Friday, June 29, 2012

Anvil Publishing Is on Sale!

I have been waiting for them to have another mega sale like the one I went to in 2009 where I got a lot of books (77 in all) for only over P1,000.

This year's Anvil Publishing Sale is happening every weekend for these dates:
June 29-30 and July 1
July 6-8
July 13-15
July 20-22
July 27-29

It's going to be held at 107 West drive, Barangay Kapitolyo, Pasig City.

This is a great opportunity to stock up on Adarna storybooks, other storybooks, old novels, books to give away for parties or Christmas (and even to donate). Just come hydrated, in comfy clothes and maybe even a mask or gloves if you're allergic to dust (because the books will come from old storage, well, maybe not all... but paper invites dust).

If it's the same venue as I went to, it's also going to be crowded and hot (aside from musty) so you might want to leave the kiddos at home.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Aid Diet with Dr. Gerry's Coco Nectar

Granted, I have yet to try the product (I'm getting my first bottle tomorrow). But a friend swears by it... and her proof of efficacy is her special needs child who, if afflicted by even the common cold, could get seriously sick... but hasn't, despite being exposed to other children at her Kindermusik classes.

Now, how can coco nectar aid your weight loss? Well, one of it's listed benefits is making you feel energized and full for longer, hopefully spoiling cravings in the process. Surely, it's worth a try before shopping at for diet pills.

Just visit their website: or drop by most Alter Station or Kingsmen branches. It's good for diabetes too :)

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Manapla Puto May Just Beat All

I like puto but only eat the plain or cheese variants and only really love the ones made in Batangas, or the puto calasiao from Pangasinan. I prefer kutsinta.

Puto is rice cake shaped like a muffin. In my research of Bacolod eats, Manapla puto keppt cropping up so I made sure to try it. Unfortunately, our first opportunity to try one was while eating at Deco's in Iloilo, and we were soo disappointed because the ones we tasted from that restaurant wasn't great at all.

We wondered, why are they raving about it?

But since the itinerary drafted for us by my friend left specific instructions to go to Manapla for puto (and since we were already near, having gone to VMC), we decided to give this native delicacy another try. We didn't have high hopes but we wanted a fresher version to replace the original unsavory experience.

And OMG, was it sooo worth it.

The thing about Manapla Puto was that it was soooo light. And tasty. Before you know it, you've eaten 3 and going for more. It was really very delicious in a very Filipino way.

this is margarine-flavored (forgot to take a picture of the plain, white one)

this is the cheese-flavored (forgot how much each pack costs, between P100-200)

they're really so deliciously satisfying... I ate half of that pack even after having had lunch

Maybe you don't have to go all the way to Manapla to have a taste of their authentic puto. I'm pretty sure you can get some at Bacolod's wet market. And I swear by Barrido's Puto. But if ever you are in Bacolod, oh, do get some. Super must try!

Bacolod's C's for Coffee, Cakes and Chocolate

Just across Balay Quince (where a Calea branch is located), near the hotel we stayed in (Saltimboca), and along one of the main roads of Bacolod City is L'Fisher Hotel's bakeshop called C's. We decided to try it first before we dined at Calea because it was less popular and we wanted to 'save the best for last'. Unfortunately, we were so right.

the place actually looks nice, but you'd really see the contrast of patrons when you look across at jampacked Calea

a slice of Swiss Chocolate crunch... costs around P90 (too lazy to find the receipt) and I super do not recommend it; the crunch part tasted like pure oil and the cake was dry

I forgot what kind of cheesecake... it was okay and well, their cakes are stacked high so I guess they were also filling, albeit, in a really non-satisfying way.

So, why blog about C's if I cannot say anything nice about their cakes? Or coffee and chocolate? Because, honestly, our hot beverages were also too sweet.

Well, because they do have one redeeming factor: their bakery.

We took advantage of their Buy 1, Take 1 deals and all the bread we ended up buying were great. Try to get a hand of their floss breads.

