• New Menu of Cafe Plazuela at the Avenue Plaza Hotel

  • Relax and unwind at La Huerta de Rosario Farm, Baao, CamSur

    Baao, CamSur

  • Travel Guide to Mercedes, CamNorte


Thursday, June 16, 2016

Father's Day Specials in Naga 2016

On this page you will see offers for Father's Day this June 18, 2016 in Naga City.

It's time to reward our hardworking Dads! Celebrate a feast on ocean fresh succulent Lobsters and high-grade Steaks meticulously prepared just to your liking. A culinary haven for your family to delight in this Father's Day. Treat him to a one-of-a-kind buffet spread in Naga City that's fit for a King!

Reserve your tickets for Avenue Plaza Hotel's SUPER DAD LOBSTER AND STEAK Buffet Dinner! Call 473 9999 for ticket reservations.

The Healing Bread in Naga City

Naga City - It's almost one year since The Healing Bread (THB) opened here in our city. Offering healthy bread, buns, wine, cakes, burgers, pasta, pizza but with all organic ingredients. It's only yesterday that I had the chance to stop by THB. Even though Panganiban Drive is a daily route where THB is located, the idea that it's just there made me delay my visit, which I now regret haha.

Probably the only organic garden bakery in Bicol Region to date and Naga City is indeed blessed and lucky to have this kind of place. THB offers artisan breads meaning, distinctively made in small quantities traditionally by hand, making sure that the bread is of high quality and guaranteed fresh. 

This is one place that is totally guilt-free but not sacrificing good taste and flavor. 

They have this Blue Ternate Veggie Pizza which I want to try the next time I visit. The crust is made from the goodness of moringa, oat whole wheat course and watered with guyabano tea. Sounds really really healthy. They have lots of cake too.

Since it was early in the morning, I ordered for take out, Pandesal (3 pcs for P10) and currently my favorite the Moringa Basil Wheat Bread which is perfect for sharing for only P50.

Hoping to come back sooner next time. The mushroom burger, veggie pizza and cakes are on my list!
Let's live healthier, patronize local bakeshops like The Healing Bread. 

Door 8 Duplex 3 Panganiban Drive, Naga City
(Near Naga City Subdivision entrance)
Email: thehealingbread@yahoo.com
Contact No.0917-807-5004 or 0918-663-0534

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Peñafrancia Festival 2016 Schedule of Activities

On this page you will see the schedule of activities for the Peñafrancia Festival 2016. Bookmark this page now for updates!

September 9 (Friday) - Traslacion Procession
September 17 (Saturday) - Fluvial Procession
September 18 - Feast Day of Our Lady of Peñafrancia

The 134th Divino Rostro and the 306th Peñafrancia Annual Festivities GENERAL SCHEDULE FOR 2016

General Theme: Jesus Christ, the face of God’s mercy, nourishes the family in the Eucharist (Si Jesu Cristo, an lawog kan pagkaherak kan Dios, nagpapakakan kan familia sa Eucaristia)

August 30 (Tuesday) 5:00 pm: Mass & Procession of the Divino Rostro from Basilica to Penafrancia Parish Church with Caceres Clergy (All Divino Rostro Novena Masses will be held at the Our Lady of Peñafrancia Parish Church)

August 31 (Wednesday) - DAY FOR THE FAMILIES AND THE LAITY Theme: 4:00 am: Penitential Procession and Pilgrimage (Pilgrims: Mater Salutis, Cararayan; Mt. Carmel, Carolina) 5:00 am: Novena Mass (Bikol) 8:30 am: Harubay (c/o Our Lady of Peñafrancia Association) 4:00 pm: Confessions 5:00 pm: Novena Mass (English) (Naga Parochial School; PCFC)

September 1 (Thursday) – DAY FOR THE YOUTH Theme: 4:00 am: Penitential Procession and Pilgrimage (Pilgrims: Tabuco; Gainza: Fil-Chinese Community –Fatima) 5:00 am: Novena Mass (Bikol) 4:00 pm: Confessions 5:00 pm: Novena Mass (English) (Naga College Foundation; Aeronautical Academy of the Philippines) 8:30 pm: Perdon Penitential Procession

September 2 (Friday) – DAY FOR EDUCATORS, TEACHERS, AND MEDIA PRACTITIONERS Theme: 4:00 am: Penitential Procession and Pilgrimage (Pilgrims: St. Jude Thaddeus; Immaculate Conception) 5:00 am: Novena Mass (Bikol) 4:00 pm: Confessions 5:00 pm: Novena Mass (English) (CSNHS; STI; AMA Computer College) 8:00 pm: Alay ki Ina (Basilica c/o Oremos)

