GRUB

family, food

Our Sunday Mornings

GRUB

Grub

GRUB is a newly launched casual dining restaurant located at the heart of Bishan Park 1. Amidst the lush greenery sits the modern yet homey Grub, which prides itself in their use of carefully selected ingredients and dishes that “they would serve their own family.”

photo (7) 2

DESCRIBED IN ONE WORD

J Homey – The inside of the restaurant had big windows, warm wood accents, a nice brick wall and a kitchen counter positioned amidst the tables. It felt like home.

C Refreshing – Their use of natural, fresh ingredients coupled with the floor to ceiling windows really brought the outdoors in.  Somehow it made brunch seem like such a fresh experience.

FAVORITE DISH

J French toast, with garlic pork sausage, strawberries, sour cream, maple

C French toast – I loved the use of sour cream and fruit to complement the sweet, cinnamon taste of the french toast. The garlic pork sausage provided the savory flavor…

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Travelogue #1: Barcelona, Spain

family, fashion, food, fun

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My 4-day trip to Spain in October 2010 was spent with my lovely mom. After a week in Paris we had decided to extend a few more days so that we could visit one more city in Europe. Without much deliberation, we decided on Barcelona. From the minute I stepped foot in the airport, I was giddy and thrilled to be in Espanya! 4 days was simply not enough to take in all that Barcelona has to offer.

❁Food❁

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✦Cuitat Comtal We didn’t do much research on restaurants before our trip because we figured that Paella, Tapas and Sangria would be good everywhere! Well, we were right!  We also gauged a restaurant based on how packed it was. On our second night, we came across a place called Cuitat Comtal.

69143_443664872749_4897565_nThe line was really long and there was like an hour-long wait list. Thankfully, when the waiter found out that we were also Filipinos, he “magically” found us a table! The food was excellent and we later on discovered that quite a few celebrities (Hollywood & Filipino) are their frequent diners. It was so good that we ate there twice during our 4-day stay in Barcelona!

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    ❁Shopping❁

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✦Local High Street Brands While in Barcelona, allow yourself to go wild over H&M, Mango & Zara. Though these high street brands are already sold in most countries, remember that these are Spanish brands and usually cheaper there. They also have a few styles that I never saw in the Manila store.

You’ll come across these shops on practically every street corner so you’re bound to give in at some point. Also check out Blanco and Stradivarius. These are similar to Mango, Zara, and H&M but slightly younger and trendier. You’ll find great really affordable clothing and accessories that you can’t get back home.

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✦Pretty Ballerina A pair of Spanish ballet flats from this store is worth the splurge! They come in all different colors and styles and are very comfy! You are bound to fall in love with all the ballerina shoes in this pretty shop. Celebrities like Kate Moss, Angelina Jolie, and Lindsay Lohan are frequently spotted wearing their pair of Pretty Ballerinas! They have very few stores, one of which is on Rambla Catalunya. (http://www.bornliving.com/out-and-about/shopping/pretty-balerinas/)  

❁Culture❁

✦Casa Battlo is  a beautiful house-turned-museum by Antoni Gaudi. It is truly a work of art, also marking the age of Modernism that transformed Barcelona into the city it is today! It’s also great because it is located in the middle on Passeig de Gràcia which is close by to tons of great shops! We managed to squeeze in a visit this museum on one of our shopping days. (www.casabatllo.es)

✦La Sagrada Familia

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It would be embarrassing to go to Barcelona without going to this landmark. It is the most well known building in the city and though it is still unfinished, it’s details are beautiful!

✦Tablao de Carmen Flamenco Show & Poble Espanyol

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This is something I highly recommend. We bought the tickets for Tablao de Carmen that came with Tapas and Sangria and we had such a wonderful time. It was fantastic! There’s nothing like watching amazing flamenco dancers with live Spanish music and excellent tapas! The theater/restaurant is located in Poble Espanyol which is also worthy of a visit so come early! (You may book tickets in advance at their website: http://www.tablaodecarmen.com)

✦Picasso Museum & Carrer de Montecada

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We also had the chance to visit the Picasso museum, Home to some of the earliest works of Pablo Picasso. The museum itself is located within several houses on a small street called Carrer de Montcada.

