date and dine? why not!

this weekend, i was a secondary sponsor (yes, at my age! di pa ako pang-ninong! LOL) to an officemate’s wedding. since the ceremony will be at 8:30 AM, and being part of entourage, we had an earlier calltime than regular guests for the photo-ops. (been there, done that 😉 )

the couple actually offered us accommodations but i declined. una, dahil nahiya naman ako dahil gagastusan pa nila kami and, pangalawa, naisip ko kaya naman yun ng early morning drive tutal against traffic naman kami in the morning when people are headed for the city.

A thought it would be better to be in the vicinity na lang to avoid rushing and any freak accident that could cause traffic on C5 that morning. siya naghanap sa online and found Date and Dine Residences Antipolo. Magpatuloy sa pagbasa

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(big) family day

it’s not often that my side of the family get to visit us here in manila. so after we had our minor house renovation done and had it blessed last saturday, we had the opportunity to tour my two sisters’ families at Venice Grand Canal Mall.

i’ve been to Venice a couple of years back, thanks to a sponsored training-workshop, and i jokingly told them that “this is obviously an immitation of Venice. it’s too clean!”

but it does have that feel… my sisters’ friends ask on facebook, after posting the pictures, “are you in Macau?” mistaking it for The Venetian Macao hotel. 😀

i’m actually more happy for my parents, who are in their 70s now. they would find it hard to travel and see other parts of the world as i already have. well, it’s just 5 other countries (India, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, and Italy) but it’s still more than their trip score: 0. even if it’s not the real deal, i’m pretty sure they were entertained how different it is to the common buildings and architecture they’ve seen around pampanga and manila.

after an hour of just lounging around, we head back to pampanga. (i have violin practice the next day)

it was fun having a family day that didn’t involve just the three of us. and as i get older, i wish more and more that these bonding moments we have as siblings will become more frequent. 🙂

 

Tayo na sa Antipolo… at Tanay. :D

you know what i realized with this one? a nature getaway for the weekend is really really possible! plus, i got to know the limitations and capabilities of our car, weaving through the ‘bitukang manok’ (chicken intestines) of the foothills of Rizal!

so, this is the weekend getaway/birthdaycation gift to two of the important men in A’s life: our little bundle of kulit, and her father!

our first stop was the Antipolo Cathedral, a.k.a. the definitive destination for your car blessing. we didn’t go there to have the car blessed, but to hear mass. unfortunately we were a bit late leaving the house (as is common with pinoys, eh?) so i opted to go to adoration instead, albeit a quick one as the little guy was getting fussy outside the chapel.

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TIP: let yourself be guided to a parking slot if you are unfamiliar with the area. they’re really hard to find. we easily were found by one and offered us their homemade goodies. not sure if the prices were a bargain but the quality seemed pretty good as was the taste.

our next stop was the actual gift to the main celebrant: Pinto Art Museum. my father-in-law has a great appreciation for the arts, often looking at (and sometimes buying) paintings. no, these aren’t those “branded” ones — just the ones that he fancies (although i really think he wants one of them. i just don’t know yet his actual preference/ taste in paintings).

it was my first time in Pinto Art Museum as well. we still had our guide with us, leading our way in a scooter. we gave him P50 for the trouble although he didn’t ask for any. entrance to the subdivsion (road user’s/parking fee?) where the museum was located is P20.

at first, you would think, ‘yeah. this is nice and cozy.’ but once you explore it, you’ll need half a day or more to fully appreciate everything. and because it’s in antipolo, you have to be prepared for a lot of stair climbing. but the cool breeze and numerous resting spots help you get through the entire museum. we even had a snack in between our exploration of the entire place.

TIP: apparently, there are guided tours. perhaps when the little one isn’t little anymore, we could go with a guided tour to better explain the entire museum to us. i overheard a couple with a guide and the little trivia you’d here about the place would surely enrich the visitor experience a lot. Magpatuloy sa pagbasa

silantro at UP town center

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waiting outside is perfect time for chismisan.

alam niyo naman ang mga biglaang lakad diba? sila yung madalas na natutuloy. that’s exactly what happened yesterday lunch time. just as i sat in front of my PC and fired up messenger, a college friend asked me if i was free for early lunch. she said she had convinced another friend whom we’ve never met for such a long time and thought they’d want additional company. naturally, i said yes since i was missing them both too.

i walked to UP Town Center (yes, it may be a 30 minute walk but it’s not that difficult or boring. unhealthy, maybe, but not boring.) and met abi on the elevator to the 3rd floor. as we approached, we saw how long the waiting line was outside and saw jean. she said we were #12 on the list. so, take note… lunch isn’t the best time to go here. at least the waiters took our orders even before we got a table.

after 30 minutes or so, we finally got seated and in 10 minutes, our food was ready. and i wasn’t prepared for how much food my 2 girl friends ordered! way too much! or maybe i was just having a ‘weak’ day that day… haha!

i ordered a burrito and paired it with a beer. they ordered paella, nachos, quesadillas, and chicken/beef skewers. (of course these aren’t the exact names of the items. just check their menu. :D) i ate 2/3 of my burrito plus some of the things they ordered. and no wonder people queue up for this place… the food was really good. and you could have your choice of dip/sauce… have it mild, tangy, or spicy.

