Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014 Roundup

Our Nochebuena above and Media Noche below. I cooked pasta margarita, aglio olio, lamb steak and date bars this time.

What can I say? 2014 has been good to me, so good that I’m rather sad to see it tick by. I love it so much that I subconsciously awoken at 3AM today and for some weird reason and could no longer sleep…probably because of the coffee I drank before bedtime, but then again it was never an issue before. I’ve achieved so much this year: reaching the furthest point I could be in my life thus far, meeting new friends, learning new whatevers, tasting A LOT of dishes for the first time, riding the zipline, dyeing my hair red, getting a shot at working at a new department and putting out new projects, learned to like my job then resigned by year-end, but the highlight was establishing a startup business with my friends along the way. Needless to say, this year has been one of the best years of my life. My 2014 has certainly been a year that gave me back my confidence in making life decisions, big or small. This was a year of letting go of doubts and trusting my gut-feeling no matter the criticism, and it was because of that move that I was able to smile at the world a whole lot more.

The quote, “If you think things are falling apart, it’s maybe because so it could fall into place” or something of that note really came into my messed-up brain tonight. This year was about letting go of everything, and that includes the stable job I had for over two years, just so I can have a real start by 2015. And although I felt fear down my spine the moment I stepped out the office consciously knowing that I was now jobless in god-knows how long, I also actually felt brave having been able to do. For some, it may seem like a stupid move, but it was a proud moment for me to have stood my ground beside all odds.

2015 will be my transition year, between this point of my life, asking myself “what now?” and actually finding myself doing something I’ve always wanted without the constraints of being chained into an office. 2014 was my break-away year, and 2015 will be my making-something-out-of-nothing year.

And thus here are a collection of my last few days of this year...though it mostly revolves around food and eating. :/

It was a great one!

Thank you to everyone for the gifts!
I wasn't able to take the photos of the ones I got in Bacolod though. :(

Three things I do when I go to Bacolod:
1. Eat inasal at Aida's in Manokan Country.
2. Eat dessert from Calea or anywhere new.
3. Eat at a Korean Restaurant. It's cheaper. 
Dinner at Krabby Fatty. It was comfort food, but was a little sweeter than should.

Lord Byron's Baby Back Ribs for only Php150.00!!!!!!!
I mean, this would have easily cost twice as much in Manila.
It was a smoky-sweet and fall-off-the-bones meaty goodness.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Monday, October 27, 2014

2nd Year Blogsary

I'mma turning two today! And Sheepig is celebrating it with a little bellydance.

I may have missed last year’s first anniversary, and this time I made it a point to be right on cue for the second one. Although I’ve been missing on many weeks of updates due to two things: scatter-mindedness and procrastination, but worry not since I’m weeks away from my last day in the office. Yes, as promised (to myself) this year will be my breakthrough year after two consecutive years in the dumps. So much happened this year that I can actually say things are looking up...but it's best I talk about this at the end of the year because I might jinx the whole looking up thing.

As for this day…I was at work…but I had a lot of free time planning our possible trip to Baler. Since it’s a Monday, it’s only natural that I’m in a daze from the weekend's happening and wish it was Friday today.

So…what else is there to say?

I’m hungry…I suppose. LOL!

Oh yeah! I’m thinking of updating the banner and background of my blog sometime by year-end…and proofread…urgh! I need to edit some posts here as I saw minor corrections in most of them. X_X And I also expect myself to be finally able to update a whole lot more at the start of 2015 since I’ll be free as a couch potato by then. Look forward to my posts about my 10-day trip around Indochina—as well as a couple more restos and cafes that I’ve been to the last few months! :D Yes, it’s sad that I haven’t made a whole lot of posts this year in spite having gone through a lot of firsts. Things will get moving by December, and if not, January.  

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Book of Life

The first poster of Book of Life appeared in my local cinema months ago. At first glance I had mistakenly thought of it as a Tim Burton film, much like how I thought Boxtrolls was also directed by him. Let's just put, anything that is a dark rendered animation I assume Tim Burton is responsible by default. But by the end of the film it occurred to me that it did not have that magical Disney touch nor Brother's Grimm...grimness. No, it was distinctly beautiful in its own right that I'm actually glad that I decided to watch it in the big screen. Fox Animation did well on this one. The animation was flawless, even for supposed clunky wooden dolls running around doing chop-chop moves. The colors used--oh the gorgeous rendering of shiny glowing objects (because I'm obviously attracted to luminous stuff) that fills the background with flare--has mesmerized me throughout the film. The colors used remind me of videogames and locally published children's books, and that is always a good thing, personally. The soundtrack was also vibrant despite it being mostly acoustic ballads, thanks to the relaxing guitar plucking mixed with that velvety voice and Latin twang of Diego Luna--I ended up looping the song "I Love You Too Much" for at least an hour after the movie! 

