Sunday, June 16, 2013

Green Kiwi w/ Bagoong

i moved to the Middle Earth..
consider this as an invite to my new home..
see you at :

Friday, April 12, 2013


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.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

April Fools 2013

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.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

LTO 2013 : Student Permit

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 :

Qualifications :

> 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

Requirements :

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, hahaIt 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.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Casa Manila

One of the houses inside Plaza San Luis Complex inside Intramuros, Manila is Casa Manila.

The house museum  showcases a life style of the Illustrados - the rich Filipinos during the 19th-20th century, who were given almost equal privileges as the Spaniards who ruled our country then.

It has a beautiful courtyard which presently is a popular choice for wedding reception venue and other events. 

The house is huge and now a days it could easily be mistaken as a hotel. But during the 19th-20th century, it was just but a typical home of an Illustrado family. Inside are authentic antique furniture of the said era.

It was a Monday ( photos taken in 2010 ). The museum was close. Cousins were very insistent. I suggested we used the exit stairs to enter the house.

A guardia civil ( guard in character of Spanish soldier ) suddenly appeared by the kitchen window and stopped us from entering the premises. haha. 

Oh well, have you noticed?_ I knew quite well my way in here? Hold tight cos I'm going to reveal to you one of my secrets...

I used to reside in this house.. eerie? haha. It's me! 16 years ago! Relief?.. that I didn't say hundred years ago? haha.

Fact is : I was assigned there for couple of months when I was an employee of Dept. of Tourism. How's that?  Yes my dear, yours truly was once a bonafide government employee ( for a long time actually). 
Now, I'm not going to just give you a peek of the museum but also of my shameless vintage photos, taken pre-digital years, haha.

A blast in the past!

Right here ( daughter & me photo) my older daughter was only 3 years old.

 There was a period that I didn't have a nanny so I had to sneak her in and brought her to work everyday. Haay, the story of my working mom life. Now, this girl is turning 19 next month. Can you believe it?

Yes, I had to sport sets of authentic Filipina dresses of 19th-20th century as daily uniforms.

If you're going to visit the museum these days, the included exhibit of the 19th-20th centuries Filipino dresses during my time, is ofcourse not there anymore. It was just a season exhibit which was also why we were assigned there for a certain period only.

I actually attempted to give you a short tour of the house and wanted to share something about the specific parts shown on the old photos. Mind you, we memorized a scripted 5 pages tour of the museum and had them recited everyday for every visitor/group , countless times a day.
So here, after 16 years, approaching (if not there yet, in denial?) old age, I couldn't grasp a word . I couldn't even remember the parts of the room.

I just hope the vintage photos somehow gave you a glimpse of what's inside, and hey  Casa Manila museum is just there in Intramuros , in case you haven't been there and keen on a heritage tour.