Monday, September 27, 2010


I got this text message from a former classmate. I, too, was shocked and disappointed with how the 2010 bar exams ended. It ended with a bang - a terrible bang

The cowardly and monstrous act of Molotov throwing yesterday at the De La Salle University bar site deserves the attention of the ENTIRE law student community, irrespective of affiliation or school. We are all, first and foremost, a FAMILY sharing the same hardships  in school to pursue the same dream to become future lawyers. Instead of turning against each other - school vs. school, fraternity vs. fraternity, sorority vs. sorority - let us all work towards one common goal. LET THE PERPETRATORS PAY. Stand up and forward this to each and every law student you know as a sign that we shall remain steadfast, undeterred and will never forget the events of 9/26 until  FULLY resolved.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Trip to: Booksale (Ver. 2)

When: September 25, 2010

Last Thursday night, an officemate, who is a fellow bookworm, tagged me in her Facebook status which goes like this:  
Super sale at Booksale - dela costa. Got 3 titles for only P20 each. [Ms (my name)  go na!]

A sudden surge of adrenaline pumped my bookworm veins upon reading it. So I made a mental note to go to that particular Booksale branch the next day, which is Friday. However, I cancelled that much-awaited trip sometime in the middle of Friday afternoon due to a very entertaining singing contest at our office. I consoled myself that I can always visit the Shopwise Arcade branch in Cubao because it's much nearer to our house. True enough, I wasn't disappointed. After patiently peering at the titles on book shelves, I finally settled on these four (4) books.

Total cost: Php 100 only

The four books are:
1) Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt
2) The Samurai's Garden by Gail Tsukiyama
3) Are You Somebody: The Accidental Memoir of a Dublin Woman by Nuala O'Faolain 
4) Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier

I was and still am giddy with happiness with this book haul of mine. I recently finished reading the books I bought at the MIBF. As always, I'm looking forward to more interesting and cheapskate finds at Booksale. :)

Shopwise Arcade, Araneta Center

Saturday, September 25, 2010

15th Monthsary @ Brothers Burger

When: September 24, 2010

Typing the title of this post made me smile. It's not my usual, everyday smile which I can easily give to colleagues, my nephew or whoever I want to smile at, but a silly, very high school-ish smile. 15th monthsary. It's so cheesy I want to hide in my mother's skirt. Well, BF and I try not to lose our genuine desire to celebrate life's milestones. And it so happens that our 15th monthsary falls into the word "milestone". Hahaha!

As we did our customary swiping of prox card at work to log out, my tummy was already making noises. And one of the quickest ways to have dinner to is to grab a burger, right? We're both okay with it, so we ended up at Brothers Burger.

 Brothers burger (Php 125 each); onion rings (Php 65) and iced tea (Php 40)

 I'm starting to love onion rings.

We can't help but noticed that their burgers have shrinked over the years and looked less appetizing. I still remember the burger hype it brought to the foodie crowd once upon a time. Now, I'd say that the yummiest burger I've had was at Five Guys in downtown CHO.

Wacky shots while waiting 

Brothers Burger
Convergys Bldg., Ayala Avenue
Makati City

Sunday, September 19, 2010

The 31st Manila International Book Fair

When: September 15-19, 2010

I've never seen a lot of books in my entire life until last Saturday when we (BF & I = inseparable) went to the 31st Manila International Book Fair in SMX Convention Center. An obvious exception would be big libraries in big universities, that is. However, this is by far the biggest book fair I've witnessed. From law books to medical books to fiction bestsellers to kiddie books to Precious Hearts Romances (PHR) paperbacks... Hahaha! :) Every genre imaginable!

A souvenir shot

 A candid fact about me is that I've passed through a stage in my semi-bibliophile life wherein I read and collected Valentine Romances and PHR. Yes, funny but true. In mid-1990's, I felt it was almost mandatory for me to actually read those Pinoy love stories since I had to learn the Tagalog language as casual as I can. Imagine this, I was only a minor then and yet I was confronted with Pinoy romance which, I think, almost equaled Mills and Boon and countless historical romance titles. That stage only contributed a lot of idealism (note my sarcasm here) to my search of love. Cheesy, eh? I couldn't thank myself enough for a successful au revoir from cheesy and unrealistic story lines called romance. So, the on-going Martha Cecilia's Kristine series on primetime TV isn't actually new to my ears. Gosh.

