Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Have you gotten a Starbucks Card?

I went to a Starbucks in Makati recently and bought the Frap below. It's sad because Makati has this thing against plastic so even iced drinks are served in paper cups. While it might be better for the environment, it's hard to get used to. I like seeing how much I have left, thanks very much.

Anyway, for those who spend a lot on Starbucks's beverages, there's the Starbucks Card introduced just this month.

How to use:
1. Buy the card for P300 - it has P300 usable load.
2. Use the Starbucks card to earn stars.
3. Reload with P100 increments when desired.

12 stars = 1 free grande beverage

Decent, when you consider that CBTL swirl cards give you around half that value. Then again, internets!

There's a time and a place for either :)

If you're into the Starbucks thing, consider registering your card at their site, you can get:
1. 1 free beverage upon registration
2. 1 slice of cake on your birth month (upon purchase of a beverage)

Mind you, their network both online and in-store is still kind of buggy. Also, if you value your privacy, this might be more invasive than you'd like.

If you do get a card, remember to keep it in a safe place since it does have money inside!

Saturday, August 24, 2013


How OC are you about highlighters?

I never thought that there would be a day when I would become so particular about the highlighters I used. A few years ago, I thought that pink was pink and it didn't matter what brand I used. Now I'm trying out different highlighter brands. I've realized that some of the things I like in a highlighter are:

1. Shape - how I hold my highlighter differs if it's fat or skinny, cylindrical or box-like, long or short. It also helps to identify the different brands. Some might find it better to have highlighters all of the same shape, so they'll all be held the same way. Plus they look nicer since they're more uniform. Some might prefer to have different brands because of the different properties of the fluid.

2. Color - including consistency (especially if the paper you use is thinner), it is important to use a color/colors that you feel comfortable with. You have to think about how the shade you choose will show up on the paper you use. Different brands have different shades, with color changes that will sometimes happen depending on if it's on the early or late part of it's life.

Below are 3 different brands of pink highlighters at different parts of their lifespan. You can see that aside from the shade, in general, the evenness and thickness can differ. Note also that the brush might fray easily :(

Highlighters. Left, Artline. Middle, Faber Castell. Right, MG.
Also note that if you use more than one shade, remember to find colors that you feel are most suited to your learning style.

3. Longevity - it sucks to buy a highlighter that dries out early if left for a few moments, or one that has little ink in the first place. You might want to try brands that last longer, or those that can be left out for longer periods of time.

4. Price - some highlighters are really nice, but are super expensive. You might end up spending a lot of money in the long run.

I do have my preferred brands, but I'm always on the lookout for new ones. I also like to experiment on different colors with my own preferences for different texts :)

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Review: Giselle by Ballet Philippines

Watched Giselle, performed by Ballet Philippines on opening night (August 16, 2013). Giselle is the first ballet of the 44th season of Ballet Philippines. It was definitely an experience after a nice dinner with M. The First Act was a bust: ballerinas twitching all over the place, you could see the strain; danseur's failing to synch like a bad DL. While the Giselle wasn't bad, she wasn't spectacular. On the other hand, the Duke had a bit of trouble.

The Second Act was gorgeous: Very coordinated Willis! :) The Duke, Giselle, Hilarion and - especially- Myrtha performed wonderfully.

My advice: snooze through the first act (you're not missing anything) and see the second.

Extra: For those who are interested, CBTL is having another open house this Sunday (August 18, 2013). Happy weekend!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Xin Wang Hong Kong Cafe

Warning: Picture Heavy

A few weeks ago, I went and ate in Xin Wang Hong Kong Cafe, in Mall of Asia - near the IMAX Cinema - a couple of times.

Xin Wang Hong Kong Cafe offers free Wifi, though I didn't use it. The place is cheery and there are a lot of tables. It's really cold though, and the menu is intimidating, so it's hard to decide what you want.

Steamed Spare Ribs With Black Bean (P100)
 This was the first time I've had this, actually. And it was pretty good, except it had bones (which I hate :)) ).

Udon P195
 I don't remember if this was pork of beef since it was a while back. The serving was big, for P195, and from what I remember, the noodles by itself was delicious, the meat was ok.

Lychee Ice Blended P70
 This drink tasted like lychee, as promised. It also had 3 pieces of fruit inside, which I liked. Very nice for the price.

Yin Yong Snow Ice P135

 While this serving of snow ice was huge (good for 3-4 people). It's basically ice, so I'm not impressed. It tasted like really cold milk tea, with red beans hiding at the bottom.

Macau Iced Coffee P75
 A bit too milky for my taste, but I liked the fact that the ice had flowers inside.

Cheese Baked Rice with Black Pepper Beef P245
 This was the best dish I've tasted there: because I love cheese and beef. This might be share-able but not for me! Best enjoyed by hungry self.

Chicken Bulgogi with Rice P195
The meat was a bit dry, so it wasn't that enjoyable.

Will I return? Most probably yes, if I'm in the area, since the servings are big and sometimes even good for sharing.

Monday, August 5, 2013

OKF Coffee

I've been trying out different types of coffee, since I'd like to leave some chilled in the fridge and those P99 Starbucks glass bottles really hurt the pocket. I recently spotted these in the grocery and bought one of each since they were P22.50 a pop

Bought four variants:

1. Caffe Mocha
2. Cappuccino
3. Caffe Latte
4. Caramel Macchiato

I'm not quite sure which one I found totally unpalatable - either the caffe mocha or the cappuccino. There was something about it that tasted off - like alcohol - not the good kind... However, the last two were fine.... It's only the Caffe Latte that I think I'd like to buy again though. For some cheap coffee in a can, it ain't bad at all.