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Showing posts from 2016

To The Year That Was 2016

A mandatory year-end post and my 160th post to end 2016.

As you can see, my number of posts declined starting August. This is primarily because I happily found work. Yay! Jomar pointed out that since this is a travel blog I should focus on summarizing the travels I did for the year 2016. Let's see...

January Officially my first January in Canada! Highlights: I attended a tech event in Downtown Vancouver and it was my first time to see Canada Place at night and the Earth at the lobby of Vancouver Convention Centre West. Therese, Hovey, and I also went to Capilano Suspension Bridge.


February I started working part-time at BC Place, my first event is Monster Jam 2016. Alyanna also had baking classes at school so we started doing a lot of baking from cookies to muffins. Alyanna is keeping me sane despite all the challenges. Oh and for Valentine's day, I received flowers from Jomar.


When I stopped following job search advice, I found work!

Immigrating to a new country is never easy. The cultural shock, temperature changes, and being unemployed are just some of the many things one would experience when moving to a new country.

In my case, I immigrated to Canada from the Philippines. Not much cultural shock since the Philippines was heavily influenced by the Americans but the temperature change from hot to cold was something my body still needs adjusting to. The most difficult challenge of all (at least for me) was being unemployed.


Happy 5th Anniversary Jomar!

To my dearest Jomar,

Announcing to the world and sharing to social media about us isn't our thing. We kept our love privately just between us but since this is our 5th year together as a couple, it deserves a little attention and celebration (and a blog post).


From one of our first #selfie together during a time when it's not even called selfie yet, to our first airplane ride together (GenSan) and to our first trip out of the Philippines together, we've come a looong way. We got older, matured a little bit, and grew up (and looking at the pictures, we did celebrate over food a lot in the last five years!).


Churros Hunt is Over! The Richmond Night Market Adventure

I don't think people read my blog so I found work in Canada! Yay! To end my first week at work, Therese and Alyanna went to check out the Richmond Night Market.


It was AWESOME! Seriously, you should check it out. The entrance is $3.25 for general admission. What did we enjoy while inside?

The Games - it was Alyanna's first time to try the carnival, you-have-no-chance-of-winning games. Haha! We tried two games, the pop the balloon with dart to get a stuff toy, which we won (Thanks to Alyanna's strong arms). The other game we played was shoot round hoops to bottles, which we failed. It was fun.

Food Trip in Mount Pleasant, Vancouver: Miura Restaurant & Bar

It's my fault.

When I asked my sisters to watch Food Network I never thought they'll like it. We watched an episode of You Gotta Eat Here and they liked it so much that Therese made a blog post about the restaurants that are in Vancouver for us to try.

This is the third restaurant we've tried ever since we started watching You Gotta Eat Here . Miura Restaurant & Bar is located in Main Street near East Broadway Avenue. It's an Asian-inspired restaurant.

Food Trip in East Cambie, Richmond: Lotus Pho Restaurant

After my DD Mau adventure with Therese, my mom, out of nowhere, asked me to have lunch at Lotus Pho Restaurant after church.

Lotus Pho Restaurant is a traditional Vietnamese restaurant. Upon entering, the place is full people. It's the Sunday lunch rush. When we were seated and browsing through the menu, I just know that I'll have Vermicelli Bowl again just to compare it with DD Mau.

Food Trip in Downtown Vancouver: DD Mau

It's my fault.

When I asked my sisters to watch Food Network I never thought they'll like it. We watched an episode of You Gotta Eat Here and they liked it so much that Therese made a blog post about the restaurants that are in Vancouver for us to try.

After visiting Argo Cafe, we went to DD Mau last July 9. DD Mau is a BÁNH MÌ restaurant. It's a Vietnamese sandwiches place. It's featured in You Gotta Eat Here and we just had to try what John Catucci tried.

DD Mau is less than a 5-minute walk from the Yaletown-Roundhouse SkyTrain Canada Line Station. It's a small place with only a few tables. We took our spot in the bar stool facing the street. Therese ordered two half sandwiches: The Classic and Lemongrass Chicken.


Meanwhile, I had a Vermicelli Bowl with three meat: Grilled Lemongrass Chicken, BBQ Pork, and Spring Roll.

Food Trip in Mount Pleasant, Vancouver: Argo Cafe

It's my fault.

When I asked my sisters to watch Food Network I never thought they'll like it. We watched an episode of You Gotta Eat Here and Therese wanted to try all the restaurants that it featured and she even made a blog post about it.

To start our "You Gotta Eat Here" food trip, we visited Argo Cafe. It's a small diner located in Ontario Street between 2nd and 3rd Avenue.

