Escape to the Garden: Sonya’s Garden Tagaytay Philippines


My friend enjoying tea time at one of Sonya’s private botanical banquets

Even before my 2012 Vacation to the Philippines, I have been hearing of Sonya’s Garden through Philippine travel sites and returning vacationers. A hidden gem in the lush botanical mountains of Tagaytay about an hour and 30 minutes drive from Manila. My friend Nicky has been very eager in taking me to Sonya’s during my short stay in the Philippines and booked 2 day relaxation adventure. For some one who lives in the city, Tagaytay is an easy escape from the bustling stress of the metro. Fresh clean air, great views of the mountains and Taal Lake there are bountiful things to do in Tagaytay . Lush green scenery upon your drive, cool mountain temperature and local farmers selling fresh homegrown vegetables and fruits gives off such a relaxing and homey feel. Continue reading


Food Truck Finds: Mira Mesa Mondays: Devilicious

Devilicious Food Truck  - Butter Poached Lobster Grilled Cheese Sandwhich

Devilicious Food Truck – Butter Poached Lobster Grilled Cheese Sandwhich

It’s  been months since my last gourmet food truck meal. Here in San Diego, each day of the week food trucks gather at scheduled locations around the city.  My favorite being Mira Mesa Mondays, just by the parking lot of a local High School.

Today, I was very excited to see Devilicious that serves up a Grilled Cheese Lobster Sandwhich.  Again Lobster nuff said.

And the food truck people at God Save the Cuisine had rent a picnic blanket spread which we can set up along a small patch of grass walkway.

For more information about Devilicious and San Diego Food Truck schedules  visit  and

Sending out a Balikbayan Box to the Philippines

A balikbayan box container from Alas Cargo

A balikbayan box container from Alas Cargo

*** 2015 Update. Due to stricter custom inspection regulation on all Balikbayan Boxes to the Philippines, delivery time may be between 32-45 days to Manila or in some cases 55 days. And 45-60 Days to the provinces.  Custom Inspections are random and can hold batches of shipment in either US or Philippine shipping dock up to 2 weeks. Normal travel time of sea cargo shipments are between 28-30 days depending on weather conditions ****

The Balikbayan Box is forever associated with Filipino Overseas Workers (OFWs) and Immigrants that work hard for their family and friends abroad.
Balikbayan Boxes are care packages/pasalubongs sent by Filipino’s living or working overseas which are packed with various request and gifts for loved ones. Most commonly sent items are stuff toys, canned goods, chocolates, new and hand me down clothes, rubber shoes, DVD and games and other electronic knick knacks. When a vacationing Filipino visits the Philippines, she uses the same box as a luggage alternative packed with native souvenirs and presents they have bought for themselves.
Even with the advent of online shopping in which family members can now send gifts through local stores in the metro, other relatives that live far in the rural provinces often rely on getting these care packages-sometimes with some cash through Philippine forwarding cargo companies. Vacationers back to the Philippines use Door to Door Balikbayan services to ship out heavy luggage prior to their flights back home to avoid extra baggage fees at the airlines, something I do myself every time I fly back since I carry so much “pasalubong” for my relatives. Continue reading

Distant Words: Celebrating Final Fantasy Music on Comic Con 2013

Final Fantasy Distant World Concierto

I have been since as far as I can remember been a fan of the music from the Final Fantasy  and Kingdom Hearts series, my favortive two being Fantasia a la marcia from Kingdom hearts composed by Yoko Shinomura and Cloud Smiles from Final Fantasy Advent Children by Nobuo Uematsu.

Imigine the joy I had when I found out that Distant Worlds a concert tour that features the musc from Final Fantasy will be touring during Comic Con 2013 week in San Diego

They will be performing at the Embarcadero Marina South Park on Thursday, July 18 at 8:00 PM

Tickets are available for purchase from The San Diego Symphony Website at   as some seats are already sold out.

A schedule of their future tour dates can also bee seen at

Here is a preview of their music