Explore the wonders of Japanese and Korean culinary culture at Sambokojin

It is definitely the best buffet restaurant I have been in my lifetime. I would prefer Japanese buffet the most as it is usually light in the belly and does not make us full no matter the quantity of food we eat. Furthermore, the food choices are as delicious as they look. The following are the specialties I devoured while in Sambokojin.

img_4847

Sushi and sashimi

img_4848

Mozzarella Gyoza and Seafood Okonomiyaki

img_4849

Kojuchang Spicy Soup

img_4856

Tuna Karaage, Salmon Karaage and Japchae

img_4852

Grilled Meat

On the other hand, it would have been better if the cakes are moist and tasty enough to be savored. Frozen yogurt and ice cream are the only desserts that are worth-discovering.

img_4858

Triple Dessert – Plain Frozen Yogurt, Black Sesame, and Green Tea Ice Cream

For more information about Sambokojin, please visit their official website, and Facebook pages. I would definitely recommend the restaurant for family and friends who are on the go for anything Japanese and Korean.

Not forgetting to mention that the calling of customers is quick enough to reduce the waiting line swiftly, thus another advantage. 🙂

#MMKWhenLoveGrows: Best, Babe, Break, Balik

So much love for this MMK’s episode. Unpredictability is what made this episode worth the appreciation. While I personally thought of it as a typical cliched teen love story, it turned out to be a life learning romance tale blossomed from puppy love. I never expected that it would cater to adult audiences as much as to teens. I equally appreciate the fact that MMK’s “Cellphone” (the title of February 4 episode) teaches nowadays youth that love is never rushed, it takes a lot of work to build a lifelong relationship, and that sparks, crushes and attraction are not enough to make relationships work. The Saturday’s episode also did a great job in making the main characters, as grown adults, realize their past mistakes and in highlighting what they have learned from them.

Video: “MMK Cellphone: Mart, na-realize ang kanyang pagkakamali kay Sandra,” entertainment.abs-cbn.com

Love, relationships, heartbreaks, forgiveness, learning from past pains and getting up from failures are known to be this episode’s central themes. I am not so much into romance genre but I admit that the show caught my chills. And finally, I could not help being entertained by the cute and romantic feels provided by the puppy love episode.

Video: “MMK Cellphone: Sandra, sinagot na si Mart,” entertainment.abs-cbn.com

Kudos to MMK indeed! To more inspiring stories!!

N.B. “Best, babe, break, balik” is otherwise known as “from best friends to relationships, from relationships to break-ups, from break-ups to going back together.”

Image result for maalaala mo kaya 25

Name of the series Maalala Mo Kaya

Country Philippines

Original Run May 15, 1991 – present

Genre Drama, Drama Anthology

Presented by Charo Santos-Concio

Maalala Mo Kaya, otherwise known as MMK, is a long-running drama that features anecdotes and real life stories of common people through letter sending. Celebrities’ life stories are sometimes featured.

Episode Title Cellphone

Date Aired February 4, 2017

Directed by Raz dela Torre

Written by Benson Logronio and Arah Jell Badayos

Starring Zaijan Jaranilla, Belle Mariano, Yayo Aguila, Diego Loyzaga, Alexa Macanan

Plot

This episode is about a young love that was restored after Mart realized the love Sandra had for him in her letter following their break-up.

Overall rating 4.5/5 stars (9/10)

Source

“When Young Love Grows, Maalala Mo Kaya,” ABS-CBN

For more information about Maalala Mo Kaya

Come and join the fun at the natural playground called The Fun Farm!

I felt being one of the luckiest to go to this breathtaking nature as part of the school field trip. I was glad to have taken every opportunity in trying once-in-a-lifetime outdoor activities such as obstacle courses and tent house climbing and in having my photo taken with the horse. However, the weather was rainy back then. It still did not stop me and my companions from enjoying the ride to the point that I would consider every activity as my once-in-a-lifetime workout.

