2017 Review: How Our Restaurant Started

2017, you're amazing.

For me, this year was all about growth and dream chasing. Exploring strengths from within that I never knew existed. Turning dreams into reality.

What started out as a long shot goal is now our livelihood. I can still clearly remember that one fine night of business plotting with Deo and Kuya Enrico - with a pen, my planner, mugs of coffee and tea, and our dreams. Six (6) days after, we made it happen.

With just fueled souls, love for food, passion to chase the ultimate dream, a lot of risk-taking, and a big heart - we made it. In just a year, we went from food park and bazaars to a full-blown restaurant. I couldn't be more grateful. :)

January 20, 2017
 "Little Bistro" was our first venture in a food park - a Japanese-Italian fusion concept. We sold sushi, yakitori, pizza, wings, and wine! :) Such a humble start - with only 3 tables, stoves, griller, and oven to keep us going. Deo and I left our day jobs to grow and sustain our business.

March 4, 2017
Launched our own yatai (Japanese cart). In the same food park, we transitioned from "Little Bistro" to "Shibusa 渋さ" so we can focus solely on Japanese cuisine.

April 2017
 A devastating accident happened at the food park where we're at. Our equipment got damaged. Our sales also got extremely affected since the place closed down for 2 months for renovation. However, the three mighty pillars (us, lol) didn't just sit down to wait until the food park resumes. We joined weekend bazaars to help sustain our living.

June 2017
Food park operations resumed, but we knew things weren't the same anymore. The stream of customers went down. We also had to deal with rude business owners. Kuya Enrico went back to his chef duties at a cruise line, so Deo and I were left to run
Shibusa 渋さ.

August 20, 2017
Our last day at the food park. Deo and I decided to just wait until our contract ends before we go on a new venture. The entire August, we went EVERYWHERE in Manila to search for a new "home" for our business. We were restless but unstoppable.

Scouting for the perfect business location is really difficult. We went to almost all of the ideal streets in Quezon City and Manila. At times, Deo and I would talk about life and why it gets unfair. Why did have to experience those when we gave our 101% and took a lot of sacrifices? Before August 20, we were literally counting the days until our contract ends and we haven't found a new spot yet. The pressure (and hopelessness) was on.

And then, a beautiful miracle happened. We found the spot where Wild Kinjo is right now - along P. Noval beside UST (University of Sto. Tomas). Immediately, we called the lessor and asked him to take his ad down because we're getting it. Sobrang aggressive pero ganun talaga! HAHAHA!

Lo and behold, wala pa kaming solid menu, wala kaming gamit, but we finally have our own restaurant. :)

August 27, 2017
We started buying carpentry tools and restaurant equipment. We only hired two carpenters and one electrician, so Deo and I were very hands on - from Quiapo hardware shopping to the actual construction. We didn't get any contractors since we wanted to control our budget, but with this entire experience, I think pwede na kami maging contractors talaga. Hardcore! Hahaha!

Also, we managed to get by with the help of our good friend King, as well as our wall artist, Eugene. :)

It only took us 10 days to finish everything, including the final menu - not to mention, Deo and I had culinary classes at Enderun in between all those. As long as you have a strong heart and passion to reach your dreams, kakayanin mo talaga kahit gaano kahirap.

September 8, 2017
Wild Kinjo's opening! Our humble Japanese-Latin American restaurant, also known as the prettiest restaurant in UST ❤

November 4, 2017
Graduation day at Enderun! 
Thank you, Yna, for making this happen!

Three (3) months at Wild Kinjo and loving every moment! Apart from the success of our sales, our major fulfillment is the happiness of our customers.

In case you didn't know, Deo and I are the chefs here, too. Ganyan kami ka-hands on! ;) Our mothers also help us with the daily operations.

On top of everything, we also do blogging and vlogging. I've no idea where our unlimited energy comes from!

Christmas 2017

Cebu 2017
December 27 - December 29, 2017

Given our mad schedule, Deo and I didn't have the chance to go on a vacation. But just when we thought we won't get to travel this year, Locally flew us to Cebu and gave us a remarkable stay at Shangri-La Mactan. What an amazing way to end 2017!

I'll dedicate a separate blog post (and Youtube vlog) for that so stay tuned!

Grateful for you, 2017. I'm even more inspired to keep hustlin' this 2018!

Year with Uber (2017)

Really, I can't imagine life without Uber. During our year-end party with Uber last week, I felt nostalgic and grateful that this platform existed.

