Wednesday, June 27, 2012

'Cause It's the Way to Go!

Hakao my heart 
My family loves Chinese cuisine. So whenever we eat out, we always go for restaurants that serve congee, cold cuts, and the likes. One of our favorite places is Causeway Seafood Restaurant along Congressional Ave., Quezon City.

They serve a wide range of Chinese delicacies there from noodles (Their birthday noodles are the best!), Lo Han vegetables (Which is made up of straw mushrooms, crunchy water chestnut, and brocolli) up to various dim sum and dumplings they push along and offer in a cart as you eat. Some of the yummy choices are:

Can't choose which one to try first! 
Pork siomai- Juicy, tender pork meat with small pieces of chopped shitake mushrooms give this treat an edge over your typical siomai.
Seafood roll- This roll is made up of crab stick and perfectly steamed fish wrapped in lettuce that breaks apart and melts in your mouth.
Beancurd dumplings- You'll find just the right balance between sweet and savory in this pork and shrimp mixture with brown sauce.
Hakao- Our personal choice! Beautiful, chewy balled shrimp delicately enveloped in translucent wrapper.

Order several of these plus a mound of Yang Chao fried rice and voila! You have an instant oriental feast. Of course, like a true Asian tradition, drink plenty of their free tea to cleanse your palate afterwards. That's it. Lai cha lo! :P

Rating: 4.5/5


Causeway Seafood Restaurant - 7 Congressional Ave., Brgy. Bahay Toro, Quezon City

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Why I Went Away with Norah

Although summer's already over, the hot, humid weather seems to be a keeper in the Philippines. Good thing though, one of my secrets in beating the heat is right on my iPod! Yup! For me, Norah Jones' cool, soothing voice makes the actual weather a few degrees lower.

This pretty Indian-American's debut album in 2002, Come Away with Me, garnered eight Grammy awards just a year after! My Ate bought a copy of it and tried to influence me to listen as well. When I finally did, I wasn't at all surprised how she bagged those awards. She's really good. The album is a gem: All 14 tracks are well-written and replay-worthy as compared to some albums where there are only few promising songs.

I never thought I'd fall in love with jazz and blues. But Jones' converted me by her heartfelt, easy, soulful music. "Come Away with Me", and "Don't Know Why" are the most popular hits in her album but I also think highly of "Shoot the Moon", "One Flight Down", and "The Long Day is Over". All have a slow, melancholic melody but then again this record isn't meant to party with. It's more suitable as mood music for let's say, a long-drive, an afternoon at a cafe, or perhaps while soaking in the tub.

I bet when Norah invites you to come away with her, you'll be swept away like me, too!


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Tale of a Wedding Singer

Before June ends (and before I forget!), let me feature my all-time favorite wedding movie.

1st team-up of Adam & Drew
Six years before 50 First Dates, Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore proved us that they have wonderful chemistry onscreen. The story is about Robbie, the town's most famous wedding singer and his new friend, Julia the waitress. They are both engaged to marry different people but a turn of events leads them otherwise.

Set in the '80s (which explains the big hairdos and shoulder-padded clothes), it takes us back to the era of Madonna and David Bowie with its funky song selections.

This is such a funny and charming movie that my siblings and I know most of the lines by heart! Another highlight in this rom-com is 'Grow Old with You' which is composed and sung by Sandler himself. Who doesn't know this song, right?

Now, why don't ya grab your hairspray, wear those spandex pants, and be swooned by The Wedding Singer! :)


Monday, June 11, 2012

Aal Izz Well

Fahran, Rancho, & Raju
Or 'All is Well' is one of the songs in the movie '3 Idiots'. It's also the mantra repeated throughout the story. This Indian dramedy film released in 2009 was a critical and financial success. Loosely based on the novel 'Five Point Someone - What not to do at ITT!', it tells of three engineering students' journey through college life, family pressure, and self-discovery.

