Jun 30, 2013

Baguio City : O' Mai Khan Mongolian BBQ & Hot Pot

I've been to Baguio several times but this is my first time to dine at O' Mai Khan. I heard they've been around since the 90's. I guess I've been spending too much time in the "pansitan" lol.

O' Mai Khan

My previous post, 24 Hours in the City of Pines mentioned about my little research on how they derived their name. Mistaken it to be related to Genghis Khan, the term was actually coined from an Ilocano word "umay kan" which means come here.

O' Mai Khan

The place can accommodate large groups of diners and very ideal for family gatherings. Prices are very reasonable and their menu offers a wide selection of dishes not solely exclusive to Mongolian cuisine but of course their specialty is Mongalian barbeque and hotpot.

O' Mai Khan
Although my appetite is not bent on eating more after that very filling Forest House lunch I had, nonetheless I'm not going to say no to a Mongolian bowl.

While some of us opted for ala carte servings many still headed to the Mongolian section and do their own concoctions of veggies and meat ingredients to their hearts content. The sauces are plenty but I always leave that part out and just advised the person in charge that I like it sweet and spicy.

O' Mai Khan

The place is full which explains why the line is long but our friend is all smiles, well it's already his turn and he made this dinner happen, thanks Mike ;).

O' Mai Khan

O' Mai Khan
Mongolian Bowl = 210 (adult)  Mongolian Hot Pot =  420 (good for 4)
The Mongolian bowl didn't turn out the way I want it, not spicy at all. Maybe the manang in charge got confused and mixed it up due to the volume of people around and the veggies are too soggy. I hope I'll have a better experience next time and I need to do my own sauce concoction to meet the taste I desired. The soup is right on, just enough to ease my still full tummy. 
O' Mai Khan
Calamansi Pie = 75 pesos   Strawberry Milk Shake = 70  pesos (not sure)
For desserts, I have to recommend this duo. I love how the calamansi pie tasted, it got the exact blend of sweetness and tanginess and I can't get enough of the milk strawberry shake.

Include O' Mai Khan in your food trip itinerary when you visit Baguio City. Your travel will never be complete without eating there.

Upper Session Road (Engineer's Hill), Rizal Park, Baguio
Telephone: +63 74  442-5885

Related Posts about BAGUIO

Jun 22, 2013

Baguio City: Forest House Bistro & Cafe

Forest House Bistro and Cafe represents what Baguio should be all about, warm, hospitable and intimate. Visiting this place definitely brought back the good old days of Baguio where you can just sit back and relax, feel the cozy ambiance while savoring the scent of the pine trees, the aroma of a freshly brewed Benguet coffee and the warmth of dining with your friends or family. It's the ultimate dining experience one should have while in Baguio.

Forest House Bistro & Cafe

I heard the place gets really packed during dinner time so a reservation would ensure a seat if you plan to dine in this place. They also have a musician playing at night.

I would also suggest ditching your diet plans for a day to truly experience how a Forest House meal should be enjoyed.

Baby Back Ribs, Forest Bistro and Cafe
Baby Back Ribs, PhP 445.00
We ordered comfort food which if translated in other words meant sumptuous, fattening and very filling :).

Forest House Bistro and Cafe
Forest House Bouillabaisse, PhP 120.00
After enjoying the heavy feast, a cup of Benguet coffee will seal the deal but do take your time and enjoy every bite.

Forest House Bistro and Cafe Menu Prices
Forest House Menu
Forest House Bistro and Cafe is located at No. 16 Loakan Road, Baguio City.

Related Stories :

24 Hours in The City of Pines

Jun 21, 2013

24 Hours In The City of Pines

Baguio, otherwise known as the City of Pines is a favorite weekend getaway for most Pinoys to escape the extreme heat that envelopes the metropolis during summer season and for us, it's a perfect barkada hangout to bond with your bestest buddies.

Baguio City

It was one Throwback Thursday when a friend posted an old picture of us in Baguio circa 99, several comments followed rekindling the memories until a plan was hatched on that FB thread to revisit Baguio the following week.

