photo : at Solaire's booth during travel expo this year in MOA/SMX
The buzz about Solaire Resort & Casino is too loud to ignore even for a non-casino goer like me. It had opened its grand doors last month and people seemed to be swarming in since then. I see photos of Solaire flooding in the net.
Could no longer resist the hype, last week, I went to check the casino with my brother and my teens! wt#. The facade is so grand with colored lighted water fountain dancing ( not seen in photo ) right about the entrance/drop-off lobby.
Upon entering, we saw the gaming area which seemed to be taking 95% of the whole place. Unlike other casinos located in the different hotels in the country, whereas hidden and private, here at Solaire_ gaming tables and machines are taking over the whole place, open w/o walls and doors. It really is a casino per se.
We passed by the registration area and the q was long. I dismissed the idea of registering cos I know it would be another futile membership card. Like I have Resorts World which sits rotten in my wallet.
Brother wanted so bad to take photos of the gaming area, baccarat tables, slot machines and whatnot. By this time thu', the casino was already off limits for photos. I think they allowed it during the soft opening period cos I saw gazillion photos of people in it, posted in the net.
So what he did, he looked for an area ( in the food court ) where the casino is very much visible, took photos as if aiming for my daughters. Done. This one ( photo ) was one with my daughters, slot machines in the background, haha.
It was actually a Monday night and the casino was in full swing. The area with gaming tables was loaded with players.
Going back to the lobby, apart from the open casino, the grandiose chandelier is stealing the whole scene. Brother said he read that it costs millions and one of a kind. If you're keen about it, do google it. Sorry I'm too lazy now, haha.
Daughters insisted I should have one taken with this grand ( have you noticed it too? I kept using the word all throughout, must be cos the place is really "grand", haha ) painting. Only because I wore a red top and the painting is predominantly red, haha.
We continued on our walking tour ( haha ) and really at this point it was very obvious we were just loitering, haha. Everywhere it's written " below 21 not allowed at this point" ( so I was adamant in finding a single area where I could hide my teens, haha) . As in everywhere!, cos everywhere is a casino premise.
Except for one or two restaurants on the side, which we dared not try to enter cos I read how expensive they are and I honestly couldn't afford them that night. Besides, we came full stomach cos we just had a buffet dinner at MOA ( so much cheaper, haha ).
Until we reached the saving grace _ the food court, where we belong, haha. Food here are relatively expensive also when you compare it to mall food courts, but also relatively affordable from the rest of the place
My girls just bought each a pastry and a drink. Just so we could mask our obvious loitering, haha. Me, I didn't get any, I was literally still burping when we got here from the dinner buffet.
Then we were good to go. But first brother wanted a photo op with this dude! The car I guess is a a grand price in one of the casino games. I just had to crop the photo cos brod didn't want to be seen here, haha.
Proportionately, so far at this stage, Solaire actually reminds me of Marina Bay Sands in Singapore.
I am such a permanent prank on April Fools. I was born on April 1. Don't worry about me, I'm ok with the date of my birthday. If I would be granted to choose my birthday, I wouldn't hesitate to keep April 1. It's a happy day. The world is busy making prank on each other. What's more fun than practical jokes!
Here in Ph, my birthday usually falls on a holiday. It would either be a day in a Lent or sometimes it would fall on Easter Day. This year it was the day after Easter.
It was my first time not to spend my birthday with husband (since I got married ). I guess, my daughters were so aware of this fact, they took ownership of making me happy on my birthday this year. Not that they hadn't in the past, only this time, they were on their own ( piggybank stashed, haha ) w/o the dad financing.
One of the little highlights of my day was they surprised me with a birthday cake.
Having cake on my birthday? Oh man I tell ya, it's big for me! Already! I couldn't remember the last time I had a birthday cake with candles to blow for a wish.. and I have been bithday-ing for two scores + some years now. Do the math, will ya?
Oh sure, last year ( 2012 photo ), I almost had a birthday cake in one of my birthday post celebrations. It was a random restaurant complimentary cake slice and no candles, so it's not counted, haha.
