Live To Feel Stories

All of us have stories to tell… and each story we can learn a lesson or two. If there is one thing I learned from living past quarter (yuck, I’m past quarter already okay). I for one particularly enjoy hearing other people’s stories – I love listening to them, I live for those stories because I think I look forward for my own unique experiences

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Weekends (and hangovers) aka life according to the phone, pt. 3

Izz a bit late but what the hell - this is covering end of Feb to March

IMG_6303First order of things tho – selfie!

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Last month, my best friend Hanna and I celebrated our birthdays! Cheers to 26 and 24 — with a big ass beer and more spirits…Hanna3Hanna4Hanna5Hanna6Like this tall shots of Patron XO!

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What’s a decent hangover without pancit canton? Tell me?! And of course, I just had to have time with the fambam as well – though it’s really getting hard to have all of us in one table these days, this’ll do for now. I hope I can rile them up for a summer getaway or something. IMG_6304IMG_6315Mendokoro Ramenba 1Mendokoro Ramenba 2

But even without hangover, I’ll choose noodles anytime any day anywhere. I finally went to Mendokoro Ramenba in Salcedo Village. I’ve been tweeting and telling you guys that I’ve heard so much good about this place – and yes those are all true! No frills ramen with a small menu of less than 10 items and just one of the most glorious broth I have souped up. Gad, even in the middle of this hotness aka the devil’s asshole, I would go up there to soup up. 
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And for those busy days (yes, even the weekends are busy ok), I go to local coffee shops like Local Edition to work on stuff. March has been incredibly busy with both meeting potential collaborators and meeting friends. Local Ed’s cold brew is just right to wire me up and put me in the mood to work plus Perea is a quiet haven – aka without the mall crowd – to hole up and focus on things.

Sundays at Local Edition 2

I just looooove how last month turned out and it’s just the first quarter.Sundays at Local Edition

2015, c’mon show me what you’ve got!

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#Bangcock Day 4: Quick coffee at Ceresia… and going back home

I will never let myself not try Bangkok’s local coffee shops so on our last day — I went out a couple of stations away from Baiyoke for an early breakfast and set off to find at least one specialty coffee shop.

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A couple of blocks away from BTS Phrom Phong is a quiet neighborhood where Ceresia Coffee Roasters is nestled in, along 33/1 Sukhumvit Road. You would need to go to the alley to see it. If you go here before 10am, it will most probably be the only cafe open in the area.

IMG_6066They do the roasting in-house!

IMG_6067IMG_6068An exquisitely prepared flat white with latte art to boot!

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It’s almost Christmas when we went to Bangkok, so there were Christmas packages on display as well. Nevertheless, I liked the minimalist aesthetic the store has. It might feel a bit stiff, but the owners, who also prepares your coffee, are so friendly. I’m so bad with names but the store is owned by a Peruvian lady and a Thai guy. I enjoyed talking to them about how they’re sourcing their coffee — pretty awesome stuff! I also found a magazine (not in the photos) featuring Chiang Mai Design Week and how the emerging Thai city has a very laid back yet still very urban culture – and I am excited to go one day! Plus there are interesting cafes to try as well… Bangkok, I love you, but I hafta see Chiang Mai!

IMG_6074IMG_6075IMG_6076And I saw another quaint coffee shop around the corner

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Took the train and had to drop postcards at the post office… I think it was in Ratchathewi. Then I saw a hawker place – where I ate Pad Thai of course! One last hurrah. I’d miss this city of sumptuous street food and beautiful finds.

IMG_6079IMG_6081Then it’s off to the airport and it’s good bye once more. 

Ceresia Coffee Roasters
41 Praphai Phak Alley, Khlong Tan Nuea
Watthana, Bangkok (Near BTS Phrom Phong)
+66 86 843 8235
Open 8am – 6pm

#Bangcock Day 3: #Foodcoma at Baipai Thai Cooking School and Khao San Road

This post definitely made me hungry... and maybe it will make you hungry, too!

