Mercedes Bakery Says Hello, Neighbor!


What a lovely surprise from my city’s loveliest and friendliest neighbor!

Mercedes Bakery just handed stressed bar reviewee me a care package with a few of their best-selling products to try out as well as a box of their unreleased Matcha Chookie series!

Now I know I’m not supposed to be gorging on food with processed sugar in it because of the diet I’m maintaining but… it’s already right in front me… and can you really say no to a treasure chest of sweets?! (Yes, I can but I don’t want to hahaha)

I’ve never been much of a big fan of eating pineapple because its acidic juice kind of stings my tongue the more I eat it but Mercedes Bakery’s Pineapple Crumble is an exception. I want to eat pineapple as long as it’s in the form of their pineapple crumble! This product is a Mercedes Bakery original and the first to become the city’s pasalubong and snack favorite from the store. Perfect to pair with brewed coffee or tea in the afternoon!

As with their biscocho, I run the risk of eating a whole bag by myself in one sitting if I’m eating it while multi-tasking. It’s not too sweet and the crunch when you take a bite definitely keeps you busy. I should keep a pack of biscocho in my bag all the time haha!

And finally, they gave me my all-time favorite… Mercedes Bakery’s signature Chookies!

Ugh, I love their chookies to death. I love the classic choco chip the most. I could down a dozen in an hour without realizing it and even if it makes me sluggish from the sugar crash just before Jiu Jitsu training, I have #noragrets. These chewy cookies are just so heavenly that even though I know how sinful it is to be binging on more than two pieces in a day, I’m taking the risk. The owner of the bakery also knows how much I love matcha and let me try out their matcha chookies that they’re experimenting on (and most likely will be releasing sooner or later for public consumption!).

The matcha series they let me try has three flavors: Dark & White Chocolate, White Choco Espresso, and the Smatcha (Smores Matcha!). The series is not as sweet as the non-matcha based chookies but the matcha flavoring is not as strong as others would assume so I would recommend it to people who want to eat chookies that are less sweeter! The white choco espresso has quite the caffeine hit though and I didn’t expect it. I ate two of the Espresso flavor and I could definitely feel like I just drank a shot of strong espresso. My favorite is the Smatcha out of all the three!

If someone would ask me what would be a good pasalubong from Cagayan de Oro City, I would definitely recommend adding Mercedes Bakery to the list! Or! If you’re looking for a great gift for friends and family, a bag of chookies would be enough to put a smile on their faces. It’s not too obvious how much I love the chookies.

P.S. They ship their chookies outside of CDO now!

For more info, you can visit Mercedes Bakery’s website HERE.

More photos of the goodies they gave me can be found HERE!


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Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Sucks & Here’s Why

Do you know a friend who’s been inviting you from to time to time to try out a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) class one of these days? Or know someone from the community who’s been training BJJ and makes it sound so fun? Or have you seen it on any media platform thanks to sports channels televising international BJJ competitions and all those intense cage fights from UFC, ONE Championship, and the like? Or is your favorite MMA fighter always mentioning the martial art in all of his or her thank you speeches in interviews and in his or her social media posts when he or she is bored? Yea?

Well, let’s get this straight: Brazilian Jiu Jitsu sucks.

I’ve been training in the so-called “gentle art” (gentleGENTLEgentleGeNtLe pfft) for more than a year now (notwithstanding the fact that I haven’t trained for 6 months of that 1 yr+ because of bar exam review… but I did train everyday when I got back. And competed. But know what? Whatever.) and I think I have some color of authority to tell people the TRUTH about this martial art.



In Portuguese that phrase is translated as “Jiu Jitsu Para Todos” and you’ll often see it in inspirational posts from top BJJ players or your neighborhood BJJ nerd who wants to spread the word. That’s right, BJJ is for everyone. No matter if you’re young, old, male, female, transgender, physically fit, scrawny, overweight, athletic, weak, plain, or fucked up; I could go on and on. Anyone can try BJJ and it doesn’t make you special. Damn, you’re born to be unique; a special snowflake. You can’t show the world you’re a sui generis piece of living flesh with BJJ since anyone can do it. That’s why it sucks.


