Coffee Craving Satisfied @ Cafe Lusso

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I included Cafe Lussoin my 4-day itinerary in my Baguio press trip last year.  I was quite curious why people have considered it as one of the best coffee shops in the City of Pines, and I had to find out why.

Lusso night

Cafe Lusso is located at Ecco One Bldg., Gen. Luna Road cor.  Assumption Rd., Baguio City.  The cafe caters mostly to students and professionals who would just like to hang out, work quietly, and have a cup of coffee.  The ambiance sets a homey feeling that would make you feel comfy and at ease when you are in the cafe.

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As a coffee lover, my day won’t be complete without having a cup of coffee.  Though that day, I just had a cup of cappuccino in Le Vain Bakery, there was an urge for me to try their coffee at Cafe Lusso; unfortunately, their hot drinks were not available so I just had cold Cafe Mocha.

Cafe Lusso has become very popular not only because of the homey ambiance but with the coffee and meals that they offer.  Yes- you read it right!  Customers do not just go crazy over their coffee but their meals as well (pasta, bingsu, breads and pastries by Le Vain bakery).

 

 

According to the staff, here are the best sellers that you should try:

Frappe:  Strawberry Mint @ P138

                Cookies & Cream @ P123

Meals:  Honey Bread – P99

               Pasta Alfredo or Pesto + Drink @ P169

 

 

I highly recommend this cafe to everybody.  Eveyrthing is quite perfect especially if they will renovate the place but I loved the classic look (Just minor renovation will do).  

CAFE LUSSO

Ecco One Bldg., Gen. Luna Road cor.  Assumption Rd., Baguio City. 

 

 

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JIC Baguio- A World-Class English Academy in the Philippines

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There are different countries that offer online and on-site ESL, IELTS assistance and TESOL certification and I never thought that Philippines would be one them– not until I have learned about JIC English Academy in Baguio City.  I had the chance to have a tour in their academy in my Baguio press trip last month.

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JIC Baguio is situated at 73 Del Nacia Apt., Upper West Camp 7, Baguio City.  Outside, it looks small, but when you enter the property, you will see the buildings with different facilities and dorm as well.  They have two main buildings:  the PS/IELTS Center and the IB Center.

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It’s not just a tutorial center.  JIC Baguio is an English academy with different amenities

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THE IB (Intensive Basic) CENTER

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The PSI Center (Power Speaking -IELTS)

(The two photos above are courtesy of JIC Baguio English Academy)

In my quick tour in their academy, I was really impressed with how the President, Mr. Leo Im and his staff has managed to make JIC Baguio as competitive as the other international schools are concerned. 

Here are the different reasons also why JIC Baguio is now considered as a world-class English Academy:

  1.  They have learning facilities like the study area (free from distractions) where the students can have self-study and the CNN room where they can do their research during their vacant time.
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the study area

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the CNN room

2.  They have different classrooms suited for different number of students (a cubicle type and medium to large classroom) equipped with the learning materials that they have personally developed.

 

3.    They have one-on-one and group classes handled by professional and certified English teachers who teach American and British conversation classes.    The students don’t just learn English, but they also get to meet other foreign students.  (80% of the students are Koreans– the rest are Japanese, Taiwanese, Vietnamese, Thais and Chinese)

4.  They have amenities like the court where they can play outdoor games and gym where the students can have their daily workout and burn calories.

 

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the gym

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the court

5.  They implement the CHALLENGER PROGRAM which is very effective in enhancing the communication skills of the students.  In JIC Baguio, the students will pay P500 if they speak in vernacular.  I have adapted this technique in my English classes– everytime my students speak a Filipino/Tagalog word, they have to pay P3.00. I can see that the students are improving and they try to speak English. In less than a week, I have noticed that my students became confident of themselves even if most of the time they are not grammatically correct.

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6.  They have different type of rooms in the dormitory where the students can stay (single to 4 pax).  Each room is already furnished with sofa set and television.  It has a  kitchen where the students can cook their own food.  It also has a refrigerator where you can stock cold drinks and preserved foods.  It has single type beds and closet where they can place their clothes.

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7.  They provide customized classes or courses depending on the students’ needs.  After the assessment, the length of the program will be determined.   Interesting programs include the following:

a.  Working Holiday Program

This is for the students who would like to travel in Australia, Canada and New Zealand and develop their communication skills (speaking and writing) in preparation for employment.

b.  Internship Program (Part of the WH Program)

– Barista Program Internship at Cafe Lusso (The students will be equipped with everything they have to learn about coffee and hands-on training).

– Tour Guiding (The students will be trained how to mingle with different nationalities with Tour Guiding essentials and problem-solving skills.

