Saturday, April 30, 2016

Why I love Descendants of the Sun

Pardon the repetitive posts. One thing I promise though, this has to be the last time I will blog about Descendants of the Sun and Song Joong Ki. The airing of this Korean drama series is already over, but KBS prepared a three part special for the succeeding weeks. A little treat for the fans who can't get over the drama series. I have read a number of reviews and I don't intend to contribute another one. Everything boils down to the fact that I will surely write a biased review, especially for Song Joong Ki. Hahaha I will instead enumerate the reasons why I love this drama series.


1. It's Song Joong Ki - Like how many times his name appeared in this article and my entire blog Hahaha I love him ever since I saw him in Innocent Man. He was also another actor whom I admire because of his humility and hard work. I read his acting portfolio and discovered how he transitioned from small roles. 

2. The transition of events - I dread drama series with 50 episodes and counting. I already lost the patience for series (even US based) with excessive number of episodes.

3. I love the cinematography - I'm not even sure if its called cinematography. But I love how the colours and texture of the drama series appeared on TV. If everything translates to an IG photo, I love the filters and edits used in the filming. And how could I not appreciate Greece? For those who have dreams of visiting the country, watching the drama series is a good idea to spoil your fantasies. 

4. The stories of the supporting characters are not irritating - Although I'm still partial to the other love team, I love the side stories of the other characters. I love the combination of humour and short heart warming scenes. 

5. Just the right amount of suspense - Prior to watching DOTS, I finished Yong Pal whose level of suspense made me nervous all the time. Hahaha I was expecting the same for DOTS, given that the story evolved within the setting of danger and emergency cases. Surprisingly, DOTS never gave me those restless moments. Although it was already expected that something tragic is about to unfold in every episode, everything was presented in a lighter and gradual approach. 

6. Humour element - with all the cheesiness around Hahaha For those who hate "cheese," there were a number of instances when everything was all about the cheesiness of the two lead characters.

7. The lead actor is not an impossible case of Jack of all trades - I love that Song Joong Ki was presented as a real human being at some point. There were times in the drama series when Song Joong Ki was not the lead savior. He was simply a great leader who acknowledged and trusted an excellent subordinate. To be more particular, when it was "Snoopy's" turn to detonate the bomb.  

8. Tales of friendship - I love it when the troop of doctor friends support each other. In particular, when they treat the enemy of one as the enemy of the entire group. Likewise with Song Joong Ki and his troop of soldiers. My favourite part was when they rescued the "kidnap victim." Song Joong Ki initially went on his own to accomplish the secret mission. Along the way, his comrades, "Snoopy," "Harry Potter," "Wolf," and "Piccolo"followed. We got your back Captain! I love the teamwork and how each of them cared for each other.... which I rarely experience these days. #SigeHugotPa Hahaha

If you landed here because you were looking for reviews and articles about Descendants of the Sun, thanks a lot. :) I swear, you will never regret watching the drama series. 

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Better Pedestrian Lanes

A few weeks ago, I saw Carlos Celdran's Instagram posts for the Design Week Philippines. #DWPhilippines It showcased Intramuros as one of the venues for the Center for International Trade and Missions' (CITEM) annual event. CITEM partnered with Viva Manila for the first Intramuros Pasyal. The event particularly showcased a two-day street fair of workshops, mural paintings, and live performances. I was not able to witness the activities. Instead, I saw the groups's attempts in creating better pedestrian lanes in Intramuros.

Along the way, I also took photos of the magnificent and historical Manila Cathedral. I commend the group's advocacy of creating better Pedestrian Lanes. Although as observed, the efforts are still on the starting phase. Literally, there's still a looong way to go. :) I hope this will be finished before the opening of the classes. I will surely revisit the entire street to check the finished pedestrian line. 

