Tuesday, December 27, 2011

OT: Unexpectedly Dong Juan

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We weren't supposed to go to Dong Juan, but two weeks before the date, I suggested the restaurant. I read a few blogs and decided it's worth a try. Their branch at The Perssimmon is the most accessible, so we opted to have our dinner there.

The boyfriend and I didn't really know what to expect since we don't have an idea what they serve and  how they look like. When we got there, the place was small and cozy. I like the unique furniture inside. It had a modern and comfortable feel to it. The staff were very cordial and they readily made us feel comfortable. I just like the ambiance of the place and the boyfriend couldn't agree more.

Our meal. (Left to right) Calamares, all-meat pochero, burger steak, drinks and rice.

Without really knowing what the best food in their menu is, we ordered calamares, linguini with meatballs, all-meat pochero, and burger steak. The food there is unbelievably cheap. We were expecting to pay around P300 for every dish, but each only costs less than P200. The dishes, however, are for two persons only. If you are bringing three or more people with you, it is best to order more food.

A random drink that looked cool. :D

I love their glasses. They're soo unique.

The food was definitely great. I love their burger steak. It tasted really good. The patty was thick and you could really find the herbs in the patty. You'll probably mistake the pochero as soup, but Dong Juan's version is a sizzling one. It's pretty much like the burger steak. The beef was just so tender. It was yummy. What I like about their calamares is their dip. Maybe I just got used to those dips with mayo. However, this one comes with a spicy garlic and honey sauce.

Linguini, our last order.

I'd definitely recommend Dong Juan. It's a nice place to dine with your date or with your friends. The ambiance is nice and the service is great. It's also not as crowded as other restaurants downtown. It's also accessible. Aside from the above mentioned dishes, they also serve pasta, sizzlers and even pizza.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

OT: The Old Spaghetti House

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I've been wanting to go the Old Spaghetti House in SM City Cebu for a really long time. Although the both the boyfriend and I have wanted to go there, we never found time. Most often, we get to go to other restaurants instead.

For the boyfriend's birthday, we planned to go to a local Filipino resto. However, when we were already on the way there, we felt like neither of us feel like eating crispy pata which is the specialty of the resto. We debated for a while and landed on the The Old Spaghetti House. There are never a lot of people there which makes it a desirable place for dinner.

One of the coolest-looking pizzas I've ever seen.

I really like the ambiance of the place. It has a vintage and homey feel that makes you think of your mum's cooking, not that my mother likes Italian food. Their furniture and decors remind me of European bed and breakfast. The restaurant is cozy. They have nice and attentive waiters. You don't have to wait a long time for the food, which is a plus. You get served five minutes after ordering.


We got their Five-Cheese Pizza, Nachos Supreme, Lasagna, and White Sauce Carbonara. I have to say that they really have great food. They were all yummy. Their pizza had thin crust which the boyfriend love. It was also fun since the slices were in strips. It looked cool and it was definitely good, especially if you are a cheese lover like the boyfriend. I love TOSH's nachos! The salsa was just so yummy. If only our own homemade nachos tasted like this. It was probably the easiest food to finish. It just took a minute or so to finish all the chips. It was that good.

Mi lazagna. ♥

The boyfriend's carbonara.

I ordered the lazagna for myself. I think it tasted even better than I expected. I like how soft the cheese was but not too soft that made it difficult to eat. The boyfriend got himself the carbonara. Their carbonara was also really good, though I'm not much of a carbonara fan. 

Green tea (matcha) shake.

Mango shake.

That night, we were so full that we postponed our supposed gelato date. I really love TOSH's food. However, I wasn't able to eat to my heart's content since I wasn't feeling much of myself. I was a bit sick that I couldn't really eat so much and I couldn't really feel the joy of eating. I'd love to go back to The Old Spaghetti House next time and have the same meal again.

After eating everything. 

PS. We spent a grand-ish for our dinner. Not really that affordable but 'twas worth it.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

OT: Make a Kid Happy, Share a Hug

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Christmas comes once a year. Like most people, I grew up getting excited about Christmas and all the gifts I'm about to receive. But as I grew much older, the excitement started to decrease. I realized that Christmas really is for kids. Since I started working, I realized that gifts came with a price. You would have to work hard if you want to give away presents, not just for others, but for yourself as well.

