THE MALAPASCUA SUMMER | THE UGLY TRUTH AND THE PARADISE FIND [PHOTOS] [VIDEO]

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Malapascua is an island located at the northern tip of Cebu, and a barangay of Daan Bantayan with its local name ‘Logon’. The island of Malapascua is known for the crystal clear water beaches and white, powdery sand shoreline. Also, it’s been a diving spot for people who loves witnessing coral reefs and under the sea wonders. Malapascua is also known for the Thresher Sharks that are abundant in the surrounding waters of the island.

I still can never forget the first time I went there way back ten years ago: we had our struggle in going there but when we arrived at the beachfront; it awed me to my soul. The clear blue waters were at the most splendid and captivating. The memory stuck in my mind still.

Not until I went there ten years later.

 

THE UGLY TRUTH ABOUT MALAPASCUA

Let’s start from how we travelled.

First, we (all people know) rode a Ceres Bus bound for Maya that has a sea port where numerous of transportation boats await.  The ride was a painful 4 hour drive (not unless you have your own car or service). We started our trip from the North Bus Terminal by 7:00AM and arrived at Maya port by 11:30. It was long and torturous. But I let it pass and just enjoyed the annoying smoke and dirt that is visible in my face.

The boat you will ride on from Maya port to Malapascua Island

The boat you will ride on from Maya port to Malapascua Island

Next, when we arrived at Maya port, there were several boats parked in their port. So my partner told me that we should go to the ticketing office to pay the port fee and so on. But then, one local told us that they were not present any longer right after the great typhoon Yolanda. The ruins left by the typhoon are still visible in the port, actually. There were people (usually locals) barking at everyone who reaches the port and it feels like everyone new has no idea where to go. So, we asked one local on what to do and where to go and just pointed at one boat that will transport us from there to the island. But it was a wrong boat so we transferred to the right one.

We waited there for an hour or so because they have to fill 30 people in that boat. By the way, the fee for the boat is P80.00 per person. (If and only if the tide is low, there will be an inconvenient small boat or banka that will transport you from the port to the boat waiting afar that will cost you another P20.00)

After Yolanda, there was no organized direction on what to do and where to ride there at the port. We were frustrated about that fact and it was scorching hot.

Then we arrived at Malapascua after 20 minutes. Before we docked; we could see the beauty of the crystal clear water (you can see in the video below) as the boat rushes to the beachfront and it is magnificent.

And then we docked, unfortunately I was not impressed. What welcomed us shocked me, and you can see in the pictures below.

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It is fitting that Yolanda struck the island so badly that it destroys most of the trees and nearby buildings/cottages but it’s unfathomable for the government not to take actions in any of these unfortunate circumstances when it’s already six months passed. And there were no governing rules upon littering in the seashore.

The part where we stopped 10 years ago in the island was now a place of garbage.

We hadn’t had our lunch so we ate at Mabuhay Restaurant or whatever it is called. We ordered many foods (ala cart kuno) because the waitress said it was good for 1 person only when in fact it’s good for 2, DUH. We waited for almost 2 hours before our meal arrived. It’s very, very annoying, although their food is OKAY. But still, it’s beyond frustrating.

At that time I felt like it was a wrong decision going there. It’s really dreadful.

 

THE PARADISE FIND IN MALAPASCUA (THANK GOD)

But then we were there because a friend of my brother invited us to come over the island for their fiesta, and so it’s good to know that there’s someone who could navigate us to somewhere different and clean.

I was not hoping to find one, but then when we went to his family’s house in Guimbitayan, located at the other side of the island; the beauty of the beach there was magnificent. I was in awe seeing the shore and the clear blue waters.

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When I dipped, it was just perfect. I was then transported back 10 years ago, and reminisced the feeling of awe. It was almost deserted, and I can only see us playing around the very long sea shore.

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The sunrise is just perfect for the PANG-Instagram/Facebook photo-shoot we did. It captured the island’s vibrancy to life.

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My father and our friend’s grandmother built a tent for us to relax and feast our eyes to the beauty of the beach. It was really pleasing.

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At night, the moon serves as your spotlight to go and take a dip without wondering where your companions are, even though it’s black dark there because the houses around don’t have electricity maybe due to Yolanda (again).

We just brought tents with us to stay for the night.

Nearby, the people build a campfire on the shore, which for me is not good at all; and the local children were playing around it. It was nice of sorts though.

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THE ISLAND VIEW AND THE YOLANDA RUINS

Our friend told us to go to Bantigue cove which is just a walk away from where we were staying. And so, we realized how little we have seen from the island. And we reached the part where the sand is softer (on the shore and in the waters) and the view is nicer.

