Holiday Menu from Steps of Rome

December 14th, 2014



Tis the season to satisfy your cravings. If you happen to be in Iloilo this Christmas or looking for places to dine during the holidays, check out Steps of Rome.

From the award-winning Gruppo Dente, Steps of Rome offers comfort food-based Holiday Cravings menu on top of their signature Italian cuisine.

Using imported ingredients, Chef Pauline Gorriceta-Banusing has come up with a holiday menu to fully give in to your cravings..

Spanish Chorizo, Bell Peppers, Smoked Salmon, and Cheese Fritata served with Toasts (Php275)


My personal favorite, Steps of Rome’s Croque Madame – Croque Madame with Mortadella Ham, Gruyere Cheese, and Bechamel Sauce (Php280)


I love it because they use whole wheat bagel for this sandwich recipe. A rendition to the classic French ham and cheese – Croque Monsieur, it becomes Croque Madame with the addition of a fried egg.

If you are Pinoy diner, that is a rice eater, you may want to get this – Big Breakfast of the Champion (Php340)


The Big Breakfast is a buffet in a plate – sausage, ham, Spanish chorizo, omelette, and fried garlic rice. It also comes with toast and jam.

Off menu – fried chicken served with rice pilaff. Great for those with kids – kids can’t say no to fried chicken isn’t it?


And for “desserts” – waffles! For their Holiday Cravings menu, Steps of Rome offers two kinds of waffles.

This is the Cookie Butter, Jelly, and Chocolate Warm Waffle with Cream (Php220)


Belgian Waffle Dulce de Leche with Blueberries and Pistachio Ice Cream (Php220)


Enjoy all-day breakfast this holiday at Steps of Rome! Come and bring your visiting friends and relatives!

Steps of Rome

Plazuela de Iloilo ( beside SM City)

Diversion Road, Iloilo City

+63 (033) 333 3509



Related posts…

Filipino Cuisine and Desserts

Lunch Buffet from The Promenade Restaurant

Lighthouse Resto + Bar



Noah’s Ark by Globe Platinum

December 11th, 2014



While I was monitoring Typhoon Hagupit ( Ruby)’s path, I can’t help but think of the last event I attended with Globe Telecom – Noah’s Ark.

Noah’s Ark is one of the rehabilitation projects post-Yolanda spearheaded Globe Telecom’s Globe Platinum, the mobile plan for its most affluent subscribers.


What is Noah’s Ark?


Noah’s Ark is a classroom type that can also serve as an evacuation center with its kitchen and bath facilities. Together with Habitat for Humanity- Philippines, they will be building one Noah’s Ark in 7 affected towns in Aklan. These are Madalag, Banga, Libacao, New Washington, Altavas, Batan, and Balete.

Exactly last week, I graced the groundbreaking ceremony of the Noah’s Ark in Balete, Aklan.




Aklan was badly hit by Super Typhoon Haiyan ( Yolanda) with total losses amounting to Php2.811B. To build infrastructures is one of the best efforts. Globe Telecom will be building 40 classrooms in Aklan – 7 Noah’s Ark and 33 regular classrooms.



The groundbreaking ceremony was attended by Globe Telecom and Habitat for Humanity executives, government officials, press, and the students and teachers of Balete Elementary School.



Yolly Crisanto, Globe Telecom Senior Vice President for Corporate Communications



Charlie Ayco, Habitat for Humanity-Philippines CEO and Managing Director


Students of Balete Elementary School


The Voices of Balete, Aklan


After the groundbreaking was a press conference that shed more light to this project. The media also saw photos of Noah’s Ark constructions like the one in Madalag, Aklan.

After lunch, we proceeded to the town of New Washington. We checked the almost-done Noah’s Ark of New Washington Elementary School. I am a product of Lapu-Lapu City Elementary School and I realized that public schools have the same lay-out. Took me more than 2 decades to notice that.



Hospitality – love their pinasugbo and crispy shrimp ( though we heard it as Krispy Kreme ;) ) These chairs and desks were given to them by UNICEF



New Washington Elementary School Noah’s Ark



I love the idea. As public school classrooms are used as evacuation sites, may as well build them to be sufficient enough for the evacuees to be comfortable starting with food and hygiene.

Turn over will be on January 2015..



More power to Globe Telecom and Habitat for Humanity!

Thanks for reading!


More about Aklan

Marzon Hotel

Kalibo’s Piña Village 



Filipino Cuisine and Desserts

December 5th, 2014


Last week has been full of food tasting sessions, giving me the perfect article idea on where to eat in Iloilo this Christmas. Many Ilonggos and visitors will be coming over for the holiday and where to eat aside from the popular choices like Tatoy’s will always be the question.

