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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Playing Paparazzi

My next door neighbor for the last 3.5 years is a very popular TV host-singer-actress and although I’m used to seeing showbiz pips (also from the hotel where I used to work), I still get curious when I spot them in malls or sometimes restaurants.

I particularly remember seeing Nina in Eastwood a couple of years ago. She was doing HHWW (holding hands while walking) with her non-showbiz boyfriend. Behind them was her 'alalay' in white uniform, holding Nina's super liit bag. Maybe it has gold nuggets inside so it's heavy and requires a yaya to carry.

Anyway, on my last trip to Sydney, we heard Mass at St. Mary's Cathedral and as we were heading out we saw celebrities also walking out of the church. Surprise, surprise!


Look at them. The very rich, powerful and popular Cojuangcos. Mikee, her husband Dudut, China, their Dad Peping, another sibling (perhaps) and I suppose a male relative.

I was surprised by their simplicity, considering they were overseas and catching people's attention will be less likely. Mikee and China were not carrying a bag. Yup, no LV or Channel swinging by their arms. No flashy jewelry that would make you wear shades even at nighttime. They didn’t even carry a DSLR. It was actually funny watching them take each other’s photo using their cam phone.

When they see Pinoys looking at them, they smile and continue walking like any regular tourists.

To say that I was impressed was an understatement
.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

We found Crystal when we're not looking...

Last Wednesday, I asked The Hubby to drive me to Wack Wack Twin Towers en route to home from work. As form of appreciation, I told him we can have dinner in a resto of his choice.

Our wheels brought us to Greenhills which was good because we haven’t tried all the dining places there. We walked through all the restaurants in Promenade, browsed through their menu but found nothing interesting (like steamed tiger balls or sizzling monkey brain, hehe).

We walked further ‘til we reached the Cinema area where we noticed groups of people waiting outside an establishment. Curiosity got the better of us so we walked towards the 'commotion' and realized they were waiting to dine at Crystal Jade La Mian Xiao Long Bao. (Whew! What a long name for a restaurant!)

Their menu was displayed by the entrance - huge and complete with yummylicious pictures of food. Beside the menu board was a huge window where diners and passers-by with no intent of eating will be hypnotized by the chefs' seemingly orchestrated flow of hands, ingredients, wok and fire.

Singaporean chefs doing their 'magic'

It was 830pm when we got there and even if it seemed impossible we’d be awarded a table before it closes, I took my chances.

Me : Miss, table for 2

Receptionist: Ma'am are you willing to wait for 1 hour to 1 and a half hours?

Me: Okay, we'll try to wait. Is the food worth the wait?

Receptionist: Try ordering everything since you waited for a long time (stupid answer, calling the management of Crystal Jade, your girl needs a script).

She handed me a paper written with "132". One hundred thirty one other couples were waiting ahead of us! Groups of 4, 6 and 8 have separate numbers too.

Anyway, the receptionist's queing time forecast was correct. We got a table at 10pm just in time before I lost my patience and start pulling other people's hair.

Thankfully our orders were served right away and amidst the chaos and noise inside the resto, we really enjoyed the food. I am no food critique blogger so pardon my dodgy photos as they were iphone pics. Also, I could not describe each item we ordered but the verdict was they were all good, especially the dumplings. Super yummy!


Spicy Cold Chicken


Pork Dumpling in Hot Chilli Sauce (6pcs, I ate one already before I took a photo)

Tips for those planning to try Crystal Jade: Arrive early (or bring something to keep you busy) and be prepared to shell out at least Php600 per head. Dont worry, it's worth the price and the wait.

Crystal Jade Greenhills is the first franchise in the Philippines of the same restaurant chain in Hong Kong, Singapore and Jakarta. They opened last September 13.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

And speaking of helmets...

Perhaps those who ride without helmets are just bored with the usual make and designs they can get from the market. Well, if you happen to be in Russia, you might be able to snag one of these...


When you just cant think of anything but the world....
Let's see if this bleeds, LOL!

For those who are in desperate need of Braiiiiiins!


Now here's something that is sooo like me... No sort of protection whatsoever but it sure looks fabulous, doesn't it?





(For other designs, check this site)

Friday, September 17, 2010

I dont want a 'piece' of your mind...

The best reminder for motorcycle riders that wearing safety gears means keeping their heads and limbs intact...

Also for everybody’s info, MMDA have started reimplementing the Anti-Littering Law. This prohibits anyone from throwing any form of garbage in the streets – that includes brains and guts of stubborn motorists.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Did the President like it?


If there's an entity that benefited or continues to benefit from the Manila Hostage Drama, it would be Emerald Garden Restaurant.

