Friday, January 31, 2014

Bonding Over Burgers & Brewskies

If you ask me what I think of the fairly new burger joint in Burgos Circle, I have one word for you: SoCal. The modern, laid-back atmosphere, the Cuban and Mexican-inspired cuisine, and the thick, All-American burger patties puts it's retro-themed neighbor to shame (even with all the dancing!) with innovative burger combinations that just don't involve bacon, lettuce and tomatoes.

Burgers & Brewskies has a California vibe that makes you feel like you're at a beach barbecue in the middle of sem break with an uncle who's been very creative in the kitchen. I met up with the rest of my loud, foodie classmates at the burger joint for a very long lunch that started with chili fries and ended with chocolate pudding, with some very interesting burger combinations in between.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

A Cartomancy Reading in Cavite

Image from

I had actually been interested in getting my fortune told before Chinese New Year - as I heard it's a good way for you to prepare yourself for the year ahead - and Jericho recommended a lady in Cavite who does regular readings for his brother and sister-in-law. She had foretold that his brother wouldn't end up with his then girlfriend, and surely enough, they broke it off two weeks later. She also foretold his sister-in-law's engagement, which she didn't believe since she had only been dating Jericho's brother for a little over a year. Lo and behold, he proposed to her on a trip to Boracay a few months later. She's scary accurate!

Because of her track record for being spot on, Jericho and I decided to go meet her to get our fortunes told and see if her divinations would come true for us. So off we went to Novoleta near Cavite City to meet up with Ate C.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Huat Pot Eat-All-You-Can Opens in San Juan

Whenever I hear "healthy" shabu-shabu, images of a bland tasting broth, unseasoned meat, and a crap-load of vegetables come to mind. I think this image is mainly what has turned me off from entering hotpot restaurants. That, and because I have yet to find a shabu-shabu place I actually like. So when I went to try Huat Pot's Hotpot Eat All You Can (P688) in San Juan, I was skeptical on whether or not it would be something I'd appreciate.

As it turns out, this place is something I'd like to appreciate over and over again!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Modern Shanghai's Guide to the Xiao Long Bao

The xiao long bao or soup dumplings, is a type of steamed bun or baozi from the Jiangnan region of China, especially Shanghai and Wuxi. It is traditionally steamed in small bamboo baskets, hence the name (xiaolong is literally small steaming basket).

Modern Shanghai has been rated the by as the top xiao long bao restaurant in the city, and with good reason: this place has one of the prettiest-looking soup dumplings I have ever seen this side of Manila! They have perfectly formed, medium-sized dumplings with the sought-after "hole" at the top for steam to pass through every single time. With the restaurant's owner in town, who else would be the perfect person to teach me the art of making and eating xiao long bao than Mr. Paul Kwow himself?

Friday, January 24, 2014

Celebrating Chinese New Year at Modern Shanghai

Chinese New Year is just around the corner and with everyone celebrating early, I thought I'd hop on the bandwagon and head over to my favorite Chinese restaurant for dimsum and pork ribs! But as it turns out, I didn't have to after getting an invite from a friend to check out Modern Shanghai in Glorietta, as the restaurant's owner was in Manila cooking up delicious Shanghainese fare with a modern twist just in time to welcome the Year of the Horse.

Not passing up the chance to shake the hand of one of the most established restaurateurs in the industry, I headed over to Glorietta with Jericho one afternoon  to say hello to Mr. Paul Kwok.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Super Cheap Korean BBQ at Chang Teo

When the case of the nibbles comes along, this year had got me craving for Korean BBQ every single time. Partly because I have come to accept that fact that no restaurant in the south can do decent Indian or Arabic food, Korean food has become my next go to cuisine when craving for spicy, nostril-flaring fare.

I had pleasantly discovered Chang Teo a few years back, but for some odd reason, have never gotten about to blogging about them until now. I think it's because I keep telling myself I'll order something new to try the next time I go pay them a visit, but for the past two years I've just been ordering the same damn thing over and over again. And I still haven't gotten tired of those dishes!

The small Korean restaurant sandwiched between Pan de Manila and Tea Talk along Aguirre road has become my favorite hang out, as far as straightforward Korean food is concerned. And this is also by far the cheapest in BF Homes Parañaque.

