Buko Pie


A good place to stop for a quick
merienda or pasalubong in Nueva Vizcaya
would be
Special Buko Pie.

From the outside, a visibly overworked oven's endless churning of
buko pies along with the people scrambling to usher them out and pack them into boxes sort of give me a vision of Santa's little helpers hustling tirelessly in the toy factory to meet the Christmas Eve deadline.

G&B brings a
different twist to the
usual buko
pie. It uses thin
layers of soft
buko with a creamy filling
in between the
buko layers that tastes
like custard (it's kind of like
having macapuno and
leche flan
inside a pie).

Best eaten as soon as it
is bought, the golden crust
adds a final touch of a distinct
buttery taste to complete the
G&B buko pie experience. Its richness overwhelms as the
soft shell
leads to the warm
cream and soft buko.
Should you
plan on taking some home
pasalubong (3 for P110 makes this pasalubong
inexpensive but special),
simply let the
salespeople know and
they'll give
you the cooled down pies which are
better for
and long travel. I
regularly buy pies here
which are taken to
Bicol by land. No problem.
G&B is located at the
main highway
along Bagabag
Nueva Vizcaya. If
you're coming from Solano
just look
for their sign on your
right. It comes
before the road forks
Ifugao Province and Isabela (if you've gotten that far then you'll most probably know what I'm talking about). =)


Best Nights of My Life


  1. North Luzon Business/Road trip with Liv. That was the one and only time so far that I had everything I needed with me in the province.
  2. World Pyro Olympics. Contrary to what Liv remembers, I recall that we had a pretty long and leisurely chat at the hotel lounge over cocktails and liquor (which got me dizzy and sick later that evening) while we watched the awesome display.
    I guess it was a good night for me cause i was eventually at the receiving end of Olivia's nanny/Ruysitting services. First class!!!
  3. Boracay with Liv, Cyril and officemates. Nothing like a summer evening in Boracay bingeing on Gastof's ribs and barbecues then lounging by the beach, legs comfortably stretched on the sand with a bottomless iced tea shake in hand. Of course as a perfect conclusion to an entire day of adventuring, snorkling and holding hands... Yikee!!!!
  4. Discovery Weekend evenings when we'd wrap up the day's important lessons and discussions after a dinner of Nani's adobo which Liv insisted on bringing (and became a hit among the people who were lucky enough to be our tablemates). Though the entire weekend experience was priceless, I hold the evening where we had confession as the most special for me. It just felt right.
  5. World premiere of Star Wars Episode I in Glorietta. After decades of waiting, I was once again one with the Force... with a Wendy's Big Bacon Classic Double. Wooohooo!!!!


On Cafe Mary Grace's Fili Beef Steak Sandwich


I have to say I loved this. The meat was simply tender and the sauce had a punchy zing to it. One, two, three bites... four, fi---where'd it go?

Oh well.. its either its too yummy, I was too hungry or it could use some BEEFing up. Get it? Hahaha.


Cafe Mary Grace


Stepping inside Cafe Mary Grace in Serendra feels almost exactly like stepping inside a papemelrotti shop. It has the same shabby chic inspired decor which lends a very homey feel to it. One thing I instantly liked about this place is the bag hook they have under their tables...brilliant!!

The place has a feel of an over grown bakeshop so I wasn't really expecting anything fancy. The menu sounded really good but then again 90% of menus do. That's what menus are supposed to do after all, ensnare your senses and force you to buy the food. The Mary Grace menu does that...the difference with other places is this..the food really does taste good.
Let's start with the drinks. Ruy and I decided to buy two glasses of iced tea instead of a pitcher in order to try more flavors of the iced tea. They have four flavors all in all: Peppermint and Fruit, Apples and Cinnamon, Hibiscus, and Red Tea Concoction whose name escapes me now. Ruy had the peppermint and fruit while I had the apples and cinnamon. Ruy thinks my tea tastes better and I'd have to agree.
Next comes our salad, Fried Kesong Puti with Calamansi Vinaigrette. One bite and I was in love. I am a calamansi lover and I think it's not used enough in our dishes. This particular dish substituted the calamansi for lemon and the result was spectacular. Ruy liked it although he's not raving as I am cause he's not a fan of sour things. He said that he's looking for something salty as the fried kesong puti only served to counter act the tangy dressing. He said anchovies would have been nice.
For our main dish we had Salmon and Cream Pasta and Fili Beef Steak Sandwich. The pasta was okay although it had a lot more cream than salmon. The two main ingredients also didn't seem to have been part of one dish. The reason I wasn't satisfied with this dish is because I've had better. The dish I had in the past had salmon pureed and mixed in with the cream. This resulted in a really tasty dish. The one in Cafe Mary Grace tasted like cream until you get lucky enough to bite into a stray piece of salmon...which wouldn't happen often. The steak sandwich was TINY!! I can't get over how mall it was. It's almost the just the size of one pandesal from Pugon. The taste was pretty good but be prepared to order something else if you plan on getting this.
Caramel Ensaymada -- Was good...but definitely not worth the 88pesos I paid for it in my opinion. Ruy kept on harping about buying 2 Krispy Kremes instead...I wouldn't go that far cause the ensaymada is a whole new pastry and adds a different satisfaction. I actually really enjoyed the ensaymada until I found out how much it costs. hehehe.

