Sunday, August 12, 2012

My singlehood

Has ended today.


The 3-year wait is finally over.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

This Valentines: note to self

Couple bracelets (center, gold with turquoise) from Alati by Gabriela Tatad 

This is to remind me that I am fulfilled, sane, thriving, focused, creative, beautiful, intelligent and happy even without a partner. 

That I can face anything by myself and that I should love myself first before giving love to someone else. 

That I am my own person, and I am very much COMPLETE and replete with love and support from family, friends and colleagues.

That I do not subscribe to the belief of having "another half that makes a person whole". I can give a part of me to another person--to share myself so that I can enrich that person's life--but I will never fully lose my being. I am independent, and will continue to be, even if I am in a romantic relationship.

So, these bracelets that I got--I'll wear them everyday until I've found a person who's worthy of having a piece of my being.

And whoever he is, he must surely be as fulfilled, happy and independent. He will not "give meaning" to my life-- I already know what I'm meant for-- but will complement my qualities and support me in every way.

Happiness is not having someone to anchor on my identity. Happiness is being strong. Happiness is me.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Ikaw, anong pangarap mo?

Kelan at saan nagsisimula ang mga pangarap?

Iyakin ako.

Ako na daw ang pinaka-ngal-ngaling bata sa buong Pilipinas, sabi ng nanay ko. Walang patawad  na iyakan daw ang hobby ko nung araw. Maiwan lang saglit, iyak na. Mawala lang sindali sa paningin ang mga bantay, iyak na. Mamatay lang ang TV, iyak na. Mawala lang sa pang-amoy ang bote ng gatas, iyak na. Malaglag lang ang laruan, iyak na. Ewan, pero lubos na lubos ang alaga sa'kin. May tatlo akong yaya, dalawang lola, parehas na nanay at tatay at isang kawang tiyahin na nag-alaga sakin, pero ganyan pa rin daw ako nung bata ako. Ika nga ng mga kapatid kong lalaking mas matanda, spoiled ako--ang nagiisang kulasita, prinsesita, unica-hija ng pamilya.

Kala  ng mga teacher ko nung Kinder, mahiyain ako. Palibhasang di kasi ako umiimik sa klase at ang alam ko lang gawin ay tumili  ng "MOMMEEEEE!!!" o  kaya "ATE __(insert name of yaya here)_!!!!" 

Di lang nila alam, pinanganak na BIBO ako. Onaman, sumasayaw ako sa tuktok ng mga lamesa sa bahay, gumawa ng sarili kong cooking show at talk show, gumagaya ako ng mga commercial. Ako, MAHIYAIN??! Nakakahiya na nga ako eh! Pero hindi ako mahiyain. Hinding-hindi, ever.

Ang istorya, isinali ako sa Speech and Drama class nung Kinder. Akalain nyong walang  kaabog-abog, ako na ang nag-dedeclaim sa harap ng mga kaklase ko. Palibhasa, wala akong alam sa academics, kaya perform na lang ako. Una kong nameet si Tita Bong, ang pinaka-una kong Acting Coach. Matapos manalo sa mga inter-school contest at sa Little Miss School-whatever contest, na-excite ang mga magulang ko at ipinasok ako sa isang theatre company. NANG HINDI MARUNONG MAG-BASA. Tapos isinali na naman ako ng mga magulang ko sa isang Little Miss Noontime-show contest at nanalo ng Grand Prize.

Ako na ang nakarating sa tugatog ng tagumpay sa edad na sais (6).

Bakit ko ba ginawa ang mga bagay na yon sa edad na sais (6)? Ginusto ko ba? Ang depensa ng nanay at tatay ko:
1. Mahiyain at ngalngalin daw ako kaya kailangan ko magamit ang talent na yan para  mag-artista. 
2. Ginusto ko daw bilang mahilig naman ako sumayaw sa taas ng mga mesa at mag-pa-bibo sa mga bisita
3. Pangarap ng nanay ko na maging singer at dancer (bukod sa mag-suot ng puting uniform ng nurse), at dahil di nya natupad mag-Eat Bulaga eh ako na lang daw.
4. Eto lang daw ang alam kong gawin mula pag-silang. (PAGSILANG talaga)
5. Pangarap ko daw ito.

