Ayala Center Cebu might be a go-to place for lunch or dinner when in the Queen City of the South, but one night when in Cebu found out this thumbs up restaurant a few blocks from The Terraces. 

blue elephant in cebu panoramic view
Panoramic view
Why was it a 'thumbs-up'? Because I got to tick these:
  • Alfresco dining
  • 360-degree view of the city
  • Perfect ambiance
  • Acceptable to good food
blue elephant in cebu view
Hello again Cebu! Hello The Terraces/ Ayala Center
blue elephant in cebu
Sky Lounge
Blue Elephant is located at Apple One Sky Lounge. Though photos weren't good (because it was night and the lighting condition weren't good-- only for photos as it was pefect just to chill around), here's what we succumbed to:
  • Roti (Original) at Php 165
blue elephant in cebu roti
Nice to meet you, Roti!
This one looks too bland but no, it's so good especially when paired with its sauce. Roti (also known as chapati--- now I'm just pasting here my Google search) is an Indian flat bread made from stoneground wholemeal flour, traditionally known at atta flour. Highly recommended for an appetizer. 
  • Hot Prawn Salad at Php 290
blue elephant in cebu hot prawn salad
Is it hot, now?
Enjoyed Roti but not the Hot Prawn Salad. For me it was like an ordinary fruit salad topped with the prawns. The salad itself was not good, one factor was because it's not chilled anymore. 
  • Sauteed Broccoli with Beef at Php 260
blue elephant in cebu sauteed beef with broccoli
The healthy choice from the pack
Just tasted a bit this one and must say, it's not so grand, but acceptable. 
  • Blue Elephant Premium BBQ Ribs at Php 320
blue elephant in cebu BBQ ribs
The sauce commands attention tho sorry for the blur
Ribs! How can you get wrong with ribs? It was tender and BBQ-ey saucy. 
  • Pork Sisig at Php 250
blue elephant in cebu pork sisig
Sizzle with the sisig
Good sisig, too! I enjoyed munching on this one. Should be because it's a tad expensive for a sisig, huh. 
  • Phad Thai at Php 250
blue elephant in cebu phad thai
Sweet phad thai and it was okay. With this, rice wasn't much needed. 

In general, food was okay only that serving was small vis-a-vis the price but of course did not incorporate the ambiance for that. Venue is good for a night of cocktails, too.

Blue Elephant menu:

blue elephant in cebu menu
Choose some more?

<a href="https://www.zomato.com/cebu/blue-elephant-cebu-business-park" title="View Menu, Reviews, Photos & Information about Blue Elephant, Cebu Business Park and other Restaurants in Cebu" target="_blank"><img alt="Blue Elephant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato" src="https://www.zomato.com/logo/17815448/minilogo" style="border:none;width:104px;height:15px;padding:0px;" /></a> Rating: 3.5

Blue Elephant is located at:

19/F, Apple One Equicom Tower, 

Mindanao cor Biliran Avenue, 
Cebu Business Park, Cebu
After eating lechon, the next logical thing to do is find some sweets. When in The Terraces, Ayala Center Cebu, an option could be Maitre Chocolatier. It's not an exclusive Cebu restaurant though as it has a branch in Makati. 

Maitre Chocolatier Ayala Center Cebu branch
Maitre Chocolatier Ayala Center Cebu branch

It was quite late already so we were left with a few options available. Their cakes are quite pricey at almost Php 200 per slice. 

Maitre Chocolatier Ayala Center Cebu branch interior
Inside :)
Maitre Chocolatier Ayala Center Cebu branch cakes
So what to choose?
  • Tiramisu- presentation is nice. It's not so sweet and not too fantastic for its price. It wouldn't carve a "bring me back here again" or "I shall hunt this in Manila" feeling.
Maitre Chocolatier Ayala Center Cebu branch Tiramisu
  • White Chocolate with Mango- cute presentation too. Same feeling though of course, I love the mango on top.
Maitre Chocolatier Ayala Center Cebu White Chocolate
The mango pulled it, really

Not the best place for a sweet cravings. So now the question is, what's a good option? Any help? 

