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Turning Vegetarian

In Manila, vegetarian fare has become more accessible. While most establishments have vegetarian fare on their menus, the folks at the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) ate their way around the Philippines to search for the best meatless meals.

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PETA’s Top 10 Vegetarian Restaurants

Azotea Greens’ veggie nuggets are among the must-try greener foods, according to PETA.

Alanis Morrisette, Alicia Silverstone, Gwyneth Paltrow, and locally, actress KC Concepcion, singer Geneva Cruz, and models Isabel Roces and Raya Mananquil have made vegetarian living chic. But far from just adopting trendy eating habits, vegetarianism in all its forms actually reduce the risk of obesity, cancer and diabetes; as well as promote concern for animal rights, global warming and the environment.

In the Philippines, vegetarian fare has finally become more accessible. But while most establishments have vegetarian fare on their menus, the people at the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) ate their way around the Philippines to search for the best meatless meals.

Greens Café and Restaurant
92 Scout Castor Street, Quezon City
415-4796 or 376-2781

Greens is tucked amid a garden in a quaint and homey Quezon City home-turned-restaurant. The menu is filled with such vegan favorites as the Greens Vegetarian Barbeque (P75), Barbeque Wrap (P80), Vegetarian Sisig (P140) and Cheesy Soy Sticks (P80). Also try the eggless desserts like the Walnut Caramel Apple Pie and Carrot Cake, and the chocolate cake, described by PETA as “an astounding taste experience that is guaranteed to be the subject of daydreams for weeks to come.”

Bodhi (also known as Evegreen)
SM Cubao, SM North EDSA, SM Megamall, SM South Mall, SM City Manila, SM Makati

Also voted the Best Affordable Vegetarian Food for 2007 by PETA Asia Pacific, Bodhi’s focus is mostly on well presented mock meats. Try the kare kare, menudo, asado, bopis, ginataang langka, and broccoli with “beef”.

Corner Tree Café
150 Jupiter Street, Bel-Air Village, Makati
(0917) 848-1004

Owned by Francesca Mabanta, Corner Tree Café’s must-try include: tofu walnut burger (P240), Spinach and Pechay Chowder (P95 for the cup and P150 for the bowl) and a starter plate (P180), a combination of Egyptian dukka and white bean hummus served with chunks of whole wheat bread and vegetable sticks.

Daily Veggie N’ Café
540 Banawe Street, Quezon City
711-8209 or 711-3214

PETA recommends the curry (on its own or with noodles), sweet-and-sour nuggets, and the sizzling fillet, which is “so fish-like that it’s almost scary (the seaweed looks and tastes like fish skin).”

Hapilife Healthy Food Corner
#18 Corpuz St., West Tapinac, Olongapo City
(0921) 872-0258 or (047) 611-0249

For PETA, the “range of tempting options” plus their great service make this place worth visiting. Must-tries are the combo meals with vegetarian versions of steak, tuna, drumsticks, and roast duck, and meat- and dairy-free versions of traditional Filipino fare.

Mandala Spa
Boracay Island, Malay, Aklan
(036) 288-5858

For this venue in the party-island of Boracay, try the the pan-fried tofu, served stir-fry style with beans, asparagus, pechay, and sprouts and topped with peanut sauce and crushed peanuts, and the Pad Thai topped with a sweet tamarind-based sauce and spring onions.

Bliss Café
Hotel Elizabeth, Gibraltar Street corner J. Felipe, Baguio City
(074) 619-0367 or (0917) 8464729

From traditional Pinoy fare and merienda to international cuisine with dishes originating from Seoul, Tokyo to Zurich and Mexico City – this place has it all.

The Farm
119 Barangay Tipakan, San Benito, Batangas
696-3795

This place’s raw lunch and dinner buffet is beyond satisfying.

Ima’s Gulay Bar
46 Fernandez Street, Puerto Princesa City, Palawan
(0920) 533-3210

This place’s must-tries include: Mexican burritos, pizza, and jambalaya to fresh salads, filling soups, and a variety of sandwiches and vegetarian burgers. PETA suggests asking for the “vegan versions of the spicy bean burger, curried tofu sandwich, or sausage fajitas”; as well as the spicy okra and mango pasta or the exotic shakes in soy coffee, carob, ginger, or fruit flavors.

Azotea Greens
2nd Floor, La Azotea Bldg., Session R, Baguio City
(0910) 802-8927

This place, says PETA, is sure to give you “a true taste of Baguio without all the cholesterol and cruelty to animals.” Try the adobo, afritada, nilaga, kaldereta, ginataan, and the bestseller, mushroom sisig. Finish meals with dairy- and egg-free cookies from Love Bites.

