Saturday, January 21, 2012

Mango Tree Bistro at TriNoma

Not really a big fan of Thai Restaurants. The first Thai food I tasted was Pad Thai.  Although it didn't left a remarkable imprint on my sense of taste, to me it was just so-so. Since then, I never really tried any Thai food anymore thinking that it may cause another dismay on my part. 

When I was invited to an event on a Thai Restaurant, I told to myself that maybe I could give it another try since it's a different restaurant. I have high hopes for this actually thinking this restaurant could change my impression with Thai food.

Mango Tree Bistro is located at the 3rd level of Trinoma Mall beside Powerbooks. From the outside of it, it looked really nice and welcoming. IMO, it looked like a bar, actually. With its dark ambiance themed with purple and yellow colors and to mention, good lighting, it was stylish and sleek. 

Service is great too. The waiters were quick and friendly.

Time to dine!
Yum Som o Goong
Pomelo Salad with roasted coconut and prawns
I love how the shrimp complimented well with the pomelo and the coconut! Sweet and tangy on both sides!
Tom Yum Goong
Spicy Thai prawn soup with lemongrass, chilies and lime
I don't know how to explain the palatability but one thing remained in my mind, it could have been better if it was served hot.
Pla Meuk Gratiem
Stir fried squid with garlic sauce
I'm a lover of squid and this dish will be placed on my favorite squid dishes. It was juicy and the sauce compliments it well. Yummy!
Gaeng Kiew Wan Nua
Beef Fillet with eggplants on curry
Yummy beef fillets and eggplant compliments the curry sauce well. Perfect with rice!
Pad Thai Goong
Stir fried rice noodles with prawns on pad thai sauce
This Pad Thai change my impression with Thai Food. It was downright yummy! It has become my favorite as well!
Tod Mun Goong
Deep fried shrimp cakes with sweet chili dipping sauce
The crowd favorite! Trust me, when your waiter served this on your table, it will be gone in an instant! It was so tasty even without the sauce. This was my most favorite dish that night.
Mango Tree Bistro indeed changed my impression with Thai foods. Really, this is a must-try Thai restaurant of the town! Visit them soon!

Mango Tree Bistro.
3rd level, TriNoma Mall
EDSA cor. North Ave.
Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines
Contact no. 585 5460
Facebook page: HERE.

Rotavirus Vaccine to be part of the Expanded Program for Immunization

Being a nurse means a lot of responsibility. The uniqueness of nursing  has its focus on the care of the client, the community and society. Nurses provide care for the sick and are the first providers of primary health care, wellness and self- care.

So when I was invited to an event that talks about improving the lives of our Filipino people, especially targeted for the infants, I was so glad and excited to present this post to everyone since I am a nurse. I could relay this post to my fellow nurses as well and truly they will appreciate it, and maybe support the program afterwards. Not only nurses will benefit from this program but what the Department of Health or DOH will be targeting are the Filipino families. 

So what's this for?
Do you remember the days when you experienced DIARRHEA? If not, maybe your loved ones or friends may have experienced it and recount the story to you how bad it was. Really, it is no joke. In fact, Diarrhea is the second leading cause of death of children aged less than 5 years old not only here in the Philippines but worldwide as well. Everyday, 1,500 children around the globe die because of ROTAVIRUS-RELATED DIARRHEA.
via. Rotavirus under microscope.
Diarrhea affects nutrient absorption. It leads to lasting impact on the growth and development of a child. In fact, it has been calculated that children who are regularly suffering from it in the first 2 years of life can lead to a loss of 10 IQ points and 12mos. of schooling by age 9 years.

Rotavirus infection often causes vomiting, which makes oral rehydration theraphy far less effective. It is highly contagious and stable in the environment. It can survive on hands for hours, on solid surfaces for days and remains stable and infectious in stools for a week.
via. Signs and Symptoms of Rotavirus Diarrhea
The treatment? Nothing. Since it's a virus, not a bacteria. But it is highly preventable through vaccination.
The WHO Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE) recommends that rotavirus vaccines should be included in all national immunization programs, particularly in countries where diarrhea deaths account for more that 10% in children younger than 5 years. In the Philippines, diarrheal deaths account for at least 12% among children under five.

"We need to be serious about saving our children from the grip of this burdensome but highly preventable disease. And there is no better way than to vaccinate our children to protect them from rotavirus." --- According to Dr. Salvacion Gatchalian, Director, Clinical R&D and Medical Affairs from GlaxoSmithKline Philippines. "If properly implemented, the Philippines may be the VERY FIRST COUNTRY IN ASIA TO INCLUDE ROTAVIRUS VACCINE IN OUR NATIONAL IMMUNIZATION PROGRAM."

