My Favorite Self-Portrait Photos for 2018

This will be just a gallery of my favorite personal photos of 2018.  I would also like to give thanks to my friends, families, colleagues  and strangers who took these wonderful photos of mine. Thank you for sharing the journey of the year with me.

Cheers to more photos and memories this year 2019!

A Girl Smelling the Flowers
A Girl Illuminated with Leaves
A Girl Illuminated with Leaves
A Girl Illuminated with Leaves
A Girl in a Red Bikini Standing Beside Big Stones
A Girl in a Red Bikini Standing Beside Big Stones
A Girl in a Red Bikini Manning the Ship
A Girl in a Red Bikini Manning the Ship
A Girl in A Pink Dress in  a Low-Tide Shore of Astoria Palawan
A Girl in A Pink Dress in a Low-Tide Shore of Astoria Palawan
A Girl in A Pink Dress in  a Low-Tide Shore of Astoria Palawan
A Girl in A Pink Dress in a Low-Tide Shore of Astoria Palawan
A Girl with a Fake Car
A Girl with a Fake Car
A Girl in An Empty Bar
A Girl in An Empty Bar
A Girl in An Empty Bar
A Girl in An Empty Bar

A Girl On Top of The City

A Girl On Top of the Mountains
A Girl On Top of the Mountains

A Girl Praising the Lord for All These Beautiful CreationsA Girl in An Overly Saturated Mountain

 

A Girl Sitting On A Couch
A Girl Sitting On A Couch
A Girl Standing by the Veranda
A Girl Standing by the Veranda
A Girl In Shutter Drag Motion
A Girl In Shutter Drag Motion
A Girl In Shutter Drag Motion
A Girl In Shutter Drag Motion
A Girl Summoning the Sun
A Girl Summoning the Sun

A Girl Lost in the Mountains

A Girl Smiling Through the Clouds
A Girl Lost in the Mountains
A Girl Daydreaming of A Bright Future
A Girl Daydreaming of A Bright Future
A Girl Walking Through a Yellow Flower Field
A Girl Walking Through a Yellow Flower Field
A Girl Dressed in Lolita Eating Chocolates in Dessert Museum
A Girl Dressed in Lolita Eating Chocolates in Dessert Museum

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A Girl Carrying a Heavy Stone
A Girl Carrying a Heavy Stone
A Girl Reaching Mount Maynuba Summit
A Girl Reaching Mount Maynuba Summit
A Girl with Fat Legs
A Girl with Fat Legs

A Girl In A Black Dress

A Girl with Pearly Shells
A Girl with Pearly Shells
A Girl Chilling Beside The Sea
A Girl Chilling Beside The Sea
A Girl Modelling A Classic Lolita Ensemble
A Girl Modelling A Classic Lolita Ensemble

A Girl with A Butterfly Touching Her EyeA Girl Sitting in A Cottage

But at last, this is by far my most favorite of 2018. Location was Northern Blossom. Photography by my sister Mary Ann.

A Girl Basking Under the Sun In the Middle of a Snapdragon Field
A Girl Basking Under the Sun In the Middle of a Snapdragon Field

Mary, Marry Me Movie Review (Tagalog)

I posted the following thoughts through my facebook page “Gurezu Blog” and just re-posting it here.  This is no way a formal movie review. I just wrote my train of thoughts while I’m watching it inside the theater. WARNING: This will contain spoilers so watch out!

🤔Plot: Matagal nang hindi nagkikita ang magkapatid na Mary Jane (Toni) at Mary Anne (Alex) simula pagkabata.  Ngunit komplikado ang kanilang pagtatagpong muli. Ikakasal na si Mary Anne sa ex-boyfriend ni Mary Jane. At kahit mahirap, pumayag si Mary Jane maging wedding coordinator. Promising premise sana. 

🤔 10-20 minutes watching this film. “Ang boring. Parang mas nakakaaliw pa Jack Em Popoy which I thought I don’t like that much.”

🤔Napaka unnecessary ng role ni Melai Cantiveros dito. She is supposed to be the best friend of Alex character. Pero parang nandito lang siya to be mocked and hurt physically for the sake of being “FUNNY”. Pero lumabas na napakakorni at hindi nakakatawa. Sayang naman sa part ni Melai Cantiveros.