Okay, so we went to the book fair and the most populated area is the National Bookstore. Why not? The largest bookstore chain offered a 20% discount on all titles, even the new ones. Amazing. I was tempted to grab them all, but I can wait for my birthday. To you-know-who, you know what I mean! :)

With one of Rex Bookstore's mascots

Just beside National Bookstore is my other favorite publishing company (really huh?!) which goes by the name of Rex! All law books are being sold with 5% discount. Anyway, I bought two interesting books from NB. Pretty cheap.

Book haul: The Way We Were: Remembering Diana by Paul Burrell (Php 100) and The Gospel of Judas (Php 50)

I love to read anything about Princess Di. I even cried when she died. I picked this controversial account about The Gospel of Judas because it reminded me how head-over-heels in love I was with Dan Brown's Angel & Demons and Da Vinci Code. :)

Lunch @ Kimono Ken

The 31st Manila International Book Fair, which ran from September 15-19, 2010 at SMX Convention at the Mall of Asia Complex, prompted BF and I to go to SM MOA. It's been a long time since I set foot in this mall. The wave of nostalgia only added to my excitement apart from seeing the biggest book fair in the country. Since I'm purportedly on a diet, then my only choice would be soupy noodles. Lo and behold, BF also said he wanted a no-rice lunch.

We had our lunch at Kimono Ken this time.  Whenever we dine in a Japanese foodie spot, we always see to it that we try their maki. It's our mutual favorite!

California maki (Php 135)

The most delicious california maki I've tried.

Iced tea (Php 40 each)

Yaki udon (Php 180) ~ sauteed thick white noodles with pork loin and vegetables

Gomoku ramen (Php 200) ~ salt-based soup with mixed seafood, chicken and vegetables

Surprisingly, my appetite wavered down to only half of this bowl of ramen. BF finished it off for me. I think the diet thing has started to sink in to my system. I took it as a good sign. Overall, Kimono Ken didn't disappoint. :)

Kimono Ken
G/F, SM Mall of Asia


When: September 17, 2010

After the infamous Friday traffic began, BF and I decided to kill time by staying at The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf. Thank God for wi-fi and latest editions of pop culture magazines, being stranded in a coffee shop is quite entertaining. Since we don't want to introduce any caffeine-loaded drinks to ourselves, we opted to order these goodies to share. Sweet. Heck, diet went pfft!

Pink guava juice (Php 99)

Guiltless choco delight (Php 135)

I thought I could finish off the whole slice by myself but my conscience came into play. The cake reminds me of Kooky and Luscious' dementia. How I miss it! Hahaha! :)

Space 319-A Bridgeway 
3/F, SM Megamall

Dinner at Yoshinoya

When: September 17, 2010

My second day of low-calorie diet led me to hanker for more during dinner. As y'all know, my lunch box has been purposely changed to a small size. Having a small size lunch box means less rice, and less rice translates to only six (6) spoons of rice. It's a herculean feat, but my willpower will more or less rival it. I hope so. *fingers and toes crossed*

Anyway, back to our Friday dinner, BF and I settled on Yoshinoya. I figured out that if I were to eat something heavy without the guilt feeling, then the only choice would be soupy noodles. On the other hand, diet is such a strange word in BF's dictionary, so he opted for a jumbo plate which is good for sharing. I didn't share at all; the jumbo plate was all his.

Jumbo B: gyudon and beef yakiniku (Php 170)

Chicken udon (Php 70)

The bowl of udon was just right for me. It wasn't too heavy on the tummy considering I had dim sum too. As I said earlier, my willpower was great. If not for this diet, I would've ordered Yoshinoya's beef gyudon.

Kani shu mai (Php 50)

Red tea (Php 30) and apple iced tea (Php 35)

Bldg. A, SM Megamall

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Food Trip @ Gateway Mall

When: September 16, 2010

My first day of low-calorie diet was a disaster. Unfortunately, my system didn't adjust well because I went home feeling weak. During lunch, I cut down my rice portion to almost one-third of my usual and  it was really a difficult task. So when I heard Mama that she's going to the mall to buy bread, neon lights flashed at the back of my eyelids. Of course, I didn't think twice of accompanying her. Going to the mall means food!

