Chef RV’s passion in the kitchen – Chef RV Manabat Cafe & Resto in Binan City, Laguna

I’ve always been a sweet tooth. My craving for sweets is unbelievable. Something I acquired from my mom who wraps up her meals by having desserts or something sweet. Good thing about her is she is okay with fruits. The bad thing with me is I’m not so much fond of fruits, so I ended up with cakes, ice cream and other sweets. No worries, I’m a work in progress. I quit on drinking soft drinks three years ago. Please acknowledge me for that effort. =)

One scorching afternoon, my cravings plus the weather led our feet (Jen and I) to Binan, City. To try Chef RV’s version of halo-halo.

The place exceeded my expectations, I have seen their Instagram account and there are not much photos of the place. So seeing it in my own eyes, is quite amazing.

The interiors are well thought of, so comfy, well lighted and organized. Mind you it is only then I’ve witnessed such a huge showcase of collection of something that’s surely close to the owner’s heart. I could just imagine how many elephants does he keep at home?

Honestly, each time I saw one, I remember him. I am a collector too, however, I am not into collecting just one, and I was asking Jen if I’m going to do it, what would it be among my many collections? =)

So, enough of me, let’s go to the place virtually. And see the awesome collection in different forms and kinds. =)

Here’s the facade of the restaurant. You will be welcomed by their logo with an elephant. And a trellis with lots of elephants hanging as decorative charms.

Upon going inside, there’s a wooden elephant too.

On that glass door are elephants too. =)
While checking the cakes on the chiller, there are elephants too.
I’ll just try them soon, I can’t eat them with halo-halo altogether.
How many elephants you saw?
Whoa there’s another one in front of me!
Jade ones too! =)
This one is cute. =)

So here’s our halo-halo. We paired it with a moist and warm bibingka (a famous cake in the Philippines which is made of rice.).

Loved that “sossy” pitcher! =) Pitchers I used to see only in hotels! =)
It was a nice pair. =)
Can you see the elephants?
A baby elephant? ehehe
And a framed one.

You will be glad to know of the many choices you can bring home.

There’s a blue one.

It was such a delight to discover a nice place somewhere near. And to discover that they have lots to offer on top of the famous halo-halo. =) Till next time! =)

Having tasted different version of this very famous Filipino dessert, I might come up with my top 5 soon. =)

Chef RV’s Cafe & Restaurant is located at 172 Manabat Street,San Antonio, Laguna. They have schedules for cooking and baking class too. =)

PS – Being here, brought me back down sweet memory lane as I had my grade school years in Binan, Laguna. #ohhappyday


Old School

Photo source: http:

Bear with me if I’m old school. Yes, old school. I wasn’t able to keep up with the mentality of the New Age of too much freedom.

Old school, because I am aghast with manners that are missing when to most people it is just but normal. Yes, it is normal nowadays to do whatever you feel like doing, because it makes you happy, without thinking of its’ effect to others. You do it, you say it because the only thing important to you is your own happiness. Regardless of its’ effect to others.

Even social media is full of encouragement of prioritizing the “self”, love yourself, me first, myself first, because the goal is to be happy. Yes, to be happy, more than anything else like kindness which used to be important and even sacred decades ago.To be happy, more than being kind, more than being considerate, more than that conscious effort to avoid hurting others. Because what’s important is the “me”.

Gone are the days, when parents teach us to think twice, thrice, before saying things, doing things, if it’ll hurt others, even if it is what we want. Gone are the days that we are very careful and to the extent of sacrificing the “self” for the good of the many.

Though, I still know souls who set-aside themselves, more so, their own happiness, to avoid hurting others. And this is the kind of love in my opinion that is genuine and true. Let alone time decide for them to revel in the bliss selfless people like them deserves.

No more wondering of the result, no more beginning with the end in mind. No more.

No one cares anymore to what others would feel, ironically, when why EQ in the new age is as equally important as IQ. Ironic.

Are we better off without feeling the feelings of others? When we focused too much on ourselves being happy? Is being happy a feeling or a set of mind, or in conditions of material wealth, health, status, or presence of people accepting you for all that you are.

That the self compels us of our everyday actions. Me. Myself. I.

Isnt’ it feelings is the great motivator for us taking our next actions. It is. It defines our future. And probably the future of those who became our victims.

