Kopi Bake El Nido

We’ve been hearing from other locals in El Nido that Kopi Bake, one of the newer coffee shops in town, has good coffee and bread. So, we gotta try it, right?

It was a hot day so I decided to try their Iced Mocha (160php) which did not disappoint. My son got the Banana Walnut Bread (120php) which we really liked. It was a generous serving, moist and just plain yummy! I will definitely be ordering it again for my other kids to try because my son wiped that one in the car on the way home.

Kopi Bake

Rizal Street, Bgy. Maligaya

Cel No. 09216146306

Neko Cafe Ragdoll: A Cat Cafe in Osaka, Japan

Included in our Japan itinerary was to visit a cat cafe, of course! We found Neko Cafe Ragdoll online as we were having lunch nearby one day. My kids and I are into cats (We’ve got a rescued kitten who we named Hamishi and created an IG account for her and her furry puppy sister @islandpetselnido) .

We were surprised to see first hand how crazy the Japanese are about cats! Neko is the Japanese word for cat. I can see why they love these furry creatures. Cats are very low key, fuss free, demure and like to clean up a loooot. In fact, they spend most of their days grooming themselves. Much like the Japanese, right?

There is a Japanese mythical story about the cat which I loved reading about. Apparently, they find the feline friends very lucky especially with business. That is why we see those cat statues in restaurants and other establishments. They are there for good energy!

We visited the Neko Cafe Ragdoll Cat Cafe which is tucked in an alley outside Namba City Mall, Osaka.

What I noticed is how OC they are about cleanliness. We had to change into their indoor slippers, wipe down the slippers with wet wipes and alcohol, wash our hands and wipe our hands after with alcohol so as to not spread any possible germs or diseases to the cats?! Wow, the Virgo in me was impressed. I should do the same with guests entering my home πŸ˜‚

The cost of a 1 hour stay per pax is 1,000 Yen. They serve food and drinks, too on top of that charge. We were still full from our lunch but my sister did order a drink to have the full cat cafe experience.

Many of the cats were sleepy, tired or plain lazy. Some though were curious at us especially my kids and of course, the hungry one was interested when I had food to give.

The attendants were kind enough to answer our questions even if they didn’t really speak much English.

My children finding them too cute. We noticed how much hairier these cats were compared to our tropical island ones!

Do you have any cat cafe recommendations in Japan? We will be returning to Tokyo in September and would love to visit one there, too!

NekoCafe Ragdoll

Japan, γ€’542-0075 Osaka Prefecture, Osaka, Chuo, Nanbasennichimae, 13βˆ’6 ジェむプラむド難泒ビル

Tamboks El Nido has reopened

Tamboks has finally reopened its doors to feed the hungry of El Nido! They were closed for a few months due to renovations to accommodate more guests.

My family eagerly waited for this Filipino restaurant to open again because it is our default choice for Sunday lunch. They have proper parking + seating space for families (rare in El Nido), and just a skip and a hop away from our home! Oh, and a real plus is that they probably have the fastest WiFi in town, too!

My kids always order the Chicken Inasal (230php) while I love the vegetarian-friendly, Laswa Soup (135php) and Tortang Talong (100php). I also like their Farm Fresh Salad (120php) and Inasal Veggies (120php).

See their menu:

Sorry, no photos of our food because we were famished that I forgot to take any. You’ll just have to trust me– this is the best family-friendly Filipino restaurant in El Nido!


El Nido National Highway, Villa Libertad

0920 914 1412

Visit the Iga-ryu Ninja Museum in Japan

Planning a trip to Japan? If Osaka is one of the cities you’re visiting, make sure to do the 2 hour trip to Iga City for a wholesome and educational Ninja Experience. Iga Prefecture, if you didn’t know, is THE origin of Ninja!

“A secret group of Ninja actually existed. Famed as a school of. Ninja who exhibited exceptional skills, they are said to have practiced intelligence based strategies su h as information gathering, analysing the enemy’s strength and diversionary tactics.”

You definitely want to introduce interesting Japanese history to your kids! This is how we homeschool, travelschool, worldschool, unschool or whatever you wanna call itπŸ˜‰

Train to Iga-ryu Ninja Museum in Ueno Park

We honestly got lost on our way to Iga because we didn’t get on the right train at one of the stations πŸ™„ The 2 hour travel time turned into 4 hours (several train changes plus a bus ride) after our boo boos but it was still well worth the trip! You can see a vastly different scene from the industrial looking Osaka on your way to Iga City which me and my family appreciated.

