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Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Twilight Saga


Addicted. I'm so addicted to this saga that I have a copy on my mobile phone (jar format) and on my hard drive (pdf format). A hardbound copy is still on my wish list (because I still don't have a budget to buy it).

Most would think that I'm just another teeny-bopper-pa-cutesy-pa-tweetums-fan, maybe I am, but I'm not that fan who wears "I love Edward/Jacob" shirts. I'm happier with just reading the whole saga and watching the movies. :)

Personally, The Twilight Saga is not a literary masterpiece but a creative masterpiece. I love how Stephenie Meyer recreated the idea of vampirism as immortals who can be compassionate to humans.

I tried reading Anne Rice before but one book was enough to scare me that I could not sleep after finishing the book. Yes, I'm a natural scaredy cat. But after reading The Twilight Saga, I imagined having a vampire boyfriend isn't at all scary.

I lost count of how many times I have read the saga, but each time I do, I discover a new angle, yes, this may be too weird for you since most people think that the saga is too shallow. If that's the case, why would you have to always be deep?

Literary critics, you might want to kill me now but I wouldn't change my mind.

I'm still in love with the Twilight Saga. :)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

I Crave Your Mouth, Your Voice, Your Hair

I've been trying to read a lot of poems lately so that one day I could write poems again. And I wish to be as passionate as Pablo Neruda. Though I haven't read his famous works yet, I like his style and I love the rhythm of the words of his poems.

Let me share with you a poem from Pablo Neruda, which I will set in green since Neruda writes in green ink.

I Crave Your Mouth, Your Voice, Your Hair
--Pablo Neruda

I crave your mouth, your voice, your hair.
Silent and starving, I prowl through the streets.
Bread does not nourish me, dawn disrupts me, all day
I hunt for the liquid measure of your steps.

I hunger for your sleek laugh,
your hands the color of a savage harvest,
hunger for the pale stones of your fingernails,
I want to eat your skin like a whole almond.

I want to eat the sunbeam flaring in your lovely body,
the sovereign nose of your arrogant face,
I want to eat the fleeting shade of your lashes,

and I pace around hungry, sniffing the twilight,
hunting for you, for your hot heart,
like a puma in the barrens of Quitratue.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

My Love for Tamales


One of the things I love about going back to the province is the food. And one delicious food that I always look for is the Tamales.


Though it's easy to find tamales somewhere in the metro, nothing beats the tamales from my father's hometown. It was such a hit that when I asked my aunt to buy tamales for me one early morning, she only managed to bring me one piece. A piece costs Php10. I love the sweetness and spiciness of the tamales. Unlike the common native delicacies which are usually partnered with niyog, tamales is best partnered with a bit of fish sauce (patis). It should also be eaten while it's hot. It can also be reheated through microwave oven.


I love how the tamales sticks to the spoon and to my palate. I love the mild spiciness and sweetness with a bit of saltiness. It seems too heavy in the stomach, but I can't get enough of it.

The next morning, I had my aunt buy 10 pieces of tamales for me to take home. But it was too irresistible that I got to take home 4 pieces.

How I wish I could eat tamales daily.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Jacob's Shawarma

Note: This restaurant is already closed. 


A sudden craving for shawarma made me drag my lunch buddy to Jacob's Shawarma, which is a stone's throw away from the office. I would always pass by this place on my way home from the office and the muy gwapito face on the logo would always get me curious: is that really Jacob? Okay, I'm curious about the shawarma too.Haha.


Jacob's Shawarma serves authentic Turkish doner kebab, popularly known as shawarma. Though the Persian shawarma is more popular, it is said that it originated in Turkey.



The place is quite small and can seat around 15-20 people. The walls are adorned with pictures relating to Turkey. Honestly, it seems like I was inside a travel agency than a restaurant. What I found cute is the small trash bins placed in each table. Also, the shawarma filling changes daily.

Here's the current filling per day:

Monday - Chicken
Tuesday - Beef/Lamb

Wednesday - Salmon

Thursday - Chicken

Friday - Salmon

Saturday - Beef/Lamb


Since it was a Thursday, I ordered 12" Chicken Shawarma and had it cut into half.


