Tag Archives: 2013

Italian Delights at Balboa, East Wing Shangrila

Last November 30, 2013, the family and I went out to celebrate my becoming a licensed engineer. We planned for dinner + a movie at Shangrila’s East Wing. I had a difficult time deciding where we would eat. Do I want Chinese food? Japanese? Italian? Would I want to eat at a buffet or a regular ala carte resto? So many choices!

I went online and saw 2 interesting (and new) restaurants at the East Wing. There was Balboa and Corazon. Thankfully they were on the same floor so it wouldn’t be a hassle to just get to the mall and decide on the spot.

We ended up eating at Balboa. Here’s my simple review.

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Lasagna, Family Size, 509php

The menu specified that the meat in this lasagna was Angus Beef. Yum. My dad said that this was the way Italian lasagna was made, not at all like the Filipino lasagna I was expecting. It was a little on the bland side, for me. I think it could have done with a little more cheese since the bits of cheese I tasted were delish.

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All Meat Pizza, Family size, 668php

As meat-eaters, my family thoroughly enjoyed this pizza. Again, it’s made in the Italian thin crust style with delicious cheeses and various meats. I recommend this dish highly. It’s not too filling or greasy, unlike most popular pizzas you’d encounter in the Philippines.

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Osso Bucco Milanes, 448php

My favorite dish had to be the Osso Bucco Milanes. It’s beef shanks in some wonderful sauce. (Sorry, I wasn’t able to read the description on the menu). The meat was tender and very very flavorful. I only wished we ordered another one! The rice was OK, nothing special. I exclaimed that if this is what thier beef shanks tasted like, imagine how their steaks are :O

All-in-all Balboa is a sure-visit for fans of Italian fare. Though it is quite pricey (read: very pricey, I’d like to thank my sponsors mom and dad), the experience of eating there would surely make up for the empty space in your wallet.

However! I did not enjoy eating by the side of the restaurant. When we arrived, the place was full and we had to dine at the tables outside. While this may be a good idea if you’re living in the South of France in Springtime, it is not a good idea when dining in a busy mall.

The area where Balboa is situated is a particularly busy one with no less than 4 results in the vicinity. What’s more, the corridor where we ate was very narrow as it shared space with Corazon and its outside diners. There was zero ambiance as my family and I had to shout to hear one another and pedestrians kept hitting the back of my chair. It also made it difficult for us to call on the attention of the servers. I don’t know if it was poor planning on Shangrila’s part or on Balboa’s but having a restaurant with very little space inside for diners (I counted 5 or 6 tables only!) is quite vexing.

I’m not so sure if I’d like to come back. The food is really good and I’m curious about the other menu items, but my experience with eating in the corridor left a bitter aftertaste.

My Fall TV Schedule

As always, I’m extremely excited for fall. I live in the Philippines, so it’s not the weather that excites me…it’s the TV Shows! Most of the shows I follow are from the US so I am a slave to their TV schedules.

Here’s how my September-February will look like in terms of shows I’ll be downloading. Now, time slots don’t really affect me but I wanted to have some semblance of order in my TV table.

Shows in bold are new shows premiering in Fall 2013. As for the others, they’re returning shows in their latest seasons. This table may evolve as changes in schedules come out over the next few months. Feel free to come back and see any changes. I’ll be keeping this post as updated as possible.

Time Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Sunday
8:00 Bones, How I Met Your Mother, Almost Human Dads, The Orignals, S.H.I.E.L.D. Revolution The Big Bang Theory, The Vampire Diaries The Carrie Diaries Once Upon a Time
8:30 Brooklyn Nine-Nine
9:00 2 Broke Girls, The Following, Sleepy Hollow New Girl, Supernatural Modern Family Grey’s Anatomy, The Crazy Ones ANTM, Enlisted
9:30 The Mindy Project Super Fun Night The Michael J. Fox Show
10:00 CSI Scandal, Elementary Crossbones

I’ll be posting summaries and trailers of the new shows I’m looking forward to watching. 🙂

Hit the comments on which shows YOU’RE excited to see this Fall.

Not-so-New-Year’s Drabbles (Part 2)

Okay, so I haven’t actually finished. I still have two to go but I felt like posting some sort of progress. (Just so I can say that I wrote stuff today ;)) Part 1 here.

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Five miles outside he encampment where Gladys lived were makeshift patrol towers. Each one was erected under the Chief’s watch. He sed to be an engineer before the Meltdown, head of his own construction company in Chicago. Glady’s took a deep breath and started to climb. She could hardly remember life before the Meltdown, being a kid and all when it happened. She remembered trees, birds and clouds, though. They used to be pretty and not at all depressing. Nowadays, no one looks at the sky if they could help it. Especially those who remembered white clouds and orange sunsets.

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Four out of the eight captains of the Retribution were present, each one wearing his or her company’s colors. The Chief stood at one corner observing the meeting. He wasn’t technically supposed to be there but the captain of the Black company requested for him. They all sat in a round table facing each other, maps and compasses littered on the table. Each captain sat rigidly, back straight and in varying degrees of distress. The absence of the remaining four captains were weighing against each person’s shoulders. It was going to be bloody and no one was going to like it.

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3, 2, 1 fire! The squadron leader shouted amidst the noise already occupying the field. Loud shots followed his orders a men and women fired canons at targets. It was all in a day’s work testing the new merchandise. Steely Phil looked on, a clipboard in his meaty hands. He took down some figures and repositioned his ear protection. “50 percent off after the thousandth bought sir!” Steely shouted after the noise had died down. “Newest batch too!”. The squadron leader motioned for his troops to load again, all the while hardly acknowledging Phil’s presence. Boom, the sound of money.

