The Month of the Heart of Winter

the new leaf of January is my Month!

Monthly Archives: July 2012

Cebu 2012: Part I –flying to Cebu for the first time

Leoncio and I had long planned of visiting the Queen City of the South –Cebu but we have plenty of considerations the reason why this trip was buried to infinity until last January, when fortune comes again and got me a free accommodation at Hotel Elizabeth of my choice. Special thanks to ToT for this! 🙂  I could have easily decide for its Baguio branch as this would be a perfect treat for the coming summer season then but I turn aside and contemplate of visiting Cebu. I’ve never been to Cebu and this is the chance I so waited for.

At the height of planning this trip I almost concede because I can’t chance any good airline promo at that time. I can’t travel through the regular fare because a party of four can slash my whole budget alone and I have to stay conscious of the expenses we’re up to once we hit the city. The wait was worth it, the P4 base fare was a lot of savings. 🙂

Fast forward to July 5, our departure time was quite early so we ensure to arrive at the airport 2 hours prior our 5:50am flight. In fact, we were there at around 3:30am but check in at Airphil Express was so slow that it took us another hour to get in through the pre-departure area.

Since it was my first time to board at NAIA Terminal 3, the terminal itself surprised me. It’s big and spacious, yes a lot better than the old Domestic airport which is now called Terminal 4 but Terminal 2 is still way better and if budget isn’t a problem in my case I would have booked PAL tickets ahead. 🙂

Anyhow, because we left home too early we didn’t have breakfast at all and it’s good to find out that Terminal 3 houses plenty of cafés. And despite the many options we had Café France would always be my choice only that we have to buy coffee from Kopi Roti because their espresso machine was out of service. 😦

We moved at our assigned gate few minutes before the scheduled boarding time, the AC at the boarding gate was colder and because the airport benches are made of steel it gave a chillier effect which made me pull my jacket at once. While waiting I was praying that our flight would not get delayed in any way, and at last when boarding was announced I was relieved only that we have to transfer at the lower level and hopped in the airport bus and walk our way up from the tarmac. Oh these airlines know how to cut cost because they save funds by not using the airbridge or tube but think about its inconvenience to senior passengers please. 😦

And yes the mention of us four means, Nanay, Sam, Leoncio and I. I’m flying with three of my favorite people this time. The airliner was half full when we left Manila.

Sam’s first plane ride 🙂

We arrived at Mactan International Airport ahead of time and after getting our check in baggage we jumped a cab going to Hotel Elizabeth. Tip if you’re riding a cab from the airport:  From the domestic arrivals terminal, walk across and use the stairs to go up. There you’ll find white taxis (metered) which is a lot cheaper from the airport taxis. But I read somewhere that it is safe and reasonable to ride the yellow one if your flight is very late or very early as these white taxis tend to overcharge.

From the airport, Hotel Elizabeth is a 30-minutes drive or more if traffic gets worst along the way. Arriving at HE I felt like shutting down because I was already 24 hours wide awake by now. Yup, I didn’t sleep overnight because I had to pack on the last minute and at the same time I had to fix up the house before we left.  My body longs for the feel of a comfy bed and if we could check-in earlier I might snooze in a second. But like any other hotel, the check-in time is standard at 2pm, so, we just dropped our things and explore the city right away.

Note: A separate post all about Hotel Elizabeth would follow soon after.

Two days prior our arrival I phone in Juddy Nebria of Cebu Taxi Tour if he could accommodate us. Unfortunately he was already booked but he didn’t say no to me at all, instead he referred me to his colleague who also does city tours. I didn’t contact Dante (our assigned city tour) until we landed safely in Mactan, and when we finally hit the airport I immediately informed him of our arrival and asked him to meet us at the hotel by 9am. Indeed, he arrived even 30 minutes earlier which pleased me very much. His coming early saves me from getting drowsy on HE’s cozy lobby seats.

Our Cebu City Tour will follow next…


weekend treats

The recent weekend was laid-back as there’s no activity in line and for a mall rat (yes, I still am) I can’t let the weekend pass by not visiting one. Actually, I could always make the supermarket visit a good excuse to go out on Sunday, hehehe. And because most of the favorite shops at Ayala Center were on sale I can’t help but walk in and check how the prices are dropping. I can still wait for the 70% mark down which is happening soon. 🙂

Apart from window shopping, I also look forward to dining out on weekend; I consider it a reward in my case even that means eating fast-food food only. Simple treat these days need not to be hotel buffets all the time, besides the husband is so strict when it comes to my diet now.

