Come away with us and Sun Cruises Inc. as we take you along The Corregidor Island during our Day Out!
What is an Aperitivo? Aperitivo is similar to the American “Happy Hour”, but it means much more to the Italians. Aperitivo is a northern Italian tradition, where you have a pre-meal drink with light snacks or finger food that’s designed to stimulate your appetite for dinner. Well, let us tell you again about our Aperitivo experience where we had another, yet memorable Friday evening over at Finestra in Solaire Resort & Casino as we enjoyed free-flowing cocktails, wine, and of course air-flown fresh oysters from Italy.
Pick your favorites from Finestra’s Happy Hour beverage selection of wines, beers, and Italian-inspired cocktails: Prosecco Toso, Trebbiano Trebi, Montepulciano Moda, Aperol Mojito, Negroni Sbagliato, Sicilian Sunset, Cardinale, Garibaldi, Beautiful Incident, and Peroni.
***Complete menu here
With their briny liquid and velvety mouthfeel, their gorgeously mottled shells and in-the-raw presentation, one can never have enough of this wonderful gift from the sea.
Sharp saltiness may give way to its subtle sweetness, mild brininess transitioning into a clean taste. These 0ysters are fresh, soft, creamy, and bursting with umami to the taste.
When enjoyed with the right wine other curated cocktails, the robust flavor of the oysters will truly come out making it an unforgettable experience.
Drinks we recommend
Also sometimes spelled “cichetti” or called “cicheti” in Venetian language are small plates of food that you could nibble in between glasses of wine.
- Calamari Fritti
- Roman Rice Pilaf
- Ham & Cheese Croquettes
- Tomato Bruschetta
- Anchovies and Mozzarella Crostini
Aperitivo Epico happens every third Friday of the month and it already started last October 19th from 5:30 pm to 10:30 pm. Reasonably priced at 1,295php ++ (*Price is inclusive of VAT and subject to service charge).
There are many ways to end the week right and experiencing Apertivos with Finestra at Solaire is highly recommended. From the moment you enter the door, you are welcomed into this world of glitz and glamour and given the royal treatment. The price point is justifiably a solid good value for money. You’d be spending the same amount also somewhere in Poblacion or BGC where the crowd is too rowdy, parking spaces are scarce, combined with mediocre food & service. As for the Fat Girls Day Out crew, we’d rather be spending our Friday evenings with somewhere worthwhile.
This is THE experience you want to have on your next Friday night. A night of carefree worry, care, laughter, and delicious bites.
- Solaire Resort & Casino, Aseana Avenue, Entertainment City, Parañaque
- Call 888-8888 for reservations.
- Official Facebook Page
- Official Instagram Page
- Official YouTube Page
- Official Spotify Page- Curated MixTapes/Playlist
- Zomato Reviewer Profile
- TripAdvisor Top 3% Contributor
Da Gianni is everything you want in a casual neighborhood Italian restaurant —flattering lighting, plenty of exposed brick, terra-cotta floors, and wood tables with just the right amount of space between one another
Perceptive palates will be in for a solid treat when they visit Alfred at Makati Diamond Residences every Friday from 6 to 9 p.m., from July 27 to September 28. Enjoy an amazing an astounding Cheese and Charcuterie Buffet for only P1,800 net per person.
El Chupacabra in Poblacion, Makati is a Mexican restaurant which earned its credo to be serving really good street tacos and cheap local beers. I remember stumbling at this joint back in 2012 while my former date and I wanted to still hang out and look for a place that sells good grubs and open til’ late.
Named after the legendary cryptid El Chupacabra which accurately means Sucker (Chupa) and Goat (Cabra) that sucks the blood out of livestock, particularly goats.
This Mexican concept restaurant is the brainchild of Dixie Mabanta of Mexicali. The still current location is the commissary of Mexicali, which they thought of turning into a “street taco” dining place just like those that are in San Diego and San Francisco are in the States.
