Sunday, April 30, 2017

Four Spice!

And Biboy pulled through! Woot!

In a few months, these dresses will be spicing Ate's life.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Half a Minute

That Minute Burger store near EDSA-Santolan has always interested me. It's hard to miss it because of its bright yellow and orange color scheme, plus they had really nice posters with uber appetizing food shots. (Which was done by our usual photographer, apparently.)

I've never tried Minute Burger. Never. Not once. And this actually surprised Mark in one of our conversations. After mentioning that factoid, he told me that Minute Burger was their go-to and lifeline way back in High School. So, it was just like Burger Machine for our generation.

Today, after thinking about it for the longest time, I thought, "What the heck, I'll try Minute Burger today."

Gosh! It's one of those "Buy 1, Take 1" gigs! How's that for good value? Although there's always a stigma when it comes to bargain burgers. Hello there, Angel's! Harhar.

What I've always wanted to try was their crispy chicken sandwich with Japanese wasabi mayo, in a brioche bun. Sounds snazzy, eh? Now I'm wondering how they can fit all that snazziness in P30? The only way to find out was to order it.

My verdict: the brioche bun was surprisingly good. It has that creamy taste and the bits on top add a good crunch. The Japanese mayo was a nice touch, and it tasted legit. (Strangely.) The burger itself was nothing to write home about. I thought it would be deep fried with panko crumbs. But it turned out to be a grilled chicken burger made with what feels like chicken remnants. Then again, what can you expect from a P30 burger, right? (It was actually P60 for a buy 1 take 1 burger.)

I only ended up eating one burger and just brought home the other. After this experience, I'd put Minute Burger under the "good when you're hungry, but it's good for its price" category.

Will I eat there again anytime soon? Let me take a minute to think about that.

Friday, April 28, 2017

FMM: Michelle, Ma Belle

This Friday, we'll go back farther than usual. All the way to the 60s, in fact.

Among the hundreds of cassette tapes that Dad collected, there was one that piqued my curiosity. It was mainly because it was the first time I've seen or read about that singer. And while her songs were mostly meh, her voice was very soothing.

Also, there was one song in that tape that got stuck in my mind after hearing it. Mind you, this was about 30 years ago, but the song still plays in my head occasionally.

The artist was Michelle Lee, and the song was "L. David Sloane."

Fun fact, Michelle Lee wasn't only a singer, she was an accomplished, multi-awarded actress. She's best known for her role as Karen Mackenzie in "Knots Landing." It was a hit series in the 80s and Mom would watch this series religiously.

So technically, Michelle Lee deserves this Friday Magic Madness feature twice over.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Guardian Angles

Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2 is now on!

So is my geek mode!

Must. Watch. Now.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

LFLTAT: British cool

When it comes to outfits that fall under the LFLTAT category, no one delivers as consistently as SM Megamall. Just swing by Surplus Shop, then SM Department Store, and you can easily find and whip up a chic outfit for less than P1000.

Just like this ensemble that channels Britannia.

The overall look is minimalist, yet with hints of detail.

The top is from Surplus Shop, and judging by the tag, it's from Dorothy Perkins. It's a hark back to the 90s when people would wear slinky, spaghetti strapped tops with a longer inner shirt.

The likely pair for this? A pair of black culottes - a carefree piece that also screams British nonchalance.

Believe it or not, this entire ensemble only costs P650! That's an entire outfit for less than 10 pounds sterling!

How cool is that?

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Loco Locally

It's been almost 2 years since I first discovered the local juice drink aptly called "Locally."

Since then, I've been buying it regularly, and continue to enjoy their local flavors, particularly the Tamarind variant.

Today, I discovered that they have 2 new variants available!

The guyabano is awesome! It has the taste of real pureed guyabano, which makes it legit. (Although it isn't as legit as the one in Island Juice since that one has real gno bits.) And the calamansi, divine! It tastes like the calamansi juice we'd make as kids.

Now, there are 2 new reasons why I'll go loco over Locally.

Monday, April 24, 2017

I want Moribito!

There's a Japanese TV series that I'm watching these days. It's a period/Epic/fantasy live action series that's based on an anime. The title is "Seirai No Moribito," and there's one major reason why I'm watching it.

