Happiness is one of those intangible assets that is much sought-after and increases in value the longer you keep it.
Bo’s Coffee: Single Serve Philippine Coffee Origins
With life mostly back to normal, it’s time to return to my favorite coffee shop: Bo’s Coffee. They have a branch at The Rolex Place, Fairview, Quezon City that I like. The place tends to be crowded during lunchtime and the afternoon because there is a nearby teaching hospital, the Far Eastern University – Nicanor Reyes Medical Foundation. When ever I go to that particular branch, I have to be prepared to wait for a table or seat to become available since students like to hang out there.
The vibe is very nice, and the coffee isn’t more expensive than Starbucks.
I mostly go there for coffee and dessert, but they do have sandwiches and light meals.
Of course, I’m always busy, so I can’t always go out just for a coffee. That’s where Bo’s Coffee’s Single Serve comes in. It’s basically a box of individually packaged single serve drip coffee servings.
One box of this contains seven sachets. I wouldn’t say it’s cheap, but it’s cheaper than going to a coffee shop, and it’s a lot more convenient since I can just put a sachet in my handbag so I can have a good cup of coffee wherever I go.
The text on the side of the box explains that each sachet comes from a different coffee-growing area of the Philippines. Having finished the entire box in a week, I can confidently proclaim that each one has a distinct taste. I feel like the box is good value for money because it allows you to sample coffee from many places without having to travel anywhere. The featured regions are: Sagada, Benguet, Mt. Katanglad, Mt. Apo, and Mt. Matumtum.
If you’ve never tried this type of drip coffee, there is a set of instructions on the back of the box. You simply have to place the sachet on top of a cup or mug (it has paper hangers) and slowly pour hot water over the coffee grounds.
Of course, coffee from Sagada and Benguet are quite famous and need no introduction. However, some of the other coffee varieties were quite new to me. Fortunately, each sachet comes with a short note about their differences. For example, this particular single serve coffee from Matutum, South Cotabato has a berry-like and spicy taste, with faint notes of cardamon and camphor.
This is what the sachet looks like. The cardboard “ears” were handy for hanging it on the side of my mug.
This is what it looks like after you hang the sachet on your mug, ready for you to pour hot water on it.
The coffee was great. I tasted it and, maybe it was just my imagination, but I think I did taste the fruitiness of it. It wasn’t as bitter as I would’ve thought, even when I drank it black. However, I did eventually add a nondairy creamer and sugar.
10/10 – I loved it and would love another cup.
Note: This post was not sponsored. I bought the item with my own money, and I was not given a discount or any free stuff. This is my own opinion, and I have no relationship with anyone from Bo’s Coffee.
Shangri-La Boracay – Cielo Poolside Restaurant & Bar
I went to Boracay before the pandemic. I just didn’t have the heart to post about it afterward because everyone was on lockdown. I mean, it would be pretty tone-deaf to post about it right in the midst of the problems everyone was having.
It was my mother’s birthday, so we went on a short vacation to the lovely island of Boracay, Philippines.
Shangri-La Boracay is probably the priciest resort on the island. We stayed at a different place, but we decided to celebrate a birthday lunch at the Cielo Poolside Restaurant & Bar. According to the person I spoke to on the phone, reservations weren’t really needed, but it’s probably different nowadays because of the Coronavirus.
There are lots of little nipa huts and umbrellas with tables and chairs under them, and the pool area is huge, so there’s plenty of seating. I’m guessing that social distancing isn’t the problem at all. At the time that we were there, no one had heard of COVID19 yet so it wasn’t a concern for us.
There is also a small private beach that guests can use, but we weren’t staying there so we didn’t use it. I’ve heard some people say that the beach at Shangri-La Boracay sucks, but I think it looks fine.
I had the grilled pork belly and a dessert whose name I forget. The presentation was on point. The taste, however, was just fine though I must say not as nice as I thought it would be. You can’t beat the view though!
We felt super special and fancy while we were eating there. I recommend that you give it a try if you can. The service was also quite good. In my opinion, Shangri-La hotels always have the best service.
Note: I suggest that you call first to ask if they require reservations and what precautions people have to take these days because of COVID19.
More information here – http://www.shangri-la.com/boracay/boracayresort/dining/restaurants/cielo/
Family Mart Inkigayo Sandwich
What I ate today: Inkigayo Sando from Family Mart.
What is an Inkigayo Sandwich?
