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 CafĆ© 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!!!” šŸ˜‚

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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-fireworksĀ pa sila Jan at Donnie para sa akin. May live band pa sa tabi na tumugtog ng Achey Breakey Heart at Nanghihinayang. šŸ˜°

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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. šŸ˜œ

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

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The Rib Shack – Pilar Village, Las PiƱas

Southside people, rejoice! There’s finally a go-to place for ribs in your area, apart from the usual Racks and Tony Roma’s. (Well, at least that’s where I used to eat when I was still living in BF Paranaque, saan pa ba meron?)

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The Rib Shack opened its doors mid-July. It’s located at the PDC Compound in Pilar Village, just a few meters away from the Pilar Road guardhouse.

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Didn’t expect lots of people to be there last Saturday because it was raining hard. Oh well. Walang ulan na makapipigil sa taong gutom na may pakay! :p

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And soĀ from Quezon City (Miko) and Makati (me), we went toĀ Las PiƱasĀ to dine at the shack.Ā Good to know thatĀ instead of hangingĀ out in Town, Westgate or BF, we can go to Pilar. (Too much routine is boring!!!)

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You can enjoy your meal inside or at the al fresco area. Our friend Dave wanted to spare the other customers from my ingay (pffftttt. me? noisy?) so he chose the (kinda far away) gazebo area.

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We got the following for dinner and drinks!

Beer, mojito, and margarita. Drinks agad? Alcoholic kasi ‘yung nasa background. Hihihi!

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Citrus Mixed Salad. Loved the citrus dressing… gusto kong kopyahin sa bahay!

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Flavorful and fall-off-the-bone RIBS with garlic potato balls, buttered vegetables, and grilled corn as sides. For a SINGLE order, you get 1 side. For an IN A RELATIONSHIP ORDER, you get 2 sides. For an IT’S COMPLICATED order, you get 3. :p

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Four Cheese Pizza. My favoriteĀ amongĀ all the dishes because I’m a cheese monster. Good cheeses used and crisp thin crust.

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Buffalo Wings. Very saucy and moderately spicy. We’ll try the Big Bad Breast next time. (For our macros, haha!)

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Fish and Chips. Flaky and tender fish in light (grease-free?) batter, yummy tartare sauce, so-so chunky chips.

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Cheesecake. One of the best cheesecakes I’ve ever had. Sobrang panalo, naka-dalawang order! :p I’d buy a whole cake if it’s possible. (Paging the owner of The Rib Shack, pwede pong bumili ng isang buo?) See that brown thing on top? That’s dulce de leche.

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Brownie A La Mode. Super fudgy brownie. Miko-approved. :p

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Tequila Sunrise and more Mojito and more beer. Just because.

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Loved our experience at The Shack. Great food, steady ambience, fast and friendly service. This place is worth going back to. (Bedan friends, let’s go? Reunion na dito? Hehe!)

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Here’s their menu. Hope to see more kinds of rib dishes soon!

the rib shack lp menu

The Rib Shack
PDC Compound, Pilar Village, Las PiƱas
0917-8411356
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// listening to Jeff Buckley – Everybody Here Wants You

Via Antonella – Maginhawa St.

Ang aga aga pala magsarado ng mga stores sa Maginhawa. Booooo! We wanted to eat at Empire Steak (ayos sa pangalan noh) but they’re already closed at 9:30pm.

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Among the still open restos we saw, Via Antonella seemed to be the one with potential, so we had our late dinner there. The place is pretty and nicely-lit. There are a couple of tables outside if you want to smoke.

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I didn’t like the service at first because each time I asked for a dish I wanted, the waitress said, “Hindi po available ‘yan.” Sana kasi attentive at proactive, ‘di ba? Kapag nakita na nasa page ako, sabihin na agad ano ang hindi available para hindi na ako umasa. Huhuhu!

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I wanted the Shitaake Mushroom and LeeksĀ Soup, but it wasn’t available so I just had a couple spoonfuls of Miko’s Chicken and Cauliflower Sopas (105php). This was good. Something that will make you remember home. :)

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I had the Lamb Kaldereta (195php) which was nicely braised and delicious, except it tasted more like afritada than caldereta. It didn’t have the spiciness I expected. It fact, it wasn’t spicy at all.