When we usually think of presents during Christmas, we usually think of buying things from the mall. Personally, I'd want that animal printed sweater from Forever21 as a gift this year. However, at this time where consumerism is in the air, we forget that we can still give gifts without having to spend so much. One can share time or even talent to those who might just be in need of them.

Photo credit: UP Tsinelas

Share a Hug is an annual event conducted by the UP-Tsinelas chapter. It is a pre-Christmas event that they hold to share blessings to kids in forms of old stuffed animals. We know for a fact that little kids love toys. It's something that every child would expect during Christmas. 

The biggest I own.

I've actually left three of my stuffed animals in school for the event. Don't think that I've no care for them. I'm actually a very sentimental type and letting them go went through a lot of deliberation in my head. However, I've always had a feeling that toys are meant to be played with. I get sad when I see toys or stuffed animals just kept in the drawers. If they could cry, they probably would. It's just like living a purposeless life, or maybe I'm just exaggerating it. 

Mi babies. :">

I've realized that giving them away would give them (my stuffed animals) a second chance in their lives. I'm just leaving them to collect dust at home though I still look at them once in a while. Honestly, I don't use them though it's good to know I still have them. But, this is a bit selfish to keep things that I don't need anymore. They will become useful again, when I've donated them. I know they will be as important as they are to me to those kids who don't have as much as I do. They will regain their purpose to be played with.

My  babies inside the box, as I said my last farewell. :'(

If you want to share some old toys that you have, you can just drop by at the University of the Philippines Cebu campus and ask the guard where the NSMD lobby is. You can see a small box near the guard's table and just leave the toys there. They will receive donations only until this Friday, December 9. You can also donate used and decent clothing for the kids as well. It'll surely put a smile on their faces.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Fudge's Dessert Buffet

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I have been wanting to drop by Fudge for a really long time. This was all because they had a dessert buffet which I had also wanted to try, well I'm after a cake buffet. I don't know any bakeshop that has this kind of buffet in Cebu(if you do, please comment below). Manila has a couple of cafes that offer unlimited cakes, which I really want to try out soon.

I was pretty much excited when I went to Fudge. It was the supposed "last week" of this once a year dessert buffet. Who wouldn't panic at this state? I could already see myself gobbling down different cakes. When we got to Fudge, there were also other customers who were eating. It was my first time there so I felt awkward. I'm shy. LOL.

So, I picked whatever pieces I thought looked yummy, which were all the cakes. They didn't really post the names on the buffet and I didn't bother to ask for the name of the cakes. I regret doing so for blogging reasons. Moreover, I may have eaten something poisonous without even me knowing it. LOL.

When choosing, I only had to point at the slices that I want. The waiter would do the picking for you. I found this process a bit of a hassle since it made me feel awkward to go back for a second batch. But then, this was how their buffet roll. You can freely go back to ask for more cakes if you want to. 

Cakes in cubes.

I loved everything that was on my plate. It was sooo sweet and yummy, as expected. I definitely had my share of sugar high. I originally wanted to eat as much cake as I wanted that day, the boyfriend also thought of the same thing. But, a plateful of these sweet goodies made me feel full to the brim already. I was a bit sad that I wasn't able to get more cake than I expected.

Caffe macchiatto.  ♥

I really love the food there. If only I could eat some more, I would have eaten three or more plates. I wanted to get the most out of what I paid for, which was P190. But so much for that. The only comment that I could give is regarding the size of the slices of the cakes. I thought they were too small. The cakes were cut into small squares which made them bite size, which was also good. 

I would definitely visit Fudge soon, even if their dessert buffet is done. I've got my eyes on the Kit Kat cake I saw there. :)

Monday, November 28, 2011

Gluttony Day at Gelatissimo

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The boyfriend and I love Gelatissimo. It's our favorite gelato. I think I've mentioned Gelatissimo in some of my blogs about ice cream.