I live for your touch
  I whisper your name night after night
I love you too much

The end credits was also catchy as it was sung by one of the happy couples who makes beautiful music together, Us The Duo. Urgh! If only I have a knack for music...makes me feel bitter to know their love story--Michael and Carissa Alvarado's--they even sang "No Matter Where You Are" at their wedding! >_< 

As for the movie...

The movie is a straightforward love story with that usual against-all-odds thing going on, but the theme also taps on death with the involvement of Mexico's famous fiesta Dia de los Muertos. There's an obvious tap on Mexican folklore, with the characters and terms being said. The skulls in the movie were more vibrant and ornate than Alexander McQueen's, far different from Jack Skellington's anatomy as well. There's the occasional humor mix of slapstick for the kids, and lines like "Why are you telling us these things!? We're only kids!!!" for the older folks like me. I actually found myself chuckling, especially at the emo kid.

Although there are some setbacks when it comes to character attributes, particularly on the supposed villain Xibalba, because he practically gave up nearing the end of the movie. He basically just stared at the hero and did nothing--wait--a lot of villains actually do that to help end the movie! My bad. Even the rivalry between the two leading men seemed confused many times, often overshadowed by their genuine friendship. What I did like was the portrayal of Manolo though, as his character didn't seem too linear unlike most leading men. He was like the wooden action figure of Prince Charming, only more well-rounded and a better version of. I also liked Joaquin, he was awkwardly charming and voiced sound's exactly like Channing Tatum! I also liked the characterization of Maria as this strong-willed woman, yet also hopelessly romantically inclined...a rather believable depiction of a modern-day woman. Other than the minor-forgivable setbacks, it's a delight to watch.

So watch it! Even Rottentomatoes certifies its freshness.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Snippets: Korean Cold Noodle Soup

This is one of the more unusual Korean food that I tasted...actually it's not that unusual at all, it's more of what-you-see-is-what-you-get kinda dish, and it tasted like nothing. There was no dimension of flavor and the soup was iced (it melted out by the time I took the photo) and it tasted like unsalted vermicelli with kelp, cucumber, scrambled eggs and chili dipped in water, not the usual Korean dishes I'm used to eating in restos. But the color of the dish is very Korean though with the usual green, red, and yellow color-combination. 

The photo was taken not very far from where I live...quite a surprise to know that there's actually a Korean community here since I barely see them around. It was one of their Christian church festivals that we decided to crash to eat some homemade dishes. There were a couple of good ones, and there were ones like these. It's actually almost a year since I took this photo and I'm looking forward to the next one!  

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

BCG Art Mart (Sept 27-28)

Bottled koi pendants with ball chain.

Last September 27 and 28, Teacup Ideas participated in its first-ever bazaar--and it was exhausting!!! The preparation of our products took at least a month, and I had to juggle between my 8-hour office work, daily chores, social life and finalizing things for the event--hence my temporary hiatus from blogging. 

Was it a success? The event was, but our products didn't sell like hotcakes (except for our hand-painted greeting card that is,) still, it was a good experience despite the setbacks.

Anyway, I took a photo of what's left of the products that I made for the past few weeks:

Yummy food magnets for your notes. About 25 cents to 1-peso coin in size.

Lifestyle themed dangling earrings.

Bottled food pendants with brass chain.

Bottled elixir and poison pendants.

Fruit Loops dangling earrings and pendant set.

Various animal dangling earrings.

Bottled poison pendant with brass chain.

Set of Luna Lovegood's raddish earrings with necklace for Potterheads.

The group is yet to figure out how we'll be selling these online, plus I am still unsure how much I will be selling them online, so I can't put a price tag here just yet. But what I can guarantee is that we'll be hitting the bazaars soon enough.

