What's Up Down South

December nights are proving to be cool and breezy and I, for one, would take any opportunity to take a quick trip outside Manila to breathe in this fresh air.

So it was great that my work friends and I hopped on a car two Fridays ago and went down South to celebrate Christmas over dinner, coffee and lots of laughter in between.

I guess craziness is what happens when it's Friday and you're just counting down days til Christmas :)

What was new to me though was some of the new things happening down South, especially in places like Sta. Rosa which now has Solenad and Nuvali.

Photo by Arnel Pagalunan

Going shoe shopping?
Being the shoe lovers that we are, my boss and I made sure to stop over Aldo's outlet store at Solenad. I just paid my credit card balance a few days ago, so the shoe-phile in me was pretty excited to swipe and purchase discounted shoes.

It's funny how shoppers think, right? "Oohhh, it's 50% off! I will save 50%!" But when you think about it, you are still splurging on the other 50%! Hahaha! Well, no bursting our bubbles, for we'd like to focus on the good things and the good things include fixing our eyes on how much we "saved" :P

Other stores at Solenad include Res-Toe-Run, Shoe Salon, Payless, Aerosoles, All Flip Flops, Geox, Hush Puppies, Stoked, 158 Designers' Boulevard, Alberto, Quiksilver, Nine West, and more.

After trying on several pairs of shoes, you may also want to head on over to Nuvali's restaurants which include LZM, Army Navy, Pig Out, Sumosam, Italiannis, Uncle Cheffy, Yellow Cab, Gerry's Grill, Chubby's Rib Shack, David's Tea House and Conti's.

3 of the 6 of us were able to score something from the stores, and I am proud to say that I was one of the other 3 who didn't buy anything. HA! I really liked the sneaker wedge that we saw at Aldo though, but it was so not part of my Christmas budget :( So I decided that I was going to look for other brands here in Manila and wait before buying any shoes.

Santa's Toy Factory
With shopping bags in tow, we just knew that we had to fulfill our groupie photo appetite at the set up made by Crown Asia: Santa's Toy Factory. This is just across Solenad and it's hard to miss, what with the perk-me-up lights and the gigantic white Christmas tree that are so appealing even to grown ups like us!

Leslie's Bulalo
After that, our stomachs were already aching for bulalo. So off we went to Tagaytay and ate at Leslie's. This restaurant needs no introduction, because it is one of the most famous foodie places there.

Foodie Recommendations: Bulalo, Kare-kare, Sizzling Seafood and Crispy Pata :)

There was also a group going around to sing at every table, and they were super talented! I swear, we keep raving about their amazing voices. They sang contemporary songs like Bruno Mars' Grenade and Demi Lovato's Sky Scraper and classics like Wonderful Tonight. *swooooon* And since we were such fans, and wanted to enjoy our food with lovely music at the background, we even requested songs for them to play! Lol!

Cheers to caffeinated breeze!
Starbucks Tagaytay - I doubt that people usually go here for the coffee, but more on the view and the breeze... After dinner, we went over the fences to the other side of Leslie's for a coffee cap off.

This is also where we exchanged gifts and gave messages to each team member. Talagang may program?? haha! A very short one, but nonetheless fun :)

What's next?
The night trip was actually bitin so I'll be sure to go back to Nuvali because there are so many activities to try including wakeboarding! Yes, you don't have to go to Camsur or Batangas to enjoy this water sport. This is the nearest place to Manila to try this one out.

Aside from that, here are other activities that I saw from their FB page:

And in the words of a voice-over on a home TV shopping segment... BUT WAIT, there's more! Nuvali is holding a benefit concert on Monday, Dec 30 with contestants of the Voice Philippines. :)

It's a benefit concert for the Earthquake and Typhoon Survivors and Hero Foundation Inc.

I wish I could be there! It would be great to celebrate the eve of the New Year's Eve outside the Metro :)


So there! It's great that more and more things are happening down South - it's a quick escape for a cool breeze and relaxing time.