A Very Happy Birthday @ Solstice by Cafe Ilustrado, 8 Rockwell

Last Thursday (April 19) was a time to C.E.L.E.B.R.A.T.E. 

  1. It as the birthday of my blogger friend, Aldous. He is also the founder of #teamaldous, a food blogging team that I am a part of.  Happy birthday!! 🙂
  2. He celebrated his birthday with #teamadlous at Solstice by Cafe’ Ilustrado.

The outside of the restaurant builds excitement and anticipation even before you enter. The all-glass facade creates a chic, NY-type look, which I feel, is very attractive to bystanders in the area.

Go in and you’ll find yourself in the middle of a modern, but classily designed restaurant. It has a very accommodating feel, but at the same time, its design practically tells you that you’re in for a gastronomic treat.

Now for the food…

Did the food live up to the restaurant?

Definitely!!!!

This is one of my favorite food blogging events, simply because the food was amazing, and they served a lot of it [brb, going jogging!].

Hummus
Photo by Janessa Erin

One of the first things I tasted was the Truffled Hummus with Homemade Sourdough Pita and Crudites. Warning: it is highly addicting. I had to stop myself from eating too much before the main courses arrived. The dip goes well with either the pita or the vegetables. It could make a good beer pairing in my opinion.

Aligue
Photo by Janessa Erin

Their Aligue Pasta is to die for, though it’s better if the dish is divided and conquered.  I love how the pasta has both the fresh taste of the sea with aligue and the sweet taste of tomato.

Adobong Bagnet
Photo by Janessa Erin

Bagnet with KBL (Kamatis, Bagoong and Lasuna) Sauce is waaay good. Give it a go if you need comfort food after a long day at the office.  Its salty-sour Filipino taste will get you every time!

Coconut Water With Strawberry
Photo by Janessa Erin

My drink was Coconut Water with Strawberry. When I saw this in the menu I was kind of skeptical if it would taste good, but I’m so glad it’s what I ordered! The milky sensation of the coconut water goes perfectly with the sweet, refreshing taste of the strawberries. It’s perfect for the hot, summer weather that we have here in the Philippines.

Finally, there’s dessert. Go for their Caramel Macchiatto cake, which is basically like the coffee drink morphed into a cake. I love it! ❤

About Solstice: 

Solstice Bistro and Boulangerie is now called Solstice by Ilustrado, a merger of two great culinary brands offering modern continental and heritage Filipino-Spanish cuisine. This is coupled with a well-curated selection of wines and spirits located at the ground floor of 8 Rockwell, one of Makati’s chic urban communities.

A merger of two well-loved culinary brands.

Solstice draws inspiration from the success of One Way Restaurant, once touted as among Makati’s best-kept secrets. Ilustrado, on the other hand, brings with it its rich history and heritage, with its status as one of the well-established household dining destinations in Manila’s famed walled city. The new management has taken this as a challenge as they reinvented the restaurant’s menu just this year adding new recipes and covering multiple cuisines. They also complemented the refreshed menu with a selection of fine wines carefully chosen to complete the gastronomic experience.

For Reservations, please call (+632) 802 1891 or (+63 977 748 8861), from 11AM to 11PM daily. Follow @solsticebyilustrado on Instagram, and like facebook.com/SolsticebyIlustrado/ for updates.

Reflections Over Lent

Jesus
image from:  Pintrest

“You have made us for yourself, and our hearts are restless, until they can find rest in You.”- St. Augustine

by Jel Tordesillas

Lent comes and goes every year like clockwork. Together with my family, I do the traditional Bisita Iglesia  and Easter Vigil, and other Holy Week activities mostly in our parish.

As I come from a very religious family, I have no choice but to do these church activities.
But what meaning do these things have if my heart is not in it?

This year, I remind myself that these aren’t merely church activities. They are gifts from God reminding me of what God had to go through so that I could live for Heaven. Before Christ died and rose for the world, Heaven was out of my reach. Now that attaining it has become a gift so generously given by God, what am I doing?

