Coffee,Tea,Connect: BEANLEAF-Naga

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‘Where do you want to eat?’ is the age-old question lovers, barkadas and families always have to answer when going out.  This question usually yields two opposing responses; absence of opinion or a complete collision of different suggestions.  The former is somewhat a better problem ‘cause the first and nearest resto anyone mentions would be the solution.  The latter though is an entirely different scenario.  I bet you remember several instances of how one friend wants to have milk tea, another ‘needs’ coffee , another craves for a burger and yet another prefers salad. All these drink/food preferences and very limited time that you can catch-up with each other amidst busy schedules are really crucial factors in choosing your hang-out spot. If this is a familiar dilemma for you and your crowd, have no fear. Beanleaf is here! 🙂

The place maintains a modern – contemporary aesthetic with a mix of subdued industrial feels (embodied by brick, accent-walls, and an exposed – industrial ceiling) the colors are predominantly earthier tones, browns, cream and some green color pops.


Walking in from the main entrance, your attention is grabbed by a three themed statement wall. You see a brick wall with a lit up Beanleaf signage unit, next to a wood-panel triangle, next to a Naga-City-themed mural.

The atmosphere in the main dining space is laid back and cozy thanks to the warm accommodating vibe of the wood panel flooring and the comfy furniture.

Beyond the counter, is a corridor with a line of seats and tables that lead to the mall entrance. Also on this corridor you will find a door to a function hall where you could hold small events, and private meetings.


Beanleaf boasts quite a variety of food and beverages (much emphasis on the word “variety”). Primarily known for their coffee and tea drinks, they also have cakes and pastries (your usual café finds), finger food platters, budget-friendly rice meals, burgers, salads and dinner-grade entrees. We went and tried the pulled pork burger, the Caesar salad and the “Platter B” which was a finger food platter that consisted of sausages, squid fries, fish fillet, chicken fillet, French fries and nachos. For our beverages, Ms. Apple, the branch owner, suggested their Nutella overload which was a chocolate-based frappe decked with (you guessed it) delicious, rich, Nutella. I also asked for another drink that wasn’t too sweet, and she suggested the Okinawa Milk tea, which was just the right amount of sweet for my taste. The vast assortment of options makes for a very flexible food joint. I could very much see beanleaf as a breakfast place, a work-day lunch option, an after-work hangout café and a dinner date restaurant. Whatever time of day it is or what mood you’re in, chances are, beanleaf has got you covered.

So, if you haven’t checked Beanleaf out yet, go and visit any of their branches in Naga City. They have a branch at Grand Master Mall (along J. Hernandez Avenue) or their bigger branch at Winwin Mall (along Diversion Road, beside Puregold).  

** All pictures were taken on the grand opening of their branch at Winwin Mall.  Thank you to Naga City Guide for this opportunity as well as to Ms Apple N Dy for being so warm and accommodating. So here are bonus pictures of the event, including some snaps of Mr Jake Cuenca who was the grand opening’s special guest.

Wilcon Depot: an Unconventional Dreamland

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The word “quirk” is defined by dictionary.com as “a peculiarity of action, behavior, or personality; mannerism”, and no matter how plain or ordinary we think we are, we all have our own quirks and little weird ‘cutenesses’; some of us hate chewing noises, some of us obsess over collecting things, some of us actually “like” pineapples on pizza.  One of my little quirks though is HOME DEPOT WINDOW SHOPPING.

One random Tuesday morning in February, I woke up to a beautiful sunny day and thought I should do just that, so I decided that I’ll just go ahead and check out WILCON DEPOT for the first time. Ever since the time the massive home depot caught my eye, walking into the then newly-opened Vista Mall, I have obsessed over the idea of venturing into its courts and loading up on adventure to my heart’s desire.   To my fellow Nagueños and Bicolanos who have not been there yet, Wilcon Depot is located in Barangay Del Rosario right across Vista Mall and has been serving Naga City and the rest of Bicol since 2018.  

