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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Vente Pesos

I am showing off my very own new generation Php20 bill courtesy of my darling sister who works at Bangko Sentral.

It has a different shade of orange than the old one and it really looked like play money (but hey, don't we all play with money?).

Just an observation, Manuel Quezon looked younger in the new generation version with a new hairdo that is similar to papa Piolo. The old money looks like the Lolo Manuel with a receding hairline.

And oh, the error that critics have been making noise of is the scientific name of the endemic animals. Here in the twenty bill, the Palm Civet should have been Paradoxurus hermaphroditus.

According to the Scientific Name website, the scientific name for every organism is comprised of a combination of two terms, the genus name and the species or epithet. Both of these terms are italicized and the genus name is also capitalized. 

Actually, I just realized that due to this 'error', my Php20 note has just become a collector's item.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Enoe's First Christmas

This is my Enoe's very first Christmas and we enjoyed it tremendously. But the one who loved it most is my daughter who couldn't decide which gift to open first or which toy to start playing with. Christmas is indeed for children.

Being just 10 months, I know my son had no idea what the happy commotion was all about, but I am certain he felt the joy of the season. For one, his Lola Mary and Lolo Lui came home just to celebrate the holidays with us.

By the way, this was our Noche Buena spread, cooked by no other than Mama - our sexy Chef!

We ate together as one family and sincerely felt the spirit of Christmas as the three girls who are taking care of our kids and our home shared the table with us. We had red wine which went well with the turkey but I struggled with 3 sips even if I already mixed it with coke and ice cubes. I felt my head spin and thought I saw Rudolf, The Reindeer.

We had a meaningful and happy Christmas. I hope everyone had a blessed one too.

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

We're ready!

I am excited for Christmas Day. This will be my little boy's first Christmas and Eone's first too as a big sister. We're all busy with the preps at home - finalizing the menu for Noche Buena, cramming with gift wrapping, putting more lights on the balcony, and last minute shopping. Last night, Mommy-in-Law went turkey hunting so I reckon that'll be the table centerpiece on Christmas eve.

The children's gift have started pouring in too, from generous and thoughtful godparents and friends we all love and adore. Chos! More are on the way according to my tarot card, hahaha!

Anyhoo, Eone was talking about Santa the other day. Although she is not a keen believer that it is Santa who gives her gifts, she fancies the idea of Mr. Ho Ho Ho. So I am going to hang these stockings made by my darling sister and see if Santa comes to put something inside tomorrow night. Geez, a toy will not fit in here but an iphone will.

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Santa from KL

This came from the mail today. It's from my colleague (and my son's godfather) from KL. What a pleasant surprise (although he told me he's sending something...)! I love receiving something from the mail, especially when it's a red box.

I opened and found this inside among other stuff for my other colleagues

I should put the present under our christmas tree and wait for the 25th before I open. But I am worse than I child when it comes to gifts; I can't stand not knowing what's inside!

Thanks Ric for being so thoughtful. I love the shawl. The embroidery and design is so Malaysian which make it even more unique and special.

So who's my next Santa?

Friday, December 17, 2010

My Name is Lucky

I am one heck of a lucky girl. Really.

Although I have had my share of misfortunes like the horrible hold up incident by the Ipit Taxi Gang, getting victimized by jewelry snatchers twice and pick-pockets twice as well, my good fortunes definitely outnumber the bad.

Take for example this incident few weekends ago when Mommy, Eone and I dined at McDonalds in Fontera Verde. After ordering food, I vividly remember getting Php1K bill from my wallet but put the change in my jeans front pocket after paying. The following day, we were on the road to Batangas when The Hubby asked me for cash (20s or 50s) to pay for the toll fee. I looked for my wallet and couldn't find it.

I tried to be as calm as possible; my first thought was I left it at home but my logical alter-ego reasoned out that it's impossible since I did not open my bag anymore when we got home the previous until we left early that morning. I tried my best to trace back the places and times that I paid for something and took out my wallet. And over and over, I end up with McDo.

McDonald's is a popular fast-food with hundreds of diners daily. The night we were there, it was so full we didn't have any parking space. There were also 2 birthday parties being held simultaneously. I knew my chances of finding my wallet were nil. Hubby said I better start calling the credit card companies and cancel my cards.

But I am not one to lose hope that easily. I tried to connect to the McDonald's website via The Hubby's iphone to check Fontera Verde's number. Nada. The signal (Globe) was weak and connection was very slow. So I switched to another game plan and called the delivery hotline and requested for assistance in obtaining Fontera Verde's number.

I called and politely inquired if anyone have found a wallet the previous evening. Instead of replying, the crew called in his manager. I repeated my inquiry. The manager asked for my name which I promptly gave. Then she said the most wonderful sentence of the day, "It's here po.".


