Thursday, June 23, 2016

Best Fried Chicken now in Robinson's Magnolia

My favorite restaurant in Binondo is now in my favorite mall! Who would've thought?

Sincerity recently opened in the Robinson's Magnolia food court and there's an express lane for take-out!



To me, they have the best fried chicken (that's not fast food) and oyster cake. Surprisingly, it tastes the same as those served in the Binondo branch.

Waiting time for the food to be cooked is around 10-15 minutes. The waiting is worth it, though.

Pardon the food shots. These were taken midway through the meal. Sorry!

Fried Chicken.
There were more, but I ate them already. 

Oyster Cake

No need to go all the way to Binondo just to enjoy these! 

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Greg's Fruitcakery in Twin Lakes, Tagaytay



The others were having coffee in Starbucks while my friend Bubbly and I were seated at the benches having a tarot card reading.

We were at Twin Lakes in Tagaytay. The sun was in our faces and it was just too hot outside. We needed a cool and quiet place to move to.

That's when we stumbled upon Greg's Fruitcakery.




Greg's Fruitcakery is a homey, quaint, and upscale bakery in Twin Lakes, Tagaytay. The smell of freshly baked bread just makes you want to stay there forever.

This is where we continued our tarot card reading. 



We also had a chat with the owner of the bakery. Too bad I didn't get her name. She told us that Greg is her late mother. (I actually thought that Greg was a guy! Oops.)

Greg was said to have baked delicious fruitcakes and would give away hundreds to friends every Christmas. When she passed on, the fruitcake recipe was found and used. 

Fruitcakes were continued to be given away in Greg's honor. I guess this is how Greg's Fruitcakery came to be. Some were even sent to Calea, the famous cake shop in Bacolod. Interestingly, there are aged fruitcakes that are four years old and are said to be extra delicious.

Like wine, it gets better with age.


We invited the rest of the barkada to hang out here instead. 

Here's what we ordered:

Banana Loaf fresh out of the oven
Carrot cake of sorts. Can't remember what it's called but it's yummy!


Greg's Fruitcakery has really yummy bread, treats, and cakes. It makes a nice pasalubong for family and loved ones. We weren't able to order any fruitcakes, though. (I personally don't like it, TBH.)

Some of the items may seem a bit pricey but overall, Greg's is  a better alternative to Starbucks.

(Photo from Nichael Muncal)

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Don't Take Scratches Lightly!

[WARNING: Graphic Images]

Who would've thought that a tiny scratch near the ankle would make my leg red, swollen, and look like a hazing victim?

If there's one thing I learned from this ordeal, it's to never take scratches lightly!

Hazing? No. Just a bad case of cellulitis.

It started with a little scratch near my ankle--yung tipong, "Ay, may sugat pala?" 

I didn't bother doing anything to it, let alone put medicine on it. My bad.

After a few days, the affected area started to hurt when I'd touch it. It didn't bother me. I thought it was just bruised.

See that dark spot near my ankle? I thought it was just bruised.

The next day, I was down with a fever. I thought it was exhaustion from doing yoga for the first time. I even thought it was dengue because my eyeballs were painful--which is one of its symptoms.

After two days of being sick, I woke up to my left leg being red, swollen, and really warm. The scratch wasn't just a scratch anymore. It became a round, open wound. Sugat na talaga.

The redness and swelling crept up fast. Strangely, it was painful and I could barely walk!

#iWokeUpLikeThis

Doctor's diagnosis: Cellulitis. (Dengue was ruled out after a series of blood tests.)

Cellulitis is a bacterial infection of the skin and tissues beneath it. It happens when bacteria enters through a crack or break in the skin--in my case, the little scratch.

Kalokang infection yan.

In just a few days, the redness and swelling went up to my knees!

Doctor #1 prescribed supplements and an antibacterial ointment. She advised antibiotics only if my leg wasn't getting better.

The next day, Doctor #2 advised me to get admitted in the hospital to treat the infection through IV. (But who wants to stay in the hospital, right?) I opted for oral antibiotics instead, which she prescribed. I was also given two Tetanus shots.

The following day, I consulted Doctor #3 who specializes in infectious diseases. He jacked up the dosages of antibiotics, added more (including painkillers), and extended its duration.

Mega-dosages of antibiotics!
(And it's the first time I've seen legible handwriting from a doctor!)

Per doctor's orders: House arrest with not too much walking, standing, and sitting (aka bed rest) for four days. Ang hirap!

I even had to bathe using soap that surgeons use just to decontaminate myself of bacteria. That left my skin really dry and itchy.

Bed rest but still trying to work.

Thankfully, the antibiotics did its wonders.

After 4 days of antibiotics. 

After 10 days of being on meds, my leg is pretty much back to normal. I can walk normally again without pain.

As of writing, though, the color still seems a bit off. But I'm just glad it's better.

The next time I get scratched, I'll definitely think twice about just letting it be.

Back to its normal shape. Color is still weird, though.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Perfect Overnighter Place Around Tagaytay

"Kahit saan, matuloy lang."

