10 Things I Love About the Buffet Meals at Apulit Island Resort

My friends on Facebook are often bombarded with my food photos. It is a good thing they have not blocked me yet. Haha! No, I do not have Instagram. (Do I hear cheers?) I have not yet littered spammed graced the world with food photos. Well, not until now. This post is all about the food we ate at El Nido Resorts’ Apulit Island Resort.

Apulit Island Resorts’ rate include buffet meals. I got a 4 days- 3 nights prize so I counted 9 buffet meals. (This is how I applied my math degree. Pretty handy, eh? hehe! 🙂 ) We were scheduled to be fetched at the Taytay port at 2pm. So, we ate lunch at this nice restaurant near the port. This is also where we were asked to wait for the boat when I called the resort two days prior to our arrival.

We had squid for lunch, by the way. For its P50 price, our tummy was filled.  Plus, we ordered crab and corn soup which I forgot to take a photo.

In the middle of our lunch, Aris, our guide for that trip already approached us.  Their boat was already docked hours before because they brought some guests back to Taytay earlier. Remember that I counted 9 buffet meals? We arrived in the resort at around 1pm and the buffet lunch was still served. I figured we were not entitled to this lunch. However, one staff cheerfully invited us to lunch.  We told him we had lunch already. He further convinced us, “There are desserts.  Besides, lunch is free.”  We gladly welcomed the idea.  This was my simple lunch plate.

Instead of documenting every plate we had, I will only show my favorite dishes.  Again, if we put to good use my math degree and count plates, we will get: 2 people x 9 meals x 3 plates per meal (at least) + 2 plate for that extra lunch=56 photos! And I did not even count the number of  angles I shot. Ha!

I’d be lying if I say that all the food in Apulit is delicious. There were some dishes that I did not like. Eggplant lasagna for one because I do not like eggplant. hehe! The pasta dishes are not “filipinized” (meaning, not a lot of meat, sauce and cheese) so they did not tickle my “uncultured” palate.  😉

Here are the ten things I love about the buffet meals in El Nido Resorts’ Apulit Island Resort:

1. The salad bar.

I do not eat vegetables a lot but I like lettuce, cucumber and carrots in salads so I ate those with every meal in the island. I switched between two dressings: thousand island and calamansi.  I topped the salad with lots of parmesan cheese. 😀

There were prepared salads. They offered different choices every meal.

My aunt even noticed that she had better bowel movement digestion process while on vacation.

2. Bread station. A toaster was placed beside the different breads so we had the option to heat our bread.

During breakfast, there were 4 types of marmalade to choose from.

I only tried the mango marmalade. Where was my adventurous spirit? My friend pointed that out when she viewed my photos on Facebook.  I must remember that next time. I guess I feared not leaving with empty plates. I got used to Filipino “eat-all-you-can” places where you get fined when you have unfinished food.  😀

We have not tried all the different breads though.  We wanted to leave space for the main course. 😀

3. Breakfast is love. I love their breakfast because it was where I got to eat my favorite dishes: tocino, bacon, pancakes, spanish sardines, salted egg, longganisa.  Yumyum.

There were cereals, too! I mixed cornflakes, muesli, banana clusters and dried mango in this one. <3

4. Dessert station. Guests from other countries trooped to the fruit selections: watermelon, mango, pineapple, papaya and melon. I am proud of our Philippine mango. I don’t know how many times the resort replenished their mango platter. Mangoes are crowd pleasers.  I also saw guests enjoying the self-service halo-halo station. I chose only ube and nata de coco (I don’t like beans) for my halo-halo and topped it with mango.  I  took a slice from mango plate and scooped out the flesh. 😀

There were other desserts like cakes, cookies and tarts which I gladly tried. They were not as memorable as the desserts I tried in other bakeshops in the country but they were enough to add sweetness to my meals.

5. The grill station. We got grilled sausages, pork, fish, beef and shrimps. We just pointed what meat we want and asked the cook to grill for us. We did not even have to wait for it to be grilled. We went to our table and the waiter brought the dish to us.

6. The open space.  I love that restaurant area is large and allows guests a panoramic view of the place.  It also showcases ingenious Filipino architecture: straw roofing and ample ventilation.

It is clear that I focused on eating and food photos because I have no photo of what the restaurant area looks like.  Anyway, it is built like their bar and game area.

7. The view from the restaurant area is spectacular. We often sit where there is no distraction from seeing the beautiful landscape.  It is pretty when the sun is up and even when it is raining.

8. The staff is wonderful. I already wrote in the previous post that our water goblets are refilled before we even realize we need them refilled.  The moment we set foot on the restaurant we were ushered to our favorite seats without us telling them. They pulled our chair and help us carry our plates (yes, plural).  They removed our plate once we are done leaving no proof of our bottomless appetite. 😀

Look! No proof that we have eaten… a lot!

9. Chit-chatting. We paced our food intake. We spent around an hour eating our meals. In between bites we talk about how beautiful the island is and how exciting the different activities for the day.

10. Entertainment. During our last dinner in the resort, we were lucky to be entertained by talented Apulit staff. Music was a mix of popular OPM music and mainstream American music.

Sorry for my blurry photos:

We really enjoyed Apulit’s buffet meals.

