Luna Cafe…

Luna Cafe…

“Coffee and friends, make the perfect blend.”

On my way to work, I spotted this newly-opened coffee shop in our hometown. Luna Cafe. It looks cozy from the outside, and I saw some splashes of the color pink inside. I instantly wanted to pay visit and check their menu so I scheduled it immediately over the next weekend.

Facade… They’re on the second floor.

I have been on the look-out for a coffee shop ala “Starbucks” that’s just near my place, like a rendezvous. I think this one’s the nearest so far. I have a leaning with “Picked” but it is 2 rides away from where I lived. And Starbucks is an hour drive from home.

Luna Cafe happens to be sitting beside another coffee shop. I just wondered why the owner of the place allowed tenants in similar businesses, it should be offer a variety as they will both benefit from it, looking at it, the other coffee shop looked gloomy, there was no guests at that time. While there are 2 tables occupied at Luna cafe.

Their interiors is the typical shabby looking, modern take of whats’ eclectic since they combined industrial chairs with girly and chic pieces, there are even flowers mounted on their walls that are made of papers. It actually added charm to the place or could be, because I just love the color pink.

My instant favorite is this wall. It inspired me to mount photos of those personalities that somehow inspired me and impacted my mindset, the likes of Mother Theresa, Frida Kahlo, or maybe even a photo of Madonna along my own portrait. Ahaha

Jen got quesadillas, as always, it has become her favorite. I tried the chipotle, because It reminds me of someone very special looking for chipotle when he visited the Philippines a few months ago.

Quesadillas..

We also wanted to try the mozarella logs, which also reminded us of the mozarella logs from Spatzle. I think I want to go back.

 

One of Cafe Luna’s best sellers are their artisanal coffees, intricately prepared in an artistic way, good to look at but you will always wonder if you’re going to eat all those decors since they are edible. Or should I leak the dripping chocolates on the sides of the mug.

I had avocado and Jen had their best seller specialty coffee: Cadbury Nutella.

The serving time was a bit longer than usual, so I again questioned what if it’s peak time. Jen asked me to not complaint and told her I will complaint, I am just sharing my views just with her. Or maybe they should have this standard spiel of informing their guests prep time of each item that we ordered.

Anyway, I just took photos of each corner to kill time, I even went out and took this pretty windchime, a hot air balloon, which is made of glass. It’s sound is so pacifying as soft wind came in that late Saturday night.

Their line-up isn’t pricey and I think is worthy for another visit when boredom at home hits me or should I need a little change in my environment. Anyway, it’s just 15 minutes away from home.

Cafe Luna is located at: Pacita Avenue, corner 16th avenue, Pacita Complex, San Pedro, Laguna.

Some photos courtesy of: http://www.decobake.com.ph/luna-cafe

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Let’s Go Spinning

Le’ts Go Spinning – An inspiring tale of this couple’s leap in the DIY service laundry business

“Sometimes life is about risking everything for a dream no one can see but you.” ~

Gone are the days when Jane and Leo would need to wake up early to go to work and take turns to file vacation leaves whenever their daughter has an important activity in school. Primarily, It was their daughter that fueled this couple to venture into this DIY service laundry business.

The couple with their precious Gwen…=)
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Leo’s girls..=)

This isn’t their first try. They have tried several businesses that didn’t work as expected. However, those setbacks didn’t stop them from trying and finally making it. They dared to be their own bosses.

Spin-off!
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Growth is essential..

And it was all worth it. Leo said, being persistent is the key. Among others like teamwork, since this is literally something that he and his wife worked on together. Their positive outlook in life, not being easily discouraged for every mishap was a major factor as to how far they’ve gone. And they expect to go farther.

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Family comes first. =)

And being together in this, they draw courage from each other, courage to take risk. And in so doing, they are now enjoying the fruits of all of their labors. And luck being on their side, after 4 busy branches, they are now with their first franchise.

So, why self-service laundry when there are other businesses to try? It is the fast-paced life of most Filipinos. They thought of making things easier for people whose always running out of time, giving them opportunities to spend quality time for their families.

Vision realized.

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Work life balance that is sometimes difficult to achieve. And to add that they thought of something that won’t need a special skill, a business that is easier to manage, because it is based on the performance of each machine.

