Author: venicedelacruz

LEARN: Competitor Watch


I have been following this site for almost a year now and there is honestly not a day where I don’t learn anything. So I am sharing this with you,

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“There’s a story of two explorers walking through the jungle. Suddenly they hear a tiger roar.

One explorer sits down and takes a pair of running shoes out of his backpack.

‘You’re crazy, you’ll never outrun a tiger’, says the other explorer.

‘I don’t have to outrun the tiger’, he replies. ‘I just have to outrun you.'”

 

Monitoring, bench marking and understanding your competitors isn’t a nice to have. It’s fundamental to your business. Trott goes beyond saying you have to monitor your competitors. Instead, you have to adopt a different mindset.

A mindset that obsessively looks for weaknesses and jumps on any available advantage. And one that never assumes you can’t get an edge.

Predatory Thinking involves looking at a challenge you can’t solve and getting upstream of it – changing it into a challenge you can solve.

EAT ALABANG: JUST THAI


It seems like I’ve been eating thai food pretty constant. Ain’t it? No complaints though.

Crispy Catfish Salad is simply THE BOMB. Always loved this one. ❤

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Chicken Noodle Soup for Php 220 – I wasn’t able to try this but according to my sister, it works pretty well for her. 🙂

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Tom Yum for Php 200 – It is generously lathered with Seafood and Chicken. (Seafood, Clams, Shrimp, Squid and Fish)

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Moo Grob at Php 290 – Crispy Pork Belly.

2017_0417_14463300 Pandan Chicken at Php 310

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Pad Thai at Php 290

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Seafood in Basil at Php 300

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Sizzling Tofu & Mushrooms at Php 260

2017_0417_14491500 Squid in Garlic at Php 320

Happy Mother’s Day to these two. ❤

EAT TAGAYTAY: LIME & BASIL


It’s our second time in here after about 2 years? But it’s always a good start. ❤ Let me just warn you that everything you are about to see is SO DAMN BLISSFULLY GOOD.

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Fresh Spring Roll at Php 270 – Rolled herbs, carrot, cabbage, tofu, noodles with sweet chili relish. I sincerely cannot get enough of this. I can eat this whole damn thing and I’d still want more. The sauce pushes the oomph level.

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Pad Thai at Php 350 I am not the most optimistic receiver of Pad Thai but the crispiness of this one pulls it off.

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Tom Yum Goong at Php 410 – Hot and Sour Shrimps. I’m actually surprised that it’s not red. But it’s just as good. 🙂

2017_0226_145201002017_0226_14523000 Kaprao Nua at Php 410 – Stir fried beef in holy basil – It was really tender. It’s not woah but it’s not bad either.

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Salt Crusted Tilapia at Php 450 – This one is TOO damn salty. I know this is supposed to be but it’s at a level where it fuckin hurts your tongue and your whole mouth.

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Catfish Fried Rice at Php 380 We actually ordered Bagoong Rice too.

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Lime and Basil is ❤

 

EAT MAKATI: 59C


I think this is our first time to try a restaurant not in Poblacion and I guess it’s safe to say, Good Job! 😀 This one is a good find!

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The restaurant has a Brunchfast menu that is available all day and they also have your Build your own Plate for those who want their meals a little more specific to their taste. Here’s what we ordered:

I have no idea why 4 of us ordered the same food – Chicken Burrito at Php 260 – Yellow Rice, Egg, Sesame Slaw, Nacho, Sour Cream and Hot Sauce.

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The upside? It was a good choice. Each of them liked what they had on their plates.

Crispy Pork Belly at Php 300 – Fried Rice, Kropek, Honey Hoisin and Greens

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It has enough viand and meat was bite size. It’s the type where you would want more.

59c Chicken Tausi Asian Goreng – Php 280 – Fried Rice, Siomai, Fried Egg, Crispy Dilis, Peanuts and Kropek

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Let me just say it out there that it was pretty delicious although there is some room for improvement. One, they should ask how customers want their eggs. I’d like mine scrambled. I ended up giving my egg away. :/ Two, they did not serve siomai – it was a dumpling. If kitchen ran out, they should disclose it to the customer. Third, I know the chicken is cooked in Tausi but I’d prefer to have my chicken stay longer in the pan. It was a bit pale. Fourth, just my own preference (No Green Peas please and no cornick).

Power Bowl at Php 240 – Fried Rice, Seasonal vegetables and Fried Egg

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Much like my Asian Goreng, this one has the same rice with veggies mixed in there too. My officemate like it.