16195834_10155027712124752_8594016166920420000_n

Me doing different activities – obstacle courses, tent house climbing, and picture taking with the horse

Other offered activities include boat rides, animal rides, zip line, feeding the animals, fishing and truck riding. For more information about this recreational area, please visit its official website and its Facebook page.

Definitely recommended for children, kids-at-heart, and families.

Further readings

“A Day of Fun at Sta Elena Fun Farm!,” loveeatwander.com

“Around Town: Fun Farm in Sta. Elena,” SmartParenting

“Fun Farm at Sta. Elena,” Daphne.ph

“The Fun Farm at Sta. Elena Attraction Reviews,” Trip Advisor

“Weekend with The Kids: Sta Elena Fun Farm,” Windowseat.ph

Video

Rakrakan Festival ’17 OPM Against Drugs: The musical journey continues

I admit that it was still worth the hype and excitement despite preferring my first Rakrakan in 2014. My second would have been a blast if the stages were not next to one another and the audience would not hear overlapping performances. The fact that there were too many bands playing personally confuses me in choosing which bands would be in my priority watch list and it was even more difficult if the bands I would like to watch are playing at the same time such as Slapshock and Valley of Chrome. The cleanliness, the humidity, the fact that the venue was too small for five stages and bazaar booths to fit, and the lack of soft grounds for our sore feet to chill eventually tired my best friends and I to the point that we felt like going home before the concert ended. However, I am glad that the venue was more accessible than Global Circuit Grounds (the festival’s past venue), which was the reason of our decision to go.

Another reason was the interesting band line ups. I found this year’s more interesting than 2014’s, yet it was such a pity that I did not get to watch all of them. While I am doing my best to overcome my disappointment and move forward, I would like to feature the bands that I have watched and enjoyed. We spent most of our time in Mosh and Slam stages.

1) TALATA (MOSH STAGE)

Image may contain: 2 people, people on stage and concert

Definitely my most awaited band in Rakrakan. I discovered them back when I heard their single ‘Margarita’ which I fell in love with, and since then, I became part of the band’s fandom. I also adored their cover of Rage Against the Machine’s “Killing in the Name.” It suited them well.

Video: Killing in the Name cover

2) NOW YOU MAKE ME ANGRY (MOSH)

Image may contain: 2 people, people on stage, crowd and outdoor

Totally a newly discovered band. Would love to hear more from them.

3, 4 & 5) DAYS OF JANUARY (SLAM), RAZORBACK (MOSH), & CHICOSCI (MOSH)

Image may contain: one or more people, crowd and concert

Image may contain: one or more people, people on stage, crowd and outdoor

Image may contain: 1 person, crowd and concert

Till we meet again Days of January and Razorback. The last time I watched them was in Rakrakan 2014 but I’m glad that I finally got to watch them again (though I would prefer to watch other bands I haven’t fully discovered).

6, 7, & 8) EVEN, SAYDIE & PHILIA (MOSH)

Image may contain: one or more people, night, concert and indoor

Image may contain: one or more people, people on stage, concert and night

Image may contain: one or more people and night

“Artista sa umaga, rakista sa gabi.” That’s how us OPM rock and metal enthusiasts would refer to Mona este Arci Muñoz (as popularly known in showbiz), the vocalist in Philia. I would love to meet her in person as much as I have already met her co-metal queens Kat Taylor and Trish Reyes. Philia is indeed better live, and as for Saydie and Even, well they are just as amazing and dazzling.

9) THE LATE ISABEL (SLAM)

Image may contain: one or more people, people on stage, concert, night and indoor

Like Talata, they are also my most awaited band to tune into. I’m glad to finally see them live since it’s now rare seeing them perform in gigs and although they do not sound gothic in contrast with their gothic rock genre and the gothic ambiance of their music videos, I still find them spectacular.

