Monday, February 29, 2016

Stripped Off: The Nook Cafe, Maginhawa

We headed to the famous Harry Potter themed restaurant for our next stop on our scrumptious journey in Maginhawa. For the dearest Muggles lurking on here, welcome to The Nook Cafe. This is a piece of heaven on earth for the Potter heads. Joesyl and I geeked out at the expense of embarrassing ourselves - tho we always do, but she was even more embarrassing this time around! :D

Let's step inside, shall we?
Look at this adorable squirrel!
Non-alcoholic! YASSSSS! 

It is always in the details, isn't it? They even incorporated owl eyes into their tables on the lower level of the cafe. Such a stunning view to look down to especially if you're looking at it from the upper floor. | Photo Cred: joesylmarie

No need to go to Platform Nine and Three-Quarters here, you just have to let your imagination transport you. ;) The cafe offers a number of board games, young adult books, Harry Potter collectibles, and a special tribute to the late Professor Snape (Alan Rickman). The cafe also had beautiful mural paintings on its walls made by artist #whattheEF @cassstillo which adds to its authentic Diagon Alley feels.

The second level of the cafe is actually where its magic is at which is why everybody on the line wanted to come up. Good thing were the first ones there! Dibs on the best seat! ;)
Our table was made of a wooden box crate and we sat on pillows on the floor. Couldn't be more at home! Shoes off!

This is actually my favorite spot although I was a tad afraid that I will fall as this hanging rope hammock is literally hanging from the second floor! I do love the furry throw pillows!

Can't get over those mural paintings!  I fell inlove with it's simplicity and intricate details!

After much digging into every nook and cranny, we got a tinsy bit hungry and I wanted to try out butter beer of course!
Cheers! It was too sweet for my taste! Consume cold tho. Otherwise, the magic fizzles.
Bacon wrapped chicken drizzled with honey. So yummy but the pieces were too big. Would love it if they tried smaller bite-sized pieces so it can be consumed easily but the taste itself is just heaven!
Our tummies had a little fill before we went on with the search. We found the chocolate frog on the cupboard with potions...
  and found the snitch on top of a treasure chest...
My best friend wanted to consume them so bad! 
We then got our hands on Dumbledore's wand and I actually don't know who owns this other wand but that never stopped us from fooling around! Hence, these irritating selfies.
Butter beer, Dumbledore's Wand, edible chocolate snitch (which smelled so good) and the third installment of the series.  
AND of course, before we bid adieu to one of our favorite places, we had to put on our robes! Yes, I wanted to be Gryffindor and channel Hermione with my semi-curly hair but my best friend got there first so I was stuck to being Slytherin. :( The only thing missing was the Sorting Hat to sort this one out. ;)    

Head on over below to check other stops from our Maginhawa Food Trip:
Wicked Kitchen

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Stripped Off: Wicked Kitchen, Maginhawa

As a shy little girl who grew up in the suburbs surrounded by books and considered fictional characters to be her best friend, who would have thought that I would actually enjoy living the hustle and bustle of the urban life as an adult.  

I may have been working in Manille for less than four years now but my introvert side took its toll and never got me to explore most of the city. Last 6th of February, my best friend forced me out of the darkest depths of my crib in Makati and asked me to guide her somewhere interesting. I'm the worst guide she thought of but hey, I've always wanted to go to Maginhawa mainly because of the Cat Cafe which is why we chose it.

We did our homework (reviews, instructions, recommendations, etc.) prior the day itself knowing that we will be overwhelmed with all the choices. in case you did not know, Maginhawa is a really long strip of uniquely themed restaurants/bars in Quezon City.

My best friend, Joesyl, and I started our full day of scrumptious journey at Wicked Kitchen. It opens at 11AM and we got there just in time! Well, we got there later than planned since we wanted to try out any of the all day breakfast restos originally but skipped it to accommodate everything else on the itinerary. Yes, I made an itinerary. OC probs right hurr. ;)
Photo Cred: JoesylMarie
You gotta admire the chic white frames and the use of those clip boards. 

That wicked look of sheer hunger and that door with synonyms of wicked! Love the details  in this place!
Wicked Kitchen is a cozy spot located on the second floor of #189 Maginhawa. Its ceiling is lined with light bulbs inside mason jars, its surroundings filled with inspirational quotes (yes, even the loo) and its menu is posted with witty names for their famous recipes of sinfully good food.