I almost didn't watch this due to its duration (almost three hours!). Fortunately, Martha persuaded me. At first I thought it will be silly but found it to be funny and heart-warming. Although at times the movie is a bit 'preachy', predictable, and you have to read the English subtitle, it's tolerable. What I love the most are the production numbers. In its true Bollywood form, the actors suddenly burst into song and dance performances. It boasts of fantastic soundtrack that range from sentimental 'Give Me Some Sunshine', 'Behti Hawa Sa Tha Won' and 'Jaane Nahin Denge Tujhe' to danceable tunes 'All is Well' and 'Zoobi Doobi'.
Singing in the rain, Bollywood style

I also like the road trip scenery especially the last destination called Pangong Tso. It's breathtakingly beautiful; very serene... The exact opposite of the big, loud, and bustling city I always associate with India.

So if you want to laugh, cry, and be inspired at the same time, give these '3 Idiots' a chance.

Rating: 4/5


Thursday, June 7, 2012

A Walk to Remember

Almost if not everybody has seen the 2002 film adaptation of this Nicholas Sparks' novel. I saw it a few times since I was in high school and have shed, in total, a mug of tears over it. It was only recently that I've actually read the book, though.

The story tells of Landon Carter, a 17-year-old rich boy and Jamie Sullivan, the preacher's daughter. When plain, unpopular Jamie, who always carry the Bible wherever she goes, asked Landon to promise not to fall in love with her, he instantly agreed. But God had a plan...
"When I told you that I prayed for you, what did you think I was talking about?" -Jamie Sullivan
There are certain differences between the book and the movie. In the book, Jamie was blonde but in the movie, she had brown hair. Also, upon reading it had I only understood why it's entitled 'A Walk to Remember'. On the wedding in the movie, Jamie walked perfectly down the aisle; In the book, she barely made it to the altar. She struggled but succeeded, making it in every way, a memorable walk.

Sparks wrote it simply but beautifully- No flowery words, no deep metaphors. Upon research, I found out that it was roughly based on Sparks' sick sister's real life. I guess every story has an underlying story then. This is an inspiring novel that literally comes with a warning from the start: First you will smile, and then you will cry.

And that, my friends, is exactly what I did.


Saturday, June 2, 2012

Great Beauty Finds for Under ₱100 (2012)

After last year's beauty finds, my sister and I felt it's time for a follow up entry. The items are still economical, easy to use, and effective. Here they are:

1. Glam Works Hair Luxe
This item has 4 variations: for Hair Fall Control, Color Treated Hair, Damaged Hair, and Intensive Care. The product comes in a hefty 650g container. I tried the one for damaged hair. You grab a handful of it and apply to previously shampooed hair. Cover with shower cap or steamer. Leave on for about 15 minutes. Rinse thoroughly. I like that it has a cool, menthol feel on the scalp. Also, you'll be left with soft, fragrant, and manageable hair. No instruction as to how often you can use it but I say twice a week is fine.

Price: ₱99
Uses: 25+
Shop at: Watson's Drug Store

2. St. Ives Fresh Skin Apricot Scrub
I've used it when I was in college but couldn't find one for a period of time. When I saw it again it has a new design but still in a 28g tube (there's a bigger size). You take a pea-size amount of the scrub and gently massage onto your moistened face. Rinse with water. You can use it as often as twice a day but I usually do it at night-time. It promises of mild exfoliation and I tell you, you'll have a silky, smooth feel of your face afterwards.

Price: ₱64.75
Uses: 30+
Shop at: The Landmark Department Store

3. Nivea Essential Care
I occasionally find my lips cracked and dry so I always have this product at hand. This lip moisturizer has jojoba oil and shea butter that protects your lips from drying out. It comes in a 4.8g lip applicator. Use whenever you can or apply liberally before going to sleep. You'll wake up with the softest lips imaginable.

Price: ₱84
Uses: 35+
Shop at: Watson's Drug Store

Now, don't you think that's value for your money? Until next time. Happy shopping! :)