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LEWIS GRAND HOTEL

Lewis Grand Hotel joined the long list of hotels that have been opening inside and outside of Clark Air Base, the newest hub in Central Luzon, in 2007. It is located along Don Juico Avenue where hotels are aplenty. But what makes Lewis Grand Hotel different from the other hotels in the area? First and foremost…it is a businessman’s hotel and boasts of four well furnished Presidential Suites. It also has Executive Suites suitable for businessmen who want to mix business with pleasure. It is also the first hotel in the city that has a “tent”… the Lewis Grand Event Pavillion (just like the NBC tent we have in BGC,The Fort-Taguig)… which is a favorite venue for weddings, birthdays and different events. The pavillion can accomodate up to 500 guests. They also have the Estrellita Ballroom which can cater to 50 to 200 guests.

As soon as you enter Lewis Grand Hotel, you will be awed at the spiral staircase in the lobby which is an “instagrammable” spot in itself. The lobby is spacious with well appointed lounges where you can relax while waiting for your room keys to be handed to you and a nice place to entertain expected guests.

My family and I have stayed in a few hotels near Clark Air Base and I was surprised at the grandeur of Lewis Grand Hotel. They have a very inviting pool with a bar, a restaurant which serves delicious food, big spacious rooms and their Wifi connection (which is very vital as everyone is on the web these days) is thumbs up for me…. from the lobby, to the rooms, pool area and restaurant.

They have different types of rooms that you can choose from to suit your needs. From the Deluxe Rooms, Superior Rooms, Executive Suites and the Presidential Suites. Most of their rooms have big bath tubs and some have jacuzzi’s just like what they have in the Executive Suites.

Some rooms have a very nice view overlooking the pool, Clark Air Base and nearby towns and/or city. Just like the room where we were billeted, it had a great view of the pool and you could take a beautiful shot of the sunrise or the sunset. How lovely it was to wake up in the morning with the sun peeping through the curtains!

And let me add that their beds are very comfortable and would make you lay down in bed the whole day. It’s what staycations are for…to enjoy, have fun and get the relaxation you deserve.

Lewis Grand Hotel also takes pride in having The Avenue Restaurant which serves American and Filipino dishes. It’s menu is impressive and also serves buffet breakfast for those who want to start their day with a hearty meal.

On the day we checked in…we tried their “grill night” which was a dinner buffet near the poolside with singers serenading you (at the poolside bar) while you’re dining al fresco. The buffet spread consisted of soup, salads, steaks, grilled chicken, pork barbeque, ribs and a Mongolian bar/station. It was a feast to behold and was very affordable at the price of P499.00+ per head. Walk in clients can even use the pool for free…which was another attraction to their “grill night.” This is something you should check out if you’re living within the area. It’s a good family treat!

The following day, we had buffet breakfast at The Avenue Restaurant. It had a wide array of food on the buffet table to choose from. From their omelette/egg station, pancakes, salads, sausages, breads, fresh fruits and more! I seldom indulge in having a hearty breakfast but this time was not the best time to refuse one. Before we checked out, we had lunch again at The Avenue Restaurant where we satisfied our tummies with Fresh Vegetable Spring Rolls (one of my favorites), Cajun Salmon, Jerk Chicken, Baby Back Ribs (the ribs were tender and I love the potato wedges that came with it) and Spiced Shrimp Scampy Pasta. Desserts were two delectable cakes…Chocolate Cake and Bluberry Cheesecake. It was definitely a feast for us and our cravings were perfectly satisfied!

Lewis Grand Hotel has indeed come a long way.It’s now known not only as a businessman’s hotel but also a staycation’s haven and one of the best hotels where you can celebrate important milestones in your life or your family members.

With or without any occassion, make Lewis Grand Hotel your home away from home. For reservations and inquiries …you may get in touch with them with the following contact nos. (+63 45) 6253947 or (+63 45) 6256186

ROOMS AND AMENITIES:

FOOD AT THE POOLSIDE BAR AND THE AVENUE RESTAURANT

Grill Night Buffet:

Buffet Breakfast:

Thank you for having us Lewis Grand Hotel!

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DAINTY RESTAURANT….ASIAN CUISINE

Dainty Restaurant is a family owned business. Their father, Long You Cheng founded Hongkong Restaurant in the 50’s while their mother, Conchita Patio Cheng, operated their Mr. Cheng Restaurant and Inn. The said restaurant catered mostly to US Servicemen.

