Super yummy Lamb Sharwarma at Shawarma Bros, UP Town Center Katipunan


I love industrially designed restaurants. ❤  Obviously, when I saw how Shawarma Bros was designed, the photography enthusiast in me did a happy dance and I took a bunch of pictures! Let me give you a tour of the place via the mosaic gallery below. I even took my OOTD  (outfit of the day) here, which you will see at the end of the entry. haha!

The concept of Shawarma Bros actually dates back to the school years of the owners. They played basketball during their free time, and almost always after, they would eat shawarma. Cool, huh?

This one (UP Town Center, Katipunan) is now their 4th branch, plus a food truck.
Other branches include: Venice Grand Canal; Bonifacio Stopover, and Raymundo Pasig.

Note: Their food truck is scheduled on a weekly basis. The schedule is posted on Instagram
and Facebook accounts. They are also available for events and private bookings.
Book through: (02) 631-655

Here is their menu: 



Everything is super yummy (I tried all three— beef, chicken, and lamb— ), but their Lamb Shawarma Rice mixed with their chili tomato was soooo,sooo good (their are other sauces to choose from, see menu). What I like about their Lamb Shawarma is that it hadsjust a right amount of fat and flavor, nothing too much that could have made me feel bloated. Their chili tomato, on the other hand, sauce simply enhanced the flavor of the meat instead of covering it. Good job!

I have yet to try their burritos…I’ll have to do another entry on that.


Visit Shawarma Bros in FB:
IG and Twitter: @shawarmabros

Thanks to Aldous, of #teamadlous for the invite.




For this particular, outfit I put on a classy square top. I love how it didn’t make me look fat (or too fat).  I guess you can I also channeled Ms. Audrey Hepburn’s style for this OOTD by sticking to simple lines and designs. I, however, wanted to feel tall that day, so instead of wearing ballet flats, I wore a pair of loafer heals. 

My take on black and white photography

I once took photography lessons in an art gallery and it was one of the most influential lessons I have ever had in my life.

In one lesson, our teacher asked us to share our thoughts on black and white photography. Here’s what I said:

“In our other lessons we talked about reducing noise and making our pictures more focused, increasing its meaning. I think this is what makes B&W photography so visually appealing. In removing color, your eyes are able to focus on other aspects of the picture like patterns, emotions, and lighting.”

Similar to techniques of bokeh, zoom, and crop, black and white photography directs the eyes of the viewers on what the artist wants to focus on, allowing him/her to convey hismessage.”

I really am amazed on how different a picture looks in color and in black and white. 

Here is part of my personal photo collection. It is my no means perfect, but I enjoy doing it as a hobby.

Title: Motion and Patterns

Title: Lines and Shapes 3

Title: BW111

Title: Lines and Shapes 2

Title: Art at the Restaurant

Title: Lines and Shapes 3

Lisa Macuja: An interview with a living legend


Lisa Macuja-Elizalde: An interview with a living legend
by Jel Tordesillas 

Lisa Macuja-Elizalde is undoubtedly one of my idols. I used to live, eat, and breathe ballet when I was growing up. It is one of the highlights of my childhood and teen years. Back then, hearing of someone who was handpicked to join the iconic Kirov Ballet was mind blowing, inspiring, and just plain amazing. Lisa was similar to a mythical creature that I couldn’t believe existed. 

Some other features in her cap include: Silver Medalist, Asia-Pacific Ballet Competition, Tokyo (1987)Special Prize for Artistry by the House of Diaghilev in Moscow (1992); Ten Outstanding Young Persons of the World (1997); and The Order of International Friendship awarded by President Vadimir Putin (2001).

In this interview, I learned that Lisa was far from being mythical. While still possessing all of the accolades and characteristics that made me idolize her, she turned out to be a very grounded and very well—human. Like all of us, she has experienced pain, fear, and hurdles. But being Lisa, she went though all of these with grace and beauty. She is more than a prima ballerina, she is a living legend who will continue to inspire all types of people to share beauty to the whole world, whatever form it may take. 