If this is a new term for you, let me explain. Inkigayo (인기가요), literally meaning “popular music,” is a Korean TV show by SBS. The Inkigayo sandwich is a food item that the SBS cafeteria owner at Inkigayo show created for the staff.
It’s a three-layered sandwich with cabbage slaw, potato salad, and strawberry jam fillings.
Weird, right? Somehow, this peculiar snack became popular among K-Pop idols, and it is now available at most convenience stores in Korea and abroad.
The scandalous secret origin of the Inkigayo Sando craze
Whoa! Did you know that this sandwich has a secret? K-Pop idols are often forbidden to date, so they sneakily hide a piece of paper with their phone number on an Inkigayo sandwich’s cling wrap packaging and give it to the person they’re interested in.
Sadly, the Inkigayo Sando I bought from Family Mart didn’t have a K-Pop idol’s phone number in it.
Inkigayo Sandwich I K-POP Idol Sandwich Review
It was… Okay. I’m not a big fan. The white bread was fluffy and nice, but I would have preferred a little more saltiness/savory flavoring. On the other hand, it seems like a relatively healthy sandwich compared to my usual ham and cheese.
The cabbage slaw was pretty unexciting. It’s just basic cabbage with mayonnaise. The potato salad was a little nicer, but nothing to get really excited about. Both fillings were on the bland side. Whoever thought of adding sweet strawberry jam to the sandwich was a genius. It really added something to the sandwich that made it much better than the sum of its parts.
What I order it again? No.
Would I make it at home? Yes. In fact, I think the idea of the sandwich was pretty good. I’d make it at home with a little more salt (which, come to think of it, would make it less healthy) or substitute chicken or egg salad instead of potato salad for a more savory snack. I’ve got a bottle of Kewpie brand Japanese mayonnaise lying around the house, so it wouldn’t be that hard.
Belo SunExpert Perfecting Shield Tinted Sunscreen
When it comes to a skincare regimen, only three things are absolutely necessary: a cleanser, a moisturizer, and sunscreen.
The first two are easy enough to find. All I really need is a gentle cleanser and a fragrance-free moisturizer for sensitive skin. There are plenty of those in the market, especially if you’re willing to try out products that are made for babies.
On the other hand, the perfect sunscreen is much harder to find. In addition to being affordable and effective in protecting skin from the harmful rays of the sun, it also has to be aesthetically pleasing.
For some reason, most sunscreens fail one of those conditions. Either they are too expensive, ineffective, or don’t look good. The most common failing is that sunscreens give the face a so-called “white cast,” i.e. they make you look like a ghost or kabuki actor.
In the Philippines, a lot of these products also have whitening ingredients, which I personally don’t use.
The Belo SunExpert Perfecting Shield Tinted Sunscreen
I have been using Belo sunscreens because they are relatively affordable, and effective. At least, I think they’re effective. I’m not a scientist.
As I was doing a bit of research online, some people recommended tinted sunscreens because it avoids the dreaded white cast effect.
I’d found that the Belo SunExpert Perfecting Shield Tinted Sunscreen is almost the perfect product. The price is right, it’s SPF fifty, and it looks good.
It’s one flaw: when I sweat the sunscreen on my forehead stings my eyes.
Of course, I can avoid this by blocking my forehead, but it’s pretty obvious that doing that also removes the sunscreen, so I only use this sunscreen when I’m not doing anything physical. I guess I’ll have to find a good sports sunscreen for that.
Overall, I give this four stars out of five.
Kale Cafe + Restaurant
Kale Cafe + Restaurant is a cozy little place where you can get a great cup of coffee and a good meal. Before the pandemic, I used to go to their place at Melting Pot Building in Fairview, Quezon City. Nowadays, I use their delivery service.
When I first went there with my niece, I had the katsu burger while she had the grilled cheese sandwich and a chocolate chip cookie.
To be honest, the katsu burger was a bit weird. Instead of a beef patty, the patty is made of ground pork coated in panko (Japanese breadcrumbs) and then deep-fried before being placed in a brioche bun with sriracha mayo, homemade slaw, pickled onions, red cabbage, and who knows what else. It was served with furikake fries. It took some getting used to, but I have become extremely fond of it. I’ve been ordering it repeatedly since I first tried it.
The burger has now evolved into a sandwich (P190).