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One thing I really wanted to do in Bangkok when I got back was to take quick cooking classes. There was this class held by someone recommended by Jamie Oliver (oh god, I was fake dreaming he’d appear for a surprise visit) but it was fully booked even a month away from our trip. So I instead googled and compared a lot of classes around Bangkok – all ranging from as cheap as 900 baht to as expensive as 4,000 baht. Among those choices, I went to Baipai Thai Cooking School – and they did not disappoint *insert Jonver face of approval*
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At first glance, Baipai does not look like a cooking school. The whole place looks like a spa or some expensive villa. Now I really do wonder if they offer accommodations. Haha! Upon entering the school you’ll be welcomed by the staff while they serve lemongrass tea – the freshest I’ve ever tasted. IMG_6009IMG_6011IMG_6012

Fone welcomed us to the school and gave us a crash course on herbs and Thai seasonings. She even let us taste the herbs – some of them tasted quite a bit strong – which represented Thai food for me. I was so excited to learn more how Thai food is done correctly!IMG_6013IMG_6014IMG_6016That chili is naaaaasty but I like the green one

IMG_6017IMG_6018IMG_6019IMG_6021Insert dramatic quote while grating coconut

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Puu, one of the chefs who teach here, also taught us how to get fresh coconut milk. And man, it wasn’t easy.  We enjoyed trying it out but I don’t think I can do it for two more coconuts. However, fresh coconut milk tastes so much better than the canned ones available in the supermarket. If you have time to go to the wet market, it’ll be better to use those though.

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While we were touring the place, the staff prepared the kitchen for us. It was a lovely setup! I am not even joking – because I love kitchens and if I have a place of my own I’d have the kitchen bigger than any other room. Back in my hometown, I’d entertain guests while I cook and it still is the best part of my home for me to host. IMG_6028IMG_6029

First up, we learned how to cook Thai Satay – which involved a lot of herbs and spices. Puu made the peanut sauce for everyone which was so tasty I actually wanted to ask her to cook some more to bring back home (perishing was an issue, though). Making the peanut sauce involved so much smoke I don’t think I can make it at home – unless I go back to my parent’s place and cook outside.IMG_6313_1400x1050Jonver (2)_1400x1050Skewering so hard especially the meat was so thinly sliced

IMG_6031That peanut sauce tho

 

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Then we made a quick salad – Spicy Prawn and greens – which Asian vinaigrette was really refreshing and citrusy. It’s one of the those quick fixes you can whip up in five minutes. Perfect for the lazy bachelor that I am – or that homemade quick date that can help bring you the home run!Jay, Susan & Jonver_1400x1050Jonver (6)_1400x1050IMG_6040

We had two dishes which we cooked on fire. Asian dishes spells stir fry for many people – so we made stir fried beef and beans. We didn’t do Pad Thai though (I’ll be back to learn authentic Pad Thai because it is bae) but we did Thai noodles which is kinda Pad Thai, too, with different ingredients.Jonver_1400x1050IMG_6043IMG_6044IMG_6045Perfect way to cap this experience? Thai Milk Tea!

IMG_6046IMG_6048Group Dinner (1)_1400x1050Meet the whole class!

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The class went for half a day but spending it here was all worth it! DSC02253DSC02255DSC02268

The next day will be our last day so we drank our last drop of our alcohol in the famed streets of Khao San Road and Soi Rambuttri. DSC02278IMG_6055IMG_6057

Paid 10 baht to take a photo of these but we weren’t brave enough to try. My body isn’t ready for that. IMG_6058IMG_6059Internal joke. Nvm lol.

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Our last night in Bangkok was hella fun!

Baipai Thai Cooking School
8/91 Ngam Wongwan Road
Soi 54 Ladyao, Chatuchak
(They pick you up from your hotel)
+66 2 561 1404
http://www.baipai.com

Other places in this post:
Khao San Road
Soi Rambuttri

Weekends – hellos, see-you-laters, and goodbyes

Whew! Finally got time to write here... I am starting to lose my mind over everything that needs to be done. And this blog is on that same list.

