December 27, 2011

Happy Holidays!

I'll get back to blogging real soon. The holidays have been so busy that I barely had enough time to compose some entries especially since my mom is in town. I hope you're having fun with your respective vacations. Got any New Year's resolutions yet?:)

December 18, 2011

Party pooper.

Flu chose the worst possible time to manifest itself… on the day of our WFM Christmas Party! No matter how hard I tried to convince myself it was simply a mind over matter type of sickness, my body gave in eventually. I slept the entire three hours I was at the venue. What a waste, right? There goes my contribution for the year. :(

The venue was perfect, the food was great, everyone was in high spirits. I cannot believe I missed all of that. I apologized again and again for ruining the mood of the party. My brother was kind enough to take some shots using my camera. But he’s more of a candid moment type of photographer so I apologize again if there are some embarrassing shots uploaded on Facebook. Heehee!

Good thing my manito managed to lift my spirits up. He gave me the item I listed on my wish list! Yes folks, I now have a sandwich maker. Yayyy! Thank you so much, Jayvee.

December 11, 2011

Happy Endings: Not quite there yet.

I’m very protective of my favorite shows. To me they’re in a league of their own. It’s blasphemous to even compare them with another show of similar format that hasn’t reached their caliber yet. I guess this is the reason why it took me sometime to warm up to Happy Endings. The half-hour series, described as an ensemble comedy about a group of friends living in Chicago, is already touted by critics as one of those shows with the FRIENDS magic. 

I have never seen the first season. Just recently though, out of curiosity, I decided to download the first five episodes of its second season. My verdict? It’s a hit and miss for me so far. There are episodes that I love while there are some which lacked the oompph! needed. One good thing is that the actors have already settled into their characters and the chemistry is much more evident. I have no favorites yet. Penny comes close but she has this annoying quality of over-exaggerating on things. She’s very relatable though. I can totally see myself in her shoes.

I have to give credit to this show for making Elisha Cuthbert likeable again. (Kim Bauer, who?^___^) Who would’ve thought she’d do really well in comedy? Although they’re not quite there yet in terms of FRIENDS standards, I’m giving them a chance. After all, I ended up liking HIMYM after ignoring it for almost four seasons.

December 9, 2011

To a decade of friendship.

The last week of November was one of the most memorable days for me this year. I love it when my friends are in town. We don’t live in the same city anymore so it’s a rare instance for all five of us to be together. What was agreed upon was that the next reunion after the semi-disastrous summer escapade was not supposed to happen until 2012, but Harry Potter and a wedding intervened with fate. I welcomed the distraction. I was in need of a break again from my usual work routine.

The weekend’s best surprise was probably us running into a former college classmate while we were having Sunday lunch at Zubuchon. Funny thing was, prior to that, we were in a discussion about when and how did all of us become friends a few years back. Little did we know that Ann would soon pass by our table unknowingly. I think she recognized my sister first, then saw me. It took her a while to realize she actually knew the other three (Gen, Reah and Isa) who were seated together with us. So surreal and hilarious. Don’t you just love chance encounters? :)

The lady in pink is Ann. Too bad Xtian couldn't join us for lunch that day.
I love how these ladies are the only ones who can make me wear a dress without feeling conscious about how I look. That’s how comfortable I am in their company. My mom would be so proud. Haha!

Our favorite photo! Would this pass for a Christmas electronic postcard? Hehe! ^__^
The Harry Potter marathon never happened. But we made a lot of new memories in those three days to mark a decade of our friendship. I am proud to call these ladies my best friends and I know we will remain this close even if one of us gets married (one already is!) and starts a family.

December 4, 2011

Wishes, wishes, wishes.

Don’t you just love the feeling when December kicks in? I felt like this year flew by so quickly I didn’t even realize we’re nearing the end of 2011 in a few weeks. How’s your Christmas shopping going? I haven’t even started mine. I was too wrapped up in the weekend getaway I had with friends last week that I’ve even pushed back the setting-up of the tree at home. We promise to get it done soon otherwise Mom would definitely throw a fit when she finds the house bare of any decorations. 

Speaking of gifts, I finally came up with my wish list this year. I decided to throw in something frivolous just for kicks. But as Krissy mentioned in her post, more often than not, I will end up buying some of things on the list for myself. 

A new pair (or two) of flats. I am in desperate need of a wardrobe overhaul. My style can actually be compared to that of a college kid who’s still stuck in that “jeans and sneakers” phase. Blame it on the casual dress code I have at work. I love it… but sometimes you have this urge to actually dress your age and it sucks when you don’t have everything within arm’s reach. 

A Modalu bag. I am no fan of Pippa Middleton, but I instantly fell in love with the bag she was photographed with the day after her sister’s wedding. How I wish I can carry that style!

Sandwich-maker. Any brand would do. This is actually what I’m asking from my Secret Santa at work. My sister and I love to fix midnight snacks for ourselves and this would save us the hassle of using the toaster. Grilled cheese sandwiches, here we come!

iPad 2. Okay, okay… I’m a sell-out. I swore before that I would never join the Apple bandwagon. Guess what? The iPad’s lure is just too hard to resist. Bear in mind that this wasn’t a spur-of-the-moment decision. My sister and I carefully researched the pros and cons of the gadget compared to its competition. So yeah, we have our reasons. :)

FRIENDS DVD Boxed Set. It’s been almost seven years since the finale of the show and I still have to complete all seasons on DVD. With its timeless appeal, the show never gets old with viewers. We will always laugh and cry at the misadventures of these six individuals from Manhattan. Good thing a friend gave me the Harry Potter DVDs so I can strike that from my wish list this year.

