koko & everything else

koko & everything else

Monday, March 28, 2011

CAFÉ on a MISSION: Nature’s Original Vegetarian and Natural Food

(Photos by Hazel Rebutoc http://hazhazie.multiply.com)
(Flyers by PETA, from Nature's Original)

It was actually an unplanned trip to Silang in search of good ‘ol kapeng barako that my mom loves so much. But what seemed to be an innocent spur-of-the-moment trip became somewhat eye-opener for me in the world of vegetarianism.

I remember a few years ago, I already got the chance to visit this place and drink their unlimited coffee with muscovado sugar sweetener. I was young then, and although I have always been fascinated with the ambiance of the area, I would always choose to just go to Starbucks Tagaytay over this simple café.

But just recently, I got the chance to visit it again. And still, I still got hooked appreciating their collections of mugs and their Hindu-like theme of the whole café with matching painting and figurines. It was really a nice place to chill and appreciate the beauty of simplicity.

We ordered the usual: coffee with muscovado sugar (but this time it wasn’t bottomless unlike when I was a kid). But what really got me curious was their huge sign that says, “Vegetarian”. I admit, for me, that word is like a dreaded disease. I love meat and I will always enjoy a decent juicy burger!

But their intense advocacy towards vegetarianism really got me curious. But what really made me interested was when this guy handed out a couple of flyers and pamphlets for us to read. It was a brochure from PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) and on its front page was this line, “IF YOU WOULDN’T EAT YOUR DOG…” in bold white letters with a huge photo of a dog caught in fishing rod hook.

I love dogs! I have four actually and two of them actually are adopted ones from a person who couldn’t really take care of her anymore and the other one, we just came across the road going to the office (but that’s another story that I would also blog in another time). But the image of a dog maltreated this way made my heart hurt a bit. How could anyone be so cruel?

But then, as I read through the pamphlet, I understood what they meant. The piece of paper was trying to make people realize what they are doing to the fishes. We parade around saying we love animals, but in reality, most people love just dogs or cats, or just their own pets. But to love animals in general was another thing.

And here it said so many points oh why we should stop eating fish (or maybe just stop hurting them).

Another flyer discussed about circus animals, and how we should stop supporting such entertainment because behind the happy faces of circus performers are animals caged and being denied of their freedom. They may be making us happy for a short while, but in exchange the animals get “lonely days and scary nights” as the flyer says.

Other flyers also discussed animal rights and protection.

One more thing, there was a simple flyer that invites people to a free meal for free that’s all vegetarian. And this on the other hand was intended if you’re interested to learn more about Krishna, chanting and vegetarianism.

This simple coffee trip really made me realize how sad it is that the world became so cruel to animals. And I am glad that there are people who are concerned and really try to advocate proper animal treatments.

Although, I honestly cannot imagine myself being vegetarian and trying to do so would be very hard for me, I still try to practice other means of protecting animals and making other people realize it as well. Maybe in the long run, people would start caring more for these innocent living creatures that are made by God to live among us. Let’s not deny them the good life that we enjoy. The earth is big enough for all of us, we don’t need to hurt them or deny them good life for our mere entertainment and satisfaction. How selfish can we get?

Nature’s Original Vegetarian and Natural Food
Located at: 082 Km, 53 Gen. Aguinaldo Hiway, Brgy. Buho, Silang, Cavite
Cellphone #s: 0917-7389982 / 0927-9092088

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Simply Sweet, Simply Irresistible! A Haagen-Dazs Experience

What’s better than celebrating a “month-sary” the sweetest way possible? Yep, it would either involve chocolates or ice cream, or maybe just both!

There’s nothing really extra-ordinary with Haagen-Dazs, aside from the fact that its tastier and way pricier than most local brands, but on a special day, a scoop just makes the dessert experience worth every penny, and worthwhile!

So just a few days ago, after dinner, we swung by the Haagen-Dazs shop at the Mall of Asia. It had fancy seats, which were fairly comfortable. Although I wasn’t really game for a total sugar experience since I’m pre-diabetic, I just opt to get a scoop of Rum Raisin. It was served simply but oozing with sweetness, trace of rum and good ‘ol creamy vanilla.