Daisy Restaurant offered their 24 hour food delivery service in the late 90’s which became very successful and so the opening of Dainty Tea House and Restaurant was opened adjacent Nepo Mart, which later moved to Nepo Quad. In 2002, Dainty Asian Cuisine was opened in Balibago. It is where the old Mr. Cheng was located. They are now in the process of finishing the renovation of the old Mr. Cheng Inn and will soon reopen to join the flourishing hotel business in Angeles City.

What makes Dainty Restaurant different from the rest? First it’s a home grown Chinese restaurant. Second…their clients have remained loyal inspite of the many Chinese restaurants that have popped out in the city. Third they have a delicious array of food on their menu at affordable prices. Not to mention that Mr. Long You Cheng ,who was also very good in the kitchen, has been in the business for last 65 years (more or less) and has handed it down to his children. In fact Dainty Restaurant in Nepo Quad is a block buster! There was never a time that I went there to dine without a long queue. Locals and people from nearby cities love their food.

Dainty Restaurant’s kitchen is manned by professinal chefs who are able to deliver to their clients their expertise in Asian cooking in collaboration with Chef Matt Mitchell. Behind the spotlight…we have Chef Brenda Long Mitchell who takes care of the over-all operations of the the restaurants together with her brother, Danny Long.

The Long Cheng family has really come a long way and have proved to everyone that hard work and dedication does bring in good rewards.

Dainty Restaurant has three branches in the following places in Angeles City…Henson Street, Nepo Quad and Balibago. You may get in touch with them via these contact nos. (045) 8926595/ (045) 4580248/ (045) 4361160/ +639175016963. By the way…Dainty Restaurant also delivers!

Now,let me feast your eyes and drool to the different food we had during our visit at Dainty Restaurant.

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY TRAVELBOOKPH!

Travelbookph is turning 4 years old and they are bringing to you more great hotel and resort deals!

Please check this link…

https://travelbook.ph/philippines/?afid=714

 

NEXT STEP TO OUR DREAMS

Every one has has his or her own share of their dreams. For some…it maybe a dream car, house, vacation, marriage, children…it’s an endless list. But for me and my husband one of our greatest dream was to give our children the best education.

Right after my husband and I got married, we decided to have two or three children and we would really plan it…meaning we’ll make sure the kids will be born a few years after the other. My husband came from a big brood. They were eight siblings and we were half that number from my end. We wanted to enjoy our kids and give them their much needed attention thus they had an almost seven years gap. Because of my pre-existing health issue which was diagnosed in 1992 ( three years after our eldest was born) we decided to just have two kids. Our eldest was a boy and so for our second child, we were hoping for a girl but God gave us another son which was just great for us. Both of our boys were born healthy and no complications at all since childbirth. We made sure that they will be good siblings…knowing the meaning of loving and caring for each other.

A few months after my eldest son was born, my husband got him a grade school educational plan. We were happy with it as my eldest son was able to study in an exclusive school for boys in Greenhills… with us only paying his Kindergarten 1 and 2 and Grade 7 as these were not included in the said plan. Then he continued his studies in the same school until he reached college where he earned a degree in Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering with specialization in Project Management. He was the first grandchild from his father’s side to finish college and we were proud parents indeed. And after a year, he passed the board exams for Civil Engineers…which added another accomplishment on our sleeves. My son happens to be the third generation of Civil Engineers in the family…starting from his paternal grandfather then to his father. What an amazing feat! We were overjoyed and we couldn’t avoid shedding tears when we learned of his passing the board exams. And with that…our first dream has finally come.

After five years, another dream has come. My youngest son graduated recently from a well known school in Taft Ave, Manila with a degree in Bachelor of Science in Information Systems. Alas! We become proud parents again (we have always been) and another blessing for us. The sweet smell of victory again for us. While I saw my youngest son accepting his college diploma, I couldn’t stop wiping my tears…thanking God for His unselfish love and goodness to us. He was always there with us…guiding us to be good parents and making sure that we would be able to bring the two boys to the best schools. I am very thankful that my husband is very hardworking and that our boys studied well…if not, all of these would have not happened.

In restrospect…I am glad that we were able to surpass all the trials that we have encountered over the years. Eveything is not as sweet as one might think it is. But we remained strong and ready to face any battle. I’m sure any parent who reads this will understand what I’m driving at.

Now that our two boys are done with their education…it makes us more prouder when we realize that our boys took our advices to them seriously. We always reminded them that we were not wealthy. It’s only their good education that we can leave to them as our legacy. We often told them that material wealth can come and go, but good education will always be there and that no one one will look down on them because they have a degree.

