Monday, January 25, 2010

Mooon Cafe

Monday, January 25, 2010
*author's note: I intend to edit this piece for use in my writing portfolio for BusinessWorld. - MB

Restaurant: Mooon Cafe
Location: 3/F The Annex SM City North Edsa
Quezon City

It was only by chance that Sam and I ended up here for lunch. After wandering around, we found ourselves in front of this Mexican cantina-inspired restaurant. The blurbs in the menu were deliciously descriptive and enticed us to give this place a try.

I ordered the Chicken Mozarella Melt (pictured above; P179, garlic rice included). The taste reminded me of beef, which I found a little bit odd. Near the end of the meal, Sam tasted it and said that the marinade used was soy sauce and calamansi, which was probably why it reminded him of food cooked during the barangay fiesta at his place (and why it made me think of beef steak). The chicken was tender and tasty, but I think the price is a tad steep.

Sam ordered the Mooon Steak (pictured above; P169, garlic rice included). He seemed to like it enough, but I found it somewhat bland.

Overall, the price is probably not worth it. The food was only average and it seemed that we were paying mostly for the ambiance.

Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf Fail

I'm a big fan of Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf's Moroccan Mint Tea Latte, so I was psyched about Belle Du Jour's CBTL coupons. Sam and I decided to use the "Buy One, Take One" Tea Latte offer. To our disappointment, Moroccan Mint was unavailable. At first, we ordered one Matcha Green Tea Latte and One Double Vanilla Tea Latte. At the last minute, we changed the order to two Double Vanilla Tea Lattes. The girl at the counter was able to get our orders right. Sadly, the barista wasn't as alert. And even worse, we didn't notice that she got our orders wrong until we arrived back at the office.

Double Vanilla Tea Latte Fail :(

Monday, January 18, 2010

Managing Your Finances x2

Monday, January 18, 2010

If you and your significant other are having some trouble with managing your finances, here is an
article that may help you. The important thing is to communicate and be clear about where your money is going, so that you'll know what to cut back on.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Rustan's Supermarket Fresh Big Headz Promo

Sunday, January 17, 2010
For kids, kids-at-heart, and stuffed animal collectors, here's one-- or six more reasons to shop at Rustan's Supermarket Fresh.

These cute stuffed toys with disproportionately large heads (thus, the name Big Headz) can now be yours. From December 4, 2009 to March 25, 2010, you can collect 1 sticker for every P250 purchase. Additional stickers are also given for every P100 worth of purchase of participating products.

You will need to accumulate 50 stickers to get any of the stuffed toys, but if you don't want to wait that long, you have two other options. One is to Fast Track, that is, get 25 stickers and pay an additional P299. The other option is to pay P999 and the stuffed toy of your choice is yours.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Between the Lines: "Women's Health" magazines

Friday, January 15, 2010

The most popular New Year's resolution is "to lose weight." For me, it's get healthier. This can be a challenge, though, since I never feel like I have the time to exercise, and eating healthy isn't as feasible as I would like. Enter Women's Health magazine.
It's packed with health facts and figures, as well as various articles meant to make becoming healthier as easy as possible. The highlight of the January-February 2010 edition would probably be the "We Dare You" article, which is the ultimate 2010 fitness plan. There's already a cardio plan provided, as well as various exercises grouped according to the muscles that get worked and what it improves (strength, flexibility, agility, and balance).
Other articles I found interesting are: "Kick Your Kitchen Skills Up a Notch" (simplifies 5 important cooking skills: roasting, broiling, boiling, sauteing, and braising); "Inside a Healthy Pantry" (lists healthy ingredients to stock up on); "Survival Crib Sheet" (think "Worst-Case Scenario Survival Guide"); and "Get Him to Groom Like Beckham" (tips on how to get your significant other to be more conscious of his looks and personal hygiene).

P125 (available at bookstores nationwide)

Between the Lines: "45 Home-Based Business Ideas"

*author's note: I intend to edit this piece for use in my writing portfolio for BusinessWorld. - MB

During these still shaky economic times, it never hurts to have a sideline business. But how do you decide what kind of business to set up? For some people, lack of experience or even just a general idea of what they're going to do is enough of a deterrent to their dreams of having their own business.
Well, Entrepreneur's book will change all that. "45 Home-Based Business Ideas" presents different home business ideas for you to consider, ranging from home and craft items like stuffed toys and aromatherapy candles to food items like siomai, siopao, and even Spanish sardines. And the best part of it is, step-by-step instructions are provided for each item. Also included are the list of materials you will need, the estimated start-up capital, and what would be a fair price for your items. The last one is a very important detail for me since I'm never quite sure how to compute for a competitive market price.

