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Fantastic reviews from friends in facebook and the blogging community entice us, J and I, to try Maple as our next food trip. 

Located at the newly open East Wing of Shangri-la Mall, Maple features breakfast items such as tapa, eggs benedict and various selections of pancakes. 

When we arrived at around 7PM last Friday, we were already 10th in the waiting list. The place was jam-packed; we were advised to come back after an hour or so as they will prioritize those in the list. So we came back at 8:15 and the place was crowdy than ever, the woman who had only arrived then was already 19th in the list. We finally got in after a couple more minutes of waiting. 

The interior of Maple is light, more formal than laid-back. The design would bring forth a fairytale vibe – script words scribbled on the walls, a bordered maple tree as the centerpiece, and a rack with books, reminiscent of kids’ bedtime stories. It’s a shame we didn’t took a lot of pictures of the place and interior but the place was really crowded. 

We ordered Maple Burger (P475) as I’ve always been on the search for a favorite burger after I watched the burger episode of How I Met Your Mother. And to J’s delight, Stuffed French Toast (P350) and Maple Buttermilk Pancake (P275) because he said, these should be their specialties. 

And now here is the reason I wrote a food blog post for the first time.

I found my favorite burger by far. And J totally agreed. 

I loved all about the Maple Burger. The patty literally melts in your month, like chocolate, but instead cheese and beef. The dressing is just the right kind (I actually forgot how it tastes like but it was really good). I saved the bacon for last because that’s how I do things, to serve like a prized trophy. The appetizers that came with it, deep-fried potatoes and onion rings were filling too.

I ate the burger so slow it’s as if I didn’t want it to end.

To be honest, I was so full after eating just half of the burger (J & I divided it in two) that I knew we were going to take out most of the pancake and French toast. But here they are nevertheless.

The Stuffed French Toast was really creamy, it’s soft like chiffon, so it felt like we already have a cake. Inside, it overflows with blueberry spread like a surprise (I’m not a fan of blueberry, it’s a little sour for me) but J loved it and he likes blueberry too. 

The pancakes were solid and filling, and they have chocolate bits all over. The maple sauce is smooth and not too sweet for my taste. It’s “pancakes like your day will be as comfy as the morning”.

The best thing is I now have a standard best burger on my list. And I’m sure will be coming back for that.

My Purple Thumb

Last Monday, May 13, Filipinos held the national elections. And at 25, it was my first time to vote. Yes, I’m guilty of not voting in 2010 elections together with my family, as in all 6 of us. But nevertheless, I’m just glad that I get to practice suffrage finally.

These were the senators I voted for:

Angara, Edgardo
Casino, Teddy
Hagedorn, Ed
Cayetano, Alan Peter
Gordon, Dick
Hontiveros, Risa
Pimentel, Koko
Trillanes, Antonio IV

Although I’m a part of a religious group which more or less practice unity when it comes to elections; in most ways, I try to be ideal and hold my personal values quite intact -- this is why I practically dragged my family to register in the last day of voting registration last year in October.

There are some things we just don’t compromise.

My top pick was Gordon but sadly he landed on the 13th spot. Sigh.

May 19 is JACI’s Day

JACI stands for me and my siblings, the first letter of our names in the order of our birth: Joy April Czarry Ivan. Cool huh.

Last May 19, the four of us went to Star City . Before that though, we attended church service and then had lunch at Burgoo, my treat. And we all realized we didn’t like steak. (Even when I ate one at Vikings, I didn’t really appreciate it very much. I’m a faithful Baby Back Ribs lover. Haha)

Ever since I went to HK with my sister, I felt that my fear of heights had lessened. And if given the chance, I think I will accept the challenge of Star Flyer but Czarry and Ivan didn’t want to so we opted for the less height-scary rides.


For missing Sex and The City, I found Girls.

I remember staying up until two on college Friday nights with my sister, watching the latest Sex and the City copies that we have, with a bowl of home-made popcorn, until our eyes would shut involuntarily and we have to resist watching just one more episode.

I remember the long lines of the last full shows on the first night of the two SATC movies, and going home almost midnight with our feet wet with street water I think it was August.

That was Sex and the City for me eight years ago, with the friendship, and the girls, and their love lives, and of course the sex. Now, at 25, I’m currently watching Girls.

The main characters are also four girls but in their early 20s (the lead role is 25 which may be why I find the series relatable) who are struggling in their life as young adults. Problems with boyfriend being too nice, guys who won’t commit, job and career-wise, the easy communication brought by technology trivializing relationships.

Girls are easy and honest and just light, without the heavy drama or phony smoothness of some tv shows.

And my favorite character’s Marlie. I feel her uptight-ness, and serious nature is characteristic of me.

In the stretch of March and April until May 9, I dragged myself everyday to fulfill the duties of MLC studies. It wasn’t really as bad as it may sound; until I turned 25 and only spent a day to celebrate (I was so used to making April, my birth and favorite month, occupied with the things I love doing). But I guess I had to sacrifice that part.

So in those more than two months of seclusion, nothing much happened except for the never-ending review, late night cuddling up with Devon with the desk lamp shade as the only light and the regular 10-minuted 9gag trip which served as my pastime on study breaks.

