Thursday, September 11, 2008

Philippine Adventure: Day 11 & 12 - Stranded

Day 11 - 9 September, 2008 (Tuesday)

It has not stopped raining since the Monday night sudden downpour. Most of the streets around Metro Manila were reported to be underwater. Flashfloods and landslides in some parts of the country hit by typhoon Mace were also reported. Tsk, tsk. Very sad.

And so, in account of rain, I just stayed home. I was also nursing a cold after being drenched in the rain the previous night. Sigh. Not a good time to be sick. My vacation is almost drawing to a close.

- o0o -

Day 12 - 10 September, 2008 (Wednesday)

The Cookies' day started around afternoon. My Cookie and his Ahia picked me up, then we went to pick up his Mama from Quezon City. It was still pouring outside, and when we got there at around 2 pm, we decided to have lunch at the North Park restaurant in Banawe. They said, it is the pioneer branch of the popular Chinese resto. And true enough, food there does fare better than from the branch we frequently visit at the Glorietta in Makati. We ordered for their signature dish Toasted Noodles, Salt and Garlic Pepper Squid, Yang Chow Fried Rice, and Lapu-Lapu Fillet with Tofu Hotpot. It was a pleasant meal.

After that late lunch, we started to head for Makati. It took us around 3 hours to reach Makati. Well, with all the rain and flood, it is but normal in the Philippines. But finally, we got to Makati and proceeded with our little shopping spree.

My Cookie got his Mama a Panasonic Washing Machine. After appliance shopping, we went to the grocery to buy our Singapore supplies. We shelled 1.5K PHP for the groceries, and there are still a couple more items that we need to get. It's just disappointing why the SM Hypermart didn't have the stock for these items. And so, we still need to scout other supermarkets for it. I intend to complete this task before Friday. Otherwise, there won't be anymore time to get them.

When the grocery adventure was done, dinner was served at Heaven 'N Eggs. It has been a while since the Cookies were there. And they have already changed the theme of the walls. The cute angels were replaced by an Eiffel Tower landscape. But the swings were still there! Hurray!

Here are some snaps. ^_^

The Cookies on the Swing at Heaven 'N Eggs. The banner in the background is of eggs with wings. Cute! :))

Shobe and Mama in matching white blouses on the Swing. :))

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Philippine Adventure: Day 10 - MOA Day

It's another shopping adventure for the Cookies. This time it is at the SM Mall Of Asia in Pasay City. I've only been to the MOA a handful of times and I don't remember ever seeing the entirety of the mall for the North Wing to the South Wing. Usual, we just stay at the central area - the Main Mall.

A little shopping until we got hungry. Lunch was served at the newly opened TGi Friday's at the Entertainment Mall of MOA. We had tons to eat for lunch - For starters, Three-For-All. I loved the Loaded Potato Skins. When we return to SG, I will attempt to prepare it. *wishful thinking* For the entrees, we had Filipino Liempo, half a slab of Baby Back Ribs, and Chicken and Shrimp Pasta. Too bad, we loaded up really quickly that there was no more room for dessert. Sigh.

At the entrance of the restaurant, they have a life-size statue of Wonder Woman, which was screaming for a photo opp! Hehehe...

And there is another cute little statue of an astronaut at the other exit. Here's a photo of my Shobe with the cute thing. Hehehe...
We all had a hearty laugh while my Cookie snapped this photo with my Samsung G800.
Even the usherette at the TGiF entrance podium found our little antic with the cute statue amusing. :D
This will definitely be a nice primary photo over at Friendster. Hahaha...

Some more shopping, until it was time to head for home. On our way out of the mall via the department store exit, we saw a church. At first my Cookie and I were debating if it is the church that used to be standing in the middle of still a vast area occupied by MOA now. When we got to the church, it indeed was that church - Shrine of Jesus, The Way, The Truth, and The Life.
And since it also happened to be Mama Mary's Birthday, we went in to hear mass.

After the mass, it started to rain. And the rain continued until late last night. If not for the rain, the entire shopping expedition would have been perfect. ^_^

Philippine Adventure: Day 9 - Family Day

We were invited to have lunch at My Cookie's Ahia Alvin's in Las Pinas. It was a long travel coming from Caloocan, but it was a worthwhile trip as everybody had a blast. My Cookie's three nephews have grown since the last time I've seen them in December last year. The youngest one - Adriel, now runs around on his own. And he is the cutest, with such a sweet smile and curly locks. ^_^ But, of course, as all babies are built, they just cry out so loudly and drive you out of your wits.

After lunch, during that idle hour, we played around with the camera and had some photo sessions.

We also strolled the SM Southmall for a quick shopping spree. And when our lunch of chicken barbecue had all been digested, my Cookie and I went for some pasta break at Sbarro. It has been a while since I had some Sbarro pasta, and how the prices has risen. We shelled 300 PHP for half servings of spaghetti and meatballs and baked zitti, plus two large cups of raspberry iced tea.

