IssaEats: Grounded and Pounded


I honestly do not think that anything will come close to my favorite Fat Cow burger for a while but it doesn’t hurt to post some pretty ok burgers in between.

Grounded and Pounded which is located at the ground floor of One Pavillion mall along Banawa claims to be a healthier variation to the typical burger. With the tag line “It’s Not Just Healthy… It’s Grounded and Pounded”, I was sort of left wondering what was so healthy about it. I think it was the pesto sauce they used in it but to be honest, I really don’t know.

I don’t feel too good about giving a bad review but a friend encouraged me to be very honest with my thoughts and opinions which is the basis of a good blog so I will try very very hard to make this as decent as possible. Sorry if I hurt anyone’s feelings.



We walked into Grounded and Pounded right around noontime, hungry and excited to try out this new burger place that we’ve been noticing over the past few months. The first thing we noticed as we entered was that all the doors were open and that the air conditioning was turned off with the absence of an electric fan to make up for the scrimped ventilation. Not to sound like we can’t handle a little heat or anything but for an establishment located inside the mall, we were expecting that it would be fully air conditioned. Also, the reason why we decided to eat out was because it was too hot to eat at home in the first place. Since the place was pretty clean and it wasn’t suffocating us, we decided to stay anyways since we were all pretty determined to try the place out.



At first I was quite excited to order since there were quite a few selections to choose from their flip through menu such as the Banh Mi Burger (P109.00), The Gap Classic (P 99.00), The Gap Premium (P 129.00), The Gap Bacon Burger (P 144.00) and side dishes like Bruschetta (P69.00), Mojos (P89.00) among others. Unfortunately, the burger and the side dish that I wanted weren’t available and I ended up with a Gap Classic with Cheese (P 139.00) and fries. The menu stated that it came with mojos but they did not have those either which was kind of a bummer.


Maybe it was the heat or the disappointment from their scarcity in selections but I ended up not quite enjoying my burger. Although I liked the little hearts that the chef cutely placed on my chopping board, I guess it wasn’t enough to entice my already fading appetite. Also, if you’re not really into spiced burgers then you probably won’t like this burger either.


There were a lot of things I did not like about this place or the food but the service wasn’t really that bad. The place was clean so even though it was hot, we didn’t feel like we were being grilled liked our patties. There weren’t a lot of people so there wasn’t a problem with seating either and when my friend’s chair broke mid meal, the owner humbly apologized and provided us with a new one. But then again, chairs aren’t supposed to break mid meal, are they? haha. It could’ve gone worse, guys!

We probably went on one of our off days so I’m hoping that the next time we decide to drop by, they’ll have more items on their menu and that the necessary changes will be made. Grounded and Pounded seemed to me like a labor of love that had so much potential to develop and become more than it is. So even if I did not enjoy my first time there, I’m looking forward to seeing them improve for the next time we decide to try it out again.

Find out more about them here

A Round About Of My Planet Exchange Favorites + SALE Details!

 My closet has gotten such an upgrade since I first dropped by Planet Exchange at the 2nd floor of SM City – Cebu. I love being able to shop and not feel like I’m going over budget without compromising style and comfort which is exactly is it feels whenever I drop by their outlet. As you can or have already seen in my previous blog posts, Planet Exchange is a depot of style offering so many choices whether you’re channeling your inner goddess, if you’re feeling a dainty or if you’re just looking for something to casually lounge around in.

Below are my top 5 favorite looks so far but I’ve got soo many more for you to enjoy so make sure to watch out for that! Til then, I hope you enjoy these entries:


Weight Gain & Hair Loss


Smarty Pants


Find Your L(he)ight


In Mint Condition


Flowers In Summer? Groundbreaking.

Also, Planet Exchange will be having an END OF SEASON SALE this June 26- July 5 so if you’re looking for something cute to wear to the office or during wash days, make sure to make Planet Exchange a part of your shopping plans.




This Golden State

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Ok HONESTLY, I wish I actually had the time to just lounge around, play some good old NBA 2K15 (or Watchdogs or Second Son or Diablo- the list goes on…) but I don’t.

 Fortunately, I do have enough time to make a quick tribute to my home team, The Golden State Warriors who by the by, just won the NBA 2015 finals after 40 years! Also, to all the Filipinos who have made California their homes, this one’s for you!

