Mt. Balagbag – Your First Taste of the Mountains

Mt. Balagbag – Your First Taste of the Mountains

If it’s your first time hiking and been wanting to make your first steps out into the wilderness then Mt. Balagbag is the perfect mountain for you to try.

Located in Rodriguez, Rizal, this mountain is fairly easy to climb with a rewarding view of the gold, barren fields of the nearby mountain range of Sierra Madre and overlooking nearby cities.

Sierra Madre mountains as seen on the trail.

driving to the top

[/media-credit] You can drive with your 4x4s up to the base top of the mountain.


The hike starts off easy with trails varying from a short paved walk and then up uneven ground winding your way through the small neighboring mountains. You will pass by many houses going up to the 2nd registration point that is minutes away from the mountain peak. You will also encounter lots of bikers when going on a weekend hike.

An easy commute going to the jump-off point, wide and easy trail and a rewarding view makes Mt. Balagbag one of your best options for first-time hike. Warm up those sleeping muscles and get hiking!

Balagbag trail

Mt. Balagbag trail

The gold and barren Mt. Balagbag.

The nearby Sierra Madre mountains.

Sun protection is a must!


  • Bring at least 1 liter of water, or more if you tend to hydrate more. The trail and the summit are barren and there are little to no shade. Keep yourself hydrated at all time to avoid getting tired easily.
  • Since the mountain does not have tree-cover, be prepared with sunscreen, hats, sunglasses, arm covers.
  • Wear comfortable trainers. The hike does not require specialized shoes for the mountains but wearing a good pair of rubber shoes would be best. Don’t climb in your doll shoes, ladies. (Believe us, we saw one)
  • You can have a picnic lunch at the summit, there are a few benches there you can use.

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  • From Cubao, take a bus going to Tungko, P55
  • Alight at Jollibee Tungko, head to BDO and look for the terminal to Licao-Licao and board the jeep to the jump off point, P27
  • Same way going back 😉


  • 1st registration at the barangay elementary school, P 10
  • 2nd registration point, P 20
How do you #lovescotch?

How do you #lovescotch?

Raise a glass! International Scotch Day might be over but it’s not yet too late to celebrate it right! Gone are the days when scotch is a drink reserved solely for old men. Scotch is fast becoming the drink of the younger generations (aka the millennials) too because of its versatility. Drink it with water, sure. Add some soda, no problem. Drink it as it is, absolutely! Whatever tickles your fancy, scotch is cool with how you want it to be.

So in the spirit of International Scotch Day, here are 5 different ways to enjoy the legendary scotch – the Johnnie Walker Black Label.

1. Neat

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Nothing but a shot of Johnnie Walker to start the blood pumping.

2. On-the-rocks

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A straight pour of Johnnie Walker Black Label over some ice. It chills your drink and brings out the spirit’s flavor.

3. Johnnie soda or ginger

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If chugging down a straight up scotch is too much to handle, opt for a cocktail drink instead. Mix the Black Label with a clear soda or ginger ale. Add some ice and you’re done!

4. Johnnie Sour

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A classic cocktail with a citrus twist. Create it by mixing the spirit with sugar syrup and lemon juice. Shake it and top with ice!

5. Johnnie Apple

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If you’re a little shaken by scotch’s bold, smoky flavor, add a touch of something fruity to tone it down. Mix Johnnie Walker with apple juice. Add ice and slices of apples. For added fizz, you can also pour some ginger ale too.

Have some other #lovescotch ideas? Share it with us and join the movement! Check out the JohnnieWalkerPH page on Facebook for more scotch events.

Celebrate Romance with a Glamorous TWG Tea Valentine’s Day Treat!

Celebrate Romance with a Glamorous TWG Tea Valentine’s Day Treat!

Flowers? Check. Chocolates? Check. Dinner Reservation? No Clue?

Embrace the season of love with an intimate dinner for two. TWG Tea, the purveyor of fine tea, comes up with an intimate, tea-infused Valentine’s dinner set for you and your beloved person.

