Sunday, December 31, 2017

A Blessed Year

I am taking a break from all the holiday drama binge watching to write my thoughts on the last day of the year. As I type this down, the household smells of roasted meat and everyone busy with the New Year's Eve preparations. On the other hand, I am in my pink bathrobe and with a purple towel on top of my head.

A few weeks ago, out of sheer playfulness, I took that silly quiz on Facebook about how the summary of my 2017, it was described in a single word: Blessed. And looking back,  believe these photos speak strongly.

Two months after the release of results, I finally obtained my eligibility certificate last February -- which made my feat official! 

While my career service award arrived in May, I finally reached my fifth year in the company in March.

I went on a few personal missions. One of which was attending Dia Internacional del Libro (International Book Day) of Instituto Cervantes and the Embassy of Spain in April. And aside from the attendance, what made it more special was I took part in another endeavor -- as one of the 500 writers who volunteered to write Don Quixote dela Mancha -- by hand!

Photo: @iam_aru

2017 was also a year of meeting new people. In the case of the photo above, it's meeting fellow volunteer employees from different offices (most of them I don't get to see often) during our annual project planning.

This year, I graced the page of a finance magazine, Moneysense Philippines in their Millennials and Money issue. It felt kind of surreal because during one period in my life, I was the one chasing others and asking for interviews. But this time around, tables just turned as I am now a resource person giving a talk about my career to millennials!

I turned 33 in November. and celebrated the occasion three times! :-)

After being in the company for half a decade, I got to experience how it is to celebrate one of America's favorite holidays for the first time: Thanksgiving with fellow volunteers and Career interns.

Photo: @jukariluna

I ended the year with another meaningful endeavor: by choosing to volunteer for the gift-giving event in a depressed area in Tondo for the first time. While this was something new to me, and at one point, made me feel worry for myself healthwise, conquering this kind of activity felt good and was also a humbling experience.

Most of the time, Wittybunny to me is just a silly application. But this time, I'm willing to give it the benefit of the doubt. This year was filled with ups and downs, stresses and easy days. It's a mixture of the equal stuff. This morning, upon waking up and realizing it's the last day of the year, I prayed for a number of things -- including another meaningful, blessed year.

I shall now resume my holiday programming but not without wishing you one thing: to have a safe, peaceful and happy new year.   

Monday, December 25, 2017

A Lesson About Gratitude

Taking some time again writing on this blog during the holiday break.  the last few weeks leading to Christmas has been busy and was somewhat stressful. I'm trying to give myself some well-deserved leeway from everything because it's been taking some toll on my health. And because of the busy schedule I had the past few weeks, there are some things I would either do in a hurry, or worst, had to skip entirely this year. One of them was attending and completing the anticipated masses for Simbang Gabi.

But in spite of an erratic schedule, preparing and holding Christmas parties and a bridal shower, I still had the chance to attend at least one of the 9 nights of the mass held at the church near my workplace. 

Next to thinking of how the Homily relates to someone else's situation, I believe I got to be there to hear it for a reason. Just days before, I went through a quite scary ordeal, falling a victim to theft as I was waiting for a ride home from our team's Christmas dinner. My wallet, ATM card and a sum of money was among those that were stolen. It stressed me and left me worried that I failed to get some sleep.

And hearing the words of the priest made me recall of what happened and what I have forgotten -- gratitude. When I got home that night, on my Facebook wall was a comment that Januver left on my status post. Reading it made me think how spot on his words were. All those times, I was worrying about what I have lost and how it could lead to financial issues and how I could make ends meet. Whereas here he is, saying and implying how my safety is more important than anything else.

I disregarded the fact that I was safe and unharmed. A thing that he seemed to care about more. And it shook me back to my senses. Next to his words, it was also my parents' advice that pacified my worries and consoled my heart from the somewhat traumatic experience I want through.

