If you want something, you claim it like it's already yours and the universe will align to make it your reality. I enjoy the niceties of life and look forward to reaping the joys this life can experience. Also, I choose "happy". There's always a reason to smile. I write about life, travel, and food. This started out as an outlet to just write, as a digital diary. Now let's see where this goes...
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White sands, calm beaches, cocktail afternoons, seductive sunsets, and mojito nights.
And a "honeymoon" with my husband's family.
I've been to Boracay for about 3 times. And it just got better and better.
Every time I try to describe Boracay to my friends and colleagues from... a different land (haha), I always get the "Woah, really?! Sweet!" look and reaction of disbelief combined with doubt and equal astonishment. Especially when I talk about the picture perfect sunsets and how fine the powdery white sand is. Yes, surf the internet and the photos ARE REAL.
Boracay is located in Aklan, in the Western Visayas (central) region of the Philippines. From Manila, you take a plane ride to Aklan and take a ferry boat ride to Boracay Island. I've even had the experience of going there by boat (the RoRo which was the "Roll On, Roll Off" boat) from Manila to Aklan. My sisters and I chose to use this route because it was a lot cheaper to get a private room in the boat than to buy plane tickets. Plus, the additional experience of actually taking a boat voyage. Haha. All the other times, we took a plane.
Boracay is separated into 3 Stations which tells you where the hotels are and which activities are offered. The first time I went there, I was probably around 12 years old and if I remember correctly, we stayed in Station 1; which was a quieter part of the island. The other 2 times, we stayed at Station 2. Don't get me wrong, all the stations are alive and busy. But Station 2 is more commonly known for its nightlife and lots of shopping. It's basically the epicentre.
As morning breaks, you'll slowly feel the island come to life. With fresh juices and breakfasts prepared for you. All you really need to do is wake up, put your swimmers on, and get ready to soak up the sun! One must-try is definitely the Jonah's Shakes. It's an institution. I've tried and had it EVERY TIME I went there. One of the activities I also remember most and I LOVED was getting massages on the beach at sunset, with a matching fresh mango shake beside me. Oh! And of course, island hopping. You get to go to your own private corner of a separate beach and just take in all the beauty. There were even packages with lunch included! And then when dusk starts creeping in, you'll feel the nightlife simmering. Then you've had about 3 mojitos already and eventually dancing the night away. I think there was one night we hopped on to I think 4 bars. Just trying to taste
test which mojito served the best. 😅
Carl and I had our church wedding in Manila on December 20, 2014. The party ended I think about 2AM (or 3AM?). We had to be at the airport at 5AM to catch a 7AM flight to Boracay. YUUUP! Our "honeymoon" was a 3-day trip spent with 6 family members (my mom- and sister-in law, and my husband's 4 cousins). Carl and I were gifted a separate cabana/villa stay while the family stayed in a larger unit, still in the same resort. We had a blast! From all the food we ate, the cliff-diving (I'm a chicken. Camille and Kuya Stein did this.), the beach walks, the island hopping, and even just chilling in the beach. What fond memories we'll always cherish.
Here are some photos to take you to Boracay.
And the "honeymoon" begins.
(Most photos 📸 by Kuya Stein and Mama Mayaw. Especially the "jump shots"!)
Well, slap us silly because we were so darn happy. This realllllly overjoyed our bellies. I've always wanted a multi-cooker because I didn't want to pile up the appliances in our limited cooking space here at home. Well, limited counter space. So when I started receiving alerts that Prime Day was coming, I immediately tagged the Instant Pot on my watchlist. When Prime Day finally came, "Add to Cart" wasn't the option. It was "Buy Now". I had it the next day. 😎 I specifically wanted the model with the air fryer and sous vide functions included. That way, I didn't need to buy other appliances. And so far... I've made 3 batches of fried chicken and haven't bought any take-outs yet. What a great investment! In my excitement to use all the functions, I searched for what else I could cook. Soups, stews, and rice were a given. Search the interwebs and a whole slew of recipes will pop up. I did make a beef stew and surprisingly, it only look me an
Spring's coming fast. So that means, we're approaching summer... and that's cottage season. Just a 2-hour drive from our place and you're in a whole different world. We just got over winter and just so everyone knows... we LOVE snow. But sometimes, you just wish you were in a cottage laying around with no plan, skipping, swimming, and sniffing the flowers. Well, that possibility is coming in fast. It's funny for us because our perspective on a 2-hour drive was just way off, totally in the different side of the spectrum. We came from Manila where space is pretty tight. So that meant traffic on the roadways are most often heavy or just in a complete stand-still. We migrated to Canada about a decade ago and traffic in Manila was already bad then. If I woke up late and didn't leave our house by at least 6AM, I would most probably spend my morning stuck in the car. And that was 10 years ago. My family and friends have constantly been updating us on these types of s
I ALWAYS crave for chocolate. And this sealed the deal. When you've had Filipino chocolates cakes, you'll immediately think "this hits the spot". It has this deep dark chocolate taste and it's sweet . It's moist, dense, and every bite is just rich. Almost like having a tablea tsokolate ( roasted and molded discs of pure cacao nibs used to make Filipino or Spanish hot chocolate ) in cake form. If you've had Becky's or Polly's chocolate fudge cake, you'll know what I'm talking about. Becky's Kitchen had those iconic red, white, and gold boxes. This bakeshop was in Malate, Manila and mom would bring home some boxes. It wouldn't even matter what was really inside them, we just knew it was good. Then when Carlo started courting me, when we started dating, he would bring me a box of Polly's chocolate cake (it would be this or a tin or box of Mrs. Field's cookies) every time he'd drive over to our house. ( th
I don't even know where to begin. The last conversation I had with Mom was on November 11th. And the last thing I ever sent her was a "thumbs up" emoji. I guess that was it. My calls to her on the 14th were left unanswered. Mom was rushed to the hospital on the eve of the 15th. And she became our angel on the morning of the 18th. That was way too fast, Mom. Being so far away was the hardest. So very, very hard. When my brother (together with my dad) finally called me and my sister (from Halifax), that was it. I don't think I've ever cried out so hard and so painfully before. I don't ever wish for anyone to feel this pain, this emptiness. And for the first time, I didn't know what to do. The void left was just too much. I just cried and cried and cried. And sometimes, I'd forget to breathe. Good thing my husband kept a good eye on me and my water bottle, always filled. Thank you, Carl. Mom messaged me before when I had surgery earlier this year, &q
Hi Everyone, I just got an update that my feed (through FeedBurner) will no longer be sending out post notifications starting July 2021. For my existing subscribers - for you to keep receiving email notifications as soon as I post a new entry, I'll be sending each subscriber an email link to "Subscribe" again. The email will be titled, " Post subscription request from 'Livin' La Vida Donya ". Please click on Subscribe . Thank you! I'll be posting more content again soon!
