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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.


    Ever since I could remember, whenever my family (or friends) would go to Tagaytay, I would always notice this quaint shop along the highway of Silang, making a mental note to visit it the next time I'm in the vicinity. I'm sure if you're a long time resident of Cavite, you have seen this place at least once. My best friend and I had this long overdue meet-up so we decided to spend an entire day in Tagaytay and start our morning by going here.


    I was really looking forward visiting this place because I was always intrigued of what's behind the facade. What welcomed us is this cozy, Hinduism-themed store filled with knick-knacks. There were tea pots, coffee pots, cups, a vast mug collection, Coca-Cola memorabilia, figurines, even a Darth Vader (with voice changer) helmet, coffee products as well as ginger tea that are all for sale. We kind of forgot why we went there at first, getting lost at all the cute trinkets that we wish we had enough money so we could take all of them home!


    After roaming inside for a while, we then settled at a table outside to have coffee. The weather that day was really chilly, almost biting, so we were excited to have a hot cup of caffeine. I normally don't drink coffee (unless absolutely needed but I doubt if it has any effect on me sometimes) but, of course, that day, I made an exception. Not big on 3-in-1s or the kinds from those big coffee shops, but yes to trying kapeng barako!


    I do not doubt the claims that they serve great brewed native coffee, but being not an aficionado, I was surprised that I really enjoyed it. I think I had 3 cups! I was also really curious with their organic or vegetarian food though we had to leave it out because we planned on eating in Bag of Beans later that day, but I sure will be back to sample those. The coffee was served in mismatched tin pots! How cute is that? We were also given muscovado and white sugar to sweeten it to our liking.

    If you find your self strolling down south, this little gem in Silang is a great place to chill with friends, have coffee while watching vehicles pass by. You could learn about vegetarianism, too! For once, drop Starbucks and go here, enjoy the cool weather, a cup (or cups) of joe, some art and support local.

    ***

    Nature's Original Kapeng Barako and Vegetarian Food Shop is located at No.082, Barangay Buho Silang, Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo Highway, Cavite
    Contact No.: (+63) 0917-738 9982
    . Thursday, January 29, 2015 .

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    . Thursday, January 29, 2015 .


    Ever since I could remember, whenever my family (or friends) would go to Tagaytay, I would always notice this quaint shop along the highway of Silang, making a mental note to visit it the next time I'm in the vicinity. I'm sure if you're a long time resident of Cavite, you have seen this place at least once. My best friend and I had this long overdue meet-up so we decided to spend an entire day in Tagaytay and start our morning by going here.


    I was really looking forward visiting this place because I was always intrigued of what's behind the facade. What welcomed us is this cozy, Hinduism-themed store filled with knick-knacks. There were tea pots, coffee pots, cups, a vast mug collection, Coca-Cola memorabilia, figurines, even a Darth Vader (with voice changer) helmet, coffee products as well as ginger tea that are all for sale. We kind of forgot why we went there at first, getting lost at all the cute trinkets that we wish we had enough money so we could take all of them home!


    After roaming inside for a while, we then settled at a table outside to have coffee. The weather that day was really chilly, almost biting, so we were excited to have a hot cup of caffeine. I normally don't drink coffee (unless absolutely needed but I doubt if it has any effect on me sometimes) but, of course, that day, I made an exception. Not big on 3-in-1s or the kinds from those big coffee shops, but yes to trying kapeng barako!


    I do not doubt the claims that they serve great brewed native coffee, but being not an aficionado, I was surprised that I really enjoyed it. I think I had 3 cups! I was also really curious with their organic or vegetarian food though we had to leave it out because we planned on eating in Bag of Beans later that day, but I sure will be back to sample those. The coffee was served in mismatched tin pots! How cute is that? We were also given muscovado and white sugar to sweeten it to our liking.

    If you find your self strolling down south, this little gem in Silang is a great place to chill with friends, have coffee while watching vehicles pass by. You could learn about vegetarianism, too! For once, drop Starbucks and go here, enjoy the cool weather, a cup (or cups) of joe, some art and support local.

    ***

    Nature's Original Kapeng Barako and Vegetarian Food Shop is located at No.082, Barangay Buho Silang, Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo Highway, Cavite
    Contact No.: (+63) 0917-738 9982
    . Tuesday, January 27, 2015 .


    RUB Ribs and BBQ is indeed a hidden treasure in Kapitolyo. It's almost disguised as, one would assume, an office space along East Capitol drive, save for the little signage that you'd definitely miss if you're not looking high enough. Don't worry though, Google Maps would point you to the right direction.

    Even though we are Kapitolyo enthusiasts for a couple of years now, we've never been to RUB for some reason. We never went past Mad Mark's Creamery until recently.

    After a tiring day at work (and after settling first with Silantro), Ian and I decided to go to this churrascaria for brunch. I've been reading about their delicious but cheap grilled ribs that's a definite crowd favorite and that much talked about 'sprice' really piqued my curiosity.


    Like most food joints in Kapitolyo, the space was a tad small, holding around 15 tables, maybe? But the interior design's really cool. Walls were painted stripes of red and white, adorned with posters and some inspirational words by famous people. Another side had a couch with the background in black and white.


