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Floreale - flowers and tea | A Feast for your Senses.

Tucked along the busy streets of San Pablo City is a quaint little cafe that serves not just good food but also great vibes. Say ole' to Floreale, a unique, flower-themed restaurant - the first of its kind in my hometown.

Floreale - flowers and tea.

Floreale means 'flowery'.

With its rustic interiors and cascading flower arrangements, Floreale reminded me of those lovely garden cafes that Yue and I would frequent whenever we're in Seoul. This restaurant also has a homey vibe, with all the wooden furniture and antique decors strewn all over the place.

Reminds me of the lovely garden cafes in Seoul.

Wines and antiques.

Instagrammable interiors.

Everything about this place feels cozy, relaxing, and intimate - probably because it's a family-run business, with the husband and wife at the helm. It's quite heartwarming to see how even their teenage kids help out in the operations, like taking customer orders or manning the till.

Homey vibes.

GCash payments accepted here.

Floreale's menu offers an array of dishes, from pizza and pasta, to sides and salads for sharing. They also have rice meals, and I kid you not, their Sweet Chili Ribs are to die for! Plus, you get a huge rack for a fraction of what you would usually pay for at those super fancy hotel restaurants.

Sweet Chili Ribs, Php 265.

Burger Steak, Php 220.

Chicken Katsu, Php 190.

Garden Fresh Salad, Php 179.

Great food, reasonable price, cozy ambience... what more can you ask for? Well, probably a good cup of coffee, which they also have.

Flavored Fries, Php 89. 
3-Cheese Pizza, Php 200.
Overload Pizza, Php 230.
Hazelnut Coffee, Php 99.

If you're into Instagram-worthy restaurants, and the laidback vibe is your thing, Floreale is definitely worth visiting. It's a complete sensory feast for both your eyes and palate, without breaking your wallet. 
109 M. Paulino St.,
San Pablo City
0945 273 6434


BPI supports artists and art lovers anew in Art Fair Philippines 2023.

BPI (Bank of the Philippine Islands), a staunch advocate of Philippine Arts, supports visual artists through partnerships and art lovers through the provision of greater access to artworks in art events such as Art Fair Philippines, which is coming back face-to-face from a three-year hiatus.

As we appreciate the value of artists and their works, we also see the significance of collecting and keeping great artworks, which is why we at BPI continue to provide our support as well to art lovers who, time and time again, visit Art Fair Philippines and acquire valuable artworks,” said Jenelyn Z. Lacerna, the Group Head of BPI Unsecured Lending and Cards, Product and Sales.
Art Fair Philippines 2023, which is happening on February 17-19 at The Link in Ayala Center in Makati City, will feature over 60 exhibitors from the Philippines and overseas as the art exhibition celebrates its 10th year. It is co-presented by BPI and Ayala Land, among other corporate supporters.

To promote art appreciation and further boost the local art scene, BPI offers complimentary access to cardholders of BPI Visa Signature, Platinum Rewards Mastercard, Amore Platinum Cashback, and Gold Mastercard.

At BPI, we consider keepers of valuable art works as art investors, as the works they acquire become part of their investment portfolio,” Lacerna said.

BPI has been the caretaker of more than 1,000 artworks by many prominent Filipino artists, such as Fernando Amorsolo, Jose Joya, and Ben Cabrera. Most of these art pieces are the country’s finest expressions of Philippine culture and are reflective of BPI’s inherent values.

The kind of support BPI gives to art lovers provides them greater access to exclusive events such as Art Fair Philippines, which continues to showcase the country’s vibrant local art scene and helps Filipino visual artists generate support and reach a wider audience,” Lacerna added.

BPI affirms its commitment to recognize and nurture the country’s artistry and talent through its participation in events like this.
One of the many galleries featured in the art fair is Art Cube, which provides a platform for talented young artists to showcase their works before an extensive roster of art collections. The gallery, which will be located on the 5th Level, Booth No. 5, will feature the works of father-and-son Renato and Guerrero Habulan, showing a glimpse of ordinary people: iconic images of the masses, their dignity amid hardship, and as an inspiration. Renato, a post-war and contemporary painter, is one of the most influential and award-winning watercolor artists in the country. Guererro, a recipient of the Thirteen Artists Awards of the Cultural Center of the Philippines, combines different figurative styles and approaches—from hyperrealism to pop surrealism to the “ready-made” images of silk screen printing.