If I were to count the number of times Emerald was mentioned in the probe conducted by the Department of Justice, it would be close to a hundred. Plus throw in the comments from FB (that PNoy was dining at Emerald during the hostage crisis etc), and Twitter, it's easy to realize the size of free advertisement this Chinese restaurant received during the past 3 weeks.

As everyone knows, Jason and I were suckers for 'what's popular' so it's no surprise we decided to travel the miles to try the dishes the President ate at Emerald during the hostage crisis. Teka, ano nga ba kinain nya? We took the kids and the 2 nannies with us since it's a Sunday and we planned a side trip at Manila Bay. Mommy, who came straight from Baguio, followed.

Anyway, I won't detail the food or how it taste. I'll go straight to the verdict that we would dine at Mann Hann any time any day instead of Emerald.

While the staffs are nice and friendly, the food is bland and ordinary. Also, the resto itself seriously need some renovation or refurbishing at the very least.

Mommy said we should have ordered the siopao which is the house specialty. I actually did but they dont serve it on Sunday. Too bad, that could have been the highlight of the visit. Tsk, tsk, tsk.

So what taste good? Surely, there must be at least one dish that we liked, right?

All 5 adults agree the best they served last night was the plain rice.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Gay Crab Day

One fine Sunday, we decided to drive to Farmer's Market to buy fresh seafood. It's been at least a month since we last had huge crabs and Eone is craving for prawns as well.

So after hearing mass, we trooped to Cubao with the little girl so she can see the hustle and bustle of a wet market.

The market trip was uneventful except for the part where we had to choose male, female or gay. Male crabs are meaty, while female ones have more aligue or fat (what coincidence! I think the pun was intended, hahaha!!). What about the gay, you ask? It's simply a crab wearing a lipstick and the claws are with polish, what else? Seriously, it's a crab with a good combination of meat and fat.

I am gay, I love gay so I bought gay.

Anyway, as soon as we reached home I started preparing to cook the crab. However, I had a problem. The other helper took the Sunday off and will not be back ‘til before eve. Nanay Nita was busy with baby boy and couldn’t help with the preppy.

I love cooking but I dislike the cutting, slicing, mincing, and peeling part. Much more, I don’t know how to clean and kill a freaking crab.

But for the love of family, I tried.

Damn. I tried but failed.

After what seemed like hours of wrestling (and screaming), I only managed to clean half of one crab and broke one of its claws in the process.

I decided if I just cut the poor thing in half, it will be easier. No more struggle with 2 damn claws bent on snitching my fingers.

Then again I had another problem. I didnt have the guts to break the creature in half. It seemed to be pleading for mercy.

To make the long story short, I left the crabs alive (well, one partially mutilated) in the sink and decided to wait for Tess to come home to do the dirty job for me.


Hubby and Eone had the mussels' soup for lunch instead. My mom also brought us the night before a pot of Kare-Kare, delicious and hassle-free.

Fast forward to around 6pm, Tess arrived and massacred the crustaceans, all 3 kilos of them! I tossed loads and loads of garlic, ginger and shallots into the huge wok (don’t forget the oil), poured some water and added a pinch of salt and pepper. The crabs joined the ensemble shortly after. It took about 40 minutes and 10 checks by the little girl, "Mommy, is it cooked already?" or "Mommy, it’s red na! Ready na?" before I declared dinner is ready.



By the time Tess finished setting the table, Eone was almost halfway done eating one huge claw. Yeah, she likes crabs (and Mr. Krab of Spongebob, but in a different context).

Of course we didn’t finish all 3 kilos in one sitting. We ate it for around 3 more dinners. On the 3rd day, I was already tired of it that the mere smell of the viand made me dizzy.

Crabby revenge? The gay crabs must be laughing at me.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Bawal Tumawid

If I were to make MMDA signs, I'll make one like this


Or something like this for male jaywalkers along Quezon Ave.


This one is for those who can't wait to meet their 'maker'. This goes to EDSA.


Lastly, this one goes for every single stupid head who 'loves' to jaywalk



(thanks to MMDA Sign Generator, I had fun doing this!)

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Oh they start early!

Eone: Mommy, where's the iTouch?
Me: It's in my bag, but there's no battery.

She went to my bag, rummaged through my things, and found the iPod. She tried opening but nothing happened. She looked disappointed and asked, "Why no battery? I want to play with the iTouch"

Me: Ok, Im going up to recharge it.

After 1 hour, she followed me in the bedroom.

Eone: Mommy, okay na?
Me: No, not yet.
Eone: But I want to play!

I checked the gadget and it has a reasonable amount of charge already. I pulled it off the plug and handed to her, "There. I guess it's okay now."

She examined it and turned it on. When the iPod lit up, so did her eyes. Then she smiled at me and said, "Nice!" the very same way her Dad would.

Duh. She is just 4!