12" Chicken Shawarma (Php 130)

Instead of the garlic yogurt sauce, Jacob's Shawarma uses lemon juice. It goes well with the shawarma. However, I'm still partial to the garlic yogurt sauce. The chicken was a bit bland for my taste that I had to add salt to my shawarma.

For drinks, my friend ordered Soya Yogurt Drink. I got mine in Chocolate flavor and my friend got Strawberry flavor.


Chocolate Soya Yogurt Drink (Php 100)

Strawberry Soya Yogurt Drink (Php 95)

I liked the soya yogurt drink. It partly compensated my longing for a yogurt sauce. I should have ordered vanilla instead.

I got curious with Baklava, the only dessert in the menu. Baklava is a Mediterranean dessert made of pistachio, walnut with sweet syrup.


Baklava (Php 50)

A serving of baklava is very small. A slice is almost the same size as my two thumbs combined. It was good, alright. But I'm not sure if it's worth my 50 pesos.

Overall, Jacob's Shawarma is worth a try. Maybe I'm just not prepared to let go of my yogurt sauce yet. I have to try the beef and fish shawarma next time. And maybe I'll get lucky and see Jacob there. :)

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Jacob's Shawarma
Unit 115 G/F
AIC Grande Tower
Sapphire Road,
Ortigas Center, Pasig City
Open 24/7

Note: For deliveries, visit quickdelivery.ph or call 21-21-21-2

Thursday, September 15, 2011

(Part-time) Grammar Nazi Lecture No.2

It's been a long time since I posted the first lecture, so I would like to make a continuation of this lecture. :)

Again, I would like emphasize that what I would be sharing are the things I learned from my English teachers. Also, I also have more grammatical errors than you can imagine.

I hope you will find these lectures useful like I do. :)

1. "Equipments, stuffs"
- Stuff refers to items or things. Equipment refers to a set of objects or articles. The words "equipment" and "stuff" are already in its plural form.

Example:
Wrong: I will be carrying my stuffs to my room.
Correct: I will be carrying my stuff to my room.

2. "Did noticed", "Did realized"
- Did is the past tense of "do". So the verb after "did" should be in present tense.

Example:
Wrong: I did realized that I forgot my bag.
Correct: I did realize that I forgot my bag.

3. "Mad"
- Yes, Ne-yo, you're incorrect. "Mad" means crazy, not angry. It should not be used to mean "angry".

My tip: The US TV show "Mad About You" is correct and Ne-yo's song "Mad" is incorrect.

Wrong: I got mad with my brother because he broke my toy.
Correct: I got angry with my brother because he broke my toy.

4. "Me and my friends..."
- This is a common error. The correct phrase should be "My friends and I..."

Wrong: Me and my friends are going to watch a movie later.
Correct: My friends and I are going to watch a movie later.

5. Ain't
- Sorry, this contraction is incorrect, according to my grammar book.

Wrong: I ain't got money to buy new shoes.
Correct: I don't have money to buy new shoes.


I hope I could post another lecture soon. :)

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Jollibee Hash Brown Burger




I loved hash brown since I was in grade school. It's one of the usual canteen items I used to buy back then. I'm so addicted to hash brown that I could finish a dozen pack (which my aunt buys for me) myself. I don't care if it's deep fried or shallow fried (yes, it can be shallow-fried, trust me). I love it best with just mayo on top.

Curiosity will kill me if I wouldn't try the newest burger from Jollibee. Yes, Jollibee joined the "unique burger" trend.

The Hash Brown Burger has a single beef patty and cheese between two baked hash browns which served as buns. It costs Php 64 for ala carte and Php 80 with drink. :)


Jollibee Hash Brown Burger

At first, I was expecting an umay factor for this burger. But surprisingly, the hash brown goes well with the patty and cheese. The hash browns, though baked was still a bit oily but does not have an aftertaste like McDonald's hash brown.