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It’s a beautiful part of town to leisurely walk and spend the morning. You may also want to stop by Sagardi for some Tapas!

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❁Accommodations❁  

✦Inside BCN

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Before I start, you must know that we loved the place so much that I actually hesitated to share this information. But I guess it’s like one of those secrets that are too good to keep to your self!
My mom found this place called Inside BCN. They are little apartments that are chic, clean, and complete with all the necessities! Rather than staying at a hotel, we found this to be much more affordable and it gives you a taste of living in Barcelona. Inside BCN has apartments all over the city and their staff is very friendly & helpful.  (www.insidebarcelona.com)

This blog post does not do our trip much justice. Will try to link more photos and videos soon! Or better yet, maybe I should plan another trip to the vibrant city of Barcelona!
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Failing Does Not Make You a Failure

faith


I’m sitting teary-eyed on the mrt as I think about a specific time in Peter’s life… Take a look at this passage from Mark 16.  

 6 “Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. 7 But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.’” -Mark 16:6,7

So basically, it’s Easter morning and the world is about to find out that Jesus is no longer in the tomb.  The shocked Mary, Mary Magdalene and Salome  are the first to find out and they are told to tell “the disciples AND PETER” that He has risen! If you look closely at the verse you’ll see that it was a glorious moment in history and Jesus wanted to be sure that Peter heard the news. Yes, Peter. If you go a few chapters back you’ll see that Peter had just failed big time! He denied Christ and turned his back on him at the most crucial time possible. Peter was most likely feeling guilty and sick to his stomach just thinking about what he had done. But, in this passage we see how our God is truly a God of 2nd chances!  Isn’t it amazing that Jesus was so mindful of Peter that he mentioned him specifically?  Despite how Peter had failed, Jesus makes no mention of his sin. Instead, Jesus made sure that he didn’t miss the chance to celebrate this moment.

It’s no surprise that Peter went on to do radical things for Christ! Instead of wallowing in regret, Peter lived ever so gratefully for Gods forgiveness that he refused to let anything ever stand in the way again.

 22 “Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. 23 They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” -Lamentations 3:22-23

When i think about God’s love, i sometimes find myself at a loss for words.  Thank you Jesus for 2nd (and 3rd, and 4th, and 5th, and ENDLESS) chances. Your love is truly amazing.

The Stairs or The Escalator?

faith
I was at the mall the other day and I asked someone how to get to the next floor. I was told I had 2 options.  I could either dash up the stairs and then catch my breath at the top OR wait on the escalator and let it carry me to the next floor.
It got me thinking about how this sometimes mirrors real life. I realized that in life there  are times that God asks us to take the escalator and times He makes us take the stairs.
Climbing up a flight of stairs can leave you breathless if you’re out of shape. It may not be the most comfortable way to get to the next floor but, we can’t deny that the exercise is good for us. In life, if God asks you take the stairs it means you need the workout. It means your FAITH muscles need stretching and your HEART needs to get beating at a new pace!
Taking the escalator is when we allow grace to move us to the top. It might get us there slower, but God’s pace is definitely safe! When God asks us to stand still on an escalator it means he’s teaching us PATIENCE. On the bright side, we’re in a place where we can just stand and enjoy the view. It may take us longer to get to our destination but let’s enjoy the time we have to catch our breath!
So whether you’re on the escalator or climbing a flight of stairs, let God Himself show you the way to new heights!

