Category Archives: Restaurant Reviews

Manila Hotel: Why it should be part of your Manila Itinerary

In my last post, I added Manila Hotel as a place of interest. Not only that there is history embedded on it. The place is also a luxurious place to dine and relax without making your wallet cry that much! πŸ™‚

The preserved Manila Hotel's facade

Well, I already experienced staying in this hotel way back in 2008, it was cool, clean and comfortable—and expensive! πŸ™‚ However, this is not a review for my hotel stay, but anΒ  explanation why this place should be part of your itinerary during your stay in Manila.

Not only that it has a beautiful scenic architecture, it also has a wide spacious lobby, where you can order coffee (which costs (P120.00) or ($2.79USD) and enjoy the surrounding and the feel of being a royalty–err–general. You can also roam around the exact structure where the Generals during the American era walked and danced their hearts out. If you are thinking if there is an entrance fee, nah! there’s none, I already told you that as part of your itinerary, you can just relax your soul and enjoy a cup of coffee here.

So that you can really know the importance of this place, lemme tell you about its history:


This hotel was created during the American era in the Philippines. In 1908 when the Americans, leaded by Judge William Howard Taft, wanted to create a city plan for Manila, they also started building this hotel grandly–with high ceilings and 169 rooms.

This place became the hotel for famous individuals and politicians during those times – mind you, it is almost as old as the Malacanang Palace where the Philippine President stays.

While in 1935-1945, General MacArthur and his family made this hotel as their home here in the Philippines, since he was recommissioned in the Philippines as requested by the Commonwealth President Manuel Quezon.

If you don’t know General MacArthur, then here is one brief info about him: he is one of the heroes who helped the Philippines escape the hands of the Japanese. Filipinos love him because he didn’t break his promise when he said “I shall return”.

“He was one of only five men ever to rise to the rank of General of the Army in the U.S. Army, and the only man ever to become a field marshal in the Philippine Army.” (Wikipedia)

While in December 1941, the Manila Hotel became the command post during the Japanese invasion of the Philippines. The Japanese also attacked this place and made the penthouse on fire which unfortunately consumed all the personal belongings and the military library of Gen. MacArthur (Manila Hotel Website)

The Hotel was fixed and restored to its former grandeur and until today, it still stands as one of the heritage sites that the Americans left the Philippines.


So, I decided to go here today (March 10, 2012) to experience again how grand the hotel is and catch a glimpse of history…

I walked through its beautifully decorated lobby. Asked the frontdesk/reception on how much the rates are, and sat on one of the sofa chairs in the lobby while observing the people who passes by πŸ™‚

The Entrance of Manila Hotel... beautiful doors
The elegant lobby of this hotel perfect for making grand entrances!

The reception told me that the price of the rooms are:

1. Superior Deluxe: P7995.00 or 185USD

2. Grand Deluxe: P6995.00 or 162USD — I don’t know why this is a lot cheaper than the Superior one πŸ™‚

3. Sunset/Sunrise Suite: P17343.00 or 403USD

There’s also a pianist who seemingly knows how to play with the piano. Her music is great! I listened to her for 3 minutes then went on to Cafe Ilang-Ilang to have my lunch

Piano in the lobby

Before I arrive in the Cafe Ilang-Ilang you will see the elevators going up to the guest rooms:

The Hotel elevators πŸ™‚ Beautiful Carpet feels like Royalty

Then, I arrive in Cafe Ilang-Ilang: I’m actually pretty scared on how much I will spend for lunch in this very expensive hotel– see, how much I love you, I went there just to check if how much and how yummy the food is πŸ™‚

Cafe Ilang-Ilang in Manila Hotel

I was amazed when I got inside the restaurant! It changed! the last time I went there, I cannot see its beauty, maybe they renovated it; now, its WOW! it is beautiful! an eye-candy! definitely a place of luxury!

