Thursday, September 18

Travel Thursdays: Visit Caraga

As many of you may know by now, I am not a local from Cebu. I hail from Caraga Region, a small speck in the Northern most areas - Butuan City. Butuan City is also the commercial and entertainment center of the Caraga region.

Official MTV MAG SUROY-SUROY TA SA CARAGA 2014 from Ryan Ugalino on Vimeo.

Note: Suroy-suroy means: to wandering around or to roam about.

Fast Facts:
  • Butuan City is also known as the Timber City of the South. Way back 1940s until the 1970s timber was the main industry of the city. 

  • The Agusan River is the third longest river in Mindanao and is the 3rd longest river in the Philippines. Flows northward for about 240 miles or 390 kilometers.

  • The fishing ground of Butuan is the Butuan Bay of which two coastal barangays are located. It extends some two kilometers to the sea and joins the Bohol Sea. These are the barangays of Lumbocan and Masao.
  • The Golden Tara of Butuan is a metaphor of the City's Glorious history and its journey to a progresive future.
  • We have orange colored tricycle. Sen. Angara was totally fond of the city when he did his campaign.

I hail from Lumbocan. LOL! I know that is not part of the Fast Facts! :)

Wednesday, September 10

Spices Delivered: McCormick Online Store

I was luckily invited to the official launch of The McCormick Online Store held in Maya Restaurant last May. Yes, this is another delayed post. Moving on, I hardly had time to prepare for the event. I get self conscious during invites like these. I am so self aware that it takes me longer to prepare for the event thereby chances of getting late are pretty high. I wanted to look good because I was certain this is one major event. I opted for a casual look instead as I ditched the heels and skirt and wore a fool proof blogger look: pants and a good blouse. Keeping it low. 

McCormick has prepared a good set of activities for the day. Prior to the event launch, we were given the chance to create our accounts as this is an integral part of the event. The online shop offers the vast variety of spices and herbs available for shipping to any point in the Philippines! It's simple as that. Also for purchases above Php5000 you get free shipping. This is a huge time saver for home based businesses as well as big companies that cater to the food industry. It's amazing how technology these days help out entrepreneurs maximize their time.

Invited guests revolved around the media: print, TV, radio and even from the blogosphere. I was happy to see JM from My Tasteful Life and met new bloggers as well. There were representatives from different Culinary Schools, F&B Managers from local hotels and of course a speaker from CCA. 
Subdivided into 3 parts: Education, Inspiration and Action The event started right away as soon as everyone settled. The event was headed by the fashion forward and ever so dashing Mark Suntay. 

Giving us a round up on everything related to flavor, spices and herbs was Chef Gigi Canlas-Angkaw from the Center of Culinary Arts. I was in awe of her experience and how far she has come, envious yes! Totally, I always wanted to study in CCA and this is the closest I could ever get. I jotted down notes after notes of tips for keeping spices and herbs potent and how to properly use them.

Meet Chef Wade Watson, the Corporate Executive Chef of the Abaca Group. Maya Restaurant, Phat Pho, Abaca, Tavolata just to name a few establishments he overlooks. A native of New Zealand, Chef Wade shared to us his experiences from being Australia's youngest chef at a 5-star resort and how he constantly polishes his skills as he traveled from Toronto, Thailand and Hong Kong. Jolly and warm in person, he truly helped ignite my passion for cooking and maybe just maybe I might leave the corporate world and pursue Culinary Studies.


This is the most integral part of the whole event, the launching of the McCormick Online site. Giving us a walk through is Miss Kim Deunice Gillesania, Food Service Product Manager at McCormick Philippines. A proud Cebuana and Atenista, she helped in navigating the site and how to order spices online. Yes, gone are the days when you would have to wake up early in the morning to go to the nearest market or rush to the closest convenient store just to fill up your baking needs.

The online store aims to provide accessibility, efficiency and convenience to home cooks and entrepreneurs alike. Shipping is available nationwide. With its user friendly e-commerce flat form, it won't be a surprise how you'd get your spices and herbs delivered at your doorstep. Mobile optimized and 10-20% cheaper than any distributor giving you the end user the best value for your money and certainly lesser burden in the kitchen. 

