Food Blog: SPARK COFFEE + CRAFTS, DAVAO CITY

When I came back in Davao City after over three years of being away, I noticed the rise of food establishments. Cafés, restaurants, dessert shops and other food-related businesses grew in number. When I was in college, me and my classmates only go to McDonald’s to celebrate events (birthdays, end of exams, failures, thesis defense, etc.). Trying out restaurants or cafés was not yet a thing in our time.

Last Friday, October 13, 2017, my officemate and I went to Spark Coffee + Crafts in Marfori to satisfy our curiosity and/or cravings. Spark has a good social media visibility with their photos very much eye-candy. Their Instagram account (@sparkdvo) is hashtag feed goals. Props to their digital marketing team.

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With my officemate, Jay

I’m no food blogger but I CAN EAT and I CAN GIVE MY OPINIONS as well. 😊

Before anything else, Spark Coffee + Crafts is located at Unit 56C, Paseo Uno Bldg., Ruby Corner Opal St., Marfori, Davao City. There are no jeepney routes near the place, I guess. You can always come via cab, car or trike (?). Find a way, dude.😂

The place is relatively small, but not stuffy. We went around 8pm and it was not yet cramped. By around 9 to 10pm, guests started arriving. Their space, though small, is pleasantly decorated.

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Here’s their menu:

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We tried their Lasagna (195PHP) and Iced Caramel Macchiato (115PHP). I am not a coffee drinker so I cannot make a comparative study with all the other caramel macchiatos out there in the market. All I know is I like their caramel macchiato more than Starbucks. The price influenced my taste, I think.

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Now let’s talk about their lasagna. Hmmm. Just a background, I’ve only eaten lasagna twice before – Greenwich and at my college classmate’s house. Please understand that lasagna is not my favorite food. I can go on living without eating it. Spark’s lasagna was good, it tastes delicious. I wasn’t launched to outer space when I tried it, though. In other words, it was normal, but delicious. 😂

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I decided to check out Spark not because of their food but because of calligraphy. At Spark, they let you use their brush pens to scribble or doodle while eating. They also sell hard to find brush pens from Japan at a good price. For me it was the highlight of this café.

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I’d definitely want to come back to try out their other food items. 😊

P.S. Last Friday’s visit at Spark reignited my love for calligraphy. As a result, I created another Instagram account solely for my calligraphy works. Follow @diana.scribbles if you want to check it out.

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Thanks for your time!😊

-Diana

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Travel Blog: 30 Hours in Baguio

30 HOURS IN BAGUIO, yay or nay? For people who came all the way from Davao City, spending just one day in Baguio sounds insane. Who does that?

*coughs* We do.

Me and my best friends like to go on long trips and spend few hours at the destination. We’ve done it a couple of times already. The first one was when we traveled for more or less five hours to Kwebang Lampas and Puting Buhangin in Pagbilao, Quezon only to spend four hours there. It was followed by a trip to Vigan, Ilocos Sur where we immersed in a 10-hour bus ride only to spend a day there. The travel was longer than our actual stay. We don’t know why we do it, but we like it that way. Also, we are so tired of people judging our plans and itineraries. We couldn’t rent a car because people were like, “Isang araw lang sa Baguio? Anong klaseng trip yan?!” Hello? Your business sucks because you can’t provide the kind of service we want.

If ever you are like us who are okay with long travels and short stays, this post is for you.

30 HOURS IN BAGUIO

How to get there?

1. If you are coming from Manila, proceed to step 2. If you come from other places, fly/swim/teleport/find a portkey from your origin to Manila.

2. Take the bus from Manila to Baguio. Victory Liner and Genesis are two of the popular bus lines traveling to and from Baguio. Victory Liner terminals are in Cubao and Pasay. Their regular air-conditioned bus fare from Pasay costs 460PHP per head. For more information about bus fares and schedules, visit their website  here. Travel time from Manila to Baguio depends on the kind of bus you book. Travel time for the 11PM regular air-conditioned bus trip we took was approximately 5 hours and 30 mins.

How to get out?

1. As soon as you arrive in Baguio, book tickets for your return trip especially when you are traveling on peak season or you have to catch a flight in Manila.

2. Take the bus from Baguio to Manila. Bus fare is also at 460PHP per head from Baguio to Pasay. Travel time for the 10:30am regular air-conditioned bus trip we took was approximately 7 hours. You have to factor in Manila traffic when calculating your travel time because, f*ck Manila. JK. 😂

NOTE: Be at the terminal earlier than your scheduled trip because the bus won’t wait for you. They leave on time. Quite impressive, right?

