Category Archives: Adventurers’ Notes

Chapter XVIII : Manang’s Chicken

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Love is seldom sweeter the second time around.. but such doesnt hold true to my romance with manang’s chicken. our love story started 2 years ago, when me and my best girl friend (notice the space between girl and friend) discovered this chicken wonder near our office. i remembered us having to eat there nearly every day of every week when we discovered it at ACI towers in Ortigas Center. i remembered the first smell, bite, and giddy reaction i had with my first ever Manang’s Chicken. Time sure do pass by so fast.

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(L) Coleslaw and Macaroni Salad Side Dishes, (R) Manang’s Chips and Dips (Creamy Cheese, Garlic Mayo, and Spicy Ketchup)

But here i am, once again, within the fortress of Manang’s, waiting to taste the latest addition to their food line up! we started the night with the side dishes (i am a coleslaw person – so perfect lang!). part of our menu was their coleslaw and macaroni salad which i have always found to be simple and satisfying, (i really hate complicated salads as each ingredient contributes to the overall taste. Therefore the many ingredients  present, the less overall satisfying it is for me!). following our appetizer round was the Manang’s potato chips with 4 different dips (including the latest spicy ketchup dip – which i found to be awesome! (i love ketchup, and i love spicy food – – therefore this combination was a palate-gasmic experience).

i found the main entree to be delicious yet was a bit wondering regarding the price. the garlic pork rice was a unique experience for me! a pork slab perfected with garlic bits and accompanied by a very weird yet addicting vinegar. i have heard of reviews toward this meal, but all that shattered when i tasted it myself. i still found the magic of manangs chicken in it, the same magic that captivated my heart and stomach 2 years ago. yet i was a bit hesitant regarding it being a budget meal and it being 100+ pesos.

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In Totality, my love for manangs remains (if not, have strengthened!). the explanation to why i do can be stemmed from the satisfaction i get everytime i eat at Manang’s Chicken. up to this day, i have many friends that loves manang’s chicken because they love how big, how budgeted, and how delicious every food selection is at this store.

Some Manang’s Chicken Facts and Tips:
1. Manang’s Chicken is Owned and Operated by Giabella Foods Corporation.
2. Manang’s Chicken was first offered December of 2012 at a public stall in Mercato Centrale
3. By June 2011, the first Manang’s Chicken store opened in Ortigas Center Pasay (here was where i discovered my love for the manang’s chicken)
4. The President and CEO, Jill Borja is a lawyer by profession, and selling fried chicken in weekend markets was only a hobby at first (INSPIRATION TO!)
5. Manang’s Chicken current stores: 1. Ortigas Center, 2. Katipunan, 3. Taft (Vito Cruz are), 4. SM Mega Mall , 5. Sm North Branch, 6. Glorietta 4 Food Choices, 7. Tomas Morato, 8. BF Homes, 9. Wilcon City Center, Visayas Ave
6. Mix and Match the chicken sauces to match your tastes (so that your food wont be too spicy, or too mild — Personal recommendation)
7. Order the Large Manang’s Chips and Dips and share with your friend, date, or family
8. Manang’s Chicken gets better with repetition! (TRUST ME ON THIS!)

so with that, ill just end with.. Thank you Manang’s Chicken for existing, and being part of my life!

— Behind Thick Framed Notes
1. Visit the Manang’s Chicken Website at http://www.manangschicken.com
2. Like them on Facebook : Manang’s Chicken
3. Follow them on Twitter and Instagram :  @manangschicken
4. Visit them now, and try their latest and old food selection so you can relate to my feeling!
5. Thank you Manang’s Chicken for making me try your latest food selection!

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Filed under Adventurers' Notes, Book 2 : The Quest, Review

Chapter XVII : The Circle Hostel

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After an amazing time at san fernando, we (Karyl, Aris and Myself) arrived in San Juan La Union to start our one and a half day vacation. we have a whole sunday planned ever since this trip was conceived – our plan to go surfing and be at the beach the entire day dominated our list.  in order to achieve our goals (since surfing costs approximately 400/hour), we agreed to look for a place to stay that is well within our budget and is a place wherein we can be comfortable, and not too ashamed to talk about or tell our friends about.

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The first i’ve heard of the Circle Hostel was when i attended an event our company sponsored (Travel Massive Manila). For quite some time i have been really curious on what can be seen, or what is special about the place. My officemate Karyl then told me that she stayed at the circle hostel during one of her surf trips and further reinforced the curiosity as she found it to be an amazing place to stay at. lo and behold, the night of saturday (January 26) welcomed us with an amazing discovery – an environmentally attuned haven – and a place that i concluded to be ripped out of a page from a fantasy game (think Kilika of Final Fantasy X , or Destiny Islands from Kingdom Hearts).

