Success, at last!

We did it, we did it, WE DID IT! After tw0 failed attempts, ricky and i finally made it last night to the Amici di Don Bosco (Friends of Don Bosco) eatery!

ha! last order is at 8:30, she said! well, we got in at 8:15. actually,
I got in at 8:15 and immediately ordered, and ricky followed suit after parking the car (aaaah, strategy...) . and so, to celebrate our success, i ordered two pasta variants: one of their specialties, Lasagne al Forno (baked lasagne with bolognese sauce, bechamel and mozzarella cheese) and my favorite, Linguine alla Puttanesca (linguine with tomato sauce, capers, anchovies and olives),
and one specialty pizza, Tutta Carne (tomatoes, mozzarella, sausage, cooked ham, spicy salami and olive oil).

as with our previous foiled visit, the cafeteria was packed, with more groups still coming in. aside from the food itself, the whole experience of eating there is quite unique. as it is with (most) cafeterias, everything is self service.

indeed, once we tasted the food, we understood why the place is popular. in one word - okay, two: truly del
icious. the pizza, in particular, was perfectly crisp in the crust, and everything that went into it we could just savor. the pasta, of course, did not disappoint.

by the end of the evening, we were so full that even if i still HAD TO try their gelato, i just could not anymore. the damage for everything? P540.00/$11.00. not bad, right?

definitely coming back. and we'll make sure to come before 8:30 pm every time!

(Amici di Don Bosco is open Mondays to Saturdays, 10:00 am to 9:00 pm - or make that 8:30, just to be sure. It is located along Pasay Road, corner of Pasong Tamo. Parking is available at the church or school area)

posted by vina @ 3:16 PM            | links to this post

gluttony on a wednesday night

last night, ricky and i decided that we HAD to try the don bosco eatery for pizza and pasta, after our failed attempt last sunday. it's supposed to close at 9pm. we got there 8:40: the place was still open, and indeed, there were lots of people still having their dinner. Oh-so-excited, we went to Cashier no. 1 (since it's self service). Closed. We were referred to Cashier no. 2 in the other dining area. i saw a girl already counting money. ooops, didn't look good. true enough, closed as well. the girl said last order is at 8:30. what the...? closing at 9, but last order is 8:30? so when people come in between 8:31 to 9:00, are they only supposed to order drinks?

huffing, puffing and extremely hungry, we stormed out of the place. this time, we did not have an alternative. but then, like an answered prayer (of a different sort, that is), what did i see as we were about to cross buendia heading back to manila?

aaaaah, aling lucing sisig. the pride of pampanga. i've read and heard about it, so why not give it a shot?

and that's just what we did. ordered that P130 sizzling big shot (good for 2-3 persons) and one rice for each of us. aaaaah, aling lucing sisig. the pride of pampanga....

we were gone in 20 minutes. we did not even finish everything. yes, aha, aha, you guessed it...we were disappointed.

and so, huffing, puffing, and still hungry, we again stormed out of the place. We needed to have closure on that sisig, dammit! and we knew just where to go...

bacolod chicken inasal along jupiter street - our SAVIOUR! we ordered right away. one pork sisig and one rice. oooooh, can i add batchoy?

"I haven't eaten batchoy in a looooong time!" i told ricky.

gluttony, gluttony, gluttony.

by 10:00, we were heading home. we had our closure.

(but we'll be back for that don bosco eatery...dammit we will!)

posted by vina @ 11:23 AM            | links to this post

Support the Biofuel Act

I hope that our leaders will be committed to the Biofuel Act proposed by Bukidnon Representative Juan Miguel Zubiri.

Over the weekend, CNN ran a special on the oil crisis. Entitled We were Warned, the special painted a grim picture of 2009, when all the oil refineries and pipelines in Texas were destroyed by a hurricane and terrorists attacked oil installations in Saudi Arabia. The events that would follow all over the world can only be described in one word: catastrophic.

To date, America, being a superpower that it still is, does not have a strong contingency program with regards to its oil supply (or its eventual decline). Brazil, on the other hand, is near to declaring energy-independent, with the country running solely on ethanol. In other words, "What oil crisis?"

Indeed, our leaders and those concerned should be committed to the Biofuel Act - simply because we should all be afraid...we should all be prepared...we should all think about the next generation and what's (not) in store for them. All these oil resources, we will someday use it all up. What happens then?

