Connect with us

Destinations

Giving ‘mobile diner’ a Pinoy twist

Zest Magazine checks out Red Bus Mobile Diner in Tagaytay.

Published

on

Food trucks aren’t – as of now – THAT common in the Philippines. Yes, we get the occasional trucks/vans turned into food outlets (the inside of the van turned into a kitchen or something), e.g. there were some right across De La Salle University in Taft Ave. in the City of Manila a few years back, until they were “kicked out”, thanks to the urging of local businesses that were threatened by them. Not surprisingly, these food trucks aren’t exactly second nature to us as, say, those in Roosevelt Street in New York, or the streets around Central Park or Hyde Park; or in the streets of LA.






Having said this, ONE food truck that managed to somehow survive can be found in Tagaytay; though this one isn’t a food truck per se, but more of a diner that makes use of the food truck concept to make a mark (i.e. the truck was converted into a mini-kitchen; but the same truck is no longer functional). And so welcome to… Red Bus Mobile Diner.

WHAT’S THERE

To start, and as was already noted, this one isn’t “mobile” – that it, the “food truck” doesn’t move from one place to another to sell the goods. Instead, whatever vehicle that’s there is only for show (even if it is also where the grilling happens).

The “truck” is also NOT a truck (per se) – it’s more like a van.

Behind the vehicle is a “shed” that houses the wooden tables/benches for the diners. And these are “swamped” by knick-knacks on the walls – from old road signs to an antiquated jukebox to an old telephone to… a poster of Audrey Hepburn. Stuffs – I suppose – for the diners to check (a la museum) while waiting for the meal/s to arrive.

Menu-wise, there’s not much here; just burgers and some Mexican fares. And yes, some lemonades plus local beers as pantulak (chase down the food).

WHY GO THERE

The easy answer to “Why should I visit the place?” is “NOVELTY”. As was also earlier said, there isn’t that many “food trucks” in the Philippines. And at least in my experience (while living in New York), some of the best foods that can be had are from these food trucks. So any – I say ANY – attempt to be one of those good food sources is worth checking out.

But novelty can also go so far. And here, it is good that Red Bus actually has some good offerings.

Tried during the visit were:

  • V8 Burrito (P280 for beef; P275 for chicken). It has Mexican rice, grilled meat, veggies, and the company’s “18 ingredient salsa”. This one’s not bad; but it isn’t great either. Because instead of tasting the meat, the taste bud is – instead – overwhelmed by the Mexican rice. I assumed that this was because the intention is to make this a meal by itself (knowing how there are Pinoys who can be stingy and who may complain that the servings here are too small and aren’t very filling); but having savored real Mexican burritos that can be finished after just two or three bites, the stuffing of this one didn’t live reach that level of “YUM!”…
  • Red Hood Bacon Burger (P200). With Angus beef patty topped with grilled bacon, and then stuffed with caramelized onions, cheddar cheese, lettuce and tomatoes. When the waiter and the waitress to serve us recommended this, they names a so-and-so TV personality who claimed to have liked this after taking a small bite after it was given her for free. Obviously, I was apprehensive – it’s like believing Kris Aquino “promoting” Huma Island in Palawan, after the management also said that she stayed there with her entourage for free (!). Fortunately for Red Bus, this burger is yummy, with a nicely grilled patty, soft-with-crunchy-parts bacon, and fresh veggies.
  • Wasabi Burger (P190). Almost same as the above, but sans the bacon and with the wasabi. In idea, this should have worked (heck, “wasabi ice cream” even works!). The problem for me (and my companions who also tried it) is that instead of the wasabi adding to the flavor, it overpowered the entire burger. Now… if they can find a way to turn this into something that will titillate the palate, instead of overpower it, this could be really good. NOTE: Better eaten with ketchup that somehow neutralized the wasabi)…

Other offerings include quesadillas (P150), fajitas (P260), nachos (P140), Triple Cheez Pwiz (P210), El Mejicombi Salsa Burger (P200) and Simple Jack Burger (P180).

As is the case when wanting to best enjoy grilled stuffs, these offerings are great with beer (P60 per can here)…




WHY AVOID THE PLACE

That the burgers are somewhat… expensive is apparent; so for those with limited budget, this place isn’t a must-visit.

And then there are the “limits” – e.g. there’s no service water, so if you find that wasabi in the burger too spicy to your liking, better order the P50 lemonade or P140 milkshake beforehand. The ketchup used is also of low quality (you can always tell that the ketchup’s cheap because of that fake, plastic-like taste). Considering that the burgers are already somewhat expensive, you’d think the owner wouldn’t mind coughing up extra (and minimal) cash to give clients water to drink for free, and serve better ketchup…

Tagaytay is also NOT always accessible to everyone, particularly those without private vehicle/s. As such, visiting just for a burger may not be everyone’s idea of “fun”…

IN THE END…

All in all, though, the Red Bus experience wasn’t all that bad at all – I’d say it was even fun being there (after braving the rollercoaster-like streets of Tagaytay). So I’d say…

If in the area, try to check it out.
If with budget (particularly if you’re the one paying the tab for all your friends), check it out.
If keen to taste some QUITE good burgers (and stay away from fastfood joints), check it out.

