Thursday, October 02, 2014

Rustic Mornings by Isabelo and The Breakfast Thought

Breakfast places are everywhere now. 

There are different categories that cater to every one. Lavish buffets can be found at hotels while cheaper breakfast buffets are also available (Somethin' Fishy) around the corner. 

Breakfast spots usually have exemplary interiors. They offer something new, something refreshing. Maybe to set your mood in whether you come in in the morning or just want to have breakfast food any time of the day. 

The Breakfast Table at Maginhawa offers denim place mats while Milky & Sunny at Kapitolyo has pastel colored walls and cutesie decors. Pi Breakfast and Pies's interiors are more similar to the 3rd wave coffee shops with its neutral hues and finishing. Then you have Early Bird Breakfast Club which has cutesie interiors as well but their food presentation is the one people pay so much money for. Speaking of budget, Kanto Freestyle Breakfast can be found at Mandaluyong, Kapitolyo, and Eastwood. They offer cheap(er) breakfast food (I think they have the cheapest espresso-based drinks, too) but of course, don't get your hopes way too high if the price of your Eggs Benedict is less than a tall caramel macchiato. 

Then if we're talking about setting, Rustic Mornings by Isabelo at Isabelo St., Marikina City wins. The place inside is full of pretty artsy decors. There are colored bottles, sliced glass, chandeliers, and chimes made from what you thought of trash-I-can-sell-to-junk-shops. The place was set-up surprisingly nice, it reminds me of Marcia Adams at Tagaytay, but this place can be found just within Metro Manila, specifically at Marikina. The parking can be difficult but the place is really nice. They change their menu when it reaches around 5pm. It becomes Isabelo's. Just like that. Nice, right?
How could you not want to go here?
You can opt to eat outside with the scenery or inside with the blue and white decors. Breakfast places have this relaxing soft vibes in them. I wonder how I'd decorate my place if I decide to open one. 
The open area is a refreshing place to be at in the morning and late afternoon.
Pray those bottles don't fall over your head.

The food is okay. I mean it's breakfast food, there should be no complication to that! It's easier to make compared to their lunch or dinner counterparts. Bacon done 3 ways is easier than making pad thai.Well, cooking is difficult when your bed is calling for you to come back and snuggle. 
It's their waffles with buttered cream and homemade syrup. This thing is marvelous!
Eggs, hash, and bacon. The potato got me interested in trying to make one.
So back to the question: why are breakfast places all over now? Is it because it's a very nice date place? You know, at any time of the day you and your date can go to these places and it's a sure-fire conversation starter - how the walls are so pretty, how the chair is so uncomfortable, etc. Easy-going vibes all over? You're sure of eating something you like (comfort food)? Or it's just a sure place where you can spend money instead of cooking on your own.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Adult Responsibilities and Liabilities

So. I finally brought in Noah the car today at the Service Center (hurrah!! hurrah!!) and I walked back and rode a jeepney to Greenhills. Not bad. First time riding a jeep after some time. You see, it is interesting to commute when you don't have to do it every day. It seems like an adventure and not a chore. So that's why I was kind of excited that I have to do it again when I pick up my car later before their office closes. (I just rode one jeepney and walked. Is that cheating? The weather was perfect for walking!)

While I'm on my way to Greenhills the chief mechanic called me up to ask about brake pads. "Ma'am, hello?" "Yes, kuya?" "Nasa school po ba kayo?" HAH! I laughed on the inside, so papasa pa pala akong student. Not bad. Fast forward to the pick-up time, receptionist told me they thought I was 15 years old. Okay. Now, I'm not sure if I'll be happy with that. What I'm sure of is that when my credit card bill comes, I'll be crying like a baby. Dang. Now I have to think of my bumper that the motorcylce driver hugged with his bike. 

Btw. Dear manong,

Thursday, September 18, 2014

The Story of Mini-Cruisers

The cruiser (and mini-cruiser) board has been quite a sight lately. Skate parks and nicely paved areas are around the metro already bringing in more skaters into the scene. Skateboarders and longboarders have been around for some time but the cruisers are making a splash more recently. 

The first time I saw a cruiser board was when I was at Bagasbas Beach, Camarines Norte. I thought how fancy the board looked like and it wasn't that long like a longboard or a skateboard. The dude was carving somewhat seamlessly along the sidewalk. My fascination stayed at Bagasbas after I went back home to Manila as I saw that there were only a few online sellers of cruiser boards and they were at a whopping Php7,000++ back then. I could already book a trip to Palawan with Php7k! (And I did go to Palawan.) 