September 3 (Saturday) - DAY FOR THE CHILDREN Theme: 4:00 am: Penitential Procession and Pilgrimage (Pilgrims: Our Lady of the Assumption, Canaman, CS) 5:00 am: Novena Mass (Bikol) 7:00 am: Pontifical Mass & Installation of new OLPA members: Archbishop Rolando Tria Tirona (Basilica) 4:00 pm: Confessions 5:00 pm: Novena Mass (English) (MPC; WRI) 7:00 pm: Cofradía de San José Vigil (Basilica) 8:30 pm: Perdon Penitential Procession

September 4 (Sunday) – DAY FOR THE RELIGIOUS MEN AND WOMEN OF CACERES Theme: 4:00 am: Penitential Procession and Pilgrimage (Pilgrims: Religious Men & Women of Caceres) 5:00 am: Novena Mass (Bikol) 4:00 pm: Confessions 5:00 pm: Novena Mass (English) (UNEP Iriga City)

September 5 (Monday) – DAY FOR THE SICK, THE ELDERLY AND HEALTH WORKERS Theme: 4:00 am: Penitential Procession and Pilgrimage (Pilgrims: Cathedral & Lorenzo Ruiz, Abella) 5:00 am: Novena Mass (Bikol) 4:00 pm: Confessions 5:00 pm: Novena Mass (English) (USANT Iriga City; Computer Communications Institute) 8:30 pm: Perdon Penitential Procession

September 6 (Tuesday) – DAY FOR THE POOR AND PRISONERS Theme: 4:00 am: Penitential Procession and Pilgrimage (Pilgrims: San Francisco Parish, Naga City) 5:00 am: Novena Mass (Bikol) 4:00 pm: Confessions 5:00 pm: Novena Mass (English) (UNC; BISCAST)

September 7 (Wednesday) – DAY FOR PRIESTS AND SEMINARIANS Theme: 4:00 am: Penitential Procession and Pilgrimage (Pilgrims: Our Lady of Prompt Succor, Haring, Canaman, CS) 5:00 am: Novena Mass (Bikol) 4:00 pm: Confessions 5:00 pm: Novena Mass (English) (USI; NCSHS)

September 8 (Thursday) – DAY FOR THE GOVERNMENT LEADERS AND WORKERS Theme: 4:00 am: Penitential Procession and Pilgrimage (Pilgrims: St. Anthony of Padua, Camaligan, CS) 5:00 am: Novena Mass (Bikol) 4:00 pm: Confessions 4:00 pm: Formal Opening, Bishop Gainza Trade Fair (Elias Angeles Street) 5:00 pm: Novena Mass (English) (AdeNU; Brentwood College of Asia International School)

September 9 (Friday) – FEAST OF THE DIVINO ROSTRO Theme: 4:00 am: Penitential Procession of the Image of INA from Basilica to Penafrancia Parish Church 5:30 am: Pontifical Mass: Archbishop Rolando Tria Tirona 6:30 am: Community Mass (and every hour and a half thereafter)

NOVENA MASSES IN HONOR OF OUR LADY OF PEÑAFRANCIA Theme: The Eucharist: the source of Christian marriage and family life (FC 57) 12:00 nn: Start of Traslacion Procession of Delegates from schools, institutions, and organizations 1 – 5 pm: Masses (Cathedral) and Confessions (Minor Seminary Arches) 2:00 pm: Community Mass at Plaza de Covarrubias 3:30 pm: TRASLACION PROCESSION 5:30 pm: Pontifical Mass (Quadricentennial Arch) Archbishop Rolando Tria Tirona 7:00 pm: Community Mass (Cathedral)

September 10 (Saturday) – DAY FOR THE YOUTH Theme: Heralds of God’s love and mercy in the family through the Eucharist 3 – 7 pm: Confessions (Minor Seminary Arches) 5:00 pm: Novena Mass (English) Quadricentennial Arch, Archbishop Rolando Tria Tirona

September 11 (Sunday) – DAY FOR THE RELIGIOUS Theme: Eucharist: Strengthening consecrated life for ministry to the family 3 – 7 pm: Confessions (Minor Seminary Arches) 5:00 pm: Novena Mass (English) 9:00 pm: Marian Procession (Cathedral Grounds)