<a href="https://www.zomato.com/cebu/maitre-chocolatier-cebu-business-park" title="View Menu, Reviews, Photos & Information about Maitre Chocolatier, Cebu Business Park and other Restaurants in Cebu" target="_blank"><img alt="Maitre Chocolatier Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato" src="https://www.zomato.com/logo/17816217/minilogo" style="border:none;width:104px;height:15px;padding:0px;" /></a> Rating: 3.5

Maitre Chocolatier is located at:

G/F, The Terraces, 
Ayala Center Cebu, 
Cebu Business Park, Cebu
Rico's Lechon is claiming to be Cebu's best, directly competing with the famous Zubuchon. Alright then, it's a new kid in the town of Cebu so when we visited there again, second time this 2015, rushed to taste their offering. Glad there's one near Ayala Center Cebu. 

rico's lechon cebu near ayala center
Trying to get a picture but it's too dark outside.

It's us, don't be afraid. Haha
Lechon is an order for sure but choosing between regular and spicy was a debate. They said spicy lechon is so good but not wanting that, ended up for the regular. One half (1/2) kilo Regular lechon is at Php 310. Their lechon was good, not so salty alright but I somehow missed the aroma and flavor of Zubuchon's, making the latter still better for me. Although admittedly, the result could be otherwise if we chose the spicy. Anyhow, Cebu is just a few hours plane ride from Manila, hahaha. :p

rico's lechon cebu near ayala center lechon
Regular lechon
Aside from lechon (though I don't have photos already), ordered also:
  • Monggo (good for 3-4 persons) at Php 180. Now this one's a good deal. Nothing so special but good enough for a chilly night.
  • Chicken Skin at Php 135. Wow, chicken skin is almost as expensive as monggo but then again, that's chicken skiiiiiin and you can never go wrong with that (assuming we don't count the bad cholesterol, of course)
It was a challenge well fought, Rico's. That's evident with the many people lining up for dinner in their full house Kamputhaw branch. 

Rico's Lechon Menu: 

rico's lechon cebu near ayala center menu
Rico's Lechon Menu
rico's lechon cebu near ayala center menu 1
Rico's Lechon other offerings menu

<a href="https://www.zomato.com/cebu/ricos-lechon-kamputhaw" title="View Menu, Reviews, Photos & Information about Rico's Lechon, Kamputhaw and other Restaurants in Cebu" target="_blank"><img alt="Rico&#039;s Lechon Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato" src="https://www.zomato.com/logo/17828258/minilogo" style="border:none;width:104px;height:15px;padding:0px;" /></a> Rating: 4

Rico's Lechon has a branch in:

Tojong Corner Acacia Street, 
Kamputhaw, Cebu
Mention Cebu or the Queen City of the South and the phrases that would come to mind are lechon, Larsian BBQ, Bantayan Island, Magellan's Cross, Basilica del Sto. Niño, Fort San Pedro, Ayala Center Cebu, Mactan, skywalk or edge coaster extreme adventure in Crown Regency Hotel, metropolitan city, Malapascua, and only recently Oslob whaleshark watching or Sumilon island. But I've never heard anyone mention Olango Island. (It was famous before, they say but my generation prolly knows not much). 

Olango island is not too big. According to research, it's only 1,030 hectares (2,500 acres). Before, it was known for Olango Island Bird Sanctuary. It's accessible very accessible. We were just thinking what to do for the afternoon while eating dessert in Mövenpick Hotel Mactan Island Cebu and we realized that a small port is located just beside it.

Movenpick Cebu strawberry ice cream
Mövenpick Strawberry ice cream which was pricey and NOT good
We can go as far as Bohol, but the fastest route to be lost is in Olango, just 10-15 minutes at Php 15 (if I remember it correctly) from Mactan. 

No plans whatsoever, we just contracted a tricycle to roam us around the island. But halfway thru, seeing the abundance of nature all around us, we decided for a walk. And we basked in these goodness:

Olango Island in Cebu travel diary
Impromptu but ready with a map :) :) :)
Olango Island in Cebu travel diary 1
Like the road to an altar on weddings--- Olango way
Olango Island in Cebu travel diary bask in nature
Coconut makes the perfect foreground
Olango Island in Cebu travel diary 2
Walka-thon and having a blast! Show me the way! :)
Walking by foot, we arrived finally at the Marine Sanctuary. Here's the choices of activities that we can do but decided just to take it slow. 

