Discovering Routes: An Original Series On A Journey Home.

Imagine coming up with an app and selling it for millions of dollars. What would you do? Most of us would definitely say travel and yes, that's what millennial tech entrepreneur Garett Gee did.

In 2014, Garett sold his technology company to Snapchat for $54million and went around the world with his family.  And guess what? Garett has Filipino blood! But he's never been to the Philippines so he's traveling here for the first time. His visit will be documented in the newest original series from Myx TV called "Discovering Routes".

Maria Cristina Falls at the NPC Nature's Park.

Maria Cristina Falls.

These three words bring back memories of my grade school years while reading my Araling Panlipunan (social studies/history) books.  Little did I know that I will be seeing it many, many years later.


The South District Food Hall in Madison Galeries Alabang.


T and I are happy when restaurants open in Alabang. Although we are content with the usual go-to places in our home base, sometimes we are in the mood to try something new. One Sunday, after hearing mass at the beautiful Sacred Heart Jesus Parish Church near Alabang Hills and Hillsborough Alabang, we go to Madison Galeries to check out The South District Food Hall, which opened only last July.


Jing Ting Noodles & Dumplings at City of Dreams Manila.


The newest restaurant in City of Dreams Manila is Jing Ting Noodles & Dumplings.  It's an open kitchen, casual dining restaurant that offers Cantonese dishes.  I regret not being able to take a photo of the restaurant's exterior (because I'm in a wheelchair which is another story for another time) but it looks like a little house.  Actually, Jing Ting means little house or resting place and is inspired by the Chinese Hutongs, which are small areas of old buildings in Beijing.


July Reading List: One of Us is Lying, Crazy House, Into The Water.


I don't get to read leisurely as often as I used to because of the busyness of daily life.  But reading is one of the things I love doing so I decided to carve out even a little time each day for it.  Instead of browsing on my phone before going to sleep, I pick up a book or my Kindle.

Here are three books which I finished last month.  All of them are new releases so you might want to reserve a copy in Fully Booked or Powerbooks. I got mine from the US though so I'm not sure if all of them are available here already.


One of Us is Lying

One of Us Is Lying is the story of what happens when five strangers walk into detention and only four walk out alive. Everyone is a suspect, and everyone has something to hide.

Are you familiar with the movie The Breakfast Club? The premise of this book is similar to that except that this one involves a murder.  There's the brainy girl Bronwyn who never breaks a rule, the beautiful Addy who is the picture-perfect homecoming princess, the notorious Nate who is a criminal and in probation for dealing, the sporty Cooper who is an all-star baseball pitcher, and the outcast Simon who is the author of a gossip app in their high school (which gives it an element of Gossip Girl too).  They all get detention but before the day is over, one of them dies. 

The book is a page turner.  Even if I read it only a few pages at a time (in the airport before a flight or while waiting in line somewhere), my interest in the story never wavered. One of Us is Lying would actually be a good teenage TV show which I would binge watch on Netflix.  The only thing I don't like about it is the lack of twists and turns. This book is very wholesome with only a little bit of adult content. I wish it were a bit darker like the TV show Riverdale on CW/Netflix.  



Image credit: Goodreads

Mr. Roboto Modern Japanese in Alabang Town Center.


After picking me up from the airport, T and I have dinner at Mr. Roboto, the newest restaurant to open at the Sykes Building in Alabang Town Center.  The first thing that catches our attention is the retro wall featuring 80's favorite comics and cartoons like Voltes V and Mazinger Z.  You can't miss it when you walk by.

My Beauty MNL Shopping Haul.

Beauty MNL is a shopping mecca of curated skin care, make up, and hair products ranging from beauty staples such as moisturizers and sunblock to beauty trends such as snail cream.  They asked me to give their website a test run and here are the goodies I got.


Container Turf Food Park in BF Homes Paranaque.


I finally got to visit Container Turf in BF Homes ParaƱaque two weeks ago.  It's a food park with more or less 25 food stalls that sell different items.  I have a penchant for fair food (read my blog post about the San Diego County Fair in Del Mar) which is characteristically interesting but not weird or icky. Majority of what's available in Container Turf is sort of like that.  Every stall has its own unique concept.  It's difficult to take a photo of each and every one though because there are too many people, so let me just go through the food we've tried during our visits.

