Calves Is Back With Coffee! Happy Easter!

Ha! I’m back! 

After a few weeks of detours and life events, I’m back!

I couldn’t think of a better time to post again but Easter – Happy Easter! The recent weeks felt like a journey of reinvention, and self-discovery for me. I hope that wherever you are in the world, you’re safe and hopefully, things around your area are getting better. The vaccines are already here! Let’s trust that we’ll all eventually see a better normal coming around the corner.

Random fun fact my nickname is “Kalvs.” All the pun intended in the post title.

One of the things I miss that we still couldn’t do freely in our side of the world is drinking coffee with my friends. I miss face-to-face conversations with them and having unlimited laughter while drinking my White Mocha Americano. Drinking the same drink alone in my place just doesn’t bring the same joy. Though a sip stirs up memories of people I look forward to seeing again.

Dear friend, if we were having coffee right now these are the things I’m excited to tell you.

My Amazing Calves

One of the things I learned from Coach Joel is that leg workouts are the most skipped workout routines. Hence, the epidemic of chicken legs most seen in men. I somehow get it, but I think it’s not that bad. Doing the squats, leg presses, hamstring curls, etc. makes me sweat a lot so doing them is a win for weight loss.

One time, as I was doing calf raises, Aldren pointed out that my calf muscles are getting more defined. He took a video and showed it to me. I was amazed! I never knew my calves looked like that! They looked like an inverted heart shape. They looked so cool that every now and then I look at them in the mirror. Hard work really pays off!

First Fresh Pasta

When I ordered baking supplies, the grocer put in a free 1-kilo bag of strong wheat flour for free. I was so happy but that quickly changed when I saw that it’s about to expire in 5 days. My dad used some of it for bread. I took it as an opportunity to make my first ever fresh pasta!

The recipe was easy. You only need flour, eggs, oil, and salt. You just need to mix them together, knead, and let rest for 30 minutes to relax the gluten for rolling. I don’t have a pasta rolling machine so I rolled it out by hand as thin as I possibly can and cut them into strips. Cook them for 1-2 minutes (or a little more) depending on how thick you rolled them.

Fresh pasta is definitely better than store-bought pasta. Would make it again for special occasions.

Expanded My Perfume Collection

I don’t know when it started but I’ve always been intrigued by perfumes. My dad used to own a collection too which he eventually gave away. As a kid I found his old stash lying around and sniffed them one by one. It was such an exhilarating olfactory experience!

The first-ever bottle I purchased was Bvlgari Extreme Pour Homme. That one sadly fell and the precious glass bottle broke. Since then, I have added fragrances to my collection. As of now, I have 17 scents that I spray in rotation at home since we are not allowed to go out yet. They’re all really beautiful scents!

I love how fragrances evoke memory and emotion. I wear them not only to smell good but also to feel good.

Bought A New Phone

Last year, I’ve been considering buying a new phone but everyday essentials were a top priority. Although a little slow, my phone wasn’t really broken so there’s no reason to buy a new one. 

Fast forward to this year, I went ahead and bought a new one since I found a good deal and it’s within budget. I got myself a Samsung S21+ that came with a free tablet and a travel adaptor. It feels nice to have a new gadget to play with. It can even run Genshin Impact a mobile game I’ve been itching to try since my last phone can’t handle it. More importantly, I love the quality of pictures and video it takes. It allows me to record for projects.

Joined An Acting Class

This is the most daring thing I’ve done in the first quarter of 2021. I’ve always wanted to participate in an acting workshop before the pandemic so this was a dream come true. When my friend told me there’s an opening for a workshop, I signed up without hesitation. I almost didn’t get in since the slots for the schedule I wanted was full but thankfully, one opened up a few weeks before classes began.

I came in class knowing only a few terms in acting and a mind buzzing with songs from musical theater. For five days we had a somewhat crash course on acting a taught different techniques. We had homework using TikTok duets and a final monologue piece that we write on our own. Acting really is a great artistic craft, you get to learn so much about yourself and about others. For me, it’s about making your character as authentic and truthful as possible so it becomes alive.

Acting, for me, is about letting truth live so that many will see it, feel it, and experience it.

To be honest with you guys, I had to push myself to write again. It was hard to get myself back writing after exploring all the detours life has offered me. I had this weird nagging need to write again at the back of my head. It gently prods me as if I had a debt of stories to tell the world. And I think it’s right. 

So I come out of my hiding this Easter and connect with the world again through my writing in whatever form it may take, hoping to reach at least one person. I had a good rest and adventurous detours and as I continue to write posts, I hope to share these stories with you.

If we’re having coffee right now, I think one cup won’t be enough. 

How’s your Easter? I want to read your stories too!


Samgyeopsal: Why Filipinos Love Them So Much

Hey guys! We’re going to tune in to a different voice today. I invited one of my friends who also happens to be a blogger, to write an article here in my space. I asked him to write about something that lights him up and this is what he came up with. Let’s give it up for Lester Nubla!

Three-layered flesh

When I hear Samgyeopsal, I immediately imagine the entire thing—the restaurant, the side dishes, the various meats, and the grill. But Samgyeopsal literally means “three layer flesh” as seen in the pork belly when cut (I just googled it). Here in the Philippines, the word is automatically understood as “unlimited meat grilling” eaten in restaurants.

