Sunday, December 16, 2012


Early this year, the High Street Central in Bonifacio Global City opened. It's an open-planned development with a mix of restaurants and shops around it. In the middle of the development is an atrium with lots of greens -- trees, topiaries and shrubs and bleachers. It's a great hang out place for people who want to enjoy a breezy night. 

One of the restaurants here is Stella. It's an American franchise that offers wood-fired pizza, pasta and the most succulent ribs in town.

We've been here a few times. And I say that each time, the food is just great. You get value for your money. And the ambiance is cozier than the usual. Wood panels, small booths, muted chandeliers and fancy touches of glam decor.

California Style Baby Back Ribs (P395)
Roasted Firecracker Fusilli (P390)
Anchovies & Olives Pizza (P350)
A bottle of Red Wine (P790)
A glass of Merlot Rose (P195)
Sweet Dough (P195)
I'd recommend it to anyone who wants a bit of fancy dining without necessarily burning a hole in one's pocket.

G/F Bonifacio High Street Central, East Superblock, 7th Ave cor 29th St Fort Bonifacio, Taguig (02) 621-3222
Bon appetit! 

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Ladies Who Lunch

Two years in a row that we have celebrated our Christmas Party with girlfriends who work in the same office but belong to different functions. What gels us together is our usual lunch and penchant for playing board games and sharing stories during our daily one hour break. We usually congregate in my cube as it's big enough to provide elbow room for all eight or ten of us, as we eat. 

Last year, we had a grand time in Mamou Too (Rockwell Power Plant) and in Barcino (Greenbelt 2). For this year, we shared a sumptuous dinner at Stella in Bonifacio High Street Central. Some of us -- Sandra and I mostly, had a bottle of wine to go with the succulent ribs we ate. 

Me-an and Mars arrived late (work stuff). Nonetheless, the conversation just picked up as if they were already there at the onset. I think it's one of the reasons that this group just rock. 

Everyone is heard. You just have to fight your way to getting everyone's attention. All extrovert women with stories to tell, yapping away every chance we get. But no one minds because at the end of the day, we all have a grand time. 
Beautiful women. Sandra & Dawn.
Equally beautiful set -- Mei, Mara and Erica (Mrs. F!)
In their model's pose: (L-R) Sandra, Dawn, Mars & Mean
A group shot before the exchange gift
Just like last year, we continued the tradition of exchanging gifts. We exchanged views on Twitter, sent DMs for the wishlist and did the confirmation through social media. This year though, the general theme hands down is Gift Certificate. The store varied but the underlying tone is each is just too happy to walk into the store and buy an item using the gift (GC) given.
Mean & Mei
Mara & Erica

GC galore. Look at the faces! Pwede.
Wish granted. Starbucks tumbler to add to Mei's collection.
We found a new lunch buddy and friend, too. Dawn, a gifted writer but on the shy side started joining us for lunch a few months back. And we love to keep her in the group. We gained not just a companion but a friend we wish to have for life. 

I think that years down the road, we would still have our annual get-together to bookend the in-between dinners in swanky restaurants or newly-discovered hole-in-the-wall/quaint resto and the occasional wine and cheese night on Dawn's roof deck. 

2012 has marked another milestone for us. Some got promoted, got married, having a baby and traveled. We look forward to more years of stories, book swaps and travelogues.
Mr & Mrs Flores. Handsome couple, eh?
The couple needed to bid adieu early. Obviously, the preggers might pop anytime.

Here's to a more vibrant 2013 wherever we may be. Cheers! To Kat, we missed you. We know though that you are having a grand time in the big apple -- from Manila to New York, cheers!
Tradition lives on. My Christmas wish is for these lovely people to be chums for life.


Friday, December 14, 2012

What's in your bag?

Through the years, I've noticed that working women are carrying bigger bags. Year after year, the bag gets bigger. And it doesn't help that fashion trends lean towards the outrageously over-sized totes. But is it really outrageous? 

Studies have shown that carrying heavy shoulder bags causes lingering back pain. If it isn't good for one's physical condition, why then women persist on wearing one? Is this the same case with the oft-repeated caveat on wearing high heels?

This got me into thinking when I pondered on my own bag dilemma. While waiting for the elevator this morning, I was trying to think about the reasons why I have a hard time carrying my own bag. And how do I ensure that its content do not spill over. And that it does not get deformed. 

Mind you, I feel sort of naked when I only tote one bag. I mean, there's the laptop bag, the lunch bag and the miscellaneous bag. Yes, you don't lug around all these stuff but hey, the walk to and from the parking to the cubicle is something. And if you decide to raid the mall after work, you catch yourself feeling a dull ache on your shoulder (where the bag is hung) after a few minutes of blissful shopping or just window-drooling.

