Monday, April 28, 2008

shabu-shabu dinners

Once a month... Or make it, once every two weeks, I get this big, strong craving for some shabu-shabu... A craving that I just can't get rid of!

Maybe it's the spicy, steaming broth...

Maybe it's the vegies that my body's screaming for...
Or maybe it's simply cooking my own food.

I don't know why... But I look forward to shabu-shabu dinners.
I often eat with someone to share the dish with as it is way too much for one person!

Order goes as follows:
  • 1 Vegetable Set
Extra orders:
  • 2 Squid Balls
  • 1 Tofu
  • 1 Satay Sauce
  • 1 Special Sauce
  • 1 Soup Stock
Yum! I just had this last Saturday and yet I'm beginning to feel another craving creeping in!

Visit these shabu-shabu restos and get their 10% discount card!

Mini Shabu-Shabu
  • Greenhills
    T. 7236430
  • CCP
    T. 5515641
  • Fort
    T. 8563005
  • Shangri-La Mall
    T. 9103272
Healthy Shabu-Shabu
  • The Podium
    T. 9141028

  • MOA
    T. 5560354-55

Friday, April 25, 2008

on stresses and life's fast pace

there really seems to be no stopping time...

one morning i wake up on a gloomy monday morning and then next thing i know, it's already friday night, jampacked with activities that i can't fit in such short hours...

yoga hour session tonight in amezcua, visit 'under the weather'~boitday girl tina, celebrate the launching of Studio Phos Graphis with yuri! all starting at the same time... now how will i manage???

with unpleasant things going on in the office, i always end the day exhausted... and the night passes by so quickly that i feel i haven't had time to recuperate. got work tomorrow, saturday... should be happy coz that means extra moolah... but i'm just dead tired that i can't look forward to it... and i'm upset i won't be able to go boxing... maybe i can plug it in my sunday schedule, who knows? aaargh...

so far, the only thing that keeps me calm are my yoga sessions at amezcua... tough but it's really an hour strictly for myself... with the guidance of Dennis Daguman our yoga master, my nerves are calmed down in meditation (dyhana) and my body is challenged in postures (hatha)... giving me holistic (wholistic) healing. these sessions are what i look forward to at least 3 times a week after work. it's been great so far and hopefully, my flexibility, strength, and inner peace develop as i continue on with my classes.

wish me luck!

Amezcua Wellness
122 Katipunan Road
White Plains
Quezon City
T. 9131353

Thursday, April 24, 2008

LP #4 :: Hugis ay Pahaba

sa pamamagitan lamang,
ng pagtapak sa akin,
maaring tawirin,
mga lansangang puno,
ng mga sasakyang matutulin.

lay your feet on me,
and traverse roads,
laden with cars so swift

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


...still on the topic of friends...

the past saturdays have juz simply been a plain expression of spontaneity...

as i mentioned on my previous post, our invite to abey and abel's wedding was given on the thursday before that saturday and we all decided to whip up something to wear and head up to tagaytay with last minute plans...

last saturday was another spontaneous weekend, with plans not pushing through as expected but turned out pretty well! i guess when you're spending time with friends, however you spend it, is still fun!

after a boxing session in Elorde from 7:00am ~ 9:30pm, happy, chie and i headed off to manang's at ateneo for a reminiscent moment of ateneo days with friends... we were joined by yuri, abey and abel, delpi, job, andro, henry, emg... it was mucho fun and the food was still as great as ever! liempo, porkchop, lechon kawali, nilagang baka, ginisang upo, itlog na maalat and tomatoes, mountain dew! woot! overload! our table was full of empty plates and bottles and our tummys were sa-tis-fied!

and after more chitchat... we headed off to the British School Manila to celebrate NRG F8, the yearly fete at the British School where friends and family of BSM students come together for a day of fun! rinah and eric joined us girls (happy, emg, chie, and myself) while the boys went off to watch the auto show... the driveway was full of concessionaires: chinese food, haagen daaz ice cream, max brenner chocolate fondue, mais and saba con hielo, sago't gulaman, barbeque, mexican food and lotsa drinks! and the field and gyms were full of game booths: wall climbing, cable crossing, zip lining, mini golf, doughnut eating contest, soak the teacher booth, inflatables! all the kids were having loads of fun and the adults were have a blast themselves! it would have been perfect if the weather was not as sweltering! haha!