🤔 I liked Alex Gonzaga here. Siya lang ang funny sa pelikulang ‘to. Na-realized ko may “K” rin siya maging kontrabida and pwede rin siya sa drama. I thought she’s just loud and maharot which sells in vlogging stint niya. Pero okay pala talaga siya umarte if given a chance. But still, it’s not enough to save the whole movie.

🤔 Ang exciting scene lang dito is the confrontation scene. And after noon, gusto ko na lang matapos na iyong movie.

🤔 Bakit hindi naglilinis ng tainga si Mary Anne (Alex Gonzaga)? Kasi mahirap daw ang buhay sa abroad. Ang dami niyang pinagdaanan… Say what??

🤔Non-sense iyong pag bi-break ni Toni G and Sam Milby sa flashback. I’m not convinced. Parang dapat lang talaga silang mag break para may conflict ang movie.

🤔 ENDING: Again I warned you. This is a major spoiler so if you plan to watch the movie, better skip this altogether. So eto na nga ang ending.  Hindi natuloy ang wedding ni Alex at Sam dahil mas mahal pa ni guy si ate. Pero hindi rin itinuloy ni Toni ang pakikipagrelasyon kay Sam. Umalis na lang si Sam para magpakalayo-layo. Nag reconcile ang magkapatid. 

VERDICT: 5/10. Buti na lang nakakaaliw si Alex G kung hindi mas mababa pa sana ito.

 

Jack Em Popoy: The Puliscredibles Movie Review (Tagalog)

This is originally posted in my Facebook Page Gurezu Blog and just reposting it here for redundancy. This is not a formal movie review. This is sort of  my train of thoughts while watching it in the theater. Also, this will contain major spoilers. You have been warned.

🤔 May bagong pulis sa istasyon. Mayabang pero pogi na si Jack (Coco Martin). Siya ang bagong ka-partner ni Popoy ( Vic Sotto).   Kailangan nilang patumbahin ang isang drug syndicate na matagal nang iniimbestiigahan ni Popoy dahil sangkot ito sa pagkamatay ng dati niyang kaibigan at kapartner (Lito Lapid). And wait there’s more, nandito rin si Emily (Maine Mendoza) , anak ni Popoy at isa ring pulis. You know, para may love interest naman. 

🤔 In fairness sa dami ng gag and filler jokes, may tumatama rin naman. Mga 5 out of 20 jokes in comparison.

🤔 Grabe si Coco Martin, hindi nga talaga siya namamatay. Parang isang episode ng “Ang Probinsiyano”. May part dito iyong nag zip line siya. He’s very out in the open-air at ang daming bumabaril sa kaniya. Ni isa walang tumama! Amazing!!!

🤔Ang hot ni Arjo Atayde. Malalim din ang dimples. Iyan yata talaga mga type ni Maine Mendoza.

🤔 Ang ganda ni Coco Martin in drag! Pwede ba magkaroon siya ng film na magbihis babae siya the whole time?

🤔 May drama and twist ang story. Akalain niyo iyon?!

🤔 Noong huli, ginusto ni Vic na siya na lang sumugod sa kuta ng napakaraming kalaban ala Bourne Legacy upang hindi na mapahamak si Coco. Noong kasama nga niya si Coco Martin na hindi namamatay, pumapalpak sila e. Naisip pa niyang mag-isa ?  Na walang naiisip na strategy or plano aside sa pagdadala ng maraming armas. What kind of pulis is this? Hindi nag-iisip! (Gigil ako!!!)

🤔 So-so action scenes. Pinaka-nagustuhan ko iyong kay Maine vs. Ryza . Exciting iyong isang iyon in-fairness.

🤔 Nakakatawa si Coco Martin sa bloopers at the end of the movie. Mas nakakatawa siya dun.

VERDICT: 6/10. Nakakaaliw na rin basta forget your utak muna in a while.

Baker Hills and Astoria Wedding (Palawan Day 2)

Nothing much can be said with our Day 2.  This day is for the wedding of our college friend and classmate. We had time in the morning and we managed to at least visit Baker Hills and Puerto Princesa Public Market to buy some goodies we can take home.

Baker’s Hills is literally the hills of bakers. They gather here to offer the best pastries and delicacies like hopias, cakes and bread at a very affordable price. it’s a shame that I had taken photos of it. But I assure you that at a price of P500.00, you can buy many goodies to take home it would be hard to fit it in a  bag.

