Beyond Legal: My 19th Birthday

Cheers to my last teen year!

While Taylor Swift was too busy flaunting her moves to the songs she performed at the MoA Arena last June 6, here I was with my own shimmering spotlight—the star of my favorite people’s birthday surprise. 

I was all too unsuspecting, no giveaway of any sort was felt all throughout the planning, so kudos to everyone for that. I’m usually keen on smelling a surprise before it happens. But this time, I was positively unaware that something was going on. Imagine my confusion when I saw Mikee waiting for me near the main entrance of the Mall of Asia, holding a rolled-up brown paper in a fancy cylindrical container. Then and there, I knew where it came from. Who else would use that Papemelroti recycled brown paper and make it look so pretty, it could’ve been a debut invitation? Anyone, I guess. But for a surprise, it’s definitely Christiane. Honest to goodness, I have no idea where that guy milks his creative juices from. (WARNING: Long post ahead)

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Yusei’s Farewell Treat

After residency, I went to HP to meet with sir Kent, Agatha, and Yusei, who will be leaving the country in five days’ time. They played badminton in the afternoon and had finished when I got there, so we all decided to head off to MoA for Yusei’s farewell treat. But then Yusei had to go back to his place (side note that photo of the Manila Bay horizon is taken from his room at Grand Towers) and we passed by this buko vendor who was seriously freakin’ amazing. He was able to serve the coconut meat intact, with its circular form still enclosing the yummy juice and all. Oh, the things foreigners notice. I never would’ve discovered that if it weren’t for Yusei. I guess that’s what one of the things I love most about being with the IS, they show me my own country through a whole different set of eyes; what used to be mundane becomes especially fascinating.

Now, to the Mall of Asia.  

Yummy It was Yusei’s first time to eat at Yellow Cab, owing to yours truly’s suggestion. We all enjoyed the Four Seasons variant, but still #4 Cheese is just The. Best. Ever. Thank you, Yusei for this! 🙂


Fivefingers I know this is so weird and out of place, but see we stopped by Vibram FiveFingers after eating since Yusei really wanted a pair. He handed me this one and I admit, the prospect of wearing it out there was incredulously repulsive for me, but when I got to try it, god did my feet feel so heavenly. It was amazing and comfy and felt like nothing at all, and now I want a pair.. What? This purple one’s trendy. And expensive, if that helps.


Yes, we ate again. Well, they did. Sir Kent told Yusei that the best xiao long bao in the area, possibly even in the whole Philippines, can be found at the Lugang Cafe. As a second opinion, I confirmed this despite never having been able to taste any other xiao long bao aside from the ones in Lugang Cafe (thanks to Jac’s mom), but it was really delicious though. I remember being amazed at how these dumplings were made to contain a delicious soup that bursts in flavor inside your mouth. A basket of 8 costs approximately around Php 245 (est. US $5.5) as far as I remember. If you love Chinese food, I definitely recommend the Lugang Cafe.

The Chill Pill This is what I’d like to call The Secret Place. I’m sorry, I just don’t want a lot of people to start going here since it’s a pretty swell and sparsely occupied location, with a live band and all. Though you might find it with a little help. Google exists for a reason, after all. I took them here so we could chill for a bit before leaving, but ended up playing I’ve never, and going home at quarter to midnight. Sir Kent treated us to the resto’s specialty platter, composed of pizza, chicken, and tomato-based spaghetti.

What an incredibly eventful day, filled with food, laughter, and euphoria. And although I might never say this out loud, we will really miss you Yusei 🙂

The No Impact Experiment

(and a few words for Sundays, read on.)

I signed up for this activity as an advocate of environmentalism (on a certain level but mostly because it’s required) and also, because I simply found it interesting. I absolutely, positively love challenges, especially those that make a difference. In fact, I went on a 30-day vegan challenge for PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) before and finished it. Although my interests are no longer aligned with what PETA advocates, I have no regrets on that undertaking since I did feel much healthier and detoxified, albeit weaker in terms of stamina and strength, after going green for 30 days.

Hopefully, I also made a tiny, green footprint after this experiment despite the relatively shorter period it took to finish it.

Alrighty, here’s my 7 days No Impact Experiment!

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Day 44

Chicken Stroganoff dinner by my Brazilian friends, Jessica & Thiago

scrumptiously enjoyed with exchange students: Yusei from Japan, Paulus & Petri from Finland. Thanks, you guys!

Day 25

I made this in lieu of the photo I never took during ate Jocelyn’s despedida. As you can see, the plethora of yummy food prevented me from thinking about anything else but fulfilling that intense desire to fill my tummy with satisfying goodness.

Thanks for inviting us, ate Jocelyn! I hope for your [indubitable] success as you pursue your career in Japan. You’re one of the people I will forever look up to as an inspiration 🙂

Day 18

Hooray for free food! Thanks, Izul!

I’m really too tired to write anything substantial here right now. So, I’ll just type whatever comes to mind as of the moment. I’ve got a midterm exam tomorrow, and I’m juggling the apprehension on that part with many other things such as thesis, org, and existential problems. Perhaps I’ll write something about that last part sometime, when I’m not too busy being tired or worried about the other matters that make my college life extremely exhausting.

in a single statement,

I do not feel like I’m the captain of my ship.  
I’ll keep that to myself for now. After all, this is supposed to be a happy post. But then again, that is just utterly absurd because I can’t pretend to be happy all the time. I shall wallow in melancholy while I try to hammer things out with myself, my acads, and life in general.

breathe, exhale.