Also featured in this year’s edition of the art fair includes Celine Lee, who has been recognized for her work, including the Juror’s Choice Award of Merit at the Philippine Art Awards in 2020. She has a diverse portfolio that includes paintings, sculptures, embroidery pieces, and multimedia works that show her innovative use of different materials and media.

Art lovers can also check out the works of Winna Go, a finalist in multiple competitions in 2018, such as the LRT Art Competition, Shell National Student Art Competition, Metrobank Art and Design Excellence Competition, and Regional Winner for Philippine Art Awards. In most of her works, she gathers inspiration from the history of the Chinese diaspora, the richness of the Chinese and Filipino culture, her identity and positionality in society, and the beauty of nature.

We invite the art enthusiasts out there to come and join us at the Art Fair Philippines and discover the country’s artistry and talent. Check out the many participating galleries that showcase Filipino artistry at its best,” Lacerna added.

For more information, please visit the Art Fair Philippines website and follow Art Fair Philippines on Instagram (@artfairph) and Facebook (


Be Careful with your Hearts.

Did you know: aside from being known as the month of love, February is also Philippine Heart Month. The yearly celebration aims to promote cardiovascular health and wellness.

As part of its continuing mission to help Filipinos live well, Ajinomoto Philippines Corporation (APC Group) has teamed up with lifestyle doctor Dr. Dex Macalintal in promoting healthy heart education by providing easy and simple ways to keep the heart in tip top shape.

Dr. Dex Macalintal, a registered nutritionist dietitian in practice for about 10 years and a licensed physician for 4 years, shared that Filipinos should practice, “heart above all.”

He noted that when our hearts malfunction, our actions will be limited and so will our productivity. Dr. Dex also highlighted that our hearts help us orchestrate how blood flows in the body which helps our other organs function properly.

In the Philippines, heart disease is the leading cause of death. In 2022, Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported that over 9,000 Filipinos succumbed to ischaemic heart diseases and over 4,000 died due to cerebrovascular diseases.

Together with Dr. Dex, we want to share how Filipinos can take better care of their hearts by encouraging healthy eating habits and improving our physical health,” APC Group General Manager Corporate Planning and Public Relations Roann Co said.

Photo credit: National Cancer Institute.

Tip #1: Do not smoke, never smoke, or If you smoke, QUIT. NOW.
Studies have proven that chemicals in cigarettes put the heart at risk of heart diseases. Blockage from a clot can lead to a heart attack and to some extent sudden death.

Photo credit: Elena Kloppenburg.

Tips #2 & #3: Exercise regularly and maintain your weight.
Dr. Dex recommends having at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise daily to help achieve our ideal body weight to minimize the risk of hypertension and stroke.

Photo credit: Anna Pelzer.

Tip #4: Keep a balanced diet.
A diet rich in vegetables, less fat, and less in sodium has already been proven to reduce blood pressure and blood cholesterol which are known culprits for putting your hearts at risk of diseases. Dr. Dex shares “Kaya naman, having a balanced diet is very essential in taking care of our health. Mainam na malaman kung gaano karami lamang ang pwedeng kainin so that our weight will be in the ideal range, putting us at the safe zone from lifestyle related diseases.”

To help Filipinos take better care of their heart health, APC Group launched its BawAsin® campaign which aims to help homecooks serve less sodium dishes. One practical way is to lessen the usage of salt and use AJI-NO-MOTO® Umami Seasoning. AJI-NO-MOTO® Umami Seasoning contains only 1/3 amount of sodium compared to table salt, sodium intake can be reduced by up to 40% while maintaining overall deliciousness of food.

