Friday, August 25, 2017

Dreams and Butterflies

Last night, I had one of those weird dreams. I don't get to dream about a particular person but last night was among those random nights someone made an unexpected appearance in my dream. I don't know but all I could remember was we were having this silly time together. He just kept asking me kung gwapo ba siya. But on the other hand, I was not even answering.

Sa panaginip ko, tawa lang ako nang tawa sa mga tanong niya.

And while it was happening in my head, in the wee hours of the day, and despite being in an unconscious state, I was feeling those strong flutters similar to that of butterfly wings in my stomach. For years, I remember wondering how "getting butterflies in the stomach" felt. I even had to ask a college classmate about that at one instance.

A friend told me, what we dream of is part of our past. It's the first time I heard of this (and that scientific explanation of those butterflies in the tummy) and yet, I was asking myself "sa paanong paraan kaya naging part ng nakaraan ko yung taong nasa panaginip ko?

Maybe, that's something only time might tell.

And just when I thought that scene was already odd,  the conclusion of that dream was another thing. For I just saw myself approaching an unfamiliar venue -- the podium of a big session hall -- similar to that of the House of Representatives. Kung anong reason at kung paano akong napunta doon next, hindi ko rin alam. And as to that guy who was asking me about his looks? He was among those in the crowd -- looking at me wearing a smile on his face.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Three Lessons and a Fastfood Commercial




Just months ago, at the height of all the Valentine's hype, I was able to watch the TV ads of Jollibee and I must admit two of those ads made me cry -- particularly the TV ad "Date" and "The Vow". I felt disappointed mostly with how the latter ended. Yeah, there were tears -- both for sadness and disappointment about how the advertisers concluded the story.

But the past few weeks, another brand new TVC for the same fastfood chain is making rounds online. Only this time, the bestman who was friendzoned in the earlier commercial was given a happy ending.

Or should I say hindi lang siya. Dahil maging ang girl na secretly in love at na friendzone ni bestman ay naging masaya din.

Yes, there was actually that kind of twist in the story that no one had seen nor expected in the earlier commercial.

Oo. There was a hopeful conclusion for them at the end of the TVC.

In a way, I felt good, even hopeful after seeing how the girl who "waited in vain" (and maybe became a victim of an unrequited love) got herself a happy ending later on -- and kay bestman pa rin at that. In a way Jollibee redeemed itself from the heartache and disappointment that their earlier commercial elicited to a lot of people (even Hollywood's Matthew McConaughey shed tears watching that commercial). Somehow, the TV ad fueled hopes for those folks struggling with the "friendzone rut". Because it proved in a way na kahit na-friendzone ka, pwedeng ka pa ring manalo at mahalin ng mismong nang-friendzone sa 'yo sa huli.

At one point, I wanted to question my thoughts kung matutuwa ba akong ako ang nagwagi after kong ma-friendzone sa guy na sa tingin ko ay the right one (if I were in the girl's shoes). But I don't want to spoil the good mood that the conclusion gave people (me included). And next to crying happy tears dahil finally ay nagka-lovelife na si bestman at hindi na siya Pambansang Best Friend lang) I was caught with these three lessons that proved to be true based on this TV ad, which I would rather focus on:

1. It pays to be (extremely) patient. Quoting the lines of the girl towards the end of the TV commercial, "minsan, kung maghihintay ka lang, darating din ang perfect para sa 'yo." Sure, the waiting game could be excruciating, exhausting even. But patience is indeed a virtue. At wala mang perfect na tao, the right one arrives at the right time. Good things do come to those who wait.

2. What is worth having will always be worth waiting for-- the same thing applies to love and the right person.

3.Be careful about the people you put in the friendzone. Whether you're a girl, or a guy, no one wants to be put in that "dreaded situation". At yung sinasabi ng mga matatanda na "mabilis ang balik ng karma" ay hindi lang basta kasabihan. It's something na in a way ay kailangan mo ring paniwalaan. Minsan, kung sino pa yung taong nasaktan dahil sa pangpi-friendzone mo, ay siya pala talagang nakalaan para sa 'yo.

Ikaw, na-friendzone ka rin ba? Have no fear. Kaunting pasensya, paghihintay at tiwala lang. Kung si girl on the TVC found her perfect pair, for sure, ikaw rin. You will find a fitting conclusion for the patience and for waiting. :-)
 






Sunday, July 23, 2017

Date Nights at Music Wizard Coffee and Tea Shop

One of the best ways to make up and give myself a well-deserved "me time" after a busy week is to go somewhere quiet and enjoy some good food. I know I have planned to go on a food crawl and fill this blog with food-slash-travel related posts but just like what I often say, so much things to do (particularly at work) so I've got little time to blog.