This year, I was also with the same friends on my birthday. Just at home with random snacks, and you know what was the prank of the day? .. aside from it was a bad hair day for me, haha..
I had accidentally deleted all photos my friend took of my birthday, surprised cake moments included, haha. Also we found out, the camera was memory cardless, haha.
So this one ( photo ) was actually not candid anymore but a retake, haha.
Although I missed husband + bday getaways, it was a happy birthday. I was with my daughters as always and close friends. Those who weren't there made their greetings over phone calls and ofcourse FB messages. Thankyouverymuch <3.
The next day, I celebrated again with a bestfriend over a lunch buffet. Thankyou.
I still had the cake vibe in me, so I had a plateful of pastries, I knew I couldn't finish them thu'. But hey it's my birthday..haha.
The greatest gift ofcourse is the gift of life. Thank you Lord <3.
Last Tuesday, I dragged my older daughter from her bed to LTO, to get her a student permit (driver's license) so early before 8am. That day she had to attend classes start at noon and didn't have a good night sleep. Hence the cranky face ( photo ).
Before which, I goggled around the net about requirements. The official website of LTO was down ( I thought so ) and only found some from personal blogs which are dated and I didn't find any with the present year. I couldn't rely on dated blogs cos as we all know, government agency like LTO changes its rules from time to time. So upon entering the nearest ( to my home) LTO branch ( Las Pinas) , I went straight to the requirements wall area and had confirmed the following rules :
For Filipino Applicants :
> must be at least 16 years old
> must be mentally and physically fit to operate a vehicle
> must be able to read and write in Filipino or English
For 18 years old and above
> original and photocopy of birth certificate
> in the absence of bc, you can use any government issued ID/documents : SSS, TIN, passport,etc.
For minor below 18 years old
> include a written consent of a parent/ guardian w/ xerox copy of ID
Basically those are the only infos that I needed to know for my daughter. She's already 18 years old and only needed a xerox copy of her birth certificate to go with the application form.
A staff ( the man in green/ photo) who monitored/ facilitated the customer service area was very attentive and upon knowing our purpose,
he immediately handed my daughter an application form to be filled -up. He guided us to the sitting queue which luckily was not yet heavy at 8 am. LTO official business hour starts at 8am. Daughter was # 18. Not bad.
30 minutes, to 40 minutes at the customer waiting area but the transaction windows were still closed. After us, the q was beginning to grow heavy. The facilitator said to wait for further announcement cos at the moment this branch was still offline. Before 9am, an announcement was heard, suggesting transfer to nearer branches like Muntinlupa & Paranaque which were already online or if not in a hurry wait until the branch got online.
Daughter couldn't wait cos of her classes. I asked if this LTO would still be open the next day ( almost a Lent holiday, holy Wed.)
Yes it would be. So we quit the q and headed home.
So yesterday ( holy Thurs. ) was a take two of the previous day. We were at the same LTO at exactly 8am. Look, it was breezy ( photo ). Very light crowd, heaven! The semi-holiday (Holy week) worked to our advantage.
Daughter was #8 of the q that was already moving. Yay!
Took just 15 minutes max at the customer waiting area, then daughter moved to the next q for evaluation. After another 15 minutes, daughter was called to the image capturing and electronic signature window.
Beside the girl ( photo ) doing electronic signing is the window for evaluation where documents and application are being evaluated. Also there, the applicant is asked to read aloud an oath ( in English or Filipino, your choice ), with right hand raised ofcourse.
Daughter almost done, with only two steps left to do_ payment and claim. We did our favorite diversion while waiting _ phone camwhoring! haha. Out of nowhere a handsome man appeared walking infront of our seat. #swoon, haha. It was local actor/celebrity Jomari Yllana. Now Jomari passing by us and we thought we had captured him in the background, haha. Failed!
Then daughter was called for payment. Total = P317.63 only.
Subsequently, she was called at the releasing window. Finally her student permit was released!!! Very happy cos it only took exactly one hour for the whole process!
We rewarded ourselves for the job well done with hearty breakfast at the nearest fastfood.