Baker Hills is not only for food but also a romantic site for photoshoot. There are a lot of cute fixtures spread all over the place. However, we were not able to maximize our time here due to we are on a tight schedule.

Gigantic Paperbag
Gigantic Paperbag
BAKERS HILLS
Baker’s Hills Goodies Room
Fake Bicycle
Fake Bicycle. It does not move at all. Haha!
Fake Bicycle
Fake Bicycle. It still does not move at all.

 

LOVE
GIANT LOVE
GIANT LOVE
GIANT LOVE

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Snow White and the Seven Dwarves statues
Giant Pot of Sunflowers
Giant Pot of Sunflowers
Tree of Hearts
This is my favorite of all displays, the tree of hearts. Each heart has messages on it most of which are hugot lines. But there are sensible ones too like the one below.

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Tree of Hearts

ASTORIA PALAWAN

The wedding we attended happened in Astoria Palawan. I got a shock of my life and  when John Arcilla was part of entourage. He’s one of the respectable actors in the Philippines today. Most notable for playing Antonio Luna, an ill-fated story of a Filipino General in times of Spaniards Colonization in the Philippines.

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This is his blockbuster movie poster which is now available for viewing in Netflix.

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It’s rare for me to completely doll up these days. So I took the opportunity to have many photos as much as possible. Sadly, the sea was on low-tide that day. It is a good backdrop nonetheless.

Girl in a Low -Tide Shore
A Girl in A Pink Dress in a Low-Tide Shore of Astoria Palawan
A Girl in A Pink Dress in  a Low-Tide Shore of Astoria Palawan
A Girl in A Pink Dress in a Low-Tide Shore of Astoria Palawan
A Girl in A Pink Dress in  a Low-Tide Shore of Astoria Palawan
A Girl in A Pink Dress in a Low-Tide Shore of Astoria Palawan

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Girl in A Pink Dress Having a Selfie

Fabulous Comfort Room
Fabulous Comfort Room of Astoria Palawan
My Beautiful Travel Buddies
My Travel Buddies

My friend was the one subjected to the game of garter and flowers haha!

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Right after the wedding we traveled straight to El Nido Palawan for our sea adventures. The travel time was about 4 hours. To say we were exhausted was an understatement. But we have to be in El Nido by the next morning if we want to maximize the tour.

Thanks for Blessed Journey Tours and Travel for bringing us safely to our destination.

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And off on our next home in Palawan, St. John Island View and Pensionne House.

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Tomorrow will be the Day 3 at last where the real Palawan Adventure took place! So excited to blog about the photos we took of the beautiful seas that is El Nido, Palawan.

That’s all folks for today.

Remember You Are Awesome!

Gurezu ❤

 

 

Iwahig Firefly Watching and Puerto Apartments (Palawan Day 1)

Arrival at Puerto Princesa

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We were four in this trip but we had different flight schedules. I was alone in my flight and perhaps I arrived Puerto Princesa Airport around noon. I took a tricycle to bring me in Puerto Apartments where one of my friends was already waiting.

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Puerto Apartments details

I highly recommend this house to those who want a budget accommodation here in Puerto Princesa. It has complete amenities for cooking, has aircon and quite spacious. It’s near tourist attractions, markets and the airport. My friend booked this room for P765.00 per night its for four persons already. Incredibly affordable right? She booked it in Agoda.com by the way. I really liked our stay here.

Chilling
Chilling while waiting for other friends

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Beside Puerto Apartments was a restaurant named Coco Garden Cafe’. The place was relaxing but the food was quite expensive for me with respect to the quantity or servings.

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I chose to eat Danggit  to taste something native in this place. But I didn’t like it. The Danggit meat felt like a rubber and I had a hard time chewing it.

Danggit
Eating Danggit

This is actually a chill day and we didn’t have particular plans. But I didn’t want to waste our time here in Puerto Princesa. So I searched the internet for an attraction nearby that we can also visit during nighttime.  Iwahig Firefly Watching fits the bill. As soon as my friends arrived at around 5pm, I immediately told them to drop the bags and hit the road immediately.

Iwahig Firefly Watching

I have never seen a firefly myself. The visuals I know would only be from what I saw in movies and animations. So this got me really hyped.

