Tag Archive | reviews

The Cafe Quay Resto

Let’s give the travel posts a break, shall we? I do miss doing two things that used to be regular on my blog: reviews (especially places to eat) and nail polish posts… both of which are coming back with a vengeance. Soon. :p

One of the factors that inspired me to gather up the diligence to do reviews again was the number of pretty little cafés opening up in Lucena, where I live. Lucena used to be a pretty quiet and understated place – to me, the cooped-up-at-home introvert, at least. But over the past year, one could notice that a modern air was creeping into the territory – quaint little corners, painted in classy shades of grey, white & brown accented by ambient mood lighting were starting to pop up everywhere.

One of those places happen to be the Cafe Quay Resto:
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December 2013/January 2014 – Isla Cabana Resort & Kalinao Resort, Siargao

La Luna Island ResortEnding the travel posts of our New Year’s Siargao trip with this – two gorgeous resorts, one of which we were blessed to be staying in, and one of which we were fortunate to be able to get inside. Come and take a peek with me first into La Luna Island Resort – a definite step up from the resort we stayed in for Surigao, the first part of this trip.

La Luna Island ResortLa Luna Island ResortIsla Cabana ResortLa Luna Island ResortLa Luna Island ResortThe cabin we stayed in was really cozy and comfortable. It gave you the feeling of wanting to curl up in bed and munch on junk food while watching the latest TV shows – which was what I did, come to think of it. 😀 LOL you can’t blame me, it was that comfy! Especially after a rough and rocky boat trip!

The only thing you might have to bring here is bug spray or bug lotion. Some parts of the cabin are exposed to the outside, so bugs just pop out and appear in random places inside the cabin, or worse, in your bed. You can’t really see them, but I did get bitten on the legs quite a bit during our two-night stay here. Our travel companions had similar stories too, so it definitely wasn’t only me. The resort staff would gladly give you bug spray if you request for it, though. 🙂

La Luna Island ResortLa Luna Island ResortLa Luna Island ResortLa Luna Island ResortLa Luna has their own beachfront too, where you can go for a relaxing walk and dip your toes in the (a bit rougher) white sand. The strong beach wind blowing through this area is absolutely divine, perfect for getting into a zen state of mind and those “my hair just flows this beautifully” photo shoots.

https://dannahtan.wordpress.com/2014/02/06/december-2013january-2014-surigao-siargao-part-1/La Luna Island ResortLa Luna Island ResortThis, in turn, makes me wonder – won’t it be chilly to be getting a dip in the pool? Yes, there’s a pool.

La Luna Island ResortLa Luna Island ResortKalinaoLa Luna Island Resort… And my camera pictures end here, because this was the time where Kaia officially died and gave up on me. Seriously, not bringing a battery charger to a place dying to be photographed makes you learn a hard lesson.

As it is, we went walking around one day, and our travel companions decided to eat on this “sosy” place called Kalinao, also a resort.

KalinaoKalinaoYes, this was where I had my first actual risotto. According to what we heard, Kalinao was opened by two French guys who, after having vacationed in Siargao, were so smitten with the place that they decided to come back and put up their own resort. This is definitely one of the upscale ones, with rates for a cabin in the range of tens of thousands in pesos. Of course, we were there to eat and take pictures…

KalinaoKalinaoWith rates of tens of thousands in pesos, I doubt there’ll be bugs lurking around in the luxurious rooms. So if you have money to burn, love a good view and carefully crafted food, go Kalinao. 🙂

SiargaoSiargaoAnd that’s it for Surigao and Siargao! While writing this now, I am reminded of a missed travel opportunity that broke me down a few days ago. The disappointment is still there (will blog soon! Hasn’t it been too long since my last drama blog rant/vent?), but in a weird way, while writing and finishing this post, I am actually reminded of the blessings I have received. Yes, one slipped out of my hands, but I have lots to treasure. With that thought in mind, thank You, Lord – You never fail your children, and that’s a promise I claim. ❤

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Colour of the Week

COLOUR: Orly – Enchanted Forest

To be more accurate, colour of the week… from more than a month ago. LOL gaaaah I’m so behind on blogging right now. Like, more than a month behind… oh yeah, I mentioned that, did I? *brain in blank mode*

It’s amazing how one goes through that phase of not-blogging. It’s almost like a state of mind when you don’t even want to look at it. Maybe it was that amazing one-month trip to Beijing, which I should have been blogging about instantly? It almost feels like when you’re in a relationship that you were really excited about, then comes the part in the middle where something unexplainable eats at you and you have to work hard to keep the spark alive eklavu. LOL I don’t know, but consider this post as a mini-comeback of sorts, started by one of the main reasons I started blogging in the first place – nail polish.

