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. 

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Mending Myself and Bringing Back My Childhood

Photo: Popsugar.com

In the process of trying to mend a broken part of me, I decided to divert my attention the past week by heading to the cinema to watch Beauty and the Beast. This is the first time I went to see this movie. While the movie was shown as an animated movie in 1991, I was still too young to appreciate the movie. Now that I am older and have a clearer understanding and appreciation of movies, I decided to see the film on my own (again!)

Watching the film felt being in Broadway. Next to scenes and the cinematography filled with fantasy and magic, I enjoyed all the music that comes with the movie (I particularly had "Be Our Guest" playing in my ear for days!) as it further made the movie more entertaining.. Despite the fact that the movie was two hours long (I think), it was worth being glued to my seat.The essence and moral that the movie would like to impart, that sincere motives triumph against illicit ones and the lesson of loving beyond the physical attributes were maintained even if it has been 27 years since it was first shown on the big screen.
The power of love and a little moment to believe in magic -- sometimes, it's what you need to banish the blues even for quite a while.  

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Bonding Over Food at Inang Bina's



For the longest time, I have known myself to have a love-hate relationship with food. I'm more of takaw-tulog than takaw-kain person. But whenever I meet up with friends either for a celebration or if we just want to have a breather, we always end up doing that over food.

Inang Bina's Restaurant in my hometown Angono Rizal has been a common go-to place we frequent for after work dinners. The place is cozy that you may want to check this out especially if you wish to take a well-deserved RnR to welcome the weekend (I say weekends as that's when I often go here with friends after a very busy week at work). I've been there a number of times but it's just now that I'm doing this food review (#Latepost, I know). So, if you're wanting to ask about their menu, these are what I've tried from the times I visited.


Inang Binas offers a variety of dishes on their menu from rice meals, pasta, snacks, coffee-based drinks and desserts that are budget friendly (read: hindi maka-wasak wallet). During our last visit for Ma'am Cez's birthday, her hubby Jonathan ordered the spicy chicken and while I failed to grab a bite, they both gave it a thumb's up.


One of their rice meals that I tried was their lechon kawali. While it's nothing different with the usual lechon kawali that your tastebuds have always been familiar of, this reminds me of how moms would cook it at home. So kapag nag-crave ako at ayaw akong ipagluto ng nanay ko dahil tinatamad siya, I know where to get some of that "cholesterol fix" hahaha!


I'm not much of a rice person for as long as I know. Yes, I consume rice but not much of it. And the next best solution for carbo loading that works on me is pasta. Carbonara has been my food of choice than spaghetti (unless the spaghetti has tuna and mushrooms on the sauce). I've tried their Carbonara twice and while it almost failed on the first attempt (the noodles was a bit rubbery and bland texture wise), medyo nakabawi naman the second time. Although I hope they can put some more effort on maybe tweaking the recipe pa. 



I also ordered their Clubhouse sandwich during our last visit and it was good. The bacon, cheese egg and lettuce were filling and their scrambled egg on the sandwich isn't runny (one of my pet peeves with food is that I hate it when the scrambled egg or sunny side up is not cooked well). I'd order another one when I visit them next time. 


And when it comes to desserts, they also serve cakes on their menu. I was able to try their sans rival and compared to what I had from a commercial, store-brought pastry from a bakeshop, this one's better. The sweetness isn't too sweet, the crunch and the taste coming from the egg isn't overpowering. I felt like a kid again when I devoured on this huge slice, I finished that on my one (and forgot to share). I am just uncertain whether they have this on their menu all the time so better check with one of their staff for the availability. But nevertheless, this is worth spending some bucks on.

There still are a lot of food places and restaurants I have yet to explore in my hometown but at least, I got to tick one off my list. Overall, Inang Bina's Restaurant is always worth the visit from the ambiance to the food that can fill you up without emptying your wallet.