Las Casas Manila

Las Casas Manila

So much of our future lies in preserving our past. ~Peter Westbrook~

Aside from food, Jen and I shared our love in exploring new places and travel together as far and as much as we can. Anything new to us. She had been requesting from me for years to bring her to Bataan, at “Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar”. However, we’ve been busy lately and when I discovered that there’s an extension of said place somewhere in QC, I am thrilled to inform if she’s okay into venturing to this one that’s nearer, for now.

So up we went one Friday, and reveled in its’ own version of preserving and restoring one of the old manors in Quezon City – Casa De Juico.

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They converted the place after being sold to Jerry Acuzar: The owner of San Jose Builders, it is complete with a boutique hotel and a restaurant by one of Asia’s Best Female Chef: Margarita Fores.

After the attendants with pleasing demeanor took our food choices, we wandered around the place with its’ classic ambience and took pictures (a lot) while Jen is checking from time to time if our food is already served. We were starving as we arrived there at almost 2:00 pm.

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We were ushered by two smiling faces and directed us to the dining hall and let us choose where we want to be sitted.

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I definitely enjoyed chosen spots which they call Instagram worthy. Little did Jen know, I’ve spotted some favorites since I already saw them several times from Instagram. =)

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A version of “The Kiss” by Gustav Klimt .

So here’s what we’ve got: Spaghetinni con Mariscos (Seafood pasta), Callos (Ox tripe, Chorizos and garbanzos), Tres leches (a slice of chiffon cake topped with smoked coconut and dried mangoes and jackfruit) for dessert and red grapes shake for me (which I so loved) and yellow mango shake for Jen. She loved her pasta as it is thinner than usual, they used Spaghetinni, my Callos were made of slow-cooked to tenderness tripe.  

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We also had Huevos con gambas, for a starter. It’s hard-boiled egg topped with prawns relished in paprika.

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This wheel of cheese is part of their buffet offer, it’s called Parmeggiano Regiano, it’s known to be the “King of Cheese”, it’s so tasteful, gritty and lactose-free too. The cheaper version, is known as “Parmesan” cheese.

It’s just one manor, unlike the one in Bataan, there are more than 20 Casas there, but just this one brimmed our phones with pictures both inside the place and outside as well, I actually enjoyed more the “Al fresco” feel. You wouldn’t know how much I belong to it. The trees, the grass and all. =)

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For a different experience, visit Las Casas Manila and it’ll stir your senses until you realize that you’re heading to Bataan the soonest you can. =) Either places, I’m sure, you will enjoy. =)

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You can make reservations thru: 866-8500 and 0917-711-3714. They’re open from Tueday to Sunday from 11am to 10pm. Las Casas Manila is located at 134 Roosevelt avenue, San Francisco Del Monte, Quezon City. You can also check them out at: https://www.facebook.com/LasCasasQC/

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CELESTINE Bazaar

CELESTINE Bazaar

“Every artist was first an amateur.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

I have not attempted to write about losing a loved-one. I do not have the strength for it. I lost my mother months ago and then I learned that there’s a proof that even in lowest times, you can find something positive from it. With me, I developed new relationships, or specifically new friendships.

Jen, the owner of Celestine Bazaar is my schoolmate during high school. We have common friends, though we’re not literally friends then. And very recently, that common friend brought us together. In a special way, it made me happy, because they reminded me of the good old days, and who I was.

Jen never stopped sending me comforting messages when she learned I lost my mom and it surprises me that she gives it to me, free-flowing. I really appreciate it. It meant a lot to me. I have been thinking of ways how I could give it back.

And during one of our chats, she invited me to visit her shop: “Celestine Bazaar”, she named it after her second mom, sister of her mom, who also passed away and we shared the same sentiments. She was very thoughtful. She and our common friend (who lost her mom too), made me feel that they understand what I’m going through.

