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Is Livestock’s crispy pata worth the hype?
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Lechon is one of my Top 5 favorite foods. But lechon you can’t have everyday, unless your mom is Mila of Mila’s lechon.
One good alternative to lechon is porchetta, which I used to buy at Rustan’s Shang. Business used to be good until their heating lamp got busted. Nobody bothered to fix it and people stopped buying and it eventually closed.
So another alternative would be crispy pata. We don’t really look for crispy pata but decided to try Livestock’s after seeing it on Andrew Zimmern’s show. Watch:

(U.S. viewers can watch HERE)

On Holy Wednesday, Grace and I decided to take my boys to Livestock in Quezon City for lunch.
Like most restaurants in the area, it’s huge and looks like it used to be a house.

Livestock QC

They have a cool looking bar and Grace and I were amazed at their very cool musical playlist.

Livestock QC

One order of crispy pata is Php 650. At first I thought it seemed expensive, until it arrived and it’s a big one!

Livestock crispy pata

Initially, we ordered two but it was so good, we ordered another one, which we didn’t finish but took home instead. We also ordered liempo and sisig, but were disappointed with bastardized versions of the classic Filipino dishes.
Conclusion: just stick to crispy pata and rice.
Oh, they don’t serve Coke so I asked my driver to buy me a can outside. Because crispy pata without Coke and rice is not worth it (for me).

Bring your own Coke

At first the waitress said they would charge me corkage for the Coke (they only have Pepsi) so I raised an eyebrow and they didn’t charge me. Of course I would’ve paid had they asked me to.
On Holy Saturday we were back for dinner with Jeroen, Patrice and the boys.
This is how it looks at night

Livestock QC

We ordered salad, fried chicken, and three crispy patas. It was a too dark to appreciate what was in front of us

Livestock crispy pata

I suggest you come in the daytime because crispy pata has many nice parts that are good for picking with your fingers.
Markus liked the chicken and Patrice said the salad was OK.

Salad

But Jeroen and I agreed—as did other friends—that crispy pata is the only thing worth ordering at Livestock. Well, that and a huge plate of rice.

Here’s why I think it’s good:
1) It is really cooked to perfection. Not all crispy patas are crispy. I have had kunat pata before. This one is crispy all over but tender enough to cut with the tongue depressor it is served with.
2) I love the skin but my kids like the meat. It has many good parts, even when you turn it over, so best to go at daytime where you can see all the goodness.
3) You can also see the seasoning (read: pepper) even under the skin and I like that it’s tasty all over.
4) Their sauce is really good.
5) The portion is really generous. One order is good for two to three people.
6) It comes out really fast. While most restaurants take 30 minutes to serve crispy pata, this one comes in just 15 minutes. So even when you’re starving, you don’t have to wait so long.

Livestock is at 34 Sgt. Esguerra Ave. Brgy. South Triangle, Quezon City.
Walk-ins are welcome but you can also reserve at (02) 332 0409.
For more information, like them on Facebook.

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Mines View condominium remembered
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When I was a kid my maternal grandparents used to take us to Baguio every summer. We took my aunt’s Volkswagen combi for the trip. I used to fall asleep en route and would wake up when we reached the Lion’s Head.
I don’t remember how long we would actually stay but they had a three-bedroom unit at Mines View condominium.
This picture was taken in the ’70s.

Mines View Condominium, Baguio

My grandfather’s unit was on the second floor, right side. There were only six units in this particular building.
This was my grandfather with my cousin Gigi in May 1981.

Papa and Gigi in Mines View

I had such delicious naps there as a child, in the afternoon without aircon. Just the window open. And when I woke up I would look out the window and see Everlasting flowers. Gosh, I miss those.

When Hyatt Terraces Baguio opened, our family eventually stayed there. Our grandparents eventually sold their unit. All this time I thought the property had been demolished and developed into a high-rise.
Last night I found out it still exists in the same spot!! Looks like they’ve added a gate.*

Mines View condominium

It’s been 14 years since I last saw Baguio. Ben was still a baby.

When Ben was a blond

We stayed at the Manor at Camp John Hay, which was newly open. It was heaven on earth!
But now that I’m older, I’ve developed an extreme phobia for unrenovated bathrooms. Tripadvisor tells me the bathrooms there are still dated. Sorry but I can’t.

The Manor bathroom

I’m always hoping that someone will open a new hotel in Baguio with really modern bathrooms.
Till then, I’ll be dreaming of a place not too far away where I can take delicious naps with no aircon, just cool air from the windows, a view of the mountain, pine trees, and beautiful flowers outside.

*Photo: http://baguiotoday.blogspot.com/

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How I spent Good Friday
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While most people try to leave town during Holy Week, I’d rather stay home because going out of town means traffic and going abroad would mean crowded airports, expensive hotel rates, and bumping into everyone in a foreign country when the point is to get away.

I try to avoid Instagram to minimize feeling envious of people who are traveling, while I take comfort in the fact that I have plane tickets to Tokyo end of April.
This year we did not check in at the Raffles Makati but stayed home in Pasig where the boys played Call of Duty the whole day, and I was mostly in bed watching TV and playing Candy Crush.

On Wednesday I hauled my ass the gym where my trainer made me suffer TRX (also known as 50 Shades of Grey workout). Thursday was spent in bed with aching muscles.
Friday I was back at the gym where the aircon was dying.

gym

Calling the management of St. Francis Shangri-La Place, please have all the aircons checked and cleaned at the gym. We are really suffering there. What a waste of gym equipment if people have to suffer to use them. Thank you.

I started going to the gym this year because I gained 8 lbs. after my friend Penny died last June 15, 2015. I was abstaining from Coke as a sacrifice when she was dying.
When three of my friends died in 2015, I started to eat everything I wanted because life is short, until my clothes started to feel tight. I thought of all the money I spent on clothes, so I had to go to the gym and diet. I’ve already lost 2 lbs. after three weeks and I realize I can’t ever stop going to the gym. This is going to be a lifelong commitment.

Writing this to remember how I kept sane on Good Friday in Manila, 2016.

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What’s open/closed Maundy Thursday, Good Friday?
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S&R Membership
Maundy Thursday: Open from 9 AM to 9 PM
Good Friday: closed

Central Square at BGC
Closed on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday

Eastwood Mall
Closed on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday

Rustan's
Rustan's

Century City Mall
Closed on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday

Estancia at Capitol Commons
Closed on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday

Newport Mall
Maundy Thursday: Open from 12 PM to 12 AM
Good Friday: Closed

Bonifacio High Street
Maundy Thursday and Good Friday: Select dining establishments open for Walkways: Stations of the Cross Exhibit

Greenhills Shopping Center
Closed on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday

Power Plant Mall
Closed on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday

Shangri-la Plaza
Closed on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday

SM supermarkets

Most Ayala Malls
Closed on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday

Except:
UP Town Center
Maundy Thursday: open from 10 AM to 10 PM
Closed on Good Friday

Ayala Malls Solenad
Maundy Thursday: open from 11 AM to 9 PM
Good Friday: open from 11 AM to 9 PM

Harbor Point
Maundy Thursday: Open from 10 AM to 10 PM
Good Friday: Open from 10 AM to 10 PM

Fisher Mall
Maundy Thursday: Open from 10 AM to 9 PM
Good Friday: Open from 10 AM to 10 PM

SM Supermalls
Robinsons malls
Puregold
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