– Volunteer Work (such as medical mission, feeding program, donation events and tree planting)

8.  They have a cafeteria that prepares nutritious meals for the students.  They have schedule of meals prepared in advance but students can also request their preferred meals.

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The mini store where the students can buy snacks and beverages

Here are some photos of our tour in the academy. (Photos are courtesy of JIC Baguio)

Thank you, JIC Baguio for accommodating TBIP.  In my next Baguio press trip (probably next year-2019) , I am planning to have a documentary blog/vlog about two topics:  how it feels to be a student in JIC (I will attend a class and will live in the dorm) and will teach as well.

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For more information about their courses and fees here are their contact details:

JIC Baguio English Academy

73 Del Nacia Apt., Upper West Camp 7, Baguio City

Website:  http://www.baguiojic.com

FB pagehttp://www.facebook.com/baguiojic

Phone Number:  +63 74 442 5970 (Main office)

Vice President:  +63 936 936 1833 

Marketing Consultant:  +63 995 463 0730

The Best Spas I’ve Visited in 2017

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One of the things that I include when I travel is not only to discover about interesting activities to do, places to eat and hang out, but also a spa that you can recommend to my readers.  I know that most of us have a busy schedule and we need to squeeze our precious time to destress.  In 2017, I have discovered four of the best spas in the Philippines.  Please take note that I do not recommend all the spas that I have visited.  I may probably post some photos or videos, but to recommend or feature the spa or  service is something that I am careful of.    I do not want to mislead the public with false information– so when I recommend something, I believe that it would be beneficial to the other customers as well.

(The sequence of the numbers are not according to the ranking, but to the first one that I have visited.

  1.  TIRTA SPA (April 2017)

Sitio Malabunot, Manoc-Manoc, Boracay Island, Malay, Aklan, 5608

https://www.tirtaspa.com/

 

How can I forget about my summer escapade in paradise?  Tirta Spa made me feel like a queen when I visited Boracay.  From the moment I enter their gates til I hear the sound of the gongs announcing my arrival, and the professionalism of the front desk officer, Rose,  when she welcomed me with a glass of calamansi drink prepared personally by the owner’s mother, I was mesmerized and flabbergasted.  Not only the sight of their impressive architectural design, luxurious villas, classy Asian furnitures, relaxing ambiance and awards of excellence are the proofs why Tirta is the best spa in Boracay Island– it is their excellent service to their clients.

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Tirta’s professional therapists

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I had their Anti-time Facial and body massage for 2.5 hours.  My therapist, Ms. Lady started with the foot wash ritual.  She explained to me about the products that she will use prior the treatment.  I left the spa with an incredible feeling and even my family members noticed the different glow in my skin.

2.  Z SPA (November 2017)

2/F Ace Hotel, Brixton cor. United St., Pasig City

I was really impressed with the cleanliness and elegant furnishings that Z Spa has.  The place is very spacious- 400 plus square meters with VIP and common rooms.   I had the Swedish massage and Coco Body Scrub in their VIP room. The room had clean beds, TV, with own bathroom (with private Sauna room, bath tub and shower.

 

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What can you ask for? I have totally enjoyed everything that I almost forgot about the time.

INTERESTING THINGS THAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:

1. The owner, Ms. Chat, personally prepares the apple cucumber welcome drinks.

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2.  Ms. Chat personally makes sure that the therapists are really good.  They have the simulation test wherein she acts as the client.  If you can’t please her, you won’t be a good therapist– so in order to be one of the Z Spa attendants, you should pass her standards.

3.  Ms. Chat is very particular with the cleanliness of the spa.  She personally checks if the rooms are clean.

4.  They use all-natural products and NO MINERAL OILS.

When I visited, they just opened the spa so I think they have added more services now.  The underarm whitening is something that it quite interesting.  You should try that.

3.  SOULSCAPE SPA Marcos Highway (December 2017)

2/F The Pinnacle Plaza, Marcos Highway, Cainta, Rizal

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Finally, I’ve discovered a classy spa near our location.  It’s very convenient to me because in just few minutes, I am already there.  Here are the different areas in their spa:

 

Soulscape is a part of my Christmas glow achievement and of my beauty routine to achieve my summer-ready skin and stress-free look this coming April.  These are the treatments I had in my visit last month.

  1.  The Minty Peppermint Anti-Dandruff Treatment

This is the one that I really need as of the moment because my hair is exposed to dirt.  After the spa treatment, at home, I noticed some white flakes fell on my clothes.  I found out that peppermint has this ability or should I say magic to drive away all the flakes in your hair and to maintain its shine.  Until Christmas, I got rid of the flakes, but when I travelled to Baguio City on the 27th, I noticed that it went back.  I think I have to include this hair treatment in my spa package everytime I visit Soulscape.

