Showing posts from February, 2009

Bagoong in the name of LOVE

I can't believe we're reaching the end of another month and moving on to sunny summer March! February has been short and sweet. Called the love month, this is when the world celebrates Valentine's Day , a day when couples would give extra time and effort in showing their affection to one another. This year's pre-Valentine's Day dinner was spent in an old Filipiniana house where we sat on sturdy wooden chairs and ate on an equally sturdy wooden table. The specialty? Salty shrimp paste that comes in different varieties! Welcome to the Bagoong Club . Our Club Initiation Paul loves Bagoong as he eats this together with a couple of his favorite Filipino dishes while I, on the other hand, tends to be more picky about it. I guess it is because of his fondness for the shrimp paste that he booked us a table at the Bagoong Club one Friday evening. The service was superb as our order taker patiently introduced us to their best-selling dishes and even gave his perso

Are you a Starbuck-oholic?

Driving to work this morning, I passed by a Starbucks store and did the unthinkable. I was surprised with what I did that it got me thinking that I must be really addicted to the Green Siren . Admittedly, I've been a fan since it first opened in Greenhills ten years ago, I've tried most of its food items and can even name all of its drinks even with my eyes closed. Come Christmas time, I make it a point to pay the store across my University a daily visit until I can finally claim my planner. Yep, I was and still am a HUGE fan. How about you? Are you a Starbuck-oholic too? Here's my list to tell if you are: 1) You can remember the drinks that came and went throughout your growing Starbucks years. (remember, Rhumba Frappuccino, Banana Cream and Mocha Valencia?) 2) You're aware of the different promotions that happen year-round: Summer, Coffee Heritage, Christmas and Tea Lattes (which happens after Christmas) 3) You know the difference of the baristas in green vs

Fun Summer Fashion

Summer is definitely my favorite time of the year! This is the season to bring out your big, trusty shades, pull your hair up to a pony and wear your most comfortable cool attire every single day. For me, it is also when my flipflops takes the limelight and it's one of those rarest moment that for a short while, I get a little tan which quickly fades away come July. I can't wait to hit the beach or at least to get the pool parties started! Of course, relaxing and being a little more laid back doesn't mean we shouldn't look our best. My fashion style puts comfort beyond anything else. Thus my addiction to sandals and clothes that allow me to move around freely. However, when it comes to swim wear, I mix comfort, style and quality. I love stylish takinis that fits my body perfectly. Definitely one that I can wear as I laze around the soft, white sands of Boracay or while walking along the shore. Last week, Paul and I were fortunate to be invited to an exclusive sneak

Summer is HERE!!!!

The temperature is fast rising! I dream of powdery white sand underneath my feet, the sound of the waves splashing against the shore and a tall glass of Choco-Banana Shake on my hand. Time to bring out my calendar and plan my next trip!!!

Go Mexican in Pampanga!

Finally arriving at Pampanga after our short drive via the NLEX, Paul took the Angeles exit and drove a little more until we reached a small side street with a lot of commercial establishments lined up. A closer look at these establishments and I realized that we are driving along Angeles' red light district. During the day, we still saw a lot of local girls dressed in very skimpy day outfits and foreigners looking for a place to have lunch. Since it was Valentine's Day and the weekend of the Hot Air Balloon Fiesta , there were more cars and visitors present than normal. Luckily, Paul was able to get a good parking spot just right outside the door of our target lunch destination. Hand in hand, we walked towards the entrance with a bright yellow, red and green signage. Zapata's Cantina Mexicana , it read. We opened the big brown door and was surprised to see the place packed with more customers waiting for their turn to be seated. Scanning the room, I saw a couple of

Weekend Discovery: the Cold Spoon story

I have a new discovery and it's located along a not-so-busy road in the town of Angeles, Pampanga. It took us a while to locate it but imagine my excitement the moment I spotted the white brick wall that looks like an Eskimo's square igloo. We entered the store and a cheerful lady greeted us hello. We gave her our order and immediately she pulled down the knob to produce a soft, white cream into a medium sized cup. Swiftly, she opened a small container which she pulled out from the chiller and piled my cup high with a generous serving of blueberries with syrup. Ohh my mouth waters at the sight that I can't wait to take my first bite! I've finally found Cold Spoon Frozen Yogurt and I love it! I like the smooth texture of the yogurt as it melts in my mouth. It's sour taste was just right, enough to remind me that I'm eating a healthier alternative to ice cream. If only they have fresh fruits available then it would have been perfect. The following day, I

Up, up and Away!!!

