Just got back from a weekend trip with the entire family for Mother’s Day. I’ll be posting about it soon.
In the meantime, here’s a sneak peek of what went on over the last 3 days.
I’ve often said on this blog that our family likes to go out on trips together. Vacationing is one of the things that our family does well, and some of my fondest memories are from the many out of town trips that we have taken as a group. I consider myself lucky to have parents like mine, who have been planning day-trips, weekend getaways, and sometimes even week-long adventures for us since we were little. Over the years, my dad has made it a point to take time out from his busy schedule to take us someplace nice for the summer, or during Christmas season, New Year’s, and even just on an ordinary weekend. There were also times when he would take us all with him whenever he’d have out of town lectures or conventions. Because of this, my siblings and I have been able to see quite a lot of the Philippines already. On the photos on our foyer wall, you will see images of our younger selves on the San Juanico Bridge, at the Maria Cristina Falls, in Dapitan where Rizal was exiled, and on many other beaches and mountains all over the country.
These days, the vacations have become even more exciting with the addition of new members to our out of town crew. What was once a family of five has expanded to include MrC and my Little Kiddo, my brother’s girlfriend, my sister’s boyfriend, and occasionally my sister-in-law, her boyfriend, and her roommate Phil, who is practically our adoptive sibling already. As expected, my parents have become even more excited about travelling now that the little guy is part of the group. The nice thing about it is he is so appreciative of new sights and new experiences, and he truly enjoys sharing these moments with his grandparents. At the age of five, he’s already been able to take a plane to Ozamis, see Baguio twice, play on the beaches of Dagupan and Batangas, and hang out in Tagaytay at least five times. He is now eagerly anticipating our 2012 summer outing, which is coming up soon. Actually, we’re all really excited for three whole days of fun in the sun at a private resort owned by one of my dad’s doctor friends in Zambales. We were told that they will eventually be open to the public, and from what I hear, their beachfront is really nice. I’ll definitely be sharing photos and recommendations after the trip.
Speaking of vacation photos, I just realized that the year is almost halfway done, and I still have not been able to post much about our 2012 family outings. Promise that you will soon be able to read about our Chinese New Year weekend at Virgin Beach Resort, our first ever Hot Air Balloon Festival experience, my birthday weekend at Discovery Country Suites, the little guy’s birthday weekend at Hotel H2O, and all the fabulous food we’ve had along the way. Promise.
In the meantime, let me share this wonderful little place we discovered en route to Laiya called Cafeño. If you ever find yourself on our way to the many beach resorts in the area, I suggest you stop by this quaint cafe and restaurant for some coffee, homemade ice cream and other treats.
We chanced upon the place on our way to Virgin Beach Resort last January. We happened to leave the house much later than we’d originally planned, and so, at a little past noon, we found ourselves too hungry to keep driving, but too close to the resort (and a proper lunch) to risk spoiling our appetites by eating a big meal somewhere else. Plus we all needed to take a bathroom break, and so it was decided that we would stop at Cafeño. The building is actually an old house, one of many in the area, and sits at the corner of General Luna and Rizal Streets in Poblacion, San Juan, Batangas.
The first thing you see when you enter is the counter and display case filled with yummy pastries. It took some time before we all decided on what we would be having. While waiting for the rest of the family to order, I took a quick look around to see what the rest of the place looked like, and since it is a relatively small restaurant, it didn’t take me long to survey the entire area.
The decor inside Cafeño is mostly made up of vintage items and old photographs. I thought I was able to take a photo of the table next to us, which was made of the base of an old Singer sewing machine, but the photo is probably in my sister’s camera. The place being designed this way makes it very homey and cozy.
I finally decided to order churros and Spanish chocolate, but was disappointed to learn that the churros were not available. I ended up just getting the chocolate, while mom and my sister ordered coffee floats. Dad and MrC had barako coffee, and my brother and my son went for the crispy waffles.
Looking back, hot chocolate was a pretty odd choice for me on such a warm day. Oh well, I enjoyed it anyway. The crispy waffles were really good too, and were a good enough substitute for churros, dipped into my chocolate.
It was a good start to what would be a totally enjoyable Batangas weekend for us all. As always, the little guy cozied up to his grandparents for most of the trip. He even chose to ride in their car because he found my dad’s GPS completely fascinating.