So there I was, at the entrance of the depot, looking like a crazed little girl at a toy store, all giddy and excited to explore another dimension.  Upon entering the establishment, my team and I stood in awe of the vast expanse, decked in tile and plumbing supplies. we decided to first visit the lounge for their clientele which caught our eyes us with its sleek, modern aesthetic.

The lounge led to the bathroom area that was a world of its own. It was a long corridor of ideal bathroom set-ups and it felt like stepping into another realm.

Passing through this section, display after display, I couldn’t help but imagine how comfortable it would be to bathe in these tubs. I can only imagine the thrill and anticipation of future home owners or those who are currently having renovations and improvements done to their abodes. Sure, there’s one side where they probably get all wide-eyed over all the expenses but on the other hand, this is a lifetime investment for yourself and/or your family.

Walking out the other end of the bathroom exhibit, we were greeted by a plethora of colorful tile displays.

I’ve been seeing these kinds of prints in several establishments already. I’m not really familiar with home depot or hardware terms but I think they’re called Spanish Tiles.

Walking past several stacks of tiles, we made our way to the furniture section, which just blew us away.


Is it just me, or do the chairs above give off a 90’s sitcom vibe? 😀

We made our way through very poppy statement pieces and subdued, minimalist pieces and every item just gave us inspiration, filling our minds with stuff to put in our dream houses.

Then, at the corner of my eye, was a loud, red-colored object that drew my attention to the outdoors section. I saw this absolutely GORGEOUS piece, a vintage-style Coca-Cola ice chest.

I’m not much into soda products, or anything sweet for that matter, but seeing this piece just makes you think about soda advertisements on TV. I feel like had I been a soda drinker, it would have had me wanting a chilled beverage when I saw this ice box.

I could also imagine this as a part of someone’s memorabilia collection or a really good statement piece at someone’s living room, back yard dining area or game room. Trust me, the color alone demands attention. Calling all future establishment owners, you may want to get first dibs on this. 😀

To those who lack imagination, the pile of synthetic grass carpet above would not bring much excitement but not to me and all my artsy-fartsy sisters (and bros) out there. I think I need a full length frame made of this in the future. I can almost see how useful it will be to future OOTD shots for future blog posts 😀 or just for family portraits. Also, a portion of greenery at home is always welcome.

Is it just me or did you automatically think of weddings and debuts upon seeing this adorably romantic whatchamacallit? LOL Im still researching as to what it’s really called. But you can totally picture a bride with her groom or a debutante in it, right? I think I’d want one in my future house someday, in my garden (woah big words haha). Going back to this wachamacallit piece of charming furniture, I think interior designers and event stylists will definitely have a superb time in this area of the depot.

If you’ve been reading this far [I love you btw if you’ve gotten this far 🙂 ] and are wondering what this place could possibly interest you in [because you’re just not into anything big and stuffy for the home or for anyone for that matter] well, hold that thought. Wilcon Depot is also home to a collection of artsy gift items for just about everyone. Check them out below.

I know I’ve shown you quite a lot of stuff already but believe me, I haven’t covered even a quarter of all the available items at this depot. I went home with a massive eyegasm and an updated list of ‘whats gonna be in my house in the future’.


P.S.
Just in case you were wondering, the bathroom in this place is way beyond decent. First and foremost, it is sparkling clean and to probably everone’s delight, they have bidets. 😀 It’s definitely comparable to the bathrooms in some hotel lounges. So if you’re here for half a day to do some actual home-depot shopping, you don’t have to worry when nature calls, Wilcon has you covered.

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Floating Resto Bar in Camaligan

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Ever since some of my friends started posting about the Floating Restaurant Bar in Camaligan, I’ve already ‘pencil-booked’ it in my head to go and check it out.  I started seeing their posts in the 1st week of February but only had the chance to go there last week because of schedule conflicts and because the resto bar has always been fully-booked (you need to book in advance with them).

