The Pilgrim

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Looking for some comfort Western food? Then I would recommend heading to The Pilgrim. Located on 189 Maginhawa St., this hip new food haven opened four months ago in one of the best places ever for food-tripping. The Pilgrim is owned by chef Dennis Tan who studied different culinary styles in a few countries like USA, Thailand, and Cambodia. The inspiration for his restaurant came from the idea of traveling to different places and sharing, thus its name: The Pilgrim. 

Last week, I was lucky enough to be invited to a food-tasting event here where I got to sample some of their best-sellers. Here's what I got to try.
 Chicken Tenders
 Oven Brick Hot Chicken Wings
 Roasted Potatoes
Grilled Beef Salad

So first up were the appetizers. While the chicken tenders lacked a bit of flavor, the dip was very yummy. The potatoes were good but there was nothing special about them. The dip was also yummers. I am not a huge fan of the chicken wings BUT that's because I'm really not into spicy food. You know that all too well. I found it a tad too spicy for my taste. But perhaps it is something that spicy-food-lovers will appreciate. The salad was really good. I personally liked the dressing. The meat and the veggies sort of all go together deliciously with the dressing.
Wagyu Beef Burger
 Khmer Beef Curry
 Wagyu Hanging Tenders
Seafood Linguine Pasta

The Wagyu beef burger is to die for. The meat is so juicy, and it all tasted so good with the lettuce, sliced tomatoes and onions, egg, and bacon. As for the curry dish, I found it okay. No strong flavors or anything but there were lots of veggies in it. And I am also not fond of cooked veggies. I like leafy greens fresh, like in salads and burgers... Which brings us to the Wagyu tenders. The beef was delicious and flavorful, and the side of fresh greends and cherry tomatoes complements it just perfectly. I tried the seafood pasta despite my allergies (I always bring anti-histamine, don't worry) and I had no regrets. It was something that I would definitely order when I go back there.
Baby Back Ribs by Mr. T

The main event for the night was the baby back ribs. It is The Pilgrim's ultimate best-seller and you will understand why once you have a mouthful of it. The meat was very tender and flavorful, and the sauce is just perfection. I couldn't get enough of it, and I would highly recommend it to anyone who'd go there.
The Cure

The Pilgrim has an array of fruity blended drinks. I tired The Cure which is a mix of mango, papaya, wheatgrass and lime. At first, I thought it was a weird combination but it was actually suprisingly yummy.

Overall, I had a good dining experience at The Pilgrim. I would definitely come back there. It would be a really good place for recovery dinner after a nice night run at UP Diliman, yes? :)

Nike Women's 10k MNL: A Personal Race Review

Friday, May 15, 2015

It took me longer than usual to write a race report but here it is. This is for the Nike Women's 10k Manila which was held recently on the 9th of May at Filinvest, Alabang. 

Because of the Nike We Run MNL's absence in 2014, the Nike Women's 10k has been one of the most highly anticipated events this year. For the ladies, that is. Because as the event name suggests, it is an all-women fun run with only a single distance category: 10k. Same as the Nike We Run instalment in 2013, it was held at the latter part of the day. While back then it was in the afternoon, this year it was in the evening. The gun start was at 9pm. Which meant I was in my element. Because I do my normal maintenance runs in the evening, and I have a love-hate relationship with the sun. I love the sun when I'm on the beach and I hate it when running. Although the buddy system was implemented during the registration, it wasn't strictly done so during the actual race. Nothing in the rules said that we have to finish with our buddies. While waiting for the race to start, the hosts announced that there would be a special prize for the first 500 finishers. That was when I started to feel the pressure of it all. At first, I was simply set on clocking a new personal best for 10k. After the announcement, my mindset changed and I felt determined to be part of the first 500. I had to do it. I had to have that special prize, whatever it was. 

After waiting in the corral for what felt like a century, the gunshot finally came at 9pm with fireworks and silver confettis, no less. I started on a fast pace, weaving in and out of the runners in front of me, trying to avoid being crowded. When I finally managed to secure a nice distance between me and the "crowd", I changed my pace into a slower but steadier one. Since I was only running 10k, I didn't do my usual intervals. I ran as fast as I could whenever I can and slowed down a bit whenever I would feel a little out-of-breath. I made three hydration stops throughout the entire course. There were two hills, one of which made me struggle. And when I saw the "last 500m" marker, I sprinted to the finish line. There was a red carpet laid out for us at the finish line and I nearly tripped. Nearly. But I had done it. I bested my own 10k personal record and I got into the first 500 finishers (which I verified days later via the official results, because I just had to for my own peace of mind). 

It was, overall, one of the most fun running events I've ever joined. The race village was set-up at a four-tiered parking with the finishers kit claiming area on the first level, the baggage area on the second, Nike Training Club area on the third, and sky lounge on the fourth. The sky lounge is where the first 500 finishers claiming area is. And the prize? A second (and better) shirt apart from the actual race finisher shirt. The sky lounge also housed a DJ booth with hot tracks being played by one of the country's hottest female DJ's, Jess Milner, a hair braiding area courtesy of House of Braids, massage area, and cool photo walls for, well, photo ops. There was also an air-conditioned dome on the outside parking where comfy chairs were set-up so that participants could just relax. 

Nike Women's 10k brought all kinds of women together through this hip and happening event. It was a venue for newbie runners to level-up to the 10k category. For those who've been running for quite sometime, it was a venue for us to push ourselves to be better than our absolute best. For everyone, it provided an opportunity for ladies, girl friends, sisters, mothers-daughters, and what-have-you to bond and to have fun while promoting health and fitness. While it was a one-night only event, I'm pretty sure it did leave an impact on almost everyone who joined and it definitely empowered women to challenge themselves and be #BetterForIt.
ranked 182/8020 with a time of 1:04:56

P.S. To those selfie "runners", while this was a fun-run and we were all there to have fun, please observe proper running etiquette (these were actually discussed before the gun start) if ever you plan on joining another event. Like staying on the right side when walking to make way for faster runners. Like following the no-more-than-two-abreast to not completely block the road. And like not stopping in the middle of the road just to take a selfie. Because seriously, there were participants there who would have loved to actually run. Or you could just train, but whatever. Just saying. Again, common courtesy and proper etiquette please. :)