Haz, on the other hand, was craving for something more fancy than what I ordered but not exactly too extravagant. Something basic but with a little twist and so she decided to get a scoop of strawberry on top of their warm, fudgy brownie. She wanted to get the Dark Chocolate Orange at first, unfortunately, it wasn’t available.

Despite the short stay, the whole experience really made the day a sweet and memorable one. But if you want a deeper Haagen-Dazs experience, you may check out their shop at the second level of SM Mall of Asia. You can choose from a variety of scooped ice cream if you want a simple treat like us, or you can just choose from their “coffee table book – like” menu that showcases fancy blended drinks, parfaits, fondues and even ice cream cakes.

Totally a sweet trip you don’t want to miss!

Thursday, March 10, 2011


I am not the techie type of person. I don’t use gadgets so much. I am just happy that I can text, call, take photos, and browse the internet. That’s it. So for me, getting an iPhone was a no-brainer, NOT A PRIORITY! I don’t even get amused with the applications since I am contended playing games with my laptop or not playing games at all. As for the other apps, oh well, I can live without it.

But just recently, iPhone changed my perception.

Here’s what happened. Every day, I drive an hour just to get home from work. Imagine working all day and driving for another extra hour. That night, I was not alone. My girlfriend was with me and she also stayed all day at the office. So she endured the long day and drive with me, in short.

And because we were exhausted, by the time we get home, we usually shift to our “zombie mode”. Moving and doing things without thinking. And as I parked my car, gathered my things, and automatically got out of the car, my girlfriend (mine) was doing the exact same thing.

Unfortunately, she forgot about her phone on her lap. As she got out from the car with her phone on her lap, the phone just dramatically slid down and dived straight to the drainage (or drains, I don’t really quite get how to identify that hole).

Yes, the iPhone went down the drain! Literally! Mine was in shock that time that she remained standing frozen staring at the hole. I quickly tried to think of a way how to open the manhole just above that freakin’ hole. And while Mine was trying to digest the fact that her phone was now floating away towards the sewers, I just couldn’t let it go.

I grabbed my steering wheel lock, which was actually a metal rod, I tried my best to open the man hole. After like 20 to 30 minutes, I managed to pull it open, with the help of my mom and Mine.

Good thing the drain was not filled up with water. The iPhone was like 5inches submerged in the dirty water, gently lying down the bed of mud. With fishing net on hand, Mine fished for the phone and saved it from the mess it was in (literally).

Of course, the phone was without power. I quickly grabbed it and washed it with running water. So imagine what the iPhone had gone through: 20 to 30 minutes mud dip and a 2 minute shower. You could just imagine how sad Mine looked as she stared at her phone, hopeless.

But amazingly and to my surprise, as Mine was toweling it dry, it turned on.

We quickly turned it off again, and let it dry for the night. So what happened then? The iPhone was alive and kickin’!

1.Always make sure your iPhone is safe and secured in your pocket or in your bag or wherever as long as it will be safe and far from the drains

2.Use cling wrap! Yes, the plastic cover we use for our left overs. What Mine did was wrapped the phone with cling wrap beneath the protector. Her main purpose was to minimize or prevent scratches, but as you can see, it can also make your iPhone almost waterproof.

I am no iPhone fan before this incident. But right now, I am seriously considering buying one if I decided to change my phone. I think the price would be worth it, considering what has happened and the iPhone is still doing great!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

A LENTEN BLOG REPORT: Alarming Attitude of Today's Mass Goers

I do have a lot of pending blog posts… but I just needed to prioritize this.

Yesterday (March 9, 2011) was Ash Wednesday and for Catholics like me, it is the sign of the beginning of the Lenten Season. And whatever our sacrifices may be, if there’s any, would depend on us. And as one of our practices, we go and attend mass and get “ashed”… (or getting a “cross sign” on our foreheads using ash).

Anyways, I am not religious or even spiritual. I don’t pray everyday and I don’t attend mass every Sunday. In short, I am almost a non-practicing Catholic. But I do believe in God and I try my best to be a good person, not harming anyone and trying to live a fairly decent life.

Disclaimer: I am a sinner as most of us are, and I am not perfect!

But, yesterday, I decided to attend mass for the sake of the occasion as I always do. I think in a year, I just attend mass every Christmas (if I could), new year (again, if time permits), lenten season (another indefinite schedule) and my birthday (if possible).