This was an overdue getaway for all of us and it couldn't have come at a better time. We were in dire need of a breather from work... and life. Or was it just me?

We ended up staying the night at the White Airy House in Silang, Cavite.

White Airy House. Booked through Airbnb.

The house is situated in one of the big farm lands around Tagaytay. It's supposedly owned by the Patrimonio family, which is used as their weekend rest house. From the looks of it, it's barely used.

The house is simple, charming, and true to its name.

It's photogenic, too!




No aircon. There were fans all around but we had to turn them off because the weather was really cool.
(Photo by Nichael Muncal)

The White Airy House is perfect for barkadas who want to chill and stay the night around Tagaytay. It's also great for team buildings and planning sessions.

Price is reasonable at Php 850 a night, per person.

#TouchdownSilang
Lelz.

The only thing we had to worry about there was cooking all the stuff that we brought for breakfast. Thank God for friends who cook!

I was part of the eating committee, by the way. Haha!

Breakfast time!

Here's a map going to the White Airy House:

The place doesn't have an address because the area are farm lots. 

Tip: Be careful when driving there, especially at night. While the roads leading to the house are cemented and have two-way lanes, it isn't properly lit. Area seems pretty safe and quiet, though.

I wish we could've stayed longer.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Tagaytay City - Emergency Contact Numbers

Leaving this here for those who may need it. 



Emergency Contact Numbers
  • Tagaytay Fire Station: (046) 483-1193
  • Tagaytay Rescue (CDRRMO): (046) 483-0446 | +63927-8569979
  • Tagaytay Office of Public Safety (TOPS): (046) 682-0299
  • Meralco: (046) 413-1378
  • TCWD: (046) 413-1312 | 483-1266
  • Ospital ng Tagaytay: (046) 483-2160

Police Stations
  • Main: (046) 413-1282 | 483-0206
  • Mendez Crossing: (046) 860-0596
  • NBI - Kaybagal: (046) 483-0316
  • SVD Road: (046) 413-4808
  • Picnic Groove - Sungay: (046) 483-5263
  • Tagaytay City Market: (046) 682-0012

What the World's Biggest Puzzle Looks Like

We were in Tagaytay for another quick getaway and needed something to do before heading back to Manila.

If you're there often, chances are you'll start to wonder what else there is to do aside from chilling, enjoying the weather, coffee, and view of Taal volcano.

We decided to check out the Puzzle Mansion.


The Puzzle Mansion houses the largest collection of jigsaw puzzles in the world, earning it a Guinness World Record in 2012. There are at least 1,000 puzzles on display owned by retired businesswoman Georgina Gil-Lacuna.

 


Puzzles come in all shapes, sizes, and formats. Pretty amusing, if you ask me.

Not the usual jigsaw puzzle shape.

Mickey and Minnie (and Pooh)

Coliseum

Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie pieces

Interesting shapes

The Starry Night by Van Gogh
The closest I'll ever get to a Mona Lisa--even if it's just a jigsaw puzzle.

The world's biggest puzzle is also housed here!

"Double Retrospect" features 32 illustrations by Keith Haring. It's 17ft x 6ft and it's made up of 32,256 pieces. This supposedly took 900 hours to complete. Ang tiyaga!

I honestly thought that it'd be bigger... but then again, I can only imagine how difficult it was to assemble something of this magnitude. I've never even completed a 500-piece puzzle!

Me with the world's biggest puzzle.
If you're up to the challenge, you can buy a set for around Php 18,000!

For me, the Puzzle Mansion isn't really a must-see destination but makes an interesting side trip if you're in the area.

Puzzled inside the Puzzle Museum. Haha!
(Photo from Nichael Muncal)

Entrance Fee: Php 100
Shuttle from parking area to Puzzle Mansion: Php 10 (round trip, per person)

Puzzle Mansion Bed & Breakfast
Cuadra Street, Brgy Asisan
Tagaytay, Cavite, 4120 

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Doing Yoga for the First Time. The Struggle Is Real.

#awkward
Honestly, my main concern was my toes. I was long overdue for a pedicure and there wasn't enough time to get them done before class!

And what was I supposed to wear?!

#concerns

Good thing the studio's lights were dimmed and nobody really seemed to notice or care (I hope).

This was my first time doing yoga. I was invited to do this as part of featuring the Best of the West.

Thinking about how silly I looked while doing yoga still makes me laugh. I'm not fit, flexible, or good at balancing so just imagine the awkwardness!

I'm glad that the instructor went easy on us first-timers by doing basic stretches. Poses look easy, but I was shaking and sweating--even in a big air-conditioned room!


Amidst the quiet and soothing atmosphere in the studio, there I was trying to be mature.

I was trying not to burst out laughing as I struggled with which was left and right, keeping my balance, all while fighting to keep my fart in. Haha!

Even reaching for my toes was a struggle.

The struggle is real.
This was my favorite part:

Bukaka levels!

video


Amidst moments of struggle, there were moments of extreme relaxation. During the last part of the session, we were on our backs, eyes closed, while listening to the sound of crashing waves. I almost fell asleep! I think I even heard someone snoring.

