Starbucks + People = Self Realizations

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I can’t imagine life without coffee but I can’t imagine life without the people whom I have had coffee moments with. As far as I remember I have never been addicted to Starbucks and it’s ambiance ever since the day my sister became one of their barista. Sitting in a corner at Starbucks Make Room Glorietta while sipping my favorite Mocha Frap (years ago) and people watching was unforgettable.
The connections I have and had with coffee and people deepened as time went by.

College was impossible without coffee. Starbucks Shang and Megamall were the stores I used to visit stores back then. It was one of those moments I treasured the most. Just hanging around with the coolest people, laughing, studying, working on projects… Oh! Those memories were really for keeps. And I passed the nursing board exams just by reviewing at Starbucks Silver City. 😉

Working without Starbucks in hand would be another impossible thing to do. Glad I was able to spend more time with my workmates and know more about them every time we spend hours on coffee dates. Often Starbucks Metro walk kept me company until we moved to the fort area and I met Starbucks Shell and Starbucks Crescent.

Family momentos as you see would be incomplete without coffee too. The only downside was, I got a huge family and usually a minimum of 3 drinks would be charged under my name. But every drink is priceless once shared, and my love for family will always win no matter what. Just seeing them emerged in drinking and laughing makes my world stop and I record every second of it. Makes me glad 🙂 Thanks to Starbucks the Fort Drive Thru and Starbucks SM Taytay.

For moments when I would like to get away from it all, Starbucks Tagaytay would keep me company. Whether the weather was so bad and it’s zero visibility, the comfort I was looking for would be found in this haven.

Lastly, writing poetry without my Iced Cafe Mocha with mint syrup would be impossible. That long wooden table at Crescent store is my current third place. I spent numerous countless self-dates there. Most of the time writing and doodling things out of my brain. Those were the important minutes of life, at times talking to strangers or swimming under my own notions.

You see, it’s not just about a cup of coffee. It about the coffee plus the people we drink coffee with.

To all my family and friends whom I have had coffee dates with, thank you for letting me enter your lives. These words were never enough to explain how I learned from all of you. Hoping in some way, you felt the same too.

Lets share more moments.

To the Moon Garden and back

Work lately seems a bit stressful. It happens I know and this is one of the few moments where you just want to fly to the Moon and never return. Biggest thanks to Jona for inviting Dredd and I on one of her happy place, the MOON! Nadah! The Moon Garden also known as Lily’s Pond. We don’t have a car but who can stop us, pede naman mag commute right? Kung kaya ko lang talagang mag bike baka ginawa ko na. Haha! Forgive me if I’m gonna tell my story the Tag-Lish way. Some happy things are easier to explain in Tagalog words.

1One, two, three… let’s do this! The two Dora girls are Jona and Dredd (please follow and check out their blog din), sila ang kasama ko sa weekend getaway na ito. I have traveled once with Dredd when we attended a wedding last January, as for the three of us, this is the first. Maya maya ko na ikwekwento ang mga qualities nila. Lol! As we go along na lang.

Back to Moon Garden, once you get to the area, you will be greeted by colorful flowers and yes, super duper green plants. Look, may heart pa sa halaman! How cute diba?

2Hindi ako matigil sa kakasabi ng “Ang ganda naman ng place na to”… and when Bong (the caretaker) opened the door of our room, my jaw dropped open. I was speechless for a split second and before I knew it, I was screaming like a child with delight. I tell you, you have to visit the place to feel how wonderful it is to be there. Just standing in the middle of a nature inspired room makes me wanna sleep all day or write poetry.

