MIBF 2017 Book Haul!

Last month, just like every year, I went to the Manila International Book Fair (MIBF, for short). As expected, my wallet wasn’t ready for it (despite me trying to save for a year.)  Unlike last year, where I was able to go to the MIBF on two dates, I was only able to go once this year.

My aunt and I started on the second floor for children’s books!

Check out the number of people there are on the second floor!

Unfortunately, my phone died by the time my aunt and I headed for the first floor, so I didn’t get to take any more photos 😦

Here’s my book haul this year!

Continue reading “MIBF 2017 Book Haul!”

Advertisements

Sophie Bakes: Homemade Dog Treats

A couple of weeks ago, my little sister climbed one of our kitchen shelves and accidentally knocked over a jar of oatmeal. Instead of throwing it out, I decided to make dog treats instead (since my dogs started eating the oats on the floor like there’s no tomorrow.) I found this easy recipe from this website and tried it out.

That’s a lot of oatmeal.

The recipe calls for rolled oats, salt, egg, and beef broth or chicken broth. After I combined them all in a bowl, I found this bear-shaped ice tray (only because I don’t have cookie cutters at the moment) and filled it in with the mix.

I placed all the oat treats on a baking tray and popped it in the oven at around 325 degrees.

Continue reading “Sophie Bakes: Homemade Dog Treats”

Asia Pop Comic Con 2017!

It’s that time of the year again – Asia Pop Comic Con 2017!

Just like last year, I went with my best friend Courtney!

We went on August 26!

I’d like to say that this year, I came more prepared (meaning, I brought more money – HAHA.)

When we go to APCC, we usually have three reasons why. First, the artists and their merch:

Just look at all those stickers!

Second, the special guests (guest artists or celebrities):

I wanted to buy an Artgerm print, but they didn’t have the design I wanted huhu.

And lastly, comics!

Continue reading “Asia Pop Comic Con 2017!”

Philippine Road Trip!

Last month, my professor from my Philippine history class gave the class a unique finals project. We had to go to six specific historical locations in the Philippines and take six specific photos: Aguinaldo Shrine (near his grave), Luneta Park (GomBurZa marker), Barasoain Church (Aguinaldo’s carriage), Mt. Samat (cross), Clark Museum (near the canon), and the San Agustin Church (grave of Miguel Lopez de Legaspi). What’s more is that we were given two weeks to go to all these places! To get an idea on how far all these are (from where I am), here’s a map:

I was seriously stressing out – but miraculously, I was able to visit them all! Now, hang on tight for a lengthy post as you tag along with me on my adventure!

My first stops were the closest to my university: Luneta Park and the San Agustin Church.

Luckily, I’ve been to Rizal/Luneta Park before so I knew what exactly to look for and where it is. We literally ran out the car, took the photo, and ran back – HAHA. We were running on a tight schedule (since they picked me up after my classes) and still needed to go to…

San Agustin Church!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The next day, I went to the Aguinaldo Shrine.

Continue reading “Philippine Road Trip!”

Kevin Kwan in Manila!

Earlier this week, my aunt and I went to UP Town Center for Kevin Kwan’s book signing!

(That’s my aunt there in the background.)

We read Kevin Kwan’s books about a year ago and became instant fans! I found his book, Crazy Rich Asians, relatable and entertaining (I am Asian, after all) and laughed harder than I should’ve when I first read “aiyah” in the book.

We arrived around 12 PM for registration. Since it was still early (Q&A and signing would begin at 2 PM), my aunt and I went around the mall and had lunch.

At around 1:30 PM, my aunt and I went back and found some seats. Soon, it was time for the Q&A portion and Kevin Kwan entertained us not only with our questions, but with a reading from his latest book Rich People Problems as well.

Soon, it was time for the book signing!

I only had Crazy Rich Asians and China Rich Girlfriend signed because Rich People Problems isn’t available in smaller print yet. Continue reading “Kevin Kwan in Manila!”

