With more restaurants sprouting like mushrooms, BGC has inevitably turned into every foodie’s haven. If you want burger, pizza, steaks, bibimbap or shawarma, a certain place in BGC will surely have what you’re looking for. But once in a while, yuppies like me who work in The Fort look for the cleaner and greener option. We have recently tried a few restaurants that offer healthier alternatives (there are even a couple that serve organic food), but there is this specific restaurant that we have definitely fallen in love with! I’m talking about SaladStop! in Central Square in Bonifacio High Street. The place first opened its doors December of 2014, but we were too intimidated to give it a try. My friends and I had this connotation that eating healthy means putting a hole in our pockets. But earlier this year, we took a risk and gave it a go. We got hooked since then!

I already lost count of how many times I’ve been to SaladStop. When I first saw the restaurant, I was immediately mesmerized by its simple yet vibrant interiors. The dominant colors are light brown, yellow and green, which simply remind me of nature. The yellow and green chairs will definitely convince you to eat more fruits and veggies! And to top it all, their walls are surrounded by photos and sketches of more fruits and vegetables. Hahaha!
saladstop (1)

They have a wide array of different salads to choose from. But if none of these appeal to your palates, you may opt to create your own salad. You can actually see through how the staff members prepare your salad. The number of calories is also clearly indicated on each item of the menu. This gives diners, especially the health-conscious ones, ample options to suit their needs and/or preferences.

In the many times that my friends and I have been to SaladStop, we get the same thing over and over again – Hail Caesar! I would try other items from their menu, but I would end up eating Hail Caesar again on my next visit. I’m thinking that it’s probably because the Filipinos’ taste buds are mostly accustomed with Caesar salad. (In short, Caesar salad lang kasi ang kilala natin! Haha!) Either this or my friends and I just love the familiarity we get each time we eat SaladStop’s Caesar salad!

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Hail Caesar Salad PHP260 / Wrap PHP250

Hail Caesar has Romaine lettuce so you’re getting enough dose of your greens. It also has eggs for your protein boost. The croutons and bacon bits definitely added crunch and more texture to the salad. Ahhh! You will never really go wrong with bacon! With the addition of grated Parmesan cheese, its marriage with the bacon gave this simple salad some salty kick. The Caesar dressing is very tasty yet it still highlights the distinct flavor of each “cast member” from this ensemble. Who says that salads should be boring?! Believe me, it’s one of the best Caesar salad you’ll ever have in your life!

The plain Hail Caesar has 526 kcal. You may opt to add grilled chicken for an additional PHP50. I have tried both. But I have to say that the plain Hail Caesar is good enough even without the chicken. This is one of the perfect example of the cliché, “Less is more.” Plus, it’s kuripot-friendly, too! Hihi! :p

For the first time that day, I got to try Man-Go Wild! It has Romaine lettuce, carrots, cucumbers, green mangoes, red onions, turnips, raisins, fried garlic and mint, all tossed in mango vinaigrette. I asked the server if I could replace the green mangoes with ripe mangoes instead. With all these things, you probably think that there are a lot of things going on in this bowl of salad. Well, you’re absolutely correct! My husband didn’t really like it so he ended up eating my Hail Caesar. I actually loved the burst of different flavors as I dig into this salad. You’ll get the freshness of the cucumbers and the lettuce, the pungent taste of the red onions and garlic and the hint of sweetness of the raisins, carrots and ripe mangoes. I think that my call to change the green mangoes was a wise choice. The green mangoes would have been too sour for my liking if mixed with the acidity of the mango vinaigrette. I liked this salad, but my vote still goes to Hail Caesar! =)

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Man-Go Wild Salad PHP260 / Wrap PHP250

The plain Man-Go Wild has 453 kcal which is way below the Hail Caesar. I guess this lighter salad is perfect for those who are mindful of their calorie count. But if I remember it correctly, there are other choices from their menu with calorie counts as low as 359 kcal. It’s Jai Ho salad, if I’m not mistaken.

You may say that the prices are a bit steep for a serving of salad. But with the very generous serving, believe me when I tell you that you’ll definitely get your money’s worth. One bowl of salad is very filling. You may also opt to have your salad on a wrap. It’s PHP10 cheaper but the calorie count is higher. Hail Caesar in a wrap is at 717 kcal! But if you want something more filling and you need more fuel for the day, the salad on a wrap is a good idea. What we usually do (well, at least before I got pregnant) is we buy a wrap, split it into two, eat the half in the morning and have the other half for lunch. Plus, this is good for those people who are always on-the-go. You can just munch this while walking or if you’re having a working lunch!

Aside from the salads, they also offer other healthier food choices. I specifically love their yogurts and their cassava chips! =)


SaladStop!
G/F Bonifacio High Street Central Square,
5th Ave. cor. 30th St., Bonifacio Global City,
Taguig City


* All photos were taken with an iPhone 4s
It has been a while since the last time I posted an update about The Kolokoy Home. My initial plan was to give you a glimpse of our living room. But I look at it, and I feel like it’s still a bit too bare. My husband and I still have a lot of renovation plans, but my pregnancy definitely stalled us a bit. The next best thing was to share our kitchen. But every weekend, my husband is coming up with new DIY projects to further improve that part of the house. I’m not complaining, though, even if I am disrupted by his construction worker getup every weekend (with matching pawis at asim ng kili-kili as bonus) because that only means that he is paying close attention in giving me a nice kitchen. I think that’s my reward for serving him good food every single day. Harharharhar!

Anyway, as my husband and I were walking around the neighborhood one weekend morning (for me to get my needed exercise and dose of Vitamin D), I told him that our house does not really look like a “house” as compared with our neighbors’. Although we got a lot of compliments from our guests during our house blessing with how we designed our interiors all by ourselves and how well we maximized the space, I think that we have been focusing all our time and energy with our house’s interiors that we had totally forgotten to pay attention to the façade of our house. Our garage still has a lot of trash and construction materials so that added to my bakit-parang-hindi-mukhang-bahay-ang-bahay-natin vibe. I have been bugging my husband to put up an outdoor planter, but he kept on saying that it could wait. But I guess he was finally convinced that our house needs some oomph that’s why he gave in. (Either that or I was just being my usual stubborn, pregnant self, haha!)