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As it is literally, DIY (Do it yourself) thing. The core of the business is more of a need, not a want. That after shelter and food, we all need fresh and clean clothing. That was the bottom line.

It is given that all entrepreneurs motivating factor is to earn bigger. But for this couple, it is first and foremost – family. They so much wanted to spend more quality time for their only daughter.

As Jane was saying,they have been dedicating their skills to their employers for so many years, helping them grow their money and it came to a point, that they thought of saying goodbye to an 8-5 job, and think of a business they can call their own.

They also thought that having their own business, they would be able to help more people, an innate character of this couple, as I know them personally through the years.

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Of course, venturing into this, they were confronted by a handful of ups and downs. They no longer get a fixed income, that thought of receiving a specific amount twice a month is like being out of their comfort zones.

It was tough at first, but as the branches continue to flourish, the difficulties they had to endure together, tasted sweet in the end.

Just recently, their first franchise being operational already, allowed them to expand and extend the products and services they can offer to clients through other people with similar mind-sets. Those who wanted to be their own boss too.

The tag line: “Saving energy, time and money” is so befitting to their vision. Improving quality of work life thus allowing more time to spend with the family or oneself. If others dream big, they dream bigger. I asked the two of them in sync, how do they visualize the future? They see the map of the Philippines with their logos scattered in all parts of the land from end to end. And that is definitely big right?!

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SPIN-OFF pilot branch is located at:

Rosario Complex, San Pedro, Laguna. You can contact them at: 533.9592.

 

 

Niña’s Kitchen in Biñan, Laguna

Niña’s Kitchen in Biñan, Laguna

“Everyday may not be good, but there is always something good in everyday.”

Niña’s Kitchen is probably one the most talked-about restaurant in Laguna. Or becoming if I may say. It is a residential house which ground floor they turned into a commercial one, serving Filipino dishes (with a tweak) from breakfast to dinner.

I have been seeing it every so often from social media threads lately and out of curiosity, I dragged Jen one Sunday afternoon.

What made it more famous than its’ competitors is because it was endorsed by our former Ms. Universe since the owner is a friend (and a classmate) of hers.

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Photos and memories..

The most photographed item that they offer per my research is the “suman sa lihiya (lye)”. So it was my first reason why I wanted to visit their place. My mom used to prepare this before, and I really miss it. She is old already and can’t perform usual tasks anymore.

suman

The place is snug, there are decorative objects equally distributed in the garden,

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there’s even a bike with a basket holding a bouquet of flowers, which created a country-feel and very laid-back scenery. Relaxing and thought-provoking as well.

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The dining area is quite huge, which can hold more or less 50 guests. There are actually three separate rooms to dine and we chose the one in a corner. The space outside is huge too.

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It leads to the front yard too though it stays unopened and the entrance for guests is the one in the main dining hall where the counter and kitchen is situated.

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Jen and I both sitted in the tufted bench beside that gorgeous red door.

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On your left upon entrance is the stairs with quotes that I spotted in several blogs. So I made sure we have a picture on it. #thisthingwithstairs

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The decors that are equally distributed in every corner were hints that most of which were from the owner’s many travels.

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We’re supposed to order pasta and burger, but they’re no longer available. According to the attendant, there was a surge earlier. When we came before dinner time, only three tables were occupied giving me the liberty to take photos of items that are interesting to me.

We then chose pizza with pepperonis and still they’re no longer available. We ended up ordering the one with mushrooms. Jen ordered for the churros and I got my suman sa lihiya.

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As a disclaimer, the attendant warned us that the pizza must be consumed immediately. The pizza is good, a healthy option since it is meatless. But true enough, in all fairness, we were warned, the pizza dough got firmer, and it’s no longer chewy to the bite.

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The churros for me is over-rated, there is nothing special to it except for that mint leaf, just as how you expect churros to be, while the chocolate dip is good, it didn’t remind me of a brand, and only a good chef can do it or it is home-made. =)

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The Filipino way of gathering is skillfully interpreted in this place. Local favorites infused with some internationally known dishes and a homey ambience. Huge tables, family pictures, souvenirs, hanging plants, a Sto. Nino to guard the place, the greenery, makes-up for the over-all cozy feel.