Last November 18 was Gelatissimo's third year anniversary and they were giving a 50-percent discount on their cones and cups products. It was something that the boyfriend and I wouldn't miss even if the new Forever21 was opening as well. Note: We went to the SM branch not because of F21 (but I was happy to have dropped by F21), but because the boyfriend is not much of a  fan of the Gelatissimo Ayala's service.

Anyway, we got ourselves three flavors in a cup each. Instead of paying 180 for each cup, we just  paid 90. So we decided to get two cups and we had them for a price of one. How cool is that?

I got tiramisu, green tea, and creme caramel. The boyfriend on the other hand had rock melon, lime and choco dip.

The boyfriend's rock melon, lime and choco dip.

My tiramisu, green tea and creme caramel.

One thing I like about gelato, especially Gelatissimo's, is that it's very creamy and full-flavored. You could really identify the difference from your ordinary ice cream. Although it's a bit pricey, it's worth every scoop. You can really taste the flavor instead of just the sweetness.

The boyfriend with his empty cup in hand.

I wish every day was Gelatissimo's anniversary. LOL. :))

Sunday, October 9, 2011

OT: Sweets: Must Stash for Fighting Stress

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Stress is an understatement. It's the time of the semester wherein there are a lot of things to be done in just a span of two weeks. Projects need to be passed. Articles must be published. Tests have to be aced. And so, I sing: 'Tis the season to be cramming. Fa la la la la la  la la la. ♫♪

To be honest, stress is nothing to new to me. Working and studying at the same time makes stress a buddy of mine. We're tight, y'know. Although I'm no guru in fighting stress, I've some tricks off my sleeves on how I can cope with stress. Well, you all know what I'm talking about: FOOD.

Some think that eating too much when stressed isn't a good idea. Well, there goes your belly and your weight when impulsively eating. But I really don't care about that. Or, maybe I'm just lucky that I'm immune to gaining weight despite my sugary diet. Another thing is that I cannot think with my stomach empty. I'm the type of person who eats and eats when under pressure or extreme stress. I could not study on an empty stomach. There are others, like my brother, who could not study when full. Not me, sir. I like to have food on my study table. 

Kit Kat is probably one of the best things that happened to snacks. I looooove Kit Kat, especially Kit Kat Bites. It's like an immediate shot of happiness when you're all stressed. It's a good feel of high when you're just feeling low with all the things that you have to do. A pack of Kit Kat Bites in a no-sleep night will prove handy.

My all-time comfort food is the combo McDonald's hot fudge and fries. I super love the combination. Just these two and I'm great. It simply makes anyone's day. It's definitely a cheap thrill that can up your spirits. 

I'm not really a bottled-iced-tea girl (Sola is an exception) but iced tea is a helpful tool when I just want to be awake. Although coffee is definitely yummy, there are just times when I'd rather have something cold. I've found iced tea to be really invigorating. It refreshes you and gives you energy. I especially love Sola. I  love its taste and its packaging. WaterPlus Smart is also another drink that I've been drinking lately. It's a good substitute for water. It is actually an apple-flavored water.

Cornetto is a good buy for those who cannot afford ice cream for the mean time. Although it is not as good as Gelatissimo, it is still yummy enough. For P20 you already become full. I prefer the Choco Hazelnut flavor. I like Cornetto because it's worth the money.

So these are just some of the things that I like to have when stress is calling my name. I really load on sugar and carbo when I have to do a lot of things. We all have different comfort food and it's good to at least feed your brain when you are working it out. 

*Note: These are just my opinion in fighting stress. It's not scientifically proven. It's based on my experiences. Teehee! :))

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Angelica's Bakeshop

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I'm really sorry if I haven't posted for a really long time. For the first two weeks of my absence, I got really sick. I couldn't really eat anything, literally. The following weeks brought in more busy weeks for work and school, especially finals is fast approaching. I hope you guys can forgive the absence, but I will definitely strive to post as often as I can from this day on. 

Anyhow, since I haven't really eaten sweet for the last few weeks so I decided to get a cake just so I could "celebrate" the start of my sweet-eating days. I can already feel the UP hell week coming closer, so this is the time of binging for me. I was in a budget so I decided to get a cheap yummy cake. And, I decided to go to Angelica's.

