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Personal: Goals, dreams, and yes, life.

Friday, January 30, 2015
"My ultimate goal in life right now is to be happy. Genuinely, intensely, and consistently happy, regardless of what that looks like to others."
Credits to the one who wrote this.

When I first saw that on my news feed, I immediately grabbed the photo and shared it on my Instagram. I felt the need to share it because it was exactly how I felt and I wanted to let the people in my little world to know that. 

2014 has been an awesome ride for me even though the whole roller coaster ride involved a lot of downfalls. I've made such crazy, hard, and very good decisions. I've lost a lot of people last year, and I guess it was just about right. Removing some people in my life has made my life less toxic, and I embrace this new year with smiles.

I agree that it's a bit too late for me to write about what I want this year to be but I'll still write them down. At the end of this year, I want to look in front of the mirror and see how better of a person I am than I was last year.

I simply do not want to have goals I cannot achieve therefore this is not a list of resolutions or whatnot

Well, my dream since I was in college is about to come to reality this year. It's too early for me to disclose what it is right now, but it's definitely something. As it is slowly becoming more of a reality than a dream, the pressure starts to rise and sometimes it catches me off guard. After being a bum for 7 months now, having that sense of responsibility is really stressful. You know what they say that nothing worth having comes easy? Well, I'm pretty sure the stress I am feeling right now will double really soon and I guess I just have to deal with it. With sensible people around me, I know that I will be able to face every challenge with a strong heart and mind, and a lot of will to make it to the finish line. 

Another goal I have for this year is  to be able to express how I really feel without caring about what other people might say about it. Yes, I admit to being careful with what I post online and tell other people because I am afraid of negative insights. This year, I will remain careful and be more private with my personal relationships, but I will definitely set aside other people's opinions. To be honest, with the personality that I have, this is really a hard thing to do. Then again, realizing how happy I am with people I choose to love now makes me want to disregard all possible negative vibes. This is new to me and I feel very tip-top knowing that people who matter understand what I'm going through and they support me all the way.

This is a fairly impossible thing to goal for but it's on my list anyway - I am aiming to lose weight. Hmm. Yes! Going through my blog archives, I believe I've written about this more than once and it scares me that I might just be doing this for a short period of time and go back to my old lifestyle which is eating too much and not exercising. Well, I've been working out since the start of this year and it seems I am still willed to it. I haven't really lost that much weight yet, but having to wear a belt on my jeans is a good sign. If you ask me, I don't really go on a diet. I plan to work out first, get stronger, and then reach the point where even though I eat the same amount of food that I do, I still burn more. Just like any other Smartphone user who wants to monitor workouts, I downloaded the Nike Running app to keep track of my runs. I've used the application since last year and I noticed how I poorly ran last year. I ran/jogged 3-4km for 1hr which is nothing compared to my record now (averagely 5-6km/hr). I'm excited for more jogging sessions with myself and potentially my parents or friends. I still have issues with my legs and feet during these sessions but I just keep on reminding myself of Miranda Kerr and Candice Swanepoel's bodies and it gets me going. Oh yes, and the very famous no pain, no gain line. Besides, I've grown tired of hearing people tell me how much weight I've gained. Alright people, alright! I get it!

The most important goal I have set for myself is to be able to save enough money by Christmas so I could get my parents and loved ones presentable presents. Last year was such a bad year since I barely had the money to buy anyone a present and it saddens me and hurts my pride. This year, I don't mind if I don't get the curling iron that I want, or clothes that are in style, or whatever the hell I want. This year, I plan to be less selfish and focus on the things that the people I love want. If I get to save more than enough, then I'll buy myself the things I want.

I'm guessing that's about it since my ultimate goal is to be happy. Besides, I no longer want myself to be disappointed with unreached goals. 

Your success and happiness lies in you.
Resolve to keep happy, and your joy and you
shall form an invincible host against difficulties.
Hellen Keller

Food: Matutina's, Pangasinan

Annual tradition? Well, it's more of an after-Baguio-tradition, but we go to Baguio every year anyways so I guess I'm not exaggerating when I say annual.

I have come to realize that I am really my father's daughter when I prefer fresh fish over the ones you buy in the groceries. We're not really the type to go to wet markets early in the morning so we don't really get the chance to have fresh fish all the time. I love going to Butuan, my dad's hometown because they have access to different freshwater and salt sea fishes and I get to eat them every frickin day. Up here in the North, I anticipate eating at Matutina's all the time.

