Explore the world with You

I'm Jean Lanie Profugo. I'm a follower of Christ and I love to blog about anything under the sun.

" I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds. " Psalm 9:1

Posts tagged with ‘jeanprofugo’

Prenuptial shoot on a bride’s point of view

I think everyone’s caught up in the idea that brides love to do a Prenuptial Photo shoot. Like you know, who’s absolutely into every details and knows exactly what she wants. People seldom think that there are brides out there who’s naturally not into this kind of thing. Those naturally kill joy bride includes me. But hey, I’m not going to share my bitter opinion about our experience. In fact, this pessimist side of mine changed when we did this shoot few days ago. It’s actually a different and once in a lifetime experience. 

I wrote this because I thought that sharing this would help someone who’s really troubled in doing an obligatory shoot like this. I know and I feel you. I’ve experienced it too but relax and just enjoy the ride! 

To all the bride and soon to be bride out there, here’s something you might want to read when you’re planning to do a mushy compulsory engagement shoot.

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First, I’d like to say, don’t stress yourself too much in thinking of pleasing everyone with your pictures. You cannot please everyone. Everyone has a different perspective. As cliché as it may sound, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. It’s actually applicable in almost everything. What’s actually good in the other may not be as good as what you think and as how you perceived it. Don’t be caught in the wrong mindset like a bride who wants to make everything perfect because she’s afraid of negative criticism. It’s never gonna work that way. Believe me, you’ll definitely not gonna enjoy it either. After all, everyone’s entitled for their opinion. 

I was once reminded by my fiance when he told me that it’s not right because we’re not enjoying the preparation anymore. A simple conversation always turned into a misunderstanding and turned into a silly love quarrel. There is something wrong when you’re not enjoying it anymore.

Ladies, relax! If you can’t, then stop what you are doing when you’re too stress to think and decide. You won’t be able to come up with a better idea anyway. So gather as many patience as you can and follow your heart. 

When you’re in a good condition, discuss what you have in mind with your partner. Well, actually a prayer before you start anything is a big big big help. Communication is the key to every relationship. Your partner cannot guess what you want and even what’s in your mind. At this stage, try to at least practice communicating because without it, you won’t survive in the next chapter. I remember when someone told me that engagement season is a venue for couples to have a glimpse of what to expect in the next season. If you can’t handle this stage, you won’t be able to carry on to the next season. 

I look so expert in this field but honestly, these were the lessons that I’ve learned in this past few days. Ironic how a cheesy engagement shoot planning turned into a misunderstanding then eventually turned into something amazing. The only difference most of the is our attitude in handling these things. Have a right perspective and you’ll definitely enjoy life. 

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Here’s some tips that I’ve learned during the shoot:

First, think of a theme. Choosing the theme is like setting your goal. It will help you ease the pain. Remember, life without goals is like a race with no finish line; you’re just running nowhere. Once you decide on this, everything will comes smoothly. To be honest, I don’t know exactly what I want to achieve. Haha! I just want a travel-themed shoot but I think everyone’s into that already. When I think this idea is good, I’ll find another theme and think that’s good also. Everything I saw is good and then I couldn’t decide anymore. Haha! 

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When choosing a theme, make sure you are comfortable in doing this. Also, make sure you can do it. Here’s a list of theme that you might want to consider that I myself considered in our shoot:

Movie themed shoot like UP Movie, The Notebook. If you’re adventurous, you may want to consider under water or hot air balloon shoot. If you love the season, you can do a four season shoot: winter, spring, summer and autumn. (Honestly, I prefer the four seasons.) You may opt to go to either one of these: vintage, whimsical, eclectic, rustic, romantic, modern and such. Just be creative girls! After all, the goal is to have fun!

Choose the venue wisely. Deciding the theme will help you choose the venue easily.  In our case, we choose The Greenery, Bulacan. I actually saw it in my sister’s make up page. It’s a good thing that my sister is a makeup artist. An ocular visit would definitely help you big time. What’s good in the internet sometimes are not good in reality. The Greenery is a good place but it would be really nice if they would preserve the place more. I actually love it except our room.

It took us almost three hours to go to Greenery. We checked in the day before our shoot. You don’t need to do the same thing as we did. It’s just that if we don’t checked in the day before, we need to leave Laguna at 2 in the morning or we can leave at 7 in the morning and have our shoot at 1-5pm. No one wants to shoot under the heat of the sun, of course. It’s a good decision that we checked in before because if not, we will be exhausted doing everything in one day. Worst is, we’ll have to travel again for three hours after a very tiring shoot. I might collapse due to exhaustion. Haha!

