Sunday, May 31, 2015

Today's Word: Psalm 18:30

Concerns and troubles are an inevitable part of our lives. It's how we address and resolve them that matters. Do you do it your way or GOD's way? Before I was born again, I knew God, yes..I prayed before going to bed, yes..but it didn't occur to me that I could and should pray throughout the day, especially when troubles rose at home, at work, and everywhere else. But since becoming a Christian, this is one of those things that I learned - that I could trust that Jesus is with me everywhere I go and I could actually talk to Him and consult him on just about anything, especially with regard troubles. I learned that I should do things His way, not my way. God knows best, that's for sure, and His way is perfect! If we will let Him lead us and decide for us, we can be sure of success and redemption from any problem we may face in life. Just pray, read God's word and listen as He speaks (He does in many ways!) then do what He says. 
God bless you.

(Thank you, Digital Bible for this photo)

The Bunny Baker Cafe and Cake Studio: A feast for the eyes and taste buds

Was I glad for the chance to finally visit this cutie-pie of a place last week. 'Coz ever since I saw The Bunny Baker Cafe and Cake Studio at earlier this year, I'd been wanting to photograph and eat those lovely, colorful, yummy-looking cupcakes and gelato. Together with my daughter, I was there, at the Hemady Square in New Manila, QC., at lunchtime. At the door, we were hesitant to go in because there was an ongoing event where the guests wore cute costumes (cosplayers, they were). 
But other diners were welcome, we were happy to know once we got in. 
After admiring the beauty of the place, which was awashed in pink, we ordered: 

Creamy Pesto pasta, P275. 
Crispy adobo flakes with fried rice and sunny side-up eggs, P235.
The Love Bunny carrot cupcake, P95.  
Iced cafe latte, P140. 
Cappuccino, P125. 
Cupcakes and bunny-shaped macarons on display at the counter 
Made-to-order cakes

The counter  
Bunny chairs 

The Bunny Baker Cafe at the 3rd level of Hemady Square, Doña Hemady St. cor.
E. Rodriguez Ave., New Manila, QC. 

As I scanned the menu, I went "Aww, pricey!" :(  (Expect to spend around P1,000. for 2 persons; there's service charge on top of the food bill ) . But when we started eating, sadness turned to joy. Hehehe. Yummy, everything! The adobo flakes was so much like our crispy tapa in Quezon which all of us in the family loves. The saltiness was just right and the crunch was delightful. And I loved the heart-shaped fried eggs. :) I even loved the fried rice because of its texture - dry and not soggy. Meanwhile, my daughter's pesto pasta was uniquely delicious - it had shiitake mushrooms! I've never had pesto with mushrooms before and it was notches more delicious than the usual. And then, dessert. The carrot cupcake was good, having more carrot bits than all the carrot cakes and cupcakes I've had elsewhere. The carrot guy was sad to eat at first, though, but definitely yummy. Haha! We wanted to also order gelato but felt we had no more room for it. Anyway, my daughter and I both loved our coffee drinks - she, the iced cafe latte and me, 
the cappuccino with the cute bunny face. 
All in all, it was a perfect meal in a bunny-themed, cotton candy-pretty, pinky place. 
Try The Bunny Baker Cafe and Cake Studio (yes, you can have your cake custom-made here), folks, and enjoy the food as we did. 
Happy eating! 

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

'Perfect lunch' at Lido

We all sometimes have that meal, which, no matter how simple, leaves us perfectly happy and satisfied, don't we? Yesterday, I had just that - at Panciteria Lido just a few steps away from our office on Visayas Ave. in Quezon City. I was with my daughter, who I tagged along after bringing her to the doctor. She went home after we've had lunch, while I went back to work. Anyway, my lunch was really simple - pandesal, pansit and brewed coffee. But everything was sooo good I still had good memories of it long after lunchtime. My daughter had lumpiang shanghai and yang chow fried rice plus mango jello for dessert and those were delicious as well. That lunch just reinforced my resolve to hold Lido as among my top favorite restaurants. 

