Giving Thanks for Guiltless Getaways, Celebrating Yuletide Season with Oakwood Manila & the Christmas Bird, Also Where to Buy Turkey Feast in Manila!

This is my way of celebrating Thanksgiving and Christmas in Manila at the same time this year. I haven't really thought much about the former until I went to the US last month and realisation dawned on me that I could have stayed until Thanksgiving to actually experience it there in full blast for the first time. History lessons aside, my impression of this big holiday for some revolves around family gatherings and giving thanks. Thankfully, my Oakwood family didn't let this chance pass and we celebrated Thanksgiving and Christmas at the same time. I've been looking forward to my short trips to Oakwood Premier Joy~Nostalg in Ortigas this year and the experience has really grown on me. Coz there's always time to get to know more people and talk about travel while having a long lunch (of their around-the-world offerings) and feeling right at home in Oakroom =) I would like to acknowledge Sir Rick, Sir Igor, Ms. Anna and Aleah for making me remember the act of giving gratitude. Because of this day, I looked back early and was overwhelmed with all the memories and the wonderful things that happened to me this year. Maybe this was how I was going to see Thanksgiving from now on and it will immediately be followed with a Thank You post for all the people who supported this blog. 


Lunch started with these awesome homemade rolls from Chef Jerome's kitchen! The Butternut Squash and Apple Chowder with Spiced Maple Cream Soup instantly made me feel at home. Creamy soups like this must be one of the highlights of Thanksgiving with the squash and all.

bread-roll.jpg squash-soup.jpg

I went straight to the Traditional Oven-Roasted Turkey! haha. This is the Christmas bird too so you can order this from Oakroom for Noche Buena or your family Christmas party ;) I'm sure it can feed more than 10 people too and it's probably healthier with all that lean meat!


The package comes with Cranberry Compote and Giblet Gravy for the sauce then side dishes including Sage and Sausage Stuffing (yum!), Braised Veggies (yumyum!) and Mashed Potatoes. As you can see, I'm a mouse so I was full by the first helping haha. Try to mix the cranberry and giblet gravy hehe. Yum!

turkey-sauce turkey-feast.jpg

This dessert was an extra treat for us. I heard they served it for Thanksgiving. As always, very good and unusual combinations from the Oakroom chef! Mmm... Pecan and Cranberry Tart with Bailey's Caramel Sauce and Vanilla Ice Cream!


If you want to order Turkey in Manila, Oakroom Ortigas is accepting orders for take-away (I know it includes the trimmings, sausage stuffing, giblet gravy, mashed potatoes and roasted veggies) until December 21 (72 hours prior reservation is required)!

P4990+++ for a 5-6 kg. Turkey (raw weight) - good for 10-12 people.
P6990+++ for a 7-8 kg. Turkey (raw weight) - good for 14-16 people.
P7900+++ for a 8-9 kg. Turkey (raw weight) - good for 16-20 people.

On another note, I'd like to express my heartfelt gratitude now to all those who supported me and my blog! My 2013 Thank You List includes:

1. Oakwood Premier Joy~Nostalg Center Manila - Best Serviced Apartment and Staycation so far for me ;) You should reallyyyyy try the steam shower, kitchen and king-sized bed! Hehe
I would like to thank Sir Rick, Sir Igor, Ms. Anna, Aleah, Duncan, Chef Jerome and other International Guest Chefs for introducing me to another home that's so very near my home (haha) and for taking me around the world with Oakroom's special lunch and dinner offerings. You gave me a taste of the US, the world of Rice, an Indian Festival and Korean this year (Italian Pasta and Chinese Hangzhou Cuisine last year)!


2. Korean Tourism Organization (KTO) and Buzz Korea
This year was a big, big year when my dreams came true. South Korea will always have a special place in my heart (since it inspired me to be a travel blogger, read the story here). Working with the KTO and Buzz Korea, while meeting Korean actors like Oppa Ricky Kim and KPOP stars like Kevin of ZE:A and Hyerim of Wondergirls and getting to know new friends from all over the world (Mathi from France, Rai from Singapore, Nisa from Indonesia, Lichee and Sunny from China and Basmah from Saudi Arabia) for Wiki Korea 2013 will always be one of the coolest things that happened to me while travel blogging. Seeing my face and candid moments on the screen for this reality show was epic hahahahaha. I also met new Oppas and an Eunni that took very good care of us. I'd like to thank KTO, KTO Manila Office and Buzz Korea for making all of this possible.


