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    Patricia

    Majority of my friends call me Trish, I guess you could call me that too. I'm a transcriptions editor with a really messed up body clock and never ending affinity for films, food and written words. I like street art, sweets, neutrals and monochromes, sushi, window seats, golf carts and lazy weekends.

    Some of the things that completely preoccupy me are my fixation with the now defunct The Civil Wars and their beautiful art of sadness, Oh Sehun, sleeping, CSS and HTML, @iameden, and those damn hypnotizing Tasty videos. Top country in my travel bucketlist? Iceland. But the one that will always have my heart? Hong Kong.


    Binondo has been a favorite destination known for its rich history, the Chinese medicine, perhaps, the charms stores and delicious food among other things. I've been to this place in and out during college but (gasp!) never tried the local delicacies. To be honest, Chinese food has never been at the top of my list until recently. My mom loves Chinese food and we would frequent this Chinese restaurant in Cavite, and let me just say that some friends from work influenced me big time this year in this category. I then discovered that dumplings are really good (haha) and that prompted my love for some Cantonese favorites like hakaw and xiao long bao. And Binondo certainly is the best proof that though some places may put the ambiance as second priority, it doesn't necessarily mean the quality of the food is compromised.

    A few weekends ago, a handful of friends from work decided to do a Binondo food walk, and of course, we decided to tag along! Hahaha!

    (Just a reminder though, this is not a top 6 list of the best places to go to at Binondo. Yes, these are great, must-visit restaurants however, these are the only ones we happen to visit with the given time we had.)

    Dong Bei Dumpling
    642 E.T. Yuchengco St. corner V. Tytana St., Binondo, Manila
    (02) 241-8912


    Muffet, Burn and I were the first ones to arrive, and we were already a bit hungry, so we decided to try Dong Bei's dumplings first. If you're coming from Binondo Church, just walk straight until you reach Café Mezzanine then turn left on that intersection and walk until you reach V. Tytana Street.



    What will greet you upon entering are some of the ladies of Dong Bei Dumpling preparing the treats right at the front door. This basically occupies almost half of the entrance, I guess they're really showcasing and ensuring their patrons that everything served here is freshly made.

    Our table was a bit messy. Sorry. Haha.
    We had an order of their famous kutchay (pork and chives) dumplings and of course, xiao long bao (soup dumpling). My favorite xiao long bao are the ones served at Peace and Happiness along Gil Puyat Avenue in Makati. I was so addicted to it, I could finish an entire serving (a serving = 8 plump and delicious dumplings). Ever since then, I've been kind of looking for places that could top that.

    As for the xiao long bao, Peace and Happiness is still number one for me. I really love their meat broth! But Dong Bei's was still pretty good. The kutchay dumplings were a different story though. I found another favorite! These were really excellent and flavorful, the flavors even more enhanced when you dip it in soy vinegar with chili! They're really famous for this for a reason.

    They also sell frozen dumplings so you could enjoy them at home. The table next to us bought quite a few bags and the people there were kind enough to tell you instructions on how to properly cook the dumplings!

    (Kutchay dumplings, PhP 120 per serving of 14 pieces; Xiao long bao, PhP 110 per serving of 6 pieces)

    Wan Chai Tea House
    918 Benavidez St., Binondo, Manila
    (02) 245-4406


    Our next stop was supposed to be Wai Ying but the place was filled, there's even a waiting list so we decided to skip it. The next restaurant we went to was Wan Chai Tea House.


    To kick off, we started with the house hot tea. I think all Chinese restaurants serve complimentary hot tea for their guests. And if you ask them what are their best sellers, they'll answer you with, "Lahat." Hahaha. But since I've read online that their noodles are a must-try, it's what I suggested to my friends.

    I ordered Shrimp Wanton Noodles (because shrimp dumplings in noodles are just amazing) while Muffet and Burn had the Pork Chop Noodles. I loved the Shrimp Wanton Noodles. Light broth, a bit thick, chewy noodles, and of course, the highlight, the delectable shrimp dumplings on it. Same goes for the Pork Chop Noodles. The meat's actually served separately to prevent it from being soggy. Pork chop's so freaking great, I wanna eat it with tons of rice instead. Hahaha.

