Thursday, March 21, 2019


If you are following this humble blog of mine, alam na ninyo how I love gardening. The concept of "farm to table" excites me!  That is why I grow veggies and herbs in my garden. I also have fruit trees - atis and guyabano that have yielded me hundreds of fruits in the last 3 years. My avocado tree has yet to give me my first harvest. But I am patiently waiting. So with my kaimito. There's also a guava seedling patiently waiting to be planted.

I think our country is blessed with good soil - that is why it is very easy to grow fruit trees. Where I live, I can still see lots of mature mango trees. In the provinces, every backyard has a mango tree to boast of -- mapa piko, kalabaw o indian mango man yan. We enjoy it ripe or unripe with bagoong.

Filipinos just love MANGOES.  

And there is a new place where you can get the juiciest, most succulent and sweetest mangoes -- crafted into dessert perfection!


Originally from Hong Kong, Hui Lau Shan has been making the world swoon over the sensational taste of its mango creations. That includes countries like China, Malaysia, South Korea, Macau, Taiwan, and Vietnam Canada as well as developed cities like Paris and Melbourne. What's makes its taste close to the Filipinos is that the brand has been using premium Philippines carabao mangoes to delight its customers worldwide. 

Now through Fat Daddy's Group, Hui Lau Shan is bringing our pride back to the Philippines with its first store and many future branches to take over the country. 

And I was invited to their media launch.  Hui Lau Shan's flagship store is located at SM Megamall Atrium Level 4.  The brand is globally known for using Philippine carabao mangoes in its deliciously rich range of dessert creations and refreshments, which makes it a huge hit in many parts of the world.  A bit of a trivia, the government calls carabao mango, "Manila Super Mango" when they export it abroad. 

"The grand launching of our first store is about celebrating the homecoming of our pride, the Philippine carabao mangoes. Plus, enjoying the taste of Hui Lau Shan mango treats is also a simple way of supporting our local agribusiness because the brand is expected to consume one ton of mangoes for 10 to 15 stores a week,” Freshnaida Versoza, President and CEO of Fat Daddy's Group.

Hui Lau Shan will also be opening new stores in UP Town Center, Eastwood, SM Fairview, SM North, Promenade Mall and SM Mall of Asia this 2019. In three years, its first store in Cebu will be launched to deliver the taste of our world-popular carabao mangoes closer to more Filipinos. 


Hui Lau Shan brought a huge smile on my face that day. Their mango desserts were really delish!

Another reason for my big smile -- saw my neighbor-friend Julius Babao, also enjoying the treats at Hui Lau Shan.  To be continued our chikahan on urban gardening :)  

And more reason to smile -- head over to SM Megamall Atrium – Level 4 on March 23, 2019 (Saturday) to experience real Philippine carabao mango goodness and get a chance to win amazing rewards.

The first buyer will win one-year supply of Hui Lau Shan mango drink or dessert, while the 2nd buyer will enjoy six months supply. Three months supply will be awarded to the 3rd to 5th buyers, while the 6th to 10th buyer will get one-month supply.

On March 23, first 200 customers can indulge Hui Lau Shan’s famous drinks (mango mania series) in real mango goodness for only Php50.00. 

Follow Hui Lau Shan on facebook and instagram for more awesome deals!

Friday, March 15, 2019


Last Friday, March 8, I got invited for the very first time to a ZomatoPh event.  It was the launch of Waterside's new menu. I felt the foodie fairies showered me with good luck - because the new menu prepared by Chef Hylton Le Roux, Head Chef of Waterside, was inspired by his recent trip to Mexico's spice and street markets.  And yes!  I love Mexican/Latin inspired food.

Take a look at Chef Hylton's travel and food adventure in Mexico -- and I tell you -- it will entice you to visit WaterSide at Solaire and have a taste of its new menu!



More than 85 percent of the menu are new and features choice ingredients flown in from Mexico. New dishes include traditional Latin favorites such as “Tuna Tostada”, “Arroz Con Mariscos” and “Escabeche De Pescado”. Chef Hylton also pays homage to local Filipino flavors, which bear close affinity to Latin cuisine due to centuries of Spanish influence on Philippine culinary heritage. In some of the must-try new dishes, Chef uses Filipino ingredients on traditional Mexican dishes, such as “Sisig Tacos”.