Me? I'm just scared shitless.

posted by vina @ 6:00 PM            | links to this post

from bacolod with love

ooooh i'm just so happy i have to share! a colleague from our Bacolod office is here for a conference and he brought me this box of assorted tarts from Virgie's as a pasalubong (present)!

well, in case you still don't know by now, aside from being home to the famous chicken inasal, Bacolod also boasts of killer sweets and desserts! those who frequent the City of Smiles are familiar with Bong-Bong's and Virgie's, the one/last-stop shops for pasalubong. there, you can find delicacies which you probably did not know were from Bacolod/Negros: barquillos, piaya, napoleones, dulce gatas and those butterscotch, mango tarts and caramel tarts you've tasted probably at a party, or in the office.

in bacolod, virgie's is located at 59 San Sebastian Street. telephone numbers are (034) 434-1588 and (034) 434-1788. here in manila, bacolod products are being sold at various chicken inasal restaurants and at the bacolod stall at Market!Market! in Fort, Taguig.

kaon ta (let's eat)!

posted by vina @ 7:16 PM            | links to this post

pancake house on a sunday morning

i'm usually not into heavy breakfast (unless it's a free buffet!) but yesterday i had just that - heavy breakfast, that is.

ricky, april and i went all the way to makati just around 10 am. ricky and i have been dying to have our italian food fix at the don bosco eatery for some time already. it was closed, but that did not bring us down because, of course, we had an alternative! and our alternative waaaaas...PANCAKE HOUSE!

yes, yummy pancake house. but wait. it was not pancakes nor waffle we were after - pancake house for us means Daing na Bangus (Dried Milkfish) more than anything else. bar none, theirs is the best tasting daing na bangus ever!

so off to pancake house, greenbelt 1 we went. and what do you know...all three of us ordered daing na bangus. ricky likes his daing na bangus extra toasted. but extra toasted or not, you could always just eat the whole thing. like what i do. just a teeny-weeny part of its tail is usually left behind.

oooooh, it was just delicious. by the time we finished, our plates were clean! no more bangus, garlic rice, egg, even the atsara (pickled papaya)!

not heavy enough, you say? weeeeell, it's because i forgot to mention that we also ordered a 3-piece blueberry pancake and two 4-piece country sausages.

posted by vina @ 11:30 AM            | links to this post

of idols

On Americal Idol Season 5

Ace Young. he's out, and that makes me hate Kelly Pickler even more. she's just i don't know why she has to act dumb - yes, i FIRMLY BELIEVE SHE IS JUST ACTING. but enough of that...i mean, ace young doesn't really stand a chance of becoming the next idol, but come on! in this week's performance featuring rod stewart's "songs", pickler was just horrible in her rendition of bewitched, bothered and bewildered! she butchered the lyrics, was out-of-tune, and was certainly out-of-rhythm, plus she really just looked fake! and dumb! but, oh well, she certainly has the machinery.

my faves are taylor hicks and yes, the obvious, cat mcphee, although i shall say that this year's group is preeeetty impressive. take paris, for instance. haha, don't let her talk (because she has this high-pitched, squeaky voice - in one word, irritating), but you should hear her sing! her voice has a billie holiday-esque quality that's rare in a 17-year old. eliott and chris, on the other hand, have also been consistent with their performances. so that leeeeaves pickler.

and leave it at that, i will.

On Mark Ruffalo

exactly when i was wondering what's keeping mark ruffalo busy these days and i find out that he's currently starring in his first broadway play, Awake and Sing, a story about the struggle of a jewish family in the bronx, during the depression era. the play officially opened just this april 17. it should be noted that mark started and was discovered in an off-broadway play, This is Our Youth, and so he is just returning to his roots. gawd, this just makes me love him all the more.

incidentally, as i was blog-hopping last night, i came across the site of brennan slattery of massachusetts. his site,, is mostly about movie and play reviews. there, in his "21 greatest living actors" post is THE man: mark ruffalo.

i almost cried.

posted by vina @ 1:54 PM            | links to this post

the last time - Q & A

Stupid me, just when i'm about to go home and i got the idea of torturing myself with this spontaneous Q & A:

When was the last time you did something for the first time?
Last Saturday, when i went karting.

When was the last time you laughed till you cried?
Last year, when i watched the Beegees segment of the SNL episode featuring Justin Timberlake (he played Robin, Jimmy Fallon played Andy)

When was the last time you cried buckets of tears?
Last February, when i watched Brokeback Mountain.

When was the last time you made a fool of yourself?
Hmmm, i'll get back to you on that. (two days and counting...)

When was the last time you got really mad?
I think, sometime 2001 or 2002 - because of ricky, hehe.

When was the last time you got really mad at yourself?
Last February 3, when i arrived late at ryan and celine's weddding ceremony - and to think, i was the maid of honor!