Our product line includes other artsy stuff, including tote bags, tees, pouches, accessories and other whatnot products that we can manage to whip up within a given time-frame. I'll be updating the blog for announcements on our next ventures, but until then I invite you to like us on Facebook to get the latest updates about our teacup group.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Lily and Madeleine "Paradise"

Run away with me tonight
Let the moon bathe us in its light
Come on I’ll take you to paradise, to paradise

The blending of their voices is spot on and the melody makes me want to close my eyes smile as I slowly sway my head back and forth. It's a feel-good music and it does makes you want to bathe in the moonlight.

I've always loved indie music, especially when it's sang by serenading voices like these. This is the kind of music that most labels would probably take caution in producing because the market is limited to a niche, but thanks to the internet music like these could now be listened to without having to support big record label companies. Yeah...I have issues with the corporate world.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Teacup Ideas

Me and a couple of friends will soon be presenting our products. It's for the quirky and the artsy folks who loves to express themselves through minute details. 

Please Like us on Facebook, and follow us on Instagram for updates:




Thanksies! <3

Sunday, August 10, 2014

The White Temple of Chiang Rai (Wat Rong Khun)

When I realized that our Indochina trip was a go and that we were going to Chiang Mai, I couldn't help but insist going to this place. This wasn't initially in my bucket list, but it immediately became a must-see after I saw photos of the temple online. It's in the province of Chiang Rai, a three-hour ride from Chiang Mai, Thailand. Despite it's modern-artistic-white-washed exterior it's actually a place of worship and is a Buddhist temple. It was such a disappointment that we weren't allowed inside the temple when we got there, but I love the place nonetheless. There's more to Wat Rong Khun than just the usual pictures being shown online. There are museums and wishing areas for visitors. Chalermchai Kositpipat started the project in 1997, but the earthquake last May has resulted into bad damages that they needed repairs in certain areas. Creating a detailed marvel like this cannot be rushed, I just really wish I could have entered the temple when we were there.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Snippets: A Horse at Sunrise

In my recent trip to Siem Reap we went to Angkor Wat to witness the sunrise. A few minutes after the spectacle we decided to head back to our  tuk tuk, and along the way I spot this horse laying on the grass with no owner in sight. I've loved horses for as long as I could remember, so I took this opportunity to get in as close as possible and take a few snaps before going on my way. The horse was a beauty and was used for horseback riding in Angkor for several dollars, so I didn't ride it. 

The morning light and the horse's position made for a beautiful rim-light effect, making a few corners of the horse's anatomy be highlighted very dimly. I wasn't able to get a lot of photos, but this was okay enough to post.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Hetalia Toy

I love my new toy. Not sure if he's a videogame, manga, or anime character, but I luuuuuuuuuuurve him for being adorably kawaii! And since I don't know his name, I'll just call him Cloud as a default name I use for any kawaii boy character. :3

It cost me Php150.00 from the 2014 Toycon in Megatrade hall...I wanted to buy them all but I didn't want to spend more than yeah, I'll wait for the next time I come across this toy to add to my new supposed collection of anything-I-like. 

Friday, June 13, 2014

WH Hostel, Bangkok

After shamelessly plugging my blog on their review wall the least I can do is recommend them for being one funky-cosy hostel. And I’m saying that because it is rightfully so. It’s a quirky urban hub smack in the middle of a supposed busy street, about a hundred meters from a 7Eleven and 200 meters from a red light district. The BTS is also “close” enough to walk, about a 25-minute walk should get you to Phloen Chit Station, a station not far from Asok Station where you will find Terminal 21, a must-go-to mall in Bangkok.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Snippets: Hong Kong Pedestrian

Taken in Hong Kong almost four years ago, this is one of my favorite photos captured during my trip there. Riding on top of a double-decker bus, I saw this old man stopping in the middle of the street as the light flickered red. I took out my camera and got the shot while the bus was also at a halt.

There's a postcard-like quality to it with the old balding man riding his bicycle, a basket fastened at the back, and his white socks showing as he paddled on. The combinations of subtle neutral colors of grays and blacks, plus some lines of washed-out yellows streaking at the back, it actually made the basket pop up as the only shade of green in the frame. 

I edited the photo a bit to reduce contrast and saturation, but keeping the vibrance on meduim-high to retain that bright feeling of daylight as it was high noon when I took the shot as seen in the shadows being cast on the concrete.  

