VIDEO | Weird Moment At Uniqlo

VIDEO | Weird Moment At Uniqlo

I rarely shop for white clothes. One because I have the finesse of a five year old boy, and two, because I eat a lot and things can get messy. Maybe, I don’t shop enough whites that in my recent visit in Uniqlo, I had a very weird shopping moment.

The staff manning the area handed me a tissue-like material on my way to the dressing room and told me, it was for fitting the “white blouse” I had on hand. Maybe it as her way of telling me I put way too much make up for a rainy day or she smelled my clumsiness a mile away. They didn’t tell me how to use it so I just assumed.

Correct me if I’m wrong. No, seriously.

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FLASHBACK FRIDAY | Doing Voodoo in Portland

FLASHBACK FRIDAY | Doing Voodoo in Portland

When I first told friends that I am going to Portland, I couldn’t really tell them why I wanted to when asked why. Portland isn’t necessarily the first thing that comes to mind on your list of things to do when you visit US. It’s always New York, or San Francisco, or Los Angeles. I really wanted to go to Seattle and that was easier to explain (Grey’s Anatomy goals). I have some time to spare and I figured since I was flying anyway, I might as well explore more of the Pacific Northwest since Portland was just 3 hours away from Seattle.

You know, like going to Batangas from Manila.

Well, you know the rest of the story. I fell in love with Portland. I didn’t realize it until I’ve been there, but you know those things you watch on Discovery Channel and say to yourself, I’ll go there someday. Portland made up a lot of my ‘somedays’.

One of my somedays? Voodoo Donuts.

I don’t know if it was Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservation or one of those old Discovery Channel shows — this show called The Travellers made up of 6 friends who travel from country to country exploring the best of the city, but when I realized Voodoo Donut was in Portland,I.MUST.GO.THERE.

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Our hotel was downtown and Voodoo donuts was just a couple of blocks away so after our dinner in Pokpok, we decided to have our dessert at Voodoo. This homegrown independent donut shop is iconic Portland. It’s pink and yellow, neon lighted and eclectic. It’s Portland weird — dorky, yet homey and adorable. It’s open 24 hours, 7 days a weird, because apparently, for Portalander, there no inappropriate time for donuts.

We got the classic Voodoo doughnut — a chocolate frosting topped donut shaped like a voodoo doll. We sat out by the alley on that cold winter night. The coffee I ordered with my donut kept me warm as my tropical island girl tushy sat over the molded freezing metal mesh chair. I took a bite of one of the voodoo doll’s flailing arms and bid goodbye to another of my somedays.

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Voodoo Doughnut
22 SW 3rd Avenue
Portland Oregon

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COFFEE TALKS | Luke’s Diner

COFFEE TALKS | Luke’s Diner

All my preparations and we have come to this. The waking hours I spent getting to know the girls and the quirky folks from Stars Hollow again — all 7 seasons of it — have prepared me for the new season of Gilmore Girls on Netflix.

I waited on November 25 for it. I manage to watch Winter and Spring the night of. I had to sleep because sleep, above all else, is important to me. I had a busy saturday the following day and did my best to avoid social media at all cost, lest I want spoilers. Normally, I don’t mind spoilers, really. But I thought I just have 3 hours of Stars Hollow left and I should just see it through. I finished the rest of the episodes that night, and like most fans, I did not find closure.

There’s got to be a year in a life season 2, right?

I guess this makes me an easy target, because last week a sponsored post on facebook showed up on my feed. Netflix was hosting a Luke’s Diner pop-up in Toby’s Estate in Ortigas. I considered going but seeing that it’s on a friday and parking is hell in Ortigas on weekdays, maybe, I just had to pass. And then later in the day, Jr tagged me on a facebook post. It was the Luke’s Diner post.

It’s a sign.

Knowing that I was an absolute fan of the show, my loving husband offered to take me to Ortigas. “If we can’t find parking, I’ll just drive around Ortigas until you’re done.” That my dear friends, is true love.

The pop up is open from 10 am to 10 pm. We arrived on Ruby Road at around 11 am and there was a group of people gathering in front, most of whom are holding cups and taking pictures against the Luke’s Diner sign. I was welcomed by a staff by the door and asked if I wanted a flat white or a long black. I got the long black and she wrote it on a post it to be handed to the cashier inside.

