Fab Five Go-To Restaurants Near Quezon Avenue

So my work place is really, I mean really, far from where I live. It takes two hours, give or take, to travel just one way and it can get really frustrating if it’s traffic. Most of the time, half way through my driving home, my stomach rumbles and I just had to eat. So what do I do? I eat out.

My route always takes me along Quezon Avenue—sometimes to a road parallel to it. It’s always at this point that I feel hungriest and since it’s also the area where the most available food options exist, I explore, and pick.

After some time of eating out, I noticed that there are certain restaurants that I would always go to whenever I need to satiate my hunger. I can never go wrong with whatever food I order there.

So for my first ever Fab Five series, I’d like to share my Fab Five Go-To Restaurants Near Quezon Avenue, in no particular order.

Fab Five Go-To Restaurants Near Quezon Avenue

A photo posted by Kaye T. (@kcreol) on

The Vegetarian Kitchen | Pepper Lunch | Señor Pollo | Mister Kabab | Ramen Cool

Just click on the names above or navigate through the page numbers below.

I took most of the pictures in this post but if you’re wondering who took my pictures, you can just read (or skip) through to the last page of this post to find out.

Music Mondays: I’ll Be Home (Meghan Trainor)

Christmas in the Philippines never actually ends on the 25th but extends up to the end of the year about the time when we are all celebrating the coming of the new year. Parties and reunions still abound and the spirit of giving remains among friends, families, and loved ones. So as a final hurrah to this wonderful season, here’s our last Christmas themed Music Mondays:

I’ll Be Home by Meghan Trainor

She has a beautiful ballad voice after all. Unfortunately, there’s no official music video yet available for this song. So we have to make do with a lyric video instead. At least we get to feel the full force of the song’s sentiment.

Cheers to the holidays and welcome to the coming of a new year!

Flying Trapeze Philippines: What it Takes to Fly

Have you ever been to the circus and watched a flying trapeze show? I have. Like the child I was back then, I was in awe of the people who seemed to defy gravity. They fly from one ledge to the other, swinging, spinning, etc.

Fast forward to twenty years later, I found myself clicking the buy button on the internet for a 2 hour Flying Trapeze class in BGC. What was I thinking?

Think Happy Thoughts

“Is this your idea of flying?”

I must have been in a different plain of existence because I didn’t quite get the question. My brain translated it to mean: Are you crazy? You really want to go through with this?

“I guess…” was all I could muster at the time before I was swept into a crash course on what to do:

Getting to know the area

The ropes: (1) practice bar; (2) my lifeline; (3) dismount area; (4) the long climb

Proper posture before taking flight.

Proper posture before taking flight.

Practice bar

Ground practice with the practice bar

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When to take pictures while hanging upside down… kidding! 🙂

How to properly dismount.

How to dismount properly

I’m so happy my good friend Sofie agreed to tag along with me on this eventful day. Not only was she an ample source of encouragement, she also took the pictures for me using multiple devices–my phone, her phone, her camera. Thanks Sof!

Wish me luck!

Wish me luck!

Ready! Hep!

READY! – You bend your knees.
HEP! – You jump. Don’t think. Just jump.

These were the words that enabled me to jump and fly.

When you’re high up there, all manner of thought goes out the window. Commands in the form of short words become your lifeline. There’s no time to think, only to act.

For a beginner, these were the commands that I lived by: Ready! Hep! Legs up! Hands off! Hands back! Legs down! Forward! Backward! Forward! Let go!

I did all these things in one go and in less than a minute. Then I rested for five and gave it another go.

{A video of me following my ten commandments}

For the whole class, depending on the routine or trick each student had to do, we had to do several runs. This was in preparation for the final couple or so runs.

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In a nutshell

The Catch

Wouldn’t you know it, for the final fifteen minutes of the session, we had to do the runs we’ve been practicing with a catcher. For me, instead of pulling up after my knee hang, I had to swing forward and grab on to the catcher while letting go of my bar. Easy, right?

I was only able to do this twice.

