Random thought: why would some people feel that it’s an obligation to give their time to their significant other? Shouldn’t it be because you want to? Not just because they’re asking for you? Bakit mo pa siya mahal kung pinipilit niyo lang sarili niyo? Ang sarap kaya ng feeling pag may tao lagi para sayo.

The Yabu Experience

Since it was our 22nd month as a couple, my boyfriend and I always make it a point to eat somewhere new. I’ve been wanting to try the Tonkatsu at Yabu for a long time because a lot of people were raving about it.

image

We were the 4th customer to line up but we were ushered in once there was already a table for two available. It was a good thing we arrived after the lunch hour because I bet we would be waiting a while. The atmosphere was great. I especially loved the manga hanging over the customers. Those were specially made just for the restaurant, according to the waiter.

image

Before our food came, we were given these sesame seeds that we were supposed to crush for the tonkatsu sauce. We did this silently (like it was a serious ritual) because the table was too long for us to have a long conversation. We would be shouting, in fact. And we don’t like our fellow table neighbors to hear in our conversations. We like our conversations private.

image

image

image

After crushing our seeds, we were told to put about 2 to 3 scoops of this sauce. I didn’t like it very much though.

image

Our food finally came and it was so big that I had to use my fish eye lens to get a good photo of everything on the tray. No wonder the table was long for the two of us! Turns out Yabu offered unli rice, cabbage, fruits, miso soup and lemonade to the meals we ordered. I ordered a Tori Menchi which was P343.75, according to our receipt. Not including the 12% tax. You do the math. I was supposed to get the one with curry. But since this was my first time, I wanted to try the one everyone was talking about.

image

Drix ordered a Rosu Miso. Which was P352.68 (again, excluding tax and according to our receipt).

image

Look at that cheese inside the Tori Menchi! I asked the waiter what kind of meat it was and he said chicken with ham and cheese. It was pure perfection. In a span of 10 minutes cooking (according to the waiter), the tonkatsu was soft. It was like a delicate meat that you couldn’t get enough of. If the perfect steak was medium rare, the perfect tonkatsu was soft and delicate. It was easy to cut, even with chopsticks. It was like eating in a 5 star restaurant that has affordable and worth it dishes.

image

I even tried Drix’s tonkatsu. His had this sauce which was different than the one we put with our crushed sesame seeds and there wasn’t any filling. Eventually, I took some of his sauce because it tasted better.

Though the waiters went around refilling our cabbage, rice and lemonade, I didn’t refill my bowl of rice because Japanese rice usually is heavy and I didn’t need a second round even if the rice was delicious. Though I was pleased that they kept refilling my cabbages and even asked for a second bowl of fruits. 

The size of the tonkatsu was just enough for one and I didn’t feel too bloated afterwards. In the end, I finished Drix’s last slice of tonkatsu because it was so good.

image

The waiters were friendly, the service was great, the food was great. I would definitely come back soon. Next time, I’ll get the one with the curry. Maybe after the next pay day. We spent a whooping total of P1,013, including the service charge. But it was worth it because we went out smiling. A new food experience always keeps a tummy este relationship happy. And it was another check off my list of restaurants to eat! Afterwards, we watched 22nd Jump Street, which is another story, but a great and funny movie to end our 22nd monthsary date because we everyone in the cinema kept laughing and laughing.

I give Yabu a 5/5.

For someone who loves make up, but don’t use heavy make up everyday, like I do, this is the dream lip cream. It’s NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream. I came across the NYX booth at Mall of Asia’s department store and I was trying on a bunch of lip cream colors when I finally found the color that I could use for everyday use. Since I don’t have fair skin (my skin is yellow-brownish because of the Chinese-Pinoy genes), light colors don’t suit me, even when I really wanted a light pink color. Even my boyfriend didn’t think I looked good when he saw me wearing some of the light colors. He kept saying “wag mo pilitin”. So I went for the mid-tone colors and this one definitely suited me. This one is called Cannes. I noticed that the lip cream color names were after different places like Zurich, Athens, etc.

I bought this for P390. I asked my boyfriend what he thought and he thought it looked great on me (I sometimes love the opinion of guys). It brightened up my original lip color and was just the right shade of pink for my skin, which was something I was looking for. Though I notice it’s cheaper ordering online, it’s still better to buy from a legit store.

The great thing about this lip cream is that it takes a long time for the color to fade off. It even has a Vanilla scent that’s so addictive! When I got home, I noticed that my lips still had color. It had faded, of course, but if you’re looking for a lipstick or lip gloss that stays the whole day, I recommend this lip cream. It doesn’t feel dry, like most of the effect some lipsticks give me. It’s light, easy to carry around and how you apply it is just like putting on lip gloss. I’ll definitely buy more in the future.

