What was once a hangout of a child is now the most famous view deck in Palawan’s growing hotspot, frequented by tourists
Whenever you search for photos of San Vicente, Palawan, chances are you’ll find this photo:
It’s often mistaken for Long Beach, but it’s actually called Irawan Beach. The place where this quintessential San Vicente photo is taken from? It’s on top of a boulder that’s up a short hill… and it’s called Bato ni Ningning.
Named after a television show it was in, Bato ni Ningning is perched on top of a hill in Brgy. Alimanguan, the northernmost barangay of San Vicente.
Getting to Bato ni Ning is a 47-minute drive from the airport or a 22-kilometer drive through paved and dirt roads. It’s best to take a guide with you and rent a motorbike to get to the hotspot.
Once there, you will be rewarded with a panoramic view of Brgy. Alimanguan, with Irawan Beach right in the middle. Simply pay the Php20 entrance fee, stand atop the boulder, whip out your camera, and either take a selfie or replicate that photo of San Vicente you always see online.
Get there SkyJet Airlines (Flyskyjetair.com) flies direct from Manila to San Vicente four times weekly. Flights are to increase to six times weekly beginning October 27, 2019.
White sand beach, azure water, with an amazing floating bar make this hotspot your barkada’s next holiday destination.
If you’re looking for an island where you can find a pristine white sand beach with an exciting vibe, you should be booking a trip to Lakawon Island in Negros Occidental.
It’s roughly two hours by land and sea combined from Bacolod with a stunning white beach as its main centerpiece, is in tune with nature, and dotted by palm trees. The cabanas complete the island paradise look that makes it seem like the island was made for relaxation.
Enjoy a walk on the beach, swim in the clear waters, or try your hand at kitesurfing. If you’re feeling peckish, Sunset Bar offers local-inspired dishes whipped with the the day’s fresh catch.
Coordinate with Lakawon Island Resorts and Spa (Lakawon.com.ph/) for a van to take you from Bradco Port to Lakawon and back for Php4,500.00 roundtrip (six-14 pax). To get to the Bacolod Bradco Port, simply ride a ferry from Manila to Bacolod.
Entrance fee is at Php350 per person, with the umbrella hut starting at Php600. Overnight stays are from Php2,500 per night (good for four to six people) at the Tropical Bamboo House.
Earth Kitchen is not the first to do all organic, all local, sustainable cooking, but it’s among the most successful ones, and we want to come back to for more.
Built on three words that define them more than their cuisine, Earth Kitchen makes sure that what they serve is healthy(100% organic produce), local (all of their produce is sourced from local indigenous farms under the Got Heart Foundation), and sustainable (seasonal menu to fully utilize the best ingredients).
Step through the revolving doors of Earth Kitchen and you’ll feel like you’ve stepped into a greenhouse in the middle of the city—sans the heat. Earth tones is the game, melding well with upcycled wooden tables made from palochina, wooden chairs made by local artisans from Rizal, in door plants, and yellow lighting.
There’s a conference room across the hall and an art gallery up on the second floor you can access through a glass door in the far left, but by far the best feature of Earth Kitchen is its garden, which you can see glimpses of from the dining hall.
A mini kubo that’s about a storey above the street is a pleasurable place to hang out before of after a meal. No food is allowed in it.
The menu is a combination of Asian fare with inspiration from Chef JR Tani’s experiences in his travels. It’s all organic yet still full of flavor, which means everything you’ll have here is guilt-free. They can also accommodate almost every dietary restriction, so long as you give them a heads-up.
A favorite for us is the beef kebab. It’s a juicy skewer of bite-size chunks of beef ribs that have been marinated in a secret sauce for at least 24 hours. Accompanying this savory skewer is a refreshing saucer of tzatziki and grilled veggies on a stick. You can have it served with a tortilla wrap, but this date night meal is best enjoyed on a bed of Ifugao rice pilaf.
Another hard-to-resist item is the watermelon & rocket salad. Yes, watermelon in a salad and not in your dessert. The pop you get from biting into the sweet watermelon refreshes the arugula and lettuce with homemade kesong puti, pili nuts, and a homemade balsamic vinaigrette. It’s great for lunch, whether for here or to go.
No sodas here because why would you drink sodas with healthy cooking? What you do get are fresh juice mixes, freshly-squeezed ripe mango, dalandan, or calamansi juice, shakes, or locally-made, ready-to-drink Lick Iced Tea.
A meal at this brainchild of Melissa Yeung (Got Heart Foundation), Chef David Hizon (Hizon’s Catering), and Chef JR Tani goes a long way. You’re not just helping indigenous communities; you’re also helping yourself get into a healthier lifestyle—or, at least for one meal.