The goal of the BawAsin® Campaign is to reduce salt intake which is a preventive move to reduce risks of heart disease, stroke, and kidney disease. Creating less sodium and balanced meals through this campaign can help our community decrease the cases of heart disease and other non-communicable diseases,” Dr. Dex said, “Our continuous exposure to processed foods that are very rich in sodium and salt can put one at risk of these lifestyle-related diseases. Reducing salt and sodium intake just by ½ can be very helpful in the long run,” he added.

The BawAsin® or Bawasan ang Asin campaign is a reflection of the brand’s “Eat Well, Live Well” promise, which aims to help families improve their health by providing ways on how to prepare healthy and delicious meals. These initiatives are in line with the company's ultimate goal of extending the life expectancy of 1 billion people.

With one simple step such as reducing sodium intake can help us take better care of our heart and overall health. With the tips shared by Dr. Dex and the recipes from our BawAsin campaign, we can live a healthier lifestyle while making sure we have delicious meals every single time,” said Co.

For more information about the BawAsin® campaign, visit
For easy-to-follow delicious less sodium recipes checkout


Fall in Love with the New Hot Beverages from The Goodwill Market.

Coffee, tea, or hot chocolate?

There’s definitely no better way to perk up during a long workday than with a comforting cup of your favorite hot beverage. The flavour boost from your hot drink of choice can help you give the much-needed boost power through your projects or get through a busy day. To make your refreshments even more wholesome and delicious, The Goodwill Market introduces new coffee, tea, and chocolate drink products that are perfect as breakfast or breaktime companions.

Chek Hup Cham Tarik combines the richness of 100% imported Brazilian coffee beans and Kenya Black Tea with the creaminess of condensed milk. No artificial flavors or sweeteners are added, so each cup brings a naturally smooth burst of energy.

Coffee drinkers can elevate their caffeine fix with Check Hup Kopi Tarik. It is a robust and aromatic blend of 100% Brazilian Coffee with creamy and sweet condensed milk that takes you on a perfectly-brewed taste trip.

Chocolate lovers can try something new, with the Chek Hup Chocolate Drink with Peppermint. This intriguing mix combines the super-rich flavors of fermented cocoa beans with the refreshing taste of peppermint. It is sweetened with Check Hup rock sugar with no artificial chocolate flavouring added.

Enjoy these new Check Hup drink variants conveniently delivered to your doorstep with The GoodWill Market’s online shopping hub that also offers more choices of curated wellness products and health essentials. What’s more, you can sign up for the online newsletter that delivers the latest promos and new product notifications along with interesting content that caters to your healthy lifestyle choices. For more information on The Goodwill Market and to shop securely online, visit


Hidden Gems of the MET.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art of New York is one of the world's greatest art collections. Better known as the MET, this gallery is a point of pride for locals and a must-see attraction for visitors to the city. Art lovers flock here to admire more than 2 million works of art, from ancient Egyptian artifacts to the latest in avant-garde artistic installations. And this incredible collection has made the MET one of the world's most visited art museums.

Photo credit: Carl Newton.

The MET is home to masterpieces by some of the biggest names in art history, including Turner, Caravaggio, Degas, Manet, Renoir, and Picasso. And often, it's tempting to go straight to the best-known paintings and sculptures, especially when you're pressed for time.

But if you have a little more time to spare, we recommend avoiding the crowds that make a beeline from one famous painting to another. The MET also contains some lesser-known gems that are most definitely worth visiting. Drop off your bags at a luggage storage near the MET and check out some of these treasures. Not only will you get to avoid the crowds, but you'll also get bragging rights that you've seen parts of this extensive museum that most people never get to.

Temple of Dendur

When planning a trip to New York, you don't normally expect to find too many Egyptian temples. But that's exactly what you will find at the MET. This is a real Egyptian temple that was ordered to be built by the Roman Emperor Augustus back in 15 BCE. Moved piece by piece from Egypt when the construction of the Aswan High Dam began in 1960, the Egyptian government gifted the temple to the United States and reassembled it in the MET. That makes it one of the most significant ancient Egyptian ruins in the Western Hemisphere and a place any budding Egyptologists have to see for themselves.