So here are some of the Frequently Asked Questions about the Floating Resto Bar:

How much?

It’s P500 per head inclusive of snacks and dinner (and of course the 4-hour river cruise)

Other than eating what else can we do on the cruise?

You can sing along or choose your own song at their videoke; there is also a live band on board depending on their schedule. You can explore your skills at photography (phone or camera) as the light changes as you explore on the river.

Is there a washroom (‘comfort room’) on board?

Yep! There’s one decent washroom on board. So you don’t have to worry about doing number 1 and even number 2. 😀 (will insert a sports-cam shot at the end of this post)

How do I get there?

If you have your own car, drive up to the Camaligan basketball court. The wharf is just across it (just behind the Rural Health Unit of Camaligan).

If you will take the public transportation, head unto the terminal of Camaligan Tricycle a few meters at the back of Master Square and get off the Camaligan basketball court, cross the street and head to the wharf behind the rural health unit.

Camaligueños are very friendly people and would be much willing to point you to the Water Park. Just make sure that you reach the Camaligan Basketball Court and you’ll be fine. There are many municipal employees in that area.

What time should we be there?

The floating resto bar leaves at 4.30pm but passengers would have to register first on the manifesto. So, it’s best to be there by 4pm.

What time does it return to the galley?

It comes back at around 8:30pm.

What is the route?

From the wharf, it cruises towards the area of Barangay Dugcal and Sua of Camaligan and turns and goes back to the opposite side up until the area under Tabuco Bridge and then returns to the wharf.

Do they accept walk-ins?

Based on our experience, we had to book with them in advance as their slots were always full.  We planned to experience the 4-hour cruise as early as the 3rd or last week of February but were only booked by March 1, 2019.  Also, one must in advance to secure our slots.

How do we contact them?

You may contact Ms Kiks Veracruz at 09774455899 or Ms. Joy at 09175500034.

Do they have packages if we want to reserve the whole resto bar?

Yes, they have other packages depending on your activity/event.  Please refer to the uploaded photo of their packages below.

Any other tips?

Yes, wear sunblock (at least on your face) as during the early part of the ride, the sun would really be up in your face.  It’s not as scorching as in the early parts of the day but you know what they say (and what I’m learning just recently) skin care is life 😀 . Also, bring a light jacket or anything for the cold depending on how sensitive you are, it gets a bit chilly when the sun has set.

Also, don’t forget to check out the Camaligan River Park after docking.  It’s really hard to miss. Just follow the lights.

Overall, it was indeed a unique and laid-back experience for me and my friends. It was a refreshing break from the daily hustle of the city and a nice and short mini-getaway without really going away. 

You can bring your family or your barkada with you (or both).  You can also choose to bring a special someone with you for an intimate dinner date. Or you can book the cruise for yourself only, to just relax and meditate as you enjoy the sceneries and/or be amused by the other guests on board.  You may even get to make new friends as the setting is quite intimate.  There would only be around 30 guests per ride. 

On the night that we booked, we were the only ‘yuppies’ on board and majority of the guests were ‘golden girls’ and above who’d regularly meet up for a zumba session at the Naga City Plaza.  They were such a treat of high energy, laughter, congeniality and entertainment on board.  We even had some pictures together (I hope they get to read this 😀 as I will include some below 🙂 ).

This is a really nice move on the part of the LGU of Camaligan in promoting their town and the talents and skills of Camaligueños. So go and check it out guys and get some sweet sunshine on your face by the Camaligan River.