El Chupacabra’s Role in the Poblacion Scene
Before Gen Z’s call this Poblacion “Poblah” (Please kids it doesn’t really sound cool) Poblacion was the hidden outskirt location in Makati for most of us when people started realizing that Ayala centers don’t give that much experience value rather than generic and overrated international franchises. The Poblacion dining scene is its backdoor hipster counterpart offering an unparalleled haven for those seeking to peek into another world.
Traditionally, it was known for years as a red-light district, Poblacion is trading its spunky reputation for seediness and skewing itself to be a place where cool is redefined. Heavily wheeled by white-collar Filipinos and expats, they infiltrate the mushrooming dining and drinking scene. Burgos is humid, has sketchy roads, one to none parking space yet its community kept on growing progressively. El Chupacabra is one of the very few who silently ignited that fire.
Infiltrated initially by foreigners due to the surrounding cheap backpacker hostels around the area. As it started to pick up a local dive bar called Heckle & Jeckle transferred from Polaris and rooted its place also in Felipe street right in front of El Chupacabra. The two started complimenting each other ever since.
El Chupacabra remains dimly lit, cheap light bulbs peppered at its open dining area. Its vandalized wall and loud Latino reggaeton give much character to the place.
As much as I missed the open air with no air-condition humid/smoke infused vibe the recently renovated La Cueva del Chupacabra (cave of Chupacabra) is a solid good addition to us patrons who still love their menu roster yet seeks the comfort of being the closest to becoming the next Tita and Tito’s of Manila.
New facilities, perfect air-conditioning. and not too loud reggaeton (of course, the playlist should still compliment the place)
Our dearly love street tacos. Cheap Tacos.
We recommend that you get these staples:
- Carne Asada (grilled steak taco)
- Baja California Fish Taco
- Pollo Asado (chicken)
El Chupacabra’s tacos, in their most basic form. Dry griddled corn tortilla, a grilled protein of some kind, salsa, cilantro, onion, and lime. Unlike most Tex-Mex “fusion” places you see nowadays where they totally f*** up a taco because of too much playfulness. They focused so much on the aesthetics that forget to forget the truest taste of what a street taco should be.
Their proteins are well brinned as you can taste strong flavors with every bite. Generous toppings for tacos are onion, cilantro, and Pinoy lime. Like any good taqueria they finely minced onion and chopped non-wilted cilantro. Drizzle with their housemade salsa and sour cream for added texture and tartness to each bite.
These colorful small plates always remind us of years of good times that we’ve been having with El Chupacabra. Chunky, greasy, and ever so tasty.
We want our street tacos oily, flavourful, and unapologetic. They still serve the best value for money Tex-Mex food in Metro Manila (so far).
Visit their Facebook Page for updates on their promos.
Poblacion is the new “IT Kid” of Makati with numerous new concepts sprouting randomly from its side streets. However, El Chupacabra will always be the notable to us as being one of the cheapest places to get a drink in the neighborhood with a solid promise of good no BS street taco.
Our CX Rating:
EL CHUPACABRA (Flagship)
Address: 5782 Felipe Street
Operating Hours: 11AM-4AM, Mon-Sat / 11AM-12MN, Sun
Local Beers: Approximately PHP 55 per bottle
Expect to Spend: Around PHP 350 per person
Check out the rest of their menu items, other reviews, and location map here:
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Come thru this isolated cove in San Pablo, Batangas. Explore the wonders of the deep blue oceans of Bauan. All in just a 2 ½ hour drive from chaotic Manila.
Sitting quietly among mist-shrouded mountains, the town of Sagada is the closest thing the Philippines has to a Southeast Asian backpacker escape from the bustling city, yet it promises to find serenity along its many hiking trails and get your adrenalin boosted on adventures in the depths of its caves.
