Valentine’s Day in Philippines

Valentine’s Day is considered as one of the most popular holidays in the world although it seems to become a much commercialized occasion these days. Many business owners take advantage of this special celebration of hearts since a lot of people look forward to it to take time in expressing the love and care they offer to the special people around them. Such way of expressing is by buying and sending chocolates with flowers particularly red roses. Some companies make Valentine goods like stuffed Teddy bears, Valentine’s cards; couple T-shirts for lovers, couple watches, jewelries, heart-shaped candies and cakes, and the like. So obviously, this is a special day for mainly lovers.

Valentine Recipe
Valentine’s Day Recipe

When did Valentine’s Day began? 

Historically and originally, this occasion wasn’t about love or romance at all. It was in fact quite confusing because there have been different stories of where and when Valentine’s Day started. Some historians wrote it started on the 3rd century A.D. when Emperor Claudius II executed a martyr priest named Valentine on February 14.

Ancient Christians honored his martyrdom and began the liturgical celebration named after St. Valentine. Another martyrdom story was about St. Valentine of Rome which was imprisoned for performing weddings for soldiers who were not allowed to marry since it was then believed that married soldiers didn’t perform well in the battles compared to unmarried soldiers. In the prison, Valentine had healed a blind girl named Julia, the daughter of his prison officer. Finally, before he got executed, Valentine wrote Julia a letter and he signed, “Your Valentine” as a farewell; which may have been the origin of today’s Valentine’s cards. However, the celebration of Valentine didn’t have any romantic implications until Chaucer’s poetry about Valentine’s Day in 14th Century. 

Chaucer's Valentine Poem
Chaucer’s Valentine’s Poem

Married couples, boyfriends-girlfriends, live-in partners, and even people who has their secret crushes, feel very much excited on Valentine’s Day. It is their chance and might be their only chance to express their intimate feelings to someone they love. In fact, they don’t just celebrate it on the 14th since many people celebrate the occasion on other days of the love month.

Below are the things that Filipinos do on Valentine’s Day:

 

  • Dinner date – couples save this date for a special dinner. Of course, restaurants usually offer discounts or promos for this special occasion like ‘Dinner for two, for the price of 1’ and they make sure they have prepared a very romantic ambiance for their in-love diners. And they are of course served sweet desserts like heart-shaped cakes and candies! 

    Valentine's Dinner
    Valentine’s Day Dinner
  • Valentine’s concerts and gigs – Filipinos are known to have a lot of talented singers and almost all Filipinos are undeniably music lovers. Many couples spend this day by watching concerts especially inspired by love stories.
  • Sharing the love to children – Although, Valentine’s isn’t only for lovers. In elementary and high-schools, students are taught to make Valentine’s cards in their Art subjects and finished projects are to be given to their parents and guardians. This is one way of teaching the Filipino children express their love for their parents by writing love letters in their very own handmade Valentine greeting cards. Sweet! 

    children holding their Valentine cards
    children holding their Valentine cards
  • Giving Valentine’s goodies – Usually, boyfriends and husbands give something to their girlfriends and wives. As mentioned earlier in this post, things like red roses, chocolates, Valentine’s cards, stuffed Teddy bears, heart-shaped balloons, anything that’s for couple – shirts, watches, pillows, coffee mugs, and more, these are very common to give as a present for the day of Hearts. 

    Valentine's goodies
    Valentine’s Day goodies

Viking Buffet Restaurant My Reviews

This is my views and opinion about Viking Buffet Restaurant

 

Davao restaurant
this is the inside look of Viking Buffet Restaurant in Davao

We had dinner in Viking Buffet Restaurant on 31 December 2016.
7 pm was the confirm booking schedules for 3.  At 6:30 pm, I received a call from the staff of Viking Buffet Restaurant that if we do not arrive by 7 pm, our table will not be kept for us.
It was annoying somehow as I explained that we have been trying to book a Grab taxi since 5:30 pm and no luck as the area near to Magallanes residence was block due to preparation for New Year party in San Pedro.

The way it was said is not a common friendly voice at all. Feels like they won’t really care if a customer will arrive or not as they’re are people waiting to be seated.

Maybe I am just too over spoilt with what we experienced in Singapore.

However, we got lucky of trying to get our taxi and a very oriented Taxi Driver as I have explain him our situation.

Perhaps to many Filipinos…

Viking buffet restaurant maybe a place to eat varieties of local and international cooking.

Indeed, there are a few selections from Japanese, Chinese, sinugba [ BBQ ] Filipino style like chicken intestine small fishes, part of Tuna’s head {panga}, Beef on Grill, Korean and variety of desert.

