Posted on March 25, 2013 - by Vic
Go on a daylong devotional tour of religious and historical churches around metro manila this holy week starting Holy Monday up to Maundy Thursday and Immerse yourself of the city’s church attractions and solemnity by the newest mode of doing your Visita Iglesia around the city in a day by MotorBike.
Seasoned travel writer , Vic Albornoz Lactaoen takes visitors on a day long pilgrimage by motorbike from one church to anotherand make a religious stop along the way to do your 14 stations of the cross along these landmark churches of Metro Manilastarting from the Monasterio de Santa Clara in Katipunan near the University belt of Quezon City. A P1,000 per pax for the bike ride to cover the church donations, helmet rental, parkingfee,gasoline and guided tour assistance in the visits to theseinteresting sites, along the route.
This religious bike trip is ideal for those on a short visit and limited stay in the city. Pick up and Drop off from your hotel orany mall near the MRT/LRT Train station can also be arranged.Check our website at viclactaoen.com or add us at facebook or twitter. For further inquirires contact VIC @ 0926 9475847(globe) or 09078978432
Devotional City Tour Itenerary
1st Stop- Meeting point at Krispy Kreme Gateway station AranetaCenter Cubao to go to Monasterio de Sta Clara in Katipunan – Get acquainted with a quick and easy crash course on Philippine religious history through one of the surviving city monastery in Manila today.
2nd Stop-Church of the Risen Lord, UP Campus- The first round church in the country with the altar in the middle. National Aritst Leandro Locsin did the architecture with another National artist doing the paintings around the church. A visit at one of the oldest structures in the State University
3rd Stop Christ the King at Green Meadows, Kaatipunan- You may want to do the Station of the Cross in this Church or any of the Church we plan to visit along the way.
4th Stop Church of Padre Pio along Libis,East Wood – Ideal for those with illness or petitions for good health.
5th Stop Immaculate Heart of Mary New York Cubao,
6th StopChrist the King Church along E. Rodriguez)
7th StopOur Lady of Mount Carmel & Monastery of the Pink Sisters Gillmore Avenue.
8th Stop Sto Domingo Church Quezon Avenue
9th Stop San Sebastian Church Marvel at the steel architecture
10th Stop San Beda Church. Contemplate with the Benedictine Monks.
11th Stop St Jude along JP Laurel Street in the San Miguel District near Malacanang, Manila
12th Stop San Agustin Church Church, Intramuros, Manila
13th Stop Malate Church
14TH Stop Baclaran Church End of Visita Iglesia We leisurelywalk or take a jeep to this church once we align from the Pasay Taft last station.
15.RETURN TO YOUR RESPECTIVE HOTEL.
PLEASE NOTE: a) Stops will be subject to traffic situation during the trip beyond our control.
b)Wear Comfortable walking shoes for both male & female. Dress appropriately.
Cotton Tee shirt for men and collaredsleeves for women .
c) Bring small Towel and Folding fan as it might be hot during the trip
d) Please bring An 8 ounce bottled wateras temperature can go up during the holy week.
e) Group should agree which church will they will make the station of the cross, It normally takes 1 hour to 2 hours to make the 14 station of the cross.
f) In observance of holy week, there will only be one Meal stop at a Jollibee or Max Restaurant
Posted on March 25, 2013 - by Vic
Immerse yourself in the culture, food and history of the city by the newest mode of seeing Metro Manila and its environs in one day or even less. This is the best way that answers the questions you’d ask a Filipino friend who lived in Manila, which places are really worth seeing? Walk the talk, written by a seasoned world traveller himself, Vic Lactaoen takes visitors on a quick ride on the MRT, LRT on the Purple, Blue or Yellow Line from end to end and make an interesting stop along the wayincluding landmarks of the city like the Tutuban train station in Divisoria, historic Intramuros and entertaining Malate in Manila;Corporate life along Ayala Avenue in modern Makati City and a look at typical government offices along Quezon Avenue, in bureaucratic Quezon City. A P100 per pax train pass for the train fare and P100++ for the jeepney fare to cover the train and jeepney rides, visit to interesting sites, and a taste of the peculiar street food along the route for the adventurous and and P500/pax for the guided tour. The trip is ideal for those on a short visit and limited stay in the city. Pick up and Drop off from your hotel or any mall near the MRT/LRT Train station. Other TOURS are also available upon request just ask Vic. Check our website at www. viclactaoen.com or add usat facebook or twitter. Happy travel.