CEVICHE - Marinated kingfish, avocado leche de tigre, sweet potato,
cancha corn and pomelo. First time to experience cancha or large-kerneled corn
and it added texture and "crunchy-ness" to this dish.  I simply love
everything with avocado. This dish reminds me of my summer staple - kinilaw! 

TUNA TOSTADA - Soy orange marinated tuna, salsa fresca, cilantro, chili and
roasted peanuts. Yes, I will not lie, I removed that chili on top :)  Still, it is still medium
spicy to my taste. But won't turn my back to this dish, especially when it
has that marinated tuna (another fave) and cilantro.

ALBONDIGAS - Spanish style beef and pork meatballs in sofrito sauce, with
crispy potato and Manchego cheese. Growing up in Malabon I am accustomed
to eating "Almondigas" - pork and shrimp meatballs with miswa. There's a tinge
of similarity, but I kindda miss the "shrimp" flavor

Tuesday, March 12, 2019


Yay!  It's summer once again. It is time to have that "awesome family adventure" once again. 

As a the #BackPackSquad, we've been to several destinations in the Philippines. We started this annual adventure when the kids were just 10 years old.  I think that is the best age to start traveling with them.  They are old enough to appreciate and remember the sights.  No challenges of diaper changing or bottle feeding. At age 10, the children can keep up with an adult itinerary. 

And where have we been?  What were the places we've explored? The exciting adventures that bonded us together??  I collated it in one video -- and am giving you an idea where will our next adventure be -- 


We look forward to going to the ENCHANTING AQUAPLAYPARK this summer!!!


AquaPlay Park is in the business of providing fun water activities for families and barkadas "play" design experience for commercial inflatable water slides for 29 years. Wow!  That is long, almost 3 decades!

Founded by the Canadian designer and inflatable expert Peter Appleton, who is one of only a few pioneers in this inflatable leisure and amusement industry.

photo credit:

Peter has brought his expertise to the Philippines, when he designed two existing Aqua Parks in the country!

Kamia Bay Resort is in Brgy. Luzviminda, Puerto Princesa Palawan.  If you are interested in visiting the country's last frontier, immersed yourself with the beauty of Puerto Princesa Underground River, include in your itinerary Kamia Bay Resort, with the biggest inflatable playground in Asia -- with a total area of 3800 sq. meters. 

photo credit:  Kamia Bay Facebook Page
"WOW!  Can't wait to try this one! The view on top of the slide is just pure awesome!
photo credit:  Kamia Bay Facebook page

Sabando-Ocampo Beach resort is located along the coastal belt of Maramba Oas, Albay. Aside from its scenic backdrop that is recommended for family bonding, it also has a giant inflatable waterpark to boast of. 
photo credit:  Sabando Obando Beach Resort FB page

And what do these two resorts have in common? They both have an awesome water park from the best inflatable manufacturer -- designed by AquaPlay Parks!



And just like the video teaser in the beginning of this article -- the #BackPackSquad is very much excited to explore the newest and most exciting inflatable water slide park this summer -- 


Siargao is popular for its surfing spots, aside from its breath taking islands, caves and waterfalls. This summer, AquaPlay Park will arrive and make basking in the sun more fun at Siargao Waterworld at General Luna, Siargao Island.



My family's favorite go-to beaches, are the ones found in La Iya San, Juan Batangas. Why? It is just 2.5 hours. So many resorts to choose from. But this summer, choose the resort that has the AquaPlay Park -- and that is The Seashore Beach Club, located at Calubcalub, San Juan Batangas.

These two AquaPlay Parks will be fascinating for the young and young at heart!  There will be a 3-in-1 slide -- you can slide, jump or rapel your way down from the 4-ft tower. And there is also a tower trampoline.

Let me tease your imagination guys... just take a look at the photos and I am sure you can feel the adrenaline rush into your bodies!  


So what are you waiting for? Pack your bags, take that vacation leave and bring the entire family to these awesome AquaPlay Parks in Batangas and Siargao.  Because that is what my #BackPackSquad will do this summer of 2019.  See yah at the slides!!!