It is why there are increasing number of souls who opted to end their lives even if it isnt’ their time yet. Because no one cared of how they’re feeling. No one understands. Or maybe. No one listened. The lack of desire to live because there are too many people who cared less and more to themselves. Too much pain inflicted without remorse. Too much focus on the “self”.

I can not be convinced that there’ll be people who will not feel the slightest hit and not bother. We are humans. Even robots cry nowadays.

Beleive it or not i do not belong in this age. I left my heart somewhere where nothing taught me that being beaten will make you tougher.

I must admit that some of what I said will bounce back at me. The principles I keep on keeping. Old school. Earned respect? No. It is nature. The character built out of what? We never know.

As it is said by Maya Angelou (one of my favorite poets): People will not forget how you made them feel. “feel”. And how selfless to train ourselves to be kind to unkind people because it is them who needs it most. Compassion. Old school. Still, it is my shield, against “some” of the world’s cruelty. Endless beating. Old school. Brave heart. Taking courage because there’s too much beauty in the other world out there.

And at the end of the day. Who sleeps well? The offended one or the offender? I will no longer sacrifice my peace just so to reveal some people’s true colors. Let alone the lack of character and up bringing reveal its own colors in the end. . .

10 and more ways to combat STRESS

“It is not stress that kills us, it is our reaction to it.” ~ Hans Selye

A lot have been saying that I am a “half-full glass” of water type of person, I even chose that one during one of the seminars I attended years ago. And the Facilitator expounded on it as mindset of people who are innately positive.

However, I myself is admitting the fact, that handling stress isn’t my turf. I had turned to several coping tools to keep me sane with living all these years. So as to avoid being cracked by too much pressure here and there.

Did you know that there is even a non-profit organization specializing in Stress? It is The American Institute of Stress founded by Hans Selye, as a source of information and knowledge on all things related to stress.

And there’s also the “Stress Awareness Month”.

Storms of stress can come from how we respond to different things. That overwhelming feeling of not being enough or capable to accomplish things not just necessary but as expected from us.

Our responsibilities at home, outside home, our dealings with friends and relatives, at work or in school, undone things causing us frustrations, being burnout and anxiety, things and situations beyond our control frustrates us, disappointments, financial freedom, rejections, failures, the list is endless.

Photo source:

Lately, I have been consistently hearing that even kids are “stressed” too. And I really can’t move on with this thought.

Because as a child, life then was pretty easier. I recall myself wishing to be a child again and I hear it from other baby boomers too. Life was simple then. Like my only problem at that time was to get good grades to please my parents.

With kids now, it’s different. Studies show that as early as kindergarten years. There are pressures from academic duties, trying to fit-in with peers, comparing one’s life with another and access to almost everything including violence, crimes, disasters, bad news here and there because of social media.

This is why kids usually lack enough sleep. And we know for a fact that lack of sleep results into impaired thinking, slow reaction time, there is no focus, and rarely pays attention. This definitely affects a child’s performance in school, their productivity even their moods, making them easily angered, very irritable and of course, tired and eventually, sick.

Not to forget mentioning their sensitivity to what they see at home. They’re like sharks that can smell anything from a distance. If parents are facing difficulties, they can sense it, so we, parents need to be extra careful with dealing with our partners, better yet, take time to explain things to them and be transparent so they’ll understand. Looking at it on the positive side, it’ll teach them resilience than give them a false truth.


Personally, as an adult, I have established to myself several practices to address my inconvenience in handling stress. As Hans Selye said, a leading authority in Medicine: “It is not stress that kills us, it is our reaction to it.”

So here are some of those practices which per my research others are also doing, you can do or choose as you please, or whatever it is that makes you happy. =) Some of these are the ones working for me. Please read on. =)

Letting nature nurture me

Long ago, out of nowhere, I discovered myself having feelings of tranquility being with trees. Being with it, touching it, or just seeing one, makes my heart overflow with so many lessons that a tree symbolizes. It taught me about spiritual grounding or earthing. It links us to the source of energy, to the universe, after which we feel vibrant, tuned-up, realigned and literally energetic, ready to face each day with focus, gratitude and full of wisdom.

It is an ideal place to communicate with the Creator. #iflifegetstoohardtostandkneel

Prado Farm, Pampanga
Echo valley, Sagada

What are your first thoughts, when you think of the beach? Isn’t it so exciting, imagining the feel of the sand on your bare feet, and how cold splashes of water hugs as you go in the water. How about witnessing the sunset and waking up early to rever in the beauty of the rising sun? Nature undeniably gives us this kind of bliss. It is unexplainable, such a wonderful feeling.

