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2019 BTS Summer Package Vol. 5 (Korea Version)

12.31.2019

2019 | My Roller Coaster Ride of a Year.

Hello everyone! I've been extremely busy lately (so many things to do at home!) that I hardly have the time to sit down in front of my laptop, and update my blog. But because this has become a tradition of sorts, I definitely wouldn't miss the chance to do a year-end blog post.

2019, for me, was a roller coaster ride of ups and downs. This year has been quite good to my family despite Yue's hospital confinement because of pneumonia.  Husband is doing well in his job (and still with his same old employer), my boy is doing great in both academics and sports (three karate tournaments this year with good results, still with high honors in his class), and as for me, as you can see, my blog is still alive and kicking. I've worked with some really awesome brands this year, and even became a Beauty Ambassador for BeautyMNL.

However, unlike the previous years, we weren't able to travel to Korea for the holidays, or anywhere outside the country for that matter. We had planned to cut back on (travel) expenses this year as we're saving up for something big (ergo, our own home), and thankfully, with the help of my dear parents-in-law, we're almost reaching our goal.

It would have been awesome if my best friend could see this dream of mine finally come to life; unfortunately, 2019 also gave me the biggest heartbreak. My best friend passed away all of a sudden last August, and it took me awhile to come to terms with the fact that he's gone. I miss him terribly, and I break down in tears whenever I think of him - which I still do very often.

"The best is yet to come" so goes the Frank Sinatra song, and I do hope that the new decade will bring better, brighter, and happier things for all of us. Welcome 2020! Happy New Year! :)
Thank you, 2019!

12.22.2019

Kahakot Hakot na Pamasko at Super8 Grocery Warehouse!

Just three more days 'til Christmas, and we're pretty much done preparing for the holidays - decors have been hung, presents have been wrapped, and the Noche Buena menu has been planned out. We're also done grocery shopping for our holiday feast!

Wanting to avoid the holiday rush, Yue and I already went shopping for food stuff over the weekend. It's a good thing we decided to visit Super8 Grocery Warehouse this time around. Not only were we able to purchase everything in this week's shopping list, we also got huge discounts on most of the items that we bought. Hooray for Super8's Kahakot Hakot na Pamasko Promo! :)
Hello from Super8 Grocery Warehouse San Pablo! :)
This selection of Noche Buena food items, for instance, has the lowest prices in the market, guaranteed! Look - where else can you get a complete spaghetti package (yes, corned beef included) for just Php 99?
Spaghetti Package, Php 99.
Or a macaroni salad and graham cake package for Php 349? This pre-packed bundle comes in a reusable plastic box and includes the following: Super8 Elbow Macaroni, Best Food Mayo Magic, Del Monte Pineapple Tidbits, La Pacita Graham Crackers, Angel Condensada, CDO Nata de Coco White, Mega Prime Fruit Cocktail, and Super8 Great Buy All-Purpose Dressing. 
Macaroni Salad Package at Php 249,
Macaroni Salad and Graham Cake Package at Php 349.
If you're feeling fancy, they also have these Christmas baskets with gourmet snacks, chocolates, and wine, even.
Snack Basket, Php 499.
Snack Basket, Php 549.
Wine Basket, Php 799.
Thinking of giving ham as Christmas giveaways? Super8 has you covered! They have the Great Buy Pear-Shaped Ham (800 grams) at just Php 208 each. And for every 10 hams you buy, you get one free!
Pear-shaped Ham at Php 208.
Buy 10, get 1 free!
How about some ball cheese to complete your Christmas feast? At Php 195 each, Super8's Great Buy Queso de Bola has the lowest price guaranteed!
Super8 Great Buy Queso de Bola, Php 195.
Super8's huge discounts are not limited to just Christmas food items. Regular grocery items are discounted, too! And with your Super8 Rewards Card, you even get 20 Bonus Points with every Php 200 single-receipt purchase of participating Nestle items.
Someone's having fun shopping.
Scouting for deals at the Super Sulit Points section.
For even more bonus points, head over to the Super Sulit Points section where you can get 25 Rewards Points for every Php 500 single-receipt purchase of participating items. Great deal if you're buying items in bulk!
Done with our Christmas shopping!
Thank you, Super8 Grocery Warehouse San Pablo!
Thank you to Sir John, Sir Larry, and the staff of Super8 Grocery Warehouse San Pablo! :)
If you're still not done with your Christmas shopping, I suggest you drop by a Super8 Grocery Warehouse near you so you can enjoy the same perks and privileges that we did. Don't forget to sign-up for the Super8 Rewards Card! It's your ticket to deep discounts and rewards points! :)
The Super8 Rewards Card - your ticket to deep discounts and big bonus points. :)