Destinations

Singapore Cable Car launches world’s first Skyorb Cabins

Exclusively designed for the Singapore Cable Car, the SkyOrb Cabin is the world’s first chrome-finished spherical cable car cabin. Unlike conventional cabins, the spherical design of the SkyOrb Cabins breaks the boundaries of traditional cable car aesthetics, offering a futuristic and captivating look.

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Mount Faber Leisure Group officially launched the new futuristic SkyOrb Cabins on the Singapore Cable Car – Mount Faber Line. The launch of the SkyOrb Cabins took place at Mount Faber Peak, as part of the Singapore Cable Car’s 50th anniversary celebrations. The event was attended by Bob Tan, Chairman of Sentosa Development Corporation and Thien Kwee Eng, Chief Executive Officer of Sentosa Development Corporation, as well as Michael Syn, Chairman of Mount Faber Leisure Group and Buhdy Bok, Managing Director of Mount Faber Leisure Group.

SkyOrb Cabins – A cabin like no other in the world

Exclusively designed for the Singapore Cable Car, the SkyOrb Cabin is the world’s first chrome-finished spherical cable car cabin. Unlike conventional cabins, the spherical design of the SkyOrb Cabins breaks the boundaries of traditional cable car aesthetics, offering a futuristic and captivating look.

The SkyOrb cabin boasts a spectacular view through its glass-bottomed floor

Fitted with glass-bottomed floors to allow guests to view the scenery below their feet, the new cabins offer guests an elevated journey with a stunning panoramic view of the skyline. As night falls, a captivating ring of lights surrounds the cabin windows, casting an illuminating glow that imparts a distinctly futuristic ambience. 

The SkyOrb Cabins have been thoughtfully designed with double window louvres at the front and triple window louvres at the rear, providing enhanced air ventilation for guests on board. To offer an exclusive experience, only seven SkyOrb Cabins will join the existing fleet, enriching the vibrancy of the Sentosa skyline. 

SkyOrb Cabin on the Mount Faber Line

“Each SkyOrb cabin, a gleaming chrome orb soaring through the sky, embodies modern design. These cabins offer guests a one-of-a-kind experience, taking them on a discovery between Mount Faber Peak and Sentosa, unveiling breathtaking views along the way,” said Mr Buhdy Bok, Managing Director of Mount Faber Leisure Group.

Collaboratively designed between Mount Faber Leisure Group and renowned cable car cabin manufacturer CWA, the SkyOrb Cabins showcase product innovation and commitment to creating new unique experiences for guests. Based in Olten, Switzerland, CWA has enjoyed a long partnership with Mount Faber Leisure Group since the first generation of the Singapore Cable Car cabins was launched in 1974.

The SkyOrb Cabins will be open for guests to experience from 20 March 2024 and tickets will be available for sale at the Singapore Cable Car Mount Faber and Sentosa Station ticketing counters from the same day. Mount Faber Line and Cable Car Sky Pass ticket holders have the privilege of upgrading one-way of their round trip (between Mount Faber and Sentosa Cable Car Stations) to a SkyOrb Cabin experience. This upgrade costs $15 per person on weekdays, and $20 per person on weekends and Public Holidays.

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Destinations

Japan ranks as top leisure travel destination for Filipino travellers: Visa study

According to the data, 24% of surveyed Filipino respondents have traveled overseas for leisure or business purposes in the past year. This trend aligns with a broader travel resurgence across Asia Pacific, with 37% of those surveyed reporting overseas travels within the same period.

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Visa, a global player in digital payments, has published its most recent Green Shoots Radar study[1]. This quarterly report analyzes consumer sentiments across various sectors, such as financial services, commerce, and travel.

The study reveals a surge in travel frequency among Filipino travelers. According to the data, 24% of surveyed Filipino respondents have traveled overseas for leisure or business purposes in the past year. This trend aligns with a broader travel resurgence across Asia Pacific, with 37% of those surveyed reporting overseas travels within the same period.

Japan emerged as the top leisure destination for Filipino travelers, with 32% visiting in the past year. Singapore (22%) followed by Hong Kong (21%) and Thailand (18%) were the next most popular destinations. For business trips, Singapore led the list with 25%, followed by Japan (23%), and the United States tied with Hong Kong at 18%.

Filipino travelers prefer to book flight tickets directly from the provider’s website (44%). Among those respondents who booked their accommodations through Online Travel Agencies and paid the full amount upon booking, using credit cards is the most popular payment mode (41%), followed by mobile/e-wallets (28%).

