On dancing for a year…and counting

Malapit na mag one year.( It’s been almost a year.)

I started out fat and unsure, not knowing what would happen.

Dancing had once been a big part of my life, but it wasn’t anymore. A lot of things had happened and I was different. I was not even sure how I felt about dancing.

The journey back began as exercise, wanting to lose weight. It was street dance, something I knew I didn’t like growing up. I wasn’t cool and I didn’t have swag. I used to make my sister change the song if she was listening to Nelly ,etc.. That was that….so basically, I didn’t expect much from doing it.

The more I did it though, the love that I once had for ballet gradually came back, even if I was dancing something unfamiliar, awkward, and totally outside my comfort zone.

I started challenging myself to execute the choreography properly, to memorize quickly, and to push myself to go out of my comfort zone.

Of course, there were the classmates who encouraged me; the teachers who took pains to teach me the steps; and the awesome pieces that made me want to be better just so I could execute them right.

You might be wondering why I chose to learn street dance if I hated it so much growing up. The answer is also a mystery to me. One thing is certain though, I am happy I did it.

While not all us of are meant to be professional dancers, I believe that dancing is for everyone. The reason for it coming to our lives may vary—it may be a form of exercise, a creative outlet, an escape, or it may also be a chosen career. No matter what the reason is though, dance has a trigger that enables us to be better and do better.

I know that I am far from being the perfect dancer. Dance, on the other hand, has been the perfect savior. It has saved me for more times than I can count as child and eventually, as a teenager. It still does up to now. For that, I will be forever grateful that I learned how to dance.

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My dance journey in videos:

Month One

  1. In this video ( I think it was my third class), it looked like I didn’t now if I was dancing ballet, contemporary, or urban. I was so lost. I had to start somewhere though.

Teacher: GJ Romano

Week 1. JULY 2017

A post shared by Angelica Tordesillas (@jelonstage) on

2. 1st video shows that I basically didn’t move. hehehehe.

Teacher: Ritz of Gforce

3….and the cringe-worthy classes continued.

Stylettos Company Class

3rd Week. 🙂 AUGUST 2017

A post shared by Angelica Tordesillas (@jelonstage) on

4 months after

4. I could follow the steps at times, but that was it, I just followed it.
Looking back, it looked like I was marking. The other dancers, on the other hand, were killing it.

Yikes, sorry Adam Alonzo (choreographer).

Teacher: Adam Alonzo

6 months after:

5. I wrote a semi-long post on Facebook celebrating progress. I was so happy I did a semi-okay job on contemporary choreography. Here is the video

Teacher: Ritz of G-force

6. For the first time ever, a teacher also asked me to repeat the choreography in class. This usually means that you did a good job.

Almost a year after

I could kind of execute Urban:

Teacher: GJ Romano

I could improvise choreography with a partner

I would kind of do a grand jette’ again (though it needs so much work)

I finished a Dance Summer Workshop (by Ef Studios)

and the journey goes on…I still have so many things to learn and to work on.

To reiterate:

“I know that I am far from being the perfect dancer. Dance, on the other hand, has been the perfect savior. It saved me for more times than I can count as child and teenager. It still does up to now. For that, I will be forever grateful that I learned how to dance.”

Shout out to Marc Devon (of Marc Devon Dance Workshop), GJ Romano (ef studios, lgac), Acts , Stylettos, Joey Nealaga (A-team, lgac, ef studios), and G-force. Thanks for everything! 🙂

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Whisper celebrates Women Empowerment with the Curvalicious Movement

Women should feel that they have the power to achieve any dream they set their mind on. Supporting each other and inspiring each other is a celebration of what it is to feel truly empowered in the world today. #nadinexcurvalicious #choosecurvalicious

I support this culture 100% which is why I came out to support the launch of Whisper’s #Curvalicious moment.

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The night was filled with energy, spunk, and positive vibes.

It was the launch of Whisper Philippine’s #Curvalicious movement. Upon entering the fabulously decorated Valkyrie Night Club, I just knew that it was going to be an awesome event.

