Food of The Day: Bari Kara Ramen, Newest Flavor From Ramen Kuroda

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Food of the Day: “BARI KARA RAMEN” , the newest flavor of Ramen Kuroda,
Price: P230.00

“A very spicy taste of extraordinary pork based soup with perfect combination of spices that touches the soul of a Real Ramen taste!” – Ramen Kuroda

I’ve been a fan of Ramen Kuroda. It’s been my number one Ramen Resto until “Mendokoro Ramenba” entered the picture. That’s why when I heard about their new spicy ramen offering last February, I’ve been wanting to taste it. I only got the opportunity last March 23 at their Eastwood Branch. And it did not disappoint. Rich and thick in taste indeed. Of course, the pork meat is soft just like before. (Banayad sa dila as I use to describe it). The spicyness is tolerable and won’t hurt even the non-spicy fans foodies. But comparing to my favorite Aka Ramen, I would still choose Aka. It’s the ramen that made me fall in love with Ramen Kuroda and still think its more delicious than Bari-Kara.

Final Verdict: 4.5/5 stars. Spicy Ramen Lovers should check this out!

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And sharing with the photos of my friends who immediately agreed when I suggest Ramen Kuroda for our dinner for tonight.

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And some food photography. I didn’t take much photos this time because I was so famish I am starting to have dizzy spells.

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Some Photography Notes:

Camera: Fuji-XA3

Lens: 35mm 1.4 Fujinon Lens

Post Process: Lightroom using “BeArt-Presets”

How to Book a Luxury Bus (Joy Executive Coach Review)

We are not rich but sometimes its  not bad to indulge yourself  in a luxurious  lifestyle. It’s for the sake of new experience and excitement. That’s what we did when we traveled  from Manila to Baguio in our last family outing.  We booked a “Joy bus Executive” coach so somehow we could feel that VIP style kind of treatment on a long travel hours.

First of all, this bus coach P750.00 each person (P720.00 + P30.00 booking fee). Ordinary Air-con bus like in Victory liner costs P455.00. Math says that by just adding P295.00, you can now experience this luxury bus. Is it worth it? A big resounding yes!

1. How to Book

a. Sign-up to https://iwantseats.com/. It is kind of straightforward so I would skip this one.

b. Once you already have an account, you can now book for the bus type you want. Log-in to https://iwantseats.com/ again. You will be welcomed with the following page.

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Fill-up the details then click “Show Trips” button. This will load the schedules in the right pane.

 

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Now choose the schedule base on your liking. As you can see there are different kinds of bus types and prices. At that time, we chose EXECUTIVE2_2x1. We want it to be “PREMIER” but the available schedule for it are not convenient for that time. As you can see, PREMIER is the most expensive one. To what extent it is better from executive, we still don’t know.

Another thing, there is a type Executive(2X1 with CR) which is actually confusing since Executive2_2X1 also have CR. Regarding their difference, I haven’t explored that on the time I booked this.

c. This is where you will enter the name of the other passengers with you. Note that you will also be needing the right AGE of each passengers.

In my sample, I only booked for one so I’ll just press next.

 

 

Now you can  now choose where you will seat inside the bus.  First click your name then choose your desired position.

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Your name will appear in the desired seat box. I chose the seat beside the CR so that it would be easy for me to walk to it when I needed to. If you worry about the smell, worry not. There’s no hint of smell at all. Anyway we’ll deal more with that later.

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Click “Next” and you will be reviewing your itinerary. If everything is looking correct, just press NEXT.

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Terms And Condition. We aint got time for that. Just lie that you have read the terms and condition then proceed with the payment.

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Now it’s time to Pay. As you can see there are five mode of payments. We chose BDO.

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After payment, email the deposit slip to payments@iwantseats.com.ph. Actually the instruction is already in the payment instruction of the website. But just for the format of the email, you can use this as reference. Anyway its important you mention the Reservation No in the subject.

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Sample reply from Joy bus. At last, the booking is successful! The vouchers should be attached with this email.

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As you can see in their email and website, contact numbers are the ff.

T: 09951967436 / 09988686131
(during office Hours  9:30 am -7:00 pm)

THE DAY OF THE TRIP.