Read more on restaurants in BF Homes Parañaque:
Ritchie's Diner: Classic American Favorites at BF Homes Parañaque
Mediterranean Made Simple: Sophia's Cusina at BF Homes Parañaque
Sexy Comfort Food at Borgo Café in BF Homes Parañaque
Dim Sum Delights at BF Homes Parañaque's Mandarin Palace
Don Limone at BF Homes Parañaque

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Unboxed: Braven 710 - Style & Sound in the Palm of Your Hand

There are wireless speakers and there are sought after wireless speakers. Braven has the bad boys of the wireless speakers industry, with the Braven 710 (P7,450) model being the Will Smith of the line. And like Will Smith, the Braven 710 is smooth, sleek, and oh-so-sexy with features you'd never expect it to have, which comes as a pleasant surprise once you figure it out. The good folks from Beyond the Box sent me one to check out, and I have to say, I'm pretty happy with this small wireless speaker.

Monday, January 20, 2014

All Signs Lead to Cecille Chang's Silk Road

With Jericho's old friend Eriko visiting Man-illa - with a box of green tea Meiji chocolate in hand - I felt obligated to take her out to someplace she hadn't been to before as well as to get a bite to eat. Naturally. She had never been to Bonifacio Global City before, so we took her out to go souvenir shopping at the Kultura and Team Manila stores at SM Aura Premier. But before an afternoon of shopping - lunch!

I had visited chef Cecille Chang's Silk Road Thai Bistro last year and fell in love with the place! With the modern ambiance, spectacular food, and fantastic wine selection, and afternoon lunch can turn into hours and hours of catching up, funny stories, and just plain old getting sloshed.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Apartment Therapy: 15 Tips for Small Space Living

I moved back to my hometown of Las Piñas from Bonifacio Global City a while back. Living in suburbia again is taken a lot of getting used to as things seem to happen at a slower pace than that of The Fort. It feels like moving from New York to Jersey - the vibe just isn't the same. The vibe, and well, the condo space. I moved into a teeny tiny apartment in BF Resort, a little box I could call home for a year or two. Yet even though I'm having second thoughts of staying here for another year, this being be the smallest apartment I've ever lived in - it's also my favorite.

My studio apartment is a wee 40 sq/m big thereabouts (I think), and this includes everything from the tiny kitchenette, to the bathroom, and the bedroom/living area. It can be a bit cramped - and is currently a mess as I'm getting the walls repainted - but it's a snug place for one person. The lesson I'm learning here is to make the most of every square foot.

So if you're just moving out of your parent's place to go at it on your own or are tired of living with flatmates and are looking to find a place you can walk around naked in, here are a few tips I've learned when living in a small space:

Friday, January 17, 2014

Happy Hour All Day Everyday with Chili's Rita Trio

My idea of living the good life is sitting down to happy hour every weekday with my favorite girls, with a bunch of cocktails on the table, chatting away about clothes, make up, men, and just about everything under the sun other than work. And I can be very particular about my cocktails - they have to be done right. None of that cheap crap that leaves you with a major hangover the next day after just three glasses of the stuff. No, if you're going to do anything in life, do it right and keep it classy.

So when I got invited to Chili's Bar & Grill to check out the new Rita Trio, I was so excited that I rushed over to their newest branch in Megamall, despite feeling under the weather. "A few glasses of margaritas should pick me up," I told myself. Little did I know that at the end of the day, I got way more than I bargained for!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Geeks Go Gaga Over Crumpler's End of Season Sale!

Crumpler Philippines is having a party, and everyone's invited! Ok, so it's not really a party. It's a sale. But they're shaving off prices up to 80% off, so if you're a geek, then there's a party going on somewhere. If you're a photographer looking to upgrade your worn out camera straps and bags, you probably have a rager going on right about now, too.

The big sale is happening at all Crumpler stores nationwide up until the end of the month, and here are a few items you can lust over until you can make your way to the nearest store:

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

CBTL's Caring Cup: Chalk Calligraphy Workshop #Brew2014

With the release of The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf''s newest Giving Journal, the folks behind Brew Your Best Year have come up with CBTL's Caring Cup, special events held once a month at CBTL to help you be the best version of you - physically, mentally, spiritually, relationally (I know it isn't a real word, but that's what they said), and financially.

The first exclusive event of the Caring Cup for the year was held at the 26th St. Bistro by The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf on a sunny Saturday morning. I really had no clue what I was in for that day, only the broad strokes - it was all about planning what I was going to do for the rest of the year. I guess not knowing was a good thing, since it made for one very enjoyable afternoon!

CBTL's Brew Your Best Year Planner #Brew2014

Every year in the months leading to Christmas, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf releases its much-desired Giving Journal, and every year they make it their goal to come up with something better than the last. From a plesantly designed planner to pages that promote a lifestyle of giving to others, CBTL has constantly evolved their journals to share their passion for giving, for sharing, and for community.