Friday, April 18, 2014

Good Friday at Valladolid

My earliest memories of Holy Week had always been one associated with dread. Belonging to a family of devout Catholics, I grew up with the obligation of fulfilling my Christian duties during this time of year. As long as I could remember, it was a time of sacrifices and solemn nights. Owning a number of icons, including a century-old Santo Entierro, the family has a responsibility of keeping up the tradition of dressing up the carroza and guarding the icon throughout the night of the du-aw, a tradition wherein devotees flock the church with lines extending as long as the MRT queues during rush hour to kiss the feet of the dead Christ. The oldies would take their children and grandchildren to pass down the ritual of paying respect to the dead.

There was a time in my life when I did the Via Crucis for eight consecutive years, waking up at 3:30am to prepare for the 4am march. The part that made it difficult was staying up until midnight of Maundy Thursday because we also had to prepare the Altar of the Repose in the church, and a three-hour sleep before a three-hour walk is something I will never get used to. The via crucis would start out in the church with the priest saying a prayer then would progress around the city where we would stop and say gospel readings at all fourteen stations of the cross. The beauty of the experience is walking amongst few strangers at dusk and come sunrise, you look back and see a sea of people following through by the hundreds. Some people wait at stations and join the group the moment we reach them. The via crucis usually takes three hours to complete with a perimeter of about 6-8kms of walk. The feeling begins as a burden of having to wake up so early, but in the end it’s a feeling of fulfilment as you see the break of day greeting you at the entrance of the church. The only thing I worry every year back then was the possibility of stepping on dog poop.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Palaui Escape 2014

The existence of Palaui came into view after Survivor Palaui aired internationally this year, but even then the boom of tourism in the island is contained by limiting the number of available cottages being built. Speaking to the caretaker, he said at least forty people can be accommodated at one time, but they adjust accordingly for certain occasions. 

Located on the tip of the Cagayan region, getting there will take many hours and so far the quickest would be to charter a jet that will take you at a close enough proximity to Sta. Ana port where you will take the pump boat to the island. Another option would be to take the 1-hour plane ride to Tuguegarao and ride the 3-hour shuttle to Sta. Ana. But the much cheaper and longer way would be by bus in Cubao, but that will take you at least 12hrs to Tuguegarao? 

The thing that made me love the journey were the friendliness and hospitality of the people in Cagayan that it was pretty easy to get around with their willingness to help us throughout the trip. For four days and three nights, I spent about 4-5k? Mostly because we didn't skimp our budget on food that I think we spent more on food than our accommodation. The sort-of lucky thing about our trip was that the day before it was a 37º heat, but when we got there it was cloudy with scattered rain that my sunburn is not as bad as it could have been had the rain clouds not appear. 

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Todd English Food Hall at SM Aura

The Classic Todd's Signature Flatbread Pizza (Php380.00)

The Todd English Food Hall opened not so long ago, and supposedly being the first celebrity chef owned restaurant in the country, it got the top spot on my list of must-try-asap places. Being an ignoramus, I never heard of the name Todd English until blogs went abuzz over the opening of his restaurant in Aura. I went to research his name a bit before posting this and this is what I found out: 1. He's American who is an author, chef, television personality, and owns lots of restaurants, 2. He worked under Jean-Jacques Rachou, a name well recognized in the culinary world that I even heard his name being mentioned by other chefs a couple of times, and 3. He's cool for opening a restaurant here in the Philippines because that makes me less jealous of Singapore now.

Being new, well-anticipated and promoted, the place is packed! Queues pile up during meal times that we ended up sitting at the salad bar where we ironically chose not to order any salads. The seats were full, but the service was not bad despite having to wait a while before being fed. Actually, our orders didn't take that long that we even managed to see the trailers of Captain America at 2pm. So pardon the photos, I was shaking in hunger.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

100th Blog Post!

I thought the 100th blog post would take a while to reach considering the rate of my updates, but here it is! The number isn't as many as the general impression of it. If I look at my Posts section it's only two pages and a single flick of the scroll bar. 

I didn't know what I'd post for my 100th post because besides the pending photos and articles that I have yet to upload, new stuff keeps happening that I end up just playing Dragons of Atlantis instead, and before I know it I'm sleepy <////3

So this time around I'll do a collection of updates of my life thus far through a series of random photos. 

