the canDIshhh tales : 10th Anniversary GIVEAWAY!!

Thursday, November 26, 2015

10 years is, WOW!


So, to celebrate my 10th year of blogging today - I'm doing a GIVEAWAY hosted by my favorite brands!! :)  This is just one way of me saying THANK YOU to ALL of my readers and to ALL the brands that have given me their trust and support!

Here are just some of the stuff that I will be giving away!!

Starbucks Beverage Coupons!

A pair of Melissa Slip Ons!

a Starbucks Moleskine 2016 Planner!

K-Palette products I got from Tokyo!

GIFT PACKS from the following:
Sevilla Sausages
Paper Chic Studio
the Bento Mommas
Clorox, Glad & Pinesol Philippines
Vikings Luxury Buffet
Lysol Philippines
(pictures to follow)

I will make this giveaway really really SIMPLE for everyone!  Just follow do the Rafflecopter instruction and most importantly, leave the following details on the comment section.  One comment entry PER prize (you can submit an entry for EVERY PRIZE that you want to win)
a)  Your Name
b)  a VALID email address
c)  Which PRIZE you want to win
d)  The URL of your social media shares! (FB & Twitter) don't forget to tag me and use the hashtag!
"Happy 10th the canDIshhh tales!  Get a chance to win a PRIZE from Didi! #candishhh@10 "

So, hurry and comment away!! :)

This giveaway will run for 2 weeks - just in time for Christmas!  I will announce the winners on December 10.  So HURRY!!
I just have one condition - you (or an authorized representative) MUST pick up the prize from Quezon City.  Please don't force me to ship the items to you guys as a Christmas gift!  This giveaway is in itself a gift already.

Happy joining!! :)

P.S.  Emo post to follow!!  Hihi..

the canDIshhh tales is 10!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

In a few days, this blog - is turning 10 years old!

Yes, you read that right - 10 years!

I made my first post on November 26, 2005.  And to signify this milestone - I am doing a giveaway hosted by the my favorite brands and establishments.

I am grateful and honored to have stayed in the industry this long.  Who would have thought right?  I never in my wildest dreams thought that I would still be writing and blogging 10 years in.  It's such a feat in my books.

Along the way, I have met so many people from different walks of life.  Most of whom I've remained in contact with.  Some, I've become really good friends with.  I've met people through this blog that have helped me survived one way or another.  They lent a helping hand without strings attached.  And I appreciate each and every one of them.  Let's not forget the bad - they were not all bad, but there are a handful of bad.  But I think this blogging experience wouldn't be complete without them.  As they stay - a good story has to have those nasty but effect contrabidas, right?

So, what made me start this blog?  To be perfectly honest - unlike most *bloggers* nowadays, I started this space with the most simple of reason.  I was tired of writing on a journal.  I enjoyed feeling the keyboard on my fingertips.   I found the clicking sound, soothing.   I liked the fact that I can type using all of my fingers too!  Hahaha!  All of those typing classes in HS have paid off.  I owe much of my typing skills from the software Typing Tutor (does anyone remember that program?).  I didn't start this blog for any other reason aside from keeping a journal (online), one that I with just a click, can bring me back to what once was - a memory but with proof.

Blogging has taught me one thing.  That I am not alone.  That there are people like me somewhere out there in the world.  That I share the same thoughts and insights with people I hardly know.  It humanized the world more for me.  It made me realize that writing - can touch lives no matter the distance, no matter the language, no matter the time difference.

I have always been questioned on my privacy issues.  Why I bother writing and putting information out there.  Why I write about sensitive topics.  Why I even share details of my private life.  Well, for one - I think I am careful with the things I publish.  For one, does anyone know the real name of my Panget (aside from those blogger friends that have become my *real-life* friends?)  There are certain details that I can disclose that I am allowed and not allowed to disclose according to my Panget.  And I think I have been a good blogger with keeping his identity safe (sort of).  Hahaha!!

So what does having a 10 year old blog mean?

