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Friday, October 24, 2014

Kikay Friday: Crystalline Lady Ballpoint Pen by Swarovski

I received a package containing a gift that made me really giddy. The authenticity tag says it was purchased 16th August so I concluded it must be a birthday gift from my bosses in Sydney.

I've always admired Swarovski crystals and have always wanted to own one - a jewelry to be exact. But for some unknown reasons I have never made an attempt to buy one neither have I been gifted with one.

Not until now. Yehey!!

Look at all those pink crystals that shimmers when hit by light! And that dainty little butterfly charm. It's so me. I feel like this pen is made for me, hahaha!

It's so elegant I don't know if I will ever use it! I'd probably stare at it and not be able to write anything.

Did I say I love this pen?

Thursday, October 23, 2014

A Meaningful Visit at Regina RICA

They say that an unplanned trip often turns out to be one of the best. The Hubby and I have proven this many times although we often end up more tired and with empty-pocket than usual as we had to buy what we normally could have packed had we went to the trip with a plan (food, sunblock, swimsuit...get the idea how abrupt the trips were?)

But with our sudden decision to go to Tanay, Rizal to see for ourselves the retreat sanctuary called Regina Rica, we had a meaningful trip without leaving a hole in our pocket.

Regina Rosarii Institute for Contemplation in Asia (RICA) is home to the 3rd Regina Rosarii statue (the other two are in Davao and Tagaytay) and is run by the Dominican Sisters of Regina Rosarii. No wonder that the site is perfectly molded into a place for soul searching and reflection.

Although it looks far and steep going to the huge statue of the Virgin Mary, just keep walking and you'll reach the top before you even know it. There's a recorded voice that plays at the background encouraging visitors to reflect and suggesting instructions on how to slowly meditate and pray as you climb the hill. It somehow reminds the visitors that this is a sacred place, not a tourist spot.

Enjoy the cool breeze on top of the hill while you reflect at the foot of Regina Rosarii. The huge expanse of the property, including the church, columbarium, the animal and organic farm and the snack house called Pasilungan can be seen from top.

There is a candle room at the back of the huge statue where pilgrims can light a candle (donation for each candle is Php20) and say their prayers. There is an air of peace, of solemness that entices visitors to pray and reflect. 

Can you guess which is the most popular candle color?

We wrote our thanksgiving and petitions and dropped them in a prayer box. They will be collected by the nuns for intercession.

After walking around, we got thirsty so we dropped by Pasilungan. It's the only place in Regina Rica where visitors are allowed to eat. They sell usual meryenda fares like sandwich and pancit but what we actually enjoyed was their maiz con yelo.

Look at all those cheese and corn flakes toppings! Sulit for Php60 per serving.

I imagine Regina Rica would be full during Lenten Season. I am glad we were able to visit at this time of the year when there were only a few visitors. We were able to experience Regina Rica rather than just seeing the place.

Regina RICA
Marcos Highway, Sitio Aguho Sampaloc,
Tanay, Rizal

For driving directions to Regina RICA, click HERE.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Breakfast at Rustic Mornings by Isabelo

I've always been a fan of beautifully designed dining places; those that give diners a feeling of wanting to linger for long, relaxing conversations instead of doing the 'eat and run'  thing. I am happy to discover another restaurant to add to my "favorite list". 

Rustic Mornings by Isabelo is a garden-cafe that serves all-day breakfast (turns into Isabelo Garden for intimate dinners at night). It's actually a house with a beautiful garden turned into a homey garden cafe. Ha, a transformation that seemed so effortless and natural.

Enjoy breakfast while your eyes feast on handmade decors, colored bottles and jars, and tables made of old wood and rustic irons covered in dainty linen. It's amazing!

Indoor dining is also available; the place equally stunning as the garden with old paintings and ceramic whatnots displayed all over.

They serve usual Pinoy breakfast fares like beef tapa, tocino, longganisa, daing na bangus and corned beef and the likes. The best seller is their tocino which I agree to be delicious aside from generously portioned (just order extra rice!!!)

Tocino Php155

Their corned beef is not from the can, anyone can tell. You can request your eggs to be cooked any way you like. Mine are always sunny side up with special instructions to go over easy.

Corned Beef Php215

The Three Mushroom Omelette with Ciabatta Bread can deceive you to be light, but the huge serving could overwhelm the not-so heavy eaters. We love the accompanying herbed butter and fruit jam!

Three Mushroom Omelette Php240

I will definitely go back to try their lunch dishes and their sandwiches.

Rustic Mornings by Isabelo
#11 Isabelo Mendoza Street,
San Roque, Marikina City
Walk in from 8am-4pm

Note: So as not to get lost, use the Marikina Shoe Museum as landmark. There is a huge sign at the entrance of Isabelo Mendoza street; careful when turning right as the street is quite narrow. I think only one vehicle can pass at a time.

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