Wednesday, February 29, 2012

29 Leaps

They say it's the little repetitive things that make the most impact in our lives. In celebration of Leap Day, why not do something different and shake your life up a bit? Take any (or all!) of these 29 leaps with me. 2012 is the year of Courage!

1. Discover a new cuisine, or eat something you've never tried before.

2. Invest in a business or idea that you believe in.

3. Expose yourself to a different kind of religion or belief.

4. Make a new friend.

5. Make peace with someone who has hurt you in the past and let go of all negativity.

6. Smile at all the street kids and beggars you see.

7. Say yes to all invitations.

8. Shut off your phone for one weekend.

9. Fight for a cause. 

10. Have a date with yourself: eat out and watch a movie in the cinema alone.

11. Sit down and have your portrait sketched.

12. Learn a new sport.

13. Plan a fun day together and ask your crush out on a date.

14. Donate half of your income this month to charity.

15. Take art lessons.

16. Have your fortune read.

17. Hop on a provincial bus and go on a random day-trip adventure!

18. Do a juice or fruit cleanse.

19. Purchase an artwork.

20. Write a letter to the teacher who changed your life in high school or college.

21. Write a book.

22. Get an Organ Donor Card.

23. Get a (third) tattoo.

24. Go 100% organic.

25. Say what you think and feel, and don't lie or sugarcoat.

26. Invent a 30-day challenge for yourself and see it to completion.

27. Collaborate on a project with a stranger.

28. Open a bank account specifically for your travel fund.

29. Make another list and start from the top! :)


Happy Leap Day, folks! What are you doing with your extra day this year? :)

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Tuesday Download: March 2012 Printable Calendar

Psycho weather the past couple of days signals that summer is almost here. Print out this March 2012 calendar and start mapping out your beach trips!
Download the printable version here.

Enjoy! :)

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Happy Birthday, Love!:)

PJ is one the most simple guys in the world. I knew this from our first few conversations when we were just classmates back in college. "Nice guy" is what you give to those dudes who look squeaky clean, smile often, and give up seats for you. But PJ makes even those "nice guys" look bad. He will give his 'last money' for the commute to feed a street kid even if it means having to walking an extra 45minutes going home. He will never say anything bad about anyone, and always tries to see the good in every situation. He never, ever complains, and instead, is always thankful for where he is and for what he has. One time, he flew from Iloilo to Manila and stayed for less than 12hours before going back to a hosting job there, just to be with me on my birthday. He will never miss the opportunity to tell his family that he loves them. He truly is one amazing person. And all of us who are in his life are so lucky to have him.

You all know how much I love birthday parties, and every year, I suggest to have themes and cute birthday stuff for PJ's birthday, even if he always tells me he wants it to be simple. A lot of people our age don't like celebrating birthdays anymore because it announces to the world how old they are. This year though, PJ made a resolution to "celebrate birthdays with the enthusiasm of a 4-year old child" which is how it really should be. Instead of sulking because you are a year older, we should all celebrate life with the ones we love. And that is exactly what PJ did this year.
We started off with a salubong the night before his birthday at Pipino with his college friends, followed by a lunch celebration at The Burger Project with family and friends, and then capped off the night with an inuman at The Projects with his highschool buds.
Thanks to all those who came to celebrate with us! Happy birth-month to my man who deserves nothing less than all the love in the world.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Follow-Your-Dreams Friday: Pipino Vegetarian

A few weeks ago, supervegan (and my godsister) Raya Mananquil braved south-to-north traffic to taste Pipino's newest dishes. She was joined by her friends: vegetarian Isabel Roces and semi-veg Valerie de los Santos.

The article was published yesterday. If you have a copy, check the Feb23 D-1 section of the Philippine Star.
Of course, you can just read the article online! Click here.

Thank you to Raya, and of course, to Tita Millet! :)


It feels like only yesterday when Patty accompanied me around New York to eat in my favorite vegan restaurants. It was 2008, and that time, I had shared with her my dream of putting up my own vegan restaurant in Manila. In the beginning, I was just planning to put up a food cart, which would only require a small capital. When I got home from the States, I reconnected with PJ and we started dating. (And for the record, you know a relationship is right when you become the best version of yourself AND dreams suddenly start falling into place.) Fast forward to 2010: in between work and planning our wedding, we were also building my dream vegan restaurant, Pipino.

This morning, Patty texted me the sweetest congratulatory message, I guess because she saw it all: from my kalat days and simple daydreams to where Pipino is today. We're still learning the vegan resto biz, and there are still lots of areas to improve on, but I would like to thank the Pino Team: PJ, Ed and Star for making this dream come true, and to every single person, vegetarian or not, who has dined in the resto or has tried our food, for sharing this dream with me.