10 & 11) SLAPSHOCK (MOSH) & VALLEY OF CHROME (SLAM)

Image may contain: one or more people, people on stage, night, concert and outdoor

Image may contain: one or more people, people on stage, concert, night and indoor

Killing two birds in one stone is hard. But watching two awaited bands who are playing at the exact same time is harder. This made me having to go back and forth to be able to see these two bands and even though the stages where they played were next to one another, I could not help but feel exhausted. Not forgetting to mention that I did not get to watch any of them properly. Good thing I already watched them in other gigs.

12) FRANCO (MOSH)

Image may contain: one or more people, night, crowd and outdoor

Glad to finally watch another awaited band. They are amazing live and if it weren’t for the sore feet we already were experiencing, we would have enjoyed a lot more.

The list may look like I have watched a lot. If I had the guts to roam around the venue and stay until the concert ended (if only we were not that tired), I would have discovered more. I would have loved to watch Run by Nine, SUD, Rouge, Galaw Tao, Jurassic Pards, Banda ni Kleggy, and False Apart. Yet my hopes do not end there as I am still eager to come across them in upcoming small gigs.

Image may contain: 3 people, people standing and outdoor

Arriving at the venue..

I equally enjoyed watching the skate exhibition which was far more spectacular. The skaters had undeniably amazing skills.

Video: Live Skate, Rakrakan 2017

And I enjoyed roaming around bazaar booths. Such a pity that I did not buy the event t-shirt.

Image may contain: 1 person

Me with Red Slim

Rakrakan Festival is organized by Rakista Radio for all Filipino music enthusiasts to discover and rediscover what OPM (Original Pilipino Music, ie. Filipino music) has to offer aside from what is currently shown on the mainstream. Either held in December of the previous year or January of the following year, the named music festival features multiple bands in different stages, bazaars, and extreme sports (like skate) exhibitions. This year’s is more of an against drug campaign, thus the tagline “OPM Against Drugs”.

For more information about the organizer and the event, check their official websites, Facebook, and Twitter pages at: 

Additional Reading

Rakrakan Festival ’14: The journey to local music realm

Gringo Chicken, Ribs & Friends: A one-of-a-kind Mexican, Tex Mex restaurant

Its Chicken Nachos are what makes the restaurant stand out. It is rare to find such appetizer in the world full of Ground Beef Nachos and I cannot simply get enough of shredded chicken ones topped with melted cheese and lemon and spicy dressing. Moreover, I appreciate the fact that the nachos are equally used as staple food for Gringo’s Original Chicken. One can add a bowl of Mexican rice as another staple food, which I love as well.

img_3878

Chicken Nachos drizzled with melted cheese

img_3865

Authentic Mexican Rice (a la tex mex)

img_3860

Salad with sweet dressing

img_3866

Original Gringo Chicken Hot n Spicy

It is indeed an authentic Mexican restaurant that introduces typically  Mexican dishes that are rarely found in similar types of restaurants. I am definitely looking forward to go back and taste more of its specialties such as truffle quesadillas and mango sticky rice. What is more to appreciate about this restaurant? It is a chill place – even though it is small for tall people!

For more information

Gringo Chicken, Ribs & Friends Facebook page

Further Readings

“Gringo – Home of Mexican Chicken and Ribs ,” anotsopopularkid.com

“It’s always happy hour at Gringo’s newest branch in Legazpi Village,” spot.ph

MMFF 2016: A Hope for the Better Change

The Metro Manila Film Festival is an annual event that is held in Metro Manila from Christmas Day (December 25) to the first weekend of January. Filipino films are the main focus of the festival, and the event would mostly feature blockbuster hits. However, tables have turned for the festival in 2016, wherein the featured movies are mostly indie. I am completely glad that these small budget works of art are given a chance to be seen and talked about by the masses and I believe that these masterpieces deserve being known nationwide for their incredible cinematic technique, artistic quality, outstanding and natural acting, and most especially (what I personally most care about) their “out-of-this-world” (well, in a good way) and uniquely designed and developed story line with unexpected twists and thrills and unintentional given lessons to the audience.

As much as I would like to devor the movies in the MMFF 2016, I only managed to watch the three of them. I appreciated them all and I’m hoping that avant-garde films will be given another chance to be shown in the same festival in the years to come. If they can make it internationally, they deserve the same recognition in the country.