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We actually didn’t expect that there is a barn inside the Greenery but we love it! Here’s one of our favorite shot from the awesome Redfox Photography. <3

In choosing the venue, you always need to consider the weather especially when you’re doing an outdoor shoot. We considered an indoor shoot at Heima but we realized we’ll be limited in posing, style and everything. Also you have to consider the prenup fee for the venue. There’s no more free in this world. :D

Pick your clothes properly. This is probably the hardest thing to do. We allotted time, money and effort in choosing the right kind of clothes for the shoot. We bought one pair each and realized that it’s really expensive to buy clothes that we’ll wear only once in our life. I’m not gonna wear something that I wore in our creative shot, that’s what I think. Good thing, my sister knows something in the fashion industry. She recommended Keith Angelo as our stylist. We actually didn’t expect anything but she’s the best! We had no idea what kind of clothes we are going to wear but the clothes matched the place and the makeup. It felt as if everything was carefully planned. 

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Don’t spend too much in your clothes especially if you’re going to wear it only once. You may borrow from your friends or re-arranged your closet. You’ll absolutely find something in there!

In our case, we prepared only one formal set (the navy blue dress). Other creative style were provided by our stylist. 

Want to know more about our stylist? Please like his Facebook page Styling by Keith Angelo: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Styling-by-KeithAngelo/262586057103066 )

Choose the right Photographer. Photography is the cornerstone of your wedding memories. Choosing the right wedding photographer is one of the most important decisions you’ll make when planning your wedding. Of course, every detailed preparation is nothing when you don’t get a good photographer who will make capture every moments in a lens. If your prenuptial or wedding photos don’t turn out well, you will regret it. We’re glad we collaborated with the awesome Sir Derek of Redfox Photography who became our family wedding photographer. He also took Pau’s brother wedding as well as my brother’s wedding.

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A good relationship with the photographer makes you feel relaxed in posing and following instructions. We’re not models, in fact, we prefer it if we are the one behind the camera but with Sir Derek’s help, we looked effortlessly good in his picture. A little cooperation will help a lot. Also, if they saw you enjoying the shoot, they would also enjoy taking pictures of you as well. 

Wanna see more of Redfox Photography’s awesome work? Please check his site here: http://redfoxphotography.com.ph/ or like his Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/RedfoxPhotographyPhilippines?fref=photo)

Choose the right Makeup and hair stylist. I’m blessed I have a sister who can make me beautiful for free! The perks is she knows also what I want and the best look and style for me. She actually arranged the team for my wedding. Gooooooood thing! Because I really don’t know how this things work. 

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Don’t have our picture together but she’s wearing pink dress in the picture.

I love it how I don’t need to explain to her what I want to achieve. She’s my sister so she knows all my flaws even without saying it. The best thing behind the beautiful make up is free! Oh, her boyfriend and her designed our invitation. We’re actually excited to send those soon. 

(Please check her site here: www.julieprofugo.com or like her Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/makeupandportraitsbyjulieprofugo )

She’s currently working on her new site so please stay tuned for updates. I’m sure it’s gonna be awesome! 

Be mindful of the time every time! We are very particular at time. When we said we’ll start at 8 am, we’ll start at 8. When you value your time, you also respect the people around you. We planned to shoot for 5 hours only. Thank God, we finished on time! 

Enjoy it! It’s a once in a lifetime experience!  Don’t be a kill joy. We only live once. Few couples don’t experience this kind of thing nowadays. We’re actually blessed to have this opportunity to treasure each moment as we gradually move to the next season not with a fast forward button, but just the right timing, place and pacing. Thank God for this opportunity!

Collaborating with the right team is the best! I never thought we would enjoyed it despite the heat. I swear, it’s really hot. I remember I texted my mom to pray for the good weather because it was raining the day before we get there and the Lord answered our prayer. 

I’d like to give a shout out to everyone who helped us on that day. To Sir Derek of Redfox Photography, to Keith Angelo, to my MUAH sister Julie, my best friend Mel and Jerico. Pau and I are really grateful. Thank you! 

Counting the days. It’s cute how the people around us have wedding jitters already and we’re still calm and okay. Hihi! 

(Source: jeanprofugo)

Asian Square Restaurant and Lounge, Siem Reap, Cambodia

What I appreciate about our tour just like what I’ve said on my previous blog  is the perks to try Cambodia’s local cuisine at a different fine dining restaurant at Siem Reap. As a welcome dinner, the tour took us at Asian Square Restaurant & Lounge, only few minutes from our hotel. Said to be located in the heart of the Siem Reap town closed to the pub street, especially within 3 minutes walking distance to Night Market. I didn’t notice it the night when we had our dinner but learned it on the latter when I did my research.

imageimageimageAsian Square restaurant is one of the most unique set up design along with a mixture of Khmer modern art style. You can see this statue once you entered their place. 

imageYou would notice tourists from different country almost everywhere especially in every restaurant which only proves that tourism is the biggest source of income of this country.

We had our early dinner at 6pm. It’s only 5pm the Philippines. 

imageNot really familiar with their food butI tried my best to learn about their food by tasting and reading.  

