Archive for 2013

A Glimpse of the Spanish Era (Part 1)

The Philippines is such a beautiful place that needs to be discovered.

Can anyone guess where this place is? It doesn't even look like it's taken from this era right? Truth is, this place is existent, and it's in the Philippines (Bagac, Bataan) and its called Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar.  I'll be giving you more details about my experience during my visit in part 2 of this post :) Stay tune!

Photos taken by yours truly, using a Nikon DSLR camera :)

In Deep Peril: Monster Typhoon Yolanda (Hainan)

To all readers worldwide, my country is in deep peril. I seek for your kind support to my fellowmen. Any way you could extend your goodness will be rewarded in the eyes of God…

 “There’s a super typhoon hitting the country this week dear” – These were the words I vividly recall as my mom gave me an update. It was tuesday of that usual busy week and out of courtesy I thought of giving her a not-so-worried “really?” in reply. Among the things I should worry about are the piles of marketing work I need to finish for Friday’s presentation to the upper management of my team which is halfway done, and a forthcoming typhoon is the least of my concerns. After all, it’s just a super typhoon, and we have been through a lot in terms of disasters like this – bombings here and there, flashfloods, wars, the list goes on and on and yet here we are standing. So what’s a super typhoon for us anyways?
And the daily grind continues. It was already Thursday. I didn’t even bother to check on updates regarding “Yolanda/ Hainan” and the possible aftermath of its wrath. Instead, I spent an hour Youtube-streaming, checking on how Janet Lim-Napoles and Miriam Defensor-Santiago’s babble came about. Sources of entertainment like this can be very beneficial especially when under stress – it keeps the endorphin levels up a bit for me, though it is negative humor but still it is entertaining.

We were crammed up in the training room presenting market strategies and projections. I wasn’t aware of what was happening. Though I was technologically armored, I did not bother to check on some news bites, because I was consumed with other things to do – my meager means for a weather update was through the conversations overheard in the females’ lavatory: 

“Sis, hindi pa ba kayo papauwiin ng maaga? Grabe na daw ang lakas ng bagyo sa province… dito daw sa manila dadating ng 5PM” , one of the employees from the other company working on the same building asked.

“Why don’t you go home? A forecast is called a forecast because you don’t wait for the storm to come”, another friend who was already home texted me.
I just made a hasty survey of the surroundings only to see clear roads, a slight drizzle, and a hints of the playful wind as the branches of trees start swaying.
“This is manageable.” I thought.

We didn’t finish all brand presentations since we identified the need to go home to be with our families just in case the weather conditions worsen in Manila. Before I went to my car, I stuffed my bag with food and water just in case I get stranded. I headed home, exhausted, only to realize that the roads were clear that it took me only 20 mins to get home – considering it was a Friday.
And then I just slept it off. 

That was ten undisturbed hours of relaxation not knowing that at the other region of the Philippines people were crying for shelter. While I was there, crammed up in a multilayered mattress and enveloped in a cozy comforter and down pillow, our brothers and sisters from Visayas and Mindanao were gawking at the only remaining shards of what they are – rubbish…piles and piles of rubbish that were once useful. Taken away overnight.

In those ten hours while i dreamt about other blissful things – hundreds of Filipino families literally “braced themselves” and “hold on” to whatever is strong enough they could find. They fought against the smite of Yolanda… they fought to survive… they fought for their lives. 

It’s about time we should reflect about what is happening around us. We should take time to reflect. Perhaps God is trying to send us a message – a call to action. 

At the end of these disasters, have we tried to call God and sought for his guidance? Maybe these things are just his way of getting our attention. We have been so consumed with all our worldly affairs – after all, he has been the source of all these things. He is a jealous God. Take time to give him time.

Thousands of Filipinos are now homeless in Central and West Visayas. It’s about time that we show our concern to our fellowmen and unearth the remaining good God is trying to uncover in us. Maybe God wants us to simple “care”.

While we were spared here in Manila, who knows what impending peril looms in the distant?