    One of the perks of having your working schedule opposite majority of people is that you get to be the first customer -- no queues whatsoever (which in turn, enables me to take photos of the place while it's empty hehe.)


    We had Buffalo Chicken Wings (PhP 260), Raki's BBQ Ribs in Singles (served with side of mashed potato and sprice; PhP 220) and the much recommended Pizzadilla (pepperoni; PhP 210). Now I know why everyone's raving about RUB's ribs. The slab had tender and juicy meat with that perfect smoky flavor. Not too charred and not smothered in sauce. The sprice (or spiced fried rice) was an interesting but perfect complement to the slab. It's got that flair of cajun flavor.

    I really liked their Buffalo Chicken Wings because it's got the just right kind of tang and zing for me. And as for the Pizzadilla, this monster of an appetizer which was a hybrid of pizza and quesadilla, had generous servings of pepperoni, pepper, mushroom and tomato sauce in between two tortillas that is then sprinkled with cheese and baked until it melted. It was so good. For a moment there, I wish I had Tanduay Ice on my other hand while I was scarfing a slice down.

    Smoked Pork Belly (PhP 200) and BBQ Chicken Salad (PhP 230) Photo by Muffet Sta. Maria.
    I was fine and contented with my food choices until Burn's Smoked Pork Belly came to the table (before we knew it, the table next to ours all ordered Smoked Pork Belly hahaha). It just looked so good and sinful. And yes, it tasted soooo good. Melt-in-your-mouth tenderness! Okay. Definitely getting that next time. For the BBQ Chicken Salad, we all thought it was too pricey for greens but the serving was really huge, it's good for two people. (Muffet's suggestion though was maybe to separate the dressing when serving so you could have the amount of dressing the way you like it.)

    After an hour or so of conversations about frustrating people, work and everything in between over delicious food, we didn't even realize that there was already a queue outside. Oh, another plus is that they have no service charge! Seriously envious of people who live in this neighborhood. Hahaha.

    *
    Click to add a blog post for RUB on Zomato
    RUB Ribs & BBQ is located at 88 East Capitol Drive, Kapitolyo, Pasig City
    Contact Nos.: (02) 625-2939 or (02) 212-1212 (for delivery)
    Online delivery thru the Twoanyone website
    . Monday, January 26, 2015 .

    Imagine someone introduced his/herself to you this way. How would you react?

    I found this engaging comic strip shared on social media about introverts. Some blogs call it the "Introversion Bubble." In the world we live in today, there's just a constant need for labels... basically, for everything. It's actually not bad because at some point, a person realizes that, "Hey, I'm not just the only one experiencing this." You get to identify and come to terms that your certain trait or behavior is not unique to yourself. But in most cases (just like in introversion and extroversion), it always seem to be the opposite ends of the spectrum, there's always a clear cut. There are no in betweens, as depicted by most infographics, online quizzes (haha) and some blogs. But the reality is most of us are actually somewhere in the middle.

    And just a disclaimer: my opinions are not of an expert's. How I deal and feel about personality traits may be different from people. In short, just my two cents!


    I've never really come across the term introvert until I was in college. You could say I'm a social little bee during high school, but, in college, I had a little struggle coping up. It must be the familiarity. I was surrounded by people from the same community and the same people then I went to college where I basically knew no one.

    I can't really call that a trigger or that's the exact point when it started because, let's be honest, everyone goes through the same thing. Change happens. It's just that I realized, I guess, people have different ways on dealing with it. People have different perceptions of change, of adjustment, of accepting the new.

    According to the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, I am an ISFP. So yes, the I there says I am introverted. Yes, it is true. I am at most times quiet around people I don't know, I suck at small talk, and being around so many people isn't something I always look forward to. I won't give a list in bullets on how you're an introvert or how to live a better life because there's so much out there to read that, quite frankly, paints a not so pretty picture on how an introvert or extrovert is. There's this one that (I don't know if it's intentional) shows that introverts are like a snob, whiny pity party and extroverts are so full of themselves because they just like to be around people for attention and can't stop talking. Seriously, this needs to stop.

    This strip by this Dr. Carmella does have its good points but there are some parts that I totally don't agree on (but please don't make this "THE" guide to understanding introverts.) First of all, hamster ball? Hahahaha. Also, it is said on the comic strip that "Because this energy source is limited, they tend to see extroverts as obnoxious predators out to steal their sweet, sweet energy sources. That's why they have the hamster ball of personal space." So. not. true. At least in my case. All of my closest friends are in fact extroverted. I seem to jive more with them because they have a 180-degree different approach than me. I learn from them and they learn from me. And it's really fun to be around people that you could try new things with. Obnoxious is not a term I would associate with extroverts. Moreover, predator. Never. Isn't that a bit harsh?

    "It is important for introverts to feel welcome--they won't spend their precious energy on someone who doesn't want them around." These points make introverts sound like privileged, you're-not-worthy-of-our-energy people that can't cope up with the real world unless everyone adjusts around them. Being around an introvert doesn't involve everyone walking on eggshells. This comic isn't necessarily wrong but it does suggest that introverts need some kind of special treatment. No.

