Sunday, June 5, 2016

Buma Hotel and Restaurant Subic Bay

Our visit to Buma Hotel and Restaurant was unexpected.  My daughter suddenly felt like she wants to spend the day swimming and so, we suddenly packed our things and leave. That's it, no fuss, no waiting. :) 

Mika already had advance information about Buma Hotel, so it wasn't hard for us to think, although we are also considering another hotel which is the Mansion Garden Hotel, but since we've been there already for a night as this was our chosen venue for Mika's Debut Party, we opted to try another hotel this time.  Buma is not as modern as the other hotels we've visited in Subic but it was fine for a day's relaxation especially that there's only the two of us anyway.

If you don't like to sleep over, you can opt to go for swimming only.  The fee is reasonable at Php300. This is consumable so it is already considered to be a good price. But bear in mind that you are dining inside a hotel so do expect that foods do not come cheap.  In fact, just for very simple and plain afternoon snacks, I paid Php800.  Anyway, this includes the access to swimming facility, so I guess, it's good enough but they do charge 10% service charge so be prepared to pay a little extra.

The pool is basic and simple. We were lucky that we went there on a weekday, so it wasn't crowded. We had the entire pool to ourselves aside from few other guests.  They have a dress code and rules just like any other hotels but they are not that strict though.  The shower room is not good though, it's very very small and not maintained well although the staff told us that we can use the hotel's comfort room to change our clothes.


It rained for about an hour during the time that we were swimming.  Mika was pleased to swim in the pool and under the rain just like her childhood days but luckily, it wasn't too cold, if not, I could have stopped swimming right away (lol).

They have a good lounge area though beside the pool and I love their wicker inspired chairs and bed which are actually made of plastic.  No wonder, the staff didn't mind it at all when it rained. The area of the pool that we have chosen is facing the beach area, so this is an added attraction as you can have the full view of the sea.

We ordered a club house sandwhich and the plain and simple Miki Bihon Guisado plus a Mango Shake for Mika and Melon Shake for me.  The food presentation is not so pleasing to me. I have eaten in several restaurants inside hotels and this is one of the simplest presentation I've seen. The service is not that good as well.  Service staff are less attentive.

Overall, Buma Hotel and Restaurant is still worth a try if you're just looking for a simple day tour or a quick weekend get away, otherwise, you could look for more affordable and yet  attractive hotels and resorts around Subic Bay.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Acoustic Night At Chopping Board

This was not our first time to dine at Chopping Board.  We usually go here whenever we attend mass at San Roque Church because of it's close proximity to the church.  I would admit, I really love the ambiance of this resto.  Me and my daughter are really fascinated with the restaurant's nice interior decorations.  Your eyes would feast looking around, reading quotes posted on walls.  Though this is not the first time that we dine at this resto, we were not aware that they have Acoustic Night every Fridays.  The songs were nice though the sound system is not that excellent.  They should have checked electronic drum guide at thehub. :)

We did not really intend to listen to their acoustic band that night, but it came as a surprise.  However, because we still need to buy something at the super market, we did not stay there long enough.

We just ordered sandwiches as we just had a snack at Harbor Point before we attended the mass, so we were not really that hungry during dinner time.  Their Cheese Burger and Lechon Baka Sandwiches were great, but I find it to be a bit pricey as these only come with 3 pcs of potato wedges and don't even have even a small salad on the side.  Nevertheless, it was good to try their lechon baka sandwich which I think is one of their best sellers.

Nothing really special abut their drinks, we've tried pandan and lemon grass tea a couple of times and their fruit juices is the usual store bought canned juice (Gina).

I understand that it was crowded the night we went there but to wait for almost 45 minutes just for sandwiches definitely turned me off.  They also have 10% service charge which is not reasonable considering the kind of service they deliver to their customers.

However, for the ambiance  and for the foods, I may consider giving it another try. :)

Friday, March 25, 2016

Texas Joe's House of Ribs Subic Bay

It was my first time to dine at Texas Joes House of Ribs.  It was a dinner treat by my lovely niece. My brother is looking for a good place to dine and we suddenly remembered Texas Joe's due to the positive reviews about the place.  We know that Texas Joe's served mostly American foods, baby back ribs being it's specialty.  Price of the foods here is a bit expensive but they serve a large portion of meal, thus the foods is worth the price.  I also love the presentation of the foods especially their salads.  We did not have the chance to take a photo of the foods served to us as we were busy chatting and laughing.  At any rate, we've enjoyed our meals that night.

