The Month of the Heart of Winter

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Tag Archives: sundate blog series

sundate no.33

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When the fambam celebrated Tatay’s 63rd last June in Josephine’s Tagaytay, we listed the neighboring Summit Ridge Hotel next. Tho that “next” took a month to happen, it was well-worth the wait especially that July wasn’t a good month because of the rammasun, and Tagaytay was severely hit.

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Like the usual Sundays when we’re home at the parental house, we would drove to The Little Souls to hear the 10am mass. We loved it there because it’s serene and away from the bustling city sound effects. After the mass, the family would normally troop at the ridge to have lunch. We’re the usual family, who loves to enjoy good food and good vibes, and admit it or not a well put together place is vital, and hotel setting is always impressive and seamless.

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When we spotted this tarp the last time, we thought it was cheaper and probably a nice change from our usual grind. So without further ado, we visited C2 Classic Cuisine last August 3. Tho we came a little unsure of this dining adventure just because the tarp was removed from the hotel’s façade already, we pushed it anyway.

Guess what? It was my first time to step in at Summit Ridge Hotel. Yes, even if we’ve been frequenting Tagaytay for the longest time I could only name a few hotels I’ve been there to. It’s because we find it impracticable to pay thousands for a night sleep when a comfy retreat –the parental house, awaits our homecoming now and then. Other than, we would obviously enjoy a signature hotel scent in the morning of crisp linen and lavenders, and a breakfast buffet to complement the morning vibe. It’s too ideal you know. I love. ♥  This time around we’re just visiting the hotel to have lunch.

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Arriving at past 11am, we’re the first customer by far so we had time to scan the spread and pick a comfy seat of our choice –where lighting and ventilation was mostly considered. Anyhow, the spread wasn’t too many, I expected that already but I think it’s just fair for its P499 price so if you’d complain about it’s being limited get ready to pay double and go off to Taal’s Café Veranda instead.

But what came up a surprise to me and to my family was, C2’s spread were wholly the food we were just craving about. It was like we phoned in the chef and asked him to cook our favorites. We can’t be any happier this time.

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The fambam started to lunch literally while I remained in awed and left me eating my greens again. I always thought it’s a nice starter and Kansi (Ilonggo’s version of sinigang and bulalo) was just right to warm my belly. I had a piece of bread, and jam and butter to pair with. Well, it would be a more welcome treat if there would at least two kinds of cheese around –sharp and strong, I suggest.

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Bread station

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The famed Adobong Balut

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Dessert Corner

I wasn’t able to capture the complete spread but I assure you everything is delicious and filling and would make you come back for more. They serve plain rice and bagoong rice, which was more like Thai rice because it had green mango. We all loved this bagoong rice to bits, perfect to pair with anything grilled. They had Gising-Gising (winged bean cooked in coconut milk with shrimp and grilled pork) and Pakbet (topped with daing na bangus). Other hot dishes include Adobong Balut, which the sisteret craved a day before this dining event, Tid-Tad (dinuguan in Pampanga), Grilled Liempo and Morcon. I don’t know with you but I enjoyed my lunch because everything tasted freshly cooked.

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From Upper Left Clockwise: My happy plate with everything on it –bagoong rice, gising-gising, pakbet, grilled liempo, morcon and adobong balut, Tid-Tad at puto, my dessert plate  –watermelon, black forest cake and turon de leche + brewed coffee and Kansi

Tho on a second note I hope there’s a fish dish for my old folks who cannot pander too much on meat and cholesterol pounding recipes. Hehehe. For dessert they had fresh fruits –watermelon and pineapple, turon the leche (which was another hit), black forest cake (which the fambam almost cleared up) and halo-halo station. Unlimited refill of drinks was included –four seasons, calamansi, I forgot the other one. And mind you, coffee was available –limitless as well. On top of everything, service was impeccable. All wait staffs were well-mannered and welcoming, most especially our dedicated wait staff, Mr. Warren Cueno. He ensured our experience was pleasant and extra exceptional. My old folks appreciated much the little chat. Thank you for the warm treatment, we left very happy and we look forward in visiting back. 🙂

