Magnolia Flavor House, Robinson's Magnolia

Magnolia House was what many of my childhood dreams were made of. My weekly order was a plate of hot grilled cheese sandwich, brushed with butter for a perfectly satisfying bite. Dessert was always  composed of scoops of strawberry and vanilla ice cream faces with raisins for eyes, topped with inverted sugar cones for hats and then drizzled generously with sweet, sticky strawberry syrup.


Neon Toes


(Sorry if the photos are back to their grainy selves again. I don't know what happened, and couldn't figure out the right setting for the indoor photos. Please leave your tips at the comments portion below. Haha!)


Green ATS in Tagaytay

Because tomorrow's going to be another holiday (whoop-dee-do!), I decided to post about a previous holiday trip I took with friends to Tagaytay. One of the most-visited out-of-town places by locals because of it's colder climate and vicinity to the metro, Tagaytay is also known for a soup dish that is near and dear to Filipinos--the Bulalo. Perfectly located on a cliff overlooking the Taal Lake, Green ATS Restaurant has been my go-to place for the best Bulalo every time I visit.

The Bulalo broth is made from boiling Beef Shanks for hours, until the meat is tender and the soup embodies the beefy flavor. The bone marrow is saved for last as people will usually fight for the right to slurp and scrape the cholesterol-laden content from the bone.


Accessories for Every Size

The truth is I have no outfit to post. It was a case of no photographer while wearing a decent outfit on a day with no time to spare. Meanwhile, to keep you distracted, I'll share a recent shopping haul of accessories that could fit regular/standard and plus-sized wrists and fingers. Yes, folks, even my limbs and phalanges have curves.

 These gold and silver wire braided bangles are awesome finds. They can take you from an edgy outfit to a glamorous evening out. Plus, they're bendable enough to hug around bigger wrists.


Cafe Publico in Greenhills Promenade

Partially hidden on the second level of Greenhills Promenade, one can find Cafe Publico, a quaint restaurant with an warm, inviting, Tuscan-inspired vibe. My friends and I found it perfect for a Sunday lunch meet-up with its offerings of pasta, sandwiches and best of all, gelato.


Jackets, Blazers, and Cardis

With December just around the corner, it finally gets a little cooler in the Philippines! Woot-woot! Due to the very hot and unpredictable rainy months that we have all year, I'll take what I can get and that means donning jackets and layers as soon as I manage to not sweat buckets it's acceptable, because an outfit, no matter how put together, loses the cool factor when you sweat non-stop while in it.

Since we still have limited local options that offer trendy outerwear for the curvy/plus size girls, I just decided to show off my window shopping picks from Forever 21+. While admittedly, F21 don't always produce the highest quality items, they also offer these items at affordable prices (you get what you pay for), so you won't hear me complaining.

 Paneled Faux Leather Jacket and Double Zipper Moto Jacket


Taiwan Part 4: Roasted Specialties, Pasalubong, Streetside Roti, Taoyuan International Airport

Here it is, the last installment of our Taiwan trip!
 Our last day in Taipei was spent running around for pasalubong, souvenirs and gifts for friends and officemates. To muster up all that energy, we needed fuel, so off to a good Chinese lunch we went!


Taiwan Part 3: Small Southern Door, Comebuy Milk Tea, Taipei 101

I know we have Beard Papa's here in Manila, but they don't serve these big puffs with crispy thingamajigs on top! Being a total foodie, I ate this before lunch for two days! Totally worth the calories.


Sunset in Taipei

Although I still find it hard to take pose-y photos with people around, I went for it in Taiwan! People didn't know me, so I thought, what the heck and asked our family friend to start snapping before I wimped out.


Taiwan Part 2: Shilin Night Market and Steak Dinner

 The Shilin Night Market is one of the biggest night markets in Taiwan. They stay open 'til midnight, offering street food, clothes, accessories, shoes and various knick knacks. But since more than half of the stuff they offer look oddly similar to the ones we have here in our local tiangges, we decided to just zoom into the food part.