First impression, the ambiance of the place is exactly that of a diner. Waitresses wearing aprons the way you would expect of a diner based on what you see on the television. It's pretty cool. Therese and I went there at lunch and there's just one available table. I'd like to think it was meant for us.

While deciding what to have, since the only thing we're certain about is the Mexican Poutine, I shared with Therese highlights of my interview few minutes before. Personally, I am uncertain on what to get but end up with the Spaghetti Carbonara. Therese, on the other hand, wa…

Food Trip in Richmond: Boston Pizza

I keep on saying, Brooklyn Pizza. Okay. There's a pizza chain in the Philippines called Brooklyn Pizza and they serve one of the best chicken wings ever. Here in Canada, there is a Boston Pizza chain and since our family loves pizza, we just need to try it out.

One Friday afternoon, our whole family including my boyfriend Jomar went to McArthurGlen Designer Outlet because Hovey is looking for shoes. Alyanna, on the other hand, is not keen on coming but I told her that a churro cart (Hugo's Churros) is sometimes there. Read on my hunt for churros post.

When we arrived at McArthurGlen, there's no Churros much to Alyanna's disappointment. To negotiate I told her we could have pizza and when we searched for the nearest pizza place I haven't tried (using Foursquare, of course), Boston Pizza at No. 3 Road was the first answer. After Therese and mother was done buying bags, off we go!

I love the ambiance of Boston Pizza! It was sports-themed. I remember watching their TV …

Where to eat in Vancouver?

Celine's Note: This post is written by my sister, Therese. We've been dieting for two weeks now. Alyanna and I started watching You gotta eat here on Food Network - our reasoning, if we can't eat it, at least, we get to watch it. That's the background on why Therese created this post.

Vancouver is one of the biggest cities in Canada. With a variety of landmarks and a stunning weather, there is not doubt that tourists are lured into visiting this beautiful city. As part of Canada, Vancouver is rich in culture and is consisted of delicacies from all over the world.

Where would you eat in a city that has so much to offer?

Here are the top restaurants in Vancouver:

RestaurantTypeSpecialtyPrice RangeLocationOthersArgo CafeDinerConqueso, hand cut fries, carbonara, and complimentary soup that comes with every meal$7 - $161836 Ontario StreetCash & Debit OnlyCalabash BistroCaribbean BistroSeafood steamer, fry fish, fish duo, fresh seafood curry $18 - $22 428 Carrall StreetL…

What is Canada Day: A Celebration of Diversity at Steveston Salmon Festival

Celine Note: This is the 150th post in this blog. Yay! I am pleased that it just so happen that my sister, Therese, finally agreed to made a post. She is currently studying at University of British Columbia taking up Arts. She's still deciding whether to take Political Science or Psychology as a major. This piece is her point-of-view from the recently concluded 149th Canada Day.

Due to the recent political upheavals in the US and UK, many citizens of those nations are considering moving to Canada or at least, are joking about it. 
What is so special about Canada? 
Other than the notion that Canadians are polite and friendly, Canada's society is far more advanced than other developed countries. 
The gap between its society and that of others would only widen since a Liberal government is leading the nation, especially with the ever popular Justin Trudeau. 
Canada has continued to embrace individuality and diversity. It doesn't tolerate prejudices which is evident in the resu…

Canada Day: Food, Sisters, and Event (My First Canada Day!)

Facebook ads is effective. The only reason I learned about the Canada Day celebration is because of the FB ad by the Richmond, BC page. When I saw it, I shared it with Therese so we could make plans for my first Canada Day!


What made us decide to go? Food. Specifically, pancake breakfast!


We left home early and arrived at Steveston almost 9:00 am. We walked around to check what food vendors will be available then lined up for our serving of the pancakes.

Food Trip in Langley: Olive Garden

One weekend, Alyanna was demanding that we eat at Olive Garden because a YouTuber is promoting the unlimited breadsticks.


Therese and I searched for the closest Olive Garden and there's only one in BC! Only one! We took a 30-minute drive (more than 40 kms) just to eat at Olive Garden located in Langley. The drive was definitely worth it.


Food Trip in Alexandra Road, Richmond: Haroo Korean Homestyle Cuisine

I've been to Korea twice and had a taste of authentic Korean food. Haroo brings the Korean experience in Richmond with its homey ambiance and great food.

Last week, our family celebrated my mom's birthday and father's day. Since my mom has been raving about Dai Jang Kum and how she wants to bring us there to celebrate her birthday, Therese and I searched for the Korean Restaurant with the highest rating in Richmond. My Foursquare and her Yelp app both returned Haroo Korean Homestyle Cuisine.


