Monday, February 26, 2007

Ultra Kool

I was so excited to see the March issue of Marie Claire's UK edition. For starters, they had the supremely great Cate on the cover. But the real reason was somewhere in the first half of the magazine:

Here it is! The ad I did for Palmolive shower gel made its debut in the UK! Originally, this ad was written and shot only for Australia, but the response was so positive, they thought of running it in selected European countries.

This is the second time that a "local ad" I did got rolled out internationally. The Palmolive Anti-Dandruff Shampoo "Little Black Dress" campaign which I did for Manila also made it to Australia. That - according to my former boss, Ompong - means the idea is good enough to travel.

This is so cool! At least now, I can tell everyone that i've written an ad for London.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Holy & Moley

Here's the reason why fashionable Hong Kong is in a tizzy these days. In 2 weeks, the anticipated opening of Sweden's foremost fast fashion feast is finally pushing through. Yes, Hennes & Mauritz is finally opening its doors.

H&M is one of my favorite cheap thrills. I remember when I was still in Amsterdam, there were about 3 H&M branches near where we lived. So, whenever there was free time (which was every hour, every day), I'd often find myself going through the racks and trying to find something nice - and under 20 Euro - to take home. Unfortunately, Roland never shared my passion for H&M. He complained that their clothes aren't well made, the materials weren't nice, and overall, he felt that H&M was cheap. I'd often reply: "What's the problem? They are cheap."

Despite his constant discouragement, I'd still go there and buy a shirt for myself and the occasional tie and polo for him. But it's been 2 years since my last trip to Europe, so that means it's been 2 years since I last stepped in an H&M store.

But all that's going to change starting March 10. The signs are all there, and I couldn't agree with them all.

To launch the brand in Hong Kong, they're debuting Madonna's "M" collection as their centerpiece. All over the MTR stations, you can find posters of Madonna donning her collection, using H&M's signature layout of having the low-price festooned prominently on the material. Judging by the giddy responses of the women who stopped and stared at the posters, it looks like there's going to be a riot when they open. Thank goodness i'm not a huge fan of her, nor the clothes she designed.

Too bad the capsule collection of Viktor & Rolf didn't make it here on time. Now it that were on sale here, then I'd be uber interested. One good thing about that designing duo is that they design for Men and Women, so there's enough fashion to go around. It's unfortunate that a lot of the nice capsule collections are only for women: Proenza Schouler for Target, Roland Mouret for Gap, and Kate Moss for Topshop. I did hear that Derek Lam and Philip Lim will be designing for Uniqlo, and hopefully their capsule collection will reach HK's fashion-hungry shores.

In the meantime, I'll wait two weeks to see if the H&M here is as good as those in Europe in terms of choices. (Hopefully, they'll have H&M Logg and Divided here.) And if it is, then Zara has found a worthy competitor in my book.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Runway Reminiscing

Watched the season finale re-run of Project Runway 3.

I noticed that the final 2 - Uli and Jeffrey - deserved their places because they did have their own vision and flare.

Michael Knight looked too Cavalli, while Laura (though I love, love, LOVE her) created looks that were too Armani-ish.

Uli and Jeffrey's designs were very original. Especially Jeffrey's.

But I still would've wanted Uli to win.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Let them eat cake!

Chocolate cake, to be exact!

My colleagues were in a tizzy this afternoon when I announced that I brought Ate Bullet's chocolate cake with me. It was last year when I introduced everyone to this sinful concoction of Dexter's, and they've been raving about it since then. Everybody gave it two thumbs up, and they spewed superlatives each time they get to eat a slice. And without fail, they ask me: "when are you bringing that cake again?" each time we finish eating and all that's left of the cake are crumbs and bits of icing.

This afternoon, Lilia and Pearl even treated everyone to drinks and squid legs when they saw me bring out the cake. What transpired was an impromptu party, and everybody gathered near the center of the office enjoying the food, music and the usual nonsensical talk. When someone asked what the celebration is about, Pete said: "It's the chocolate cake! That's what's special about today."

And indeed, this chocolate cake is really special. Aside from it being a secret, special recipe, this chocolate cake has a lot of fond memories attached to it. It's part of every Morales celebration! Christenings, Anniversaries, and Birthdays, of course. The last time this cake figured in a big birthday bash was during Mark's surprise last September. This cake went all the way to Japan because he wanted a chocolate cake for his birthday. Apparently, his friends liked it, too. Last Sunday, Ivy told me that she normally doesn't like chocolate cake, but she really liked this one.

