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Hustle Harder

In case you haven't heard it yet, Merkanto: International Street Food Hall, the main house of Shibusa 渋さ is currently under renovation. Several changes are coming your way to make the whole Merkanto not just a food hub with great food, but an extra aesthetically-pleasing place to fit the social media feeds of millenials. ;) Stay tuned for our grand launch in June 2017!

BUT our operations at Shibusa 渋さ is still on-going. We're continuously accepting sushi platter orders for delivery or meet-up around the metro. We're also set to participate in some bazaars this May (more details about that in my next blog post). Aside from those, we're working on new meal releases. The pillars are unstoppable so get ready! ❤


On me: top courtesy of Unarosa | H&M army buttondown | distressed denim shorts courtesy of Penshoppe | Hello Kitty plimsolls courtesy of Flossy Footwear


On top of our Shibusa 渋さ responsibilities, Deo and I have been more active on our respective blogs - attending events + coming up with exciting content which we'll share with you all soon. :)


Photos by Deo Montuerto

Restless but happy. Exactly what fuels us to hustle harder. I guess that's the thing about dream chasers - you won't feel too tired despite all the work, as long as you're fulfilled. 

Have a productive yet fun week ahead! 

Staycation at Jinjiang Inn - Ortigas

It may seem fun and glamorous, but being a restaurateur actually requires a lot of hardwork, perseverance, and a strong heart to surpass all the challenges. As a start-up, we're too hands-on and preoccupied with the business that we forget to plan out for long breaks and holidays.

According to our industry friends, foot traffic in restaurants are relatively low during Holy Week, that's why we decided to pause our operations and take the days off to relax with our loved ones. Deo and I had no plans prior to Shibusa's announcement, so thank heavens there's Jinjiang Inn - Ortigas, who hosted our "city" getaway!


Our stay here was lovelier the second time around! Our first visit at Jinjiang Inn was with our blog family for our Christmas staycation. Back then, we didn't get to fully explore the hotel because we got caught up with stories, food, and a bit of booze. :p

Jinjiang Inn is a business boutique hotel situated right at the Ortigas Business District - near companies, shopping malls, and restaurants. They have 95 rooms to accommodate those staying in for business or leisure.


We were given the Business Room with amenities like cable TV, in-room safe, wide working table, and fridge. Aside from all those, what I loved most was their cozy bed; leaving it was almost impossible.


My claustrophobic self was also delighted with their huge shower room - complete with toiletries, towels, and hair dryer.


Deo connected his hard drive to our room's Smart TV and we watched two of our favorite movies - Chef and Begin Again. Ahhhh, exactly our kind of staycation! <3

Jinjiang Inn also offers FREE Wi-Fi internet access to their guests. Again, whether you're a business or leisure traveler, you'll find this feature very helpful so you'll stay connected! :) Speed was fairly fast - I got to download my favorite Weightlifting Fairy episodes in my Viu app! So happy!


At the lobby, landline phone and desktop units are available in case you need to use them. Usage is also FREE!


Gotta love Jinjiang Inn's location! We got to explore the streets of Kapitolyo for dinner. The movie "Chef" made us crave for Franklin's, so we headed to the nearest ribs place to satisfy our tummies. Glad RUB was still open!


Our stay also included breakfast buffet at Five Spice Asian Bistro. They offer decent selection of food, and they can cook eggs (your choice of omelette type).


Another note-worthy part of our staycation was their generosity to permit us to do late check-out. Double yay!

Overall, we had a lovely time at Jinjiang Inn - Ortigas. With their convenient location, affordable rates, good amenities and hospitable staff, we're definitely booking here again.

San Miguel Avenue, Lourdes, Ortigas Center, Pasig
+63(2) 638-1111

Up and Up

Just two weeks back, I can still wear my parka while strolling around the metro. Took this ensemble during our trip down south. Now, I can barely breathe with layers, and I'm not even exaggerating. Ang init! Summer season's definitely here!


On me: parka jacket courtesy of Oxygen | sleeveless top courtesy of Unarosa | skirt from Metro Department Store (available at UP Town Center) | salmon low-heeled pumps courtesy of Parisian Shoes and Bags


Anyway, since we've launched our humble food abode, I've been getting a lot of emails and Instagram DMs about how we started the business, any tips for those who want to build one, and that they're curious and excited to try out our dishes. I've decided to dedicate a blog post to share some of my answers and insights - because after all, your Ate Arnie is always ready to help you grow and achieve your dreams! ;)

But before anything else, sing a few lines from Up & Up with me, will you? This song runs in my blood whenever I need a little more push in life. :)

And you can say what is, or fight for it
Close your mind or take a risk
You can say it's mine and clench your fist
Or see each sunrise as a gift 


Figure out your passion.
In our case, Deo, Chef Monty and I are big foodies and we share the same love for Japanese food. The three of us separately dreamt of putting up a restaurant before we reach 30s, too. We're lucky to have a chef on board, plus Deo and I are also very hands on in the business. 

This is quite a cliche, but if you're passionate with what you do, daily work's never going to be a burden.

Take risks.
Be brave. Get out of your safe zone, or else you'll stay there for the rest of your life. 