They served a 4-course Khmer set meal for us. Said in Wikipedia, Khmer cuisine or, more generally, Cambodian cuisine, is one of the world’s oldest living cuisines. With an emphasis on simplicity, freshness, seasonality and regionalism, Cambodian food has won praise for its elegant and understated use of spice; its harmonious arrangement of contrasting flavours, textures and temperatures within the meal rather than a single dish; and its thoughtful and, at times, extravagant presentation of dishes with plenty of herbs, leaves, pickles, dipping sauces, edible flowers and other garnishes and condiments.

imagePounded Green Papaya Salad

Taste like Atchara with peanuts in the Philippines. I noticed that they love peanuts that much that you would normally see it in almost every dish. 

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With a hint of a curry but I don’t know how I will define it. 

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Grilled Marinated Pork Chop with Stir-Fried Mixed Vegetable, Pan-seared Fish Fillet with Khmer Spice and Mushroom Amok in Banana Leave with Steamed Jasmine Rice

As Amok as popular Khmer dish, refers to mushroom or fish steamed in a savoury coconut-based curry in banana leaves. I’ve tried my best to enjoy it since I’m not a fan of curry. Their dish is almost similar to what we have tried in Vietnam somehow with a hint of Filipino native food. 

imageThey have Buko Juice too! 

imageFresh Fruit Salad

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Not Sour and Sweet Calamansi Juice that made my brother look like this:

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imageHe’s sooo high as always!

imageimageimageimageI’m not really good in taking photos during at night. Huhu!

imageI normally ask for cake specially during birthdays but they don’t have cake in their menu. :( It’s my dad’s birthday. Guess, they celebrate birthday in a different way. Haha!

imageEnjoyed our stay and the food though I wasn’t able to finish everything. I’m still adjusting with their food, I guess. I love how this kind restaurant gives us a casual atmosphere where we can enjoy the natural breeze from the surroundings of the tropical garden. Wasn’t able to explore the whole restaurant. We went to the spa to have a massage to prepare us for the long tour the next day. 

(Source: jeanprofugo)

Siem Reap, Cambodia 2014

This year’s plan was to explore the famous Angkor Wat in Siem Reap. Siem Reap, literally means the “Defeat of Siam”, is the most prosperous region of contemporary Cambodia. I became intrigued to know that Angkor Wat is the primary reason why more than 50% of international tourists visit Cambodia. If you visit the place, you would notice that Cambodians are proud of their ancient monument and even put it on the Cambodian flag and as part of every buildings design. ‘Temple is everywhere.” almost literally.

imageFor the first time my family was impressed with our hotel. Checked in at Tara Angkor Hotel felt relaxing after our short flight from Ho Chi Minh to Siem Reap. With one hour late from Philippines time (the same time in Vietnam), we had the luxury of time to sleep and do what we want to do. We can go to the gym, spa and pool also. I was surprised to know that local hotels are pretty good.

imageWhat impressed me also is the fine-dining experience from different newly-opened restaurants in the city. We got chance experience local cuisine elegantly and in a modern way as part of our itinerary. A heartwarming welcome from Cambodians. Swear, I’ll try my best to blog those soon.

On the next day before tour, we got our pass to explore the temples. Make sure you keep it safe otherwise, you won’t be able to enter. A three-day pass to explore the Angkor temples costs US $40. A single-day pass is available for US $20 or a week-long pass can be purchased for US $60. Shorts and sleeveless is not allowed too so make sure you wear proper and comfortable clothes.

imageimageimageThe Angkor ruins stretch over more than 248 square miles (400 square kilometers) so expect to tour and walk all day. Despite the magnificence of what is considered to be the largest religious monument on earth, people were crawling around the ruins like ants, posing for pictures, and generally just getting in the way. I couldn’t imagine the crowd during peak season. September is their rainy season. It would be too risky for you to travel in this season. You might end up staying inside the hotel if it rained. It didn’t rained during our stay and we are really grateful for that.

imageDue to unpredictable weather, we went to Angkor Wat first. As the largest religious monument in the world, we bathed in the sun for almost three hours to explore its beauty. The outer wall encloses 820,000 square meters of inscriptions, monuments, terraces, galleries, towers, courtyards, and pavilions, and is surrounded by a 190m-wide moat forming a complex measuring 1.5km by 1.3km. The mother of all temples is famous not only for its size and importance; however, but the complexity and detail of the astonishing and endless bas-relief sculptures as well. - Over 1 square kilometer of them. It’s truly a site to behold, and my photos are not enough to capture its beauty!

imageWords cannot describe Angkor Wat. Its scope, its grandeur and the quality of the preservation are incredible. It was a place I had always dreamt of visiting, and I was not disappointed at all except the fact that we are so tired - it indeed exceeded my expectations. They say it’s more beautiful during sunset and sunrise. I may be exhausted from walking and bathing under the sun but my eyes are happy, definitely happy. It’s always different when you travel because you’re learning at the same time.

imageIf you would complain a lot about the heat, you would not enjoy your stay in Siem Reap.

imageI wished to visit the third level of the temple but look how steep the stairs is. Pau took a beautiful photo above using Go Pro. Amazing view, isn’t?

imageThe Angkor temple Ta Prohm - famous for the large vines that strangle the ruins - was used as the set for the hit movie Tomb Raider. Unfortunately, some of the iconic trees growing through the ruins at Ta Prohm have to be removed to preserve the temple from further collapse.

imageSome areas of the temple are impassable and others are accessible only by narrow dark passages. They were trying to restore some ruined temple when we visited.