TRAVEL TIP: Make sure you aboard the correct train. Japan is very precise with the timing of their trains so the time of departure is a better indicator than the color or direction of the train itself.

When you get to Ueno Park, head to the Iga-ryu Ninja Museum where you pay for the entrance. It’s just a short hike of about 10minutes. (Shorter if you aren’t carrying any tots with you) We waited only for about 5 minutes in line before entering the “Home of the Ninja”.

A lady wearing a ninja costume ushered us in and showed us the different components of a traditional Ninja house with animated explanations. There were revolting walls, secret trick door, an underground passage, a lookout place and a safe compartment all used by the ninjas during their time.

After the Ninja House, you are directed to the museum where you can see all the different ninja traditions and exhibits (the clothing and gears!!) illustrating the life and wisdom of the Ninja.

You can learn very interesting tidbits about the Ninja if you read from all the exhibits. Thankful they have English translations. Many museums actually do not have them. Loved this one about the cats eye! So informative!

I was pleased to learn that the Ninjas were also very much into strengthening the body and mind. Totally my kinda people 😍

Take your time at the museum unless the Ninja show is about to start then you can rush outside to the stage area and just come back in after the show is over. They’ll allow that, no worries.

You need to pay a separate fee for this before entering the outside arena. You can choose to skip this but I HIGHLY RECOMMEND this show! They practically showed how all the Ninja weapons (real ones!) were used in a comedic fashion. It was definitely the most entertaining non English live show my kids and I have ever seen. Sadly, they didn’t have English translations during the show but we kept up!

It is honestly more appropriate for the older kids, maybe 7 years and up (because there are loud sounds and a firecracker stunt at the very end) but they let me in with my 4 year old and 1 year old anyway!

Photos aren’t allowed to be taken during the show so I tried to sneak one before it started.

Iga-Ryu Ninja Museum

Ueno Park, Marunouchi, Iga City

9am to 5pm

Adults 700Β₯, Children 400Β₯

Ninja Show separate fee of 400Β₯

No Name Korean Restaurant in Puerto Princesa

We love to eat! So, as much as we can, we like to try out new restaurants in town. We were traveling down to civilization (aka Puerto Princesa) 5 hours south of El Nido to get new supplies for the house and checked out this new Korean Restaurant along Rizal Avenue very close to the old airport.

Appetisers were soon served and refilled 3 times over the course of our meal! My kids like the tamago tasting one which is egg cut up into strips. I like fermented dishes because of its health benefits so I ate up those.

It was raining at that time so it made sense for us to order the Korean Bibimbap which is served on a hot stone bowl to cook and keep the food warm.

They didn’t have Jap Chae noodles (cry!) so we had to settle for their Ramen served with Egg.

My son always orders this roll with rice and vegetables. Its their version of sushi but with fermented veggies inside. Typically it is served with ham but I requested for them to remove it.

Of course, the perfect way to cap off a lunch is with Korean ice cream! The kids rushed over when we announced they could have some for dessert.

Oh, the choices! Prices for Korean ice cream range from 60 to 80php.

Korean Restaurant with No Name (yet!?)

Located on the 2nd floor of a yellow and red building right before La Terrasse on the right side of the road.

12 Foods To Try at Kuromon Market in Osaka Japan

High up on my itinerary for Osaka was to visit the famous Kuromon Ichiba Market to see the local Japanese food offerings. Unlike other markets I have been to this one was clean and didn’t have any funky smell. It’s great to walk around with kids. I wouldn’t say stroller friendly as the alleys get jam packed with people and moving can get tricky during peak meal hours. I recommend using a baby sling or pouch if coming here during those times.

Here are some foods you should try with your kids on your next visit to Osaka!

1. Japanese Fruits – I live in the Philippines where we have an abundance of tropical fruits for very cheap.

Japanese fruits, although quite pricey, are HUGE and sweet and just pure perfection (like anything else they pursue!). I wish I had tried persimmons but we were able to try their strawberries (pair it with cream from the grocery and maybe top it with your morning pancake or waffles if you stay in an airbnb or apartment for rent).

