Archive for March, 2015

I had to call in sick for work today because I woke up with an upset stomach. By afternoon, I felt better and got bored so I started playing with a video editor Cris just downloaded for me.

I just want to share with you my first shot at editing a video. I am CRAP at this. I swear I have all these ideas in my head but I just don’t know how to edit stuff to form a clip acceptable enough to share. But with this new app, things just got better. Even a dummy like me was able to do it! Somehow, this is beginning to sound like an ad for that app LOL.

Anyway, after all that yada yada, here it is! Please check it out and let me know your feedback. I would love some constructive criticism 🙂

 

Thanks guys! 🙂

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I love Japanese food! If I could only eat from one cuisine for the rest of my life, I would instantly choose Japanese over all other cuisines without batting an eyelash.

Oki Oki is one of the more underrated Japanese restaurants in the country. For some reason, I’ve never paid much attention to it until one time when I was at the mall with a fellow Ilocano and we just could not stop laughing about the resto’s name. For your appreciation of the joke, Oki is an Ilocano term for a lady’s intimate part. LOL. Anyway, since that first try, I have gone back to the restaurant multiple times. Below are our orders the last time Cris and I dined there (which was actually his first time.)

Mango Kani Maki | Phph200
8 huge rolls of ripe mango, nori, and kani (crab meat) rolled in roe. The mango tasted fresh and I love how there is not so much rice in each roll. I hate it when there is so much rice that you could barely taste the actual filling. Oki Oki’s Mango Kani Maki has the perfect amount of rice and filling for my taste.

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Oki Oki Chicken Teriyaki Don | Phph200
Grilled boneless chicken with teriyaki sauce topped on a bowl of rice. This was Cris’ order but I was able to take a bite of the chicken and I loved it. It was moist and had a smoky taste that perfectly balanced the sweet teriyaki sauce. Cris loved it so much that when he ate with his friends on a separate instance, he ordered exactly the same thing.

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Tenshin Ramen | Php180
Crabmeat omelette topped on egg noodles with thick soup. This is my favorite item in their menu and I never miss to order it every.freaking.time! It may sound weird to have an omelette in a “ramen” but it works for me. I love peppering it with togarashi or Japanese chili powder for an added heat. Plus the serving size is good for two for such a cheap price. I love it!

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The Hundred Islands National Park in Alaminos Pangasinan is composed of over a hundred islands covering a land area of almost 2,000 hectares. Only three of these islands were developed for tourists namely Governor, Quezon and Children’s Island.

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Governor’s Island was our first stop of the day. We planned to stay for a maximum of 30 minutes as there isn’t much to do in that island anyway – the beach front was too crowded with boats to be conducive for swimming.

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Our boatman said we could climb up Governor Island’s hill to get a view of the surrounding islands. The climb was short and uneventful except for a little patch of overgrown foliage where one could rest from the heat of the sun, or take photos with a nice (green) background.

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Reaching the viewing deck at the top of the hill, we were immediately greeted by a nice view of the Hundred Islands. However, we only stayed there for not even 10 minutes because it got too hot to handle. More groups of people were also getting to the top so we decided to get out of their way after getting our group photo taken. One could only stare at little islands from afar for too long until they begin to look alike anyway.

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The trek down was shorter, thanks to gravity. The steps are high so it could be quite a challenge for some with shorter (cuter) legs. As we got down, more boats were arriving, good thing we got there early.

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Apparently, the infamous Big Brother House is perched in this island but we did not bother checking it out anymore. I heard it could be rented for Phph10,000 per night. I think it could be quite an adventure to stay there even just for the night, but the lack of immediate boat transfer for emergency purposes scares the paranoid in me.

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Borawan is a play on two words – Boracay and Palawan. It’s an island named so because, as some people claim, it has white sand reminiscent of Boracay and rock formations the same as Palawan’s limestone cliffs. If one gets the chance to have the Boracay and Palawan experience in one at a measly price, one grabs it.

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My friends and I boarded a bus bound to Lucena, got off at the Grand Terminal. Got on a mini bus and alighted at the town of Padre Burgos where we got on tricycles that brought us to the port. From there, we rented a boat that would take us to Borawan Beach. Someone gave us a tip that people usually do the Borawan to Dampalitan route so we decided to go against the flow of people and camp out at Dampalitan Island instead.

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Upon arrival to the island, we pitched our tents and settled down for the day.

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In all fairness, Dampalitan Island’s sand could pass up as Boracay’s shores from afar. While the sun is shining its brightest, the white sand seems to glow it almost hurts the eyes.

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After lunch and a quick nap, the water level went down low enough to reveal a little sandbar. We walked on the sandbar and took photos farther out into the sea. That entertained us for about 30 minutes until it got too hot to be enjoyable. We went back under the shade and napped some more while waiting for the sun to go down. When it got a little cooler, we explored the opposite side of the shore and came across some sea friends.

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We watched the sun set and it was beautiful. It was made better by the absence of a big crowd. Guess going against the norm paid off, after all.