We refreshed and had lunch at a local restaurant right after Ta Phrom Temple.

imageThe Angkor Thom is a Khmer complex with several temples, towers, pyramid-like structures, and important historical monuments inside. Well-known and richly decorated Khmer temple at Angkor in Cambodia. The most visited among them is the Bayon Temple (Prasat Bayon) which is situated at the center of the complex. Bayon features four-faced crowns and towers, which, according to historians, resembles a lot with King Jayavarman VII.

imageThe front side of Bayon doesn’t look impressive from afar. My parents and some of my siblings decided to rest inside the bus. But as we slowly approached the walkway, a three-dimensional world comes alive before my eyes. Bayon is made up of multi-level stairs (though not as high as Angkor Wat’s), a maze of sculptures and features humongous intricate face carvings that is simply a sight to behold.

imageI am captivated by Bayon’s complexity of design and left me wondering how these Khmers were able to create this with very ancient tools. Just amazing and memorable. I’d say they missed this beauty! Regardless of how tired you can get from never ending walk, Bayon is a temple NOT TO BE MISSED!

imageWent straight to the hotel due to exhaustion. Slept for a few minutes and had dinner at a local buffet restaurant while watching traditional Cambodian dance. Traditional Khmer dance is better described as ‘dance-drama’ it is not merely dance but also meant to convey a story or message. There are four main modern genres of traditional Khmer dance: Classical Dance, Fishing Dance, Folk Dance and Apsara Dance.

imageIt has been a tradition since the earliest days of tourism in the 19th century to treat visitors to Siem Reap with an Apsara dance performance. Practice is I think what makes the Apsara dancers so precise in their movements. They were dancing so gracefully.

imageOn our third day, we visited Stone Carving shops and Silk Farm that made me love scarf more. 

imageWe went to Tonle Sap Lake. Honestly, there is not much to see at all. The only good thing about our tour was being on the water in our private boat. The lake is so huge and scary, it feels like your looking into the ocean. We enjoyed our stay more in the night market.

imageTo cap off our amazing Siem Reap experience, we celebrated my parent’s birthday at one of the local fine dining restaurants before our tour. Cambodia is really beautiful. It’s worth visiting! Looking forward to next year’s travel.

(Source: jeanprofugo)

Vietnam 2014

Coming back to work after a 5 day vacation is some kind of abyss no matter how much you love your job. My body wants to lay down all day. Actually, I don’t even want to blog. 

We went to Vietnam and Cambodia with the whole family to celebrate my parent’s anniversary and birthday. Yup, you read it right. We celebrate these occasions for a week. Plus, it’s my sister-in-law’s birthday next week. So there you go, busiest and loudest month ever.

I am in charge in planning the trip for the family every year. Basically, I get to choose what place, what time, when our family travel will. I also choose what hotel, itinerary and anything related to the trip. So if they want to complain, I’ll hear them out. Hahaha! I thought of travelling, mainly because I love travelling. My family loves it too, of course! My father wished to travel at least 10 countries per year. He says he don’t want to travel when he’s old already. We find it cliché also to celebrate these occasions at a fine dining restaurant and hotel. 

Little did we know that we took a history class when we explore Ho Chi Minh City. We realized that it’s easier to learn history class when you travel and saw it in person. Sounds boring, huh? But it’s interesting, I promise! Vietnamese gained my respect after the tour.

Oh by the way, Vietnam time is one hour late from the Philippines.

As I’ve learned from the tour, Ho Chi Minh is one the largest city in Vietnam. If in Philippines, jeepney is the most popular transportation, In Vietnam, its motorcycle.

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They say that vacation in Vietnam is not complete without a tour to Cu Chi Tunnels. The tunnels were used by Viet Cong guerrillas as hiding spots during combat, as well as serving as communication and supply routes, hospitals, food and weapon caches and living quarters for numerous guerrilla fighters. The tunnel systems were of great importance to the Viet Cong in their resistance to American forces, and helped achieve ultimate military success.