So when I am able to, and to welcome the weekend, I would invite friends for dinner on Friday nights just around town. Such has been my version of date nights and lately, we have been frequent customers of Music Wizard Coffee and Tea Shop.


The first time I visited was last month. They moved to a new location (the previous branch was a few steps away from their sister restaurant, Inang Bina's along A. Tiamson Street) just along Manila East Road. And at the time we visited (with my friend Batch) they have been opened for around three weeks. Funny but the reason for this first visit was because of a shallow reason -- I was craving for cheesecake.

The last two instances that went to Music Wizard was for meet ups with my former college professors who have become my friends. We love staying on the coffee shop's second floor. We prefer it best because of its relaxing ambience (read: not too crowded) which is definitely good for me. If you deal with tons of things at work, the least thing you would want at the end of a tiring week is to park your exhausted mind in a place that can provide some peace to it. Some place where you can just sit quietly near the window staring at the lights, people and cars passing by at night while having dinner.  And that's precisely what "our perfect spot" does to me.


Of course, next to relaxing after a week filled with work, we frequent the place for the food. Here are some of the items on the menu that we (or should I say, I) have tried so far:


This was from the time I visited with my cousin and her daughter. I'm not much into carbs so whenever there's pasta on the menu, I make it a point to order even at least for once. But I must say I'm easily enticed with white sauces so Carbonara is something I can't miss for the world. We also ordered the Kitkat Shooter and the Strawberry Smoothie which I preferred to go with the pasta. I loved their Carbonara (which was served warm -- earning a plus point), the dish itself isn't nakakaumay (thus other people tend to make this pasta dish last on their list) and their Strawberry Smoothie because it's not too sweet -- which is good for me who is watching on sugar intake despite I am not a diabetic.


We ordered clubhouse sandwich and mojos (slightly photographed) during the dinner with my college professors a week ago. Their clubhouse is filling with all the ingredients in it, I was already full by the second piece. I also got to try their mojos -- and while it could be compared to mojos of a commercial pizza restaurant, I prefer this once because aside from it's affordable, it's not too salty too.


And the original reason why we discovered the coffee shop was my craving for cheesecake! I am not a fan of blueberry cheesecake but that "unreasonable craving" went on for weeks so I knew I had to do something about it -- dismissing it wasn't an option. And while there are blueberry cheesecakes offered by "high-end" (read: expensive) coffee shops, they didn't appeal much to me taste-wise. But the blueberry cheesecake at Music Wizard sealed the deal for me. Upon inquiring, their staff told me that the bakeshop which is also found at the coffee shop's second floor regularly supplies the cakes on their menu. 

I've had a pleasant dining experience in the three instances that I have visited Music Wizard Coffee and Tea Shop. Given that it offers good (and affordable) food, relaxing ambience (with IG-worthy interiors) and accommodating staff, their worth recommending to friends who wishes to spend quality time over good food and a great view.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Bonding with Moms at the Mommy Fleur x Bliss Bowls Brunch

I am temporarily taking a break from the series of delayed post to write about an event I attended about two weeks ago. I was invited by Fleur of the blog Mommy Fleur to a brunch meet up with some of her blog readers at Bliss Bowls in SM Megamall. I have been reading her blog and I won't deny that I also wanted to see the girl behind the stories I've been reading so the invitation was something I wouldn't miss for the world.

Photo: Mommy Fleur, Michelle Pineda
The meet up was held at Bliss Bowls. Most of us arrived at 10 am just as Fleur requested. Being the weekend lakwatsera that I am, I have been familiar about this place existing in Megamall but I only had the chance to try their products during the meet up. All of us shared our preferred smoothie bowls -- yummy treats that are basically thicker than your usual smoothie that you enjoy in a bowl. Their smoothies are made from pure fruits and vegetables topped with superfoods but what's surprising is it doesn't contain water, ice, dairy or sugar. It's a treat that anyone who's serious about dieting or even just wanting to eat healthy can enjoy without feeling deprived at all.


I am a sucker for strawberries, bananas and anything chocolate. So when Fleur asked us on her blog prior to the event about our smoothie of choice, I picked Cacao Kiss -- which is just what I got on the day!


