Birthday Boodle Fight!

What is a Boodle Fight? It is a Philippine Military jargon for a mess hall banquet, a military style of eating where all the food, normally grilled, are piled into one big tray or banana leaves where every soldier, enlisted men, officer and their guests alike eat from that same tray/banana leaves with their hands as a symbol of camaraderie, brotherhood and equality in the Armed Forces. 

My first experience of Boodle Fight or "combat food fighting" was when I studied college at Palawan State University in Puerto Princesa City. I was renting a small room to newlyweds Gloria Gonzales and Major George Gonzales, then Captain Gonzales of the Philippine Marines. My boardmates and I occassionally invited to join special occasions inside the Philippine Marines Camp where Boodle Fights are tradition. The "fight" means food-fighting where you grab and eat as much as you can before the food runs out or else go hungry because everyone else is gorging away. It was such a fun, fattening, and fulfilling experiences.

My birthday last May was celebrated in Boodle Fight Style with my cousins, nieces and Aunt in Novaliches. We had char grilled pork, Bangus (Milkfish) with tomato and onion stuffings, Barbeque, Soy Stewed Kangkong (Water Spinach) and Chicken Soup.

This is just the first part of my birthday celebration. Later that day, we made lots of pizza. I'll share it to you on my next post.

Pig Out Session at Pig Out! Nuvali, Santa Rosa, Laguna

Crispy Kare-Kare, Php 435.00

Pork Barrel is one thing that we all hate while Pork Belly is everybody's favorite. Do you agree? I bet you do. Except you are a vegan, my guess is, you don't like both "porks", lol! Well, I think, I gotta warn my vegetarian friends/readers before anything else: This blog post is for meat-eaters only, please do not proceed unless you are wlling to give up veganism/vegetarianism. 

Pig Out! - The name alone suggests servings of soulful pork dishes and this made me drooling since last year when the restaurant made a giant impact to foodies. Our first Pig Out! session came as a surprise when Lady sent us an impromptu invitation to test drive her brand new car to Tagaytay City, couple of months ago. Everyone shared their stories along the way with occasional interruption of loud music and discussion of the best places to eat in the southern part of Metro Manila. I suggested Pig Out! and they all agreed.

Through the directions from Google maps, we turned left to Nuvali Boulevard from Santa Rosa-Tagaytay Road and there, located amidst the expanse and the greenery of Nuvali in Sta. Rosa, Laguna is Pig Out! It is a country style family grill restaurant specializing on grilled seafood and meat, not only all-time Filipino “inihaw” favorites but Western-style grilled dishes as well. It serves BIG on everything – taste, portion, service and ambience. 

Refillable Iced Tea, Php 95.00 (Premium Iced Tea by Aguila)

There's plenty of available table when we arrived, we chose the table near the open-spaced glass wall. The inside of the restaurant looks like an American and or western diner with relaxing atmosphere and welcoming vibe. I have Crispy Pata in mind before flicking the menu and was surprised when it reveals other equally tempting choices. In the end, we decided to order Crispy Kare-Kare, Grilled Tuna Belly, Pig Out Crispy Pata, and Tropical Indulgence for dessert. My friends went outside of the restaurant to smoke. It was a scorching hot day so stayed inside sipping premium iced tea while waiting for our order. Not too sweet, it was refreshing.

Grilled Tuna Belly, Php 295.00 (Solo)

Soon enough, Crispy Kare-Kare seduced us with delicately pretty slices of deep fried pork leg tossed in a thick, special peanut butter sauce combined with blanched banana hearts, string beans and eggplant. Served with bagoong (shrimp paste), it was perfect with steamed Jasmine rice which by the way kinda expensive at Php 105.00. Nevertheless, it was love at first bite. Grilled Tuna Belly shined being beautifully fresh with garlic, chili and chili leaves.

