Saturday, March 31, 2012

Sikreto ni Maria

I grew up eating at LJC restaurants because a good friend of my mom is affiliated with the group. I've always regarded the chain of restaurants as top class but I don't fuss over it because I've been eating their food for so long I'm used to it already. For some who's not familiar with them, they are the group behind Cafe Havana, Bistro Remedios, Abe, Fely J's, and Lorenzo's Way.

Ironically, I haven't even featured their food in the blog. So for the first time ever, I'm sharing you with a favorite of mine, from all of the LJC restaurants:
Ang Sikreto Ni Maria. I know, it looks just like one big mound of white fluff but behind all these are layers and layers of heaven! So, what's Maria's secret?

It's sticky rice (suman) with mangoes, coconut cream, semi-frozen ice cream and sweetened young coconut (pulot). I cannot describe how heavenly it tastes because I'm sure my adjective list will not suffice.

I love it so much because of all the different flavors and textures. The sticky rice is chewy and perfectly cooked; the mangoes were ripe and firm; the coconut cream was at room temperature and just had a bit of sweetness to it; the semi-frozen ice cream melted beautifully over the sticky rice; and the young coconut strips added crunch and elevated the taste to another level! YUMMY! It's also not too sweet and the combination and layering of flavor is perfectly balanced, you can't just have one bite.

I will always be a fan of LJC restaurants not just because of the affinity with the owners, but more because it's also one of the very few high class restaurants that serve really tasty Filipino dishes. Makes me proud to be Pinoy and gives me a feeling of nationalism everytime I eat their food. Thank you LJC group for showing the world how to cook Filipino dishes well and actually be something to be proud of!

...and oh since we're already on the topic, let me give you a heads up on the newest Abe restaurant that opened a few days ago at Ayala Town Center:

It's still in its soft launch but the place is packed already!-- a testament to just how tasty and well prepared their food is!

Again, congratulations to the LJC group

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Artist in Focus: Ed Sheeran

I admit, I took notice mainly because he looked a lot like Rupert Grint. Then I heard him sing. And then the heavens opened.

Ed Sheeran has been making waves in the UK since last year. He has been awarded the 2012 Break Through Artist and Best Solo Male Artist in the Brit Awards.

He first came out with his single, A Team which debuted at the 3rd spot in the UK Chart. I didn't take notice THEN. But I was swept away when he came out with Lego House:

I am so in love with this song! And the way he sang is so simple, so fresh and just remarkable! It's one of those songs that literally stops you in your tracks because it's so good!

The lyrics are also incredible! I have a thing for alternative love songs so this one is super appealing to me.

I'll pick you up when you're getting down
And out of all these things I've done 
I think I love you better now

I am developing a fondness for British bands nowadays and Ed Sheeran is just one testament to how good these Brits are!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Be Active, get Acti-v!

I'm a big yoghurt eater. Yoghurt has been a part of my daily routine for more than ten years now. I eat it almost everyday, unless I forget.

Well since last week, I've been eating Nestle's latest yoghurt line, Acti-v and I am now a big, big fan!

Not only is it tasty (not too sour, or too sweet), the benefits that it claims to give are true!

Watch the commercial to know what I mean :)

Thank you Nestle! This one is definitely a keeper in my book ;)

Friday, March 23, 2012

Marching Bands of Manhattan

It's always a great feeling when you take out old clothes from your closet only to realize they look so good together! Such was the case with this outfit, inspired by Death Cab for Cutie's song, Marching Bands of Manhattan.
I only wanted to wear the vest because it's been years since I last wore it. Without thinking, I grabbed this pleated skirt I got from 4 years ago and waddya know, an outfit!
I used to wear the skirt with sneakers and go all "cheerleader-y", but I discovered how it could actually look more edgy by pairing it with blacks and dark embellishments.
I guess what I'm trying to say with this post is that there is no need for one to constantly buy new clothes to update one's look. It takes just a little bit of creativity, some inspiration and a dash of luck to come up with new ways to reinvent your style.
Have a good weekend everyone!

Sorrow Drips Into Your Heart 
Through A Pinhole
 Just Like A Faucet That Leaks
And There Is Comfort In The Sound 
-Death Cab for Cutie

Military vest - Soiree
Pleated skirt - Thrifted
Black wedges - Charles & Keith

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Of Japanese lit and flicks

A few days ago, I had a conversation with a good friend about this book we both read when we were young. It's entitled Totto-Chan, Ang batang babae sa bintana (the little girl at the window). It's a Japanese book which has been translated to Tagalog. It's a very memorable book because not only is it extremely beautiful, it is also the first Tagalog novel I read as a kid.

I looked for my copy of Totto-Chan the first chance I got.
 It's tattered and the pages are falling off but I don't care! It makes me treasure it more! I'm getting it hard bound to preserve it then lending to my friend so she could relive the days of her youth.

