Where to Eat: Beantage Cafe

Yass! It’s Friday! Hmm.. I smell weekend plus it’s payday! I can’t help my excitement.

For those residing in Cavite, Beantage cafe is old news. Established in 2014 and with three stores currently operating, one branch in Imus and the other two in Bacoor. Upon entry to the cafe, it is impossible not to notice their walls painted with fun and inspiring sayings related to your favorite joe. Aside from good food and drinks what’s more enticing about this cafe is the rustic interiors that gives a vibe as if you are just having a cup of coffee or tea  in your own cozy attic with your squad.

Serving food that costs below PhP 200 this cafe joint is perfect for students and yuppies who wants to have their own sweet time but is penny-pinching.

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Nachos – PhP 130
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Ferrero – PhP 160
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Oreo – PhP 145 + Cheese Bacon – PhP 115

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‘Till my next food adventure! Have a nice weekend!

XO: Chia

Why I love my Philippines

Stuck in day to day heavy traffic, empty promises made by some pompous politicians, little income but high taxes, and  corruption are only few of the things we dislike about this country, but if there are 100 obvious reasons to hate this country I see five big reasons to love my Philippines.

#1 Waters

Philippines an archipelago made up of over 7000 islands, a home for stunning waterfalls, rivers, lakes and beaches. To name a few there is Potipot island known as the little Boracay of Zambales for it has powdery white sand and crystal blue waters. You can reach the island through a small boat in less than 10 minutes from Dawal beach. It doesn’t matter if you are just a curious tourist who wants to drop by and check how beautiful the place is or someone who is in a quest of finding oneself looking for some alone time with nature so decide to try primitive living, set up a tent and stay overnight. Surely, you will enjoy the beauty of this little island with or without accompany the way I did.

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Looking for a place beautifully developed; make your way to Puerto Galera white beach in Oriental Mindoro. Recognized for its wonderful diving spots fall in love with the rich life underwater or enjoy the surrounding view of lush green mountains during daytime.  Can’t stand a night without partying?  Have fun watching fire dancers doing flare routines, and enjoy conversing with friends over good drinks. How can I dare say no to this place?

If the beach doesn’t sound interesting maybe a trek to Kabigan (kaibigan = friend) waterfalls is. A 120-foot waterfall with a base forming a natural pool shape hiding deep inside the forest of Brgy. Baloi Pagudpud Ilocos Norte waiting to be discovered. On your way to the falls, you will find a river stream too! Pretty certain that it would be an alluring experience for nature junkies.

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#2 Histories

Subjugated by foreign countries hundreds of years ago Philippines is also a country rich in stories that needs to be told. Try to go anywhere and I guarantee there is an interesting story behind those big old walls. The Bantay (Bantay meaning guard.) Belfry that sits on top of a hill in Ilocos Sur for example, built in 1590, said it has served as a watchtower and was part of the city’s defense during the Spanish regime. And the grounds around the tower were believed to be the same grounds where Diego Silang with his troops fought the Spaniards centuries ago. If the tower looks familiar, that is because scenes of the movie Panday were shot there. How cool is that?

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Want to hear a folklore? Here’s the one I find lovely interesting:  The story of the star crossed lovers Marin and Duque. There’s a beautiful Princess named Marin who had many suitors including the Datus (Royal leaders.) of Camarines, Mindoro and Laguna. But Marin is in love with a modest man Duque. Despite the absolute disapproval of her father Datu Batungbakal they continued seeing each other secretly. Until the Princess decided to follow her heart and leave the royal life, she was born with. So, one night they rode a boat heading Tayabas Bay. Unfortunately, her father learned about their plan so Datu Batungbakal together with the Datus of Camarines, Mindoro and Laguna the persistent suitors of Marin sailed after the lovers. When Marin and Duque thought that they would be caught, they decided to drown themselves. Years had passed when a heart shaped land emerged from the spot where the ill-fated lovers drowned. They named the island Marinduque – the heart of the Philippines. See we have our own version of Romeo and Juliet.  