Pig Out Crispy Pata, Php 695.00

Followed by Crispy Pata or deep fried pig's knuckle, "it’s everybody's favorite", according to our smiling crew. It is indeed, one of the world’s great dishes; it gave me a nice crunch when I pressed my teeth, even layer of delicious crackling and it has a thick layer of fat that keeps the meat really moist that almost melted in my mouth when I bit it. Judy Anne's Crispy Pata (my point of comparison to every Crispy Pata I tasted) in Malabon is still unbeatable for me though.

Tropical Indulgence, Php 245.00

We've finished our lunch with Tropical Indulgence - Three pieces of luscious, crisp fried mango and peach filled rolls served with chocolate sauce and vanilla ice cream. A familiar dessert, it was delectable to all senses when served and all were delighted to its rich flavor. It was such a sweet ending.

The food, ambiance, and service gave us full satisfaction of pigging out. Suffice to say, dining in Pig Out! is an ultimate meat feast, a reigning restaurant south of the Metro.

Resort Review: Porta Verde Resort, Cavinti, Laguna

Continuing their occasional travels and vacation spot discoveries, Rome and his usual travel buddies, his cousins and nieces, checked out the lakeside Porta Verde Resort in Cavinti, Laguna …and this is the last blog post of their three days, two nights stay in the rustic resort.

Ideal for family outing or team building, Porta Verde Resort is only 2 and 1/2 hours drive from Makati, South of Caliraya Lake, just 20 minutes away from the quaint town of Pagsanjan. It’s a perfect retirement home, Rome thought.

Standing high above a hill, the resort has a picturesque view of the calm waters of Lumot Lake where they went kayaking and had a Short lake tour. From their room, an exotic-oriental influence villa; Duhat Lanai Suite, the view provides an inviting and panoramic vista of a small swimming pool. The pool has an open Jacuzzi, a kiddie pool and a wooden sundeck with scattered hand-crafted cabanas and hammocks.

There's a small playground near their suite and it was such a good time for the kids. They alternately switch from swimming to playing, sliding and gliding on the play zone all throughout their stay.

The resort offers plenty of family friendly activities such as fishing, camping and rafting. There are also handful of paperbacks and books for solo travelers. And unlimited, beautiful backdrop for photographers….

Behold: Krispy Kreme's Flavorful Cronuts - Krispy Kroissant

To all croissant and doughnut aficionados who are curious about what this delectable hybrid tastes like, brace your palates. 

A hot new snack, the CRONUT - a combination of a croissant and donut which is currently all the rage, debuted yesterday at our favorite confectionary store,Krispy Kreme. Branches all over Luzon serve the croissant-donut hybrid in the name of "KRISPY KROISSANT".

Yesterday I had the first taste of Krispy Kroissant. I was supposedly on no-sugar-no-carbo diet for two weeks but when I got home yesterday, Krispy Kreme surprised me with a box of Krispy Kroissant. It smelt pretty good and the four variants looked so DIVINE when I opened the box. Immediately, my diet was out of the window and I've decided to have some yum yums!

So, what does Krispy Kreme's Krispy Kroissants taste like?

Flakey but chewy, it's a little bit heavier than a croissant but fluffier than a donut. With the vanilla cream inside, there’s an element of the éclair about it. There's a soft crunch when I sank my teeth in, followed by an injection of cream and a whiff of apple cinnamon, thanks to the aromatic taste of cinnamon and the delicate sweetness of apples on top. 

This new tasty treats from Krispy Kreme are insanely addictive. My Krispy Kroissants disappeared in seconds. Other variants are Chocolate, Strawberry and Vanilla Cream. Krispy Kroissants are perfect breakfast sandwich or a snack but you can't have a large Coke, lol!

Tips on how to enjoy the cronut: Peel off the layers one by one like a mille crepe cake or cut with a serrated knife to avoid crushing the layers.