And for my frivolous wishes this year…

Xabi Alonso jersey. Yup, this was on my list last year as well. So far no friends of mine have been planning to go to Spain yet. If they do, this will be all that I’ll ask from them as pasalubong. Heehee!

A new puppy! Gwen could definitely use a playmate, or a surrogate child around here. I’ve always wanted to own a beagle but dogs with breed cost a fortune. I’ll probably save up for it sometime in the future unless a kind individual would actually give me one out of the blue.

How about you? Anything special that you plan to purchase for yourself this Christmas? :)

November 30, 2011

Me <3 my Harry Potter DVD set.

When Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 premiered last July, my friends and I felt it was the end of an era for us. That was it. No more movie installments in the series to look forward to each year. To cure our 'senti' mode, a suggestion was brought up. How about we marathon all eight movies the next time we had a get-together? Perfect! And so began less than six months of planning through Facebook.

All of that would’ve been last weekend. We initially planned to do nothing but watch all the movies in the span of two days.

Sadly, we forgot to bring a portable DVD player to the hotel where we were staying. So we decided to go food-tripping instead and took lots and lots of photos. On the bright side, guess who got herself a DVD set of all eight movies?:) One of my friends who’s now based in Dubai bought 4 sets, one for each of us who were based here in Philippines. (We're a group of five. She's the only one based abroad)

BEST. GIFT. EVER. Thank you, Gen. You truly made this reunion even more special.

November 24, 2011

Psyched for the long weekend.

My best girlfriends are arriving tomorrow and I can’t wait to spend the long weekend with them! Yup, that’s Happy Thanksgiving for me. We’re just staying in the city to hole up in some hotel while we catch up and make chika about everything that has happened for the past six months. Believe me we can talk endlessly for hours and still have something new to discuss about. I wish I can be more like them though… travelling every once in a while to de-stress. I was always ‘the one who never uprooted herself’. So by next year, mark my words, I’m making it a personal goal to travel more outside of Cebu.

Between running some errands and meeting with my girl friends, I’m hoping to squeeze sometime into catching up with New Girl. Zooey Deschanel is hilarious! Her quirkiness works for me because I see my sense of humor as being somewhat like Jess. Maybe I’m just too easy to please? I dunno. Even Winston is okay with me when he’s being panned by netizens for being nothing like Coach (the roommate in the pilot). But the best character for me, hands down, has to be Cece. Don’t you just love her deadpan sense of humor?

My sister, on the other hand, is catching up with Once Upon A Time. I’m glad because finally she can relate whenever I babble every time a new episode is on. She loves Charming James and Snow. Josh Dallas and Ginny (I prefer calling her that over Ginnifer) Goodwin have effortless chemistry. I cannot wait for more backstories regarding this main couple. It was cute how they were actually friends with Cinderella and her prince in the fairy tale world. My main ship though, is Graham and Emma. I hope the sheriff doesn’t kick the bucket anytime soon. Rumors are rife that they are killing off a character before the show goes on winter hiatus. Oh noes. My ship has to survive!

November 15, 2011

One thing off my culinary bucket list.

My sister realized that the only way to shut me up regarding my obsession with rice rolls is to actually make one for ourselves. So began our quest to make kimbap. It wasn’t easy. The ingredients were hard to find in our usual grocery stores. Thankfully, a friend of mine suggested ASSI Mart. I should’ve listened to her in the first place. It would have saved us the time and effort of grocery-hopping just to complete everything that we needed. 

Only two rolls sliced so far...
For a budget of less than a thousand, including the basic condiments, we were able to make 10 rolls. How’s that for eating kimbap to your heart’s content? :) Definitely saves me more money than ordering it from a Korean restaurant where a roll would cost you anywhere between P130 – P160 pesos. I just had this for dinner. ONLY THIS. So yes, I’m shutting up now.

The ingredients alone allowed us to make 9 rolls. NINE ROLLS!!!
I'm bringing some as my baon ^___^
In fact, I’m saving some as my office baon for later. How does a rice roll diet sound? Hehe! This is one of the good things that came out of me reading So Delushious. You get so inspired to cook. Can’t wait for our next culinary experiment!

November 13, 2011

Oh to be young and in-love!

Just when I’ve given up hope on my TV ‘ships, these two come to save the day. Hotch/Prentiss is a no-go on Criminal Minds while Gossip Girl writers can’t seem to make-up their minds about Dan/Blair (yes Humphrey, it’s probably about the ‘hairstyle’). Thankfully, the Sheriff/Emma interactions on Once Upon A Time are pure gold and definitely something to look forward to. I love how their story is playing out. It’s cute how he has this crush on her but she’s just nonchalant about it. And we’re not even on yet to the secret behind her birthright (she’s Snow White’s daughter) and his possible fairytale counterpart (I still stay, The Huntsman).

OUAT is one of my guilty pleasures this season. I thought I would hate it, but I have come to love their modern spin on the classic fairytales we all loved as kids. It sort of reminds me of Shrek with all these storybook characters interconnected in some way. Oh, and after seeing some spoiler pictures from the seventh episode, my love for these two above grew exponentially. How can you not love the adorable Jamie Dornan and Jennifer Morrison?

