Saturday, December 28, 2013

Then A Different Cab Story

I love cab stories. I remember the one time I rode a cab, on the last day of work (we have shutdown, baby!), and as usual - I send the cab details to people at home and engage the driver into a conversation just because I want to know the person whom I have entrusted my life with for at least an hour or less of our travel time.

We started with the usual route and traffic conversation starter. I noticed a Blackberry hanging from the rear-view mirror. He told me about his experience with a really arrogant passenger who wanted him to swerve and drive recklessly. He asked the passenger to step out of his cab and he continued with, "Some passengers think just because they pay their fare, they own us already." Then he started talking about Born Again Christians and we then shifted to his son. He asked me if I'm still studying and he said that his son was changed by his Christian friends. He was a dropout of HRM and just spent his time playing mindless computer games. He stopped studying, he didn't have vices and is a good son, well except that he doesn't want to study anymore. Then he got involved with a Christian group. He joined their cell groups and the praise-and-worship band, becoming their keyboardist. Then one day, he told his parents, "Mom, Dad, I want to study again." Given that they are supportive parents, they asked him of his chosen course. He wanted to take IT and the best thing is that apart from the 50% scholarship, he actually wants to have a degree this time.

Then he mentioned something else. His son is not his eldest child. He has a stepdaughter from his wife who had a child with someone who left her. He was bestfriends with his wife and since he was still single then, they got together. He was able to provide for his family and his stepdaughter was able to finish school. Now, she lives in the US where she married a soldier who has a position and has a son. He asked me if I want to see a photo of his grandson who looks like an artista. He was really excited so who am I to say no? He handed me his Blackberry (with the AT&T mark on!) and showed photos of his grandson. He mentioned that when his stepdaughter and grandson visited them (when the husband was stationed in Afghanistan), he brought the kid with him and entertained the passengers.

It was a very good trip. Neither of us noticed that we were at San Juan already. It was a really interesting cab ride for me, one of my most interesting ones to be honest. I even told the driver about my ill-fated encounter with a creeper-driver. He definitely countered that misadventure.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Death: Canine and Eletronics

Late November and early December was a sad and depressing time. Butchoi, our ever lovable Japanese Spitz, passed away. Nov 25, 2005 - Nov 28, 2013. I cried buckets! Yaya Susan cried buckets. She fed and bathed and took care of that dog for a long time. The dog who barks even if you're a block away from the gate. The dog who always barks when I open the car, unless I tell him first, "May kukuhanin lang!" and he somehow doesn't bark at me or the car. The dog who gets crazy when there's a car parked in front of our gate. I'll miss this fluffy guard dog who looks like a white wolf. The bigger version of a normal Japanese Spitz. Japanese Spitz as a breed can't really boast a long life for its line but that doesn't make them less popular. I was just relaying the story to my friends the next day in the office during breaktime and suddenly waterworks ensued. It was my first time to silently weep in public ever since the Great Depression occured. After my dog's death, my phone decided to become a brick. Just like that, they left me. :(

Friday, December 20, 2013

Death Cab for Ruthie

Sweet baby geez, I haven't really posted anything in an eternity even though there were already a number of things I wanted to talk about such as how beautiful it is watching at Dolby Atmos cinemas. Or like how douchey cab drivers are lately. Oh yeah, I remember that!

It was a regular Friday (Nov 8 to be exact). I hailed a cab in front of our office building and had the luxury of choosing between a rickety old Corolla versus a spanking blue and white Vios. Of course, the Vios won. I got in as soon as the previous female passenger got out, lugging with me my laptop and 2 other bags (eyebags not included). Do you have that spider-sense? I don't. But it felt like I had one and it was on red alert. My SOP of texting the cab details wasn't forgotten, yet the last number of the cab was scraped off, so I had to look at the front passenger seat's side to check. Ok. Got the details! The driver was really suspicious. Like, reaaaally suspicious. My gut feel was way off the chart! He looks at me from the rearview mirror a lot, turns the aircon at full blast, and keeps on raising his three fingers in front of the vent. I was reaaaaally nervous already. I was waiting to smell something unusual or feel my lungs contract and then I called up a friend to break the silence (I tried making conversation with the driver but it's just one liners from him).

Finally he spoke. He mentioned that he needs to check the engine. Petron wasn't really full but he said, "Ay walang tubig." After one last intersection, I can't take it anymore. I asked him to drop me off because I forgot something in the office. "Bababa ka na? Bakit?" One foot was out of the door already and I gave him money before he drags me off to zombieland. 

I stayed outside and walked for a while and hailed a cab again. I was so scared I didn't ride a can afterwards for some time again. Yeahp. Who knew that old Corolla was safer than that new Vios? 

Friday, November 29, 2013

Sariling Sikap Series

So when my good friend, Kathy, decides to do something from scratch, she invites me over and lets me wreck all the beautiful things she does. There were grilled seafood and sesame dressings involved in the past, then there are sushis and pizzas present now. We're still thinking of what to do next because she has already baked cookies and even though they're so good, baking cookies is soooo mainstream that almost half of the female population bake. We take in too much caffeine already, making different kinds of caffeinated beverages seem to be difficult to consume - unless we have more people over to drink what we can whip up and share more sleepless nights with us.

