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Sugar, spice, and a pinch of GLAM

Posts tagged ‘Philippines’

Manila Diaries: XLB and Noodles

September 2014: Hello again, Manila!

Hello dolls!!! 🙂 Aaaah, Manila! It’s almost a week since we’ve been home and about 2 weeks left until our big day! If there’s a chance for me to stop or slow down time, now would be the perfect time to do so. A and I have been taking afternoon naps because of jet lag, not that it is important, but it’s something that we have not done before! RELAX and not worry about work the next day. Although I must admit, my decision is kind of making me nervous about the first 3 months of my return to Baltimore. Ugggh. Why do I have to overthink everything?

Manila means food tripping everyday for A and I. Whether it be home or somewhere A would get stared at haha. I am only have a few posts left from our trip here in Manila last year, and I hope I could finish all of it before I say I do.

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Before A and I would go on a trip, we would make a list of ALL the things/places that we want to do/go to.

Being a person who makes lists on almost everything, this has been really effective for us. The deal is to go out for lunch and check one thing off our list, then come home for dinner with family. Easy.

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One of the places that A wanted to go to last year was Lugang Cafe.

It’s a restaurant by Bellagio Group based out of Shanghai and Beijing. Lugang Cafe specializes in authentic Chinese cuisine.  (more…)

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Sirius Espresso

09.12.14: Great food makes a trip

Hello,dolls!!! Happy hump day 😉 Aaah I can’t believe we only have less than 3 weeks left until we officially start our wedding journey. 2 Mondays left to accomplish everything that we need to do before our departure…oh the excitement of knowing that I will have a month filled with adventures and LOVE!!! <3

Looking at photos from our trip in Asia 6 months ago pumps me up more. I can’t wait to be with my family again and eat delicious food with A!!! One of our food adventures in Manila last year, and definitely one of my favorites is our trip to Bulacan to finally try my friend Karen’s baby… Sirius Espresso.

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I am always happy to see my friends become successful. As soon as I found out that Karen opened a cafe, I wanted to hop on the next flight back home and try all the delicious things that she is whipping up.

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I do not mind driving all the way to Bulacan just to try her food! Anyway, Bulacan is not that far from us. It only took us less than minutes to get to her restaurant without traffic…awesome! (more…)

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Hello, sweets! 🙂 Happy Valentine’s Day <3 What a cold snowy Valentine’s day it is! It’s so funny whenever people asked me what I am doing for Valentine’s day and I would abruptly say “work” and “I don’t do Valentine’s…it’s a Dad thing for me”. Then I go on and on how my Dad never fails to buy flowers for me, most of the time with balloons, and a cute Vday card. He still does that even when I am far from home. This year, it kind of made me wonder if “Valentine’s is really not my thing”. I mean I have A now….but it feels weird you know? Because I know A and I will be working all day on Valentine’s day for the next (n) years so it never really occurred to me that my Vday is going to be extraordinary. If anything, I am just glad that I have someone to come home to and call my Valentine.

A gave Valentine’s a new meaning for me. Although we don’t get to do anything special on the day itself, we see to it that we spend time together before or after the day of hearts to celebrate our love for each other. And let’s face it, it’s also a reason for us to eat out 😉 

So let me share with you some of the 3 things that made me change my mind and think about Valentine’s as a romantic day for lovers.

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1. It can be anything

A and I received a lot of presents last year. We gave each other significant gifts that can remind us of every special occasion from last year. We also have our wedding coming up in less than 3 months. Meaning, more surprises for the two of us. So for Valentine’s this year, I thought….why not keep it simple? We decided on making it fun by doing a theme, and it revolved around a book that we want to give each other (we have a never-ending list of books that we want to get so yeaaap). I find it really amusing to find things that will match the book that I got him. Instead of giving each other one big gift, we received small trinkets.