After an hour of yoga, my whole body felt worked-out but I didn't feel too haggard.

I was happy-tired.

Instructor: Kumusta?
Me: KALOKA!

While yoga left me a tad more flexible, I don't think that it's for me. Actually, working out and exercising in general just isn't my thing.

But I'm glad that I was able to step out of my comfort zone and try it for myself.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Best of the West: Yoga, Coffee, and Rakrakan

Yoga in Manila, coffee and merienda in Alabang, then rakrakan at night.

These aren't the usual things I'd do nor are these places I'd go to but for the sake of experience, it was all systems go. I rarely turn down invitations to eat.

Here are some of the places I wandered off to, which can be considered as the Best of the West.

Yoga, Coffee, and Rakrakan in the West.

1. FLY HEALTH HUB
I'm glad that I had my first-ever yoga session here--even if it was in the heart of Manila. The team made me feel extra comfortable and relaxed as I was obviously uneasy. The instructor was patient and paced herself well enough for me to follow.

We did various stretches during the one-hour class, which were perfect for beginners. Poses look easy, but I was shaking and sweating--to think that we were in a big air-conditioned room!


#Awkward
I left the studio feeling happy-tired and a bit more flexible. While I'd have to think twice about doing yoga again, I do encourage others to try it at least once, if they haven't done so yet. 

Class pic! My classmates who do yoga here regularly are really good!

Fly Health Hub is near the Pedro Gil LRT station. It's great for those who live nearby or need a quick escape from school or work. Aside from yoga, they also offer pole dance, Tissu, adult and kiddie gymnastics, and various dance classes that seem really fun.

Yoga classes are affordable, which start at Php 488 for one hour.


2. COFFEE STACHE
In my mind, Alabang will always seem light years away. It's a place where I'd rather not go to because of the sheer distance. But I'm glad I did--all for this coffee shop.


Cofffee Stache is tucked away from the loud parts of Alabang. It's a small, quiet place ideal for me-time or bonding with friends.

I'm not a coffee person so I looked forward to the food rather than the coffee. I swear, merienda coudn't have come at a better time, especially after some serious yoga. 

Some of my favorites:

Caramel Latte (Php 160)
Tuna Sandwich (Php 105)

Brownie!
Chewy, not too sweet, and pretty big serving! (Php 75)

This was super interesting. It's the first time I've seen coffee prepared this way:

Pour-Over Coffee
You can request to see how it's prepared. Don't forget to slurp really loud!
Interesting how it tastes different after 5 minutes.

One thing that most people don't know about Coffee Stache is that it loves local! In fact, all coffee beans that are used here are locally sourced from the Philippines!   

If there's one thing I crave for, it's this:

Articulo Uno -- my ultimate favorite.
Ice Cream + Chocolate Sauce + Espresso Shot. Hnghhhh!

Late realization: I forgot to take a coffee stache selfie. Ugh!


3. CHECKPOINT ROCK BAR
After a long day, it was time to unwind, chill, and just hangout. We ended up here.

Checkpoint is a no pretentions, no frills, and dress-down place where you can eat good food, get buzzed, and listen to young artists rock it out at night.

The tita in me felt slightly out-of-place as the crowd seemed really young. I even felt a bit overdressed! Even the building guard seemed to wonder if I was really going here. Pero kebs.

Checkpoint is at the 3rd floor of Metrostar Mall.

Alak galore!

The first thing I ordered was my favorite beer. I've been overdue for a drink. I also ordered the Sisig Rice, which, to my surprise, was soggy--just the way I like it. 

The Dynamite Rolls were interesting because there was meat inside! 

Sisig Rice (Php 180), Dynamite Rolls (Php 180), Bagnet Rice (Php 150)

Come early to avoid the Php 100 entrance fee. There were a lot of bands scheduled for the night but too bad we only got to stay for one. #Sleepy #TitaHits

Rakrakan na!
This young band sang OPM hits, among others.

Cheers!!!

The entire West Zone is huge. It's composed of 17 cities and municipalities in the Greater Manila Area: Caloocan, Las Piñas, Malabon, Manila, Muntinlupa, Navotas, Pasay, Parañaque, Valenzuela, a bit of Quezon City (Projects 7 & 8), a part of Makati, and some places in the Cavite province--the cities of Bacoor, Cavite and Imus, and the municipalities of Kawit, Noveleta and Rosario. *whew!* 

There's a lot that have yet to be discovered here. In fact, there's a team that's trying to narrow all these choices to experience the Best of the West. There's even a website to feature all these soon.

In the meantime, check out the Facebook page and Instagram for tips and features on local travel, food finds, and awesome experiences in the West. 

Thank you to all those who made me libre that day!

---
Fly Health Hub - 2F Birch Tower, 1622 Bocobo St. corner Pedro Gil, Manila
Coffee Stache - Studio City Commercial Tower, Alabang-Zapote Road, 9228 West Parc Drive, Filinvest City, Muntinlupa
Check Point - 3rd Floor, Metro Star Mall, Aguirre Avenue, BF Homes, Parañaque City


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