12.20.2019

My First Airbnb Experience + Tagaytay Food Trip.

Last week, our sixth-graders had their spiritual retreat at the Carmelite Missionaries Center of Spirituality in Tagaytay City. Worried about the fact that our kids will be out of town, on their own, for the first time in their lives (yes, yes, we're paranoid stage mothers like that, lol) my mom squad and I tagged along. We did not spend the night with them at the retreat house, of course. But we did stay close by, at a vacation home along Kabangaan Road which we rented through Airbnb.
Roadside sign to show you the way.
Secured fence + front entrance to the balcony.
Listed as 'Modern Splendor Tagaytay', this charming bungalow is everything you'll want in your dream home - immaculate interiors, posh furnishings, wide hallways, a spacious and modern kitchen. I fell in love with the place as soon as the caretaker, Kuya Dan, ushered us in!
The living room with extra beds on the side,
plus a 55-inch curved Smart TV with Netflix.
The dining area and kitchen.
Side by side fridge with ice cubes dispenser.
Kitchen bar counter.
Love their fully-equipped kitchen!
And the Himalayan Salt Lamp for that zen effect, haha.
The house has 2 bedrooms fully en suite (ergo, there's an adjoining bathroom), each with beautifully dressed beds. Both rooms are air-conditioned, as well as the common area. 
One of the rooms inside Modern Splendor.
The bathroom, complete with towels for the guests.
There's hot water, and a hair dryer, too.
Guests are allowed to cook in the kitchen, and can use all the utensils in the kitchen cabinet. We chose to dine outside, though, but we did use the some of the plates and cutlery, and the electric kettle for coffee and tea, which were provided by the hosts, Letecia and Donald.
Pool table + outdoor dining area. 
Garden + undercover carport.
This swing seats two! :)
Aside from the classy interiors, Modern Splendor also boasts of an outdoor entertainment area complete with a pool table, dart board, videoke machine, and a barbecue grill. There's also a wicker swing to complete that country home feels!
With my Mom Squad. :)
Groufie mirror shot!
Sweater weather. :)
My mom squad and I truly enjoyed our overnight stay at Modern Splendor. Our hosts were nice and very responsive to my inquiries, and the caretaker was quite attentive to our needs. The place is cozy and commodious, and is situated in a quiet area that's close to the city market, restaurants and convenience stores, and just minutes away from Picnic Grove. I would definitely recommend this home if you need a place to stay while in Tagaytay.

Oh, and speaking of restaurants, here's a glimpse of our Tagaytay food trip. We pretty much did nothing but eat and shop in Tagaytay, I felt like I gained a kilo overnight, haha!
Carmela's Banana Cakes.
Banana Chips by Carmela's.
Lining up for Ube Jam at Bahay Pastulan.
Special Ensaymada by Cecilia's.
One of the best buko pies in Tagaytay.
Grilled Seafood platter.
Crispy Pata.
Bulalo.
Dinakdakan.
Best piaya ever at Balay Dako.
Balay Dako Deli.
Pasalubong goodies at Balay Dako.
Shopping for flowers while watching the Tagaytay sunset. :)
We had planned to have dinner at Balay Dako, but alas, the restaurant was closed because they were having their staff Christmas party that night. We visited them the following morning so we can buy piaya for take-out. My friend's mom had raved about their piaya so much, and boy oh boy, she was not kidding. Balay Dako's piaya is exceptionally good! Another reason to visit Tagaytay again soon! :)

12.08.2019

Foodie Goodie | Seoul Kitchen.