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To reach Bantigue cove, we have to climb up the hill and it shocked me to see the back part of the island where there’s a soaring high lighthouse at the top.

It was stunning as you can see in the pictures.

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But then when we reached the cove itself, there were ruins everywhere.

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Our friend told us there was a resort built but destroyed by Yolanda (AGAIN AND AGAIN!). There were just ruins everywhere that entails a PANG-Instagram/Facebook photo-shoot.

The beach in Bantigue cove was not at all nice now, so we climbed back.

 

CONCLUSION

I realized that I should never just be mediocre, just because the beach front frustrates me doesn’t mean there’s no other part of a place that will ‘wow’ me. It’s very essential to everyone who loves to travel. Never Stop.

The island is full of garbage now, there are so many issues that I’ve found when I was there from Maya port to the island itself; and it’s for the government to take action and for the people also take initiative.

Malapascua is such a beauty! Reliving its potential means potential for a booming tourism. People just have to create ground rules and not just write it but to apply, organize and follow it, and with just that; the island will be perfect again.

 

COSTS AND FEES

Bus (back and forth) – P163.00 + P163.00

Boat (back and forth) – P80.00 + P80.00

Small Boat (if lowtide both to and from) – P20.00 + P20.00

Stay (At Moonlight Resort – for me not advisable) – P1,600.00 AC Room

 

Note: I cannot post all the costs, room availability and the food here because our friend’s family plus my parents paid for many things there.

 

OUR OWN MUSIC VIDEO

MORE PHOTOS! FEAST YOUR EYES!

At night, under the stars

At night, under the stars

Tents, Tents, Tents

Tents, Tents, Tents

Our friend's house.

Our friend’s house.

The local name for Malapascua.

The local name for Malapascua.

Starfish everywhere! It made me happy.

Starfish everywhere! It made me happy.

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Cozing under the tent.

Cozing under the tent.

Push mo pa!

Push mo pa!

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Stay cool under the sun.

Stay cool under the sun.

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The Sunrise.

The Sunrise.

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CUTENESS OVERLOAD | CAFÉ TIALA: PRINCESS ROOM REVIEW [PHOTOS]

 

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-          ★★★★★

 

Are you feeling weary and tired of the same old same design or themed Korean coffee houses that have wooden platforms, scattered post-it notes and warm yellow lights that honestly looks like the prison cell in the Korean movie Miracle in Cell No. 7?

Well, here’s another Korean owned but with difference from all of those coffee houses that you know.

Recently opened, and still in their soft opening; Café Tiala: Princess Room is the one I can see people will destroy the intimacy right after they did with La Vie Parisienne and Café Noriter. It is located at Unit 2-D 2F, The Forum Bldg., Archbishop Reyes Ave., (Bario Luz), Cebu City. To be specific, it is the building beside the new Grand Con.

They differ in theme and design because they offer the very cute theme of a Princess room. It’s a dollhouse matched with a touch of elegance (because of the chandelier, nakaka-sosyal). It has cute figurines and stuffed toys all around the vicinity. The lights are not that yellowish, far from the other Korean coffee houses (which you might want to look back at your photos without Instagram filters that you look like you’re having Jaundice).

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Anyhow, the place is so cozy and welcoming, added to their cutely dressed staff that were smiling and very friendly. They’re so cute they remind me of the girls in Kafra Corporation in the online game Ragnarok.

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I love how they presented their Menu stacked in a cylindrical cute, cute, cute box. I love something fancy, and this one is really fancy.

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They have plenty of offers which did not differ from other Korean coffee houses; yet still very satisfying. They also have food if your stomach craves for one. The prices are all not that steep and reasonable at times.

What we did while we were there was that we had a small tea party celebration of our own… which was really cute. I already felt like I was inside a gigantic castle and I was with the one I love having tea. I just love the fact that the place makes you feel relaxed and at ease.

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They also have this cute gimmick called ‘Candlelight Time’ where the staff comes inside the room and lights a candle while they flicker out the lights.

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And by this, it doesn’t also goes with cuteness; it also gives a romantic feel even when the place looks like childish and girly bombarded with pink; but no. It’s cute and romantic; perfect for lovers.

DISCOUT EVERYONE! I don’t know when this promo will last but if you report to the staff that you uploaded and tagged or checked in at Café Tiala’s Facebook Page, you will get a discount! And in ours (it was May 9, 2014) we got 15%.

Check out Café Tiala! Really nice.

