Street but Sweet


Saturday, April 03, 2010

Hullo and goodbye

Dear all,

Things have been really crazy lately. Sooo many changes that I find myself in a new phase of my life now--a phase that is quite different from where I was when I started Street but Sweet and Diary of a Food Lover. I've thus decided to say goodbye to these two blogs, and have started a new one to reflect my new life and all the new, wonderful adventures that will be coming my way.

There'll still be stories of my day-to-day life, plus restaurant and food posts. It's essentially my two old blogs rolled into one. So, come follow me on my new blog, Here, Tishie Tishie!

Thanks for all your support and comments over the years! Now click here!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Martha, Martha, Martha

Our wedding made it to the pages of Martha Stewart Weddings Philippines!:)

The latest issue is out now! Isn't that such a dreamy cover? I think those flowers are edible!

I also did the Registry section for this issue. I normally don't give myself a big pat on the back for styling work but I must say I quite like what I did here! And to think I was so stressed handling all those breakables and all. I especially heart the last spread, pretty cupcakes and all. Grab a copy to know what I'm talking about!

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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Negros sojourn: The Ruins

Earlier this evening, I finally got to see the famed Ruins of Talisay...

I first heard about the Ruins from a Bacolod native-friend who planned to have her wedding reception there. It was unfortunate that the sun had set by the time we reached Talisay from Bacolod (having been fed a wonderful merienda by an ever-gracious resident), so I missed seeing the structure without the lights on. But even at dusk, with night creeping in and the hint of stars in the darkening sky, the Ruins were absolutely breathtaking.

Maybe I'm just biased because I have a thing for ruins in general. But in the short span of time I was there, I was just enthralled. It was love at first sight. I wish I had known its back story before going--I would have sat longer on the steps (or the remaining skeleton) and allowed the house to speak to me, imagining myself in this mansion back in the 1900s. How magnificent it must have been! I marveled at how the walls and columns were ever so smooth, a result of the Grade A concrete used to build the mansion. Even after being burnt to its bones, the mansion still maintained its marble-like texture. I ran my hands across the walls and columns over and over in complete amazement.

I think what I like most about ruins in general is that they seem to have a soul that newer structures don't possess; these in particular had a very powerful spirit that whispered of a storied past. They were absolutely bewitching, so hauntingly beautiful that they made my heart ache and sing and dream.

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Sunday, February 21, 2010

Camp rocked!

No, we still haven't had time to go on a proper honeymoon, but we finally did get to go camping! I had never gone camping before, so this was going to be an adventure!

After weighing our different beach options (Putipot, Anawangin--which, I hear, is overrun with campers now), we finally decided on MV's suggestion: Nagsasa Cove in Zambales. If you want to know how to get there (including expenses), just scroll down after the photos. For now, let's do a little photo narrative...

The jump-off point is Purok 1 in Pundaquit, where we met our boatman Mang Vic. I pretty much found him off the net--aside from being referred by Nagsasa veterans, he had his own blog! (Unfortunately, I can't find the link now!)

From the jump-off point, you can see Camara and Capones Islands. They were out of the way so we didn't make the trip.

You'll pass the more popular Anawangin Cove before finally--finally!--catching sight of Nagsasa Cove, about an hour's boat ride away from Purok 1. (Note: Try to get a boat with a roof! That sun could get pretty harsh.)

Once you get to the cove, you'll be helped out of the boat by Mang Ador and his men, who are some of the few people who live on this part of the island.

H and I with Mang Ador

They don't really charge anything, but it'd be nice to leave them a little somethin'-somethin'. Especially since Mang Ador recently found out that his wife has cancer.:( Do pray for her and for the family. It was a little heartbreaking when he asked me all these questions about cancer--if it could be cured, if there were herbal alternatives to chemo. Sigh. I really really wish I could help. My own little way of doing that is promoting Nagsasa, and just saying what a totally kick-ass "host" he is!

To entice you, a few photos of what the cove has to offer:

Crystal clear waters that are super calm, and a view of mountains; the sand has some lahar mixed in, courtesy of the Mt. Pinatubo eruption

Pine trees! Right by the shore! Some people say that the seeds came from the ashfall courtesy of Mt. Pinatubo. We set up our tent by one of the big picnic tables, away from the other campers. We were there for peace and quiet and relaxation.

Lots of trees from which you can hang a hammock and doze off (which is exactly what I did)

A freshwater stream that runs behind the campsite

A 15-minute hike that leads to...

