Desserts in the Sky, Iloilo City

When I went home to Iloilo last December, one of the items on my list was to try Desserts in the Sky. People flooded Facebook and Instagram with pictures of its quaint interiors and classy-looking desserts because it only opened a few weeks before my trip. Luckily, my friends Tesha and Kathleen decided to meet me there a few days before my flight back to Manila (darn).

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Tushy and Murky outside DITS.

We were the first customers on that Saturday morning, arrived just a few minutes after it opened. The place started to get really crowded around lunch time. So, the tip is to go during brunch so you can enjoy the place and find a cozy corner and a table for you and your company.

I have decided to write more detailed reviews only for blogging events so you’ll just see bits of info on other restaurants that I decide to blog about. I think it’s only fair. :)

Interiors

Can I just say that I can live in a house that exactly looks like this? Everything is just perfect. It has high ceilings. Its walls are painted with bright and cheerful colors. The chairs are unconventional, fancy, and arranged randomly with different tables. And that vintage accent wall, don’t even get me started on that vintage accent wall.

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Pretty Tushy! Message me for her number. Kidding. ;)

20150102_110834 20150102_111949 20150102_111808 There are artworks, paintings, and quotes on the walls too. All of them are on point. Striking, memorable, charming, what else are the other pleasant adjectives?

Food

But restaurants should be loved for their food and not for their interiors, right? What can I say about these?

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Back Ribs (P245) – Grilled Tender Pork Ribs on sinful BBQ sauce

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Soy Garlic Chicken Wings (P120) – Crispy Chicken Wings coated with Soy Garlic Sauce

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Euthenia Pizza (P150) – All Meat

The Back Ribs, Soy Garlic Chicken, and the Euthenia Pizza are all must-tries. I wasn’t disappointed. I loved them all! I got used to Manila rates so I was really surprised when I saw that the pizza was only P150! The prices are really student-friendly. They’re very affordable but delicious. I didn’t get to try their bread and buns, though.

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Pizza Dog (P45)

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Cheezy Tuna Bun (P40)

Drinks and Desserts Latte? Loved it. Wintermelon? Tushy loved it. Kath got water.

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Iced Sky Latte (P95) and Iced Wintermelon Tea (P90)

Too bad I forgot the names of the desserts. I think the first one is a triple chocolate cake and the other is a yema cupcake. They look really tempting, but I really didn’t like them that much. I guess I’ll save my final judgment after the next time I try their other desserts. 20150102_142035 20150102_142122

The best part of going there early was getting this spot. It’s probably the best one for an Instagram post.

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Desserts in the Sky is located at

San Rafael, Mandurriao, Iloilo City

Open from 10am-11pm (Sundays – Thursdays)

and 10am-12mn (Friday, Saturday and holidays)

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DessertInTheSky?ref=ts&fref=ts

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The Nest, Vivere Hotel, Alabang

Is there any way that you can still feel the romantic vibe even the Valentine’s season is over? On the 31st floor of the 5-star Vivere Hotel in Alabang lies The Nest – where you can experience whimsical sky-high dining at its finest, absolutely any time of the year. As its name stands, The Nest provides its guests the comfort that a refuge or a hideaway is longed for. Needless to say, it’s where you can dine with someone special regardless of the romantic stage you are currently in. Let’s head on to the review before I start pouring my heart out and all hugot here.

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Drinks

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Lemon Grass Tea (P125)

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Salad

I can only count the times when I had salad. I am a carnivore. I only eat meat and a few sea food and vegetables. But, I enjoyed the salads that were served to us. I loved the scallops wrapped in bacon and the crispy catfish that was truly crispy. If my mother were with me, she’d totally ignore all the other dishes and would only gobble up the salads.

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Mango Salad with Scallops (P475)

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Crispy Catfish Salad (P390)

Appetizer

The pictures are making me drool. I think I can finish three plates of the Buffalo Chicken Wings on my own. I won’t even need the blue cheese dressing. It’s that good! It’s not as spicy as I expected it to be, but it’s good enough for the reason that even people who don’t fancy spicy food will love it. The Beef Salpicao was equally great. The beef was juicy, tender, and rich in garlic chips! I must give props to the chunky masked potatoes that I couldn’t get enough of. Thank goodness, I didn’t have breakfast that morning. I had a hard time resisting more and reminding myself that these were just appetizers. Yup, they can pass off as main courses. They’re definitely winners when it comes to stimulating the appetite.

