Posts Tagged ‘starbucks


Food Trip: Los Banos Part I

1999 or 2000? I cannot remember. Our retreat has to be one of our high school highlights but for some reason, all I remember are the astonished faces of the Canossian sisters during meal time. Breakfasts meant hotdogs. Plateful of red ones. There are 48 of us in our class; 5 males and the rest of are females. I can tell some of the nuns are thinking: “Gone?! The hotdogs are gone? Just like that??!” Yes. Gender differences do not exist in our section when it comes to eating. I am quite thankful that such pattern continues in all the groups I have been part of, including college friends, graduate school dormmates and workplace colleagues. Speaking of college friends, our group had a get-together last June 18 in UP Los Banos or Elbi to most alumni. I cannot remember the last time I have been  there so the food establishments left and right is just delightful. It is not hard to imagine Elbi as a foodie paradise. The landmark of the road leading to the campus is Jollibee and the last thing one sees is as one enters its premises is McDonald’s near the main  gate. In between these fastfood giants are bakeries, cafes, kiosks and a smorgasbord of eateries. Is the food scene in UPLB better than UP Diliman considering there are iconic places in the latter such as Rodic’s? Been living near UP Diliman for the last 5 years, and I came up with the conclusion that in terms of food, UPLB wins but in terms of FebFair and Christmas-related activities, UP Diliman is the clear winner. I guess it has to do with the place. One ride from UP Diliman and its off to Trinoma or some other malls. But Elbi is a different animal. The shopping centers are smaller and offers limited choices so the mom-and-pop eateries continue existing despite numerous competitions. Andrew Zimmern has a thing for stubborn food places or establishments refusing to die in the face of globalization. Students are one of the reasons the Papus remain strong: cheaper and more accessible. If schedule permits: RETURN TO YOUR COLLEGE CAMPUSES AND EAT. Eating more than nourishing and replenishing nutrients. It is a form of social bonding. Trust a group of sociologists to argue in such a manner.


The contribution of Italians to the fascinating sphere of duos is pizza and pasta. A couple of words denoting feast and carbo-loading. It is not surprising rice-addicted Filipinos have taken a liking to pasta, as seen in the various Italian restaurants throughout the Philippines. It is the sauce-dependent cousin of our staple carbo food. Apparently, there are several pizza-pasta places in Elbi. (Thank goodness, it is non-existent when I was still a student or else budgeting will make no sense.) Bonito’s at UPLB Grove is one of such restaurant. Pardon the ventilation because the food is REALLY GOOD. The menu gets high marks for noting their recommendations. Just a tip: it is not a bad thing to follow their recommendations because it is more or less a great choice.



Thick slices of potatoes and topped with generous amounts of Parmesan cheese served in a wax paper-covered wooden board. The sauce is dispensable. This appetizer is one of the restaurant’s recommendations. I just had to order it. Good decision.




Compared to the Primavera of Cibo this is  WAY CHEAPER. Yeah it is Cibo but still.  Like the usual Primavera, the dish consists of pasta and fresh vegetables. Onions. Carrots. Capers. Olives. Tomatoes. Lots of tomatoes. The icing on the cake? The serving is even bigger than Cibo. Is it too much to ask Bonito’s to create their version of Spaghettini Al Tris Di Formaggio? Please. Please. Please.




Too much ice.



Before deciding to fulfill our dimsum needs in this steaming place, there has been some sort of discussion among the group. Papu’s or Siomai Food House? Both offers siomai. The former being the more popular one and the latter is the rising star. Yielding to the decision of our bloc leader is never difficult. He lives in Los Banos AND WE DON’T. So Siomai Food House or SFH. The argument is SFH tastes better than Papu’s ever since the latter decided to branch out and mass produced. The place is LITERALLY STEAMING from all the cooking siomai. There are several choices on the menu, including a fried version of their siomai, but the group stuck to a strict steamed siomai diet. 16 orders of siomai. That is 16 x 3 = 48 dumplings for 6 people.


