A Fambam Weekend at Pia Heart Resort

Aug. 1-2, 2015
Pansol in Laguna is the usual go-to for people in Manila who are looking for a quick getaway from the city. Less than two hours on the road and you’re there. I’ve been to several resorts in the area and I’m not really impressed with the quality of those I’ve been to, so I wasn’t really excited about the whole thing. But then again, it’s family… so I had to go. To my pleasant surprise, I liked the place — it’s very simple, yet very clean and spacious, which is nice because among the numerous resorts in the area, it is common to find resorts that aren’t very well maintained so I’m giving Pia Heart Resort a thumbs up on this.

This is where the rooms are (pardon the towels, hehe)
This is where the rooms are (pardon the towels, hehe)

The rooms are simple, has air condition, and has lots of futon style beds that can be used for a big group. The bathrooms are clean and well maintained as well. Aside from the huge pool, a kiddie pool, and a whirlpool, we had a blast at the karaoke machine and had a great fun at the billiards table.

The guys playing billiards.
The guys playing billiards.
Whirlpool fun 🙂
A view of the pool.

Overall, I’d recommend this resort for those who are looking for a venue for family reunions or team buildings. So far, I’d say this is one of the nicest ones in Pansol. 🙂

A not-so-complete family picture 🙂


Facebook (I found two, so I’m not sure which is the official one):


Ippon Yari Calamba

There’s something about Japanese food that’s so warm, homey and welcoming. Growing up in a Japanese-Filipino family, we would always have Japanese food for dinner. This allowed me and my siblings to have a fair amount of opportunities to learn how to use our chopsticks well, how to tell whether the rice is good or not, and to have a certain taste for Japanese food.

One particular name that stands out in the Japanese restaurant scene is “Ippon Yari”. For years, they have been serving impeccable Japanese food to Filipinos and Japanese expats alike. Strategically located in areas where a lot of Japanese are, their branches are scattered around the south area.

Last weekend, before going back to Manila from a family gathering at Pansol, Laguna, I made sure to stop by Ippon Yari’s Calamba branch.

Before having our orders taken, we were all served a small plate of appetizer — a small serving of mildly flavored potatoes with a hint of sweetness.

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I’ve been craving for ramen and sushi for a considerable amount of time already so I intended to order those. We were not that hungry so BF and I asked the Chashyu Ramen to be split into two, and the serving was just right for our tummies.

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Firm noodles, soft pork, and rich, flavorful soup makes this glorious bowl of happiness that is the Chashyu Ramen. It was a little oily, but I later realized that it was this oil that makes the flavor stand out. I have to emphasize the softness of the pork which almost melts with every bite, and the texture of the noodles that has no hint of sogginess in it.

BF chose the Tekkamaki (tuna) for the sushi. Please note that it already has a hint of wasabi in it so for those not fond of wasabi, you might want to clarify it to the waiter. Otherwise, the amount of wasabi is helpful in keeping the clean flavor of the tuna.

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Friend ordered Cheese Tonkatsu and shared it with us, and I just found a new favorite!!! I love how the cheese is wrapped in the pork! Dear reader, you have got to try this. Promise!

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Another order of Friend was Salmon Sashimi. Another thing that’s awesome about this restaurant is, for good Japanese food, I would say that they’re not overpriced like other Japanese restaurants.

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The Dessert Menu:

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Some pictures of the resto:

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I love this section wherein you’ll have to remove your shoes before a few steps to go in…. So Japanese-y! 😛10615804_4567825289182_118922725_n

On a final note, the food was great and the staff were polite. Overall, our experience was great and we’re surely coming back!! I saw some interesting (alcoholic) drinks in the menu that I haven’t seen in other restos in Manila, so I’m definitely gonna try them out next time.

Till next time!

~Your Little Foodie Buddy.

Random Roadtrip — Bato Springs Resort

We (BF & I) were already booked for Bacolod last weekend but we had to cancel because of a meeting I had to go to. Man, was I disappointed…

So we decided to go on a roadtrip! Yay!


Tagaytay and Nuvali were the first things that we thought of but the words “we were supposed to be in Bacolod by now” just kept running through my mind, so I decided we had to go somewhere we both haven’t been to yet. Then I remembered that a friend told me about this beautiful resort in Laguna so I decided to do a little research.

We then packed our bags, and went on our way to San Pablo, Laguna.

A couple of hours later… we’re in San Pablo!

…Stopover at Chowking for an early dinner….

Then we went back on the road for about another hour till we reached this taken-out-of-a-horror-movie forest. We saw the huge sign board and reached the gate to the resort. We reached the place around 6pm. The man who greeted us collected P250 (P125 per person, overnight) and told us to go straight ahead where another guy told us to park. We got a simple room for the both of us and paid right then and there.

We put our bags down, settled in and changed our clothes after which we went around the resort. At night, the coldness just envelops you (and I forgot to bring any jacket so I was really cold). But what was astonishing was the sound of nature — the crickets singing a tune, and the lullaby of the spring. Oh, was this relaxing! Just a couple of hours away, yet it seems as if I was in a different world.

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Morning came and we woke up to the alarm, got ready and stepped out to go around. The place was beautiful. We went to see the spring and found that it was safe to swim in even at night because the bottom was cemented (the spring was man-made). It was raining though so we decided to go on our way.

The scary taken-out-from-a-horror-movie scene now turned into a beautiful forest where everything is green…


We had breakfast at this little coffee shop which served really good coffee and hot chocolate. The food was amazing — I had tocilog (tocino sinangag + itlog) and he had longsilog (longganisa + sinangag + itlog) which were both delicious (although my tocino was a little too toasted).

>Another stopover<

Along the highway, we saw a bibingka stall — an authentic one which cooks their bibingka in a pugon. For P12 each, you get a steaming hot bibingka (a similarly sized but smaller version in Manila is being sold for P25 each). Oh, and it has a little surprise inside — coconut! It was the first time for me and it changed my view on bibingka. I would go back here just to get these little yummies!

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I’ll surely take this road again if I want to get away from the city.



For more info: Bato Springs Resort