Here's the first cheese pizza with dough made from scratch. No shortcuts! What else could go wrong? Pair it with wine, then you're off to lala-land! Lala-land can be synonymous to glutton's world by the way. ._.
That's a freaking 2004 merlot. And some flour on the background.
Then there's the oh-so-common California Maki. Geez, this is so tedious to make/prepare! And it involves a lot of handwork, I wonder how restaurants do this? I love you, Japanese mayonnaise and tobiko! :*
Yes, we're pretty mad about mangoes and crab sticks!
When I make something unpretty, you'll never know if I made one because it'll be in my mouth - gone in 10 seconds, and then I'll deny ever making an "unpretty" sushi. Ok?

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Planet Grapes

I have stopped posting about wine not because I have stopped drinking wine, but because I have been drinking faster than I can post or write something about it. I have tasted gew├╝rztraminer, which is my new favorite (sauvignon blanc is still my all time tastes-like-real-wine favorite), riesling, sweet reds, orange moscatos, plus pink moscatos and pinot grigio on the pipeline.

The white zinfandel on the right sucks. Left bottle, goodie!

Oh by the way, since we're here, don't buy Sutter Home's white zinfandel. It's just wrong. Spend more money on some white zinfandels from Beringer. Those, are the good stuff. Sweet as your usual moscatos but with a stronger kick - because they usually reach 10-14% alcohol content.

One more, one more! I posted this review before but I want to keep one in my blog as well. It's about this cozy place called Planet Grapes along Tuscany (near McKinley Hill, Taguig City).
We all just want happy grapes!!

I initially asked the server which of their wines have the highest alcohol content. They have Woodstock fortified wine at 20% but we settled for a Spy Valley 2012 gewurztraminer because I said so. Haha. It's difficult when there are lots of options! The bottle costs Php1,400 which is pricey for wine because you can get 2 (or 3!) good bottles for that amount!

Then again, I can say that Php1,400 was worth it. The service was fantastic! The servers (their male servers look like they can double as bouncers) were quick to refill your glass for both wine and water. They'll ask if you want your opened bottled chilled, so they'll put a wine bucket (with a stand) at the end, where it doesn't take up any space on the table.

There's NO food corkage because they don't serve meals (aside from delis and appetizers). On the photo above, that's S&R pizza. I asked if we can eat it there or if we have to pay. They said it's fine and got our food. Our server went back and presented it with their cutesy plates and cutleries. Our Php200 pizza looked like Php450 when plated that way. Uh-huh.

I'm a wine drinker (you don't say!) and I would love to go back here, even if I can get their wines cheaper elsewhere! That's how much I enjoyed it. Yeahp!

Cheese is usually wine's best friend, but then who needs cheese when you have friends and loved ones as company?

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

November In A Toothpaste Tube (Nutshell Is Too Mainstream)

It has probably been ten years since I last posted something here. It's just that the internet at the office is not friendly for websites that require a sign-in account, so I'm restricted to just viewing and reading blogs (yup, Harvard Business Review keeps me preoccupied almost all the time, nopes, what are you saying that I'm viewing the Oatmeal in the office?!). I've been doing a lot of things in my leisure - that is, time you have for yourself after work/office hours. And usually with the traffic, leisure is just too little nowadays. I have come to appreciate my weekends and officemates more, because how can you survive being in an environment wherein you abhor the people around you?

This post is basically a catch-up for me. I have been through a lot since I last posted an entry. There were ups and downs, but mostly my days have been pretty amazing. So, what did I miss posting about?

I finally bought a coffee burr grinder. Plus I was able to purchase a single cup brewer. I can bring this in the office or just make a cup for myself without having to clean the coffee press or plug in the coffee maker. Lazy asses, unite!!! Woohoo!!
Meet Wentworth the Miller!
I have been lusting for this one in Amazon for quite some time and then one morning, my friends and I chanced upon 2 stocks of this and I basically screamed in delight. Without having to utter 2 sentences, Neth bought one as well and we were ready to swat away hands that would get it before us.
The coffee brewer on the left, with its ammo on the right.

Then, I have finally climbed Mt. Pico de Loro at Cavite. Time to party!!! I have dreamed of going here and just burn my skin from the UV rays while punishing my legs in the process. The falls as a sidetrip is worth it, even if it'll take off at least 30 minutes of your trek time.
Hello, beautiful.
My November was not just about coffee and mountains, there are a lot of food and merriment involved as well, but since this is just my first post for November, I'll divide my posts into a number of entries just because I feel like doing it. Uh-huh, I'm bad-ass that way!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013


When you want something memorable, it really makes a mark when the heavens think you'd really want to make things THAT memorable. You attract and draw that thought towards you 24/7. Since 2013 has been a rollercoaster in almost all aspects of my life (I do have social life and other kinds of "life" you can imagine), September wants to top it. How about having a nasty hit from an elf truck whose owner doesn't have insurance? Some "drivers" (because they just pretend to know how to) should never be driving. Yeah you were issued a license, but the skill and the instinct to drive a truck or a jeepney or any vehicle at all - they're just not there.

Hold your temper. Control your voice. Battle the rain. Drive at night with a bumper that can fall off anytime. Get lost. Suffer from the insensitivity of people with authority over the matter (yes, Mr. Traffic Police Photographer). Stretch your patience from Manila to the bowels of the earth. Be professional even if they're trying to rip you off. Smile, sometimes there's really nothing you can do.

It's such a cold, cold world that I can't get out. So I'll just make the best out of nothing that I have.