Ayase Haruka!!!

I'm a big fan of Haruka since "Hotaru no Hikari." In fact, I think I've written about her a couple of times.

Now, with this series, it looks like I'll write about her a bit more(ibito)!

Sunday, April 23, 2017

From MNL to JKT

It's hard to believe that this time last week, I was in JKT enjoying the local cuisine, and reconnecting with old friends.

Last Sunday, I met up with Rommel and Bong for lunch at a nice restaurant called Benedict's at Grand Indonesia. After all the nasi-permutations I ate the past few days, something western was welcome.

The funny thing with this meet up is that we all just met up in MNL a few weeks ago. In fact, I was just with Bong that same week. And suddenly, here we are, meeting up again. But in a different country this time.

I wonder where we'll meet up next?

Saturday, April 22, 2017

It's in the mix!

Summer's here! And halo-halo can't be far behind!

As one of my favorite Filipino desserts, I've tried halo-halo in its different incarnations. From homemade to restaurant prepared, all the way to the hotel versions. (The halo-halo at Peninsula Manila is top notch!)

Call me old-fashioned, but for me, the best halo-halo is still the one that's sold in the neighborhood stall. Just like this one that we discovered in Proj. 3.

Thanks to this stall, I discovered that there's such a thing as ube condensed milk. They mix it after all the ingredients are in, and I swear, it makes all the difference.

Here's to summer! And halo-halo!

Friday, April 21, 2017

FMM: Counting Pebbles

There's this radio station called Retro 105.9, and whenever we tune in to that station, it's one, big Friday Magic Madness. And it happens everyday, which makes it even cooler.

Thanks to that station, artists that I've forgotten suddenly resurface.

A good example is Pebbles. She's one of those huge acts in the 80s, and she was in the league of Paula Abdul and Janet Jackson.

And when you listen to her songs, you know why. Good example: one of her biggest hits, "Girlfriend."

Listening to it closely, it's very "Cold Hearted."

I guess that's the sound of the 80s.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Eye of the Tiger!

Back in grade school, one of the magazines I read often was this American teen magazine entitled "Tiger Beat."

It was the definitive magazine for all things pop and teen. It was this magazine that gave me the latest updates on celebrities like Phoebe Cates, Molly Ringwald, and then-still-teen Demi Moore. They also featured singers, like my all-time favorite, Cyndi Lauper! Woot!

Because it was published in the U.S., we could only get our copies in PX stores. Eventually, my aunt in the U.S. got me a subscription, and the magazines were delivered to our doorstep. To my extreme delight.

My interest for Tiger Beat waned when I got older. Until it was completely forgotten and out of my system.

Until today. When I saw this at Book Sale!

And look, it's a Thursday today. This is the perfect Throwback Thursday moment.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017


Too bad I didn't see this product before our "name studies" lecture in copywriting. It would've been a perfect example:

I guess a product made of corn makes it, uhm, corny.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

I'll take a bus or a train to get to...

Jakarta City!

Whenever I travel, I try to use the local transportation to get a feel of the local people and culture.

So, my transport of choice around Jakarta was the TransJakarta bus line.

It was pretty efficient and fast, which made me like it a bit more than the usual Grab or Cab.

My local friends were actually surprised that I survived the bus system since it gets too frenetic even for them.

Good thing I'm intrepid enough for experiences like this.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Monas on a Sunday

The Jakarta National Monument, or as the locals call it - Monas, is one of my earliest recollections of Jakarta. As the country's national park, and the symbol of the country's independence, it was one of those must-visit-tourist-places. Thus, we made a stop there.

Monas to Indonesia is what Luneta is to Manila and what Quezon Memorial Circle is to Quezon City. It's a place where people can relax and unwind, especially on weekends.

Yesterday was a Sunday, so I thought I'd go back to Monas and go back down memory lane to my first visit to the city.

As expected, Monas was packed! There were thousands of families and friends enjoying the park on a Sunday. There were families having picnics, friends gregariously taking photos, there were groups engaged in sports like badminton and soccer, and there was even a battalion of police cadets running around and chanting.

Needless to say, it was a busy Sunday at Monas.