IMG_6213.JPGI’d really rather not discuss this one

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Let us start with goodbyes though. So the previous week has seen meltdowns and bouts of anxiety attacks over a lot of things. Change is good, I guess, but my body couldn’t keep up. With change, goodbyes are in tow and it’s never easy letting go no matter how beautifully Elsa sings about it. For one, leaving my best friend and where we lived for four good months wasn’t easy. The place was so peaceful and beautiful and convenient – and not to mention there were a lot of cute boys in the area. Haha! But it wasn’t the plan to stay there for long right from the start. I knew that we had to leave one way or another. It might be shallow for other people, but I find it difficult to leave the place even even though I now live in a more convenient distance from work.
IMG_6200.JPGlol quick selfie break

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Meltdowns and anxieties = I need ramen in my life. I was craving ramen for the past few weeks just because I was so stressed about moving and nigh shift and expenses and boys (please refer to the photo way above, haha) I dragged friends over to Ramen places in the metro. The nearest we can get is Ramen Nagi in Greenbelt. I can swear by their Butao Ramen that it’s one of the best I’ve tried. I know, I know, Ramen seems faddish but what a stressed boy got to do when all he wants is soup?
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One visit ain’t enough – I had to bring Nica here as well. I tried the Akaoo Ramen instead and god my mouth was on fire, sure it was! Ramen Nagi has branches all over the metro, so I sure won’t miss it though.

IMG_6210-0.JPG IMG_6218.JPGMilky and Sunny has already opened at Legaspi Village!

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Local Edition has a special place in my heart. It’s one of the places I’ll miss going to frequently. Especially, when I used to spend weekends there with a special someone… who’s no longer special. It was good while it lasted though… Gah. I don’t wanna talk about this. Dating is hard, okay? #hugot | Cue: So no one told you life was gonna be this waaaaaayIMG_6224.JPG IMG_6225-0.JPG IMG_6226.JPGIMG_6228.JPG

I spent the last day before I move out with friends from Muni! It was so nice to have spent it with people I don’t usually see – people who most probably I will still not see that often. We met up at Commune with a bunch of other Muni people, had dinner at Project Pie, and holed up for drinks and games at Karl’s place. Ah, such is life. If only I could see friends more often. There sure was a lot of see-you-laters that night…IMG_6229-0.JPG

Say hello to my new place! I moved stuff from Nica’s place to my new place yesterday yet I still haven’t unpacked and my things are just all over the place. I hope I can muster the strength to do so this week because I don’t want the filth to pile up. I still can’t believe I’m out of my happy place though. I need my adjustment period!!! Then again, it feels like a restart at some point – a chance to start over and leave regrets and pain behind. I hear ya, Sam Smith! I do hope decorating this space will cheer things up a bit. I’ll keep you posted on that!

IMG_6230.JPGIMG_6211.JPGI could really use a milkshake right now. (Photo: Friday’s Double Chocolate Milkshake)

Past few weekends and the holiday season, aka life according to my phone, Pt. 2

aka it has been lazy these past few weekends hahahaha

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The holidays are upon us… and god knows it has been lazy – from getting up and going out. The cold winds are beckoning you to hole up with a cup of eggnog hot cocoa/coffee/tea (whatever floats your boat) and endless TV and movies at home. But the holidays for me are for seeing old friends again. I haven’t seen this bunch in a while! And Maginhawa looks soooooooo different already… We ate at Indonyaki, that Indonesian place across where TK used to be at. Then almost naturally, we holed up in Moonleaf… like good ol’ times.

 

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I am thanking this year for new friends! This year marked my first year in corporate and I haven’t thanked the Lord enough for the opportunities and the new people in my life. My team agreed to do Mystery Manila for team building and yeeeeeeah! Booyah bitches, we have conquered! Go drag the team, friends, or family here and have some fun guys!

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  1. Guess what our team name is. 
  2. I don’t like that we didn’t get first. 
  3. Naturally and irl, I’m uber competitive. 

 

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Weekends are usually spent with my roommate and bae, Nica! When Cath Kidston opened in Fort, I already knew that Nica will be dying to see it… so off we went! However, we brought our EQs with us so we bought nada. Til next time then! We had dinner at The Wholesome Table in BGC Central. Food was awesome… I wish I know how to tell if something is organic, but I guess I just believed what was written in their menus. The fried chicken parmigiana was GLORIOUS, yeezus I wanna make that at home. Chug down with tamarind tea – I wanna learn how they made this, too!

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IMG_6146.JPGIMG_6158Intermission: Postcrossing IS fun!!! I’ve been receiving postcards the whole month. This one’s from the USA!

