Southbound Cafe

“It’s not just about seeing beautiful places, it’s about seeing the beauty in every place…”

I have been blogging about Interiors lately. And this blog I must say is more about Interiors more than their food offerings.

We spotted this new cafe in our home town, in San Pedro City, Laguna. You will find it on your right if you’re coming from Manila. Upon reaching the city it is just across the huge sculpture of the rooster. The landmark of my hometown. Which I think is a very strategic location indeed.

What bricks can do.
The car plates are kinda masculine for me.
I love it when there are paintings on the wall. =)
The ropes, gave the entrance a rustic feel.

So it is a fusion of rustic and industrial and a dab of little quirkiness. I think I have loaded my mobile phone with more than 50 photos in all angles, the place has a charm of entertaining you in an amazing way and now I had this dilemma of choosing what photos to include here. Whew!

So, please take a look.

I think this coffee mural is the focal point of the place.
Be that as it may, not until upon looking upwards, I saw this striking chandelier.
I thought this shade of orange might be too bright for a place, though they were able to balance it with a teal. =)
Waiting area.

If you want it quieter, there is an enclosed area, providing you privacy.

There is actually a certain masculine feel on it. Due to the different symbols of cars: mags, plates, wheels, car logos, depicting the owners’ “could be” hobby.

My car for years. =)
My soul sister’s car =)
Our car when I was a kid. =) #beetle
Did I miss Toyota? I think this one will do and he will really love this! =)
An Audi perhaps.

So let’s check their food. =)

Aww, look at those Chefs! =) And that Sto. Nino…=)
The muffins looked good! =)
There are home-made donuts too.
Tableas.
Theirs is from Allegro.

Allegro is the exclusive distributor of the finest espresso machines, brewers, coffee beans, syrups, sauces and teas from Italy, Switzerland, France, Germany, Spain, Sweden, Ceylon, the Netherlands, and the United States. Our products cater to hotels, casinos, culinary and educational institutions, restaurants, cafes, and franchise chains.

It is the result of someone’s passion with coffee and brought with him over 30 years of entrepreneurial and financial experience managing 7 Italian Cafes and a coffee equipment wholesale distribution company in Dallas and Houston, Texas, USA.

Info source: http://www.allegrobeverage.com

Honestly, I loved their coffee. =) Nothing spectacular with our pasta, though it met our expectations, and the nachos is okay, however, I rather see fresh tomatoes than ketchup like a real salsa. =(
You need not worry if the cake you choose will fill the bill. As they’re carrying a popular branded one. That famous maker of “Mango bravo” which is Conti’s.
So I instantly know what to get. =) The Choco overload cake. =)
I can’t ignore the fact that they’ve chosen a good color scheme. ❤
This fab bouquet administered a soft and feminine feel when masculinity is found everywhere. Nice move. =)

Nowadays, the loos are no longer left-out. Like there’s a match as to where is the prettiest loo. =)

I love the pebbles on the wall and that modern spatial lamp.
Look! We’ve got freebies too! =)
Photo source: quotesbook.com

So I am agreeing to this quote. =)

There are other tempting dishes from their menu. So, definitely, we will be back. =) As for the Interiors. All the elements were finely doled-out in all corners. =) Good job!

Their address is at #87 Mabini street, San Antonio, San Pedro City, Laguna, Philippines.

Photo source: coolquotescollection.com

My growing years specifically my College days, I am exposed to same-sex relationships. I spent more than 4 years in an all-girls school, so I’ve seen this kind of relationships. It was unaccepted then so usually they are kept secrets. However, friendships meant accepting each other for who we really are and trying our best not to judge, because at the end of the day, we do not want to be judged too.

Even the Pope, being the leader of the Catholic church had to say something about it. And of course, it created too many discussions.

The Pope Francis Statement That Changed the Church on LGBT Issues

“If someone is gay and searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?” Two years ago Tuesday, Pope Francis uttered these words, sending shock-waves throughout the Catholic Church and the world. His position stood in contrast to that of his predecessors: Months earlier, Pope Benedict XVI suggested that gay marriage was a threat to global peace.

Source: https://time.com/3975630/pope-francis-lgbt-issues/

Back in college days, I’ve had female suitors who were even prettier than me, sending me sweet cards and flowers and chocolates just like a male suitor would do. I’ve learned my way to say no gently. I say prettier, because cross-dressing isn’t not that prevalent at that time.

I may not be very vocal about it, however, through the years, I really support and understand them. Same thing goes with being rich or poor, my love for others weren’t conditional.

I’ve had many friends of different kinds. And I love them all equally without any conditions. I post on my Social media from time to time my admiration to some gays or lesbians I found in movies or in the internet. Though, I am not an advocate.

I have more gay friends than lesbians. Though, I love them all.
My travel, foodie, everything in between buddy

Recently, pondering upon this concern. I think It’ll now become my advocacy, since I witness too much judgement.

What if it is us? How would we feel if we’re judged as if we no longer deserve to live a life that’s happy and fulfilling?

Isn’t it the same way when Social media dictated that only the thin ones are pretty? Thanks to personalities and influences of people who will make everyone feel that there’s no need to save a room for hate (and bashing and judging and being harsh to others is something that is just normal to most people).

I’ve had qualms writing about this. Yet, I had to take advantage of this blog to express that they are human beings like everyone else is too. Like you. Like me.

It is more of what we feel right? Much more than we think. Love is an emotion, yes, and a mindset and a decision all in one.

If we feel that love and felt it is wrong because it is felt to the same gender, and since it is a universal law, or we were oriented that a man is only for a woman, and vice versa, what is the exact feeling that we would feel if we follow that orientation? I think it can only be sadness, and being hard on ourselves because in the dark, we might ask, why am I feeling this way?

It is sometimes, or most of the time confusing to me, because it is said that “No man is an island” and that all our actions, we need to take into consideration all the people who will be affected with our decisions.

But are we to spend our whole life pleasing others? Or it’s okay to please others, it makes us feel good being okay with almost everyone, or we should be revising the question like: Can we just let them be?

Photo source: https://news.abs-cbn.com/life/08/24/16/how-joey-mead-discovered-angelina-mead-king
If this isn’t love? What else can it be?
Photo source: metro.co.uk

You just don’t know how much I’ve learned from these 5 gorgeous and fabulous men?! Tan, Bobby, Jonathan, Karamo and Antoni of Queer Eye. #netlfix They have such big hearts, almost immeasurable. #fab5

My conviction isn’t that strong on this topic, so I’m rerouting it into something like equality. That we all have that right to love and be loved. It’s the greatest feeling. It’s the purpose of life. To love. And be loved. Even my faith didn’t’ encourage me in any way to judge or hate! It’s an old teaching too right?

And love means acceptance. How I accepted my gay friends for who they are. And how thankful are they for people like us who didn’t judge them.

Photo source: abcnews.go.com

I’ll just end this by saying “Nobody’s perfect.” So let’s try our best not to speak and act as if we are.

Featured image source: http://www.thevintagenews.com

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.).

Yum!
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: actioncomplete.com

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: http://www.avera.org

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.

Source: https://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletter_article/sleep-and-mental-health

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.

Batanes

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: deadline.com

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: http://www.morningcoffeewithdee.com/create-vision-board/

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: mymodernmet.com

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: https://takelessons.com/live/singing/health-benefits-of-singing

One of those voices that really soothes me is Sarah Brightman’s.
Photo source: https://www.discogs.com/Sarah-Brightman-Greatest-Hits/release/5623147

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: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Save_the_Last_Dance 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. =)

Exercise

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: https://spiritualityhealth.com/quotes/if-
you-want-be-happy-be
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