Olango Island in Cebu travel diary marine sanctuary
At the 1st sanctuary--- marine
Olango Island in Cebu travel diary marine sanctuary rates
Marine Sanctuary activity options with price
Just paid Php 25 for the Boardwalk fee. It was just a simple activity but I enjoyed immensely. It was a looooong boardwalk and along, here are the sights we marveled at:

Olango Island in Cebu travel diary marine sanctuary board walk
Boardwalk, reveal your beauty!
Olango Island in Cebu travel diary marine sanctuary board walk 1
Some 'displays' along the board walk :)
Olango Island in Cebu travel diary marine sanctuary board walk 2
Now out in the open!!!
Olango Island Cebu Wildlife Sanctuary 2
Loving the strong wind brushing my hair!
At the end was a raft but it was late in the afternoon already so just decided to enjoy looking at different starfishes. We could've snorkeled but again, was late in the afternoon that the current is strong already.  

Olango Island in Cebu travel diary marine sanctuary 1
She sells seashells by the seashore?
Olango Island in Cebu travel diary marine sanctuary board walk 3
And we're going back
Next stop was the once famous, was the Olango Island Wildlife Sanctuary, home of over 60,000 migratory birds from as far as Siberia and China. The road/walkway going there was an adventure in itself. We walked around a few steps along the mangrove then hopped in its walkway. 

Olango Island in Cebu travel diary wildlife sanctuary 2
Hello birds! Hello Olango Island Wildlife Sanctuary!
Olango Island in Cebu travel diary marine sanctuary board walk 4
It's more exciting because it's under repair. *giddy much*
See? It was sooo enjoyable! The island was so full of life that peering through the stones were small hermit crabs and in the water, school fishes going to their whereabouts that time of the day. This is the real #blessed. 

Olango Island Cebu Wildlife Sanctuary 4
Show yourself, hermit! Don't be so shy
A small concrete nipa with stairs at the end awaits where with the provided binoculars (because we paid Php 75 per head), birds are freely roaming around. Best time to go there was at 2pm already. Again, we were late so saw only a few birds. 

Olango Island in Cebu travel diary wildlife sanctuary 3
Where birds can be seen on a 'platform'
I know the picture didn't capture it with justice but with the sunset coming, we instead savored this sight. God's creation is truly amazing!

Olango Island Cebu Wildlife Sanctuary 3
Laid back fun 
Olango Island Cebu Wildlife Sanctuary 1
Ahhhhhh! This view!!!
Unprepared, unplanned, didn't see that much and just chilled around but it wasn't bad after all. In fact, I had a great time just appreciating everything around... just absorbing the easy life in Olango. The island was so simple yet full of blessings. It's good once in a while to go with the flow. Though next time, I want to see more birds and more fishes. :)

Some photos courtesy of @mdms. Thank you for your better photos :)
Looking for a Filipino fiesta right at the heart of the city? Where Filipino favorites like lechon, liempo, sisig, inihaw, even balot, sorbetes, halo-halo and kakain are served? All these to be ended with unlimited beer? Applause to the concept of La Fiesta: Largest Filipino Buffet for all these cravings are found in one place. 

La Fiesta at MOA
La Fiesta at MOA
La Fiesta at MOA Sorbetero
La Fiesta Sorbetero
For a Weekday Dinner rate at Php 838, here are the feast awaiting: 
  • Appetizer Section- all the 'pampagana' Filipino style
La Fiesta at MOA appetizers
Itlog na maalat, kamatis, perfect!
  • Seafood Section- Dampa/ paluto style. I cannot really say that it's fresh on the spot, though
La Fiesta at MOA seafood selection
Seafood Section
La Fiesta at MOA dampa style
What we ordered: shell galore
  • Carving Station- one of my favorites but an area where heart attack is inevitable
    • Lechon
La Fiesta at MOA lechon
Always a staple! Lechon!
La Fiesta at MOA sarsas
What sarsa does your lechon like? Find your perfect mix
    • Lechon Manok/ Inihaw na Liempo
La Fiesta at MOA lechon manok
Sometimes, lechon manok/ roasted chicken will do
    • Shawarma
La Fiesta at MOA shawarma
    • Roasted Pork Ham
La Fiesta at MOA roasted pork ham
Looks extremely appetizing, but not when eaten
    • International (not Filipino but Filipino favorites still) Section
      • Italian: pizza, pasta 
    La Fiesta at MOA pizza
    Pizza is good, clap clap (But then again, it's pizza)
      • Chinese foods
    La Fiesta at MOA chinese foods
    Chinese favorites. Lumpia is a Filipino fiesta staple
      • Japanese: tempura, sushi, maki, okonomiyaki
    La Fiesta at MOA tempura
    Tempura has become a favorite for Filipino food lovers too
    La Fiesta at MOA sushi boat
    Sushi: staple in every buffet
    La Fiesta at MOA sashimi and sushi
    Sashimi: perfect for the beer, too
      • Mexican: quesadillas
    La Fiesta at MOA quesadillas
      • Other viands that are not entirely Filipino. 
    • Filipino Selection
      • Favorite Viands
    La Fiesta at MOA Filipino favorites
    Filipino faves such as kare-kare
      • Street Foods/ Ihaw-ihaw- the classic Filipino street foods! This time cleaner. Haha
    La Fiesta at MOA ihaw ihaw
    Ihaw-ihaw kanto style
    La Fiesta at MOA tenga ng baboy
    Tenga ng Baboy! 