Human-headed Winged Bull

In the culture of ancient Assyria, which occupied the territory known in the modern era as Iraq, lamassus were powerful mythical creatures that protected the empire from its enemies, both mortal and spiritual. Given that the Assyrian Empire collapsed in the seventh century BC, not many images of lamassus remain. But you will find some fairly spectacular examples in the MET, including a human-headed winged bull that once served as the guardian at the entrance to an Assyrian palace.

Photo credit: Thomas Eidsvold.

Thomas Cole's View from Mount Holyoke

This 1836 painting is considered one of the masterpieces of American landscape art. It is also considered the first major work of US artist Thomas Cole and was inspired by his own visit to Mount Holyoke in Massachusetts. Although it takes up a relatively small space on the MET's wall, it is often cited as an example of how American landscape painting developed during the 19th century.

Hearing Sphinx

This sculpture commemorates a legend that dates back to ancient Greece concerning a woman named Rhea who was so moved by hearing Apollo play his lyre that she created a sphinx with ears large enough to capture all the music. The sculpture captures this moment perfectly, with one ear cocked toward Apollo, and it has been described as "one of the most moving works in Western art." Seeing this piece at the MET is sure to captivate your own senses.

A Bedroom from Pompeii

The Roman city of Pompeii is rightly famous for being one of the most fascinating archaeological ruins in the world. Buried by a volcanic eruption in 79 A.D., the city was preserved under tons of ash for centuries until excavations began in the 18th century. The excavation of Pompeii is still ongoing, but the city forms one of the most stunning relics of the Roman world left on earth.

If you can’t make the journey all the way to southern Italy to see Pompeii for yourself, the next best thing might be to visit the MET. The museum is home to a reconstructed bedroom complete with authentic frescoes from the ruins themselves that were shipped to New York in the 20th century. It's amazing to see a room where people lived and slept so long ago, and it's one of the highlights of the museum's Roman collection.

Photo credit: Jouwen Wang.

Velazquez's Juan de Pareja

One of the greatest painters ever to emerge from Spain, Diego Velazquez, was commissioned by King Philip IV to paint a portrait of his slave, Juan de Pareja. It is one of the most remarkable works in the entire MET gallery, and it's hard not to be moved when viewing this painting. Not only does it evoke powerful feelings about the cruelty of slavery, but it also captures something truly special about one particular person – Juan de Pareja himself – who managed to rise above his circumstances to become a respected court painter in Madrid.

Bedroom from the Sagredo Palace

The MET houses one of the largest collections of ancient art and artifacts in the world, and it's easy to get lost in these galleries for hours. But hidden among them is a genuine gem – a bedroom from the Sagredo Palace in Venice dating back to the 18th century. The room is filled with furniture, paintings, and frescoes that you can imagine were once used by an important religious or political figure of their time. It's an exquisite work of art that deserves our appreciation, no matter how many centuries ago it was created.

Persian Prayer Niche

The highlight of the MET's highly praised Islamic collection, this prayer niche was created by an artist working in the court of the Persian ruler, Shah Tahmasp. The intricate detail and vibrant colors of this work show why it has been described as one of the most beautiful examples of Islamic decorative art ever made. Seeing this piece at the MET is sure to inspire awe and admiration in even the most seasoned art connoisseur.

Pablo Picasso's portrait of Gertrude Stein

This portrait of the iconic writer and art patron Gertrude Stein is, unsurprisingly, one of the most popular works at the museum. Painted by Pablo Picasso in 1906 when he was just 24 years old, it's a stunning representation of his style at that time. It also serves as an important reminder of how much influence Stein had on Picasso's work and on the entire development of modern art in general.

Photo credit: Rachel McDermott.

Met Roof Garden Cafe and Martini Bar

Finally, no visit to the MET would be complete without checking out its iconic rooftop garden café. This is a great place to get away from the hustle and bustle of the museum galleries and enjoy some delicious food with amazing views of Central Park. But if you are looking for something a bit more exciting, then the Martini Bar on the roof should definitely be on your list. Here you can relax with a cocktail while admiring breathtaking views of New York City from one of the most stunning spots in town.