Luca Cucina Italiana Restaurant and Pizzeria, Talipanan Beach, Puerto Gallera

Spaghetti Alla Puttanesca

Stunning views over the blue Puerto Gallera ocean, a warm summer's breeze and the bella Italian food - the only thing the Luca Cucina Italiana Restaurant and Pizzeria is missing is 

The humble Italian restaurant in Talipanan Beach, Puerto Gallera is made like our very own native house, Bahay Kubo but bigger. Constructed with bamboo tied together and covered with thatched roof using nipa/anahaw leaves, the restaurant has relaxing and inviting ambiance to both local and foreign tourists who flocked to the less crowded part of Puerto Gallera. Situated just few meters from the shore, it allow diners to watch the waves lap the shores just beside them.

As we look at the sea view, we enjoyed the flavorful Italian dishes from the restaurant's chef himself Luca. And yes, we ate like an Italian. We had Spaghetti Alla Puttanesca, Mozzarella in Carrozza, Seafood Pizza, and Aglio, Olio e Peperoncino. 

 Aglio, Olio e Peperoncino

I had chocolate shake while waiting for our food to be served. Soon enough, Mozzarella in Carrozza was served. We were in awe with the three large slabs of deep-fried Mozzarella with Sweet Potato Fries. The serving was big and this dish alone can satisfy anyone's hunger.

Our pasta came in, we removed the chillies of traditional lasagne Aglio, Olio e Peperoncino so Ykaie could eat her utmost favorite food. The al dente Spaghetti Alla Puttanesca has a tangy sauce made of Bell pepper, tomatoes, olive oil, olives, capers, and garlic, somewhat salty Italian pasta dish but indeed, a remarkable Italian classic. 

Mozzarella in Carrozza

There is a great range of freshly baked pizzas, cooked to perfection in their oven.  For something appropriate to the scenery, we tried their Seafood Pizza with Tomato, Mozzarella, Tuna, Muscle, Shrimp, Calamares, and Clams toppings. It was real good. 

Luca Cucina Italiana Restaurant and Pizzeria offers an amazing food. We had a lovely experience and there is a strong possibility I shall be dinning here again next year.

Seafood Pizza 

International Release: Button-Up Shirt L.O.G.G. by H&M

H & M Hennes & Mauritz, for me, is a label of graded goods. Looking at their Singapore website, I can say that the Swedish multinational retail-clothing company offers fashion and quality at the best price. So, when exactlly will H&M open a store in the Philippines? 

I've been hearing a lot of buzz about the opening of its Flagship Store in the Philippines. Some say it would be brought by Rustan's to the brand-conscious Filipino consumers. The latest rumor from Yahoo however, is that, the popular clothing brand, H & M, has partnered with for local retailing with SM. But until now, it hasn't materialized.

While waiting, I make shopping H&M at the convenience of my favorite relief goods store, lol! Here's my latest find; Button-Up Shirt L.O.G.G. by H&M. It was big on me when I found it so I had it altered.

Octopus Restaurant: Serving the Best Mango Shake in Puerto Gallera

This refreshment is a mix between a mango smoothie and a milk shake and is smooth, creamy, and absolutely heavenly! Octopus Restaurant in El Canonero Diving Beach Resort is where you can get it. The restaurant is located in Talipanan Beach, west of the famous White Beach, Puerto Gallera.

Kayaking Onto Lumot Lake, Cavinti, Laguna

While celebrities and the privileged are trying the newfound fun water device of jetpacks, Rome and his travel companions were kayaking onto the green waters of Lumot Lake in Porta Verde Resort, Cavinti, Laguna right after the Lumot Lake Tour.

Rome and his cousins were thrilled when they saw colorful kayaks on the shore waiting to be pulled-up onto the lake. There's a minimal fee according to their tour guide. They told him to charge it to their guest folio. They chose and pulled the kayaks to the lake and they paddled across Lumot Lake for a very short time, probably 15 minutes. The kids were very eager to go back to resort's swimming pool for their last plunge before checking out. Rome managed to stay a little bit long and enjoyed the nature that he missed for so long.