True to form, the cake almost vanished 10 minutes after I brought it out of the box. Just like the last time, I heard the same superlatives spewed and thumbs raised. They say chocolate brightens up everyone's mood and makes people happy. And I must say, this chocolate cake did just that.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Dining at Denny's

On this trip to Tokyo, Mark and I were able to do something we missed last September -- dining at Denny's! I've been telling him about how my trips to the U.S. were made more special by the diner-style comfort food at Denny's. I remember how opening their menu would take my breath away as huge, coloured pictures of breakfast plates, huge mounds of onion rings and slabs of grilled chicken would pop out of their menu.

Thankfully, there was a Denny's just beside the hotel where we were staying. Last Saturday, that's where we decided to have lunch. Since it was a weekend, the place was a bit packed. Thankfully, we got a table in 5 minutes. Then, a Japanese lady in an American diner outfit came to our table and gave us the menu.

Strangely, the menu was a bit different from the one i've been used to seeing in the U.S. Instead of ribs and rteak, there were noodles and tempura. Instead of chicken fingers, they had kara-age. Thankfully, my favorite Denny's item was on the menu - French Toast!

Although French Toast was an odd choice for lunch, that's what I had. To balance it off, I also ordered Tuna Spaghetti and Mark ordered Fried Chicken and fries. My order did not disappoint me. The slices were thick, the toast was soft, the batter was creamy, and the maple syrup was perfect. I was hoping they would have a choice of side dish but they didn't. I miss their chicken ham and potato tots.

The entire Denny's experience brought me back to happy times in the U.S. when Biboy, his family and I would stop over at the first Denny's en route to outlet malls. We'd always have big plates of food in front of us. We'd listen to my nephew and niece argue over a piece of chicken. We'd share wonderful stories of childhood and look to the future. We'd laugh hearty laughs and have fun the entire time.

That's what dining at Denny's means to me: good food shared with very special people. And on my first dining experience at Denny's in Japan, I got the exact same thing.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Lazy and Lai-see


Like many holidays, the long Chinese New Year weekend just zip zap zoomed by. After five fantastic days in Japan and 2 brief stopovers in Manila, I found myself on the first flight back to Hong Kong this morning. Now i'm back at the office, poring through the deluge of emails that came in, and the gamut of work that has to be attended to.

Although I've already written 2 scripts and attended another teleconference with the Thai office in the past 6 hours, I still feel i'm not working at my full-potential. Yup, there's a part of me that's a bit lazy.

Who wouldn't be? For the past 5 days, I was just lazing around and drifting along. The weather in Japan - both in Tokyo and Urasa - was uber conducive to lazing. Days were spent just lazing in bed tucked under a thick comforter, then preparing breakfast in the room, then lazing on the carpet watching movies or playing the searching game that Mark taught me. In the evening, we'd have dinner with friends, talk about the different terms for the male and female reproductive organs (pretty interesting after-dinner conversation - I must say), then watch more movies! After that, it's back to bed tucked under a thick comforter, lazing around until sleep comes along.

Ah yes, bliss!

No deadlines. No meetings. No teleconferences. Just day after wonderful day of quality time. Of course, there was no work, too. Athough I attempted to bring work just in case advertising inspiration kicked in. But given the state of pure bliss I was in, advertising - and anything work related - was suddenly tucked away in some far recess of my mind. All that mattered was the moment I was in, and as Aerosmith put it:

"I just want to be with you, right here, right now, just like this."

Yup, that pretty much summarizes it.

But as the old adage goes, "time flies when you're having fun." (Or Mark's version: Time flies. I can't, they're too fast.) So now, i'm back in front of my computer typing this entry after a 2 and a half hour meeting. At the same time, i'm looking back at those wonderful lazy days and hoping that days like those come along again soon.


One nice thing about going back to work is that they've been giving away these little babies:

In-deed! The lai-sees are back! Just like last year, our married colleagues, as well as the top management members give us red packets filled with moolah! And i've received 7 lai-sees so far, and i'm expecting to get a few more the next few days.