Confused? I suggest you check out the show if you can. I'm sure you will all love it as much as I do. :)

November 7, 2011

Elusive culinary experiment.

It frustrates me that we can never seem to complete the ingredients in making kimbap/gimbap. We’ve been on it since we tasted one during the Korean day celebration last month. Because I couldn’t stop blabbing about it, my sister figured it would be best if we tried to make our own. It was easier said than done. The nori sheets were easier to find but the bamboo mat was elusive. I couldn’t find any at the grocery store. This leaves us with no choice but to try a Korean grocery that my friend suggested. Hopefully we can have that accomplished this coming weekend.

The Seoul Restaurant's (@Gaisano Country Mall) Gimbap - P150 
I personally prefer it more than sushi since you can work with many variations on the filling. Plus it doesn’t need any sauce at all. Hopefully once we can perfect our own version I’ll get to bring one as my office baon.:) It’s a great diet… and not that messy.

November 5, 2011

Let Starbucks be the first to greet you… Happy Holidays!

Four stickers now and thirteen more to go. This #starbucks2012planner project is turning out quite well than I expected.Quite an achievement for someone who’s a first-time sticker collector.:) *wink* I considered doing Seattle’s Best first but ultimately decided against it since Starbucks had the better design when it came to the planners.

Four stickers, thirteen more to go...
The best part about this whole promo? The establishment’s well-patronized Holiday drinks are back in season! I now get Tina’s love for Toffee Nut Latte, although my personal favorite is the Peppermint Mocha frap. There’s something indescribable about these drinks that will leave you coming back for more.

Toffee Nut Latte for me,  Cranberry White Chocolate Mocha for my sis
I’m looking forward to completing all 17 of my required stickers before the year ends. It shouldn’t be that hard since my best friends are coming over to Cebu on the last week of November for a much-needed girl bonding. :)

November 1, 2011

Remembering our dearly departed

We finally made it to Cempark since I was on leave from work today. Ahhh, the downside of working for a BPO… paid time-offs don’t happen at the snap of a finger! :) To make the most out of my one day-off, we paid our respects to my grandma and my uncle, all the while secretly praying that we get no heavy downpour on our way to the cemetery. 

Now I can’t help but reminisce. Gone were the days when the entire family would troop to Memorial Park on November 1. We’d meet up with some relatives, spend the whole day chatting and catching up on each other’s lives. It was a welcome reprieve from whatever toxicity work had to offer. But now it’s different. Everyone’s just so busy. 

Occasional visits are all that we can offer our dearly departed nowadays. I won’t deny them that. It’s the least I can do after all the good things they did in their lifetime. We promised to be back over the weekend for a more solemn visit. Perhaps by then the weather would finally cooperate.

October 27, 2011

BAMF: Person of Interest’s Jim Caviezel is ♥!

I am slowly warming up to Person of Interest. I don’t know how or why it suddenly got my attention. Perhaps it was the fact that Jim Caviezel is one of its leads. Hey, the man still commands attention with his mere presence. The salt ‘n pepper hairstyle + the suits + his skills = one BAMF protagonist. I am totally digging his more mature image these days.

It's Edmond Dantes and Ben in one TV series!

Person of Interest pairs him up with LOST’s Michael Emerson, and together they make quite an unlikely tandem out to stop crime before it even happens. It’s an ambitious plot, but I think Jonathan Nolan and JJ Abrams have their cards played out right. Think of it as Minority Report for TV + Big Brother. I’m currently on the second episode and I am forever amazed by how suave Reese (Caviezel’s character) executes every mission given to him by Finch (Emerson).

Wow, one more show on my weekly viewing list this year! 

Dear readers, what shows do you follow lately?

October 22, 2011

Charmed by Mystic Falls

When The Vampire Diaries premiered almost three years ago, I simply dismissed it as another CW show out to cater to its teen market. I wasn’t sucked in by the hype because I tend to be cautious of shows marketing cheesy vampire love stories. *cough*Twilight*cough*

They survived two seasons.

Team Stelena? or Team Delena?

Now on its third year, the drama set in the idyllic town of Mystic Falls has managed to enthrall viewers not only because of a forbidden love affair between a human and a vampire, but also because of its eclectic mix of residents. Where else can you find a place where vampires, werewolves and ghosts actually (albeit unknowingly) co-exist? I finally realized that in order to appreciate a certain series, it’s best if you don’t lean towards a specific ‘ship. Enjoy whatever coupling the writers throw at you. If there’s one thing that Kevin Williamson, Julie Plec and their team of writers have proven, it’s their knack for tightly-written scripts that leave you breathless with each episode.

Six episodes down and they show no signs of slowing down. I’m loving the addition of Klaus this season. He’s a very effective villain, and so charming to boot. I think I’ll enjoy learning about the backstory of the Originals in the upcoming episodes. And who here thinks that evil!Stefan oozes with appeal lately? I like how he gets under Elena’s skin with his whole ‘Klaus-sent-me-to-protect-you’ drama. I do hope he gets his humanity back someday.

Fellow TVD fans, are you loving the third season so far? :)

October 17, 2011

American Reunion: Still naughty as ever…

Jim and his friends are back! For me they were the characters who truly defined the American Pie series. I’d rather think those straight-to-DVD ones never existed in the first place. :) Just recently, the first teaser had been released for American Reunion. Jim and Michelle are now married and have a kid together. The humor is still naughty as ever but I don’t think this will discourage people who grew up in that generation from seeing this next year. Don't you just love nostalgia trips?

