Sunday, October 21, 2012

Classic Pinoy Comfort Food at Lugawan Republic

I am a sucker for comfort food. Nothing beats recalling warm feelings of solace just by taking a bite of something that reminds you of your  childhood or maybe a good home cooked meal that you lovely grandma used to cook.

One of the most comforting treat for me is eating a bowl of piping hot arroz caldo or congee. I was in the mood to get a good bowl of this dish one Saturday afternoon when I came across Lugawan Republic in Timog, Quezon City. I have been seeing this place for quite some time but chose to ignore for I haven't been hearing too much about it. However, an episode of Ang Pinaka on GMA News TV that featured rainy day eats presented this interesting dish called Pilugaw and that's what caught my interest.

I was with my beloved niece that afternoon when we decided to get something to eat after visiting the couturier to have my measurements taken for a gown I will wear to a friends wedding. (which reminds me to go easy on the food) Hehe.

I was decided to get the Pilugaw, however Gab was having a hard time choosing from the menu. I was quite surprised to see wide array of food offerings since I thought the choices would just be limited to lugaw. We placed our orders as soon as Gab mad her mind up on what to get.

Pilugaw (Php 95)

Basic Lugaw (Php 65)

Fried Tofu (Php 95)

Pilugaw has to be one of the most unique version of a lugaw that I have tried so far. The color reminds me of another Filipino favorite called Pancit Palabok. Surprisingly, Pilugaw is actually a combination of both dishes! Seriously, I was quite baffled after my first spoonful of this. Chopped glass noodles in my lugaw? How weird is that? Quail eggs, strips of goto, meat cutlets and toasted garlic and spring onions also made the dish tasty. I fell in love in every spoonful.

My niece ordered the Basic Lugaw since she wanted to keep everything simple. She's only 12 so the palate is a little bit picky still. But Lugawan Republic offers something for those who wants their lugaw loaded.

My niece told me the Basic Lugaw is so-so. She liked the Pilugaw better than what she ordered. I also tried the Basic Lugaw and I think it is quite ok. It was served with quail eggs, spring onions and toasted garlic on top.

Cant say anything about the Crispy Tofu. It's just...... Fried tofu thats it. :P

Lugawan Republic is perfectly situated in Timog where drunk people, after a night of drinking would flock and get something to eat to sober up before going home. They also offer all day breakfast choices, japanese congee, and some dimsum.

Click this to see Lugawan Republic's full menu. 

Lugawan Republic
45 Timog Avenue, South Triangle QC
(02) 372-8844
Parking : Free parking in front of the restaurant
Wifi: none

Monday, October 15, 2012

Page View Back to ZERO? :(

To date, supposedly has around 50,000 plus views. 

What happened? I think all blogger accounts experienced this stat malfunctions. Hope they could do something about this. By the way, I am seriously pissed. 

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Puerto Galera 2012 : Mindoro Sling Face off and More Crazy stuff

Ahhhh, Mindoro Sling. I have developed a love hate relationship with this cocktail just this trip. I know from the very beginning that this was a killer and the reason why the saying "What happens in Galera, stays in Galera" was born. 

I was ecstatic for my 2 companions to sample this Mindoro pride and so, I have brought them to my ever favorite Coco Aroma to taste the Coco Aroma sling, their version of the legendary Mindoro Sling and of course to listen to some reggae music by the local band playing. My friend Kiel, whom I met from last year's trip still plays in the same place but unfortunately, he was not able to make it that weekend for he had some errands to run.

Coco Aroma, Puerto Galera 2011. With some of the funnest people ever! 

My good friend Kiel whom I missed in this years trip. :( 

Anyway, I went back to Coco Aroma to get that Coco Aroma sling (Yes im so much raving about it). I was glad to be back in a fun place and as great reggae music fill the air, we filled our tummies with this heavenly cocktail. Coco Aroma Sling costs PHP 330. 

Coco Aroma Sling #1

Coco Aroma Sling up close

Coco Aroma Sling #2

The Coco Aroma Sling Effect. (CASE) Ahahaha! 

Well prior to having the Coco Aroma Sling Effect, we have actually gulped on some bottles of local beer, i.e. San Mig light. Local beverages costs around PHP 65 - 70. 

