Keira's Looks in Begin Again

If you haven't seen BEGIN AGAIN, please set a date to watch it PLEASE. It's a very simple story with adorable characters and catchy tunes. I won't spoil it for you but I just wanted to dedicate this morning to just marvel at Keira Knightley's clothes in the movie. I couldn't get over the impeccable styling of Indian stylist, Arjun Bhasin! She did an amazing job with Keira! Of course Keira's ballerina figure just makes her the perfect clothes hanger for these looks---BUT I really believe any woman can pull off these casual, down-to-earth looks too! Her looks are so easy on the eyes without trying too hard. :) Style crushing big time!!!!

Seafood Shack

Calling all you seafood lovers, you should start "swimming" your way to the SEAFOOD SHACK in Scout Rallos in Tomas Morato. My buddy Martin Kabigting, one of the geniuses behind this new "fishy venture" (and I mean it in a good way of course!), invited me to try their best sellers a few weeks ago along with the soon-to-be weds Muffin and Don and we had a blast. It was a super quick  (and bitin) lunch for me since I was heading to my class in Ateneo right after. Next time, I promise to stay a bit longer so I can really enjoy my seafood binge all the more.  I'll make this a quick review and go straight to the point...errr...bullet point(s) I mean. Hehehe! 
  • I am a fan of CLEAN restaurants. I do love discovering hole-in-the-wall restos with worn out interiors that add a bit of history and charm, that's all perfectly understandable. A place can be old and look a bit shabby but clean. Hygiene is a non-negotiable for me, especially when it comes to food. I don't care if you're a Michelin starred resto, if it smells like a sewer and you have dirty utensils, forget it! Hehehe! This resto wins in the CLEANLINESS department. I guess it's a given since it's brand new but I really do hope they keep it this way and maintain the level of cleanliness. 
  • I love the interiors of this resto---it reminds me of San Francisco! It helps that the interiors are crisp and clean, you don't get that "langsa" feeling especially since they serve mostly seafood in the menu. The design takes you seaside while in the concrete jungle.
  • If you're looking for a less touristy alternative to eating at a local Dampa, this may be your best bet. Masaya pa rin kumain sa Dampa, especially since they serve the freshest of the fresh but sometimes it can become a tourist and balikbayan trap with overpriced dishes. Here at Seafood Shack, you get fresh seafood without the stress of haggling---and you can still get down and dirty kamayan style. I mean, you have to admit... finger licking makes the seafood eating experience all the more fun right?
  • Their boiled shacks are quite generous and their sauces are really tasty. You can choose either Lemon Peppery, Soy Garlic, Southern Cajun, Shack Daddy (all in). These flavors don't overpower the seafood---katamtaman lang ang timpla and you can always make adjustments with the spice level too. 
  • Aside from their boiled shacks, customers can also order other none seafood items (if you have someone in the group who's allergic to seafood) like their Grilled Chicken, Pulled Pork BBQ, Chicken Hash Nachos, and Cajun Wings. I loved their Texas Cheese Sticks and Grilled corn and cheese on a cob! We had these for starters and I was sold! Sobrang sarap! And they serve dessert also!!!
  • The prices are quite reasonable especially since the serving portions are quite hefty. This is really a place for families and barkadas. 
For more information about Seafood Shack, you can visit their FB page HERE. Thanks again for having me over! 

How To Shoot Travel Videos

Hi folks! I've been getting lots of emails about our Europe travel videos so I figured I'd write a bit about it today. Thanks so much for the generous compliments--as much as I would like to take credit for them, it's ALL the work of Patrick and his Blackmagic Design Pocket Camera! I just picked the music and made pa-cute! Hahahaha! 

Like I've mentioned before, Patrick shoots all the video on his own (except for a few shaky bits, by me!) using this very compact video camera. You'll see below that it's just as big as a standard point and shoot camera so it's perfect for traveling. It doesn't command a lot of attention like other giant video cameras/DSLRs so you can shoot discreetly while on the go. Plus it's very light too, Patrick just keeps it handheld most of the time or packs it in his backpack with a tripod and a few lenses. I don't know much about the technical stuff so if you have any more questions about the actual specs, just hop on over for more details. For those asking, the Blackmagic Pocket Camera we got was around 1,000 USD--- but it's on sale now at 50% off! This makes it cheaper than an iPhone or your standard DSLR! I love taking photos but I find that videos can really capture the vibe and energy of a place more effectively. I am quite lucky to have a videographer/editor for a husband, I love that all our trips are documented nicely on film.. But thanks to this user friendly and super affordable video camera, anyone with an eye for detail can shoot amazing videos too! :) You can scroll down further to see all our Europe travel vids shot with a Blackmagic Pocket Camera. 