Overall? I am definitely coming back. ❤

 

 

EAT MAKATI: Hummus Elijah


Disclaimer: I’ve never eaten hummus before, I’m not an expert and I particularly am not fond of the food.. BUT I wanted to try. Heyyy, at least give me that. okay?

The space was a bit cramped and dark but it is very popular to foreigners. I think we were the only Filipinos eating there.

First off, I wanted a safe order so I tried the Hummus Elijah for I thought it’s a remarkable dish since it’s their signature.

20180502_122338 Hummus Elijah at Php 250 – Hummus with Tahini, Chicken Peas, Olive Oil, Herbs and Spices. For me, it was bland and so ordinary. It’s not even good (like you’ve placed butter on bread, and it’s not even butter! After my third bite, I said, Nah. I am not eating this. Blah. Don’t order this.

20180502_122853 Shakshuka at Php 200 – 2 eggs cooked in thick tomato sauce. This is slightly a bit better. I’m not a tomato person but the tomato saved this dish.

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Hamshuka at Php 290 – Hummus + Shakshuka with Spicy Sauce and Tahini

Out of the three dishes that we tried, this is probably the best. It’s not a winner but to compare, it’s the most decent one and a dish that I can probably finish.

BTW, All of the dishes are served with 2 Pita Breads.

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I’m getting the hang of Fake Smile. I managed to put on one when all I can think about is how I wasted my Php 250 for something I did not enjoy. Never again.

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TRAVEL: SINAGTALA


Months and months… We have not seen each other for so long. A little stopover for some lunch, all thanks to the generosity of Cortez Family..

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Another destination in Bataan: Sinagtala

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Alfonso + In-between Cards Game. 😀 Annnddd, we always have a target! Guess who?

Am really grateful for the people in this photo. 😀

When there was a bit less crowd… we then head off to – the pool.

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and we deserve some buffet, I reckon…

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BOOK: GOODBYE DAYS by JEFF ZENTNER


What if you could spend one last day with someone you lost?

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GOODREADS: ‘One day Carver Briggs had it all—three best friends, a supportive family, and a reputation as a talented writer at his high school, Nashville Academy for the Arts.

The next day he lost it all when he sent a simple text to his friend Mars, right before Mars, Eli, and Blake were killed in a car crash.

Now Carver can’t stop blaming himself for the accident, and he’s not the only one. Eli’s twin sister is trying to freeze him out of school with her death-ray stare. And Mars’s father, a powerful judge, is pressuring the district attorney to open a criminal investigation into Carver’s actions.

Luckily, Carver has some unexpected allies: Eli’s girlfriend, the only person to stand by him at school; Dr. Mendez, his new therapist; and Blake’s grandmother, who asks Carver to spend a Goodbye Day with her to share their memories and say a proper goodbye to his friend.’

  • Death steals everything except our stories
  • Funny how people move through this world leaving little pieces of their story with the people they meet, for them to carry. Makes you wonder what’d happen if all those people put their puzzle pieces together.
  • Sometimes pain makes us do bizarre things.
  • – I like the relationship of Blake and the grandma. How he spent saturday morning with her fishing although they are bad at fishing, just so they can bond together.
  • What do you think it takes to keep you out of heaven?
  • I think the only person who knows someone completely is that person. And even then, not always.
  • We go about our lives doing everything we can to keep from looking silly.
  • No one knows how anybody lives through anything. People just do.
  • I wish I’d held on to every moment with him the way a drowning person holds a life preserver.
  • What if there’s a god who’s so much bigger and more powerful than anything that he build universes like ships in bottles, and no matter how far you look or reach, you can’t see or tough outside the bottle?
  • For the most part, you don’t hold the people you love in your heart because they rescued you from drowning or pulled you from a burning house. Mostly you hold them in your heart because they save you, in a million quiet and perfect ways from being alone.
  • Nobility has a funny way of disappearing when accountability raises its ugly head.
  • Have you ever done something similar to this with your own parents? where you tell them who you are? 

EAT MAKATI: WHITEBRASS


Just a couple of steps from my office, you’ll see whitebrass in the streets of Jupiter.

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Some quiet and comfy restaurant enough for a cozy date night with my frood. ❤

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Pork Jowl Crisps (Php 150) – Deep Fried Pork – Can you imagine small portions of bagnet? Well, try this one and you’ll find out. ❤

DSCF0465DSCF0466 BBQ Chicken (Php 250)Grilled Chicken Fillet / Calamansi based BBQ with Roasted Garlic Rice. This one is a keeper. ❤ I liked this dish.

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Shrimp and Olives (Php 275) Shrimp, Olives and Anchovies – Let’s just say we have a winner on our table! Everything that we ordered right here is worth the money.

