Saturday, June 17, 2017

Healthy Eating at Go! Salads

I really did not plan going on any food-related challenge but earlier this year, I found myself setting aside a particular day to indulge in cheat days. I know, we all are foodies but I realized, (and with my mom's constant reminder), I am not getting any younger. to others, being in your 30's is like the "high time" for almost everything. But hey, reaching that "part" also mean getting near that big 4-0. And my mom keeps on telling me not to wait until that age and the pains of getting old start appearing before I become health conscious particularly with what I eat. If I could set aside a particular day for "cheat days", why not set one (or two) to eat healthy.


Due to my decision of venturing into healthy eating, I discovered Go! Salads, a salad bar which is just near my workplace in Eastwood City. I've known that place but I just had the chance to try the food on their menu just months ago. At first, it was just me who indulged into this form of #SaladDayFridays but lately, when I told my office mate Cherry about my Friday habit, she as well tried it and is now hooked on their salads as I am.


Go! Salads have a variety of salad options for you to choose from. Their leafy greens are all organic and locally produced which you can purchase for 120 pesos. And whenever I visit, I always order their Bayani Salad. A simple mix of greens, corn kernels, candied cashew nuts and adobo flakes with soy sesame dressing.


My office mate Cherry on the other hand tend to seek variety with her food. In the number of times that she came here with me, na-order na nya ata halos lahat ng salads sa menu. Yesterday, her choice was the Darling Breakfast -- made with ground chicken longganisa, sliced tomatoes, greens and tomato honey vinaigrette. 


  
Apart from healthy salads, Go! Salads also have smoothies and teas. I have been regularly ordering their vanilla lemongrass tea which is a healthier option from the usual instant iced teas. It's not too sweet and you can really taste the lemongass infused in it. Not to mention it's affordable at 40 pesos.

Their smoothies are also a must try. Cherry would always order a smoothie to go with her salad -- yesterday, she got herself a Breakfast Smoothie. At 120 pesos, you get not just a healthy but filling "meal in a glass". I once tried to order the Breakfast Smoothie at lunchtime and despite consuming it during office hours, I still felt full even hours before dinner.

So if you are just like me whose on the lookout for healthier alternatives with what you consume, I suggest that you try what's on their menu. I'm always looking forward to Fridays, or in any case, when Cherry asks "magda-dahon ba tayo today?". I hope to try the other items on my future visits. 


Go! Salads is at Level 2 Techno Plaza 2 Eastwood Avenue Eastwood City Libis Quezon City. Open daily from 11 am to 11 pm.

Monday, June 5, 2017

#MarriedFeels


I have been married for exactly five years and three months today. At the back of my head and despite of just having slept for only two hours , I am thinking, so this is how it feels.

But before you start making your own conclusions and speculations, I'll make it clear, I am talking about a rather significant union (at least for now). I'm talking about being married to my job. As I am typing this entry, a part of me still has this happy question. Has it really been five years? And while that question exists, there is also a part of me that is trying to replay a number of things in my head.

You see, reaching this milestone is not a walk in the park.Someone once said that finding the right job is like finding The One destined for you to have. You need to kiss a few wrong frogs to find the right prince. And I must say I had gone through that phase before I arrived to where I am right now. Yes, I tasted career setbacks a number of times. Particularly during the time I had to experience what they call "quarterlife crisis" when I literally felt uncertain about everything. It reached a point that I almost befriended fear. I even started to question if there's really one out there for me. And if there was something I was asking at that time, it was not something specific. All I just wanted was for God to give my life FEASIBILITY -- in what way was something I don't know how. 


People always say you'll find things when you least expect it. And that was what happened to me five years ago. Landing in a career that was at the bottom of your choices is like falling in love with a guy who is the last on your list. I just simply gave it a shot and let go of what happens next. Only to find out that it is when you let go that things will really start falling in the right place. 

Funny how, next to learning the law, its language, surviving the workday with just a few (or worst, zero) sleep (and it's something I won't recommend anyone to try), the career I married for half a decade of my life taught me things that I could hopefully apply to another significant relationship in the future. People think I live a stress-filled life and find it amazing how I was able to manage. But on the other hand, I still tell them that at the end of the day, I am still human. I have my weakest moments too and I tend to break down and cry when I can't take it anymore which is just okay. And just like any relationship, the past five years isn't composed of rose-colored glasses. There are tough days too. Days that I tend to think what if I just stop, leave and completely quit but then it also taught me to be more patient with situation, circumstances and people. To love and appreciate what you have while you still have it. To let go of some things and to not sweat the small stuff. That everyone commits mistakes and that it's okay to not be perfect.

This milestone makes me think of days when I would ask why did I land on this job when I thought my qualifications are not even enough? More than just a career that earns me a living, pays the usual expenses, the answer to my prayer also taught me one thing: and it's not just to grow professionally. My ways were different with God's ways. His plans obviously aren't my plans. More than anything else, maybe it's really part of God's reason why I am here.. That I have to be here to grow as a better person and better equip me for what is in store for me in the future.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Glaiza Returns to Ayala


Even before last week's Dia del Libro, I can't say I am a stranger with Makati and its premises. Prior to landing my current job as a paralegal, I once worked for one of the offices in this area as a legal transcript editor when I was in my mid-20's. 


