Sunday, August 30, 2015

Little Seoul, Ortigas Korean Food Trip

with Ica, Joyce & Yoyin
The four of us were supposed to go to Seoul last year but due to conflicts, my sister and I ended up travelling together not a bad experience, though. Joyce, the busy Architecture student, went to Manila with her sister Ica to watch Ariana Grande's concert. They stayed in my place on that weekend, the concert is on a Sunday night so for the morning until afternoon, I scheduled an Ortigas day tour. =))
Cafe Flafe
We walked along the empty Emerald street and reached Grand Emerald Tower to visit Cafe Flafe, my sister and I's go to Korean food trip place. For our brunch, we tried kimbap, japagetti/jajangmyun , mandu and ramyun. We had a light meal because we're making room for dessert.
Bingsu party
It's too bad that my cousins weren't able to go to Seoul so we just let them experience some of the best food that we've enjoyed in our trip. We tried 4/6 available flavors of Bingsu, chocolate is surprisingly good, strawberry is sour but yummy, mango is the safe choice and Injeolmi is the best. It's made of sticky rice cake, read beans plus the thinly shaved ice, milk and ice cream combo.
When you turn left from Cafe Flafe, you can check out Ha Nuel Mart, a Korean Grocery store. We bought danmuji muchim (pickled radish) and seaweed so that we can make our own kimbap.
Walk straight and you can see different, small Korean restaurants and even a travel agency. Grand Emerald Tower is basically a Little Seoul building in Ortigas.
The next day, I'm on PTO and still craving for Korean food, I went back to visit Sopoong Food House. 

I like that the prices are cheaper and in smaller servings. Six pieces of kimbap costs PHP50, not bad at all.

I tried kimbap and the spicy tteokbokki set (PHP150) is made of oblong shaped rice cake, vegetables and fish cake (rectangular shaped fish balls).
Pat bingsu
To wash down the spicy taste, I tried a cup of pat bingsu. Its a combination of sweet red beans, almonds, ice cream and the snowflake type of ice and milk. This is very thin and melts in your mouth type, very close to the bingsu we've tasted on CNBLUE Jonghyun's sulbing cafe!
I like that it's available on cup size (PHP150) and big serving (PHP280). I want to go back ASAP and try their mango and injeolmi flavored bingsu! This is so far, the best bingsu that we've tasted in Manila :)

Friday, August 28, 2015

Challenge Accepted: Badminton Tournament

I've always been a sports fan but never the player. I occasionally play Badminton with my office mates but we always end up eating out afterwards. So, it's just an activity to sweat out and be hungry enough to go to Central in Malugay which is conveniently located near the badminton court.  
Coach JP

One of my colleagues, JP, is very active in sports communities in our company. One day, he asked me if I play badminton and if I'm interested in joining a company sponsored tournament. He mentioned a free shirt and I found myself signing up! LOL.

With Joanne, Maria and Jer
My 3 other colleagues signed up and I ended up on the women's doubles division with my teammate Jer. Joanne got listed on the singles division while Maria was paired with another lady from a different project. 
PowerSmash, Makati
We had two weeks to prepare before the tournament. Luckily, since I'm close with Jer, we're able to communicate well on our strategy, our strength and weaknesses while practicing together. The first practice was on a Sunday morning at PowerSmash in Makati. I arrived early and I was able to warm up and play 2 matches with different players. While mingling with other employees who signed up, I've learned that most are already seasoned players, part of the Badminton club or even varsity players when they were in college. And there I was, an occasional badminton player! Our competitive nature prompted us to practice more. With one week remaining, we're able to squeeze a practice on a Wednesday night and on a Saturday morning. I realized that it's a great stress buster to play after a tiring workday, if only there's a badminton court in Mandaluyong area! It turned out that most of the courts are now converted into condos or gyms!
Game day! We had this group shot before the start of the tournament. We're in PowerSmash court as early as 8:30AM but the tournament officially started at 9:30AM. It's a great experience to be a part of a competition especially since we've practiced and really worked hard to prepare. In the first game, my partner and I lost by default because she arrived late. On the second game, we won by default then took a quick lunch break. We're rearing to play, maybe too eager because we ended up losing on our 3rd game by big margins. I remember the 2 set scores 6-21 & 6-21. Hahaha!

We have the same pattern on the 4th and 5th games, which are just in 15 minutes intervals.After winning the 1st set, we'll have the  "gigil" factor to finish the game but we'll lose by 19-21. Then on the 3rd set, our knees are wobbly and our hands wont cooperate with our game plan!! We ended up with 1-4 standing and 1 win away from entering the semis because of the quotient system! I've never been that tired but fulfilled at the same time. 

Return of Superman's Song Triplets - Happy Pills

Some time last year, I came across this GIF on Twitter (I love GIFS!!). It turned out that the 3 kids are not just random cute kids but they're fraternal triplets of South Korean actor, Song Il Gook. Before becoming tagged as the father of Daehan, Minguk and Manse, Il Gook is best known for his title role in historical drama "Jumong." This led me to watching the KBS variety/reality show, "The Return of Superman", where he and his 3 sons are currently part of. In a nutshell, the variety show focuses on celebrity fathers - from actors, MCs, singers and athletes - who are tasked to take care of their kids for 48 hours without the help of anyone and at the same time giving the much deserve time off for their wives.

The triplets are named Dae Han, Min Guk and Man Se, which also means "Long Live the Republic of Korea" when said together. 
The triplets are 2 ½ year olds when they first appeared on the show. They were introduced on episode 34 and 52 episodes after, I'm still hooked! Thank goodness, I have KBS World on my cable channels. They air the English subbed episodes every Sunday.

Every week, Song appa (daddy) and his triplets experience different activities together and they usually end up eating somewhere and leaves me craving for that food of the week. This sequence of GIFs perfectly explain how entertaining it is to watch them even if they just stay in their condo. Actor Song appa tries to simulate a situation "when he suddenly faints" to teach the triplets how they should respond. 

As expected, the eldest and responsible son Daehan, is too serious in helping out his father.
While Daehan continues to shout "Please help!", the adorable middle child Minguk tries to save daddy by forcibly opening his eyes.

And then comes the youngest, Manse, who never fails to crack me up. His name translates to "Hooray!" and I think as early as now, he has the personality to live up with that funny name!
Even though they are just sharing a part of their lives, I really admire how Il Gook and his wife are raising their children. I've taken notes of some parenting styles that they've shown . When the kids are fighting, they give them a time out on the "thinking chair". After 5-10 minutes of letting them reflect, they let them realize what they've done wrong and kiss them to assure that they still love them. I also like how they consistently don't scold their kid who've made a mistake in public. Also, as early as 3 years old, they were able to practice Korean traditions like letting the elders eat first before starting to eat, bowing and the universal value of sharing what you have. They even have an episode where appa taught them the importance of sharing food, these gluttonous kids struggled but it was instilled that if you share, you can have more.
I love their brotherhood. It makes me wonder if they are polite and sweet because of how they are raised or if kids are supposed to be like this at this age. I know that someday they will leave the show, I will be sad because I wont have my happy pills but I understand that it will be for the triplets. #familyGoals