A Caffeine Lover's Lament

"It's not forever", he said.

A day without you IS forever.

The sun held its gaze harsher. It reflected in odd, unwanted places. My eyes have begun a rebellion, refusing stay open.

He said you hurt me when all I did was worship every part of you.

"Tomatoes, milk, chili", he droned. I tried to envision tomorrow's attempt to get me through the day.
"...chocolate too."

No. Not cocoa too. I wanted to cry.

I stared at the man in white. I sought his counsel, and now I'm not sure if I can heed his advice completely.

Was I wrong? I loved you to the brink of obsession. I vowed to explore every part of you, to enjoy and savor your insides, your scent, your past.

I couldn't come to terms with the idea that  I was drinking too much coffee for my own good. If anything, it kept me from randomly shouting at people, and has always been the source of my productivity.

But then I realized I will still love you just the same. You are my love, and I am a fool.
This be some Romeo and Juliet no Jutsu

We will cheat when no one's watching. It'll be our little secret. Heehee :3
Pardon the drama. That came from day 1 of zero coffee.

Thursday, August 28, 2014
Posted by Ice Artificio

Someone Else's Loss

I wasn't sure if this was something I should share.

I felt sad when I learned that you passed on.
Hook Screencap

You were a part of my life that I wasn't always ready to face, you reminded me too much of him.
I spent too much time with him admiring your work, your brilliance, dreaming that we'd be able to ask you to do our eulogies.
So much that it feels you're like his horcrux minus the murder and black magic.

You who showed how it was okay to be a little more crazy than society would suggest.

I always thought you'd be the kind of dad who'd drive beside a grass fire just so we could burst out the other end, pretending this was an action movie. Then you'd say "That was a very stupid and dangerous thing to do!" while laughing until we had runner's stitch.

At a very young age I was able to understand that some people are better parents on their own. That I was going to be okay. All that while your fake boobs burned and and ongoing crash course about dinosaurs.

Lastly, you gave me a reason to write. I don't do it regularly and my grammar sucks in many occasions, but that part is my fault. To woo. To go about to see a girl--or boy in my case--that was all you.

It must have been very hard. I hope the pain has stopped now.

Maybe if we all have someone to give us a spark to hold on to. Someone to say "Stay. I'd like you to keep trying for me"
Because we can only give that to others, never to ourselves. Maybe, just maybe if we keep on doing that, we'd have enough for everyone to keep a fire going.

I have no idea what it's like to go, to leave everything and find what's really out there---or the lack there of.  But I know what it's like to be left behind.. There is not one second of it that I didn't like. So if it's not too much to ask, it'd be nice if you didn't have to go.

It doesn't help that you left the same day someone special in my life did. Wherever you are sir, thank you, for sharing your spark.
Thursday, August 14, 2014
Posted by Ice Artificio

What's in Your Disaster-Preparedness Bag?

The sky outside hid behind a white veil that concealed everything.

That was yesterday.

Today, the metro is surrounded by growling nimbus-es waiting for their cue to unleash their load.

I have been mulling over this post for more than a month, never convinced that it is good enough.
This time, I will heed Seth Godin's advice and just fucking ship.

Yes, by this time, we are all aware that the rainy season is upon us. One of the things I was taught to do during this season, was to replenish our disaster bag or as my dad fondly called it; D-Bag  (Now you know where I get my irreverence).

We were supposed to have two, one for home and one that we carry everywhere.

The biggest challenge for me was the dent it put in my grocery budget--the perils of living alone. This is why it's best to start small and build it with every passing salary.

I'm sharing this in the hopes that it could help you the same way it came handy for us.


Clean Drinking Water

Small separate bottles are ideal for mobility and prevention of contamination. I started with 500 and 350ml bottles. While big containers allow you to stock more drinking water for the fam, these are mobile-friendly.

Non-Perishable Food
Canned goods

While I can never be as good as that dude in Resident Evil (dammit, I hate that movie adaptation) who had an uncanny ability to tell what's inside your unlabeled can of goodies, it is wise to stack up on cans that do not require can openers. Unless you can open it with your teeth, then by all means, go ahead, and make sure to join my party when the Z-invasion happens.


These babies do not need to be cooked and will provide the salt your body needs to prevent cramping. It is not healthy to consume these regularly, but on rainy days Ready-to-Eat is your best bet.

