Lakad Pilipinas
Vigan Itinerary and Travel guide Coron Itinerary and Travel guide Baguio Itinerary and Travel guide Tagaytay Itinerary and Travel Guide Iligan City Itinerary and Travel Guide Bacolod Itinerary and Travel Guide Antique Itinerary and Travel Guide Tarlac Itinerary and Travel Guide Corregidor Itinerary and Travel Guide

InFlight Traveller’s Escape to the Country Issue

One of my photos from Tagaytay City graced the cover of this month’s InFlight Traveller magazine. The cover story, titled Escape to the Country, written by Monica De Leon, discusses the flight of people from the city and into the slower-paced life of the metro’s outskirts.

InFlight Traveller’s Escape to the Country Issue
MY COVER PHOTO RIGHT BESIDE RUFF…

The image, which frames the famed Taal Volcano on a cogon hut, was taken one early morning a few years ago when I frequent Tagaytay City on an almost monthly basis. These were during the times when I still hold a day job (or night, if you must) and trips to far-flung places were few and far between. We’d usually stay overnight and bunk at one of the inns near the Magallanes ridge where most of the restaurants are located.

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Posted by Christian Sangoyo on Thursday, August 27, 2015

Truck Junction Hostels Restaurant

Budget hostels, those usually preferred by budget-conscious backpackers, don’t usually equate to good food. At worst, they serve zero food, and at best, their servings are set to simply fill your stomach. But check in at Junction Hostels, one of the newest and trendiest hostels that have sprung up at Makati’s backpacker district and you’d be surprised how good their dishes are.

Truck Junction Hostels Restaurant
JUNCTION HOSTELS’ FUNKY LOBBY IS WHERE THE ACTION’S AT

Truck Junction Hostels Restaurant
THE CHEF AND HIS BOYS BUSY PREPARING OUR FOOD

Their dining hall is set at the ground level of the hostel. Here, an assortment of mix and matched tables and chairs rule the floor. On one side sits the Truck, a real-life container van hauled inside the lobby that serves as Junction Hostel’s open kitchen and food concessionaire.

Truck Junction Hostels Restaurant
THE TRUCK IS A REAL CONTAINER VAN

During our first stay at Junction Hostels, we were told how these guys put in a whole container van inside their lobby. The container, being too large, it was cut panel by panel before being hauled in and rebuilt inside the lobby. Let’s give these guys three slow claps and an A for effort.

Truck Junction Hostels Restaurant Truck Junction Hostels Restaurant
SOFTDRINKS, BEER AND CHEF FEENEY

The Truck is helmed by chef Jason Feeney who has done stints all around the globe, even sharing the kitchen once with the renowned celebrity chef Boy Logro. Once we knew that there’s a chef orchestrating the Truck, we knew we won’t be getting your bland run-of-the-mill food that night.

Quesadilla at Truck Junction Hostels Restaurant
QUESADILLA (PHP130.00)

Dynamite at Truck Junction Hostels Restaurant
WRAPPED CHILI OR DYNAMITE (PHP120.00)

Chicken Wings at Truck Junction Hostels Restaurant
CHICKEN WINGS (PHP180.00)

One bottle of beer later and we were treated to a barrage of familiar pica-picas with unfamiliar twists. Mini-buckets of quesadillas, dynamite, chicken wings, nachos, beef salpicao and pork barbecues smoothly made its way to our tables.

Barbecue at Truck Junction Hostels Restaurant Nachos at Truck Junction Hostels Restaurant
BEEF SALPICAO (P195.00), BBQ (P140.00) AND NACHOS W/ MEXICAN GROUND BEEF (P100.00)

So what’s so different about these, you might ask?

The quesadilla is set with salted egg, spicy tinapa flakes and kasilyo or kesong puti while their dynamite has pork chicharon instead of the usual cheese and ground meat. The chicken wings are seasoned with special salt while their nachos are mixed in with pork sisig. The pork barbecue and the skewered beef salpicao were, uhmm well, they’re just their yummy selves. I guess there’s no need to change what already works.

Dips at Truck Junction Hostels Restaurant
CHOOSE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE

As a bonus, the Truck also provided us a mix of dips for our pica-picas; mini cups of spicy jalapeno, yogurt cilantro dressing, mornay cheese dressing, spicy garlic vinegar and creamy garlic sauce. These complement every dish set on our table quite well, but I specially love the jalapeno.

Balls at Truck Junction Hostels Restaurant
CRAB MEAT (PHP95.00) AND CLAW (PHP115.00) + SQUID (PHP75.00) AND LOBSTER BALLS (PHP85.00)

After we’ve wiped everything clean, an encore of Filipino street food favorites soon landed on our table; lobster balls, crab meat, crab claw and squid balls; each having its own special dip.

I personally find the prices of this second set to be on the high side, with their lowest—two sticks of squid balls—going for Php75.00. Their main offerings though we’re just right for me, the lowest of the bunch—the nachos pork sisig—set at Php100.00

Nachos at Truck Junction Hostels Restaurant Beers at Truck Junction Hostels Restaurant
NACHOS WITH PORK SISIG (PHP100.00) VERSUS BEERS

The clear favorite for the group for the first set was the Truck’s chicken wings and skewered beef salpicao, but my personal picks would be their quesadilla and their pork sisig nachos. I love how Filipino it was without sacrificing flavor. For the second set, we were unanimous that it’s the lobster balls and crab claw that made its way to the top, the other two were quite ordinary.

Now the question burning on everyone’s mind, what do we order to complement all these? Rice or beer?

