Jumped on the bandwagon…

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A bit late, really! But follow me on Instagram if you please. :)

There will be tons of food photos, dog photos, and NOTDs for sure!

Username: ianabantug

The couple that eats together…

… will have very, very happy tummies! 

Greg and I love eating out together. We try new restaurants, go back to old favourites, and we savor the time we have for good conversation over a good meal. Eating out is also one of the only things that doesn’t get repetitive in Manila. There’s always a new place to check out and enjoy. :) We aren’t total foodies, but I would say that we’ve been to a good number of the best restos that Manila has to offer (as much as our budget allows).

This weekend, though, we had a first: we shared all three meals of the day with each other! :) From breakfast to lunch, snacks, and all the way up to dinner! We made a day trip to Tagaytay to celebrate our anniversary of being a couple, so on the way up, we kicked the day off aaat … Pancake House!
We were supposed to just stop by a McDonalds branch at a gas station, but we somehow missed that stop and ended up in Nuvali, so Pancake House it was! I usually just go for a golden brown waffle, but I went with the pancakes + sausage combo instead this time since it also came with coffee. Their whipped butter is always soooo good. Greg ordered fried chicken because he’d been craving Pancake House chicken for a while. We were the only people there for a good part of our meal, so it was a nice way to start the morning and finally, really feel awake after fueling our bodies!

For lunch, we ate at T House. And yes, what you see is right, we had breakfast for lunch! Haha! Both the corned beef and the tapa were items that T House calls “home made” so we figured it would be good to have something you can’t really get anywhere else. T House has a kitchen that’s just beside the restaurant (a separate building) and the walls are half made of glass, so you can see what’s going on while they’re cooking. Those frogs stole the show, though, hence the large amount of space devoted to them in the collage. haha!

And finally, Dinner! The main event. The real plan was to go to Sonya’s Garden, but the rain and fog made it very difficult to get around… it was almost scary because Sonya’s is a significant distance outside Tagaytay (something I didn’t know!) and the roads weren’t visible. So we decided to stay in Tagaytay city and check out Fire Lake Grill instead. To start we had pumpkin soup and their house salad which I totally forgot to photograph, so in their stead I give you photos of Greg and myself. haha! For our mains we shared the Fettuccine pasta in black truffle cream sauce with smoked garlic sausage and shitake mushrooms and an Angus Ribeye steak! Both of the mains were excellent! After dinner we grabbed a green tea Mochiko (funny that they have a branch all the way in Tagaytay!) which was really refreshing.

Sharing a meal with someone is such a special thing. No matter what food you’re sharing, the time spent together and the very act of sharing are the truly important parts, which is why it’s so important that families eat together whenever possible. Even for couples it’s a significant thing to do, and I do believe I’ve learned quite a bit about Greg by eating with him, wether we’re ordering-in or eating at a fancy-pant restaurant. Eating together means nourishing your bodies (your very existence!) and your social needs in one go. It’s pretty much a good time with an extremely practical element to it. Haha :)

Thank you again, Greggy! You make me so very happy. :)

Food and Friends — and Beer, Too

It is extremely difficult to get my barkada (Tagalog for “group of friends”) together, so when five out of eight of us can make it to dinner, it feels like it’s an event. Yesterday we were finally able to get together for some good food and good beer at Draft in Fort Bonifacio. 
Draft is probably one of the best places in Manila to go if you want a good beer. While I’m no expert on beer, I do prefer it over hard liquor, cocktails, and even wine, so it’s high up there on my list of favourite drinking places for sure. They don’t just serve beer, though, it being a “gastropub.” Their food menu is excellent as well and though we didn’t order them last night, the Angry Drunk Mussels is probably the dish of the restaurant in my opinion. I didn’t get to take many photos (I always get distracted and lazy) but here are me and Lexa enjoying our orders before the others arrived!

Me, Alexa — this was obviously taken after I had devoured my meal, haha. 

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REVEL Is Calling For Contributors!

REVEL, the online magazine that I co-manage with my friends is calling for contributors! Details below:

Do YOU have something to say?

Want to share your music, art, or photography?
Talk to us through hello@revelmagazine.net to tell us you want in!

Submission Guidelines:
1. You can write about ANYTHING as long as it falls under the following columns: Art, Beauty, Causes, Fashion, Inspiration, Music, Pop Culture, Science, Travel & Lifestyle
2. Articles must not be longer than 800 words
3. Photos, Illustrations, and other visual artwork should NOT contain offensive material and discrimination of any kind. If you are submitting a photo that you do not own, be sure to properly cite it!
4. Content is subject to review and approval by the REVEL team. Should there be a need for revision, the REVEL team will contact you via email

Let us know if you’re interested by August 17 (Friday)!

Article submission deadline is August 24 (Friday)!

*Photo by Matthew Lee!

I manage the beauty column for REVEL, but there are other columns as well, all open to submissions! :) I suggest you check out the site to see it for yourselves! And of course I sincerely hope you like it. :)
REVEL main website: http://www.revelmagazine.net

 

Easter at Westchester

A week and a day after, I finally have time to publish my Easter post!

I’ve never spent Easter (or Holy Week) away from my parents, so this was very different for me. I went out of NYC with my cousin and her friends to a weekend home at Westchester. The property, as you will see, is huge and very, very pretty. There’s a view of a lake, a tennis court, and loads of space for the dog to run about–and the dog is huge, you will see. The whole weekend was just really relaxing. Engelbert, my cousin’s friend, made home-made pizzas for us on the first night (white truffle, pepperoni, and cheese) and then made steamed fish and steak for lunch on Easter day.

