190 Artists Gallery

190 Artists Gallery

“An Artist cannot fail. It is a success just to be one.” ~Charles Horton Cooley~

I just have this immeasurable admiration for people who invest in the Arts and culture. And this is where 190 Artists Gallery (formerly Artists Haven) true passion and genius lies.

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As I spotted this place, my imagination immediately came back from how it all began and how they were able to throw in together and generate such vast collection on top of a very well thought of and awe-inspiring interiors. Not to forget mentioning the foolproof blending of colors that only a true artist can achieve. Plus the great line-up of food to top it all.

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I have been dreaming too big to witness up-close places that’s synonymous to Arts, as this niche grows dynamically each day. I might not be not fortunate enough as most of them are located in other countries, and I do not have that capacity yet. However, during discoveries like this, and 190 Artists Gallery’s location is doable for me, It didn’t take me a week to decide and visit.

Their Social Media Account Manager is so accommodating to guide me upon my inquiry.

And when I get there, everything spelled happy.

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For all the Art Enthusiasts out there, you would want to visit this place and truly enjoy every minute of it. Let alone those Instagrammable photos amuse your viewers and yourself as well as it did to me.

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They have been giving workshops too. I intend to go back and hopefully there will be an ongoing activity by then. There’s more to see on the second floor. And try the other special treats from their menu list.  =)

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At home, I’ve always dreamt that my bathroom is the prettiest spot in the house. And so this one inspired me big time.

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That feeling of “I can’t get enough” applies, I’ll just let my photos speak for themselves. =)

I learned that most of them are by renowned visual artist and a master printmaker – Fil Dela Cruz among other well-known artists.

I wondered why I discovered them just now. The Gallery have been there for more than 30 years now. Probably during the 80s, these books are proofs.

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It just didn’t stimulate all of my senses, I felt my soul is so delighted too. =)

190 Artists Gallery is located at:

190 Aguirre Ave., BF Homes, Parañaque, Metro Manila. Should you wish to contact them and request for a reservation, here’s their number: 02-825 8810. They are on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/190ArtistsGallery/

 

 

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The Black Pig

The Black Pig
“Good food is good mood.”
Coming across an article that featured restaurants with the most beautiful and impressive interiors, being a designer,  it has drawn me to see them up close and personal. Neil’s Kitchen was in that list though I’ve been there several times and I must agree that their interiors is not just beautiful, their food is awesome too. The next that caught my attention from the list is The Black Pig.
It is a few blocks away from Neil’s Kitchen. It’s in Alabang too at the second level of Commerce Center. Without the heat of the sun, it is walking distance for me. The Black Pig’s facade isn’t too attractive as the whole place from the outside isn’t well- lighted. But the welcoming smiles of their attendants will compensate for that which kept my brain engaged.
Since Jen already commented:”The placed looked gloomy.” This is because they opted to use hanging lamps and pin lights on selected areas.
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Rustic..
Upon entrance, it is only the time I began admiring the place from the interiors, their furniture, lighting system, the colors that they’ve chosen, the vigilance of their attendants to the table wares (made by a known potter from Laguna), cutlery and the food itself. 
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Floor decal..

 

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Call cards..

 

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Looked Moroccan to me. =)
There are some touches of green elements which add life to the whole place. What will caught your attention is definitely the bar.
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Awesome..

 

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There’s the famous bar..

 

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I liked that swing door going to the kitchen..
It exudes order and class by the use of black and brown finishes. Usually, most bars looked untidy even if the items are properly arranged due to the fact that you see everything from it: sorts of bottles, glass, machines, some bars are even with baskets of fruits displayed on the counter like so much is happening in it. At The Black Pig, you will see the clutter though it will not sore your depicting eyes.
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Coasters made from Guava tree..

 

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All corners are inviting..

 

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And we choose this.

 

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Not yet peak time when we visited..

 

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That chair…

There’s even a guide for drinking wine.

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Very useful especially with me who doesn’t drink any liquor at all.

A cool utensils rack.

 

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Very orderly..

When it comes to food. We had a three course meal altogether which started with a green salad:

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I enjoyed this fresh treat..

I am training my palette with fresh greens and it’s followed by a slow-cooked chicken dish:

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Chicken please. =)

and home-made ice cream for dessert.

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Ube for me and caramel for Jen..

We had the feel of drinking Al fresco with that refreshing raspberry iced tea.

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Al fresco..
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Raspberry iced tea..

According to the attendants, peak time is usually dinner time onward because they serve alcoholic drinks too.