And oh, their oatmeal cookies were just really divine. I'm not that big a fan of oatmeal cookies but their chocolate chip oatmeal ones were just so great. They were the right sweetness, moistness and the texture was perfect. Plus, they only cost P30 each. I swear, I prefer their cookies to Mrs. Field's so I made sure I took some home to Manila.

So, if ever you are looking for fresh bread and chocolate chip cookies, head over to C's.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Nena's Beth at Manokan Country, Bacolod's Finest

First of all, I am not really a fan of chicken inasal. That being said, our dinner at Nena's Beth at Manokan Country was THE BEST MEAL EVER that we had in Bacolod. It was one that I have yet to experience here in Manila, one I wish they can replicate perfectly here.

Manokan Country is just near SM Bacolod, further down the street where you see Andok's at the corner. If you're walking from the  San Sebastian Cathedral,  SM will be to your left and Andok's to your right.

It's Dampa-style where you pick chicken parts outside and have it cooked by your restaurant of choice. And the restaurants can really only offer chicken inasal/parts, rice, beer, softdrinks/juice/water and oysters. You can't get broth, veggies, whatever else here. I guess you could say they chose not to tamper with perfection.

We asked a guard from SM which one is the best at Manokan Country and he recommended Nena's Beth.

Sure enough, it was the biggest and would be full by dinner time (we were here at 5:30 pm I think), unlike the other restos without customers.

Choose... breast, intestines, feet, skin (skin is the best, sheesh.. I am salivating from the memory of it)

I think we chose breast, intestines and skin

I promise, it's super delicious and flavorful chicken

We tried resisting and resisting and resisting, but P60 for this plate of really fresh oysters... there's no defense against it, really.

I think we will forever grieve the decision not to buy a bottle of this special oil (P200/bottle)... you mix this with vinegar and soy sauce (for dipping sauce) to get that unique inasal flavor.

I am shamelessly repeating myself, BEST MEAL EVER. Even non-chicken fans should give it a try.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The Ruins, Talisay City's Homage to Love from a Bygone Era

When I was researching what to do in Bacolod, blogs about The Ruins kept popping up so I made sure my friend included it in the itinerary she gave me. It was our last stop coming back from a tour of Negros' finest and it was really sad that it was drizzling when we got there.

But anyway, The Ruins will just really take your breath away.

Built by the sugar baron  Don Mariano Ledesma Lacson for his first wife, Maria Braga (a Portuguese from Macau) in the early 1900s, the structure was made of Grade A cement (didn't even know there was such a thing) that allowed it to have the feel and endurance of marble. After all, most of the structure survived even after 3 days of torching. Don Marianos son Felipe oversaw the pouring of the cement and he got as many people as he could so that the pouring will continue nonstop until the structure was complete.

You need to pay P60 per person to enter the premises

really found it hard to take pictures using my broken DSLR with the light and rain, but the lawn and the garden was really just immaculately kept and maintained

that's a restaurant/cafe over there :)

no picture will do this place justice, really...

it was like being in a dream

and the intricacies of the design is just really awe-inspiring

notice that hole where plants are now growing? That area used to contain the wooden floors of the mansion, about a meter wide and 2-inch thick hard wood spanning the entrance of the structure up to the dining area

there's also an 18-hole mini golf course at the property, P50 per game

and a makeshift pub of sorts inside the structure, serving Negros beer

anyway, you'd really want to get married here!

after all, it was built from the love of this man for this woman, whom he lost

but it was being set up for a power dinner of sorts for the Negros' elite when we went there

One can really only wonder at the opulence sugar barons (and their families) enjoyed back in those days... and all the feasting that transpired in this magnificent home. But more importantly, this was built for the love of a wife and mother, and the fact that it has endured this long is testament to the infinite reach of a woman's influence.

I cannot rteally give directions on how to go there because we hired a car for P1,500 for the day... and that car took us to places like Manapla and Victorias City and Silay first before bringing us back to Bacolod City. You can check out their website for instructions though ==

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Father's Day Gift Ideas

For those who don't know or have forgotten... it's Father's Day next Sunday. And for those who do not know what to give, here are some ideas:

1) Bags
Laptop bags for the techies. A new camera bag for those into photography. Gym bags for the athletic. A fanny pack if you're going on a trip soon.