One morning, he woke me up and excitedly told me that he had a surprise for me. He then directed me to the garage, and I saw two large pots of plants. One has small white flowers. He said that the other one is a plant that helps keep mosquitoes away. He bought those plants from the same guy who was supplying plants to our neighbors. And yesterday, we bought a calamansi plant from the same vendor. Hahaha! I was seriously thinking of buying a malunggay plant in preparation for my breastfeeding journey, but I don’t think we can handle something as tall as a malunggay tree! :p

I told Boyet that the plants are actually a bit expensive. Mama usually buys plants from a nearby shop. If you’re from the Paco-Sta. Ana area, then you probably know the garden shops along Pedro Gil St., near the PNR-Paco station. I asked my husband if he could check it out to compare the prices. And of course, my hunch was right! The plants, soil and pots are way cheaper there!
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Too bad my topless gardener got too shy to pose for a photo. Hahahaha!

I asked my husband to buy a santan plant so I can teach our Englishero neighbor kids to eat its nectar! Wakekekekeke!!! (Next ko kaya ang Gumamela so I can teach them how to make bubbles?! :p) And because part of my 2015 goals is to build my own herb garden, my husband also bought mint, basil and tarragon! He was looking for parsley, thyme and rosemary, but the store ran out of stock. He was asked to come back next week to check for the new arrivals. Wooohooo!!!

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The plants will be staying in this part of our garage for now. We’ll probably get more plants before we build the planter that we have been planning. I’m looking forward to having our own mini garden! And I’m so excited to simply stretch my hand out of the window to grab some fresh basil leaves while I cook pasta! Very Giada de Laurentiis ang peg! Hihihi!
My husband and I love watching FRIENDS. Even now that he’s into Game of Thrones and I’m hooked with the more underrated TV series like iZombie and Orphan Black, Friends is still the best TV series for both of us. A lot tried to grab the top spot in our hearts, but none even made it close. When we were still dating, we would often dream of watching late night reruns of Friends together in our own bedroom. And more than a decade after its last episode was shown, Boyet and I still watch Friends with the same reactions as to when we first watched it. There are a lot of times when we would remember watching a specific episode, but we would still laugh at the same scenes as if it was our first time to see it. But as we were watching the reruns of Friends on Warner TV, I noticed that my perspective of the TV show has somehow changed over the years. When I first watched it years ago, I just thought of it as a funny and very entertaining show. But years of experiences have changed the way I see it now. First, I realized that Rachel and Ross are my least favorite characters. Yes, Ross is amusingly funny, and Rachel is undeniably gorgeous. But the indecisiveness of Ross towards his feelings for Rachel and Rachel being an immature and unfair spoiled brat at times are quite irritating. Again, I didn’t mind this the first time I watched the series. Second, I have come to love and sometimes envy the friendship of Chandler and Joey. Third, when I first watched Friends years ago, I was keenly following the love story of Ross and Rachel. I’m not sure what appealed to me at that time. But now that I am much older, I felt like the love story of Monica and Chandler is the quintessential one. Again, this may be an unpopular opinion. But I guess that it roots from the fact that I am more mature now so the on and off, rocky and unpredictable love story of Ross and Rachel no longer appeals to me.

Or it’s probably because I can relate more with Monica and Chandler now.

Although my husband and I didn’t go as far as starting off our relationship with a one-night stand in a foreign land just like Monica and Chandler, the start of our love story can be described the same way as Monica and Chandler’s – it was unexpected. Just like the two, we have been friends for the longest time. I remember on an earlier season when Chandler was bugging Monica about the possibility of them being romantically involved, a thought that Monica immediately dismissed. But then poof! They just clicked one day. They were even trying to understand the situation that they were in, but they just went with the flow when they started to feel that what they have was something real. And then the hiding begins. (Hihihi! ‘Yung bawal mag holding hands in public kasi ang daming judgemental! :p) They initially hid their relationships even to their closest friends. Watching those episodes again brought me back to the time when everybody got shocked, including my best friends, when I told them that Boyet and I were already dating. “Ano? Si Boyet??? Kayong dalawa ni Boyet? Paano nangyari ‘yun?!”

Monica is well-known for her obsessive compulsive personality. I may not be as extreme, but yeah, I want everything in order according to my own preference. On the other hand, Chandler has always been that goofy and sometimes annoying guy who does not know how to take things seriously. But when he does, he really does take things seriously! People close to us can attest that my husband is very much like that! Number one sa kalokohan at alaskahan pero may natatago naman siyang lalim kung kinakailangang ilabas! :p

But the thing that made me relate the most to this couple is probably their infertility journey. I didn’t really pay enough attention to it before. But because of our four-year battle with infertility, I somehow felt the connection between us and their characters.


Monica and Chandler both struggled with having a baby. Monica is known to be the kind of woman who has dreamt of having her own family, her own children. She even made a painful decision to leave Richard just because he wasn’t keen in building a family with her. She has yearned for a child, and it was made clear how she took care of the kids around her as early as when Ben (child of Ross from his first marriage) was born. And she has lived through the reality of having her close friends having their own kids. Phoebe became a surrogate to her brother’s triplets, and Rachel got pregnant after having some sort of a one-night stand with Ross! But as fate dictates it, Monica and Chandler, the married couple who are ready and willing to become parents, were not as fortunate! I happened to watch reruns of that season just in time when I was going through a difficult part of my infertility journey. So medyo tagos hanggang bones ang sakit while watching those specific episodes! Hahaha! But then, I specifically caught one episode that made me tear up a bit. I was already pregnant when I got to watch it again. Monica and Chandler resorted to adoption. But they were forced to lie to the birth mother when she had mistaken them for a doctor and a minister! They desperately wanted a child so they went along with the mother’s false belief. But when they realized that they could not have the child by lying, they told the mother about the truth and apologized. Not wanting her child to be in the hands of two liars, she decided to back out. But then, Chandler said this!!!

