Saturday, November 20, 2010

Precious Moments Spent Over Delightful Treats at Mom and Tina's Bakery Cafe

Moments spent with my favorite people in the world are priceless. It feels great to bond with friends over yummy foods but nothing feels more celebrated and wonderful than to dine out and bond with your family. Since my Papa passed away last March, my sister and I made it a point to treat my mom out as often as we could. Actually, since the day I got my first paycheck, I've always wanted to do this for both my Mom and Pops, but Papa was too sluggish to join us then. Perhaps because he's already having a hard time with his illness that's why he preferred our special family dinner to just be spent at home.

Anyway, so me and my sister befuddled the normal office day of my mom yesterday with a call, begging her to leave early in the office and join us in our feat to celebrate Friday madness with a yummy dinner. I was also a bit panicky since it's already mid-November and I'm not even hitting one-fourth of my Christmas shopping list. So I decided to lure them to go with me to Tiendesitas and at least drop by at The Grove to check out the SuperSale Bazaar there. I was really hoping I could get another pair of Suelas or buy my mom a pair at a very low price since they're up to 70% off in that bazaar.

Almost two hours after, we arrived at Tiendesitas. Few strolls after and my mom and my sis got for themselves a pair of flats. Pity me 'cause as much as i want to indulge myself that night, the worries about my Christmas list is quaffing me whole so I just decided to spend the money I brought that night to buy Christmas gifts for my 'inaanaks.' Happily, I was able to buy some stuff at a very reasonable price:-) 

And now, the actually-my favorite-but-I-don't-like-the-calories moment finally arrived. After rummaging through the sale and going from one boutique to the other, we decided to head on to Mom and Tina's Bakery Cafe. I've been hearing and reading a lot of yummy things about it that's why I was so perked up to give this resto a try.

Immediately after I saw the fresh from the Christmas story book look of the resto's facade, I fell in love with it. It was like I could feel that very moment that I'm going to enjoy my stay there. Off we went in. If from the outside, Mom and Tina's looked like it was photographed from a Christmas story book, wait till you get inside. The place is very cozy and laid-back, like you are suddenly toted to the animated cosmos of Cafe World or perhaps, being carried inside the dainty Gingerbread House. Picture this: sunny Sunday mornings spent with your family; Dad is reading newspaper by the veranda, Mom is baking a delicious goodie in the kitchen, your brother and sister playing together in the sala, and you're reading a feel-good book by the corner window.

(Photo courtesy of DessertsComeFirst)

I would love to sit in one of the printed stripes couches but they're all occupied so we just settled on one of the corner tables. The cheerful waiter handed us the menu which I find cute since it's printed on a Papemelroti stationery or some Earth-friendly paper which I find so novel. Mama ordered for meaty spaghetti (P125) which is kind of usual, but it's her taste buds anyway. My sister got Chicken Alexander (P160) while I went for Chicken Spinach Lasagna (P150). Since all three of aren't afraid of diabetes attack, we immediately ordered the bakeshop's signature desserts and asked the waiter to serve it and the pasta all at once. We ordered Sanzrival (P50), Oreo Cheesecake (P125), and Toblerone Walnut Torte (90).

The Menu

The Chicken Spinach Lasagna

The Meaty Spaghetti

The Chicken Alexander. This photo doesn't actually look appetizing but it's superbly good:-)

When we got our orders, I was a bit dismayed when I saw the small serving. When I started indulging myself in the yummy goodness of my Chicken Spinach Lasagna, I realized you should not really judge a book by its cover--or in this case, a porridge cup. Really, I felt so full and bloated after I finished eating the Lasagna. I think at least 2-3 people could share in one serving of Mom and Tina's pasta. It's just too full and tasty that you will need a helping hand eating it:-) By the way, all pastas are served with garlic bread rolls which taste good, too:-)

It's actually a different story with their desserts. I think I could eat the entire piece myself and there's no way I would be needing a helping hand on that, especially with the Sanzrival. All three cakes we ordered were delightfully good but my taste bud voted for Sanzrival as the best. Some cakes come in regular  or large orders but I suggest you go for the regular size if you want to try on their other cakes.