Here are some of the things that I have reflected on. Maybe it can help you in your Holy Week contemplation. 

Why do I sometimes look at hearing mass and saying the rosary as a chore that I painstakingly have to go through instead of something I should be all to joyous to do? 

Why do I sometimes think that my religion is holding me back from living, when it fact is something that should help me live my life in the fullest possible way?

Why do I sometimes feel like putting Christ in a drawer, just listening to his voice whenever I feel like it?

Why do I feel like I’m sometimes more attached to my worldly life than my spiritual life?

Lent is a time to remind us that Christ should be the center of our lives. It’s as black and white as that, there is no grey. We cannot defend ourselves by saying that, “We are only human.” We are humans who are children of God. We are humans who can be lifted by God to be spiritually good and worthy to be called his children. Yes, being human makes us week, but our spirit can make us holy.

When we choose to listen to God, rather than the evil in the world, everything falls into place, everything makes sense. It’s home.

Like the prodigal son who went away because he fell in love with worldly things, we tend to run away too. Now, Lent is giving us a chance to return to God. To stop, examine our lives, and ask ourselves—have I strayed away from my home?

What kind of life am I living?

Am I living the kind of life that Christ lovingly died for? 

 

Have a blessed Holy Week everyone.

 

Tim Hortons in Manila! (Yaaaaas!)

P1
Happily indulging in a Tim Hortons Iced Latte.

Who’s tried it?

Earlier this year, I have had the pleasure of trying the newly opened Tim Hortons at Uptown Mall, Taguig. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that—1.) they served sandwiches! and 2.) their prices were relatively affordable. I also love the cheery ambiance of the store.

It is always exciting to try something new. (It’s kind of my thing, which is why I am a writer and blogger. haha!).

While my personal order was their Iced Latte (which was good by the way), I couldn’t help sipping from my cousins’s Frozen Hot Chocolate. That, you have got to try!

Eating at Tim Horton’s was a yummy and satisfying experience. There will surely be a next time!

View their menu at zomato.

5 Reasons To Watch, “I’m Drunk, I Love You”

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image from: imdb.com

5 Reasons To Watch, “I’m Drunk, I Love You”
NOOD NA!
By Jel Tordesillas

 Na-friend zone ka na ba? Ako rin.

…also that dude from the Jollibee commercial. <insert breaking heart>

Ang sakit noh?

I think every one of us, girls, can relate to Maja Salvador character in the movie—a girl who has always been in love with her college best friend (played by Paolo Avelino). In the movie, the two go on a road trip to La Union to settle their feelings for each other.

This mysterious desire to see that kind of heartbreak played on the big screen by actors I love is one of the reasons why I am looking forward to what looks like an indie masterpiece.

Here are five others.

 

#hugot #hugot #hugot

“Ikaw nalang yung umaasa, kahit yung pag-asa nag-give up na sayo.” [Excuse me, I have to go cry now.]

Yes to hugot lines galore! The trailer was full of them and I look forward to hearing what else the scriptwriters’ have up their sleeves.
Reunited again!
 A big, “Yay!”, to Maja and Paulo being reunited. Their chemistry in, “Bridges of Love”, was amazing. Now, we get to watch them together…on the big screen!

 

It’s starring Paolo Avelino (Hello?!)
Need I say more? ❤


Fate of Maja in the movie
We all know we want them [the characters of Maja and Paulo] to end up together, but what if the movie decides to go on a different direction? What if Paolo Avelino actually ends up with Jasmine Curtis-Smith’s character?

[noooooo!]


La Union
Of course seeing La Union on the big screen is a definite plus! I look forward to great cinematography!

 

Are you also looking forward to, “I’m Drunk, I Love You”?


Kita-kits sa sinehan!

