Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Off to Melbourne, Australia

Hubby and I are currently in Melbourne, Australia and I am loving it here. I'll be posting a lot of stuff when I get back.

See you in two weeks!

G' day mate!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Dinner at Felix

My cousin Butchie is finally back from his vacation in Bacolod and would stay a few days here in Manila before flying back to New York. Last night we had dinner at Fely J's with his folks but hubby wasn't with us that's why we didn't have any photos.

Tonight, we decided to meet up again after work for a dinner at Felix. A Filipino fusion restaurant owned by Richard Gomez, the actor. None of us have eaten there before and we saw a lot of people dining there the previous night.

Their breads are really good and freshly baked. You have a choice of spreading it with butter or their own concoction of bell peppers, vinegar, olive oil and other ingredients. Check out the stuff that we had :-)

My cousin Butchie had Prawns with Aligue, this one got rave reviews. The chef just added the right amount of aligue to give you a taste but not drown your system with cholesterol.

Mom had Sotanghon. She surprisingly liked this because of the added sesame oil in the dish.

I had the Adobo with Mozarella. This is good albeit a tad salty. I would defenitely copy this and serve it at a casual party at home.

Hubby had The Crapenters which he finished in under ten minutes. I could tell that he loved it. The cream sauce is not too rich.

The dishes are named after people. I forgot most of the names of what we ordered but they were all good and very filling. The price is quite reasonable. Around P700 per person including drinks.

I would definitely dine here again.

After our meal, we walked around Greenbelt to shop and browse around, had some dessert at Cafe Breton as well anf course took some pictures.

Sayang, if I didn't have allergies, I would have stayed longer to have some drinks, al fresco.

Butchie, I'm gonna miss you so much. Come back soon!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Missing all the action

My cousin Butchie is home for a few weeks and I've been sick for the past three days and terribly missing all the fun.

I often wonder why I ALWAYS get sick on such important occassions. Hubby tells me I get over excited. I've been looking forward to Butchie's visit for months and here I am stuck in bed for the past three days. Damn allergies. Who gets a friggin' fever for three days for allergies?

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Manila Bay Sunset

I love Manila Bay sunsets..........

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Sweet & Sour Lapu-lapu

This is a winning recipe. I've researched this on the internet and made my own additions and subtractions. I had asked my housekeeper to make this tonight (to the letter) and it came out perfectly. It takes a bit of work, but it's well worth it. Don't use catsup. It won't taste the same.

Sweet & Sour Lapu-lapu

2 medium-sized Lapu-lapu
1/2 inch ginger, peeled and chopped finely
2-3 cloves garlic, chopped finely

Rub fish with garlic, ginger and a little salt. Fry until crisp and drain on paper towels. Set aside.

For the sauce:
Combine the following ingredients in a sauce pan and cook until slightly thick.
3 tablespoons white vinegar
6 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon chili garlic sauce (Lee Kum Kee)
1 tablespoon tamato paste
1 tablespoon cornstarch dissolved in
1 cup water

For the vegetable topping:
1 green bell pepper, jullienned
1 carrot, jullienned
1 thumb-sized ginger, peeled and jullienned
2 tomatoes, seeded and jullienned
1 small white onion, jullienned
1 tablespoon vegetable oil

In a separate pan, saute jullienned carrots, bell peppers, ginger, onions and tomato in a little vegetable oil. Stir just until slightly soft. Add the sauce and let boil once. Pour over the lapu lapu immediately before serving.

Gawad Kalinga

Last Christmas, the company that I work for, PC&V Communications, Inc. decided to donate three homes to Gwad Kalinga in lieu of christmas gifts to clients and suppliers. This way, our gifts will be more meaningful and would make a difference by improving the living conditions of the three families who will benefit from the company's generosity.

Almost everyone in the company company spent one morning toiling under the sun to help build the homes by carrying and mixing cement, carrying the "panambak" and other construction duties. We had a fantastic time helping the community and meeting them face to face.

Today, the houses are already finished and ready for occupancy. We were invited to attend a simple ceremony as a thanksgiving. The ceremony started with a mass and blessing of the homes.

The mass and blessing was followed by a short backgrounder of the project of Gawad Kalinga in Sitio Pajo, Baesa. How it started and how the communities have bonded together by providing time and labor in building the homes and most all helping each other build a peaceful and clean community.

Each sponsor is introduced to the Sitio Pajo community to have a face-to-face interaction. A short speech is also given by each donor. My speech (as the compamny representative) was a brief history of why we chose to give homes instead of gifts and as well wishes for the families who will inhabit the homes.