When was the last time you felt guilty?
Last March (or was it February?), when i bought a pair of shoes from Tyler-Powerplant. go figure.

When was the last time you were proud of yourself?
Last Sunday, when i did not buy THAT white blouse from Tyler-Powerplant. just to satisfy my curiosity, i'll check if it's still there this weekend.

When was the last time you were nasty?
Ooooh, that's a good one. I'm nasty towards nasty people...I'm nasty almost everyday!

if i come across as schizophrenic, it's okay. i'm just being my usual self. selves.

posted by vina @ 7:09 PM            | links to this post

introductory driving

*gulp* i'm taking up driving lessons next week. it's something i have been postponing - for years. i felt i lacked my motivational factor - i had my pops while i was in bacolod and i have ricky here, plus, there's the (sometimes) reliable cab. but boy, oh boy, do i have my motivational factor now! starting june, it will be just me and my car. me and the rest of the effing reckless, spineless drivers of manila.

so, as a prelude to the main course next week, i got myself a yummy appetizer (or is it dessert?) just this black saturday.

what better way to pique my drive to drive, but to drive! haha, i went go-kart racing! and i did it! i did it, i did it, I DID IT! i grabbed Hesitation by its neck, looked it in the eye, hurled it away, and ran it over - over and over again - there at the Kart Track in Boomtown, CCP Complex.

i was with ricky (my future ex-boyfriend), debbie (my sister) and april (debbie's best friend and my extended sister). we went there around 6 pm to avoid the scorching sun, and we had the track all to ourselves! the staff was very accommodating and patient, what with our time-consuming picture-taking sessions. needless to say, we all had a grand time - all 12 minutes of it(ooookay, maybe a little more) on the track, and some more off it.

oh, if it were any indication, i hardly used the brake the entire time.

(rates for 12 minute-session: P250.00 for 1-seater and P200.oo for 2-seater, but thanks to Mr. JT, we had ours free!)

posted by vina @ 10:41 AM            | links to this post

Marni's Room 2nd store

Good news! Marni's Room is opening its second store, this time in Powerplant Mall, in May!

But if you can't wait till May and would like to score fabulous finds (whether vintage or original creations) like, ASAP, check out their Malate store! Don't forget to set an appointment first! Marni here has the details.

posted by vina @ 6:11 PM            | links to this post

12 Little Things Every Filipino Can Do to Help Our Country

These are trying times for our country right now.

Oh, how easy it is for most of us to just be a spectator to the melee, to be jaded and indifferent, to withdraw, to accept. Just what has gone wrong, not just with our country, but with us as a people?

I still believe that there is still hope for all of us. That someday, we will get through these trials triumphant and proud. TOGETHER. That someday, we shall realize that inasmuch as our leaders have responsibilities to both lead and serve, we, too, have parts to play. After all, this is our country, our Philippines.

In last Saturday's episode of Game Ka Na Ba, both challenger and defending champion were asked to enumerate the "commandments" stated in Alexander Ledesma Lacson's book, " 12 Little Things Every Filipino Can Do to Help Our Country".

I hope we can take the list to heart. These are not, by any means, little things.

1.) Follow traffic rules. Follow the law.
2.) Whenever you buy or pay for anything, always ask for an official receipt.
3.) Don't buy smuggled goods. Buy local. Buy Filipino.
4.) When you talk to others, especially foreigners speak positively about us and our country.
5.) Respect your traffic officer, policeman and soldier.
6.) Do not litter. Dispose your garbage properly. Segregate. Recycle. Conserve.
7.) Support your church.
8.) During elections, do your solemn duty.
9.) Pay your employees well.
10.) Pay your taxes.
11.) Adopt a scholar or a poor child.
12.) Be a good parent. Teach your kids to follow the law and love our country.

I would like to add a number 13: Explore the Philippines; support domestic tourism.

Perhaps there are a lot more we could offer and contribute for our country, even in our own, simplest ways. What do YOU say?

posted by vina @ 4:34 PM            | links to this post

to divi to buy my dvds!

yipeee! i'm going to divi tomorrow my dvds, and then some.

i'm not going somewhere during the lenten break and instead will spend some quality time on my bed, in my small unit, with my loved ones - ricky, debbie and april, and just watch and watch and watch...

so, on my list are (and which, i hope are already available):

lost 2 - this show is really so addictive! the last scene in the season 1 finale was such a cliffhanger, with locke finally opening the hatch!

house 2 - dr. house is such a pain in the ass, i love him! i hope the love angle between him and cameron will be played up.

prison break - wentworth miller. that's all i could say. also, i've watched a few episodes, read the reviews, and it's doing great in the u.s., thank you very much.

grey's anatomy - patrick dempsey...yum. also one of the top shows in the u.s.

so there. they're my priority. i'd also like to have 24, south park and the simpsons. but i think i'll be needing more funds for time, probably.

posted by vina @ 8:13 PM            | links to this post

mommies, help!

is it true? IS IT TRUE? does the feet size go half an inch or an inch higher AFTER giving birth?

if it IS true, and when THAT happens to me (oh, you know. get pregnant, give birth, be a mom), wha-what will happen to my shoes, my preciouuuuus shoes???

you mean, i'll just have to stop buying shoes now, otherwise, they won't fit me when THAT time comes?