It turned out when I paid for our food, I left my wallet at the COUNTER. Luck of all luck, it was the Senior Citizens lane and there was no lola or lolo after me.

If that's not lucky, I'd call myself blessed. I think I like the latter better.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Joys and Pains of Christmas Season

10 top things that make me realize Christmas is really just around the corner...

1. Traffic! The most festive time of the year in the Philippines is also the most difficult time to get from one destination to another without being stressed. I noticed the unusual build up as early as end of November, when all the huge malls started their annual christmas sale.

2. Rise in crime rates in Metro Manila. Yes, the crooks know everyone just got their Christmas bonus so they need to work double time to make sure they get their share too.

3. I have put up our Christmas decors, and so did my neighbors. Every city in MM has put up their street decors and major thoroughfares are adorned with lanters too. I particularly love the lights at Meralco. Well, they are the power distribution company and I bet they are not scrimping on energy.

4. There is a sale in almost every corner. Mall sales, bazaar, village sales, tiangge, warehouse sales and garage sales. All brands are selling at super marked down prices too. Just like the crooks, they want a share from your bonuses too.

5. Taxi devils drivers with horns (and fangs). All of a sudden they don't want to use their meters, choosy on the destination, and charge double.

6. Reindeer cashiers and baggers. While the santa hats being worn by the cashiers and baggers at Rustan's and Shopwise look cute and subtle, I find the reindeer headbands for the staff of a huge supermarket a bit overkill. We get the message that you want your people to 'wear' the Christmas spirit, but I feel sorry for some of the cashiers who struggle punching in the merchandise while keeping their antlers together. Makes me wonder what will the staff wear on top of their heads on Easter - a huge crucifix or an egg?

7. Wow, I have no garbage?. It is actually borderline funny and blood-boiling how the garbage collectors suddenly beef up their schedule during the last few days before Christmas in order to distribute their solicitation envelopes. In our village, during regular days they come every Wednesday and Saturday. Sometimes we complain to the Barangay when they don't come on schedule which is pretty often. But during December, they collect our garbage three times a week with different sets of basurero so they can give us different sets of envelope.

8. Everyone goes on a diet and it is called See-food diet. Company parties, family reunions, and get-togethers revolve around food and we all go around its axis. Aside from being pregnant, Christmas is the time when women have an excuse to over-indulge (read: pig out).

9. The 'heroes' are home. 'Tis the season to be merry and Filipinos are at thier merriest when they are home! December is the favorite month of Pinoy OFWs and balikbayans to come back to their motherland with their half-half children who can barely speak Tagalog (and are the center of attention in family gatherings because of their funny accent and pretty faces).

10. We The zombies hear mass at 4am. Although I don't anymore have the energy to follow this tradition, Misa de Gallo (Simbang Gabi) is one Filipino Christmas practice that I hope will last forever. When I was a kid, my sisters, cousins and I, tried to complete all the 9 dawn masses in exchange of a Christmas wish.

Do you feel Christmas already?

I hope amidst all these hullabaloo, we don't forget the real reason for the season. We all know WHO that is.


Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Shopping and Xiao Long Bao Sunday

The past Sunday was all about things unplanned and unexpected. Unplanned shopping and unexpected discovery of a new dining place.

First, we went to Focolare Carpentry Training Center to check their wood products. They were on a 3-day sale and we might find something useful for our home. We found a really nice 8-seater dining table made of mahogany wood but our current one was barely 10 months old. What do we do with a new set? In short, we ended up buying nothing but at least we now know a good place that offers made to order furnitures. Focolare, by the way, is a social project of the Focolare Movement for Men, Inc. - an international non-stock non-profit religious organization which aims to provide opportunities for out of school youth.

Anyway, as we were making a u-turn going back from Focolare, we heard this noisy Lady Gaga music blasting from somewhere. I thought, 'Wait, that noise was familiar and could only come from a sale!' And a warehouse sale of a popular kids' clothing store it was! The prices were so good I managed to complete my shopping for godchildren, cousins and nephews in one visit.

After my mini shopping spree, The Hubby said he wants to check out something from Anson's in Ortigas. But before we head to another hunt, I said I want to feed little Eone first. It's almost 5 o'clock and a late afternoon snack would be good to keep all three of us ready for more walking and shopping. It's been months since I last went inside Podium and thought there might be some new dining place worthy of trying.

True enough, we spotted this new chinese (or so I thought) restaurant at the 3rd level in front of Toy Kingdom. It is called Shi Lin and they have a theater kitchen showing off their chefs as they assemble dimsums and buns. Later on, we learned that Shi Lin is a Taiwanese restaurant known for xiao long bao.

They have only a few selections from their menu which was actually good (in a way) because it didn't take long (read: no discussions) for us to order.

