ARTE MONDO…

Arte Mondo…

“Creativity is contagious, pass it on.” ~Albert Einstein~

As part of of a personal project I’m working on. Attending fairs and exhibits helped me a lot to broaden my horizon and discover more possibilities that helps me with my growth.

Arte Mondo was part of a recent fair that I visited. Their booth showcased some of the original designs of several designers located inside the compound of Henry hotel in Pasay City, Manila.

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=)

Their booth’s attendants were vigilant enough to invite us to check out their shops at F.B. Harrison St., Pasay City.

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My frog prince..=p

I am very willing to see it and who else can I tag along here, but Jen. She has her own thing lately and busy as a bee, she just got promoted and spends more time at work. Though, it’s nice to see her flourishing, the “late bloomer” that she is. Long way to go, but with each progress, I’ve always knew, she will be there. While I’m happy that she can still allot time to accompany me wherever our feet leads us.

It was also good to know that a year ago, when I missed an event by Travelling Trunk, and this time, I’ll make sure I won’t miss it.

As you see, there’s always some level of excitement each time I set a date to check out works of fellow artisans. They literally inspire my soul. They give me hope and aspire bigger dreams. I never wanted to lose that kind of hope. Ever. That someday, I will be a major part of some cool projects that will be witnessed by many. Especially those who are close to my heart. Like a full circle. A kind of journey to something new. A creative process.

Please take a look.

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Reminded me to light my garden..
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Foyer..
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I can’t wait to wander..
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Don’t forget to look up, there’s more..
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Kitchen stuff..
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A wall is full of beautiful plates.
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Scents..
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They have one of my favorite scents – verbena..
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Kendi!!!
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I took a photo of my favorite.. that insert of floral..
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Little mason jars..

I thought I had enough when the attendant directed us to go up as there are more displays on the second floor..

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I honestly felt here a “deja vu”..
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This set-up will welcome you upon reaching the second floor.
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I have qualms to sit and try the cushions when the attendant asked me to try. So I did, and I had my photo here..
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This is the door to the terrace…
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On the left side are framed birds of different species..
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And on the other room is a Trompe l’oeil..

The second house is equally amazing…

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Vintage..
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An antique stand holds the poster reflecting the names of the designers..
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Nothing but Art..
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This one is a collection of tea cups, jars and glasses.
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These are display items in different shapes and sizes. Materials used are old pages of books..
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There’s a little girl in the glass..
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Behind the door is an art depicting inca symbols..

Our last stop is:

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On a bamboo easel..
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My grandmother has a cabinet like this..
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Indirect lighting definitely adds drama to any area..
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The soaps are wrapped in floral papers and were neatly arranged in such a way that it looked delicious to me..=)

The hard part is to decide when to go back again. Jotting it down in my calendar, since I spotted items as Christmas gifts to friends and loved-ones. =)

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MIDAS Cafe at Midas Hotel in Pasay City…

Midas Cafe at Midas Hotel in Pasay City…

Happy Friday everyone! I can’t seem to stop writing. I will write about this hotel in Pasay City which we’ve been meaning to try for a “Staycation”.

Midas Hotel is one of those 5-star hotels lined-up along Roxas boulevard. It used to be the historic Hyatt Hotel, it was then renovated and renamed as Midas Hotel by Genesis Hotels and Resorts, the same company that owns Misibis Bay and Bellaroca Island Resort, still, I must conclude it’d still remain to be a peaceful and luxurious abode in a fast-paced urban place for travelers. It is also a few minutes away from Mall of Asia, the airports, Solaire and Resorts world.

midas logo
Courtesy of: https://www.facebook.com/MidasHotelAndCasino/timeline

I went over this particular blog a few days ago, but due to tons of “things to do” at work and at home. My “Me time” spent on blogging, traveling, quilting were put aside for a while.

Our original plan is to try Yanagi. A Japanese restaurant located at the mezzanine. However, when we arrive, all seats are taken on a weekday, and we forget to call for a reservation.

They were kind enough to direct us to the Cafe – Midas Cafe, hoping for available seats. When we arrive, we were informed that there are several events and it might not be possible for us to choose our seats. We said it’s okay. We were provided a two seater coffee table which is I guess enough for snacking and not big enough for a real meal.

