Showing posts with label UP. Show all posts
Showing posts with label UP. Show all posts

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Up in the Clouds Ice Cream, Maginhawa Street

We were looking for a place to have dessert at after having a quick lunch in the Teacher's Village area when we spotted what looked like a newly opened ice cream shop along Maginhawa Street. "Up in the Clouds Ice Cream" is on the ground floor of the building hosting a branch of Anytime Fitness. It is right across from Bo's Coffee near the intersection of Maginhawa and Magiting Streets.

Shop counter using the ice cream containers as display
Interesting spot in the shop with a lone stool and lamp set-up with an accent wall backdrop. I guess this is more for photo ops than as a seating place to enjoy your ice cream?
Writings on the wall
Ice cream selection
They have some original flavors including a dark chocolate concoction they call "Dark Side of the Frost"
Descriptions of their regular flavor offerings
Other desserts available at the shop
Another look at the counter
Their ice cream is okay though not as creamy as others like Baskin Robbins or Sebastian's. Of course, it is not (yet?) at the level Gelatissimo, Caramia or the other established gelato cafes. I wouldn't even go to comparing it with Carmen's Best or the other local artisan brands out there. Still, it is a nice addition to the collection of restaurants in Teachers Village.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

End of semester stories - persistence pays off

I released the class standings for the three sections I am handling this semester. Included were their scores for assignments I gave throughout the semester and for the long exams that included those I assigned as take-home work and for which discussions among students were encouraged in order to facilitate learning.

I got emails from four students regarding their scores and tentative grades. One student asked if its possible to have one exam rechecked as he was percentage points away from getting a 1.0. I quickly checked his scores and decided to give him an early Christmas gift as simple rounding off his average will improve his already excellent grade. I am usually generous with grades even if its not the Christmas season. I just don't feel like its worth stressing over percentage points and cases of a few points in exams.

Another student asked why he got a very low score in an exam. I remembered him as one who did not bother to include/attach solutions to his exam but instead submitted only the answers. How could I give full or even partial credit when it is not clear to me that the student did his work and understood the topics covered in the exam? I promptly replied to him asking if he already got the papers back and read what I wrote on his papers. He replied with a 'Thanks' and I never heard from him again.

I got a message from one student who believed she was able to submit one assignment and confirmed with her partner (it was a group project) about their submission on time. Turns out I have no record of their submission and I replied that perhaps her partner failed to submit it on their behalf. She had good scores in exams and assignments but her partner had average scores so I suspected perhaps that the other person wasn't able to submit their work but was afraid to admit it. There was no effort from him to support her. I recalled that there was a confusion where the assignments were to be submitted because half the class placed theirs in the wrong pigeon hole (this was the first homework) in our new building. And so I asked her to check for maybe their paper was still there (students were notorious for leaving their assignments or returned/corrected work so these usually accumulate by the end of the semester). To cut a long story short, she was able to find their paper in the pile and along the way also found the papers of 3 other classmates. I was able to correct their standings and this resulted in higher grades.

I wonder how many students are as persistent these days? I wouldn't categorize her as the grade- conscious type as she was not begging for points or asking for additional work to get a higher grade. The student 'fought' for what she thought she worked for that she wasn't able to get credit for. The other students (total 4) didn't even make an effort to rectify their situations and I suspect they didn't even check what was recorded as non-submissions. I was tempted not to change the scores and grades of the others, in a way making a point or lesson here, but that was not the right thing to do. I took the inspiration of the persistent student for the benefit of the others. Persistence pays off and the effort of one benefited others.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Diner at Maginhawa Street, UP Village

We were again looking for some place new to eat lunch at in UP Village and tried one at a new building just across the apartments along Maginhawa Street where we used to live at almost two decades ago. We found this American Diner-style restaurant where we thought we could have a quick meal. It was similar to one we tried in another part of UP Village so we figured from the menu outside the restaurant.

The interiors shouted American-style diner with the words fries, cheese steak and milkshake prominently displayed.
The decors screamed "USA!"
There were few diners when we were there probably because classes were still out at UP and Ateneo
Iced tea
Our main meal needed some proper plating for it to look more appealing than this.
The food we had was so-so. We thought we could probably have the same quality of food at places like Rodic's. It was a hot meal but there seemed to be something missing from our food. Needless to say, we're not looking forward to eating there again.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Strap replacement for a Swatch

I have several Swatch watches in my small collection. One is supposed to be a commemorative watch from UP's centennial in 2008. Such commemorative watches were the "in" thing a decade ago when different schools basically chose an old Swatch model that featured elements related to the school (usually the color so blue for Ateneo, green for La Salle, maroon for UP and so on) and had straps manufactured to match with the watch. Some strap designs are more wearable than others and in the case of the UP watch, it wasn't something you'd want to wear as an everyday watch. And so I decided to have the strap changed.

This Swatch is a simple one in terms of face design but features luminous hands and points corresponding to the hours
Water resistance is at 5 bar or 50m. It is a quartz watch and batteries are easily replaced using a small coin to unlock the battery compartment at the back.
I decided to go for a leather strap. This made the watch something I could wear for different occasions whether it be for casuals, work or even formals.

I think this Swatch cost me 5,000 pesos almost a decade ago. The price is actually a little but more than half that amount but this was an item for a fundraiser so it was worth it.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Soru Izakaya, Maginhawa Street

I saw a post on Facebook about a newly opened Japanese izakaya (bistro) along Maginhawa Street. And so one Friday, we decided to check it out.

