Travel inspirations (and a giveaway!)

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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

For him who has been bitten by the travel bug, the inspiration to go out and explore territories can spring from the most mundane: an old picture, a conversation , a song (Iceland became a bucketlist item foremostly because of Sigur Ros).

For me, the relentless passion for travel began as a kid, something that was passed on by my stepdad, who loved waking us up for unplanned pack-in-an-instant 3 am trips to various places in Luzon. 

As one of the oldest restaurants in the swanky Tomas Morato strip, Annabel's is a name that resonates with various AB circles - the young and hip, the old and classy. High-profile media events, along with over-morning-coffee talks among Manila's most affluent, have made their way in its al-fresco-like dining hall for nearly two decades. It boasts stellar online reviews and a steep price tag.

It is a name that from a first timer's perspective, glitters like gold. And what do you do when you want to strike gold? You dig in.

And dig, I did. It made a lasting P1,795 gash in my pocket for an "International Lunch Buffet" (quotation marks TOTALLY intended) - one discounted voucher from Deal Grocer (P795) and another at the regular price. Usually I stay away from anything above P200 in the menu, but hey, this could be gold!

Have Blog, Will Go: Blogapalooza 2014

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Saturday, September 13, 2014

Blogapalooza. Some do it to mingle with fellow bloggers, some to meet brands and businesses.

I consider it a social exercise. A could-be-overwhelming one. Not born magoo or overly interactive, I tend to go all nervous in huge gatherings - especially one that involves ultra-famous figures like, I don't know...Vince Golangco?

Whatever reason you have, Blogapalooza promises to be the Philippines' "biggest business-to-blogger event of the year". With tens of influential brands and over 500 blogger participants to date (and counting), I don't doubt that at all. 

On The Issue of Moms and Women Flying Solo

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Tuesday, September 2, 2014

"Are you nuts?"
"It's dangerous for women to be traveling alone."
"Why are you not with your husband?"
"What you're doing is stupid."
"Why would you want to travel alone - and with a baby at that? 
"No right-minded person does what you do."

Just the two of us. Sisiman, Mariveles, Bataan.

These are the usual responses elicited by bystanders, restaurant servers, jeepney barkers, ticket booth operators - virtually people of all stripes - when Lia and I go out on Sundates. Often, some head shaking or nervous cackling follows, which is rather amusing. 

Unless those responses come from people close to me.

Sitio Lucia Resort: Happiness Through GoPro's Lens

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Thursday, August 28, 2014

An entire neighborhood block excursion-ing. I must've been bonkers to say yes.

The introvert in me wanted to back out. I've always traveled solo, with family or with a small group of friends only. One-on-one neighbor tete-a-tete frightens me, let alone 30. The last time I was this petrified, I was going into labor. 

Perhaps I should tell them my dog is scheduled for a tonsillectomy. Or that I have a massive ingrown toenail that needs surgery. Or that I have a cat-sized mouse to extinguish in the house ASAP.

But in the end we went anyway. 

Our Kitchen: Cheap Italian Food That Sticks

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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The one takeaway from growing up in a family of pasta lovers then working for an Italian fastfood joint later on is that, cheap but good Italian food is hard to come by - especially when you're a provincial dweller like I am. Even Shakey's pizzas isn't good as it used to be in the 90s. 

The we met Our Kitchen. 

Scampi pasta. 
I have to admit I didn't up expectations for this small Bulacan-based dining hole despite the sticky "Where East Meets West" slogan. There is after all a very small percentage of Euro-centric restaurants here that truly live up to their names. We went to the Bocaue branch on neutral (they have another one in Meycauayan) .