Love Thy Mami

Pinoys love their noodles. There’s the usual Chinese-inspired pancit and its local variants. There’s the “Italian” spaghetti and its sweet PInoy counterpart. Of course, Pinoys of all ages love their bowl of piping hot noodle soup, the mami. Mami is a simple and filling dish of noodles served in broth, usually chicken or beef, with a generous sprinkling of spring onions. One can have it solo or served up with a dumpling or siopao. Other variants may include some slices of boiled egg and other meats. Some might serve it up with seafood. Mami is best enjoyed during rainy days or after an all-night drinking session. Personally, I can have this dish as a sub for my regular meal of rice and viand.

Noodle houses are common eating establishments in Metro Manila. There are the fast food type of places like Chow King, Hen Lin, Dimsum and Dumplings. Relatively newer places include Hap Chan, Luk Yuen, and David’s Tea House. There are also those little carinderias and evening street food carts that serve up the dish for those who want it after a long day. There are also the older Chinese places in Manila. One thing is certain; regardless of the scale of operations, people from different walks of life will have their own favorite place to eat noodles.


Charlie Wanton Special on Haig St. Mandaluyong City


If you ask previous (older) generations of Metro Manila residents to name the noodle place they enjoyed the most during their younger years, they’ll probably mention and rave about the old Ma Mon Luk.  I think the old Ma Mon Luk is still there in Quezon City and it still probably has its old fans. However, I’m sure that these old Ma Mon Luk holdovers might give their beloved restaurant a second thought once they give Charlie Wanton Special a try. I remember my dad taking me to a branch of this restaurant. I found their restaurant on Haig St. in Mandaluyong City a few years back. Since then I’ve made it a point to eat there whenever any of my appointments take me near the place.

What to order:

The Special Size Beef Wanton Mami. The noodles are cooked just right, not malabsak or mushy.  The serving comes with an extra small bowl of soup.  Bawal mabitin sa sabaw ang mahilig sa mami.

Choices, Choices

Possible Pairing:

Siomai. The only size there is BIG.

Siopao. Go for the Special Bola Bola. It’s big enough to be shared by two people.

What else to order:

The pancit and other Cantonese-inspired dishes appear as good bets for a possible pig-out session.

Preparation needed:

Sweat out whatever meal you had before trying to order what I listed above. That set is guaranteed to fill up a normal-sized Pinoy gut. That’s unless that Pinoy happens to be an eating contest champion with a strong obsessive craving for food.


P 200 should be more than enough to satisfy one hungry individual. Again, that’s unless that hungry individual happens to be an eating contest champion with a strong obsessive craving for food.




Mark your calendars!

Happy Shopping!

Bazaar Love at the World Trade


This is why we love Christmas.

Bazaar Love at the World Trade Center!!!



We hold hands as we walk through town. If anybody notices, nobody cares. I know we all like to think of the heart as the center of the body, but at this moment every conscious part of me is in the hand that he holds. It is through that hand, that feeling, that I experience everything else. The only things around me are the good things—The mesmerizing tunes spilling out from the open door of the record store; the older man and the even older woman sitting on a park bench, sharing a blintz, the 7-year-old leaping from sidewalk square to sidewalk square, teetering and shifting to avoid stepping on a crack.

The night before, I unlock my closet of origami paper—over a thousand sheets of bright square color. I turn them all into flowers. Every single one. I do not sleep. I do not take breaks. Because I know that as well as giving him the flowers, I am giving him the time it takes to make them. With every fold, I am giving him seconds of my life.
With every flower, part of a minute.
I tie as many as I can to pipe-cleaner stems.
I arrange bouquets and lattices, some topped by cranes.
In the morning, I garland them throughout the halls, centerpiecing it all at his locker, so he’ll know that they’re all for him.
Every minute, every crease, is a message from me.

I can honestly say that it’s been a long time since I was blown away by a ya love story. Especially something with an LGBT theme, so this was a pleasant surprise. I first read Levithan’s work in Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, and then I saw his collection of stories about love entitled “How they met and other stories”, and that book was just SO good, that after reading the first story at a bookstore, I just had to have it. So I could savor it more thoroughly. But that’s another story.