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IMPORTANT DETAILS

  • We traveled to Iwahig by renting a tricycle for P500.00 and that would transport us back and forth. We had to rent because transportation from Iwahig would be very difficult specially at night. Most people come here by car.
  • Firely watching is done by a 30-40 minute boat ride. Only three passengers + 1 tourguide can fit a boat. Since there were four of us, we were later merged with a couple in one package of P1800. So that would be six of us in that fee.  Then we split in to two boats.
  •  There is a buffet restaurant here for P250.00 each person.
  •  There are a lot of mosquitoes here. I had to buy a repellant eventually because my legs were bombarded with itchyness.
  • There is an official photo during the boatride. It costs P50.00 per print.

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Iwahig
Iwahig Firefly Restaurant

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Iwahig Firefly Watching
of course, the life vest is a must!

 

The boatride was a little bit scary because it was super dark. But once you get near with the trees and see the fireflies lit up together, it was really cute. However, don’t expect too much that they will come of as magical sight. The fireflies are quite too far and they are too small. It doesn’t looks like the movies.  But still I enjoyed it. The boatman which was the tour guide as well had told as many stories about Philippine fireflies during the ride. He said that the existence of fireflies in a place means a clean environment. This was the reason why you won’t see a firefly in the city. Another interesting thing we encountered here are the sparkling planktons. If you shake the riverwater, the planktons will sparkle. However, the most memorable thing that happened has to be when the firefly flew near our boat and actually landed on my palm. It looked like a mosquito but with lightbulb on its tail. I wish I had taken a photo of it.

Like I told you, the river was so dark my camera had no power to capture anything. These are the only things that I captured while the boat was sailing.  I eventually gave up and just kept my camera in a waterproof bag. I advise, just focus on watching the fireflies and disturbing the planktons when you get here.

By the way, here’s the official photo of our ride. They edited the firefly glows in the picture. That was funny. It costs P50.00 to get a copy.

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After that, we retreated back to the Puerto Apartments and get ready for our adventure the next day.

That’s it for the Day 1.  I hope this blog will contribute to your ideas in planning your Puerto Princesa Palawan trip. Because this is a really worthy experience.

Remember, you are awesome!

Gurezu ❤

Feeding the Cats

No fancy words for this posts. Just cats!  I visited my friend’s condo that looks like cat cafe’ in general and my camera was with me. So you probably now what happened. Who can resist the itch if you have these cuties in front of you?

cats

Yo cats gonna drop their newest album

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That golden cat continues to judge me.
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Obviously my favorite. His name is Taiga.
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If you’re wondering what they are looking at, they are waiting for food.
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Feed me!
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FEED ME!
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FEED US!
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This one turned out to be creepy but still cute.

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Finally, the waiting is over.

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Happy Ending for Everyone
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Yum!

My photos are kind of noisy because the place was lacking ambient light and I have to lower the shutter speed and pumped up the ISO to compensate. Even so, the original photos turned to be really dark and just have Lightroom helped me with that.

Sample Original Photo:

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Exposure , Black and Shadow adjusted in Lightroom.

cats
Yo cats gonna drop their newest album

I’ll be coming back for more photos. I couldn’t go in daytime so the ambient light would sill not be there. Will try another lens that would be better in low-light I guess.

I hope you enjoy these photos. Are you a cat lover too? How do you catches cat’s attention aside from food?

Remember, you are all awesome,

Gurezu


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Bohemian Rhapsody Review

 

It’s been a while my friends.  How are you? I miss you!

It’s been a while I have reviewed a movie in my blog. Well, I think this was the only time I entered a theater again anyway.  But damn, I picked the right movie to watch in my big screen comeback . That I even made an on the spot movie review thru Vlog for the first time. This was made right after watching the movie.

Just a note though to my international readers (char!), I spoke in my native language in this video. That’s why I wrote this blog in English  because I like to share my thoughts to the world.

 

Basically , here are the points why I love the film.

  1. RAMI MALEK. The most beautiful thing that happened in this movie . I didn’t know a single thing about this actor before. The whole movie I kept wondering who is he. Because he is so good. At some point, I forgot that he was not Freddie Mercury. If you think about it, he does not resemble Freddie that much though the make-up was great. But the mannerism, the movements , and the way he speaks mirror Mercury.  He is now added to the roster of actors that I love. Actually at the point of this writing, I have finished Season 1 of Mr. Robot, the series that catapulted him to stardom. Although I still haven’t notice him in spite of that.  He’s now the wallpaper of my cellphone even. I just love him now. Haha!

2. The members of the Queen in the movie closely resembled the originals. I haven’t mentioned this on my on-the spot blog. But the actor who played  Brian May, Roger Taylor  and John Deakins are all great too. All the cast and the people behind choosing them just made the whole film nothing short of amazing.

3. The re-enactment of the LIVE AID was mindblowing!  I feel goosebumps again just thinking about it. It totally transported you to the stadium and makes you feel you are part of the audience. On the other hand, it also made me feel envious that I was not really there when it happened. That I was born in an era when I won’t have the chance to watch Freddie Mercury live. It’s exhilarating ride but sad at the same time.

At the con-side , I do feel that they left out the dark times of Freddie’s life which led to his later demise. I might have to agree that it felt too “sanitized” . Then there are issues  in the inaccuracies of the timeline too. That’s why the critics hated this movie. But I tolerate it because this does not lessen the enjoyment I had with the movie. And I love how they concentrated more on how their iconic songs were born by this genius talent. The movie is the celebration of the Queen’s artistry, over Freddie’s sickeness and shortcomings. And for that, it is a runaway success.  Hands-down.

And the last, I love how this movie brought new and younger people to discover Freddie Mercury and the Queen songs. I have friends that was never a fan of Queen but they enjoyed the movie. And now they know how great Freddie and the Queen is. Simple things like that makes me feel giddy.

My verdict is 4.5 out of 5.  Don’t concentrate with the timeline and just enjoy the ride. And again, Rami Malek gave a stellar performance. I just want to hug him and say “Damn man, good job. Thanks for bring Freddie back to life at least for a while.”

Thanks for reading and don’t forget that you are awesome!

Gurezu ❤

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Filling Station Bar Cafe’ is a Time-Machine

I just want to share how I’m so delighted with this restaurant. And it’s not hard to tell that the reason was it is instagrammable. (Well aside from the food food). We came here after we had dinner in Firefly Roofdeck DiningFirefly Roofdeck Dining. Our stomachs were already full so we were just looking for desserts and for more pictures. Filling Bar Station Cafe’ was just perfect. I heard that the milkshakes here were great. More importantly, this restaurant is popular because this is “Riverdale-inspired”. I was not watching Riverdale but it was still thrilling how this restaurant transports you to old American restaurants in the 50’s.

Restaurant: Filling Bar Station and Cafe’

Cuisine: American

Exact Location: 5012 P Burgos, Makati, 1210 Metro Manila

Opening Hours: 24 hours in 7 days

Parking: Not sure on this one.

Contact : Official facebook page

fillingstationbarcafe@gmail.com

Number: (02) 897 2053

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This car fixture is the highlight of the resto. It’s actually just one of the tables which you can occupy with minimum consumable order of P 3000.00 .

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and the photoshoot ensued.

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Most kids nowadays probably has not experienced calling by this rotating dial phone.

Fooling around with Elvis Presley.

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And now enjoying the milkshakes. I must say the milkshakes tasted great. One of the best!

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My brother insisted on tea only because he’s on a diet. But he wanted to take a photo and pretend he’s drinking beer.

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Will I go back here? Of course! We only spent 1 hour only here and there are too many fixtures to interact to.And there’s the food I haven’t tried yet. . I even didn’t catch the details for the milkshakes. Maybe I’ll go back with my friends next time. It’s perfect for late night chikahan since it’s open for 24 hours.

Repeating the details:

Restaurant: Filling Bar Station and Cafe’

Cuisine: American

Exact Location: 5012 P Burgos, Makati, 1210 Metro Manila

Opening Hours: 24 hours in 7 days

Parking: Not sure on this one.

Contact : Official facebook page

fillingstationbarcafe@gmail.com

Number: (02) 897 2053

No-hassle Roofdeck Dining at Firefly Makati

FIREFLY ROOFDECK DINING!
No reservation needed! No entrance fee. You also don’t need to leave an ID in the hotel reception. Have a taste of feeling elite while enjoying the Makati City View in Firefly Roofdeck Restaurant. Located at the 32nd floor of City Garden Grand Hotel in Makati. Complete address is 8008 Makati Avenue, Corner Kalayaan, Makati, 1200 Manila, Philippines. Super easy to locate thru Grab.

Why this place is great?