Pink and peach sky #batangassunset

Go Places

I read this long ago and truly agreed that travelling does good for our soul. To be somewhere you’ve never been before giving us courage like doing something for the first time. It teaches us what’s it like in another place, city or country. We enjoy exploring what’s new to us, their food, their way of living, their culture and belief. Even the weather. To experience being in different places is so fulfilling it makes us feel whole and at the same time it humbles us. For me, It makes me feel excited going back home.


Allot quality time with family

Isn’t it so liberating to be with people who knows you as you, and being with them, it feels so free and calming to just be ourselves.

My one and only ❤

Create a Sacred place for your “Me time”

This could be anywhere inside (or even outside your home) like in the garden. This is where you just breathe. You can meditate in the silence of your bedroom, you can light scented candles in your bathroom while you’re taking a longer shower, you can read a book in your favorite sofa, being alone can bring out your creativity and you can create beautiful things, or you can just lie on your bed and listen to your favorite music.

I learned creating a sacred place for myself from Sarah Ban Breathnach’s book: Simple Abundance. It is really effective for me. It brought me into Scrap-booking, into crafting, cooking and even up to now, it brought me to learn and enjoy and even earn from doing bead works.

Read Books

Reading books brings me places I haven’t been. Books make me dream and aspire to make them come true. Books guide me, it makes me see how to be someone else and makes me understand other people. Books let my mind flutter for a while. It is relaxing.

“Books train your imagination to think big.”~Taylor Swift

Watch Movies

Not all of us can enjoy reading, some of us are visuals. Another option to battle stress if you’re not that fond of reading is to watch movies. You can do it alone or do it with your loved ones or friends. I recommend “feel-good” movies to watch if you’re in the process of de-stressing. Below are two of my most favorite. =)

Photo source:

Retail Therapy

You can shop till you drop once in a while. Purchase things you need (or want), for your loved ones and friends, for your home.

Pet a Therapy Animal(s)

My Ewok..
My Kimmy…

Here’s a traditional list of therapy animals:

  • dog
  • cat
  • rabbits
  • birds
  • guinea pigs
  • rats
  • miniature pigs
  • llamas
  • alpacas
  • horses
  • donkeys and mini-horses

Non-traditional list of service animals you can pet:

  • boa constrictor
  • monkeys
  • parrot

Scientific studies show that interacting with animals increase oxytocin levels and decrease cortisol levels, both of which reduces stress in human beings. Dogs in particular can sense depression and will do anything just to cheer you up. You mean the whole world to a dog.

Unleash the Artist in you

I personally find peace in crafting (quilts and bead works). Some friends I know, paint, do crochet, create jewelry and do Scrap-booking. You can also visit Museums to appreciate Art. This helps us realize that each one of us is gifted and unique in our own ways. #thereisanartistineachofus

Call a Friend (Better yet: Meet Up)

Let’s face it. We can’t do without our friends. They are God’s gift making our lives happier.

Keep a Journal

Writing down your thoughts, your dreams, even your frustrations are forms of release. It’s a very effective tool to manage stress. Writing it all down, makes you understand yourself sooner or later upon reading them after a while. Listing down a “To do” list itself clears our mind and gives us a sense of fulfillment as we randomly complete each task from the list. It teaches us the importance of planning and fulfilling them. It also enhances our mental health.

Create a Dream board

The time we consumed in researching for photos to cut and paste, completing the list of what we desire to do within a year, and visualizing ourselves into a vision of actually enjoying it like it is already happening: is without a doubt helping us beat that stress we acquire out of a very crazy Monday, or a crazy week perhaps.

“Don’t expect it to work, unless you do!” Photo source:

Flaunt that Vogue

To feel good is to look good. We all want that. #ootd Unleashing our flamboyant side. And in so doing, we become the best versions of ourselves, we’re happy and confident thus there is no way that stress can get in the way of that good vibes. We need not empty our pockets to do this, yes, we can splurge on a dress or a pair of shoes once in a while. However, we can stay looking good with the way we dress, however simple it may be. There are lots of sites out there which can help you do the trick.

Pause, Snuggle & Just Breathe

When everything from all angles is too much and overwhelming us? Just pause, or stop and just snuggle. Be sure to try this and do this regularly. The benefits are truly lasting to just breathe.