It was fun just observing and assimilating with the crowd. And it was also nice to see what the Indonesians do to relax on a weekend.

After all, Monas is the place to be on weekends.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Easter blessings

Thanks to my spending the past 4 or 5 Holy Weeks in Tokyo, one of the highlights of my Easter Sunday is the baptism of the new Catholics.

In Tokyo, it was commonplace to see children and adults being baptized, as opposed to the babies which we usually see here in Manila. In Tokyo, the age ranges from about 10 years old to 40-plus. One time, we even saw an 80-plus year old lady being baptized!

Today is Easter, and this ritual just hit closer to home.

One of my nieces in Spain - Alejandra - was baptized today. At the age of 19, she fully embraced
Christianity and chose to be receive the sacrament.

And to make this blessing even more blessed, she was baptized by Pope Francis in Rome.

It was such a big deal that she made it to the news in her home country.

This is truly a blessed day for Ale, and all of us. It's not everyday that a family member gets baptized by the Pope.

Happy Easter!

Saturday, April 15, 2017

From HKG to JKT

One of the best parts of traveling is reconnecting with old friends.

Just like today. Lunch was well spent with Keat, my constant lunch buddy when we were still in HKG.

Amazing how we haven't seen each other in 5 years, but when we did, it feels like we just saw each other last week.

I'll see you again soon, Keat.

Friday, April 14, 2017

FMM: Anggun's a-blazing

Since I'm in JKT this weekend, today's Friday Magic Madness song is from one of my favorite Indonesian artists - Anggun! And this is actually the second time I'm posting her as an FMM song.

She has such a soulful and powerful voice that's easy on the ears. The nice things is that her voice is comforting as it is powerful. I can listen to her songs over and over again.

That's why today, I'll listen to her hit song, "Snow on the Sahara" again and again.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Keeping a-float!

Even before I left for JKT, I already knew the first thing I'd do in the country.

Get a mug of A&W Rootbeer Float at the airport.

And that's exactly what I did.

Hello Indonesia!

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

LFLTAT: Etro in the Metro

It's been a while since I've made a "Look for Less than a Thousand" post.

Which is quite odd, considering that I've seen so many LFLTAT worthy clothes from my weekly Divisoria runs.

But this one is too good not to post.

I've always professed my love for Etro's aesthetic, particularly their print-on-print looks. Today, I found 2 pieces that mirrored that aesthetic, and I found it at Metro in Market Market.

 The first piece, a boat neck blouse with 3/4th bell sleeves. Very classic chic! And it has a small, black and white floral prints set against a gray background. And this blouse was a steal at P350.

Next, a pleated skirt. Again, this is very du jour as there are so many fast fashion brands carrying this style. The predominant color palette is black, gray and white - just like the skirt. But the floral prints are bigger. Best part - it's only P350!

They might be two very different looks, but if you put them together, and you have a very Etro-worthy ensemble. It's the same color story and prints that make it cohesive. And it only cost P700! You can take the remaining P299 (so it'll be technically less-than-a-thousand) and buy a nice pair of black flats at SM Department Store. 

Amazing what you can put together for less than a thousand these days!

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Two wrongs don't make a right

The administration of the office building where I work isn't exactly the most grammatically correct. Many, many, many... many time, they've posted signs that have shady grammar, not to mention the usual spelling and sentence construction errors.

Case in point, from today:

Really? This sentence is wrong in at least 2 ways:

It's either "will resume" or "will be resuming."

Proofreader, please.

Monday, April 10, 2017

This Ragna-Rocks!

When Cate Blanchett is in a Thor film, you know that it'll be so, so, SO MUCH BETTER!

Yes! Another movie to look forward to!

Sunday, April 09, 2017

Sunday is the best desert

Walking along Emerald Avenue on a Sunday is such a pretty sight. It's so different from the bustle and traffic that we see on a daily basis.

The streets are deserted, and the only people you see on the road are joggers, meanderers, and kids gleefully riding bikes to and from Julia Vargas.

If it were like this everyday, it would be more fun to come to work.

Saturday, April 08, 2017

A whole lotta shakin' going on

At first, I thought it was just me.