Are you afraid of the dark?

faith, friendship
“I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”– John 8:12
I’m afraid of the dark. I’m pretty  very clumsy. When the lights are out, I’m likely to bump into a wall or trip on something in the middle of the room (trust me, i’ve walked into walls before). I always feel much safer walking around at night when I’ve got a light on. Same thing goes for us as we walk through life.  It’s always better to walk in the light. One of the scariest things that could happen to us is to find ourselves spiritually walking in the dark. This happens when we step outside the presence of God and away from Gods people. Being in the dark is scary simply because it’s difficult to see what’s out there. And we all know that just because we can’t see something, doesn’t mean it’s not there. So let’s face it. In one way or another, we’re all afraid of the dark. 
  • Let God’s Word shed some Light! 
Walking in the light means allowing God to get involved in our life.  As we get to know Him and His word, we allow Him to shed light on the dark places of heart and to mold us to His liking. He shares His wisdom with us when we need to make a decision, He comforts us and makes His presence felt when are scared or alone, and He lavishes us with some of the most wonderful gifts and opportunities. These are all things we could never SEE or experience in the dark. Thankfully, His Word is a living light that guides us.
Your word is a lamp for my feet,  a light on my path.– Psalm 119:105
  • Find friends who GLOW in the Dark!
If you wanna walk in the light, don’t spend ALL your time with people who love sitting in the dark. Being around men and women who love the Lord and who live by His Word, teach us to walk in the light. Having friends who are passionate about God somehow draw us closer to Him. Being around faith-filled, joyful people, automatically draw us to their source! Hang around people who “glow in the dark.” 
You are the light of the world… In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.–Matt 5:14-16
 
I’ve been in Singapore for a couple of months now and every so often i surprise myself at how quickly I’ve adjusted. Weeks before coming here, I was terrified about going to a new place full of unknowns. From my human eyes, things were looking pretty dark. Didn’t know what to expect. Didn’t know what I was thinking! But instead of walking in the dark, I chose to walk with God and let Him shed light all over my situation. I also got connected with wonderful friends who “glow in the dark!”  🙂 Suddenly, fear was gone and I could walk with the confidence that God was with me.
A lot of times it surprises me how comfortable I am in this new environment. Since I arrived, I can’t remember a moment where I was afraid. Instead there has been so much grace and favor. I may not have all the answers yet, but all the days ahead are well lit. I’ve got a better understanding of how wonderful it is to walk in the light—to be able to walk with God without fear of tripping or stumbling upon something in the dark.
Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim you, who walk in the light of your presence, LORD.– Psalm 89:15

Whose Move Is It?

faith, family, friendship
It’s your move!” is a phrase I usually hear when watching amateurs play chess. Aside from the fact that this sport is kinda boring (chess players please forgive me), the next player can’t move until you do. Sometimes in the game we lose focus, get distracted, or might even be too scared to make a move…. So to keep the game going, your opponent has to remind you that “Hey! It’s your move!”

 chess

Similar things can happen in our walk with God. A month ago I felt God was calling me to move to Singapore. I didn’t have a job offer or a place to stay (which did seem a bit crazy to some). I also knew that leaving my friends and family in Manila would be quite difficult for a “people-person” like myself! But in spite of all these factors I heard God say “Chrina, it’s your move!” Within one month’s time I had packed my bags and flown off to Singapore. I knew that in order to experience the fullness of Gods plan for me, I had to make my move. Had I chosen to stay where I was and delay my “move” (both literally and figuratively)…God would not be able to make HIS move! And boy did I wanna see God move!
Remember the story of Abraham? In Genesis 12, God told him to leave his country and his family and move. There are seasons in life when we will hear God tell us that it’s our move and He calls us to obey. When we move in spite of difficult circumstances, we declare our trust in Gods plans. He may ask us to do something, go somewhere, or talk to someone. However uncomfortable or inconvenient it may be, if we chose to obey, we set the game up so that GOD can make the next move.
“I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and will give them all these lands, and through your offspring[a] all nations on earth will be blessed,[b] 5 because Abraham obeyed me and did everything I required of him, keeping my commands, my decrees and my instructions.” – Genesis 24:4,5
If you’re like me, I long to see God move and orchestrate things. It’s always far beyond anything we could do ourselves or move ourselves into. However, truth be told, it’s during God’s move that we also need to trust His timing and wait on Him. We may not feel like anything is happening in natural but we must trust that God is moving in the supernatural.
So, I’ve been in Singapore for exactly one month and it’s been wonderful seeing God move. In the past 30 days, He has opened doors for me to go to an audition, meet with some talent managers and connect with a few other people from various fields of work. I also instantly felt at home with everyone here at Every Nation Singapore. I’m truly grateful for spiritual family and I’m overjoyed to have so many wonderful new friends! Rather than being impatient or anxious about looking for a job, there has been so much joy in this season of waiting on God and trusting His plans. I’m confident that God is still moving & I’m busy preparing my heart for the next time God says “Chrina, it’s your move!”