3. Fly out of Manila.

Where to stay?

We stayed at Inn Rocio. We booked it via Booking.com at a reasonable price with free breakfast. The place was okay. It was decent and you get what you pay for. Nothing less, nothing more. The only plus point was they allowed us to check-in at 5:30am instead of 2pm. Minus points for the hidden charge (VAT). There’s a huge selection of accommodations in Baguio. It totally depends on your style and need for comfort.

What to do in Baguio?

Try to Google “what to do in Baguio” and the results will always mention Mines View Park, Burnham Park, Wright Park, etc. For first timers, you have to pay respect to these tourist spots. For repeat customers like us, dig deeper in your Google search to find places in Baguio worthy of your visit. The best way to find out is by asking a local. Here are the places we visited and the things we did in our short stay in Baguio.

1. Arca’s Yard. It is a café, museum and library in one, located at 777, Ambuklao Road. This is a charming place to dine, catch up or be quiet with friends. One thing we noticed when we got there was the peace and silence despite the place being almost occupied. Food and drinks were also reasonably priced. Plus points- the stunning view.

Note: It is slightly difficult to grab a cab to get home.

2. Burnham Park. It was my son’s first time in Baguio so he deserved a trip to the ever famous Burnham Park. We rented a “padyak” (bicycle with side car?) for 50PHP per hour. It was a fun experience, I must say.

3. Catch some Zzzzs. Because sleeping in Baguio is not equal to sleeping in Davao.

4. Eat. Because eating in Jollibee Baguio is not equal to eating in Jollibee Davao and eating at a Korean restaurant in Baguio is not equal to eating at a Korean restaurant in Davao.

5. Record videos and take OOTD photos. Self-explanatory.

Closing Remarks

Every travel is memorable. For me, it doesn’t matter where I go or how long I stay, what matters is the emotion that ignites within me while I travel. Baguio is one of my favorite cities to visit. It never fails to touch my core- whether I stay for a couple of days, or just for 30 hours. I can say I’ve been to different places in the Philippines and no other city gives me the same feeling I get when I am in Baguio. It’s a feeling of being reminded that bright days are ahead and the world is still a good place despite the negativities around. I can’t explain it much but I very well know the feeling. I can’t wait to be back.

Thanks for your time!😊

-Diana

Travel Video: Isla Reta Beach Resort

Hello, friends!

I edited the few video snippets I took from our recent trip to Isla Reta. If you read my previous post then you’ll know what that trip was for. And because it is Sunday, I needed to do something to forget about how fast Monday is approaching.

To set your expectations, this video is not grand or anything but I spent a good hour editing it. I took videos from that trip with no plans in making a travel video (though I initially planned on creating a vlog) so forgive the lack of coherence or theme or direction.✌🏼

Here’s the video:

Also, please subscribe to my YT channel if you want to see more of myself. I swear I’m not conceited. 😂

-Diana

K: Blogathon Entry No. 11

Susubukan kong magTagalog-English sa post na to. Parang ang ambitious kasi kung puro English. Mali-mali pa grammar ko. Baka mahighblood ang mga perfect (sa grammar) people. I can go Bisaya but I have Tagalog friends so para maintindihan nila to, Taglish nalang. Jologs ba? Yaan mo na, for sure at some point in your life naging jologs ka din.

So sa post na to, ang tatalakayin ko ay ang iba’t-ibang klase ng mga computer users na sinusupport ko sa office. Sa mga hindi nkakaalam, IT support po nature ng trabaho ko. Ibig sabihin, taga-resolve ng mga problema ng mga officemates ko. Mga problemang sila nman ang gumawa 80% of the time. Wag ka pong ma-offend, okay lang yan. Kung wala kayo, wala kaming trabaho. Utang na loob naming mga IT Helpdesk sa inyo ang trabaho and sahod namin. Pero minsan, sumosobra na kayo. For sure karamihan sa inyo nilagay nyo sa resume nyo na computer literate kayo. Eh bakit pati pagunmute ng audio di nyo alam? May paurgent2 pa kayo kala ko kung ano na, kesyo di niyo naririnig ka-videocon niyo, yun pala, nkamute. Jusko. Pero okay lang. Salamat pa rin sa inyo kasi may trabaho ako. Pero ito, ikaclassify ko kayo hah. Based sa mga observations ko.
Mga klase ng computer users (sa company namin). Ewan ko lng sa ibang company kung may similarities.