I am happy that my eldest son has been working as a licensed Civil Engineer in one of the top 1000 corporations for almost five years now and my youngest son will soon be braving the new life that is in store for him as a web programmer.

My husband and I are in our fifties and we are contented with what we have achieved…of course our greatest achievements are our two boys! We will continue to live each day as it comes and looking forward for that next step to our dreams. God will lead us there. I know that…deep in my heart! ❤

 

SHIRO FOOD PARK

Food parks have been popping out in the Metro and other nearby cities. They are giving foodies a lot of food choices.

For our Manila Food Trip 2017, we checked out Shiro Food Park located at Deparo, Caloocan. It’s quite far but for me the best route is via Fairview and it’s on Waze anyway, which makes it easier to find. The food park stands on a 1000 square meter lot,airy (not cramped like the other food parks I went to) with ample parking, well guarded (which is good for me,when it comes to safety) and with 25 food stalls or more. It has two floors and offers entertainment too…like acoustic bands, in house music by a DJ and the like.

The food concessionaires vary…from those offering healthy drinks, quenchers, cocktail drinks, local beers paired with pica-pica, grilled food, tex-mexican food, burger joints, pizza, street food, native food, do it your own pasta, doughnuts and more!

I have visited a few food parks but I personally like Shiro Food Park although it’s quite far from my place because it’s spacious and I like the variety of food stalls that they have. I don’t really mind taking that extra mile to go there as long as I come home with a happy tummy.

These are the food stalls you can check out at Shiro Food Park….

  • Ansia
  • Crentop
  • Burger
  • CYOP (Create your own pasta)
  • Gavino
  • Rebeccas
  • House of Griddle
  • Sinful
  • DOTD ( Donut of the Day)
  • The Barbecue Garage
  • The Shawarma and Kebab Factory
  • Rakki
  • Becum Sweet Corner
  • Wild Dawg Sportsbar
  • D & G roadhouse
  • Dapoerkoe
  • Badong’s Cuisine
  • The Sausage Party
  • Salt & Pepper
  • BFF House of Pulutan
  • Gabs Pizza
  • Sisig House Manila
  • Kenjie Crispy
  • Star Frappe
  • Artist Tea

I am also sharing with you all the delicious food we had at the food park.Please do visit them when you’re in the area of Caloocan and Fairview.

LIVING LIFE TO THE FULLEST…MY STORY

Since it’s Women’s International Month…I decided to write a personal blog which might inspire a lot of women. Mine is just like any other story but with a few twists here and there.

I grew up in a subdivision in my hometown where most of our neighbors were Americans…because of it’s proximity to Clark Air Base. We were only four Filipino families living on that street. I had a happy childhood filled with wonderful memories with my Filipino, American and Fil-American friends. On weekends, we would sleep over at our friends houses and played the whole night till we fell asleep. Sometimes we would go swimming at a hotel in the subdivision or go to the park. On the streets, we would play hop scotch ( local version is piko) and walked barefoot not minding even if we had dirty feet afterwards. My American friends also taught me how to walk on top of the wall…yes, on top! It’s difficult considering the wall is not wide enough…one foot would only fit on top of it. After a few falls and almost being bitten by our neighbor’s dobberman, finally I learned how to do it perfectly. I used to have a small nipa hut, a present from my father, which was placed in our yard where my friends and I played with my claypots. We would cut flowers and leaves that we used in our make believe cooking sessions.That is where my love for cooking started.

I studied in an exclusive school for girls run by the Benedictine nuns from kindergarten to high school. I wouldn’t say I was an achiever but I was always active in school programs. In Kindergarten…I was accelerated and skipped Prep. Then in grade two, I won First Prize in a Declamation Contest in school. At a young age, I was not even aware of those things because I always thought it was part of being in school.In grade school I met my two best friends ( since  eight years old) and up to now have remained to be  my very best friends. I joined the Dance Club in high school because I was fond of dancing and we would always be part of every school program.At this time, I also noticed that I had difficulty in climbing the stairs but didn’t mind it at all. On my fourth year in high school…I joined the Glee Club although I didn’t have a good singing voice but luckily I passed the auditions. High school life was the best for me. We would have yearly fairs,joint parties with the boys ( from an exclusive school for boys), cheering competitions and sneaked out from my parents on Saturdays just to go to an afternoon disco at a nearby city. And that is where I got my love for eighties music…the best music genre for me!

I took a business course in college… although I preferred taking up Psychology…because my father was a businessman and wanted me to help in our family owned business after graduation. I was an “interna” in an exclusive school in Mendiola and would go home on weekends. I gained a lot of friends inside the dorm and we were literally family as we were on one roof 24/7. It’s just amazing that my friends in the dorm have been my friends too for the last thirty four years.