The first time, I scared the heavens out of my instructors. I was called a superwoman by one of them. Apparently, I let go of my bar too soon and literally flew towards my catcher. Had I had too much momentum, I could have overshot and missed him or worse, I could have hit him directly. Good thing I didn’t.

The second time, I did the sequence correctly–grab the catcher then let go. It was just too bad that my hands slipped–maybe because our grip was wrong or because I didn’t have the strength anymore. Either way, it was the first time I felt myself fall.

{A video of my fall from grace}

The Aftermath

All in all, it was a great experience and definitely one for the books. Would I do it again? As much as it exhilarated and freed me so-to-speak, I wouldn’t be doing it again any time soon. The adrenaline rush was great. The endorphin was off the charts. But I care for my well being more, particularly my hands.

If you’re following me on Instagram or subscribed to my Facebook page, you’d know what I’m talking about. This–

My battle scars

My battle scars 0.o

As I said, adrenaline rush and endorphin–these allowed me to do all the runs without ever feeling the pain. Afterwards, hello popped blisters.

So it will take a while before I return. Perhaps when there are decent grip gloves for such things. Other than the pain in treating my hand, I don’t think I can handle missing out on things and opportunities because of an injured palm–yoga, pole, even the joy of washing my face, etc.

I do believe there are other ways to fly. 🙂 But for thrill seekers and YOLO advocates, this should be in your bucket list.

with the Flying Trapeze crew

{with Flying Trapeze Philippines}

An Experience: Jason Mraz & Raining Jane in Manila

My excitement from Jason’s concert here in Manila has yet to diminish and I’ll always remember it as the highlight of this year. As I’ve said countless times, I swore that his concert would be my first. I swore true.

Jason Mraz in Manila

From the time I bought those tickets until the moment I saw him walk up to that microphone on stage, I was holding my breath.

Third Time’s a Charm

I cannot count how many times Jason Mraz has been to the Philippines whether to perform shows or to promote his advocacy. What I am sure of is the many times I’ve tried to attend his concert.

The First Time… was the latter part of 2011. Simply put, I wanted to go, so0o0o wanted to go, but I stopped myself because I was reviewing and had to focus for the bar exams. The concert and the bar exams were just a month a part so I had to painfully let go.

The Second Time… was May 14, 2013. I remember clearly because I had bought the tickets–VIP tickets–but had to beg someone to buy them from me the night before the concert. I was in the hospital for four days already before the concert and was yet to recuperate. I tried my best to negotiate my way out of confinement, but then it wouldn’t do me any good to collapsed in the middle of the concert. So again, I had to let it go.

The Third Time… this time, I made sure. I bought the tickets, took care of a little problem with the online confirmation, carefully thought out my meals and took care of my health on the days leading up to 27-Nov-2014. From the time I bought those tickets until the moment I heard his voice on stage and later saw him walking up to that microphone, I was holding my breath.

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It felt like I stepped into a whole new different reality altogether.

Yes!

The moment I heard his voice as he introduced Raining Jane, everything exploded. All my pent up excitement manifested and I didn’t know what to think. I guess that’s the beauty of having opening acts or opening numbers. Thanks to the introduction of Raining Jane and to their wonderful songs (Opposite of Blue and From Me to You), I was able to calm down.

Still, when Jason finally stepped onto the stage and his voice and wonderful music filled the coliseum, it felt like I stepped into a whole new different reality altogether. If I try right now to recall every bit of the concert, it would just be a blur.

I don’t have all the details or a single coherent thought about it. I was so intent to be and live in that moment that I had to jog myself every few times to take some pictures. Even then, everything just fused into a mixture of emotions and images, all positive, all takeaways from the concert.

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If I can summarize my experience in one statement, I’d have to say that it was like going on a journey from the earth to the heavens and then back into myself. The background scenes were a delight to the senses, an explosion of colors and heavenly bodies, especially when he sung Shine and 93 Million Miles.

Somehow, I felt my existence as something so small compared to the whole universe and yet, necessary, too, in the greater scheme of things. No matter how small my part may be, it is my role to play, whether I know it or not, whether I like it or not.

