Monday, April 30, 2012

67 Books Every Geek Should Read to Their Kids Before Age 10

I got this link from Jessica Zafra's blog post which inspired me to continue my quest of expanding my mini library, not only for myself but for the future little dweebs should I decide to have them (16 - 20 years worth of tuition fee education, allowances, clothing and parental nuisance scares the bejesus out of me not to mention the act of giving birth).

I'll add these recommended books and more to their reading list, have them start at an early age so by the time they hit puberty they'll be super readers. That is my one great wish, to have dweebs that are in love with reading and always hungry for more knowledge.

I already have the Tolkien books (near complete set), Coraline, The Graveyard Book, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, A Wrinkle in Time, From The Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, Where the Wild Things Are and Curious George (still expanding the collection). You got that right. I, too, am a sucker for children and young adult's lit.

#Photo credits from the same link

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Green Tea KitKat

I finally had the guts to (let go) eat this green tea KitKat that can only be bought from Japan given to me by a good friend. Green tea goodness, indeed!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Gracies Pep!

The news of Pep Guardiola leaving FC Barcelona on June 30th of this year pretty shook everyone up. But whatever the clack's going on around about his quitting, you gotta respect his decision. Indeed to him, 4 years seemed an eternity. We have to hand his time back, after all, this man brought 13 titles in just 4 seasons to this club and that feat alone is unmatched.

May you regain your happiness, strength and peace back again, Pep. We hope to see you some day soon. 


Thursday, April 26, 2012

Museums Should Be Available To Everyone

Earlier, a friend and I were having a conversation about the absurd fee some museums in our country demand to their visitors. That conversation took me back to my difficult years during college when a student ID is not enough to warrant you a free entrance to a museum that your Art Studies professor asked you to visit. It didn't help that the museum barely, if at all, receives visitors probably due to the fact that 1) it was too small and 2) unpopular.

I hated going to museums, libraries or government parks that required me to shell out exorbitant amount of money because young as I was, I believed that it was our government's responsibility to provide these services to its people for free (that, and the fact that I and friends are supporting my remaining years of college education). Or, if we're going to pay, at least let it be minimal.

Past forward to today. My friend was thinking of organizing a museum-hopping activity until I dropped to her the bad news that Ayala Museum does not have a pocket-friendly entrance fee.

Although I've always wanted to visit and see the collections and exhibits Ayala Museum has to offer, the steep entrance fee I have to pay stops me every time. Yes I can pay, but I choose not to. Museums should be available to everyone: rich, middle class or poor. If they can't absolutely provide it to everyone for free then at least reduce the entrance fee so they can still afford it. I don't even get it why fee for higher floor galleries are more expensive.

Remember, only a small percentage of the population are wealthy, the rest are poor.

When in out of town trips, I always make it a point to visit the local museum. I am happy to report that while they may not always be free, the entrance fee that these local museums ask are very fair. I never hesitate to pay 10, 20 or 50 pesos to get in because these are provincial museums that I doubt receive any sponshorship from well known companies or ad-giving bodies. Small though the museums, they are neat and well-maintained. I understand that maintaining a museum is not exactly cheap but there are other ways.

I tell you, if you want to encourage more people to visit a local museum, do it in a way that 90% of the population can have access to it. Minsan kasi, sila na ngang mga cultured, sila pa ang laging nakakapunta sa museums.

At least National Museum's Sunday free admission policy is still in effect. I am proud to say that I highly benefited from this policy back in college. I used to go at National Museum alone just to check out new collections and everytime I leave I always remember how great that felt. Imagine, I saw the Spoliarium (which every Filipino must see) for free!

Visiting a museum should be like going to school, you come out armed with more knowledge than ever and deeper understanding and appreciation of your country (or the world) than you had before.

I'm sure there are a lot of kids (and parents) out there who would love to spend a day in the museum but just don't have the moolah to get in one. Let us not take away the joy of being inside a museum from them. Let them have their own museum stories to tell in the future. Good stories, hopefully.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Charlie's Grill on a Tuesday Night

Dahil flop ang supposedly 120-peso Chili's burger night sa Greenhills (daming taong naghihintay sa labas exagg!), umuwi na lang kami ni JC at kumain sa kapitbahay na Charlie's Grill.

I finally got to try the newest addition to Charlie's Grill's ever expanding menu: corn dogs! I got a little story to insert here. When I saw the corndog photo on their fb page, I immediately tweeted about it. Guess what? Charlie's Grill's twitter account retweeted it. Squee kahit waley lang.

These are the mini corn dogs which smelled really good. I ordered it sans the fries which costs 135 pesos.