Instant Noodles

Nothing helps beat the cold better than a hot steaming soup. And since one is expected to have limited resources at this point, instant is ideal.

Portable Cooking Device

How else are you going to cook a pack of hot noodles without electricity? The idea is to stay warm, just in case you weren't too sure.

Plastic bags/ziplock bags

The problem with placing things in an elevated surface is that you have to keep putting them in a higher place as the flood gets higher. I learned that the hard way during Ondoy, after all my clothes have been dyed a muddy chocolate brown.
Just put them in a plastic bag, seal, and keep away from any sharp objects.

The same goes for your devices. Zip, secure in your pocket, and fearlessly face the rain.
No? Sorry. Bad humor.

Tool Kit/ Swiss Knife

Can opener-busted door opener-loom band cutter. A Swiss Knife is portable and will help you in many sticky situations.


The D-bag I usually bring with me consist of folded ziplock or plastic bags, a Swiss Knife, some crackers, and coffee. Because coffee is of paramount importance. 
If you've ever been stranded, you'll be thankful you had these on hand. 

There is a fine line between being disaster ready and hoarding. If it's just the essentials, you're still good.

I didn't add umbrellas because I have a history of accidentally hitting random strangers with my umbrella

The red cross suggests this survival kit.for home use.

Stay dry everyone!
Now for that soup :3

Friday, August 1, 2014
Posted by Ice Artificio

Global Taste of Korea 2014: Cook Your Way To Korea

Sharpen your knives, and get ready for Global Taste of Korea 2014!

On June 24, 2014, The Korean Cultural Center of the Philippines will be holding a cook fest showcasing the best traditional and contemporary Korean dishes our Filipino chefs can come up with.

I think I wouldn't last 5 minutes before horribly embarrassing myself, then finally fainting in front of everybody.

Interested? You have until June 15 to join. 
Head on over to http://phil.korean-culture.org/navigator.do?menuCode=201002010014&action=VIEW&seq=54222 and register! 
I'd love to root for someone :3

See you there!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014
Posted by Ice Artificio

Chicken and Egg Sandwich Before Dinner

I was having one of those chicken-and-egg conundrums when I decided just to eat them both. Then its now both dead and not dead--wait, wrong reference.

This'll be quick.Hopefully.

You'll need
Chicken Breast Fillets
Whole Wheat Bread
Chili Powder


Coat chicken breast fillets in salt, pepper, chopped rosemary and squeeze half a lemon. Pan fry until well done.


 You can have it open-faced

Beside a bread if you decide you want more

Or the usual way

 Why am I hurrying?
 I want one more serving, or maybe another cup o' coffee.

Thursday, May 8, 2014
Posted by Ice Artificio

Kyochon Chicken is Finally in the Philippines!

There's a new chick in town, and it's going to change your fried chicken experience!

Last April 30, 2014, I had the chance to join the VIP lunch hosted by Kyochon in Megamall.

We were treated to an afternoon of good food. I don't get many cheat days, so I have to really choose where I spend them. It looks like I made a good choice :D

Rice Cake Soup

Soup will always have a special place in my heart.
The chicken based broth had a deep, savory taste that can only be acquired by hours of boiling. I was told the chicken was boiled whole to ensure all the flavors of the chicken is infused in the broth. 

Chicken Salad with Blueberry Dressing

I was overjoyed to find something in the menu that my diet program agrees with. Crisp greens, red cabbage, cherry tomatoes and a piece of perfectly grilled chicken fillet that is seasoned very lightly to give way to the blueberry dressing. Tart and fruity with a hint of sweetness, their blueberry vinaigrette was light and refreshing. The serving was good enough for 4 as we had other dishes to sample.

Happiness is finding good healthy food within your budget.

The Chicken Series

The cardinal rule in making good ol' fried chicken is making sure you get the oil temperature right. But what happens when you add a twenty year old , double deep frying technique  glazed in either soy, honey or chili? You get Kyochon Chicken's  Korean-style fried chicken: delicate and crispy on the outside, tender and juicy on the inside. 


Soy Series

Light and flavorful. The rich flavors of garlic and soy make this a classic must try.

Honey Series

Coated in a sweet honey sauce, the Honey series makes for a succulent treat.

