#YSObsessions: A traveling cocktail bar, salted tablea brownies, travel deals, and Star Wars kicks

#YSObsessions is a roundup of our current faves and recos, from books, movies, music, and games to a range of other stuff like online sensations, hobbies and activities, and maybe even our new favorite place in the whole world.

 

This week, we went to a hidden speakeasy to try the local equivalent of moonshine, celebrated the upcoming Star Wars pandemonium early with special-edition TOMS, got our fill of semisweet stocking stuffers in the form of rich brownies, and made smarter travel planning decisions. 

Proudly Promdi’s traveling cocktail bar and drinks

I got lost on my way to Proudly Promdi’s pop-up bar at Three Little Pigs in Kapitolyo, which turned out to be a secret speakeasy hidden in one of the restaurants in the area. But my efforts (and banshee screeching at Google Maps) were definitely rewarded when I finally sat by the bar and tried their bugnay wine and tapuey rice wine: the former takes its rich and earthy flavor from the local wild berry bugnay, and each sip of the latter is never quite the same as the taste is always changing, from something sweet and dark like coffee to something fresh and tangy like guava. Like its name suggests, Proudly Promdi is handmade in small batches by artisans in Ilocos Norte, and they promote discovering and enjoying local creations along with creating healthy and sustainable opportunities for winemakers. Now that’s something to toast to. — Fiel, copy editor

TOMS x Star Wars

Just in time for the coming Star Wars weekend — a.k.a the worldwide premiere of the latest trilogy’s last installment Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker — shoe brand TOMS launched new Star Wars-themed footwear. Check out their Luke Skywalker high-top sneakers, Darth Vader and Stormtrooper low-cut sneakers, super cute Yoda, Princess Leia, and R2-D2 kiddie kicks, and the more low-key leather TOMS-classic Alpargatas featuring Chewie and Darth embossing. I’ve been breaking in my presumably Wookiee-approved Chewie Alpargatas, and not only are they comfortable, but they look sooo good — so much that I’ve been stopped twice by strangers, asking where I got them. The kicker (no pun intended) about the whole thing is that it’s TOMS, so it follows their One for One model,  where they donate a pair of shoes for each pair bought. Talk about changing the galaxy, a shoe at a time. — Gian, art director

Salted tablea brownies from Manu Mano

There’s something about desserts that aren’t in-your-face sweet that really gives me an all new level of satisfaction. Mint chocolate? Yum. Salted caramel bites? Yum. So when Manu Mano invited us to the launch of their holiday treats, which included salted tablea brownies, I was most definitely excited. Good brownies are almost always moist and gooey, with chunks of melted chocolate here and there, but this one’s not your typical brownie. It’s dense and chocolatey, but it’s not your usual chocolate. It’s tablea, a.k.a. Filipino chocolate — and even better, it’s tablea from Auro Chocolate. I grew up eating tablea, and biting into these brownies reminded me of my childhood. 10/10 would recommend.— Bea, managing editor

Klook solo travel deals

One of the things I look forward to when travelling alone is the freedom to do whatever I want in an unfamiliar place. The thought of it is exciting and scary at the same time, and while my usual plan is to wander off to see where the wind takes me, I make sure to reserve one day for a planned itinerary so that I don’t miss any of the must-see attractions. Recently it’s been easier for me to do that with Klook Travel — booking an experience is as easy as a few taps. From a day trip to Nami Island in Seoul, to a tour of El Nido’s lagoons, I especially love how the itineraries are all set up and the prices are all in so I don’t have to worry about planning and making mental calculations on the day itself. PSA: since it’s the holiday season, they have a bunch of ongoing promos! Use KLOOKCHRISTMAS to get a discount on every minimum purchase of P5,500 on the website and app. — Gaby, online editor