3 pieces for Php17

Just the right size. No aftertaste. Real pork. So explain the B+ rating. I am not a huge fan of pork siomai because I prefer either shrimp or beef. Then there is the case of siomai wrapper that keeps falling off. Blame it on its hot-off-the-steamer nature. Several steaming siomai packed in a single platter – of course, some of its wrappers will depart the filling. But the SPICY sauce? Damn. Pass the sauce! Plus check out the price one more time. The Coke Sakto I bought is more of Coke Kulang in the presence of 48 pieces of dumplings.



One of the trends in UPLB is the emergence of the cafe culture. No Starbucks or Seattle’s Best but home-grown cafes. Boston Cafe occupies the first floor of a building housing several food establishments. As one enters the place, it is quite obvious that it tries its best to Starbucks-fied its ambiance. Required cafe music. Several couches and chairs. Nice lighting. Wireless Internet. Open 24 hours. Then there are Elbi touches including several copies of UPLB Perspectives and UPLB-related bulletin board. Three points missing: the aroma of brewing coffee, better ventilation and a more UPLB feel. It is too organize to feel like a real campus cafe. Like the academic freedom vibe of UPLB is missing. Better if the bulletin board also includes a freedom board where students can doodle stuff such as poems, messages and the likes. Since there is a conscious effort (Elbi sandwiches) to market it as a UPLB hangout despite the name (Boston Cafe?!) then it should go all out looking and feeling like one. But props to the wireless internet (though I was not able to check if it is working fine) and the 24 hour-service. Imagine Boston Cafe on a Hell Week. I bet it’s insane.



Is there doubt I will not order Elbiccino? A coffee blend named after UPLB. No doubt I will take a cup of it. So based on Elbiccino, how does UPLB taste? Bittersweet. Hints of caramel. Chunks of coffee jellies for a surprise end. I miss UPLB. There. I said it.


Note: a couple of months to go before Part II

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Live-Blogging: The NBA Finals 2011 Game 6

9:39AM WIN OR DIE. Dallas Mavericks leads with seven after a Shawn Marrion put-back.

9:45AM FINALLY brought the Starbucks tumbler I have been meaning to use in the office.

9:49AM LeBron James commits an offensive against – of all people – JJ Barea. The hell is he thinking?!

9:51AM Dirk Nowitzki makes a three-point basket gives Mavs a 6-point lead in the third chapter of the all-important Game 6. 72-56.

9:52AM James gets the ball but loses the ball in the fast break. Mavs last touch. Wade DOING all his best to give his team a fighting chance. He seems to be losing his temper after getting called an offense against Brian Cardinal. Keep it cool. Lazy Butt James is having another personal meltdown.

9:57AM Gloria Estafan rooting for Miami. Let us hear it from the original Miami Sound Machine! Gloria Estefan>Jennifer Lopez.

9:58AM Udonis Haslem sinks both freebies cuts lead to 5.

10:00AM Black coral probe in the Senate. Haslem rebound results to another offensive put-back. Jason Terry answers back with a high-looping drive. Looking for Tyson Chandler. He’s sitting in the bench after committing 4 fouls.

10:01AM Juwan Howard fouls Marion. Freebies. 76-71, Mavs.

10:03AM 58% foul-throw shooting for the Heat. Jason Kidd punishes them with a 3 on the other end. Score stands at 79-71 for the Mavs. James misses first but makes second freebie. Awful shooting.

10:05AM Twitter Trending: Dear Dirk. Sample: “Dear Dirk, with all these bricks, you could start working on a house for someone.” FUNNY.

10:09AM Erik Spoelstra emphasizing MENTAL STABILITY. Hoping James is listening. Haslem gets fouled. 81-73, Mavs.

10:11AM Wade making things happen. Drives strong gets fouled but misses a freebie. Cursed or something? 81-75, Mavs.

10:12AM Mario Chalmers fishes a foul on Nowtzki. Shooting freebies. SLOWLY CLIMBING. Doing it despite a mental fart from James.

10:13AM Wade is DOING EVERYTHING. But Barea SILENCES THE CROWD. Then gets the rebound on the end of the court. Terry steals the ball. Haslem fouls him.