Let’s begin with the normal users. Normal lang, saka lng sila nahingi ng tulong kapag di na talaga nila kaya. Yung tipong may initiative mag basic troubleshooting. Walang internet connection, titingnan muna nila kung nkasalpak ba cable sa CPU. Ayaw gumana ng mouse, ttry muna nilang ireseat yung USB connector. Yung mga ganun. Sila favorite ko. Kapag sila nahingi ng tulong, support ko kagad kasi for sure medyo may kahirapan nga yung concern. Kung feel mo ikaw to, libre kita ng hotcake mamaya. Kung feel mo hindi ikaw to, read on, bitch. Chos. #nohate po tayo dito.

Moving on. Ang susunod na klase ng mga users ay ang mga “The Boys and Girls Who Cried Wolf”. Familiar ba kayo sa kwentong yan? Yung bata na nagjoke na may wolf kuno 3 times tapos di na pinaniwalaan nung may actual wolf na talaga. Andami nyan sa office, I swear. Pupuntahan ka sa table mo ke aga-aga tapos sasabihing ayaw magscan ng flatbed scanner nila. Tinanong ko pa kung sure ba cya, sure daw talaga. Nung pinuntahan ko, sinubukan ko munang magscan, wala pa akong inaayos or something hah, aba nagscan, friend! Okay sana eh kung isang beses lng kasi ganun naman talaga minsan. Yung tipong nilapitan ko lng, gumana. Pero sa mga users na to, ganito talaga ganap palagi. Pero thankful pa rin ako sa kanila kasi nkakatayo ako and nkakalakad kahit papano. Kung feel mo ganto ka, keep it up. Kung feel mo hindi pa rin ikaw to, read on.

Ang susunod ay ang mga needy and clingy users. Kulang nalang gawin akong personal assistant sa dami ng concerns. Buti sana kung pinapasweldo din nila ako, diba? Pati magopen ng Paint, I repeat, pati pagopen ng Paint. P-A-I-N-T, di nila kaya mga besh. Pero cute tong mga to, may lambing kung mag-utos. Nanlilibre pa minsan kaya walang problema.

Kung may needy and clingy, meron ding mga divas. Yung feeling queens and kings of Davao. Yung mga entitled. Kala mo kung sinong mataas kung makapagutos. Kala nila alipin nila ako sa gigilid. Hoy, gumising po kayo. Paglabas natin ng opisina pantay-pantay lang tayo. Tigilan niyo nga yang ka-artehan niyo, di kayo radiant. Pero joke lang. Again po, no hate. 🙂

Eto second to the last classification ko, yung mga IT kuno. Either IT/COE/CS yung course nung college, may asawang IT, may pinsan, uncle, kapitbahay or ex na IT, or yung mga IT sa past life na nareincarnate tapos di nkakuha ng IT job. Magagaling tong mga to. Yung magtatanong to test me. Wag ako, mga besh. Kasi masasaktan lang kayo sa kabobohan ko. May sub-classifications to sila. May mga (a) humble pero magagaling talaga, meron ding mga (b) mayayabang na hindi naman alam ano meaning ng WiFi. Favorite ko din yung mga magagaling na humble. Kasi kung wala ako sa office maaasahan ko sila talaga. Kung belong ka sa class a, libre kita ng hotcake and buko juice. Kung class b ka, libre moko ng Starbucks matapos mong marecite ang color-coding ng straight-through cable. Alam kong hindi ako magaling sa larangan ng IT, pero alam kong mas hindi ka magaling kaya quiet ka nalang. Eto may hate na nang kauntian, tbh. HAHAHA.

Finally, ang mga users na user. Hmmm. Pano ko ba iexplain. Sila yung nagcoconsult kung ano magandang brand ng laptop, minsan pati cellphone. Nagpapatulong magpaayos ng laptop, madalas pati cellphone. Pero wala nman akong masabing masama tungkol sa kanila. Kung kaya ko naman, why not.

So ayun, paki-identify nlang po kung saan kayo belong. Kung walang swak sa inyo jan, pakicomment nlang kung anong classification sa tingin mo ikaw belong.

As I’ve been repeating, no hate po tayo dito. Sinulat ko lang to para sa sarili ko. Wala akong hard feelings sa inyo except nalang kung pangit ugali niyo.