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i took the picture early so we don’t look PG. di pa na-serve yung ibang food! 😀

anyway, after a long chat and lots of belly rubbing, we each had to go back to our jobs. and it was fun making chismis and catching up on friends. i wish we could do that more often. maybe 2017 is the year i make that a resolution: more friend meetups. not just during occasions like birthdays or holidays. just a “hey, how have you been?” meetups.

traveling is <3

no wonder mga galing ng developed countries eh nahilig mag-backpacking trips. you get to see the world and learn from it — the people, the culture, the good and bad.

sa local travel, medyo ok-ok pa tayo lahat eh. it’s like going to a family member’s home. bibisita lang. same pa din (halos) yung ugali so adjustment isn’t really a thing much. except for language siguro. pero mostly, you’ve got living and communicating down pat. iba pag sa ibang bansa.

my first trip outside of the country was to India. and it was a solo trip. exciting and scary at the same time. pero it kinda set the tone for my traveling experiences which is generally well and good. there are instances na maba-badtrip ka sa kapwa mo pa pinoy pero brushing it aside and focusing on the adventure that lies ahead, mapapangiti ka talaga.

the next trip was a barkada trip to Malaysia and Singapore. yun ang adventure talaga. may plus and negative sides ang traveling in a group pero it’s generally more fun. you get to share experiences and when you meet each other, you have that shared memory that you can talk about when you’re all old and grey. 🙂

yung sumunod, another ‘business’ trip. more of study actually because like my first trip, it was for work. lumevel up na nga lang ang lolo niyo: Europe ang destination ko! and it was truly something else. ever since, i’ve been bitten by the bug and wish to see it again as often as i can. and it only emphasized how much Manila could have been such a great city if we appreciate history as well as Europeans do, and plan our cities like they do.

finally, my last out-of-the-country trip was the funnest yet: family bonding in Hong Kong. there, we met-up with my niece and her family and became our unofficial tour guides and travel coordinators, LOL! the highlight, of course, was going to Disneyland. just walking the street with music you’re oh so familiar with brings a wide smile to anybody’s face. i just felt like a little kid again! nevermind the long lines. i was in “The Happiest Place on Earth” and i was really REALLY having a blast and that’s all that mattered! 🙂

kung di mo lang talaga iniisip ang gastos, masayang i-explore ang mundo natin. it feeds your eyes and your soul. it creates that feeling that you’re connected to these other people you don’t know. and the thing is, when they share their country with you, you share your own with them.

SCTEX and NLEX on our first Tarlac (semi-)adventure! :)

i don’t remember ever setting foot in tarlac. so i was quite pleased and excited when i was asked for a lecture in tarlac city over the weekend. A and the little pumpkin tagged along and were mostly asleep during the trip.

it was a bit tiring and traffic was bad on NLEX because of the vacationers and long weekenders. more cars mean higher probability of accidents and breakdowns. on a regular day, because NLEX and SCTEX are now one road network, the trip should only take less than 3 hours from taguig. (i remember Baguio taking only a little over 4 hours from cubao! imagine that!)

well, they are expanding the roads, adding additional lanes, so tiis-tiis lang muna.

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arriving late on saturday meant lectures until early evening. by the end of the day, i was really really pooped out. the next day, we started late since the students stayed up late downloading data and doing stuff unrelated to my work. but by the end of the afternoon, we were off and on the road again. it was a rainy trip back to pampanga where we spent the rest of the long weekend. it got a little scary because of the poor visibility but since there were few cars, it was easy to navigate. besides, i have waze. 🙂

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Magpatuloy sa pagbasa

purposeless walking

i’ve never heard of it but i do this kind of thing. but i think we have turned it into “malling”. window-shopping is a bit different because you are somehow intent on making a preliminary survey of what you want to buy. malling is just chillin inside a mall. you may eat, you may watch a movie, you may just sit in one of the benches. nothing is planned. you just want to roam the mall just because.

BBC says purposeless walking is dying slowly. and perhaps it is true even here. because we rush through our shopping. we have no time to enjoy the mall. time is a luxury no working class filipino has.