 

SCHEDULE

10:00AM – MIDNIGHT

 

CONTACT

Telephone no. – 260-5503

FACEBOOK

 

RATING – 5/5

 

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MORE PHOTOS!

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The very sosyal chandelier

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the candle which looked like a screaming ghost

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THE OVERLOOKING INDULGENCE | MOUNTAIN VIEW NATURE’S PARK EXPERIENCE [PHOTOS]

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To be direct, Mountain View Nature’s Park in Sitio Garahe, Busay, Cebu City is one of the most famous places you could hear from talks in town because of the overlooking indulgence of the entire Cebu city, and I’ve been here for plenty of times but never experienced the way I did on the Holy Week passed.

 

HOW TO GET THERE?
Same as my blog for Lantaw Native Restaurant, which is just around the corner of the entrance there in Mountain View, if you don’t have a car, you can go there by taxi which you can rent from J.Y. Square, P250.00, or by Habal-Habal (motorcycle) which costs P50.00 per person, or if you have your own car; that’s probably the best.

 

STAY THERE

Because of a family affair, I got there again. To make the story short; my mother and brother rented a stay for one night just for P1,200.00 non-air conditioned room.

The P1,200.00 Cottages

The P1,200.00 Cottages

I have a short knowledge that there was lodging in Mountain View! So bummer of me.

So the clan went there for a hike and ended up gasping for breath because no one expected how difficult it is to reach on top since it was most of their first times.

Back to the room: it was big, enough for my clan of ten (imagine that) but sush, they didn’t know we were that plenty. Though some of my family members brought with them tents and just stayed outside. The room is (as they say) good for four people. The bed is humungous and very good to sleep into.

You can order food in their canteen and have them delivered in your room if you like.

 

TIP: If you’re planning to go there, have your rooms booked ahead of time, especially on weekends and holidays like the Holy Week. And I, most especially, like for you to book on the air-conditioned room, good for P1,500.00 on the overlooking deck part because you can see the city lights from the windows of your room, and there’s no need for you to climb up just to see it.

 

WHAT TO DO?

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You can also enjoy their amenities. They have an Adventure Obstacle that is variety for P150.00. Their trail entails a lot of challenges; from walking on an unstable hanging bridge (but safe) to zip line-ing your way to excitement. This is available 9:00AM to 7:00PM daily.

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You could also experience their very cold swimming pool that’s good for P100.00 on adults and P75.00 for youngsters. It’s very good for kids because the highest is just 4 feet, so no fret.

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You can do camping, as I’ve said a while ago. There are certain places you can do it, but mostly, people build their tents when the dusk hits the horizon.

I’ve seen people grill outside of their rooms too.

You can soul search, or try marathon from the top down to the entrance of the vicinity. (Just kidding, you’ll end up getting killed)

And when nightfall comes, the city lights below will enchant you. It’s very amusing and enthralling yet at the same time very serene. Looking away from the busy city makes you go past through everything you’ve been through and ponder about your life. It’s very nice, I tell you. I’ve been there many times, yet the city lights never fails to amaze me.

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It’s best to see it in their viewing deck which you could also have a booze with your friends. Thank GOD there’s no entrance pay.

 

TOO EXPENSIVE?

Here’s the catch, is all the amenities too expensive or too much? Well for me, there are a lot of transactions to be done in the spot, and the prices are quite revamped from the normal prices in the city, but let’s give them the benefit of the doubt that it’s really quite difficult to transport goods from down below up there on the mountain, that serves justice.

Also the crew’s salary hehe.

 

CONTACT

Telephone – (032) 231 5444

Facebook

 

PHOTOS

Another evening shot

Another evening shot

Cebu in the morning.

Cebu in the morning.

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THE PIZZA CHALLENEGE | WORLD PIZZA: AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 PIZZAS | AT FRENCH PARK

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- ★★★★★ (3.3.14)

The Parisian themed restaurant, La Maison Rose (The Pink House) has grown to a much better spot in the Queen City which I now claim The French Park. First, it expanded to a Parisian wine junction; La Vie Parisienne, and now a pizza place has sprouted in the same spot, and it’s called WORLD PIZZA: Around the world in 80 Pizzas.

The World Pizza has quite some worldly taste, instead of just pure French. They offer 80 different kinds of pizzas from the Philippines to the world.

The spot has just a bar for the waiters and waitresses to stay and get the orders, together with the European style stove where the pizzas are cooked; and just some chairs and tables around. The best thing is that they have a huge hammock that looks like the ones I’ve seen on 9gag, which seems relaxing, and when I was there, kids were enjoying the swinging treat.