Nothing like channeling your feelings for your ex and that rebound guy into delish dishes!
He probably loved lasagna's this much! Good thing it was one of the best lasagna's I've ever tasted.
Who said bitternes tasted..uhm, well bitter?
Started with coated chicken and fries paired with some of EX'S LASAGNA. | Photo Cred: JoesylMarie
Guys, meet GREED We had one heck of a lunch date together.
Practically in dessert heaven!
For more info, you can check out their sites online listed on the chalkboard.
All in all, our tummies had a sinfully good time. ;)

Head on over below to check other stops from our Maginhawa Food Trip:
 The Nook Cafe
The Nook Cafe

Monday, February 22, 2016

The Probability of Sparks

Love is now considered as a fleeting concept. This generation has induced this feeling into something that never lasts. They have injected the probability that forever does not exist. 

I, for one, beg to disagree. I have always fallen in love before... or so I thought I was. You can never tell if it was just a figment of your imagination wherein you tried to find love and forced yourself to feel it with the wrong ones. We make mistakes and we learn from it. Love has always been a process for me. I have been so in love with the idea of love that I've channeled the feeling into a list of someones that it always backfires in the end.

I didn't know what this so called spark really felt like. It was all a silly misconception for me. A myth that lovers invented to make their own beautiful world even more theatrical than it already is... but then I met you. There was never an awkward moment to the point that we even started sharing secrets. You asked me if I felt the connection and that was when I realized that this is what they call a 'spark'. It's like a current running between both of your hearts unknowingly drawing your souls together.

Then you introduced comfortable silence and even told me this is how it should feel like. Words can fill the gap but it is with silence that truly speak honesty. It might have happened fast but what we felt is real. In a span of less than four hours, we shared the whole world together and I cannot imagine how I spent any of my days without you.

I'm not sure at the moment if this will last. You can never really tell, can you? All you have to do is keep the faith and trust in the power of fate. Jump off that cliff and hope that he'll jump with you so for now I'll just enjoy the spark praying it will continue to ignite.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Commitment Phobe: The Fear of US

If we look back a century or so ago, terms like twerking, selfie, hashtags and netflix did not exist. That's just the way life is, right? Techonology continues to change as we adapt, society and the ecosystem change to survive drastic weather, semantics change as new words are introduced to our vocabulary and even how we prounounce a certain word change as time passes. We evolve - we continue to evolve but is it really for the better?

I've always been in awe of the past, not that I'm not thankful for everything we have right now which have made our lives so much easier. (Case in point, I'm blogging from my phone.) All I'm trying to imply is that everything was much simpler then and that not all changes lead to progress. We have all the technology in the world but have we now been blinded by the posh lifestyle we try to strive for? It's like we don't know how to appreciate anymore.

Remember when loyalty and trust was rarely questioned? When the intention of a man to the girl he's vying for was made clearly from the very beginning? When commitment was not something to be afraid of but something that is given to those who deserve love.

I could not even blame you. With the society and its madness these days, who would not be scared to take that risk? Everybody wants assurance but how can you tell if the person you want to take that leap of faith with is 100% committed to you?

Let me now take a page from my own book. I've always been a romantic. It maybe harder these days to find someone true because of these lying cheating bastards (yes, girls included) but I doubt I will ever give up in finding my one true love. Uhm yeah, you just found yourself in a Disney princess movie. ;) I kid.

You have your cheating bastards on one side and those commitment phobes on the other. Frankly, I'd rather not be involved with any of the two. I don't like games, I don't like wasting my time and I'll tell you straight up. Why waste your time on those damn games when you can spend the rest of your lives falling in love instead? Is that not a better option?

You know that moment when you find someone who makes everything in life perfect? It's that moment when you take off that pink steel armor which you did not even know you were wearing in the first place not knowing he wasn't planning on taking his off yet. Everything made perfect sense until one day, he tells you he's not ready for a commitment yet. Questions start racking your brain and you start to look back wondering where it all went wrong. Well let me tell you in this situation, it's all him. There's nothing wrong with you. It's not your fault he has trust issues. It's not your fault he built up this paranoia. It's not your fault he cannot commit. It's not your fault.