Starting off with TWG Tea’s Soup of the Day, tickle your taste bud with the Boeuf en Brochette. A savory beef skewer served with three special sauces – Moroccan Mint Tea infused sauce, onion sauce with Alfonso Tea, and homemade barbecue sauce. In addition, it is served with vegetables and Timeless Tea rice pilaf.

A serving of Shrimp Linguine is also here to further ignite the senses. The pasta is tossed with haricot verts in a creamy tomato Eternal Summer Tea infused Arrabiata sauce and topped with shaved parmesan cheese.

End the night on a sweet note with TWG Tea’s limited edition Heart of Happiness macaron. The delicate patisserie is made of premium Valrhona white chocolate ganache and white tea leaves.

Lastly, pair it with a warm cup of Mon Amour Tea. A magical potion of black tea blended with yellow blossoms and quince.


The TWG Tea Valentine’s Day set menu is priced at PHP 1,680.00 for two and is available from February 5 to 18, 2017 only. The Mon Amour Caviar Tin Tea retails at PhP 1,595 now available at all TWG Tea Salons & Boutiques in the Philippines. TWG Tea Salon & Boutique is located at Greenbelt 5, Shangri-La Plaza Mall, Resorts World Manila, Central Square and S Maison Conrad Manila.

FOO’D by Davide Oldani: Love at First Bite

FOO’D by Davide Oldani: Love at First Bite

The way to a man’s (and woman’s) heart is through his (her) stomach, the often-quoted adage goes. Old but gold. After all, if there’s one trick in any dating manual than one should take seriously, it’s this: feed them.

So why not make your partner swoon (Valentine’s Day is just around the corner *wink, wink*) by treating them to an impressive full course meal prepared by none other than Chef Davide Oldani!

FOO’D by Davide Oldani is the first concept restaurant outside Milan of the renowned Michelin Star Chef Davide Oldani. Located at the Shangri- La The Fort, BGC, FOO’D promises to bring luxurious fine dining experience without breaking the bank. At P800, one can enjoy a three-course menu of Michelin-grade food. Wanting to get a taste more of Oldani’s expertise? There is also a four-course menu at P1200 only.

Feast your eyes on some of the mouthwatering dishes by Chef Davide Oldani:

First course: Cipolla Caramellata

Chef’ Oldani’s signature dish made of caramelized onion, 24 months aged grana Padano gelato, and grana Padano hot cream. You might think that it’s just caramelized onion but it’s the best onion dish that you’ll ever get to eat in your lifetime. No joke.

First course: Faux Egg

Made of cauliflower veloute, cauliflower tabbouleh, carrot and orange sphere, this one resembles a sunny side up that tastes better.

Second course: Chicken and Prawn

A light and filling meal made of free range spring chicken, veal jus, raisins, and thyme.

Second course: Iberico Pork Ribs

Enjoy sweet, tangy, and earthy flavors at once with Iberico Pork Ribs made of compressed Iberico pork rib, porcini sauce, and licorice.

Second course: Surf and Turf

Shoot two birds with one stone with Surf and Turf! Made of USDA wagyu beef cheek, lobster jus, and horseradish, get lost in the soft flavorful beef and sweet, light flavors of prawn.

Second course: Saffron Fregola

Get seriously Italian with the Saffron Fregola. The Sardinia origin pasta is mixed well with butter, white wine vinegar, and saffron sauce for a truly exquisite flavor.

Third course: Lemon Curd

Another masterpiece from Chef Oldani is this porcupine-like lemon curd created with dehydrated meringue, cacao crumble, curry almonds, and lettuce gelato.

Third course: Dark Chocolate Mousse

Chocolate lovers will love the straightforwardness of Chef Oldani’s Dark Chocolate Mousse made of cacao crumble, framboise, dark chocolate gelato, and Maldon salt.

Third course: White coffee tiramisu

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A night full of flavors calls for a light yet sweet ending! Try the White Coffee Tiramisu that is made of coffee mousse, dark chocolate, and dehydrated meringue.

