Cupcakes Do Blush

Friday, January 29, 2010

Who says cupcakes don't blush? Well, they do at Blushing Cupcakes Cafe. I mean, not literally but it just so happened that they named it blushing cupcakes. The mini cakes/cupcakes looked adorable and comes in different flavors too. The concept is not new. This has been done by Red Velvet in the US and here in Manila the most popular of them all, Cupcakes by Sonja's in Serendra.

If someone is craving for cupcakes in the office, this is the closest we can get. A few minutes away from the office to get a cupcake fix.

It's not that bad and best of all cupcake prices are reasonable. Your P100+ can get you a box of 4 cupcakes (2 or worse just 1 piece if you will spend it at Sonja's).

clockwise: white frosted choco, banana, chocolate glaze and blueberry

Aside from cupcakes, they also offer coffee, pasta and sandwiches.

I haven't tried those yet. As for the cupcakes I'm not sure what my fave flavors are. I still have to try them all to know which one I like best.

Anyone here who's into blushing cupcakes? Would you mind sharing your fave?

You may visit their website at


Meet 'The Reyes' Part 2

Going to new places would never be complete without sampling the local cuisine. In Alica, there were very few establishments and a lot of food stalls in every corner but we never try them except for this one place, a bus stop over, we had our dinner before heading back to Manila.

Tapioca requested to his dad to cook dishes he missed a lot like tinumis and igado. I failed to take pictures of the igado and also the longganisa that looked like meat balls (which was really really tasty) we had for brunch the other day. And on our last day, my camera was back in action.

We had this pancit for breakfast. The noodles looked like pancit canton but it's not. It's a local pancit in Isabela and I like how they cooked it. Saucy with lots of crunchy veggies. The sauce was perfect to dip some bread into.

For our lunch, we had tinumis. It's an Ilocano version of dinuguan but it's more oily and sour. More oily because they put too much cooking oil plus the oil from the pork's fat. More sour because they use two sour ingredients. Vinegar and tamarind soup base. In our family, my father was the only one who knows how to cook dinuguan. But my father can't do the cooking anymore and nobody knows or even dare to cook dinuguan because we are all afraid of handling blood and uncertain how it should be handle properly. When I saw them preparing the ingredients for tinumis, I attentively watched and learned how to create this wonderful dish.

They started by cooking the pork on its own fat.

Then prepare the pork's blood by adding some vinegar.

Once the meat render its fat, add more cooking oil.

I think they put a bottle of oil on it.

Then add some minced garlic and onions.

Add the pork's blood using a strainer

to prevent whole blood from getting into the mixture.

Then add some green chili fingers

Last but not the least, add a pack of the tamarind soup base.

And of course, salt and pepper to taste.

That was as simple as the lifestyle of the people in Alicia. No frills, plain and simple and uncomplicated. And what I liked most about this town was the friendly and generous neighbors who gave away coconuts for free! But you have to pick it yourself. There is certainly nothing like this in Manila.

. . . jellybean enjoying her free buko juice

We spent most of the afternoon driving on his dad's scooter visiting friends and relatives he haven't seen in years. Then, we went to his uncle's farm to get a glimpse of the countryside of the town.

. . . fighting cocks

there's more of them here . . .

. . . the biggest fish pond I've ever seen

striked a pose . . .

. . . jellybean with the mother pigs a.k.a sows

That was all the sight seeing we did. We also went to the nearby towns but there was nothing much to see. Tapioca and I just enjoyed the fresh and non polluted breeze while riding the scooter. We left the province with recharged batteries and ready to get back from our customary daily living in the city.


Meet 'The Reyes' Part 1

Tapioca already met my parents last year and now it's time for me to meet his parents. I can only meet one parent at a time since Tapioca's parents are separated. His dad is living in Isabela while his mom is in Singapore. I don't know what to expect or what to feel but I'm pretty much excited to meet his father and relatives in Isabela.

It's going to be an 8-hour bumpy bus ride from Manila to Isabela. After a year of travel abstinence, I'm back on the road again. Yay! We took the last trip bus going to Isabela at Victory Liner in Cubao. Each ticket cost Php444.

We slept the entire time on the bus. When we wake up the following day it was raining hard. Perfect weather for a vacation.

Good thing when we arrived in Alicia the rain already stopped. His dad picked us up from the main road and showed us his new house which was still under construction but livable. This is where we stayed.

This is Beaver. This dog likes me a lot. He always wanted to be near me all the time even when we sleep, he stayed at our room. He's such a friendly dog and I like him, too. Someday Tapioca and I will have our very own dog and of course a cat. I'm still a cat person, ya know.

On our second day, Tapioca and I attended the opening of a new tennis court in Alicia. Did I mention Tapioca loves to play tennis? In fact he used to be a varsity player back in his college days. When he heard the news of the ribbon cutting ceremony for the new tennis court, he giddily prepared his outfits and tennis racket which has been in the storage room like forever.

. . . dedication

the members . . .

