EAT SAN JUAN: CO/OP


2015! 2015 when I first learned about this place and I have been meaning to go since then. The boyfriend always says yes, but never really remembers most of the time. :/ so I was extra happy when we tried this as a surprise.

After visiting our place to check for renovations, we ate lunch. ❤

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Love the exteriors and how it is so well-lit inside. It’s a lifestyle store with a cafe inside. (Although the cafe has the bigger area. 😛 ) You can find some unique pieces, books, stationary, figurines and some decor.

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It’s a self service cafe. You’ll see the counter when you enter the store. It has this chalk board counter menu that makes it look friendlier than usual. But the servers are quite nice actually.

We ordered the Shrimp Diablo for Php 390

The dish is okay but nothing special. It’s a tomato based pasta, that’s it. Although, volume was shrimp was generous enough. You have to add a bit of salt, pepper and parmesan too.

I ordered the Aglio Olio for Php 340

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I thought the dish is a no brainer, meaning it would be safe – a good taste no matter what. I was wrong. It lacks something. :/ We had to ask for additional oil and parmesan too. But it’s still missing something.

Jude insisted we order Onion Stack for Php 240

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This dish saved the reputation. The Aioli Dip is THE BOMB. ❤ The onion rings are good! No matter how big it looked, I swear it’s not all flour!

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I’m disappointed. I have been waiting to eat here and had really high expectations especially when I saw their price range. They are a bit expensive. The pasta serving is huge but sadly, the taste did not justify their price.

No. I won’t be eating here again. :/ On second thought — a quick meeting will do. A coffee and an onion stack would be nice. ❤

EAT MAKATI: NONO’s


We were expecting heavy traffic on the way home since the government will be announcing a Lockdown. So before we starve to death, we decided to kill time in Nono’s in one of the buildings in Valero Street.

Everybody was a tad more cautious. It was 7 in the evening, and I was the second to arrive.

We ordered what I thought was delicious the last time I ate here. Penne Pasta with Mixed Vegetables

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I don’t know if it’s the power of having to eat someone else’s food, food being free or if branches cook differently but the last one was more pleasant. :/ It’s good nonetheless.

We ordered Nono’s Homestyle Fried Chicken for Php 565 – Two pieces of crispy boneless fried chicken fillet with country style gravy and honey served with dinner rolls, corn on the cob and a choice of fries or rice.

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Fries is okay but what surprised me how good HONEY is paired to chicken. HONEY. I never thought of that! But it blends perfectly! Chicken was crispy, fried at the best temperature, fries were seasoned well but the  corn for me was bland!

For Dessert, we ordered Nono’s Chocolate Oblivion

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Are you familiar with dream cakes? It tasted as such. ❤ But a little more moist. I love the powdered cocoa on top. Unfortunately, I didn’t like the one — on the crust area.

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Glad to be able to spend time alone with the husband before the community quarantine. How are you holding up so far?

EVERYDAY: We got married (The Preps)


We had exactly 1 year to prepare. If I had to be really honest, it did not come as a surprise at all. (which can either be a good thing or a bad thing) I’m kind of proud of us actually. I think we’re both mature and invested enough in the relationship. We were both sure that we’ll marry each other. We both know what we wanted out of this relationship. There were no pretensions. We were vocal and there never was a battle of who gets to care less. In this time of no commitment relationships, we’ve always been been transparent.

We planned ahead. We talked about things early on. Whenever we see something wedding related, we were both comfortable enough to say, ‘Bab, I want this for our wedding’, ‘Babe I already asked for a quotation’, ‘Can we get this for our wedding?’. We can talk freely without the fear that the other will think that the relationship is going too fast.

It was October 2018 when my then boyfriend proposed during one of our vacations in Coron, Palawan.(check out how he proposed here!). We returned in Manila and when we were settled. We already looked for our Church and Venue. I already wrote about our experience here, tips and tricks too for early preparations. (read all about it here!)