Lumot in the local dialect means moss and the green water of Lumot Lake is not ideal for swimming. However, Kayak ride is a fun water sport activity in the rustic resort apart from largemouth bass fishing, waterskiing, lake touring, and rafting.

Breakfast by the Sea in El Canonero, Puerto Gallera

Breakfast in bed is overrated!!!

I'ts been raining every morning for almost a week now and everyone on Facebook and maybe Instagram (yes "maybe" because I don't have an IG account yet) keep on posting breakfast in bed pictures plus emo statuses. So, how about breakfast by the sea for some change.

The free "continental breakfast" of instant coffee, toast, butter and jam ruined the promise of a great morning on our first day so we opted to order the available breakfast dishes from their menu on our second day. Below are the set of breakfasts in El Canonero when we went there last summer. 

I had Corn-Si-Log; corned beef, Sinangag ( garlic rice), and itlog ( fried egg )

Ykaie chose Fried Liempo (Pork Belly) 

Anney opted for Tap-Si-Log; Tapa (cured beef), Sinangag ( garlic rice), and itlog ( fried egg )

...and Peachy had Caprese Bruschetta with added mozzarella.  

Located in Talipanan Beach, Puerto Gallera, El Canonero offers a delightful view of the sea.

Lumot Lake Tour, Cavinti, Laguna

The P5,280 worth of accommodation per night in a Villa in Porta Verde, for a group of 6, includes free Lumot lake tour via motorized boat. They were hesitant to take the free lake tour at first because they will be travelling with the kids but decided to push it through on their second day. The tour ensured safety, providing them with life vest and accommodating boat operator slash tourist guide.

According to Wikipedia, Lake Lumot also known as Sierra Lake is connected to Lake Caliraya and both are man-made lakes. The lakes were the result of water reservoir project located in the towns of Cavinti and Lumban, province of Laguna. In 1943, a large reservoir was built by American engineers to supply water to the Caliraya Hydroelectric Plant. As the dams were constructed, entrepreneurs with foresight created two adjacent communities which were envisioned to be ecological communities, where one can enjoy the beauty and richness of unspoiled nature. The results were man-made mountain lakes complete with coves and sand bars - Lake Caliraya and Sierra Lakes. The Americans also seeded the lake with Largemouth Black Bass imported from the USA, which continue to proliferate and provide game fishers with year-round weekend excitement. If you are into fishing game, there's a bass fishing competition during the months of September up to February here.

There are several islands and islets embraced therein, some are inhabited but most are deserted. The locals who live by the lake represent a very simple life. Rome's memory of his provincial life kicked-in again as he watched the locals fishing and doing their laundry.  Getting around the lake was fantastic. For Rome, it's a scene of a good life.  

The kids were bored; they keep asking how long the Lumot Lake tour takes. It was their last day in the resort and they are more excited to their aunt Anney promise to let them have the last plunge to swimming pool after the tour. 

(Next Post - Kayaking in Lumot Lake)

International Release: V-Neck T-Shirt from H & M

Hey hey hey, its Saturday! What've you got? 

This deep V thing for men from H&M is what I've got but at least two years past its sell-by date. It was a "pasalubong" (homecoming gift) from my cousin in law, Alvin, who arrived from Dubai couple of years ago. It was a growing trend back in that time but I guess not for the self-conscious person like me. The shirt looked low-cut top on me instead of normal v-neck t-shirt because it's a little bit large. I saw male stars and celebrities seem to be wearing that look so convincingly sexy....ughhh but definitely not on me.

A low neckline on a woman is attention grabbing and it’s just the same for men. A slim, toned body is a must and, according to boy bands, a tan and a chest wax to match. Oh well, I had no choice but to wear it because our very coordinated tour planner, Anney, required us to wear something blue. The H & M tshirt is actually comfy and flowy.