The Month of the Heart of Winter

the new leaf of January is my Month!

Monthly Archives: April 2012

The Pizza Delivery Experts

I would take a short pause about my Boracay travelogue for now. Whew! The posts were too loaded and it eats up my time.

Anyway, last weekend Leoncio and I were out and back to our usual Sunday day out. Actually, we were looking for something the reason why we went to A. Venue Mall. It was my first time to visit this mall despite its being nearby and probably it’s because A. Venue isn’t a regular mall. It’s more of a food center with plenty of eateries around.

Before we went there, we already had Domino’s Pizza in our plan. And given that it’s Sunday, I was too lazy to cook. I don’t know but probably I was still in a haze after all the trips we had.

Domino’s Pizza wasn’t new to our palates; we’ve been patrons even before the close down and even thought that when a new pizza parlor opened in Makati Avenue, it was of the same wing. Until Domino’s Pizza came back and re-opened last year, our assumptions were all dismissed.

Since I am trying to skip red meat and processed meat for three weeks now, we can only order the basics.

While waiting for our orders to arrive, I was captured by the interiors of Domino’s Pizza. It was warm and clean. The place is perfect for chill out while having hot pizzas.

Then our orders came in,

A 14 inch Double Decker Margherita Pizza, which I doubted to be the crispy thin-crust only at first because it was really thin. So thin that I have to fork it several times to prove that what we got was a two-thin and crispy dough sandwiching a layer of cheese.

Pizza Sauce, Mozzarella Cheese, Diced Tomato and Fresh Basil Leaves –just the way I want my pizza!

Even though it’s super thin, I love that it remained crispy constantly.

I was in the mood to eat pasta with white sauce all over it however, it wasn’t available and husband voluntarily ordered Meaty Bolognese Spaghetti. Did I hear meat-y? Oh God, I am keeping my fingers crossed not to salivate on it. I was tempted, and tasted it after scrapping the ground meat over it. I’m still in control. 🙂

Guess who’s very happy between us two? 😀


Will come back soon!


P.S. I didn’t snag a shot of it but from what I remember it’s free lava cakes for orders of 12” or 14” pizza but we didn’t get any. What’s the catch?

Domino’s Pizza – A. Venue Branch
G/F The A. Venue Mall
7829 Makati Avenue, Makati City
T. 795-3030

Boracay 2012: Part III –white café, white beach and one big TY Astoria!

The night before our last daytime in Boracay it rained heavily as if there was a storm at the peak of summer. Leoncio was even joking about tsunami hitting the island. Oh my, he’s thoughts were all party pooper. 😦

We started the day early like our first day; breakfast at White Café was inviting and rousing my senses steadily. I am going to miss it.

On our second and last day these were the breakfast fare we had,


Bread and more bread, I love to start my day with soft rolls, wheat slice, butter and marmalade. 🙂

A hot and hearty bowl of arrozcaldo was a favorite, sprinkled it with garlic and spring onion –perfect!

An entrée of goodness –tocino, pork adobo and Salisbury steak

Paired with rich Filipino chocolate (tablea)


I didn’t skip the omelette, it was better than the previous day but I wasn’t satisfied still. Then another set of bread, French toast with tocino on the side and some potato wedge.

Nanay and I didn’t end breakfast just like that; my DIY salad was a hit.

Sorry but that’s how big we eat. 😀

Following breakfast, Nanay decided to remain the comfort of our hotel room while Leoncio and I stayed at the scene to savor the warmth of the sun…

And took more photos to take home.

I can’t get enough of Astoria’s backdrop.

Never mind the scorching heat of the sun, we walked our way until the tip of Station 1 hoping for some tan lines to be visible later on, in which I failed. 😦

But the bliss of getting around the White Beach was priceless especially with the person you dear most.

The scenes I love,

A white couple after getting hitched, just happily married under the sun.

An older couple spending everyday like it was the last; I would love to be like them when we grow old. Gutsy enough to wear the two-piece suit. 🙂

Our footprints on the sand, his and hers.