My niece had the grilled cheese sandwich (P180) made of sourdough, mozzarella cheese, garlic confit, and ebiko (shrimp flakes) with roasted tomato puree. It was a hearty and filling meal, but she still had room for a chocolate chip cookie.
Who doesn’t love a good chocolate chip cookie (P50)?
She liked the sandwich so much that we have been ordering it for delivery, too.
That’s the type of thing that we order when we used to go there for meals. On the other hand, it’s also great for coffee and a quick bite.
I don’t have much to say about the coffee except that it was good.
The real star of the show when it comes to coffee and a snack is their banana bread (P79). Something about it is just too good! I have to stop myself from eating too much because it’s that delicious.
Another thing that I can recommend is their steak (P330) though it might be better if you ordered it in the restaurant, rather than getting it delivered like we do.
The spaghetti marinara (P190) was okay but nothing special.
I’ve also had their cereal milk latte (P150) which was excellent. I forgot to take a picture of it.
Lastly, their yema pie (P120) is a thing of beauty! It’s sweet and undoubtedly high-calorie, but I can’t resist ordering it.
I have not been compensated for this post and have no relationship with Kale Cafe + Restaurant. Everything you see here was bought with my own money. The photos are also mine.
Kale Cafe + Restaurant Information
Unit 2-1 2nd Floor, 527 Melting Pot Building. Ciudad Verde Executive Village, Omega Avenue. Brgy Greater Fairview Quezon City
Haru no Sakura Cake Tarts
Haru no Sakura – The tart which symbolizes the coming of spring
Incredible! I managed to snag these Sakura tarts from Candysan before they went out of stock. These “Haru no Sakura” tarts seem to be a seasonal snack because they don’t seem to be available anymore. I’ll definitely order them again if I see them in the Candysan store again because they are the bomb!
It’s pretty much impossible to buy Sakura-flavored anything unless you’re in Japan, sadly. I’m a fan of the fragrant, flowery taste of cherry blossoms.
Anyway, about the tarts!
Haru no Sakura
The box is super nice. I think it’s like a gift box rather than just the usual grocery box. I like the little curved asymmetrical bit on the left side.
To be honest, it’s a bit shocking how many small things are individually packaged in Japan. I think it’s because boxes like these are meant to be passed around. There are five tarts which I guess means I ought to find some other people to share it with but… *cough* I ate it all myself.
Here’s a nice close-up photo of the tart package. It’s cute.
Once I tore off the plastic, I was a bit surprised since it did not look like a tart. It’s soft and cakey! The “tart” is a cake or muffin that was formed in the shape of a tart.
I am obsessed with the pink cake interior when I bite into it. It tastes like cherry blossoms (sakura) with a hint of sweetness. It’s not dry but neither is it super moist.
Is it really like “the coming of spring”?
Yes, it really is! The fresh, clean, flowery taste of sakura isn’t overpowering but it’s there and it’s amazing.
Be warned though: if you’re thinking of giving this as a gift, think twice since not everyone likes this type of flowery taste in their cake. I did try to share this but there were no takers. I urged someone to take a small bite but she hated it. I suggest that you buy it for yourself if you like sakura.
One final thought: I’d like to make it clear that this post isn’t sponsored by Candysan. I bought the tarts with my own money.
Having said that, I feel like I want to explain what Candysan is. It seems to be an online shop run by someone French. At least, I think it’s run by some French person since the website is available in both English and French. They ship directly from Japan. Despite the name, they don’t seel just candy. They have all sorts of stuff like noodles, snacks, drinks, gashapon, Japanese honey, etc.
I kinda tend to spend a lot there. 🙂 If you are ever in Japan then buying this type of stuff should be easy enough but for those of us who aren’t there, Candysan is a good way to buy unusual or unique Japanese treats.
Cafe Tribu Fairview (Regalado Branch)
Note: This was before the Coronavirus quarantine went into effect.
I was at the QUAD Study and Coworking Space Regalado branch when I felt peckish. Right beside Quad on the 2nd floor of the Cristina Building is Cafe Tribu. I had some iced coffee and a plate of their carbonara.
Cafe Tribu Regalado Branch
2/F Cristina Building, Regalado Avenue corner Coronet St., Fairview Park
Quezon City, Philippines
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/cafetribu.fairview/
The coffee and the food were okay. The cafe is pretty small but I like the simple and soothing ambiance. They have wifi, of course, so it’s a good place to hang out that isn’t too expensive. I’ve been there about three times now and I plan to try out their Japanese food next time.