Toblerone Walnut Torte

Oreo Cheesecake

The Sanzrival

I am definitely coming back to Mom and Tina's! I would love to try out their French Vinaigrette and the famous Shepherd's Pie plus the Philly Cheesesteak Sandwich. And of course, I would definitely hold a DON'T MIND ABOUT DIABETES day when I go back there and order Caramel Profiterole, Mango Walnut Torte, White Toblerone Walnut Torte, Baked Oreo Cheesecake, and whatever sweets I'd love to gorge on at this bakeshop.  

Sweet moments with two of my favorite people spent in the cozy corner of Mom and Tina's Bakery Cafe:-)

Mama and Shyn

Yours truly with my beloved Mama:-)
And oh, by the way, we weren't able to go to The Grove anymore since the bazaar is only until 10pm. We finished eating quarter before 10 so we decided not to go anymore since we only have 15 mins left to shop or at least check out some items and that's so bitin. Maybe next time:-)


Mom and Tina's Bakery Cafe is located at:

Perea corner De La Rosa, Makati City
Telephone: +632 894 3598, 840-4299
* 106 E. Rodriguez Jr, Avenue Ugong, Pasig City
Telephone: +632 571-1540 to 41, 914-0833

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Palamuti Storytelling Jewels: Bringing Dreamland Characters to Life

A good chunk of people nowadays are going crazy about this jewelry designing thing since it could really make up a good business. Imagine doing the thing you love while earning a good amount of money at the same time. This craft, however, is not something that you can learn and pull off easily. Jewelry designing requires careful understanding of details and proper combination and sequencing of elements. You can't simply string materials together without examining the basic elements of design including the size, function and color. 

More than anything else, jewelry designing is an art that you must give justice to it in every piece of your design. 

That art coupled with passion and whimsical imaginations are the essential factors that set Palamuti Storytelling Jewels  miles apart from the rest. My good friend PJ Valenciano is the designer of Palamuti. I've known her to be so passionate about her craft and she always make sure that passion will manifest in her output. With her latest fascination, PJ does not only string the materials together. Inspiration, imagination, and a special yearning to bring into life the different stories of her fantasy world are the very things that PJ strung together to create her fab collection.

                                                     Thumbelina's Sanctuary

                                  Princess JUliana Collection


Each of Palamuti's collections reflect Pj's personality, her solicitude, her heart's desire, her hopes and aspirations. So you're not wearing an accessory when you wear a Palamuti jewelry--you are also stating something about life, its joys and complexities. 

                                       Lady Apache- Warrior Princess Necklace


                                              Lady Heather Collection



Pj only makes one piece per design so you can be rest assured that no one else in the universe own the same design as yours. If in case you have that design in mind, you can just tell that to PJ and she'll be happy to create a customized piece for you. Plus, you can have a Palamuti accessory for as low as Php100. 

Palamuti Storytelling Jewelry is available at Supladita Fashion Style Gallery Boutique located at 79 West Ave., Quezon City, and at Papemelroti located at 2/F, Korben Place, 91 Roces Ave., Scout Tobias Street, Quezon City. You can also order online at 

You can check out more of Palamuti's designs and collections at

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Perfect Career - My piece of Young Blood

Saw this piece again online. This was my article published in the YoungBlood section of Philippine Daily Inquirer years ago.

Youngblood : Perfect career

By Amabelle Rica R. Lopez

Posted date: June 27, 2006

EXACTLY a week ago, I did something that will surely disappoint my parents, raise the eyebrows of my aunts, and open me again to mockery by my friends: I again submitted a resignation letter to my employer. I’ve done the same thing five times since I graduated from college about a year ago, and my friends are saying making resignation letters has become a hobby for me.

I’m only 23 and I already have a long list of short-time work experiences, making my CV three pages long. My mom said that finding and leaving work are just like bar hopping to me. I’ve been jumping from one company to another, hoping to find the perfect job -- something that would exercise my knowledge and creativity and at the same time give me freedom to do whatever I want to do. I know I’m being idealistic but I believe there’s really that kind of work waiting for me.

Back in college, most of my classmates thought I was dumb and wrote me off as a failure. Whenever we had a group project or report, nobody wanted to have me in his or her group, fearing I would just pull down their grades.