Love this. �� Happy Mother's Day! ����

A video posted by @friendstvvideos on



“My wife's an incredible woman. She's loving and devoted and caring. And don't tell her I said this, but the woman's always right... I love my wife more than anything in this world. And I... it kills me that I can't give her a baby... I really want a kid. And when that day finally comes, I'll learn how to be a good dad. But my wife... she's already there. She's a mother... without a baby...”

*tears tears tears*

I remember hearing almost the same thing from my husband countless of times before. There were many times when I doubted about the possibility of us having kids because of our infertility issues, but he knew what to say to comfort me. One time, he told me that I am already a mother. I am a mom to our nieces and nephews, to our godchildren and to the kids I send to school. “Mas nanay ka pa nga kesa sa ibang may mga anak pero pinapabayaan naman!”

He said those things without him realizing that he, too, has always been a father long before we even had a baby…
As my husband and I wait for the new restaurants to open in Robinsons Manila, we made a mental note of the very few restaurants in the mall that we had yet to try. We then spotted Hokkaido Ramen Bangaichi. It’s hidden in one of the corners at the second level of Midtown Wing so I have no idea how long it has been there. It’s sharing a spot with another restaurant, Jack’s Loft. We tried Jack’s Loft years ago, but we weren’t that happy with the service so we never came back. But because my husband and I are both ramen lovers, we took a risk and gave Hokkaido Ramen a shot. Years had passed since our last visit so we were also quite curious if their service has already improved.

The place is a bit small given the fact that it houses two restaurants that probably have two different sets of clientele. Fortunately, my husband scored a vacant seat while I was in the restroom. They also have additional spaces for al fresco dining, but it was very humid that day so we settled with the seats we scored.

A waiter immediately approached us and handed us their menu. It gave me high hopes about the improvements in their service that I was hoping for. And true enough, their service has improved! I noticed that turnover time was quite fast as orders are being served and tables are being cleaned in no time. Just a few minutes after we placed our orders, we got to enjoy our bowls of hot ramen!

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Shio Ramen PHP280

I opted to have their Shio Ramen, while my husband settled with the Miso Ramen. I think the only difference between the two is the kind of broth used. Both have the same amount of noodles, leeks, nori and bamboo shoots. Both are also served with two slices of meat.

Shio Ramen is salt-based. The ramen is very tasty, although I have to admit that its briny taste is one-dimensional. It doesn’t bring anything else to my palates aside from its salty flavor. But nonetheless, the taste and portion is reasonable enough for its price.

On the other hand, Miso Ramen has more depth when it comes to the flavor as compared with the Shio Ramen. The cut of of the meat is thicker than the usual, but it’s still very tender. Undoubtedly, the nori and the leeks amplified the already rich flavors of the miso broth. If I didn’t have a conscience, I would have agreed when my husband offered to switch his bowl with mine! :p

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Miso Ramen PHP310

When there is ramen, there should also be gyoza. I have to admit that this is not the best out there, but it’s still delicious. It has subtler flavor compared with the other gyoza that I have tasted before. If you’re the type who doesn’t like the strong and pungent taste of the usual gyoza, then this will suit your taste buds.

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Gyoza PHP160

Hokkaido Ramen Bangaichi offers good food. It may not be the best, but it is certainly reasonably-priced. Ramens usually cost more or less PHP400 making Hokkaido Ramen Bangaichi cheaper compared with the others. They even offer a larger serving which has more meat yet it still costs under PHP400, if I’m not mistaken. Service is also remarkable. It’s way better than what it used to be. =)


Hokkaido Ramen Bangaichi
Level 2 Midtown Wing
Robinsons Place Manila,
Ermita, Manila


* All photos were taken with a Nikon Coolpix S3600
There’s a relatively new restaurant in BGC that is concealed from the busier side of Burgos Circle. Abby and I were trying to cross out another restaurant from our “Must-Try-Before-We-Leave-BGC” list when our initial plan got derailed because she saw a Facebook post of Frank & Dean. The post shows a mouth-watering photo of fried chicken and waffles. So yeah, when you see a photo of fried chicken and waffles, you forget whatever your gastronomic plans are and go for this duo!

We went with some of our teammates last Friday. The place has the perfect mixture of coziness and elegance. It certainly exudes a laid back vibe yet there are bits and pieces scattered within the place that speak of nothing but sophistication. I initially thought that the place is a bit small until I realized that the restaurant has a second level to accommodate more guests.

While we were placing our orders, I noticed that most of the other guests were being served with their fried chicken. This got my hopes up because that only meant that it is one of the restaurant’s specialties. Basing from the menu, guests have the option to have their fried chicken go with rice, waffles, donuts and mac ‘n cheese. My mind was already set in getting their fried chicken and waffles, but I was disappointed when I saw from the menu that they only serve waffles with 2-pc fried chicken. I settled with the 1-pc Southern Fried Chicken with Mac ‘n Cheese instead. Abby and Sheen also got the same.
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1-pc Southern Fried Chicken with Mac ‘n Cheese PHP350

Was I happy with my choice? Yes, but not entirely. I loved the mac ‘n cheese. The pasta is cooked al dente. The amount of sauce is perfect. It’s not too runny, but it’s more than enough to coat the pasta. I also fell in love with all the cheesy goodness with my every bite.

Although the chicken’s crust is crunchy and very tasty, the meat is a bit too bland and dry for my liking. Unfortunately, the gravy didn’t help at all. I also don’t have a problem splurging on food, but I just felt that the PHP350 is a bit too much for the size of their chicken. I was trying to keep my silence while we were eating until Abby and Sheen finally verbalized what was on my mind. Abby even said that Army Navy’s fried chicken is way better than Frank & Dean’s. And oh, one of my teammates who got their 2-pc fried chicken had to send it back to the kitchen because his chickens were undercooked. :|

Although our food arrived shortly, some of us were not that lucky. Mitch simply got their Electric Omelet. I was almost done eating when her food arrived! After her numerous attempts to follow up and the waiters’ promise that her food is coming shortly, I finally asked one of the servers, “Kuya, bakit ang tagal ng itlog niya? Piniritong itlog lang, ang tagal tagal pang lutuin?!” My officemates simply laughed for two reasons. First, I sounded like a grumpy pregnant woman! (Well, I was one at that time! :p) And second, I think they put malice on my first statement! :p

I whispered something to Mitch after I talked to the waiter. “Dapat bongga ‘yang omelet mo ha! Kapag ayan hindi mukhang ginawa ng more than 30 minutes, yari sila sa’kin!” After less than a minute, this arrived to our table.

