Saturday, April 19, 2014

Come & Enjoy Johnson's Baby Active Fresh Playground at The Market! Market! Playzone Until April 30, 2014!

As a child, I felt the happiest when I was in the streets playing patintero, chinese garter, siyato, piko and taguan  with my equally hyper friends. Oh yes, "those were the days, my friend, we thought they'd never end..."  But even if they happened so loong ago, I can still feel the exhilaration during the most crucial moments of the game! It is unfortunate that our kids these days, can't experience the same set of thrills associated with these traditional street games.

Bearing this in mind, Johnson's Baby has launched the first ever Shadow Playground in the country to give our children a taste of what it would be like to play in the streets again, with the unfathomable joyful possibilities of the sun as an active playmate.

According to Architect Nelson Siggaoat, Consulting Architect of the Shadow Playground, "We seldom see our kids play outdoors, they're always on the computer. This will be [somehow] something new to them. And making use of the natural elements, they will see how shadow moves and doesn't stay in one place... Like [how]...the play area moves as the sun moves."

As a memento of the launch, bloggers were given an exciting Shadow Play Box to help moms, dads and kids to bond during the summer and all year long.

Thank you Johnsons Baby & Nuffnang Philippines for the fun freebies!

Here's what's inside the box:

Johnson's Baby Shadow Play Box

My eyes gravitated towards the 8 Sun Plates on the left which when combined correctly, brought life to these three adorable shapes!

Johnson's Baby Shadow Play Box

Johnson's Baby Shadow Play Box

Johnson's Baby Shadow Play Box

Also included in the box, is the newest line of Johnson's Baby made especially for the summer!

Presenting Johnson's Baby Active Fresh Bath & Powder! 

As a long time user of Johnson's Baby Bath, I'm pretty sure my five year old will enjoy the superior, fresh 'n' clean scent of the new Active Fresh Bath.

Thanks Johnson's Baby and Nuffnang Philippines! Smiling Smiley Face

Johnson's Baby Active Fresh with two more of our fave variants

Johnson's Baby Active Fresh Line
Available at leading supermarkets and beauty bars nationwide

Johnson's Baby Active Fresh Playground
Market! Market! Playzone
Open everyday until April 30, 2014


Thursday, April 17, 2014

Relishing Our One-Of-A Kind Glass Bottom Boat Tour Along Manoc-Manoc Beach in Boracay

After a quick but refreshing lunch at Lemoni Cafe & Resto at D'Mall Boracay, we met with someone from the Glass Bottom Boat Tour Company. He walked us to the trike terminal and negotiated with a driver to take us to where the glass bottom boat was docked. It turned out that the tour company we've talked to, didn't have its own company vehicle to billet visitors from the island all the way to the wharf. Oh My Smiley

One-Of-A Kind Glass Bottom Boat Tour along Manoc-Manoc Beach in Boracay

Anyway, after a good 15 to 20 minutes of trike ride, we arrived at the wharf and were greeted warmly by the Pinoy boat captain. We were joined by two other families originally from Mainland China and Pakistan.

Glass Bottom Boat Tour in Boracay

The boat was quite huge and looked pretty decent. In the middle, there was that trademark viewing screen apparently made of fiberglass. Our five year old was excited to be part of all the action at first, but dozed off eventually.

Glass Bottom Boat Tour in Manoc Manoc, Boracay

I can't help but smile when I saw hubby Bala enjoying the parade of marine life underneath us. I thought that this tour was a great way for small kids and swimming-challenged individuals like me, to get a slice of life under the sea  without getting wet!

Our bebe wearing his own life vest during the 
Glass Bottom Boat Tour in Boracay

It was indeed a privilege to see up close, the different marine life forms indigenous to the island. Our boat captain brought us to Manoc-Manoc Beach, located at the southernmost tip of Boracay, known for its pristine clear waters, deemed best for boat tours, snorkeling and scuba diving.

A few minutes after the boat reached full speed, the motor slowed down a bit, which signaled the start of the tour proper. Our bubbly boat captain began pointing at some of the local aquatic forms while reciting their names. Impressive!