  1. Well first and foremost, you’ll get to enjoy the skyscraper’s view of Makati. The city lights makes the atmosphere romantic. That’s why most people dining here are couples.

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2. It’s not only for couples.  This place is also great for portrait shoots. Just like what I did with my family. I brought them here because I was looking for a new place to celebrate my birthday.  And then I learned about this place through the web. It was an abrupt plan actually. But because they are with me, they know  I chose this place for instant photoshoot session.

 

 

 

 

3.Affordable food. Well of course it’s a little bit more expensive. But considering the atmosphere and the view, this is now affordable compared to  most high-end restaurants.  They offer different cuisine ranging from Spanish, Filipino, Japanese and Korean. They also offer beer and cocktails.

Lechon Sisig for P350.00. This is already okay for 2-3 servings.

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To give you an idea, here’s a glimpse on the menu. The Japanese and Korean dishes are in buffet package in P800+. This is grabbed from zomato.com

Pasta is popular with the dating couples here.

 

The veranda seats has waiting list and can only accommodate up to 3 persons only. But for the seats inside, there is no waiting list. And you can freely take photoshoots in veranda as well.

So if you’re in Manila and thinking of a romantic dinner with your partner, you can now consider Firefly Roofdeck Dining.

If you have other places that offer the same dining on a roofdeck around Manila,  please leave a comment below. I’ll gladly visit it.

It’s not too late for everything ❤

GUREZU

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RomanceClass Books Marathon

I’ve been reading these past few weeks hoping to re-instill the magic of reading books and inspire me to write again. Months ago, I discovered that an officemate is actually a writer from romanceclassbook and told me that they have upcoming writing workshop and I could win a slot. The condition is to read five book from romanceclass and write a review about it. And I thought why not? It was a good opportunity. I’ll be reading new books with added motivation that I would be able to learn more about writing. Two birds in one stone right?

I have heard of romanceclass before but I usually dismiss it. I am not into romance, may it be books and movies. I love “love stories” in the backdrop of action scenes, comedy, horror, drama or anything. But I am not into love-centric genre. So at first I thought taking this romanceclassbook marathon would be a challenge. But low and behold, and I found myself digging to these books. Mainly because they are mostly not as love-centric as I thought. They touch other themes of life like quarterlife crisis and adulting anxieties. And I love that there is “in touch with reality” experiences in these books.

Without further ado, here are the books I got for the romanceclassbook marathon.

1. Don’t Tell My Mother by Brigette Bautista.

Remember when I told you earlier that I have an officemate who is a published writer from romanceclassbooks? This is her book. I got in touched with her because I really liked her short story in the anthology book from our company’s literary club. And then I learned that she has a published book released in the wild so I immediately told her that I’ll buy a copy.

Don’t Tell My Mother is about 19-year old Sam who found herself attracted with the widowed neighbor “Clara” which push her to question her deep Christian upbringing by her religious mother. First of all, this story reminded me of three things. One was the character “Sumire” from Haruki Murakami’s “Sputnik Sweetheart” who was also drawn to a women 17 years older than her. Second was the indie film “Ang Huling Cha-cha ni Anita” who’s also about a girl falling in love with an older new woman in town. Last would be “Blue is the Warmest Color” . The film is something like that too although not too big in age differences but it’s also about a teenage girl falling in love with an older woman. It left me wondering if lesbians really has a thing for older woman. If you have the answer feel free to comment.

I haven’t seen both films I mentioned above and just learned the premises through trailers and articles. I admit I am not into lesbian literature. I am more of a fan of yaoi and bromance. I don’t know why but I know it started with me watching the anime’ “Gravity”. But still, I enjoyed this book with Brigette’s amazing way of describing things and feelings just like what she did in the literature anthology. I could feel the tension and how it is suffocating to live to the place she grew up with it. I actually have a lesbian friend with a religious mother. Not to go deeper into that but I somehow saw this premise in reality. But with my friend’s case, the mother still doesn’t know. Or maybe she already knows but just waiting for a confessions. Either way, I should not tell her mother. The title applies to me. What a coincidence.

There was this feature in the end of every romanceclass book where it has a lists of question that encourages Book Club Discussion. For this book, it has eight questions but I’ll just choose one.

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6. Right at the end. Sam’s mother threatens to send her to a conditioning camp to inhibit her homosexuality. Do you think homosexuality can be cured? Discuss this scene in context of nature vs. nurture.

