• New Menu of Cafe Plazuela at the Avenue Plaza Hotel

  • Breakfast and Merienda at Que Pasa Naga

    Run for Wellness 6

  • Jimmy and Tang's Restaurant


Monday, October 5, 2015

Survey: Top Local Restaurants, Bars, Kinalasan and Cafes in Naga City

You can also take the Survey here http://goo.gl/forms/9jaqAdVkcV

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Bicol Bloggers for Top Emerging Influential Blogs for 2015

Naga City, Bicol - Blogging in this side of the country is something that everybody is not really oriented about. Perhaps there are a number who are knowledgeable but only a few truly understands how this passion works. Blogging is not my profession, but over the six years I'm thankful that I was able to manage www.nagacitydeck.com while having my day job. Blogging became a part of my daily life. I never joined any contest or blogging events in Manila because of the distance and expenses. Honestly I envy those who are in Metro Manila because they all have the easy access on how to make their blogs better for their readers, you guys are so damn lucky.

I / we who are in Bicol, are limited to what we have and it's almost always DIY and spend on your own. I also dream of having Blogging Conventions right here in the region, but perhaps we still lack  the online presence that partners may still be hesitant about. I may not have been part of the emerging blogs of the previous years, but this time I want our voice to be heard, that we also have good and deserving bloggers here in Bicol. Years passed but 2015 was something different for me as a blogger, collaboration really proved that together as one, more goals will be achieved. Here in the Heart of Bicol, Bicol Bloggers was born. Through www.bicolbloggers.com we are not only able to promote Bicol, but also help fellow bloggers reach their full potential as bloggers and as good citizens.

The Emerging Influential Blogs 2015 Writing project has been on its 8th year of identifying new and emerging blogs who are making an impact to its readers. This is an effort to recognize blogs who gradually gains a considerable amount of readers, followers, and influence. This project is made possible by Digital Influencers Marketing Summit, Certified E-Commerce Specialist, Entrepreneur and Professional Program, Alfox Printing Services, and One Network ECommerce who constantly believe in the power of the online world.

Here are my top picks for the Emerging Influential Blogs  in 2015

  1. Bicol  Bloggers - The top spot belongs to my co-founded blog of course. Bicol Bloggers is a group of digital influencers who is an advocate of promoting the Bicol Region, its home grown brands, events, and its people. Informative posts and first hand experiences are shared on the blog. It amplifies the voice of the region and brings the world to Bicol. Bicol Bloggers also aims to strengthen fellow Bicolano Bloggers by bringing them opportunities.  
  2. Nagayon - I love Naga, so supporting this new blog and online directory is a must. It helps promote our city to the rest of the world. Photos and videos are all original that's why you can really see the genuineness of their passion for Naga and Bicol.
  3. Garbage Pollution and Green Environment – I am a daughter of an environmentalist. Environmental activities are close to my heart. This blog about garbage, pollution, green environment, life and anything in between is something that I'm also pushing for. We need more online stewards like this blog in educating people on how to really take care of our environment. Remember the saying that 'we cannot live without the environment, but the environment can live on its own'.
  4. Love, Teacher Angel – Dubbed as God’s Warrior Princess. Learning is not restricted in the four corners of the classroom. Since I am also in the academe, I admire my fellow teachers who extends time and effort beyond the classroom. Teaching is indeed a vocation, so taking it in a digital way is an extra mile of effort.
  5. Dessert Comes First - I have a sweet tooth. I agree with the title of this blog that sometimes desserts can really come first. Who doesn't love food right? Food stories in this blog will definitely awaken our senses.
    Thank God for all these sensible blogs out there. We need more people to do the same, let us fill our newsfeeds with positive thoughts and inspiring stories. I believe that a blog is influential if it touches the heart the readers. This is definitely our chance to be heard. Good luck to us all!

How about you, what are your top picks? Let's all do this for our passion!

For bloggers who are joining the Top 10 Emerging Influential Blogs 2015 Writing Project. Details at www.influentialblogger.net/2015/09/emergingblogs2015.html

When in Naga City, Experience Avenue Plaza Hotel

Naga City - Why would I stay in a hotel in my city if my home is just a ride away? Perhaps it's not the usual thing to do but I know some of you have also wondered how does our hotels in Naga do their role in making others feel at home while away from home. Whenever I go to other places and check in a hotel, what I'm always excited about are the the food, the bed, the sheets and the bathroom. Obviously because everything is so posh and way too far from the appearance of my own bedroom too haha.

A staycation in your own city may not be your usual activity. But how can we tell our guests if which hotel offers the best if we ourselves have not experienced them yet right? So let me share to you how was my experience in Avenue as an ordinary Nagueña. Sabi ngani kaiyan sa Bicol, "Mateon mo, i-experience mo para dai ka maisturyahan".

Upon checking in, a refreshing welcome drink will be served. All staff carry warm smiles throughout the day. They are also very particular with the names of the guests, making every conversation light and candid.