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The best thing was that the waitress told us that we could go and sit anywhere, from La Maison Rose, La Vie Parisienne to World Pizza, just as long as it’s in The French Park.

Try their American pizza that costs P250.00 and also their Laos pizza that costs P210.00. Both are equally delicious and sumptuous, and my partner was indeed super impressed by the way it was flavoured.

You can also blend two pizzas at a time for the highest price of the two you’ve chosen. What I mean was that; just like us, we bought American for P250 and Laos for P210, we paid P250 pesos because it’s the highest price of both.

TIP: If you’re planning to mix two flavours at the same time; choose those treats/pizzas that have the same price or at the same price range. If you choose the P250.00 pizza, better make sure the half of it also costs P250 or at that range.

The Pizza Challege

Now, my partner and I were really impressed by it, so we made a deal to experience another pizza treat that comes from another country to experience of what it taste like in other places just like the way I imagined it to be.

Now, the challenge starts… care to join us?

PIZZA RATINGS

American – 4

Laos – 5

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AM I CRUISIN’? | CAFE GEORG | RESTAURANT REVIEW [PHOTOS]

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- ★★★★★

It’s always a delight when you have plans on your own for that very day and that’s what you exactly wanted to do. But unfortunately, for my partner and I; it was a very stressful Saturday. We were planning to do a review for Ipar’s Restaurant, but unfortunately, the place was unavailable due that it was used for a function… I wonder why they don’t have their own function rooms.

Well, the misfortune took us somewhere else deserving.

Café Georg is one of the spots where I always pass by and see at G/F MLD Bldg., Gov. M. Cuenco Avenue, Banilad, Cebu City, and wanted to visit one day. And the plan that night was re-arranged by the stars to destine us to that very, very nice restaurant.

Having the wonderful theme of Americano; which you can notice while you walk in, and also the cabinet of Chinas on the entrance part which looked really, really nice; Café Goerg is a restaurant extravagant that you will find and experience in the Queen City.

The place looks really expensive due to the Western style design. The plates and bottles that are hung on the walls captivate the sense plus the chandelier gives the warm, welcoming appeal. But what astonishes me the most is how the place made me feel like I’m on a boat or on a cruise, perhaps. It really gave me and my partner those feels which was really incredible.

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Their Menu has the price range of P200.00 plus – P300.00 plus in the main course category, like fish, beef, pork, and pasta. Salads do vary from P150.00 – P200.00 plus. The reason why the price looks steep on their Menu because it already is revamped by VAT.

Try their PorkChop with Garlic Herb Butter which is P220.00 that culminates a pork experience. The butter and the vegetable sidings were the perfect combination. The flavours compliment together with the bland taste of the pork. It’s just too perfect for us, it’s too American, and it’s the taste I’ve been looking for a long time.

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Also, try their Beef and Vegetable Casserole which costs P210.00 that is perfect for people who does want it bland-ish. I loved it because I think beef should be cooked that way, also, the vegetable sidings are perfect apogee for it.

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Their Bolognese is a marvelous delight for me because I am a pasta person, and I know when the pasta is good or not. Bolognese on other restaurants is too intense in sweetness; I have a hard time finishing it. But well, it maybe is cooked that way, but I beg to differ; Café Georg offers a Bolognese that is just right on its sweetness. I was wonderstrucked by the flavour which kept me saying ‘God! This is good!’ repeatedly. Café Georg’s Bolognese costs P195.00.

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For the drinks, try their Red Grape Shake which is P115.00 that will conclude your dining experience. Café Georg also offers cakes and cupcakes and some delectable assortments for snacks and chilltime.

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The service in Café Georg is superbly impressive. The waitresses put smiles on their faces whenever you glance at them, and that’s a plus point, of course. Then the service was very fast, we did not wait for 15 minutes for our order to arrive. What impresses us the most is that, although this might sound a bit absurd, but the fast response when we ordered extra rice. Well, in other restaurants, it will take time for the waiters to return with the extra rice, because we always order one.

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Café Georg couldn’t place any more impressive feels in my system. When we deliberated, I quickly said, ‘This is a five’, and it will be a five.

CONTACT

Telephone – 234 0887

RATINGS

Place – 5

Porkchop with Garlic Herb Butter – 5

Beef and Vegetable Casserole – 4

Bolognese – 5

Red Grape Shake – 5

Service – 5

Value for Money – 5

OVERALL – 5

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TEA TIME | SPROCKETS COFFE + MILK TEA CAFÉ [PHOTOS]

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-          ★★★ ½

Milk tea nowadays are so IN here at the Queen City, and there’s one located at J. Block Apitong St., and one in Talamban just across University of San Carlos which named Sprockets.

