Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Filipino Adobo


It is a popular Filipino dish which can be made with pork, chicken or a mix of both, seafood, vegetables (e.g. adobong kangkong) etc. In short this dish is cooked in many variations across many regions in the Philippines. My version is more on the traditional / classic side using pork but a little more garlicky. 

My Proportions: 1 kg pork : 1/2 cup soy sauce :1/2 cup vinegar : 1 cup water: 1 whole garlic 

  • 1 kg pork cut into cubes (preferably 1/2 kg lean pork and 1/2 kg pork with fat)
  • 1/2 cup Kikkoman soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup Cadia apple cider vinegar (you may opt to use any brand or the regular vinegar)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 whole garlic crushed
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 tsps black peppercorns (pamintang buo)
  • 2 tbsps cooking oil
  1. Combine pork, soy sauce, vinegar, water, bay leaves, peppercorns and half of the crushed garlic in a pot. Simmer in medium heat for about 40 minutes to an hour. Make sure the meat becomes tender before frying.
  2. When the sauce is reduced, heat oil in another pan. Fry the remaining half of the crushed garlic and then add the pork cubes.
  3. Once the pork cubes are browned evenly, add the reduced sauce from the other pot.
  4. Serve hot with steamed rice and a side dish of minced tomatoes, onion, cilantro drizzled with white vinegar and brown sugar.
A tasty dish yet so simple to make. Enjoy!

Photo taken using iPhone 5

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Toby's Estate Coffee Roasters, Manila

Third wave coffee.

This refers to a culture that has the highest form of culinary appreciation for artisanal coffee. This whole "from bean to cup" process: growing, harvesting, processing, roasting and brewing fascinates me. It's drinking passion in a cup.

Third wave coffee shops are starting to flourish in the metro and one of my favorites is Toby's Estate Coffee Roasters.

My love affair with Toby's Estate first started at their branch in Century City Mall.

This is such a cute infographic!

I wanted an iced drink and the barista recommended their iced mocha. The husband ordered a cup of mocha. We both shared a piece of bucky's not a brownie. 'Twas a good pairing.

Latte art.

After my first Toby's Estate experience, I decided to celebrate my birthday (which was three months ago) at their Salcedo Village branch with my closest friends. Besides excellent coffee, this space is really beautiful. What I liked most is this lighting fixture. It reminds me of Dumbledore's office.

Happy Birthday to Me!!!

My friends loved Toby's iced chai chocolate but my loyalty is still with iced mocha. The rest of our orders were:

French Onion Soup
- chunky onion and bacon soup with gratinated gruyere and mozzarella cheese

- marble potatoes stuffed with bacon, gruyere, mozzarella and shallots, served with sour cream and Toby's coffee barbecue sauce

Pecan Pie (oops no photo!) and Pistachio Cheesecake

+ Buckies, Blondies and Bocaditos. I have yet to try the Gibraltar.

Did you know Toby's Estate recently opened a shop in BGC? It's within walking distance from our new place. I am so elated. What can I say? Life's too short to drink bad coffee.

Photos taken using iPhone 5.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Travel with Airbnb

There's been a lot of debate between the difference of a flashpacker and a backpacker. I have seen several different meanings online. For me, they are both budget travelers who relish every moment, culture and food on every trip they make. The only difference I see for flashpackers is that they spend a little more by eating in a famous restaurant or taking a cab when it gets too late. Basically having more convenience but compromising their length of stay. Backpackers on the other hand will save every penny they have in order to stay longer.

I fall under the flashpacker category. To humbly explore the city without passing the opportunity to dine at a Mario Batali restaurant. I'm happy to say that I have started crossing off some places in my bucket list together with the husband. Whenever I travel, I always discover something that makes me want to  say "I just have to comeback." Thank God for Airbnb!

Airbnb connects people to unique travel experiences at any price at any point, in more than 34,000 cities and 192 countries.

#MyAirbnbBucketList as of the moment:

5.) Geneva, Switzerland - It houses most if not all organizations who aims to make a world a better place. It would be nice to walk in its old towns and appreciate their architecture. I'm also pretty sure that their chocolate is to die for.

4.) The Museum of Terracotta Warriors (Xi'an, China) - The museum, more like a dig site is located in the Xi'an province of China. This marvelous site stands thousands of clay soldiers, horses, chariots and weapons believed to be created during the Qin Dynasty.

3.) Machu Picchu - This historic sanctuary is in Peru specifically in the Cusco region. It is believed to be the lost city of the Inca. Although there are some articles online that disagree, I still want to walk in these mountains.

2.) Bethlehem - The birthplace of Jesus Christ. I guess this says it all.

