Restaurant Critic

KISMET CAFE: A PLACE FOR DESTINY’S TREATS

by: Camille N. De Pedro

 Kismet, in its original form means destiny. Fate tells you that this café is unique and worthy of its name. Not into mainstream? Not into meat? The Kismet Café has got the best of both worlds. From cheap booze to amazing vegan, gluten-free, and organic food, this hipster place has got it all for you.

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About Kismet Cafe 

The ambience of the place will make every hipster rejoice. Once you enter, you will notice the colorful walls and the optimistic quotations painted on the walls. There are also a few mood-boosting items that you may also buy such as books, bags and accessories, which really add up on the joyful mood that this place gives you.  These appealing and original aesthetic elements of Kismet will inspire you and directly make you feel really good about yourself.

For those who are health conscious, this is the right place for you. However, the menu, is a bit pricy. The vegan menu costs a whole lot more than the drinks. But despite that, the non-meat foods are actually worth every penny. Pesto Pockets are one of my personal favorite sandwiches there. The real organic taste of pesto plus the crunchiness of the bread with the chewy cheese inside is really one of the best.  But if you are craving for something to eat that doesn’t really taste ‘healthy’ but at the same time doesn’t give you a guilt after eating, you should try their very own Vegetarian bbq pizza.

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Instagram Photos @thekismetcafe

 And if you are the kind of person who is fueled up by caffeine, make this as your fueling station. They offer various organic tea flavors. Personally, I am most loyal with these two – Organic Min Tea and Pandan Tea, for they really have a good aroma that will give you a feeling of being in a solemn green field  having your mind and soul cleansed.  And my most favorite part, these tea, along with its natural benefits, is refillable. So, you can literally do fueling up for a long, busy and hectic day.  I also recommend the vegan cookies which they named “The Best Cookie Ever” which is made from molasses, served with their original blend coffee. I have enjoyed everything from the very first bite of the cookie until the last sip of the caffeine.

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Instagram photos @thekismetcafe

The location is not spacious but the staff and accommodation make the place feel very warm and comfortable. You’ll barely notice the small area. Along with the great menu, the wi-fi connection is fast and easy to connect to. Eating and surfing the web would be as easy as ABC. The staff is very welcoming, courteous, and very hospitable. They were all smiles and it made the place warmer than it already was.

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Kismet Café may not automatically mean that you will meet your “destiny” in that café but its name invites you to have a date with “destiny” itself in their café. Your destiny is the great food they have, the drinks they offer, the ambience they possess, and the staff the pride in. You will have a great time dining in this place and I doubt you won’t be coming back for more.

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Follow them on Facebook: The Kismet Cafe & Wellness Market, Instagram: @thekismetcafe

 

Editorial Article

  FEDERALISM: FOR A CHANGE

by: Camille N. De Pedro

Before having seated as the President, Duterte has already established that he will run as the standard bearer of his party—PDP-Laban Political Party not because of having an ambition to be the president, but to be the carrier of the torch of federalism, and build a nationwide consensus for it.

A video interview of Pres. Duterte before having elected as the President:

According to surveys, President Duterte won not only because of his strong advocacy against drugs and crime, nor mainly of his idiosyncrasy strong personality, but because of his proposed platform of having a federal system in his administration. Likewise, people got tired of hearing sugar-coated promises from other presidential candidates, and what made Duterte stood among them is because of being the face of Federalism which people sees as the answer to the need of the drastic change and transformation of the country. And this is what the Philippines needs now – change the way of managing and leading to certainly effect change thru Federalism.

Through Federal system, Philippines will have a transformation or the decentralization of regions to local states to become an independent state with its own federal government. Each region has their own problems when it comes to economic, geographic, cultural, and other situational contexts; relatively, in this country with an archipelagic feature with over 7,000 islands and 28 dominant ethnic groups. With Federalism, these unique problems encountered are assured to be addressed accurately by the local state such as the needs in health, education, employment, labor, trade, transportation, agricultural, and natural resources, and not the same as today’s national government where every decision is made and centered in Metro Manila making a lot of delays.