10:19AM Stopping. Popping. TERRY SCORES. Double-digit lead. Heat turns the ball over.

10:20AM James MISSES EVERYTHING. Did not hit even the back iron. Mavs side: Barea whizzes past the defense for another basket.

10:25AM If James misses that offensive put-back, the Heat should sell his contract for a discount after the series.

10:26AM Nowitzki scores. Wade gets stripped. Velociraptor recovers the ball and scores plus a foul. Chalmers steals the ball. Forces a basket. Chandler blocks him. Mavs ball.


10:34AM The hell is Chalmers thinking? Nowitzki scores.

10:35AM James did not fought for the loose ball. Michael Jordan is LAUGHING SOMEWHERE. “He is supposed to inherit MY MANTLE?!”


10:37AM “LeBron is terrible!” — Joseph Yeo


10:40AM James bricks a three. Some fans are leaving the arena. The bloggers WILL BE HAVING A FIELD DAY.

10:41AM Dear Dirk: Congratulations!

10:42AM 18.8 seconds to go before LEBRON JAMES CRY.

10:43AM Chalmers hits a three after a Spoelstra time-out. Heat putting up some press. TOO LATE. TOO FREAKIN’ LATE.

10:44AM There it goes. MAVS ARE THE CHAMPS!

10:50AM David Stern presenting the Larry O’ Brien and the Bill Russell MVP. Dirk deserves it even of he bricked a lot of shots tonight. Rick Carlisle Oh. Mark Cuban requested the Stern to dedicate the their first championship to Mavs first owner. CLASSY.

10:52AM “This team has so much heart. So much dedication.” — Mark Cuban

10:53AM “I have an announcement: our owner is now available for interviews.” — Rick Carlisle. THEORY: Successful coaches has a CELEBRITY LOOK-ALIKE. Phil Jackson = Jerry Garcia. Pat Riley = Gordon Gekko. Rick Carisle = Jim Carrey.

10:54AM Dirk wins it.

10:56AM “I just can’t believe the journey.” — Jason Kidd. Congratulations. Your career did not Malone.


  • “Congrats Dallas!” — Maria Menounos
  • “Y’all gonna let me have it. Bring it. See @KingJames and @dwadeofficial this what happens when I believe. Still proud of y’all.” — Marlon Wayans
  • “Congratulations Dallas Mavericks.” — Donna Brazile
  • “Not your fault Spoelstra. LeBron just can’t do it.” — Boyet Sison
  • “The Decision is history. Let the Derision begin.” — Andy Borowitz
  • “Dallas! Kidd gets his first chip. Hell. Yes.” — Ali Peek
  • “Shunga mo, LeBron. Umuwi ka na!” — IC Mendoza
  • “Oh well. I’m happy for Jason Kidd. The Kidd is now a man.” — Paolo Valenciano
  • “Dirk, Kidd, Terry and Barea just showed everyone the kind of heart you need to have to win a championship. Congratulations, Dallas. 105-95.” — Chesca Litton
  • “Iiyak na si Dirk.” — Gabe Mercado
  • “Can I say that again? NO RING FOR THE KING. Mission accomplished. Thank you Mavericks.” — The Professional Heckler
  • “Dirk. Damn. So much respect for him now.” — Nic Belasco
  • “Congrats to my wife and her favorite, the Mavs.” — Ogie Alcasid
  • “People be sippin’ on that haterade. Don’t hate the player. Hate the team that didn’t win.” — Demi Lovato
  • “Congrats to the Dallas Mavs! They played with Inigo Montoya perseverance. Dirk has a kind energy. I LOVE RAISIN OATMEAL COOKIES!” — Josh Groban
  • “What an awesome NBA season. Didn’t expect the outcome to be like this. But that’s why I love the game.” — Brian Viloria
  • “Miami Cold.” — Matt Besser
  • “Still proud of you, Coach Spo! Heat will be back. Hopefully, wiser, stronger and tougher.” — Noli Eala
  • “Congrats to the World Champion Dallas Mavericks!” — Kenny Smith
Let us end this amazing basketball season with this video.
Jason Segel: “There is no way that LeBron will ever be Jordan. Call me when LeBron has six championships.”
Kid: “That’s YOUR ONLY argument?”