Rotavirus Vaccination in the Expanded Program for Immunization (EPI) for The Department of Health is aligned to P-Noy's direction of Universal Health Care Program. This is to reduce the infant mortality rate of Filipino infants.

ROTAVIRUS VACCINE is the most effective way to prevent diarrhea and is best given to babies as early as 6 weeks up to 8 months of age. It is administered ORALLY with 2-3 doses, depending on the brand of the drug.
RotaRix (GlaxoSmithKline) - 2 doses
SPREAD THE WORD! Let us all help in saving our Filipino infants! Fight Rotavirus with the Rotavirus Vaccine!

Field Trip at The National Museum

When I was still a small kid (as if I've grown taller), I have always been fascinated and amazed with the rich culture the Philippines have. That explains the reason why I am in love with our history subject and Jose Rizal, the Philippines' National Hero. Rizal (Wiki: Rizal) is one awesome man and I'm deliriously in love with him since Elementary days. Given the chance to go back to the era where he is still alive, I will marry Rizal and change history, together. LOL

One day during my usual blog-hopping day, I came across a friend's blog where he discussed his fascination with museums. The spark of interest came back to me since then and I was too eager to plan my itinerary with museums, starting here at Manila.

Last Tuesday when me and my good friend, Camille (No Malice in Wonderland) had been to our usual job-hunting trip (BOOHOO for us Nurses! It's hard to find a job!), she decided to spend our day at her parent's workplace. Then suddenly I remembered, her parents are working at The National Museum! Hubba hubba! Of course, I agreed going! Hahaha!

You usually see the insides of the museum in your school textbooks, discussing a lot of stuff. Yes, still photos included but in black and white. Boring, right? Life would be much happier and exciting if you put color in it. (What?!) -_-
OK. My point is, would it be much simple if what you are seeing in your textbooks now can be seen in actual? In real life? That could really help you understand history, matey! And loved it, too!

via. Facade of The National Museum
We visited two buildings. First one is the National Art Gallery. It is located near Rizal Park and Intramuros. It houses the finest artwork from distinguished Filipino artists. When I was younger, I always wanted to see what these paintings really look like in actuality. 

And here's what made my life complete!
The magnificent 'SPOLARIUM' by Juan Luna
The Spolarium will be the painting that will greet you upon your entrance to the museum. With its greatly huge canvas hanging from the walls of a large, spacious room depicting dying gladiators, you wouldn't miss it. Definitely.

According to Leon Ma. Guerrero --- "Luna's Spoliarium with its bloody carcasses of slave gladiators being dragged away from the arena where they had entertained their Roman oppressors with their lives...stripped to satisfy the lewd contempt of their Roman persecutors with their honor..." Rizal was footnoted in his speech that the Spoliarium, "embodied the essense of our social, moral and political life: humanity in severe ordeal, humanity unredeemed, reason and idealism in open struggle with prejudice, fanaticism and justice..."

I've always wanted to see this before! I was even teary-eyed when I actually saw this for the first time in my life! Can I die now? Lol

And more artworks from different artists =)

We moved to our next destination. Adjacent to Art museum is the Museum of the Filipino People.
via. Facade of the Museum of the Filipino People
Upon our arrival, we saw school kids having their field trip at the museum. I'm still proud and happy to say that schools still includes museums in their curriculum. Experience is indeed the best teacher!

There are several divisions of the museum: Anthropology, Zoology, Botany, Geology, Archaeology and the Arts. I can't exactly remember how many floors the building has but each floor is divided into different divisions -- each offering different rich culture of the Philippines. 

 *sigh* if these artifacts could talk...

See the wonders and beauty of your land! Visiting a museum will make you relieve the past and acquire knowledge you never thought existed! 
Discover. Learn. Experience.

Here's me and Camille giving our THUMBS UP for The National Museum!

I would like to thank Camille and her mom for having me there + free entrance to the museum :)))

The National Museum.
Padre Burgos St., Manila, Philippines 
Contact No. 527 0278
Visit the Official site: HERE.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Family tripping at Puerto Galera + Tribal Hills Mountain Resort Review

What a better way to start our 2012 right? To TRAVEL!
One of my family's resolution this year is to travel and to have lots of bonding moments together despite our busy schedules. But don't get me wrong! We are a very close and intact family =) we are like barkadas! Some even refer us like siblings having fun altogether! 

We wanted to explore more of the Philippines. We know that our country has the best thing it has to offer! We want to walk and run and see more of Pinas! And to start off, our first destination this year: PUERTO GALERA.