Perla Soap x Mothers Who Brunch.


I've discovered a lot of things about Perla (yes, as in the laundry soap!) at the latest Mothers Who Brunch event in Westgate Alabang.  Let me share some of the tidbits I learned that afternoon with you.

Joei & Me's New Look!


Just wanted to say a quick hello to everyone!

In the middle of new ventures and wedding preps, I am doing a blog revamp as well so please bear with me. How do you like the lighter look? I also made the blog more mobile-friendly for browsing.  Comments are very much welcome since everything is still a work in progress.  I guess that's it for now.   My allergies are killing me and I need to get some shut eye soon.  Happy Thursday! Stay safe and dry from the rains.

Image credit: Pinterest

Chef Shigeki IImura's Japanese Serenade Menu at Buddha Bar Manila.


You might have seen this event in my Instagram stories two Saturdays ago.. Chef Shigeki Iimura performing a live demo of his special Japanese Serenade menu in Buddha Bar Manila.


Skin 101's Refreshing Collagen Facial.


Two weeks ago, I was invited to Skin 101 in Alabang Town Center to try their facials.  




T + J Wedding Diaries: Prenup Shoot (Teaser).


You will always be my favorite adventure... ♥︎





Decathlon Sports in Festival Mall Alabang.


Decathlon, Europe's number 1 sports retailer, is now in Manila.  Lucky me, their first mega store in the Philippines opened in Festival Mall Alabang, which is near us, so T and I went there last weekend to check it out.  There are so many great finds and the prices are not bad too! Let me share with you what I saw while going around.

Buddha Bar's Japanese Serenade with Chef Shigeki Iimura.


Enjoy a night of Japanese cuisine prepared by Chef Sigeki Iimura (who is flying all the way from Japan) in front of a live crowd while a violinist plays a beautiful ensemble at Buddha Bar's Japanese Serenade happening this Saturday, July 8.  This is a once-in-year event you wouldn't want to miss!




For inquiries and reservation about the event, you can call (02) 856-6719, (02) 856-6859, or (0998) 983-3918.  Buddha Bar is located at Picar Place, Kalayaan Avenue, Makati City.  See you there!


My Top 5 French Fries in Metro Manila.


I had a craving for fries one day and asked my Facebook friends for the best french fries they've had.  Here's a round up of the top answers, as well as my personal preferences, in no particular order.


1. McDonald's French Fries

Almost everyone mentioned McDonald's as their favorite.  Some like it soft and chewy but others like it well done and crispy (like me!) but we all agree that it's best when newly cooked.  T and I enjoy going through the drive thru of 24 hour branches late at night because we always get a fresh batch!  Dip it in McDonald's Hot Fudge sundae? Perfection.


Image credit: @mcdo_ph


Acacia Hotel's Long Weekend Promo.


Attention staycation fans! Acacia Hotel Alabang is having a flash sale for the upcoming long weekend. You'll also get a special bubble bath kit for adults and kids! 




There are only limited rooms available so to reserve, email reservations@acaciahotelsmanila.com or call (02) 720-2000.  If you want to learn more about Acacia Hotel, read my previous blog posts:



  

T + J Wedding Diaries: We Are Engaged!


T and I are engaged!

Well, we have been for a while now but I haven't written much about it because we initially wanted to keep it on the down low.  But while scrolling through my old posts, I realized that this blog is a treasure trove of memories.  Reading about our past travels or culinary adventures never fail to bring a smile on my face so I've decided to do the T + J Wedding Diaries.  Let me start with the day we got engaged.  


La Vie Institute + Benefit Cosmetics' Lifestyle Make-Up Workshop.


Like many of you, I'm one of those girls who buy make up but don't really know how to use them.  It's just so tempting to go inside Sephora or Beauty Bar and buy everything right?? I know of the brands and their products but what use would that be if I don't know how to apply them correctly.

That's why I got excited when La Vie Institute and Benefit Cosmetics invited me to their Lifestyle Make-Up Workshop which is basically a 101 for everyday make up routines.  It's perfect and just what I need.



Sentro 1771 and Flatiron in Uptown Mall BGC.


T and I were invited by 1771 Group of Restaurants to a back-to-back celebration.  It was the opening of Sentro 1771 and the anniversary of Flatiron in Uptown Mall BGC.  Flatiron, which opened its first branch last year in the said mall, serves American comfort food prepared on a griddle.  