Overall, I loved it! I would like to commend Jollibee for creating this kind of burger. It's more affordable than the KFC Double Down and Tower Burger. This burger's bound to get everyone addicted.

I'd love to eat this burger again. :)

Monday, September 12, 2011

Photo Album #03

It's been a while since I've posted the previous photo album. Let me share with you some interesting photos I took:

I wasn't able to notice this until Ray pointed this out.
Can you guess which cup is this?

THE grilled tomato at Grilled Tomato

Upside down zipline at Residence Inn, Tagaytay

My favorite lumpiang ubod from Swan Catering

I'll post more pictures soon. :)

Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother

Photo from asiaing.com

Another book PEx book club decided to discuss is the "Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother" by Amy Chua.

The book is a story about her life as parent to two girls and how beneficial the Chinese way of parenting compared to Western parenting. Being brought up the Chinese way by immigrant parents, Amy Chua thought that raising her bi-racial kids (her husband's caucasian) the Chinese way will diminish the so-called "generation decline" or the decline of the Chinese way of thinking and these kids might be more Western in thinking. The term "Chinese mother" was loosely defined in the book as a traditional (or rather Asian) way of raising children. A non-Chinese parent can practice Chinese parenting, according to the author.

She brought up her kids, Sophia and Lulu with very strict rules such as: no sleepovers, no TV and computer games, no playdates, they cannot be in school plays, and they only play two instruments: violin and piano. Moreover, grades below A+ mean trouble.

She trained her two kids to practice violin and piano for several hours everyday, even during travel. And also, they are not allowed to complain.

I partly agree and disagree with Amy Chua. Though Sophia grew up to be an obedient girl, Lulu resented the way she was being brought up. She rebelled and let her mother know that she wanted a bit of freedom. So, Lulu chose to play tennis. Much to her parents' surprise, she played tennis with a lot of rigor and determination, an obvious result of having a Chinese mother.

Personally, I didn't grow up with gameboy, playstation or other consoles, I was bought a V-tech, which was more educational. And when that V-tech broke, I was bought another, no questions asked. I learned later that V-tech was actually more expensive than gameboy.

I cannot say if this was good, but I grew up watching a lot of TV. I was allowed to watch as long as I want given that I already did my homework.

I also had piano lessons for a year but I discontinued because my piano teacher went back to the States. This is one of my life's biggest regrets ever. I wish I continued my piano lessons.

Overall, I am amazed by the way Amy Chua raised her children and the hours she selflessly spent to be present on all those piano and violin practices. It was also impressive that she injected the Jewish religion (her husband's religion) in her children.

I cannot say if I could be tiger mother if I would be a parent, I don't think I have that courage and I think I'm more of a pushover. But I hope I could apply a bit of Amy Chua's parenting style someday.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Wham! Burgers

Note: This location is already closed. 



I have always seen Wham! Burgers but I had never tried it. But a sudden craving for burgers made me try Wham! for the first time. Most Wham! branches are quite small and could only accommodate around 20 persons at a time.

Partner in crime and I went basic with Wham! Burger with Cheese (Php 145).


Wham! Burger with Cheese (Php 145)

Wham! Burger with Cheese is 1/3 pound grilled burger patty with cheese, tomato, lettuce. There was nothing special with the burger, which is quite disappointing since I have friends raving about Wham!. The patty was juicy, alright, but it felt like I was just eating Jollibee Champ.

Maybe I'll come back for the Bronco burger next time, but maybe not.

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Wham! Burgers
5th Level
Shangrila Plaza Mall
EDSA corner Shaw Blvd,
Mandaluyong City
Contact No. 6342093

Note: Other branches include SM North EDSA, SM Megamall, Katipunan, SM Marikina and many more.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

How My McDonald's Breakfast Made Me Guilty


One morning, I went to McDonald's to buy breakfast. I usually have breakfast at home, but after a long shuttle ride, I would sometimes feel hungry again.

I ordered my favorite: Sausage and Egg Muffin, Hash Brown and Brewed Coffee.

