Thursday, November 20, 2014

My OTKB Experience

OTKB means Olive Tree Kitchen and Bar. They have a restaurant in Bonifacio High Street, and we went there immediately after our Basic Photography Tips and Tricks for Bloggers Workshop in Fully Booked. Click here for my blog post on the workshop.

We went there primarily to take photos of OTKB's food so that we could practice the tips and tricks that we learned from the workshop. Yes, we were allowed to eat the food afterwards. Haha!

OTKB is very easy on the eyes. The place has a pleasant vibe and it's very photogenic too! Here are some of the food photos that I managed to take while I was there:

There were a lot more dishes, but there were so many bloggers squeezing in to take photos. Haha! Being the shy person that I am (walang kokontra), I just stepped back and observed. I love observing people. :)

After sampling the food that we photographed, I asked for a copy of OTKB's menu so I could check out the price range. The food was so good, and I wanted to come back with The Memet so that he could experience their food too!

It's a nice place for a casual yet romantic date with your significant other. You'll probably spend approximately P1,500 (for two) for a delectable, filling meal. I'm definitely taking The Memet there. ♥

Olive Tree Kitchen and Bar
Ground Floor, B3, Bonifacio High Street,
Bonifacio Global City, Taguig

Basic Photography Tips & Tricks for Bloggers

As many of you probably know by now, I have a thing for photography. I've never attended any kind of workshop before, so many of my photos (using my DSLR) have always been taken on full-auto.

Enter 'Basic Photography Tips & Tricks for Bloggers'.

When I heard about this workshop, I jumped at the chance to sign-up because I'm a sucker for continuous self-improvement. I don't believe in being stagnant when it comes to learning. I always want to learn, learn, learn! *wink*

The workshop happened last Nov. 8 in Bonifacio High Street's Fully Booked branch. It was the same day that Canon PhotoMarathon 2014 was held in the same area. I felt extra inspired that day because I saw so many photographers roaming around Bonifacio High Street's pedestrian friendly neighborhood.

There were two major speakers present that day, and I'll let you in on the things that I learned from them.

1. Basic Photography by John Cailao 

John discussed point of focus, composition, and even taught us the basics of ISO, aperture, and shutter speed. 

We had a few minutes to tinker with our camera settings, too. I initially sat at the 2nd row, but my friend Donna of Honey's Haven pulled me to sit at the front row and I've never been more grateful. Haha!

Here's a sample shot that I was able to take with my Fuji X30 on manual settings.

Not bad, eh? I wish we had more time so that all of us could have had some hands-on experience on the theories that were discussed, but I guess a full-on photography workshop can't happen in 1 hour. Hehe! The lack of time might sound like a set-back, but it inspired me to further learn how my camera works in order to take non-mediocre pictures.

Aside from the basics in photography, my favorite tip from John when taking photos is to not think about how you look while taking that photo. Haha! I tend to be self-conscious, but he had a point there. If you need to crouch or sit on the floor, or do whatever, then do it. Sometimes a change in angle is all it takes to make your ordinary photo more extraordinary.

2. Blogging and Online Publishing with Photos by Azrael Coladilla

Blogger-extraordinaire, Azrael Coladilla of Azrael's Merry Land, shared with us the things that bloggers needed in order to make interesting and engaging blog posts. One of the keys? Publishing good photos.

Here's a photo of him unloading his magical bag. There sure was a lot of stuff in there!

When taking photos for your blog, you don't necessarily need to have expensive cameras. A cellphone would do, so long as you know how to take clear and interesting photos with it. Sir Azrael taught us how best to watermark our photos, and where to sell them too! And because of his talk, I re-activated my Flickr account. Haha!

I had a lot of fun listening to Sir Azrael's stories about his experiences in taking photos during events. He shared a lot of tips on what to do and what not to do when photographing celebrities or well-known personalities, as well as tips on how to photograph food!

Overall, the workshop inspired me to up my photography skills. And guess what? I won a free pass to Nikon School's Basic Photography Workshop for this weekend! Yey! I think the universe is trying to tell me something. Hahaha!

Anyway, I'd like to thank the organizers for coming up with this event. I had a lot of fun meeting other bloggers. :)

Thanks to the following for making the event possible:

Before I end this post, here's a group shot taken by sir Azrael at the end of the workshop. :)

Photo Credit: Azrael Coladilla (

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Crazy Over Beeffalo

The first time I was in Beeffalo, I was with a huge group of friends and we had lots of food, but I only had my cellphone with me so all the photos that I took were grainy. After I got my new camera (Woot!) I went back to Beeffalo with my parents and had lunch with them there - I also wanted them to experience the place.

Here are some of the grainy yet decent photos from the first time. Haha! It was October, so they had Halloween decorations all over the place. Pretty cool!

I love this Vespa that's inside their restaurant. It's not a Halloween decoration. It's a permanent fixture inside - I think. Haha!

It was pretty dark inside because my huge group and I sat in a corner, so I won't share photos of the food from my first visit. They're not exactly what you'd call blog worthy. Haha!

Instead, I'll share with you the food that my parents and I had during my second visit at Beeffalo. Because there were only three of us, we didn't get to order a lot, so you'll only see a couple of pictures here. I know, I know.

But before that, let me tell you a quick story about my lunch date there with my parents. *wink*

Beeffalo is in a seemingly lonely spot along Gil Fernando Ave., in Marikina. It doesn't have any immediate neighbors. But when my parents and I went there for lunch last week, there were A LOT of cars lined up on the sides of the road and I was like, "Oh no! Is that their lunch crowd?!" I thought we'd have to battle for parking, but as we continued to drive nearer Beeffalo, we realized that their parking area was actually pretty much empty. Only two tables were occupied when we stepped in. Whew! All those cars outside? They were lined up to get their cars fixed at a nearby garage. Haha!

