23 April 2014

Fresh from Singapore: Twelve Cupcakes

There's a new cupcakery in town! 

A few months back, Twelve Cupcakes, which first opened in Singapore in 2011, brought its cute and delectable cupcakes here in Manila. It features 12 everyday cupcakes with a few specialty cupcakes that vary each day of the week (I'm guessing this is why they called it Twelve Cupcakes?) 

So what are the Everyday Cupcakes? 

From what I gather, these are the cupcakes that you would find in their stores every single day of the week. They introduce new flavors every month, which are only available on certain days of the week, but these flavors will be available each day for you to enjoy. Call them the regulars, I guess. 

Someone couldn't help himself
Everyday Cupcakes a.k.a The Regulars

21 April 2014

LaBora -- WHAT?! Nestea Beach 2014

We all know it's summer time when the bikinis come out of hiding, and the waxing salons are now by appointment ONLY. But apparently, the new definition of summer time means beach parties left and right, Ateneo de Bora for the seniors in Ateneo (whatever that means) and this thing they dubbed Laboracay or Labor Day Weekend in Boracay.

Photo courtesy of Victoria's Secret

So why am I writing about this anyway?

In about 10 days, I will be going to my first Laboracay trip. Yup, you read that right. My first. I was such a nerd (still am a nerd, only a bit modified now) back in college that I spent all my wonderful years in the Ateneo studying, sleeping in the library, drinking across the university once in a while, but rarely going to parties. I didn't even know Ateneo de Bora existed until a year after I graduated, and this was because my younger sister was going. Even after I started working, I've never heard of this Labor Day Weekend thing. Oh yes. I live a very boring life under a rock.

Since I am such a late bloomer, I have no idea what to expect, what to do, or where to hang when I get there. I'm usually with family when I go to Boracay and all we do is eat, swim, and have fun in the sun. Or go wall climbing. But since I'm trying out this whole labor day experience, I am clueless. I like going to the beach but I hate getting dark, hahaha. Ironic. So swimming 24/7 is definitely out of the question.

Thankfully, I stumbled upon this link on my blog. I heard Nestea is sponsoring an event in Boracay during labor day but I wasn't really sure what it was or when it was. Radio-mmercials are usually very short and not-so-detailed. I know there will be several beach parties and a lot of drinking during that week but being the not-so-risk-taker person that I am, I want to know more than just that. Is it free or do we buy tickets? When and where exactly will it be held? Boracay has a long stretch of sand and I don't want to get lost or be charged unexpectedly. Is it worth going to or should I just go to a nearby restaurant and order a bucket of beer? I'm going for the experience but I don't want to regret anything after that week. So for those of you who are as clueless as I am, here are some of the activities that you can do and events that you can go to during the Labor Day Week(end).

18 April 2014

Better Late than Never: Ramen Santouka

One thing I really missed apart from writing was, eating. There was a time when I could try out new restaurants and discover new/interesting food items but with the budget of a student, I could no longer afford to go on a weekly, let alone, daily food run/binge/discovery. Thankfully, mother has her "generous" moments. One of them was dinner at this (not-so) new ramen place in Greenhills.

I heard about Ramen Santouka from Greg's sister, Gin. Her friend celebrated his/her (I can't remember which) birthday in the restaurant, and all she could say was how good the food was. I've been craving for a lot of different things, ramen included, the past few weeks and her praises for the food did not help at all. Fortunately, I was able to convince mom to have dinner there after her work errand.

I'm not a ramen expert so I don't know which constitutes one kind of ramen or not. I distinguish the types by flavor -- a different flavor meant a different type of ramen. Santouka had around 10 different types of ramen -- five original ramen flavors, and around 5-6 specialty ramen. 

Original Ramen

Forgive the way the photos were taken. We were all hungry at the time. This shows Santouka's original ramen varieties. One look at this and I immediately knew what I was getting. Hint: It's getting hot in here. ;)

17 April 2014

Dang Dee Fast Food: Another Taiwanese Delight

It's been more or less three months since I last updated my blog. It saddens me that I haven't been able to manage my time well enough to update this blog and keep up with my studies. But I want to change all that starting now. I know I said this back in January but I really want to make this work so for my first blog entry under my new lifestyle, I shall write about this new food discovery I stumbled upon in my friend's Instagram account (thank you, Nadz To) -- an incredibly wonderful and unbelievable new food delivery/restaurant-ish along Salcedo Street in Makati. Yes, the food is really good and the price, unbelievable. Office employees, students, and anyone else on a budget, I present to you Dang Dee Fast Food.

Dang Dee Fast Food is a small, hole-in-the-wall type of restaurant. Nothing fancy. There are about 8-10 tables inside, a counter, a wash area, and a rest room. Pick from any of their value meals, order, and wait for it to be served or packed. What makes this little fast food so special is that their value meals are made of win. You can grab a really filling and delicious lunch or dinner for as low as P78, and that comes with a free drink already. So what does a Dang Dee value meal look like?

30 January 2014

新年快乐 2014: Welcoming the Year of the Horse

The Year of the Horse is almost here. As you all know, we celebrate Chinese New Year here in the Philippines because most of us are either Chinese-Filipinos or have at least some drop of Chinese blood in our veins. Or because everything Chinese is just oh-so-good! So for those who love to celebrate the New Year with our fellow Chinese-Filipinos, let me share with you 10 Must-Try restaurants that serve Chinese in the metro, in no particular order of course. 