How did we make the most of our short stay in the City of Pines?


6:00 AM  : Northbound via SCTEX
We left Quezon City and headed North via SCTEX (Subic Clark Tarlac Expressway) at exactly 6 in the morning on board a comfy ride with a driver in tow. The ride was fast with almost no traffic in sight once we entered SCTEX. 

8:00 AM : Breakfast at Max, Hacienda Luisita Tarlac
We stopped by at Hacienda Luisita Tarlac to have our breakfast at Max. It took me a serving of garlic rice, fried egg, chicken longganisa and a cup of brewed coffee to finally say my morning is complete and my friends each had their champorado which they feel were incomplete without a serving of "tuyo" on the side. Max restaurant might consider a slight change on their menu next time :-). 
Breakfast at Max, Hacienda Luisita

10:30 AM : Reached La Union Arc

After one hour and a half engrossed with the chit chats we resumed our road trip and reached my most missed arc bearing the word " La Union" by 10:30 AM, it's actually my hometown which I've not visited in more than a couple of years.
La Union Arc

11:30 AM : Baguio via Kennon Road
I don't remember ever passing Kennon Road going to Baguio, so this is officially my first time to see the LION's Head and a photo op definitely followed. And I think I'll be passing Kennon road on my next trips to Baguio, well except on rainy days. It wasn't as dangerous as the thought I had in mind and the views of the mountainsides, waterfalls and pine trees are very refreshing, add to that is the fact that it's the shortest route to Baguio however a 15 pesos toll fee must be paid.
Lion's Head at Kennon Road

12:00 Noon : Bargain hunting at Mile Hi Center, Camp John Hay

We reached Camp John Hay by this time and the first activity we had when we saw the numerous branded outlet stores lining up at the Mile Hi Camp John Hay is to go bargain hunting but not the ukay ukay style. I think Camp John Hay is the best place to experience Baguio :)

Mile Hi Center, Camp John Hay

1:00 PM : Lunch at Forest House Bistro Cafe

We drove a little pass Camp John Hay to Forest House to have our lunch at this very cozy ambiance resto place. I was actually hoping to stay here for a night but their 4 bed and breakfast rooms are always occupied. Most of us had steaks which I believe is their specialty. I got baby back ribs and it was juicy, tender and tasty and very filling leaving me full even up to dinner. After the chit chats to the max, with one friend who ditched the plan to join us on the last minute became the main topic of our convo and unfriending him on FB seemed to be the funny plan to teach him a lesson became an agreement :) Well, it has an expiry period and as of this writing it already ended ;)
Forest House Bistro Cafe

2:30 PM : Pasalubong shopping at Good Shepherd Convent
We headed to Good Shepherd to buy our favorite pasalubongs from Baguio. The most requested are the ALFAJOR cookies with caramel filling (this is my fave), Ube Jams and the Snowball cookies. You'll actually spend more than a thousand if you buy all the delicious goodies from there but you are doing a good deed because you're helping their vocation of sending their Cordillera youths to school. It's also where you can buy a cup of civet "alamid" coffee at a lesser price of 75 pesos per cup. If you're intrigued with the taste, its like any strong brewed coffee, just don't mind how it was processed instead just take note you're sipping the most expensive variety of coffee beans ;).
Pasalubongs from Good Shepherd

3:00 PM :  Checked in at Hotel Veniz
We checked in at Hotel Veniz for a night stay. The place is strategically located in the downtown area and places of interest in Baguio are easily accessible on foot. The amenities are fairly decent (with no ghostly sightings heard of, hehehe) and the room rates are very reasonable that include a buffet breakfast for two which was ample and more than satisfying considering we only paid 1,800 a night, good for two pax. We rested a bit and set the alarm at 6PM to remind us of our dinner plan.
Hotel Veniz view from Burnham Park