P195 (available at National Bookstore)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Between the Lines: "Akibakada" and "Go Beerkada: The Rise of the Jhologs"

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

For the past ten years, readers of the Philippine Star were entertained by the exploits of one barkada in the aptly-titled comic strip "Beerkada." "Akibakada" is the 9th Beerkada book by Lyndon Gregorio.

For the benefit of those who aren't familiar with the characters, below is a rundown of the main characters in the series:
Glen: the quintessential boy next door
Chompy (real name: Andrea): nicknamed as such because of her penchant for biting Glen; Glen's girlfriend; "newest" addition to the group
Boopey: law student; taray queen (occasionally, anyway)
Alan: Boopey's boyfriend; finally graduated from college
Brian: resident manyak, annoying at times but generally harmless
Jimmy: clueless. 'nuff said
Fe: Jimmy's girlfriend
Jay: activist-turned-teacher
Harry: just plain creepy

In this book, find out:
  • what happens when Dana, Glen's ex-girlfriend and an original member of the barkada, returns from Europe
  • what happens during a typical day for Glen and Chompy
  • what happens in Tokyo when the Beerkada is sent to the Asian Cartoon Exhibit in Japan
Longtime fans of Beerkada will not be disappointed by this installment. On that note, let's proceed to the next Beerkada book.

"Go Beerkada: The Rise of the Jhologs" is the 10th book in the Beerkada series, and is the first part of a two-book adventure.
Fans who are used to the usual drawing style of Beerkada may be in for a shock. This book is done manga-style. Of course, this new style may draw in some new readers. Sam, for one, said that if the comic strip was done in this style, he would consider reading it.
This graphic novel of sorts starts with Harry recruiting an army of jhologs after a disastrous encounter with the university student council. Enter the Beerkada who gets transformed into a Filipino version of Bioman/Power Rangers. I won't divulge how that comes about, though, since it's a nice little twist in the story.
Take note that this story is set in an alternative universe to the other books and during the pre-Chompy era, prior to Dana and Glen's relationship.

Akibakada: P120
Go Beerkada: Rise of the Jhologs: P110

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Honey + Orange + Mocha

Sunday, January 10, 2010
While I was in SM North EDSA this afternoon, I had the chance to sample Starbucks' latest product, Honey Orange Mocha. I had originally planned on buying a caramel frappucino, but, as luck would have it, there were sample cups of Honey Orange Mocha on the counter. Since I'm a fan of trying new things, I decided to give it a shot.

I love drinking coffee but I don't like coffees that are too bitter. In that sense, Honey Orange Mocha is perfect for me. It's not too sweet and not too bitter. The sweetness of the honey and the slight tang of the orange doesn't overpower the taste of the mocha. I would definitely order this again.

Tall Honey Orange Mocha Frappucino: P135

Friday, January 8, 2010

Sherlock Holmes, As I Live and Breathe

Friday, January 8, 2010
Yesterday, for the first time this year, I was not able to blog. I had a good excuse, though. Yesterday was my birthday, and Sam and I were at Robinsons Movieworld Galleria Cinema 5, watching the advanced screening of Sherlock Holmes. The previews started at 8 p.m., after a quick game c/o of Max Restaurant. The movie itself started at around 8:20 or so. Without going into too much detail, so as not to spoil it for anyone else, I can say that the movie was very entertaining. The actors truly brought their characters to life. Robert Downey Jr. as Sherlock Holmes, reminded me at times of Dr. Gregory House of House fame. Of course, House is in part based on Sherlock Holmes, as evidenced by their ability to draw accurate conclusions from seemingly mundane details, antisocial tendencies, and even the addiction to drugs (cocaine for Holmes and Vicodin for House). Jude Law, as Dr. Watson, had his share of witty punchlines which he delivered with impeccable timing.
The fight scenes were interesting, to say the least. Generally, I prefer martial arts movies over western action movies because I find gun battles to be too boring. Some of the fight scenes in Sherlock Holmes changed quickly from shot to shot, making it feel a bit confusing for me, and a little bit as though I was in the middle of the fight scene. Of course, maybe that was the effect they were going for, in which case, they succeeded.
Overall, the movie lives up to the legend. You won't leave the theater disappointed.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Avon's Anew Rejuvenate To A New You