I didn’t realize until I did a Google search that Cafe Tribu was a franchise. It looked like a small neighborhood coffeehouse but it turns out that they have a lot of branches. Some are cafes like the one in Fairview but they do also have coffee stalls.
This area of Fairview, Quezon City is full of students so most of the restaurants and cafes have student-friendly pricing. That’s great for me since I don’t like to pay a lot for a midday snack.
Have you been to Cafe Tribu?
This post is not sponsored. I have no relationship with Cafe Tribu. I paid for my food and drink.
The Body Shop Color Crush Lipstick (Blushing Pink)
I’ve recently switched to using long-lasting liquid lipsticks most of the time because the matte look is in vogue right now but those liquid formulas tend to dry my lips.
My current cream lipstick favorite (used when my lips are too dry for liquid lipstick) is my old The Body Shop Color Crush Lipstick #225. The internet says that this color is “Blushing Pink” but all it says on the lipstick itself is #225.
The lipstick comes in a silver base with a pink cap that says “The Body Shop” on it. I like that pink shade!
I thought that the pictures on this blog need a little love so I put some effort into staging the pic with a glittery silver-blue scarf, (real) pearl necklace, and some French macarons to give it that extra-fancy look.
These photos are mine! I didn’t get them from The Body Shop, I took them myself.
As I hope you can see from the picture, the lipstick is a medium pink. I’ve already used around half of it. I’m dreading finishing the whole thing since this particular color is discontinued.
I included a tissue with a lipstick mark to show the color better.
The lipstick is soft and glides on smoothly. It has a very luxurious, creamy feel and it’s very pigmented. It’s glossy. not matte like a lot of lipsticks these days.
Sadly, it has no staying power since it rubs off on anything that touches my lips but, on the other hand, it’s comfortable and moisturizing, unlike long-lasting liquid lipsticks. I wear this when retouching my lipstick isn’t a problem or when my lips are dry. I don’t even need lip balm if I use this since it soothes my dry lips. The Body Shop website says it’s made with beeswax which is probably the ingredient that makes my lips feel good.
The taste of this lipstick is light and neutral since I don’t even notice the taste whenever I eat something. Don’t you just hate it when your lipstick gives your food a weird taste?
Would I buy it again? Yes.
Hearthstone Battlegrounds (Beta)
I’m addicted to Hearthstone’s new Battlegrounds mode. It’s still in beta right now but I think it’s a genius idea. In this new play mode, eight players compete with each other.
Sadly, I’m a weak player which means I often get pwned a lot by the other seven players.
The first and quite crucial task is to pick from two heroes that are randomly assigned. Some heroes suck! It’s really sad when I’m given a choice of two heroes who are both no good.
I get super envious when I see the other players have some really great heroes to play with but, oh well, them’s the breaks of Hearthstone Battlegrounds! At least I don’t often end up as dead last.
I really like the Nightmare Amalgam card, especially if I get it early since I can buff it until it becomes awesome.
Players have to pick cards that are available from Bo’s Tavern then when the fight starts the minions automatically attack each other. It’s a bit nervewracking when your minions keep on attacking the wrong enemies. Minions do attack from the left to right of your own board which gives a player a little bit of control. I also like taunt minions since they protect the other minions.
At the end of a round, the player who has at least one minion left is the winner (only of that round) and the enemy hero takes some damage.
Getting first place is sooooooo satisfying when you have to beat seven other players! I love it!
Japanese Kit Kat – Beni Imo (Sweet Purple Potato)
KitKat Japan is pretty well-known for its seasonal and limited edition flavors. I was at a 7-11 when I saw this purple mini KitKat.
Here are my photos:
As you can see, the coating on the KitKat must have melted then reformed in storage or something like that since the surface looks slightly wrinkled. It didn’t affect the taste though.
The Beni Imo (Sweet Purple Potato) flavor wasn’t very strong but it was there. The primary taste is of white chocolate and sweetness. It was pretty great.
The crunch factor was there, as usual, and it was very satisfying. Great mouthfeel!
If you were to ask me if I prefer this over the regular chocolate then my answer would be NO. I liked this as a change of pace. The Sweet Purple Potato KitKat is worth buying to check it but I think I’ll stick to the regular chocolate version.
This would make a good small gift. I bought two to share with someone. She also who liked it but both of us prefer the regular KitKat. You just can’t beat classic chocolate KitKat.