7:00 PM : Session Road and Baguio night chill
Walking the whole stretch of Session Road until O Mai Khan was the plan to feel  Baguio's night chill but the uphill walk until SM left most of us gasping for breath and so with the remaining 20 meters left, we all boarded our ride and in no time reach the venue of our dinner, O' Mai Khan.
Session Road

7:30 PM : Dinner at O' Mai Khan Grill and Hot Pot
O' Mai Khan was already packed when we arrived but our gracious host made an early reservation. The place looked like a popular dining hangout and also my first time, it was really a treat. Their specialty is Mongolian barbecue buffet and hot pot. I thought O' Mai Khan was related to Genghis Khan as what the pictures posted on their walls seemed to convey but my inquisition revealed that O' Mai Khan is a derivative of the Ilocano word "umay kan" which means please come over, well, I've heard that quite a million times in our household ;) . We enjoyed the dinner treat and happy to meet our nice and gracious host and his family courtesy of our friend. Food is tasty, healthy and priced reasonably, no wonder the place is packed. And if you're looking for sweets, please try their calamansi pie, its perfect for my taste, sweet and tangy. 
O' Mai Khan

9:30 PM : Back at Hotel Veniz
I was hoping to go ukay ukay hunting just within the vicinity of our hotel and I heard it's open until wee hours but the exhaustion finally caught us and found my room mate snoring once she touched the bed. So I called it a night, took a long hot shower and tune in to Abbey Road on cable tv with John Mayer featured and that capped my night until I doze off.
Hotel Veniz


6:00 AM : Early morning walk at Burnham Park
Woke up early to feel the morning breeze and what better way to do so is by strolling at Burnham Park which is just a few steps away from our hotel. The place looks better from the last time  I can remember and I saw quite a number of joggers, health buffs and tourists that early in the morning. Bought a cup of strawberry taho from the first vendor I spotted, sat in a corner and savor the moment while watching a colorful looking group strut their aerobics steps. Also spotted a vendor selling some silver jewelry and bought a strawberry designed bracelet and a rose themed set of earrings, necklace and ring all for just 200 pesos, what a steal! I happened to be the first customer. :)
Burnham Park, Baguio

8:00 AM : Back at the Hotel Veniz for Buffet Breakfast
I ring my room mate friend since I can't enter our floor without a key card and that woke her up, told her to follow me at the Hotel Cafe for our breakfast and did the same for our couple friends on the other room. I was more than satisfied with the breakfast buffet selection the hotel offered, not expecting that they can serve this range for the price we paid.
Hotel Veniz Breakfast Buffet

10:00 AM: Check Out and Stopovers
All packed and ready to go back home, we checked out and stopped by at Camp 7 to buy fresh fruits and veggies and a stop over again at the Lion's head to buy the better tasting strawberry taho.

We actually timed our arrival at Urdaneta City, Pangasinan to coincide with lunch at Matutina's Seafood House. The place is full and more are coming in and so we were directed to the annex area where we devoured the fresh seafood, Pangasinan style. 
Matutina's Seafoods

Baguio or City of Pines or Summer Capital whatever name you wish to call it remains the ideal place to spend a quick getaway, revisiting my roots, rekindling memories and still savoring the many flavors the place has to offer.

Jun 18, 2013

Tiger Airways offers the freedom to fly with the free airfare promo

Filipino flyers get a chance to fly to their favourite destinations (local or international) for FREE as part of the launching of Tiger Airways Philippines. 

Tiger Airways

“We at Tiger Airways Philippines embrace the simple belief that travel is about bringing people closer to their desires and experiences.  One way of making air travel more accessible is through offerings such as the free fare promo,” says Olive Ramos, President and CEO of Tiger Airways Philippines.