Buffalo Chicken Wings (P380)

Buffalo Chicken Wings (P380)

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Beef Salpicao (P450)

Main Course

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Crispy Binagoongan (P475)

When The Nest says it’s crispy, it’s crispy. It’s hard to find a match for Ramboy’s, my mom and sister’s, or other delectable lechon kawali from Iloilo, but this Crispy Binagoongan did not disappoint. Others would be short of flavor while some would be floppy, but it was perfect for a lechon kawali critique a.k.a. carnivore.

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Pan-Grilled Chicken and Garlic Steak (P380)

My most favorite food in the world is chicken. I have a specific way of eating each part and by its looks, I can already tell if it’s not worthy of my appreciation. This Pan-Grilled Chicken and Garlic Steak was exceptional. For someone who has been eating chicken for almost every day for 18 years, I’d give it a 10/10. Add the garlic and the chicken drippings and it’s already over the perfect score. Plus, they’re chicken thighs!!!! Heavenly.

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Spaghetti Vongole (P310)

As mentioned, I’m not a fan of seafood. Basing on their reactions, my fellow bloggers seem pleased of its subtle flavors. The homemade linguine was  perfect, but you have to you mix it well with the sauce to make it more flavorful.

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Bistro Steak (P1155)

The Bistro Steak is divine. It’s everything a great steak should be – succulent, tender, zesty, and aromatic. It’s a bestseller for lots of reasons, one of which is having the best mashed potatoes on the side.

Dessert

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Frozen Brazo (P220)

I don’t like my desserts too sweet. As ironic as it sounds, I just want my sweets to be mild, just enough to wrap up my meal and The Nest delivered well. The Frozen Brazo is not your ordinary brazo. With a dark chocolate strip on top, flavored ice cream, fluffy meringue, sweet custard, and a rich Graham crust, it was definitely worth the calories.

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Decadent Molten Lava Cake with Salted Caramel (P220)

Though the molten chocolate didn’t come out oozing from it core, I was fine with this lava cake. One, it wasn’t too sweet. Second, the salted caramel was just perfect.

Mango Crème Brûlée (P220)

Mango Crème Brûlée (P220)

On to my favorite! Ahhhh. The Crème Brûlée was the crème de la crème. I may not be a fan of desserts, but I can eat this and leche flan every day. I can lick the plate until it looks newly washed.

Cappuccino (P135)

Cappuccino (P135)

We also had coffee because we stayed there for quite a long time. That speaks volumes about the place and the owners. The owners, sisters Anina and Crisel Garcia were very accommodating.  They let us take our time in savoring the dishes, checked on us from time to time, and with their own initiative, sat to talk to us about their restaurant. It only showed how passionate and hands-on they are with the business. Check their Instagram posts and you’ll know that they don’t only post for the sake of marketing. The photos come with captions that are evidently from the heart. The waiters and other staff were also attentive to our needs. Personalized service, it is!

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Overlooking the high-rise buildings and the green grasses in Alabang, the scenic Laguna de Bay, and the beautiful sky, The Nest gives you a perfect nook for intimate meals with your loved ones, whether it be lunch or dinner. You can choose a secluded area with a great view of the sunset or the airy open space in front of the pool where you can enjoy listening to jazz music at night. 20150111_181419_LLS

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Yes, there’s a place to go where it feels like Valentine’s any time of the year. Perched on the top of Vivere Hotel is The Nest where lovebirds can enjoy passionate and snug rendezvous all year round.
dsc_0398 P1170218Thank you, Aldous of Aldous Ate the World for the invite and to my fellow bloggers who made the experience more fun. Credits to Roch and Elaine for the group photos.

The Nest is located at the Vivere Hotel and Resorts, 31st Floor,

5102 Bridgeway Avenue Filinvest City, Muntinlupa

Open from 11am – 11pm.

Instagram: @thenestalabang

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thenestalabang

For reservations, visit: http://viverehotel.com.ph/dining.php?dining=1

Or call (632) 771-777

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February 3rd.

Pwede makilig, one time lang?

I will be posting or blogging about love for each day of February. I don’t know why, but I just feel giddy, happy, and full of love every day since the first day of the month.

Today, I will share with you my favorite poem written by Angela Manalang-Gloria. Actually, I’m not sure if I already blogged about here in the past. I’m sharing, anyway.

To the Man I Married
Angela Manalang-Gloria

You are my earth and all the earth implies:
The gravity that ballasts me in space,
The air I breathe, the land that stills my cries
For food and shelter against devouring days.
You are the earth whose orbit marks my way
And sets my north and south, my east and west,
You are the final, elemented clay
The driven heart must turn to for its rest.

If in your arms that hold me now so near
I lift my keening thoughts to Helicon
As trees long rooted to the earth uprear
Their quickening leaves and flowers to the sun,
You who are earth, O never doubt that I
Need you no less because I need the sky!

