Sunday, November 7, 2010

Back to EK and my Christmas wishlist

Whew!

It's been toxic and stressful these past few weeks.  But it's good to be back!  I think I've got two months' worth of blogs to write, but for now, let me give you a rundown of my EK visit last October and my Christmas wishlist.

Field trips are what I missed when I signed up as a college professor.  Back then, it was just about research, research, research and research.  I loved being in the tertiary level, but basic education beckoned...and so, here I am, back to where I originally intended.


During the first week of October, we had a trip to Enchanted Kingdom.  It was kinda nostalgic for me, because the last time I've been there was when I was in high school in our own field trip (and I remembered, btw, that I was playing Side A's album for the entire duration of our way back to Manila).  At that time, there were fewer rides.  And we got to try out all of them since the crowd then was manageable.  But this time around, my goodness, I got to try only 2 rides!?! I heard from the customer service representatives that there were 6,000++ of us inside EK at that time.  It was like being in the middle of a humongous rally, only this one being a fun-filled queu for the rides.  Anyhow, we gamely lined up and patiently waited to get on the Anchors Away (a boat-like vehicle that goes from one way to another like a pendulum, or much like a boat sailing back and forth, up and down).  I think we also lined up for more than an hour to get to the Rio Grand Rapids, a circular vehicle that takes you sailing away on the rapids of EK....hehehe.  Yes, it was a wet and wild adventure, but it was so fun.

The classic Ferris Wheel.  Too bad the lines were just too long, I didn't get to try it.

Would you have the courage to try this?  I wanted to, but boy, the lines were so long.  I didn't want to get a sunburn, so I chickened out.  Hehehe.

EK has this sticker now for everyone who enters their premises.  
This sticker tag tells the operators that you can ride all you want.

 I just got to have a pic with their mascot!


Earlier during the trip, we trooped to Rizal Park at Luneta.  It was nice.  I don't recall ever setting foot here, so I took all the pictures I could.  Too bad we didn't get to enter Intramuros which was a stone's throw from the place, or even watch the world-famous Manila Bay sunset.  Maybe I'll just add that to my personal list of must-visit places.

Me and a colleague pose before the Rizal monument.  Count the flags on this pic.  BTW, that jacket on my arm was Sweetie's birthday gift to me  :-)

Hahaha holding hands with JPR

As for making Christmas wishlists, for the longest time, I've been wanting a pair of flats with a nice color to go with jeans or slacks.  I purposely shunned black or brown as I already own at least three pairs for each color, and I'm always wearing either a black or brown to school.  So when mom and I dropped by Naturalizer this afternoon and I saw this pair, I knew the searching was over.

Cute box.  I like the colors.

Nice, flat and comfy shoes.  It's not the typical ballerina flats, but they're really nice.  It's like walking on carpet.  That's what I really love about Naturalizer.

Close-up shot of my newest flats

I'm a stickler for shoes.  You can make me wear anything cheap or even secondhand (such as a hand-me-down blouse from my sister or mom), but I just can't wear cheap shoes. By cheap, I mean the ones you can buy for a thousand pesos or less.  I'm not brand-conscious.  It's just that ever since, my feet and my knees won't feel okay if I walk around in shoes that come with cheap price tags.  So what I do is I just invest in good pairs of shoes and count maybe five to ten years to replace them.  No kidding.  I even recently retired my favorite black high heels which have faithfully served me since college.
And speaking of shoe quality, I trust only Adidas for sports.  I've had a Nike in the past, which wore off way before my older Adidas pair did.  My old blue Adidas was still intact in everywhere else, except the soles due to the intensity and amount of treadmill I was doing for the past five years.  I had to retire it when Ondoy struck and I just couldn't wash off the mud anymore.  
So here's my other gift to myself, a pair of pink Adidas cross-training shoes!


Yes, they should be in my favorite color, pink!

Will this finally fire me up for a mean, regular workout?  Hehehe we'll see.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

(Foodie) Lovers? Yes, We Are!

...and I think the fact that my waistline is getting bigger is enough of an indication.

(Note to self:  must start hitting the gym really soon.)