All the videos above were shot with a Blackmagic Pocket Camera 
and edited using Da Vinci Resolve on a Macbook Pro :)
 Lucky for you, the camera is actually on sale for a limited period! 
To find a dealer near you, click HERE

Sydney Days 3&4

Sharing more photos from our Sydney adventure. :) :)

I don't really drink beer but this caught my attention. What a nice ceiling display!
Our favorite el cheapo burrito!!! 
Buying some snacks at Woolies
Heading to the Allphones Arena for our first Hillsong session
Before heading to the conference, we spent the morning at the nearby Museum of Contemporary Art and we found lots of great modern gems :)

The Everyday Kind of Love

I am currently in Japan for a few days of happy work. Patrick will be following shortly so we can enjoy Tokyo together over the weekend..and I can't wait!!!! I always have difficulty spending time away from Patrick, whether it's for 1 night or 10. The temporary separation always gets to me. I've become this annoyingly cheesy wife who's grown dependent on the body warmth of my husband. Hahaha! But I do appreciate these moments too because it really puts things in perspective for me. Today, I woke up grateful.

We are very simple folk. What we have is the EVERYDAY kind of love, or at least that's what I would like to call it. I say EVERYDAY because not all days are made the same, and that's why it's important to have a kind of love that can weather any type of day. And I'm not only talking about the GOOD and the BAD days here. (They may seem like polar opposites but are still great backdrops for cultivating a love story because both the GOOD and BAD days make for solid memories and character shaping.) But what a lot of people forget are the days in between, the ho-hum days. The days filled with chores, errands, work deadlines, bills, and everything else. These days are forgotten and these are the days that can become a vacuum if you are not careful. You can easily get sucked in and lost in the normalcy of life. We do have our rare moments of grand gestures, surprises and sweet romantics---but I find that my marriage to Patrick is further refined by how we tread through the mundane together. 

We don't live in romantic comedy settings wherein days seem endless, with lots of lounging around in bed in sexy lingerie and finding philosophical connections and engaging in deep conversations. Regular folk like us don't have the time to lie in the grass and look at the stars and recite poetry to one another. For most, we don't have that grand takbo-takbo sa airport and declare your love in front of everyone scenes. More often than not our days consist of being stuck in traffic,  wading through the floods, lining up to pay our bills, stressing over clients, agonizing over taxes, doctor's visits, scrubbing the toilet, and other not so fun moments that we don't see in the movies. They sort of just graze through these daily rituals and just skip to the juicy bits and make us believe that love is supposed to be always intense, exciting, dramatic and eventful with quotable quotes, pensive stares and sexy brooding, lots and lots of brooding. Hahahahaha! Just because you're not having an exciting day, it doesn't necessarily fall under boring. The world has taught us to just categorize routine, work, responsibility and obligation as boring--when in fact they should be moments that are celebrated as well. These are moments wherein our character is being polished, where we can show kindness, integrity, honesty and yes LOVE. When my husband pays the bills, when he meets the deadline, when he sets aside money for tithes---I don't see duty or obligation, I see LOVE. And that to me is romantic. 

After a long day of work, we just lie down and just lambast each other with jokes. Patrick is an alaskador and we retreat back to our grade school days and just torture each other with (not so) witty comebacks and hirits in bed until we fall asleep. Sometimes it's OKAY to just have a good laugh. Sometimes it's okay to have Adobong Pusit and left over Lumpia and not a Wagyu Steak dinner. Sometimes it's OKAY to not discuss Plato and Socrates. Sometimes it's OKAY to just be in the same room and be present physically and emotionally for one another. My husband is very intelligent and this is one of the traits that I admire most about him (and I think  know he sees me as smart too), but I love that his intelligence is quiet and not boastful and that it shines through context, life decisions, and when he explains techie things to me in lay man's terms, hehehe. 

I have been very, very, very grateful for the opportunity to travel with my husband (both for work and leisure) and we have had such an exciting marriage because of all the wonderful memories formed during our trips. I still highly recommend traveling with your spouse, it's an amazing way to develop your friendship and appreciation for one another. Other people like to shop and have shiny things, we like to save up for travel. BUT, I also find that the days that are spent back home--being regular law abiding citizens doing work and all the other "boring" things---are just as fun, memorable and marriage-strengthening. You don't need special occasions, trips abroad, expensive gifts to feel loved (okay, you do sometimes! HAHAHA! Who am I kidding?!?!) but what I'm trying to say is--EVERYDAY LOVE is sweeter because it is grounded on the tenants of commitment and dedication. It's not sporadic, it's consistent. It's a 24-7, round the clock, rain or shine, affection or no affection, flowers and chocolates or just a peck on the cheek, traffic or no traffic on EDSA kind of love that the Bible teaches all couples to adhere to. 