If you really, really, really, really like him, take that risk. If you like him that much, you wouldn't even worry about the wasted time you spent waiting for him. You will find those days where you ask him when then you'll cry yourself to sleep knowing that's not the answer you've been waiting for. It will be a miserable cycle. You've helplessly fallen for him so you keep on waiting. You will learn from him. He will make you happy but at the end of the day, you will always feel desolate. Then you try to leave but you like him so much that you can't bear it without him. It still bothers you, it will always bother you for you've subjected yourself to a situation where you never wanted to be in the first place. But you keep on waiting, you keep on coming back to him - for love. You keep on waiting until you get tired. You keep on waiting until you find the courage to love yourself again.

You finally find the courage to leave him, say after six months even if a few weeks later you have an out of town trip booked together. You find the courage because you can't take it anymore. You find the courage because you can no longer be an option. You find the courage to find yourself again.

One day, you will look back and you won't even regret your choices, you gave him time and memories which you can never get back but atleast you took that chance - for love. 

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Love and Life: The Chain Reaction

Life is unpredictable. It always has, it always is and it always will be. The least that we can do is to make wise choices.

We go through life blindly. We wake up, enjoy our breakfast, go to work or school, have lunch with our friends, get lost in a good book, grab dinner with our significant other, feel all the feels with our fave TV series and talk to the Almighty before we finally hit the hay. We go through that routine all over again the next day and the day after that and the day after that. Little do we know, the universe is slowly working its magic to lead us to the path where we truly belong. Yes, I believe in destiny but that does not mean that the choices we make doesn't affect it. I believe that for every every choice that we make, a particular future is slowly working its way without us knowing.

Take exhibit A for example.

Let me introduce you to little miss Chill Jill. She has this guy friend that we shall call Mister Nevill Daredevil but I shan't get into the nitty gritty of their situation. All you need to know is that these two are really good friends and you know how that usually ends, right? One of them falls in love with the other. No surprise there, of course. ;) 

Years passed and Mister Daredevil finally works up the courage to fess up to Miss Chill Jill but she was so comfortable with the situation that she took the admission of love for granted. Tragic, right? 

Fast forward a few months later and the guy opens up that he's falling in love with someone else. Miss Chill Jill, the chill girl that she is, claims to be unaffected but deep inside she realizes that she can't stand to loose him, that after all this time she feels the same way for him and was just too scared to admit not wanting to risk the friendship but it was too late.

They remained friends. She finally started to move on, or did she really?

After a few months, she found another. He loved her. He loved her so much that she started to get comfortable with the attachment. She was happy but she was not in love with him. After several sessions with her gal pals, she finally agrees that it's time to leave him.

Oh and kindly note that through all this, Mister Nevill Daredevil was always there to listen. He, on the other hand, remained single.

A couple of months after the breakup, he asks her out for dinner, only the two of them. It's a date, right? Yes, I think so too. *squeals* She's a little blindsided at the moment - making up excuses to either bring other friends to avoid the awkwardness or just cancel it. What she fails to realize is he's always been there, through it all. 

Will she open up her heart again? Or will she at least give the dinner a try? Let's leave it to her to decide.
The repercussions to the choices we make is something that we usually take for granted. It might not seem like a big deal for now but what we do not realize in the long run is the outcomes to these choices. Life and love consists of a series of chain reaction. Everything we do, every decision we make affects our future. This is the same thing as the domino effect, if you still don't know what I'm trying to point out.

I'm not saying that we should be cautious every time we take another step. Mistakes are how we learn, how we gain that much needed experience, it is what makes us wise, it is what hones us to be a better person and most of all, it is how we learn. We are allowed to make mistakes but repeating the same mistake all over again is just plain stupid, for the lack of a better word.

Let us go back to our example again. She's already made the mistake of choosing comfort over love. Will she make the same mistake again? To be honest, we are not sure how this would end. It's just dinner. Yes, a completely innocent act. The following are possible scenarios where a simple one word answer, 'Yes' or 'No' can make a huge difference:
*She says Yes, their romantic feelings for each other (which I'm sure are still there) resurfaces and they finally make the right choices that they should have made in the first place.
*She says Yes, they remain good friends. Awkwardness of the past dissipates as they feel comfortable spending time with each other.
*She says No, the awkwardness remains.