Who inspires you and why? Share below in the comments.


Jel: Is being a dancer inborn or earned?

Lisa: You are born with talent and physical attributes-–-the rest of a dancer’s success depends on training and commitment, discipline, and hard work.

Jel: What do you consider as your biggest accomplishment as a dancer?

I am proud of the fact that I have had an international career while being based in Manila.

Jel: You frequently mention your injury as a young girl to be the signal that you were meant to take classical ballet. Isn’t that ironic (because other people would have been discouraged instead)? What if the injury didn’t happen. Do you think that you would have still pursued ballet?

Lisa: Even before the injury happened I was already dead set on becoming a ballerina—which is why I sought after the best possible medical diagnosis and cure. I think that, if my mind was not made up, I would have accepted the first diagnosis, just lived with the injury, and stopped dancing. I have always been a fighter, and the injury was something to fight against.

Jel: What goes through inside your head before your dance performance?

Lisa: Several things really—mainly, the question “Am I ready to go onstage and dance?” and if the answer if, “No”, then I take steps to correct the situation. Sometimes, I get distracted by a text message; a thought about something I have to do after the show; something that happens to another dancer backstage; or a technical matter. Sometimes, I take time to review the choreography and always take time to warm-up. If needed, I try some things out with my partner for extra assurance.

Jel: Can you describe three most unforgettable moments that you had in ballet? In life?

Lisa: I would say, the first time I danced Masha in The Nutcracker at the Marinsky Theater. The first time I danced Kitri in Don Quixote—and got a 20-minute standing ovation afterwards (also an the Marinsky Theater). And the first time I danced my first full-length Swan Lake in Havana, Cuba.

In Life, three unforgettable moments would be: when Fred proposed marriage and I accepted; when my daughter Missy was born; and when my son Manuel was born.

Jel: Was there ever a time that you wanted to quit ballet? What made you stick with it?

Lisa: Yes, there was a time when I got very, very depressed that I didn’t even want to dance anymore. It was a very dark period in my life when someone I loved got very sick. I took a leave-of-absence from work. Then I found acceptance, healing, and peace. Then, I just bounced back to work and learned from the experience.

Jel: A lot of Filipinos, like myself, regard you as one of their idols. In your case, who are the three people you look up to the most (Filipino setting, doesn’t necessarily have to be part of the world of ballet). 

I look up to my mom, Susan Macuja and my dad, Cesar Macuja. I really admire them because of the way they brought me up and instilled values in me; the way they sacrificed so much to support me; and basically the way they live their lives and have taken care—and continue to take care—of their family and friends. They have sincerely given me examples of unconditional love.

My lifelong teacher and mentor, Tatiana Udalenkova, always warned me against simplifying or changing the choreography of the classics

Kanebo Lunasol: The foundation that got people wondering

lunasol-product-shotI am very particular about the foundations that I use. As I mentioned in my previous article, I have eczema so I am extra picky about the makeup that I use. I am so happy to have found Lunasol by Kanebo. With this foundation, I don’t have to do much with my makeup, except put this…and wallah! Airbrush like finish is already a check. <insert happy dance!>

The foundation easily disappears when I put it in my skin, hurrah for the perfect shade.

I’ll cut the chase by chase by saying that this foundation is quite expensive (for me anyway). It costs PHP 2,700, but it’s super worth it because a little amount goes a long, long way.

The foundation got people complementing my skin. My mom used it the other day, and her friend told her how smooth her skin looked. The secret is now out. haha! 🙂

What’s your favorite foundation? I’d love to hear from you. Share below in the comments.