#3 People

Branded as the country of smiles, I bet it’s no news that we Filipinos are naturally… happy people (well, except for those who are having a bad day! 😛 ). Very hopeful and full of sense of humor, Filipinos can find happiness even in the most dire situation. And believe it or not we are honest people, *Laughs* this trait may be hard to see among our politicians but Filipinos are honest. Just look at the Ivantans (Locals of Batanes.) they are regarded as the epitome of honesty that means we can be as honest if we want to. Creative and hard working these are the most obvious traits we Filipinos have. One good example for me is the Burnay jar makers. They manually pedal the potter’s wheel then mold the bantog clay using their skilful hands very determined to make a beautiful piece of Burnay jar. This is hard work and creativity combined. I am honored to be a Filipino. Are you?

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#4 Food

Filipino cuisine is equally rich as our history and talking about being creative earlier, that works for culinary too. Naturally gifted with wide variety of ingredients needed for cooking, Filipino food is very interesting as the flavors vary from island to island. Give your palate a treat of Ulang Ulang a native dish in Marinduque made of grated young coconut, de shelled shrimps and calamansi. It is an original recipe of Aurora Pitero mother of Rose Sotta the owner of Casa de Don Emilio a restaurant at Boac, Marinduque.

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Craving for the best Bulalo soup? Drive straight to Mahogany market in Tagaytay. You don’t have to be disappointed for not getting the view of Taal volcano from this side because eateries at Mahogany market are famous for serving the best sinful bone marrow soup that will just make other Bulalo you’ve tasted seem bland. Did this stimulate your taste buds?

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# 5 Thrilling Adventures

Philippines do have a big room for thrill seekers too! It depends how dauntless you are but there are activities that would shake the hell out of yourselves. If cliff diving is your thing then you must have heard Imelda cave at Marcos island in Pangasinan. A twin chambered cathedral shaped cave with a natural pool said to be 70 feet deep. Climb up to the cave wearing your life vest then jump for as high as 20 feet.

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Like Morroco and Dubai, we also have natural sand dunes in the country. You don’t need to travel so far for an exhilarating voyage just visit Paoay sand dunes in Ilocos Norte. Ride a 4×4 jeep, hold on tight at the steel bars, then enjoy trailing the small, medium (seems like a 45 degree) to high (what seems like a 90 degree) slope sands that would make your knees feel like jelly.

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How can I not choose to love the country that has so much beautiful things to offer? It wouldn’t be called Pearl of the Orient Seas for no reason, right?

Chia

Second hike, first summit! Mt. Maculot

Hey everyone! First, i’d like to apologize for my absence for like a month?

I told you I hate excuses so I don’t like making one too. I can be so cruel to myself. But I guess I owe you guys an explanation? (Hehehe) So, here let me try making a creative excuse: You know I’ve started studying more about fashion coz I want to be part of the  industry (professionally) and I’ve been juggling my time between my full time job, part time job; researching, styling and doing photo shoot plus photo editing for my assignments, and hey my graphic design class have just started too. In short, my blogging life have to sacrifice a little, but will try my best to catch up.

Moving on, I want to share here my hiking trip to Mt. Maculot with my parents, titos and tita last February. How fun was that? Well, I wasn’t the youngest in the group to start with; there’s only a little age difference between me, my titos, and tita; and my parents are just in their 40s. It’s very unusual though that I do this kind of trip with my parents. I’d say it was fun-ny (pun intended) in its own special way. What makes it more unbelievable is it was my mom who initiated this hiking trip. But that was cool, right?

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It was 9:00 am when we started trekking. It was raining intermittently too. The way up the mountain was steep and muddy and slippery making our climb more challenging especially for non pros like us. Along the way we encountered people going up and down the mountain. We’ve exchanged hellos, take care and wishes of luck it was amusing because people don’t do such in a normal setting.

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The owner of this bath place is my distant grandfather!

On the way up we found resting stations selling fresh coconut juice and light snacks so we had a lot of stop overs (Hello, newbies). Halo-halo anyone?

