Food discovery: Isabel Bakes

During the Work at Home Expo 2015 last Saturday, I saw a number of interesting booths. One of the first ones that I dropped by was Isabel Bakes (because they were near the door and my friend Ria was checking out their goodies). It was almost lunchtime then and my tummy was about to complain. So when we were given some samples of their cookies, my head was like, “ME WANT SOME!!!” You know, like Cookie Monster.

Work at Home Expo 2015

The booth of Isabel Bakes and some of the goodies they were selling that day.

I got to taste samples their chocolate cookie, which was of the dark kind and made of tablea; the mango cookie that was composed of oatmeal, mango bits, honey, and brown sugar; and the lemon and orange cheesecake cookies. And boy, was my mind blown away at how delicious they all were. I couldn’t resist — I bought one of the Mango Cookies (PHP 25) and a pack of the Orange Cheesecake Bites (PHP 50).

Isabel Bakes

Orange Cheesecake Bites from Isabel Bakes. This didn’t make it until Monday.

Sorry, didn’t get to take a photo of the Mango Cookie. I couldn’t help eating it immediately. Almost didn’t share it with hubby because it was soooooo yummy.

I opened the Orange Cheesecake Bites the following day, devoured it within 2 hours (but with the help of hubby and my parents — see, I shared!). My parents actually loved this one. They liked that it wasn’t too sweet.

Really, this was one of the best cookies I’ve ever tasted. And I’d really like to order some more. They don’t have a physical store yet, I think, but from their Facebook Page, some of their baked goods are served at Cool Beans Cafe in Maginhawa (kinda far from where I live, tsk).

I really hope they open a physical store soon, but for now, Isabel Bakes can be reached on Facebook or through mobile at 09175025314 and email at

The Work at Home Expo 2015 Experience

Remember I posted about The Work at Home Expo 2015 some weeks ago? I really made it possible for me to attend. And, even with some snags along the way, I managed to head to Bayanihan Center last Saturday (September 26) and take a look at the goings-on in the event.

Work at Home Expo 2015

The lobby of Bayanihan Center. Some exhibitors were already there outside the main hall.

Work at Home Expo 2015

More exhibitors inside, which included home-based businesses, insurance agencies, publications, and consumer products

Work at Home Expo 2015

Attendees were encouraged to post on social media using these hashtags

Work at Home Expo 2015

Isabel Bakes, one of the first booths I visited. I so love their cookies! More about them soon on the blog.

I didn’t get a chance to attend all the talks in the main hall. But I managed to listen to 3 keynote speakers and their experiences in starting their own business.

Work at Home Expo 2015

Joe Maristela from, relating his experience building a business from his own living room.

Work at Home Expo 2015

Marilen Faustino-Montenegro, who talked about balancing home life and business.

Work at Home Expo 2015

Anna Meloto-Wilk, who spoke about social entrepreneurship and creating a brand that helps improve the lives of many Filipinos.

The talks resonated to me well, especially the one with Marilen about finding the balance in working at home and living for the home, at the same time knowing your priorities; and that of Anna Wilk because, aside from being a user of Human Nature products (hehe!), I want to help others using my skill, too.

Work at Home Expo 2015

With my friend and colleague, Ria (photo from Pixtar Photobooth)

Truth be told, one of the main reasons I attended this expo was because I wanted to explore the opportunity of working from home. Not that I don’t like my office job — I mean it pays the bills and I get not a few perks — but because traveling from the house to the workplace is eating up not just my time but energy as well. And I guess I’m looking for a more fulfilling opportunity wherein I can work and oversee my young children’s development, and not miss out on their growing-up years.

I’m not that young anymore, I’m pushing the big 4-0 soon, and work opportunities for people my age are becoming few and far between. The Work at Home Expo 2015 is my way of finding inspiration from others who have made the leap and have been happy since.

I was thinking, maybe that can work for me, too.

So far, after the expo, I’ve managed to get some takeaways, especially about balancing work and life, and the challenges and opportunities that come with taking the leap. I, along with my friend, also saw one good business opportunity that we can start at home. (We have ideas, we just need a little more time to brew it.)

But at least I got this chance to attend the Work at Home Expo 2015. Hopefully soon, I can apply what I’ve learned from the event. :D

Celebrate the Mooncake Festival at Manila Pavilion Hotel

On the 15th day of the eighth month of the Chinese Lunar Calendar, the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival commences. This is the time when the moon shines the brightest, and is considered the time of the year when children are the happiest. Families gather together to celebrate this occasion by displaying traditional candle-lit lanterns and serving mooncakes that symbolize family solidarity and union.

It is also this time when Manila Pavilion Hotel lays out a delectable spread of mooncakes. From September 14 to October 18, 2015, you get to enjoy a feast of mooncakes at the hotel’s Patisserie.

