Taipei Itinerary: 4D3N with Friends

If you plan in advance, it doesn’t happen, but when you viber each other late at night that PAL tickets from Manila to Taipei are on sale at US$75, you all end up booking a trip on the spot!  At least that’s what happened with me and my high school friends Grach, Pauline, Jane, Isang, and Charlene.   Continue reading “Taipei Itinerary: 4D3N with Friends”

Lake Pandin

We spent the day at Lake Pandin, Laguna one day last month.  It’s a 2.5-hour drive from Metro Manila, and you have to leave your car in a small, unpaved parking lot and get to the lake on foot.  There is simply no way to drive there directly.

The facilities of the lake are definitely rustic and third world, but the lake is unspoiled and beautiful. Pandin is cared for and run by about 20 locals who operate the bamboo rafts as well as prepare the food, and guests are asked to register with a woman they refer to as “Pangulo.” They can serve you lunch on the raft (fresh caught tilapia and bangus from the lake) or you can opt for just the balsa ride.


The lake is clean enough to swim in but there are no changing rooms or even proper toilets around the lake (just a rather dirty makeshift toilet and you have to pay P5.00 per head to enter). We all changed into dry clothes in the car.

Also there is a 20 minute trek through a narrow dirt road from the parking lot to the lake, and it gets really muddy when it rains. The path sometimes slopes uphill or down, and I wouldn’t recommend it for seniors or very young kids. John had to carry Naomi both ways and it wasn’t easy. Still we all really enjoyed our day at the lake, and the kids are calling it “an adventure.”


  1. Ideal for kids 6 and up, not suitable for very young children, seniors, or disabled.
  2. Bring your own water and snacks for the balsa ride if you don’t intend to order food (they serve fresh fish, rice, and vegetables).
  3. You can also order a fresh coconut to sip on, which is a nice touch but they don’t serve them cold since they don’t have refrigerators.
  4. Best to go in good weather (no rain).
  5. Wear swimsuits if you want to go in the water, but be ready to change in the car.
  6. You can also text in advance to make reservations – 0907-9952983 or 0929-9789565.

LAKE PANDIN, San Pablo, Laguna *you can simply enter “Lake Pandin” on Waze



There are a gazillion posts burning a hole in my Drafts folder and I promised myself I’d start publishing them one by one.  I wanted to start with Vien, my cousin Mark’s restaurant in NYC.  Named after Mark’s mom, my beloved Aunty Vivian, Vien serves fast, healthy, Asian fare.

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Vien lets you build your own bowl (or takeout box) by choosing your base (rice, noodles, quinoa, or salad) and your main (grilled beef, pulled pork, lemongrass chicken, turmeric tofu, or roasted vegetables) + your garnishes, sauces, and sides.  It’s basically the kind of food I would love to have for lunch everyday, if I lived in New York!  So good!

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Learn more about Vien here, or visit them at 220 Varick Street.


Bliss Bowls: Eat Like You Love Yourself

Last January, my partners and I launched our passion project — Bliss Bowls,  Manila’s first smoothie bowl bar. Continue reading “Bliss Bowls: Eat Like You Love Yourself”

World Street Food Congress: Survivial Tips

So yesterday, I braved the crowds at World Street Food Congress 2016 (WSFC), and here’s what happened. Continue reading “World Street Food Congress: Survivial Tips”

Adventure Zone at Shangri-la at The Fort

Sometime last March, John and I randomly decided to pop by the newly-opened Shangri-la at The Fort, and we got to check out Adventure Zone, the kids’ play area operated by Kerry Sports Manila.  I personally think that all family hotels should have at least one small room dedicated to a play area! Continue reading “Adventure Zone at Shangri-la at The Fort”

Bangkok: A Guide for Vegetarians

Lorina Tan is a 20-something food-lover  who was based in Thailand for 2 years.  I met her through the blog when she sent me samples Continue reading “Bangkok: A Guide for Vegetarians”

Off the Beaten Path: Family-Friendly Places to Visit in Manila

Sometimes it takes a fresh pair of eyes to see your city in a whole new light, and today I’m excited to share a list of things to do in Manila from a rather unlikely source.

Continue reading “Off the Beaten Path: Family-Friendly Places to Visit in Manila”

Family Fun at Dreamplay, City of Dreams Manila

We finally made it to DreamPlay, the interactive play center operated by DreamWorks Studios at City of Dreams Manila. Continue reading “Family Fun at Dreamplay, City of Dreams Manila”

Apericena at Seda BGC

Happy hour is something we are all very familiar with, but have you heard of Apericena?  It basically means “apertivo + dinner” and has become quite the trend in Italy — you buy yourself a drink, and get to enjoy a buffet of appetizers for FREE! Continue reading “Apericena at Seda BGC”

What to Expect: The Gourmand Market

The Gourmand Market will be back in BGC next weekend, and I dropped by the media preview to check out some of the amazing eats that we can all look forward to. Continue reading “What to Expect: The Gourmand Market”

Weekend Snaps: Our Seda BGC Staycation

Over the recent long weekend, my family and I were invited to an overnight stay at Seda Hotel in BGC.  They generously provided two rooms for us, which means John and I had our own room, while the kids shared a room with the yayas.  Continue reading “Weekend Snaps: Our Seda BGC Staycation”

Cathay Pacific and Citibank Travel Fair 2015: Buy 1 and Get 2nd Ticket at US$50

So yesterday, I went to Powerplant to check out the Cathay Pacific and Citibank Travel Fair.  I got there at 11:05 am, thinking I’d be one of the first in line… Continue reading “Cathay Pacific and Citibank Travel Fair 2015: Buy 1 and Get 2nd Ticket at US$50”

Sneak Peek: Our KidZania Manila Experience

My family has been waiting for KidZania Manila to open ever since they started constructing their 8,000+ sqm space on Park Triangle BGC.  So guess how excited I was to receive an invitation to a special preview in my inbox?

Continue reading “Sneak Peek: Our KidZania Manila Experience”

Hanoi Eats: Gourmet Corner

My cousin Queen read up on a lot of Hanoi restaurants on Tripadvisor prior to our trip.  Gourmet Corner was ranked as the city’s 6th best restaurant, and we decided to have lunch Continue reading “Hanoi Eats: Gourmet Corner”