    The terms introvert and extrovert are already out there. It is a fact (though we may never know the most concise definition of each which is very prone to misunderstandings.) But the truth of the matter is, at some point in our life, whether you're the former or the latter, you will be required to do something outside your comfort zone because you need to, because it is never really us versus them, because it's more than just you and your 'trait.' While I do appreciate these reminders and acknowledgment of differences in personality, we are all more than acronyms from a test, we should never use it as an excuse to live our lives. We should never hide behind it. I know it's easier said than done (especially for extreme introverts) but the key there is to try. Small steps.

    . Saturday, January 24, 2015 .


    With every turn of a new year, one of the most heard of resolution is having a healthier lifestyle. But let's admit it: At this age of everything fast-paced and can be delivered right at your doorstep (pair it with, at least in my case, slower metabolism and a graveyard shift working schedule), healthier options in terms of food is very limited. I always thought I never had the time to prepare something of the lesser evil, and frankly, I would really rather chow some piping hot rice or spoonfuls of mashed potato, or if workload is too heavy, munch on potato chips and chocolates while working my day away.

    I'm sure we all have heard of the Juju Cleanse once before, right? It was such an 'in' thing the past year. It's the convenient (because they deliver!) juice cleansing that detoxifies your body, giving it that much needed kick of health. The same people who started Juju Cleanse also brought us Juju Eats. Their aim was to "reboot your palate and help every one realize that eating well can be easy and fun."


    Last year, I started adapting a healthier way of living. I went to the gym with Muffet at least thrice a week, cut back on carbs and sweets and basically, everything was in moderation. It was great because gym was near work and we had a colleague who customizes our food for us to fit our needs. But the latter part of the year, I began skipping working out and loosened a bit on the moderation part. Hahaha. Especially come the holidays!

    Good thing that a branch of Juju Eats opened across our building. We've only dined there once but it's really kind of reassuring to know that amid all the fast food chains and convenience stores that surrounds us, there is an accessible, call it, salad bar, if I may, that we could go to, to eat something healthy without being boring and bland.


    I decided to join some friends planning to eat here one morning. We found out that they have such a wide variety of greens (base), toppings and dressings that you could choose from, you could have so many approaches to the salad you want! They also have signature salads that you can order in regular size, half or just opt for it to be in a wrap. The flavors are really diverse, it's hard not to have a favorite. And just because Juju Eats mainly serves salads, don't, for a moment think, this is solely a vegetarian's paradise! They also serve chicken inasal, beef, pork inasal, bacon (!!!), tuna and catfish.


    The choices and number of permutations your salad could turn out is just countless so the newbie in me decided to stick with the signature salads first. I'll experiment later on. Haha. I ordered the most basic of all: Chicken Caesar salad plus extra feta cheese!

    Chicken Caesar salad! (That bowl though reminds me of clinics hehe)
    Muffet had the Pesto Pasta (middle) and Bell had the Tuna Nicoise Pasta (right).
    Of course, the hero of my Chicken Caesar salad is the chicken. Haha. It was just packed with flavor and really tender. I was quite afraid that the chicken breast would turn out dry and flat. There were also croutons that was (hurray!) not soaked in dressing and added that right crunch for texture. For a moment there, I forgot that I was eating greens because I was enjoying my meal so much. And by the time I finished it, I was full! Muffet and Bell were also all praises with their choices!


    We finished our meal each with a bottle of cold brew beverages (also, we're really curious how they taste!) I was supposed to have the mocha nutmilk but I guess someone else got the last one on the shelf so I settled for the Mexican mocha (left). I've had a sip of the other two flavors, and we all agreed that the vanilla nutmilk is the best among the three. I know Mexican mocha would be spicy (because it was indicated and I can certainly tolerate spicy nowadays) but for a drink, it was just too much for me!

    Juju Eats irrefutably changed the way I look at eating vegetables now! Flavorful and healthy salads, wide variety of ingredients and convenient location! Don't forget to try the Roast Pumpkin and Crispy Catfish salad (I heard those were the bestsellers) as well as their coffee and smoothies!

    *
    Click to add a blog post for Juju Eats on Zomato
    Juju Eats is located at Ground Floor, Tower 3, Rockwell Business Centre, Ugong, Pasig City
    Contact No.: (02) 551-3968
    Other branches: Podium, LeGrand Tower 1 in Eastwood and their pioneer branch along Chino Roces Ave. (Pasong Tamo Extension)
    Official Facebook Page
    . Friday, January 23, 2015 .

    So what's in Tuguegarao that we decided it would be the place for our first travel in 2015? Two words: Palaui Island. Well, Palaui isn't actually located in Tuguegarao but in Sta. Ana; the only airport in Cagayan Valley is in Tuguegarao. Palaui Island was used twice as the filming location for Survivor: Blood vs. Water and Survivor: Cagayan. Yes, we did go to those specific spots used in the reality show.

    I'm still thinking if I would be blogging about our adventures in the largest island in the country because my friend, Ian, is planning to launch a travel blog maybe earlier next month. (Ian, please finish your 2014 year-end video na and start your blog with an entry about Palaui.)

    Anyhoo, we've managed to sample their local delicacy, the batil patung, eat at a Korean restaurant (though not included in this post) and check out a nice coffee shop near the airport before we left. You might want to go to these places when you're in Tuguegarao.

    Jomar's Special Batil Patung



    Prior to the trip, I searched online for delicacies to try in Tuguegarao. I learned that their specialty dish is called batil patung, and there would be no problem sampling one because almost every street corner has a panciteria. As soon as we arrived in Tuguegarao and got ourselves a tricycle that would take us to the van terminal going to Sta. Ana, we first asked our driver where's the best place that serves batil patung and he immediately said Jomar's. You could order it in 3 ways: Regular, Large or Special. We never really found out (and we didn't bother inquire) what's the difference between the three, and just said "Special!" as soon as we were asked. Hahaha. We opted for the Special (PhP 80) because we wanted to have a taste of the best.

    Okay so here's something to keep in mind when in this region: when they say it's good for one person, it's usually big enough for 2 to 3 people, and when they say it's good for 2 to 3, it can probably feed a family of 5. Yes, the food servings here are huge!

    Trivia time! So why was it named as such? If translated directly, batil means 'mix or beat the egg' and patung means 'place on top or topping.' It is made of miki pancit (round egg noodles), minced and sauteed carabao meat, red onions, bean sprouts, pork liver, carrots, chicharon and of course, egg that's placed on top, cooked by the heat of the noodles, which makes it quite runny.


    It is also best eaten with the egg drop soup, which, when we asked, was called batil. You can pour it on the pancit or sip it separately. You can also add more soy sauce or fish sauce or even pepper according to your liking.


    To be honest, we were really overwhelmed by the big serving. If you're not a big fan of pancit, best to just share an order with someone because it will take you a long time to finish it. I enjoyed it (because chicharon LOL) and I thought the batil was really good.

    Jomar's Special Batil Patung is located at Diosdado Macapagal Avenue, Tuguegarao City, Cagayan

    Barako Boy Cafe

    Charm is giddy for her morning caffeine fix.
    On the plane going to Tuguegarao, I read this article on Cebu Pacific's inflight magazine, Smile, that Barako Boy is a place worth getting your daily dose of coffee kick. So prior to our flight back to Manila, we decided this would be our last stop to have brunch. Good thing it's located next to a gasoline station within the vicinity of the airport.


    I loved the rustic, al fresco ambiance of the place, with all the wooden pieces, some mismatched but definitely worked together. There were some very unique accents like the hats all lined up in one corner of the ceiling and there were also cups that draped one part of the cafe. Very artsy!

    Choices, choices.
    Ian had the pesto pasta and French-pressed Italian coffee. Charm had the cold hazelnut blend and creamy longganisa pasta, and I had the cold butterscotch blend coffee and the creamy longganisa pasta as well as recommended by the food attendants. I'm not really a big coffee drinker that's why I have no clue as to how the coffee should taste, but I found the creamy longganisa pasta delectable. It's an interesting twist to the usual white sauce pasta dishes like carbonara. I really, really liked it!


    I don't know if there are any other places with food worth visiting here but when in Tuguegarao, be sure to check these food spots out!

    Barako Boy is located at Petron Caggay Compound (infront of Hotel Joselina), Brgy. Caggay, Tuguegarao City, Cagayan
    Official Facebook Page

    (Photos by Ian Manzon and me)
    . Wednesday, January 21, 2015 .


    I made this top 20 list of movies that are worth checking out around the same time last year, and I realized that I've managed to watch 14 out of that list. Yay for me! Some of the movies I've included in this week's Weekend Movies are on that list, and there's a couple that had quite a buzz that I just had to see it for myself. But any movie you choose to watch from this pile is definitely worth the couch potato points!

    1. Boyhood. Films always had the ability to take us to different places and times, and Linklater may have already been a master of it. Boyhood (well, Linklater) has this effortless way of making us feel like we're a part of the movie, that the characters transcends the bounds of fiction and real life. There are no great scenes to this film, nothing close to a climax but was still every bit interesting. Boyhood gave a whole new meaning to coming of age. (µ)

    2. The Interview. It's hard not to watch this film given how it's been made so controversial. Was it worth all the hullabaloo? For you to judge. It's funny and shallow and stupid at some point but nonetheless laughter-inducing. There were a lot of cameos! Simply put, it was a film that was intended to be about North Korea's leader but it was not at all about North Korea's leader. (µ)

    3. The Double. Dark, haunting and creepy, but definitely not a horror film. This has quickly become of my favorite movies ever. There's that certain level of oddity that makes your skin crawl sometimes but it was a wonderful, edge-of-your-seat ride all throughout the film. It was absurdly beautiful. Don't take my word for it though, it's one of those films that you absolutely love or absolutely hate. (µ)

    4. The Lego Movie. I never thought I would learn so much from a movie with toys as characters. Commercialization, individuality -- too much of one or the other have its cons, and sometimes, being generic isn't so bad at all. It was comical and witty that audience of all ages would truly relate to enjoy! What a treat to the imagination! (µ)

    5. Under The Skin. There's a feeling of eeriness with the often silent scenes and shots of the breath-taking Scotland. Some people found the movie dragging and lifeless but (I know not everyone will have this to say about the film) I think it was a great film that showcased Johansson's talent. Not very likable but it manages to get under your skin even after the credits have rolled. (µ)

    6. Nightcrawler. Amazing Amy may have already found her male counterpart in Lou Bloom. And if there's a parallel universe where these movie characters do exist, I hope to the higher powers these 2 don't meet. Jake Gyllenhaal was just superb as the protagonist (felt more like an antagonist) of the film. I felt like watching Love and Other Drugs after just to wash off the bitter taste Gyllenhaal's character left in my mouth. There were scenes that left my mouth hanging in disbelief! The film was edgy and gripping and chilling because you realize that these type of people do exist in this world. (µ)
    . Monday, January 19, 2015 .



    Do you ever get that nauseating feeling when you're looking forward to a certain thing happening but you also equally dread the emotions that will come crashing the moment it ends? Today is one of those days.

    I am beyond reason. I don't have any solid arguments or points to raise, or basically, any logic. I am hollow and void, just wanting an inflated sense of satisfaction, a rush of adrenaline -- anything, just anything to permeate through me.

    I set out into the golden morning and got exactly that. I was hollow and void, and for a moment, I was filled to the brim. It would have been what I wanted. I was overwhelmed. I was full. It sounds like a dream. But is it possible that somehow a person can be filled with nothing? That you have everything right at the palm of your hands and yet, at hindsight, it actually has no value? At all? Naught. Zero. Nada. Not a single fucking thing.

    Today, I've woken up for the 482nd time, is this finally the best version of myself? Definitely not. This might be the worst side of me. If you think about it now, every time you wake up, you don't necessarily shed away your old self to become a better you, you just uncover a whole new you. You can't be certain if it's a 'you' you would like. And today was a whole new me. Do I like it? Not one inch.

    I sank. Let me just lay it out there. I did. But it wasn't so bad. But it dragged on. And on. And I thought I can keep up. I was almost proud of myself because I never wanted more. But at the end of the day, even though everything was at the back burner, there's always this nagging feeling I can't get rid of. It was clear that I can never ever be that person. I can never be a monster. I don't want to turn into that person I hate. But I think I already am. I am filthy, corrupted and quite possible, soulless.

    And what I dread the most after the boomboxes and fireworks are the quiet nights that follow. The nights so silent, you could hear your innermost thoughts out loud, you could hear the absolute truths like the clacking of 5-inch stilettos marching down an empty hallway. Your fears magnified, your faults naked for everyone to see. You became aware of the fact that today, you are a failure. Crystal clear.

    And all I can ever do now is be patient. Wait for this internal battle to die down; wait for the fear to subside; wait for the days when failures don't feel like something so crippling; wait for days that don't turn into these quiet nights; wait for the time I don't have these quiet nights anymore; wait to fully realize that I deserve something/someone great; wait to understand that all the damage can be used well.

    It could be as slow as the incremental drops from the faucet you keep on forgetting to fix, or as hit-and-miss as to when the sunset sky would turn that perfect shade of periwinkle, but it will come. And maybe one Saturday, I will have this quiet night one last time. Then finally, I will wake up to my perfect Sunday morning.

    . Friday, January 16, 2015 .


    I've always loved a great, hearty breakfast. Growing up, I've been used to including bread or rice (specifically garlic rice) to my early morning meals, whatever dish is served; and that rice always seemed to make eating more satisfying. But since last year, I've been trying to consistently lose weight and maintain it, and I realized rice would be one of the things I need to give up (yep, Paleo.) I found the original recipe in Simple Bites (tweaked it a bit to what's available in our pantry), made 2 batches and served it to my family. They really loved it! So I decided to include it in my weekly food plan.

    This is probably the easiest recipe I've done. A no-fuss, throw-in-one-pan breakfast idea that I'm sure everyone would enjoy and ask for more. And doesn't it just sound and look pretty?

    Ingredients:
    4-6 rashers/strips of bacon
    12-15 asparagus spears (about 350 grams)
    1/2 teaspoon lemon zest (original recipe included this but I didn't had one on hand when I made this)
    thyme
    1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    2 eggs
    cheddar cheese (optional)

    Instructions:
    1. Wash asparagus thoroughly, as they may be gritty, and use a vegetable peeler to remove the bottom 2/3 of peel.
    2. In a 9 x 13 roasting pan or Pyrex, lay the rashers of bacon. Place in the oven (I used a microwave) and cook for about 8 minutes or until crispy.
    3. Remove pan from oven and carefully transfer the bacon to a paper towel. Drain off most of the bacon fat, leaving about a tablespoon in the pan.
    4. Add the asparagus to the same pan and shake it around gently to coat the vegetables in grease. Arrange asparagus in a single layer and sprinkle it with lemon zest, thyme leaves and pepper.
    5. Roast asparagus for about 6-7 minutes or until it begins to soften. Remove pan from the oven and gently crack the 2 eggs on top of the asparagus. Return the dish to the oven and roast another 3-4 minutes or until eggs have reached the desired doneness. Return bacon to the pan.
    6. Sprinkle some crumbled cheese on top. Return to oven and cook for a minute or until the cheese melts.

