Sunday, August 31, 2014

Going nuts

It's been years since I last saw Nutter Butter. The last time I saw it was 5 years ago when I was still living in HKG and they were selling it at the Park and Shop near my flat. Back then, I'd have a stash every week and couldn't get enough of it.

Thanks to a couple of care packages from the U.S., I found a couple of packs of Nutter Butter at home. And after eating a pack (or two), I suddenly remembered why I'm nuts about this cookie.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Color Story: Sea-in Green

One of our cousins is getting married early next year, and it's going to be one of those formal events. With Dad attending as a ninong, I'm sure we'll all be tagging along at the event. 

As early as now, I'm helping my sisters figure out what to wear for the event. After looking at the stash, I found this fabulously formal ensemble for Ate Lissa.

It's a long, sea green dress that's made of jersey. It's very light, flowy and flattering. Not to mention covered up. It has a high jewel neckline and long sleeves. But to keep it from looking too marmy, there's a hint of skin in front.

Plus a lot of skin at the back.

At the same time, I found a neckpiece with a similar shade of sea green, and it ups the ante on this otherwise simple looking ensemble.

I think this will be a perfect wedding outfit. And I think it'll make other guests green with envy.

Friday, August 29, 2014

FMM: Climb every mountain

Thanks to "Guardians of the Galaxy," one of my favorite songs is back in the spotlight.

Then and now, nothing will keep me from getting to this feel good ditty.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Meals with Mark: Making the Cuts

Another day, another restaurant ticked off the list.

This time, we ate at 8 Cuts in Mega Fashion Hall.

It's a sandwich joint which I first tried with Kin and the SMC gang. After that, it's become one of our default lunch places when Maricar invites me to join them for a meal.

The sandwiches there are good, and I ordered by usual spicy chicken sandwich. Mark ordered the shroom burger, and it looked like he was very happy with his order. We also ordered a side of onion rings which I liked, but he didn't like as much.

But overall, I'd say that this place definitely made the cut.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Ramen Rave: Cheap thrills

With ramen places popping up everywhere, fans of this Japanese staple are spoilt for choice. 

Most of the ramen places that opened in Manila are very high end, though. Not that I'm complaining. After all, you need to pay a premium if you want to taste legit ramen.

But sometimes, you want the Japanese ramen taste without the Japanese ramen price. And recently, I found a place where you can get that exact experience.

Presenting, the ramen at Yoshinoya!

For the price its being sold, I must say that this isn't bad at all. The broth is very flavorful, and the add ons are substantial. My only complaint is that the noodles are a bit chewy, to the point where I was wondering if it was undercooked. Other than that, it's a pretty decent bowl or ramen.

Then again, I can't really complain. After all, it's just P129.00 for a big bowl of ramen and a glass of green iced tea.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Donut underestimate

Krispy Kreme, Dunkin Donuts and J.Co can take a rest for a while. I have a favorite when it comes to donuts.

Presenting Pan de Donuts from Pan de Manila!

It has to be one of the most underrated donuts in town. The Chocnut Crumble is so, so, SO good! I could eat 2 in one sitting.

Looks like I've found my dessert du jour.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Meals with Mark: The Wan

Whether we're in Manila or Tokyo, one of the major decisions that Mark and I have to make is: "Where do we eat?"

This is a question that pops up so often, and most often, we don't have an instant answer for. So, it becomes a process of elimination, then streamlining, until we decide on 2 to 3 places. From there, we decide where to eat. Whew!

To simplify the process, we decided to come up with a list of places that we'll eat in while he's on vacation here in Manila. It's a list that has a combination of new restaurants and old favorites, and we're both excited to cross off these eating places from the list.

For dinner tonight, Mark was in the mood for dimsum. And the dimsum place on top of the list was Tim Ho Wan.

I used to eat at Tim Ho Wan a lot when I was living in HKG, but tonight was the first time I tried it in Manila.

Considering it was a holiday, the line wasn't that long. And since there were only 2 of us, we got a seat quickly.

Our dinner consisted of their pork buns, hakaw, siomai, chor fan, and the sausage and chicken rice. And I must say, everything tastes as good as they do in HKG. Heck, I felt like I was transported back to Causeway Bay for a few minutes.

