Archive for December, 2014

December 31, 2014

Bye Mom, see you real soon 😘

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Mom off to the departure hall without me. Feel so kesian/kawawa for her cos she has to carry all that alone. Praying she’ll be ok and be surrounded by kind and helpful people during her journey.

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I love you Mommy! We may not have the greatest conversations when we’re together, we may not have much in common and we’re total different personalities, but know that deep down, no one can replace you Mom. I love you, even if I may not say it or express it the way you’d understand but I do love you.. take care!

December 31, 2014

Lunch at Yabu with Mom. #lastday

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Mom said she wasn’t craving anything in particular, so I asked her to choose between Chinese, Japanese or Filipino cuisine and guess which one she went for?

At the Glorietta 5 branch!

December 31, 2014

Second Auto Rental. #differentcar

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Car plate number VED 280. This time they gave me a silver car. Still the same.Toyota Altis Automatic car model as before. Just a different color. Although I liked that the car color is lighter, I kinda miss the feel of the black one I used a week ago. I was expecting that I would be assigned the same car again today but much to my disappointment, I was wrong. This one seems heavy on the wheels and the light inside doesn’t work. Even when all the doors were closed well and tight, the lights on “door” dial doesn’t go off.

December 29, 2014

Dinner at Robinson’s Galleria.

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Photo of mom in front of the Robinson’s Galleria mall entrance. After resting for a bit upon check in to the Go Hotels Ortigas branch, I started  feeling hungry so told mom we should look for food. Good thing about this place is that the mall is just about 5 minutes walk down the road.

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Since mom couldn’t stop asking for milk fish (bangus), I figured we could look for local restaurants like Gerry’s Grill cos I was also craving for tofu sisig. But there wasn’t any Gerry’s grill there and so we walked around and was about to settle with “Mangan” but I figured we could walk around somemore and explore. Ended up at the foodcourt and saw Davao Tuna beside Kim N Chi. Mom saw the bangus Sinigang and liked it while I prefer to stick with what I already liked before. The beef stew combo from Kim N Chi.

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December 28, 2014

Worst Up Dharma Down Concert Experience.

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First time to watch a concert with mom. Although she didn’t seem very much interested in appreciating music, she sat through it all I guess just for me.

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6:40pm the concert finally started after being about 40 minutes later than scheduled. First band that performed, The Charms, was lousy. I was dreading why I ever made the decision to watch a concert knowing how impatient I am. But since we didn’t have anything else planned for the night, I thought “oh what the heck”.

Then when the second band came on, I was surprised to see Gogo the bassist on stage! He was playing for Yolanda Moon band! And I liked what I hear!

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December 27, 2014

Christmas Pressies!

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Finally got the time to open my Christmas gifts! Just before we check out from the hotel today, while waiting for them to serve our breakfast in bed, I took the time to see if I got what I wished for.

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Two of these are from Mart Sio, got them since our department’s gift exchange last Dec 12, and since he already got me the reading lamp, I wanted to save these extra gifts for Christmas!

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Thanks to mom for taking this candid shot of me excitedly opening the wrappers!

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Yay!!! I got the comic book I was eyeing on!!! Whoah!! “The death of Archie, a life celebrated.”

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And he even managed to get a copy of this! Sweet Valley High’s Confidential : Ten years later! Awesome!!! I totally didn’t expect that I would get everything I asked for in my wish list, but all glory to God for this wonderful blessing!

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I even got Christmas special present from Lauren! Also comic books but in Tagalog. She knows me now hehehehehe! Love it!

The Pugad Baboy series and Alamat Gubat story.

Thank You Lord for these thoughtful friends! :):):)

December 26, 2014

Tagaytay Vacation. #day2 #boxingday #ChristmasinTagaytay

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7:30AM – Started the day early and drove down to Bag of Beans! Breakfast Buffet for Mommy dearest and I. Although I was still full from the buffet dinner we had the night before at Taal Vista Hotel, I couldn’t miss the chance to let my mom try out how cool the ambiance in this restaurant is. This is still my favorite breakfast place, even better than Antonio’s!

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9:30am – After breakfast, thanks to Google Maps GPS, I was able to find the Puzzle Mansion! Apparently this place has the world’s largest collection of puzzles and even got in the Guiness Book of Records for this. Hm. I was actually disappointed that it wasn’t exactly as LARGE as I thought it was going to be. The place I meant. Entrance ticket was 100 pesos per person. And it was just 1 hall which had all the puzzles framed up and stacked upon each other which was why I thought they could have done better. The picture below though, behind us is the LARGEST puzzle in the world. Which was pretty cool. It really was very large, with 250,000 pieces if I’m not mistaken.