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She invited me to visit the shop once, and instantly, when I get there, I found nice items for myself, I also bought one for my mom even if she’s physically no longer with me, I bought her a mirror. =)

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Onwards, the friendship continues and we discovered having the same interests, and one time, we ended up to collaborate by doing ex-deals. She allowed me to display my beaded stuff in her shop and I offered too that she can also display some stuff in my mom’s shop at home soon.

You will surely find items that will interest you at Celestine Bazaar. I, personally, each visit, left the place not empty handed. As there are too many good finds. Beautiful things in all corners are plenty and pretty. You’ll find yourself planning to go back again as you intend to buy more stuff.

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Here’s a peek of her dazzling collection:

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I am so proud of her to showcase and endorse the incredible craftsmanship of Filipino wood carvers from Paete, Laguna: The Wood carving capital of the Philippines. =)

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She is also meticulous in offering new items. Soon, we are going together to Paete, where she gets all of her wooden items that are intricately created. I can’t wait for that too.

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The floor lamps are one of her best sellers:

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Just in time for the Holiday season, please drop by at Celestine Bazaar for your gift items need or if you’re wanting to add some items for your house, or doing some renovations, or looking for items to fill-in your new home, the shop can provide for you.

Celestine Bazaar is located at: Bro Business Center, Pacita Avenue, San Pedro, Laguna 4023. You can contact them at: (02) 919 3922.

For more items, please visit their Facebook page too:

https://www.facebook.com/celestinamendoz/

We had it at HEAT – Edsa Shangri-la Hotel

We had it at HEAT – Edsa Shangri-la Hotel

“It is lovely, when I forget all birthdays, including my own, to find that somebody remembers me.” ~Ellen Glasgow~

Each year, we usually celebrate our birth month in different places due to our busy schedule, Jen used to call it our month-long celebration.

This year, our last celebration was at Heat Restaurant. Heat stands for Healthy Eating and Amazing Treats.

It is located at the lobby level, Tower wing, 1 Garden way, of Edsa Shangri-la hotel fronting the huge swimming pool, so each time guests passed by our table in their swimming gears, I am no longer surprise.

We tried their buffet for a slightly late lunch (conflict of schedule it is), so we have very limited time bonding and consumed our food like were frenemies. I was telling her that “Hey, I can cook this!” but she says we need to just enjoy eating the more that we were not the ones who got tired preparing it.

This is what we’ve had:

No soft drinks for me. And i really liked that bottomless iced tea.
Should I be awkward with that rice? =)
Especially when Jen opted “no rice” instead.
But she had lots of these.
And some Japanese food too…
While I savored the greens..
And the hakaws!
And of course the sweet treats!
I especially loved this blueberry ice cream topped with unlimited walnuts…=) Of course I took advantage, walnuts is one of my favorites just like pistachio.
Jen isn’t much of a sweet tooth, though she truly enjoyed scooping from the dessert station.
This is what she actually wanted, but we can’t make it for dinner time, she had to work and I have to be home before 7pm, curfews nowadays isn’t only for teens…

So we will just have to set another date for Jen’s lobsters.

While I indulged on the sweets.

If you want to try this gastronomic treat, you can book a table thru:

Phone: (632) 633 8888
Location: Lobby Level, Tower Wing
Operating Hours: 6am – 12 midnight (Mon – Sun)
Dress Code: Smart Casual
Smoking Policy: The hotel’s designated smoking area is located at the 2nd floor, beside the tennis courts.

 

 

Like a child at 14 Four Cafe

Fourteen Four Cafe

“Every Summer, like the roses, childhood returns.” ~Marty Rubin~

I’ll always love blogging. =)

For my “I am blogger” photo. Credits to: http://www.freepik.com/

14 Four cafe logo courtesy of: https://www.facebook.com/14FourCafe/

As a child, I grew up in my parents’ house with a huge lawn where I play hide and seek with my cousins, with my dog and with my papa. I incurred scars in my knees because I wanted to run faster than our dog. I put mud in my mini cooking plate and let it dry for a day so we will have a cake the morning after.