Photos courtesy of CNN, GMA News, Aaron Favila
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Eats: Pamana, A Legacy of Filipino Food

“Everyone must leave something behind when he dies . . . Something your hand touched some way so your soul has somewhere to go when you die . . . It doesn't matter what you do, so long as you change something from the way it was before you touched it into something that's like you after you take your hands away.”
Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451 

 Have you ever visited Tagaytay during weekdays sans the buzzling tourists to enjoy the wonderful scenic views without getting annoyed? Recently i had, and it's such a great experience! One highlight of my visit is our dining trip to Pamana restaurant just along Tagaytay's main road. 

From afar, you'd notice this white 3 storey building that exudes an elegant vibe that you'd immediately conclude that the prices of the food offered here are also sky-high. I also didn't know that this place is owned by the famous and controversial Ongpaucos' (think: Heart), whose clan is famous for their Barrio Fiesta chain of restaurants.

As i entered the establishment, i was immediately mesmerized by what i saw - cobblestone tiles, off-white interiors, old photographs and memorabilia from the 50's to the 90's, antique furniture,  an outdoor view of vivid greens paired with a blue sky canvass which will automatically prompt your involuntary reflexes to put your camera out - point and shoot! We were greeted by  courteous waiters who guided us to our seats while they gave us a history of the  place.

Pamana in english, means inheritance, heritage, or legacy. This was the inspiration for the restaurant's name since most of the items here were relics from former Barrio Fiesta bistros restored and now put into good use. It's like a museum to preserve the memories of how the family started that's why for me, it's like a mini-museum. 

So, to address my assumption about the price of the food, surprisingly, price ranges from 200 - 500 per dish in large servings. We only ordered a few entrees but we were satisfied by all the flavors! Plus, the staff were very courteous that i gave them a huge tip after!

Just a tip, the restaurant has a roofdeck were you'll get a picturesque view of Taal.
Pamana's Binagoongang Bagnet - not too salty and oily like the others, i'd say safer than the usual cardiac delights - LOL!
The creamy goodness of their baked Tahong makes you want to crave for more!
Their classic seafood paella made us want to wipe everything off the serving dish - look at that blue marlin slab!
You should try their rich shakes - like this chocnut chocolate shake!

Aguinaldo Highway, Tagaytay City
Beside Boutique Hotel, near the Tagaytay Rotunda
For Reservations, contact Vangie Reyes +63920 856 1970 

What I Wore:

Turtleneck - H&M
Skirt - Stradivarius
Bag - Bally
Necklace and watch - Parfois
Scarf - Mango
Shoes - Australian

Eats: The Rocketroom at BHS central

So it's another Raintree hangout spot - that's so nice!

Whenever i pass by BHS central, i would always see this dimly-lit place jam-packed with young professionals clutching their cocktails or glass of wine. I never attempted to go here as a "walk-in" guest, since i knew that this is a frequent go to place for people who needs to unwind after a long stressful day. Just beside the slazzy Stella in Bonifacio Highstreet Central is it's sister restaurant called the "Rocketroom".

One rainy holiday though, i was thinking of grabbing a drink with a friend in BGC, and for some reason i attempted to make a reservation 30 minutes before our "call time". Lo and behold, when i arrived at the place, i was the only guest inside the airconditioned part of the place, while a few foreigners were consuming their last bottle of wine. So finally, i was able to have a stress free dining experience here at the Rocketroom maybe because it was a holiday, and the rain was pouring hard.

I like this place at night because it exudes a mixture of modern yet quaint flair which gives you a relax yet cool "feel" at the same time. It's different from Stella, since the latter is all about 'casual' dining experience. 

I only ordered a few entree's on their menu, but one thing's for sure - you could also order from Stella's list(You may click the link below this review for their menu). As for the price, i would say that it's very affordable for ordinary wage-workers like me! :)

I love the "romantic" ambience Rocket room exudes especially during weekdays, when there's not much people hanging out.