Last week was the first time in seven years that I set foot in Makati again. While some things, transportation wise haven't changed (oo, ma-traffic pa rin), some thing on the other hand did. Just like the places near my former workplace. Case in point was Ayala Triangle Gardens. This area of the park now has an inviting signage and landscaped pavements. Back in the day I was employed in this business district, I would watch frisbee practices or walk around this part of the park to detoxify my stressed mind before going home in the morning (I used to work in the graveyard shift back then).


This part of the park is the area that faces the office building where I used to work. Save for the lights hanging by the trees and the restaurants, this part hasn't changed a bit. Even if I haven't visited here for a long time, this place still reminds me of London's Hyde Park just like the old times.


Pardon that pawisan look, (this summer heat is a hassle I know!). This is the exact area of the park where I had my own "bahala na si Batman" moment. I agree that in times of confusion, sometimes, all a person needs is a quiet place to think and contemplate. During the time I was weighing the pros and cons between staying with my job in Makati and relocating to Quezon City to accept a challenging but better-paying job in a US advertising company, it was in this place where I made the decision and "took that big leap" to decide to leave Makati and being a legal transcript editor and relocate to Quezon City. While my stint in the US advertising company did not last that long as I hoped and wanted, I was not left empty-handed either. Just months after putting an end to life in the graveyard shift, I was accepted in another company, in the law firm where I have been gainfully employed for half a decade now. 

Returning to a place that was once part of one's past could sometimes be both refreshing in the way that it's nostalgic too. I plan to be back sometime though I hope it would be on a day when the weather isn't as unforgiving as how it is these days. 

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

The Paralegal Joins Dia del Libro 2017

Last April 23 was International Book Day. A week prior to the event, I have found an article regarding this year's celebration of Dia del Libro. It is an event spearheaded by Instituto Cervantes and given that it was a weekend, I am free to travel somewhere and attend to this event -- no questions asked. :-)

So what really is Dia del Libro? As explained on the website of Spot.ph:
The tradition of Dia del Libro began in Barcelona, Spain as part of St. George's Day on April 23. It is also the day the Spanish writer Miguel de Cervantes and English poet William Shakespeare died-- April 23, 1616. With such significant coincidence, UNESCO declared April 23 as "World Book and Copyright Day" in 1995.


The event was held at Ayala Triangle Gardens in Makati. Aside from participating publishing companies where you can buy books and be entitled to a 20% discount, ambassadors from countries like Spain and Venezuela were also present to grace the event. This year's Dia del Libro also featured paintings from a pop up museum of Museo del Prado.




One of the highlights of the event was this invitation to people in the venue to join in re-writing the book Don Quijote -- by hand. Next to the experience of joining a foreign celebration, this writing challenge was actually the main reason I decided to attend this year's Dia del Libro. 


The activity proved to be a challenge -- but an exciting one at that. Each participant is being told "dos minutos para escribir" which means that each of us are given just two minutes to write a part of the book. And if you think that's already challenging, the real catch is once I was seated facing the book -- the manuscript is purely in Spanish! 


Similar to once you purchase a book in the event, after a participant finishes the two-minute deadline, he/she is given a red rose as their way of saying thank you and because it's part of the Spanish tradition in commemorating the event. There were other events that day including a cultural show but I had to beg off because next to the scorching summer heat, I still had some commitments to attend to. But if you were to ask me how I found the event given that this is only the first time I attended, I'd say it was fun to have experienced something new and maybe, I'll be going again next year.   

Sunday, April 23, 2017

A Helpful Hiatus

After almost a month and two weeks of unannounced disappearance, I decided to reactivate my Facebook account yesterday. If I were the one to decide, I am really not keen at resuming however, one of my officemates  and some from my family tried asking me why I, strangely disappeared.

Well, this post has the answer to your whys. Be warned though that while this entry answers the question related to my strange, uninformed absence, it is a lengthy read.

On the other hand, next to going through a quiet period of recovery, unplugging my online life for a month gave me one of the best things next to getting a well-deserved brain detox and accomplishing things at work, it is productivity in other things. In what way, you'd ask? These pictures will tell you.


1. I got to visit four churches for Visita Iglesia during Holy Week. I see this to be an accomplishment because I was able to devote time to my faith despite working on Maundy Thursday.



 2. The kilig experience of being someone else's fan. Dahil paralegal man ay fangirl at heart pa rin.


3. Setting aside quality time spent with colleagues despite a busy workday.


4. Visiting a place on my bucket list on an Easter Monday.


5.Trying a hand at painting (finally)! And possibly doing it again.


6. Attending an event for the first time and participating at yet another meaningful endeavor -- that will be given another space and post on this blog :-).


7.  Another thing I tried for the first time? decorating an Easter egg for a mini-event at work And lucky to even win a consolation prize hahaha!


8. But the hiatus is mostly about making most out of the time and silence. Something people tend to forget that they are given with.  