Sweetie and I tried out Chef's Quarter two weeks ago with my mom.  We all worship at an evangelical church right behind SM Megamall, so scouring the humongous store for good food at lunch time comes naturally for us.  We three agreed to try out all the restos and fastfood chains at Mega, since we don't like repeating whatever we've eaten the previous week.  Some weeks we come across some lucky "food deals".  Other days are just...well, let's just say that's going to be my last visit.


Would you care for an entree?

Steak, steak and steak!

Pasta, anyone?

I'm loving the old-world charm of this mirror and vases.

Nice lighting.  But the air-con wasn't working properly.

Mom and I both ordered cream dory in a sauce that I forgot, while my Sweetie Pie got himself fish and chips.  The food was great, but the serving was just too small, even by women's standards.  It took them too long to serve the food too, plus the air-con was awful.  

I would want to come back since the food was good, but I think it'll take me a while -- maybe a year -- to set my feet on this resto.  
We walked out feeling a bit disappointed with CQ, especially comparing it to our previous week's euphoria with our last foodie find.  But then I remembered that I was supposed to treat the three of us to Tutti Frutti, so we hurriedly left and proceeded to TF's tiny outlet.


Don't be fooled.  Yes, Php 20 per oz but since you just pile and pile....

pile and pile all sorts of chocolates, fruits, nuts.....

This cup cost me around Php 130!  Whoa!

TF has many yogurt flavors to choose from:  original, mango, peach, green tea, choco-raspberry...

blueberry, pomegranate, death by chocolate....but my favorite is peanut butter!


Tutti Frutti is one of our most visited stores at the Atrium, and we can't get enough of their wide selection of yogurt and toppings.  Sarap!!!!!

Last Sunday, fresh from reeling about our Chef's Quarter lunch, we proceeded to HK Choi for some Chinese dishes.  I thought it's run by the same owner of Mr Choi at Galleria, but they're different.  They may make the same meals, but each one is good.  And yes, I'd love to drop by again for a visit. 


Chinese style!

It's much like Savory or Super Bowl, but the food was great.

My supermom took this photo.  We're happy about the food, as the smiles show  :-)

I'm loving the Chinese decors too!

This was my plate before they seved the food.  Guess what it looked like after we left the store.  :-)

The food was fantastic at HK Choi.  We ordered chicken and pork rice bowl, while Sweetie Pie ordered chicken rice bowl. It was absolutely mouthwatering.  We added siopao to the list, and boy, I just had to have tea thrice over from everything I put inside my mouth!  This weekly foodie gimmick is becoming too hard to resist, I'm surely gaining more inches and all in the wrong places!

Do drop by HK Choi Megamall,  and if you have the space, throw in a visit to Tutti Frutti.  These are the simple pleasures that make our Sundays doubly fun and exciting.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Level Up! A Pit Bull Experience

Yes.  You read it right:  I pampered a pit bull.  Scary?  Nah.  I think it was a wonderful experience, especially for a dog-scared (read: doggie phobia stricken) person like me.

Thankfully, this doggie was in a good mood when we took this picture.

People normally think of pit bulls as these monstrous, big bad doggies fit only for people with the same mean character and image that these four-legged creatures project.  I couldn't blame them.  Some years ago, even the U.S. banned the propagation and sale of these dogs because they have gained so much notoriety for being so fierce and aggressive.  Even dog behavior expert and National Geographic's Dog Whisperer TV Host Cesar Millan acknowledges that pit bulls have that willd and aggressive side that always comes out from time to time. It's no wonder they're the top breed involved in dog fights, something that animal rights advocates have long been rallying against.  

Dog behavior expert Cesar Millan with long-time ally, Daddy the pitbull.
Picture credits:  Cesar's Way

Cesar Millan's well-mannered pit bulls:  Junior and Daddy.
Picture credits:  Cesar's Way

I thought I'd never see an actual pit bull.  I only read about them from books or the internet.  But one day, a neighbor of ours decided to take care of a pair of newborn girl and boy pit bulls.  Sweetie and I curiously visited them, and to my surprise, they were not aggressive at all.  They were friendly, and instantly took to us as if were long-lost friends.  Soon, Sweetie and I found ourselves paying them a weekly visit and having them smell and lick our hands.  That was my closest encounter even with a dog, because the doggiephobic in me absolutely never touched a dog in my whole life.