Jiu Jitsu is a whole body workout. It makes every muscle in your body work, hell, even your facial muscles hustle from it. It’s strength training, flexibility exercise, and cardio workout rolled in one. BJJ, being a game of human chess, helps you stay mentally sharp as well. You’re sparring with a partner who’s intention is to fake-kill you and you the same to him/her. You need your wits active on the mats to keep yourself from becoming the prey. But in this day and age, putting actual effort into being healthy is for the weak. They’ll still die even if they do BJJ. Hey, maybe they’ll die BECAUSE OF BJJ. You already have a workout walking back and forth a number of times from your couch to the fridge in the kitchen and you binge-watch shows based off of ‘true stories’ on Netflix. That’s all you really need. You don’t need to risk breaking your limbs to be in shape.


In connection with the preceding sentiment, the more you train, the more it makes you actually think for a second that maybe you could compete in the art as a sport. This gets you to a whole new level of fitness as you start changing your diet from nasty to nutritious and to rest properly to be in your peak when competition season comes rolling in. Okay, first off, change? Please. Secondly, diet? Uhh?? Thirdly, nutritious? That’s just a code for food that leaves a bad taste in your mouth. Lastly, what the hell is this rest they’re talking about? You sleep when you’re dead. Carpe Diem, y’all. You’re sure you’d still beat the crap out of anyone while chugging on that barrel of beer made from gluten-free malted barley and eating your 6th slice of all-meat cheese-crusted organic non-GMO pizza and that’s all that matters. Mmmm.


Imagine you’re part of a local BJJ team and you have a teammate we’ll call Gary. Gary and you have had some beef with each other one night while you were having dinner with a mix of BJJ and non-BJJ friends and it didn’t end so well. On the next training session, you and Gary show up and guess what happens next? Nothing. You’re there to train, not start a sissy fight over your differing opinions on how to read the word ‘data’ during that eventful dinner night out. And that’s just lame because we all live for the drama. Boring!


The art teaches you patience. No one’s forcing you to hurry up and get good at it faster than a lightning bolt. That’s just you feeling like a grappling genius every time coach lets you pass his guard. If you can’t do a technique the first time, keep doing it again. Be patient enough to do things at your own pace until you get the hang of it. But life is short, why stick to something that’ll take you so long to get good at? Drop that crap because you’re part of an impatient lot and it’s not cool to wait for results that you’re not even certain of. It’s not that you couldn’t handle that BJJ technique, that technique just  wasn’t for you and all in all, it’s BJJ that couldn’t handle the awesomeness that is you. ‘Nuff said.


Discipline. Perseverance. Determination. You don’t get better at doing BJJ, as with all things, if you don’t commit to it. The color of your belt won’t matter if you don’t show up to train. You’d still get your arse whooped if you do your drills half-heartedly despite perfect class attendance. Your commitment not only affects your own training but your team’s as well, especially the poor soul you’ll be partnered with during drills. But man, commitment? Ew. Sounds like an illness. Living life these days isn’t about committing to anything at all; it’s just what’s not in, you know what I mean? You don’t need to ‘commit’ to ‘find yourself’ in this world and committing to BJJ would just mean less time for you to explore all of your options. Just say no to commitment and hard work. We don’t want more responsibilities.


Even if you’re that team member who suddenly disappears when class is done after you’ve bowed in front of the head coach in unison, it’s no doubt that the bond you have on the mats from trying to choke each other out or breaking each other’s limbs is one of a kind. The talks you have while you’re getting out of your sweaty gi, the teasing that comes during and after super fights, and the proud look your teammates have on while they cheer you on when you successfully perform a move during a match makes you feel like you belong. But ugh. More family means more people to show care for and caring is L-A-M-E. It already sounds like a chore.


BJJ will remind you to leave your ego at the door every training session. Every. training. session. It reminds you to tap before you get injured and accept you’ve been bested by your roll partner. It reminds you that you need to learn to surrender to the fact that you can be bad at it so you’ll know how you can get better. You learn to check yourself when your temper starts flaring up on the mats. You learn to not give up for having a bad day and try to think more of how you’ll do better on the next training day. And all of this slowly translates into your world outside of BJJ. The ego is still there but you can tame it now, at the very least. BUT WHO CARES? YOU’RE THE BEST EVEN IF YOU HAVEN’T TRIED IT YET. Your ego is fine and if they can’t handle it, it’s their problem. I bet you’re already offended that people have little to no expectations of you excelling in the art on your first class and you have every right to be! I mean, how dare they?!