Pangarap ko daw ito. Sabi ng nanay ko, idol ko daw kasi dati si Lea Salonga at lahat ng paraan ay ginawa ko para gayahin sya. Di lang yon, ang higitan pa sya (taas ng peg). Andyan ang pag-aralin ako  mag-piano sa edad na 3, kumanta sa choir at ienroll sa 6 na voice coach, mag-sayaw kasama ang mga private dance choreographer, at mag-aral na UMIYAK ng maayos. 

Hindi ko natatandaan na pangarap kong mag-artista.

Ang alam ko, gusto kong maging titser. Tsaka bumbero. Minsan cashier. Pero teacher talaga, yun na yon. Nasa Kinder yearbook ko pa nga eh.

Kaya nagugulat ako sa  mga panahon na naging parte ako ng isang educational show. Di ko alam kung bakit ko ginagawa yon, pero ang alam ko simula't simula ng ginawa ko ang mga pinagagawa sakin, isa lang ang goal, ang maging magaling. Ang maging PINAKA-magaling sa lahat. Sa kung ano man ang ginagawa ko. Yan ang marching orders ng tatay ko eh, dapat PERFECT lahat. Perfect grades, perfect pitch, perfect emotion, perfect grooming, perfect lahat.

Hindi ko natatandaan na pangarap kong maging pinaka-magaling.

Ngayon parte na ng buhay ko lahat ng ginawa ko nung bata ako. At di ko maalis ang mga panahon na yon, at markado ako sa  mga ginawa ko dati. Eh ano ba naman ang YouTube, tinalo pa ang CD at Betamax at VCR sa paghalungkat ng mga kakatwang ginawa ko nung araw diba?! Alam na tuloy ng lahat.

Nagtatanong ang marami bakit hindi ko inaamin na ako yung..... lagi nilang nakikila bilang ako. Laging tanong, "Bakit hindi ka proud?" 

Sagot ko, "Hindi ko pinag-hirapan."

At hindi ko kasi ginusto.

Pangarap yon ng nanay at tatay ko.

Ang tanong ko, paano kung simula pagkabata, isang bagay lang ang alam mong gawin? Pero pano mo malalaman kung ang pangarap mo ay pangarap mo talaga at hindi pangarap para sayo ng iba?

Ang ibig sabihin ba, "disposable" ang mga pangarap? At nagbabago? Papaano kung hirap  na hirap kang abutin, at naabot mo na, pero sa huli, di ka pala masaya? Nasayang lang ba ang lahat ng ginawa mo?

Kailan nagsisimula ang mga pangarap? Paano sila natutupad? Ang katuparan ba ng pangarap ay ang tanging paraan para maging masaya?

Ikaw, ano ang pangarap mo?

Ako, hindi ko sigurado. At kung ang pangarap pala ng nanay ko ang inakala kong pangarap ko, ang lungkot lang non, 'di ba. Di ko alam kung saan ako lulugar.

Ang ibang tao siguro, guho na ang mundo at laslasan portion na dahil hindi nila alam kung ano sila, di nila alam kung saan sila pupunta, at di nila alam ang pangarap nila.

Para sakin, ito ang pinakamasayang panahon ng buhay ko. May pagkakataon akong mag-plano, gumawa ng mga bagay na di ko pa nagagawa, mag-kamali, mag-paka-ayos. 

Mangarap.


Yung totong akin.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Marion.


AE extraordinaire, charm-school professor, part-time patron saint of weekday party-goers, week-end stay-in addict, little miss sunshine 2011, epitome of easy-breezy beauty, the embodiment of class, now professional jet-setter.

Oh, it will take at least a whole day to recount the wonderment that is Marion Manalo.

If you know this person well, you'd understand that he only aims for the best. He has a clear set of choices and he knows how to achieve them. He doesn't take it well if you waste his time; if he spends time and effort to attend to your needs, oh hey, you must be damn special. 

I don't know how people would react to this, but I feel a sense of entitlement because I spent my whole 2010 with Marion.


Allow me to indulge the reasons why my 2010 is the year of Marion in my life-book:
1. Marion was my charm-school professor. He dusted me off from the sidewalk of shame and heartache and transformed me into...what I am today. You should have seen me circa 2009, I was worse than Betty LaFea.
2. Marion was my nightfall. Oh, the adventures we had. Every night, after gym and work, I go to his condo and cry my heart out until he falls asleep and shoos me home. Or, sometimes, we hit spots around Makati and party till dawn. Marion was one of the reasons why I got over every effing break-up and rejection I had on 2010.
3. Marion meant Sundays.
4. Marion is comfort, in every sense.
5. Marion was Summer.
6. Marion encouraged me to always look for the better option, never settle for less, always aim high, always strive to be the best.
7. Marion is strength. Marion is grace under pressure.
8. Marion taught me the meaning of KEBS.
9. Marion is happiness in little things.
10. Marion taught me that it is indeed possible to fall in love with a city. (Makati. Or Hong Kong).
11. Marion is laughter.

