Catelinos at Villa Javierto

The campaign trail has brought my colleagues and I to many places… 

Going back to Manila from Camarines Sur, our gastronomical adventure brought us to this house-resto in Tayabas, Quezon. 

It’s called Villa Javierito but the restaurant is “Catalinos”, apparently named after the owner’s patriarch. For a good hearty traditional Filipino meal, you’d want to visit this.

Its themed with old pieces of furniture & windows…overlooking a river and a hill near the boundary of Tayabas & Lucena.

A pako salad with salted egg in vinegrette is a good way to start the meal.

Here’s stir-fried noodles, locally known as “pancit hab-hab”. Best with vinegar.
The place is a good stop-over after a long travel from Bicol, going to Manila.

There is a wide array of antique furniture and kitchen wares. 

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When in Bacolod, enjoy dining at Aboy’s Restaurant

 Just eat it! Hahaha! 


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Taj Mahal

Agra, India — Taj Mahal, as it has been dubbed, is such an expression of great love. We must have all known that by now.

The roads to Agra from New Delhi through the country’s interior roads were a breath of new scenery– away from the traffic, and unsavory surroundings.

Upon reaching Agra, there is a great contrast as you see a backdrop of clean, properly maintained international hotels, and the rather unkept, dirty environment on the streets going to the great Taj Mahal.

You can also found Agra Fort, which is another popular monument in India. 

The experience altogether is good.


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Fascinated with Santa Village At Crosswinds

There is always that child in us. There is a beautiful memory about childhood, a wonderful experience.

So, when we got to the Santa house and Yule store here at Crosswinds Resorts Suites in Tagaytay, my siblings (along with my baby nephew) immediately jumped out of the car for our “tour”.  We had our groupies and selfies taken at the front yard where Santa’s sleigh was parked. We were like little children eager to go around and play.  

The pine trees were all spruced up with Christmas balls, making the trees the biggest Christmas trees I have seen my whole life.

Nothing beats the Crosswinds weather during this time of the year.


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Eat. Drink. Be Merry at Cafe Voila.

Crosswinds Suites, Tagaytay — What else is there left to do after a sumptuous home-cooked supper here? Then, have some dessert and coffee.

Besides, Coffee Bean at the entrance leading to Crosswinds, you can spot Cafe Voila at the so-called Alpine Village. 

I tried honey cinnamon au lait while my sis went for Vietnamese coffee. We can’t just resist that slice of Salted Caramel Cake. QBut only after we finished the home specialty– Voila Pizza!!!

Yum. Hot drink to warm us during the “Baguio” weather here in Tagaytay. 


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Post NY bonding at Crosswinds Resort Suites in Tagaytay

Tagaytay — Voila! Its a New Year, and I ought to write an entry to this blog.

Cool Breeze. Cool Change for 2016.

I am having a great weekend escape here with my family at Swiss-inspired Crosswinds Resort Suites in Tagaytay, my fave getaway from busy Manila.

Traffic was heavy en route Sta. Rosa area and it took us about four hours (rather than the usual two hour-drive) to reach the city proper. But its really worth it, staying away from the holiday stress and simply smelling the Pine Tree breeze here at Crosswinds.

Crosswinds surely beats all the hassle at the other side of  Tagaytay-Calamba Road, which has become so commercialized with the towering condos built in the area.  This resort nestled in Bgy. Irungin  gives you the relaxation you deserve.

Its been drizzling since we arrived but it sure would be very good to trek around in the morning in the middle of the haze. Just communing one with nature spurs the soul….


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1447527393_jean-jullien-paris-for-peace_1As  I write this piece, the lights have dimmed in Paris after the ISIS attacked multiple locations in the City of Lights, including a huge concert hall, a cafe, a crowded bar and areas near the soccer stadium.

Immediately, there is a massive show of condemnation and sympathies from all over the world.  Over 120 people were killed, and 350 people were hurt in what could be dubbed as the deadliest terror attack in Europe ever.

Bloodbath. Terror. Fear. Pitiless. Heartless.

These were just the words used to describe the “attack all over Paris”.

US President Barrack Obama described the attack “not just in Paris, not just in France. But an attack in all of humanity and the universal values that we share.”  French president Francois Hollande called it as an “act of war.”

We were in shock after the 911 attacks in the United States about a decade a half ago.

Definitely, the coordinated attacks in Paris showed much sophistication years after the world witnessed one of the twin towers in the US was ruined by a plane. Then the Pentagon grounds.

There were a number of incidents attributed to suspected terrorists in the Philippines. There was also the Bali bombings in Indonesia, among others.

In the wake of terror and even the neutralisation of Osama bin Laden in the recent years, we still have in our midst the terror attacks in Europe.

What can we do? For now, we Pray for Paris. Pray for PEACE all over the world.

(photo credits: French graphic designer Jean Julien)

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