Now that's one restaurant crossed off the list. Time to cross out some more.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

LFLTAT: Short and Sweet

The past week, I've heard the phrase "Summer ulit" a number of times. After all, the weather has been very hot and humid recently. To think we're supposed to be in the cold and rainy season.

Since summer is back, I think shorts should make a comeback, too. But instead of looking all casual and summery, it should look more chic and polished. Just like this look for less than a thousand.

The top was a find at The Landmark. It has a boxy silhouette (which is very now) and it has felt ribbon cutouts in pink. Despite that, it doesn't look too saccharine.

The tailored and belted shorts are from SM Department store. The color complements the ribbons on the top, and also delivers a punch of color that contrasts the white of the top.

Since both items came from a department store, they're both on the cheap. When added together, this ensemble cost around P500.


Saturday, August 23, 2014

Coming to mid-terms

If students think they're the only ones bummed about midterms, they've got another thing coming.

Even professors are bummed out as well. After all, this is when we bring out the calculator and start computing for grades.

And for a Mass Comm professor, numbers are no fun at all. (We're supposedly notoriously bad at math, which is true to some extent. Harhar.)

Friday, August 22, 2014

FMM: Greasy

Talk about Flashback Fridays!

The bus I rode to work today was showing "Grease." And that inspired my song choice for today's Friday Magic Madness.

Happy weekend!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

The nicer NAIA

More airlines should move to NAIA-3. Not only is it more spacious, not only are their airconditioners working, it's also more convenient for people - both for departing passengers and people who are waiting for arriving ones.

Today, I was waiting for Mark's flight to arrive. I got to NAIA-3 early and was pleasantly surprised to know that people in the arrival area can access the 3rd floor mall. So, I was able to look around, eat, and access my internet via the free wifi, all at the same time. These are thing you can't do in NAIA-1 and NAIA-2.

Calling all airlines, move to NAIA-3 soon!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

One dress, two ways: Skirting the issue

Once again, fashion is reinterpreting the past and bringing it to the present. In the 40s, 50s and 60s, the circle skirt was a recurring trend. It must've been all the boogie-ing back in those days.

It's a trend that's been on the runways the past few seasons. Even in the Philippines, the circle skirt is making a resurgence. Several local brands have come up with their own versions, including this one from SM Department Store.

Apart from the 60s silhouette, this skirt also has a very 60s floral print. Methinks it's prints charming. Harhar.

The current trend is to pair a circle skirt with a cropped top, or a sleeveless top. Just like this fuchsia top from the GTW brand, also at SM.

Tucked into the skirt, it looks modern and easy.

Another way of wearing it is by paying homage to the decade when it first appeared. Just like this nubby peach shirt.

This pair looks very 50s, and you can almost hear the Andersen Sisters singing while this outfit is swinging.

There are a lot of other ways to wear this skirt. Among them, pair it with a white shirt like Carolina Herrera, or a cropped top like most young things wear it now.

How's that for versatility?

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Poster girl for censorship

On my way home, I saw this standee for the latest film of Cameron Diaz and Jason Segel. 

After looking at it for a few minutes, I noticed something was off. So, I went on-line to see whether my hunch was correct. And it was!

In the original poster, Cameron Diaz was just wearing her underwear. I guess this got the attention (or ire) of the MTRCB and asked the movie importer to cover it up. Thus, the awkward pink undies.

The MTRCB are strange folks indeed.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Mouret-ade in the Philippines

The Roland Mouret x Banana Republic collaboration is finally in-store, and I got a chance to check the items up close.

What's the first thing I noticed?

Most of the items are Made in the Philippines!

So, should I expect to see them at "The Haunt" soon?

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Rockin' Roberts!

Last March, I wrote an entry about the upcoming September issue of InStyle. Particularly, I listed down the possible cover girls for their monumental 20th anniversary issue. 

My fervent wish back then was that Julia Roberts make a comeback on the cover.

Last Friday, they finally released the issue and guess who's on the cover?