Lime 88 -- Street Food with an Attitude


Last Monday, Ruy and I had to go to St. Luke's to visit a cousin of mine who was hospitalized. As this was such a long trip for us who live in the mountains we decided to make the most of this trip and try to have a proper "date". We dropped Andrea off at my mother's house, visited my cousin and drove to Katre. Unfortunately, Katre is closed for that particular Monday so we racked our brains for somewhere to go. We remember this new restaurant we came across through this post in Anton's Blog and we decided to give it a try.

After braving the foreign streets of Mandaluyong we found Lime 88.

The place is nothing spectacular. It's literally a house converted into a cozy little resto. To be honest, had I not read the post from Anton I wouldn't have gone in. Lucky for me that Ruy and I braved it.

Service: The crew and staff were extremely attentive. They:

  1. Got our orders right

  2. Served the food quickly

  3. Returned with our requests (i.e. hotsauce, information) very quickly

  4. Answered all our questions

  5. Were very patient

  6. did not seem like they were rushing us at all

  7. removed empty dishes with the speed of light

  8. were very polite.

That in itself is reason enough to go back to Lime 88...but wait there's more.

Let's go through what Ruy and I had that night.

Caesar Salad. I personally loved this. It was a different take on the usual caesar salad as it was served with salted egg and pork cracklings. Fine, the greens are so few that you could count them and yes the pork crackling has obviously been in the shelf for a while now but I still liked it a lot. I think it's a novel take on something so abused (the caesar salad) add that to the fact that I ADORE salted eggs and you would understand why I love this dish.

Garlic Tuyo Pasta. Another thing I liked, the cream and garlic combo is after all one lethal combination that can turn anything into a masterpiece (I think that this combination can only be beaten by the butter and garlic that combination can make toilet paper taste like a gourmet dish...I digress) I personally would have wanted some more spices to add a bit of bite as well as to counteract the richness of the pasta. I think using the bottled spicy tuyo from Tapa King would have added just that right amount of spice to make this good dish WONDERFUL.

Street Style Pizza. I usually frown at pizzas. I don't like pizzas (do I hear a collective gasp here?) yet I was able to eat this pizza and actually enjoy it. Ruy adored it and he claims this is his favorite. I was trying to find the kesong puti on the pizza we ordered but I couldn't find it.

We finished the meal off with some green alcoholic beverage whose name I can't remember. I liked it so much stopping myself from drinking it all was tough. But I had to do what a responsible mother would do and stop drinking so I can carry my baby home....waaaaaaah

p.s. I loved their huge hot sauce bottles that I just had to
pose with it.


Igan's the home of cardiac delights..


One of my favorite eating places in Cabanatuan City would have to be Igan's Food House and Litsonan. It is located at the left side of the highway just as you enter Cabanatuan (coming from Bulacan) as part of a 2 kilometer stretch of litsonans adorning the city's entryway.
I first came across Igan's travelling with an office mate "Kuya Boy" around two years ago. We were quite hungry then and desperate for food as we entered the Cabanatuan lechon stretch where Igan's, nestled oh so sweetly under the cool shade of several huge trees, hollered to us with the sweet sound of lechon chopping and food cooking. I've been a regular ever since.

A friendly bunch of people manning the food service and an equally friendly and accommodating owner and head cook Ms. Elaine, excellent service, cholesterol heavy good food and affordable pricing all conspire to give the eater the sweetest cardiac delight.


Lechon of course! Always fresh out of the roasting pit at around lunch time, Igan's Litson's lechon is one of the best in the area. The meat is juicy and the skin is crisp with just the right layer of fat that offers an excellent compliment to the crunch (and there's always extra if you ask nicely =)). Igan's is where a person around Cabanatuan can satisfy a lechon craving without waiting for the next town fiesta.