The ambiance of the restaurant is so nice.  It's cozy and very presentable.  I like the service, too.  The service staff are very accommodating and they look so well with their Cowboy uniforms.

Photo taken from Texas Joe's FB Page

It was a bit crowded the night we went there.  This place is such a hot to both local and foreign tourists.  I swear to be back here with hubby and kids for another great dining experience.

Texas Joe's House of Ribs is located at waterfront Road corner Mc Kinley St. Subic Bay Freeport Zone.  You may contact them at (047) 252 3189.  They are open from 11Am to 10PM on weekdays and 11AM to 11PM during weekends.

Monday, February 29, 2016

Driftwood Beach Olongapo City

Going out from the usual posts, I've decided to feature here a place to hang out which is not cozy, not touristry but simple, beautiful and serene.  Not everyone can afford a luxurious travel nor everyone can afford expensive entrance fees.  Sometimes, a person or a family just want to have some time together... to bond, to unwind, to relax or to simply create a beautiful memory.  I have proven one thing... it's not about the place, it's about who you are with.

This is what I've realized when we went out for a day of bonding at the beach.  The decision was impromptu, it was done the night before.  We were not ready with anything.  It was a quick decision, we would spent the entire morning at the beach where we could jog, walk, stay under the sun, swim, play with our two cute pets and have a simple breakfast.  There is really a truth to what they always say...unplanned outings are always the best.  So, we even watched a movie at night before we sleep so we ended up on bed quite late.

We woke up at 7 AM, hubby cooked a quick breakfast, fried eggs, longganisa, tuyo (dried fish), hotdogs and sweet ham plus of course, steamed rice.  We get everything ready before 8 AM and soon than expected we were already at the beach.  Driftwood beach is the nearest beach to our place and it is not a private beach, it's government owned so residents of Barrio Baretto where the beach is situated can enter for free.  It so happened that we own another house at Barrio Baretto, so we are free (lol).

From the looks of it, this beach is not any different from the other private beaches along the main highway of Barrio Baretto.  It's currently being improved as we saw a number of new cottages being constructed.  I am not sure, if they will impose higher entrance fees later but the overall view of the beach front is considered beautiful and worthy of photo shoots. These are some of the photos taken during our morning at the beach.

We did not even rent a cottage.  It was morning, so the sun is not so hot yet and we've found a corner in the beach which is shady, so we had a sort of a picnic there.  Putting table cloth on the sand, sitting, walking, lying and running with the pets.  We had our scrumptious breakfast later and hubby and my son Edmar had the opportunity to swim before we finally decided to get back home.

Our morning spent at the beach was the happiest during his entire vacation, according to my husband and it was one of my favorites, too. We were so happy that time that we did not even notice the passing of time.  Our two adorable pets, Lucio and Marcus also had a great time. They don't have that opportunity to run and swim all the time, so we really saw how happy happy they are.

Now I realized that going for a short break does not mean that you have to spend much and choose the most coziest place.  It's about spending the time with people who matters most to you....your family.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Xtremely Xpresso Cafe At Subic

Right after we attended the Sunday Mass at San Roque Church, we've decided to go to Xtremely Xpresso for our lunch.  No only because it was the nearest one to the church aside from Chopping Board but because we haven't been here for quite a while now and I'm pretty curious about the improvements they have introduced to their menu, facilities and services.

The last time we visited here, I was with my daughter Mika and we just opted to dine "Al Fresco" and had some pizza and pasta.  It was late afternoon then when I picked up Mika from school so eating outdoors with the sight of the water fountain and passers by was a perfect idea.

This time, it was extremely hot, so having our lunch inside the cafe would definitely be a better option. The resto  was almost full when we came in and we were seated to the table near to the cake display area. Nothing much had changed except for adding more seats and a private area.  Everything looks the same from the decors to the counter, etc.  Even the outdoor seating is almost the same as last time.  I wonder why they have never introduced much changes considering that it is one of the most visited restaurants in Subic,

We were given a menu as soon as we're settled on our table which also doubled as our place mats.  I've noticed that new selections were added to the menu and it was indeed a good idea to try their main courses that either comes with plain rice, garlic rice or mashed potatoes.  We've ordered the following:

At the Entrance

 Korean Beef Ribs

Stuffed Pork Chop

Creamy Fish Fillet

The food was great and the presentation is pretty nice, almost the same with Ben's Kitchen which I think is a sister company.  Creamy fish fillet was my choice because I love to eat fish and I told my kids that as much as possible, I'll be ordering fish whenever we dine out as most of the time, I am cooking chicken, beef and pork at home.