Before drafting this blog post, I tracked my first ever ride via email and saw my receipt + welcome message from Uber from September 2015, a trip from my house to my previous office. My dad brings our car to his work everyday and our schedules don't always match, so since then, Uber's been my safe and reliable daily bud to pretty much everywhere in the metro. If you're from the Philippines, you know how dreadful commutes are and how horrible some taxi rides can get.

Thank you, Uber! Two amazing years with you (and surely, more to come!)

Event photos with my blog friends! Thanks Ana and Mama Earth for these!

As a remarkable year comes to a close, Uber has a special year-end treat for you: your own personalized music video!

This personalized music video is based on your rider stats. There are seven types, by the way! Click this link to see which one you may fall under. Best viewed in mobile!

I got "THE ROAD TRIPPER" - meaning I've gone long distances with Uber. The Road Tripper has accumulated a very high total distance traveled, so much that they spend majority of their day in an Uber car. AND I COULDN'T AGREE MORE.

Six other types:

THE EXPLORER. You've visited many cities, and you've used Uber in each one to get to your destination.

THE LUX RIDER. This has a penchant for the finer things in life - including luxury rides. The Lux Rider has constantly relied on Uber Black for your journeys.

THE ALL STAR HERO. The person who has taken a high number of rides with Uber.

THE NIGHT RIDER. Most trips of this rider has been taken after the sunset.

THE EARLY BIRD. The person who has started most of his/her days with Uber.

THE MIDDAY WANDERER. Rush hour? Traffic? These words mean nothing to you! As The Midday Wanderer, most of your Uber trips are taken during the afternoon.

I'd love to know what you got! ❤

How LOCALLY Juiced Up the ASEAN Summit

Locally's pretty much everywhere lately, 'no? And I love it!

Recently, my favorite juice brand has joined the ASEAN Summit in Manila, offering indigenous Filipino fruit juices that came in chilled cans and sexy bottles. 

Here are five reasons why ASEAN participants were "star struck" with this proudly "Locally" Filipino drink:

Unique and creative packaging. Made from uniquely indigenous and good ol’ native fruits, Locally is far from being your average juice drink, and Asean summit participants couldn’t have missed it—not with its bright-colored and creatively designed packaging and witty, informative labels that say everything you need to know about this quirky thirst-quencher. As eye candy, Locally pops out on grocery shelves and coolers and it stood out in cavernous venues such as the PICC and World Trade Center.

Fun and unique flavors. Locally is not your usual  neighborhood refreshment. Made from locally grown indigenous fruits, it gave Asean participants a taste of homegrown flavors like Tamarind My Bell (tamarind), Pomelong & Lasting Love (pomelo), Save the Best for Siniguelast (siniguelas), Calamansi’z the Day (calamansi), Guyabano-body But You (guyabano), Mangosteenie Minie Mo (mangosteen), and You’ve Dalandan It Again (dalandan).

Organically grown fruits. The Asean Summit gave Filipinos a chance to showcase their ingenuity, and Locally stepped up to the plate. All fruits that go into the making of Locally Blended Juice Drinks are organically grown in Philippine soil. They are freshly sourced from different parts of the country, namely: tamarind from Batangas, Pangasinan, and Bulacan; calamansi from Isabela, Tarlac, and Nueva Ecija; dalandan from Laguna and Mindoro; guyabano from Cebu and Misamis Occidental; pomelo from Davao; and siniguelas from the Negros provinces.

Ecofriendly cans and bottles: Love for country, love for nature. Apart from being all-natural, Locally Blended Juice Drinks are also environment friendly by using eco-friendly glass bottles and recyclable cans. The aesthetic bottles can even be repurposed as home ornaments, thrift bottle, pen holder, or decorative lamp. Just chug-a-lug, remove the label, clean the bottle, and start decorating!

All-natural. Locally Blended Juice Drinks are made from natural fruit puree, not from concentrate. Asean delegates were specially hooked on Locally Merci Buco, the first eco-certified and purely organic coconut water in the Philippines. They couldn’t have enough of it as they savored its healthy goodness with every sip.

Locally: Taste Trip Around the Philippines (+Fruit Truck Launch)

Truth be told - one of the reasons why I took up Tourism in college is that I love the Philippines and all things local. Sans the politics and traffic, this country has beautiful destinations, flavors, and culture... one never runs out of experiences to live and love. :)

If you're the type to discover and get reacquainted with our own shores, Locally, a homegrown beverage brand, is here to serve unique, all-Pinoy flavors that you've never had in juices before.