So to cut it short, I ate to my heart’s content yesterday.

Had not one but two orders of Takoyaki balls from SM food stalls. I know it doesn’t taste any authentic but I still prefer this mixture because it doesn’t leave any after taste at all.

Because Haagen-Dazs would be shutting down operations in the Philippines, their delectable ice creams where put on sale. I grab a personal tub, thorn between the Belgian Chocolate and Crème Brulee but the latter won. 🙂

All creamy indulgence, two of my favorite dessert comes into one.

I wanted pasta dish for dinner yesterday, those from Café France to be exact but there’s no store nearby our way. I was almost considering Yellow Cab’s Chicken Alfredo Pasta until this newly opened Army Navy in Jupiter St. caught my attention. In fact I am not so certain if this is a new store or I just did not notice it in the past. Anyway, I’m glad they opened one at this site.

Since they don’t have pasta on their menu I settled for my much loved Cheese Quesadilla –folded tortilla filled with cheese, toasted and served with salsa.

While the husband got himself a Burger –classic, single, quarter-pound, beef patty. He loves it very much and even compared it to Bea’s second favorite beef burger. With this, I see us frequenting the place from now on. 😀

We add up an order of Onion Rings, their version is thinner and yes it’s crispy.

I promise to get myself a Chicken Burrito next time. 😛

I know weekend cannot always be like this; once in a while a breather is just right to break up the longing to cheat during the weekdays.


*Photos from my BB

weekday meals (jul 9-13)

I find it hard to start here after the recent short vacay; except for last Friday post everything becomes a backlog now. Allow me to keep back the travelogue until the right timing and mood comes in sync.

Anyhow, I’m back with my hale and hearty meal that is after a series of cheat-eats while on vacay. The cheat-eats were understandable then. 🙂

And these were randomly prepared last week to continue my drive to eat healthier!

Bitter Gourd with bits of Lechon. I bought some kilos of Lechon to take home before our flight back to Manila last July 7. The household enjoyed it on last Sunday’s lunch while the other pack remained frozen and gave flavor to one of my favorite veggie dish.

Sinigang na Hipon (Sour Shrimp Stew). I don’t know with you but I can survive for days eating this stew. I love it when it’s very hot.

Scrambled eggs, Dried Squid and Dried Fish (Danggit). There’s no doubt I miss the fare we had while at the Queen City of the South. I dearly miss the buffet breakfast at the hotel which includes the city’s famous dried fish –Danggit!

Admittedly my weight lost is very slow but I don’t mind at all for as long as my metabolism is doing well. And i’m happy with that. 🙂

Wishing everyone a brand new week, have a healthier start folks! 😛


B turns 33 in human years

It’s been nine months since that big decision to momentarily leave our Bea at my parent’s house in Cavite. It was one of the major decisions we had in 2011 and the saddest of all. It was very hard for us to accept that we will no longer see her everyday like it used to for the last four years. I thought I would recover, I thought as time goes by we would grow to accept that our separation has its better purpose. Frankly, I didn’t and most nights I would browse her photos on my phone before I put myself to sleep.  On weekends, I long for her presence more especially when I’m home alone. When we’re off to BGC, I can’t help but miss her company, she loves to be with people. I can only wish our life is free from ruthless people.

Last Sunday, as Bea marked her 5th birthday we gave her a little surprise, a small party for our family and some friends. We had fun as our Bea cheerfully poses with the kids. Yes, she loves kids very much because she feels right with them around. And though, she feels slightly sick that day she didn’t disappoints all her guest. She’s like that, always euphoric when people would tap and call out her name.

Bea is our gift from God and despite our physical separation now she would always be that small puppy I used to carry in my arms, she would always be Dadi’s girl and Momi’ s alter ego. And even supposing our separation would take longer that what we expected I know she is being taken care of very well. She can never be alone, she always has people around and that makes me feel content because I know she is loved.

Momi and Dadi wishes that may God continue to give you life and healthiness. We love you Bunso! 😛


Some of her party pics!