3Not to waste so much time, we started out the photo session, haha! Yes, I love being with these two! Hindi kami matigil kaka selfie. Hindi ko na nga sinama lahat ng photos dito kasi feeling ko mauumay na ang mga mag babasa ng blog ko. Haha! Pero promise, I love them because they are so kikay… like I! 🙂

4Dredd was the one responsible for making our itinerary. First stop after checking in at Moon Garden was Ilog Maria Honeybee Farm. Commuting in Tagaytay was an easy one, kasi trike or jeep lang naman ang sasakyan most of the time. From the place we were staying, we just needed to ride a trike going to Rotonda and then ride a jeepney going to Ilog Maria. The heavens must really be on our side most of the time, when the jeep dropped us where the signage says “Ilog Maria” a family with a SUV said we can hop in since they are looking for the same place. Who can get any luckier than us right? Life is full of blessings! Buti na lang talaga at sinakay nila kami… kasi medyo malayo pala ang lalakarin in case. At malamang sa alamang, hulas hulas na ang make up ko pag nag kataon. Pero in fairness, since hindi naman ako masyadong pawisin, kapit na kapit pa din ang mahiwaga kong lipstick. Thank you mommy dearest at matibay ang gift mo! *wink wink*

5The place was not what I expected it to be. Sabagay, hindi pa naman talaga kasi ako nakakapunta sa bee farm. But I was thinking that it would be like a small place only with lots of beehives. It turned out, they have a small shop, a big green garden with bee hives and yes… ang ilog.

6As you can see, we roamed around the area first and then we decided to ask the guard where is the river. Good thing, may isang grupo din na gusto makita ang ilog so we followed them.

7It’s not a big one as you can see sa photo. Hindi na kami bumaba kasi baka hindi na din kami makaakyat. Haha! After a few minutes, we walked back to the store.

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Eto na! Eto na talaga, ang mga temptations. I just want to buy all the soaps! Okay, kahit lahat na lang ng Lavander soaps okay na ako. But we are on a trip budget, so hinay hinay lang ako sa pag shop. I can always visit the place in the future naman once I decide to go on a solo vacay again. Ang ending, I bought three stuff from them, photo above, upper right hand corner (massage oil, bee pollen and lavander soap). Yes, I so love myself, I know how to fight with my other self na, three items lang nabili ko!

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After our short nature trip, it’s time to bond again. One common denominator that we have? Coffee! We ended up having a long talk at the new Starbucks and yes, more photo ops. Night time came and it’s time for dinner. Sino ba naman ang aayaw sa Bulalo pag asa Tagaytay ka diba? Yes there are a lot of diner and restaurants that offer masarap na Bulalo, but one of them would be Leslie’s. Thank you Dennis sa napakaraming sabaw sana pala yun na lang ang inulam namin, haha!

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Now that we are so full… it’s time to head back to Moon Garden. Look how cozy the place is! :p For me the bed is talking “Come and sleep dearie, look how soft and white I am” (Yes, I do talk to things at times).

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Before sleeping, cam time muna! Ewan ko ba bat kami pinagsama sama ng tadhana. Mga  half-day selfie pede na samin. Hindi naman halata na maga ang mga mata namin from crying right? We had some deep talk and some realizations about life. It feels great to have real good friends you can confide with.

Dredd, what can I say? She was my first close friend when I transferred sa new Line of Business. She just came from her maternal leave at that time and I really had no idea how we became close, but as far as I remember, she and Rozzel were my constant companions back in the day. I do remember having funny and cool conversations with them. Funny how life separates friends and then bring them back together. Nagkahiwalay din kami ni Dredd because I needed to change Teams, now I say I am happy to spend most of the time with her ulit. We are currently under one team and same time ng shift. Hoping maka bond na namin si Rozzel soon, miss her so much!

Jona, Jona, Jona… this wonderful lady I just met because of a special project sa office. I knew from the start that she was smart and she can write her thoughts well. True enough, just read her blog and you will understand what I’m saying. She’s the cool kid on the block with super funny antics. Promise, I thought my antics were over the top hilarious! Yung kanya ibang level! I won’t spill them, baka hindi na niya ako kausapin, haha! Hoping to spend more time with her so I can get to fully know her.