**********

Two weeks ago, I got a forwarded email from my colleague in Sydney. She told me I sent her a blank email and inquired what it was all about. I checked and saw the subject. It says: Eoneygggggffffttt45.

I instantly knew it was sent by my little girl who must have done it using my iPod (The Hubby synched my office email to gadget so I can check emails anywhere and anytime when needed).

After 2 days I received another forwarded email from my boss' wife.

It turned out she's been sending emails to 3 of my colleagues without me knowing it . The little girl can't deny it because she typed her name in each email.

Duh. She is just 4!

*********

We were without internet service for 2 weeks last month, thanks to Digitel. Every single day, I would call Digitel to follow up and shove to their face their very lousy technical service.

One day, Eone asked me, "Mommy, may internet na?". I was taken aback. Why would a pre-school who can't even read yet check about our internet service?!

"No. They still haven't fixed it. Why?"

"I want to watch the Final Down Down". She meant Spongebob's music video, The Final Countdown. She watches it on youtube.

Duh. She is just 4!

Sunday, September 05, 2010

That Little Tokyo Trip

The Hubby and I have been planning to try the Japanese food at this small hub in Makati. Some friends have been raving about it and I've read about it also in a couple of blogs.

So when the opportunity presented itself last Saturday (after watching the play, Sleeping Beauty of Repertory Philippines, with Eone), we eagerly took it and went to Little Tokyo.

The name itself would give you an idea of the place. It's all Japanese dining and everything is little except the price.

We went during lunch which turned out to be a dead time; 4 out of the 7 restos were still closed and business starts at 5pm. Influx of diners starts around that time too, and on weekend eves, you would most likely line up for a table. Well, that isn't very surprising because the dining places are so small, you'd feel like you're going inside a hobbit's house.

Anyway, we ate at the first restaurant, the one closest to the walkway. There were only 4 tables and all were occupied so we had to settle at the counter table. That's fine for us; eat ala carinderia style and it would also be a novelty for the little girl.

We ordered ramen for Eone, tonkantsu bento for Jason and tempura bento for me. We also added salmon sashimi and tamago sashimi as appetizer. Later we realized that the serving was quite hefty and our orders are better served at a table. Luckily, a group of diners left and we were able to eat properly.

The food is good; although I must say there is nothing extraordinary about them. For that price, I could have the same food at a very spacious Sakae Sushi or Sumo Sam.

I must also mention parking is horrible. Diners would have to park along the streets in the vicinity or take the Makati Cinema Square basement parking which isn’t that appealing as well.

Was the trip and effort worth it? I'd say yes. At least we've tried it and could cross it off our list of restaurants we want to try. However, it’s not a place we’d be recommending to our friends.

Speaking of effort, I’m putting a permanent mental note to self to NEVER trust cigarette vendors again in asking for direction. The moron could have told us he didn’t know where Little Tokyo is, instead, he told us to turn right at Arnaiz which turned out to be the ramp entrance of the Skyway!!! We had to go back from Terminal 3! Good thing the toll gate is not yet complete, therefore, no toll fees.

Jason and I have both been to Tokyo on separate business trips. He was there for 3 months while I went on 4 different trips. Both of us would love to go back to Japan together with the kids (probably when Enoe turns 2 and during winter!). Meantime, we'd have to be content trying out various Japanese restaurants around Metro Manila.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Happy Birthday Dad!

Dear Daddy,

You would have been 65 today, and happily retiring from the workforce. You'd be having a party, maybe not at home, but at SSS as your birthday and their anniversary fall on the same date.

For sure Mommy would cook your favorite dishes and you'll pack them all to work to share with your team. We'd probably eat out somewhere, perhaps in a restaurant that is not so fancy because you want everything simple. I am guessing KFC?

On the weekend, the whole clan would troop to our house to celebrate your natal day. You'd refuse the grand celeb, but as you also know, we would insist. Mom's siblings (and family in tow) would all come nary an invitation and sing the night away. You'd be sitting on the last 3 steps of the stairs (your usual place when the house is packed with visitors) and watch us from there - smiling, cheering, laughing.

This would be the way we'd celebrate your birthday on earth. But how about up there in heaven?

I wonder Dad, how does one celebrate a birthday in heaven? Which one do you celebrate in the first place, your natal day when you were mortal, or your angel birthday?

I imagine a table with loads of all the food you love. Meatloaf, sausage, ham, bacon, estofado, corned beef, lechon, soft drinks (loads and loads of it!)...practically everything with preservatives! I am actually cracking as I think of your birthday buffet spread. All the 'forbidden' will be there!

Have fun, dear Daddy. Mama will surely cook for you there, and Papa would probably stir some noise and you'd grimace in disapproval.

Happy Birthday, Dad. I miss you everyday, but I miss you more today.

Love,

Your Kikay
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