September 7, 2010

I Heart UPLB

I could not pass up on the chance to be in UP Los Banos once again... so when HB's football team got an invitation to join the Upsilon Cup about 3 weeks ago, we immediately planned a "family picnic" as I was quite excited to show "the school where mommy and daddy met" to our girly girls. =D

But perhaps the stars conspired and it was just Fiona and I who were able to go. 

While HB and his teammates were settling in for the tournament, our mother and daughter tandem drove around the campus and I happily pointed out the various buildings:

the former UP Rural High School building 

UPLB Oblation

College of Arts and Sciences Building

UPLB Library

Southeast Asian Regional Center for Agriculture (SEARCA) Building

Baker Hall - this was where we had our P.E. classes. 
This building dates back to the Japanese era ... lots of ghost stories ;)

giant acacia tree
(which was infamously called the "fertility tree" during our time, major LOL)

My daughter gamely posed for me and we cherished our solo time together.

future Iskolar ng Bayan ;)

my little miss kenkay

Going around the UP Los Banos campus brought back fun, fun, fun memories of the good and carefree high school and college days. While I noticed that there have been a lot of changes, it all still looked the same (I hope you get my drift ;D).

I am at a loss of words for the feelings evoked by nostalgia... all I can say is that it felt great to be back!

Fiona with UPLB's most beloved tree in the background

Photoblog: Blueguards FC in Upsilon Cup 2010

Last Sunday, Fiona and I tagged along with HB and the Blueguards FC Team for the Upsilon Cup in UP Los Banos. It was scorchingly hot to be out in the sidelines of the football field but I still had a good time as I practiced taking action shots:

missed the goal by a few inches

this turned out to be a good save

penalty shoot out

emerging victorious from their semi-final game

The guys were supposed to play for the 40-and-above division but they craved for more playtime so they wound up in the Open B Category. They played a total of eight 7-aside 15-minute games and they happily emerged as first runners up ... good job guys!

September 2, 2010

Kiss The Cook Gourmet

Yesterday, the 1st of September, HB and I celebrated our 19th anniversary with a simple dinner at Kiss The Cook Gourmet, a quaint little restaurant along Maginhawa Street in UP Village.

We decided to go somewhere near our home for fear of what the heavy rains may bring if we ventured far. Knowing that the Maginhawa street scene is sprouting with up and coming food joints, we made a visual sweep of the various restaurants found on the street until HB made up his mind. He said that he had read good reviews about this place and that it was also featured in Mel and Joey (a local tv show). So we dared to try.

Upon entering, I immediately noticed all the wood furniture which instantly brought a homey ambiance to the place. I also took note of the Mediterranean-inspired lamps which gave a good glow to the various art pieces  hung on the butter-yellow colored walls. 

The menu list was impressive with French fare as the dominant theme. We were told that the owners constantly revise and update it. For starters, they had antipasti mix, mozzarella blue cheese sticks and spinach feta dumplings, among others. They offered salad, soup and pasta choices too. Their list of main courses were interesting as it ranged from pistachio-crusted chicken, grilled afghan chicken, to asian braised pork ribs.

HB chose the Pasta Bolognese. The pasta was cooked al dente and there was a generous helping of ground meat and chorizos. But we generally found it to be on the bland side. A dash of salt easily solved the problem.

I, on the other hand, ordered the Asian Braised Pork Ribs. The meat was really tender and it easily came off the bone but I found the sauce too rich that I easily got umay after a few bites.

We would have stayed longer but they ran out of beer. I would have loved to sit outside and have dessert while HB drank a couple more bottles. We couldn't understand why no staff thought about going out to the nearest grocery to get more beers. There were other guys drinking outside and they were also put off and decided to leave. While I understand that they are primarily a restaurant, there are men who enjoy good food accompanied by a few bottles. I know that my HB is one such kind. :)

While the dining experience may be considered as far from perfect as the staff were a bit on the slow side, I must still say that Kiss The Cook Gourmet has got a couple of good things going for them - the elaborate food preparation and presentation cause their dishes to be classified as gourmet and their prices are  pocket-friendly. There are still other dishes on their menu that we'd like to try so we'll definitely be back!