by 4:30pm, we were on the road again to meet with yuri's special friend, michelle... we metup at Starbucks Metrowalk... we had some snacks there: banana bread, corned beef pandesal and some glasses of black iced tea...

everyone came over to meet michelle including the boys! she's really sweet and nice... :) very happy for yuri!♥

not long after that, we were on the road again... first to bring happy home as she had plans for the evening, then to my house to meetup with jp, then to UP's Chocolate Kiss Cafe to get a cake :: Devil's Food Cake, yum! for our dinner get together! our last stop was delpi's home in Ayala Heights for some wii fun and yum dinner! we ordered Yellow Cab pizzas and a KFC bucket! we were set for the night! wii was fun as usual especially with 4 wii-motes altogether!

it was definitely a lot of fun! henry was off for the US yesterday, tuesday... boohoo... we miss him already... as after these spontaneous weekends, we'll be back to our normal routines again...

it sure is fun to be spontaneous... to go beyond what we're used to and simply have fun and go with the flow. no stresses and just simply be... carefree!

Monday, April 21, 2008

abey and abel :: the start of a life together

for a split second, i was at awe...
and on the next, i was close to tears...
because i was unsure if i were dreaming it or if this wedding was for real...
and because i was happy for this committed couple as they embark on a new life together.

saturday, 12 april 2008, was the wedding date of our ateneo friend abel and the love of his life abey.

our invites to the wedding arrived on the thursday before the 12th and we were definitely on a rush to make plans, grab dresses, and look for the perfect gift for these 2 lovebirds...

saturday came and we were really glad the we were invited! it was a sweet wedding at the Chapel on the Hill in Don Bosco in Tagaytay/Batangas. the place was perfect for them and it was well-attended by both friends and family...

they really are a cute couple, always at each other's side... their fun and quirky personalities really match! everyone saw their chemistry especially during the reception at the Splendido Taal...
the wedding was perfect and well-prepared for. the choice of food was great, the decorations were impeccable and the live music was wonderful!

we were having a blast in table 23... yu, emg, chie, rinah and myself... visited every now and then by henry, jovic, etc. took pictures of each other everywhere as the place was really beautiful! there were lots of picture-perfect moments...

the night was capped off by the first dance of the couple under the moonlight and the stars... with the fireworks going off in the distance.

we all wish that both abey and abel enjoy their lives as husband and wife and that their days will be full of laughter... congratulations and best wishes! ♥hugs!

Friday, April 18, 2008

*laughter is still the best medicine*

now that henry is in town, i can't help but laugh every time that we're together! he's really one of the craziest people i know and nothing beats spending time with crazee friends!

had dinner with the gang yesterday (sans rinah who was out on a date, *wink!) at Yaku Podium for some Japanese food... it was alright although the food could use some extra seasoning... but had some yumyum ice cream crepes at Crepes & Creme! and henry, being the loony one had so much difficulty with the crepes that we were laughing our heads off!

so as an answer to chie's question: 'so, did you?' ...

, i did!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

LP #3 :: Apat na Kanto

Ang apat kong kanto, wala nang iba pang nadudulot kundi kaguluhan, lahat ay nagugulumihanan. Ngunit ang katotohanan, ilan lamang ikot ang kailangan, upang makamtan ang kasagutan.

My four corners give nothing but confusion. But truth is, it takes only a couple of twists and turns to figure me out.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

a glitch in the weather?

after days of sweltering heat... putting the air conditioner to full blast, and eating ice cream just to cool down... i woke up one morning (yesterday) to cloudy skies and cool winds...

in the middle of summer? and it wasn't a drizzle... this was RAIN that went on until the end of the day... and when i watched the news, the weather forecast was for storms to hit the southern region of the country! and my friends were even thinking of flying to Cebu for the weekend! ulk.

what we're facing is...