3. Agricultural Training Institute of the Philippine Department of Agriculture (ATI-CAR / DA)
I've been posting more about organic agriculture this year and I'd like to thank ATI-CAR, esp. Ms. Niet and Ben, for starting this trend in me. I would like to thank you for bringing me to La Trinidad, Benguet to meet Mr. Laruan (organic farming - veggies), Mr. Acosta (organic farming - veggies, training), Mr. Tan (organic farming - veggies, medicinal) and Sagada to Mr. Lay-os (organic farming - coffee). Thank you for bringing me to Negros Occidental to meet Mr. Uy (organic farming - veggies, shredders), Mr. Penalosa (organic farming - integrated, swine, training) and Dr. Jo (organic farming - veggies, medicinal, wellness). The info overload is very worth it. You've taught me to appreciate what I put in my mouth. Thank you for the inspiration and for teaching me to take care of my body and be mindful of the magic of Mother Nature. There's more work to be done and I hope someday I can grow my own food and have it cooked just as yummy as Costales Nature Farms in Laguna (organic farming - veggies, swine, poultry, fish, retreat house) like you showed me for the first time last year.


4. Anywhere Philippines
I had a blast climbing Mt. Pulag this year and I'd like to thank Anywhere Philippines. Thank you for taking good care of me and challenging me to push myself to the limits. This was my first major trip of the year and it made the concept of travel and exercise something to look forward to. I would gladly go with you again and reach the top. Anywhere =)


5. Globe Bridging Communities, Electrolux Philippines, Honda Philippines and Axe Apollo Philippines   
Here's to successfully changing my first impressions and giving me the courage (no matter how terrified I was) to try again! Thank you Globe for bringing me to Boracay and giving scuba diving another try (I still panic but I think I can manage a bit better). I've met two awesome Pinoy underwater photographers in the process and they made me think about a whole new world under the sea that I was missing out! That knowledge comes with understanding that what we do on land drastically affects our beautiful waters.


Thank you Electrolux for bringing me to Pampanga and not letting me eat icky stuff haha. I had fun rediscovering Pampanga food and desserts!


Thank you Honda for reminding me that I love to drive people around (short distances for now) for fun and for the 1'M Blue Drive Safe campaign.


Thanks Axe for giving me the courage to participate in a man's game and for making me do that Axe Apollo obstacle course. I thought it would be the death of me and finishing in 3 minutes was one of my best experiences of 2013.


6. Keds Philippines - Brave Girl!
Thank you for making me realize that Brave and Courage are my favorite words. (I'm a bit scared with how that shoot will turn out but) I'm my own Taylor Swift and I can't wait to take my new babies around the world. I've named one of them Olih already (the Polka-Dot Rookie) haha. I shall take a picture of them with me when we go traveling!

7. My Family, My Friends from All Over the World and Jeff
Thank you for listening to my dream and allowing me to express myself.

8. Last but not the least, thank you for all you GG Readers!!! Thank you so much for letting me be me and bringing out the best of me. I can't wait to hear about your travels :)


Please feel free to tell me below: What are you thankful for this 2013? Where did you go this year? Who did you go with? :)

If you're looking for a holiday getaway or staycation in the metro, visit Oakwood Manila and Oakroom! Do check out their holiday sched and Yuletide celebration offerings on December 24, 25, 31 and January 1, 2014!!!! =D 

Restaurant Details:
6th Floor, Oakwood Premier Joy~Nostalg Center Manila
17 ADB Avenue, Ortigas Center, Pasig
Open Mondays to Sundays
719-1160 (direct line) / 637-7888 ext. 8604


  1. I am very thankful for our first USA Trip this year, My hubby and I really enjoyed that a lot! Visiting Family and Friends while having a grand time shopping, sigh seeing and doing various activities really made our trip very special.

  2. 2013 for me was a year full of lessons, blessings, hardships and happiness.. I was able to have a free staycation at Solaire and Baguio (Hotel veniz) for one night! That was so euphoric and great experience for me. Plus the other giveaways that I joined and I won.. Truly a blessings Indeed!. Hardships that our family must overcome, problems but even thou the misunderstandings are present at the end of the day we never forgot to fix the problems and ofcourse we do love each other despite all the happenings we've been through.. And for the people who never left my side, TRUE FRIENDS are indeed rare! I'm so thankful for all that! 2013 for me really did a great blast! :)))

  3. i am very thankful that this year, i met new friends on twitter and facebook... a close friend from canada visited and it was a happy get-together with her family... many many things to be thankful for... my parents and i were treated by my sister to a 4day trip to iloilo/guimaras. that was my first plane ride and pump boat ride :)

  4. I am thankful of so many things year in and out.My own family and always for my immediate family whose support undyingly always is ready to serve. This year is a no-go wherever for me only a trip to Bataan with my family bcoz its my hometown but business at home needs to be planned this 2014 coz my goal is to travel the Philippines and be a blessing to others.

  5. I am thankful for a healthy family, for all the blessings and for all the struggles we fought to overcome. I didn't really get to go places this 2013 but my trip to Pampanga was the most memorable, got to spend some time with my relatives. =)

  6. I am thankful to God that the Strongest typhoon did not hit Metro Manila or else the damage is much more bigger than in the Visayas.

