4.30.2012

Starbucks Frappuccino Happy Hour!!


Yes, You read right, half-priced Frappuccino! Yay!

Starting April 30 - May 28, 2012, Starbucks will be holding a Frappucino Happy Hour every Monday from 2:00 - 6:00 p.m.!  So beat the summer heat with this great and satisfying promo!  Be ready for those lines.  I will have to drag Berto to the nearest Starbucks branch and buy us some Fraps, perfect to quench our thirst!

Happy Summer with your Starbuck's Half-Price Frappucino!

4.25.2012

The Original Savory Restaurant in Makati Ave, Makati City



I had make a quick trip to the office last Sunday. At least, I planned on it being quick but we ended up staying there the whole afternoon. We weren't able to go to the Transport Show in Megamall. (Berto: "Booo!")

Anyway, Berto and I decided to eat lunch first. As we were traversing Makati Ave. we noticed this restaurant that we've never eaten in before, at least not in this branch. We decided we'd try The Original Savory Restaurant. 

It was lunch time on a Sunday, in the Makati business district, we weren't surprised to discover the place empty save for a couple quietly eating in one corner. The place was small but clean. Thankfully, the air conditioning was on full-blast, offering our sun-dried bodies some refuge. The wall in front of our table displayed a big picture of how the Savory Restaurant looked in Escolta, Manila circa 1950. Berto and I mused at how we'd be staring at people who are most probably dead by now as we eat.  

 The menu is varied and you may order ala carte or set meals. They have Savor Me Meals which are good for 1 (P199 only) and good for 2 (P375 only). Berto and I chose Meal D5 composed of ½ Chicken (a must-try, of course!), Camaron Rebosado, Rice, Banana Sago and Red Iced Tea, all good for two. 




Kwala: "I found the Camaron a bit dry. The dessert was nothing really special, just a small serving of saging con yelo in a cute container. I loved the chicken and gravy though. "  

Berto: "I loved everything!" (so easy to please!)

The Berto and Kwala verdict: The service was fast and the crew was courteous. We loved that they had the initiative to hold our desserts until after our meal, without us asking them to. The chicken and gravy was delicious. Serving size was acceptable, although we thought the meal wouldn't be enough to satisfy our hunger and yet we ended up burping all the way out the door. If ever you're within the vicinity, looking for a place to eat with co-workers or family, Berto and Kwala (that's us!) recommend you give this place a try.


4.24.2012

Moonleaf Tea Shop



Drinking milk tea has been the latest craze that has hit Metro Manila. Milk tea shops and kiosks have sprouted all over the metro, serving the cool, thirst-quenching drink to parched patrons.

Until last weekend, Berto and I haven’t tasted any of the milk tea brands. No, we haven’t been living under a rock, we just preferred to drink coffee. Anyway, I have been reading Francine Prieto’s tweets (@NorWEIRDgian) and she just went on about how good milk tea from Moonleaf was. That was when we decided to search for this famous milk tea and taste what the brouhaha was all about.

The nearest Moonleaf branch was in Marikina. Before going there, I tweeted Ms. Francine and asked her what flavor would she recommend for newbies like us. She tweeted back: @bertoandkwala wintermelon milk tea, vanilla milk tea or tiramisu milk tea add ka nalang pearls, pudding or nata. I was so tickled to have a celebrity give me gastronomic advice!

When we arrived at Moonleaf, I promptly ordered the best seller Wintermelon and added some nata  (P75 + P10 for the add on). Berto, who was not a big fan of either vanilla or tiramisu ordered the Hakka plus pearls (P 75 + P10 for the add on) upon the suggestion of the barista (is that what they’re also called at teashops?)

When I first tasted my wintermelon milk tea, I found it ordinary. I wasn’t really bowled over.  I guess my expectations were too high. But as I sipped my drink, I was slowly won me over. The tea was not too milky/creamy nor too tea-y. It was cool, sweet and refreshing. The nata also offered a burst of fruity flavor. Berto’s Hakka was made of black tea and creamy milk. It reminded me on Chowking’s Nai-cha. It had a more robust tea taste to it, just the way Berto liked it.

Berto and Kwala’s verdict:

Kwala: The moonleaf milk teas we tasted were good. I wouldn’t say I’m addicted to it (like some), nor do I expect to wake up in the middle of the night craving for it. It is a delicious refreshing drink, and I am willing to go back and taste the other flavors the store offered like passion fruit yakult and lychee yakult. (I figured as long as they have yakult as an ingredient, it must be good)

Berto: I liked the Hakka Tea. I am not really adventurous with taste, but I’m glad I followed the moonleaf girl’s suggestion. Though I am not a big tea fan, I am a milk fan. I love anything creamy and Hakka Tea is one of them. I’ll definitely go back for more.