Happy Mother's Day!


All that I am today and all I've become, I owe to you.  I hope to be even just half the super mom you are to us when my time comes.  Happy Mother's Day! ♥︎



Okada Manila: Open Restaurants + Medley Dinner Buffet + The Fountain Show.


I'm sure most of you have heard of Okada Manila because it's the newest hotel and casino in Entertainment City and it houses the biggest multi color dancing fountain in the world.. Yes, in the world!  T and I paid a visit there a few weeks ago to check what restaurants and stores are already open so we can go someplace new for dinner.

I've heard mixed rior of Okada Manila's lobby so I wanted to see it for myself.  As soon as I entered, I got Princess Jasmine feels with the exotic decors, big domes on the ceiling, and splashes of pink and gold all around.  What do you think of it?




VIP Shopping Night of H&M's Conscious Exclusive Collection 2017.


Two weeks ago, I attended the launch and VIP shopping night of H&M's Conscious Exclusive Collection 2017 in SM Makati with two of my favorite shopping partners, T and my friend Dianne Lee.



Intramuros (part 2): Lunch Buffet at Barbara's Heritage Restaurant.


...continued from (part 1): Bambike Eco Tours

After biking and walking for almost three hours, we wanted only two things... To change out of our clothes and TO EAT.  All of us wanted something fast but still delectable so we decided to do the lunch buffet at Barbara's Restaurant.



Intramuros (part 1): Bambike Ecotours.


I've been wanting to do a tour around Intramuros since I've heard of Carlos Celdran's walking tour but T and I haven't been able to do so.  Luckily, T's sister Michelle asked us if we wanted to join her and her friends so T and I were finally able to do Bambike's Intramuros Ecotours!



BLK 513's Flagship Store in S Maison Conrad.


I love anything dairy, including yogurt.  So when I saw this place called BLK 513 in S. Maison last November that serves activated charcoal frozen yogurt, I told T I had to try it.  



Tajimaya Japanese Charcoal Grill in Alabang Town Center.


Update (May 15, 2017): T and I experienced really bad service at Tajimaya this evening.

8:15pm  - T and I arrive and was told by the hostess that they will accept us in the waiting list but they will be serving only until 9pm.  We are second in line.

8:20pm - Four tables bill out and became vacant but no one cleared the tables.  Everyone was running around but not really doing anything.. If you know what I mean. I felt like they were just acting busy and for some reason avoiding my gaze.  Two servers were attending to one table, when one of them could've started to clear the vacant table.  I called the attention of the hostess (or supervisor) to this but she ignored us and busily mopped the floor of the bar area, like that chore was more urgent than customers getting a table.  Like I said, it seemed like everyone was avoiding our gaze.

8:30pm - The group before us complain about the vacant tables ready to be occupied.  They even sat in one despite it still having the previous diners' plates just so they could be given attention.  Time was of the essence so we all wanted to be seated.   It was a cook-your-own thing anyway so as long as they give us a table and our food, we can go off on our own.  But that didn't happen. 

8:40pm - Twenty minutes later and a few more vacant tables later, we still weren't seated.  I called the attention of the hostess but she didn't mind us and kept herself busy doing whatever it was by the bar.

8:50pm - T and I just left because everyone was basically ignoring us.

Tajimaya Alabang, I know you guys are still on soft opening but that's why I'm writing about it here so you can improve on it.  If you have customers waiting and closing time is soon, just clear the tables so the customers can sit down, order, and eat.  And NEVER ignore the queries of your customers.  We wouldn't have left if we were answered properly or apprised of our status. 
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It's been a while since there's been a new restaurant in Alabang so it's a challenge for me and T to find somewhere new to eat when we're not in the mood to drive far away.  Fortunately, Tajimaya Japanese Charcoal Grill opened a branch in Alabang Town Center last month.


Giveaway: CCF's Family and Finance Conference 2017.


UPDATE: Giving away 3 pairs of tickets (6 tickets) to CCF's Family and Finance Conference! Visit and like my Facebook page at www.facebook.com/joeiandme and send me a private message there :)
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I've always budgeted my money even as a kid and I didn't need to do it.  It also doesn't seem that way (my mom will object when she reads this haha!) because I like shopping but I really do budget.  I set aside money for my savings, my shopping, my travels, and whatever it is I want or need.