AyunSume-senti! ;P

Thursday, February 23, 2012

My Week of Absence

An entire week of unannounced blog break? Juggling no less than 15 projects rights now, I must come to terms with the obvious fact that I am no superhuman. I promised myself I'd blog at least 5 times a week but I have now passed what has been my longest non-blogging streak since I started in October.
Work, work, work. I have been spending most of my waking hours in front of the computer but finding zero time to blog (and very little time to tweet!) Out of the 15 projects, 4 are for different local magazines that will be published April onwards. Above are photos of an early morning shoot in Manila Hotel and some watercolored typography for a food magazine.

We had a houseguest last weekend! Kai stayed in our house and we played and painted and played some more. My cousin, his mommy Noey is taking a break with her other mommy friends in India. In less than an hour, Kai, Julian and I switched from basketball, to soccer, to bowling, and then painting! All that, before 10 am.
Oh, and I got an iPhone! I've been using an iPod Touch for years, thinking it was enough for me. I didn't realize I was missing out on all of the cool iPhone features! Right now, I am loving cinemagram and the panoramic camera application. FYI, all photos in this post were taken using the phone's camera.
 Panoramic shot of Bonifacio HighStreet Extension

We had dinner at Beso for my cousin Ralph's birthday. I am so happy to have found a Spanish restaurant that has quite a number of vegetarian options! They had yummy vegetarian flatbread with artichokes (and I love it because it didn't have any cheese) and vegetarian paella! We also ordered the garlic portobello mushrooms, which were gone before I managed to take a photo (they were that good).

Congratulations & Best Wishes to Roi and Marga Palafox! It's always a beautiful wedding when the groom cries. Haha. But seriously, we all had fun! PJ and our friend Pao hosted the reception, which was held in the Rockwell Tent. They had the best giveaways, too: potted plants!
Thank you to Roi and Marga for requesting for a vegetarian meal for me! Exclamation points!!! I think this is the first wedding where I ate everything on my plate!! :)
My tablemates: PJ, Ed, Ochie, Pao, Erin, Mo, Muff, and Don

Lastly, our kitchen is almost done, and is semi-functional. I can at least cook. Today, I made French Toast Pandesal. I dipped the sliced bread in an egg replacer mixture, soymilk, coco sugar and cinnamon powder, and pan fried it in grapeseed oil. Drizzled some coco sugar syrup (literally, diluted coco sugar in hot water) over it and shared it with my dad for merienda. Not the best lookin' photo but definitely hits the spot! Breakfast food is love.

Hope you all had a good week, too! :)

Thursday, February 16, 2012

SEE: The Mountain Thief, Manila Premiere

Celebrate leap day and the last day of the month of hearts with your loved ones while helping raise funds for the children of Payatas. The Mountain View, a multi-awarded film by Gerry Balasta will be screened in Manila for the first time on February 29, 7:30 pm at The Block, SM North EDSA.


The Mountain Thief premieres in Manila!

International award-winning film, The Mountain Thief, is finally coming home to Manila after its successful film festival run, bagging not only numerous awards and nominations but also the hearts of its sympathetic audiences. Filmed entirely at Payatas disposal facility and acted by scavengers selected and trained by the filmmaker, the film depicts a sensational tale of murder, love and survival in the mountains of trash. The actors portrayed characters similar to their own, adding an overwhelming power to their performances. It is great passion and sincere intention that brought a startling insight into a nightmarish world, made more remarkable because of the glimpse of the ever-enduring human spirit.

The film’s social context and its undeniable power to initiate change instigated microphilanthropy. The project was initially aimed to raise funds for a child actor who was in dire need of surgery and to provide scholarship funds to another child actor who needed special education. Today, the project has evolved into extending livelihood assistance to actors and their families. From the project’s successful beginnings, the founders were encouraged to further the cause by using The Mountain Thief as a catalyst for philanthropy. Thus, the New-York based Mount Hope Project, Inc. and now the Philippine-based Mount Hope Initiative, Inc., were founded. Both entities are non-profit organizations with the overall aim to help the Payatas community of waste pickers and their families. Because of the power of the film, there is an opportunity to make a direct impact, not only in the lives of the actors, but also in the entire community, that it may serve as an agent for change and a source of hope for a better future.

This much-awaited homecoming brings to light two major endeavors; the premiere of an international award-winning film by Filipino-American director, Mr. Gerry Balasta, and the opportunity to fund an educational scholarship program for the actors’ children.