September 12 (Monday) – DAY FOR THE CHILDREN Theme: Eucharist, a family sacred banquet nurturing Christ’s mercy 3 – 7 pm: Confessions (Minor Seminary Arches) 5:00 pm: Novena Mass (English) 8:00 pm Marian Procession (Cathedral Grounds) 10:00 pm: Perdon Procession along the major streets of Naga City

September 13 (Tuesday) – DAY FOR EDUCATORS, TEACHERS AND MEDIA PRACTITIONERS Theme: Eucharist: Teaching the Christian way of thinking, acting and living 6:00 am: Pontifical Mass, Diocese of Virac, Bishop Manolo de los Santos 8:00 am: Pontifical Mass, Diocese of Libmanan, Bishop Jose R. Rojas 3-7 pm: Confessions (Minor Seminary Arches) 3:00 pm: Union of Bicol Clergy (Holy Rosary Minor Seminary) 5:00 pm: Novena Mass (English) 8:00 pm Marian Procession (Cathedral Grounds) 10:00 pm: Perdon Procession along the major streets of Naga City

September 14 (Wednesday) – DAY FOR THE SICK, THE ELDERLY AND HEALTH WORKERS Theme: Eucharist: Radiating God’s tenderness and mercy even in the midst of pain and poverty 6:00 am: Pontifical Mass, Diocese of Daet, Bishop Gilbert Garcera 3-7 pm: Confessions (Minor Seminary Arches) 5:00 pm: Novena Mass (English) 8:00 pm Marian Procession (Cathedral Grounds) 10:00 pm: Perdon Procession along the major streets of Naga City

September 15 (Thursday) – DAY FOR THE POOR & PRISONERS Theme: Christ’s sacrifice in the Eucharist, wellspring of hope and comfort in life’s difficulties 3:00 am: Penitential Procession of INA and Divino Rostro 6:00 am: Pontifical Mass, Diocese of Sorsogon, Bishop Arturo Bastes 3-6 pm: Confessions (Minor Seminary Arches) 5:00 pm: Novena Mass (English) 6:00 pm: Union of Bikol Clergy Mass (Cathedral) Bishop Gilbert Garcera 7:30 pm: Confessions (Cathedral) 8:00 pm: Marian Procession (Cathedral Grounds)

September 16 (Friday) – DAY FOR PRIESTS AND SEMINARIANS Theme: Priestly devotion to the Eucharist, the heartbeat of God’s mercy in every family 3:00 am: Penitential Procession of INA and Divino Rostro 6:00 am: Pontifical Mass, Diocese of Masbate, Bishop Jose Bantolo 10:00 am: Pontifical Mass, Military Ordinariate, Bishop Leopoldo Tumulak 3-7 pm: Confessions (Minor Seminary Arches) 5:00 pm: Novena Mass (English) 8:00 pm: Marian Procession (Cathedral Grounds) 9:00 pm: Vigilia de Espigas, Adoracion Nocturna Filipina

September 17 (Saturday) – DAY FOR GOVERNMENT LEADERS & WORKERS Theme: Devotion to the Eucharist: Committed safeguarding of the life and dignity of God’s families 3:00 am: Penitential Procession of INA and Divino Rostro 6:00 am: Pontifical Mass, Archdiocese of Caceres, Archbishop Rolando Tria Tirona 10:00 am: Pontifical Mass, Diocese of Legazpi, Bishop Joel Baylon 12:000 nn: Ringing of Bells 2:00 pm: Community Mass (Quadricentennial Arch) Community Mass (Tabuco Bridge Landing) 4:00 pm: FLUVIAL PROCESSION 4-6 pm: Confessions (Basilica Grounds) 6:30 pm: Pontifical Mass (Basilica Grounds) Archbishop Socrates Villegas

September 18 (Sunday)SOLEMNITY OF OUR LADY OF PEÑAFRANCIA Theme: Jesus Christ, the face of God’s mercy, nourishes the family in the Eucharist 6:30 am: Pontifical Mass (Basilica) Bishop Gilbert Garcera 8:00 am: Pontifical Mass (Basilica) Archbishop Rolando Tria Tirona 9:30 am: Pontifical Mass (Basilica) Bishop Jose Rojas 11:00 am: Pontifical Mass (Basilica) Bishop Lucilo Quiambao 6:00 pm: Pontifical Mass (Basilica) Bishop Manolo de los Santos