Well, one of the restaurants in Iloilo that you must try is Bauhinia Filipino Cuisine and then leave room for  Nothing but Desserts. ( Tip: Come here during lunch if you like less people.)

I wrote a separate post on Ilonggo dishes to try. Feel free to visit and read this link:

7 Ilonggo Specialties You Shouldn’t Miss

So what’s new at Bauhinia Filipino Cuisine?

We tried their Beef Liver in Tagalog Sauce.


Honestly, I was hesitant because as much as I like liver, I’m picky – if it is cooked the way I like it. And hurray hurray! It was perfect! Not gummy nor too “raw” for my palate.


Crispy Bulalo. This picture can’t do justice to this dish..such a challenge to capture this one but, it tastes really good…



Because they are sister-restaurants, we got the chance to enjoy Bourbon’s Panfried Cajun Beef Liver in Mango-Tomato Salsa. Gosh, it was fireworks in my mouth! Love the spice!




We also enjoyed other dishes like this all-time favorite ( in my case), Sisig




For drinks, I tried their top-selling Bauhinia iced tea..



We ended our feast with kefir tea


Okay, we really didn’t end there…best part – desserts!


Nothing But Desserts is Iloilo’s “it” place if you love desserts from gelatos to bite-sized chocolates.


This season, Nothing But Desserts offers DIY caramel apples. My son, Liam loves apples and this will surely make him get giddy!



My personal favourite at Nothing but Desserts – gelato. Check out their new flavors!


Red Velvet Gelato



Black Sesame Gelato…you’ll love this!



I think we consumed 3 kilos of sugar from all the sweets..this is something you might like as well. Perfect as gifts! Black Sesame, Squash Seed, and Almond Flakes Flat Cookies..”healthier” options :)




So if you’re Iloilo this Christmas or anytime of the year, check out Bauhinia and Nothing But Desserts!



Bauhinia Filipino Cuisine and Nothing But Desserts
Avenue Complex, Smallville,
Iloilo City




Marzon Hotel in Kalibo

November 26th, 2014





Oops, I miss featuring travel stories here – hope you are not bored from of all the events posts . Sorry, this has been my day job and events are pretty part of this gig. So here I’m back, looking at albums in my iPhoto, checking for stories that might pique your interest.

Would you like to know about Marzon Hotel?

I choose to write about this hotel in Kalibo in case you’ll be in town for the holidays. First, a disclaimer – this is not a paid post.

So far, this property is good enough for me especially for my kids.


There is a new hotel just across Marzon, but I need to stay there before featuring it here.

So let’s start…



For a small town, it is easy to reach Marzon Hotel. It is still a work in progress, a little bit of eyesore here and there, but I can see improvement like they have a elevator now – a must since they are raising up their building – and a new restaurant at the back of the main building.

This hotel in Kalibo has two buildings, the rooms in the main building are great. My eldest likes it there because of the small veranda but I prefer a more open outdoor space since I have kids who love to run around.

We opted to stay at the smaller building, for the boys to play while I work outside.



Yes, I can’t show you room photos – I’ll try to check my other album for room photos from our previous stays. Blogger parents can surely understand how hard it is to take photos of hotel rooms with your kids. They just attack the bed, while you are tired from the trip. I tried to “fix” it but, my boys have trashed it already.


Here’s my room photo from my overnight stay last December 3 for Globe Telecom’s Noah’s Ark Project in Aklan. I made a short video with another blogger, I’ll share it soon!


Well the rooms at Marzon are neat and visually fine. Amenities are simple and basic but I love the mahogany touches of the rooms. Still, way better compared to other hotels in Kalibo. And yes, Wi-Fi signal is stable.

Parents should check the rooms for hyper active kids. Just be warned not to disturb other guests :)




Another reason to stay at Marzon Hotel is the pool – according to my eldest son. Best to swim early morning to avoid the crowd. Thanks to the lifeguard for lending Liam these cutie puppy floaters.



Marzon’s pool. You can see the new restaurant as well.



For the food, nothing superb especially for the breakfast but Cafe Latte ( same company) makes up for the not-so-impressive meals at their in-house diner. Just walk from the hotel and enjoy great food from Latte.

So that’s it. Hope you find this post useful.

Till next time!



Related posts..

Piña Village in Kalibo

Sailo Cuisine: Where to Eat in Kalibo

5 Things to Do in the Town of Tangalan, Aklan


Krispy Kreme Doughnuts in Iloilo..finally!

November 14th, 2014


At long last, we don’t have to wait for pasalubongs to enjoy melt-in-your-mouth doughnuts from Krispy Kreme. Formally annouced via press conference today, Krispy Kreme in Iloilo will open on November 30 – the 59th store in the Philippines.

The world’s favorite doughnut brand was founded by Veron Rudolph in 1937 in North Carolina with his “Krispy Kreme Original Glazed” doughnut. Until today, the glaze doughnut is the top-selling variant across all KK stores.