2.  Kojic Salt Body Scrub

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Kojic Salt Body Scrub

This is also a must in my list as I am obsessed to anti-aging treatments.  Aside from that effect, it also reduces stress and improves blood circulation.  They also have the coffee and gluta body scrub.

3.  Collagen Face Mask

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Of course, as part of the beauty routine my face needs to be smooth and younger looking as well– that is already included in my list.

4.  60-minute Anti-Stress Massage 

This should be included in your Create-A-Spa package once you have decided to book an appointment with them.  I will guarantee that you will be relaxed and destressed.

4.  BELFREI SPA BAGUIO 

2/F Ayala Technohub, Camp John Hay, Baguio City

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I have included this in my recent press trip to Baguio and I am very impressed with their service.  I travelled for almost 5 hours and we were hella stressed but it was all worth it.  The customers have to book ahead of time because have a large volume of customers waiting– no wonder why they have 2 branches.  The one I visited in Camp John Hay is the 2nd branch.  The one in SM Baguio is there for a decade already.

I had their Indulge Package (facial, foot spa and massage) because I was in a hurry.  Next time I go back to Baguio, there’s no way that I won’t be able to have that Belfrei Pamper package that includes the body scrub.

 

MY SPA HORROR STORY: (I opted not to give the name of the spa as it would be a mean thing to do.  This will serve as a warning the next time that you choose a spa for your destressing session).  

Not in all times, you will be relaxed when you are in a spa.  Be careful in attractive flyers and ads, when you actually reach the place, it’s like a haunted house and the service is even terrible.  The furnishings seemed filled with dirt and instead of soothing music, you will hear the laughter of the people.

I didn’t use the toiletries because those are yucky and the weird thing is that I didn’t feel relaxed after the massage.  Usually, after a massage i won’t be feeling any pain as what I have experienced in the spas i’ve mentioned above but this one, I felt I was beaten after.

I think they should have genuine concern for their clients because if they were satisfied, they would come back and recommend the service.  I actually have a dark spot here in my right cheek.  I think I got this after the pricking which I do not need at all because i do not have pimples at all.  Worst of all, the prices are quite expensive!  Make a thorough research before you visit a spa.  If you have seen one or two negative reviews, that’s the hint.  Don’t bother to waste your time.

This year, I will be featuring more posts about beauty secrets and I hope this blog post helped you in a way.  HAPPY NEW YEAR!

 

Le Vain: The Leading Bakery In Baguio City

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If you go to Baguio frequently, you must know by now that Le Vain is the leading bakery in the city of Pines.  People are already sick and tired of the the ordinary breads and pastries that they order and they want something different.  It’s my pleasure to announce (if you haven’t heard yet) that Le Vain Bakery, the first Korean style bakery in Baguio, offers premium breads and desserts.    Le Vain Bakery has two branches:  the first one we visited is located in the busy Legarda Road and the main branch which is located in Outlook Drive (beside Villa Silvina Hotel)

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LE VAIN Legarda Branch

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Inside Le Vain Bakery Legarda Branch

 

If I was impressed with the presentation of the breads and pastries in their Legarda branch, the more that I was dumbfounded when we reached the main branch in Outlook Drive.  Upon entering, I admired the stylish interior design (from the ceiling, wooden racks, lighting, and even the food trays used). The bakeshop also utilizes premium ingredients as well and makes sure that they satisfy their customers.  There is a tarpaulin sign that explains about the origin of the name Le Vain and the process how they bake the breads and pastries.

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I wasn’t surprised anymore why there were many people when we visited– they wanted something special for snack or breakfast.

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As I peeked in to the cake displays, I couldn’t help but to salivate over the cupcakes.  I knew that I was on a diet, but it was holiday season during that time so I thought it was all right to gain a little weight.

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Cupcakes @ Le Vain Bakery

Here are the desserts and drinks that we have tried during our Baguio Press trip.

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The desserts at le Vain Bakery

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The heavenly Custard Bread 

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Yummy!  Up to now, I still dream of this Strawberry Praise Cupcake 🙂

 

Le Vain is not only limited to selling premium breads and pastries– they also offer pasta and other drinks and beverages.  In the photos above, hubby chose the Strawberry Juice, my daughter picked Cookies and Cream Frappe and because I’m a coffee lover, I settled for the classic Cappuccino.

During my visit, I also had the opportunity to take photos of some of the premium breads that they sell.

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Bara Brith

BARA BRITH @ P85 each is a premium fruit-like cake topped with walnuts, chestnuts, cranberries, almonds, green peas with cinnamon powder

 

Baguette

Baguette

BAGUETTE @ P120 each is a premium daily freshly baked French bread with chewy taste inside baked with a golden crust (sugarless)

Pizza baguette

Pizza Baguette

                                PIZZA BAGUETTE @ P120 each is a toasted baguette topped with appetizing pizza ingredients

Espresso

Espresso

ESPRESSO @ P95 each is a coffee flavored bread filled with mocha butter cream.

