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Saturday, October 21, 2017
WHISKY LIVE MANILA 2017: THINGS TO WATCH OUT FOR ON DAY 2

 If you find yourself free later tonight October 21, I suggest that you head on over to the 2nd day of the WHISKY LIVE MANILA 2017. Here, you get to experience, taste, and learn about the different whisky available in the market and more. 
For the second straight year, WHISKY LIVE MANILA 2017 will be at SHANGRI-LA FORT. From October 20-21, 7pm to 12midnight, guests would be able to try out different alcoholic beverages. These are the different things I learned from going on the first day.
 There are MASTERCLASS sessions that you could attend. Aside from the main big event, you could check out some of the classes they have instore for you. Even if you're a newbie or a long time fan of different alcoholic drinks, you get to experience something unique and albeit rare and expensive drinks. For the DALMORE MASTERCLASS, it was Adam Knox who gave a very insightful lesson about DALMORE. He went through a quick how to appreciate and the different history, notes, and flavors. One thing I enjoyed was being able to try out DALMORE'S 30 year old Sherry. Although not available in the market, this was a sweet wake up call of things to come.
 After an hour in the masterclass, head on over to the huge function room that has all the booths and different events happening.
 As you enter you are given chips. One white and one blue and a number of red chips. You use the blue for the best whisky you've tasted while the white one is for the best booth. The red chips are your tokens to avail of the different drinks that they have to offer.
 Don't worry if you run out of red chips, head on over to the breathalyzer. If you get a good mark, they will give you more red chips. One tip though would be to blow hard and wait for the beep to end before stopping.
 
 There are a number of Whisky available. Actually there are around 131 ++ variants of liquor that's there for you to partake. You could try out the usual and famous ones but there are some that are quite unique. I'm no expert but I did enjoy a number of them.
 See the bottle on the left? That is the OCTAVE MORTLACH. It's something that has a great finish and not overly peaty.
 Kavalan was also present. A Taiwanese brand that has won multiple awards, I suggest that you go and try out the SOLIST. At around Php 16,000 per bottle, it's awesome to spend your chips here.
 Other than WHISKY, you could also find other alcohol variants in the hall.
 The ROKU GIN is a Japanese Brand that goes well in a gin and tonic. Same goes with the UNGAVA, a Canadian Premium Gin.
 Newcomers to the Philippine Market, KOVAL is a welcome treat. Something from Chicago, this has a great bourbon variant that you could taste the corn outright.
 For something of a mix, the HEDONIST is a must. This COGNAC and GINGER liqueur has that very friendly vibe and flavor. This is a great choice for newbies such as myself as it was on the sweet side.
 There were actually a lot of promotional giveaways as well. Some booths had discount coupons, whisky bottles, key chains, glasses and even this cute personalized leather holder.
Other booths had techy setups like this touchscreen table and even a dj booth setup.
Even if you're not a heavy whisky drinker, you'll still enjoy going to WHISKY LIVE MANILA 2017. Happening October 20-21, 2017 in Shangri-la Fort, this is one heck of an event. You could head on over to http://www.whiskylive.ph/ for tickets and more information.


P.S.
Please have dinner or a quick snack before heading over. Although there are food for sale at the site, I think it's better to head on over to your favorite restaurant for a light snack.
Remember it's important to coat your stomach with something oily.
Don't forget to be responsible. Do not drink and drive.
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HEALTHY OPTIONS: 2017 HOLIDAY GIFT IDEAS

With the Holidays coming in, sometimes you get out of ideas when thinking about gifts that you want to give away to your love ones. At HEALTHY OPTIONS, they let you choose from a number of packages that could really help you out and be healthy at the same time.
At the newly renovated HEALTHY OPTIONS FLAGSHIP STORE in SHANGRI-LA MALL in Mandaluyong, you're senses are treated to a lot more than just snacks. It's basically a one stop shop for all your healthy needs when in Manila. Aside from supplements, cold items, grains, beauty products, what surprised me was that they have their own meat shop ready to serve you with your needs.
When you move around the store, a number of delicious and popular items would greet you. Here, you get to choose and pick whichever products you may want to include in your basket of goodies to give away.

Healthy eaters could snack on different delicious yet nutritious items that HEALTHY OPTIONS has. Some of them are even more affordable compared to what you could see at other stores. Some examples would be the store branded thick rolled oats, pancake mix, and chia seeds among others.
Kids would enjoy snacks such as chocolate chinks, white cheddar popcorn, and pretzel crisps as well.
For exclusive discounts and privileges, HEALTHY OPTIONS in SHANGRI-LA and GLORIETTA 2 would accept pre-orders for their annual Healthy Options Gift Show. Happening on October 20-22, one could troop on over and check out the different gift ideas.
For everything but the kitchen sink, the SPARKLE BOX would be your best bet. This is where you get to find a number of snacks and exclusive grocery items.
Aside from a number of other choices, the TWINKLE package stood out because it offered a gluten-free selection that would be perfect for those with food allergies. Furthermore, there are also all-natural and organic gifts for beauty such as the Be Dazzling, Pure Radiance, and Shine On selections.
With the gift of health, HEALTHY OPTIONS seems to be the best place to visit when choosing gift ideas for our family and friends. It's something that could really stand out from the usual ideas we have in terms of gifts. Go for it!

