The Month of the Heart of Winter

the new leaf of January is my Month!

date nights|ucc, starbucks, rustan’s

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As a couple for the last 8 years the path we crossed was not always a smooth one and free of disagreements, we have difficult times but that’s part of married life, the real one that is not fictionalized. We’re not perfect and nobody is and at this time and age when some of my friends remained alone and single, some were already at odds with their spouses, some have financial and marital issues and some had lost their partner naturally, I feel luckier that despite the many imperfections we still have each other to wake up each morning.

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*excuse the messy hair

And there’s no real secret to it because we’re just choosing love everyday, we still go on dates like it was the first few months of being together, we goof at coffee shops –we enjoy the little things that’s it.

Ssshhh, it makes a little perfect if you have the same sweet tooth and love for coffee and Chinese food and cheese and chocolates!

The truth, I just want to make way for these foodie pics! 🙂

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UCC Iced Cafe Mocha

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UCC Hot Cafe Latte

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UCC Mixed Fruit Crepe

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cheese shopping ♥

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Have a lovely Sunday folks! 😛

better days are coming

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Dear Week, I’m so over you, I’m leaving you for your bestfriend, Weekend. ♥

 

all saint’s day 2014

The weather was good the entire day of All Saint’s Day, that’s why despite the lack of our own tent we survived the afternoon. Really, thanks again to the neighboring family for shading even just half of Ninang Elo and Ina’s graveyard. The paternal graveyard nearby on the other hand was well-shaded as usual.

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By now, I have a very little recall of the event last November 1 at the cemetery. My recollection wasn’t the same as before and I have to do more off the cuff stories to make this a bit worth reading for, at least to my silent reader. Hello you! 😛 Like the previous years, visiting our dead was like a mini-reunion of our families because we get to see almost everyone who drops by. It was like a get-together at the memorial with food and drinks and loads of conversation. It’s that one time of the year when most of us really go on break from everything and go on a vigil and light candles and offer short prayers for our dear departed ones. I wish the whole maternal kin would be completed one day. And that the paternal relatives would somehow give time at least on this one occasion. Hay!

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Anyhow, we left the memorial park around 8pm this time. From last years’ the crowd was lesser this time probably because it wasn’t a long weekend, there weren’t too many people loitering around and traffic was bearable as well, thank goodness for that because we made it home easily.

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Because it was Saturday night and we felt it’s a waste to just stay home and watch horror flicks we drove to Tagaytay to kill time, to have coffee and fries, to do nothing but sit for hours. I’m a sucker for occasions like this because it’s my very idea of loosening up and taking everything slow. You know how my work day sucks back at the office so even it’s just a few hours of break I’ll grab every chance.

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We love the outdoors at McDonald’s across Taal Vista, it’s like hitting two birds at the same time –eating our favorite junks while embracing the cold, wind-chilled temperature that night. And because social media is too epidemic you can’t hide from people within your network, they’d find you right there and then. Location is on that’s why. So after a few sips of my coffee, some maternal cousins arrived and joined us. They were at a tea house earlier. And since JB and family was scheduled to leave a week after that it became the start of the merry occasion cum despedida for them.

I know I’m just missing one of the favorite cousins by now that’s why this post is somehow dedicated to him again. Seriously, you can’t tell maybe in a few years time Leoncio might consider the greener pasture and decide to go other than I’ll probably have mixed decision because I fear to start at zero once again besides the parental are already old and I guess they’ll need more of me one day. I don’t know with you but committing to living and working abroad never crossed my mind even before, I always felt that it’s all about money and the good life ahead but let’s admit it that not everyone who choose the battle abroad succeeds, they have their own fair share of failure and despair. To each his own, it’s a matter of choice and my life is here.

Well, it was indeed a happy All Saint’s Day! 

 

send-off for the viado’s

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Because I grew up with a very close maternal family it makes me very sad everytime someone has to go, not including the early demise of my older folks, it’s a different story you know. My maternal family isn’t that big, average is 2 or 3 siblings for each family, some married cousins also has 2 kids each so you can do a roll call easily and in a quick look you can spot the absentees during gatherings.

