Undersea Walk in Boracay



I know you were teased by my previous post about Rome's glimpse of Bellaroca. He and his cousins made sure that they have fabulous annual trip... and for this year it is Bellaroca. I'll keep that excitement a little bit longer until I'm done posting his adventures and exciting activities in Boracay with his bessies....
 



The bright morning light in Boracay gave them a promising day ahead. They were waiting for this day to finally achieve their perfect sun tan and have an ultimate tour of the island and be involved in different activities. Indeed, the real adrenaline action unfolded on that day. Their first stop? Helmet Diving!




Helmet diving allows people who can't swim to explore the coral reefs and play with cute sea creatures without extensive scuba-diving training. A helmet diver could enjoy the different perspective of being underwater without the need to wear a mask or breathe from a regulator. The helmet device is continually filled with oxygen from an onboard tank while the user is in the water. Users do not need goggles, breathing apparatus or a wet suit and they can wear glasses, talk and even scratch their nose underwater. Helmet diving in Boracay is operated in 10 ft deep in a calm condition sites to prevent sea sickness. The package costs Php 300-500 for a thirty minute dive. Prices vary depending on how you charm your helmet diving operator, lol! It includes 50 souvenir pictures in a compact disc, speed boat ride to the site, assistance from 1-2 PADI qualified dive instructors, and a coordinator that escorted them to the boat pick-up location in station 1.




A three minute full view of the world famous shoreline put a smile on their faces as they headed to the diving site on a blue speed boat. From afar, the sky was clear and the seawater was colored in different shades of blue. Holidaymakers engaged on their chosen beach activities were scattered on the world's famous coastline. Although the speed boat ride was brief, they all had fun! When they arrived on a big bamboo raft that serves as diving station, they were given a ten minute briefing on underwater signals and precautions.




One by one, they climbed down a bamboo ladder until the water was at shoulder height,  once in this position a clear acrylic dome or helmet that has clear glass plates was placed over their heads. Rome was the last to dive in, he equalized the pressure in his ears before getting into the water. Like Rome, Josh and Carl are Palawenos too. So they all knew how to swim, its a requirement for being called oneself a true blue Palaweno, lol. The three of them were raised in the sign of water. Helmet diving however allows them to experience the sea to a new level.



He took a panicky breath as the heaviness of his helmet pulled himself under. A school of fish was accelerating towards them. Carl's eyes widen and Josh has been screaming underwater. They hold Rome's hand, Josh's hands were shaking, Carl's face was white...they pushed Rome to the middle. All of a sudden, they changed direction inches from his face. In an instant they were gone.... they saw them hiding from the nearby coral reefs.



Once they were over with the initial fright, being in the water with different sea creatures was therapeutic. They feed the fish with bread crumbs, played with them and had their pictures taken. Carl, felt dizzy when the sea started to  uproar. He signaled their guide that he wanted to go up. Josh and Rome stayed for quite a while until they were tired. Helmet diving was a close-up view of underwater life and a unique memorable experience of a life time, they concluded.




Some people use the term "reef walk" for helmet diving. Rome disagreed as he knew that corals has been formed for years and should not be walked on. He also noticed that operators failed to emphasize no touch policy on the corals. Holidaymakers were walking on it....damaged and dead corals were scattered on the sea floor. He hoped that Boracay's local government should take more bigger steps on this issue so he could still do diving on the next years to come.

International Release: Rome Wears PRADA and H&M



It is really feel so good to be back in writing after my numerous summer getaways. And since I've been away for quiet some time, I owe you guys a big come back. So gimme a big round of applause as I parade my  outfits on my posts. Summer outfit and tips are coming up on my next posts. Yep, you are right, this blog is slowly transforming in becoming my fashion blog. So here, what I'm going to showcase today are some branded clothes as I'm making a big comeback...

I admit that I am heavily influenced by brands because of awareness to advertising and  marketing. It's putting unprecedented pressure on me to get up to date. But limme tell you how I address this kind of situation.....I don't usually wear designer clothes but when I do, I make sure its well known...like PRADA. And when I'm wearing Prada, it doesn't mean it is fake nor expensive. Y'all knew that I'm a certified relief store shopper and its where I found them. Sure, most of the clothes are second hand but there are also some that are new with the tag price on it but 95% cheaper on the relief stores.




Minding our economic status and keeping up with high fashion and logos are two opposite ways. But for those who can't burn bigger holes on their wallets for expensive labels, ransacking bargain and relief stores are some alternatives....as long as we know how and where to get them, and the most important is to know how to clean  the clothes before using them.





I bought my Prada polo shirt a couple of years ago. Searching thoroughly the new arrivals of my favorite relief store in Quezon City, it was easy to tell designer clothes: the fabric,design and cut of designer clothes really stands out. See, it has been  two years ago but the quality never fades. The H&M chino is my recent purchase from my new found relief store in Makati City and is currently my favorite. I love H&M, it fits so perfectly! Easy to wear. Among my clothes, these pair is my favorite. I consider this pair as my lucky wardrobe and used this several times during important meetings and or job interviews. Shall I be dead (knock on wood), I want this pair to be my outfit when I lay in casket from casket sales. Seriously, this is my funeral advice : I gotta wear that Prada on my final times, lol!

So its not only the devils who could wear Prada - those bully who keep you isolated, insecure and put you on huge pressure could now rest.

Insalata Rughetta

Here's another recipe from The Maya Kitchen by chef Roberto Chimmino during his Italian cooking demo a couple of weekends ago.This was made of  Arugula leaves with Shaved Parmesan, toasted Pine nuts and Balsamico Reduction. You might wanna try  this easy, tasty, healthy and authentic Italian recipe at home. Serves 4! Great for sharing with family or friends....




What you need:

Balsamico reduction
A cup of balsamico vinegar
Some cloves
1 pc of Garlic
2 spoon of sugar
Half cup of red wine (optional)
2 spoon of honey
Cinnamon
A big bunch of arugula leaves
Half cup of shaved parmesan
A handful of pine nuts, slowly toasted in a pan until golden brown
Some extra virgin olive oil and rock salt
Handful of shallots
A cup of sugarcane vinegar
A spoon of sugar and a spoon of rock salt


Method:
Julienne the shallots. In a cup, add same water, some vinegar, a spoon of sugar and salt and add the shallots for 30 minutes until pickled.
In a pan, boil the wine and let the alcohol evaporate, add the herbs, the sugar and the honey, add the vinegar and all the spices and simmer very slowly until thick. Cool down and keep in the fridge in a small bottle
In a bowl add the cleaned arugula, add the pine nuts, add some balsamico and extra virgin olive oil. Drizzle with balsamico reduction and serve.

Illuminate Your Dishes with Luminarc's Latest Dinneware Collection



Last Sunday was our Mom's day. It was one of the days that I miss my Mom and our Sunday brunches together back in the countryside where I live for quite some time. She used to cook us home made recipes after hearing the early Sunday mass at the Nuestra Senora del Pilar Chapel and present it matching her floral Sunday dress . Those were the days that I always treasure...I missed you Nanay!...the woman ahead of her time.



Since I can't go home last Sunday, I celebrated the day with the coolest mommy bloggers in the city. We covered the presentation of Luminarc's latest dinnerware collection. It was a mother's day weekend event in celebration of the strength and beauty of one fine woman of our lives...our dear mom!




The program started with plating demo by Chef Him Uy de Baron. Lucky Moms were picked from the crowd to learn Chef Him's easy food plating techniques. Arc international's Asia Pacific Marketing Director, Mr Laurent Chignon, talked about the advantages of Luminarc dinnerware collection. Honestly, my knowledge about tableware are very limited until I listened to him. Reasons to choose Luminarc are;

-Fully Tempered
-Extra Resistant ( three time stronger than normal glass)
-100 Hygienic
-Resistant to High Temperature Variance
-Dishwasher & Microwave Safe
-Easily Stackable

The event's highlight was a unique fashion show highlighting LUMINARC’S latest tableware collections in a whole new light at the Concourse Area of SM Makati.

You might want to whip up a few organic dishes for your love ones today? Let Luminarc's Botanical range inspire you! Starting with.....


THE FLORAL SERIES

Colombelle



My Mom would definitely pick this amongst the floral series. Sweet girly ribbon bow, butterflies and flowers in a wide array of colors adorn this collection - one of the most colorful designs in the series. Perfect for brunch al fresco in the front lawn or in the garden. A sweet collection... I'm sure my mom wouldn't want to miss this because she love floral designs for her tea parties.




Anemone


Intricately placed stalks of pink flowers form a soothing vertical garden on the dinnerware. Anemone will no doubt heighten your dinning senses as it brings out the flavors of home cooked food.




Bouton D'or



Bouton D'or - inspired by the lovely yellow buttercup flower. Its bright and lovely flowers will definitely give the extra touch of warmth to your dining table. This collection is ideal for this summer.




