January 8, 2018

Bag of Beans - Athena

Bag of Beans Café and Restaurant - Athena

Every time we think about Tagaytay and where to dine, most of us think about 'Bag of Beans'. They're known for serving good food and enjoying it in the cozy and cool climate of the mountains. But nowadays, thinking about bag of Beans is not enough for they do have a number of branches, all in just one beautiful city.

The café is located at the lower portion of the lot

As for me and my cousin Judy, we tried dining on all of their branches (including one of their former branches located near the Olivares Rotunda) but what captures our senses, not just our taste buds but particularly our sight is their Athena branch. Nestled at the busy part of Aguinaldo Highway, bag of Beans - Athena branch boats of it's homey but very chic interiors with of course, a spectacular view of the Taal Lake at the back.

A bit of a challenge on this branch is it's location which is on a steeper ground from the highway entrance. Challenge to go down to the parking lot and a challenge for your car to rise up back on the road on your way out. Well good things are never easy to get to right?

Oh those glass chairs (So Scary to sit at for overweight guys like me HAHA)

The interior is amazing, well speaking for my own taste that is. Vigan tiles, whitewashed furniture, low hanging chandeliers, oh it feels like I'm on a home magazine shoot! Those dark stained wood and whitewashed walls are just a delight for my eyes. I know I'm on a restaurant but I can use a nice lounge chair and stray for a whole day here.

Seats are also available on the second level.

Okay so let's move on the food we tried. It was breakfast and if I'm not mistaken, me and my cousin Judy were the second group of customers for that day. They open at 7 in the morning so it was quite chilly that time even on a summer's day. So we scanned through their menu and decided on what we will be enjoying for that morning.

Tanigue Steak (Php 380)

An inch thick tanigue cutlet flame grilled to it's perfect finish. This is exactly how I like my fish is cooked. Other love it deep fried, pan fried, or grilled until it's golden brown and toasted but I personally think that it loses a lot of it's flavor that way. I want it juicy and tender though without that fishy smell or taste, just the perfect amount of salty and lemon to bring out it's natural delicious taste. Oh and yes, their veggies are tossed over butter and not margarine, I'm very particular with that HAHA. Served with mashed potatoes and their homestyle gravy.

Longanisa - a Filipino Favorite (Php 230)

Filipino-Spanish style sausages similar to the chorizo, longanisa is a staple on most Pinoy breakfast tables. it's sweet and salty fusion is a favorite for most of us but surprisingly, not for my Ate Judy. I was quite shocked that she ordered this from the menu because she's not very into this but I guess she tries stuff which makes me happy!

Of course I tried it too. I did like the taste but the texture is a bit too fine for me. I like the longanisa which is a little bit chunky wherein you can feel the difference between lean pork and pig's fat right inside your palette. Will I order it the next time, maybe I'll try some other of their Filipino favorites.

Chocolate Chip Pancake (Php 205)

Just like any other dinner that me and my cousin share, we never order just a plate for each of us, there's always a third one to share HAHA. This time, we got their choco chip pancakes which was good. It's not too fluffy but not too creamy. Served with maple syrup, it was a delight but we weren't able to finish it because we were too full from our entrees.

After breakfast, we spent a little more time and found out it was drizzling outside but we did enjoy nature's greeting that morning. They also have pasalubongs and take-homes like pastries and spreads that you can enjoy at your own home or give them as gifts to your loved ones.

Their cute Pasalubong Shelves

Outdoor sitting for those who want to fill not just their tummies but also their sights

Mornings at Tagaytay

Over-all, me and my sister had an amazing time at bag of Beans - Athena. It was probably our third visit on that branch but I have to say every single time we dine there is just remarkable. The place is perfect not just for family and friends like me and my cousin but also for large groups and barkadas and of course, a romantic place for you and your special someone.

You can visit Bag of Beans Café and Restaurant - Athena branch on their details below:

Bag of Beans Café and Restaurant Inc. “ Athena Branch”
Aguinaldo Highway Silang Junction East, Tagaytay City, 4120
Tel No.:  046-4134522

January 7, 2018

Celebrating Lola Bebang's 90th Birthday

Que Family 01.06.2018 Photo by Min Viniegra

On January 3rd of the year 1928, my grandmother Genoveva Manalo was given by our Lord to this world, to all of us. She was the daughter of Emeterio Manalo y Barrientos and Irene Pulido y Barrera, born and raised in the beautiful town of Malabon, now the city of General Trias. With her husband Que Chua Le from Fujian, China, she gave birth to seven children - Gaudencio, Josefina, Carlito, Elenita, Ernesto, Benjamin, and Evangelina. Together, they brought our family to life. We are each other's treasures.

Our one and only Lola Bebang

Last Saturday, January 6th of 2018, led by my brother Kuya Wilson, we celebrated her 90th year anniversary of her birth. Together with her children Carlito, Ernesto, Evangelina and all her Grandchildren and Great-Grandchildren, we had an amazing time to bond and be happy as we all remember the life of our Lola Bebang. Though she's not with us physically, in our hearts, she lives forever.

Here are a few photos from my Lola Bebang's Birthday Celebration with the whole family held at her home in New General Lumber.

The Party Host - my brother Wilson

Delectable Dishes on Lola Bebang's Round Table

Festive Cakes from the Viniegras

White "G" Shirts on the Dining Hall

Yellow "G" Shirts having dinner

We also had group photographs aside from this article's featured photograph on the header where you can see the whole four Generations of the Que Family. Kuya's idea of the yellow shirts look amazing!

Second Generation of the Que Family

Third Generation - QueSins

Fourth and Fifth Generations

Team Gaudencio

Team Josefina

Team Carlito

Team Ernesto

Team Evangelina

And of course, Team JSV, me and my babies

Second and Third Generation of the Que Family

In my Rose Garden of memories
I see you standing there
An angel in disguise
Who taught me how to care
I long to hear your voice
for real not in my dreams
I am missing you so much these days
how empty my world seems
People say time heals all wounds
that someday the pain will subside
But Grandma I can tell you
I think they must have lied
The emptiness I am feeling now
is strong and I am weak
These days go by without you
so dreary and so bleak
In my Rose Garden of memories
I know you'll always be
for though you're gone
from this mortal world
In my heart you'll always be
-Rose Garden of Memories, Victoria L. Payne

In Memory Of:
Genoveva Manalo Que
(January 3, 1928 - October 4, 2015)