Sadly, the puppies have been sold when our neighbor got sick recently and was no longer allowed to go near dogs or cats.  Sweetie would have wanted to buy the pit bulls but when we failed to show up at our neighbor's the week before, they auctioned them off to the first buyer waiting to buy the handsome doggies.  They were only two months old, but they were absolutely cute and behaved.

Last week, I found out that Tiendesitas was sponsoring a dog show only for pit bull breeds.  So predictably, Sweetie and I decided to celebrate our first year anniversary together in that part of the city.  And we came home happy and amazed because I upped the ante this time --- I touched a pit bull, err... I carried a pit bull puppy!

Level up!  :-)


Watch as I lovingly stroke this pit bull's head

I love this puppy!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Breakfast at Ortigas Ave

Come the 30th of this month, Sweetie and I will be celebrating the first year that we've been together as a couple.  Unfortunately, the 30th is a holiday for most of us, but not for him since his sched follows the American calendar.  So we did the next best thing: celebrate it in advance.

Since I've been mentioning for the past year or so that we both love to eat, the logical place to find us on this day is...yes, at a food joint!  Hahaha but wait, it's not just a food joint.  It's a big big bazaar of foodies galore!

So yesterday morning, Sweetie and I hied off to Ortigas avenue to try out the breakfast being sold there...and our verdict?  We'll definitely be back for more!


There are so many food stall along this road in Ortigas center.  And you can find the best deals.  Php 60 for a biggie size rice meal?  I'd say it's a good buy.

There's a variety of choices for every craving and palate.  There's even an Sbarro store somewhere.
We tried this:  Monster Burger.  The burger is just soooo good and juicy, it's even way more delicious than Brother's Burger.  Promise.

Yes, we dined in front of these buildings.

It's right in front of Oakwood, along the street where you'll find....

Strata 1000 and 2000.  But these booths are there only on Saturdays, 6:00am-11:00am.  Tuesdays to Fridays they're at Robinson's Cybergate, Pioneer.

Wanna dine here?  The place is open air, but don't worry.  The street has been blocked off for ultimate dining pleasure.

See the many people going to this place just to try out the food?  Sweetie even saw some Makati officemates who went there from work just to partake of the morning's gastronomic delights.

Ah, foodie galore!

Take your pick.

A customer thinks about what to choose.

Call center agents waiting for their food to be cooked....

Tempting dishes!

Happy customers!

Happy anniversary, Sweetie!  Thank you for the wonderful breakfast!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Cajun

I've mentioned in one too many posts that Sweetie and I love to eat.  No, we love to gorge on just about anything that comes out of the kitchen.  (Whew!  Mental note to self:  start hitting the gym before it's too late!).  From appetizers to main courses to desserts...wow, in the one year I've been with Sweetie, I can not name the many different places we've been to during breakfasts, lunches, meriendas and dinners.

Anyway, this post is all about this American foodie outlet in SM Megamall we visited last Sunday, and we just loved it!  I still think about that special spaghetti and chicken combo in white sauce.  Sweetie and I have been to a couple of places, and sometimes we leave commenting that the food was too salty, or that it was bland, or that the servings was just not right, or that the food was exhorbitant and that the staff weren't friendly, and so on.  I am so glad that for Cajun, the food was fantastic, the service was excellent, the ambience was just right, and that the price was affordable considering that every food ordered is already good for 2-3 persons.  Great deal really.

Do try out Cajun.  It's worth your every hard-earned penny.  :-)


It's Cajun this time for a food tripping couple...
See?  It's affordable, isn't it?

I think the pictures do the store "injustice" because the food tastes 10X better than how the photos project them to be!
So yummy!

Fish coated with a kind of cheese I forgot...Fried and served with fries...my favorite!
Shrimp and prawns...

I just can't get enough of this.  Mouthwatering chicken pasta by Cajun....