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By 12:00pm – We proceeded towards the infamous Sonya’s Garden. Although the place has a very cozy feel with lots of antique and vintage feels to it, I was not very impressed. Especially the fact that they do not serve ala carte food in their menu. More buffet! AAaaargghhh.. It’s actually a bed and breakfast place, nicely arranged with a garden landscape. I guess nothing much to rave about their food then. So we skipped lunch, just took pictures of the place. In which I also have to say, I was so dumb enough to forget to fully charge my Lumix baby. So I was stuck with low quality photos from my Cherry Boom Boom.

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This is called the “Proposal Garden” where there’s a private table set up for I guess people who wants to propose? But where’s the surprise in that??

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13:30pm – Onwards to Caleruega! I’m impressed by Google Maps! It managed to get me to the Church! Let me just say, it was pretty risky driving in Tagaytay with very poor and unstable mobile network signal. So I’m glad I got both Smart and Globe in case I could switch between the two. Smart had better connections obviously.

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Poor mommy had to walk all the way up the hill to that little chapel where I went April last year with Lauren, Marky, Kimster and the bunch. I’m thankful that God gave her strength and she was still able to walk around with me so much. I do feel pity for her cos she had to do so much walking, which was why I decided to get the car since that was the best option and she could just relax, sleep and rest while I drove her around.

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Mandatory Caleruega Photo! Closer to nature, closer to God!

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And of course, the beautiful Caleruega Church. Awesome view. I just wished there were less people though. All our photos were filled with photo bombers behind us. There was even a wedding going on that day we were there. I mean, why would people choose to get married on Boxing day?? Really people. Aaanyway, because of the wedding, I wasn’t able to bring mom to explore the inside of the church.

On our way out of Caleruega though, I was rather annoyed by the kids who were begging there. I mean, I have no problem with them begging, but the fact that they actually block the road on the way out, with a string and two kids would stand at each end of the string and when you’re suppose to pass it to exit, they’d use that stint to stop you and try to get money out of you. Tsk. Really spoils the tourism points here. No trying to sound mean, but I really think those managing the church should do something about this.

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I cannot begin to explain how horrible traffic was at Tagaytay. I mean, it was insane. A usually 7-minute drive from our hotel to Taal Vista would take us a little over an hour! That happened last night. So naturally, I would expect the same thing today on our way back to the main road from Caleruega. It was horrible, I think mostly everyone was heading towards the sky ranch and thats whats causing all the traffic. Well, after passing through the sky ranch, I decided to drop by Robinsons to get a knife so mom could cut up the fruits we bought. Oh my goodness, the traffic there!!! I had to wait in the car while mom went ahead to get the knife and some drinking water. That also took a while since mom had to line up among many crowds in the supermarket too!

After we managed to get out from that place, which was a little over 6pm, we headed onwards to RSM Lutong Bahay for Bulalo! I mean, you get to Tagaytay, you have to eat Bulalo di ba? So there we were, and I was glad we were early because there was still parking and when we left, the place started really filling up. I knew about this place from the last time Factset’s CSR team came by this place for lunch after an outreach program. I saw that the place looked pretty decent, and I just didn’t remember it was actually a really big place! Look at the whole backdrop behind us! What I didn’t enjoy from this experience, was the band that serenaded us there. They didn’t ask permission from us whether we wanted them to serenade us and didn’t even had the courtesy to ask us if we wanted any particular song. They just played, and then didn’t leave us until we tipped them! Talk about being bluntly rude. 😦

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Well, we left around about a little after 8pm, after also visiting their little souvenir shop where I got some coin pouches as pasalubong for my roommates. Mom also got some as gifts for cousins and relatives left back home. Aunty Lumih and her family is helping out with taking care of nenek while mom is here on vacation with me.

So that sums up our day 2 Christmas vacation and bonding with mom. I’m pretty glad that we pushed through with this Tagaytay plan. It was quite nice being able to travel around in our own timing.

