Craving Good Food? Go to Cravings


I hadn’t posted in so long. But our recent trip to Cravings in Katipunan inspired this one. It was only actually my second time to eat at the restaurant. I tried out their unlimited cake promo (3.75 USD), and suffice to say I’d never had a more terrible experience.


So when we arrived at Cravings today, I was a little apprehensive. You have to give it to them though, the ambiance inside is really nice. The walls are painted white and the interior is stately. The Katips branch is a two-floor establishment, and a grand staircase and chandelier meet you upon entering. Despite that, you get a distinct casual feel. The restaurant is even laid out almost like a house, with disjoint areas that seem more like rooms in an actual one.


Cravings also offers an unlimited soup and salad bar. I made myself Ceasar salad. It was good.ImageI particularly enjoyed the texture the combination of shredded boiled egg and corn added to my salad.


There was 9 of us. For myself, I ordered Tenderloin Tips Skillet (around 7.5 USD, I forget). It turned out to be a sizzling platter of juicy tenderloin with thick pepper strips (which I loved!) and a serving of rice. I started to dig in while the food was still quite hot, and I thought the taste was bland. But then, as the food cooled, I realized that my poor taste buds weren’t just functioning as they should, blocked by the heat. So yeah, you should definitely let the food cool down a little bit first. I was pleasantly surprised by the delicious taste. I sprinkled on some pepper for good measure. By this time, I was starting to get full already because I’d eaten a platter of salad earlier. I just tried to savor my food. I don’t know why but I really love pepper–be they be red or green. They really just go nicely with any salty dish.

As for the rest, one ordered Sunday’s Best Roast Chicken Dinner (9.5 USD) which had us commenting about Thanksgiving. The size of the chicken, wow, was overwhelming, well probably because it consisted of a full [vertical] half! I think my friend enjoyed her meal although she had to get the rest wrapped because she just couldn’t finish it all. The word ‘dinner’ in the name of the dish should have given her ample warning. I thought the dish could’ve been shared by two people without any problem.


Another ordered a serving of Linguine Pesto with Grilled Chicken (5.6 USD). There was a single slice of garlic bread on the side. It didn’t look very appetizing, again because of the not so striking colors. I don’t know how it tasted.

Another ordered Crab Stuffed Fish Fillet (9 USD). It didn’t look so appetizing to me but I think it was good too. The fish fillet they thought was boiled somehow and it looked white and raw. There wasn’t much color in the dish. I’m still curious how the melted cheese went with the crab and fish.

Another ordered Barbecue Pork Spareribs (9.5 USD). The rib was again of an overwhelming size. It sure looked great. My eyes were drawn to it for the first few minutes. I think it tasted good too.

For dessert, we all had a taste of Warmed Choco Caramel Cake with Vanilla Ice Cream (5.5 USD per small round cake). It was really good too! I noticed something different about the cake. It took me a second swallow to realize that indeed the cake was still warm. I agree that the choco caramel icing was a tad too sweet, but I liked it. One friend refused to eat the rest of the icing and ate the cake from within, which led to a cute deflated icing layer on the plate after she finally put down her fork. I and another friend shared a cake and it was a wise move. Our other friends had a hard time finishing theirs.


I’ve been converting the prices in PHPeso to USD at 40 PHP/USD.

In retrospect, I wonder now about the lack of a ready condiment container of parmesan. It would’ve added a great touch to the salad. Also, it’s a shame I wasn’t able to take pictures. All pictures I’m posting aren’t mine and just ones I googled (please notify me if you want them taken down). I don’t have pictures for all the dishes we ordered, but I hope this post and all these wondrous pictures their owners have put up in the net are enough to convince you to perhaps take a trip to Cravings if well, you’re craving something good.

Now I still feel stuffed–but very much satisfied. This second trip has made me decide I actually like Cravings. I’ll definitely want to visit again soon.

Cried out empty



Picture (c) BlackMamba

I feel cheated.

I must say I’ve never been in a wilder roller coaster of emotions. I feel drained. I thought I’ve shed all my tears dry for this but I shocked myself again with a fresh batch of them just a while ago. I guess my life has been set to be melodramatic, crazy, intense, and finally, numbing as exhaustion creeps in.

On with the story:

Yesterday was the last day I could give my answer to an opportunity I was given.