I can not love you with a love
That outcompares the boundless sea,
For that were false, as no such love
And no such ocean can ever be.

But I can love you with a love
As finite as the wave that dies
And dying holds from crest to crest
The blue of everlasting skies.

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Beautiful finite Puka Beach waves

I yearn to feel the same love that Angela felt for her husband. It is enormous, but still bounded. Because for me, it’s better to be the one who loves more, even if it’s unrequited and even if not much is given in return.

Happy February 3rd. :)

 

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February 3, 2015 · 12:06 am

Before Anything Else

Twenty years ago this week, Before Sunrise was released. It still amazes me that a mundane love story that merely shows the reality of romantic love through its different stages has found its way to being one of the best masterpieces in the history of film. I don’t care if I’m biased, it’s true, anyway.

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before-midnight

My fellow Before series fans and I started our morning right by reading a friendly debate on our favorite movie. I read each part with feelings. I recalled the dreamy Before Sunrise, the intense Before Sunset, and the satisfying yet gut-wrenching Before Midnight.

Read the lovely debate here.

What makes Jesse and Celine’s love so strong is the gift of attention. They can’t stop caring about each other; you see it in the long term. It’s possibly one of the most loving things you can want to give another human being, and Jesse and Celine try their very best.

Also, and I can’t stress this enough, these movies are insanely romantic. And I’m not talking about sickly grand gestures in the style of Richard Curtis (if only someone held a lighter up to Andrew Lincoln’s obnoxious Dylan cards in Love Actually) but romantic in seeing what makes two people truly connect. How they speak and turn each other on intellectually. They just talk. A lot. And they care. They discuss the Germans occupying Paris, what art means to them, how cool Nina Simone is, and just what it means that they gave their lives to each other. That is way sexier than playing, like, “M’ apparì tutt’ amora” with a ukulele outside someone’s window.

For both Jesse and Celine, there’s nothing more passionate or sensual in the world than conversation (corny, I realize), and it’s in the sounds of one another talking that each is so beguiled by the other. In the same way that the audience is pulled into their lives through that perspective, it’s how they were pulled toward each other.

And just like that, I remember you. 

Because we can talk about world peace and never find it corny. Because I can tell you how much you make me giggle and it’s all right with you. Because I can tell you that you mispronounced the word.  And you can tell me my paragraph didn’t have a clear topic sentence, plus my grammar is terrible. Because we can laugh at silly things we see when we sit on the sidewalk devouring fishballs, hotdogs, or P5 barbecues. Because we can guffaw at the silliness of nothing for an hour, empathize with the old man we talked to during a short jeepney ride, and play with toddlers as we baby talk. Because you can stand watching romcoms just because I like them. And I can tolerate hearing gunshots and screaming for couple of hours because that’s your type of movie. Because we can sing on top of our lungs together. And dance like no one’s watching.

Because we can simply stare at the blank sky or the pouring rain, even without holding hands. Because we can live without checking our phones even for a day when we’re together. Because we talk. Because when something happens, you’re the person I want to tell.

Because you are my Jesse and with you, I’m Celine.

Before anything else.  

Also read:

Before Sunrise

Before Midnight

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Big Bad Wolf, Taguig City

In another realm, the wolf is a ferocious and very intuitive creature. Its hunting skills are remarkable that it can raid the forest with supreme confidence. Although deadly, it is an exceptional pathfinder – one that can guide you to where you ought to be.

So if you are lost in the spirals of the Burgos Circle in Taguig City, let hunger, thirst, and fate lead you to the Big Bad Wolf. Here, you are not a prey, but you are the one who devours.

20141218_174256Big Bad Wolf is owned by three young and equally adventurous men – Neil Paras, Ponch Del Rosario, and Mac Cunanan. The menu is jam-packed with creative and savory dishes by Chef Constancio Antonio P. Diaz IV and Chef Milo Cruz. Here are some of what we ravaged that afternoon:

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Poached egg Carbonara (340php) – carbonara with santol smoked bacon and butter roasted shiitake

Not so creamy, not so heavy, but well-seasoned. The Poached Egg Carbonara is just the way I want it.

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Strip Steak (comes in 400g/950php and 200g/550php) – smoked pepper and herb rub, ponzu, basil butter, sriracha salt with a side of grilled asparagus and housecut fries

I can gobble this whole plate myself. The meat is cooked perfectly. It’s probably one of the best I’ve had in my whole life. I can’t get over its tenderness and juicy goodness. I take my potatoes seriously too, and I must say, these strips are really good that they can even be a seller in itself.