    (Both Shrimp Wanton Noodle and Pork chop Noodle costs PhP 135 per serving)

    Ling Nam Wanton Parlor and Noodle Factory
    616 T. Alonzo St., Sta Cruz, Manila
    (02) 733-5231 / (02) 733-5234
    http://www.lingnam.net 


    In Ling Nam, we decided to have their siopao and siomai. I don't really know why I never ate siopao (until this day because they asked me to try), I wish I could come up with a great reason but, I don't know, I just decided that it's not my type even though I haven't tasted it.


    . Tuesday, October 28, 2014 .

    popular posts

    . Tuesday, October 28, 2014 .


    Binondo has been a favorite destination known for its rich history, the Chinese medicine, perhaps, the charms stores and delicious food among other things. I've been to this place in and out during college but (gasp!) never tried the local delicacies. To be honest, Chinese food has never been at the top of my list until recently. My mom loves Chinese food and we would frequent this Chinese restaurant in Cavite, and let me just say that some friends from work influenced me big time this year in this category. I then discovered that dumplings are really good (haha) and that prompted my love for some Cantonese favorites like hakaw and xiao long bao. And Binondo certainly is the best proof that though some places may put the ambiance as second priority, it doesn't necessarily mean the quality of the food is compromised.

    A few weekends ago, a handful of friends from work decided to do a Binondo food walk, and of course, we decided to tag along! Hahaha!

    (Just a reminder though, this is not a top 6 list of the best places to go to at Binondo. Yes, these are great, must-visit restaurants however, these are the only ones we happen to visit with the given time we had.)

    Dong Bei Dumpling
    642 E.T. Yuchengco St. corner V. Tytana St., Binondo, Manila
    (02) 241-8912


    Muffet, Burn and I were the first ones to arrive, and we were already a bit hungry, so we decided to try Dong Bei's dumplings first. If you're coming from Binondo Church, just walk straight until you reach Café Mezzanine then turn left on that intersection and walk until you reach V. Tytana Street.



    What will greet you upon entering are some of the ladies of Dong Bei Dumpling preparing the treats right at the front door. This basically occupies almost half of the entrance, I guess they're really showcasing and ensuring their patrons that everything served here is freshly made.

    Our table was a bit messy. Sorry. Haha.
    We had an order of their famous kutchay (pork and chives) dumplings and of course, xiao long bao (soup dumpling). My favorite xiao long bao are the ones served at Peace and Happiness along Gil Puyat Avenue in Makati. I was so addicted to it, I could finish an entire serving (a serving = 8 plump and delicious dumplings). Ever since then, I've been kind of looking for places that could top that.

    As for the xiao long bao, Peace and Happiness is still number one for me. I really love their meat broth! But Dong Bei's was still pretty good. The kutchay dumplings were a different story though. I found another favorite! These were really excellent and flavorful, the flavors even more enhanced when you dip it in soy vinegar with chili! They're really famous for this for a reason.

    They also sell frozen dumplings so you could enjoy them at home. The table next to us bought quite a few bags and the people there were kind enough to tell you instructions on how to properly cook the dumplings!

    (Kutchay dumplings, PhP 120 per serving of 14 pieces; Xiao long bao, PhP 110 per serving of 6 pieces)

    Wan Chai Tea House
    918 Benavidez St., Binondo, Manila
    (02) 245-4406


    Our next stop was supposed to be Wai Ying but the place was filled, there's even a waiting list so we decided to skip it. The next restaurant we went to was Wan Chai Tea House.


    To kick off, we started with the house hot tea. I think all Chinese restaurants serve complimentary hot tea for their guests. And if you ask them what are their best sellers, they'll answer you with, "Lahat." Hahaha. But since I've read online that their noodles are a must-try, it's what I suggested to my friends.

    I ordered Shrimp Wanton Noodles (because shrimp dumplings in noodles are just amazing) while Muffet and Burn had the Pork Chop Noodles. I loved the Shrimp Wanton Noodles. Light broth, a bit thick, chewy noodles, and of course, the highlight, the delectable shrimp dumplings on it. Same goes for the Pork Chop Noodles. The meat's actually served separately to prevent it from being soggy. Pork chop's so freaking great, I wanna eat it with tons of rice instead. Hahaha.