So I was looking for a place to eat Char Kway Teow this afternoon. Somewhere near and affordable, of course. Most of the Asian restaurants I saw that had Char Kway Teow were in BGC or in Makati, and I saw on the net that there was one place that I’ve been ignoring my whole 5 years that I’ve been roaming around Robinsons Ermita. That place is called: Banana Leaf.

I’ve been passing by that restaurant for a long time and it’s only now that I discovered that they serve a whole bunch of Asian food. Specifically, Singaporean, Malaysian and Indonesian.

An order of Char Keay Teow is P188 and that’s for two! That is called a reasonable price! We also ordered Roti Canai for P88 and the Curry Sauce (separate order) for P30. And for our drinks, I got an Iced Tea Tarik (Malaysian Pulled Tea) and Drix got an Iced Lemon Grass (which he says is nakakaumay), both P68 each.

Besides the food, the other things that I love is that they literally use banana leaves as plates. A way to also save the dish washing. Also the uniform of the waitresses looked like the Singapore costume I once had. Sort of like what the stewardess of Singapore airlines are wearing.

These two dishes got us full and I kept telling Drix that we have to come back to try the other dishes because I really miss Malaysian food.

I give Banana Leaf a 3.5/5.

A Buy 1, Take 1 Thing.

When a boy and a girl become an item, there will always be the friends who don’t get the buy 1, take 1 thing. The buddy system. The partnership. What most people don’t understand is when two people love each other deeply, they become one. They become each other’s best friend, companion and lover. I have great respect for people who ask for me when I’m not with my boyfriend at a gathering. It just goes to show that they know how important I am to him. Same goes for my friends who ask for him when he’s not with me. This isn’t a clingy thing. It’s about how people respect our relationship and our choice to be partners, that one cannot be without the other. We can’t all be the “extra” in another’s life. We’re part of their friends, their family and goals. That’s what relationships are. They’re freakin hard work. But at the end of the day, we’re thankful to be sharing our lives with someone. If we’re just the “extra”, then we’re not that important to be a part of someone’s world.

Last Thursday, we, at Blacktieproject, held a rainy day photo shoot. I was part of the models to be shot for the project, as well as five other office mates. I don’t have photos of me and my office mates though. All of the good shots are with our boss, who was the photographer.

But me, being a nosy photographer in photo shoots, took quick shots of the couple who were invited to our shoot with my phone. Turned out really well.

I love my job.

Social Media’s a Distraction

I had a thought. What if social media is one of the reasons why couples break up now a days? Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. are already distracting. But there are some couples who tend to flood everyones’ timeline with their PDA photos or just their faces. And there are some couples who post too much “monthsary” statuses. It was cute during the first month, but it gets tiring, guys. Those kind of thank you messages should be said personally. A relationship between a girl and a boy should be between themselves. They shouldn’t even include social media in their relationship. I guess that’s why I’m hesitant on posting stuff relating to my love life now. My relationship right now taught me that. We don’t need to post “I love you”s on each other’s walls because it would be more meaningful to say it face to face. People don’t need to know that you guys are on a date or that you guys are so in love with each other with every detail. It’s unnecessary.

The once in a while posts are fine. Let’s just not go over board. Because too much couple faces or posts can be tiring to see on the timeline if you post everyday. If you guys break up one day, it will be hard deleting all those photos you had together! Let’s be real, guys. Let’s focus on the real relationship. Not the social media relationship.

Hot Star Large Chicken Review

There’s a new craze in town and it’s Hot Star Large Fried Chicken. I’ve been seeing some of my Facebook friends eating in this restaurant and I wanted to do a quick review on it.

There were also these photos on the wall, which lightened up the place.

Ordered an Original Fried Chicken and Crispy Fried Chicken to taste the variety. Both for P110 plus P35 for rice and regular drinks. I wasn’t alone of course, I couldn’t finish everything. I asked the cashier what the difference was and she said that the Original was covered in breadcrumbs (you don’t say) and Crispy has that butter flavor. 

Hot Star Large Chicken is ridiculously as big as my slipper. I’m not all for the flavor, though it had that “tingly pepper-y” feel. But the more I ate it, the lousy the flavor was for me. In short, nakakasawa siya.

I do prefer the flavor of Crispy Fried Chicken than the Original Fried Chicken.

The breading doesn’t stick to the meat and it’s too much for a small girl like me. I should’ve shared one meal with someone else.

Their rice gravy wasn’t very tasteful. And the portion of their rice is way too little for an average Pinoy as we love our rice. An extra rice would cost an extra P20. I do love their Blue Lemonade. That kind of made up for my disappointment.