(Pardon some of my photos. Since my digicam isn't working well with us during our trip, I have to rely mostly on my cellphone camera.) --- ;P
This would be our first island trip. We really don't have any clue on what we are about to see or experience. I just let Google direct ourselves (read: researched about Galera). Days before our travel to Puerto Galera, we booked for a resort for us to stay with. With the help of Metrodeal's offer:
Perfect for us! Perfect for three persons! Ohyeah lezzdudizz!
We chose Tribal Hills Mountain Resort as our sanctuary. At first, I was hesitant because it's a Metrodeal offer. With all our past experiences with them about failed advertisements, we still go for it. Metrodeal boasted that: Embark on a unique getaway with today's MetroDeal, which entitles 3 persons to the relaxing place of Puerto Galera, where you will stay 3-days/2-nights at Tribal Hills Resort for P3,999 instead of P8000. Included also are breakfasts, transfers and a breathtaking Aninuan Falls trekking tour. Nestled on a hilltop in Puerto Galera 60 meters above sea level, you will get a unique chance to experience a different world full of white sand beaches located near the hotel, panoramic views and lush green sloping valleys. --- OK. I'm getting scared now.

Whatsoever, we wanted to enjoy the sand, sun and water of the island! So if our sanctuary is not that good, who cares? Just as long as we reach the white beach, we will be so happy!

January 2, 2012 (FIRST DAY) 
Waking up early in the morning is the worst task our family will be doing. We are too lazy to wake up at 3 in the morning. So instead of getting up and packing our stuff, we slept for about a couple of minutes (read: 1 hour). Up we go and totally fixed ourselves around 5am, we went to Buendia Bus Terminal and boarded. It's a good thing that there's Jollibee in front of the terminal, we forgot having breakfast.
You could choose your own bus lines from the terminal. For us, we chose JAM transit going to Batangas Pier. Ticket costs Php 166.50 ($3.81). So that's almost Php500 for three pax ($11.43). It took the travel almost an hour and a half going to Batangas Pier. That long travel time can have you go for extra sleep or make you appreciate the scenery while aboard the bus.

Upon arrival at Batangas Pier, everything is clean and organized. People boarding and arriving from different terminals are organized. I must say, it is well-maintained.

Tribal Hills Resort informed us to choose either Minolo or Gallerian Lines for our RORO boat going to White Beach. From the terminal, several lineup of RORO liners are there to choose from. Terminal staffs told us that KEM Shipping Lines (M/B Green Voyager) is about to depart that time so we chose them. Our RORO boat costs Php 450/pax for a roundtrip tour ($10.28) so that's Php 1350 for 3pax ($30.85).

However, we weren't expecting that we would be paying additional fees such as the Terminal Fee and Environmental Fee. Price range are as follows:
TERMINAL FEE. Terminally-ill rated fee. LOL, just kidding.
ENVIRONMENTAL-USER'S FEE. Not environmentally and passenger friendly fee. Again, LOL
I mean, are these additional fees necessary? Enlighten me on these fees, please. I feel like we were held-up or something. You paid for your boat, why these fees?

Moving on, we were too excited boarding our RORO boat because it's our first time riding one! We each took photos of one another going down the boat (and even manongs were posing for a snap! LOL)
Mom, me and bro with manong behind us! Told us to SMILE after the count of three. HAHA!
This is mom doing the pose of the moment!
And me, well, doing the pose of the moment!
RORO boat ride isn't that bumpy as what everyone has been telling me. As far as I could remember, it's a smooth-sailing trip, or it's just me getting too giddy with the ride. Whatever, I love our boat ride with M/B Green Voyager! Big thanks to them!

As we were approaching the island, I cannot contain my excitement! I feel like  I'm a kid again! I can't wait to feel the sand on my feet! I AM SOOOOO GIDDY!!!! I AM BEYOND EXCITEMENT!!!
ME!!! With arms spreading for Puerto!!!
"Feel the sand, feet!!! FEELITTTTTT!!!"
See the beauty of White Beach, Puerto Galera! IT IS PARADISE! A VERY BEAUTIFUL PARADISE!

OK ok ok ok. I knoooow. We just arrived yet I am so excited enough! HAHAHAHA! Can't blame me though, this is my first island trip!!! Hahahaha! (Pardon if I'm messing around with the HAHAs)

We called our resort, Tribal Hills, upon our arrival at White Beach. They told us that our check-in time will be at 2pm. We arrived the beach around 10am so that gives us a lot of time to explore around. Oh, did I say we're famished with the long ride going here? YES, WE ARE SO HUNGRY :| Not to worry, there's a lot of restaurants around White Beach offering sumptuous island food! 

For our first eat-out at the island, we opted to eat at Badboys restaurant. From the interiors of the restaurant, you'll be enticed to eat here --- especially for me since there is a lineup of BOOKS there! Yummy treats for tummy and brain!