I am not a big fan of flowers (geeez how many times do I have to say this? lol) so flowers are out of the question. A week ago I already told A to not give me balloons because I’ve had enough balloons to make me happy until the end of the year from my 24th birthday and bridal shower. I guess, my point is…..it can be anything, or it could be nothing cause the best present of all is having someone to spend Valentine’s with.

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2. Valentine Date

Let’s face it, one of the joys of having a boyfriend/fiance/husband for Valentine’s day is the fact that I know I won’t be joining the “I am single for Valentine’s slash I wish I have a boyfriend” FB status club. I know in the end, whether we give each other presents or not, or if we go out or stay in, I’ll have A.

But A showed me that he is more than just a date. I am not the most romantic showy person ever! And most of the time I feel guilty for not being affectionate more. Anyway, A is more than just a date because he does not make me look forward to Valentine’s, he makes me excited about the things that are yet to happen after that. He is the perfect Valentine every day. (more…)

Manila Eats: September 2014

09.02.14: Anghelica’s, Borough, Black Chicken, and Mama’s Hainanese Chicken

Hello, dolls! Happy snowy Monday 😉 I can’t believe that my “weekend” is almost over again…and that in 8 and half weeks I will be home again!!! I don’t think I can hide the fact that I am pretty scared about February coming so soon. I feel like I still have tons to do… for the wedding, our life after the wedding, my sister’s future, my family taking a big step for togetherness..and you know? THE WEDDING! The past weekend was nothing but a riot and aaaah…I am just happy to finally let my thoughts out and clear my mind…even for just a little while 🙂

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When I think of home, one of the things that come to mind is Anghelica’s.

Chef Anne’s brainchild. (which makes me realize! I need to place my orders soon!)

DSC_0348AWhen A and I came home in September, I told Chef Anne I want to try all of her new creations. Having her ube leche flan cake with the family is one of the reasons why I would always come home.

Anghelica’s promote desserts with Filipino favorite ingredients and flavors or as she puts it — Anghelica’s is a tribute to Philippine sweets.

The ube leche flan cake is the killer, but there is so much more in Anghelica’s that you have to try. (more…)

Nomama Artisnal Ramen

09.01.14: My Asian Guy

Hello, dolls!!! 🙂 Happy Monday!! The past week was very rewarding and blessed for the Filipinos due to the Papal Visit. Hearing stories from my family who went to see him 4 days in a row just gave me so much happiness. I feel like it was a very fruitful 4 days and I wish I could have went with them. It’s been 4 months since I’ve been home and I miss it terribly. Lucky for me, I have this blog and a gazillion photos to share so I get to reminisce about moments during my homecoming and feel like it wasn’t very long ago.

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I was very happy to welcome September 2014 in Manila. Apart from the happiness that I was feeling for being home, A arrived at 3AM in the morning, making September 1st one of the best day last year.

So what do we on A’s first day back in the Philippines? Try to fight jet lag until 7AM, take a nap, then leave for lunch. Probably not the most ideal time frame but it worked for us a couple of times. haha

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So what did we do to make a feel at home in the Philippines??5 letters—- RAMEN!

We went to Nomama Artisnal Ramen because I am on a mission…and that is to take A to all of the great ramen places in the Philippines. I did not want to exhaust A so I’ve decided to go somewhere close to us. Nomama, which is 15 minutes away from us, came to mind so we went there.

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Home Run for The New Year

 

HAPPY NEW YEAR, DOLLS!!! 🙂 I know I promised that I will post an entry yesterday, but aaah the last day of 2014 was a crazy roller coaster ride that ended with so much excitement! Anyway, looking back I realized that posting an entry on the first day of the year is probably a good way to start a progressive blogging year 😉 Only 3 months until I get to be in the arms of my family again,and aaaah I can’t wait! So today, as my first blog of the year, I will look back to my memorable trip back home.

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I don’t think I can ever get used to not being with my family, especially during the holidays. A lot of people tell me that it seems like I have adjusted to my new life here already. but honestly, I still yearn for my family’s presence…every waking day.

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I left a week before A. We all know how hard it could be to ask time off from work. I am blessed that I work with people who understands my situation so they allowed me to get a month off.

