Posts Tagged ‘Philippines’

It was one Saturday when my friends and I decided to have a gastronomic adventure in Chinatown.  Located in Binondo Manila,  is the world’s oldest Chinatown in the world established in 1594.

Since we will be coming from different locations, we agreed to meet up to a familiar landmark known to everyone which is the Santa Cruz Church.

The Church is just across Chinatown and you wouldn’t miss to pass by the Carriedo Fountain at the Plaza Santa Cruz.

souvenir shot at the fountain

Just to give a little historical background, this fountain was dedicated to a Spanish Engineer, Don Francisco Carriedo of the Department of Waterworks in 1884. It was through his will that a piped water system was installed in Manila. The project for public supply of fresh water in Manila started in early 18th century.  This fountain was relocated in several areas in Manila prior to its current location.  We hope that the Local government will refurbish this landmark.

Arko ng Mabuting Pakikisama (Arch of Goodwill)

Enter the Dragon…

Now, let the gastronomic adventure begin!

To make this adventure more fun and pocket friendly, try to order food that can be shared by everyone. Split everything so that everyone can have a taste of each dish and at the same time your tummy has still more room for the food on the next restaurants.

Wai Ying Fastfood is one of the most recommended food places to visit. If you want to try authentic, delicious and affordable Chinese food without leaving the country, this is the place to go.

Located at Benavidez Street

Shrimp Chong Fan is a steamed flat rice noodles with shrimp. The soy sauce mixed with a little sugar complemented the bland noodles filled with crunchy shrimp (left). Yangchow rice (right)

Soy Chicken- Sour in flavor and the sauce are made of ginger, oil, onion leaves. (left). Pork Asado- A braised dish made out of marinated pork. (right)

Hakaw- Steamed soft dumpling with whole shrimp inside. (left). Me, having my hakaw and milk tea with black jelly (right). These are 2 of my favorites in Wai Ying.

On our way to our next stop

Sightings along the streets…

herbal medicines

grilled corn on a cob

Shin Tai Shang is like a mini grocery along Salazar St. where people can buy small cakes, packaged drinks and assorted fruits.

time to buy some fruits

delicious fruits in Shin Tai Shang

Cafe Mezzanine is a fireman themed restaurant above Eng Been Tin (popular hopia chain) in Ongpin St. All proceeds of this restaurant goes to the volunteer firefighters of Binondo. They are known for their Soup#5 (soup made out of bull’s testicle) which most people would say that it’s a “must” order and the taste is really good. Unfortunately, we are not brave enough to try it.  So we just  decided to try another popular dish which is called Kiampong .

Located at the corner of Ongpin and E.T. Yuchengco Street

Kiampong- It’s a Filipino-Chinese version of fried rice with meat, mushrooms, seasoned well, and will not be complete without peanuts on top.

inside the Fireman themed cafe

The food adventure will never be complete without having “take-home foodies” from the following:

1. Eng Bee Tin for their famous hopia (It’s a Chinese delicacy with various flavors; purple yam, mung beans, pork, pandan, pineapple, etc)

2. Wai Ying’s siomai with chili sauce

3. Shanghai Fried Siopao stall. Their fried siopao is slightly crisp, golden-edged bread, has a tasty ground pork stuffing with the right balance of ginger and spring onion to keep you biting. This is a good alternative if you like a different kind of siopao. Also, It is very affordable too (Php16.00/pc).

4. Salazar Bakery. They are been around since 1947 which specializes in Chinese delicacies. You can find Salazar bakery almost all over now in Metro Manila.

And for our food trail finale, we had our dinner at The President Grand Palace. They have a spacious dining area and has very Chinese ambiance with their decors and uniforms of the staff. It is located along Ongpin Street so you wouldn’t miss it.

The cold cuts platter is composed of jellyfish, century eggs, asado & white chicken

stir fried seafood noodles with quail eggs is a sure winner!

Another winner is their Hot Prawn Salad. It was pure prawns and no fruits (some restaurants adds fruit cocktails and too sweet on the taste). This salad comes also with cold version. It’s a bit pricey but worthy! Really taste great. A must try.

Another photo op before we end the food trip

It was our first time to do a food trip in Chinatown and it was such a fun experience! 🙂

Once in awhile I get the chance to meet my girlfriends from the Ad agency I used to work in Makati for a dinner. The night will never be complete without having a cup of coffee, tea and dessert after. Instead of going to our favorite coffee shop, we decided to try the most talked about newly opened J.Co Donuts and Coffee in Greenbelt 3 (The 3rd branch here in the Philippines).  J.Co is originally from Jakarta Indonesia opened in 2005. Since then the craze swept across Asia where they captured the hearts and palates of donut and coffee lovers in Singapore, Malaysia, China and now the Philippines. Aside from gourmet donuts and coffee, they also have frozen yogurts.

We  ordered the assorted dozen so we can try the variety of flavors. Of course we never want to miss their best seller “Alcapone” a J.Co’s signature product. It has white Belgian chocolate and topped with Californian almonds.

Their donuts are soft, chewy and not so sweet. Something that I really look for in a donut. They really taste good with or without coffee. Now I know why people are patiently standing in the queue for almost an hour and keeps on coming back.

And yes, we are one of those who stand in the queue for an hour and a half just to experience their donuts.

 So far, my favorites are: Green Tease, Tiramisu and their signature donut Alcapone.

If you want to bring some at home, make sure to keep it in 18oC cool temperature first and then just re-heat to enjoy!

I can’t wait for the opening of J.Co Donuts branch in Alabang Town Center.   It will be very convenient for me then. 🙂

Check out the prices and the punny names of their donuts below.

For more information, you may visit their website at

I was invited to stay for an overnight in Parque Espana Residence Hotel and was excited to check what this condo-tel located in the heart of Filinvest Corporate City, Alabang has to offer.


I was booked at the Business Executive Suite and the hotel perks comes with complimentary 24hr shuttle service to nearby malls and offices within Filinvest Corporate City, use of swimming pool & jacuzzi (opens from 7am to 9pm daily) and fitness center (opens from 5am to 10pm daily)


The bedroom


Now the bedroom on different angle


The room comes with kitchenette where you can cook your own meal

ImageHere’s the close up shot of the smooth ceramic top stove. Looks kinda cool!


Yes, flat screen TV saves the space


And here’s my work space during my stay 🙂


view from the top

ImageHad breakfast with friends who works near-by. It was nice to see them again! 🙂

So, if you are looking for a nice and friendly service place to stay in Alabang area on business or leisure, Parque Espana Residence Hotel is a good choice. Their staff are courteous and kind. The hotel is clean, very homey and budget friendly. I had a wonderful experience and for sure I’ll stay there again.

There goes my first post.  I wonder where my happy feet will take me to my next journey.

ImageAnd, never forget to bring your trusty pair of strolling shoes on every travel

For more information about Parque Espana, visit their website at