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So the next time you’ll visit Tagaytay, try C2’s Weekend Buffet, you’ll never go wrong anyway with Pinoy comfort food. ♥

 

 

C2 Classic Cuisine
G/F Summit Ridge Hotel
Km 58 Maharlika West, General Emilio. Aguinaldo Highway,
Tagaytay City, Philippines 4120
 
 
 

P.S. Yes, the niece can play the piano so she’d better memorize a piece in prep to our come back 😀

 

sundate no.31

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Jun 8. Now, this post is about to break the routine. Because I’m not really fond of jotting down my past activities I had this tendency to forget what I’m actually doing that very day, thanks for the photos at least I have something to write about. 🙂

This dining event happened few days ahead before my latest post, sorry if the dates aren’t in order here as I could no longer even recall what made us drove to the mall that day. As I told before, Italianni’s isn’t a regular restaurant for us. We can’t afford to shell out more than a thousand bucks every meal but once in a while we feel like we need to splurge a little 😀 and think that we’re moneyed. It’s just money and we’ll make it again and again.

We were at Italianni’s for late lunch once again, we had brunch earlier that day that’s why we weren’t too hungry when we arrived. We we’re thinking of getting an order of fresh insalata and a big pasta plate but we find it too hard to pass on getting an order of pizza ovale. We’re both partial to Italianni’s dough and its topping, and because of that our standard of pizza has become upscale and sosyal. 🙂

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Seafood Cioppino’s. Mussels, shrimps, clams, calamari and spaghetti in cioppino, enchanted with chilli flakes. We love this to bits because it had all our favorite seafood.

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Pizza Abbondaza. Sicilian style pizza with three flavors: calssico pizza, pesto meditteraneo and quattro formaggio topped with feta cheese.

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The word “formaggio” got me, no-brainer at all it’s one of the best. ♥

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I love it that we’re not in a rush, we had our time that afternoon and I love to think that work isn’t due the following day, oh Monday I think I’m allergic to you.

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P.S. I remember now, we were at the mall that day because I needed to buy belated gifts for my two goddaughter

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…and because it’s Sunday we had to stock up food for the week, how about some bargain Biscoff from Rustan’s? I got so lucky! 😛

 

 

Italianni’s Restaurant, Glorietta
Level 2, Glorietta 4, Ayala Center, Makati City
T. +632 757-1323 / 757-1324
 

sundate no.30|nanay’s 62nd

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A week of planning, a day of preparation, a morning of speedy cooking and a witty & bright connivance put together a perfect belated birthday surprise for the matriarch, on a sunny Sunday, it was all labor of love. ♥

Nanay had the blues during her birthday because there was no celebration at home. When I tried to call, her mobile phone was unable to receive my call because the speaker was malfunctioning. 😦 I texted her to ask what she’s cooking, the response was a gloomy “none at all”, I thought she had plans of going out with Ate SAM that day but it didn’t happen for reasons I didn’t bother to ask anymore. I cut my very short convo with her that day thru text because I felt I was adding more injure to her disappointment by then. Little did she know we’re up to something? 🙂

The following day, ze Saturday, after attending Mjane’s wedding Leoncio and I drove hurriedly to Cavite. We need to catch whatever there is at Mahogany market or else we’re dead. On our way I was surprised to receive Che & SAM’s text that they were at Little Soul’s attending the anticipated mass, how come? Tatay was supposed to invite Nanay to Sunday mass so we can freely prepare the morning spread. Now what? Nanay had no idea I was coming home that Saturday night so when she learned about my coming home, she sensed something already. The more when we had to stay very late in Tagaytay, but the truth, we’re just at my sister’s house rushing the preparations. Our only dilemma that time was how we’re going to send Nanay out in the morning so we can set up everything. We had only one person left in mind who’s credible enough to do the extra fun.

