Wednesday, December 25, 2013

The Riverview Royale Hotel of Aparri, Cagayan - It was good that I chose to stay here.

The last time I had been to Aparri, Cagayan was last September 2013.  I took the AirPhil 11:00 AM flight to Tuguegarao City from NAIA 3.  

After an hour, the plane landed in Tuguegarao City. Because I only had a hand-carried backpack, I went through the arrival area went out the terminal then took a tricycle ride going to the highway which was just about 300 meters away from the airport gate. At the highway, I took a commuter van to Aparri  and got there after 2 hours and 20minutes of travel along the Cagayan Valley Road.  

When the commuter van approaches the town proper of Aparri, I spotted the Riverview Royale Hotel on the left side of the road.  I told the driver to pull over and I disembarked and went to check the hotel.
The road going to the town proper of Aparri, Cagayan from Tuguegarao City. The town proper is more than half a kilometer away from the hotel. Tricycles are the most reliable mode of transportation  around town, to and from the hotel. 
The road going to Tuguegarao City from the town proper of Aparri, Cagayan
The view of Cagayan River as seen through the window of Room 302
The receptionist granted my request to have a room viewing. I found the rooms sparkling  clean and do not smell bad. No traces of cigarette smoke. The tiled floor and the toilet are clean. 

I took the available room at the uppermost floor where I could have a good look at the Cagayan River through the window. 

It was good that the multi-function hall next to my room has no activity for the night. Otherwise, my stay in Room 302 would be bothered by the noise of the people gathering in the hall and by the sound system.

However, the room has no telephone or intercom. So, if you want to connect to the front desk, you have to go downstairs or call the receptionist through your cellular phone.  I did go downstairs that night when I needed a bottle of drinking water and a can of soda from the restaurant of the hotel at the ground floor.

After conducting my business around the town of Aparri that afternoon and the next day, I realized that I was lucky that I chose to stay at the Riverview Royale Hotel.  It was the newest and cleanest hotel in town at that time.

The multi-function hall at the 3rd Floor of the hotel. That door in the middle leads to Room 302 (right) and Room 301 (left) and the exit door and stairway. 
My overnight stay in Room 302.  
Room rates as of September 2013
Contact numbers of the Riverview Royale Hotel in Aparri, Cagayan

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Carnivale food fair in Venice Piazza, McKinley Hill (Taguig City)

The Venice Piazza of McKinley Hill and the crowded tents of the Mercato Centrale's Carnivale

Great foodie news to those who work and live in Mckinely Hill, Taguig. The Venice Piazza Mall at McKinley Hill had launched on December 12, 2013 the newest night food market CARNIVALE of the Mercato Centrale group.

The CARNIVALE is open every Thursday and Friday from  6:00 pm to 3:00 am.

Venice Piazza at McKinley Hill in BGC, Taguig City is partly the replica of Piazza San Marco of Venice, Italy. Here, at  the  Venice Piazza, the Carnivale of Mercato Centrale was unfolded on Dec 12, 2013. Behind me is the Venice Piazza Mall and the replica of Torre dell'Orologio (bell tower). 
The ribbon cutting that formally launched the Carnivale, the first ever eat-shop-fun' night market. 
The organizers of the Carnivale of Venice Piazza at McKinley Hill, Fort Bonifacio (BGC) in Taguig City.
The mini-circus acts and resounding beats of drummers added attraction in the launching of the Carnivale food night market.
The Venice Piazza and the Carnivale
Venice Piazza is located inside McKinley Hill in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City. McKinley Hill is bounded by C5 to the East, the American War Memorial to the North, Lawton Road to the West (which leads to the airport) and the Philippine Army Headquarters to the South. 
The Venice Piazza and the tents of the Carnivale
Sari-saring longganiza, an assortment of locally made sausages with different flavors, shapes, colors, and place of origin. 
The chami balibag of Quezon province
A modified version of Quezon province's chami known as the Lucena festival noodle.

Ashley Roberto of The Rogue Writer bites street food from the Lariza’s Grill

The Carnivale is one of the most crowded night food markets organized by the Mercato Centrale

Fellow foodie bloggers at the launching of the Carnivale: Barbie, Enzo Luna of Juan Manila Express, and Ted Claudio of Wazzup Philippines
Sampler of Mexican inspired nacho chips
Lasagna from Chicago Pizza, and Ashley Roberto of The Rogue Writer takes sample from Tama Yaki
The free burger we sampled from the Macheesemo Burgers
The diferrent pizzas of the  Chicago Pizza
The Chicago Pizza also offers pasta noodles.


Monday, December 16, 2013

A happy place made with love by Sophie's Mom - An Awesome Secret Foodies Tour

The Sophie's Mom bakery cafe in Tuscany at McKinley Hill (Taguig City)

Finally, we have the last stop of this awesome foodie tour in Tuscany at McKinley Hill, BGC.  It was one of a kind - a marathon of dining gourmet foods from eight among the great and fine restaurants of Tuscany food strip.  

I thought at first the cupcakes were offering to the gods.

We were told to go upstairs in the mezzanine of Sophie's Mom Bakery cafe and picked what we liked of the displayed cupcakes on the table adorned with fresh flowers. Considering the ambiance, I thought at first the cupcakes were an offering to the gods. Exactly, the pastries are heavenly in taste. Now we have our final after meal dessert at Sophie's Mom.  

Ladies and girls would love the pastries and how they are presented.
Even a serving of cold iced tea are prettily wrapped,  a work of feminine art

Why Sophie's Mom? You may ask. That is so, because this dainty cupcake and pastries store in Tuscany really started its business with Mom Sophie actually catering to her daughter's friends in high schools years back then with those scrumptious cupcakes and other delicious and beautifully designed pastries, drinks, and that later on she would include nice party dining wares and other feminine party designs

Signature pastries at Sophie's Mom include the red velvet with cream cheese frosting, Spanish bread, cronuts, lasagna, oreo cheesecake cookies, flourless chocolate cupcakes, and several customized cupcakes and other pastries.

You can buy in retail these Harney & Sons high-quality loose teas and tisanes that are organic and certified kosher.
Also available are coffee pods of Malongo gourmet coffee sold in retail which is hugely popular among espresso coffee connoisseurs.  Each pod is vacuum packed in natural filter paper ready for brewing with your coffee pod machine.
Other pastries, your choice of packaging for your bakeshop goodies, and novelty table wares. You can scribble a special note to someone and post it on the board behind a fancy girlie payphone.
Sophie's Mom can be contacted at (02) 738-6625 and (02) 856-4849. You can also send a message to


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About Edgie Polistico

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Author of Philippine Food, Cooking, and Dining Dictionary. A lexicographer since the age of 14.  Filipino Linguist. Blogger with 11 blog sites. Researcher of food culture, pop culture, places, structures, transportations, churches and whatever interest him about the Philippines. Visual artist. Photographer. Traveler who had been to all four corners of the Philippine archipelago, and still setting more footprints. 

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