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It was already 11:30 when we reached the campsite so we head right away to climb the Rockies.

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This is butchi ng batangas by the way. My favorite local food in Batangas.

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From this view, I thought it would be impossible to climb those rocks, but then again the adrenaline rush spiked telling me I have to do it.
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So I did! It was 12:15 P.M. too bad I couldn’t get a decent photo of me. It was so windy up there I felt like the wind could fly me any moment. But the view was so darn beautiful! We had a good view of Taal volcano up there.

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The rain had stopped leaving a muddy trail. We reached the summit at around 3 in the afternoon giving everyone a rewarding feeling. It’s as if we won first place in a marathon.

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Climbing down the summit was twice harder because we have to do a lot of rappelling with no harness. We had to be very careful otherwise we might end up with broken bones or it could just be the first and last mountain for us.

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The scariest part for me was when reached the grotto it was 6:25 P.M and the wind up there was so strong, stronger than when we were at the Rockies and Summit, it was whistling. I am dauntless, but I don’t want to be blown away unplanned. Hahaha

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Hiking may be a very tiring activity as it requires great physical and mental strength. During the ascent someone could ask why are we doing this? The other could curse the person who invited him/her. Then probably you could hear someone promising that he/she will never hike again, ever. The funny thing is, when you reach the highest parts of the mountain (Rockies – Summit – Grotto) and see the beautiful view from the top it gives you a rewarding feeling. It rejuvenates the once depleted energy and makes you want to take back everything negative you have just said on your way up because the truth is you want to do it over and over again. It is addictive.

Chia

Mount Maculot, Cuenca Batangas
Rockies - 706 MASL
Summit - 930 MASL
Grotto - 510 MASL

MOP Part 2: Couplerific played inside Yexel’s Museum

As promised here’s the part two of our “Best date ever, yet.” story. I just feel so lucky to have a partner who also loves to try new things, and discover fun & exciting places. Isn’t it lovely when you are both on the same page?

I have been to some museums here in the country, but it was my first time to visit a toy museum. First times are always fun, and we are all after the fun, right?

So what’s inside Yexel’s Toy Museum? Well, nothing extraordinary just some LIFE size toys that will bring back the playful heart inside you. (Wink)

Who is Yexel by the way? Yexel Sebastian is very well-known for his extensive collection of about more than 10,000 toys. (How cool is that? Very cool.) He started his collection at age of 7 by collecting small toys from fast food outlets. (Okay kids start safe keeping all your toys. LOLs)

Upon entering I was welcomed by Alger and his army (Minions).

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Be careful with these cute, but not so little things because they…. bite. (Argghh!)

Next was the upside down corner.

You know I always wish that I can do this stunt whenever I feel blue. Glad I had the chance. HAHA

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Uhhmm boss, what are you doing? You have to go back to work!

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I thought you sideline as Batman. I never knew you have Spidey skills too!

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Pop-up question for ladies: If you would have a chance to go on a date with a superhero who would you choose and why?

Candidate number 1: Spider man who could climb up to your window for a good night kiss.

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Candidate number 2: The super handsome Superman. All eyes on you if he would be your date.

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Candidate number 3: The Dark Night -Batman. (Batman not on duty on the left is mine, sorry. HAHA)

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That was a hard question, right? I’d rather choose these cute ones, at least I will have three dates. Hahaha

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Look who’s a fan of Game of Thrones.

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Oh my shoe! I have been looking for this all over our house. Yexel, why did you hide it inside a glass box?!

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I am not really a fan of the movie Star Wars, and I can’t remember if I was able to watch one, but I guess he is a bad guy?

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And he is the boss?

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H.E.L.P!!!

Shout out to Iron Man fans!

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And this is my favorite. I so love this animated film “Up”. The idea of getting old with someone you love and how would life be if he/she uhhmm.. dies and you are the one left behind. 😦 That’s kind of sad, but this film and toy museum made me realize that I can never be too old for new adventures and toys.

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Have you been to Yexel’s Museum? What was your favorite?

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For us, every single day we spend together is special.