I’d rather have eaten in Bon Chon beside Hot Star or at Project Pie. Not worth going back for the second time. Or maybe I would go back to try their other meals.

If you wanna try their food at Hot Star Fried Chicken it’s located at Blue Bay Walk along Macapagal Ave, Cor. EDSA. I give Hot Star a 2/5.

Got feedback from people today (most of them from advertising). Siguro dapat graphic design sinali ko kasi may pinakita akong mga photomanip. Kasi daw hindi na yun photography kung manipulated na. Ang photographer kasi taga click lang sa advertising world. Ang art or creative director talaga ang nagiisip. I think that’s why I don’t wanna be in advertising anymore because there will be other people who will think for the people shooting or editing. And since I love photography, I wouldn’t want to make it a full time job with deadlines and such. It’s really for myself and for the people who want to see my photos. But at least I got good feedback about my concept thinking because they said not a lot of people have that ability to apply the concepts to their photos. Anyway, I learned a lot. #behancereviews

The first Spiderman trilogy left me a bad impression on what Gwen Stacy was really like. I thought that Mary Jane was the good girl and Gwen was the bad. But all along, she was just in the way and Gwen really was Spiderman’s first true love. I’ll always love Gwen for Peter. I’ll always do.

(Drawing not mine)

A Second Chance With a Black Tie

For the past two months, I haven’t been talking much about my new job after I left my first job. I won’t go into details on why. I think I said too much on my previous posts on how much I hated my job last year.

I’ve been in Blacktieproject for about two months now. Back in my previous job, I already wanted to quit on my first day. But on my first day in Blacktie, I didn’t feel nervous at all. Maybe because I’ve already experienced that “first day” jitters last year.

I would have stayed being a freelance videographer/editor. But since I’m independent without my family in Manila and doing freelance is risky because money will only come when projects do, I decided to apply in the wedding industry. I didn’t wanna go back to the advertising industry.

I was really desperate after I quit. Yea, I was happy to get out from those chains that were holding me back to what I wanted to do, but I also needed money. Due to the fact that Fluidpost hasn’t given me my backpay yet (and I have yet to complain at the DOLE), I was forced to use all my savings to get through my unemployment. After all, asking money from parents after graduating is a bit embarrassing. Until now, I’m still pretty tight with money. I do get depressed sometimes because I only have myself to help. I have a loving boyfriend who helps without reservation but I can only allow him to do little because I don’t want to come on as an abusive girlfriend. I guess the world is a cruel bitch.

It was a dream when I received an interview from Blacktieproject. And it was a miracle when I was offered the job. Only a few can say that they love their job. And I’m one of the few because I do love it. 

It’s overwhelming to edit footage of couples saying their vows to one another and vowing to love each other for eternity. That just makes me believe in love more and more. I also feel like I’m doing magic because, as an editor, we can make a wedding look magical even if it wasn’t that eventful. But so far, I’ve almost cried on every wedding film I’ve edited.

Working at Blacktie kinda reminds me of college. I learn something new everyday with my fellow editors. I get to learn new editing techniques and I get to discover new songs for the videos we edit. We also edit corporate videos, which gives me a headache.

I have so many notes now! I also learn from the critiques and revisions our head editor writes down after he reviews my finished work. I owe a lot to him. My creative editing has grown. I get a lot of ideas now.

After two months in Blacktie, I can already see the big improvement I’ve made. I was crying in front of my boyfriend the other day while watching one of the films I did. Not because it was emotional (well, it was), but because I felt really proud of myself. Never in a million years would I have found a job I love. I thought that was gonna happen when I’m in my 30s. But I can say that I’m a lucky person to be doing what I love. Thank God for chances and new beginnings.

I recently was also asked to review the work of a new editor (which only head editors do). It felt like I was given some kind of power. Our manager said that I should learn to do quality review for the new editors. Turns out I was pretty harsh by writing 3 pages worth of revisions. Opps. But a wedding film has got to be perfect.

We also go out for “lunch meetings”, they call it. I’m not complaining because it’s free food! We recently had a creative meeting at Yellow Cab last month.

Also made friends with the Blacktie gang. Though I’m not always the talkative type (because I’m in my own little world while editing), I did make a few fun and good friends.

Truly, I’m happy with a black tie.

Intro for a 20 minute wedding film I’m doing for Blacktieproject.