For my last lesson, Marion made me understand what courage, risk, sacrifice and dreams really mean.

I learnt all these from him in a year. I carry a lot of him in me everyday, and this is precisely why I'd feel that he's just around even though he's gonna be in Hong Kong.

Ah, well, much better that he'll be in HK. What a fabulous class room it will be for me and my jiao shou (professor). Can't wait for the new things that he'll share with me. :)

But I sure think that he deems me a very good charm-school student, it's because I take after him in so many ways.

I pretty well feel damn special, in deed.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Sabado


video
The strands in your eyes that color them wonderful
Stop me and steal my breath.
And emeralds from mountains thrust toward the sky
Never revealing their depth.


Noong huling Sabado mo ito, Johnie. Ito ang huling sabado na nagkita tayo. Pinakanta ko sa'yo yan. Ikaw lang ang nag-iisang taong maaalala ko kapag narinig ko yan. Saktong-sakto sa boses mo, parang mas magaling ka pa kay Edwin Mccain.


Tell me that we belong together,
Dress it up with the trappings of love.
I'll be captivated,
I'll hang from your lips,
Instead of the gallows of heartache that hang from above.


Sabi mo, sabay-sabay tayong aalis. Sabi  mo, magiging magkapitbahay lang tayong lahat. Napag-usapan natin na masarap siguro kung sa isang lugar lang tayo nakatira, at mas masaya kung kapag Sabado, makakagimik tayo. Sabi natin noon, kapag marami na tayong pera, magto-tour tayo madalas.

Pero syempre, may mga nauna na. Ikaw naman ngayon.


I'll be your crying shoulder,
I'll be love's suicide
I'll be better when I'm older,
I'll be the greatest fan of your life.


Mami-miss kitang awayin. :) Mamimiss kong magtampo sayo tungkol sa hindi mo madalas pag-kita sa akin. Mamimiss kong maasar dahil parang nalilimutan mo na ko. Mamimiss ko na nagagalit ako na hindi tayo makapag-set ng maayos na dalaw kay Sheila.


And rain falls angry on the tin roof
As we lie awake in my bed.
You're my survival, you're my living proof.
My love is alive -- not dead.


Mamimiss ko yung mga kwento ng mga kalokohan mo. Mamimiss kitang dramahan. Mamimiss kitang deadmahin kapag nagkukwento ka ng latest conquests mo, at mamimiss kong ma-high-blood kapag may napasukan ka na namang kaguluhan (haha). Mamimiss ko yung madalas na sinusubukan natin gumimik pero madalas hindi tayo napapapasok (Embassy at Cream).


Tell me that we belong together.
Dress it up with the trappings of love.
I'll be captivated,
I'll hang from your lips,
Instead of the gallows of heartache that hang from above


Grabe, Johnie. Dami nating napag-daanan. Naiisip ko lahat mula 1st year college hanggang ngayon. Naabutan mo mula nang magka-ligawan kami ng first boyfriend ko hanggang madiskubre ko ang mga nangyari sa last boyfriend ko. Nakita mo lahat ng panahon na nadurog ang puso ko, nagloko at nagpaka-basag, nag-getover at nag-pakatino. Kilalang-kilala mo na ako, siguro. Nakita mo ko mula nang kolehiyala, over-all palengkera, bum, Asian tele nurse, PR person, pakawala, tapos media. Nakita ko rin lahat ng pagbabagong sinuong mo. Nakita kita kung paano kang magmahal, manghina ang loob, masaktan, magpaka-bano, mag-paka-ayos.


And I've dropped out, I've burned up, I've fought my way back from the dead.
I've tuned in, turned on, remembered the things that you said


Mas mahirap na para sakin ngayon tuwing Sabado, Johnie. Malalim ang ibig-sabihin ng bawat Sabado sakin. Alam mong espesyal sa akin ang weekends. Madalas, kapag Sabado, tatlong lang ang naiisip kong gusto kong kasama, idag-dag mo pa si Jan. Ano pa't naging Saturday Club tayo kung wala ang club members ko, diba? Mayroong 53 Saturdays sa isang taon, bale 106 pang Sabado ang di kita makikita kasi dalawang taon ka dyan. Ang hirap non, Johnie.