HEALTHY OPTIONS
Check out Healthyoptions.com.ph


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Wednesday, October 18, 2017
OKTOBERFEST at THE LONG BAR in RAFFLES MAKATI

It's always a good time when you visit LONG BAR in Raffles Makati. More so when it's OKTOBERFEST. For the month of October, Raffles Hotel turned the Long Bar into the place to visit when it comes to enjoying a cold one.
Usually, LONG BAR is known for their amazing cocktails and their long list of alcohol bottles that are available for consumption.
This time around, from 5pm to 8pm guests could partake of one heck of a HAPPY HOUR. There is free flowing BEER from draft choices like their very own Octoberfest Brew to Munich Hell Original, Hefe Weisbier, and Paulaner Dunkel Original. Other local and imported beers are also available. Aside from these, you could go for gin, vodka, whisky, and rum
In addition, cocktails are also unlimited. From the classic Singapore Sling, Lychee Martini, and the famous Rain or Shine. For food, you could order the PORK KNUCKLE and SAUSAGE PLATTER. For Php 1,250, a number of sausages and the most amazing pork knuckle is available. Believe me when I say that the knuckles are so good. Crispy and moist at the same time, it actually goes well with the bread and the mashed potato.
The LONG BAR of RAFFLES MAKATI is offering the OKTOBERFEST from 5pm to 8pm for only Php 695Php. If you wish to extend happy hour up to 10pm, you could just add Php 300 per person. Not bad considering that this is unlimited and is served in one of the best hotel bars in the metro.





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Monday, October 16, 2017
CDP GLOBAL TABLE: Trying to be Healthyish

 How does one define healthy? When you google, it simply states being in good health. So, we could generalize that it's a matter of what we partake off and also what we do in our everyday lives. At CDP GLOBAL TABLE in ROCKWELL MALL, they try to give it a different meaning. HEALTHYISH in a sense that the dishes could be healthy depending on how you look at it. These aren't your bland and not so good looking food. They are different and works pretty well depending on how you perceive it. Healthy dishes maybe in a sense of how they are cooked, or how the ingredients were sourced, and even what your diet requires of you.
 Located outside of the mall and just beside MAMOU, CDP has been making a name for itself in the food business. It's like casual dining but with a flair. Here, you could let your guard down and enjoy yourself and your company.
 
 For some, it would take a lot to be healthy but it's always a must to indulge from time to time. Not really part of their HEALTHYISH menu, the Deep Fried Pork's Ear is a surefire way to start the ball rolling.
 Moving on, CDP prepared different dishes to entice guests to live healthy and choose something not of the ordinary.
 Starting off with the KIMCHI SOBA SALAD, this cold soba bowl is very refreshing. I enjoyed the flavors that came from it. Egg, nori, and crispy tofu were part of the toppings.  Another must order would be the POKE and ADLAI BOWL. Rather than using rice, adlai is substituted to give it a different texture. You see adlai is better on the glycemic index than plain old rice. Mixing it with the tuna and kani and avocado and lato made wonders in my mouth.
Other bowls like the halibut on quinoa and cauli rice, grilled beef and vermicelli salad, and the Ulang and tropical fruit were also available on the menu.
 For diners looking for something different, they could partake of the number of wraps prepared. Here, one could choose from: grilled vegetables, prawn and oyster tempura, grilled chicken tikka, and Lamb kofta wrap.
If you're a carnivore like me, the LECHON WRAP would be your best bet. With a bit of kick from the sriracha, this is just juicy and deadly.
CDP GLOBAL TABLE #HEALTHYISH Bowls and Wraps are an interesting play on being healthy. These could definitely hold their own against other items on the menu. Go for it! It's perfectly fine to try out something new and delicious.



RELATED LINK:
CDP: Chef Du Partie in Makati

CDP GLOBAL TABLE
R1 Level Lopez Drive,
Power Plant Mall, Makati City,
Metro Manila


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Friday, October 13, 2017
MARCO POLO MANILA STAYCATION: The Dining Destination In Ortigas