As seen above, I edited my working area again, updating the wall and the photos. I'm sooooo into the aqua color right now so I repainted my wall and left it unfinished until now. Yes, I love DIYs if in the mood. One side of my room is still left unpainted, just slathered with a random paint strokes. Dunn Edwards has an array of colors that is really appealing, plus the texture it gave my wall is really warm because there's less glare as compared to the glossy kind. I'm bracing myself for the dust that will stick to it in due time though...but it looks really clean right now. I got the eggshell finish. The cost of the paint varies, but the end result is quite satisfying. My brother, who's also an architect, hinted me that this is the brand used in some of the restaurants and shops. I bought mine at Home Depot in BGC.

The Vanilla Cupcake cafe has finally opened in High Street a few months ago and I've been meaning to go, but when the day arrived at last a very irritating sign showed up, Private Event. I took this photo over a month ago and I'm still bitter about it. >:(

I had been meaning to buy a new pair of flip-flops since it's been over a year since I bought my Havaianas, and based on multiple experiences it's strap is about due to snap anytime soon and I don't have emergency back-ups, so I took the chance to buy one from big-discount event at Megatrade Hall two weeks ago. I was able to buy the Ipanema for Php400 from it's original price of around Php800+, a good deal for something so overpriced. 

Then last March 22, my brother arrived from Bacolod so I took him out and chanced upon the grand opening Old Navy. I also desperately needed a new pair of jeans and destiny made me avail their 50% discount on denim so I could get a ticket to their event and win me a pair of flip-flops for FREE!!! It's amazing how lucky I was because I don't really win anything that I don't get by force or deception. Even the events people were impressed, it's like I was not suppose to win anything but did. Nyahahaha! There are an array of colors to choose from, but my current favorite is somewhere between teal and aqua and tiffany blue, and this was the closest to it. Now I have two new slippers plus the still unbroken Havs, so I'm happy about that.

Every year (since 2012 lol) I buy this big piggy bank without any other opening besides a slit to put in money as a way to save up on cash. My first year proved to be really effective as I managed to save up to Php13,000+ by putting in new paper bills instead of coins. I started on the snake-bank last Jan 2013 and had my brother open it last week since the plastic was so thick I could not open it after two days of trying! This year I managed to save up to Php16,036...and I don't know who put in the 6, but thanks anyway. I buy the piggy bank at Toy Kingdom for Php99. The plastic is about 1mm thick and there's no way of getting your money out except destroying the thing.

Then Daiso Japan has finally restocked itself with those elusively expensive KitKat flavors! It's the cheapest priced at Php200 since Family Mart sells them at Php240, Little Tokyo at Php280, and other places at an even higher price.

The Matcha flavor tastes quite bitter, a little more bitter than the fix I get from matcha drinks, but it's not bad. The Strawberry flavor is more on the tangy side that I actually puckered my lips on the first bite.

Logganisa in Cream Pasta with Truffle Oil and Saffron Essence

Earlier today I had a craving of really thick-creamy pasta. I had initially bought the ingredients to cook for my parents who came for a vacation here, but we mostly ate out so I decided to let them leave then cook it for my own indulgence instead. 

Getting a new ingredient is like getting a new toy. My parents went to Dubai last week and my dad asked me what I wanted for pasalubong...and besides the gold I was half-joking them to get me, I asked for essences, particularly floral essences for my cooking. I wanted rose essence, but then I was surprised he got me saffron essence. It'll do.

Now, I don't know what to do with the saffron essence. I placed a few drops on my cup of tea and I was not able to consume the whole cup. Then, I thought why not mix it with truffle oil and make pasta? Bad idea, considering that I was making cream pasta. Let's just say that three drops in the sauce made me use two teaspoons of truffle oil just to cover up the taste! Saffron essence is really strong with a distinct blossomy-spice-like taste. I'll be using it in my lugaw soon and call it paella stew...and if I had a resto I'd overprice it to 400% by putting the word "saffron" in the menu. 

Here's the quick recipe I did inspired by the pasta I ate a The Room Upstairs:

Fettuccine Pasta
White Onions
Heavy or All-purpose cream
Laoag Longganisa (the really garlicky kind)
Truffle Oil
Saffron Essence (suggestion: please don't put!!!)
Black Pepper mill 

The trick is to let the longganisa cook to a crisp before putting in the cream. Don't overcook the cream, else the oil will separate and you will hate yourself for that. Put the truffle oil on the last part, in fact try not to cook it at all, because I taste it better whenever it's just poured on the hot dish but off the stove. And don't make the mistake of putting in saffron essence like I did!!!