 

Things, “Sakaling Hindi Makarating”, Reminded Us

 

cinefilipino-sakaling-hindi-makarating-movie-poster
Image from: Cinema Bravo

Things, “Sakaling Hindi Makarating”, Reminded Us
by Jel Tordesillas

 After hours of typing, I felt like I deserved a much-needed break. I craved a good Filipino watch. Thankfully, “Sakaling Hindi Makarating”, was showing. Once I found out that it involved a road trip, I was in!

Basically, the movie revolves around Cielo (Alessandra de Rossi), a heartbroken girl, trying to decipher who was sending her mysterious paintings set in places around the Philippines. Cielo uses the paintings as clues and decides to go on a road trip of the pictures’ locations, hoping to find who the sender of the letters were. The movie also stars Pepe Herrera and JC Santos.

While the movie didn’t end the way I wanted it to, it was still a good watch. The movie was able to remind me of life’s lessons. Sometimes, because of the busyness of life, I tend to overlook these lessons, so it’s always a good thing when someone reminds us of these things.

Life doesn’t always meet your expectations 

We plan and we plan, but sometimes, we just have to let go and let life take its course.  Yes, it hurts when life doesn’t turn out the way we want it—especially when it comes to love. These things, however, happen for a reason. In the meantime, we just have to be strong and see life’s silver lining.

Sometimes, pain can be the seed of strength and learning
No one wants to feel pain, but there are times when pain can be a blessing. It makes us stronger and it makes us learn from the experience, opening our eyes to things we didn’t realize before.

Some people aren’t meant to stay
…but they were definitely there for a reason. The best thing to do is to be grateful for the time they were there. The people we encounter in life mold us into the people we are, no matter how short our time with them is.

The Philippines is a paradise just waiting to be discovered
I really need to travel the Philippines more. There were beautiful shots in the film that reminded me of the fact that I should really explore my own backyard.

Support Filipino movies
Especially indie movies. There is so much talent in the Philippines that need the support of filmgoers.  If we don’t support our own, who will?

Christmas at Xiao Nam Men, Z Square Mall

I love trying out restaurants, which is why I am lucky to be part of Team Aldous. I have been a part of the group for almost a year now and it’s been great so far! Aside from the fact that I was able try good food from really accommodating owners, I was able to meet new friends from the blogging community.

For our 2016 Christmas party, we celebrated at Xiao Nan Men, a Chinese Restaurant at Z Square Mall, Banawe. The restaurant is a casual dining restaurant that’s built a following despite its somewhat off tangent location. It spacious enough, making it appealing to families and groups of friends.

The food was good, though I wish they had bigger servings. I liked their lapu-lapu, beef w/ bell pepper fried rice, and scrambled egg with special sauce. My highlight of the evening was lapu-lapu though, because I hand’t had it in a while.

The food was freshly cooked—which is always a good thing. I hate it when restaurants microwave their food.

Xiao Nam Men’s food is reasonably priced, averaging from PHP 200-250. Not bad, right?
You can view their menu at the link.

It’s been a great year Team Aaldous! Looking forward to many more moments together.

 

 

Thoughts on La La Land

It’s no secret that I’m a fan of musicals. This one easily makes it to one of my favorite ones.

La La Land took me to the land of dreams, both realized and broken.At what cost are dreams really worth? Are dreams just that—dreams? At what point does a dream become a fantasy?

This were some of the things that hit me when watching the film.

The music and cinematography were larger than life. The acting was both genuine and moving. The colors were magic.It was like being taken to another world where everyone as fashionable, sang on-key, and danced well.What a flawless production it was!

The movie was achingly brilliant. Real despite all its glitz and surrealism.It moved me to pieces the entire time with the actors’ emotions being honest, logical, and consistent the entire time.

I remembered what it was like to be a kid with a dream. The remembered what it was like to hope and to believe in the possibility of it coming true.

Golden globes well deserved!

⭐⭐⭐⭐.5/ 5