Image from:
with Lunasol. I love the glow! ❤
Without Lunasol. I’m lucky I have smooth skin, but for events and special occasions, I need to put something to give my look a little boost. haha! 🙂


I am by no means a makeup expert or an artist, but I do know what works for very sensitive skin. Hopefully, my entries on makeup will be able to help other people who can only wear minimal makeup, but still, with great results! 🙂 

BY Philippines: Happy Skin and Pink Sugar

I super love it whenever I see great things created by local brands whether it be clothes, restaurants, and makeup! ❤ I’m a self-confessed makeup addict, but the thing with me is that I have really sensitive skin. I suffer from eczema so there’s only a handful of products that work with my skin. I’m no makeup expert, but I do know which products work my skin. Hopefully, my posts on makeup will help other people who are looking for ultra skin friendly makeup.

I am so happy to discover two Filipino makeup brands with lipstick products that I can work with. They’re great, bang-for-the-buck products that don’t irritate or dry my lips.

PINK SUGAR Creamy Matte in Desire.

For Pink Sugar: I’ve already tried 3 shades from the Creamy Matte line—which I love: Divine, Hot Mess, and XOXO. I love how the lipstick is moisturizing but has good staying power.

My favorite shade of the three would have to be Desire. The lipstick is so “photogenic”. Its medium and warm tone can match either day or night looks. ❤ Yay for Pink Sugar!

From Pink Sugar‘s Facebook Page

Pink Sugar Cosmetics was created as a makeup solution for women looking for products of high quality and great value.

Our products go beyond their creative packaging and catchy names by providing distinct ingredient benefits for your skin. The selection of wearable colors available for each of our products have been expertly curated by makeup professionals to complete a woman’s make-up collection and to complement the Filipina skin.

Our cosmetics products are free from animal testing and are made without Parabens.


HAPPY SKIN Matte in The Morning After

As I mentioned earlier, my lips reacts and dries easily if their’s an allergen in the lipstick’s formula. I also veer away matte lipstick variants. With Happy Skin’s Matte, my problem with mattes was solved. Given that the lipstick does dry my lips a little, it’s nothing a little lip treatment can’t manage (to complement the moisturizers already infused in the product). If your lips doesn’t have a tendency to chap, I don’t think you have to put lip treatment in the mix. <wink!>

From Happy Skin’s website:

“I always knew I wanted to be in this business of making women happy,” shares Jacqe who spearheaded developing global brands under personal care leader Unilever. “I remember how I always felt giddy when I got to talk to consumers, and they would tell me how a beauty product could made them feel confident, more beautiful, and more in control of their lives,” recalls Jacqe. “I would get a real sense of satisfaction and fulfillment when I heard such stories. So, I realized it was always really my dream to create a brand of my own, one that will provide the best products that will excite people, make their lives happier and better!” And so, after nearly a decade in the beauty and personal care industry, Jacqe took a leap of faith and created Happy Skin, makeup that cares for the skin.
“Happy Skin is the first makeup line that offers an entire range of skin-caring makeup,” Jacqe proudly explains. “It was especially created for women who want to look naturally beautiful, but want to make sure that their skin is also cared for. It’s for women who don’t want to compromise on beauty!”

“For me, it’s really simple. I think good makeup should be easy to use, good for your skin, and makes you feel more beautiful,” Jacqe continues. “I’m a firm believer in good skincare and I don’t like compromising my skin because of the makeup that I use.” Jacqe expounds: “I’ve talked to a lot of women, and they’re scared to use makeup because they feel that it will harm their skin. So why not create a makeup line that actually cares for your skin, too?”


Follow Pink Sugar and Happy Skin:

Follow me at:




Escape to Paradiso, Tagaytay

With ‘la familia

Family is love. Spending time with them is always special, but spending time with them in beautiful places makes the moments even more memorable.

I discovered this gem of a place called Paradiso, Tagaytay. It’s actually an airbnb, but considering how huge the place is, for me, it’s more of a mini resort.

The owner of the place, Boy Pangilinan, was very helpful and accommodating. He made sure all of us were happy and comfortable during our stay, we could tell he really loved taking care of his guests.

