Restaurant:

BCN Wine Gastro Bar in Legazpi Village, Makati, Philippines

Favourite dishes:

• Jamon Iberico de Bellota

• Mushroom Paella

• Pulpo (octopus)

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food, philippines

Foodie Finds: BCN (Makati)

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canada, inspiration, Travel, Uncategorized, vancouver

10 years later, I finally did it!

We spent our first Christmas in Canada (2009) doing the most Canadian things you could imagine — winter sports on a mountain. Along with our family friends we braved the cold, suited up and took snowboarding lessons. Back then I chose snowboarding over skiing cause it was cooler, duh. We took our time on the bunny hill in the morning then joined the big kids on the slopes after, which in hindsight I wasn’t ready for. At one point when we were going down the slopes and I swerved too hard on a curve that I ended up falling on the hard ice. I thought I was completely paralyzed at that point, until I was forced to hop one-legged over to the side to let others pass down the mountain.

After that experience, I haven’t gone snowboarding since. Why would I pay $100+ to get all bruised up and possibly injure myself? I would much rather cuddle up on a cold winter day and watch movies for free (Netflix, wassup). I declined all invites from friends over the years, changed family plans, didn’t join ski/snowboard trips in school all because I thought I wouldn’t enjoy it. 

Ever since I moved back to the Manila in 2017, it has crossed my mind that maybe I didn’t make the most of my time in Vancouver. There were still places I wanted to visit, restaurants to try, bars to check out, etc. So when I went on a last- minute trip to Vancouver 2 weeks ago, I made it my mission to tick off at least one thing the list. I went for the extreme and wanted to do a winter sport, the most Canadian thing I could do that couldn’t be done in the tropics.

Luckily, I was accompanied by my cousins who had more experience than me.

We drove up to Grouse Mountain on a snowy winter day, geared up and went skiing. The only thing in my head during the first few runs were “pIZZA PIZZA PIZZA!”, which is forming a shape of a pizza slice with your skis to slow down. It worked in my favour the first three runs down the bunny hill but I can tell you that method does not work when going down the bigger slopes. I basically tumbled my way down the slope, legs flailing, falling in all directions, fearing for my life. But when I got down, and I did eventually, I was up for hitting the slopes again (bunny, though).

Conquering a fear of going down the steep slopes!

As someone who’s a complete creature of habit, I was so proud of myself for stepping out of my comfort zone and trying something new. It may have taken me 10 years to get my ass up the mountain but better late than never right? It was a nice reminder for myself to keep an open mind and not to limit myself to what I can and can’t do.

All smiles on the bunny hill

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personal

Welcome, 2019!

Oh hey, it’s been a minute. By a minute I mean 1 year and 6 months since my last post. Way to go, Pam. 

Despite how many ideas or actual content I have to post, I never get around to actually posting it. Work, trips, date nights, lazy days, lack of inspiration — whatever it may be — get in the way me posting. So here’s a challenge for myself — to blog once a week for the next 3 months. Let’s start there.

Since the last time I wrote, I graduated university with a degree in BSc Health Sciences, moved back to Manila, Philippines, and landed a job. I’ve been at this “adulting” thing for about 10 months now and so far, so good? (I write that with a bit of hesitation because I feel like I’ve just got the job part down for now.) But as I write this, I’m boarding a plane to go back to Vancouver for the first time since I moved away in Dec 2017. Though it’s because of the worst circumstances, I am excited to go back. I’m excited to see the North Shore mountains, to walk around downtown, to live downtown, see family and friends, and have some good old sushi.

Now that we’re well into the 2nd month of February, I might as well mention that this year’s theme that I’ve chosen is “Discover”. That involves stepping out of my comfort zone to find out if I enjoy other sports/activities, learning more about myself, but most importantly to discover what kind of career path I want to have. You’d think the feeling of being lost leaves you after you get a job, but it doesn’t. I’m trying to look at the glass half full in feeling lost in that there’s a whole world of possibilities out there for me to discover, but not by waiting around. So this year I will do my research, inquire around, and discover what it is I want to accomplish in the next 5-10 years.

Bye for now. Until next week.

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canada, family, fitness, vancouver

Hiking Quarry Rock in North Vancouver


^ An actual getting to know you conversation where I lied about liking to hike but backed out 5 seconds later, afraid that he would ask me to go hiking lol it’s ok he understood

Vancouverites are all about that healthy, active, gluten-free, organic lifestyle. And I’m not hating. I get to wear my Lululemon leggings in public and blend in. The work-life balance is a high priority here, people make time after school or work to take care of themselves whether that be through a yoga, dance, spin class or hitting up the gym. As the weather gets warmer, hiking becomes the go-to fitness activity because there are so many hiking spots around Vancouver that cater to all fitness levels. They’re well-maintained and offer rewarding views at the end. Plus, it’s freeeee! I want to check out all the spots but my …fitness level… is stopping me from doing so hahaha slowly but surely, I’ll get there.