Orly Enchanted ForestJust look at Orly Enchanted Forest. Pretty straightforward name without losing that touch of drama – it’s a gorgeously elegant shade of dark forest green that’s one of those shades that, when seen from a distance, looks black but is not.

Orly Enchanted ForestOrly Enchanted ForestAs I mentioned before, I love that Orly’s polishes come in 18ml bottles, so there’s more polish to enjoy than the normal bottle of nail polish. 🙂

In natural light

In natural light

In natural light

In natural light

In natural light

In natural light

Had to turn up the green on my photos a bit to bring out the colour – there is simply no time to even think about photography right now. Bad excuse, yes. On another hand, look at how glossy it is on its own – no topcoat there!

With flash

With flash

With flash

With flash

Enchanted Forest performed on par with what I expect of Orly polishes from past experience: fluid, goes on smooth, doesn’t go globby, fully opaque in two coats if you’re good (and careful). Such a dreaaam to work with.

With flash

With flash

With flash

With flash

As usual, flash photography captures the colour best. Doesn’t it look regal and sophisticated? 🙂

With flash

With flash

Under artificial light

Under artificial light

Staying power was very decent, lasting 3 days on me before the first chip appeared. I had to take them off by the 5th day. Something I just noticed: you see how little cracks appear on your polish (especially the index fingers) by the 3rd or 4th day? They aren’t so obvious (sometimes nearly invisible) with dark polish. Random fact. 🙂

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Bangihan ni Kuya

DSC_4039You know how you drive through highways in the province, and you always see those big thatched huts that are actually eateries or restaurants? Yeah, we never thought of trying those, but this particular one along the Candelaria highway in Quezon named Bangihan ni Kuya came highly recommended by one of my dad’s friends, so we decided to try it out on one of our recent trips!

DSC_4036DSC_4044DSC_4037The thing with the pricing of this place is that it’s waaay more expensive that it should be. The price and serving size ratio is just not right, which makes it a shame since the food itself is pretty good!

DSC_4041DSC_4056DSC_4042One of the highlights of this place is their grilled pork. The taste is quite similar to Palaisdaan – perfection for me – but again, for the price and serving size it came in, it became such a shame. The fish tasted very good as well, but the ones we ordered weren’t grilled well – some meat still stuck at the bones, meaning it’s not fully cooked.

DSC_4050DSC_4053DSC_4051DSC_4054The sinigang, however, was amazeballs. Yeah, that medium-sized bowl cost more than P350 (again, a little pricey), but man, it was amazing – the best sinigang I’ve ever tasted in my life! Would love to go back just for this!

P.S. The photo above the sinigang is sisig. I love my sisig and everything, but DON’T ORDER IT!

DSC_4045To add insult to injury, the fresh coconuts ordered by our companions were a little sour. 😦

DSC_4032DSC_4029DSC_4049To sum it up, I really wanted to love the place – the place was light and airy, the grills smelled delicious and most of the food were delicious. There were a few hiccups, though, which somehow made me think ours wasn’t an accident. Most of all, I think they need to fix their pricing. Considering the owners aren’t renting the land, and they use minimal electricity, there’s no reason to charge that high!

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Colour of the Week

DSC_4093I’m so updated right now, I’m typing this entry while taking this colour off my nails. LOL it’s summer vacation for a reason, people. 😉

DSC_4099DSC_4101This is Skin Food Nail Vita (I dunno, based on the label) nail polish; I’ve featured a black and a silvery shade of this same polish series before. Today, we have PK211, a Barbie pink that I never would have picked up for myself… but I don’t know why. 😐

In natural light

In natural light

Skin Food PK211

In natural light

I mean, look at it. I don’t normally go for bright colours because they always make my skin seem darker or tanner than it is, but anyway, we make them work, right? PK211 is not bright pink ala-Nicki Minaj type, but it definitely screams Barbie. If you used to have a Barbie and owned a pair of little pink high heels for her, that’s the closest colour I can think of.

