February 18, 2013

Up and down: Pico de Loro climb

Doing something for the first time usually leads to a second time.

Ever since my solitary retreat to Mt. Pinatubo, I've been itching for another similar adventure. Hence when I got invited to an open climb, I quickly said yes without asking for details.

The Pico de loro open climb was (successfully) organized by the Ateneo's Loyola Mountaineering Group (LM). I learned tons of things from them; they were very nice and helpful.

courtesy of Ciara
The days before the climb were so hectic that I was only getting at least 4hrs of sleep per day. That said, I was unable to mentally, physically, and materially prepare for the climb. This was my biggest mistake.

First, I didn't bring rubber shoes, I was wearing my little sister's sneakers, which made me conscious of every step I made. I was careful not to slip or anything (I still did - a lot of times). Second, and more importantly, I didn't bring enough water. Water made everything better - the trek, the food, the weather- everything! and I didn't have enough of it! HAHAHA such a poor soul.

My other mistake was not packing lighter. The trek could have been easy, had I not have any heavy backpack with me. I am not sure how I could have packed lighter since most of the weight of my bag was due to water - which I didn't bring enough of. BUT still, I should have packed lighter. I actually got bruises on my hips and shoulders because of the weight I was carrying. I thought that maybe the backpack wasn't heavy, maybe my mild scoliosis is just acting up, but no, the bag was heavy. 

These 2 mistakes led me to think that I cannot do it, that I will not be able to do it, that I should just stay behind and not be a burden to the group. I thought, "there's still a next time, Arlet. Do not be difficult and be reasonable, you cannot do it"

Yet, for whatever reason - ego or something else, I went on ahead, one step at a time. 

I was careful: not jumping and just taking small steps to avoid straining my legs, not talking much to avoid exhaustion, etc. And I did it, one step at a time. 

courtesy of Mica Veloso


Getting to the peak was all worth it. Nonetheless, it wasn't my favorite part. My favorite part of the climb would be the knowledge that I could do it. It makes me wonder how many other things am I not doing (but capable of achieving), just because I'm afraid to do so. I wonder how many achievements have I robbed and deprived myself of. 

February 10, 2013

Gangster Squad (2013)

"Don't shoot where it is at, shoot where it is going to be"

courtesy of  my.spill.com

Despite appearing to be heavy on the drama and action (during the trailer), Gangster Squad is actually a light movie. It was the classic bad guy vs. good cop story wherein you will never get confuse on whose side you're on. Of course, expect some relationship-complexities for the good guy. You know the drill - the good guy always have to choose between his principles and his loved ones. Of course, we all know what the good guy chooses eventually. And as if on cue, the good guy, almost always, wins.

You should be thankful if it's not a deus ex machina win.

Okay, if you think deeply about the film, and compare it with other mafia films, then you might get disappointed. Hence, I suggest you just watch the movie and try not to think or compare. That way, you'll enjoy it, or at least most of it :) The moment I did that, I was able to laugh more at the movie's humorous conversations - of course not all. I found some lines too cheesy (the bad kind of cheesiness). But in all fairness, I got some lines which I liked - case in point, my introduction, and some other random lines.

"Don't shoot where it is at, shoot where it is going to be"

Given a spin off, such a line might become highly relevant to me, but right now, it is still just a line that I seem to be attracted to. I wonder.


Food Porn: Sugarleaf


Sugarleaf restaurant prides itself with having an all organic and healthy food selection. No guys, I am not on a diet or something. Everyone knows that I just eat whatever I like. Still, it can be a nice change to eat something healthy once in a while - or all the time, if the food is delicious, right?

Well, eating healthy can be delicious if you eat at Sugarleaf (there's one in Makati, and one in Wilson.)

Sugarleaf branch in Wilson
Crab stick and mango wrap
I ate crab stick and mango wrap for lunch. It was yummy! The mangoes used were very sweet and the crab sticks- salty, and then the veggies balances every flavor out. This could actually be a comfort food! It would have been perfect, if there were more. HAHAHAHA I was still hungry after finishing the 6 wraps. Good thing, I brought some cupcakes.
  

Food Porn: Aida's Chicken

Aida's Chicken is known for its inasals. It was actually voted as the best Bacolod inasal back in 2005 -so no question there, okay! How about their other dishes? I ended up ordering spicy pork spareribs, sinigang sa miso, and rice. The food were plentiful and hot (steaming) upon arrival.

Sinigang sa miso
The miso was pungent! It can wash out all other flavors in your mouth (case in point, if you just finished eating lots of cheese Piattos, and have no more appetite to eat dinner, then this is good for you!)

Spicy pork spareribs
Hmmm, perhaps I would have been more satisfied if I ordered their chicken menus, chicken is, after all, their specialty :) So yeah, next time!

