My story of passing the Civil Engineer Licensure Board Exam

The story of a sleepy civil engineer who once lost motivation but passed the Civil Engineering licensure exam November 2019 in one take.

I graduated last April 2019. After I got my diploma, I knew my next goal is to pass the board exam and earn that license.

Early May, the review center classes for Civil Engineering began. There are a lot of good review centers for the CE Boards, there is the oldest one, Besavilla Review Center, Padilla, the Caltech friendly Mega Review Center, the well known Review Innovations (R.I), the new ones like Esplana and so much more. Our school is somehow associated with Mega and R.I so majority of us went to those. Together with my friends. I made a downpayment at Mega Review Center as we were convinced by their calculator technique. Some of my friends went to R.I and Esplana though.

I was excited at first, enthusiastic in attending the review classes in Mega even if it was so damn early (7am classes y’all!). I was motivated as well when I did well on their evaluation exams and diagnostic exams. I had these small notebooks where all the necessary formulas are written.

I studied at different cafes around Mendiola after classes since our review class ends at 12:30PM but then around the mid of July, I began to feel unmotivated. I once missed a class and then it was followed by another absence and another until I found myself just sleeping and being all lazy at our apartment for two straight weeks. I felt lost and stuck. Everyone was studying and then here I am sleeping around.

I don’t want to go with them either just like what most people say that you should go with diligent people so you’ll be like them. No. That’s not it. I just felt off whenever they brag about how much they know that moment, sure you can review with that but it’s just not for me.

After then, I decided to revise my plan. I asked myself why do I feel lazy attending the review center, Mega was a great RC, the problem is it just doesn’t match with my ways. I felt bored with their super detailed lectures, I only wanted their caltech. I didn’t like how their evaluation exams are so hard, harder than the actual board exam because it was designed not to be back-solved, or be answered by caltech or be answered easily in general.

I attended our school’s refresher classes with my closest CE friends where the top 3 of CE board exam 2017, Engr. Hans Lawrence Dela Cruz is our lecturer hoping I’ll get motivated again. I did, but it wasn’t enough.

I wanted a review center that is straight to the point, I don’t want to know other things, I wanna know the types of questions that comes out of the board exam, teach me how to solve it, make me master it up to the point that when I see a question, I know how to answer it. Besides, this is about passing the board exam not knowing everything about Civil Engineering. That’s when I decided to finally stop attending classes and I studied on my own everyday, alone. I quietly studied on my own not letting my friends know which part I am on and where I study because it wasn’t necessary.

August 16, I went to Naga City, a pilgrim city, with my Dubredo friends and did a church hopping to pray for my board exam, wishing that I’ll pass. This served as my last vacation too for this whole review era.

My friend, Tyrone, then passed his licensure exam around August, he’s now a licensed Mechanical Engineer. I asked him for tips and he said it’s hard to pass without a review center. He said the board examinee really need an RC to be confident on. With his advice, I began to reevaluate things again, I needed a review center and in perfect timing, my mother texted me and said I should enroll on Besavilla Review Center even if it was quite late already, so I did.

After months of doing self review, I had my last months review and coaching at Besavilla Review Center in España. I really didn’t want my friends to know about it because Besavilla is really a big thing for CE and I didn’t want them to expect so much from me and bombard me with pahingi ng module niyo, notes niyo, reviewer niyo. I needed to focus but jokes on me, they still discovered about it.

Just like the early days, I was excited to attend my review classes on BRC but unlike in Mega, I didn’t miss a single class here. I took the weekend schedule, our classes run from 8AM to 5PM in the afternoon. Throughout the review, I had three repeating lecturers, Engr. Palma, Engr. Bachicha and Engr. Quizon who were really great.

October 3, days after our refresher course began, a horrifying announcement from PRC came out and really made us devastated. It was the banning of the Casio 570ES Plus calculator that we’ve been trained to use since college and they happen to decide to ban it just a few weeks before the board exam!!!! Then they decides to replace it with an older model Casio 82EX and Casio 350EX which doesn’t have shift solve, 3 equations 3 unknowns, differential, integration and vectors. NAGULANTANG KAMI LAHAT.

Simpleng reservoir sa Hydraulics Engineering aabutin ka ng siyam siyam kung walang shift solve what more yung sa design? Moment capacity? Finding ‘a’? Finding no. of bars given the axial capacity of column? It will take us several minutes without shift solve and take note, we only have 5 hours for Mathematics, Surveying and Transportation Engineering, MSTE (75 items), 4 hours for Hydraulics and Geotechnical Engjneering (50items) and 5 hours for Structural Engineering and Costruction, SEC (75 items). Time matters in board exam. It would be fine if we’ll be given less number of items but no.

Once again, I felt weak and unmotivated and disappointed. I continued solving past board exams and I noticed how the new calculator is making me so slow in answering the questions and I can’t be fine with that. The board exam has time. TIME MATTERS.