Manila City Tour Itenerary
1st Stop(Ayala Station) Ayala Museum – Get acquainted with a quick and easy crash course on Philippine history through the museum’s diorama presentation from the original Malay inhabitants and other people who have filtered the island both genetically and culturally including, Chinese, Japanese, Indians, Spanish, British, Dutch and Americans – a hodgepodge of what is truly Asia, as the an airline advertisement would lay claim to.
2nd Stop(Central Terminal Station)Old Manila – A look at the old city as you alight from Manila’s Central Station.(P30.00 byPadyak/P300 by Calesa/20 minutes by walking)
3rd Stop Back to Central Station to ride the public Jeep toBinondo, Chinatown(P9.00). Optional: Dimsum Chinese lunch at President Restaurant along Ongpin Street or Gloria Maris Dim Sum and Noodles known for delicious snacks. (P30.00 byPadyak /20 minutes by walking)
4th Stop (Carriedo or Central Station to EDSA TafftStation) change train to Ayala Station) We walk a few meters from the station to ride the Bus to Bonifacio Global City)passing through McKinley Road where gated neighbourhood Forbes park is the first planned residential community in Makati City designed by the Ayala Family and is also residences for Business tycoons, Embassies and expats in the country. Get off at Market-Market. Roam around the area for a look feel and taste of how the locals of the area live. Ride the bus to Ayala Terminal.
5th Stop(Ayala Station to North Avenue)Jeepney ride to Quezon Circle, where the remains of Commonwealth President Manuel Luis Quezon, 4th president of the republic is buried.
6th Stop(North Avenue to Araneta Center Cubao) We take aleisurely walk to nearby Araneta commercial center including a look at the Coliseum where many historical events have takenplace including well known concerts by famous singers and other numerous popular celebrities. A walk through Marikina Shoe Expo our own version of the “Greenwhich Village” where one can have their tattoos done by local tattoo artists. You can also do some quick shopping and snacks in this area as we go around.
7th Stop(Araneta Center Cubao to Quirino Station) If we finish before 5pm, we again head back to Malate, Manila or toRoxas Boulevard, were we can enjoy to view the famousManila Bay Sunset over your favorite cocktails or San Miguel beer, the local beer brand to cap your tour of Manila by day. End of M/LRT tour. Spend the evening shooting the breeze at the bay area or head back to your hotel for an early evening dinner or a night cap of a memorable evening in Manila.RETURN TO YOUR RESPECTIVE HOTEL.
PLEASE NOTE: a) Stops will be subject to train traffic situation beyond our control.
b) There are un-announced train route failures were passengers will have to resort tocommuting by air-conditionedbuses or FX based on the next tour itinerary at
c) An 8 ounce bottled water will be provided complimentary by the tour organizers.
Have a Pleasant Journey.
Posted on May 31, 2012 - by Vic
Immerse yourself in the culture, food and history of the city by the newest mode of seeing the city of Manila and its environs in one day. Ride on the MRT, LRT on the Purple or Yellow Line from end to end and make an interesting stop along the way including landmarks of the city like Tutuban train station in Divisoria, historic Intramuros and nightlife in Malate in Manila; Ayala Avenue in modern Makati and government offices of Quezon Avenue, a look at the future through the cyberpark along Eastwood in Quezon City. P500 per pax for the one day train fare and jeepney fare plus P500 for the guided tour along the MRT stops to cover the rides, short visits to interesting sites, and taste of peculiar street food along the route. Ideal for those on a short visit and limited stay in the city. Pick up and Drop off from your hotel or mall location.