It’s so nice to see the original cast-members reunite for this. Although Tara Reid looks surprisingly good in the photo, I cannot say the same thing for Mena Suvari. And what happened to Thomas Ian Nicholas’ boyish charms?!? Stifler’s mom will definitely make another surprising appearance in this flick and that I cannot wait to see.

October 16, 2011

Fantastic + Fabulous Sunday

The Sundays of October have been nothing but great so far. I’ve been out and about with friends for dinner, catching up with what’s the latest in our lives these days. Isa and I have agreed to make this a bi-monthly event, given that we’re the only ones from our circle of friends who happen to live in the same city until now. Sometimes you have to take an extra step in the name of friendship. Xtian’s visit this week was an added bonus. She was in town to celebrate her big 3-0. Can you believe that? My friends and I (save for one who’s celebrating hers in December) are now officially three decades younger.

It was a full-packed Sunday spent starting with a mani-pedi session at Hollywood Nails, then off for coffee at Starbucks before killing time at Xtian’s hotel room while waiting for the 7PM dinner with former college classmates.

Our nails after that mani-pedi sesh at Hollywood Nails. No nail-art for me...
Isa and Xtian w/ my sister (Sheila, who's a KJ in front of the camera ^___^)
My sister took this shot at Xtian's hotel room
The group right after dinner at PINO Restaurant
It’s funny how dinner conversations go about lately when we have our get-togethers. From individual careers, the topic usually shifts to planning trips abroad with the group by next year. I nod absent-mindedly knowing for a fact that I do not have a passport yet. Maybe this is a sign that I should get one before the year ends.

To end, I chose to remember this day for the good vibes it brought me and my sister. People who wish to pull our spirits down will never succeed. After all, there’s still November to look forward to.

October 9, 2011

Cebu City celebrates 1st Korean Day

My sister and I were fortunately in Ayala Center Cebu when we chanced upon the celebration of the city’s first ever Korean Day last October 1. With their growing population in the city, whether as tourists or residents, what better way to introduce their fascinating culture to their adoptive city than setting up a celebration in one of the biggest malls in the area. Bibimbap, gimbap, Korean pancakes, topokki, kimchi… the basic things that make Korean cuisine famous were offered by participating stalls at the bazaar. 

Somehow I regretted splurging over lunch before we made a beeline for the bazaar. By then we were too full to sample the free food tasting offered by accommodating stall owners to curious patrons. We ended up trying only the Topokki (stir-fried rice cake) even if I was raring for some bibimbap (too full!) instead.

One of the participating stalls at the bazaar
These ladies prepared my Gimbap order
Topokki a.k.a. stir-fried rice cakes for P50/cup
Gimbap (original) for P130... I ended up taking this home since we were still full from lunch

Can they make this a monthly thing? :) I wouldn’t mind. It’s a good start considering we’re not that into food bazaars/weekend markets yet. Who knows, another Mercato Centrale or Banchetto will rise in the Queen City of the South in the near future.

October 3, 2011

What’s cooking with The Kitchen Musical?

The Pan-Asian musical drama series starring Karylle, Christian Bautista and a slew of other Asian artists finally premiered its pilot episode last night on ABS – CBN. Before that, viewers were treated to a primer of sorts as they showed behind the scenes footage from the 4-month shoot in Singapore.

The cast of The Kitchen Musical

It’s all about fine dining and chasing your dreams as the story takes us to the struggles of restaurant heiress Maddie Avilon (Karylle), who returns home to work at her father’s restaurant after graduating from Le Cordon Bleu in Paris. Her idealism is quickly shot down by The Avilon’s executive chef Alex Marcus. Somewhere along the episode it is hinted that it was her who recommended him (most probably to her dad) for the job as head chef of The Avilon. She was his biggest fan. But he shows no fondness for the favor. To him she is nothing but a spoiled princess whose opportunity was handed to her in a silver platter because of her name. 

So how did the pilot episode fare? Nice. But still a lot to improve on. Maddie reminds me a lot of Rachel Berry, a misunderstood overachiever who’s eager to please the higher-ups. She’s very polarizing as a character which is why you’d either love her or hate her. Karylle’s at her best when she’s feisty. When she switches to pa-tweetums mode, the character of Maddie becomes really irritating. Stephen Rahman-Hughes, on the other hand, registers well on-screen as Alex. I don’t know if there’s some sort of romantic connection to happen between him and Maddie in succeeding episodes but I’m not looking forward to it. I’d rather they focus on a mentor-student type of relationship instead with her getting the respect she finally deserves from his as a fellow chef. Christian Bautista though was surprisingly the one who shone best as Daniel, Maddie’s childhood bestfriend and fellow sous chef. He was convincing enough with the accent and could actually manage some decent moves on the dance floor. 

Speaking of dance moves, was it only me who felt that the ‘Boom Boom Pow!’ movements were a bit contrived? I wish they stuck with the ‘4 Minute’ dance routine (from the unknown pilot circulated in YouTube months ago) instead. But other than that, the (re-arranged) songs were lovely. ‘Unwell’ has to be my favorite although ‘For Your Entertainment’ comes as a close second. The series shows a lot of promise, so I hope they can sustain the momentum with the succeeding episodes.

Asian talent, FTW!

September 22, 2011

Day 30: I’m done!