Krispy Kreme came to the Philippines in 2006 and one of the reasons is how KK observed Filipinos bringing home boxes of Krispy Kreme as pasalubongs. With its flagship store in Bonificio High Street, KK has opened all over the country as far as Davao and Cagayan de Oro.


Ilonggos have been waiting for years to enjoy Krispy Kreme. I remember one flight back to Iloilo from Manila with my son — you can count the passengers who don’t have any KK box with them.

That familiar box…


The first store will be in SM Iloilo’s upper ground floor, just beside the main entrance.


According to Krispy Kreme, the Iloilo store will be a hotlight store, ” ..which means that once you see the hotlight sign to come on, you’re sure that you will get that melt in your mouth doughnut freshness that Krispy Kreme is known for!


And here’s an exciting promo for the opening of the Krispy Kreme in Iloilo!

We will carry the tradition of the Golden Ticket promo, giving our guests as chance to enjoy a 1-year supply of Original Glazed doughnuts and 8 oz. Signature Coffee, on us! Here’s how it works:

-GOLDEN TICKET : The first person in line on opening day gets a certificate that entitles him/her to one year supply of doughnuts and coffee.

- SILVER TICKET: The second person in line on opening day gets a certificate that entitles him/her to six months supply of doughnuts and coffee.

- BRONZE TICKET: The third person in line on opening day gets a certificate that entitles him/her to three months supply of doughnuts and coffee.

-fourth to 100th customers: The 4th and 100th customer will win one-month supply of Original Glazed Doughnuts


Imagine enjoying one dozen doughnuts every single week! Now that’s a box you  gotta share! Each customer, to get their prize must purchase at least one dozen doughnuts.

Thank you Krispy Kreme for helping me spreading the joy…

Best shared with your loved ones..

Namit guid ya!

See you at Krispy Kreme Iloilo!!


SMART Launches “Doon Po Sa Amin” for Iloilo

November 11th, 2014
doon po sa amin

Photo from Doon Po Sa Amin Facebook page


Tourism now shifted to focus on going local.  And who are the best people to promote these destinations, events, and flavors that locals themselves, right?

SMART Telecommunications have launched a very promising tourism platform called, ” Doon Po Sa Amin“.


Translated as ” At Our Place”, the program encourages everyone to be their hometown’s ambassadors for tourism.

How do you celebrate Christmas in your town? What are your local secrets? These are just some of the questions that can be answered. Local tourism from the locals.

A user-generated platform to promote food, festival, cuisine, history, and other events related to local tourism. You will be surprised that there are still more to learn and to discover in the Philippines. Do you know that there are tarsiers in Cotabato? I learned that from one of the articles in the site.

Doon Po Sa Amin (DPSA) is a project initiated by Smart Communications Inc. (Smart) under its corporate social responsibility program Kabalikat, and is aimed at encouraging teachers and students to use computer and Internet technologies to generate web-based information and educational materials about their respective communities. This project is in line with Smart’s thrust to promote information and communications technology (ICT) integration in basic education.

doon po samin

Photo from Doon Po Sa Amin Facebook page


Officially launched in Iloilo, #HelloIloilo with local press people and bloggers at Bavaria Restaurant. Speakers from local tourism were also present.



Ben Jimena of the City Tourism Office giving us what to expect for Dinagyang Festival 2015.



A very insightful night from different speakers sharing about Iloilo’s traditions and hidden gems.

Got a story to share for your hometown? Check out for articles, contests, and many more!


In Photos: Tacloban, A Year After Haiyan/Yolanda

November 4th, 2014


Less than a week to go and it will be a year after one of the world’s most painful tragedies hit Tacloban and other areas in the Philippines. I am blessed to have a friend who is working with one of the many humanitarian organizations in Tacloban. I get real time  updates especially when it comes to rebuilding the towns and survivors moving forward.

The stories I hear are of healing, hope, and gratitude. I asked my dear friend, Junalie, for some pics to share to you.

How’s Tacloban a year after Yolanda ( international name, Haiyan)?

Welcome to Tacloban
tacloban pics

Moving on with their daily lives

more tacloban pics



more tacloban pics

more tacloban pics

Rebuilding lives. Constructing school, homes, and other essential infrastructures.

more tacloban pics


Not all may know that there are still many organizations working on rehabilitating Tacloban, even foreign groups. Here’s the barracks of the Korean contingents.

more tacloban pics

more tacloban pics

Mass grave of the lives lost during Haiyan in Palo, Leyte.
more tacloban pics

more tacloban pics

It is just outside, a Catholic Church in San Joaquin, Palo, Leyte.

tacloban pics


Mass graves will become memorial sites. I hope Pope Francis will bless all mass graves during his Papal Visit this January 2015. I know he will.

tacloban pics

Let’s keep praying for the survivors and all humanitarian workers in Leyte and other places affected by Yolanda/Haiyan.