I was discussing something with the class, and was perched on top of a 1.5 foot high stage. Because of my elevated position, it was easy to feel the ground shaking side-to-side. The question in my mind that time was: "Is this an earthquake?" But the whole class of 60+ students seemed oblivious to it. So, maybe it was a false alarm.

A few minutes later, the shaking happened again. This time, stronger. This time, everyone was feeling it and they started to stand up and head for the door. Good thing we've had several drills for this situation, so the students calmly walked to the stairwell and onto our designated safe space - the field.

After about 30 minutes of mulling about, everyone was sent home. And I saw our school president on my way out, and told her that all those drills we did before really paid off. That was easy to see today.

I sincerely pray that this will be the last.

Friday, April 07, 2017

FMM: Sybil Rights!

So, Sybil is going to have a concert in Manila this April.

Where do I sign up?

Seriously, Sybil was one of my favorite singers in the 90s. I think I still have a CD of all her songs.

Her music is much like Swing Out Sister that it's "happy-sad." On the surface, it sounds like a happy beat. But once you listen to lyrics, it's usually about heartbreak. How's that for a good contrast.

Among her songs, one of my favorites is "Make it Easy on me." Which is today's Friday Magic Madness song.

The reason why this song is so memorable is because we were supposed to dance to it during Emin's debut. The cotillion members - including me - had to perform to 3 songs: waltz, cha-cha or swing, then a modern dance. And the song we were supposed to do the modern dance to was!

While we practiced for it, we never really got to dance it. I think it was a timing issue of the program.

But hey, I still remember the intro steps. In fact, excuse me while I do it right now.

Thursday, April 06, 2017

White hot summer

Now that summer is officially upon us - hello scorching noon heat! - it's time to dress lighter and cooler.

In the U.S., white is usually reserved for Labor Day. For us, it's reserved for summer days when the sun is up and you just want to wear something cool and breezy.

One piece of fashion article that's a no-fail is the shirt dress. Just like this beauty from Warehouse.

It has the classic silhouette, but with a cinched waist and some tucks on the sleeve. This gives the dress an interesting shape, while keeping its relaxed vibe.

Since the dress has a utilitarian vibe to it, the shoes should have the same feel. Enter this cool pair from Parisian.

The shape and heel gives it a bit of an oxford vibe, but the d'orsay and elastic bands give it a feminine touch.

Together, these two pieces shout summer, in a hot and chic way.

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Upper deck park-ing

Our favorite studio has something new and relaxing! A mini-park on their upper roof deck!

It was so cool that Devi and I had to sit down and enjoy it.

This is definitely going to make shooting here even more fun!

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

Perforated Perfection

There was a time when SM Department Store's shoe section would surprise us with uber chic pairs of shoes. I recall a few years ago when they came out with this collection of brogues in different colors and textures, and my sisters ended up getting multiple pairs.

It's been a while since then, and I've always wondered when they'd come out with something chic and surprising again.

Turns out, that day was today. Thanks to this pretty pair:

It's a pair of black mules with a classic shape and heel. The androgynous feel makes it something that Alexa Chung or Cara Delevigne would wear.

But what makes it totally different and elevates the look is the perforated design on top. This simple detail elevates the shoe to uber chic heights!

It's so easy to imagine this pair with cuffed jeans, with a full skirt, and even a casual dress. That's how versatile it can be.

All-in-all, I'd say this pair is perfection!

Monday, April 03, 2017

Counting down the Target date

In less than a week's time, Victoria Beckham x Target is going to finally drop!

I'm going to do an Altuzarra and stalk the pieces I'll buy for my sisters on their website. I hope it'll be as easy as that collection. (And not like Missoni.)

Because I really have my eyes on this pair!

Let's go, Target! Let's do this!

Sunday, April 02, 2017

Having a ball!

What better way to spend the weekend but in UP, eating fishballs! (And squid balls. And kikiam. And dynamite!)

This is one thing about school that I'll always miss.

Saturday, April 01, 2017

Flush Report!

Even my alma mater is not immune to proofreading faux pas!

Here's one from the restroom near UP Shopping Center.

(Maybe it's an April Fool's Day Joke? Maybe not.)

Really? We need to "flash" the urinal?

And to think this was signed by a PhD.

Proofreader, please!