I visited my soul mommy, VP Leni at her office early in October and ranted about the sudden calculator change just to ease the tension inside me a bit and she sympathized but she focused on motivating me by saying that she’ll be praying for me and she’ll be proud if I pass and even if still haven’t, she’s still proud. I’m so soft for her.

Because of her words, I recalibrated things and stopped complaining about the calculator and thought it’s just between deal with it and pass or give up.

I asked myself, what do you really want? To become a topnotcher, to pass, I replied. I tried to motivate myself but I must admit, it didn’t feel quite enough.

Good thing, I was lucky to be able to be lectured by the super lolo legendary Engr. Venancio Besavilla Jr., himself. He taught us design topics, slabs and foundation design. He taught us everything he knows and gave us his own lecture notes for us to study to be able to counter Ma’am Praxy’s SEC exam. He also told us that he flew from Cebu to Manila in order to send a request letter to President Duterte about the calculator because it’s just a few weeks before the board exam and the stocks of the newly allowed calculator turned zero despite that there are still a lot who doesn’t have it. He also encouraged our class to take the personalized coaching classes because that’s BRC’s most powerful weapon among the other review centers. Only BRC has the strongest coaching for MSTE. Most review centers rely on teaching everything under Mathematics, Surveying and Transpo but BRC have their special method for this, they have the most accurate predictions and topics to teach. BRC’s MSTE refresher and coaching are really the sharpest weapons vs MSTE.

(Ma’am Praxedes Bernardo, by the way, is the PRC CE Examiner for SEC which is known to be the toughest enemy of the aspiring civil engineers. She was a graduate of Mapua Institute of Technology, a CE topnotcher during her time, Engr. Venancio Besavilla Jr was the top 2.)

After Engr. Besavilla’s lecture and motivation period, I swear to God, I mastered the topics he taught, I was highly motivated. I felt powerful, I felt half ready. Kahit anong calculator pa yan, I’m ready.

Our refresher course continued and because I was highly motivated, I finished all the topics covered on the past licensure exams and I decided to focus resolving the refresher quizzes over and over with the assistance of Besavilla’s CE Licensure Examination book and Gillesania’s CE Reference. I did it at home in Cavite since my classes are only during weekends.

I went back to Manila at October 25, Friday and passed by St. Jude Chapel. That’s when I pledged to God that I will be doing a fasting of not drinking any milk tea, no samgyeupsal and I will be lighting a candle at St. Jude everyday no matter what happens, rain or shine. I even bought my own lighter because there were times at night that there were no lit up candle left in the chapel and I had to light up my own. It was my voluntary sacrifice to resonate my wish of passing the board exam to the higher.

I continued this routine and as our refresher ended and holidays came, I scheduled myself to wake up at nine in the morning EVERYDAY, take a bath and study at Just In Time study hub in Mendiola from morning up until 5am the next day because they offer a P180 all day pass for all board examinees that will take their exam in less than a month. I made the most of it. It was a new study hub in the place, it was near our apartment, just one jeepney away and it was really conducive for learning. I can also take naps there when I feel exhausted or drink free coffee if I feel sleepy. I am so grateful for their cheap rates, I mastered the topics well in this place.

As per my schedule, November 4 should be the last day of my self review. I should have covered all the topics and mastered it by that time. The next days will just be browsing and mentally thinking of how to solve the pass board exams by just looking at the questions and the given. Luckily, I managed to achieve that and follow my schedule.

November 4 was the beginning of our coaching in BRC as well. EJ and Rex enrolled on BRC’s coaching and it was thrilling for me to have my friends on the same class because ever since I entered BRC, I didn’t have close friends though I managed to have new friends like Bea and Iana. It was intensive and specific. The questions were answered faster than the refresher (more bc the lecturers assume we know it already and passed through it over and over because it was on our review modules and refresher quizzes and CE Licensure Book) and it’s just the past board exams and the May 2019 board exam (most recent) questions being answered over and over. It’s really impossible for you not to master the ways of the examiners with the number of times we solved their past sets of questions.

After I finished covering all the topics, I felt ready and powerful but after our classroom coaching, I felt even more powerful. I knew from the last day of our classroom coaching that I will pass the board exam. Our lecturers made me feel that and this must be the effect of BRC’s way to me. It made me confident.

November 7 was our last day of classroom coaching. November 8, 2PM, we were called at Madison 101 in Quezon City for Besavilla Review Center’s Hotel coaching. EJ, Rex and I passed by St. Jude Chapel in Malacañang to light a candle and ask St. Jude our wish for the last time since we won’t be able to visit him again once we enter the hotel coaching, going out is strictly prohibited.

BRC’s hotel coaching is where they teach the most accurate predictions for MSTE and Hydrau/Geo. All our phones and gadgets were confiscated the moment we entered the hotel so there will be no leakage of the coaching happening inside. It’s like we’re in PBB house lol. But it was nice because we were highly focused on the board exam without our phones with us and it kept us away from distractions. No emotional, mental or intellectual distractions from the social media and texting world. It’s just us and the review materials and our comfortable rooms. Included in the coaching package is transportation transfers from our hotel to our designated testing centers, our meals, exclusive of lunch since we’ll be on our testing centers during lunch time but for our breakfast and dinner? BRC got us some good homemade meals.

My room assignment was on St. Jude College in Sampaloc, Manila, room 403 at BED Bldg.

Room assignments were announced Thursday and the moment I knew my room assignment, I searched for some horoscope (lol) and it was such a coincidence that the lucky number of rat for this year is 23 and I am no. 23 on the room list. Woah. I felt even more powerful.

After then, BRC staffs knocked on our doors at three to wake us up since we had no alarm clocks and gadgets. After I took a bath and dressed up, I went down to get our breakfast. You might wanna ask if I wore the famous red undies as part of the beliefs of the exam takers, my answer is YES! Lol! I did wear red undies on my first day of exam hoping it will make me feel more confident and ready. Wala namang masama ‘di ba?

Friday night was really a tough one. I don’t know if I’m excited or nervous or what but we all struggled to sleep. I was able to sleep for an hour or two but it wasn’t that deep but this is normal, I guess?

BRC drove us to St. Jude College, there were different vans for each school/room assignment. I arrived at the place around 6am. There were policemen in the entrance checking our NOA and calculators before we head up to our rooms.

I took the MSTE exam at 8am. It was inevitable not to tremble or feel nervous once you see the questionnaire being distributed. As soon as I got mine (set A), I skimmed through the pages trying to look for the easy and familiar ones first to build up my confidence and ease my anxiousness. At first I was intimidated by the long problems but then I continued answering the easy ones first and faced the long ones after I built myself, I barely noticed how I already answered over 50% of the questions and I am certain of all that. I felt empowered. At this moment, I began answering the tough questions then I told myself “Jam, I believe in you. This one’s for you, God.” Then naturally, I lost all the nervousness and worry, I finished answering an hour before the time I was able to take a careful nap because I was sleepy(careful nap means napping without folding my paper lol) and whenever I feel drowsy in the midst of answering, I eat my snacks (Meiji dark chocolate bar and Chips Ahoy Chewy Cookies). Then just a few minutes before the time, our proctor said we can pass our papers already if we’re done. Then I did and I went out to have my lunch, I had Sinigang at Lakay Restaurant for only P60. Yum!

I went back to the 4th floor and took a nap again outside our room assignment. I was hell of drowsy after the MSTE and even before our Hydraulics and Geotechnical Engineering began. If I remember correctly I fell alseep for about ten minutes during this period. I panicked when I woke up because the exam is only good for four hours and the questions looked quite different from the past board exam questions, it wasn’t situational that you can easily back solve. Yet, I didn’t let this fact bother me, I told myself, I mastered Hydraulics and Geotechnical engineering a long time ago, nothing scares me. Then my mind absorbed that instruction.

I managed to answer the questions well and even the new and unfamiliar ones. I admit I wasn’t sure of everything but again, I made sure that I am sure of at least 50% of my answers and yes, I was sure of half the whole exam. I finished earlier than the due time again so I took a nap again. I wonder what the proctors think of me that time. Wala na ba ‘tong masagot kaya natulog nalang? One can only speculate. I went home confident that I did well though.

For the second day of my exam, I prepared myself for the toughest one. Ma’am Praxedes Bernardo’s Structural Engineering and Construction. It’s always intimidating because structural is very technical and code based topic and our exam consists of 34 pages — the hardest but then again, I had to condition myself. I cannot let anything intimidate me, I told myself “Kaka-master mo lang ng design, fresh pa yan sa’yo. Si Engr. Besavilla at Engr. Palma ang nagturo sa’yo niyan sa review center. Si Engr. Delima ang prof mo sa RCD at PCD, si Engr. Sarzaba ang prof mo sa Mechanics, TOS at Strength nung college. Plakado ang mga nagturo niyan sa’yo. Halos six months mong inaral yan, anong ikakatakot mo?” My confidence began to rise.

I skimmed through the pages looking for the easy and familiar ones then I managed to build my confidence again. I admit that there are problems in the exam that I never encountered before and are purely code based and I clearly have no idea of how it goes but I told myself that if it was based on the code and the code is attached on the exam questionnaire, I could use it to find the answer. I calmed myself down and thought it was my way during the time I was self studying. I didn’t know anything, I relied on the books and resources and this time. I simulated my mind and imagined I was just reviewing. I studied the tables and codes given and then suddenly I just knew how it works. I felt resurrected, I continued answering and then I realized I managed to surely answer 50% of the questions again. This time, I was confident that I’ll make it.

The ones I can’t understand and had no idea of can be counted by fingers, I told God that I really have no idea of how it goes. I apologized in case I answer it wrongly because I told him that exam was for him and I didn’t want to give him so many wrong answers. I owed it to him.

Again, I finished earlier than the other again. I rested my mind for a few minutes before I decided to pass my paper and leave the area.

As I leave the place, I fathomed about my whole examination experience. I evaluated myself and I was 85% sure that I will pass and it was enough. I went back to the hotel to get my things and went home to Cavite right away since the exam ended at 1PM. I wanted to see my family immediately so that I get to see the people who believed in me before I did.

