September 30, 2018

Budget-Friendly Coffees and Meals at Ziba Coffee Shop - Ortigas

In Ortigas CBD, there are a lot of places where you can eat for lunch (or anytime of the day for that matter), but many of them can break the bank and leave you on #PechaDePeligro. I remember when I was studying at the university on Pearl Drive, I always end up eating at Starbucks, Pancake House or at the university cafeteria which left me almost with no change from my daily allowance at the end of the school day.


 

For sure, many of the professionals working in Ortigas CBD finds places where they can have lunch that fits their daily budget. And I believe their default would be any near convenience store or fast food restaurant would do. But there will come a point when you’ll get sick (not literally) of eating almost the same thing every day. I got that way one too many times when I was on my corporate job for years. 

September 29, 2018

Izakaya Flame's Power Meals To-Go - Uptown Mall BGC

An izakaya is a type of informal Japanese pub. They are casual places for after-work drinking. The word izakaya entered the English language by 1987. It is a compound word consisting of i (to stay) and sakaya (sake shop), indicating that izakaya originated from sake shops that allowed customers to sit on the premises to drink. Izakaya are sometimes called akachōchin (red lantern) in daily conversation, as such paper lanterns are traditionally found in front of them.





People at an izakaya, sitting by the bar and facing the kitchen. Depending on the izakaya, customers either sit on tatami mats and dine from low tables, as in the traditional Japanese style, or sit on chairs and drink/dine from tables. Many izakaya offer a choice of both as well as seating by the bar. Some izakaya restaurants are also tachi-nomi style, literally translated as "drinking while standing".

Get Ready for Fall Fashion Season

Can you believe?! Next week is already October?! The sweater weather has begun, in the other parts of the world, trees are turning into their Fall colors and the winds are already forming a knot for the chill in the air. It's just so unfathomable how time flies so fast. It's like New Year’s yesterday and then one blink, boom! It hits you like a truck half of the year has almost gone by.




Countdown to Christmas is what less than a hundred days?I’m excited for this season! I love when the calendar pages turns to this time of the year. Although I have a love-hate relationship with this cold weather season.

September 28, 2018

Nanka Japanese Latin Restaurant

We may not know or like to admit it but Japanese culture and cuisine have reached and influenced almost all the areas of our world. I am a hundred percent sure that wherever you travel in the globe, you would find a Japanese restaurant or even a store offering sushi. One of the other cuisines that has been influenced by the Japanese fare is the Latin-American food style or method of cooking. 




Japan probably had the strongest impact on South America. There was a report before that I came across that estimates that nearly sixty percent of all Japanese decedents outside of Japan live in Brazil. Also, in Peru, Japanese immigrants inspired a faster and more seafood-based style of cooking. Asian influence on Latin American food has existed long before this trendy new surge in food and culture.

September 27, 2018

Secret Bar: The Odd Seoul

They say keeping secrets can be hazardous to one's health. Medically speaking, keeping a secret or holding on to them puts the brain in an awkward, compromised position. According to studies, when you keep a secret locked inside, you don’t allow a part of your brain to perform its natural functions. Instead, that part of your brain becomes stressed and thus the probable negative effects take place.




So with that being said, I'm letting you in on a secret. I don't know if you know that I am in pursuit of finding out the metro's best kept (are they still?) Secret Bars with a magnifier in one hand, (nope, just kidding). So a few weeks ago I have uncovered my 8th Secret Bar. It's very different from the ones I've been to as this one is modern and hip.

September 26, 2018

Gaja Korean Kitchen: Traditional Flavors with a Modern Twist

I've never been to any of the Korea's; but I do know two things: SoKor is on my travel bucket list (yeah, maybe NoKor too) and I love Korean cuisine! I'm finding myself nowadays either in a Korean or a Japanese resto. I don't know what that means or if they are just calls for me to finally make plans to go to these countries. We'll see...




In recent years, South Korean culture has heavily influenced lives of the daily Filipino. More and more South Koreans have settled in parts of the Philippines, and introduced us to K-POP, digital perm, and of course, Korean BBQ. Save for a few Korean restaurants in the country, most of them are Korean BBQ restaurants offering servings of pork belly to last you a lifetime. As a country that’s been exposed to a culture and heritage as rich as South Korea’s, though, we’re due for a reinvention of our perspective of their cuisine.

September 25, 2018

If Your Locks Could Talk

I recently got tired of my long hair that I have been keeping for more than a decade. And I just suddenly decided to cut it short. From waist length to shoulder length. Yes that short! I ditched around 12 inches of my hair. I kind of like my look now but I know pretty sure I’m going to miss my long hair one of these days. 