It was a bittersweet departure for me. It’s always hard to leave Baltimore alone.. (more…)

December in Manila

12.2013: Memories at home

Hello, dolls! 🙂 Happy Christmas Eve!!!!!!! Aaaah another year of spending the holidays away from my family, but thank God this year is not going to be sad or anything because I have A’s family with me. I sometimes feel guilty when I overlook the sad part of being away from home, I feel like I am cheating.

I miss home… I miss all our December traditions. I know it’s too much to ask, but sometimes I wish I have both.

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The food that I make at home helps me remember all the good moments that I had with my family.

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Just like this Chocolate Cupcake with Reese’s Peanut Butter Frosting that I made for my family who loves to eat desserts like me. (more…)

November Girls

It’s never too late to have a new BFF!

Hello, sweets!!! 🙂 I can’t believe we are almost halfway through my birthday month!(time, you need to slowdown!!!). November is always sweet to me, even though I do not try to make it extra amazing, blessings come pouring to remind me of how beautiful life is (and that turning a year old is not too bad!).I am not the only one who looks forward to November (well….duhh) what makes it even more special now is that one of my best friends birthday is also in November!

There are times where I feel like I am not being a good friend. Times that make me realize that being away could be challenging in every way. Recently it would take me up to more than a day to get back to messages from my friends, and it makes me feel horrible (of course!) because it shouldn’t be that way. Last night I felt overwhelmed about everything that I NEED to do in the next couple of months, all I wish right now is to have TIME to make them all happen.

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Days like this makes me miss having my girlfriends close to me. I wish I could just give them a call right now and meet up an hour after.

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I miss having lunch dates with Alyza, I wish I was home for her birthday to celebrate our birthday month together, just like last year! But the least thing that I can do for the person who made being in a LDR relationship bearable for me for 10 months is to write an entry here on my blog. (more…)

Dusit Thani

02.23.14: Missing them everyday

Hello dolls!! 🙂 Today, A and I are officially welcoming our “Memorial Weekend”. Most of the people here started their long weekend just like normal people. But for those who are in the hospitality business like us, holiday/long weekends are nothing but a dream. So I am very excited for the next 2 weeks…and the next 2 months…and the days after that! LIFE EXCITES ME!

For the next 2 weeks, I am going to be busy juggling work, life and amazing stuff for next year. In less than 3 months, I WILL BE HOME!!! Aaaah. I can’t believe that I haven’t cried in a long tiiiiime  (thanks to my awesome job for keeping my thoughts away from loneliness) like I know there is a huge part missing in my life right now cause I am 10 million miles away from my family, but knowing that soon I will be home being the crazy daughter-sister in the pink room again makes everyday bearable (and of course having A in my life is a huge factor as well!)

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Hours before my departure to Baltimore, my family and I went to Dusit Thani for lunch.

I will be giving you 3 Fs today — food,fashion, and family.

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Had to stop and take a picture with one of my favorite brands of tea… TWG!

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April Showers

01.26.2014: 4 months

Hello, dolls!! 🙂 Before I talk about my entry, can I just say that I had the most amazing Easter/Anniversary weekend! I still can’t get over how beautiful each day was and how I wish it never had to end. I can’t wait to share them with you all and talk about the awesomeness of this past weekend— no rush though, cause Instagram and Facebook did their part already. Anyway, it’s been 3 years already since I last spent holy week with my family. I always look forward to Thursday/Friday because of Visita Iglesia, and Sunday for our Easter lunch. We do not follow a lot of traditions for Easter, but one thing that we do not miss is going to church as a family, and I am so sad that I have not done that in a veeeery long time (next year, I promise!!!).

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April is one of my favorite months we get “showers of blessing” almost all throughout the month.

It’s the official start of summer and we celebrate a lot of things — anniversary of our parents, Lola’s Birthday, Holy Week, Easter,  and our anniversary!