Today, November 14. Just a few minutes before 12AM, the results came out and I saw my name on the passer’s list.

Out of the 15,075 civil engineers who tried, only 6,510 passed and I am one of them.

I knew I’ll make it.

Though I failed to make it to the topnotcher’s list. Yepp, I was that confident of myself that I thought I’ll make it to the top but sometime’s you just got to believe in yourself, believe that you can be at the top so that if you go a little lower, you won’t fall towards failing the whole examination. I don’t regret anything and I am proud of myself. Aim high!


As for my review center recommendation, I suggest you take Mega’s review classes and then take Besavilla’s refresher and coaching sessions. Perfect combo with your self reviews. Mega’s detailed review might just be the perfect foundation for you and Besavilla’a refresher and coaching are the greatest source of confidence for your last days. Tapos na lahat ng review, refresher at coaching ng ibang review centers pero si Besavilla hanggang sa huling araw ng exam mo, hindi ka iiwanan.

Lastly, this may sound really cliché but believe in yourself. Calm down and DON’T let anything intimidate you during exam.

Less than 45% passing rate? One of the hardest board exams? That’s nothing to an examinee with a will to pass, a faith to believe and a trust to one’s self.

Do your part, study well, pray to God and a day before your exam, tell yourself:

And you will.

Now that I am officially a registered Civil Engineer, it’s my time to serve our country and contribute to our industry. Once I start earning well, I promise to help people in need.

Good luck to the next batches of Civil Engineers to take the licensure board exam! You can do it!

REVIEW: Taste from the Greens Milk Tea in Scout Torillo, Quezon City

It’s been a while since I tried a new milk tea source and I’ve been receiving a lot of requests of the milk tea drinks that I should try but fortoday, I’ll be reviewing a new milk tea source in Quezon City called Taste from the Greens.

Just a little background, TFG is originally from Pampanga and seems to be well known in the said place. It caught my attention because usually, the good milk tea sources are from another country but this one is from our very own. Their drinks are also organic and are homegrown.

They recently opened a branch in Scout Torillo, Quezon City just a few minute walk from the Boy Scout circle. Landmarks are Tramway, Steak 77 etc.

Me and my two other friends tried different drinks to review and assessed its quality but of course let me post my photo on their green themed place, lol.

Of course, I used metal straw because we want to reduce the use of plastic straws to save the turtles! Anyways, these are the drinks I tried.

1. Dark Chocolate w/ Pearl – Aside from milk tea drinks, I am a fan of chocolate drinks as well and TFG’s Dark Chocolate w/ Pearl and Creampuff is a good drink for me. I promise it doesn’t taste like Ovaltine, Milo or Nesquick! It’s a different chocolate that you cannot just buy from a mall or grocery but then I cannot say it’s the best chocolate milk tea drink I’ve tried either.

2. Choco Malt Creampuff – It’s one if their best sellers and I was expecting it to be somehow like Affinitea’s Milo Dino but then upon trying it out, I realized it’s more of Taste from the Green’s homegrown chocomalt. This one has a milk tea base but I think the chocomalt overpowers that so if you want a leafy tasting drink, this one’s not for you.

3. Cookies&Creampuff – This has to be my favorite since I’m a fan of cookies&cream or Oreo flavored milk tea drinks. The mixing of creampuff, cookie bits and milk tea just soothes my craving. If I were to go back, this is definitely the one I’m coming back for. Then again, if you’re looking for that leafy tea taste, then this one’s not for you but if you love Oreo flavored milk tea drinks? You’ll not regret this one.

They recommended these ones and said creampuff is one of their trademarks so me and my friends added creampuff to all our drinks.

I’m gonna start with the milk tea base since we’re talking about milk tea here. I’m gonna say that among the three milk tea drinks I tried, I really missed to have that green leafy tea taste on my mouth. The drink didn’t really have that much of the tea taste but I’m assuming it is because the creampuff and flavors are overpowering the whole milk tea base taste.

About the creampuff, all I can say is it’s definitely a good competitor of Affinitea’s creampuff series and Macao Imperial Tea’s Cheesecake and Pearl’s cream. TFG’s creampuff is thick and pure. It’s not just milk or cream, it’s really a cream puff. It’s perfect blandness and slight saltiness just equalize the sweetness of the flavored milk tea base. I really like their creampuff, no wonder why it’s their best topping. If I’m not mistaken, their creampuffs and creamers are HALAL certified so everyone can have a sip!

I also like to commend their wide variation of flavors because you have a lot of flavors to choose from unlike most milk tea sources that have a very few ones to pick from. It feels like there is always a new flavor to try with TFG.

About the flavors, it’s really flavorful and of quality. It’s not just some cheap powdered flavors they mix with the milk tea base for the sake of having flavors. It’s taste is distinct. You can also adjust sugar levels by request.

Packaging. The packaging is kind of plain. It’s not very amusing to me compared to the other milk tea cups I have seen but at least it’s not the milk tea cup with a smiley face on the top right? It’s not that bad for a local and starting milk tea business but I hope they improve and think of a better cup design in the future just like how nice their interiors are in their branches.