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Electric Omelet PHP200

Well, imagine the unsliced version. I think Mitch waited long enough that she totally forgot to take a photo of it. Now, you decide. Does this look like something that you would be willing to wait for more than half an hour? She let us have a few bites of it. It was just so-so. Although I loved the texture of the crispy bell peppers, the omelet was bland. But I think it was intentional given the fact that it’s called Electric Omelet because it is supposed to cater to those who are working out. I guess this is the healthier version as the omelet is cooked with three egg whites, 1 egg yolk, spinach and bell peppers. It is served with sliced bananas and toasted wheat bread.

The first two dishes may have been quite a disappointment, but the others made up for Frank & Dean’s shortcomings. This Fish ‘n Chips arrived later than the Electric Omelet. (IKR?! Hahahaha!) But I guess those who were able to give it a try enjoyed it. The fish and the fries were both cooked and seasoned perfectly. And the dip definitely did its purpose in adding more flavor to this dish!

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Fish ‘n Chips PHP360

We also got two kinds of pizza which came last after our countless attempts to follow up. We were all done eating when the pizza were finally served to us. We got to try 5 Cheese and All Meat Pizza. We failed to take a photo of the 5 Cheese Pizza because we all got so excited after the long waiting game. Haha!

Everybody seemed to have enjoyed it. The pizza crust was cooked to perfection, and the toppings were very tasty. They use thin crust so that gave more emphasis to the richness of flavors of the toppings.

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All Meat Pizza PHP480
5 Cheese Pizza (not in the photo) PHP440

The All Meat Pizza will definitely give you a protein overload as you get the all the meaty goodness at each slice. I also loved the pungent flavors of the 5 Cheese Pizza. The combination of the different kinds of cheese was a great treat for my taste buds.

Frank & Dean may have some hits and misses. I would like to think that the service was a bit slow because it has only been a month since they started their operations, but I’m hoping this will improve over time. =)


Frank & Dean Café x Kitchen
First Floor, Forbes Town Center,
Burgos Circle, Bonifacio Global City,
Taguig City


* All photos were taken with an iPhone 4s
This was the exact message that popped up yesterday from my mobile pregnancy application. I just reached my 20th week so that means we’re already halfway there! My husband and I, and those who patiently waited for us for four years, are all excited to see The Little Kolokoy. But I didn’t realize that time has passed by so swiftly. It felt like yesterday when my husband and I cried over three home pregnancy kits simply because we could not believe that we were going to be parents after battling infertility for years. But now, oh wow! The Little Kolokoy will soon make The Kolokoy Household brighter, happier, livelier and probably messier, too! :p

I mentioned in an earlier post that I started to feel our little girl as early as my 15th week. She used to just give me those weak movements randomly throughout the day. But I was feeling her more when I am about to go to sleep at night. Soon after that, I got sick. I was a bit worried when I stopped feeling those flutters in my tummy. But things have drastically changed in a span of a few weeks. She is now making sure that her presence is felt! She kicks like crazy every time she hears her Ninang Abby’s breast pump! Naiingayan siguro! Hahaha! She also could not stop kicking while I was watching John Lloyd Cruz in MMK. And I wasn’t even paying attention to the television at that time! But I was most amazed when she never fails to kick me every time her Tatay plays an Adam Levine song! I thought she was just reacting to the music. But she’s silent when it’s Katy Perry or Taylor Swift. Pero kapag Adam Levine, walang palya! Hahahaha! Kalokang bata! Ang aga aga maging John Lloyd at Adam Levine fan! :p

I’m due on November so it’s still a long way to go. I will just cherish and savor every moment that I get to spend with our Little Kolokoy inside of me.

I think I got a bit too excited yesterday that I ended up flooding Instagram with my posts. Yeah, I already consider it “flooding” given the fact that I can go really quiet on IG for days!

My officemates, Mitch and Abby have been bugging me to post an OOTD shot every week. I kept on finding excuses because I am not really the best person to pose for an OOTD photo. That’s the reason why I am a food and not a fashion blogger! Hahaha! But because going on my 20th week was sort of a big deal, I finally gave it a shot. But before I posted it, I made some sort of a disclaimer so people will stop saying that my tummy is too big for 5 months! This is an excerpt from the book What to Expect When You’re Expecting.


I really don’t understand why people keep on obsessing a pregnant woman’s tummy! Ano, lahat kayo OB/GYN na?! Charot! :p A pregnant woman’s tummy is not the best indication of a baby’s health. Plus, just like what the book said, every pregnancy is unique. Hindi naman ako si Marian Rivera na 19 inches ang baseline ng waistline! I have been a food blogger for years kaya malaki na talaga ang tiyan ko to begin with. Magaling lang akong magtago dati! :p

Anyway, I then posted this after a couple of hours. You have no idea what went behind the scene while we were “shooting” this! Hahaha! Sobrang laughtrip! I think I had to choose from Abby’s gazillion of shots before I settled with the most decent one! :p


This photo came in a close second place.

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But then I realized that I had a PUSH sign in the bakground!

It’s still too early to PUSH! :p
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cake!!!

We’re having a very delicious cake baked by my best friend, Joie, owner of My Sweets’ Haven! Hahahahaha!