An Inconvenient Truth
in HBO, April 22, 2008 9:00pm (Manila time)

Director Davis Guggenheim eloquently weaves the science of global warming with Mr. Gore's personal history and lifelong commitment to reversing the effects of global climate change. A longtime advocate for the environment, Gore presents a wide array of facts and information in a thoughtful and compelling way. "Al Gore strips his presentations of politics, laying out the facts for the audience to draw their own conclusions in a charming, funny and engaging style, and by the end has everyone on the edge of their seats, gripped by his haunting message," said Guggenheim. An Inconvenient Truth is not a story of despair but rather a rallying cry to protect the one earth we all share. "It is now clear that we face a deepening global climate crisis that requires us to act boldly, quickly, and wisely," said Gore.
climate change plays a big role in our survival and these little glitches that we're experiencing right now are what Al Gore was talking about in the documentary. these little changes will make a huge impact in the future of this world... so let's start the change at home... making simple changes in our lifestyle will benefit
the world... turning off unnecessary lights at home, turning off the faucet while brushing your teeth...

small changes in our everyday lives can give more years to our dying planet...
let's GO GREEN!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

tying the knot

how do you know that your relationship is real?
...that tying the knot is simply just the next step to pure bliss?
...that you have found 'the ONE?'
...that you will not change your mind?
...that this is what's meant to be?
...that marriage is the best change in your life?

how do you know that you're meant for each other?

cheers to those who know because that's what their ♥hearts are screaming!
cheers to those who are optimists!
cheers to those who are not afraid!
cheers to those who believe...

congratulations and best wishes, eddie abel and abey DOROTAN!
wishin' you a blessed life together...

Friday, April 11, 2008

nothing beats...

...being with friends you haven't seen for a long time!

i spent the weekend with 3 buds that were gone for quite awhile... and i was really happy to have spent the 3-day weekend with them!

Rinah was sent to India by Unilever to work on some 'I.T. Stuff' that has been a problem for a few months now... she was gone for a good 3 to 4 weeks! and that's a really long time.

Rinah's one of my bestest buds and we both look forward to our dinners, coffees, or whatnots just to update each other with the latest buzz. we always find ourselves laughing off our seats whenever we're together! never a dull moment. thankfully, she's back in Manila but is still of course, busy with work. at least she can easily be invited to last minute meet-ups especially on not-so-good days!

India is one of those places i would love to visit... i'm just not so sure when i will be able to! India's culture is so rich, the food yummy, and the different areas of this huge country have something unique to offer as well. >crossing my fingers that sometime in this lifetime, i'd be able to visit!<
Henry is one of the most amazing people i know from college! ADMU life would definitely be lame without Pepits! his quirky personality is definitely missed everytime the gang is together on gimmiks when he flew for the states...

he's often the topic of conversation when we reminisce about things past. of course, he had to do something crazee all the time, that he surprised me on our Saturday get-together! it was just supposed to be rinah, emg, jp, and yuri but to my pleasant surprise, a couple of other friends popped by: Henry, his good friend Andro, and Yuri's friend, Eric... and towards the end of the night, we saw the soon-to-be happily married couple, Abel and Abby (sp?)

dinner at Myron's (Greenbelt 5 :: 632.7293858) wouldn't have been half as much fun without this bunch!
we had to transfer to Myron's pretty al fresco setup outside the resto as we didn't reserve for a table for 11! Myron's serves yumyum dishes, mainly steaks... what did we have?
  • angus steak kebab with french fries and buttered vegetables
  • herb encrusted steak medallions with mashed potatoes and buttered vegetables
  • duet of steak wrapped in bacon and prawns with baked potatoes and buttered vegetables
  • wagyu burger with french fries and onion rings
  • mesclun salad
  • foie gras salad
  • spinach and pesto spread with french bread
  • lotsa rye bread with butter
food was great but spending time with my buds was even better!
3. ELAINE (Castro)
yep, there are 2 Elaines in our Poveda HS Group, both out of the country since last year!

finally, after her 1st year as an FA for Qatar Airways, Elaine (Castro) had the opportunity to take a couple of days off and fly back home to be with friends and family. her schedule is quite hectic, being on the plane 6 days out of 7 every week and visiting different countries including Africa, Russia, India, the rest of Europe and the Americas! she calls Doha, Qatar her home for now but definitely misses life in Manila!

it's really different, being with my HS Buds... we all go back to being the way we were soon as we see each other and we can't help but realize in the end that we're all grown up now! working and having grown up problems! argh! haha!