After the employee assigned me my table, and she left to get something, I furiously looked for my wallet to check if I still have money to spare! I don’t want the same thing to happen to me when I was inside the MV Logos Hope. πŸ™‚

My neatly arranged table! πŸ™‚ I dined solo, so they took away the other napkin and utensils

Anyway, when the waitress went back, she brought the menu, I flipped the menu in a fast manner and caught myself seriously looking at the prices, and boom! I exhaled in relief–thank God! The prices are not that expensive compared to some hotels!! I hope the waitress didn’t notice me sigh..harhar!. The price ranges from P300.00 to P750.00—thank God!

After, I ordered, the waitress left my menu, so I happily took a pic of it...
Korean Food Menu and Prices in Cafe Ilang-Ilang Manila Hotel
Other entries in Manila Hotel's Cafe Ilang-Ilang

I asked the waitress on what’s their best seller— I was suddenly shocked on what I said since this might make me buy such an expensive steak! Good Lord! But thanks to thee, there is no expensive steak, and the waitress told me that their best sellers are there Korean menu— so, as a Korean food addict– I tried their Bibimbap which costs 330.00 without the 10%service charge.

I was asked to wait for 20 minutes for my order, I told them that it’s alright since I’m not yet “that” hungry and I will roam around the area first and is expecting to be seriously appalled by its mystery.

Anyway, I roamed around the restaurant and caught myself shamelessly taking pictures! Oh Gosh! If I’m not yet a blogger and I’m just a guest, I will be ashamed of myself right at that very moment… Now, I’m asking myself why I’m doing this?? haha..

Empty Table next to me
Other corner in Cafe Ilang-Ilang

Actually, this restaurant is mainly buffet, so, there’s a lot of buffet stops! Which makes me hungry—Now, I can’t wait for my ordered food! If only I have P2000.00 I will try this “full-filling” buffet.

I think this is Sushi Bar πŸ™‚ Yum! I'm getting hungrier!! πŸ™‚

Filipino Food Area in Manila Hotel Cafe Ilang-Ilang. Look at the Lechon! Yum!
I think this is an Italian Counter in Manila Hotel's Cafe Ilang-Ilang
Wines Wines Wines that costs bucks bucks bucks 😦

Now, I went out to see the pool area which is coincidentally near my assigned table. I went out took some pictures and unknowingly staring at the sexy guy swimming out there—JOKE!

The pool in Manila Hotel-- I guess its quite small... 😦
Look at the cute sunbathing chairs in the pool area. I wanna go there but its so hot, it is 12nn so I don't wanna risk getting an accidental tan! haha! πŸ™‚

Anyway, I went back and sat down while comfortably waiting for my food. I didn’t order any drinks…since you know, I’m poor! haha.Β  Then after a few minutes, they served me soup. And then I asked myself– Oops, is that included in my order? If not, I should not eat it I don’t have the money to pay for it! They should take it away…— I thought like that for 5 actual minutes when I realized maybe its part of my order, so I sipped it and loved it.

The controversial soup πŸ™‚ The picture shows how fatty it is but up close and personal--I didn't notice πŸ™‚

Then the next minute they brought this seemingly small bowl of bibimbap– a mixture of various vegetable, Korean hot sauce and rice. I was like “Only this?” haha, then I started digging in, and they brought a side dish of Kimchi, and other leafy vegetables.

The Yummy Bibimbap! Yum Yum Yum!
The Yummy Food I got πŸ™‚ Love it! πŸ™‚

I was shocked on how heavy the food was! the rice is different than the usual rice or even usual Korean rice! So, I was like having a difficulty breathing because I was really full!

Then, After eating everything–since in Filipino culture, you should eat everything in your plate–since Filipinos believe that if you don’t, you will be punished by God– so, as a Filipino I pushed myself to finish what I ordered–so, there I was… really amazingly full! haha.

The Taste? all I can say that it is delicious! The yummy sauce they added in the bibimbap is indeed first class! It is yummy with a tangy, sweet, sour, spicy taste which is totally different from all the Bibimbap’s I tasted– trust me on this, I tasted a lot of Bibimbap in my life believing that I will have the same beautiful skin of the Koreans when I often eat this Korean delicacy. Anyway, trust me, its yummy! πŸ™‚

Then, I stayed there for awhile asking for refills of water and looking at my GTab and searching the net… I was extremely happy and my mood meter is high as it can be. I’m glad that I’m dining here even though I don’t have more money to spend.

