Tuesday, September 21, 2010

27 is just a number higher than 26

What is significant about 27? It is an odd number and an odd age as well. You can neither claim to be young nor old, neither wiser nor naïve. I find it moronic that some people expect some level of maturity in relation to your age. What is maturity anyway? I have no intention of defining it and letting it define me as well.

Anyway, let me get to the point of this blog. I simply wish to share and put in writing some things that I know to be true about myself at the age of 27.

  1. I am proud to say that I have chosen my friends well, and I am happy that they have decided to be my friend.
  2. I am happy that I have unfriended people who do not deserve my attention and affection.
  3. I want to have supple skin, thus, I will be more mindful about sunscreen and moisturizer.
  4. I don’t care if material things can only give me temporary happiness. I will buy whatever happiness I can afford.
  5. I am not a religious person but I believe in a higher being, and I think the higher being is happy and content that I believe in such existence.
  6. I need to have more faith with my parents, just as much as they have faith in me.
  7. Confusion and sadness renders me useless and melancholic. I do not like this about myself. I should do something about that.
  8. I have more appreciation of my height more than ever.
Since my favorite number is 8. I will stop there. Happy Birthday to me!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

“Calamari Ripieni… Zuppa Rustica… Fruti di mare pizza… Abbondanza Pizzeria Ristorante”

As a lover of Italian food and squid, I was ecstatic when I first heard from my longest running friend, Sophia Lee, that their family would be part owners of a soon to be opened Italian Restaurant. After three years, Abbondanza Pizzeria Ristorante has always been my choice for excellent no non-sense Italian food, just like they do in Italy.

To state the obvious, my top three favorites at Abbondanza are:

Calamari Ripieni - Stuffed Squid Rings packed with squid stuffing, added with herbs and spices to taste, covered with red sauce. Although I am biased with squid dishes (as I think squid is the most awesome thing to enter my mouth), the stuffing intrigued me that I even asked my friend’s mom what else was mixed with it, when I would usually just gobble up the squid. I can tell you hands down, that it is the only squid dish that I eat slowly.

Zuppa Rustica – My favorite soup in their menu! I had the chance to try it before they introduced it to their menu and it blew me away (literally!). Honestly, I have never tried anything like it before. Porcini mushrooms, Arborio rice, parmesan cheese and chili pepper makes this an instant hit best eaten during a rainy day or a "I don't feel like sharing my food" day.

Fruti di Mare Pizza – My choice of pizza topped with generously served Squid, Shrimps, Mussels and Tuna. A must for seafood lovers, and may I say, I can finish a whole 12-inch by myself in one seating (but only if alone and feeling selfish).

A couple of weeks ago, me and some friends were fortunate enough to be given a chance to sample some of their dishes after opening a branch at SM Mall of Asia. The servers greeted us with enthusiasm and my good friend Candie was asked by my friend’s dad , Tito Donn, if she wanted to try to make her own pizza. Ofcourse, Candie did not pass up the chance and decided to make her own Al Quattro Formaggi (Four Cheese) Pizza.

(Candie as if looking inside a candy store…)

(Candie making sure the dough can hold all the cheese she’s planning to put on her very own Al Quattro Formaggi)
We were then served with several other dishes such as Risotto con Osso Buco (A must-try for first time visitors), Pollo Arrosto (Roasted Italian chicken for health-conscious eaters), Salsice al Vino Biance with Baked Potatoes (Flavorful Italian Sausage served with baked cheese potatoes that I would care to finish) and ofcourse, the almighty Abbondanza Pizza (27-inch thin crust pizza and your choice of up to four flavors. I can also finish this by myself in one seating.)
(Risotto con Osso Buco)

(Pollo Arrosto)

(Salsice al Vino Biance with Baked Potatoes)

(The Abbondanza Pizza)

And to top of the night… what would an Italian meal be without a proper dessert!

(Tiramisu, Crema Catalana and Panna Cotta)
So if you find yourself in SM Mall of Asia, head to Abbondanza and look for Tita Ginn or Tito Donn, tell them Zara sent you.

Abbondanza Pizzeria Ristorante is located at 2/F Entertainment Mall, SM Mall of Asia fronting San Miguel by the Bay with operating hours of 11:00 am to 9:00 pm, Monday to Friday, and 11:00 am to 10:30 pm, Saturday to Sunday.

* As of this writing, Abbondanza has decided to move their branch at Pasig City to SM Megamall.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

An escape like no other

Having lived in Manila since 2005, I was a solitary hungry “sole” out for adventure, looking to find people to explore the world with. I finally found "solemates" who share the same passion and vigor in seeking to make everyday exciting: we called ourselves the Wandersoles, aptly named because of our shared love for travel and adventure. Our group is composed of five headstrong career women: there’s me, an insurance adjuster, Lilliane who is a garments entrepreneur, Vangie, a civil engineer, Beth, an advertising maven, and Lu-Ann, a public relations director. As distinct as we may be individually, as a group, we are driven by each other’s zeal for finding the best places to get our feet wet and dirty. Between the five of us, there is literally never a dull moment.

Through the years, we have hopped on and off of our share of planes, buses, and ships, and it was just our good fortune that we were generously offered by Ford Philippines to road-test the Ford 2010 Escape on our next trip. Since we are all scuba divers, choosing Anilao, Batangas as our escape to test the Escape’s limits was a no-brainer. With four Manila drivers inside the car, we took turns in driving the Escape to Anilao. Being a lover of long drives myself, I quite enjoyed cruising the road while listening to my ipod playlist. Before we knew it, we arrived at Planet Dive Resort, very much excited for the adventure that tomorrow’s dive would bring.

