A Lovely Staycation at F1 Hotel Manila

If there’s one thing Ken, our nanay and I have in common, it’s how hard we work and how dedicated we could get with our jobs. Some may consider us (slightly) workaholic, but we do enjoy what we do. However, from time to time, we forget to give ourselves a break to rejuvenate. That’s why F1 Hotel Manila‘s invitation for a staycation couldn’t be any more timely.

F1 Hotel Manila in Bonifacio Global City

A short staycation is sometimes all one needs to unwind and forget, at least for a little while, the stress of every day life. Ken and I were actually planning on staycationing at F1 Hotel before they invited us ’cause we wanted to stay there and eat at some of the restaurants in BGC since the area is too far from our home (like 2-3 hours travel time… ugh).

We learned when we arrived that they were introducing us to their holiday offerings. We were excited to find out what F Restaurant has to offer this year since we had a very tasty dinner buffet from awhile back. F is the restaurant of F1 Hotel Manila and they have an all-day buffet here (breakfast, lunch and dinner). We’ll show you all the food we enjoyed in a bit, but before that, let me tell you about our staycation experience.

First, a group photo of all the bloggers and their loved ones who were there with us.

Class Photo of our group at F1 Hotel Manila

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Quench Your Thirst with J.CO Beverages + New Donuts to Love!

We gushed and told you how much we love J.CO donuts. It’s not just about how yummy their donuts are, but it’s more on the creativity behind each flavor they offer. So, it was not surprising that they’re maintaining this level of uniqueness with their beverage concoctions. J.CO Donuts and Coffee is here to prove that, truly, they’re not your usual donut place. 🙂

The delicious delights of J.CO Wonderland

Excited to try their beverages and the other donut flavors I haven’t tasted yet, my nanay and I trooped to their nearest branch – Trinoma. There was a long line of people inside, which, quite frankly, discouraged me. There were about 15 people in front of me and it took about 45 minutes to an hour before I finally got my turn. Everyone was ordering like 2-3 dozens each! 😀

Sadly, many of the donut flavors and the beverages I wanted initially were no longer available when I got to the counter. So, I opted to order their Iced Thai Tea. Good thing I was able to convince my nanay to try the Cafe Avocado. I wanted the Cappuccino Avocado, but for some reason, it wasn’t available.

Iced Thai Tea and Cafe Avocado from J.CO Donuts and Coffee

Anyway, if you think that the combination of avocado, coffee and chocolate is plain weird, you’d be surprised. It was delightful! Made me wish they were still serving Cappuccino Avocado when we were there ’cause I’m sure it’ll have a more intense kick of avocado. We’ll come back next time for that, probably on a weekday when there’s a shorter queue.

Cafe Avocado with Avocado DiCaprio donut

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A Sweet Start to My Day, Thanks to Splenda

I work full time at night and one of the many things I enjoy is a cup (or two) of coffee to perk me up so I can fulfill all my tasks more efficiently. Since I work online and I’m in front of the computer for 7-8 hours straight, even with my current routine of exercising 30-45 minutes per day before my shift, I know I have to control my calorie and carbohydrate intake because I don’t get to move as often as other people who work in an actual office and commute on a daily basis.

Perk me up with coffee and Splenda No Calorie Sweetener

I used to like my coffee black and bitter, but lately, I see myself adding at least a tablespoon of sugar to a regular cup of coffee, and about 2-3 teaspoons when I opt for the 3-in-1 blends. If you add that up in a week, that’s a lot of sugar, which is not good for my low calorie, less carbohydrate diet (I’m trying to eat healthier at home).

Conversion chart at the back of box of Splenda No Calorie Sweetener

Thankfully, there’s Splenda No Calorie Sweetener. The content of each packet of Splenda is equivalent to 2 teaspoons of sugar, but it has none of the calories. On the box, there’s a conversion chart that should guide you. Yes, you read that right. The good thing about using Splenda is it sweetens my coffee without the calories and carbohydrates I usually get from sugar, making me enjoy my cup of coffee, even twice a day, with less guilt. 😉

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Our New Yummy Favorites from Jollibee

Jollibee has been a part of our lives since we were really young kids. I know we’re not alone in this. Throughout the years, their menu has evolved and almost every year, we get to taste their new offerings that have proven to tickle the Pinoy’s fancy, young and adult alike. We love their Chickenjoy,  Jolly Hotdog and spaghetti, but let us share with you the most recent additions to our Jollibee favorites:

Jollibee's Hash Brown Burger

The Jollibee Hash Brown Burger is the ultimate comfort food. Potatoes and the tasty beef patty Jollibee is known for – it’s like a complete meal rolled into one. 🙂

Jollibee Sour Cream and Cheesy Fries

The Jolly Crispy Fries that come in Cheese and Sour Cream flavors. Ken prefers the latter, while I like the salty-sweetness of the cheesy fries.

