Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013: The Year of Living (and Saving Up) Dangerously

So. We have come to this part of the year again. December 31st. The mad dash into doing one last good deed. The last day of the year aka that day everyone scramble their way to a perfect year-end blog/journal entry. That or scribbling furiously their new year's resolutions which we all know would be abandoned, at best midyear, or several months into the year.

And here we are. You bet I'm one of those people! In retrospect, I had a great and lovely year. I got to travel to new and old places, ate a lot of good food, spent quality time to people that matter even got promoted. To top it all, I was able to hit my target savings for 2014. Lord knows I did a lot of scrimping here and there, practiced maximum temporal self-restraint. I like to think I succeeded in achieving these goals while still not giving up on other things I love. Now that's quality (buhat ng sariling bangko)!

Below are photos that I believe perfectly sums up my 2013.

JANUARY. I went back to Singapore for vacation and spent 9 long, glorious days there. Getting in Singapore was a heck of an experience too (you can read all about it here). Nevertheless, I had so much fun as it was the Christmas vacation I never had. I got to try a lot of things I never got to try when JC and I went there in 2012. No pressure at all in covering things/places on a limited time which felt really great to be honest haha. Thank you to my friend host, Diane, for taking me in.

FEBRUARY. A charity climb for the benefit of the children of Itogon, Benguet. Mt. Ugo was a LONG and weary hike but seeing the delight on the kids' faces was all worth it.

MARCH. Second out of the country trip but this time with JC and friends. We got to visit Prambanan and Borubudur Temples in Yogyakarta and soak in the sun in Bali. We must come back to Bali though as there are are still a lot of things we missed/not covered when we were there. 

Oh, I almost forgot. I got engaged in Bali. This guy below praying at Tirta Empul proposed to me at Seminyak beach :)

APRIL. Joined my first TNF trail run at Baguio. 11k worth of sweat and screaming-with-pain legs.

MAY. Celebrated my birthday with Stan the T-Rex!

JUNE. 3 years anniversary working at Brady. My longest so far.

JULY. Finally finished reading these monsters. I was so bored with A Feast of Crows it took me a much longer time to finish that one. Oops. Can't wait for Winds of Winter!!

AUGUST. As a mountain climber, this is quite embarrassing on my part. I haven't climbed the famous Mt. Pinatubo yet so when the chance came up, I grabbed onto it. It might not look like what it was a few years ago but the magnificence of the volcano has always been intact.

Also, the Cheese and I went back to Boracay (only my second time) to celebrate his birthday.

SEPTEMBER. JC, Kimi and I participated in Greenpeace's #IceRide, a global bike ride protesting ice drilling in the Arctic region.

Also, The Killers live in Manila. No words.

OCTOBER. Celebrated our 5th Anniversary in Bacolod City. Joined our first triathlon relay with our friend Kimi.

NOVEMBER. The best batchoy in Iloilo and Guimaras's famous Mango Pizza. Kay ganda ng Pilipinas!

DECEMBER. Mt. Kan-laon. Friends, colleagues, love. Christmas, get togethers. 

I have a lot to be thankful for but most of all, I'm just thankful I'm alive, that I made it through another year. Everything else is a bonus. 

The ultimate selfie - at a volcano's crater!

How about you, what are you thankful for this 2013?

Ikkoryu Fukuoka Ramen

With my Brady colleagues, all 16 of us trooped inside Ikkoryu Fukuoka Ramen at the dashing and now almost complete Shangrila Mall East Wing to have our Christmas dinner together. 

Japanese dinner for Christmas. How apt. I couldn't think of a better place

Ikkoryu Fukuoka Ramen, Shangri-la Plaza Mall

Ikkoryu Fukuoka Ramen menu, Shangri-la Plaza Mall

Ikkoryu Fukuoka Ramen's Takowasa at Shangri-la Plaza Mall
Takowasa. Raw octopus mixed with wasabi paste (PhP120.00)

Ikkoryu Fukuoka Ramen's Ikano Shiokara at Shangri-la Plaza Mall
Ikano Shiokara. Sliced squid marinated with salty paste (PhP120.00)
Ikkoryu Fukuoka Ramen, Shangri-la Plaza Mall
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My officemate Josh ordered these edamame which I had a major booboo eating in. Paka-baryotic ko lang.