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Of course, Christmas parties are looming around the city and I had fun with the people from Globe and the Club 917 at the NBA Cafe – in line with their promos with NBA! They gave away an LG G3, a Samsung S5, and lots of Tattoo products and gift certificates. Thanks, Globe and HVMO, for this year… it has been a great partnership and I only look for more years working with you 🙂 

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And some weekends are just chilling with the fambam… I don’t see them often – I wish I could, but sometimes life has its way of hurling its big self on to you. Nevertheless, whenever I can and whenever there is an opportunity, I go see them. We may argue a lot, but I believe we love each other. Looking forward to spend a glorious 5-day Christmas break with them… oh god, the Davids really like Christmas… lounging around the house is never the same without my family!

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This was earlier at Pino Restaurant at Malingap street in Teacher’s Village. Brought the fam bam here after Angel’s Oathtaking! Congrats for being licensed and shit, sister! Go forth and educate!

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Happy Holidays everyone and all!

Back from obscurity… and #Bangcock!

Finally, getting back up from a stomach flu! I haven’t felt that bad in the gut since god knows when and… I admit I’m still not that well… but manageable at the least! Phew… is this growing old?

IMG_5880Pratunam at night looks so lovely

But anyway, last week two of my friends from the office and I went to a whimsical trip to Bangkok and it never felt any better than being back in a city that I love! I was just there last year and despite the then-starting protests, the city was electric and full of energy… and still is the same! Though unplanned and this trip left me practically using up money that I shouldn’t, I wouldn’t regret anything. It was a hell lot of fun!

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I got to do other things than temple tramping because I’ve done that last year! So it was about museums, the sex district, lots of drinking… and definitely it also involved lots of food. The city looks a hell lot like Manila but I guess there is really something being in a different city other than yours… makes you feel alive.

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Central Thailand has one of the best cuisines across all of Asia, and I wouldn’t miss it for the world! I even learned a thing or two from Baipai Thai Cooking School! Met a couple of people from our small class , had tons of fun playing around the kitchen (without burning anything, of course!) Will definitely whip some Thai realness in the kitchen from now on… where to find ingredients though; we will scout for, that is.

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And what is #Bangcock when there is no sleaze involved. I know any city would kinda regret if they’re known for sex shows but I think it just adds charm to good ol’ Bangkok. You all know the story guys… HANGOVER! So Two Gays and A Girl booked the Hangover Tour for kicks and it was a looooooot of oohs and aahs quite literally. Bangkok at night changes from sobriety to sleaze in a snap!

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There is a lot to tell about our little getaway to Bangkok, including photos I prolly shouldn’t have taken but I’ll share anyway…

I can’t wait to tell all of ’em to you! Stay tuned!

Hong Kong Hustle: Coffee Shop Hopping at Jervois Street

I didn’t get to have all the coffee that I want back in Hong Kong but I took note of the interesting cafes that I saw while strolling around the area. Hopefully, they’ll be of help for you as well! 

Most of these are found at Hong Kong Island – in Sheung Wan, Wan Chai, and Causeway Bay. Hopefully, this list will grow – because I’ll definitely go back soon! Maybe a lesson or two from the Coffee Academics… and an overcaffeinated vacation…

Ah! One can dream…


 

IMG_5513The Coffee Academics 
38 Yiu Wa St, Causeway Bay
+852 2156 0313
10am – 11pm

IMG_558818 Grams Specialty Coffee
77 Wing Lok St, Sheung Wan
8am – 7am (I’m not sure if this is serious tho lol)

IMG_5590VEYGO Coffee
Kai Fung Mansion, 2-24 Jervois St
Sheung Wan
+852 2205 1011
9am – 10pm

IMG_5591Catfe
85 Jervois St, Sheung Wan
+852 3590 2686

IMG_5592Fetch Coffee
109 Jervois St, Sheung Wan

IMG_5595Backerei Cafe
G/F Western Market, Sheung Wan

IMG_5602Agnes B. Cafe L.P.G.
17-19 Yun Ping Rd, Causeway Bay

IMG_5675Rabbithole Coffee and Roaster
3 Landale St, Wan Chai
+852 2528 0039
7:30am – 8pm

IMG_5692Barista Jam
126-128 Jervois St, Sheung Wan
+852 2854 2211

IMG_5694Cupping Room
LG/F 299 Queen’s Road Central
Sheung Wan
+852 2799 3398

IMG_5695Corner Kitchen Cafe
226 Hollywood Rd, Sheung Wan
+852 2547 8008

IMG_5697Caffe Habitu
Hung Hom, near HK Polytechnic Uni

 

Hong Kong Hustle: Day 1; Causeway Bay and s’more

The hustle continues on Day 1!