In the end, I may have lost something but by God's grace, I was able to make ends meet -- more than what I expected.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

10 Love Lessons I Learned From Binge Watching Meteor Garden

I never thought I would write a nostalgic throwback post on Christmas Eve. Blame it on the recent news that Meteor Garden will get a millennial remake, but for the past weeks, I found myself binge watching Taiwanese dramas. First on my list, Meteor Garden of course!

When this drama series was shown here in the Philippines 14 years ago, I was still in college at 19. A few weeks ago, I remember confessing to my office mate Cherry about re-watching the show again. To which I told her how your perception differs as you age.

And true enough, as I was watching Meteor Garden's episodes, I can't help but realize that. Iba ang pagtingin mo sa mga sitwasyon at bagay when you are only 19, but it becomes all the more different when you are 33.

And that includes love and relationships. At 19, you only see love as that one with handsome boys that give you the giddy feels. But watching this drama series at a time I consider myself to be "old", left me with a few realizations. And those were lessons that I never learned back when I was a teenager filled with "kilig" hormones over a group of boys who never spoke English on TV!

So what did watching Meteor Garden at 33 made me realize? That would be these:

  1. Sacrifices (and doing them) are really an essential ingredient, and is always present to any relationship.
  2. While they say actions speak louder than words, there also are times that Love has to be declared.
  3. Patience always come with wonderful rewards.
  4. It might look complicated, even difficult. But despite the adversities along the way, love is still the most wonderful feeling in the world.
  5. Though they might look complicated, silent guys more often are men of sense. They think sensibly and deeply -- something which compensates their silence.
  6. It pays to have a kick-ass sister  and group of friends as a source of support -- and someone to seek help.
  7. You don't really need to mold yourself and be someone else just to fit in and and find love. Sometimes, even a strong character is enough to earn one's respect and more -- love included.
  8. Love is a powerful force that can really transform a person. It could bring out a kind heart even out of a bad boy.
  9. Bad boys can still possibly become ideal boyfriends.
  10. Even if people and circumstances are against two persons in love, with perseverance and faith, love wins -- always.

I still have a number of episode to watch. The kilig feeling is still present just like how it was when I watched it in 2003, though I know that just like me, the characters in the series have also grown up and gotten old. And while I have yet to see the remake (it's scheduled to come out next year), I guess I would still prefer the first and original version than any others.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Thirty Three

Age is just a number :)
I turned 33 almost a week ago. I've reached the "Age of Salvation" if I may say so. That term got stuck in my head after reading somewhere that it was the age of Jesus when He was crucified and saved mankind.

Save for the traditional advanced surprise that was given to me by my officemates in the firm, I was able to get the kind of celebration that I wanted -- a birthday minus the festive (read: noisy) stuff. When these folks showed up with their "pasabog" on All Soul's Day, I was seriously wanting to tell them to keep quiet (kasi nga Undas pa --at least in my calendar hahaha!). But I didn't want to be a killjoy and spoil their fun and effort so I decided to let them be. Though I guess it's among the realities one gets as they grow old. You tend to prefer simplicity and solemnity even in celebrating your own birthday.

Tropang Trenta (except for Jim and Eloi!)
On the day itself, I just went to church to hear Mass. The good thing about my birthday falling on a first Sunday of the month was that I got to be blessed and prayed for by the presiding priest and be serenaded with the Happy Birthday song by the church choir. Compared to the previous celebrations, I must say that this year was a bit ordinary, odd and different-- because I found myself sending a message of condolence to someone whose ex-wife died the night before in an unexpected manner while attending to a commitment overseas. Honestly, the words ordinary, odd and different aren't even sufficient to describe how I felt as I typed and sent the said message of sympathy.

I decided to go on vacation leave after my birthday. Next to wanting a quiet celebration, I did so just to catch up on rest and sleep and just basically take a breather and free my mind away from anything work-related. I may not be vocal about it, but I'd admit now that the past few months (and weeks leading to my birthday) has been stressful. I just wanted to hopefully de-compress my mind and body (to which the stress and strain of everything has been taking its toil lately). So I took the opportunity to some get some RnR even for just two days.    

