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

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The Rib Shack – Pilar Village, Las Piñas

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 so from Quezon City (Miko) and Makati (me), we went to Las Piñas to dine at the shack. Good to know that instead of hanging 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 favorite among 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 Piñas
0917-8411356
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// listening to Jeff Buckley – Everybody Here Wants You

Little Quiapo – BF Homes, P’que and Diliman, QC

When we were still living in BF Homes Paranaque, we’d always have lunch at Little Quiapo after hearing mass in the Phase 1 church. Kapag rin may birthday or holiday, dito kami kakain. or sa Conti’s. :p So Little Quiapo became one of my fave restos not just because of their good food, but because of the many memories I owe to the place. :)

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Miko also has childhood memories of Little Quiapo’s Old fashioned Buttermilk Pancakes. Their old house was near the 1st Quezon City branch. We (with Donnie and Jan) visited the BF branch for some of LQ’s classics. Their best dish is the Pancit Palabok. The 93php-plate is super sulit with its flavorful sauce and generous toppings. Kita mo naman nagsu-swimming talaga ang noodles sa sauce. Ang sarap. Na-miss namin ito. :D

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Shempre kung may palabok, dapat may classic partner rin… halo-halo! Miko and I shared the Fiesta Halo-halo (140php). I actually am not a big fan of their halo-halo, I just wanted one that time because it was a hot summer night and it’s weird eating LQ’s palabok without a glass of halo-halo to go with it.

And, no, babe. That’s leche flan on top, not tokwa. Pero mukha talagang tokwa. :p

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Partners ba kamo? Hehehe. Sorry naman, akala naming Champola pa rin ‘yung tawag diyan sa wafer stick na ‘yan. Napapaghalata talaga ang edad namin!

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The non-classics that we ordered were Diced Chicken with Cashew Nuts (252php) that reminded us of a watery chicken pastel minus some ingredients. Parang ang panget ng description ko, but trust me, masarap ito!

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I liked that their Pork Sisig (188php) was very crunchy, but there’s nothing that special about its taste. kapampangan-style sisig pa rin!

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Anyway, I still appreciated the sisig-garlic rice combo. Tignan mo naman ang garlic rice nila. GARLIC rice talaga. Galit na galit lang sa bawang, just the way we like it. Tsaka parang may butter. :D

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Jan also had halo-halo, pero pa-star si Donnie so nag-Mais Con Hielo (107php) siya. Na-inggit tuloy ako sa kanya!

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The place still looks the same. I swear kahit pintura at chairs pareho pa rin! It’s nice to go back to somewhere familiar. Na-miss ko tuloy sila Mama and Daddy. Im happy I got to eat there again with the boyfie and my buddies though. :)

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After less than a month, I found myself back. Sa QC branch naman. Miko craved for palabok when we were at SCTEX only our way back to Manila from Bataan.

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Is it just me or the serving in the BF branch is larger? Oh well, same taste.

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Opted milkshakes (120php) over halo-halo that day. I had strawberry and Miko had mango. Cold, rich, creamy goodness!

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Also had some toast (20php) and Spanish Omelette (176php). I wondered where the olives were, but settled for the bacon. At ang daming bacon!

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As usual, busog na naman! And I cannot end this entry without saying that Little Quiapo is the only LQ that I like! Haha.

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Little Quiapo
42 Aguirre Avenue Corner Lirag Street,
BF Homes, Paranaque City
02 8075045, 02 8070220

90 Malakas Street,
Diliman, Quezon City
02 9214070

// listening to Marvel’s Daredevil – S01E02

Early Bird Breakfast Club – Century City Mall

“I toast to all things breakfasty, and especially I toast to toast. I would toast to love, but that’s not breakfasty enough for my appetite.” 
― Jarod Kintz, Love quotes for the ages. And the ageless sages

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I was ecstatic to eat some real food after being stuck with cookies and noodles in my several days on the night shift. I was ecstatic when Jan agreed to spend our catch-up date at Early Bird Breakfast Club in Century City Mall. Keber kung ang topics namin sa chikahan session eh love, loss, at mga babaero. Kalam ng tiyan > kirot sa puso (mwehehe)

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Early Bird Breakfast Club is a pretty and cozy. I also liked the look and feel of the place. Maraming spots na pwede mag-photo op! Hahaha! I also liked their newspaper-style menu. May games like word search and sudoku pa sa likod, but I was too hungry to play.