  7. What are you thankful for this 2013? Where did you go this year? Who did you go with? :) -
    I am very thankful for all the blessings that I had received this past few months. Im very thankful to my friends for all the memories we had shared :) We went to MOA, Star City, Batangas, with my FAMILY <3

  8. I'm very much thankful for the blessings and struggles that my family and I overcame. We would not be able to surmount it without the help of God. We pray also for all the victims of Zamboanga, Bohol, Leyte, and all those affected by it. Even in these trials, there is so much to be thankful for and we can always hope for the better.

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  10. There are so many things to be thankful to God for this year -- our family is now (again) complete -- After my husband's 1 year stint in Malaysia, he's now back here for good. This year is all about God's goodness to my family-- happy kids, good health, bountiful blessings, healthy marriage, etc. This year, my family had been blessed with travels, too - Hong Kong, Baguio, Boracay. It was our first time to experience strawberry-picking in La Trinidad. It was a lovely experience.

  11. I am thankful for the good health of our family. We went to Taiwan this December and I am with my entire family! Cheers 2013!

  12. I'm thankful for everything I learned this year. The first half of this year wasn't so good because my family faced a lot of troubles that was caused by old conflicts but I learned how to say "Sorry" even if I am the real victim. I learned to speak of beautiful things more and shake off the negative thoughts and emotions. I learned to control my emotions and let logical reasoning rule over me. I learned to think more before I speak, and if it isn't nice then I shouldn't say it to avoid hurting one's feelings. And most of all, I'm thankful for having my baby niece as my personal sun who made my days much brighter. I love her so much that all of my hatred and insecurities melted away :)

  13. I am very thankful for all the blessings that come into my way this year, though I'd experienced travelling only nearby places of Pangasinan, I would say it worth every minute of stay just because of bonding moments with the family that I would treasure the most.

  14. What I'm most thankful for this year is that I survived my last 1st semester in college:) Of course, I'm also thankful for my very supportive family and friends:)

    Last Summer, My OJT mates and I went on a challenging trip to La Union to surf and Vigan with just 1500 pesos and it was the best trip for me because we did camp on the sea shore and we enjoyed bargaining for our dorm stays and food:)

    Also, as a graduating student, I went to Caleruega, Batangas with my batch mates:) this retreat was really different because the priest speakers were VERY effective in making me realize the pros and cons of my life decisions:)

    Lastly, my batchmates and I also had a 1 week field and plant trips to production companies such as holcim and coca cola from pampanga to la union to pagudpud. It was one of the best trips so far because we went sand surfing, 4x4 truck trips, beach volley and lots of swimming:) Shout out to GTS tours for the good hotels and activities they picked for us:)

  15. I am thankful to God because me and kids had our first airplane experience and visit to my father's hometown at Misamis Oriental. It really opened my eyes to the world of travelling. Now, everytime I see an airplane over at our house, I just can't help it but wish to travel again. :)

  16. I'm thankful that were all safe in the family for this 2013 a day from now and it will be 2014 already. I was in Dubai with my mother for the first month of 2013 to visit my sister. Then 2nd month at I go to Doha Qatar,Actually I look for a job there.

  17. i am thankful that i got married in church and very much thankful that we are celebrating this holidays together as husband and wife and of course i'm very much thankful for all the blessings that God gave me countless blessings. i did go to Taiwan but for work not for pleasure i haven't gone far from my place since i got home from Taiwan sad to say but we didn't spend honeymoon with my husband :) we just stay at home financial issues because now a days getting married is too expensive i'm just hoping that we could travel together soon.

  18. I am so blessed to have a wonderful family and I am so thankful for the great, relaxing vacation I had with my family in Cebu a couple of days ago.


  19. I'm thankful for being with awesome people during the last months of my senior year.

    This year, I joined my mom's company outing in La Luz Laiya San Juan Batangas beach resort. It was my first time being in such place so I cherished every moment coz we were only allowed to stay for a day.

  20. A year where I live for another days and days and be able to sustain my mewde needs.... Ive gone to CamSur with my family and its the best!

  21. Im thankful for a wonderful job and a healthy family this year. Though we are just around metro Manila, its still okay but this year hoping for an out of town.

  22. I am thankful for a nice stable job and trips outside metro manila! Wishing for more for my family altogether for an out of town again.

  23. Im thankful for another beautiful year of existense here on earth. THough I didnt travel much outside manila, still okay for me...

  24. Im thanking for a great health god gave me this year, Hoping more still in the future of a healthy body.... Didnt gone out of manila, but crossing fingers for this year.

  25. I'm thankful for all the blessings I received this 2013. From travel experiences to simple life realizations I know I will be much better this coming year. I've been to four different countries in Asia one is Hongkong with my family and the three other is because of our cruise tour as part of school's course requirement. I've been very thankful for this because traveling is really an eyeopener to new experiences and learning.


Hi. Thank you for sharing your thoughts! I'd love to hear from you =)