After being chilled to the bones of the ridiculously cold air conditioning they have inside the Cafe, I went out and relieved myself in the comfort room.. then went out the lobby and took some pictures.

Another Restaurant in Manila Hotel. This one is a Chinese Restraurant

By the way, there’s a total of 4 restaurants in this hotel πŸ™‚

Moving more to the right of this restaurant, I found this hall, this is called Fiesta Pavilion, a convention hall of Manila Hotel. The decorations are really beautiful.

Look at how grand the halls near the entrance of Fiesta Pavilion

After getting enough eye-popping scenery, I sat down in one of the chairs and realized that it is also a cafe; since I wanna stay more in the cold and comfortable place, I ordered an ice-cream. The ice cream costs P142.00 or $3.30USD. Although the taste of ice cream doesn’t have a difference to ice creams sold in the grocery, it’s still satisfying.. πŸ™‚

The elegant lobby of this hotel perfect for making grand entrances!

After that, I started loving the chairs where I’m seated and stayed there for almost an hour. then, I went home πŸ™‚

This place is just the right one to visit after going to Intramuros– which is really tiring! After walking a lot in Intramuros I suggest you go here, relax and enjoy the old yet charming vibe of this so called- Manila Hotel.

It is now your time to see grandiosity and history in one place! you will definitely love its interior!

How to get here?

If you are from Intramuros (if you are following my 3-day itinerary) then you can walk (at least 30 minutes walk) or you can ride a taxi (cab fare is only P50-P70 or $1.16 or 1.627USD)

If you are using the LRT then ride until UN station, get off and take a cab πŸ™‚

Contact them here:

website: Manilahotel

Address: One Rizal Park, 0913, Manila, Philippines
Telephone: (63) (2) 527 0011
Fax: (63) (2) 527 5348

Four Seasons Restaurant: A MUST TRY in Legazpi City

Four Seasons was established even before I was born–and all I can say is that even though decades passed, this restaurant is still popular and doing its best to serve the public.

Seasons Chicken– Yum! Yum!

It is the restaurant where we always go to if there are occasions such as birthdays, recognitions, baptism or even a simple dinner with my family– what I love in this place is that I grew up eating those yummy seasons chicken but I’ve never get tired of munching those mouthwatering treat.

The best seller of this restaurant is there Seasons Chicken, which is indeed yummy and will make your taste buds crave for more. It is fried to perfection and twinkled with their unique signature sauce– the sauce has a sweet, sour, salty flavor that I cannot completely comprehend but one thing is for sure— It is yummy and I like it!

Four Seasons Restaurant Entrance (photos from FB account of Four Seasons)

The price is on the average side so no worries about it. The Jumbo (largest) order for Seasons Chicken is P500.00 which can serve 3-5 persons. Not bad right?

Having to leave Legazpi to go to Manila for studying, makes me always crave for this yummy chicken. That is why I always ask my mom to bring me some of this when she go here in Manila πŸ™‚ — That’s how I love this delicious treat!

All I can say– You, as a tourist in my lovely hometown, should not miss out on what this restaurant can offer you! This doesn’t have any other branches in the Philippines— It is only in Legazpi and Legazpi only! So, I beg you to try! Don’t miss your opportunity to try something yummy!

…And to tell you the truth, I’ve tasted every chicken in Manila but they never beats the yumminess of this seasons Chicken!

How to get here?

1. Ride a Daraga-Legazpi jeep and tell the driver to drop you off in Four Seasons or in Cherryland.

2. Or you can ride taxi or tricycle and tell them to drop you off in Four Seasons

(All pictures from Four Seasons Facebook Account; I will add my own photos later. My brother is still busy so he cannot upload the photos! I’ll upload my own later πŸ™‚ )


DJC Halo Halo: Another Yummy Halo Halo in Legazpi City

DJC is one of the popular halo-halo spots in Albay.

DJC HALO-HALO. It was raining 😦

It started as a small store in Tiwi, Albay then they branched out to Legazpi City. Before it conquered Legazpi, people usually flock Tiwi only to taste this yummy treat– It has this milky and unusual taste that you will definitely love!