A couple weeks ago I checked out Quarry Rock in Deep Cove, North Vancouver (a 30 min drive from my house) with my family since it’s one of the easier hikes to do and it’s got a nice view at the top.

So on a sunny day, off we went…


The trail is a mix of wooden steps and dirt path.

After 55 mins of hiking (with short breaks in between), 3,500 steps and 2.5km later (yes I took note of this ok), we made it to the top!


Anyone can do this hike. We passed by a (very) pregnant woman, a dad carrying a baby in those baby pouch things, and older people doing it (they may or may not have been hiking faster than me).

There were quite a lot of people there at 6pm so I’d recommend timing your hike so you aren’t there during peak hours otherwise you get lots of people in your photo:

Exhibit A

It’s worth making a day trip out to Deep Cove. There’s lots to do there like paddle boarding, swimming, and having a picnic. There are cafes and stores around the area  that you could check out.

One hike down for the summer! I’ve signed up for a few things already: yoga/pilates/spin studio (they have it all! *happy dance*) and a dance class…but not just any dance class… a BEYONCÉ DANCE CLASS. I’m so excited woo

As long as the sun’s out, I’m out. This is the first time in 6 years that I’m spending the entire here in Vancouver since I usually go back to the Philippines (or travel). It’s nice being able to enjoy the city in all it’s glory, not rain nor 0 degree weather can stop me from enjoying! Oh, best part is that I can order an Iced Capp from Tim Horton’s and not look like a stupid idiot drinking in cold weather and freezing myself to death, now I can happily drink on an iced capp under the sun. It’s the little things. Here’s to making the most of the hot Vancouver summer.

Pam ♡ 

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personal, Travel, vancouver

Snowshoeing on Cypress Mountain

I’m not much of a winter person. My idea of winter days/nights consist of snuggling up in bed watching Netflix with some hot choco, not tearing up the slopes snowboarding or …being outdoors. By mid-February I was in need of an adventure, just in time for Reading Break (reading break is essentially a week off school to “catch up on your readings”, but really that’s when the suicide rates peak in universities so they implemented this break).

My friends and I decided to drive up to Cypress Mountain in West Vancouver and go snowshoeing. I’ve never done it before and didn’t know what to expect but as long as it didn’t involve me falling on my ass every five minutes, I’m in! Here’s how our day went…

Started the day off with brunch at Catch 122 on Hastings St. Any time I go for brunch it’s always gotta be the Eggs Benedict order. I’m scouting for the best benny’s in town. This one’s high up on the list.

One of my favorite things about Vancouver is that the beach/downtown/mountains are an hour drive away. So we drove up to Cypress Mountain from Downtown: about a 45 minute drive aka the same length as Beyonce’s Lemonade album.

Like I said, I’m not an outdoors person during the winter so I was clueless when it came to dressing/packing for the hike. I showed up in my tank top, fleece jacket, wind breaker jacket, winter boots, and …leggings. One thing I would change: winter boots. You gotta wear waterproof boots people!!! Midway through the hike my socks were soaking wet and my toes were practically frozen. But that didn’t stop me! Oh, and I should’ve brought more snacks along.

The pass & snow shoe rental fee: $26. Here we are ready to take on the mountain. We grabbed a map with the different trail suggestions and followed the signs.

We pretty much had the mountain to ourselves. Aside from some cross-country skiers passing by, we were the only ones on the trail.

My fitness level was basically at sea level so I was trailing behind my friends 99% of the time. Thanks guys for waiting for me haha

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View on our way down
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The hike took us around 4 hours total to get to the top and back. Note: a lot of time was spent taking photos. By the time we got down, it was just in time for sunset.

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We made it! Treated ourselves to some hot chocolate and Burgoo for dinner.

I had a really good time. For anyone who isn’t a snowboarder/skier, snow shoeing might be the alternative for you. Anyone can do it — it’s basically hiking with uncomfortable shoes but with low chances of hurting yourself.

Pam 

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my 2017 new year’s resolution that i’ll actually stick to

I’ve pretty much had the same resolutions for the past 5 years: workout 3x/week, eat healthy, sleep earlier, go out more often, yadiya same old same old. Lezzbereal, I forget about my resolutions by the end of January. This year I decided to try a different approach when making my 2017 resolutions. Instead of listing out things I should do throughout the year I decided to stick to a theme the whole year.

This year’s theme: Celebrate moreCelebrate events, celebrate people, celebrate life.

Wow that sounds so cheesy. But I’ve realised that I tend to let life’s stressors get in the way of living in the moment and celebrating. So this year I’m making more of an effort to celebrate people’s birthdays, celebrate milestones, and celebrate people who are important to me. It can be small things like commending someone for their accomplishments, buying cupcakes for a friend’s birthday, giving someone a hand-written note, or throwing a surprise party (I have yet to do this).