Pero thankful po talaga ako kasi may trabaho ako and masaya ako sa trabaho ko. Lahat ng mga users ay parte ng buhay ko. Tanggap ko kayong lahat kahit pahirapan niyo pa ako.

P.S. Sa inyo po na mga nagsasabing petiks kaming mga IT, wag po kayong magalala, sisirain po namin computer niyo para maging busy kami. Tsaka tigil-tigilan nyo nga pagsasave ng mga selfies and mga kanta ng Hoobastank jan sa PC niyo, hindi nkakatuwa.

 

-Diana

Turbans for Sale

I’m not even sure if I’m ready to sell the turbans/headbands I made, but earlier today, my officemate and I went to Isla Reta (a resort in Talicud Island, Samal) for a fun shoot. Jay volunteered to model the head pieces I made.

She did her makeup, and styling, I did her hair and of course the photo-taking.

We arrived in Isla Reta at around 10:30am and went straight to photoshoot. We had late lunch at 1pm and left the resort at 3:05pm. SAD STORY: WE DID NOT GET TO SWIM. Our lunch was served super late so we didn’t have enough time to swim and freshen up. But that’s fine, at least I got a reason to come back soon.

Here’s Jay featuring my turbans.

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If you want to get one, you may reach me on Instagram (@dayanamanayan). If you wish to contact my model, you may reach her on Instagram as well (@gigidemafeliz).

Thanks for your time!

Monday na bukas. Que horror!

-Diana

ADJ (Adjective): Blogathon Entry No. 10

On our recent HR training, there was an activity where we described our groupmates in one word. I was described as cool, true, adventurous, approachable and friendly. Out of the descriptions, we were to choose one favorite. I chose true. Why? Details at the end of this article.

For now, let me say my thoughts on each adjective.

Let’s begin with COOL. It’s cool to know people perceive me as cool but honestly, I am nowhere near that. I am fidgety. I am anxious. I cannot calm myself. I get red in the face when I talk to people. I blush during lunch at the canteen. I get red rashes on my chest and neck when agitated. I cannot even control my feelings. In this case, my groupmate’s definition of cool must be different.

ADVENTUROUS. I may look like it but I am scared 90% of the time. I don’t enjoy theme parks and those hair raising roller coasters. However, I like going on trips and traveling. I love the sight of the horizon, the endless greenery and the cloudy sky. I love the feel of strange places. Yet, I fear too much. I overthink about what accidents could possibly happen- plane crashes, boat sinks and/or vehicle collisions. I don’t even eat exotic foods or foods prepared the unconventional way. Knowing these, do you still think I am adventurous?

APPROACHABLE. This could be true, or not. Anyone could just approach me. That is something I have no control of. BUT, as I mentioned earlier, I am anxious. So depending on the approach, I can go warm and accommodating, or my brain could send “fuck you” signals to my organs non-stop. What is nice is I can somehow conceal it and look positive on the outside. Thus, you might think I am approachable.

FRIENDLY. This is quite funny. Let me get this straight. I AM NOT FRIENDLY. I can talk to acquaintances but I cannot be friends with a lot of people. If I don’t like you, I don’t like you. Unless you change your ways for good. I have a few true friends and I value our friendship so much. I don’t just make friends because I feel like it. I don’t cling to superficial gifting-and-surprising-each-other-on-birthdays-kind of friendship. I delve deeper, dude. For me, friendship doesn’t have to be two-way. I have one-sided friendships with people I admire so much yet do not reciprocate the commitment I offer. Friendship is not about quantity but quality. I have two best friends and I wouldn’t trade them for a whole bundle of girly shallow bitches. Most importantly, friendship is not possessive. You don’t own anyone in this world. Don’t get jealous if your friends have other friends. Let them live. Believe me, I can go all day elaborating what friendship is to me. So to reiterate, I am not friendly. But I’m not closing doors, we could still be friends. If you are awesome. And/or anxious.

Finally, TRUE. Out of the adjectives, I chose this not because I think I am true, but because I want to be true. I want to be honest and be vocal with my opinion. I want to be able to assert and speak my mind. I want to express my feelings and not just pretend I agree with what everybody in the group thinks. I want to articulate my thoughts and not just keep mum about my inventive ideas. I want to say “no” at times when saying “yes” is the more convenient option. I want to be this kind of true.

