Curated and carefully prepared by the Discovery Suites Manila Team they are launching these excellent packages to perk up the month of Love. Specials will be available Feb. 12-28!
Tendon Kohaku is a specialty tempura rice bowl restaurant that started the recent craze in Singapore that went viral due to more than hour-long queues. Find out if the hype is real.
Kapitolyo has been a secret food haven among foodies back in 2009, back when I would visit the burger joint beside a carwash. Things started to pick up since then and Kapitolyo is now a named destination for solid concept restaurants. Numerous new players come and go, but you’ll still old timers still doing good business despite new entrants in the restaurant scene.
New to the Kapitolyo roster is Tittos Latin BBQ & Brew. You may easily find them on WAZE app or should you be familiar with Kapitolyo they are just right across Charlie’s.
Titto’s visioned their restaurant to be a go-to hangout place for large groups to share their roster of menu items over a bottle of good classic Corona. According to Jerwyn Rabo their head chef, they went on 6 months R&R to make sure that what they will offer will be something interesting and authentic for the Filipino market.
Rabo, describes Tittos’ menu as fusion, taking after Latin American cuisine, with familiar Filipino taste elements.
Playfully bright murals on the wall, high ceiling, and long wide tables are predominant in their space.
Their menu consists of more than 70 items, but according to Titto’s team, they are planning to revamp their menu this quarter.
Bar List & Chows:
Note: Price point is always subject to change. Make sure to checkout their Zomato profile for up to date menu and prices.
What we sampled
Kapitolyo area still has that laid-back relax vibe and open street character and I’m happy that it stayed that way despite its popularity. Tittos Latin BBQ and Brew is a great addition to this area’s battle card of restaurants.
The playful execution of Jerwyn Rabo for this restaurant are instinctive and comforting that is prevalently shown on the food that they’re serving. Their price point is competitive considering their portions sizes are generous.
***Disclaimer: A Zomato Philippines Foodie Meet Up (Zomato FMU) Event
Tittos Latin BBQ & Brew
16 East Capitol Drive Brgy. Kapitolyo, Pasig
Tel Num: 532-3414
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The mix of cheese, beef, and beans in a happy harmony of flavors that dance in your mouth. Truly the most addicting nachos around.
Every day for five days, you’re stuck in a routine of work-home-work-home. By the time it hits Friday, you’re racing out of the office right on time. Whether you love your job or hate it, Friday afternoons are a big reprieve. You want to relax, unwind, forget about work for the next few hours, bond over boys, food, taxes and the like with your best friend. You don’t want to wait after dinner, you want to drink right now.
We’ll let you in a little secret ladies, we know where you should head to. It’s Bella Notte at Finestra Italian Steakhouse in Solaire Hotel. Their goal is to let ladies like us have Bella Notte that’s translated into “beautiful night” in Italian and there’s no better way to start that but here in Finestra. For Ladies night, they have two offerings, the Aperitivo and the Serrata Tra Raggaze.
To start, What is 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.
The moment you step into Finestra, the first thing you’ll notice is the bar where they have the Aperitivo at Finestra. The long marble counter topped with various cheeses, dips, and cold cuts. Right behind that is the bar counter with their wide selection of liquor.
Take your seat, and ask Carl what he’ll recommend for you. Make sure to mention your there for the Aperitivo and help yourself with the cheese and cold cuts counter.
His first recommendation was the Gangster Martini, this light, and fruity cocktail has hints of pineapple and almonds. It’s refreshing and very easy to drink.
The next was the Negroni, it’s a gin-based drink topped with orange zest. The orange scent fills your nostrils every time you take a sip. It’s a bit stronger than the two other drinks.
The last drink we tried was the Limoncello Sangria, it was sweetly fruity and very easy to drink but watch out it does have a bit of a kick, after all, limoncello is 90% alcohol.
As your sipping on these appetizing drinks, they’ll serve you a number of different bar chows and finger food.
What stood out to us was the Truffle Arancini, Foie Gras, and the Osso Buco. The Foie Gras simply melted and sent our tongues into overdrive as it creamy and rich texture created a momentary happy explosion in my mouth.
The Aperitivois available at the bar on Fridays from 5:30-7:30 pm, and is Buy One Take One for Ladies for only 1,288php inclusive of service charge and tax.