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Surely, we can celebrate some occasion here with friends and family. Or maybe even if without something to celebrate. =)

It is located at:

Lot 32 Blk. 8, Silmer Village, Biñan, Laguna. You can call them at: 0915-649-3952

 

GELE Milkshake Cafe…

GELE Milkshake Cafe..

Nowadays, it is ironic that these so called millennials, have greatly influenced people of all ages. I am coming from this habit formed to perform activities outside of home over cafes that serve milkshakes, coffee, smoothies, flavored teas, paired with sandwiches, pastas and burgers with varying twists.

Millennials are undeniably showing hunger and thirst for change for something unconventional. I think their keywords are freedom and adventure. You will see black burgers which you normally find not so appealing but to its being different are catered and enjoyed by many.

As I also observed, the love for coffee has been a strong inclination by Filipinos. The competition from those beans coming from different countries and those beans that are locally grown is truly tight. What’s surprising is that both were thriving.

Proofs of these are the numerous hole in the walls establishments taking turns in coming up with something unique. The trend is attractive, the chalkboard menus are everywhere and full of color. Coffee shops, cafes are in all corners.

Just in my vicinity, Jen and I have listed a number of cafes to visit so as to verdict which one has the best tasting coffee on top of the aesthetic side that if not present, said cafe will lag behind by those who are bold enough to offer what is sometimes I used to call “out of this world”.

Weekends for us are our chance to visit these places. One from the list is Gele’s… It’s a 15 minutes drive from my place.

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While searching for it, the place looked big in the photos. However, when we get there, it is but a small place that can seat more than 4 groups of 3 to 4 pax.

The theme is clean and crisp with touches of nature’s colors. Browns and greens.

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We just had our drinks to chill and matched them with our staple Mexican favorite. The nacho salad. There was always excitement in our eyes upon the attendant’s arrival handing down our orders.

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I fell in love with the colored nachos, however, I didn’t like it much since I can taste the onions. It was too strong for me and I wished for more tomatoes.

I had Mudslide and Jen had Salty Pop. We both liked our first trys, it was not like those times when you get disappointed with your choice and wished for another. I took them more than 10 minutes to prepare both. Not bad.

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Who’d think, these drinks can match nachos? =)

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We finished them satisfied. And as we’re about to leave, some millennials are pouring in. It’s good to feel younger sometimes. =)

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THE FUSION CUISINE

The Fusion Cuisine

When the main bridgeway in our town closed for re-construction, our route going to Manila pass by two villages which includes Pacita Complex. The trip was longer but it allowed me to discover some new food places to visit anytime.

One of which is The Fusion Cuisine located at the main road of Pacita complex. It stood out along several restaurants.

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D’Fusion Cafe..

It caught my interest since the facade is very attractive and welcoming, an attendant is cooking “Takoyaki” right in front of their entrance when we came and it is enticing.

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Takoyaki…=)

There is a “Menu for the day” signage in a miniature easel, where the menu is written in chalk and the attendants are vigilant enough to greet you upon entry.

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I ❤ easels and chalk-written menus!

It is a joint that pours booze until midnight. It was only after dinner time when we arrived.

Jen was adamant to get a bottle of her favorite beer. An Estella. What I had is my usual iced tea.

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Finally, she got one..

For our food, we normally inquire what their best seller is and should it fit our preference, we get it.

I had grilled pork. And Jen had grilled salmon. Both of which are two of their best sellers.

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Attack! (–,)

It took them more than fifteen minutes to serve it. Slightly too long for me, I just had to kill our time while waiting for our orders to arrive by taking photos of this small nook. Literally, its’ name fits their place as it showcased a mix of cultures strongly hinged to Philippines, Thailand and Japan.

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We found it weird not to find the usual sidings for grilled items. They’ve attempted to create a twist, when we’re used to buttered veggies and probably only the lemon slice is suited for Jen’s salmon. The slightly buttered corn in that mini bowl is okay, however, it doesn’t fit the slices of cucumber and tomatoes. We then affix the term “fusion” to all our observation.

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We missed the soup..

It made sense that the attendants asked how our food is. It is a traditional take that I think is effective when you want to improve on your craft.

It made me raise the glass. Or should I say the Estella bottle. =)

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This is Jen’s, I don’t drink beer for almost 20 years now.. =)