Manila Pavilion Hotel Mooncake Tea Party

Revel in the delightful aroma of palatable mooncakes that will be perfect for your tea party on September 27, 2015. There will be a wide array of mooncake variants available at the Patisserie. For the large mooncakes, there’s lotus with macadamia, egg custard, mixed nuts, lotus with egg, lotus plain, monggo with egg, or monggo plain. For the mini-mooncakes, the available flavors are chocolate, ube, egg custard, mixed nuts, lotus plain, and monggo plain. Prices start at PHP 1,350 for a box of 4. These also come in gift boxes, perfect as giveaways, starting at PHP 450 per box of 4.

To make this occasion more festive, Manila Pavilion Hotel also offers the Mid-Autumn Room Package that comes inclusive of an overnight stay with buffet breakfast for 2, a limited-edition Mommily Holiday Privilege Card, box of mini-mooncakes, 20% discount voucher at all F&B outlets, and complimentary use of the swimming pool and Wi-Fi Internet. Rates start at PHP 3,500 nett.

For inquiries, call Manila Pavilion Hotel at +63-2-5261212 ext. 2326 for the mooncakes and ext. 2382 for room reservations. For regular updates, visit or follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

An interesting commute

What do you get when you have an ex-government employee, a current government employee, a foreigner, and 7 middle-class working Pinoys in one UV Express FX caught in hellish metro traffic?

An interesting ride.

This was exactly what happened Monday afternoon.

I didn’t think that I’ll still remember today what transpired that day.

5 PM, I was on the way home. Went to Valero where I usually ride an FX to our place. Normally, I’d find people falling in line on the sidewalk, but that day, commuters got confused because the Makati traffic enforcers (MAPA or MAPSA, I forget) weren’t allowing FXs to get passengers on that spot where we usually fell in line. Good thing, though, that there weren’t a lot of people then (the rain made them stay inside their offices, I guess) so I, along with 9 others, got to board the next FX that came our way.

Once we were moving (or not, depending on the traffic), the driver was lamenting the fact that the MAPA/MAPSA weren’t allowing them to flash their signboards to commuters. Ex-government employee, a hefty man of 50s or so, answered that the UV franchise was legal, and so the traffic enforcers shouldn’t stop the drivers from getting passengers in the area. Then, addressing everyone in the vehicle, ex-government employee criticized the government’s lack of empathy towards its “bosses”.

Some passengers echoed the same sentiments. Then the foreigner butts in, “I don’t understand what you’re talking about, but it seems to make sense.” Haha! Anyway, the passenger beside him translated the discussion, and soon he was joining in.

As we arrived Kalayaan, one passenger alighted and current government employee went in. She then gave her two cents as well, as our discussion delved on the traffic situation, current events, 2016 elections outlook, and some very interesting political chismis.

I must admit, some details were very juicy, but I don’t think I can divulge it here. :P

The discussion went on until I reached my stop. It didn’t matter than my travel from Makati to Pasig lasted for 2 hours because of the horrendous traffic. It was quite an interesting ride nevertheless.

It’s rare that I get to have a non-boring commuting experience. This was for the books.

Hope to hop on another interesting ride soon.

Getting to know Lamudi PH

A few weeks ago, I was invited to a media event/meet-up for Lamudi Philippines. Lamudi is an international property portal that is available in many parts of Asia, the Middle East, Latin America, and Africa. It launched in the Philippines early 2014 and has since been a trusted online real estate marketplace that offers sellers, buyers, and agents an easy-to-use and secure platform to list and find properties on the web.

lamudi philippines

Lamudi PH, the leading online real estate portal in the country today

During the event, I met Jacqueline van den Ende, founder and managing director of Lamudi Philippines. From her, I learned that the website is receiving some 320,000 visits per month, and during its first 6 months in 2015, site visits were at 34% higher than that recorded in the whole of 2014. Plus, with its acquisition of, Lamudi has become the most visited online real estate platform in the country today.

To tap into a larger market, Lamudi launched its app for iOS and Android, and made sure their website has a mobile-adaptive version. In the first half of 2015 alone, 32% of Lamudi visitors came in from their mobile phones while 15% of the traffic came from tablet users. Having the Lamudi Philippines app and its mobile version will surely help increase their visitors and clients, especially that the projected mobile penetration in the Philippines will go up by the end of the year.

I guess what makes Lamudi a great website to turn to when looking for property is that the company only allows legitimate real estate agents, brokers, and sellers to post listings. Moreover, the listings are very detailed and come with accompanying photos. Searching for properties is also a breeze, as users can customize their search by narrowing down choices. Lamudi also has a loan calculator wherein you can instantly get a loan quote depending on the property price and downpayment terms. They partnered with Metrobank for this.

I’ve always dreamed of having my own home, and when the day comes that my family gets the budget, we’ll surely be visiting the Lamudi PH website. If you’re looking for a property as well — whether a house or condo for residence or a commercial space — check out