Kuya J Restaurant

The situation these days is far different from when the Covid-19 pandemic began. I was appalled with the sea of people in the mall even on a weekday. Since it's summer here, the temperature can be a high 35 degrees (or even higher). Maybe the crowd was window shopping while enjoying the cool AC. Or perhaps there's really a need to replenish their pantry and just like us, we decided to have lunch to celebrate my mother's birthday.


In the past, she would prepare a number of dishes for the family. I may not be a good cook but I know the hustle of going through it. Besides, there is an abundant of restaurants nearby to make this occasion less stressful for the celebrant as she heartily enjoy the food.

Clockwise: beef kare-kare, chicken sisig and pinakbet 

Kuya J Restaurant never failed us. We ordered their kare-kare bundle. The main course was cooked to perfection. The beef kare-kare was very soft. It's peanut sauce, rich and thick. The chicken sisig was bursting with so much flavor. It was tender, crispy and quite spicy. Their version of pinakbet, was a bit hard. Maybe we can request to have it cooked thoroughly next time. 

L-R: espesyal and ube halo-halo 

Their espesyal (vanilla flavor) and ube (yam) halo-halo were very good. Unlike most restaurants who offer this dessert, the ice, milk and sugar are all mixed separately. Kuya J's is uniquely different - the milk and sugar were incorporated into the water; frozen then shaved, giving a very smooth texture to it. Overall we had a very satisfying meal. 


Kuya J FB page 
About Kuya J Restaurant


The Mothers In My Life

My mother and grandmother both play a significant role in my life. I saw their strength behind their gentleness, their ability to simultaneously juggle their roles when the need arises and their wisdom in resolving the many challenges in the family.

My mom

I will never forget the myriad sacrifices my mom has done for me especially after my injury. After losing my ability to walk, she was my number one cheerleader. She was present during my physical therapy sessions - from the moment I was taught to get up from bed, to sit, to balance, to stand, and walk with assistive devices (walker and long leg braces).

She supported me to go back to school, to join PWD organizations which eventually widened my perspective, and most importantly to deepen my faith. She is my safe place amid the hustle and bustle. She is quite protective too. We argue, agree, discuss and enjoy doing many things together.

My grandmother with most of her great grandchildren

My Lola is the pillar in our family. She recently celebrated her 96th birthday early this month. She is generous, forgiving and kind. Her love for Christ enabled us to get to know Him better when she started inviting Baptist pastors to conduct Bible studies in her home. While I was growing up, she instilled in me the value of time, money and the importance of tithing. She has faced various hardships yet, she manages to surpass them all with the help of our good Lord.

Strength and honor are her clothing... she openeth her mouth with wisdom, and her tongue is the law of kindess.. a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised. Proverbs 31


Love In The Moonlight

Is a historical Korean drama series that depicts the tangled lives of Prince Lee Yeong ang Hong Ra On (also known as Eunoch Hong Sam Nom). 


Hong Ra On is the daughter of Joeson's rebel, Hong Gyeong-nae, causing so much anxiety to the King. She grows up disguising as a boy, as instructed by her mother for fear of being abducted.  She eventually parts with her at eight years old in the market when they try to flee from the soldiers and learns to fend for herself under someone else's care. Similarly, she has no information about the significance of her father's identity.

In between, she performs in various places & writes love letters to earn a living until the company they owe money from sells her to the palace as a eunuch.  As Hong Sam Nom (Ra On), she disguises as the prince's personal eunoch. In the process, they fall in love with each other.

Prince Lee Yeong, an interim ruler after his father becomes ill is haughty and playful. Yet he dearly adores his mother from whom he learns the many principles of life as well as the characteristics of a great leader. He is an idealist who wishes to remove the gap between the people and his rulership, someone who will bring hope to his nation and where equality is observed. On the other hand, he is serious with his princely tasks by making his country better. He is also a man of honor. His unconditional love for Ra On despite the myriad challenges they face together is remarkable.