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Pedal Power Bike Tour 2.0

Pedal Power 2.0 Bike Tour Event
June 12, 2016 Sunday 6AM @ Plaza Rizal

Last pre-registration is on June 10 &11 1pm to 5pm @ Plaza 
Rizal Naga City! Get a Chance to Win Fixie bike & many more prizes! Registration: Php 100(with minor raffle ticket),  Php 200(major raffle ticket).
Come & join our epic journey!
for more info: 09056434562

Monday, May 30, 2016

Alaska World Milk Day - Naga City Leg

Naga City  - Maogmang Lugar will be part of the World Milk Day on June 11, which is annually celebrated in many countries worldwide. Alaska will be holding a running event in Taguig, SM Seaside Cebu, SM City Davao and in our very own SM City Naga. Alaska aims to provide an opportunity to focus attention on milk as a global food central to health and well-being across cultures and nations, and to highlight the contributions connected with milk and the overall dairy industry. The SM City Naga leg will have two (2) categories: 3KM, 3KM Family and 5KM.

Provinces (Onsite Registration only)
3K – P300
5K – P500

For more details visit http://www.alaskaworldmilkday.com/

Image Source: http://www.alaskaworldmilkday.com/

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Olympia Gym, Now Avenue Fitness

Naga City - Avenue Plaza Hotel upgrades its Olympia Gym to Avenue Fitness. Always the first of its kind from the first premiere lifestyle center in Magsaysay Avenue. Where fitness isn't just muscles and more than being healthy, but having fun as an important value in the equation.

Got lucky to have a sneak peak in this beautiful gym. To begin with, pastel colors are in every corner of the gym. Industrial type of design but trendy and worthy of a selfie and not just having a background of a makeshift gym like what others do. Avenue Fitness still has this minimalist type of design in my point of view. Sweating it all out in a gym is beauty in itself. You will not only feel good and your gym as your environment contributes a lot to your overall state of balance after every workout. 

Follow the lines
Avenue Fitness is a three level gym, with lockers, sauna, shower rooms and including the infinity pool.
This time, there are lots of motivational lines and quotes on the wall.
With topnotch and upgraded gym facility. 
"Instagrammable" backgrounds are all around. 

Introducing the Synrgy360, the first of its kind in Naga City. Where you and your friends can definitely enjoy the facility altogether. 


Life Fitness pioneered the SYNRGY360 concept to create transformational and inspiring fitness experiences for a diverse audience of exercisers. It is ideal for dynamic small group training, one-on-one personal training, and for individual exercisers.

Each unit is modular, which means that a facility has nearly limitless options of how to build the optimal solution for its exercisers. The groundbreaking concept provides opportunities to offer exciting small group training to anyone in your facility.
Read more at: https://www.lifefitness.com/facility/products/synrgy360

The following are the Avenue Fitness Gym Equipment

Cardio Equipment: Treadmill, Crosstrainer, Recumbent Bike, Lateral Octane, Water Rower, Spinning Bike.
Selectorized Strength Equipment: Hip Abduction and Adduction Machine, Smith Machine, Leg Curl Machine, Chest Incline Machine, Pec Deck Fly Machine, Shoulder Press Machine, Bicep Curl Machine, Leg Press Machine
Free Weights and Benches: Solid End Rubber Dumbbells, Loose Plates, Abdominal Benches, Flat Bench, Inclined Bench
Functional Training Equipment: 
Life Fitness USA Synergy 360 XL with Accessories such as: Jungle Gym XT, Medicine Ball, Resistance Bands, Battling Rope, Kettlebelle Set, Punching Bag
Group Exercise Studio

They always have a water rower, which I was really amazed of. Ever wonder how it is to be a member of the Dragon Boat team? Well, Avenue Fitness has that experience for you. 

Forgot to take a photo of the group exercise studio. It has a surround sound system that will pump your every move with good music. Plus full length mirrors which will allow you to video your dance if you want to. 

Now we have here the membership types and privileges.

Register for the Premium Membership with lots of privileges like: 
  • A-Fitness Premium Membership Card
  • A-Fitness Gym Kit, Apparel and Accessories
  • Ten (10) Complimentary Starter Training Sessions with Fitness Coach
  • Complimentary* Use of Infinity Pool
  • Complimentary* Use of Sauna
  • Complimentary* Day Sessions for up to Eight (8) Guests
  • Customized Big and Small A-Fitness Towel
  • Membership to Avenue Plaza Hotel The Luxe Club (with loads of perks and discounts in the hotel)
  • Exclusive Discounts on Personal Training and Health Activity Programs
  • Access and use of Standard Fitness Locker
Notice that the premium membership is highly personalized with perks not only for you but for your guests as well.