Here are pictures of the place: The sprawling  house is very picturesque. You’ll love it if you’re into photography. The place has a tree house for long kwentuhan blues, a billiard table, dart board, and a videoke (which you can rent).

We were lucky that it didn’t rain for most of our trip because we were able to swim <fun!>. I love how the pool has a waterfall. It really made me feel as if I was away from the business of the city and one with nature.

Having fun with some of the family. ❤ 


What an experience is was to be “cooked”. hahaha! Don’t worry, the water was just lukewarm, it was like soaking in a bathtub.


Thanks to Boy Pangilinan for a great, great stay! 🙂


As you can see my outfit is extra simple. Paired a flowing sleeveless top with trousers. Extra comfort means extra fun! Added pearls for an extra ooomph.  Hope you like it! 😀 

For more details:

A Sweet Night @ Manila Creamery, UP Town Katipunan

Who doesn’t love ice cream?

It’s sweet, creamy goodness turns a bad day into good one and a frown into a smile. I usually stick to vanilla because it’s the purest of all ice creams, however, experiencing all the flavors that Manila Creamery had to offer was heaven.

Manila Creamery has a rotating menu, but for the blogger event that I attended (c/o #teamaldous founded by Aldous Ate The World) the following flavors were present-

  • Blueberry Cheesecake– Cheesecake gelato with blueberry jam and graham dust.
  • Davao Chocolate– Davao Dark Chocolate Gelato.
  • Truffle Mascarpone- Mascarpone gelato with white truffle and Himalayan pink salt.
  • Kinder Bueno– Hazelnut gelato with milk chocolate. 
  • Ube Lanka– Langka Gelato with Ube Hilaya
  • Ube- need I say more? 🙂
  • Go Mango Mango Gelato with white chocolate covered poprocks.
  • Mango and SumanSticky rice gelato with mangoes and Visayan latik.
L-R (Go Mango, Truffle Mascarpone, Blueberry Cheesecake, and Mango & Suman.)
Ohhhh…what to have? Descisions, decisons. 
The owners of Manila Creamery: Jason Go and Paolo Reyes.  The owners actually studied in Italy to come up with the products that they serve now. When the Katipunan branch opens, they will be servicing milkshakes as well as other products. 


The branch in UP Town Center, Katipunan will tentatively open, tentatively a week from now. Excited? So am I!

Join Manila Creamery Online:

Instagram: @mnlcreamery






5 Reasons Why Musicals are <3


I don’t sing.


I can’t sing, which is why it’s strange that I’m a fan of musicals. I memorize the lyrics and stuff, and can  probably attempt to sing them—but it comes out more like reciting a poem.

There are probably a lot more people who can relate to this sad, sad, reality. <insert crying smiley, haha!>

I’m lucky that I live in a country (the Philippines) that patronizes musicals. The Philippines has their share of local productions which have, in recent years, escalated in terms of number and quality. Hurrah for Philippine Theater! Smile  There are four main musical production houses in the Philippines: 9 Works Theatrical, Atlantis Productions, Resorts World Manila, Repertory Philippines. These are the ones I am familiar with anyway. So far I’ve watched: The Sound of Music by Resorts World Manila, The King and I by Resorts World Manila, and West Side Story by Atlantis Productions. 

We’re also so lucky to be included in some Asian and World Tours of foreign theater groups. This way, we don’t have to buy plane tickets to watch them perform. I have been fortunate enough have watched Miss Saigon, Phantom of the Opera, and Les Miserables. 

…so why am I sooo in love with musicals? Read below to find out.

1.) It’s Live!

No matter how great the special effects in movies are, nothing beats watching something live! It can transport you into the story, and affect you in no way a movie can.

Seeing the actors sing live, dance their hardest, and move with energy is such a high. It’s as if, as an audience member, you somehow absorb the adrenaline onstage.

Not to diminish the value of the good movie. I love movies! I am movie buff as well. I guess both are special in their own way. For one, you can watch a movie as many times as you like—once you have the dvd!

2.) The Production!