For this post, I just would like to do a run down of the different experiences we had to deal with during that year of preparation, (One, hoping it would help others and Two, because no matter what challenges we had to face with? I’d like to remember everything!)

Wedding Gown: The biggest worry of all brides.

At first, I was fairly certain that I wanted a mermaid cut. I was slim and people always complimented my body. (not that I’m Kim or Kylie) but I had the right amount of chest and bum good enough to wear a mermaid cut. But as the days passed, my friends would always make a hint that they already know what type of gown I would wear. So just to go against all of their guesses, I went with . . . an A-Line Cut.

Apart from the shape of the gown, you also have to consider your neckline, the trail, your veil and the amount of details you want. Right off the bat, I wanted a clean, minimalist V-Neck Gown – that’s certain.

To give you an idea of how hard it is to settle on 1 final peg, I had about 300 pinterest gowns, messaged about 30 couturiers, followed 15 bridal accounts on IG and more. I also visited 3 couturiers and ended with a friend of my mom, Rose Lagdameo.

I experienced the tiniest worry when Rose decided to follow my mom and alter the neckline of my gown. Whew! It’s a good thing the final output turned out to be exactly how I pictured it.

It’s a Pronovias 2018 Castle Gown – a Mikado A-line Shape with low cut V-neck front and back, triangular tulle armholes and godets in tulle skirt with beaded and fabric flowers.

Groom’s Suit: The only thing groom has a complete say on. 😛

A little background: We initially wanted a Maroon-Gold themed wedding but given that our date was November 24, we thought it would seem more of Christmas theme than a wedding and the fiancee had doubts if he can pull off a maroon suit. So we went with our second best choice: Dark Emerald and Champagne / Gold.

And just like how all men are, he didn’t actually have hundreds of pegs. We just attended a wedding fair and since Felipe & Sons is one of the more popular ones, we approached their booth and looked for the perfect Dark Emerald material. —- and tadah! They do have it!

It was such a smooth transaction. Ate Violy was very attentive and suggestive of what would go best with our choices. She even helped us choose the buttons, our neck ties, socks and even the color of our shoes and belt! It was a perfect fit and I honestly wanted to marry my fiancee right then & there on his second fitting. He looked absolutely dapper. ❤

Entourage Proposal: Unnecessary but happy to do it

I really wanted to give our entourage something they can keep since they will be spending for their own attire. I’ve been saving different ideas from pinterest, wawies, Instagram and the likes.

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For our Male Entourage: Clinique Happy Perfume, a handkerchief and a little message for our handsome entourage.

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For our Female Entourage: Champagne Robes from SMGM Bridal Robes for our morning pictorial, almost the exact pair of earrings I wore when my husband proposed and a letter for my dearest friends.

I really enjoyed doing the DIYs! I scouted all the layouts from the letter, to their names, to the font that we used, which I printed (in the o**ic*) Haha. Hubby also participated by doing the ribbon that we placed outside the box.

Prenup: Our facial rehearsal for the big day!

I was a bit confused for our theme. Initially, I really wanted to use the venue that I was eyeing on for our reception but we had to change since the rate was over our budget. When my husband and I talked, we finalized on three themes: Nature, Our Love Story and Everyday Life.

For Nature, we agreed on Treasure Mountain. For our Love Story, we wanted an office set-up and even asked if we can actually shoot in the office building where we met. Unfortunately, an hour would already cost too much. For the last theme, everyday life of husband and wife, we wanted to shoot in an airbnb where we can just read books, cook, bake, read newspaper and all the mundane things that will show how our lives will turn out after our wedding.

Being the aesthete that I am, I wanted our clothes to match so we even practiced and bought some new ones for the prenup shoot.

On the day of the shoot, we woke up at 2 in the morning, drove to Rizal at 3 am for our makeup since shoot starts at 6:00 am. We were really exhausted by the time we ended but happy with the raw output from our Photo-Video team.

Food: One of the biggest expectations that we need to meet.