Visit them at: McCormick Online Store
Be updated with the latest from their FB page at: McCormick Friends & Flavor

Monday, September 8

Japanoms at The Yaki House

Living to the tradition of heading out for Team Eat out after payday, the team decided to have some Yakiniku. Who can ever say no to Japanese buffet anyway? Yakiniku meaning grilled food dishes either meat and vegetables over a flame of charcoals. This cuisine is essentially the Japanese interpretation of Korean BBQ or as you may know samgyupsal.

The Yaki House offers a booth which is seen above and is installed with a personal grill installed at every table, everyone instantly becomes an expert cook. The Yaki House staff are friendly and more than willing to help you through out the experience. They will be more than happy to replace charcoal if you think that it's no longer hot enough to cook.

Adorn with these cute Japanese dolls and keeping its minimalism decor, the place is quite cozy and is a perfect choice for families and catching up with friends.

In between meals is the perfect time for photo opportunities.

Here's what we had cooking on the grill, a mix of every meat. Seafood, pork and beef.

Breaded Dory has a well mix of crunch from the breading and the softness of the fish. 

The calamari was good, cooked just right and the dish can serve 2 to 3 guests.

The Fried Rice was a favorite and I loved the fact that they also serve kimchi. They also refill it as needed.

Check out their menu. We opted for Dinner ata Php399 per person while Lunch is Php299. 
Lunch is from 11AM to 2PM daily and Dinner is from 6PM to 10PM. The staff will ask you what meat to be served and we selected the following: Imported Beef, Pork Belly, Chiken, Squid, Chorizo. The imported beef was the bomb! It was so good that we asked for 12 more plates. Yes, we had 12 plates of meat!

Certainly, a sure hit for the team and for the budget as well. Come in hungry and leave with bursting tummies. I enjoyed the experience and had a great time with the team. Sometimes, a meal is better if you have great company.

The Yaki House
El Dorado Subdivision, Banilad, Cebu City
This is beside Caltex/7-Eleven or check this map from Funinclined

Friday, September 5

Mockingjay Part 1 Poster

Move over Elsa, Katniss is back in black.

November 21st can't come soon enough.

Thursday, September 4

10 Things Every Female Should Know

I'd like to share with you something that helps me feel empowered because we need to be reminded sometimes.

Natalie Patterson is a poet with the heart of a photographer, she is about capturing a moment. She got her start in the dark, under covers as a child. In 10th grade, she recalls wishing she was a poet like a classmate.Natalie is currently teaching her private workshop, Reconnecting: Vulnerability and Integrity, as well as in high school and college classrooms throughout the nation. Natalie seeks to spend more time creating, collaborating and teaching in the years to come.  She currently lives in Los Angeles.  Natalie enjoys love notes, working in the middle of the night, black tea, spending Sunday’s in love and being paid for her art. Check her work on her site

10 things every female should know.
Copied from her original post: 10 things every female should know

1. You are a prayer in the most holy mouth. The space between clasped hands. A landscape so picturesque at any angle, you are a reminder that magic exists.

2. Oh, they will stop and stare, you most divine creature with unapologetic skin and fearless features. LEARN to take a compliment. Settle into being the center of things.

3. When you fall in love, let it be with a person who asks nothing of you. Your existence should be enough. If they do not kiss you urgently and often, find someone who understands that lips in the presence of love should ignite passion.

4. Keep a few great friends. When they tell you harsh truths, learn to listen for the love. Growth is necessary and annoying at times but look and you will always find the silver lining.

5. Buy the perfect shade of red lipstick. It, like the perfect black dress are weapons. Use them at will.

6. Stop hiding your tampons. You are a woman. You bleed. Grown people know this. If he is afraid of menstruation, he is not prepared to be inside of you.

7. Do not apologize for existing. For being yourself. Apologize when you are not.

8. If you work hard, ask for a raise. Find your backbone and attach it to your standards. You deserve the money that correlates to how hard you work.

9. Feed yourself kind words, chocolate, quality people, random first dates, solitude, orgasms and books, You will need really, really good books. Live for the story.

10. If all else fails repeat after me:
I am enough
I am enough
I most certainly am enough.