April 11, 2021

Manzil Al Taam

Having teammates from India is something I am very thankful because I treat them not just colleagues but friends as well. And with my conversations with Naveen and Deepak during work breaks (greetings to my teammates Naveen, Deepak, Ankitha, Ankit, Noel, and Jeetesh all the way in India!), mostly if it's not about COVID, it's about food! Imagine how hard it is for me every time they discuss about their biryanis and chapatis in the middle of the night when I have no idea how to make it but definitely would like to try it! Luckily, we have a place at the city's suburbs which is known for its Indian and Middle Eastern offerings!

Chapati and Hummus

The first time I tried Manzil Al Taam, it was through my dear cousin Ate Carmeline sometime last year, who ordered a wide array of dishes including different kinds of bread that I really love! Ate Carmeline is the kind of sister who always shares to us, to me, all the yummy things that she know. Thank you Ate Meh for always, love you!

One of my best friends, Lea, celebrated a party yesterday in remembrance of their grandmother's birthday. Being based in Kuwait for years, she wanted some samosas served on their table. I saw it on pictures and I thought, okay, the wait is over! So I messaged her and she encouraged me to order via delivery (since Manzil Al Taam only does delivery on this lockdown). 

The person was nice to talk to via Facebook and the process was a breeze, understandably was the queue due to the volume of their customers, I had to wait for a good 1-2 hours but I readily called earlier before our Merienda (3 pm meal in between lunch and supper). I ordered quite a few goodies for me and the family and a few more flatbreads that I'll throw on the fridge and toast up on the coming work nights. I bought a couple of chapatis and a couple of parathas.

Vegetable Samosas

These were the ones on Lea's lunch table that made me wanna order. These are deep fried vegetarian samosas that has peas, lentils, and diced carrots inside. It comes with a tamarind sauce which gives a tangy contrast to its savory filling. I have to say though, the tamarind sauce is completely optional since I tried my first pyramid without it and it's already good as it is! But of course, I also had to try it with what it's supposed to be paired with and I did not regret it!

My Dad's favorite Shawarma

This one is not Indian but Turkish, the Shawarma. Toasted Pita bread filled up with slices of beer, tomatoes, cucumber, onions, and lavishly blanketed with a creamy yogurt based sauce. Almost everyone in the Philippines is a lover of Shawarma but I would say this one is quite authentic (okay I haven't been to Turkey or the Middle East but I know for a fact that the recipe of the ones sold here at malls and stalls are engineered to jive with Filipino taste, one that is rather on the sweet and savory side rather than with all its exotic and awakening spices! 

This one is definitely the later, it was good and filling because for its price of 85 pesos, it's double the size of the ones sold by Turk's, a famous Shawarma chain here that sells theirs at 60 pesos.

Flaky Paratha and Masala Sauce

Okay, so the one on the first photo, the chapathi, is completely different from the paratha, though they look somewhat similar at first look. The chapathi is a soft and unleavened flatbread which is also called roti in other instances. Manzil Al Taam sells their masala sauce as a bundle with their Chapati (120 pesos) so do not be misled by my photo above that I paired it with paratha. 

Paratha on the other hand is a layered version of the chapathi, though the layers are not really thick, rather truly thin and made that several of it sticks together per piece. Oh I love both of them but the paratha has this buttery taste that I really like so I love pairing it with Masala for a hearty balance of light and dark. the chapathi above, I will be pairing it with Hummus so that its simplicity can match the hummus. But that's just me okay, you can mix and match and they would all be yummy!

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If you are in General Trias area and you are craving for some Indian and Middle Eastern food, Manzil Al Taam is just a DM away from your Facebook Messenger! They only serve through deliveries on this quarantine period so better send them a message to enjoy these goodies! This is not a sponsored post whatsoever, just wanted to share how I enjoyed their food, I hope if they will read this, they'll be glad. Linking up their Facebook page and contact details below. They deliver via Lalamove on your expense so even if you are a little far from General Trias, they can cater your cravings!

