Luna Cafe…

Luna Cafe…

“Coffee and friends, make the perfect blend.”

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

Facade… They’re on the second floor.

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

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

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

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

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

Quesadillas..

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Little Flour Café

Little Flour Café

“Love doesn’t just sit there like a stone, It had to be made like bread, remade all the time, made new.” ~Ursula K. Le Guin~

It was just accidental that I discovered Little Flour Café, it is the brainchild of Wild Flour Cafe, that charming country-style bakery which instantly became famous for the Cronut (Crossant + Donut) craze as they were the first one to do it, but I remember a hotel in Makati did Dossant (Donut + Crossant) too. Still, they captured the discriminating taste of Filipinos (4 branches in less than 3 years) but with some tweaks that are intentionally executed to create a signature distinction, still, both has achieved the same recognizable theme.

Very country-side signage.
“Off-mall.”

However, it saddened me when the “Pistachio Au lait” isn’t available during our visit.

Originally, I was eager to witness how those chairs were hung and instantly created a different and unique form of art.

One of my fascinations.

It isn’t peak yet, there are a few guests in some tables, so I was free to have my photo taken with those hanging chairs. You know how much I love chairs!

It’s almost lunch, so we kinda have like a brunch:

I had my mushroom bowl, it is packed with roasted mushroom, pickled vegetables, grains with fried egg. It is a bit spicy for me but I can manage. Besides, I am in front of half a dozen sweets ordered for me by my other-half.

My mushroom bowl…

They also do coffee art. You can even request your name be spelled on it. =)

Latte art. =)

These pastries that we personally choose from the display area, with an attendant who helped us decide by describing each and what sells best, so we came up with 5 different items. Both of us love “ube” (purple yam) so we get that one too. They call it “Ube Bomboloni”. Bombolini are doughnuts in Italy.

Neatly arranged goodies.
Are those flowers for sale too?
There are jams too. =)
Almost half a dozen goodies in front of us.
A very simple menu board.

There is a waiting area furnished with different types of chairs, in anticipation of guests waiting to be sitted while waiting during peak hours.

Nice chairs.

With its’ cozy interiors and well-appointed furniture, it is surely a place to linger with both colleagues and friends. And of course with a loved-one. =)

=)

PS

They also have special wines and beers. =)

But no Blue moon. =( Just Stellas.
Little Flour Café is at the ground level of World Plaza Building, 4th Avenue, corner 31st. Street, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig

         You can contact them at 02-777-7383. They’re open from 6:00 am to 10:00 pm                 daily.

Let’s Go Spinning

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

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

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

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

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

Spin-off!
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Growth is essential..

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

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Family comes first. =)

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

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

Vision realized.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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SPIN-OFF pilot branch is located at:

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

 

 

A whimsy and quirky place in Lubao, Pampanga

Prado Farm – A whimsy and quirky place in Lubao, Pampanga

“Seeing how beauty and functionality have been coaxed out of chaos, perhaps accounts for the sense of magic that one feels for Prado Farm”. ~Mariel Francisco~

It is a rare occurrence that I get to find things that are new to me. Things that inspire, fascinate and drive me to move forward. Even slowly but surely getting where I want and who to be.

Over the years, I have explored in my own little way and maybe more in the coming years if I can afford them already. A few friends inspire me too, pushes me to my limits because they know and desires seeing me making my big dreams come true.

They knew what’s it like how to place random items together and uncover a new-born artistry. They don’t just know how, they feel it.

Targeting a place somewhere in Bulacan, as I do my research, I went farther north and landed to a farm in Lubao, Pampanga. Thanks to fellow bloggers, they unveiled to my senses a place that arrested my attention.

I researched further if those who wrote about it are professional photographers as their photos are really amazing and soulful. It reminded me that it takes two to create beautiful pictures. Someone who’s got the eye for it, and the subject itself. I didn’t include a modish dslr, cool tripods/ monopods or even gargantuan lenses. All it takes are young convivial hearts that are unafraid, seeking and lovers of fun with their up-to-the-minute mobile phones. And voila!

So their photos brought us one weekend to Pampanga. A few hours travel by bus and we reach our seasoned and whimsical destination.

Prado farm is located at Siongco, Prado in Lubao, Pampanga. It is strategically situated in the main road and can easily be spotted if you have your own vehicle or just riding a bus.

