Latest Stories

Kitchen Rescue

‘Binakol’ and ‘kinilaw na tanguigue,’ from an enchanted island called Balesin


BALESIN Island feast

Just 25 minutes away from Manila by plane is the island paradise of Balesin, Quezon, a 500-ha private membership resort.

Not many places offer such a great diversity of attractions for lovers of both land and sea. Balesin combines the ruggedness of the great outdoors and the comfort and luxury of pampering indoors. It is an island that seems to have been built out of one’s imagination, where a visit is best described as slipping in and out of a dream.

The island has seven themed villages, five of which are now functional and ready to cater to your every whim. The Balesin clubhouse alone is enough to make one’s stay pleasurable, especially if you fancy fantastic Japanese food.

I’ve noticed that everyone who comes back from the island raves about Sakura Restaurant’s chef Edo San, who is a whiz. His sushi, sashimi and teppan creations are reason enough to keep visiting the island, but most particularly his aburi (grilled) sushi, which are phenomenal.

The best way to enjoy chef Edo San’s food is to sit back and have him serve you. That would usually mean a meal made out of what he has swimming in his aquarium.

Balesin Village is home to a huge, bewitching banyan (balete) tree. It is also where you will find the Balesin Sala, the island’s Filipino restaurant. The beach is over 4.2 km long, according to literature from the island and The Relic Bar (an old poolside bar), the oldest surviving structure from the old Balesin resort.

Balinese village


Further down the island is the Balinese Village where you can have a glimpse of a miniature version of the rice terraces, inspired by those in Bali but planted with highland-variety rice grown in Banawe.

The village restaurant Bali Warung serves authentic Indonesian dishes. It is authentic in both food and feel, adorned with intricate woodcarvings flown in from Ubud. Prominently displayed are shadow puppets that further add character to the already impressive interior. It is interesting to note that the island is home to some 38 carvers from the Mountain Province.

Near the water is Nusa Dua Bar, decked with comfortable sofas where you can sit, enjoy a drink and nibble on krupuk.

After Bali, Greece. Mykonos is Balesin’s Greek Village. The view of the ocean with the striking royal blue and white villas is what makes Mykonos a picture-perfect destination.

The Mykonos Taverna, a restaurant embellished with ceramics flown in from Greece, is beautiful. It serves world-class Greek food developed by acclaimed chef Thannisis, from Rhodes. The chef’s specialties include mezes, best enjoyed with ouzo (anise liquor). Not to be missed is the grilled lamb for main course.

If you wish to bask in the sun and enjoy a great souvlaki (Greek-style barbecue) then head for the Cove Deck, a sun lounge above the taverna that has four separate Jacuzzis and a Souvlaki Bar (BBQ-grilled meat, Greek-style).

From Mykonos, you can head to Phuket, situated along the Island’s south tip. Phuket Sala serves Thai food with a fantastic view of the infinity pool lined with coconut trees and Buddhas.

Currently being constructed are the villages of Toscana, St. Tropez and Costa del Sol.


It is amazing how one place can have so many faces, where no two experiences will ever be alike. And though we travel to the destination with company, we come home with memories that are exclusively ours, carrying with us a piece of the island in our heart, mind and belly.

Here are two of Balesin’s most popular dishes. Though simple, the flavors of the dishes give an accurate taste of experience. The secret is in the use of only the freshest ingredients. On the island, the buko is freshly picked for the binakol, which makes all the difference.

Thanks to Bollie Bolton, Balesin’s GM, for sharing these recipes with us.


30 g lapu-lapu or cream dory fillet

10 g onion

10 g tomato

1 pc buko

1 tbsp sugar

Pinch of salt and  pepper

1.  Cut the fish fillet, onions and tomatoes into small cubes.

2.  Boil the tomato and onion cubes in the buko juice. After five minutes, add the fish cubes.

3.  Season with salt, pepper and sugar.

4.  Serve in a buko shell.

Kinilaw na Tanguigue

30 g tanguigue fillet

10 g onion

10 g tomato

10 g ginger

2 pcs sili labuyo

5 pcs calamansi

½ c vinegar

Pinch of salt and pepper


1. Clean tanguigue fillet and take out the bones and the veins.

2.  Cut the tanguigue fillet into ½-in cubes.

3.  Slice tomato, onion ginger and chili into very thin strips.

4.  Mix all the ingredients and season with salt, pepper and a pinch of sugar.

5.  Garnish with whole chili.

For more information on Balesin, visit http://www.balesin.com.