We arrived at Haroo at around 7:30 PM, it was a cloudy day and finding parking space was challenging. Be more patient when coming in the area on a busy weekend, since parking will be a difficult.

TELUS World of Science: Love and Learning

Of all the dates Jomar and I had been to in Vancouver, this goes to the top two!


My favorite exhibit is the Eureka. You get to learn while playing with the different experiments. Below are some of the pictures inside the Eureka exhibit.

Vancouver Chinese Garden: Love and Peace

Jomar and I spent the afternoon in the Sun Yat-Sen Park and Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden. It was our first time to the west side of Downtown Vancouver and there were a lot of homeless people.

Sun Yat-Sen Park
It is a free public park built in a Chinese style, with mostly North American materials. It is connected to the Classical Chinese Garden by a pond.



Capilano Suspension Bridge Park: Love, Experience, and View

Last Tuesday, Jomar and I spent the day at Capilano Suspension Bridge Park. I've been there before but I enjoyed it so much that I had to bring Jomar there as well.

Capilano Suspension Bridge Park offers free shuttle service from Downtown Vancouver to Capilano. Check their website for pick-up point and schedule. You may also check Translink or Google Maps for public transportation direction.


There are different sections of the park and we enjoyed them all. Starting from the Story Centre and Kiapilano Totem Poles guided tour, we walked our way to the Capilano Suspension Bridge. Because of the volume of people walking on the bridge, it was shaking more than the last time I was there.


White Rock Beach and Pier: Food, Family, and View

Our family loves the TV series Psych. We love Shawn and Gus and the relationship they have with each other. After watching the series and browsing YouTube for behind the scenes, interviews, etc., we found out that almost all scenes were shot in British Columbia. Episodes that would feature University of British Columbia, Stanley Park, and Queen Elizabeth Park always made my heart giddy with joy since I've been to those places. To seal our Psych addiction, our family went to White Rock BC where the agency office of Shawn and Gus is located.

Food for the Week: Japanese Curry

I love Japanese Curry! It's my favorite food and curry is my favorite spice. On this week's food highlight, I will share the different Japanese curry restaurants in Vancouver that I have tried.

Sato Japanese Restaurant
Location: 155-8460 Alexandra Rd., Richmond, B.C. Canada
Saboten Location: #3180 Aberdeen Centre, 4151 Hazelbridge Way, Richmond, BC V6X 4J7

VanDusen Botanical Garden: Love and View

I love botanical gardens! When I was in Singapore, I spent few hours at the Singapore Botanic Garden. It was very relaxing, sitting in benches under the trees, smelling the flowers, and enjoying the cool breeze. It was great!

Now, that I am in Canada, one of my places to visit is the VanDusen Botanical Garden. Last Wednesday, Jomar and I spent 1-5pm walking around the huge land area.


The Vancouver Aquarium: Love, Experience, and View

I wish we had more time.

Jomar and I arrived at the Vancouver Aquarium yesterday at around 1:00PM and the aquarium closes at 5:00PM. Apparently, four hours is not enough inside this sanctuary for marine life. The entrance at VanAqua costs $31.00 (plus taxes) per person and since it's a nonprofit organization the money goes to saving and preservation of animal life from the sea, rivers, and lakes.


The first section we visited in the aquarium is Discover Rays. We actually touched the back of a live sting ray! It was so cool!

Centennial Beach: Family and View

Today, our family celebrated Victoria Day by having picnic at Centennial Beach. It was our first time to visit a beach in Canada and my first time to have a picnic with Jomar.


My dad cooked the most delicious Filipino adobo for sharing. It was so good that the other family decided to bring some home with them. My mom was really happy because a family brought ginataan, a Filipino sweet dessert she'd been craving for a few weeks now.

Food Trip in Richmond (Steveston Village): The Crab King Restaurant

Right beside the Steveston Fisherman's Wharf, The Crab King Restaurant offers fresh crab and seafood that's delicious but a bit pricey.


We went there at around 5:00 PM yesterday, still a lot early than the dinner crowd. It's more of an afternoon snack after a tiring game of Lazer Tag for my siblings. We were celebrating Alyanna's birthday. These are the food we had:


Food for the Week: Peri Peri Chicken

The first time I tried Peri-Peri Chicken I had to Google search what it is and where it's from.
"Piri-piri chicken is a spicy dish with roots in both Africa and Portugal." - www.epicurious.com Below are the Peri-Peri Chicken I have tried so far.



Food Trip in Vancouver (Fairview): Marble Slab Creamery

I will tell you a little secret. Ever since I was in high school, I've always dreamt of having the Dairy Queen ice cream cake Kitkat flavor. Well, I've never got one. So for mother's day this year, my siblings and I purchased an ice cream cake from Marble Slab Creamery. It was so delicious! I wanted to cry.