Jeff Navarro, Country Manager for Visa Philippines, said, “As cross-border travel gains momentum in the Philippines and the region, we have a significant opportunity to maintain visibility throughout travelers’ journeys. This involves being present during destination searches and bookings, using Visa cards on travel apps for smoother transactions, and engaging consumers with authentic travel and shopping content to create a secure and seamless digital payments experience for everyone, everywhere.”

The future of travel remains promising, with 65% of Filipino respondents planning overseas leisure travel in the next 12 months. The top three leisure destinations intended in the next 12 months are Japan (38%), followed by South Korea (29%) and Singapore (16%). For business travel, Japan (19%), Canada (13%), and South Korea (12%) are the most likely destinations.

According to Visa’s Global Travel Intentions 2023 study[2], majority (89%) of Filipino travelers used credit (44%) and debit (39%) cards when travelling, for the benefits of cards’ wide acceptance (56%), accepted at ATMs (49%), and ability to be used both online and within apps (43%).

Visa’s most recent Consumer Payment Attitudes 2023 study[3] data also reflect cards as the preferred mode of payment when travelling, where 25% of surveyed Filipinos use credit or debit cards online and 21% use via swipe or insert when traveling overseas.


[1] The Green Shoots Radar survey was conducted online in 14 markets covering more than 8,000 respondents, including 500 consumers in the Philippines in January 2024, towards male and female respondents aged 18-65 with a minimum household income of PHP 12,000.

[2] The Global Travel Intentions Study is the largest and longest running global consumer insights program from Visa, which surveys travelers across continents on their travel journey and payment behavior. The study was conducted across April-June 2023 to more than 1,000 Filipino respondents.

[3] The Visa Consumer Payment Attitudes Study was conducted in Oct-Nov 2023 via online interviews with 1.000 Filipino consumers across the country with a demographic mix of ages (18-65), genders and income levels.

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Travel

Tips to prep your motorcycle for safe road trips

Here are key steps to ensure your motorcycle is in top condition and ready for a safe and enjoyable riding season.

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With longer days and sunny weather, the open road beckons to two-wheel owners.  Preparing a motorcycle after it’s been in storage involves several key steps to ensure it’s ready for the road after the winter months. CTEK, the global player in vehicle charging solutions, provides recommendations for riders to prep their vehicles for peak performance and peace of mind on the open road.

“Life on two wheels epitomizes freedom and exhilaration, but unforeseen challenges can arise at any turn,” shared Bobbie DuMelle, President of CTEK North America. ‘With proper preparation, riders can bid farewell to battery woes and enjoy their ride.”

CTEK recommends some key steps to ensure your motorcycle is in top condition and ready for a safe and enjoyable riding season:

Vehicle Inspection

Give the entire motorcycle a thorough visual inspection, checking for any loose bolts, leaks, or damage. Pay attention to areas such as the frame, exhaust system, and bodywork. Do a thorough inspection of your motorcycle including fluids, tires, brakes, lights and electrics, chain and sprockets, fuel system, air filter and suspension.

Battery Test

Ensure the battery terminals are clean and free of corrosion. Charge the battery if it’s been sitting idle. CTEK recommends using the CTEK CS FREE, which features Adaptive Boost technology to ensure precise delivery of power and swiftly charge any 12V lead acid or lithium battery, resurrecting a dormant motorcycle battery within 15 minutes without the need for a power outlet. With intuitive LED indicators, the CS FREE keeps riders informed, signaling when their battery is primed for ignition. Moreover, it offers sustained maintenance charging, whether via conventional grid power, solar panels, or a 12V service battery, effectively extending battery lifespan by up to threefold during idle seasons.

Maintenance Tasks

If the motorcycle has been sitting for an extended period, drain and replace the fuel. Check fuel lines and filters for any signs of damage. Clean and lubricate the chain, and check for proper tension. Inspect sprockets for wear and replace if necessary. Inspect and clean or replace the air filter to ensure optimal engine performance. Check suspension components for any signs of wear or leaks. Inspect fork seals and adjust suspension settings as needed. Test the throttle, clutch, and brakes to ensure they are functioning smoothly. Lubricate cables if necessary.

Test Ride

After completing all maintenance tasks, take the motorcycle for a short test ride to ensure everything is functioning properly. When you’re on the road, take your CTEK CS FREE with you. With a built-in rechargeable battery fueled by rapid USB-C input, the CS FREE retains its charge for up to a year, rendering it a steadfast companion for on-the-go storage. Equipped with versatile USB-A and USB-C ports, it ensures seamless connectivity for charging smartphones, PCs, tablets, cameras, and an array of devices, ensuring uninterrupted adventures.

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