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Ox Tripe Sandwich (290php) – salsa verde, salsa picante, baguettini, dipping brotch

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Chorizo Pizza

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Bastard Hot Wings (320php whole/170php half) – glazed with bastard hot sauce and comes with house boursin dip

My fixation for chicken can’t be cured anymore. My weakness, in particular, is hot chicken wings. I bow down to this plate for being one of the best I’ve had so far. It is definitely my favorite among everything that was served to us. It’s hotness goes down to the core.

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Breakfast Fish & Chips (240php) – beer battered paprika dory, potato strings, fried egg

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Callos (190php) – chorizo meatballs, ox tripe, beef cheek

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Squid Ink Pasta (320php) – bacon fat, mixed seafood, orange hollandaise

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Disco Berries

Relax yourself with a glass of Disco Berries. A glass was perfect for me since I still had work after. This is an ideal ladies’ drink. It’s just enough to calm your insides.

Big Bad Wolf’s interiors make me feel like I’m Little Red Riding Hood. I imagine it as the house where her grandmother lives. It is vintage, cozy, homey, and light. The fixtures are reminiscent of a classic family home.

Choose a table on the ground floor if you wish to have an intimate meal with your company.

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Or you can go upstairs where the bar is for a round or two with your friends. 20141218_191322_LLS

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Aldous, Neil Paras, Elal, me, and Nicole

Check out their pages too:

Elal’s blog: http://www.elaljanelasola.com/

Nicole’s blog: http://nicole-aguinaldo.blogspot.com/

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Your hunt for the perfect hangout in the big city is over. Traverse to the roads leading to the Big Bag Wolf and be ready for sumptuous and ravishing delights.

Big Bad Wolf is located at the Forbes Town Center,

Burgos Circle ,Bonifacio Global City, Taguig

Open from 10am – 1opm.

Instagram and Twitter: @bigbadwoflph

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bigbadwolfph

Thanks Aldous of Aldous Ate the World for the invite!

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I saw the rock star Pope!

Pope Francis, the reigning Pope of the Catholic Church and the Vatican’s head of state, is currently here in the Philippines. Weeks before his visit, I already got bummed whenever I think about the rerouting, heavy traffic, and the “no work, no pay” policy that will come with his stay. For one, I am not of the same faith; and two, I dislike those who worship him and forget about God.

We have seen and read news and articles about him as the People’s Pope and from that, I have realized that he is a person worth emulating. He is not above us. He is among us. But his love and concern for others, especially for the poor and the poor in spirit, is certainly worthy of our appreciation. Without even us following him on social media, we can see others posting about his cheerful disposition, progressive outlook, and unique ways in running the Catholic Church.

As a Filipino, I am thankful for his presence because for devotees he is a symbol of hope and that is what the typhoon-stricken Tacloban is in dire need of. Without a doubt, his visit lifted up the survivors’ heavy hearts and his words left them with incomparable comfort.

Pope Francis, wearing a yellow raincoat, waves to pilgrims after holding a mass at Tacloban's airportI watched his arrival on live TV and I admit, I got ecstatic too. No one can simply deny his charisma and his tireless to-die-for smile. Unexpectedly, I was able to have a three-second glimpse on him on my way home from work when our bus was blocked for his convoy to the airport bound for Tacloban last Saturday.

I am big with celebrities, famous or not. He is for me, a big one. A rock star. And I’m really happy and still giddy that I got to see his charming and adorable face (grits teeth).

Here’s a video clip that shows his wit:

http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/video/lifestyle/01/17/15/watch-pope-francis-funny-moments

And an article showing some of his heartwarming moments to date:

https://ph.news.yahoo.com/photos/heartwarming-moments-pope-francis-in-the-philippines-2015-slideshow/pope-francis-wearing-yellow-raincoat-waves-pilgrims-holding-photo-033341182.html

And one that tells of his words of wisdom:

http://www.rappler.com/views/imho/80761-pope-francis-quotes-ph-officials

His visit is indeed a blessing, not only to Catholics, but to the Filipinos as a country. For all the comfort, hope, and joy that he brought to my country, I thank him too.

“I walk with you all, with all my silent heart.” -Pope Francis

To read more about the Papal’s Visit to the Philippines, click here.

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Hello, 2015!

2014 was my trial and error year. I moved out of my comfort zone, tried to chase my childhood dream, and took vengeance on regret. It was all about figuring things out – the who, what, when, where, and how of my life. Thank you, parents, for giving this year to me. And I know now. I know who I am now behind the fluffiness that I mask myself with. Give me a fist bump for 2014, it wasn’t all good, but it was nothing short of lessons and blessings.

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Happy New Year from theAppletizer! I’m looking forward to writing more this year and reading more from you all too!

Cheers to a more awesome and positive 2015! :)

 

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