I'm used to handling my personal finances but now that I'm entering into another stage in my life (aka getting married), I want to learn how to budget for my future family. I even asked my former colleague Jill Sabitsana, who is a registered financial planner, for books I can read or seminars I can attend.

And then I got an invite to CCF's Family and Finance Conference which is a whole day workshop dedicated to teach and help families manage finances better. How timely!





This year’s conference includes the country’s top financial speakers: Edric & Joy Mendoza, Sky & Kat Salanio, Heinz & Ambie Bulos, Joby & Cindy Soriano and Randell Tiongson, These speakers will be sharing how to set financial goals and manage finances as a family, as well as what to teach kids and the biblical perspective about money.

And only until today, March 26, the Early Bird Rate is PhP850 per person or PhP1,500 per couple.  Afterwards, the Regular Rate is PhP1,000 per person or PhP2,000 per couple.  For more information, like Family And Finance PH on Facebook.  See you there!

ArmyNavy Burger + Burrito's B.U.D.D.Y. Combo.


My mom absolutely loves ArmyNavy's burrito which is available in 7 variants.  On the other hand, I like ArmyNavy's quarter pounder burger because of its 100% natural beef patties, fresh lettuce, sliced tomatoes, and onions sandwiched in toasted sesame seed Kaiser bun.  So we're both happy to learn of ArmyNavy's promo for its 8th birthday this year.. Choose between a burger B.U.D.D.Y. combo or a burrito B.U.D.D.Y. combo for only PhP341!



Boulangerie 22's Pokemon Go Cakes and Macarons.


Who here got addicted to Pokemon Go?  I'm sure most of you did one time or another.  I did.  Honestly, when I started playing, I wasn't really familiar with the characters unlike my sister S who used to play the game in her Nintendo 3DS.  I started to get addicted to it when the app became available for our mobile phones. I remember panicking whenever I see a PokeStop nearby.

Boulangerie 22, a bakery and dessert cafe serving specialty cakes, has also joined the craze and came up with their Pokemon Cake Collection!




IHOP's Eat All You Can Pancakes for National Pancake Day 2017.


Calling all fellow pancake lovers.. It's that time of the year again!  IHOP is having its 'Eat All You Can Buttermilk Pancakes' promo in celebration of National Pancake Day on March 7.  So from 7am to 10pm this coming Tuesday, you can enjoy unlimited servings of buttermilk pancakes for only 250 pesos!



Ballet Manila's Don Quixote at the Aliw Theater.


Happening on February 24 and 25, 2017 at 8:00 p.m. and on February 26, 2017 at 3:00 p.m. at Aliw Theater is Ballet Manila's closing act for the 21st performance season, Don Quixote.

Don Quixote is known in the ballet world as one of the most technically challenging pieces ever created, with some of the choreography raising the already high international standards when it first premiered in 1869 at the Tsar's Imperial Ballet of St. Petersburg. It is especially known for its compulsory quick and strong movements, high vertical takeoffs, one arm lifts, quick fouettes, quadruple pirouettes, and Kitri’s signature move, the Plisetskaya head-kick.


Valentines 2017: 10 Date Ideas In and Out of The Metro.


T and I don't really celebrate Valentines Day (because for him, every day should be like Valentines Day ;)) but since it's always a good idea to do something nice with your special someone during the week of February 14, here are ten date ideas in and out of Metro Manila as an alternative to the usual dinner date.  And to all the single gents and ladies out there, you can also engage in these activities with your friends!  Bawal malungkot next week :P


1. Take painting lessons.

This is what T and I did for Valentines last year.  For more details, you can read my blog post about our 2016 Valentines date in Sip n Gogh.




Tomatito Manila: Sexy Tapas Bar.


I usually start my year with a 'Looking Back' entry but a lot has been going on in my life lately (hence, the lack of posts) and I don't have time right now to dig through all the photos from last year and choose my favorite moments so I decided to save that for later. Instead, I'll first write about a recent restaurant T and I have visited.

Last Friday, we found ourselves in BGC looking for a place to eat.  I'm so out of touch with what's new in the restaurant scene but I remember seeing this colorful place while we were driving around the area last month.. Tomatito.