Building on the tradition of giving, CBTL brings us healthy habits and inspirations from different experts to help us grow into The Best Version of You. Every week, the planner introduces a new habit you can practice to help you grow physically, mentally, spiritually, relationally, and financially. The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf takes it even further, coming up with unique suggestions for you to have fun! CBTL encourages you to read each of the entries, follow the success tweets, and visit the contributor blogs with the end goal that after these 52 weeks, you are 52 times more amazing.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Marriott Hotel Manila: Taste the Australian Outback

The folks at Marriott Hotel Manila are taking the Outback to the metro this month, celebrating Taste Australia with a rich diversity of food and drinks served all over the hotel! Savor the steaks from the Outback, relish the seafood from the Great Barrier Reef, imbibe the wines from the cellars of Adelaide, or feast on the rich meat pies from Victoria.

Read more on Marriott Hotel Manila:
Marriott Hotel Manila: A Relaxing Afternoon at Quan Spa
Marriott Hotel Manila: Dinner Buffet at the Marriott Café
Marriott Hotel Manila: The Birthday Staycation
★ Marriott Hotel Manila: VIP Treatment at the Executive Lounge

Friday, January 10, 2014

Brunch at Kanto Freestyle Breakfast

People who know me understand my fascination for breakfast food. There's just something about the first meal of the day that makes it comforting and familiar. Whether it be cornflakes that you've been having since you were a wee babe, fluffy pancakes or stacks of waffles, or the all too familiar tapa with garlic rice and a fried egg with a hot cup of kapeng barako, there is always a certain joy one experiences when digging into breakfast.

When I first heard of Kanto Freestyle Breakfast, the concept of a tapsihan that serves breakfast dishes that look like they belong at Pancake House or IHOP, it got me curious, so off I went with Jericho, getting lost in Mandaluyong in the process, looking for the place that served breakfast fare for less that P100.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Unboxed: Momax iPower Xtra

I have a love-hate relationship with my iPhone. I love how convenient it is to have everything at my fingertips, but I hate how an hour after unplugging it from its charger, I'm left with 20% battery life and scrambling for a socket for a re-charge. Sure, the iPhone's battery life isn't as long as the prehistoric Nokia 5110, but then the 5110 didn't have 3G, or people mooching off their personal hotspot (looking at you, Jericho!), or Facebook.

I had tried other USB charger brands, shelling out as much as P4,000 for one that I was pretty sure would do the trick of keeping my iPhone alive, awake, and enthusiastic for when I have to be mucking around all day, but to no avail - the cords were too flimsy or my USB port wouldn't detect the charger after a few month's use, or the big battery thing would start leaking a probably dangerous liquid from its butt.

Which is why I love the fun-looking Momax iPower Xtra (P2,450). Not only have I been getting jealous glances from friends and strangers, demanding I tell them where I bought this cute charger, this has actually lasted for quite a while in my care, and I gen get up to two full charges with one use.

Monday, January 6, 2014

The Domaine Opens Its Doors In Silang, Cavite

I just made one of the happiest discoveries this new year, in Silang, Cavite, no less! Jericho had been planning to head out there to visit this new restaurant in the middle of nowhere that his friend had recommended he try, and asked if I was up for braving the Friday traffic jam for a late lunch. With nothing better to do that day, I said why not. One of my best decisions this year!

This is a few minutes away from Tagaytay and Nuvali, but we took the Cavite route heading over there as it was closer to where we were at. After an hour of edging through Cavite traffic and another hour of driving through Silang, we passed by Gourmet Farms and made a left down a narrow road, diligently following the arrow signs that led us to The Domaine.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Welcoming 2014 + the Blog Resolutions

A late happy new year, everyone!

I've been on a blogging hiatus for the past month, as I've been quite busy taking care of myself and giving my full attention to the people and furbabies that matter. The last few weeks of my 2013 were spent in reflective meditation, staying indoors and just learning to appreciate living in the now and seeing all the little things that make up my day. I have so much to be thankful for, as I've been blessed with so much last year, I really have no complaints no matter how many challenges I was made to overcome. I recently realized that once you view challenges as a vehicle towards success instead of a roadblock to your goal, life - and the roadblock - becomes a lot more easier to get through.

I've had a rollercoaster 2013 and loved every minute of it that the months just whizzed by, and here I am now, starting the first month of the new year, giddy with excitement for the months to come, and looking forward to all the new experiences, people I'll be meeting, and places I'll be discovering this 2014.

As for Mucking Around Manila, I'm changing things up a bit and adding a few more topics that pique my interest. I hope you guys stick around to support it! Here's what I've got lined up: