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La Plage Beach Bar and Restaurant, Corong-Corong, El Nido, Palawan

Palawan, Restaurants By February 5, 2014 Tags: , , , , , , , 3 Comments

There is a cool little spot in Corong-Corong beach for someone who wants to just lounge all day, enjoy spectacular sunsets, along with some good music, drinks and food. I tell everyone about this place called La Plage. It is one of my favorite places in El Nido, as well as my daughter’s. Its spacious grounds, dogs, and shallow beach is good for kids who like to run around, chase after dogs and pups, and go dipping in the water.

We lived in Corong-Corong for the past eight months and we walk to La Plage when we want to eat. This part of El Nido directly faces west and its cushions make for a relaxing place to lay down and sip Pinacoladas, Thai Mojitos, and Mango Sex on the Beach. The place is owned and ran by a French couple, Bastien and Alec, along with some Filipino and French staff.

They hold parties with DJs and sometimes live music too. We were there for New Year and had such a great time.

In Corong-Corong, there aren’t a lot of restaurants to go to. There are Greenviews Resort and Restaurant and Stunning Vistas Resort and Restaurant, but other than that, there isn’t anything else. Through the months, a few little places have cropped up, like Ailyn’s Beach Resort and Sunset Bar as well as the little bar of Talindak Beach Cottages, but amongst all of these places, La Plage remains to be my and my daughter’s favorite.

If you are coming from El Nido town proper on a tricycle, look for this sign and this part of the road:

La Plage Sunset Bar and Mediterranean Restaurant, Corong-Corong Beach, El Nido, Palawan

La Plage is located on the right. Tricycle fare is Php15 per person.

If you are coming from Puerto Princesa, look for this sign and this part of the road, on your left:

La Plage Sunset Bar and Mediterranean Restaurant, Corong-Corong Beach, El Nido, Palawan

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Le Souffle by Chef Jessie at Top of the Citi

Photography, Restaurants By December 13, 2012 Tags: , , , , , , No Comments

A friend’s office Christmas party was held at Le Souffle by Chef Jessie at Top of the Citi on the 34th floor of the Citibank Tower in Makati last Friday and I went there to shoot it. They asked me to also take shots of the food, so I did, without really thinking that I was going to blog about it. But I kept coming back to these photos and making myself hungry that I thought, okay, I’m going to have to share this with other people, so they can get hungry with me. I love sweets. And these are just yummmmmy!

Top of the Citi by Chef Jessie

Top of the Citi by Chef Jessie

Top of the Citi by Chef Jessie

Top of the Citi by Chef Jessie

Top of the Citi by Chef Jessie

Top of the Citi by Chef Jessie

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Sea Slugs Beach Bar and Restaurant, El Nido, Palawan

Music, Palawan, Restaurants By October 15, 2012 Tags: , , , , , , , , , 8 Comments

My favorite at Sea Slugs would always be their Tanigue in lemon butter sauce and their Shirley Temple. That’s what I always order there. My friends who work for the El Nido Resorts always order pizza when they are in town from the resort.

We were there a lot that I took a lot of photos at different times. This is one of the places in El Nido that we could be seen just hanging out and about.

The restaurant is open the entire day and is a good place to have breakfast. If you’re going to have breakfast with a view like this, why not?

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I have photos of Sea Slugs taken in 2006 when they were just starting out. It used to look like this:

Sea Slugs Bar and Restaurant, El Nido, Palawan (2006)

Sea Slugs Bar and Restaurant, El Nido, Palawan (2006)

Here is the photo from my Before-and-After Photo-documentation Project.

Sea Slugs

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Lonesome Carabao Lounge, El Nido, Palawan

Life in El Nido, Palawan, Restaurants By October 6, 2012 Tags: , , , , , 1 Comment

One of the newer establishments in El Nido town, Lonesome Carabao Lounge, is located in Hama Street, and we passed by it every time we went to town. (We lived a few kilometers outside of town, in the direction of the Lio airport.) I heard about how good the tacos and burritos are but never actually went in. On this one time I decided to try it, I found it overflowing with people so I had to go somewhere else. In addition, my predisposition for beachfront places did not really help.

Lonesome Carabao Lounge, El Nido, Palawan

One rainy August afternoon though, I saw it empty, save for a few guests all on their laptops, so we went in.

Lonesome Carabao Lounge, El Nido, Palawan

Lonesome Carabao Lounge, El Nido, Palawan

My daughter, Lia, and I took this little table by the wall near the door.

Lonesome Carabao Lounge, El Nido, Palawan

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At the (New) El Nido Boutique and Art Cafe with Lia

Life in El Nido, Palawan, Restaurants By August 4, 2012 Tags: , , , , , , 4 Comments

One of the restaurants I frequent in El Nido is the El Nido Boutique and Art Cafe. The primary reason being, it is owned by our friends Tani and Judith Distal. In 2005, we frequented the shop because we rented our snorkels, masks and fins there, as well as mountain bikes; and bought supplies, like sunblock lotion, swimsuits, slippers, sandals, board shorts, and even accessories like beautiful bracelets made by a local artist. They also played live music every now and then because Kuya Tani is a musician. Our friends Armie, Cecil and Melona hung out a lot here, and Likha used to work here too. The food is good. I would recommend this place to groups. Most of all, I loved the over-all vibe of the place back then. It was so… artsy.

Sometime between 2005 and this year, Tani and Judith had a bigger building built to house the cafe, boutique and travel center. My first time to see the cafe in its new home was when I arrived a month ago. Judith, Tani, Cecil and I had a great time catching up over wine while Sikap band played (click here for that blog).

When Lia arrived, I took her to the cafe too to hang out. I also took that as an opportunity to take a lot of photos.

I took a lot of photos because at this point it still wasn’t as clear as I wanted it to be to me how my wide angle converter works. It’s still not that clear even up to now, so I still take photos of the same thing with and without the converter.

This is a normal shot of my kit lens, 18-135mm.

El Nido Art Cafe and Boutique

This is a shot of the same thing with my Vitacon .5x wide angle converter with macro lens.

El Nido Art Cafe and Boutique

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Bigg’s Diner, Pili, Camarines Sur

Camarines Sur, Restaurants By November 1, 2010 Tags: , , , , , No Comments

I was home earlier this year with Lia while H was busy with his first quarter meeting with the “United Nations” team. I always make it a point to eat at Bigg’s Diner every time I am home. There is one walking distance from my parents’ home in Pili. It is the one right in front of the Pili Elementary School, in the Pili town proper, next to a now-closed gas station (where I used to buy a pint of ice cream everyday the entire summer before I went away to college), along the National Highway.

Bigg's Diner Pili: A view from the Inside Out

Looking out into the street/parking lot

Bigg's Diner Pili: Counter, Tables, Chairs and Customers

Interior and counter where it is pay-as-you-order

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Saturday Lunch at Cocina Juan

Restaurants By June 27, 2010 No Comments

Ryan asked me where I wanted to have lunch. There is Bellini’s at the end of the street from the clinic and a Thai restaurant along the street, but I said I did not want to eat at either of them. I asked, “What about Cocina Juan? You willing to drive all the way to U.P. Village?” And that is how we ended having lunch at Cocina Juan.

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Baby Nathan’s Kitchen at the 49th Floor (Roofdeck) One San Miguel Avenue (OSMA) Building

Restaurants By April 20, 2010 8 Comments

We got our caterer and venue for Lia’s birthday party through our events planner. I was only supposed to get their kiddie party package but when we communicated online, the events planner told me she could also help me out with the venue as well. We have been looking for venues all over Quezon City and even considered the clubhouse in the village but there was nothing really concrete about our plans. It was a good thing the party planner got this venue for us.

The use of the venue/function room for 4 hrs is free with a minimum food catering booking of P15,000. In excess of 4 hrs, standard rate which is P1,200/hr applies.

Here are the following amenities as listed in Baby Nathan’s Kitchen’s website:

Amenities:

    tables and chairs
    mantle and tablecloths
    flower arrangement for the buffet table
    centerpieces for each table
    stage
    overhead screen
    podium
    sound system (amplifier, speakers, microphone)

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Cocina Juan

Restaurants By February 3, 2010 Tags: , , , 2 Comments

I have been wanting and waiting to blog about Cocina Juan, my favorite little eatery in Teacher’s Village, for so long now. It’s just that every time I was there, I did not have a camera with me or I didn’t have the opportunity or more like the nerve, to take photos. I have to admit that I am quite uneasy about taking photos of restaurants or food. It makes me self-conscious.

What I love about this little eatery along Maginhawa St. in Teacher’s Village is that, aside from its wonderful delicious Central American-inspired food, it is self-effacing. I don’t like crowded, noisy places and this modest place can always be counted on to have free tables; staff that is unobtrusive, polite and efficient; and more importantly, patrons that are nowhere near boisterous. I hate it when people at restaurants like to call attention to themselves.

We went to Cocina Juan twice this month. It was closed for an event the first time so we ended in Tomato Kick, my second-favorite eatery in Maginhawa St. It was open last Saturday though and boy, was I glad, because I was famished after that house-tripping we did in farther-than-Farview Sauyo. I didn’t get to take decent photos still though. Maybe next time as I am sure there will always be a next time.. and next.. and next.. and next, as long as I love Central American food, unassuming quiet little eateries and this place exists.

What is Cocina Juan?

What is Cocina Juan?

(This text is lifted from this site. Click to view original post.)

Cocina Juan is a Central American inspired restaurant, thus the tag line “Inspiration de Centro America, Plato para La Filipino”. The small restaurant started last July of 2008 and was the brain child of siblings Thomas, Juan and Karlo Adviento.

In the beginning, Tom, the eldest among the siblings, wanted to start a Mexican inspired restaurant. The idea largely originated from his trips to the US where the cuisine was first introduced to him. He then related the taste and flavor to his brother, Juan aka “Boogie” (a culinary arts graduate at Café Isabelle), who bought the idea and started researching and developing the very first dishes for Cocina Juan, while Karlo (an interior designer) drafted what he imagined to be a Hispanic interior and design for the restaurant.

Before the end of 2008, Tom needed to travel again for work but this time was assigned for 4 months in a country located in Central America called Nicaragua. While in Nicaragua, he was able to expand his appreciation for the Latin culture and was able to learn and experience the festiveness that was expressed through color, music, language, dancing and cuisines.

When Tom went back to the Philippine, he immediately added what he learned in Nicaragua to finally complete the brand of Cocina Juan. Cocina Juan is not only just a restaurant that offers your Mexican Filipino staple, but is now serving a wider selection of food that comes from different regions of Central America. Examples start with the Chimichurri sauce, a parsley based sauce that originated in Argentina and used to accompany meat (Pork or beef) or fish, another is the Gallo Pinto rice which is originally from Guatemala but is considered as the staple rice in central America, Sofrito is another spanish sauce which is partnered with Fish at Cocina Juan and lastly for dessert is the Sopa Borracha, a Panamanian Dessert which from the word “Borracha” means drunken.

Cocina Juan is a small restaurant located in the heart of Maginhawa St. in Teachers Village, when you walk inside you will feel like you are right at home, colors and music were adapted to the interior to share the experience of the travels to Central America to every Filipino.

Menu Front

Menu Front, you may click on image to view larger version.

I got these photos of the menu from their Multiply site a long time ago. A site, which according to Multiply and Google, does not exist anymore. I wonder what happened. Have they canceled their Multiply account? Good thing they have a Facebook page. Click to view and maybe, be a fan, just like me. 🙂

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Menu, you may click on image to view larger version.

This is Lia very much enjoying her meal of Nokia 5630 Xpress Music phone, with her foot propped up on the table. Feel-at-home much?!

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And these were Lia’s very-own-Cocina-Juan-play things. I like that plate right there. Actually, I had my D80 in one hand and a climbing-on-the-table Lia in the other, so taking photos was like, “Yeah, yeah, click, click, whatever. Composition? What dat?”

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The place is empty on a mid-Saturday afternoon, just the way I like it. We always take the outdoor tables even if we have Lia with us. I don’t know why. Maybe because.. “I love the outdoors”? *straight face*
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This is actually our favorite spot, when we don’t have Lia with us. I like hiding. 🙂
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While we were waiting for our orders, our red iced tea and lemon iced tea were served. I love their iced teas. It was followed by a basket of their complimentary nachos.
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Ryan ordered pesto con aligue pasta…
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While I ordered my favorite, quesadillas. This time I ordered Hungarian sausage quesadillas, for a change. I’ve had almost all the others except the sausage, because I don’t really like sausage.
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…and this is what Ryan recommended I eat. He said it’s what he ordered last time we were there and I liked what he ordered more than I liked mine and that we switched plates. He says this is Chicken Chimichurri.

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This last photo is a random shot of, “Whose bike is this?” resting by the wall, right next to the Cocina Juan signage, which is right next by the door, that at that time we were there though may not be there now, has a big native parol hanging on it. 😉

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To read what Anton Diaz has on this place, as well as see more photos, click here.

***

Cocina Juan

100 Maginhawa Street,
UP Teacher’s Village Quezon City
Telephone Number: +632 434 3911;
+63 916 317 8935
Email: cocina.juan@hotmail.com

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Bellini’s in Marikina

Family, Restaurants By January 15, 2010 Tags: , , , , 2 Comments

We accidentally found Bellini’s Marikina during our last visit to Lia’s pediatrician for her measles vaccine. Actually, our finding it was not really very accidental since we knew Bellini’s is around the area, as was mentioned to us by our good friends Abet and Hash, who had their anniversary dinner same day Bellini’s  celebrated their first anniversary in Marikina. (The original Bellini’s is in one of my favorite places in Metro Manila – Cubao Expo, formerly known as the Marikina Shoe Expo.) 😉

Bellini's Santa

Bellini's - unassuming through the years

Bellini’s Cubao, November 2009

Bellini’s is right across from the nearest and perhaps only available parking space in the area. I must say Marikina is such a nice city because it seems like a bigger and more spacious version of Quiapo. I always make it a point to buy fruits from the market across the clinic where fruits are cheap! This time around, walking from the clinic to the parking space, we also accidentally found a nice store to buy cheap brandless diapers and baby wipes. No need to go to Quiapo! Hoorah for that!

Bellinis interior

This is what you will see when you get inside. Though this is the view from my table, as you can see the doors on the left side. 😉

It was about eleven in the morning when we got to Bellini’s and it was empty.

Bellinis handpainted wall

A closer look at the painting on the wall.

Bellinis interior

Upon entering the doors, wall painting on the left, more tables on the right.

Bellinis photo wall

Photo wall on the right. Did not get to see a closer look though. Here, Ryan is showing Lia the photos while I eat.

The well-trained staff assisted us with our menu choices. We ended ordering the appetizer, which looked good on the table from where I was sitting.

Bellinis appetizers and cake

Little window at the back is the kitchen. The chef was making pizza. 🙂

Appetizers at Bellini's Marikina

Appetizer (composed of five different kinds of food); P300, small

If you know me, you will not ask me what these are, since I am absolutely stupid when it comes to food. I just eat away and don’t bother to know what I am eating. These appetizers were good though! Real good! I thought to myself, “Maybe next time I go to Bellini’s and just order the appetizers.”

And of course, since this is an Italian eatery, we ordered pizza and seafood pasta.

Lia enjoying her bread sticks

Lia looks like she is absolutely enjoying the food.

We had a hard time though with their high-chair since it was not ideal for kids of Lia’s age group.

Saliva-cious Lia at Bellini's

Us wearing our current favorite dresses. Lia is salivating on, either the food or the high chair. Though, literally, she was salivating on the high chair.

While we were eating, an Italian came in, we think Bellini’s son, came knocking at the door. Yeah, he actually knocked. Then he was chatting with the staff and then us. He even ran around my table to pick up the fork I accidentally dropped on the floor and immediately replaced it himself.

When we left, he was standing by the table of an elderly couple who came in about thirty minutes after we did, chatting away.

Our bill was about P1,100. Ryan said afterwards, “I think we’ve found a better Italian restaurant than Cantinetta!”

I shouldn’t even have to say that I love Italian and Mexican food. It might just be worth mentioning too that I do not eat Japanese food at all. 😉

Mama and Lia at Bellini's Marikina

“Yeah! We love this Italian eatery! You should come!” – Lia

***

For more on this Italian restaurant, read what this blogger had to say.

Also, read what Anton has. It’s informative and so much better than this post. Hahaha! Not that I’m competing, I am just documenting my otherwise boring life. 😉 Haha.

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Adarna: Food and Culture

Restaurants By December 13, 2009 Tags: , , , , , No Comments

We have probably driven past this resto a hundred times. I have noticed it before, but was always hesitant to go in because I thought it was some sort of resort. Hahaha. Like you know, with nice villas and a pool inside. Sometimes I thought, it’s probably a chic little private museum. Other times I thought it was a restaurant, but an expensive one where we could not afford any food.

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The courtyard

I love Kalayaan Avenue. It has all these cool little places that I make memories with. Like 9 Mile Bar. Like Pork Barrel, this kubo-kubo grill Ryan and I found ourselves one night we were trying to find a place to have coffee and beer and a quiet place where we could talk. Like this wine resto that is also a depot for native furniture. (Ha! Even BarKo in which we have unfortunately found ourselves one night). I lived in Kalayaan Avenue for one semester. My father rented out a big room for me, with its private bathroom at the back of this brick building that housed his then-office in the penthouse, where I was joined by my brother when he took up his masters in Ateneo de Manila. I almost know it upside-down, downside-up.

We had mass with Ryan’s parents because it was his mom’s birthday last Friday, at the Parish of the Holy Sacrifice in U.P. It was actually Lia’s first mass. I was not too happy about bringing her to mass because I know it was just gonna be hard on her but oh well.. We first thought of having dinner at Cocina Juan, since that is actually one of our favorite places these days, but we thought a party of six and a baby would not really fit in. We made it to Kamay Kainan thinking we were all gonna avail of buffet but the service there is awful, awful, awful, awful (I can’t seem to say it enough) that we left. We thought of eating at Trellis right across the street but Trellis was closed. I would say that this is another of those occurrences when a bad thing turns out to be a good thing because we ended up in Adarna: Food and Culture.

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The trees in the courtyard decked with Christmas lights and lanterns

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Doors at the dining area opening into the courtyard

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Little sari-sari store at the lobby. More dining in the courtyard.

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Dining is made more private with the use of dividers

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The view of the courtyard from our dining table

We were supposed to head back to Teacher’s Village, a convoy of three cars. We stopped to wait right in front of Adarna and I thought, why not check this place out? A waiter came out to meet me and I asked if I could see the menu. I only really wanted to check if the food was affordable. Having seen that they were, we then decided to stay.

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menu

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Nice plate! 😛 (coz I don't remember what this was)

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Again, don't remember what this was.

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It may seem obvious to other people what this is, but to me, it's not. Haha!

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I will have to improve my dish naming skills..

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Don't remember what this was called but it's a must-try! 😀

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This, I definitely know. It's halo-halo! Hahaha! Really, it is. 🙂

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Taking a moment to have photo taken at courtyard.

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It's Christmas season after all. 🙂

I would dare say, this place is great! Affordable food, wonderful ambiance, great service and all that. Love this place! We would definitely come back soon!

Outside the resto

The family, in front of the restaurant.

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Cantinetta at Rockwell

Restaurants By November 19, 2009 Tags: , , , , No Comments

Cantinetta at Rockwell

Cantinetta at Rockwell is an Italian/Vegetarian resto. Or at least, that’s what this website says.

We were famished after almost two hours at the Global Pinoy bazaar and could not decide where to eat. We were standing at the taxi stand from across the street and I was so wanting to have a Mocha Frappucino at Starbucks. We spotted one across the street. On the way to Starbucks, we wondered where to have dinner. It was the first establishment we passed by.

Cantinetta outside [1]

I was hesitant at first. After that ridiculous dinner at Cima in Eastwood and after a number of ridiculous dinners in places like Prince of Jaipur, Italianni’s, T.G.I.Fridays and even Claw Daddy’s, I was not too keen on eating in another expensive place – and hating it.

Cantinetta outside [2]

There were a bunch of real Italians sitting outside. A waiter from inside the resto came out of the door and approached us. I was apprehensive. I told him I wanted to see the menu first to see if I liked anything before deciding whether I wanted to stay or not.

Cantinetta outside [3]

It turned out to be a very good dining experience. Ryan said, “I think we have found our Italian restaurant!” …because I love Italian. 🙂

The food, service and ambiance were great! The waiters were helpful. Food was served fast. The bill and the change were fast too! The food was delicious! We finished the Pescatora (fresh seafood with tomato sauce)  we ordered. Though we didn’t finish the Quattro Formaggi (mozzarella, parmesan, gorgonzola and ricotta cheese) pizza we ordered because we were quite full, we did not have a problem eating it for breakfast the next day! Haha! I did not get to take photos of the food because we were sitting under one of the umbrellas outside where it was really quiet and breezy and we were only lit with a candle light. It was just so relaxing to sit there, eat good food and have a little bit of chit chat with a cup of macchiato (for me) and an Earl Grey tea (for Ryan.)

Cantinetta
Blk. 9 Hidalgo Drive, Rockwell Center
Makati City, Metro Manila
(02) 403-0145

Open from 11:00 am to 11:00 pm all days of the week

Click here to view the menu.

And well, I have got to say, you know it’s a good Italian resto when there are Italians eating. 😉

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