    . Thursday, January 15, 2015 .


    (Note: The actual trip happened last September. Around November to December last year was the time my lack of interest to blog was at its pinnacle, so I was not able to write anything after what happened to our first day in Camiguin. I thought it would be such a crime to not write about it here as surely, I would like to look back at it one day because you know, sometimes, photos just don't suffice.)

    We started our second day in Camiguin early for our trip to White Island. If there's one thing that you should not pass up while in Camiguin, it's absolutely going to this beautiful, naked sand bar.

    Ian intentionally booked us at July's Haven Seaside Lodge, which required a bit of travel from the port, so it would be more convenient and faster for us to reach White Island. We rented a boat to take us to the sand bar for PhP ~500 and there's also some sort of 'entrance' fee of PhP 20. It took us just less than 10 minutes to get to the place!


    We were greeted by the crystal clear blue green water lapping the C-shaped powder paradise. Everything about this place is just beautiful, it takes your breath away. We arrived around 8 in the morning and there were not much people on the island. We actually found a perfect spot away from the crowd so we could take photos without people passing by! Haha. We had the Mount Hibok-Hibok, Tres Marias and Mount Vulcan as backdrop for our photos!

    Happy feet!

    . Monday, January 12, 2015 .

    Sagada, I gathered, after our year-end trip there, was one of those places brimming with spots where you can eat. (Well, I also learned that that really depends on the time you visit.) Last December, I was lucky to spend a few days there with a bunch of my friends to attend the annual Sagada Bonfire Fest.

    The trip was arduous, long and quite a challenge, so after we finally arrived there and checked-in in our assigned lodge (we booked a travel package through Travel Factor), all we could think about is fooooood. We stayed at George Guest House, which is a good 10 minutes away from the town proper, and since we were not yet in the mood to explore, we decided to dine at Ysagada Downtown Bistro which is directly in front of GGH.


    The place is small, perhaps, there's about 8 tables including those outside but very cozy. Of course, hugely predominant is the reggae theme, as you could see with the colors and the Bob Marley murals inside. Such a cool looking place to hangout at night to have drinks and conversations with friends, no?

    Original photos from yzagada.wordpress.com
    I didn't had any photos of the interior because that time, the place was packed. The only thing different now is that the walls are filled with scribbles of the names and messages from their customers. Also, their menu isn't really that of wide variety. They offer the usual breakfast specials, rice meals, salads, and hot and cold drinks. Here's what we had:


    I could hear you thinking out loud why the heck we ordered food that we can easily have in Manila. It's that I can't really recall if Ysagada had any specialties or any dish that's unique to them. That, plus it's cold and I really missed Korean food. So I had the ramyun and a frappe to counter the spiciness. Hahaha. Dino had the longsilog and beer (LOL), Bell and Jeff had the tuna sisig and Denvie had the greens and mashed potato (try this one). The food's nothing too out of the box but nonetheless tasted good. It was hearty and filling. I must say that their servings were hefty.

    If you ran a search in Google about Ysagada Downtown Bistro, you'll probably only have one or two helpful links, and you'll probably think that this little resto is new. I learned that they were operating before as Kusina Ysagada and had a revamp around last year and incorporated a reggae-themed ambiance.

    Note: Prior to our trip, there were a lot of restaurants recommended to us by other friends who frequent Sagada (Yoghurt House and Lemon Pie House were at the top of the list), but maybe because of the event and the surge of people, whenever we attempt to visit Yoghurt House, Lemon Pie House, even Strawberry Cafe, Salt and Pepper, Pinikpikan Haus and Sagada Brew, there's always a long queue or some of the house specialties are not available.

    ***

    Ysagada Downtown Bistro is located at Atey, Dao-angan, Sagada, Mountain Province
    Contact No.: +63908-891-9610
    Official Facebook Page
    . Saturday, January 10, 2015 .

    Today's Loops & Links will be a little bit different. It's not a random list of clickables that I found in the world wide web that's funny or weird, but I'm sharing a couple of blogs (pictured are my favorite works per author) that I've been following for some time now. These blogs share a common theme: words. Because I always had a thing for words, either spoken or written. Enjoy.

    1. Red Blood, Black Ink by Inkskinned
    I first found out about the author through the group Art Parasites' Facebook page. They featured this poetry (titled Houses) alongside an art work. I had a hard time finding more about the author since in AP's post, the author's name was just said to be r.i.d. After a couple of Google searches, I found this Tumblr account.

    2. Happy Together by Petersen Vargas
    One of my favorite blogs in the world wide web because: poetry, movies and music. From his Little Prince Tumblr theme to his works that's always filled with longing to the films he suggests, his way with words is something I consider to be an inspiration. (I hope I didn't sound too creepy. Hahaha.)

    3. Giant Strawberries by Chel Oaña
    I found her (former) Blogspot through the blog link-up, Truth Thursdays. One of my favorite TT posts by her is for the prompt This Is What I Mean When I Say. Her blog's own Spilled Ink category is my favorite and definitely worth your time to read.