But if you have doubts, there are others you can also check (e.g. Mac Daddy’s in Lucban) until you’re all ready to take a ride in the not-that-mobile diner called… Red Bus.

Red Bus Mobile Diner is located in Tagaytay.




Believing that knowing on its own is not good enough, "you have to share what you know, too", Mikee dela Cruz gladly shares through his writing. A (BA) Communication Studies graduate, he had stints with UNAIDS, UNICEF and Ford Foundation, among others, writing "just about everything". Read on as he does some sharing through Zest Magazine.

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Travel

Hann Casino Resort opens

The all-new integrated lifestyle resort features Hann Casino, Clark Marriott, Swissotel Clark, and, in a few years, Mercure Hotel. Hann Casino Resort, the first premium sub-brand under the master brand Hann Resorts, will elevate the Philippines’ gaming, entertainment, leisure, dining, hospitality, and shopping experience.

Published

on

The Hann Group (Hann), owner and developer of the Widus Hotel & Casino and the Clark Marriott in Clark Freeport Zone, Pampanga, officially opens Hann Casino Resort — the first fully integrated resort in Clark. It brings to life the idea of a “millionaire’s playground” where discerning guests can “Play Bold. Live Bold.”

The all-new integrated lifestyle resort features Hann Casino, Clark Marriott, Swissotel Clark, and, in a few years, Mercure Hotel. Hann Casino Resort, the first premium sub-brand under the master brand Hann Resorts, will elevate the Philippines’ gaming, entertainment, leisure, dining, hospitality, and shopping experience.

“Despite the undeniable disruption that the pandemic has caused, Hann’s vision of creating the ultimate playground in Clark remains true and the same. We are set to open Clark’s first fully integrated resort, and our guests can expect only the finest in hospitality and entertainment,” said Daesik Han, chairman and CEO, Hann Philippines Inc. (HPI).

Opening in phases

Hann Casino Resort will open in phases, with the December 15 soft opening of Hann Casino and Swissotel Clark soon after, marking the first phase. Hann Casino is triple the size of the previous gaming area in Widus Hotel & Casino, featuring hundreds of table games and over 800 slot machines. 

The second phase will see the grand launch of Hann Casino and the first flagship franchise of Swissotel Clark, a five-star international brand well-renowned for its intelligent design, quality craftsmanship, and mindful approach to sustainability. Swissotel Clark will also usher in top-notch international and local cuisines like no other.

“The soft opening of Hann Casino and Swissotel Clark will help kickstart the country’s economy by providing much-needed jobs to Filipinos. By 2022, Hann Casino Resort is expected to employ more than 1,000 Filipinos,” Han said.

Elevated gaming, dining, and shopping experience

Located across Clark Marriott, Hann Casino offers gamers a high-stakes gaming experience within a luxurious Filipino setting designed by international interior design company Aedas Interiors HK and local interior design company Aidea.

Furthermore, guests can be assured of Hann Casino’s commitment to prioritizing the health and well-being of its guests and employees. Their existing safety protocols were enhanced to adhere to government-mandated measures. The air conditioning in the gaming areas use 

Under Floor Air Distribution (UFAD), which ensures that the air in the casino is continually cleaned of pollutants including tobacco smoke, volatile organic compounds, and critically, airborne pathogens such as the SARS-CoV-2 virus which causes COVID-19. 

Foodies and shoppers with discriminating tastes will surely delight in Hann Casino Resorts’ offerings. Guests can look forward to satisfying their varied food cravings with nine specialty outlets featuring both local and international cuisines. Meanwhile, guests can choose from a curated collection of sought-after brands that cater to the discerning shopper’s taste.

Luxurious stays

Staycations have never been this luxurious as Hann Casino Resort features Clark Marriott, Swissotel Clark, and Mercure Hotel. The latter is expected to open soon.

The Swissotel brand is known worldwide for its luxurious take on the freshness and vitality of Swiss hospitality. Swissotel and Mercure are part of Accor, a world-leading augmented hospitality group offering unique experiences in 5,000 hotels and residences across 110 countries.

Meanwhile, Hann Lux Lifestyle Resort, the second premium sub-brand of Hann Resorts, a luxury brand under HPI, is expected to launch in a few years. Hann Lux promises to offer guests even more luxurious offerings, like three 18-hole championship golf courses, Banyan Tree Hotel, Angsana Hotel, Westin Hotel, and The Luxury Collection by Marriott International.

Continue Reading

Destinations

The Bellevue Resort spearheads trash free seas in Bohol

Things may be different due to the ongoing pandemic, but now that we are getting accustomed to the new norm, we can still make an impact when we work together or even apart to clean up and protect our oceans.

Published

on

Two-time ASEAN Green Hotel awardee, The Bellevue Resort – Bohol, forefronts Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup in Bohol for the fourth year in a row. Despite the pandemic, the resort has not lost sight of its underlying commitment to protect the environment. This year, they expanded its participation province-wide with 2-day hybrid activities in partnership with the Department of Tourism and Provincial Government of Bohol through the Provincial Tourism Office.