To sum it all up, TFG is a good one but it doesn’t really excel at this point. It is something I would go back to if I crave for that creampuff topping or I want a drink with creampuff again. Moreover, I’ll prolly continue supporting this milk tea source not just because its milk tea drinks are good but because they originated here in the Philippines. Kudos to Pampanga for this milk tea gem.

Have you guys tried Taste from the Greens? Tell me what you think about it on the comments below.

Summary:

Taste: 3.8/5

Price: 3/5

Packaging: 3/5

REVIEW: Yi Fang Taiwan Tea’s Pearl Milk drinks in Manila

I went back to trying milk tea beverages again and I have a new list of milk tea source to try and on my number one is the Yi Fang Taiwan Tea. I haven’t heard of this source since the middle of this year and now I’ve been receiving quite a lot of requests for me to try it.

Of course, as most people know, I’m a milk tea enthusiast and Yi Fang is known for their fruit tea so as early as now, I want to tell you guys that this review will just be about my thoughts on their milk, tea and milk tea related products. Here’s their menu:

It’s a rainy season and I don’t really have much time to go out so I ordered Yi Fang beverage through GrabFood.

I was confused of what to order from their menu because I wanna try their milk tea and I don’t know which one is more of a milk tea from their menu, is it the Brown Sugar Pearl Milk or the Brown Sugar Pearl Tea Latte?

The first one feels like just milk to me, it doesn’t have tea in its name and the second one gives me a second thought too because it has latte in its name, I’m afraid I’ll spend my P120 for a coffee tasting drink but how can we find out if we won’t try?

I ordered Yi Fang’s Brown Sugar Pearl Milk for P120 at medium size.

Packaging? It’s cool that their cup seal is not pure plastic but more of like paper/plastic hybrid? I think it decomposes faster than the pure plastic cup seal.

By the way, I no longer use plastic straws because I am one with the movement to stop using it to protect the sea turtles who get harmed for every plastic straw disposal that we do. Save the turtles!

Going back, I have tried quite a lot of Brown Sugar flavored milk teas and I must say that Brown Sugar flavor is basically arnibal of the usual street taho and Yi Fang’s Brown Sugar achieved the fine taste of arnibal. Kudos to that. The pearls of this drink are smaller than the usual milk tea pearls, it reminded me the taho’s little sago.

Moving on to the drink’s base, I must say that it’s pure creamy and pure milk. Imagine putting a California Sunshine fresh milk on a glass with pearl sago soaked in arnibal. That’s the Yi Fang’s Brown Sugar Pearl Milk.

On another day, I thought of giving this milk tea source another chance so I tried their Brown Sugar Pearl Tea Latte for P120 at medium size too.

I was nervous because I was expecting for the worst that it might taste like a coffee based drink but upon taking a sip of it I was shook because it was the taste I was expecting.

IT IS NOT COFFEE!! Yes!

I was relieved. Its base doesn’t taste like just milk anymore, it had that leafy taste and of course, their chewy sweet pearls that tasted like arnibal were still there. Yum.

Their milk tea base really had a legitimate leafy tea and I can guarantee that it is not just from a powder like the low quality milk tea sources. It’s an authentic milk tea so it’s a thumbs up for me.

However, I didn’t see anything special on their drinks and it’s not something that I would really recommend. It’s something I can describe as legit milk tea, chewy sweet pearls, cool packaging but it’s just okay. Nothing very special.

Anyways, their specialty naman is fruit tea which is I’m not a big fan of so if you’re a milk tea lover, I can’t really say Yi Fang is an amazing try but we all have our own taste, yah?

I’ll continue to try their other milk tea related beverage and update this post tho.

Tell me what you think about it on the comments below.

Summary:

Taste: 3/5

Price: 3.8/5

Packaging: 4.5/5

REVIEW: Shabu Yaki Samgyeupsal in Malate, Manila

Me and my friends decided to find a samgyeopsal place around Ermita after we filed our PRC board examination requirements in Robinson’s Manila. We were suppose to go on GoKizip but we decided to try a new samgyeupsal place — then we found Shabu Yaki located in Remedios St. just near the Remedios circle.

Price

We just paid P900 for our PRC filing so we didn’t want to spend so much again and it’s so nice that the unlimited pork samgyeupsal in this restaurant is just P399. Way better than the normal P500 samgyeupsal price. Not bad! (8.5/10)

Meat

For P399, we really did expect to be served with only the plain flavored pork meat. We aren’t big fans of marinated samgyeupsal meats though because it tastes like either barbecue or tapa or tocino. Shabu Yaki’s plain meat was kinda thick. It ain’t like the common samgyeupsal bacon thin slice ones, it was more of like half of pork chop slice kind.

