Thursday, February 28, 2013

What's in a (Business) Name? Quince

Where is that salon?
Spotted along AS Fortuna St, Mandaue City.

Thank you Bee Chavez for the tip!

For more amusing business names, please visit Go Random.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Is Big Flat Bread a Bakeshop?

Is this a new bakeshop? Nope, but I did think so.

Big Flat Bread (BFB) is a PIZZA chain that opened in Cagayan de Oro in 2009, became popular, and has since expanded - two branches in Cagayan de Oro, one branch each in Palawan and Butuan, and recently in Cebu.

We brought ourselves to The Ridges in Mabolo (beside Sykes Building) to check out the new branch. We arrived past 4PM, and looking around, there were only ten customers including us. Good, since the space is quite compact.

Just on the left of the entrance, you can see a big pseudo chalkboard that has their menu on it. BFB adds a classic approach to the pizza jungle - Big pizzas. The pizza comes in 3 sizes: Big (12"), Bigger (18"), and Biggest (30").

My eyes went straight to the words "Healthy Me". It's a cream sauce pizza which suits those who want more veggies on their dough. It has mushrooms, bell peppers, tomatoes, olives, and white onions. I'm not trying to be healthy, just that recently I've been craving for vegetables - lentils, tomatoes, pinakbet, to name a few. I even considered a plant to meat ratio of 3:1 (75% should be plant-based). 

Since I was serious about my veggie cravings, my date joked that we try the meat-packed Heart Attack or the tastes-like-tacos Tijuana Feast. If we had brought our friends, it would have been possible to try two or three choices, which would also include their bestseller, The Godfather Pizza. But one Big pizza is enough to fill two hungry stomachs, so we ended up ordering the Healthy Me and added the Spudsters (potato Mojos) as emergency fillers.

The Healthy Me was a good choice. Tomatoes, onions, and olives, to name a few, was all it took for this cream sauce pizza to satisfy us. The Mojos were better than what other food chains serve. My date liked dipping the ample sliced potatoes in the gravy. They also have other dips that cost Php40 each, but the free gravy is already good enough.

After all that saltiness, what better way to wash out that taste with a sweet Warm Brownie Bowl? This one was 50/50 for me and my date for the reason that 50% of it was warm and soft, while the other half was cooled to brownie hardness. Nevertheless, we munched on it until the bowl was clean.

Aside from pizza and mojos, they also have chicken, pasta, nachos, and Beer Below Zero. Their bestsellers are the Big Hot Fried Chicken and Buffalo Wings.

BFB also serves Big Meal set meals good for 12-15 people for Php2500. You will have to bring the barkada since this meal includes two Bigger pizzas, three pasta platters, one basket of Big Hot Fried Chicken, and two pitchers of Big Flat Coolers/softdrinks.

Who has tried the crocodile pizza? How does it taste?

Cheese shaker. T'was my first time to see one.
Chili sauce.

Big Flat Bread is worth the try. It's new and it has something to offer. Bring your crowd because the BFB experience, with its "Biggest" pizza serving, surely fits an equally "biggest" gang.

Other notes:
  • The Ridges Mabolo has a spacious parking area
  • BFB delivers including softdrinks and beer

PS. Hey BFB, how about a pizza eating contest? ;)

Big Flat Bread (Cebu)
The Ridges Mabolo, F. Cabahug St. (beside Sykes Bldg.), Mabolo, Cebu City
(032) 422 7107 / 0917 401 8004
Mondays to Thursdays 10AM - 12MN

How vegetable cravings made a Big fat hole on Mustachio's pocket:
Big Healthy Me Pizza Php248
Spudsters Php88
Warm Brownie Bowl Php78

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Grilling It Manggahan Style

Manggahan is a new cozy restaurant in town. Coined after the big mango tree at the back of the restaurant, it offers a laid-back homey ambiance suitable for dining with friends and family.

Welcome to Manggahan
Owner and brain behind Manggahan, Jim Anthony Uy

If it's your first time at Manggahan, one amazing thing to do is cooking your own food yakiniku style. Their table is equipped with a grill on the center so you can cook your own barbecue. Just like the Japanese yakiniku, which means "grilled meat", diners can grill their own food the way they like it. You don't even have to worry about smelling like smoked ham, the tables are equipped with a mechanism that vacuums the smoke. The idea is simply ingenious!

Every time I look at this picture I can hear the meat sizzle. Can you hear it?

Aside from street style barbecue, Manggahan also offers a variety of Filipino favorites such as pochero, pinakbet, sinugba, and hito (catfish). They even have crocodile sisig!