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Well, I took a lot of research in this year’s travel. Lol! You see, I wore a dress and didn’t expect that we’ll tour inside the tunnel ourselves. (Don’t make the same thing I did!) That won’t stop me anyway. I still tried to hide in this small tunnel like a Viet Cong. I was scared at first and asked our tour guide how many soldiers died inside the tunnel. Haha! I was reassured that they only built this tunnel for tour purposes only. Immediately, went inside and hide and went out happy! Haha!

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We even crawled inside this tunnel. They have been widened it to accommodate the tourists but even crawling through the short stretches set up for tourists can be highly claustrophobic. Of course, my parents did not tried it.

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The atmosphere at the tunnels resembles that of a bizarre war based theme park. You can even hear real M16 and AK47 at the background while listening to the tour guide. We won’t miss the chance to try this one.

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They ate this for 15 years. Just this, no rice, no other food. I cannot imagine the fear, trauma, hunger, hurt every soldier has gotten into during the war. Quite an experience! They’ll definitely let you experience what they have experienced.

Went on a quick buffet lunch somewhere at the local restaurant.

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Reunification Hall (Formerly Presidential Palace)

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Notre Dame Cathedral

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The War Remnants Museum documents the costs of the war and everything inside it was heartbreaking. You’ll see the before and after effect of the war.

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Outside the building is a range of American military hardware that had been captured or abandoned, much of it handed over to the South Vietnamese regime. There’s F-111 fighter-bomber jet, Chinook helicopters, tanks, more planes, and a display of unexploded weaponry.

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We cruised on Saigon River by Indochina while enjoying the live music performance for dinner. Oh, I forgot to mention that we’re actually part of the band. Lol!

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My parents enjoying the cruise. Happy Anniversary!

If you would ask me if I’ll visit Ho Chi Minh again, with my kids, iI think. I’ll visit Hanoi for another experience. Nevertheless, it was indeed a fun experience.

(Source: jeanprofugo)

Ramen Nagi!

It was an exciting cooking day. I still had some of those inevitable gutter moments and that magical moment in the kitchen. Nevertheless, I was able to do a regular Saturday agenda with our friends. Catching up and discussing how the stock was made that I’ve learned in the class in our favorite make-your-own pizza restaurant, we all craved to try the highly acclaimed best ramen in town, Ramen Nagi.

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On quest to find the best ramen in the country, we went to Sm Aura with the expectation to beat our love for Tonkutsu Tsukemen of Yoshuken. Pau and Danish are a big fan of ramen and Cachet and I were left with no choice but to eat the same food as what they are eating. Kidding! Women love ramen too!

I really appreciate Japanese restaurant with environment like this one. There was still a long queue just like Yoshuken. Number 8 in the list, we have to wait for 20-30 minutes to be seated so we strolled to buy some time. The ambiance makes you feel that you’re in Japan. No, I haven’t been to Japan yet. Soon! 

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Upon showing you your seats, you’ll be given this Omotenashi checklist which will define how your ramen experience will turn out. It’s the only ramen house that I’ve tried where you can customize your own ramen from its flavors and spice, as well as getting the chance to add extra toppings of your choice. Unfortunately, I had a busted taste buds for almost two weeks already. I can’t taste food well when I’m sick. Could you imagine me being sick on the first day of my cooking class? That’s worst.  

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An authentic ramen house won’t allow take out. They say that if you want to take out, you can buy instant noodles instead. 

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Men are busy modifying their most awaited ramen. 

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While the women are copying from each other. Haha! I said mind your own business when they presented you this. 

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Nope, this one is scripted! Haha! Feeling serious with our ramen. 

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I’m back to food blogging, finally! Picture, picture! 

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Not very audacious in trying new food, Pau and I tried Original King (Butao), award-winning tonkotsu pork-broth prepared in the traditional method, mouth-wateringly rich, fresh and aromatic; special handcrafted noodles and classic Nagi pork chashu. We both prefer a super hard noodle. And while I said I was famished when we sat down, I still wasn’t able to finish half my bowl! I force feed myself. I put my expectation that high or maybe I’m still sick, I guess. Haha!

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Adventurous Danish and Cachet had the Black King (Kuroo) which looked scarily delicious. Fragrant blackened garlic and calamari ink in a silky broth with succulent chashu; finished with a ball of minced pork, black sesame and Nagi spices that is irresistibly complex. You’d have to be extremely careful to not splatter black soup on your clothes. Good thing they are wearing black but the waiter still gave them white apron. 

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It was the first time I saw Gyoza served on a sizzling plate. I was actually expecting a little different but uhm, it’s pretty normal. I still prefer Yoshuken’s though.  

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Ramen Friends. Faith Goal? To try ramen in Japan together. :D

I make it a point to try different dishes to expand my knowledge on food though planning to take a different class for Japanese cuisine especially ramen. Well, if you knew your husband-to-be, friends and family love ramen would you not make your own version of it at home? 

I’m excited to blog my own recipe of Ramen! 

(Source: jeanprofugo)

4th Anniversary at Caviar

Four years and some change ago, I started this blog. It’s morphed from a space to a place where I can share my food review, relationships, my spiritual life, My God and a few heartfelt moments along the way.