The restaurant had tasteful interiors and the ambience of an izakaya was certainly there.
Sushi and sashimi bar
The drinks on display included many Japanese spirits
Another look at the interiors from inside towards the door

The bar was loaded not only with typical liquor like the Johnny Walkers but, and most notably, with Japanese spirits. These included whisky (Suntory anyone?), sake and shochu.
Shake (salmon) sashimi

Their version of brewed iced tea was okay though I would have preferred mugi cha for hot days
Ramen for me
Yasai itame and tori karaage with rice on the side
Soru Izakaya was a nice experience for us. It certainly brought back some good memories of Japan. The food was good and the service was okay. It would have been better if we had our other friends with us and perhaps if we went there on an evening to enjoy some beer to go with our food. The restaurant is certainly a welcome addition to the Japanese options in UP Village. Price-wise, we thought it didn't hurt the pocket if you ate here once in a while. It definitely is not for regular lunch for the typical employee or student.

Friday, February 17, 2017

The Barn by Tipsy Pig, UP Town Center

We had some guests from Japan last December. A professor whom we are close with and his students were in Manila in part to explore research topics on transportation and also for his students to have some exposure outside their laboratory in Tokyo. As per his usual request, we arranged for dinner at a restaurant featuring Filipino food. Our staff made reservations at The Barn at the UP Town Center. They had tried it once before and were all praises for the food they ate there. Here's what we ordered for dinner with our guests.

Kare kare
I forget exactly what this is but it is fish and it was really good
Crispy pata
The place is highly recommended especially for big groups. The servings are really for sharing so a small group won't allow you to enjoy a variety of orders. The service was also very good with their staff being very attentive. They were also knowledgeable about the food they served and so you can ask them for recommendations like what's popular with their customers. We thought the amount we paid for all the food and drink we ordered was fair considering our big group, serving sizes, and (of course) the quality of the food. We look forward to the next time we eat here again. Perhaps it would be during one of our lunches out of the office?

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Hanako, Maginhawa Street

We discovered a new Japanese restaurant located at a newly built building along Maginhawa Street near the corner with Magiting Street. We sort of found it when we were forced to slow down for a vehicle making a U-turn along Maginhawa and in front of the building. We got to peek inside the building and saw what we thought (correctly) as a newly opened restaurant.

Hanako's menu states that it basically offers a wide range of Japanese food
Table for two
The ground floor's interior contains a lot of mirrors to give an illusion of space. There is a mezzanine level, which we guess has more space compared to the ground level.
Wall climbing? On one side of the restaurant is what appears to be a wall for training.
Salmon sashimi - this was good and priced more affordably than another Japanese resto in Maginhawa. Hanako is not as pricey and offered many items in their menu for those wanting to satisfy their cravings for Japanese food.
Chicken teriyaki don was also good according to my friend
The kani salad was also okay. We thought the ingredients were fresh and the serving size just right for sharing considering we ordered other items.
The chicken katsu curry looked and smelled good. However, the breading was too thick and the rice was too much for a serving. The thick breading meant you'll taste more bread than chicken and you'd be full way before you're even halfway through your meal. I did mention this to the staff as this is a common flaw among many Japanese-themed restaurants serving this dish.
We'll also probably be back at this restaurant some time but maybe when there is already additional parking available at the building. There are other restaurants there including a branch of the popular Bo's Coffee. There is also a branch of a major fitness center chain in the building so it attracts a lot of people and many have cars. There is a driveway leading to a basement level so perhaps they'll have enough parking there.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Tipanan, Maginhawa Street/V. Luna Extension

Our first lunch out for the year was at a restaurant at the end of Maginhawa Street in an area that is generally called Botocan. It is also at the fringe of UP Teachers Village. Tipanan Cafe appears to be another old house that was transformed into a restaurant, keeping pace with the commercial developments along Maginhawa Street. This part though was already commercialized being close to Kamias and V. Luna Extension and near the corner where there is a branch of a large supermarket chain.

Interior of the restaurant showing features of what used to be a house
Counter and entrance to the kitchen
People entering the restaurant will be greeted by this set-up at the foyer
Tipanan's menu offers an assortment of food. I used the word assortment because there seems to be no single or unifying theme or maybe that's because they intended for this to be a meeting place, the direct translation of the word tipanan. That is, they have pastas, they have Filipino food, they also have sandwiches, and so on.
Chorizo pasta
Pesto pasta with chicken
Adobong manok at baboy (Chicken and pork stewed in vinegar and soy sauce)
We would also probably eat here again soon. We want to try the other items in their menu since the variety got our curiosity. I just wonder if, on a regular day, the limited parking spaces would allow us to have a quick meal here during one of our lunches out.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Sarsa, UP Town Center

There is an Ilonggo restaurant at the UP Town Center. We sort of discovered if the one time we were there last December. We have not had Ilonggo food in a while and kind of missed eating chicken inasal and molo so we decided to try Sarsa. The Clairvoyant had heard about this restaurant by a chef who we sometimes chance upon on TV and was recommended by those who already ate here. For me, Ilonggo food was comfort food and I didn't mind eating this on a more regular basis.

The menu and their specialties are on the board
Inasal lumpia?
Pancit molo just the way we like it
Inasal na pecho (chicken breast)
I forget what this was but I seem to recall it was a special for the day (or week?) so we tried it.
Sarsa was, as expected, comfort food and it is most welcome among the restaurants at the UP Town Center. The inasal was just right and the so was their inasal lumpia. The pancit molo was also good and refreshing; perhaps perfect for rainy days. The prices are also just right for a non-fast food restaurant. It's no wonder a lot of people especially families and other big groups eat there. 

While I look forward to eating there again soon, I am not so sure about going to UP Town Center as frequently as we do to UP Village and our suki restaurants there. The traffic is pretty bad going there especially during lunch period although the parking situation's better and one does have the option to avail of valet services.