I saw a Swedish copy of 'The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo' here. The owner gave me an English copy of it to read with. I told him I have a copy at home and never finished it since it got me puzzled with those economics thingy stuff. WHATEVER! BOOKWORM talking now!!!
After lunch, we were advised by our resort to go to our pick-up point and wait for our shuttle ride. This cool jeep (or truck) came for us!
Your heavy-duty truck can go up, up and awaaaay! Riding here makes your trip more FUN especially when you're seated at the back!
It's an uphill (or downhill) ride going to the resort! Mind you, you have to grip onto something stable or you might fall! Hahaha!
Remember I told you that I was a bit scared because it's a Metrodeal Offer? Fret no more because, Tribal Hills Mountain Resort is... PARADISE! An oasis in the mountains! An alluring and charming treat for the eyes! Perfect for relaxation and vacation! Two thumbs up!

Indeed, it's a double treat for us! One, because we were at the most beautiful island of Puerto Galera and secondly, our sanctuary lives up to our expectation. It's worth our pay. I would really recommend Tribal Hills Resort to my family and friends whenever they would visit Puerto Galera.
Standard Room. I think the biggest standard room I've ever seen. (Pardon, the sheets were messy because of us. LOL) What I don't like are the pillows. It's too flat, not enough for a good night sleep. Well, so meh. I'm meticulous with my pillows.
Cable TV. Cute interiors.
Checking-in at Room no. 5 
Spacious shower and toilet area.
The resort is Wi-Fi ready. Unfortunately, from our room we have weak signal so we have to search for areas with strong ones.
The staff were very friendly and accommodating. Although there is no service phone in the rooms, we have to look outside for someone to help us with our needs but they're just around the resort. We're not big fans of ordering food from where we are staying at but the free breakfast we have is a hearty one (photo later), enough to make you satisfied. Although one thing kept us annoyed. We asked for a hot water and we were charged Php10 ($0.23) per cup. I mean, that's just hot water. Why being charged for it? I've been to a lot of resorts and hotels and they never charge us for one. I think they should rethink about charging guests for hot water. But in overall, I'm giving them my 4.5 stars out 5.

After unloading our stuff in our room, we went back to White Beach via Tribal Hills' shuttle service. They have a schedule on when will be the free shuttle be. If you are to ask them to tour you around places beyond the said schedule, there will an additional charge of Php200 ($4.55).

January 3, 2012 (SECOND DAY)
Free breakfast at the Treetops Restaurant!
Tocilog and longsilog with a cup of coffee
Treetops Restaurant inside the resort. Great location with a perfect view of Mt. Malasimbo
After having breakfast, we were scheduled to have our trekking tour going to Aninuan Falls. TREKKING is one thing I love whenever I go places so this has got my nerves perked up. Consider this activity as your morning exercise!

MEET YOUR PRO --- ME! Hahahaha!
The trip going to Aninuan Falls took us almost an hour of trekking, with no stopovers. For beginners, I think they would somehow have a hard time keeping up because of steep slope of rocks and would be muddy and slippery when it rained. If my memory serves me right, you'll have to cross by eight rivers. It's a very tiring and exhausting walk, but the destination is worth your panting and exasperation. The falls is magnificent. Breath-taking scenery. 
Be ready with your Php20 ($0.46) as entrance fee to Aninuan Falls.

This coconut drink is NOT your welcome drink. Each costs Php50  ($1.14)
And here's my mom with lola, a native who sells the coconut =)
YES. You have to go back to the resort with the same walk-path as before. But nevertheless, it's worth your walk. Walk the walk. Shed off some pounds!

Of course, Puerto Galera will not be complete without the nightlife! So after resting at the resort, we went down at White Beach to see what Puerto nightlife is all about (Oh, and also pig-out!)
Souvenirs for your loved-ones!
The night is young and the party is just starting.
Fresh seafood goodies!

THIS GUY MADE MY NIGHT! I love fire zipping ♥    

January 3, 2012 (LAST DAY)
BOO-HOO! Last day at the island :(
My family will surely miss it here. Our last activity for the day: more swimming!

Magnificent view of Mt. Malasimbo from Tribal Hills Resort
Puerto Galera is one beautiful and wonderful destination in the Philippines. It's one among the many wonders you could visit here. Puerto Galera is located on the northern part of the island of Mindoro in the province Oriental Mindoro. It is about 130 kilometers south of Manila and 14 nautical miles from Batangas City. In total it has 12 coastal villages or Barangays and one mountain district. 

Tribal Hills Mountain Resort.
For more information:
Visit their website here:
Or thru Facebook: HERE.

I Support!