There’s a spiritual element feel to this Sagada, a former sanctuary for intelligentsia fleeing dictatorship: the centuries-old coffins elevated up along limestone cliffs, and days and nights are passive thanks to the lack of tricycles or much other traffic.
How to Go to Sagada (from Batad and MNL)
Sagada is one of the North’s most beautiful wonders. One of the longest land trips you’re going to take.
- From Batad (Via Banaue Market)
- Jeepney en route to Bontoc> from Bontoc take another jeepney ride going to Sagada for 45mins/45php or 85cents
- Bus lines (BonBon 10AM-12PM) and (Emmanual Bus 12pm-1pm) > from Bontoc take another jeepney ride going to Sagada for 45mins/45php or 85cents
2. From Manila (Quezon City-Sagada Direct). Click here to get the full schedule and fair matrix
3. From Manila (Manila – Baguio – SGD) and (Manila- SGD)
- Manila straight to SGD. There is only 1 trip/day for CODA bus bound to Sagada. It’ll cost you 720php/14USD. Travel time is 12 hours.
- Bound from Baguio from Cubao or Pasay City. Victory Liner (leaves every hour). They have two (2) types of coach. First Class is priced at 750php/15USD one way which is relatively faster as it has no stopover and has in-bus restrooms. Regular Aircon is priced at 450php/9USD. You can book your tickets online here
- Once in Baguio, there are two liners with routes that go to Sagada. Lizardo Transit in Brgy. Sto. Nino only has one trip to Sagada per day and it leaves at 9:15 AM. If you want more options, head to GL Liner at Baguio Dangwa Terminal. They have four daily trips going to Sagada between 6 AM and 1 PM. ETA in Sagada after 5-6 hours.
Once in Sagada town proper, you can go to the tourist information center. Here you can check out the rates – caving, rock climbing, etc.
You can also buy a map of Sagada here. It’s cheaper if you buy from the souvenir shops. Make sure you buy the latest one. It costs 20 pesos.
Where to Stay
Note: You may check room availability and book directly by clicking links below via TripAdvisor
- Agape Log Cabin and Restaurant (1,250php/25USD)
- Sagada Blue Mountains Cabin (1,300php)/26USD)
- Coffee Heritage House and Hostel (625php/12USD)
- Sagada Igorot Inn (701php/14USD)
- Sagada Guest House (557php/11USD)
What to do
There are plenty of activities that you’d be able to do in a day or two when in Sagada. Due to its sudden rise in popularity than to one local indie film.
The sudden high influx of tourist is prevalent most especially during holiday seasons. I suggest going during off-peak seasons.
The Adventure Trail (St. Peter’s, Sagada Bell, Echo Trail, Hanging Coffins, Forest Trail)
The Adventure Trail consists of a 3 hours trek to the Echo Valley Hanging Coffins passing by the Church of St. Mary the Virgin, entering the Sagada Underground River.
This includes forest trails and river crossing. (If you are fast enough you can finish it in 1 1/2 hour).
The exhilarating Sumaging Cave, or Big Cave, is the most popular of Sagada’s caves.
Its vast chambers are home to ethereal rock formations with whimsical names such as ‘King’s Curtain’ and the more literal ‘Cauliflower’.
You’ll need a guide (500php/10USD) to tour the cave for 2 hours. Comes with a guide and equipment. The cave is very slippery make sure to wear a good pair of trek sandals.
A petit museum packed with relics and sculptures. Kankanay artifacts among others.
You’ll witness a true artisan at the Sagada Pottery demonstrating her crafting skills.
Kiltepan Peak (sunrise watching)
Other activities that we suggest:
- Orange Picking
- Big Falls
For perceptive travelers who are willing to go great distances for the rewards of pine air smell and pristine mountains. Sagada is unpredictable regardless of how many times you’ll visit the place.
Go forth and wander. Experience and tell its story when you return home.
***Photograph/Visual Parter: Peter Paul Pamintuan (follow him on Instagram)
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