STOP buying shoes now? whaaat?

stop. buy shoes. NOW, that's better.

posted by vina @ 5:30 PM            | links to this post


the manila auto show at the world trade center starts tomorrow and ricky and i have made plans to go there on saturday, but only after my cellophane treatment at basement salon, hehe. i gotta have my cake and eat it too, yes?

i want to see the new honda civic, which will be publicly unveiled there, and the suspense is killing me!

i hope i won't be disappointed...ooooooh, it's not what you think...i want it to be uh, ugly.

yes, dear folks, this is me, the 26% evil woman talking. i want my baby, my 2005 civic 1.6 VTIS to still be numero uno particularly in terms of design and form.

and, if indeed, i won't be disappointed and the new honda civic turns out below par, i promise to take up driving lessons and maybe pimp my ride!

WELL. now that i have gotten that off my chest, let's move on, shall we?

i'm counting the days till a friend of mine comes back from the U.S. next week. i made him buy 2 philip stein watches, but only if if it costs cheaper there. i could have just saved my spare dollars, but what the heck, it's extra money anyway. of course, i could only afford the plain and cheapest style. for now. *smug*

last night, the gang of 3 (ryan, celine & i) decided to eat at the new seaside complex along diosdado macapagal boulevard. i was just there last sunday (straight from the airport) for our birthday blow-out for april, my extended sibling, but come on...this is fresh seafood! who could say no? we ordered the usual: buttered garlic prawns, steamed prawns, calamares and crispy tilapia. needless to say, we went home full, nay, bloated, and...dizzy.

we've only tried out two restaurants since we started going there last month: Lola Ina's and Josefina's, and the former has already won me over. i don't intend to try out the other restaurants simply because i don't want to feel shortchanged (although you can never be shortchanged there because everything's reasonably priced!).

however, i feel a bit sad because my "supplier" is not there anymore....sheesh, i'm talking about dvds. i was able to buy my lost and nip/tuck dvds from one of the vendors there, unfortunately, he has "disappeared". couldn't find him last sunday, couldn't find him last night. and that means i have to go all the way to divisoria to have my fix. and i HAVE TO do it before the holy week.

please, please don't tell the OMB.

posted by vina @ 3:20 PM            | links to this post

oreo cheesecake delight

my sister went home to bacolod for an overnight stay only, and i made sure she brought back a calea dessert. i was torn between blueberry cheesecake and black sambo, but then i remembered that i haven't tried their oreo cheesecake yet!

i made sure i'd eat it as soon as i came back from my beijing trip.

i wasn't disappointed. not the slightest bit. it looked and tasted heavenly, but i'm sorry i don't have a picture to whet your appetite. i hope you just take my word for it. or, maybe next time i will be able to take a picture, if i don't forget (again).

calea, you're simply the best. another masterpiece from the city of smiles!

posted by vina @ 5:12 PM            | links to this post

the beijing connection

just came back from beijing and now, i'm sick.

sick of chinese food, sick of seeing and hearing chinese, sick of dirty and awful smelling toilets...but these stories are for another post. right now, i'm really not feeling well. stepped right back into manila's 30 degrees celsius from beijing's 18 and below temperature.

i sound like i'm whining, but i'm not, of course. i have always dreamt of "climbing" the Great Wall, and i already did, buckling knees and panting notwithstanding. until now, it actually still feels like a dream, gazing at the long stretch of the majestic and grand structure that has been declared as one of the eight wonders of the world, walking between the walls and concentrating on the teeny-weeny steps so that i may not lose my balance and probably suffer a mishap, bumping against other, noisy tourists...

but do you know what totally made beijing such an experience?

i'll tell you, alright, but maybe, some other time....right now, i'm just plain sick i couldn't bring myself to share just yet.

sick of chinese food, sick of seeing and hearing chinese, sick of dirty and awful smelling, stomach churning toilets...

posted by vina @ 8:00 PM            | links to this post