3 Comic Books, 1 Free Comic Book Day

Free Comic Book Day gets more and more exciting in the Philippines!

Beginning 2002, Free Comic Book Day (FCBD) has been an annual promotional event done on the first Saturday of May by the North American comic book industry in an effort to introduce comics to new readers. With its popularity, it reached the Philippine shores and now, Filipinos get to enjoy the same freebies as long as they are patient enough in falling in long lines at their favorite participating bookstores.

Last year, a friend and I accidentally participated in the FCBD of Fully Booked Bonifacio High Street since we were really headed to the store, got a free comic book each, and met some of the great graphic artists of the country together with their sketches. Not on the first, though, but third Saturday of May (That was a May 19 and I don’t have any idea why).

Our free comic books each and the FB stamps on our wrists at last year's Free Comic Book Day  of Fully Booked Bonifacio High Street

Our free comic books and the FB stamps on our wrists at last year’s Free Comic Book Day of Fully Booked Bonifacio High Street

This year, I went with another friend, Claa, a fellow blogger, at National Book Store Quezon Avenue, Quezon City for the Free Comic Book Day of National Book Store (NBS), CASTLE GEEK, and Neutral Grounds wherein we received not just one, but three free comic books! With the theme “Setting the Record”, the event aimed in setting the highest number of sketches done on a blank cover comic, a record they hope to beat every succeeding year.

The three establishments combined seemed so hyped-up with this event. In fact, aside from the increased number of freebies, they also came up with a Survival Guide, which was used for the event’s promotion, great discounts on comic books, and added comic-related items and more on sale, to make it more exciting to the fans and would-be fans.

The Survival Guide to Free Comic Book Day -- Setting the Record (Photo grabbed from National Book Store's Facebook page)

The Survival Guide to Free Comic Book Day — Setting the Record (Photo grabbed from National Book Store’s Facebook page)

Claa and I arrived at the NBS branch at 9am and were surprised by the number of fellow participants already waiting outside. This just proved that comics in the country already established a wide fandom, and of course, the industry is ready to welcome more.

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The line around 9am, outside National Book Store Quezon Avenue

The line continued on the registration area

The line continued at the registration area

Right after writing our details on the registration form, the freebies started with these:

First set of freebies: FCBD 2013 tattoos, sticker, and well, I don't know why, but a lollipop. :)

First set of freebies: FCBD 2013 tattoos, sticker, and well, I don’t know why, but a lollipop to brag about. 🙂

Then we headed toward another long line for, what else, but our much awaited three free comic books! Yey!

Another line for the free comic books! ^_^ Patience is a virtue, patience is a virtue...

Another line for the free comic books! ^_^ Patience is a virtue, patience is a virtue…

The comics were spread out on a long table and the participants chose three from this collection.

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FCBD 2013 (31)

My free comic books: Ugly Doll Comics (vizkids), Scratch 9 (Hermes Press), and Kellerman L’Amour (Bantam). Oh, I’m such a girl! LOL.

After checking the number of items we got, we were stamped with CASTLE GEEK logo and we were good to roam around the area.

The first to see upon entering the place was National Book Store’s discounted local and international comics. Great deals to greet everyone!

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20% off on graphic novels!

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Manga, or Japanese comics, were also available for less than 100 pesos.

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I found Fushigi Yuugi manga! I didn’t buy them, though.

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Then on the stack of 200-peso comics was where I found Stephen King’s N., which was from the author’s short story collection, Just a After SunsetIts original price was 789 pesos and I can’t wait to read it!

Stephen King's N.

Stephen King’s N.

Back issues were also on the event for only 75 pesos each, courtesy of CASTLE GEEK.

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Aside from the comic books, souvenirs, and comic- and movie-related stuff were also sold at the event.

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FCBD caps

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T-shirts sold for around a thousand pesos each

Pop figures or something. hehe

Pop figures or something. hehe

Want some popcorn? Darth Vader wants to serve you while you watch your favorite movie! :3

Want some popcorn? Darth Vader wants to serve you while you watch your favorite movie! :3

V for Vendetta masks for around 1,000 pesos. I love it!