2) Accessories
Lens or waterproof case for the iPhonographer hubby. Bluetooth headphones. Storage kits, tool kits or chrome truck accessories for the drivers.

3) Metrosexual Stuff
Spa gift certificates. Cuff links or dress shirts/jackets for those going on formal occasions. Better-fitting shirts, boxers, etc. Perfume. Shaving kit. Even dental work.

4) Gadgets
No one will say NO to a new tablet, Kindle, laptop or even an external hard disk. Or, if they have hobbies... pander to that and buy new kitchen appliances.

5) Romance
Initiate dates and bedroom escapades. Plan a weekend getaway. Gift coupons for naughty treats.

6) Health
Give organic supplements, executive check-ups, special sleeping pillows.

7) Time
Nothing says "I love you" and "You're appreciated" than the gift of time. So, spend the day with them, talking or doing things together. Read to them. Cook for them. Write them long letters.

Whatever you decide to give, just please appreciate the fathers in your life who you know are making a difference.

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Uniforms in Divisoria

I once blogged about buying school and medical uniforms in Sta. Cruz (Bang-bang area). Well, since my mom and sister had other things they wanted me to buy for them and I also had to buy a lot of fabric, I went to Divisoria for the uniforms instead. If you're going on weekdays and Saturday, a lot of stalls along Ylaya will be selling uniforms. I am sure there would even be lab coats for women for sale there. But if you're looking for really nice nurses scrubs, I suggest to go to Pasilio P and look for Rosbeth (?) stall. They have the nicest printed scrubs I saw and these sell for P260. If you want quality plain scrubs made of sturdier fabric, however, they're selling those for P360/pair. These would have minimal piping but look more professional than the generic plain scrubs others sell.

Saturday, June 02, 2012

Cost-Saving Tips for Back-to-School Expenses

Most parents find themselves wishing they could avoid back-to-school expenses. Not everyone are rich enough to buy gold bars anyway, let alone all the required supplies some schools impose on. But there are some ways that can cut costs, big or small.

1) If investing in new uniforms, get a size or two bigger and just get a good seamstress to adjust them for you. Then, you can also just have them re-adjusted to accommodate growth spurts in the coming months or years.

2) Save the crayons. If some have been broken, that's ok. You can use a cheap cookie sheet or microwave-proof mold and just melt crayons of the same color (or maybe even create your own shades) to turn them into coloring blocks.

3) Go over old notebooks and get all the clean pages and bind them. Either they could serve as a new notebook or a scratch pad.

4) Plan a weekley menu of healthy snacks and lunches so you can include them in your weekly grocery shopping. Skip the junk and processed food that  may seem cheap to you but ultimately doesn't provide real nourishment to your child... some may even aggravate cavities. Good meals mean better health, and medical expenses are something parents sometimes forget in their menu planning and budgeting.

5) Insist on healthy breakfasts... so your child will also avoid snacking all day. It doesn't need to be really heavy, some slices of sweet potato or a hard-boiled egg are healthy enough without requiring a long eating time.

6) Use freebie canvas bags as lunch boxes instead of buying one.

7) Make it a habit for your child to clean their shoes and bags at regular times to prolong their serviceability.

9) Walk to school if it's only ten or so minutes away. The activity is also great for better health.

10) Avoid buying themed school supplies... because your child might insist they NEED the extra bag, strap, etc of the same theme. It's a lot cheaper if your child CAN use generic products instead of having to have a Dora umbrella to go with her Dora backpack.

11) Buy products in bulk if you know you'd need them all the time. For examle, parents will be wise to invest in a ream of bond paper since their child is sure to be submitting reports all throughout high school. Make sure they are used properly though, and not wasted.

12) Buy quality for regularly-used items, like bags or shoes. Having to buy another pair mid-year is an additional cost you don't want sprung on you.

A penny (in our case, peso) saved here and there may amount to extra money for extra food, transport fare or other project materials. Plus, it will teach your child that your pool of resources isn't limitless and should be therefore respected and managed.