Flights booked on www.tigerairways.com from June 1 until June 30, 2013 and with travel dates from July 1 to September 30, 2013 can be availed with for free. Among the destinations that Tiger Airways Philippines flies to are Singapore, Bangkok, Hong Kong, and local destinations such as Clark, Laoag, Bacolod, Kalibo, Cebu, Iloilo, Tacloban, and Puerto Princesa. It has also increased its flight frequency between Manila and Bacolod, and Cebu and Kalibo. A Singapore to Kalibo route will also be launched on July 18, making the carrier the only one to directly fly this route.
“Travellers now have more freedom to choose an airline that is safe, reliable and seamless.  We are offering this free fare promo for everyone to get a chance to experience the joy of finding a travel partner that understands their needs and truly cares for them.” Ramos adds.
Tiger Airways Philippines carries a distinguished regional brand that gives importance to safety and reliability, while offering the best value fare to travellers.  The airline operates Airbus A320 and A319, with wider leg rooms to give added comfort to its passengers. 

For more details, log on to www.tigerairways.com or like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/flyseair

Sometimes, the best things in life, are still, FREE.  

Jun 11, 2013

Flights operated by Tiger Airways Philippines

A new Tiger has arrived - and it brings with it a promise of a great adventure, memorable experiences, and the excitement of a new journey.

Tiger Airways
Known as the leading and most trusted value-for-money carrier in Southesast Asia, Tiger Airways Philippines will make its formal debut in the skies beginning July 10

“Tiger Airways is the leading airline and travel partner connecting people across Asia Pacific. It is a distinguished regional brand that differentiates itself in terms of safety and reliability,” says newly-appointed president and chief executive officer (CEO) Ms. Olive Ramos.

Committed to bringing its customers its brand of friendly, high-quality service,  and excellent standards of security,  Tiger Airways Philippines promises to make travel around Asia more enjoyable. 

With the Philippines poised to become Asia’s next tiger economy, Tiger Airways anticipates more flights connecting the country to its Asian neighbors – and even beyond, in the coming years. “It’s a niche we are eager and equipped to serve,” adds Tiger Airways’ chief.

Currently, Tiger Airways flies to Singapore, Bangkok, Hong Kong from Manila and Clark. Locally, it serves travelers going to Laoag, Bacolod, Kalibo, Cebu, Iloilo Tacloban and Puerto Princesa. 

Next month, Tiger Airways will add another feather to its cap when it marks a milestone - the Kalibo and Singapore route, the first and only airline to offer such route.

“We embrace the simple belief that travel is about bringing people closer to their dreams and about enabling great experiences, and memories,” adds Ramos. 

The new Tiger Airways Philippines will offer great value and seamless experience. Together with the Filipino personnel’s warm and hospitable traits, the airline will be “the one to beat” in the coming years, she adds.

The birth of Tiger Airways Philippines brings along with it the technology and business savvy of Tiger Airways as it offers travelers greater accessibility to the rest of Southeast Asia. It does not only commit to high performance standards and innovation, it also confident about keeping its venture more sustainable for stakeholders. 

Tiger Air embodies a ‘can-do’ and respectful spirit, according to Ramos. “We will continuously pursue for roaring excellence. We are going to be the airline of choice!”

For more details log on to www.tigerairways.com

Jun 5, 2013

To Fly Cebu Pacific Air or Not?

As of lately, Cebu Pacific Air has been figuring in a number of mishaps and complaints that are mostly valid and reasonable. The recent incident involving Cebu Pacific Flight 5J971 overshooting the Davao airport runway resulted in calls to boycott the airline due to the reported ineptness of the airline personnel in handling the events that followed.
Cebu Pacific Air Propeller Plane
CebuPac's Propeller Plane 
While I totally understand where the complaints are coming from, I think the most logical thing to do is not to call for an immediate boycott of a particular airline until a thorough investigation had been completed but instead to demand for a stricter enforcement of all our airline's air safety standards be it a low cost airline or high charging ones. I'm glad all passengers came out unscathed but the episode most likely brought them some trauma, which I hope I won't get to experience in my lifetime. On a positive note though, this incident will force authorities to look into our airline's standard operating procedures and beef up all precautions to avoid this similar happenings. I hope!

