Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Philippine Macaques in Subic

I've been told that there are wild monkeys in Subic. I've been to Subic many times before, up until yesterday, I have not seen any wild Macaques.

I was a pleasant surprise to see them at the side of the streets, leading up to Camayan Cove and Ocean Adventure. They seem quite friendly and used to humans. However, they are wild creatures and it is best to leave them alone.

These photos were snapped by hubby while we were in the car.

I hope that Subic will continue to protect its surrounding rain forests so that wildlife such the Philippine Macaque can continue to thrive there.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Ocean Adventure - Subic

Hubby and I kidnapped our two pamankins for the day to drive them over to Subic. Since Subic is currently the only place, within driveable distance from Manila, where you can see live dolphins. Hubby and I already went a few years back (waaay back, even before we got married).

I've always been fascinated with dolphins and one of my favorite places to have lunch in the whole wide world is at the dolphin stadium in Ocean Park, Hong Kong. Yeah, I know, I have issues :-)

Anyway, I've always wanted to have close encounters with dolphins and would hope someday to swim with them. In the meantime though, I wanted my nephew and niece to share the experience at touching a dolphin with me. Both of the little ones were in a terrible mood since we left Manila so early in the morning coupled with the heat in Subic. Ayayayay!

Ashley was in a better mood but refused to have her photo taken with the dolphins. So, it was just Hubby, JJ and myself. We were not allowed to take pictures while we are stroking the dolphins and interacting with them but, it was such an awesome experience for me and hubby. Maybe the kids will appreciate the beauty of the experience when they get older.

Me, on the other hand, is looking forward to swimming with them someday :-)

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas everyone!

Christmas is but a few minutes away. I would like to greet everyone a Merry Christmas before I get smothered by hugs and kisses by the little loves that are coming to my house tonight.

It has been such a blessed year for hubby and me and for that, I am so grateful.

May this coming year provide more blessings, love, joy and laughter for my family and for everyone who reads this.

Merry Christmas!


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Monday, November 8, 2010

Intrepid Museum with Hubby

I have about a dozen articles that I have pre-written about our New York Trip. I'll publish them soon. Anyway, here's a very short one about the Intrepid Museum.

Hubby the ultimate nerd (I mean that in the most loving way) loves machines. One of the places that he wanted to visit while we were in New York was the Intrepid Museum. The museum is actually an aircraft carrier named The Intrepid which was converted to an air, sea and space museum.

The intrepid even has a Concorde airplane, on loan from the British Government.

Even a small submarine which US troops would stay on for two months at a time to patrol the seas.

Nerd heaven, he he he :-)

Cha Chan Tang Bubble Tea, Chinatown NYC

After dinner at Hop Kee, our family wanted to have ice cream at the Chinese Ice Cream Factory but it was already late and they just closed for the day!

We saw a Bubble Tea restaurant nearby and decided to try it out instead. The restaurant is called Cha Chan Tang.

The interior of the restaurant was quite nice and hip. Check out the cup and saucer wall!

The wallpaper's a photo of a typical busy street in Hong Kong.

There are mock windows on one of the walls that house flat screen TVs that feature videos of a typical Hong Kong street, with double deck buses and stuff. The mock windows were made to make you feel like looking out a window in the streets of Hong Kong. Sorry, the lady on the left blocked the images.

Hubby and I had the Jasmine Taro Green Tea with Bubble. Bubble is "sago" it turned out. Our order wasn't quite the lovely combination that we had hoped. Yuck!

Cha CHan Tang also offers other savory dishes though. I'm not sure if they're any good since we only tried the bubble tea.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Hop Kee Chinese Restaurant -Chinatown, NYC

Hop Kee was our destination after our shoping spree at Woodbury commons and we did have some appetite after our retail theraphy.

Hop Kee Chinese Restaurant in Chinatown is very famous among the Filipino community in New York and New Jersey. So famous in fact that the Chinese waiters even speak Tagalog!

We ordered so many things, my favorites are the squid and the snails :-) I love the sauce on the snails. It's great to make "simot" with the rice :-)

The fried chicken was unique too and quite tasty. It's not your usual fried chicken, they added some sort of marinate to it before frying which made it so juicy.

(Hubby's the photographer that's why he's not in this photo)

Woodbury Commons

I've been looking forward to this shopping trip since I got my US Visa. My mom has been raving about it for many years and loved shopping there.