My husband and I initially planned to use a cake in announcing the arrival of our Little Kolokoy. But at the last minute, he changed his mind and thought of using shoes instead as seen in this post. It makes perfect sense since we both love shoes anyway. We then agreed to use our initial idea when we announce the gender of our first child. I specifically told Joie that I wanted this kind of cake – a simple chocolate cake topped with tons of my favorite chocolates! I don’t want it coated with fondant because I actually hate eating something as sweet as that. But before all of you tell me that I shouldn’t be eating cakes at this point in my pregnancy, don’t worry. Because I had PCOS prior to pregnancy, my blood sugar is being monitored EVERY DAY. Kaya huwag kayong praning, ok?! :p

Anyway, I’m not saying this because Joie is my best friend, but this cake is insanely delicious. I even told her that this is her best creation so far! The base cake is very moist. I initially thought that it would be too sweet judging by the way it looks, but it isn’t. It’s not that sweet, but it isn’t overpowered by all of the chocolates in it. I specifically requested KitKat, Ferrero Rocher, Maltesers, Flat Tops and Chocnut! Hahahaha! Suffice to say, the Little Kolokoy was just as happy as I was when I tried it.

So by looking at the cake, did you get any clues if we’re having a boy or a girl? Nahhh? How about with this one?

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Still got no idea?! Exactly! That was the kind of suspense that The Little Kolokoy put us through when we went for an ultrasound last week! I think I was lying on the bed for more than half an hour, and the baby refused to cooperate. The Little Kolokoy was facing down, with legs crossed and one hand covering the you-know-what so my doctor could not see it. My legs and my back already started to hurt, but we still didn’t get any luck. My doctor even tried shaking my tummy to make the baby change position. She then advised me to just come back after a few days to have it rechecked. As soon as she said that, The Little Kolokoy suddenly showed us what we were waiting for!!!

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We’re having a baby girl!!! Our doctor was initially trying to comfort my husband because she thought that Boyet wanted to have a baby boy. But in reality, his preference for our first born is a baby girl. But of course, the baby’s gender didn’t matter to us at all. We waited for four long years! Choosy pa ba kami? I was ecstatic to find out that we’re having a baby girl, although I was secretly wishing that it would be a boy for three reasons. First, my husband and I are both 31 years old. I wanted to have a boy now because it would probably be harder for us to run around chasing him when we have one when we’re older. Second, my husband is the only boy in his family. Boy na sana, para tapos na ang pressure to have a boy. Hihi! But my father-in-law told us that it doesn’t matter to him at all! Basta daw healthy, masaya na siya! And third, everybody was predicting that we were having a baby girl. When we had our house blessing, a lot of my friends saw me for the first time after I announced my pregnancy. All of them were saying the same thing! “Babae ang anak mo… Ang ganda mo magbuntis… Hindi ka man lang tumataba… Hindi nagbago ang itsura mo…” I was secretly wishing it would be a boy just to prove na maganda lang talaga ako! Charot!!! Hahahahaha!

But then again, the baby’s gender totally didn’t matter to us when the doctor told us that everything was looking great. Our little girl has a strong heartbeat and that the brain and other internal organs are developing well. I was just having some on and off contractions, but my doctor said that it wasn’t really alarming. She just prescribed some meds to relax my uterus. (My doctor had the luxury to check all of these while waiting for The Little Kolokoy to reveal her gender! Hahaha!)

Even before I met my husband, I have been praying for the same thing over and over again. I didn’t specifically pray to have a boy or a girl. All I ever wanted was to be given the chance to fulfill what I have always believed is my mission in life – to be a mother. And seeing a human being inside my very tiny frame was just a testament of God’s grace, generosity and faithfulness. It may be a long wait, but it was definitely worth it. (Our baby girl just kicked me really hard while I was writing this part! She was probably saying, “Yes, Nanay! God loves us!!!”) For years, I have been praying to be given a healthy, normal, smart and beautiful child with a very kind heart. The last part will definitely be the hardest for us as parents. The other qualities can be determined by our genes, but the last one is for Boyet and I to work on! And so as we pray for our child, we also continuously pray for our hearts as parents-to-be! =)

I’m still not sure whether Baby Z will like her Tatay’s Lego toys or my books. She can like both or none at all. I’m not sure either what kind of parents Boyet and I will turn out to be. I’m not sure whether my little girl will like tutus or if she will favor jumper shorts instead. But the things that we are still uncertain about are the same things that make us really excited to get to know her! =)

Being a girl who’s an inch short of five feet, a lot of people often wonder why I am not fond of wearing high-heeled shoes. In a world where vanity rules over comfort, people always assume that short girls would want that extra height. Believe it or not, I only wear high-heeled shoes on very special occasions. Aside from the fact that I’m not comfortable wearing such kinds of footwear, I hate to admit that I am naturally clumsy! I used to wear a pair of wedge shoes every day when I was a freshman in college. It looked really good on my pencil skirt uniform, so who cares if my feet hurt after a day of walking and commuting? But then one day after class, I fell down the stairs with half of the class witnessing my demise! After that day, I promised myself that I would never compromise comfort over vanity ever again! I have nothing against girls who wear high-heeled shoes, but it’s definitely not for the clumsy (a.k.a. lampa) girl like me. Since then, I think I only wore high-heeled shoes on my wedding day and when I attend special gatherings that require me to wear a formal dress. Other than these days, I am always in my ballet flats or sandals.

What a lot of people don’t realize is that you don’t necessarily need to choose between style and comfort. You can actually have both. Years ago, people actually sort of “look down” at women who wear sandals. They say it’s not that classy or it’s too informal. But now, things have changed a lot! There are a lot of stylish yet comfy sandals in the market. And not only that, I believe that a pair of sandals is every traveler’s best friend. Aside from the fact that it’s lightweight, it’s also very versatile. It can go very well with jeans, dresses, shorts and skirts. Take for example my pair of sandals from iPanema. I used it in one of our trips to Tagaytay. You’ll see that I wore it with shorts and a skirt. I have also worn it with dresses, jeans and leggings!

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Now that I’m almost five months pregnant, it’s already a no-brainer that ballet flats and sandals are the best kinds of footwear for me. With the extra weight that I need to bear and the inevitable leg cramps caused by hormonal changes, flats and sandals are the only way to rule the world.

But because my OB/GYN told me to minimize physical activities because of my on and off contractions, our weekly trips to the mall have been minimized. But thank God for online shopping! I was looking at the Zalora website a couple of days ago. ZALORA has a large selection of cool and stylish sandals! I was actually crushing over a lot of designs that will surely fit the needs of this pregnant Mama!