Manzil Al Taam
Lancaster New City,
General Trias, Cavite
+63 46 458 9277

April 9, 2021

Of Empathy And Valor

Today in the Philippines, we celebrate "Araw ng Kagitingan" or literally Day of Valor. We remember the sacrifices of Filipino and American soldiers in the hands of the Japanese to fight for the freedom that our country enjoys today, well officially, in papers. We are thankful for what our heroes did for us during the wars and until now, the front liners who sacrifices their own lives and existence to literally save the lives of others. Thank you so much Front liners! Nobody makes COVID a fightable war in the Philippines except for each and everyone of you! Thank you for giving more of yourselves and thinking more of others.

Thinking about others. It's not even about how we can better other's experience, but at the very least, how we can not inflict harm to them through our choices. Simply putting yourself in the shoes of others. Simply the golden rule - phrases that seem to be a big cliché or something we are too tired to hear during conversations. Have we truly learned what they mean? There's a reason for it being a constant reminder for people, because in our present society, it's still close to not existing.

A community or group governed by the principle of empathy is one that does not just function well, but functions for the benefit of one another, of each other. Simply thinking about your neighbor, and how your actions and choices will directly or indirectly affect them, can do wonders. Much more for leaders. We need more of those that can imagine themselves in place of its members. May it be a country, a company, or even at home, empathy should be a requirement for everybody to benefit not just the leader, but each and every member. 

Que, S. (2019, June) Guam.

Before you teach your child, or your student, or your workers the keys to excellence, making sure they become sensitive with their choices and how this will impact the bigger picture, is something that should be imposed in their hearts. We all are leaders one way or another. And as leaders, we should set an example and make sure this is evident in all our actions and decisions, not because we have to, but because as a member of a milieu, it is a responsibility. If you can't find ways to benefit people, at least make decisions that will not harm them..

In the end, if we don't take care of others, who will take care of ourselves? What will be the sense of any glory of a country or a company, if everybody else is harmed or infected or dead? Will the praises we gain through our indifference towards others make us truly feel like a winner? I think not and I hope not. 

"If you can't find ways to benefit people, at least make decisions that will not harm them."

Challenge yourself with every decision you make, whether it's for yourself, your employees, or your countrymen - have you thought of it's implications towards the bigger picture? You did? Okay think again, two or three times more! Remember, one's glory will never outweigh the able existence of two or hundreds or millions of the people around you. For tyrants and selfish people maybe, but to you? I believe in you! You are so much better than that! In the name of all the heroes that passed, and the heroes of today, be one! Don't do it for glory though, do it for the world and the worlds to come.

Stay safe! Really, I mean it truthfully, stay safe! I want you to live, to be able to breathe, and to be able to create more ripples of kindness because we all need it! We all depend on it!

April 8, 2021

Close-Up Kyoto - Timeless Thursdays 37

I would like to apologize for my two week absence, I had a lot on my plate in the last two weeks and at the moment, we are back on the strictest lockdown here on the Philippines (We have been on lockdown since March 2020, it's really tiring because it just gets worse and worse). But please do know that I think about all of you and pray for all of you my dear blog friends!

**UPDATE: Thank you very much to my College Best Friend Ralph from Toronto who gave me great advises on design and helped me get this fresh new blog layout! Clean and fresh I think! Do you guys like it?

This week, I would like to go back to one of my most memorable trips to one of my favorite destinations, Kyoto. I know I have featured this city on a past post last year but it's just that this historic place just keeps visiting my thoughts in the past few weeks so why not share those timeless snapshots with all of you.

Let me run down my shots and I'm leaving the stories to you. Can you pick a favorite? What story or feeling did that shot give you?







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I would love to welcome and invite everyone to join Timeless Thursdays.


Timeless Thursdays is open for anyone who wishes to share old photos or old thoughts that you would like to share as beautiful memories with everyone. This can be from yesterday, a year ago, or something from your grandma's treasure chest.