Ikkoryu Fukuoka Ramen's Edamame, Shangri-la Plaza Mall

I ordered Ajitama Tonkotsu and boy was my stomach satisfied. Definitely worth your quid. Okay too many British films/series going on.

Ajitama Tonkotsu. Topped with a special half-boiled egg that is fully marinated with a special blended soy sauce base (PhP380)

Ikkoryu Fukuoka Ramen
Shangri-la Plaza Mall
5/F Shangri-la Plaza Mall, East Wing, Shaw Blvd cor EDSA
Wack Wack, Mandaluyong

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Ginza Bairin at UP Town Center

Had a reunion lunch with my Spice Team friends at Ginza Bairin in UP Town Center where we had an amazing server whom, unfortunately, I wasn't able to get the name. There were so many of us and conversations were flying in, on and over the table you name it, so medyo kaguluhan lang talaga. 

Nonetheless, I still want to thank you for taking care of us lot. I will remember your face when I go back there. If I ever go back there. It's not you, it's me :)

Ginza Bairin, UP Town Center

Ginza Bairin, UP Town Center

Ginza Bairin, UP Town Center

Gyoza (PhP150)

Gyoza - Ginza Bairin, UP Town Center

There's an inside joke to this Special Tonkatsu Set that my friend Amy ordered but we'll just keep it to ourselves na lang. 

Special Katsudon - Ginza Bairin, UP Town Center

I ordered a regular Rosu Katsu Set (PhP345)

Rosu Katsu Set - Ginza Bairin, UP Town Center

This baby makes the most adorable facial expressions! Hay Habagat, y u so cute.

The whole gang! Although we are still missing some Spice team members here.

Ginza Bairin
UP Town Center, Katipunan Ave
Loyola Heights, Quezon City

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

L.E.S. Bagels

Because we failed to locate Las Flores resto in The Fort we ended up eating in two places. One is in Milky Way, mainly for the Cheese who wants rice meal and not bagel and the other one is LES Bagels. This was an afternoon filled with minor booboos but ones that we can shrug and laugh off after a while.

Milky Way Restaurant
Milky Way's Kaldereta
My friend Mitch has always wanted to try L.E.S. Bagels, that day, her wish was finally granted.

L.E.S. Bagels New York Deli + Bakery

We went nuts with all the options and took our time choosing our cream cheese.

L.E.S. Bagels New York Deli + Bakery

Choose your own bagel from this stacks. Each bagel costs 40 pesos only!

L.E.S. Bagels New York Deli + Bakery

The guy behind the counter was nice enough to answer all our queries about cream cheese, bagels, their bestsellers, etc!

L.E.S. Bagels New York Deli + Bakery

Even gave us a free sampling of Bacon and Cheddar, Jalapeno Cheddar and Scallion.

L.E.S. Bagels New York Deli + Bakery

L.E.S. Bagels New York Deli + Bakery

L.E.S. Bagels New York Deli + Bakery Menu Board

But in the end, I settled for Scallion which JC said was a pretty boring choice after all the time it took us deciding what to take hahahaha. The man has a point though.

Scallion Bagel at L.E.S. Bagels New York Deli + Bakery

I sure did not expect this piece of bagel to be an equivalent of a full meal. Kaya pala the French and American people tend to always have this for their lunch. LES Bagel did not scrimp at all with their cream cheese filling! It was super thick, as in.

Overall, I'm satisfied with my Scallion bagel. Next time, we can try other cream cheese, preferably not the boring ones haha.

L.E.S. Bagels New York Deli + Bakery


L.E.S. Bagels
Tuscany Residences
Upper McKinley Road, McKinley Hill,
Fort Bonifacio