Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Texas Roadhouse Grill—Howdy!

Recently, my friend and I decided to meet up at Shangri-la mall’s new east wing. The area is populated by new and upscale restaurants. We decided that our late lunch will be at Texas Roadhouse Grill since my friend has already tried this resto (although at their branch in Bonifacio Global City)

It has a nice “cowboy” vibe as the interiors and furnishings are mostly wooden with wagon wheels. The waiters/waitresses are also in cowboy outfits.

They served complimentary peanuts while waiting for our orders.
complimentary peanuts

Since a single order is quite big for a petite girls like us, we requested it to be split into halves.

We had Roadhouse Lite Salad, a crisp salad mix tossed in red wine Dijon dressing topped with ripe mangoes, grapes, candied walnuts and blue cheese.
Roadhouse Lite Salad, PhP 250 (lone ranger)

We also ordered Beef with Pesto. This is US beef hanger steak marinated and grilled then topped with pesto olive oil and pico de gallo. It is served with fresh steamed veggies and roasted potatoes.
Beef with pesto, PhP 480

If you have kids with you, they have a kid’s meal which is “for children 12 years and under only.” A must try is their spaghetti.
spaghetti, PhP 135

In terms of taste and price, Texas Roadhouse Grill is comparable to other same-themed casual dining restaurants. But since I’m a fan of American cuisine—grills and steaks, I give this restaurant two thumbs up.

Texas Roadhouse Grill, Bonifacio High Street
Bldg. 1 Bonifacio High Street, Bonifacio Global City,Taguig
Contact: (02) 856-1547 / 856-2499
Texas Roadhouse Shangri-La Plaza
6/L East Wing, Shangri-La Plaza Mall
Edsa corner Shaw Blvd., Mandaluyong City

Thursday, February 06, 2014

Wakeboarding 101 at Republ1c Wakepark

Okay, I admit it. I don’t know how to swim so I’m not really that excited to participate in any water activities, much less to wakeboard! But through a prodding by a good friend, I gave it a try.

So off we go to Republ1c Wakepark in Nuvali. My friends and I left after lunch on a Friday so as to avoid the influx of weekend wakeboarders. There are various ways on how to get to the wakepark (better check their website at the end of this article).

We arrived at Repub1c Wakepark at mid-afternoon and scouted the area first before we registered. A tip--once you registered, that is when the time for the pass will start.

We watched as experienced wakeboarders do their thing at the Pro Area, which has obstacles, ramps, etc.on the artificial lake.

The Pro Area at night

There is also a Swimming Pool, Snack Bar and a Pro Shop where they sell wakeboards, wakeskates, bindings, helmets and vests.

We went back at the Registration Area and signed up a form and a waiver. We availed the 2 hour pass which is P470/pax (this was three months ago as of posting). Plus there’s a deposit fee of P800/pax which will be refunded after returning the wristband, life vest, and helmet.

We changed into our wakeboarding outfits in a spacious and comfortable restroom where you can also shower after the activity. It is advisable to wear rash guard and board shorts or leggings.

Bring as little stuff with you as possible as there are no lockers to leave your things while wakeboarding. You just leave them at the sort of gazebos/huts along the wakeboard area.

We proceeded to the Beginners’ Area where a few are waiting for their turn. There was a family with kids who regularly wakeboards and few groups of friends/officemates. For newbies, be not afraid--there’s also an instructor who will teach you the basics, like how to hold the cable, the proper stance, etc.

getting instructions

The Beginners’ Area is much smaller than the Pro Area. There’s a long, straight cable which just basically pulls you from one point to another. The instructor and my wakeboarder-friend told me to just hold on the cable’s handle and let it carry me through.

Dreadedly, it’s my turn! At the first pull of the cable, i was dragged into the water(as expected!). This happened a number of times until I finally got the hang of it and was able to wakeboard from the starting point to the end point.

I was my friends’ “butt” of jokes as what I was doing isn’t really wakeboarding but more of “butt-boarding.” I wasn’t able to stand on the wakeboard and I had this sort of sitting posture that my butt keeps on rubbing the surface of the artificial lake! (and it was awful,really)

Butt-boarding! children, do not try this at home!

Even with my body aching and many failed attempts, it was really a triumphant feeling to be able to “wakeboard.”  I somehow overcame my fear of water. I’ll definitely come back and next time, I’d really be able to stand on the wakeboard and maybe try the Pro Area!

For rates, schedules and directions, check out Repibl1c Wakepark’s official website:

Monday, February 03, 2014

CAPAS NATIONAL SHRINE: A Sidetrip to History

As part of Travel Factor’s Pinatubo Trek itinerary, we dropped by Capas National Shrine in Tarlac on our way back to Manila. There is a minimal entrance fee of PhP 10, which was already included in the package.

With still weak and trembling knees from the trek, I alighted the van and surveyed the place. The line of trees and the pavement leading to the monument reminds me of Rizal Park back in Manila.

The monument at the center is very tall and narrow. It is called an obelisk, which according to Wikipedia is “a tall, four-sided, narrow tapering monument which ends in a pyramid-like shape at the top.”

The obelisk is surrounded by a circular wall (“The Wall of Heroes”) made of dark marble which has about 70 thousand names of Filipino and American soldiers who suffered during the Bataan March. I tried to find someone on the list who has the same surname as mine. Who knows, I might have a distant relative who stood up heroically during the Japanese Occupation.

There were also rows of trees which gave me Koreanovela feels, but turns out that these trees were planted to represent each of the deceased.

Aside from the list of names, there were quotes and poetry engraved along the walls. And one that really tugged at my heart was this:

"This memorial is dedicated to the brave men and women who defied the might of the invaders at Bataan, Corregidor and other parts of the Philippines during World War II. Thousands died in battle, during the Death March, and while in captivity. Thousands more endured inhuman conditions at the prison camp in Capas, Tarlac. They suffered in the night so that their countrymen would wake to the dawn of freedom."

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