We go to Matutina's mainly for their famous Malaga fish. I prefer it fried so we always order fried Malaga. My mom likes the Sinigang na Malaga, so we order a separate one. Although on our recent visit, we just ordered fried. The place is very province-ish but it saddens me that the management bought Italian-like statues of "welcome" and "thanks for coming" and the likes. There's nothing wrong with it, I just think it would be better for them to stick to the theme of their restaurant, which is very Filipino.

...and then it makes me wonder. Some places here in the metro try hard to make it look like the province and establishments in the provinces try hard to make it look modern or metro-ish. I don't get that. Oh well, it's none of my business.

It's been eight consecutive years that we've been going to Baguio and eating at Matutina's and this is the first time I wrote about it. I've always wanted to, I guess I just keep on forgetting to take photos of the malaga every time I see it since I just want to devour into it immediately.

Other dishes you should try at Matutina's:
  • Grilled Pork
  • Pinakbet
  • Shrimps
  • Pansit Canton
Personal rating for Matutina's (food taste): ★★★★★
Personal rating for Matutina's (service):     ★★★★

Travel: Baguio, 2015

Thursday, January 29, 2015
Cembrano + Medina | © Kenneth Guevara, iPhone 6
If you are to ask the reason why we went to Baguio, the answer is simple. My brother and his friends went to Baguio last week; and my mom got jealous. She then planned a trip to Baguio. We would normally stay at Baguio Country Club, but it was full. Well, given the news that the weather was nice, it's really hard to book anywhere else.

I found it unusual that my mom searched Agoda for a place to stay at since she's not really into the web. We were supposed to stay at this Azalea place, but then my mom found UHV. It was a house with 5 bedrooms and was relatively cheaper than the 2-bedroom suite she had reserved at Azalea. At first, we were already settled and joked around that each of us will have our own room until I asked my mom if we could invite the Medina family to join the fun. Long story short, there were 8 of us and there was still enough room for at least 5 more people.

© Tina Cembrano | iPhone 6
© Tina Cembrano | iPhone 6
© Tina Cembrano | iPhone 6
© Tina Cembrano | iPhone 6

It literally is a village and it reminded me of San Francisco. The weather during the time of our stay added up to its San Francisco vibe. I believe they have a coffee shop but I wasn't able to try it. Their reception area sold cigarettes so that's really a plus for me.

UHV is not a hotel therefore you shouldn't expect a breakfast buffet. My brother and I look forward to buffet breakfasts, but we always hated waking up early to catch them. There, we brought canned goods, eggs, etc so we could cook & have breakfast. Okay, so they could have breakfast. Since there is no breakfast buffet, I slept my way through breakfast and woke up in time for lunch. Hihi.

So anyway, they have a kitchen with complete stuff - stove, utensils, casseroles, refrigerator, etc. As for my ever ready mother, we brought oil, onions, garlic, soy sauce, etc. The dining table in the house that we got was good for six people.
Dining table | iPhone 6
The kitchen with my momma | iPhone 6
Oh yes, you don't need to bring your own rice cooker
View from the Master's Bedroom | © Tina Cembrano | iPhone 6
Me and my brother shared this room | © Tina Cembrano | iPhone 6
This was our bathroom
Master's Bedroom - where my parents stayed | Hi, me.
Wasn't able to take a photo of the whole bathroom but this had a walk-in closet
Ground floor bedroom
Ground floor bathroom
Ground floor bedroom dresser
Basement bedroom
Basement bathroom
Basement bathroom
Third floor/Attic bedroom | Sorry, I forgot to take a photo of the bathroom
Basically, there are 5 bedrooms and 5 bathrooms. Seriously not bad for its price. I literally couldn't complain. They also offer daily housekeeping services although I remember having a conversation with their housekeeping that they change the sheets every 3 days. Regardless, she changed the sheets when I requested for it with no hesitation.

My favorite, favorite parts of the house are the following:

1. The Veranda

 © Tina Cembrano | iPhone 6
You can smoke in any part of the house (if you're a non-smoker family/bunch, you should inform them beforehand while making your reservation), although you don't want that so we all smoked here. It was a really nice place to chill at. With the weather last weekend, I can say that we were literally chilling outside. 

2. The Attic / Family Playroom

© Tina Cembrano | iPhone 6
© Tina Cembrano | iPhone 6
© Tina Cembrano | iPhone 6
Yeah, me, my brother and my cousin did smoke cigarettes here. But we only did because the oldies pretty much had a hard time coming up the third floor. We bonded here during the first night. The boys were playing games and I was singing alone with our karaoke (we brought our own; not sure if they have one for rent). Don't ask me why there's a tent - I cannot answer you. Nope, no one slept on the tent but it was really funny to see there was one. Pretty much like Xander on Forevermore. Lol! But if you ask me, I'm pretty sure that a group of friends could think of something to do with the tent.


