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Travel: Trip Checklist And Playing House In Nasugbu, Batangas.

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I don’t know how or why I said yes to this trip, but I did, and I certainly have no regrets. Of course I had my doubts at first, I was going to sleepover with some strangers in an unfamiliar place. One of us could be a serial killer, you know. But eventually I decided that nothing wrong was going to happen, because the universe loves me, and I was given this opportunity because there’s a lesson waiting to be learned.

When you travel or go out of your comfort zone, there’s always some wisdom hidden somewhere along the road. It’s up to you to find it, and make it part of your life.

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Travel: What Davao Taught Me About Exploring The World

The rainy days make me think about summer often. I miss the sun, and how its warmth feels on my skin, especially when I’m outside. These days, the sound of rain makes me miss last summer, when I got to spend my vacation with possibly the best hosts I’ve ever met (so far).

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Jump shot at Eden Nature Park

What makes a trip memorable is not the place, but the people you spend it with. Last May, my dad and I went for a 4-day holiday to Davao (DVO).  For those of you who don’t  know,  DVO is located 946 miles from Manila, and is part of Mindanao. It’s one of the largest cities in the world, and is considered to be one of the Philippines’ most livable cities.

For my dad, this trip meant more than just business and leisure, it was also a sort of reunion with some of our relatives. I, on the other hand only had one thing in mind, to get lost and explore. I was kind of selfish and anti-social at first because meeting new folks always terrified me, but there’s something about the people and their hospitality that just changes your whole perspective on things. 

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Dinner at Ahfat Seafood Plaza, while getting to know the cousins.

Lesson learned: The whole point of traveling is to make new friends, to learn from them, and to immerse yourself in their culture. How will you do that if you’re going to close your mind and heart to the gifts of the universe?

At first, I didn’t know much about Davao. My cousins even laughed at me for thinking that Davao was part of the Visayas region. Again, I’m sorry mi hermanos. Haha. Even though I tried to research a lot about the place, experience will always be the best teacher. Traveling will reveal facets of life you thought you’d never experience, at the same time, it’s going to teach you a lot about yourself and how you value the opportunities handed to you. My cousins, aunts, and uncles were a great help because they showed us around, and they made us feel right at home. I came there with a lot of expectations, and I went home fully satisfied because I got to experience more that what I had expected.

Travel Checklist – Here are a few things to keep in mind when venturing out into the unknown. Note: I really did have a checklist saved on my phone. They were filled with suggestions from friends and family who have been to the place. I was proud of myself for being able to accomplish everything on my list! Here’s a few of what I wrote down.

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Recipe: Corned Beef Lava Melt

I love cooking and experimenting in the kitchen. Whenever I’m home alone, that’s the time I really get to go crazy with recipes. It’s such a blast to turn simple stuff we love and turn them into mind-blowing dishes, just like corned beef for example. In our household, this canned delight has lots of uses, from sopas (chicken soup) to sandwiches, omelette, and even spaghetti. Yesterday, I discovered a new dish that totally explodes with flavors in your mouth.

This ooey gooey dish is easy, super rich and tasty. Not advisable if you’re on a diet, but this can be a comforting treat on a cheat day.

HERE’S WHAT YOU’LL NEED:

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1 large can of high quality corned beef (Purefoods or Hamper)
2-3 pcs of white onions
2-3 pcs of red onions
3 gloves of garlic
3-4 tomatoes
1 1/2 tbsp of pancake syrup or maple syrup
1/2 brick of Quickmelt cheese (cut into thin rectangular strips)
A dash of dried basil
Cracked black pepper

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My awesome kitchen buddies Angela and Lerika

Recipe: Graham Balls (A Fun Recipe For Kids and Kids At Heart)

My friend Angela was browsing through Instagram when she saw this delicious looking food post by Danica Condez about Graham Balls. We were so intrigued by how it looked. The instructions were pretty simple, so we decided to try and make some that night. We ended up making the fluffy rainbow version of this sweet and mind-blowingly amazing treat.

Here’s what you’ll need:

1-2 packs of Graham Crackers
1 can of condensed milk
1 packet of powdered milk

We also added Nips (local version of M&Ms) and mini marshmallows.

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Near death experience.

Sagada Mt. Province – Spelunking Adventure

I am so proud of myself for doing this. Believe me, it wasn’t easy, but it definitely was the highlight of my trip. Now after our Bokong falls escapade, we recharged for a bit, some of us did some shopping. I tried looking for hiking sandals, but unfortunately the store that sold them cheap was closed that day, so I decided to just stick to my trusty old Reeboks. An important lesson here: Don’t wear rubber shoes when you’re going spelunking. It’s really not going to help.

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[Food] Recipe: Saba Banana Poppers

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It’s been months since I last posted a recipe here. My Graham Balls Recipe has been getting lots of hits, I figured I should give you readers another recipe that’s relatively easy to do. (Looks at watch) Oh look, it’s 3 PM here, that means it’s merienda time again (snack time), and here’s a recipe that will blow your socks off (mine did at least lol).

The last time I visited the province was fiesta season. Of course, we did a lot of cooking, and we always had to think on our feet in coming up with things to eat. Good thing we had most items readily available, and all we had to do was to get creative.  Now, the Saba Banana is a breakfast staple here. It’s usually served fried, but it’s getting old, don’t you agree? This recipe puts a unique twist on the boring and bland fried Saging na Saba.  Okay, I must admit that when I was younger, I wasn’t a fan of this banana, but after trying this recipe out (after 21 years), I have been officially converted.