The gate that’s made of old gas tanks was the only thing that I wanted to see in my own eyes, but Jen introduced me to several Instagram photos that there’s a lot more to it. Seriously, I don’t know what inspired the owners but the place is a mixture of anything which results into a very bewitching place.

I even got a vintage coaster which has a “1930” stamped to it. There’s a lot of grizzled items but they’re a bit pricey. Just to get there is sufficient to me already and to shop is something I candeal with another day soon.

I must say the 5-hectare farm is truly a “wander and wonder” thing to me.

The Facade

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The Souvenir Shop

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The Blue House

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The Old Train Station converted into a Museum

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On our way to the Yellow house

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The Yellow House

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On our way to the Hotel

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I opted not to visit the pool as like a mermaid I might plunge into the water instantly, rather, listed in our bucket an overnight stay with them soon.

Junk architecture, sustainable designs, vivid colors, a vast flora, unique innovativeness, organic food, a set of artworks here and there that are literally surprising, country and vintage feel, a place that brings you back in time, giving you feelings of incredulity yet reckon that they are real right there in front of your eyes. All quirky and whimsy. =)

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If you want to visit the farm, their address is: Km 94 -95 Jose Abad Santos highway, Prado Siongco Lubao, Pampanga. You may call contact them at: 0920 903 0964 and you can visit their website too: http://pradofarms.com/

 

MAARTE Fair 2016…

Maarte Fair 2016

“I was created to create.”

Maarte Fair kicked-off 3 years ago and much as I want to see it then, time didn’t permit me.

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Since 2013…

So come 2016, I looked forward to it and kept an eye as to when it’ll be held and of course where.

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Photo source: http://www.manilashopper.com/2016/08/maarte-fair-at-8-rockwell-august-2016.html

Upon seeing the event’s title, I remember our own exhibit before I graduated from college. It says: “Artenikulasa”. It featured our actual execution of what was in our thesis. It was held at Shangri-la mall, in Mandaluyong City.

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OMG! 1993! ahaha

Being “maarte” might insinuate a not so positive thought to many, however, with me, at times I am being associated with everything that is “maarte”, I didn’t mind and even took it as a compliment.

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Ground floor of Rockwell 8..
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Best booth awardee..
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Everything is nice and pretty…

I’d rather be known as “maarte” than be bland, not necessarily being up to date with all the current trends, just making sure there is artistry, be it with the way I dress, the way I fix my sanctuary, even with my cooking and how I blog or write as well.

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my-fvrt

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Due to a really very busy schedule, and hunting for friends who would take their time out just to accompany me, even if at times it’s not their cup of tea, I found my way to see the fair on a Sunday. It’s the last day of the event. For the last three years, it’s been held every last weekend of August, from Friday to Sunday.

I had this fear of not being able to make it again this time, for one, I got sick last week, the whole of Saturday was pre-planned to celebrate my sister-in-law’s birthday and I made sure that Sunday would be free. And I had to mention being thankful to my ever supportive buddy – Jen, she is not just my travel and foodie buddy but also my art buddy as well. I am good to attend it alone, It’s just that it would be great to share with her this experience and get her views too.

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Cheese platter…

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Anthill from Cebu was there..=)

So this it, finally I get to see the fair. I could not express how happy and excited I was to make it and see myself witnessing artisans from all over the country showcasing the best of their crafts. It was an assembly of individuals with a common ground. Their love for art.

An artist’s life has two sides like a coin, the other is the realization that you are one and the other side is living the realization. They are the other side. While I, I think I’m on my way.

The artist in all of us is seen in all our surroundings. It is there each time we speak, it is traced in our gaze, it is evident in our every actions, with the way we express ourselves and it is felt in our hearts. You would instantly notice it upon meeting another.

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The fair was a gamut of everything that is nice and pretty and tedious. I say tedious because it took someone’s time and effort and laborious days and nights to finish a masterpiece. Signed with uniqueness.

plates

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coasters

ethnicity

pillows

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Time is gold…

And once it is finished, it spelled happiness in every artisan.

You will also wonder as to what inspired them to create one when passion is calling their names out loud. To create a piece, there is always an inspiration behind, and believe me, each story is uniquely interesting.

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clutches

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Buslo.. and intricately embellished clutches..

Creating a piece for me is like two souls intertwined, the one who created it and the one who was why it was created. That piece itself is like a bond that will pull them together for as long as the memory can recall.

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Every artist can evolve… everyone can…

These are the things that inspires me as well, so I am looking up again next year to witness all things beautiful reborn. Who knows, I might see myself as one of them too.