I couldn’t blame them. Who would ever trust a person who would just show up in class when there was quiz or sneak out of the classroom after the attendance had been checked?

But I never thought of myself as a failure. I believed that I was as smart as those boring students on the dean’s list. I knew that even if I didn’t graduate in college with honors, I would still feel fulfilled because my college days were wonderful. I was able to enjoy my life amid the pressures of university life and got only one failing mark -- in Trigonometry -- but even that was a learning experience for me. I knew how it felt not only to flunk a subject but also to attend summer classes. And it made me different from my classmates who would cry a tub of tears whenever they got grades of 2.5 in some of their subjects. I didn’t worry too much about grades and rankings since I knew they were not essential to living in the real world. I believed that as long as you had your own talent and you knew it, you were already successful in your own way. And I still believe it until now.

The reason I didn’t stick to one job is simple: I was not happy in any one of them. In know it sounds like a very shallow reason for jumping from one job to another, but that’s the fact. For how can you stay in one company doing the task assigned to you if you’re not enjoying what you’re doing? How can you concentrate on finishing a business plan if your mind and heart are telling you to do what you enjoy most?

I hate writing resignation letters and handing them to human resource managers. I don’t enjoy job-hopping. I don’t like being asked what I am doing with my life. I hate it when friends teased about my not being able to stay in one company. But can’t these people understand that these companies only offered me money and not the satisfaction I was looking for? Sticking with a well-established company might be an easier way to a comfortable life, but I know I would just be fooling myself. It can never satisfy the hunger inside.

There’s only one thing that I really find pleasure in doing, one thing I’ll never grow tired of doing over and over again -- and that is writing. Whenever I finish an article or a story, I always feel fulfilled and even triumphant. I feel like I had done something great, no matter how lousy the story may be. Great, in the sense that it’s my own masterpiece, something that’s wholly a product of my creativity and not extracted from me by my supervisors.

I used to work for a publication, and it was one great work experience despite the very low pay. I spent more than a year working there and I honestly enjoyed it there: the pressure of beating the deadlines, the never-ending overtime work, looking over the layouts, etc. But I had to leave that company because at that time, my family was so financially challenged that I had to get out of my comfort zone and find a job that would pay me enough so that I could help my family financially.

I didn’t really want to leave. I even tried working part-time as an English instructor for four months, waking up at 3 a.m. and reporting for work as early as 4 a.m. just so I won’t lose my writing job. But my body didn’t cooperate. I got sick and was bed-ridden for almost a month because of over-fatigue. My mom insisted that I give up my part-time job and eventually I gave up my position in the publication due to financial reasons.

Now I have decided to follow my heart’s desire. I will no longer think of the downside of the writing profession. Instead, I will ponder on how happy and fulfilled I will be doing the one thing I love. I will not look for a job that is just an exchange of labor for money. Instead, I will look for a job that will help me grow and develop as a writer.

A job is different from a vocation. A job is something you do for money. Looking for a job is something that society dictates so you’ll have food on the table and you can buy the things you need. A vocation, on the other hand, has a much deeper meaning in your life. A vocation is something that you are not obliged to do because your heart and mind are in it. It is something that give you so much satisfaction in doing.

I know writing is my vocation. I knew it from the time our teacher in fourth grade asked us to write a short essay about ourselves. Writing makes my life complete. It fills my life with meaning. Writing allows me to give voice to who I am and what I want to say.

I don’t care if most people think there’s no money in writing. I don’t care if I’d grow old poor, typing my latest piece while most of my friend and colleagues enjoy the luxuries of life. I will die with no regrets because I’ve spent most of my life doing something that I really love.

All I want is to write as many articles and stories as I can, hoping that I will be able to inspire people around me. With a bit of luck, I hope that through the words I write I will be able to make a difference in some people’s lives.

I’ve made my choice. I will keep writing until I can’t think of anything to write, until my mind becomes exhausted by thinking. I will no longer dwell on what other people say or succumb to pressures around me. I will not let these things kill my dream. I am determined to prove to the world that in doing what I love I will be successful. I don’t want to wonder some time how good I could have been at writing stories.

I’m glad to have finally found the perfect career. And this time, I will no longer have to prepare a resignation letter.