Crown Smart Pouch Review

I’ve been looking for a really useful pouch for a while and I came across the Crown Smart Pouch from Instagram account “Organizedcloset”. Bought it for P500. I also know that what I ordered is not an original but a replica. It’s originally from Korea.

image

These are the things that I know from the wallet (copied from Ebay):

  • Put mobile phone and cards in separated sections to keep your cards from demagnetization
  • Earphone can still be inserted to the mobile phone for its ingenious design
  • Convenient to carry it on your hand with a wriststrap
  • Size : 5.12 x 3.93 inches (130 x 100 mm)
  • Material : Synthetic Leather

The color I ordered was Mint Blue. There were other colors like Hot Pink, French Blue, Cotton Pink, Orange, Green, Milk Cocoa and Watermelon Red.

(I really have no idea what’s up with “Watermelon” Red or “Cotton” PInk. Why not just call it plain Red or Light Pink?)

I was kind of expecting some description behind the box (as I’ve seen in other photos), but there weren’t any, so that really gave a vibe that it’s fake. From the other feedback reviews from Organizedcloset’s photos, I saw that the box of past customers were presentable and even had “crown smart pouch” word on the front. That got me disappointed. Because, for me, as an artist, the packaging is everything and it tells something about the product. 

image

When I got the package, it wasn’t presentable. The wallet was contained in an ordinary transparent box and when I got it, the wallet had a few red stains because of the lip cream that was given as a freebie. Turns out the courier broke the lip cream freebie and took it out of the package. Which was a waste. I had to try to take out the stain. Unfortunately, it’s still there. The owner of Organizedcloset offered to switch it, but with another color since there were no more Mint Blue available. If there was Milk Cocoa, I’d swap it though.

image

image

image

The strap isn’t very thick. So is its hook. I can tell that it’s gonna snap someday. Because that’s the kind of hook my brother’s ID has and it broke after a short time. When that happens, I might have to buy my own sturdy strap. 

image

I also noticed a few loose threads on the side and a few scratches, which is very disappointing.

image

Notice under the flap that it says “Drown smart ponch. k.” It’s supposed to say “Crown smart pouch. k.” Even “Korea” is spelled wrong. I expected it being a replica but I didn’t think that it would go that far in terms of spelling.

image

There’s that red stain after I tried cleaning it. It was so red before. Managed to take out a bit but it’s still there and still noticeable.

image

It also has a “crown” hole on the zipper. See the loose threads?

image

Here’s the inside of the wallet. It has a lot of space and it can fit a smart phone, which was what I was looking for. It can also fit a Samsung Galaxy S3.

image

image

What stuck me the most when I researched this product was the slit on the left side for either charging or for earphones. So, that’s cool.

image

image

All in all, I give it a 2/5. Mainly because I’m disappointed with how it was delivered to me, the loose threads and the weak strap. But on a positive note, it’s useful and eye catching. Especially for kikay girls. I’m not kikay, by the way. That’s why I wanted a Milk Cocoa color in the first place because I hate the pink color inside the wallet. But I didn’t have a choice because Mint Blue was what I already put on my order form. So, that was my fault.

With this replica wallet, though, it’s just a matter of taking good care of it. Hopefully, it will last longer than a fake product should. Maybe with some luck, I would find a much durable version than this.

I have a VERY ambitious travel list just for 2014. In beautiful Philippines, of course. With the right plan, the right budget (without over spending) and lots of research, I can make most of this happen. I’ve been to 3 places already without over spending. That’s by carrying with me a list of things to do so as I don’t get lost. I’m just waiting to be a regular employee so that I can get my 10 days paid leave a year. I also may just be training myself for the world tour. Adventure is out there!

Binondo Food Trip (For the nth time)

I only wanted lumpia from New Po Heng lumpia house alone Quintin Paredes Road, Binondo, but I was reminded of how good the food is in my other favorite restaurants. So, my lumpia food trip became a Binondo food trip.

image

After eating at New Po Heng, I was really craving for dumplings at Dong Bei Dumplings. But since I only had P100 with me (because their kuchay fried dumplings is P140), I decided to buy Bicho Bicho along Salazar road. Unfortunately, they were out of stock and I settled for their siopao instead. Which is only P16.

image

Their siopao, however, is no ordinary siopao. It’s a siopao that doesn’t require sauce. That’s how good it is. I’ve been buying their siopao since last year and it’s pretty addictive.

image

While it’s soft, juicy and hot inside, there’s a part on the bottom that’s crispy. And my craving for dumplings was gone for a while when I ate up my siopao because the filling in Dong Bei’s dumplings is the same as what’s in the siopao. I believe it’s ground pork and green onion. The prefect combination.

image

image

I headed over to Lord Stow’s bakery along Ongpin road for their egg tarts. I bought one for P42. A bit pricy, but believe me, it’s the best egg tart you’ll ever taste.

Not bad for someone who only has P100 in her wallet. I brought my own water, so I didn’t spend for drinks. It’s salary day tomorrow, that’s why I only have P100. But in Chinatown, a little money can make anyone full.