Archive for May 26th, 2022

May 26, 2022

The Greenbelts of Manila!!

I stayed mostly in Makati district and was able to go the wonderful Ayala Malls and especifically in the Greenbelt malls 1 thru 5.  This is really a shopper’s paradise with about five malls all interconnected with stores, restos ,cinema, chapel and others all wonderfully modern and clean; a place to spent a whole day and night. I have written briefly on them before, but it was such a fun time for me, that decided to group all info into one post on the Greenbelts of Manila!! Hope you enjoy it as I.


Greenbelt is a shopping mall located at the Ayala Center, Makati, metro Manila, It opened in 1988 and the mall offers a mix of high-end retail shops, restaurants, amenities, leisure and entertainment. Currently, the mall has five sections: two enclosed areas, two buildings with open-air shopping areas.  Built around a 250,000-square-meters (2,700,000 sq ft) retail complex, the mall, which merged the previous small arcades and shops, was first opened to the public in 1990. It was renovated in 2001, and as the complex grew, Greenbelt 2 and 3 were opened in 2002, with 4 and 5 opening in 2004 and 2007.


Greenbelt 1 features lifestyle, food, and supply stores, two cinemas, an onstage theater, a performing arts theater home to the Repertory Philippines. It is also the location of a branch of The Marketplace, the supermarket chain of Rustan’s.  Greenbelt 2 features high-end restaurants and the Greenbelt Townhomes, a two- to three-story condominium on top.  Greenbelt 3 features a mix of international brands including luxury labels, sit-down restaurants, five cinemas and entertainment facilities. The largest Philippine branch of Louis Vuitton was found here. Greenbelt 4 features high-end boutiques. Also included are branches of H&M and Globe store. Greenbelt 5 has boutiques of Filipino designers, high-end department store Adora, and boutiques.

manila greenbelt 3 water fountain jan16


Restaurants can be found in Greenbelt 1, 2, 3, and 5, with Greenbelt 1 concentrating more on fast food, and Greenbelt 2, 3, and 5 featuring sit-down restaurants. Santo Niño de Paz Greenbelt Chapel is in Greenbelt Park at the complex’s center. Built as an open-air, concrete dome in the middle of a pond, the chapel holds Masses and other religious services every day for mall patrons and office workers. It celebrates its titular feast day every third Sunday of January.  Greenbelt is served by an interconnected basement parking built beneath it. It is also served by parking buildings located at Greenbelt 1 and 2, respectively, and the Paseo Steel Parking, located at the corner of Paseo de Roxas and Esperanza Street. The steel parking and Greenbelt 2 parking are interconnected to each other.

manila greenbelt chapel entr jan16

I was there having a few beers at my old hangout TGIFriday’s and great chat with bartenders Grace and Manny! I know the TGIF’s and always fun to seek them anywhere. The company was great talkative, friendly, attentive and learn a lot about Manila and the Philippines! Nice memories indeed. I read this restaurant is tempo closed, do not know if open again. They were at 3rd Level, Greenbelt 3.  Either way, will keep in my post as memories lingered beyond and good times forever.

I was joined by friends for lunch at Mesa a nouvelle Filipino cuisine restaurant right in Greenbelt 5; It  was special having lunch with good company. The resto is still there at the Ground Floor level. They have other concept restos and its own webpage:


The mall is currently undergoing major re-development, with the ground level of Greenbelt 3 closed in 2019 for renovation. The new area re-opened in October 2021, which now hosts luxury labels and a newly-renovated Starbucks Reserve Cafe. One reason why maybe the TGIF resto is no longer there.  Greenbelt 4 will start its renovation works in 2022.

The official Ayala Malls on Greenbelt

Really if you are into shopping and in a great garden park with plenty of restaurant choices, this is the best one stop place in all Manila me think. To me of all the shopping malls I visited in the country (see posts) ,this was and is tops. Ayala Malls are everywhere but Greenbelt is in Makati, Manila!!

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

May 26, 2022

This is Lemery, Philippines!

I look again into my vault and saw bits of this nice experience meddle with other post so decided to take it out and do one post on it alone. One of my memorable road warrior experiences in the Philippines, I made several trips to the country over the last few years, 6 times to be exact from 2014 to November 2018, all memorable with many friends still in touch, see my many posts on the country in my blog. Therefore, let me tell you a bit more on Lemery in the Philippines! Hope you enjoy it as I.

lemery arriving town center nov18

The town of Lemery is in the province of Batangas, Philippines.  The town was named after Captain Roberto Lemery, a commanding officer of the local garrison. As the story goes , during the early part of the 18C, adventurous settlers from Taal, northern  Mindoro and southern Cavite were attracted to the vast plain near the shores of Balayan Bay because of its abundance in fish and other marine life The place was first called Punta, meaning “point”. In 1818, the village of Punta was converted into one of the neighborhoods of the town of Taal. It was later renamed San Geronimo. In 1858, the neighborhood of San Geronimo became officially known as Lemery, after the death in 1856 of Captain Roberto Lemery. For economic considerations, Lemery was again annexed to Taal in 1904. Finally by virtue of a presidential executive order, it became an independent town in 1907. Lemery lies next to the heritage town of Taal; together they form a single urban area. The boundary runs along the Pansipit River; the river area was part of the sea until it was buried by tephra deposits from the 1755 eruption of Taal Volcano.

lemery enter complex twin lakes passing nov18

I went up to Lemery for breathtaking views of Twin Lakes. I reached the town from Tagaytay via the Diokno Highway, which is the road I took, While passing by the nice fruit market of Tagaytay, province of Cavite ,about 59 km from Manila.

