Museum Hopping

Yesterday, I went to the National Museum of Natural History to watch Bird of Prey, a documentary on the Philippine Eagle. It was a beautiful film that captured the majesty and vulnerability of this regal animal.

After the film, I walked around Manila and went to the Metropolitan Museum of Manila to catch a lecture on Rembrandt’s life. It was also my first time at the museum, so I also viewed their modern art collection.

I ended my day with some cheesy gojuchang pasta and americano at my friend Bea’s cafe, Blocleaf. It was my first time to be in that cafe, and I loved the ambience, food, and coffee. I know that I’ll be back someday!

It was a treat to go museum-hopping and have some delicious food and coffee. Art, film, food, and coffee are affordable ways to enjoy life. These things make my life and heart full, and I am grateful to be able to delight in them.

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Crochet and Massage

I recently had to buy some essentials at Daiso, so on top of all my supplies, I stocked up on some new toys. I got a foot roller, a pressure point stick, and a 4mm crochet hook. 

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I’ve been hearing positive feedback about Daiso’s craft supplies and notions, so I was really excited to try their crochet hook. And it did not disappoint! It was perfect as it rested comfortably on my ring finger as I alternate between pen and knife grips. 

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As always, this isn’t a sponsored post. I’m just happy with my purchases from Daiso. Yes, including the massage tools! I really believe that it doesn’t take much to cheer myself up. 

Also, this falafel platter from Halal Guys was delicious! 

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I hope that you will also find some cheap finds that will wow you. Happy shopping! 

Sunnies Cafe UP Town

I am a huge fan of Sunnies Cafe. I first tried their food at their Bonifacio High Street branch, and I immediately fell in love with their unique California-cool ambience and hip eats. I also became a regular at their Megamall branch, which became my go-to cafe whenever I am in Ortigas. So you can simply imagine my joy when I found out that they finally opened their UP Town Center branch, which is near my place!

Finally, there is millennial pink goodness close to home! 

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I ordered the caramelized spam rice bowl, which never disappoints. I soaked in their hipster interiors and enjoyed my meal.  

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I consider eating out by myself as sacred me-time. It is during my solo dates that I get to discover my interests, plans, and upcoming goals. It is fortunate that I have developed the habit of recording my musings during these outings, and these frequently turn into my future blog entries.  

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After my meal, I took a selfie at their famously pink washoom. 

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I had a lovely time as always at Sunnies Cafe, and I will definitely be back! Here’s to more millennial pink plates and fabulous coffee shop realizations. 

Talangka Rice and Cheese

I decided to shake things up a bit when it comes to my regular toasted naked longganisa at Breakfast Bin. I requested for talangka brown rice instead of my usual plain one. I knew it would be delicious, but I was unprepared for the way it amazed me. 

It was the best longganisa meal I have ever had! 

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For dessert, I walked to next-door neighbor Papa Diddi’s for another unusual ice cream combo. This time, I chose cheese closed and tsokolate de Cagayan.  

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Again, I was unprepared for the deliciousness that ensued. The cheese chunks blended well with the strong tsokolate taste. It was a full-bodied ice cream experience I will definitely enjoy again. 

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I still have more flavors and combinations to explore in my upcoming visits!

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If you feel that there is something missing in your life, or if you feel bored, eat something new! It is inexpensive, nourishing, and great for your soul. Post pictures and share your food trips so that more people will be inspired to enjoy eating new treats as well!

Solo Dining in Manila

There is something oddly romantic about dining alone in Manila.  

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It is uncommon to find a woman dining alone in our city. The esteemed writer Jessica Zafra has written  -and shared in her lectures at the Ayala Museum- about her experiences when enjoying a meal by her lonesome. She gets judgemental stares, condescending questions from dining staff, and odd commentary from other diners who think that their whispers are beyond her hearing. I have observed the same whenever I would venture into a restaurant without a companion. You see, I am an only child, and whether I am in a relationship or not, dining alone is definitely part of my routine. Both of my parents have their own lives and I prefer to eat healthful meals. Whenever I have the time to savor a leisurely lunch, I prefer to go to Maginhawa Street, where there are various indie restaurants to inspire my inner foodie. And yes, I never saw the stigma attached with women eating out without a companion until I have been doing so regularly. 

What I cannot accept are the questions from everyone. The staff usually asks me before, during, and after my meal whether I am still waiting for someone. I do hear comments from other people in the restaurants I have eaten in that I must be lonely, poor, or worse, left alone by a date. There was even a time when I was still single and someone from another table asked me if I am too single. I ignored the question, because why should I even bother, right? But as I was happily single then, I realized that women without companions in Manila are seen as a threat by some. It only stems from our patriarchal society, and by the collective perception by women in our society that it is “sad” to eat out alone.  

I have observed in my previous workplaces that eating alone even in the pantry is seen as “sad” or even “wrong”. I have turned down invites to join others for lunch when a book awaited my eager eyes. I have also spent many a lunch break with friends so I am not exactly a loner. However, I am also comfortable to eat alone. It is more than okay for me. It is also liberating, because I have already learned to be oblivious to the stares, the comments, the questions from seemingly Type A diners, and the condescending remarks from people who should not even bother.

There are more important matters to discuss rather than a woman dining alone in Manila. It is already 2017. I think Manila should leave the solo lady diner alone.  

I can finish the rice bowl I order in restaurants whenever I eat out alone, thank you very much. The latte I enjoy with my novel is best shared with the protagonist on the pages I read. My best ideas haunt me while working out, but I learn to love myself more whenever I dine alone. In the cruel and unforgiving world of Manila to women who are comfortable being out alone, I have learned to appreciate my guts and forgive myself. I have learned to delight in my own company. And yes, I have learned to find my voice for this blog, during the endless cups of coffee I would sip while planning my next solo food trip.  

Whether you are in a relationship or not, make sure to eat out by yourself. I guarantee you that it will make you stronger, empowered, and dare I say happier. Just ask the next solo female diner you see in the corner. Or better yet, don’t. She’s probably too engrossed in her own company to even care. 

 ***Comments are welcome at speakoutsam@gmail.com***