As I was waiting for my orders, I took a leaflet which I thought was a delivery menu (I try to collect menu from different restaurants). It turned out to be the McDonald's Nutrition Information.


After finishing my breakfast, I read the leaflet and to see how many calories my breakfast have. And this is what I saw:

Hash Brown: 320 Calories
Sausage & Egg Muffin: 390 Calories

That's 710 calories on just breakfast. And I'm not even counting the calories from brewed coffee. It made me very guilty that I lost my appetite for lunch.

Given that, I would like to share with you the calories from other McDonald's favorites:

6 pc McNuggets: 320 Calories
Hamburger: 240 Calories
Cheeseburger: 420 Calories
Quarter Pounder with Cheese: 560 Calories
Big Mac: 510 Calories
Crispy Chicken Fillet Sandwich: 400 Calories
Chicken McDo: 310 Calories
Crispy Chicken Fillet with Rice: 450 Calories
McSpaghetti: 270 Calories
Hot Fudge/Hot Caramel Sundae: 270 Calories
Regular Fries: 210 Calories
Medium Fries: 310 Calories
Large Fries: 490 Calories
Regular Coke: 140 Calories
Medium Coke: 190 Calories
Large Coke: 260 Calories

Let's try to do some math and let's compute my favorite McDonald's lunch:

6 pc McNuggets, Medium Fries and Medium Coke
320 + 310 + 190 = 820 Calories

If I was craving for dessert, I would usually add a Hot Fudge Sundae:
so 820 + 270 = 1090 Calories

That's more than enough to make me feel guilty. :(

How about you? What's your usual McDonald's meal? What's the total calories from your meal?

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

How Do I Love Thee?

I'm not a crybaby, but this poem always makes me cry. I love this poem so much that I have written it on my daily planner.

Most of you are familiar with this poem, but actually this poem is one of the forty-four love sonnets written by Elizabeth Barrett Browning called "Sonnets from the Portuguese", which tells us the love she felt for Robert. (Robert Browning is also a poet).

I wish to recite this poem someday without having to break down. It feels kinda weird for me to cry but I guess I'm just too emotionally attached to this poem.

Sonnet XLIII
How Do I Love Thee?

--Elizabeth Barrett Browning

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of everyday's
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love thee with a passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints, - I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life! --- and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.

My CD Wish List No.1

I love music.
I love listening to music.
And I'm one of the few who still buy original CDs.

Luckily, I have an electronics freak for a dad, who loves playing music so loud on our stereo (and this is early morning, mind you).

I also believe in buying originals. The CDs I bought around 10 years ago are still playing which means that quality is still king.

Though I'd love to buy every CD in the record bar, my budget wouldn't allow it, so I just buy my favorites (The last CD I bought was "Teenage Dream" by Katy Perry.haha)

Let me share with you the list of CDs I plan (and wish) to have when I have the chance (and the budget). :)

1. In and Out of Consciousness - Greatest Hits 1990-2010 (Robbie Williams)


He's my all-time favorite artist. I love his vocals, and I love that he writes his songs. His music videos range from uber dark ("No Regrets") to heartmelting ("She's The One"). Plus, the British accent is so sexy!

Personal Favorites:
"Old Before I Die", "No Regrets", "Let Me Entertain You", "Strong", "Better Man", "Love Somebody"

2. All Things Bright and Beautiful (Owl City)


I fell in love with Adam Young after my sister had me listen to "Ocean Eyes". And my love affair with electronic music is revived. I'm not familiar with the songs on this CD, but I got to have this one. :)

3. Born This Way (Lady Gaga)
Note: Just bought this CD! Yey! -Michy, 9/9/11



Lady Gaga IS my goddess. I have "The Fame" and "The Fame Monster" (her first and second album). And I'd rather play dead and stop breathing than NOT buy her third album. Though some people say that she's a devil advocate (which I don't believe) and though I can never dress like her, I still love this literary and music genius. She's poetry in motion.