Clockwise from top left: deep fried hito, sizzling crocodile sisig, and sizzling pochero

Although the sizzling pochero's serving was disheartening, the taste was fantastic. It was soft and creamy. I even scooped the sauce and topped it on my rice. The deep fried hito was also good. The crocodile sisig tasted just like any other pork sisig. I've tasted crocodile meat before and couldn't appreciate its taste (or blandness), so I guess I'm not a fan of croc meat.

For dessert, we had Turon ni Tatang. Man, this brings back childhood memories. Waiting for the Merienda Lady at 3PM, she arrives bringing her basket of goodies, and I buy one or two turons. Turon ni Tatang betters the classic turon by adding vanilla ice cream and chocolate syrup onto it.

Turon ni Tatang and iced tea with mango bits

Reasonably priced, Manggahan competes with street-side barbecue prices.

Click to enlarge. Prices are subject to change without prior notice.

Click to enlarge. Prices are subject to change without prior notice.

Good news for beer lovers, Manggahan offers Beer Below Zero at an affordable price.

Left: Beer Below Zero logo. Right: Image taken from

And if drinking isn't your thing, enjoy your meal while listening to live music. They have live bands playing every night. Furthermore, with good interiors and a big space (plus the garden area), Manggahan's ambiance is hands down 5 of 5. Best of all, the price is just right. I could eat and drink here without getting my pocket drunk. Bring your friends when you go to Manggahan, it's a great place to hangout.

I've read some complaints about the slow service, but Manggahan addresses them in a commendable way. Props to that!

How to get to Manggahan:

30 Wilson St., Apas, Lahug, Cebu City
0922 820 3971 / (032) 260 3300
Daily 6PM to 3AM

How Manggahan planted a hole on Mustachio's pocket:
Zero! This was a media invite by Manggahan care of  Babe for Food. Thanks Manggahan and Justinne! :)

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Train to be a Circus Performer at Kampo Juan

Kampo Juan, an hour's drive from Cagayan de Oro City, is in Barangay Dicklum, Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon. To get there from CDO, take the bus to Manolo Fortich (fare is around Php50). At the junction (keep your eyes peeled, the sign pointing to Kampo Juan faces the opposite direction) hire a motorcycle to take you to Kampo Juan (or walk 3 km).


 Click location map to enlarge

A few meters before Kampo Juan is the MacArthur landmark. The significance? Click on the photo below to read about it.


Click to enlarge

At Kampo Juan, an entrance fee of Php50 per head is collected. With this, you are now entitled to laze around in their pavilion. If you plan to have lunch there, bring food and utensils. They only have chips and drinks for sale. A water dispenser at the pavilion is available for all the guests.

 Choose your spot in Kampo Juan's pavilion

For the restless, lazing around the pavilion might be boring. Snooze not, Kampo Juan has some activities to wake you up. And this was part of my friend's evil plan. The reason why he fed me too much for breakfast? He wanted me to become a circus performer. He wanted me to ride a bike on a wire.

In Kampo Juan, you can ride a bike a hundred feet above the ground (they call it the anicycle), zip over gorges, and strut across (and back) a hanging bridge. To do all these, gather up Php600 and some courage. (If you are tired of ziplines and hanging bridges, you can just try the anicycle for Php300.)

For a person who rides a bike like a drunk, why ride a bike on a wire? Because no biking skills are required. Woohoo! With all the courage I could muster, I get strapped on and pedal, pedal, pedal my way 200 meters across a 100 ft deep gorge.

 Circus performer in training

After the longest bike ride of my life, I am strapped to a line and zip over a field and another gorge....
Zipping over a gorge with slippers secured get to the hanging bridge, which is 120 meters across and 100 ft high. This hanging bridge has to be crossed twice, because there is no exit on the other end. (What's the point of this bridge then? :-D )

To the end and back

After walking 240 meters and causing the bridge to sway with every step, I am strapped to another zipline. At the end point, there is a treehouse nearby to relax in, enjoy the view, and get your normal heart rate back. Then a very short leisurely stroll back to the pavilion.

The path back to the pavilion

This short adventure over ravines can be accomplished in just an hour. After one hour under the blazing sun, I am back to lazing about in the pavilion.

If you do not want to bring lunch to Kampo Juan, you can go to Pinutos sa Kanto, Totsie's, or Del Monte Clubhouse; all three are just a ten-minute drive from Kampo Juan. Beef steak (from any of the three) is recommended.

