Paulo Luna Resort & Spa | Now and Zen

Lunedi, quando ci conosciamo. Imelda Papin sang of love and loss all in a span of a week. Martedì, quando ci siamo incontrati di nuovo. This is one that blossomed in about two and remained eternal. Mercoledì, confessate il vostro amore. Esteemed glass chandelier merchant to Asian powerhouses of yore, Paulo crossed the seas from the glorious man-made archipelago of Venice to the natural beauty of ours. Giovedi, abbiamo apprezzato molto anche. It was in those shady times that he found his light in Luna. Venerdì, È pieno di romanticismo. I nostri cuori sono solo cantando. All in twelve days she became the moon to his sun and he, her heart and soul.

Their story, unlike our ill-fated songstress’, took them around the globe and bore them joy in a daughter. The Sabalones family-owned beachside rest house in San Fernando became their escape from the city when they escaped from the world. It was there that Paolo and Luna shared many great memories with the Sabaloneses.

O per velocizzare il vostro arrivo. As with everything, all good things must come to an end. Partenza inoltre progettato per accelerare. The bliss of years blurred time and it seemed as fast as he came that Paulo had to leave. La passione specificamente con gusto. Paulo lives on in Luna and in the lives of the Sabaloneses. It is with such fondness that the family decided to develop their little weekend getaway into Paulo Luna Resort & Spa.10380725_1458510164388925_5755080862735244162_o

 

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Suckers for near impossible love stories, The PussyKat and I excitedly headed four towns down South of The Island to the coastal San Fernando. An imposing façade screen feature of wood wrapped around a stark white building with bold swathes of geometrics first came into view. Receptionists welcomed us at the lobby with bead necklaces while the rest of the staff in attendance chirped in warm greetings. Zen simplicity in the decor nods to Paulo’s Italian heritage with moderne touches all embracing the greenery. The deceptively limited frontage pours out into a vast garden with three pools and villas covering over a hectare of space.

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Paulo Luna Resort & Spa boasts of a selection of fourty-two well-appointed rooms with either pool, garden or ocean views promising restful retreat. Our bellhop whisked us to ours where we were almost tempted to immediately sleep in had a party not been underway.

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The welcome party at night had all guests in white with the bar flowing generously to give everyone some color. Buffet tables groaned under the weight of a wide assortment of food as later did guests in fullness. The Island claims fame to have the best lechon among the others and, not by much stretch, in Asia, but San Fernando could boast of the meatiest. A personal favorite in the lineup would be the resident chef’s Salmon In Cream which had even the salmon-averse PussyKat in approval. A Beef & Mixed Veggies Stir-Fry rounded out the offerings.

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The opening drumbeaters gave a way to the acoustic serenade by a local talent over dinner and a DJ later took over to pump up the crowd. I began with  a rather innocent tasting Gin & Tonic which made a roundhouse kick by the time I got to the Tequila Sunrise. A Black Russian  popped me back awake to wash up with Margarita Slushies. The night went on as the drinks poured on. The crowd slowly thinned out into the wee hours of the morning and inebriated laughter echoed in the villas’ hallways as we all made our way back to our rooms.

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Pulling back the drapes to let the morning sun in opened the room into our own patio and into lush greenery. A light breakfast and strong coffee at the open dining hall helped peel back sleep from our eyes. The cool pool in view invited us in for a dip. With a choice of three there was just no excuse not to.

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The lap pool behind the main building would be best for those seeking to squeeze in a vacation workout as it would be alternative to the fully-equipped gyms on the upper and lower ground floors. The resorts original swimming pool gaps the adjacent kiddie and freeform infinity pools extending out to the sea wall for more liesurely pool pursuits. A tufted, lowered deck of recliners look out to the sea from beyond the pool’s edge.

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The morning went as quickly as it came. Time does fly by fast when you’re having so much fun. A hearty lunch was served before we boarded our van back to the city.

San Fernando is surprising and seems to have more up its sleeve. Paulo Luna Resort & Spa alone hinted at a wave pool attraction at their adjacent lot while it also is looking at expanding the main resort at one on its other side. We thoroughly enjoyed our time at the resort.  Our stay was brief but we left raring and ready to return.

Discover more stories at Paolo Luna Resort & Spa. Make one of  yours.

 

 

 

Paulo Luna Resort & Spa is located at North Poblacion, San Fernando.

For inquiries and reservations, contact them at:

(032) 488-9447

+63 919 664 0611

info@paulolunaresort.com

www.facebook.com/PauloLunaResort

 

 

 

Note: The lines in Italian are of the song “Isang Linggong Pag-Ibig” translated via Google Translate. The author is not able to guarantee the accuracy of the translation. The lines have been added only to reference the whirlwind romance nature of Paulo & Luna’s love story and nothing more.

Gelatissimo Café Streetscape | Sweet Escape

Ah, the tropics. A holiday cocktail of sun, sand and the sea barely an hour from any point in the city (well, not with the road works as of writing). The sweet dances on the tongue tip before the bitters wash over the sides, the alcohol pouring into the throat both warm and icy cool, raising the body’s temperature to escape as rivulets of sweat chasing shadows and shade between the greys of the inland concrete jungle. Living in Paradise, I chug that by the keg. Times a’ changing, climes a’ changing and that petulant kid, Nino, tugs incessantly on shirt collars and pit hairs to his sole enjoyment. That same sticky, sweet heat can be a curse.

Relief has been a huge business since the dawn of refrigeration around these parts. The influx of American-style ice cream parlors and soda fountains spawned side street and pushcart versions peddling every shape and state of cold delights. God, I miss — yes, we had a — Coney Island. Ice cream definitely had its heyday back when Sharon loved herself a little (too much) and, I believe, it was that intense commercialism that later inspired the smaller-scale and artisanal.

Enter: Gelato. Not ice cream. Gelato. With less air content than ice cream, it has more intense flavors. That makes up for the flavor loss from the generally lower fat content and contributes to the softer and smoother texture. It is also served at a lower temperature than traditional ice cream and is dispensed using dedicated spatulas to prevent unintentional mixing of flavors. Quality and consistency is also guaranteed by production in small batches in-store, true to its artisanal origins. Many a home-based and small-store ice cream and gelato brands have come and gone since then and a few stronger brands remain with a foothold in what is probably niche markets.

Gelatissimo Café. Photo grabbed from Gelatissimo's official Facebook page

Gelatissimo Café. Photo grabbed from Gelatissimo’s official Facebook page

The Australia-based gelateria, Gelatissimo, finally landed on our shores with a maiden outlet in SM City Cebu. Great reception warranted a second outlet within the year and The Capital fell to a café concept barely a year after that. Gelatissimo expanded further across the Northern and central metros and their ninth incarnation was in another Gelatissimo Café, the first in Cebu, at the Streetscape. The menu now features specialized gelato preparations on top of a wide array of pastries to complete the café setup.

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My usual cup at Gelatissimo would consider sour, salty, savory and bitter on top of the given sweet. My all-time favorite is their Chili Chocolate — what I’d imagine to be a gelato version of my favorite Mexican Spice Hot Chocolate Drink from a local chocolate café. Sweet chocolate flavor registers first followed by the false heat from the chili wrestling with the naturally cold temperature with everything held down by the cocoa bitters. An aggressive combination would either be a Lemon or Lime to counter the spice. Rounding off the five flavors would be any of the salted or cheesecake flavors to bring in salty and savory with my lean towards Lemon Cheesecake or Salted Caramel.

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Gelatissimo Streetscape gets more creative with their existing lineup of dessert creations with their new presentations. A nod to the Pinoy snack favorite of ice cream sandwiched in bread is in their Balls In A Bun with your choice of gelatos in a Brioche, hotdog-type bun.

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A variant of the above is their Popping Belgian Waffle Stack with your choice of two gelatos sandwich-stacked between toasted waffles and served with strawberry sauce and popping candy.

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Gelatissimo’s Milk and Cookies play up that classic combination with the inclusion of, again, your choice of gelatos with cookie crumbs, bite-sized cookies, sauces and a refreshing chocolate milkshake.

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Them artsy-fartsies can get creative with the Michaelangelo where gelato plays a blank canvas to mediums of sauces and sprinkles.

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Gelatos molded into “maki” rounds rest on cookie crumb and served with chocolate sauce on the side in their Sushi Gelato. Meant to be eaten with the inclusive chopsticks, it made for an interesting if not a challenging treat.

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Strangely featuring no gelato is Gelatissimo’s All About Chocolate. A deceptively gelato scoop-shaped chocolate mousse was in an artful disarray with chocolate truffle, a Nutella-filled tart and a cluster of nutty, white chocolate served with strawberry sauce, biscuit crumb and warm melted chocolate. This was a good break from the cold selections along with their other cakes and pastries to enjoy with their straight-up Illy coffees and specialty drinks.

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I’d be at risk for tonsillitis if I plowed through the rest of the menu in a sitting. There’s always a return visit to Streetscape and an excuse for dessert or a gelato-run at Gelatissimo. Tell me about your Gelatissimo experience. 😉

Gelatissimo Cafe is located at Streetscape, Paseo Saturnino, Maria Luisa Road, Banilad, Cebu City.