B’s past birthdays HERE.


prelude to another travelogue

Halu! I know I’ve been idle for a week now but all is well and the rest of my folks, it’s only that I had a busier July to kick off.

Anyhow, I was on a trip with three of my favorite person last week. We finally got to visit the Queen City of the South and the experience was fantastic, one that I want to go through all over again. 🙂

The food down south was great, flavorful and mouth-watering! And I know we came in the right place, where the “Best Pig…EVER!” was served.

Watch out for the complete blog post!



Leoncio and I celebrated our baby B’s 5th Birthday last Sunday and we would forever be thankful for giving her to us. 😛

milk tea + ultimate buffet + good fellas

You know how lazy I can be at times especially on Saturdays when no work is due; I can spend the whole day in front of my notebook browsing anything and everything that captures my interest. So when the cousin messaged me and asked me to meet at The Fort area last Saturday I was a little hesitant. But it didn’t took me so long to decide, I say yes in no time because it’s not every day I get to see them plus the fact that two of them were just vacationing from abroad. How can I let go of the chance to catch up with them when in fact it’s what I always long and this time I don’t need for occasions to come so I can get along with them.

I met up Jo, Che, Jena and Mikko at Market! Market! But after a very short talk we left and drive along 26th Street. Well, they were up to something other than treating me to some delicious milk tea and dinner after. We spent more than an hour at Burgos Circle waiting for some miracle to happen hehehe, kidding aside we were waiting for the car dealer whom Jena had spoken prior that date. Yea, it’s their turn to buy this time and we were all excited. To kill time, we decided to laze at Serenitea. I don’t know but I am not very much into these milk teas, the reason why you will not find any milk tea post on my past entries. Probably because I am partial to Quickly and Zagu and I consider it’s the same.

I got the Winter Melon variant with 75% sugar and crystals. Yes, you can choose your sugar level and sinkers which is quite unique with them. Well, I don’t know if the rest of the milk tea house around town is like that. No doubt I enjoyed my drink but I have to get a medium only and with 50% sugar the next time, large is too much for me.

Enjoying the good weather at Burgos Circle.

I won’t go in detail how the transaction with the car dealer went through, it was certain and convincing, no doubt that we were all taken by the flawlessness of the deal and the dealer itself. 😀

After that we drive to Makati to have dinner but the preferred dinner place was bursting with diners so even if we were drooling on the smell of grilled seafood and meat we turn away from the restaurant. And though there were plenty of decent bistro and café on all sides of Greenbelt, nothing had caught our liking at that point.

When Jo suggested Dad’s at Glorietta 3 there was no objection from anyone so to cut it short we found ourselves getting ready to start on. We never had second thoughts when we were asked if we’re taking the Ultimate Buffet, everyone Okayed even without saying a word. And we feast as one.

Would you care to know how many plates I had this time?

Firstly, the appetizers –sushi, sashimi and tempura. I love everything on this plate except that my only concern was the sushi’s size; it was somewhat big to finish off one in one slug. 🙂

My second plate had mostly from the Chinese station except for those ebi tempuras which I find it hard to resist. Kuchai dumplings, eggplant something, tuna with pesto, tofu, breaded pork (I didn’t ate this) and my favorite yasai itame.

My third plate –Mixed green vegetables with cashew nuts, potato salad, mushroom eggplant lasagna and sukiyaki (which was so sweet for my taste).

I didn’t sample everything on the spread, I don’t know but I concluded dinner just like that. Probably because my company ate fast and I’m not used to that especially when we’re dining in a buffet. And another thing, I find the stations lengthy which make me a little bit slothful to go around.

Anyway, I end up dinner with some sweets –choco éclair, vanilla ice cream; I don’t know the other one which was shaped like a duck. Oh, it’s sad that they don’t have crème brulee and crepe yet their menu online have it.

For its P695 price, I find it a little short of flavor. 😐

Anyhow, what matters that night was I enjoyed dinner with the maternal cousins and it’s full of spice!

Leoncio came and had two plates (?), he had his share of comment and it wasn’t a happy one too. But just the same, our big thanks to Jo and Che for the wonderful dinner!

Our dinner dates!

Until our next get-together! 😛