IMG_5479But first, let’s take a few minutes to adore this cute cat stuff toy in some store in the MTR concourse

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Travel in the city center is easy because it is interconnected by one of the massive train systems I’ve ever seen in Asia. Clearly, I haven’t been to Tokyo because I heard it’s crazier there – but this is far better than where I come from! I like it when the trains are interconnected in stations and I need only one card to access all the lines. Convenient!

 

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So from the ferry ride, we walked to the nearest MTR station… but ended up in IFC. Forgive this Apple fan who hadn’t seen a legit Apple Store. I just had to pay homage even if there are more people in there than in the food court (crazy, right?!) This one’s in IFC. The one in Causeway Bay (yes, I also went there) is also packed! W O O O O O O W .

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The apartment we booked in Airbnb was nestled in the Austin neighborhood in Kowloon. It’s a nice quiet neighborhood; quite raw and feeling very local. It’s also near the MTR, convenience stores, and more importantly dim sum places – so again, very convenient. The stress from the trip from Macau is starting to wear off as the Hong Kong Hustle actually begun!

IMG_5483IMG_5491Funny-sounding restaurant. Filipinos will get why.

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Our first order of business here is to actually eat dim sum (hehe, what a dim sum lover would do?) but we first headed to IKEA and checked some stuff. Nica and I just moved in together temporarily and it’s been a hobby to look for home stuff (very tita.) And I need those Swedish Meatballs because we don’t have Ikea in Manila… yet!

IMG_5494IMG_5492IMG_5495IMG_5497IMG_5498Checked out the Occupy HK protests in the main drag as well. The crowd staying there was dwindling but I think it’s livelier there than in Admiralty where it originally began. Quick side story: I was actually scared our trip was gonna get cancelled because of this – same as when we were in Bangkok last year, the coup d’etat began. While I’m somehow interested in conflict tourism, I wasn’t particularly psyched of the thought. I’m sensing a pattern here. Hmmmm… 

IMG_5501IMG_5499IMG_5502IMG_5503Pretty, pretty Nica!

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And finally time for dim sum! Now, Hong Kong is home to a lot of Michelin stars, but I heard Din Tai Fung is a must if you visit the city. Since we’re in Causeway Bay and there’s one nearby, we might as well line up. And oh boy, the line was long but they group you by how many you are in the dining group – so lucky for us, we’re just two and we were just 15 minutes in the line and we were seated. Generally, the dim sum was awesome! We didn’t eat that much because it was like second dinner already. (Now I’m hungry writing this now. Argh.)

IMG_5506IMG_5509IMG_5512Hello there, more-than-a-hundred-year-old tram!

IMG_5510The city is full of pretty decals like this one!

IMG_5511And I saw the Alexandre Plokhov collection in Uniqlo. Naturally, I bought.

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I’ve heard that coffee is great (and a bit (sic) expensive (sic)) around here, so it’s a part of my goal to try a coffee shop a day! Preferably, third wave (no scoffing.) My first stop would be The Coffee Academics. It was a bit hard to locate but all worth it. One of the best and well-executed flat whites I’ve ever had. Plus the crowd is vibrant and lively. I imagine myself hanging out there if I had the chance to live in Hong Kong. (I wish, wish, wish…)

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I wasn’t ready to give up my night yet even if I flew out straight from work. I just had to check out the nightlife, particularly at Jervois street, where a lot of friends I knew went, too. This is Volume BEAT and can you see how incredibly energetic the place is?!

IMG_5539Meet my gang for the night: Peter, Nick, Daniel, Cameron, and Stephen! Oh how I wish I have a photo of Antonio, too!

IMG_5536IMG_5537IMG_5533Freaking felt like home when I saw San Miguel beer in the 711!