I learned that corals (marine invertebrates) are an indispensable part of the ocean for they provide balance in the busy, almost cut-throat environment down below. Corals endemic in Boracay are gorgonians or sea fans, barrel sponges, table and flower corals, among others. They try to thrive and survive along fish species such as grouper, bufferfish, parrotfish, boxfish, butterfly fish, firefish, arrowfish and blue tang (think, Nemo).

 Our Boat Captain In A Show with the Fishes
Glass Bottom Boat Tour in Boracay

Here's a snippet of our Glass Bottom Boat Tour along Manoc-Manoc Beach in the island of Boracay. Please press the HD button for better quality.

Included in the Glass Bottom Boat Tour were simple snacks such as Zesto, local junk food brands like Oishi and Cheeze Curls. Had I known this fact earlier, I would definitely have packed healthier and tastier alternatives.

During the latter part of the 3 hour boat tour, anyone who wanted to explore the waters was given a life vest and a snorkeling gear each. I noticed that these things were not that well-maintained, that's why I told myself to bring along a can of GLADE SPRAY with me the next time we come back to Boracay- no pun intended. :-)

Bala swimming with the fishes in the pristine clear waters of 
Manoc-Manoc Beach in Boracay 

Other than that seemingly insignificant detail, I was truly mesmerized by the bluish green waters reflecting Boracay's diverse marine life to perfection. It was truly a sight to behold! Cloud 9 SmileyCloud 9 SmileyCloud 9 Smiley

"The moments of happiness we enjoy take us by surprise.
It is not that we seize them, but that they seize us." (Ashley Montagu)

Glass Bottom Boat Tour with Snorkeling (Plus Snacks)
(Delivered in both English & Filipino)
Stall located in Station 2, Boracay
Around Php 900 per head for a 3 Hour Tour
Cash basis only


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

A Refreshing Time at Lemoni Cafe and Resto Boracay ♪♪♪

Boracay's food scene continues to thrive in all parts of the island most especially at D'Mall  where you can find a plethora of restos geared to satisfy your every craving. If you're in the mood for delish sandwiches, soups, pastas and cakes, then Lemoni Cafe & Resto might be just the one you're looking for.

Lemoni Cafe and Restaurant Boracay

Awarded five years in a row by the prestigious Philippine Tatlers publication as one of the best restaurants in the island, Lemoni never gets tired of reinventing simple dishes while turning them into rave-worthy creations. We experienced this first-hand when we dined at this island cafe one afternoon.

Here are some of the dishes we've tried so far:

All-Day Breakfast: Longaniza, 2 Eggs Garlic Rice (Php 230). Served all day long, this classic Pinoy meal is a quick carb fix for it's both great tasting and deeply satiating. The sweetness of the longaniza blends well with the salty half-done eggs and pungent garlic rice. The pickled side dishes help neutralize the palate making your next bite as exciting as the last one.

Lemon iCafe and Restaurant Boracay

Smoked Turkey with Apple Celery on Ciabatta (Php 290). An interesting combo of smoked turkey served with lettuce, two large tomatoes and diced apples. Though the apples are thickly covered with salad dressing, the resulting taste is still quite light and refreshing. The presence of fresh deli meat completes the zesty fusion of fruit and veggies making your dining experience simple yet enjoyable.

Lemoni Cafe and Restaurant Boracay

Blueberry Cheesecake (Php 150). Though not as rich as I expected it to be, this particular sweet stuff still has in its very core the ability to satisfy one's sweet tooth and notorious sugar cravings.

Lemoni Cafe and Restaurant Boracay
My Rating:
♪♪ Good! It's worth a try.  

Lemoni Cafe and Restaurant
D'Mall Square, D'Mall Boracay
Beside Sharetea
Boracay Island, Malay, Aklan
Phone: +63-36-2886781 to 2886782
Hours: Monday to Sunday, 7 AM - 11 PM


Saturday, April 12, 2014

Trying out the Popular Jonah's Fruit Shake & Snack Bar in Boracay ♪♪♪

After our brekkie at Casa Pilar Beach Resort, we went ahead with our plan to get out of Station 3 for a while to visit the popular Jonah's Fruit Shake & Snack Bar in Station 1.

We walked towards the direction of The Original Talipapa located near the highway where tricycles normally passed by. We were able to negotiate a one-way ride to Station 1 for Php 60 which was the prevailing rate around the island.