Big thanks again to my friend, Junalie for the photos.

Related articles

Images, Three Months After Yolanda

Reaching Out To Yolanda Survivors

How to Help Yolanda Survivors


Your $100 free gift from TRAVEL SET GO

October 25th, 2014


Modern travelers will always look for ways to get savings because traveling doesn’t have to cost a fortune.  Wouldn’t it be nice to stay in a luxurious hotel for less?

I would like to introduce to you, TRAVEL SET GO, a new discount site exclusively for hotels.  Members will get exclusive savings and lowest rates.

How does it work?

Savings Passport from Savings Passport on Vimeo.


It’s really simple.


Screen Shot 2014-10-23 at 9.39.27 PM


Imagine hotel savings you’ll get from TRAVEL SET GO.


Screen Shot 2014-10-23 at 9.47.41 PM


And for the best part….a free gift to you my dear reader!


Following my blog has a new benefit, you’re entitled to a $100 Travel Savings Gift that enables you to receive discount travel savings exclusively from Travel Set Go, a world‐class discount travel service provider.

image004       You Can Start Receiving Your Travel    Discounts Immediately!

To redeem your new travel benefits online


                                                          Enter Password: caulin99

Thank you for your support to my blog! Enjoy your new perks!




My Personalized Photo Magnets from PicStick

October 10th, 2014



With digital cameras and smartphones, most of us have gazillions of photos. Personally, I still print some because there are photos that I want to be see as I traipse around the house. Mostly baby photos of my not-a-baby-anymore kids.

Imagine how thrilled I was when asked to review an amazing product called PicStick.

PicStick is based in England and they will transform your photos into photo magnets.The best part? They ship worldwide.



 PicStick offers glossy magnetic pictures measuring 50 x 65 mm and 0.75mm thick. When they arrive, they will be in one sheet composed of 9 photo magnets. Easy to separate. I let my boys do it.

So how do you personalize your photos into beautiful PicStick photo magnets? Easy! Very easy.

You visit their site, and dowload the photos that you like.





You can get photos from your computer or from your Facebook account. Here are my photos.  I chose two travel photos and family portraits. I’m showing the price and the shipping cost – FREE.

What I like and I want to stress for this PicStick review is that they accept PayPal – very convenient for international customers.









You will receive your PicStick photo magnets as early as one day ( for UK customers). For EU countries, it will take 3-5days and for the rest of the world, it would be 5-10days.




I got mine after 14 days which, I don’t mind because hey, I live in the Philippines! :)






Someone is very happy! Don’t mind the banana please..



They are not just fridge magnets, PicStick can stick in any metallic surface.

My kids putting their photo magnets.




PicStick photo magnets are great to keep your favorite photos. Turn your favorite travel photos into something more creative. Lastly, Christmas is coming and these are great Christmas gift ideas.

Here’s more! For you my dear readers, PicStick would like to give you 25% discount. Just use this discount code ” VALCAULIN25″





Visit to enjoy your personalized photo magnets!



Other product reviews

Apps I Love

10Monkeys Math World


Bucket List: Spain

October 5th, 2014




Spain is on my bucket list’s top ten. I love history and our own Philippine history is greatly shaped with Spain. Wouldn’t it be nice to see Barcelona and Madrid?

When the invitation for my husband came to join the Philippine group for the beatification of Bishop Alvaro del Portillo, I was more than thrilled. A trip for a lifetime and worth every euro.

Got my husband’s permission to share with you some of the photos from his 9-day trip from Spain and long as he is not in the photos.

Let’s start our armchair travel with Spain’s Palacio Real de Madrid ( Royal Palace)



With the caballeros


Finest architecture


My husband said the churches are beyond beautiful..


Spanish 101



This is the Sanctuario de Torrecuidad in Aragon, northern Spain. Built by St. Josemaria Escriva, founder of Opus Dei.


Torrecuidad is in the Spanish Pyrenees with spectacular view of the largest dam in Spain of El Grando Lake.



Massive church in Zaragoza – Basilica of our Lady of Pillar


Valencia’s Cuidad de las Artes y las Ciences ( City of Arts and Sciences)


Mythical creature


and the Arganzuela Footbridge, also known as the Perrault Bridge ( after the architect who designed it, Dominique Perrault)  back in Madrid


There are more than 3,000 photos here that I still need to organize, but I think it’s enough to virtually dip our toes. Have you been to Spain? What’s the best thing about España?

Next will be photos from Rome and the Vatican. I still need to ask husband’s permission. :)

Thanks for reading!


  • Hi! I'm Valerie Caulin. Welcome to my blog!

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