Last year, before the school year started, I availed my complimentary overnight stay at the Avenue Plaza Hotel and brought my sis and mom with me. I took that opportunity to just relax both from my day job and as a blogger. Given the blessings the I've been receiving because of this blog, sharing it with my own family is something that I prioritize. Considering that I have a full time work, the patience and support that my family gives me is something that I cherish especially that I stay up late at night most of the time. I remember saying to them back in 2009, I know that everything that I'm doing in this blog will have its purpose one day. I may not be receiving enough credits but the overwhelming response and happiness of the Nagueños and Bicolanos is something that I will not exchange for anything else. Testaments and posts of appreciation pour out saying that they feel like they they're home whenever I post daily updates about Naga.

Staycation. I capped my last two days of August staying at the Avenue Plaza Hotel but this time with my fellow Bicol Bloggers and the Nagayon Team. It was a Bloggers' Meet Up plus all the goodness of a staycation for two days and one night. Last year, the room that was given to us was with a poolside view. This time it was at the front facing Avenue Square. The balcony was spacious, I would want my own couch here at night but then it's a shared balcony together with the occupants of this wing.   

Avenue is all you need. Aside from the welcome drink upon checking in, there's more in your room. Pili tarts and apples plus a personalized welcome note. Everything you need to know about the hotel amenities and Naga City is in your room. 

All you need is in the area, Avenue Square has everything you need, restaurants, drugstore, coffee shop and spa.
 A little walk will bring you to Naga's Dining and Entertainment District, Magsaysay Avenue
Our room, Superior Twin De Luxe. Shared it with my contributor,
Kookai of 13BlackandWhiteScribbles.wordpress.com 

Avail Avenue Plaza Hotel's Hometown Specials! Bicol Residents get a 20% off on published room rates. Your weekend bonding with your family will be extra special here, I assure you that. 

The room has an individually controlled Split Type Air-conditioning unit, carpeted floors and plush furnishing, electronic room lock system with top-end security and privacy systems. You also have a personal refrigerator with minibar, and coffee/tea making facilities.

The room is also equipped with flat screen LCD TV with cable channels, high speed internet connection, clock radio. Lucky for us, the WiFi router is actually installed in our room. As a blogger, the ultra fast internet of the hotel is really a plus point and pretty much needed by businessmen, no need to go to the lobby. For working people, there's a desk, electronic safe for your valuables, telephone with IDD and NDD functions and pencil and letter stationary with envelope. 

My favorite part of the room, THE BED. Relaxing Dew Foam Posture Pedic® bed with luxurious top-of the line Pillows & Bedding. 

The hotel has a business center, with an iMac, WiFi, fax machine and printer just in case you need them for your transactions and deadlines. 

Relationship goals with guests. With Avenue to help you achieve your fitness goals, they also have the Olympia Gym and Sauna. It's been here for quite some time, so to better serve the guests and gym members, the gym will undergo renovation starting this October to January 2016. This will definitely be an exciting comeback for the premiere gym in Naga City with the top-of-the-line facilities. The infinity pool is just perfect these El Niño days. 

An all around kind of menu but never leaving out the goodness of Filipino food. For dinner we got to try the re-launched menu of the in-house restaurant of the hotel, Cafe PlazuelaCLICK HERE for the review. Fine dining food plus live classical music playing in the background will fill your night with glee.

After dinner, I decided to take a shower because we were given a complimentary massage. 
En-suite Bath with hot and cold “Rain Shower” and Bathtub, 
Avenue toiletries and wall mounted hairdryer.

Waiting for my turn for the massage.

I'm not really into body massages, basically because I'm thin, but hey it's complimentary why would I not avail it right? and the therapist was really good in convincing me to experience it. The verdict? Definitely worth my first time! I really felt relaxed physically and mentally. Literally went for a GOOD NIGHT SLEEP. 


Waking up in the comfy bed of this hotel is like the '5 minutes more' response of a child in the morning, only that it's multiplied a dozen times! But I had to get up early, because breakfast at the Avenue is one hell of a bountiful harvest of all sorts. American, European, Classic and Filipino type of breakfast are all here. Comfort foods here we come!

Complimentary Breakfast
Breakfast buffet starts as early as 6:00 am until 10:00 am
For those who are not checked-in at the Avenue but would like to experience this bountiful breakfast buffet, you are most welcome at the Cafe Plazuela for only P349 per pax.

Fresh bread and pastries

Fresh fruits and different kinds of cheese


Aside from "Abo", this "New Look" is a dried fish here in Bicol that you should not miss to try.

Cold cuts

Reserve your staycation now! For inquiries and reservations, please call 473 9999.

What a wonderful weekend it has been. You too can experience the best of Avenue Plaza Hotel. If they give their best services to the locals, what more for the toruists and business men? For a memorable weekend or special occassion with your family, why not have a staycation at the Avenue Plaza Hotel. 