    (Both Shrimp Wanton Noodle and Pork chop Noodle costs PhP 135 per serving)

    Ling Nam Wanton Parlor and Noodle Factory
    616 T. Alonzo St., Sta Cruz, Manila
    (02) 733-5231 / (02) 733-5234
    http://www.lingnam.net 


    In Ling Nam, we decided to have their siopao and siomai. I don't really know why I never ate siopao (until this day because they asked me to try), I wish I could come up with a great reason but, I don't know, I just decided that it's not my type even though I haven't tasted it.


    . Saturday, October 25, 2014 .

    'No Help For That' from You Get So Alone At Times That It Just Makes Sense by Charles Bukowski, 1986

    Just when you're thinking of how to start, the song that best describes what you want to write about plays. Just when you've set your mind to unlearn something. Just when you thought you got it all figured out. Just when you thought your mind is past its state of drunkenness. Just when you told yourself not to dip your feet in the water, you went ahead and dove in.

    Everything is so familiar yet so new. Sure, it was not the first time you woke up next to someone, but it was the first time the warm heat of the sun on your skin was the sensation that started your day. The sound of Sunday old music softly playing is not an unfamiliar scene waking up to but it was the first time someone felt you stir and open your eyes and lulled you back to sleep. It was not the first time someone shared a part of himself with you, but it was the first time someone asked you to be a part of himself.

    If you ask me, everything just sounds lovely and wonderful. But it's not. In fact, it's quite the opposite. It's all you ever crave for, it's within reach, so close you could breathe it in but you know it's something you can't have. Because you're back to square one. It's back to the question of "What does this mean?" or worse, "Does this mean anything?" It was all 100 shades of pure in between. The overthinker in me is such a buzzkill. And no matter how they tell you not to read into things too much, you can't help it. It's who you are.

    They always expect you to know better, to do what's rational. Did you? Do you? It's like that Postal Service song:

    They won't see us waving from such great heights,
    "Come down now," they'll say
    But everything looks perfect from far away,
    "Come down now," but we'll stay.


    But then again, we can't stay. At least I can't. It's like a disaster waiting to happen, and even though you want it, you're just too tired of people being right and rubbing it in.

    It's been almost a decade but you keep asking yourself the same questions. Like you're in a perpetual hangover. It goes on and on, over and over and over again.

    You're not the solution to any of their problems but you never fail to present yourself as one. You always gladly take the part. You just wanted to feel wanted, and after a long while, to some miserable degree, right now, you are. So why the hell does it feel so bad?

    You're not actually sad that you're alone, in fact, you're doing quite well. But it's so nice to have at least one person that shares the same interests as you. Someone that sees you equally interesting as the topics of your conversation. Someone that looks forward to seeing you. Someone that's got your back. Someone that just... gets you. And most of all, you would like to believe that this could be different.

    This morning already felt like an entire day. The kind of day that you don't want to end. It's like a breath of fresh air because this time, you're not losing yourself but you're becoming you who want to be. It feels like finding your perfect complement but there's this tiny part that's sticking out so, well, it's still not a perfect fit but you don't mind rounding your edges. It's all a matter of perspective after all. And this? This is not bad. Not at all. It's one for the books. But the problem is, it's something you've already said before.

    Today was not a copy of yesterday. It was the way how you always wanted it to be. It was just like how you pictured it to be.

    It was a Sunday. It was perfect.
    And sad.

    (Originally written last March 30, 2014)
    . Thursday, October 23, 2014 .


    It's not your eyes
    It's not what you say
    It's not your laughter
    That gives you away
    You're just lonely
    You've been lonely, too long
    . Monday, October 20, 2014 .


    Keanu Reeves, I think, is the only American actor out there that I will always have a soft spot for. He's definitely not the first actor that comes to mind when I'm asked for my favorites but there's just something about this guy that makes me watch the movies he makes/made. Maybe it's his overall good guy image? Or the Sad Keanu memes? I really can't put my finger on it.

    With John Wick coming out late this month (October 29 in the Philippines, I think, and I've read great reviews about it!), I watched a couple of movies over the past weeks that starred Mr. Reeves. Nope, there's no The Matrix here.