Second day came and the CASE (Coco Aroma Sling Effect) still persist. I have been having tiny attacks of migraine which I carried at the beach the entire day. 

Beach Bummim...

But that didn't stop us from partying then again. Of course our after dinner drink would still be the infamous Mindoro Sling, this time we got from a bar somewhere in the middle of White Beach. Cost around PHP 300 plus. 

Mindoro Sling. YEAH!

I would have to say that I would still opt to have the Coco Aroma Sling than this one but, I equally enjoy the effect on me. Was on a party mode the entire night and I'm tellin you, it was one crazy night I had in Puerto Galera. 

You must never leave the island without trying the Coco Aroma Sling / Mindoro Sling. 

Ah I'm already missing the island. Cant wait to be back soon... 

For other posts about my Puerto Galera trip, kindly click on these!

Puerto Galera 2012 : Where to Eat (Part 3)

Food is relatively inexpensive in White Beach. Now I can't actually give you guys fine details of where exactly to eat since I really was not in the mood to find a good food spot for I know all restos and carinderias there are the same. To give you a rough estimate though, one can actually have a full meal for PHP100. to PHP 200. Solve na yun actually. 

Just go around and find a good spot. Ask for a menu and order anything that you fancy on their menu. I actually cannot remember where we had our meals exactly but those places are actually not that hard to locate. 

Food shots now. :) 

Meal costs PHP 100, plus unli rice. Carbo load man! 

Tapsilog costs around 80. Comes with a glass of Iced Tea
Rice and Viand costs around PHP100. Comes with a glass of soda or iced tea too.
Grilled stuff can also be ordered anywhere.

This bbq set meal costs PHP 100. Not bad. 

Now bottled drinks are kinda pricey. A liter would costs about 50 - 75 PHP. Soda in can is about PHP45. Iced tea in bottles are at around PHP 30. 

Some upscale restaurants are also around but I haven't tried any of it. In my opinion the food is of the same quality anyway so why would I even bother paying extra? Right? 

Read more about my Puerto Galera Escapade here. 

Puerto Galera 2012 - What to Do? (Part2)

Oh baby baby baby. What a lovely sunset! 

I've been saying its never too difficult to plan a trip in Puerto Galera. All you have to bring with you is a few cash and a lot of anticipation that you are going to have a fab time. 

The trip we had was just a spur of the moment trip. I have a few cash on hand and I don't really intend to do anything but to get my tan. But for those of you who wanted to participate in all types of water sports then be my guest. White Beach in Puerto Galera offers all possible water activities you can think of. 

Water Activities one can try at White Beach.
1. Snorkeling - No idea how much for I'm not interested
2. Island Hopping - should rent a boat. No idea again how much.
3. Jet ski - around PHP 2000 per hour. 2 people can use the jet ski
4. Banana Boat - around PHP 200 per person
5. Para-sailing - Php 2000 for 2 persons. This one looks fun actually. 

Perfect place for the beach bums

Other activities 
1. Massage massage massage
2. Hair braiding
3. Beer Drinking all day
4. Mindoro Slinging all day
5. Bum around the beach all day
6. Sleep all day
7. Sex on the beach (the cocktail and the real thing) Hahahahahaha! Alright I'm kidding. Just the cocktail alright?
8. Henna tattoo. (My friend tried this. Will give you the details in a bit) 
9. Shopping for pasalubong 

Well basically all the beach bumming activities you can think of can be tried here. No need to worry where to look for these things coz sure they will come to you. I was in White Beach for just 5 minutes and I think 3 people already approached me asking if I want a massage or if I want to go snorkeling. People in Galera are actually nice and if you politely say no and decline their offer then they would just let you be. No worries. 

Then there comes nightfall. I'm telling you, White Beach is at its best during nightime. People swarm the place out of their hotels to experience White Beach nightlife.I'm telling you, its one of the best. 

Its dawn and I can feel the party is gettin started! 

Fire dancers are all around the beach strip as the clock strikes 7:00 from Friday nights to Sunday nights. 

Gracious Fire Dancers 

Lovely, lovely performers also give their shots in entertaining the people. I have enjoyed the performance indeed. Enjoyed the performances at Hiyas Bar and Mikos Bar. 

