More Talk, Accidentally Less Food Photos

From the Glorietta Activity Center where we met, we took the scenic route by going way up the fifth floor then taking the escalator well down to the basement, which led to a tunnel that connected it to Glorietta 5, also known as G5. A good excuse for this exercise: they’ve never been to those parts of the mall. It was at the second floor where our walk ended because we arrived at a place where I thought they would love the food.

Limited Runs

During the ten minutes we were there, I noticed that the silver stand of shelves was unmanned. Posters reminded people of the rules but no lone crew or professional guard to watch over the goings-on. There was an old man who, after finishing flipping through a novel, reminded a couple of the local kids who raided the collection not to bring any of the books home.

The Long Wait for Poutine

Dark walls and gleaming cutlery and tableware paved the way to our spot. The placemat had the menu printed on it. While we reveled in the cool breeze of the AC, we finalized our orders, though still curious as to how big the servings are, despite having answers from the wait staff.

Riddle of the Blue Blazer

Do you remember that meme about The Dress?

The Dress (image from Wikipedia)
The Dress (image from Wikipedia)

I never participated in the arguments about its color. But after the events of this weekend have happened, I think I know how it feels to have a colorful debate.

Friday Afternoon: It’s Blue.

I was at SM North. After looking at their available items, I was drawn to a particular blazer. But I wanted to see what other stores had. I wanted to be distinct, if possible, which means not having the same color or make of suit as the groom’s or the rest of the male entourage.

After a short search, I returned to the first store; I knew I had my heart settled on that blue number at H&M. It came in my size. It had a good color: blue. It had texture because of the minute white dots, which created the illusion of an even lighter suit. It had lean lapels and two front buttons. It had British-style, which means two vents on the sides. And it had elbow patches made of dark blue material. In short, it was me. Even my father approved of my choice.

Saturday Evening: It’s Blue?

Since I brought home the blazer and showed it off, there have been arguments. I insisted that it is blue. My mother said it isn’t. I wanted to give the debate a rest so I took to online and looked up the actual, official description of the item. Lo and behold I was—wrong?!

How could I be wrong? It’s blue! It couldn’t be dark blue. But it wasn’t dark blue when I saw it at the store. And I am certain they didn’t played switcheroo with me.

But there it was, in clear letters: dark blue.

Now, why were we making a big deal about color of the blazer? Background: Pam and Kei will be wed in a few days. Both of them are of Chinese descent. As it stands by tradition, colors like black and dark blue are regarded as unlucky at weddings. It was also explicitly mentioned on the invitation to not wear such colors. I for one refuse to be the harbinger of misfortune to a wedding and marriage, specially to my best friend’s.

I had no choice: I must return to H&M. But not without a struggle.

Sunday Afternoon: Is There?

I was directed by the guard to the refund-exchange table. I told the lady about my situation and what option I preferred: replace.

Back to the men’s section, where I solved the riddle of the dark blue blazer. The blazer looked blue because – not only did I have too close in hand – there was such a bright light shining on it. The “discreet hounds tooth pattern” in white seemed to glaze over the dark blue, lightening it a bit.

There were so many other blazers that came in my size and in a good color but never the recommended color. So I went back down to have my refund. She returned the exact amount but not in cash. I was given a card loaded with the amount; it could be used for anything at H&M until next year. So even if I technically had money, I still didn’t. I had no sufficient cash with me to buy another blazer.

What did I do?

I wanted the hunt to be over yesterday. So I steeled myself and hurried over to the next mall and to the train station. In a few moments, I found myself back in SM Megamall – like last week – but still at H&M.

Sunday Evening: There is!

Just before I began my hunt anew, I received a call from Arby, who cheered me on for the search. And there was also the green light from Pam and Kei that gave me extra fuel.

After a few frustrated sighs, I sighted it, hiding in plain sight. The blazer has the recommended color. It’s in the proper size. It has a good texture. There are lean lapels, two front buttons, and an American-style, which means one vent in the middle.

Cotton Shirt with Bow Tie and the H&M Merchandise Return Card
Cotton Shirt with Bow Tie and the H&M Merchandise Return Card

So what kind of blazer did I get? I leave that for another post.

Mannequin, Unmoved

Last Sunday was one of those rare times.

I was having dinner with Pam and Kei – which is a whole other story – and we were getting lost in the conversations that we were surprised to see that the staff from nearby establishments began closing their stores. Though we weren’t being harried out of the restaurant, we decided to leave. The mall was beginning to look sadder as the lights dimmed and more people exited.

As we were going down an escalator, we noticed a clothing store. Its lights were already out. No one was inside. Its doors were locked. And the mannequins sported veils that extended well past their waists.

