Beauty, Wedding

Ms. Madge Lejano – Brides and Beyond

In an industry saturated by dilettantes, how do successfully handpick suppliers who can deliver the needs of your once in a lifetime event?

In just a few months I’m going to marry the man I fervently prayed to God for. Wohoo, Amen! Of course, being part of the wedding industry myself I thought planning was going to be a breeze. Wrong! I know too much about the industry that I know every possible thing that could go awry, hence, the paranoia. I wanted the best suppliers because I’ve attended too many weddings and it planted in my mind the perfect wedding dream team.

For this wedding blog entry I’m going to talk about the lady who pioneered the many firsts in the wedding industry, Ms. Madge Lejano. You’ve probably seen her works in print, online, and with celebrities.

I’ve been musing at her works for quite some time, but I never had a chance to personally meet, or catch her in bridal fairs… Until Brides and Beyond.

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Brides and Beyond has got to be one of the most well curated bridal fairs in the country. From their top notch wedding suppliers, to the biggest bridal giveaways – they truly are the bridal fair to look out for.

I don’t really spend so much time on Instagram, but when BnB raffled off free services from the roster of premier wedding suppliers I did not hesitate to join. To be honest, I didn’t think I had a chance, but with cost of a decent wedding being wildly extravagant, trying sounded reasonable.

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To my surprise I won a free make up trial with makeup artist extraordinaire Ms. Madge Lejano. I was literally jumping when I was told I won. I got more excited to schedule our prenup shoot knowing that I will be in good hands with Ms. Madge.

To be honest I was slightly intimidated, knowing that this highly esteemed makeup artist has worked with top-notch celebrities. Nevertheless, I have a prenup shoot to pull off and I just wanted to look great in photos. 😊 I scheduled with her and woke up early for my appointment at her makeup studio in Makati.

Upon arriving she was all set up and greeted me with a smile. Instantly, felt comfortable and started feasting my eyes on her makeup collection.

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I got more excited seeing her airbrush equipment at the ready. I thought it was so generous of her to use her finest products on me considering I just won the free service.

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I had a bad breakout that day and committed the mistake of getting a facial before my prenup shoot, which apparently was not a good idea. Ms. Madge advised me that I should give my skin ample time to heal, except with big acne’s that needs to get injected to immediately heal.

Being the nosy host that I am, I didn’t miss the opportunity to know more about Ms. Madge and her humble beginnings in the industry. I had the most entertaining/ refreshing conversation with her. From all the blunders and challenges she had to go through to get to where she is today is just commendable.

 

Here’s the final outcome and I couldn’t be happier. #nofilter

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For my hair, she had Carlene Lucero do subtle beach waves on my locks.

Overall, Ms. Madge did a phenomenal job in giving my face a flawless finish, concealing all blemishes,  and what’s more important is that her work looks good in person and in photos. You can win it all with a professional makeup artist!

I felt so elated from the entire experience and even feeling aisle ready that day! I think Madge and Carlene really make a perfect tandem for any bride seeking to achieve a timeless, elegant look for their special day.

Unedited Photo by Lito Sy

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Thank you Ms. Madge, Carlene and the event who made this possible – Brides and Beyond! ❤

 

 

You can see more of her stunning portfolio of jobs through her social media accounts below.

The Makeup Studio Manila by Madge Lejano
141 Zodiac Street Palm Village
Makati
@madgelejano
Call 0917 894 9480
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Brides and Beyond
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Wedding

The Philippine Icon of Wedding Photography – Lito Sy

Beautiful and happy memories are meant to be preserved. They remind us of the things we cherish and continue living for. In immortalizing your life changing moments, you’ll need an excellent photographer to freeze time and capture these treasures for you.

For our pre-wedding photoshoot, we had award-winning photographer, Lito Sy.

