How to be more grateful

In this crazy world we are all now, we often forget how to be thankful that we are breathing. All we do is complain, ask for more, work more, do everything to get what we need and wants in a daily basis.

I have a good experience with faith, it’s like the mind over matter for me, knowing that someone is listening to you and to your crazy thoughts. Whenever there is something going on in my life, I talk to myself, hoping that my imaginary confidant will listen and light my way.

Lately, I do not ask for anything fancy, I ask for patience, strength, and light for me to achieve what I want in life. I notice that I ask for the result, I’ll have a tendency to just wait and see. To seek for additional patience and lighted way will convince yourself to strive more as your ‘boosters’ are replenished.

I must admit, there are days that I forgot to say thanks for another day. What I consciously did is this:


I renamed my alarm name with “Thank you Lord for another day!” So when I opened my eyes from the alarm, I will be able to read this unconsciously and say my little prayer to start my day.

You know what? It helps. I mean my day is more brighter, I feel light, and I smile.

I guess, sometimes, we need to do some things to remind ourselves why we existed. A little goes a long way.

I am encouraging you to do something like this. And if you have other tips to be more grateful, let me know. I am more than happy to insert it in my dailies.

xx, S.

Agape Pastries & Tartines



(Ancient Greek: ἀγάπη, agápē) is “love: the highest form of love, especially brotherly love, charity; the love of God for man and of man for God.”

adjective: agape | (of the mouth) wide open, especially with surprise or wonder.
I learned the word Agape from my values education class when I was in High School. It’s the highest form of love; selfless love, the love God showed us. While waiting for the food to be served, I listened to the owner, Ms. Jean on why she put up the place.


She donated her kidney to her daughter, when they were in Manhattan for the medical procedure, there was a bakery/coffee shop, where they usually hang out. After the successful operation, they went back to the Philippines and she conceptualized Agape.


I was moved. She did tell us that if you wish to build a business, have a #HugotStory, marketing wise, it’s going to work, but seriously, it’ll be your core to keep the business going.
People became part of Agape because they were inspired and they want to spread selfless love for other people.


Upon entry, I thought it’s a coffee shop as it displays bread and pastries. From the menu I learned they have all day breakfast, pastas, panizza, tartines (specialty), pies, quiche, soups, entrees, and of course, dessert.


The fixtures are state of the art. They have communal tables and lounges, perfect for dates and families.


The ambience is cozy – warm lights, open plumbings at the ceiling, brick walls as accents, it has a rustic feel. If you want to be alone, the place is suitable.
I got the chance to try their best sellers.


Margherita Panizza | P290
Don McCune Panizza | P375
Three Cheese & Herbs Panizza | P320
Gamberi Panizza | P340

Served in a wooden tray, thin crusted, freshly baked, if you are familiar with Dear Darla and Uncle Cheffy’s Pizza, they have the similar concept. You’ll taste the ingredients were fresh.

My favorite is the Margherita Panizza, for cheese lovers, of course the three cheeses & herbs is for you. Top it off with watercress and alfalfa sprouts, then hot sauce, PERFECT!


Marie Gambasetti | P250
Sardines in Oil | P200

These pastas are to die for. I am not a pasta lover, the only pasta I would eat again and again is my home cooked Filipino Spaghetti and Charlie Chan from Yellow Cab.

Marie Gambasetti is a recipe of her sister-in-law, red sauce with Gambas (squid), and Chorizo Bilbao. The Chorizo gave the flavor, the pasta is cooked al dente and well coated with sauce.

Sardines in Oil, if I have five thumbs, I’ll give this five thumbs up, it’s the recipe of her husband. It’s like a party of flavors, happiness. It’s spicy because of the Spanish sardines they uses, and it’s sweet because of the tomato sauce and the raisins. Yes, raisin, I thought it was olives and I am in awe to know that you can add raisins to a gourmet pasta. It has bell peppers too, which added more flavor.


Smoked Salmon BLT | P395
Beer Battered Fish | P250

Tartines, open faced rye bread topped with tasty yet healthy spreadable ingredients. The two tartines served to us was good, really good.

Homemade coleslaw, fresh salmon and cream dory, not overcooked, it’s perfect. If do not feel like eating heavy meal, you just want it fresh and light, their tartines are a good choice.


Spicy Prawn in Green Papaya Salad
Green Salad with Pears | P150

The salad collection is impressive, you will not see another Caesar and Chef’s Salads here, they have their own rendition. I like the spicy prawn and green papaya as it’s not a lettuce, plus the dressing is awesome. It’s like I ate gourmet atsara.


Assorted Muffins
Creme Brulee Tart, Choco Lava, & Bon Bons

Did I just save the best for last? Well, I did. I am not a dessert person so I skipped the muffins because I am so full, besides, it was 12 midnight already.

I tried the creme brulee tart, P40/piece and my world stopped. I am highly recommending this dessert as its the most creamy tart ever. Unlike other tarts that tastes like flour or creme brulees that tastes like scrambled eggs, this is an exception.

If they offer box of six for take away, it’ll be wonderful.


Seared Salmon in Pineapple Salsa

This coming Valentines day, they will have a promo for couples who want to get cheesy and romantic. They will be offering four, four-course meal from February 9 – 14. If you want to impress your special someone, go ahead and reserve now.