That was September 28, 2013. I finished paying off Noah the car last September, too, but how about a fancy October? Repaired car from the event above suddenly had a battery that went haywire. What to do? Just add hot water a problem and we can easily sort out the grown-ups from the whiners. There are adults who are whiners, too! But we're talking about maturity and peace of mind here. Unleash all your social skills and rack your memory for possible solutions. Once again, extend your patience till you reach the core of the earth.

Always have a car or portable charger for your phone aside from extra money. But it helps so much if you have someone close to you in times of trouble. Oh btw, August? I just replaced Noah's battery and I was nowhere near home, I was more than 20 kilometers away from home. Oh glob, automotive problems are one of the loveliest problems to have. NOT. I think I dropped my sense of humor somewhere else along the way.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

When Cab Drivers Talk A Lot at 7AM

Cab drivers are one of the most interesting (and annoying) people you'll meet, including their highly offensive driving "skills." Last Friday, I intentionally missed out riding with my sister because I can't afford the 7am shuttle from Eastwood to Makati - I'll be late for my 8am meeting. So I hailed a cab and when I told the driver the company building, he asked me, "Sa Shell ka?" I smiled and shook my head, "Ay, sa isa pa pong mga nandoon." He mentioned all of the tenants there and he told me all about why my employer (he eventually figured it out, it was like a Pinoy Henyo moment) thought of having a shuttle would be better than transportation reimbursement (apparently they had this before). He mentioned all about safety and the whole point that the company can't afford their employees missing work since there are only a few folks in a team (by then).

He apparently knew a lot about everything, such a chismoso. And the last thing he told me when he dropped me off? "Late ka na ah." I shut the door after paying and mouthed, "Hindi paaaa!" Yep, the prolong letter A's were really necessary. For the record - I was half an hour early for the meeting.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Yes, I'm still reading the book "Eating Animals" by Jonathan Safran Foer. I have read his other works as well and this topic really just hits the spot. I get to read a few pages each time I wait for the company shuttle or when I'm somewhere else waiting for my sister to leave the office. And just earlier while sitting out the traffic light on my way home, a whole paragraph from page 93 posted a good avenue for thinking or reflecting - whichever suits you more.
Why is taste, the crudest of our senses, exempted from the ethical rules that govern our other senses. If you stop and think about it, it's crazy. Why doesn't a horny person have as strong a claim to raping animal as a hungry one does to killing and eating it? It's easy to dismiss that question but hard to respond to it. [...] Try to imagine any end other than taste for which it would be justifiable to do what we do to farmed animals.
Well, people still eat. Maybe we're stuck at that level of appreciation - taste.

Monday, September 02, 2013

Advice from a Vegetarian: Eating Animals

It has been a while since I posted something in my blog. Mind you, my life has been really been interesting the past few months and this is all thanks to new people, new relationships, and a totally new environment for me. As much as I have been trying to adjust with this new environment quickly, one thing got left behind - my desire for Internet (okay, make that 2 things - the other one being exercise which I have totally forgotten along the way). I got to tweet less, submit lesser reviews in looloo, can go on dayS (the pluralization needs to be emphasized, hence the unnecessary capitalization) without checking Facebook, and my emails just tend to get read from the phone.

So when my friend (thanks, Kathy!) out of sheer kindness (or pity?) gave me this book which I've been looking for quite some time (is a 4-year-search still considered as "quite some time"?), it has propelled a desire to post an entry relating to the topic of the book. I'm currently juggling 3 books at the moment (ADHD much?) but this one trumps them all, so this lovely paperback covered in plastic and one ebook (which is not covered in plastic) would be my friends when I've got some time alone (because I usually spend time with our wall and the ceiling, they make good company, too).

Sorry to disappoint you, but it's not a how-to guide, an instruction manual, or a recipe on how to eat animals. This would increase your eating experience, and your awareness on what you put in your mouth. Freshly cooked bacon? Curses! Liempo and crispy pata? Zermenggerd! I can't probably add much more items in here because I haven't read the whole thing yet.

Then I remember what my friends share with me. An online article from Pepper and a video from YouTube. Please do NOT be a vegetarian. If you think I'm kidding, the online article clearly says our fun times. (I really thought my subconscious wrote that article. I totally agree with what was posted. It is expensive, you'll always be pa-special as your friends would think of what you can actually eat or if their favorite restaurants have options for you. Sometimes, you'll settle for langhap-walang-sarap makeshift salad from restaurants. You'll tend to eat lots of sweets and you won't be thin if you imagined that.
Aside from the article, here's a clip about "Questions Every Vegetarian Is Tired of Answering." Both the article and the video link are hilarious. Why? They are actually true! Sometimes I think of carrying flyers or some note cards and give them away once people start popping questions, but nopes, I won't really do that. Patience is the latest value I am currently nurturing.

Note - if you watched the video, I'll answer the last one. I don't eat french fries and it has nothing to do with being a vegetarian.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Three Years, Not Bad

Michelle Branch once sang, "The last 3 years were just pretend. So I said goodbye to you." Well, it lasted a month longer than 3 years and it was not just pretend. I actually learned a lot and I owe almost all of my learning and experience on those three years. It was not a walk in the park but I have gotten a whole lot along the way, not to mention people I have encountered. They made the years so fast, so good, and so much fun.