Keep loving,

Chia

 

2nd floor, Manila Ocean Park Complex
Pasay Boulevard Manila

Couplerific goes to Manila Ocean Park (Part 1)

Holla everyone! I know by this time you have started searching, planning or booking your trips for summer season. Pretty sure everyone is excited for their most awaited vacation! Tell me who is not? (Killjoy)

This January we just celebrated our Nth anniversary as bf-gf at the Manila Ocean Park. We spent at least 9 hours gallivanting around this amazing park. The package we availed includes 10 attractions for only Php 799 through an online deal. Yey! Happy anniversary to us! #Couplerific

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Days before our visit I made our itinerary because I know we could enjoy just one attraction so much. I don’t want us to end up not able to see all 10. I suggest you do the same (make your itinerary) so you can track if you are running out or still have more time to spend in one attraction. That way it would be easier for you to make adjustments when needed. First rule when travelling – Plan Ahead.

First on our list was the Oceanarium and Jellies Exhibit. By the way, it was Alger’s first time to enter this park while it’s my third. So I am excited for him.

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Even so, I was still astounded to see those beautiful underwater creatures up close. Although I can sense their sadness because for all we know they really don’t belong inside those tanks.

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This is nautilus (not the character from the League of Legends online game), I am talking about the mollusk living in deep water. Considered by many to be a living fossil, a distant cousin to squids, octopus, and cuttlefish; it can use jet propulsion to attain speed of over two knots. Is that fast enough for species underwater?

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There are fish that have honorable names too! Like this yellow-striped cardinalfish. I wonder if they have archbishop too. (JK)

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Hand salute to Sergeant Major! They have five black bars resembling the insignia of a Sergeant Major in the military services. According to written facts male sergeant majors guard the eggs during the four days incubation period prior to hatching.

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Seahorses are considered fish guys. Not a swimming horse. HEHE They are said to be monogamous (which is rare to humans nowadays, Ooops! I meant to say unlike other fish) and they mate for life.

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And these two are my favorite. When I held my camera they both swam near me and posed. Lionfish is venomous and its sting is extremely painful to humans, but rarely fatal. Ouch!

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In my observation, Oceanarium stayed the same since my first and second visit aside for this “magic tank” where you can insert your hand and let the doctor fish suck & nibble your skin.

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In case you want to know how it feels. It doesn’t hurt, its ticklish. His big smile is my proof to that.

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Be enchanted by these dancing fairies inside the jellies exhibit. We learned that jellyfish do not have brains, heart and blood so it’s amazing that they have existed here on Earth for million years.

[Note to future visitors: Please do not use camera flash when taking photos of these lovely creatures it is the least you can do for them. They are unfortunate enough to be put inside tanks for human pleasure so let’s take good care of them.]

Next attraction was the Trails to Antarctica and Snow village. This is new to me, we were both excited to see penguins-for real, the Humboldt penguins! These flightless birds are just so adorable.

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For your #ootd I suggest you wear a crop top inside the Snow Village. It’s definitely the most brilliant idea! LOLs! Nahh, I am  just being sarcastic.

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It was so cold but we enjoyed the weather inside so much.

We watched all the animal shows too. The Penguin Talk Show (This is virtual. Penguins do not speak human language.), Amazing Bird Show, and Sea Lion Show.  We had so much fun watching the smart animals perform.MOP16

We had the chance to touch the sting rays,

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and the sharks too!

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The truth is, we did not though I wanted to.

Then, we went inside the sanctuary of one of the most mighty birds in the country, the Brahminy Kites (Lawin)!

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After we indulged ourselves with alluring animals we visited Yexel’s Museum too. Will talk about it on my next post. 🙂

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We ended MOP adventure watching the magical symphony evening show. Manila Ocean Park is indeed a great place for everyone, may it be an educational trip for kids, a recreational place for family and peers, or a dating place for couples like us.

It was our best date ever, yet.

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When I almost thought a good day was over he gave me a bouquet of flowers! (Syempre kilig much si girl. HAHA)

Chia

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