Can it really be cured? I think not. Because I don’t see homosexuality as an illness in the first place. I find it hard to answer between nature and nurture though. I believe it can be both. I mean both sexes can be attracted to whoever in a matter of time. It is in the matter of their choices, limitation,preferences and happenings in their life. The point is I really don’t see homosexuality as an illness and it does not need a cure.

Final Verdict: Genre is not my cup of tea but I love the narrative and delivery. 3.5 out of 5 stars.

2. Playing Autumn by “Mina V. Esguerra”

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Haley Reese met her ultimate childhood celebrity crush Oliver Cabrera which inspired her to be a musician herself. The better news, they are heading to the same destination as they are both picked as mentors in the same music festival. The best news, he sits next to her in the flight and actually initiated the conversation.

Good points.The ending is satisfying and super simot-sarap kilig to the bones. It was done just right without reaching the zone of “too good to be true” fangirl story. This has also touched the common adulting dilemna which is DOUBT. The moment of confusion of the path you should take, whether to choose passion or practicality. Feeling lost in the future. Among other things.

Well the story turned to being steamy. (Hot Hot Hot!) I was a little bit irked on how fast and how far their connection went in just whole weekend. But well, if you met your ultimate celebrity crush and he somehow returned the attraction, who won’t be vulnerable enough to give in?  If I’ll be listening to logic I won’t advise everyone with how Haley handled it. But if you are in her situation, I’m pretty sure the voices of logic will shut right up. LOL! I’m a bit conflicted about this. I am against it but I understand. Haha!

Anyway I just love how Haley snapped the fantasy out her system after the steamy weekend with hot Oliver Cabrera. I mean she enjoyed it but she knows the reality of the celebrities. So she did not linger with the fantasies. That what made me super like her.

I don’t know if this is a moral lesson.  I agree with the book that in life, we can connect with a person super fast like we have known them for life. The important thing is we should somehow  listen to our right reasoning. And also, don’t be afraid to go out of a relationship specially if you’re just staying because of security alone. This pertains to Haley and Logan’s relationship.

I totally shipped Oliver and Haley. I believed that even their future together is quite shaky, their connection could be very well established in the future if they work for it.

Final verdict: Love the ending. 4 out of 5 stars.

3. Welcome to Envy Park by Mina Esguerra

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Another Mina Esguerra novel. She really have a fancy dealing about quarter-life crisis and adults having uncertainty about their futures.  The protagonist here also ignited an instant connection with a crush. But at least this one has more logical reasoning and the intimacy stretched out for weeks.

Moira Vasquez just had an apartment in N.V Park, the fruit of her 5 years  in Singapore. But now she is unemployed and has no boyfriend. She considered her stay in the country as temporary while she figures out what would she do next and that might include leaving again for another country. Entering the picture is Ethan from the 9th floor who’s a successful IT consultant who somehow made the decision-making quite complicated

I haven’t gone to work abroad myself  but I have lingering thoughts about it. I like Moira’s 4 quadrant hobby because I think I do it myself.  Her thoughts about the people she encountered in Envy Park and how she assess their life is damn relate-able.  Ethan got adult issues of his own too. He considered himself as “Leaf on the Wind” , just going with the flow, getting anything what is on the plate. I liked that in the end, these two characters stood up on what they really want. in that way they grow. I like how the book speaks about quarter-life crisis and somehow it made me feel as a reader to not feel alone in my own journey through it.

I think the best thing about this book is Moira’s friendship with Roxie. I love their interactions and their inside jokes. They have different ways in dealing with life but they compliment each other. This makes the book more enjoyable to read.

Final verdict: Love the ending too. 4 out of 5 stars.

4.  What About Today by Dawn Lanuza

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I picked this book because I love Dawn Lanuza’s “Boyfriend Backtrack” which I will review last because its my most favorite in this book marathon.  It is not at par with the wonders I experienced with “Boyfriend’s Backtrack” but it does not mean this book was a let down. This book has different charm, more on innocent kind of love. It makes you remember that magical feeling of meeting an interesting stranger in your teenage years and the awkward feeling when you found yourself developing a crush.

Gemma went to Funtastic World alone to celebrate her seventeenth birthday by conquering her fear of extreme rides. About to give up when an intrigued bored employee, about the same age as her,  approached and offered to be with her to get through the rides. His name is Aiden, and he seems nice.

