release all tensions from a week work and talk about our personal issues over delectable bites. 

Syudad by Barrio Fiesta has a spacious Pinoy-inspired charm and classic Filipino interior; wooden tables and chairs offers a rustic appeal. Customers like us, #ninangsofmanila who are tired and wanted to lean on a comfortable chair have an option to be seated nicely at the booth with cushion and backrest.

It was around 3 PM when we arrived and they were catering their merienda buffet but were pleased when they accommodated us for ala carte late lunch. Syudad by Barrio Fiesta's Merienda-all-you-can costs Php 185 per person from 3 PM to 6 PM serving Pinoy favorite merienda  (snack) in case you are interested.  

We started with Kuhol Sa Gata (Snails in Coconut Milk) as appetizer. A smoother-than-velvet Filipino-style dish with an orchestra of flavors and can be doubled as meal with rice. Highly recommended if you are searching for the best dish serve in this restaurant. The coconut milk sauce was thick, I doubt if there's an artificial flavor. I tasted shrimp paste that blends perfectly to the sweetness of the coconut milk. My "joy" hormone lifted up from the first bite 😊

Kare-Kare Solo Meal, Php 195

Extensive Filipino dish from Solo Meals list are constant favorite among their clientele, Solo Meals are served with rice and instant iced tea. Out of curiosity, we selected Kare-Kare from the list. Kare-Kare is one of the restaurant's specialty and best seller but nothing spectacular to me. The sauce was thick but loaded with artificial flavor and color. I was expecting real peanut sauce but little bit disappointed, it was boring. Tender slices of beef and accompanying shrimp paste plus the large portion (can be shared by two) redeemed my respect.

Litson Kawali, Php 425

Syudad had got a buzz from foodies of Manila for their superstar dish, Crispy Pata - but we refused to try considering we already ordered too many just for the two of us. We agreed to settle for Litson Kawali to satisfy our greasy, fatty appetite. Surprise! surprise! it was the very best Litson Kawali I've tasted in my whole life! It's kinda pricey at Php 425 but I think its just proportional to its quality. Succulent pieces of crispy and crunchy pork belly served its price. To me, its another Syudad's superstar dish waiting to be discovered and worth another try.

Inihaw na Talong, php 95

We also ordered Inihaw na Talong for the sake of having vegetable on the table and to show compassion to our upset hearts, lol😋! A very familiar dish, and a perfect complement to any fried or Inihaw dishes. Delish specially when dip into signature Barrio Fiesta Bagoong (shrimp paste).

Green Mango Shake, Php 130

I had Green Mango Shake which I liked, which by the way, perfect anti-umay! 

Thinking that she had a large belly space like mine, Gladys ordered Mais Con Heilo she barely touched. It was okay, she said, when asked how it tasted like.

Mais Con Heilo, Php 115

Overall, it’s a fun place to get together with friends, day or night. They have Beer Belly promo every Friday at Php 299. And if you’re not in the mood for venturing out they even do takeaway and delivery just dial (02) 7016572 or 09560680189 from your mobile.

Syudad by Barrio Fiesta
Address: C-Cube building, 9th Ave.,
1400 Caloocan

When People are the Tourist Attraction | Bantayan Islanders

Let us fill this Monday up with happy memories and happy pictures from smiling happy faces of islanders from Bantayan Island in Cebu, Philippines. These three little girls, despite economic and social challenges are some of the most hospitable and friendliest people I have come across Bantayan Island couple of summers ago. They were patiently waiting on the Kota shore waving at us and all smiles as we arrived from whole day of swimming at the nearby Virgin Island,  hoping for a chance to sell some of their seashell garlands. "Maayong Hapon!" gleefully greeting us Good Afternoon in Cebuano Dialect. Armed with my old Canon EOS 550D I took several shots while my companions were browsing and shopping through their goods.

It's more amazing to be at that exact time than just looking at the pictures of locals surrounded by paradise living such simple, uncomplicated way of life far from the 'traditional' life in the Metro I now called normal and been trying to survive or perhaps at that moment, escape.

Back to this fast-paced everyday life overwhelmed by combination of correctness, inclusion, and too many people who simply don't care. I was thinking, do they know how lucky they are... I doubt if they would swap it for mine.

Although their lives are very different from my city life, I sensed full and genuine happiness through their eyes that speak invaluable contentment. I asked myself, When was the last time you smiled that channeled through your eyes?

People are not that different after all. Generally speaking comparing their world to mine, we are all striving for same thing, no matter how rich or poor, regardless of social and economic situation. Majority of us are motivated to have a better life to provide for our families and love ones.  Let us choose to be happy in finding the niche of our lives. Happy Monday, Cheers!

Picture of the Week | Unspeakably Mundane

Hi everyone! How's your day? Did you do anything fun? or just another plain, boring, workday?

The stillness of this day made me think to share another photo taken at Aloha Beach in Panglao, Bohol - A shot I took several years ago when we were just sitting on the beach, people watching while waiting for our dinner to be served at the nearby seafood restaurant.

We were appreciating the pale sun slowly setting on the horizon, admiring the last touch of spectacular golden sun rays around us on a gloaming twilight when this rare and beautiful moment happened ...when the sea seems so silent for few seconds and everything around us were slowly turning from golden to kinda sad shades of blue and gray. The moment I knew was short and it will be dark anytime soon so I took some few snaps from my old Canon EOS 550D. With minor enhancement from PicMonkey, I’m pleased to share you the best one from more than 50 shots.

Reflection to Life: The world is changing at a great rate everyday and no matter how we try to cope-up, we always know less. There are someone who will always be ahead of us in terms of career, business, knowledge, money, relationships or anything you would consider as basis for a competition. 

If you feel you failed at something in your life or maybe disappointed towards something, there's no harm in taking time to stop for a moment. Try to do nothing for one day because sometimes, according to the movie I watched last weekend, Christopher Robin, “Doing nothing often leads to the very best kind of something.”

Maybe it does, I’ll try to do this sometime but if this didn’t work, I’ll take another break to reconsider another option,  re-calibrate strategy, have a chance to regroup and figure-out my next steps.