The event was graced by Lauren Reid and Kiana Valenciano, who nailed her performance of Dua Lipa’s upbeat single, New Rules.  Of course, there was the face of Whisper #Curvalicious herself, Nadine Lustre.

The three lovely ladies talked about how being a curvalicious woman meant supporting one another instead of competing. It’s about being confident in oneself and going for what she wants in  life.

“It’s about turning I can’ts into I can,” explains Lauren.

“[On what makes her feel empowered] Being onstage and knowing that I am pushing myself out of my comfort zone.” shares Kiana.

“I am lucky to be surrounded by the world’s most intelligent, most supportive, most inspiring, most beautiful women and supportive friends and family….and I am just really blessed that they have done nothing but push me to the top and push me to be the best that I am,” imparts Nadine.

The event also introduced the campaign anthem , with the same title, which was performed by Nadine.

“Tonight, I’m happy that the crowd is responding to the song. Kinilig ako!” Nadine gushed. “Leading Whisper’s #Curvalicious movement is such a great honor. Despite all the challenges I’ve faced, I’ve done what I can to continue saying yes all day. Beyond being the face of the brand, I really want to be an inspiration for other girls—to be the spark that will move others, women for women,” she adds.

She also performed her latest single, Stay4Up, backed up by Chrissian and Grace of G-force Femme.

Checkout Whisper’s #Curvalicious anthem below.

 

Had fun handing out at their event. Here are some pictures of what I did. 🙂

360 booth and dance booth. 

Catching up with old friends and meeting new ones. 

 

Strong performances from Nadine and Kiana. 

 

Do you have a #Curvalicious Story to tell? I’d love to hear it!

To know more about the #Curvalicious movement, follow WHISPER PH

The Process of Falling

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THE PROCESS OF FALLING
by Jel Tordesillas

It was the first week of summer vacation—a Wednesday.

Incidentally, it was also the first summer before Janella Gonzaga started college at the International Asian University in Pasig. It was also the start of her first day as Charlie’s baby sitter. Charlie was the seven-year-old son of Brad and Natasha Wakefield, her neighbors who had just moved to the subdivision, Ayala Hills Alabang, a couple of months ago. They were in their mid-30s. Brad, an American, was a pediatrician, while Natasha, a Filipino, was quite a well-known freelance painter. The two met when Brad was doing a medical mission in Tacloban, right after the dreadful disaster came to an end. During that time, Natasha was a Philippine Red Cross volunteer who was also doing research for her Tacloban charity exhibit. They hit it off instantly and the rest was history.

While Janella thought their story was amazing, she personally didn’t considered herself as the lovey-dovey type. Her parents were annulled when she was 9, and she barely had any memory of them together. Now, she lived with her Mom, Cecile, and her stepfather, George, who made a living as an interior design tandem. They’ve been together for 9 years.

While Janella adored and loved Tito George very much, there were times when she couldn’t help but wonder what her life would be like if her parents had stayed together. Her Dad, Lito, who she has now named on her phone as MIA, was an architect based in New York. Though he was kind enough to pay for her tuition and extra-curricular lessons, he was primarily an absentee father who wrote the mandatory birthday, Christmas, and graduation cards.

So now, thanks to her parents, she was now a self-professed love skeptic at age 18.

“Hello Janella,” greeted Natasha as she opened their amazingly high, French-inspired, green gate that was outlined with filigree detail. “Thanks again for doing this. I know babysitting isn’t a typical thing for Filipino teenagers to do, but thanks for being cool about it.”

“No problem!” Janella said promptly, with a little bit too much enthusiasm. “I didn’t sound fake, did I?” she wondered. She definitely was not in any way insincere for doing the babysitting job. It’s just that as it turned out, she also needed money for a new Samsung S9 in time for college.

“Charlie! Tita Jan is here!” Natasha called.

Cute and adorable Charlie with fair skin, round blue eyes, and dark brown hair in a bob cut, popped out, and shyly mumbled hello with a little dimple showing on his right cheek as he smiled.