Last year, I was able to buy a pair of jeans, a shirt and a jacket with my lai-see money. I wonder what goodies I can get with this year's stash.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Ice Cream Sunday

Last year, I celebrated my first Chinese New Year in Hong Kong and realized that it was quite a boring affair. So this year, I decided to spend my 5-day weekend back in Japan. Three of those 5 days were spent in Urasa with Mark, and one of the more important things on the agenda was to try out one of the most popular food stuff in town - Ice Cream!

Even during my first visit here in September, I've already heard of the name "Yummy Ice Cream" from Raul. (He's one of the Filipinos here, and as i've found out yesterday, there's a good chance that we're somehow related.)Mark has also been telling me how "yummy" it really is and how they have some off-kilter flavours - including Squash and Sakura - both of which he tried. I missed my opportunity then, so I made sure the opportunity won't pass me by now. So there we were at Yummy Ice Cream on a Sunday.

Yummy Ice Cream is a quaint little shop which reminds me of those tiny helado shops in Dolores Hidalgo in Mexico. Yesterday, they had about 13 flavours on display, some were familiar and others were somewhat far out. (Although not as far out as the Chicharron and Mole ice cream in Mexico.) Mark, Hazel, Jocie, Angel and I tried two flavours each, and my choices were strawberry (familiar) and soybean (far-out.) Here's the soybean ice cream, and it was - as the brand name suggested - yummy! It tasted like Mocha with a hint of Gold Label's Double Dutch. And the interesting twist was that it had tofu strips. And as William Thacker said: It was surreal, but nice.

After the whole ice cream Sunday experience, it's easy to see why the gang here keep on coming back here. (Aside from the fact that it's the only place to go.) The ice cream and the experience are both of the same quality:

Yummy and Cool.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Calling... Calling...

What should they call a big gathering of people wearing clothes made of shiny, transparent fabric?

An Organza Extravaganza!

Seeing red

And it's not because of Valentine's day.

Then again, it's the 14th of February today, so Happy Valentine's Day, world!

Just like Christmas, it would be great if everyone had the Valentine's day spirit every single day of the year. That way, everyone would be loving, and mushy, and giving away chocolates everyday. And the world would be filled with swooning, overweight people. Hmmm... maybe it isn't such a good idea. Harharhar.

But the red i'm seeing today is our office building lobby. Since Chinese New Year is only 3 days away, they've brought out all the red lanterns, red firecrackers, red laisees and coupled it with mandarin orange trees and prosperity coins. The result is a festive and supposedly-prosperous look for AIA Tower.

Right now, the whole of Hong Kong is awash in red. From buildings to malls to shops to flats. Good thing my bedroom has always been bedecked in red, that way i'm participating in the celebration. Plus, red is my all-time favourite colour! Seeing that hue makes me happy. And at the rate they're bringing out all the red decorations around the city, it looks like i'll be very happy the next few weeks.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Love is...

1. Something hand made.
This is the perfect muffler. The colors are nice earth tones. The width and thickness is just right. And what makes it even more perfect that it was hand made! Yup, it wasn't bought off the rack at Gap or Uniqlo - it's made from scratch. Amazing!

Putting a lot of effort into something makes it much more valuable. When we were kids, our parents taught us the value of putting your heart into everything you do - and everything you give. It can be as simple as home-baked empanada for merienda (Mom), macaroons for a visiting suitor (Ate Lissa), or Sweet and Sour Pork for lunch (me). I've brought this philosophy with me through the years, that's why I try to put a lot of effort into every gift I give. Sometimes it's in choosing, other times it's in wrapping - but in each case, I know effort when it's in front of me. And yes, this gift in front of me is a product of a lot of effort.

2. Chocolates!
Everybody loves chocolates. And everybody loves to receive chocolates, too. There have been gazillions of stories how chocolates have always been the favorite pasalubong item. Whether a person comes from Switzerland, San Francisco or Sorsogon, they'll often bring chocolates to people waiting for them back home.

I love chocolates from Japan. Unlike their western cousins, they're less sweet and has a bit of bitterness that reminds me of the tablea that my Lolo in Bicol used to make. Even as a young boy, i'd prefer bitter, dark chocolate over Nestle Crunch or Butterfinger - it feels like semi-sweet chocolate has a lot of mystery and magic in it. And this particular box definitely has a hint of mystery (because I don't know what's inside just yet) and a whole lot of magic!