Unlike the game of chess, it really doesn’t matter who wins. In life, God is never playing against you, but FOR YOU. HIS moves are strategically planned out so that YOU win! The victory is His but we get to share in the joy of winning!

So friends, I challenge you to move if God is telling you that it’s your turn. On the other hand it may be Gods move… So wait on Him! Surely His game plan is at work and it’s pushing you closer and closer to victory!

From Broken to Beautiful

faith, family, friendship
There is a scene from the Disney movie, Beauty & the Beast, where Cogsworth refers to the line  “If it ain’t broke (in the movie he actually says “Baroque”), don’t  fix it.” I’m not sure why that line stuck to me as a child, but as I got older I realized that there was some truth to it. Sometimes in our walks with God, we need to allow him to break us so that he can truly “fix” us.

Have you ever felt broken? 

Brokenness is what we feel after extreme disappointment. People and events  in life may disappoint us and leave us feeling beyond repair. It is these seasons wherein God has to strip away certain things from us. Unfortunately, it hurts. A lot. It’s confusing for us to think that the God who loves us would allow us to experience such pain and sorrow. Often we end up questioning Him, and at times even doubting if He is still with us. Times like this are heart-wrenching and leave us with that heavy feeling in our gut.

But does God want us to stay broken? 

Most definitely not. The end-goal is not brokenness. God simply uses our brokenness to draw us into a journey of healing, restoration, hope and greater things.
Thankfully, our emotions are not always right. Just because we can’t feel  the presence of God, it does not mean He is not with us. Psalm 34:18 reminds us that “The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and (He) saves those who are crushed in spirit.”  It is in times of brokenness that we must raise our swords and fight for our relationship with Christ. The enemy uses brokenness to make us feel like God has abandoned us. To make us believe we are hopeless, alone, and beyond repair is one of the enemy’s great lies. So despite of the heaviness in your heart, you must open up your Bibles and start claiming every promise you can find. Get down on our knees and cry out for God like never before. As we fight for something, we declare that it is valuable to us. When we chose to silence our emotions and fight to feel God’s presence in our lives, we show Him how desperately we need and it allows Him to step in and heal our brokenness.
As i look back, the times in my life when I felt brokenness are now distant memories. In fact, I hardly remember the feelings of pain and hurt. But, believe me, the feeling of being rescued by Jesus from that pit are kept fresh and alive in my heart. You see, the wonderful thing about God’s grace is that He doesn’t just fix our broken hearts….God restores and God redeems us. 
And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.– 1 Peter 5:10

How can brokenness be beautiful?

To take it a step further, I’ve found that God will even use our stories of brokenness to bring comfort and hope to those around us. It is from our experiences of heartache that we will find ourselves ministering to others. God is faithful and He loves to turn our brokenness into beautiful stories of victory, hope, & inspiration.  In the end, we find ourselves more like Christ and much more in love our Heavenly Father.

My prayer is that we would all come to God with our brokenness and allow Him to turn it into something beautiful. 

When the Time is Ripe

faith, fun

(This is a re-post from Multiply blog which I wrote in June 2007.  I’ll be posting a sequel soon. 😉 )

Growing up in New Jersey, my parents would sometimes take us to farms or orchards to go fruit picking. I have such fond memories of those times. Now,  if I remember correctly, we would go strawberry picking in the summer and apple or pumpkin picking in the fall. Although for some reason, we never went orange picking. I’ve recently saw some photos of beautiful orange groves and I wondered why my parents never took to me to one.  I figured either they were seasonal or that oranges didn’t grow well with NJ climate. So anyway, I decided to read up on it and I came across some interesting stuff. 