At count now, 2 married and one unmarried cousin are now Singapore-based, one is based in Dubai with his family and just recently another one left for Canada with his family as immigrants. I don’t know but the recent send-off was sad, maybe because they’re going away to a far-away land and the chances of seeing them once again might take longer because of resident status issue and the like, say two or three years the minimum, I felt missing them by now especially that Christmas is coming too soon. 😦

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A week before the family left we gave them a send-off at their abode, in the midst of clutter because they’re packing and selling all their stuffs that time. It was a simple lunch joined by the maternals and it was like flashback of last year’s dinner –same time, same house, and same faces minus Nanay’s heart attack. It was a bit sickening to remember what happened last year and the sudden commotion that almost took the life of a dear one. Anyhow, the send-off was the like the usual family gathering with food and booze, the mood was happy despite the looming goodbyes on the sideline.

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I know occasions wouldn’t be the same without you guys, we would miss you JB because you’re totally the life of the party. But as you step forward and begin another journey we can’t dissent anymore this time. Enjoy the snow pile, embrace the cold winters and be merry until the spring arrives. 🙂

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And here’s a toast to a new beginning for your family. Be well, live free and enjoy life to the fullest. Hope you’ll get to start easily a new chapter of your lives to your new home, new job and new friends. Everything awaits you now so hurry up and give your best shot because only a lucky few get to live their dreams and daydreams.

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We’re all green-eyed now with your White Christmas! ♥

 

revisiting uncle cheffy

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The first time we dined at Uncle Cheffy was the day my eldest Winnie met her fateful accident, and the dining experience wasn’t a wow as well, so I thought it was really a bad day then but as I said beforehand I’m giving the restaurant a second try. I was considering that maybe we picked the wrong set the reason why I wasn’t impressed with all the food we consumed.

The second visit happens unexpected while my cousin Rheena was on her second business trip to Manila. She was checked in at F1’s in BGC, so during her recent stay we scheduled another dinner, had two dinner dates with her and Tita Pearl during the first trip but I lost account –the first at Italianni’s and the second in Elias. This time we were joined by another maternal cousin who actually planned this meet up. The original plan actually was to drive all the way to Las Pinas to head bang with 19 East live performers but on a weekday we had to consider work the next day and the possible hangover of alcohol.

I was at first thinking of trying out a new restaurant around Burgos Circle that night, say Barcino or The Distillery but the two seems to be upscale and I don’t want to burden my paying cousin besides I was  thinking of splitting the bill with her. Anyhow, because Uncle Cheffy’s al fresco dining looked inviting that night we all mutually decided there, plus factor was they had beers so we don’t need to hop to another bistro later on for booze.

This time around I made sure I got the right set of food so I won’t regret any later on and impress ze cousins in a way. 🙂

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First to arrive on our table was their famed brick-oven Panizza, I was telling Tita Pearl that it’s very much like the Dear Darla pizza, tho Uncle Cheffy’s version was a bit different because arugula was replaced with lettuce. For the second time, the panizza remained to be a disappointment for me. Sorry but C’ Italian’s version remained to be first on my list. I never liked my pizza or panizza so thin.

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I got us Grilled Prawns and Pomelo Salad, I thought it’s nice to have a good crunch of greens. And it made me really happy, the grilled prawns were juicy and huge and its roasted sesame vinaigrette dressing made its overall flavor. And the serving was generous, two thumbs up for this salad!

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For our main, I ordered 1000g of BBQ Pork Ribs, the order came with Asian Fried Rice which ze cousin Wowie enjoyed. I think it paid well that a second visit is a must because this time I have named Uncle Cheffy’s pork ribs next to Friday’s Jack Daniel’s Ribs, my all-time favorite fall-of-the-bone baby back ribs! ♥ And the price was surprisingly cheap.