Upon entering you’ll notice that the Circle Hostel is composed of different structures made entirely of wood (which i later found out to be the common area, the restroom/showers, and the sleeping quarters). for 400 pesos, you can enjoy a bed that is very much social friendly and environmentally sustainable (no rooms, just a personal space for you) – the sea breeze makes it impractical to wish for aircon even, the only thing that you may actually wish for is an additional blanket. for those more adventurous travelers who wish to be like cocoons whilst asleep, a 350 peso hammock rental can also be availed in Circle Hostel. (considering my size, and my sleep moves,  getting a hammock is a no-no!).

Why i fell in love with Circle Hostel

1. It is Affordable – in places like san juan, visitors are expected to be away from the hotel/inn/hostel for the entire day. why pay 1k plus for a room that you would barely use anyway? pay 400 for a bed, bring a padlock for the locker, and prepare to meet new friends, – as this hostel is a place where walls does not exist.. you are bound to make friends – making 400 pesos a cheap investment for comfort, fun, and socials.

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(L) Stairway to the bunk beds, (R) my bed and personal space during the 27th

2. It is Eyegasmic!- appealing to the visuals. upon entering the area, colorful tiles surrounded by neautral colored pebbles will capture your attention. quotes and markings have been left by guests, hostel admins, to make the place more homy. every area is photo op worthy!

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(L) View from the common area, (R) me playing around the common area outside grounds

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(L) view from the gate (reception, residential, comfort room zone) (R)shot of me in the common area

3. Promotes Interaction – this is the place to be when you want to meet new people – – new friends guaranteed! when we were there last sat- sun, i felt i know the guests staying there at that time. heck, we even spent the entire afternoon together at bacnotan beach to surf, and was united when we opted to stay for more than two hours (more on this on my surf post soon!). i loved that all outlets are located at the common area, to increase the chances of making new friends, or hearing other people’s stories!

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(L) at Bacnotan beach with friends we met at Circle Hostel, (R) common area shot

Circle Hostel does not only offer residential answers, it offers opportunities! opportunity to meet new people, to experience freedom and the feeling of not being confined by solid blocks, opportunity to escape the normal and relax. definitely the place ill return to when i have the urge to surf at la union again!

–Behind Thick Framed Notes

1. Follow the Circle Hostel in Facebook 🙂 –> Circle Hostel Main Facebook Page
2. Check out Circle Hostel’s Website –> www.thecirclehostel.com
3. Some photos by Me, and some by my ever present and loyal personal photographer Aris Suarez, check his blog out –> Aris’ Narcissus Chronicles

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Filed under Adventure, Adventurers' Notes, Book 2 : The Quest, Review, Travel

Chapter XVI : Thunderbird Resorts

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For me to actually say that a hotel is spectaculary-awesome, it needs to pass three criteria

1. Comfortable Bed, Clean Bathrooms, and Excellent Hotel Service (the Residential Criterion)
2. Excellent Ambiance, Fun Factor through hotel amenities, and  Spectacular food (the Entertainment Criterion)
3. Photo Opportunities that are brag-worthy (the Vanity Criterion)

just three minutes upon entering the vicinity of Thunderbird Resort in Poro Point, San Fernando La Union (on a tricycle no less – how unclassy – joke!), i thought to myself that this will be a different kind of hotel experience for me. i am really picky, and “maarte” with hotels, as i was a kid that grew up abroad and had the opportunity to visit different hotels that makes you want to be filthy rich just to be able to live there forever. the feel of Thunderbird was similar to the Grand Hyatt and Al-Bustan Hotel back in Oman (some of the very classy and top of the line hotels back there) – it was a piece of heaven on earth!

3. Vanity 
If you haven’t discovered this already, i am a very vain (sometimes conceited) type of individual. taking pictures of myself takes up about 30% of my day, and having good photos always make me happy. Thunderbird resorts was like a comicbook store to a comicbook addict, a toy store to a kid, and a buffet of deliciousness and wonders for the eye. i have always dreamed of visiting a particular place in greece called Santorini, and Thunderbird has (in a way) made me feel that i was there even just for a day. the architecture and color compliments the sky pallete even if the sun is at its peak – therefore compliments every shot that me and my friend took of me.  i was silently praying that the Digital Influencer Marketing Summit of 2013 (the main reason why i was here) starts late, so that i could abuse my photographer to photograph me in every area, with all the poses that i possess. but due to the fact that arrived a bit late (8:30am) i had to make do with a couple of shots during daylight and go through the event and resume vanity after it. suffice to say, with the number of shots that me and aris had, we have enough photos to last three profile and cover photo changes in facebook!

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2. Entertainment
The pool was already something that would scream “quota” on my entertainment needs, but noo, thunderbird resorts have more to offer than a pool worth spending the entire day at. Thunderbird resorts la union has a casino (which is about 2 minutes away from the hotel itself – thunderbird shuttles go back and forth transporting guests to the casino and back to the hotel) and a golf course as well.  Me having no interest whatsoever in trying my luck with cards and chips, or teeing off while watching the spectacular sunset appreciated the fact of the diverse entertainment areas made available to guests. i, however, particularly liked the greenery area wherein you can watch the sunset (hand in hand with someone you love), take sunset photos or enjoy the scenery as night envelops and the hotel lights go on. the food was awesome as well, as we (event participants) were treated to a buffet of pallete orgasmic (pallgasmic!) feast –  it is just what everyone needs to compliment the eye treat (eyegasmic!) that is thunderbird resorts!