My attempt to jump was a miss; I realized I am a bad jumper after all.

While Leoncio did it like a pro, with stance and style and in colors of the sea.

On our way back to Astoria, I can’t help but noticed the algae once more. They remained thick in the shoreline but nonetheless despite Boracay’s flaws the island will remain a paradise to its visitors.

We were shortly backed in Astoria by 10am, and spent another hour lounging at the pool.

You know I am no swimmer but I can always pretend to be one. 😀

I requested for a late checkout but the hotel was so busy with guests coming in consistently.

Everything will be missed, so, we didn’t let go of the time just like that. A photo on every corner of our room was shot as if we didn’t want to move out.

The last few minutes of our Astoria stay.

When it’s finally time, we had no choice but to walk off and get ready. Checkout was another breeze!

Thank you to Astoria Boracay for our wonderful stay! Truly it was a grand vacay! 🙂

While the Jetty Port is a trike away, we decided to walk back at D’Mall to kill time. Our transfer to Kalibo was scheduled late that afternoon so decided to stay in D’Mall and people watch. 🙂

I got a treat from Leoncio; my favorite crepe was in town –Crazy Crepes.

Sorry guys I can’t share you some, I finished my Mango Crumble in no time.

The long wait was not sitting all along; Leoncio grabbed me excitedly as we walked together at Epic Bar. The sight of sexy stars thrilled him. Who can’t be if Sam Pinto is around?

Males and more males flocked the place. Oh no, we didn’t lined up for autograph.

It was past 3pm when we left D’Mall, look at Nanay at the Jetty Port she can’t get over those pasalubongs.

Our seamless travel to Kalibo will end this post.

Our stay in Kalibo will follow, swing back again…


P.S. I have to thank Hit A Bargain! a million times for running the Astoria promo. This couldn’t be possible if not for your generosity!



Boracay 2012: Part II –bug car, muffin, crystal cove, fire dance and more

Good morning Boracay! 😛

We all had a very good sleep, I can attest that it really was –di ba ney? AC was too cold, our bed was so comfy and pillows were plenty. And the thought of we’re on Boracay, what can I ask for?

Awaiting us at Astoria’s White Café was the spread of breakfast items. For a breakfast lover like me, despite the average set-up and choices we had, it was still a good kick to start the day. By the way, the buffet breakfast was inclusive to our stay. 🙂


I started off with pandesal, a slice of carrot bread, butter and jam. Followed by longanisa, sausages, chicken embotido, egg benedicts and fried rice.


I’m not expecting too much but the egg benedicts was a disappointment. 😦  Well, for one it should be gooey and hollandaise sauce was missing. I requested for an omelette with everything on it but I forgot to tell not to overdo it. So it looked so dry.

The salad Station was limited, but I managed to create a favorite mix, with dried mango and cashew nuts topped with slices of cheese which I later on cut into bits.


And like the usual, I end up breakfast with fresh fruits.

Free flow of juice, coffee and chocolate were available too.

Back at our hotel room, while Nanay had a bath, Leoncio and I decided to change and get ready for the beach. The sun was up and it was the perfect summer getaway.

If you do not fancy the sun and sand of the island, which I doubt, guest can choose to stay at the swimming pool and achieve those tan lines.


The crescent sun loungers were an oasis of comfort and perfect to stay while you choose to stay dry and lounge with a book at hand.


While the beachfront maybe crowded because the water sports station was directly in front of Astoria.  There were also lounge chairs available for guest use but you can hardly appreciate the view from that area because it’s literally the loading and unloading station of those who does paraw sailing, island hopping, banana boat and scuba diving.

We definitely would not waste our time lazing the whole day, Leoncio and I explore and decided to give the Bug Car a try.  After haggling from one operator to another, we finally got one that was priced at P700 for one hour. The route would be Mt. Luho and Aviary Farm. I dropped Puka Beach on the list as we’ve already visited the place last year. Actually, I am not so after the places that we will be visiting except Mt. Luho, I am more than excited to ride the bug car. 🙂

‘Ney, test drive daw muna.