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We had a night cap with two bucket of beers and pork sisig and baked mussels, a light convo about families, about careers, just about anything less the drama, less the intrigues, less the issues within the kith and kin. I love days like this when everything seems too normal and fall into place. No family is perfect. There may only be gloomy days but in the end when everything goes like hell, the people who’ll stand by you without flinching remain to be the family. And Uncle Cheffy, you won me this time! 🙂

 

 

Uncle Cheffy
Unit C, Bellagio II, Forbes Rd. corner Burgos Circle, Forbes Town Center,
Bonifacio Global City, Taguig Cit
M. +632659 8030 / 659 8031
 

pre-christmas meet at lugang café

Maybe because our Piltel days was something very unforgettable and momentous despite the ups and downs, it’s very hard as well to put behind the people I made friends, best of friends to say. And even if age has taken its toll to each of us, and career had its fall down and pick up point, and love life has stopped to some, we remained steady and true to our friendship. No one gets judged or under estimated even else the world turns you down. I’m one happy gal with my P-boys around. 🙂

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During last Friday, Gem and I decided that we meet early this year for the annual get-together ze Christmas party. We see that the timing is perfect this November even before everyone gets busy with parties and occasions. Likewise, we thought it’s nice to hang out once in a while even though there’s no special occasion, we partly missed catching up like the old times. But because of my late notice, okay blame me here folks, Babu and George didn’t make it. They had parties of their own to attend. And surprisingly, when Gem and I thought that it’s just going to be the two of us, Pel showed up. Hooray for his coming!

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I told before that I never liked going to Megamall but these days it’s becoming the venue of dinner dates and meet ups because many good restaurants were opening now at the Fashion Hall, and I couldn’t resist visiting some. And because we’ve set to meet up in Megamall instead of the usual Makati route I picked the restaurant which I haven’t tried yet. Lugang Café isn’t new, actually its main branch is in Greenhills and I remember receiving a supplier’s invite there years ago which I politely declined. Anyhow, that was past and I’m glad I made it right this time because Gem and Pel enjoyed the food and the conversation over it.

Lugang Café specializes in authentic Taiwanese cuisine which I have no idea about, when you say Taiwan I can only account Quickly –taro drink and well the first of the many milk tea franchise. Clueless me! But Taiwan and China and the Chinese people must have done something very good that their franchises and restaurants easily becomes a hit in Manila.

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Like most of the diners that night we had to order the famed steamed Xiao Long Bao, first-grade in my own judgment because of its thin, silky skins and flavorful pork stuffing. The burst of flavors explode in my mouth in every piece, and I think I finished half of the order. Hehehe

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And instead of the regular Hainanese Chicken we went for the Chicken Topped with Scallion and Ginger Oil, and oh my this white chicken is going to be a favorite from now on despite its fatty skin. The generous scallion toppings make a perfect add-on to this incredible delicious poached chicken meal.

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We also had the traditional Roasted Meat Combination with all my favorite Chinese items – suckling pig, pork asado, cold jellyfish strips and century egg. Jellyfish and its gelatinous texture is love!

We had a kind serving of their Golden Fried Rice and House Tea to wash down everything. The little downside, house tea wasn’t free of charge, but for P40 it wasn’t bad either.

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The conversation was extended even after the sumptuous dinner because Lugang Café was very conducive, I don’t know with you but I love well-lit restaurants and Lugang Café’s chic and stylish ambiance with mirrors and chandeliers is love, love, love.

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Another downside of dining at Lugang Café’s Fashion Hall branch, the store closes early so we had to move to Shangri-la Plaza for that extended bonding. We thought of Starbucks but as usual the coffee shop was packed, so we had to move to its neighboring Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, which I personally like. Not that I’m dumping SB but sometimes the coffee seems to be bland and lukewarm especially when the queue is very long and ever since they change their pastry supplier the cakes tasted sad. 😦 And Coffee Bean’s baked cheesecake is my ultimate love ♥ but because i’m still full coming from that hefty dinner I passed on the cheesecakes and had iced mocha only this time. We had a night cap at Coffee Bean while also waiting for Leoncio to arrive.

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It’s always a good feel to have the most wonderful friends around, with people who are healthy to be with because the conversation is enriching and the feeling is always communal.

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Merry Christmas Gem and Pel! 😛

 

 

Lugang Café
FASHION HALL, SM MEGAMALL
F Fashion Hall, Bldg D, SM Megamall Edsa cor. J. Vargas, Brgy Wack Wack, Mandaluyong City
M. +63 915 1742243