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1. Residential
the most important of the three reasons for me. no matter the reason of the check-in, we always choose the hotel wherein it is worth spending a day or two at, that offers the chance to escape from the routine, and enjoy something different. (so if my hotel room is just similar to my house in manila, how can i call that an escape?). Right after our Casino appreciation, me and my friends were given the privilege of entering one of thunderbird resorts’ villa (based on the price given by their marketing dudes, one night in this very awesome villa costs about 25k – but can house more or less 8 people comfortably.) come to think about it, this would be a good barkada outing venue for very special occasions. we managed to enter this villa, and tour it, i even tried lying down on the beds to determine how comfortable it is to stay there (wrong choice, i ended up wanting to sleep as soon as i felt the matress!). the villa also has a kitchen and plenty bathrooms, a receiving or common area, and a dining table. this three storied villa also has balconies enabling the guest to marvel at the spectacular view the scenery fronting their villa.

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the experience (though brief) was something awesome! i do hope that when burdened by the chaos of manila, i get a chance to retreat to this paradise, and experience everything it has to offer! indeed, Thunderbird Resorts deserves the awards that it has gained because it truly is world class!

— Behind Thick Framed Notes
1. Follow Thundirbird Resorts in their Social Medias
Thunderbird Facebook

Thunderbird resorts twitter :  @tdrphilippines

2. All photos shot by Aris Suarez <– visit his blog here!

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Filed under Adventure, Adventurers' Notes, Book 2 : The Quest, Photo Dump, Review, Travel

Chapter XII : Ventus

two to three months ago, after the Spyder Surge, my wish to own a bike has intensified. i have always liked biking, i remember owning a mountain bike before when i was in high school, but it was stolen from the flat that we lived in at muscat.

Three days ago, my new mountain bike (which i call Ventus) has arrived. it is a 26er Cannondale Trail 5 – and i simply love it!
i took it out for a test ride with my officemates around kapitolyo and back, then brought it home.

Earlier today, i brought Ventus to the Fort to test his mettle. it was a fun ride amidst all the ascents from signal to heritage up until fort bonifacio. it was a steady ride even though cars have been hastily passing by. i even had an encounter wherein a truck passed by so fast, that i felt i was given a pull towards my descend to mckinley.

after the many roads traveled at Fort, i decided to go to the office, since our team has work today (FUN!). but somewhere along the san joaquin and pasig bridge – my right pedal detached from my entire bike – making me fall (for the very first time) to the pavement. i obtained a small scratch on my left leg, and my head would have hit the pavement had it not been for my mtb helmet Aero. * i swear, as soon as i recovered from the fall, a fast car rushed through almost instantly. – which led me to think what could have happened if i had not recovered fast.*

after arriving to the office (scarred, tired, and a bit miffed!), i decided to bring the bike to All Terra-Libis to have it fixed! their crew was so helpful that they did everything they can to ensure that i’ll be able to bike tonight with my officemates. they even went the extra mile by giving me water while i wait, and hailing a cab for my return trip back to the office.

now my bike, ventus, is as good as new, thanks to the awesome guys at All Terra! we are all set to go for the night ride later on!

Here’s to many more adventures with you Ventus!

—- Behind Thick Framed Notes
1. All my Cycling Apparel and Gear are from Spyder Philippines (Like them now, and follow them (@teamspyder) for awesome product infos, and promos.)

2. Like All Terra for bikes, and parts that you may need to enhance your biking performance.

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Filed under Adventurers' Notes, Book 2 : The Quest

Magic Works! The Magic Continues!

The Christmas season is upon us! my Group, Hogwarts Philippines (yeah, i’m a geek that way! and HEAD BOY!) is currently organizing an outreach program for the kids at Hospicio de San Jose. check the poster out (by Abby Sanchez)

currently, volunteers are limited to members of Hogwarts Philippines (register here). But you too can help us out, as we are accepting donations, preferably TOYS (gift wrapped) that we can give out as gifts to the kids and/or prizes to some of our planned games.

should you want to donate, feel free to message me here (so i could coordinate with the proper PHP-MAgic Works committee) or send me an email @ francis.romero15@gmail.com

additional LUMOS — for those not in the know, PHP currently celebrated it’s 10 years of existence in the Philippines. We are also usually (NAY, the ONLY group) invited to be present during important harry potter releases in the country (Book releases, Movie premiers, Book Discussions). some of us (yes me included) also appeared on national television to share our experiences, and goals in the community!

so with that! i urge you to help us cast LUMOS to dispell the darkness, drive away those emotion-sucking dementors and cast plenty of cheering charms for the kids, so that they too, could have an awesome magical Christmas!

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