After college, I helped my father with our business for a year then I decided to work.My first and last job was in a bank (thirteen years) in Makati. This is also where I met my husband of almost twenty nine years. We were not officemates though but he was introduced to me by my dormmate who happens to be his officemate.After dating for almost a year, we got married then I gave birth to my eldest son after a year. When my son was barely three years old, I noticed that I am not able to do things that I used to do. Climbing the stairs and balancing my body became more difficult. So my husband and I decided to see a doctor to see what was wrong with me. After a series of tests and a muscle biopsy, the prognosis was that I have Muscular Dysthrophy which was weakening of the muscles and it had no cure at all. It had four classes and I had the most least of them which was Limb Girdle type. The doctor told my husband that I should not bear a child anymore since it would make the illness more progressive…it actually progresses slowly but it would be faster if I get pregnant because of the weight on the abdominal muscles. He said I would be in a wheelchair after five years. I was just twenty seven then so I was thinking how could it be so fast! I cried and was very worried because my eldest son was very young thinking of the possibilities too that in five years time, I would be using a wheelchair and I would still be very young then. How can I enjoy my son and how can I continue doing things that I love to do like working and cooking at home on weekends and on special occassions? In all of these, I did not question God. It is actually with Him that I got my strength to move forward and look at it in a positive way. Well, after a week, I composed myself and I was determined to face it by enjoying and living each day as it comes. I prayed a lot and hoping that a cure would be discovered. I had my second son three years after I was diagnosed. I did leg therapy at home and made sure I didn’t gain too much weight as it would be difficult for me to balance myself. Although walking too long became tiring…I was happy that I didn’t yet needed a wheelchair.

Fast forward…in 2003 I had a freak accident in our small hallway at home. My right hip had a hairline crack but was healed after a month. I had to be in bed though for a month. It was only in 2005 that my doctor adviced me to start using the wheelchair…it’s thirteen years after I was diagnosed! He said I was not getting any younger and my mobility started getting to be limited. Going to the supermarket and malling was too tiring and I can’t enjoy it anymore especially when I am with my two boys. And we followed his advice. I didn’t use it though at home since I can still walk inside my home although with someone assisting me. Using my wheelchair gave me more freedom in the sense that I am able to do regular things that I used to do without the fear of slipping/falling (yes, I had lots of those ) and with my family not worrying if I was tired or what not. On the other hand, I also encountered people who thought that my husband was helpless because he had to care of me till the end. It was hurting but a counsellor told me not to be affected with these kinds of people as long as they do not put food on my table. They should be happy for me to have someone like my husband. I thought I wouldn’t be able to surpass the criticisms but with a firm spirit I tried to put everything on the right perspective proving to one and all that I can be what I want to be regardless of the situations that will be hurled against me.

Some people think that being in a wheelchair makes you get stuck in there and that you cannot be productive anymore…that’s not TRUE! You can always be what you want to be as long as you have determination and the full support of your family. I am truly blessed to have a very supportive, caring and understanding husband (sons,family, relatives and friends too) who makes sure that I can be productive in my own little way and that I am able to do things that I love to do. I enjoy being in the company of my family and friends …which makes life more easier for me.

My blogging started when I created my own facebook group…Flavors of the World…which is about cooking and recipe sharing or anything about food for that matter. After writing restaurant reviews for my group…I was encouraged by a friend to take blogging seriously. It may not yet be financially rewarding by now but what matters most is that I am enjoying it. Meeting new friends is an added bonus.

It is with a happy heart that I can say that nothing is impossible in this imperfect world that we live in as long as you are motivated, prayerful and always grateful to God for all the blessings He has showered upon you. Be that person you want to be before it’s too late!

Happy reading and God bless us all!

SWEET INDULGENCE AND MORE AT LOVE Z, BAKERY AND PATISSERIE

My Manila Food Trip 2017 with the Pampanga Bloggers Society and a few Manila bloggers had only one bakeshop to visit during the said food crawl. But we were not disappointed as Love, Z Bakery and Patisserie did not only feast our eyes with their wide array of cakes, cookie, sandwiches and all day breakfast but it also gave our sweet palates to indulge with delight with everything that they served us.