Ze Sunday, the 1st of June, I woke up at past 5am already which was an hour late from the original supposedly “call time”. I caught Nanay at the kitchen, wide-awake and preparing macaroni soup for breakfast. I avoided a convo with her and immediately made my way at the bathroom. Tho I know she wondered my bathing so early, I kept mum, besides I really need a good shower after a long day at the wedding, my hair was still gluey from too much hair sprays and I stink after sweating buckets while chopping and cooking the night before. While at the shower I overheard a very familiar voice, the plan must be working, oh yes! But when I stepped out of the shower mother dear was still at the kitchen, naku paano na? We were running out of time, and then the visitor went back again, I was relieved. Finally Kap B (our barangay captian) was able to convince Nanay to go with him to check on something. We told Kap that we needed at least 2 hours so he needs to divert Nanay and go somewhere else.

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Soon as Nanay and Kap went out our challenge started out, I had to cook three mains at the same time, the sister had to perfect her pancakes, the BIL had to chop whatever was needed, SAM worked with the drape and set up and P had to look for baby Ysa. The house help later on continued the frying.

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The maternals arrived even before we set up the breakfast table so it added pressure to us and chaos to the household, Hay! I was moving double time and after one long breathe tada! We’re down and ready! 🙂

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When everyone is around it’s too hard to make a decent photo, right?

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So excuse the bad angles here. 😀

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I asked everyone to come in their favorite shade of pink so I don’t know what happened to those who did not comply, color blind ba? Ooops sorry for my photo bomber baby B.

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Moki’s very own version of PINK 😀

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Nanay and Kap were back at 8:30am, soon as she stepped-in the garage I know she felt a sudden jump in her heart. She was at her happiest with all the greetings and singing and of course the buffet spread. 😛

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I don’t know what happened next, the maternals were all hungry and they care less, they need their breakfast fix.

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To date it was my best sundate ever, one of the best breakfast spree I had and one of the most memorable and exciting event to count. ♥♥♥

When I was little I didn’t get to celebrate birthdays with party and food all the time, I could only remember the 7th perhaps, the 18th wasn’t that biggie, the 25th was more of a family reunion, and my 40th was nothing at all. After my 40th I somehow felt the lost of relevance in marking any birthdays, I was a bit disappointed that my 40th birthday didn’t happen and no one really pay heed to even cook pancit for me, the least they could do. Sigh! 😦 I was decided to ignore all the upcoming birthdays too, it’s just a day and it will pass quietly like any other day. But maybe I was really that gentle and emotional, I can’t stand not to celebrate or do something when their birthday comes. They’re blessed to have me. 🙂

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Birthdays are great reminders of the importance of life, its preciousness and all. I always believe that every birthday should be fêted because time is ticking, our life is passing and before you know it you’ll rotten and old.  Everyone needs to celebrate birthdays because it’s simply worth celebrating, make life as exciting as you were younger because your life has value apart from what you have done. Don’t feel old…

“Do not regret growing older. It is a privilege denied to many.” – Anonymous

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Nanay, don’t worry about the gray hair or the blurred eyesight or the knobby knees nor the visible wrinkles and discolored skin, it’s way beyond normal still. As you marked another birthday, we thanked the Lord for the blessing of life. We can’t ask for anything more other than good health and a sound mind and body. Thank you for your caring everyday and we all look forward in celebrating more birthdays and Christmases and New Years with you. We love you! ♥

I hope you liked our little suprise and Bea’s gift to you 🙂

 

P.S. Before I bid goodbye to this week, let me thank all those who helped us with the preparations and to all who came to celebrate with us last Sunday, thank you for making Nanay very happy on her 62nd. Leoncio missed the event because of his pestering work which I’m beginning to loathe. You’re missing a lot ‘ney! 