They also offer delicious breakfast rolls with bacon and hotdog fillings.

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Bacon Egg Roll, Bacon Hotdog Roll and Toasted Ham & Cheese

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Mini Sugar Donut  @ P95 per pack

 

                       MINI SUGAR DONUTS @ 95 per pack look like Munchkins at Dunkin Donuts.  The only difference I guess is that the mini donuts have the classic sweetened taste.

 

 

Thank you to Le Vain bakery accommodating TBIP and for making it possible for me to share this to my readers.  They have interesting promos during Le Vain Day (every 2nd Wednesday of the month).  Check their FB page for more information.  Don’t miss this kind of opportunity if you are in Baguio City.

Le Vain Bakery

#15 Unit G 1, Outlook Drive, Baguio City

(074) 244-7871

https://www.facebook.com/levainbreadcafe/

 

Affordable Meals @ Route 55 Baguio

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One of the reasons why I blog is because I would like to share something to the readers that they would be beneficial of.  In my recent press trip to Baguio, I am very fortunate to have managed to squeeze a visit to Route 55 in my Baguio Day 3 itinerary.  I’m pretty sure, if you are a tourist in Baguio City, you are not yet familiar with the restaurants and cafes that you need to try and I’m very pleased to share with you guys a cozy place in Baguio where you can just chill and have an affordable meal.

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Route 55  Diner is situated at 55 Legarda Road, Baguio City.  When we visited last month, it was under renovation but they were still operating.   During our Baguio tour with Mang Domeng, our driver and tour guide, he informed us that Route 55 was utilized by the Forevermore cast particularly Enrique Gil in their episodes where the latter was a vocalist in a band.  Upon entering the restaurant, it will give you a homey feeling because you can relax and enjoy Baguio’s fresh and cool weather.

 

Here are the meals and beverages that you should try when you are in Route 55:

  1.  LEMON BASIL FRUIT SHAKE
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Lemon Basil (P95)

Well, it was my first time to taste this kind of fruit shake, but I liked the taste of basil combined with the lemon.

2.  CLASSIC PIZZA

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Classic Pizza (P245)

I’m a pizza lover and I am glad that there’s still a restaurant that offers a classic pizza for simple customers who don’t want unusual ingredients in their pizza.   I remember when I was a kid, I used to eat this classic pizza topped with salami, mushrooms, white onion, bell pepper and quick melt cheese.  At home, especially during New Year’s Eve, this is what i also prepare.  The only difference is that they use thin crust which makes it even tastier.

3.  CHIPS AND DORY

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Chips and Dory (P215)

I was quite surprised of the price– I don’t think it should be P215.   My daughter loved it and to think she doesn’t like fish but she loved the crispy dory fillet served with chips.  This is good for those who would just like to hang out and talk with your pals while watching TV at the restaurant.

3.  CHICKEN WINGS & RIBS COMBO

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Chicken Wings & Ribs Combo (P265)

This is one of my recommended meal.  I liked the honey-glazed chicken wings  served with flavored rice and chips.  If you need to be fueled up but you have limited budget, this one is perfect for you.

4.  ROAST BEEF

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Roast Beef (P285)

I liked the tenderness of the beef and Mang Domeng actually liked that it was paired with mashed potato instead of rice.

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Strawberry Cheesecake 

A trip to Baguio won’t be complete without strawberries.  Hehe, this dessert was the finale to our happy and satisfied tummies.

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Route 55 is open from 8am to 12 midnight.  They also serve alcoholic beverages aside from the delicious meals.  According to its manager, Ms. Apple, it’s actually the food that the customers are raving about and I agree about it.   Thumbs up to the owner, Mr. Adrien Tagumpay for the excellent job— good food plus affordable price = ROUTE 55!

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With the manage of Route 55, Ms. Apple

Check them out the next time you visit Baguio City.  I’m sure you will love the food 🙂

ROUTE 55

55 Legarda Road, Brgy. Burnham, Baguio City

https://www.facebook.com/Route55/

SAGE: A Prime Cafe in Baguio City

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If you are planning for a Baguio trip and you are a picky eater like me, I highly recommend SAGE Cafe in Military Cutoff Road.  It’s very seldom that I eat meat– particularly pork and beef and only my relatives and close friends know how fussy or finicky I am when it comes to food.  Who would believe that in my recent Baguio trip, I would try the dishes I used to reject– and that is all because of SAGE Cafe.

 

 

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Outside the cafe, you won’t imagine how elegant it was inside, but as you enter, you will be amazed on how they manage to maintain the cleanliness and  style of the establishment, professionalism of their crew and quality of their food.  Since the name of the cafe was derived from the sage plant its dominant color  is purple.  I admired the lighting, the tables and tiffany chairs with purple cushions and table mats.  Even the printed menu is very classy.  If it’s your first time to visit SAGE- because of its first class ambiance, you might think that foods are pricey.  Well, we were surprised to find out that they offer quality meals that everybody can afford.

As soon as the crew greeted and guided as to our table, we were given their menu and served a pitcher of water with lemon slices.

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pitcher of water with slice of lemon

Here are  meals and beverages at SAGE Cafe that we have tried:

  1.  ICED DELIGHTS
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Iced Delights:  Mango Surprise (P90), Cucumber Lemonade (P110) and Salted Caramel Macchiato (P110)

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We started our Baguio tour since 8am that day and even if we have a transpo service, it was still very tiring on our part because we had to maximize our time.  It was past 2pm when we reached SAGE and it was worth the wait when we tasted their iced delights– those were thirst-quenching and refreshing.  Of the three, I liked the Cucumber Lemonade best, but I also tasted the Mango Surprise and even consumed half of the Salted Caramel Macchiato.

2. CREAMY BULALO STEAK and BAKED PRAWNS

 

 

The photos above are two of their house favorites:  On the left is the Creamy Bulalo Steak served with Mashed Potato (I loved the tenderness of the bulalo steak and its creamy taste). and next is the Baked Prawn with Boursin Garlic and Herb Cheese.  (I am not a seafood lover, but would you believe I actually loved it?).  I think one of the reasons why customers love the food is because of the way each dish or meal was presented.  It was really appetizing that you would have the urge to taste it and SAGE was successful on that part!

3.  NACHO PLATTER 

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Nacho Platter in Cheese, Ranch and Salsa Dip

I enjoyed their Nacho platter as well and it is best (for me) if you will try it in the Cheese dip.  I only eat ground beef in spaghetti that my father personally cooks, but this time I tried it with the nachos.  Usually I would prefer plain nachost the ground beef– hehe, I don’t know what kind of spell did Sage cast over me that I actuallu loved the nachos with the ground beef!  For its huge serving, it can actually fill the tummies of 4 to 5 people.

4.  BACON CHICKEN BOMBS

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Bacon Chicken Bombs (P150)

The chicken bombs are one of my favorites too!   I liked the way the chicken was wrapped with the bacon and the cheese inside and the spicy taste of barbecue sauce and pepper.

5.  SHRIMP POMELO WITH SESAME DRESSING

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Shrimp Pomelo with Sesame Dressing (P180)

These shrimps taste even better with the sour blend of pomelo.

6.  SOUP OF THE DAY:  SEAFOOD CHOWDER

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Seafood Chowder (P85)

I found this unusual, that was the first time I have tried a soup (made out of shrimps and salmon) inside a thick bread.

7.  DESSERTS

And this is my favorite part: their sweet endings!

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The Apple Cinnamon Tortilla

Personally, I prefer the Calamansi Dulce De Leche (I like leche flans) blended with the taste of calamansi.  I also like the taste of the Peaches and Cream Roti– the way it was placed on top of the Indian bread and garnished with vanilla ice cream and caramelized sugar.

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with the SAGE staff who accommodated TBIP.  Thank you so much!

With what I have personally experienced at Sage, they are successful in their mission and vision.  They are consistent in serving delicious food and refreshments to their customers and you can depend on their team as far as customer service is concerned. They make you feel cozy and at home in Sage Cafe.  There are still a lot of interesting affordable, quality and tasty dishes that you must try in their menu (The dishes are Asian-Mexican fusion). 

Kudos to the owner of Sage Cafe, Ms. Arlene Alcantara-Sy and to the crew for making Sage one of the restaurants in Baguio that the residents will be proud of.

SAGE CAFE

95 Military Cut-Off Road, 2600 Baguio City

(074) 4222954

https://www.facebook.com/sagebaguio/

Rejuvenated @ Belfrei Spa (My Baguio 2017 Diary)

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When we arrived in Baguio City last week (December 27, 2017), I thought that everything will go according to plan; however, due to unavoidable circumstances, a scheduled trip has to be rescheduled.  And so, we had to be creative in making on-the-spot plans– we ended up at Botanical Garden, which we did not regret at all because we enjoyed the colorful flowers.  In the afternoon, after checking in and unpacking, we decided to go early so we can go to a cafe that we are going to feature, but then our stress began.  We couldn’t find any cab to take us there.  We just cancelled the appointment and luckily, we found a cab that took us to Camp John Hay.  Because we were also starving at that time, we asked the driver to drop us at the Filling Station ( which was filled to the rafters at that time) and ordered for pizza.  We waited for 40 minutes that seemed like eternity.  When the food arrived, I didn’t know exactly what the taste of pizza was.  I mean, everything that I tasted at that time (cardboard or wood) will be pleasant to my taste buds, hehe!

Belfrei Spa has two branches:  the other one is located in SM City Baguio (They are operating for a decade already) and the one I visited is in the 2nd floor of the Ayala Technohub at CJH.

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Belfrei Spa is at the 2nd Floor of the Ayala Technohub (atop Pizza Volante)

The place is quite small but very presentable and relaxing.  It is not a concomitant type that we usually admire (especially if you love spa like I do), but I actually loved the homey and native style of the spa.  The windows are made of the old style capiz shells with 6 small rooms and 4 chairs (for the facial and foot spa).  They have one common CR which is well-sanitized.  On the wall, the photos of some celebrities who availed their spa service were displayed.

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Ms. Joe (the supervisor) at the reception area

I was astounded by the number of clients who would like to avail the service.  I would understand that if I were in their SM Baguio branch were people are elbow-to-elbow.  I was expecting fewer people in CJH, but you have to book ahead of time because they have clients waiting on queue.   If you will analyze, it’s on the positive note– people are willing to wait because of the excellent service.

 

 

I was supposed to have the Belfrei Pamper Package (facial, foot spa, body scrub and body massage) but since it will consume more or less 3 hours, I just availed the Indulge Package (same inclusions minus the body scrub).  I had an appointment after the spa treatment that’s why we shortened the time, but at the end of the day, I regretted that decision.  I should have tried the body scrub as well 😦  The treatment lasted for 2 hours and it was perfect!

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The Indulge Package started with the facial and foot spa

 

Their therapists made each client feel relaxed.  It can be compared to Tirta Spa Boracay as far as service and the massage  is concerned.  I fell asleep because I was totally relaxed and recharged that night.   It was also the best foot spa I’ve ever had– after the stressful experience we had earlier, it was really worth it.  I finally understood why clients were willing to wait.

Well, it didn’t only end with my satisfied feet.  I felt totally rejuvenated after the massage.  The pressure was just right and I didn’t have body pain after.  So, when you are in Baguio City, there is only one spa that I recommend and that is Belfrei Spa.

BELFREI SPA

CJH:  2nd Floor Ayala Technohub, Camp John Hay, Baguio City

SM Baguio:  Upper Ground Floor, SM City Baguio

Mobile numbers:  0922-3980220/ 0917-6105538

https://www.facebook.com/bellfreispa/

 

 

Baguio Trip 2017 Day 3

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In our first day in Baguio City, we were lucky to meet Mang Domeng at Microtel where we rode in his cab to Burnham Park.  He offered us a tour to the different places in Baguio City from 8am to 4:30pm for only P2,200.  The price was reasonable considering that the rate I know is already P3,000 for a whole day Baguio tour.  That night when we have experienced how difficult it was to find a cab and Grab car, I sent him a text message, expressing my intent to book for a tour on December 29, 2017.

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Mang Domeng

The day after, we saw him at Microtel where he usually hangs out to pick out passengers.  We formally booked a tour for the following day and fortunately, he had no booking at that time.

We had our breakfast at past 6am and went back to the room to prepare our things.  When we went out, Mang Domeng was already waiting outside.  Not only did he serve as our driver, but a tour guide and photographer as well.

Here are the places that we visited:

  1. THE FAMOUS LAPERAL WHITE HAUNTED HOUSE

Leonard Wood Road, Baguio City

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We wanted to go inside but our time was limited then, probably next time we will do that.

2.  BELL CHURCH/CHINESE TEMPLE

FA 347 Bell Church Rd, La Trinidad, Benguet

We went inside but unfortunately taking photos is prohibited.  You may buy incense at the church door entrance and pray at the altar.

3.  VALLEY OF COLORS

La Trinidad – Bontoc Rd, Baguio, 2601 Benguet

 

4.  STRAWBERRY FARM

The Trinity, Benguet

We didn’t pick strawberries and lettuce, but we bought vegetables and some pasalubongs.  Those are quite expensive–we didn’t have any choice.  If we only had time, we could have dropped by to the market where goods and vegetables are much cheaper.

5.  TAM-AWAN VILLAGE

Long Benguet Road, Baguio,Benguet

We didn’t enjoy here much because we had to go up and down to see the Igorot houses.  We just visited the gallery and craft store.  Entrance fee per head is p50.00.  If you are a first-timer here and you are not in a hurry, you might be able to enjoy the tour here.