While JC had the Charlie's Chicago snap dawg. When the orders came natawa ko, ang haba ng snap dawg including the pickles haha!

Pina-pose ko muna kahit gutom na

This. This choco milkshake was the highlight of the night though. Before, whenever I try to order milkshake in Charlie's they always say it's not available so I was disheartened every time.

But tonight, my milkshake opportunity finally came and it was sooooo worth it. OMG after one sip I can't wipe the smile off my face. Lumiwanag bigla ang buhay haha. It was that good, swear.

Next time I'll try the other flavors naman.

cherry on the top

When I got home, I immediately tweeted about the experience along with photo of the corn dogs to which Charlie's Grill twitter account replied:

Anytime kapitbahay, anytime.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Samgyeopsal Night

After a heartbreaking loss (St. James summer basketball league) and quite a long, not to add insanely hot, afternoon still ahead, the boys had a brilliant idea of cooking and eating their pain away. Hence, a Korean night or more specifically samgyeopsal night was born.

There are tons of Korean supermarkets along Kalayaan so it was pretty easy to pick out the stuff that we needed. I tagged along with JC and Marvin who did the grocery shopping (and cooking too!).

It was my first time inside a Korean supermarket. I always see one but I never had the curiosity to step inside probably because I'm not much of a Korean dish person.

various Korean instant noodles

Here's the samgyeopsal meat cut that we needed  but since this is quite on the expensive side we opted for an alternative meat cut from Eunilaine. We bought 2 kilos worth of meat, 7 bags of lettuces, 8 onion springs, Korean tomato paste, ready-to-eat kimchi, sesame oil, 2 bags of Kopiko for iced coffee, other condiments and utensils.

I rinsed the lettuce leaves while the boys did the cooking and salad preparations.

After a few hours and angry bellows from hungry boys downstairs, here's our small feast.

The we-just-lost-pose-but-we're-gonna-have-a-feast-anyway.

When bellies were satisfied and full, Marvin insisted that we all had a round of drinks of these Chamisul. The Fresh labeled bottle is for ladies as it is not as strong as Original. Still, I didn't like its taste. Too strong!

We had a toast for a better game play next Sunday despite the absence of a few key players. Aja '02 boys!

Korean Ice Cream Bar

Coffee in particular, to cool things up in this CRAZY Manila summer heat.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

These Two Wheelers Are Too Kyot!

This one from bikebyme is so refreshing probably owing to the fact that it looks like watermelon? haha.

The pantone bike you'd like to own in every colors!

And of course, the pretty orange bike from Public! Aaack. I wish I had an orange bike instead of red. No offense to Ruben my red bike :D

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Ketchup Food Community: The Newest Food Hub in Baguio City

We were just right on time to Ketchup Food Community's (or Ketchup Place for short) opening in downtown Baguio, a new place for food lovers to convene to enjoy good food.

Ketchup Place is divided into five sections that allow visitors to choose their own food experience. There's Happy Tummy that serves Thai foods, Cafe Circolo that offers inexpensive fusion of snacks/lunch/dinner, Canto serves mean ribs, Rumah Satei is a crossover of Malaysian and Indonesian food choices and lastly, the essential Pinoy-themed restaurant Rancho Norte.

The view that will greet you once you stepped inside the gate; Canto; Rumah Satei; and Circolo

Happy Tummy menu

We ordered foods from Canto, Happy Tummy and Circolo. Kimi had ribs from Canto at in fairness, wagi din ang ribs nila, sobrang lambot! My friend Jill ordered pad thai and lechon kawali from Happy Tummy while I ordered fish and chips from Circolo. 

So fun to see your orders coming from different establishments and them being okay with it, community talaga!

Ketchup: The Food Community is located at Romulo Drive, Barangay Lualhati (Near Wright Park), 2600 Baguio City, Philippines. Don't miss it when you're in Baguio City!

I'll end this post with a photo from these cuties, too bad Mykonos is being her usual self, snob. haha.

Mother's Garden: A Sanctuary Amidst the City

On my last day of vacation in Baguio, my friends and I went to Mother's Garden. My Baguio-based friend has been mentioning this place for quite some time and , as always, am eager to see it for myself. Any new place in Baguio, and there's a lot, is a must check out whenever I'm there.

True to what its site says, Mother's Garden indeed is your chunk of oasis smacked in the middle of the city.

This is the view waiting for anyone visiting Mother's Garden.

The area claims of self-sustenance - they plant and raise whatever they need. Mother's Garden also boasts of chemical-free produce that you can actually order in their Panorama Cafe upstairs. 

