Food Guide in Metro Manila

Food Guide in Metro Manila

Maybe you’re thinking of where to eat in Makati, BGC, or anywhere in Metro Manila.

But before that, why not think of how to hack your way by dining out at fancy places without making your wallet cry. You can still be posh without scamming someone to treat you.. woop, sorry cynical thought right there.

Despite high cost of living in Metro Manila as compare to other provinces, you can still hack your way around it. Thanks to friends who gave me insider tips.

Besides, a probinsyana should equally enjoy traveling the concrete jungle just like city people enjoying the greeneries. That way, we’re creating an equal world.

I just hope that people in Metro Manila are regulated coz the population is just very many I felt that people are running out of oxygen already.

Anyway, for those who wants to do food trips in Metro Manila, here’s random ways on how to have a happy tummy that is value for your money.

metro manila buffet

1. Eat at food courts in Malls.
This is usually a place in the mall where all eateries are beside each other. You can find different kinds of foods from all over in this area, plus you get to enjoy aircon. Tip is to find a store where there are lots of people who are lined up to order. If a store doesn’t have a patron, the food is probably not that good so don’t bother unless you want to have an adventure at your own risk.

2. Take advantage of unlimited rice.
You can opt to diet the whole day and then eat once in restaurants with unlimited rice. One order can range from around 130pesos or 2.6usd, then you can request for as many additional rice after. But if you’re from the province, why do you need to this when there’s unlimited rice in the rice fields. I recommend to eat something else instead like international cuisines. I see your reaction – ekpensib ba? I’ll break your logic in my next article.

3. Book hotels that provide buffets.

For the posh but still wants value for the money, you can opt to stay at hotels that provides buffet breakfast.. you can start at 10am so you can have breakfast and lunch at the same time.

4. Hack Buffets.
But if you don’t need to stay at hotels, you can still opt to eat at buffets.. for free. Yep. Make sure it’s your birthday, then go with your friends to buffets where there are birthday freebies and you get to eat free… if your friends don’t want to treat you, ditch them.. you don’t need fair weather friends :D

veggie buffet

5. Break stereotypes
For those who wants to break the stereotype social class boundaries, you can still visit posh places without breaking your wallet. Buy that kakanin from aling tindera, then eat it while sipping your expensive coffee. If someone stares at you, stare at them back hypocrites.

6. Look for discounts or deals.
I learned this late because I’m antisocial and so behind in the grapevine. You can look at websites of restaurants or deals website like Metrodeal and usually there is a link there that gives discount information.. I actually want to be like those kinds of websites too. Let’s see what the future holds.

7. Get invited in parties.
Because I’m antisocial, I rarely get invited into parties. If I do, I’m the one paying for the party : ))))… so be lucky to be invited, this means free food too.

pizza and spaghetti

8. Get to eat for free by mystery shopping.
I did this gig when I was tasked to scrutinize different branches of a posh restaurant. Yep, I get to travel to eat and do what I do best, make okray in a professional way.

9. Healthy option – cook your own food.
You can do a day trip in a nearby Palengke to shop for ingredients of your food. I recommend the wet market rather than the grocery store coz it’s cheaper and you get to help the vendors in their livelihood too. Just make sure what you’re buying is fresh. Sometimes cooking is a cheaper and healthier alternative than eating out. I’d do this if I’m in Metro Manila and have a proper kitchen.


10. Hole in the wall options.
This is not for the faint hearted. But I survived my college and yuppie days in Metro Manila eating hole in the wall food.. and I’m still healthy and alive as far as my health checkup is concerned which was just last month. Just make sure the hole in the wall or carinderia has many customers, that means it’s trustworthy.

Here you go. Do you have some tips to share? Please put them in the comment section and let’s give blessings to others. May you find happiness in food theraphy.

Photography Exhibit featuring the Road Less Traveled

I’m not a photographer but I admire people who take great photos of exotic places and people. So I asked around from photographer and traveller friends to send me great photos so I can display them at Likha Diwa, a vegetarian and seafood restaurant located in QC, Metro Manila.

After a few weeks, photos from the road less traveled in Malawi, Nepal, India, Myanmar, Thailand, Italy, and the Philippines are now displayed for the whole month of October.. Thank you to the contributors from Myanmar, Indonesia, Germany, and the Philippines.

Likha Diwa

It was actually my 3rd photo exhibit. The first one was at the University of the Philippines Diliman and the second one was at Ateneo de Naga.

Next time, would love to showcase thanka paintings from Nepal, art decorations from Turkey, and other exotic photos from my great photographer friends. If you want me to decorate your coffee shop, hotel, or restaurant with arts, photos and paintings, let me know and I’ll ask my network of creative friends ^_^

My travel and life quote for this story: Life is like photography. You need the negatives to develop

Coffee Shop in Boracay: Real Coffee and Tea Cafe

Coffee Shop in Boracay: Real Coffee and Tea Cafe


This coffee shop is hidden, yet I saw many customers when I came to visit a few months ago (super late post sorry). Guess its a popular one despite its hidden location coz even a foreigner friend recommended it too.

I wonder what makes it stand among other coffee shops? The place is simple just like any bamboo and nipa house structure in the Philippines. Guess what makes it special is its simplicity.

For the curious, go visit the shop located at Station 1, along the alley after Havaianas and Island Foot Spa. They mostly served continental foods, but the high in demand orders are Calamansi Muffins.. which means you have to order it in advance.



And because the calamansi muffins were  not available when I got there, I just contented myself with coffee so I can sit for a while and relax.