Why did I cut it short you might ask? Well, I’m going to tell you first that I didn’t do it because I went through a major breakup. Well, ok sort of. A breakup not from a romantic relationship but a break up from the dark rut that I was in for the past couple of months. Also, and basically, my hair is so dry that I know cutting a huge length from it would somehow bring at least some little life to it. 

Siem Reap Travel Diary: Temple Club at Pub Street

I’m one of those people who believes that travel breaks down routines, monotony and brings back some adventure, excitement, and exploration to people’s lives. For the most part of last year, my life was just pre-occupied with work, blogging-related events and random brunches and night-outs with friends. Nothing really spectacular or mind-blowing. And that, if not for most people, will cause some burn-out. And nothing can cure that for me than board a plane or a boat or a bus and go somewhere, wherever... You know, to fall in love with cities I’ve never been to and people I’ve never met. (Yes, I got that from a quote which I like so much.)



Together with three of my friends, we planned for an out-of-the country multi-city trip. And these places were our dream destinations for years now. This trip was supposed to happen last 2016 but got put off for unforeseen reasons. Since June of 2017, after booking our flights, I’ve been looking forward to the day when we finally get to board the plane and start our 6-day journey. 

September 24, 2018

Siem Reap Travel Diary: Psa Chas (Old Market)

I’m one of those people who believes that travel breaks down routines, monotony and brings back some adventure, excitement, and exploration to people’s lives. For the most part of last year, my life was just pre-occupied with work, blogging-related events and random brunches and night-outs with friends. Nothing really spectacular or mind-blowing. And that, if not for most people, will cause some burn-out. And nothing can cure that for me than board a plane or a boat or a bus and go somewhere, wherever... You know, to fall in love with cities I’ve never been to and people I’ve never met. (Yes, I got that from a quote which I like so much.)




Together with three of my friends, we planned for an out-of-the country multi-city trip. And these places were our dream destinations for years now. This trip was supposed to happen last 2016 but got put off for unforeseen reasons. Since June of 2017, after booking our flights, I’ve been looking forward to the day when we finally get to board the plane and start our 6-day journey. 

September 23, 2018

Siem Reap Travel Diary: Banana Tree Restaurant and Cafe

I’m one of those people who believes that travel breaks down routines, monotony and brings back some adventure, excitement, and exploration to people’s lives. For the most part of last year, my life was just pre-occupied with work, blogging-related events and random brunches and night-outs with friends. Nothing really spectacular or mind-blowing. And that, if not for most people, will cause some burn-out. And nothing can cure that for me than board a plane or a boat or a bus and go somewhere, wherever... You know, to fall in love with cities I’ve never been to and people I’ve never met. (Yes, I got that from a quote which I like so much.)




Together with three of my friends, we planned for an out-of-the country multi-city trip. And these places were our dream destinations for years now. This trip was supposed to happen last 2016 but got put off for unforeseen reasons. Since June of 2017, after booking our flights, I’ve been looking forward to the day when we finally get to board the plane and start our 6-day journey. 

September 22, 2018

Siem Reap Travel Diary: Prasat Ta Phrom

I’m one of those people who believes that travel breaks down routines, monotony and brings back some adventure, excitement, and exploration to people’s lives. For the most part of last year, my life was just pre-occupied with work, blogging-related events and random brunches and night-outs with friends. Nothing really spectacular or mind-blowing. And that, if not for most people, will cause some burn-out. And nothing can cure that for me than board a plane or a boat or a bus and go somewhere, wherever... You know, to fall in love with cities I’ve never been to and people I’ve never met. (Yes, I got that from a quote which I like so much.)




Together with three of my friends, we planned for an out-of-the country multi-city trip. And these places were our dream destinations for years now. This trip was supposed to happen last 2016 but got put off for unforeseen reasons. Since June of 2017, after booking our flights, I’ve been looking forward to the day when we finally get to board the plane and start our 6-day journey. 

September 21, 2018

Siem Reap Travel Diary: Prasat Bayon: Temple of the Mysterious Stone Face Towers

I’m one of those people who believes that travel breaks down routines, monotony and brings back some adventure, excitement, and exploration to people’s lives. For the most part of last year, my life was just pre-occupied with work, blogging-related events and random brunches and night-outs with friends. Nothing really spectacular or mind-blowing. And that, if not for most people, will cause some burn-out. And nothing can cure that for me than board a plane or a boat or a bus and go somewhere, wherever... You know, to fall in love with cities I’ve never been to and people I’ve never met. (Yes, I got that from a quote which I like so much.)