Jollibee Chicken Pasta

Jollibee Chicken and Mushroom Pasta – I swear, when I found out about this new pasta offering from them, I couldn’t wait to try it. My nanay and I share a common liking for it. 🙂

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Why You Should Stay at Hotel Elizabeth Baguio

In the first week of March, we were invited to go to Baguio by Mario’s restaurant in celebration of their 40th year. We were quite excited about it because it was the best way to escape the early summer heat here in Manila, especially after we found out that we were staying for 2 nights at the very luxurious Hotel Elizabeth.

Hotel Elizabeth in Baguio

Hotel Elizabeth Baguio, awarded as Baguio’s Hotel of the Year for 3 years, is managed by Fersal Hotel Group, the umbrella company that established Fersal Hotels here in Manila. Just by these facts alone, you’d expect a very memorable stay at the hotel. And that’s exactly what we got.

We arrived just in time for dinner at Hotel Elizabeth on a Friday night, March 9th. This was the day that they were also celebrating their 7th year as one of the top hotels in Baguio. We joined in the celebration and it was a truly fun night.

Hotel Elizabeth Baguio celebrates their 7th year

By the way, as soon as we made it to the hotel, we were all in awe at how beautiful it was. I had to take a photo of the hotel at night and just scroll down for the photo I took in the morning.

Hotel Elizabeth Baguio at night

I absolutely adore these gazebos (photo was taken on the 5th floor). And the breeze wasn’t just cool, but it smelled of pine trees. Ahhhhh…. Baguio! How I love thee… let me count the ways! 😉

The gazebos at night

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Lugaw with Tokwa’t Baboy : A Pinoy Favorite

Since last year, Ken and I usually go out three to six times a month to check out a new restaurant or food place. We haven’t blogged about most of them yet. We do have fun dining in different restaurants every time. I also enjoy researching for the next resto we’ll visit before we head out. However, every once in a while, we miss the usual food we eat at home. So, one early morning, Ken craved for lugaw, and he headed out to buy the whole family breakfast.

Lugaw with tokwa't baboy is an ideal breakfastPardon the photos on this post. Everyone’s hungry so I had to take photos quickly. 😀

Lugaw is porridge or congee, soft-boiled rice usually cooked with broth (chicken, fish or pork). But, there are some who sell lugaw cooked in plain water and they just add seasoning to it. You can top it with pepper, scallions, and crispy fried garlic (yum!). I sometimes put several drops of patis or fish sauce when it’s slightly bland to my taste.

Here in the Philippines, lugaw is usually served with side dishes like tokwa’t baboy (tofu and pork). The pork part is normally the pig’s tongue, which I love. They come with a sauce made with calamansi, soy sauce and slices of onion. I sometimes add some chili pepper with it to give it a little kick.

Tokwa or tofu side dish for lugaw

Some of you might be familiar with Arroz Caldo, also a congee / lugaw, but it’s much thicker and ginger is used to flavor it. There are large chicken parts in Arroz Caldo, which is usually the distinguishing addition between them and Goto, congee that is flavored with beef.

Anyway, Ken loves lugaw with sumpia, which is what we call a beansprout spring roll here. I prefer hard-boiled eggs in my congee, along with the tokwa’t baboy side dish. But, sumpia and the egg weren’t available when he went out to buy lugaw for the whole family. The photo below was taken a long time ago on my old digital camera.

Sumpia with baboy side dish for lugaw

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Jollibee Tuna Pie is Back (Limited Time only!)