12Here we are! Umagang kay ganda na! Ang comfy comfy ng bed, I swear I don’t wanna get up. I just wanna cuddle up all day! I just love my neon sports bra, haha! Feeling ko ang happy happy ko when I am wearing something bright.

13But that can’t be, breakfast is ready and so as our tummy’s. Ready to fight?

14And who would not squirm at the sight of these? Yumminess all over! Wala akong masabi, from the food presentation and the taste, masarap talaga! Super sulit ang price! And this I may say is one place na gusto kong mag breakfast for 5 hours? I am not joking, I can literally sit all day and not care just as long as I have a book handy.

15Of course, we needed to check the whole area again and take photos to share with you guys. There are other great blogs out there so be sure visit them for clearer photos. I just used my phone that’s why the quality is not that clear, I have to apologize for that.

16Walked some more, green na green lang talaga ang peg ng place na ito. Very friendly to the human eye I must say.

17We ate our sumptuous breakfast here (photo on right side). It’s surrounded by water and lilies!

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More lilies? Here they are! You won’t ever wonder why it’s also called Lily Pond.

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At ang aming mga mumunting kalokahan. Mag pa pic daw ba sa damuhan? Puno? at Birds of Paradise? 🙂

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The place will invite the bookworm in you din. The owner himself placed a lot of books and magazines to read.

At this point, it’s time to leave and eat lunch. As much as we don’t wanna go and I don’t want to leave the soft bed alone, we have to. 😦

21Lunchtime before going back to Manila… we chose Bag of Beans. I’ll give the place a 4/5 rating, very nice but malamok ng konti (besides, kagatin naman talaga ako ng insekto, haha). The food, for me was the best. Medyo may kamahalan lang but the servings are big naman so I guess worth it siya.

22And the last thought I had in mind was the unforgettable BLUEBERRY CHEESECAKE. I have loved them since college days but this one topped all the Blueberry Cheesecake I have ever tasted in my entire life. Hindi ako OA, just being true. It was not so sweet like the others and the mix of softness and melted Blueberry made me fall in love. It has been three weeks from the time I first tasted this to die for cake and I am very willing to go back to Tagaytay just to have a taste of it again.

To these two wonderful ladies! May our bond and closeness tighten as days continue to roll by. Cheers to the selfie momentos and those who says that eating will make us fat. LOL!

***If you want to visit The Moon Garden, check out their Facebook Page and feedback at TripAdvisor.***

Weekly Photo Challenge: My 2012 in Pictures

They loved me, I loved them back. 2012, You have been great and I won’t ever forget you, I know 2013 will be happier and more inspiring than ever.

At exactly 10 hours from now, 2012 will officially close. I just want to thank God for the blessings. Countless, countless, countless… from family, friends, relatives, love lost, love found and all in between. My heart is full of joy as I leave all my worries behind. I have gained enough wisdom to move on and enjoy my 28th year here on earth. Again to all the people around me who said I am inspiring as ever, I am delighted! Really, I feel like I am a star now. Do not worry, will make sure to inspire people and help in every possible way I can. The adrenaline rush of joy will stay with me each day. Life has never been this great and I have never been more positive. To all those who were there for me during my ‘downward emotional’ state, I appreciate it. Now, I am so much better. Self forgiven and self driven.

I ♥ you all. I mean it!

Second Sunday of December

December is fast! Can’t catch it! So I better enjoy the ride. This time, Ghel, Jambi, Ton and I decided to have a mini trip. Didn’t expect it to be so so fun! From Binangonan, we headed straight to Caleruega since we wanted to catch the 11:00 AM Mass, too bad we didn’t make it, but it’s okay we just prayed silently. After a few (honestly, tons) of pictorial here and there, we had our late lunch at M&M’s Bulalohan. Once full, we visited the Mahogany Market to buy some beef and pineapples! Yes! Pineapples, they taste so sweet! 🙂 We skipped People’s park and Ton brought us to People’s Park in the Sky. The view was awesome, oh high places makes me high. Our photos were all crazy, I guess I have no ‘normal’ pic in here, haha! Last stop was at Starbucks Nuvali where I claimed my planner (jumps up and down with excitement). I finally have my 2013 planner, excited to write on it with my new gold and silver pens.