I’m sure that we will pass by Cafeño again on our next trip South. Hopefully when I get to go back, I’ll finally get to try those churros.
No.9 Cor General Luna and Rizal St.
San Juan, Batangas
I’m lucky to have a husband who enjoys taking photos, because that means I get my fair share of being in front of the camera. In my previous post about C’ Italian Dining in Angeles, Pampanga, I shared some pictures of the really yummy food we had for lunch. I wasn’t able to take any shots of the restaurant because to be honest, I was feeling lazy. So when I discovered that Mr C had some photos of C’ stored in his camera, I got really excited, and decided to share them.
|Rocky and Koko|
|Look at me, so pale!|
Among the interesting things about C’ are the plates hung on the walls with messages from satisfied customers. Mr C told me that he only took photos of the plates signed by celebrities whose names he recognized.
|Judy Ann Santos|
|The Eat Bulaga Cast|
After our very satisfying meal, Mr C, the Kiddo, and I took a short walk around the restaurant. Mr C wanted me to see the autographed plates, and I needed to go to the bathroom, so I had to set my laziness aside and get off my seat. The restroom was outside the main dining area, at the al fresco portion behind the building. The outdoor dining section was setup like a pretty garden, and it would’ve been nice to eat there had the weather been less summer-y. Due to insistent public demand (or rather, because the little boy wanted to shoot a few photos himself), we stayed a bit for some pictures in the garden.
|I wanted a photo in front of the wall of plates|
|Photo by the little boy|
|Mommy + Kiddo|
Lunch at C’s was an enjoyable, but expensive experience. At least the next time we visit, I already know what to expect. When that will be, no one knows. Maybe in February for the next Hot Air Balloon Festival.
|Lola, Mommy, Kiddo. Burp.|
C’ Italian Dining
1210 Don Juico Ave. Clarkview, Balibago
Angeles City, Pampanga
Date of Visit: February 11, 2012
Welcome to the third of my birthday weekend posts! Yes, my birthday was last February, and yes this post is long overdue. I actually am amazingly backlogged as far as my blog posts are concerned, which only means you’ve got a lot to look forward to from me in the coming weeks. Always look at the bright side of life, right? So my birthday celebration started with a Friday night dinner date with Mr C at Cafe d’Asie in the Bellevue Hotel. The night of my birthday was spent with friends, watching Razorback live at SanMig Alabang.
The next day, Mr C, the kiddo and I went off on a sunny Sunday Tagaytay adventure. Our first stop was the Ilog Maria Honeybee Farm for my supply of soap. I have very sensitive skin with a dash of eczema, and so commercial bath stuff don’t really agree with me. I discovered Ilog Maria soaps through my former boss who swears by it, and after my first few bars, which she gave me as a present, I was hooked. Apparently my dad is familiar with their products too, and has often visited the farm on his Tagaytay motorcycle escapades. He keeps a bottle of their liniment in his bathroom.
Last February, when our family trooped out to Clark for the Hot Air Balloon Festival, our first stop was C’ Italian Dining for a very late lunch before checking in at Fontana. Like I always do before heading off to an unfamiliar place, I asked around about the best places to eat at Clark. C’ came highly recommended by a lot of my food-lover friends, and so I made sure that we stopped there to eat before our schedule got filled up.
C’ is located outside the Clark Freeport Zone, in Balibago Angeles, Pampanga. The facade is pretty simple, and if not for all the cars parked in front of the restaurant, and even across the street (and of course the big sign in front of the building), I probably would never have realized that we’d found the place. I use the word found because we had made a number of wrong turns in search of the restaurant, and ended up lost and with no idea where to go, more than once. I’d never have guessed that such a nice restaurant could be found in such a shady place. Then again, I forget that a good number of Angeles’ residents are foreigners.
The place has this rustic, old house, sorta cozy sorta creepy feel to it. I’m guessing this vibe is caused by a combintion of the stone walls, the big windows , the art pieces on display, and lighting of the place. The entire restaurant is laid out in various sections and rooms, and nooks and corners you could just disappear into, which kind of made me think of it as dungeon-like too. Then again, maybe all this was just hunger messing with my senses.
My sister and her boyfriend actually got to the restaurant before we did, so we were expecting to have something to munch on while we ordered. Surprisingly, there wasn’t any food or drinks on the table. Since the two ordered ahead, they made a follow up while we placed our orders. My hunger was making me cranky, so I distracted myself by taking photos.