By the way, we still prefer coffee. =)


Visit their site : www.moonleaf.com where they have a menu list and a store locator.

Moonleaf Marikina Branch is located at 
25General Ordonez Street, Concepcion Dos, Marikina Heights (in front of OLOPSC) 
They’re open:  Mon - Sun:10:00 am-10:00 pm.
Telephone number: 470 5977

4.22.2012

Jessica Zafra and JD Salinger’s Catcher in The Rye


 Earlier at the office, I decided to clean my desk.  Being a book worm and a pack rat is not really the best combination, and through the years my desk’s side drawer has transformed into a mini library with books of many varied topics, it needs its own catalogue. I realized I have most of Jessica Zafra’s Twisted books, including my last purchase, Twisted Tales. I know I still have some of her books at home but I just couldn’t remember if I possessed the Twisted 3 book.  It frustrated me. I wanted to run to the nearest bookstore to secure a copy just so I can finally lay claim that I have the whole Twisted Series.

Thankfully, I didn’t give in to my impulse to buy. When I got home, I immediately rummaged our room (with Berto quietly shaking his head in one corner) for the rest of Jessica’s books. I almost leapt for joy when I found them, and yes, I already had the third book! Yey!



I have been a fan of Jessica Zafra since the first time I read her essays. In fact, she was my first inspiration to start my first blog. I'm not a big fan of irony, cynicism or sarcasm, but these are the endearing traits that reeled me into Jessica’s writing. These are the things I find charming in her… talk about irony huh?

       I remember years ago, when my Bea was admitted in the hospital, I kept watch late into the night and I had no one to keep me company except Jessica Zafra and Twisted 1. Reading her book urged me to keep my mind off the fear and worries of a first time mom with a sick child. (or spawn as she liked to call ‘em)

In her books, she mentioned her fondness for JD Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye  a couple of times. I am intrigued. After searching my laptop, I finally came up with an ebook copy of the book. I promptly loaded it to my Kindle and Blackberry. I hope I can find time to read the book tomorrow. Will I also relate to the main character? Will I also find it inspiring? I’m excited to find out!



4.21.2012

Berto and Kwala Movie Review: Battleship (2012)

Action & Adventure, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Directed By: Peter Berg
Written By: Jon Hoeber, Erich Hoeber

Actors:
Taylor Kitsch - Alex Hopper
Alexander SkarsgĂ„rd  - Stone Hopper
Liam Neeson -  Admiral Shane
Rihanna - Petty Officer Raikes
Brooklyn Decker - Sam Shane



Berto and I watched Battleship last week. We are not that difficult to please, so even if many (most?) critics bashed the movie, we went ahead and watched it.  An international fleet of naval ships competing in friendly war game exercises against the Japanese off the coast of Hawaii encounter a mysterious alien ship and must work together to battle the invaders. The premise of the movie was promising enough., sadly it did not meet my substandard expectations. 

The movie moved at a snail’s pace in the beginning, showing the bungling misadventures of the movie’s antagonist Alex Hopper (Taylror Kitsch) Action scenes were the highlights of this movie. I also enjoyed the idea that it was adapted from a board game Berto and I used to play when were back in high school, Battleship. 

Taylor Kitsch is good as the lead. He’s good looking and appears very credible when his character seems to be confused, desparate but determined. Feisty Rihanna was also surprisingly good. Although this movie will probably not win her an Oscar, she was ok, especially in the action scenes.  Sadly the great Liam Neeson gave a lackluster performance in the movie.

Our verdict: Kwala: I found it really boring. Even good looking actors and explosive scenes could not save the movie. I left the movie house with a feeling of lack. Like the movie wasn’t supposed to be finished yet…  I also hated the cheesy ending. Needless to say, Berto loved it. (give that guy a movie with bombs and explosions and he’s happy)

4.20.2012

Chili's Big Mouth Burgers




I have got to mark our calendar on April 24! Berto and I have yet to dine in Chili's together. We have been planning to go for the longest time, but somehow we always cancel. April 24 is a big day since it is a Burger Day at Chili's! Now on their 5th year, they are selling all their Big Mouth Burgers for a special price of  P120 only! This promo is not valid To Go or delivery.  One (1) burger per guest. From 11 am - 2pm, 6pm - 12am, and at Rockwell 11 am - 2pm, 6pm - 9pm. 

Craving for yummy burgers? Visit Chili's on April 24.  Eat your heart out at the following branches.  2nd Level Greenbelt 5, Greenhills, T. Morato, Rockwell,



4.13.2012

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are Engaged!