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EVERYDAY: BRIDAL SHOWER for ANA


THEME: Boho Inspired

VENUE: J. Cuppacakes in SM Jazz Mall

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We printed out name plates for each guests that are carefully seated on top of their plates with floral designs (perfect for the theme) and with the couple’s hashtag. Floral crowns are also placed together with the name plates. ❤

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We made a photobooth frame from illustration board and decorated it with floral designs too with Kiss the Miss Goodbye printed out too.

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We also made a sash for the bride to be. ❤

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Ana’s surprise face. I may not be able to show you the video — but she cried! Mission accomplished!

And just some of the food that we ordered. ❤

Some games from  our shower: What’s in your bag, Pin the Bra and some Icing on your face.

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Late Lunch for the Bride to be.

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Ana and her table of goodies.

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Some group photos. ❤

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TRAVEL: SAN FRANCISCO


Obviously, outlets are a priority. 😀 We went to livermore, about 30 minutes from San Francisco City. ❤ Ready your wallets! Aside from 40% – 70% discount, they also give you coupons for the day that gives you an additional 10% – 20% discount on top of the usual. ❤

Then, we went to the famous Fisherman’s Wharf, alongside Pier 39.

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It is one of the busiest tourist attractions in San Francisco. You’ll see souvenir shops and specialty stores in both sides of the streets on the way to Pier 39. 😀

I also got to try Lotus Biscoff Coffee. ❤ ❤ It’s so good!! Perfect to combat the windy nights of SF.

We also went to Ghirardelli Square

It is now the home of a stylish collection of shops and restaurants—one of the most pleasant places to stroll and shop in the city. Wind through passageways and across plazas to visit an assortment of boutiques and gift shops, or relax with bay views from a selection of restaurants. If you have kids along, you probably have one destination in mind more than any other: the Ghirardelli Soda Fountain and Chocolate Shop.

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I am 110% you’ll be overwhelmed inside their chocolate shop!

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Of our downtime moments. ❤ We also bought tickets for the Cable Car. 

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You can buy them at Pier 39. We bought it for $7.00, a single ride ticket. You can buy it for $21 where you can hop on and off the cable stops around the city for the day.

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We hopped off at the last stop, Union Square. It is the commercial hub of the city. Many major hotels and department stores are packed into the area surrounding the actual square. Numerous upscale boutiques, restaurants, nightspots and galleries occupy the spaces tucked between the larger buildings.

This is where you’ll also find the famous Cheesecake Factory with an overlooking view of the whole Union Square. The restaurant is situated in their roofdeck but be sure to make a reservation. Or if you’re planning to have lunch there, be sure to be at restaurant around 10. When we got there about 12:30, we were already 23rd on the list. WOW right? So no. We did not wait.

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Okayyyyyy… so my favorite of all SF Spots —- Palace of Fine Arts

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It is the last remaining structure from the 1915 Panama Pacific Exposition. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this classical looking building is beautifully situated on a lagoon that reflects the mirror image on the surface of the calm water, while ducks and geese drift by. (planetware).

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Ofcourse, you can’t visit this place without going to Napa Valley, famous for Wine Tasting.  It’s known for hundreds of hillside vineyards in the Napa Valley wine region.

They actually have a wine train where you get to visit at least 5 wineries. But we opted to just visit 1 — V. Sattui Winery

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This particular winery offers 5 wines for $20. 😀 Good deal right? You can choose from a long list and they will also help you choose and recommend based on your preference.

Finally ticked off Napa Valley on my list! But I have to bring judey here. :/ He should be here.

Want to know another first time for me? Sleep in a yacht!

It’s a real work! It’s nice to experience it but I wouldn’t want to sleep in one again. I don’t normally get sea sick or car sick — but sleeping on a boat is like floating for hours and hours.

And finally, the movie famous — Golden Gate Bridge

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Connecting San Francisco with Marin County and other districts further north, the Golden Gate Bridge was, at one time, designated the greatest man-made sight in the United States.

Hope to be back again, San Francisco! ❤ There’s still a lot I haven’t seen. :/

BOOK: THE UPSIDE OF UNREQUITED LOVE by BECKY ALBERTALLI


Third book for 2018. ❤

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Goodreads: Seventeen-year-old Molly Peskin-Suso knows all about unrequited love—she’s lived through it twenty-six times. She crushes hard and crushes often, but always in secret. Because no matter how many times her twin sister, Cassie, tells her to woman up, Molly can’t stomach the idea of rejection. So she’s careful. Fat girls always have to be careful.

