Puerto Princesa trip 2010 + soundtrack

Four days. Ten tracks. One family on one awesome vacation. Oh yeah!

Day 1
And it’s you and me in the summertime
And all the sunshine banishes the dark

Track 1: Summertime – The Sundays

My brain was a mess. The day of our flight out and I hadn’t packed my bag—although I’d already planned out what I was going to bring, so that was a good thing, right?— and I still needed a couple of new shorts—all the shorts I owned were for use indoors only— and I wasn’t sure if I had any sunblock left and I really needed hair clips, too, and omgomgOMG I’M GOING TO PALAWAN!!! my brain kept repeating.

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Chowking’s new Oh!some Orange Chicken

I’m not a fan of having oranges in my meat. Desserts, maybe, but not my meat. Come to think of it, I’m not exactly a fan of orange altogether. Nope, not even orange juice.

So you can imagine my reluctance last night when I realized that the event I was going to—the event I already RSVP’d “yes” to—was an ORANGE event. Meh. But I went anyway. After all, I don’t exactly hate oranges, and, let’s face it: I LOVE FOOD.

So off to Chowking Rizal Drive, I went. Continue reading

I Enjoyed My Century Bangus Fillet Amidst Christmas Decors

Christmas Decors
One of our smallest Nativity Scene sets

So here’s the thing. Unlike most Filipinos who celebrate Christmas the moment September starts—y’know, “ber” months = “brr” = Christmas? — our family begins the Christmas season on December. Which means no Christmas songs, no Christmas decors, no Christmas ANYTHING in our house before then. But before you go thinking how Scrooge-like we are, let me make one thing clear: we don’t hate Christmas. Oh, no, on the contrary, we love it! We love it so much that we keep our excitement bubbling underneath so we can go all out in December. The moment December 1 hits, we send Christmas wishes, play Christmas music, prepare Christmas gifts, wear Christmas clothes, display Christmas decors, cook Christmas food, and eat Christmas food.

But only when December arrives.

This year, though, it’s a little bit different.

Tonight, we’ll be having our monthly family project, Dine&Jam. We don’t usually do Dine&Jam near Christmas because everybody’s already occupied with…well…Christmas, but this year we’re holding it today. Tonight. In a few hours, actually. And since today is oh, so close to December, we decided to make an exception to our  Christmas Starts Only in December rule. This year, we’re decorating on November 29th. Seriously, this goes against tradition!

This afternoon, while my brother went straight to the kitchen to cook for the evening, I went to prepare the decors. We got boughs of holly (fa la la la la, la la la la), wreaths, candles, old Christmas photos, and, of course, my mother’s collection of nativity scenes. (More about that in a later blog post.) Since almost half of our Christmas decors date back to my childhood years, I can’t help remembering past Christmases with family and friends whenever we start decorating. I get that warm, fuzzy feeling, y’know, and if this day were a movie, this is the part where “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” would play in the background.

One of the problems in Christmas decorating is this: enjoying it so much that we forget to eat. Haha! Okay, so we already had lunch, but by the time I realized that I hadn’t had a glass of water in a while, my stomach was already rumbling. But between Christmas decorating and preparation for Dine&Jam, it was a bit hard to move around to make something to eat, and the only thing filling and easy to get within my line of sight was bread. And a couple of tubs of Century Bangus Fillet. Sweet!

Century Bangus Fillet
Yey, snack time!

Whoever invented the easy open can is a genius. Oh, and of course, thanks to Century for putting the easy open tab on their Bangus Fillet. Good thing, too, because the table was too crowded to set up for merienda. We only opened one tub, and it was just right for all of us. Maybe we’ll open the other tubs for our midnight snack.

Tonight’s going to be a busy, busy night. Fun, yes, but very busy. But I think I’m pumped up with that Christmas-y feeling! And I’m pretty sure that the spicy, spicy, spicy Spanish-style bangus fillet kind of helped, too.

Century Bangus Fillet

Sachi Black: The Dark Nama Chocolate

Sachi Black at Heavenly Chocolates

I will never eat nama chocolates the same way again.

Tonight, I went to Heavenly Chocolates with my mom, Kuya JB (of Regali Kitchen), and ate Steph to try the brand new dark nama chocolates by Sachi. But since we were starving, we took a quick detour in Tempura. Japanese food always brings my happy place. When I told my brother this, he said, “Already?!” And he had every right to wonder, because we were just getting started.

With Benjie Pedro and the rest of the Heavenly Chocolates staff

At Heavenly Chocolates, chocolatier Benjie had us try the four flavors of Sachi Black: Port, Sake, Yuzu Vodka and Champagne. Continue reading

at ako’y biglang naging manlalakbay

Saturday: Scuba Diving at Anilao, Batangas
Left Manila at 3AM (arrrgh I was so sleepy!!!). Went snorkelling right after diving orientation, while waiting for my turn to dive. Got to meet a clownfish family (hehe) and a couple of giant clams, among others. Went for the dive around 2PM. Went below until 30 feet. IT WAS AWESOME. Went for dinner at Grace Sister of Rose (haha! that name always gets me.) Got home around midnight.