Lumpiang Shanghai with rice, P105. We added P45 to change the plain rice into yang chow fried rice, and P20 for a glass of iced tea. 
Pancit Chami, P130, solo order 
Kape't Pandesal, P135. Choose between asado and corned beef as pandesal filling. 
Mango Jello Cooler, P55. 
Syphon-brewed coffee 
Iced tea
It was my fifth time to eat at Panciteria Lido - four times here in Visayas and once at their UN Ave. branch. I just love the food here and their syphon-brewed coffee.  My favorites here are the shrimp balls, chicken feet, the pork asado-stuffed pandesal and yang chow fried rice, which could well be a meal by itself as it has shrimp, egg and vegetable bits. Yesterday, I ordered a separate serving of this which I took to the office and had it for dinner. Even in a not-hot-anymore state, the yang chow was still delicious! I'm craving for it again as I write this. Haha! I'm just glad that Panciteria Lido is very near my work place. I could eat there whenever I like. 
If you're craving for Chinese food, I'd definitely recommend Panciteria Lido for the yummy food, clean and simple interiors (the Visayas store has classic, dark wood furniture and glass walls plus high ceiling so it's airy and not at all crammed like other restaurants) and nice service. 
Happy Eating, folks!

Friday, May 15, 2015

Today's Word: Psalm 24:1

I know how busy you are, my friend, in your career and even at home. But have you ever paused and thought about how great is the Lord and what He does for you? When we're too preoccupied and engrossed in so many activities, we tend to forget the core of our existence, of who we are and who owns us. But if we start and end the day with communicating with God, we don't lose perspective; we don't forget that the Lord made and owns the earth and in fact everything in it, including us! How humbling it is to think that we do not exist, earn money and live comfortably by our own means and ability but because God has allowed us to live and gives us breath each day! May we always be thankful to God for this and everything else that He blesses us with. God is good and longs to give us our needs to face life and its challenges. And not just our needs! He wants us to have life - and have it more abundantly! Wonderful is our Lord, isn't He? Be blessed this day, my friend.

Kabigting's Halo-Halo: Try it before summer's gone!

It's mid-May and before you know it, rainy season's here. So enjoy summer while we can, won't we? And what better way is there to enjoy summer than to eat halo-halo - that favorite sweet cooler that could range from simple, with only three ingredients, to complex, with a dozen things on top of each other? During the summer months from March to May, halo-halo is sold in nearly every street corner. Some people including me, however, prefer to enjoy this summer goodness at "legitimate" restaurants (which also offer it all-year-round) just to make sure they're having it clean (the ice is what you watch out for), lest they end up with a bum tummy. Haha!
Recently, I found the No. 1 halo-halo in the metro, according to, for 2014  (I'm not sure if there's a 2015 edition already). It's at Kabigting's Halo-Halo - a dainty foodie place 
on Banawe St. in Quezon City. 
I was expecting to prove for myself whether this claim was true, but discovered another thing - durian coffee! Reading the menu, I found out Kabigting's offered food and drink coming as special products from different provinces around the Philippines. Durian coffee, for one, is from Davao. There's also Cebu liempo and lechon sisig, and longganisa from Tuguegarao,  Vigan, Calumpit, Lucban and Pampanga. Also available were "pasalubong treats" like silvanas from Dumaguete and frozen daing na bangus from Bonuan, Pangasinan. Needless to say, Kabigting's endeared itself to me at once. Haha! A few minutes after placing our orders, it was time to eat:

Halo-Halo, P90. 
Durian coffee, P90. 
Palabok, P90. 

Cebu Liempo, P115.
Tinapang Bangus, P125. 
Lumpiang Sariwa, P45.

The Tinapang Bangus was my order and I liked it very much. The smoked fish was delicious and meaty - the serving was big! Two thumbs up for this, which is my favorite all-day brekkie. I've eaten here at Kabigting's three times (after this first visit with my daughter, I went two more times with friends) 
and ordered the tinapang bangus twice. 
Anyway, my daughter ordered the Cebu Liempo which she liked as well. We shared the Palabok which was good, too, although I can't exactly recall the taste as I write this. The Halo-Halo, which is the "star" here, lived up to its reputation as the best in the metro. The pastillas made with carabao's milk, which is its crowning glory, was sinfully yummy! Too bad, I couldn't eat much of this as I couldn't let my blood sugar level shoot up. It was the durian coffee, which was, however, the one that's unforgettable for me. Imagine the taste of  brewed coffee blending so well with the distinct slightly sweet flavor of durian - that yellow, plump-fleshed fruit with a pungent smell - and your senses celebrate! What a taste and aroma! Truly, it was heavenly and awesome for me. I ordered durian coffee at each of my visits here at Kabigting's and now I look forward to having it again..soon, I hope!  As for the Lumpiang Sariwa, my friend ordered it on another visit and she said it was good - freshly prepared, saucy and delicious, and she was happy with it. 