While I may have plugged my online life back, I am really not planning to post a lot of stuff. If there was another thing that I found refreshing about going offline, it's being spared from the negativity of toxic people. While not all online users are trolls, it's just suffocating (sight-wise and mind-wise) to see a lot of posts from rants to foodporn-ish things posted and running on the social media platform's walls.


I've found brain detoxifying through being away from social media to be beneficial. I may be naninibago with returning after a month's hiatus so I guess I'd keep it that way -- doing things in moderation is still the best move.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Of Supportive Guys, Coldplay Concert and Romantic Gestures

If there is one thing that makes me stay afloat despite the hectic and tiring situation at work, it's experiencing kilig from watching a teleserye before hitting the sheets, and this week, it's witnessing two scenarios that spell nothing but LOVE

Despite being unable to watch Coldplay's first ever concert here in Manila (the ticket prices really costs an arm and a leg), my Instagram is filled with nothing but photos and videos of people who were really lucky to be there. But what left me feeling that all-time kilig high (next to hearing Chris Martin sing Yellow and The Scientist to Filipino fans) is this photo:

Photo: Twitter user @RioVillacorta
and GMA News Online
I'm not a die-hard Aldub fan though I would confess to enjoy watching this loveteam of Maine Mendoza and Alden Richards, and seeing this photo of Alden carrying Maine on his shoulders just so she can have a better view of her favorite band performing on stage is indeed a photo that's worth a thousand words. It makes me silently think that what these two have is not just a reel-romance that aims to make people kilig for the sake of. Now if you'd ask me to hashtag this photo, it's going to be #IdealBoyfriendGoals :-)

                                                 Video: RNews1 Network on Youtube

I am not a big fan of contact sports such as wrestling. Watching one leaves me with a cringe on my face and goosebumps on my body. However, when I saw this video days ago of John Cena proposing to Nikki Bella in front of WWE audience inside the wrestling ring, it's enough to leave me, not with a cringe but happy goosebumps all over my body. John Cena's speech (go to 12:15 of the video where his speech starts) was heartfelt (in my opinion) as well as the way he asked Nikki Bella that "million dollar question". 

Watching the proposal part, I can't help but think even brusque guys have soft, cheesy-romantic hearts too. And to Nikki Bella? Grabe, ang haba lang talaga ng hair nya -- figuratively and literally! :-)

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Book and Borders Cafe: A Quiet Refuge in a Busy City

For the last seven years, I have spent countless hours of my workday in a busy business district. Eastwood City in Libis is also as bustling location. And while towering buildings of condominiums and BPO offices (not to forget bars and restaurants that are filled with parting yuppies on Friday nights surrounded me left and right, it's good to know that there still still are secret hideouts for introverts who are always conquering the busy and challenging demands of their own 9 to 5 (or in my case, 7 to 4) jobs.

While I have always took comfort in spending time in coffee shops, these days, I have had a different perception for them. Save for idle hours of the day when it tends to resemble a ghost town, even coffee shops in a business district tend to be busy, erratic and noisy to the point that I  no longer find it conducive for people who are seeking to de-stress after a taxing (if not toxic) day at work.

During the start of the year, I had the chance to visit a new cafe in Eastwood. I have always been familiar about Book and Borders Cafe having read about it from lifestyle and food websites. I haven't been to any of their branches as they are far from where I am proximity wise. so imagine my joy when I found out that they were adding another location which is five minutes away from our office building.


I went to check out the place in January this year with my office mate Mommy P. It only took that visit to make me decide that this place deserves a return visit. The cafe had nice interiors, high and well-lit ceilings and he color scheme of the establishment is pleasing to the eyes.


One of the reasons we decided to visit Book and Borders Cafe was to try their food. We've been checking their menu prior to our visit so by the time we came in, we have made up our mind with the food we wanted. We decided to go for their Grilled Mozarella sandwich. At first we were thinking of getting this separately but it was a good thing we didn't go for it. The serving is big and was good for two persons. The sandwich was prepared well as you can hear the crunch coming from the sandwich yet you can taste the mozarella and the ham too. It's worth paying for.


We opted to order their Hazelnut Frappe to go with our sandwich. The drink was prepared the way I liked it. It was not so sweet which is a good thing especially because my companion is a diabetic. She was able to enjoy her drink without worrying much of her sugar level surging too much.


And given their cozy ambiance, it's a good place for those who want to enjoy some quiet time buried in their favorite books. Book and Boders Cafe also has board games that groups can play and books for a bookworm's reading pleasure -- which made me remember my little library at home . Before we left during our visit,  I was able to ask one of their staff if they welcome book donations from customers to which the staff said yes. I have a number of books that are still in good condition despite having been kept for years (worry no though as those are less than a decade!) which I am looking to dispose but I don't want to end in junk shops like what my mom was thinking. So given that I plan to return to their branch, I plan to bring those books on my next visit.

All in all, my visit to Book and Borders Cafe Eastwood was a nice experience. From the great food, the friendly and accommodating staff, good customer service and the cozy ambiance, this place deserves return visits.