How about both? Both it is!


Junction Hostels
Address: Annex Matheus bldg. General Luna St. cor.,
              Don Pedro, Makati City, Metro Manila
Contact Number: (02) 501-6575 | (02) 501-6578
Email: booking@junctionhostels.com
Facebook: Click Here
Rates and Online Booking: Click Here

GPS Coordinates Map: 14°33'53.0"N 121°01'55.2"E

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Posted by Christian Sangoyo on Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Mia's Special Pansit Cabagan Metro Manila

So, what’s pancit cabagan like? I asked my ever present pancit buddy as we were going through a plate of pancit batil patong at Ed’s Panciteria in Tuguegarao. She said that it’s a bit similar to what we were having now, except they use hard-boiled quail eggs and pork instead of poached chicken eggs and carabeef. Plus, she went on, it’s much more saucy.

That got me really curious, with my love affair with pancit batil patong, I guess it really wouldn’t hurt to fall in love with another northern noodle dish.

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Posted by Christian Sangoyo on Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Marriott Café Manila Buffet

After killing time at Marriott Manila’s Executive Lounge, we sauntered to the hotel’s in house restaurant for dinner. Dressed in our finest—we would be attending a musical later at the nearby Newport Theater—we sat on one corner of Marriott Café and surveyed supper; we were indeed ready (and dressed the part) to eat.

Marriott Café Manila
MARRIOTT CAFE LOBBY

Marriott Café became our go-to place when our stomach dragons beseech us during our two-day stay at Marriott Manila. We ate here twice, during our first night’s dinner and for the next day’s complimentary breakfast buffet.

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Posted by Christian Sangoyo on Monday, August 24, 2015

Marriott Manila Bar

It was quite a night. Seven o’clock found us dining at the Marriott Café. By eight we were running towards Newport Theater to catch the Bituing Walang Ningning musical. By midnight we were belting our own songs at a KTV somewhere in Pasay City. It was almost six in the morning when the night ended. We walked back to the lobby of Marriott Hotel, heads spinning, the blue hour greeting us with its electric hues.

Marriott Manila Lobby
MARRIOTT MANILA’S LOUNG AREA

Marriott Manila Lobby
THE HOTEL’S PLUSH LOBBY AND RECEIVING AREA

Our day didn’t start out so hectic. We checked in at Hotel Marriott Manila at around lunchtime. We were told that check-in time was still at three, but we took the chance since we were already in the area anyways. The receptionist we talked with was quite accommodating; he let us in ahead of time.

So up we went to our rooms, hopelessly fumbling with the electronic key cards at the elevator.

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Posted by Christian Sangoyo on Saturday, August 22, 2015

J.J. Sports Bar Paranaque

Fire! Out! Out! Out! We were herded outside J.J. Sports Bar in Paranaque, not because the building was about to be razed, but because… Oh well, okay, there is indeed a fire, a fire dancer to be exact, waiting outside to twirl and spit fire to the ooohs and aaahs of the bar regulars. We all stood mesmerized by the performance as fiery streaks of light bloomed through one of Aiport Road’s sidestreets. It was one of my favorite bars’ first anniversary, and it was turning out to be a hot one!

J.J. Sports Bar Paranaque
IT’S A PARTY!

J.J. Sports Bar Paranaque
DADA & VEICKA, EGGING J.J.’S CROWD

We arrived at J.J. Sports Bar at around nine in the evening. It was a Friday and the place was packed to the rafters. People were already having a good time but the night was still young. Hoots mixed with laughter rang throughout the first floor area as the tandem of Dada & Veicka tickled the crowd’s funny bones.

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Posted by Christian Sangoyo on Thursday, August 20, 2015

Wat Chedlin, Chiang Mai

While it wasn’t our intention to visit so many temples or wat during our brief stay in Chiang Mai—being too templed out from our previous Asian destinations—it was totally impossible not to bump into one while walking along the streets of the old walled city.

So besides the massive Wat Chedi Luang, which can be found at the center of the city’s moated grounds, we also got to visit six more temples within a span of two days.

Wat Monthian, Chiang Mai Wat Phra Singh, Chiang Mai
CHIANG MAI TEMPLE DETAILS

With temples in the area eclipsing the 300 hundred mark, one simply cannot ignore all those graceful multi-tiered roofs, the intricately decorated walls and the impressive (and intimidatingly weird) naga creatures that guard their entrances.

Join us, unwilling participants, to the Chiang Mai temple run we go.

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Posted by Christian Sangoyo on Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Chiang Mai Food Trip

Last summer, I visited Chiang Mai for the second time. During my first time here, most of the dishes I’ve sampled were mostly from upscale restaurants and hotels. It was a rare treat (once!) that I got to taste what street food was like in the city. On this latest visit, I vowed to see the other side of the coin. I wanted to explore and brave what Chiang Mai has to offer when it comes to street food.


CHIANG MAI UNIVERSITY NIGHT HAWKERS

ADDRESS: SUTHEP ROAD, CHIANG MAI, THAILAND | OPEN EVERY EVENING | GPS MAP: 18.789611, 98.966739

Chiang Mai Wide Noodles Soup
KUAYTIAO LAD NA, LOOKS YUMMY EH?

Even if we were still dizzy and reeling from the three-hour ride from Pai, a town northwest of Chiang Mai, the first thing we looked for upon arriving was food. Cheap, real to goodness, street food. B and I, our friends from the city, knows just the right place for our grumbling tummies.

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Posted by Christian Sangoyo on Thursday, August 13, 2015