The good will always outweigh the bad, right? Take that jump - take that leap of faith if you feel that it's worth the risk. Follow your heart once in a while. It might end tragically or you might find your happily ever after. Being unsure of the future might be scary but risking it is the better option compared to having a life of regrets. Get rid of those what ifs that have been bothering you. You are allowed to write your own story. Never ever allow your fears to dictate how you live your life.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

The Hook Up Culture: Embracing Mankind's Primal Nature

You find yourself stuck in the middle of an alleyway without any recollection of where you are or how you got there. A huge blaring "Welcome" neon sign plastered atop a jarred metallic door in an old abandoned building with artistic graffiti scattered on its walls stare right before you - it is a rather thrilling and mysterious sight yet a frightening and disturbing view to stumble upon in the middle of a chilly night. You suddenly hear a distant clock ticking when you realize that you still have your wristwatch. The time stamp reads 2:13AM just as a sudden blast of cold air forces you to come in. 

A couple of hasty steps inside, you find yourself surrounded with a different breed of people. You hear a faint whisper behind you, "Welcome to the hook up culture." You take a step back, look around, ponder and ask yourself, "Do I really want to go back to a life of boring dates and endless sessions of over thinking or shall I just join the fun and forget about the consequences?"
The above scenario is a depiction of how our mind works. We are given choices and we are given the freedom to decide whether or not we take the high road or go down the easy path. 

The Definition
The hook up culture involves two consenting adults doing the deed. One of them or both of them might be involved in a real relationship but not with each other nor are their relationship partners aware of what they are doing behind their partners' backs. (Have anybody ever heard from their conscience these days? You lying cheating dbags!) It could also mean two consenting friends who aren't involved in any relationship but are doing it for the sake of fun. (Well good luck with the emotional baggage, hun!)

The Urge
Mankind has gone a long way from discovering how to start fire to building huge skyscrapers. Why does it feel like we have gone back to our primitive selves though? Some people literally cannot get their business to stay in their pants! Is it a matter of ego? Does those parade of men or women vying for your attention make you feel better? Or is this just for pure fun? Nevertheless, everything we do in excess is a major no no. This was supposed to be a concern only for the guys but these days we even have girls who do their own bidding. What kind of world have we created?!

The Consequences
STD's? Getting pregnant? Getting a girl pregnant? Ruining your relationship? Ruining someone else's relationship just because? Losing the love of your life for you were to weak to utter NO to temptation? How about the emotional outcome? Is it even worth it?

The Active Participation of Women
It was actually a surprise when I found out that more and more women are into this kind of culture these days. I am pretty sure it stemmed from the fact that we strive for gender equality. We have been wanting it a long time and we have accomplished a lot since then. We have pushed boundaries and proved men wrong but have we gone too far?

The saying "Act Like a Woman, Think Like a Man" is an example of how we have ridiculously based our emotional well being on the gender whose main thought in life is in their primal nature. The fact that ladies have their emotions always on peak is not something to be ashamed of. This balance between the two sexes is the reason why it has been working for centuries.

This sudden shift in our social nature is why it is almost impossible to find true love these days. In part, it is actually our (ladies') fault for believing in that false statement. We are most lovely when we are vulnerable - when we feel the most. We are most lovely when we think even when we tend to over think. We are the voice of reason our own conscience strongly rely on. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. 

The Wake Up Call
No more sugarcoating. Enough is enough. For those of you who have happily welcomed this absurd culture, yes, I am here to judge you. I am here to put pressure on the ladies to take action and learn to say NO. I am not saying that the boys are exempted to this fault but I take pride in knowing that my own gender can turn this insanity back around. I am condemning my own gender to give in to our emotional primal selves. Stop playing the players and stop joining the game. You will not find your happy ending when you do it their way. No one wins in the end.

Be the kind of person you want to meet or better yet, be the kind of person you want your future children to look up to. Would you seriously exchange those few moments for a whole lifetime of regret? Think now. Remember, there is always a screaming neon EXIT sign on the other side of the building. You just have to look. Make the right decision. Make the mature decision. It is never too late to step out the door, brace the chilly night, explore the other side of the street and be patient enough to wait for a better future.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Travel Diary: Marine Sanctuary in Apo Island

Disclaimer: Photos are owned by the blogger unless stated otherwise.

We took a risk the day before by changing our itineraries last minute. We were originally planning on staying in Siquijor the whole Day 2 and just take a side trip to Apo Island from there but to our dismay and to be honest, lack of proper planning we were told that it would cost us three Php 3,000 to rent a boat to take us there. It cost too much but we really wanted to go there so we packed all our bags and headed back to Dumaguete Port. We were able to catch the last ferry ride from Siquijor that afternoon which was scheduled to depart after 4pm, I think.