Friday, June 01, 2012

Family Congress 2012: Building the Filipino Family

A step in the right direction for any society is reinforcing and fortifying the family structure. With the unique problems we are facing now, like the youth culture that shies away from responsibility and the gadgets creating distractions from actual communication and time together, the upcoming Family Congress 2012 is not just timely but necessary.

Happening on August 25, 2012 (from 8 AM to 5 PM) at Valle Verde Country Club in Pasig City, the Family Congress is targetting:
1) parents -- who wish to improve their approaches to parenting
2) couples -- who wish to enrich their relationship, and
3) teens/young adults -- who are seeking for answers outside of their peer groups

Experts in various fields are coming together for this event to tackle the following issues while attendees can choose which session they want to attend for the morning and afternoon.

Morning sessions:

1A Migrating and Managing the Digital World by Queena Lee-Chua, Ph.D.

2A Handling the Bully and the Bullied by Honey Carandang, Ph.D.

3A Built for Forever: Preparing Singles for a Lifetime Relationship by Rissa Singson-Kawpeng

4A Teen Talk about Love, Sex, and Dating by Dan and Nabelle Caballes

5A From Wellness to Wholeness (for adults 21 & up) by Harriet Hormillosa, M.A.

Afternoon sessions:

6P Being Friends Forever in Marriage: Learning the Art of Fighting by Allan Dionisio, M.D. & Maribel Dionisio, M.A.

7P Teaching Parents to Talk to Kids & Teens about Sex & Relationship by Michele Alignay, M.A. & Aiza Tabayoyong

8P Managing Teen Emotions by Obet Cabrillas

9P Career, Relationship, and Life Plan for Singles by Pia Nazareno-Acevedo

10P Beyond the Tears: Griefwork by Cathy Babao-Guballa

Aside from attending two sessions, guests will also get to hear inspirational messages from Archbishop Luis Antonio Tagle and motivational speaker Francis Kong.

Early bird rate is P1400 if you register before June 30. Regular rate is P1500 per attendee. Promo rate: 6+1 (pay for 6, get 1 free based on regular rate). Registration fee is inclusive of seminar fee, meals, and lots of freebies.

For more information, you can call 579-0100, 0917-8972903, 0922-2521896, email, follow them on and like

I have said it before and will keep saying it.... parents who want to give the best to their children would do better to fortify their marriage and relationship with their children through attendance to such seminars/conferences. Nothing makes you more empowered than seeing others just like you, seeking answers, help and support... and getting it from experts

The Bina Wrap: Multiway Fashion Staple

I will admit to the fact that I am a fan of multiway clothes. When you have something that converts into different styles, then you ca accessorize at will and the money you spent on it will be well invested because it's something that won't grow old... or stale.

So, when I saw the Bina on Youtube, I just really fell in love.

One thing I loved about it is that it's not like those multiway dresses that promise you so many styles but you end up just using it for one or two, because there are issues about the knots and the special bra/chest support you'd require.

The Bina wrap is an accessory, mostly, and was designed to just really spice up your wardobe (but you can wear it as a top). I do not have great pics of myself wearing it (because I've been using it as nursing cover with my baby when we go out) but here's a few thathopefully gives you an idea of its versatility:

worn as poncho

makes for a really long, un-styled scarf (tying it in a knot around my neck isn't for this summer trip)

haha.. here I did the back wrap wrong, but I think it still looked okay (the Bina's just too crumpled here though because my son was wrapped in it just before the shoot)

in the turtleneck style, only I didn't close the snaps

If there's something that convertible, multiway clothes tell us... it's that fashion clothes need never be thrown away. They also need not serve just one purpose or give you just one look.

I love my Bina and want more in other colors. Of course, the price ($42.50) makes me think twice about buying more but I might just order another one come Black Friday sale. Meanwhile, just check out their website at for tutorials on how-to as well as link to their videos. Supposedly, there are 12 ways to use it so that's about $3.54 per style :)  At least, the Bina wrap won't take up much space.

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