The driver brought us to a small alley (eskinita) filled with resorts on one side, including that of Willy's Beach Club Hotel. 

Walking towards D'Original Talipapa

We were advised to simply walk ahead until we reach the street corner. In less than two minutes, we saw the beach beset with a unique looking fixture known as Willy's Rock, considered to be the most popular landmark in all of Boracay.

  Willy's Rock in Boracay Station 1

A few meters away, we saw just what we were looking for.

  Location of Jonah's Fruit Shake & Snack Bar in Boracay Station 1

It was hard to miss Jonah's Fruit Shake & Snack Bar especially with its large imposing signage hovering above the beach.

Jonah's Fruit Shake & Snack Bar in Boracay

We were there for Jonah's famous shakes but my son Tutapel requested if he could eat his fave Fried Chicken with Rice as well. We were just too happy to indulge him for we're continuously looking for ways to fatten him up. Jonah's Fried Chicken came out really crisp much to the delight of our five year-old.

Alongside the Chicken Meal, we ordered the Banana Choco Peanut  and Melon Mango Shakes.

Jonah's Banana Choco Peanut (Php 110). A super thick, extremely flavorful mixture that screamed peanut butter and ChocNut (popular brand of peanut milk chocolate) from the very first sip! If you're a big fan of both elements then I'm pretty sure that you'll fall in love with this variant. However, if you're not into sweet drinks that much, it would be better to choose citrus shakes for a more refreshing feel.

Jonah's Melon Mango (Php 110). Although Jonah's Banana Choco Peanut has remained to be the joint's bestselling milkshake, Bala and I gravitated more to their Melon Mango flavor. It was refreshingly smooth and not as thick as the other variant. Perhaps we were looking for something less imposing but still marked with a familiar, invigorating taste.

The best variant I guess, is the one that satisfies your craving and puts a sweet smile on your face. I'm excited to find out which type of fruit shake/milkshake that will do just that, when we come back to Boracay in a few week's time. Smiling Smiley Face

Jonah's Fruit Shake & Snack Bar Boracay
My Rating:
♪♪♪ Good! It's really worth a try.  

Jonah's Fruit Shake & Snack Bar
Station 1, Balabag
Boracay Island 5608
Malay, Aklan
(No wi-fi access)


Friday, April 11, 2014

An Unexpectedly Fine Lunch at Kimukatsu Shangri-la Plaza ♪♪♪♪

On the fifth level of Shangri-la Plaza lies a new resto promising to redefine Japanese cuisine in a fresh, more appealing way. Kimukatsu, the most popular pork cutlet restaurant in Japan finds a powerful spot in this posh mall, as it tries to achieve the same popularity its older sibling Ikkoryu Fukuoka Ramen has garnered since entering the Philippine market.

Just like Ikkoryu, Kimukatsu also embraces a minimalist approach in its design highlighted only by a number of Japanese elements just like this Shōji (panel screen or room divider) in front. 

Kimukatsu Shangri-la Plaza

A few meters from the entrance, I saw a series of imposing grayish-chocolate stepping stones in a bed of like-colored pebbles which somehow promised an even sweeter destination.

Kimukatsu Shangri-la Plaza

But walking on these rocks proved much harder than I initially thought because of my 3 inch wedges. :) However when I saw the display window in black and white accented by a large Cherry Blossom replica, I realized that the side trip was indeed worthwhile. :)

Kimukatsu Shangri-la Plaza

When I finally reached the main hall, I can't help but smile when I saw the ceiling rife with unique lights that complemented the black tables, chairs as well as the centerpiece.

Kimukatsu Shangri-la Plaza

The kind staff ushered me to the best seat in the resto so that I can fully appreciate the centerpiece, that of a gorgeous 3D mural of a Cherry Blossom tree!

Kimukatsu Shangri-la Plaza

By this time, my blogger instinct kicked in, and the kind staff was very happy to indulge me. He offered some good photo-ops which I think was just applicable before the food review.

Kimukatsu Shangri-la Plaza

Before the food was served, the kind director of Kimukatsu, Mr. Kenji Komuro offered to grind the sesame, considered to be an essential process in bringing out the unique taste of authentic pork cutlets.

