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Kabigan Falls

I am friends with a bunch of people who double the fun and madness about love. Oh please, let me tell you a little about them.

There was once a friend of mine who tried running away from a breakup by chasing the ghost of this city. This she did by aimlessly wandering the streets, in the dead of the night, and had all of us panicking the next day. I know of another who had his braces removed in order to forget the lover’s kiss, just because he can and because the ex-lover wore braces, too.

Kabigan Falls

Kabigan Falls

DSC_5769 copy

When someone told me off about blogging, which hit some familiar strings so wrongly, I thought I would never be able to bounce back. It was an almost failed love story.

Kabigan Falls

Run, I did. (Like my friends usually do.) But write? I did not. At least, not properly.

Kabigan Falls

Kabigan Falls

Kabigan Falls

There are lessons I pick up, some wrongs and rights, from watching my crazy bunch of friends. I see them fight for the ones they love (sometimes, once loved), and for themselves. I rarely do, but here be a blog post that was almost never written anymore.

Tell me something I might not know.

Kabigan Falls

Photos by Ulysses, edited by Me.

Back in Manila.. but I am not staying for long because I am waiting for my flight to Viet Nam as I type this.

May 2014

I was sorry for myself for not being able to update as diligently as I wanted but the growing number of apologies must say something about how my blogging will always be. Or maybe not always but say, at the time being.

At least I cannot say to myself I never tried. February posts, back me up here! Haha.

May 2014

Now, as promised, Papa and I went back to Magnum’s pop-up cafe for their hot meals. Blogged about it before, but we were only able to try their plated desserts.

So what’s the verdict?

May 2014

Crostini Three Ways. Perfect choice for an appetizer. I loved the tuna crostini (focused) so much that I promised to learn doing it myself.

May 2014

Cajun Spiced Chicken Poppers. It was more of poppers than spiced, lol. Okay, but seriously, I was expecting more from it. It was golden and crisp enough but I demand more seasoning next time. Haha.

May 2014

Cocoa Rubbed Roast Chicken. I had a problem savoring the cocoa or wait.. do I have a really poor palette? *starts pondering deeply*

But let this not discourage you! I would suggest this because the whole plate is filling enough for two people.

May 2014

May 2014

Wild Rice Pilaf in exchange of hot potatoes. It was a hard decision, I know.

May 2014

Sauteed Vegetables. Win! #BecauseVeggies

May 2014

Papa likes taking photos with our food. He requests this to me always. I just have not been posting them a lot because others are just too lol-sy.

May 2014

May 2014

Took unnecessary photos of the take out bar while waiting for our dessert. It was served quickly so I wasn’t able to photograph the whole make-your-own process. Hoho.

If anything, pistachio + the golden chocolate something (not sure what it’s really called, yaay sarreh) = win!

May 2014

Magnum Fondue. Not gonna lie/oversell but this set is a real delight. Took our sweet, sweet time finishing everything.

I had the vanilla ice cream because I feel like it’s a nicer base than chocolate. Chocolate on chocolate? Only Mernel’s can do it. Haha, #lifechangingfood.

May 2014

I think of dieting but then I see this photo..

May 2014

and this. Then, I forget my initial point.

May 2014

A Magnum Lady came to us and asked if we wanted our photos taken. Yaay, so nice. :)

Camp for Earth

After days of drafting this post to no avail, that coveted “sparks moment” finally presented itself to me when I came across this link that says May is the Volunteerism Month.

“Ahah! Why not talk about one other thing close and dear to my heart?”

Camp for Earth

Camp for Earth

I have always been passionate about advancing a number of causes.

My “oldest” advocacy is for the protection of our environment. It was through one of those film viewings in grade school that I was made aware about the perils of abusing our natural, non-renewable resources. Since then, I never dared throw my litter wherever convenient, or kept unused devices plugged, etc. Basic rules with significant effects.

Next, I aspire that more people will become sensitive about the needs of our women, children and elderly, specially those who are living under extreme conditions. In November 2013, I started a little non-profit organization called “The Butterfly Project” to help me realize this dream.

Also, I am one with the fight against discrimination of our lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgender.

Maybe I was really nice and pleasant in my past life because I now enjoy the company of likeminded people. A lot, if not most, of my friends are actually active in enriching their own chosen advocacies, or battles as they would say. It becomes more encouraging to continue working on these ventures.

Camp for Earth

Camp for Earth

Camp for Earth

It is then an understatement to say that volunteering for “Camp for Earth” (which coincidentally rhymes with “comfort earth”) is one of the most fulfilling things I have so far done this summer. That’s three days of organic fun and pleasure at the Northwestern University Ecological and Botanical Garden.