Like I said, it took us a while to find the place. Ironically three out of four people in the car had maps and GPS apps in our phones. It was close to 3pm when we arrived at C’, so you can just imagine how tired and hungry we were by then. My Mc Donald’s Big Breakfast was long gone, replaced by gurgles and other similar complaints by my stomach.
When the drinks and bread arrived, we attacked like wolves. Pretty, composed wolves. I ordered a Strawberry Italian Soda, which was really refreshing. Their bread was super yummy, and I had to restrain myself from eating too much so as not to spoil my appetite. No, let me re-phrase that, my appetite is never spoiled. I just didn’t want to get full too fast. Bread is my absolute weakness, and C’s pesto dip was just too good to resist. Carbs, this is why I’m fat.
Now here’s the problem. Because I’m blogging about this so late, I can’t remember what any of the dishes were called, and how much they cost. My bad. Lesson learned, write about things as soon as I can, or at least take notes for future reference. I’ll be sure to make a note of the names of these dishes if I ever get to pay a visit to C’ again. For now, photos and descriptions will just have to suffice.
We were informed by the waiter that the reason why my sister’s order hadn’t arrived yet was because they switched tables, and the servers got confused. Not a good enough reason, as far as I’m concerned, but lucky for them, I found myself to be extra forgiving that day. Maybe because I was on vacation mode and refused to be put in a bad mood. It could also be because the food was so good that it gave me an extra happy vibe. I kid you not, the food was that delicious.
We ordered two different kinds of Panizza, and two pasta dishes. Now let me tell you a secret. I never had Panizza before my visit to C’. Not even Yellow Cab’s Dear Darla. I think it’s a good thing, because I read somewhere that this is what inspired the Dear Darla, and I’m glad I got to taste the original first. Rocky and Koko chose one with the best tasting bacon ever, while mom picked a four (or was it five?) cheese panizza. Both were wonderful, but the cheesy one needed an extra sprinkling of spices for added umph.
Meanwhile, Mr C and the Kiddo chose to have Pasta Carbonara, which was also topped with the best bacon ever, and mom added an order of Spagetti Bolognese with Meatballs. The Carbonara was a hit. Their white sauce was exceptionally good, and that means a lot coming from someone who isn’t much of a fan of white sauce on pasta.
I expected more from the Bolognese, but it was still pretty good. After enjoying the bowl of bread so much, I hoped that the garlic bread that came with the pasta would be amazing as well. Guess I shouldn’t have expected much, since it turns out that all garlic breads are pretty much alike. Or maybe I feel that way because I don’t particularly like butter.
The food at C’ is really good. Too bad that it’s really far away, and in a place I don’t normally frequent. It’s also quite pricey. We ended up paying close to P3,000 for lunch for 5 adults and 1 kid. That’s more or less P500-P600 per person. Plus I got turned off with the slow service, although, I do realize it’s probably better on non-peak days. After all, we visited during Clark’s busiest season. This is exactly why I prefer not to travel when I know it’s going to be crowded where I’m headed. Yes, I can be antisocial like that.
For more photos from our visit, check out this post!
C’ Italian Dining
1210 Don Juico Ave. Clarkview, Balibago
Angeles City, Pampanga
I’ve been sorting my files and photos lately, and so I’ve been discovering all these folders of trips and activities from late last year that I have yet to post!
Last November, Mr C, the Kiddo and I spent the day in Tagaytay and Sta Rosa with my sister in law, Ate Baban. We had lunch in Cliffhouse, then we visited Residence Inn. On our way back to Manila, we passed by Paseo Sta Rosa and Nuvali for a little bit of retail therapy and more eating. Yes, this all took place last November. So yes, this post is five months overdue.
|Run, Kiddo, run!|
|Chasing after Ninang Baban|
The little guy had some Frutti Froyo for meryenda, while the rest of us had Serenitea.
|This was peanut butter frozen yogurt, i think|
|Playing Angry Birds while waiting for our food|
|Okinawa with Black Bricks and Hokkaido with Black Pearls|
|Ate Baban and Me|
|We also had Hash Browns. Yum, yum, yum!|
While Ate Baban and I were shopping, the little boy and his dad explored the area and took some really cute photos until we eventually got hungry again (yes, this is why I’m fat). We ended our day trip with dinner at Old Spaghetti House in Paseo Sta Rosa..