Mr. Kenji Komuro
Director of Public Relations, Kimukatsu

Sesame Grinding experience at Kimukatsu Shangri-la Plaza

Allow me to share with you what I had that afternoon.

Kimukatsu Shangri-la Plaza

Miso Soup in Two Types. Offered in two types, Kimukatsu's white-colored variety is very mild while the brown one has a punchier, deeper flavor.

Kimukatsu Shangri-la Plaza

Ebi Mayo (Php 210). An appetizer worth raving about because of its fresh and plump shrimps enveloped in a creamy, somewhat sour mayo. Truly flavorful and extremely yummy!

Kimukatsu Shangri-la Plaza

Kimutaku (Php 110). Kimchi is very crunchy thus making it more exciting to eat. The zesty side dish is not too spicy but rather emits a very deep flavor perhaps because of the addition of sesame. It whets the appetite and makes you craving for more.

Kimukatsu Shangri-la Plaza

Koshihikari Rice. Served in a special Japanese-style container, I can't help but be amazed not only by all the presentation involved but more so by how polished and glowing the rice actually looked up close. Unlike other restos, rice is cooked-to-order to bring out its nutty flavor, fluffy texture and glossy appearance. Just like the shredded cabbage, rice is also offered in an unlimited amount in every order of your tonkatsu set of choice.

Kimukatsu Shangri-la Plaza

Shredded Cabbage. Regarded as an invaluable side dish to pork cutlets for its ability to neutralize the palate, Kimukatsu offers an unlimited amount of this crunchy side dish in every order of their specially made tonkatsu. Best enjoyed with a sprinkle of Goma dressing.

Kimukatsu Shangri-la Plaza

3 Flavor Kimukatsu Set (Php 1200)Kimukatsu's famed 25-layered mille-feuille style tonkatsu (pork cutlet) is of course the resto's lifeline.

3 Flavor Kimukatsu Set in Cheese, Garlic and Negi Shio

The resto's prized tonkatsu boasts of thinly-sliced pork meticulously stacked in 25 layers and enveloped in a rich, crunchy batter. It is then fried in low temperature for 8 minutes and then positioned vertically to steam in order to allow the even distribution of heat inside the meat.

Kimukatsu's famed 25-layered mille-feuille style tonkatsu (pork cutlet)

During the food review, I was able to try three flavors namely Garlic, Cheese and Negi Shio. As expected, I loved the Garlic Tonkatu's pungent flavor as well as the Negi Shio's zesty spring onion taste. However, I fell in love with the Cheese flavor which remains to be the resto's bestselling variety. 

Cheese Flavored Tonkatsu

Negi Shio Flavored Tonkatsu

Tonkatsu is best enjoyed with some Sukemono pickles on the side and of course when the katsu is dipped in these three condiments: Kinukarsu, Himalayan Salt or Okohitsu Ponju Sauce with a dash of some ground sesame seeds.

Condiments: Kinukarsu Sauce, Himalayan Salt and Okohitsu Ponju Sauce
@ Kimukatsu Shangri-la Plaza

Kurogoma Pudding (Php 110)At first, I was concerned about the black sauce smothered over the pudding. But when I finally sank my teeth into this unique dessert made mostly of sesame, I was truly converted. It had just the right kind of sweetness and didn't even have an ounce of bitterness that I expected. Truly a must try!

Kimukatsu Shangri-la Plaza

Japanese Panna Cotta (Php 110). Not your ordinary panna cotta, the Japanese version has a more gooey texture but is surprisingly delish thanks in part to the generous sprinkling of roasted Kinako soybean. It will be a sin not to order this, believe me!

Kimukatsu Shangri-la Plaza

Kimukatsu Sandwich (Php 210). This is a great option for those who want to enjoy the same 25-layered mille-feuille style tonkatsu (pork cutlet) while at work.

Kimukatsu Philippines
My Rating:
♪♪♪ Marvelous! Highly-recommended. 

Kimukatsu Philippines
Level 5, Shangri-la Plaza East Wing
Shaw Blvd. cor EDSA Mandaluyong City
Phone: 727-0333
Hours: 11 am to 9 PM