Personal Favorites:
"Born This Way", "Judas"

4. The Saitai Album (Sabado Boys)


The only OPM album in my list. But don't get me wrong, I have OPM CDs at home (Jed Madela and Christian Bautista). I love the vocal blending of these boys and I love the how they did the covers of the songs in this album. I'd love to see them perform live. :)

Personal Favorites:
"Stay Awake", "Real Thing", "Four Seasons of Loneliness", "Sharing the Night Together"

5. Aphrodite (Kylie Minogue)


It's too bad I wasn't able to watch her concert here in Manila. But I'd love to buy her latest album.

6. Free Wired (Far East Movement)


I don't know why I love these guys. But I love their songs. Cheers me up anytime.

Personal Favorites:
"Rocketeer", "She Owns the Night", "Like a G6"

7. The Singles Collection (Britney Spears)


I'm a big Britney fan! This greatest hits collection is a must-grab for me. I've been eyeing this album for months, and I think I should buy this one soon. :)

Personal Favorites:
"Toxic", "Me Against the Music", "Circus"

8. Femme Fatale (Britney Spears)


More Britney! She never fails in making my jaw drop. I grew up with her. :)

Personal Favorites:
"Til The World Ends", "Hold It Against Me"


I'd love to have these CDs playing in our stereo soon. I might have to send Santa a letter right now. :)

Photos from wikipedia and audioholicsgalore.blogspot.com

Monday, September 5, 2011

Ms. Polly's Specialty Cakes and Desserts (again)


I was supposed to try a new cafe recommended by a fellow food club member. However, after standing in front of the counter for a few minutes and still no barista in sight, I left and went to Ms. Polly's instead.


Having tried Ms. Polly's Chocolate Cake last time, I ordered a different coffee-and-cake combo this time.

I ordered a regular Asian Latte (Php 75) and a slice of Cookie Dough Cheesecake (Php 115)


my new combo

As the friendly barista explained to me, Asian Latte is similar to Vietnamese coffee as it has condensed milk instead of the regular milk. I was intrigued so I gave it a try.


Asian Latte

I love the Asian Latte! Well, I like it better than the regular latte they serve. I should have ordered large.


Cookie Dough Cheesecake

The Cookie Dough Cheesecake is really delicious! I love the contrast of texture from top to bottom. Though I'm loyal to chocolate cake, this cheesecake changed my mind. The sweetness comes from the cookie dough, but did not overwhelm the cheesecake.

I would like to commend the staff of Ms. Polly's for providing good service and for being very patient in entertaining customers with too many questions (like me.haha)

Lovely, Ms. Polly, as always. :)

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Ms. Polly's Specialty Cakes and Desserts
4th Level, Robinsons Galleria
EDSA cor. Ortigas Avenue
Quezon City
Contact No. 703-5058

Happy Birthday


My baby sister just turned six!

As fulfillment to her request, I got her a Red Ribbon Cookies and Cream cake. Yeah, she has a thing for anything Cookies and Cream, even with ice cream.

But she can't eat ice cream for now since she still has colds.

I like how Red Ribbon creates classy yet kid-friendly cakes.


Too bad she got sick (again) today. Get well soon! :)

Happy birthday baby girl!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

I have a problem...


A few months ago, I purchased a voucher at dealspot.ph for Robert Kiyosaki's Cashflow 101 and 202.

Unknown to many, finance is a passion of mine. Though my work is more on IT, I'm still keen on finance. Yeah, I compute, I save and I invest.

However, I can't give time to use this voucher. The voucher should be used on September 10 and September 17 only.So, I'm giving it away. For FREE. :)

Anyone willing to take it? Post a comment with your email address (You have to meet me in Ortigas though).

Takers? :)

Friday, September 2, 2011

Gayuma ni Maria



PEx food club strikes once again, and we went to this exotic and amorous restaurant called Gayuma ni Maria for dinner (and despedida for a fellow food club member who will be going abroad for good).

Gayuma ni Maria used to be located near Ateneo but closed shop and transferred to Sikatuna Village. The resto is an old house converted and redecorated to a eccentrically-designed restaurant that will and can make you fall in love.