It wasn’t a problem at all, we only wanted to check their place and ordered for a few to satiate our cravings not necessarily our hunger. When at some point, you’d hear giggles of this group, and another singing “Happy Birthday” from a different group, etc. True enough, it is definitely peak at the cafe.

midas menu
I like the concept..

So Jen had the “Midas burger” and I just had Pepperoni pizza. But we were so tempted with the attractive display of their desserts, we ended up availing their “Desserts buffet”.

She had a hard time consuming her burger and I had a hard time with my pizza too.

midas cubiertos
=)
midas burger
I helped her with the coleslaw! ehehe!
midas pizza
And I asked her to help me with my pizza too!

The variant I’ve chosen is of course my favorite pepperoni and was surprise to discover theirs is bigger than the usual. Because we had too much of their desserts. We had halo-halo and ice cream and pieces of bite-size blueberry cheesecake. I also spotted mini cream puffs and tiramisus. And took a bite of each.

midas ice cream toppings
You can top these on your ice cream!
midas desserts
I loved the almonds.. =) and mini cream puffs and mini blueberry cheesecakes!
midas desserts buffet
We weren’t able to try everything.. Just by looking at them made me already full!
midas halo
Besides, I had Halo-halo! =)
midas halo toppings
I got plenty of red monggos and ube..=)

The Head waiter didn’t fail to check us out on top of taking care of the on-going event(s). It was amazing. From the time we placed our order, til they arrived and until we asked them if we can take the pizza home.

We were also informed with pride that the Executive Chef of Midas hotel is the award-winning Chef Arnold Guevarra. Upon research, he was also the Executive Sous Chef of Sofitel Philippines. We all know that Sofitel is very popular for their buffet spread at Spiral Manila. I was able to check it out with some colleagues years ago. And maybe it’s time to ask Jen to go with me and try it again soon.

midas red
Let’s go to Spiral! =)

I also thought of the lobby of Midas hotel to be so grand but it was not that grand. Except for that grand piano! (Am I too literal here?) Lol! And only when I checked the details of those orange boxes out of curiosity, it made me think again. They resemble Hermes boxes! =) Because I was estimating the cost of those bags all in all. Ahahaha! If there’s one original bag inside.

Not until I figured-out that the opulence is coming from the furniture itself. As you will find pieces by Philip Starck here and there.

midas orange boxes
Are those boxes Hermes?

What struck me the most is the scent that was lingering when we entered the lobby. I thought it was coming from the many flowers scattered in every corner. Though the scent isn’t floral, it is more of a sweet milder lemony scent.

midas flowers
So lovely…

This and the “Midas touch” great service will make me remember Midas Hotel and left with a resolve to come back and enjoy quality “Me” time. This or Henry hotel Manila. They are just a few blocks away from each other. Till then! =)

midas tatler
We ought to validate this soon! =)
midas me
Yey! Happy tummies!
good vibes
Good Vibes! Courtesy of: https://www.facebook.com/MidasHotelAndCasino/timeline

Midas Hotel is located at 1501 Roxas Boulevard, 2702 Roxas Boulevard, Pasay, 1300 Metro Manila. You can contact them at:  902 0100

RUSTIC MORNINGS by Isabelo…

Rustic Mornings by Isabelo…

“To eat is a necessity, but to eat intelligently is an art.” ~La Rochefoucauld~

I’m off to my tour of duty eastbound. My foodie buddy accompanied me to accomplish a task somewhere in Rizal. It was almost 1:00pm when we we’re halfway through and felt the need to refuel. I’m referring to our stomachs. Ehehe! And we’re still in Marikina when we felt like we haven’t eaten for days to think we just had coffee and some pastries from a favorite coffee shop in Gateway Mall a few hours ago..

So, we asked the driver if he can refer to us a good place to eat. And he instantly replied “Sa Isabelos!” So we asked him where is it located and he directed us to a tricycle to bring us there. The funny thing is it was a blessing in disguise since we are eyeing this place only that we knew it as “Rustic Mornings by Isabelo”… That chic resto in Marikina. And so it is. “Isabelo’s” and “Rustic Mornings” is but one and the same… 

st name
The name where they got it…
signage
Isabelo’s..
bountiful
Bountiful!

