Uplifting Uplift

I finally saw UPlift yesterday and there’s only one word to describe the experience: fascinating.

I was scheduled to meet friends for isaw at Mang Larry’s so I decided to go there early to go round the campus and take some pictures.

Going back made me realise one thing: I will always be in love with UPD. There’s something about the tree canopies, the academic oval, the old buildings, the even older sculptures, and the fresh scent in the air that calms me.

I had no idea where Uplift was so I just took my time going round the academic oval, avoiding Googling at all cost. Halfway along the tennis court, I saw her. Gold and slightly glimmering in the horizon.

I approached her the same way I approach any beautiful work of art: slowly, as if with caution. Not because I’m afraid that she will scurry away like a wild animal in the woods but because I wanted to contain my excitement and not ruin the moment. As if in slo-mo, I want the beauty of the artwork unfold right before my eyes.

And there I was. Inches from her.

Her body suspended in the air as if in a glorious dance with the sky; her long golden hair flowing from her scalp towards the pond, where her whole body was also reflected.

She looks like a water nymph. She is magnificent.

I’m just sad that she got surrounded by too much controversy when the artist, Ferdinand Cacnio, first launched her in the campus a year ago. Talks about plagiarism stigmatised what’s supposed to be an amazing work of art. The electronic pitchforks of social media hit the artist so hard and just disregarded the 10 long years he dedicated to create his masterpiece.

My take on it is this:

Art is universal.

And there will always be similar ideas. One look at an art collection of various artists and you will see this clearly. The Pietas, the dancers, the Venuses, the ricefields and the carabaos toiling under the sun for Pete’s sake.

Why?

Because art is the imitation of life and life is something that we all share.

As long as the piece of artwork spoke to you, it has done its job. And UPlift is one of those.

You need to see her to believe me.

Bigg’s Diner

We went over to this local diner in our province for a li’l celebratory dinner for my brother and my parents — him landing a job, and the Masters having their 30th wedding anniversary. I love the new look! Sure, this diner was already known for its cool vintage facade but I really liked the way they spruced up the place with colors. It’s much livelier and cozier. 🙂

Weekend at The Lakeshore

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My stay at The Lakeshore, Pampanga last November has been fun! Christian tagged me along to join his friends from the office to have a chill weekend at Chinee’s place. The road trip has been a blast, thanks to the lovely weather and good ol’s music from the 90’s. I did not doze off even for a bit! If you know me, Queen of Sleep, you will give me a pat in the back for the tremendous effort of staying awake.

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Lakeshore4 After the 2-hr-ish drive, we stopped by Koko Buri in San Fernando for lunch. There, I got to try their famous soy chicken. It’s quite similar to Bon Chon but their serving is much bigger. Therefore, much affordable. The interior and the ambiance of the place is cozy with the warm lights and colorful table knick-knacks.

Post-lunch, we headed to Chinee’s place to settle down for a bit before our afternoon swim. I met Chinee’s dog, Amber, once again! Super cute!

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One thing that I really loved about our swim is I got to enjoy the sunset. I always get this peaceful feeling when I’m having a nature trip. It’s such a nice, sweet escape from the urban jungle. Yeah, let’s not forget the fact that I am getting old so I tend to be nostalgic on these kind of mundane. 😛

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Another thing I enjoyed on this weekend getaway? The food! Everyone helped in preparing the meals and they all turned out delicious. Seriously! I’m thinking of trying them out on my own — especially the “Good Shepherd’s Pie” and “Bangus Belly in Spanish Sauce”.

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I don’t know what its actual name is but everyone called it “Good Shepherd’s Pie”. It has chicken chunks and carrots in mushroom sauce, topped with mashed potato and greens. It was a hearty meal and I can’t wait to make my own version of it. I really need to have a decent kitchen soon!  The Bangus Belly meal is a mashed-up of two of my favorites: bangus belly and spanish sardines. It was really easy to make. I just need a pressure cooker and the right ingredients and voila! Instant awesome meal! 🙂

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And what’s a getaway without the booze? We had our fill of these after dinner while playing King’s Cup. It was hilarious! The game got funnier as everyone gets drunker.

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In the morning before heading home, we went to the other side of the lake to enjoy the view and have some photo ops. Thank the heavens for the really lovely weather that weekend.