I'll be your crying shoulder,
I'll be love's suicide
I'll be better when I'm older,
I'll be the greatest fan of your life

Di ko na mahintay na mag-two years na. Sana, makapag-Vigan tayo ulit. Or maka-gimik ng Sabado. Or maka-pag-Wensha ng Linggo. Sana, andito ka sa susunod na madurog ulit ang puso ko dahil sa isang guy. Sana, madali kitang matakbuhan ulit kapag pagod na pagod na ko sa trabaho. Sana kasing lapit lang ng Paranaque ang Canada, at sana kasing dali lang bumisita na tulad ng pagkikita natin sa Robisons Midtown or sa Greenbelt.


I'll be your crying shoulder,
I'll be love's suicide
I'll be better when I'm older,
I'll be the greatest fan of your life.



Dibale, Johnie. Magkikita tayo ulit. 24 pa lang tayo, at alam kong maraming paraan para magkasama tayo ulit, napakabata pa natin at marami pang taon na darating. At para sa akin, may 106 weeks ako para mag-ipon ng pamasahe papunta dyan, or ipag-buti ang sarili ko para makapagtrabaho ng mas malapit sa inyo ni Hanna. May 106 ka rin para mag-ipon ng sobrang daming pasalubong samin ni Jan at ni Sheila, or para mag-ipon ng pang-host sa akin pag dumalaw ako sayo.

Eto ang unang Sabado na wala ka sa Pilipinas, Johnie. Ah, bale 105 Saturdays na lang pala ang hihintayin ko.

Bibilang ako, hanggang pagbalik mo. Mahal kita.

I'll be the greatest fan of your life.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Chronicles of a House-crasher: Simple Joys

ShSh's Donatan owners Sheila Collado and Sheena Ramos flank their baking mentor, Chef Mitchie Sison (hehe)


It has indeed been a very, very long time since we had a cook-out. Everyone in the group has been incredibly busy that we never have any time to gather; well, we do, but in pockets--low-key meetings with one or two members, a quick dinner in the middle of the work-week (Marion, Mitchie sometimes), hi-hellos when we bump into each other, or while aloft in the office elevator (Jaja), week ends of stolen periods after mall tours (Ivan, Nikos, Kara). True that some of us went together on an overseas trip (oh, but I forgot to write about it here!), but after that, it was hard to get together again.



So tonight was a pleasant occasion: well, there wasn't anything to celebrate really, but Shey and I crashed Chef Mitchie's house on the premise that we really had to take a mini-break from the all mundaness/over-excitement/increasing stress gradients.

In true Mitchie fashion, (and she always seems to know what we really need at every specific moment) we were fed of the simplest yet the most satisfying comfort food: pasta, soup, donuts.

Menu was Aglio Olio, Roasted Pumpkin soup, and Faux-nuts in fancy flavors (green tea, original lemon glaze, caramel and chocolate).

Simple, elegant, yet comforting: Mitchie's Aglio Olio

I was told that in making the Aglio Olio, Mitchie had to roast halved garlic bulbs in an oven, of which cloves were doused generously with good quality extra virgin olive oil along with lemon zest and juice. Pasta was stirred in, with fresh parsley and basil, too. This was served piping hot with chunks of Feta cheese.

It was an elegant dish. If I had to describe Mitchie's Aglio Olio as if it were a woman, I'd say that she's simple and perfect on her own, but with all substance and class. As you get to know her, you'd find that she's got these layers and you'd be surprised that you've been beguiled by her charms-- you're healed of your afflictions. She's your comfort.

This Aglio Olio's tartness, combined with the silky Feta curds and that particular taste that basil has, are what gives it body. An odd occurrence, considering that Aglio Olio is specifically what it's name implies: oil-based and therefore, thin in texture.

A hug in a bowl: Roasted Butternut Squash with Bacon and Sage

Oh, and the Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Bacon and Sage. I was too focused in gulping my serving, so the only things I heard about the process in making the soup were that Mitchie seasoned the pumpkins before roasting them in an oven.

It was beautiful. Rustic, even. It felt like a hug in a bowl. I liked that you can feel a hint of grit and it wasn't too smooth, that it had the shock of sage's slight bitterness, that it had almond slivers, and that it had bacon. It was wonderfully thick, and  lent balance to the Aglio Olio.