For more information

Metro Manila Film Festival Official Website

Further readings

  • My own blog entries

Die Beautiful, Live Beautiful: “To die will be an awfully great adventure.”

Saving Sally: A Plot to the Sweet Escape

Seklusyon: The Clash Between Good and Evil

  • Other articles

“An MMFF 2016 rundown: Why you should watch all 8 entries,” Rappler

“Is MMFF 2016 a big success?, Manila Standard

“‘Sunday Beauty Queen,’ ‘Seklusyon’ emerge as big winners in MMFF 2016,” CNN Philippines

Saving Sally: A Plot to the Sweet Escape

Geeks are most likely to relate to this bittersweet romantic tale as it involves a love story between a robot inventor and a comic book artist and has an animated scenery. Non geeks can also be as tuned due to entertaining chills and the emotional roller coaster of laughter, tears and sense of adventure that the film brings them to. Although the animation parts may seem unnecessary (in my opinion, it is since the movie can have a similar story line without animation involved), they still deserve a high recognition for the beautiful art and as a product of the film maker’s concept of creating a scenery based on Marty’s view on the world (e.g. humans other than Sally, himself and his parents, as monsters). The plot has twists that turns this typical geeky love story into an outstanding modern romantic comic tale, yet at the same time, is realistic since it takes Marty and Sally a while to confess their developed feelings for one another. It is not a cliched and oversimplified movie about two best friends falling for each other quickly or a common girl falling for a popular jock who ends up loving her back.

It is more seen as a teen flick as the main characters are still in their teens and the story is set in their high school years. It never fails to tackle every aspect of a teen’s life including friendships, romantic relationships, relationships with parents, surviving school, peer and societal pressure, being overprotected, planning for the future, growing up, discovering one’s identity and exploring new things. It portrays all of these aspects just as how they are seen in real life and provides lessons to teenage audiences who are at the same time entertained by the story. Adults are given a chance to look back on their teenage years and can release their inner teens while viewing the film, and parents can also pick lessons provided by the film which they can teach to their children. However, the film may be too complex for children under 13. Still, it will not stop them from being entertained and admiring the beauty of animation and they will eventually find themselves watching, understanding and appreciating the movie better as they grow.

The acting is so natural that it does not look like it comes from a script. Rhian Ramos plays her role way easily being a teenager when the movie was taped, while Enzo Ramos seem to portray himself as a real nerd who has difficulties expressing his feelings for a girl he likes. TJ Trinidad, the actor who plays Nick, plays his role well as a 28 year old who is in fact not as matured as 17 year old Sally previously thought. The parents are also good in being the parents of their high school aged children.

Last but not the least, the life of a comic book artist is realistically portrayed. Nothing comes easy in being a comic book author as pleasing the publishers is a requirement to succeed despite the fact that the author has worked tremendously day and night to fully craft his or her work well enough to be appreciated by the publisher. I also love the idea of Sally creating a secret project which in fact is a house that contains gadgets and machines she cannot live without and is her known refuge after she escapes from her parents’ tyranny. That alone is already an original concept of plotting an escape from an overprotective home, surpassing the cliche teen feels produced by most mass produced teen flicks.

Savingsallyposter.jpg

Country Philippines

Release Date December 25, 2016

Directed By Avid Liongoren

Starring Rhian Ramos, Enzo Marcos, TJ Trinidad

Genre Animation, Fantasy, Romance

Length 110 min long

Plot

Marty, a comic book artist, has long time feelings for his robot inventor best friend named Sally. Challenges come his way in confessing his true feelings for her that does not just include his shyness and lack of guts, but also the fact that Sally’s parents are overprotective and Sally has a boyfriend.

Overall Rating 5/5 stars (10/10)

Sources

Saving Sally IMDb

Saving Sally Wikipedia

Further Reading

“8 Things You Might Not Know About “Saving Sally””, 8list.ph