Welcoming 2016

I spent the last night of 2015 with friends. Tumambay lang kami sa Café France in Pergola, BF Homes until around 9pm.

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This is where to talked about tentative travel plans. Hopefully we get to go to Vigan in the first half of the year, and to South Korea any time in the second half. This is also where I had my last meal of 2015– a spread of bacon, eggs, fruits, bread, juice and coffee. Masarap sana ‘yung bacon pero matigas. Nakikipaglaban!

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After Café France, we went to PCJ Church in Phase 3 for the NYE mass. Ang daming nagsimba kahit maulan! Ang haba ng presentation nung mga bata. Parang lahat ng popular ABS-CBN Christmas station id songs pinerform! :p

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After mass, we went to Lopez, in my BFF’s aunt’s place for the NYE party. It was a festive time full of good food colorful fireworks,

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fun games (Pinoy Henyo, pictionary, tweettweet and potpot hulaang kanta) and may prizes pa!!!

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And of course, I was surrounded by awesome people! Thanks to my bestie and his family sa pag-ampon sa akin uli this NYE!

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Hope the start of your 2016 was as wonderful as mine! May you have a bountiful year ahead! God bless!!!

// listening to Starbucks Cash & Carry playlist

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Birthday 2015

Come -ber months, I already stopped hoping that my birthday this year can beat, be the same, or even come close to last year’s. I just wanted to celebrate the most important day of the year for me. Your birthday may be just a regular day for you, but then again, to each his own.

December 19, I went to Trinoma to meet up with Miko. Then we went to the Church of The Holy Sacrifice in UP Diliman to hear mass. We arrived early, so Miko ate some red isaw, dynamite and hotdogs first at the stall near Mang Larry’s. I didn’t have any because I was still full from the Yellow Cab pepperoni pizza I got from Trinoma.

The simbang gabi was at 8pm and the gospel was about The Visitation. The homily said that we should focus on Jesus being the reason for the season and not material gifts or vacations or other worldly things we now associate with Christmas. I agree. Jesus should be the focus of Christmas. I should be the focus of my birthday. Haha.

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After mass, we went to Good Burger in Maginhawa for dinner. I still wasn’t hungry, so I only had some fries and chicken, while Miko had some healthy burger creation and milk tea from the store beside GB. We talked about work (mostly my career) while eating, so even if I learned lots from his insight, I kinda lost my appetite. Hehe.

We went to Taste of L.A. for my birthday salubong. This was where I also had my salubong last year. I love this old resto in Roces. It has candles and roses and paintings- three things that are on top of my list of favorite things. Instead of wine, I had some whisky. And instead of chocolate lava cake, we had frozen cheesecake. The cheesecake is much much much better than the chocolate cake. Guess what I wished for when it turned 12?

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Dec 20… we went to Galleria to watch Star Wars The Force Awakens. Before that, he hit the gym first and I had my me time at Café Pascucci. Then we went to Toys R Us to get some gifts for his inaanaks. I saw two Care Bears that look like us. Shempre ako si Funshine Bear.

It was my 2nd time to watch TFA and it was his 1st time to watch a Star Wars movie. His reaction after 2hours and 15minutes of watching?

“Ayoko. Walang Ewoks!!!” 😂

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It took us almost an hour to get to EDSA Shangri La. Terrible traffic! We were definitely hangry by the time we got to HEAT. In fact, I started eating while he was still parking. :P

I enjoyed the food better in HEAT than in Circles (Makati Shangri La), but I liked the ambience of the latter better. The dishes that I loved in HEAT were the maki with lots of bonito flakes, herb crusted cold cuts, meat loaf, crabs in lemon garlic sauce, roasted lamb chops, roasted angus belly, churros, and blueberry mousse. Miko loved all the meats except their sisig. He also liked the mango cheesecake.

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HEAT has an iced tea buffet, and you need to pay an extra 200php to avail. Also 200php for the unlisoda. And for unli wine, add 700php. I had the unli iced tea and my fave was cucumber lemonade.

The cost of Sunday dinner buffet is P2,200 I think. The original plan was to have my birthday/our anniversary dinner at Spiral in Sofitel, but it was okay that it didn’t push through because of the rain and traffic.

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I quickly fell asleep right after Miko brought me home. I woke up with a little sadness because my birthday was over. It was happy, but there was something else I wanted.

I went to MOA to meet up with my bestfriend Donnie and I already had a feeling that he tried to invite our other friends so celebrate my birthday. I also had a feeling that it was only Jan who could make it. And of course, tama ako.

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I was touched that Donnie and Jan took the extra mile to be with me and arrange a surprise to make me happy on my a day after my birthday. Sabi ko nga, kung kilala mo talaga ako nang mabuti, alam mo na gusto ko ng surprise. Hindi kailangang bongga, basta meron. At alam mo dapat na gusto ko ng cake na may masarap na frosting na may candle.

Nagpa-fireworks pa sila Jan at Donnie para sa akin. May live band pa sa tabi na tumugtog ng Achey Breakey Heart at Nanghihinayang. 😰

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Come December 22, I was already on leave. I went home here in Bataan and the first thing that greeted me in our humble farmhouse was that little brown furry cute puppy! It’s my parents’ birthday gift for me! A labrador mix that I named Toshi. It means alert, intelligent and bright in Japanese. Miko suggested that I name it Potpot. So I decided that should be the nickname. I think the puppy likes his nickname better because he wags his tail nonstop whenever he hears it. 😜

So that’s how I spent my birthday. It may not be as happy as the one in 2014, but it is still my second favorite birthday of all. Thank you to all those who remembered. To those who didn’t, HU U?