Awarding of keys:

These are the families who will live in the homes that our company donated and the staff help build. The lady beside me (in the light blue blouse) is my co-worker, Bambie.

Each home costs P80,000 to build but the security and other intangible benefits of having their own home is priceless.

To donate to Gawad Kalinga, visit their website at http://www.gawadkalinga.org/

Monday, March 2, 2009

Sunday in Subic - Part 2

Zoobic Safari

Our next stop was the Zoobic Safari. The reason why we travelled all the way to Subic. The kids are very excited about this. JJ even wore his tiger shirt specially for this occasion. Entrance fee is P395 per person, P295 for children 3 feet and up. Below that, entrance is free. Our first agenda was to have our picture taken with a tiger cub. That is the primary reason why we wanted to bring the kids there so that they will have a close encounter with a tiger, to touch them and see them up close safely. I luv tigers.

After taking a picture and petting a tiger cub, went on a tour of all the animal on exhibit. We even got to feed and pet some of them. The kids were a delight to watch. They get so curious about the animals. they asked so many questions and wanted to touch all the animals.

After the furry and cute animals, my brother and JJ went to the serpentarium to look at their snakes. I didn't go with them that's why there are no pictures here :-)

The most awaited part of our tour was the Tiger Safari. Three tigers are realesed from their cages and are allowed to roam freely in a large enclosure. Jeepneys are converted as the “human cage” to protect us from the tigers. You can purchase a whole chicken for P200 and feed the tigers. A zoo keeper will feed the tigers on your behalf. Watch them up clode devouring your chicken. They even climb up the jeepney to get some of the chicken. They are such powerful and beautiful animals. Be prepared to be in awe.

Aeta's Trail

The next part is the Aeta’s Trail. Aetas are the local indigenous tribe. They will demonstrate native dances that mimic the movements of animals. One is the Sayaw ng Tutubi (Dragonfly dance) which they perform when it is about to rain and the Monkey Dance, which mimics the movement of monkeys (which used to be so abundant in the area). We were also treated to a hunting dance complete with bows and arrows The aetas are educated, please don’t make fun of them. They perform these rituals for us to preserve and share their culture.


The last part for the tour are the crocodiles. There are hundreds of them in the enclosure. You can feed them raw chicken too for P50 each. Watch them snap their jaws and pull your chicken.

Subic may look like a ghost town, but there are plenty of things to do there for the weekend. Ocean Adventure, Zoobic Safari, Treetop Adventure, El Kabayo (haven’t been), Jet Skiing, Banana Boating, Beaches, Fishing, Nature Trails and Duty Free Shopping. You need a car to go around since there are no public utility vehicles.

Sunday in Subic - Part 1

“Ninang, you’re late!”

That’s what my nephew JJ told me as soon as I got out of the car to pick them up to go to Subic. We arrived five minutes later past the designated pick up time. Subic is about 3 to 3 1/2 hours drive from Manila. It’s quite far. If you’re taking a day trip, I suggest to leave early.

Hubby’s first speeding ticket

The newly constructed highway, SCTEX is already operational. It cuts driving time by about an hour as compared to the old highway. A warning though, the police have installed a speed gun and you will get a ticket if you exceed the speed limit of 100kph (that’s too slow for a highway devoid of any buildings, pedestrians and intersections). Hubby got his very first speeding ticket. He was none too happy about it. We felt that the traffic patrol do this intentionally to trap motorists. When you get a ticket, the traffic patrol will not give you any proof that you were exceeding the speed limit. So, I feel that later on, this will probably be a money-making scheme by the traffic patrol. Tsk tsk tsk.

Tree Top Adventure

Our first stop was the Tree Top Adventure Park. First, we signed up for the canopy ride. Children above three feet can take the ride as well. The canopy ride is a leisurely motorized cable ride above the rainforest. There are ten stations to complete the ride. It takes approximately a hour and a half to complete. Our little JJ wasn’t even scared being suspended 100 feet above the ground. The ride is very safe and quite slow.

We also signed up for the “Superman” ride. A motorized zip line ride. It’s a bit scary for some people who are afraid of heights. One girl got too scared and backed out. The ride wasn’t frightening at all. It’s just a short ride, too short in our opinion. Hubby was “bitin” and wanted to go again but the line was long.

Teriyaki Boy

Since we stayed at the Tree Top Adventure longer that expected, we got so famished. We had lunch at Teriyaki Boy found within SBMA. We had a lot of food! Everything you see below was wiped our except for two pices of Futomaki :-) (Not in photo, California Maki, Futo Maki and Tofu Steak)

To be continued.....