I have always found solace in writing things down. Over the last 4 years, I’ve shared how “explore the world with You” means as I journey this sweet life with my boyfriend together with God who orchestrate everything. It was done to leave my thoughts in a place that I could easily revisit. I was startlingly getting emotional as I revisit my blog. Time indeed flies so fast as cliche as it may sound. Questions in mind like “what would it be like if God did not allowed these things to happen in my life?”, “what’s on my mind at this very moment if this did not happened?”, “Where would I be without Him?”, “Am I happy like what I am right now?”  lead me to tears as I felt the unpretentious gratitude in my heart. Every single second was indeed amazing… Life is so gooooood! Yeah, I’m really blessed with everything. 

And here I am trying to write my last anniversary date blog.  This day carries pretty important memories for us and I would always remember how it all began. So much feels…

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Celebrated on the day itself at Caviar Restaurant & Champagne Bar.. We were glad to know that a fine dining restaurant like this can be found in Alabang. There’s no need for us to travel far anymore to celebrate and we don’t have to schedule it during weekends since it’s so accessible! 

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A romantic ambiance and living room area complete with fireplace welcomed us as we enter the place. Over there is the Champagne Bar. When you turn left to the door, you’ll find the garden area. It was raining so we decided to sit on the couch. 

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Jaime, our server for the night, who took care of us last night introduced every details in the menu which we really appreciate. 

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He came back and present this ridiculously huge cut of cowboy steak good for 4-6 persons. There’s no way we can eat this alone. I guess we’ll come back and bring our reinforcements. This steak is soooooo inviting! We’ll definitely try this one. 

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He even greeted us with a complimentary sparkling wine to celebrate our anniversary. What can you expect from a Champagne bar? 

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Pau would always initiate to take this time to give glory to God for this special milestone and that’s what I love about him. 

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One of the servers came by with the complimentary house bread basket that had a selection of phyllo flatbread, a nice sourdough, and brown bread rolls. Everything is baked fresh in the kitchen and is served with an olive oil dip with a touch of balsamic vinegar, creamy butter, and green olives. I love bread and I would always ask for refill whenever they ask me. 

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I would love to try all these! I’m sure my best friend would love to try this too! 

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Served to jumpstart the night! 

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Bisque de Homard, poached Lobster Meat and Truffle Oil served in a different manner. Jamie poured the soup in front of us and even whipped out his whipped out his humongous pepper mill to season our soup. It was entertaining! I was using 50mm that time so I wasn’t able to take a photo. 

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To cleanse our palate before our main course, Jamie served us a small scoop of Sorbet with a balsamic reduction. I could taste a sweet langka and hints of lemon in my tiny glass. It tickles in my mouth. This was a very happy intermission before the main entrées.

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Steak sauces

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This time we skipped the appetizer and upgraded the 28 Days Dry Aged Bone in Rib-Eye for surf and turf. You just need to add P850.00 for upgrade. I say this is the best decision that we’ve made. 

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Now who doesn’t want a Lobster and Steak anyway? The combination was the best!!! We were laughing at each other because we don’t have space left for dessert. It’s the first time ever in history. We love sweets but we cannot eat anymore this time. 

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Jamie brought another two complimentary glasses of Limincello. I asked the alcohol percent this time since I am getting sleepy already and he said 30%. We’re not a wine person and if I managed to finish a glass of it, I would ask Pau to take me home immediately. I might fall asleep in an instant. Haha!

We wanted to cancel our movie date, Hercules, after the dinner but didn’t make it on time so we watched it anyway. We fell asleep in the movie house. Haha! 

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We toured around the restaurant. Later then I found out that Sir Frank, the owner and chef, prepared our food himself.

Picture taking behind the wines. Everything from the restaurant was also designed by Sir Frank. 

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These four years have been beautiful and grace-filled; a blessing and a challenge. Who would have thought that we are about to get married in almost four months? All in all, I’d say that we’ve fared pretty well, partner. We’ve been through a lot and experienced His grace and we will experience more of His in the next chapter.

I look forward to our first anniversary. This time, not a fine dining anymore but travel. :D Happy Anniversary! 

(Source: jeanprofugo)

Unforgettable memories. Irreplaceable memories.

I remember the first time we visited Cent, Pau’s best friend, at the hospital. I was speechless. I couldn’t contain my emotions and cannot bear how hard he’s been suffering on a plain white bed in the ICU. Pau thought of the best way for his best friend and his family – to pray. Honestly, our hearts were crushed that we can’t do nothing but to cry out to God for help.

He was playing basketball and his head directly hit the floor as he fell from a bad jump ball. He was rushed in the hospital and later they found out that he cannot remember anyone nor anything at all. His dad miserably narrated everything while waiting for our chance to enter the ICU.