To my groupmates, thank you for the kind adjectives. It makes me “kilig” to know you think I am cool, adventurous, approachable, friendly and true. Hindi niyo lang alam, ang Diyos ang dahilan. 🙂

Thanks for your time.

-Diana

OOTD: September 2, 2017

I can’t believe it’s September already! September makes me giddy. It’s like a gateway to Christmas. And Christmas is nothing but happy and flowyy and chill and anything positive. I can’t wait for Halloween to be over and for December to be actually here.

Wonder how thrilled I am? See photo below. 🙂

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OOTD: kimono, white turtle-neck top from Uniqlo, black skirt from Kat and my sister’s Vans

Yun lang. 🙂

-Diana

 

Legal Holiday Workday at SM City Davao

Hi, friends!

Yesterday was a holiday, but I opted to go to the office because (eherm!) I need cash. Holiday workday means double pay so, alam na. 🙂

I brought my camera yesterday because we planned on taking photos of ourselves on the board-up frames in the mall. These board-up frames are high resolution photos of famous places in the world like the canals in Venice, cherry blossoms in Japan and St. Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow. We simply wanted to fool people which did not actually happen. What occurred instead was a photoshoot with my officemates. And it was so, so much fun.

Disclaimer: We did the pictorial on our break time. 🙂

I realize I love taking photos of people. So if you want to have your photos taken (candidly or plandidly), then befriend me. 🙂

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That’s it! Photoshoot, let’s?

 

-Diana

 

Cacti x Succulents x Fighting Fish

Hi!

Today is August 21, 2017 and it’s a non-working holiday here in the Philippines. It’s Ninoy Aquino Day and it’s also my first time to NOT work on a holiday. The company that I’m working for pursues what we call the “work-life balance” and I’m glad they realized we should avail holidays as well.

In order for me to feel that this day has been productive, I went to a store which is just walking distance from our home to buy some cactus and succulents. I went there with my son earlier today and we got two plants for 150 pesos total. Please be informed that I do not have any knowledge about cactus and succulents- their scientific names, specifications, how to care for them, how to propagate, etc. I just find them cute and appealing. The plants have care instructions on the pots so I’ll just follow them.

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The store (actually it’s an apartment unit) is located in Loyola Street, Obrero, Davao City, few meters away from Stella Maris Academy and Dacudao Avenue. They keep their gates open and I saw a tarp that says “FPatio” something. Forgive the lack of proper information. It’s the green open gate in the photo below.

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The owner was pretty accommodating and friendly. They give discounts and they are even open on sharing how to propagate the plants, which I was very interested in.

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Meanwhile, my older brother bought 50 pieces of fighting fish. My son was hyper about it! I was also thrilled, tbh. Look at these cuties.

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So that was how I spent the first half of my holiday off. The other half I’ll probably be spending on KDrama and some self-hypnotism ‘coz it’s again workday tomorrow.

Thanks for your time! 🙂

-Diana

My Travel Photos So Far

If traveling is free, you will never see me.

I thirst for travels, trips, gala, whatever you call it. I like long, steady bus rides. I especially like looking at the endless views while listening to my favorite songs. Aaahh. If I can, I will travel every weekend spontaneously. But since I am poor, I can’t do that. I have to book my trips ahead of time and patiently wait for the actual day of travel. My next travel is not until October and I am getting really impatient already. HAHA.

While I’m stuck at home on this long weekend, let me just remind myself of the travels I’ve had and the places I’ve been to so far. This is entirely for myself- a documentation of my travels. Nothing more. No bragging intended or whatsoever.

In alphabetical order:

  1. Bacolod

2. Baguio- My third favorite city in the Philippines.

3. Baler

4. Batangas

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Company Outing

5. Bohol

6. Boracay

7. Caliraya

8.  Cebu

9.Hongkong

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10. Iloilo- Guimaras- Roxas

11. Kuwebang Lampas, Pagbilao, Quezon

12. Lucban, Quezon

13. Majayjay, Laguna

Majayjay Falls

14. Mati, Davao Oriental

15. National Museum, Manila

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16. Pinto Art Museum, Antipolo, Rizal

17. Samal Island, Davao del Norte

18. San Pablo, Laguna- My second favorite city in the Philippines

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At Sampaloc Lake

19. Taal, Batangas

20. Vigan

 

That’s it. If I were to choose between intelligence and money, I’ll sure choose money. What is intelligence if it can’t tour me around the world. Lol.

Travel, let’s? 🙂

-Diana