Eone wants to have noodle soup as usual so we ordered Chicken Soup and Noodles for her. Note that there is an 'and' between soup and noodles? That was intentional because they served the noodles SEPARATE from the chicken soup. I'd recommend this one; the chicken portion is quite hefty.

Php130 for the ensemble

The Hubby chose to order Rice Pork Chop (he said this would be his dinner) while I went for the Vegetable and Pork Bun that I saw in the kitchen. Of course I also ordered the popular xiao long bao so I can compare it with that of Crystal Jade which was the best I had so far.

6 pieces for Php108. Not bad.

Since Xiao Long Bao is the house specialty, each table has a laminated instruction card that shows diners how to eat it.

Of course I followed the guide and immediately mixed my sauce which by the way was the same sauce I used for my vegetable and pork bun.

When my veggie and pork bun was served, I asked for a sauce and this was when I learned that Shi Lin is a Taiwanese restaurant and being that, Taiwanese cuisine uses ginger, vinegar and soy sauce in almost everything. No special sauce for the bun. That's sad, considering it was a bit a bland.

Php98.00 per order (2 buns)

After devouring the buns, I asked my little girl if she likes some dessert and ordered a cheesecake. What was served to us was a mamon-looking cake which made me doubt at first it was really a cheesecake. I was proven wrong, though, after Eone's first bite. To be honest, I only was able to eat a small slice.  (Server later came to check if the cheesecake was already served. She said she didn't notice us eating it. Well, my little girl finished everything within 2 minutes!)

a generous portion for Php95

Overall, I would say Shi Lin offers good food for a reasonable cost. The xiao long bao is delicious but not better than Crystal Jade. For light or afternoon snacks, the place is an excellent choice.

(Shi Lin Restaurant is at the 3rd Floor of Podium, ABD Ave., Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong City.)

Monday, December 06, 2010

I saw what you're wearing, but not your face

Two-inch heels, knee-high black socks and shorts? Hmmm.

I like her bag, though.

(The face-the-door tactic sure came in handy...maybe she didn't like what she's wearing either).

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Road Trip: Nasugbu's Munting Buhangin

It was one of those long week-ends and The Hubby REALLY want to go on a road trip. Our initial plan was to drive up north to Vigan or down South to Bicol but the 10 to 12 hours trip might be too grueling for the kids especially Enoe.

After considering dozens of options, we decided to take the kids to the beach. So off to Batangas we went.

The morning was kind’a gloomy and it really looked like it's going to rain but there's no way we are cancelling the trip as Eone was too excited already and was already wearing her swimsuit. True enough, as soon as we hit Tagaytay, it had started to drizzle.

We stopped at this new 'goto house' called All About Goto for a quick breakfast fix. Both Eone and Enoe love lugaw and I too, have not eaten goto (beef tripe congee) in months.

All About Goto - so small. Only 3 tables inside and 2 outdoors.


with egg... for both Eone and Enoe
After that quick meal, off again to our journey to our destination which is the Munting Buhangin in Nasugbu. It wasn't that far from Tagaytay (about an hour) and we got there a little before lunch.

The resort is nice and clean and for an entrance fee of Php170 for a day trip (plus around Php650 for the gazebo rental which can accommodate up to 10 persons), one wouldn't feel shortchanged.

However, the resort management could still improve their facilities by adding more toilets and shower rooms. Also, everything in that resort was with a fee. I was surprised when I was charged a fee for Eone's floater to be inflated. What? I paid a total of Php1500 for our entrance fee (incl. gazebo) and they couldn't blow air into a small salbabida (about 18 inches in diameter) for free?

Anyway, Eone had a great time splashing in the clean water and Enoe who gets nasty skin rashes when exposed to the sun (and heat) had a blast sight-seeing. It was his first time out of town!

My little girl who spent most of the day in the water...

My little boy who spent most (entire) of the day under the shade LOL!...

Munting Buhangin is located in Bo. Wawa, Nasugbu, Batangas. Visit their website for more details.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Sorry Doesn't Make It Anymore....

What will you do if you win the super lotto and someone revealed to the whole world who you are? Me, I will run away, far far away, for dear life.

But hey, there is something worse than that. What if some irresponsible, mega excited socialite revealed your name and YOU ARE NOT THE WINNER!?? What do you do?

Read the story here.

Great job, Tim Yap! Nakakalurkey ka!

If the poor guy gets kidnapped, you should pay for his ransom.  Even if indeed Miko Morelos won the lotto, why would you announce it? Even PCSO is too cautious in disclosing who the lotto winner is (thus, I don't believe there was a winner, hehe)

Anyway, after all the trouble and possible threat to the poor guy's life, all Tim's got to say is this?

and this...

Would an apology suffice? 

I'm so waiting for Brian Gorrell to update his blog :-)
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