Soonsal Series

Boneless chicken fillet lightly coated in a rice crispy batter, the Soonsal series demands a limelight of its own. Its delicate flavor is contrasted by a thick, sweet, barbecue sauce that will surely tickle your taste buds.


Red Series

3/4 of the people in our table fell head over heels over this spicy treat (yes, including me <3). I love how the spice lingered around my mouth and slowly burned without being too overpowering. This is the perfect beer mate.

The only sad part? I wasn't able to pair it with beer! If you haven't heard, Korean Style fried chicken goes best with mekju (beer) thus the term, ChiMek. *Insert My Lover From the Stars fantasy dinners*

Good chicken is best shared with great people

I wouldn't mind sharing it with their gorgeous new endorser Lee Min Ho. hahah, I know, I know -dream on, Ice.

Kyochon Chicken
SM Megamall Building B
Mandaluyong City

Wednesday, May 7, 2014
Posted by Ice Artificio

6 Tips in Getting Through Phase 1: Eliminating the Unnecessary

So, have you started the program yet?

Here are a compilation of tips and hacks that I learned when I was going through phase 1 of  the Jun Danganan diet --well, tbh, they were things I remembered AFTER posting. :p

  • Eat whenever you are hungry. 
Bananas are allowed in this phase

Comforting, yes? You can eat even in between the two-hour meal intervals as long as it is in the allowed list of food items.

  • Plain, unsalted, grease-less peanuts and cashews are great in-between snacks

They have been my lifesavers during long commutes or when I go out with friends who are not on the program. The best place to find the plain ones? Baking supply stores.

  • It can be NOT expensive. 

Steamed Kangkong for extra fiber 

What does your 50php budget meal has to say to this? 10php + boiled water + some boiling skill = 1 1/2 meals. Or if you are feeling a little luxurious, this cauliflower and green bean meal cost around 60php. If you eat outside all the time, then yes, it will be expensive.

  • NO MSG. Sorry, non-negotiable.

That includes your all-in-one and sorcery mixes 
Did you know that adding a bit of fish sauce (patis) gives your dishes that same umami (malinamnam) kick? But fish sauce wouldn't be part of your "can-eat" list until phase 4

Is your sweet tooth screaming profanities at you? Shut it up with a bit of lemon water. It worked when the chocoholic in me was begging me to end it's misery.

  • Pack Up a Lot of Will Power

You will be bombarded by different variations of "Just This One Time" or "Minsan Lang Naman eh!". The thing is, you had a lot of 'just this one time's in the past and you will be able to have it on your designated cheat day. That "one-time" during this phase will put to waste your efforts in "eating right this time". I'm a guilty friend in trying to sway friends on a diet. The best answer I received? "Sino pa bang niloko ko pag nag cheat ako? Ako din naman"   (Who am I kidding if I cheat? It'll be me) Okay. sorry :( That answer inspired me to soldier on on days where I wanted to hit somebody with an electric fan. 

I hope that helps. By the way, thank you. I was surprised by the amount of views on the previous post. I'm not sure if it's because of the muscular coach in the cover photo or you really want to lose weight. Meh, who cares? Enjoy!

And as promised, here is one of my cheat snacks whenever I'm feeling a little low on sugar

Saturday, May 3, 2014
Posted by Ice Artificio

11 lbs and 7 weeks, The Jun Danganan Diet Phase 1

It was quite a journey and the results were overwhelming.

After much procrastination and a number of irrational excuses, here it is! Jun Danganan's "angry diet"
I was going to put my before and after photo but this told a better tale.
I was really surprised and very much flattered by the amount of people requesting for the diet plan. So here it is----But first

It is HIGHLY recommended that you consult a physician, nutritionist or professional before undergoing strict diets like this one, ESPECIALLY if you have a pre-existing condition (diabetes, hypertension, etc). That and I'm not a doctor, this is a planned meal provided by a professional body builder and may not work the same way for everyone. Good? Let's proceed

Like I've mentioned too many times, I've been too heavy for my own good. So after a minor knee injury and realizing I could no longer jump around without breaking  anything, I finally gave in. I needed to get back in shape as the one I am in now isn't really working for me.

