Thursday, February 28, 2013

Half Day Bohol Tour Part 3: Mint Choco Hills

Let's continue with our quick trip around Bohol. Last time we visited the tarsiers in the newly built conservation area and considered some items in the Bohol Bee Farm's Gift Shop. For today we'll drive up the town of Carmen to view the Chocolate Hills. En route we passed by the magical man-made forest, comprised mostly of mahogany trees. Lately they have planted more indigenous tree species.
our faces lit up when we saw this sign

we passed by a few solitary hills, like this one, on our way to the viewing point

the hills are green during this time of year

to get to the viewing point, one can either take the stairs or the ramp

I've learned in my visits that the Boholanos are very religious. I don't know if this
has anything to do with the proliferation of papaya trees wherever we go. 

Bohol is usually spared  visits from typhoons, but during our visit the sky was overcast.
Luckily the sun appeared briefly for a few minutes.

Quick Makati Escape: Cocooning in Dusit Thani and Loot from Salcedo and Legazpi Weekend Markets

I love traveling alone. My friends are precious to me, but there are times that I just want downtime on my own. That's the introvert in me speaking--to revitalize myself, I need solitude. 

Another peculiar thing about me is that I don't mind spending all day in a tasteful hotel. I live alone with no help, thus I rely on myself to keep thing spic and span. Unfortunately I'm a rather flaky house-maker, thus the thought of people cleaning and tidying after you is bliss. Thus, I'm a sucker for hotel special offers, the latest of which is via Dusit Thani Hotel.

I had my room upgraded to junior suite. Don't ask me about the extra bed (smile). I can live here for weeks.

After booking my stay, I later discovered that December 21 was the day the Mayans allegedly predicted the end of the world. Oh well, I told myself, should that come to pass, at least I'll end in style. Luckily I'm writing this post, so the world still stands.

I love Thai food, as I fell in love with the cuisine during my visits to Thailand and Pattaya. The prawn fried rice and tom young soup were okay.

The next morning I made a quick trip to the Salcedo Saturday market. Of course, my purchases were food.

Azuthai's Massaman lamb curry with potatoes and peanuts. Rich and saucy,
not gamy at all. Reminds me of caldereta. A little more heat would be nice, though.

Azuthai's prawn salad. It was just okay.
For my best buy, click here.

A few days later I went to the Legazpi Weekend Market. This is my loot: garlicky Cabanatuan longganiza from the Cooking Papas stall (P150); Inang Salud's ensaymada (P180); and a bottle of organic cocoa butter (P190).

This pillow-soft , melts-in-your mouth ensayamda can easily feed 3. It was excellent,
and comparable to Mary Grace's. I prefer my ensaymada salty, and I get that just by
unwrapping it. 

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Half-day Bohol Tour Part 2: Souvenir Shoppin at Bohol Bee Farm's The Buzz

If you're in Panglao Island, drop by the Bohol Bee Farm. You can check-in the resort or try the restaurant (something I'm planning to do the next visit). During our last visit we were lucky our hotel was just a skip away from the Bee Farm. During the first night we tried the quirky ice cream flavors and the squash loaf. Read about it here. The next night we checked out the souvenir shop.
Quirkiness permeates the resort's DNA. Exhibit A

Exhibit B

While shopping you can try the ice cream options.
I love the spicy ginger

A variety of loaves of different makes

this is one of the bestsellers

soaps galore
My loot: mango and honey spread, Bee Natural Moisturizing  Shampoo,
and Bee Natural Innocent Body Lotion. I swear by the shampoo--I have fine, limp hair,
and the shampoo leaves it light and full-bodied
Happy shopping! Let's support small independent merchants.

Bohol Bee Farm and Resort
Dao, Dauis, Panglao Island
(+63) 38 5022288

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

At the Sidcor Sunday Market

Where the Legzapi and Salcedo weekend markets are uppity, the SIDCOR Sunday market is decidedly middle class and a little bohemian. Formerly located at the Lung Center, it has transferred recently to the Eton Centris parking lot, located along EDSA corner Quezon Avenue. To get there I took the MRT ride from EDSA station and alighted at Quezon Avenue station.  
At certain spots, the weekend market looks like your typical palengke
Rule of thumb: always go where the crowd is. This is Mary's Kitchen's stall.
Kain galore!
To escape the building heat, we chose a spot near the stalls selling plants
I always have a weakness for paella negra, but this one's forgettable
I also bought some flavored hopia (bean-filled pastries introduced
by Fujian immigrants). Let's just say these were pretty 
My friend fared better with her choices. Click here to see here purchases.

I love the down-to-earth vibe and the accessibility of the Sidcor Sunday market. Plus, it's close to UP-Diliman, my alma mater, so the nostalgia factor is there.

6 am to 2 pm