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2018 Best Spots & Must-Trys in Cebu, Philippines

Oh, what I wouldn't give to be back in this beautiful city. It's so easy to fall in love with Cebu ❤

You probably know that in 2017, Deo and I poured our lives out in building our business (Little Bistro - Shibusa 渋さ - Wild Kinjo). Summer break and all long weekends have passed, and we never got to go on a vacation. Hashtag no complains though, because we fully love and embrace being restaurateurs!

However, the universe probably noticed how hard working we were and granted us an amazing trip before capping off 2017. Deo and I flew to Cebu and stayed there for 3 days, all thanks to our favorite juice brand, Locally.


Watch my vlog episode (720HD or 1080HD) dedicated for this trip! Makulit at masaya!


Sharing our itinerary  If you're going to Cebu this 2018, here's a quick guide for the best spots and must-try restaurants around the city.

Day 01

06:00AM - Arrival at NAIA Terminal 2
08:50AM - Departure from Manila to Cebu (via Philippine Airlines)
10:05AM - Arrival at Mactan International Airport, Cebu
10:30AM - Transfer from airport to Shangri-La Mactan (via the resort's shuttle)
11:00AM - Arrival at Shangri-La Mactan | Early check-in | Rest
3:00PM - Lunch at Zubuchon (SM City Cebu)
7:00PM - Back at Shangri-La Mactan
9:00PM - Dinner at Cowrie Cove, Shangri-La Mactan


The Locally team arranged our flight and accommodation. We flew via Philippine Airlines and stayed at the Ocean Wing of Shangri-La Mactan, a luxury 5-star resort in Cebu.

Our room was huge with a private balcony and bath tub. But on top of their stunning amenities, we LOVE how accommodating their service team is. Had a good chat with the Ocean Wing Manager, she even booked us at the best table in Cowrie Cove (which you'll see later). The front office team also offered shuttle services from the resort to SM City Cebu so we can go around the city. Hay, I love Shangri-La Mactan!

Lunch at Zubuchon


Zubuchon Lechon (1/2kg) - Php240.00

Still the best for me! Deo and I crave for this everyday since we came back to Manila!


Baked Scallops - Php220.00

Scallops rich in cheese, melts in your mouth! Yum!

Dinner at Cowrie Cove, Shangri-La Mactan


We got back at Shangri-La Mactan around 7:00PM. The drive from the main city to Mactan is roughly about an hour.

The two photos above were taken at Cowrie Cove where we had dinner. We were seated at the best spot - beside the ocean, under the stars. Exactly what you want for a romantic night.


With my handsome date, Deo!


New Zealand Lamb Rack, Pickled Eggplant and Cream, Tomato Seeds, Miso Foam - Php1,500.00


Organic Chicken and Foie Gras, Corn Congee, Champignon, Natural Jus - Php560.00


Risotto of Millet with Parmesan and Corn - Php380.00


Chocolate Semifreddo with Greek Yoghurt and Mango Tartar - Php280.00

Day 02

09:00AM - Breakfast at Tides, Shangri-La Mactan
11:00AM - Tour + leisure at Shangri-La Mactan
3:00PM - Lunch at Circa 1900
6:30PM - Dinner at The Pyramid
8:00PM - Pasalubong shopping at Ayala Center Cebu
10:00PM - Back at Shangri-La Mactan


Day two in paradise!

After our breakfast buffet at Tides in Shangri-La Mactan, we went around the resort to enjoy some leisure activities.


Bikini courtesy of Roxy

 Lunch at Circa 1900


Thank heavens Uber's also available in Cebu! We drove to the city to dine at Circa 1900. They said this ancestral cluster is one of Cebu's most romantic places. And when we arrived, there were several wedding ceremonies happening. We thought we won't be accommodated, but their staff escorted us to CICADA, a speak-easy spot that serves casual comfort food.


Roast Tomato Soup with Herb Focaccia Bread - Php135.00


Sesame Seared Rare Tuna with Soy Miso Dressing & Japanese Pickles - Php220.00


Southern Fried Chicken with Wedges - Php295.00


Diosdado (Absolute Vodka Vanilla, House White Wine, Calamansi Juice, Sugar Syrup, Lemon Wheel, Pear Fruit, Cinnamon) - Php200.00


Cicada looks fancy! :)

Dinner at The Pyramid


The Pyramid is situated at West Geonzon Street, a couple of blocks away from Circa 1900. Deo and I decided to walk (for around 20 minutes, lol) because Uber fare's a bit high and they were just a few kilometers away. Relied on Waze so we won't get lost! :p


