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Showing posts from August, 2011

[Crumpler : Guess what's in the Bag!] ...and the winner is!!

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In the span of 10 days, I got a total of 319 valid entries ! Every single entry, I carefully logged them in an excel file to ensure that I got everyone's name in. The contest has come to an end and for the last time, I would like to ask you all.... Guess what's in the bag? :)

Specially dedicated to my readers....

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Dear readers, Nothing makes my day brighter than meeting you. Everyday, I still get thrilled over receiving an email notification that a comment has been left on my blog and yes, after four whole years, I still try my best to reply to all of them. Bumped into blog readers Jemai and Monica during the Yummy cooking demo. You guys make my day. The times when I would get to meet readers who would tell me how my travel entries have helped them with their own itineraries. Really, nothing makes me feel more fulfilled as a blogger than knowing that I was able to help..in my own little way, I hope I have contributed in making your trips more fun and satisfying (for your eyes and tummy at least). Knorr endorsers Annie and Frannywanny and Yummy lover Bajeng Just recently, I met up with 4 college students who have been readers of my blog that they actually somehow have memorized a couple of restaurant reviews posted here. To say it's flattering is an understatement. Pau

A new airline in town: AirAsia Philippines

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Looks like we, Filipinos, will be able to travel more often come 4th quarter of this year as we welcomed AirAsia Philippines that flew all the way from Toulouse, France and landed at the Diosdado Macapagal Airport in Clark, Pampanga last August 15. I shall step aside and let Paul tell you about his experience as he was able to witness the arrival of the new low-cost carrier that will definitely add more excitement to the travel industry. It's pretty obvious that Fran and I love to travel. In fact, we have been slowing down with our travel plans lately after a back-to-back vacation to the United States and to Taipei, Taiwan early this year. Traveling, despite how fun and enriching it may be, can really hurt your pocket if it wasn't planned and scheduled properly. Thankfully, as travelers, we get to have more options nowadays to travel within a budget. There are a lot of low-cost carriers that can fly domestic and international at a very cheap rate. Of course, you just h

Why I love my Scottie

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As I end this work week and am raring to start my long weekend, I came home to see my cute furry orange-brown pomeranian waiting for me. Scottie is a boy dog but instead of being fierce and scary, he's really sweet and adorable that he would wait for every single member of the family to get home before he finally sleeps at night. The moment we walk in, he would excitedly go around us turning around and around like a merry-go-round and he would sniff and lick our toes till we tell to stop. I love talking to Scottie, call me crazy but my little smart dog really do respond! Of course, he doesn't talk back (and I'm hoping he never will or that would freak me out) but check this video out on how he would react to my voice. It's totally hilarious it drove me nuts laughing for one full hour. Please ignore my nasal voice. :P I ♥ ♥ ♥ you, my dear Scottie. Stay as sweet, cute and funny as you always are.

Spanish Flair at Alba Restaurante Español in Tomas Morato

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"Hi, I'm Frannywanny and I'm a group buying site addict. *hic*" I have three favorite group buying sites that I frequent on a weekly basis. For me, they all have the best formula : good choices of restaurants + irresistible discounts and promotions All three sites offer the chance for me to either try a new restaurant or go back to an old favorite packaged with an amazing discount that helps me save and keep my wallet on a healthy state. How else can I say no? Recently, I bought two coupons from Deal Grocer that will enable Paul and I to partake in the daily buffet of Alba Restaurante Español -- a favorite Spanish restaurant of ours which we used to frequent with our families to celebrate certain milestones such as Paul's college graduation a few years ago. Admittedly, it has been a while since we've been back and when I bought the coupon, I wasn't even planning to make reservations as I thought the restaurant won't be full anyway. I'm g

Hyphy's at the Veranda of Robinsons Galleria

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I love having afternoon merienda (snack) with my sister. This is because, being a food lover like myself, a simple pack of saltine crackers is definitely not enough for her to qualify this as an afternoon snack. For us, our merienda may be in the form of a plate of fresh sashimi or sushi, a bowl of Tortilla chips complete with a wide-array of dips and a lot more. This habit we got while growing up with my Kongkong who would go the extra mile to cook a bowl of bihon soup or take us all out for a dimsum feast for merienda . One afternoon, we found ourselves strolling around Robinsons Galleria after one of my cooking demos (note: I organize cooking demos and am not the chef of the demo :P) . Since I was feeling a bit stressed out and tired from standing for hours and managing the crowd, she suggested that we grab something to eat. I just love my sister for giving amazing suggestions! Off we went to the new Veranda section of the mall. We've tried almost all of the restaurants