Amabelle Rica R. Lopez, 23, is a PR associate and writer for a PR firm.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

You and I Vote (Please vote for Shai and Seph)

Photography: Edric Chen.
Stylist: Jear De Mc Cuttac
Hey friends :) We'll need your votes! Clothing brand Solo is looking for a male and female model and we figured we got nothing to lose, so we tried our luck. There are 134 entries in all, and some have resorted to rating competing entries with 1 or 2 stars to pull down the Average Rating. Online voting ends November 15. It’s 35% of the criteria, so we’re praying and hoping for your support :)

1. Click here to sign-up. It only takes 3 minutes, promise! Sometimes you just gotta wait for the confirmation email from Solo. Please check your Spam/Junk Mail, it might've gotten trapped in there :)
2. Click on both Seph'sand Shai'sentries
3. Vote, rate 5 stars, and comment on both entries
4. Reblog on Tumblr, share on Facebook and Twitter, or link on your blogs

SHARE THIS NOTE!Or share as a link by copy-pasting this on your wall:

As a thank you gift, we’re giving away the top (size M) and shirt (size M) that we modeled here to one male and one female reader with the sweetest comment on either of our entries on the Solo site.

Thanks guys. You’re awesome.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

No Goodbyes. Let's Rakenroll!

I seldom wear chucks and I don't often wear black--except when I'm feeling fat and I want to hide my bulging bellies--BUT I love rock music. Alright, I must admit, I grew up loving and listening to R&B and slow jam music. I can't, however, deny the fact that even before I understood what rock music really is, I already enjoyed listening to the sounds of The Smiths (especially their song "The More You Ignore Me The Closer I Get), Crash Test Dummies, Cranberries, Nirvana, Aerosmith, Counting Crows, Gin Blossoms, Hootie and Blowfish, Moonpools and Caterpillars and 10,000 Maniacs. Locally, I've always loved the music of Eraserheads, Rivermaya, Yano, The Youth, Color It Red, Advent Call, Razorback, The Wuds, Agaw Agimat, Suggar Hiccup and even Rizal Underground.  I think I was in grade school when I would wait for their songs to be played on radio or look for their lyrics in songhits. I didn't care about music genres back then. Just as long as I like the tune and the lyrics, it's all good for me. Generally though, it's really those songs in Literock, Magic 89.9, Campus Radio, and later on Wave 89.1, RT, and Jam 88.3 that I find pleasure in listening on. Okay fine! I also used to go gagah over boy bands, Spice Girls and the likes. It just so happened that I'm a die-hard music lover and those types were the in thing back then.

I'm a late bloomer rock music fan. In fact I only admitted it to myself that I actually love rock music when I became friends with Emma Ruth Espiritu and after becoming addicted to Hillarie Burton's Peyton Sawyer character in One Tree Hill. I even made a cd compilation almost all of Em's playlist in the office PC before I left MOD for a new job. And immediately after that, I started loathing the music of Beyonce, Rihanna, and all those who came after them. I realized I really like listening to rock music more. But of course, I will always love Bone Thugs and Harmony, Jay-Z, Busta Rhymes, Mary J.Blige, 2Pac, Ja Rule, Ashanti, P.Diddy, Faith Evans, and Mya for their music were the soundtrack of my fun-filled high school years.

The return to the mainstream of Pinoy rock bands also made me appreciate this genre more. Imagine my happiness when Bamboo Manalac came back to the music scene and formed Bamboo. It was like a relief! Their music alongside those from Pupil, Sandwich, Sugarfree, Stonefree, Hale, Rivermaya, Parokya ni Edgar, ItchyWorms, Pedicab, Cambio, SpongeCola, Markus Highway, Paraluman, RadioActiveSagoProject, UrbanDub, Up Dharma Down, Imago,  Fatal Posporos, Session Road, Kjwan, Orange and Lemons, Wickermoss, Join the Club, Juana, and still many more became a staple items in my playlist. They're like food to my gloomy days when I would just like to shut myself out from the world and just enjoy that me-time with a loud rocking music.

Rock concerts are the best! You can see all kinds of people there--trashers, emo, conio, average joes, etc, and all of them are banging their heads and jumping lively to the zippy tunes of rock music. No poseurs, no feelingeras. Just plain rock music fans enjoying the kinetic moment.