This book reminds me of the feeling of being in love, of how it feels when you see your crush, or when you begin to develop an explicable kind of fondness for someone. It has a lot of heart, and the sensation I got while reading it was akin to reading a modern-day fairytale, where you root for the hero, and pray that he gets his deserved happy ending.
It’s predictably saccharinely sweet, but never cloying, for Levithan has this love affair with words, as well.
I read it expecting something like boy meets boy, boy falls in love, struggles with some identity issues, overcomes it, and loves boy back, proudly.
But it ISN’T like that.

Levithan knows how cliche and predictable that is and so he takes a slightly different path for his story, something I never would have expected in your typical lgbt ya novel. But he doesn’t stray too far away from being a nice love story, and I loved every word. I cried in some parts (but that might be the pms sniffling), and got so giddy about others that I just had to finish it in one sitting so I can immediately pimp it to my officemates. This is the kind of book meant to be shared right away, so everyone can just bask in the afterglow and then maybe burp rainbows, in that happy, goodvibes sort of way.



Put Her Records On!

After a stressful day at work, listening to a soulful jazz music not only relaxes your body, but it also calms your mind, heart and soul as well. This is what Corrine Bailey Rae‘s music has done to me.

Her soft, serene voice alone is music to my ears. The jazzy beats and orchestraic piano and synths made it an eargasmic tune altogether. Her “Put your Records On” single is her biggest hit to date. But a lot of other songs in this album are also favorites of mine. Like a Star, Trouble Sleeping and Enchantment, to name a few.

I always carry her CD in my bag. I find it comforting that she’s there. So whenever I feel stressed or pressured at work, I just put her records on and voila! all negative vibes are gone.Yes, this is what she does to me. 🙂




You know how they say that people like Dan Brown’s books because they make them feel intelligent?
Tana French can do that, but with prettier prose but with more sympathetic and flawed characters, more No-I-Can’t-Langdon-fly- humanity.

Rife with descriptions, no whambam surprises here. Rather she sneaks surprises in setting descriptions and subtly weaves metaphors within metaphors:

“He told me about old herb gardens: how carefully they were arranged to make sure that each plant had everything it needed to flourish, how perfectly they balanced sight and scent and use, practicality and beauty, without ever allowing one to be compromised for another’s sake. Hyssop to loosen chest colds or cure toothaches, he said camomile in a poultice to reduce inflammation or in a tea to prevent nightmares; lavender and lemon balm for strewing to make the house smell sweet, rue and burnet in salads. ‘We’ll have to try that sometime,’ he said, ‘a Shakesperean salad. Tansy tastes like pepper, did you know that? I thought it had died off long ago, it was brown and brittle, but when I cut right back to the roots, there it was: just a tinge of green. It’ll be all right now. It’s amazing, how stubbornly things survive against incredible odds; how irresistibly strong it is, the drive to live and grow…”

or this:

The rhythm of his voice washed over me, even and soothing as waves; I barely heard the words. “Time,’ I think he said somewhere behind me, or maybe it was ‘thyme’, I’ve never been sure. “Time works so hard for us, if only we can let it.”



Shui Spa’s “Hilot” Massage

On the corner of Perea Street in Makati is a quaint “Shui Spa” (beside Mom & Tina’s Bakeshop). I avail of their Shui Hilot whole body massage and Dagdagay Foot Therapy promo, from, for only Php255 (Regular rate is Php825).

Shui Spa offers the Philippine traditional massage, hilot. They also offer ventosa therapy and even Vinyasa Yoga.

Entering Shui is like entering into a bahay-kubo, with floors in banig. It’s a very small place so you’ll hear even the slightest whispers. I don’t find their beds comfortable too. Not what I expected. But I did enjoy the massage. I recommend you avail of their home service massage instead so you’d be more relaxed and be able to enjoy their hilot massage more.


Shui Spa is located at G/F Tropical Palms Bldg., Dela Rosa St. cor. Perea St., Legaspi Village, Makati City.

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