Chihuahua Mexican Grill and Margarita Bar

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Ay Chihuahua !  When I think of Mexican food , I think of crunchy taco, delicious burrito and huge glasses of margarita. In my mind, I paint a fun colorful picture of people eating, drinking and dancing. This was exactly the vibe that I got the moment I set foot inside Chihuahua , a new Mexican restaurant along busy Makati avenue. I was warmly greeted by owners Ines Cabarrus , Elian Habayeb and my dear friend Spanky who have arranged this fun get-together with fellow bloggers. We walked up towards the counter and the first thing I've noticed was that one wall was filled with bottles of hot sauce. These are all from the collection of the owners! I love staring at the colorful bottles, some even have a funny name.  I wonder how my collections of Donald Duck and Hello Kitty items as well as my Starbucks City Mugs would look like if I display them up as well? :P Truly a gracious host, Ines offered some drinks the moment we arrived -- I got a cup of Kool-Aid while Paul got som

Milk Tea Love at TeaTap Cafe in P. Guevarra, San Juan

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I truly appreciate restaurants and coffee shops that dedicates a sufficient amount of time and effort to details . For me details is just as important as making sure you get the word out there, it's just as crucial as ensuring that your products are of top quality. Details creates the best ambiance and by giving your customers a good feeling every time they step into your store will surely bring back bigger rewards. Tonight, Paul and I went out on a date. Yes, after killing ourselves with months filled with busy weekends, we decided to just relax and go out tonight. Let me tell you more about our *ahem* romantic dinner date in the next few days. What I'm excited to share is where we ended up hanging out for our night cap before heading back home. After dinner, I decided to text my two girl friends J1 and J2 to ask what were their Saturday night plans. J1 told me she's spending time with her family while J2 immediately called me and invited us to join her and boyfriend

[CONTEST ALERT!!!] Crumpler : Guess what's in the Bag?

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Lately, I've been feeling quite restless. Despite trying my best to relax every weekend, I feel that there's something missing... Today I woke up and realized that it has been 5 whole months since we've last traveled and that's when I got my answer. I miss traveling and that's what's missing in my life right now. Paul and I have been so busy that we haven't been out of Metro Manila since April for our Taiwan trip . For someone who used to travel at least once a month before, five months of no traveling activity is truly hazardous to my health. Well, we're taking it step by step. First, we've booked a couple of short trips scheduled in the next few months. Next, here I am again reading up on our next target destinations, soon will be working on our itineraries. Lastly, we were gifted with this amazing bag that we will surely be bringing with us on our next trip. It's a pretty Crumpler Spring Peeper with Wheels (Php. 9,850)! The perfect an

Selamat Menikmati : An Indonesian Feast at the Diamond Hotel

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My best friend T recently left for a month-long business trip to Indonesia . I still remembered that time when she told me about it and the first thing I said was, "Wow you're going to Bali? no? Bandah Aceh?" This made her laugh out loud and told me she's actually going to Jakarta, the capital city of Indonesia. I can't believe I actually forgot about Jakarta! Silly me... Looking at the map, I realized how close Indonesia is to our Mindanao region. In fact, Indonesia is the largest archipelago in the world and is one of the highly populated countries too. However, Indonesia is also blessed with a lot of natural resources making it a valuable trading partner for coffee, spices and a lot more. To be honest, when I think of Indonesia there are two main things that come to mind. First, their chips -- remember my entry about Matahari , my favorite snack kiosk that sells the best cassava chips? I love Indonesian chips and this is why I've been bugging T to

Gardenia Bakery Factory Tour in Laguna

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 Meet my first ever guest blogger. A man of few words yet his name is often times mentioned here in my blog. He would rather work behind his camera than to write up a storm like what I normally do. Between the two of us, our word ratio is probably around 5:1 but that doesn't make him a lousy story-teller. In fact, our days are filled with non-stop conversations with one another and I believe this has made our relationship grow and be more stronger. Meet my husband Paul as this is his blog debut here in Frannywanny.com and expect to hear more from him in the coming days, months and years! When Fran asked me if I want to join a group of bloggers to a trip to visit the Gardenia Plant , my first question was "who will be there?" While my wife is truly an extrovert where you can just let her go anywhere and expect that she'll make friends in a snap of a finger, I am rather shy and can stay quiet the entire day. I guess despite our differences, this is also where we