The Quarterly Membership has the following privileges: 
  • A-Fitness Premium Membership Card
  • A-Fitness Gym Kit
  • Four (4) Complimentary Starter Training Sessions with Fitness Coach
  • Complimentary* Use of Infinity Pool
  • Complimentary* Access to Aerobics and Group Classes
  • Complimentary* Use of Sauna
  • Complimentary* Day Sessions for up to Five (5) Guests
  • Access and use of Standard Fitness Locker
They also have the Monthly Membership just in case you just want a different experience in your life for month. All membership includes fitness assessment and health Screening and complimentary use of parking space.

Other programs available are Personal Training, Swimming Program, TRX® Suspension Training

Be a premium member and get The Luxe Card with loads of perks and privileges from Avenue Plaza Hotel

There's a whole lot more of exciting and fun stuff at the new upgraded gym of Avenue Plaza Hotel. Come visit to appreciate. Be an A Fit Member today!

Operating Hours:
Monday to Saturday: 7:00 am to 10:00 pm 
Sunday: 8:00 am to 6:00 pm

For inquiries regarding membership and privileges: 
Facebook: Avenue Fitness

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Naga City, CamSur Election 2016 Results

On this page you will see the election results in Naga City.
Source: https://www.electionresultsph2016.com

Member, House of Representatives Camarines Sur - 3rd District
Bordado, Gabriel Jr (LP) 99,997
Villafuerte, Luis (NPC) 80,935

As of  May 10, 2016 09:08 am - 100% Transmission Progress for Naga City

Bongat, John (LP) 44,012
Mendoza, Tato (IND) 21,109
Ortega, Luis (IND) 814

Legacion, Nelson (LP) 39,418
Sergio, David Casper Nathan (IND) 20,904
Calleja, Bebot (IND) 1,289

Member, Sangguninang Panlungsod
1. De Asis, Nene (LP) 42,592
2. Abonal, Greg (LP) 37,596
3. Rañola, Sonny (LP) 35,111
4. Baldemoro, Elmer (LP) 34,069
5. Arroyo, Miles (LP) 33, 933
6. Lavadia, Jun (LP) 33,786
7. Del Rosario, Lito (LP) 32,834
8. Castillo, Vidal (LP) 32,237
9. Rentoy, Ray-An (LP) 31,035
10. Del Castillo, Buddy (LP) 30,416
11. Albeus, DocJess (NPC) 26,972
12. Peñas, bong (NPC) 18,824
13. Santos, Anjo (NPC) 12,954
14. Morano, Joeltire (IND) 11,208
15.Abragan, Ernie (NPC) 10,559

Monday, April 18, 2016

Cafes in Naga City: Cafe '91

Naga City - I guess we shall never stop having new cafes here in our city. I have written many reviews and I'm running out of words to uniquely describe each new coffee shop. But as long as there is something unique in the cafe, then there will be no difficulty as to how we can showcase them. Since we cannot control the growth of cafes, we need to look for their uniqueness and show to everyone how they differ and how they are competitive to one another. The more options there are, the happier the customers are.

Here's one cafe in Naga exploring on the cranky and creative side of drinks and food. More like events and persons becoming names of drinks and food. Just like the Birthday Frappe or Debutante Frappe. But let's start first as to where this cafe is located.

Cafe '91 is located at Glam Theme Boutique (GTB), right in front of Tapsi Terminal along Magsaysay Avenue. Technically, GTB is the first boutique with an in-house cafe in Naga City. This cafe will never go wrong as to its location since it's right in the gastronomic and entertainment strip of Naga. The concept of GTB is basically SHOP, DINE and CHILL. The boutique is not entirely for ladies, they also have apparels for men as well as kids. Accessories of all sorts from well known and trusted online sellers in Naga comprises the shop. HERE's a blog post featuring Glam Theme Boutique.

Menu of Cafe '91 starts with The Eats like: Nachos, Fries, The Carbonara, The Red Pasta, Grilled Cheese Sandwich, S'more Sandwich, Rocky Road Brownies. Price ranges from  P35 to P109. The Nachos and Fries which are best sellers, come with black beans. So, if you're not fond of them, you can always tell them not to include black beans in your order. 