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Infographic by Raffy de Guzman/Rappler

In contrast to the decentralization, others say that this may create rivalries between states promoting regionalism that may challenge the sense of unity of the country. But in fact, this should be seen as a healthy competition between the states since each will become self-reliant and responsible for their own development, relatively relating themselves to the progress that other states have done. With a Federal form of government, the people would have a sense of identity per region since the state is more focused on the necessities of its people, becoming more motivated to give a quality cultural, economic, and social needs. And it also makes the local leaders closer to the people because of the accountability it holds, for they will no longer have excuses of having delays in the services and projects, which is what is happening in our present situation.

Additionally, the national government with Federalism can be more focused on the nationwide concerns such as foreign policies and defense. As one of the former president of the University of the Philippines – Jose Abueva said, “Problems should be attended to at the lowest level in which they can be solved, by the people directly concerned, without elevating the problems for decision at higher levels”, decentralized governance as he has told is also related to subsidiarity. With subsidiarity, while the local governments are busy with their autonomy focused on their economic and other developments, the national government will be focused on these centralized functions – the National Defense, Justice and Foreign Affairs. This federal government ensures protection and security against rebellions and wars from internal and external threats, maintaining the peace and order under the its states.

In opposition to the said above, they say that this may cause confusing overlaps in jurisdiction, that it is not clearly stated in the amended Constitution to what are the responsibilities of the state ends and the national government’s responsibilities begins. There are more than 25 countries in the world that have the form of Federal government which means that 40 percent of the world are governed by this system including Switzerland which has a complex democracy but the most successful among the largest countries. Some unitary countries have also adopted the federal systems such as Spain and Africa; one also from Asia similar to our race and backgrounds is Malaysia which has also undergone the federal structure. Federal system keeps a central government while empowering its regional governments on purpose. Meaning, this kind of structure is working especially for the Philippines with diverse culture and societies. Certainly, with this drastic change in the form of government, the amendments will certainly be worked on by the administration to be clearly specified and defined in the Constitution.

The Federal structure works essentially in the Philippines because of its archipelagic feature containing diverse religion, ethnic groups and cultures. The decentralization provides greater proximity to the people under a state and to the local government to be more responsive on the specific needs of its constituents. Moreover, the central government will be focused on the macro political needs of the country such as national defense, justice and foreign affairs which also has a dire need of concentration.

We will never know what change can happen until this Federal system is being implemented, but one thing that is certain is that with the calculated risks and efforts of this new administration, this country will transform through a Federal Government. The Philippines under the administration President Rodgrigo Duterte will definitely be effecting change not only after the promised six months but rather, up to the next number of years and decades that this country will live.

 

How-To Article

HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT RUNNING SHOES FOR YOU

by: Camille N. De Pedro

Aside from body type, face-shape type, and ever personality type; did you know that there is also such thing as ‘foot type’ that you should know. This is very essential to know specifically when it comes to choosing your running shoes whether you are an athlete or a just person who jogs around for some times. Being able to know your foot type for choosing the right shoes is very important to avoid the risk of having minor to major injuries that you can have from running. Here are the three basic home-made steps to follow before you go to a store and buy your new pair of running shoes.

  1. Be familiar with the three main foot types.

            The first thing that every person who wants to buy a pair of running shoes should know is the shape of feet they have. There are three main foot types, the Flat, Neutral, and High-arched. Flat footed people literally have flat and plain bottom surface kind of feet. Having no arch in the surface of the feet tends to lack support for balance that makes a person prone to stumble forwardly. Flat foot in a more technical term is also called Overpronation. On the other hand, High-arch-footed or Underpronation being rigid leads to Supination wherein too much shock when landing is focused on the outside edge of the feet. Lastly, Neutral footed people are those with biomechanical advantage for they have the ideal support in the foot that enables to absorb and spread the shock equally around the muscles in the feet and legs.

