History Con 2016

History Con 2016

During the weekdays, our tv in the bedroom hardly gets touched. We have another tv in the sala which has tv plus that I only use to watch Ang Probinsyano and whatever comes after it. After that, it’s bedtime for this lola. Honestly, we don’t need tv. Everything I watch is on the internet — youtube, netflix, all the streaming sites and iwantv. The bedroom tv has cable, which to be honest too, we can do without as well. Except that the only channel JR watched during the weekend is the History Channel.

So when it was announce that History Con was going to be held in World Trade in Pasay, Jr made sure we had tickets. Touted as the ‘Biggest Entertainment Convention of the year’, with Jr’s favorite cable channel in the midst of it, of course we had to go.

History Con photo oppHistory Con KatipuneroHistory Con PhoneHistory Con Heneral Luna 2History Con CombiHistory Con Ancient Aliens

Needless to say, Jr enjoyed his time like a kid in the candy store. They brought in History Channel Stars like the person on the memes that say “ALIENS” and a couple from JR’s favorite show, Storage Wars. Jr himself went and did his best cosplay of earlier seasons of Storage Wars’ Dave Hester. Yup, the “YUUUUUUP” guy. As for a relative bystander, I’m just happy I saw a huge Yakult. Simple joys.

History Con Me YakultHistory Con Jr Yakult

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The Regulars | Chocolate Kiss

The Regulars | Chocolate Kiss

Always on the look-out for the latest mall to open in Metro Manila, Jr and I visited UP town center when it was just one building — one lonely building. It was this two story structure on the flatten out land where UPIS once stood — I remember because my manual labor task for Theo 131 in Ateneo was to be a janitor in UPIS. (That’s another story for another post. Oh the things they made us do in Ateneo.) There were a few establishments that were open but barely enough for you to ask “This is an Ayala Mall?!?” We ate at Casa Verde and because it was new and popular in the posh neighborhoods surrounding it, the restaurants were full. We ate in the al fresco area, and since there were construction in the area (they were construction what now is the ampitheater), there were flies and it was gross and it took awhile for us to come back.

I could count the number of times we’ve been back to UP town in one hand. Yes, it’s still in QC. In theory, it shouldn’t be more than twenty minutes away from our flat. But because of traffic and the bad parking situation in the area, what is supposedly a short commute turns into an hour and a half of being stuck in traffic going to and looking for a decent parking space. Let’s just say we don’t exactly look forward to going there. But now there are new wings, and the lonely building has turned into a maze of a mall.

If ever you’ve been to trinoma and you’re not from the area, it’s easy to get lost there. That is how UP town center feels now. It has 3 or 4 buildings weaved into each other. If you bought a ticket to the cinema on one end, and think you can do grocery on the other end while you wait for the screening time, you’re in for one walkathon. Seriously, it feels like a legit Ayala Mall now.

One saturday, we want to kill time before watching a play later that evening at Ateneo so we decided to drop by UP Town Center. An early dinner perhaps. And then I remember what just opened in the mall — Chocolate Kiss!

We used to have a Chocolate Kiss in the hood. It was big and usually full of people, so it was a surprise that one day, the Chocolate Kiss branch we frequent to in Roces Ave was now Rub, the ribs place. It was heartbreaking.

We excitedly went in and since it was around 3, we knew there would be one table. The place was packed but luckily one was available. We settled in and due to force of habit, asked for the menu. Sometimes it’s silly to ask for a menu for a restaurant which is in regular rotation. You skim, pretending you’ll get something else, but you still order your usuals. You recite them by heart — Jr will get the Beef Salpicao, I’ll get the Chicken Kiev, we’ll both get the bottomless house iced tea, and a slice of Devil’s Food Cake to share.

The Beef Salpicao is still stewed to fork tenderness. The filling in the Chicken Kiev is still rich and generous. The Devil’s food cake has always been a favorite and my choice of birthday cake for several years. But what we miss most is their Iced tea. It’s house brewed and they give you calamansi and sugar syrup. You squeeze in the calamansi and empty out the sugar syrup. And since it’s unlimited, we can down so much of that house iced tea they always end up giving us a embarassingly big pitcher of sugar syrup.

Yeah, we get excited and drunk on iced tea. This is our life now.

Chocolate Kiss Iced TeaChocolate Kiss Beef SalpicaoChocolate Kiss Chicken KievChocolate Kiss Devils Food CakeChocolate Kiss featured 2

Chocolate Kiss
2/F The Urban Turf, UP Town Center
Katipunan Avenue, Diliman, Quezon City

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For Old Times’ Sake at Sweet Inspirations

For Old Times’ Sake at Sweet Inspirations

Jr and I have been together for 13 years. 13 years! Those are a lot of years of eating and if you’ve seen us, you can tell. In those years, there are new restaurants to try, and some we go just once, a few kept in rotation and there are those we come to for the nostalgia. Sweet inspirations fall in the last category.

Sweet inspirations is a staple in the Katipunan crowd. Ask anyone who went to Ateneo. You want reliably good dependable meals, you go to sweet I. You want good dessert, you go to sweet I. But most importantly, and most memorable, if you want to be a glutton and just eat all the mongolian bowls you can, you go to sweet I.