We wanted to earn our keep (haha!) and to keep up, of course. Shey and I were Mitchie's assistants (albeit NOISY, LAST-DAY-NG-COMMENT KUNG KUMOMMENT assistants) and Mitchie taught us cooking methods. :)


We met new friends, Yeast. Here's the mixture with Yeast.


She taught us making dough from scratch: mixing oil with milk and eggs. Oh, and we met new friends: YEAST! We made these tiny babies very happy by mixing them into water and putting them into the mixture and feeding them sugar. Shey and I took turns in mixing.


Tada! Shey and I were fascinated!



Taking turns in kneading the dough



We shaped them into flattened balls and removed the centers. Centers were "munchkins". 

There they are! Doughnuts! 



We prepared glaze while waiting for the dough to rise.
Matcha powder. This is what's used for those green tea cakes and cookies. 

So many glaze options!

Shey and I came up with a silly name for an imaginary donut business: "ShSh's Donatan". It was even "ShSh Faux-nut Donat" and had another monicker before that.

Wonderful discovery: those green-tea flavored cakes and frappes use these pre-packaged green tea powder, which is AWESOME.

cinnamon + sugar

salted caramel + bacon

lemon glaze + almon slivers

lemon glaze + salted caramel

spiced choco + chocnuts

salted caramel + spiced choco glaze

green tea + almonds

choco sprinkles

green tea + pistachio 

I loved the caramel-bacon, salted caramel, and green tea ShSh Donats.

I've told my friends that I'm the type who REALLY, REALLY HAS TO SPEND AND DO SOMETHING NEW whenever I'm stressed. But this night with good food and very good friends gave me a high that a shopping spree can't beat--and I can't wait to do this again.


tea and donuts after a good meal with some of my most favorite people: best anti-stress

*edit: photos are care of Chef Mitchie 

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Chicken Wings and Pita

Our delayed Father's Day celebration was postponed since Dad is still not feeling well. My twinnie Ivan was gracious enough to lend his time and resources and took me out today and helped me pick out gifts for Dad. :)

All of you must know that day-outs with Twin will never be complete without foodtrip. A while ago, instead of our usual North hangouts, we opted for Makati since we'll be waiting for Nikos, who had to attend to a photoshoot in at Chino Roces. Today marks the first time in months that Ivan trod down to Makati to hang-out.

Last time he was in Makati, Bon Chon hasn't been launched yet. So we had:

The original double-fried chicken from Korea: Bon Chon. We ordered 6 pcs of  Soy Garlic Chicken Wings (P185). True to food reviews, the coating was crisp and sweet, like really thin, salty candy. Had just the right spice. Did not taste "soy" nor "garlic", though. The meat was a bit dry, though. Less oily than its "local" counterparts. Rating: 3/5. 
Bulgogi Wrap. (P125) Ay, I really liked this one. The beef was tender and nicely marinated and had this sauce that beautifully bound the veggies and meat. Compared to shawarma, the beef was soft and juicy, a far cry from the Persian way of shearing/roasting meat. It had hints of soy and chili. Serves one, but its a meal in itself. Rating: 4/5. (picture by spot.ph; I accidentally deleted the photo I took!)  

Chicken sandwich meal with fries and soda. (P145) This was Bon Chon double fried-chicken fillet in a bun. Really crispy coating, very tender meat. It had the same taste as the Bon Chon wings, but since the meat is bigger, it felt that we got a better deal by ordering this. Went well with the spicy mayo. This one reminded us of KFC's Zinger, but less oily and had more layer of flavors. Rating: 4/5.
 After shopping for Dad's gift, we got the chance to visit a friend whom we haven't seen for the longest time. Catching up made us hungry, so after this surprise encounter we wanted to have dinner somewhere near Chino Roces. That way, it's easier to fetch Nikos from work. We then had:

Wingman's Honey Mustard Buffalo Wings (P180 half dozen). This is the sweet sister of my favorite Classic Buffalo, and I must say I'd pick the Wingman Honey Mustard wings over Bon Chon's Soy Garlic. Wingman serves bigger pieces. Truthfully, I'm used to eating wings with ranch dressing: the tangy ranch balances the sweetness of the Honey Mustard. Meat was tender and more juicy than Bon Chon's. Rating: 4/5. 
Wingman Cheese Quesadilla (P200). Yep its a bit costly, but for me, it is worth its price. The menu says it has "three imported cheeses"; I don't know if what they used were really imported cheese, but the quesadilla did not disappoint. Serving was big; it was plump, filled with cheese and you can feel the coarseness/silkyness of whatevercheeses they used and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It had a glaze of tangy cream cheese and chives on top and the pita they used was soft and chewy. The fire roasted salsa provided just the right amount of kick. Rating: 5/5.

