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Monday, September 17, 2018
10 TIPS IN BUYING A CAR WHEN IN ARIZONA FOR NEW DRIVERS

 And I finally got a car! After months of using the public transportation, I was able to snag this beauty. It wasn't an easy choice and it gave me sleepless nights but I was able to finally get one. Hopefully, the tips I give here would help you out.
1) DO YOUR RESEARCH. Go online and pick a car that is perfect for your needs. I got a SUBARU FORESTER because it's an AWD and it has the cargo space I want. The AWD would be perfect since there's snow in my place during the winter. I went with the base model since I don't think I need all the upgrades anyway.
2) VISIT A DEALER. Go to a dealer and get your questions ready. I went to SUBARU and TOYOTA before finalizing my choice. When you visit, make sure to maximize it. They'll let you test drive the car that you want. Before I settled down with my pick, I drove 3 cars. A Forester, Rav4, and an Outback. They could even let you borrow a car for a day.
3) BUY DURING A SALE. I was lucky that I bought my car during the labor day weekend. During this time, dealers are trying to sell their recent model as the new ones for next year are coming in. Usually, these are 0 APRs when you go through financing or they would give cash discounts outright. APRs is the interest that you pay when you borrow money for your new car. Getting 0% would mean the best since it's basically borrowing money for free. In my case, since I just newly migrated here, I don't have a long credit history, my credit score won't allow me to get that 0%. A work around would be to have a co-signer. Usually, it would be a close relative that has been staying in the United States that could accompany and sign the papers with you. Here, the financing office could use their credit score and let you get that Apr. During the time that I bought, I heard that having a 720 and above would get you that 0%.
4) BE DECISIVE. When I bought the car, I stopped myself a couple of times just because I needed to think about the cost and I kept on procrastinating. When I decided on what to get, the model I wanted was already gone.
5) DECIDE ON A DOWNPAYMENT. Paying for a car is quite important. The downpayment would also equate to how much your monthly payments would be. Make sure that you work around your budget.
 6) GET INSURANCE. Before you buy a car, check out and shop for insurance. Insurances are usually good for just 6 months but it would also depend on which state you are living in. Since you are just starting out, the monthly payments might be a bit high. If you go online, they could give you a quote right there and then. To give you an idea, I'm paying almost a hundred dollars per month. If you've been driving for a long time, it could go down.
7) TIME EVERYTHING. Once you pay and get a car, the dealer would usually have it go through detailing. As such, it might take another day before you could get it all dolled up. BUT, there has been instances that some buyers would insist on getting them on that day right there and then. They have this right but I opted for mine to be fixed and cleaned first. 
8) ASK FOR DISCOUNT or add-ons. It would be best to know and see the at-cost amount of the car. By going through the different websites online, you could compare the real price each unit has. It doesn't also hurt asking what else you could get for free. When I bought my car, I was able to see the AT COST amount and get free tint as well. Plus, they delivered the car to my place of residence after everything was done.
9) DON'T FORGET ABOUT PAYING FOR THE TAX. Where I am, the tax added around $3, 000. This plus other payments would definitely add to what you're paying monthly. SO, remember about adding a little buffer in your monthly budget.
10) ENJOY THE RIDE! One tip I need to learn is to use the car. It can get scary at times since the rules of the road is different from Manila but you got to start somehow. Look at that beauty. Love the color!


By the way, the dealer takes care of the registration for one year. You get a temporary one that is good for a few weeks. In case you haven't seen it, in Arizona, you only get one car plate for the back. Interesting right? Enjoy Driving!