Korean Beef Ribs was Mika's order and it a bit sweet but the beef is so tender making it a good choice for Mika who really loves to eat beef. My son opted for Stuffed Pork Chop which unfortunately, I didn't like. We ordered Iced Tea for our drinks and opted to have some dessert elsewhere.  Price range is quite reasonable too. The only thing that disappoints me was the absence of free wifi service.  How can a coffee shop like Xtremely Xpresso omit this? People usually go there to hang out either alone or in group and it would be much better if you could at least do something when you drop by there alone or at least for people who can't be separated from their gadgets. :)

As for the service, I would consider it fair but not great.  Service staff were not so attentive, I don't know maybe because it was lunch time and the place is quite crowded.

At any rate, I would still recommend the place to local and foreign tourists or even for local residents who just need a break form their daily life routine.

Xtremely Xpresso Cafe is located at No. 1 Dewey Avenue, Subic Bay Freeport Zone. For reservations, you can call them at (047) 252 - 3681.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

What do Music Lovers and Coffee Lovers Have In Common?

I am a certified coffee drinker and to put it bluntly, I never spent a day in my life without having a cup or two. As a matter of fact, my day will never be complete without it. There's certain kind of magic in coffee that it became my constant energy booster (blame it to the caffeine). :)

I also noticed that when I'm feeling low or sick, I would always resort to drinking coffee and this will improve my feelings instantly.  I'm not a music addict though, probably last time when I'm a bit younger, but now I would say that I am more addicted to coffee than music although there are things that music lovers and coffee lovers have in common.

Music lovers and coffee lovers both love to travel.  They are always hungry to discover new places and they are usually the adventurous type of people.  They both want to explore and they both have passion for the arts and are usually nature lovers.  I always imagine myself drinking a cup of coffee while watching the beauty of nature.  Music lovers on the other hand are not very particular on the kind of instruments they are using to play their music.  Whether it's a les paul junior or the one of lesser quality, it doesn't matter as long as while the music plays, you know who you are and everything you wish to be.  

Monday, January 18, 2016

Chopping Board Cafe and Bistro, Subic Bay Freeport Zone

It was my first time at Chopping Board and this was on my daughter's birthday held first week of this month.  My daughter has been asking me to try this place for months now as she's been here several times with her friends.  I was quite hesitant to go and visit this place as I am thinking that this might be just another normal restaurant inside the Subic Bay Freeport Zone and the fact that it's quite far from the Main Gate turns me off.  I've been telling my daughter that there are lots of restaurants to try inside Harbor Point so going a bit farther for just another normal restaurant wouldn't be a good idea.

Since it was my daughter's birthday, I just let her decide where she wanted to dine and this gave me the unwelcome opportunity to try the place.  As we approached the place, I've already felt the cozy ambiance of this restaurant.  There is an outdoor seating for those who would like to dine in a la fresco and for those who would like to have a private space, you can just proceed to the main dining hall. The place is tastefully decorated and I would say simple but modern.  It reminds me of Ben's Kitchen located at Ayala Harbor Point because of the food selection in the menu.  They mostly served pasta, sandwiches, salads and assortment of desserts but they also have a section in the menu wherein you can find some authentic Filipino dishes.  Nothing is actually unique in this restaurant as far as foods selection is concerned but I like it very much that they served not so common drinks like Pandan Juice and Lemon Grass Juice which is quite good as an option for healthy conscious customers. :)

Since that wouldn't be our last stop for the night, we just opted for pasta and drinks.  My daughter wanted to see a live band later in the night, so we have reserved some space in our tummy for pizzas, chicken, cheese sticks and some appetizers.  

The pasta serving is just of the standard size (good for one person) and the cost ranges from 120 to 145.  The taste is more to Italian flavor but I did love my Spaghetti Bolognese which comes with a slice of garlic bread.  Hubby ordered Carbonara and my daughter and his friend ordered Chicken Pasta ( I forgot the exact name, lol).

Overall, I love the ambiance of the restaurant, it's clean and very inviting.  The food is rated 3 star though and the price is comparable to Ben's Kitchen and Extremely Expresso.  This could be an option when you get tired of eating at the usual restos at the Harbor Point but going here regularly may not be budget friendly though.

Chopping Board is located at Lincoln St Subic Bay Freeport Zone.  It's near to San Roque Church and Bldg 229.

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