Let's put dates so we're all on track.
First Day: June 1, 2010
Last Day: July 19, 2013

Geez. I'm that old already! And then my first day at a new environment? July 22, 2013. Yep, no time to do pre-adjustment exercises if there's such a thing. We just get on and do what we're asked to do. Let's make this interesting, eh? :)

Friday, June 28, 2013

Who? What? Wine?

Well, based from the previous post, we were able to taste 8 different brands of wine. I am thinking of putting in the details of those wine but where's the fun in that? A lot of people probably gave their thoughts about it but I'll just share a couple of those I have tasted before and after the wine tasting class last Wednesday.

So, for Father's Day, we had steak - actually, they had steak while I had loads of potatoes and salad. I picked the wine to be brought to the steak party and thought that a good merlot (semi-bold) should be good enough. Presenting the Little Penguin! It's a 2011 merlot from South Eastern Australia as indicated. I thought it was sweet and not the kind of red wine I was expecting - one that will seep out from my skin from a strong kick. Okay, my white wine bias is showing here. Let's just talk red when there's cheese, okay? It has 13% alcohol and a soft finish - the taste doesn't linger that much in your mouth. Bottomline is that this would probably be my favorite merlot to date and it's not just because I chose it.
Look at those little footprints. Such a cutie.

Then when the first bottle wasn't enough, the uncle brought out the next bottle for everyone. They just got it from a wedding as a give-away. How convenient is that? Here comes Santa Carolina Premio aka "Fruity Chilean Red Wine" which was less sweet than the Little Penguin. A 2012 blend of red wine has 12.5% alcohol and research suggests it's mostly cabernet sauvignon and some other grape variety. Not prunes.

Now for some white wine. South Africa's Two Oceans has come up with this 2011 semillon chardonnay (of course it has sour notes, it's a chardonnay, baby) with a dry taste adding to the 12.85% (or is 12.5%?) alcohol content. Semillon from France and chardonnay from the rest of the world. Two Oceans, indeed. I'm not pretty sure if this is how semillon chardonnays really taste like, the blend is just a little dry for me but I drank it anyway because it's there. (What a douche.) Would I be mean if I say it's tolerable? I'll go around the area and look for a semillon chardonnay to challenge Two Oceans. Not the bottle to bring to your non-wine-drinking friends' party.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

First Wine Tasting Class

I've had the worst week last week and yet I still attended a wine-tasting class because let's face it, when you have a really really hollow-block-type of a rough day, you'd get your hands on whatever opportunity for salvation that passes by. Okay, alcohol may not be the solution but I already paid for this thing and that my friend is there all set and excited to attend this class. We're cultured, like a pearl.
The crowd favorites. Kate Radburnd Sauvignon Blanc and
the French Jean-Marc Brocard Chablis (chardonnay).
I was late for a few minutes, let's say 10-15 minutes but not enough for me to be dropped from the class or to receive 500 dagger looks from the rest of the folks inside the room. They were on to the 2nd wine already and they had to repeat everything again, thank you very much, Ms. Latecomer. The instructor was able to explain the Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand vs the Bordeaux Sauvignon Blanc from France like 8x already since there were more people who came in later than I did.

There's our take-away, my favorite Kate Radburnd Sauvignon Blanc
from New Zealand. The New World makes fruitier Sauvignon Blancs.
There were 4 glasses for white wine (Sauvignon Blanc from NZ, Bordeaux Sauvignon Blanc from France, a French Chablis, and an Australian Chardonnay) and another 4 for red (merlot and shiraz). It was basically Old World vs New World, with the French wine being the source of the "Old World" wines while Australia and New Zealand for the New World. Don't forget South America, too.
Missing a bottle from the red and wine group.
Thanks, Chin, for the photo. :)
My friend and I were the youngest in the group. I think we brought down the average age in the room by a lot. When finally, everyone got a little chatty (there's your alcohol working) we got the "Aren't you too young to be drinking wine?", "How old are you? Do your parents know you're here...drinking?" questions a lot. Haha. It was an interesting trip and out of depression we passed by Domino's Pizza since I've been craving for that since forever. (Pizza sentence is definitely out of place in this post. What's wrong with me?!)

Monday, June 24, 2013

Far From the Middle

Remember Dr. Bailey's line in Grey's Anatomy? That part where the hospital admin don't let them do the teaching style they used to do, she said that she doesn't want to wait till she doesn't recognize herself anymore - basically doing what she doesn't like to do.

Well, I waited. I waited till I don't know myself anymore. I waited till it's not me already. When you get tired, you stop fighting and all chances of redemption can just make you smile.

Comfort zone here? Where the magic happens, is there outside.
Easy to draw, difficult to live by.
But it's this kind of chalkboard illustrations that are worth trying.
So, keeping it to my 2013 theme (which sprouted from last year's events as well), maybe it's time to take risks. For the first time, I don't have a timeline, I don't have a clear direction. I am not lost, but I'll find a better way.
Thank you, Pipino restaurant for that fortune cookie
plastered on the corkboard.

Monday, June 17, 2013

How to break up with someone? And everything you've been with for more than 3 years?
There's no easy way to break someone's heart.
But sometimes it's easier when they broke yours first.