6.  OUR LADY OF LOURDES GROTTO

Dominican Hill Rd., Benguet

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I planned to vlog how I managed to climb the 200 plus steps in the grotto, but it didn’t materialize at all because at 70 steps, we were dead-tired already.  Hubby also, would like to rest and his stomach was rumbling.  We just bought apples and rested for a while before we got back to the car.

7. OLD DIPLOMAT HOTEL/DOMINICAN HILL RETREAT HOUSE

 Dominican Hill, Diplomat Road, Baguio, 2600 Benguet

It was our first time to visit the place and we were pleased to include this in our itinerary.  I was visualizing how it looked like when it was still operational.  We explored the place and went to the rooftop where we saw the fog.  (I have shared the video in my Instagram account).

8.  CAMP JOHN HAY

Loakan Road, Baguio City, Philippines 2600

CJH is comercialized now- you can see different restaurants, boutiques and other business establishments.  I wasn’t able to  explore much– I just visited Belfrei Spa in Ayala Technohub in my first day.  We just took some photos in front of the Manor Hotel and The White House of Scents.  Next time, I will be needing one whole day to stroll in CJH, but like what I’ve mentioned before, you won’t enjoy here if you don’t have a car/transport service.

9.  Wright Park

 Gibraltar Rd, Baguio, Benguet

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After the horseback riding

Horseback riding was really included in my itinerary.  We chose 30 minutes for P200 per person instead of P400 per person for 1 hour.  Personally, I wanted to go for the 1 hour ride because it will also lead you to CJH, but we had prior commitments.  We were bored because for 30 minutes, we just circled the Wright Park.  I requested one of our guides to take a video, but I don’t like the shot 😦

We were not able to go to the other places like Mines View Park and the Mansion because I requested Mang Domeng to drop us to Sage Café, Route 55 and Romanelle Spa.  We dropped hubby at Microtel before we go to Romanelle Spa because he needed to rest.  Because Mang Domeng had to go home and meet his children, he couldn’t pick me up at 9pm at the spa but he asked another driver to pick me up.

Side Trips:

  1.  Sage Cafe

95 Military Cutoff Rd, Baguio, 2600 Benguet

I highly recommend SAGE Cafe– not only the ambiance is perfect, but also the food and drinks.  (A feature about this cafe will be posted in my blog. )

2. Route 55 Diner

 No.55 Legarda Road, 55 Legarda Rd, Barangay Burnham – Legarda, Baguio, 2600 Benguet

This is another restaurant that I recommend.  It might be familiar to you because it was shown in ABS-CBN’s teleserye Forevermore, where the character of Enrique Hill worked there as a vocalist of the band.  The ambiance is very comfy and the food is also delectable and affordable!  (This will also be featured in my blog soon).

3. Romanelle Spa

 241 Upper Bonifacio St. cor. Laurel St., Upper Bonifacio Street, Baguio, 2600 Benguet

I wanted to destress after the tour that’s why I included this in my itinerary.  It was just ok, but nothing to rave about.  I tried the Body Therapy package which consists of the following:  Sauna, Facial, Body Scrub, Body Fruit Wrap, Underarm Bleaching and Waxing and Foor Scrub with Paraffin wax).  Of all the inclusions, I prefer the foot scrub and undearm bleaching.

We arrived at Microtel at past 9pm and I was kinda bothered because after paying online the previous night at Iwantseats.com, they wouldn’t send me the bus voucher.  I checked their system and found out that my transaction has already expired. I also checked my Paypal account and the payment didn’t get through.  I remember I tried to pay online twice—the other one didn’t get through, but in the most recent transaction, it appeared as a guest account wherein I had to enter my credit card details and when I did that, I received a text message from the bank informing me that the recent purchase that I made might affect my limit.  I thought everything was okay already but then when I told hubby about it, we decided to go to Victory Bus terminal in our pajamas.  In almost an hour, it was finally our turn to purchase tickets.  Fortunately, there were still tickets (though de luxe buses are not available anymore) and we were able to book a ride for 9:50 am to Cubao.  If you plan to visit Baguio City, I recommend Microtel Inn because of its good location-very close to the Victory Bus Liner terminal and the town proper.  I also suggest that you book a Baguio tour with Mang Domeng.  You may contact him in his mobile number:  0947 581-4245.

WARNING:  Do NOT book in Iwantseats.com anymore.  It will be more convenient if you will book in Victory Bus online.  Microtel owns Victory Bus Liner so you just have to walk from the terminal to the hotel and vice versa.  You can even ask for FREE luggage assistance which will make your trip hassle and stress-free.