A box of happiness! 

Angelica's Bakeshop has been around for a long time. My father is a loyal customer. It's one of those few local bakeshops that I think could compete well with Red Ribbon and Goldilocks even without the ads. They have a number of branches in Cebu, but I personally know just their branch in Jones Avenue and in Gaisano Grandmall in Lapu-Lapu City. 

My favorite cake in Angelica's is their Choco Moist. This is definitely a great buy for a great price. A round cake that is approximately eight inches in diameter costs P145. That's even enough for 5-6 persons. It's definitely worth your money.

Untouched cake.

The cake is just simple. It's a no-bullshit cake, if I were to say. There's nothing much going on. It's covered with chocolate frosting. It is soft and fresh that makes you want to gobble even more. I really prefer moist cakes. There are times when homebakers make their cupcakes too dry. I like the sweetness and the tenderness of the cake. It has the right sweetness and softness. It's not really that cakey, which I love.

It's definitely something that one should go for when in a tight budget. You're not even sacrificing the taste for the price. The cake is perfect for those lazy afternoons at home with friends. You can just grab your favorite instant coffee and you now have a home cafe. You can also get this as a birthday cake. You can ask them to write a greeting on the cake as well.

Cake and coffee. Yum!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Cafe Maru (Part I: Fail)

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I fist passed the new coffee shop a few months ago and I was already dying to drop by. Who couldn't resist a Cafe Maru coffee shop. It sounds so foreign. I really didn't have an idea what it was until last week when I already decided to drop by. I searched for the cafe and found a blog. That was the time I knew it was a Korean cafe.

I went there along with the boyfriend. We asked a close friend to come with us but he was hesitant. Good thing was, he changed his mind and came. He also tagged along another friend which was happier. 

Their mini freedom wall. Cute!

The place was cool and overwhelming. It was filled with little knickknacks on the walls and on the shelves. It had a really cute design. I must commend whoever designed the interiors of the place. It was all cuteness! No wonder why most of the people who are in the cafe were girls.

Teach me how to dowgy?

There were usual tables on the cafe, but what we tried were those little tables made for squatting. Of course, we have to take our shoes off. It was a fun experience. There were puzzles and board games available for bored guests like us. We decided to take  the scrabble to test our knowledge for words. This was probably the best scrabble game I've ever had. It was really fun. It's funny how words also came due to desperation. (See above photo)

White mocha on the left. Choco mocha on the right.

The boyfriend got himself a cold choco mocha. It tasted good and was served in a cute glass with adorable stirrer. My "choi" friend, Jay, ordered white mocha. He said it was okay. It was also served with the same cute stirrer and glass.


Another friend, Chardey, ordered this certain drink which I failed to ask about. Sorry! It was a really cool drink with an exquisitely tall glass. It looked like a pitcher. It was so interesting.

There's a unicorn! *little girl shriek*

Cafe Maru is a really great place to hang out in especially when you just want a good ambiance. Although the place is filled with lots of cute stuff, it's relatively pricey. The drinks cost as much as Starbucks. But in my opinion, It's not as satisfying as Starbucks. Undoubtedly, they have good drinks but it doesn't seem to justify the price. I think the customers are paying for the place. I was also disappointed that they had this policy of not allowing anyone to come to the cafe without that person buying anything. A friend of ours came over and he didn't buy anything, the barista asked if he was only staying for a while and I said yes. So you can't really group study here when not all of you will buy drinks.

The bill.

The boyfriend and the cute wall displays. ♥

So, that's it. That's what I have to say about Cafe Maru. I'll be back though next week with some friends who want to try out the place. I promise to take more pictures so I can give you an idea how the place looks like. I'd also note the prices next week so you know why I think it's pricey. Maybe, I'm just being too frugal. Anyway, watch out for the part II of the Cafe Maru reviews. Teehee!

PS. For those who are loyal readers of this blog, no it's not a giveaway, I already have a Facebook like page. Yaay! I created the page a month or so ago but never had the courage to let other people know. I  was hesitant, I think. If you have time, please check it out. And please, give us some love: like! ♥

Monday, August 15, 2011

The Art of Cheap Date (Part II): Korean Ice Cream

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So, we got nothing to do and I just wanted for us to hang out. Like the old saying goes: idleness is the work of the devil. Not that I believe in devils, idleness is an uneasy feeling that makes me want to chew my hair out. Good thing, I (or we) didn't. 