Wednesday, January 6, 2010
It's 2010, another year added to the calendar and another year for us to grow older (and hopefully, wiser). I'll be turning 23 tomorrow and while I agree that I'm still young, I also believe that it's never too early to start taking good care of your skin in order to prevent premature aging. Avon's Anew Rejuvenate Line can help me achieve that. This product line aims to keep your skin fresh and young-looking.
This line costs P4,096, but will be giving away one set to one lucky winner. The mechanics are as follows:

For Bloggers:
1. Write about the contest in your blog and write why you would like to receive the Anew Rejuvenate Line.
2. Make sure to link your post to the URL of
this post.
3. Leave a comment there with a link to your post.

For Facebook account holders:
1. Write about the contest in your Facebook status and tell your friends why you would like to receive the Anew Rejuvenate Line
2. Make sure to put the link of
this post in your status message.
3. Leave a comment there with the URL to your Facebook status message so I can verify.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Win a complete Kérastase minis set

Tuesday, January 5, 2010
If you're a fan of quality hair products, then you'll want to join the contest sponsored by Hair in Manila. He will be giving away a complete Kérastase minis set to one lucky winner on January 9, 2010.

To join, simply do the following:

1. Write about the contest in your facebook wall/blog/multiply/myspace/etc.
2. Make sure to link your post to
Hair in Manila's post’s comments section
3. The contest starts on Dec 30 and ends on January 8, 2010.
4. The winner will randomly drawn and he'll double check first if you did post about the contest in your facebook or blog.
5. The winner will be announced on January 9, 2010.

Sneak Peek: Sherlock Holmes

Thanks to Click the City, I will be attending my first advanced screening ever on my birthday. :) If you also want to win a pair of advanced screening tickets to a movie, check out the Lootbox section on the homepage of Click the City.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Kids At Heart

Monday, January 4, 2010
*author's note: I intend to edit this piece for use in my writing portfolio for BusinessWorld. - MB

SM Science Discovery Center
SM Mall of Asia, MANILA
Operating Hours: 10 a.m.-10 p.m.
Rates: All-Day Pass = P330
Kiddie Pass (for kids 4 feet and below) = P150

Some of the best dates happen in places that aren't what you'd call "romantic." Before the end of the year, Sam and I decided to give the SM Science Discovery Center in Mall of Asia a try.
The entrance fee is P330 each for the whole day, inclusive of one show at the Planetarium and unlimited access to the Center. The kiddie pass is P150 each.
The first exhibit we encountered was the Bug Rug. It's a simulation that's meant to show people how field scientists catch and study bugs in the forest. In reality, we ended up just trying to scare bugs or altering their paths just for fun, which was what most of the kids did when it was their turn with the exhibit.
There are also computers wherein you can play Plants vs. Zombies or Wheel of Fortune. In the same area, there is also an interactive exhibit where a camera captures your movements and allows you to virtually play instruments or play volleyball with the computer.
Transportation Nation is all about cars and other modes of transportation. You can try out the flight simulator booths, similar to racing games in a standard arcade, as well as build your own car part by part, which is then tested for cost, safety, etc. You can also find the first car in the Philippines on display here.
For those with a fondness for gross things, there's Grossology. There's a trivia game you can play with your friends, a game that's similar to a large version of Operation, an exhibit where you are asked to smell something and you have to guess which body part that smell comes from, and many more.
The virtual reef is a tour of reefs and the sea creatures that live there. The most interesting part of that exhibit was Mr. T, a virtual fish voiced by a real person. When we were there, a family had beaten us to Mr. T. One of the kids asked Mr. T if he spoke Tagalog, and Mr. T answered that he did, but he'd rather not. I have to hand it to the guy, though. He knew the answer to all the questions that the kids asked him, and he gave them a pretty good runaround with the Tagalog query.
The Planetarium was a pretty amazing experience for me. The theater is circular and the seats are adjusted so that you look up at an angle. We opted for the film Dark Star Adventure, which was about black holes, wormholes, super novas, etc. In my opinion, it was an okay film, but I give a thumbs-up to the way the science facts were presented, as well as the bond between the lead girl Subrah and her robot friend Sweeps.
Another exhibit is City Science, which has a comparison of the heights of the tallest buildings in the world, as well as an earthquake simulator (which was closed for preventive maintenance at the time of our visit).
My two favorite exhibits would have to be the Time Clock, wherein you could send an email to yourself in the far future, and the Fear Wall. The Fear Wall, as the name suggests, is about the science of fear. Your shadows are projected onto a wall wherein you can see a leopard and a fruit tree. Fruits fall from the tree and you catch the fruits using your shadow's hands. The catch is, if the leopard sees you moving, he will "eat" you. The best part is, there is a video grab of whatever it is you do on the fear wall, and you can then email the video to yourself. Below is our video from Snibbe Interactive. Enjoy. :)