Please follow our Facebook Page: Vanilla Sunshine for more updates 🙂

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The 1st Sprinkle of Sunshine

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Hi guys. Finally! Today is the day! This day, February 8, 2019 marks the first day of my first post on my very own blog. I’m so happy to welcome you all to my blog.  Welcome, welcome! I’m so thrilled that this is finally up and really nervously giddy at the thought that you guys are reading this at this very moment.  So, welcome to VanillaSunshine.com 🙂 This is going to be my personal blog where I intend to write about things that are real, beautiful, exciting, inspiring as well as those that are mundane, basic yet essential in our daily lives in the Bicol Region.  But from time to time, I will try to travel so I can also share about the other parts of the Philippines and hopefully the world 🙂  

You guys have no idea how long I’ve wanted to do this. This little project has long been in its (let’s just say) incubation stage.

Too long, probably.  Like roughly 4 years.

I know. Why the delay?

When I think about it, the delay had a lot to do with my self-imposed pressure for things to be perfect.  That, combined with my not-so-good time management skills and voila 4 years have passed and I’m still pondering on what could be the perfect name; ( Somebody beat me to the original name that I wanted. Sunshineandvanilla dot com has been taken up a little over 4 years ago); the perfect theme, the perfect layout, the best categories and topics and just about everything that I can control about my blog. 

See, I don’t like making mistakes and I have a lot of fears. But as much as such have protected me from doing really stupid regrettable things, they have also prevented me from exploring, discovering and taking leaps of faith.  Mind you, being wise enough not to do inappropriate, regrettable and irreversible things is good and beneficial but deep down I think my problem was different. It wasn’t like that. It was more like I didn’t want to take risks and make mistakes because I didn’t want to be wrong.  I think that may have a little or maybe a lot to do with pride- which is still (to my disappointment haha) so wrong.  I had second thoughts of putting myself out there and risk being criticized for not being and doing the best or for not trying hard enough. I still have those fears.

In 2017, I set the goal to finally release my website/blog in 2018.  Either in April (4-8-18) or December (12-8-18). Don’t ask me why I obsessed over the dates so much. I’m not Chinese and certainly don’t believe in luck or superstitions.  But I just like the number and the ability to be able to have a say in that aspect.  And yet, I wasn’t able to do it. I got too busy with life and all its obligations and complications. Realizing that it was already December 9, I’ve wanted to kick myself and I actually mentally beat myself over this over and over again. I kept thinking about the opportunities I’ve missed, the hearts I would have touched, the things I would have learned and the experiences I could have had.

But hey. I’m still alive and still able to make it a reality regardless of not being able to meet my previously set (somewhat ridiculous) standards.  That’s probably why I’m talking about this in my first post.


Today, I’m choosing to embrace the endless possibilities and opportunities out there . I’m still scared but I think that’s the point.  I’m taking a leap of faith.  Deep down, I know that I’ve been given a tiny seed of ability to communicate/write. And I haven’t been using it to the fullest.  But now I’ll try my hardest to turn things around.  And I hope that you’d join me in this journey as well.  I still do not have everything about this blog (and my life) figured out but I’m moving forward anyway. A few seemingly minute steps forward is better than being stoic and stuck in the same sad spot especially when there is no longer any growth.

I don’t exactly know what stage in your life you’re at, right now.  You may be at a crossroad, stuck or limping back and forth because fears or self-imposed pressure or whatnots.  I pray that you are also able to move forward, even just the tiniest bit.  Someone very wise once said that it is way better to have the tiniest bit of faith- even that of a mustard seed than none at all.     

So here’s to us, as we embark on this new journey.  Here’s to us, as we forego our fears and unnecessary-ridiculously-high-bordeline-crazy standards.  Here’s to us, doing our best but no longer scared to death of making small mistakes. Here’s to believing that we are wonderfully and fearfully made for a purpose higher than we can actually imagine. Here’s to us learning that we can never be fully in control of everything and that’s okay, in fact that should be a relief.  Here’s to us slowly, yet surely and humbly changing our perspective.  Here’s to a better you.  Here’s to a better me. Here’s to possibilities and breakthroughs. Here’s to life and actually living.


Here’s to spreading a dose of sweet and warm sunshine wherever we go. 🙂


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