I was simply blown away. That was how I felt about my recent stay at MARCO POLO MANILA. As a foodie, I realized that the hotel has some of the best restaurants to dine in when in Ortigas. No need to brave the traffic. Rather, everything that you want is just a stone throw away.  Plus, the stay and the culture of caring in this Forbes Travel Guide Five Star Rated Hotel, is present in every gesture and evident with how they treat their guests.
As I have written an In-Depth Staycation Guide for Marco Polo Manila (which you can check out here), this article would basically touch base and update some of the useful information that I have recently learned and experienced first hand. The check-in is fast and efficient at the 24th floor lobby. Here, guests are greeted with cold drinks upon check-in which is usually at 2pm.
For this particular stay, I was billeted at a deluxe room with a king size bed. The difference between the superior and the deluxe would be the location of the room. The deluxe is situated at the quieter side facing Ortigas while the Superior is facing the Antipolo side. Also it would be wise to take note of the room categories based on the type of bed the room has.
For a room with a sing king bed, the washroom usually has a see through window for you to watch the television while using the tub. Don't worry as they installed speakers there too. In contrast, rooms that are clearly marked for sharing with friends do not have this glass window amenity. It's actually the perfect perk for honeymooners.
Tech lovers would be glad to note that the telephone acts as an alarm, a charger, and even a music station. If in case you forgot your wires, the phone has different sockets for different devices. Furthermore, there's a hidden panel that acts as a way for you to charge more gadgets and even connect other media to the flat screen tv. For the mini bar, Marco Polo Manila made sure that your needs are met. Different alcohol and non-alcoholic beverages are present. Tea and coffee pods are available for you to enjoy.
If there was one place that I love more than the bed, it would be the wash area. Marco Polo's version is complete in every sense of the word. Upgrades were done and you have yourself the perfect hideaway.
Aside from the glass window and the newly installed bidet, the toiletries are top notch. Here, you could see that they use Trussardi for your needs. Also, they have the usuals like toothbrushes, cotton buds, and even bath salt just in case you like to exfoliate in the tub.
Aside from the sofa, the bed is the best place to be at. Marco Polo's bed is all but ready for you. There are master switches and sockets on the side for your needs. Turn down service would prepare your place of sleep. The staff would put a mat on the floor just so that you won't be bare footed when you get out of bed. During turn down service, they replenish some of the toiletries and water bottles and even tidy up a bit.
But, I am getting ahead of myself. You see, Marco Polo Manila is the hotel to stay at when you want to indulge and have a great time enjoying your food. They have a wide range of choices and different outlets that you could choose from.
The Connect Lounge, located on the same floor as the lobby, has this Afternoon Tea. From 2pm to 6pm, guests could indulge and enjoy this quick snack for 788Php. It's actually good for two persons.
If you want to have an amazing view, you should head on over to VU BAR by 5pm. Situated on the 45th floor, this place serves as the nook to be at to unwind and chill. On the Ortigas side, you have a view of the sunset. The Antipolo side, on the other hand, shows the crawling traffic to and from the city.
From 5pm to 8pm, patrons could partake of the APERITIVO. It's like a pre-dinner drink and snack. Here, you could have unlimited servings of local beer and house wine. From Monday-Wednesday, the food is ala carte, while Thursday-Saturday night, it is served buffet style.
For a taste of Chinese Cuisine, one could head on over to LUNG HIN. The in-house Chinese restaurant, Lung Hin has been racking up awards left and right.



Dishes are well thought off and are great to be shared among family and friends. The serving sizes are huge and proportional to the prices. The quality of the ingredients is remarkable. Take note though that they don't allow takeaways so it would be best to order only as much as you could eat.
If I were to be asked, the hakaw or shrimp dumpling and the sweet and sour pork are must orders when visiting LUNG HIN.

After a delightful sleep, one could head on over to CUCINA for the breakfast buffet. I got to admit, I was pleasantly surprise to see that it's more than just a buffet for breakfast. It's something that you could go to for your lunch and dinner as well. Aside from the usual Filipino dishes, healthy and well thought of international fares are present.

If the buffet is a bit too much for you, you could head on over to CAFE PRONTO. Located on the ground floor, this is the best place to have something if you're on the go. They offer sandwich meals and even freshly baked breads. They have a number of pastries and different hot and cold drinks as well.

If you want a relaxing stay and with all the perks, I would suggest investing in club access. The Club Lounge is located on the 44th floor, same as Lung Hin. Here, you are able to partake of afternoon tea, early dinner cocktails, and even breakfast. All day coffee and drinks are also served upon your request. Every time I would stay at Marco Polo, I would always ask if it's possible to upgrade to a club room or even just for access to the lounge. You see, this lounge also offers a 180 degree view of the Antipolo side. It's spectacular.
The 22nd floor holds the bulk of amenities that one could enjoy. Here, you have the FLOW SPA, FLOW FITNESS CENTRE and the POOL.
The FLOW SPA is open from 9am to 12midnight. Here, you could have your massages and take a breather. The Pool is there for you to enjoy as well. It's open from 6am to 10pm. The fitness centre is open 24/7. You just need a keycard to access it after 10pm.
Honestly, I feel that MARCO POLO MANILA has leveled up. It seems that they fine tuned everything and has anticipated the needs and wants of the guests. I realized that they heavily invested in human resources which made things perfect for them. From the house keeping to the front office and also the people behind the scenes, they did a wonderful job improving and making MARCO POLO MANILA the place to be.


RELATED LINKS:
MARCO POLO MANILA: THE IN-DEPTH STAYCATION GUIDE

MARCO POLO ORTIGAS
(02) 720 7777
Meralco Avenue, Pasig City,
Metro Manila

Disclaimer:Wrote this based on my experience. I was invited as a guest of the hotel. The stay and the dining experience were all complimentary. Thank you very much Judith and the team for having me.
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