Friday, July 30, 2021

Wednesday, June 30, 2021

What's in a (Business) Name? Ciento Siete

Get your barbecue and refreshments here!

Spotted along P Remedio St, Mandaue City

For more amusing business names, please visit Go Random.

Thursday, June 3, 2021

Trips in the Time of Pandemic

Have you been holed up at home during this pandemic? Ha! I have taken trips!

Trips to the Supermarket

I go on a trip once or twice a month to the supermarket. It is only during this pandemic that I had taken an interest in cooking. Because I miss the taste of Japan and South Korea, I tried to make some simple Japanese and Korean dishes by following recipes from the internet. After trying several random recipe websites, I have found my go-to sites: Just One Cookbook (for Japanese recipes) and Maangchi (for Korean recipes). Luckily, finding Japanese and Korea ingredients in Cebu isn’t too challenging—there are several Japanese and Korean mini groceries in Cebu City, and even local supermarkets have an aisle filled with Asian items.

Hijiki Salad


Algamja jorim

Trips Down Memory Lane

When not taking a trip to the supermarket (or to recipe websites), I take trips down memory lane. I open online album after online album (or folders and folders of photos I have not posted in my facebook page) and relive memories. But, still, the old school part of me wants to see printed photos. Photobook Philippines to the rescue! Photobook has an easy to use website (they have an app, but I haven’t tried it; and, no, this is not a sponsored post) with different album sizes to fit the budget, and dozens of templates to choose from. Once you have picked your album size and template, you just drag and drop your photos. You can also add text, backgrounds, cliparts, and even change the layout.

I have spent many hours (days!) on their website creating photobooks of my travels (so far I have made nine small photobooks of trips from as old as 12 years ago!) and have spent many weeks—from 3 to 4 weeks (the photobooks are printed and shipped from Kuala Lumpur)—waiting for my photobook(s) to be delivered to my doorstep. And once they're in my hands, I flip page after page, and take a trip down memory lane again.

Some of my photobooks

What trips have you taken during this pandemic?

Sunday, May 30, 2021

What's in a (Business) Name? Ciento Seis

 Rendezvous at the meat shop.

Spotted along P Remedio St, Mandaue City

For more amusing business names, please visit Go Random.

Saturday, May 15, 2021

Front Desk

Front Desk
Kelly Yang

Front Desk is a middle grade book (for 8- to 12-year-olds). I am decades beyond this age range, but I still enjoyed reading this beautifully written story about a Chinese family who immigrated to the US and had to work and live in a motel (most of the events in the book are based on the author's experience!). The book teaches about prejudice and poverty. Whether you're 8 or 88, read this book.

For more book recommendations, please visit Go Read.

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

The Miracles of the Namiya General Store

The Miracles of the Namiya General Store
Keigo Higashino

The Miracles of the Namiya General Store is another book whose movie adaptation I had seen before reading the book; the other was Before the Coffee Gets Cold. And like Before the Coffee Gets Cold, Namiya is a fantasy story. The synopsis (taken from Goodreads): "When three delinquents hole up in an abandoned general store after their most recent robbery, to their great surprise, a letter drops through the mail slot in the store's shutter. This seemingly simple request for advice sets the trio on a journey of discovery as, over the course of a single night, they step into the role of the kindhearted former shopkeeper who devoted his waning years to offering thoughtful counsel to his correspondents."

It is a beautiful story that I highly recommend. If you're not into books (then why are you here? Haha!), then at least watch the film adaptation or adaptations—there is a Japanese movie and a Chinese movie (I have only seen the Japanese adaptation).

For more book recommendations, please visit Go Read.

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Before the Coffee Gets Cold

Before the Coffee Gets Cold
Toshikazu Kawaguchi

There's a cafe in Tokyo where one can go back in time, but one must come back to the present before the coffee gets cold. The book is written simply and every chapter (there are four) is about a different customer who travels back in time.

This is the first contemporary novel written by a Japanese author that I did not find boring or weird (but then I have only read a few books by contemporary Japanese authors). The story was very interesting for me that I decided to read the book eventhough I had already seen the movie, hence, know the story. (I found out about the book, Before the Coffee Gets Cold, as the credits to the Japanese movie "Cafe Funiculi Funicula" rolled.)

I am looking forward to reading the second book Before the Coffee Gets Cold: Tales from the Cafe, but don't have a copy yet. Please drop a comment if you know where I can find one (book or ebook).

For more book recommendations, please visit Go Read.