This selection of hidden gems makes it clear that The Metropolitan Museum of Art has something special in store for everyone who visits it; whether it’s an ancient sculpture, a bedroom from Pompeii, or even a rooftop bar with a view, the MET is sure to provide a unique and unforgettable experience. So plan your visit today and discover these hidden gems for yourself!


Make It Count with Money Games at

Remember my nephew Morgan who loves music, Math, and Super Mario? Well, he's now five years old and is officially enrolled in preschool. He's been attending in-person classes  since the start of the year (one hour session, three times a week), and so far, he finds school fun and interesting. He's also made a lot of new friends, being the congenial little boy that he is.

Currently, he's on a week-long "health break" (sort of a semestral break, only shorter), like most preschool and grade school kids here in the Philippines. No homework or modules for now, but he's making productive use of his time by playing board games, singing karaoke, and swimming at the pool. When he's given screen time, he either plays Super Mario on his Nintendo Switch or goes through all the different video games at the Mortgage Calculator website.

My bubbly five-year old nephew, Morgan.

I chanced upon the Mortgage Calculator website while doing some research on real estate and home loans. As the name implies, the website has online calculators that can help you compute monthly home loan payments using different loan terms, loan amounts, and interest rates. They also have savings calculators, refinance calculators, and even home affordability calculators which can give you an estimate of how much you can afford to borrow for your new home. All these came in very handy for my research, but it was the money games that made me stay longer on this website - long enough for Morgan to see what I was doing on my computer and try the games for himself. 

Here are some of Morgan's favorite games on Mortgage Calculator.

Cash Back.

Select the number of bills and coins and give the change.

Cash Back is a basic arithmetic game where players use bills and coins to give the customers their correct change. It's a fun way to introduce money to kids, and teach them how to calculate using the different denominations. 

Supermarket Numbers.

Click the appropriate blocks to get the number on the upper left.

Another arithmetic game is Supermarket Numbers. The game starts with addition blocks, where you have to select two numbers to add up to the numerical goal shown on the top left. As the game advances, more blocks are added with functions like subtraction, multiplication, and division. 

Tap Supermarket.

Click on the customers at the counter and the empty shelves that need to be refilled.

On the other hand, Tap Supermarket is a grocery store simulation game where you oversee the store operations from manning the till, refilling the shelves, and managing the stocks. You earn money by checking out the customers in the payment counter, which you can then use to purchase new display racks and expand your store inventory. As the game progresses and you gain more experience, you can unlock the second checkout counter and a third grocery stocker.

Pizza Cafe.

Serve the customers immediately before the hearts run out.

Another simulation game is Pizza Cafe where you need to serve customers with the pizza that they ordered. There are different pizza variants which require different ingredients, and you need to assemble, cook, and send them to the conveyor belt until it reaches the customer. There is a time limit, so you need to make the pizza as quickly as possible before the customer walks out. You can also use the phone at the bottom right to order ingredients once they've ran out.

Hidden Food.

Click on the object as soon as you spot them.

Finally, there's Hidden Food, a simple search game where you have to find food items or kitchen appliances hidden among a cornucopia of fruits, vegetables, and other things related to food and cooking. The game starts easy, but as you advance to the different levels, it gets a tad more difficult as you need to find more items while the board becomes more densely packed. Surprisingly, Morgan managed to get to Level 10 with a bit of help from me. 

Enjoying some screen time on the iPad.

There are dozens upon dozens of fun games at the Mortgage Calculator website, and every single one of them is free to play. No sign-ups needed, no downloads required. Everything is browser-based so all you need to do is simply go to the website and click on the game that you would like to play. The site is ad-free, so you don't have to worry about annoying pop-ups or irrelevant ads showing up on screen. 

Yue will be having his "health break" next week, and from the looks of it, he'll be spending most of his break playing these money games as well. 


Botejyu SM City San Pablo for your Japanese Food Cravings.

