Explore the wonders of Japanese and Korean culinary culture in 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.

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Sushi and sashimi
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Mozzarella Gyoza and Seafood Okonomiyaki
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Kojuchang Spicy Soup
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Tuna Karaage, Salmon Karaage and Japchae
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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.

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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. 🙂

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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.

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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

The Fun Farm Sta. Elena Golf and Country Estate Cabuyao SLEX by HourPhilippines.com

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

I admit that it was still worth the hype and excitement despite my preference towards my first Rakrakan experience 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 confused 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 concert 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)

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)

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

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

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)

“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)

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)

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)

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.

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.

With Red Slim, one of the known underground graphic and T-shirt designers in the Philippines (Facebook page: Red Slim 08)

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, 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.

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Chicken Nachos drizzled with melted cheese
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Authentic Mexican Rice (a la tex mex)
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Salad with sweet dressing
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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 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 nationwide.

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

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