...And since my friend and I were already on the topic, she lent me a dvd of a Japanese film that also features the plight of children. This one is a war film and like most war films of the same genre, this also tugs at heart strings.
Because of the similarity between the two, I am now semi-obsessed on finding other Japanese literature/films with the same elements (features a child and/or major tear-jerkers). I like how "fresh" Japanese literature/films are. It has Western elements but has a special peculiarity about it that I can't quite put my finger on. Perhaps it's that distinct Japanese style--which only the Japanese is able to explain.

How 'bout you guys, ever come across any interesting films/books on the same genre? Or by a Japanese author/film maker? Suggestions are very much welcome!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Love, chocolates

...and that's two words you hardly see me write together--Love and chocolates. Well, I might not be a chocolate lover, but I do appreciate good food and when I find something I like, I always want to tell people about it. Well, my trip to Theobroma this afternoon got me hooked on their chocolate rice crispies!

I only meant to buy ice cream and a cake but for some reason, these were calling out to me and I couldn't resist!
Aren't they just the cutest? I love how crunchy the rice crispies are. It actually reminds of the taste of Malteseers. I also like that it's not too sweet--which is always how I like my chocolate :)
If not for the relatively expensive price tag on these small wonders (125php for a small pack), I would have hoarded these and gave them to my colleagues.

Theobroma constantly pleases me!--and that means a LOT from a NON-chocolate lover like me.

Related post: Theobroma Ice Cream

Monday, March 19, 2012

Extremely loud, incredibly close

I've recently found solace in watching movies. You may have noticed how, since last year, I've been posting more and more about films I've recently watched. I'm not a big movie person. I'm more of the book type but since last year, I've found new appreciation for films. In fact, on one of my "I-feel-lost" episodes, I skipped work and watched a movie alone. It was the first time I ever did that and it felt weirdly comforting.

Since then, I've been watching movies everytime I feel restless or troubled.

This weekend was no different. The impulse to watch a film--any film, was so great. Well, I couldn't have picked the most perfect film to watch: Extremely loud and Incredibly close.

 It's about a boy trying to find the lock that would fit the key that his dead dad had. He was on this incredible search, believing that whatever lock that key opened was bound to lead him to answers. He devised a system-- he measured, computed, planned every step he was to take. He was a total geek and was absolutely autistic.

He was constantly feeling disappointed but he was also extremely determined. At a number of scenes, I saw myself in him. Not only did we share a common feeling of loss, but we also shared this intense desire to find answers and to make sense of things.

But as the movie showed, death, as painful as it is, makes no sense. At all.

There are so many ways to cope with pain. But as I've always practiced, just take things one day at a time. Like what I told my friend, and my mantra for the past month: never expect things to work out perfectly. Don't expect the same from others. At the end of the day, we, alone, have to help ourselves. It's great if there are people who take time out and extend a helping hand or a shoulder to cry on, but never expect.
Outfit inspired by the movie. He was a total geek, I wanted to exude the same vibe.

 "If things were easy to find,
 they won't be worth finding" 
-Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

Maxi Dress - Red Head
Denim Vest - Next Jeans
Python sandals - Charles & Keith

Thursday, March 15, 2012

The Challenge

In a previous post, I mentioned how I am so intrigued about this running event called Outbreak Manila. Well a few friends of mine decided that we should join. The runner that I am, I'm now panicking like crazy and wondering if I'd even survive a kilometer. So to appease myself, I've decided to challenge myself instead of chicken out.

Basically, I'm deciding to follow a healthier lifestyle. I hope I get to stick to this.

The Goal: Finish the 5km run on April 14
(The Ultimate Goal: Live a healthier lifestyle)

The Challenge: Change current sedentary (aka couch potato, lazy ass) lifestyle

The Strategy:
1. Motivate yourself by getting outfitted
Purchase a new, not so expensive pair of running shoes. Reach at the back of the closet for the gym clothes and sports bras.

2. Exercise 3-4 times a week
Treadmill. Zumba. Badminton. Wild dancing. Brisk walking with Star and eventually jogging with Star. Hula hoop and skip rope to dance songs. Stationary bike. Yoga. Hip hop abs.
In my case I think variation is the key to stay interested and focused on staying fit.

3.Add fruits and more veggies in my diet.
I drink fruit juice but I don't eat fruit. I know it's a bad habit and I'm now going to break that.

4. Lessen junk food intake
Goodbye cupcakes! Adios white cheddar popcorn! Hello dark chocolate! Hey there almonds!

5. Hydrate with water and not coffee.
Drink lemon water first thing in the morning. Opt for warm drinking water.

I'm really hoping that I'd get to stick with my plan. However, I also don't want to shock my body by imposing hardcore exercises. The picture below sums up my reason the best.

