I Love the South!

So Cosmo.ph put up an article, “11 Signs You’re A South Girl” and because most (if not all) of the signs mentioned are pretty accurate, I shared it on Facebook. And I found that a lot of other people shared it, too. I really shouldn’t be surprised. I’ve met enough people from the South to know how very much in love we are with where we’re from. I really can’t tell why that is, but I know that it’s mostly unique to the South. I mean, people from the North, I guess, love some things about their neighborhoods, too, but I’ve never heard any of them fawning over their lifestyle, the way we Southerners do. In fact, as of this writing, the article about the South has been shared on Facebook 45,874 times, while the article about the North has 24,609 shares. And considering that the article about the North was written 4 days before the one about the South, I think it means something.

I also noticed that most of the points mentioned in “11 Signs You’re A North Girl” are mostly complaints about having to travel long distances in the horrible Metro Manila traffic, while the article about the South is mostly about fun things. Even the pictures they used are telling–the picture in the North article is a picture of someone’s car stuck in traffic, while the South article has a picture of families hanging out at the open area of a mall on a Saturday afternoon. (All right, there’s no way to tell if the photo was taken on a Saturday but I’m willing to bet it was, considering the number of people in it.)

Anyway, because I’m a South advocate and will argue to my grave that the South is infinitely better, I am very entertained when things like these exist. Which is why I’m relating it to a blog post that was supposedly just about me and my friends hanging out.

One of the items in the North list was:

7. You know where all the good food places are.
North people are blessed with restos in Maginhawa, Marikina, and Kapitolyo. Can’t get any better than those!

Now, I’m not going to argue that the restaurants in those places are bad (because the ones I’ve been to are really really good!), but isn’t this a little bit presumptuous? I mean, you can’t qualify that the restaurants in the areas mentioned are the “best”, because that’s totally relative. There are hundreds of other restaurants in Makati/Tagaytay/Cebu/Bacolod/Wellington/The World that are really really good, too. And obviously, the writer has never heard of Aguirre Ave. in BF Paranaque, which brings me to the first event with my friends that I wanted to talk about.

J’s birthday! It’s usually the first thing my pre-school friends and I get together for every year because J’s birthday is on January 15. This year, because we met up on a Saturday, we had more time than our usual dinner meetup, and so we went Aguirre Ave. establishment-hopping! Well, sort of. I guess you really need an entire day for that, but we were able to go to 4 places, which I don’t think is bad, considering we started at 5 p.m.

So J and I first met up at Larcy’s Cupcakery Cafe, which I realize most people have labeled as a place that sells “overpriced” cupcakes, but their prices really aren’t that different from Vanilla Cupcake Bakery. And they’re delicious, anyway. (Of course, I’m not taking into consideration the homemade cupcakes made by your friends and family; I’m sure they’re a lot more delicious than the cupcakes here, but really, you have to remember that a lot of things are better when they’re made with love by people you care for.) Also, this cafe has pretty chairs and a nice, quiet atmosphere in the afternoon. What more can you ask from a cupcake store? 🙂

We went to Mandarin Palace Seafood and Shabu-Shabu Restaurant afterwards for dinner and I think I may have just found my favorite Chinese restaurant. You can order a la carte or get food yum cha-style, as there is someone who goes around the restaurant with a trolley full of dimsum. They, so far, have the best hakao I’ve ever tried.

Next, we made a quick stop at Beauty Avenue Cafe. J2 wanted to try their cupcakes and though they ended up being disappointing, their red velvet crinkles brightened our mood. Also, it was hard not to get entertained by the pink-ness of their store. I mean, a pink chandelier?! So amusing, right?

Our last stop was Magnum Opus Fine Coffees, one of my favorite cafes ever. So it was crowded and noisy and the WiFi wasn’t working at the time, but still, they have the best coffee in the South, that yummy Azure of the Gold thingie, and the friendliest baristas, too! 😀 We stayed past their closing time (11 p.m.), and they didn’t ask us to leave or anything. (Actually, there were still a lot of people even after we left.)

Anyway, it was a super fun day and J said she had a great time, which of course we were happy about because it was her birthday. 🙂 And I hope J3 agrees to having a celebration similar to this, too. I mean, there are so many more restaurants and cafes to explore in the South!

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Clockwise: Beauty Avenue Cafe, Mandarin Palace and Magnum Opus Fine Coffees

Meanwhile, though I pretty much agree with all the items on the list about the South, there was one item in particular that hit close to my heart:

8. Your idea of a Friday night is drinking at someone’s house.
A chill inuman session with friends is always better than a tugs-tugs party with 100 other strangers.

As someone who absolutely hates tugs-tugs parties (Ewww loud music! Ewww strangers!), I am very much delighted that this fact was acknowledged. Especially because I’m super proud that most of these chill inuman sessions that my friends and I have happen at my house!

I don’t know what it is. Are parents in the South also more chill than parents in the North, so it’s not a big problem when someone gets drunk and passes out in someone else’s sala? Although, another item in the list shows that other Southerners can’t explain some things either:

9. House parties always end up in the streets.
Until this day you can’t explain why you and your friends like hanging out in the streets of the village.

We do sometimes end up outside the house and on the street, or, bonus! As my house is near the village park, there are times when my friends and I hang out there, too.

But I’d like to elaborate on our latest inuman session, in case you’re not convinced that “drinking at someone’s house” is a great way to spend a Friday night.

Last Friday, my friends and I got together for a despedida as M had just resigned from the office where we all met, and K was home for a vacation (He is normally in Singapore). And because K2 is an amazing chef (not professional, though, at least not yet), he said he would cook for us! 😀

He made Arroz a la Valenciana, Inihaw na Liempo, and prepared a yummy dessert–butter cake with calamansi compote, strawberries, kiwi and orange slices. And, as if those weren’t enough, he also bought sausages and made a nice garlic dip for the chips (and if one was so inclined to use garlic dip on it, roast chicken) that M and I bought as our “waiting food”, i.e. the food we’d eat while we waited for K2 to finish cooking. He was only able to start from around midnight as he (along with V, R and R2) still had work until 11 p.m.

The wait was worth it. All the food was really really good. And though we didn’t go so far as to brew our own beer, there were some drinks that we mixed and everything was delicious enough to merit the hashtag #InumangGourmet, which C used when she posted a photo of the Valenciana on her Instagram.

It was really a fun night. Good food. Good company. And good games! My friends and I played a trivia game about M, on account of this was her despedida, and she’s really easy to make fun of base a trivia game on. 😉

BTW, pictures of the food are here. I didn’t want to post the same image here that I’d already uploaded to another blog.

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NO SELFIE STICKS HERE. Selfies should be made with effort and the perfect selfie isn’t worth it without a few funny/not funny trial selfies! (Also: Camera timers are still useful!)
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