Apparently it’s best to hand pick oranges. But just as it is with our lives, the timing is crucial.

It turns out that you’ll know if an orange is ripe if it easily detaches itself from the tree when you grab it. This is because the orange is so full of juice that it’s heaviness makes it so easy to pick that the fruit practically falls into your hand. So if picked at just the right time, you’ll be able to enjoy the fullness of flavor and juicy-ness of your orange.

You’ll know that an orange is not ripe for picking if you have to struggle to get it off the branch. And once you’ve forcefully picked the unripe orange off the tree, it is unlikely to ever fully ripen. On this occasion, your impatience may leave you stuck with a bland tasting piece of fruit.

It’s always sad to see people miss out on the best God has to offer them. Sometimes we get ahead of God and end up left with its unripe fruit. When we see something we want, we want it right away. We want to see our dreams come to pass. We want to see breakthroughs. We want to see promises fulfilled. Now there’s nothing wrong with these desires. In fact, God may have been the one to plant them in our hearts. But things get messy when we begin to get impatient. We take things into our own hands and we decide to make things happen. Driven by our determination to get what we want, we ignore the stop signs. We struggle and force our way through. We strive to get the fruit off the branch.

On the other hand, those who wait patiently for God’s timing will also enjoy the beauty of His plans. God longs to see us enjoy the good tasting fruit that He has been preparing for us. He wants us to enjoy its sweetness and fullness of flavor. When God gives the go-signal that the fruit is ripe for picking, we will have no difficulty getting it off the tree.

Lets allow God to orchestrate the events in out lives. After all…

“He has made everything beautiful in its time…” -Ecclesiastes 3:11

We all KNOW this scripture…. but my prayer is that we (would spare ourselves the trouble and heartache and) also LIVE by it. If things aren’t so “beautiful” just yet, it’s probably just not time yet. Let’s not deprive ourselves and settle for fruit that isn’t ripe for picking.

“Be patient, then, brothers, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop and how patient he is for the autumn and spring rains. You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near.” – James 5:7,8

Patience, patience, patience ..:-) Lets busy ourselves by enjoying the season we’re in… Before we know it we’ll be devouring those juicy oranges!

* I’m not sure if the title makes sense…i just thought it was catchy. Hehe

Can you Feel the Love Tonight?

faith, fun

First of all, Happy Valentines day everyone! =) I’m not one to bash this “holiday” since I think that in some ways, it’s actually a lot of fun! Last night, I was driving home at around 10pm and just as I expected, the radio played the cheesiest love songs I could possibly think of (and yes, of course I sang along)! In the days leading up to Valentines, media floods us with this sensationalized idea of what “love” is supposed to look like. Everything around is painted red from the music, to the tv shows, commercials, billboards, and even the cheesy pickup lines on twitter and facebook….all with hopes that you will feel all lovey-dovey tonight!

Sadly, a lot of people settle for love that is fleeting, just like this holiday. Valentines day stays with us for only 24hours and before you know it, the love is gone! Similar to the way many single men and women go from one relationship to the next (in a trial and error fashion) trying to find the right person for themselves and toying with each other’s emotions in the process. It is a series of temporary, disposable relationships.

Thankfully, this is not the only kind of love out there. I’m happy to share that it is actually far from the true definition of “love”. In my days of walking with God as a single woman, not one day has gone by that I didn’t feel His love. God’s love overflows and satisfies us far beyond any form of human love. Some days we feel the love of people around us (and it’s a great feeling!!), but that is not our main source. The love God showers us with never fails.

So to all the single ladies and gentlemen out there, if you want to find love that never fails….first, fill yourselves with it. Soak in the love of God… so that at the right time, with the right person, you will overflow with that same love!

So…can you feel the love tonight, and tomorrow, and even next Monday? Of course you can. =) Happy Valentines Day!

Btw, if you wanna party with other Rockstars singles, you’re invited to join us at Victory Makati for a post-valentines desert party this Saturday night! See ya!