Upon reaching the place, we immediately headed to the counter and requested for the menu. The smiling attendant handed it to us, however, while browsing, she informed us and apologized at the same time that we can not order “Ala Carte” from the menu since Fridays are meant for their “Buffet promo”. And it was a Friday! Of all days!!!

the bar
Nice bar..
bacon bar
This signage is everywhere..=)
welcome door
Welcome!
no left over signage
Okaaay!=)
yare ka
Lol!

Jen is okay with it while I was half-hearted because I could not maximize buffets. Though since we’re famished and tired, we agreed to have our lunch there. Buffet! Oh well.

I enjoyed the ambiance more than the food. I was wary of the combinations. It looked confusing to me. But then, it might be absurd to get the buffet and not enjoy it. So I got my plate and choose what fits my palate.

I am actually trying to decide if I’ll have brunch or full lunch and thinking of the distance of our destination. I ended up choosing rice over bread. Besides, I prefer rice over bread ever since. =)

omelet
Omelet station…
jams
Jams!
bfast buffet
The spread for breakfast…
bfast buffe
Enticing…
bacons
Yey! Bacon!!!

It’s just confusing where will I combine the bacon, rice or bread, bread or rice.  Rice! =)

So, here’s what I’ve got:

my food
I consumed all of it, promise! Except for the Kafta balls due to its’ spiciness. We informed the attendant ahead of time to avoid being charged for not consuming everything on my plate. They are very considerate. =)

Jen, tried all these except for the pasta:

soup
I had this too..
rice
And a cup of this..
pasta
We missed this one..
kafta balls
Too spicy so I asked the attendant if I can leave this on my plate… I am not the “spicy girl” right!?
chicken
Kinda like this even if if chicken is an enemy…
bbq
I loved this!
bangus
We skipped this too!
buffet lunch
The whole spread for lunch..

And here’s what I enjoyed more:

tiled floor 2
The art all around..

Of reds!

twin bells
Twin bells..
rose tiles
Roses in their tiles..
red rose frames
I must conclude the owner(s) love roses!
pots collection
And another one in the dining hall..
pantone
This Pantone mug made me think why I didn’t have the Pantone 265 C! (–,)
three roses
She loves roses!

Of blues!

welcome door
Main entrance..
tiled floor
Dining area..
spoons
Dessert spoons..
peacocks
I love peacock feathers. We have this displayed in our sala when I was a child in our ancestral home in Binan..
mosaic tiles
You can choose to dine here or in the cabanas outside..
fvrt jar
My favorite of all the blues..
foto bomber
This niche gave me an idea for my violet stuff at home..
blues on niches
Isn’t it so lovely?
foyer
foyer…

The “Al Fresco vibes”

varying tiles
Rustic and shabby..
the one i always see in d pic
And homey..
cats
Blue cats!
bible verse
A lot like this were framed everywhere..
antique pics
Vintage photos..
al fresco
And the vintage bottles too..

The charms!

charms 2
Loved the tiles in yellow roses..
charms 1
And these charms..
charms
One of the cabanas..

Jen, tried everything and got bloated after. ehehe… Anyway, as it turns out, this accidental very heavy lunch, I won’t go that far to claim it’s one of the best buffets, since I am not much into buffets, still we enjoyed it. I didn’t feel bad not trying everything. Honest. Even if I am bacon junkie, though the “not that crispy” version, the sight of it filled me up right away. Everything felt good with bacon! =)

bacons
Yey!

I am now enjoying a lot of country – side food spots in my homeland. And will continue to hunt! =) There are actually a lot out there. Till then!

If you happen to be in Marikina? Drop by here, it would be a one of a kind experience. =)

Blue plus red equals = violet!

purple tile
(–,)
me n jen
Happy tummies! =)

Rustic Mornings is located at:

11 Isabelo Mendoza Street, San Roque, Marikina City. You can contact them thru the following numbers: 02-425-8610, 02-681-2461

CITY OF DREAMS – Manila

City of Dreams – MANILA

“Happiness does not completely depend on comforts or opulence. Even a pauper can be happier than a prince.”

Aptly named, City of Dreams – Manila is such a place literally like a dream coming true for most Filipinos. Almost everything are gilded, brightly colored carpets, huge planters, extravagant chandeliers, framed advertisements, name it, Hollywood like. It’s like placing both of your hands over your mouth to keep a shriek more so giving it away – “Oh my God!” It is so world class!