    4. Sunday Morning by Marla Miniano
    I forgot how I first found Marla Miniano's Blogspot, but I remember reading this post, If we don't speak anymore, around the time I was going through a break-up. I remember being crushed and shedding tears because of its intensity and how as if she was writing about how I felt. More than a year later, I'm still an avid fan and the one pictured above is my favorite part of her post, Today the world.
    . Thursday, January 08, 2015 .

    I just found out late last month that my blog was nominated for The Liebster Award by Aneth and Sara (my deepest gratitude to you, girls!) They both listed 10 questions, mostly related to blogging.

    I've been on this platform for quite some time now and this is the first time I received an award like this. To be honest, I suck at connecting with other blogs until maybe around 2013. This is my first attempt in participating at something like this and I really don't know if anyone would be interested to read my answers (haha) but let me just get on with it and let me take you through what prompted me to start a blog and some facts about me real quick.

    And since Sara was the first one to nominate me, I'll be answering her questions.

    ***

    Why did you start your blog?
    I started keeping a journal back when I was still in grade school, around 1996. I really didn't know what drove me to start jotting down my shallow and naive thoughts back then and just basically how my day went. Documenting my life has been with me ever since. Around 2004, I exchanged my pen and journal for a little space in the world wide web. I always had in mind that I was blogging because I wanted to remember. I had my first blog at Xanga.

    What do you love about blogging?
    I've answered this question in my year-end post, Closing Credits.

    Where was your last, best vacation?
    Camiguin, September 2014. Blogged a bit about it here. Spent 5 days with my 2 friends, Muffet and Ian. My favorite part is our stay at White Island. It was also my first time in Mindanao. Good times.


    Favorite dish that's not from your own country.
    Does pizza count? That's Italian, right? Hahaha. This one is so hard to answer. I love Korean food! My favorites are pajeon, budaejjigae, samgyupsal and kerantang. Chinese food, lately, has been our comfort food. I could eat xiao long bao and kutchay dumplings everyday. Maybe some Japanese food too. Haha. Ramen, sashimi and the Pink Lady sushi! Vietnamese! Fresh spring rolls and tom nuong. Okay. This could go on forever.

    What's the best travel advice you've received?
    It's okay to get lost, it's part of the adventure. :)

    If you could move to any part of the world right now, where would you go and why?
    Iceland! Definitely Iceland! I joined the Big Blog Exchange last 2013 (luckily made it to the top 25!) and made a post on why I would love to go to Iceland. You could read it here and here.

    How did you pick your blog's name?
    One random night, I was browsing online thinking of a good username for a new e-mail address. The words leftover and jinx came up, I thought it was kind of clever to put those two together. That was 2005. And I've been using it ever since.

    What is your guiltiest pleasure?
    Chocolates. And some chocolate-like things in my life right now. Hahaha. *sings Buses and Trains* You know it's bad for you but you just can't leave them alone~

    If you could meet anyone, dead or alive, who would it be?
    All I could think of right now are the following: Chef Chuck Hughes, and Joy Williams and John Paul White of The Civil Wars. I hate how Chuck Hughes has been here before and I wasn't aware of it, and the thought that I could never ever see TCW perform again is just sad.

    What advice would you give someone about to start a blog?
    Share only what you're comfortable with. Be consistent. Don't forget to use a nice theme. :)
    . Monday, January 05, 2015 .


    1. My favorite food find last month: Breakfast at Antonio's Reuben sandwich. It's got slices of housemade corned beef, swiss cheese, sauerkraut and onions, drizzled with Russian dressing, with potato wedges on the side that came with a delicious curry ketchup dip. Lip smacking-ly good.
    2. This Sagada cat. There were tons of adorable, big, fluffy dogs I've seen in Sagada but this cat is extra sweet and clingy.
    3. I got some double terminated crystal pendants from Biyaya ni Bathala! I can't even remember why I purchased four. Hahaha.
    4. Old films I found while packing my stuff. There was a time when I was totally obsessed with lomography, but I already forgot about these rolls of films. Still thinking if I would have these developed. I have no idea what photos I took with these.
    5. My now curly hair. I had it permed before the year ended, and it's getting mixed reviews from people. I'm loving it at the moment so I'm keeping it for now.
    6. Treats from Rowena's. Forget Colette's when buying pasalubong here in the South. Rowena's got the yummy tarts, pies, cheesecakes, macarons and silvanas. We always make a stop here before heading home.

    (more on instagram)
    . Sunday, January 04, 2015 .


    "And I will remember your small room,
    the feel of you, the light in the window,
    your records, your books,
    our morning coffee, our noons, our nights,
    our bodies spilled together, sleeping. 
    The tiny flowing currents, immediate and forever.
    Your leg, my leg 
    your arm, my arm 
    your smile and the warmth of you 
    who made me laugh again."