For most of us, come Lenten season, we take it to heart to fast or go on a meatless diet. We are certified meat lovers and I believe that those of you who share the same love for anything with generous amounts of beef, pork or chicken understand how hard it is to give up meat during this time. Well, guess what. Avoiding meat don’t have to be boring or bland ’cause Jollibee Tuna Pie is back and it’s just so timely.

Jollibee Tuna Pie, no need to go on a boring meatless diet

I am a big fan of Jollibee’s Tuna Pie. Back when I was still working somewhere in Ortigas, I remember taking a cab on my way to work, asking the driver to go to the nearest Jollibee drive-thru and ordering this to start my day as I work nights and didn’t want to eat rice. It’s good enough to get me through hours of work before I needed to get a complete meal in the morning, before my shift ends (breakfast time).

Jollibee Tuna Pie filling

I love Jollibee Tuna Pie’s generous filling of chunky tuna flakes, the creamy peppery sauce and vegetables that accompany it, and the crispy crust wrapper. I can gobble up one of these in a few minutes! And I know a lot of of you already have an idea how delicious they are.

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J.CO Donuts and Coffee Philippines

A few days before Christmas, we were surprised with these three boxes of delights from J.CO Donuts and Coffee. This popular donuts and coffee brand that has satisfied the tastebuds of foodies in Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and China is finally here in the Philippines! And I can’t wait to show you what’s inside these boxes.

Boxes of J.CO Donuts - Woot!

To give you a brief background on J.CO Donuts and Coffee, they opened their first store in Jakarta, Indonesia in 2005. Since then, they have opened over 100 branches across Malaysia, Singapore and just recently, in Shanghai, China. Our fellow Pinoy foodies who have travelled to these countries and got to taste of their premium donuts are for sure happy about this exciting news.

You might be thinking, oh, it’s another donut shop and cafe. We thought so too, not having the slightest idea of how good their donuts were. So, we were pleasantly surprised with what was revealed to us when we opened these boxes.

First are these almond-covered donuts they call Al Capone. These are J.CO’s best seller and their signature flavor.

J.CO Donuts Alcapone donuts - their signature product

The donut is covered with white Belgian chocolate and then topped quite generously with almond slivers. I’m not a fan of nuts on my food, but I’m starting to really get used to it. I mean, how can I not enjoy these donuts?

The donut itself is soft to the bite (all of them were!) and the crunch from the almonds gave them a very interesting texture. It was my first time to taste such a delectable piece of donut so I looked forward to trying out the rest of their flavors.

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Winners of our Jollibee Breakfast Joys Treat

Jollibee Breakfast Joys MealsFinally, after a couple of days deciding on who should win in our Jollibee Breakfast Joys giveaway, we have picked 3 winners. It was difficult, not only because there were a lot of good entries, but because we have different opinions. BUT, we ended up with a unanimous decision.

Since most of the entries had similarities, we picked those with the most unique statements or tips, but are more on the realistic side, meaning both of us can actually apply them in real life or those that we’ve tried ourselves and have been proven effective. 🙂

Again, the task was to share your top THREE (3) tips on how to start your day with a bright and positive note.

Without further ado, here are the THREE (3) winners who will each win a treat for 5 of their friends or family to a Jollibee Breakfast Joys meal:

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Start Your Day Right with Jollibee Breakfast Joys Meals + Contest Alert!

The giveaway has already ended. Click here for the winners announcement.

Enjoying a fulfilling breakfast to start off your mornings is one thing most of us neglect. Breakfast is indeed the most important meal of the day and there are scientific facts to back that up. Our nanay knows this that’s why it’s been a family bonding moment for us since it’s actually the only time we get to enjoy a meal together during weekdays. 🙂

We believe that starting your mornings by having a delicious breakfast can affect your mood and can get you energized for a busy day ahead of you. Now, there’s no excuse to skipping breakfast no matter how hectic your schedule gets with the new Jollibee Breakfast Joys line-up of heartwarming meals.

Jollibee Breakfast Joy meal - Chicken Sausage with 2-pc Pancakes

Chicken Sausages with 2-piece Pancakes – Php 52.00

 Jollibee Breakfast Joy meal - Chicken Sausage with Rice and Egg

Chicken Sausages with Rice and Egg – Php 52.00

Continue reading Start Your Day Right with Jollibee Breakfast Joys Meals + Contest Alert!