There’s a saying that “you get what you give”. My younger self used to interpret this as “if you give someone a gift, you’re likely to receive one too”, which sounded like a pretty sweet deal to me (lol #selfish). The meaning changed for me last year (better late than never). Last October, I bought my sister flowers and chocolates to congratulate her for passing a big exam. I remember being excited picking out flowers and getting her favourite chocolates, knowing she’d love it. It felt even better when I gave it to her. It was a gesture to let her know how proud I was, more than my words would allow me to express. Her reaction was pretty priceless. It’s not like she threw her arms around me while saying “thank you” through her tears, a simple hug and smile made it feel like that though (and also, we’re not very affectionate people lol). It felt really good to make someone else feel good. You get what you give. I get it now.

So here’s to celebrating the big things and the little things in life. Here’s to going out of my way to make other people feel special and loved. No one should be too busy to do that.

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou

Cheers to that…on top of trying to get in shape, eat healthy, sleep more, be more social blah blah blah (I type as I’m sitting in a cafe with a half-eaten cinnamon roll next to me and an espresso cause I only slept for 6 hrs last night). Cheers!

 ♡ Pam

I’ll leave my favourite “new years” quote here:

“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes.

Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re Doing Something.

So that’s my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody’s ever made before. Don’t freeze, don’t stop, don’t worry that it isn’t good enough, or it isn’t perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life.
Whatever it is you’re scared of doing, Do it.

Make your mistakes, next year and forever.” – Neil Gaiman

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family, love, personal

constantly missing & constantly missing out

IMG_1917Explaining my living situation to people has the tendency to turn into long story. There’s a lot of back story about migrating with the family to Vancouver in 09 and some moving back and forth over the years, so to keep it simple: I’ve been living with my older sister in Vancouver for the past 4 years while 4/6 of the family are back in Manila.

The times we all have together have been nothing short of amazing. For the one to two months of the year that we do have together, we try to make the most of it. In previous years we’ve met up in different corners of the world — from Australia to Ireland to Japan. We all share the love of traveling, so there’s no better way of bonding.

As great as it is traveling together, what I’ve come to learn from living apart is that the little, seemingly mundane, moments make all the difference. Little things like Sunday family lunches at Lola’s, celebrating good grades at CPK, face mask nights, Yellow Cab movie nights, sports-filled Sundays playing badminton or swimming, and three-hour dinners. Those were little things that made up our “family routine” as we were growing up…and those are the moments I miss most.

Over time Patch and I have developed little routines of our own here in Vancouver. We have Sunday brunches at Burgoo (#blessup Dos Diablos sandwich), catching a movie in Fifth Avenue cinemas on Saturday afternoons with our white cheddar popcorn, watching Scandal and Survivor on Thursday nights, walking along Kits beach on sunny days, late-night Tim’s coffee runs, SNL nights, and dance parties in the kitchen. These little things have made up our routine for our family of 2.

It took a while but over the years we’ve made Vancouver our home away from home. But there are still times when homesickness hits hard. It’s when we miss out on the big things. We’ve missed out on a lot — birthdays (dad’s 60th), Emil’s HS graduation & prom, beach trips, baby showers, deaths & funerals, family parties, etc.

The most recent one was Emil’s HS graduation. It was Friday night and I was at my desk studying for a midterm (#rowdy). My phone kept buzzing cause Pia was sending me real-time photos and videos of the ceremony. She was sending videos of him crossing the stage, taking photos with his friends, photos of our old GS stomping groups (zobel4lyf). And yet the room was so quiet. It’s was weird to be sitting at my desk when there was a monumental family event happening on the other side of the world (yes i’m being dramatic). It sucks. Missing out never gets easier. There’s a lot of family photos that require photoshopping me and Patch in.

As the saying goes, absence makes the heart grow fonder.

Truly, constantly missing each other makes the times we have together that much sweeter. I appreciate my parents’ advice more, try new things with my sister, spend more time with my brother even if it means talking memes and hamilton (google search: how 2 bond with a teenage boi). Ultimately, I’m just more present when we’re together. It’s easy to take family for granted because you’re with them day in and day out for years and years. It’s easy to develop a short fuse when you’re trying to find your own space in a crowded house. It’s easy to occupy yourself with more interesting things to do on your phone during dinner. As for me, I’ve been talking to them through a screen for far too long, so I’d rather soak up the moment. Take it from me, enjoy it.

Enjoy the little moments.

I can’t wait to be reunited with them in 2 days. (Although it doesn’t feel that soon cause I still have to get through my MBB final exam *cue tears*)

The 4 months apart have been long enough. Pia’s got a long list of movies for me to watch and Emil’s got a new girl to tell me about. Mom and dad, well I just miss them.

♡ Pam

Christmas 2016 in Manila

Mom visiting us in Vancouver

Japan 2017 with the not-so-little one

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Fushimi Inari-taisha, Japan

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That time I led the family around a 30 min. goose hunt around Tokyo to find a crepe place only to arrive to a closed store… Thanks fam for indulging in my cravings.

Paris 2014

Emil, Me, Patch, Pia

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