Disclaimer:  This was written based on my experience and opinions. Information here might not be up to date or might be inaccurate. Please visit the state's DMV website for your inquiries. I'm not a subject matter expert on buying cars and the state law.
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Monday, September 10, 2018
KARMA SUSHI BAR GRILL: The Japanese Resto to visit when in Flagstaff, Arizona

 By now you might have been wondering, where is Jeng? ... I'm thinking about the same thing too. The past few months have been a blur. I've been to different places and have been bouncing from hotel rooms to apartments and even dorm-like residences. Don't worry though as I think I'm settling down. Recently, I just moved to Flagstaff, Arizona. In case you're wondering where that is, it's near the Grand Canyon. About a hour and a half drive away, you could say that this town is the perfect stopover.
 The town is actually almost 7,000 ft up. So, it's pretty cool here unlike Phoenix (don't get me started). To be honest, it feels like Baguio. Although, it could get pretty cold during the night. As low as 8 degrees C and even more during the winter. Yes, it does snow here and there's also a nearby ski resort to prove it. Anyway, I'm getting all mixed up talking about my left from my right when I'm supposed to write about my first decent meal in ages.
You see, I have been craving for some Japanese food. For the longest time, I have not had a good restaurant meal. If you've been following me (thank you very much), you would know that I would eat everything and anything but when I'm craving for something, I would move mountains and even fly out of the country just to get my fill. Thankfully, there was a highly recommended Japanese restaurant nearby. So, we visited KARMA SUSHI BAR GRILL.
 Located along the iconic ROUTE 66 and just across the Amtrak station, KARMA SUSHI BAR GRILL is a great place to spend your lunch, snack, dinner, and late nights. Other than serving delicious Japanese fare, they also have a number of drinks that would make any thirsty person jump for joy. So believe it or not, they have happy hour treats. To start things off, we had the pork gyoza ($6). It was a little bit oily according to my lunch mate but to be fare, it was just right for me. Gyozas, I believe needed to be "burnt" on one side to give it that color. Flavor wise, it was pretty good.

 You can't really go to a Japanese restaurant without ordering a roll. We went for the Paradise ($12). It had a number of ingredients that would make you question your decision but believe me when I say that it works. There's ebi tempura, snow crab, a little bit of jalapeno, with cream cheese, and topped with salmon. Although you might end up just tasting the cheese, you could definitely appreciate the flavors each part gives to the whole dish.
 Thinking about a different dish, I went for the SPICY TUNA SALAD. I was really happy when I saw the generous fresh cuts of tuna on top of greens, wakame, and a mayo based dressing. Even if it wasn't what I was expecting, this was pretty good.
 My lunch mate went for TONKOTSU. A typical ramen would be your tonkotsu. In terms of flavor, it's similar to some of the ramens I have tried in Japan and in Manila. If you're up for something warm, you can't go wrong with it. On the other hand, I wanted something simple and familiar. I ordered the EBI UDON. The difference between the ramen and the udon would be the type of noodles and the broth in which they are served. Ramen are generally heavy. Udons, not so much. I'm happy to report that, the noodles were al-dente. BUT, the broth itself is definitely UDON but I would have wanted KARMA SUSHI to have given it a little bit of twist to make ti more memorable.
Before I forget, the ebi tempura that came with it was pretty good. Not extremely good like the ones I had in Fukuoka and Osaka but they're decent. PROTIP: go on an off-peak hour. They could get busy.

KARMA SUSHI BAR GRILL is located on 6 E Route 66, Flagstaff, AZ 86001. They're open from 11am and would close either 10 or 11pm. Pay parking is available infront (parallel) and also across.




Disclaimer:Paid for the meal. Wrote this based on my own experience and opinion.
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Friday, August 17, 2018
CALLE BISTRO: EVER COMMONWEALTH'S NEWEST FOODIE PLAYGROUND

 I remember the time when this place was nothing but a plot of land. As I grew up, I saw some construction going and realized that it was going to become a mall. Decades later, I'm glad to see that 
EVER COMMONWEALTH has transformed a part of its building into a strip of establishments that would cater to the residents and visitors in the area. ENTER CALLE BISTRO.
 Last July 27, CALLE BISTRO highlighted and welcomed the different restaurants that would greet everyone in the area. A definite mix of outlets, there is something for everyone.
Big brands like Starbucks, Gerry's Grill, and Hap Chan are already open.
 Tea lovers would be happy to know that Macao Imperial tea is up and running as well. Aside from these joints, Elm's Kapihan and Winery and PUB Express are also in the fray.
 Within a few months, we could expect Tim Hortons. After, Twelve Bar, Cook the Bread, Teriyaki Boy, JT's Manukan Grille, Adobo Connection, Sisig Society, and Ima's Kitchen.
 Looking at the lineup, there is something for everyone. Soon, mini concernts and events are planned out to make the place exciting.
CALLE BISTRO is located at Ever Commonwealth parking grounds.