 Phase 1: Eliminating the Unnecessary

The first week focuses on eliminating empty calories, bad fats, too much sugar and salt in your system. You will also begin replacing simple with complex carbs. Also, the biggest rule in this plan is that you HAVE to eat every 2 hours. This way your body metabolizes more--in simple terms: you burn more. Oh and you need to work out. 

Here is your forbidden list.
Anything fried
Junk food 
Cakes, pastries, sweets[I died a little bit when I first read this]
Anything with too much sugar or salt. Try not to put sugar in your meals and the salt used sparingly

Week 1-2: Sample Meal Plan

Meal 1: 1/2 cup muesli/whole rolled oats with skim milk [yes, you DON'T add sugar]
Meal 2: Steamed or Grilled Chicken 
Meal 3: Steamed sweet potatoes or 3 pcs steamed plantain bananas (saging na saba)
Meal 4: Leafy salad
Meal 5: Nuts: almonds,peanuts or cashews [Needs to be unsalted and grease-less]
Meal 6: 1 ripe banana
Meal 7: 6 egg whites
Meal 8: Steamed fish

Sounds pretty simple? No. I hated the first week. I felt tired with carb flu and it was difficult to eat so frequently. Not to mention I began throwing dagger stares at random people and objects.

By the second week, I regained some of my energy and have started to gag over the repetitiveness of the meals. I learned to add variety, experiment with dishes -which I will post later. The irritation over the smallest of things was there and it kept growing like a furnace fed with too much dry wood laced with isopropyl alcohol. 

Stand by for the next phase and my cheat list :3 . Meanwhile here's my before and after pic
proud coach is proud.
photo credit: Jun Danganan

I didn't really notice the difference physically. All I knew was that I felt lighter and I craved for the items in the forbidden list less.

This one's just for vanity
photo credit: Jun Danganan

There are still many ideas about this diet that I need to organize. Feel free to leave me a comment if you have any questions.

Ready to start? Good Luck!
Monday, April 28, 2014
Posted by Ice Artificio

Rediscovering Balut and Barbecue

It is always awesome to meet new people and see the world through their eyes.

Tonight, me, my brother, and our new friend, Niklas, had the pleasure of discovering (and rediscovering)  two street delicacies that I haven't had in a while: Balut, Barbecued Isaw and Dugo.

You might have seen it in Fear Factor or Survivor, where it earned looks of disgust and some.
From here it looks so innocent.

Your typical balut is a duck's egg that has incubated for 18 to 21 days. The shorter the incubation, the less developed the chick is. Think beaks and soft bones (yes, you may start cringing now). If you're the squeamish type, you may want to opt for a 17-day old balut, also known as "balut sa puti" as it literally has a white film around the embryo. The egg will be softer and the image, not so graphic. Anything less than a 17-day incubation period and you'd get "penoy", which is similar to the texture of a hard-boiled egg and with some of the balut flavor.

Me, Jan and our new friend Niklas

Are you sure you want to trust us and eat that?!

To be honest, I am not a big fan of balut. It has been a few years since I last tasted a semi-fertilized egg because of the same fears your head: the dead chick coming into life in your mouth, clawing it's way to survival--okay maybe not that bad. But tonight, if a new found friend was willing to try it, I don't see why I couldn't be up for the challenge.

Once you partially crack the egg, you'll be greeted by a savory soup that tastes like chicken stock (surprise!). I wouldn't recommend dissecting the egg for first-timers, but if you're not yet grossed out and want to examine it in detail, you can find what's left of the yolk, the developing chick and a hardened, cartilage like version of the egg white that most people would throw.

If you haven't tried balut yet, I'll give you some honest advice, while it has been heavily hyped, it's not too far from the taste of duck or chicken. Just softer and a little bit grosser. You don't have to eat it everyday or at all, but if you do and manage not to throw up, you've got some bragging rights to bring home.

And we survived! 
My brother was a mean-balut-eating-machine so he was never in danger of anything
Next stop Barbecued I saw and grilled pig's blood. While it's not as adventurous as the earlier dish, it is a staple Pinoy street food you shouldn't miss.
Grilled Coagulated Pig Blood
Tenga ng Baboy or Pig Ears
I just realized that for a first-timer, the texture can be a little weird but after a few small bites, and a few dips in a spicy garlic-vinegar sauce, you'll find that the taste isn't that half bad.