My cousin, Ate Binky and her family were kind enough to drive us there. We haven't seen each other for probably a decade but when we saw each other it seemed only yesterday.

Our drive to Woodbury Commons was very picturesque, despite the oncoming winter, we still saw some spectacular colors along the way. It's our first time to actually go out of New York City and see the Garden State of New Jersey. Well deserved name too :-)

Woodbury Commons is a collection of shops and boutiques from various popular and signature brands that offer discounted prices for their products. A lot of tourists go to Woodbury commons to do just one thing... SHOP!

If I didn't have some sort of self control left, we would be probably bankrupt by the time we get home. Ha ha ha! I love the shopping and I love the scenery at Woodbury Commons. It was very cold, which gave me the perfect excuse to linger at the shops :-)

I love going inside the home stores like William Sonoma, Crate and Barrel, Le Creuset. There are just so many things that I want to bring to my kitchen. I did practice some restraint since my cupboards at home are already bursting at the seams. But oh to leave those lovely things looking for a home .......

The place already felt like Christmas :-)

I love Woodbury Commons, a must stop when you're in NYC or New Jersey. Thanks Ate Binky and Kuya Dominic for taking us :-)

Fiesta Grill - Journal Square, New Jersey

Hubby and I were invited to go shopping at Woodbury Commons by my cousin Ate Binky and her family. We were to meet at Journal Square in New Jersey.

My cousin Butchie, hubby and myself decided to meet early to have lunch at a Filipino restaurant there called, Fiesta Grill.

Me to Butchie; "I've been here (in NYC) two weeks, but I am not craving for Filipino food yet"

Fiesta Grill is pretty straightforward and unpretentious. The food is served cafeteria style. Just point and pay.

As we got to the restaurant, I didn't realize how much I missed Filipino food! We ordered six viands, a full order of crispy pata and two orders of Buco Pandan! Between the three of us, wiped out everything that you see here in this picture. Yikes! (Ok, just a reminder, I was with two hungry GROWN men)

The food at Fiesta Grill was good too, like it was made by somebody's mom. As we sat there, it's like we never left Manila, down to the condiments on the table.

Everyone was even speaking in Tagalog or Ilonggo. The only difference is that everyone's wearing coats, bonnets and thermals instead of sando and tsinelas.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Great N.Y. Noodletown

November 4, 2010

It's been raining all day and the fog was so thick. I stayed at the apartment today and just curled up in the sofa with a warm blanket and some tea. I watched the boats go by the Hudson river. I'm so glad that we are staying for a few weeks and I don't feel rushed to be on the go all the time. It's nice to take pause and reflect on how blessed my life is.

Despite the rain, we did meet up with my cousin Butchie to have dinner at Great N.Y. Noodletown, in Chinatown. Butchie always takes us to his favorite haunts and I appreciate that very much because it really gives us a taste of what it's really like to live in New York City. We go where the locals go, not just to the tourist traps and popular places.

Anyway, we had the Shrimp Dumpling Noodle. The broth is light and the dumplings had shrimps and mushrooms in them.

We also ordered the Seafood Fried Noodle, which was also good and tasty and surprisingly not too heavy in taste.

Then, we ordered the Beef with Broccoli, which was quite ordinary, frankly. We barely touched it.

My favorite is the Baby Pig. Yes, it's really called Baby Pig. I love crispy roasted pork. The sauce that was mixed into the rice, was really good. It has a slight hint of anise, as with most Chinese roasted dishes.

All the food that we ate kinda reminds me of home. Thanks Butchie!

For dessert we went to the Chinese Ice Cream Factory again! It's hubby's reward for the five blocks that he walked from the subway. Our agreement is that he's allowed to have ice cream here in New York City, but when we get home, no more ice cream for him. Well, maybe only on special occasions, like Christmas and New Year, ha ha ha.

The Chinatown Ice Cream Factory

The Chinatown Ice Cream Factory is hubby's favorite ice cream place in New York CIty.

The Black Sesame Ice cream is sooo good.

Bonchon Chicken at 5th Avenue

OMG! OMG! This is my most favorite restaurant in NYC!

I love the crispy chicken wings with soy garlic sauce. The skin is oh so crispy while the chicken meat is so tender and juicy. I can probably eat the whole platter by myself, but it's very unbecoming of a lady. Ha ha ha!

'Nuff said!

Thanks Butchie for taking me and hubby!