They offer from coffee to milk tea to cakes and very cute cupcakes and also snacks like chicken wings to pizza.

The place in Talamban, which my partner and I visited was really cute and comfortable; but I doubt that it will be on weekdays since it will be jam packed with San Carlos students, but still, it’s nice and pleasing to be in.

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Try their Wintermelon Milk Tea, which you can see in their menu having the number ‘1’ beside it, meaning that it’s the best-seller of all. Also, try their Toasted Hazelnut Milk Tea which is the 4th best-seller of all. And their Blueberry Cheese Cake which was also a winner.

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I love the fact that they have sinkers that you can choose from, which I prefer the burst, and you’ll just have to add P20.00 from the original price of the beverage.

The beverage price ranges from P90.00 – P100.00 which is really affordable.

Visit Sprockets and love the cuteness of the place.

CONTACT

Telephone – 234-3304 (Escario) 236-8955 (Talamban)

Facebook – Sprockets Facebook

RATINGS

Overall – 3.5

SKY DINING | SKY LOUNGE BY BLUE ELEPHANT RESTAURANT REVIEW [PHOTOS]

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-          ★★★ ½

Ever wonder where those open air, top of the building, socialite restaurants we see in the movies? Well, there’s one in the Queen City called Sky Lounge by Blue Elephant.

Located at the 19th floor of Apple One building, Cebu Business Park just across the Ayala Center Cebu mall.

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Ayala Center Cebu bird’s eye view at Apple One.

Sky Lounge is a high class dining experience literally and metaphorically. Metaphorically, the experience makes you feel like one of the Alta Sociedad having an elegant dinner together with the people you like, or a business dinner; and Literally because it’s on top of a classy building… really, really high, made me drowsy, capturing the city view due to the fact that I have Acrophobia.

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The Panoramic City View at Apple One

Talking about the view; it’s best to capture the moment in a night sky where you can see the city lights all around the 180 degrees view on their Al Fresco (open air seating), and inside their glass windowed V.I.P. rooms.

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The Al Fresco or the outside seating at Sky Lounge

Prior in going to Sky Lounge, you have to make reservations ahead of time due to the fact that in its very exclusive and few table seating space, also famous dining spot; plenty of people visit to have that top of the city dining experience. Also, there’s a P300.00, consumable on both food and drink, table fee.

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The V.I.P. room at Sky Lounge

The food is in Thai cuisine, perfect for those who want extreme flavorful foods, like me. Try their best-seller Seafood Curry in Coconut Shell that costs P280.00 that culminates seafood experience. I loved every bit of it, even though I was worried that it comes with shrimps which could kill me (haha), thank God, it didn’t include shrimps with it.

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Seafood Curry in Coconut Shell

Also, try their huge Barbecue Ribs which is also in P280.00 that tastes good to the bones. And try their Bangkok Express which costs P180.00, similar to Philippines’ Monggo or Monggos but rich in flavor and my favorite of all. All the foods are well cooked and are good for 2-3 people already, which compensate the price range of P180.00 – P380.00.

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Bangkok Express

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Barbecue Ribs

Although the place seems to be a perfect place to dine; we had a couple of troubles faced throughout our dining course. First was the dinner reservation that wasn’t in the list. I did a reservation four days before the date and unfortunately we weren’t in it. We had to wait for a couple of minutes for them to get a seat for us (luckily). Then when we seated there but we had to call the attention of the waiters to give us the menu who seems to be profoundly deaf at that time, making them hard to call; and isn’t that protocol? Then the waiting time for our order to arrive reached for about 40 minutes, and that’s really, really long.

I remembered our time at Bucket Shrimps which the waiting time was really that long but the food wasn’t fantastic and unfortunately had a low score for me, and I’m not planning to go back there any time soon to have another review.

To culminate it all up, the place is great, food is great but the service did not compensate for all the good things I experience there, and it’s not just me who’s complaining; I’ve read lots and lots of it on some websites, and I was this close to losing it. And they have to REALLY fix it, because unlike Bucket Shrimps; I’m planning on going back there for another review maybe sometime in the future.

My Tip? Don’t go there really  hungry.

Check out Sky Lounge by Blue Elephant.

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Sky Lounge by Blue Elephant at Apple One

CONTACT

Tel. No. – 262-9088 or 511-7600

Facebook – Sky Lounge by Blue Elephant

RATINGS

Place – 4

Seafood Curry in Coconut Shell – 4

Barbecue Ribs – 4

Bangkok Express – 5

Service – 1

Value for money – 3

OVERALL – 3.5