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Monday, October 23, 2017

Places to Visit in the Heritage Town of Taal, Batangas

Looking for a heritage town to visit with the feels like that of Vigan in Ilocos? Just around 3 hours away from Manila, the Heritage Town of Taal is an easy place to visit with sights just around a few blocks with each other. 

From Bicol, we actually took the Quezon (Lucban), Laguna (Majayjay, Nagcarlan) and Batangas route (CLICK HERE for itinerary). We left Naga around 10 pm and arrived as early as around 4:30 am in Kamay ni Hesus in Lucban Quezon. This post is only about the Heritage Town of Taal, our DAY 2 ITINERARY. Here are few spots that you can visit for free except for one private museum which is the Galeria Taal.

Taal has a big role in the Philippine Revoluation. There are a lot of Bahay na Batos that you can learn about. You will be able to admire the Filipino-Spanish adobe stone homes with the classic capiz windows, hardwoods flooring and walls plus the antiquity of the fixtures and decors. It's just so nice to see the houses of the important people in Philippine History. Bring your family with you especially the kids, let them learn from the actual places and not only from the books.

Places to visit in Taal Batangas

1. Basilica of St. Martin de Tours
Known as Taal Basilica, this church is the largest in the Philippines and in Asia. At the right side of the church is an equally beautiful building with a very nice facade.

Before you reach the Basilica is a Taal marker (first photo) on the right side and on the other side of the road is the Escuela Pia Taal Cultural Center


2. Galeria Taal History and Museum
If you are a professional photographer or a hobbyist like me, this place will be mesmerizing for you. The private collection ranges from different brands from all over the world from the past to the present. Entrance fee for adult is P100 and srudents fee with ID is P50.

3. Leon and Galicano Apacible Museum
“The Apacible Museum, once the ancestral home of Don Leon and Matilde Apacible, stands like a beacon on the main street of the town. Don Leon was Emilio Aguinaldo’s Finance officer and a delegate to the Malolos Congress of 1898. Some notable items on display are blue and white Ming pottery, gilded Florentine wine decanters, a gilt-edge hand-painted Venetian dinner service, 18th -century chandeliers (many more were made in 1870 by M.F. Rachals of Hamburg, Germany) carefully preserved by the Apacibles.” from taal.com.ph

4. Doña Marcela Agoncillo Museum
The house is one of Taal’s oldest, built in the late 17th century by Marcela’s grandfather Andres Mariño. This is the very house that the first Philippine flag was sewn by hand by Marcella Agoncillo.

5. Archdiocesan Shrine of Our Lady of Caysasay
The image of Our Lady of Caysasay is a small image of the Mary that is smaller than the usual Marian images by only about 2 feet I think. The Shrine of Our Lady of Caysasay is built out of coral stones.  The legend goes:  The Virgin’s image was caught in the fishnet of a religious man named Juan Maningkad in 1603 at the Pansipit River (See photo below with mural on the wall of the church depicting the scene of the fisherman).

7. Don Juan Boodle House
Taal is know for their tapa, so this is what I had for lunch. At the Taal Market, they also sell loads of tapa as well as a special type of empanada plus kapeng barako.

There are still a few ancestral houses turned museum under the management of the National Historic Commission that you can visit. You may visit taal.com.ph.

Related links:

Day 1: Places Visit in Quezon, Laguna, Batangas for a Day
3 Things You Can Do in an Hour in Tayabas, Quezon

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Granjeros Central, your source of all natural and organic products

Granjero, a Spanish word meaning farm or small farmer. Granjeros Central will be Naga's new hub for all natural and organic products from meat and poultry, veggies, etc sourced from small and local farmers in and out of the city. They are located at the Cereza, Magsaysay Avenue, #NagaCity. They also have an in-house restaurant where all the ingredients used in their food are organic too. 

Let me get ahead of you, this isn’t a sponsored post. First, I normally feature products and services if I have my first-hand experience with them and secondly if I love / like what they are offering.

I got hit by flu last week and is still under medication as of writing. Finally, I got the time to write a little because of the transport strike and I got reminded of these products from Granjeros Central that we got especially the honey from Orange Country Enterprise and the Kalamansi Concentrate for my cough and colds. Reality ONE, sometimes, when we get sick only then that we get to be reminded to eat healthy.

