INSIDE PAGSS LOUNGE, NAIA Terminal 3: What to Eat, Drink and Enjoy at the Lounge

January 22, 2024

NAIA Terminal 3: 
What to Eat, Drink and Enjoy at the Lounge

Lounge access is COMPLIMENTARY to cardholders of Unionbank credit card, BDO Diamond rewards card, etc. See photo below on cards accepted for entry at the lounge.

If you don't have the above credit cards, you can walk-in and use the lounge for 3 hours  by paying 1500 pesos, subject to capacity. 

PAGGS lounge at NAIA 3 is more spacious than Marhaba Lounge so it can accommodate more people.


Monday : 5:30 AM - 2:30 AM
Tuesday : 6:00 AM - 12 midnight 
Wednesday : 5:30 AM - 2:00 AM
Thursday: 6:00 AM - 12 midnight
Friday : 24 hours
Saturday : 24 hours
Sunday : 24 hours

LOCATION: at the 2nd floor of the international departure area, after immigration and security check and above Gate 115

Note: Buffet is halal certified

MY TIP: Arrive at the airport at least 3 hours before your flight so you'll have time to use the lounge. If it's a long weekend, you must arrive at the airport at least 4 hours before a flight.

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What to order at Shi Lin restaurant


Shi Lin restaurant is one of my family's favorite restaurants to go to. We missed dining at Shi Lin during the pandemic lockdown. I didn't even attempt to have their xiaolongbao delivered because xiao long bao needs to be consumed immediately at dine in.

So yesterday, we went back to dining in at Shi Lin, before watching Miyazaki's movie The Boy and the Heron at the Red Carpet Cinema at Shangri La Plaza Mall.  Shi Lin is just below the Red Carpet Cinema so it's very easy to find.

For a group of 5, we ordered the following:

For the main meal:

1. 2 orders original xiao long bao (10 pcs per order) (330 pesos each order)

2. 1 order shrimp and pork shaomai (6 pcs per order) (250 pesos)

3. 2 orders deep fried asado bun (3 pcs per order) (185 pesos each order)

4. 2 orders pork, salted egg and chorizo bun (1 pc per order) (110 pesos per order)
-- only 2 of us wanted to order this bun

5. 1 order spicy shrimp and pork wonton (6 pcs per order) (240 pesos per order)
-- We actually made a mistake with this order. We wanted shrimp and pork wonton noodle soup but we ordered spicy and the only one available in the menu is the one without the noodle soup. But it was a good discovery. We just mixed in the excess noodle and soup from our braised beef noodle order.

6. 2 orders braised beef noodle (380 pesos per order)
-- This was shared.

7. 1 order fried rice with shrimp and egg (240 pesos)

8. 1 order crispy sweet and sour pork (495 pesos)

9. 1 order spicy spareribs (495 pesos)

For the dessert:

1. 1 order choco nutella dumpling (6 pcs per order) (198 pesos)

2. 1 order red bean dumpling (6 pcs per order) (160 pesos)
3. 1 order taro dumpling (6 pcs per order) (160 pesos)
4. 1 order salted egg custard bun (3 pcs per order) (150 pesos)


Location: Level 5, EDSA Shangri-la Mall Shangrila Plaza Mall, near the elevator

Average cost per person: 800-1000 pesos per head

My tip: Arrive at 11:00 AM on a Sunday to get a good seat. They don't accept reservations on a weekend.

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WINE REVIEW: Cape Mentelle Chardonnay 2018

January 6, 2024

WINE REVIEW: Cape Mentelle Chardonnay 2018

Superb chardonnay. Rich but refreshing,  with the right balance of acidity. Full bodied flavor of toasted brioche, butter, peach, melon and a hint of lemon. Pleasurable to the palate, with a very long finish.

Pairs perfectly with Taiwan pineapple pastry. 

Winery: Cape Mentelle
Designation: Chardonnay 
Region: Margaret River
Country: Australia
Grape variety: 100% Chardonnay 
Vintage: 2018
Wine searcher: 92 pts
Vivino: 4.1

SINGAPORE AIRLINES: Meals on Manila to Singapore Flights

January 3, 2024

Meals on Manila to Singapore Flights

This is the meal served on SQ 921, Manila to Singapore , economy class. 

Flight was on time. Since this flight left Manila 7PM, the meal served is dinner. The photo below is barbecue chicken with rice. 

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Why I love Cibo Delivery

December 27, 2023


I am taking time out from my hectic holiday schedule to commend Cibo delivery for a superb performance especially during the peak holiday season. Not all restaurants can claim to be as consistent in the quality of food they serve especially during the peak holiday season, when demand for their food is at the highest. I've been a customer of Cibo delivery the past 2 years and have ordered pasta from them frequently, both during peak and non-peak seasons.  The quality of their pasta, both in flavour and the texture of the noodles has consistently been excellent, whether or not demand is high, unlike in some restaurants where quality goes down when customer demand goes up. And the other amazing thing is that even though there's a time gap between food being cooked, delivered then eaten, the quality of food stays the same. How? They are thoughtful enough to pack additional sauce and pasta water to the pasta you order to anticipate the possibility of the pasta absorbing all the sauce and drying it up.