For Frappes, Cafe 91 offers: Birthday Frappe, Boozy Banana, Mango Yogurt, S'mores Frappe, Brownies Frappe, Coffe and Donut Frappe, Snickers Frappe, Happy Birthday Frappe and the Debutante Frappe. Price ranges from P99 to P149.

They also have lemonades such as Blueberry, Strawberry, Green Apple and Fruit Punch for only P79.
Flavored soda is only at P89 with choices like Blueberry, Strawberry and Green Apple. 

What I really enjoy in this cafe is the opportunity to do multi-tasking lol. I know the ladies can support me on this, window shopping is already therapeutic, shopping in a very affordable boutique is a medicine for the budget conscious plus having presented the food of Cafe '91? It's just pure satisfaction guaranteed. At least ladies, your partners will never get bored waiting for you to choose your clothes because they can order a drink or food, right?

Now here are some of the actual offerings of Cafe '91

Snickers Frappe and S'mores Sandwich

The Red Pasta

Your choice of lemonade and The Carbonara or any other combination

One of my faves, S'mores Frappe

Another favorite too for the non-coffee based drink, Mango Yogurt Frappe

Birthday Frappe perfect for the birthday celebrant or just when you feel like a vanilla based frappe.

Nachos, Grilled Cheese Sandwich and The Carbonara. 
For best taste, consume the Grilled Cheese sandwich while still warm.
Flavored soda are now in glasses instead of plastic ones

The Anatomy of the Specialty Frappes
The Happy Birthday Frappe, an overloaded frappe with all the sweetness of chocolates and special biscuits
My top recommended food will be the S'mores Frappe, Snickers Frappe, Mango Yogurt Frappe, Grilled Cheese Sandwich, The Red Pasta and also the fries. It's really amazing how the owner just adds up something new on the menu as the days pass by. Personally, the menu seems to fit the personalities of our teenagers and the young at heart. So there, if you haven't visited this shop, Cafe '91 is so easy to find along Magsaysay Avenue and tell us your feedback and your favorites too.

Cafe '91 at Glam Theme Boutique
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/cafe91ph/
Instagram: @cafe91ph
DSI Building, Magsaysay Avenue
In front of Tapsi Terminal
Store Hours: 12 nn to 12 am

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Getting a Car in Naga, Bicol

Getting a car in Naga and Bicol has been very convenient for us Bicolanos nowadays. With most of the showrooms located in Choose PILI, showroom hopping has never been this easy. (No wonder why the volume of cars is increasing here in Bicol)

It's the time of the year for us to scout for our next family car. We have options now, but the question is, who can offer the most competitive price 😁. 

One Saturday afternoon, we managed to visit at least 6 showrooms here in Naga and Pili such as Ford, Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Chevrolet and Subaru. We still haven't checked out Suzuki Auto Naga Hyundai Naga City Hyundai - Naga City Branch and Mitsubishi Naga/Caleb Motor Corporation. 

Considering that our "choosing stage" usually takes a year just like with our existing car, we still have a few more months to go. Number one consideration is the budget and of course the use of the car so to speak. We are not rich, we just make sure to make ends meet comfortably. 

In just a matter of time, perhaps to TEST DRIVE them is a must and then share to you guys the best options that we can get as customers is something that I also envision (plus to tick off my bucket list in driving different kinds of cars lol 😂).
And so I guess, stay tuned on how everything will go in the next months to come.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Where to eat in Albay: Balay Cena Una

Daraga, Albay - You may have heard of Culinaria Albay in the news or saw it on any online social media. Albay through the leadership of Gov. Joey Salceda, has been very active when it comes to social media promotion of what is there to offer in the province of Albay. When visiting Albay, particularly Daraga, you might want to consider visiting this beautiful restaurant aesthetically and culinary wise. This is just a small part of Culinary Albay.

Balay Cena Una is a restaurant in Daraga Albay famous enough to be known as one of the best kept secrets. It's a secret since it's not located in the main thoroughfares of Daraga, but then again it's not really that far. The name of the restaurant basically means "Sinaunang Bahay" or perhaps a not so exact translation in English would be "(One of the) first house/s".