  1. Arrive 30 minutes earlier than your booked time. If not, they will mark you as late and will sell your slot to chance passengers. You’ll never like the hassle.
  2. All passengers MUST have valid id’s. EACH ONE of THEM!
  3. PRINT FORM of the vouchers.
  4. We actually booked from the PASAY branch that time. Location was through the alley beside MCDONALD and  MRT Edsa TAFT station. Search for the JOY Bus office. It’s easy to spot with their signage. Now you can submit the ID’s and vouchers for inspection. Then they will let you know once you can finally go inside the bus.

AND HERE IT IS!

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  1. Comfort Room: I think the distinctive feature of this bus is the CR. Since there’s already CR, expect that this bus will not have any stopover thus faster arrival time. However, you must ensure you have all the food and drinks you need along the way.

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I have to commend the CR. It might look small in the outside, but inside it has a sink, mirror, tissue  and soap. It also works like an airport CR. When you flush the toilet, it will open a black hole and all your waste will fall into oblivion. You won’t have to worry about faulty flush mechanism.

And like I said earlier, there’s no need to worry about smell.  It’s convenient to sit beside the CR because it difficult to walk when the bus is moving. Also, there would be  lights-out when you travel so it would be harder  when your seat is far away.

2. SEAT: Yes it’s comfy. Guaranteed. Plus, each seats has big spaces from the front and behind seats. So you can stretch and adjust the angle of your seat to your liking. If you’re lucky and no one was behind you, you can make it almost like a bed.

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3. Aside from that they provide blankets, Hansel cookies and mineral water.

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Just random pictures while the light is still on. We took-off around 1:30 am. The bus is not jampacked at that time.

 

This is the semi–darkness. Most of the trip, it will be all darkness so there’s no time for more pictures. And anyway, what you wanted to do is sleep anyway.

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I believe I took the photo of the bus but I couldn’t find it. So I just searched from Google. Here is what it looks like. (Photo from flickr)

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All in all, it was a pretty cool experience. Comfort is worth the price. I totally recommend it. Now I wonder what Premier bus looks like. I think the only complain I have is it took a long time before our valid ID’s were returned by the stewardess.  They must have validated our identities a lot.  But  this one is tolerable and quite subjective.

To this time I heard there’s a new bus to Bicol with bed racks. And the most intriguing is the bus with karaoke, kitchen and bedrooms. I have more things to looks forward to and try next time.

How about you? When was the last time you indulge yourself in a luxurious lifestyle?

Drown in Flowers in Northern Blossom Atok, Benguet

My sister wanted to celebrate her 26th birthday at Baguio. I was not that thrilled because I already toured Baguio years ago. But thanks goodness, while researching something to add in our itinerary, I stumbled in a facebook blog about “Northern Blossom at Atok, Benguet, two hours from Baguio. Finally, it felt like this is the twist I am looking for our Baguio trip. I immediately added this on our second-day itinerary.

*Monday, March 5, 2018, 6:30 am, we went out of our transient home and hailed a taxi going to Dangwa Bus Station. According to the facebook guide, we would ride a bus going to Bontoc or Sagada. We were just in time because the next trip going of the bus was 7:00 am. I told the conductor that our drop-off would be the Municipal Hall of Sayangan Atok, Benguet. The tickets caused P73.00 per person.

* We arrived at around 9:15 am. The municipal looked like this. We entered and asked around how to register as tourist and we were redirected to a tent booth.

*To tell you the truth, there was a slight misunderstanding during the registration. After we signed up in their log-book, we were offered to purchase a day tour that would cost almost P1500.00 for our group. Although the tour is exciting, it would be way beyond our plans and our budget. I made clear that just wanted to visit Northern Blossom and Benguet Kochi Sisterhood Park where there are real Sakura flowers. They said we don’t need a tour if that’s the case. It’s just a walking distance from municipal hall. Someone from the registration guided us on our way.

*Anyway here’s the tour packages they offer. I would love to go back and avail this. When I go to Sagada, I would make this as part of my trip.