Sunday, January 3, 2010


Sunday, January 3, 2010
Farmville, Restaurant City, Mafia Wars. These are just some of the many game applications available on the social networking site Facebook. But before the advent of these sites, gaming on the internet was definitely simpler but by no means less entertaining.
Launched in 1999, Neopets isn't just for children looking for some virtual pets to adopt. The pets aren't exactly what you'd call "typical," either. Case in point, the "pet" at the bottom of this post is known as a Kacheek.
Each adopted pet can be one of four colors: blue, green, red, or yellow. However, if you find the colors too boring for your taste, you can opt to have your pet colored using a paintbrush or via the lab ray. It's gonna cost you to do that, though.
Neopian currency is neopoints. You can earn neopoints from playing games, through random events, or through selling items in your shop. You can then spend your points on items like food, books, and weapons (for use in the battledome). You can also buy codestones to use for training your pets at the training school in order to increase their statistics.
What's the ultimate goal for playing neopets? Well, it depends on the person. Some want to collect as many different items as possible, while some aim to make their pets unbeatable in the battledome. There are also some who try to make as much money as possible, which can be stored in the Neopian bank (which has a much higher interest rate than a real bank).
Fair warning, the site is extremely addictive.
Note: Kids under 12 have to get special permission from their parents to access all the feature of the site, but they can still play Neopets Jr.

Visit the site here:

whoammai got their Neopet at

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Sam's videos

Saturday, January 2, 2010
Just a little promotion for Sam's videos. He made these videos
some time ago, but it's never too late to spread the love. His
tongue-in-cheek literal presentation may or may not be for you
but we hope you enjoy it anyway.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Heaven in Subic

Friday, January 1, 2010
*author's note: I intend to edit this piece for use in my writing portfolio for BusinessWorld. - MB

One look at the website (and the television commercial) of The Lighthouse Marina Resort is enough to make anyone want to jump into their car and rush off to Subic. From the breathtaking view, the relaxing ambiance, mouthwatering food, and the extremely luxurious rooms, it's no surprise that this gorgeous resort ended up number 1 on Subic's top 10 list.

There are four types of rooms to choose from: Aqua Room, Aqua Terrace, Aqua Veranda and the Aqua Spa Suite. Obviously, the Aqua Spa Suite is the way to go if you really want to indulge, but personally, upon seeing the huge bathtub in the picture of the Aqua Terrace room, I wouldn't mind staying there. I can just imagine myself relaxing in the tub, bubbles overflowing and spilling onto the tiles, as I listen to the television blaring in the other room. With the everyday stresses I encounter in my mentally-demanding job, this sounds like the perfect way to unwind.

And the good news is, it's not overly priced. This is a very important selling point for people like me who don't want to spend too much on our vacations. The room rates are similar to that of 5-star hotels here in Metro Manila and include breakfast for two people (kids 6 and under eat for free), welcome drinks and fruits, afternoon cocktail, as well as hot chocolate/midnight tea nightcap. Not a bad deal at all.

If that's not enough, the various facilities here have something for everyone. Foodies can eat to their hearts' content at Sands Restaurant. Videoke fans, on the other hand, can satisfy their singing craving at 720 Bar which hosts a nightly karaoke session. There's also a swimming pool, a jacuzzi, and water sports activities. I don't know about you, but I'm definitely all for a family yacht cruise.

This resort is definitely number 1 on my list of must-visit places this 2010. Why not add it to your list too?
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