The Sushi is good, tuna fish and Salmon are fresh.

To be honest, I came here a year ago and at that time, the food are more appealing that makes you want to eat and try everything.

This time round, each time I open the silver or metal pot which are display with a name on what’s inside, it was not appetising at all.

The salad were not fresh, no better bread were available but those sweet type of roll bread.
A little cuts of 3 types of cheeses and bit of crackers around it.

Here comes the last part that I want to try… the Beef on Grill. Well it’s not really Grill, it’s like pan fry on a metal surface added with oil.

Which after eating the beef, my stomach turn upside down. It got so sudden bloated and feels acidity. I have no idea which food was making my stomach turn sour.

Over all…
The environment were lift up only by the servers and Cleaners as they were always smiling and Friendly as I great them happy New Year 2017! The stuff were always watchful of empty plates on the table and remove them.

The price per person 788 pesos with free beers I Guess it’s good for those drinkers like this guys.

Price per head is Pesos 788

I hope that Viking Buffet Restaurant will keep its quality of food and service.

 

 


If you are looking for some family activities in Davao- try this

Christmas in Philippines

***HAPPY HOLIDAYS***

Christmas is indeed the happiest time of the year. Many countries celebrate it in different ways. Some are based on their religious beliefs and some are celebrating it for commercial purposes only. Whatever reasons they have, I’d like to share with you this one particular country that celebrates Christmas interestingly and it’s no other than, Philippines!

PHILIPPINES’ CHRISTMAS TRADITIONS

***Decorations***

It is believed that Philippines have the longest Christmas season in the world. As early as September, people in their homes and shops can be heard playing the Christmas carols. It marks the start of the long and happy season.  Moreover, Filipinos start to decorate Christmas ornaments and gorgeous lights in their homes and shops. The most popular decoration is the “Parol”. It is made of a colored Japanese paper or cellophane and Bamboo sticks. They are formed together into a big star lantern which is then lighted at the center. The Parol represents the star the guided the three Wise Men to where the baby Jesus was born.

Christmas Parol
Parol

***Longest Celebration***

Formally, 16th of December is the start of celebration. Catholic people go to churches starting on that day to attend the “9 early morning masses” or “Misa de Gallio”; that is from 16th of December until the Christmas Day. 80% of the Philippines’’ population is Catholics so no wonder it is the most important and celebrated holiday. Catholics believe that if they fulfilled the 9 early morning masses, their Christmas wishes will be granted. Outside the church, vendors sell the traditional food especially popular in this holiday season such as “Puto bumbong” and “Tsokolate”. Mind you these foods are sold in no time so you must be in the church early if you like to taste them.

 

Misa de Gallio in Christmas season
Misa de Gallio is one of the popular custom in Philippines.
Puto bumbong
Puto bumbong is  a type of puto or rice cake named after the bamboo tube in which it is steamed. 

Click to learn the recipe of Puto Bumbong.

Tsokolate
Tsokolate is a thick hot chocolate specially made from cacao balls.

***Surely Fun***

On the Christmas Eve, many people stay awake all night and wait for the clock to strike at 12:00. They usually sing Karaoke, play games, cook special desserts, drink alcohol, and/or take each other’s pictures to keep themselves awake. People attend the Christmas Eve mass earlier in the evening. Then they will gather together to eat Noche Buena or midnight feast after going back to their homes they It is a big and special meal joined by all the members of the family and friends. Popular Noche Buena dishes include the Lechon or roasted pig, Ham, Fruit Salad, Puto bumbong, and Coke. Most people have the Exchanging of Presents in which each family members bring gifts and give to other members of the family after eating the Noche Buena. It is the most awaited part of the holiday since everyone get to receive surprising presents.

Noche Buena
Noche Buena

On the other hand, Christmas in Philippines is mixed with Western traditions too, which means that they also have Santa Claus, Christmas trees and cards. The celebrations continue to the First Sunday in January when Epiphany or the Feast of the Three Kings is celebrated. After this day, people start to put away their decorations.

How about in your country? How do you traditionally celebrate Christmas? Feel free to write it down in the Comments section. Happy Holidays!

 

Wellness – Body loves it

Wellness today,

 

It is very important to invest in our health. Give yourself a break. Need to unwind and have your “me” time? Is your schedule so busy that you can’t even go to a massage parlor? Well, fret not. There are a lot of massage spas in the city that offers home service and wonderful spa experience.

For the last 5 years, massage spas have been invading Davao.  I haven’t been to all of them but I would like to share some of my experiences and recommendations.

There are a number of reasons to get a massage. Here’s a few:

  • It can relieve stress.