The five-star resort kicked off the worldwide campaign by hosting a webinar entitled “Connect and Collect: Trash Free Seas Start at Home” with 128 virtual attendees with speakers – Miss Universe PH ‘20 – 3rd Runner Up and Ambassador for Tourism, Ms. Pauline Amelinckx, Bb. Pilipinas International 2021, Ms. Hannah Arnold, and Coastal Resource Division Head of Bohol Environment Management Office, Ms. Villa Pelindingue, who shared their insights and talked about interesting waste management methods and possible solutions starting at home. 

On September 18, 2021, a total of 772 volunteers all over Bohol joined the socially distant cleanup drive with 22 LGUs in their respective communities with small-scale groups, including organizations and private sectors, who all formed special bubble groups to ensure everyone’s safety while following health protocols. Among the volunteers were 63 licensed divers for underwater cleanup at Doljo Seas, Panglao Island.  

Volunteers were able to remove a total of 2,159 kilos of non-biodegradable trash from coastline and underwater – successfully collected and segregated. While following strict safety protocols, this year’s ICC would have not been possible without the support of its dedicated volunteers and partners namely, the Department of Tourism, Provincial Government of Bohol led by Governor Art Yap, Municipality of Panglao, Globe Telecom, Club Aquasports, Clean Code, Sea & Land, Blue Freedom Apnea, Plastic Free Bohol, and Mister Bohol Organization.

Things may be different due to the ongoing pandemic, but now that we are getting accustomed to the new norm, we can still make an impact when we work together or even apart to clean up and protect our oceans.

Since its opening in 2013, the luxurious and eco-friendly resort has been consistently spearheading meaningful initiatives – leading responsible tourism in Bohol, in its efforts to highlight the importance of playing an active role in promoting sustainability and helping the community.

Continue Reading

Travel

68% of all new Filipino hosts in H1 2021 are Gen Zs and millennials aged 18-40

Despite hosting during small windows of opportunities due to the start-stop order of travel restrictions between January to June, new Filipino Hosts have collectively earned over PHP 21 million welcoming guests on Airbnb. Metro Manila, Tagaytay, and Metro Cebu also emerged as the top cities where new Airbnb Hosts are hosting.

Published

on

As the Philippines begins to relax domestic travel restrictions, Airbnb continues to steadily navigate the Covid-19 pandemic with hundreds of new local Hosts joining the platform in the first six months of 2021.

The company announced today that Filipino Gen Zs and millennials are the driving force behind Airbnb’s growing community of Hosts in the Philippines, with over 68% of new Airbnb Hosts in H1 2021 comprising Gen Zs and millennials aged between 18 and 40.

Despite hosting during small windows of opportunities due to the start-stop order of travel restrictions between January to June, new Filipino Hosts have collectively earned over PHP 21 million welcoming guests on Airbnb. Metro Manila, Tagaytay, and Metro Cebu also emerged as the top cities where new Airbnb Hosts are hosting.

Tourism is a significant contributor to the Philippine economy and employment. In 2019, research from Oxford Economics revealed that Filipino Airbnb Hosts contributed USD 1 billion to the country’s GDP and supported over 160,000 jobs. Guests on Airbnb spent over USD 930 million, representing 1.2% of the country’s total tourism spending in the same year.

Through the pandemic, hosting has emerged as an important economic lifeline for many Filipinos to make ends meet and support their families. A Q1 2021 survey by Airbnb reveals that 57% of Filipino Hosts polled said the income they’ve earned through hosting has helped them to stay in their homes, and over half said they want to find more ways to host with Airbnb. Over a third of Filipino Hosts also said they share recommendations with guests on their favourite local restaurants and businesses within their community.

“This year’s World Tourism Day calls for more inclusive growth that advances prosperity for more communities and drives more sustainable development. It’s a call for our tourism industry to reset and rebuild tourism in a way that benefits more people and communities than ever before. As more Filipinos turn to hosting with Airbnb to support themselves and their families during this time of need, we remain fully committed to empowering our Hosts to provide unique, family-friendly, and clean, responsible travel,” shares Amanpreet Bajaj, General Manager for Southeast Asia, India, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

Earlier this year, Airbnb introduced more than 100 upgrades across its platform, including a new simplified 10-step process for anyone to become a Host. It also launched seven Host clubs this year across the Philippines to empower Hosts to connect, collaborate and support each other as well as their local communities, by sharing advice and best practices on hosting. During the pandemic, Airbnb launched its Airbnb Enhanced Clean protocol, an industry-first set of cleaning and sanitisation standards designed with guidance from the World Health Organization and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention  to ensure peace of mind for the community.

The company continues to support and strengthen the communities its Hosts call home, amidst the unprecedented changes brought about by the pandemic. In June, Mercy in Action, Childhope Philippines Foundation, Inc., Haligi ng Bata, Inc. and Reach Out and Feed Philippines were amongst the first 150 grant recipients of the inaugural Airbnb Community Fund, which will distribute US$100 million over 10 years to organizations around the world.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement

Like Us On Facebook

Facebook Pagelike Widget

Most Popular

Copyright ©FRINGE PUBLISHING. All rights reserved.