3. Toppo! (And Pocky, too!)
My love for Toppo has been well documented. From the first time we met at the Shinkansen station on my way to Mark's school, from the time a box of Toppo found its way to my flat in HK. It's been a while since I had my last taste these wonderful snacks because it isn't available in Okashi Land. That's why when I saw two boxes of Toppo (and a box of Pocky), I instantly knew that the week would definitely be a good one. You can never have too much of these, but then again, I have to make these two boxes last.

4. Getting all these the same time.
Yup, you know that it's going to be a great day (and week) when you get all these (and more) in a pack. The past week has been quite tiring at the office and receiving these gifts this afternoon made all that go away. More than that, it makes me look forward to the coming days.

Relaxing at home eating chocolates and Toppo while wearing a hand-made muffler around my neck, yup, I'd love doing that.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Carrie on!

Carrie won a Grammy! That's another award for my fave Idol winner! The more I look at her, the better she looks. She definitely has that Reese Witherspoon charm down pat. She's been winning for another song in her first album - a song that I haven't heard yet. The thing is, I only listen to "Inside your Heaven" because that song just rocks.

Maybe it's time to listen to the other tracks.

Sing it, Bangles!

It's just another manic Monday
I wish it was Sunday
'Cause that's my funday
My I don't have to runday
It's just another manic Monday

Have to catch an early train
Got to be to work by nine
And if I had an air-o-plane
I still couldn't make it on time
'Cause it takes me so long
Just to figure out what I'm gonna wear
Blame it on the train
But the boss is already there

It's just another manic Monday
I wish it was Sunday
'Cause that's my funday
My I don't have to runday
It's just another manic Monday


Gosh! I loved this song and this group so much back then. I think the 80s is a great era for music because there was a song for every feeling and there was a feeling for every song.

Maybe I should look for a "Best of Bangles" CD at HMV this week. That way, the girls of Bananarama will have some compatriots beside them in my CD rack.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Friday's on a Sunday

Craving for a break from all things Oriental, Melvin and I decided to have dinner at Western place tonight. Initially, we were planning to go to Fat Angelo's, but I soon realized how far it was. When we reached the end of Nathan Road, the signage of a familiar American haunt jumped at me. And in less than 5 minutes, we were sitting on a table at TGI Friday's!

Yes, it doesn't get more cheesily-American than TGI Friday's. From the food to the decore and the atmosphere, this place is like a Boy Band that never ages. In my books, it's the best place to get comfort food, and it's also a great escape from the "atmosphere" of Hong Kong.

Once we were inside Friday's, it felt like we were just in Greenbelt or the old branch in El Pueblo. The colours, the tables and chairs, the servers - they all look the same. Another plus was the fact that it wasn't filled to the rafters - which is quite a novelty in HK. On the whole, our dinner was very relaxed and - like the food - very comforting.

I've been to a couple of TGI Friday's in different countries and it's amazing how they keep everything standard. Being in a store in the US is just like being one in Greenbelt. Once i'm inside, everything feels so constant that I begin to forget what country it is when I exit its doors. The food is pretty much the same, although surprisingly, the food in Manila is better (and with bigger servings) than Hong Kong.

Aside from their stores in Manila and Hong Kong, I've been to one in Mexico, Indonesia, the U.S., China and Prague. Last September, Mark and I were supposed to have dinner at TGI Friday's in Tokyo, (I think I said "futari" when they asked how many we were) but the long queue made us move to a Mexican restaurant downstairs. Then again, I went inside the store, so technically, I've been in their store in Japan.

Then again, when I'm in Tokyo, I think i'll crave for Denny's more than TGI Friday's. Denny's is in a totally different league. But that - like Dona Tota's Gorditas - is another story.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Sudden warmth

"El tiempo loco."

This is what we used to call Monterrey because of its sudden changes in temperature. Sometimes, it's 15 degrees in the morning then it's 40 degrees at noon. That often gave me a headache, and made me run to the nearest mall for cover. It wasn't all bad, though. Thanks to this crazy weather, I became better acquainted with Dona Tota's Gorditas.

This is the Pollo y sarsa Pibil Gorditas that I craved for everyday. These little bombs are one of the best things about my stay in Mexico. Gosh, I miss my Gorditas, but that deserves to be written about separately.

I'm ranting about the weather today.