It’s always the food that people remembers, we’ve been told time and again. Our Venue have several accredited suppliers. Originally, we wanted to go with the more famous one but was so disappointed during the Food Tasting.

We had 3 Food Tastings! Hahaha. And relieved to be hearing so many kind words with our choice of food. 😀

Make-up: Something that can make or break the bride

Gahh. One of the nerve wracking  decisions. I had my dream MUA but like all brides, we need to learn to compromise. My dream artist costs like Php 60,000 so obviously, it was over our budget. I tested with three MUA during bridal fairs.

I don’t know why hair artists really like doing hairs like the one in the middle where the top of the head is flat. I hated the flat top big hair. We closed with the MUA where I was wearing black.

I suggest that no matter how broad the portfolio of your dream MUA, please do a trial makeup first.

Entourage Gown: This should also go with the theme of your wedding

I was certain I wanted a clean cut minimalist mikado gowns for my friends. I wanted it to complement with my gown but not over power it. (since my wedding gown is minimalist too)

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I loved that our scheduled fittings turned out to become our bonding moments. It’s nice to know that my friends from our other groups are now friends too. ❤

Pick your entourage wisely! There are expenses along the way such as bridal showers, shoes and accessories that they need to put together. There are weekends they will need to sacrifice but the real ones will happily do it.

Did I mention I personally drew their gowns too?

Survival Kits: A bribe from the heart

We didn’t even think about this! It’s a good thing we are a part of this group in facebook called wawies where other couples share their wedding ideas. Survival Kits are basically snacks and drinks for your suppliers.

We prepared survival kits both in our prenup shoot and in the actual wedding day. Not only was it given to suppliers but we also prepared some snack for the prep room where our entourage will get ready and in the respective cars we will be using too. 🙂

Prep Dress: Unnecessary but Aesthetics. 😛 

I’m known to be a bit maarte and because admittedly am, I was very specific with my prep dress. I didn’t want it to be a robe. So yes, I drew the dress that I wanted and asked several couturiers.

Annndddd, Embellish Dress Shop was able to pull it off exactly. ❤

Signage: Something in theme but shows off personality

I’m a huge F.R.I.E.N.D.S fan!!! and the hubby is a pretend-fan, I insisted our signages to be friends-themed. ❤ It’s something I personally worked on. ❤ and I loved the outcome.

Aside from that, we wanted to show our love story and some little facts about our relationship so I also worked on an infographic. ❤ We stayed with our white marble layout.

Supplier Gifts: To show gratitude

At first I really thought it was such an added expense but as our wedding day approaches, we got to know our suppliers better and proved to be worthy of small gifts. ❤

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For our Coordinator, since they really went above and beyond, we gave them cash gifts, Perfume for our event stylist, bath sets for the three teams of our HMUA, Goodies Basket for our AE in Venue, Photo & Video Team, Musician and Host.

Prizes, Awards and Small Tokens

We planned everything together with our host who also helped us think of our prizes. ❤

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So for our small entourage, the bearers and flower girls, we each gave them chocolate goodies.  I was not able to take a good picture, but for our principal sponsors, we gave them a bottle of wine and chocolates. The same goes for our trusted entourage.

We also had some awards to be given out and prizes to go with them. For the best dressed young ones, we gave them beers and make up and for the somehow older crowd, we gave them wine and pans. ❤

For some of our games, we gave out Starbucks GC and powerbanks. ❤

Planning was so stressful, full of pressure and unsolicited opinions but damn, I miss it! It’s such a joy to be wholeheartedly involved in every aspect and to see your ideas and dreams come to life on the best day of your life. ❤ 

TRAVEL TAGAYTAY: Nurture Wellness Village


I have been wanting to go here. Luckily, some of our good friends gave this as our wedding gift. ❤ We were greeted warmly by the receptionist and was offered welcome teas.