Source: via yvonne on Pinterest

Ah yes, minor cheating aside… I’m finally done with my 30-day blog challenge! Pretty tough to actually think of a topic to blog each day so it is quite a relief to be typing this post. This should help me improve my blogging pace. No promises. I’ll take it one day at a time. Otherwise I’d have to resort to some tweaking again in case I fall short of what I planned.

Speaking of which, I’m getting the hang of Pinterest lately. Makes it easier for me to track photos that are worth blogging about. Follow me there? I should be updating it very soon.

September 21, 2011

Day 29: New building, same company

They’ve finally moved my stuff over to the new building. Yay! Our account is now officially based there since last week and they had been transferring people by batches. I was one of the last few to move. The new place is like a huge blast freezer. Everyone’s been wearing layered clothing you’d think we weren’t based in a tropical country. I hope the temperature normalizes soon. I’m getting a case of the sniffles already and I’ve only been there for a day. :(

September 20, 2011

Day 28: Who’s in The Secret Circle?

Britt Robertson is Cassie Blake
Now who would’ve thought I’d actually enjoy The Secret Circle’s pilot, huh? I’m a bit cautious with series catered to young adults lately since I’m way past my teenage years. Haha! But surprisingly, the mysteries that unfolded in TSC’s first episode had me intrigued. Britt Robertson was okay as Cassie Blake, the main protagonist who’s first introduced as an outsider to the mysterious town of Chance Harbor.

After a while it seems she was fated to return to this town all along… to know her true heritage, which for some unknown reason her mother chose to keep her away from all these years. The teenage cast is good especially the resident mean girl, Faye (Phoebe Tonkin), who reminds me of a young Miranda Kerr. Diana (Shelley Hennig) is another interesting character. The quintessential good girl and leader of the teenage coven, she appears perfect yet unknowingly is the daughter of the man behind Cassie’s recent misfortunes.

If there’s one thing that’ll keep me glued to this series it’ll be the backstory between the parents of the current Secret Circle. What caused their falling out many years back that had Cassie’s mother leaving town? Why is Charles Meade after Cassie?

September 19, 2011

Day 27: Mike/Quinn… a.k.a. my Glee crack ship

I seldom ‘ship couples in a TV show and when I do, they’re not really canon. So I refer to them as my crack ‘ships… couples who give me even the slightest reason to watch the show even if I was never interested in it in the first place. Mike and Quinn is the perfect example. Why? Because Harry and Dianna just have awesome chemistry to begin with even if their characters barely acknowledge each other’s existence.

See? I wish TPTB would have their characters interacting more often this season. Have Quinn hang-out with Mike and Tina. A lady can dream, right? :) 

*photo swiped from Daylife

September 18, 2011

Day 26: Fleeting fancies

For about a day or two, I toyed with the idea of getting an e-Book reader or a tablet PC for Christmas. Just one of those fleeting fancies I have at random times. It was just so tempting to finally de-clutter my bookshelf and place everything in one device that I can bring anywhere. But being the OC freak that I am, it didn’t take long for me to give up. The formatting just didn’t suit my taste. I wanted it to mirror the exact book itself and not all (free) e-books are like that. :)

Oh well, I guess nothing beats the feeling of holding a real book in your hands. It’s really all a matter of preference. Some people maybe comfortable using a Kindle/iPad/Galaxy Tab for reading while others are not. If ever I’ll get a Tab (IF, being the operative word) it’s most certainly not for the Kindle app.

September 17, 2011

Day 25: Online friendships

It was so nice to see Jesser again after three years. The last time we met up, she was with Cai and they had just come from Bohol on a vacation. Our online friendship goes a long way back. They were among my first friends in LiveJournal, thanks to our mutual love for Harry Potter. Today we are still Twitter and FB friends… forever bounded by technology. Heehee!

You see, it’s very rare that I get to meet with an online friend since I live in Cebu and most of the bloggers I know are based in Manila. But it’s cool how we interact through each other’s blogs. I really make it a point to comment especially if I can relate to the entry. Sometimes it feels like you’ve known each other forever, right? :)

Hopefully I get to meet each and everyone of you in the near future… if by some sheer coincidence I end up in Manila again.

September 16, 2011

Day 24: Pizza, anyone?

The big bosses are in town and we had a pizza party last night at the office. If there’s one thing the Cebu team loves, it’s food. :) Haha! We’re not social drinkers and only a few of us smoke. But when it comes to good food, then we have a common interest. I guess this explains why our body mass index is higher than that of our Manila counterparts.

The get-together was done at our new building and needless to say, I’m pretty much excited about moving in. Our account has started its transition and I move either tonight or next Monday. It’s a new environment (in the same company) so hopefully it’ll bring about a fresh start.

September 15, 2011

Day 23: This is not a story about forgiveness

Now this is one series with an interesting plot line. Former Brothers & Sisters’ star Emily Van Camp returns to primetime via Revenge, a new television drama from ABC. The story centers around a young woman’s return to The Hamptons to take revenge against the people who caused her father’s death and destroyed her family. Here’s the twist, she returns with an entirely different identity. Very Count of Monte Cristo-like, huh?

Aside from EVC, two other familiar faces drew me to watch this with anticipation… Nick Wechsler (who can forget Kyle Valenti from Roswell?!?) and Madeleine Stowe (still a timeless beauty). Feedbacks have been favorable. Now let’s see how this whole ‘revenge’ plotline will unfold.