I know social media can be quite a monster if you let it be, but often times I find good things about it too. Aside from all the baby pictures that make me gigil throughout the day, I especially love seeing my friends HAPPY and IN LOVE. It blesses me to see how God has blessed them in their own respective relationships---it makes it a much more tangible experience for me. To see others happy makes me understand God's love more. I remember in one Hillsong message, the Pastor mentioned "If God can do this for them, HE can do this for me!" and that line really hit me because that's what I've always practiced in my life. I love celebrating the goodness in other people's lives. Here are some IG posts that made me smile, I thought it would be nice to post it here. To all the single ladies out there, I pray that you find a man who will love you EVERYDAY too. :) :) 

Sydney Days 1&2

The last time I visited Sydney was way back in 2001---that's 13 bloody years ago!!! Eeep! I was a clueless 18 year old college kid at the time. I have to admit, visiting it as a 31 year old was a completely different experience. I think Sydney grew on me this time around and I was able to appreciate it's charm and culture all the more during this trip. Patrick and I flew to Sydney for the Hillsong conference (I will work on a separate post on this!) so this was really more of a creative retreat for us--but we managed to squeeze in a bit of sightseeing in between the sessions. Here are the photos from our first two days in the city. 
We stayed at the Amora Jamison Hotel, which is just along George Street making it the perfect base for sightseeing. I forgot to take a photo in our hotel, but I'm sure you can just google it. It's a quick 5 minute walk to The Rocks, 10 minutes to the Opera House and about 15 minutes to QVB. Best of all there's a Woolies next door, a big food court, and the Wynyard station right below. We commuted via city train everyday and it was ever so efficient. Oh, and we had free wifi in our room too! I love hotels with free internet. It allowed us to work while on holiday. It does get pricey here especially during peak season, but I managed to get it for a steal. It does help to book ahead so you can scour the net for good rates. 
We were greeted by gloomy skies over Sydney on our first day. But you have to admit, the Sydney Harbor is still undeniably a beautiful sight to behold. 
We dropped by the Food Market at The Rocks to get some grub. But we ended up eating our kebabs and hotdogs in a rush because the howling wind! 
 Pat wanted to beat the cold with some hot chocolate, luckily, we found the Guylian Cafe just around the corner! Their Belgian Hot Chocolate was divine!!!!
The mandatory OOTD photo, thanks Pat for indulging me. Hehehe :) :) This bag from Liu-jo is my new favorite travel buddy, I can dump an entire family of 8 inside this bag! 
We made our way to Surry Hills for a light dinner and movie date at the Golden Age Cinema and Bar.  This is A MUST for couples!!! I actually just found this randomly while researching for unique things to do in the city. I'm so glad we booked our movie tickets in advance. We had some bar chow and Ginger Ale at the bar before the movie---and surprise, surprise a live band popped up out of nowhere so we were treated to a free show too! We watched the classic Warren Beaty film: BONNIE AND CLYDE (and got some free Magnum too!). 
The following day we met up with Sydney based friends Karla and Andrew. They took us to The Grounds of Alexandria, one of my ultimate favorite places in Sydney! According to the Broadsheet article, "Headed up by creative entrepreneur Ramsey Choker and renowned coffee guru Jack Hanna, The Grounds is an innovative, sustainable specialty coffee outfit combining science, industrialism and organic gardens into one awe-inspiring space. Built into the remnants of a heritage-listed warehouse and spilling into an enormous courtyard and organic garden in Sydney’s west, The Grounds is both stunning and about as culturally indispensible as the harbour bridge, having once been the Four’N Twenty pie factory. Not to be overshadowed by the incredible standard of coffee, a tantalising food menu encompasses a wholesome, home-style selection of dishes, like the slow-roasted, pulled-pork sandwich with slaw and handmade pappardelle." Everything here was definitely Pinterest worthy! One day, someday, when Patrick and I finally move into an actual house---it will be inspired by The Grounds! hehehe!
Sweater by Suiteblanco, Jeans by Topshop and Boots by SNH Fashion
After early dinner at The Grounds, we took a short walk to one of the Hillsong branches in Sydney to attend their Sunday service. I've been to Hillsong New York, Paris and Brisbane---so this is the 4th one on my list. There's always something so welcoming and homey about this church :) 
I'll be sharing the rest of our Sydney photos soon!!! Stay tuned, folks :) | All Rights Reserved. 2011.