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Get Cashback from Shopping at ShopBack

As it is, the hardest habit to break! I once thought if there is a TV show that rewards the best shoppers. Even a profession that entails shopping as a primary responsibility. I later learned the concept of personal shoppers via Rebecca Bloomwood of Confessions of a Shopaholic, Andy and her colleagues from the The Devil Wears Prada and bloggers who also dabble as fashion stylists. While they don't shop for themselves, there's surely a shopaholic need fulfilled whenever they engage in shopping activities. The constant interaction with the sales associates and managers give them the opportunity to have first dibs of the best deals. Unfortunately, not everyone share the privilege. Although there are other ways on how fellow shopaholics can get rewarded. One is through membership cards that generate points from shopping. The points can later be converted as shopping money, discounts and freebies. The problem with shopping cards though, not everyone is awarded with it. Some shopping rewards cards entail a very discouraging application and renewal fee and demands thousand of peso purchases to earn points. 

Lately, I discovered a shopping site that offers a different approach in getting rewarded from shopping. I first discovered ShopBack from other bloggers. Truth to be told, I only checked the site and left. I was overwhelmed with the dialogue boxes of different coupon deals. As always, I felt lazy to read and understand the terms and conditions. A few days after, I was invited by ShopBack to check out their site. Laziness still thrived in me. Hahaha Everything changed when a relative messaged me about her experience. So here, I'm sharing the good news through my personal experience. 

What is ShopBack?

The title of the post says it all. In a nutshell, ShopBack gives you discounts through the different coupon deals to different online shopping sites. Apart from receiving discounts, using the coupons enables ShopBack members to earn points. The Shopback points can later be converted as money. 

The infographics below provide the simplest summary of how ShopBack works.

How does it works? 

A little reminder: Use ShopBack's own link to redirect you to Lazada or whichever online shopping site you will choose. This will ensure that the discount codes will apply and shopping credits will be added to your account.

In order to ensure that your shopping attempts are recognized by your ShopBack account, you can review everything via your CASHBACK SUMMARY tab. 

Your Cashback Information will later appear. You can double check everything via the CLICK HISTORY tab. All the clicks made from your ShopBack account are recorded in this tab.

Here is my specific order from Lazada via ShopBack. I was able to use one of their promotional vouchers. As seen in my invoice, I successfully received a discount of Php 200 by using ShopBack's voucher code "SUMMER200"

My order is yet to be delivered by Lazada. I'm hoping not to experience delays in delivery again. I'm praying that I don't need to make follow ups, as the item I purchased entailed a significant amount of money.

As for ShopBack, I received a notification thru my email after one day.
When I logged in to my ShopBack account, my entire purchase has been credited

Although as observed, I need to wait for 75 days to redeem.  For now, what I can say is that the voucher and discount codes issued by ShopBack are real and working. 

I will prepare a second post for my cashback experience. I'm hoping that my order from Lazada be delivered in the soonest possible time and my ShopBack rewards to be successfully converted to cash. 

Stay tuned for Part 2. :)

Monday, April 25, 2016

Pipa Brick Oven Pizza and Pasta

As much as I wanted to blog about restaurants and food establishments, I rarely visit any these days. On weekdays, I treat myself to at least one nice meal from my typical list of fastfood chains. On weekends, I try my best to eat healthy home cooked meals. There are times when I resort to food delivery, which surely tastes and feels so monotonous. A few days ago, I received an email from the team behind Pipa Brick Oven Pizza and Pasta. I got curious with their concept of fried pizza. It sounds too oily and sinful, but never mind. Hahaha Life is too short not to enjoy great food. While my glutton self wanted to respond to the invitation, I had apprehensions attributed to location issues. In my mind, this might be another restaurant thriving down south. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that the place is right inside my hometown. Yooohoo! Hence, I decided to drop by the place on one lazy Sunday afternoon. 

Don't ever wear stripes especially in black and white if you have plans of dining here ;) I made the stupid mistake Hahaha

For a small food establishment, I immediately noticed the variety of pizza and pasta products in the menu. The generous selections are great. Pipa's specialty is their innovated thin crust pizza. Imagine your pizza being fried and later, baked in a classic brick oven. Everything sounds appealing but as mentioned, I was a little concerned about the oil. Fried begets lots of oil leading to cholesterol. While my triglycerides level are still normal, my weight is not. Hahaha I have been overweight but in God's mercy, my last executive check up still related that I can enjoy a sinful life. :P

Don't you just love the names in the menu? :p

The place allows you to assign your own table name. Cute! Ours was named after our favourite pet dog. 