Please don’t judge me by what I ate. HA!



The Best Lechon

I just found out that Twitter has an “embed this tweet” option. I used to screen capture the tweet and add the captured photograph as an image to blog post. Now there is an option to just embed using some html codes. Cool! Travel Time posted this question on May 2.

Travel Time agreed.

Truth is, there were only a few occasions where I tasted non-Butuan lechon and I forgot how they taste like. The lechon I enjoy most is the one from our suking lechonero.  The skin is crispy and tasty. I can taste the spices in the meat (garlic, salt , pepper, lemongrass).  Our lechon does not need any sauce although I prefer to dip it in vinegar with salt and garlic. The non-crispy part of the skin (tummy area) is not tough; it is soft like lechon paksiw.  Yummy!

When I wrote “the best”, it is based on my own experience and preference.  I am not inciting argument with other regions who are also known to have a good recipe for lechon.  This is just my love for my hometown showing (or my love for good food). I search through my folders of photos for lechon and I found the photos where some parts of it were already eaten.  It only shows that we cannot resist lechon. This is the only decent lechon photo I have and there is a flower vase blocking it! The safest thing to say is: The best roasted pig is found in the Philippines!

Source: facebook.com via Anton on Pinterest


Beat the summer heat even without Magnum

This is not a Magnum post.  I still have not tried Magnum. Even if I want to, I can’t find one in my city. I resisted buying one when it was introduced to avoid the craze. Now that there are no more stocks left, I want one! HA!

Here’s an interesting infographics on Magnum by myManila.net.

Sorry for being sidetracked there.

Here is the formula to beat summer heat: FRUIT+ MILK + SUGAR.

Avocado in my part of the world is dessert. 😀

We cut these in halves.

We scoop out the fleshy meat.

Blend with sugar and milk.

This is the same device as this one. It is 5-in-1 wonder.

After blending, we freeze the mixture to make ice candy…

and sherbet.

But wait there’s more! ( I sound like an infomercial)

We can try another fruit. How about melon?

We cut the fruit in half.

We scoop out the seeds. Don’t throw them yet. Strain them to get the juice.

We grate the flesh; mix with milk, sugar and the strained juice.  Refrigerate.

And we have this for dessert.

For days when we do not have fruit in the kitchen, we dig into our pockets and look for P20 to buy this one.

I like the white chocolate flavor.

This is Day 15 of the 30-day blogging challenge.

Business Idea: Poultry

Two weeks ago, we were invited to check out the chicken farm of my aunt’s friend.  I was not really invited. My aunt asked her friend if she could bring me along. The farm is located the one of the barangays in the city I have never been to so I welcomed the opportunity to see the place.

The farm is built in an almost 2-hectare land on an elevated area of the city. I have not seen these many chickens in my entire life.  I was busy taking photos but I think the owner said that there were 11,000 chickens in this farm.  Just imagine the revenues.

The chickens need to be hydrated all the time. You can see water is available all around the coop.  When we went there, there was one that died of heatstroke.

As you can see, this is NOT the free-range chicken type.

This is how the business works. Big corporations like Magnolia, Swift and Bounty Fresh provide the chicken farmer with the chicks and feeds. They come back one month after to buy the chickens that have the desired weight. (Or was it two months? I was not listening well.)  The chicken farm should be able to produce 90% (just an estimate made by me to do the math) of such chickens.  Of the 11,000 chicks, there should be 9,900 grown chickens ready for the dinner table. The 1,100 chickens that did not make the cut in weight are usually given to the people in the barangay. I do not know how much these corporations pay for every chicken that made the cut. The owner said that he makes a clean profit at around P150,000 per ‘harvest’. By the way, there are also buyers of chicken dung.

Businesses come with risks. This kind of business needs a large capital outlay to build a farm.  Building those large chicken houses requires money. Banks do not lend to businesses with an agricultural land as collateral. Poultry business stinks (literally) so you need an area away from city. In this case, we were were already in the mountains. They have trusted farm hands. Remote areas can have security risks. Since chickens need water, the owners had to build a huge water tank that required huge electric bills for water pumps (around P12,000).   If you can handle all those disadvantages, this is a viable business idea.

There is a part of me who wished that the 2-hectare land was planted with trees instead.

There are other animals in the farm.

Dogs help secure the area.

We had fried chicken for dinner that night.    😀

Faunus ater

Faunus ater is a species of snails found in brackish water.(Source: Wikipedia)

I googled the name and I found out that there are people who grow them in their aquariums.  Some people even posted Youtube videos of the snails in aquarium.

This is Faunus ater. In local dialect, we call this Banisil.  We bought this for Php10 per can at the wet market.

This was my lunch last Thursday. If the French has escargot, I had banisil in coconut cream with ginger. Fancy, huh?

To eat this, you pick a shell and suck the meat inside. Notice the first picture, those were the uncooked snails and the ends had already been cut so it is easier to suck the meat when there is an “exhaust” for the air to escape. The meat comes in two textures. You get to eat the cartilaginous top first and the end which has a sandy texture last. I quickly got full. It can be due to the coconut cream or the tendency to suck air inside instead of the meat.  (Hello, flatulence!)

What did you have for lunch?

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