Sunday, May 18, 2014

Benefit Brow Wax Beneficence - Maleficence

Benefit had half off on their brow waxing service for a week, lasting until today. On one hand, my eyebrows have never before looked more groomed. On the other hand, it took out a giant chunk of skin at the end of my left eyebrow.

Benefit Brow Wax Effect

You can see it as a triangular patch that starts at the end of my eyebrow. At first I thought it was simple swelling, but when I got home, I saw otherwise.

So, i'm never doing that again. I think I'll stick to tweezing and threading instead.

Hoping for tips on how to regrow the skin properly without getting a scar. I can't wait until I can wash the area so i can seal it up. :(

Friday, May 16, 2014

Choco-late de Batirol

What is a trip to Baguio without the ubiquitous trip to Camp John Hay?

Some people go for the shopping, I go for the food. It's a good thing that Baguio is much cooler than Manila, especially in summer - so you can best enjoy hot chocolate and other goodies such as suman and bibingka. I had this as a mid-morning snack after the long drive up, and it's the perfect pick me-up to start sight-seeing.

Different sets were available, and what we got came with their signature batirol hot chocolate, suman and bibingka. For those who don't know, a batirol, batidor or molinillo is a wooden implement used to whisk the hot chocolate. This version, while frothy also contains a lot of "grit" which gives it a nice texture as well as flavor. Note that this hot chocolate is not as sweet or as creamy as your standard Starbucks hot chocolate. It does not overwhelm the tongue, which pairs it well with both the bibingka and the suman. The serving of hot chocolate is generous, but the food was not enough for our hungry tummies - we had to order another serving of delicious bibingka.

Suman (F), Choco-late de Batirol (M) and Bibinka (B) at Choco-late de Batirol

It is possible to order a concentrate of the product at their store. However, included instructions were a bit too complicated for me right now. Maybe in the future, or at one of their other branches.

Choco-late de Batirol
Camp John Hay
Baguio City, Philippines

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Halo Halo de iloko

Halo Halo de Iloko is a great place to try Filipino dishes. The decor includes bits of old furniture and framed comments of famous (I think) people who've been there.

Out of the dishes we tried, the Sisig Iloko was the best. We tried the okoy, which was also very popular, but liked the sisig best.

Sisig Iloko
We also tried their halo-halo. The deep fried halo-halo is a must try. Though it's delicious, I think a bit more ice cream would have been preferred.

Fried Halo-halo
There were two other halo-halos on their menu, one served in a coconut and one in a glass. By the time we ate, there was no longer any of the former so we had the classic one instead. It did not disappoint.

Fiesta Halo-halo
I wish I got to try the Buko Halo-halo, but we did not have time to return; the restaurant only has a set amount of Buko Halo-halo per day. The night we came (dinner time) was very busy, and there was a waiting time of around 30 minutes before we could get a table. Since it was also very busy, the food took a while to come.

I would suggest going a bit earlier in the day, to best savor the icy coldness of the halo-halo.

Halo-halo de Iloko
San Fernando, La Union

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

How to Remain Young at Heart: The Musical

Weeks ago I saw a poster promoted by the Foundation for Lay Education on Heart Disease (FLEHD) for a production of “How to Remain Young at Heart: The Musical.”   Though I had my doubts as to how entertaining it would be with education on heart disease as a topic, with three magic words –musical, free admission- I decided to attend. Yesterday, May 5, 2014, I watched something at Meralco Theater which I did not expect, to say the least.

First of all, I thought that the musical’s target audience would be lay people. To my surprise, the majority of attendees were doctors, and I felt very out of place. The songs included terms such as “ventricular fibrillation” and “suboptimal intrauterine conditions” among other things. I think this show was targeted at health workers in general, and doctors in particular.

On a minor note, I felt peevish in the beginning because the performance started on a sung prayer which we had to stand for. I will not go further into this topic.

Secondly, it was not a musical. It probably would have been better to say that it was a musical experience. I first had my doubts when I saw that the orchestra was on stage. Though there was a plot, there were no actual characters performing, and one of the first ballet performances had no connection with the lyrics being sung. It was a good thing that three screens were provided on which the libretto was flashed, or else it would have been impossible to follow. However, as I let go of the expectation of a true musical, I began to enjoy myself further.

The show was divided into 6 acts: While the music, some of which reminded me of other works, and lyrics weren’t connected, I did enjoy it in varying degrees. I learned a bit of information in Act I – it was definitely the most educational part of the night. I must say I did not truly enjoy myself until the end of it. The last song, “Haw Haw Hee,” was in Cebuano and was probably the only song targeted to actual lay persons.

Acts II and III were definitely the most enjoyable part of the evening with the bulk of the performances. On the other hand, I did not read anything – and therefore, learn anything – during that period. Why? With the choice of the ballet and the libretto, I chose the former. For one thing, Lisa Macuja – Elizalde. For another, an unknown hot guy from Ballet Philippines did a number wearing a fedora and suspender, sans shirt! Girls, zero percent body fat and muscles in all the places…

Acts IV to VI were not memorable. I left after curtain call – 2 hours after the start of the program. It was only as I got home that I realized that there were a few more songs to go.

It was an interesting night. One I would not like to repeat, but do not regret nonetheless.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Cafe Mary Grace

I've always thought of Cafe Mary Grace as a dessert place, with its yummy hot chocolate, lemon squares and ensaymada. However, I'd never eaten anything truly substantial there before. Apparently, their pasta is also decent in size and flavor. It's not exactly a heavy meal, but it's not a light one either.

While their cream pastas are ok (specifically, the mushroom cream and salmon and cream), my friends and I agree that the sardines and olives pasta (P264, service charge not included) was the most delicious of the three we ordered. 

Sardines and Olives Pasta
Service is decent, with very accomodating servers, though we were a bit neglected with our plentiful requests for water - maybe due to our position outdoors. Still, the decor is very pretty and it's, for me, especially nice once the lights are on.