Daliane



Brighten up your home with a touch of azure as Daliane revisit a classic Luminarc design. Blue peony flowers combined with geometric floral on classic Feston shaped plate exudes a subtle feeling of warmth, familiarity and comfort when dining for a ride back to the 70's and 80's. Serve your love ones using Daliane dinnerware collection while reminiscing good old times.




Green Ode


A play of green shades sets green Ode from the other dinnerware designs. Large green floral motifs in photographic prints decorate the plates giving this floral range a modern touch.





------------oo--o0o--oo-------------

THE CLASSIC SERIES


Sequins


Using the sweet line shape, geometric prints using circles and lines are creatively placed at the side of the plate  for a contemporary feel. stylish and mod best describes Sequins. This collection is a smart choice for the fashionistas and is my top choice on this series.





Volare


The distinctive organic design and the bone china colour of the Volare collection creates the modern and elegant shapes that grabs the consumers' attention. The Volare collection was made from three waves creating a subtle triangular shape. With the soft curves, it gives a timeless feminine look that enhance every dishes on the table. This set is formal enough for fine dining, yet it is microwave safe and practical for everyday use.




Embrodery


Rays of red, yellow, orange and green burst out like sun rays, enveloping the the border of this collection. For those who like the zenix material but prefer the conventional round plate, embrodery is perfect for you! It suits for both everyday use and for special occasions.




Shamal


Entertain your guests with Shamal collection. Shamal, as the name suggests, takes its inspiration from the north easterly wind that blows across the Middle east. gray shades of curvy lines depicting wind movements lies on the soft wavy shape of Volare.This collection  is definitely a breeze.




Tivano



Nature rules in this design - a touch of wild-like wheat in soothing pastel colors of green and yellow softly embellish this Volare-shaped dinnerware collection. This minimalist design adds a tinge of nature to your home, effortlessly elegant and will look stunning on any table.- a must have for every modern family!



The above collections are available at SM, Robinson's, Landmark, Metro Market Department Stores in Metro Manila and selected provincial outlets.


A Piece of Santorini

My annual summer holiday is always on top of my priorities despite the tough economic climate - but I do choose cheaper options rather than selecting my dream destinations. Also for me, a DIY travel plan is more exiting than signing up on a package trip apart from the fact that its more cheaper.
 



This year's plan was to spend a three day holiday in the heavenly streets of Santorini, between tiny whitewashed houses, stylish hotels and restaurants and blue-domed churches filled with people waiting for one thing: a glorious sunset!

We started looking for different packages and promos online as early as last quarter of last year.  We've discovered a more cheaper way of finding a place to stay through Air bnb - a website that lets homeowners advertise their place from real people, in almost 20,000 cities, in 192 countries. I never knew that renting a house represents excellent value - and a chance to get as close to the beach as possible. It has the ability to rate both guest and homeowner. And is really useful for a DIY trip.

Reality check: My travel buddies and I couldn't afford the airfare. The airfare could have cost us a month of stay in our chosen accommodation in Santorini. Another thing, we ran out of time to secure our visa.

With good luck, and a strong believe that I could treat myself to a long rest, my cousin discovered Bellaroca - located in the province of Marinduque, designed and patterned after the Greek island of Santorini. Bellaroca was a jackpot! It may be short on shoreline, but it's one of the most compelling! So let me just hold my story here before you get too excited. My gest to Bellaroca will be tackled on my travel blog, Gest to Utopia, check it out for the preview.

Flavor of the Month: JARDINERA - A Recipe from The Maya Kitchen



Fiestas, Mother’s Day, Santacruzan,....and my birthday - they all happening in the merry month of May. So dust off your big party plates and polish your silverwares as you prepare your special dishes fit for never ending celebrations. You might wanna try Jardinera on one of those occasions. Jardinera is a mainstay of Filipino gatherings from way back. This recipe and more culinary ideas and course schedules are available on The Maya Kitchen.