 At the Del Monte Clubhouse, you can stare at the golf greens while eating

Kampo Juan
Brgy. Dicklum, Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon
0926 621 2192
Saturdays, Sundays, and Holidays 8AM - 5PM

How laying Mustachio's life on the line lay Mustachio's wallet on the line too:
Entrance fee Php50
All Rides Adventure Php600

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Breakfast at Missy Bon Bon

The same people who gave birth to Bigby's has been feeding the people of Cagayan de Oro Missy Bon Bon breads for almost three years.

On a recent trip to Cagayan de Oro, my friend, who is based in CDO, brought me to Missy Bon Bon's main branch in LimKetKai Center for breakfast. Up until that day, I have always thought Missy Bon Bon sold breads only. This breadshop (see their store sign?) has sandwiches, pastas, salads, and meals, too.

At my friend's recommendation, I had their Smokehouse Longganisa. This generous friend thinks I have a huge appetite; he added Cloud 9 Pancakes to that. Thankfully, we (he, his wife, and I) all helped ourselves to the pancakes. Missy Bon Bon's all-day breakfast meals (there are more choices: tapa, tocino, bangus, corned beef, Filpino breakfast, American breakfast) come with a cup of iced tea.

Smokehouse Longganisa and Cloud 9 Pancakes

Customers can dine indoors or get some vitamin D by dining al fresco.

Upside down lampshades

Because I like stories, I'm going to share this anecdote with you: When Missy Bon Bon opened in 2010 in LimKetKai Center, they gave away a year's worth of Missy Bon Bon goodies to their first customer. According to my friend, the lucky winner was a ten-year-old who had asked their househelp to stand in line for him since 8PM the night before the opening while he and his father slept in the car. Oh, the things you do for a year's supply of food. I hope he shared the food with the guy who suffered hours on the pavement for him.

Missy Bon Bon Breadshop
Rosario Drive, LimKetKai Center, Cagayan de Oro City
(088) 856 6852
Sundays to Thursdays 6AM - 1030PM
Fridays and Saturdays 6AM - 12MN
facebook page

Other branches:
Level 1, Robinsons Place, Cagayan de Oro City
Ground floor, Gaisano Mall, Cagayan de Oro City

How being too generous can cost you:
Smokehouse Longganisa Php125
Pancake Php125

Thursday, February 7, 2013

What to Do in Islas de Gigantes

Some -ings to do at Gigantes

Take a walk around the island.
When you step out of the inn turn left and follow the road until you get to this dirt path.
Or if you're too lazy to walk, take a motorcycle.
When you reach the end of the concrete path, start walking.

While taking a walk, spot some unusual things... like this squid trap.
Keep your eyes peeled.
After five minutes of following the dirt path, you will see a rusty gate on your right and a lighthouse beyond.

Sorry, you can't enter thru the gate. Go round back. 
Peer thru the windows and scare yourself. (Best to do this at night.)

Climb the lighthouse's four (or was that five?) flights of steep stairs.

But first, ask the three-feet tall key keeper to unlock the lighthouse door.
Joefer (in white) and the key keeper (in blue)
Donations for the key keeper are appreciated.

When you reach the top, enjoy the view.
Look left. Look right.
Look down. Look around.
 Look close. Look far.

Rent a boat for Php 1800 for up to 3 pax (Php 2000 for 4-6 pax)...
...and hop from one island to another. There are ten islands after all.
Allocate two days if you want to visit all the islands of Gigantes.

Because we only had a day to island hop, these are the places we visited:

Bantigue Sandbar

 Tinagong Dagat

 Antonia Beach
Entrance fee of Php 20 is collected on this beach.

Tangke means tank. The water in here rises and falls with the tide. 
To get to Tangke, be brave enough to jump from the boat to the rock.

Cabugaw Gamay Island
Donations for the caretaker are most welcome.

Grab your mask and spy on the sea creatures at Antonia.

Look for monkeys around Tangke.

Swim in the beach of every island you visit.

Enter the cave (pay Php 20) in Antonia...
...and jump into the water on the other side.
Only if the tide is high.

Go visit the cave in Gigantes Norte (Php 200 for a guide).
With that comes hiking, slipping, crouching, crawling, and sweating. Bring a headlamp and wear proper footwear.
Short legs and fear of slipping might be a problem. There are no ropes and harnesses.

Stare in awe at mountains and mountains of scallop shells.

Go look for bones.

Here's how Gigantes bore a gigantic hole thru my pocket
If you scrutinize this list you might find something missing... the fare from the bus terminal to the airport. We called upon some relatives who kindly drove us to the airport. Vans from SM to airport are available and will cost Php 70.

Islas de Gigantes in two parts:
Going to and Eating in Islas de Gigantes
What to Do in Islas de Gigantes (you're here!)