I like how April starts and ends with LOVE <3

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We all woke up early that day cause we anticipated that traffic will be horrible going to Tagaytay, and it was. We were so hungry that we couldn’t wait to get to Tagaytay to have lunch so we stopped at Sta. Rosa, Laguna (a few minutes away from Tagaytay).

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I can’t believe how beautiful it got there in a short amount of time — I mean I was gone for more than a year and seeing that they now have more restaurants and shops made me want to visit Sta. Rosa more! 🙂

Anyway, we went to Chubby’s Rib Shack for lunch cause my siblings are crazy about American food.

Chili Nachos with Cheese — Can I just say….yummms??

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Anghelica’s

 

Hello dolls and hello APRIL!!! It’s official, A and I are only days away from celebrating our second anniversary. The weather is getting nicer now and I am just hoping that our anniversary weekend will be as good as last year’s. Anyway, one of the things that I am missing terribly is authentic Filipino food. It’s so weird cause I am not really the kind of Filipino who requests for Pinoy food every week, when I was still home I would often suggest Japanese,Chinese, Thai, Mediterranean, European or Italian food when we go out. BUT one thing that I could not resist are Filipino Desserts! I cannot go a week without having my kakanin or ube fix. And I must say, I go gaga over ube.

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Best ube dessert I had!!!

Uhhhh why can’t I just have this now??? Whyyyy!!?!?

 

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The person behind this amazing ube leche flan cake is probably the nicest and coolest Chef that I know. And I am not only saying this cause she understands my kaartehan BUT because she really is amazing like that.

Two of the best Filipino desserts in one?? YES PLEASE!

I wish I have a better photo of this heavenly delight when I ordered the first time, but my family just massacred this thing  after I opened the box. It was toooo good!!!

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I am such a fan. I can’t sit and  just look at her posts on Facebook when she launched her “Dulce Queso Mamon and Smore’s”.

It’s such a shame cause Chef Ann just came up with another dessert and I am like 1 million miles away from the Philippines!! 😐 I swear when I get back I am going to order the biggest ube leche flan cake and the new baby!! 🙂

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Palawan Diaries: The Wild Life

09.27.2013: “I did not sign up for this”

Hello,dolls! 🙂 So I am going to stick to my plan of working on our PalawanDay1 entries. This blog will have a different rythm before the year ends…and I am kind of happy about it!

We arrived in Puerto Princesa at around 1PM.. with no decent food in our bellies! We were picked up by a private shuttle with a tour guide holding a huge placard with my name on it. Kudos to Edward’s Place for making us feel special 🙂 We were expecting a 10 minute drive (at least) to the hotel, but to our delight EP is only 2 min away from the airport…which made us all laugh (cause we can all be weirdos like that). So yeah, we were all so hungry and we thought we have enough time to have lunch somewhere, but the front desk advised us that we only have 30 minutes until our tour starts! yikes.

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We are all pleased with our hotel..it’s not a 5 star type hotel, but it was really decent.

Puerto Princesa,as we were told, does not have a lot of luxurious hotels. They are still in the process of developing things,and there are only a few (and I can only remember one, and we didn’t find out about it until we got there). So yeaaap, staying in a lovely place like EP is pretty comforting, considering that it is in a very safe area AND it is near all the awesome local restaurants.

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Palawan Diaries: #CebuPacProblems

09.27.13: Cebu Pacific = “we guarantee you that your flight will be DELAYED” 

Hello, sweets! <3 I know we are all still on that CHRISTmas vibe! I am not going to write a separate post for it this time as I want to finish all of our first-day-in-Palawan entries before we kiss 2013 goodbye 🙂 I had an amazing Christmas this year, one of the best I must say! So I’ve decided to do another take on my “recent-for-recent-in-between-my-lazy-backlogs” again. I’ve had an amazing year, and I just do not want each memory to fade away just because I can’t devote enough time on this blog. Anyway, I wish you all had an amazing Christmas just like I did. AND remember Christmas is not about the presents that we get under our tree, it’s about the big guy up there 🙂

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Let me share with you the first part of our Palawan trip.