Good Vibes

Now I don’t have any concert experience to compare this with but judging by how others have commented, the money spent was all worth it. For me, I’ve seen and heard (via the internet) how he does his concerts, and his songs are never the same when he sings them live. They take on character and depth. That in itself was enough for me to really want to see and hear him live.

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This is me, super excited.

There was never a dull moment in that concert. He had us dance, had us sing, had us follow and repeat his musical gibberish, and fill the coliseum with good vibrations.

He has a lot of thoughts, said my companion, who was with me at the concert. And he is great with his “verbal diarrhea”. Yeah, that’s Jason Mraz alright. He is Mr. Wordplay and he has quips and puns that really make everyone smile.

During the concert he asked the crowd from the back if they can hear him alright and then he went on to say that it feels like he has a long distance relationship with that crowd. But it’s alright, “distance makes the heart go fonder”.

He taught us some moves that we can dance in our seats to the tune of The Dynamo of Volition. These moves come from the heart because you see, “The arms are connected to the heart. It’s biology. It’s science.” Again, it’s hilarious but it makes sense.

Breathing exercises were also in the menu. Jason had us inhaling and exhaling and inhaling so hard so that we can say that “concert took our breath away”.

And finally, during the intermission, Jason asked us to make the most that time and not be bored waiting for them. We can write in our journals and make our intermission an “inner mission”.

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During the “inner mission” other people went outside to buy some of these great souvenirs.

Mission

Speaking of missions, Jason not only engaged us to sing and dance, he also made sure that we become aware of all the good things that we have on earth and encouraged us to protect it. It’s part of his advocacy. After all, we only have one earth in this solar system.

In one of his songs, Bottom of the Sea, Jason shared pictures and a video taken from his trip to Antarctica with Mona (Raining Jane percussionist) and other travelers as they learned about climate change.

{A video of Bottom of the Sea taken from Loren Leialoha’s YouTube account}

Jason also shared his passion in gardening, his was of giving back to and taking care of the earth. As he nicely put it, “home is where our food is grown”, and he showed us a picture of his beautiful backyard garden {source} as he sung Back to the Earth.

https://curbsideprophecies.files.wordpress.com/2014/10/mraz-backyard.jpg

Goodbye! Kita-kits!

Near the end of it, Jason sang 2 of his powerful songs: I’m Yours and I Won’t Give Up. Everyone was screaming, singing, standing, and swaying to the music. It was magical.

In the middle of I Won’t Give Up, my boyfriend nudged me to look at the whole coliseum. The coliseum was transformed into a beautiful planetarium. It just took my breath away.

{A short video I took of the whole coliseum from where I stood}

Goodbye, my most favorite song from his Yes! album, was his very last song for us. It was a fitting ending to the beautiful night. He changed the final line to “It’s so hard to say goodbye to the Philippines”. 🙂

It wasn’t really a goodbye. It’s more of a see you soon or until next time or, as Jason emphatically told the Manila crowd, Kita-kits!

Salamat & Shine! #jasonandjane

A photo posted by Jason Mraz (@jason_mraz) on

Until next time, Jason. Thank you!

Music Mondays: Jet Lag (Simple Plan feat. Natasha Bedingfield)

Again with the song that makes me feel like running towards someone, similar to Taio Cruz’s Telling the World. While Taio’s may be for a chic flick movie, Simple Plan’s Jet Lag hits closer to home. The lyrics represent loved ones physically apart from each other. In the Philippines, this is often the case with either the husband, or the wife (or any member of the family), leaving for another country to work in order to sustain the family.

Miles apart, at different time zones, they try to make it work. I can only imagine the joy they feel to be able to be together and be whole again. That’s the feeling I get this time of running towards someone. Not to chase after them but to be with them again, of missing them, and of coming home.

It also doesn’t hurt that the song is upbeat enough to power walk and/or jog to. 🙂

Jet Lag by Simple Plan feat. Natasha Bedingfield

Added bonus, I found this acoustic version of the song, also sang by Simple Plan during a radio station interview. I’ve cut it so you start already from when they began singing. But if you want to watch the whole video, you can always rewind it.

~ o ~ o ~ o ~

What’s your Music Monday?