Here Comes The Raine


I could have died laughing with this darling of a girl, who I suspect was my daughter at 16 in my past life. I’m sure it wasn’t the tea at three different milk tea places. In all normalcy, that’s how to spend a night out with Raine Mateo Calucag. At our first meeting for her thesis interview with me (and an accidental respondent who happened to be eavesdropping at the restaurant we were in), three hours was extra-mini. Never a dull moment with this journalism grad.

She graduated cum laude from the University of the Philippines last school year, is currently the baby in UP graduate school and plans to get a doctorate degree. The girl dreams to go to film school, be a photojournalist, specializing in war stories, and own a Casalucag (a heritage restaurant in Ilocos I suppose). Raine’s mom, who lives abroad, and her dad, a head teacher at the Ilocos Norte National High School, back their only child all the way.

Photo by Raine 4

For her graduation, I gave her a (late) present. She got a little too scared of the matte wine lippie. Sue me if you think she doesn’t look good in plummy berries!

Photo by RaineFried ChickenWabi Sabi

Wabi Sabi’s JV and his sibs.

Our last stop was Wabi Sabi. Then we see JV Respicio, Raine’s former schoolmate at UP.

Me: What do you like cooking at home?
JV: Native.
Me: Like what?
Raine: Ugsa (deer)?

She was serious. We capped off the tea party with pensive discussion about youth empowerment and making a difference in this world. They both stare at me when I said we live in a patriachal society. Now you know why my blog is named such.

When it rains, it floods.

Photo by Raine 3

{Flannel shirt: Cotton On, Aztec top: Just G., denim shorts: F21, mocs: Minnetonka}

I always love her photos of me. (The fauxlaroids are mine). She says this should be for an OOTD) She asks me, are those cheekbones real? Brandon laughs out loud.

© Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2013

Wabi Sabi Tea Café now brewing in Laoag

Wabi Sabi

The one week old tea place right within Laoag’s U-Belt conjures up the same Japanese wabi sabi aesthetic sense embracing simplicity, quietness, transience and change it was inspirited of. The focal point — beverages actually originating from what were once fresh, full leaves — mirrors the very essence of natural progression — the bloom of time — a reality that nothing lasts, nothing is finished, and nothing is perfect.

Wabi Sabi 3

Diverting away from his clan’s public service-oriented world, JV Respicio, the 21-year old University of the Philippines Public Administration graduate is now an aspiring entrepreneur. His idea is to democratize milk tea in a sense. Prices are friendly. The café itself is devoid of frills. Minimalist to the point of bareness, nothing but the earthy tones of milk tea drinks set against simple, natural woodgrain furniture, a refreshing quality so stark.

Wabi Sabi 2

Meet JV Respicio. He says, as a child, he has always liked tinkering in the kitchen.

Prior to hitting Wabi Sabi, imagined myself finally going wild about Wildflour Cafe + Bakery’s croissant-donut, a cronut knock-off of New Yorker Dominique Ansel’s outrageously hot hybrid pastry (note: he’s patented the use of Cronut early this year). I heard they’re really good! The croissant-donuts all gone in a flash when they arrived, frustrating, kinda.

Wabi Sabi 4

Shared with Brandon a spot on, full and creamy dark chocolate milk tea with wabi cream (Wabi Sabi’s version of rock salt cheese, one of the add-ons).

Expect another post about Wabi Sabi’s sweet and savory food selections soon.

Wabi Sabi 1

My cup of tea — feeling chummy with Mikyong, Grant and their pretty friends, all students of MMSU-Batac:)

Wabi Sabi Tea Café, 44 P. Gomez St. (beside 7-Eleven),  Laoag City

Photos by Brandon, Marianne and Blauearth
© Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2013