I've said it then and I'll say it now, Julia Roberts rocks!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Long overdue

It's been decades since Auntie Aning last visited the Philippines, that's why the family made sure to spend some time with her during her stopover in Manila. She was going to be here for 1 day, so we set aside Saturday for this long overdue reunion.

Great seeing you again, Auntie. We'll see you again pretty soon.

Friday, August 15, 2014

FMM: On fire!

There are some songs that are so complicated, we can't help but sing them whenever we go to videoke joints.

Among my favorites are "Tubthumping" by Chumbawamba, "Bohemian Rhapsody" by Queen, and this classic song by Billy Joel.

It's been a while since I've been to a videoke joint, much less sing this song. Listening to it makes me want to sing it all over again.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

The money piece

In every designer collaboration, there's a money piece. (With the exception of the H&M x Lanvin where every piece was practically a money piece.) The money piece is the item that's most covetable and - most often - the one that's swiped first. 

Since they've already released the Altuzarra x Target look book, I browsed through it in search of the money piece. And I believe this is it.

Classic black - check. Vibrant print - check. Sexy neckline - check. Thigh high slit - check.

Yup, everyone will definitely be grabbing this dress first.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Wrong Williams

While everyone on-line was talking about Robin Williams' death, this suddenly appeared on facebook.

Oh what a difference a letter makes.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Mourning Mork

As a kid, "Mork and Mindy" was one of my favorite TV shows. I remember tuning in to GMA-7 in the evening and anxiously waiting for the program to start. I also remember that Pam Dawber was the prettiest girl on TV, and Robin Williams was the funniest alien on planet Earth.

There were so many iconic moments on the show. And Robin Williams defined those moments.

From Mork's egg-shaped space ship to his alien hand sign. From his penchant for wearing suspenders to his penchant for saying "Nanu-nanu." Needless to say, this show helped shape my perception that there might really be life beyond our planet. And that aliens were probably the funniest and goofiest creatures ever.

This show was my first introduction to the comic genius that is Robin Williams. And as the world mourns his death, "Mork" is how I'll always remember him.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Word up!

As a mentor to Journalism students, as well as to aspiring copywriters, one thing I teach them is to avoid using the word "very" when pertaining to a superlative. It's a bit lazy and there are more, more, more words to connote superlatives.

Today, I found this on-line, and it pretty much captures the lesson I try to teach my students.

I'm definitely sharing this with them.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Shining Sunday

When I was a member of our school's church choir as a kid, one of my favorite songs to sing was "Shine Jesus Shine."

The song was so celebratory. From its lyrics to the melody, and the clapping we'd do when we reach the refrain, it was all so happy. That's why we'd always sing it with gusto during the recessional.

It's been a while since I've heard them sing this song in church. I guess it's because it's an "old school" song.

Imagine my surprise when they sang it for the recessional in today's mass. Needless to say, I stayed behind and sang it like I was a grade school kid in the choir.

This definitely made my Sunday.

Saturday, August 09, 2014

Surprising Saturday

Here's another nice surprise video that I came across while surfing the net.

This one was set up by Jimmy Fallon, and he treated Mariah Carey's fans to a live performance from their idol.

That was a lot of fun to watch.

Friday, August 08, 2014

FMM: Hooked!

One of my colleagues kept on playing this song the entire week. I've heard it so many times that it's stuck in my head.

Well, since today is a Friday, and this is an old song, it's my turn to play it.

Now, I'm officially hooked on a feeling.

Thursday, August 07, 2014


When I heard they were opening Triple O's in Manila, I thought it would be the type of place that would be packed to the rafters everyday, and you'd have to wait in line for about half an hour before getting to order food.

But it turns out that Tim Ho Wan was the restaurant that earned that distinction.

When I went to Triple O's, there weren't too many diners, there weren't any lines, and it was pretty quiet. That's odd for a lunch hour.

Well, the good thing about it is that it was easy to get a seat and enjoy my chicken sandwich.

The chicken sandwich is the same as what I'm used to in HKG. The fries are a bit small, though, and it isn't as tasty and crunchy as I remember it. I also got water with the combo, which is what I usually have. (Though they served Bonaqua.)