  1. Know whether you have a Flat, High-arched, or Neutral foot type.

Prepare three cardboards or any paper that is the same size as a full cartolina. Place it in a plain-surfaced floor. Then, get your feet wet with water, not as soaked that droplets of water are dripping from it, just the right one that can leave a mark on the paper. After that, walk normally over the cardboard. Do this for three times in each cardboard. Take a photo of the wet marks of your feet that was left in the paper before it gets dry.

Observe the photos you have taken, and identify to where the three is closest to the images below. Afterwards, you can classify there which type of feet you have.

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  1. Classify your Shoe Type.

            Aside from the aesthetic features that shoe companies create for the shoes they sell, they have also developed models that adapt to the support needed by each foot types.

If you are a Flat-footed or Overpronator, the best type of shoes for you are Stability Shoes and Motion Control Shoes. These two types of shoes give more stability and support to your feet with its internal wedges. These shoes are designed to prevent the Flat-footed people from over-rotating when running from the heel to toe.

Moreover, if you are a High Arch-footed  or Underpronator, the right running shoes for you are Cushioned Shoes. The problem with the High Arch-footed is that their feet do not roll in much when running, and that they lack with natural shock absorption. That is why Cushioned shoes are made to protect the feet from shocks with these soft shoes.

Lastly, for Neutral or Normal-footed people, the best shoes are Neutral Shoes. You can actually use any type of shoes as long as the design is not for extremely Overpronators or Underpronators. Either shoes with stability, cushioning, or motion control will be alright as long as it will not stress your feet and other muscles in your lower body when running.

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Types of Running Shoes Samples 

Click here for more complex Choosing Running Shoes Tips.

 

List-type Feature

5 MAIN LIFE REMINDERS

Things every people should always remember in living their lives.

by: Camille N. De Pedro

Life is a mystery to everyone. No one truly knows where one is going, what one may face; no one truly knows whether heaven exists or whether there is a God indeed. It’s all a series of questions and the beauty about it comes from the fact that all these questions require no exact answer. We all live different lives and take different paths, each one special, difficult. Nonetheless, life is beautiful… a lot wonderful, and we should keep on reminding ourselves to live happily with this gift, not with huge and lavish efforts or material things but with  these five simple reminders.

  1. Live in the Present

        We are too busy studying, working, and aiming for the pursuit of happiness we want to have in life in the future to the point that we actually forget what is in the present. We become too focused on the problems, discontentment, and struggles that we are encountering which we see as hindrances towards aiming our goals for the future. We also tend to live in the past because of the regrets and the missed opportunities we failed to take that we forget to move on and to live with what is in the moment.  

Appreciate and see the beauty of present. There is a saying from the film ‘Kung Fu Panda’ that ‘Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery and today is a gift’, that’s why it is called present; it is the greatest gift a person could have for it is the bridge of what has happened and what has to happen. Create time and moments with your parents and siblings such as eating dinner and asking how were they. Change is inevitable so enjoy the gift of ‘now’ for we may never know when is change going to happen, and we can no longer go back and change it. So today, learn from the past, prepare for the future, and live in the present.

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  1. Enjoy Learning

        The generation today becomes too heavy with information, and the access to it has become too easy to have that we take the process for granted, and we forget to appreciate the joy of actually learning it. Every time we learn, we gain knowledge and with more knowledge, comes more confidence. Learning makes us more adaptable and flexible to change.

        Reading books is one way for us to learn that will never get old. To enjoy learning, do not stop reading and searching for knowledge. Learning is what makes life worthwhile and meaningful for it is a continuous process in a person’s life, so embrace it.

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Photo from: quotesgram.com
  1. Difficulties make us Grow

        People think that problems and challenges that happen in life are signs of weakness and vulnerability. We tend to think like things are not meant to happen because there are things that hinder us from having it. But in reality, these difficulties are what makes us stronger. It makes us go out of our comfort zone and be a better version of ourselves.

