Daiso

Que Pasa: Naga City’s Hippest Dining Destination

Being away from home has its benefits. You become more independent, responsible, and self-sufficient. However, it can also be lonely, being away from your family and the place you’ve known your whole life. Whenever I visit Naga, I always get this feeling of excitement and loneliness. Most of the time I am excited to see and hug my family and friends, but the the day won’t end without me feeling sad for missing out on so many things in my hometown. Whenever I go out, I would often search for familiar faces. Then suddenly, the whole city would feel so foreign to me. I’m a pretty sentimental person and losing touch with my childhood and all the memories and emotions that come with it can be disconcerting. So, in an effort to stay in touch with my roots, I visit old and new places.
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Last month, my sister and I visited Naga to check on our babies–our doggies Lily and Pochi. So while in the city, we decided to visit Que Pasa. When I was younger, Naga only had very few restaurants, but now everywhere you turn there’s a newly opened cafe or boutique. I’ve been seeing nice photos of Que Pasa on social media so I was really curious. However, I’m not the type who easily takes secondhand info so I always check things out for myself before recommending them to people.

Design

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True to what I saw online, Que Pasa is indeed an Instagram-worthy place–a heaven for the creative freak I dare say. Outside you’ll see a weirdly beautiful time-worn facade, giving the diner a more rustic feel. Inside, however, you’ll see a combination of contemporary and traditional  designs. Walls are filled with works of art by Naga’s best. Even the water dispenser couldn’t escape from their creative hands!

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But for me, the one that took the cake is the restrooms. Que Pasa is the first in the country (as far as I know) that provides three restrooms, namely Que Gayon (girls), Que Guapo (boys), Querebels (gay lingo for ‘whatever’ + rebel wordplay). This is pretty progressive thinking from a region that’s fiercely Catholic.

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Food

I must admit though, I was completely uninformed about the kind of food being served that Que Pasa, but I was so sure they offer laing or gulay na natong in Bicolano. And I was right, however they serve it as side dish. In order to eat, you have to select your main course, your preferred rice, sauce, and sides. I didn’t know this from the get-go because no one guided us, although there was a sign board with instructions on how to order. I only knew about it after I was done ordering LOL. It would have been nicer if one of the staff who greeted us have told us about the process, or at least directed us to the sign board. I’m not sure about you, but when it’s my first-time at a certain restaurant I’m usually nervous, preventing me from seeing important details, like how to order haha! 😛

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So after the confused staff handed me my orders, I proceeded to pay at the nearby counter. You can order your beverages there as well. That day I was with my family so I paid about Php 1,300 for 8 people. Not bad at all. We ordered baby back ribs and tuna for our main course with Cerveza Negra and I-forgot-the-name yellow sauce; laing and grilled veggies for the sides; and laing rice and pimenton garlic rice.

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My relatives and I loved the ribs and the tuna as well as the grilled veggies. The sauces were terrific! I have a pretty high standard when it comes to laing though, because my mother makes the best gulay na natong I kid you not. Que Pasa’s was okay. Our only complaint was the rice was too oily for our taste. The oil kinda overpowered the flavor. Nonetheless, the whole experience gave us value for our money so I was satisfied.

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Would I recommend Que Pasa? Absolutely. It’s family-friendly and has gorgeous interiors so it is perfect for families. But I would advise you to ask for guidance from the staff in case you get confused like I did haha! More than half of them are very young so I guess they were just shy. There are customers who do not wish to be bothered so maybe that’s why the staff were hesitant to help out. At night time, the restaurant opens the bar, making it a great place to hang out with friends after a day’s work. For now, I’m giving Que Pasa a 4/5 stars.

The restaurant is located along Barlin Street, just right beside Naga Metropolitan Cathedral. Have you been to Que Pasa? Share your experience below! 🙂

JORD: Carving the Path to Sustainable Fashion

I used to hear the term ‘Sustainable Environment’ at school and read it on the news a lot, but I haven’t really given it any thought until recently. But with Emma Watson embarking on a new fashion challenge, which is to create a full outfit using eco-friendly brands, I have become more conscious of what I wear. We see pictures of the devastating effects of climate change online (even the refugee crisis the world is currently experiencing is an indirect result of it) so it is important that we rethink and re-evaluate our choices–and I’m starting with ACCESSORIES.