For now, there are only 18 dishes in the menu and more will be added in the future. For more information, visit their website (, browse through Facebook (FOODbyDOManila), or call them (+639177114469). FOO’D by Davide Oldani is open from 11 am to 10 pm.  

Ayala Malls The 30th is Your Newest Cozy Mall in the North

Aptly called Ayala Malls The 30th, this new venture from the real estate giant is located at 30 Meralco avenue and features an outdoor green space called the “corte”, state-of-the-art cinemas, a Rustan’s supermarket, a Service Avenue where you can do all your errands and all your favorite stores and restaurants in one roof.

The Corte

Green is in at The 30th. Enjoy the feel and vibe of greenery and the outdoors at the Corte – an open outdoor space where friends and families can gather for events and mall activities.

Your Service Avenue

Everything you need to here at The 30th. From courier services, laundry cleaning, money exchange, nail care and so much more – The 30th’s Service Avenue is a one-stop shop for your errands.

Eat, Shop and Relax

A new resto? They’ve got lots of choices. Shopping? You’ll never run out of things to buy. You can even do the groceries at Rustan’s supermarket. Tired? Pamper yourselves with a movie in one of their four state-of-the-art cinemas.

Discover More at The 30th

Ayala Malls The 30th brings to the Pasig-Ortigas neighborhood your newest warm and intimate abode filled with an array of world-class amenities and options. Enjoy richer experiences, explore passions and interests, and make more memories outside of your home.

Kendell Rojas | MadHouseMNL
A New Gustatory Experience is now in Manila!

A New Gustatory Experience is now in Manila!

No need to book a flight to the US as the beloved flavors of Thai BBQ Original, a franchise that originated in Los Angeles, can now be enjoyed right here in the metro.

Thai BBQ Original promises an amazing escapade, bringing you the same, familiar flavors and service, which earned the restaurant a cult following in the US.

The new casual dining restaurant is decorated in modern Thai chic interiors, boasting its stone bricks and a soothing palette of neutrals. Whether you are treating yourself to a quiet meal or going out with a group of friends, find a comfortable spot to dine in at Thai BBQ Original.

While the interiors of the restaurant are meant to soothe, the flavors of each Thai BBQ Original House Specials aim to awaken the senses. The lightly prepared dishes brim with strong aromas and a sweet and spicy edge. Thai BBQ Original brings you the complex interplay of sour, sweet, salty, and spicy, which defines Thai cuisine.

[/media-credit] Interiors at Thai BBQ Original

Feast on the generous and affordable for-sharing House Specials that are perfect for big groups and families wherein each dish comes with a generous portion of Shrimp Fried Rice. Delight in the smoky flavors of S1 which offers Kaiyang, the restaurant’s most loved BBQ chicken, which brings together the perfect balance of sweet and spicy. Hearty helpings of another favorite, the meaty BBQ Spare Ribs, under S2, are sure to satiate big appetites. Completing the house specials are the Chicken Sate (S4) and Beef Sate (S8) comprised of 7 skewers of meats each, marinated in Thai spices, and served with a side of cucumber salad. Dip these in the yummy signature peanut sauce to add a new dimension of deliciousness.

Discover as well soon-to-be Filipino favorites such as Thai Curry Crab, Honey Duck, Crispy Oyster Cake and Pandan Chicken. For something with a more refreshing crunch, try the Deep- Fried Garoupa with Mango Salad and the Papaya Salad, which bring together bright flavors and textures. Finally, do not forget delicious Thai cuisine staples such as Phad Thai, Pad See Lew and Tom Yum Goong. For hearty eaters, all the house specials are served with heaping portions of Shrimp Fried Rice, so you will never worry about going home hungry. Be delighted with every dish that is hefty and is for sharing at Thai BBQ Original – brought especially from Los Angeles to BGC – made authentic by the restaurant’s very own Thai chefs.

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