I miss that huge lawn, we took care of dozens of love birds and I remember waking up with their chirping calling out my mom as if announcing that it’s already feeding time. My dog’s name is Tsandu. It is taken from a character’s name from my father’s story line in Filipino comics way back mid-70s. He was an illustrator. An artist.

In that lawn, different kinds of plants are grouped in corners. Some pots are even painted in varying colors. There is a huge star apple tree that gives shade to the whole area making it an ideal place to relax in our green 4-seater garden set. In some corners, you’ll see huge lava rocks which my papa brought home when we went hiking in Mt. Mayon. Along with over-sized sea shells which he also brought home from several beaches that we’ve been to. The other side of the house is with roof because it is where our garage is. You will often hear the likes of Frank Sinatra, Matt Monroe, Elvis Presley serenading you in a humid afternoon. He is fond of Tchaikovsky too. During weekends, my parents invite relatives to have barbecue with us.

I really look up to weekends. When my mom starts preparing pre-sliced pork and marinate them, I get so excited. At the main entrance, a realist painting, (a wedding gift to my parents by my uncle who happens to be an artist too, he’s a known painter during the 70s) will welcome you. If you’re a stranger , upon passing by that house, you would have guess that it is owned by some sort of an artist. And it is. My papa was popular then, I see him being mobbed by people asking their comics to be signed by him. I was just a spectator admiring him from afar.

I had to plot this specific day trip with Jen and travel for hours to reach a very similar place. Jen hadn’t sleep yet, she just came from work, and I’m thankful that she easily gave in to my whims. This place really brought me back to that time while I was still a child. When I first saw it, 14 Four Cafe being tucked in the vicinity of Tanay, Rizal, brought me to memory lane. Since we are from the South, it was really difficult for us finding it, as we are not similar to that place.

Some drivers doesn’t even know where 14 Four Cafe is. And finally, when we reached it. I felt like a child once again. I roamed around instantly without even informing the attendants who pleasantly welcomed us of the instruction given to us when we reserved a table for two as they do not accommodate walk-in guests. Visits are limited too, which is an advantage since they can better taking care of guests unlike when it is peak, attendants will be so busy. Their service, since guests are limited is more personal.

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Now I know that 14 4 is the # of their house.
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I captured some millennials enjoying their stay as well.

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Ironically, even if we found it hard to locate, guests keep coming. The house, more so, the whole place speaks for the artist who owns it. It is owned by Nikki Sambile, a designer. His father, who happens to be an artist too (like my father), showcases his furniture collection on this same place too.

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I want these chairs in my garden too. =)
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Photo credits: https://www.facebook.com/14FourCafe/

Can you imagine that I traveled all the way from Laguna just to have this vegetarian dish? It is Veggie Quesadilla with pesto soaked tomatoes, shitakes, melted mozzarella topped with garlic crema. It has grilled eggplants too and nachos on the side. While Jen, still full from our real lunch on our way to Rizal (2pc. chicken please! lol!), had something light and sweet. She had Amaretto French toast. She chose it because of the toasted almonds. She was overwhelmed with the whipped cream though.

Lighter meal for us.

It was funny that they have Milo to offer as drinks. It really reminded me of my childhood days. I was a Milo kid then.

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I ❤ Milo! =)

I would even eat it alone scooping portions continuously.

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Table for two?=)

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Nope, I actually visited because I needed an inspiration. Being an artist myself, I have to see others in that same niche too.

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An artist’s imagination is infinite.
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Rustic type of a faucet and its’ basin.
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This is the showroom of Stick designs. http://www.14fourcafe.com/location.html

Get the feel of it and be inspired instantly!

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I am not that happy with this photo. We were not able to capture all the colors behind me.

Which surely I did! We don’t even want to leave and hoping to stay longer, however, like I said, it took us almost half of that day traveling.