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I had the chance to interview him in the past for our wedding episode on Chinatown TV. I thought he was one of the most passionate and experienced wedding supplier there is. I remember him narrating his humble beginnings in the field. “I was just studying in Adamson University, and then every Saturday and Sunday I would work as a P.A. At first I didn’t know what to do, I charge batteries, carry the cameras. And then there was one time when I was left at one of the weddings. At first, I didn’t know what to do, sariling sikap, I just took pictures, and it came out nice.” – Lito Sy

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In his Quezon City studio you will see his trophies lined up and all his award-winning portraits that gained global recognition. There is no doubt that he earned his position as the only Asian Double Master in the world for his gift of storytelling through photos, attention to details, and impeccable artistry.

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“I’m the type of person that if I don’t get the right angle, if I don’t get the right picture that I want, I don’t stop. If you want a very good quality picture, you don’t forget about the highlight, the shadow, it has to be perfectly lit, the emotion and of course posing is very very important.” – Lito Sy

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True to his statement, our first hand experience with the Philippine Icon of Wedding Photography has been one of my fiancé and I’s relationship highlights. He was able to extract from us every emotion possible to capture such priceless moments that we can cherish as we grow old together.

Some of Lito Sy’s accolades include:

  • WPPI­ (USA) Double Master Photographer
  • WPPP­ (Philippines) Grand Master Photographer
  • WPPP Four-Time Photographer of the Year
  • WPPAsia­ (Malaysia) Master Photographer
  • AsiaWPA (China) ­Master Photographer

Given all his laurels, this legendary photographer who consistently lands a spot in top photography competitions locally and abroad is very grounded. He’ll take time to reply to your inquiries, make you feel comfortable during your shoot, and throw in jokes to make you laugh when things challenging on set.

Here are some of the photos he took for our pre-nup shoot

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Striking, elegant and timeless are just a few words to describe his artistry. But what’s more powerful is the ability of his photos to move people, and narrate a lovely story of how amazing and wonderful it is to be in love.

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Lito Sy Photography, Inc.
113-A Scout Fuentebella Street
Quezon City, NCR, Philippines

T   +63 2 799 2634
litosy@mac.com

Beauty

Crafty Nails: Review

I’ve never been loyal to any nail salon since I really go for convenience and value. I also can’t remember being extremely satisfied with nail arts, hence, the nail salon hopping. I’ve gone to the most high-end to the friendly neighbourhood parlor to get my digits groomed. I was determined to pay Crafty Nails a visit in Mayon, Quezon City after being handed a flyer in one of the events I hosted. I thought their designs were modern, classy and it suited my style. I tried calling them to book a schedule, but wasn’t able to do so coz their lines weren’t working. Even so, I took the chance to go and just walk-in. It took me 15minutes to get there from D. Tuazon and didn’t encounter any trouble looking for the place. At the ground floor of Mayon Galleria, you will immediately spot their catchy, rustic looking nail salon.

To my relief I was instantly accommodated and seated. I couldn’t find any designs I wanted at the moment from their IG account so, I got creative and told them what I had in mind. First, they needed to take out my 2 weeks old Gel polish. What turns me off about Gel polish is the process of removing it. I hate the feeling of my nails heavily scraped and based from experience, my nails would end up rough and my cuticles thinner and traumatized. By far, Crafty Nails has executed the most delicate and cleanest gel polish removal on my nails. I was surprised to see how clean and smooth my nails were after they removed my gel polish with glitters pa.

I had Janice work on my hands, and another nail technician on my feet. I had some important events lined up so I was feeling a lot OC about my nail art. I found a peg I liked, and, even though they’ve never done anything like it before it didn’t stop them from trying. How Janice (nail tech) managed to stay calm, cool and collected for 4 hours to accomplish what I wanted for my nails is beyond me. From removing my gel polish, helping me arrange the positions of the Swarovski, to ensuring that the stones and finish is secured and comfortable for me is very notable. They even went as far as buying glitters from the store to help me get to the look I wanted. It may not have been spot on, but they really went for the extra mile which is rare, to think their boss wasn’t even around.