Because I felt I was deprived of heavy food the whole day, I told Mama that I want to eat pasta or chicken. At Gateway Mall, the right place to go to is its food court, where you won't spend too much. And the only food spot at Gateway Food Express which deserves another visit is World Chicken. The others are merely so-so.

My order: grilled chicken with ranch barbecue sauce, mashed potato and pesto pasta (Php 158)

A couple of weeks ago, I had this very same ranch barbecue sauce on my grilled chicken. Check out here. Delicious!

For mama: grilled chicken with farm fresh mushroom sauce, Japanese rice and potato salad (Php 158)

Note that she's into carbo-loading too. :)

MXTea House meal for my nephew Dave

Oh, little nephew went with us and specifically voiced out that he wants fried chicken but not Jollibee. The stall beside World Chicken caught his eye so that's where he ordered food. Good thing he's not a picky eater.

On our way home, the scent of freshly-baked breads at BreadTalk attracted my nostrils. After browsing all the different kinds of bread on display, I finally decided to munch on this Indian bread.

Chicken curry naan (Php 45)

It's quite odd that my taste buds didn't look for any sweet stuff that night. Perhaps I was really  hungry that anything salty or spicy will be quickly devoured by me. Oh yes, including the crumbs of that naan! Hmmm... does naan have crumbs at all? Hahaha! :)

Sunday, September 12, 2010

French Baker and Mutya

The long weekend allowed me to bond with Mutya, one of my best foodie friends from law school until post-law school. That's right, I've been eating since time immemorial. Just so you know, I gained quite a few pounds since the Elle Woods chapter of my life. But I don't want to spoil my overwhelming love for food by ranting out excessively about unwanted calories, right? It's always good to know that I have a friend who's just one text away from my erratic mood for food. I miss Mutya and all our seemingly endless conversations about all and sundry. 

Since we both lived near Araneta Center, we decided to eat at the newly-opened French Baker at Skywalk. Okay, let's go to the food. We both ordered New York style pizza, an 18-inch monster of a pizza!

White sauce carbonara pizza (bacon, mozzarella, cheese & basil) for me

Red sauce supreme pizza (pepperoni, beef, bell peper, onions, olives & mozzarella) for Mutya

Iced tea

Beef lasagna - layers of mozzarella cheese stuffed with Italian beef Ragu sauce and topped with creamy melted cheese

Lasagna verde - vegetarian spinach lasagna stuffed with layers of mozzarella and roasted vegetables in tomato and sided with grilled foccacia slice

Choco caramel fudge cake

I find the paper table mat of French Baker so interesting. The tourist spots inspired me to nurture my dreams more-  amongst them is to set foot in Paris, one of my dream destinations. Maybe, I could use my rusty  and elementary French language skills into good use. Hahaha! *wishful thinking * 

Till next time, Cha! :)

Friday, September 10, 2010

Pasalubong: Pastel

The firstborn's request has been granted: pastel from CDO, dubbed locally as the City of Golden Friendship. A couple of days ago, my folks went to said city for reasons which I want keep mum. *winks* I clamored nonstop for pastel as their pasalubong. 

J & A and Vjandep pastel -original yema flavor (gone in, uhm... 60 seconds)

Pastel are soft buns filled with yummy fillings such as yema, cheese, langka, macapuno, mango, pineapple or ube. Of course, I was specific about my penchant for Vjandep, the most popular pastel which originates in Camiguin. Another brand, J & A Pastel of Cagayan de Oro, is fast becoming a contender for the best pastel in town. A childhood friend confirmed this buzz through Facebook messaging. :)

Want Some Balut?

Growing up, I was taught that eating balut makes one feel energized or physically strong. I took that  word of mouth seriously. In college, I see to it that I consume one  when I need to type long reports. Yes, typing back then took me until the wee hours in the morning. I thought I was too young then to worry about the bulk of cholesterol that comes with every piece. I didn't make a big deal of the cholesterol it might contribute to my system simply because I love it. Nowadays, though, I do worry.