“Are you excited to go the Grand Bonanza?” she asked in high-pitched pre-school teacher-esque voice.

“Yes!” he exclaimed, clapping excitedly.

Since it was two weeks before Christmas, the village hosted a Bazaar-Carnival event called The Grand Bonanza. It was set up at the big, vacant lot and was visited by a ton of people. It was on its 5th year so Janella had actually spent a lot of her teenage years here with her family, friends, suitors and now…Charlie. Not that she was complaining, Charlie was a good kid. He rarely had tantrums and was cheerful and friendly most of the time. Janella imagined that if she’d ever gotten to having her own kid, she’ want someone like Charlie.

“Welcome to the Grand Bonanza!” the ticket lady greeted.

“One regular and one junior,” she requested.

She looked around, and it was just as she remembered—cheery and energetic—with loud pop music playing in the background and multicolored paper decorations everywhere. It wasn’t Disneyland, but they did have crowd favorites like the carousel, the bumper cars, and the roller coaster. Lots of children were there with their parents. Other faces in the crowd included barkadas (group of friends), lovers, and people doing their Christmas shopping.

“Just a minute!” the girl said as she processed the payment. “Here you go!” she continued, handing out the tickets.

“I wanna shoot the monsters!Charlie exclaimed as he pulled Janella towards the Bang Bang booth right after the carousel.

“Slow down,” she said, panting. They had just bought grape juices from the Giddy Grape! stall and she was afraid one of them might fall. Charlie paid no attention, and instead, started running even faster until he bumped into a guy standing by the carousel, spilling grape juice all over him.

“How embarrassing!” Janella thought, feeling her skin starting to turn crimson. “Next time, no running, okay?” she told Charlie pointedly.

“Okay,” Charlie agreed, who looked as embarrassed as she was.

”I’m so sorry!” she called out apologetically. “Sorry. I’m sorry.”

***

A guy in white, of around 6 feet, dripping wet from head to toe, turned around and smiled. “It’s no problem. Really.” he replied calmly in a deep voice.

That smile. That face. That voice.

PAK.

Janella had never been this taken on a guy.

That fast. At first glance.

For a few seconds, she forgot to breathe.

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“Sorry, what?” she asked blankly, still staring at him.

“It’s okay,” he repeated laughing slightly, peering down at see if she was okay.

“He said it’s okay.” Charlie repeated, a-matter-of-factly.

“Thanks Charlie,” she acknowledged, suddenly realizing how stupid she must have sounded. Then again, how could she not?

Standing in front of her was a tan-skinned guy with an adorable pointed nose, semi-full lips, and thick black hair neatly cut into a crew cut.

He wasn’t buff, but she could tell he probably worked out at least twice a week. This, plus the fact that he was six feet tall and wearing a white polo shirt, was starting to get Janella mildly tensed inside. Okay, maybe not mildly.

“Excuse me, I have to go die now,” she muttered as she turned her back, making a run for it. Unfortunately, Charlie, who was holding with her left hand, was still staying put.

“Would you like to shoot monsters with us?” Charlie invited.

What.

“Charlie, Mr.…”

“John,” the guy offered extending his hand.

“John probably has some things he has to do,” Janella explained, trying to pull Charlie away. He wouldn’t budge.

“Please?” Charlie continued.

“Tell you what,” John replied. “Let me just go to bazaar to buy a shirt, and I’ll meet you guys there.”

“You don’t have to, ” she started, but John was already walking away.

“I’ll see you there!” he called, waving before walking away from site.

***

So now Janella was at the Bang Bang booth with Charlie and John. Charlie actually showed up after he got changed. He was now wearing a vintage Beatles shirt, which made him look even sexier. As if that was was even possible.

“Cool shirt!” Charlie greeted.

“Thank dude!” John countered, motioning for a high-five.

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Janella could barely stand still, but she tried her best to look nonchalant about the fact that he was right next to her with his right forearm barely grazing against her left.