Then a cute new girl enters Cassie’s orbit, and for the first time ever, Molly’s cynical twin is a lovesick mess. Meanwhile, Molly’s totally not dying of loneliness—except for the part where she is. Luckily, Cassie’s new girlfriend comes with a cute hipster-boy sidekick. Will is funny and flirtatious and just might be perfect crush material. Maybe more than crush material. And if Molly can win him over, she’ll get her first kiss and she’ll get her twin back. 

There’s only one problem: Molly’s coworker Reid. He’s an awkward Tolkien superfan with a season pass to the Ren Faire, and there’s absolutely no way Molly could fall for him. Right?

  • This tiny thread connecting me to a total stranger, it’s the kind of thing that makes the universe feel smaller.
  • I wish I were the kind of person who knows how to fill a silence.
  • But that’s the thing I’m most afraid  of. Not mattering.. Existing in a world that doesn’t care who I am.
  • My heartbeat is probably making those giant zigzags.
  • Fun exists wherever you make it.
  • Sometimes that’s just what happens. People grow apart.
  • There’s something really badass about truly, honestly not caring about what people think about you.
  • We like who we like. Who cares if someone doesn’t get it? That’s a good thing. Less competition.
  • I don’t think my heart wants to stay in my chest.
  • I am entirely made of butterflies.
  • Change is fucking hard. It’s fucking tragic. Change can go fuck itself. Because that’s the thing about change. It’s so painfully normal. It’s the most basic of all tragedies.
  • But you know, there’s an upside there. Because when you spend so much time just intensely wanting something — and then you actually get it? It’s magic. It’s butterflies and haziness and heart eyes, but underneath all that .. there’s this bass line of I can’t believe this. I can’t believe this is me. I can’t quite articulate the sweetness of that feeling. It’s finding out the door you were banging on is finally unlocked. 

BOOK: IT’S NOT LIKE IT’S A SECRET by MISA SUGIURA


It’s my second book for the year and it awakened my high school and college memories.

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Goodreads: Sixteen-year-old Sana Kiyohara has too many secrets. Some are small, like how it bothers her when her friends don’t invite her to parties. Some are big, like that fact that her father may be having an affair. And then there’s the one that she can barely even admit to herself—the one about how she might have a crush on her best friend.

When Sana and her family move to California she begins to wonder if it’s finally time for some honesty, especially after she meets Jamie Ramirez. Jamie is beautiful and smart and unlike anyone Sana’s ever known. There are just a few problems: Sana’s new friends don’t trust Jamie’s crowd; Jamie’s friends clearly don’t want her around anyway; and a sweet guy named Caleb seems to have more-than-friendly feelings for her. Meanwhile, her dad’s affair is becoming too obvious to ignore anymore.

Sana always figured that the hardest thing would be to tell people that she wants to date a girl, but as she quickly learns, telling the truth is easy… what comes after it, though, is a whole lot more complicated.

Some of my favorite lines from the movie:

  • With a face like your favorite love song and a body like fireworks on the fourth of july
  • People think they’re unique, but they’re really stereotypes. It’s just the way they are. They want to be in a group and they’ll sacrifice their individuality to fit in.
  • From Sana’s mom: I can want all kinds of things for you, but I only know that you can do your best. I am teaching you to see the world the way it is, not the way you want it to be. That’s my job.
  • Everyone – even an ugly oyster – has the power and beauty inside. But sometimes they keep it a secret. and sometimes it takes patience to find it.
  • If you’re nobody together with someone, doesn’t that make you a somebody? At least to each other? that can’t be bad right?
  • While I stand there with my heart bang-bang-booming like a bass drum.
  • Feeling like I’m going to levitate and float away in a pink cotton candy cloud.
  • Find your stride. Find a good pace and stick with it.
  • Anything for you, doll.
  • Because the reality is that life can be hard, and awful and sometimes all you can do is keep working at it. But there’s hope. There’s a future together.
  • GAMAN – it’s about stepping up and choosing which hardship you endure. And enduring it with grace because of something important, like honor or family or something important.
  • My heart is her home. ❤

One,  I can never understand how sana’s mom can endure that pain everyday. If you are looking for a light read that also tackles racism, judgement and stereotyping and love from all sorts of gender.

TRAVEL NEW YORK: DAY 4


Terrible sadness floats in the air.. because it’s our last day in the city.. since it was Ash Wednesday, we heard mass at St. Monica’s Chapel

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Also, before we left.. we checked out some stores and I’m just really really glad that even in some parts of the world… MY brand, my brand is highlighted in different stores. ❤

Side note: Please patronize Champion Authentic Athletic Apparel and Champion Life!

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And some paparazzi shots from my cousin as well. ❤

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It’s official … New York City has my ❤