Food for the Week: Burger

I have come to realize that I do my best to post something new once a week. Since I didn't try any exciting restaurants this week or visit any cool place, I will highlight one food that people seems to love so much: Burgers!

From fast food joints to high-end restaurants burger is a menu item that seems to always be there. Below are some of the burgers I have tried over the last six months in Lower Mainland BC.




4 Reasons Why I Love Foursquare

Happy Foursquare Day! It's 4.16.16 and my first check-in was 5 years ago so Happy 5th Anniversary Foursquare! :)

I went to an interview for an IT company few years back and they asked me which social media I use on a daily basis, my answer was Facebook, Foursquare, and Google+. They asked, you don't use Twitter? I have a Twitter account but I rarely use it. The manager told me, "you're weird" because I use Foursquare but not Twitter.

In this blogpost, I will list down 4 reasons why I love and use Foursquare and Swarm.

1. Personal Travel History
Every time I check-in, I create a history of where I have been. This blog is a longer version of that history but Foursquare and Swarm is the detailed version. I could easily check what I did on August 4, 2011 or any other date after April 16, 2011.

2. Privacy
I came to a point when I thought sharing on Facebook about where I am or my food and travel photo is too much. I mean, I don't want to flood my friends, acquaintan…

Hunt for Churros

My sisters have been craving for churros for awhile now. In the Philippines, Taco Bell offers Churros with chocolate dip that they love. Thus, my hunt for Churros in Metro Vancouver begins.

I was in Downtown Vancouver yesterday and decided I could spend the afternoon searching for Churros. According to Foursquare (my trusted and fave application), I could go to Tacofino Cantina, a food truck along Howe Street since it's the closest to my location yesterday. I walked 10 minutes and asked if they have Churros available. It was out of stock! The guy suggested I go to their main restaurant at Gastown but I am too lazy to walk all the way there.

Last week, I also went to Cambie Village to search for churros. The only restaurant there that offers churros is Las Tortas and it's also out of stock.

Going back to yesterday, I remember Therese saying that Cineplex sells churros so I searched for the nearest Cineplex and the Scotiabank Theatre is a 6-minute walk. I also did a quick Google…

Food Trip in Vancouver (Mount Pleasant): Sweetery Cafe

As part of my goal to network in Vancouver and learn something new, I attended a meetup, "Donuts and Coffee and Pics, oh my!". The meetup is basically on how to be better at taking food photos. I took hundred of food photos over the years and I thought that I could learn more about angles and lighting.

Sweetery Cafe offers great pastries and coffee. Of all the sweets and bread we've had, my personal fave is the chicken strips and waffles. Amazing! Below are some of the pictures, I took applying what I have learned today.



Stanley Park: Sisters and Event

The Sakura Illumination is a free event organized by Stuart Ward & Ben Z Cooper from Hfour (http://hfour.ca/). The goal is to have an unobstructed views of illuminated sakura ideal for photography and picnicking in the spring evening under the cherry blossoms.

Therese and I arrived there at 5:00 PM and ate the sandwiches she prepared as we settled in the blanket she have. It was our first time to picnic so it was a fun sister bonding.




Queen Elizabeth Park: Family, Experience, and View

Since I am new to Canada, it's also my first to experience Spring so I am excited to see how the environment will change because of the changes in the season. Therese was so excited about the Sakura Illumination but for weather reasons they moved it to April 1. So sad.

Nonetheless, our family decided to visit the park to see Spring colors come back to life! Sadly, not all flowers are in full bloom yet but we did have some great photos to take with us. More importantly, we had some family quality time.

Food Trip in Richmond (West Cambie): Cactus Club

Happy birthday Therese! =)

We had dinner earlier today to celebrate the birthday of my dearest sister Therese. She chose Cactus Club to celebrate her birthday because we haven't tried eating there. She made the 6PM reservation and thank God, she did! For a Wednesday evening, the place was packed. We all ordered what we wanted and had dinner.



Food Trip in Vancouver (Mount Pleasant): Menya Japanese Noodle

It was a rainy early evening as I walk towards the Hootsuite office for a meetup. I was searching online Foursquare for good places to have dinner after the event is over. The app showed all restaurants within my vicinity and one of the suggestions is Menya Japanese Noodle. Since it was raining, it only made sense for me to have a bowl of ramen and gyoza.



I entered the place and saw quite a number of Japanese men, women, and children eating here so it must have been good, authentic even, for it to attract so many Japanese. I ordered Tantanmen Ramen and Gyoza for my dinner.

The ramen was really good! I enjoyed my warm Ramen bowl while it's raining outside. I am so happy.