As for me, the scariest and one of the saddest feeling is not to remember anything. Though, we believe that in time he will soon recover (he’s okay now!). I’m scared of losing and forgetting not just the happy times but also the sad times. I’m scared of not remembering my family, fiancé, friends, my loved ones. I don’t wanna forget…

Sounds like a typical Korean novella. But I woke up and realized that it’s really possible to happen in real life. 

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On our second visit, he remembered Pau but couldn’t remember my name. Thank God for his fast recovery. Pau was really worried. I am too. I was surprised how he recalled his date with his girlfriend at Tagaytay and mentioned “The Domaine” more than twice. He still remember that we got engaged there and told us that he wants to go there. Pau couldn’t forget it so he decided to celebrate his birthday here. 

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Oh, the crew still remember us and warmly welcomed us. I remember the time we got engaged here. Time really flies so fast. I’m getting married in a few months. 

We were very happy for Cent’s fast recovery. The talk was about the accident and the proposal and anything under the sun. Of course, basketball is always present. 

We tried the 3-set course but this time is different. Sad to say that I failed to check the menu but that’s alright, I’ve blogged it already.  

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This is the salad that I tried for appetizer. 

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Mussels for appetizer for Cent and Pau.

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Risotto just like in The Fault in our Stars.

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Main course for Pau.

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I ordered Lemon Tart for dessert but I couldn’t eat it because it’s too sour for dessert. The waiter noticed that I did not eat my dessert so he replaced it with Dark chocolate mouse with coconut biscuit for free. I said that it’s alright but he insisted. I really love their service! :)

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God has His own reasons for allowing things to happen. We may not be able to understand it now, but we will definitely would, in time. In His perfect time. But despite every tragic accident, we are secured that even though we don’t understand what’s happening, we know that God is always in control and He knows what He is doing. In time, He will reveal the reasons for everything.

Just like what Pau said, everything that happened to Cent will be part of his testimony. With that, we are blessed to celebrate this special milestone of his life. Cheers to another year of your life! 

No matter what happened, no matter how life tries to make us forget the things and the person that are precious to us, it just can’t. Those irreplaceable memories that no matter how we are forced to forget it, we cannot just forget it. 

(Source: jeanprofugo)

Vertical Horizon in Manila 2014

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If you’ve been reading my blog devotedly, you know that I love concert. I love Paramore. I love Franco. I love Urbandub. Can you find something in common? They all gonna blow your eardrums when you watch them live. 

My brother, I mean my older brother. is one of the people who influenced me with the music that I listen to. From Incubus to Red Hot Chilli Pepper, to Coldplay to to Lifehouse to Jason Mraz to Vertical Horizon to Third Eye Blind. Name it! Given a chance, I would definitely want to watch them live. 90’s music is way better than the music nowadays. If you’re a kid from the 90’s, you know what I mean.

To find out that Vertical Horizon is back in Manila, we instantly booked for ticket. It’s our first time to watch at Newport Performing Arts Theater. It was beautiful here and you would still appreciate the concert even if you’re not sitting in the VIP seat.

Vertical Horizon’s concert reminds me of my high school memories. It felt like I traveled in the past for almost 2 hours. I used to relate much to their songs and writings. 

When I heard them sing “Best I ever Had” which is my all time favorite, my night is complete. 

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(Source: jeanprofugo)

Wholeheartedly

Worship. Serving. Lordship. Surrender. Face Down. Victory. These are some of the few words that pretty much sum up the one of the best week I had in my entire life.

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Despite the odds, I was able to attend FaceDown 2014. It’s a three-day worship conference held in Victory Alabang. Trutfully, I never asked for schedule. Good thing I did not for if I did, I would never register and conclude that I would never make it. In fact, at first I thought that conference will be held after work probably around 5-10pm. To realize that it is actually a three whole day conference is an extra challenge for someone like me. Uhm, looooooonngggg story. 

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Fortunately, I managed to sneak in but was late on the first day because of work, of course! I was a bit hesitant to attend since I stopped singing because of the conflict in my schedule. My team might probably forget about me but thank God for confidence, I met some of my friends, my teammates. I realized I was very excited to see them.

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Sadly, the circumstances did not allowed me to attend the next two days. But I did not write to whine. It’s just one day but I learned a lot on the first day. It was very moving, life-changing, eye opener experience. Given a chance, I would definitely savor every minute of the conference. In time, Jean. In time.  Could you imagine if I was able to attend the whole conference? Geez, I might have missed it but yeah… that’s life! Haha!

“We want approval, we want affirmation, we want acceptance” Who’s approval are we getting, the Lord’s or man? - Ptr. John Del Rosario

Friendships, boy & girl relationships, or any kind of relationships; any tangible entity or object, a person, an activity, a career, music, an ideology – anything that replaces God in our hearts is an idol.” -Rey Lizardo 

“The amount of work in the ministry is not the meter of your relationship with God.“ - Rey Lizardo

During the week, I had to meet my delegate to prepare us for Victory Weekend. Despite our busy schedule, it was through His grace that we were able to finish it until victory weekend. Little did I know that God is teaching me something about surrender. 