December 25, 2014

Christmas 2014 in Tagaytay. #familyChristmas #TaalVista

8:00am – Depart from NAIA Terminal 3 after picking mom up from the airport. Her flight was delayed so she only arrived here around 6:00am and by the time she got her luggage and get out from the arrival hall, it was almost about 7++ am. Stroll around and took our time, plus I was driving extra slowly.
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9:16AM – This shot was taken as we finally arrived in Tagaytay City itself.
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With my mommy dearest in the passenger seat!
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I finally get to say I have had Breakfast at Antonio’s! The place looked really classy and “sosyal”. But I was greatly disappointed by the food that they served. Seriously. With the price of 500++ for this Eggs Benedict with Salmon, you’d expect them to serve it in bigger servings right? And how plain is that?? Half a banana with cinnamon and one measly pineapple ring with cinnamon again? Tsk….  Not what I expected at all.

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A shot behind the restaurant where we could get a sneak peak at the Taal Volcano.

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After breakfast, it was still too early to check in the hotel, since the check in was at 12pm, I figured, it was only 10:30am and we could stroll around the city before we head to the hotel. Brought mom to the Taal Vista hotel to make a reservation for our buffet dinner at The Cafe Veranda in the hotel. Reserved our seats, and was told the buffet nett per person would cost 1,599 pesos. Ok. And off to the Sky ranch we went.

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The Sky Ranch was overly crowded. Entry per person was 80 pesos, but I decided to skip that since it was quiet sunny and hot but there was a bit of drizzling rain. So we didn’t actually went inside to see what else there was to this theme park.

Off we go to check in the hotel and have a good rest. Destination Hotel! It’s quite convenient as it’s just beside the road but yes, you won’t be able to see any signage that points to the exact location. I just somehow knew from the trademark Cityland Building. I was disappointed once again that they actually got the check in time wrong from the Agoda page. It wasn’t 12pm check in but instead, remains at 2pm. So we just lounged around the lobby and mom took a nap on the Sofa while I tried to take snaps shots here and there.

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After we managed to finally check in, I was happy that the rooms were very new and clean, well, sort of clean. I was upset that I found left over trash by previous guests that was in the cabinet under the sink and the housekeeping didn’t clear that out. All in all, the room was not too bad. There was a full length mirror which I really enjoyed. The balcony view was amazing! We were staying in room 1810 and if I get to go back there again, I definitely wouldn’t mind this room again.

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So from 2pm until about 5:30pm, we just hang around the room, watched TLC Channel on cable TV watching Jamie Oliver cook up some Christmas festivities food. Mom surely enjoyed that. And I know I wanted to go swimming in the afternoon but it was sooooooo cold that I couldn’t be bothered! So we both just lazed around the room until it was time to get ready to go for dinner.

The travel to Taal Vista Hotel, I will never forget. It was excruciating! Traffic in Tagaytay! It was the first time I have ever seen such a long queue of car in just a single lane road. OMG. I don’t know if I ever want to return to Tagaytay during Christmas ever again. Bad move on staying at Destination Hotel for the first night. I really should’ve gone with my gut feeling and had at least one night in Taal Vista and then the second night, we could’ve moved to a cheaper hotel. Oh well, whats done is done. Took us a little over an hour to get to the hotel just to have dinner, and the same time it took us to get back after dinner. We got back to our hotel late night past 11pm because of all that traffic.

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Food at The Taal Vista’s Cafe Veranda was just so-so. I expected more but I guess it was just that. Nothing special or exciting enough to rave about. After dinner, Mom and I just went around outside the hotel to take some photos and we were off. It was just waaay to cold to stay outside. I wasn’t expecting it to be that cold!

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December 25, 2014

Mom is here! #familyChristmas

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Photo at the airport when mom arrived this morning! Finally got to see her leave the arrival hall around 7:15am. Because her flight was delayed, our plans of getting to Tagaytay before 9am was obviously ruined. But anyhow, we still managed to get a seat there after lining up 6th place.

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December 24, 2014

Noche Buena 2014.

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This was my Noche Buena! Brought my roommate Galerose to the Christmas Eve service at Victory Fort, and after that we wanted to eat at Ukkokei at Tuscany but did not realize that everything was closing early for the Christmas eve celebrations! I forgot that it was customary here to go to the Church to attend the masses just before midnight.

Since everywhere was closed, Galerose and I had to improvise and ate whatever we had leftover for the day!

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She still had the ham given by her company, and she also got Cordon Bleu chicken and the leftover curry chicken that I cooked plus some fruits from the fridge and queso de bola!

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And I even got a last minute Christmas gift from Galerose! She got me the 300 pesos worth of Car accessory so I could hold my smartphone up in front of me while I drove so that I could view the Google Map easily! Aaaawww.. and I didn’t even get her anything for Christmas!