We were pretty hungry when we got there, so here's what we ordered:

Margherita Biscuit Pizza - P145

The pizza was super thin. It was cheesy and absolutely yummy! Don't let it get cold though. It'll taste okay, but it won't taste as good as it does when eaten hot.

Baby Back Ribs (Single w/ Java Rice) - P270

My dad ordered the Baby Back Ribs. He was eager to dive in because it looked absolutely enticing. And sure enough, it was really good. He even tapped me to look at his ribs so that he could show me how the meat separated from the bones easily.

Pork Liempo (with Java Rice) - P175

My mom loves Filipino food, so she immediately singled out the Pork Liempo from the menu. It was good - although a bit fatty.

Breakfast Steak (125g) - P180

My Breakfast Steak came with a fried egg, but my dermatologist has me on a no chicken/egg/seafood diet, so my mom asked the waiter to scramble the egg instead and put it on a separate plate. The waiter agreed, but the egg was still fried sunny-side up and on my plate when our orders were brought to our table. Oh well. The mashed potato and vegetables with balsamic vinegar were pretty good. The steak on my plate wasn't so bad. It was a bit dry on the inside, but it tasted good. I wish it was juicier though.

Cucumber Lemonade - P60

My mom and I ordered a glass of Cucumber Lemonade while my dad had water. But he ended up taking sips of our Cucumber Lemonade too. Haha! It's like your traditional lemonade, but not very sour. It had a hint of cucumber in it which made it all the more refreshing.

The first time I ate at Beeffalo, I was hesitant to try the Cucumber Lemonade, so the waiter offered me a sample. You'd think the sample would be a tiny sip from a small glass, but he brought me this:

The sample was 3/4 full. Generous much? Haha!

Anyway, you should try it too when you decide to visit Beeffalo.

Overall, I'd say Beeffalo is a great restaurant that's worth coming back to. They serve good food at reasonable prices, and the place is just charming! There are trees outside and the street that they're on is hardly ever congested. The place feels fresh and relaxing. Definitely worth a visit.

(Dress by The Bonenica Shop; Bag and Shoes by The Memet Shop)

Beeffalo by Hotrocks - Marikina
Blk 6 L3 Gil Fernando Ave. Sto. Niño, Marikina City

Saturday, November 15, 2014

SM Center Angono is Now Open!

I'm not usually a morning person, but because I wanted to avoid the risk of being late, I left early in the morning to witness SM Center Angono's Grand Opening yesterday (11.14.2014).

I left our house at exactly 8am (Okay, that might not be early for some of y'all, but it's early for me. Haha!).

Angono is just a few towns away from where I live, but then you know how unpredictable traffic can get. So... I got to the mall in approximately 40 minutes. Not bad. The mall wasn't scheduled to officially open until 10am, so I was pretty surprised when there were already tons of people lined up outside the mall even before 9am.

This was what it looked like inside when I arrived. The calm before the storm.

Mayor Gerry Calderon, Mr. Hans Sy, and Jasmine Curtis!

After snapping some photos inside, I felt a little bit restless, so I decided to step out and see what was going on outside. I'm glad I did, because the vibe outside was really festive!

Angono is well-known for its Higantes Festival, but it turned out that I didn't have to be there during the festival itself to see the famous Higantes up close and personal!

There were groups of dancers there as well to keep the waiting public entertained.

I love how SM really capitalized on Angono being the Art Capital of the Philippines!

Before long, the SM folks inside, together with Angono's government officials and SM's Mr. Hans T. Sy started a countdown before SM Center Angono's doors were officially opened. You could feel the excitement everywhere!

Once the mall was open, I roamed around along with everyone else. I still can't believe I'm one of the first to have been able to leave my footprints there. Haha! Here are some of the shops in SM Center Angono:

* Fashion & Beauty



Oh, before I forget. Shane (of Bloom, Blossom, and Grow) and I spotted Mayor Gerry Calderon and Mr. Hans Sy ordering some bibingka from Bibingkinitan. We couldn't contain our excitement, so we approached them and asked if it was alright for us to have our picture taken with them. They were nice enough to accommodate us.

Napapikit si Shane sa sobrang saya. Hehe!

Now, I don't know if it was just me who looked up and admired the ceiling, but here, I'll share a picture with you so you can see it too.

Nice, right?

After we were fed, we were whisked away to Procter & Gamble's event on the second floor. It was one of the highlights of the day!

There were games, dance performers, and celebrities!


P&G's hosts were Miss Earth Philippines (Water) 2012 Samantha Purvor and 99.5 Play FM's Justin Quirino. And the celebrity guest? (As if the hosts weren't celebrities enough... Hehe!)...

Ms. Ruffa Gutierrez!

I was utterly starstruck. She's so pretty! And I love how her ponytail bounced when she walked. Haha!

I ♥ the shoes!

Oh, and look! I also got a picture with Justin Quirino!

It was a truly exciting day for me. Sure, I was tired when I got home, but I was happy. Thank you so much, SM Super Malls for inviting us over! I know a lot of the people from Angono are happy now that they don't have to take long commutes just to get to a mall. I'm a huge fan of convenience and I'm sure a lot of other people are too. ♥

Folks, please don't forget to LIKE SM Center Angono's official Facebook page for updates, events, promos and sales:


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