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Wooden watches are becoming popular nowadays but I’ve always hesitated on purchasing one because I’m concerned about their durability. Thank heavens for JORD for sending me this beautiful timepiece to review. The company is composed of artists, designers, and business professionals who create one-of-a-kind watches. Because the timepieces are handcrafted by skilled artisans and made of aged hardwood and quality automatic and mechanical movements, their products are built to last.

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The watch box alone made me think of many ways to use it. Aside from storing my watch, it can also be a jewelry box or a place to put those little notes I get from friends. It’s really well made and I like that it is also crafted out of wood.

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I decided to match the watch with my new paisley dress. One great thing about neutral colors is you can pair it with almost anything. I chose the ELY Maple watch so I can use it for various types of outfits. It is surprisingly sturdy despite it being made of wood. The wristband has steel hinges so they won’t just snap. The enclosures are made of steel as well.

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But how about the sizing? JORD has a ruler which you can print to measure your wrist size. The ruler is pretty accurate and the instructions are very clear. I measured 16.5 and it fit perfectly when I wore it! I’ve already received several compliments from my boyfriend, friends, and family after they’ve seen me wearing it. It not only looks chic and sophisticated–it’s also environment-friendly! 🙂 The store also carries several styles and colors. They also have items for men.

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These photos were taken just outside a seminary in Naga. I’ve always wanted a picture there because the structures are pretty historic. The Cathedral, along with the seminary, was built during the Spanish occupation, and I am glad my hometown has preserved some of its treasures.

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Wooden Watches by JORD

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Wood Watch from JORD | Dress from Avery’s Closet | Heels from Forever 21 | Bag from Parisian

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So what fashionable steps have you taken to protect the environment? Share your thoughts below!

Bicol’s First Art x Fashion Magazine, AGORA, Is Launching Soon!

I lived in Naga City, Bicol for almost two decades. In all those years I’ve seen and met many people who are not only intelligent but are also very creative. Although Naga is one of the most prosperous cities in the region, there seemed to be a lack of venues for the thriving art community to showcase their work. Restaurants and bars have appeared like mushrooms in different parts of the city the last time I visited, but not once did I see a cafe filled with books, films, art pieces, or anything educational that the youth can actually learn from. Most people are either online or at a crowded place like Starbucks-Magsaysay, while only a handful of people would visit the art show at Avenue Square or attend the book launch of a nationally recognized Bicolano poet.

I’ve always had this dream for my hometown about a platform which my fellow Bicolanos could utilize to show their work. So when an old classmate of mine who is so passionate in promoting FIlipino culture and fashion pushed through with the idea, I was glad that finally that dream can now be realized.

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A Greek word meaning ‘a public place’, AGORA “was formed with the desire to showcase the best of Bikol and cultivate a sense of panache and a forward-thinking taste among homegrown talents with a local and global audience. AGORA Magazine is a non-profit online magazine dedicated to become a platform for up-and-coming Bikolano artists in the fields of Photography, Fashion, Beauty, Music, Literature, Film, Visual Arts such as Painting and Illustration, Theatre, Industrial and Interior Design and other fields of creativity.”

Here are a few of my favorites among the teasers posted on the magazine’s Facebook page:

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The maiden release, called ‘The Paper Issue’, “looks into the paper as a weapon, as a tool, as a means for expressing creativity; and as the translated ‘papel’, we look into the roles we play in cultivating Bikol Art into a global, social community of acquired tastes.”

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The best thing about AGORA magazine is it’s crowdsourced. If you are a Bicolano artist dying to show your talent to the online public, shoot the team an email at agoramagazinebikol(at)gmail(dot)com. AGORA Magazine is a tri-monthly magazine and accepts contributions in the form of Feature Articles, Fashion and Beauty Editorials, Photo Journals, Illustrations and Art Installations, Essays and Critiques

Follow AGORA Magazine on Facebook to stay updated!

Finish Line

I’m back in Naga City to witness my brother’s graduation at Ateneo de Naga University. Everyone who knew us intimately knows why this is such a momentous occasion for our family. Despite his shortcomings (because honestly, who doesn’t have one?), my brother is the most selfless person I know; he sacrificed a lot for our family to survive–and I respect him for that. I wouldn’t be where I am today if not for his sacrifices.