As recommended by one of their staff, we ordered Pipa Pasta. We loved this red sauce pasta. The noodles were perfect and we love the creamy texture of the sauce. The only drawback, the serving is quite small for someone with a huge appetite. But with the cost of only Php 99, I believe this is already a great deal. 

It was a little challenging to choose which pizza to try. We again opted for their best seller, Many Pacquiao Supreme. 

So this is their signature thin crust pizza, fried and baked in a brick oven. Maybe my picture does not do justice, but this was one of the best decisions I made in my entire life. (Okay, I'm a little exaggerated Hahaha) The meat and vegetable were fresh. The pizza sauce was perfect. Not too overwhelming. And best of all, the pizza was not exaggeratedly oily. My "oily" expectations did not happen. Hahaha How come? As proof to it, the paper lining used for the pizza was not totally submerged with oil. The pizza likewise did not cause the usual oil residue on my fingers. Typing this, I suddenly remember my dearest Korean friend, Jenny. My friend can't help but notice that most pizzas in the Philippines consume so much oil. I would surely bring Jenny to this place if I discovered it earlier. 

We took home two more flavours, Whitney Houston Pizza (dabbed as the White Pizza) and the Baconor Mcgregor. Both two tasted great and even got the approval of my health conscious parents. My mother can't believe that the pizza was fried at all. Everyone at home loved the "less grease" and the crunchiness of the crust. For those who prefer thin crust pizza, you will love Pipa's version of fried and baked. The crunchy crust was something new for me. As told by Chef Don, they claim to be the first in the Philippines to introduce this innovation. I also learned that Chef Don majored in culinary arts, worked abroad and this pizza innovation was his passion, which in fact became his thesis project and now, a promising business. 

I was also introduced to their signature Pipa Spice.  Originally developed by their team, the spice is a mixture of homegrown herbs and spices that complements their pizza. 

Also ordered a bottle of John Lemon or home brewed iced tea

And because I was curious with and fried and baked pizza, I asked Chef Don if I can view the process from the kitchen. 

All their pizza were made from scratch... The crust is produced and not outsourced from a supplier. I was amazed on how he was able to arrive at the perfect shape and size for the oval pizza. Even though I saw the entire process, I felt that Chef Don did some #NinjaMoves :)

The crust is later deep fried 

The ingredients are placed on the pizza and baked in a classic brick oven.

For dessert, we tried the Kim Kardashian. Cookies, ice cream and grilled marshmallows... I died! It was difficult for two persons to finish this treat. :)

The team behind Pipa Brick Oven Pizza and Pasta

I have to crop myself in the photo. #OverweightProblems Hahaha I swear, I look so huge with them. I can pass as the ultimate Tita with them. The thing is, how can everyone remain so thin with all the great pizza and pasta around? Hahaha 

Big thanks to Chef Don, Alie and the entire team of Pipa Brick Oven Pizza and Pasta for inviting me.

Pipa Brick Oven Pizza and Pasta is located at 59 E. de La Paz St. San Roque Marikina City. The stretch of E. de la Paz St. is quite long. It starts from the border of San Roque to Calumpang until the Marikina Public Market. If you have your own car, use Waze to lead you to the place. Commuters can easily reach the place too. Jeepneys bound to Marikina Market, Cubao or Barangka, which originated from the routes of Pasig or Calumpang directly passes to E. de la Paz St. An easier alternative take the brown or maroon tricycles near the Marikina City Hall. 

Pipa Brick Oven Pizza and Pasta is still on their soft opening stage. Although all items in the menu are already available. The Php 99 pizza and pasta will not last a lifetime. Friends, #walangForever Hahaha Take advantage of their on going promo while it still lasts.

Check out Pipa House's on Facebook / Instagram / Twitter / Zomato
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