    — Raw with Love, Charles Bukowski

    Tracks:
    1 // Kodaline - High Hopes
    2 // The Helio Sequence - Lately
    3 // Bahamas - Lost in the Light
    4 // Laura Mvula - Make Me Lovely
    5 // Zee Avi - Someone You Used To Know
    6 // The Weakerthans - Left and Leaving
    7 // The Honorary Title - Stay Away
    8 // The Perishers - Nothing Like You and I
    9 // The Morning Benders - Heavy Hearts
    10 // Last Dinosaurs - Used to be Mine
    11 // Landon Pigg - Can't Let Go
    12 // Jeff Buckley - Last Goodbye
    13 // Barcelona - Please Don't Go
    14 // Benjamin Francis Leftwich - Maps
    15 // Cary Brothers - Belong
    16 // City and Colour - Little Hell
    17 // Ellie Goulding - Dead in the Water
    18 // Gregory and the Hawk - The Bolder Thing To Do
    19 // William Fitzsimmons - Just Not Each Other

    (Sharing one of my favorite playlists by Thunderpopcola. Please do check her 8tracks page out.)
    . Saturday, January 03, 2015 .


    Happy New Year, everyone! Before the first month of the year goes full blast, let me just post the entries that have been hanging out in my Drafts folder for too long. I've been MIA from this blog for more than a month, I decided that the turn of the year would be a great chance to try to get my blogging juju back.

    So yes, when in Ilocos, be sure to try these restaurant suggestions I have. Last November, I went to Ilocos with my family which is actually my second time there, I went there before with my college friends, 2013, on a DIY trip. We decided it would be budget-friendly so we didn't splurge much on food and settled with the eateries that we passed by along the highways. This time around, I was able to research online some noteworthy restaurants and recommend them to my family so we could try it out.

    1. La Preciosa Restaurant

    We arrived at Laoag and dined here at night time, so I'm borrowing this photo from Oh My Janey.
    This, I think, is the most recommended restaurant in Laoag City when I researched online. And of course, after the bumpy plane ride and drive from the airport, I suggested that we eat here, I had to see what the buzz was all about.

    What we had:


    Bagnet was on the table along with crispy dinaraan and poqui-poqui. Any trip to this part of the Philippines would never be complete without sampling their authentic, crispy fried bagnet, and yes, it was mouthwatering and satisfyingly good. We all also loved the crispy dinaraan which is their version of dinuguan. This dish actually reminded me of Kanin Club's crispy dinuguan which is one of my favorites. I was never the one who likes pig's blood on her food but give me KC's dinuguan and dinaraan, I would gladly eat it anytime. Hahaha.

    And there's the poqui-poqui. A strange and quite funny name for a delectable dish of some kind of eggplant omelette. It may sound plain but it's really an unforgettable dish. This was my brother's favorite. And this was a perfect complement to the savory chunks of crispy bagnet.

    Lastly, the carrot cake. I saw this on their menu with the note 'must try,' and it quickly piqued my curiosity. Do yourself a favor when you visit La Preciosa and end your meal with this cake. It was absolutely, utterly --  I can't stress it enough -- perfect. I always thought of carrot cakes as bland (because vegetable-flavored cake lol) but this changed my mind. The cake was the right kind of dense, the frosting was not too sweet and the carrot shavings were generous and fresh. You know when you can tell when the food is fresh by taste? Every component of the cake added to the balance of flavors. You. Must. Try. This.

    The restaurant looked great, the food was divine, the customer service was commendable (they accommodated us even though we arrived super late at night). Don't forget to check out the other cakes and desserts they offer!

    La Preciosa Fine Dining & Catering Services
    J.P. Rizal St., Laoag City, Ilocos Norte
    (077) 773-1162
    Official Facebook Page

    2. Macy's Diner


    We were booked at Hotel Tiffany for the duration of our stay in Ilocos, and Macy's Diner was, I think, their sister restaurant. We had our complimentary breakfasts here so we were not able to taste the other dishes offered in their menu.

    The place sure was an eye candy! It was every bit an American diner in appearance! Food was not extraordinary but if you want a change in ambiance, you could drop by here and check it out. Surprisingly, they also offer Chinese food!


    Macy's Diner
    Gen. Segundo Avenue, Laoag City, Ilocos Norte
    (077) 770-3551

    3. Cafe Leona



    Cafe Leona is located in the heart of the city of Vigan. Before we started our city tour, we had our brunch here. The restaurant's name was after the Ilocos-native poet, playwright and satirist, Leona Florentino. I liked the color of the facade of the restaurant, somehow reminding me of a Greek tavern though the interiors, of course, very much like the entirety of Calle Crisologo, give that Philippines during the Spanish era feel, with the cobblestones, old Vigan and hole in the wall vibe.


    We didn't miss out again on eating bagnet, and we also tried the Vigan longganisa and I suggested we get the Vigan Express. Verdict? The food was great, serving was good for sharing and their staff were attentive and hospitable to the patrons. The overall atmosphere of Cafe Leona gives that extra umph to your dining experience there. If you're doing the Vigan Heritage Village tour, give this place a try. Also, if you're not feeling Filipino food, they offer steaks and Japanese cuisine!

    Cafe Leona
    Calle Crisologo, Vigan City, Ilocos Sur
    (077) 722-2212


    Have you dined at any of these restaurants? How did they fare to you?