“Congratulations.” the shooting booth guy acknowledged in a jaded, monotone voice, obviously bored with his job. “You’ve won yourself Ted, the giant bear. Yay.”

“So even in the world of carnival shooting, John was perfect,” she thought.

Mustering the courage to actually have a decent conversation with him, she asked, “Are you here alone?”

“Um, no, not exactly ….” He pauses.

“ I’m actually waiting for my girlfriend.”

“I’m so stupid,” Janella thought, her heart slowly sinking.

“Really?” she answered, trying to seem casual about the fact that he was taken.

“Yeah, she’s actually in a meeting now.”

“Why, how old are you?” she blurted.

“I’m 25.” He answered facing down, looking a little embarrassed.

Awkward pause.

“What do you do for a living?”

“I’m a lawyer.”

Nax, big time. Where’d you study?”

“St. Ignacio de Loyola University,” John said shyly. “Lucky to have passed the bar. Hehe. What about you? What do you do?” he continued, brushing the ground with his plain white Nike sneakers that have been obviously worn a lot.

For some reason, Janella wanted to lie and say that she was working at a bank or something, something that would impress him. Deciding against it and being all righteous, she replied, “I’m actually starting college at the International Asian University this August”

“Cool, what are you taking?”

BA Communication with Specialization in Creative Writing

“That’s awesome!”

“Thanks! I’m actually really looking forward to it. The problem is, I still don’t know what to do with it after I graduate.”

“It will come.” he said “I wish I were brave enough to take something as creative as that. I’ve always wanted to pursue music.”

“Who are you favorites?”

“Bob Marley, Rolling Stones, and then, don’t laugh, Michael Jackson.”

“Oh cool. I love Michael Jackson,” she interrupted.

“He is the king,” he agreed.

“And then, well obviously,” she continued, pointing to his shirt.

John started to pose like a model.

“Oh, is this you trying to be funny?” Janella teased. “You think you’re funny?”

“I know I’m funny,” he smiled at her and laughed. Janella started to laugh with him.

Suddenly, both of them were laughing like idiots.

“I haven’t laughed that much in a long time,” John confessed happily when their laughing streak ended.

He suddenly looked sad and wistful, as if he wasn’t happy with his life.

“Maybe he regretted pursuing law?” she thought to herself. “…or maybe he wasn’t happy with his girlfriend.”

“Shoot. I’m so bad. Erase. Erase. Erase.”

She wanted to hug him right there and then.

“It’s not too late,” she encouraged, suddenly finding herself touching his right shoulder in way friendly way. At least that’s what she hoped it came out as. “It’ll be okay.”

Janella suddenly turned quiet. She realized she might have crossed the line between acquaintances…or strangers.
Why didn’t it feel that way?
It was now Johns turn to stare. He was looking at her as if they had known each other their whole lives.

Janella started back, capturing and reciprocating the energy that came from John.

“Would you guys like to ride the Ferris Wheel?” Charlie suddenly interrupted. Janella, on the other hand, almost jumped in surprise.

John’s phone suddenly rings.

“Uh, I have to take this.” John apologized, walking away. “I’ll try to catch up with you guys!”

As it turned, out he didn’t.

It was as if Janella had dreamed the whole thing.

Oh well. Back to reality.

This isn’t the end though. *wink*

A Perfect Fit

Fairy Tale Exercise

Write a lyric poem in which you adopt the persona of a character from a fairy tale. For example, you could describe the way Snow White feels while she sleeps inside her coffin, or how the Prince feels as he holds Cinderella’s glass slipper in his hand.

I chose- CINDERELLA.

I figured it’ll be interesting to delve in the mind of the Cinderella and the Prince.

Fairytale
Photo taken by Jel Tordesillas

A Perfect Fit by Jel Tordesillas 

<PRINCE>

Alas! I’ve found my one true love

Heaven sent her from above

Of all the lovely maidens in the ball

An angel came and made me fall.

The moment she laid eyes on me

I stopped. Forgot reality

Her shiny gown falls second to

The girl who wears it. Yes, it’s you.