This dish from Korea has been loved by Filipinos for years and at first, I did not understand why. I just began to understand the addiction of many Filipinos to the dish when I tried it. Here are some reasons why I think Samgyeopsal is very popular among Filipinos:

1. The word “unlimited” is enticing. But come to think of it, is it really worth it? The average price of an unlimited meat package is PHP 499 (roughly $10). You are given raw meat which you still need to cook. The side dishes do not seem to be expensive too. Maybe for some people who can eat a lot, it’s really worth it, but I believe that most of the population cannot make the most out of it. That’s why Samgyeopsal businesses are booming.

2. The side dishes are superb. When we cook at home, we usually just cook one or two dishes because it takes time to prepare. The side dishes offered by these restaurants are really enticing because it’s unusual for us Filipinos to have so many flavors in one table. It’s like “fiesta” for us to have that much food in one dining!

3. The price is just enough. This is only my opinion, but the price is just enough for a good Korean dining experience. You don’t have to worry about the bill because it’s an unlimited package. You just focus on cooking, eating, and bonding with your friends!

 4. The joy of the experience. I’ve seen non-cooks turn into professional grill masters at Samgyeopsal restaurants. There’s something about grilling meat at a table with your friends that touches the Filipino spirit. It gives a sense of family and togetherness. We enjoy shared experiences like this especially if it’s new.

Lunch out!

What to be careful about

My wife loves Samgyeopsal so one time I talked to her about it. Eating it frequently is NOT healthy. Yes, there’s lettuce and other vegetables but the main dish, which is grilled meat, is never healthy.  Charring meat causes the formation of heterocyclic aromatic amine (HAA) that could cause cancer. Furthermore, when fat is exposed to heat, it becomes oxidized that creates free radicals. Here’s an excerpt from the US National Library of Medicine’s website:

If free radicals overwhelm the body’s ability to regulate them, a condition known as oxidative stress ensues. Free radicals thus adversely alter lipids, proteins, and DNA and trigger a number of human diseases.

That’s why I worry that if Filipinos will not have discipline in eating the dish, many of us will get sick. So, the actual intention of this article is to spread awareness. We should be wary of joining the bandwagon of eating the dish regularly as if it’s already part of our diet. Maybe eating out once a month is enough. Especially now that we are battling against COVID-19, we should strengthen our immune system by eating fruits and vegetables and staying away from unhealthy food.

Keep safe and be guided always!

Let us know! What do you think about Samgyeopsal? Do you have a version of it in your part of the world?

Did you crave and at the same time checked on your health? I did! If you want to read more of his musings and articles just go over his blog! You’ll find many interesting practical tidbits there.

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Remembering Good Things

One of the most amazing abilities that we have is the capacity to remember. Remembering allows us to reconnect with experiences that have already happened, and relive them again. To engage with past sights, sounds, smells, and feelings again are empowering. It enables us to see things in a new light and may remind us of the goodness of life if you know where to look.

I have been missing so many things lately. So right now, journey with me as I take you through some experiences I’m grateful for, that made my life worth living.

Steak! Excuse my camera skills!

Good Food

It was a special day. After sending pictures of food and searching for restaurant recommendations I and my friends ended up having lunch in a nearby steakhouse. Eating something luxurious always brightens up days where stress consumes you. A kind server came to our table with a polite “What can I get you?” We would always order the cheapest item on the menu but this time, we decided on getting our choice prime cuts. “Medium rare please! With a side of rice.”

Our eyes lit up as the steak arrives at our table on a hot platter. You should’ve seen it! It was so glorious, deserving of applause. We took pictures of it – immortalizing the mouth-watering beauty in social media. The steak was cooked to perfection. We squeezed lemon on it, sliced it, revealing an immaculate gradient of pink, and excitedly took it close to our mouths with a fork. A rush of joy went over us as we had our first perfect bite.

Photo by Pixabay on

Amazing Coffee

I always enjoyed breathing in the air every time I enter my go-to cafe. The smell of freshly roasted coffee invades me with so much positive energy. “How’s it going?” greets my friend at the bar before taking my order. I would always get myself a hot strong blend and sit at my favorite nook, slowly sipping away at my cup. 

Drinking coffee is not complete without my friends. Time quickly passes by as we hang out and have conversations that won’t seem to end, pausing only to fuel it more with coffee. With every sip, a slightly different taste unfolds as the coffee reveals its characteristic blend. We get to the bottom of our cups, but the conversation goes on. “Should we get another cup?”

Adventure under the sun 🙂

Genuine Warmth

The sky was the perfect shade of blue and the sun radiated a friendly warmth as my friend and I walked through a grassy field. Our laughter would sometimes mingle with the gentle breeze of air. There were deep sighs of gratitude as we took in the views of the distant mountains and cornfields. We walked on dirt roads having cows and chickens as our companions.

It was almost high noon and the sun was already scorching, so we took shelter under a tree, and ate the bread we took from the breakfast table. As we sat there we couldn’t help but be thankful. It’s not every day that we get to experience something like this where you can just be. Life is good and everything is enough. 

Reliving Good Memories

Our memories are treasures. Make your heart remember the good things it has experienced. When times get rough and when the road ahead gets dark, open up your treasure, and remind yourself that everything will be better soon. 

What is your favorite uplifting memory that you’ll dive into today?

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