Moonlight Drawn by Clouds OST Source: YouTube

Love In The Moonlight admittedly captured my heart; I was smitten! The reasons, I'd like to share with you:

1. I was hooked with the characters and how believable their portrayal were. It was exciting to watch how Lee Yeong unearthed each and every unscrupulous event headed by Minister Kim Heon and his accomplices to destabilize the King's family. The friendship he had with Byeung-yeon was outstanding. He was one of the few persons he trusted. The unthinkable sacrifices Byeung-yeon  had for Lee Yeong, even to the point of losing his own life was something. There's also Yoon-sung who was the prince's good friend when they were young. Despite their families constant feud for power, he remained loyal throughout the drama to the prince. I also admired his sincere one-sided feelings for Ra On; it was disheartening.


2. I felt various emotions throughout the series. I was tickled, glad, furious, relieved, disappointed and hopeful. The writers made sure to create an exciting ending in every episode, craving the viewers to look forward to the next.


The finale episode was the perfect culmination, as Lee Yeong realizes the country he envisioned. He was like the moon shining brightly because of the few trusted people who stood with him in the course of time.


Unlike some drama series with tragic ending, Love In The Moonlight was totally different. Sure, the writers  had to kill several vital characters. The many hurdles the main roles had to face were surreal and I have to remind myself constantly that it is fictional.

I've watched Park Bo Gum in other dramas but his role as Lee Yeong was outstanding. Did you also experience any fangirl moment? 

Park Bo Gum (Source: Pinterest)


Tanay Highlands Cafe

Another spontaneous trip to the East allowed my parents and I to discover a fairly new dining spot, Tanay Highlands Cafe.

Of all the places I've seen around this area, this is spot on! The magnificence  of the Pililia windmills, Laguna de Bay and part of Sierra Madre can be enjoyed. Admittedly, I am not only in awe but in love. It is arguably the best restaurant with a scenic view.

All three tourist destinations in Rizal, including the fresh breeze many long for can be found here. The winding road uphill replete with bountiful trees is a much better sight than the usual traffic and congestion in the metropolitan. 

We heard that it opened only this February 5th. A group of college graduates from Ateneo de Manila own the place and is still in the process of improving the dining area as well as their menu. This is also a better alternative to Tagaytay and Baguio. More so, it is so much closer to Metro Manila. Parking will never be a problem; an ample and secured space is provided. 

The food selection is good enough to pacify the growling tummies of the motorists. They also have a wide array of beverages to satiate one's thirst. I honestly don't mind the previous because the breathtaking view will suffice. 


Bulawan Floating Restaurant

An ideal place to hang out in the age of the new normal - fresh air, al fresco dining, fishing and boat ride activities and an assortment of newly cooked food you can choose from. Bulawan Floating Restaurant offers all of the above. It is  located along the hiway of East Manila Road in Pililia, Rizal. It also has a scenic view of the tourist attraction, Pililia Windmills.

It was an opportune time to explore a destination we frequently pass by on our various trips around Rizal. Intrigued by the parking filled with vehicles, we braved ourselves to have lunch and we were very pleased.


We ordered calamares (deep fried squid covered in batter) coupled with some crispy kangkong chips. The squid, juicy and tender to the bite. The mayonnaise dip will add just the right flavor to it. The sizzling dish (shrimp, squid, pork and chicken) was also a hit. It was creamy and delectable. Lastly, the grilled eggplant with chopped onions, tomatoes and shrimp paste neutralized the meal. 


Many families stayed longer as they tried their luck to catch a fish using a free bamboo pole. Tilapia and heto were abundant. Patience is required for this leisurely activity. 

As usual, my father and I succeeded in cajoling my mom to have this road trip with us. We are cooped up at home with the surge (again) of the COVID-19 cases. This is indeed a great way to spend the weekend away from home. How was yours?