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So, we left after relaxing in one of the couches al fresco, wondering if we can make time to really come back. Maybe.

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Siesta – afternoon nap.

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They’re a favorite of those whose about to wed too, for pre-nup photos. =)

14 Four Cafe is located at:
144 Magnolia Lane, Gregoria Heights Subdivision, Bgy San Isidro
Taytay, Rizal

For reservation, you can call them at: 0999 888 0144

STEAM YARD Coffee and Community..

STEAM YARD Coffee and Community..

“Good coffee is a pleasure, while good friends are a treasure!”

My encounter with this coffee shop cum retail/ concept store is by accident while I was waiting for a document in the Municipal hall of Muntinlupa City. The shop’s location is just a stone throw away situated alongside other known establishments. It was raining at that time and I had to look for a dry place to stay.

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Steam yard..
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Front yard of steam yard..
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Entryway..

The calligraphy in front of them lured me to go inside and was instantly amazed by it.

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Fusion of rustic and industrial..
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I see these only on the pages of a magazine..
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Such a looker..

There are more inside, a coffee shop that serves blueberry cheesecake and a dozen of on-line brands lined-up with their beckoning displays.

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Wide choices..
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Though they do not have whip cream..=(
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From first visit, I think I’ve bought a dozen already of various items from food to non-food..

Their items are those of millennials, however, the interiors is an amalgam of industrial and rustic motif. They also infused touches of Harry potter facets. You won’t fail to notice that the crowd they attract are students and young executives and those that are young at heart which includes me.

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Cosmetics!
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Cool shirts to choose from..
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I want this! =)

It was also very obvious that the owners (who are millennials too) are one of those manning the shop, in both areas (coffee shop and retail shop). You will notice it from their zesty appeal. Their above-board earnestness to provide good service to each guest that comes in is very evident.

The rest of the team are well-trained too. The Security officer flashes a bright smile to all those who enter the shop. Indeed, the atmosphere is very positive. There is a force that surrounds it like Harry’s magic and believe me, no one went out empty-handed. Or so I think only for those that I’ve seen.

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She said she will come back too.. Like I said when it was my first time to visit..

Initially, I ordered for a drink, my usual iced cafe latte, a few items I bought out of impulse. And a promise that I will bring my friends there.

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My cafe latte..

Before I leave, they called my attention and handed me with a card that came with a stamp and upon completing the rest of it (total of 10) will equate for a free drink. Not bad for a Marketing strategy, especially when they are just a few months old.

Despite of showing enthusiasm for icons that isn’t Filipino (I’m referring to Harry potter), the coffee they’re brewing is brewed locally.

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All about coffee and more..

There are packed gourmets which ratifies local producers. And honestly, they are packed well with attractive rustic labels.

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Personal consumption or gifts…
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Emmafied…=)
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They have the usual and they have syrups too..
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They have soaps, lotions, balms that are organic..

During my second visit. I purchased more items, for myself, for my soul daughter, for a colleague and tried their meals with cakes over coffee.

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We’re starving..

Jen okayed the place however she is a bit disappointed since their coffee didn’t have provision for those who wanted theirs with swirls of cream.

When we informed them that it might help if they provide it, they expressed their gratitude for the suggestion and assured us that it is under-study.

On my third visit with another millennial, I brought my son’s bff who is almost like a daughter to me, took her a few tops, and we had pasta and cakes over coffee. She is more excited than I due to the fact that she is also a Harry Potter enthusiast.

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We’re done with our orders when we thought of pasta.. Recommendation: more gravy for the steak sandwich..
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Typical marinara.. Recommendation: More sauce for this serving or less pasta..

Maybe we will visit every so often since we liked the idea of shopping and dining in one single place. Another important factor that I considered is that their items are of limited production so there’ll be no worries to see yourself wearing the same dress that the girl you passed by is wearing.

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Cha and moi..

The price, both for food and merchandise is competitive too.