Waking up at 4AM... Taking a short drive to the Clark Aviation Field ... Getting a good spot while receiving painful shoves and nudges from equally eager visitors... Patiently waiting while trying in vain to get a good shot... We've been doing all THESE for three consecutive years ... Here's why... ..and I'm excited to do all these again next year!! See ya! Ü

One Fine (Blue Water) Day...

"Do you really have to plot your schedule by the minute?" , a close friend asked me as she peek into my handy planner. Actually, I've been doing this for a long time now...such a long time that I can't recall when I began to do so. "But I have to" , was my only answer. A lot of things have been calling my attention lately and all of them have been pretty demanding too. Oh how I wish we have more than 24 hours in a day! One thing's for sure though, I can't wait for the time when my To-Do list is filled with check marks and that's when I can finally sit back, relax and reward myself. My guilty indulgence? An hour-long massage or a food spa treatment while bonding with my mom and sister. We are big fans of spa treatments and we have tried almost every single spa in the neighborhood. From small, cozy nail spas to the big, zen-like ones. Wanting to have that much-awaited spa treatment soon, I was so happy to learn about the newest innovation in

Gran Torino

At first I thought it was an action film. I braced myself for lots of gory scenes and bloody fights. I was wrong . The movie talks about racial discrimination and a man who sticks by his principles no matter what or how much it will cost him. Meet Walt Kowalski , a Korean War veteran who is always misunderstood by his neighbors and family members. As a retired auto worker, his day is filled with regular trips to his barber, bottles of beer and packs of cigarettes. He trusts no one except his dog Daisy. He's your typical grouchy old man, wearing deep creases on his forward and a big frown on his face. He never interacts with his immigrant neighbors and often finds criticism in them. This was his life every single day... up until the night a young shy boy named Thao was pressured by a group of Hmong gangsters to to steal his '72 Gran Torino . Luckily, his Gran Torino was still intact but he earned the respect of his neighbors after protecting them from the gangsters. He

Oh Valentine's Day

click to enlarge Still not sure on what to give your special someone this Valentine's Day? Check out Eastwood Mall's St. Valentine's Fair from February 8 - 15, 2009 at the Eastwood Mall Atrium. I'm so excited as this is my sister's latest project and the stage sister in me has already set a date to visit the event and show my support. YEAH!!

A warm coffee moment at Figaro

Who would have thought that the day would come when I would be drinking and loving coffee? This is me, the former non-coffee drinker but who still pays a visit to the Green Siren on a daily basis. I had my first dose of coffee during my work orientation two years ago. I remembered it was House Blend , said to be the smoothest and lightest among the wide range of coffee blends available. Nonetheless, it was too bitter for my taste that I loaded it with lots of milk and two packs of sugar. That day marked the start of my love affair with coffee. Since then, I grew fond of the different types of blends and it differs based on the region that it came from. I love anything from the Latin American region: Columbia, Mexico and Peru. I also learned to concoct my own drink from customized lattes to mochaccinos to double shot espressos with a pump of white mocha. Yum! While waiting for my meeting to begin, I got myself a cup of Butterscotch Vanilla Latte at Figaro . It took a while for

My Shopaholic Confession

Hi!! I'm Fran and I'm a Shopaholic. "Stress is inevitable." My mom would always remind me everytime she catches me opening a box of chocolates or a bag of tortilla chips and I would always use stress as my reason for eating my heart out. She's right, after all, it is our responsibility to manage the things that stresses us out. As my way of balancing things out in my life, I would allot certain periods during the weekend where I would spend time alone and give in to whatever makes me happy at the moment. This includes getting my monthly manicure and pedicure treatment, indulging in a massage or visiting my favorite mall to shop . Then comes the confession... Ohh...if only shopping can be considered a sport. I would probably be one of the first to sign up for varsity. I'm a big fan of price-off promotions and freebies. Thus, my undying love for bazaars and the ever famous Greenhills tiangges (retail market). I still remember how I would update mysel

My Top FIVE tips to enjoy the 14th Philippine Hot Air Balloon Fiesta

Did You Know? ...that this year is supposed to be the 13th Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta (PIHABF) but the organized decided to skip the number 13 due to superstitious beliefs and thus making it the 14th. ... that Hot air Balloons were once used as a mode of transportation back in the days? ... that 25 balloons will be joining this years event making it the biggest so far. There will be teams from all over the world coming from Hungary, France, Germany, Thailand, Malaysia, USA, Japan and a lot more! This year marks the 3rd consecutive year that Paul and I will travel all the way to Clark, Pampanga to watch colorful, big, hot air balloons fly and fill up the sky. Through the years, we've encountered standing in line to buy our tickets, getting stuck in a really bad traffic jam on our way out of the field and realizing that our kite was defective. These I would call the pains of a Hot Air Balloon Fiesta fan. We've learned so much since then, we now have