Balut with spicy vinegar and  iodized salt

If only Fear Factor would make an exclusive season for balut eating, setting aside the health concerns, then I'd probably make it as one of the major winners. Dare me! :)

Trip to: Booksale (Ver. 1)

One thing that thrills me is a trip to Booksale. Yes, it's my secret retail therapy. Not a secret anymore, I guess. Whenever I feel sad or when something didn't turn out right, I'd seek refuge in the printed pages of a book. If it's food, then that would be emotional eating already. Anyhoo, I have no specific genre in mind. As long as the book -

(a) carries an interesting topic - which, I think, is subjective, or 
(b) is tagged as bestseller or has an award-winning author, or 
(c) is priced way much lower than its first bookstore appearance; or
(d) AOTA -

I'd buy it right away. What follows is a souvenir shot of my recent book haul. I'm hoping for more to follow.

(a) The Greenhaven Press Literary Companion to British Literature: Tess of the d'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy
(b) The Senator's Wife by Sue Miller
(d) A Matter of Character: Inside the White House of George W. Bush by Ronald Kessler
(e) The Plot Against Social Security: How The Bush Plan is Endangering Our Financial Future by Michael A. Hiltzik
(g) Pat Nixon: The Untold Story by Julie Nixon Eisenhower

Worthy to note is that I only spent Php 195 for these 7 books. Such a steal, right? Booksale, a cheapskate bookworm heaven, really makes reading affordable. :)

Shopwise Arcade, Araneta Center

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Stranded in Boringsville

When I say Boringsville, it's actually my little corner of the world in the offshoring biz. I'm not inclined to spill the actual details of our work in my blog but, mind you, this blog was born in Boringsville. So I felt like I owe a lot to Boringsville. Whatever "a lot" means. TBD. 

Anyway, there are days that I feel I'm stranded and the only immediate comfort within my arm's reach is a bunch of munchies.
Tong Garden salted sunflower seeds
Mango Tic Tac
Quaker Oats chewy chocolate chip granola bar
Orion choco pie
Fibisco choco crunchies
Jack 'n Jill Nova multigrain snack bar

I don't mind getting stranded once in a while. But I do mind the extra calories not getting burned from my dormant state. :)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

A Taste of Phở at Phở Hoa

After work a while ago, BF and I trooped to Phở Hoa to have a steaming bowl of phở. I'm tad curious to taste the authentic phở in, where else, but Vietnam. Okay, my birthday first, then our trip to HCMC. Mustering enough patience not to get excited about Vietnamese cuisine is quite a hard task for a foodie like me. I had to tweak our itinerary a bit to accomodate my taste buds in November. After all, Vietnam is known for its delicious, fresh and healthy foods.

Vietnamese spring rolls occupy a special place in my foodie memory. In fact, we celebrated our first anniversary in Zao, a Vietnamese resto in Serendra.

Gỏi cuốn or fresh spring rolls (Php 127)

I love the peanut sauce. But I like Zao's version of gỏi cuốn more and, of course, its presentation.

Phở do vien or seafood noodle soup (Php 295; large)

I dumped all the basil leaves and bean sprouts to the bowl and squeezed the lemon afterwards to complete the phở experience. It's actually comforting to know that we ate something healthy.

Good for sharing

For dessert, we bought a box of  miniature Korean cakes from a food stall called Oishi Manju. The box contains 12 pieces of pastillas and choco-filled Korean cakes. I had this feeling that these are miniature versions of Japanese cakes, not Korean. Mind you, I consumed 10 pieces of these goodies since the aromatic sweetness was so addicting! Holy Moly!

12 pieces of pastillas and choco-filled Korean(?) cakes (Php 52.50)

Monday, September 6, 2010


This is my tribute to one of my favorite comfort foods. Wikipedia defines taho as a Philippine snack food made of fresh soft/silken tofu, arnibal (brown sugar and vanilla syrup), and pearl sago (similar to pearl tapioca). I couldn't imagine my youngster years without it. Once I heard the taho peddler on the street, I'd immediately fish out some coins (forgetting how much is actually darn good), rush to the kitchen to get my own glass and, moments later, I'd enjoy a glass/cup of taho!