I've been wanting to visit Seoul Kitchen for the longest time, ever since I saw photos of their food on my friend's Instagram feed. My friend raved about them, which made me want to try their food even more. I promised myself (and Yue) that we will dine at Seoul Kitchen if and when we visit Los Banos, and that chance finally came yesterday, on the day Yue took the UPRHS Entrance Exam.

Located within the vicinity of the UP Los Banos campus, Seoul Kitchen is a charming and casual neighborhood restaurant that serves classic Korean food. Seoul Kitchen reminded me of the mom-and-pop diners (they call it 'sikdang' in Korea) in our neighborhood in Seongsu-dong, and this place gave me so much Korean feels from the get-go. I mean, just look at the facade of this lovely little restaurant - roof tiles, silhouette of the N Tower, and a sutgarak (long-handled shallow spoon) on the restaurant's logo.
Seoul Kitchen in Los Banos, Laguna.
The place was packed with patrons when we arrived - students, couples, even families with little kids were there at Seoul Kitchen. I actually loved the busy atmosphere, because to me, that equates to good food at a good price. One of their staff ushered us in, and we were lucky to chance upon an empty table that's spacious enough to seat our group of five.
Seoul Kitchen is abuzz during lunch and dinner hours.
Lining up to place our order. :)
Seoul Kitchen observes a 'Pay As You Order' policy, and you have to go to the counter to place your order. I was kinda expecting that it will take awhile for our food to be served, but much to my surprise, the waiting time took no more than minutes (or maybe even less).
Seoul Kitchen is jjang! :)
The kids had Oriental Chicken Pasta, a soy-garlic based pasta with chicken cubes, mushrooms, and nuts. The taste reminded me of Yellow Cab's Charlie Chan, and Yue absolutely loved it.
Oriental Chicken Pasta, Php 150.
I, on the other hand, had Soy Chicken Bibimbap. This dish is one of  Seoul Kitchen's bestsellers, and I love that they used kongnamul (soybean sprouts), and not mungbean sprouts. If you want spice in your bibimbap, you can order the regular Bibimbap at the same price.
Soy Chicken Bibimbap, Php 160. Gimbap, Php 110.
We also ordered Jjampong, a seafood ramyun with mussels, squid, and a medley of vegetables simmered with Seoul Kitchen's special seasoning. This dish is rated with two chilis on the spice meter, but my friend who ordered this (and can handle spicy food well) said that the spiciness was quite tolerable. 
Jjampong, Php 145.
Of course, I had to have their Tuna Kimbap - rice wrapped and rolled in seaweed, with tuna and mayonnaise. I had been dreaming about mayak kimbap (aka the famous rice rolls sold at Gwangjang Market) for God knows how long, and having a taste of Seoul Kitchen's gimbap sort of eased my (Seoul) homesickness.
Tuna Kimbap, Php 125. 
Seoul Kitchen also has coffee, tea, and an array of desserts on their menu. I would have loved to cap our meal with a bowl of bingsu (shaved ice dessert), but my stomach refused to take any more food. Haha! Aya, Yue's friend, did try the Mochalatta, a frappuccino blended with chocolate and coffee and served with a generous portion of whipped cream. The frappe was gone before she can even put down her spoon. :)
Mochalatta (Pint), Php 150.
If you're into Korean food or fusion cuisine, I suggest you try and visit Seoul Kitchen. Not only is the food good and authentic (the restaurant is co-owned and managed by a Korean national), the prices are quite affordable, too. Plus points for the cozy, Korean ambiance, and the friendly and approachable waitstaff. 
Al fresco dining, anyone?
Daume ddo bayo, Seoul Kitchen! See you again!
Seoul Kitchen
9005 Pearl corner FO Santos st., Umali Subd., Los Baños, Laguna 
0930 662 0977