Hope many coffee shops like these sprout in the future. There are no need for high profiled air conditioned shops when you can have a shop that offers the same vibe.. unless it gets so hot, then I’ll look for an airconditioned one :D.. or just head to the beach.

This Grasya is in Laos

This Grasya is in Laos

Last 2 years ago, I spent 2 hours in Laos when I visited the Golden Triangle while in Thailand.. yes 2 hours only.

The 2 hour visit was very interesting though.. coz I get to see exotic wines.. like turtle wine, snake wine, etc.. But now I’ve stayed longer than the usual visa run to get a feel of the country.

Vientiane, the capital, is really laid back, even if its already a city.. which I actually like.. lesser people, lesser pollution, lesser problem.

Although its quiet, you will sometimes feel uneasy.. do you know that Laos is one of the most heavily bombed countries? To those planning on harakiri, just go off the beaten path here where no one has ever set foot yet and you just might get lucky to step on a bomb. Of course I’m kidding.

Anyway, it is peaceful where I am at.. Sorry to disappoint you.. Here’s what I’ve been doing at the moment:

1. Food trip. The food is really very similar to Thailand.. Specially the noodles and the spicy food.

2. Sight seeing. Its good that I met some folks who have a vehicle here, I get to see some sights in the city that will be difficult for me if I just go alone. Never really get to see the whole of Laos.. But I have visited a farm and school in a far flung area where few foreigners have been including this German nun who runs that place.. I saw some weird bugs and plants that I haven’t seen in the Philippines though.. I guess that is what you call sight seeing. I also saw these interesting stuff while going around the city.. do you know what these are?

3. Volunteer in a school and farm. Of course I didnt just go around. I contributed to the society of this country in my own little way.. The teens in this area has so much potential and so eager to learn.. the place has a lot of improving to do.. I just wish another volunteer will stay longer here and develop the area into a global school with an eco tourist farm. Volunteers anyone?

4. Check out some coffee shops. Oh yeah, those temporary offices makes me temporarily happy.. until I want to go to a new coffee shop again.

5. Trying out strict veganism. I survived 5 days with no meat and eating only certain veggies without garlic, onions, eggs, chocolate and almost no coffee! *pats self at back*

Details on future stories..

What to do in Hong Kong

What to do in Hong Kong

I’m not traveling so much lately.. just travel to the super market and back.. and yeah lately, I had a misadventure in the hospital but that’s another story. :D

So I cant wait for next month! Where I travel to another country again! I’ll be contributing to air pollution, and thinning of the ice in the arctic ocean in my own small way but I promise to travel responsibly.

I know the best is yet to come and I believe the half part of this year is just the beginning of more awesomeness :D..

So what are my plans for Hong Kong:

1. Visit Antonella, a dear friend who was in charge of me when I was a hard headed Gen in Tagaytay last 2005.. I just graduated my Masters that time so you know, the ego was very high.. but I have changed and I’ll show her my halo (disguised as crown of thorns) when we finally get to meet :D..

and yes, I’m also helping her promote her paintings.. this is perfect display for coffee shops, hotels and restaurants.. let me know if you want to order ^_^.. More info at


2.  Hunt Coffee Shops and restaurants and do some Food Adventure! I dont want to just eat and take picture of the food.. I’m hoping to learn how to cook some local food too! So far, I know how to cook some Thai, Korean, Indonesian food already.. I aint a perfect cook but i do practice :D.. who wants to have some cooking session with me in HK?

UPDATE: I’m reading about r66 rotating restaurant that turns around every 66 minutes.. located on the 62nd floor of the “Hopewell Centre” on Hong Kong Island.. I wish to go there! and order iced tea or coffee and sip every 15 minutes so I can stay for 3 hours :D

But if its too expensive, I’ll just go to another lesser expensive country with a rotating restaurant. *sigh*

Dining at victoria peak seems nice too… hmm.. let me see where’s the best place to order coffee and stay for 3 hours when i get there.

3. I’m gonna visit the space museum. Have you heard of the mission to Mars where they send people a one way ticket to that planet? Well… I’m not participating :D.. I’ll just content myself with visiting space museums at the moment.. but for those of you who had enough contribution to the destruction of Mother Earth, you may want to check out Mars, we’ll be glad to send you off.

4.  I want to visit the Big Buddha and Po Lin Monastery.. And ride the cable car! hmm I know there are lots of monasteries and buddhas in Asia.. so not much excited to see this. But we’ll see. I’m looking forward to the cable car ride though!

5. I want to shop.. but on a wee budget, can someone please tell me where to haggle electronics? My laptop is dying a slow death on me. I need a new one :(

6. I also plan to design itineraries for independent travelers so for establishments who wants to be included in the plan, please drop me a note.

So far, I’ve got 3 places to stay… It’s my first time to use AirBNB and it got me a 58$/ P2378 deal for 2 nights in a hostel.. And I’ll be couchsurfing with a former CBS producer on my last stay.. The other place where I’ll spend a night will be revealed later on.. Plan is getting awesome! ^_^

This is just a draft list and we’ll see if there are additions/deletions in the original plan. Any other recommendations? ^_^


Disneyland is not on my list.. coz everyone goes there :D.. well maybe I’ll go there when I bring small kids in the family clan next time coz I still have to fulfill the role of being an awesome Aunt. But for now, I just want to have an awesome trip. ^_^ That’s not a hard wish, aint it? ^_^


Next Topic: More interviews from awesome travel friends, Relocation to another part of the Philippines, Visiting friends in Vietnam and more..