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Started off my meal with Butterbeer! It’a slightly fizzy, nicely sweet, creamy, and refreshing! I wonder if the ones in Hogwarts are as yum. Early Bird’s butterbeer (155php) is def better than the one from Starbucks! Yes, it’s on their “secret” menu! 😜

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The caramel thingie on top was delicious. It was not cloyingly sweet. I want some more. And yaaaay mini mallows! Jan had the Lemon and Mint Iced Tea (125php), which also looked great. But hey, Butterbeer!

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Jan had the Sunny Salpicao (325php). It’s one of their bestsellers and it’s not hard to believe why. It’s pefectly seasoned, and pampa-feeling healthy kasi it’s chicken. Sarap pa with egg. It’s so good that we wanna copy it!

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Then there’s the French Toast Fondue. Loved how they served it, with eggshells containing cinnamon sugar, maple syrup, and melted chocolate. Not bad for 210php. I wish there’s an option to choose the dips. I’d love some strawberry sauce or peanut butter with my french toast, too.

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Then there’s the Sausage Skillet. It’s 275php worth of spanish chorizo, English bangers, hashed potatoes, and caramelized onions. It was so-so but I liked the salpicao better. I took the leftover chorizo home and added it to some spaghettini, chili flakes, lots of garlic, and cheese the following day. Fabulous.

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Items that I’d like to try next time are their Yin & Yang Champorado (has dark Belgian choco and white Belgian choco… Kaya kaya itumba nito ang Chocnut Champorado with Tuyo Flakes ng Kanto Freestyle? 😁), Viva Longganisa (their heirloom recipe) and their Nutella Cheesecake.

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Not all bright reviews about this place thoigh. My friend who’s soooo choosy when it comes to food found their Eggs Ben and Katcino disappointing. The former daw eh nalunod sa PikNik-looking potatoes, and the latter just didn’t make the katsu-tocino hybrid work. Oh well. To each his own!

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Basta kami ni Jan, we had an enjoyable experience at Early Bird. Even my new stuffed toy from Sg– Brekky The Hungry Puppy (I named him after the place) found it lovely. :)

Early Bird Breakfast Club
GF Century City Mall,
Kalayaan Ave, Makati
02 4031897
Facebook and Instagram: earlybirdbreakfastclub

// listening to Maroon 5 – Secret

Shabu Yaki – BF Homes, Paranaque

Had a small get-together with some friends in celebration of Donnie, Colleen, and Dave Karen turning another year older.

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We had it in Shabu Yaki, a Korean shabu-shabu place along Aguirre Avenue in BF Homes, Paranaque.

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We had the seafood set with additional plates of beef for grilling. The set comes with assorted seafood, dim sum, sweet potato, corn, pechay, egg, miso soup, noodles, salad, and kimchi.

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Birthday boy Donnie had a fantastic time cooking all those for us. by cooking, I mean dumping all ingredients in the pot. :p

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Buti na lang the waitress can be relied on to cook the beef for us. Otherwise, matutusta sa grill. :p

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The finished product was surprisingly good. I honestly do not like Korean food so much, but what we had that night was pretty good.

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And of course, what Korean meal can be complete without soju? Cheers to you, my friends! I love you all! I will choose you over Korean food anytime, anywhere!

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And look, Jap wasn’t in Last Vegas that night. She was with us. Ayan o, nasa picture. May laro-laro pang yarn!

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Shabu Yaki
157 Aguirre Avenue, BF Homes, Paranaque City
02 5016485

// listening to Kamikazee – Doobidoo