Thursday, June 06, 2013

Blacksoup Cafe + Artspace

When I see a place I like so much and I have the time to ponder about it, I would definitely blog about it. See, looloo (it's an iPhone app but you can access it on your browser as well) has been taking up most of my food comments. This time, it's about the place and well, okay, a little on the food. Another gem along Maginhawa Street is Blacksoup Cafe + Artspace! Yay!
Cutesie! But no aircon, boohoo.
"SHOKOT means TAKOT. But WHAT is the meaning of THIS?!" is printed on a shirt they were selling. It's inspired by the movie Zombadings and they have dvds of it for sale! (I restrained myself from buying right then and there.)
Zombadings DVD!!! HOMERGERSH!!!

Blacksoup Cafe + Artspace is my new favorite place in Maginhawa. It has that cozy cafe feel inside with a small garden outside sharing the space with a few more restos. Oh oh, they have stools by the bar! You can sit there and stare at their quaint open kitchen while they whip up your food.

They also have this suspended coffee initiative wherein you can pay for the coffee or sandwich of someone else (homeless, etc, up to you). Charity begins at home.
You can sit by the bar! Yay!
Although it might be a little maalikabok to you (open air, hence, no aircon!) and the place is not that fun during summers (init much) and to lamok-heartthrobs like me, the set-up is clearly targeting the local indie and art freaks, or plain hungry people. They also sell shirts, dvds, and cds. I recommend that you walk and take a look around the area (unless you have pilay or something) to enjoy the place. Tralalala I enjoyed it, okay?!

As for the food, they have vegetarian options!! Hurraaaah!! Food were priced at Php100-200 so they're kinda light on the budget. I had tofu steak (Php100) and blacksoup salad (Php100 please hold the adobo flakes for the vegetarian!), while my friend got their fish burger (Php140). All were really good considering the price. My friend liked the fish burger and I believe her palate. Haha. Next time, I'll probably try their vegetarian "You Won't Be Single For Long" pasta which has vodka mix in it. *smug face*
Blacksoup Salad with the adobo flakes on the side!
Definitely coming back to my new home!!

YAY: Food; Interiors; Exteriors! Haha.
NAY: Lamok; No Aircon

Blacksoup Cafe + Artspace
154 Maginhawa St, Sikatuna Village, QC
435 2549 / 0915.3055480
Open for lunch and dinner (12 noon-3pm; 6pm-9pm) but may open earlier and close at a later time for special reservations. (As stated in their Facebook page)

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Tell Me Wine

There are cheap wines and expensive wines. There are good wines and there are grape juice that pretend to be wine. Also, Monday is the new Friday or not really since every night is a possible Wine Night. It's already June, the rainy season is supposed to be here. We all want to be warm but then marshmallows on top of your hot cocoa is too fattening. (What the heck did I just type?!)

First is Adega de Pegoes semi-sweet white at 11.5% which tasted like there is a significant amount of alcohol in it even if it was chilled. The taste was balanced, as it was a little sweet (it's semi-sweet after all) at first until the alcohol makes itself known (aka bitter after-taste). It's a white wine blend of three grapes (thank you research) - muscat, arinto, and fernao pires. Priced at just around Php130 (I think my friend got this from Puregold), you can buy one and bring for your friends who haven't tasted wine yet so you can tell them, "if you don't want it, let's just smash the bottle. Whose head are we sacrificing?" It's a good introduction to a balanced wine as it has the right sweetness and bitterness in one.

*Promise I'll make an entry about cheap wines. They are a surprise. Haha.

Next would be musso's syrah (2009 bottle!) which tasted like it lost its purpose in life as a wine. Or it never really thought of being a good wine in the first place. It didn't taste like anything, was flat, and nothing to absolutely take note of except that there is alcohol. When you drink it, it's just alcohol. Syrah is also known as shiraz and this would be the lightest shiraz I have tasted (not that I have tasted a lot of shiraz though). It's a red wine, so I'll just get back to you on that like in the next 6 months.
White on the left.
Red on the right. With a man staring back at you.
This is the funniest "wine" I have ever tasted. I mean I know I bought a Carlo Rossi because it's a red moscato and I'm very intrigued by it, but this is Novellino. Novellino is a big sweeeet joke with 4.5% alcohol and working at a Php200-220 price range. It was very sweet, it's sparkling, and the alcohol content is for kids. (Kids, please don't drink till you get to college. Or, never at all if that's okay with you.) Seriously. It's sparkling grape juice with imaginary alcohol. Well, it's okay if you just want to get warm, soak your teeth in sugary drinks, or just get a blanket instead. Swiss Miss can provide you warmth, too. I'm just not the target market for this "wine".
Don't dare talk to me. You, sparkling juice, you.
I'd rather mingle with the water flask at the back.
Then just recently at a friend's celebration we had our first taste of a white zinfandel... which is colored pink (or light rose if you want to make it sound better). It was really sweet it can probably battle a moscato but it has more alcohol in it (10%!). Beringer has its share of white and red zinfandel wines. We had a 2011 bottle and zinfandels as I've heard, are the type to be paired with pesto pastas but I'm not sure if that's applicable to the white one since it can pass off as dessert wine in itself. Its aroma was great and it tasted smooth. It's very easy to finish a bottle of this. Locally, it's available at S&R and Duty Free (around Php500++). Certified good wine. :)
There's a paper penguin with a hat. Why?!
So, what's next? This lovely box houses three beautiful bottles of white [yellow tail]'s. I love you, S&R. We got the last box of whites for Php999. I swear we were all smiles when we bought it. Mwahahaha!
There's a kangaroo on the left, in the middle, and on the right.
We love kangaroos!