1.) Aurora Borealis in Norway - Also known as the Northern Lights. It can be seen in various countries like Sweden, Iceland, Finland, Canada and Norway. I want to see this in Norway. Why? Because the northern lights belt hits Northern Norway so this means it's the best place to see this heavenly phenomenon. It is best seen during late autumn or early spring.

And the list goes on gradually... XOXO

Photos originally from: 5,4,3,2, and 1

Monday, July 7, 2014

Mount Fuji for a Day

Hello! I'm back after hibernating for a month. I have accepted a new role in the corporate world which made me busy as a bee. Now where was I? Oh, there are still some stuff I'd like to share with you about the trip to Tokyo.

We visited Japan's highest and most sacred mountain: Mt. Fuji.

We took the touristy route this time because we only have a week to explore the city and booking a day tour will save us time and energy. It is also economical. I booked the tour online in advance from Japanican. I made sure to check the weather forecast before booking the exact date of the tour because it doesn't make any sense to visit Mount Fuji on a rainy or cloudy day. It usually likes to hide its peak in a bed of clouds.

We assembled at Keio Plaza Hotel in Shinjuku together with other people who booked the tour. Our transportation was a giant motorcoach. The seats are comfortable that can be reclined. There is no bathroom on board but we made stops every few hours. Despite areas with heavy traffic, we were able to make it on time. We were also taught how to sing the Mount Fuji song and the Sakura song while traveling on the road.

The road to Mount Fuji's 5th Station is closed due to heavy snow but that's OK. It had been the tour's disclaimer even before we signed up because the weather can really be unpredictable. What matters most is we got to see the gorgeous snow-capped peak at the nearest distance possible.

Next stop, Oshino Hakkai. It is a small picturesque village with beautiful ponds with spring water that came all the way from Mount Fuji's melted snow.

Look at the size of this ancient tree!

Next stop, Lunch at Lake Kawaguchi. We were served a Japanese-style set lunch. There's nothing special about it but it was filling.

After a hearty lunch, we went straight to Shiraito Falls. It's a waterfall from melting snow falling down Mount Fuji.

Our last stop before the tour ends was Fujisan Hongu Sengen Taisha Shrine. A Shinto shrine that has been around since ancient times.

The tour was efficient! We managed to see a lot of beautiful sceneries in such a limited time. The tour guide is pleasant, entertaining and knowledgeable about the sights. We were even able to squeeze in an origami lesson on the ride back to Tokyo. The tour has an option to take the shinkansen back to the city but we chose to take the cheaper option. It was time and money well spent!

Photos taken by Canon 550d and iPhone5

Friday, May 9, 2014


I am a Muji customer for six years now and counting. Muji  is short for Mujirushi Ryohin which translates to "No Label Quality Goods". My first Muji experience was in Causeway Bay, Hong Kong. I remember purchasing in 2008 two pairs of aluminum square hangers that are still being put to good use till today. When Muji opened in Manila, I was ecstatic because it is now more accessible to me. Hence, it eliminates the issue of excess baggage during overseas trips. Some of the Muji stores I was able to visit were in Hong Kong, Manila, Tokyo and New York.

What's so special about Muji? Well, I like their minimalist concept (no-label/brand policy), simple designs and their conscious effort in saving the environment through recycling plus minimizing waste production. I just have to share their four core principles:

  1. Streamlined, functional design eliminating excess decoration.
  2. Basic, understated color guaranteed to blend and never dominate
  3. Value for money, the right balance between quality and price
  4. Complete lifestyle product range encompassing all aspects of life 

As a Muji devotee, I went to Muji Yurakucho store, their flagship store located in Ginza which also houses the largest Muji cafe. Beside it is the infamous Loft.

Mike and I tried their coffee and some of their pastries. Everything was yummy!

Assorted baked goods and deli selection.

I also had the opportunity to browse some stuff and have lunch at their store in Shibuya. Mike bought two packs of ground coffee while I contemplated in buying their ready-made butter chicken sauce.

Muji stores in Tokyo sell bikes that you can customize. Biking is up the husband's alley. I could tell from his facial expression that he was enthralled.

I chose the 3-Deli set. A set consists of 1 hot deli + 2 cold delis + rice and a drink of your choosing. Their apple juice is now a favorite. The menu is not in English so I had to point a lot and ask some questions from the staff. A Japanese translation app I downloaded from the App Store was very helpful.

It was a cold day and my Muji coat came in handy. I got this at half the price in Muji Yurackucho.

I hope they open a Cafe & Meal Muji here in Manila soon. I'd also like to bring my sister too in Muji Yurakucho. She was the one who introduced Muji to me when she was living in Hong Kong. It was just across her serviced apartment. But during that time, it didn't have a cafe and it didn't serve meals.

My sister and I can form a groupie. Lol.

First Photo via Selectism, Second Photo via Fashion Journal and the rest of the photos taken using iPhone5
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