Usually, thick cuts of meat make me dizzy, nakakaumay, but then this one is different. Despite that it was kinda thick, it tasted and felt the same as the normal samgyeupsal pork meat. Actually, I appreciate its slice thickness because I get to munch the meat more and taste the pork better than thin strips. Sakto lang yun thickness niya, imo. (8.5/10)

Sides

Usually, I don’t pay attention to sides because I only get to like 2-3 side dishes served on every samgyeupsal place I tried but man, I loved almost all the sides of Shabu Yaki. As in!

They have some good tasting Kimchi (quite spicy) according to my friend who’s a critic of Kimchi sides. They have my favorite ssamjang sauce — a samgyeupsal won’t be a samgyeupsal without it! They also have unlimited rice as part of their sides.

Then for the rest, they served cripsy kangkong (I’m not quite sure if it’s kangkong or some other cripsy greens), upo in some korean sauce, crispy soybeans in soysauce, spring onion in korean sauce, fresh lettuce, tofu with vegetable soup and steamed egg. I think the only downside is they didn’t have juice or Iced tea included to ease your umay lol.

But man, I really liked almost all their sides but of course, I stopped myself from eating all of it because I have to enjoy the meat and kailangan natin sulitin ang unli pork!! (9/10)

Place

The place isn’t as fancy as Romantic Baboy or the other finer samgyeupsal place but I think good samgyeupsal servings are found on Shabu Yaki kind of restaurant which are less fancy. I think the owner has a Korean blood and I think the simplicity of the place is something she adapted from the native Korean restaurants so I won’t be saying it’s bad. They are air conditioned tho! (7.8/10)

Service

There are like two staffs if I remember correctly and there were only three tables occupied including us when we arrived at the place. They are very accommodating, I commend them for that, they also respond quickly and are polite compared to other samgyeupsal places with grumpy staffs more like because it’s tiring to serve samgyeupsal customers who have a lot of requests ( I understand that ) but I really commend those who can manage the stress. (9/10)

All in all, I will definitely come back and recommend this place. It’s not quite known but it’s really a good food place.

Is SOGIE Equality Bill an EQUALITY bill or an LGBTQ+ special treatment bill?

💡 FUN FACTS ABOUT SOGIE EQUALITY BILL!

Based on the SOGIE Equality Bill authored by Risa Hontiveros (read here), this bill isn’t just about letting the transgenders use the female’s comfort room. SOGIE Equality Bill is an EQUALITY bill and not an LGBTQ special treatment bill so please CALM YOURSELF DOWN and continue reading first.

SOGIE Equality Bill authored by Sen. Risa Hontiveros

I understand the uproar of some regarding the SOGIE Equality Bill being pushed in the senate recently. People are talking about Gretchen Diez controversy, perverts to take advantage of this law to sneak into women’s comfort rooms and practice immoral acts.

But can we look at the bigger picture? Nothing’s perfect so is every law.

One example is the law prohibiting the selling of firecrackers. Yes, it will raise safety among people, protect people and lessen accidents, casualties and fatalities involving firecrackers but what about the people who have firecrackers as their business? What about the Filipino tradition of using firecrackers to celebrate occasion and new year? What about the preservation of our tradition and culture? Trashed.

Just think about that. Every law will affect something, it’s inevitable.

Now, why don’t we focus on what SOGIE Equality bill contain and what and who does it want to protect? Discriminated LGBT members and everyone.

• SOGIE Equality Bill (formerly Anti-discrimination bill) was first filed by late the Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago, though it failed to pass several senate hearings, the senators continued to revise the said bill. Sen. Risa Hontiveros renamed it SOGIE Equality Bill after such revisions, however, the content seemed the same but contained a finer protection of the LGBTQ.

Kung baga, Miriam’s ADB was written to protect everyone from all kinds of discrimination (race, age, gender, ethnicity etc) equally at 100%, Hontiveros’ SOGIE Equality Bill was written to protect the LGBT majorly, and nadamay lang yung other forms of discrimination (race, age, gender, ethnicity etc) sa bill.

• Today, Sen. Risa Hontiveros is the author of the second version of bill and are backed up by Kaka Bag-ao, Geraldine Roman and Emmeline Aglipay-Villar (who are the authors of the other version of the bill). The other version of the bill is I think what most people are scared of as it was specific-SOGIE (more of LGBTQ protection) while Hontiveros’ version is more comprehensive as it protects everyone not just the LGBTQ+.

Read the House of Representstive’s version here.

Read Risa Hontiveros’ version here.

•President Rodrigo Duterte and Vice President Leni Robredo both support the passing of the anti-discrimination bill.

President Duterte and VP Leni Robredo are both lawyers, isn’t that enough credential for you to consider listening to their opinions about this? Ever wonder why they both support the passing of this bill? Partida, pula at dilaw na yan.


This bill gives everyone, regardless of sex, race, age, class, status, ethnicity, color, sexual orientation, political and religious beliefs, ethnicity and gender identity, the right to be free from any form of discrimination as stated in Section 2 of the bill.

Let’s begin with making the readers understand a bit more of the purpose of this bill.

WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?

— these are based on my understanding of the proposed bill and I decided to set examples of cases in order to define the function and fundamentals of bill in a less jargon way.