Sophie Bakes: Nutella-Peanut Butter “Cookies”

“Cookies” because it was originally a recipe for cookies – but then…well, you’ll see why by the end of this post.

So, just like last time, I was inspired by a YouTube video to bake! I was craving for some cookies and ended up doing Gemma Stafford’s 3-Ingredient Cookie recipe! Assessing the ingredients I have in the kitchen, I decided to make some peanut butter cookies. The recipe is very simple, and as the title suggests, it only requires three ingredients!

Unfortunately, I lacked peanut butter and decided to substitute half of it with Nutella. I combined one cup of peanut butter + Nutella, 1 cup of white sugar, and 1 egg into a bowl and combined them all together (1:1:1 ratio).

Afterward, I prepared a “cookie sheet” and asked my 6-year old sister to drop the cookies on top.

I literally turned away for a minute or so and my sister poured the batter on the cookie sheet – thus, it became a brownie.

See? Oh well, ha-ha!

I did the best I could and cut it into little pieces, but no one believes me when I said that it really cookies.

It surprisingly tasted really good! I would recommend this to anyone who wants to make a quick treat to satisfy their cravings.

Click here to get the full recipe!

June Wrap-Up

I want to start a new series where I wrap up my experiences per month in one blog post! So to wrap up June, I want to share with you some things I’ve been working on plus some packages I got!

First up, packages!

1. Pedigree Dog Food Samples

I have two cute dogs at home and I wanted them to try out some Pedigree samples (that’s specific for their weight class). Luckily, Pedigree Philippines offers free samples for your dog to try! I sent in the details of both my dogs and got this a few weeks later:

Inside each package contains a small pack of dry dog food, a small pouch of wet dog food, and a small booklet on feeding information. It was really interesting to receive these since I wanted to see how my dogs would react to wet dog food (as compared to their normal dry dog food portions).


You can get a sample here (for Philippine residences only)!

2. Books, books, and more books!

The next package I got was really exciting for me since I’ve been waiting for several months to receive it. I pre-ordered two books from Book Depository a couple of months back and it’s finally here!

It’s the 20th-anniversary copy of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone! It’s so pretty. I love everything about it.


I’m a proud Ravenclaw. #HousePride! While one of my best friends (Courtney) is a Slytherin. I bought her a copy as her birthday gift. (Don’t worry, she already saw it.)

Continue reading “June Wrap-Up”

A Thousand Words

They say a picture speaks a thousand words. While I might be a better writer than I am a photographer, I agree with this statement. If you’ve been following my blog (or even if you’re a new reader), you’ll notice that I love including photos in all my posts – I think it helps tell my story the way I want it to be told through photographs. I sometimes let the photos do the talking to get my point across or for appreciation’s sake.

In participation with the #VantagePoint project, I want to share with you some of my favorites photographs. (The #VantagePoint project is by a startup company called light.co and they sell these really awesome compact cameras, which is unfortunately sold out (for now). As part of their marketing campaign, they shared the #VantagePoint project with me, which is basically me sharing a photo of my favorite location and the story behind it – which is what I love doing anyways.)

Since I took so many photos over the year, I thought that I’d showcase my top three photos from my travels.
(Disclaimer: please note that these are the top three best photos not because of aesthetic’s sake, but because of the memory that goes with it.)

1. El Nido, Palawan (Philippines)

This place took my breath away when I was physically there. Without a word, I made my way to the front of the boat and bravely took my phone out (despite my fear of it falling down the boat). I made sure the lighting was just perfect and waited for the moment to capture it. I assessed the positioning and symmetry with the grids. I made sure that there were different kinds of action happening everywhere that would make people want to look at this photo again and again. This was the highlight of my trip.