Taiwan Part 1: Taoyuan Airport, Taipei Main Station, Taipei Zoo

 We took the red-eye flight to Taipei, Taiwan and this is the awesome view that welcomed us minutes before  the plane landed. Our family recently went to there to celebrate my parents' 30th anniversary. They chose Taiwan because it holds special memories for them, having spent their honeymoon there. After three decades together, they're back with grown-up children.


Philippine School of Interior Design Exhibit 2012


Entitled, "Gabay: Dibuhong Umaakay," this year's exhibit showcasing the works of PSID's Advance Class is about creating spaces for the handicapped. The groups of students were randomly assigned living spaces for the visually-impaired, the hearing-impaired, the orthopedically-challenged and the elderly. Many were challenged by this theme but their innate talents managed to outshine whatever difficulties they encountered.


Free Ice Watch Promo!

Sales are coming up left and right! So hold onto your wallets before deciding to splurge because the promos just get better. Take for example, this ICE WATCH Promo during the 3-Day Sale at Robinsons Galleria.


Rub Ribs and BBQ, Tomas Morato

Just veer a little from the more popular Tomas Morato area and you'll find some good food establishments hidden in the corners of the smaller streets. Take Rub Ribs for example. Good food at good prices.

Scroll down for the appetizing details. :)

2 Whole Slabs of Ribs + 3 side dishes =  php650


Cafe Jeepney, Hotel Intercontinental Manila

We celebrated my brother's birthday at Cafe Jeepney in Hotel Intercontinental Manila weeks ago (celebratory outfit here), but I'm only able to post it now. You see, I'm still adjusting to more responsibilities assigned to me at work and going to Taiwan for a short family vacation last week didn't help either. I'm now swamped with papers! I also have so many backlogged posts of other restaurants and foodie places you can visit, so I hope you can be patient with me.

Anyway, let's move onto the more interesting part. Food photos!


Vested Interest

I still laugh at myself over this photo. Can you spell attitude? LOL.


New Gloria Maris Restaurant

A friend recently celebrated his nth birthday at the newly constructed Gloria Maris Restaurant in Greenhills, San Juan. Gloria Maris is pretty much an institution in the Filipino-Chinese community as it has been a consistent delicious-and-fresh-food provider for as long as I can remember. They moved from their old building to this new structure and I took these photos to share with you our experience.


Still Flooding in Manila


Rain is pouring, the roof is leaking, the streets are flooding and my internet connection's a-missing. That pretty much sums up the reason behind my irregular posting these past couple of weeks. Not to mention my recent trip to Shanghai, China with friends.

If you've read or watched the news, the deluge hitting Manila still hasn't stopped and we've experienced a couple of day-long power outtages since the start of the downpour. Power black-outs instigate panic buying of bread, noodles, chips and other food items labeled "Instant." IF, your area enables you to even leave the house. Meanwhile, other people are wet, cold, hungry, helpless and stranded.

We, as a family, have been cleaning closets to see what we could part with because used clothes are going to be sorely needed by those whose only clothes are the shirts on their backs. Our church has also been organizing an outreach and the youth have been packing relief goods since yesterday. If you wish to volunteer, donate or pool resources together, please email me (belatedbloomer@gmail.com) for the contact information.

For international readers, you can visit http://www.redcross.org.ph.

Lastly, please keep Manila in your prayers. Thank you.


Dinner and Drinks at BGC


Redhead, Bluebird and I are enjoying our cups of Jamba Juice!

After two graduations (highschool and college), my friends and I found ourselves busier chasing after careers, further education, managing businesses and countless other things that eat up our time. A couple of my childhood friends have left the country to study abroad and then later on, got married there.

Those that are still here often have conflicting schedules and we find it hard to find a time when everyone's free. Before we know it, months have passed before we get to meet up again. But even if we don't get to see each other as often as we'd like, I find that conversations with true friends always feel like no time has passed. A few minutes to warm-up and we're back to the shared giggles, loud chuckles and belly-hurting laughter of the old days.

Delicious Filipino cuisine at Abe
Friends. Can't live without them.

PS: Photos from my Shanghai trip--SOON! :)

Belated Bloomer

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