Big Burp for ‘Big’ Happiness: Moon Cafe and its Baby Back Ribs

Baby Back Ribs with Garlic Rice, Vegetable siding, and steak sauce … yum!

Traveling and looking for a sobrang sulit meal without compromising your big appetite for sumptuous food and without worrying about your budget?

Moon Cafe’s got our back, baby, with this oh so delectable Baby Back Ribs. For just P155.00, their big serving is sure to fill that craving that an extra cup of garlic rice (P30.00) should be considered, too. This is also best enjoyed with a pitcher of their famous Suncooler and of course their Nacho de Salsa on the side (both cost less than P100 each).

Moon Cafe located at the IT Park (in front of Waterfront Cebu) in Cebu is their largest branch that I’ve seen so far. Their branch in Cagayan de Oro is inside the Limketkai Mall (just a few walks away from Mallberry Suites) and they also have two branches in Iloilo: near Robinsons Mall and another one between Plazuela and SM City Iloilo (the newest).

So next time you’re out of town, make sure to visit Moon Cafe! Big Burp guaranteed! Love, Rikki.

P.S. Moon Cafe experience is best enjoyed with your best buddies, too!

Moon Cafe in Limketkai Mall, CDO with Faith, Diane aka Baby Buff and Creawea, June 2010

What a Sip of Your Favorite Cup of Coffee Can Do

StarBucks Iloilo

(Planner Entry dated April 12, 2011)

After almost three months of staying here in Iloilo, I’ve to admit there are a lot of things I miss like having my favorite Venti Hot Caramel Macchiato with extra caramel drizzle. It has been my faithful buddy during toxic times and it reminds me of my precious friends and those touching moments we’ve shared on and off work hours.

I miss it when Lola Erwin Verdejo and I would stay in the office until 5am in preparation for an event. I miss it when Crea Claudio and I have new office buddies to bully, I mean to entertain and to just try to know well :p I miss it after every lunch-out and meeting when we were asked to have either dessert or coffee. I miss it whenever there are some issues to deal with, personally or professionally. I miss how it has become a venue to patch grudges or misunderstandings with an officemate. I miss how it gained me new friends during taste tests and other new promo stints. I miss how a Starbucks planner given with love (Thanks again, Ms. Tricia) can mean the whole world to me.

I think I just miss it primarily because it makes me feel I’m home and it reminds me of people I consider my family – my former office buddies.

Now that it’s finally here, I can’t help but become nostalgic. Chris and I were supposed to do our usual family day – pig out, do some grocery stuff, etc. – but when we saw it already open, pfttt … we’re there in an instant lining up to have our favorite coffee and we just stayed there for hours enjoying every second of it!

I’m surprised with the new look of the cup but the rest remain the same. The friendly atmosphere and of course, the homey feel! The place was also perfectly and nicely designed that Ilonggos flocked the place in no time.

Our family day had a new twist today. Instead of just sipping coffee at home reading newspaper, we did it there and we also happened to discover and appreciate Mango Magazine and discussed some articles we’ve read there. Now this is an interesting day and this I know promises more interesting days (and more interesting reads and people) ahead. I’m just so happy to have found my second home again.

Iloilo Churches that Speak of Old Family Ties and Old Filipino Values

Last Good Friday, Chris and I decided to continue one of their family’s traditions of visiting and praying in the seven churches or what they call ‘coches noches’ (i’m not sure if I named or spelled it right, though).

We started with the farthest one (two long worthy jeepney rides), which is the Miag-ao church, and I was so amazed with its architecture and the way it was preserved. I’ve seen a lot of old churches in Luzon particularly those in Bicol, Quezon, Laguna, Cavite, Mindoro and Batangas (thanks to my hobby of being lakwatsera and being history fanatic and to my history and art classes in UPLB), but I’ve never seen anything like this one yet.

Photo courtesy of Mr. John M. Reyes

The color is yellowish unlike the terracotta color I’m used to seeing in other churches. It also has a mystic effect on me because upon seeing it, I think I just stood in front of the chuch in awe for a couple of minutes when I suddenly remembered our purpose of going there. No, definitely not a field trip although it came as a bonus, but a meaningful contemplation about God’s love.

Inside the church, I was amazed with the number of people doing the station of the cross and they were all families. Bad thing, we don’t have a copy of the Way of the Cross, so we just skipped it. And compared to other churches, there were no vendors in the church’s vicinity (there were only two and those were across the street). That made our visit there more solemn.

Next stop, Guimbal church. I already visited that last year but there was an undergoing construction and it’s not as beautiful as what I remember it. Or maybe I’m just really biased with things that are old and well-preserved because it reminds me of old ways and old times. I love the air and the smell of old churches. Unlike the first, this one was crowded with vendors. Not really a good thing, in my opinion, but thanks to it, we were finally able to buy a copy of the Way of the Cross and just decided to do it on the seventh church.

Then we went to Tigbauan church. From the outside, it looked as if it was another victim of Mr. Boysen but upon stepping inside, wow – it is one big surprise. Every inch is a work of art. All of the images of the saints and the pictures in each station were mosaic. It was really breathtaking. I can only imagine the hard work and the passion and the dedicaton of those that were behind it.

Then we headed to Oton church. The inside was painted blue and white. Then Villa Arevalo church. And the Molo church and finally, the La Paz church where we did the Station of the Cross. We opted not to go to the Jaro church anymore since we attend and hear mass there regularly.

We started in the morning and it was almost 3pm when we finished. Yes, it was super duper tiring. We were walking under the heat of the sun and we were waiting for the jeepneys for so many minutes because there were only few PUJs operating on those towns but the experience was something attached to my heart that I never felt those things while we were doing them.

It’s really touching to see families doing those things together. I’m teary-eyed everytime we’re already inside the church because I can only wish for it. I’m more than happy because I realized, religious traditions are very alive in Iloilo unlike in some places where families think of Holy Week as the time to go to the beach. I admit I was once guilty of that and now that I am enlightened, I wish I were with my family, too, and we’re all enlightened the same way.

One thing I missed doing with my family, though, is the Pabasa, which we used to do every Holy Week in my mom’s hometown in Bicol, which is one thing I’ve never seen here.

To wrap this up, after visiting those seven churches, here are the things I’ve been reminded of:

1. Love for God and Love for our Neighbors.

No matter how much we think we’ve sacrificed, there is still no greater sacrifice than what God did for us so the simplest way to show our appreciation is to share that love to others.

2. The family that prays together, stays together.

Our family is God’s greatest gift. They are our constant companion no matter what and our constant source of comfort and love be it good times or tough times.

3. Visiting church feels like coming home to your home sweet home.

You talk and you’re sure you’re being listened to. Even when you don’t talk at all, you know in your heart, you’re being understood and you’re still being loved.

One sad realization, though, based on my observation … as the church nears the City, the solemnity and the respect of the people for it as the house of God lessens. There were even vandals on some of the churches we visited. Maybe we all have to remember, church is like a mirror and it reflects the kind of people who dwells in it.