Yes to fangirling while on vacation!
Next to getting rest, long hours for sleep, and quietly celebrating, I spent the two days held and curled up in my bedroom reading. Like what I said in my previous post, I wanted time to immerse in books that are not too hardcore to the brain and it was such a welcoming respite. Books that are for "light reading" seriously left me refreshed after I reached and finished the last page. Oh, and I also got the book in my wishlist so I was really satisfied.

Literal na may pa-cake si mayor! 
And just when I thought I had enough of the whole "birthday shenanigans", I came home yesterday to a treat from our mayor. While I am not really used to these kinds of surprises, the fact that the special day was remembered is much appreciated (at oo, hindi lang biruan sa hometown ko yung usual na linyahang "may pa-cake si mayor!" Totoo sa lugar namin yun  hahaha!)

Looking at it, I left being 32 having achieved a number of things, and that's good. Now at 33, I can't help but think, that age is seven years into reaching 40. Yes, it's still a long way to go, however, the thoughts like what lies ahead and the question whether I would still be alive (and blogging) by then have already entered my mind. 

But those are something to wait and see. For now, what's for me to do is just in these two words: Carpe diem!

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Needs and Wants

My birthday is happening in a week. Another year has gone and a new one about to come. But unlike other people, I am not looking into an elaborate, booze-and-fireworks-filled kind of celebration. I guess longing for simplicity in things is among the pieces of wisdom that getting old gives. Because even my wishlist contains nothing but the stuff that matters to me -- and right now I only have four of them.

1. The gift for more borrowed time. So many things, so little time. I've always heard that line on countless occasions. Not that I am complaining but when you are getting older, trying to fit a demanding career, social life, a hobby, relaxation and sleep seem to be difficult. To the fact that I sometimes feel like 24 hours is not sufficient to fit everything in.

2. A good nights' sleep. For the past five and a half years, I have been running on four to six hours of sleep. And I have also learned the art of sleeping in public transportation on the way to work everyday. And to be honest, I yearn for a restful night of slumber. If I could sleep in the same way as a cat, I definitely would do it. Pahinga over pera (or pag-ibig) pa rin ang motto ko!

3. To read a good book. My supervisor once asked me, if money was never an issue, what would I do for a day? Aside from sleep, it would be going to the beach, sip coffee and read books-- to my heart's content.

Photo: National Bookstore

And while I still have books piling up unread in my room at home, there are just two titles I yearn to immerse my mind into once I finally get a day (or days) away from work -- Alden: In My Own Words by Alden Richards and Yup, I Am That Girl by Maine Mendoza. With the kind of job that I have, dealing with legal jargons, clients with complicated (read: upset, irate) attitude, and reading law-related books that are totally hardcore to my brain for half a decade of my life, I sometimes need something that's light and easy to read to allow my brain to breathe from all the stress and highfalutin words.

Photo: Cake Central

4. A birthday cake. And a Minnie Mouse inspired one at that. Because I am a fan of the color red, anything Disney (especially Mickey and Minnie) and simply because a birthday doesn't seem to be complete without blowing a candle on top of a birthday cake.

You see my list has nothing complicated in it. Back in school, I was taught that there is a difference between "want" and "need". But in reality, if there's another thing this "getting old" feeling is telling me, it is that during these times, the things that you want are actually the things that you do really need. 

*All photos courtesy of unless otherwise stated on the caption.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Ramen Date with the Girls

 The past few days, I have been feeling under the weather. I am typing this entry in bed while listening to a Senate hearing from last week with a box of tissue and my medicines on my bed side. And whenever I am sick, there are three things that I want: a good sleep and a mug of hot black tea or a warm bowl of soup.