I had talked to my parents for months, and throughout the semestral break. Finally, they conceded minutes before 5 PM of the last day of confirmation. And so I rushed to the office, shaking like a leaf, burst through the office doors, and teary-eyed, told them the news. Actually I’d told them maybe a day before about the situation so at least they won’t be shocked. I had used every reason imaginable to appeal to my parents, and finally on the last day they conceded. I didn’t expect this to happen. I thought the chapter was closed and done. Although of course, I could not help but completely extinguish the small spark of hope that remained in me. As long as there was time to confirm my decision, as long as there was time to send THAT email, still possibly the impossible could be turned otherwise.

But then when I arrived there at the office, it seems that they had relayed my answer for me. And it was immediately offered to another applicant decked in the waiting lust, I do not fault them, really. They thought that that was the end of that. But the slot was given to me, and I still feel it should’ve been mine to deal with. There was a reason why they gave me time to confirm my final, irrevocable decision. I thought I still had until the seventh of November; I should’ve. I get it that accepting the slot entails responsibilities, but the right to accept or reject it was still mine. But that was taken away from me.

I don’t know what will happen now. I’m in limbo. They told me to wait for word from them if the slot would be given. I don’t know, I have next week. I feel a certain melancholy, like I’m blanketed by this sheet of sadness. This is beyond exhausting: things–my life–being decided by people other than myself.

Can’t the slate be wiped clean?


While the last days haven’t been frenetic in terms of physical activities (I pretty much bum at home during breaks, reading books, watching television, and again, reading, reading), I have had some big decisions to make.

I have worked towards a particular goal and desire of mine throughout last semester. I thought I would be going too. But as it turned out, no matter how much coaxing I did, no matter how much I argued, ultimately my parents’ word remained the law. I see the logic in their arguments. Still, I could not help but feel that they do not get the reason behind my wanting to go at all. I simply want to go because of the experience. I want to go to gain a certain maturity, borne from having seen some other part of the world, from living in some other culture. I want to meet new people, get to know them, perhaps befriend them despite our differences. I wanted this to impact me in terms of deepening my perspective of the world, giving me growth, giving me confidence.

But that is not how things are destined to be, it seems.

Actually a few hours ago, as I thought to write this post as a cap off to the break and as an ode maybe to decisions made, I felt pretty light. I felt hopeful and excited for the new semester. I even sent a text already to the Office in charge of this whole thing. It felt bad, I felt bad for them. I know that they worked hard to facilitate the exchange, to help me. I admit to my mistake in all this. Perhaps I’d been so excited by the idea of getting to finally experience something of this degree, of this potential, that I got blinded from reality. I’m 19, strictly already already an adult, a young adult. But the reality is: my schooling is still financed by my parents and my scholarship. They have a point in wanting me to graduate as early as possible, so I may finally gain financial independence. I guess getting to live out some idealistic 5/6-month dream is not part of my reality.

And you might ask, why not work to ease the burden? Believe me, I have since tortured myself about all these questions, all these ‘what-ifs’. It’s scary, but I am ready and willing to step up to a greater level of responsibility. But–it seems that there’s always that BUT. Again, the argument of me only prolonging my schooling gets rehashed again. That’s essentially the gist of the arguments, anyway.

If you’re reading, I don’t know what you’re getting from this post. You might think I’m whining. You might think I’m a total failure, a disappointment, for not being strong and willful enough to go after a dream. But the truth remains that: my will is not the only one that matters.

I also want it too. I want to graduate already too. My course spans five years, and stopping for a semester will entail another additional year of schooling. Perhaps yes this is a great opportunity, but the timing just isn’t right. But I have thought about this hard even from the beginning, and I had begun to accept it. But my parents just can’t, and I just couldn’t leave without their approval.

I just plan to bury myself in worthwhile endeavors this semester. Although that won’t probably make me less aware of the big opportunity that I threw out the window, I hope it would lessen the pain of that awareness.

My heart is aching as I type. I hope I can blur that pain with worthwhile things this second semester.

MEMA: College Slang


I must say.

If there’s one thing I learned from my marketing classes, it’s how to executive a subtle, graceful, believable MEMA. What is this mema, you might ask? It’s another one of those often initially random and ridiculous terms coined out of nowhere in my college that has transitioned from ‘What?’ to being fabricated into the daily conversations among our tightly-knit community.

“Hi! I just finished my mema paper in an hour tops!”

Oh, I haven’t given the definition yet.

Mema. Noun/verb. 1) To say out one’s thoughts out for the sake of having something to say*, so as to accrue points in a classroom discussion setting, or for whatever personal intent or purpose.