To be honest, for me - it just means I have spent 10 years writing and sharing.  I have successfully filled this blogger site with stories and images of what life was for me.  And it is really nice to have something like this to look back on.

When I re-read my earlier blogposts - the feel is different, even the writing style is different.  It makes me remember how I was and who I was back then, and it's exhilarating!  To be able to capture those emotions some 5 to 10 years ago.  It's like a time capsule, the only difference is - you can back read anytime.

I never expected to have readers.  NEVER expected it, even in my wildest dreams.  I mean, who would follow ME?  Didi?  Who was I kidding right?  But it happened.  And life was never the same.

Let me cut the mood of this post and say THANK YOU in advance to the following:

Starbucks Philippines
Sevilla Sausages
Vikings Luxury Buffet
Glad, Clorox and Pinesol
Melissa Philippines
Paper Chic Studio
Lysol Philippines

Stay tuned because on Thursday, I will be posting my 10th Year Anniversary Giveaway!!

P.S.  I felt the need to update my blog's design.  Tell me what you think! Leave a comment, and maybe just maybe - a lucky commenter will win my favorite ballpen, the Jetstream!

P.P.S  I might do a more emotional post.  Hahaha!! :)

Really GOOD Pho at Tra Vinh Philippines

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

For months, I've seen and heard of this Vietnamese restaurant from friends.  I honestly wondered where it was in Quezon City.  When I learned it was in nearby Banawe area, I thought to myself - how strange!  Hahaha!!  I've been meaning to try it, but I haven't had the chance yet.

Until - lunch time today.

This morning was quite hectic - my friend Kath and I went to Divisoria, specifically 168 Mall and 999 Mall to do some shopping.  We were undecided where to have lunch - but I thought, since we were done shopping, why not just have lunch near our area.  Kath suggested to go to this Vietnamese restaurant that she has been frequenting - Tra Vinh.  I welcomed her idea and was quite excited - in my mind, FINALLY - I'll be able to try it.

Okay, so what do I know about Vietnamese food?  I've never been to Vietnam and so the only place I've had it is in Pho Hoa.  I knew that pho meant noodle soup.  So I was looking forward to the broth.

Tra Vinh is located along NS Amoranto (formerly Retiro) and is quite easy to spot.  It's across Cajun aka Chef Tony's Popcorn.  The place is clean, quiet and fairly new.  There were TVs around showing movies that I can only guess are Vietnamese movies.  The staff is quite warm - I'm impressed that they're very helpful.

I got the basic Combination Beef Noodle Soup (Regular P230.00 Large P299.00)

I am very particular with broth.  Whether it be in a ramen or just any noodle soup.  Growing up with my mom and my Ama (grandmother)'s cooking - I can spot an honest to goodness broth from one that is made with powders.  For me, a noodle soup's make or break factor relies heavily on the broth.  On first taste of the soup - I can gauge very well if it has passed or failed my standards.

When I took my first spoonful of the hot soup - I immediately knew that it was the REAL thing.  Just the way a broth should taste like (based on my standards).  Ask Kath, I couldn't help taking spoonfuls after spoonfuls of the soup!  The broth was clean and very flavorful - I don't usually like wansoy, but the chopped wansoy did wonders to the flavor of the soup.  It was really good!  The noodles were just right - and the beef ball was really really good!  And I don't like beef balls!  Hahaha...  I really really enjoyed my bowl of pho.

I have been messaging Michael, the chef and owner (over IG) I asked him for some details on the pho and he said that the one that I ordered - the Combination Beef Noodle Soup's broth is made from beef bones base with sixteen (16) traditional herbs and spices combined with cooked beef shoulder slices and raw NZ ribeye slices topped with imported beef balls, beef tripe and garnished with garden fresh herbs. 

Kath ordered the spicy pho.  And to be honest, it looked really scary - it was so red, as in really really RED!  Hahaha.. Kath told me to try it but I was too chicken.  Plus, it was midday and hot.  Hahaha!