Stress can affect our health. It can affect us physically, mentally and emotionally. Chest pains, headaches and hypertension are only the few possible effects of stress. Getting a massage can reduce stress and help us avoid dealing with its more serious effects.

  • It can help improve sleep.

People who have difficulties with sleeping can also benefit from getting a massage. Having a quality sleep is essential to our health. I schedule my massage on weekends after work.

  • Massage Therapy can boost mental health.

Studies show that massage therapy can reduce depression and anxiety. It also shows that getting the right massage can significantly decrease heart rate and blood pressure. (Source:  American Massage Therapy Association or AMTA)

So, what do I usually look for in a massage spa?

Before going to a particular spa, I usually check (or snoop around as others may call it) it first.  I look at their website (if they have one) or visit their Facebook Page. If I can get a contact number, that would be better.

  • Location

For those who have cars, location and parking space are really important. As for me, it’s better if the spa is near from where I am staying. The environment is also a plus. You are there to relax. Choose a place where you feel comfortable and safe.

  • Therapists

The core of every massage spa lies on its therapists. A good therapist and service will definitely make you a regular customer. Therapists must be polite, professional and of course they must be cleanly dressed. It is also important to me that my therapist is sensitive to the kind of pressure (massage) that I want. I personally do not like it when they talk too much. It takes the sense out of having to relax.

  • Massage Style

Different massage therapy spas also have different styles of massage. There are spas that specializes on only one type of massage and there are others that offer almost everything. Choose wisely. Choose one that suits your needs. I suggest trying all types and pick one that you like best. I personally like Swedish Massage and reflexology. Other popular kinds include Thai massage, shiatsu, and hot stone.

You can also tell if a massage spa is good by the way they treat their customers. Ask your friends for feed backs. Google. Do more research if possible.

Here are some massage spas you might like to visit.

  1. Restherapy Spa

Located at Mamay Road, Davao City, Davao Del Sur. It’s a must visit place for those who need a good treat. They have good customer service and their therapists are very friendly.

I had a very relaxing and satisfying experience here. They also have lower rates in the afternoon from 3pm to 6pm. For as low as 200php per hour, you can enjoy a massage that would truly calm your senses.

1

2

 

They also offer Sauna for as low as 100php!

If you need a massage but would rather not go out, the Restherapy Spa also has the perfect solution for you! They offer HOME SERVICE for nearby locations for only 400 Php per hour.

3

 

  1. Oriental Touch Shiatsu Center

This spa is amazing. Aside from massage therapy, they also offer manicure, pedicure and spa packages! They have been in the business since 2005. They are open from 2pm to 12 midnight.

4 5

Their Whole Body Massage costs P299 per hour.

The Foot Massage is also at P299 per hour.

They also offer Home Service which is at P599 per hour.

6

If you will visit their branches, you would notice that there is no difference with regards to their massage technique. They are very consistent. The therapist and staff are well trained. You’ll definitely experience an amazing service.

I also love the ambience and the music. Very relaxing.  You can book a spa party with them. They also offer Kids Spa Party for your little ones.  They also offer Chi Face Lift Massage, Shiatsu and a combination massage.

7

  1. Lazuli Spa

It is named after Lapiz Lazuli. A deep blue gemstone believed to have healing properties. This spa is a little bit pricey. Their prices range from 1,200 to 2,500 Philippine pesos, depending on the length and kind of treatment that you like. It’s located at the 4th floor inside the Marco Polo Hotel in Davao City.

They are open daily from 10am to 11pm.  But if you are looking for a place to pamper yourself and relax, Lazuli is definitely a must-go place.  A friend invited me when she was visiting Davao. I was shocked to see the prices at first but after trying their service, I can certainly say that it was worth it. My friend even said that it was one of the highlights of her holiday.

The place is really quiet and clean. The staff are really friendly. Compared to other spas in Davao, the linens feel and smell new. The towels are still puffy and they do not smell. Other spas have very poor hygiene standard that you can even smell the sweat of the other customers all over the spa. I can say that this is one of the best spas in Davao so far.

So, what are you waiting for? If you are in desperate need of some pampering after all the craziness and stress from the past weeks, getting a nice massage is what you might need. Give yourself a wonderful treat.

8

9

Certainly, many countries in Asia has varieties of spa culture and beauty traditions. Check out few of them below:

Mandarin Oriental Dhara Dhevi in Chiang Mai, Thailand

1

2

 

The Nam Hai in Hoi An, Vietnam

3

 

Afond Boutique Spa in Singapore

5

Perhaps you needed to get a special deals and visit some exotic countries in Asia for a must relaxing time… Plan your travel with…