We decided to visit the grocery store and grab something that I haven't really tried. TIP: When you are in a budget, you can find great treasures hiding among the shelves of your local grocery store.

We got ourselves Korean ice creams. Do't get me wrong, I'm not transforming myself into a Korean or some sort. It's that I wanted to try something new. It's like experiencing Korea at your own country. The boyfriend is already into Korean ice cream since he has tons of Korean friends here. Mine have gone back and so far, I've only tried homemade Korean food and drinks courtesy of my former student.

Our picks for that day.

Anyway, I was having a hard time figuring out what I really wanted. There were a number of Korean-looking ice cream displayed that it got so confusing. If only I tried to learn Korean I wouldn't have any issued with choosing which one said it's the best Korean ice cream. I picked up the watermelon-looking ice cream just because I have no idea what the others were. The boyfriend got himself the sandwich-looking cream.

We sat down at the Suisse Cottage just near the grocery department. I also ordered the intriguing chocolate silvanas. Since I first tried silvanas at Sans Rival, I've already had this thing for silvanas from different bakeshops.

Watermelon-y! ♥

I was so happy with my watermelon ice drop of some sort. It looked like a watermelon! You can't imagine the beam on my face when I opened the wrapper. It was just so cute. It was shaped like a cut watermelon. It has red and green colors like just a watermelon. It also has seed-like candies, just like watermelon! The ice drop was fulfilling. It was sweet as expected and tasted much like watermelon flavored candies. It's also interesting to note that the the green and red parts have different flavors which are complementary. The change of flavor is quite fun.

Weird ice cream . xD

The boyfriend's ice cream was queer. It looked like a sandwich. It doesn't really look as yummy as you want it to be. But when you take a bite, it has a good mix of soft sandwich at the outside and the sweet ice cream at the center. Talk about good looking food.

Chocolate silvanas.

The food I was really excited about was the chocolate silvana. I was intrigued since it was cheap (P14) and also looked yummy. The chocolate toppings fell when I took a bite. It was difficult to eat the entire piece clean. With every bite, the silvana breaks apart. It seemed too fragile to even hold. It was good but they didn't keep it cool enough to keep everything intact. If the silvanas were kept in the fridge, then the real taste would come out and eating it wouldn't be an ordeal.

The boyfriend's signature look (in his school inform). LOL.

So all-in-all, we spent below P150 for the fun snacks we had. My watermelon ice cream costs around P40 and the boyfriend's weird ice cream costs P 60ish. It's not bad for having something new and interesting. It was exciting to try out ice cream that you can't read. It's like an experiment and it's so much fun!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

OT: Happy Day Special: How to Make your own Nachos

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Nachos and tostados are addicting. Once tasted, you'll be back on the stall the very next day. Believe it or not, for the past few days I've been all about nachos and tostados. I think of these two everyday. Going to Ayala without eating either is such an ordeal. Although I'm the type of person who really spends when craving, this consistent and regular craving is not that good for the budget. A single order does not satisfy me. So, I thought, why not make my own.

Today is a special day and instead of having ice cream like we used to, I just asked the boyfriend why not make our own salsa and chips like that of nachos. And, the supportive boyfriend agreed. 

We really had no idea what to do. All we know is that we can use molo wrappers as chips. We just searched online for info and barely got something. We copied the ingredients and just cooked on impulse.

What we bought:

  • ground pork
  • molo wrappers
  • tomato sauce
  • cabbage
  • tomatoes
  • onion (optional)
  • cheddar cheese

I know, I know. We should have gotten the ground beef but unfortunately, there wasn't any at the grocery store we went to. So, we opted for the next thing that was available. We got the tomato sauce with cheese flavor (?) in it and the biggest molo wrapper we could find. Cabbage is a cheap substitute for lettuce and we were on a budget, so why not. We picked up some tomatoes and cheddar cheese to add taste. There isn't any rule on how much you should buy. We just estimated. It really depends on your preference. If you're into vegetables, like us, then by all means get a lot. What we failed to buy was hot sauce to make it spicy. 