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When it got dark, we cooked and had our dinner. We built a fire and drank and danced around it. We also roasted marshmallows for our s’mores. It was a great night. 🙂

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The next day, our boat came by and brought us to Borawan Beach.

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I had to agree that the cliffs do resemble the limestone formations in Palawan albeit being miniature compared to the real thing. When we got to the island, there was a group of rock climbers uhmmmmm climbing the rocks LOLOLOL. We contented ourselves in climbing on top the less intimidating ones and swimming around the clear waters. We didn’t really do much at Borawan Island and I have to say that I liked Dampalitan better.

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Borawan is being marketed better than what it actually is. But if you’re looking for a new beach to explore this summer, it is still worth the try.

PAUL Boulangerie and Patisserie has been around in France since the late 1880’s. After more than 100 years, Filipinos get to vicariously eat ~authentic French~ pastries without leaving the country, thanks to the local franchise brought in by THE Ben Chan.

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Luckily, one of the newly opened franchise is very near my office building and on a Friday, my teammates and I decided to have our lunch at PAUL (Bench Tower). While waiting for our orders to be served, we were dished out a complimentary bread basket with butter and jam, and olive oil with balsamic vinegar. The bread was so good especially when dipped in the olive oil and balsamic vinegar mix.

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Allan and I split an order of Cream of Asparagus Soup which is their “Soup of the Day” (Phph110). Despite splitting an order between us, I still felt like the serving was generous. It came with an equally delicious slice of bread. I loved it!

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Below are what my friends ordered.

“Poulet Citron” (Php280) | An open sandwich topped with marinated chicken breast in lemon and garlic garnished with chopped parsley served warm with a side salad.

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“Tartine Saumon Fume” (Php320) | An open sandwich topped with smoked salmon, cucumber and soft white cheese served cold with a side salad.

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“Tartine Boeuf” (Php300) | An open sandwich topped with sauteed beef, onions, fresh mushrooms and leeks topped with melted cheddar cheese served warm with a side salad.

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“Cuisse de Poulet Rotie” (Php340) | Roasted chicken leg with herbs, served with salad, sauteed potatoes and shallots.

This is my order and it was the last to arrive on the table. Our server kept telling me that they were making sure that my chicken is thoroughly cooked before they serve it to me. I didn’t mind because who likes salmonella, right? And when it finally got to my table, I have to say it was worth the long wait! The chicken was indeed cooked well and perfectly seasoned. I also loved the potatoes but for was missing the shallots (no biggie). I would most probably order this again when I go back to the restaurant.

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Overall, my first meal at Paul Boulangerie was very satisfying. Given the similar price range, I prefer this way more than TWG. Just saying. 🙂

Luna Specialty Coffee is an all-day Filipino breakfast café partly owned by Lito Cayetano. Because I hate monotony, I am always on the lookout for new restaurants and cafes where my friends and I could eat at.

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One weekday afternoon, we took a quick break from work and decided to try this new place out. We were experiencing the usual afternoon slump and we all needed a perk-me-upper.

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They have a good selection of coffee – both hot and cold. To be honest, their cold coffees look more interesting but I try to shy away from cold and sweet beverages because I tend to develop a sore throat very easily.

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Key Kalamansi Pie | Phph140
This is a local version of the more American dessert Key Lime Pie. It was pleasantly tart and the crushed graham on top gave a hint of sweetness. I would never order this if I am dining by myself because I am not very keen on sour desserts, but I reckon this would be good for sharing especially since the serving is quite generous.

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Tapa and Egg Pan De Sal | Php230
Flat pan de sal with aioli, angus tapa and soft-boiled egg. I felt like this was priced rather steeply for the serving size. However, my friend who ordered this seemed very satisfied so I guess it’s all worth it, eh? And just look at that golden, melty yolk. Yummmm!

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White Rabbit Candyccino | Php 140
This somehow tasted like Starbucks’ Caramel Frappuccino. I am not really a fan because I felt like it was too sweet for me, but for novelty of having the old school White Rabbit in your coffee, I think this is worth a try just for the heck of it.

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Flat Tops Candyccino | Phph140
It’s like the White Rabbit Candyccino but instead of the White Rabbit Candy, it is infused with another Pinoy novelty chocolate – Flat Tops. Now this one resembled Starbucks’ Mocha Frappuccino.

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Mochaccino | Php190
This was my order and it came with 3 pieces of assorted hopia, another traditional Filipino snack. It was served in a (very) wide-mouthed French coffee bowl. It is said that the coffee bowls are originally designed to keep the hands of the coffee drinker warm during the cold months in Europe. However, I don’t think this suits me because I tend to drink my coffee in a leisurely manner, so I would want a cup that could keep my drink warm as long as possible. The coffee itself was good, but pairing it with the hopia made it a little more special. It’s a surprisingly good combination and I was able to finish everything on my plate (or cup for that matter).

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Overall, I enjoyed my first time dining at Luna. I have gone back to the café a couple of times since this first visit and I always leave with a content stomach.

Luna Specialty Coffee is located at the Ground Floor or NAC Tower along 32nd Street in BGC.