Tonight's barbecue tour was made possible by Baga Manila in Makati Avenue
These delicacies are readily available in almost any corner of Manila by nighttime. They can be a bit high in cholesterol so I wouldn't recommend it for daily consumption. But once in a while, they are really good treats. I can only hope that Niklas didn't upset his stomach over dinner.

Sunday, April 27, 2014
Posted by Ice Artificio

How to Survive the First Month of Your Diet

Your neighbor's grass tastes the same. Mine does  too
It's day #39 since my low carb, high protein diet plan began. I am happy to report that I am still alive. Well, barely.The past five weeks have been a violent roller coaster ride. So far, I managed to NOT maul anyone and settle for the low threatening growl or menacing looks. And as a bonus, I've actually managed to lose some weight!

You see, I'm like you.

I tried to get in shape many times but work, school and laziness have always come in the way. Like many new year's resolutions, the need to shape up, get toned or get healthy is put in the back burner for the longest time to make way for other priorities.

I'm not sure how far or how long I'll go this time, but here 8 things that helped me survive the program. I'm sharing it in hopes that it could also help you;

Create Insoluble Reasons for Going on Diet

It may be a perfectly valid health reason, or something as narcissistic as "I want to be pretty". It doesn't matter. Craft many reasons and own it. Make sure you have at least one cannot reason against it.

Tip: it doesn't have to be logical, just compelling

I actually told myself  "health reasons? HAH! we all die according to this statistic! Why bother?" So i took a different reason I could not go against:

photo credit: www.allkpop.com

Okay, I lose. Let's keep going

Diet Plan Loyalty Goes A Long Way 

There are about a bajillion diet plans out there, each one claiming to be better than the rest. I do not doubt their efficiency and how they've worked miracles for others. But all together? They won't. Consult a professional for a get fit plan and practice some monogamy with it -- or at least finish the program before jumping to another. 

Creativity goes a long way when you have limited options

Water Infusions Will Get You By 

Remember that posh restaurant serving lemon water? It was refreshing right? (and it probably helped justify their overly priced menu. )

Water Infusions are my life savers. 
When you are intensely craving for the usual sugar buzz, I help myself to a lemon-mint, pandan or a lemongrass infused water. When you begin to taste the sweetness of the mint, you now have improved your sense of taste. Congratulations.  

Bring Your Own Stash

Sadly, the rest of the world cannot accomodate your dietary needs. Most establishments will not be able to provide your needs or it will be pricey-- I learned the hard way >__<

It pays (or saves) to have  ready--to-eat meals and snacks when you go outside.

Yes, that means you need to cook or have someone do it for you

Go Hulk

When I started, I was infinitely tired and suddenly had so much anger to manage. Express it. Throw dagger stares or snarl (when you're out of their vision range or our of earshot :P) Find a way to channel it. 

This is a point where it is crucial to isolate accordingly and stay with a few people who understand why your moods have gone haywire and will still talk to you after this entire ordeal. 

If You Must Cheat, Make Deliberate, Forgivable Sins 

Define your not-so-deadly-cheatlist and leave it on days when you are at the edge. I cheat. When I feel like keeling over or charging somebody, I give myself a small break (oh. don't tell my trainer :p). It could be a fistful of grapes or berries, coconut water or a small piece of 70% dark chocolate--ask your trainer what you can munch on especially when you're feeling faint. 

ripe mango, dried cranberries in plain yoghurt  and drizzled with 70% dark chocolate. Not as sinful but just as happiness inducing.

Don't Think Pounds

What do you see in the long run?

It is depressing, to see you aren't losing weight in pounds. It's worse when you lose less and less each week. Guess what? It'll always be that way. Look past that. Do you stand better? Do your clothes fit more? Do you have better stamina? Those are other telltale signs that you're improving your health--and if that's not a part of your reasons for dieting, you may want to reassess why you're doing it in the first place.

Food, Work Out and A Lot of Willpower

Mostly willpower. It's all about learning to understand delayed gratification--which is ridiculous as my generation is known to have a taste for instant gratification. Even with all that stereotype, keep going, soldier on and sooner or later, plateau will get tired of you. In the words of Dory "just keep swimming"

But I can't swim. So I keep going. Maybe I'll get there one day.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014
Posted by Ice Artificio

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