    1. I Love You To Death. It's a pretty good black comedy. I have a general dislike for cheaters (LOL) so this film gave me a good laugh. A bit twisted. And it's based on a true story. (μ)

    2. Devil's Advocate. You could say that Reeves' performance in this movie was not that exemplary, he's good, okay, but just that. Al Pacino did an amaaaazing job of playing the role of someone so evil and cool at the same time (aka Satan). Nevertheless, it's a must watch for me. (μ)

    3. Constantine. This film is one of my favorites. I thought Keanu was brilliant here. When I watched this movie, I've never read any of the comics. So I was a bit confused with all the backlash it was getting from people (46% at Rotten Tomatoes! But then again, don't rely on RT for everything). Apparently, it didn't stay faithful to DC Comics' Hellblazer. But I don't care. I still watch it everytime it's on cable or whenever I can't think of anything to watch. And Tilda Swinton's role here fits her perfectly. (μ)

    4. Dangerous Liaisons. Seduction. Manipulation. Sex. Wicked but delightful. Everybody's a pawn of somebody. This one I watched with Dino, and his description of this film was something like an older version of Cruel Intentions. Apparently, Cruel Intentions was also based on the book Les Liaisons Dangereuses, hence the uncanny similarity of the 2 films. Go ahead and watch both! I think Uma Thurman takes the cake on the naiveté part. (μ)

    5. My Own Private Idaho. This just blew me away. And I just kept asking myself after watching it why did it take me so long to see this film. It's dark and heartbreaking, it almost feels like your favorite searing line from that poetry that never went away. Feels, feels, feels everywhere. (μ)

    6. A Scanner Darkly. IMHO, not a lot of people would appreciate this film. If you liked the Waking Life (also by Linklater), you would also like this one (same visual aesthetic but definitely not the same level of 'it can stir up a good conversation with others' after). I loved the cast and the storyline. It was a mentally stimulating experience that I found enjoyable both intellectually and visually. (μ)

    What's your favorite Keanu Reeves film?

    . Thursday, October 16, 2014 .


    (Read about our White Island experience here.)

    Who was excited for her first trip to Mindanao last September? ME! ME! ME!

    If there's one thing I've been doing a lot this past year, it would be traveling. I've never been to so many places in my life until I've met my friends from work! Ever since then, I would join random trips that my traveler officemates come up with! I was really looking forward to this trip (it was booked last January) because one, it would be really awesome to go south of the country, and two, it was the only trip the three of us (Ian, Muffet and I) had this year.

    We spent a total of 5 days for this trip, the first and last days were used for travel from CDO to Camiguin and vice versa, respectively. We had a lot of activities during this travel so I figured I would share some photos and divide them into 3 posts.

    This is a DIY trip so no tour packages were booked prior, though Ian booked our accommodations in CDO and Camiguin through Agoda a week before.


    This is the dry goods market situated inside the Agora Integrated Bus Terminal, and the only decent photo I have of CDO. After we got settled in our hostel, we went to Limketkai Mall to have our early dinner. For the life of me us, we seem to have trouble locating these specific restaurants we're looking for. Either that, or it was closed. So we left Limketkai to find Butcher's Best that everyone seems to be raving about, but it was quite a disappointment. We figured we'll just have dinner there anyway and return back to our inn so we could rest.


    The next day, we rode a ferry from CDO's Balingoan Port going to Camiguin's Benoni Port. And I was able to confirm that I don't get sea sick unless I'm on really small boats (like the ones we rode in Boracay LOL).


    Here's a photo of me and Muffet during a conversation en route to Camiguin.


    The Benoni Port. I wish I've taken a photo of how breathtaking the waters at the port of Camiguin is. It was crystal clear and all shades of blue and green. There were a lot of kids, too, that would ask you to throw coins then they would dive to get it. I bet at the end of your stay, the sound of "Barya lang, Ate." will haunt you forever. Hahaha.



    We stayed at this place called July's Haven Seaside Lodge. It's cheap, by the ocean and service was great. You might want to consider booking here when you visit Camiguin. :)


    Our picture perfect al fresco brunch at July's Haven before heading to our tour of West Camiguin. <3


    We rented a multi-cab to take us for a day tour . First quick stop was by this fantastic view with the Guiob Church Ruins (from afar) as the background. It's more commonly referred to as the Old Church Ruins.

    . Tuesday, October 14, 2014 .


    Today's favorite art is this short comic illustration by Kaye Blevgad called Can You Hear Me? I saw this posted on Rookie Magazine's website and instantly fell in love with it. It's got that special combination of whimsical, honest and powerful that somehow touches something in you. I found more of her works at her blog (which she aptly named Blogvad, haha) and learned she also makes art using paper (paint and paper and paper cutouts) and ceramics. Her illustrations (of mostly women) depict naïvety, sometimes with a tinge of melancholy, most with that unique sense of humor of hers.

    Photo credits to Philipp Ammon for dailymetal.eu
    Kaye was born and raised in London but lives back and forth in the cities of London and Brooklyn. She describes herself in her website as "an illustrator, designer, and general maker-of-things, who enjoys writing about herself in the third person." Haha.

    While working as an illustrator in New York, she also made jewelry (which were also based from her illustrations) for fun. According to this Etsy feature, "Most of my inspiration comes from ancient artifacts, talismans, religious iconography from many different cultures, and antique jewelry. I also look at natural forms, shapes, and patterns." She now has a shop called Datter Industries.

    Photo credits to Philipp Ammon for dailymetal.eu
    My other favorites from her illustrations were from the New York Stories series.

    New York Stories
    I just want to get close to you
    You may want to check her latest illustration posted at her blog. *insert sad emoticon here* *sniff sniff*

    All illustrations property of Kaye Blegvad.
    Visit her official website by clicking here.
    . Sunday, October 12, 2014 .


    When the third quarter of the year starts, everything seems to be faster than usual. We were in Camiguin the last week of September and I kept saying that I can't believe it's almost October. And here we are, mid-month already! I guess that's the time you realize you're having fun, because you lose track of time, no?

    One Went to Binondo with some friends from work for a sort of food walk. I think we've been able to eat in 5 restaurants. And I'm still thinking if I'm going to blog about it because lately, I've been too lazy.

    Two I think this was the first time after a long while that I took the train going home. Going to Manila sure brought back a lot of memories from college. I remember those times when I rode the train most nights from Monumento back to Central before heading back home to Cavite. That's almost 10 years ago!

    Three My friends from work surprised me with a dozen of Mountain Dew cupcakes because it's my birthday! Hehehe.

    Four Finally got to spend some time with Cy and Pabs after so long. Funny thing is we live across each other but we rarely see each other! I think at some point in our lives, this tends to happen. We had lunch somewhere near and caught up with each other's lives.

    Five My mom asked my dad to pick her up on a Friday night. Since I was on leave, I tagged along to keep my dad company. And I was reminded of the horrible Friday night traffic in EDSA! 2 hours spent going to McKinley and another 2, I think, going home. We were so hungry so we decided to have dinner in Alabang.

    Six and Seven Waking up at strange times with nothing left to do but wait for the sun to come up and take photos outside your house. I swear I have the oddest sleeping patterns.

    Eight Birthday dinner last Sunday with them. Traffic was bad (what's new but I keep complaining anyway), I arrived late, had dinner and watched Gone Girl (which was satisfyingly good, at the same time, really, really disturbing. Go watch it.)

    Hope you have a wonderful week ahead!

    (more on instagram)
    . Friday, October 10, 2014 .


    Do you like TV series that feature easy and delicious recipes, tips and tricks that you can use in your household and a little bit on beauty as well? You're in for a treat! Carnation's web series, MMMMary's Kitchen, is back for its second season!

    MMMMary’s Kitchen is a cooking-serye made by Carnation. The first in the Philippines, the series features Mary, a newly married housewife, dealing with day-to-day challenges of homemaking. From cooking delicious new dishes for her husband Mark with the help of her intimidating (but eventually, lovable Mother-in-Law) Carrie to learning tips on how to keep her house in order.

    Now on its second season MMMMary’s Kitchen will not only have new recipes and tips, but it will also give you a glimpse of Mary’s life. You’ll finally see Mark, Mary’s loveable (and funny!) husband, as well as Mommy Eva, Mary’s health-conscious mom. You’ll also get to meet Bonnie, Mary’s outgoing BFF!

    There are 10 episodes this season, and here's a sneak peek for each:

    1. Home Sweet Home, the Second Time Around!
    Mary and Mark move in to a smaller house that is closer to Mark’s office. Mark’s constant OT at work as well as trying to juggle running a household takes its toll on Mary.

    2. We Are Family!
    Mary gets a surprise visit from Mark’s mahadera relatives. She frantically cooks a homemade meal only for it to end up less than perfect. Luckily, Carrie comes in just in time to transform Mary’s dish into something incredible.

    3. When the Budget Budges
    The unplanned visit of Mark’s relatives put a dent on Mary’s weekly budget. She calls up Mark, who is out on a business trip to tell him about the budget issue. This leads to a slight tampuhan between the two couples. Mama Carrie visits and gives Mary a tip on how to win Mark’s forgiveness. She also tells Mary that she’s moving to the States—for good.

    4. Peace Offerings
    Mark comes back home from his business trip and brings Mary pasalubong as “peace offering”. The two patch things up and Mary cooks a special dinner with Mark’s favorite dishes.

    5. BFF’s Forever
    Mary’s BFF Bonnie drops by the house for a surprise visit for a quick catch-up. Mary realizes she misses having her best friend around. Mark arrives and talks to the two girls, realizing his wife has missed having a female around. Meanwhile, Mark secretly makes a phone call to a woman. Who could it be?

    6. Mother Knows Best
    Mommy Eva comes to visit her little princess, Mary. She surprises the couple with her new-age outlook in life. She bonds with her daughter over cooking, and takes notice of Mark’s constant absence in the household. She calls this out to Mark, possibly creating tension between them.

    7. A New Career?
    Mommy Eva encourages Mary to look into selling her crafts. Eva and Mary spend theafternoon with the crafts project while Mark whips up a surprise snack for the girls. Mark makes peace with his mother in law.

    8. A Taste of Sweet Success
    Mommy Eva suggests that Mary try and sell her crafts online, just in time for Christmas. Mary whips up a batch of delicious cookies, that she takes a photo of to post in her blog. Immediately, people are starting to inquire about her baked goodies making Mary wonder if she still wants to continue with her crafts business. The whole foray of selling home-made goods made Mary think about what she gave up to be a full-time housewife.

    9. Mommy Eva to the Rescue
    Mary is juggling orders for her cookie business and has forgotten to plan for her Anniversary dinner with Mark. Meanwhile, Mark accidentally eats a box of cookies to be delivered, adding to Mary’s stress levels. Thankfully, Mommy Eva secretly whips up a batch of cookies while Mary was napping.

    10. Anniversary Surprise
    Mary was able to pull through with her Surprise anniversary dinner with Mark with the help of her Mom and Bonnie. After preparing the meal, she gathers Mommy Eva, Bonnie and Mark for a surprise announcement: She’s pregnant!

    And here's some of the delicious recipes that will be featured this season that you can whip up at home! (Use the hashtag #maryskitchen if you're posting your delicious creations using Carnation Evap or Carnation Condensada!)




    If you haven't seen Season 1 and would like to catch up, you can head on to YouTube and search for Carnation PH. Episode 1 of Season 2 is already up, too! And don't forget to read Mary's blog on MyCarnation.ph and visit Carnation's Facebook page for more goodies.

    Happy watching (and cooking)!
    . Thursday, October 09, 2014 .


    For this month's theme, it's Mornings.


    I can't decide if I can consider myself a morning person. I keep thinking that the only good thing worth waking up to is breakfast -- nothing else. I usually associate mornings with the rush hour and being stuck in traffic on the way to work. That, and the fact that maybe I've always preferred sunsets over sunrises.

    But the morning has its moments, you know. Like waking up bright and early on weekends. I think I've said time and time again how I love weekend mornings. It's like the rush comes to a halt and everything becomes mellow and cozy, and slow and lazy.

    I took this photo one Sunday morning at a friend's house. I woke up earlier than everyone else and just sat on the balcony as the sun came up. A few minutes later, my friend joined me, she brought two cups of coffee and saltines, if I remember correctly, and we had those sunrise conversations.

    Warm beds. New mornings. High hopes.

    *

    Between Lenses is a blog link-up initiated by Tara of Tara Victoria and Trina of Of Trees and Hues. According to Trina's blog, Between Lenses' goal is "to capture & reflect upon life, to cultivate inspiration among one another and to connect with other bloggers." If you wish to participate in this blog link-up, please click here.
    . Sunday, October 05, 2014 .


    If you're one of the die-hard Wendy’s fanatics, I'm sure at one point you have asked, "What the heck happened to Wendy's Salad Bar?" I remember when I was in high school, the salad bars are usually situated near the counter, you just have to pay a specific amount, and then you can go crazy with how you want to stack and create your salad. 

    Fret no more as we can all look forward to the much-awaited comeback of the Wendy’s Salad Bar in the Philippines—what could be considered as one of the most memorable dining concepts in modern food history. And what better way to usher it back than by letting the people themselves choose what they deserve in the salad bar that they have so greatly missed?

    Re-debuting at an affordable price of PhP 199 and piloting in six Metro Manila outlets, the new Salad Bar is proudly the first-ever Wendy’s crowd-sourced salad. This means that Wendy’s Facebook fan page community selected and voted for their favorite salad toppings and dressings to be served at the salad counter.

    Now customers can make their very own salad masterpiece from a bounty of “People’s Choice” fresh ingredients laid out for the picking: lettuce greens, cucumber slices, tomatoes, grated carrots, macaroni salad, gelatin (now enhanced with lychee), grated cheese, and additional options like potato salad with bacon bits, hard-boiled egg, and tropical fruits. Wendy’s now also offers three salad dressings—the classic Thousand Island, the all-time favorite Caesar, and the refreshing newcomer, Strawberry Vinaigrette


    Diners are allowed one dine-in trip to the Salad Bar to fill their plate with ingredients, including dressing. Those going for any of Wendy’s Sandwich Combos can avail of a trip to the Salad Bar for only PhP 150.

    Wendy’s was the first fast-food chain in the world to roll out a salad bar option in 1979, broadening the offer into a comprehensive dining buffet that featured themed stations almost ten years later. In the Philippines, the salad counter at Wendy’s similarly acquired pop culture cult status in the 1980s and well into the ‘90s, as customers eagerly embraced fresh salad as a complement to the restaurant’s burger and fries fare.

    Diners became artists and engineers of their own salad creations—some would pile on ingredients and drizzle dressing rather ingeniously to maximize the space on their plates, while others would combine flavors with extraordinary technique to create the most memorable salad combinations. Everyone, from solo diners to romantic couples, as well as groups of families, officemates, and school barkadas, created many fond memories along Wendy’s Salad Bar counter.

    The return of Wendy’s Salad Bar, in addition to the store’s regular salad offerings, is a shout-out of one of the brand’s key messages that going green and eating healthy is a choice at Wendy’s. For health buffs, Wendy’s is the one special, convenient dining place they could go whenever they had a craving to go green and eat fresh, much ahead of when healthy dining came in vogue.

    Beyond introducing innovative healthy salad options in a fast-casual setting, Wendy’s has way before been engaging with its diners by offering the opportunity to customize their own plates. So that while the buffet-style, build-your-own dining concept may seem an exciting trend to current foodies, it is hardly really novel for those truly in the know: American burger brand Wendy’s has long pioneered this value-for-money option with its Salad Bar that took the local food and beverage industry by storm decades ago when it was first introduced.

    News of the Salad Bar’s rebirth continues to generate massive interest, with people even making their personal countdown and tracking how many more sleeps to go before it reopens. One Facebook commenter posted: “go go go, bring back my favorite salad!”, proof positive that Wendy’s Salad Bar doesn’t offer just any ordinary type of salad, but an amazing experience worth repeating. Or in the words of another Wendy’s Facebook fan: “excited to try it again and again.”

    Wendy’s Salad Bar will initially be offered at the following selected outlets: SM Megamall; Greenfields Portal; Glorietta 4 Cinema Level; SM Annex North EDSA; and SM Centerpoint Sta. Mesa. Food lovers are invited to start building their stunning plate of fresh ingredients today, or they can order any of the other tasty regular salad offerings like Taco, Chicken Caesar, Macaroni, and Garden Mix at the nearest Wendy's branch.