This is why they are my go-to food delivery during peak season important occasions like Christmas day and New Year's day because they are extremely reliable.

To recap, this has been my experience with Cibo delivery :

1. The quality of their pasta is consistently excellent despite heavy demand.

2. They are open and deliver during Christmas day and New Year's day.

3. It's easy to order online and pay at their site.

4. Orders are confirmed via call to make sure they get your orders accurately.

5. They have their own delivery service so you don't need to look for a rider during the peak holiday season.

6. They text you when the rider is out for delivery to assure you it will arrive on time. 

7. The food you order arrives on time.

Take note that the branch assigned to service my location is Cibo Eastwood.

I usually order Farfalle ala Genovese, Penne al Telefono and Linguine alla Ghiotta and Tagliata di Manzo

To order:

Farfalle ala Genovese

Linguine alla Ghiotta

Penne al Telefono

Tagliata di Manzo

How to test if your Alipay works in China

November 18, 2023


For first-time users of Alipay, the greatest fear is for Alipay not to work when you're already in China. So before you start your trip, you can test it out by scanning the qr code of this charity. For a very minimal amount, you'll get a confirmation of whether or not your Alipay works.

A Heart for China:

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Why ALIPAY is the most important app to have when travelling around China and How to Use It.

November 16, 2023

Why ALIPAY is the most important app to have when travelling around China and How to Use It. 

90% of China is said to be cashless. Even beggars in China are cashless. They display signs with their qr code and ask people to scan it and make donations. Under the law merchants are prohibited from refusing cash payments, but sometimes they don't have change so if they accept it, be prepared that they might not have change. Foreign credit cards are also not widely accepted so you need to ask before making a purchase or eating in a restaurants whether or not they will accept your mode of payment. That's why I made sure I downloaded the Alipay app before arriving in China. Alipay is widely accepted in China and easier to use than Wechat. I attempted to use wechat, but before I get to actually use it, my account was blocked for reasons i cannot understand. 

That being said, I would say ALIPAY ROCKS! I used the app in China for everything: for my store purchases, for my metro rides and for my taxi rides. You can also buy China train tickets, attraction admission tickets and tours in the app because is incorporated in the app. It was seamless. All you need is a good mobile data connection. I discussed how to get it in my previous post. Check it out HERE


1. First you download it to your phone through the app store. 

2. You can sign up using your foreign mobile number or your email address.

3. Make sure your app is switched to the International version so it's all in English. It looks like this. 

If its all in Chinese, it means the app is in the Standard version. So go to Settings and click Switch version then put a check mark on the International Version. See below

4. Then add your foreign credit card. 

Click Account then Bank card then add your foreign credit card.

These are the cards accepted at Alipay:

Once you're able to add your card, you can already use the app. 


Refer to this dashboard

1. To pay for goods in 2 ways

A. By clicking SCAN to scan the merchant's QR code, to make payment. It will ask your payment password before executing payment. 


B. By clicking PAY/RECEIVE so you can generate a QR code that the merchant will scan. It will also ask for your payment password before executing payment. The QR code generated is for one-time use. You need to generate a new one for a subsequent purchase. 

You can use this second mode of payment if the merchant has a device that can scan your qr code. In smaller shops, they don't have a device so they just display their store qr code for you to scan


a. Call the bank that issued your credit card that you added to the app to inform them of the dates that you'll be in China to make sure they don't treat it as an unusual charge and suspend the use of the card. 

b. Activate the roaming signal of the sim card linked to the added credit card and bring it with you just in case your bank sends a message asking for confirmation of transaction. 

c. Add at least 2 credit cards to the app to serve as backup in case the other one suffers a glitch. 

2. To pay for metro rides

With the app, you no longer need a metro card. In fact, it's hard to get a metro card anymore because they're phasing it out. 

To use it, set the city where you're using it. In the example above, I set it to Shanghai. Then click transport to retrieve the qr code of your transport card. Display it on your phone then scan it on the turnstile of the metro station for the barrier to open. You can also retrieve another qr code if you want to take the bus. You need separate qr codes for the bus and metro.


3. To get a taxi

Click Didi and it works just like Grab or Uber. 


Get China train tickets, book tours and admission tickets. To be able to use this, you need to verify your account in the app. This means you need to submit your passport information because your passport will be your ticket to the train and admission to sites. They do not ask for a physical ticket at the entrance of the train station to allow entry. They ask for your passport. 


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