During the afternoon, if you wish for a less crowded place to have lunch or snack. The Black pig will give you that. It is ideal for business meetings too. For the overall experience, dining there, the ambiance, service and carefully prepared food is recommendable.
I suggest that you try it, when you’re heading to the south. They’re located at: Commerce Center Building, Filinvest Ave. corner, E Asia Drive, Filinvest Corporate City, Alabang, Muntinlupa, 1781 Metro Manila

Niña’s Kitchen in Biñan, Laguna

Niña’s Kitchen in Biñan, Laguna

“Everyday may not be good, but there is always something good in everyday.”

Niña’s Kitchen is probably one the most talked-about restaurant in Laguna. Or becoming if I may say. It is a residential house which ground floor they turned into a commercial one, serving Filipino dishes (with a tweak) from breakfast to dinner.

I have been seeing it every so often from social media threads lately and out of curiosity, I dragged Jen one Sunday afternoon.

What made it more famous than its’ competitors is because it was endorsed by our former Ms. Universe since the owner is a friend (and a classmate) of hers.

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Photos and memories..

The most photographed item that they offer per my research is the “suman sa lihiya (lye)”. So it was my first reason why I wanted to visit their place. My mom used to prepare this before, and I really miss it. She is old already and can’t perform usual tasks anymore.

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The place is snug, there are decorative objects equally distributed in the garden,

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there’s even a bike with a basket holding a bouquet of flowers, which created a country-feel and very laid-back scenery. Relaxing and thought-provoking as well.

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The dining area is quite huge, which can hold more or less 50 guests. There are actually three separate rooms to dine and we chose the one in a corner. The space outside is huge too.

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It leads to the front yard too though it stays unopened and the entrance for guests is the one in the main dining hall where the counter and kitchen is situated.

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Jen and I both sitted in the tufted bench beside that gorgeous red door.

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On your left upon entrance is the stairs with quotes that I spotted in several blogs. So I made sure we have a picture on it. #thisthingwithstairs

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The decors that are equally distributed in every corner were hints that most of which were from the owner’s many travels.

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We’re supposed to order pasta and burger, but they’re no longer available. According to the attendant, there was a surge earlier. When we came before dinner time, only three tables were occupied giving me the liberty to take photos of items that are interesting to me.

We then chose pizza with pepperonis and still they’re no longer available. We ended up ordering the one with mushrooms. Jen ordered for the churros and I got my suman sa lihiya.

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As a disclaimer, the attendant warned us that the pizza must be consumed immediately. The pizza is good, a healthy option since it is meatless. But true enough, in all fairness, we were warned, the pizza dough got firmer, and it’s no longer chewy to the bite.

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The churros for me is over-rated, there is nothing special to it except for that mint leaf, just as how you expect churros to be, while the chocolate dip is good, it didn’t remind me of a brand, and only a good chef can do it or it is home-made. =)

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The Filipino way of gathering is skillfully interpreted in this place. Local favorites infused with some internationally known dishes and a homey ambience. Huge tables, family pictures, souvenirs, hanging plants, a Sto. Nino to guard the place, the greenery, makes-up for the over-all cozy feel.

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Surely, we can celebrate some occasion here with friends and family. Or maybe even if without something to celebrate. =)

It is located at:

Lot 32 Blk. 8, Silmer Village, Biñan, Laguna. You can call them at: 0915-649-3952

 

THE NEST – Vivere Hotel

The Nest at VIVERE Hotel…

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=)

http://www.thetomatotart.com/life/quotable-friday-kurt-vonnegut-enjoy-the-little-things/

Now that we’re free for a few days, we had the chance to go out in the evening. Whereas during ordinary days, normally we just go out to have a quick lunch out or to have coffee somewhere near.

And since collecting stickers (for that famous planner) is over, we decided to have our coffee from The Nest. It is located at the roof top of Vivere hotel. The Nest is one of our favorite place in Alabang where I hang-out with colleagues and friends.

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The bar..
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Rustic inspired..
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Rustic/ vintage theme..
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And gorgeous tiles from Machuca…

Jen haven’t tried there yet so it was our first choice along the other hotels in Alabang, namely Bellevue, Azumi, Acacia and Crimson hotel.

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Selfie! =)
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C/o Jen..
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To the hallways..

Each has something to boast, and them being a few blocks away from each other, gave Alabang residents and its’ nearby neighborhood good options to bring friends and/ or families.

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Happy holidays!

One of the detriments of the season is that traffic gets really bad. So instead of having a full dinner at Vivere, we first munch a few at home as we are scared to get stuck (and starving) on the road.

Surprisingly, it took us less than an hour to get to the 31st floor of Vivere hotel.