<CINDERELLA>

Alas! I’ve found my one true love

The prince I dreamt chose me above

All the ladies in the row

Now I really love him so.

The clock struck 12, I had to run

The moment stopped and I was done

Back there, a souvenir was left

It glittered through the dark and depth.

<PRINCE>

I almost gave up hope to find

The one I danced with just past 9

After a 100 maidens tried

The slipper fits the bonefide.

  My love, why did you have to go?

I loved the maiden not the show

My heart beats wildly for what’s inside

Now I have found- my love, my bride.

Something tasty and artsy comes your way in Downtown and Halsted, BGC

Just across Forbes Town Center, Downtown and Halsted is a nook for good food and art. It’s a place with an an urban ambiance that  inspires interesting conversations and memorable moments with friends and family. Going there is like taking an imaginary plane and entering one of the cool gastropubs abroad.

There restaurant also serves as an event place for artsy-urban events during off-peak hours.

DH2DH1

The restaurant’s food does justice to the thought that’s been put to the funky and picturesque interior of the place. Here are some of the things I got to try in my fun food night with the Team Aldous troupe (Hi, guys!).

DH3
Mushroom Soup 

The soup, which we started with, was creamy and flavorful.  It was nothing too filling that would remove your appetite for the next course, rather, it excited you for what was coming next.

Moving on to main courses…

DH4
Chorizo Pasta 
DH5
YUM-MY!

If you’re a fan of unique pastas, then you might want to try his one. I love how the chorizo is the glue to all the flavors of the pasta without dissolving the taste of the other ingredients.

DH6
Lengua Skewers

It’s probably the most memorable thing I had for the night. I just love how tender it is! You  have got to try this.

DH7
Choco-Peanut butter Cheesecake 

I probably convinced you already to try it by saying that it has peanut butter. Add smooth, creamy cheese into the mix, and you’ve got yourself a winner!

FACEBOOK awaits! Follow them.

 

Living with feeling like the ugly girl

itch
Image from: Bill Goat Soap

What if you woke up one day and realized that you couldn’t do anything to conform to what society accepts as beautiful?

We always say that it’s inner beauty that counts, but without knowing it we try to conform to what the media dictates to as beautiful. We diet, frequent the parlor, splurge on clothes, and buy more skincare and makeup products than we need.

One day, I woke up with an itch in my skin, an extreme itch that spread through my body. An itch which bled, thickened, and secreted fluid. I went to my dermatologist and was told that I developed adult eczema, an auto-immune disease whose cause was unknown. The next thing I new, I was was always treating my patches (parts with eczema) or visiting the derm clinic.

Suddenly, whenever I put on makeup, my skin would get irritated so I couldn’t anymore. I had a hard time dressing up because some fabrics would make my skin itch and react. I couldn’t wear clothes that would expose the infected areas so it was good-bye sleeveless and shorts. I also couldn’t do anything with my hair because my scalp would react, so I was good-bye hair treatments.

Aside from that I could only eat bland food which made it really difficult to go out and eat.  Smoking also irritated my skin so, I had to tell my friends who smoked to not smoke around me. I couldn’t dance or workout because I couldn’t take the itch. I also couldn’t swim because I couldn’t wear a bathing suit.

My life as I new it, basically ended.

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Image: from webmd.com

I felt so frustrated, sad, and helpless. Is this how my life was going to be from now on? I feel like no one, apart from my family, could understand what I was feeling. I felt like a loser, like the ugliest one in the room.  While everyone else was glammed up in a party, I feel like I didn’t belong.

I come from a family of good looking people. Most of my cousins are heartthrobs and I’ve always felt like I didn’t measure up. What more now???

For months, I didn’t know what to do.  How was I going to cover fashion events looking the way I did? Like a freak?

How was any guy going to love, let alone be attracted, to someone like me?

I tried every soap  and lotion that promised it would improve my condition. I cried and prayed to God to make it go away.

It didn’t.