The following day, I Googled the curious practice; hardly any significant results came, though the strange news that ISIS forbids that any depiction of the human form of both male and female be left without a cover made me wonder. So I asked friends. A number of them were of the practical opinion: keeps the dust away. That does make sense. But what doesn’t make sense is that the other objects on display, which are just as important, are left exposed.

Kei did mention last Sunday, as we were passing by the store, that some people believe that covering the mannequins keeps them from wandering about the mall—or something to that effect. Such a superstition exists?! Did that particular belief arise during the 80s when the “Mannequin” movies were released? Or is it older than pop culture? Have owners been covering (life-size) dolls ever since they were first made? Is it exclusive only to certain countries – because a number of online users are surprised about such a belief – and, if so, why just them?

Mystery of the covered mannequins
Mystery of the covered mannequins

Curiouser and curiouser ideas come to me. I wonder if particular stores actually follow that belief, even if they use headless mannequins.

Table spread

Hits and Misses | L and L Hawaiian Barbeque Restaurant and Starbucks

Even though I saw them last summer, it felt it had already been a decade.

That is why I was beyond excited to meet Pam and Kei again. This time, it was at the SM Megamall. The afternoon was spent swapping stories and making each other laugh while looking at hoodies, vases, and bed frames.

Our merienda was at Starbucks. Predictably, I ordered a weird combo: Raspberry Black Currant Blended Juice and Chicken Fajita Roll. Brain freeze aside, the juice gave me second wind. And the savory bread with its cheesy goodness was great comfort food. Personally, I wish it had more chicken for that fuller taste.

Raspberry Black Currant Blended Juice (Tall: Php 140.00) and Chicken Fajita Roll (Php 120.00)
Raspberry Black Currant Blended Juice (Tall: Php 140.00) and Chicken Fajita Roll (Php 120.00)

After the quick meal, we had another round of looking at home furnishings, centerpieces, and dress shirts. We decided to change court by going over to the next mall where we’d have dinner. While Pam and I know that our destination was at Shangri-la Plaza, we didn’t know which floor it was.  So our little search party went up each floor looking at possible spots at every turn. We didn’t look for long.

L and L Hawaiian Barbeque restaurant is true to its inspiration and theme. The menu came in the shape of a surfboard. The wooden interiors had the colors of the beach. And the mood was set by familiar Hawaiian tunes. And it would’ve gone the whole nine yards had the staff been dressed in something floral or tribal.

Kei had the BBQ Mix, Pam the Spam Musubi, and I the Chicken BBQ plus Extra Fried Egg. While waiting for the food, Kei looked up reviews of the place. I listened to a mix of records of hits and misses, which I think is why my expectations built. True enough, the chicken BBQ was the runaway hit – and only barely so! The sauce was quite addicting. But it didn’t have that rich or smoky kick I’m used to, which would’ve been awesome. Both Kei and I had unfinished plates while Pam’s was clean.

Hope they expand their menu and put some more oomph to the BBQ. Don’t get me: it is good. But it could be better. They could score a homerun if they would.

 

Starbucks
5th Floor, Mega Fashion Hall, SM Mega Mall, Ortigas, Mandaluyong City

 

L and L Hawaiian Barbeque
5th Floor, Shangri-la Plaza Mall, Wack-Wack Greenhills, Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong

White Hoodie with Black Details, Folded & Hung

The Hooded Figure

Hoodies were never part of my style until 2008.

What happened in 2008? Two things; first: I was officially transferred from the Human Resources Office to the Administration Office. Second: I began becoming a foodie. What do those things have to do with hoodies? I had names to live up to.

First: my post at the Administration required me to do particular jobs in and out of the office. These jobs resulted to people dubbing me with monikers that had to do with memos, retirement, and the end of all things fun at the office. Second: because of my fascination with food and restaurants, as well crave food and post photos of said food at ungodly of hours, I’ve been told I destroy diets. So, with the names and the complementary reputation I now have, it wouldn’t hurt to dress the part of Death, the original hooded figure.

Dressing up usually starts with me picking what shirt to wear. At times, it depends on what weather is inflicted on the city but most times it’s about what mood I have.

Then I jump to wear pants.

As I race downstairs, I mentally pick out which pair of shoes would go well with what I am wearing.

DSCF2605
[From left to right, clockwise] Indigo Azule, Boxfresh; Suede Chukka Boot, Quiksilver; S.C. Plex, Marc Ecko Unltd; Lynx Cyrcle, DC; Skytop Grey and Purple High Tops, Supra; American Flag Chuck Taylor, Converse; Marcus, Kickers; Dark Brown Zest, Boxfresh; Loafers, GBX
If I feel like it, I would even wear a cap!