There’s a whole lot more of things I could say but I think what I’ve enumerated is enough to convince everyone why Jiu Jitsu just sucks. If you still can’t take my word for it, try Brazilian Jiu Jitsu out for yourself! Google up a local BJJ gym near you and join a class! And if you’re in Cagayan de Oro City, go try a training session with Atos Philippines Cagayan de Oro – Ali Sulit Jiu Jitsu and experience all that I just said firsthand. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

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Jana’s Sweet Spot

I’m going blind from this sweet, sweet craving

Let’s lose our minds and go crazy crazy

– Cake by the Ocean, DNCE

Everyone who knows me personally knows I have a sweet tooth. Not just the oh-I-like-cake-and-chocolate-a-lot kind; I am more of the SWEET-MOTHER-OF-JEEBUS-THAT-CAKE-IS-WHAT’S-MISSING-IN-MY-LIFE-TODAY-SO-HELLO-DIABETUUS kind. Thankfully, my friend owns a pastry shop in the city and she’s always there to be my enabler (is this a good thing or a bad thing? Ah well, as long as I get my sugar fix! Mwahaha!).

humble beginnings


ARS_0929 copy

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Jana’sSweet Spot is owned by Ms. Jana Caiña Abellanosa, a nurse-turned-phenomenal-pastry chef. While still practicing her profession as a nurse and medical researcher, she decided to enroll at Monster Kitchen Academy to spice up her life. Who could blame her, right? Ms. Jana is young, passion-driven, and simply put, just amazing (and I’m not saying this as a friend!). She graduated at the top of her class at Monster Kitchen and even bagged a few awards at the annual Kumbira Festival that’s held in Limketkai Mall during fiesta month. From taking small-time orders online until she finally opened a physical store at Capistrano-Akut Sts. in Cagayan de Oro City last 2014, Jana’s Sweet Spot has made a name for itself and is a place you should never, I repeat, NEVER  bypass if you ever find yourself in CDO.


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Jana’s Sweet Spot is known for its cakes, cupcakes, and silvanas which are made by none other than the owner and shop manager herself, Ms. Jana. You can be assured that there’s always a huge dose of love and dedication poured into every delicious creation crafted by Ms. Jana’s hands.

I keep going back for the shop’s silvanas! It is an absolute delight; a bite of heaven in soft chewy oversized cookie form.

Recently, though, Jana’s Sweet Spot has upgraded its menu and now serves crazy shakes! They come in different flavors such as chocolate, mango, strawberry, vanilla, and banana. I personally love the banana and chocolate flavors and they are called “crazy” for two reasons: the toppings range from huge cookies to tiny colored candy sprinkles and Ms. Jana doesn’t use whip cream… she uses butter cream instead! Now isn’t that a treat for sweet-toothed monsters like me?! Why yes, yes it is.

annual fiesta DESSERT-all-you-can buffet

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In line with the fiesta celebration the city prepares for, Jana’s Sweet Spot also commemorates such a special event by holding a buffet where you can stuff yourself with everything the pastry shop has to offer for one whole day and guess what? It’s for only 100PHP per person! You read that right! 100PHP FOR EVERYTHING IN SIGHT AT JANA’S SWEET SPOT! Provided, though, that you don’t take anything home and you don’t share your food with a friend (come on, guys. A true friend knows not to share food at a buffet). The buffet is still on going today, August 26, 2016, and will end tomorrow, August 27, 2016, at 8:00PM. Make sure to visit Jana’s Sweet Spot today or tomorrow and try everything out for only 100php!


Jana’s Sweet Spot

Address: Capistrano-Akut Sts., fronting Cosmopolitan Building, Cagayan de Oro City

Contact #:Jana – +639177989853

Facebook:Jana’s Sweet Spot

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