On the way to Tra Vinh, Kath mentioned a braised beef dish - she said that the taste brought her back to when we were in Beijing.  I immediately told her that I'd be willing to share an order with her.  And this is what it looked like.  The braised beef was served with rice and a bowl of extra sauce.  I honestly wondered why there was an extra sauce.  I mean, won't you?  Hahaha!!

But it was there for a reason, pala!  One taste of the sauce - just the sauce alone, brought me back to our good old Beijing days.  It was rich, it was thick, it was really good.  Just how I remembered braised beef in Beijing was.  It was a great idea for the sauce to be on the side, I couldn't help but eat more rice with it!  Hahaha..  This costs P210.00 per serving.

Before we finished our meal - I decided to order the Spicy Combination Noodle soup to take home for my Panget.  It costs P230.00 for the regular one and for the Large P299.00, the picture below is the regular one.   Panget likes spicy food and I think based on Kath's reaction to her meal - well, I decided to order one.  I tell you, it really looked scary RED!

So for dinner, I heated this up for my Panget.  Are you scared?  Because I was.

At this point - I was too curious already.  I set aside my fear and decided to just taste the broth.  I don't care anymore if my taste buds get burned.  Hahaha!

So I took a sip.


The broth was perfect!  The flavor, the spice - the combination was DEADLY.  It was really really really really VERY GOOD!  The spice was subtle at first and then it builds up to a point where you can still enjoy the spicy experience without burning your tongue.  It's not too hot that you'll stop - instead it'll do the exact opposite!  I found myself stealing spoonful after spoonful!  Hahaha!  I even instructed my yayas to try the broth!  They too said it was very good - it was their first time to try that kind of broth!  The combination of the basic broth mixed with the spices was perfect!

When my Panget tried it - he agreed that it was very good.  Very very good.

He really loved it so much, that he asked me instructed me to go back tomorrow to buy take out!

So, if you happen to be in the area - try TRA VINH!

Tra Vinh Philippines
Facebook - Tra Vinh Philippines
Instagram - @travinh_ph


Just some trivia - I was messaging with the owner Michael and he shared some details with me.  Thank you for indulging me, Michael!

Tra Vinh (the name of the resto) came from Perth, Australia.  There are 2 branches in Northbridge and 1 in the northern suburb of Perth.  Michael was personally taught by the chef (in Perth)- he was taught how to cook all the broth and how to make the sauces.  Tra Vinh prepares their broth the traditional way - meaning they don't use pre-mixes.  Michael says they use real meat bones for their borth.  After the required cooking time, they discared the bones AND they don't just top up the broth with water just to lengthen the flavor.  They also prepare the dishes by order - no pre-cooking!  Also they offer four (4) kinds of noodles too, to the preference of diners.

BTW - I also ordered their Vietnamese Iced Coffee - and it was good too!! :)

I'll be back soon!

Globe, you are #Wonderful!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

As you all know, I have a LOVE/HATE relationship with Globe Telecom.

I have been a subscriber since 1996 and we were quite happy with the service until 1998 when everyone seemed to join the *text message* bandwagon.  I remember while in HS, I was already carrying the Nokia phone and text messaging friends in another classroom.  We would hear the beeps and it was dismissed by the teachers.  They didn't know what those beeps were for.  It was then that there was heavy traffic when it came to text messaging.  I remember I would constantly change my *message center number* so as to be able to get messages across and receive messages faster.  

I think sometime after 1999 - they changed plans, to curb the massive amount of text messages being sent around.  And then they released the loyalty rewards - my aunts got phones and rebates.  I remember having a rebate as high as P1,200.00 because of the years we spent with Globe.  But as the years passed - the loyalty rebates became less and less, to the point of being insulting.

There is only one reason why we've stuck it out with Globe - most friends and relatives are also Globe subscribers.  The interconnectivity fee was just too much if we switch carriers.  So for the years in between then and now - I had very strong feelings against Globe.  I would call the hotline and speak to a very inexperienced and a slightly *challenged* agents.  I would lose my patience and become agitated.  I think most everyone knows how much I dislike *stupid* call center agents, but what was I to do, right?  When my blogger friend Glenn started working for Globe - he also felt my wrath.  Hahaha!!