...waterfalls and a cool freshwater swimming hole! There was just a trickle of water when we were there since it's dry season.

A sari-sari store that sells halo-halo

A gorgeous sunset

A chance to complete the camping experience with a bonfire. This one was built by the locals for some campers nearby. But since they weren't gathered around it yet, I snuck in and roasted some marshmallows, on a perfect twig that H found for me.

More breathtaking photos by other Nagsasa visitors can be found here and here.

It was such a wonderful experience, even if it meant sharing a no-flush toilet in a makeshift bathroom with more than 20 other campers. And our feet were freezing because we didn't expect it to be so windy and cold, even inside our tent! (Note: Bring a blanket!) It also felt like we were in a different country, with a nice beach, rolling hills, a lake, pine trees, and waterfalls all in one place!

Want to go on a camping trip to beautiful Nagsasa Cove? Details:
  • Take a Victory Liner bus from Caloocan, going to Iba or Sta. Cruz, Zambales. Caloocan's a better option than Cubao because buses to Iba leave every hour (or half hour) going to Iba. (Note: That blanket I mentioned earlier will certainly come in handy here. Victory Liner evening/early morning buses are FREEZING!)
  • Get off at San Antonio, Zambales--this isn't so far from Olongapo. Bus fare is PHP251, plus voluntary insurance for PHP5.
  • Take a trike to Purok 1 in Pundaquit, PHP30 per person.
  • Take a boat to Nagsasa Cove. You can try contacting Mang Vic, 0929-7170739. It was a little pricey since it was just the two of us (PHP1,700 round trip) but it should be cheaper if there are more of you. (Note: They don't offer life vests up front, but do ask for them.) Tell the boatman exactly what time you want to get picked up the next day if you're staying overnight. You can't just text or call because there is absolutely no signal in Nagsasa.
  • Get off at Nagsasa Cove and enjoy!
  • Going home: Once you get to Pundaquit, take a trike back to San Antonio and wait for a bus either bound for Manila (few and far between, we're told) or to Olongapo (which come every few minutes); from Olongapo, you could get on a bus back to Manila.
You could also opt to drive to Pundaquit and park at a resort--I hear some allow overnight parking. But you'll have to research about that.

Sigh. I'd love to go back, especially now that I'm sick from all the stress and that pesky bug going around lately. Camping in Nagsasa Cove is something I will always look back on with fondness. And I do hope to be back some day soon. Til then, Mang Ador and his family will be in my prayers, and I hope they'll be in yours too.

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Monday, February 15, 2010

Crazy, beautiful

That's what my life has been like the past couple of weeks. I have been skipping to the beat of Possibility, Options, and Gratitude. This last weekend alone, there was so much to be thankful for:
  • My friends' wedding
  • Our free Valentine date (yes, we were able to make it!)
  • Our Valentine weekend camping trip (which totally rocked)
  • My team's elimination-round win (semi-finals, here we come!)
  • A better understanding of myself and what I want
  • A greater appreciation for my husband, who amazes me more and more as each day passes
Will be blogging in detail soon. As soon as I catch my breath and manage to find a bit more time.

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Friday, February 12, 2010

Do you wanna know a secret?

The Secret actually works!

I read it a couple of years ago and started rereading it recently when I was feeling all negative. And boy, did things turn around! It's little things and big things and everything in between, for example: On Sunday til Monday, I was seriously craving for fro yo. Then Monday, while waiting for friends, a lady handed me a card for free yogurt at a newly opened store! And I've been thinking about Boracay...and all of a sudden, I got an email saying I had a free trip lined up! Completely out of the blue. (Can't make it coz the dates are wrong though...perhaps I should've been more specific. But still!)

I know skeptics might think it's all coincidence, but seriously, if you multiply those events by ten (which is pretty much what I've experienced in the last overwhelming couple of weeks), you kind of start to believe. I know some people think it's new age-y and all that. And maybe it is. But don't knock it til you've tried it!


Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Wanting our cake

...and eating it too. But really, what else is cake for?

Further proof that our caterer is the Best Caterer Ever. I got this through email today:

Because it's Kaye, the food is guaranteed to be delicious. And the setup will undoubtedly be chic. We really, really, reeeeaaally want to go. We got all excited and were about to confirm when we realized that we have a wedding to go to on the same day! I asked Kaye's assistant if they were going to have a similar event in the future, and she said no. She can't say if they're having it again next year. So H and I are trying to work out a sched... It looks like we might be eating dinner twice that evening!