This is my smoothie bowl side-by-side Mommy Lea's Green Dream. It's a mix of spinach, bananas, strawberry and mango.


We also got to try Amazing Kale. While I've known and seen kale in grocery stores, it was my first time to taste it at Bliss Bowls. It's got a mild leafy taste from the kale but the other components of the smoothie such as banana, strawberries, spirulina, coconut milk and chia seeds among others make a green leafy bowl a treat to the tastebuds.

Photo: Mommy Fleur, Michelle Pineda

Back with the event, I was hesitant to join at first despite the invitation because I knew most of them are legit moms and (working) housewives. It was funny though because there were cheers when I told them that I am the divergent in the group of species (read: single, no husband, just married -- to a job!)

Photo: Mommy Fleur, Michelle Pineda
|What is a gathering without introductions and stories. Most of the ladies present were either stay at home or working moms. But of course, the highlight of the meet up is hearing stories from the event organizer, Fleur.


And as luck would have it, next to Fleur, I also got to meet Michelle Pineda. Next to being the "official event photographer", she is also Fleur's best friend. Her name rings a bell to me because of my brother Jay Ar (who is also in the same business of documenting events and weddings like her). Michelle is the owner of Michelle Pineda Photography. And just when I thought she was a client of my brother, apparently, she is one of Jay Ar's friends and is a ninang to my niece Sofia. So yes, this event was also a small world of some sorts :-)  She even asked me why I got hooked reading her friend's blog to think that it is a mommy blog (so what in the world does a single girl have to do with it, right? Well, the truth is next to a form of positive diversion, I'm not really sure. All I know is nakaka- good vibes ang mga kwento niya on her blog (at bakit ba, eh magiging misis din naman ako. Maghintay lang kayo! so might as well try to get some points to review and ponder about.)

They always say there's always a first time. But this is a first time that's worth it. I never thought that somehow I could kind of blend in a different crowd. And the experience felt good.

Bliss Bowls is at the 4th Floor Building A of SM Megamall Mandaluyong City

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Despedida de Amiga and Coffee Date Night at Cafe Enye


More than a month ago, one of my office mates, Mommy P took the "greener pasture" and said goodbye to our group Baranggay Tibay to start another chapter called retirement. It's been a tradition in our circle to celebrate birthdays and anniversaries. And while we are not fond of goodbyes, Mommy P, more than an office mate is everyone's nanay. And so we decided to give her a memorable send-off party.  

The good thing about having housewives for office mates is they know how to scout deals for almost everything (not just shoe shopping and sale hunting, mind you). For Mommy P's despedida dinner, off we went  to Outback Steakhouse in Eastwood upon the discovery of our colleague Anna -- who found a voucher through Metrodeal.  


After a hearty dinner, these ladies went on an impromptu coffee date at Cafe Enye -- a coffee shop which is just a mere 10-minute walk from our office building. While I have been familiar with this establishment having been in Eastwood City for close to seven years, I haven't tried any offer of the place yet. So after not so much convincing and given that it was a Friday night anyway, I decided to come with them for a once in a blue moon coffee date night. 


Cafe Enye may look simple on the outside but like what they say, looks could be deceiving, for this coffee shop's interiors are interesting. The place is well lit and the walls feature attractive decors. It's like you're being given the home-y feeling ass soon as you are inside. I was that fascinated it made me think if they actually accept reservations for pre-nup shoots.


Pardon the look, but like what I've mentioned, coffee was what we came there for. I don't know if it's just me but in half a decade that I've been with the firm, I have become a coffee drinker too -- even at night time just what this photo suggests. Here I am with my usual iced latte and I'm happy to say that next to the tall serving, they make good coffee -- they served mine just the way I wanted it. cold and not too strong, I was still able to sleep the same night when I got home.That tall glass is just 130 pesos, so in a way, it's a bang for the buck.


It was a night well spent. I didn't mind getting home late after what has been a night with the girls (na napaka-bihira ring mangyari because they all have either kids, husbands or boyfriends to attend to) because for me, it's a good way to defuse and rewire my brain after dealing with work-related matters the whole week. And if you're asking me if Cafe Enye is worth a visit, with the good food and accommodating staff, I'd definitely say yes. I'm planning to return there one of these days to try more of what's on their menu.

Cafe Enye is at the Ground floor of Excelsior Building Eastwood Avenue Eastwood City Libis Quezon City.

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. 

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.