Upon arriving in Dumaguete, grabbed a tricycle to take us to the bus terminal. We rode the Bayawan  route and just asked the conductor to drop us at the Malatapay Market. It was already past 7pm when we reached our destination. Mind you, we did not have any idea where we could stay the night. We were walking through this narrow street when all of a sudden, the electricity went out! The whole place was in darkness but we just kept walking. We were planning on reaching the coastal for there was most likely a resort there. This man came to us and advised that he knows this resort where we could stay and we took caution of course. After all, we were in a completely dark environment, everyone were strangers and we were all girls. The man led us but we refused to go the shortcut he showed us so he led us to this different route where it was much safer. He brought us to Dream Diving Resort where the couple who owned it was nice and offered free breakfast for our accommodation. We unpacked and had our dinner at one of the resto's in Malatapay Market where Ate Rose invited us to their annual fiesta held every 4th to 5th of April where since she's a local in the Island, she'd provide us free food and accommodation! Definitely on holding on to Ate's promise. :)

Day 3.1: Zamboanguita

The day after, we got ready for the trip and went back to Ate Rose's resto for breakfast. The brekky at the resort would be ready by 8am but we wanted to get an early had start so we advised the owner that we'll have it for lunch instead.

View of Apo Island from Dream Diving Resort
We were probably the earliest to travel to the island. It was shortly after 7am. It cost us three Php 2,000 for the little boat.

Off we go! I clearly looked like I needed more sleep. lol | Photo credit: hiyasmg
 Day 3.2 Apo Island
 Photo credit: hiyasmg
We clearly did not want to waste time. After the registration, we immediately went off to the sight where the locals said the turtles just got fed. Here's a nifty trick, go to the Island early where the turtles haven't been driven far away by other tourists. We were the first ones there and it was a blessing since Yas and Juay can't swim. I might have been the only one who can swim but it doesn't count since I'm too scared to go deeper into the ocean. We did not even have a hard time finding them since they were still near the shore! We were so excited and they were so huge and so pretty and I still can't get over them!!!!

Photo credit: hiyasmg
Lucky Yas got to take a photo with them. I was such a loser since I forgot to turn it on when it was my turn. Boohoooo!!! Still, I was so happy that I got to see them firsthand. It was an experience to treasure.

Mandatory underwater selfie! | Photo credit: hiyasmg
The corals was b*tch tho and as a result, I came home with scarred feet. Anyways, it was hella worth it! I'll make sure to buy snorkeling shoes next time. It will definitely help lessen the pain when were trying to chase the turtles to have a photo op with them.

Our tour guide and boat driver then accompanied us to the other side of the island where the Fish Sanctuary was but unfortunately because of the typhoon, they are still on the process of restoring it. The tour guide says that they have put up artificial corals to attract the fishes back while the real corals are still growing. Hopefully when we get back, they will reopen that other side of the island so we can swim with the fishies.

We only gave ourselves half a day there since we had to get back to Cebu for our flight in the evening.

Cute little turtle necklace with red beady eyes for souvenir.
We bought souvenirs, talked a little to the locals and said goodbye to the turtles which we have grown so attached with.

Oh bittersweet goodbyes. | Photo credit: hiyasmg
We then packed our bags, had American breakfast meals for lunch which was truly yummy and said our goodbyes to the owners of Dream Diving Resort. We rode a jeepney back to Dumaguete City, asked the locals where the nearest drop off to that will lead us to Sibulan Pier. We followed the instructions, asked locals again to make sure, rode another jeepney to take us to the port and by this time I was pretty sure that we weren't going to make our 8pm flight. We took the fastcraft to Liloan Port and upon arrival, we were glad that there was a Ceres bus direct to Cebu City already waiting. We took our seats but to our surprise it was all reserved! People there said that they bough their bus tickets back in Sibulan Pier. It was already crunch time so we used our charms and asked the bus driver if there were any vacant seats left and thank goodness there were!

Conversations faltered, power banks were used into oblivion, music playlists on endless repeat and after four hours of trying to kill time, we finally arrived in Cebu City. Since we knew that we couldn't risk anymore time, we got off the bus, took a cab to take us to Cebu-Mactan International Airport but was unfortunately not lucky enough to reach our flight. We paid our dues, bought more souvenir from the airport, I bought a ukulele (which made me feel better considering the circumstances) and finally waited for our flight to board.

Click photos to be redirected to other chapters of my travel diary:
Day 1: Ancient Mysteries of Siquijor
Day 2: Siquijor's Mystical Waters