I've already mapped out my exercises for the month but in any case, do you have other suggestions on how to keep fit? :)

All photos from this source

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


I've been stuck in a rut for days now. In an attempt to save myself, I've been trying to get inspired (crafts-wise) through other blogs. I don't know why but looking at beautiful things usually help lift my mood. Hmm..maybe that's why I love to shop - err..window shop whenever I'm feeling blue. Anyway, here's a round-up of where I've been lurking these past few days..

Little Tin Soldier's Daily Drawings of her outfit

DIY Projects by A Beautiful Mess

Cupcakes and Cashmere's impeccable food and fashion sense

Delightfully Tacky's DIY Projects

Whatiwore's unique post topics

The following images above make me want to start my own DIY projects and get my hands on these items

A random bundle of 10 Washi tape from Hey Kessy
Baker's Twine in Red and Green from Hey Kessy

I hope this post helped inspire you today ;)

Monday, March 12, 2012

In absentia

Sharing with you Sophia and I's favorite poem by Mr. Sid Hildawa. Rereading it takes me back to a special place and time. I remember so fondly how happy and sad I was when I first read the poem. It was published in CCP's zine then--right after Mr. Hildawa passed away.

Photo credit: Lara Jade
I have a special attachment to this poem. Maybe the novelty in his writing style may turn off others but I'm hoping you see the beauty in it. Because really, it verbalizes what we often fail to describe with goodbyes.


By Sid Gomez Hildawa

The sadness within these walls is the quiet
sadness of space itself; invisible, inescapable.
And hollow, like a forgotten well I'd like to fill up
with flood waters, lava, or quick-drying cement.

Departures are never as swift as the flick of a light
switch, or as definitive as the collapse into dust
cloud and rubble of a tall building under engineered
blasts of planted dynamite. You walk out in particles,
leaving granulated good-byes like very fine sand. I'm
sure some remnant of your reflection is still around,
bouncing off yet another conniving surface. Like once,

stepping out of the shower towel-drying my hair,
I caught the elongated image of your tanned body
mirrored by the metal door frame's shiny handle. So
you're still within these walls, zipping in perpetual
motion, an amorphous mass of energized atoms in some
theoretical physics equation where the effect of
friction is suspended. You're still here, though
not as I would have it: seated on the bed, your back
against last night's pillows, your arm outstretched,
pointing the remote control at a flickering screen.

You're here in fragments. I gather your presence
with each sweeping of the floor, the way a poem
remembers its former drafts, collecting dead skin
cells of former selves.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Barbie pink

I've never been a fan of pink make up. I used to think pink didn't look good on my complexion but apparently, I just haven't found that right shade of pink-- until my god mother gave me a tube of WetnWild lipstick in 511B:
To be truly honest, if I saw this in the store, I wouldn't even think of trying it on. It's too pink! And not just pink, but barbie-kind-of-pink which I never imagined myself donning.
The color is not too bad on my wrist, in fact, it's just the right shade. I like also that it glides on smoothly and moisturizes the lips. Often, I have trouble looking for the right lipstick because my lips chap easily and I get allergic to brands that are too "commercial", hence, my preference for Korean and specialized labels (i.e. those from Beauty Bar). So you could only imagine my glee to find how nice WetnWild is! I often thought of the brand as just another of those "drugstore" make up that balikbayans often give away as pasalubong but now, I changed my mind. It's so AWESOME I cannot get enough of it!

Pink has a way of making you look younger! Like my friend said, lakas makabata!

I have now found new fondness for pink! I am excited to check out more make up in the pink palette. Oh yes, more barbie lipstick please! :)

Monday, March 5, 2012

Like the sun misses the breeze

My birthday has always been a big thing to me. I am always super excited for my birthday that a few months before it, I start reminding people that my birthday is coming up already-- well, except this year.

This year, is the weirdest birthday I've ever had because my mom's no longer with me. To be truly honest, I didn't even know what I was supposed to feel for my birthday. Part of me wanted to be happy (just because I'm always happy for my birthday) but another part wanted to mourn and dwell in the sadness-- But then I knew my mom wouldn't want that.

I'm grateful for the people who reminded me that life goes on. For the people who chose to take me out of that negative place and reminded me to always look at the bright side. To embrace my inner optimist again and LIVE.
So I spent my birthday with friends and relatives. My best friend went all the way to our house and met me at 11pm just to be able to be with me when the clock striked midnight. Then we visited my mom's grave and offered her flowers and a prayer. Then we had lunch at Tagaytay.

It felt weird.
But beautiful.

It was, in a word, bittersweet.

I miss my mom because there are things she used to do for my birthday that I didn't get to experience this year. But I don't want to dwell. I know she's looking down on me from heaven and reminding me to celebrate life! To choose to be happy.

Thank you mama for everything. This song is for you:

I miss you 
Like the sun misses the breeze
Like the ground consists of leaves 
Now I miss you 

pink blouse - So-En 
White petal shorts - R.A.F. by Plains & Prints 
brown strappy shoes - Parisian 
brown bag - Oleg Cassini

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