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Toby’s Estate was filled with Gilmore girls posters and Netflix branding, as well as a couple of Luke standees with his infamous no cellphone signs. The staff were decked in Luke clothing — plaid shirts, denim and baseball caps with Luke’s embroidered on it. Minutes later and I have a free long black coffee in a Luke’s Diner cup, a free 3 month subscription to Netflix and an ‘In Omnia Paratus’ pin. Not bad.

We do this because we’re patola like that.

Luke's Diner


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COFFEE TALKS , Seoul Edition | Fritz Coffee Company

COFFEE TALKS , Seoul Edition | Fritz Coffee Company

When traveling in groups, like with friends and family, a well-laid out itinerary should include at least one free day. People have a lot of individual interests that may not necessarily fit everybody else’s taste. Sometimes it is a waste of time to force everybody to do things they’re not really up to. The easiest solution is to dedicate a day to split up and seek each personal indulgence. Some people make it a point to hit up shopping centers when they travel to a new city. Others would like to see obscure museums. I like to waste my day in cute coffee shops.

It’s always a habit of mine to hit up the web and search for the top coffee shops in the city where I am. And since I do not want to induce a stomach flu and overdose in caffeine, I settle for two or three in one day and choose based on the following criteria:

– Cute in pictures – My palate is not sophisticated enough to determine if it is indeed the ‘best coffee’ in the city, but I do know what I like in coffee shops. I like them urban, industrial, and cozy. I did say I was on the hunt not for the best coffee but the cutest coffeeshops.
– Location – It has to be relatively accessible by the public transport system. Uber and cabs are not options. If it’s 2 km from the nearest station, that’s fine. I can walk. It’s my free day and I have all the time in the world
– Not starbucks.

So for my first stop on my free day in Seoul, while the rest of the city succumb to the rush of the early morning hours to work, I took three trains and leisurely walked my way to Mapo-gu to visit Fritz Coffee Company.

Seoul is a coffee loving city. The big chains — from local brands like Tom N Toms and Mango Six to international staples like Starbucks, and Dunkin Donuts — thrive here. And even them step up their cute coffee shop game here, so it would take a lot of convincing for me to travel that far for coffee. But write ups for Fritz basically says it’s the brainchild of what seems to be the best of the best in the Seoul coffee scene — the Avengers of Korea coffee industry. And the pictures on the internet were so good.

And boy, it did not disappoint.

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It’s a L-shaped, two story coffee shop in an enclosed compound. It’s big for a coffee shop but it never felt big. The first floor houses the coffee bar and the pastry section as well as a small seating section. I got the latte and the cranberry walnut scone, which was divine. They make their own baked goods in house in the basement, so not only does it look glorious, the whole place smells heavenly as well. The entire second floor is pure seating area with mismatched industrial chairs and tables. The whole place is well laid out and artistically lit. It’s cozy but well-lit in the right places. Heck, everything is like art-directed, from the unfinished exposed brick walls to random wall postings. When the coffee place give serious consideration on what bathroom stall hardware you ultimately would stare at when you do your ‘business’ because of such great coffee, you know they’re serious.

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Fritz Coffee Company
179-9 Dohwa-dong Mapo-gu, Seoul
서울시 마포구 도화동 179-9, Seoul, Korea

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Flashback Friday | Portland’s Heart Coffee Roasters

Flashback Friday | Portland’s Heart Coffee Roasters

My friend who was living her LA dreams vicariously thru me chided that I should just hike. Not just hike, but borrow my Airbnb host’s dog and hike. Because that is what people to in LA. They take their dogs out and treat them as hiking accessories. Accessories because the thing is, most of the dogs I’ve seen in LA are tiny. That is going to be a very slow hike.

In Downtown LA, it’s a usual sight to see big burly men walking dogs — tiny dogs. Fit men who seem like they just walk out of a gym every goddamn morning only to rush home to drink their blended protein shakes strutting around LA with little furballs at the other and of the leash.

Which is a far cry to dogs I’ve met in Portland.

In Portland, they like their big dogs. Big dogs that can go on long hikes out there in the wild Oregon trails. Big dogs that can withstand cold Pacific Northwest weather. Big dogs that can take out to their pretty hipster coffee shops.

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Heart Coffee Roasters
537 SW 12th Ave
Portland OR

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