*We are not alcoholics. We just like wine. But you know, alcoholics are always in denial. 

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Night Run

The first night run Energizer sponsored was last year and I ditched it because of some reason while the last run I have joined was last year's Nike Run... and the rest was history. My fitness probably glided downhill afterwards. *insert teardrops here*
The Eye of the Tiger and some of the famous landmarks of the world.
My tiger eye glows in the dark, btw.
(Thanks, T, for the photo and F, for drawing it.)
Prior to the event, I haven't run nor have done any exercise for the past 2 months. After February, my motivation decided to take a break somewhere off to the middle of the earth. Weight training (i.e. eating a lot) was the only thing I have done and oh, aside from driving around the Metro. Oh wonderful. I decided to do some running (okay, jogging with a little sprinting) two days before the Night Run, so I can lose all those "breakout sweat" I experience whenever I decide to leave my sedentary lifestyle after some time. The first time I ran around Greenhills at 11pm was deadly. I wanted to stop after just 1.5km HAHA. Just when I was starting to slow down, I noticed a car coasting alongside me. I looked right and saw my friend, windows down, blaring "Eye of the Tiger" from the car speakers really loudly while cheering me. It was horrible and hilarious at the same time! I tried to run away, away from the shame of me walking and from my really "supportive" friend. -.- Joke's on me since I shared before that it would really be funny if you boom "Eye of the Tiger" from your car and someone is running or biking (uphill for the ultimate challenge) beside you and then you shout, "Goooo, Kuyaaaaa!!!"

For your reference, this is the song you've probably heard all your life.

And here's the front and back designs that glow in the dark (spot my name). That was pretty smart since I thought I would fall face-first flat on the road and someone would just discover my body 2 hours after. But of course, I won't be posting this if our time wasn't good enough. HEEHEE. Either it wasn't a real 10km run or 52mins is the new standard?

Monday, May 06, 2013

Happy Grap(e)s!

When initially you think you're just drinking too much caffeine (coffee and tea), now you're suddenly worried if you've become an alcoholic. You ditched the idea of buying a wine bottle stopper because you can finish an entire bottle anyway with just one friend drinking with you. Two folks finishing an entire bottle and neither got buzzed or anything? The liver is stronger than you think but the mind is more powerful in wondering, "Zermenggerd (this is OMG in some language), am I thisclose to being an alcoholic?!"
We all just want some happy graps!
Then you think maybe there's just too many brands and wonderful kinds of wine out there and it's a pity not to taste them all. You're doing the world a favor. Vodka? Whiskey? Meh. You can taste all of those and you'll be done with the good brands in less than a month (certified alcoholic). Wine is a different story altogether. And that is the problem, too. You have friends who call/text you or send photos of what they're drinking and they think it's a good brand that you'll have to try together next time. You'll get phone calls like, "I saw (brand + type of wine) here in the grocery! It costs less than the one we saw before at the other store!" A Php60-saving is a big deal if you buy wine or actually, anything in particular. Mind you, that's 6 hours of parking in the office already! Remember the wine stopper we initially thought of buying? Here's the thought, "It's a nice-to-have item but we could use the money to buy a good bottle already." See? A bottle over a possible restraining device. Priorities, you know.

Friday, May 03, 2013

First Time Tasting An 18 Year Old

Nakatikim ka na ba ng disi-otso?
Have you tasted an 18yr-old? Yes? No?
Well, I have! My first time!

Meet Monfort (Village), a Semillon Semi-Dry White wine 1995 from Israel. Stashed somewhere only my friend knows, this bottle has faced a very interesting experience from its journey from the north to the center of the earth.

Semillon 1995
White Wine
Alcohol Content Unknown (ooooh)

This is one case of wine that was left to age for too long. White wines are not supposed to be kept this long. The full-bodied color was a little dark and the cork - oh my. The cork has softened tremendously and it split in the middle while my friend was pulling it off. Oh the beautiful panic that ensued afterwards was entertaining. We rushed to get some containers and the finest coffee/tea filters were brought out. We basically transferred the whole thing from the bottle to the tumbler. Trying to only taste our 18 year old and keep the rest, we ended up finishing the whole thing. Two people emptying one bottle of wine has become very common.

The taste was really good. It was my first time tasting semillon and this is waaay better than the next bottle we had. Not sure if all semillons are like this, I have one unopened from Australia but not sure if it's also because of the age? The semillon was very easy to drink, you can finish one bottle without noticing it. I can't say if it's the same as drinking your favorite beverage while watching the constellations above and seeing a shooting star in the process but boy, it was that good!

When I saw Wine Folly's color chart, I quickly identified it to be the one in the middle. Upon zooming it in, it's perfect - the full-bodied color of the wine was for semillon.
Zooom zooom.
Next bottle on the list is a very new Terra Vega Chardonnay 2012 sealed with a cork. Terra Vega also offer a sweet version of Sauvignon Blanc and the sales person was talking me to buy it over their Gossips Sweet Lips (Moscato) because the latter only has 5% (for kids). Unfortunately, I grabbed the chardonnay instead of the sweet version of sauvignon blanc. Reading labels should be easy, right? Not when you're in a hurry, though. :/

Terra Vega
Chardonnay 2012
White Wine

My friend says this one tastes better than Hardys as it doesn't have that sour after-taste. Chardonnays can be drank alone (referring to food not to solo-drinking, you alcoholic reader) but when it's not that chilled anymore, you can actually taste the kick of the alcohol. 12.5% is good with white meat or salad, although it's best enjoyed with awesome company. I would probably get another bottle of Terra Vega just to prove my point, compare it side-by-side with other chardonnays, and finally know which bottle is good for bringing to parties even if no one drinks wine in that party (at least you can drink it if no one wants it!).