The girls and I have been wanting to go to the beach since..forever. A trip that doesn’t involve my driver driving us to some place 2 hours away from Manila. We need a SOLID beach trip. So months before A got here, we planned to go to Palawan,cause we feel like Boracay is too mainstream..especially when someone is visiting the Philippines! Pluuuus, my girls are too adventurous and Palawan has so much to offer.

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8554 Miles

“Here’s to all the places we went.

And here’s to all the places we’ll go.

And here’s to me,

whispering again and again

and again and again:

I LOVE YOU”

– John Green 

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After 152 days, I was finally able to hug him again 🙂

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To the best girlfriends ever..

And to my Mom..THANK YOU 🙂

We all didn’t have enough sleep, I was too excited that I only slept for an less than an hour.

Diane and Jho had class at 7AM and 9AM respectively.  We met at 3:30AM.

My Mom braved the road and made it on time for me to see him walk out that gate 🙂

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It was one of the best feelings ever.

I wore my favorite Lauren Conrad dress.

The same dress I wore the last time we saw each other..so it will seem like it was only yesterday when we last gave each other a hug.

I got my airport scene.

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First place we went to after we picked A up at the airport….JOLLIBEE! His favorite.

I like how this awesome man loves Jollibee so much! A Greek-Italian Chef from America who has nothing but good praises about Jollibee. After flying 8554 miles, all he wants for breakfast is…Jollibee! Haha

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We had to wait for a couple of minutes in the parkin lot since Jollibee doesn’t open until 6AM.

And since we were the first customers, chicken joy (his ultimate favorite) was not available yet.

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Cause 2 peach mango pies here in the Philippines is equivalent to 1 peach mango pie in the States! haha 🙂

His other favorite!!

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So the first hour of him being here in Manila felt like a dream. I couldn’t believe that he was beside me and not on a rectangular device. It was amazing to be able to touch him again 🙂

And now, as I relive every moment that we had during his 3 week visit here, I feel like it was only yesterday when all these happened.

I am blessed to have the most amazing man as my love 🙂

23 tomorrow! xx

R <3

Baguio experience in Tagaytay

This is how my family and I spent our “long weekend”. We originally planned to go somewhere far than the vicinity of Tagaytay,but since time was against us AGAIN and life has just poured us with responsibilities that we had to attend to, we had to cancel one night and spend it on Tagaytay instead.

When I was younger, I wouldn’t understand why my parents would plan out-of-town trips when they feel like it,I would always be the snitty daughter who would opt to say at the hotel room when my siblings were swimming (teenage years).Until I’ve started working (and yes,it was just recently when I’ve started realizing the joy of out-of-town trips with the family). I would spend my weekends at work wishing that I am somewhere far or relaxing with the family,and when an opportunity opened up, I did no think twice on grabbing it.

Listening to Sunday Morning on a Sunday Morning. Haha

First stop in Tagaytay: Mr. Moo’s

I love fresh goat’s milk! I don’t like drinking milk,my Dad would always tell me that he is scared for me that my bones might be too weak for the lack of calcium. Scared me a little bit so I consume it with my cereals. It was until my Dad and I went to Tiendesitas and found this store who sells goat’s milk, I tried it and fell in love instantly. My Dad was too happy that he even attempted to buy a dozen for me (glad I was able to stop him!)

Their bottle is sooo cute!

If it weren’t for the Jollibee drive thru that we had 20 minutes prior to this, I would’ve tried their creme brulee and panna cotta 😐

We felt like we were in Baguio because of the cold weather and the location of our unit! We were surrounded by beautiful huge trees and the architecture of the units reminded me of Camp John Hay,specially Manor!

Some blurry pictures of our suite! 🙂

Shared this room with my siblings 🙂

My brother Renzo played with my camera and took some random photos. I’m glad he took a shot of the beautiful view from our room! 🙂

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Do not forget me! 😛

R <3

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