Positivity is key.
You'll go through a lot of difficult times when you're chasing your dreams, and experience moments when you'll ask yourself if everything's still worth it. Just remember the "why's" of your journey and use the challenges as your fuel to success.


Build relationships.
Build good working relationships with the people you'll encounter - not only with the business owners, but also with the crew.

Be wise.
Even after earning, only spend for what's necessary. It's okay to reward yourselves with new stuff from time to time, but double (or triple) ask yourself if you really need that new dress, gadget, or what-have-you.

Practice innovation.
Always challenge yourself to create new things. In our case, we won't stop coming up with more dishes for Shibusa 渋さ to delight each of our consumers. :)


There's no perfect formula in chasing your dreams, but the list above works for me and my pillars. YOU are always welcome to visit me at Shibusa 渋さ, and let's chat and talk about the world over sushi, pizza, and yakimono. Got you, fam! <3

Shibusa 渋さ
Merkanto: International Street Food Fair
38 Mayaman Street, Diliman, Quezon City.
Open from Tuesday - Sunday, 4:00PM-12:00MN

Hello Kitty Plimsolls by Flossy

Majority of my childhood stash involved Hello Kitty. Like most young girls back then, she was my favorite cartoon character. I think I've actually had all possible Hello Kitty toy sizes (along with her friends and Dear Daniel). :p

Fast-forward to 2017, I still get in awe whenever I spot this cute furry friend. I'm so happy I got reunited with my childhood "playmate", but now through fashion. I never imagined wearing Hello Kitty at 24, but here I am, sporting a pair of shoes featuring her as I type.


I really think that Flossy and Sanrio are a match made in kawaii heaven. Flossy is known for their colorful and finely-crafted line of plimsolls. The brand is well-loved by free-spirited and fun-loving individuals. Of course, you know the same goes for Hello Kitty!
 

Photo from Ana

Here's an overview of (probably) the cutest shoe line I've ever seen! Flossy x Sanrio released 6 prints for women and kids - fitting whatever taste and personality we have.


Artsy


Classic


Playful


Romantic

  
Edgy
  
I really had a hard time choosing my plimsoll design. But at the end, I went for the Classic pair (and I guess that decision's quite predictable). Hahaha!


How about you? Which Flossy x Sanrio footwear are you planning to get? Make sure to hit your nearest Flossy store to see the collection up-close! Please also stay tuned for my OOTD featuring this! 

Coachella and La Isla with Mossimo

We can all feel the summer season kicking in. Is your wardrobe ready for this? Make use of your jackets while you still can! I think I've collected too much pretty bombers from the past season. Lol!


Anyway, to prepare us for the coming quarter, Mossimo will delight us even more with their Spring/Summer 2017 collection, as they follow the "Coachella" and "La Isla" vibe.


COACHELLA. For this collection, their clothes revolve around relaxed pieces that are perfect for that almost-bohemian look and lifestyle.

Noticeable features: Texture play on weaves and cotton knits, incorporated in sexy off-shoulder tops, maxi dresses, polo tops, and denims.


LA ISLA. This batch is all about the island life (aka my favorite!) Laid-back, easy-breezy, and highly reminiscent of the Carribean scene and vibes.

Tropical elements, the abundance of flora and fauna, hues of the sea, and the romance found in dusky sunsets by the shore. Ahhhh, all those make me want to hit the beach!

Hit the nearest Mossimo store as soon as you can! :)

A Taste of Vietnam at Cafe 8, Crimson Hotel

When you start running your own business, for the first few months, you barely have the liberty for leisure especially when you're really hands on. Deo and I rarely go out for dates since we launched Shibusa. However, the universe probably felt our need to relax, because Cafe 8 of Crimson Hotel arranged a special lunch for us exactly when we freed up our schedule.

We drove all the way to the South to experience Crimson Hotel's Vietnamese food offers. They flew in three guest chefs, Nguyen Thi Khanh Ngan, Tran Kim Hoang Trong, and Vo Van Chien to prepare the feast. I haven't been exposed to Vietnamese food that much yet, so I was really excited to try everything out!


This entire corner showcased the culinary heritage of the Land of the Dragon People. We tried everything! :p


I've had Fresh Spring Rolls from other Viet restaurants in the metro, but this is definitely the BEST I've ever tasted. Deo doesn't like vegetables, but he enjoyed this dish (and that means a lot!)


We also tried the Fried Tofu, Vietnamese Pho, Crab Noodle Soup, Rice Ball Sweet Soup and more!


My favorite from this pot - Grilled Eggplant! I wonder what's inside their Vietnamese spices!

Aside from their Vietnamese food selection, you can also enjoy the diverse selection from other countries like Japan and Italy. They also have areas for pastries, cheeses, and desserts.


Always my favorite station! :)


Cafe 8 is a complete gastronomy package! Lunch buffet is at Php1,235++ and dinner is at Php1,410++, inclusive of free flowing beverages such as wine, beer, juices and sodas. Nothing beats dining with good food and really great hotel ambiance.

Hurry and catch A Taste of Vietnam until March 18, 2017!


For more information, visit their website or call (02) 863-2222.


Thank you so much for the wonderful lunch date, Cafe 8 and Crimson Hotel! Our hearts and tummies are full!