VISA Debit Card: Set yourself free….from CASH

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*SPONSORED POST* Ok, after all that dining out and food shopping, let us talk about MONEY . Not wanting to sound like Scrooge McDuck otherwise known as Uncle Scrooge to Donald Duck’s nephews, but let’s face it. Money is important and it indeed makes the world go ‘round. When I was younger, I thought money can easily be accessed from a wall where you just press a few digits and out comes cold hard cash. That was after watching my mom withdraw from the ATM. However, my parents did an amazing job at educating us about the value of money and it’s not as easy as pressing a few numbers to access money at any given time. At age 8, I learned how to budget my money. It was during our first out of the country trip when my dad gave me a small allowance. I can buy anything I want provided I have to keep it within budget. As impulsive a shopper that I may want to be, I had to think twice, thrice, a million times before finally picking up that Forever Friends stuffed toy from the shelf and stra

Impressions at the Maxims Tower, Resorts World

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Not all meals are created equal. I love to eat, that's true. However, in my many years of food tripping and blogging, there are just a handful of meals that really blew me away from start to end. No mistakes, no so-so dish, everything was simply delicious from appetizer down to dessert. Just recently, I had one of the best dinners that I've ever had so far. It was an intimate gathering with a few fellow food bloggers at the one-week-old restaurant called Impressions at the Maxims Tower and dinner was prepared by Chef Cyrille Soenen , former hotel executive chef and current owner of the French restaurant Cicou . Dinner began with a basket of freshly baked bread . I love warm bread especially when paired with an array of delicious spreads. I also noticed that the bread had a hole in the middle and it was because it was hanged like a kebab thus causing the metal rod to puncture a hole at the center of the soft dough. I was told that they don't fully bake the bread an

Maxims Tower in Resorts World Manila

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When I first heard that Manila will soon have a 6-star hotel, my initial impression was "who can actually afford to stay there?" Months passed and after the opening of the very impressive Marriott Hotel followed by the Newport Mall, the doors of the 6-star hotel named Maxims Tower formally opened to the public. Who would have thought that Paul and I would get invited to have a private dinner at Impressions and to check out the rooms in this all-suites hotel? Thanking our lucky stars, we headed to Maxims Tower one evening excited for the dinner and tour ahead. I will tell you more about the dinner in my next entry but let me give you a brief tour around the new Maxims Tower first. First and foremost, what makes Maxims Tower different from all the high-end hotels in Manila is that it's the only one that gives you your personal butler at any given time of the day. Yes, that's personalized butler service 24/7! Next, it's the only all-suites hotel in tow

[WARNING] On stealing photos and so much more

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Today, Paul was supposed to make his very first blog debut here at Frannywanny.com . He was supposed to share with you his experience when he joined a couple of bloggers to visit the Gardenia plant. He has been extremely excited about it that he would bug me every night when will I finally publish his entry. I promised him that I'll have it up today. However, I have to break my promise due to some unfortunate incident that I stumbled upon this morning. For some reason, I woke this morning thinking about the photos that I've posted here in my blog. I've been blogging for almost 4 years and have published a little more than 800 entries already. In every entry, I have an average of 4 photos. Majority were beautifully taken by Paul, some were shot by yours truly. Still I can say that we exert a lot of time and effort to create really good photos to match my story. At times, I have to borrow photos from brands or other websites and I can proudly say that all those have been c

Cyma Greek Taverna at Shangri-la Plaza Mall

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It has been a while since I've last visited Cyma , it has been 3 whole years in fact. Still, the memory of the delicious Roka Salata, the salty Lamb Chops and the to-die-for Skolatina still remains clear and vivid in my mind. Remember, I mentioned that I had a heavy lunch prior to visiting Sweet Pea last week ? This was because I joined my colleagues for lunch at Cyma Greek Taverna located at the nearby Shangri-la Plaza Mall and boy, we had a feast! Our lunch started with an order of Saganaki otherwise known as Flaming Cheese . Normally, the entire crew will shout OPA! as this was being served to you but I guess everyone was busy attending to the customers that the dramatic entrance of the flaming cheese somehow disappeared. Still, we enjoyed the crunchy buttery garlic bread and the delicious melted cheese. My only request was an order of Roka Salata . I can't have enough of this mix of fresh arugula and lettuce with candied walnuts, sundried tomatoes and parmesan che

Sweet Pea at the Venice Piazza, McKinley Hill

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As I entered the corporate world, I got to realize how much my mom and I tend to be so alike. The way we think, how we push ourselves to do our best, how we strive to achieve perfection...thus it's no secret that she has been my idol despite the many times we tend to argue and disagree. Someday I dream to be just like her. A successful and well-loved professional in her continuously growing career and a doting mom who has always been there for us 24/7. What a super woman, huh? Despite my mom's hectic schedule, she still makes time to bond with us once in a while. Take last week for example, while waiting for my sister to get off work, Mommy invited me to have merienda with her at Venice Piazza in McKinley Hill . I was excited because there's actually a couple more restaurants there that I've been wanting to check out and this includes Sweet Pea . I've seen photos from fellow bloggers about the cute country-like interiors and knowing that this is the brainchild

Ukkokei Ramen Ron, The Best Ramen in Town!