© Tina Cembrano | iPhone 6
Just found this really cute | © Tina Cembrano | iPhone 6
© Tina Cembrano | iPhone 6
Photo of the house from outside | © Tina Cembrano | iPhone 6
Other view | © Tina Cembrano | iPhone 6
Other view | © Tina Cembrano | iPhone 6
The garage | © Tina Cembrano | iPhone 6

Aside from the weather, why else would you go to Baguio? Easy. STRAWBERRIES.

We made strawberry shake. Damn them strawberries.

In case you're wondering, nope we didn't roam around Baguio this time. We attended mass and ate out, but not really go sight-seeing. I agree that we're all past the phase of "touring" Baguio. We were all after the weather, the togetherness, and of course, the pretty house.

My personal rating for Upper House Village, Baguio: ★★★★★

Cravings: Baby Back Ribs

Sunday, January 18, 2015
Photo by me | iPhone 6
 For over a week now, I've seriously been craving for some ribs. I want to have that feeling of satisfaction and feel no guilt at all. These ribs would give me that. It doesn't have to be at Racks. I just really want some.

"I like food. I like eating. And I don't want to deprive myself of good food." - Sarah Michelle Gellar

Aside from these ribs, I'm probably missing the company of this guy.

Hi sir, I'd like to order two slabs and a good time with this man. That's all, thanks!

Travel: Hong Kong

Thursday, January 8, 2015

© Tina Cembrano | GoPro Hero3 Black Edition

When I like a movie, I tend to watch it over and over again up until the point where I have already memorized all the lines. Same with places - I don't mind going back to places I really love. This trip with my family would be my third time in Hong Kong, and I don't mind. I'd love to go back again. And again. And again. My first trip to Hong Kong was around 1996 or 1997. I don't remember anything except for the fact that we ate at Hard Rock, it was raining hard, and my mom took me and my brother to Toys R Us. Those were the only memories of Hong Kong I had way back. My second trip was just last 2013 with my best friend and travel buddy, Nika. That 2013 trip was full of excitement since it was full of "firsts" for me. This recent trip was another "first" for me since it was the first time I was gonna walk, walk, walk, and walk around with my family. I don't remember doing a lot of walking with them. And as far as I can remember, the last time I traveled with them was 2007, in America. I was pretty much indifferent back then. All I cared for was shopping and the sights. Now, I look forward to living the way of living of the places I visit, and most of all, damn good food.


© Tina Cembrano | iPhone 6
Because I was famished when we arrived at this restaurant, I wasn't able to take a photo of the food as it arrived. I cannot thank Hong Kong enough for having such good roast goose. There is NO Chinese Restaurant here in the Philippines that comes close to how good their goose is. None. If you know a place, let me know. I'd love to try them out. 

© Tina Cembrano | iPhone 6

© Tina Cembrano | iPhone 6

Another reason why I would love to go to Hong Kong every now and then is because of their noodles. I believe you already know how good it is. Every night, literally every night at around 11:30-12MN, we would walk to this really good noodle house to have our daily dose of noodles. Here in Manila, every time I'd go to places like Hap Chan, David's Tea House, Gloria Maris and the likes, I'd order Beef Brisket Noodles. What do you think I ordered in Hong Kong for 3 straight nights?

© Tina Cembrano | iPhone 6


I will let the pictures speak for themselves.
I also created a video which is viewable on laptop only; Idk why.

© Tina Cembrano | GoPro Hero3 Black Edition

Spot me! I'm the third one from the left, first row | Nikon D7100

Hair Raiser with my uncle! We're the ones in front | Nikon D7100
Legit Harvard Hoodie day for us | iPhone 6

Excuse the eye bags & ugly skin | iPhone 6

I'm with two chickens | iPhone 6

This "okay" dish from a fastfood chain | iPhone 6

Ferry Selfie 2014 | iPhone 6
& the kids are out to shop at Mong Kok | iPhone 6
© Go Pro Hero 3 Black Edition

© Go Pro Hero 3 Black Edition

© Go Pro Hero 3 Black Edition

MTR Selfie | Go Pro Hero 3 Black Edition

© Go Pro Hero 3 Black Edition

© Go Pro Hero 3 Black Edition

Plane groupie | © Go Pro Hero 3 Black Edition

© Go Pro Hero 3 Black Edition

Bus ride to Ocean Park | © Go Pro Hero 3 Black Edition

© Go Pro Hero 3 Black Edition

© Go Pro Hero 3 Black Edition
Nikon D7100

GoPro Hero 3 Black Edition

iPhone 6
Oh nothing, just showing off my pretty mom :) | Nikon D7100

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