Clean Up & Decorate

One of the biggest stress busters is to clean up and decorate your home. It empties our minds as we focus on the act. It makes us forget things and not worry for a while. The benefits it does to our surroundings and abode is so worth it, you will make it a habit. Doing the chores or cleaning up and to decorate is like an exercise already and helps to release endorphins. It is an unexplained behavior that we sometimes find ourselves cleaning up when were stressed-out. There is fulfillment to look around and realized how immaculate and pretty your bedroom is, and surely, you’ll sleep better.

Photo source:

Sing your heart out (or dance)

Again, endorphins are released when we sing, it brings down level of cortisols thus we end up happy and healthy as singing improves our cardiovascular system (our heart, blood vessels and blood). Like working-out, singing does good to the lungs as well. It strengthens our throats and palate muscles, thus helps us to address snoring.

Info source:

One of those voices that really soothes me is Sarah Brightman’s.
Photo source:

While when we dance, its’ accompanying movements, helps our body release endorphins too like singing. It is definitely a mood booster. No one danced and ended up sad. We all ended up happy and are with that biggest smile in our faces after dancing. Especially if we dance with a loved-one, it makes us more connected and intimate. I am considering Anti-gravity yoga too. =)

There are a lot of movies about dancing that I’m sure will inspire you to dance too. =) Below are two of my favorites:

Photo source: Movie quote: The Only Person You Need To Be Is Yourself

Get that Massage

Aside from that relaxed, comfortable and calm feeling after having a good massage. It is undoubtedly one of the best tools in relieving stress. On top of easing away body pains, improving blood circulation, immunity boost and enhancing our sleep. With all those therapeutic benefits, we all feel better and rejuvenated after a massage.

A warm tea like a final touch will truly fill the bill.

Eat Healthy (And cheat sometimes)

There is no explanation necessary that to eat healthy, one improves blood circulation, lessen toxins that blocks our arteries, enables us to achieve proper weight management and all these sums up to reduced stress levels.

One of my gastronomic adventures with my foodie buddy. =)


I know some of us are too lazy to allot time to exercise. Just do it. Hit the gym, run, or put that mat at home and DIY your workouts. Because the benefits of carrying out this physical effort is lasting and will certainly improve your health physically, mentally and emotionally. Again, there are too many links we can click from the internet of influencers to encourage us to just do it. =)

I can add more as the list is endless. It’s just a matter of identifying what works for you and you feel joy in so doing. =) A piece of advice, do the basics, it’s simpler. =)

Photo source:

Chichario MNL – Peri Peri Chicken + Cocktail Bar

In youth we learn; in age we understand. – Marie Von Ebner-Eschenbach 

I have a very simple celebration of my 47th birthday and asked the kids if they just want to eat out. We agreed to try Peri peri Chichario Manila which is located at Molito Lifestyle Center. Initially, my son eyed Cilantro (We both love Mexican cuisine or something similar to it), so I suggested to him that I spotted someplace new nearby, showed him photos from its’ Instagram account and he okayed it. We were with his girlfriend and we also tag along my foodie buddy Jen who also celebrated her birthday a day before mine.


What I first noticed at Chichario MNL is their attractive plating. Comparing their photos from their posts at Instagram VS the actual. It is like “What you see, is what you get.” And that’s nice right than being attracted to the photos and not get the real thing in person.

Pizzadilla as served. Pizza and Quesadilla combined. =)

Their offering are great-tasting. Nothing we ordered disappointed me or us. I love their Ads from Instagram, It is mainly why I got attracted, their use of colors, their lines, they have a very creative person taking care of their Marketing ads.

The famous chicken.

I like their cilantro rice, and those different kinds of condiments. =)

I love their nachos!
Their Carne Asada. Perfect for meat lovers.

We can’t order everything and we missed their Crispy Chipotle Sisig (talking about spicy food), they have their own version of Salpicao, Ceviche, Paella too and the desserts. I actually love their menu. =)

Place/ Ambience

The place is full of colors too, everyone knows that I am a big fan of vivid and bold colors. One of the reasons why my first thought is that this is a Mexican restaurant. However, as seen on their Ads, Chichario is a restaurant inspired by South America.

It’s a mask! So I thought of Brazil!

I got more confused with the prominence of the Toucan which is the National bird of Belize, a South American nation.

So it made me understand the resemblance, since this region is bordered by Mexico to the north, Colombia to the southeast, the Caribbean Sea to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west and south. Central America consists of seven countries: Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama.