And here is Tapioca in action . . .

hit that ball, baby . . .

. . . one more time

And here's his Dad who just passed by the court, who can't help but play tennis as well.

We spent the entire day at the tennis court. That explained how Tapioca missed playing tennis so much. Anyway, there's nothing much to do in Alicia. It's just a small town where everyone knows everyone. We planned to go to Banaue because it's just a few hours away from Alicia but they were busy and no one can accompany us to get there.

Next post are the food and a mini field trip at a farm.


First Christmas

Our first Christmas together, Tapioca and I decided to spend it at Star City. I had a shift on a Christmas Eve and so we went to Star City past 10pm, just an hour before they closed (darn). We so wanted to try all their rides especially the roller coaster but we just got a few minutes left. We just decided to get tickets to Snow World and that's it.

By the way, cameras are not allowed inside Snow World. Even for a few minutes stay inside the Snow World we both still enjoyed it a lot especially the giant ice slides! Perhaps we can go back here next time and spend an entire day. Come with us?

We checked the roller coaster and the line was super long so we headed to the arcade sections where Tapioca tried to win me huge stuff toys.

In this photo, Tapioca's trying to catch those orange balls. Each ball has a corresponding points. The higher the points, the higher our chance of winning those big Winnie the Pooh stuff toys.

Lookey, lookey, his net was full of orange balls. Too bad the first five balls were the only ones counted :-(

We didn't get the Winnie the Pooh but he still got me this mini Santa, anyway :-)

He tried to win this time at the shooting game (where he's good at). He was so close to winning me the big Sylvester stuff toy. Nevertheless, he got me 3 mini toys in one night, not so bad.

On to dinner, we don't have any reservations. It was strange roaming around Manila on a Christmas Eve cos most of the establishments were closed. We went to Malate instead and still had difficulty finding a place to eat. When we reached the fabulous The Pan Pacific Hotel we spotted several Chinese and Korean restos opened 24 hours. It was hard to choose and we're not sure which serves if not the best at least better food. And we ended up here . .

Bug Kyoung Korean and Chinese Restaurant

. . . freebies

This is what I love when dining in Korean restaurants, free appetizers!!! And if you get bitin you can ask for another serving :-) We got served with 2 kinds of kimchi, sweet and spicy and crunchy anchovies, baby potatoes in sweet sauce and radish. The numbers of appetizers fall short compared to what we had before in Bi Won. Our table was overflowing with free appetizers then. But the prices of food in Bi Won were a bit steep so better enjoy all the free appetizers.

I had been to Korean restaurants before but when we checked Bug Kyoung's menu I was so clueless on what to order. We asked our friendly server that night for any recommendations and she suggested some spicy stew and pan fried meat with veggies, their best sellers. It was Tapioca's first time to try Korean food and one thing's for sure I wanted him to try my fave . . .

samgyeopsal . . .

. . . fresh lettuce for the samgyeopsal

Tapioca cooked the samgyeopsal over the grill. Once it's cooked we dipped it in sesame oil and salt mixture then wrapped it in lettuce with kimchi. Yum! Too bad Tapioca don't eat kimchi but he still enjoyed the samgyeopsal minus the kimchi.

pan fried meat and veggies . . .

I forgot the Korean name of this dish but I cannot forget how delish it was. There was a lot of meat and veggies but the angle of my pic showed more of veggies hehehe. It was spicy and very flavorful. I don't know but I think there's something special with Korean spices. Once you get a taste of it you'll know it's definitely Korean.

doenjang jjigae . . .

This is a winner. We both loved it. Tapioca ordered this dish because he loves tofu and me loves soup. This was super spicy but surprisingly, I can manage the heat. There was a lot of shellfish on it and we liked that it was served on a clay pot making the stew warm til our last spoonful. This stew is perfect for the cold weather of Christmas.

. . . soju

We paired our spicy meal with soju, a Korean alcoholic beverage. My first shot was very nasty. More nasty than a vodka but after a while, I kept on taking shots after shots. Now I understand why those Korean girls in telenovelas make faces when taking shots of soju but later on ended up drinking the whole bottle. It was no acting pala. It's the real deal LOL!

We had a wonderful dinner and we went home with big smile on our faces. Thanks to our server for the great suggestions on what to order. And the prices were reasonable. I would sure go back here for the doenjang jjigae, now my new fave.

And here's my souvenir for our first Christmas . . .


2010, A new decade

Friday, January 1, 2010

Another year has passed and it has been a year that opened a new chapter in my life. I would like to thank my family and friends for all the love and care, for understanding and respecting all the decisions I've made and things I've gone through. For letting me know how great I am though sometimes (or most of the times) I am not and accepting who I am and who I've become for the past years.

To God almighty who constantly showers me with graces and blessings I couldn't ask for anything better and more. Thank you Lord. Thank you so much.

This 2010, a new journey is waiting for me. The road is uncertain but I'm glad I have someone who will hold my hand and together we will help and encourage each other in this trip full of test and trials. I am not on my own anymore.


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