    La Fiesta at MOA balunbalunan ng manok
      • Exotic Filipino a.k.a. fear factor: from one day old ducks, balut, crispy chicken skin
    La Fiesta at MOA uniquely filipino
    Choose your fear-factor Filipino style food!

    La Fiesta at MOA fried intestine
    Fried intestine/ isaw. So good!
    La Fiesta at MOA fried duck
    Tanan! Fried duck!
    La Fiesta at MOA balut
    Cooked balut! Anyhow you like it. haha
    La Fiesta at MOA balut 1
    Conservative baluuuuuut!
      • Sisig & Steak etc (which are requested and delivered at the table, so mind your table number)
    La Fiesta at MOA bulalo steak
    Bulalo steak: not so good
    • Desserts
      • Halo-halo
    La Fiesta at MOA halo halo
    Do it yourself Halo halo 
      • Kakanin
    La Fiesta at MOA kakanin
    Kakanin! Not a fan, though
      • Ice cream (not the classic 'mamang sorbetero' cart)
      • Cakes and Jellies
    La Fiesta at MOA desserts
    Desserts from cakes to jellies
      • Crepe 
    La Fiesta at MOA DIY crepe
    DIY crepe, buffet staple also
      • Salads
      • Fruits
    La Fiesta at MOA fruits
    Fruits all you can
    • Drinks
      • Buko Juice/ Fruit Juices
    La Fiesta at MOA fruit juices
    Fruit juices
      • Sago Gulaman 
      • Unlimited beer- they have the draft and the canned San Miguel Pale pilsen
    La Fiesta at MOA beer
    Beer, powdered juices and colas

    To top it all off, La Fiesta has a live band/ performances. Truly a pinoy fiesta! If there was a karaoke, it would have been grand. 

    La Fiesta at MOA live entertainment
    Live entertainment
    What I like about La Fiesta: 
    • Concentrated theme same like Banzai's but the food were better prepared. So relative to buffets, food are better. 
    • 'Relatable' because I am a Filipino that it's funny you get to eat all those Filipino favorites in one sitting from the turo-turo to lechon to the fishes
    • Pica-pica foods! You know, the fried isaw, etc. When you are full but still have to blabber stories, it's the best option. (Only take this route when full; eat the expensive ones first to be 'sulit') 
    • Well-lighted interiors (though I did not discuss it in this blog)
    What I don't like:
    • It's good but not everything's a joy. Some foods are still bleh though like that baked crab! Inside its yummy appearance lies rehashed meats.
    La Fiesta at MOA baked crab
    Baked Crab: looks good outside but...
    La Fiesta at MOA baked crab bleh
    ... the inside is bleh
    La Fiesta is also affiliated with Yakimix (I don't have a published review because I've eaten here before I took blogging srsly) and Buffet 101 but for me, among its sisters, it's the better version.

    Still on top of my list is Vikings and Four Seasons Hot Pot City. Nevertheless, La Fiesta is doing a great job. 

    La Fiesta rates:

    La Fiesta at MOA rates
    La Fiesta at MOA rates

    <a href="https://www.zomato.com/manila/la-fiesta-filipino-cuisine-mall-of-asia-complex-pasay-city" title="View Menu, Reviews, Photos & Information about La Fiesta Filipino Cuisine, Mall of Asia Complex (MOA) and other Restaurants in Metro Manila" target="_blank"><img alt="La Fiesta Filipino Cuisine Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato" src="https://www.zomato.com/logo/6313649/minilogo" style="border:none;width:104px;height:15px;padding:0px;" /></a> Rating: 4 

    La Fiesta Filipino Cuisine is located at:

    One Esplanade, Jose Diokno Boulevard, 
    San Miguel By the Bay, 
    Mall of Asia Complex (MOA), Pasay City