Together with three of my friends, we planned for an out-of-the country multi-city trip. And these places were our dream destinations for years now. This trip was supposed to happen last 2016 but got put off for unforeseen reasons. Since June of 2017, after booking our flights, I’ve been looking forward to the day when we finally get to board the plane and start our 6-day journey. 

BestHairBuy Lace Front Wigs

It would be very nice to wake up with an already styled look, like waking up every morning with beautiful beach waves. But no, that’s not always the case when you get a perm. I have had friends who went to the salon to get digital perms yet they weren’t able to achieve those beach waves and they end up with old fashioned and super curly hair. They also revealed to me that having permed hair is not wash-and-wear at all.




If you want to go for a more funky and edgy look, going for balayage or ombre is a no fail hair style and color. It has been the hottest hair trends for a couple of years now and it does not seem like it’s going away anytime soon. Want to try it first and see if it fits you without committing full time? You may want to try using an Best Lace Front Wigs first. Then you can take it from there.

September 20, 2018

Siem Reap Travel Diary: Sunrise at Angkor Wat

I’m one of those people who believes that travel breaks down routines, monotony and brings back some adventure, excitement, and exploration to people’s lives. For the most part of last year, my life was just pre-occupied with work, blogging-related events and random brunches and night-outs with friends. Nothing really spectacular or mind-blowing. And that, if not for most people, will cause some burn-out. And nothing can cure that for me than board a plane or a boat or a bus and go somewhere, wherever... You know, to fall in love with cities I’ve never been to and people I’ve never met. (Yes, I got that from a quote which I like so much.)




Together with three of my friends, we planned for an out-of-the country multi-city trip. And these places were our dream destinations for years now. This trip was supposed to happen last 2016 but got put off for unforeseen reasons. Since June of 2017, after booking our flights, I’ve been looking forward to the day when we finally get to board the plane and start our 6-day journey. 

BestHairBuy Synthetic Wigs

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all up for the love who you are and what you’re given rhetoric. Everyone should be grateful for who they are and with the body they are born with, I pretty much agree that real and not the boastful kind of confidence comes out of that. But let me tell you this, one thing is constant in this world is change. And change should always be for the better. Man’s evolution in most forms is towards moving forwards and not only adapting. 

 


Nowadays, people say that if you don’t do anything to better yourself the shame is on you. I mean, hey, all the things you can employ to enhance yourself, physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually – basically holistically, is all within your reach. The internet is there, your mobile phone is there, and you can shop, read, exercise, and learn, etc., on the go. You can buy or DIY. So whatever excuse you can come up with is irrelevant. 

September 19, 2018

Siem Reap Travel Diary: Tanei Boutique Villas

I’m one of those people who believes that travel breaks down routines, monotony and brings back some adventure, excitement, and exploration to people’s lives. For the most part of last year, my life was just pre-occupied with work, blogging-related events and random brunches and night-outs with friends. Nothing really spectacular or mind-blowing. And that, if not for most people, will cause some burn-out. And nothing can cure that for me than board a plane or a boat or a bus and go somewhere, wherever... You know, to fall in love with cities I’ve never been to and people I’ve never met. (Yes, I got that from a quote which I like so much.)




Together with three of my friends, we planned for an out-of-the country multi-city trip. And these places were our dream destinations for years now. This trip was supposed to happen last 2016 but got put off for unforeseen reasons. Since June of 2017, after booking our flights, I’ve been looking forward to the day when we finally get to board the plane and start our 6-day journey. 

September 18, 2018

Fastbreak Sports Bar and Grill - Antipolo

Most people picture Antipolo as a suburban area and that their minds automatically wander to a mountain place with cool breeze and green sceneries; like a quick sanctuary from the busy city life.  However, Antipolo throughout the years have transformed into a full-blown city with malls and establishments springing like mushrooms here and there. Although its allure is still there because it still possess places with great vantage point of the lowlands below especially at night. 




We all know that a few things unite the human race, especially Filipinos is sports. It’s a way of life, and the ultimate escape from whatever phase in our lives that we are locked into at the moment. But it’s also fun, social and a great way to meet new friends thanks to alcohol and team spirit. Welcome to the sports bar, where you can find just about that. 

September 17, 2018

Gata - Flavors of Bicolandia Atbp.