It was just there like a leach I wanted out of my body….until I realized that I wasn’t going to let how I looked dictate how to live my life. I was still very much alive. I still had my set of skills. I still could write! I still could do good in the world.

Looking back, I guess it was really my faith that saved me during that really challenging time in my life. I realized that there was more to life than feeling that I conformed with what society dictated was beautiful. I had so much more to offer the world. Underneath my flaky, read skin, I was still the same person. People just had to accept me for who I was now.

Eventually, I was able to adjust to my new life. My friends (or the ones that stayed) turned out to be true friends who were willing to adjust to what I could or couldn’t do. I didn’t judge me if I didn’t drink or willingly went out of the room when they had to smoke. They also made sure that I was able to eat something whenever we would go out to eat.

I am better now, but the things I’ve learned are still very much with me.

  • I learned that beyond the commercial things that is advertised to us everyday of our lives, there is so much more to life. Even without them, life is still definitely a kick ass adventure is worth experiencing.
  • I learned that true friends will be by your side no matter what.
  • When everybody else is gone, God will still be there.
  • I now understand what it’s like to have a health handicap, and I don’t take my health lightly anymore.
  • I learned what products help in curing or relieving eczema, so I gladly share it with people who are suffering from the same condition. At the top of list is this soap from G-Stuff.Oatmeal

I hope that reading this has somehow taught some things about life. I shared this experience of mine, because it was a hard one.  I hope that it will inspire you or give you strength if you are suffering from eczema,  self-esteem issues, or any other health or personal problems.

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I couldn’t find any pictures showing my rashes because I was always covered up. But I did see something that very slightly showed what I went through.

Scares of the past on my left shoulder. 
Healing at this point. Here are the scares where my oozing patches used to be. I was so thin then because I couldn’t eat anything.
See those rashes? Now imagine it all over your body for 3 years.
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Image from Pinterest
Nomakeup
I now post selfies without makeup. (although I here I am wearing a little). This is how I look like, you just have to accept how I look like.

5 Myths I believed when I was in 20’s

Landscape

When I was in my 20’s I thought I knew it all…

…until I didn’t.

Here are some of the myths that were shattered when I faced the real world.

 

IT’S ALL ABOUT THE PASSION
To a certain extent, it’s true. I certainly believe that passion matters, but it’s also about being practical. Money does matter because your bills aren’t going to pay themselves. I believe that there’s a perfect compromise between passion and financial stability. Find it and live your dream!

HARD WORK EQUALS GOOD RESULTS—ALWAYS! 

Fresh from college I had the notion that everything that I worked hard for was going to garner good results. In school, when I studied hard, I got high grades, which is how I thought it would pan out when started by career. Boy was I in for a rude awakening.

I realized that no matter how passionate I am about my career, it will not be perfect. There will still be stress and there will still be times when my best is not what my boss wants.  Life is not all rainbows and butterflies. As a professional, I developed thicker skin, humility, and I learned not to take things personally.

I WOULD MARRY A BACKSTREET BOY
of course, even then, I wasn’t that delusional. [lol!] But I did hope that I would be with someone similar to the guys I read in romance movies and novels. Now, I still have standards, but I don’t exist in dreamland anymore. Overall, I want to be with someone who genuinely loves me. Realistically, this someone must have a stable job, a great personality, and must not be hard to look at. [What? I said I grew up. That doesn’t meant I can’t hope anymore. Hahaha!]

IT’S ALL ABOUT INNER BEAUTY

It’s not.

You don’t have to be shallow and make your life revolve on how you look, but you should also invest the time to take care of how you look. People will always tend to judge what they see first. I’m not saying that it’s all that matters, but it ALSO matters.

BE A GOOD PERSON AND PEOPLE WILL BE GOOD TO YOU

Being a good person doesn’t mean you have to be naïve too. You also have to protect yourself from people who don’t have you best interest at heart. Don’t be a jaded skeptic, but also don’t be a victim.

Yes, growing up was a tough eye-opener, but it certainly made me stronger. I won’t ever lose the dreamer in me, but at least now, I’ve developed the realist in me as well.

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.