In the past year and a half, so many new cafes, restaurants, and diners have popped up in my beloved hometown. My siblings and I would often say, "feeling Seoul ang San Pablo" (San Pablo feels like Seoul), because of the numerous coffee shops and (milk) tea houses that have mushroomed practically everywhere - from the city proper to the outskirts, even in the most far-flung barangays.

And that's a good thing, actually. These new cafes and restaurants are a sign that the food and beverage industry is slowly recovering from the COVID slump. In addition, San Pableños now have a plethora of food options all over the city. I'm thinking of visiting and trying out as many new and relatively new restaurants as I can, as part of my 'aspiration' to blog more often this year and share more quality content.

Botejyu, home of authentic Japanese cuisine.

First on the list is Botejyu, a world-renowned restaurant chain that originated from Osaka, Japan. The very first Botejyu restaurant was established in the city of Tamade in 1946, with okonomiyaki and okosoba as its specialties. Now on its 77th year in the industry, Botejyu boasts of 126 shops worldwide, 64 of which are in the Philippines.

One of those branches happen to be in SM City San Pablo, and I could not be more ecstatic! Finally, an authentic Japanese restaurant in the city to satisfy our ramen, katsu, and yakisoba cravings!

Botejyu finally made it to SM City San Pablo!

Botejyu SM City San Pablo held its grand opening last January 6 but it wasn't until last week that we finally had the chance to dine at the restaurant. And we had a good reason to indulge in some great food - Yue's grades went up this quarter and he retained his spot on the list of  students with high honors. That called for a celebration by all means!

Here's a glimpse of what we had at Botejyu.
First off, Chicken Karaage because Yue loves chicken, haha. This was the first thing he had in mind when I told him that we're going to the mall for some Japanese food. Crispy, golden, and perfectly seasoned... it's no surprise that Botejyu's karaage is the number one karaage in Japan.

Large Chicken Karaage, Php 520.

For his main course, Yue had the Pork Tonkatsu Cutlet with Egg Teishoku. The term 'teishoku' means set meal, and this one comes with a bowl of rice, some fresh side salad, a bowl of miso soup, and a small plate of kimchi.

Pork Tonkatsu Cutlet.

I tried a small piece of the Tonkatsu, and I'm impressed by how thick, tender, and flavorful the meat is. Yue absolutely loved it, being a huge fan of my homecooked tonkatsu, which of course, pales in comparison to this one.

Pork Tonkatsu Cutlet with Egg Teishoku, Php 415.

The rest of us had donburi, or rice bowls served with meat or fish, and vegetables.

Steakdon (Diced Beef Garlic Rice Bowl), Php 545.

Jaymee had Steakdon, and I could tell how delighted she was with surprisingly tender beef pieces. She was smiling from ear to ear after one bite! :)

Tendon (Tempura Rice Bowl), Php 325.

Our resident shrimp eater, Thomas, had the Tempura. He was pretty much impressed with the crispy and crunchy batter and the juicy, perfectly cooked prawns. 

Butadon (Grilled Pork Rice Bowl), Php 325.

As for me, I had the Butadon because I was in the mood for pork. The tender and flavorful meat and the slightly sweet and savory sauce make a perfect combination.

Of course, no gastronomic trip to Botejyu would be complete without a bowl of ramen. We had their bestseller, Pork Tonkotsu Ramen with Char Siu Pork, and omg, one sip of the creamy, (slightly) fatty broth was enough to blow me away. It's heaven in a bowl with the milky broth, springy noodles, and tender meat. Really, you have to try it to understand. 

Pork Tonkotsu Ramen with Char Siu Pork, Php 485.

The boys enjoyed their first Botejyu experience, and it seems there will a be second, third, fourth, and so on visit. The food may be a little bit on the pricey side, but trust me, you're paying for really good, authentic Japanese food. 

Two tables full and Php 3k worth of food.

Congrats to you two! 

2F SM City San Pablo 
Brgy. San Rafael, San Pablo City, Laguna
(0917) 805 7234