For more information, drop me a line at +63926-947-5847 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted on May 6, 2012 - by Vic
“A part of dining out is having a fresh experience and seeing things in new and different ways,” this is the impression chef and Tatung’s Garden Café owner Myke Sarthou wants’ to implore when dining at his newly expanded restaurant along 17 Matipid Street in Sikatuna Village, Quezon City.
It is no secret that Filipinos love their food and like many successful restaurants, Tatung’s Garden Café started out small, serving only to friends and family members until word of mouth spread reflecting the restaurant’s unexpected success. Tatung’s (as friends fondly call him) delight found a niche were customers longing for familiar taste with a twist was largely underserved market in metro manila’s dining scene and Tatung’s Garden Café seems to have given them reason to go out and eat.
“For years I’ve spent hours on our kitchen preparing sumptuous meals for my family and friends to savor and enjoy. And as I continue to pursue this passion, I have been introduced to a deeper meaning of nourishment and the pleasure of sharing food at the table,” according to Chef Tatung.
Like many successful restaurants, Chef Tatung started out small , serving only to friends, friends of friends, leading him to open his residence to diners “and serving them in ways that would nourish the body and enlighten the senses” added Chef Tatung. The façade of Tatung’s Garden Café can be quite deceptive as it jutes to be part of the residential landscape of Sikatuna Village in Quezon City. But once inside, it splits into the main dining area with a mini bar that has a separate section with red interiors accessorized with modern art works ideal for small meetings that can fit up to 12 guests comfortably. There is also the new Tatung’s Patio which covers the growing number of dining guests .
The façade of Tatung’s Garden Café can be quite deceptive as it jutes to be part of the residential landscape of Sikatuna Village in Quezon City. But once inside, it splits into the main dining area with a mini bar that has a separate section with red interiors accessorized with some modern art works ideal for small meetings that can fit up to 12 guests comfortably. There is also the new patio area to cover the growing dining guests to the restaurant.
It is surprises many of Tatung’s patron to know that the chef has never undergone formal culinary training. What experience he has learned from his foray in the family kitchen, and constant exposure to different cooking techniques from their own household chefs. However he has also made his own interpretation of different cooking techniques and the adherence to the best way to cook these dishes.
“The Filipino palate deserves to be treated once in a while to new and exciting fare,” quips Chef Tatung and that is what Tatung Garden Cafe would like to accomplish with its one-of-a-kind menu spread of otherwise typical regular Filipino dishes but with a unique twist! It also has a host of other familiar heritage dishes that he grew up with and will surely satisfy one’s Pinoy cravings, whether these are local residents, balikbayans or even expatriates and business travelers visiting the country.
Good thing that Tatung’s Garden Café only uses only the freshest ingredients available daily in the local market with their dishes, allowing fresh and natural ingredients to enhance the flavor of each serving. The result has been rewarding with a consistently growing number of clientele who keeps coming back for more of the various choices on the menu spread. Drive troughs are a common sight in the restaurant coming from nearby Quezon City offices as well as residential villages and celebrities.
High on the list of must-try starts from the menu’s appetizers including a good start of Chicken Sisig Lettuce Wraps, minced grilled chicken fillet with chopped onions, green chilies, taro chips with mango sauce, There is also Balut ala Pobre, duck egg embryos sautéed in butter and garlic, there is also the café’s own version of the popular shrimp okoy, an intriguing mix of small shrimps, dipped with farm egg batter and vegetable fritters fried to a crisp and served with vinegar.
For health buffs and diet conscious diners one can try their salads including Seafood gising-gising ,spiced fresh local vegetables with seafood in Tatung’s special coconut sauce dressing or the Shrimp and Mango Salad, served over mixed greens with cucumber, tomatoes, onions topped with peanuts and taro chips drizzled with a sweet tangy citrus dressing These salad selections are highly recommended for diet and health conscious individuals considered a filling meals by themselves.
