Friday, July 27, 2018


Something significant happened last July 21.  First, it was our 10th wedding anniversary (we were civilly married 10 years ago in the middle of flood and storm).  Second, July 21 is our mortgage birthday, and this year marks the end of monthly paying for it.  What a milestone, that amidst the challenges, we were able to complete the 10-year payment plan!

With our hearts filled with gratitude... we were just so happy that these important events coincided with an invite to visit a new concept restaurant at the heart of Tagaytay -- SARTIN!  

Sartin is the first venture of Josiah's Hospitality Management, a subsidiary of Josiah's catering, focused on hotel management and food and beverage operation for hotels and resorts.

In the middle of a heavy downpour... me, my hubby and daughter, together with fellow bloggers went to Summit Ridge Tagaytay for a world-class food experience. Comfort food and authentic Filipino dishes at its best!


First and foremost, I was truly impressed with the restaurant's interior. Clean and very modern. It kindda reminded me of the colors of Ikea. Especially the pendant lights, the gray couches, and blue color as accent.


And then came the highlight of our 3-hour trip to Tagaytay -- the FOOD!  According to Josiah's Catering COO, Fresh Versoza, "We want to make the Tagaytay experience more exciting and delicious for tourists and locals."  Sartin uses only the finest, freshest ingredients, and most of it, sourced locally. 

The menu boasts of classic and timeless homemade Filipino recipes inspired by the three distinct hometowns -- Quezon, Tarlac and Bacolod. Recipes prepared in a traditional way but is given a modern twist by Sartin.

Monday, July 23, 2018


Hi dear readers... I will let you in on a little secret.  I grew up in Malabon, where you can find a lot of Pinoy sitsirya.  Chicharon, kropek, shing-a-ling, fish cracker to name a few. Even paros, a shellfish variant abundantly sold in the market, was considered sitsirya, being peddled like taho in the afternoon. LOL!  Mrs.Wise secret >> I like eating my Malabon sitsirya with kaning lamig (old rice).  Call me weird, but that was my food trip before!

And talking about Pinoy food... are you a momshie like me who is always on the look out for alternative snacks for your family?  Not a junk food, but something that is quite filling.  Then I have a NEW discovery that you will like!


My friend Tanya, sent me these Karne Litson Kawali Chips. At first glance, they looked sosyal!  Resealable packaging, complete with expiry dates.  What caught my attention -- "made with real meat and no preservatives"!  There are variants that are "Keto approved" -- perfect for dieters.


The "lechon kawali" chips are deliciously crispy.  Because the pieces are thinly sliced, it is not too overwhelming, especially for someone like me that takes pork in moderation. I enjoyed it because it is not too salty like the ordinary chicharon.  


It's been raining non-stop as I was writing this article. Ergo, I was stuck at home, can't go out to do the grocery. I decided to try the lechon kawali chips for dinner.  And it worked. Perfect with hot rice and a few slices of home grown tomatoes.  

Weekend arrived, and the rain hasn't stopped. So we decided to just to just stay at home, watch our favorite TV series,  and enjoy (again)  the lechon kawali chips, this time with beer!  

And of course, I like to support Philippine-made products. Why buy those imported chips when you can enjoy one that is locally made  :)


This snack could be addicting hehehe.  Try at your own risk!  Because I am now completely hooked :)

So I guess, I will just wait for the rain to stop, and I will go out and buy myself some more. Karne Litson Kawali Chips are available at the following outlets:

Litson Kawali Chips has six flavors -- Original and Roasted Chili  (Keto-friendly), Salted Egg, Sour Cream and Onion, Chili Barbecur and Wasabi. Available at different bazaars and at the SM Snack Exchange.  

Tuesday, July 17, 2018


When it comes to food, my family's top 2 favorites are:  Filipino comfort food and Japanese.  We've already tried quite a number of Japanese restaurants and we keep coming back to those that suit our palate.

But Ramen Houses are yet to be explored by our family.  We are not actually BIG fans of ramen. Or maybe... we have not discovered yet, the type of Ramen that is... in the dialect "pasok sa aming panlasa"!  


