Friday, November 21, 2014

Thursday Night Out With The Katipuneras

I've always found meaningful conversations with my precious friends good for the soul. And since we haven't seen each other for a good 6 months (and more!), the stories just got piled up! And I guess it is safe to say that we went home with happy souls and hearts :)

Thursday indeed is the new humpday. I got to meet these lovely ladies again for dinner last night at our go-to place in Katipunan - Flaming Wings! I just blogged about eating at Flaming Wings in White Plains a week ago, and now here I am, again, on a Flaming Wings high!

Of course, a 5-piece basket of HOT wings with blue cheese and honey mustard dips needed to be had while we each had our choice of pasta for the night.

2014 has been all about different types of carbonara for me, so you should kind of know already what I got. Naks, feeling may readership talaga! But seriously, Flaming Wings' Linguine Carbonara is a classic. It's a done deal!

My friend, Cor, got a Spaghetti Puttanesca. Kamy and I both had carbonara, but hers was spaghetti noodles.

The sound architecture at Flaming Wings Katipunan is just as terrible as it was eons ago, so after dinner, we went straight to Coffee Bean at the nearby Regis Center.

I asked the barista whether they had Iced Caffe decaf, and I was glad na meron, And indeed, it was decaf because as I got home, I was already feeling really sleepy. Yay! Masisipa ko talaga siya if it wasn't hahahaha

Check out the wisdom on my cup! Okay, I hear ya!

Thanks, girls for the night of updates and motivation! Love it! See you again hopefully not in 10 years!

And suddenly, everything's okay in the world again. Thank you! My heart is happy <3

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

A Cultural Field Trip Kind of Sunday (Warning: Image Heavy!)

As in, REALLY image heavy this post.

As I get older (gosh, I'm turning 27 so soon!), I realize that the arts actually pique my interest. I guess I'm an old soul. And since I rarely get my daily dose of culture on most days (especially during the work week where I am more showered with BS than the good kind), I make the effort to expose myself to... culture on weekends.

Last Sunday, I was salingkit to a friend who was on an official business at the National Museum of the Philippines. There's usually an entrance fee during weekdays and on Saturdays, but admission is free on Sundays. Yay!

Facade of the National Museum of the Philippines.
Still a beauty despite the scaffolding!

How we got to the National Museum of the Philippines from Quezon City:
1. We rode the train to Recto at LRT 2
2. From Recto station, we walked the foot bridge leading to D. Jose in LRT 1
3. From D. Jose, we simply exited the station (not sure if North exit or South exit, hehe) to ride a jeep with a Baclaran / Mabini sign on it. That jeep will pass by the following landmarks: Manila City Hall, the Manila Post Office, and of course, the National Museum of the Philippines! 

It's easy! My friend and I are not born commuters, but we did found our way smoothly without asking strangers for directions. 

Along with the exception of some jeje visitors who were in slippers (please read the dress code, people!), there were also a bunch of Westerners who were obviously on tour. I couldn't help but do a virtual punch in the air knowing that these foreigners are thinking highly of us for having so many beautifully restored paintings, wooden sculptures, stories and artifacts. Despite the many years we have served as colonies to so many Western countries, we do have an identity that's well preserved at the National Museum.

Here are some highlights!

And oh, did you know that the National Museum used to be the session hall of the House of Representatives?

Entrance door with the N & M acronyms

Of course, a picture with the 1884 Spoliarium of Juan Luna is a must! 

Opposite the Spoliarium by Juan Luna is The Assassination of Governor General Fernando Manuel de Bustillo Bustamante by Felix Resurreccion Hidalgo

Gallery 1 sightings - wooden sculptures

Gallery 2 sightings - A tribute to Juan Luna's paintings as 
bequested by the Far East Bank of the Philippines now BPI

Gallery 3 - Sculputures using mostly plaster of Paris

Angel sculpture at the entrance. I wonder what that means...

Hello, Pepe!

Thankfully, the National Museum of the Philippines is being restored that again, despite the scaffolding outside, it's nice to know that all these efforts are aimed at restoring our history and culture. It's truly a must see. 

Since we were already in the cultural hub of the Philippines, my friend and I took a cab from the National Museum to Intramuros. We intended to walk, but the sweltering heat was too much to handle!

After a quick lunch, we visited the Cathedral of the Archdiocese of Manila and the beautiful San Agustin Church where there was a wedding held every hour! There was an underground mausoleum and museum in San Agustin, so we made sure to check those out too. Entrance fee at the San Agustin Church Museum is 100 per adult. Bring your ID (even if invalid) to get a 50% discount!

Some Cathedral of the Archdiocese of Manila highlights:

Some San Agustin Church highlights:

Beautiful and ornate ceiling of the San Agustin Church

Some museum highlights

By 4 of the many paintings of Augustinian churches in the Philippines

Crucifix from prolly the Baroque period

Beautiful capiz lights

I thank the heavens that Intramuros is still as charming and unique as I last visited it. I hope that all generations will find it in their minds and hearts to restore old Manila;s beauty and identity and not give in to mundane things like a building a high-rise in the midst of all the beautiful history that we are all striving and persevering to preserve. I pray for that!

Did you know that what used to be the house of Padre Jose A. Burgos is now a 7-11 store?

Seeking Comfort at Flaming Wings, White Plains

It's that week of the month when I just can't seem to get enough of salty food. I'm not going TMI here, but really, whenever I have the hankering for salty food, the hot & spicy chicken wings that I love from Flaming Wings always come to mind.

For a change though, my sister and I decided to try out the Flaming Wings branch along White Plains. I have to say that if you want to get your fill of Flaming Wings comfort food - the one you grew up with being a Katipunera - minus the noise, then visit their White Plains branch. The place is more chill! Plus, mas groovy ang interiors dito! 

I ordered a serving of Linguine Carbonara along with my staple hot & spicy 3-piece chicken wings with honey mustard sauce. This is THE best combination ever. I also like it with blue cheese, but honey mustard is love!

My sister got an order of 5-piece Chicken Tenders with marinara sauce and a side of coleslaw. Mas sulit parin talaga if you go for the wings in all its boned glory! And a tiny side comment for the coleslaw - I find it weird that it has raisins!

Ahhhhh, nothing spells comfort food better and more accurately than Flaming Wings.

And of course, since I'm on a craving spree, we also dropped by Family Mart at UP Town Center just to secure a lemon bar - my favorite new addiction!

And just so you know, Family Mart's lemon bars are made by Purple Oven.

Monday, November 17, 2014

McGriddles Now in the PH!

It's a shame that as a foodie and a McDo baby, I haven't tried the McGriddles yet - 2 years and counting

I did made an attempt yesterday to try it out before meeting up with my friend. I dropped by McDonalds at Farmers Market only to find out that there's a 25 minutes waiting time. Do you call that fastfood?!?

From The Pickiest Eater, try the McGriddles for a limited time only at any of these branches:

Sun Mall, Welcome Rotonda
Farmer's Market
Pioneer Reliance
Ortigas Extension, Cainta
Tarlac Hi-Way
Sto. Tomas Batangas
Dona Soledad
Bankmer along Ayala Avenue
Lucky Chinatown Mall
San Pedro
Blue Ridge
Las Pinas Talon
Project 8
Angeles Intersection

Photo from a friend who may never even know that I used her photo heehee thanks, Patch! The McGriddle costs around Php98 to 128!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Nescafe Smoovlatte for a Not-So Smooth Friday

The first time I tried the Nescafe Smoovlatte was when I was in Hong Kong in 2013. I bought a bottle for some energy for Disneyland. 

And before going home, I made sure to buy the whole case (with 6 bottles all in all) before boarding the plane back to Manila only to have all 6 bottles confiscated at the customs check. I couldn't chug all 6 bottles so I did the only option left - to leave it behind and watch the customs guy open the bottles and empty it. Sad!

Finally, Manila has it. I guess MNL supermarkets long had it in their shelves, but I just got to buy myself a bottle some minutes ago. 

I hope these smoovlattes will be available in bigger bottles!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Wedding Preps and Maple Brunches

And nope, I'm not the one preparing for a wedding!

The first time I ate at Maple was in May of 2013, and I swore to myself then not to be back anytime soon because crappy service ruins everything! However, brunch last Saturday proved that it's just a matter of time to be back and see if there were any chnages. Comparing my first experience at their Shangri-La East Wing branch, I have to say that Maple in San Antonio Plaza, Forbes Park was better. In fact, service-wise, Maple nailed it this time.

Or maybe because it was just my sister and I who were their lone customers.

What used to be just plans are now finally falling into place as my sister's wedding day approaches. While driving to Santuario that morning, I realized how time really passes by so quickly! December 27 last year, we were just attempting to book the church at 10 AM on the same day the following year only to find out that the parish office is closed (because you know, Christmas), and now here we are, only 56 days away from what could possibly be biggest day of her life! Sometimes, it really is not cool to be an existentialist. You can't help to be sentimental and to be overly introspective as you refresh your life in your mind. 

After submitting some final documents at the parish office, we had brunch at Maple. Maple at 11:30 was bare and quiet - a perfect venue to watch the world go by. 

Of course, the soon-to-be bride is on a crazy diet of protein for a week and so we skipped the carbo-loaded all-day breakfast meals and had burgers and pasta to fill our bellies! We split an order of The Maple Burger Meal and Pasta Leggero. The big servings at Maple makes it all sulit.

The Maple Burger (Php475)
Nothing is ever wrong with juicy grilled burgers with a side of whole pickles, 3 large pieces of onion rings and fat fries! I skipped the bacon and the fries :)

Pasta Leggero (Php330)
I found the grilled aroma too much for my senses! Yummy, but the smell of belch can get to you. Or that's just me and my heightened sense of smell -_-

We also had Lavazza coffee for more weekend fuel. Yay for happy, yummy brunches!

Hot Cafe Latte (Php 110)

With my sister getting married and moving out soon, I know brunches (and painting sessions!) will soon be the highlight of our weekends. I know the adjustments won't be a walk in the park, but her getting married and moving out for a blissful married life is something I won't stand in the way of.

Not really my finest moment on camera, but hey, that's my sister! She deserves all your best wishes <3

And uuugh, I hate crappy existentialist self.

Monday, November 10, 2014

The Art of Making Fridays Count... with Food!

As I get older, the more that I believe in the adage life is what you make it. Consciously stuffing my days and weekends with things I love taught me that I need to find my own happiness and not wait for others to hand it to me. And usually, food does the trick of making days even more memorable than I initially imagined.  Naks!

Last Friday, we had visitors from Singapore, and unlike Westerners I've worked before who love throwing a huge food bash whenever they're in town, these guys simply had chocolates to pass around among us in our small agency. But then again, Royce's Rich Nama Chocolates are not to be inhaled like flat tops :) I loved the Matcha Nama Chocolate more than the milk chocolate viand. Thanks, kind sirs for the luscious treats. 

There were so many food that day too! We had spaghetti from our birthday celebrator and an overflow of Shakey's pizzas from an ex-sales executive who happen to drop by the office for a random chit-chat. It was a great way to end a really hard work week - one of them rare Fridays I leave the office with a light shoulder and a smile on my face.

With the Hall of Faimers!

And for the first time after a long time, food was enough to make round 2!

And just as I was about to cap off my Friday, I met up with my friend at Shang to get the banana loaves that I ordered from her. 

This is love in the form of banana bread from the Kitchen of Bits and Bites! These 2 loaves were all gone during the weekend!

See you again this December, Romy and your yummy banana loaves!

So, how did your Friday go? :)


Look what I found last Saturday in Eastwood before watching Interstellar! I did not regret buying this for Php 150!

Hershey's Snacksters from The Food Bin

Thursday, November 06, 2014

The Woes of Being a Millenial

I know that my mom is a stage mom. Although my older sister's achievements are far better than mine, she does not fail to encourage and acknowledge the little victories that I win.

But I know that whenever she tries to explain to her chums what I do, I know she has a hard time doing so - a woe that fellow Gen Y babies will understand ;)

You see, I tried my best to be someone I know my mom can easily brag nay share to her friends. I finished a degree in Sociology, but research bored me just 4 months after graduation. I tricked myself into law school only to cry and drop out 2 weeks after. I mustered the courage to get into graduate school, which I am now forcing myself to finish - like now na, ano pa bang hinihintay mo 'nak!

In the midst of all these quarter-life-crisis moves, I consistently found copywriting as my safety net. It was something that I never learned formally, but loved doing since I can remember.

I love magazines, websites and reading, and I think my attachment to these hobbies allow me to be a better member of the industry I am in. After all, a copywriter's life is always a work in progress. You need to take in as much as you can in order to produce quality work. And now, as I do freelance strategy work, I can't help but 'boast' about that tiny laurel to my thinking cap. But how the hell am I going to explain it to her?

I realized that if I cannot make my own mom understand what I do as a digital slasher - you know, copywriter slash freelancing strategist slash social media / community manager slash media pitch maker slash Excel ninja slash PowerPoint master slash corporate bugaw (harsh, I know!), then how can I sell an idea to a client?

My momma and I at Madame Tussauds in Hong Kong

In true business sense, Momma, I present to you an Infographic of what I really do from 9 to 5.

Once she absorbs this, maybe she can also tell her kumares that I plan to retire at 40 and bake and sell cookies until the day I die. I doubt anyone in her age bracket will understand that.

And to my tita who will be arriving this December from Vancouver, please understand the career path I'm taking sans your scrunched forehead screaming of what the heck are you doing with your life. Pang @TitasOfManila tong akin!

I swear, titas are the worst critics! 'Ang taba taba mo na!'. 'Wala ka paring boyfriend?!' 'Di ka parin kasal?!' 'Ano, tibo ka ba?!' Ugggggh, I need to prepare myself for the holidays!

Note: Infographic on what I do outside work hours to follow!
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