The owners of Love Z, Bakery and Patisserie are not new in the food business as their martriarch used to be a part owner of Makati Skyline. After Makati Skyline closed it’s doors… she still continued catering to friends and valued clients of Makati Skyline. Love Z, Bakery and Patisserie is all about family. The owners are brothers, nephews and nieces and in laws. James Rollan, their manager told us during our short conversation with him, that it’s his mom who does product development. The other co-owners help in marketing their products or visit the patisserie when there is a need to. They are also supplying their products to a few restaurants around the Metro. Everyone helps to make Love Z, Bakery and Patisserie to what it is now. It’s barely two years old and business has been great to this close knit family of food lovers.

I always love businesses with family members as owners/co-owners. For me, there is so much love and passion that is poured in the business as everyone wants to see their business succeed with the whole family in tow!

Anyway, I’m sharing with you what we had at their patisserie. Don’t forget to visit their quaint cafe cum patisserie at Filinvest 2, Quezon City. Their contact nos. are 366-51-71 or 0977-758-22-24. Btw, they also accept bulk orders!

Urban Table and Bistro…A New Food Adventure

Pampanga ….especially San Fernando City and Angeles City…have been in the limelight when it comes to great food finds.And here in Greenfields Square – Sindalan, San Fernando…you will find Uraban Table and Bistro. This one of kind resto/bistro serves a little bit of fusion food at affordable prices and with a very nice ambiance.

Chef Don Quito,owner/chef of the Urban Table and Bistro started his business in Bulacan. He was into the baking business and delivers cakes to different restos within the area and nearby cities. Then he came up with the idea of opening a resto/bistro in December of 2015. Urban Table Bistro has just turned one year old and already has a following especially with the millenials who want to dine and unwind first before heading home after a tiring day in the office. The place can seat 50 persons and Chef Don said it is always booked for seminars and meetings.

The place is very clean, uncluttered and service is great! I loved the blackboard on the right side of the resto where one can see the logo of the Urban Table and Bistro. According to Chef Don, they change the postings on the blackboard from time to time. Another thing that caught my eye was the wall on the center which for me radiates positive energy to everyone who enters the place (you will see it later on the photos that I am sharing with you).

We were treated by Chef Don with a feast that filled up our happy tummies consisting of salad, appetizers, pastas, main courses, desserts and of course with a lot of healthy drinks. Everything was delicious!

Before I left the bistro I had a brief conversation with Chef Don and noticed the small bottles near the counter where I was seated. The bottles turned out to be Bottled Tuyo and Malunggay Jam made by Chef Don himself. I bought one of each as the Malunggay looked so much interesting!

So if you’re in the vicinity of Sindalan- San Fernando,Pampanga….why not make Urban Table Bistro your next food stop.

KOTA KINABALU…YOUR NEXT BUCKET LIST DESTINATION

This was our first out of the country family trip and we thought of going to a place where few Filipinos explore. A good friend is from here and she invited us several times to see her country. My husband and I decided to make Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia our first destination.

Kota Kinabalu, formerly known as Jesselton, is the capital of the state of Sabah, Malaysia. It is also the capital of the West Coast Division of Sabah. The city is located on the northwest coast of Borneo facing the South China Sea…the reason why it is well known for it’s many island resorts. One of it’s major attractions is also Mt. Kinabalu. Kota Kinabalu is a well known tourist destination and a gateway for those who want to visit Borneo and Sabah. You can also take a trip going to Brunei via Kota Kinabalu either by ferry or by land…which we did. We had a day tour going to Brunei and it was a twelve hour trip (back and forth) but we can’t complain.We loved the place and the long drive was worth it.

The place is clean and crime rate is very low.People are very friendly and accomodating.

On our first day,we went to Rumah Terbalik in Tamparuli, Sabah to see the Upside Down House and the 3D Museum. Then the Chanteek Cultural Museum was our next stop where we saw the different costumes that were used by the Malays.

Being a food blogger, I made sure I had to taste their native cuisine. I wasn’t disappointed at all as it was so good! Even my mother, who joined us on this trip, loved Malaysian food especially Laksa. I also tried bringing home lots of goodies (cookies, chocolates and candies) that were made in Malaysia and I’m impressed! They were not only good but very cheap.

While we were touring around…we would read signages that were similar to my native dialect (Kapampangan) and Filipino too. Malls were also very nice and aplenty…from the posh ones to the low-middle class ones (of course my mother and I enjoyed our retail therapy). We were so lucky that many stores were mostly on sale. If you are looking for cheap/affordable souvenir items, I suggest that you go to the Philippine Market. Items sold there are made in Malaysia and you will surely bump into few Filipinos who sell their items in that market.You can even bargain if you are buying in bulk.

We all had a great time and we would love to come back again to this beautiful place!

Why not make it your next bucket list destination?

 

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