It’s so much fun seeing another world on stage. The production, of course, helps in this aspect. Phantom of the Opera has got to have one of the most jaw dropping productions ever.  Still can’t get over the chandelier. Oh, and the costumes!

3.)  The Music!

The notes seem to have such an emotional/inspiring effect on me.  I love how beautiful the melodies are.  Sometimes, when I need to get in the mood for writing, I actually listen to musical numbers online. haha.

4.) The Words!

Since I love to write, I tend to pay close attention to a song’s words. In my opinion, for a song to be great, both the music and the words have to be beautiful.  Bravo, bravo to musicals for making great melodies and great lyrics.

<Sigh…so beautiful>

This, of course, is just a small sampling of the beautiful songs that Broadway has.

5.) Lessons Learned

…or realizations after (or during) watching it.  No matter how distant a story may seem. (Hello? Beauty and the Beast?) The emotions and trials that a character goes through are still relatable.

Or sometimes, the production itself is just inspiring. The dance numbers in West Side Story just make you want to get out of your seat and join them.

What do you guys love about musicals? Share below in the comments.

Beyond the Wall: The Beauty of Moving On

Moving On.

It’s a term usually associated with a past relationship.The truth is though, people move on from way more things in life- it can be a failed test, a stolen phone, a lost friendship, a humiliating experience, etc. The list goes on.

Moving on is a test of strength. When you’re in the middle on moving on, it always seems like you’ll never be able to get past the finish line. It’s like you’re always looking back at the way things were before, to how you wished things had turned out in the past.

The thing is, the past will only be just that— THE PAST. Nothing will come out of looking back—it won’t change no matter how many times you look back at it, wishing that’s not what you saw.

Unfortunately, it always looks differently when you’re looking at it from the middle.

Thank God, there always seems to be that jolt that inexplicably happens. Something that pushes us beyond the wall of yesterday, allowing us to be liberated from hanging on to whatever it is.

All of us have been constantly moving on from stuff. And if you think about it, what would
life be like if you didn’t have to move on from anything? Life would definitely be easier.

But  would you be better?

Something to think about.




I’ve always been fond of unique finds. It excites me whenever I see something cool that reflects my personality. Likewise, I also get super giddy whenever I receive something of the kind.It’s because for me, purchases are more than purchases.  They can be a form of expression or a mirror of the life that I live.

One of the great things that I have discovered lately is K&K Personal Store (K&K).  Owned by Kat De Guzman, K&K sells customized items that are perfect for gifts (weddings, baptisms, etc.) as well as personal purchases. You can even use them as centerpieces for these special occasions!

Right now they are selling frames of different variants: Littera, Littera-II, Apellido, Numero, and Retrato. The frames have a clean, and minimalist look and feel, but at the same time, really creatively done! I particularly like how Retrato captures the personality and character of a person/s. The Littera variants, on the other hand, are three dimensional—made of wood, cloth, and glass. So cool. ❤ ❤ ❤

K&K came together last September 2015 out of Kat De Guzman’s (Kat) sheer love for meaningful gift and personal items owned and given by people. Kat wholeheartedly believes in loving and celebrating life and the people we live it with, and letting this show in the things that surround us. Growing up surrounded by close friends and family, Kat developed and imbibed an attachment to people and to the moments that she experienced.


For me, a gift is something more than a purchase. It is something that celebrates lifeand the relationships between people. K&K came about after realizing that there is a need for unique and special gifts for all occasions. Unique in a sense that each family would have a different interpretation or appreciation of their personalized gift,” Kat explains.

K&K Personal Store was born of Kat’s (owner) love for personalized gift and home items. A relationship between or among people is something to celebrate. It’s somethingK&K wanted to center on, whether it be something to be given or something to be personally owned.  Follow K&K on Facebook at at Instagram at @knkpersonal store.

 For more inquiries, please contact:

Kat De Guzman

Follow K&K Personal Store:

IG: @knkpersonalstore
FB: knkpersonalstore