A Happy 1st Weekend of My Favorite Month

Yaaaay for the first weekend of December!

Welcomed my all-time favorite month in Mango Tree Bistro with great friends (plus an nff) and wine. It was the perfect mix of witty conversations and senti hits. We should have more nights like this, hopefully also with more wine.

Here’s chuma-chubby me, balingkinitan na Cindy, ang nff na si Joseph, and direct-to-the-point Jap.

I lovelovelove my highschool bff and my college bff. ūüôā They are two of the most beautiful people I know.

(Joseph, saka na kita tatawagin na beautiful ‘pag close na tayo.)

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Without a doubt, I will not be able to follow a proper diet during the holidays.¬†I have been trying to eat less so¬†I wouldn’t feel guilty for indulging in the coming days, and so I wouldn’t look like Miss Piggy come 2013. I try to avoid rice (because it’s eeevil) but I wasn’t able to resist when I craved for Aida’s Chicken Inasal. Waaah! I also wasn’t able to to resist pouring some chicken oil on the rice!¬†Napakain kasi I got tired from looking for materials for my costume in¬†every ukay-ukay in MCS. (I can hear you saying “Excuses, excuses!” Hehe!) Costume for what, you ask. For our team’s Christmas party! I spent Saturday figuring out if I’ll go as Katniss Everdeen, Cleopatra, Arwen, or the Energizer Bunny.

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Katniss wins. Because of her boots.

Speaking of fictional¬†characters, I absolutely liked Rise of The Guardians! Ang astig ni Santa at ang sexy ng boses ni Jack Frost! Si Chris Pine naman pala kasi ‘yon! Aaaaaand the Easter Bunny is Wolverine Hugh Jackman! ¬†It’s a movie with a simple plot that revolves around the fears and fantasies of kids. It’s not as funny as Shrek, not as epic as Mulan,¬†but it’s definitely fun and heartwarming.

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Here’s what made me tear up:

“You’re the one who put me here. The least you can do is tell me why.” – Jack Frost to Man in the Moon

What made me go nyahaha? Finding out who really makes all the Christmas gifts in Santa’s factory. :p

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After the movie, I ate one of my favorite combos from Cash & Carry- gyoza and Ferino’s bibingka. Weird, noh? Pero promise, masarap! Trust me!¬†May talent ako sa pag-partner ng¬†savory-spicy and sweet-salty nomnoms!

I also have a talent (skill, if you wanna be technical about it, pfftttt) for cooking quick and easy dishes! Hello, laking Del Monte Kitchenomics, Wok with Yan, at Cooking with The Dazas yata ito! :p I made two veggie dishes last Sunday. If I can’t eat less, I’ll just eat something non-fattening. I’ll share the recipes for my special no-saute monggo and tarantang chopseuy in a separate entry. Wait for it. ūüėČ

My yaaay-worthy weekend was capped off by this lesson:

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Last Sunday’s service was about God being able to turn a situation of limitation to a situation of multiplication. He is the ultimate provider and that is something I (or we) should always remember. When we have troubles, we always depend on our own understanding and this always results into fear– which is always an exaggeration of reality. Trusting Him is always the best choice, may it be in a desperate situation involving finances or¬†career or relationships… anything! The Grace that God uses in one is the exact same Grace that He uses in another!

The weekend was His reminder to me that I am abundantly blessed and I can be blessed some more. More importantly, it was to instill in my mind that I am very blessed so that I will be a channel of blessing.

Thank You God for allowing me to share my time, ideas, love, and all the other gifts You have generously given me. And cheers to more blessings that I know I will receive this month!!! ūüėÄ

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listening to: nothing

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Welcome to the Twitterverse, Pope Benedict XVI aka @Pontifex !!!

I think it’s terrific that the Pope is now on Twitter.

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Read all about it here.

Imho, the Vatican should really be in the digital arena spreading The Word. I followed several Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr accounts to see inspirational verses before I finally decided to get my own Bible. The internet is a great stepping stone to make people get to know the teachings of Christ. I am very interested to read what the Pope has got to say about the hundreds of issues we’re facing. And of course, I am expecting that he will impart lessons that can answer a question with utmost importance– What Would Jesus Do?