But at some point there were good days and moments that made those sacrifice months better, and thus the list of the little things that counted nevertheless:

Luma-life peg

I’m not really a big fan of superhero movies. Most of the time, I go with the movie’s storyline, so the time spent swooshing in the air, saving random people from bad guys (and sometimes from doing stupid things), getting the girl – I find that whole stuff dragging until the inevitable happy ending of saving the world that is characteristic to superhero movies.

But then I watched Avengers last year and had a great time, and immediately crush on RDJ even though most of my friends swooned over Thor. 

So when Iron Man 3 came out, I intend not to miss riding the bandwagon.  And boy I loved that. I’m crushing on RDJ even more and on his character. He was actually very inspiring in that movie. *gushes*


Last April 13, J took me to Vikings. And it was happiness.

Family Blessings

Both of my sisters graduated this year. My younger sister graduated from Miriam College as cum laude and our eldest graduated from her master’s degree in UP OU. And I’m one proud sister!

Taken at UP Open University, Los Banos Laguna
during our older sister's graduation

Pitong Patibong, etc

These past months I left my creative side rot, which is why I vowed to turn it around after my MLC exam. Watching Pitong Patibong, which my friend found advertised in facebook, was my first step. I have also finished reading Delirium by Lauren Oliver. And I again read Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott (I’m not sure if I finish reading it before eh), coupled with short writing assignments on the side. Add to that writing rakets and some blogging perks. All these until end of June where I am again expecting a major career decision (haha!) to take place. It’s getting sooner by the day, but I still have more than a month, I just hope it’s ample time for me to be happy that I am again taking a step towards the “writer” I feel I am.


My mom was one of five winners of Wilkins in their Mother’s Day contest, and we have unlimited Wilkins supply in the house for an estimated 6 months. Hehe

I've always thought that when I star in a movie of my imagination, it will be as grandiose and magical as in Tim Burton's movies like Big Fish and Alice in Wonderland. So I will make it so... 

It starts one morning I wake up before going to work, when I notice that things seem different. When I look though, everything is at their proper places: I still live in my house with my family and three dogs, so I dismiss the initial thought and go back to my daily routine and start preparing for work. 

I'm taking a bath when suddenly a black hole appeared in the bathroom floor, large enough to fit me in. But I was alert and got out of there quickly, only to find out that my room, the sala and the house as a whole were all covered in trees so green with thick vines and roots I could not see the flooring and the walls anymore. I scamper towards the other rooms looking for my parents and my brother and sisters but they're all gone, their beds untidy like they hurried to get out of it. 

I realize I am completely alone in our house, and the walls start to close in, and the black hole grew bigger by the minute until I was sucked inside to no one knows where... 

I wake up in the middle of a vast field when I hear someone approaching, a chariot led by black dogs, but huge dogs they could eat me alive if they will to. I hid myself under a rock until they have gone past my way. 

Then suddenly someone or something coughed behind me, and I jumped. I looked and it was a little man, probably one foot tall at the most, and he looks at me with questions in his eyes. I figured I could just kicked him with my karate skills if he became nasty. But he didn't and he seemed to be a friend, well at least at the moment. And he told me what happened just hours before I magically appeared out of nowhere.

He told me his name is Abanaga and I'm in Ra-a Kingdom, an alternate universe from Earth, where animals are vehemently large and served as the rulers, and humans are like ants in Earth, minute and quickly dispensable. Abanaga said they start "importing" humans from Earth to teach them how to be as tall as us, so they can change roles with the animals, and rule Ra-a like we do on Earth. As he said this though, I felt myself shrinking and shrinking to his size. Abanaga sigh, this always happens he said, when they import humans, they too shrink to their size. 

I also learned that my family is in the care of their leader, a large hawk whose wings expand to an entire field. He said when Hawk took trips to look for humans as its meal (and I gasped because then my family is in real danger), its wings covers the sky completely as if it's night.

Then and there, I vowed to rescue my family from the claws of the evil human-eating Hawk. And Abanaga said I can't do it alone. "You need us", he said. Apparently he meant the hundreds and thousands of little people like Abanaga (and me too unfortunately). 

And so we devised a plan that would overthrow Hawk and the hundreds of huge animals by luring them to eat poisoned "human bones and meat". Until the little humans, however small, took to rule Ra-a and I saved my family and together we were sucked into the black hole once again, this time towards our house in Earth. Back our home. 

And what better way to enjoy movies than a big bag of popping Kettle Korn that is sure to delight even the pickiest movie-eater?

Enjoy movies with Kettle Korn. Visit their facebook fanpage

And again I was MIA for more than a month, but I'm still positive on beating that 4 posts per month goal, or at least 20 by the end of May. So for starters, here are five most amazing things that happened while I'm away:

1. Days after my last post, my sister and I went to Hong Kong for 6 days, where 2 days were alloted for her conference, and for me, more soul-searching! Haha I'm going to write separate posts about it soon. 

2. Last May 6, I took the MLC exam. I had a really hard time, I feel there were so many word problems, not to mention lengthy. :( But I'm still keeping my fingers crossed, really really hard.

3. And I'm not going to keep it a secret any longer: I wrote a short story and submitted it to palanca. Shhhhhh. And I'm so happy about it. :) I spared one whole week for this. I didn't study for MLC just to do this, but hey it's one of my ultimate personal goals so there's no really regrets. (But I really hope for a positive result at end of June.)

4. And my right index finger is still purple from the elections last Monday. And I feel so proud to be a part of it. 

5. I turned 25. :)