 

sundate no.29

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It’s a routine to go out with the kids everytime I’m home, it’s addiction to get a whiff of the no-longer unblemished Tagaytay sky, and it’s a must that we eat together on Sunday’s or even Saturday’s during my off. Coming home always excites me, I love it when the family is just around albeit the kids bugging me to the nth degree. 🙂

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During the first weekend of May, Leoncio and I visited home and spent Sunday lounging at Sky Ranch with Nanay, Che and the kiddos. Tho there were now plenty of restaurants at the façade of the theme park, I personally picked Tokyo Tokyo for a nice change from our usual pizza and pasta fare besides the kids never tried the resto yet. I’d love them to have a varied taste of everything so if in case the Japanese will occupy the Philippines once more they’d survive with maki and katsu. 😀

Tokyo Tokyo used to be a favorite lunch and dinner place back in the 90s, I even thought it was authentic enough because it was one of the Japanese stores I first tried when I was still working in the telco industry. I love their bento meals, and red iced tea and potato balls. During our visit we had an early dinner so we had some filling sumo meals, japadog, potato balls, California maki and pana cotta, coffee jelly & snow ice for dessert. I’d love to order everything and try again.

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SAM & I shared this Sumo Remix –Beef Misono and Pork Tonkatsu while Nanay & Che had Pork Tonkatsu and Prawn & Vegetable Tempura.

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The little big boy had a Japadog which he finished in delight.

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Leoncio tried to battle the heat with his chunky Choco Sensation Snow Ice.

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And because the Sky Ranch rides is very tempting as always to P, he requested if he can just ride the train, only that so we gave in. 😀 While we stayed at the porch overlooking the eye and this cute baby. 😛 I can’t wait for Ysa to get a little taller so she’ll be able to enjoy Sky Ranch like Ate SAM and Kuya P.

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Well, I can’t remember a time when I don’t love Sunday, it keeps getting obsessive tho not all are real fancy I don’t mind the drift. For as long as the family is all smiles and stuffed and healthy, I don’t mind cutting my own budget nor give up a shopping grant for this –Sunday love! ♥

 

 

Tokyo Tokyo – Sky Ranch
Tuy Road, Tagaytay City
 

sundate no.28

Apr 27. It was the typical Sunday, I had errands to run while the husband had work the entire day, and as planned we met merely at dinner time to date around before welcoming the nerve-racking workweek. It’s a must that we go out during weekend and spend some time connecting with the real world a.k.a. shopping mall. 😀

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But since we still have to squeeze some time, on that particular day, to window shop for that top-sider he had long been yearning for (yes, we didn’t exactly bought it that day) we were able to sit down for dinner late. Most restaurants at the new wing of Glorietta had already pulled their “Closed” signage and we pinned down at least 2 or 3 that were still open. We’ve been passing Don Henrico’s every now and then but never considered it for the longest time because I find it steep for just the two of us and my recall of Don Henrico’s big plates is better for groups. Talk about days when SAM was growing up we used to frequent the old restaurant at Glorietta 4.

Anyhow, because I don’t want to walk any further and I’m famished by now, we settle on. The new store was very casual compared to the old store which was upscale based on my opinion. The new store had this fast food vibes and disorderly setting –mismatched chairs, compact couch seats (that’s very uncomfortable), the flooring wasn’t impressive as well, I should have taken a photo of the whole area tho you can check out here. It’s far different from the old store which was modish yet homey for my taste.

The food was another story. Because it’s late dinner already I thought of skipping the pizza, we had my usual favorite from Don Henrico’s –Onion Rings, Baked Ziti and Buffalo Wings.

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Homestyle Onion Rings. Sweet onion rings, lightly breaded and deep-fried until golden crisp; served with our very own ranch dressing.

My memory of Don Henrico’s Onion Rings was that of a basket full of lightly coated and crispy big slices of onion. So naturally I was surprised when our orders came in, more or less 10 pcs of onion rings which was oily and poorly coated (unevenly cut as well). I was dismayed. For its P170 price, it’s a rip-off! 😡

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Baked Ziti. Ziti seasoned with sautéed ground beef, Italian sausage, mushrooms, mozzarella cheese and creamy white sauce. Baked until cheese is bubbly and garnished with red sauce. P310 To Share.

There might be a reason behind this unappetizing serving of pasta and I can only assume that the cook was in a rush because it’s nearly closing or was it me and my current obsession to red sauce and olive oil. I thought I was in the rival restaurant for a while.