So based from that, you see, I seldom go to church and attend mass. I pray in my own time. That’s what I do.

Anyways, back to what I am trying to share. Yesterday, when I attended mass, since I seldom attend one, I tried my best to focus, pray and really get into the “praying” mode. But I was bombarded with a LOT OF DISTRACTIONS.

I understand that when attending mass inside a mall or any public place, it is anticipated that there will be a lot of noise. That is why; it’s very challenging to actually hear the mass in clarity. But what bothered me were not the anticipated noises.

The mass-goers were the ultimate distraction!

I’ll just point out a few instances that really, almost, made me walk out. Good thing, I tried to pray and ask God to give me extra patience!

1. The guy beside me had his mobile phone on and loud, for that matter! So whenever there’s someone texting him or calling him, his ringtone kept on playing. It was fine if it was just a simple beep, BUT IT WAS NOT! He had a whole song playing and playing over and over! He could have had the decency to move away or turn his phone into silent mode. But NO! He did not! And I really tried my best to just ignore it and focus on the mass.
2. There’s another guy who came late for the mass with his girlfriend or wife (I really don’t care). Since, the chapel was packed; I was one of the people standing at the back. This guy (who came in late) stood just behind me and kept telling his companion that there were vacant seats in front… OUT LOUD. I don’t really know if he was deaf or he just doesn’t get that when going to mass… you are supposed to be QUIET! And not disturbing everyone beside you.
3. Then came the part where people had to fall in line for the ash. I tried not to get in line at first to give way for the elderly, and other people with some inconveniences (like disability, pregnant women, and even those with kids). But I was surprised with how people acted. Some were trying to cut lines, there’s even one guy who blocked my way to get in line first. I almost thought I was in a marathon. That there was a prize for anyone who get “ashed” first! There was also another woman who called up her friend and “reserved” a slot in line for her. And when her friend got in… they were laughing in excitement as if celebrating. I didn’t get it. The whole sacredness of the ritual was ruined!

These are just some of the things that really got me shocked. I thought the whole essence of going to mass is to be closer to God, pray and celebrate a ritual in sacredness. I am not religious but I know for a fact that when I step in a mass, I am supposed to behave and act accordingly.

I think some people forget why they are attending mass in the first place. Please be reminded that in the place of worship, people should show respect towards the place and to other people who are there to pray. That is why I have much respect to our brothers and sisters in different religions and sects. They know more about how to act and behave when in scared places.

I am also a Catholic, and I really hope that more and more people should re-assess how they are acting in churches and even in little chapels. And for those who are experiencing what I had gone through, let’s try to share these to other people. Maybe all they need is a little wake up call.

Saved by the "FLYING ILAW THING" (term coined by Maiers of Randomness is Bliss)

(Photos by Hazhazie: http://hazhazie.multiply.com)

A few nights ago, as we were preparing for our beauty (or the lack of) rest… we were surprised by pitch darkness…

Yes, after many years or months of uninterrupted power, we, the residents of imus, cavite (excat location will not be disclosed) experienced a black out. Or in the case of us, Filipinos, its popularly known as BROWN OUT.

History of why it’s coined as BROWN OUT is something I really don’t know and I don’t bother to know at all. But anyways….

When the light suddenly went out, I was sitting at the dining area while waiting for “mine” to come out from the bathroom. Of course, she was mid-way done with taking a bath and went blind right there in the bathroom. I quickly searched our kitchen drawers, cupboards and every place o could think of for a decent spare candle with my “very handy” cellphone flash light.

Unfortunately, we ran out of candles and the only candle my yaya could find was a blue damage-ly used candle. I quickly tried to light it and gave it to “mine” in the bathroom.

Then off to another CANDLE SEARCH. Good thing I remembered we had this Christmas figurines that had little tea candles in it. It was little but then, it’s good enough to give us temporary light. With little light, we were able to take a quick shower just before bedtime. The sad news is, it’s very risky to sleep with a candle on… but really creepy to sleep in pitch black.

But our problem was solved. Mine was able to think of something that could save us from that night of darkness.

It was Maier’s Christmas gift: the FLYING ILAW THING (as mai told me)

Yep it was the best BLACK OUT SOLUTION. Less risk, bright light and we were able to take some photos despite the circumstances hahaha