1. Tasty Dumplings

Tasty Dumplings is located along Ongpin Street in Binondo, Manila. They serve your usual noodles and dumplings, but their best-seller (at least for me) is their big Porkchop Rice. I'm not even sure if this is part of authentic Chinese cuisine but it's good, inexpensive, and really big. The kuchay dumplings are worth mentioning too. 

2. Suzhou

After visiting China in 2008 and trying my very first soup dumpling or what is now more popularly known as xiao long bao, I fell in love. One of the best xiao long baos I've ever tasted before Lugang and Shi Lin came along was from Suzhou. With a limited budget, I had to find a reasonable place to eat at in Promenade and guess what? I discovered Suzhou. Aside from their xiao long bao, they also serve delicious hot and sour soup. And the best part is, their products are priced reasonably and their servings, big. One serving of hot and sour soup will cost you P75 but it's big enough for two people (if you're hungry) or three (if you're having it as it is -- soup before dinner).

3. New Eastern Garden Restaurant

There's only one thing I can say about New Eastern -- LUMPIA! This is by far, the best source of fresh lumpia I have ever been to. The small serving is enough to satisfy any hungry person. It's full of vegetables, crushed peanuts, seaweed, and another ingredient unique to Amoy lumpias (I forget what they're called). The regular will cost you P40, P45 for the special; and P60-65 for the jumbo size.

4. Emperor's Dimsum and Tea House

Ah, my favorite xiao long bao place! Yes, I did mention Suzhou already but Emperor's has the perfect and closest xiao long bao to those that I had in 2008. Six pieces of those steamed, soupy dumplings for only P88. Yes, P88! My first serving of xiao long bao had 12 pieces and it only cost me 3 Yuan or roughly P18. It was so cheap and delicious that I started looking for it here in Manila, and Emperor's had the closest in price, flavor, and quantity. Their spareribs in taosi is also good. They actually have pretty good food for a relatively cheaper price (compared to the other Chinese restaurants along Wilson).

5. Lugang Cafe/Shi Lin

Two of the more popular restaurants that serve Taiwanese food (close enough to Chinese). I put them together because they pretty much serve the same dishes. Noodles in Spicy (or not) Peanut Sauce with Ground Meat. Yum! Lugang's Iced Pineapple Bubble Juice was so refreshing!

29 January 2014

A Lipstick for An 80?

Law school has stolen so much of my time that I haven't been able to blog about anything.. Or shop! I haven't been able to eat out, discover new restaurants, or go shopping for more than half a year now and honestly, I kinda miss eating, and shopping (or at least window shopping) for make-up. Not being able to write reviews is one thing, but when I actually lose stuff to write about, that's a whole other thing. Thankfully, MAC's new collection just came out. Their newest collection was released last December 2013 in North America, and soon, in the Philippines. According to the sales executive I spoke with, they're just waiting for the delivery of the new collection, including the two (2) lip colours EXCLUSIVE to Asia.

Now, let me introduce to you MAC's latest collection -- the MAC Huggable Collection. According to their website, this new collection "provides a lasting glossy finish that leaves the lips smooth and sculpted." The new formula was inspired by latest Asian trends, and stays bright and luminous for up to six (6) hours. The best part is, the new collection comes in 12 shades ranging from nice pinks to cool peaches and hot reds.

And since I haven't been able to do some of the things I love doing, like eating and experimenting with make-up, I made a deal with myself. For every grade of 80 and above I get on my midterms, I will reward myself with one lipstick from the collection. Don't get me wrong. I love law school but I also miss doing these things. They're like an outlet from the piles of cases we're required to read everyday. 

What do you know? I actually owe myself one lipstick as of 28 January 2014. Now, the only question left unanswered is.. Which shade do I get first? :)

MAC's Huggable Collection will be available in the Philippines within the week or the first week of February 2014. Visit or call your nearest MAC store or booth to know more about the collection's launch date.

MAC Cosmetics
R1 Level, Power Plant Mall,
Rockwell Drive cor. Estrella St.
Makati City
Contact Number: (632) 898 2045

28 January 2014

Hair No More!

A few days ago, I was invited to try out this new IPL service from a well-known waxing salon. Truth be told, I'm not a fan of IPL. I don't understand how it really works, I don't know IF it really does work, and I'm not a big fan of the hefty price tag (I'd rather go for the P200 wax I usually get.) Then again, I can't keep myself boxed in with things I'm used to. Sometimes, we have to go out of our comfort zones to discover the world. Or just experience something wonderful and new.

Last Saturday, I decided to give IPL a chance. Strip Ministry of Waxing, a well-known waxing salon introduced their latest IPL service -- the IPL Ace. So, what is IPL Ace? Before we get into it, let's start with the basics. What is IPL?

IPL or intense pulse light is a service offered by most beauty clinics that uses intense pulses of light to perform various skin treatments or to remove hair. It is a semi-permanent solution to women's (and men's) hair problems. It doesn't completely remove hair permanently, but it does make the hair on your various body parts grow thinner and lesser in number, to none. You might need to go back for a treatment after a year or two, but two years of not having to pluck or shave is better than having to do it every three weeks, right?

Now that we have a better understanding of what IPL is, let's go to Strip's newest service, the IPL Ace.