Don’t get intimidated by the packaging of these products, yes it has the impression of being pricey, but once you get to check their products one by one, you may actually say that the pricing is reasonable. That’s for me ha. Still depends on you.

Reality TWO, it’s when you get to age a ‘lil bit, that’s also the time you get to be reminded to eat healthy too. When you start to drown yourself in work for almost 6 days a week, sometimes you will realize to take it slow because you are now actually working for work, instead let work, work for you. 

Shifted to the Kalamansi Concentrate for two straight days, 3 times a day and I got my taste-buds back that soon. I’m caffeine free for a week now and I’m sleeping early than the usual. I’m planning to cut down my coffee intake little by little. Wish me luck lol

The red rice is something that we still have to get used to, gosh we love the white one of course! Haha The dried seafood, “Bolinao” is not the boring daing because it’s crunchy and still has that homey and simple feeling of eating dried fish, yep reduced saltiness, gentle on your kidneys. Loved the Smoked Longanisa too!

Reality THREE, who says healthy foods are boring? It’s just the proper mindset that we need. Granjero’s Central is located at Cereza, Magsaysay Avenue offering all organic and natural products. Check it out!

 Purchasing these products will mean that you are also supporting our local farmers' produce.

Granjeros Central
Cereza Compound, Magsaysay Avenue, Naga City
Store Hours: 10 am to 10 pm

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Eat All You Can Buffet in Naga City

How many "Eat All You Can" Buffet Restaurants do we have in Naga City? I know you can name a many of them, but here are a few restaurants that I have personally tried not only once. Will be adding more to this post once I have visited the others. (Prices are subject to change without prior notice, please check the detailed review on links provided) *Updated January 28, 2019

1. Jimmy and Tang's Restaurant - A weekend buffet in this restaurant is definitely something that you can look forward too. I believe that in terms of the number of dishes, Jimmy & Tang's tops all the buffet restaurants here in Naga. Specialties: Callos, Tabagwang, Kare-Kare and other Bicolano dishes. For more photos and a detailed review of this restaurant, CLICK HERE.

Price: From P350, my friends say that it's around P450 by now. Pardon, I still have to verify this.
Location: Sison's Residence, MT Villanueva Avenue (Liboton Street)

2. Avenue Plaza Hotel's Buffet Breakfast - I highly recommend Avenue's buffet breakfast, offered daily, both for guests and non-hotel guests. They sometimes have a promo from 9am to 10pm wherein the buffet is offered at 50% off. So, I suggest you should always be on the lookout for this promo. I personally like the cold cuts and their pastries. From hot drinks and morning juices, just name it and the chefs of Cafe Plazuela can always pull something off to satisfy your cravings. This is what you won't get from other buffets in the city, the experience will be always personalized just for you. For more photos and complete review, CLICK HERE.

Price: P450 to 550. You may call 473999 for reservations and verfications. 
Location: Cafe Plazuela, Avenue Plaza Hotel, Magsaysay Avenue, Naga City

3. Anselmo's Restaurant - This restaurant actually offers catering services and has a function room for mini gatherings. They have daily buffet lunch served for P145 only during the last time we dined. There's a possibility that they may have increased to P199 which is common to most buffets here in Naga. I think they have around 7 to 8 dishes if I can remember it correctly. From the main road going to Naga City Subdivision, take the first left (Azucena St), then turn right on the second street (Everlasting Street).

Price: P145 to P199  Store Hours: 10am to 12mn 
Location: Everlasting Street, Naga City Subdivision

4. May's Split & Share Restaurant and Coffee Shop - Quite unique and long for a name, but this hidden restaurant in P. Diaz Extension in Brgy. Sta. Cruz offers a P199 Lunch and Dinner Buffet every Saturday. What's unique with this restaurant? They offer pizza as part of their menu. Loved their pork adobo and they also have Brazo de Mercedes as one of the desserts being offered. Discover around 8 dishes plus around 3 to 4 types of dessert and unlimited juice. Just last Saturday, they offered "Pako" as one of the dishes which was not offered during the first time we dined here. CLICK HERE for more photos and detailed review. 

