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Showing posts from March, 2016

No art is an island...

Black Saturday. Typically, I'd be in Sta Cruz, spending time with family in preparation for Easter Sunday (so basically, that means just having dinner with them and sleeping over my aunt's house). This year, however, Val invited me to join him, Nikos, Coast, and Zia to Art in Island. It's a museum in Cubao, Quezon City that features three-dimensional artworks in which people can have their pictures taken with. I just had to join them; it sounded like fun when the idea was pitched at me! 
So here are some of my favourite photos from our visit to this museum. And yes, no shoes allowed. Hence, I was barefoot the whole time.

Sakaling Hindi Makakarating (2016)

As per usual, I found myself going to the cinema without an idea what the movie I was about to watch was all about. This time, I was with Ate Mary, Pogs, Dennis, and Gids at the Robinsons Galleria to see a movie called Sakaling Hindi Makarating, directed by Ice Idanan and top-billed by Alessandra de Rossi (who's about the only actor in the movie I've seen before). This movie was picked by my movie-watching friends, as I understand it, because interest has been brewing about it after it had won awards at the Cine Filipino Film Festival this year.
Okay, so the story is about a woman who was trying to pick up the pieces of her life after her relationship with her fiance broke down. Apparently, Cielo, the protagonist, belongs to the same group of women who try to find what they're looking for in their travels... sounds familiar right? As I was watching the film, I couldn't help but think that this is yet another retelling of "Eat, Pray, Love" and "That Thin…

Seoul Kitchen

I like eating Korean food, especially after being introduced to the cuisine's different dishes. Dr Chin, a Korean who used to work at IRRI (post-doc then IRS), introduced me to galbi. These are meat strips that are grilled right on the table. When the  cooked meat strips were served, there were a lot of side dishes that I honestly didn't know how to start eating my dinner! Then there's the epic Sariwon dinner I had with Ate Bing, Ate Mary, and Carina. That's when I got my first encounter with  japchae, a glass noodles dish and how metal chopsticks are not ideal tools to eat these noodles with. Then there's the occasional dinner with officemates at 88 Resort where the restaurant also had those Korean popsicles, aside from the Korean dishes. But the ultimate immersion of all happened in South Korea. That's where I saw the diversity in food and the inroads made by French baguettes and macarons into the dining experience.
So back in the university town of Los Baño…

Vask's tapas tasting menu

It has got to be one of my two favourite restaurants in the metro these days. It's one of those establishments I am willing to drive two hours north to just for the food. That's Gallery Vask. It's been named 39th best restaurant in Asia and on Monday evening, I introduced Ate Lucy and Man to the delicious food there.  .@nanaxiu & I tried the tasting menu once. Tonight, @buruguduy, Ate Lucy, & I went ala carte at @GalleryVask. 😋 — Rochie Cuevas (@rochiecuevas) 14 mars 2016
However, before I brought my friends along, I wanted Annapet to try it too. So one Sunday evening a few weeks back, after French class, I drove to the Bonifacio Global City and vetoed her choice of restaurant... because Anna wanted to eat at a place she saw in a top 10 list and she couldn't even remember its name! Since it's my sister with me, I pulled some of the stops: I opted to let her try the tapas tasting menu. After all, it featured some of my favourite…

Anilag 2016

Every year, the provincial government of Laguna holds a festival that showcases the products and the tourist destinations in the different towns of the province. Back in the day, it was called Anilag (Ani ng Laguna) and then La Laguna. This year, the name was reverted to Anilag, and rightly so, I guess, because cottage industries were highlighted this year. 
This year, I visited the festival with my relatives. Tita Babie and Tito Donnie were there too since they just arrived from Cavite (and California).