And speaking of warm soup, I can't help but miss having ramen just like what I had with my married lady officemates months ago. Next to coffee and milk tea shops, ramen houses are among those prevalent places near my office. One of those ramen houses we visited was Ramen Kuroda recommended by Cherry.

At first I was hesitant to go because I am not really a fan of ramen. But Cherry's fighting pilit was that strong so off I went with them. Ramen Kuroda is the only ramen house located at Cyber Fashion Mall's Third Floor.

And since it's my first time to try this dish, I went on the safe side and ordered Shiro  Ramen. While there wasn't really anything special in it, I think I made the right choice with what I ordered. The noodles were cooked just right, the meat strips were tender and the broth was creamy. Cherry was right when she said I would love it. My office mates on the other had tried Aka Ramen and Aka Chasumen which has some mild spicy flavor in it -- which you can adjust according to your preference.

I may have been to this place once but the first visit was good. Their staff were accommodating, they even helped us choose with our orders. Their serving time is also fast and if you're not a fan of chopsticks, the place has utensils handy as well. For price that ranges from 180-230 pesos, this place and their ramen is worth another visit.

Ramen Kuroda is at the 3rd Floor of Eastwood Cyber Fashion Mall Eastwood City Libis Quezon City.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

September Shenanigans

It's the last day of the first "ber" month. And despite being bone tired dealing with and completing work-related requirements, I just thought of writing about a rundown of the things I dealt with this month:

I joined a meaningful endeavor for the benefit of our country's men in uniform currently deployed in Marawi. You can read more of that here.

I am among those individuals featured in this quarter's issue of a finance magazine, MoneySense about Millennials & Money.

And it feels giddily good being interviewed and discussing what I do for a living for the last five and a half years.

Speaking of magazines, I am making a "mini comeback" as a contributing writer for the upcoming issue of our company's internal publication. And I'm so excited. For any writer, getting to see your name in print is the best feeling in the world. That's their form of fulfillment.

This month is also a month for new discoveries. Like a new place to stop by for my morning fuel -- coffee! Finally, after months (which almost turned to a year) of waiting, the Tim Hortons branch which is just three minutes away from my office is finally open!

I also discovered a food tent that serves good food and drinks -- not in the metropolis but still in Rizal during one of my trips on the way home from work for the weekend. I might go back to explore more of the food the place can offer because some of the stalls were still prepping up when I arrived at around 6pm.

Of course, a month without indulging in brain food? Sadly, I missed this year's Manila International Book Fair. I read while this year was a bigger event, it was filled to the brim with attendees too. Call it an ultimate measure of katanderan but I wasn't sure if my patience can take the long lines of people this year. But that's not a reason for me not to find a book to read. After months of searching and ranting that I can't find this book authored by one of my friends, I was finally able to buy one from Book Sale in SM Megamall. Yep, humble secondhand bookshops are a gem too. Not only they are selling secondhand books (that look brand new) at a cheaper price, sometimes they're a place for hard-to-find titles too.

I'm ending my month with another movie to cross out on my list for my 12 Movies Project. I was torn between watching this in SM Megamall or just see it in my hometown but the former won. Last Night is the ninth movie on my list and it's a good movie worth paying for and watching. While it's seen as a romantic film, it's not tackling just a typical lovestory in its premise. While I did not get the kind of ending I expected, the movie offered an unexpected twist that somehow I was able to let go of the "ending I wanted but didn't get" . Piolo and Toni played their characters well -- or even above what the audience expected. And for someone like Bela Padilla, who everyone is familiar of an actress, this movie proved that she's more than that. Her scriptwriting skills for this movie showed promise. If you are intrigued and haven't seen the movie just yet, I suggest that you run to the cinema and buy a ticket. I am telling you, it's going to be worth your money.

There goes my September. I wonder how things will be like next month :-)

Monday, September 25, 2017

A Stranger's Letter to a Deployed Soldier

It has been four months since the battle of Marawi started. In between a busy workload in the office, attending meetings, watching the news and burying myself in those unread books at home, different humanitarian activities have been spearheaded. A number of which I have always wanted to participate in but there would always be obstacles -- either lack of allowable time or resource showing up.