Sweet Inspiration Lengua FinancieraSweet Inspiration Roast BeefSweet Inspiration Lasagna

And while the original idea of coming here was for the mongolian bowls, our metabolism isn’t as great as when we were bright-eyed idealistic college students. I predicatably got the Lengua Finaciera, their ox tongue stewed in tomato sauce which tasted the same as it used to 15 years ago. Jr got the roast beef, which was fork-tender and rich and filling. Then, he got the lasagna.

As he put it, “for old times’ sake.”

The new branch is in Hemady Square, which is in our hood. It’s nearer and much more convenient. I don’t see us going there every week, but it’s nice to know it’s just there. Just for the memories.


Sweet Inspirations
3F Hemady Square 1193 E. Rodriguez Avenue Cor Dona Hemady St
New Manila, Quezon City

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Coffee Talk | Craft Coffee Revolution in 8 Missouri

Coffee Talk | Craft Coffee Revolution in 8 Missouri

Coffee or milkshake? Coffee or milkshake?
Coffee…and then milkshake?

Sure.

Forget my shotty lungs and barely functioning feet. If there’s one body part I’m particularly proud of, it’s my stomach. I often disregard best before labels. It’s not something to boast of, but somehow, I take pride is that. As long as they don’t smell funky and nothing curdles, that is still good and my tummy can take it. There was this one time when we went back home to Samar and because of water issues, my whole Manileno family went down. They all had to be rushed to the hospital, but me with my champion stomach slept like a baby at the hotel.

My stomach is strong AF.

So, it’s not unheard of for me to wash it all down, yes, even cold sweet milkshakes, with coffee.

And coffee in Craft coffee is not bad. Not bad at all.

Craft Coffee Revolution
Craft Coffee Revolution
Craft Coffee Revolution

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The Modesty of Starr’s Famous Shakes

The Modesty of Starr’s Famous Shakes

If ever there was a picture on the internet that would completely make you stop scrolling down for a quick second, it would be one of milkshakes. And I am not talking about your mom and pop’s idea of a milkshake — those in sexy, frosted tapered glasses, filled below the brim and topped with one stemmed cherry. No. In today’s age of excess, milkshakes are going for the shock and awe.

Let’s see: 2 scoops of ice cream, blended with sickly sweet full cream milk. Chocolate pretzel stuck on the side of the glass. Maybe, a donut on top. Or perhaps a slice of cake. A couple of chocolate wafer to keep it in place. Hmmm. Doesn’t see vertical enough? Let’s stick cotton candy up on top.

You think that’s enough?

In the era of social media, where it’s ‘pics or it didn’t happen’, it makes for a great photo opp. It’s big, it’s colorful, it looks so bad for you, therefore so gooooood for a photo. You take a couple of shots just before everything melts down to the tiny saucer holding everything up. And then, you put it down and ask yourself, “now, how do I eat this?”

I was waiting for Jr to finish his car event on Saturday and after getting tired of hunting for pokemons at Greenhills, I crossed the street to Missouri, hoping to look for a coffee shop to waste my time in. And then I remembered the last time I was in the area, they had Starr’s there.

Hmmm… coffee or milkshake? coffee or milkshake? coffee or milkshake?

Maybe I’ll just look at the selection in Starr’s. My sweet tooth is usually partial to chocolate and cupcakes. Not that much of a fan of ice cream (unless it’s Magnum white) or milkshakes for that matter. If everything looks too sweet, I’ll just hop next door to Craft and get some 0 calorie Americano.

I would like to stress that this method, window shopping, only works on me for clothes. I can go to a mall and buy nothing, because I do not like shopping. I hate picking out clothes because I only buy a certain type of clothes (loose black/grey/white tops, pajama-like bottoms), and if something caught my eye, it’s probably because I have a eerily similar one hanging in my closet already. Plus, I hate fitting rooms, and fitting room lighting. However, if I stand across a food stall, it’s highly unlikely I end up empty-handed (or empty-stomached?). Especially when the over-eager counter staff asks me immediately what I’d like to have.

So I walked in and skimmed thru the overhead menu. The lady in the counter asks if I wanted something. On cue, I told her, “the Salted Caramel VIP Milkshake.””Any Add Ons?””Ohh I can get add-ons? Wait, I’ll have the butterfinger and the malt crunch. ”

EVEN IF I DON’T WANT IT. I swear, it’s an illness. Send help.

I try to avoid anything Salted Caramel. Caramel itself is just liquid saccharine and adding any salt to it exponentially stresses its sickly sweetness. My order came and I was bracing for a toothache. But to my surprise, it’s not that sweet.

Hindi sya masyadong matamis. It is tita-approved.

Also, it’s a straight up milkshake. The aptly filled plastic cup says it’s made from 98% fat free ice cream and milk. It’s by no means diet food, because no matter how much you believe in miracles, fat free milkshakes do no exist. But with all these excessive milkshake just over milkshaking one another, one can appreciate the modesty of Starr’s. Nothing overwhelming. Nothing over the top. Nothing you have to figure out how to drink. Just stick the big plastic straw to it and drink up.

Starrs Famous Shakes Starrs Famous ShakesStarrs Salted Caramel VIP Milkshake


Starr’s Famous Shakes
Cullinan Prime Building
8 Missouri Street
Greenhills, San Juan City
+63 9320824654

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