For the nth time, Dios Mabalos Avenue Plaza Hotel, GM Allan Cu, Marketing Manager Jerome Fernandez and the rest of the kind staff for giving us the locals the chance to experience the best of Bicol hospitality. More power!  

Click the link below for reservations: http://reservations.directwithhotels.com/reservation/availCalendarFlexi/10969/2015-09-22/26439/0/0/en/0/0/0/0%3E/

Facebook Page: Avenue Plaza Hotel 
Instagram: @AvenuePlazaHotel #AvenueStories #AvenuePlazaHotel 
Twitter: @AvenuePlaza 
Contact Number: (6354) 473-9999 / (632) 250 8088
GENERAL INQUIRIES : info@theavenueplazahotel.com   
ROOMS: reservations@theavenueplazahotel.com 
BANQUET & EVENTS : sales@theavenueplazahotel.com

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Siete Paobras: The Seven Portals of Que Pasa Naga

Naga City - The Siete Paobras of Que Pasa Naga was recently launched to showcase seven Bicolano artists who will translate a literary work of a Filipino or Spanish poet to visual art through the seven portals of the restaurant.

*NEW BLOG POST 16Sep2015*: Sityembreakfast, Merienda and #TiendaSaFiesta at Que Pasa
Related Post: Que Pasa Naga

1st Portal: Last June, the featured artist of the month was Maestro Dennis Gonzaga, a Bicolano artist, educator and a family man. Maestro Dennis had the whole month during weekends to work on the portal. It was challenging on his part because according to him, murals are not really his forte. At first Maestro Dennis eyed on Miguel de Cervantes' Don Quixote, but the academic nature in him made him choose a Mexican poetess, Sister Juana Ines de la Cruz of the Spanish golden age. Sister Juana was born in Mexico but was educated in Spain. According to Maestro Dennis, Sister Juana wanted to celebrate artistry but there were a lot of restrictions in being a nun back then. But despite all these restrictions she was still able to become an artist in her own ways. She was a woman ahead of her time and Maestro Dennis felt the need to celebrate that.

"Detente, sombra de mi bien esquivo" is the poem of Sister Juana which is all about how a person deals with one's own shadow and coming to terms into the light and hope. The mural is in monochromatic with black and yellow color representing light and shadow. Words "Sombra" for Shadow and "Luz" for "Light" which represents as the conservative side of Sister Juana and as an artist respectively. The sun on top represents the presence of God as witness to our passions and shadows of the soul. The tower of shadows on one side with lightning represents the struggle and on the other side is the tower of reasons where there is light and peaceful waters.

Ms. Bidibi and the 2nd portal for the month of July. 
2nd Portal:For the month of July, Ms. Bernadette Delos Santos or famously known as Ms. B or Ms. Bidibidi, an artist from Baao, completed the second portal of Que Pasa. Daunted and privileged on her part to paint the second portal of Que Pasa, she interpreted Laura Esquivel's 'Como Agua Para Tsokolate'. Ms. Bidibidi is known for her floral paintings and La Huerta Farm in Baao.
Awarding of the Plaque of Appreciation to Maestro Dennis Gonzaga

The progress.
Photo by Ms. B
The second portal completed by Ms. Bidibidi

3rd Portal:The third artist for the Siete Paobras is Señor Frank Peñones Jr. who hails from Iriga City. He interpreted Cuban poet laureate Nicolas Guillen's "Caña(Cane)!". During an interview with Señor Frank (by ABS-CBN Bicol) he shared that the mural is a reverse ekphrasis (a literary description of a visual work of art). It utilized visual and poetic devices like appropriation, collage, and allusion as it depicts the sugar cane field as both space for colonial bondage and liberation.

Señor Frank in action

Culmination of the third portal. 

Bigg's CEO Carlo Buenaflor reads the citation of the Plaque of Appreciation 

4th Portal:Now the next artist that you will be seeing in Que Pasa these October days is someone special to our group (Bicol Bloggers). Apart from being an online "social media influencer", she is a teacher by profession and a also a talented artist. Her artworks are currently displayed at Don Rodolfo's Cafe, wall art at Like Corner in Villa Corazon Subdivision and Backdraft Bar in Taal Avenue. Fondly called as CamSur Princess by many she is no other than Ms. Marianne Yvette Ducut. 

Yvette will be interpreting Siete Infantes de Lara (Seven Princes of Lara). It is one of the most popular Philippine metrical romances in the nineteenth century based on the Spanish legend Los siete infantes de Lara. The story being somehow gruesome and tragic, Yvette is challenged on how she will be able to translate it visually according to the story but creatively showing the tragic side. A fun and cool girl that she is, I'm expecting that her artwork will be a bit modern with a cosmopolitan vibe. 

The portal assigned to Yvette is the portal nearest to the bar.

Follow Yvette on Instagram @yvetteducut

Yvette's parents and youngest sister with Carlo and Rica Buenaflor

This space is reserved for the remaining 3 artists and their portals in Que Pasa. Stay tuned!