September 14, 2011

Day 22: Sinfully delicious!

Surprise! After weeks of constantly wishing for it, I was finally able to order some red velvet cupcakes to satisfy my craving. 

I’m not really sure how it happened, but I found myself one day browsing through the Facebook page of The Cupcake Theory: Gourmet Cupcakes and Hand-carved Cakes looking through their selection of specialties. I had given up trying to find the cupcakes at the mall. It was either no pastry shop had them, or they were simply out of stock. Part of me kept on wishing Starbucks would at least have some red velvet cake but I had no luck whenever I dropped by at their branch in Ayala. So I decided to give TCT a try.

The Cupcake Theory's Red Velvet Cupcakes
The lady behind this successful venture, Arvy, was an angel. She was very accommodating and gladly answered all of my inquiries before I placed an order for a dozen of her best-selling cupcakes. And boy it did not disappoint!

One should never be surprised these babies are her bestsellers...
The cream cheese frosting was my favorite. Its sweet n’ salty flavor complemented the cake really well that you can’t help but crave for more. Now I know why they say it’s addicting. If we did not have any self-control, all twelve would’ve been consumed right there and then. With a seal of approval from my dad and sister, it’s a no-brainer to say that we’re definitely ordering this again next month.

Oh and just a tip, the cupcake is best enjoyed shared with someone. :)

September 13, 2011

Day 21: Way to go, Shamcey!

People weren’t kidding when they say that the Miss Universe pageant is the bekis’ (read: gay people) own version of Pacquiao boxing matches. As early as 8AM of the pageant day everyone at the office was rushing to go home to catch the live telecast from Sao Paulo, Brazil. It was a rare occurrence. Something that happens only when Pacman is scheduled go up against another hapless opponent in the ring. I made it home by 9AM, just in time for the announcement of the Top 16 on Star World’s coverage.

The country’s representative, Shamcey Supsup, sailed through the Top 16 all the way to the Top 5 with a breeze. She was a fan favorite as well as evidenced by the fan scores flashed onscreen during the pageant proper. Then came the dreaded Q&A which can make or break a contestant’s chances (remember ‘Major, major’?). To be honest, I felt that her answer was underwhelming. It was a polarizing question and opinions were bound to be split regarding her answer. But I admired her spontaneity and the fact that she was the only one who never used an interpreter among the Top 5 contestants. For that alone, she was a winner in my book.

Way to go, Shamcey! You did well and made your countrymen proud. That’s all that matters.

September 12, 2011

Day 20: BOATLIFT–An Untold Tale of 9/11 Resilience

When Pottermore finally allowed me to choose my wand, one of the questions asked was regarding what characteristic of myself do I value the most. I chose resilience. I don’t know why but it just felt right. Maybe because I’ve always been able to bounce back after experiencing setbacks both personally and professionally speaking. At times when I felt like giving up, I constantly remind myself that I will get through this unscathed.

9/11 taught us how powerful human resilience can be. It’s both sad and amazing how it brings out the best of humanity at times when you need it the most. ‘Boatlift’ tells us of the untold tale of those who helped evacuate thousands from Manhattan on the day of the attacks. Be amazed at their story.

September 11, 2011

Day 19: Where were you 10 years ago?

I’m watching 9/11 tribute shows on TV as I type this entry. Pretty overwhelming, and I don’t know which one to prioritize. But it will never change the fact that innocent lives were lost in a cowardly act of terrorism perpetrated by people blinded by their beliefs. I still cry every time I watch the memorial service commemorated year after year since the tragedy. It’s heartbreaking. Parents losing their children, children losing their parents, wives losing their husbands, babies born who never got to know their fathers. The list goes on.

I still remember that fateful day (night, for us in this time zone) like it was just yesterday. I was watching TV with my sister when my uncle rushed into the room and asked that we change the channel to CNN. He said the World Trade Center was on fire. No one knew yet that a plane had hit the North Tower. I remembered even saying that they should be fine since we all thought a fire had simply broken out on one floor. A few minutes later, we all realized it was an inferno caused by two planes crashing into the towers. The rest, they say, is history.

We ended up watching the news until way past midnight. It was the talk of the town at school the next day. Who knew all of those happened a decade ago? It’s surreal. Some of those fatalities were even younger than I am today when they died. They will never get to live their dreams anymore. But I will hold on to the thought that they are at peace knowing their legacy will forever be remembered.


September 10, 2011

Day 18: Auntie Anne’s pretzels

My sister and I decided to try out something new when we went to Ayala today. So off we went to Auntie Anne’s and sampled what they market as ‘hand-baked soft pretzels’. Real pretzels! Pretty new for someone like me who’s only used to the Jack n’ Jill ones.:) Haha!

For starters, we ordered their Pretzel Treat #1 which consisted of an original pretzel and iced tea. I included a caramel dip as well just for extra kick. My sister was pleased. The pretzel was indeed soft, and was bursting with flavor even without the dip. I love how they’re generous with their drinks. No small cups that could barely even quench your thirst after eating.

Conveniently situated at the 2nd floor of the mall’s activity zone, Auntie Anne’s is the perfect place to hang-out with friends or colleagues especially if you’re meeting for a quick catch-up before other appointments. Consider it an alternative to the crowded coffee shops these days.