After refreshments, some more shopping, until it was time to meet up with the Mama and the others. Before heading home, we had a feat of playfulness and agreed to go for a quick roller coaster ride at the Storyland. Hehehe... It was a nice treat for us - Mama, Ahia Alvin, the Cookies and the kids Alger and Gelo.

It was already late when they brought me home, and we were all tired, but it was surely a fun day for everybody.

Philippine Adventure: Day 8 - George and Pia's Wedding

Congratulations, George and Best Wishes, Pia!

It is a wedding to be remembered indeed. Everything was well-planned and organized. And for this, congratulations are also appropriate to all who worked behind the scenes.

My Cookie is the Best Man and so we had to be at the Hotel Inter-Continental Manila early for the photo sessions as well as for some last minute stuff.

At 4 pm, 6 September 2008, it was time. The ceremony was officiated by Bishop Ted Bacani at the St. John Bosco Parish along Arnaiz Avenue in Makati. The Bishop gave the couple wonderful advices on married life and everybody sure found them worthwhile.

The reception followed at The Blue Leaf. The place was also wonderfully decorated. And the tables were nicely setup with pretty centerpieces.

The food catered by Albergus Catering was also great. I specifically loved the roasted beef and mashed potato ensemble. A wide choice of desserts were also setup including a choco fountain. ^_^

As part of the reception programme, a short video clip of the couples pictures were shown. It was a lovely collection of photos. George and Pia look so good together, and they picked the nice outdoor with pretty water and landscape as the venue for their pre-nuptial photo sessions.

For the entertainment, the newly-wed couple gave their guest a treat with a slow dance as part of their grand entrance. All the guests were surprised when Pia dipped George instead. Hehe... George's young nephews and nieces also rendered an upbeat dance number for the guests.

As the wedding party drew to a close, the Matron of Honor, the Best Man (that's my Cookie), the couple's parents and the couples themselves gave their speeches.

Again, Congratulations to the newly-weds. It is such an honor to be part of this special event in George and Pia's life. Hopefully, we'll see little Georges and Pias soon. ^_^

More photos over at my Friendster account. :)

Friday, September 5, 2008

Philippine Adventure: Day 7 - Pampered

Went to the salon to pamper my feet in preparation for tomorrow's affair. I availed of the footspa service as well as a pedicure. My shobe went with me.
After the pampering, a quick trip to the Chowking fast food right across the streen from the salon for some take away. I had the Bihon Guisado and Siomai. I passed for the halo-halo as we already had it last night at Sentro.
So, I guess I am all set for tomorrow. ^_^
I promise to post photos from the wedding.

Philippine Adventure: Day 6 - Shopping

Finally, it's time to do some shopping. Well, we only did some mild shopping as the Cookies still need some stuff to complete our ensemble for the wedding on Saturday that we're attending.

But before the shopping begun, I went with my Cookie's family to pay my Cookie's Dad a visit. It was a worthwhile visit.

Grabbed a quick lunch at the Glorietta 4 Food Choices. It's been a while since we had World Chicken platters - grilled boneless chicken breasts with any choice of dressing (ranch barbecue FTW!!!), 2 big servings of side dishes (macaroni salad, spaghetti, baked potatoes, and mashed potatoes FTW!!!)

We were filled to the brim. Burp! We have to shake it off first before the main event which entails lots of walking and lifting (of shopping bags! hahaha).

Timezone Glorietta 4 is just one floor up, and so it is settled. A little game won't hurt. At least for all the rest of the games I didn't beat my Cookie at. Hahaha..

There are several new games available at the Timezone, including a Deal or No Deal spin-off which pays in Timezone Tickets. You can win as much as 100 tickets (but the actual prize tickets won are divided by two, so that makes it only 50 tickets). I bagged 5 tickets, while my Cookie won 19 tickets.

My Cookie also tried the Fighter Plane game. Here's he shooting some enemy crafts. :)

Then it was time to proceed to the main event. Hehe... Let's get shoppings. A quick trip to Marks & Spencer for my Cookie's trousers. Got a reasonably priced on. The inventory and the cost is pretty much the same as that of the M&S shops in Singapore. And the service is even much better as when shopping in M&S in Manila, you get your own shopping assistant, unlike in SG where you are expected to manage on your own.

The trousers is done. Now, it's time to shop for shoes. We went to Mendrez, Florsheim, Rustan's, and all the other shoe shops for men that I know. Nothing in there that fits my Cookie's style and budget. Hehe... But after traipsing the mall for some more time, we found the perfect pair at Rockport. I also got a pair of nice comfy sandals.

Then it was time for a quick juice break at The Big Chill. Fresh Ripe Mango for my Cookie, and Fresh Green Mango for me. Yum! And then some more shopping. At some point, we got hungry and decided to indulge in some local food feast - Jollibee! Yeah, I already had my Jollibee day. But this is different, because it is a Jollibee day with my Prince Cookie. Yihee...