Operative word: organic. Everyone was requested to leave their tablets and other socializing-cum-anti-socializing gadgets at home. All fun and folly were brought to us by actual, physical and mostly, outdoor activities.

Camp for Earth

Camp for Earth

Camp for Earth

Camp for Earth

Camp for Earth

Camp for Earth

Plus, there were a lot of learning and discovering involved.

Camp for Earth

*Hi five!*

Although tbh, the first day was a challenge as the kids experienced some sort of withdrawal syndrome from their usual indoor life. And, there’s the episodic technological and AC separation anxiety. Swear, it was a lot like crazy for us, older kids (haha ayaw gumive-in sa adults), watching them adjust. But everything went on smoothly afterwards.

Camp for Earth

Personal highlight of the camp was climbing and rappelling from a tree.. for the very first time.

Perks of growing up from a cautious family: Still experiencing new things even after 20! And it’s not necessarily a bad thing, you know. #DifferentFolks #DifferentStrokes

To preserve the memory of my first tree climbed, I decided to take a photo of the view from above. Hence, the photo found at the end of this entry!

Camp for Earth

Camp for Earth

Camp for Earth

Camp for Earth

Camp for Earth

Of course, this post cannot be without my gratitude for Tita Tina (lower right) and Tita Konnie (not pictured). First, for bringing this environment-cum-youth oriented camp. Second, for having me on board this project. Ilocos needs more of you two! :)

Can’t wait for the next camp *u*

Boracay

I was supposed to attend film school right after getting my degree in journalism.

To be a war photographer was the secret plan, while a documentarist (think young Patricia Evangelista sans red lipstick and glorious grammar) was the press release.

“Supposed” is a dangerous word. It’s where personal will meets personal luck, where future plans meet present conditions. Sometimes, they meet halfway. They collide, albeit beautifully, when they don’t.

Boracay

Boracay

We were supposed to attend the Philippine Political Science Association Annual Conference as panelists this year. Ren, Marvin, Owen and Meisha were to discuss their papers on global megatrends; while I was to be part of the democratization panel with members flying in from Japan and Rome, to mention only a few.

This was an announcement we mistook for a joke the first, second and even the third time we were told about it. Four months and a few thousand words after, our professor had us scrambling for a plane ticket to Iloilo.

Boracay

Boracay

Boracay

We were supposed to fly in to Iloilo by April 9, so that we may have ample time to relax, familiarize ourselves with the place, etcetera etcetera. That and some talks about a boat ride to Guimaras were all that we have gotten for a plan.

However, a tropical storm made its way to primetime news by April 7. And the next day bore the report on PPSA’s cancellation to a later, yet to be announced schedule due to safety reasons. The rest as they say was an unexpected history.

Boracay

Boracay

Boracay

Boracay

Boracay

See, supposed.

Special thanks to Yuminum for my swimwear.

Since we are already on the subject of food, I might as well share to you one of the best and nicest gifts I have so far been given this year: Mer-Nel’s Chocolate Cake from my cray clingy czn Haj. :D

She got this before my summer workout and diet came to a peak; which was coincidentally after I got my heart slightly broken by someone she was rooting for me (things turned funnier and more awkward than expected but see, romantic feelings don’t elude me); and also, just in time for my start of finals season stress eating needs. Hence, the thoughtful message scrawled in pink icing. Question: Which movie was the line derived from? Plus pogi/ganda points for those who can answer and proudly say that they were able to watch the whole movie.

Mer-Nel's Cake

Haj tells me this is among the most popular Laguna delicacies. A staple sighting during birthdays, anniversaries, and other celebratory occasions of chocolate aficionados across generations. And I can’t see why not—there’s a rich layer of chocolate that covers the whole thing, a soft and moist chocolate bread that retains consistency even days after, and at the heart of it, a yema filling that nicely puts all these together. I’m thisclose to likening it to Estrel’s famed caramel cake.

I used to believe that the thing about chocolate cakes is that one can only have enough. Really, how can one stand three to more slices of chocolate everything? One bite of Mer-Nel’s and every other thing had to changed for me.

Mer-Nel's Cake

This comes in this old school packaging which I love to bits because I am a sucker for anything that reminds me of my childhood. Surely, if Laoag City has Cokee House’s Black Forest, and Quezon Province has Rodilla’s Yema Cake, another personal favorite introduced to me by my Lucbanin friend Jiru, Laguna has Mer-Nel’s Chocolate Cake. #TeamPromdisMoment

As if the good news is not yet enough, Mer-Nel’s cake are sold at really cheap prices. The smallest sizes, I heard, are available for only about a hundred pesos and some. So whether you are driving around Laguna, or passing through its neighborhood, why not drop by to grab a box or two? Simple pleasures, as they say it.

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