There are three areas in Gayuma ni Maria: the indoor area, the al fresco area and the Japanese room at the second floor.

As I would always advise on some of posts, always do reservations, most especially if you have a preferred area. I called Gayuma ni Maria around lunch to reserve the Japanese room for the group. Though there were reservations for the said area during the late afternoon, they promised to give us the Japanese room if that would be available when we arrive.

Thank goodness we got the Japanese room! Get the Japanese room if you prefer a bit of privacy, and if you'd like a banig-pillow-and-low-tables dining. It also has a huge closet with costumes that you can try (you can also do some role-playing).




The Japanese room

One thing that makes Gayuma ni Maria unique is their menu. The dishes have interesting names that you'd want to read the whole menu before ordering.

Let me share with you the dishes we ordered:

Some of us ordered appetizers called Lumpiang Barako and You're Too Cheesy


Lumpiang Barako

Lumpiang Barako are cheese logs with hot green pepper. I didn't try this one since some people are victimized by the evil pepper.


You're Too Cheesy

You're Too Cheesy is cheese and tulis (a salty fish) served on a sizziling hot plate and partnered with crackers.

For the main course we had the following:


French Kissing (Php 295)

I ordered French Kissing, a creamy conconction of ox tongue and mushrooms with mashed potato. I'm a fan of ox tongue, and the ox tongue here is very tender. The creamy sauce is yummy. I also liked the natural mashed potato (since I was never a fan of artificial mashed potato)

Here are the dishes my fellow foodies ordered:


Once You Go Black, You Never Go Back (Php 225)

This dish is cocoa-crusted cream dory with chocolate sauce served with rice. I have never imagined cream dory with chocolate sauce but this one tastes interesting and delicious.


Rock Me Baby! (Php 265)

Rock Me Baby! is Hickory BBQ Ribs served with vegetables and mashed potato.


Three's A Crowd (Php 205)

Three's A Crowd is Pork BBQ marinated to three different flavors: pandan, pineapple and Gayuma's secret marinade.


Please Be Careful With MY Heart (Php 240)

Please Be Careful With My Heart is twice baked chicken in olive oil and garlic served with rice.


HHWWPSSP (Php 185)

HHWWPSSP or Holding Hands While Walking Pa-Swing Swing Pa is cripy fried peppery chicken tenders with rice.

Some of us ordered pasta:


No Boyfriend Since Birth (Php 215)

NBSB is a pesto and cheese pasta. I like how the pesto was not finely chopped, it creates a certain character on this pasta.

Exotic Lover (Php 175)

Exotic Lover is spaghetti with tulis fish cooked in olive oil and capers. This is a real winner! I love how the saltiness and sweetness was combined in this dish. I liked the spaghettini also.

For dessert, I ordered the most popular item in Gayuma ni Maria: Beats Sex Anyday


Beats Sex Anyday (Php 75)

Beats Sex Anyday is a rich chocolate cake mercilessly topped with butterscotch, cream and chocolate bits. Since I'm a chocolate fan, it's a winner for me. But since I had a heavy main dish, I wasn't able to appreciate the dessert that much.

Overall, Gayuma ni Maria was the ultimate dining experience for the PEx food club. We fell in love with the homey but unique ambiance, the service was great, the food is delicious.

I would recommend it for romantic dates and group dates alike.

Here are other photos from our dinner:


Gayuma ni Maria also sells "for adults only" items

Thanks to Ray and Lynne for the wine!



Gayuma ni Maria got me addicted. :)

--------------------------------------

Gayuma ni Maria
Lifestyle Restaurant and Bar

123 V. Luna Extension (Maginhawa St.)

Sikatuna Village, Quezon City
Contact Nos. 4414872, 09216818989

gayuma.gourmet@gmail.com

Operating Hours: Monday to Sunday 10:00am to 12:00mn

Note: Gayuma ni Maria also serves for bulk/party orders. Just give them half day to one day notice. :)
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