I might be a little exaggerated for the simple fact that I haven’t been to New York or Las Vegas or Hollywood. So this city is still dashingly new to me. It was a grand experience.

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Cool!

The staff are friendlier than I expected. I assumed or under estimated them to have the swag of working in a fabulous work place such as this.

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The boys!

And I stand corrected. From the concierge, the entrance staff, at the restaurants, inside the casino which is as early as lunch time were pumped with action, there are a lot of players then and guards manned every corner which includes calling my attention for taking pictures since it is not allowed, I’m sorry I didn’t see any signages anyway.

And even in the restrooms, the staff were there for you with a ready smile on their faces. The restrooms are mildly scented, liquid soaps can be dispensed with a sensor and from wall to wall, it is immaculately clean.

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Ms. full length mirror!

These only shows that everyone are all well-trained staff and I can’t help but be amazed that maybe most of them had the chance to see and meet and greet the world renowned actor Robert de Niro. Not just him but Leonardo Di Caprio and Martin Scorcese.

Isn’t it amazing that someone like Mr. God father would be willing to invest and put up a fab business in our country? I can’t really wait to see the place in my own eyes. And yes, it is fabulous.

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Fretwork dividers..

It felt like home, the attendants literally are very vigilant and would attend immediately to your needs. I was able to take pictures of the whole place without hindrances, the staff would even pause upon knowing I am trying to capture something.

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Paris, the head waiter was kind enough to enumerate the food that we’ve had since I do not want to give them the wrong names and yet, since there’s a lot of them. I still forgot the others. They were also kind enough to take our pictures (although some are blurd! Oh well!).

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Happy tummies..
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=)

The food were served hot and right there in front of us in less than 10 minutes. Yes, I timed it. We opted to go “Ala carte” and foodie buddy chose Italian while I decided to go Japanese. Our beverage, carrot juice for me and orange juice for Jen, which are still unsweetened. So we were then provided with sugar packets (washed and white) and a cup of syrup as well. Of course I opted to have the syrup. My carrot juice is heavenly.

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Au naturelle..

This is what we devoured on.

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The first maki is to die for.

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Jen would want to try the poker, however we promised ourselves to go back and try the buffet. It is from 11 to 230pm, served daily. As I still have another mission to accomplish that day. You will be awed by the creativity of their presentations, the kitchen is visible, it is like wandering in the set of iron chef.

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Liver spread…
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“Feels good” in Japanese…

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Or we can also try the other line ups of restaurants:
– The Tasting room

– Nobu

– Crystal dragon

– Noddl8

– Erwin’s Gastrobar

– Wave

– Red ginger and more

We had ours from “The Cafe”.. It attracted me because of their deep purple upholstered seats…=)

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Bought some cookies too…

Yes we intend to go back. As we strongly believed that sometimes we deserve something grand. A once in a while treat for ourselves after a weeks’ hard work. A little luxury that won’t hurt that much.

dreamworks

Perhaps the sweetest thing about it is that sharing posh moments with people close to your heart. I hope to bring my son and my mom here too… Being here is like a celebration of being alive and having the chance to see beauty at its’ finest. Till then COD!

golden egg
My son calls this the golden egg…=)

City of Dreams – Manila is located at:

Asean Avenue corner Roxas Boulevard, Entertainment City, Parañaque 1701, Manila, Philippines

CIOCOLATTA at The Bay Leaf hotel – Muralla Street, Old Manila

Ciocolatta at The Bay Leaf hotel – Muralla Street, Old Manila

“Genius has no country. It blossoms everywhere. Genius is like the light, the air. It is the heritage of all.” ~Dr. Jose Rizal~
 
 Old Manila will always occupy a special place in my heart. I gird on paying another visit to Manila. And another. Spending my entire life in my home country. I keep coming back to Manila even if my parents decided to stay for good in the province of Laguna before my 10th birthday.