DSCF2603
[From left to right, top then bottom] Pink Cap, Oxygen; Khaki Cap, Reebok; Red Cap, Bench; Dark Red Cap, Oxygen; Yellow Cap, Giordano; Blue Cap, Adidas
But all that is easily influenced by my hoodie of choice.

Friends barely take notice of the hoodie because they have seen me wear one so many times that it is typical that I do than I don’t. And because of what I wear, people expect me to be certain things. Then they have this surprised and/or stunned look on their faces when they learn of who I am as packaged so casually. It’s like disarming people just by getting a look of me and my hoodie.

 

[This blog post is a challenge of sorts, courtesy of fellow WordPress blogger and best friend extraordinaire Pam of Life of a Cuddle Bit.]

New York Cheesecake Pancakes, Php 285.00

Pancakes for Dessert | IHOP Mall of Asia

You know how sometimes you avoid going somewhere but still end up there?

Strangely, that was what was kind of happening when I was with Jake when we stopped walking in front of IHOP. Just to be clear, I have nothing against IHOP, not even their price range. But, ever since the Spiral Lunch incident of 2012 (which is a whole other story altogether), I have become more aware of people’s certain dining preferences. That’s why I was wary of suggesting IHOP to Jake. He wasn’t oppressive with the idea of having dinner there so he and I marched inside.

The wait staff directed us to one of the booths. And – this is on me – but I forgot the name of the waiter assigned to the table. He was nice and patient because it took a while before Jake made up his mind about his order. I wanted chicken and cheese, which was easy. And because it was a pancake place, I had to ask for pancakes. But the struggle was picking which one.

Yes, you read that right: pancakes for dinner!

Personally, breakfast food is so good, it should be served all day. That’s why I love places like IHOP because not only is the breakfast menu extensive, they serve it even at night. Had I been hungrier than I was, I would’ve asked for the Breakfast Beef Tapa because I am curious as to how it stands against other known tapa places.

First order to arrive was the drinks. Jake had the Iced Coffee (original) and I the Spashberry. Coffee was coffee but the Splashberry was like a cheer dance competition in my mouth, which easily died down when the cheerleaders were gone.

Iced Coffee - Original, Php 145.00; Splashberry, Php 175.00
Iced Coffee – Original, Php 145.00; Splashberry, Php 175.00

I loved the Parmesan Chicken Strips. Nice tender meat though I wish it had more cheese. Or there was a cheese shaker at the table. There was ketchup on our table so why not a cheese shaker? But the revelation during the meal was the tenderloin tips, which were juicy through and through. It was so great, it made me crave for the tapa all the more.

Here’s a predictable moment: I dipped a strip of chicken in the juices of the steak tips. It was a foreign medley. You have no idea what they’re singing about but it just sounds like a Billboard chart-topper, which you buy.

Of course, to cap off the meal, there was the dessert, which was the pancakes. Jake protested that I order actual dessert like cake or ice cream because the stack I ordered was already sweet. Albeit, it was not dessert, the New York Cheesecake Pancakes did not disappoint. Even Jake liked it to the point that he went mad with the four syrups. I combined all four. Maybe the proportions were off by some bit because it did not taste melodious, more like a ruckus for a chorus.

The fun thing about all that: I could do it again—the eating of pancakes and beef, I mean.

 

IHOP
Entertainment Hall, North Wing, SM Mall of Asia, Pasay City

Chase the Sun

I got a job but I’ve got a problem
‘Cause I eat too much and I can’t afford to solve it
When I’m savin’ up for that cruise to the Caymans
And I’m hittin’ the snooze so I can keep on dreamin’

Smashmouth is in my head.

Also, while one foot is in the office officially pounding away at the keyboard, the other is at home packing for the weekend. What do I plan to do? I will chase the sun.

  • Read a book
  • Dance like a maniac
  • Sing in the rain
  • Clean the room
  • Join a breakfast buffet
  • Convince friends to go on a road trip
  • Hop to the nearest island
  • Take the trains
  • Relax on a ferry
  • Ride a kalesa
  • Raid a friend’s room
  • Get lost in a book store or a book fair
  • Visit historical ruins
  • Stare in amazement at religious art in old churches and cathedrals
  • Travel to the heart of a forest or a mountain
  • Create a photo shoot
  • Have a free tour of the National Museum on Sunday
  • Attend a town fiesta
  • Do some charity work
  • Knock arrows
  • Fire bullets
  • Play board games
  • Marathon movies or anime
  • Sing at a videoke
  • Try a new restaurant
  • Attend a banchetto
  • Enjoy a large meal
  • Try an exotic dish
  • Weird out friends at the dinner table
  • Indulge the sweet tooth
  • Watch the famous Philippine sunset
  • Talk over coffee
  • Have a second dinner at midnight