Lovely Performers

Now I told you earlier that my friends tried getting some henna tattoos in the island. Again henna tattoo shops are omnipresent. Walked by the White Beach strip and they finally decided to have their henna tattoos here. 

Pili na dali! 
Ina's Henna

Ande's Henna
Don't want a henna so I just took some photos. :) 
Minimum amount for a small Henna Tattoo design cost PHP100. Not bad for a 2 week souvenir. 

Speaking of which, I have also bought some tshirts and small souvenirs from the tiangge just near the tattoo shop. 

No I didn't purchase this one. I just took a photo with it. 
Tshirts are very very cheaply priced starting from 75 to 150 PHP. Of course it would depend on your haggling skills. Other stuff like ref magnets and friendship bands costs from around PHP 10 to around PHP 50. Everything is a steal really. 

Now where to eat? 

Well read more about my recent Puerto Galera escapade here. 

Part I - Going there and Where to Stay
Part III- Where to Eat

Puerto Galera 2012 - Going There and Where to Stay. (Part 1)

I have been to Puerto Galera countless times and I can declare that it is one of my favorite short weekend getaways. Its the nearest beach getaway with cheap accommodation and a long strip of beach with lots of bars to chose from. A place to get a quick beach fix and then some. :D

Me and 2 of my co workers planned a short weekend trip since we have a Monday holiday from work. I've thought of suggesting Puerto Galera, particularly in White Beach for we have nothing prepared for that long weekend. It was both their first time in the island but my nth time so I'm pretty confident that I can actually head the entire trip. 

Going to Puerto Galera. 

1. Ride a bus going to Batangas Port. Alps bus line in Cubao Central Bus Terminal leaves every hour. We took the 4 AM trip and arrived in Batangas Port by around 6:30 am. Bus ticket from Cubao terminal to Batangas Port is PHP 175. Oh, by the way their buses are equipped with free WIFI on board. 

2. Take an outrigger boat from Batangas Port that goes straight to White Beach. As usual, I recommended taking Father and Son Lines. Their first trip leaves at 7:50 in the morning. One way to White Beach costs PHP 250. Round trip is for PHP 480. I always take the round trip fare for it saves me a few pesos. 

Father and Son Lines

Empty Batangas Port. Oh how I love off peak season...

We boarded at around 7:45 and boy the water was being difficult. I was a little worried for it was already rough at the dock. Based on my previous experiences, a part of the boat trip will actually really pass a rough straight. Weather was not so well that time so I quite expected its gonna be one bumpy ride. 

Gettin Ready...

Took us about 2 and a half hours before we arrived at calm waters. It was unusually rough but I managed to keep cool the entire trip. My friends puked the entire time though. Hahahaha! 

The boys from the boat told us we need to dock in Muelle instead of going straight to White Beach. Waves are kinda big and sea is rough so they opted to have us alight in Muelle. Service jeeps awaits us however which brought us to our hotels. 


The jeepney ride to White Beach

I have reserved a standard room for 3 persons in VM Beach Resort just right in front White Beach. I really don't have a usual place to stay when I go there (stayed in White Beach Hotel and Coco Aroma to name a few) but that was my second time choosing VM Beach Resort. The room costs PHP 1000 a night. (This is an off peak rate. Peak season rates triple ok?) We stayed for 2 nights.  

We chose the standard room with three single bed. 
Basic room with a tiny TV, A/C and bathroom
Unfortunately there's no hot and cold water. Well what do you expect for a thousand pesos? 
The staff are friendly and accommodating. The Ate who welcomed us actually asked us if we prefer to have one single bed each. Talk out your preference with bed, of course to fit your needs. Some bedrooms have 2 single bed and one double bed so you basically have an option. 

Check in time is 1:00 pm. We arrived earlier at White Beach, perhaps around 10:30 - 11:00 and the hotel let us use the room that early. I guess it is because there are just a few guests in the hotel so they have actually let us use the room without letting us wait for the check in time. 

Now let me give you the links and contact details. 

Alps Bus Company

SMS / Texting Services : (+63)917-504-6042
Trunkline : (+63 43) 723-9033
Facsimile : (+63 43) 723-9033 loc 104
E-mail : 

Father and Son Lines
(Just go straight to their ticket office in Batangas Port) 

VM Beach Resort

Next up, where to eat and what to do?