So there, please do check our photos below, just don’t be shocked with our wacky and super funny poses. Can’t help it, just so happy today! (Big smile on my face)

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More info about CALERUEGA from their brochure 🙂

Caleruega (2)Caleruega (1)

Planners: years, months, days written down

Every year, almost everyone is waiting for this promo. The Starbucks sticker collection is very popular, I am not quite sure though when they started this out but I had my first planner way back 2007. However, this is only good for coffee addicts like me. If you are not one of us, you will have a hard time completing the stickers. It’s actually very fun collecting them, why? you get to spend a lot of time with your loved ones, good friends, close friends and all kinds of people. I even ended up dating myself. For all those singles, who knows? you might end up meeting that one true love? Haha!

 Starbucks Silver CIty

 The sticker card

You actually get a chance to choose which option you want. Honestly, I am not collecting for myself this year, I am just helping my sister Lovely Kriss. I have already decided to get a Belle de Jour Planner for my 2012. But if I were to choose between these two options, I’ll choose this one. Special drinks plus the normal fraps.

 This is option 2 where all you need is fill up the 23 stickers, no need for the special drinks.

 This is my sister Lovely Kriss with her stickers.

2007-2011 PLANNERS

My 2007 planner, if I am not mistaken Sister Jolly Vi gave this to me as a gift, exact date was January 9, 2007. This is also where I met NICO, haha! I think almost everyone knows him/her but they are not aware of his/her name.

 Highlight of my 2008? A lot! Passed the Ms. Nursing crown to my very good friend Levely Esguerra and traveled a lot. Sister Jolly got married 🙂

 2009? Sister Jolly left for the US. Continued traveling and beachin.

 My friend Marielle got married this year, June 25, 2010 we went to Bicol and watched her exchange vows.

After so many years, curls, straight, curls again, I decided to cut my hair on February 19, 2011. Now I am trying to grow my hair again, coz’ whenever I see this pic, I feel a pang of sadness.

 Get ready for 2012! Good luck to those who are collecting stickers! You can do it! Keep on planning!

11.11.11 at 11:11

Lucky date? I am not so sure but I celebrated this date with my loved ones. Our plan A was to see the lanterns at Mega Tent. Unfortunately due to some problems, the organizers of the event cancelled it. Good thing we have plan B, go to Mercato and eat, since the crowd is not that huge that area compared to Bancheto. Since it was friday and almost everyone was out to see the lanterns, we were quite afraid that we will not make it in time to Bonifacio Global City. But God is super great, we were there before 10:30 pm.

This was me posing on our favorite foot bridge, while waiting.

 The crazy sisters! Lily Rose, Lovely Kriss and I.

 Making some drama with our phones 🙂

 Mercato Tent, located at BGC, near S&R, back part of Starbucks.

Pose with the tent.

 It was super hot! Got my drinks ready!

 The crowd who loves to eat.

 We needed a bit of fresh air, so we headed to the grass area.

 So here are the lanterns, we thought we will not see one, but the people at Mercato were all ready. It was such a delight seeing them light the lanterns.

Getting ready to fly! It’s Tangled time!

They look like big stars up and above! Lovely!

 Now, let us eat. My favorite baby potatoes, it’s a bit heavy for the stomach and good for my diet!

 The monster burger at Php 175.00

 The thin crust pizza

 And the famous lasagna

Even my fingers look fat, lol!

 They are busy eating

 A late lantern with the moon

 Christmas season is in the air! Christmas lights surrounds the Fort

 Finally, after a long time, I was able to have a picture with this miniature building.

 All the Starbucks were full, so we ended up in Silver City for the nth time. Sissy is not so happy with her frap, it tasted different… good thing they got her a new one.

 Green tea frap and I

 It all ends with a wrong spelling. Ciao!