The Yummy Treat — The photo is from DJC Facebook Page

The colorful presentation of this taste bud friendly treat is definitely screaming “I’m Yummy!”

If you love a little bit of sophistication, then you might want to eat your halo-halo in this place, since unlike its counterpart Lana’s Halo-Halo which is located in a grumpy side of the town (in Legazpi Wet Market), here, it is located in one of the prime location in Legazpi City–near the mall.

Photo from DJC Facebook Page

However, the sophistication and the classy feel has a price. This is much expensive than its Lana’s Counterpart. It costs P70-85 ($ 1.7 — 2 USD) depending on the size and type of halo-halo you will order (they have special and supreme πŸ™‚ ).

Menu of DJC — Photo from DJC Facebook Page

I really don’t know how to explain the taste of this halo-halo, but one thing I can assure you is that it is definitely worth your time and money!

If you’ll gonna ask me what halo-halo is better (Lana’s or DJC) I might say that it is Lana’s but I must tell you that—taste differs in every person– I might like this but you might prefer the other– so, what I can say is TRY BOTH! πŸ™‚

If you go to Legazpi City, don’t just watch Mayon; also try this yummy Halo-Halo!

How to get here:

1. If you are coming from Old Albay or Daraga, Ride the Tahao Road Jeep, then drop off in Pacific/ Gaisano Mall. In the right side portion of the mall is where this restaurant is located

2. Ride a tricycle or taxi then say “Head to DJC or sa DJC Halo-Halo po!”. It is in Gaisano/Pacific Mall compound so it is easy to know where it is.

DJC Restaurant Map: Forgive my drawing πŸ™‚

To visit their fb page:Β


Lana’s Halo-Halo: The Best Halo-Halo in Legazpi City

Halo-Halo means a mixture of everything that is yummy and of course, edible! It is one of the sweet treats that you can see in almost all of Filipino restaurants. It is eaten during any day of the year, especially if the weather is too hot to contain.

The yummy Halo-Halo πŸ™‚

It consists of tapioca, gelatin, milk, yam, sugar and shaved ice. Sometimes they add leche flan or ice cream to make the taste yummier.

In Legazpi, there is one halo-halo shop that is worthy of my praise- Lana’s Halo-Halo. This shop opened even before I was born, and now, they are still alive and kicking! The yummy and rich flavor of this Lana’s treat is really something you should try once you are in Β Legazpi– trust me, the taste is really great!

Lanas’ Halo-Halo

What makes this different to other shop? because of their signature taste. I ask you to try them and you will never be disappointed

Moreover, -the ice are shaved to perfection.Β the ice definitely melts in your mouth without even munching it—unlike other halo-halo’s where the shaved ice are really big that when you munch the ice you can hear your teeth grind— and from this you will be too tired eating the whole halo-halo because your jaw is already tired trying to munch the ice.

Lanas’ Halo Halo Store

If you tried Razon’s in Manila, I think you will also like this, or worse, you will think that Lana’s Halo-Halo is better πŸ™‚

Aside from the mouthwatering treat, you will also love their price! The price is only P35.00 or $0.81 USD. Half the price of other well-known brands.

Well, this shop is not located in a fancy restaurant, the mall or any place you might think that it is located, instead it is in the Legazpi Market Area. Where dry and wet goods are being sold. But don’t worry since the area where the stall of Lana’s is in the food area, so you won’t smell any stink from fish, meat or even vegetables πŸ™‚ It is located in the 1st floor and the back area of the Market.

And also you shouldn’t worry about your stomach’s safety because even since when I was a kid until today, I always eat there and nothing weird happens in my stomach! So I can say it is perfectly clean and safe to it πŸ™‚


So, how to get there?

1. Ride a tricycle/ taxi and tell the driver to drop you off in the back portion of the Legazpi Market and then ask where Lana’s Halo-Halo is (the driver might even know where it is) It is famous, so he probably know where it’s located.


1. order the ordinary halo-halo it is much better than the one with ice cream! πŸ™‚ trust me on this! πŸ™‚