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* Finally! We arrived at the Northern Blossom main house. We signed up and pay P200.00 per person. I was asked to choose between Area 1 and Area 2. Area 1 has shorter route but most of the flowers were harvested already because of the recent Panagbenga Festival. Area 2 is untouched but way longer. I chose Area 2 without blinking. Who cares if we get tired?

*I must say the photoshoot started inside the registration house already. The wooden interior made us feel instantly relaxed,

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*And finally, the flowers! The tour guide actually know the name and some trivia about the flowers by heart whenever we ask. But who would remember the information anyway. The important is to ENJOY THE FLOWERS!

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This door is inviting…promising for more breathtaking views!

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Along the way, I met this really cute kid who obviously want his pictures taken.

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This is the cabbage rose. Not a flower but a vegetable. Actually Northern Blossom is not new to me a anymore. Local tv show “Kapuso Mo Jessica Sojo” already featured this garden because of its Cabbage Roses. But it was shown long time ago so it slipped out of my mind. The facebook blog reminded me just in time.

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TWINNING WITH MY SISTER. I purposely bought same style dresses to wear for this trip so we can have our twinning moments in this farm. I am so prepared I am amazed with myself.

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AND MORE PICTURES!!!

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BACK TO THE REGISTRATION HOUSE …

After the trip to flowers, we returned to the relaxing registration house. We were humbled to meet the owner of Northern Blossom. He toured us inside their transient house. (Yes you can sleep inside the Northern Blossom Farm)! And he even offered us soda and Benguet coffee.

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And another bonus! There were two sweet puppies roaming around the house. They are so friendly they lick you when you touch them. I want to bring them home with me. Even when going back to Baguio, I’m still thinking about them. I miss them so much. They are really sweet.

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I FEEL SO ATTACKED!

After this, we ate lunch at the Van station going back to Baguio. It was just a walking distance from Northern Blossom. Just look for Marosan’s Restaurant. The trip going back to Baguio costs P100.00 per person.

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Sadly, we did not push through of going to another flower farm which has authentic Sakura due to our mother and her friend were so exhausted already. It was also really hot that time. If you are going to visit, better to ride a bus at around 4am going here. And besides, the locals said that Sakura are not in full bloom yet. I’ll promise I’ll go back in Atok Benguet. Even our bus ride became so enjoyable because of all the breathtaking views of the mountains and rice terraces. I’ll definitely go back to see what Atok, Benguet has to offer. Hopefully the cherry blossoms are already in full bloom that time.

Ending this blog with my most favorite picture, “the hills are alive with sound of music”. It makes sense since my name is Mary which is also Maria.

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Hope you enjoy my photo overload post. How about you? What beautiful place have you discovered recently?

Summary

Northern Blossom can be a nice side trip when you are in Baguio or you are on your way to Sagada. Entrance Fee is only P200.00.

From Manila: Victory Liner bus-P455.00, Joy Executive Bus P730.00.

  1. Dangwa Station to Sayangan Municipal Hall Bus. P73.00
  2. Tourist Registration at Municipal Hall
  3. Northern Blossom. P200.00 Entrance Fee.
  4. Van going back to Baguio in front of Marosan Restaurant, P100.00 each.

To contact Northern Blossom, here’s the calling card.

OOTD and Why Do We Love High Places?

Except for those who have fear of heights, majority loves high places. We love to climb mountains to reach the summits. We want the view from the rooftop, the high floors of the building and cityscapes. Humans dream to fly lead to invention of airplanes. There’s always an exhilaring feeling of reaching the top. To touch the clouds.

Such thoughts came to me when I went to the roofdeck of our office building last Thursday.We went there with my manager and photography mentor because we were planning to have our IPC (Infor Photography Club) activity here next time. For now, we went there to have an ocular inspection of the place so we can plan our shots ahead of time.

I was mesmerized the moment I stepped in and thought my outfit was perfect for quick “Outfit of the Day shoot”. I was wearing a plaid skirt which I bought from ukay-ukay and cream top which I bought in an instagram kawaii shop ‘x.chloescloset.c’.

I realized I have been reaching summits after summits this month. Three mountains and our building so far. In next few days, I’ll have a trip to the highest point of the Philippines. And i’m so excited for another great view my eyes will be witnessing. And of course with my travel buddy, my cameras.