At P75 for 1/4 kg it is definitely worth it.

Sisig. Cooked the kapampangan way (not sizzling), it's a zesty blend of spices, onions, creamy sauce and yes... chopped lechon bits. I just crave for this as much as the lechon.

P40 for an order is quite cheap really although my heart's quite thankful they offer half servings of this for P25.


I eat veggies too! A nice version created by Ms. Elaine has veggies, tofu, squidballs, squid and other stuff. Also P40 per dish if i remember correctly.

Other favorites in Igan's are their kalderetang kambing (P50), sizzling pusit (P60) and bulalo (P70).

Having a great meal need not be expensive as long as you're willing to rough it up a bit -- inside a hut and under a tree.=)

(pictures to follow cause blogger's not cooperating)

The Family that Blogs Together...


...Stays together, or maybe that's just what we want to think. =) Regardless of whether there is truth behind the aforementioned statement or not we are indeed blogging together. I have finally been able to convince Ruy to blog with me!!! YEY!!

A lot of my friends ask Ruy for advice and directions about the northern area of Luzon (this is where he's aside) and we figured...might as well blog about them right? So don't be surprised when Ruy pops in every once in a while. After all, the address of this blog is Ruy and Liv...=)



Vieux Chalet Resto - Not What It Used to Be


I remember going to Vieux Chalet as a child and LOVING it. The ambiance, the privacy, the great food...what else can you ask for? My family was so in love with Vieux Chalet that we would order from Rico (their maitre 'd) every time he'd go to Manila. He would call us before going down and then we'd order their Canneloni, Fetucini Padilla and their Yoghurt!! YUM!!!

I have been raving about Vieux Chalet to all my friends and even to my boss but I personally haven't gone there since I was 18 I believe. So, when Ruy and I found ourselves in Antipolo at around lunch time we decided to eat in Vieux Chalet. I have been raving about this resto to Ruy and he wanted to taste it once and for all.

Vieux Chalet is tucked away in Antipolo and finding it is not so easy...I wouldn't recommend going there unless you have a car. We already had a car and it was tough finding it.

As we were parking we were greeted by Rico. Ah Rico...the ever helpful and ever sociable head waiter of Vieux Chalet. I immediately greeted Rico who did not recognize me until I mentioned my mom's name.

The ambiance in Vieux Chalet is definitely better at night but it's still not bad in the morning. You have this feeling that you're in the middle of nowhere and that stress is sooooooo far away. Ruy and I were able to have conversations which hasn't been an easy thing to do in the city.

We were off to a bad start when half of the things in the menu were not available. Out of the 5 pasta dishes, only 2 were available. (We wanted the canneloni or the ravioli but both were unavailable so we settled for a small bowl of lasagna...only to be told a few minutes after that they only have a large bowl prepared...hay caramba.

I was thrilled to find a small serving of Raclette on their menu so we ordered that together with an order of filet mignon.

When the orders came, it was a disappointment after another disappointment. The raclette was a slab of melted cheese on a small plate with half a potato and young corn split into two. IT was a sad sad sight (of course I can't imagine what I was expecting considering it cost me 185 pesos)

The lasagna looked like something a mother would bring to a pot luck party with her amigas. It was served in a corningware like dish and had no artistic presentation whatsoever. The taste is nothing to whine about though, it's still good. It actually tastes almost exactly like their canneloni except with less meat. Eating fresh pasta is always a good thing as it's soft and absorbs the flavor of the sauce quite easily. The parmesan cheese was saltier than I remember. I'm not 100% sure it's still their own creation but it was still better than the canned versions one can find off the shelves.

The serving size of the lasagna was quite big and the price of 500++ was perfectly justified.

The greatest disappointment of all was the filet mignon. It was completely different from the filet mignon I've eaten in the past. First and biggest difference was the cut. The filet mignon I had before was a slab of meat wrapped in bacon but the one I was served was cut more like tenderloin tips and no bacon was in sight.

I was completely shocked at what was served to me and I found this tiny plate ridiculously priced at around 700!! It's not so much that the steak was bad BUT it's so different from what was repeatedly served to us in the past. I asked Rico who directed my question to the cook (who's the daughter of Susan, the owner) and she told me that her dad used to cook that kind of filet mignon in the past whenever they had extra bacon but their real recipe is the one I was served. *Sigh* To make matters worse, the steak seemed like it was reheated or microwaved as the inside was still a bit cold despite the fact that it was fully cooked. Hmmmm

None of the dishes were served with sidings so we had to order herbed bread (once again only one out of the5 breads on their menu was available) and wow...that bread was GOOD!!!