Disability: You’re an HIV+ girl who actually earned the virus from your HIV+ birth mother. You’re decent and all. This law will protect you from being discriminated and all the stigma.

Sex: If you’re a woman, qualified, and you want to be a courier rider (common job of men), a company shouldn’t prohibit you from being hired just because you’re a woman.

Race/Color/Ethnicity: You’re an aeta and you want an access to good education but a scholarship grant wasn’t given to you despite that you’re qualified just because you have dark skin, accent or you’re from a native race. That’s violation of law.

Age: You’re around 60s yet you’re still fit, qualified and you want to work and keep earning money. A company shouldn’t reject you with just the reason of because you’re old.

Class/Status: You’re from the lower class yet you’re qualified for the job position, a firm puts you at a lower position just because you’re from the lower class, that will be against the law.

Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity: You’re gay but you have full heart in joining the military reservist. Being prohibited from joining the training just because you’re gay will be against the law.

Political Beliefs: You’re a <politician> supporter and your boss fired you because he doesn’t like <the politician>. With SOGIE Equality bill, that will be against the law.

Religious Beliefs: You’re a muslim and despite that you’re doing well and all decent, you get fired because your bosses/colleagues have different religion. That will be against the law.


Moving to another point, what is discrimination?

Discrimination: the unjust or prejudicial treatment of different categories of people or things, especially on the grounds of race, age, or sex.

Does anyone want to be discriminated? NO. Do you want to be discriminated? I’m sure not.

This law will not just protect the LGBTQ+ community from discrimination, it will protect EVERYONE from discrimination, including you.

Most people think it is a bill specially made for the LGBTQ+ but you know why this mindset is so vibrant in this issue? Because it’s the LGBTQ+ who gets the strongest and loudest discrimination + the SOGIE (acronym for Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Expression) on the bill’s title makes it sound like it’s made only for the LGBTQ when in fact, the content of the bill shows that it covers all.

Kapag bakla wala ng future, kapag tomboy hanggang diyan nalang. Bakit may ganitong discrimination? Does being a part of LGBTQ+ make you less?

It will NOT oppress people and make the LGBTQ+ any special. Again, it’s an EQUALITY bill not LGBTQ+ special treatment bill. It’s just treating the LGBTQ+, the elderly, all the races, all the social and everyone equally. That’s the whole point of this law so what do we have to lose?

Ang problema kase sa inyo naniniwala kayo agad sa mga FB post derogating this bill. Kesyo this bill will oppress the people or this bill will promote immorality. No, it’s not like that. It is more than just that.

But to clarify things up, I personally would like to suggest to push for the Anti-Discrimination Bill first before the SOGIE Equality specific bill because who knows, ADB can resolve discrimination issues towards LGBTQ already which may give us the conclusion that we no longer need the SOGIE specific bill. You know what I mean? Plus the fact that our country is majorly composed of catholics (conservatives), I think it would be easier to push SOGIE Equality specific bill if Anti-Discrimination bill gets passed as a law.

Again, in my opinion, as an LGBTQ+ advocate and supporter, I don’t see anything wrong with this bill but speaking as a centrist who considers the other side who aren’t much ready to have a law for the LGBTQ, then I guess it’s the best to pass the ADB before the SOGIE Equality bill. That would be the best solution.

Then again, this write up is just composed my thoughts, as centrist and a normal Filipino citizen, about this issue. Tell me what you think about it.

Read the official SOGIE Equality Draft here.

Top Branded Milk Tea Sources in PH 2019

Since like 2015 I’ve been drinking different kinds of milk tea from different sources, even before milk tea was a thing. I started with Ochado in Cavite, idk, if you guys know that milk tea source.

Anyways, just today, I felt like I have to make this “top” milk tea blog post to guide those newly milk tea lovers out there.

I wrote this impromptu so I MIGHT forget some other milk tea brands on my list but more likely they’re not that good because if they are, I will remember.

So after years of tasting, these five sources made it to the top of my list.

1. Dakasi

2. Macao Imperial Tea

3. Affinitea

4. CoCo Fresh Tea and Juice

5. Happy Lemon

6. I Love Milk Tea

7. D’Cream

8. Tiger Sugar

9. Chatime

10. Gong Cha

11. Moonleaf

12. Zentea

13. Serenitea

14. Infinitea

15. Happy Cup

But of course, I won’t just list it down for y’all. Let me share a little commentary about those branded milk teas listed above.

1. Dakasi – God tier milk tea source. Their Okinawa Milk Tea is the mother of milk teas. The perfect blend of creaminess and leafiness. Hindi nakakaumay sa tamis. They have wide variation of milk tea flavors and drinks too.

2. Macao Imperial Tea – Another God tier milk tea source. Sinong milk tea lover ang hindi nasarapan sa Cheesecake and Pearl Milk Tea nila? Nobody. Their CPMT is just so unique, they’re the first one to put out this flavor. Trademark. Their other drinks are legit too. You can taste the brewed leaves from their milk teas, dahon kung dahon. Quality drinks and wide variety of flavors available. If you don’t like it then raise your standards. Char.