We had Palabok Fiesta, Jolly Spaghetti, Jolly Hotdog and Hot Fudge Sunday. Yum! ^_^

Next stop is SM Makati. Some more shopping for accessories - a belt for my Cookie and a bag for me to match the shoes and dress. And before finally meeting up with my Kumares to have dinner at Sentro in Greenbelt 3, we paid the Video and Music section at SM for a quick panic shopping spree. Bwahaha!!!

Spent almost 5 thousand pesos in video and music discs. Hehehe.. I got KC's debut album. I am interested to know how she sounds. Some Tagalog flicks that I can bring back to SG. I am still yet to find where in SG to get Tagalong flicks.

Okay, let's grab some dinner at Sentro, Greenbelt 3. Indeed, the food is interesting. A nice modern twist on popular Filipino dishes. The specialty of the house is their Sinigang na Corned Beef. We also ordered for Rated GG (galunggong fish fillet topped with crispy garlic bits, Sentro's rendition of Spanish Sardines?), Green Mango Ensalada (as my kumare Eileene said, it is indeed "kakaiba"), Ukoy (vegetable fritters), and Halo-Halo for dessert.
Here's a photo of the party. Sayang, kulang na kami ng isa, wala na si Iris, nasa New Zealand na. Sniff.

It was a fun day indeed. Tiring, expensive, but definitely fun! ^_^

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Philippine Adventure: Day 4 & 5 - Uneventful

Nothing interesting on Days 4 & 5. Most of the time is spent with my family or at home.

- o0o -

Day 4 , 2 September, Tuesday. After my Cookie brought me home after spending the night at his place, I just stayed in the house and idled around. The highlight of the day would be the great news from my cousin Rose.

My cousin Rose took the first ever board exam for Guidance Counselors in the Philippines. And as expected, she aced it! She ranked 8 among the 84 board exam passers. And this is a feat for her indeed, as she had only a week to prepare for the exams. I am so, so, SOOOO proud of her! See the article.

- o0o -

Day 5, 3 September, Wednesday. The day started early, and it was such a long day. Very early, at 8 am, we are already queued at the DFA (Department of Foreign Affairs) for my Mum and sibs passport application. My siblings' applications have already processed through. The passports should be delivered at our door on the 13th. Unfortunately, my Mum's have yet to be lodged due to incomplete requirements. For this, we had to drive down to the NSO (National Statistics Office) to secure her Birth Certificate. Spent 5 hours on the queue just for that sheet of paper. Sheesh.

Highlights of the day.

  • Finally had my Jollibee Day! ^_^ I got the two-piece chicken meal. I've missed it and it is really nice to have it again after a long time.
  • Found the perfect shoes for the dress I will be wearing at George and Pia's wedding this Saturday.
  • Had green mangoes. Yey! :D

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Philippine Adventure: Day 2 & 3 - Food Tripping

In the last two days, I've managed to pay my favorite places a visit.

The food places include TGi Friday's and North Park in Glorietta and Krocodile Grille in Greenbelt. I have also been to Timezone also in Glorietta and the Greenbelt 3 Cinemas.

Sunday evening, the Cookies hooked up with my Prince Cookie's high school buds for dinner at TGi Friday's. The boys had a lot of fun catching up and reminiscing their high school adventures. It was fun listening to their stories.

At TGi Friday's, there was a display of something very familiar to me and especially to my Prince Cookie... Here it is! Hehehe...

(Esso is my Cookie's employer in Singapore. ^_^)

After dinner, we had a go at the hoop and driving games, as well as other ticket-generating games at Timezone. Here is a photo of my Cookie driving an 18-Wheeler. :)) Honk! Honk!

The following day, I went with my Mum and sibs to the DFA to file for their Passport application. Well, they've revised the procedure, making it more cumbersome and painful for the applicants. Oh, let's just not talk about it. To cut the long story short, we have to make another trip to DFA tomorrow, hopefully our last.

After the quick DFA visit, we grabbed a late lunch at North Park. Then we hit Greenbelt 3 to see a movie - For The First Time. The very controversial movie by KC Concepcion and Richard Gutierrez.

I must say it was a total disappointment on my part. All the hype around it plus the television network feud and the endless word wars, I've realized, were just there to create noise for the movie. When in truth, aside from the beautiful stars and the wonderful cinematography (the movie was partly shot in Santorini, Greece), there really wasn't much of a storyline to brag about. Even the acting by the lead female is not so impressive. Considering her theater background, the acoustics is good, but the visual is not quite at par. Come to think of it, paying 180 PHP for the movie is just too expensive.

My Cookie joined us after the movie. We have set a date with his ex-colleagues for dinner at the Krocodile Grille also at Greenbelt 3.

During the same dinner, a rendezvous with soon-to-be-married Pia and George also gave us some time to catch up prior to the big day (on Saturday, 6 September 2008) where my Cookie is the Best man. Congratulations and Best Wishes to George and Pia! :)

So, that's how the last 2 days was spent. Today will just be spent at home for some well-deserved rest. The following days will surely be hectic again.