2. Soy Donuts – These remind me of old fashioned donuts. Not sweet which is good if you don’t like sweet things. I personally prefer the Mister Donuts from Japan but this is worth a try, too!

3. Soy Milk – Again, these weren’t at all sweet. The plain soy milk tasted like liquid tofu. There were several flavors to choose from. Matcha is an interesting one. Next time we will have that.

4. Sweet Corn – We do love the Japanese Sweet Corn back at home so we had to try it where it really came from and it did not disappoint! We had to buy another soon after my daughter munched hers in a few minutes.

5. Tempura – Choose your own Tempura! Deep fried vegetable, fish or prawns in batter, crunched to perfection. Buy them by the stick. Affordable and yummy!

6. Katsudon – my son and husband loves this stuff. Straightforward and cheap. Not the best I am sure but I bought this in a stall that had them already on display. Still better than most for what it was worth!

7. Orange Juice in an Orange! How kawaii!

8. Try sushi in one of the small little sushi places. I shared an order with my Dad who could not eat anything raw (kidney transplant) so I opted for a roasted salmon which was very tasty and again… Good with rice LOL

9. Dango Dumplings – We didn’t get to try these (ugh I regret it!) but they do look really interesting and I would definitely try it on my next trip! They’re basically mochi on bbq sticks!

10. The Japanese love to ferment and they even serve fermented cucumbers on sticks! By the time. I saw this, we were already filled with food. We will try this next time for sure.

11. Daifuku is fresh strawberry covered in mochi with red or white bean paste. This is the ultimate dessert.

Ice Cream – Japan is known for its dairy. (Hokkaido butter is the bomb!) their soft serve ice cream is really good and perfect for after meals.

Be sure to include the Kuromon Ichiba Market in your next Osaka, Japan food itinerary =)

*Nearest Station is the Nippombashi station Exit 10.

Asian Massage in SM Puerto Princesa, Palawan

While waiting for my husband and son who decided to get their hair cut at the barber shop, the girls and I wandered to the Asian Massage shop next door.

I’m a little bit of a massage snob, usually avoiding places that are commercialised because I prefer the peace and comfort of home massages with very skilled therapists but you could say I was desperate today to get some kinks rubbed out of me.

It was a long drive this morning from El Nido to lasting almost 5 hours with me holding my very heavy teething and nursing baby so, I needed to de-stress!

The verdict: I was very pleased with my massage. I got the Foot and Hand Reflexology 350php for 60 minutes. Not sure if other therapists are as good as the one who serviced me (her name is Irish!) I will be going back again to try the Ventosa Massage tomorrow.

Here is their price list:

They also have a branch in Robinson’s Mall which I have yet to try out! A plus is that they accept also accept bookings for home or hotel service.

Asian Massage

SM City Malvar Road, Puerto Princesa, Palawan

Shaka Shakes El Nido

Shaka Shakes, Siargao’s smoothie bowl and vegan cafe, opens in El Nido, Palawan. Since we live just a skip and a hop away from Lio Estate, where their beachfront branch is, my family frequents the place now 😊

Their Bom Dia smoothie bowl is their best-seller. It is made from Acai Berries on top of homemade granola sprinkled with crunchy dehydrated coconuts. You can do a combo of smoothie bowl +coffee for 300php.

We’ve tried their cafe latte and cappuccino. You can opt for coconut milk for an extra fee.

Our new go-to meal is the veggie Wak Wak burger (290php).. even the meat eating husband approves!

They’ve got Shaka Pancakes (270php) which is green because it is made with antioxidant-rich Matcha powder. It is folded like a crepe and filled with fruit and filling.

A generous portion of Banana and Walnut Toast for 100php. Seriously, wherelse in El Nido can you get something that yummy, healthy and cute for that price?

They’ve got veggie Smokey Nachos (300php) for sharing, too! Finally, I don’t need to fish out nachos from beef anymore. πŸ˜†

The Shaka Shakes, Lio, El Nido food and drinks menu for your reference.

This is the view from where you sit. WORTH EVERY PENNY.

If you visit El Nido, make sure to include Shaka Shakes at Lio Beach in your itinerary. Your kids will love the swings right by the beach ☺️ Enjoy!

Shaka Shakes

Lio Estate, Villa Libertad, El Nido, Palawan

OPEN from 7am to 9pm

*Lio has a scheduled free shuttle service from their El Nido town.