The Library: La Cocina de Tita Moning (Part 2)
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The first thing you’ll see upon entering is a gift shop to the right of the entrance, which sells homemade bottled goods and spreads like their bestselling quezo de bola spread.

La Cocina de Tita Moning

It had some postcards depicting dinners by Tita Moning back in the day.

La Cocina de Tita Moning
La Cocina de Tita Moning

Right next door is a library and office with grandfather’s things

La Cocina de Tita Moning
La Cocina de Tita Moning
La Cocina de Tita Moning

Some people are really scared of hallways and passage ways. This place has a few creepy ones you don’t want to pass through alone. At night.

La Cocina de Tita Moning
La Cocina de Tita Moning

One of them leads to a room with Don Alejandro’s camera collection.

Dani Spanhoff

Then we were led to the creepiest room of all—what used to be Don Alejandro’s clinic. (To be continued)

The Veranda: La Cocina de Tita Moning (Part One)
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Call me a snail or a turtle, but sometimes it really takes me a long time to get things done.
I’ve been wanting to visit La Cocina de Tita Moning since it opened to the public more than years ago. Fifteen years later, I finally made it.

La Cocina de Tita Moning

“Why did you go?” my friends have been asking.
Because I love old houses or anything nostalgic. La Cocina de Tita Moning is a restaurant inside the old Legarda mansion near Malacañan.
It belonged to Don Alejandro Legarda and his wife Ramona (Moning). It was their granddaughter Suzette who loved cooking, who decided to open the place as a restaurant.


I wanted to take my boys because I wanted to share my fascination of old houses with them.
We invited my husband’s BFF Joris, his daughter Dani, and their yaya.
When I reserved a table for eight on Friday afternoon, I didn’t expect to get a table for Saturday night. But we did. It was so easy.
Jeroen and I preordered the dishes from a menu listed on their website and was told the bill would be around Php 14,000. I thought, OK, that’s not cheap. But I really wanted to see the house and I don’t mind supporting home-based businesses.

We arrived at the Legarda mansion around 7 PM.
As soon as we stepped in the front door, the smell hit me. It smelled like old house or “kulob”.
“This is creepy,” Christian said. My stomach started to turn.

La Cocina de Tita Moning

We were led to the veranda outside where we were supposed to enjoy starters and cocktails. But none of us drink iced tea, except for Dani’s yaya. The two Dutch daddies, Jeroen and Joris, had their cold beers. We were also given small cubes of quezo de bola on toast.

La Cocina de Tita Moning

Another kind of smell hit me in the veranda—like canal smell or elephant katol. My stomach turned again. I prayed that my kids wouldn’t beg to go home.
Instead, Jeroen and I appreciated the retro outdoor furniture, which I pointed out to Ben.

La Cocina de Tita Moning

The veranda has a bar setup and a small display of already dried food, like dried roast chicken. Seeing this, I became doubtful of the food quality that awaited us.
I hoped for the best and marveled at the architecture of the house.

La Cocina de Tita Moning
La Cocina de Tita Moning

At 7:30, we were led back to the house for a brief tour before dinner (to be continued).

How to get GrabCar from NAIA
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Not sure if UBER cars are being banned from the Manila airports, but please let me know if you have any info. Just in case, I’m posting this for the benefit or friends and foreigners who are arriving in Manila and need a safe and decent ride from the airport.


GrabCar is now available in NAIA

Grab is the first transportation network company to be officially accredited by MIAA. Operations began on March 14, 2106.
You can book a ride at Grab booths at designated areas in the terminals where booking agents will assist passengers.
You can book a ride with or without a smartphone or mobile data connectivity.

Pick-up locations:
Terminal 1: Main Arrival Curbside
Terminal 2: Inner Arrival Curbside between Bays 7 and 8
Terminal 3: Secondary Arrival Curbside between Bays 5 and 6
Terminal 4: Curbside

To know more about Grab, go to

P.S. If you are using UBER in Manila for the first time, use my code UBERCHUVA to get Php 200 off your first ride. Please share it with friends!

Got unneeded clothes? Drop them off at H&M for World Recycle Week and get something back!
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I have a slight problem recycling my clothes.
First, a lot of them cannot be garage sold because they’re too strange for the village people.
Some of my designer clothes, I consign with JP Singson’s Unisex Rewind. But JP zips in and out of the Philippines, I can barely keep track of him. 🙂
So H&M’s latest global initiative, World Recycle Week, appeals to me. I can’t wait to empty my closet of clothes I no longer need. I need the space!!
I intend to drop them off at H&M between April 18-24, 2016.

H&M recycling program

During this period, H&M aims to collect 1000 tons of unwanted or worn-out garments from customers worldwide in its more than 3600 stores. All textiles are welcome—from odd socks, old towels, the dress with a hole—and nothing is too torn, worn or used for a second life.
Find the recycling box at your nearest H&M store so that H&M can create recycled textile fibers for new products.

This April 11-24, for every bag of old garments collected, customers will get two vouchers (instead of the usual one) worth 15% off each to be used for their next purchase.

Since 2013, H&M has collected over 25,000 tons of clothing. Two years ago the company introduced its first new garments that used recycled textile fibers—important steps in closing the loop in fashion.

H&M recycling program

As of January 2016, the Philippines has already collected 9.120 tons of garments and for every kilo collected, H&M Philippines committed to donate about Php 1 to UNICEF.

The long-term goal is to have zero garments going to landfills, as well as saving on natural resources.
By recycling just one T-shirt, 2100 liters of water can be saved. Imagine the impact of 1000 tons garments collected during World Recycle Week.

To know more about the initiative, click HERE.

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