The biggest tub of taho I had in years (Php 54 at SM Supermarket Makati)

Easy to eat, pretty cheap and rich in protein.

Cute Milk & Tea Cups

I could not simply ignore these cute milk/tea cups from Clipper Gift Shop so I purchased them on the spot. I gave the black one to BF which means to say that the off-white color stays with me. 

Very kindergarten-ish to look at but it gives me a breath of fresh air from my (somewhat) humdrum life as a corporate refugee. 

Clipper Gift Shop
Located in major shopping malls

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Laksa @ Orchard Road, SM Megamall

It's the major hangover of BF that made us revisit Orchard Road at SM Megamall. According to him, the only way to cure his hangover is to have a hot bowl of spicy soup. Laksa immediately came to my mind. 
Laksa (Php 175) - a spicy noodle soup popular in Singapore and Malaysia

For the record, my best laksa in town vote still goes to Nasi Lemak

Dimsum lovin': pork siew mai (Php 65 for 3 pieces) and char siew pao (Php 65 for two pieces)

I opted to eat dimsum only in full support to my diet goals.

Milo dinosaur (Php 75) - a glass of Milo with an extra spoonful of powdered undissolved Milo added to it

The food at Orchard Road is not something to rave about, but it was quite a revelation that laksa is an effective hangover cure. 

Orchard Road
3/F, Building A
SM Megamall

Zero Degrees Premium Ice Dessert

I finally had a taste of this new ice dessert which is being offered in an eye-catching food stall in Robinsons Galleria food court this afternoon. 

When I asked the crew what it is exactly, they answered politely that it's Taiwanese ice cream. As usual, I also asked what their bestselling flavors are and chocolate is one of them! Between me and BF, the latter is more willing to eat ice cream any time of the day and chocolate is his all-time favorite flavor.

Chocolate with almond toppings (Php 65 + Php 20 for one topping = Php 85)

They even added complimentary spoonfuls of strawberry dynamite pearls. I must have looked so interested on how the ice dessert was prepared hence the surprise addition, or maybe it's a strategy to entice customers to come back. Really, it was a refreshing twist in terms of eating ice cream. It tastes so light without being cloyingly sweet. This new dessert find is also good for sharing since it comes in a large serving bowl. 

Zero Degrees Premium Ice Dessert
Robinsons Galleria Food Court (near Samsung)

World Chicken + DQ + Timezone

My boredom at work and dysmenorrhea (real valid!) propelled me to call in sick last Thursday. I thought I  can just curl up in my bed with a no-brainer book or watch TV or catch more forty winks, but I was wrong. After reading a few chapters and extending my sleep for a few hours, I got bored. Now what? So I cajoled my sister and nephew to go to Gateway Mall after their morning classes.

My sister and I had a late lunch at World Chicken. It's been a while since I haven't eaten at this foodie joint which makes grilled chicken more appetizing with their different sauces. On the other hand, my little nephew had lunch already while in school so that saved me a few bucks. :)

Combo meal platter for yours truly: grilled chicken with ranch barbecue sauce, mashed potato and bacon fried rice (Php 158)

For lil sis: grilled chicken with corn & mushroom sauce and pesto pasta (Php 132)

You'd think my main goal was to load up on carbo? Nope. That wasn't my intention, promise. :)


For dessert, we hopped to our favorite dessert place - Dairy Queen. My nephew and I picked cappucino and matcha green tea from their moolatte (described as: frozen blended coffee with DQ Soft Serve, covered with whipped cream) selection, while sister chose Blizzard with Kit Kat bits.

Sweet treats: matcha green tea (Php 49), Kit Kat blizzard (Php 65) and cappucino (Php 49)

Loyal DQ fans

Since we're at the food court already, the two kids asked for my permission to go to Timezone video arcade. Normally, my folks won't allow them to play, but I think these two kids are behaving themselves well so a little diversion won't hurt. 

They just got paparazzied by me!

Now I think I gave SL a new meaning: a food trip and video arcade at Gateway Mall. :)

World Chicken 
Dairy Queen
- Both located at Food Express, Gateway Mall