Disclaimer: This is a press release.
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Wednesday, August 8, 2018
GOJU NATURAL FRUIT INFUSION: Refreshing Drinks To Keep You Hydrated!

 Just recently, a new drink was introduced to the Philippine Market. GOJU FRUIT INFUSION is the perfect way to keep you hydrated while having a fun time doing it. Short for GO JUICE, these are fruit concoctions that came from SPAIN.
 Having 5 different flavors, there's something for everyone's taste buds. Aside from being packed with Vitamin C, these drinks boost energy and helps in their own way to help protect your health.
 Overall, these drinks are light and not overly sweet. Perfect with a snack or with your lunch.  The Orange flavor is reminisce to a childhood favorite. The Mango Orange is the perfect mix of two of my go to fruits. The White Peach Passion fruit is something that a number of my friends like. The pineapple, lemon, and passion fruit were the perfect mix. For someone that would want a little help with digestion and to keep the kidney healthy, you could go for the Raspberry Lemonade flavor.
Honestly, I was pretty impressed with how GOJU was refreshing and healthy.
GOJU is available at Landmark and Anson's in Metro Manila. Up north, it is also available in CSI Supermarkets. SRP is Php 39.00

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Monday, August 6, 2018
FIVE GUYS: Damn Good Burgers in Flagstaff, Arizona

 Ever since I came to the United States, I have been craving for burgers. I had a few but they weren't stellar. Thankfully, when I moved to FLAGSTAFF, ARIZONA, I was able to try out one of those great burger chains. FIVE GUYS. 
FIVE GUYS is known as a straight to the point burger joint that could fulfill your cravings. They have fries and even milkshakes that would go well with your meal.
 Ordering is pretty much just like any fast food joint. Order, pay up and then wait for your number to be called.
 While waiting, you could watch how the burgers are assembled and cooked.
 Better yet, you could get some peanuts just for fun. It's pretty much free so go for it.
 When my burger came, I was pretty much surprised. It was huge. I think ordering the bacon cheese burger was a bit too much. Specially, if you wanted fries with that. When getting a burger, don't forget that you could add whatever toppings you like.
 Aside from the cheese and the bacon, I realized that the normal bacon cheese burger, had two patties. Quite a mouthful, the meat was straight on delicious. Granted that it was a little oily, it's definitely a must try and worth your time and money.
FIVE GUYS is located on 1800 S Milton Rd, Flagstaff, AZ 86001. Of course, it has a number of outlets scattered on the west coast. Enjoy!





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Friday, July 27, 2018
THE CHOICE 2018: MAKE YOUR VOTE COUNT!

 It's your time to shine. The power is in your hands. Well, technically that's true. You see, this year's THE CHOICE AWARDS is about to happen all over again. 
For the first time though, I won't be able to attend. But definitely, I'll be there in spirit. This coming August 4, 2018, awards would be given out to different restaurants, people in the food industry, and even personalities that have been able to make a mark. Of course, it's up to you who they will be. This is a for you, by you, from you vote. Hence, it's personal so make it all count.
Last year, everything was opened up by these fellas. You can see the SPANKY on the left,  RANDY in the middle, and ANTON on the right. They made it big in this little place of ourse when it comes to food. They've definitely touched our lives one way or another.
 Last year, we saw a lot of our favorite influencers, bloggers, and food industry personalities mingle. It was a festive event. Hopefully, this year would be the same as well.
I sure miss my KTG family. Hopefully, I get to see them soon.
Also, just in case, you have the time. Please check out and answer this brief survey. 
Remember how it's a popular vote award? Well it's your turn to shine.
SURVEY: https://awesm.pl/TheChoice2018







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