3. Affinitea – Top tier milk tea source. Their Dino Milk Tea with Nature Salt & Cheese, Oreo Milk Tea with Cream Puff and even their basic milk tea called Premium Milk Tea are just perfect. They have so many rare unique flavors and that’s what makes them make it to the top tier list. Their milk teas are also of good quality. Dahon kung dahon never powder.

4. CoCo Fresh Tea and Juice – Another top tier milk tea source but I won’t say it’s because of their Panda Milk Tea or 2 Ladies drink which goes usually in front of their menu list. Their best drink is Salty Cream Milk Tea, a unique milk tea mix that equalizes the saltiness, leafiness and creaminess at the same time. I have to say that they might be the mother of all salty cream/rock salt cheese/cream topped milk teas. Just smooth.

5. Happy Lemon – This is where the mid tier begins. Happy Lemon has wide variation of milk tea flavors and their milk tea bases are also of good quality which enables them to fight but I have to say that they’re blends aren’t that catchy to my tastebuds compared to Affinitea’s variants.

6. I Love Milk Tea – Still a mid ties to me. They have quality milk tea bases and wide variation of drinks that I’ve tried but nothing convinced me to keep going back to them.

7. D’Cream – Also a mid tier to me only because of their D’Cream special that reminds me of Dakasi’s Okinawa Milk Tea (slightly) because of it’s creaminess though I honestly think it’s too creamy that I don’t taste the tea anymore. I believe their tea aren’t that concentrated, that’s why. Their variation of drinks are also limited so yeah.

8. Tiger Sugar – An overrated mid tier milk tea that earned audience because they launched their first branch in the Philippines during the peak of milk tea’s bandwagon and trend. I have to say that their milk tea base are quality and they are the first one to have the brown sugar milk tea as their front flavor but there’s nothing really special about it. Quality milk tea though.

9. Chatime – They have quite a lot of milk tea flavors but I feel like they all taste the same. Their basic milk teas are quality but nothing is really special here.

10. Gong Cha – Low tier. Sorry. Another hyped milk tea source only because they have a lot of branch and most bandwagons and starters start here. Their milk tea base feels like a blend of diluted tea and milk tea powder to me. It’s not a real tasting milk tea (idk how to explain it) but try to taste their basic milk tea (Milk Tea and Pearl Jelly) and compare it to Affinitea’s Premium Milk Tea or Macao’s Black Pearl Milk Tea, walang panama.

11. Moonleaf – Low tier again. Only made it to the top 11 because it’s branches are always around university belts. It’s drinks are just a so-so. Not too quality drinks but pwede na.

12. Zentea – Low tier. Just like moonleaf.

13. Serenitea – Shit tier. I thought it would at least serve drinks with quality milk tea bases like Chatime despite it’s boring variety of flavors but man, their teas taste weird. Sure it’s made of brewed tea leaves but it feels like all the bases are from Earl Grey milk tea plus their flavors are so weird, have you guys tried their Black Dragon? Kill me.

14. Infinitea – Shit tier. A lower class of Gong Cha. If Gong Cha milk tea bases feels like diluted milk tea + milk tea powder to me then Infinitea is purely milk tea powder. A lot says it’s good because they have a lot of branch and starters start here and call themselves milk tea lovers. Not legit milk tea. Sorry lol.

15. Happy Cup – Shit tier. Trashy powdered milk tea hyped by its celebrity owners. Sorry.

These are all my honest reviews. If you have any questions, feel free to comment down. If you have suggestions and violent reactions then ok sure, Jan.

For more info, check out my other blogs about my milk tea reviews and recommendations. Thank you! Mwa!

REVIEW: McDonald’s Milk Tea series

McDonald’s recently released their milk tea series in line with the milk tea hype in the Philippines. They brought out two milk tea flavors in the market namely: Classic Milk Tea and Wintermelon Milk Tea, both topped with their signature vanilla sundae available both for P49.

So for those who wants an honest review. You’ve come to the right place.

Classic Milk Tea

It doesn’t taste very leafy as to what normal milk tea does but it has a very slight hint. The creaminess of the base plus the vanilla sundae topping just overshadows the legit milk tea taste making it taste more like a tea flavored milk shake.

Wintermelon Milk Tea

Ever heard of Nestea’s wintermelon milk tea? Add a little bit more sugar, crushed ice and top it up with vanilla sundae and that’s McDonald’s Wintermelon Milk Tea in a nutshell. It’s too sweet for me.

Between the two, I prefer the classic milk tea. It’s creaminess is unique and hindi nakaka-umay. Despite that it might not achieve your legit milk tea cravings or your tongue that’s used to Chatime, Dakasi or Macao Imperial Tea’s original/classic/royal milk tea beverages, McDonald’s Classic MT might give you another unique taste of beverage.

Summary:

Classic

Taste: 2.5/5

Price: 4/5

Packaging: 2/5

Wintermelon

Taste: 2/5

Price: 4/5

Packaging: 2/5