This is the view looking towards the house with the lake behind me, but that isn’t the main house. That’s the barn, which is approximately 200 years old. They use it as a summer house and it overlooks the pool and the lake.

View from the balcony of the barn. Too bad the pool was covered. Even if it was sunny, that weekend was a little on the cool side. Not unpleasant but definitely not swimming weather either.

The guest house and my cousin, who’s giving me the tour. Behind the guest house is the tennis court.

Our Easter Sunday meal! Of course we had rice, since Engelbert’s also Asian I guess he understands. Haha! The cheesy looking bowl is the mashed potatoes. YUM.

Everyone getting ready to eat!

Rabbit ear table napkins– Easter appropriate and tres cute!

That’s Liger! He’s huge but really gentle and sweet.

Of course I have to include a photo of this beautiful machine. Mercedes Benz SLS gull wing! Not the best picture, I apologize, but it’s a difficult car to get at a flattering angle unless the doors are up and open. It looks amazing in person though. The upholstery is red. Love it. They also have an F1 car but I didn’t get to see that. Boo.

Singapore: RW Sentosa

Just got back from a four day trip to Singapore with my family. There were 32 of us all together: four generations from my lola down to the great grand children. The trip was a sort of prize for putting on a good program for my lolo’s 100th birth anniversary late last year. It was only my second time to be in Singapore, and the heat always takes my by surprise. I keep forgetting that it’s closer to the equator than the Philippines! Haha. Since we had little kids with us, we stayed at Festive hotel at Resorts World, Sentosa. Last year my parents and I stayed at the Mariott and then the Sands, which are closer to Orchard Road (though nothing is far from anything in Singapore) and I must say that I like non-Sentosa Singapore much better, but this was fun in its own way too. We mostly ate and walked around. Picture-heavy post, here we go!

Festive Hotel lobby @ Resorts World Sentosa

Pretty aqua chandeliers! Beyond the arc is the invite-only club. Went in the casino–for the first time in my life! No pictures of course but it’s crazy huge in there. Kind of dark and depressing too, haha.

The shops at Festive. Small but all high priced–for the gamblers of course.

Huge covered outdoor area leaving up to Universal Studios (which we didn’t go to)

Night time picture. That’s my lola in the wheelchair, hehe.

Water cranes show. Very nice and entertaining especially since it was a free show. Hehe! :)

SOUP DUMPLINGS. The best. Aside from Hainanese Chicken, this is one thing you have to try.

Very random German lunch at Vivo City. Good beer, sausages, and salad!

Yum yum yum. That mozzarella salad had SO many mozzarella balls! Love it when restos are generous like that!

Cheers to good beers!

There’s no other city that knows how to be a modern city quite like Singapore does. With so little space to spare, they really do develop every square foot with amazing practicality and they manage to make it beautiful too. This is, of course, speaking as cities go. If you aren’t a city person I can imagine it might be hard to find the charm in Singapore. From what I hear though, Malaysia is a very common escape for Singaporeans. They most definitely have more greenery over there. I personally like Singapore because it’s a huge inspiration when it comes to discipline –from being the city of thieves, they completely turned themselves around. Of course a ton of social conditioning went into it, and man that isn’t easy to employ. They (the people) can be a bit brash at times because they’re so aggressive, but it’s nothing terrible. The biggest down side to Singapore is the expensive shopping. Huhu. Which leaves one with only one good activity left: eating. And I suppose I’m not complaining. :) Cheers to Singapore!

 

 

Kicking It Off On A Full Stomach (Summer, that is)

So far (two days in!), the break has been great.  Yesterday Greg and I went to dinner at 2nds (original plan was Chelsea but we changed our minds) and I totally forgot to take pictures! We love that place though, it has a cozy feel to it and really good food. They just have to make some improvements to the acoustics in the room. Peoples’ voices bouncing all over the place. We watched Sucker Punch afterwards and I really loved it, despite the terrible reviews it’s been getting. I suppose I wasn’t expecting much of it in the first place so it easily exceeded my low expectations (content-wise). The graphics, cinematography, over-all visuals were great. I love date nights.

What I did remember to take pictures of was lunch today at Bistecca with my mother. Check out the awesome steak we had! I definitely recommend this resto if you’re serious about your meats. They serve it with flavour-infused rock salts. Mmm.

Drool. Love their plates, too.

The side dish + sauces

We also got truffled french fries. Ever had something “truffled” that had just way too little (or too much, which is just as bad) truffle oil in it? Yeah, well this is not that. It was perfection. The sauces and salts in the picture are for the steak. Some mushroom-y really fresh sauce, a gravy, garlic-infused rock salt, chili-infused rock salt, and truffle-infused rock salt. That is how it’s done, people. My mouth is watering just thinking about it!

Chandelier made of empty glass bottles

Bistecca is located on the ground floor of Rockwell’s Joya tower. If you’re looking for a good steak, go for it! I love that the first thing I can say about my break is that I’ve been having good food. I also get to see my barkada twice this coming week! So excited for that. Will be in Singapore from Thursday until Sunday too–yay for summer! :)

In other news, not being able to indent at the beginning of my paragraphs here is really getting on nerves now. Haha.

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