The premiere of “The Mountain Thief” is made possible by the Quezon City Local Government, the Bunge Emissions Group and Pangea Green Energy, in cooperation with the Payatas Poverty Alleviation Foundation and other corporate and individual sponsors. The benefit will be held on the 29th of February 2012 at SM North EDSA, Cinema 2 from 7:30pm to 9pm. Don’t miss the opportunity to witness the work of a world-renowned Filipino talent and earn a chance to change lives!


Tickets are available at Pipino, 39 Malingap Street, Teachers Village, QC.

For ticket information, please contact +63.949.7467826 or (02) 913.4988.
Visit for more information on the movie.

Who's in for a movie date? Hope to see you there! :)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Fuerza Bruta in Manila

Patty, Pat, PJ and I decided to spend V-day watching Fuerza Bruta in Manila Hotel. You'd think we'd be bummed out that the 60-minute show was shorter than the trip from QC to Manila, but Noooo we were totally fine with that (haha), since the show is like a suspense movie + art film + installation + lights/water/air show + rave party rolled into one LIVE psychedelic dream sequence. What a trip!
This is not the waiting room; this is the actual tent where the show takes place. The audience is parted and moved around throughout the show to make way for the props and performances.
Double-dating and not really knowing what we are in for. Hanep sa Valentine's day date! In fairness, puede na ring romantic kasi mapapakapit ka talaga sa date mo sa kaba!
First sequence palang, mapapa-isip ka na ng "What is the meaning of life?"
And the craziness (and kalat) has only just begun...
Ang show na ito ay isang sampal sa mukha: ah ganun, artsy ka pala ha?! o, eto'ng sa'yo.
Haha but seriously, you all HAVE to experience this!!
Hop over to for tickets
and catch Fuerza Bruta while they are here in Manila!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Tuesday Download: Valentine Mixtape

Remember the days when cross stitch was the shizz? Haha!

Happy day of hearts, everyone! :)

 Download the playlist here.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Wabi-Sabi Noodle House & Vegetarian Grocery + Cooking Class in Bangkok

This weekend, I was craving for only two things: pizza or ramen. On Saturday, I got my vegetarian ramen fix at one of my favorite places, Wabi-Sabi in The Collective. I've heard a few rumors that it had already closed, but I texted their number listed online and was happy to know that they were open until 11pm on Saturday. Although it was kinda sad because when we entered The Collective, all the other shops were closed. Did I go at a bad time? But it was a Saturday night! I really do hope that people will keep supporting local art, music, food and design so that those businesses stay afloat. We need more cool places like this in the country (that are NOT shopping malls).

When it comes to Asian cuisine, it's difficult to find anything that can compare to dishes that are prepared in their own home country. I've eaten the best ramen in my life in Nagoya, Japan, in this restaurant that served ramen and ramen ONLY. (Yeah, THAT's how confident they are about their product). The best Pad Thai I've tasted is from the cooking class Patty, Muffin and I attended in Bangkok, taught by Angsana Anderson. It was so good that when my mom went to Bangkok, I asked Angsana to send my mom some noodles and tom yang goong to her hotel room, just so that my mom could finally taste what I had been raving about.
When in Bangkok, sign up for a cooking class at
and taste the best pad thai in the world! ;)
Patty, Muffin & me

Anyway, back to reality. There are but few places in Manila that are both simple AND delicious: no frills, not too artsy fartsy plating, reasonable prices, with food that tastes just as it should. Wabi-Sabi goes straight to my "I could eat here everyday!"-list of restaurants. If only I lived closer to it. ;P

Harumaki = Spring rolls with banana blossoms
Veggie Cracklings served with vinegar = chicharon
I had the Viet Pho.

Wabi-Sabi Noodle House & Vegetarian Grocery

Suite B, The Collective 
7274 Malugay St., San Antonio Village
Makati, Metro Manila, Philippines 

(+63 918) 450-1714

Operating Hours
Monday - Thursday 12:00pm - 9:00pm 
Friday - Saturday 12:00pm - 11:00pm

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Hot Air Balloon Festival in Clark

Today is the first day of the annual Hot Air Balloon Festival in Clark! Time to head to Pampanga (until Feb 12) with your family and friends! The best part is waking up at the crack of dawn to sing the national anthem while skydiving men jump off a plane with a giant flag, and of course, to watch the hot air balloons take off!

Here are some photos of our trip to the festival from a few years ago.
And then while you're in Clark, check out the other activities you can do this weekend!Zoom in.

For heritage walking tours and free art exhibits/cultural performances,
contact Museo Angeles @ 045-877-4703, 0926-987-6655, 0923-441-7126.
For more info, go to