but it was really a lot of fun! after a couple of orders of sisig, sinigang, calamares, pinaputok na plapla, lights, strong ices and iced teas, we had to call it a night... and look forward to another chance to get-together soon!

friends are definitely life's most precious treasures... i consider each time i spend with them as an amazing experience!
♥hugs to my buds!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

hababoitdays for april!

april 2: ANIELA!

miss our little angel... xoxo on your birthday!

april 7: EVIE!

heehee... wish ko para sayo ay yung wish mo din: boyfriend! teehee

april 10: SOFIA!

lots and lots of hugs to sofia! i miss you s
♥♥♥♥ much!

april 10: HENRY aka PEPITOE!

huuuy... san ang gimmik?? :P

april 11: TIMOTHY!

ei tim! hababoitday! come visit the philippines with angel soon! teehee...

april 12: YURI!

huuuy... san ang gimmik?? :P

april 15: TRICIA!

first birthday in canada! aww... wish we could have our usual birthday dinners! *sniff

april 16: RAFAEL!

kiwi paeng! hababoitday! bet you'll have a great birthday celebration!

april 17: ARIANNA!
ate! still looking for a gift that matches you! l♥l!

april 24: TINA!

boitday wish for you: to pass the board! w♥♥t! so we can celebrate na! lol!

april 26: DUSTIN!

are you gonna be in manila? miss our get2gethers!

LP #2 :: Tatlo ang Sulok Ko

Sa paglubog ng araw, at sa pag-agos ng dagat, ang paraw na ito ang hudyat ng pagsalubong sa pagdating ng panahon ng tag-araw...

With the sunset as its backdrop, and the waves of the sea, its base, the paraw rises up in all its glory to celebrate the coming of summer...

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

LP #1 :: Ako ay Bilog

Sa aking paglaboy sa unang araw nang paghahanap, makukulay na bilog aking nahagilap. Patagong hinuli sa mga litratong ito ang mga kabilugan sa mga tindahan.

On the first day of my search I found colorful circles...
Stolen shots of circles in shops.

LP :: Litratong Pinoy

I just recently joined Litratong Pinoy...

Litratistas, or pinoys (and pinoys at heart) that are fond of taking photos are encouraged to post a blog entry every Thursday, based on the theme for the week.

It's a fun way to show one's creativity ::
art captured through the lenses of the camera.

I may be a week late but I shall be posting a photo for the first theme: Ako ay Bilog (Circle) :: April 03 Ü

Looking forward to all the litratista's posts!

Monday, April 07, 2008

Yo Card :: a new way to advertise!

i've been meaning to blog about our visit to the Yo Card Exhibit held last March 13 at Bonifacio High Street but i've been Über busy with so many things that i wasn't able to... not until today...
this will be short and sweet...

we've always taken those free Yo Cards in shops that carry them but never realized that card ads have been going around for a long time and that there are a lot of companies, products and events that have been using this medium for advertisement.

the exhibit featured numerous postcards from different parts of the world! some had odd shapes, peculiar textures and designs, and interesting slogans... i think that it's a very effective way of relaying messages, enticing people to support groups or events, and soliciting patrons.

it will be nice if more companies, products, and other institutions can use this method of advertisement. i think that it gets the work done!

cheers to the yo card team for a great exhibit! we can't wait for more of your art!

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Bicol's Beauties

Spring Break 2008... March 26~29 was spent in Bicol, Philippines
Bicol has been in my places-to-go-to list for a long time because I've heard so many wonderful things about it... butandings, bulusan, bicol express... and finally, we were able to schedule the trip. Of course via cebu pacific, we got a budget flight. Scheduled this trip a couple of months back, thinking that we booked it for the holy week, ergo, no need to file for leaves. Unfortunately, with the early schedule of the holy week this year and the different schedule we have in school for this school year... we messed up and booked the week after holy week. As it turned out, this was actually a very good circumstance.

Our flight from Manila was on 26 March, 7am. Our flight was delayed of course as it seems that cebu pacific flights are no longer 99% on time but instead 99% delayed. We've gotten used to it... The flight was probably the shortest I've ever taken... no time to sleep! In no time, we were on the tarmac, looking at the beauty, breadth, and height of Mt. Mayon. Despite the cloud that was hovering over the volcano, we saw how perfect it was... and we couldn't wait to get a better view of it.