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Sounding Like A Mini-Boss

In the middle of creating a list as to how would you know if you like someone (wherein my friend and I are stuck in a rut), I woke up one morning with some materialistic love pack seated on our couch. Immediately, my focus shifted (I don't blame ADHD) from the list to the package. Ha! What a way to know one's priorities.
Amazon, I love you.
I might be late from the time everyone almost had portable speakers with them (not like it's strapped to their bodies anyway) but each time we go to the beach or decide to have a good time on the outskirts of civilization, one whips out his/her player (iPod or a mobile phone) for some good music and... And... And it ends there. The music is good for 5 sleeping people!!! Nobody can't freaking hear anything (acoustics hello)! Even huddling together doesn't make it any better, c'mon, seriously? Why would you do that? A group of 6 would put their heads real close to each other so they could all try to listen to music? Just listen to the crickets or the howling wolves. Then someone would finally snap, "who brought some frugging speakers?!" This question will (almost always) be answered by, "inom na nga lang tayo...nang madami."

Btw, if you can see in the photo, that's Tegan and Sara's Heartthrob CD which I ordered from Amazon. A few weeks later, a friend told me it's available in the local CD stores. OH WOW. Mainstream goodness and I just practically saved PHP 16. That's like an hour for parking. -____-

Friday, April 26, 2013

The Vegetarian Cat Meets Up With The Rat

Oh, to add to the number of my posts/entries (but it's a good one anyway), here's a story about a vegetarian cat reportedly penned by Haruki Murakami . Source here.

A cat met up with a big male rat in the attic and chased him into a corner. The rat, trembling, said, "Please don't eat me, Mr. Cat. I have to go back to my family. I have hungry children waiting for me. Please let me go." The cat said, "Don't worry, I won't eat you. To tell you the truth, I can't say this too loudly, but I'm a vegetarian. I don't eat any meat. You were lucky to run into me." The rat said, "Oh, what a wonderful day! What a lucky rat I am to meet up with a vegetarian cat!" But the very next second, the cat pounced on the rat, held him down with his claws, and sank his sharp teeth into the rat's throat. With his last, painful breath, the rat asked him, "But Mr. Cat, didn't you say you're a vegetarian and don't eat any meat? Were you lying to me?" The cat licked his chops and said, "True, I don't eat meat. That was no lie. I'm going to take you home in my mouth and trade you for lettuce."

Thanks Rough, the Murakami-fan, for this!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Me and My Tsinelas

A friend mentioned that my blog has been stagnant for quite sometime. He's clearly not a fan of subtlety. So I checked when was the last time I actually barfed out an entry, and OH. My blog? Stagnant? *checks blog*

Let's look for a topic that we can digress from. Hmm. Oh wait.

My parents were not fans of my "tsinelas get-up" back when I was still in college (this is not eons ago, OK?). They think the straps would just one day give in and I would be forced to walk home with rubber bands or masking tape or I'd be suddenly advocating that "barefoot walking is actually good for our health". Well, walking around in your tsinelas is not really advisable when you're in Manila. The streets are just full of good things surprises. The pavement doubles as spittoons, garbage cans, urinals (applicable to both people and animals alike), and other things that don't make you happy.
Thanks to DISCS for the materials and to Anna for being a good foot model friend.
I remember this "prototype" my friend and I did way back February 2010 (oh college life). It was finals season and everyone's stalking the whereabouts and lurking around the areas where the copy machines are. It was so warm (hello open Ateneo grounds) and we were desperate for a photocopying machine to have all our reviewers well, photocopied (no duh). The nearest and most available place would be the library. *cue in the sound from the dagger-in-the-shower-horror/thriller scene* Problem? There is a frigging dress code! Minimum rule: no spaghetti straps and slippers/flip-flops. Yes, that's a dress code already, and you got it right (you're a genius!), I'm not a fan. No one's actually a fan of that dress code, I mean come on?! Zeee flip-flops is the staple footwear of the summer (or of most Ateneans)! How could you take that away from us??

What to do? Go to your home department and get some freaking straws and wrap around your slippers. #instasandals

With the current weather the Philippines is feeling sweaty about, my dehydrated brain suddenly thought of...slippers. Like tsinelas. Habayanas. Flip to the flops. And how I want to buy a new pair right now! Iamthisclosetobuying a pair before my wallet goes dehydrated, too. I won't get one with so many embellishments although it could be a very good weapon when you feel violent and want to do a roundhouse kick on someone. To be honest, I just churned out this entry because aside from having an entry for April, I am thinking of buying a new pair of slippers. If other folks crave for TJ's Cookie Butter or some milk tea, I might be craving for slippers. Ohh.

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

It's March, Let's Drink More Wine

So since the start of the year, I've been trying my nose and taste for wine. I was able to drag a few friends into the whole "let us drink wine" shenanigan I have and they have been updating me and sharing wine bottles. Sniff, swirl, and drink. Try not to say anything bad until the other person does first.

