Pier Market

I’ve been looking through my JTA photos and I realized that I haven’t posted my Pier Market set. It’s one of the best lunches I’ve had in the Bay Area and I can’t wait ’til I get back again. I dined with my brother, Franco and my dad’s best friend, Tito Bernard. I wasn’t able to take note of everything we ate, but that Seafood Jambalaya was probably the best I’ve had!

Continue reading “Pier Market”


Took this photo just before our final descent. May 21, 2012

Leaving San Francisco wasn’t an easy thing to do. Spending almost half a year in a place where I’ve finally found myself and put the pieces back together, I was hoping it would never end. My trepidation perhaps came from my fear of not being able to love Manila as much as I thought I did and my anxieties over the start of senior year. Was I ready? That I did not know.

However, once I landed, everything fell into place and I can say now that there really is no place like home. No matter how great those six months have been to me, nothing beats the familiar feeling of home, family, friends, and yes–the scorching Manila heat. I’ll be back someday, I will leave this place and explore the world, but until that day comes, it’s definitely great to be back.

Sushi Zen

Now tell me, who doesn’t love sushi?

Last week during Labor Day, Franco treated me to a special Japanese dinner before he left for Manila. By now, it’s quite obvious that my brother’s favorite cuisine is Japanese, so expect a lot of posts like these when I go out with my brother. This date was a spontaneous answer to our sudden craving for Asian food, sushi, and of course, all things RICE!

I promised myself 6 months ago, that before I left San Francisco, I would go down 19th Avenue and explore the Sunset district. I’m glad to have that item off my bucket list thanks to Franco. Along Taraval and 19th, there’s this hole in the wall Japanese restaurant called Sushi Zen which is famous for their signature rolls.

You would have to get through that tiny white door which could be tricky to open, but don’t be fooled by the size of it because it was quite spacious inside. It actually reminded me of the restaurants along Maginhawa, where the looks of the exteriors can get really deceiving.

We decided to get three plates of sushi for ourselves and Franco had a helping of miso soup on the side. I was quite disappointed that we had to buy the miso separately. Other Japanese restaurants would normally serve this while you were waiting for your meal. However, the service did not disappoint and so did the food. Our orders came right on time and our server paid extra attention to our needs.

When our food came, we were in heaven. See for yourself:  Continue reading “Sushi Zen”

Dreams do come true

The Foghorn - The Official Student Publication of the University of San Francisco

My piece on communication came out in The Foghorn today! It’s my first time to get published internationally and I am truly humbled by this experience.

“There are times where I spoke in class and couldn’t get my point across as I was struggling to find the perfect Tagalog-to-English translation. After watching certain emotional videos or heart-wrenching readings, I would find it difficult to relay my thoughts because the words I knew didn’t have an English equivalent.

It’s not a case of not knowing how to construct sentences properly or misusing the rules of grammar. The barrier stems from my personal history and my identity, just as someone from Europe, let’s say, might have trouble understanding a person of Asian descent. The difficulty for me begins when the clash of cultures make it impossible for a fluid communication to occur—that is, when the context from which we’re speaking differs in so many ways.”

Full article here: http://foghorn.usfca.edu/2012/04/filipina-exchange-student-tongue-tied-in-sf/

Lessons from a $2 ride

Everyday, the MUNI serves as my own little place of reflection. Cliche as this may sound, I have also found myself here. Today, I tried my best to capture the emotions that come alive when I step inside the 5, 28, 38, 31, 14L, 22, 43, or F–and hopefully immortalize the familiar feeling of hope that it never fails to give me once I step off.

There will be moments when you're left alone--and that's okay. We all need our space anyway.
You meet different people who are, just like yourself, fighting their own battles.
At times you may think you're helpless, but others need your strength.
Complicated stops are things you will encounter and overcome.
And in these stops, you will learn when to put your foot down and say "This is enough."
Other people will have finished the journey you are yet to take and you must use this as your source of hope.
Some doors close--
--while some are left wide open.
A lot of things won't make sense, but there will always be light if you just lift your head high.
You will find inspiration in the most unexpected things-- San Francisco's streets speak of a kind of life you never knew existed.
Finding your way won't be easy, but you'll get by. (You may feel the need to call for your mother at times, but this time--you're alone.)
People are carrying their burdens from Point A to Point B and suddenly your problems seem insignificant next to theirs.
But whatever happens, happens. You just gotta hold on tight.