Our first dive was at Beatrice where we spotted an octopus camouflaging at the wrong time. Our second dive was at Mainit and its reputation for strong currents did not disappoint us. Our last dive was at Twin Rocks, a marine sanctuary conveniently located infront of the resort and a guarantee for trigger fish sightings.

So what made this an escape like no other? Is it the ride? The company? The journey? The destination? It’s all of it and having the sense that this is just one day of more exciting adventures to come.

It’s not where you’ve been, it’s where you’re going.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

that little small town in belgium called brugge...

brugge is a pretty small place where one can easily walk around town in 10 minutes... cobblestone roads... dutch people riding their bikes... the town square that had everything... my first realization that fries are actually called chips at this part of the world and that it's best eaten with mayo...

seriously... this house is too cute to describe... but i guess it's typical if you're from brugge... the dutch and their canals...

belgian mussels!!! i couldn't get enough... i think we got two orders of mussels provencial... i think i spelled it right... i think we finished it off... if i'm not mistaken one pot of mussels was about 20 euros... yes, i am willing to spend that much for a pot of mussels...

i really can't recall what his significance is in brugge... so sue me!

who hasn't heard of rin tin tin?!?!

yup! that's one side of the town square! i think that's the post office back there... i know, cause i sent a bunch of postcards to peeps!

i'm going to kick myself over this... but the most memorable experience for me in brugge was meeting a lesbian jewish prostitute from san francisco... and apparently... it cannot be denied... she had a thing for me... oh dear lord! now why can't she be a man... a manwhore!!!

back to 2005 quick recap.... let's go to amsterdam!

just want to make a quick recap of my travels on 2005... i guess i should just post my fave photos on each of the cities... might take a couple of entries before finishing... but hell! its my blog... my life!

ok... so ive posted london... moving on to amsterdam!!!

my fave food in europe by far!

its raw herring in a bread... i love fish... i like bread... can't ask for more... although i know that it wouldn't suit well with everyone's pallet, heck i still love it!

how can anyone go to amsterdam without drinking a heine... downed a couple of glasses at our hostel, hans brinker, where people smell like weed in the morning, afternoon and evening... people! there are other things in amsterdam besides weed... like um... er....

anne frank house!!! im really into the history of world war II but i never really appreciated reading her diary while i was in elementary until i visited their hiding place... i think everyone who has been there agrees with me when i say that it's one of the loneliest places on earth... to be in a cramped space with a lot of people and yet not being able to share a loud laugh and have a shouting fest with them...

for some culture... ofcourse i went to the van gogh museum... i think they were having an exhibition about egon shiel... erotica baby!!! very different from the subdued pieces at rijks musuem...

i'll leave you guessing about this last pic...

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

2007... that's soooo last year...

Just checked my blogspot account and realized that my last post was sometime on july 2007 and i was still writing about 2005... too late to catch up now... a lot has happened last year... and this will be my attempt to summarize all that i can remember at the top of my head...

went to egypt on april 2007... rekindled my romance with my travel shoes... i had travel withdrawal sypmtoms and made some horrible decisions after that... i should have learned from my first travel withdrawal on 2005... wtf?!?! somehow, i managed to screw things up both my professional and personal life... stupid stupid stupid...

well, here are some of my egypt photos...
i took the camel photo while going down mt. sinai... my knees were already starting to shake... the temperature was increasing minute by minute... and needed to take a piss soo bad... then all of the sudden... there was this huge camel parked on a post that caught my eye... the post had markings saying "may peace prevail on earth" and i just couldn't get over the fact that the camel was looking towards the sky as if it saw something bigger than itself... remarkable!

this is half of the egyptian group, aka younglings... thats (top) matt, pilar, dave, (bottom) me, van, taylor and marna... it was good times on our boat m/s melodie... we just had our second egyptian night i think and we were all drunk with our stellas... oh, i do miss stella!

i have way too many photos that couldn't possibly fit in this entry... well, here's one of my jumping photos at one of the temples at luxor... and another jumping photo with my official travel buddy van at the colossi of m????? oh dear lord, i need to research what the place is called again...

there you have it for now...

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

my happy snaps tales begins in the famous city of London, home of Princes William and Harry... our flight from Vancouver to London took 9 hours, it was the longest 9 hours of my life... we landed at Gatwick airport and we still had to take a 30 minute train to London Bridge station and from there we walked towards Borough High St. and reached our hostel, St. Christoper's Inn.

i've never been in a dorm type of setting place before, but this trip required me to be open minded and i could not afford to get a private room. as soon as we got settled, me and van rushed out to Borough High St. and ventured the city of London. As any crazy tourist would do on their first day, we took the Tube.

The London Underground, "The Tube", is so much better than the Skytrain at Vancouver. The stations were sometimes across each other and all the must-see places were quite accessible. We rode the tube all night long, no pun intended, so much so that we got into the wrong connection a couple of times. Hey, I think even Londoners get lost at their own Tube. We did pretty well for a first time Tube commuter.

As we were enjoying going round and round the Tube, we suddenly realized that we had not eaten anything since we landed at Gatwick airport. By this time, we had not eaten since we landed at Gatwick airport.
When we got back at our hostel, low and behold, it was cheap beer night at the pub below... ofcourse we can't pass on that. After seeing the very attractive advertising, we forgot our hunger and ordered a pint of beer. After several pints of beer, we realized that it karaoke night and weird guy came up to me and told me i was next. I must have been really drunk cause I found myself holding the mic and singing "Ironic" by Alanis Morisette. It was a blast though. A great prelude on what was to come.