So when I got the invite to do a review of Octoboy in Tomas Morato, I agreed right away. One, its Japanese. Two, it would be interesting to give my teens alternative japanese food choices, that we don't usually order.  And this is our honest Octoboy experience!

We got all excited when we saw the restaurant's interior. It kindda set up the mood for an afternoon of good Japanese food.  Check out my son, who had an awesome time doing selfies :)


TAKOYAKI - that ball shaped snack made from wheat flour, with yummy fillings and usually topped with takoyaki sauce, Japanese mayo, and bonito flakes.

Check out what we ordered below.  We liked every single one of them -- with the crusty exterior and chunks of octopus in the middle. The salty takoyaki balls blend perfectly well with the different sauces and toppings. For others, takoyaki is just a snack. But with 6 pieces takoyaki balls per serving, it is quite filling.  And oh my... my long island iced tea was the perfect partner for it!



D' BOMB - giant meaty goodness in aioli and uni sauce
there's a HAPPY HOUR promo 3-7pm 

SUSHI ROLLS AND MAKI - are my teens' ultimate favorite.  More than sashimi, they love these rolled goodies anytime of the day. In Octoboy, their sushi rolls and maki come with a twist. 

SALMON UNIABURI - salmon roll torched, with uni sauce then topped with chorizo bits
Chicken ass with garlic cloves


SALMON CEVICHE - salmon sashimi topped with Ikura, sauteed garlic and 
wakame in a gochuchang sesame sauce. Reminds me of the maui-ahi poke 
that we do at home :)

TANTANMEN - with chasu pork, ground pork, black fungus, spring onion
and Taiwan pechay. It was super SPICY. But surprisingly my son liked it!



Monday, July 2, 2018


I have been married for 18 years now... and I must admit, there were a couple of times that money was the subject for major arguments.  Husbands and wives will agree with me, that if you don't create a financial plan as a couple, you will have a hard time surviving your marriage. 


Because we live in a society wherein: 
  • it is believed, that you are not only married to your wife/husband, but you are also married to your wife's/husband's relatives!
  • it is expected that you help your family (to some extent even distant relatives) financially out of utang na loob

If you want to eliminate financial stress, and achieve marital bliss you must remember:

Money matters are important things to be discussed between husbands and wives. I will always joke my husband -- hey, this is my rule -- "ang pera mo, pera nating dalawa. Ang pera ko, pang shopping ko"

We try as much as we could to discuss finances lightly. And to some extent, he agrees to my rule. Only because he knows, that i am kuripot.  So in reality, the rule becomes, "ang pera mo, pera nating dalawa. Ang pera ko, sa savings ang punta"!

That makes sense right?

It is also vital that husbands and wives know their financial responsibilities. My husband takes care of the bills. I take care of the grocery. We both contribute for mortgage. And since I earn more, I also take care of the teens' tuition.

That's another thing... if in case the wife earns more than the husband, the husband shouldn't feel insecure.  Because marriage is teamwork.  

We have also accepted our strengths and weaknesses when it comes to money. My husband is not a good saver. So, I am the designated taga-ipon.  I have the tendency to be super stingy, so Mr.Wise constantly reminds me to, once in a while, enjoy what I worked hard for.  That is our life's balance :)

Money Matters 101 from Mrs.Wise:

Make a budget.  You must set aside a specific amount for different expenses. Always prioritize payment for bills, tuition, mortgage, insurance.  These are non-negotiable expenses!

Save save save!   If you don't get the savings out of the way, chances are, there will be no more money left to be saved. And this is our formula.

Debt is allowed for acquiring assets. It is ok for mortgage or insurance or UITFs, because after you have paid it off, you will benefit from it.  You will reap financial rewards and security after you have paid it off. In mortgage, the property now becomes and investment. Same with insurance or UITF's.

Debt is also ok if you are purchasing an investment. Debt is definitely NOT OK to buy, cars,luxury travels, gadgets, shopping, etc. Debt can sometime trigger stress if you don't manage it well.

Always have an emergency fund.  And this is our formula for all the BREADWINNERS.