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I could not recall how many times I felt depressed when things don’t go according to plan. I have this 10-year plan I drafted after finishing college–a list of things I should accomplish before I turn 30. 5 years have passed and I’ve only done about 20% of that list. Before I would often feel disappointed at myself for not being able to follow ‘the plan’, and it didn’t do me any good.

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Slowly I began to accept that life is too uncertain, it’s impossible for us to control everything. One person told me I should be thankful that at least I know what I want in life and that I’ve done something worthwhile with it. After hearing those words, I began to relax and take things less seriously and welcome spontaneity.

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If my brother was able to face life despite the fate he experienced, why should a simple mishap like derailed plans stop me from living?

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EZRA dress from Zalora | MANGO quilted bag | TWINKY heels |  SM Department Store sunnies

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These photos were taken at Ateneo, my alma mater. I remember how happy I was when I marched through the four pillars and received my hard-earned diploma. Unlike many others, I wasn’t afraid of what lay ahead. I was eager to start working on my future. There was no ounce of fear, just hope.

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My mom taught us not to feel bitter towards life during difficult times, instead be grateful for they teach us how to be brave and strong. Of course, mothers know best. 🙂

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Hype this look on

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Electric Dreams

A dream. It’s what fuels us to continuously live. I think, it would be the saddest thing if a person doesn’t dream at all. I created this blog because I knew this would be my gateway to fashion. When things didn’t go well as I had expected, I sank into depression and stopped blogging for a while. But then Chad encouraged me to keep on going, he knows how much I love fashion and that I would keep on doing it–blogging and sharing ideas–anyway. And he was right. When we dream, and we’re passionate about that dream, nothing can stop us from reaching it. This blog has been around for three years, and I don’t see any sign of stopping.

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I guess some people noticed us, and how much work we put in our craft, that Ateneo de Naga University, our alma mater, invited us to talk about what we do on February 28’s Alternative Class Program. I talked about blogging, while Chad shared about photography. The experience was overwhelming and humbling at the same time. We’re quite aware we’re  not popular, but we do know we’re passionate about what we do, and that alone, I believe, makes us worthy of being speakers.

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While a few students did not get the purpose of sending unpopular people to speak to them (which saddens me a bit quite honestly), a handful in my class told me how inspired they were upon hearing my lecture and personal struggles. What I appreciated most were their sincere questions, because that could have meant they related to me. And therefore my purpose was accomplished.

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After my talk, we took pictures of Jamie and Danica, who have been both very helpful to me. Jamie Lou Borile is a quirky girl who currently administers the Bicol Fashion Bloggers group. She accepted my application to join the group late last year upon finding out that Bicol has finally began to form fashion-loving circles. Danica Salazar, on the other hand, was the topic head assigned to me. She was very kind and was very attentive to my needs; without her and her partner Alecxa, I wouldn’t have survived the day. I can totally see a bit of myself in Danica, as she was very enthusiastic and interested in learning more  about blogging. 🙂

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Prior to the big day, Chad and I decided to visit the places we used to hang out in. We finally got to eat Cha Cely’s kinalas in Barlin after so many years. We visited Plaza Quince Martires, Chad’s place of solace when he was young. I like going to places Chad spent time in and having my photo taken there. We’ve been apart for way too long, I want to remember him in every way possible.

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I forgot to bring a lot of my stuff with me so I had to borrow some of my sister’s things. This dress was a gift from me (lol) last year after winning Nivea’s Face Affair. This bag is hers as well. Now I miss my sister.

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 Forever 21 dress | Marikina-made wedges | Bag from Marinduque

Here’s a video Chad made about three years ago, which uses Lali Puna’s version of Phil Oakey’s Together in Electric Dreams–which also happened to be Ateneo de Naga University’s Alternative Class Program theme this semester. The sky and stars are a few of our favorite things, they remind us of our dreams and the infinite possibilities of life. I hope you’ll like it!

P.S. Thanks to Roe Ondis and the rest of the AdNU Supreme Student Government for having us! 🙂

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