I really wanted to do something meaningful -- but how? 

The answer came through a blog post I found in one of the blogs I follow, Mommy Fleur. She wrote about this campaign of fellow mommy blogger, Tin of Manila Fashion Observer about sending letters to deployed soldiers in Marawi. To which I thought it to be a brilliant idea. In this day and age of instant communication, people seem to have forgotten the beauty found in putting "personal touch" to some of our daily activities -- writing letters included.

I don't know how to address the recipient so I did the greeting that way.

And so, yesterday, in spite of fighting off my disappointment over an appointment that never materialized, I took time to sit down and pen a letter. In a way it was hard to find the words at first especially with the fact that I won't know to whose hands my letter will fall. The only thing that is sure is that it will hopefully be received by someone in uniform, who is making a sacrifice of being miles away from loved ones to respond to a call of duty.

I never tried writing a correspondence to a stranger. In the process of doing so, I have to put myself into the shoes of the person who might get my letter. Sure, allowing my hands to do the work was hard, because as I was putting down my thoughts, my tears would fall at the same time. However, if there was one good thing about shedding those tears in the process of writing, it's that I got to clearly and sincerely find the right words.

As much as I would like to write the content of the letter and post it here, I opt not to do it. Just so it would be genuinely reserved for the soldier who will receive it. But it's mostly about uplifting someone's spirit and the hope of a peaceful end to this chaos, a hero's safe return and hopefully, if the Universe would allow, a chance to meet the recipient -- the courageous person in uniform whose sacrifice meant ensuring that people like me (and others too) would live in a secured, free and peaceful country.

To read more about how you can participate on this campaign, please visit this blog.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Vertigo Recovery By Food at Hideout52: A Late Post

 Just as the title stated, this one's another late post. I'm feeling and doing fine as of this writing compared to how I was in April when Kim and I went out to have an unplanned food trip at Hideout 52.

It was an afternoon in April 30 when Kim sent me a message asking when we could go out for a food trip. She was free (read: no scheduled events to attend). While I was just at home free to do anything that day, I was recovering from an episode of vertigo which started the day before. Two years ago, during my first vertigo episode, the doctor advised me that next to betahistine medication and some prescribed exercises, I was told to move whenever I could -- and yes, it included going out if my body permits it because next to dizziness, vertigo sufferers deal with balance issues at the same time. Thankfully, the medicines were working and my symptoms have subsided a bit. So upon getting a go signal from my mom, I went to see Kim for an impromptu food trip.

Kim ordered their murder burger and nachos while I had carbonara. Hideout 52 is an unassuming hang out place located along Manila East Road in Angono, Rizal few meters across from Iglesia ni Cristo. Their menu is interesting -- just as how delicious it is once it arrives on the table.

I loved how they prepared the carbonara. Warm and the noodles were cooked just right -- not tough nor rubber-y. Al dente it is. Nothing much to say with the sauce but I loved that there's mushrooms in it (I'm a sucker for mushrooms!) and they didn't scrimp on the amount or serving they placed in my order.

I didn't have the chance to taste Kim's murder burger. But I think it was good too because she was able to finish it -- despite that it's a huge burger and she's the only person to consume it. We also ordered their nachos (which we failed to photograph) which is also a must try. I'd like to think they make their own nachos because the way it was made and prepared is different from the store-bought ones.

These were the drinks we ordered. I forgot what Kim ordered. While I had the strawberry smoothie.

This was how a vertigo-suffering customer looked like after finishing all the food we ordered. We stayed at the makeshift deck near the window. Overall, the experience we had there was okay. Save for the loud music, their food was good and affordable and their staff are accommodating too.Those are enough reasons for me to return there. 

Hideou52 is located along Manila East Road Angono Rizal

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.