Post-script:  “In the movie theater, I put my phone on LeBron mode so it wouldn’t RING.” — YouTube user

…and a FUNNY blog post from The New York Times.


Shopping: A Planner for the Hopeless Romantics

Traditional planners have since taken a backseat with the massification of electronic organizers. The proliferation of smart phones with its infinite applications have replaced colorful Post-its and desk calendars. Still, paper products command a niche market because of its old school charm. Moleskine faithfuls continue to thrive because of its classic products. Coffeeholics take additional cups during Yuletide season in order to grab stickers for their annual Starbucks planners. Then there is the Relaks, Puso Lang ‘Yan, Malayo sa Bituka 2011 Planner. The name itself is a neon signwarning for : “Brace yourself for pages and pages of cool stuff.” This is the perfect gift for hopeless romantic friends. Statistics confirms that Filipinos are hopeless romantics. Love not just makes their world go round but it shakes them inside their cores like a classic Polaroid. A decade ago, a Gallup poll found out that seven out of ten Filipinos believe in love at first sight. Is it still a surprise that the highest-grossing Filipino movie of all-time is a rom-com of the first order?

A couple of weeks ago, I attended the Noel Bazaar in the World Trade Center hunting for this product. I could not find Booth 18 and was about to give up. Then there was this stall selling flats and next to it are the the planners.  Treasures! The planner is well-designed and well-researched. Researched?! Yes. It takes research and a life-long commitment to pop culture to remember that the 13th of August marks the television premiere of T.G.I.S. That Joe Jonas broke up with Taylor Swift in 27 seconds on October 8. Nice paper. Just the right size. Enough writing space. Undeniable laugh trip. A worth it gift for not just for hopeless romantics but for anyone who deserves some Christmas love.

The world needs more wit. Let us help spread it.

Just a fair warning to possessors of the planner. It is a tool for catharsis and not a magical antidote to a terrible love life. Howard Carter did not heed the curse inscribe in a tablet of Tutankhamen. He died.

Space for a detailed account of the disease afflicting the person. “Tinext ang close friend dis-oras ng gabi ng isang madramang tanong na kung di ka lang kaibigan e nasuntok ka na ng bagong gising (e.g. ‘Pangit ba ako?)” is a gem.

Fill-in-the blanks love letter is a genius.

The horoscopes are precious humor that never stop. “Huwag kang masyadong kampante, hindi ka kagandahan.” I love insult humor!

Read the scanned coupon. That is enough reason to purchase this planner.

Huge film fan that I am, I had a great time guessing the faceless movie posters that serve as monthly covers. Test your rom-com IQ. I added quotes from the films as clues.

Movie 1: ___ ___ ___

So Sick of Love Line: “Don’t ever think it was a mistake to choose to find yourself, to choose to love yourself a little bit more.”

Movie 2: ___ _ ___

So Sick of Love Line: “And when I shall die, take him and cut him up in little stars, and he will make the face of heaven so fine that all the world will fall in love with night and pay no worship to the garish sun.”

Movie 3: ___ ___

So Sick of Love Line: “I’m just a girl, standing in front of a boy, asking him to love her.”

Movie 4: ___

So Sick of Love Line: “I’d never given much thought to how I would die but dying in the place of someone I love seems like a good way to go.”

Movie 5: ___ ___ ___ ___

So Sick of Love Line: “Don’t you think it’s unfair. Mahal kita pero paano kung ‘di ko kayang pantayan ‘yung kaya mo? I’m doing my best. I’m giving my best. I’m sorry if it’s not good enough. I’m sorry if I’m not good enough. Sorry if I have disappointed you.”

Note: Planner costs 350 pesos. Become a fan of Witty Will Save the World Facebook Page for more information. E-mail: Mobile Phone: +63 906 4652191

my read shelf:
Jowana Bueser's book recommendations, liked quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists (read shelf)

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