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I think this will be perfect for a dainty summer dress!

zalora sandals ipanema
Going to grocery in shorts? Why not?!

zalora sandals mango I have been wearing a lot of dark-colored clothes lately. This will be perfect to add a splash of color to my outfit. =)

zalora sandals mendrez
Perfect for any casual wear!

zalora sandals spring fling This one certainly fits any type of outfit!

zalora sandals velvetBlack jeans going to the office? Pair it with this beauty!

Now, wouldn't you agree with me that a pair of cool and stylish sandals is every girl's best friend? =)

P.S. 
I know this is totally out of topic, but I was able to catch a few minutes of i-Witness over the weekend. It featured the CEO of Zalora Philippines who is just in his early thirties! (I think he's just 31 years old, if I'm not mistaken.) The guy is truly a level 5 leader with his never-ending vision for his company and the kind of humility that he has shown. I learned that he shares his desk with his employees and he just walks going to and from the office! How amazing is that?! I believe that's the kind of leader that we should all aspire to be. =) And oh, sorry for getting out of track from my original topic. :p I was just too amazed with his kind of leadership that I could not let this post end without mentioning it to all of you. =)
My teammates and I have been making the most out of our remaining days in BGC by trying out as many restaurants as we can. Although it should have been months earlier, the delay in our office move is giving us ample time for more gastronomic discoveries in the area. I vividly remember how scarce the restaurants were more than three years ago when I started working in BGC. But now, the place has rapidly turned into every foodie’s haven. One of our recent restaurant discoveries was Oudon, a Japanese restaurant located at the second level of The Forum. Back in the days, we would only get in the trouble of walking in that area only to get to Sarsa Kitchen + Bar. But now, there are more choices for all the food lovers! Fortunately for us, Oudon was such a great choice. As a matter of fact, some of my teammates just had lunch at Oudon the day before I first tried it. I think that alone was a good reason for me to try it out, too!

The place is quite spacious. It has the perfect mixture of coziness for those who would just like to hang out, and the simplicity for small business meetings. The interiors are just typical of a traditional Japanese restaurant, with some modern twists here and there.

Most of my teammates got the rice bowl meals from their lunch menu. I only got to take a picture of my plate and that of Abby’s, who was seating beside me. These rice meals range from PHP350-PHP480. But the reason why some of my teammates got convinced to come back was the fact that these rice meals are on 50% off for the entire month of June!

oudon restaurant bgc (1)Oyako Don PHP350

Abby had Oyako Don. This rice bowl topped with egg-coated chicken initially was unappealing to me. But because Abby also had this same meal the day before, I got intrigued and gave it a try! I got to try a few pieces of the chicken. The chicken strips are very tender, with the perfect blend of sweetness and tanginess. Abby topped it with tons of chili powder, so the extra heat gave this simple dish more depth flavor-wise.

Aside from Oyako Don, most of my teammates got Oudon’s Curry Don. I was initially hesitant to try it out. Given the fact that I love spicy dishes, I have been trying to mellow it down ever since I got pregnant for fear that I might get into an unexpected hyperacidity attack. But Mitch assured me that it’s not as hot as to what I’m used to so I gave it a go!

oudon restaurant bgc (2)Curry Don PHP380

The meat is very tender. Both the carrots and the potatoes were cooked to perfection. The curry sauce has very strong flavors, but the heat was bearable. Those who are weak-hearted when it comes to spicy dishes but are willing to become adventurous for a day will surely love it. Its pungency was balanced out by the sweetness of the carrots.

Aside from the good food and nice ambiance, service is also very efficient. The waiting time was very short. The price range is actually not that bad given that each rice bowl is served with a small bowl of oudon. So imagine how ecstatic we were when we ended up just paying half of its original price! So if you happen to be in BGC, you might want to swing by Oudon! You still have a few more days to avail of their lunch meals promo. =)


Oudon
Level 2 The Forum,
7th Avenue Corner Federacion Drive,
Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City


* All photos were taken with an iPhone 4s
Helloweeeeh! I know it has been a while since my last Kolokoy Household post. Things have been extremely crazy in the Kolokoy Household. With my delicate pregnancy and our recent move to our own house, I could not even find the time and the energy to write a blog post. Things will also be a bit different from now on because I no longer live with my parents. That means you’ll probably hear less from Mama Kolokoy. But don’t worry, she is making sure that her presence is still very much felt as she still keeps on texting and calling us, not to mention that she can’t stop sending us cooked meals! Haha! Anyway, I do hope that Mama makes a comeback really soon in the next episodes. I know that a lot of my readers already miss her! :p But for now, it’s just going to be me and Mr. Kolokoy! =)


NINONG AGA

Two of our very close friends are getting married to each other. The bride-to-be is teasing Boyet that she wants him to be one of the principal sponsors. Although Boyet is flattered, he still feels that he is too young to be a Ninong! But while I was watching the wedding special of Toni Gonzaga and Paul Soriano, I noticed that Aga Muhlach was one of the principal sponsors.

Me: O, kita mo nga si Aga Muhlach, ninong nila Toni at Paul. Hindi pa naman ‘yan ganun katanda.
Boyet: E kasi si Aga, panget ‘yan. Masyado akong pogi para maging ninong sa kasal!
Me: Wow naman! Hiyang hiya naman ang pagmumukha ni Aga sa’yo!!!



MANA-MANA

I first started to feel the Little Kolokoy as early as 15 weeks. I thought I was just being paranoid when I started to feel flutters in my tummy, but two moms I know told me that it’s not unusual for thin people like me to feel the baby’s movements earlier than the usual. But I started to feel worried when I suddenly stopped feeling the baby when I caught a flu.

Me (while holding my tummy): Baby, paramdam ka na uli kay Nanay. Sige na, kahit kaunti lang. Pleaseeeee.
Boyet: Hoy! Tigil-tigilan mo pagpisil diyan sa tyan mo. Baka mamaya mapango ‘yang anak ko!
Me: At bakit? May pagmamanahan ba ‘to na matangos ang ilong?!
Boyet: Bwahahahahahaha!

Just yesterday on our way to the Sunday Mass, Boyet and I heard me cough once again.