// listening to A Second Chance

Alchemy Bistro Bar – Poblacion, Makati

I’ve only had some drinks, barchow and dessert in the two times I’ve been in Alchemy.

The first time (when I was with my friend Shani of Aromateria), I had garlic sausages (250php), a couple of SMLs (around 70php a bottle), and this really powerful elixir (that’s what they call it) Ying-Yang. That’s the iced-tea looking thing beside the sausages. It has tequila, beer, elderflower, cranberry juice, and chili! Pretty good and really strong. I think it’s 280php/glass.

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Shani had the Grilled Salmon Skewers with Wasabi Aoli (245php) and

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the Chocolate Crepe (180php). It has Nutella and served with vanilla ice cream.

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I liked the optics and the sounds. I hope they can do something about the mosquitoes.

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There was a band playing 90’s OPM music downstairs and there’s an art event at the 2nd floor that time.

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My second time there was with my BFF Donnie. I had wine (200php/glass), he had Tequila Sunrise (I think almost the same price as the wine), and we shared the a crepe for dessert. (Galing kami sa Dong Won Garden sa kabilang street lang.)

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The Crepe Suzette was delicious! It has the perfect mix of caramel and orange butter sauce, made better with the vanilla ice cream.

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I’ll try their entrees next time. And maybe go there when there’s an interesting gig.

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Alchemy Bar and Bistro is located at Polaris corner Durban Street, Poblacion. The street right after has El Chupacabra and Tambai.

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Their contact number is 02 2469069 ext:937

// listening to Arrow – S04E01

Backyard Kitchen + Brew – UP Town Center

Belated happy birthday to my (self-proclaimed) foodie! We celebrated his 24th 34th with his closest boybuds in a place where butterbeer is served! But before I say something about the famed drink from the Harry Potter series, here are the dishes we ate at Backyard Kitchen + Brew—

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Kitayama Beef Cheek and Brisket Pares served with garlic rice, chili garlic, and toyomansi. Liked this, but my heart still belongs to the pares na nabibili sa may kanto. Ako na ang jologs! :P

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Uni Carbonara. The sauce is made of uni, leek, and cream. It’s topped with fish cheese flakes and tobiko or fish roe. The uni taste was too subtle for my liking. Superb creaminess of the sauce though.

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Roasted Beef Salpicao. It’s roasted beef belly chunks with lots of garlic. Not so sure what spices they used, but the boys did not call it Salpicao Arabo for nothing! :D They seemed to enjoy this with Sriracha.

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We had theee kinds of pizzas (Garlic Flat Breads on their menu)–

Four Cheese and Truffle (mozzarella, cheddar, ricotta and bleu with truffle oil),

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Longganisa and Peppers, also with mozzarella and ricotta,

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and Duck Flakes with Sriracha, has hoisin sauce and ricotta. Among the three, our favorite was the one with longganisa and peppers. We liked it so much that we had one more!

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And of course, the highlight of our night– THE BUTTERBEER! It’s the bestseller among their flavored beers. Other flavors are salted caramel, macadamia, passion fruit, and strawberry. The Butterbeer tasted like cream soda with a kick- sweet, bubbly, refreshing, and intoxicating (after 3 mugs, maybe)! A really nice tasty cold treat on a warm night. Sabi nga ng boys, first time lang daw sila nag-enjoy sa bula ng beer. Nyahaha!

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We also tried one of their One Drinks- The Backyard Margarita Fishbowl.

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Drink it if you want this kind of bonding with your friends. Hihihi :p

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They sent the birthday boy a sweet (and yummy!) surprise treat– Kitkat Brownie with Mantecado Ice Cream. Thanks to Backyard Manila for making Miko’s 24th 34th extra fun!

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Backyard Kitchen + Brew has a different kind of entertainment for their customers every night. The Saturday that we went, there was a DJ that played songs from the 90’s and 2000’s. Na-emphasize lang ang generation ng buong table namin! :) They also have comedy nights and acoustic nights. Check out their Facebook page for more info.

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Backyard Kitchen + Brew
Second Floor, UP Town Center,
Katipunan Avenue, Diliman, Quezon City
0927 7261210
Open 11:00 AM – 1:00 AM

// listening to Get Far – Shining Star

Tiny Duchess and Green Cheese – Hole in the Wall, Century City Mall

Had dessert with Tine to celebrate her return from her “wedding leave”. Nice to have my partner back and even nicer when there are sweets involved! :p

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We tried the eclairs from Tiny Duchess– Double Chocolate and Strawberry Lovela (140php each), the Original Japanese Cheesecake and Green Tea Latte P140 for the combo)from Green Cheese. Everything was yum-oh, but the best was the chocolate éclair.

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Tiny Duchess sells sweet and savory eclairs. Other flavors are Chocolate, Chocolate and Green Tea, Blueberry Cheesecake, Caramel Popcorn, Green Apple, French Vanilla Crème Brûlée, and Lemon Meringue for the sweet. Fushion of Four Cheese, Goat Cheese with Caramelized Onions, Fresh and Smoked Salmon with Wasabi and Croque Monsieur for the savory.

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Green Cheese sells cheesecakes (original, chocolate, and matcha), smoothies, tea, and coffee.

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Not really sure why there’s no smiley on top of their cheesecake, when I thought that’s their trademark and so they claim to be the “Happiest cheesecake in the world”. :p

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And with this, the only dessert place I’m left to try in Hole in the Wall is Scout’s Honor. Mmmmm…cookies!!!

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Tiny Duchess
Green Cheese
Hole in the Wall,
Fourth Floor, Century City Mall,
Kalayaan Avenue, Poblacion, Makati City

// listening to Teriyaki Boyz – Tokyo Drift