The driver was waiting for us at the arrival area and in just a few minutes, we were in the comfort of the van, on our way to see Mt. Mayon.

Baroque Daraga Church
First stop was the famous Daraga Church. It's an 18th c. baroque church that sits atop a hill... it has a great view of Mt. Mayon. Unfortunately, the cloud that was hovering Mt. Mayon kept a-hold of it's peak and it was obscuring our view.
So we focused on the church and stayed for a few minutes, listening to a baccalaureate mass being held inside for the graduates of one of Bicol's High Schools.

Brawny Cagsawa
Probably next to Mt. Mayon, the Cagsawa Ruins are the next most famous landmark of Bicol. Destroyed by the eruption of Mayon Volcano, all that is left of Cagsawa is its sturdy bell tower, rising from the devastation that the eruption left in the area. It still stands in its glory ready to face whatever havoc the volcano will bring.

Buying at Sattelite
We weren't sure if we had time on the 29th to do any more shopping so we opted to stop at Sattelite, a strip of stores that sell Bicol's goodies. Pilinuts: honey coated, sugar coated, salted, on dark chocolate, etc., Abaca: slippers, bags, rugs, etc. abound in these shops.

Brunch at Small Talk
Bicol is known for its spicy dishes and how much they make use of coconut milk in their food... Our first taste of Bicol's delicacies was in Small Talk. It's a cozy cafe in the city... more of a home, really, that was converted into a resto. The interiors are beautiful and the trinkets around, very interesting.

The food, unfortunately, was quite forgettable. Maybe we really should have tried the Laing Pizza but it was way too different for us!

crispy squidlets, laing pasta, garden salad, pinangat
We then headed to our home for Donsol... our home for 2 nights... Woodland Resort. It's a 2 hour drive from Legazpi to Donsol and it was a bumpy ride! I was already feeling under the weather, running a fever the night before at home that I lay down in the van and tried to sleep the whole way. Apparently, Reg, Lizeth, and Chie all got headaches and back pains from the ride! It was a very good choice to lie down and sleep it through.
We stayed in one cottage that had 2 queen-sized beds and a hot and cold shower. It even had a porch where you can chat away with friends at night. Mobile phone reception was not too great though :c It had its moods :P It's a good enough value for Php 1700 per room per night...

contact Woodland (Marichu) through +6392196995444

After a much needed rest, we headed down to the Tourism Center where we registered and booked for our boat the following morning.

Rates for swimming with the whalesharks:

Boat : Php 3500 for a max of 7 pax
Butanding Interaction Officer : Php 100 per pax

Snorkel and Mask Rental : Php 150

Fins Rental : Php 150

We watched the instructional video, reserved fins, masks, and snorkels and checked out what the souvenir shop offered...

One of Chie's student and her family were staying at Vitton Resort which was literally beside the Tourism Center so we popped by their family cottage to chat and see the rooms of the resort.

Much to our surprise, Vitton seemed to have a better location, a better beach front, a better restaurant service, and better rooms. We were advised by a lot of other people that have visited Donsol that Woodland was a better choice between the two but if and when we go back, we would probably opt to stay at Vitton. Don't get me wrong, Woodland was great... but for my preference, I'd stay in Vitton... (Nora~+639279126313)

Thanks to Mrs. Santos for the chat, the tips, and the yummy Mary Grace Fudge Brownies! They were yummy!
As we got ready to leave for Woodland, we saw a beautiful sunset... A bright, red-orange, sun, set to the sea and gave a beautiful silhouette in the skies...

Bashful Butandings
Whalesharks are perceived to be beasts because of their immense size... But on the contrary, they are gentle giants... Feeding alone on planktons:

The collection of small or microscopic organisms, including algae and protozoans, that float or drift in great numbers in fresh or salt water, especially at or near the surface, and serve as food for fish and other larger organisms.

They have mouths as huge as can be yet have throats that are only 2 inches wide! They are usually gray and have spots on them that could be used to identify each one as their patterns are particular to each butanding.