Let’s see on December 12 what his first tweet will be. ūüôā

You can follow Pope Benedict XVI by adding @Pontifex.

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Follow me : @iyassantos

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listening to: Casting Crown – In Me

Five Things (Reason: Secret)

I’m ending the month with mixed emotions and¬†indecision.

I reposted THIS on my Facebook wall the other day because something happened that reminded me of past hurts. (But) It also reminded me that I got out of that situation¬†phase¬†unscathed. I mean, come on. I’ve been through it before so¬†I¬†should be wiser now, right? Hehe.

For my Friday Five, here are some lines relevant to what I am currently feeling.

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It’s a brand new month tomorrow. It’s my birthmonth tomorrow!

I have faith that things will be okay. I just hope my heart is in tune with God’s perfect timing. And with that, I shall leave you with this…

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Have a blessed December! Enjoy the rest of 2012. :o)

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listening to: The Arctic Monkeys – Baby I’m Yours

Red Engine Diner

Kat announced in Fb that she’s bored and being the nice and kaladkarin friend that I am, I replied, “Tara! Columns!” :p

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There were no available tables in Starbucks and¬†I wasn’t in the mood to eat healthy (Faburrito), so we went to Red Engine Diner. It’s my first time to eat there. It occupies the spot where Joey Pepperoni used to be.

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We had Fish and Fries (225php) and Mango Shrimp Salad (269php). I liked the former because the fish was thick, the coating was crispy, and the sauces were flavorful. The latter was so-so. The honey mustard dressing was too sweet.

I’m going back to try their other dishes, like Hot Prawn Salad and Baby Back Ribs with Hickory Sauce.

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listening to: Alicia Keys – Girl On Fire

Dug-Out Kitchen and Tap

When I think of Guijo St. in San Antonio Village, the first thing that pops into my head is a
rock joint. It was only a couple of weeks ago when I found out that there is another place in that street where I can go to when I want to drink.

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Dug-Out Kitchen and Tap is a small restobar that serves beer, hard liquor, grilled food, pasta and some other dishes. The menu isn’t extensive maybe because it’s a fairly new place. I had the Grilled Pork Belly (180php)¬†and a glass of Jack and Coke (90php). Enzo had a Double¬†¬†Jack and Coke so that’s 180? Hehe, you do the math.

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The pork was perfectly grilled and delicious and big! The veggie side dish was sorta weird. I don’t know if it’s sauteed or slightly pickled.¬† The drink, well… it tasted like what it’s supposed to taste like, although I would have liked it stronger.

I’m happy I have another walking-distance-tambay-place apart from TJ Grill and Wingman! =)

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Dug-Out Kitchen and Tap
Guijo cor Sacred Heart St
San Antonio, Makati
(02) 899-5997

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listening to: Eraserheads – Pare Ko

That Coffee Shop at the Corner of Pasong Tamo and Kamagong

Another coffee place that I go to is K.S. Coffee Stop. It’s right at the corner of Kamagong St and Pasong Tamo in San Antonio Village, Makati.

image{dinner and dessert with my friend Jeeves}

The last time I was there, I had their Taro Shake (55php) and Potato Almond Cake (85php). Jeeves had the Kazatziki Rice Meal (120php).

Jeeves liked his food. He said, “It’s good!” maybe 4 times. Hahaha! So shempre, naniwala naman ako. I liked the taro drink. It’s a less sweet and less purple version of Quickly’s Taro Ice. The cake was delicious and had lots of nuts. It would have made me happier if it were moist.

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Other items of theirs that I like: Arrabiatta Pasta, Cappuccino Viennese, and Salpicao.

KS Coffee Stop has free wi-fi which is relatively fast. The waitstaff is quick and friendly. The only thing I don’t like about this place is the smoking area because it’s noisy there. The Chino Roces traffic will surely distract you. Good thing I don’t smoke anymore. Bwahahahah!

If you want to grab a couple of beers or listen to an acoustic set, you can hop to Clump, the newly-opened restobar beside it.