My Gel-mani costs 350php plus the stones, which ranges from 15-45php depending on the design. I was really happy about it since I remember paying that amount for a simple manicure in some expensive nail salons. After going to Crafty Nails I realized great service and glamorous nails doesn’t have to be so expensive. Gel pedicure is at 450php, but you get a discount for both your hands and feet at 700php.

They offer WiFi, beverage and a cozy rustic ambiance to make sure you’re relaxed and pampered to your utmost satisfaction.

I would pay them another visit and try out other bolder designs. Thank you to all their amazing staff for doing an excellent job in making sure I leave happy and satisfied.

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GF/ Mayon Galleria
Quezon City, Philippines
IG @ilovecraftynails
 0995 085 9848
Product Review

Why Bubble Man, Why?

Who would blog about a Dishwashing Soap? I never thought I would. But you see I have very sensitive skin. So sensitive that I can be a guinea pig for mildness test to all soap manufacturers out there. I easily get itchy tiny red bumps on my hands whenever I use harsh soaps. But I wash my hands anywhere – in public restrooms and I even offer to wash dishes at other people’s house when I’m fed.

I feel bad washing the dishes knowing that in a few days or hours my hands will morph into that of a leper’s. I know you might think, “ay, sossy girl problems”. I wish! But when my allergy attack wakes me up scratching in the middle of the night, soaking it in hot water with alcohol just to get the itching to subside is not a sossy problem at all.

One of my hand’s mild reaction to soaps. It gets uglier, but I immediately took meds to prevent the allergy from spreading.

My family and boyfriend know this is a serious problem so I’m always excused from washing the dishes. Hooray! Yes? But the thing is when I wash my hands in public restrooms my skin still reacts like crazy and would need to rush for antihistamines to alleviate the reaction. From all these, I learned to be more wary in choosing the soaps I use. Whether it’s hand, bath, or dishwashing soap I need to be mindful of what I purchase. I’ve got the mildness test covered for the bath and hand soap, except for the dishwashing department.

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Randomly, my friend and I were grocery shopping and he told me he uses Bubble Man.  It’s mura daw and minsan may buy 1 take 1. I said “That’s great, but I can’t just buy dishwashing soaps considering how sensitive my skin is. I even thought it’s too affordable it must contain harsh ingredients.

A week later, to my surprise Bubble Man sends a bottle of dishwashing soap to my house. As it turns out, my guy friend snitched my skin allergy dilemma to the management of Bubble Man.  I get a call from their office to sample on their newest formulation that will benefit those with the most sensitive skin.  They claim it to be so mild that it’s even safe to use for babies’ feeding bottles, and utensils.

Well… they can claim all they want, but verdict is literally on my hands. It’s been weeks of using Bubble Man and I’ve even forgotten about them sending me the product. And that’s a good thing coz my hands didn’t have a reaction or anything.

For the beyond reasonable price of 70 pesos for an 880ml bottle I would say this product is a bang for your buck. Some grocery shelves would even have it on a buy one take one promo. I guess they really want you to experience the product. It’s gentle on hands and easy to rinse. An 880ml bottle would go a long way, so I say this product is really worth a shot. Luckily for my family,  my dilemma was addressed to the management of Bubble Man. Now they know which dishwashing soap to get from the grocery that would give me no excuse from doing the dishes.

Beauty

Lip Shading, YUMI Lashes, Eyebrow Embroidery, Invisible Eyeliner and Everything Nice at Strokes by Momoi Supe

 

Waking up has been an absolute delight after my face went for the full production number😂 at Strokes by Momoi Supe. To break it down for you guys I had my eyebrow embroidery, invisible eyeliner, YUMI Lashes and Lip Shading done a couple of months ago. I waited to see its fullest effect before blogging about it to give you guys a full, extensive review on each beauty service.

Here’s a peek at Strokes by Momoi Supe – Greenbelt branch

 

 

 

As seen on my previous post I had really sparse and uneven eyebrows until my Eyebrow Embroidery with Keighty Wong over a year ago.  I went to see her again for a retouch, which I didn’t badly need since my eyebrows still are pretty well defined. Even so, I paid her a visit coz wanted to check out her new work station at Strokes in Greenbelt, and I thought the retouch might look good for my upcoming travel shoots.

I was highly impressed when I walked in Strokes by Momoi Supe. They have their friendly and knowledgeable staff to assist you with your schedule and all you need to know about the procedure you’re about to get. The place is swanky, spacious and has a very relaxing and comforting scent.

I sat to wait for my session and had anesthesia applied on my brows. My eyes got busy observing the place and also inadvertently checking out their team members who have gone through some of their procedures (SD eyebrows, eyeliner tattoo, shaded lips, etc..) In doing so, I was introduced to the semi-permanent invisible eyeliner. This procedure will give your eyes the illusion of thicker and fuller lashes. Keighty showed me the work done on Jhe Siwon’s eyes – the invisible eyeliner and YUMI lashes. I really thought it looked pretty and so natural I couldn’t even tell what sorcery they did to achieve that hypnotic look.

I had the time to spare and it was so cozy in their “Beauty Studio” I didn’t mind spending a couple more hours there to try out their other services. Of course, like most of you I’m freaking out inside coz they’ll be running a needle through my lashline, a thin and sensitive part of my face. But then, I guess they’ve really earned my trust having gone through some procedures with them before.

Let me walk you through the eyebrow embroidery procedure.:)

Topical anesthesia is applied,

Their team of eyebrow experts will guide you in deciding the perfect arch suited for your face,

Eyebrow area will be trimmed and shaped,

Then painless microblading begins.

And after 30 minutes or so, you will achieve well defined and natural looking eyebrows that resembles actual hair.

And as they say , it’s all about the strokes. 

At Strokes by Momoi Supe they understand the distinction from natural to what has been around for so many years- the solid and gaudy drawn facial tattoo.

Lip Shading anyone? I would never in my wildest state of mind ever consider Lip Shading😂 But after hanging out long enough at Strokes by Momoi Supe and seeing this Fil-Chi girl who seemed to have a low pain threshold get this procedure done without flinching or saying ouch.. I got jealous 😒

Like I’ve mentioned before they have really good topical anesthesia that works (kung pwede Lang gamitin sa broken heart 💔 ikayayaman talaga nila😂) I felt it sting a few times but nothing too painful that would make me regret getting it done. 3 weeks later, I’m happier than ever! 😊I can now do my food vlogs without worrying about lipstick touch ups.

I also took their aftercare instructions seriously by constantly clearing out the chapping of my lips with wet wipes and getting the Lip balm treatment. It’s a medicated balm that expedites the healing of your freshly shaded lips, and has lidocaine to relieve any stinging sensation.

See my before and after photo  🙂

Thank you Keighty for talking me into this and Jay Jayrald for doing a great job on my lips. 

Here’s the video link to my lip shading procedure:

 

You can also inquire about YUMI for sparse and lifeless lashes to effortlessly complete your “smize” (I quote Tyra banks). YUMI is natural looking, and it will give your lashes a fresh lift to make those peepers pop. 😉You can have it done a week after the invisible eyeliner.

 

It’s nothing like the ubiquitous eyelash extensions, YUMI is a keratin treatment that will help bring life those sparse, thinning lashes.

The procedure is a breeze and quite relaxing honestly. They would clean your lashes, apply 2 different kinds of treatment, and give it a nice lift to make those lashes look alive and perky.

Expect fuller, thicker and a semi-permanent curlash effect without looking like the old-fashion curl which is a letter C backwards 😓.

Here’s the link to my YUMI Lashes Procedure:

More than looking at the cost of the procedure, it’s really important to see the value of what you’re getting. The most valuable thing Strokes by Momoi Supe was able to give me is time. I still can’t wrap my head around the fact that the time I spend in applying make up was reduced from 25mins to just 5 minutes.

I’m sincerely a fan of their work and the artistry provided by the team of Strokes by Momoi Supe. It’s premium and impeccable I can’t stop raving about them, even to people I just met.
Getting Momoi Supe’s team to work on your face truly life changing. Save time and money on makeup and literally say “I woke up like this”.

Schedule to get your semi-permanent makeup by calling 📞0916 774 9497 and visiting them at Unit 114 G/F Greenbelt 1, Paseo de Roxas, Ayala Center. Makati

Or check out their latest branch at the Vertis North📞0956-677-0350

Travel

Say Anyeong Haseyo in the Land of K-pop

Korea has got to be one of the Must Visit places in Asia. I’ve been there a couple of times, and I simply don’t go tired of it. Let me share with you My Top 5 reasons why I think Korea is awesome!

5. Weather
Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall, I love them all. I don’t think Filipinos will disagree with me on this, coming from a tropical country Korea’s weather is one of the reasons why I keep going back. My favorite season is definitely Spring. It just has the right chilliness, and you get to enjoy all the beautiful flowers that bloom in the season. It is the perfect time to travel there, shop, walk around, take pictures and sample on their local street foods.

 

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4. Entertainment Industry
Just before the KOREANOVELAS and K-POP phenomenon hit our country, I remember desperately watching them in Korea’s local channel without any subtitles.lol At that time, I probably just understood 10% of what was going on, but I was so drawn to it that I couldn’t stop. Let me tell you now that it is almost impossible to spot a celebrity in Korea, unlike here where you can just go to certain places or bars and party with the stars. The most common way tourists get to satisfy their Koreanovela fix is to visit places where these dramas have been shot. Some places include Nami Island (Winter Sonata), Lotte World (Stairway to Heaven), Korean Folk Village (Jewel in the Palace).

 

 


3. Korean People
Now, I know this is very subjective, so I’ll only talk about this based on what I’ve experienced with Koreans. My best friend is an awesome Korean girl. There’s nothing much to say about our friendship except that we just clicked.

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I put Korean people on my top list, because they will really make your trip to South Korea extra special. For some reason, they love foreigners. They get extra friendly (only when they can speak English), and at times you get favors from being a foreigner in their country. Some establishments give extra discount or freebies if they like you.

Our last night with our good friend Jade here before he goes to military service 

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Waiting for our chicken (pa dak’) and beer in this much needed girl’s night out somewhere near Cheong Ju

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2. Shopping
Dong dae mun. Myung dong. Gang nam. Shin chon. These are the shopping spots I recommend you visit. I would say the price of the items you’ll find in these places are pretty much like our very own Greenhills. They are quite affordable, fashionable, and the quality of the items are extremely good. I remember purchasing a bag from Gang Nam station that cost me 400php and it lasted for 3 years (note: I abused that bag,lol).
Of course, no lady in her right mind would travel to Korea and not get anything from their famous cosmetics shops.

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1. Food
Kimchi, Bibimbap, Ddeokbukki, Bulgogi, Sam gyup sal, are some of the delicious signature dishes in Korea. They’re also very generous when it comes to their side dishes. It could range from mini portions of veggies, egg, nuts giving your palate different tastes of sweet, sour, salty and spicy. Koreans love rice, and we do too! Seriously, what’s not to love?

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Now.. as a Philippine Passport holder how do you get to experience all of these?

VISA VISA VISA! How exactly do you get one? No worries. I’ve written down all you need to know on how to secure one.

I’ve applied for a Korean Visa several times already, as a student, employee, businesswoman and a freelancer. So far, all attempts to apply for a Korean visa has been approved. See the requirements below and other frequently asked questions 🙂

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Tourist/Business Visa Requirements for Employees

  1. Application Form
  2. 1 piece of Passport size colored picture
  3. Original Passport (should be valid for more than 6months)
  4. Photocopy of Passport Bio-page (page 2)
  5. Original & Photocopy of valid visa/s and arrival stamps to OECD member countries for the past 5 years (If applicable only)
  6. Original Certificate of Employment

(must include applicant’s position, date hired, compensation, office address, HR landline number(cell-phone number is not allowed), HR e-mail address)

  1. Original Personal Bank Certificate

(must include account type, current balance, account opening date, ADB)

  1. Bank Statement

(original or certified true copy of bank statements/passbook for the last 3 months)

  1. ITR(Income Tax Return) or Form 2316 Copy
  2. Copy of PRC Card or IBP Card (If applicable only)

* If personally invited by Korean

. Invitation Letter

. Photocopy of invitor’s Passport or Identification Card

(authentication not required)

* If invited by Company in Korea

. Invitation Letter

. Photocopy of Korean Company Business Permit

(authentication not required)

* Frequent travellers who have travelled as tourist to OECD member countries within 5 years are exempted from submitting ITR.