2. The National Museum, Manila (Philippines)

It was Independence Day when I took this photo and I went to the National Museum (one of my favorite places in Manila) to celebrate. When I left the museum, it was really windy and I looked up to see several flags proudly displayed out in front. It was really sunny as well, so I squinted, aimed my camera at the highest flag, aligned it to my grid, and shot. I waited for the right moment so that all the flag would show it’s entirety. I loved how the blueness of the sky made the colors of the flag pop out! I think this photo shows peace and nationality together.

Continue reading “A Thousand Words”

LEAP 2017: Calligraphy

Last month, I had a friend who approached me with a proposal: teach a calligraphy class for LEAP (an annual alternative class event in my university). Of course, I freaked out. My mind went into overdrive thinking – was I good enough to teach a calligraphy class? Was I ready to face a class of around thirty or more to talk about my passion? Why was I chosen when there are so many other people who are better than me in calligraphy? Would my class think that I am too inexperienced?

I asked my friend calmly, “What specific type of calligraphy? Using the nib and ink?”
She replied later with, “Brush pen.”

I felt my confidence rise. I knew that using the brush pen was one of my strengths (well, as compared to nib and ink calligraphy). I took a deep breath, typed in: “I’ll do it” and hit send. I had a month to prepare.

Official publicity material! 💚

I was so anxious, I couldn’t sleep at night for a while – I was really scared of my inexperience and how I will teach the class. I was afraid of what they’ll think of my work and my very being. It got to a point where I practiced teaching the class on my Snoopy stuffed toy (don’t judge) until I felt I was ready. So the night before, I prepared my bag of art supplies:

After checking my presentation slides for what seemed like the hundredth time, I finally went to sleep. The next day, one of my best friends, Nicole met up with me and encouraged me over lunch. She eased my worries and even walked me to my class where the project heads were waiting for me! A few minutes later, people started coming in. I felt my hands go cold and my blood rise up to my head. I knew I could nail it, but my perfectionist-self wanted everything to go according to plan.

My set-up. (L-R: notes I made the night before, warm up piece, and calligraphy book)

I had three friends (angels) who attended my class – two of them on purpose, while the other was completely by accident – so I felt reassured and calmer. I set up my things on the table in front, cleared my mind, and signaled to the project head that I was ready.

Continue reading “LEAP 2017: Calligraphy”

Sophie Makes: MUJI Naan (+ Curry)

During my not-so-recent trip to Tokyo, Japan last April, I bought a couple of things from MUJI. I got the usual stationary and some other little travel essentials. In Japan, though, I get the most excited about the MUJI food that they sell since most of what they’re offering is not available back at home. I was so happy to find a pack of handmade ready-to-make naan and couldn’t wait to try it out.

And so, I finally had some time yesterday to make them:

The instructions were unfortunately in Japanese so I tried my best to (“read”) translate and research on what to do. Luckily, I found this video of someone making it and tried my best to follow.

MUJI Handmade Naan (Serves 4) – 200g

First, I placed all the naan mix in a medium-sized bowl and poured in 100ml of water:

Then, I placed a teaspoon of olive oil:

I combined everything well, kneaded the dough for a few minutes, and covered it to let it rise (as shown in the video).

[Note: Nothing happened in the ten minutes I covered it to “let it rise”, so you can go ahead and skip to the next step.]

While I was waiting for my dough to “rise”, I heated up the MUJI Creamy Butter Chicken Curry.

After ten minutes, I took out the dough from the bowl, cut them into four pieces, and proceeded to flatten them with a rolling pin. I grated some queso de bola (“ball cheese” or edam cheese, in English) and stuffed them in.

While I was rolling out and filling the dough, I placed a medium-sized non-stick pan over medium heat (read that again, slowly) and drizzled some olive oil on the pan.

Once the pan was hot enough, I placed two of the naan bread on it and covered the pan (to trap the heat in).

I let it cook for around 3 – 5 minutes on each side (or until they turn golden brown).

Continue reading “Sophie Makes: MUJI Naan (+ Curry)”