        So, if there are challenges that are happening, embrace it for it is where we’ll learn. Just be positive and strive in pushing harder towards that one goal, and be the version of yourself one step higher to whom you were before.

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gif from imgur.com
  1. Live like a Child at Heart

Being an adult is full of grown up things we have to deal with–  work , bills, taxes, and other things that require responsibilities. These things have swallowed up and made people ignore to see the wonderful things around us — the flowers that bloom along the places we pass through, the people who cares for us, and every  fun and excitement life has to offer to us.

To be innocent, joyful, enthusiastic, loving, kind, and humble, these are what grown up people should recall of from the traits we have been when we were and kids and should remain up to the rest of our lives. It is not only a break from the complexity of the ‘harsh’ life we are currently going through, but rather the best way to live the life full of beauty.

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gif from kidfromthe6ix.com

 

  1. Love Yourself

This may be a cliche advice, but this will always be the core factor in able to have a meaningful life. You yourself is the pilot of your life, therefore have everything in command. Strengthen every aspect of you that will make your foundation sturdy that no any storms can destroy you. Loving oneself, outside the egoistic concept, means a holistic development – Physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.

Be physically healthy and a have a healthy lifestyle. Start eating right and engaging yourself to various activities. Also, remove the toxic people in your life that contributes stress to you, or at least distance yourself and focus on other things instead. We cannot always choose the people whom we want to be with, like at work, but we can at least have a control of distancing and making ourselves distracted to other things to avoid the emotional stress they cause. You can also read books, poetry, listen to music, and other abstract things to refresh your mind and be tickled with other interesting things in life aside from what you routinely do every day. And lastly, practice your spiritual faith from time to time; reconnect with Him and thank him for all the graces you have, that despite all the hardships in life, you are still there, standing strong and striving to keep on living the greatest give he has given to you, and that is your life. 

Feature Article

IN THE RING YOU FIGHT, BUT IN CONGRESS WHY DIDN’T YOU WRITE?

by: Camille N. De Pedro

“With great power, comes great responsibility” as a famous quote goes. This is true not only to fictional superheroes such as Spiderman, Batman, or Superman, but also to real humans who live day by day with the power and the position to create the change that our world needs, no matter how big that change may be. In our country, one of those who have the power to do so are politicians–lawmakers to be specific. These include the members of the legislative branch of the government such as congressmen and senators who formulate and pass laws in order to address the issues and needs of the citizens.

In the recently held national elections, 12 new senators were elected to serve the country for the next six years and one of the slots was given by the voters to Sarangani Rep. Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao, who garnered the 7th spot with over 16.05 million votes. Netizens were clamoring and reacting violently in relation to this result of the elections. Some people were disappointed with the majority of the voting population for electing a boxer as a national lawmaker. Others were neutral about it, saying that we should give him a chance to prove himself while others were extremely passionate about defending Pacquiao by saying that he should not be judged for having the heart to serve the people. Now, let us backtrack a couple of years in order to further understand why people have this opposition towards him in being a senator.

Manny Pacquiao rose to fame as a boxer–winning international belts in the late 1990’s to 2000’s, and brought pride to the Philippines by being a seven-division champion, a feat that only a few greats could achieve. Many people know that when he has a fight, traffic in EDSA is light, restobars and cinemas earn extra for special live screenings, and that the crime rate during the days of his fights decreases dramatically, almost zero in some towns and municipalities. This just comes to show how he became beloved by the Filipino people. Now, why all the hate?

Back in 2007, Pacquiao shocked the country when he announced his interest in politics and ran as the representative of the 1st district of South Cotabato, but lost to the incumbent Rep. Darlene Antonino-Custodio. He tried again in the 2010 elections and ran as the representative to the lone district of Sarangani. This time he won, but this was when the criticisms began.