[Origin: Tagalog ‘May masabi’ meaning ‘Just have something to say’.

*Or in my case, to have something to write or submit.

But really, you can’t fault me. A friend once commented how marketing takes such gut-feel, bullshit work (quoted from Phillterr, if you’re reading–which I know you’re not). It’s true at some level. I’ve taken two core marketing classes, and really, despite the presence and use of marketing frameworks, they’re mostly there to help you organize your thoughts, data, and strategy. At the core of it really, as my friend puts it, is just simple, straightforward ‘gut-feel bullshit’Which is why, with him being more being biased towards the heavy use of and referencing to actual, heavy facts and data, he doesn’t like it. But we’re different and I do.

Oh, before you read on further, I’m sure any of you who’s had any real, relevant marketing experience in the past, are raising your eyebrows right now. Of course, at the very basic you need marketing data and research to back up your recommendations and strategy, but still it’s up to the marketer how he sees and chooses to utilize the ‘facts’. And as I’ve learned, even some market surveys geared towards digging more helpful consumer insights are not as successful, because oftentimes what people/customers express might be not true to their real sentiments, whether intentional or not.

So what merited this post? Simply because I have so far drafted and built an almost four-pager paper out of virtually nothing–well maybe just a short emailed interview, some quick searches from Google, and some casually solicited observations from the two most helpful roommates.

I haven’t really finished it because I’m still trying to polish the recommendations part. And now I see you asking: “I thought she said mema?” Well, yes, but my mark for this paper is still heavily laced with the content and as much as it might be mema at its core, remember that a successful mema entails a subtle, unnoticeable one.

So I believe I’ll end this point at this stage because I have an exam in two days, and unfortunately that’s something I can’t mema**.

**Yipee, used as a verb this time.

A little over two weeks to freedom


Just a little more, and finally we can all be stripped off the chains currently binding and heaving us down.

At least the new Taylor release on the 22nd is something to look forward to.

I know I haven’t posted in so long, but sadly my life has been taken over by academic and other responsibilities and not much time has been spared for anything else. I hope to get my life back again this semestral break, and experience an adventure out of my time.

I don’t think I should even be here in wordpress. Oh well.

Studying Abroad


I, like many others, have dreams of studying abroad. I’m sure it’ll be such an amazing and value-adding experience that it’s something that is worthwhile pursuing.  Check out the essay I wrote for my application:

The National University of Singapore is world-class university that offers competitive and topnotch educational programs. Its rank in the world university rankings provides reason enough for anyone to want to study in NUS. Personally, beyond the glory of studying in such a distinctive university, I would love the opportunity to study in NUS for a plethora of other reasons.


I’ve always attached an emphasis on learning—which to me entails a diversity of sources, and not just textbooks. In my college, we have a way of doing things: using the case method to cement business concepts and to apply them in more or less real-life scenarios. As a student, my reasons include learning from who may possibly be the best teachers in Asia, if not the world; and learning about the teaching methodologies used in NUS to share with my peers back home. During the course of my stay in NUS, I hope to equivalently contribute value to the experience of other students like me who have sought studying there for much the same reasons, with the things I’ve learned from my own exciting and eventful college experience. Also, as a person who wants to learn more of the world and to be better by it, I think Singapore is a great place to be.


Singapore has a relatively very small land area and is a melting pot of races and cultures. With differences, most expect only conflict. But Singapore instead is a progressive nation with one of the fastest growing economies in the world. The country in itself is a study of how the right treatment and rules utilized diversity for the better, and how an open economy backed by a strong government and little or no corruption creates wealth successfully for all its participants and members, with spillovers on the outside of the region. Singapore is also among the world’s leading financial centers. I am intrigued by the country’s own Temasek and want to learn of how it strategically chooses investments in Asia and the world. I want to see the role of politics in the country’s national development, the direction of the its policy making; and the connection between the academic institutions and the public sector and how the latter props up even further growth—insights and learning to bring back to my own nation.


In short, my experience will teach me about the value of openness and how to harness it for the good. If I go corporate someday, I understand that then I will be working in a much more global environment. I will have to overcome the barriers of perceived irreconcilable surface differences to still achieve our organization’s objectives. I also see myself in putting up my own business someday and the long-term considerations for its sustainability may no longer be rooted locally, but globally. In growing my business, the consequences not only pertain to me but the people I may employ, so it’s not really all just for my own personal benefit. Also, issues from the further deconstruction of borders between countries spawns new international issues like greater pollution, exploitation of workers and resources, destruction of indigenous and local cultures—will be things that my generation and the next ones will have to handle.