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listening to: Pink Floyd – Time

Starbucks Holiday Drinks

image{my muni-muni drink}

Been hanging at Starbucks because of 2 reasons:

1. Starbucks Columns is the nearest coffee shop to my place. My “muni-muni afternoons” are back so yes, it’s me with my journal and a caffeinated drink again. :p

2. For the first time, I want a Starbucks planner. Coz what the heck, I’m gonna frequent Starbucks so might as well!

image{Peppermint Mocha, Toffee Nut Latte, Dark Cherry Mocha and my Starbucks Christmas Traditions card}

Among these 3 holiday beverages, Toffee Nut Latte is my favorite, followed by Peppermint Mocha. I don’t care at all for the Dark Cherry Mocha. I have yet to try the hot versions of these drinks.

I need 9 stickers from the Holiday Featured Beverages, so yeah, I definitely will try the hot or iced versions.

A venti drink costs 180php, btw.

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And let me just say that I love the baristas in Starbucks Columns! They’re all so friendly and nice and they let me draw smileys and whatnots on my cup without casting¬† judgmental looks!

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listening to: Ella Fitzgerald – Baby, It’s Cold Outside

Hot Pot Night at Lau Chan

SMS conversation with the frenemy

Dave: Hot pot tayo. Sa Lao Tian.
Me: Lao Tian? Saan ‘yon?
Dave: Pampanga
*after 5 mins*
Me: Hayop. Sa Malate kaya ‘yon! I googled it!
Dave: Eh alam mo naman pala eh.
Me: Mali kasi ang spelling mo. Ang tagal ko tuloy nag-google! It’s LAU CHAN. Not Lao Tian.
Dave: That’s in Fukien.

Nyahahaha! And so we went to this hot pot place in Malate. I was excited to find out if the good reviews will match my judgment. :p

image{Dave choosing the ingredients * sauce essentials – minced garlic, chopped chili, soy sauce and sate sauce * Saturday night Chinese and Filipino customers}

This Chinese hole-in-the-wall has a checklist of what you would like to put in your pot. We got sliced fat beef, leeks, watercress, spinach, dumplings, fishballs (with cheese inside), squid paste, golden mushrooms, and¬†tofu. All were cooked in spicy sambal-sate broth. A word of caution from Dave: don’t have more than 5 bowls unless you would like to suffer the consequences of MSG.

image{the magic of shabu shabu}

I listened to his advice because apart from MSG will most def give me an instant headache, I had to make space for the free tea, Coke (a must have when the food is salty/spicy), and the yang chow fried rice.

Ended up having 3 bowls + 2 cups of rice. Sarap! Loved that the meat and veggies were all fresh. My favorite were the beef, tofu, and fishballs with cheese.¬†If you’re gonna get the fishballs, make sure that you slice¬†it first to let it cool a bit. ¬†But hey, if you wanna burn your tongue, go ahead. :p Think xiao long bao.¬†¬†It’s a good idea that we did not put corn and noodles anymore. The food was for good for 4 people. Ahem. Hindi kami matakaw (si Dave lang pala), we had 1/3 wrapped as pasalubong for our friend Kat who we met for coffee after.

image{hole in the wall decor*roast chicken*gentleman’s club}

I recommend Lau Chan to those who don’t want to spend a fotrtune on pigging out and have no qualms eating in places with linoleum floors. Bring your whole barkada so :p

Lau Chan Shabu-Shabu & Fast Foods is located at 1664-1666 A. Mabini St, Malate, Manila. It’s right beside Yue Lai Seafood Shabu-Shabu and across a gentlemen’s club, at least according to Dave.¬†

Parking may be a problem, so try to be there an earlier than the usual eating hours.

image{See you again soon!}

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listening to: Black Sabbath – Iron Man

The Pain Guide

I saw this on my Facebook newsfeed and thought that it’s better I put it here for the sake of people like me who like to google symptoms when sick. :p

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I hope you find this helpful!

Thanks to Medical City for this. ūüôā

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listening to: a Season 4 episode of Friends

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