In 2013, after his first term in the House of Representatives, news started to spread that Pacquiao was the representative to have tallied the most number of absences in the congress, being absent for 60 out of the 168 session days. Despite this record, he was re-elected to the post and served another three years as a congressman, only to disappoint the people again by showing up at the plenary hall once in the duration of July 2015 to June 2016. To top it all, he has not passed a single bill during the six years of his “service”.

Now, the question is how come the people still believe in him? More than that, even entrust him a seat in the senate? Is it because of the honor he has given the country in the field of sports? Is it because of the amount he spent in giving back to the poor? Even if these are true, and even if these are the reasons that the people have, I do not think that these are enough to put him in a place where lawyers and political scientists should be.

To be a representative of a district or a party-list does not just mean that he/she solely has to know what their problems and needs are, but take action and build concrete solutions to those problems. One way to do so is to attend house sessions and be able to collaborate with other representatives in formulating laws that will address these issues and alleviate the plight of the people. How can Pacquiao do that if he does not even attend these sessions? To be a representative is to become the voice of your people, their voice being the notions you pass to cater to their problems, which should translate to laws being made. In his two-term service as a representative, Pacquiao was not able to pass even one law. More importantly, above all the responsibilities of a representative, all public officials are deemed as leaders–leaders who have a vision, share this vision to the people, and act upon this vision to materialize progress for the nation.

It is really unfair especially to us normal people who work hard in our daily jobs and livelihoods, most especially to the taxpayers who bear the suffering of having their wages cut in order to pay lawmakers like Pacquiao who could not even perform his job. What is worse is that money is not the only thing being taken away from them. This incompetency, not only of Pacquiao but also of other representatives like him, takes away the opportunity of the people to have a brighter future. Each time they choose not to own up to the responsibilities of their task, a voice, a dream, a life may be lost. In addition, someone more capable and knowledgeable is deprived of the power to foster the development of the country just because a more popular but incompetent person has already captured the hearts of the people.

To whom do we attribute this happening in our government? More than Pacquiao, the underlying issues here include how voters select their leaders, and how candidates present themselves in a way that blinds the voters of what is essential to the position they are running for. Is it the fault of candidates like Pacquiao for appealing to the emotions of the people, and using ways as to how they know they will acquire votes, even if it means deceiving the people? Or is it the fault of the people, for believing in such promises, and allowing flowery speeches and too-good-to-be-true promises to cloud their thoughts and affect their judgment? The answers to these questions will always be debatable, and it will not be answered anytime soon. For as long as we do not recognize these ourselves, the healing of our wounded political system is yet to begin. As for Pacquiao, he may have been lucky to still receive support from most of the people but he has to be more cautious from now on. All eyes will be on him as he embarks on a new journey as a senator. Given his record and performance at the congress, only time could tell whichever will receive a punch on their conscience: those who voted for him, or those who did not believe in him.

 

News Article

ROBREDO TO HOLD OFFICE IN QC EXECUTIVE HOUSE

by: Camille N. De Pedro

The new inaugurated Vice President Leni Robredo has chosen QC Reception House as her official office for the whole term of her service starting June 30. Vice Mayor Joy Belmonte has offered the residential facility to Robredo’s camp without informing the city Mayor Herbert Bautista according to an anonymous employee from the city hall media office.

Moreover, the anonymous official said that the Mayor could no longer object because this would just cause unnecessary controversy. However, Mayor Bautista said that he is still honoured to host the Office of the Vice President in Quezon City. Bautista would have to pack up his belongings in the Reception House before June 30 when VP Leni’s group is supposed to move in.

The originally called Quezon City Executive House was also known before as the “Boracay Mansion” which controversially owned by the former President and now Manila Mayor,  Erap Estrada for his favoured mistress. After foreclosed and demolished by the city government, it was then rebuilt to serve as the executive house of city Mayor Herbert Bautista. It was later converted by Bautista as  a pet project to be the reception house of the the local government for important event and dignitaries.