    Get in on the action by sharing online your buzzworthy Salad Bar experiences using hashtag #WeDeserveThis. Be there as the brand brings sexy back to those who yearn for the good ol’ salad days, as well as to new customers who feel they deserve something better.

    Another classic reinvented: Wendy’s Salad Bar is now open, because you asked for it!

    . Saturday, October 04, 2014 .

    Some artists just make romance sound so beautiful, which most days make me feel like asking the higher powers if I will ever get my turn. Well, I do remember someone writing a cheesy love song for me with my name in the title (hahaha -- laughing at the memory, not the song!) but let's not go there anymore. Haha.
    My little stare-into-space realization reminded me of this line from the book-turned-into-movie, High Fidelity:
    What came first, the music or the misery? People worry about kids playing with guns, or watching violent videos, that some sort of culture of violence will take them over. Nobody worries about kids listening to thousands--literally thousands of songs about heartbreak, rejection, pain, misery and loss. 
    Did I listen to pop music because I was miserable? Or was I miserable because I listened to pop music?
    Oh, God. Maybe I really do watch waaaaay too many movies.

    Tracks:
    1 // Nick Drake - Northern Sky
    2 // Death Cab for Cutie - Unobstructed Views
    3 // The Lemonheads - Into Your Arms
    4 // Bon Iver - Flume
    5 // Bombay Bicycle Club - Video Games (Lana del Rey cover)
    6 // The Velvet Underground -  Pale Blue Eyes
    7 // Camera Obscura - This is Love
    8 // Slowdive - When the Sun Hits
    9 // City & Colour - We Found Each Other in the Dark
    10 // Iron & Wine - Love and Some Verses
    11 // The Clientele - Saturday
    12 // Neutral Milk Hotel - In the Aeroplane Over the Sea
    13 // Yo La Tengo - Our Way To Fall


    (Mix cover art from Isabel Sasse's Instagram account.)
    . Thursday, October 02, 2014 .


    Original photo credits to Zomato
    I briefly lived in Cainta a few months ago so I, together with some friends from work, was able to explore a few must-visit restaurants in this side of the metro. The first restaurant I was able to try was Qizia Cafe in Marikina, though I would not be posting anything about that because we were so hungry when we got there, I was not able to take decent photos. Hahaha. We then were talking about which place next to visit and our collective craving for ramen brought us here the second time our group went out.




    We got there half an hour before lunch time so the first level was almost full. We were led upstairs (which was still empty) so we could be seated. Walls were painted yellow and wooden furniture was everywhere. I loved the wooden booths at the first level, giving a more Japanese ambiance.

    I was also really surprised by how affordable everything on their menu was considering the serving!

    Gyoza (PhP 98), Tamagoya Ramen (PhP 198), Chicken Karaage (PhP 148) and Katsu-don rice bowl (PhP 158)
    Yakisoba and Mabo Ramen (PhP 198)
    Gomoku Ramen (PhP 178)
    My favorite out of the bunch would be the Chicken Karaage, Gyoza and Yakisoba. The Tamagoya Ramen was my pick but those 3 definitely took the crown. The Chicken Karaage was perfectly crispy and delicious, same goes for the Gyoza which was beautifully pan-seared on the outside and soft and savory on the inside. The Yakisoba was a tickle on the palate as it kept us guessing what ingredients are incorporated in the mix. There were hints of curry and ginger which was delicately balanced that it resulted to be such a enjoyable Japanese treat.

    I hardly finish any bowl of ramen but with Tamagoya, it's different. There was certainly that depth in flavor in the broth, and I love how the serving was not just noodles and soup base but there were hefty pieces of nibuta, egg, bamboo shoots and of course, the seaweed! Although it took me quite a while to finish it (haha!), I really, really liked it!

    Some people might it's such a long drive for a bowl of ramen but I can attest that it's worth it. I could even say Tamagoya! Noodle House is one of Marikina's hidden gems that people should experience. Great food that's budget friendly. Now that's what you call quality. :)

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    Tamagoya! Noodle House is located at 2 Hon. B. Soliven Ave, Masinag, Antipolo City
    Contact No.: (02) 861-8631
    Operating Hours: 11:00 AM - 2:00 PM, 5:00 PM - 9:00 PM
    Official Facebook Page