I like this seared salmon cause it refreshingly delicious because of the pineapple. How I wish more pineapple than onions. *wink*


Chef Arem and Store Manager, Arianne

The food is awesome. The ambience is wonderful. The staff were friendly and hospitable. The pricing of their menu is reasonable, it’s not actually affordable because the serving is big. Their range starts from P70 – P700, not bad at all.

It’s located at Chimes Mall, Congressional Avenue Extension, I live nearby, a place where you can eat good food and escape the crazy traffic going to the mall.

I am definitely coming back in my PJ’s to try their breakfast.


Thank you, Ms. Jean and the rest of the gang for having us in Agape and for inspiring us to pursue dreams and give back. For Team Aldous, another wonderful meal together, met new friends, more food bonding next time.

For more information, visit Agape Manila Pastries & Tartines Facebook. Call (02) 442-2255

P.S. Please forgive the photos, I used my phone, as my camera was with me, but I forgot to bring its battery and memory card.

Cheddar Burst Burger, Visayas Avenue


December was the month of comfort food and since the house is undergoing renovation (in-laws’ house), I can’t do decent cooking, plus I became lazy taking photos before I attack them.

Last Sunday, a place called Cheddar Burst the home of Juicy Lucy  Burgers, caught our eyes. If I remember correctly, first time I learned about Juicy Lucy was in Man vs. Food, we tried doing it, but my cheese didn’t melt.

The place is small, I guess it caters to foodies who happen to be hungry during wee hours. More of a “take out” (to go) establishment.

I ordered BBQ Juicy Lucy.


For P200, you get a decent amount of fries, 1/3 lbs. beef patty, and 8 oz. Iced tea.


It has a similar taste to Burger King’s Whopper Burgers because of the barbecue sauce. It also has potato chips, tomatoes, and caramelized onions.

The burger itself is delicious. It’s not overdone nor raw. The cheese inside, cheddar cheese, really burst out as it melts.

They gave you gloves when they serve it.

I have to say, the fries were slightly overcooked while the Iced Tea, ugh, not a fan of the iced tea, I think they should change it or mix it right.

Overall, I would recommend to try their burgers, and try their best sellers. I would say, I like their patty better than the Bypass Burger I tried.

Cheddar Burst is located at #82 Visayas Avenue, Quezon City.  

Blood Donor

2o hours ago. 

Starting my day early and telling a story before my actually day starts might be a good exercise for me.

Yesterday, I donated 450 ml of blood to N’s grandmother. She was in the hospital since Sunday, no clear findings came to me, but I heard she was suffering from stomach/intestine bleeding which caused her RBC count to go down. She had two bags of blood already and in order to get one more bag, they need to donate. Being over 50 kg and type O, I volunteered.

It’s my second time to donate. The first one was during a blood drive project of the Red Cross way back in college.

It was funny how I was dressed up meeting ready (we had a roadshow scheduled in the afternoon that day), and the guard asked me if I was a medical representative. I said “No, I am donating blood…”

The blood bank was still closed when we arrived. Right after it opened, the nurse approached me for an interview. Of course, I’ll pass (even in Hepa B testing). She asked to sit a reclining chair and the procedure begun.



Being the “brave” girl, I claim myself to be. I took pictures and quietly listen to my blood being gulped by the bag. I was asked if I am dizzy or anything. I said I am fine. After 15 minutes or so, she then removed the needle, and asked me to pressure on my forearm (if that is part of the forearm).

I closed eyes. I told myself “I hope nanay will be better with my blood, my blood is nutritious I eat a lot”. Kidding aside, my heart pumped like I was doing burpees, I became more dizzy and suddenly threw up.

Yes, this is the disgusting part of my story. I was asked not to fall asleep because I might not wakeup anymore.

New Year, New Hobby

logo from CMDigital

My best friend Ferry returned to WordPress, she ignited my blogging fire. Although, Ramble & Relish served as my online journal for the past six years. I feel like curating more relevant content aside from my rants.

As my journey to positivity continues, Ferry & I started a new hobby. Well, we’ve been doing this for years, but we are at the point of frustration wanting to improve towards the year.

This year, I got two planners – Belle de Jour Power Planner & Everything is Possible. Both have their own appeal and functionality. I will be using BDJ for my girly stuff (and wedding preps) while Everything is possible for my career. However, I have four other notebooks in between and it’s making me crazy.


Since 2005 my planner is all about bullet points, I added sticky notes and some cupcake doodles for birthday. Nonetheless, there are empty weeks, which I filled with quotes and own thoughts.


Ferry taught me to scribble entry as creative I can be. I know it’s nothing like my sister’s doodles nor others, but at least it’s readable. Besides, practice makes perfect, right?


I feel like I own dozens of colored pens now, and goodness, Washi tapes. Ferry and my sister are bad influences. The ratio of me buying makeup versus stationery is 1:1.


Do you ever get this happy feeling whenever you acquire new stuff whether a lipstick or a highlighter? I get them all the time.

Hopefully, I will manage to have an illustrated planner/journal at the end of the year.

Who’s with me?