Friday, April 30, 2021

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Soy Happy with Happy Soy

I like taho—sweet silken tofu with syrup and tapioca balls peddled on the street in the morning. But, even before this whole covid mess, I rarely got to drink (or is it eat?) taho because I was seldom out on the street early. Now that covid has kept me in the house most of the time, the chances of finding taho was very slim. Until I saw a friend's facebook story of taho and we got a taho conversation rolling which led to her suggesting I try Happy Soy for the reason that it was located in my city (Mandaue City). (In other words, the delivery fee won't, hopefully, be more than the taho itself. She herself hadn't tried Happy Soy!)

Taho peddled on the street can be had for 5 or 10 pesos a cup. A very small cup. Happy Soy's classic taho costs Php 60, are in 12 oz cups, and organic to boot! The dark brown sugar syrup is not too sweet, the taho oh so silky.

Classic taho in a 12 oz. cup

They also sell taho in even bigger servings. A 900-gram tub (good for 5-6 persons) of classic taho costs Php300. It includes a 330ml bottle of dark brown sugar syrup and 12 oz. cup of sago. Plus a free 12 oz. cup of good-to-go taho. 900 grams not enough for you? They also have a bucket of taho good for 8 to 10 persons for Php450!

900-gram tub of taho and a free 12 oz good-to-go taho

Happy Soy also has taho in other syrup flavors for Php 70 per 12 oz. cup. The syrup flavors are strawberry, blueberry, banana, and wintermelon. (I have yet to try these.)

The shelf life of Happy Soy's taho is one week (in chiller). But, I don't think you have to worry about that, because I guarantee, a tub won't last a day. Case in point: My family and I consumed three tubs of taho in less than three days! It was so good!!

Saturday, April 3, 2021

The Strange Library

The Strange Library
Haruki Murakami

The Strange Library is about a boy who goes to a library (one of the reasons why I wanted to read this book...because it takes place in a library!) and gets led to a reading room deep in the library where he meets some strange characters. This book is written by Haruki Murakami, a very popular author. Very, very popular.

I have tried reading several of Haruki Murakami's books but, after reaching the last page, was always at a loss why he was so popular—all his fiction (or at least those that I have read) were just too weird for me. Except for The Strange Library, which, to me, still fell under the weird category, but was somehow engaging—I kept turning (or swiping, because I was reading it in its ebook format) the page. A pretty interesting story (but if there was any lesson in the story, I admit, I did not get it).

For more book recommendations, please visit Go Read.

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Sunday, February 28, 2021

Saturday, February 27, 2021

A Geek in Korea

A Geek in Korea
Daniel Tudor

I miss traveling. And if you follow my blog, you probably have an idea that two of my favorite countries to visit are South Korea and Japan. During the last few trips, I have taken to buying a book or two as a souvenir.  A Geek in Korea is one such book, bought in autumn of 2018. I am embarrassed to say, I only read it three years later.

A Geek in Korea covers a variety of topics about modern day South Korea—topics such as food, religion, politics, work, music. This was published in 2014, and reading this in 2021, I could say some information may already be outdated. Nevertheless, it was an interesting peek into South Korean culture. And it made me miss my Korean friends.

For more book recommendations, please visit Go Read.

Sunday, February 21, 2021


John Grisham

Partners was released in 2016 as an ebook and is a prequel to John Grisham's 2015 novel Rogue Lawyer. Rogue Lawyer is about Sebastian Rudd, a lawyer who takes cases no other lawyer would take, and Partners is about how Rudd met Partner, his bodyguard.

At only 60 pages, Partners is a short, quick read and a good one to start with if you'd like a taste of John Grisham.

I haven't picked up a Grisham book in a long time and Partners reminded me of why I liked to read Grisham's novels. This ebook made me blow the dust away from the Grisham books that have been sitting untouched in my shelf for years...

For more book recommendations, please visit Go Read.

Saturday, January 30, 2021

What's in a (Business) Name? Ciento Dos

An Eatalian Italian restaurant for sure!

Spotted in Oakridge, AS Fortuna St., Mandaue City.

 For more amusing business names, please visit Go Random.

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

The Best of Mang Ambo

The Best of Mang Ambo, Books 1 and 2
Larry Alcala

People my age or older best remember Larry Alcala for his newspaper cartoon in the 1980s to 90s called Slice of Life. It was one of those things I looked forward to in the look for Larry Alcala's face in the day's Slice of Life. I was pleasantly surprised to find books by Larry Alcala. The books are not compilations of his Slice of Life cartoons, but of his Mang Ambo comic strips. The comic strips depict barrio life. So relatable, it often made me smile. These comic strips were from the 1960s, but the stories presented in the comic strips transcend time.

PS. The books are available from New Day Publishers.

For more book recommendations, please visit Go Read.