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!

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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