For the adventurous noodle lovers, one should not miss their Indonesian inspired interpretation of Bami or Palabok Negra, rice noodles with squid ink, On the main course, there are a number of suggested dishes worth trying including Chicken in Roasted Coconut and Yellow Ginger Sauce, tasty pan sired chicken in a smokey coconut cream with fresh yellow ginger and okra or the Tamrind glazed butter flied Tilapia served with home made atchara. One should also try the Grilled Gindara in Mama’s Coconut cream sauce or the rich tasting prawns in aligue sauce sautéed in Chef Tatung’s spicy crab fat based sauce. One of the Chef’s best seller too is the Honey Glazed Slow roasted Pork Belly in a brick oven or the Slow roasted Pork Sinigaang cooked with tamarind – tomato broth served with kangkong leaves and bagoong. The Kalderetang Kambing with Quezo de Bola served with button mushrooms, potatoes, carrots with grated Edam cheese is a great dish worth the taste for mutton lovers. Other dishes worth trying on the menu is their Callos Con Garbanzos, Beef Tenderloin Salpicao or Lengua Adobo.
To match these rich courses are complimentary rice selections including the chef’s own take on fried rice which he named Tatung’s Fried rice cooked with shrimp, carrots, peanuts, scrambled egg, turmeric with Baguio beans and Paella sa Palayok served on a clay pot.
The restaurant’s dessert selection is the final offer that can go well with their own specially brewed coffee or tea selection. Or cool summer offers including the house favorites of warm Tsoknut chocolate cake, caramel sweet leche flan, Banana – Buko sundae or their specially prepared Fresh fruit Halo-halo with gata in ice cream.
With what little is left of one’s regular monthly salary in these hard times, Tatung Garden Cafe is one of the few places where you can put your hard earned money to its best use – recharging your batteries over the restaurant’s sumptuous menu spread in the restaurant’s comfy and new functional cozy surroundings.
Thankfully, word-of-mouth and blogs in the internet has continuously drawn more people by the day attracted by the great eats and the reasonable price (expect to spend around pesos one thousand one hundred pesos(for a satisfying dining experience for two persons) Nothing is as it seems at this restaurant where Filipino cuisine is taken to new heights, and where customers can expect a different dining experience with each visit – the essence of dining at Chef Tatung’s Garden Cafe.
For further details: Chef Tatung’s Garden Café is along 17 Matipid Street, Sikatuna Village, Quezon City. Operating hours are from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. For reservations, call 352-6121 or 0915-846-3234.Check out their website at www.cheftatung.com.
Posted on October 7, 2011 - by Vic
The variety of elements in contrasting eras, cuisine and looks makes these new combined establishment inviting and unpredictable. Indeed Malate continues to be the hub of night life these days. In the late 60’s, film director Ishmael Bernal opened “Gray November in my Soul” along A. Mabini street the corner of T. Alonso Street. Artists talk about life. Down the street near the corner of Remedios Street came along “Indios Bravos”(the brave natives) – a cafe owned and run by the couple Betsy Romualdez Francia, a poetess, and her husband, Henry Francia, the film maker. Flower power bloomed, the anti- Vietnam War rallies crowded America’s streets and the young strummed their guitars and sang in folk
Then came the disco houses in the late 70s. And in the 80s, Ernest Santiago opened Coco banana along Remedios Circle with Subway disco along M. Adriatico Street catching up to accommodate the late crowd. Twenty years later, businessman Joseph “Jong” Garcia revives a retro disco bar which he aptly calls “Shut up & Dance” retro disco bar along M. Orosa St. corner J. Nakpil St., in Malate. One can enjoy listening to original popular tunes of The Boss by Diana Ross, Kool and the Gang, YMCA by the Village People. Any visitor stepping in to this place will eventually notice that they
will spend more time enjoying their meals here as well. “I want to revive the good old days of the Malate area”, emphasizes Jong. “The dishes we serve at Shut up & Dance are familiar classical dishes.” We have lined up these dishes which our excellent chefs cooks to please, but not to impress, “ notes Jong Garcia over lunch. Three seasoned cooks manages the kitchen of Shut Up and Dance including Chef Alejandro Ricalde, Chef Angel Padon and Chef Louie Batalla. They have earned a sizable number of years of culinary experience working with other well known restaurants in Metro Manila as well as stints with reputable dining establishments abroad.