From Station 2, together with our tour guides, Jonelyn and Kuyang (?), we rode a trike going to Edward’s Bug Car rental (located near Fairways). We were given a short briefing on the places to go but I insisted that we should go to Mt. Luho and the rest can be skipped. Leoncio, who would be driving the bug car, was given instructions too on how to operate.


And up we go as our tour guides convoyed with us and gave us plentiful of snapshots.

I was elated as we move to a higher level using the sporty car.

Our first stop was Mt. Luho View Point. Entrance fee was collected at P60/pax.

The trek up to Mt. Luho View Point is not just about going up the mountain because along its way you will pass by a mini-zoo which features an array of wildlife reserve including the famous Philippines Eagle, various types of birds, snakes, alamid, monkeys and monitor lizard (bayawak).

For your adventurous side, the Zipline is for you. Zipline is behind us. 🙂

But of course the highlight was the summit of Mt. Luho itself, which is the tallest peak in Boracay. From the top you get a view of the island that you will not get anywhere else. Because the ascent is not that hard, even beginners will have no difficulty making the climb.

in photo is Bulabog Beach 

From the view deck, you will see Fairways and Blue Water Golf Course, Alta Vista de Boracay and other housing projects. And from the same point you will see Bulabog beach, which is the secondary beach of the island. According to Jonelyn, all water sports are transported here during the rainy months especially when waves are bigger at the White Beach.


After a series of photo op here and there, we left the view point.

Our next stop was the Everland Aviary Farm and entrance fee was at P120/pax, it was quite pricey.

The place houses plethora of tropical birds and the main attraction was the domesticated (?) bat that you can hold and have photo with.

But what captured my attention was this Golden Retriever named Tarungaw. What a bad name for someone who’s adorable and sociable like her.

I bet Bea wouldn’t like this scene. 🙂

Honestly I didn’t enjoy the trip to the Aviary; we should have skip this tour and went somewhere else. 😦

Our ride back at the main road was a breeze because Leoncio was more comfortable now driving the bug car. He’s pacing like he drives a regular car.

We met up Nanay at Astoria; she seemed to enjoy the long walk going to D’Mall back and forth. While waiting for our return she shopped pasalubong for her sisters and alliances.

Since it was close to lunch time already we walked back at Station 2. And no wonder that all resto at D’Mall was bursting with diners. We walked away from D’Mall and found ourselves at D’ Talipapa where the “paluto services” were stationed. However, we reject the idea as we were all hungry from walking and the heat of the sun was draining our energy. Guess where we settled?

At Mang Inasal! Service is always fast and besides its friendly to our pockets.

So we ended with one flavorsome lunch to account! 😀

Calamansi Muffin priced at P35/piece.

Dessert was the famous and delicious calamansi muffin, which I bought on our way from D’Mall from Astoria.

I listed Real Coffee and Tea Café as a place to go in Boracay but almost forgotten the thought of it until I’ve seen the sign pointing to its direction.

It’s located at the interior side of Station 2, few steps away from Astoria. Real Coffee is referred to as the Home of the Calamansi Muffin. The place is frequent by Boracay first timers and I was surprised that most of its customers that day were foreign nationals.

I am not so fond of muffin but I have to experience it while in Boracay so as not to miss any that is being talked about hehehe, and give my judgment later. Its calamansi flavored was strong and fresh, though I am not certain if they use any additional artificial flavorings at all. Despite it’s being small in size; the bread was thick and filling.


Given that we were already at D’Talipapa, I grabbed the chance to shop for pasalubong while Nanay got another few pieces of purses for friends.

Nanay and Leoncio buying green mango our way back to Station 1.

Our next adventure awaits us at Station 1. We rented a boat but we did not get the island hopping package coupled with it. Our destination would only be Crystal Cove. For P1, 000 we have the boat for 2 hours.

Crystal Cove Island Resort is just 10-15 minutes away from the mainland, which sits at the Northern side of Boracay Coast.  Entrance fee is P200/pax. The island offers island tour packages inclusive of meals and drinks. We didn’t avail any because we don’t plan to stay long. We just want to go around and have photos of course. 🙂

Going to Cove 1 was effortless that even Nanay managed to go down.

There was a swim area beneath but because of the strong waves that time we didn’t dare to try.

The coiled stairway going down at Cove 1 was the only challenge we had so far.

At Cove 2, Nanay didn’t attempt to go in.

As bending and crawling was needed this time.

At the end of the narrow tunnel, clear water welcomed us. Cove 2 was bigger and rock formations were more visible with stalactites dropping from the ceilings.

Our boatman aka tour guide and photographer were always ready to give us a shot. 🙂

On our way back at the top, the majestic view was simply captivating. And the picture of the blue sea was rather peaceful and consoling. I would love to go back and spend a day at this side of Boracay.



Thank you to our tour guides for the great photos we had at Crystal Cove. 🙂

The cruise back to White Beach was a little rough and thanks goodness that our boat was big to stand the waves.

Again, our big thank you to our boatmen especially to aka Luke of Boracay according to Leoncio, I strongly oppose ‘ney! 😦  Overall, we had a wonderful time around.

We spent the rest of daylight at the beachfront, trying to capture a beautiful sunset but the sun remained coarsely hiding from those clouds.

Before dinnertime, we went back shortly at the hotel to freshen and change. We just wanted some home-cooked dishes this time and after scanning the eateries around we decided for Big Mama’s.



Why? Because they offered the usual staples at home –adobo, menudo, mechado, etc. and apart from it their meals were reasonably priced.

You have the option to dine al-fresco, which we initially did; however, it suddenly rained leaving us no choice but to move at the covered area. The food is so so, average for a carinderia. Just don’t expect much at Big Mama’s. 🙂

On our way back to Astoria we chanced some fire dancers near Astoria; we stayed for a while to witness the amazing moves of these performers. And probably Nanay enjoyed their dances the reason why she was generous to give them a tip later on.

Leoncio and I were supposed to go out after we dropped Nanay in Astoria but we felt glued to our bed and decided to call it a night.

It was one wonderful and action-packed day for January and Leoncio. 🙂

Stay tuned there’s more…

Boracay 2012: Part I –arrival, dinner and sweets

On my first trip to Boracay last year, which was during my birthday, I felt that the time we spent was too short to miss many. The reason why even before we left the island I wished of going back to experience and enjoy what we failed to see. Indeed God was so good that even before 2011 bid goodbye he made me win another Free Accommodation and this time at Astoria Boracay.  I cannot contain my happiness and excitement of course as this means another worthy spree for us.

January, right after picking up my voucher at Pioneer Highlands I immediately rushed to Debenhams to shop for beach clothes. Good thing that the favorite shop was on sale that time, after two or three visits I completed my set. 🙂

February, at the start of the month I luckily chanced an airline promo. I grabbed it right away since the same was an open date at Astoria. The round trip ticket to Kalibo was priced at P4, 532.40 all in (including travel insurance) for three pax. Yup, I booked for three pax because Nanay was with us, chaperone hehehe. SAM was supposed to fly with us also but after a series of deliberation, read here, we decided not to tag her around.

Booking in Astoria was hassle-free, the reservation and confirmation was a breeze. By the way, I had to pay an additional P3, 000 for Nanay’s accommodation (daily breakfast included) for two nights since the GC I won entitles two persons only to 3days/2nights accommodation in a deluxe room. Big thanks to Ms. Rizza of Astoria for all the assistance. 🙂

Because this time we’re flying via the Manila-Kalibo route, I decided for us to spend overnight in Kalibo for the return flight. After two weeks of scouting for a decent hostel in Kalibo via TripAdvisor I booked for Ati-Atihan Festival Hostel. Paid P1, 300 for an overnight stay with free breakfast for three, not bad at all. This time, I have to thank Jacky for the speedy booking.

Fast forward to March 22, the date we all waited! The ETD of our flight was at 12:10pm at Domestic Terminal 4, I made sure we left the house early so as not to miss our flight. I don’t want to stress out like last year when we arrived late at the check-in counter. The check-in procedure at the old terminal was rather fast, after paying the terminal fees I silently thanked God for the good vibes. It seemed like it’s going to be all smooth for us.

Since it was too early to proceed at the Boarding Area, we went around looking for a place to have lunch. You know how airport meals can be too expensive, so I don’t want to make it as our option. A few steps from the departure main gate was Carmelino’s Grill.

The place was perfect to lounge while having some coffee, sandwiches or even a full meal. All three of us were not in the mood to eat rice, so we ordered something light.


Lomi and Clubhouse only, light I say but we didn’t know at all that the serving of Lomi was big and we got two. The order taker didn’t even tell us that an order could actually fed three. We end up getting heavy with the generous portion of noodles, chicken chunks and veggies in each bowl. Though service was a bit slow, the prices were reasonable. 🙂

We didn’t stay long; we decided to spend the last hour at the Boarding Area. All the time waiting, I was praying that our flight won’t get delayed. I can’t help but worry that the bad reviews I read about Zest Air would happen to us too. Oh no, please not this time as this was Nanay’s first plane ride ever. Fifteen minutes before the estimated time of departure, boarding was announced. I was relieved. Hallelujah!

Despite the dampen runway that day no delays had happen. Thankful!

The airbus was a comfy ride comparable to the small aircraft we rode last year. I had my Nanay took the window seat for her to witness the stunning view from above not knowing that she had fear of heights. Yikes! Sorry, mother dear I had no idea but at least I know now, I would bear that in mind. 🙂

I didn’t get a nap the entire one hour plane ride, I was pretty excited. The moment we get off the plane, we couldn’t get enough like most of the tourist did.

Kodak moments they say, we didn’t let it passed.

The photo wall at Kalibo airstrip. Thanks to Leoncio’s ex-colleague for giving us this shot.

Right after we got hold of our baggage, we scout for van transfer going to Caticlan Jetty Port. In fact, there were too many to choose from, which were all readily available even before you stepped out of the arrival area. The rate ranges from P200-P300 including boat transfer to Boracay.

We took the classy Southwest Tours, priced at P300 each. Because it would be another 2 hours travel time, I want it to be comfortable all the way.

Southwest Tours may be pricey compared to the rest of the land transfer available thereon but I cannot comprise, first is safety and the second is convenience.  They had clean coasters and busses and what remarkable with them was they don’t maximized the seating capacity, so you get plenty of legroom to stretch out. Also, their coaster will leave in no time even if the passengers were only five, so you save time. After a 10 minute stopover in the middle of somewhere to pee and to have snack, we arrived at Caticlan. We were guided by the Southwest Tour personnel to our boat.

Wait, we still pay for Environmental Fee P75 and Terminal Fee P50. The inclusion of our transfer was Boat Fee only.

Southwest Tours had their own boat that will bring you to Cagban Jetty Port. The transfer was bumpy at this side of the sea nevertheless the sight of the island would calm you inside.

From the jetty port, we rode a trike going to Astoria, which was located at Station 1. From the main road, Astoria’s way in was nearby, the reception counter will welcome you this way. Check-in was quick that even before I finished our welcome drink we were already guided to our room. Oh btw, I was asked to deposit P1, 000 per night for the duration of our stay –this would be refundable upon check out.

Astoria Boracay is brand new, high end resort in the very heart of White Beach at Station One.

With each of the 39 rooms having a modern and stylish design, this contemporary resort is perfect for those wanting a combination of the chic and the beach.

Our room was located at the 2nd level overlooking the outdoor swimming pool, it was so inviting.

Astoria’s De Luxe Rooms were big and modern. While remained minimalist in the hue of grey and white.

Room amenities include strong air-conditioning system

32″ LCD television with cable


personal refrigerator and hair dryer (very useful to me), safety deposit box, slippers and umbrella

bath and toilet (though the bath part was poor because the water splashes out every time we use the shower)



tea and coffee making facilities


complimentary water (refilled everyday) and welcome drink (pandan flavored that was so refreshing)

telephone, voice mail and free internet access

A De Luxe Room with pool access was also available at the base level likewise rooms with their own balcony was also offered.

I don’t mind us getting not the best room, remember our stay was free but we never felt biases from the staffs counter to those paying guests. Other than, we felt we were treated very special.

We spent an hour or two resting at the comfort of our room, and by the time we went out for a walk at the beachfront the sun was no longer red-hot, almost hiding from the clouds.

While Boracay remained to be a favorite beach spot of local and foreign tourist, I was saddened by the sight of algae at the water’s edge. It was thick and messily scattered at the white powdery sand. And dipping my feet at the saltwater gave me a hasty second thought. 😦 Though the algae had long been a normal occurrence in Boracay, it was still a disappointment. For sure you wouldn’t want to swim and get itchy later on.


We walked at the stretch of Staion 1, until we reached the most photographed landmark in Boracay –Willy’s Rock.

Because it was high tide during our first visit, we didn’t make it on top of the rock formation. And this time the water was shallow allowing us to climb the stairs that led to the Marian grotto sitting on top.

These oversized lobsters were overpriced too. 😦

Before sundown we walked back to Astoria down to Station 2 to look for a place to have dinner. We wanted Nanay to experience the seafood buffet dinner, which we sampled before. There were even bountiful of resto offering it now but those stationed near D’Mall was steep at P380. Even if wanted to splurge, we wanted to remain budget-conscious too besides we’re on day one only folks. 🙂

Far D’Mall but still at Station 2 was Kalinga Bar and Restaurant, I think they were the cheapest at P250 eat and drink all you can. After Leoncio checked the spread, we reserved a seat right away.


Just don’t expect much on seafood buffet offered at the beachfronts, but nonetheless we had a filling dinner over the bounties of clams and oysters, shrimp (small ones) and crabs. There’s also pork, chicken and fish dish to choose from.

We ended with the usual tropical fruits that were perfectly refreshing on a humid Boracay night.


Happy diners! 🙂

I was mindless of the time and suggested that we should walk around D’Mall to avoid the state of food coma. Because it rained lightly too, we decided to look for a place to kill time. I was not decided for coffee but getting something sweet and delectable is a must.

I wouldn’t say no to a cold treat that was very appropriate but I had to do a lot of convincing to my party that it’s just shaved ice more like the favored halo-halo.

It was a treat! Red Bean Hallowich’s Couple Ice was ample for the three of us. On a second note, I was expecting more mango and bananas instead of pineapples, which I less like.  Nevertheless, we emptied the bowl in no time.

See, they’re both enjoying their share! 🙂


By 9pm we’re already back in Astoria and while Nanay decided to spend the night watching her much-awaited teleseryes, Leoncio and I decided to take a dip at the hotel’s swimming pool. It was beautifully lighted at night and we have it by ourselves all along.



A peaceful sleep followed after a lengthy day. To be continued…




treat from Atoy

Our big thanks to Atoy (our “forefather” from Warehouse) for sending us budget, see we were able to delight our tummies with this yummy pancit.

Belated Happy Birthday to you, we know you had a happy day! 🙂

Another weekend is coming in, I wish you all a good and peaceful one!



fake hawkers at Agoo, La Union

You know how I rant about thrift shopping, outlet sales, discounted coupons –essentially bargains to make it simple.  And never in my life could I ever imagine I would fall down and be victim of those bogus hawkers.

Let me recap the fleeting story of how husband and I became a good target.

Prior to our recent trip to Ilocos we were always eager to buy seafoods on our way home as it’s always the best pasalubong we thought we could take back home to family and friends. And I remember how we scored pretty good yellow fin tuna in Sta. Cruz, Ilocos Sur during one of our trips way back in 2009. If I may recall back in 2008, we also made that stop in La Union and almost bought those giant prawns however, we discard the idea easily because we were too cramped in our car.

Tsk, I should have taken photos of their faces too 😦

Not until our trip back to Manila following Holy Week this year. Probably because we were more lax during our daytrip we allowed the plenty of stopovers. It’s right after a stopover in Rosario, La Union for gas reloading we made that second stop in the artery of Agoo, La Union. The culprit –hawkers that flock the highway, waving big prawns and appeared to be drained from all day standing notwithstanding the heat of the sun. Sometimes, it hit me to see the locals that way and the thought of why not buy their produce as it’s the only way I could possibly give help.

So, without further ado, we stopped and parked at the side of the road, not even thinking of our security in the first place. I opened the car window and asked the local how much? “Mam, P450 po”, I told him back “P450? ang mahal, presyong Manila yan ‘nong”. As I continue to haggle, husband stepped out of his driving seat to inspect the quality of the prawns. This time, I noticed ‘nong (short for Manong) waived to his colleagues to signal that we got customer here. They became three in short, an elderly woman, a teen and the ‘nong, which I can tell maybe in his 30’s. Since these folks spoke Ilocano too, husband conversed to them in the same tongue. Until, husband informed me that the price can be lowered at P350 if we got all prawns, 5 kilos all in all. I had apprehension and thought for a while, what am I going to do with those 5 kilos. It’s quite too much for us two but the thought of my family who share the same passion and love for seafood with me I expunged all my hesitations. Besides the teens that rode with us was probably drooling to savor some once we got home and cooked. I didn’t mind at all that the husband wasn’t like that, he was never been an impulsive buyer from the start. Well, we thought we got another discount when we paid a total of P1, 700 only, plus we got the container filled with ice for free.

We had at least three stopovers before the prawns were unloaded and pulled out from the small pail. It was my Nanay who first touched the prawns when we arrived in Cavite, I told her that it’s a load and it’s quite expensive. My eyes were ready to shut at almost 2am especially that we were on the road the entire day when my Nanay told me that the prawns she took out from the pail was only some –7 pieces to be exact. I had it checked myself; I even had to dip my two hands to absolutely check. From that point, I had to asked husband if he left some in Makati (Manang Linda’s house). He’s response was negative and because I was little disturbed already he went on to check it out his own. I know he got surprised on what he discovered too but kept mum to avoid the lengthy discussion, besides what else can we do now? At that point, we were already sleepy to make a case so we chose to retire, as it’s the only best thing at the moment.

The following night, we have time to recollect how the incident happened in our very eyes. How we became victims of overpricing, underselling and ghost sales, whichever way it was a fake deal.

The hawkers had been expert in doing this especially if they sense that the target customers are Manila based. They were very wise to think that a customer from Manila would never drive back just to claim the deficit.

Because husband seemed to be too trusting while he conversed in Ilocano, we became the unwilling victim of opportunists and mischief. He even allowed those hawkers to place the pail at the back of our car after he paid it.

Because passersby like us were normally in a hurry, we became vulnerable –the reason why we were cheated.

I don’t know if it was some sort of “budol-budol” but categorically it’s the same.

Though under weighing was another story and the least of our concern, it was still the cause of our very expensive prawns.

The modus operandi of this gang was so easy for us not to discover right away –simple, they showed us the abundance of prawns, we haggle a bit they gave in, they voluntarily carry the pail for us where in fact they switched it with a new pail with a very small number of prawns. 7 pieces of prawns for P1, 700 –frustrating but we find no option to set it right except that this would be a big lesson for us from now on, we would be watchful until the next time because our hard earned money is so painful to expend just like that. 😦


P.S. I hope these hawkers from Agoo, La Union should be stopped as this highway is accessible to local and foreign tourist, which can be the next prey. And guess it will be more fun in the Philippines without these counterfeiters.