But going back to the question, I have pondered hard to answer. I think my answer would be, humans just fancies perspectives they don’t usually see. We are land dwellers and the views from the top requires effort and resources. I’m pretty sure if the roofdeck is accessible for anyone in a snap of finger, people wouldn’t be as thrilled. If we have wings, people won’t have dreams of flying. People won’t bother climb a mountain anymore. Seeing things from above won’t feel as magical anymore. We humans actually fancies things we can’t easily get. Things that needs hardwork to achieve in all aspect of life. Summits included.

How about you? What silly questions you have pondered for a while?

Photo credits:

Gerard Dangca using Samsung Galaxy 8

Photos processed in Lightroom with ‘Orange and Teal’ preset.

Why My Lazy Ass Went Mountain Climbing Again (Cayabu + Maynoba Trail)

Who would have thought that a person like me  who doesn’t fancy strenuous activities and too much sun exposure (ayoko umitim!) would go mountain climbing not only once but twice in just one month? I am still in shock myself. To be honest, I still feel that mountain climbing is  a torture.  I thought that since this is my second climb of the month, everything would be easier for me. I was wrong. It feels like I am still a Mountain Climbing virgin. I don’t feel my pacing improved at all. And I still rest for like every 3 minutes. I swear. I feel like a weakling.

But still, the question is why I succumb myself in excruciating pain?  I should have been soundly sleeping on a Friday Night.  So ladies and gents, these are the reasons why I went on.

FIRST REASON: Gusto ko lang mag picture-picture. In Search of Great Moments To Capture with My Camera. Now this might be a superficial reason to you but my strongest driving reason is photography.  I just want to take pictures. And I know, there’s a bountiful of beautiful subjects in mountains. Not only because of nature but the people who ascend with me. I want to capture the hardship, exhaustion the joy of the people around me.  It might be a shallow reason but guess what, it pushed me to my limits and brought me to the top of three mountains this month.

Here are my favorites from my camera so far.

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2ND REASON. I want to have epic pictures of myself creating epic memories. I want to deviate from the usual selfies and ootd’s. I want to have pictures of me doing what I thought is beyond me. Me doing the uncomfortable. Me doing something new. Me meeting new people. Me going to unfamiliar places.

Photos by: JP Duro

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Photo by: Manong Baby

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Photo by: Serniel Barbosa

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SPECIAL THANKS to my co-photographers. Bilang ganti,  may pictures din kayo sa akin.

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At pari rin si tour guide na dinala na gamit ko, naging instant photographer din. Thank you Manong Baby! (Yun talaga name niya haha)

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THIRD REASON: MEET NEW FRIENDS! 

This is a company organized event.  There were 97 participants. Although they are my officemates, I haven’t seen or talked to most of them until this event. Some of them also, I already talked by Skype meetings quite a few times but haven’t know their faces until now too. Ilang beses akong “Ay putek, ikaw pala iyong nakasama kong mag troubleshoot ng blah blah blah hahahaha” . In digital times, even important meetings can be done thru internet. Thanks goodness for this event, we had the chance to actually meet and interact personally. And have fun together.

My Hiking Group: Group Three. May nagpahiram ng gloves, namigay ng pagkain, nagsiwalat ng hugot quotes, at higit sa lahat, naghintay sa kabagalan ko. But they turned that into a joke. When I finally catch up with them, they would say “Ayan na ang Alpha natin”. Sarcasm overload. Tawa ako ng tawa. Thank you guys!

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Photo below: Serniel Barbosa

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After the climb, we finally shared the proceeds of this climb thru an outreach program. We gave school supplies and groceries to the locals living with the mountain. and that would be the FOURTH REASON why I joined this event. And has a big part of why I decided to climb again.

Photo below: JP Duro

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As much as I want to write a full review of my climb, I think this post is long enough already. WordPress is loading so slowly now maybe because of too much photo overload. I think I should save that for another blog post.

And that’s my reasons ladies and gents. How about you? Do you have something you don’t actually like doing but do it anyway? What keeps you going?

 

CREDITS:

SPECIAL THANK TO My Co-Protographers

Serniel Barbosa

JP Duro

Manong Baby