Dining

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.

Journal

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.

Reviews

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.

Dining

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.

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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.

Travels

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.

Beauty

#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!

Travels

Staycation: Mövenpick Hotel Mactan Island Cebu

Even though the Philippines enjoys a tropical climate all year long, there’s still something special about summer. It’s been years since I’ve enjoyed the mandatory two-month break from school for the season so you’d think I’m used to it by now, but for me, summer’s never really complete without a trip to the beach.

That said, with the past few months being extremely stressful with work and family obligations, I panicked when I realized June was upon us and I still haven’t gotten a dose of Vitamin Sea. With my brother being overwhelmingly tired about everything we’ve had to deal with and bemoaning the fact that he hasn’t had a proper vacation, I decided to hit two birds with one stone and planned an intimate beach outing to cap off the summer.

 

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After Mum vetoed the original idea of an island hopping, I switched tactics and booked a stay for us and our friends at the Mövenpick Hotel Mactan Island Cebu, a.k.a. one of my favorite places. It’s a perfect place for a staycation, as it’s far enough from the city but it’s just a 30-minute drive away, and the beach is gorgeous. I’m no stranger to the resort, having been there several times over the years, but it was always somehow work-related and I never got chances to enjoy it with my brother. Until now.

Dining

Ilaputi: Not Your Usual Order

It’s time to admit that I’m a total creature of habit.

While this quirk has its share of frustrations, it’s mainly a good thing. If I see something I like, I’ll wear it a lot, use it again, order it over and over… you get the gist. That basically explains why my wardrobe staples are all in black and white, which makes dressing in the summer quite the challenge.

You’d think I would know myself better, but truthfully I only came to this conclusion recently (and amusingly, by the way), when I realized that the baristas at Brown Cup already knew I usually get a cappuccino (hot) or a white mocha java (cold), that I was on first-name basis with the barista in Starbucks (hi, Linus!) and the bartender at Politics (what’s up, Mark?), and heck the server at Dimsum Break anticipated my usual order of spicy-steamed-rice-with-plain-siomai-and-ginger-sauce-with-bottled-water.

In Ilaputi‘s case, it was The Stroganov. Because, seriously, it’s The Stroganov.

 

See what I mean? 😛

I have to hand it to Jan Rodriguez though. Instead of being perfectly content that I was already nursing an incurable addiction to The Stroganov, he’s continuously whipping up delicious ways to sway me into trying out other items on the menu.

And that is how I ended up eating something-else-not-Stroganov at Ilaputi one Saturday night.

Fashion

#MYOH2016: (Not) Lost in Translation

I’ve always had a fascination—albeit mild—with Japanese culture, stemming from eating ramen and watching Memoirs of a Geisha at an impressionable age. Though I’ve never been to the country yet, that’s not to say I don’t want to go there. I’m simply waiting for the right opportunity to do so.

That said, I was intrigued upon finding out that the theme for this year’s Make Your Own Havaianas (running until May 1) is Japanese-inspired. A quick chat with Leanne Florendo, half of the dynamic duo that makes up AL Amizade, informed me that the Havaianas’ heritage is partly rooted in Japanese culture, with the texture of the soles reminiscent of the traditional zori. Quite interesting, really, for a Brazilian brand.