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Now, I will cap this post with a very interesting story. So after all that schnazz at Volume and I had my volume dose of boys, I was a bit drunk and must have made out with some guys when I headed out and decided to go home. I was stupidly waiting for a bus because I didn’t know that the buses there aren’t operating all day. I got bummed of the empty roads and asked someone in the streets if a bus will come anytime soon and he was kind enough to check the bus schedule for me. I was a bit worried, and flash-sobered-up, this time around because I know taking a cab here can be expensive! Eventually he, too, got a cab because he’s got something to do asap.

He asked me to join me in his cute Chinese accent, “I’ll buy you a cab” since his destination is on the way (go Kuya Cute Chinese why not! HAHA!) Without thinking doubly, I rode the cab with him, and I guess he looked like a good person so I did anyway. Midway, I was thinking if he’s gonna scam me or kill me or whatever. I chose to just pretend sleep to hide that I was nervous and we got to Austin in no time (and me apparently unharmed.) When I was reaching to my wallet to pay my share, he stopped me and said his boss will pay for the cab ride so he’s treating me the fare (!!!!!!!!!!) /faith in humanity, restored!!!

 

Me Time Weekends, also my life according to my phone

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I’ve been really sick lately. So instead of going out, I lounge around at home, recuperating. And truly, I’ve become a Tita in my own right. I’m looking at you, @TitasOfManila.

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And yes, because I was and am still sick, I am trying to eat healthier food. Aka, I make basic muesli and store it in the fridge because it’s so easy to make and I am really tamed to cook. But my muesli is great! Drop by at home sometimes and I’ll make you one. I’m looking at you, Pamhins of Manila!

IMG_5401Pepper chili chicken in citrus mustard dressing sandwich

On times that I cook, I really make it sure that it’s healthy as well. Though my love for really good corned beef hash and (gulp) SPAM, off to the supermarket to buy real meat with no added sodium. Rustan’s has deals on their meat selection so YAYYYYYYY. Says the sucker for supermarket deals. I need coupons to happen in this country.

IMG_5397And make baon [that is a Spam Kewpie Mayo-Mustard sandwich by yours truly] if there are leftovers (don’t mind the spam peeping under the wheat bread, okay?)

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BUT OH GOD, this big tub of Tillamook sitting in the fridge is not helping to keep me away from eating. Hey you gotta enjoy what you eating, right? Clearly, this post is all about food. Because what better things to do but to eat on weekends???? (I’m getting hungry now meh.)

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On times that I have energy to drag myself outside, I try to jog (loljk sometimes, that is) and head to the Legazpi weekend market because it’s so near my place why not. And afam or cute college/yuppie/hipster kid spotting. Don’t judge, @BekisOfManila 😛

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IMG_5387Jeezus this small brick pizza oven. I want one, okay?

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IMG_5390And I found Shahani/Super Starlet‘s milk. From her boobs, I guess 😛

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On days that I really have the energy to be sociable aka I am not feverish/achy/sleepy/tamad I exert and effort to see friends. Haha, that is in my zombie form, if I really want to. Seriously though, working the night shift is a bit making me @LolasOfManila faster than ageing through smoking. So on weekends I try to see my family and friends as much as possible.

IMG_5404I met my mom, este my sister pala (but we were with our mom as well) to celebrate in advance her passing the LET. I really believe she’ll make it. She’s awesome at what she does but she really does look older than me, no? HAHAHAHA. Also, mental note to self: try to make it a habit to take pictures with people. I am terrible at taking groupies. But I need these pictures to remind me of my human self when I’m in ogre mode.

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I met up with Hanna (with Ella supposedly in the picture) before the big move to Makati over late breakfast, cakes, tea, and rants about the world. My friends deserve an award for tuning me out when I rant. Also (half-)watched Maze Runner with ’em 😛

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My roomie and I love the Bleach store so much. And taking selfies by a big mirror. And making faces. And eating and not exercising. /wrist.

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Speaking of friends that I don’t see that much… I met Cariza and Jonard over a glass of wine and stories of travel, work, and life plans. But we really did talk about Vaginas of Manila, too. We need to make that happen, bbs!

***

I really need to get better so I’m publishing this and heading to sleep. Plus, I need my energy back because this weekend I’m going somewhere… and God knows I’ll need all the energy I can get.

Happy Midweek!!!
J

 

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