They also have this wood theme to their surroundings down to their furniture and displays. Reception area and their restaurant is open air so it’s windy. ❤

We tried the Glamping Package. Their Glamping Site is situated in their garden where you can also find the bonfire area. Inside the tent, you will find a queen size bed, 2 pillows, towel, a table and 2 chairs, and a dresser. It also includes a set of coffee / water station and a switch! (thank god)

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Thumbs Up: It’s air conditioned but it gets pretty chilly at night given the standard temperature in Tagaytay already.

Downside: The tent has no locks and you can practically hear the conversation of the tents nearby and you have a common restroom (about 20 steps away from the tents)

We also tried their Signature Massage. ❤

Massage comes with the usual washing of your feet and the nice thing that’s different with them was they include a hot/warm bag during the massage where they place them underneath your pillow in the stubborn areas such as lower back and shoulders. ❤

At night, we brought Ruffles, Maltesers and Wine – our usuals during a movie marathon.

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For Breakfast, there’s a stub that they give out during the registration. Service was a bit late. The breads  were served first with butter paired with lugaw.

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For the mains, they served sweet and sour fish, scrambled eggs and what seemed like kaldereta / afritada.

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I don’t know exactly why they would serve sweet and sour fish and afritada during breakfast. :/ I prefer longganisa, bacon, hotdog, ham or even local viands such as danggit or pusit or dilis. that’s why we both didn’t enjoy the breakfast. 😦

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Still, Thank you for the memories, Nurture and Wellness. ❤ and our Second Glamping Experience.

EAT TAGAYTAY: The Farm at San Benito


The Farm at San Benito has a reputation for being a place to improve overall well being, one’s mental and physical health. They have what they call their five pillars which are Diagnose, Cleanse, Nourish, Repair and Sustain.

But it comes with a price, understandably. And this is something too expensive for us already. But just to get a taste of what they can offer, we went there for a 4 Course Vegan Lunch which we purchased from Deal Grocer.

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The place is quite nice and true to its promise, it was very peaceful. It’s full of greenery and free from distraction.

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We were escorted to their Alive! Restaurant, featuring a cabin like place. Sunlight is coming from all corners. ❤

Soup – Mung Bean (Php 200) with 87.4 calories – Braised mung beans with bitter gourd, malabar spinach and moringa leaves.

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It tasted Miso, but for me, it was bland. I cannot really distinguish what but it was lacking something.

Salad – Fern Salad (Php 200) with 54.6 calories – Freshly picked fern leaves tossed in Calamansi juice, tomatoes and onion.

Surprisingly, I loved the Calamansi juice! I love anything sour so probably, that’s what it was. This is the best course for me. I can this eat again. ❤

Main – Tofu Steak (Php 400) with 216.5 calories – Grilled Tofu served with coconut soy, balsamic and coco nectar sauce topped with fresh onion rings and a choice of mashed potato or brown rice.

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UHHHH. Just a little background – I tried a tofu meal in Wilflour and I absolutely loved it. So with my personal assurance that it would taste okay, I ordered this tofu steak and to my surprise, I hated it. 😦 the tofu was bland and a bit hard. I guess they didn’t soak it in water. They have this coco nectar sauce which tasted a bit like barbeque, which helped, A BIT. I didn’t even get to finish 1 slice of tofu. I gave it to my hubby.

Main – Chickpea Omelet with Creamed Carrot and Spinach (Php 400) with 363.3 calories – Chickpea Omelet filled with potato and carrots served with cream of carrot and cream of kale with a dash of extra virgin oil

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This, not so much but because it has egg, I liked it. and I also eat carrots and spinach so it was fairly okay. It was not delicious but if I were really hungry, I cannot really finish this compared to the Tofu Steak.

Dessert – Mango Sansrival (Php 300) with 344.8 calories – Frozen mango with coconut milk on a bed of ground chocolate chips topped with coconut cream

I was a bit hesitant and unwilling to try this because there’s a lot of coconut in the description and if you remember, I really don’t like coconut. But this tastes exactly like any mango sansrival. It was delicious, even. ❤

Although I enjoyed the Fern Salad and the Mango Sansrival, I don’t think I will be willing to eat here again. :/ It’s a waste for me because I really expected that they could create a really delicious vegan mains but I was disappointed.