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Balesin , Balesin village , Food , island-paradise , Mykonos , Quezon province , Resort , Sakura Restaurant

  • AllaMo

    For a decadent twist. Add kakang gata to the kinilaw. Mmm-mmm…

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
  1. How Zsa Zsa Padilla found Conrad Onglao; Sharon Cuneta played Cupid
  2. Miss America: Don’t suspend teen over prom invite
  3. Historic Fort Bonifacio tunnel converted into a septic tank
  4. President Quezon was born here–and so was Philippine surfing
  5. Almost mugged on Chino Roces Avenue
  6. Transitions and resurrection in the performing arts
  7. How healing waters accompanied my journey of faith
  8. ‘Archaeology tour’ of Cebu’s heritage of faith
  9. Palawan favorite getaway of show biz celebrities
  10. Joe de Venecia visits the Queen Mother of Cambodia
  1. How Zsa Zsa Padilla found Conrad Onglao; Sharon Cuneta played Cupid
  2. Are your favorite malls open this Holy Week break?
  3. How Vitamin B can be a remedy for ‘manhid’ and neuropathy
  4. Sarah Geronimo and Matteo Giudicelli sing ‘All of Me’–and we all swoon
  5. 90 percent of Filipino households don’t practice proper toilet hygiene, sanitation
  6. Why is the lifestyle set now afraid to wear jewelry–before Kim Henares?
  7. ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  8. This is not just a farm
  9. 12 other things you can do at Pico de Loro Cove
  10. Marcos grandson to wed beautiful Rocha scion
  1. Mary Jean Lastimosa is new Miss Universe Philippines
  2. Did Angara ruin Pia Wurtzbach’s chances at Bb. Pilipinas?
  3. How Zsa Zsa Padilla found Conrad Onglao; Sharon Cuneta played Cupid
  4. Dominique–Gretchen and Tonyboy Cojuangco’s daughter–now an endorser
  5. Manila in shock over model Helena Belmonte’s death
  6. Vinegar test helpful vs cervical cancer
  7. From Jeannie to mom of suicide victim
  8. San Vicente beaches hidden but not for long
  9. Borgy and Georgina are back; others are off–again
  10. Why is the lifestyle set now afraid to wear jewelry–before Kim Henares?


  • Intrigues mar signing of Bangsamoro draft law
  • Singson apologizes for delay in Edsa road repairs
  • Congressmen seek end to small-town lottery operations
  • 16-year-old survives in wheel well of US flight
  • MMDA to blame for delay of Edsa reblocking – DPWH exec
  • Sports

  • Reigning champs Miami open playoffs with win
  • Spurs subdue Mavericks in playoff opener
  • Wawrinka beats Federer to win Monte Carlo Masters
  • Ageless Hopkins pitches 50-50 Mayweather deal
  • Goodbye MGM, Las Vegas for Pacquiao?
  • Lifestyle

  • Miss America: Don’t suspend teen over prom invite
  • Transitions and resurrection in the performing arts
  • ‘Archaeology tour’ of Cebu’s heritage of faith
  • Historic Fort Bonifacio tunnel converted into a septic tank
  • ‘Imports’ from London, and play of the year
  • Entertainment

  • Discovery network cancels Everest jump
  • ‘Captain America’ stays strong atop US box office
  • Easter musings
  • Solenn in shorts
  • Unmerry mix of attention-calling moves on ‘Mini-Me’ TV tilts
  • Business

  • Oil prices down in quiet Asian trade
  • Asian shares mixed in holiday-thinned trade
  • BDO seen keen on bidding for Cocobank
  • Bataan freeport investment pledges up 1,302%
  • Golden Week
  • Technology

  • PH has slowest internet in Southeast Asia
  • Nintendo’s trailblazing Game Boy marks 25th anniversary
  • Nasa’s moon-orbiting robot crashes down
  • Netizens pay respects to Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Opinion

  • Gigi’s home
  • Palace stonewalls on MRT inquiry
  • Couple of things too
  • There is plenty of water behind Wawa Dam
  • Triduum thoughts of a young boy
  • Global Nation

  • Filipinos in Middle East urged not to panic amid MERS-CoV scare
  • Obama on mission to quiet Asia skeptics
  • Search for Etihad passengers launched
  • Japan presents $57-B ‘dream plan’ to solve Metro congestion
  • Tim Tebow’s charity hospital in Davao seen to open in 7 months