Now, I’m no chef, okay. I’m not going to give you exact measurements or technical words, I will just tell you how I did it. It’s really up to you and your taste on how you’ll go about the recipe. Just be cautious and enjoy cooking!

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[Blog] How To: Social Graces And Keeping A Positive Image

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Social graces are skills used to interact politely in situations. They include manners, etiquette (the specific accepted rules within a culture for the application of universal manners), deportment and fashion. These skills were once taught to young women at a finishing school or charm school. The focus of social graces has changed over the last century, recently with an emphasis on business etiquette and international protocol. While Social grace comes with having poise. Poise comes with experience in meeting all kinds of people and knowing what to do or say. (Source)

So how important are ‘social graces’? As young adults, we are all in the process of building who we are, especially since we’re preparing ourselves for the real world. Image, I believe, is everything. Gone are the days when we can just act however and say whatever we please. We’re not living inside the walls of high school anymore where we can play rough and tough, and people are going think we’re cool. Pretty much of everything we’ve done or are going to do matters and will matter, especially during important milestones in our lives, like applying for a job, meeting your boy friend/girl friend’s parents, opening your own business, etc. We have to know how to act at a given time and place.

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Blog: The Only Way To Go Is Forward

Author’s note: This post is the prequel to my previous post Blog: A Random Love Letter, And The Moon. Let me show you how freakin’ amazing it feels to be free from heartache.

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Sometimes the only way for us to be okay is to let go and move forward, regardless of how painful things are going to get.

Words left unsaid.

I don’t know why I still think about you or even attempt to talk to you. I don’t know why you’re still in my fucking head when all you do is hurt me (unintentionally). It hurts every time I think about you, coz no matter how hard I pretend that I’ve already moved on, you’re still there. Maybe what pisses me off is how nonchalant you act every time or maybe it’s just me expecting too much. Maybe this is me hoping that in some alternate universe, we’ll still end up together. I really don’t know.

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Curvy Diaries: The We That Never Was Ep. # 4 — Rude Awakening

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Nothing beats the feeling of being home. As soon as John and I stepped inside the familiar walls of my house, I felt relieved. I threw myself on the couch, leaving my stuff on the floor. I turned over and buried my face into a pillow, raising my head for a minute to breathe. “I am so tiiiiired.” I exclaimed. John came over, with two cans of beer in his hands. He stood over me, eyeing me from head to toe. “What?” I asked, annoyed. “Sit up, fatty. Don’t hog all the space.” He said with a devious grin. “Ouch.” I pretended to be offended. “You don’t have to be so mean.” I added, placing my hand on my chest as if his comment pierced me. I rolled my eyes and sat up. He laughed, more relaxed now. I giggled as he sat down inches away from me, my elbow brushing against his. He handed me a can of beer, and we drank together in silence. After a sip he leaned back on the couch and stretched out his free arm (yes his arm nearest me). I was watching him from my peripheral view, if I leaned back as well, it‘ll be like his arms are around me. Should I or should I not, I thought to myself. I was quiet, still waiting for him to speak. I took another sip. Why does this guy make me nervous everytime I‘m with him?

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Recipe: Cheese Pimiento on Wheat Bread

‘Tis the season to travel and have fun, but you won‘t be able to do that on an empty stomach. During holy week, my family and I spent some time in the province. Yes, it was the perfect time to pray, reflect, and abstain from meat (and other worldly pleasures), but we had such a hard time stopping ourselves from eating since good food was a staple in our household.

I‘ve always been a fan of cheese pimiento spreads growing up. I never really bothered to find out how they were made, ‘til last week. My young nephews were all going to visit so my dad and I had to plan easy recipes both the kids and adults will enjoy. Here‘s a cheese pimiento recipe that you can whip up in minutes. You can pack this on your next picnic or roadtrip!

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HERE‘S WHAT YOU‘LL NEED:

1 brick of  unsalted butter
1 1/2 cup of grated cheddar cheese
1 can of condensed milk
2 Tbsp minced red capsicum (pepper)
1 loaf of wheat bread

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Blog: A Random Love Letter, And The Moon

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Dear Lover,

Tonight, I was staring at the sky and I saw that it was a full moon. Nights like this one bring back memories of what we used to be. I know we’ve already gone our separate ways, but one thing still holds true – you still have a part of me, and that I will never cease to love you.

I had this conversation with a good friend of ours and she asked me what made you so different from all the others that I’ve loved. You know what I answered?

I told her that what we had was something special. Only you had the power to bring out the best in me. Only your love could make my heart feel so needy yet content at the same time. No matter how hard I try to say we’re over, our memories are still alive in my heart. And even if you no longer feel the same for me, it’s fine. As long as I know you don’t hate me, I’ll survive.

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Blog: Closure After Four Long Years

When we ended, I told myself that you were the last girl I would ever love. There were no goodbyes, no final kiss, we just went our separate ways. You left me at the drop of a hat, gave me no chance to fight for you. You just shoved me into a place where I didn‘t want to be — a place where my heart turned into a useless muscle, and my brain into a piece of machinery that only you had control over. Since that day, I became your prisoner, and maybe ‘til now, I still am.

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