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2015-06-23 01.27.44 1I think that it is also important for everyone to know that I have been madly in love with Stephen Curry for the past year. But more than my love for him, I think that he stands as a true role model for anyone who has been told that they couldn’t do this or that they weren’t “enough”.

A good friend of mine shared this article with me this morning and to anyone who’s ever been told that they were too short, too dark, that they didn’t fit in with the standards of typical beauty or any type of judgement- they only win if you let them.

We can be whoever we want to be and millions of people, not just Steph Curry, have proven it. There are so many inspirational people and quotes out there to get us through adversities and God bless each and every one of them but what good are all these things if it doesn’t start with you?

So glad to know that my future baby daddy is talented, empowering and not to mention; drop dead gorgeous!

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2015-06-23 01.27.50 1GSW Shirt: Adidas| Shorts: Gaisano Grand| Leather Jacket: Urban Republic

P.S. I didn’t not wake up like this

P.S.S. I am losing more money than I am making it. My brother now charges me P100.00 to take my photos. Negosyante sad diay. 😐 🙁 :'( :'((







IssaDreams: I Wish I Was In Malaysia


 Someday I wish to take this blog to different places and show you the world through my eyes- bright eyed and crazy! But in the mean time, I’m enjoying saving up money and widening my options when it comes to travel bucketlists and options.

I was lucky enough to experience what Malaysia would be like without even having to step foot out of the country when I was invited to Tourism Malaysia’s special campaign launch at the Marriot Hotel last June 10.


I got to witness the many cultural presentations of Malaysia and most importantly, my options were opened in terms of things to do and places to go to when I actually get to to Malaysia.

Here’s what I’d probably do:

* Release the inner child in me at Lego Land

* Admire the Petronas Towers great architectural structures in Kuala Lumpur

* Explore Genting Highlands

* Do some major shopping! Malaysia is, afterall, known as the 4th best shopping city in the world!

* Relax on their pristine beaches

Although I won’t be going there anytime soon, hopefully your schedules are a little more open than mine and you can explore this wonderful city with friends or family.

This year Malaysia is celebrating the theme “Endless Celebrations” and by using the hashtag #mybffxoxo, you may even get the chance to win a 3 days, 2 nights all expense paid trip to Malaysia!

DSCF0768Lots of love from my favorites, Toni, Jean and Sinjin!

For more information visit:




Hair Loss and Weight Gain



Yes, I cut my hair and yes, I put on some weight but it doesn’t mean that:

A. I broke up with my boyfriend

B. That I am depressed. Or in my case, more depressed than I usually am. I am a hormonal woman, after all.

With Cebu’s unforgiving weather, I realized that a good snip was the best remedy to my back rashes and overall discomfort. Despite my nonconformism to the lob (long bob) and with wise words from my best friend, Alex and Francis Lee of Bridges Salon, I opted for this bob and a shaved head which I wear with utmost pride. To everyone who has slightly overacted to my new look and how I’m ever going to be able to take photos- it’s just hair.

Hair Replacement Systems Australia


Over-sized vest: Planet Exchange| Dress: lilybridal| Leggings: Thirfted| Shoes: Adidas Superstars

As for the weight gain… You win.



Airport thoughts

Delayed flight, crappy day with a little consolation since I won some money at the Casino. This weekend made me do a lot of thinking and I’m beginning to think that maybe 3 days just wasn’t enough.

Maybe I just don’t know what I want… I Never know what I want.

Find Your L[he]ight



I recently did an interview and quick shoot with Stephen Suico, after putting it off for a good couple of years.  He asked me a lot of interesting questions that I enjoy being asked as a blogger such as: “Why do you think people blog?” and “what makes a good blogger?”

It took me a while to actually get on board to doing a shoot because I was not sure which direction I was headed towards as a blogger. I didn’t know if I wanted this to be a personal style diary of if I wanted to add a more commercial edge to it- I think my indecisiveness hindered my growth for a while, to be completely honest with everyone.

In the end, I decided that I wanted to create a personal blog that I could be proud of and what made me proud was having good content and quality photos. As soon as I decided this, it made it easier for me to grow as a blogger and to create entries that reflected who I am.