September 9, 2011

Day 17: He’s So Legendary…

Can Puss In Boots be more adorable? :) I spent a few good minutes laughing over this new trailer they released. Antonio Banderas, FTW! I can never picture him now without associating him with this adorable feline. And yes, we are so watching this in cinemas once it’s released. PIB needs all the love! <3

September 8, 2011

Day 16: Food trippin’ at Spaghetti Factory

Why is it that whenever we decide to go on a food trip, I always end up not bringing my camera? I should really find a bag that’s more handy otherwise I’ll end up missing a lot of great food photo opportunities.
One such example is the Spaghetti Factory at Ayala. We love their pasta so much that we keep coming back any chance we got. This was already our third visit, but I have yet to bring Yogi along. So forgive the crappy photos from my Blackberry.
My sister's order: Mama's Pasta w/ fettuccine noodles

That visit also made me realize I can never consume a serving of lasagna by myself. I was already full halfway through the meal and several helpings of garlic toast. But perhaps I wasn’t that hungry at that time. Their Béchamel sauce was amazing and it complimented the pasta really well.

Spaghetti Factory's Lasagna - see the sauce? It was HEAVEN!
Garlic Bread - nothing special. We could've done away with it in this meal
I’ll be back, Spaghetti Factory... and with better photos!

Spaghetti Factory
3rd Level, Ayala Center Cebu

September 7, 2011

Day 15: Buffy’s back with… Ringer!

I’ve never been a fan of Sarah Michelle Gellar during her Buffy heydays. Her voice was just too nasal, plus she got to marry Freddie Prinze, Jr.! Yeah, I’m a bitter fan. :) Heehee! Eight years after BtVS bid adieu, SMG is back on the small screen with her new project Ringer… playing twins nonetheless. And I must say, the trailer had me impressed. 

I love how it gave us a background of the story without revealing too much which in turn encourages more viewers to check out the pilot to see how this whole mystery unfolded. 

Oh and one more thing… Ioan Gruffud!!! Isn’t he reason enough for someone to check out this show? Tsk! Lucky, lucky SMG!

September 6, 2011

Day 14: Sorted… I’m a Gryffindor!

My Pottermore email has finally arrived informing me that my account is now ready. Being the eager beaver that I am, I just had to explore it immediately. Never mind the fact that I was due for work in an hour. People weren’t kidding when the say the site is addictive. Here you get the chance to experience what Harry and friends went through during their first year at Hogwarts. The flash site is impressive. You even get the back stories of some characters from the books. 

But what I was really excited about, was to find out which Hogwarts House I’d be sorted into. Judging from the reactions of those who were recently sorted, I had my mind set on going to Hufflepuff. But surprise, surprise… guess where the Sorting Hat placed me after answering all those questions?

Maybe my personality traits are really Gryffindor-like, huh? I can’t wait to further explore the site. It’s bound to be a challenge… it took me a couple of tries (okay, seven!) to perfect the potions-brewing practice! What if I don’t earn any house points? :(

Crossing my fingers that my sister gets her email soon. She’s been checking for it for the past few days and I can tell she’s very excited to start exploring the site on her own account already. Hopefully we’ll get to be housemates too!

So, who’s on Pottermore? Add me up: QuaffleSky99. Don’t forget to tell me your username as well so that I’d know it’s you. :)

September 5, 2011

Day 13: A day of firsts…

Definitely my favorite from the photo booth we had last Sunday. It was a day of many firsts for me. I zip lined for the first time and it was an exhilarating experience. Again, I regret not bringing my camera to the event. It would’ve been so nice to capture my reaction or even take a picture of the surroundings as I was suspended in mid-air. 

First time ko rin makapag-photo booth. I am such a n00b! Heto ang nagagawa pag hindi social creature. I get so amazed by a lot of things. Heehee! For once, I actually went out with non-WFM folks from work. Truth be told, I was getting this reputation of being a party-ditcher so I decided to conform for once… and I had so much fun!

Thank you, Miss Cherryll for inviting me to your birthday celebration. It was truly an event that I will always remember.

*photo courtesy of Big Chiz

September 4, 2011

Day 12: Zip line, baybeh!

Today I had my first ever zip line experience. I thought I wouldn’t survive the ordeal, but it’s different once you’re already up in the air. How I wish I actually went for a second round but it was getting quite dark since we arrived late in the afternoon. My only regret was not bringing Yogi with me hence no decent photos of me zip lining except for the part where I was getting prepped up.

The experience has taught me that I had what it takes to conquer my own fears. I should be willing to take risks and learn from them because only then will I become a better person. So what’s next? Bungee jumping? :) Nah, I have yet to gather the right amount of courage for that. Maybe next time. Heehee!

September 3, 2011

Day 11: Taste some macarons --- check!

Probably not as good as the French ones from Pierre Hermé or Ladurée. But since we have very limited choices in my corner of the country, I just had to try what Vanille Patisserie had to offer when it comes to macarons. Who knew these little creations were so tiny yet bursting with so much flavor?

We opted for three on our first try: tableya (cacao tablets), caramel and espresso. I was not disappointed. Tableya perfectly captured the blend of bitterness and sweetness in its filling that it overpowered my taste buds by the time I took a bite out of the Espresso. My sister, on the other hand, loved the Espresso one although she was a bit disappointed with the actual size of the thing. 

Perhaps we’ll definitely comeback in the future. The visit was only to shut me up since I couldn’t stop babbling about wanting to taste macarons and red velvet cupcakes, the latter of which still remains elusive to me until now.