Aida's Chicken delivers via Citydel 87878

Food Porn: Tony Roma's

I ate at Tony Roma's with my boss. I think he wanted me to pretend that it was my birthday, but NO, I didn't play the part. HAHAHA that would be too embarrassing for me. The food were all delicious, but I didn't dare look at the menu so I am not sure as to what these dishes are.

Roma sampler

Roma sampler

Food Porn: Red Mango

Let me be honest with you, I don't like yogurts. Yogurts are too sour for me, I'd rather eat ice cream or sherbet, or gelato, or something else than yogurt. However, I liked the Red Mango branch in Greenbelt, it is quiet, and the people were nice. That is why I think I'll be a regular there. HAHAHA

small frozen yogurts
hot organic (?) coffee

I think Red Mango's waffles and smoothies would go well with any book. Oh, I miss college life. I can just absent from my classes and stay somewhere cozy :) 

Red Mango delivers via Citydel 87878

Food Porn: Italianni's

I've always been a customer of Italianni's Greenbelt, partly because of the free garlic bread (HAHAHA it tastes good!). Still, the place is always packed with people. Hence, I don't find it conducive for catching up with friends. It's too noisy and crowded out there! The Bistro Group should expand this branch. 

Anyway, my friends and I ordered calamares, pizza, pasta (and yogurts and coffee at red mango.)

Fried calamari

I'm not sure if I've mentioned it before, but calamares is actually one of my favorite appetizers. I'll always enjoy calamares even if I have some complaints about it (I love Dencio's calamares, btw!). Italianni's calamares is no exception :)

Pizza Enorme (?)
Pizza Abbondanza (?)

Food Porn: Fog City Creamery

Fog City Creamery will always have a special place in my heart - for a reason that no one will ever know. CHOS. HAHAHA

Fog City's salted caramel

Seriously though, I love the taste of of Fog City's ice cream! I don't know how to differentiate it from other ice cream through words, but I think this is the best ice cream I've tasted yet. Unlike other ice creams which are made in big quantities with the help of different machines, Fog City's ice creams are made to order. Hence, you will be sure of its quality. And isn't it sweet knowing that the you're eating something that is made especially for you <3  

Fog City Creamery delivers via Citydel 87878

Warm Bodies (2013)

courtesy of filmofilia.com

Before Hansel and Gretel, I saw the trailer for Warm Bodies. It was funny so I said, hey why don't I watch this next. And I did. Mleh, I didn't catch the first part of the movie because I bought food. And I hate it when I don't see the first part of anything. It makes me feel left out! 

So there, when I got seated, the film was already on the part where R saw the girl for the first time- funny :) R is a funny guy, I like him. 

Anyway, Warm Bodies is another light movie, no need to think while watching it. I love the soundtrack by the way. Unfortunately, I can't find a complete movie soundtrack yet, and I don't want to search for the songs individually, so maybe next time. 

The movie crowd -aside from full of couples, kids, and teens- was adorable. They laughed at every single thing that R does. Well, whatever, it's a nice film.

"What wonderful thing didn't start out scary?"

Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters (2013)

courtesy of horrorsociety.com

Okay, I invited my family to watch Hansel and Gretel without knowing that this wasn't the classic Hansel and Gretel story. HAHAHA the movie is definitely a light one, made exactly for leisure. It's one of those movies wherein you need not think about your principles, about antagonists vs protagonists, moral differences, etc. You just let vivid scenes unfold before your eyes. I like the cast and the cinematography - especially the opening and closing billboard!

The conclusion of the story was predictable while the foundation of  the story was commendable. Despite the conclusion being predictable, watching the film won't make you feel cheated, because it can be a visual treat for you. 

Food Porn: Cajun Red Rock


Papa likes the buy 1 take 1 house burger of Cajun. That is why, he invited everyone to have lunch there - mama's treat though :) We're on rotation when it comes to paying for meals/movies/etc.

Since Papa was the one who suggested Cajun, he ordered for everyone: seafood salad for Mama, steak jambalaya for him, pork and mushroom jambalaya for kuya. , and the one with crispy patty cheeseburger for me.

Seafood salad

I like the taste of the seafood salad, but the way the calamares were cooked made its texture rubbery. It's hard to bite into pieces so the breading ended up falling apart.

Steak jambalaya
I like this one, no buts. However, papa thinks that the serving is small.

Food Porn: Cibo

Cibo, which means food in Italian, is a nice place to dine with your family. Of course, the menu is in Italian so I ended up ordering for everyone - not that I understand Italian, but my family somehow trust my way of hypothesizing which ones we should order. HAHAHA

That said, I opted for the safe choices: pizza, pasta, lamb chops (because I don't remember its taste), and a cheesecake.

Parmigiano pizza

The pizza, well, tasted like pizza - nothing out of the extraordinary. Don't get me wrong, I'm just saying that... you know, it should taste like pizza because pizza is what you ordered. Am I making sense here? HAHAHA if it means anything, Cibo's pizza doesn't leave an oily feel to your mouth - unlike most pizzas.

Pasta alla romana