Of course, we were ready for anything. We were ready to see as many butandings as possible and at the same time, we were ready to see zero (0). A few weeks before our trip, some ISM teachers went and barely saw any... with 40 boats at sea at one time with very limited butandings as they only swim on Philippine shores from late February to May... and during Holy Week, the sea was just as crowded!
We were on our boat with our BIO and 3 college boys that shared the ride with us by 7:30am... and in no time, we were ready for our first encounter. We put our fins, masks and snorkels on and sat at the edge of the boat, ready to take the plunge. Soon as our BIO signaled, we all held our breaths and swam our way to the open sea. We were pointed to the right direction and to our surprise, we saw the gray and the dots! The first butanding! woot! and back up the boat we went to rave about the experience and to give the boys a chance.

During the boys' first encounter, another whaleshark was spotted and our boatmen led us there... It was a huge one! and it was right beside our boat! Chie, who couldn't go swim with us then had the opportunity to be close to the butanding... It was an amazing sight!

after our first dive!
with the college boyz
After 5 more dives for us and 4 more for the boys, we were ready to head back to shore... It took us a little more than 3 hours to see the 9 or so butandings and we were delighted. We wanted more but we were tired and with the sun so high up since it's noontime, it was difficult for the spotter to find any more...
We went home to rest and relax before we go look for some fireflies...

Brilliantly Blinking Bugs
By 5:30pm, we were back in Vitton for some lunner... had breakfast food for our lunner -- pancakes, longanisa, bistek :) yum! and by 6:30pm, we were out at sea once again, going towards the big river in search for the fireflies.
Firefly watching: Php 1,250 per boat which could be booked at the tourism center
We had a beautiful view of the sunset once again, saw the remnants of the typhoon that badly hit bicol a month or so ago... and sooner than later, saw the blinking lights of the fireflies. They hover over trees that were full of insects and twinkled in the moonlight... and as you gaze up the trees and the black sky side by side, you see both of them sparkling with the stars and the fireflies respectively. We caught some alitaptap and watched them blink in our hands... they were so pretty!
No pictures, of course, as it was pitch-black... the fireflies' twinkling can't be captured on cam :c

So we ended the day, exhausted but exhilarated as well!

Beautiful Bulusan
Early morning of the 28th, we were picked up by our great driver, Ner (+639198870976) and we headed off for the 2 hour drive to Irosin, friend Abel's hometown. Our first stop was Likas... our home for the night... so we can leave our bags and freshen up a little bit. Then we left to view Mt. Bulusan and Bulusan Lake which was a good 1 and a half hour drive away, but passed by El Amigo Resto for lunch first.
Tagged as the Switzerland of the Philippines, the reflecting waters of the lake mirror the image of Mt. Bulusan in its blue and green colors... picture perfect!
then to Palogtoc Falls where the locals spend relaxing afternoons to swim on the cold waters of the falls...
Basking at Bigo Beach
and finally, we drove to Bigo Beach in Sta. Magdalena which was again a good 1 and a half hour drive away... found Abel's little nipa huts and we immersed in the beauty of an untouched beach... frequented by locals, the beach is yet to be discovered by the common tourists :)
waited for the sun to tame down a bit before swimming...
and by 3:00pm, reg and i were swimming on the beach! the water was waist-deep until we don't know where! but it was good! nice sand... not rocky at all although at that time, there were a lot of sea plants to work around with! haha! no fishies to play with :c hehe!
since the sun was almost setting, we decided to head back home... passed shortly at irosin's main town to buy our dindin at 7 j's resto :)

Bulkang Mayon
On the 29th, we left Irosin at around 8am and headed back to Legazpi... another 2 hour ride... crossed our fingers that the skies would clear up to give us a better view of the mystic volcano.

Ner brought us to Lignon Hill as it had the best view of Mt. Mayon... and it was amazing!
One side of the hill showed us the immensity of Mt. Mayon while the other side gave us a full view of Legazpi City... I shall let the pictures speak for itself...
Last stop for us was the Albay Pilinut Candy store for some last minute shopping!
Blessings Abound Overall, it was a great experience... of course, the highlight of our trip was being able to swim with the whalesharks - butandings.
At one point, on our way to see the fireflies, an overwhelming feeling of gratitude overcame me... beyond words... I couldn't be thankful enough for having the chance to see, to smell, to taste, to feel and experience God's glorious work.