Aglio Olio with Shrimp - Php220.00


French Macarons - Php35.00/pc
Caramel Latte - Php145.00


After dining at The Pyramid, we took an Uber to Ayala Center Cebu to do pasalubong shopping. Here's a quick price list of what we bought:

✓ Keychains (from a stall) - Php35.00/pc
✓ Coin Purse (from a stall) - Php25.00/pc
✓ Sinulog T-Shirts (from Island Souvenirs) - Php199.00/shirt
✓ Dried Mangoes - Php50.00/pack

✓ Chips - 3 for Php100.00

Day 03

08:00AM - Breakfast at Acqua, Shangri-La Mactan
10:00AM - Swimming and snorkelling
12:30PM - Hotel Check-out
2:00PM - Lunch at Rico's Lechon
4:30PM - Arrival at Mactan International Airport
7:20PM - Departure from Cebu to Manila (via Philippine Airlines)





Another breakfast buffet but this time, we ate at Acqua in Shangri-La Mactan. This restaurant is located in the Ocean Wing, so we had a lovely view of the beach and swimming pool while having breakfast. No better way to start the day! :)


Made the most out of our remaining hours in Shangri-La Mactan through water activities at their white-sand beach and pristine waters! Had a lovely time swimming with their schools of tropical fish!


Swimwear courtesy of Cesa

Lunch at Rico's Lechon


Cannot miss dining at the crowd-favorite Rico's Lechon! We visited their branch along the Airport Road, and even at 2PM, the place was packed!


We ordered 1/2kg Original Lechon (Php315.00) and 1/4kg Spicy Lechon (Php215.00). Of course, Pinoy meals aren't complete without a platter of Garlic Fried Rice (Php135.00)!


Buko Pandan - Php90.00

Flight from Cebu to Manila


The boeing plane we rode back home was really huge, we had a spacious leg room (every traveler's dream!) and a screen to watch the latest movies at. We also had in-flight snacks! I love Philippine Airlines! :)


And of course, I'd like to thank the Locally team for making this trip possible for Deo and I. We lived in paradise for 3 days, but also got to #LivinLovinLocally around Cebu! ;) Frankly speaking, even without this amazing travel, Locally will still be my favorite juice brand and my friends can attest to that. ❤

So if you spot any Locally drinks near you, make sure to try out their uniquely indigenous local flavors! You won't regret it! 

Merci buco, Locally! ;)

Prom Gown Ideas for 2018

Back in high school, January was the season of prom preparation. The girls were busy picking the best prom dresses, while the boys were planning their prom proposals. We all had a month to sort everything out for that special night.

To those having their proms soon, you're lucky because the gown options in the market are even more stunning compared to those from '08 and '09! ;) I wish we had these before!

Here are my design recommendations to those attending proms, soirees, or any special red carpet events. If you're looking for Bridesmaid Dresses 2018 styles, you're also in the right page!


http://uk.millybridal.org/product/a-line-scoop-neck-tulle-appliques-lace-floor-length-cap-straps-pretty-prom-dresses-ukm020102900-18297.html?utm_source=minipost&utm_medium=2601&utm_campaign=blog

Nothing beats the elegance of a-line floor-length dresses. Color is surely stunning with applique laces and embellishments.

http://uk.millybridal.org/product/unusual-a-line-scoop-neck-chiffon-tulle-beading-sweep-train-prom-dresses-ukm020102442-17344.html?utm_source=minipost&utm_medium=2601&utm_campaign=blog

Another a-line dress, but this time in a scoop neck type. You know how much I love this color (which I usually call "Salmon")

http://uk.millybridal.org/product/glamorous-a-line-v-neck-tulle-appliques-lace-floor-length-backless-prom-dresses-ukm020102889-18286.html?utm_source=minipost&utm_medium=2601&utm_campaign=blog

Take a look at that intricate beading and applique laces of this floor-length backless dress. Totally in love!

http://uk.millybridal.org/product/hot-ball-gown-high-neck-tulle-ruffles-sweep-train-black-backless-prom-dresses-ukm020103088-18482.html?utm_source=minipost&utm_medium=2601&utm_campaign=blog

Lastly, if your school's not so strict with the dress code, you can wear this black backless ball gown with neck tulle and ruffles. Best part? Sweep train. Sexy and sophisticated!

You can score these Prom Gowns or Cheap Bridesmaid Dresses at MillyBridal. Tailoring’s done in 10-12 days, and they ship within 3-6 days. Example, if you ordered TODAY, January 12, the earliest arrival date to your doorstep is January 25, 2018. Awesome, right?

