I am posting this in spite of a very, very, very busy schedule because I would like to honor and thank my friends and colleagues who, through the years, have helped me complete these sticker cards to get a Starbucks planner. I would never have gotten a planner in the years I had desired in my heart to get one if not for them.
Salamat Mich M., Edwin L., Nell and Jeff R., Ria S., and Mich V. Salamat din to the ones I am forgetting. Thank you for your generous hearts. I am humbled by your generosity. God bless you, all!
Photo c/o http://www.thepeachkitchen.com
The thing about “moving” to a new place is that one needs to find where the nearest grocery, restaurant strip, school/university belt, and other places are. And while Nuvali’s Solenad has a bunch of restaurants and a supermarket, my simple/traditional/probinsyana soul had been looking for the nearest palengke setup and lutong bahay/carinderia restaurants eversince I felt that, yes, this is it, Nuvali would soon be home! Thanks to Our Awesome Planet, I found out about the turu-turo/paluto restaurants in Paseo de Santa Rosa. Lutong bahay restaurant, check…palengke, check…some of our finds:
2 cups of rice: P20
Total bill for two people: P505
Happy tummy: priceless!
I went through some serious craving for tapsilog last month that I tried all forms of the ubiquitous all-day Filipino breakfast meal and comfort food for many – from the neighborhood carinderia’s tapsilog at around Php40 to Malcolm’s wagyu tapsilog at Php140 (melts in your mouth and had that vinegary, garlicky taste) to the most expensive tapsilog I’ve had by far, Breakfast at Antonio’s beef tapa at more than Php400 (with service charge). With this amount, I got a generous serving of beef tapa (more on the sweet side), baked beans, two eggs made any way you want, and garlic rice (other meals come with baked beans, eggs, and garlic rice, too).
This was also the second time that I ate baked beans, being not a fan of canned pork and beans because it tastes like, well, a can. The first time I did was in London when I had English breakfast every single day that I was there – think toast, beans, egg, sausage, bacon, tomato, and mushrooms (yum!) and my tummy is now shouting hungry (again!…I just ate waffles an hour ago!) as I write.
Aside from the food, I took note of the design of the restaurant. It may be because I am building my own house or I may just have a latent interest in design (naks! kunwari lang), but I often find myself looking at walls, ceilings, and floor tiles these days. I liked the black and white theme of the resto combined with what appeared to me to be a country living design of the building. The restroom was also something to be commended given its big cubicles, toilet paper, paper towels, and bag hook and of course , it was clean (yes, to me, one of the indications a restaurant was well thought of and is well-maintained is its restroom – at least the female restroom. =D).
I also took note that although the restaurant was aircon-less, it was actually cool. I noticed that the windows were slanted and this might be the reason the place was airy. A townhouse I looked at had the same design for the windows allowing natural air to go in. I might be wrong….I was in Tagaytay anyway and the breeze might be a given regardless of the windows’ orientation…hahaha!
We were thinking whether to order dessert to cap our meal but cousin and I both concluded that the hot chocolate we ordered with our meals might have been too much on the sweet side because we requested for marshmallows (Php130 + Php10 yata for the giant marshmallow + service charge; note to self: order without one next time…whenever that is) so dessert was scrapped. Now, our server might not have gotten our instructions for the eggs correctly (I ordered one sunny side up, one scrambled but got two sunny side ups; friend ordered both scambled and got one sunny side up and one scrambled instead; and cousin ordered well done and she got otherwise) and seemed hesitant to replace the eggs delivered to us but overall, the long drive was well worth it really because of the people with me who were generous with their food, effort, and time. Nothing beats eating with good company!
Next stop: Bag of Beans
I found this little store called Tea Monkey on J. Abad Santos, San Juan when I went to the area to buy scuba diving gear. The name of the place itself is a giveaway of what it’s all about but more importantly, the tagline “tamayaki and tea” made it win for me versus its across-the-street neighbor Serenitea. What in the world is “tamayaki?” To my untrained tongue and eyes, it looked very much like takoyaki. The server at the counter nodded so when I asked, “takoyaki ba yon?” but interestingly, my KingKong variant came with so much more toppings than the regular takoyaki I would buy in the malls. Love the bonito flakes! Needless to say, I went back for more the second time I was in the area.
This little cup of coffee that costs Php15 (around 40 cents for my foreign readers..naks!) can wake every sleepy bone, muscle, flesh, and fat in your body. Proudly Philippine made!
I am an advocate of social enterprises so I hope you can suggest to your HR to have one of the company’s vendo machines placed in your offices. They even serve the coffee in our training sessions!
Also available are Cafe Mocha, Premium Coffee, Cafe Latte, Hot Chocolate, and Hot Milk.