Each visit, makes me yearn for more, there’s much to see and after each encounter, the more I get hungry. Manila is rich in history. Intricacy in Architecture. Stories in every street. Opulence in every detail. Mundane. To elusively preserve it is a must for the new generations benefit and appreciation. Allow me to share a few of these.

escolta
We passed by Escolta..
escolta towers
Escolta Towers… Awed by the antique lanterns..
escolta pa din
Tried to capture the Alabaster lamps, then the iron works captured me.. =)

I studied in Manila and it has been my place for more than four years. More because I am an Octoberian. Not because I failed a subject or had troubles but because our batch was the pioneer in our college which started sometime 1989. We were only 4 then. After four years, the students are more than 50 already.

4 years could be quite long to have opportunities combing the whole of Manila. Unfortunately, I only alternately frequents either Harrison plaza and Greenbelt. If there’s a chance, we go as far as Greenhills hoarding bottles of Denenes. The baby scent became a trend then.

So I have this certain hunger to cover the whole of Manila or perhaps the spots where some might say that I will missed half of my life for not seeing them.

I’ve only been to España a few times because my in laws has a house there. A one time visit to Malacanang, I’ve been to Divisoria countless times, and of course – Luneta park, while the rest, were still like strangers to me.

So I grab every opportunity to wonder and wander at its beauty and however old the city is. The beauty can still be traced. One is China town, in Sta Cruz. We recently discovered this place that we could not miss. We found one of the best fresh lumpia in this quaint restaurant –  New Eastern restaurant.

1950
New Eastern Restaurant since 1950..

I think I can consume 2 of them although we were enticed to order Lomi as well. So I only had one lumpia.

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Mine is plain, Jen’s is spicy..
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Served hot..

During the less than 30 minutes that we stayed there. It was peak the whole time. Either dine in or to go, the queue is endless. Luckily, that small resto can accommodate as much since they have a second floor that probably sits more than 20 persons. The ground floor can sit like 8 persons as there are only 4 sets of 2 seater tables facing the mirrored wall of the restaurant. I am sure the mirror is to make the small place feel or look larger, as it is really very small.

This restaurant is like more than 60 years and counting. According to the people whom I talked to in Sta. Cruz, their flavors hadn’t changed through the years. Well for most restaurants. I guess it’s their secret for a lasting business.

So after feeling heavy, we proceed to Muralla. It is the street near Intramuros and it boasts a lot of antique buildings and lofty frameworks.

In my own eyes, it is a “can’t get enough” feeling of capturing details. It was both fun and interesting to be walking in the streets of Manila.  I have eyed to visit the museums as well. Which allows me to see how they’ve been hundreds of years ago. It gives me a different uplift probably validating the old soul in me.

Allow me to share a few of them:

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I think old Manila won’t be complete without the Calesas.
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So this is the guy where they get the steet – Espana. Though why his “rebulto” is not in Espana?
14
Cannonballs?
17
The violet bag is packed with hopia from Eng Bee Tin..=)
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We’re tempted to go left and visit Intramuros. However, I still have a mission to accomplish.

Culture, heritage, cuisine, and more sets us apart from the other countries. And to preserve history, is definitely one. The clues of years gone by, allowing us to picture how are they then.

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And I thought I wouldn’t be able to find the street sign…

I am quite fidgety not seeing the street sign of Muralla. Or else, I have to think of another title for this blog. Good thing, while walking, I saw one from the Walls of Intramuros.

Architectural treasures: The Art Nouveau Arch

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Vintage gates..
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Vintage doors..
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Third arch I can’t pass by without being in it..

I gotta have a photo with it. Ahahaha!

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Intricate steel works..

We passed by Letran too. It brought me to this time when students would cheer: “Arriba Letran!”

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And we passed by one of the oldest schools in Manila.. Letran…
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They preserved it and converted it into a school..

We never thought that we already walked more than 500 kms. until our stomachs said so.

We headed to: Ciocolatta at the Bay leaf hotel.

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Ciocollatta..

It was a bit disappointing since they ran out of the famous churros. So we opted to have these:

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The fresh lumpia and lomi weren’t enough and we were starving when we reached our destination..

I had caffe latte (iced) and as usual caramel machiatto for Jen to match our pastries:

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It has peanut butter in it..
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I forgot its’ name..
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The guests were mostly students.
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The theme looked olden because of these bricks..
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Happy tummies! =)

Walking past by these gray-haired spots. I felt richer by history. And so till my next visit.

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Manila City hall..

I intend to capture a better shot of the city hall. I had one from Rafaelle while it’s day time. I want one in night mode.

See you again Manila! ❤