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Magic Hour Sunday

Last Sunday was spent having lunch at The Chocolate Kiss Cafe with our cousin, RC. He attended the Chemical Engineering Inter-University Quiz Show which, incidentally, is hosted annually by my college org. Are we a bunch of smartypants or what? Haha. Kidding!

I missed UP so much that my sister and I spent a few hours walking around, taking artsy shots around the campus.

What I love about this place is you can literally get a good photo spot in every nook and cranny. Every wall, graffiti, and building frame becomes an instant backdrop.

We were also lucky that the weather was perfect. We were able to get a shot during the magic hour and I really love it!

A Piece of Italy in Mandaluyong

My roomie, Mils, had a sudden craving for Italian last Tuesday. When she mentioned Galileo, I did not hesitate for a second. I’m scheduled to work from home that time so I have more hours to spare. We went there in our just-out-of-bed state for a late lunch and were crossing our fingers that they let us in. Kidding on that part. The people in Galileo are so friendly, they wouldn’t really mind if we looked a bit frazzled.

Galileo Enoteca is this hole-in-wall Italian place just a block away from us, which serves authentic Italian food and houses one of the biggest wine cellar that I’ve ever seen. This is my third time to dine in this place and it’s a good thing that I managed to take some pictures (blurry as they may). The first and second time, I was just oohs and aahs at how cozy the place was and how good their food were.

I love this appetizer because of the chicken liver dip. I know that most are not into chicken liver but it’s on of the best I’ve tasted. Not bitter at all!
When you order a pizza, you can opt to have 2 separate flavors. We ordered the Tutta Carne (mix of ham, Italian sausage, and pepperoni, and pomodoro) and Margherita. I’m not into pepperoni but the Italian sausage made up for it. 
For the pasta, we ordered the Penne con Funghi Porcini and Tartufo Bianco (Mushroom and white truffle oil). Honestly, I was quite disappointed with this. Aside from the penne not being al dente, the sauce was too salty for my taste.
I was not disappointed with the wine that we ordered. It was sweet with just a slight hint and aroma of alcohol, not the type that would make you wrinkle your nose when you waft it from the glass. We ordered a bottle and took home what was left.

I read somewhere that Enoteca means wine bar, which explains the appearance of the resto. It’s dimly lit with brick walls and rows of cupboards of wines like any typical wine cellar. You can even see some boxes by the corner which will make you feel that you’re just having drinks in your friend’s basement.

The cheese, cold cuts, and assorted canned products are strategically displayed by the main door so diners will be much tempted to take some Galileo piece home . As for me, I had fun just watching the display; it made me feel like I’m in a real Italian store.

Mils said that she’ll be hoarding some products here before moving out to another city. I might do, too. After all, this is one of the things that I will miss much in Mandaluyong. 🙂

Weekend Starter

Had an awesome weekend (!) and it all started with this bottle of wine. After work, me and my friends headed over to the Old Swiss Inn and bonded over Cabernet Sauvignon. It’s not our usual take on weekend starter/after-shift drinking session being the beer/mojito-drinking people that we are, but I enjoyed it. We had this with a bowl of cheese fondue and a plate of cold cuts. Not the best fondue and cold cuts in the planet, though. I’m lucky that they served a basket of warm bread. They are so soft and tasty, I had about 3 or 4. If I was the only one on the table who did, I would’ve felt ashamed but Dan had the same so…

Anyway, it’s true what they say. Drinking wine has this certain tinge of sophistication. Or is it the other way around with us? Made us act sillier than usual? A bottle of Caajfdkljfsdhfeorewndnceney Saigsdfhdighrothvnon, please? 😀

Rainy Sunday. Chill fun.

Last weekend’s weather was terrible but it didn’t stop me and some of my friends to go out and have a chill fun. I miss spontaneous hangouts like this. Reminds me of my younger days when everyone is still very much willing to trade sleep for escapades. Oh well, I think we’re just getting old. But not that day! 😀

Meeting up with Char and Jing for the movie

We started by catching one of the entries in Cinemalaya Film Fest at Greenbelt, Mga Mumunting Lihim. Stellar cast, great director, and good plot. And have I mentioned that we watched this with the beautiful Mylene Dizon? Yes! We did! She was sitting 5 rows behind us. Haha!

Christian, give your friend some corndog!

After the movie, we went to Chili’s for dinner, where we had a round of superb Mexican food. We were joined by another friend, Maryann, whom we fondly call Ermengarde. If you’ve been an avid fan of the Princess Sarah TV series shown in one of our local TV channels, you’ll know why. 😉

Ermengarde is the cutest!