This is a very light read. With only seven chapters, the premise happened only within hours inside the amusement park. “Cute, funny and cute again” That’s how I will describe their small adventures inside the park as they slowly opened up with each other. There’s nothing much to say about since the premise is simple and  the dynamics of the story is in the dialogue of the two characters rather than the plot of the story. It makes you miss the feeling where in you don’t have any idea about  relationships. And you still believe that love is purely magic.

Final verdict: If you want to  remember an innocent love or crush, read this book. 3.5 out of 5.

 

5. Boyfriend Backtrack by Dawn Lanuza

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I immensely enjoyed this book. This is the thickest of the five but reading this is just a breeze. I definitely see myself grabbing more of Dawn Lanuza’s book. Her writing style is lit!

Regina’s boyfriend of three years Kevin finally proposed in a posh restaurant. But a weird thing happened to her. The faces of her exes flashed through her eyes in that supposed to be magical moment.  She confessed this with her friends and was convinced that maybe, she needs to confront unresolved relationship issues with her past before tying the knot.

And wow Regina’s lovelife is colorful. She had a wide range of exes from an Emo highschool ex, to womanizer and doctor . All of which she had no proper break-up with. Her encounter with each one of them after the fateful proposal were both exciting and hilarious. To begin with, I could really feel that Regina is not much  into this wedding. And people around her, her sister and friends seems to know this very well even though she denies it. I felt Regina’s looming anxiety and Dawn has captured this with her writing very well.

I just became frustrated because the plot is somewhat similar to a novel that I’ve been working on. It’s not exactly the same but it also deals with the exes. And Dawn has written this very good. Feeling lost right now. But this won’t stop me from continuing what I started.

And because I love the book, I’ll be answering of all the guide questions.

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  1. Is there a certain song that reminds you of one specific person? Why do you think this song reminds you of him/her?

Well in the book, that would be “There She Goes” by “The La” . I’m listening to it right now and I just can’t help imagining how this song was used in that particular  scene. Ahh feels so giddy again.

But okay the question is about me. What songs that reminds me of one specific person? Well, I have an answer for that. That would be ” Here There and Everywhere” by The Beatles. I don’t know this song until someone sang this to me over the phone. I don’t know whenever I hear this song, it creeps me that I somehow remember how I feel back then.  Like a time machine. That maybe on that time I was truly adored and loved. Maybe. I’m not sure. And I don’t care if its real anymore. But somehow, this song makes me feel that way. And that’s why I don’t want to hear thing song again.

2. Do you think it’s wise to revisit your past to create a better future for yourself ?

Yes! Like Regina, you need to re-visit and conquered the past. Because if you can’t deal and accept, I believe any suppressed feeling will just carry on in the future. And it will destroy your inner peace.

3. I won’t type the question anymore because its too long. But my answer is simple  NO.

4. Do you think the person you were ten years ago would be happy with who you become now?

Oh no, this question. I don’t think she’ll be happy. Maybe she’ll be shocked with the things I was able to do or what I have become. But she’ll be definitely sad because this is not the life she imagined ten years from now. Sorry self.

But I’ll do my best. At least I am a better person and I don’t get in much trouble through the years. And I still have many opportunities to expand my horizon. And just like Regina, I’ll be courageous to start all over again if I have to.

5. If you would be given a chance to take a step back from your life, where would you want to do it? Why?

I think I would want to go back in Highschool. I would take care more of myself. I would be more sociable. I would take in-charge of my life. I would have concentrated to develop skills. I would have been braver. That’s all.

Wew! That’s it! Finally! My final verdict to this books is a “must-grab”. It will entertain you but will leave you thinking about your life in general, not just relationship.

Dawn Lanuza and your books, wait for me because I’ll be reading more of your works.

Final Verdict: What a joyful emotional ride. 4.5 out of 5 stars!!!

And yes, that concludes my book-marathon. I am proud of myself that I finally manage to read books amidst my social media addiction.  I am definitely inspired to write again. Time to pass to this reviews. Will I get a slot? I hope so. But no matter what, I won’t stop reading romanceclassbook! #SupportLocal, that’s my advocacy.

By the way, romanceclass is a  community of Filipino romance writers. For more information, you can visit romanceclassbooks.com.

It’s not Too Late For Everything!

Gurezu ❤