Nikos still wasn't ready and so we wanted to be a bit closer to where his team was having dinner. We trooped to the first-ever branch of Amici at Don Bosco and had Caramia. 

Ivan's order: SansRival. Yep, kinda like the real thing. Tasted the butter and the cookie crumbs and it was pleasant in the mouth: the contrasting textures of the crumbs and the soft ice cream made me remember bakeshop Sans Rival. Pricey, though. It used to be P45 per scoop. Now, its P75! Tama ba, Ivan? Mahal! Rating: 3/5.


Will have this next time!

I wanted to try their Gelato cakes and asked for their best sellers. I was told that the mixed berry cake was the best, but I felt like trying Banana Blast. It had big frozen strawberry slices that topped banana-chocolate and strawberry gelato scoops. Too sweet for my taste, its as if having two servings of banana split. Yup, it tasted like banana split sans the real banana, but it had a cookie crust. Crust tasted like crushed Oreo shells. Also pricey. Rating: 2/5.
Nikos came and had his meal while telling us how his day went (which was superb, btw. So proud of him!). We decided to have coffee in Starbucks Corinthians before house-crashing in Mandaluyong. So we had:
Tiramisu Cheesecake. Forgot to ask how much this is. It had a thick layer of coffee-cheesecake which was kind of tough to slice and was too sweet for my taste; it also had a topping of chocolate fudge (equally tough and equally sweet). Redeeming quality: it was true to its premise, it reeked and tasted of coffee. Rating: 2/5.
We decided to go home after Ivan experienced the onset of a massive headache, which was probably caused by too much food (or too much outfit planning for me haha). 

Promise to go out with these two again next week, after my Cebu trip. :) 

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Eastwood Food Junction

...sits atop Blue Onion, across Yummy Roast. Ivan, Nikos and I vacillated on choosing Super8, Green Lantern and Forever and a Day  and ended up food-tripping in Eastwood.

The night started at Pancake House. Ivan was craving for mami from Pho Hoa (mami also known as "pho") but he had an aha-moment: he wanted pancakes. We had Banana Pancakes, Mediterranean Pasta Salad, and Best Tacos in Town while waiting for Nikos.

We then watched Nikos devour Chicken-Pork Asado at Razon's. 

We had Happy Lemon. I like their branch in Eastwood: the space bigger, the lounge area had plush couches, and they give you this nifty contraption in place of number stubs:

Takes "waiting for your order" a bit further. Beats Starbucks' system of claiming drinks!
We really wanted to watch a movie and tried our luck getting seats for Super8, to no avail. Nikos had another order of Happy Lemon and we settled on eating our feelings (whut!).

We've checked out Food Junction a couple of times but we always end up eating somewhere else. We never thought there were tons of good finds there.

We had authentic takoyaki from Maru Maru (it was yum but it lacked octopus filling, btw. Kid Manga's is better, and of course, that shop in Little Tokyo, Makati); we then had Mexican-Korean Fusion afterwards.

Kimchi Quesadilla. Super spicy but it works! It had pieces of korean beef bbq inside. There were bits of cheese inside, too, and it kind of mellowed the kick of kimchi. May smokey flavor pa sya, most probably coz of the beef bbq P65!  Rating: 5/5
Their Kimchi Quesadilla was YUM. Definitely unique, I've never had Mex-Korean fusion before.

Miso-glazed Chicken Tacos. Ay, this one is a  must-try. Spicy but sweet, and the chunks of chicken are big. It had this tangy white sauce that bonds the kimchi and the miso chicken. The serving is small, though. But its worth it, at P65! Rating: 4/5
We wanted to try Fu Yoh's offerings (Sing-Malay-Chinese ata ito) and we had this:





BlueBerry and Cream Cheese Roti with Chocolate Sauce. This is by far my favoritessssstttt dessert na ever. The roti had just the right consistency: crispy browned parts and "makunat" soft parts; it was hot and really perfect with the tangy cream cheese and blue berry filling. It was not too sweet, thus there wasn't any "umay" factor. P75. Rating: 5/5.
There are other shops in Food Junction but we were full already. Next time, we're going back for Meztisa Adobo from Adobo Connection Spinach Cannelloni from Burger Pocket. 

