Showing posts from January, 2018

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Top 3 Reasons Why I Love Canada

If you've been reading my blog for a while, you know that I have a love-hate relationship with Canada. Now I am giving you the Top 3 reasons why I love Canada. Family My Ohana is here. Below is our photo in Richmond Center celebrating my parent's anniversary. Feeling Vacation I still feel like that I am on a vacation. I have been here for two years and the sense of wonder is still there. Take for example, how the Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage look at night. We always walk here and I never notice how it looked at night. Or you may stumble upon a series filming while walking Downtown. Additionally, here's a mural in a parking lot along Granville Street. It's impressive and worthy of a pause just so you could take a photo. This is what I love about Vancouver. It allows you to pause and appreciate life - well, only if you let it. Diversity More than the acceptance I feel in Canada, diversity allowed me to grow and accept culture . Moreover,

What do you collect when visiting a new place?

I have 4 collections; 3 of which are travel related. I collect or keep things from each country, city, or tourist spot I visit. Here they are. Bills and coins When I visit a new country and after exchanging my money to the local currency, I make sure to keep one of each bill or coin that I stumble upon. It is actually the first thing I do before spending. Right now, I have 109 bills from 20 countries. No, I have not been to 20 countries but I have supportive friends who give me their spare small bills to add to my collection. My Banknote catalog On the other hand, I have 139 coins (125 unique coins) from 22 countries. I still have around 20 more that I haven't had a chance to inventory. Map of where my coins from I started consciously collecting bills and coins in 2010 when I went to South Korea with friends. However, the first foreign bills I kept was in 2004 from Hong Kong which was my first trip outside Manila. Since 2010, I have been keeping every unique bil

Barbecue from Memphis

After Mass last Saturday, Jomar and I decided to take a trip to Memphis without living Vancouver. How? By trying barbecue from Memphis Blues Barbecue House in West Broadway. Memphis Blues Barbecue House I love barbecue. Whether it's Korean or Filipino-style, barbecue tastes so good! It's tangy and sweet and a bit of heat. Yum! Going to Memphis Blues, I have no idea what to expect all I know is that You Gotta Eat Here visited this joint. Jomar and I (like we always do) order a starter, main course, and dessert. BBQ Poutine For our starter, we picked BBQ Poutine. I mean, we're in Canada, of course we'll pick the poutine. Honestly, it was a debate between BBQ Nachos or BBQ Poutine and well, you know what won. BBQ Poutine It was sooo good. The fries is crispy even though it's smothered and drowning under the weight of the pulled pork and BBQ sauce. The cheese (though not as melted as I would like) provided a creamy texture. Moreover, the serving size is

My fave fish and chips in Vancouver

Fish and Chips is not popular (at least I don't think so) in the Philippines. However, on my second day in Canada, my parents brought Jomar and I to Pajo's in Steveston, Richmond to try exactly that. I was surprised at how big the portions were and well, you can never go wrong with fries, especially if it's unlimited and you can come back for more. Also, I have always liked salmon (whether raw, grilled, or in a soup) and seeing and eating it in deep fried goodness was amazing. Tony's Last Friday, Jomar and I went to my favorite fish and chips place in Vancouver so far - Tony's Fish and Oyster Cafe located near the entrance of Granville Island. I have been her 16 times (as of this post) because I love their salmon and yam fries. Salmon Fish and Chips with Yam Fries Another reason I love this place, it's a walking distance to work. When I am stressed out or needed a feel good food Tony's is my go to place. Moreover, I can enjoy it in all seasons whe

My first Philly Cheesesteak from The American Cheesesteak Co.

Growing up in the Philippines, I only heard of the famous Philly Cheesesteak in movies or when watching Food Network. Thus, it shouldn't come as a surprise that last Satuday was the first time I tried a Philly Cheesesteak from The American Cheesesteak Co. in Vancouver. I have an uncle and cousins in Philadelphia and when I visit my goal is to try a Philly Cheesesteak while in Philly. The same way I was so estatic to eat Japanese Katsu Curry in Japan and Vigan Empanada in Vigan. The American Cheesesteak Co. Jomar and I went to St. Paul's Hospital for the last weekend of Lights of Hope and decided to have dinner here. Why? First, it's close to Granville Street where we will take the bus going home and second, I remember seeing the You Gotta Eat Here episode featuring them. Therese and I are attempting to try most of the restaurants John Catucci went to. Here's a map of restaurants the show visited in BC as of Season 5. The Philly VS New Yorker Since it's

Starting the year with Lights of Hope

When you hear or read the word hope , what comes into your mind? For me, hope is that little voice telling you that something good is coming. Hope is expecting things will be better even if it may not seems right now. Light of Hope Jomar and I went to Downtown, Vancouver last Saturday to view the Lights of Hope in St. Paul's Hospital. This display of lights is part of their annual fundraising activity to provide hope and support to the patients and caregivers of the hospital and all the supported institution of St. Paul's Foundation. Staying Hopeful As I write this post, I kept coming back to the question, what makes you hopeful? Think and reflect about it. During the moments of your life when all is lost and you feel totally lost and hopeless, why do you keep living? What makes you get up and live another day? My sources of hope First, my faith makes me hopeful all the time. When I feel scared or when I worry, I pray. Those few minutes of silence and prayer remi

Try Mediterranean food at Mac Falafel

I love how diverse Canada is. Back in Manila, I usually eat at either Filipino, Chinese, or Japanese cuisine restaurants. I wouldn't know where to find great authentic Mediterranean and Middle Eastern food. Because of Canada's diversity, I get to try amazing food from different countries all over the world. Mac Falafel Last 2016, my colleagues and I went to Mac Falafel on their 4th Avenue branch for lunch and I ordered their Chicken Shawarma. On the first Friday of 2018, Jomar and I had our Fridate dinner here. My goal right now is to make sure JT gets to try all the restaurants I have been to during our 2-year long distance relationship. Chicken Shawarma on whole wheat wrap with everything on it. Mac Falafel is a small eatery beside Noodle Box. I think people pass by this joint thinking it's a hole in a wall. They usually go straight to Romer's or Noodle Box or the Japanese restaurant on the right. But this unassuming eatery serves amazing Mediterranean f

Giving Joy to My Parents

Every Christmas our family will have secret Santa. On top of whoever I get for that year, I also give each member of the family a Christmas gift. This year, I was busy with work and moving out of our family home that I didn't have time to think and plan what to give them. Instead, I end up giving them gift cards which I don't really like because it seems impersonal. Hand-Written Cards So together with the gift cards, I wrote a Christmas letter to my parents, three siblings, and Jomar. Therese received a gift card from Sephora and I remember writing how proud I am of the woman she has become and I have no doubt that she will be an amazing lawyer some day. Meanwhile, Hovey received a VISA gift card to buy whatever it is he needs and I told him in my card that he is the most hardworking person I know and whatever career or line of work he decides to do, he will be great. Christmas Cards from UNICEF Lastly, for Alyanna I got a gift card from EB Games so she could final