First drink was the lovable moscato from [yellow tail]. Well, it's an Australian moscato for crying out loud. Sweet and easy to drink. It is only 7.5% though, a bit stronger than your San Miguel Light (coming in at 5%).
Thanks, Neth, for the photo! :)
So for my birthday, I opened the "oh, there's a wine bottle here?" Gallo Family Vineyards wine we have at home. It's a Californian moscato with 9.5% alcohol. Pulling out the cork is always so much fun.

I think the bar (for fun factor) was set too high for the casual wine drinker, so we moved on with the other ones. Hello, Jacob's Creek! The sparkling rose was a little too fruity and well, duh, carbonated. Sparkling drinks are meant to be shared with a group, not with only a few bodies as you'll feel full from all the carbonated awesomeness that is called sparkling (rose) wine at 11.5%.
Look for Jacob's Creek! The proud sponsor of the Australian Open.
Thanks, K, for the photo and the drink. Haha.
Then comes the chardonnays. Make way for them and be careful not to step on their gowns. We had New York's Arbor Mist and Australia's Hardys. Arbor Mist's Tropical Fruits flavor is an explosion of lots of tastes, it can make you go bonkers. It has an aftertaste which I'm not yet sure if oak-y or one of those tropical fruits they included in the drink. It's just 6% though, compared to Hardys which tastes so (so) much better at 13%. It has that tolerable sweetness and a smooth feel that doesn't get you wondering what putrid thing did you put in your mouth. Always thought that the higher the alcohol content is, the aftertaste would be worse. Hey, this one is an exception.
The blinds are shady. No pun intended.
Then we moved on to the "real" white wines (because chardonnays and moscatos are very easy to drink, they are for kids). Chenin Blanc and Sauvignon Blanc in one night. However, no one's mind blanked even with 2 bottles between us. That's the beauty of it! Anyway, this South African 2002 Chenin Blanc is a surprise. Smelled a little like Edam cheese for me and the taste was good. However, the Sauvignon Blanc from Chile is uhmmm... Dry? My friend said it's bitter for her, and can make you feel bad sad about the world. Let's just say I'll give Sauvignon Blanc another shot before I put my foot down about this wine. In the meantime, Chenin (Blanc) wins the battle of the Saturday Blancs!
Only the wine was touched in this photo. Promise.
Other liquors were left unharmed.
Don't put your drinks on the pool table. Okay?

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The Mostar Diving Club - Worlds Apart

That moment where you just want to keep on posting links and links of songs you like that you think are somehow applicable in your life in any other way possible. Or maybe not? Maybe the music is just so nice.

This time I'm not sure if I'll still be giving away my one-week treatment. Do I really want to? Regardless, there are still a lot of earthly things to do.

Well, people change. Then put in the cliche that somehow helps people to cope, which is the main reason they're there - to help you cope. Just be thankful that it happened, instead of regretting it ended.

Some day you will find me
I haven't gone too far
I miss the way we were back then
How we laughed
I can feel you in my heart

There's a world in your eyes I can see it getting brighter
All the hours that we turned into days
We were young seemed like life would go on last forever
All I had was you by my side

Some day you will answer
Remember how we were
When all our hopes and dreams
Floated in the air
I feel it in my heart
I can feel you in my heart

That's the way that it was in the past you remember
When we ran through the wind and the rain
We were young seemed like life would go on last forever

Now everything has changed.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Extending the 13th

This is probably one of the most poorly constructed blog entries ever. Like. Ever.

It's a mighty fine day for a roller-coaster ride. Or maybe I was just moody and disappointed for the wrong reasons. Guess Neanderthals really did have feelings. Fire. Burn. Fingers. Ngaaarr.

The 13th can be summed up in one word: Serfries!!

What's better than TWG macarons?
A whole box of TWG macarons!!!!!
How about the 14th? I basically watched Barbie's Cradle (I'll never get tired of Barbie) at Piazza which is smack across our office. Finally!!! McKinley had some use in my life! Afterwards, I got pissed off became moody for some reason but at the end of the night, I still managed to drag myself and eat out even though I was in no mood at all. I have nothing to apologize for even if I barely talked to some folks. HAHA. Jupiter Street is pretty easy to go to. I guess I have a new place to trade my money on for more unnecessary calories.

Mitsuyado Sei-Men's Double Cheese Tsukemen

Despite the weird 14th I got, the 15th was epic! Paramore comes back to Manila for their 2nd concert! They rocked the MOA Concert Grounds before and now they have returned to try out the establishment built on those then-concert grounds, aka the MOA Arena.

Lowerbox ain't bad, it's great! Hayley looks a lot different now. Not so kyotepatote anymore, I guess. The acoustics of MOA Arena? Hamayzing! Perfect for concerts!

Thanks to my friends for making my 13-15 hardcore awesome, I'll forget the flaws and mishits - they're not worth it. :)

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Oh, It's Pre-Valentine's

They say 3rd time's the charm. Well, I ditched the idea of going to Tagaytay for the birthday salubong. Instead, had it at a friend's house (my mother had guests until 1am haha) for some unknown reason. That would also be the last time I'll be doing that. And since I'm still on my no-hard-alcoholic-drinks, let's bring in the non-dangerous beverages (except for wine)!
Thanks, Neth, for the photo.
It was just a very simple (and sober) salubong - I am dead this year, anyway. Stay zombie-fied till I get to that moment? I need some ember or worst case, a flint.
With all the basuras in front. HAHA.
Empty boxes, dirty plates, empty bottles, and all.