lemery twin lakes passing nov18


Some of the things to see here are :Fantasy World, Km 78 Diokno Highway, Masayang. 300-hectare (740-acre) theme park, though incomplete and closed to the public This is, however, a common stopover for picture-taking by tourists travelling from Tagaytay to Taal . As I did see pic.

lemery fantasy world park passing nov18

Casa Corazon Motorcycle Museum ,National Highway, Sinisian . A private collection with many bikes and some classic cars. Lots of BMW machines including one from WWII with a machine gun mounted on the sidecar. The complex also includes a restaurant, hotel and some park areas. Saint Roch Parish Church . Lemery’s main parish church, it dates back to 1887, and used to have a Neoclassical façade with two belfries. It was badly damaged by aerial bombing at the end of WWII in 1945, and the façade was replaced by a modernist one in 1968, with the belfries demolished , There is a major shopping center seen elsewhere in the Philippines but not here, however, worth the stop with time, The SM Center Lemery, Ilustre Street (Beside Metro Lemery Medical Center), Quite a large mall. Has a SM Hypermarket, Watson’s pharmacy and fast food chains.

The town of Lemery on Facebook

The regional government of Lemery/Batangas on history

There you go folks, I feel better now having this wonderful road warrior experience in my blog,nice memories of the Philippines. Lemery was nice indeed, As said, many other visits there and been to several islands, great memories, and great friends. Do not know when back but if long the memories will lingered forever. 

.And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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May 26, 2022

The beach at Canoa Quebrada!!!

I have pull this one from an older post to create a new one as the beach town deserves a post of its own in my blog, just for the memories, I like to tell you of my passing by Canoa Quebrada.I was on my usual fun road warrior trip covering a vast terrain of over 600 km from Natal to Fortaleza and surrounding areas. I will post this part of the memorial trip , see my other posts on Natal and Fortaleza.

Canoa Quebrada is a beach of the state of Ceará, 163 km from Fortaleza and 386 km from Natal. Its landscape is characterized by red dunes and cliffs up to 30 meters above sea level. The beach is located at the foot of a 10 to 15 meter cliff with sands of various colors. The name Canoa Quebrada actually means “broken canoe”.

The Fortaleza’s Pinto Martins Airport the nearest airport ,Once you arrive in Fortaleza, if you are traveling by car you just need to take the CE-040 to Aracati. Then take the BR-304 around Arcati and continue until the intersection that leads to Canoa Quebrada. I took this road warrior trip with friends passing towns like Parapaiva, Aracati (county seat), and Mossoro etc, You can also come from Fortaleza by bus,but not done it, The hightlight of the road warrior trip was reaching Canoa Quebrada !

We stayed at the Long Beach Hotel. Located just about 350 meters from Canoa Quebrada  beach and 600 meters from Rua Dragâo do Mar, This hotel truly has a prime location. The rooms consist of bungalows and apartments. They overlook the hotel gardens and this gives the hotel a private oasis feel. This complex also has two very beautiful swimming pools with an exceptional view and a really very friendly staff. Webpage :



And while, in town, why not sample some of the local foodies! Walking down Rua Dragâo do Mar towards the beach it is full of shops and restaurants, we stop of course at Café Habana bohemia, nice quant and great shrimp cafe habana house dish! This is a local portal for Canoa Quebrada showing the restaurant but cannot confirm if still open, so check.Anyway for the memories of always, Webpage:


A bit of history I like

The village of Canoa Quebrada was born from the small fishing village, Vila do Estevão. Discovered in the 1960s by French filmmakers of the movement in “Nouvelle Vague”, According to local tradition, the French worked hard during the day and, at night, they indulged in fun. For this reason, a moon and a star, carved into the cliffs, became the symbol of the beach town. Along the beach of Canoa Quebrada, you will encounter the Lue e Estrela, in other words a star and the moon sculpted in the red cliffs. The Canoa Quebrada symbol was designed by Brazilian sculptor Elisiário Chico. In the 1960s, this whole region was very popular with filmmakers.

The village acquired fame when it was discovered, in the 1970s, by the “hippies”, who found there a remote place, with great beauties inhabited only by an indigenous tribe and a few fishermen, a simple and hospitable population, which to this day preserve the tradition to fish with rafts in the sea. Some of these “hippies” settled there, marrying the natives and having children. Thus, it is possible to find many descendants of Swiss, French and other Europeans there. Canoa Quebrada returned to the setting of a film in 1997, with the production of Bela Donna,(beautiful woman)  by Bruno Barreto and directed by Fábio Barreto, having, since then, become one of the main tourist destinations in Ceará.

Some of the things to do/see here are:

To opt for a dune buggy ride, great fun indeed to see,,,The best for me was the Canoa Quebrada beach, the jewel of the region. The white sand beaches and turquoise waters easily rival some of the best beaches in the world. Here, the waters of the Atlantic are surprisingly calm and warm and the red and steep cliffs give a unique and colorful effect to this singular place. Other cool activity is ziplining. The zip lines here are truly unique. They start from the top of the dunes and were really designed to get users’ adrenaline pumping.Not mine of course ! The fun starts at the main street of Canoa Quebrada called Rua Dragão do Mar. It owes its name to a resident of the city, who, thanks to a strike, put an end to the slave trade in the state of Ceará. Today, this street is lined with internet cafes, T-shirt shops, tattoo parlors, and a host of restaurants and bars. While it’s great fun to wander around here during the day, the real life on Rua Dragâo do Mar (Broadway) starts after 22h and continues until the sun comes up on Canoa Quebrada beach facing the Atlantic.

The local Portal Canoa Quebrada

A beach info site or praias on Canoa Quebrada :

The Céara state tourist office on Canoa Quebrada

There you go folks, a nice wonderful road warrior trip into northeast Brazil ; worth the detour to Canoa Quebrada. I had a great time there and looking forward to a return. Hope you enjoy the post as I.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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