Check out MillyBridal’s website for more information like sizing, shipping, tracking orders, etc.

Stay stunning, loves!

2017 Review: How Our Restaurant Started

2017, you're amazing.

For me, this year was all about growth and dream chasing. Exploring strengths from within that I never knew existed. Turning dreams into reality.

What started out as a long shot goal is now our livelihood. I can still clearly remember that one fine night of business plotting with Deo and Kuya Enrico - with a pen, my planner, mugs of coffee and tea, and our dreams. Six (6) days after, we made it happen.

With just fueled souls, love for food, passion to chase the ultimate dream, a lot of risk-taking, and a big heart - we made it. In just a year, we went from food park and bazaars to a full-blown restaurant. I couldn't be more grateful. :)



January 20, 2017
 "Little Bistro" was our first venture in a food park - a Japanese-Italian fusion concept. We sold sushi, yakitori, pizza, wings, and wine! :) Such a humble start - with only 3 tables, stoves, griller, and oven to keep us going. Deo and I left our day jobs to grow and sustain our business.


March 4, 2017
Launched our own yatai (Japanese cart). In the same food park, we transitioned from "Little Bistro" to "Shibusa 渋さ" so we can focus solely on Japanese cuisine.


April 2017
 A devastating accident happened at the food park where we're at. Our equipment got damaged. Our sales also got extremely affected since the place closed down for 2 months for renovation. However, the three mighty pillars (us, lol) didn't just sit down to wait until the food park resumes. We joined weekend bazaars to help sustain our living.

June 2017
Food park operations resumed, but we knew things weren't the same anymore. The stream of customers went down. We also had to deal with rude business owners. Kuya Enrico went back to his chef duties at a cruise line, so Deo and I were left to run
Shibusa 渋さ.

August 20, 2017
Our last day at the food park. Deo and I decided to just wait until our contract ends before we go on a new venture. The entire August, we went EVERYWHERE in Manila to search for a new "home" for our business. We were restless but unstoppable.

Scouting for the perfect business location is really difficult. We went to almost all of the ideal streets in Quezon City and Manila. At times, Deo and I would talk about life and why it gets unfair. Why did have to experience those when we gave our 101% and took a lot of sacrifices? Before August 20, we were literally counting the days until our contract ends and we haven't found a new spot yet. The pressure (and hopelessness) was on.

And then, a beautiful miracle happened. We found the spot where Wild Kinjo is right now - along P. Noval beside UST (University of Sto. Tomas). Immediately, we called the lessor and asked him to take his ad down because we're getting it. Sobrang aggressive pero ganun talaga! HAHAHA!

Lo and behold, wala pa kaming solid menu, wala kaming gamit, but we finally have our own restaurant. :)
 

August 27, 2017
We started buying carpentry tools and restaurant equipment. We only hired two carpenters and one electrician, so Deo and I were very hands on - from Quiapo hardware shopping to the actual construction. We didn't get any contractors since we wanted to control our budget, but with this entire experience, I think pwede na kami maging contractors talaga. Hardcore! Hahaha!

Also, we managed to get by with the help of our good friend King, as well as our wall artist, Eugene. :)


It only took us 10 days to finish everything, including the final menu - not to mention, Deo and I had culinary classes at Enderun in between all those. As long as you have a strong heart and passion to reach your dreams, kakayanin mo talaga kahit gaano kahirap.


September 8, 2017
Wild Kinjo's opening! Our humble Japanese-Latin American restaurant, also known as the prettiest restaurant in UST ❤


November 4, 2017
Graduation day at Enderun! 
Thank you, Yna, for making this happen!


Three (3) months at Wild Kinjo and loving every moment! Apart from the success of our sales, our major fulfillment is the happiness of our customers.

In case you didn't know, Deo and I are the chefs here, too. Ganyan kami ka-hands on! ;) Our mothers also help us with the daily operations.

On top of everything, we also do blogging and vlogging. I've no idea where our unlimited energy comes from!


Christmas 2017


Cebu 2017
December 27 - December 29, 2017

Given our mad schedule, Deo and I didn't have the chance to go on a vacation. But just when we thought we won't get to travel this year, Locally flew us to Cebu and gave us a remarkable stay at Shangri-La Mactan. What an amazing way to end 2017!

I'll dedicate a separate blog post (and Youtube vlog) for that so stay tuned!

Grateful for you, 2017. I'm even more inspired to keep hustlin' this 2018!