Family touring Laguna province in one hour. Talk about fast and furious! A photo posted by Rochie Cuevas (@rochiecuevas) on Feb 29, 2016 at 5:15am PST

I felt like I was on a rapid tour of the province, with each town represented by a booth. Missing (or at least I didn't notice the exhibits) were the booths of Pagsanjan, San Pedro, and Cabuyao. Some of the booths were really pretty, with my favourite being the Lumban exhibit because it featured, beautifully, the colourful embroider…

Always Be My Maybe (2016)

On Friday, I watched a movie entitled "Always Be My Maybe", directed by Dan Villegas and top-billed by Gerald Anderson and Arci Muñoz. The movie, produced by Star Cinema, was about two people who became friends after their respective romantic relationships failed. The story, as any Filipino rom-com would have it, showed the ups and downs of the relationship between the protagonists... with both ending up happy... or at least that's when the director hollers, "Cut! That's a wrap!" to the cast and the crew.
Anyway, I am not writing about the movie as much as I am writing about how current the language used by the characters was. Kudos to the scriptwriters, Patrick Valencia and Jancy Nicolas! They made the characters talk the way a certain group of Filipinos talk, making the characters realistic and relatable. Kudos to the cast and the director too, because they made the script come to life. One of the more salient points was when Gerald's character, Jake…

Armchair forensic scientist meets escape rooms

I was watching Brain Games on the National Geographic Channel the other day. In this episode, a group of three people were locked inside a glass-walled room, from which they had to figure out how to get out. To help them decipher the life-size puzzle, they had to answer a series of riddles. And they had one hour to get out. According to Brain Games, these participants had to use all parts of their brains to figure out how to escape the room. Hence, one had to have the mind of a detective and/or a forensic scientist to find and to piece clues together. This meant that this type of activity is a piece of cake for people with advanced degrees, right?
Roman, a former staff at IRRI (he's now studying in Singapore), organised an activity for a group of people, including PhD graduates, MSc students, and BSc graduates. It was a perfect way to see how people with different educational attainments processed problems.
We were stuck in a dimly lit room, blindfolded at first, and were su…

On forgotten passwords and passcodes

One of the reasons I have for blogging is to keep a diary for myself, online, so I'd be able to laugh at myself and reflect on my adventures years after... Without having to worry about entering passcodes and passwords before I could read my posts. Paper-based diaries are getting bulky, after all.
(I do have a password for composing and posting... But the content is publicly accessible. In case my memory fails me in the future, knock on wood. After all, I don't want to end up like Lexi Smart in "Remember Me?" By Sophie Kinsella.)
Because that's the thing. In an effort to lock things in and to prevent others from tweaking (unauthorised) and stealing online personas (i.e., keep information private but online), people are using passwords and number combinations. And they're difficult to remember if there are so many of them... Different ones per account, per device, per item. And we're not supposed to write them anywhere for the sake of security.
So today, …

In the Pig Pen

Looking for a good place for dinner (after canvassing for her future car), Mafel and I ended up in The Pig Pen. It felt cozy, homey, and familiar... with very warm staff who made me instantly feel at ease. As I read the menu's back cover, I learned that The Pig Pen is owned by my friends who also put up The Black Pig! No wonder! However, The Pig Pen is definitely not a copy cat of The Black Pig. The menu in The Pig Pen is more casual and rustic than in The Black Pig, being in line with the casual feel of Nuvali. Somehow, The Black Pig's menu is more sophisticated, more urban... very Alabang, in my opinion.

After watching #Zootopia, I'm trying out the new-ish resto of my friends from The Black Pig. :) A photo posted by Rochie Cuevas (@rochiecuevas) on Feb 25, 2016 at 2:40am PST

The pulled pork cannelloni I had for dinner was so delicious! It was just the right-sized portion too. The edamame and the cherry tomatoes provided the right contrast to avoid the umay factor coming …

Pigging out at Niu by Vikings

I am not so much a fan of buffet restaurants because I felt I can't eat as much as the next buffet athlete. However, Kay, Anna's classmate in nursing school, wanted to try Niu by Vikings. It is a buffet restaurant at SM Aura (Bonifacio Global City). Niu is reminiscent of the buffet restos I've eaten at in Las Vegas: the lighting, the fixtures, and the tables and chairs all felt luxurious and expensive. Frankly, this has got to be the prettiest restaurant I've been to in Metro Manila where people sit down to pig out.
Quality time with @nanaxiu and Kaye: my stomach is protesting because I ate too much at #Niu #Vikings. I need to run the calories off tomorrow. 😉 A photo posted by Rochie Cuevas (@rochiecuevas) on Feb 28, 2016 at 5:40am PST
And pig out we definitely did. There were a lot of options. Clueless with where I should start, I opted to get food from the rear end of the resto, slowly moving forward towards the desserts station. Hence, I began my eating adventure w…