Picture Source: http://omg.yahoo.com

Allow me to dip into the showbiz world for a moment and share the wonderful news that Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are engaged! Yay! Finally, the most adorable “other woman” will be a legal wife. I have always been Team Jennifer… and will always take the side of the wife… I have always tried to hate Angelina for stealing a husband away, but she is just so darn beautiful and kind and sophisticated and loving (to Brad and their family) that I couldn’t help but like her too.

Although I try to hold back on my fondness for her, now that they’re getting married, I can allow myself to like her all out.

She was found sporting an engagement ring designed by Brad Pitt himself! Though they have yet to set a date for their wedding (they both have heavy schedules), it is a promise for the future for the two of them and their kids, and that’s is just great in my book. So Angelina… let’s make it official, you’re off my (hate)list! Hahaha!

Congratulations Brad and Angelina!

4.12.2012

A Weekend at the Hotel H2O

Last year, we were lucky enough to join my dad and sister at the Hotel H2O (my sister’s treat!). What exactly is this well-talked about hotel? It is the first aquarium-themed hotel in Manila near Rizal Park. It is also located near the Hispanic walled city of Intramuros, China Town, National Museum, US Embassy, Philippine Convention Center and the Cultural Center of the Philippines.


Hotel guests can’t help but feel like nautical royalty with the hotel rooms’ floor-to-ceiling windows, aquarium walls, or city/ bay views. Every room has a private toilet and shower, LCD TV with cable and pay-per-view movies, Internet access, and mini-bar. Other amenities include a coffee/ tea maker, hair dryer, safe, telephone, and luggage rack.

hotel H2O (5)

hotel H2O (4)

hotel H2O (1)

We were tickled to find my sister’s name on the huge LCD TV welcoming her and her companions. Talk about personalized!

hotel H2O (2)

Hubby and I loved the plush accommodations, while our Bea just loved the fishes in the walls.

The accommodations came with tickets to the Oceanarium where one can find various creatures of the sea. Too bad though it can get a bit crowded and hot inside because of the volume of visitors. It’s still a very enjoyable experience.

hotel H2O (13)
After the tour at the Ocenarium (Manila Ocean Park), we recharged a bit for some drinks at the lounge on the deck. For dinner, one may feast on Asian cuisine at the Makan Makan Asian Food Village or like us, you can just eat at nearby restaurants. We ate at Inasal Atbp.

hotel H2O (10)

hotel H2O (12)

The following morning, we had a heavy breakfast at the all-you-can-eat buffet (also included with the accommodations).

hotel H2O (8)

My Bea was bent on trying the swimming pool so the whole family (except my dad) trekked to the pool area. There was also a Jacuzzi where kids can splash around in the bubbly water. The swimming area was pretty big and we had wonderful view of the Sea Lion Show...for free!

hotel H2O (6)

hotel H2O (7)

Berto and Kwala recommend staying at this hotel. A great place to escape the summer's scorching heat. Service are professional and personnel are friendly. Plus where else can you sleep with that under the sea feeling, complete with fishes of various colors and sizes looking at you?!

For reservations:

Luneta, Manila 1000
Philippines
Phone Number: +632 2386100
Fax Number: +632 2386188

4.07.2012

Our Black Saturday 2012 Staycation


Unlike others who took advantage of the long weekend (made even longer by Monday's Day of Valor), we stayed home and took advantage of the free time to bond with the family at home. When I was growing up, I used to judge those who spent holy week vacationing. My whole outlook changed when I started working. I realized that it is the longest free time you'll legally get, and that's why so many burnt out workers/employees grab the chance to go to out of town resorts and beaches.

Hubby and I had a grand time bonding with the little one, who's is not so little anymore! We spent our Black Saturday morning lugging our inflatable pool to the nearest vulcanizing shop. That was when we realized that our pool was so dirty and stained, it was embarrassing! haha. Apparently this is what happens when you store a deflated pool without drying everything first. Berto went to the nearest store and bought detergent and scouring pads and we tried to scrub the grime off. We were able to scrub some off but some stains were just too stuck to the plastic!

Bea immediately changed into her suit, wolfed down her lunch and jumped in. We decided to eat outside so we can watch her as she splashed in the pool, and also the summer heat inside the house was almost unbearable. We had our own little picnic by the garage. Hubby served vegetable and mushroom & onion omelettes. We had to do something with eggs (since Bea and Ninang used the shell for Easter eggs).


4.06.2012

Good Friday 2012


Good Friday

Good Friday is the solemn commemoration of the passion and death of Jesus Christ. This day is the most sorrowful of any day in the history of the world for Christians. Jesus, innocent and without sin, freely offered His life for the redemption of the sins of the entire world.

Our parish has reenacts the passion of Christ every good Friday and after that the body of the dead Christ is  brought around the barangay along with other saints. Families gather to witness this important occasion for Catholics. 

Thank you Jesus, for saving us
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