In terms of pricing, it's similar to HKG prices if you convert it. But for a burger, it's actually a bit on the pricey side. The burgers in 8 Cuts are cheaper, and a sandwich here is more expensive than a sandwich in Chili's. And that might be one reason why people aren't falling over themselves to eat here.

I hope they'll eventually do okay.

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Yes you Ken!

The shrieks were so loud, I heard it from over 30 feet away!

As I entered SM Megamall from the St. Francis side, I could already hear the deafening screams from the Entertainment center at the basement. Now, I'm not a fan of crowds and noise, so I'd normally steer clear of the area. 

But when I saw the crowd, it wasn't the usual throng of people I usually see. Curiosity got the better of me, and I headed to the area to see what the ruckus was about. And when I looked down, all I could say was:


There was an on-going meet and greet for the film "Ruruoni Kenshin: Kyoto Inferno & The Legend ends"! The stars of the film - Takeru Sato, Emi Takei, and Munetaka Aoki - flew from Japan to Manila for their first overseas press conference ever! As Emi mentioned in her interview, this is the first time their promoting the film overseas, and she's glad they did it in the Philippines because the reception was awesome.

Mark and I are both big fans of the film. In fact, when the first installment came out, we were in Tokyo that time. They were preparing for a press conference for "Samurai X" in Roponggi, and we saw the stage while we were walking through Roponggi Hills. We weren't able to stick around for the actual event though.

So, it's a pleasant and welcome surprise that I got to see the cast up close-ish.

When they were about to wrap up, Munetaka shouted "Mahal ko kayo," and the crowd went wild! Taking this as a cue, both Emi, Takeru and the director - Keishi Ohtomo, took turns in shouting "Mahal ko kayo," and it felt like the area would collapse from all the stomps and shrieks from everyone there. The energy was amazing!

The event wrapped up and everyone was psyched! Too bad we have to wait 2 more week before the actual film is shown.

In the meantime, I'll have to be content with the fact that I actually saw the cast of Ruruoni Kenshin in person.

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

A tabo subject

Now here's something you don't see everyday. Especially in a mall.

The restroom in Robinsons Department Store in Galleria actually provides a "tabo" for their customers. How considerate is that?

(In addition, I noticed that they extended the height of their flush so it's easier to reach it and you don't have to stoop down to push the lever. How convenient.)

Monday, August 04, 2014

This provincial life: Memories of Sundays past

When we were kids and we'd visit our grandparents in Bicol, we'd always look forward to Sunday because that's when we'd go to Tabaco.

Compared to Bacacay and Malinao, Tabaco was the city area of Albay. It was the place with a "mall" and the most restaurants. Back in that day, it was considered a modern place, and it was just a notch lower than Legaspi.

During our Tabaco visits, Lola would always go to Bamboo Grill to play mahjong, and the rest of us would hang out in front of St. John the Baptist Church, which was just outside the grill.

I visited the church last week when I went to Bicol, and it was nice to see that the church hasn't changed after all these decades.

 The belfry
 The facade
 Another view of the facade
The plaza where we'd usually play

In this world of constant change, it's great to see things that still look exactly the way I remember them.

Sunday, August 03, 2014

My latest cheap thrill

The food court at SM Megamall is a haven for cheap foodie finds. One of my current favorites is from a stall called Chicken and Co. It's a snacker that's called "Chika burgers."

It's composed of 4 mini-chicken sandwiches. Each chicken patty is sandwiched between pan de sal, and has this combination of cheese sauce and ketchup. It's served with potato chips on the side. And the potato chips are also smothered in a cheese sauce.

What's great about this filling snack is that it's uber cheap. This entire serving is sold at P59!

How's that for a deliciously cheap thrill?

Saturday, August 02, 2014

Ramen-y options

Ippudo will be the latest addition to the growing number of ramen places opening in Manila. The past year alone saw ramen places sprouting like shitake and matsutake mushrooms, and that's good. We need more options when it comes to authentic Japanese ramen.

I hope the Ippudo here is as good as the one in Roppongi where Mark and I ate.

Friday, August 01, 2014

FMM: Gliding

A lazy Friday deserves a relaxed Friday Magic Madness song. Such as this laid back 80s hit from the Eurogliders.

Have a lazy weekend.