Price: P199 
Location: Corner Narra St. P. Diaz Extension, Brgy. Sta. Cruz, Naga City

5. Cjzave BBQ and Grill - No kdrama, no kpop, only kfood. Cjzave BBQ & GRILL might not be all Korean (because of the hotdogs) but grilling while you eat can definitely be this fun! K bbq grill BUFFET for only P299. Busog!!!! 

Price: P299
Location: In front of Kambingan Resto, Magsaysay Avenue, Naga City

6. Korea House Buffet - Unlimited Korean Grill and Food Buffet for only P399 per person!!! What’s worth that money? While grilling you can already enjoy other cooked Korean dishes, which makes it different from other Korean buffet available in the city. Part of the menu also includes soup, rice, fruits and dessert. They also serve one pitcher of iced tea. The side dishes are always for the win 😍😍 📌 Lunch buffet 11:30am-2:30pm 📌 Dinner buffet 5:30pm-10:30pm. CLICK HERE fore more photos.

Price: P399
Location: Caimito St. Corner Del Pilar St. Dayangdang, Naga City

7. RJ's Buffet @ Villa Caceres Hotel - Opened last December 7, 2017. The Obiedos has really dreamed bigger for us Nagueños! It's a “Fiesta All Day” and wonderland-like buffet in Naga! From Italian, Chinese, Japanese, to Filipino cuisine, from drinks to dessert, it’s all here!!! To date, RJ's Buffet may be likened to Viking's or Buffet 101 at a lower cost. More DETAILS and photos HERE. They have big group discounts, birthday and anniversary promos as well. 

Price: Starts at P499 to P849
Location:Villa Caceres Hotel, Magsaysay Avenue, Naga City

8. Jack's Blue Plate Daily Lunch Buffet - Known for their pizza and pasta buffet back in the days, Jack's also has their daily lunch buffet offering seafood, soup, vegetable, meat and dessert cooked fresh daily.  

Photo by Jack's Blue Plate Magsaysay FB
Price: P199
Location:Magsaysay Avenue, Naga City

Will add more to this list once I get to visit the other restaurants so stay tuned! Should you have any suggestions on where I should go next, please leave it on the comments below. See you around!

Review: May's Split and Share Restaurant

Here's a quick review of May's Split and Share Restaurant & Coffee Shop also offering lunch and dinner buffet every Saturday. They are located at P. Diaz Extension and the restaurant is amongst the residential area of Brgy. Sta Cruz, little did I know that there's a new structure along P. Diaz Extension that houses a simple and quiet restaurant. If my memory serves me right, it's the same area where Karl's Pansitan is also located which eventually transferred near Veteran's Bank along Elias Angeles Street.
CLICK HERE for a list of other Eat All You Can Restaurants in Naga City

Serving around eight (8) dishes excluding pizza and around 3 to 4 kinds of dessert, your P199 is already a decent price for a nice buffet. Yes they do serve pizza as part of the buffet plus unlimited juice. I have dined here twice on a Saturday lunch and so far the dishes vary from time to time. I love their pasta, it's simple but it's tasty and the pizza is indeed a welcome add on since they also serve it fresh and hot. I loved their pork adobo and lucky you if you chance upon a "gulay na pako". It's rare here in Naga to be having this local veggie. I think one of their specialties is the Brazo de Mercedes, it's a regular every Saturday. 

They accept reservations and for gatherings too. The restaurant is spacious with very nice crazy cut furniture in the dining area. They also have an indoor garden on the side, but the area is not advisable during noon time. If you happen to eat at May's Restaurant, tell me what you think about it. 

Oh btw, I saw on their FB page they there will be an Anniversary Special at May's and you will only pay  P150 for the Eat All You Can. 

CLICK HERE for a list of other Eat All You Can Restaurants in Naga City

May's Split & Share Restaurant and Coffee Shop
Corner Narra St. P. Diaz Extension
Brgy. Sta. Cruz Naga City
Contact No. 0977-6890782 / 054-8730034