Year: 2013

The Art of Being Happy for Someone Else / “Dare to BE HAPPY”

I hadn’t planned on writing about this, but I figured I might as well get it off my chest. You know how they say that you should be happy for someone else’s successes? I’ve read a number of different things about this, like how the successful ones are those who don’t begrudge others for their good fortune. And yes, I know that if that person is important to me, I should be happy for them. Problem is, sure, I’m happy, but more often than not, the scale tips over in favor of jealousy. Oscar Wilde said: “Anyone can sympathize with the sufferings of a friend, but it requires a very fine nature to sympathize with a friend’s success.” If I go by his words, I’m thinking I don’t have ‘a very fine nature’. Does this make me a bad person? I know I should be happy and I want to be, but knowing and wanting are two very different things from ‘being’. How do I go about being truly, genuinely happy for someone else? Is this ability …

Juan Valdez Coffee

My dear friend Cel recently came home from her American tour, and one of her stops was Colombia. Three guesses as to what I asked her to bring back for me. Yes, COFFEE. According to Wikipedia: Colombian Coffee is a protected designation of origin granted by the European Union (September 2007) that applies to the coffee produced in Colombia.[1] The Colombian coffee has been recognized worldwide as having high quality and distinctive taste. The main importers of Colombian coffee are United States,Germany, France, Japan, and Italy.[2] Almost all coffee is grown in Colombia in a region called Colombian Coffee-Growers Axis. So yeah, Colombia’s big on their coffee. Cel got me a pack of Juan Valdez mild Arabica coffee. Apparently, it’s one of the biggest chains in the country, and lucky for me, I get to have a taste of it! The coffee was pre-ground and, though the grind looked a bit too fine for the drip brew method, I still opted for that since our espresso machine’s currently out of commission. My brother taught me how to prepare coffee using a single-serve pour-over plastic cone with paper filters. It’s as …

Starbucks Mocha Cookie Crumble Frappuccino

It used to be that Frappuccinos were my go-to drinks in Starbucks. Then I discovered that they were probably the most sugar-loaded drinks on their menu, so I compromised with iced drinks instead. I’ve been alternating between the iced White Chocolate Mocha and the iced Caramel Macchiato and, more recently, the iced Asian Dolce Latte. Though my blog entry about it might suggest otherwise, that specific latte did grow on me, and it’s been my regular Starbucks order since, oh, late March. Sadly, they’re now in the process of finishing their last stock of the ADL. To replace it, they’re reintroducing two previously featured drinks — the Mocha Cookie Crumble Frappuccino and the Red Bean Green Tea Frappuccino. I am not a tea person (it reminds me of grass and I’d rather have my greens in salad form), so the red bean’s definitely off my list. But since several of my friends have been raving about the Mocha Cookie Crumble AND, hey, I’m a cookie fan, I decided to take a brief hiatus from my …

The Awakening

Yikes, I’ve totally been neglecting my blog! Was busy with the final requirements for my classes, then I had to cram several articles for work plus Act One of this novella I’m writing for an informal class. I’ve got quite a few things to post–including my quarter-life updates–but for now, I’d like to share something I wrote for my group’s creative writing folio. It’s a pretty rough draft, and yes, I know that there are holes in the story. I’ll get to editing it sometime soon (hopefully). Anyway, here it is. Funnily enough, our folio’s theme suits my blog pretty well. Can you guess what it is? 🙂 *      *      *      *      * She awoke to the soft touch of lips upon lips, as fleeting as the perch of a butterfly on a rose and nearly as sweet. Her eyes blinked open, and she was instantly assaulted by light so bright, she thought her retinas would burn. Instinctively, her hands flew to her face to provide some …

Angkor Cafe / The Blue Pumpkin

One of my favorite things to do when traveling to new places is to try their local coffee shops. Doesn’t matter if the country isn’t particularly known for coffee, or if their offerings don’t differ from those back home. There’s still bound to be something different about the way they prepare their drinks, the ingredients they use, the presentation. Different may not always mean good, but like I said in my confession, coffee’s an experience — one that I definitely cannot pass up on when traveling. During my trip to Siem Reap last month, my friends and I discovered The Blue Pumpkin, one of Cambodia’s most popular cafes, and liked it well enough to visit it twice (actually, thrice, but it turned out to be closed that other time). TBP has several branches all over Cambodia, and eight in Siem Reap alone. So if you visit Siem Reap and fail to spot it even once, I’m going to doubt that you were there at all, especially since they have a branch in the airport and …

Cafe Mary Grace Cappuccino

Last Sunday, I attended my first Contemporary Romance Writing Class session. It was all sorts of enlightening and amusing, but one of the highlights was my caffeinated companion. I’d originally wanted to get an iced kopi from Toast Box, thanks to my new discovery about its connection to Starbucks’ Asian Dolce Latte, but since we were meeting up in Cafe Mary Grace, I figured I might as well just get my coffee there. Before then, the only drink I’d tried in Cafe Mary Grace was their iced mocha. I don’t remember much about it aside from it being rather sweet, but I do remember how my sweetheart of a client insisted on treating me there after one of our meetings in Serendra. Man, do I miss that client of mine. Since I was in a whimsical mood, I decided to try out their cappuccino (yes, I really do associate fanciful, romantic thoughts with that frothy coffee concoction). Thankfully, I was well-pleased with my little cuppa–I’m not sure what beans they used, but I’m guessing it’s …

Starbucks Asian Dolce Latte

…The Queen of Procrastination strikes again. To be fair, I’ve realized that if I don’t write about something new that I’ve tried right away, I’ll most probably end up not writing about it at all. And so, without further ado, I introduce you to Starbucks’ latest seasonal drink: Meet the Asian Dolce Latte. I’ve seen adverts of this a couple of times now, but since the Starbucks near my house is now CLOSED–something I still haven’t come to terms with; it was less than five minutes away from my house!!!–it was only tonight that I got to try it. I looked it up just now and discovered that it was first launched last January 31, during the opening of Starbucks’ flagship store in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam. It’s supposed to be the equivalent of Vietnam’s trademark ca phe sua da, which is basically strong coffee mixed with condensed milk. This type of coffee is not unique to Vietnam–it’s actually quite common among Asia; hence, the “Asian” in the “Dolce Latte”. According to Starbucks, Asian Dolce Latte is “the …

Mental Block, meet Random Ramblings

I’m noticing a trend here. I seem to find myself writing here whenever I reach a roadblock in my SEO writing attempts — which happens way too often than I’m comfortable with. Who knew it would be so hard to write a couple of articles given specific keywords? It’s even harder because the subject matters aren’t exactly in my wheelhouse. Heehee, that was the first time I’ve used that phrase; I keep hearing it on shows like American Idol and The Voice. It’s a pretty tingly expression…and I probably didn’t make any sense right there. Anyway, I’ve been trying to stimulate my writing juices in different ways: munching on the forbidden-but-oh-so-tempting Lay’s Sour Cream and Onion chips; jumping/running on our ancient trampoline; disturbing our husky, Coffee, as he sleeps peacefully in my parents’ room; even flailing and gyrating in my seat to the tune of Harlem Shake. Yeah, not a nice visual, LOL. After nearly a month of this SEO gig, I’ve boned up on things that I never before thought to research about, and …

‘Cause sometimes, it’s better hot

I’ve hit a rough patch in my writing, and since I haven’t updated this thing in a while, I figured I’d sneak in a post. I’ll make it short and sweet 🙂 Yesterday was a pretty full day for me. In between attending my friend’s wedding reception in Tagaytay and meeting my high school friends for dinner and drinks, I needed a special hit to liven me up a bit — especially since I’d only had roughly two and a half hours’ worth of sleep. So even though I’d already had my allotted half cup of coffee for the day, I indulged in some UCC lovin’ while waiting for my friends to arrive in Eastwood. Like most people, I have several “go-to” drinks in my favorite coffee places. You might know about my UCC Kori Kohi fixation, but before that was introduced, there was the iced white chocolate mocha. Starbucks has a pretty good version of it, but UCC takes the lead in terms of hitting that perfect balance between creamy goodness and caffeine kick. I’ve …