After the 2-week chill where we saw the weather average around 11 degrees, it's suddenly warm here in Hong Kong. I think it was around 25 degrees this afternoon, and the sun was up and shining. Honestly, it was a beautiful day. The skies were blue and it reflected on the blue water on the harbour. But after getting used to 11 for more than a month, 25 was just a bit of a shock.

I woke up in the middle of the night last night because it was too warm in the room. I was wearing pajama pants and a long sleeved sleep shirt - my uniform for the past 2 months or so. But the warmth forced me to change clothes, and since I was half-asleep, the simplest solution was chucking my top and sleeping shirtless. Yup, it was more comfy that way.

Last year, the 3rd week of February was among the coldest weeks in HK. This makes me wonder if this warmth is just a fluke and the cold will sneak up and pounce on us just like how Hobbes loves to pounce on the unsuspecting Calvin. I'll see how this weekend will play out, and if the heat continues, that only means it's time to hide my jackets and start bringing out my short sleeved shirts again.


Lunch today was spent at Pacific Place Mall, thanks to a sudden craving for Pad Thai. Although there are a lot of nice Thai places around the office, including the "Thai-bedroom kitchen" which serves awesome Som Tam, I sometimes crave for Thai food and retail therapy at the same time. And this is the best place to get both. After all, Pacific Place houses Seibu, Great, Cavalli, Zara, Hong Kong Records, FCUK, among others.

Once I got to Food Fare - the mall's food court - a distressing sign caught my eye. It was an announcement saying that Food Fare will be closing on February 16, and it will take them more than 6 months to re-open! Agh! The "renovation monster" has struck again. Hong Kong loves renovating everything so much that a shop that was there last week can be gone today. A restaurant that serves your favorite dry noodles can be closed and replaced by a DVD store on your next visit.

And now, the place that serves my favorite Pad Thai will be closed in a week's time. How can you do this, Food Fare? How can you do this, Pacific Place? Now that's one less place for me to eat in.

The girl at Patong Thai told me that they have another branch - just in case the craving becomes too much to handle. But alas, that branch is in Kowloon Tong! I don't think it's wise to travel for an hour during lunch time for a bowl of noodles - no matter how good those noodles are.

Oh well, change is the only constant thing here in Hong Kong, so I better just fact the fact that my lunch routine will begin changing as well.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

From Melanie to Barry

And I do mean Manilow and not Malu.


Looks like we made it...
Looks like we made it...
we made...

Ok, that's it.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Pant... Pant... Pant...

After last night's tiring bout at work, a little retail therapy was in order.

I bought a pair of pants - not jeans - just a nice pair of black pants. I texted Arnie about them and described it to her, and her reply was "How very Balenciaga!" They're actually tuxedo style pants with a satin trim on both sides. The construction is very dynamic since the sides aren't straight cut like the usual pants. It has so much character that i'm fine wearing it with a plain, white shirt and Chuck's. And that's what i'll probably do.

All I need now is to find that little Nicholas Ghesquiere in me to pull it off.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Thank goodness for Melanie!

Meeting after meeting, things are beginning to look as clear as mud. After another one just a couple of minutes ago, I can't help but turn to Melanie Marquez to sum up how I feel.

MELANIE: "I have a message to Mrs. Dee, and I have to say this in English because that's what she understands."

*takes a deep breath*

MELANIE: "Mrs. Dee, Ang labo mo!"

Chain Reaction

It all started with a shirt.

This Sunday, I decided to buy Noah an animal shirt. During our last conversation, he told me that he always wears the animal shirts I gave him. My sister says it's true. Apparently, when I sent him the first batch of animal shirts, he loved them so much that he didn't want to take them off. Then, while looking at his current photos, I noticed that he's been wearing them quite often. So I decided that it's about time to give him some new ones.

So, off to Bossini I went and got him a new animal shirt.

Well, three shirts actually.

Walking to the cashier, I passed by the girls' section and thought of buying something for Erika as well. It was her birthday last January 14 and I still haven't gotten her a present. After browsing through racks of nice, long-sleeved shirts, I got two colourful ones, plus a sleeveless shirt with a brooch.

Since my mind was already in "birthday mode" I realized that my sister-in-law's birthday just passed by and my brother's birthday is in a few weeks. I thought, "maybe I should get them something", and hied off to the men's and women's section to get a few pieces.

The load I was carrying was growing, which prompted the sales clerk to give me a basket. Initially, I refused and said that i'm done shopping. He insisted, and eventually won me over.