The Bicol Region is known for spicy cuisine. After a quick researching about their regional cuisine, I also found out that this region is also known for their gata-based (coconut milk) way of cooking. Probably because the region is also known for its agricultural industry of copra – the dried meat or kernel of the coconut. Thus Bicol region has blessed the Filipino cuisine with Bicol Express and Laing. I have very low tolerance for spicy food, but anything with coconut milk, it’s another story for me. 





I am basically someone who loves any dish with coconut milk. Be it a viand or dessert, I would eat it. Gata makes every dish naturally sweet, creamy and rich. Some may have problems with gata especially that it can make someone run for the comfort room. As for me, I am so desensitized to it that the only feeling I get after eating a dish with gata is a happy tummy. 

September 16, 2018

New Creations and Refreshing Drinks at Banh Mi Kitchen

My first exposure to Vietnamese cuisine was when I dined in a Vietnamese restaurant at Eastwood but I only got to try pho and fresh spring rolls and I love both of them. When I planned a trip to Palawan, I was surprised to find out while researching places to visit that there are a couple of authentic Vietnamese restaurants in that area. Owing to the fact that Vietnamese refugees once settled in Palawan.




It is then that I got to know banh mi, chao long noodles and Vietnamese coffee – which I totally loved eating while I was on that trip. Vietnamese food is an underrated cuisine in the Philippines but lately has been gaining popularity in the Manila food scene. And I think we should all need to explore it more as this fare is considered healthy and refreshing eats.

September 15, 2018

Paradise Dynasty's New Dishes! (Podium Mall)

According to Wikipedia, Xiao Long Bao is a type of Chinese steamed bun from the Jiangnan region, especially associated with Shanghai and Wuxi. It is traditionally prepared in Xiaolong, which is a kind of small bamboo steaming basket, which give them their name. Xiaolongbao is often referred to as a kind of "dumpling", and they are also called a "soup dumpling" because they are filled with hot soup and must be eaten carefully.




One of the places you can get the best xiao long bao, not only in the Philippines, but across Asia is at Paradise Dynasty. A few days ago, I was lucky to get invited to try their new menu additions at their branch at The Podium Mall. I’ve heard so many great reviews of this place and I was excited beyond my wits because it was my first time to try what they have to offer.

September 13, 2018

Hearty Breakfast Buffet at Spice Cafe - City Garden Grand Hotel

It is widely known and accepted that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Breakfast is not just fuel for the activities that lie in the day ahead; a great breakfast should awaken the senses, satisfy the taste buds, and lift our spirits. As John Gunther said: “All happiness depends on a leisurely breakfast.” Just like all other meals of the day, breakfast should nothing but put a smile on our faces.




I’m not much of a breakfast person especially when my body is so used to the graveyard shift. But hotel breakfasts speaks volumes to me. This is what I look forward to whenever I stay in a hotel. Because besides being able to stuff myself with massive amounts of bacon, with breakfast buffets there is a variety of dishes that appeal to different cultural and national backgrounds.

September 11, 2018

Meet the Mega Meat BBQ Set from Soban K-Town

I always deny that I like things that are Korean, but actually, I do. I buy a lot of makeup and beauty products from Korean brands. I like their fashion style, a select few of their K-Pop bands and I've watched 1 or 2 of their telenovelas too (back in college). As for their cuisine, I was just ok with it. My liking of Korean food was turned 180 degrees until I tried Soban K-Town Grill. I have tried a few Korean restaurants before, even during my childhood (my late father loved it) but all I can remember was that how I hated Kimchi because it is super spicy and I'm not really big into spicy food.




Soban means small tray or table. Soban K-Town Grill is a collaboration between award-winning Korean restaurateur, Mr. Sung Rah of Sariwon Korean Barbecue and their Philippine franchisee, the Happyfoods Group. It is inspired by K-Town in Los Angeles where Korean immigrants settled and began fusing traditional Korean ingredients and techniques with American comfort foods and the Mexican street food scene, charting a bold a new flavorful path for Korean cuisine. At Soban K-Town Grill they aim to serve their client's favorite Korean pork, chicken BBQ and tacos in a bold, new flavorful way.

September 9, 2018

Spice Cafe at City Garden Grand Hotel

We are in the age where hotel restaurants are climbing back to popularity and respectability. I remember when I was young and life was better than now, my late father would hold meetings at hotel restaurants for when they would meet foreign or local clients for their business. He and my mother would usually debate if it’s practical do so. My father would argue, the food is great and that it is a way to impress their clients. 