It is so easy to get consumed into something that you love doing. Sometimes, when you’re finally getting to that point that you’ve been waiting for for a long time, it gets overwhelming, the pressure increases and then it stops being kind of fun.  I cannot tell you how many times I’ve wanted to throw in the towel and just go back to a “normal” life.

So now when I feel like there’s just too much pressure from the real and online world like, having to dress up when I don’t feel like it or being pressured to up my Instagram game when all I want to do is post whatever I want as I please, I just stop for a while and I try to find my light. Or as this title suggests, my height.

I give myself a break and try to rid myself from the pressure.  I’ll blog when I feel like it or I’ll go back to blogging on Issatalks and when I’m ready to re-enter this wonderful world of glitz and glamour, then at least I’ve remembered why I’m doing it and why I refuse to stop.



So I’m dedicating this post to everyone who’s even been through a moment of uncertainty in their lives whether you’re a blogger, an employee, a businessman or a student. WE ALL GO THROUGH IT! We just need to find the things that make us get up in the morning and say, “I got this!”

For me it’s being able to share wonderful stories and experiences with all of you and knowing that you like it when I get emotional and real. It’s being able to create something out of the one thing I’ve been so passionate about my entire life and sharing it with everyone.  It’s hearing that you guys love what I do which makes me feel like all my efforts have not gone to waste. It’s a million and one reasons that I sometimes forget but it’s never too hard to remember. I hope you remember your one million and one reasons, too.




[Zara Blazer: Planet Exchange| Mint top: Pink Lemonade (@pinklemonstore on Instagram)| Skirt: Style HavenHeels: Zalora]



Photography: Stephen Suico

Check out his portfolio, he’s amazing and he is so awesome to work with! 🙂



IssaEats: Strike While The (Black) Iron’s Hot

I first heard about Black Iron from a friend and the second time after walking out from a nearby restaurant. Although I’ve never really heard any reviews about the place (except for when my friend mentioned it) nor was it packed with people on the night we passed by, I was still curious to check it out mostly because they served steaks and burgers. But mostly for the steaks.

I usually get to enjoy steaks when the men in my life make them for me (my papa  & Paolo) but since my papa has been away for a while, Paolo has been busy with life and the Casa Verde steaks just don’t entice me like they used to anymore- I dragged my mom down to Black Iron.


 Black Iron is located at the Ginza Compound in Banilad where their brightly colored walls that are heavily adorned with different brand memorabilia and a chalkboard painted wall made me want to grab a beer and talk sports with my own mother.

The establishment was roomy, the atmosphere was light and I was particularly in love with their staff who happily accommodated us throughout the entire evening. I am such a sucker for good service.

The place was clean and I also enjoyed the fact that I could see the kitchen through the glass fixtures in front of us. It was entertaining and I felt safer knowing that I could see what was going on in the kitchen. It was mostly their confidence that impressed me.




1 1/2″ Center Cut Boneless steak (@ P 1, 350.00), Ceasar salad (@ P160.00)


For P 160.00, I guess the salad was just ok. I usually prefer having more green options in my salad and I didn’t find the dressing too amazing either. But they were fresh and crisp, which is one thing that I like to pay particular attention to when it comes to salads. I just wish there was a little variation with the the lettuce.




Black Iron boasts of their high quality U.S. Beef and although I don’t really know what the differences are, the steak I had that night was pretty good. It was cooked to my liking, it was juicy, it came in impressive servings and it had flavor. I say this because oftentimes I’ll have a steak and I won’t be able to taste anything at all so at P 1, 350.00, I’m relieved that it didn’t feel like I was gnawing on cardboard.

I originally ordered my steak medium rare (I know you’re going to judge me) which I really did enjoy but I eventually had to send it back to have it cooked to well done because my mother refused to eat anything that had blood on it. The staff was very nice to us and accommodated our request and in a few minutes, it was like a was eating a completely different steak.

A couple problems I had with my steak though were that it took a surprisingly longer time to cook than expected, considering that I had it in medium rare and the second time in well done. I guess I should have paid more attention to the glass window which was there for that purpose so maybe I wasn’t really that hungry. Another problem I had with the steak was that it was a bit stringy and required me to take smaller bites so I wouldn’t choke.


As for now, I think I’m going to take a break from a thousand peso steaks and stick to the SnR cuts that we enjoy cooking at home.  Although I did enjoy my steak, I’ll be honest and say that my mom did not. But in her defense, she had just come back from the States and she probably had her own fare share of everything that is awesome.