I came up with a list of possible reasons why I fell deeply in love with rock music. You can read on if you like or just shrug it off, though I'm sure that one or two points from this list, you'll definitely agree with me:

1. Rock makes you feel so cool, carefree and careless at the same time. Like when you are walking in the mall and you have a rock music playing in your ipod, you feel taller and cooler than all the people in that mall.

2. The lyrics are generally deep and meaningful and speak a lot about the oxymoron of life.

3. The music maybe a bit emo most of the time but it makes you enjoy that loneliness without feeling miserable.

4. Rock music allows you to build your own sanctuary in this world full of hullabaloos.

5. Rock music is a great companion when you are going to a place where you don't know anyone. Say for example it's your first day in the university and you're sure there a lot of pacute there, you can just forget about them and just let your ears bleed with your rocking playlist.

6. You feel 10x braver to ask a cute guy you saw in the hallway what time it is without minding about your looks.

7. When you're riding a bus and you're listening to a rock music, you can close your eyes and enjoy the music in the background and that cute guy sitting beside you will find you cool because he could hear the loud rumbling tunes coming from your earphones.

8. Rock music makes you feel like you are in one with Ely Buendia and Bamboo is your closest friend that you can jam with him anytime.

9. You could go out and wear lousy garbs and still look cool because you're listening to rock music and you can stop minding about what other people say or think.

10. Rock music makes a wonderful companion during times when you're so upset over some stuff in your life and you just want to scream out loud to let your angst out.

11. It's not something you can hear on the street during fiesta or in your neighbor's birthday celebration.

12. It's not something you can hear being played in Raon or in Divisoria or in Baclaran. In short, hindi siya pambangketa. 

13. It's the coolest thing ever!

Tomorrow, at exactly 11:59pm, NU107--the only rock radio station in the Philippines--will finally be signing off. It was one of the heartbreaking news that rock fans in the last 2 decades ever received (perhaps next to Eraserheads' disbandment?). The station's executives have their own reason for its closure or reformatting, but whatever that is, it surely rocked our world. I am not really a constant NU listener, in fact, it was only of  late when I started listening to that station since I've always been a Wave 89.1 and Jam 88.3 fanatic.

But I spent my growing up years knowing only one rock music station in the country- NU107.

It really breaks my heart knowing that after 23 years of playing real rock music and opening doors to OPM rock bands, the station will now be saying goodbye to its avid listeners. Somehow, I'm a bit regretful that I only came to like this station a couple of years ago.

Sana noon pa. Sana noong araw na umuwi ako ng bahay at nakikinig si Kuya Noel sa istasyon na ito eh naki-rakenrol na din ako sa kanya. Sana nung 90's pa lang nanood na ako ng Rock Awards para nakita kong awardan ang Eraserheads ng sama-sama sila. Sana......

And daming "sana" pero wala na rin namang magagawa. Mas maganda makirakenrol na lang ako hanggang sa huling gabi ng NU107!

As what Em replied to by tweet earlier, "At least you have seen the light." True enough. At least I still have the rest of my life to enjoy rock music! At least even before NU107 closes its doors to real rock music, I became a fan and was able to enjoy it till its last few rocking sessions in the airwaves. So yes, it's still not too late.

An excerpt from Lourd De Veyra's blog says it all:

This is—was-- NU107, the Home of New Rock. Referring to it in the past tense still saddens me. I, too, used to have issues with its playlist, though very few and middling; thanks to the fog of years (and the onset of the mist of wisdom, whatever that means). But the fact it was the only one of its kind on the airwaves. It’s the only one with the balls to hang on to an all-rock playlist for the past 23 years. It is narrow-minded to regard it as the “mainstream” or “establishment”—in an industry where it is too tempting to play Britney Spears and Lady Gaga. Every time it decides to stick to playing something with a power chord it is not making money. It’s been a corporate social responsibility for far too long. Sooner or later it would inevitably kowtow to fundamental realities—the economics of advertising revenues, changing demographic, competition from new technology, etc . Neil Young said it’s better to burn out than fade away. Twenty three years is definitely a noble run.