Will I still fly Cebu Pacific Air? Yes, I will for the many reasons I'll mention below. Please note, this isn't a paid post. I'm not even soliciting for sponsored trips. I can pretty much pay for my air tickets because low cost airlines made that possible.

 And I'll stick to my mantra as follows in dealing with any situation, it always work;
  • Accidents do happen, we can only prepare and pray so much that it wont happen to us
  • Be grateful and be humble, people can only do so much, the rest is up to us.
  • If you find yourself about to complain, think of your many blessings and rejoice!
  • In this world, you get what you pay for but if you're nice you might get extra freebies
I'm still flying Cebu Pacific Air because they made me realized that travelling is affordable. That places and wishes which were just dreams before can actually happen. That it is possible to bring my family to nice places and can even afford to buy tickets for friends. And in the many instances that I've flown Cebu Pacific Air, maybe I was just blessed or just utterly prepared, I never once encountered a distressing flight or an arrogant customer service personnel, or got refused to board in, or was treated any badly. Many times, I have nice stories to tell like the CS guy who gladly assisted us from check in to boarding when there's a need for a wheel chair to carry mom when my family went to Hong Kong or the cabin crews we've  befriended while on flight and the many times I've won in their bring me game ;).

And that is just my opinion, if you feel unsafe flying Cebupac, you are very much entitled to cross them out from your airline list. But as for me, I'm praying and hoping that Cebu Pacific Air will rise up to the occasion and continue to provide safety packed low cost travels and more fun memories to come. 

Jun 2, 2013

LOVE is a 4 Letter Word and so is MRAZ

When I'm feeling a certain way, there are 3 JMs I listen to, one of them is Jason Mraz, my constant travel companion who never fails to put me in a better mood :). The music of Mraz reminds me of beach parties, fun road trips with friends and the 4 letter word LOVE and last May 14, I rekindled those feelings again watching him perform live here in Manila at Smart Araneta Center.

Jason Mraz in Manila
He isn't Mr. Wordplay for nothing

And to give you an idea how the show went, let the lyrics of one of his song describe the event ...

    It's "A-W-E-S-O-M-E" ................ he "fu*kin did it"!!!

The show's front act, the used to be random girl but now a certified recording artist named Zendee was introduced by no other than Jason Mraz himself while wearing his signature fedora hat, t-shirt and jeans. It was a delight to hear her perform. The powerful voice managed to grab my attention as she belted those high notes and then returned to do a duet with Jason Mraz on the popular song "LUCKY".

I love how songwriters play with words and it's not hard to understand why I'm a big fan of Mr. Wordplay. His lyrics promote worry free philosophy and lots of gratitude, and really easy listening tunes that evoked warmth and happy feelings, the kinds we need to hear and ponder to these days. 

There were many highlights of the show and for me those that stood out are the ones where he played one of my personal fave; A Beautiful Mess, the acapela moment he did with the song PLANE, no guitars included, the highly revved up number with one of the member of his band, Mona Tavakoli performing "You Fuckin Did It", the mash up of his song "I'm Yours" with Bob Marley's "Little Birds" and of course the heartfelt song "The Woman I Love" while leaving these words to his audience “We all know how the ladies can go a little bit crazy sometimes. They cry and they whine and they forget how great they are. And the worst thing about having them say nasty things about us, is when they start saying nasty things about themselves.” ..... true, right?

Jason Mraz in Manila
Mraz with his Band
Jason Mraz performed 19 songs and 3 encores to a jam-packed and sold out crowd, all hoping he'd come back for the 5th time soon to once again capture the hearts of Pinoy fans.

grabbed this cover photo from Jason Mraz's FB page, the finale shot, Manila, Araneta Center  ;)

Failed to catch Jason Mraz's concert? Wanna hear his setlist? Its here ;) ...

Jason Mraz Setlist Araneta Coliseum, Manila, Philippines 2013, Tour Is A Four Letter Word

*** photo credits goes to my friend Cooky and of course the free tickets too, thanks mareng ;)


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