Ingredients:

4 tablespoons  margarine or butter
4 segments      garlic, minced
1 piece           large onion, diced
½ teaspoon    pepper
1 kilo             pork, boiled and cubed
¼ kilo            chicken liver, cooked and cubed
4 pieces         hotdog, cubed
1 piece          chorizo de bilbao , cubed
1 cup             tomato sauce
1 cup             grated cheese
½ cup            raisins
2 cups           drained pineapple tidbits
1 cup            diced sweet pickles
2 cups           broth
1 cup            breadcrumbs
1 cup            MAYA All-Purpose Flour
1 piece         hard-boiled egg, sliced
1 piece         medium red bell pepper, cut into strips


Steps:

Line six leche flan molders with banana leaves or foil.  Set aside.  Heat butter in a saucepan then sauté garlic and onions.  Add pepper, pork, chicken liver, hotdogs, chorizo, tomato sauce, cheese, raisins, pineapple, pickles and broth.  Bring to a boil and lower heat and simmer for 20 minutes.  Add breadcrumbs and flour to thicken.  Remove from fire.

In prepared molders arrange decoratively at the bottom of the pan the sliced egg and bell pepper. Divide the cooked mixture into s prepared pans/molders.  Cover with aluminum or banana leaves then bake in a preheated 375ºF/191°C or steam for 30 to 40 minutes.  Cool then invert on a serving platter.


An Open Invitation to LUMINARC's GLAM MOM! - Mother's Day Weekend Event on May 12-13, 2012


A unique fashion show highlighting LUMINARC’S latest tableware collections in a whole new light at the Concourse Area of SM Makati, on May 12-13, 2012. See you there!!!



Reunited at Kenny Rogers Roasters



Roast Chicken Plate, Solo A (Php 165.00)


In search for happiness, we've took different paths. Along the way we've met different types of people. Most of them just passing by and the very people who stayed became our so called friends. Network of friends from different walks of life define ourselves. The friendship I have built from different roads of life never changed. I have set of friends from different company that I've worked in and I love them all. I knew, parts of me were made of them. If I have free times, I make sure to meet them to catch up... and nothing would be best to cherish good times with some good food on the table right?


Roast Chicken Plate, Solo A (Php 165.00)


Recently, I met up with Jen, Jim and Tedgc, my colleagues when I was working in CISCO. We picked Kenny Rogers Roasters to host our reunion. I wanted to try Kenny Rogers' honey glazed roasted chicken so I could imitate it at home using my newly purchased oven. It was totally delicious! The honey keep the skin moist and plump. I closed my eyes for my first bite, it was absolutely flavorful! I felt like I was ten years old again :-) 


x

Glimpsed:Heavenly Bellaroca



He stayed in luxurious, heavenly white teraza...

savored on delicate dishes...

bathed in sunlight...

plunged into emerald waters...

immersed into deep thinking...

ascended with clean soul.



Without regret, he was just following his heart's desire.

Bellaroca Bound

Rome, the main character on this travel blog will be away for a short summer break. He and his cousins availed the 50% deal for a three days 2 night stay in a perfect holiday destination, Bellaroca, the Philippine version of Santorini ...


Photo grabbed: Bellaroca Website

While they are waiting to board the plane to Marinduque today, he browsed the net and saw  this post on 9gag...

There are three stages of life;

Teens- You have all the time and energy but no money
Workers- You have the money and energy but no time
Oldies- You have all the time and money but no more energy.
Lesson: Enjoy life and all the things you have at the moment because you cant have everything all at once.


He smiled, he's following the right track, he thought. When he switched to twitter application on his mobile phone, Paulo Coelho, his favorite author twitted "Traveling is never a matter of money but of courage". Indeed, he said. And they boarded the plane.


Life of Boracay: Party! Party!



After embracing the sunless Boracay all day long, with nothing to do on their first night in the island, they decided to go bar hopping. They had dinner first at The Beach Café in Le Soliel de Boracay. The partying kicked-off at the Club Summer Place located in station 2. The vibrant and cheerful atmosphere were overflowing from the vicinity.

The bar attracts friendly crowd of tourists, expats and locals. It is regarded as one of the finest nightspots on the beautiful island. Trendy and hip, DJ's are great in keeping the place going with the latest house and trance music that encouraged many to dance.



The party continued at Epic. The bar/restaurant was throwing a white party on their front beach to celebrate their first year anniversary. With the purchase of VIP access (Php 3000), they joined party animals in white outfits. It was Absolute-ly the best party they had in the party island of Boracay. The fee includes a bottle of Absolute Kurant, and unlimited cherries and soda plus "pulutan" (finger food) of their choice.




It was a wild party. When more alcohol kicked-in, their party spirit went to a higher level. Josh's kick up her heels and had a good time. Carl took off his shirt showcasing his perfect Boracay tan as they entered the dance floor. They partied until the early hours of the following morning.





"C'est la vie "