“What do you really mean by surrender? What if you’re not ready to surrender yet?”

These thoughts came across my mind during the week.

For the nth time, I’ve asked myself, “What does it mean to surrender everything to God?” Jesus talks about this concept of picking up our cross daily and following Him. In order to find life, we must lose it. But how do you do that? Is it a simple prayer? Is it giving concerns and worries up to God and try to trust that He’s got everything under control? 

Surrendering everything to God is not some radical or crazy action where you quit your job or school and pray all the time. It means elevating God above everything else and opening up every area of your life to Him. Every area means everything. It is the willingness to let God do what is His responsibility. Jesus died for our sins, He give us the enablement to do everything God has planned and promises. He died so we can have the fullness of who we are today. Truth isn’t some abstract concept, measured by perspective or emotions, truth is a person. The Holy Spirit leads you to the truth. The father provides, plans and lines things up to His perfect timing.

To surrender to God is to serve Him wholeheartedly. It’s about positioning yourself to say, “God, I am willing to open up everything I am and have and let you do your thing." Its about becoming aware of what He’s doing. Its about knowing that Jesus died to give you an identity as a child of God and coming into intimacy with Him.

To pick up your daily cross is to have the determination and will to choose Jesus above everything else. To love wholeheartedly, to take up your daily cross, to surrender your life to God is about the choice to let go and let God do. It is a choice you have the power to make in every situation and circumstance. In every part of your life. The focus isn’t about “what if I stuff up?” Jesus took care of that 2000 years ago. Jesus has already made you complete. God’s love is fixated and unchanging. The focus is about loving Him wholeheartedly today.

But what if you’re at the point of your life that you cannot surrender your life to Him yet? It might probably because you don’t know exactly the God that you are serving. Trust is develop by having a relationship. If we don’t have a relationship with Him, it would be hard for us to open ourselves to Him. But if we take our relationship deeper and deeper, trust won’t be an issue. But how can we know Him? Through communicating  - reading the Bible and prayer. We should make extra effort to have a deeper relationship with God. The more we know Him, the more we trust Him, the more we can surrender our life to Him.

I’ve felt the unexplainable peace and comfort in my heart. It’s amazing how God teaches us things over and over again. So many realisations for this and I can’t help but give praises and honour to God. 

With this, use me Lord for Your glory. I want more of You!

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I cannot contain the joy in my heart every time i attend victory weekend. Glory to You alone!

(Source: jeanprofugo)

1771 Sentro

The dress has been purchased, the invitations have been decided. The bridesmaids, the groomsmen, the caterer, the honeymoon, the list goes on – all chosen. All the finishing touches leading up to a wedding weekend to remember. Thank God we’re surely but slowly moving! :D

Time flies. I’ve said this many times before. It seems like just yesterday when he proposed and just like that we blink and the wedding is nearly upon us. Sometimes I want to press the forward button and let’s get the party started. Wedding jitters! Sometimes, I want to pause when I think of me leaving our house in a couple of months. I told my mom earlier that my closet is full already and that some of my clothes can be found in any of the closets of the house. But she said that there’s no need to expand it since I’m gonna transfer naman daw to our new house. Haha! 

On the other side, there are moments that I am still enjoying despite the preparations. Thank God for random meeting at Makati that lead to spontaneous dinner date. It’s been awhile since I blog about food but let me give it a try this time. Too bad, I left my GoPro in the car but it’s not for food photography anyway so that’s okay.

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I myself was not aware of how good 1771 Sentro is when it comes to  Filipino Cuisine until Pau convinced me to try it. Guess, my eyes are too focused for Japanese, pasta and steaks that failed to embrace our very own dishes.

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Said to be the first in modern Filipino cuisine, I know you’d react similarly to how I responded when I found out that Corned Beef Sinigang is their signature dish. That’s weird but the taste wouldn’t fail to surprise you. 

Didn’t take photos but the ambiance insinuates a modern take on Filipino set-up perfect for after-work relaxation, meetings and dates like this.

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I took the longest time deciding what to order but in the end Pau decided for us. First pick was Honey garlic pork spareribs. I couldn’t agree with him more when he said that it’s really delicious.

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Of course, we wouldn’t want to leave the restaurant without trying their signature dish, Sinigang na Corned Beef. Sample soup was served minutes after we placed our order asking if they would adjust the soup’s taste or not. I love that part! The tastier the better!

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Later then we realized that we’re celebrating our monthsary (we were almost home already) but we’re too busy counting the days before our wedding that we failed to notice it but of course, we’re grateful for this milestones. All for Your Glory! Few more months to go! <3

(Source: jeanprofugo)