■ Processing Time:

3 working days (for those who have been to OECD member countries within 5 years as tourist)

5 working days (for those who have not been to OECD member countries within 5 years)

■ Visa Fee: 59 days (or less) stay in Korea — GRATIS

60 to 90 days stay in Korea — PHP1,800.00

As of this moment, Korea has exempted BDO Platinum and Gold card holders from submitting ITR, Bank Certificate/ Statement, with the chance of being granted a multiple entry visa.

FAQ: What if I don’t have an ITR?

You can get a Tax Exempted form from the BIR

You can present an employment certificate stating the date you were hired. A company won’t be able to provide you with an ITR unless you’ve worked for them for over a year.

In my  most recent visa application I didn’t need to present an ITR since I have stated in my employment certificate that I haven’t been with my company for too long.

Q: How can I strengthen my chances of being approved ?

  1. You can indicate in your employment certificate a responsibility that will require you to come back to the Philippines. Ex: Mr. ____ is scheduled to return to Manila on ______ to finish his _____ project.
  2. It will also be an advantage if you have a guarantor from Korea. A friend or relative they can call in case you’ll have any issue with your stay.
  3. Having a return trip ticket will be helpful as well.

 

Hope this has been insightful for you guys. All the best and happy trip!

Food

ZUBUCHON: Express Review

Deciding on where to eat out on a Sunday night can be quite a challenge, especially if you’re dining out with a big group (kids included). Different preferences and tastes must be considered in choosing a restaurant that will seal the mood of everyone’s weekend. In our case, we agreed to dine in this Filipino restaurant in Makati, but got disappointed when our initial choice was apparently closed on Sundays. We did some googling and decided to try out Zubuchon in Makati. I was iffy at first thinking that it might be an elevated carinderia style restaurant. But much to my surprise, it was this swanky, well lit, modern space that is very much conducive for dining with a team.

It was raining cats and dogs when we got there, but I loved everything I saw and smelled when we walked in the restaurant. 🙂

IMG_0239[1]Hmm.. jam-packed on a Sunday night.

IMG_0178[1]IMG_0177[1]They have a pasalubong corner featuring Cebu’s famous delicacies.

We only waited for about 15mins to be seated, but I didn’t mind since we already got busy ordering. Here’s what we tried:

Sizzling Bangus♥♥♥♥

Crab Relleno- deep-fried, crab meat stuffed in crab shell♥♥♥♥

Original Lechon♥♥♥♥♥

Zubuchon Dinuguan = <3, you’ll need extra rice – it’s quite rich♥♥♥♥♥

Sizzling Spicy Zubuchorizo- kids love this!♥♥♥♥

Paksiw na Zubuchon♥♥♥

And Tartish Drink in a Jar – these sour drink are helpful to balance out the saltiness of the dishes♥♥♥♥

Oh sad, I didn’t get the chance to take photos of our other orders coz we lost our composure in hunger.

The things I like about this restaurant:

  1. Ample parking slots
  2. Efficient dining service
  3. Modern interiors
  4. Comfortable seating
  5. Comfortable air conditioning system
  6. The food selection
  7. No MSG
  8. Plus the fresh floral centerpiece didn’t go unnoticed ❤

What I didn’t dig so much is the price. But having a background in the food service industry I know very well that the overhead in running a restaurant can be quite steep so I’ll let that one slide 😉

ZUBUCHON
Yakal corner Talisay St. , Makati City