Besides Shut up & Dance retro disco bar, Jong has also opened Dematisse Cafe Bar & Diner and also Socialista Bar & Restaurant near each other along Remedios Street also in Malate, Manila. Socialista was the first of these three outlets to open with close proximity of each other and is now perhaps Jong’s most wide-reach-dining cum fun bar venture, praises for its food and service by everybody who had ever eaten there: the locals of Malate, Makati, traditionalist and international food and travel guides. Shut up & Dance Retro Disco bar is slowly garnering enough clients to sustain its status as a “destination,” or as described by Jong,” a dining jaunt, ” where people can have good food, excellent drink mixes and a home grown feel. “We are happy where Shut up & Dance is even just opened a few weeks ago where the feel of the good old 70’s and 80’s is with its music provided by Sonny Tugade who was a famous
retro DJ in the 80’s at Cocobanana and Subway Disco who is back manning the controls that would surely attract office workers and yuppies who will make it their watering hole, according to Jong.
During the luncheon preview, we were given a taste of Jong’s favourite dishes including Paella in various delectable variations of the valencia tinta(squid) and marinara(seafood). One should also try the tasty lengua, or the very oriental steamed fish with crab meat sauce, beef tenderloin with mushroom sauce plus other meat items like steak selections of porterhouse, sirloin and T-bone of imported angus beef. Jong thinks that these familiar dishes go extremely well with one’s palate and the attention to the dish’s consistency will always be there, added Jong. “We hope to maintain the consistency of the quality of our food in the menu. Diners can sense the effort put on the preparation of these dishes not only in the taste but in the presentation as well. Nearby Shut Up & Dance is Socialista Bar & Restaurant with Jong’s idea of recapturing the mid 80’s era. Like Marcel Proust’s own endeavour, the final product may be more romantic and lasting than the lost moment owner Jong sought to recapture. A melange of objects and music contrasting with things old and new, valuable or simply charming and a fondness for juxtaposing man-made objects with Jong’s personal touch is very much evident in Socialista. The food fare here is very much the same as Shut Up and Dance. No fancy reception procedure here, just genuine warmth; and simple attire for the staff, to make everyone blend in. All that was missing were the staple hugs and we’d be one big happy family. At night you can enjoy
some wine or coffee with close friends to catch up or bond with the rest of your family and remember an era gone by. Socialist can accommodate small groups of fifty to seventy and is ideal for reunions and intimate gatherings among close friends. One can enjoy their delicious meals where visits can remind us that the simple things oftentimes give us the greatest pleasure. It was not surprising that a lot of unforgettable parties were done here as the place can be closed just among friends. Last stop in the evening is at Demitasse Cafe Bar & Diner. A late entry into Malate’s night life scene, Demitasse is becoming synonymous as a place to chill out in the area and party till your dancing legs have no strength left. But if you can’t go all around Malate to party, here at Demitasse, one can spend just a few hours hanging out, worship or let loose of one’s self and party the night away with the latest techno music till the wee hours of daybreak.
Despite the dizzying rush of everyday life, some pockets of our metro Manila seem to be untouched by the net citizen’s mad dash for the future. For those better, simpler days, Jong Garcia’s three complementing fun establishments – Shut Up and Dance, Dematisse and Socialista are new places worth the visit as one feel time stood still for those better and simpler days. The city’s social and nightlife circuit will again be busy to check out these newest places in Malate. Lifestyle of Manila foodies and night owls will never be the same again.