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Miko wanted the Hanger Steak, but it wasn’t available as well. He settled for Beef Salpicao (395php) that disappointed both of us because of the spices used. Ang weird ng salpicao na may lasang Indian spices. Ang asim-asim pa.

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Anyhoodles, good that the side of the salpicao was mushrooms. Dahil naawa sa akin si Miko because I didn’t get to have mushroom soup, nilagay na lang niya sa soup niya. Oiiiiiyyyy. Sweet. BWAHAHAHA!

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Ended the so-so meal with something I liked- the Mango Cheesecake (125php). I wanted the Panna Cotta at first, but it wasn’t available rin. Hehe. The cheesecake was a nice balance of sweet and sour. It was creamy and light.

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Not likely to go back to Via Antonella, but if I must, I will just probably get wine or a cocktail.

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Via Antonella
Ground Floor, Maginhawa Building,
189 Maginhawa Corner Makadios Street,
Sikatuna Village, Quezon City
02 4348535
02 3760356

// listening to Madonna – Beautiful Stranger

Toby’s Estate – Salcedo Village, Makati

There’s a Toby’s Estate in Century City Mall, but I prefer the one in Salcedo. It’s more spacious and lovelier. Warm and chic.

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This Australian specialty coffee house struck me as a good place for brunch with family, to catch up with a friend, or to lounge alone while trying to come up with answers to world problems. :p

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Shani and I went there our Charaptor lunch for dessert and coffee.

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I really, really like that they have pots of cacti all over the place.

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What I didn’t like was that they ran out of calamansi pie. :( Sayang, ‘yun pa naman narinig ko na maraming good reviews.

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Another bestseller is their Bucky’s a la Mode (150php). Take note, it’s NOT brownies. It’s Bucky’s. The difference? Salt, I guess.

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Had their Pistachio Cheese Cake (250php) and I loved it. One of the best cheesecakes I’ve had. Yum-oh! Sana lang mas makapal ang crust!

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Shani had the Iced Chai Latte (150php) and I had a Flat White Latte. I wanted something else sana, but chose the one with latte art. Not impressed with the design though.Ā Hehe. :p

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Their menu seems to be promising, but it would be tough to choose between eating here or at the newly opened Wild Flour beside it. Well, I do have the calamansi pie to still try! :D

Toby’s Estate
V Corporate Center, LP Leviste St.,
Salcedo Village, Makati City
Website: http://www.tobysestate.com.au/
Instagram: @tobyestatePH

// listening to The Bird and The Bee – Undone

Don Limone – BF Homes, Paranaque

I love cheesecake. And my friends from the south who know I do all told me to eat at Don Limone.

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Don Limone is along Aguirre Ave in BF Homes, ParaƱaque. It’s right beside Tavern Asia and near Larcy’s Cupcakery.

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I went there with Cindy one lazy Saturday afternoon and we were pleasantly surprised with the interiors of the resto. Pretty!!!

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It’s cozy and beautifully lit. I’m glad we went there early and had time to check all corners of the place first. Date place! Teka, bakit si Cindy kasama ko? :p

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Be still my heart! There are around a dozen cheesecakes to choose from. The menu also has plenty of interesting items.

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We were served slices of house bread with balsamic and olive oil. Loved the bread. Crusty and chewy.

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Our Limoncello Fegatini (245php) was fantastic. It’s limoncello and cognac braised chicken liver patĆ©. Creamy, light. Sarap with the olives but went better with the free bread with balsamic. :)

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The Limone Arrosto pizza (495php) has roasted garlic-lemon sauce, chicken, roasted vegetables and mozzarrela. It’s such a large pizza. We had a hard time finishing it, but we still attempted to because it’s so yum!

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And of course, the reason for our visit. The cheesecakes. We had Saffron & Dates and the bestseller Limoncello Cheesecake.

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Heavenly! Thanks to all my friends who recommended this charming place to me. This is now my fave place for cheesecakes! A bit on the pricey side (245php per slice) but absolutely worth it.

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Will absolutely go back to try all the other cheesecakes! Sama ka? :)

// listening to the 2nd Pacquiao-Bradley fight