Monday, April 30, 2007


For my father in law's birthday dinner last April 15, we opted to go to Mall of Asia on a Sunday. And as expected, the place was teeming with people. We walked around and decided to enter the first restaurant we would find with available seats. Lucky for Mongkok, it was the nearest one around.

We ordered our usual favorites.... a pansit since it was a birthday dinner, fried rice, a seafood dish, a meat dish and a vegetable dish.

The dimsum cart was just nearby so we gave it a try too.

Their chicken feet dimsum was alright; not the best but just alright; the siomai was good, neither was it the best, but at least good. But the shrimp dumplings didn't quite make it to my good-enough criteria. The wrapping was too rubbery and stale that I felt like it had been in the cart for quite sometime.

Their Yang Chow was a bit on the salty side.

I liked their Fish with Tausi Sauce. A little sweet.

This is their Sauteed Mixed Vegatables. It was good. The veggies were not overdone with just the right bite in them.

The Pancit Canton (Chow Mein) didn't impress me. It lacked flavor and kick, to me at least.

We don't usually order Pata Tim but that night, we were adventurous enough to try. Unfortunately, it didn't wow me. The size of the pata was big enough for the four of us but more than half of it was left untouched. Something about the flavor just wasn't right. A little bland, I think.

I have tried Mongkok in Rockwell and I liked it there. Of course my order then was different from what we ordered tonight, so I don't really know if it was our food choices or the branch that didn't fare very well with me. Will I give Mongkok another try? Maybe at Rockwell.... Or maybe not.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Gadgets I Cannot Live Without

There are only a few things I carry with me in my bag. And the following gadgets top my list. Other than my wallet which holds my moolah for the day and my driver's license, a lipgloss and a comb, these three things are the only ones that can make me turn the car around in the morning should I forget anyone of them at home.

I am not one who goes for the top of the line models in gadgets. For as long as a gadget fits my lifestyle, is easy to use and has all the basic features I need, I am happy with it.

This is my Samsung D500, one of the smallest cellphones I have owned. And this is the phone that has stayed with me the longest to date. A cellphone keeps me secure knowing that I am just a button away from family whenever I need help of any kind. And knowing I am just a call away if I am needed. Leaving the house without it make me feel isolated and lost really.

I have the cheapest PDA in town. I have a Palm z22 which for some is probably for kids and teens. But this tiny little bugger does me a ton of help! From Things to Do, Bring, Pay and Buy, to a record of all my bank accounts and passwords, and even a record of my daily itemized budget and expenses. I have learned to stop bringing paper with me now because my PDA lists down everything for me.... practically anything you could list down, it is all in my Palm. It is my Life Scheduler! I just know that if I forget this at home, my day is going to be quite a mess.

I got my new point and shoot last February and since then, I have always carried it with me in my bag. I am such a photo hobbyist that I click and shoot at anything that catches my eye; anything that would interest me, no matter how mundane it may seem. My camera documents my life paused and captured in color. It shows my life the way I see it thru my viewfinder. Every press I make on that shutter gives me that thrill that I am able to freeze yet again a fleeting moment of my journey in life that I can share to everyone thru my blog.

This is not exactly an electronic gadget but it is definitely a mainstay in my bag. Knowing I have this with me during the day gives me a sense of security somehow that I have some sort of protection with me at all times. Plus, it is really handy to have a swiss army knife for those little fixes I might need to do.

Times have really changed since my younger years, and how. These gadgets were merely figments of imagination in my time. And I can't believe that I have lived to enjoy them.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Bird Billboard

This is what heavy traffic does to my visual acuity! I saw this instead of seeing this.

Monday, April 23, 2007

McDonald's McRice Burger and Others

This is often what's on my tray when I go for a McDonald's treat.

Not all McDonald's outlets have milkshakes on their menu so I always grab one whenever it is on. The milkshake is a little short on creaminess and chocolatiness, but hey, for P39 bucks, how can I complain!

When Mon saw this on the menu, he was eager to try it. I wasn't too adventurous so I stuck with my usual order.

In the box....

and immediately out of it....

Before biting into it....

..... and after.

Mon was worried that the rice wouldn't stick very well and would be crumbly and fall apart. Yet surprisingly, the rice held on to each other for dear life the whole time! Not a single grain out of place.

We both guessed that these black thingies on top are roasted sesame seeds and not what they seem to be. Some would probably find these a bit unappetizing.

But appetizing or not, as long as it is big in taste, it is good down to the last bite.

Papara pa pa... love ko to.
(McDonald's At Macapagal Hi-way)

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Chapel of the Holy Family

Chapel of the Holy Family. This chapel was built right in the heart of Greenhills shopping center. The airconditioned and expensive interiors are easily seen thru these glass doors and glass walls.

From across the chapel is a tiny park, a patch of landscaped green with a miniature fountain and a waterfall, a few benches and a walkway.

Surrounding the chapel are the shops, tiangges, restaurants and cafes. Virra Mall entrance is to its immediate right.

I have never heard mass here ever. But I always see a large attendance of Catholic churchgoers here every sunday. So large is the crowd that it spills over the entire space fronting the church during mass. So much so that passing thru becomes a struggle for the regular shopper.

For some, Sunday is for relaxation. For others, Sunday is for the Lord. And still for others, Sunday is for shopping. And for some, it is all that. I am still trying to understand why a church was built right in the center of a shopping complex. For convenience maybe?

Red Ribbon

I love cakes. Cakes always perk me up. They always bring out the birthday girl in me. Whenever I've had a bad day, a slice would almost always be able to cheer me up. And whenever I crave for something sweet and baked, I go to Red Ribbon.

It is amazing how Red Ribbon comes up with these delicious cakes at such affordable prices!

When Mon made some adjustments in our work schedule, this branch of Red Ribbon saw me a lot this week . My husband's clinic is right across from it along Dona Soledad Avenue in Better Living and here is where I indulged myself willfully and guiltily while waiting for him get off from work.

How can I not feel guilty after these...

Chocolate Mousse used to be my favorite at Red Ribbon. But their Tiramisu Meltdown easily changed my mind. It is like their regular Black Forest sans the rhum taste that i dislike. It took me less than 5 minutes to finish it.

Another day saw me craving for their Mango cake. But when I walked in, the only available cake was their Choco Mocha Crunch. Now this did not have me jumping for joy. The choco part was alright. The mocha part was alright. But the crunch part was so not right for me. The cake came with this chunk of caramel cubes stuck to each other and sitting on top of the slice looking like small bits of the candy bar, Violet Crumble.

As expected, that chunk never left my plate.

Still on another day, I had a slice of their Marjolaine Cake. This is like a version of sansrival with layers and layers of soft wafer with nuts and cream filling in between. More nuts and choco bits coat the whole cake. I would have wanted this served cold just like sansrival. But overall, it is still one delicious cake.

These are just some of my life's simple treats.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Our Favorite Banana Split

I have to rave about this. I just have to! Mon and I have tried a lot of banana splits but this is the only one we keep coming back to. This tops them all, for its price and for its taste.

For only P95, you get three heaping scoops of ice cream in three different flavors... strawberry, vanilla and chocolate. The first time we had it, we found it so good that I had to call the waiter over to ask him what brand of ice cream they use. I was suprised when he openly said that they use Big Scoop. He even added that it is available right there in Unimart and in Cash 'n Carry if I were interested. He goes on to say that they chose this brand precisely because it is not very pricey.

How could their banana split go wrong... creamy Big Scoop with... mini marshmallows... peanuts and colorful teenyweeny candy bits, crushed pineapple, heavy whipped cream, a cherry atop each scoop and finally drizzled with chocolate syrup... and of course not to forget, the banana slices on each side of the boat. It is just the way I remember banana split when we were young.

This is one of the reasons why we keep coming back to Sizzler Barbecue Restaurant in Greenhills. Who would think that we would find the best banana split in a bbq house!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Bonifacio High Street

I had to endure a scorching-hot morning at Bonifacio High Street yesterday. I was hoping for a quick stop-shop-and go kind of trip but unfortunately, I arrived 30 minutes ahead of store opening. I asked the security guard what time the shops opened, and to my dismay, he said 11:00 am. So there was not much to do but wait. Figaro and this other coffe shop were already open then but I didn't feel like drinking coffee at that time. So I passed.

I suddenly had the urge to take pictures of the place. So I did. The wait turned out to be a pleasant one after all.

I love that the place is spaceous and uncrowded. The walkways are wide and open giving it a breezy feel. Each side of the "street" is lined by the various shops and dining places of your choice.

A grassy portion right in the middle of the "street" is perfect for relaxing and lazying around. Moms and Dads tag their kids along for a different kind of reprieve and recreation.

Treats for the eyes like these add to the already attractive sight before you.
This fountain really got me. I could have spent the entire 30 minutes of waiting for "All About Flip Flops" to open just staring at it and be happy. Isn't it a fascinating work of art!

This one other attraction still has me confused until now as to what it really is. I read somewhere that these are like "phonelines" where you can actually talk with someone on one end of a pipe from its other end. I think the fun is in finding which end goes with which. I have to try it next time.

Bonifacio High Street is a different kind of shopping and dining place. So contrasting and so unlike high rise malls we have these days.

It actually reminds me of the old Makati commercial district I grew up with when we still had Angela Arcade, Quad and Rizal Theater; when the tallest building at the commercial district was Hotel Intercon, and when one can actually see Anson's emporium all the way from EDSA.

Bonifacio High Street is a welcome retreat.

USS Arizona Memorial

Our trip to Manila American Cemetery and Memorial last April 1 made me recall our visit to the USS Arizona Memorial in Honolulu, Hawaii some years back. Both memorials share the same serene and tranquil feel.

The tour is free. We just drove up to the place, parked and took a short walk to the first stop, the Visitor center. Only personal cameras are allowed inside. Bags, backpacks, and purses are not. This was strictly implemented and everyone followed.

We lined up for our numbered tickets that served as our free admission. Once inside the Visitor Center, we were practically free to explore the place which had a museum, an exhibit and a small bookshop. We were also free to walk around the grounds.

The actual tour starts with a 20 minute documentary film about that fateful day Pearl Harbor was attacked. We entered the theater by groups based on our numbered tickets. Afterwards, we waited for our boat ride that would take us to the memorial.

It was a quick boat ride.

This is the USS Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor. More than a million people visit this each year. And Mon and I were honored to be included in the long list. This is actually both a memorial and a resting place of the men aboard the USS Arizona in 1941 because it was designed to be built right on top of the sunken battleship.

Once we reached it, we were free to explore the Memorial by ourselves.

This is the great marble wall where the names of the sailors and marines who died where carved.

I forgot what part of the ship this is right behind Mon; it is the only part of the actual battleship that remains visible above the level of the water.

There is this open area in the center of the Memorial where people can actually look below and try to see the remains of the battleship.

Sunshine filtered thru the open roofing as an American flag proudly danced in the wind.Visiting the USS Arizona Memorial was a solemn experience for us. And seeing how the American government and its people pay their respects and how they remember their departed heroes leaves we me with a sad heart at how we treat or maltreat our own.