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Two more drabbles to go to complete my set. Hope you enjoyed! Hit the comments button to tell me what you think 🙂 ❤

Bomb Girls: Girl Power during WW2 (and great TV)

I don’t really recall if I have had the pleasure of telling everyone how much I love Canadian shows. I’ve recently discovered two great shows: Lost Girl and Continuum. The former is about a succubus and the latter about a time-travelling cop. Though I simply loooove both shows, this post is about a different one: Bomb Girls.

Bomb Girls is a show that looks into the lives of women during the Second World War. While the men were out fighting, factories hired women to take their places in the production line. There are so many different reasons why I love this show, not the least of all the theme of Girl Power. Women weren’t looked at as equals during the 1940’s so it was interesting to look at the struggles women had to face during these times. This era was the “housewife era” where women were expected to stay at home to cook, clean, take care of the children and look pretty. But with the war, they were given the opportunity to work. Bomb Girls explore this change of the tide and presents WW2 from a woman’s point of view. Here’s a trailer to (hopefully) entice you to watch the show.

New Year’s Drabbles 2013 (Part 1)

Drabble – a work of fiction in 100 words.

My theme for 2013 is “End of the World”. These drabbles are somewhat connected (some directly connected). They all happen in the same universe/world though 🙂 Just my attempt at getting the writing going 😄 Uhm, R rating for swear words and implied things 😉

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Thirteen-year old Kelsey was found dead near the Restoration park last Thursday. I overheard mom telling the Chief that she was found without any clothes on. She wanted to say more but then they spotted me me eavesdropping and stopped talking. The Chief came toward me and leaned down.

“Don’t you have kitchen duty young one?”

I snorted and rolled my eyes. He knew I wasn’t a ladle girl.

“The only kitchen I serve sir has guns for utensils.” My mom closed her eyes and mouthed a prayer. She hated having a daughter in the troops. Well, I hated soup.

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12:30 am. They reported that Japan surrendered to China amidst the threat of a nuclear strike on Tokyo City. No one predicted that the country would be the first to fall but another Nagasaki or Hiroshima was out of the question.

2:15 am. South Korea pledged allegiance to its Northern counterpart in exchange for immunity.

5:30 am. India was bombarded with what was said to be 100 missiles. Thousands dead.

3:00 pm. The United States declared war on the newly-formed Asian Alliance. It would take just a little over six months from that singular moment for the world to end.

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Eleven side arms. Check. 22 bullet canisters. Check. Five semi-automatic sniper rifles. Check. Eleven canteens. Check. Eleven pairs of combat boots. Check. Eleven helmets. Check. Two, four, six, eight, 10 12 14 16 18 20 22 24 26 27 28 grenades. Check. One stocked first-aid kit with bandages, IV fluids and tubing, tourniquets, gauze, catether, chest seals, scalpel, gloves, Morphine, Ibuprofen, antibiotics, shears, tape, band-aids. Check, check, checkity check. One week rations. Per soldier MRE contains 5 packs of protein, 5 packs of side dishes, crackers, candy, spread, multiple small packs of coffee and tea. All-in. Eleven standard issue chest pads. Yup. Three…

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10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Happy New Year! The confetti started falling and everyone cheered. Me? I was standing under a lamp post trying desperately to light a cigarette. It wasn’t that it was that cold, but my hands wouldn’t stop shaking.

“Need a light?” I looked up and saw a tall man with glasses offering his lighter. Who was I to refuse?

“Thanks,” I murmured back, holding out my cig for him to light.

“Happy New Year,” he greeted with a sweet smile. If I wasn’t otherwise occupied with this stupid mission I would’ve brought this man home and fucked his brains out. I brought my cigarette to my mouth and took a much needed dose of nicotine.

“Likewise,” I replied.

“I always loved New Year in the Big Apple.”

I was so stunned I almost forgot to respond. “France has better fireworks.”

“Nice to meet you Agent Bell. You may call me Nikolai.”

“They told me I was to meet a former KGB. You have impeccable English, no accent at all.”

“Can’t be a spy with an accent now can I.” He started to walk away and I closely followed. Fucking may still be on the agenda after all.

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Eight minutes until supper and I was anxiously waiting. I had my tray in both hands and was practically leaving finger indents on both sides.

“You’re frothing at the mouth there, soldier.”

“Just hankering for some grub, sir.” I tried to hide my surprise that one of the captains was speaking to me. Cool and calm, cool and calm.

“I couldn’t blame you,” the captain said lighting a cigarette. “I miss proper food.” They said the captain was one of the first to fight against the Alliance all those years ago. They also said he lost his husband during the Meltdown.

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Seven regions were formed after the Meltdown. Most of Africa and the Middle East was lost. Austrailia sank. Europe had survived but barely. Territories were redrawn and whole countries disappeared. The US was by far the least damaged. Only the coast states were affected at all. Canada was safe but was occupied by the Alliance. No one saw that one coming. Antartica was considered lost as well. South America was a dead man’s zone. The land was mostly unscathed but was uninhabitable. Seven regions: Asia Major, Asia Minor, New People’s Canada, The Europe Plains, The Americas and The Unseized Territories.

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Six days after the Meltdown was pure chaos. It took the world 6 days to collapse on itself. Billions died, more than half due to the initial blast. The tsunami that followed wiped out Austrailia and most coastal regions. Then the earthquakes toppled cities. Then there was the acid rain. Factories all over the world shut down, power plants failed, technology faltered. It was six days of pure terror. The world as it was ended. And those that survived found themselves under the iron rule of the Alliance. Those who fought against them were scattered, most surrendered. This was the new world.

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Part 1 done 🙂 Yes, I cheated a bit and some drabbles were a little over 100 words but hey, I’m not into rules that much. Tomorrow, I’ll be posting Part 2 (Yes, you guessed it 5-1). Hope you enjoyed!