Browse Category: Travel

Where to eat in Asakusa: Sometaro Okonomiyaki Restaurant

I’ve been fascinated with okonomiyaki ever since I saw it in the anime Ranma 1/2 in the early 90’s. It looked and smelled good, even in 2D animation, so I had to try it in real life when I visited Japan.

Okonomiyaki, for those who don’t know, is a Japanese savory pancake. There’s a variety of ingredients that can be used, so it’s really up to you and how you like it (okonomi) and then it’s cooked on a grill (yaki). Okonomiyaki is usually associated with the Kansai region (where Osaka is), but it’s really available throughout the country, and each region’s okonomiyaki does it a little differently than the others. Kind of like how regions do ramen differently, or–going closer to the Filipino’s heart–how each region has a different longganisa, or a different adobo.

The Tokyo okonomiyaki, then, was on my list of things to eat in the city. Continue Reading

Getting my ramen fix at Ramen Cool West Ave.

Since Japanese food is one of my favorite cuisines, I have a list of my favorite places to get my fix, and Ramen Cool is in it. Their dishes are adjusted for the Filipino palate, but close enough to the authentic Japanese taste to for purists (i.e. me) to enjoy.

I first heard of Ramen Cool from my brother. We visited their branch in Kapitolyo years ago, but failed to write about it. I live far from Kapitolyo, though, so it’s a great thing that Ramen Cool also has a branch in my side of Quezon City!

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Dreaming of #BisayaNaFood

Cebu, Philippines is a place of rich history, beautiful beaches, and wonderful people. One of the capital cities of the Philippines, it is highly significant and one of the most populated in the country.

But, let’s be honest: when I think of anything, I think of food. And Cebu? Cebu is known for its delicious, scrumptious food. Mouthwatering seafood. Sweet, sweet, mangoes. Succulent lechon. Ooh-lala!

This week, my tummy has a date with Cebu. Continue Reading

A freelancer’s application for a tourist visa to Japan

When I booked my flight to Japan last year, I was still a regular employee, and the Embassy had just announced that they were relaxing the visa application requirements. I was very confident that I was finally going to be able to fly to my dream destination since I was a child. I mean, who wouldn’t dream of going to Japan? Sushi! Sashimi! Ramen! Okonomiyaki!!! Sign me up for all that.

Fast forward to July 2015, my plans had changed, and instead of working in a new company, I chose to be a freelancer, instead.

Cue panic over my visa application.

Fast forward again to September 2015, and I’m smiling like an idiot while staring at my shiny new visa to Japan, watermarked with Mt. Fuji and pretty cherry blossoms.

Like most people with blogs who successfully obtain a tourist visa to Japan, I am now sharing my experience and the answers to the questions I kept asking people so that others may benefit from it. Continue Reading

At least sixteen percent of the Philippines

Tomorrow is the 117th anniversary of the Philippine Declaration of Independence, and to celebrate, I took the Lakbayan Quiz again. When I took it in 2007, I got a D, which means that I’d visited 5-10% of the Philippines. Now, five years later, I’ve visited 16-23% of the country, which gave me a C. Ha! Progress!

On a related note, I wrote a blog post about how many Philippine islands I’ve visited.

The Lakbayan Quiz is a project by Eugene Villar of Vista Pilipinas. It asks you where you’ve been in the Philippines, and how frequently visit each place–just passed by, been there once or twice, visit frequently, or if you’ve lived there. The grading system is discussed in this blog post.

If you like travelling around the Philippines and you haven’t tried the Lakbayan or something similar, I highly recommend taking it. It’s not to brag about how high your score is–or wallow in self-pity when you get a low one. To me, it’s a reminder that there’s still so much of the Philippines waiting for me; a realization that I’ve actually quite forgotten some of the provinces and islands that I’d studied in school before; and a reissued challenge to know my country and visit as much of it as I can.

My Lakbayan grade is C!

How much of the Philippines have you visited? Find out at Lakbayan!

Created by Eugene Villar.

Cream Cheese Salmon Maki by White House Fusion Cuisine in Davao

Happiness in a Cream Cheese Salmon Maki

A layer of vinegar-infused white rice. A sheet of nori. A fresh slice of salmon sashimi. These are some of my favorite things in my favorite cuisine. And when they’re all rolled together with an important addition of cream cheese, it becomes a mouthful of happiness called a Cream Cheese Salmon Maki.

I get giddy just thinking about it. Continue Reading