Aaaaand! Life took pity on my aching muscles that I bumped into my masseuse while I was cutting my nails in the hallway of the condo, just because. I lost the number of the place she works at about three months ago and had been tolerating less-skilled therapists for the past months. We were actually desperate to contact her that we were dialing random numbers just in case we got it right! After several wrong-numbers and offended home owners we gave up. Chancing upon her was one of the highlights of my supposed "happy-year". I asked her if she had other customers in the building and she said no, just the unit beside ours. There's more to The Secret than just being a best seller. Hmmmm...

Monday, March 17, 2014

Snippets: El Nido Palawan

The photo was taken by my brother in El Nido, Palawan last year. I like--no--love the whole look of the hut hanging on a cliff like that and you can even see a small boat also hanging around. It makes me want to go there. :(

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Snippets: Talaba I Miss You!

Taken around the time I was conceptualizing my thesis book in photography, I can clearly remember how I made this photo an excuse to buy several bags-full of really fat oysters from Gerry's in Libertad. I told my parents I needed to feature some sort of local produce to be featured in my coffee table book on Negros Occidental, and Hinigaran has pleased my oyster cravings for the last several years. Since I took the photo at night because I came home late that day for reasons I don't know, mom said I may take the shot but not eat them juicy-succulent-fresh-fat-sweet-milky-flavorful oysters since it was late and it would make my stomach upset. Well, surely the news had made my stomach even more upset. Long story short, I ate the whole plate plus another bag of oysters and that did not upset any part of me at all! 

I can't find any talaba here in Manila that is as cheap and saliva-inducing as the ones in Negros. If I remember correctly it's Php50.00 for a bucket-full, and the one my tita buys from Hinigaran costs around 600+ a sack? Not sure, but what I do remember is the sight of several sacks of oyster being unloaded from her pick-up truck. Oh, happy days....

Monday, March 3, 2014

Snippets: Voyage to Anawangin

Taken last September 19, 2009 in San Antonio Zambales, just off the coast of Anawangin. If you see the pine trees directly at the edge of the horizon, that's Anawangin. The trip was about 30mins-45mins from Pundaquit beach...and the boat belonged to a friend so I don't know how much it's gonna cost to rent one, but there are a lot available if you do decide to go. 

This is definitely one of my favorite photos (that I personally took) during photography days. The light is beautiful, the lush misty mountains sloping at the end, that sense of motion because of the still yet blurred water, and the focal lines directing your eyes to the tip of the boat, all those elements coming together makes the viewer feel like they're on the boat going to some adventure...well, that's what I feel whenever I stare at it at least. It's quite nostalgic, really. :/

Anawagin is beautiful! A MUST VISIT place in the country! 

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Recipe: Mixed Whatevers Bread Pudding

Frankly speaking, I ignore bread pudding whenever it is served on the table because I'm not convinced that it's worth the stomach space. It wasn't until I saw Chef Michael Smith whip up the dish that made me say "maybe".  His recipe got stuck in my head that I managed to make one when the bread's expiration date came into view. Destiny has called forth my food angel to inspire me that I may get rid of many leftover ingredients hanging in the ref and pantry, all it the name of stale bread. 

Unfortunately the only ingredients I remembered from Chef at Home were bread, milk, eggs, vanilla, and heaping spoons of brown sugar. The proportions and procedure I had to search online. Here's what I came up with.

Basic Bread Pudding Recipe:
4 Eggs
2 cups Milk
6 slices of White Bread (or as some call it Pinoy Tasty, or as I call it Pan de Amerikano)
1 cup Brown Sugar (but I think it must've been more since I didn't measure)
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

Just mix everything and bake in an oven. The trick is to sprinkle a light layer of brown sugar on top so that it will caramelize into a sweet-crispy-glistening crust! I don't know about temperatures, but it was around medium heat  for a couple of minutes...and I'm guessing it took me 30mins that resulted to a golden brown crust and a thin burnt bottom. I like it served hot...but my brother likes it fresh out of the refrigerator, so it doesn't matter. But we both like it with à la mode

As for the Mixed Whatevers, I placed the following:

Lots of cinnamon
A dust of clove 
An apple, cubed with the skin on since my brother refused to peel it
Grated carrot that's as big as four clumps of crayons
Dates, sliced into random chunks (can be bought at Santi's or S&R)
Dried Mangoes, sliced lengthwise
Butter, just random slathers
Maple Syrup, just about a tablespoon since it's expensive
Condensed Milk
Orange Zest (I didn't actually add this since I didn't have an orange available, but I sure would've done so if there was one lying around)
Chopped Walnuts...but I also didn't have walnuts on hand...just suggesting 

I simply added the ingredients to the basic recipe and carefully watched as the pudding raise to double its size as it was baking, waited for the crust to turn golden brown, and the kitchen to smell like toasted custard bread before I took it out. Don't be surprised when the dome collapses though, I was disappointed when it did. </3

To serve, I added scoops of vanilla ice cream and drizzled it with three different flavors: cherry flavored cola syrup, chocolate syrup, and maple syrup. The combination was divine! Especially the Dr. Pepper sauce on the ice cream! 

Now I'm learning to appreciate bread pudding because it helped me get rid of a lot of ingredients that have been in storage long enough.  

Pardon the photos, I was not in the "career mode".

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Binggrae Melona Samanco Something

My favorite fish thus far comes from a sea of cream and red bean paste wrapped in a chewy waffle-thing of sort. It's a beautiful blend of mind flavors that does not overpower the palette with sugar. Its price ranges from Php35-50 depending on where you purchase it. Buying it in Korean groceries is always cheaper than other shops. Yummmeh! 

The fish may not look appetizing with its bulging lips and huge round eyes--not to mention the fins and scales--but trust me, it tastes nothing like fish!  

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Snippets: Victorias

The photo was taken September 1, 2008 in Victorias City, Negros Occidental.

We were basically invited by Tito Mon Piñalosa, the owner of a local organic brand named Monchito's, to go and visit their farm. The place is around 42km from Bacolod City, but given my dad's driving speed, it took us over an hour to get there. 

I was not able to get a whole lot of photos of the farm, but it was pretty neat since they grow all sort of vegetables and they even have livestock in the property. What I like about the place is that it's so well organized and presented that it's very visitor-friendly. Kinda like the Enchanted Farm, only much smaller.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Snippets: Guimaras

Since I find it hard to type in my thoughts these days--mostly due to irrational excuses--I'll be posting some of my photos instead. I'm making a new category dedicated entirely to single-captured photos that I randomly took on my trips all over the metro, the country, or somewhere across our national boarder. This basically lessens the pressure of pumping out paragraphs to compose an article when all I have to say are a few words. Plus, I really don't want this blog to die out due to sheer laziness. 

I really love promoting the Philippines despite her making me cuss on a daily basis. This is a lovely place to call home and I'll do what I can to tell her stories through the silence of a still frame. 

This photo was taken in Gumiaras, a small island in the Visayas region during one of my trips last August 28, 2010. The island is tucked between Iloilo and Negros, the small sloping bulge at the end of the horizon that can be seen across the bay of Bago, Negros Occidental.

I was with my older brother here, and we were snorkeling along a not so distant reef from the island. For Php800 we were able to charter a boat that took us around a few nearby diving spots. There were a couple of fishermen hauling their nets when our boat passed by this man who was then paddling his way back to the beach. There's another small canoe in front of him, but that shot came out blurry so I settled on sharing this one. This is where I saw the biggest grouper in my life! It was around 5 feet long!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Grams Diner at BGC

Some restaurants are better when you look at them from the outside in. Such is the case with Grams Diner at Fort as I've always been attracted with the lights that looked like fireflies behind the glass window, but when I came in not so long ago I was underwhelmed by the interior of the place. It was rather...just okay. I mean, sure it had this black and red color-combo that gave it the diner look, but it just didn't work for me. 

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Fred’s Revolucion in Cubao Expo

Given a chance, I drop by Cubao Expo (because I don’t like calling it Cubao-X) whenever I’m in the Araneta Center area for nostalgic purposes. It was one of my favourite places when I was still living in Cubao and a CFAD student in UST. The place had always been quaint and feels like home for artists. People who hang around are usually art students from UST or UP, so it’s a very welcoming feeling to sit in one of the bars or browse around for unique finds. Fred’s Revolucion is one of the fairly new joints but feels like it’s been there for ages…but then again I’m not so sure since I visit the place only once or twice a year. I miss Mogwai.