Rocket Room offers a selection of different wines and liquor. Tried several glasses of wine at a very affordable price.
Chorizo Bruchettas - Looks very simple, but one serving explodes in mouth watering flavor!
Stella's Porchetta:or "porketta" in English, is a savory boneless pork roasted in Italian tradition. The pig is usua roasted, traditionally over wood. Porchetta is usually heavily salted in addition to being stuffed with different herbs from the wild.
Stella's Aglio e olio. Yes you can order food from Rocketroom's sister resto --- Stella!
Stella's just a door across this amazing hangout spot.
Their version of Gambas is also so delicioso!
With a dear friend and brithday boy Jerard.

Garden Level, Bonifacio High Street Central
Bonifacio Global City, Taguig
Tel. No. 621-3222
Open from 11:30 a.m. to 2 a.m.

What I Wore:

Dress - Banana Republic
Bracelet - 
Shoes - Ever New


“Change will not come if we wait for some other person, or if we wait for some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.”
Barack Obama 

One of the changes am so loving right now is my hair. To those of you who don't know me personally,  I sported a standard style for my mane for most of my mortal years (LOL) - that means pin straight that spells B-O-R-I-N-G. Now that I'm nearing 30 (still young at 27 though), i decided to embrace something new and make occasional uncalibrated risks (that's sometimes the fun part).

In terms of make up application, i normally take the easiest and safest way to go - the eyebrow, lipstick, and blush on combo. I used to have only one shade of lipstick in my purse just because i feel like other colors would scream too much attention. Same goes with my taste in fashion. Before, all i have are the basics - jeans, tanks, and sandals. In short, i stick to my comfort zone. i am afraid of change, and the possible aftermath of change.

But then as i start to age, i feel like life has so much to offer, so much that it's just appropriate to  try some things in life's menu. Mind you, not everything life serves is juicy and delicious. Some things are served decadently that it feels so tempting not to grab a bite, only to realize that it's far from what we expected. Experimentation is the fun part though. Just make sure to make intelligent hypotheses and of course not to do the same mistake of picking the forbidden fruit again!

What I Wore:

Top - H&M
Harem Pants - Zara
Bag - Ever New
Ankle Strap Heels - Forever 21

Eats: Singapore Food Republic by Nasi Lemak

 “One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.”

 - Virgina Woolf

I'm a sucker for all things nice and delicious, that's why i am very happy to announce that finally, Singapore Food Republic by Nasi Lemak (owned by H.K. Tan) opened their second branch at the 4th Avenue of Fort Bonifacio Global City. It's very near St. Luke's Hospital, just at the backside of HSBC building.

Aside from the gastronomic delights offered here, what I also particularly like is the quality of their service. When i went to visit this resto, I met the owner himself, Mr. HK Tan. When i saw him, he was just clad in a yellow shirt and jeans, walking around clutching a dishcloth.

He went to every table and asked the customers how the food was like, and suggested the proper way (or the best way) of eating some of the dishes. He made sure that all the dishes were served properly and on time, (he actually served some of the orders himself!) setting a good example to his employees. Then i remember, a good leader should "get his hands dirty sometimes".

For me, this restaurant offers the best of what Singapore has to offer, only nearer. So, to those from the South who finds it difficult to go to Robinson's Galleria Ortigas just to get a taste of delicious Singaporean cuisine... we now all have a go to place! So far I'd rate all the dishes , the service, ambience, and the value for money a 5/5. I would love to go here over and over!

Of all the Hakaos i tasted in Asian restaurants here in Manila, by far this is the best i've tried.
Their Hainanese Chicken comes with 3 different sauces. The chicken looks and taste very fresh!
Their Shanghai Beef Strips are very tender.
This one is a favorite! Singapore Seafood Hofan. You can also order Beef instead of pork.
The owner, Mr. HK Tan (claims to be an amateur), is the one who took all the photos in his restaurant. I actually met him personally, and I would say that he is very hands-on  and very warm at the same time! Best customer service!
Singapore Famous Claypot Chicken
Crispy Baby Squid: To die for!

Sinagpore Food Republic is located at:
Ground Level, Commercenter, 30th Street Corner, 4th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City

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