Dining, Journal

Pet-Friendly Places in Cebu

Warning: Major floof and cuteness ahead

As 1,197 people on Facebook and 1,260 people on Instagram know, I have a new man in my life. His Royal Floofiness, Gryffin the Chow, is an adorable red-coated chow chow who looks like a little lion, resembling the emblematic animal of the great House of Gryffindor he was named after. His appearance also makes him look like half of a griffin, the majestic part-lion part-eagle creature in mythology.

Despite how cute they look, most people are wary of owning chow chows because they tend to be aggressive—loyal to their masters, yet mean to strangers. They can also get quite aloof, which is the total opposite of most dogs who are people-pleasers. As someone who was debating getting a cat, I can’t say I mind the haughty nature; I was, however, concerned about the hostility.

I read that, in order to tame down the aggression, chows should be socialized early on. Get them used to unfamiliar people while young, and they’ll be friendly doggos. With that, I’ve taken to bringing Gryffin with me on playdates and letting him meet my friends and their dogs.

Cebu isn’t really a park city, and the few parks we do have tend to attract a lot of stray dogs. Not to discriminate against all of them, but I’m concerned about safety. I’m wary of having to break up a dog fight if it comes to that, and most of these stray dogs haven’t had their shots.

So, Gryffin and I have been on the hunt for pet-friendly places in the city, and we’ve found enough to warrant a list!

UPDATED: July 6, 2018.


Custom-built PC: The nerdiest thing I own #sorrynotsorry

Fun fact: I was a total more of a computer nerd back in the day.

Oh, no, I don’t claim to be having been well-versed in terms of specs and stuff that involved numbers. I mainly worked with what I had back then—a very basic desktop computer that my mother bought for very basic usage, but that’s never really stopped me from always looking for ways to improve the thing and maximizing what I can do with it.

Eventually, with the demands of college and work life, I moved on to something more portable, like my trusty netbook. Because those were even more basic (and I had less time), there wasn’t much to do with it, and besides eventually forgetting most of what I learned, I wasn’t also able to keep up with new products and updates.

But I found myself missing an actual desktop. More importantly, I missed the things I used to be able to do with a full computer, like playing games, editing videos, and making graphics besides writing Harry Potter fanfiction. With my current laptop showing signs of deterioration, I contemplated getting an all-in-one, until my friend Anton swooped in to save the day offer building me one instead. While it was going to take more time to put together, it would be customized according to my needs and wants. I wasn’t seeking anything fancy (full disclosure: it ended up somewhat fancy), but I definitely wanted a Jack of All Trades, not necessarily being a master of none. I also wanted it future-proof.

So, ladies and gents, meet Pallas.



In honor of International Women’s Month this March, I’m proud to have been asked to be part of Guilty & Proud, a campaign by Queen City Plus. This movement champions body positivism and self-love in Cebu.

Guilty and Proud - PATTY by Kurt Fick
Photography by Kurt Fick / Shot on location at UVNS

Queen City Plus is the on-screen journal of Bea Evardone, herself a body positive and self-love advocate. A fellow Theresian few years my junior, I’ve always admired the tenacity of this lady ever since our elementary days when she would be running around campaigning to be student body president. Over time, we found ourselves working more together.

She was there one particular afternoon when I was lamenting to some people about having endured yet another body shaming remark. Little did I know she was already in the stages of planning Guilty & Proud, which she invited me to join.

I knew a lot of people at the photo shoot, but it was a complete eye-opener to realize that all these women I thought I knew—these amazingly beautiful women—also had to contend with having to live up to society’s standards. Reading their stories, posted every day on the Facebook page, was equal parts inspiring and intimidating, because while it was reassuring to know I was not alone after all, I felt my story did not live up to their journeys.

But this is not a competition. We are sisters united in the vision of raising awareness for body shaming, because no, it is not okay to just randomly throw out “You’re so fat now,” and other remarks that attack people for their appearances and choices.

Eventually, I found the heart and the right words. Here is what I have to say.

In medias res—Latin for ‘into the middle of things’—is a narrative that starts not at the beginning, but somewhere in the middle of the story.

In this case, my journey begins in medias res with a beautiful white gown with a daring plunge right down the front.

It wasn’t for my wedding, no. It was for a photoshoot celebrating something that stands for women’s rights. I felt I was making a statement that flaunting my curves does not make me less of an advocate for gender equality. I looked fine as hell and I knew it.

Then came the negative remarks. A stranger on Instagram commented that my dress, while showing off my cleavage, might as well be pointing to my vagina. An acquaintance took it upon herself to actually download the photo and send it as an e-mail to her friend and my former colleague, writing, “Maayo pa’g nag backless nalang siya kay wala siya’y yototch,” (She should have just worn a backless [dress] because she doesn’t have breasts) in the subject title.

Continue reading →


Pocket Pleasures: Cammy Confectionery

I have found the best leche flan in Cebu. Fight me on this.

Quite a bold statement coming from someone who wouldn’t necessarily define herself as a dessert person (stay with me here). It’s not that I don’t like dessert – I do, really, but when I don’t actively look for sweets, I’m extremely picky with the ones I like. Off the top of my head, I will indulge in the following: Marco Polo Plaza’s malicious cookies, Isidra Comfort Cantina’s calamansi custard meringue, red velvet cupcakes by The Cupcake Theory, a box of Ferrero Rocher, basically anything by Raquel Choa and The Chocolate Chamber, and blue cheese walnut and fig cheesecake from Osvaldo’s in Davao whenever I can bully someone to buy me a slice (to date, this has only happened once).