 

Baguio Trip 2017 Day 2

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Our previous day in Baguio was kinda stressful because of our struggle in finding a cab and Grab car, so we decided  to just explore some places in the morning by walking.  We went to Te Quiero Tapas Bar & Restaurant at 6:30 a.m for our free breakfast buffet which was already included in our room accommodation in Microtel Inn.  After our breakfast, we walked from our hotel to the market.  It was fun discovering places and burning some calories at the same time.

Breakfast @ Te Quiero

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We followed the signs to know where the market was

We passed by the Igorot Stairs and were impressed by the giant statues.  There are restaurants in the area like Pamana Restaurant, Barrio Fiesta and Tsokolateria.  As much as I would like to try the hot chocolate and some food there, we had to go right away because we have an appointment after lunch.

 

 

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SM Baguio

We also passed by Casa Vallejo and North Haven Spa.  We walked until we reached SM Baguio and walked again until we reached the market at Session Road.   There were Ukay-Ukay finds, but the clothes and footwear were kinda expensive that’s why we haven’t bought anything there except for my daughter’s brand new pair of slippers.   (Too bad, Microtel Inn Baguio doesn’t include free pair of slippers in the room.)  As usual, we didn’t find a cab AGAIN so it was a wise decision to walk back to the hotel from the market.

I finally saw North Haven Spa in Casa Vallejo but it has a creepy feeling that will make you have second thoughts of going there.  Honestly, I wasn’t impressed with the exterior, but I haven’t tried the service yet so I can’t judge it yet based from what I see from the outside.

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We walked from the Igorot Stairs to the Session Road

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While waiting at the Microtel entrance

When we got back to the hotel, we rested for a while and had our lunch (sandwich and water for me since I am on a diet).   We were picked up by Ms. Jonie Flores, marketing consultant of JIC English Academy Baguio before 1pm and we had a tour of JIC Baguio located at 73 Nacia Apts, Upper West Kennon Road Camp 7, Baguio City.  It’s interesting to know that finally, there is an English academy in Baguio that offers accomodations to students who are enrolled in their courses.  Just to share,  I am a licensed teacher here in the Philippines (currently teaching English to Grade 8 students) and also a certified TESOL teacher (I got my certification online via LTTC-The London Teacher Training College).  Before I got hired in DepEd, I planned to study onsite in Thailand, but I need to consider the tuition fee and other expenses, so I looked for a school here in the Philippines and the only city offering TESOL in 2009 was Cebu.  I opted to enroll online instead and tried my luck in Deped Antipolo.  I didn’t know about JIC Baguio; otherwise, I would have enrolled there.  I will have another blog post about JIC Baguio– watch out for that!)

 

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With Mr. Takashi Mitsumoto, part of the JIC Baguio Marketing Team in their famous wall.

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The IB/IELTS Center

After the JIC Baguio Tour and meeting some of the managers, head teachers and some foreign students, I had the chance to meet the President, Mr. Leo Im in one of his restaurants, the Baguio Red Station in 12 Legarda Road.  Beside it is a bakery that he owns, Le Vain Bakery.

 

 

We also visited the main branch in Outlook Drive and I was not surprised why many people go there and why they have positive reviews.  The Korean bakery is pleasant to the customers’ eyes not only with the cute interior design, but because of the variety of breads and pastries that they offer.  (I will have a separate post about Le Vain Bakery to showcase the breads and pastries that they offer).  We were able to taste some of their cakes and they were all DIVINE.  My diet was ruined, but it was a temptation that I won’t regret for the rest of my life, hahaha!

The sweet temptations @ Le Vain Bakery

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With Ms. Jonie Flores (Marketing Head of JIC English Academy) and Mr. Leo Im (President of JIC Baguio and owner of Le Vain Bakery)

 

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i had the chance to strike a pose with the Korean manager in Le Vain Bakery

After that, we headed to Samgyeop Pocha and a dinner was arranged for us at 7pm.

 

While waiting because it was too early, we went to Café Lusso in Gen. Luna Road cor. Assumption Road, one of the popular cafes in Baguio City.  I won’t let the day pass of course without having coffee there, but unfortunately there was no hot Café Mocha that time so I just had the cold one.

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Cafe Lusso

 

Because my hubby was not feeling well and was having LBM at that time and bad timing that we couldn’t get a cab, we were not able to go back to Samgyeop Pocha for dinner.  After waiting for almost an hour, we finally got a cab back to Microtel.  I transferred the payment for the bus tickets online to Iwantseats.com for a hassle-free trip (I didn’t know that it will be a total disaster!)  We slept early to recharge our bodies because we booked for a whole day Baguio tour the next morning.

NOTE:  I promise to feature the food in Baguio Red Station, Samgyeop Pocha and Café Lusso the next time I visit Baguio City. I might be able to feature the rooms in their dorm in JIC Baguio.  Thank you so much to JIC English Academy for making this post possible.