Fastforward to when I went to Melbourne, Australia. Man! It was everywhere! Melbourne had a laid back and outgoing lifestyle and I got to visit it during summer. The pathways swarmed with scooters, bikes, and boards. Cruisers were everywhere! I swear I wanted to purchase one right there, I just don't know how to bring it back home. I was already overweight by 5 kilos. Ha. Ha. 

After a year, the price has normalized. It means it's not freaking overpriced anymore! It's not a very cheap ride/toy/device, but it being priced that much a few years ago was unreasonable. 

Today, the local price is the relatively the same as their Amazon or official online price. You know what that means, right? Time to buy one and start the peklat process!!! 
My friend got the plastic Penny mini-cruiser at Php4,700 while I got the ecowood Fluidsurf mini-cruiser at Php3,500. Mind you, the Fluidsurf is a local brand. I used to purchase rashguard of their brand because it's locally made (and cheaper).

Okay, so we know the price. Now, how do you compare the ride?
That's not a feather duster, that's a... rooster.
I felt proud that we can make boards locally and they look competitive. Just look at mine, white trucks, red wheels, and just plain beautiful. Then you try kicking it. It does NOT go straight! My board is not going straight. (-__-) Wheel or truck alignment? I have no idea for now. Well, interim solution is to just adjust when you're riding it. You have no choice for now. The Penny (Aussie-made) rides smoother and it's easier to turn. The Fluidsurf ecoboard is more stable though and is perfect if your balance is as good as the Lochness Monster - a mystery. A friend says the ecoboard is better at carving but really, for now all I'm thinking of is to not fall on my butt, or face, or elbow, or basically fall.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Sip & Gogh

Do you have an artistic side?

I don't. 

Seriously. It doesn't exist. If there is a miniscule of creativity in me, it camouflages to nothingness the moment I look for it. Practically gone. Or absent. Or forever in hiding. 
PLEASE don't try guessing which one is mine.
Sip & Gogh. Where you bring friends or lovers who want to try painting on canvas. You can mock each other's works (although this is not advisable) and drink wine because your pride just ran outside the building. Nowhere to be found again. You turn competitiveness into acceptable defeat. Your tears mix with the paint.

They have friendly folks there who can help you if you get stuck at "drawing" that staircase or want a color you don't know how to get from the basic ones in front of you for the 3 hours you have scheduled. They will get you paint that's in harmony with your chosen subject. You don't want to see color blue when you're painting an orange, do you (unless you really intend to distort it that way)? They also allow you to just paint on your own, without copying their sample works. Sip & Gogh can be your studio for rent. And they serve wine, too!

"OMG, I'm so excited to embarrass myself. How can I start painting here?!" 

Saturday, September 06, 2014

Cactus, Cactus, I Love You

Do you know how awesome my Wednesday last week was? It was August 27. Happiness is when someone brings you what you've been asking for so long. And you just smile so much your face hurts. Hudosdfuiewuiohfiovnvoiverjfp[ermoghmvg iohaiosdhowhruhoia!!!
My mini-babies!!! <3
Hello, Cact1 and Cac2s!!! I'm so happy I'm breathing out so much carbon dioxide on them. 

Oh btw, Cact1 is a Haworthia attenuata. :]

Friday, September 05, 2014

The Best Rootbeer Float Ever

Hi. Do you know how to make the best rootbeer float ever?

The ingredients are complicated. They are simple to procure but they tend to be depleted at a very fast rate. 

What are the key ingredients?
Rootbeer. I'll go all the way to your place and smack you if you ask me why we need rootbeer. No, non-cola products are to be poured into your toilets. 

Ice. Even if your rootbeer comes from a soda dispenser, ice pretty much makes life more interesting and rootbeer float more floaty. 

Ice Cream. Vanilla. Everybody loves a classic vanilla - a classic vanilla ice cream. So, the only point of contestion here is which brand is best for the challenge?

If you're a cheapskate tightwad (the redundancy is important), you can get Big Scoops's classic vanilla ice cream. I think they sell the cheapest vanilla ice cream that tastes good. You can opt for a Ben & Jerry's when you visit S&R, but Nestle (and Big Scoop) can easily do the trick!

Procedure:
Put ice. Then pour rootbeer. And then scoop in lots and lots (and lots) of ice cream. Shoot in a straw as a final touch. 
I tell you, mason jars make everything look pretty.
Freaking enjoy your treat!

Words of caution!!! Don't say I didn't warn you! Rootbeer float is very addictive. Watch your sugar and be careful when the sugar rush kicks in! Avoid breaking things when it hits you.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Going Down

I'm now becoming a lazy blogger. I blame not having a laptop for this wherein I can just type away my thoughts on the whim. 