We ordered the Bottomless Tostada Chips for appetizer. They were perfectly crisp and were served warm. It tastes good even without the salsa. We had 3 or 4 rounds of this so our 330 PHP was put into good spending.

We also ordered Triple Play which consists of Southwestern egg rolls, Buffalo wings, and Chicken Crispers. I’m not a big fan of the SWER but it comes with a yummy guacamole dip that goes well with the other entrees on the plate.

For our main dish we had Fish ‘n Chips and Fajita Trio. The Fajita Trio is special because it has a little bit of everything: marinated steak, grilled chicken, spicy garlic and lime grilled shrimp, onions, and bell peppers. I would have liked my pita bread to be softer, though, rather than crispy.

Before heading home, we went to UCC Cafe for coffee. I ordered their iced cocoa which I’m not getting again because it did “wonders” to my stomach. >_< We just passed the time taking about exclusive schools, religion (we were not drunk, I swear!), and Australia. Quite diverse topics but somehow they got interconnected. 😉

Overall, I’m glad that we pushed through with our hangout despite the red warnings and flood alerts. And yes, I’m also glad that we all got home safe. 🙂

Defining the Abstract

Earlier today, I happened to pass by an interesting art exhibit in SM Megamall. It featured beautiful abstract paintings by Ronaldo Ruiz. What I love about his works is how they seem to suck you into the canvas and get stuck in a world of shapes, colors, and brush strokes. I was having a field day roaming around the gallery, being mesmerized by the paintings, and imagining which of them will be perfect in this wall or that wall of my room.

Here are some of my favorites:

I didn’t know the artist and had to Google him. Apparently, he’s been making noise in the art scene for quite some time now, both here and abroad.

If you’d like to check out his other works, go visit his Multiply site and be fascinated. 🙂

Weekend Discoveries

This weekend has been full of new discoveries!

Let me start with Saturday. Christian and I were both craving for Japanese (no surprise there, really) and we magically stumbled upon Rai Rai Ken. OK, to be perfectly honest, we were lured by their “50% discount on ALL Ramen” ad. Turned out that you have to order a plate of appetizer and any Pepsi product to avail of the discount.

It proved to be a very good thing actually because without it I wouldn’t have discovered their delicious Fish Fingers with Cheese. The wasabi sauce goes really well with it and the salad is a good side dish compliment. Christian ordered a plate of maki (as usual) and for the ramen, we opted for a fusion of Japanese and Filipino: Batchoy Ramen. It’s one of the store’s best seller but it was a little too salty for me.

This overhanging lamp is my favorite decoration in the resto. I wanted to take it down and bring it home! 😀

Come Sunday, Christian’s sister, Cati, took us all to The Collective in Makati to have lunch at Wingman. I’m crazy about chicken wings so I was really, really excited to visit the place.

And I was not disappointed! Wingman serves one of the best and most affordable chicken wings in the area. They are also relatively big in size compared to what the other restos are serving so a dozen of this is good enough for three. You can also opt to order two different flavors for your chicken wing dozen. That way, you can have more flavor variety for a lesser price.

And true to all chicken wing dining, it never hurts to order a plate of fries or onion rings to pair with your meat. 😉

After lunch, we went around the compound to check out some of the stores. But because it was a Sunday, most of them were closed. I’m planning to go back there to visit the Polaroid store which sells Instax Mini cases. It’s high time that I give my Choco a face lift.

Anyway, the compound trip would have been a shame if it weren’t for this:

The walls were lined with amazing graffiti. I’ve always been fascinated with them. There’s something interesting about the colors and the chaos of graffiti art. It makes me think of what the artist was thinking while sketching these. If ever reincarnation is true, I would work my ass off just to be a kick-ass artist in my next life.

As for my personal discovery, I fell in love with the dress-and-sneakers porma once again. It’s funny how I used to dress up like this every single day when I was in grade school and the early part of my high school. I’ve always been sort of a tomboy growing up but wasn’t really into jeans. Plus, my mom always buys me these cute dresses whenever she can. So there. What I probably love most about this style is it is girly and totally laidback at the same time.

Anyway, I’ve been blabbing on forever. I should really get my act together and start a daily blogging thing. Wrapping a weekend over one post can be lengthy.

Or maybe my weekend was really just a blast. Or I talk too much. Whatever. 😛