Indeed, NU107 bid goodbye to its listeners the best way they know how--surreal, melancholic, dramatic but the rockin' attitude is still there. Nandun yung lupet, yung astig na NU lang makakagawa. 

I wonder what radio would be like after 11:59pm tomorrow night. This sad goodbye really made me return to radio listening again. It was like all I ever wanna do for the entire last week of NU's to listen to this station and savor the last few days of its glory. I really feel blessed, though, that I'm part of the generation who grew up with NU107. It's a privilege I'll be telling my grandchildren in the future. 

No goodbyes. Let's rock and roll! 

Friday, November 5, 2010


Alright, so Twitter fascinated me again with another trending tag which is the #tweetyour16yearoldself thing. It's more like 99.5RT's What Will You Say To Your 1998-self thing, just a bit of age/time difference though. I'm an eternal fan of topics like these, maybe because there are a lot of things I would like to tell my old self--cautions, advices, chill thoughts, etc.

I'm 11 years away from my 16-year-old self so definitely, I've lots of experiences now, more learnings, understandings, and more mature in the manner I deal with life and all its complexities.

So what can I tweet to my sweet(?) 16 self? Here goes:

1. Stop looking and acting like a tomboy. You're not cute!

2. Stop wearing baggy pants and loose shirts. You look awful.

3. Stop stalking your girl crushes. Simply put--magpakababae ka!

4. Stop believing that Fritz Silvala will be yours because he never will. He'll get a girl pregnant even before finishing college so better stop daydreaming.

5. Don't be so idealistic. It's okay to dream but you have to open your eyes to the realities of life. But never let these realities stop you from becoming the best you can be.

6. Don't sweat the small stuff.

7. Pains and sorrows are inevitable in life so just be prepared to face them. You'll experience a lot of them in life.

8. Just the same, life is about balance. It's not always sad and gloomy. There's definitely plenty of sunny and happy days in store for you, so smile:-)

9. Stop worrying. It won't do you good.

10. Do as much as you can to fix your issues about insecurities, enviousness and jealousies. These would just make you feel miserable.

11. Your first love will die in 2004 so prepare to be crushed.

12. By the time you're 27, you'll still be single and available but don't fret. A lot of your friends are, too:-)

13. It's okay to be single. It's a perfect time for you to enjoy yourself, enjoy life on your own and with the company of your friends, and try out various things.

14. Don't get pissed during family reunions when your relatives keep asking you why you are still not married. Or at least don't show them you're pissed. It will just make you look like a loser.

15. Don't rush into love. if there's one thing that's eternally true about love, it is that God would be the one to bless you with that. You don't need to look for it or run after it. Just pray to the Almighty Matchmaker.

16. Allot a good part of your income to investing in a house or car. It's one great move.

17. Save up for domestic and international travels. It's all worth it. Just make sure you are following Cebu Pacific and PAL in twitter and you like them in Facebook so you're updated with the latest promos.

18. It's cool to go back to school and learn new things. There's a different kind of fulfillment doing that. You can even have three degrees if you like:-)

19. It's of no use being mataray to people or being warfreak. That's never a plus point in your character and you don't look dandy in that. As much as possible, always keep your cool.

20. The fights you had with the higher batch or the lower batch won't matter anymore when you're 20-something. In fact, you might even be friends with them in the future. It's better to have many friends than have a pool of enemies or you'll just get drowned in bitterness and hatred.

21. DOn't think that just because you can't find satisfaction with your future jobs/companies and you keep on job-hopping, you're already lost. Certainly NO. You just can't seem to find your own niche yet. But once you find it, it's worth the journey:-)

22. It's okay to keep a bucket list so you'll be perked up to try different things, even those that scare you.

23. Religion is only a label. It is actually complicated. It is much better to have a relationship with God than to have a religion.

24. Serving in church is a wonderful and noble act. It's very much enjoying, too:-)

25. It is superbly cool to have a Bible in your bag and read it as often as you can. Bible is not something you have to be afraid or be ashamed of.

26. Don't think that being a missionary are just for people who are saintly. You can do that, too as long as you desire in your heart to share the good news about Jesus to the world.

27. It's definitely cool to follow God and be very much proud of it.

There you go, 27 things the 27-year-old me would like to tell, or tweet, to my 16-year-old-self.