09/25/15

Grand Buffet Dining at Manila’s Grand Dame: Cafe Ilang-Ilang at Manila Hotel

It’s been a long while since the Urban Roamer has last stepped in Manila Hotel. And during that time, a lot of things have changed: a new logo, new uniforms of the staff. But the ambiance of old Manila remains alive in the hotel.

My return that day though was for a somewhat different matter, which was to fully immerse myself in a filling buffet dining experience at the hotel’s main restaurant: Cafe Ilang-Ilang.

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12/20/14

Something “Niu” in Buffet Dining

The Christmas season has been known as an occasion to get all stuffed up with all the weight gain thanks to those countless Christmas parties and, most especially, the Noche Buena and Media Noche feasts at home. And with the rise of buffet restaurants in recent years, you can expect more dining choices, not to mention those long queues at this time of year.

To add to those dining choices is a new buffet restaurant by Vikings Luxury Buffet Restaurant. But rather than open a new restaurant under the Vikings name, they have decided to take this restaurant to the next level, for starters by giving it a different name: Niu.

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06/30/14

A Night at Malate

Much has been said about Manila’s Malate district, more so about the nightlife scene in this fabled part of the city. Like the story of the city itself, the story of the Malate nightlife scene has been a story of a past glory that was lost and now trying to revive itself again.

Remedios Circle

As someone who admittedly is not much into the nightlife scene, the Urban Roamer has been witness to how the district somehow became alive again in the early 2000s, especially with the popularity of the Roxas Boulevard’s Baywalk area as a hangout at night. Fell into a slump after 2007, which coincided with the disappearance of those Baywalk establishments, and its current struggles to make the district relevant again in the midst of the new challenges it is facing. Continue reading

06/3/14

Dining and Partying Like A Viking

It is the Urban Roamer’s birthday month. well it’s June 2 to be precise. And like what a growing number of denizens have been doing as of late, I have chosen to spend my birthday at one of country’s most popular (if not the most popular) buffet restaurant: Vikings Luxury Buffet Restaurant.

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03/9/14

A Guide to BF Homes Parañaque

With so many residential enclaves found in this metropolis to serve as home to its growing population, (housing issues aside, but that’s another story) a few can perhaps rival the colorful history and vibrant atmosphere of this residential community in the southern part of the  metropolis. Today, the Urban Roamer will be exploring BF Homes Parañaque. which was also known largest residential community, even in Asia.

BF Homes Paranaque

Beginnings of BF Homes

Telling the story BF Homes Parañaque would not be complete without mentioning the pioneering efforts of the man who envisioned it, Tomas Aguirre. Coming from a family whose business was, and still is, mainly in the pawnshop business, he wanted to venture beyond the pawnshop business, Thus, he established Banco Filipino Savings and Mortgage Bank* in 1964. With its innovations introduced in the Philippine banking industry, the bank soon became one of the top savings banks in the country, and its success gave Aguirre the needed capital to venture in a new business: land development.

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an Aguirre pawnshop in BF Homes, possibly owned by an Aguirre kin

Aguirre set his sights to develop on what was then a sprawling 768-hectare agricultural land in straddling mainly Parañaque and neighboring towns of Las Piñas and Muntinlupa. With Banco Filipino’s stellar reputation then, he decided to append the bank’s initials in the realty development he established: BF Homes Incorporated. What was to become BF Homes was opened up for sale in 1968; from then until the 1970s sales skyrocketed  as more and more families settled in, transforming a vast farmland into a bustling residential community of mostly middle-class households.

Along with the bustling property sales and the growing population in the area as a result, the BF Homes area, and southern Greater Manila as a whole, experienced a significant boost in commercial activity.

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