So there I was, perfectly content with my current roster of favorite desserts, and in swoops my good friend Mayan with a pretty little jar of leche flan. Plonk, on the table, no big deal, like she knew it was just another addition to a running list of things she has negatively influenced me on – and she wasn’t even sorry about it, the devil.

Then again, label says, ‘A Sweet Treat for the Wicked’, so that’s a warning as good as any.


25 Things I’m Still Trying to Figure Out + 1 I Already Have

In two days, I turn 26.

It’s a rather daunting prospect, the reasons being things I admittedly forced out of my mind when I turned 25. 25 was the midpoint, I told myself. I was allowed to act and go about things like I was still in my early 20’s.


26 though, that’s kind of past the middle, right? A number that easily rolls off the tongue, sounds so adult, giving the impression of stability and demanding respect. An age that, honestly, I don’t quite feel I live up to yet.


Lumia 950 XL: How I ended my relationship with iPhones (but had an affair with them anyway, because Pokémon GO)

Over the past few months, I’ve gotten curious looks and inquiries from people whenever I’d whip out my phone and they see it’s not an iPhone or anything resembling an Android. It’s a Lumia 950 XL from Microsoft (née Nokia), and the first things I get asked are, “What is that?” “But why don’t you have an iPhone?”

For a number of completely superficial reasons, I hated my first and only iPhone, and was all too happy when my contract expired. Never say never and all, but I love my Lumia 950 XL and wouldn’t be inclined to look back anytime soon. Or so, I thought. Recently, in the light of Pokémon GO (and Niantec/Nintendo not developing it for Windows Phone, boo), I took out a spare iPhone 5c my mom sent from the US just to play the darned game. Having an iPhone in my hands again after all these months just reminded me why, Pokémon GO notwithstanding, I have no regrets about switching.


So Good to be Bad: Bad Boys Wingz

One of my favorite things about Zee Lifestyle‘s annual Men’s Issues is the Bachelorettes feature, in which we gather the city’s most eligible ladies for a dining by discussion on love, sex, relationships, and dating in Cebu. It’s always interesting and informative (sometimes waaaaay too informative) to delve into the minds of gorgeous and intelligent women of substance, and this year was no different.

Behind the scenes of Zee Lifestyle’s 2016 Bachelorettes feature: Shaira Berame, Christina Santos, Yumny Mariot and Pia Tenchavez (Shot on location at Wish Cebu)

What makes the 2016 batch even more dear to me, though, is how the ladies have all become fast friends. I remember everyone’s initial trepidation on not knowing anyone before the shoot, especially since they were expected to share personal details. To my surprise, they warmed up to each other right away, even having their own conversations while the production team was setting up. By the time the discussion part started, Pia Tenchavez, Yumny Mariot, Shaira Berame and Christina Santos have developed this easygoing chemistry that the pages could do no justice.

Since the shoot, the girls and I (along with photographer Toni Marie Despojo) have since taken to going out every now and then. First was at Yumny’s homebase Marco Polo Plaza for the hotel’s signature Earl Grape Iced Tea. Then Christina invited all of us to her brother David’s chicken joint Bad Boys Wingz, which recently opened a branch at The Greenery in Mabolo.


Travel: South Korea

“Summer in Korea?” I wonder. “What would I do during summer in Korea?”

Having grown up and lived in a country with summer-like weather most of the year, I initially didn’t see the appeal of traveling just to experience the same season. At the same time, I’ll be the first to admit that Korea was never really in my list of top destinations to visit. When the Korean craze swept the nation in recent years, I remained mostly indifferent to all the K-pop, K-drama, K-everything that everyone went crazy for. Besides, I had also heard that Korea is best during the other seasons of the year, but never really summer.

Still, who could resist the lure of discovering a new place? Philippines AirAsia had recently introduced once-a-day direct flight from Cebu to Incheon, so there was no excuse not to check it out at any moment’s notice, no matter what time of the year. As the trip drew nearer, it had also become a personal challenge of sorts to find out the lure of Korea; also to discover what it was really like there, considering the significant population of Koreans in the Philippines. A cultural exchange, if you may.

Dining, Travels

The Sweet Escape: 10:31 by Chef M

When it comes to good food, distance is no issue. I’ve been known to make the drive over to nearby Mactan Island for some great Asian fusion, and recently a few friends and I even headed all the way to Sogod for German noms at Borussia. So, you see, as long as the food is worth it, I’m all in.

A recent work event (a successful one!) brought me to the shores of Bohol for several days, and my stay happened to coincide with the opening of my friend Wyvren‘s new restaurant 10:31 by Chef M in Tagbilaran City. No reason not to drop by, especially when it’s super near the port and I was already there anyway.


#MOTD: The Night Queen + GoT Viewing Party

It’s no secret that I love to dress up.

While I’ve since toned down to more casual ensembles for everyday wear, I can’t resist the opportunity to mess around with my look when the occasion calls for it… like, for instance a Game of Thrones-inspired party to cap off the sixth season.

I had a couple of costumes in mind, but considering my penchant for procrastinating (also busy having a life), I ended up not having a final one the day before the party. You’d think that someone whose wardrobe consisted of mostly black clothes wouldn’t have a problem, but I wanted to put in a little bit of effort. In a sheer moment of panic, I did some quick Google-fu and got inspired by the numerous makeup tutorials for The Night King. It would be completely unexpected from me (most people sort of thought I was going as Daenerys, go figure), plus I can just put something together from my existing closet. Ta-dah!