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We’re on the 31st floor..

We also didn’t expect that the place will be as crowded. Though luck’s on our side, we secured a corner of our own.

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I remember Jen asking if the pool is operational. I just said maybe in the day time. =)
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The corner we’ve got with a nice view of Alabang’s nightscape…
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Loved that corner we spotted.

There is a band at that time serenading us with hits from the 80s. And of course I can sing along because I was already a school girl during then. =)

So what we’ve had for that late dinner.

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The Nest…

We intend to get nachos as aperitif, however, it is no longer available at that time.

I then ordered for my burger. It came with French fries.

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With 3 choices of condiments (mayo, ketchup and coleslaw).

And Jen had pasta in white sauce.

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Pasta with grilled chicken strips. We were disappointed that upon revamp of their menus, they removed the pizzas. =(

We both decided to have iced tea instead of coffee, ironically, it felt freezing when you drink something with ice while the wind is as strong as we chose to dine al fresco.

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It was good..=)

Not being used to the biting cold, we opted to stay indoor and enjoyed the interiors of the Picasso hall.

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Eyed another Picasso boutique hotel in Makati too..

When I saw my favorite machucas, some magnificent and voguish lighting fixtures dangling from the ceiling, soft-cushioned sofas in damask patterns, it actually doubled the fun I was feeling at that time.

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Relaxed mode..
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Inside Picasso (banquet area)..
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I can do that wall, I think! =)

It felt good and sweet going back to a beautiful place that reminds you of good old times spent with good old friends. Wishing to collect more sweet memories here. =)

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Through the years..
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Happy holidays! =)

Vivere Hotel is located at 5102 Bridgeway Ave., cor. Asean Dr | Filinvest Corporate City, Alabang, Muntinlupa, Luzon 1781, Philippines

BALAY DAKO – A must-visit…

BALAY DAKO

“Enjoy life, it is delicious.”

Catching up with myself, I decided to self-gratify and do a quick fix by visiting one of my favorite places in the Philippines – Tagaytay.

Among the long list of where to make our tummies happy, we chose “Balay Dako”.

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She’s all smile getting there.
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Waiting area..
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Piaya originated from Bacolod..
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Sorbetes! (Ice cream)

Immediately upon entering their enormous dining hall, we found our spot.

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While waiting for our food..

It is facing a central view of the famous Taal lake. It came to us with the soft cool breeze of Tagaytay. And some fogs too which were too thin to notice.

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The weather was great at that time.

Spending almost 3 hours to get there from my place, we ordered some of their specialties to our heart’s content.

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And relaxing at the same time..

And while waiting for our food, I took photos of what they’re using in their kitchen.

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It was good to know that some of these are in my kitchen too..

I must not forget to mention here that Chef Tony (Escalante) was there and smiles at everyone including me. #startruck

Permit me this awe since he is touted as one of the best chefs in Asia. The brain behind Antonio’s Restaurant. Though the Executive Chef of Balay Dako is Chef Ricky Sison.

So, here’s what we’ve had:

Our table were filled with Filipino cuisine and the usual that we cooked at home, but broadly speaking, the taste and ambiance and the service are 2 thumbs up.

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We had shrimps, beef and green mango salad.
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Two old-time favorites: Turon and bibingka..
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And another favorite: Sago and gulaman for our drinks.
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We were also provided with mascuvado sugar either for our bibingka or sago gulaman should we wanted it sweeter.
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Each table is served with staple condiments.

And these are the elements making up a note-worthy place that deserves frequent visit. I then again wished that Tagaytay is just 15 minutes away from me. More of a visceral thing to me. We were in a relaxed mode anyway.

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I had fun spotting two of the most important letters to me..=)

The place is huge, giving justice to it’s name: “Balay Dako”. Dako is big in the Visayas where Chef Tony hailed from.

You’d be glad to know that after we had our desserts, our feet lead us to their specialty shop and brought home some stuff too.

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Went shopping too.
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Neatly arranged items..
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Chalkboard menuboard which will eventually be included in my other blog that features my fascination on Calligraphy.
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When you visit this, there’ll always be something that you can bring home..
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Like these..
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Fish in oil..
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Chicharon which equates to 20 counts of burpees.. =p
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Freshly-baked daily.

Find time to visit the place and I’m pretty sure you’ll like it there too.

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Their welcome arch..

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They asked if we have tried these other two: Breakfast at Antonios and Antonio’s Restaurant (the pilot branch). And if not, they said that we must. =) I think I’ll start saving for the latter. Their steaks are famous. =)

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