Since this is a pre-dinner meal meant to stimulate we now head into the main dining area. For the Serrata tra Raggaze which literally translates into “Ladies Night“, they have a three-course offering.
As you look around further, you feel that you’ve stepped into Old Hollywood, with the high ceilings, a grand hanging chandeliers made of Murano glass, and a jazz singer.
As you make your way across the room, you notice the open kitchen with the flames burning but their excellent exhaust system has removed any remnants of any smell you usually have from cooking.
As you wait for your first course, you are given a bread basket, where they will have already prepared the dipping sauce. Unlike other establishments, they have already placed the butter on each of the slices of bread when it’s served. It was warm, soft chewy and very appetizing.
Finestra’s Serata Tra Regazze comes with excellently prepared 3-course meal
- Starters: Alaskan Crab Cake or Rocket Salad
- Mains: Grilled Yellow Fin Tuna or Porcini Risotto w/ Foie Gras
- Desserts: Baked Alaska or Tiramisu.
The Food Experience
The Alaskan Crab Cake was filled with thick chunks of fresh crab, with hints of old bay and lemon that was well complemented by the Italian slaw.
The Rocket Salad was well balanced, fresh and delicate.
For the main course, you have the option of Grilled Yellow Fin Tuna or Risotto Porcini.
The Grilled Yellow Fin was cooked beautifully with hints of pink in the meat and topped with breadcrumbs and crushed Jamon that gave another layer of flavor to the tuna.
The Risotto Porcini, on the other hand, was rich and decadent. We were in for a surprise when there was a piece of beautifully cooked foie gras on the top. Each bite was so sinful and it melted in your mouth.
For dessert, you have the choice between Baked Alaska or the Tiramisu. Baked Alaska, was cold and sweet, exactly how we want our dessert
The Tiramisu, on the other hand, was full flavor. You can taste the different notes of coffee, rum, and cream in one full bite. Another value add to the whole experience was their complimentary collection of fine chocolates, a dark wooden box of chocolates would be brought across the room and offered to those dining, pick any you want and enjoy the after-dinner chocolate.
The Serrata tra Raggaze or three-course meal made especially for Ladies night is priced at 1,830 PHP inclusive of tax and service charge.
Bella Notte at Finestra was truly a great experience. From the moment you enter the door, you are welcomed into this world of glitz and glamour and given the royal treatment. This is THE experience you want to have on your ladies night. A night of carefree worry, care, laughter and delicious bites. Now we have to wait another work week but we’ll be sure to be back again.
Finesta Italian Steakhouse
- Solaire Resort & Casino, Aseana Avenue, Entertainment City, Parañaque
- Reservations: +632 246 90 72
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Cagayan de Oro City, the capital of Misamis Oriental, is the entryway to Northern Mindanao. It is one of the places in the Philippines where you’d happy to return to because of its people’s kindness; they have the good produce of fruits- the sweetest lanzones and mangosteen. A place where nature and city living traverse. The land is rich and vast with resources.
“CDO” as what we popularly call it. A city that is home to half a million people and is known to be a regional and shopping capital Northern Mindanao region. Never miss the Night Cafe and Market, where locals and tourists gather in the streets of Divisoria on weekends to enjoy solid barbecues on the street, local food delicacies, street stalls for shopping and music.
On the other side of the city and a mandatory activity when you are in Cagayan De Oro is to experience their whitewater rafting adventure/tour. Rafting and white water rafting are recreational outdoor activities which use an inflatable raft to navigate a river or other body of water. It has been categorized as an extreme sport and it also dates back since the 1950’s, if not earlier.
Cagayan de Oro is famous for its White Water Rafting Adventure. In fact, it is considered as the whitewater rafting capital of the country which locals and tourists alike are looking forward to a fun and invigorating adventure. White Water Rafting is a recreational outdoor activity that uses an inflatable raft and paddles to navigate on a river.
The CDO river is the perfect whitewater destination mainly because of its dynamic rapids. There are a total of 21 rapids that you need to go through in the course of your adventure (depending on your level). The simpler, easier rapids are for beginners, while up ahead lies greater challenges for the more daring rafters. As you go through the river, the water velocity increases and you are forced to match this with your unbounded energy. All the while, the cool waters splash on you. There are areas in the river where you just need to paddle along and relax or even stop your raft and jump off for a quick swim. You hear nature’s sound cascading in the background.