Then, a few months ago - I asked Glenn (who works for Globe) to hook me with with a re-contracting agent because we were thinking of getting a new unit.  Someone called me right away, but then - the person I was speaking to was not helpful - instead of informing me of details, he was confusing me even more.  The agent even told me that I would lose a certain number because I will br migrating to a new plan.  I ended up giving up and stopping the call.  I was getting agitated already.

While in Tokyo - I could sense that my phone was trying it's best to stay alive.  It was already having a hard time functioning properly.  The apps would crash, the battery would run out fast, the phone was processing more slow than usual.  My phone's almost 4 years old you see.  And I am not a techie person, so I don't change phones often.  Plus I am the type who will just call and text.  But when I got my first ever iPhone  - I was introduced to the world of smartphones and there was no turning back!  Haha...

A few months ago, my iPhone's glass screen was shattered.  I dropped it facedown in KidZania.  I had the glass screen replaced the next day (via Ceejay Apple Service) because I had to.  I couldn't wait.  I was honestly contemplating on getting a new phone.  I was really tempted, but then I thought to myself - that the phone was still working, so it was okay.   Plus, I didn't have the budget to get a new one.

While in Tokyo, I saw in my feeds that Globe and Smart were launching the iPhone 6s.  My Panget was able to reserve a unit online.  He scheduled that his unit be delivered the day after we arrive.  He got his unit two days after we arrived.  I was envious.  Then, I randomly called the hotline and got transferred to the re-contracting group.  To my surprise - the conversation was pleasant.  All 39 minutes of the call, I was calm collected and IMPRESSED with the agent I was speaking to.  Her name was Joy.  Joy was able to help me out - THOROUGHLY.  She gave me options, suggestions and even went as far as waiting for me to decide what to do.  She was really really helpful and KNOWLEDGEABLE on the details of re-contracting.  I was very happy.  I even told her how happy I was with the service that I got.  That it was the first time in years that I did not end up banging the phone or screaming at the agent.  I was pleasantly surprised and very much satisfied with the service that I messaged Glenn about it.  I wish I asked for Joy's last name.  During the call, I wasn't decided on what to get.  So I asked Joy if I can have some time to think about it - she cautioned me that as of the moment, the units were still available, but when I call in the next few days - there might be a shortage already.

True enough, when I called the next day to confirm - there were no units left.  Gaaaaah!  I called again to try, but it was still unavailable.  I then turned to Glenn, who said that he will log it on.  The next day, I got a call from an agent named Farrah.  She too was very helpful and knowledgeable.  She was very patient with me when I asked her to call me back three times.  On the third call, I finally decided.  I was promised that the units be delivered last Friday.  Well, knowing what happened to my Panget - I expected the delivery to be delayed a day.  And it was delayed - but it was all good.  It wasn't such a big issue as I knew that delivery schedule will be a bit tight.  The most important thing was that - it arrived!! :)

So here it is!  All spanking new and clean and perfect!  Hahaha..

THANK YOU Globe Telecom!  THANK YOU Glenn!  THANK YOU Joy and Farrah!

I was telling Glenn, I give credit when credit is due.  Those who assisted me deserved to be recognized.  And Glenn as well.  Thank you Glenn, it's because of you that I got my units - so THANK YOU!!  And also to Globe Telecom!!

I hope that there are still Joys and Farrah's in Globe.  It would make our customer service experience very satisfying.  It would be a GREAT big difference to us subscribers!!

Globe, I hope this is a start of a more smooth and loving relationship ha!!

November SURPRISE!

Monday, November 16, 2015

November is very dear to me because it's the month that I celebrate my blog's yearly birthday!

This year is extra special because I am celebrating my 10th year!

Yes, you read that right - 10 years!!

Image grabbed from THIS site

Stay tuned for a surprise and giveaway!!

In the mean time, thank you for supporting me all these years.

Love, Didi