V for Vendetta masks for around 1,000 pesos. I love it!

Faber-Castell joined the fun, too, and featured its artist pens which anyone can try by sketching for free!

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Faber-Castell’s artist pens!

Sketch for free and feel like a professional artist with every stroke!

Sketch for free and feel like a professional artist with every stroke!

Speaking of sketches, an FCBD isn’t complete without any graphic artists in the vicinity, especially in this one since the record to be set was about drawing. Because of that, an area was allotted for the artists, although at the time we were there, there were not that many of them yet.

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One of the artists

One of the artists

Fully Booked Bonifacio High Street also gave three free comics this year, while its other participating branches (SM Mall of Asia, Greenbelt 5, Power Plant Mall, EDSA Shangri-La Hotel, Greenhils’ Promenade, Gateway Mall, and SM North EDSA) gave only one. Establishments Druids Keep and Planet X Comic Shop also took part on this exciting day. Hmm… Looks like the FCBD competition of our local bookstores are getting fiercer and fiercer.

I don’t know if NBS, CASTLE GEEK, and Neutral Grounds reached their goal, though, but I hope they do.

May the third be with you on next year’s Free Comic Book Day! 😀

 

 

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REFERENCES:
Wikipedia
FLIPGEEKS
Fully Booked
Free Comic Book Day Philippines Facebook page

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Have It The Chado Way

Milk tea is an in thing today. People crave for it making tea shops sprout everywhere. And with this undeniable summer heat, who doesn’t want anything cool to slide on their throats to quench their thirsts?

My work is near Eastwood City so my officemates and I can visit it almost anytime we want for some food or other stuff that can only be bought in malls. One day, one of my colleagues and I were on our way to a popular milk tea shop when we passed by a tea stall new to our eyes called CHADO The Tea Room. Its offerings are priced lower and, hey, it’s also milk tea so we decided to give it a try.

Chado 01

For only 75 pesos for a regular-sized milk tea and 85 pesos for a large, people can experience the CHADO milk tea goodness comparable to those of more costly ones. Naturally, a milk tea drink is a combination of milk and tea and with this, the tea’s taste is more distinct giving off the notion that it is true to its tagline, “Herbs that heal!” That taste is what my colleague and I liked most about this discovery so this shop became our instant favorite.

And why wouldn’t it taste such when its name is derived from two Japanese words, “cha”  and “do”,  which mean “tea” and “way”, respectively, and are used to describe the Japanese tea ceremony. So its like whenever one drinks a CHADO beverage, he or she gets to experience the taste of the event minus the pure bitterness of tea.

Of course, the flavors of our choice from chocolate, cherry, and my favorite, winter melon, among others, are also present in this mix, my only point in this is that it really tasted like tea with milk, if you know what I mean. hehe 🙂

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Herbs that Heal!

I found out on the net that CHADO The Tea Room’s milk teas are indeed a healthy choice. Aside from the antioxidant content of tea, CHADO’s milk tea uses the Chado Special Sago or Basil Seeds which are known to be good for the digestive, immune, and respiratory systems, and skin, and can effectively relieve of stress. Moreover, the seeds, once consumed, have the cooling effect in the body making the beverage perfect for this summer season.

So what do you think about that, huh? CHADO’s milk tea isn’t just a drink that can refresh us and satisfy our cravings, it also keeps us healthy. Try it now!

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CHADO The Tea Room also serves green teas, jelly-filled drinks, FruitMix series, and more.

 

 

CHADO The Tea Room
1. Eastwood Citywalk 1 (near Cyber Mall)
2. Food Junction, Eastwood City
Quezon City

 

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SOURCES:
TRUTHNHEALTH
Pinoy Entrepreneur
Wikipedia

First Visit to Bookay-Ukay

I’d been wanting to go to Bookay-Ukay since college when I saw a photo about it on a social networking site, but never had the chance since it was far from home and I had no one interested enough to go with me. Then came last year and I thought I finally found that perfect Bookay-Ukay buddy, but sadly, our bridges burned a few weeks after we agreed on going there together. I couldn’t brave the big Quezon City on a search for it alone so I thought my desire for book-hunting at the store went to ashes along with my “incinerated” friendship.

But then at the start of the year, I went excited ’cause my friend and fellow blogger invited me to visit Bookay-Ukay. So without hesitation, a date was marked on the calendar.

Bookay-Ukay 01

To give a good picture of what the store is about and why I’ve been meaning to pay a visit to it, let me explain its name. Bookay-Ukay is a play of words certainly thought of by its lovers-of-words owners. “Book” and “ukay-ukay”, those are the two terms. “Book”, we have no problem about its description, but “ukay-ukay” is a  Filipino term for “thrift store“, so put them together, and we’ll know that the shop sells second-hand books that are still in good condition.

Since settling in Maginhawa St in 2008, it has been visited by cool and book-loving celebrities like Saab Magalona and Mercedes Cabral. Not that I want to look and be labeled cool, I’m actually proud to border on the nerd side, but Bookay-Ukay is a must-visit simply because it has books. And cheaper ones, I must say.

I didn’t know it was so easy to get there, but still, I wouldn’t know how to if not for my friend who frequented the area back in college (She studied at Miriam College and its near there.). We met at SM City North EDSA and took a jeepney ride to Quezon City Hall from its terminal for 8 pesos each person. After that, we walked to the side of National Housing Authority and told the driver of the first tricycle in line to drop us at the restaurant Tomato Kick for 17 pesos for two persons. As soon as we got off the tricycle, we were greeted by a two-storey old commercial building, and looking at the right side of its second floor is the sign of Bookay-Ukay. We finally arrived.

Contrary to what I imagined, the store is quite small, in fact, it’s only a room full of books. Perhaps I visualized it to be like those giant bookstores Fully Booked and National Book Store, which was so wrong of me. But at least its interiors speak of what it offers, unlike the formality and plainness of its rival book thrift store Booksale. The green wall on the left is filled with doodles and other stuff like a poster of local pop punk band Kamikazee, and the shelves just below contains other stuff sold in the store like magazines, CDs, and wall clocks which numbers are in counter clockwise. On the counter next to it are key chains from Pop Relief.

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Then after those, everywhere else was filled with nothing but books, books, and yes, books on the shelves resting on the remaining walls and even on the floor. Just the perfect haven for book lovers like me and my friend.

Books on the wall

Books on the wall

Books on the floor

Books on the floor

For some time, my friend and I seemed strangers to each other as we both engaged in separate solitary quests for the books we like. From novels, both local and international, to medical books, Bookay-Ukay has second-hand books for everyone.

While I was busy on my hunt, a couple entered the shop and as the guy looked through the shelves, I heard him mutter to his girlfriend in Filipino something like, “I’ll be out of budget again because of books.” Hello there, fellow bookworm! Nice to meet ya! I wanted to tell him, but of course, that’d be crazy. hehe.

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At the end, I wasn’t able to buy myself a book (Booo! Shame on me!) as I remembered my pile of unread books at home and how I’ll just decrease the chances of finally reading them if I buy more. At least now I know where Bookay-Ukay is. Meanwhile, my friend was able to buy two books for only 350 pesos. She got James Clavell’s Shōgun and Arthur Golden’s Memoirs of a Geisha, and she was very happy with her finds.

My friend and fellow blogger, Claa (http://watchamacallit-claa.blogspot.com/) with her two new books

My friend and fellow blogger, Claa (http://watchamacallit-claa.blogspot.com/), with her two new books (Photo grabbed from her)

Are you a fellow bookworm who loves to hoard and read books for less? Visit Bookay-Ukay today and satisfy your book addiction! 😀

 

 

Bookay-Ukay
55 Maginhawa St, UP Village
Diliman, Quezon City
Mobile #: 0905.428.3125
E-mail: bookayukay@gmail.com
Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/bookayukay
Operating Hours: 1pm – 12pm, daily

Heaven on My Palate, Whore’s Style

Along Maginhawa St, Teacher’s Village in Quezon City is a restaurant with the best puttanesca I’ve ever tasted.

But wait, what is puttanesca? In the Philippines, I find some people who bleep its first two syllables because it sounds like the first two syllables of probably the worst Filipino swear term. I find this act weird and irksome, but I just discovered that they were somewhat right in doing so since they really mean the same thing.

Puttanesca, or spaghetti alla puttanesca, is the name of an Italian pasta which literally means “whore’s style spaghetti” (Yes, it’s the “whore” part that people censor). There’s no definite reason as to why it is called such, but one of the hearsay has it that it smells like the cheap meal prostitutes serve their customers back in the day. Anyway, this pasta is made up of black olives, garlic, tomatoes, onions, anchovies, and olive oil.

I’d been hearing and reading the said dish on restaurant menus, but I used not to care what it was until my friend suggested we eat at Friuli Trattoria, a small restaurant that serves affordable yet definitely yummy Italian dishes, when we were in Maginhawa St, Teacher’s Village in Quezon City. With the words “Angel” and “Hair” just before the magic word, the name finally caught my fancy so it was what I ordered. And oh boy, I didn’t regret my choice!

The restaurant’s version of puttanesca has the usual tomatoes, capers, anchovies, and olives, but instead of using spaghetti, its pasta is capellini, a variety of Italian pasta similar to spaghetti, only thinner, and I believe better, thus, the term “angel hair”.

I’m not a fan of pasta ’cause I’m more of a rice person, but this one became my instant favorite. Its sauce is poured generously enough making me savor every mouthful of its rich flavor, in fact, I could distinctly taste the deliciousness of anchovies (I love seafood!). I also think choosing angel hair as its pasta has to do with its supreme taste, you know, the thin strands give way to experiencing more of its sauce than the pasta itself, which is truly celestial. Just a theory, though.

Anyway, I fell in love with puttanesca because of this that I promised myself that I’ll cook the same one of these days, and it led me to ordering the same dish in Bigoli and Pizza Hut. So far, Friuli Trattoria’s is still the best! I recommend everybody to have a taste of it! ❤

It’s affordable, too. For only 130 pesos, an order, served with a slice of garlic bread, is already good for two persons.

Friuli Trattoria's Angel Hair Putanesca

Friuli Trattoria’s Angel Hair Putanesca

Our other two orders were Spaghetti Carbonara, served with a slice of garlic bread, too, at the price of 130 pesos for my friend, and an eight-slice Mushroom Pizza, which comprises of four different kinds of mushrooms (My favorite!) for only 185 pesos for both of us.

Spaghetti Carbonara of Friuli Trattoria

Spaghetti Carbonara of Friuli Trattoria

Mushroom Pizza. YUM!

Mushroom Pizza. YUM!

If the street isn’t far from my place, I would dine at Friuli Trattoria over and over again so I can endlessly satisfy my taste buds! Visit the restaurant, too, and discover heaven on your palate and its other offerings! ❤

 

 

Friuli 1

 

 

 

 
 

Friuli Trattoria
79A Maginhawa St, UP Village, Quezon City
Tel. #: 434 .1416
Operating Hours: 10am – 2am, daily

 

 

 
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REFERENCES:
POPSUGAR
Wikipedia
I Love QC

Deboned Goodness: Serye’s Boneless Crispy Pata

A few months have passed, but I can still remember that moment when I first had the taste of something sooooooooooooo delectable, and so, so worth raving about.

I am talking about Serye‘s Boneless Crispy Pata. If you look at the photo below, the presentation alone would make your mouth water in anticipation, and that’s even in person. So just imagine when it finally touches your taste buds. Mmmm…

Serye’s Boneless Crispy Pata at 130 pesos per 100 grams

Discovering the Goodness

Before anything else, let me first tell how I came to learn about the restaurant.

Serye was introduced to me by a close friend and office mate who went eating at its Eastwood branch with two colleagues one lunch break. As a person who likes sharing everything to me, she quickly told me she wanted to make me try its offerings especially the Boneless Crispy Pata, and so she went on talking about it for a few days until at last, our plan to eat together there materialized.

I think we just got our salaries when we headed to the same branch (it’s very near our office) with one of the co-workers she went with her first time. So both of us decided to treat this office mate, the company’s admin head, because she has been really nice to us even if she is just a new acquaintance.

It was around 12nn so the restaurant was full and we waited a few minutes before we got our table. The place was nice and cozy and the crew was really accommodating, but waiting for the food was taking forever, or maybe we were just running out of time since we only had an hour. Setting that aside though, once the food we ordered were already on our table, I forgot that I waited (one of my greatest pet peeves is waiting) and instead, pure satisfaction took over me that by the time we went out of the place, it was my turn to rave about it ceaselessly and enthusiastically to my friends and family.

Inside Serye, Eastwood branch

The Taste of Goodness

We ordered two viands, the Boneless Crispy Pata and Sinigang na Bangus Belly (Bangus is milkfish in English). At 215 pesos per order, the latter is equally superb, only that I think there was too little bangus in it that it seemed like it was a Sinigang na Gulay (Gulay is vegetable in English.), if such food exists. It was delicious that I didn’t find myself hoping there was a fish sauce nearby, and the slices of fish took no fuss in chewing because they didn’t have even a single bone when it’s known to have lots of it, but hey, it is really, really the former that I want to focus on in this post.

Serye’s Sinigang na Gulay… Er… I mean, Sinigang na Bangus Belly at 215 pesos

So what is a Crispy Pata? (It’s so off when the photo above this is not what I’m talking about. hehe Please forgive it. ‘^_^)

Crispy Pata is a Filipino dish made of a pig’s trotter, boiled in salted water, vinegar, and onions (or so my mother said), then deep-fried making its skin oh-so crunchy. When eating, it is dipped in a mixture of soy sauce, vinegar, sliced onion, chopped garlic, green chili pepper, pepper, and a little bit of sugar for added flavor.

When I was a kid, I remember how everyone would devour it once placed on the table like not doing so would leave them with nothing during family reunions. And now, I was able to have a taste of Serye’s Boneless Crispy Pata. As the name would suggest, it is deboned, therefore, there’s no hassle in consuming it, ’cause all you have to do is chew and chew and chew, and indulge your taste buds and tummy. Now that’s total pampering for you!

It is also sliced to the right thickness for more ease in eating, and is cooked perfectly, so expect juicy meat meets crispy skin as you put a bite size in your mouth. It costs 130 pesos per 100 grams, or 600+ pesos for a small size (like on that first photo above) that’s good for three people. Of course, Serye also serves the regular Crispy Pata for a cheaper price of 100 pesos per 100 grams, but with the boneless one around, I believe it will be just a second option.

Serye’s Boneless Crispy Pata is the restaurant’s newest bestseller and is one of the dishes, along with the Kare-Kare, that won the Sooo Pinoy, The Search for the Ultimate Pinoy Dish award.

The Goodness that is Serye

Serye not only offers Filipino dishes, but also cakes, pasteries, and coffee.

A little trivia about Serye: The name of the restaurant is short and simple, but behind it is a total creativity and a hidden message. Serye is an anagram of the owner’s surname, Reyes, since the menu was based on the recipes of the Reyes family matriarch, Engracia Cruz Reyes (I suggest you click the link before this, she was totally amazing). Aside from that, the word serye, or series in English, signifies the restaurant’s mission, which is “to carry on the family’s culinary tradition.” As a person who’s in love with words, I find this totally awesome.

Currently, Serye has three branches in QC Memorial Circle (924.3411 / 426.2693 / 0921.8489149), in Santana Grove, Sucat (825.4691 / 826.9317 / 0915.2276042), and at Eastwood City (911.2334 / 709.3712 / 0921.3708648). Visit one of them now and be filled with real goodness!

P.S. Yes, I am a Reyes but no, I’m not related to these Reyeses, though I have joked that my father owns it and I was assigned to manage the Eastwood branch. hehe 🙂