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Don Henrico’s Buffalo Wings. Traditional upstate New York style tender pieces of chicken wings marinated, cooked to perfection and coated with tangy BBQ sauce; served with their creamy ranch dipping sauce. P390 for 3 pieces.

Probably because I’m by now upset I didn’t pay heed anymore to our Buffalo Wings order. I cannot tell exactly if it tasted the same. I wasn’t interested anymore. 😦

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I ♥ Don Henrico’s because it brings so many memories of the past esp its Session Road’s branch other than this recent dining experience didn’t impress me and left my palate in despair. What have you become now DH? Where’s that promise of great food and great ambiance go?

 

 

Don Henrico’s
Glorietta 1
2nd Floor, Glorietta Mall Ayala Center, Makati City
T. +632  511-1542 /  511-8196
 

sundate no.27 + moki’s 25th

If I can find the same opportunity back in my hometown I’ll probably think twice this time and consider living in the south, for good. Maybe it’s the added consequence of being old; you want to spend more time with the family and with people that matters most including the unfriendly neighborhood. Hehehe. Seriously, I always look forward to driving home on weekends other than the husband’s work schedule is not permitting us this time. He works 6-days a week and holidays are not spared, so every time we’re home we make the most out of it no matter what.

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Apr 13. The kids love it when I’m home because Sunday means going out, and eating out, and coffee dates and if there’s extra budget our little big boy can laze at Timezone or Sky Ranch and play. During Palm Sunday, we brought the kids at McDonald’s for a nice change from the usual Starbucks routine. Tho they’re more accustomed to Jollibee, because Jollibee’s store is nearby, our love affair with McDonald’s remains big even if we have to drive a little far off more. McDonald’s has always been a good stop, my family loves McDonald’s including my two B’s.

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Timely to our visit was McDonald’s newest offer, the BFF Bundles which was basically designed for sharing. If you have seen the commercial, you’d probably raving and loving it by now. It’s one of those McDonald’s commercials that’s worth seeing and hearing over and over again. The #BetterTogether campaign was a nice move from McDonald’s and Coca-Cola because it promotes happiness, friendship and shared moments in the real world, meaning minus the gadgets and everything digital that makes us busy during meals.

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We got the BFF Burger Bundle because we all heart burgers ♥, and our personal choices were the Big Mac (for Kuya P & Leoncio), McChiken for Ate SAM and McDouble Deluxe for me. I don’t know with you but the two huge serving of BFF fries were too much, I think. We ended finishing one only.

Its P599 price (bundle for 4) is value for your money ONLY if you’re all getting Big Mac under the BFF Burger Bundle, apart from it I don’t find its worth to stuff yourself with fries. Nakakalunod ang fries, promise! 😀

The day before this sundate with the kids, I had a busy day off.  But despite the many errands and activity that day I enjoyed every minute of it because I was home and around.sundate no.27_5

I was able to spend time with my adorable B, I had the chance to do her bathe again after missing it many times. The househelps had been doing the odd job ever since B started living with the parentals, tho occasionally the husband would take turns doing this when we’re home. B loves the water but hated being bathed and that explains her unhappy face when these photos were taken. My big baby is going to be mommy again, oh my!

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My cousin Moki was celebrating his 25th also that day so we went at their house to celebrate in the afternoon.

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I love occasions with the maternals because it gives me that sense of belonging. Tho we have issues and small rifts at times it never put any scar to the close knit we have. Blood remains to be thicker than water for us and I wish it would stay that way forever and ever. 😛

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It’s a habit also that when there’s an occasion we’ll squeeze a little after party of our own. The birthday boy wasn’t able to join us because he still had visitors at home and we ploy them also that we’re going Las Pinas, that far that’s why even my cousin Irish didn’t bother to join up. 😀 Little did they know we’ll just laze around Tagaytay and have coffee and a little fun?

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My dearest cousin JB went with us. JB is one of my closest cousins in our pack because we’re just of the same age (ehem) and we grew up together and he’s ever comical persona makes a perfect company at all times. Seriously, he’s presence will be missed once they totally migrated to the land of milk and honey. Aw!