So, I took stock of my bag's content. I realized that these are already carefully curated. Ahem. 
Pared down content.
I have been constantly taking out non-essential stuff inside my bag. It's as often as every week. Here's the curated version: 
1. iPad (for note taking during meetings/to play with when bored)
2. wallet (very essential, I believe)
3. hair brush (this acca kappa brush has served me well)
4. alcohol (to sanitize one's hands)
5. fragrance spritzer (when the bath room doesn't smell very nice)
6. wet wipes 
7. MiLi (there's no excuse to not having battery power)
8. lip balm (the cold temp could dry the lippy)
9. wrist bag (for quick trips to the coffee shop --this is where I place my coffee budget)
10. pochi pouch for small note pads, pen, car key, hair pins

The things that are not in the picture but I do carry with me all the time: 
1. checkbook (you never know what needs to be paid)
2. pencil case (obviously for all my pens & lipstick tubes)
3. a small wallet (for bill payment)
4. coin purse

The reason they're not in the picture is because am on a holiday break and I felt it was safe to leave them behind in the car. 

Today, I was dropped off by my hubby at the mall. I have a few hours to enjoy a cup of coffee and do some online stuff before my evening meeting. On my way to the cafe, I realized that my broadband stick is inside the pencil case which I purposely left in the car. Thank God for technology I was able to call and get it before he sped off to work.

See, inadvertently some things can be left behind when we struggle so much to bring as few things as possible. 

Yet, when I think about it the few things I carry with me can seriously be heavy. They don't weigh like cotton, at all. And to think that I don't carry my make-up case and brushes with me. I leave them all in the car. 

How then can working women avoid the long-term effect of carrying heavy loads? What about you, are you a small or big bag carrier? 

Share your thoughts, please. 



Sunday, December 2, 2012

Happy Ever After

Forty days ago, I exchanged 'I do' with Tyrone in a simple and beautiful ceremony in my home city in Davao. We were surrounded by family and friends. 

Our vision was to share the special day with a select few -- only those that were closest to us. And our working number was just 75 people. Lo and behold, we pulled it off. Although we missed some friends who didn't make it because they're abroad or have other pressing family matters, we remembered them in our celebration. 

We are so grateful that friends traveled almost 600 miles to witness and be part of the beginning of our journey as a couple. We are especially grateful to everyone who lent their talent, shared beautiful speeches, and the generous gifts given for the start of our new life. 

A few years from now, I'd like to look back to this day and how I was able to capture the moments in this entry. Mind you there are literally thousands of outtakes from the four DVDs given to us. These were all raw files. We only need to choose 130 photos that will go to our wedding album.

Yesterday, I tried curating the album for Facebook. I tried to second guess myself whether I needed to post it there. But some family and friends weren't able to celebrate with us. And those who did wants to see the photos, too. And then, after uploading Facebook just messed up my carefully curated album. LOL.

It took me the better part of the evening selecting, choosing, coping and posting these on another folder. It was so tedious I wished I had a MacBook Air so I can just drag and drop. 

Carefully but hastily made beautiful throw away bouquet. Thanks, Bonna!
The elegance of calla lilies.

It's been over a month but we still marvel at how things worked together to make our big day, as awesome as it was... more than what we could hope for.


Saturday, December 1, 2012

Manila Sunset

It's fascinating when an opportunity like a long weekend rolls by and you haven't made plans to go out of town. 

Well, we had great plans of spending a night in the cooler side of Manila with a nice vista of the Taal lake in Tagaytay. But some plans aren't meant to be. 

The past two weeks I've been having bouts with hives. I know not the kind that needs to be shared. But I just wanted to point out that I've been having trouble getting my share of forty winks. It's so darn itchy at night. The sad news is there's really no medicine for it. Only some antihastamines that may or may not really prevent itching and a lotion that at least soothes the skin. 

Because of that and among other things, we decided to just sleep away our Friday. You'd think we'd wasted an opportunity to be outside -- shop, dine and enjoy the mall's idea of what the Christmas season is all about. 

But when the afternoon sun sets west, I happen to glimpse its incredible beauty. 
Lovely Manila sunset. (Unfiltered; iPhone shot only)
I think we were meant to stay home and just enjoy the natural wonder of what we have. Without spending so much, we have this as a backdrop while we enjoy the afternoon breeze in our tiny balcony. 

Staycation wasn't that bad at all. I got to enjoy my three great loves in one day: hang out with my hubby in my crappy house clothes, enjoy many sips of my favorite java and read to my heart's content. Thank God for iPads. But it's another story. 

Happy long weekend, everyone! Here's to hoping that you were able to spend it with your great loves doing what your heart desired.