Next week, perhaps?

Friday, June 17, 2011

Stark reality

I realized that my only true profession is to experience life fully. This collection of memories is the core of my craft, and nothing else.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

The Chronicles of a House-Crasher: Greek Cookout

The rewards of house-crashing: power-ups on culture points, culinary knowledge, priceless bonding moments
 
Gone are the days of malling and unrelenting night-outs--as noticed by almost each member of our circle, we've slowly veered from those, as if unanimously--since we've discovered the joys of house-crashing.

It started with Pad-raiding (via the now-defunct Makati Ghels: first Marion's, then Chuckie's), then house-hopping (courtesy of the South Sirens: Carla, Meg, Shey, and again, Chuckie; then the Northen Stars: Ivan, Kara, J; later on, via MDAFI: Leo). Not only because it's budget-friendly (what's more economical than raiding the ref/month's worth of supply of a family!? haha kidding, sometimes we bring goodies over!) but because there's nothing like amping-up the party ante within homebase, away from the prying eyes of the public, where you can dance sans the heavy make-up/expensive outfit/guestlist worries/overpriced booze and do whatever strikes your fancy without getting booted/hugely humiliated. The disadvantage, of course, is less new eye candy for the singles, (unless one of us brings along new "prey" plus "colony") but that is hugely overlooked by the priceless moments collected each "session".

We've always had booze sessions before, and there were times that we had cook-outs, but there's nothing like the one we had last Maundy Thursday. Last year, Maundy Thursday was a Pad-Crash session with Marion, Nikos and Ivan: we cooked Tuna Pasta, swam-walked in the condo-pool with my very athletic bathing suit (pang-varsity as per Marion hahahaha!), watched ANTM, had a visitor, experienced a flat tire, plus other..... uh..... adventures. *wink*

This year's Maundy Thursday was Gourmet Staycation, a cook-out session with our dear friend and celebrity chef extraordinaire Mitchie Sison, Sunnex' newest endorser of cookware. (Yep she has her own cookware! and... standees! :p) And though she's been subjected to countless teasing by us re: her standees, posters and such, she was super gracious enough to teach us lots of cooking basics.

The Menu:
Grape and Mango Greek Salad
Grilled Chicken with Pepper Couscous
Tuna, Tomato, Olive and Feta in Angel Hair
Raspberry and Chocolate Oatmeal cakes


The group checking out Ivan's garlic smashing skills

Mitchie carefully explained a lot of concepts and taught each of us how to properly handle kitchen equipment, how to cut, slice, chop, clean food, roast, saute, boil, grill, mix, bake (the list goes on)... and it really felt like being in a very fun, informal cooking class! Sobrang thank you, Mitchie! Thank you for being very patient with us! :) We really learned a lot!

No, not a class--it felt like we were in a Lifestyle Network show. :)

Ivan's first try: Opening cans
Mitchie teaches me how to saute!

Chuckie's turn
Oh, feta!

ang pinakafasyon na cook sa balat ng lupa! Carla and the pasta sauce
expert nut chopping skillz by Chuckie
prepping the pasta and setting the table
Nikos checking out the chicken
Ivan studies his prey
Mitchie and Maxine!
Really overwhelmed with so much good food
Carla a few seconds prior to being the day's casualty :P


Fresh, healthy, Mediterranean, and best of all, made by US. :) We were extremely pleased with our new-found cooking prowess! (naks!)



We've already contemplated on a show format, ala-After Hours with Daniel by Daniel Boulud, wherein we'll gather to cook in Mitchie's house after a day of work and preparation, and where the conversations and the actual act of consuming food will be the focus of the show. :P

Borlogs after!
Kanya-kanyang internet pocket time
 Oooops, di pa tapos! We saved room for merienda-dessert: Blueberry Tea paired with the OATMEAL CAKES!
Mitchie teaching us how to "lighten" the butter
oh, the joys of baking: NAKAKAPAYAT!

Tea time :)

We've planned to make our "house-crashing" a weekly/bi-monthly affair, complete with themes. Next up is Viet night; but then I've already been hearing about "Temptation Island" night, since it was proposed that our theme-nights should cater to each attendee's field of work: there should be movies, too!


So Mitchie, what's on the next menu? :)

*all photos taken by Chuckie Chavez