All in all Ruy and I spent around 1,800++ on this meal and it was just too much in relation to the degree of satisfaction we experienced.

The one thing I would rave about would be RICO!! Rico had such a wonderful and pleasant disposition which makes you feel like serving you brings him the greatest pleasure ever. He also knows when to show up and when to disappear. Rico's the man!




This post is long overdue. It's been a couple of weeks since Yas left and it's quite sad...we miss Yas.

Oh well, but he'll be here again in October so YEY!!

Weird Babblings


Weirdest Compliment I’ve ever received: You look so nice in that skirt you remind me of Maricel Soriano

Weirdest Insult I’ve ever heard: Mukha kang birch tree!

Weirdest Dream: My boss said that when he was a kid he wanted to be a fire engine…not a fire man, a fire engine

Weirdest Statement: A client of mine said, I saw your president (pertaining to the president of our country) she looks like you noh?

Weird Interview Answer (my personal experience):

Liv:What’s your greatest strength?
Applicant: My ococness….
Liv: Excuse

Weird Interview Answer (from a friend of mine):

Interviewer: Describe yourself in a nutshell.

Applicant: Well it would
be very small, and dark….

Weirdest Interview Experience (previous company):

Liv: So how did you hear about our company?

Applicant: Your boss saw me
in the CR 30 minutes ago and asked me if I wanted to apply.

(That made me decide to quit right there and then…hehehe)



I have tried again and again to revive this blog and I've failed too many times...I hope I'm more successful this time. Ruy has promised to contribute to this blog as well so YEY!!!


Think Happy Thoughts


I am not happy right now. No it has nothing to do with my personal life. Let me put it this way…I HATE MEDIOCRITY, I HATE INCOMPETENCE. I specially hate it when it makes my life more difficult. There…nuff said!

I have decided to cheer myself up by thinking happy thoughts. The first thing that came to mind? What Ruy and I did last weekend…can you guess?

We watched an entire season of America’s Next Top Model!!! Can you believe it? Ruy would probably kill me for revealing this online but I really find it adorable. I still can’t help giggling when I imagine Ruy watching the show. I think he got hooked, he just refuses to admit it. Weheheh


Today my Lola's Kitchen


…tomorrow the Kitchen Stadium. I’m on my way to becoming the new Iron Chef…wehehhe. My cooking was a success (imagine me doing a celebratory dance here)!! Okay, I’ll admit that the onion rings were a disaster but hey 3 out of 4’s not bad right?


Olivia the Chef?


…or should I say, Olivia -feeling-chef. Ruy will be going to the province tomorrow so we won’t be able to celebrate his birthday together. I decided to cook dinner tonight to celebrate his birthday. Now, this seems like a very simple thing except that I don’t cook…at all!! So this is going to be a very challenging night and I sure hope I don’t end up poisoning Ruy. My menu for tonight consists of:

  1. Farmer’s Beef Stew
  2. Onion Rings
  3. Blue Cheese Butter-Stuffed Chicken Breasts with Butter-Infused Pan Sauce
  4. Mashed Potatoes

The onion rings is a bit off I know but Ruy likes those so I might as well incorporate it somehow. I also don’t have dessert so I’ll probably just feed him the truffles I bought earlier. Wish me luck!!


Birthday Depression


I go through this year after year (except during my 22nd Birthday 3 years ago) and I wasn’t spared from it this year. I don’t know what it is about my birthday which leads me this feeling of unplaceable sadness. This year was not the worse but it was pretty bad. I guess it’s the reflection which causes these feelings to surface.

Birthdays are usually the times when people take a step back and look at their lives. What has happened to me this year? What have I done, how have I grown? People would probably say that so much has happened to me since my 24th birthday last year that I should be happy right? WRONG!! I feel like the things have happened TO me, and I haven’t really been making them happen. Take Andrea for example. She’s the biggest (and the best) change which has happened to me since my last birthday but I really can’t credit myself for Andrea. Andrea’s conception was nothing short of a miracle (a hormonal problem, PCOS and pills couldn’t stop her from being conceived) and as much as I’d like to say I planned everything…it was all beyond my control.

There are also things I wish I could do which I still can’t. I wish I can for example pay for my sister’s schooling. Regularly give money to my grandmother. Not because they need it, cause they don’t, but just simply because they matter to me and I want to be able to give back to the people who’ve taken care of me for sooooooo long. I can’t afford to do that right now (or probably ever). Haay it’s a depressing life



Disclosure Agreement