This runs every Thursday at 12 am (Manila/Perth Time) until Sunday at 11:59 pm (Manila/Perth Time)

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March 18, 2021

Memories of Oslob - Timeless Thursdays 36

Before I start my post, just want to tell everybody to stay safe, especially us here in the Philippines whose COVID-19 cases are at all time high (we never got to experience to be away from lockdown since March last year. It eases up but never fully because the cases just never got down , been uphill since it started last March).

Oh and also, after last weekend I was on a big scare because I felt feverish and very dehydrated since Sunday morning until Tuesday Night and I can't think of a culprit until I realize that having too much Chia seeds is not very good! I should have searched for a recipe for my overnight oats and not just dumped them chia seeds on it because it takes up to 17x times water of its weight! So long story short, I literally just dumped around 5 tbsp. of the chia from the foil pack into my oats and then chilled it overnight, then feasted without any idea what's to happen! 

I never felt so dehydrated in my entire life! I'm thinking it's the Chia working inside my body taking all the water inside me! NIGHTMARE! Slowly I'm getting through it. Had a big 2L Pocari Sweat and water every hour. Alright, that was my first time with Chia. Not anymore in the near future HAHA

Okay on to the post!

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This Thursday, I thought of throwing back to one of our group's most memorable adventures within the country. Last 206, we flew all the way to the central Philippine island of Cebu. It is a popular island not just in the Philippines but around the world because of it's beautiful beaches, rivers, waterfalls, and the whale shark experience.

Let me share some of my favorite photos from this unforgettable trip.

The gang at Kawasan Falls

I just love piers and docks!

With my mind far, far away

At Sumilon Sandbar (Okay my friend was not hurt, we were acting for the shot HAHA)

Me and my Whaleshark Experience

La Buena Familia

Our Official CEBU 2016 Photo


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I would love to welcome and invite everyone to join Timeless Thursdays.


Timeless Thursdays is open for anyone who wishes to share old photos or old thoughts that you would like to share as beautiful memories with everyone. This can be from yesterday, a year ago, or something from your grandma's treasure chest.

This runs every Thursday at 12 am (Manila/Perth Time) until Sunday at 11:59 pm (Manila/Perth Time)

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March 11, 2021

A Short Stop at Phnom Penh - Timeless Thursdays 35

 Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Located at the Southeastern part of the Khmer Kingdom, the capital city of Phnom Penh is home to a large number of the country's population. With the country's location in the middle of Vietnam and Thailand, Cambodia is popular for travellers especially for backpackers taking the French Indochina route. And for me, it was our midpoint on our long bus ride from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam to the Ancient Capital of Siem Reap, Cambodia.

 Busy Streets of Phnom Penh

It was just about an hour stop at Phnom Penh before we continued our long trip due Northeast to Siem Reap. Most of the streets are narrow going to this city centre in the middle of the metro. Having a lot of locals and travellers alike, the streets are never sleeping.

 A Coconut Vendor at Phnom Penh

A Lady seems to go back home after a day of business in Phnom Penh

It took us about 5 hours from HCMC, Vietnam to reach Phnom Penh but we had no idea the second leg of the journey is the longer part. It took us a total of more than 13 hours of travel to reach Siem Reap that evening of the same day.


The Bus Station: Ho Chi Minh City to Siem Reap at Phnom Penh

Me at the Bus during hour hour's rest in Phnom Penh

Being in Phnom Penh gives me much excitement since it was my 11th country to visit. But never have a I realized that Siem Reap is so much more than Phnom Penh with all the temples and wats. Truly, Cambodia astonished my sight and taste, and surely, I'll come back soon for more.

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I would love to welcome and invite everyone to join Timeless Thursdays.


Timeless Thursdays is open for anyone who wishes to share old photos or old thoughts that you would like to share as beautiful memories with everyone. This can be from yesterday, a year ago, or something from your grandma's treasure chest.

This runs every Thursday at 12 am (Manila/Perth Time) until Sunday at 11:59 pm (Manila/Perth Time)

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter