Laziz Restaurant, Antipolo City

If there is one cuisine that Tim could eat for the rest of his life, it’s probably Middle Eastern cuisine. Over the past few weeks, we’ve been passing by this quaint restaurant near my mom’s Asian restaurant. Last August 24th, we finally decided to try it.

Laziz Restaurant in Antipolo is a family-owned restaurant. Pretty much like my mom’s, the matriarch of the family cooks each dish served in Laziz. They boast a wide range of Middle Eastern cuisines with a Filipino touch.

Tim and I both ordered their Chicken Biryani platter, each serving is good for one but can definitely be shared by two, even three and it costs 275php. I also ordered a side dish of Hummus and a 9″ pita, which were sold separately the hummus for 50php and the 9″ pita for 30php.

They have fruit juices and shakes in their menu which was not available when we went there, so Tim and I each got ourselves a can of Royal and Pineapple Juice, which goes about 50php each or something.

Our judgement?

I’m no food critique nor am I a good cook, but I am exposed to different cuisines from a very early age to give fair judgment when it comes to food. Also, Tim is a chef himself which makes him more credible than I am and it just so happen that we shared the same opinion and sentiments regarding Laziz.

Let’s start with the service. The staff was polite and attentive. However, the owner who’s also the chef, although accommodating, tend to overstay her welcome especially during the meal and after which makes it a little awkward.

Their food, our order at least, was good. A little too spicy for my taste, but Tim seemed to have enjoyed it a lot. The serving was very generous and they used authentic spices and a mix of long and semi-long grain rice. The chicken tasted familiar, reminds me of rotisserie chicken that you can get from supermarkets or Andok’s or something of the sort. It was good but lacked flavor from the meat itself.

Their hummus was good also, it had the right amount of nut, smoke, and spice plus it was portioned generously. The pita, however, tasted store-bought, as opposed to their claim that it was made by the owner but it didn’t take away my joy when I dipped it into the hummus and savored every bit of it… forgive me, I’m a sucker for this type of food. lol

We didn’t order much, as you know this type of cuisine is usually pricey but although we weren’t able to order their Shawarma, the owner gave us a free sample of it which we thought was nice and I know I should be gracing them with so many praises but I surely suck at lying which is why I cannot work in the sales industry. In all honesty, their Shawarma didn’t taste good at all, it was between dry and juicy (if that’s even possible but I hope you get what I mean).

It has a piece of fry. I know that some variation of Shawarma has fries in them as some sort of an extender but I was hoping that the french fry they put in the sample was at least seasoned. Same with the entire content of what’s supposed to be heaven in a wrap for me and Tim. It was a tad bland in my opinion. I’m hoping that it was just a minor inconsistency or some sort of slip up.

Overall, I gave Laziz a full-on four-star rating on Zomato.

Paninap Beach Resort, Quezon

To mark our first month of marriage, Tim took me on a day trip to a beach in Tignoan, Quezon last August 19th. We’ve been planning to go to a beach for the longest time even way before we began dating (LOL) but it was only on our first month of marriage did we actually do it.

I was in such a bad mood because he woke me up so early in the morning. I literally had to bring a pillow so I could get comfy and catch a few more winks in the car on our way there. It’s not like I was not aware that we were supposed to go somewhere that day, he did inform me two days prior after failing to keep it a secret from me. Haha!

I was able to prepare my things the night before, but my God! Why is it so hard to get up before 10am? T_T As you may or may not know, I’m not a morning person but I am trying so hard to wake up early in the past few months and in case you’re wondering, I’m failing miserably.

Anyway, Tim and I stopped over at a local roadside canteen in Pililia for breakfast. The trip to Pililia didn’t feel like a long time, perhaps it’s because Tim and I are almost always in the area. LOL But the real long drive started only after breakfast.

Tim and I talked about the most random and mundane things on our way to Tignoan but it was a good conversation no matter how arbitrary and peculiar it might have gotten. For example, the long stretch of an empty road inspired me to write an apocalypse story. I have drafted and deleted several apocalypse stories in the past but I might just finish the one I was able to come up with on our way to Quezon.

Weird as it may, Tim and I enjoy brainstorming our plan to beat the odds in the moment of a zombie outbreak. HA HA HA HA! It was such a fun car ride that I wasn’t able to sleep on our way there, I just sat there on the passenger seat with my seatbelt on, clutching my pillow, feeling ever so comfortable. I wished the car ride never ended but glad it did anyway as we arrived in Paninap Beach Resort shortly after 9:30AM.

I was expecting the place to be crowded or something, forgetting the fact that it’s the low season. I was so pleased that there were only a few people in the beach that day, it felt more relaxing than I was expecting. What’s even better was that Tim knew the caretaker as he used to go there with his former workmates so we were able to scout a discount and even a freebie.

Initially, guests must pay around 50php for parking and 300php for the umbrella-type cottage by the beach, which was the one Tim and I availed as we wont be staying too long.

There were private huts that costs around 1500php to 2000php a pop but since Tim knew the caretaker quite well, we were given one for free and our parking fee got lifted because of the lack of guests that day. Had we decided to stay overnight, we would have a very comfortable place to sleep in.
 

We literally did nothing there at Paninap. We just had coffee and ate pan de sal as we lounged by the beach, we took like a 10-minute half-body dip in the ocean but showered shortly after lunchtime.

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It may be such a short stay for a long trip but it was worth every minute. I always love and cherish the beach as I spent most of my childhood with my grandparents in their house by the beach; I will always be an island girl at heart. To prove that, here’s an old photo of me on a boat taken by my beloved grandmother. LOL

I’m so glad Tim took me to the beach to celebrate our first month of marriage. Here’s to hoping for more trips like this! Cheers!
 

Stuff Fresh From Korea

I’m glad that I am now able to write something here again. I’m well aware that I haven’t been so active throughout the month of August and that’s because I’ve been very preoccupied with so many things after the wedding.

Some of it became overwhelming so I took a break from blogging for a few weeks. I couldn’t seem to get my thoughts organized, so much have happened and there are just so many things that I want to write about. Because of that, I’ll just write them all now and schedule them for later.

Stay tuned because it’s my birthday month and I might collaborate with my fellow bloggers for another giveaway. (wink)

That being said, I’ll start the blog post scheduling with a live one.
So, recently Tim and I opened an online English tutorial service website for my former Spanish and Korean students. We bought the domain name last month and our first student recently visited the Philippines and personally enrolled to our online tutoring school. She insisted that I meet her and her husband last Sunday, September 2nd at Hyatt Hotel in City of Dreams.

When we got there, she and her husband gave us a huge paper bag that contains the following:

All that plus a Samsung power bank, more ramyeon (I gave some to my in law’s) and her tuition for this month.

I know it’s nothing out of the ordinary and does not seem much, but I really want to write about it because it was just so thoughtful of my student to give Tim and I some late wedding presents. It wasn’t the first time I received presents from my students abroad, but meeting a foreign student in person is really special. We bonded and talked over a cup of coffee before bidding each other goodbye.

I cannot express in words how thankful I am to be blessed with such a thoughtful, straight-forward, and kind student. Well, that is all for this post, I’ll write the other ones later.

What about you? What was the best present you’ve ever received? ^_^

We Went to Lyger Zoo!

Tim took me to Lyger Animal Sanctuary in Pililia, Rizal shortly after our wedding. We initially planned to go there months ago, but the wedding preparations got in the way.

In fact, we haven’t gone on a road trip in weeks prior to our wedding, so when he woke me up one morning earlier this week and told me we’re going to the zoo, I had to get up quickly no matter how early it was.

It was quite a long drive, even when we were coming from Antipolo but when we got there, every minute on the road was worth it. I’ll tell you later in this post the transportation instructions and suggested budget, but first, here are photos!

Tim and I both love animals, but honestly, when Tim mentioned that there will be a tiger feeding attraction, a part of me wanted to postpone the trip. It’s not like I’m scared or anything, I love cats in general and I think larger cats are even adorable. I mean I could potentially be a sumptuous lunch for them, but that’s not why I was worried.

I was more worried about the possible fact that there may be so many visitors all the time that the baby tiger put on display may have been overfed. I’m not some animal rights activist, but I try to not get myself involved in animal abuse. I know it’s quite ironic because I somehow support zoos even if they call it an animal “sanctuary” these days, perhaps it’s that little part of me that believes that zookeepers still actually care about the animals on display.

However, when we got there, there was only one other family in the zoo, the gatekeeper said that it’s doesn’t really get too crowded inside especially on weekdays and the caretakers were actually very keen on cleaning the animal enclosures not once did I see an animal bathing in his own dung the entire time we were there.

The entire park wasn’t too big, but it was clean so I was a little relieved. I know I’m not some animal expert and that we don’t know exactly what happens when the park gates are closed, but I’ve seen abusive and temperamental zookeepers in the past even with visitors around. So I am glad that the zookeepers at Lyger are actually really nice and sweet even to the wildest of animals in the park.

As I previously mentioned, Lyger wasn’t too big so it only took us less than an hour to go around the entire park. Shortly after, we decided to grab lunch at a local cafe called The Daily Beans Coffee Lounge and Restaurant which served an all-day breakfast selection, mouthwatering cakes and pastries, and good coffee. They also have quite a huge covered outdoor patio that can be used for parties.

Tim and I usually splurge on food when we go out on our dates and to be honest, I was expecting our bill at The Daily Beans to be more than 800php but everything we ate (some are not in the photos sorry) only costs around 649php! This made The Daily Beans my favorite cafe instantly! LOL

Okay, now as I promised:

How to Get to Lyger Animal Sanctuary

If by personal vehicle: You can Waze it. If you’re coming from Antipolo, just go straight down to Teresa, Morong, Baras, Tanay, and Pililia will soon follow.  If you’re coming from Cainta, you may drive through Taytay, Binangonan, Cardona, Morong, Baras, Tanay, and finally, Pililia.

We highly suggest taking the Antipolo route. It’s quite a lengthy drive, but it’s lengthier if you take the Cainta-Taytay, Etc., route.
Along the highway, you’ll see the Daily Beans on your right side five to ten minutes before reaching the sign pointing to Lyger Animal Sanctuary which will be to your left.

If you’re commuting: If you’re coming from EDSA Crossing, board a jeepney or a UV going to Tanay, Rizal along Starmall or EDSA Central. Get off at Tanay town proper, board another jeepney going to Siniloan, Laguna and ask the driver to drop you off in Pililia along the highway junction and from there you can ride a tricycle going to Lyger Animal Sanctuary.

If you’re coming from Cubao, you may take a jeepney or a UV going to Antipolo. From Antipolo town proper, take a tricycle going to Shopwise. You may need to get to the other side of the road (landmark: Red Ribbon/Santiago’s Furniture Shop). Board a jeepney, UV, or van going to Tanay. From Tanay, board another jeepney going to Siniloan, Laguna and ask the driver to drop you off in Pililia along the highway junction and from there you can ride a tricycle going to Lyger Animal Sanctuary.

I do apologize, but I no longer remember the fare rates from these areas, especially for tricycle fares as they differ from each town. But the entrance rates to Lyger are as follows:

  • Adults and children above 7 years old – 200php
  • Senior Citizens, PWD, and children aged 2 to 7 years old – 160php
  • Toddlers or children below 2 years old are free to enter the facility

I hope I was able to help a little. Let me know in the comments down below about the transportation fare rates so I can edit this post in the future. (wink)

We’re Married! (+ wedding photos!)

Tim and I officially tied the knot over a week ago during a simple ceremony at Villa de Rio Resort in Hilltop, Taytay, Rizal surrounded by our close family members and good friends.

It was very different from what we initially planned to have. So different from the courthouse/Vegas wedding of my dreams, and a bit far from Tim’s dream of a church wedding. The reality was a garden wedding and to be honest, it was full of flaws.

From the catering to the decoration, the program line-up, my wedding march (Always by Erasure if you’re wondering) and even down to the doves that are supposed to be ten balloons to commemorate my late grandfather on his birthday (which was also the day of our wedding).

Perhaps, there were many other things that didn’t go as planned and guests might have been able to notice them or blatantly point it out. But as far as Tim and I are concerned, it was a good party and we were blessed with reliable suppliers, who, despite the short notice, was still able to deliver on time and made our wedding extra special.

Ours was not the best, but it has its own charm and character in such a way that most of the elements were really “us”. Nothing pretentious, even our vows, our wedding photos would prove that to be true, which by the way were taken by our really good friend Jun Fabila.

Come see our wedding photos:

Our wedding day was made more special by the little things that were not done conventionally like how Tim got his shoes from a local thrift/consignment store, like how I did my own makeup and so many other things that might take me all night to write about. Haha!

Regardless of how it turned out, we wouldn’t have had it in any other way and now that the wedding is over, and our marriage certificate has been filed, we can once again focus on furnishing our small flat and begin having coffee in the morning again.

I guess it’s safe to say that things are starting to go back to normal, where the amount of crazy is controlled by just a cup of brewed coffee.