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Back in high school, I had a very nasty teacher who made the class believe that I do nothing but daydream. She would continue to torment me making her 60-minute Algebra class feel like the longest hour of my high school life. Boy, I'm so glad I only had her for a year and we never crossed path since. *phew* Even how often I look back, I know in my heart that I wasn't daydreaming, dozing off maybe but not daydreaming. I think the only time one gets to daydream are during times when we have experienced something truly amazing, agree? I daydream about shopping in Hong Kong, enjoying the waters of Boracay, getting a massage, sinking my teeth in my friend Irene's Quezo de Bola cheesecake and the list goes on and on. Now tell me, why on earth would I daydream during an Algebra class? Yesterday, Paul and I met up with half of The Foodie Club for lunch. I was extra excited for this as we headed to Ukkokei Ramen Ron along Pasay Road in Makati which has been on my list for a

Mercato Centrale Weekend Market : Top 7 Picks!

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Aside from being busy with my professional career (a.k.a. day job) and being a food and travel blogger, I am also an amateur entrepreneur where I wake up early every Saturday morning to head to Mercato Centrale at the Bonifacio Global City to assist Paul in manning our stall. Despite the never-ending yawns and the struggle to keep my heavy eyelids open, I enjoy each market day as I get to interact with our customers who are simply amazing. In addition to this, what makes us enjoy being part of Mercato Centrale is the fact that we have been lucky with a lot of great food finds from our neighboring stalls. Let me share with some of my Mercato Centrale favorites: 1) Mochiko Ice Cream Owned and operated by one of the coolest couples I know, Mochiko has been in business for more than a year and they still continue to come out with amazing flavors that never fails to tickle your taste buds. I stay loyal to two particular flavors -- Caramel (which has my favorite FIC Caramello Co

Retox : Ice Cream with an Attitude

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I remember saying once before that I'm getting drunk with dessert. What I really meant then was I was experiencing sheer dessert overload leaving me in such a happy, drunken state. That was before I was introduced to Retox Ice Cream which is definitely NOT your regular wholesome ice cream. For one thing, this is off-limits for the kids (sorry kiddos!) as it's mixed with various liquors that complements the ice cream flavor. This is perfect for people like me who simply do not appreciate the taste of beer, wine or any other alcoholic drink at all as the ice cream somehow covers the bitter taste of the alcohol. I got to try all 6 flavors of Retox and each have varying alcoholic content. To guide you further, their menu has martini glass labels to show the alcohol strength. For instance, the one flavor that will surely get you tipsy could probably be the Whiskey Hangover while the The Ex-Lover is just right for alcoholic newbies like me.

Va Bene Pasta Deli

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Va Bene when translated in Italian means "ok", "alright", or "just right". Given the very positive sounding name, Paul and I drove all the way to Makati to meet up with our friends L and T in this little pasta deli within the same compound of the Petron Gas Station . Their big day is fast approaching and we can feel the excitement (more of it coming from us) and the tension (more from them) . However, knowing how organized my friend L is I'm sure everything will go as planned and I can't wait to witness their special day. It's amazing, we began double-dating just around the same time T was courting L and Paul was courting yours truly. Later on, we became a couple two years before they did (obviously, my friend L was really hard to get! haha) and imagine our excitement when L told me that they're engaged just a few months after Paul and I tied the knot! We really are soul sisters as we seem to be celebrating the same milestones in life

Ba Noi's Vietnamese Restaurant - - A Taste of Vietnam in Manila

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After enjoying a couple of Thai specialties at Nav with my colleagues last Friday, Paul and I joined our dear friends Richard, Irene and adorable Lauren for lunch one rainy Sunday. This time we headed to Makati excited for our Vietnamese feast. Shameless plugging alert: I've been craving for Asian dishes lately, I guess this is after going through the August issue of Yummy Magazine that features a LOT of yummy Asian recipes *drool* . So..grab your copy NOW! A couple of months ago, Richard and I purchased a coupon each from Metro Deal Philippines . This coupon will allow us to have a four-course Vietnamese meal for two for only Php. 445 at Ba Noi's . What a steal! Since it will be our first time to try Ba Noi's we figured out that given how reasonable the price of the coupon is, it won't be too painful on the pocket should our meal fails to meet our expectations. Let me share with you the dishes that were served to us by Ba Noi's : From the moment we sa