I was a bit hesitant to do this activity because I’m pretty bad at swimming. Good thing my friends are superimposing and won’t take no for an answer. It was definitely the highlight of my CDO trip.
By Air (from Manila)
For tourist outside the Philippines check out the cheapest flights going to Manila and Cagayan De Oro thru Kiwi.com, they find you the lowest rates across hundreds of airlines with a guarantee from canceled flights, rescheduling, and delays.
By Land and Water
Although we haven’t tried this as an option as it is pretty time-consuming. We’re still linking you the information for option purposes.
- Philtranco buses offers Manila(Pasay/Cubao) to Cagayan de Oro,42 hours travel time
- SuperFerry, Negros Navigation and Sulpicio Lines have ferries bound to Cagayan de Oro City. 30 hours travel time.
From CDO town proper to the river
Note: Jeepney transfer going to the white water rafting location is inclusive when you sign up with Kagay.
Pick up time:
|Morning Trip||7:30 AM|
|Afternoon Trip||12:00 PM|
The trip to the Cagayan de Oro start river starts in the Kalatungan Mountain Range, the central portion of Bukidnon, flowing towards Cagayan de Oro for about 90 kilometers and ending at the Macajalar Bay. The river serves as a natural border that separates Bukidnon and Cagayan de Oro. At the starting point of your Whitewater Rafting trip, the right side is Bukidnon while the left side is Cagayan de Oro.
I recommend staying at these hotels (prices are subject to change and with your budget of course)
Mid-Range (with good user reviews from TripAdvisor)
- Stonestown Sweets (1,700php or 34USD)
- Seda Sentrio (2,750php or 55USD)
- Emerald Suites CDO (1,100php or 22USD)
- Red Planet Cagayan De Oro (1,100php or 22UDD)
Budget-friendly that are ranked from lowest price. CLICK HERE
Note: you may opt to book directly to links mentioned above or thru TravelBookPH on the upper right side of this article.
White Water Rafting is a group activity and also considered an extreme sport as it deals with powerful whirlpools of waves also known as the “rapids” all throughout the sail. It also requires you to have a substantial knowledge on analyzing water behavior. An assigned raft team leader professional will be part of your group to teach, help maneuver the transport and. Please take note that teamwork is pretty vital to finish the rapids. Dealing with risk and the need for teamwork.
- Lower Section 1,200php or 24USD / head
– (Approximately 3hrs River Run ) 14 Rapids
– Class I-II Minimum of 6 pax
- Mid Section 1,800php or 36USD / head
– ( Approximately 4hrs River Run ) 24 Rapids
– Class II-IV Minimum of 6 pax
- Upper Section 2000php or 40USD / head
– ( Approximately 2hrs River Run ) 14 Rapids
– Majority are Class III Minimum of 6 pax
- Jeepney transfer from City Tourism Showhaus, DV-Soria or at your Hotel within the city.proper to Put-in.
- Group guide
- Safety gears: Helmets, life vest, and paddles
Add on optional:
- Lunch plate (200php or 4USD)
- Photos/Videos (500php or 10USD)
- Caving/Spelunking: P1,200 or 24USD/head minimum of 6 pax
Visit Kagay’s main website for more info. Click here.
- Wear a Life Jacket. Make sure it is snug and buckled!
- Listen to your river guides/team leaders.
- Wear proper shoes – no flip-flops, slippers, or bare feet.
- Help your fellow rafters back into your raft if they fall into the water.
- Have fun!
- Do not stand up in moving current. If you unintentionally fall into the water, make sure to float on your back with your toes pointed up, facing downstream.
- Do not use your paddle as a splashing device
- Avoid fallen debris and trees/branches in the river
We spied a gem-green stream in the forest. It was seeping and dribbling as it swerved through the trees. Although the activity is high intensity there is a certain kind of calmness that you can feel around the environment.
There are plenty of things to do in Cagayan De Oro, but their white river rafting shouldn’t be missed.
Experience the hospitality of its people, they wouldn’t be named as “The City of Golden Friendship” if not for their endless smiles.
As we always say go forth and wander! and be a storyteller when you return home.
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