Ever since then I’ve always thought, dining in hotel restaurants has always got to be expensive plus extravagant. Only that I’ve started earning money and want to reward myself once in a while and getting invited to events where the venue is a hotel, that I understood why my father prefer eating or bringing his clients to hotel restaurants. 

September 8, 2018

Take Your Dining to New Heights at Firefly Roofdeck - City Garden Grand Hotel

If you have been a regular reader or visitor of my blog or other social media, by now, you have an idea that I am someone who loves roof deck or roof top restaurants and/or bars. Whether or not the fickle Manila weather allows, my fondness of alfresco dining and drinking has taken me to a higher level of fun by seeking out the Metro’s best rooftop places. Places where solitude and calming breezes offer me a break from the noise of the real world down below.



In Poblacion, Makati, there’s a couple of rooftop restobars you can hang out at. I don’t know for sure if you’ve heard about Firefly Roofdeck. Well, Esquire Magazine Philippines included it as one of Manila's 7 Coolest Roof-Deck Bars. And I couldn’t see any reason why they shouldn’t include Firefly in that list. 

September 7, 2018

NIU by Vikings Now Open at The Podium Mall!

Buffets were originally a display of wealth as seen in old-world celebrations. But nowadays, it means to “eat-all-you-can”, whether in an event or in a restaurant. If you need to shed money for it, there’s usually a fixed or set price that you need to pay, no matter how much food you can stuff into your mouth or stomach. And Filipinos are known to be big on buffets, as evidenced of the growing buffet restaurant scene in the Philippines.




Although it mightily ruins my get-fit goals, I love buffets myself. What my strategy is to eat the dishes that I usually don’t get to eat that often and deviate from the ones that are all too common and get smaller portions (which is a struggle for me LOL!). A week ago, I was invited by one of my blogger friend Princess (www.phantasmdarkstar.com) as her plus one during the early days of the soft opening of NIU by Vikings at their newest and second branch at the Podium Mall. 

September 6, 2018

Nothing Beats the Classic: Ube Cake by Cara Mia Cakes & Gelato

I love anything ube (purple yam) flavored! Name it, I'll eat it! I have a long time love affair with ube ever since I was little. Trips to Baguio or Tagaytay without be complete without bringing home my favorite ube jam. I can sit for hours on end just sitting and eating ube jam straight from the jar. I wouldn't let anything flavored pass my radar: candies, cakes, sandwich etc., even store bought snacks with that flavor I've tried it. 




Obviously I was ecstatic to get a hold of this Classic Ube Cake from Cara Mia Cakes and Gelato, especially that I was feeling under the weather when it arrived at my doorstep. What a perfect pick-me-up treat! Even though I was quite sick, I rose from my bed and took time to capture it. I mean hello, just look how pretty this thing is!

September 5, 2018

Grand Weekend Staycation at City Garden Grand Hotel Makati

Everyone deserves a break. I mean we all really do. After I took my Nursing board exams a great couple of years ago, I already started working even though I still didn’t know if I passed or not. When I became a registered nurse and opportunities came, I was non-stop with work. I only had three jobs under my belt and I believe there was only a couple of weeks of free time that I had in between in jobs. So to say the least, I have been working for almost a decade straight. 




Sure, I get to have breaks and vacations, but you know sometimes you get to a point where you really really get burned out and I guess it is a way that life tells us to now and then, pause. That is exactly what happened to me; I was in a rut and a very dark place so I left my almost 8-year job and decided to take somewhat a sabbatical leave. To reassess and to evaluate where I want my life to be headed. 

September 4, 2018

Takaw Filipino Eatery Greenhills - For the #TakawwwNation

What is Takaw? I only know two phrases associated with it: sobrang takaw and takaw tingin.  Sometimes, I am sobrang takaw and sometimes I am takaw tingin. Hahaha! Kidding aside, Takaw is a Tagalog word which means voracious or gluttonous. For some it might give a negative connotation. But as for Filipinos, this word is more on the lightly funny side; especially Filipinos love their food, love to eat, therefore we are Takaw. 




Speaking of Takaw, there’s this restaurant named as such in Greenhills by acclaimed celebrity chef Tatung Sarthou offering Filipino comfort food. Ok, you’ll probably ask, why do you have to trek to Greenhills for Filipino food when you can get it just about anywhere in Manila. Well, it’s a Filipino eatery serving dishes with funny and quirky names, heirloom dishes and others that Chef Tatung put his spin on. 

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