So I know you’re all probably wondering if I would go back again despite the mixed review and my answer is yes, I would! I probably wouldn’t order the same things though but there were still a few things on their menu that I’m very eager to try out like their burgers and Monster Chops (P295.00).

Find out more about them here.



IssaEats: My (CURRENT) Favorite Burger Place


I’m not a food blogger, but I know my burgers (and pizza and steaks and potaoes and corn…). Paolo’s first birthday gift to me was an entire box of 4 cheese pizza from Yellow Cab; on our first date as a couple, I ordered a Cheese burger from Dong Juan; on out of town trips, I always have someone bring me back a burger and if mashed potatoes in a box were decent, we’d probably have them everday. Yep, that’s the kind of people we are.

Last Decemeber, I went to Manila to eat burgers. Unintended, of course but boy, did I eat a lot of burgers in a span of a week! And every chance I get, i’m always tasting new ones regardless of how affordable or pricey it is. Yes, I’ve tried Angel’s and Minute Burger; Yes, I’ve had the McDonald’s black and white burger even if I haven’t been to HK yet and it was only available there and yes, I did get a giant burger for my birthday. So what I’m really trying to say here is:

Burgers are my life, people. It’s not just a quick snack on the way home… It’s the main course!

So far, the top places on my list are: 8 cut burgers (Manila), Kri (Dumaguette), Backyard Burgers (Bacolod) and finally, Fat Cow here in Cebu City.

It is important that I make it apparent to you as early as now that I am a no frills type of burger eater. In the exemption of BB’s, I like my burgers based on the perfect blend of the right bun (even if I highly dislike bread), basic condiments, a quality seasoned patty made of course from good meat, and your everyday tomatoes, onions and lettuce. Oh, and cheese. LOTS OF CHEDDAR CHEESE. Burgers with fancy sauce just don’t cut it for me, they seem more like fancy sandwiches which is why I have been finding it so hard to find a local burger place to love here in the metro.



On one of our take out adventures, Paolo and I decided to try out Fat Cow located in BTC. I’ve been hearing mostly good reviews in the past year but since we live in the South, Fat Cow hasn’t really been a top priority to us. But boy am I glad that I suddenly got cramps in the middle of the car ride home which required immediate soothing thus, landing us there.


(Angus Burger P230.00)

In the 4 years that Paolo and I have been together, nothing has ever come close to his Charlies Grind and Grill angus burger but FINALLY, he has made room in his heart to a close 2nd. Priced at P230.00, it made me appreciate how awesome burgers were again after a long time of force feeding myself with generic tasting patties.


(Bacon Cheeseburger P190.00)

It if were up to me, I would’ve just ordered a cheese burger but since Paolo did the ordering, I landed with a Bacon Cheeseburgr instead. I’ve had bad experiences with these kinds of burgers because I can either not taste the patty because of the bacons overpowering saltiness or I end up not tasting the bacon at all because of the patty but this burger was just the right blend of everything and i’m going to exaggerate a little and say, it created a beautiful harmony in my mouth. Also, i. really.loved.that.patty.and.the.lettuce.was.not.soggy!!

Fat Cow isn’t one of those bang for buck burgers because honestly, it’s quite a pricey burger. With individually priced burgers ranging from P150.00 up, you’d still have to pay an additional P100.00 for a drink and fries. We opted out because 1. I wasn’t ordering, 2. Paolo thinks it’s high time we went on a diet. (As if not having fries would make any difference. Ha!)

With the well known fact that it is a bit of an expensive burger, I’ll still tell you that it’s a burger I would pay good money for! If I wanted a cheap burger, I’d go to McDonald’s and if you wanted something greasy and worth your money, Paolo would take you to Burger Joint. But so far, I’m feeling pretty accomplished and I can finally say that I have a favorite burger place in Cebu. FINALLYYYYY!!

Fat Cow is located at the Banilad Town Center. Find out more about them HERE

Til our next food adventure!

Issa (and Paolo)

P.s. I’ve decided to do more food blogs which will most likely involve Paolo because he knows food waaay more than I do. So let me know what you guys think of our new collab which I haven’t really told him about yet. Hihihi