Walking around with the basket, I saw a sweater that Dad would surely want. It's a light, wool sweater that would be perfect for GA's current weather. They were in different colours, and it prompted me to get 2. Now since Dad has something, Mom should have something, too. So off to the women's sweater section and got a shirt, a shrug and a shawl.

By this time, the basket was already full to the rafters. On my final steps towards the cash register, my eye caught a couple of nice rocker shirts that my 2 big nephews would look great in. There were so many nice designs that buying one wasn't enough. Two shirts each suddenly found itself in the bag.

Finally, I reached the counter, and after the cashier emptied the basket of its contents, I had more than 20 articles of clothing. I looked at this stash, and one thought immediately came to mind:

It all started with a shirt.

Now, I've got all these goodies, my problem is how to send them to the US. I don't know of anyone going there soon, so my next option would be to mail them. But that would take some time, and I have to buy a box big enough for everything and think about the mailing cost. Sheesh... what did I get myself into this time?

And it all started with a shirt.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Building up my resistance

I've got 5 reasons to be a teeny bit proud of myself today. I've managed to resist buying 5 gorgeous jeans! It was such a hard process, but somehow, i've pulled through.

The first 2 pairs were from Energie. Their S/S 2007 collection is full of happy looking denims. One had distressed denim appliques in various shapes like rainbows, stars and comets. The back pocket also had appliques that reminded me of Ed Hardy and True Religion Jeans.

Second pair was a limited edition pair (with serial numbers to boot.) It was this deliciously dark denim with rivets, studs, grommets and even gemstones. The fit and detail looked equisite - which is probably why it's HK$4000 a pair. As much as I wanted to try these two, I used my better judgement and skipped it. If I did, I knew i'd be walking away with one pair (or two even) in hand. Regardless of the price tag.

The next 3 were in id:c. One of my favorite brands, Breathmint, had jeans on sale. And they were really nice and cheap. Three caught my attention, two denim pants, and one tuxedo-style pants in black twill.

I took those 3 pairs and brought them to the dressing room. In my mind, I was like: "You're in trouble. You're buying a pair of jeans today." Among the 3, only 2 looked nice, so after exiting the dressing room, I made my way to the counter.

But while walking, my mind was in that "great debate" mode again. The good cop was saying I bought 2 new pairs this January and haven't worn them yet. The bad cop was saying "They're #&$(#@#^! cheap." Before I got to the counter, the debate was over and one side won.

The good cop prevailed today. My resistance to buy jeans triumphed, and I made a pact with myself that if I go back to id:c, and those pairs are still there, that means they're meant for me and I should buy them.

Let me check tomorrow if they're still there.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Flaming Lips!

We decided to be a little experimental for lunch today. After narrowing down our choices, we decided to eat hot pot. But instead of the ordinary hot pot, our choice was the "extremely hot" kind of hot pot. And how hot was it? It was this hot:

Yup, those are siling labuyo floating all around the broth. They weren't only on the top of the soup, but they were under it as well. That'll make it around a gigagazillion pieces of siling labuyo in one small pot. So as Paris Hilton would say: "That's hot!"

But since i'm from Bicol, the thought of sili didn't faze me. After all, my Mom eats sili like she'd eat grapes. Plus, my relatives in Albay would usually cook dishes that are unbelievably spicy, that it brings everyone to tears. Everyone except my family members, of course.

Anyway, I thought this would be a fairly simple challenge to face. That was until I dipped my first fishball in this concoction and placed it in my mouth...

Gosh! I underestimated how hot it was! The moment that piece of fishball touched my lips, it was in flames! Suddenly, it felt like my lips puffed up so much, I felt like the son of Tina Turner and Mick Jagger! If this were a cartoon, my lips would've covered half of my face! Thank goodness this was reality. After checking my lips in the mirror, they were still in their normal size. (Although it felt like anything but...)

After the initial shock subsided, I was able to come up with a plan for me to enjoy the hot pot and prevent my lips from further burning. First, I dipped it in the hot soup, then dipped it in the plain soup. The result was, as Kuya Nips would say, "poifect!" And yes, it was indeed a good and perfect lunch.

Hmmm... I know a lot of celebrities pay thousands of dollars to have collagen injected in their lips. Maybe they should just go to this restaurant and order the spicy hotpot. It produces the same effect for only HK$70!