So what do we have lately? Traffic is really bad here in the metro. I was born with traffic being bad and currently experience it to being awful. Let's see a few more years from now when it notches the "unbearable" status. Can't even bike or have other forms of transportation because the roads are unforgiving and the air is so close to giving us lung cancer. Guess we're just waiting for a miracle to happen or when teleportation is made available now. 

Then the taxes. Check Facebook and your feed has either exploded with the comparison of income taxes of the different nations in Asia or you just ignored it because you have felt so hopeless already you just microwaved something from your parents' refrigerator because you're too functional to cook for yourself. 

Where do our taxes go? They actually go to a lot of places. They are properly and smartly allocated, we can see that in budget reports. Basically, in paper. We can see that in paper. Only in paper. Then the money probably gets lost in translation. A million pesos allocated in paper, gets a quarter of it in reality. The rest just go to blackholes. It's just so funny this is all too common even in high profile politicians - those whose faces you can see everywhere, even in your worst nightmares. What does COA do? I think they're not doing their job or they probably are doing a good job but corporations or dirty politicians threaten the daylight out of them. "Good folks don't last too long" type, I guess. You remember this whenever you go out. The roads are horrible, the traffic is just depressing, the news gives you a wrinkle or two in an instant. 

Oh gosh. There's Manny Pacquiao joining PBA, too. As coach and a player, people! This just proves how ridiculous we are and how much we value freedom. Everyone's free to do everything here, especially if you're a sports icon or a politician, or the kid of a sports icon or a politician. You can be a professional boxer and a professional basketball player here. Oh, plus coach. Don't forget about that. Be a professional thief while you're at it, too.

In a way, our country just killed a huge part of whatever hope I have that we can still do something about our situation and not abandon ship. 

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Barber's Tales: Mga Kuwentong Barbero

Barber's Tales (Mga Kuwentong Barbero) is a 2013 film starring Eugene Domingo, written and directed by Jun Lana (of Bwakaw), and is currently enjoying a commercial release just this August 2014. It runs for 2 hours and is being showcased at select cinemas particularly at Ayala Cinemas.

Patriarchal Society, Gender Roles, Politics, and Freedom

It was set during the Martial Law era, so the crew had to be smart and gather memorabilia and props that are well-thought of. There should be no slips of anything modern (just like the more recent Downtown Abbey failed promotional teaser). The film was shot tastefully, it shows how women were treated both in their familial roles and by society, how men look down on women both explicitly and implicitly with hints that no one would have his hair cut by a female barber, and that women should take care and concede to their husbands' needs and desires.
grabbed from http://www.fareastfilm.com
In spite of all the gender role tones, the film showed that women in their own ways (if they want to) can challenge the notion that men and the society have on them. they can fight back their libido-filled husbands, they can prove that they can cut hair as good as their male counterparts, and that they can make a change on their own - whether through a societal or political rebellion.

Eugene Domingo has really established herself on being a very versatile and effective actress. Hands down, she can bring out different emotions and pass them to the audience without difficulty. She is that good and is always a delight to watch whether in a comedy or drama environment.
grabbed from http://thepoc.net
Barber's Tales is not a comedy. The title might mislead you into thinking it's a funny movie (Mga Kuwentong Barbero - who won't think it's not a comedy??) with Eugene Domingo (yes, Kimmy Dora?) billing it, but it's not. It's an irony. It is a sad story of a compelling truth beautifully told by classic performances of artists and talented filmmakers.

Saturday, August 09, 2014

Sariling Sikap Hakaw - Shrimp Dumplings

Hakaw or shrimp dumpling is an all-time classic favorite by everyone with or without allergies from seafood. What's that on your hand? Anti-histamine?! Drop it, lady!

What is hakaw or shrimp dumplings?
Noun.
Minced shrimp with other ingredients put in the middle of a wrapper, formed to perfection and then steamed on bamboo for your pleasure.
Best paired with chili garlic.
And lots of steamed rice.

So. My dear friend, Kathy, who believes we should all learn to cook (she says we can start by watching Cooking with Dog in YouTube) has embarked on this journey of making hakaws. Hakaws from scratch. Yes. She wants to make everything herself. I was fine with being the audience but I realized there is audience participation required that is not just taste testing. :( 

Ingredients for Wrapper:
- Tapioca Starch (note that after research, we found out that it's the same as tapioca flour)
- Wheat Flour (if you only found whole wheat flour, your hakaw is going to be brown and that's weird)
- All Purpose Flour (we used this instead because whole wheat flour made our hakaw brown :( duh )
- oil
- sweat salt
Healthy Options is dang expensive.
Go to Ongpin instead!