The kids and kidults alike had so much fun interacting with the animals. They have sheep, rabbits, pigeons, swines, pigs, mountain goats (because they do actually climb!), geese and a herd dog named Spots. In here, the animals with name are spared from being served as the food on your plate, the nameless ones are the not so lucky ones hehe.

Can you guess what this plant below is? It's an upright merlot lettuce! I was so fascinated with this plant I took a lot of photos!

Mother's Garden has rows of planted gardens where they grow herbs, vegetables, flowers and even strawberries that you can pick and eat. They also have a children's area where kids can run around and play to their heart's desire.

Strawberry fields forever

After the tour around the area, we went upstairs to Panorama Cafe and ordered some snacks for the kids. I wasn't able to take photos of the food because I was too busy hanging out with my godchild Kai Mykonos and another kyot baby named Cody, my friend Jill's son.

Everything is so peaceful in here. I could sit in the cafe and just gaze around, look at  the mountains and the greenery below, read a book while nibbling fresh salads on the side and sipping freshly made juice, and I wouldn't even know a day has passed.

Mother's Garden is located in Upper Fairview Road, Quezon Hill Proper, Baguio City. Directions on how to get there is on their website, look for it, it's quite helpful. :)

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Hanging Out with Kai Mykonos Version 2

I wanted to insert thought bubbles too in the next photo but the space won't permit it. So here you go, another collage na lang ulit!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Danes' Brownies

Baguio cheap thrill finds - Danes Bakeshop brownies with a lot of oomphs. Masarap na, mura pa! I wish I bought 3 more boxes :( Til my next akyat!

SM supermarket also sells Danes goodies but naturally at extra cost

A boxful of goodies

On Why Am I Team Peeta

Admit it, you've always/occasionally wanted boys to blurt out cheesy lines such as what Peeta Mellark casually expressed to Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games book. It goes like this:
Katniss: Peeta. You said at the interview you'd had a crush on me forever. When did forever start?
Peeta: Oh, let's see. I guess the first day of school. We were five. You had on a red plaid dress and your was in two braids instead of one. My father pointed you out when we were waiting to line up.
Katniss: Your father?
Peeta: He said, 'See that little girl? I wanted to marry her mother, but she ran off with a coal miner.'
Katniss: What? You're making that up!
Peeta: No, true story. And I said, 'A coal miner? Why did she want a coal miner if she could've had you?' And he said, 'Because when he sings...even the birds stop to listen.'
Katniss: That's true. They do. I mean, they did.
Peeta: So that day, in music assembly, the teacher asked who knew the valley song. Your hand shot right up in the air. She stood you up on a stool and had you sing it for us. And I swear, every bird outside the windows fell silent.
Katniss: Oh, please.
Peeta: No, it happened. And right when your song ended, I knew - just like your mother - I was a goner.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

The Secret Life of Plankton

Like plankton, regarded as the edible gold of sea life, this 6-minute video is a total gold from marine biologist Tierney Thys

A must see!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Good Friday Lunch at Camp John Hay Clubhouse

My no-meat-on-lent little sacrifice got instantly dismissed the moment I set foot in Baguio City. The mother of my host friend, Tita Babeth, offered us pandesals, omelettes and tapas for breaksfast. How can you not refuse that?

After a few hours my friend Juraine, who quickly answered after my woe call, came to Green Valley to rescue me amidst the hullaballoo of relatives united by a forthcoming event. I love the Lolargas and the Fernandezes but during that moment, I thought I shouldn't get in the way.

My friend Kimi, the mother of my kyot godchild who just turned one, also came with us. Good thing there's so many people in the house so there's really no shortage of people looking out for the baby and the visitors.

We looked for a place where I can stay for the night since for the first time I won't be staying in Kimi's place. The places we saw are either depressingly expensive or just plainly depressing.

So we decided to eat first. Or rather Kimi and I ate while Juraine took a bath in Camp John Hay Clubhouse (her family's a club member).

Kimi ordered fish and chips while I ordered a sinful Japanese styled baby back ribs. I'm sorry Jesus :(

the menu

Japanese Styled Barbecued Baby Back Ribs

After lunch, we headed back town to again look for my place to crash. We found Upstairs Bed & Bath located at Leonard Wood Road where I took a top bunk bed on their dorm-type room because it was 50 pesos less than when taking a lower bunk bed. 

Upstairs Bed & Bath did it for me not only because it's cheap but because the place was pretty new  (the towels are crisp white and carpet so plush), it's prime location (just behind Barrio Fiesta which is in front of SM, near enough Session Road), hot shower in a squeaky clean bathroom and the friendly and courteous staff . 

I definitely will recommend this place to friends if they ever find themselves looking for a place to stay in Baguio.