Boyet: Hay naku, anak. Sana hindi mo mamana ang immune system niyang nanay mo.
Me: Oo nga e.
Boyet: Dapat, lakas ng katawan ni Tatay ang makuha mo ha. Pati ‘yung bait at talino ko ha?
Me: O sige anak, kunin mo na lahat kay Tatay. Basta kay Nanay ang itsura ha!!!


FUMA-FASHION GURU

While Boyet was dressing up for our medical appointment, I noticed that the shirt he chose didn’t go very well with his shorts.

Me: Tatay, palitan mo shirt mo.
Boyet: Bakit?
Me: Ahmmm, mukhang pambahay e. Hahaha!
Boyet: Hay naku, madadala ko naman sa itsura ‘yan e.
Me: Exactly! Kaya nga kailangan mong magpalit dahil wala tayong masyadong maaasahan sa itsura mo e.
Boyet: Anak o! Ang bully ng nanay mo!!!


LIPAT-BAHAY

The day after we moved in to our house, we went back to my parents’ house to get some more stuff we left behind. I initially fixed everything and placed them near the stairs. On my way out of our room which is in the second floor of the house, I grabbed my shoulder bag and a large bottle of hand soap. On the other hand, Boyet was carrying tons of clothes.

Boyet: O ano? Wala kang dala?
Me (pointing to the hand soap): Etong sabon… At saka ‘yung anak mo! Dala dala ko ‘yung anak mo! May reklamo ka?!
Boyet: Wala, sabi ko nga e! Gusto mo ng tulong diyan sa sabon?!


Enjoy the rest of the week! And Happy Father’s Day to all the amazing dads! =)
I know that I have already apologized to you countless of times before for neglecting to update this blog, but I have to do it for the nth time! The reason for my two-week hiatus in the blogosphere is the fact that my husband and I have finally moved in to OUR OWN house!!! *me doing a carthwheel*

We timed the blessing of our humble abode on our 4th wedding anniversary. We welcomed family members and a few friends who gladly took time to celebrate with us. My husband and I felt really blessed that day despite the many struggles leading to that day. It didn’t help that I got really sick on the same week of our planned house blessing. It started with what seemed like a harmless sore throat on a Sunday evening. But before I knew it, I was already coughing non-stop the following day. I’m four months pregnant so my OB/GYN didn’t give me any meds. I was advised to take 1000mg of Ascorbic acid, take lots of water and calamansi juice, and most importantly, I was ordered to take a much needed rest. I had to skip work for an entire week! My husband single-handedly took care of everything – cleaning the house, running errands and making sure we have internet and cable before we move in. And to make things even harder, he needed to take care of his very sick pregnant wife who could not even get out of bed. It also didn’t help that there were delays and a lot of mix up with the delivery of the furniture we purchased from SM Home Makati. (I’ll tell you more about their incompetence if I ever find the time! Haha!) And to make things worse, it seems that the entire priesthood decided to go on a retreat or a pilgrimage on June 12! My sister-in-law has a lot of friends who are priests because she used to work in Don Bosco. Unfortunately, everybody she knows was going on a retreat. We then went to our parish, but we were told that they don’t have an available priest on that day. We went to nearby parishes, but we were declined. They told us that they could not help us because we’re non-parishioners even if we told them that our parish didn’t have an available priest! Medyo nakakainit ng ulo! Una, namimili ba ang Diyos?! At pangalawa, kapag nagsisimba ba ako, sinasabi ko ba na, “Ay teka, hindi ako mag love offering kasi hindi naman niyo ako parishioner!” Ganun ba ang labanan?! :p But Boyet and I knew that God will make a way for that special day to happen. Kung kailangang lumibot kami sa lahat ng simbahan, gagawin namin! Boyet was supposed to go church-hopping a day before the house blessing, but he got a call from my sister-in-law before he left the house. Apparently, she knows someone from Tondo Church. =)

With God’s grace (and my sister-in-law’s kenekshensss, haha), we were able to have our house blessed on our desired date. After blessing the entire house, the priest also blessed me and Boyet. =) We invited family members and a few friends over for lunch. I just bought spaghetti, pansit malabon and pichi-pichi from Amber. We also bought more than a hundred sticks of pork barbecue from my aunt. Mama cooked bopis, pamplina and her specialty, lengua in white sauce (which the guests really loved!!! Hi, Abby and Aubrey! :p). And my sister-in-law prepared the fried chicken. Mama also bought leche flan (which some of the guests gladly took home) and I got boxes of brownies from my My Sweets’ Haven owned by my friend, Joie! =) Unfortunately, I forgot to take photos that day! I was trying to do some minor chores while struggling to be at my best considering that I was still recovering from flu. So ayun, wala akong picture ng food, ng house at ng guests. Except for this super linaw stolen shot of Father doing the final prayer before blessing me and Boyet. Haha!

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And thank God for Abby’s Instagram account, I had a second picture to remind me of that day! Nyahahaha!


My husband and I are just very glad that a lot of our guests complimented the food we served. Lalong lalo na ang lengua ni Mama! Plus, some of the guests who had the chance to tour around the house complimented how we designed it and how we were able to maximize the space. Nakaka-proud lang because we didn’t hire an interior designer for it. I just spent hours on Pinterest to get some pegs, and my husband did most of the sketching and planning. We were just so lucky that my uncle is a seasoned carpenter. Hihi!

We really felt blessed that day. Aside from the presence of our family and close friends, we really felt how God moved mountains to make that day possible. Mama was really exhausted that day. Even if I told her not to cook, she still insisted. Sabi niya, “Huling pagod ko na ‘to para sa inyo!” Nakalimutan niya yatang mag-aalaga pa siya ng apo sooooon! :p My sisters-in-law also helped big time with cooking and cleaning. Buti na lang swerte ako sa mga hipag! :p One of my aunts also spent hours washing the dishes after the house blessing. And our friends showered us with really nice housewarming gifts! Sinadya ko talagang hindi bumili ng ibang gamit dahil alam kong I have galante friends! Bwahaha! We had instant chopping board, can opener, containers, pillows and many more! Bwahaha!