Info source:

But then, I see the “Our Lady of Guadalupe”, I see my favorite Mexican artist “Frida Kahlo” so I assumed that it’s a fusion of these two: The South America continent and North America since Central America is actually part of North America, along with Canada, the United States, Mexico, and the Caribbean island countries.

So since it is bordered by Mexico, the similarities in food, in culture, the way they dress, their love for color, is there. That is why at first peek, you might assume it is a Mexican restaurant. Not to repeat mentioning photos of Mexico, the buntings and all. Hmmmn, this is teaching me patience on doing researches.


For their service, is a bit disappointing. There is one attendant that can’t hide her facial expression with my “kakulitan” (repetitive) for asking too much questions because I couldn’t understand one option from the menu right away. I strongly feel the 2 guys sitted beside our table are Managers or Owners, I’m not sure, but unexpectedly, they didn’t bother to assist the attendant just so to appease their customers.

The same attendant was also talking loud in our presence while bad-mouthing someone she encountered somewhere like they’re the only ones in that place. And no one called her attention. We visited the place in the afternoon, so it isn’t peak yet. This is also why we weren’t able to see in person (or go upstairs) to check the bar known as Chicha’s Hide-out.

Chichario Manila is a great place to dine and unwind, really great food, however, there had to be some enhancements to be made when it comes to their service.

A beer. Locally crafted. Proudly Filipino. =)

By the way, I had to research what a Peri – peri is. It is a pepper. Infused as marinade for the chicken so when they served it and tried it, they warned me immediately since I am not into spicy food. I tried it just for the taste of it and yes I had a hard time managing it. =)

Info courtesy of:


I’d still recommend the place, just be more observant as to how the attendants will behave, I hope they’ll address this immediately. It isn’t just a feast for your tummies but for your eyes as well. =)

It is located at Madrigal Ave. corner Commerce Ave., Molito Commercial Complex, Alabang, Muntinlupa, Metro Manila
You can call them at: 0917 556 6004

Apartment 1B – Henry Hotel

If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world. ~ John Ronald Reuel Tolkien

Each time I am visiting a new place. It feels like a Get-away or an escape from the usual humdrum of daily life. It sets my vibe. Like when I visited Arte Mondo at the Artelano 11 inside the compound of Henry Hotel at F.B. Harrison, Pasay City. It is a Pre-Holiday Gathering of Premier Filipino Design, a collaboration between Artelano 11 and The Travelling Trunk.

After the canvasing and shopping and “Can’t get enough mode” of taking photos from this exhibit, very timely for the upcoming Christmas season, all we wanted to do is eat. We actually, had DIC (Jen, where is our photo of Mamang Sorbetero?) already.

We were very lucky to find one at the lobby of Henry Hotel: Apartment 1B, I’ve heard a lot of good things about this restaurant, owned by Chef Marivic Diaz Lim and that there are two branches in Makati (One in Salcedo and another one in Rockwell Center). they offer gourmet comfort food and is actually under the wings of The 1B Group along with Kitchen 1B and Pablo. The former is a healthier version of their amazing offerings while the latter is a Continental Bistro bar.

Jen had pizza and I had pasta. We also tried their coffee, I had cafe latte and Jen had Vittoria coffee and espresso.

Simple syrup for my coffee.
I just love cheese. =)

My foodie buddy took care of the menu as I took joy in taking photos. I fell in love with their interiors while enjoying the piped-in music that softly played songs of Carla Bruni. And even if I do not understand most of it, It was so relaxing.

I was able to capture my moments hours ago because I was surrounded by things I love. You may check the link of my separate blog about “Arte Mondo”:

Simple yet impressive Architecture.
Lovin’ those tiles! ❤

And we really appreciate the experience of being here. The people are very nice. The place was old and they were able to preserve (and restore) most timeworn elements, the windows with decorative glass, the doors, especially those floors. F.B. Harrison street is very rich in history, passing along by it, you’ll see quite a number of manors that’s been sublimely standing still after many generations.

Love it here! =)

Jen and I were wishing that soon we will go back to stay at Henry Hotel even for a few days. It is located at the heart of Pasay City but the feel is very different while we’re inside the compound. It is so tranquil and composed and those greens are very relaxing.

Art in every corner. Those greens are old bottles of wine.

Should you wish to visit, it is located at: 2680 F.B. Harrison Street, Pasay City, Metro Manila. Below is a map for your reference. =)