Studying in NUS offers a massive and inimitable learning experience. I live away from home and from any close relatives and this has taught me independence and maturity. I think living abroad, having to adjust with the unique environment and its challenges will make me grow even more as a person. It will let me develop more confidence, borne of having seen more of the world; and let me develop particular skills that will surely come in handy in the future. I also hope to foster relationships with new people and friends from university. Being connected to all these different people will just keep me abreast and open to world developments. I hope too that my experience will be a precursor to further study abroad—as a way to nurture my academic and holistic growth as an individual.


I’m just sure that an opportunity to study in NUS will bear positive differences in my life—and hopefully, indirectly in how mine impacts other peoples’.

I’m (You’re) an artist because…


I spotted an interesting book getaway from Christian Mihai‘s blog. He’s giving away ebooks of his own works but have asked interested participants to first answer a question to get a chance to win.

The question–or rather the statement to complete: “I’m an artist because…”

My answer:

I am an artist because I treat every day as a canvass on which to paint at will. Unintended splatters may color the surface but I can always do damage control, and just brush paint over the bad again to achieve the picture I had in mind. Or I could just let and use them and thereon let spontaneity take its course.

I’m an artist because I believe in living life and fully feeling every moment. But whatever happens, whatever forces may come at play, whatever inspiration may drive me; I’ll remember that it’s my arms that create art on the sheet.


Apply yourself, let your creativity flow.

That came out of nowhere, so artlessly–really as if I were an artist (as I’d like to think). But I guess we all are, in our own right. Something really can be said of spontaneity, methinks.

What about you? What makes you an artist? Delve deep into yourselves, and post your thoughts below. Or you can go visit Christian’s blog to have a chance to win yourself. Nonetheless, it’d be great if you could still link your answers back to this page so we all can hear it. =)

(Photo taken:

Rock on, Mister!


Roll, Kuya!

Just look at that.

Torrential rains have plagued Manila in the past hours. As I type, I hear the loud, relentless beating of the rain outside. When I was in my freshman year of college, I experienced a real storm for the first time–with lots of flooding, destroyed homes, and heart-wrenching stories. I lived in the southern part of the country where rains were spent before they turned into full-fledged calamities. Late last year though, Washi struck and flash floods killed unprepared and unsuspecting thousands as they slept in their homes. 😦

Anwyway, the rain this time has been unstopping and so far, a number of casualties have already happened and been identified. One man even got electrocuted while submerged in water. What you see in the picture above is a stroke of genius—using mattresses to rescue stranded people in flooded areas every time the rains stop for a respite. The Philippines is a third-world country but its economy has been particularly strong for the past year, a pace which is suspected to be sustained in the near future. Despite this, so many remain POOR. The first ones affected by flooding are those with small makeshift homes erected near rivers and bodies of water. And of course, when flash floods occur, these homes are carried away, potentially including the helpless family inside.

So it’s great to be creative and resourceful, to make do with what’s available. If you really want to help, even the lack of equipment should not stop you.

I pray for those affected by the floods. May they stay safe and that the more blessed and fortunate people may give a hand to help, in whatever way.

(Photo taken from Yahoo News)

In Love


The Reading Me

At Fully Booked in High Street. I love love this picture. Reading has long been a love of mine. I could just spend a full day reading, be it a physical book or from my ereader (I know, poor eyes). We visited this Fully Booked branch in Bonifacio Global the other night after dining in Market Market and having a hell of an adventure rushing a friend to St. Luke’s Hospital. It turned out that she had hyperventilated and had lost all feeling in her hands and legs because of the lack of potassium in her bloodstream. So, a banana a day–any fruit, really–can indeed keep the doctor away!

Anyway, this particular branch is just in a word, IMPRESSIVE. It’s the biggest bookstore I’ve ever visited, with 5 floors, each one featuring and holding different items. The book collection is extensive and comprehensive; I could definitely just get lost there for hours–happily! I saw titles I just didn’t think I could and had lost hope to find. Titles like Anya Seton’s Green Darkness (first published in 1972, although they most likely have released a new edition), for example. And The First Time by Joy Fielding (2000 Pocket Star Books). And this store even has a Starbucks, a theater room, an impressive graphic novels section, and a kiddie reading room inside.  AWESOME right? Experiencing this particular branch has converted me into a fan for life. I don’t think I’m going to renew my National Book Store Loyalty Card after all.