With Locally, you'll get to go on a taste trip around the Philippines with its indigenous flavors: Mangosteen (Mangosteenie Miney Mo), Sineguelas (Save The Best For Sineguelast), Dalandan (You've Dalandan It Again), Tamarind (Tamarind My Bell), Guyabano (Guyabano-body But You), Calamansi (Calamansi'z the Day), Pomelo (Pomelong and Lasting Love), and Buco (Merci Buco).

Quick list of why I love Locally:

• Yummy drinks! Each flavor is created from natural, homegrown fruits sourced from different parts of the country.

Local produce = supporting Filipino farmers and the farming community!

Punny names! :p

• Really, where else can you find a drink that's flavored with Sineguelas?! I LOVE THAT FRUITTT!

Just when you thought that Locally couldn't get any closer, the brand rolled out its very own Locally Fruit Truck at the Bonifacio Global City last November 24. Deo and I went to the launch and had such an amazing time!

Event highlights: exciting Locally concoctions (my favorite's the KALIKASAN mix!), all-Pinoy food, and live OPM music! I love everything local!

R&B singer-songwriter Quest

I finally heard him sing "Walang Hanggan" live and it broke my heart. This song's too beautiful and painful... kahit di naman ako affected dapat! Hahaha!

Singer-guitarist Keiko Necesario was there, too! :)

Watch out for the Locally Fruit Truck's upcoming stops around the metro! They'll be at Manila's top food parks, resto hubs, malls, and transport terminals! For updates, check out their Facebook page. FRUIT FRUIT!

My favorites are Calamansi'z The Day and Save The Best for Sineguelast! How about you? :)

Locally juices are available in all leading supermarkets and convenience stores.

Bottled Juices - Php30.95
Cans - Php24.50
Merci Buco Tetra Pack (330ml) - Php34.45
Merci Buco (1L) - Php91.95

Holiday 2017 Gift Guide: Rémy Martin Gift Boxes

Christmas is the season for parties and reunions! We've had quite a few since December started and we're actually bound for more 'til the year ends! And of course, good times should always be celebrated with good drinks. Whether we're together for the holidays or for life's little glories, there's a Cognac for every celebration! ;)

Rémy Martin Gift Boxes

Rémy Martin VSOP

Rémy Martin VSOP gift box comes with two free Rémy Rock glasses. This fine spirit carries almost three centuries of Rémy Martin cognac-making heritage. Mature, expressive aromas, roundness of summer fruits and vanilla. 

Rémy Martin Club

Rémy Martin Club is exclusively grown in a special, chalky soil that ripens the fruit to perfection for cognac making. This gift box comes with a free 30ml miniature Club bottle, for that quick shot with notes of dried apricots and fragrant jasmine. Mmmm! ❤

Rémy Martin XO

Share the true taste of excellence in the form of Rémy Martin XO - this Fine Champagne Cognac is made from a blend of up to 400 different eaux-de-vie, exclusively produced in the Grand Champagne and Petit Champagne regions in France. The special gift box comes with two free XO Swirl Cognac glasses.

Get the limited edition Rémy Martin holiday gift boxes from SM Supermarkets, Rustan's Supermarkets, Robinson's Supermarkets, Metro Retail Stores, S&R, Landers Superstore, Landmark, and other leading supermarkets nationwide.

Holiday 2017 Gift Guide: McJim for the Gents

If you're having a hard time choosing Christmas gifts for the men in your lives, read through! :)

TIP: This year, forget fancy - think classic, enduring, and timeless.

I've given my dad, uncles, grandpa, and guy friends high quality leather accessories like wallets, belts, and bags. Even back in high school, I'd save up to buy my dad something from McJim. You can never go wrong with this brand!

For the practical ones: Leather Wallets

A McJim leather wallet is made to last for years. Aside from its sleek design, there are slots inside for photos, credit cards, driver's license, and cash.

For the stylish ones: Leather Belts

McJim offers a variety of authentic leather belts that feature unique-looking metal buckles and come in neutral colors - basic modernist black, basic dark brown, and reversible minimalist.

For those on-the-go: Leather Bags

A stylish and functional bag, roomy enough to stash stuff for work, school, and special events is a must-have for any upwardly mobile young man. To help you choose the right bag, McJim offers sturdy leather bags that come in a range of styles, sizes, and functionality - shoulder bags, cross body bags, and gadget bags.

Also, to make gift-buying easier, McJim also offers all-leather belt and wallet gift sets that are wrapped and ready-to-give! :)

McJim products are available in all major department stores and leading online shopping sites. For more information, visit and like their official Facebook Page.