My husband wanted to stay in our own house right away. Because I got sick and we were too busy preparing for the renovations, we failed to plan something for our wedding anniversary. We usually go on trips or staycations at the very least, but that obviously didn’t happen this year. So he told me that we should just sleep in our own house on that same day. Para lang daw kaming nag staycation! Ayun, hindi kami nakatulog kahit sobrang pagod! Alam mo ‘yung feeling na namahay ka sa sarili mong bahay?! Ganerrrn! Hahahaha!

There was more work the following day. I was feeling a bit guilty that my husband was doing almost everything. I was limited to cooking, washing the dishes and fixing our clothes. And for the first time in four years, we finally unboxed all of our wedding gifts! We did some sort of an inventory with the things that we already had so we have an idea of the things that we still need to get. I spent hours washing plates and containers. Our house is still a bit messy which is making the OC in me freak out. But then I tell myself that things will soon be in order after this chaos.

Although there are a lot of adjustments on our part, it’s safe to say that we’re enjoying every single second we spend in our house. There are moments when I wanted to pinch my cheeks just to convince myself that we finally have a house of our own. I look around the house and tell myself, “Eto ang mga Piso Fare na dinedma ko, mga shoes na hindi ko binili at mga sale na pikit-mata kong tiniis na isnabin!” Bwahahahaha!

But I have to admit that I get frustrated at times because I had lived in the same house for three decades, and now, I’m feeling like a fish out of water. A few days ago, I tried cooking Picadillo. According to my mom, that dish is one of my specialties. She said that I could cook it even with my eyes closed. But when I tried cooking it in MY own kitchen, it didn’t taste like the usual! I’m not sure if it was because I used a different set of tools, or because I used a different brand of patis, or the fact that I’m still getting used to my new environment.

But apparently, my husband and I are not the only ones adjusting to the new setup. A few days ago, Boyet went back to our house to get some of our things. I called my parents’ house when Boyet didn't come back after 30 minutes. When he came back, he told me that he had a chat with Mama. “Umiiyak si Mama, namimiss ka daw niya!” Mama told Boyet, “Baka napapagod na si Jerellt dun!” HAHAHAHAHAHA! I was touched, of course! But I could not stop laughing. Mama used to tell me, “Hay naku, ang tagal niyo namang lumipat. Inip na inip na akong makalayas kayong mag-asawa dito. Sigurado ako, unang araw pa lang, nanghihingi na kayo ng ulam!” Every time she said that, I would remind her that I survived living in the US for three months. I did everything by myself including cooking my daily meals! Ironically, she sent us food on our second day away from her! Ahihihi! Boyet had to remind Mama that our house is just a five-minute walk away from her!!! Ang cute ni Mama Kolokoy, right?! Kung maka-drama akala mo naman kailangan pa ng toll fee para makadalaw sa bahay namin! :p 

Anyway, I promise to give you a glimpse of The Kolokoy Home. Just allow us a few weeks to settle down and get through the chaos. Wish us luck! =)
A few weeks ago, my husband and I went to Shaw. Blvd. for some mattress and couch-shopping at Mandaue Foam. Although we went home empty-handed, we still took advantage of that day to try out Hot Star which is just across Mandaue Foam. My younger brother suggested this to us. But when I posted a review of Kettle’s fried chicken, my virtual friend and fellow blogger, Edel, told me that I should try Hot Star in SM Manila! I haven’t been to SM Manila for ages so I am no longer familiar with the restaurants there. Dumayo pa kami sa Shaw, meron naman pala sa SM Manila! :p
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We initially thought the restaurant was closed that day because there was something that was blocking the view of the entrance. I then saw a “THIS WAY” sign of the restaurant, and that is probably placed there to aid first-timers like us. The restaurant is quite big. And given its minimalist interiors, the place looked even more spacious. The counter which is probably inspired by a trailer or a food truck, the steel railings and black hanging lamps, gave the place a distinct industrial vibe. 

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Judging by the name of the restaurant, they certainly brag for their large fried chicken. Because my husband and I were both first-timers, we asked the cashier how large does LARGE mean. She then put her two hands apart to show us how big it is and added that each serving of chicken breast measures approximately 12 inches!

Their Original Large Fried Chicken costs PHP110. Just add PHP35 to upgrade it to a meal which includes rice and drink of your choice. The cashier was definitely telling the truth because the fried chicken that my husband had that day was humongous! I think it’s bigger than my face! Kapag may umaway sa akin, pwede kong sampalin ng fried chicken ng Hot Star! Hahaha! :p

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Original Large Fried Chicken Meal PHP145

The chicken was so big that my husband failed to finish it. It was also the same fate of the fried chickens of the couple who were seating in front of us. I saw the guy stand up to have the leftovers wrapped.

I had a few bites of the fried chicken. It’s very juicy. The crust is crispy, and the meat is very moist and tender. It’s tasty, too. My husband said that he tasted a hint of cinnamon. The savory and quite buttery gravy made the chicken even tastier.

I skipped the large fried chicken because I had something else in my mind. The moment I saw the chicken wings from their menu, I knew right away that it would be my lunch!

I was initially doubting myself whether I’d be able to finish the 4 wings. I asked my husband to help me, but he declined after seeing his gigantic fried chicken. He then told me to just eat what I can, and then we would just be bringing the leftovers home. How did my lunch end? We didn’t get to take home anything! I finished everything up to the point of licking the bones of the chicken wings!

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Crispy BBQ Chicken Wings Meal PHP160

The chicken wings come with the same gravy as the fried chicken, but it wasn’t really necessary. The wings were simply amazing without it. I love the smoky and tangy flavors of the wings. I also loved the fact that they serve “pure” chicken wings. I know that it is just a matter of preference, but I don’t really like eating chicken wings with parts of the breast attached to it. I always feel cheated when that happens. Haha! Anyway, my husband just gave me “the look” after seeing my almost wiped out plate. I just told him that the Baby Kolokoy loved the chicken wings very much! :p


Hot Star Large Fried Chicken 
Ground Floor 500 Shaw Zentrum
Shaw Boulevard, Mandaluyong


* All photos were taken with a Nikon Coolpix S3600