The basics Php1,220 (USD23) for two persons Lot 10 B-10 Katipunan Ave. Ext., White Plains, Quezon City 11 am to 2 pm, 5 pm to 8 pm daily Earthkitchen.ph @EarthKitchenPH on Facebook and Instagram
Yes, Latitude Bean+Bar in Malate, Manila cold brews coffee with coconut water… and then some.
As weird as it sounds, yes, the idea does work. Let coarse-ground coffee brew in coconut water at least overnight and you’ll get a naturally sweet, little-to-no-acid coffee that even someone who isn’t a fan of coffee will like.
And it’s something you can enjoy in the middle of Malate at Latitude Bean+Bar. Why Latitude? “It’s a term used in navigation, and can mean to be in the middle of something,” says Natalie Ong, one of the owners of the specialty coffee shop.
The quaint coffee shop is located one lot away from the corner of Remedios and Pilar Hidalgo Lim in the City of Manila, and is oddly (yet satisfyingly) quiet despite being a city block away from Taft Avenue, one of the busiest streets in the metro.
It’s not one of those hidden coffee shops where it’s a “blink and you’ll miss it” sort of situation since it pops out from the greys of the city: the blue walls and the kaleidoscope logo are hard to miss. Even the simple, octagonal shelf stands out as you drive by, calling on to you for a stare or order a cup of coffee.
They’re not big on food like most cafes, but their mushroom grilled cheese sandwich is quite a treat. The toasted slices of sourdough bread hold itself together as you bite into the savory mix of melted cheese (mozzarella and cheddar) and dried shiitake mushrooms. Take the flavors to the next level by dipping it in the complimentary tomato sauce (Natalie’s recipe) and you get a zing that cuts some of the savoriness, balancing out the flavors.
If you’re there for a quick pitstop, study session, or to simply relax for the afternoon, a bowl of their crispy nori chips will hit the spot. It’s a bowl of crispy potato chips generously dusted with their in-house nori powder blend that has just the right amount of umami to keep you digging for more.
This is where Latitude shines. A sip of their coco brew is a welcome departure for people who have trouble finding that right balance between the bitterness of coffee and turning the drink into blackened sugar water. Cold brew coffee is already sweeter than black, but the coconut water adds a level of sweetness and you will never get that familiar finish with any sugar substitute.
If you’re not feeling up for a cup/glass of coffee, their Dusk Till Dawn will surely perk you up. It’s a mix of strawberry lemonade (with the syrup done in-house) and blue tea (tea made with blue butterfly pea) that’s sweet, sour, and refreshing in all the right ways. Give it a stir and it changes color, or let it sit as it is and get a different flavor as you go deeper into the glass with your reusable straw.
The basics Php350 (about USD7) per person for one drink and a snack 1851 Pilar Hidalgo Lim cor. Remedios Sts., Malate, Manila 11am to 8pm daily @latitudebeanbar on Facebook and Instagram
Liquid chef Kalel Demetrio bares his handy tools he takes with him whenever in the Philippines he may be foraging
DJI Mavic Pro
“I like its set-and-forget operation. It’s also good for doing recon on potentially dangerous yet interesting areas.” Php79,900 DJI Authorized Retail Store, 146 LP Leviste St., Salcedo Village, Makati City
Custom-made foraging knives
Yes, you can get knives you can use for foraging from outdoor adventure stores, but why not go the extra mile and have someone from Batangas make them for you? Pandoy Pulido, @pandoypulido on Instagram
13-inch MacBook Pro
A proven workhorse. One of Apple’s latest iterations come in two variants: with a TouchBar (convenient for some users) and without. Starts at Php76,990.00 Power Mac Center, 3/L Glorietta 5, Makati City
Assorted bar tools
The basics: jiggers, tin shakers, a muddler, a strainer, and a bar spoon. Philippine Bar Products and Spirits Library on Facebook
Headgear are a necessity when foraging. Show off your personality with your headgear and you’ll be the life of the foraging party. Kalel buys anything interesting he spots whenever he travels
Notebook and pen
Good for jotting down names of the ingredients you find and where you found them. National Bookstore
Stanley Tylon 8m/26’ tape measure
For cutting a branch, weed, or anything you need to measure. Php494.75 Ace Hardware
Western Digital MYPassport (1 TB)
You’ll have a lot of photos from your drone, phone, and camera. You’ll need at least a terabyte of storage. Trust us. Php3,590 Asianic, 3/F Festival Supermall, Alabang, Muntinlupa City