A poster at the door 

Kabigting's Halo-Halo, by the way, is a Kapampangan original, having started in Arayat town in 1970. I have no information, however, how many and where are their branches here in Metro Manila. If you're on Banawe St. in Quezon City, drop by Kabigting's, folks, and stuff yourself silly 
with real good Pinoy food. Happy eating!

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Quezon vacation completes my summer

I have just spent one week of a wonderful summer vacation in my hometown of San Francisco in the province of Quezon, which is my own slice of heaven on earth. I made sure every moment counted, eating delicious food cooked by my mom and brother-in-law, and going to the beach to watch the sunset and walk barefoot on the sand at every opportunity. 
I took photos - lots of it - at the beach, especially the sunset which is my top favorite thing in life. I would thank God every time I was there on the shore, breathing in the gentle breeze, feeling the moist, rough sand under my feet and then the cold water at the coming of each wave, and watching the sun hide itself on the horizon to signal the end of a happy, blessed day.  Seeing the marvelous beauty of nature, I would praise the Lord for His magnificent works, 
made for us all to enjoy.

Kulong-Kulong Beach, San Francisco, Quezon. We went here for a swim and picnic.

Also at Kulong-Kulong, which is a little far from 'our' beach, meaning the one that's near our home.
Afternoon walk at the seashore to watch the sunset. 
Small fishing boats at rest
A medium-sized fishing boat called 'basnig' 
Near the mangrove area where we went looking for sea urchins but found none
Gorgeous seashells to add to my collection
Meanwhile, meal times were happy moments for our tummies. For one whole week, the kids and I were fed delicious "ulam" (viand) by my mom and brother-in-law that included inihaw na baboy, nilagang baka, crispy beef tapa and tinolang native na manok. For merienda, we would go to eateries to eat halo-halo or mais con yelo, chami - the pancit that is popular here in the southern part of Quezon that uses miki noodles - and pancit bihon. Sometimes, I'd buy "kakanin" or mom would fry "saba" or boil ears of corn. I'm pretty sure all of us went back to Manila 
a few pounds heavier than we left. Haha!  

Inihaw na baboy. Even without marinade, my kuya's version is so mean! 
Tinolang native na manok. You know the soup's much more flavorful when native chicken is used. 
Nilagang baka - my all-time favorite ulam 
What a beauty: purple 'kakanin' topped with toasted coconut
Chami - my daughter's favorite 
Now this is my all-time favorite merienda: pancit bihon 
Quezon crispy tapa and fried rice-corn make this the best "tapsilog" for me.
Fried "saba" and coffee make for a nice mid-morning snack 
It was our town's fiesta and we were served "sugpo" at my cousin's house. Yum!
Going on vacation is always a wonderful time especially when spent at a place full of memories of growing up. For me, it's a bonus that our town is a coastal area because I love the sea and sunset by the beach. Traveling back to Manila is always the saddest part. Maybe someday when I retire, I could settle for good in my beloved hometown. Who knows, I might be even able to build a home right there at the seafront. That would be a dream come true!

Friday, May 8, 2015

Bull's-eye 'bulalo' goodness at Bullchef

I had just come from a week-long joyful and refreshing summer vacation in my hometown in Quezon province. But before I left Manila with three of my four kids and two nephews, I had the chance to revisit one of Pasig City's top favorite foodie destinations - Bullchef. It is here where "bulalo" lords over every other dish - that extremely popular and loved Filipino beef dish that has broth which to me is so delicious and satisfying it could heal even a broken spirit. My daughter and I attended church in Kapitolyo, and were famished after the two-hour service.
It was but fitting to warm our tummies with bulalo. This was my order. My daughter chose the lechon kawali meal which also came with delicious bulalo soup.

Solo order of Bulalo called 'Bullilit', P135.
'Lechunami' (lechon kawali meal with garlic rice, ensalada and bulalo soup), P135.
Writings of celebrities who have dined here
Wall art
Outside Bullchef at #4 East Capitol Drive, Kapitolyo, Pasig City
This was actually my second visit to Bullchef and my daughter's first. She loved the bulalo soup so much she declared at once that she wanted to eat here again. The soup here is very flavorful, which, I surmise, is the result of hours and hours of simmering beef bone marrow. Aside from our orders of bulalo and lechon kawali, Bullchef also offers other Filipino dishes like sisig and sinigang. All-day breakfast is available, too, to include tapa and longganisa meals. They even have steaks, which I was able to have a taste of last year when I was first here with a friend of mine. 
Try Bullchef if you haven't, folks and find very good bulalo without having to go to Tagaytay.