In natural light

In natural light

With flash

With flash

It comes out a pastel, so it’s kinda tricky on the first and second coats to maintain even distribution of the colour. This was actually three coats because I was so out of practice  it’s a tricky colour to work with I’m not just good at it anymore. 😀 As you can see, I’m almost halfway through with the bottle as well, and compared to the more quality polishes, it starts to get goopy and everything. Not so good to work with at this point!

With flash

With flash

With flash

With flash

With flash

With flash

Without a topcoat, it held its own for three solid days – not too shabby for the price point, in my opinion! 🙂

Are you digging the colour? Would you get it for yourself?

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Koon Lin Seafood Restaurant, etc.

DSC_4059Just yesterday, we visited the newly-opened restaurant of one of Dad’s friends, named Koon Lin Seafood Restaurant.

DSC_4065DSC_4060DSC_4073At the mention of Chinese restaurants, I always have that love-hate feeling about them – yes, Chinese food is good and all that, but perhaps being exposed to it practically all my life, I don’t feel as much excitement for it as I do for other cuisine. Happy to say that Koon Lin rekindled the “love” in me, though!

DSC_4062DSC_4064DSC_4069It’s a bit upscale, mostly price-wise but also design-wise, for our small city of Lucena. However, what we did notice is that, after a month of business, the place is still very busy with customers, mostly with native Chinese (we call ’em TDK, Fookien people get that!) who have moved their families and businesses to Lucena. We had one teacher from China with us as well, and she echoed the reason why this place has been a hit with its intended market: the food tasted really authentic.

DSC_4077DSC_4075I loved that their fried squid was tender enough to cut through with a spoon. Cannot tell you about the million experiences I had with Chinese restaurants where I had to pull at the squid with everything I got!

DSC_4076My ultimate favorite (which I will be ordering in every Chinese restaurant from now on): eggplant with ground beef and spices! Everything else we ordered was YUM as well.

DSC_4066DSC_4057Fun fact: the phrases on the wall are actually part of a Chinese saying. Anyway, love how the place was tastefully designed! Enough to make you feel like you’re dining in some Chinese restaurant in Manila. 🙂

Koon Lin is actually at the second floor of the building it’s at. In the first floor are two more establishments, owned by the children of Koon Lin’s owner: M2 Miko Miko, which is more like Western dining but with a more casual and relaxed feel, and Chuables (tell me that name is not cute; the family’s name is Chua), which is a bakery.

DSC_4087DSC_4081Chuables is still pretty much reasonably priced, and anything you buy here can be carried into the other two establishments – same goes for the other two restos as well!

DSC_4080DSC_4082DSC_4090Look at that lightbulb fixture! SO CUTE.

DSC_4084DSC_4089The place was also pretty packed, so although our food tasting had to go for next time, that just about sums up how good the food is here. Till next time!

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Palaisdaan, New Lens

How else could I have titled this? Previously blogged about Kamayan sa Palaisdaan before, but since you can never have enough of a good sisig fix, here we were again.

DSC_2878DSC_2862DSC_2864The one I previously wrote about was the “older” one, now managed by the father. You know how a lot of those success stories go: family has an internal blowout (in this case, it’s the dad and son), and one leaves to open up a new one or something. This one is the “new” and more modernly-designed Palaisdaan, with lots of gimmicks and stuff, managed by the son.

For more details, ask the Tayabas locals hahaha. 😀

DSC_2865DSC_2866DSC_2876DSC_2868One of their “gimmicks” (okay, features) include a mini zoo with monkeys, eagles, and a big fat snake. Likey?

DSC_2871DSC_2872DSC_2885On a completely unrelated note, I started playing around with white balance settings… and I like what I see. 😀

DSC_2874DSC_2891DSC_2886This is my mom trying to coax a laugh/smile out of Dan. Dan may be a special child, but he’s like a lot of other brothers I know: once they see a camera, they clam up their mouths and do whatever face that is not a smile, thinking it’s so cool. 😀 Oh brother. (literally)

DSC_2882DSC_2883A lot of people compare the “old” and this “new” Palaisdaan in terms of taste, but personally, I think it’s pretty much the same. Just an excuse to be able to go to Palaisdaan more regularly is enough for me. 🙂

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