We enjoyed strolling though. And oh, BTW. We didn’t know this when we visited but when you buy their lunch in Deal Grocer, it’s like a free trip for the day. You can use all of their amenities, swimming or join activities for the day.

 

EAT ALABANG: Da Gianni Cucina Italia


In this laidback neighborhood in Alabang, there’s this place called West Gate. In this, you’ll find secret gems that will feed your hungry palate. And by gem, I mean Da Gianni. ❤

We are having our late lunch on a Sunday at 2:00 pm and the restaurant was still almost full when we got there. I had to pick the one nearest the window for a good lighting. (hihi). The place looks posh with brick walls and wooden tables.

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We were given the typical appetizer at first. ❤

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We ordered Quattro Formaggi for Php 535 – Four Cheese topped with Truffles

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I’ve had A LOT of Four Cheese pizzas in my life, it’s been a favorite variant of mine and this, I have to say is my favorite out of all my favorites. ❤ It’s just oozing with goodness.

We also ordered an Oil Based Pasta, Gambas Aglio Olio for Php 450 – Olive oil and garlic

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The Chef had to improvise. If you see their menu, they don’t really have an aglio olio dish with shrimps but we requested it. The Chef happily obliged. We just asked that we be informed of the cost first. And they definitely delivered. The pasta is PERFECT. ❤ Good is an understatement. Every bite is heavenly. ❤ ❤ ❤

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With this, we also ordered 2 Wines by the Glass, Trebbiano D Abbruzzo Doc, a sweet white wine for me and Rosato Salento, a rose for the husband.

A perfect lunch to end our weekend. Definitely not our last. ❤

EAT TAGAYTAY: Balay Dako


Balay Dako has been around since 2015. They are serving purely Filipino Dishes with Tagaytay as its beautiful backdrop. But I only recently was aware of it early 2019. We were pretty busy last year so we were not able to try this one, not until now.

It’s a bit intimidating. The place looks posh and expensive (and it is, actually). But there are also some reasonable entrees on their menu.

The place was packed around 4:00 pm. I was expecting only a few will be there but surprisingly, they don’t have dead hours (good for them). The waiters were attentive and we didn’t have to wait long for our order to be served.

We ordered Sisig na Pusit for Php 410 – Grilled cubes of squid mixed with housemade mayonnaise, garlic and onions served in a hot iron plate.

Meh. It’s not that bad BUT, I would definitely ignore this next time. I don’t particularly think it’s worth its price. Nothing special. One thing praise worthy about the dish is that it was not like ‘chewing gum’. (Or probably because it was already sliced into cubes.

Next, we ordered Binagoongang Baboy for Php 380 – Pork Belly stewed and sauteed in fermented Shrimp Paste

THE BEST! I told you! HAHA. It’s such a given for us to order this. And we were not mistaken. UGH. Their version is so, so good. I love that it has enough oil but not too much. ALTHOUGH, I hated that there’s a LOT of fat. :/ BUT, I will definitely order this again. ❤ Pure love.

We also ordered the Inasal na Pecho for Php 170 – Grilled Chicken Breast marinated in Vinegar, lime juice, black peppercorn and annatto oil.

Hubby LOVES anything chicken so when he requested this, I just had to. (though I don’t like chicken inasal). I had a taste of this. Again, nothing special. It was alright.

We also tried one of their icecreams – Cookies & Cream ❤ It’s really good too!

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If we had to, I’ll never forget to order the Binagoongang Baboy again and try some of the Sugpo Dishes. ❤ I especially want to try the Piniritong Sugpo at Sarsang Itlog na Pula and Lechon Kawali. It looks yum! 🙂

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Finally ticked this one off. ❤