How to get there (lifted from the website of Balay Cena Una: F. Lotivio Street intersects Rizal St. near the Daraga Covered Court, Honda Motortrade, and Daraga Bakery. These establishments are all at the corner of  F. Lotivio Street. If you turn into F. Lotivio, the restaurant is about 250m from Honda Motortrade. It is across the street from the Abaca factory of Shelmed Cottage Treasures. Alternately, you may also turn into Arboleda St, with Caltex Daraga as the landmark. This street curves  toward F. Lotivio. The restaurant is at the very end of Arboleda street. 

Image Source: http://www.balaycenauna.com/

I am almost always mesmerized by old structures andhouses. Balay Cena Una is an ancestral house beautifully restored and converted into a fine dining restaurant. A traditional structure but with a world-class gastronomic menu awaits you. Dishes are beautifully presented, again both with a touch of being international but with sense of being locally flavored. Use of local ingredients is highly noticeable in this restaurant. 

From the outside, the house is already lovely. The restaurant is on a corner road, easily noticeable as it gleans with so much story, just by how it stands with exquisite windows. We were at Balay Cena Una for an early dinner. After ordering, we decided to roam around the restaurant. Our table was on the ground floor near the collections of various kinds of the nativity scene (btw, we visited one December Saturday afternoon). We were told that the usual displays are miniature and wooden toy cars. They also have a collection of different kinds of owls. Seems like it that many are even sourced from abroad. According to one of the staff, kids who visit the place would usually count the number of owls on the display. 

The whole place is air-conditioned. I just love how the management is able to maintain the "freshness" of the place. This really is an Albay gem, no need to go to Vigan or even Intramuros just to have a feel of an old but exquisite place. One more thing that makes it more attractive for me is the coolness of the place plus the smell of the wood, makes me feel like I'm in Baguio too. The smell may not be that of a pine tree but it's the same feeling anyway.

House Chef's Salad
All available in-season greens, tomatoes, cucumber, ham, cheese, and other ingredients that the Chefs deliciously create for an appetizing healthy opener.

Now let's go to the menu. Balay Cena Una might be a fine dining restaurant and you might be thinking that the tags might be pricey. Well personally, with this kind of set up and ambiance plus the serving size of the food and friendly staff? The rates per dish are surprisingly decent and still affordable. They serve Appetizers, Salas and Soups, Entrees and Desserts.

Of no doubt nor to exaggerate, the food that we have tasted were darn good. Truly unique flavor using local ingredients partnered with international culinary practices. Close to perfection!

Pasta Bolognese
Italy's favorite dish from Bologna. The secret for authentic cooking is the long simmer in milk of ground beef and lean pork combined. Notice the soft, cotton-like texture of the sauce. Pasta is al dente and, if preferred, freshly made from our kitchen.
I had this Pasta Cena Una Especial, and boy this is DEFINITELY A MUST TRY. You won't find this in ANY restaurant in BICOL.
Pasta Cena Una Especial
The sauce is not the usual, but a perfect marriage of coconut milk and saffron, thus the brilliant golden color that gives it is appetizing look. With a shrimp on top to complete the dish.
Chicken/Pork Adobo in Rosemary
Exclusive from Cena Una, this is a take-off from France's famous Coq au Vin. Their version has additional secret ingredients that make it taste more like a local dish.

Beautiful stairs with intricate wood works are all around you.

I was with my Bicol Bloggers family last December and we really enjoyed dining at Cena Una.
Even though it was my first time to dine in Balay Cena Una, this experience was totally different from what we have here in Naga City. Locals say that they also serve the best desserts in town. Hoping that I'll be able to visit Cena Una again in the future. I might be biased in saying that it is the best restaurant in Albay, but hey can you blame me? I had a very nice experience in this restaurant and as of the moment, yeah they are the best in town.

 A seat for two, perfect for partners. Romantic, really.

Sunday Lunch buffet as of March 2016 starts at P420 as posted on their Facebook Page with more or less 15 or more dishes to choose from.  Imagine a buffet with all the best from their menu. I bet this price will be justifiable. 

Thank you Balay Cena Una, it was really a fun and heartwarming experience in Daraga, Albay because of you. Hope to dine again with you soon!

Balay Cena Una
F. Lotivio St. Bgy. Bagumbayan
Philippines 4501
Restaurant Hours: Monday to Saturday: 10:00 am to 10:00 pm
Sunday: 11:00 am to 9:00 pm Sunday Buffet: 11:30 am to 2:30 pm
Tel: +63.52.435.4338
Mobile: +63.917.827.9520
Visit them at: www.balaycenauna.com