Tomato! Tomato!


We first cut the tomatoes, cabbage and onions into small bits. Cut them as you like. You're the one who will eat it anyway. We prepared the sauce with the help of our cooking savior, Eunissa. She was the one who flavored the meat before mixing it with the tomato sauce. She added a bit of lemon, soy sauce, and seasoning (Magic Sarap) to the ground pork. She fried it and added the sauce. She let it simmer for a while until we got the consistency that we wanted. The molo wrappers were fried. Make sure that you don't go frying-happy with the wrappers. They get burned easily. 

Onion: what the boyfriend wanted.

Say (cheddar) cheese!

When you're done, it's already time for munching. We separated the ingredients into different bowls in order to allow each person to get as much onion, cabbage or tomato as he/she wants. It's also the easiest way to fake the we-know-what-we-just-cooked look. Surprisingly, everything tasted great. I was afraid that it would taste bad, but it was really delicious. Everyone who tried our mini-dish loved it. Not bad for our first try. It just lacked the spice. But, we'll surely try to cook another one. 

It's not corned beef. It's meat sauce!

Fried molo wrappers. 

This is surely an easy meal for those who have a love-hate relationship with the kitchen, like us. If you are on a budget on a special day and you crave for nachos, better cook your own. It's cheaper and you get to eat as much as you want. Plus, it's a way to bond and practice teamwork as well. Teehee!

The final product. Yum! ♥

Happy cooking! ♥

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Cool Savers: A Great Discovery

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Just last Suday, we had an acquaintance party for our org in DBTC. It was fun and somehow tiring so after the event, I thought of inviting my outdoor friends to this place I wanted to try out for a long time. What took me by surprise is that a friend owned the place.

Cool Savers is located in C. Padilla. I never even knew about it despite the fact that I pass by the area on my way to my cousin's place. It was the boyfriend who told me about the place, last year. We wanted to try the place for so long but we didn't have the time. 

Their menu.

Cool Savers is a small carenderia-ish shop that you'll see along the streets of C. Padilla. You'll  be mistaking it for a real carenderia since they are set up to look like one. The shop is small and simple. There are a number of plastic tables and chairs. It doesn't look as impressive as it seem. It looks so ordinary. But wait till you order their desserts and you'll see what I mean.

Mais con Yelo. 

Since I haven't really tried this place, I wasn't expecting much. I was with a group of friends (the owner included) and we just got our desserts. Four of my friends, including the boyfriend got the Super Special (halo-halo). This is their biggest serving of halo-halo for only P48. I got the Special (halo-halo), instead for just P38. I couldn't really finish off even a glass of halo-halo, what more a bowl? And I like this one better since it doesn't have mongo. I love mongo beans, I just don't like it in halo-halo. Another friend got Mais con Yelo. 

Super Special. 

I loved my share of halo-halo! I'm not really a fan of halo-halo, except Razon's. But when I  tried Cool Savers' halo-halo, it was different. I don't like really to have a lot of things going on with my halo-halo but this is added to the list of exemptions. I just love how the things blended in with each other. I love the ingredients they put in and it's without mongo!I also love their ice. It's not coarse. It has a smooth texture that melts in your mouth. It's even way better than the overrated ChowKing halo-halo that's even more expensive. This is the first halo-halo that I've finished all by myself ever! I even cannot finish off Razon's. 

My special halo-halo. ♥

This is certainly a must-try place. If you want a simple date with good food, Cool Savers is the place to be. You're sure that you get the value out of your money. You can tag along a couple of friends or even have date here. If you want to try out their cool stuff, they are just located in C. Padilla area before you get to Jai-Alai. They also have a branch in Talisay. My friend said that most customers drop by their place most often during Sundays, but you can pass by here Mondays to Sundays. Just ring the bell you see in the counter and you're ready to be served.

The front of the small shop.

Note: I'm not paid by my friend to do this. She can attest to that. We paid for our halo-halo ourselves and had the same great experience. ;)