Sunday: Victory LB alumni homecoming at Los Baños
A long-overdue reunion. Had fun meeting people I had not seen in 3 years, which is mostly my fault for not coming to visit Los Baños in forever. Went to buy Mer-Nel’s cake for the family and for the roommates. Didn’t get to go on the last bus back to Manila, so we had to go to Calamba, and then Alabang, and then Cubao. Nyaharharhar. Note to self: remember that the last bus leaves at 8:30. Got home around 11 in the evening.

Monday: Every Nation Productions outing at Alabang
Killer Uno. Videoke. Lunch, lunch, lunch, and more lunch. Charoodles. A million laughs with officemates and family. Lunch, lunch. Frisbee. Nap under the trees. And more lunch. Haha! Got home around 7:30. Looked up at the sky and saw Venus, Jupiter, and Luna smiling at me 🙂  Texted everyone I know with a decent camera to please, please, please take a photo of it. This photo is by Beth.

What a weekend! Note that after every “event”, I went back to Quezon City to spend the night at home. Hay.

One thing I would like to change about myself is that I don’t travel a lot, no matter how much I would like to. But that’s going to change!!!


Craving for onion rings

I never have cravings.

Yes, there are times when I feel like eating a specific cuisine (say, Japanese, the cuisine I most automatically look for when eating out) but I’ve never really had cravings, in the strictest sense.

You can ask anyone in my office. Every day when lunch time comes and they ask where I want to eat, I just shrug and say, “Anywhere.” If nobody speaks up, then maybe I’ll step up and suggest a place just to get us going.

But today… Today was different.

I craved Burger King’s onion rings.

I was plurking as usual when Aileen mentioned that she was in Burger King. Suddenly, I wanted to eat lunch at Burger King, too. Suddenly, I wanted BK’s onion rings. And, suddenly, I was excited to go to lunch!

Until my officemates reminded me that there was no Burger King anywhere nearby.

HUWHAT?! IS NOES!!! But I wanted onion ringsssss!!!

My officemates suggested that I go to Brothers Burger instead so I could get my onion rings. BUT NOES! Brothers is a good burger place and all, but today I wanted Burger King onion rings. 😦

I was so disappointed. We went to the cafeteria to eat, and I didn’t have an appetite. My food would’ve been okay, I suppose, if only I wasn’t wishing that it was something else.

I went back to work, but I decided: I was going to have my onion rings. I never eat dinner out before going home (unless that dinner was to be followed by a movie with friends or something) but this time, I was going to eat out, and I was going to get my onion rings!

And I did. All peoples of the world rejoice!!!

Last week, I was supposed to get a free meal here in Burger King (and then I was supposed to blog about it) but I never ordered my free meal. I did blog about staying in Burger King, though, but since I didn’t eat anything, I had mothing to say about the food.

I think the food part comes now. Haha!

I was happy with my Whopper Jr. (which had just the right amount of yummy veggies in it) and I had my Coke, and I had my onion rings!!

On a side note, the single-serve softdrink cup is now HUGE! I mean, okay, it’s not phenomenally humongous, but, compared to the usual Filipino size of drinks, it’s pretty big. And okay, maybe they’ve been like that for a while now, but it’s been more than two years since I last ate at Burger King, and at that time their single serve drink cups were the itty bitty ones.

I love the cellphone recharging station here in Trinoma, by the way. As opposed to the usual thingamajig attached to the wall, and with cords hanging out of it, the recharging station here looked pretty nice. It’s wood and stuff. I can’t take a photo now, but I’ll come back someday to do just that.

Oh, and the “friendly Burger King crew” was definitely friendly. They rock.

Ahhhh. So, yes. Here I am at Burger King, blogging happily. I’ll finish my dinner and then go home, finally satisfied that I had my ONION RINGSSSSZZZ!!!

Food Review: Cyma Greek Taverna

[Part 1 of August 2, 2008: Sleep, Rain, and Spying on Burger King]

I left Burger King to meet with the amigas, and we made our way up to Trinoma’s fourth floor to eat atCyma Greek Taverna, a..err…Greek restaurant.

Today (or yesterday, since my clock tells me it’s the 3rd of August already) was the first time I ate there. I already eat Mediterranean food, but, honestly speaking, I’m not that much of a raving fan. I like it, yes, but it won’t pop into my mind when friends ask me where we want to eat.

Ah, but I think that changed today.

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Sleep, Rain, and Spying at Burger King

Burger King has (or had, depending on when you’re reading this) a thing for bloggers from August 1-7, 2008. All we had to do was sign up, and if we got into the 50 slots, we can bring 3 friends and eat for free at a Burger King branch of our choice. I signed up to go to SM North EDSA, and one of my best friends, Mi, signed up at the Trinoma branch. Ehe. Funny, both of us got into the 50 bloggers list. Now the dillema was: which branch to go to? So we said, “Yeah, we’ll see when the day comes.” Continue reading