It's been a year since Mommy became one of heaven's strongest angels. As most know, I (together with my sister, Manay Kring-Kring), are based here in Canada. Last November 2020, we weren't able to fly to Manila to be with family and loved ones in "the hardest of times in our lives" while in the middle of a pandemic. We clung on to whatever physical item we could find that came from Mom (be it a necklace, some photos, a greeting card, a Jollibee fridge magnet, a shirt, etc.). We sought comfort through the love shared by family and friends with the help of technology. As we celebrate Mommy's anniversary of her entrance to heaven, I thought to have something here in Canada to commemorate her. Also, so we have somewhere to go on special days and an actual physical symbol to honour her. In Toronto, there's a program where we can request for a commemorative Tree ($738) or Bench ($2,530) to be named after a loved one lost. So this is my ask. I, Luzee,
Before I go deep into my previous recipes, I wanted to share a more current one. So current I just made it today. I guess everyone's got some overripe bananas right now. Since the pandemic happened, people have bought in bulk; food that's good enough for 2 weeks for every grocery run. This meant a lot of fresh produce that needed to be eaten and finished before they went bad. My husband's been eating bananas for breakfast and for some reason, there's always 3 bananas left unnoticed. One option would be to cut them up while they were still fresh and throw them in a ziplock bag to head for the freezer - to make future smoothies (but we don't drink banana smoothies). Another option was to make baked products. Yay for baked goodness! I love caramelized carbs! Plus, the smeeeelllllll. Your kitchen will just smell glorious! Banana bread always reminded me of weekend mornings, or holidays with the family. 😊 The banana bread - one of the best, heartwarmi
His birthday, his request. I delivered. (I hope) Ever since we lived in the Philippines, Carl's favourite has always been the "Red Ribbon Chocolate Mousse Cake" and this has consistently been his request for every birthday. For those who don't know, Red Ribbon is a pastry shop/bakery chain in the Philippines that serves a variety of baked goods from bars, cakes, loaves... you name it. I'm not an endorser by the way, but hey... I'd entertain it if the opportunity presented itself. Anyways, this may just be the only cake that Carl seems to be able to enjoy and finish. Like just give him a few of days and he'll finish this whole cake by myself ( No challenge needed, eh. He'll just want to finish this whole thing. ) Between me and him, I'm the one who likes tasting different cakes, even though my favourite will always be a straight-up vanilla cake with vanilla buttercream frosting. So when we moved here to Canada, every year Carl celebrates his b
We actually ate this in silence and closed our eyes while we chewed the first bite. In the early days of this whole pandemic (specifically March), we were scouring TV shows and movies at top speed and at one point we didn't find anything interesting. My uncle suggested to watch "Miso Hungry" (available in Prime). So we watched it we obviously started craving for everything Japanese! It didn't help that we alwaaayssss loved Japanese cuisine as well! So, we searched for recipes we wanted to eat and immediately tried to buy as much Japanese ingredients as we could hoard in our fewer-than-normal grocery runs. Because of all the research we were doing, we started salivating every time we'd run into a recipe with chashu ( ramen, yakimeshi, chahan, chashu buns, etc). I'm so extra thankful for our local Asian grocery, BestCo. They were equipped with everything despite the chaos of the times (yes... they had toilet paper, paper towels, disinfectant wipes and sp
I've always loved poached salmon because it's so light and delicate. Plus, I never feel sluggish after eating it. I honestly wanted to make a Nicoise salad but didn't really have most of of the ingredients for it. I had no potatoes, no olives, no lettuce, no shallots! UGH. So I mucked around in the kitchen to gather some ingredients that may hit close to home. Or at least satisfy my salad cravings. I remember craving for a light salad because I had gone drinking the night before, with matching fried chicken and pizza. I wanted something that was fresh and hella savoury too without it being too heavy. This dish also has a ton of protein and good fats. If you're on a ketogenic diet, this may be a good dinner idea. The only high-carb in this would be the tomatoes and the beans. So maybe you can swap it out for other ingredients - like asparagus, cauliflower florets, or sautéed zucchini. A lot of people are intimidated with poaching. It's just cooking in water