Paging Mercato Centrale or Banchetto organizers! Can’t you do a one-time weekend set-up here in the Queen City of the South? Or perhaps come-up with a counterpart here? I’d gladly spend my rest days sampling all that you’ll be offering in that event. Heehee!

September 2, 2011

Day 10: Harry, Ginny and kids (A Potter family portrait!)

Now this is just lovely. Granted that David Yates already screwed up Ginny in the movies, a photo like this still makes you miss having a Potter movie to look forward to each year. I love it, despite criticisms on the ageing make-up, because the casting people managed to find great kids to portray Harry and Ginny’s children. Will Dunn is a charmer. Arthur Bowen’s features look like he could really be Dan and Bonnie’s son. Daphne just reminds me of little Bonnie from Sorcerer’s Stone.

The epilogue better get a special feature on the DH2 DVD! Now where’s the family portrait for Ron, Hermione, Rosie and Hugo? :)

*photo credit to Oclumencia’s twitter

September 1, 2011

Day 9: The -BER months are here!

Oh how fast time flies! I can’t believe it’s September already. Soon we’d be hearing Christmas carols over the radio. :) Which reminds me to start saving up in time for the holidays. I don’t want to panic when it’s time to do some Christmas shopping. Plus I have Project 2011 to think about. We’re going low key this year, most probably a Kodak Playsport or Playfull so that I’ll have something handy when it comes to random trips with friends.

For happy thoughts, here’s a random photo of the Stark kids (from Game of Thrones) that I found in a message board. Most probably they got it from Tumblr as well.

Too bad their hottie brothers, Robb and Jon, weren't with them. Hehe! I'm still depressed. Can't get over the fate Robb meets in A Storm of Swords. NOOO! I want Richard Madden to stay until the end of the series. :(

August 31, 2011

Day 8: Today feels like a Monday…

I’m back to work again after a one-day birthday leave. But it’s cool because I accomplished what I planned to do during that period. Had dinner last night with Isa, the only one among my college friends who still lives in the same city as I do. It’s funny how we never really run out of things to talk about. That said, I hope the reunion with the girls pushes through in November. We have to do that Harry Potter marathon we’ve always planned about! :)

I’m done with my Annual Physical Exam as well. What took me three hours last year only took me about less than an hour earlier today. I guess it pays to be early at the venue after all. And never go on a weekend! I learned that the hard way.

So how did you spend the long weekend?

August 30, 2011

Day 7: Blog-a-log for Nuffnang's Blog Day

In celebration of my birthday, allow me to share with you six fabulous blogs that I regularly visit whenever I go online. I worship the ground these bloggers walk on. Crafting a content for your site is never easy, much more coming up with something witty that will automatically catch your reader's attention.

A Koala’s Playground (

What's to love: Miss OC Koala rules the world of K-drama blogging. Her recaps are witty and very engaging, it's almost like you're watching the whole episode unfold before your very eyes. She also has mini-updates on your favorite Korean, Japanese or Taiwanese A-listers. How's that for versatility, huh? :)

Eat, Drink & Be Loved (

What's to love: The ultimate guide on where-to-eat if you're planning to visit Cebu. Mickie sets their food blog apart by including a photo of the menu from each restaurant they visit. Consider it your head start in knowing what to order when it's your turn to visit the establishment.


What's to love: All the updates about our favorite La Roja guys! Xabi? Sergio? Iker? Juanin? Javi? You name it! My sister  discovered this gem of a blog during the FIFA World Cup 2010 and we've been avid visitors ever since. If you're a fan of Real Madrid FC, her other blog Una Madridista, is also worth checking out.

Mommy Fleur (

What's to love: I’m no mommy yet, but Mommy Fleur’s witty chronicles of her everyday life makes it a fun read for everyone. Her OotD entries are something to look forward to as well as her little anecdotes about the family princess, Anika. But can I let you in on a secret? My favorites are the Girlie and Jekjek posts. Oh what a hoot those two would’ve been if they were our neighbors.


What’s to love: The mother of all K-drama recap blogs. Consider the drama lucky if the team chose to add it on their current list of projects. Again, I tip my hats off to those who painstakingly post recaps of each K-drama episode almost as soon after it aired in Korea. It’s never easy doing screenshots and writing your thoughts all the while knowing that hundreds of readers are awaiting your next update.


What’s to love: Admittedly one of the bloggers who inspired me to start blogging again, Krissy’s busy schedule these days makes you wonder how she manages to fit all those events into her social calendar considering she has a day job on the side. Truth be told, I admire her for living a life I’ve always dreamed of. :) She’s a fashion icon, writer and working girl all rolled into one.

How about you? Got any blogs to recommend? Join and post it over at Nuffnang as well. Less than 24hrs to go before the deadline!

August 29, 2011

Day 6: Red Velvet Dreams

Why, oh why is there a shortage of pastry shops in Cebu that sell these lovely creations? I’ve been craving for one ever since I read entries from Mommy Fleur and Eat, Drink & Be Loved. Had I known earlier, I would’ve placed this on my birthday wish list. Hmmm… maybe I’ll try ordering it from The Cupcake Theory once I get some extra moolah on the side just to shut me up. Or, I can always check out Starbucks or Vickie’s for their red velvet cake instead. *sighs* If only we had a spiffy kitchen at home. I’d be doing baking experiments every weekend.

*Image swiped from Picky Cook
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