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a merry christmas|2014

And so it’s Christmas

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We were home in Cavite on Christmas Eve even if the 24th was already a holiday, you know that last minute Christmas rush, the holidays wouldn’t be complete and happy without it anyway. Say that we even managed to have dinner at S&R Macapagal despite the store closing early that night, I feel so Christmas already with clam chowder, so babaw lang! 😀 And for a moment I thought we’d spent Christmas on the road once again because the husband ran out of gas, it’s a lesson learned, never take chances because most gasoline stations closes early on Christmas Eve and I bet it’s the same on New Year’s Eve. Arriving home, we had to rush wrapping some more gifts so it’d be ready in the morning. We forced the kids to sleep early so dear Santa can finally drop off his presents, the bigger kiddo a.k.a. SAM was snooping the entire night. Well, I think she’s at that stage right now where she just needs to believe to old Saint Nicholas so she can get her wish without any tough ordeal.

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Like the past Christmases, we need to be up early for the traditional gift opening, well, the kids of course were the star of our Christmas and their huge and expensive gifts.

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And what do you know, Santa was extra generous this year because I got a box too, for the first time in many years my Christmas present came just in time for Christmas Day and my smile was ear to ear. 😛

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I also got the kids initial gift (?), so I’d expect a grandeur one from the “Mom & Dad”?

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Definitely not our Astro Boi…Big Boi or Pompeii? 

And because I became busy during the last few days of work I had so little time to check the mall for the big B’s gift so she ended up helping Ysabel unwrap her huge box. But my big B had her early Christmas gift as early as November –that three new handsome looking pups was more than enough to make her Christmas a merry one.

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Margarita Ysabel, our little miss ♥

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Gian Paolo, our still baby boy ♥

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Samantha Angela Marie, our fine lady ♥

And what is Christmas without showing off the kiddos new collection, I know it’s too lavish these days especially that some kids doesn’t even have a decent tee to wear or totally with nothing on but we’d just like the kids at our house to experience the same thing we did when my sister and I were growing up –new clothes, new shoes, new toys, etc.

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I know my parents were a bit spoiler the reason why we never really felt deprived, and tho it may look extravagant and uncalled for to some, well, haters gonna hate and losers gonna lose more. Sorry, but it’s the season of the year to dress up and be merry and make the kids super happy, so, I think splurging quite this one time shouldn’t draw too many questions and raised eyebrows. 🙂

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So, I wouldn’t list anymore what the kids got from Santa, everything is lurve, that’s it!

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And like the previous years we have visiting cousins and nephews and nieces on Christmas Day.

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We had a decent spread to feed guests even tho we didn’t really observe the customary Noche Buena.

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Leoncio and I were able to squeeze a late lunch at Mahogany Market on Christmas Day, first-timers to sample what Mahogany is famed for. We had an order of Bulalo and Caldereta, I’ll give a thumbs up for the flavorful Bulalo from Alegre’s Canteen (as recommended by Jewel during her visit to Tagaytay) other than the Caldereta was a far cry of my very own concoction, love your own, hehehe. We didn’t stay really long at Mahogany, we’re actually there to buy B’s “ulam”, our special treat to her for Christmas –beef ribs for a soupy meal at home.

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By eve, we drove back to Tagaytay for the annual coffee feast with the maternal. Traffic was heavier and annoying, even the alternate Mahogany Drive was clogged with too many Christmas goers. I was estimating the time because Leoncio had work the following day and seeing the horrible blockage and all was enough for us to make a turn. We’d probably won’t enjoy too because the favorite coffee shop would be jam-packed, seats would be too hard to reserve especially for a bigger group like us, and coffee would be bland and warm. 😦 I assumed we made a good turn because we ended up to another favorite spot in Tagaytay, thank you Bag of Beans for accommodating us and our last minute requests.

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We had bottomless brewed coffee, hot mocha, caramel cappuccino, white mocha, pancakes, lasagna, pizza, burger and their signature raisin loaf and shepherd’s pie.

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It was indeed a merry night despite our decreasing number every year. One day we’ll celebrate Christmas in complete attendance once again, I’m dearly hoping.

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A Merry Christmas still ♥

 

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so, where were we here?

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Oh the sista’s 30 something birthday. Uhm, during her birthday weekend we went to Divi Market to rally around like the throng of Pinoy shoppers who loves bargains, huge discounts and what else the happiness of shopping spree without selling your kidneys. 😀 But because it was a Saturday, almost always a market day for everyone, the crowd was like a nightmare, there were people everywhere and you can’t even get something out of your bag readily. You’re pushed to walk and walk giving you not much time to lurk over pieces of those P20 items or those 3 for P100 items which in a way can pass as a nice Christmas present with the right paper wrapper and ribbon. We didn’t really stay long at Juan Luna even if Nanay felt like spending more time, after haggling for fruits and veggies we headed right away at the comfort of the air-conditioned Lucky Chinatown Mall nearby, besides it rained that day so we had no choice but to cover and feed ourselves because we’re famished with all the sweats and stinky smell of the surrounds, don’t get me wrong I love Divi by all means but not during this season.

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So, the supposed Chinese-y lunch was discarded and we went to Max’s for some comfort food –spring chicken, lumpiang ubod, sizzling tofu, macaroni salad and tocino, yes, SAM and I didn’t let the chance go by without sampling the breakfast fare, our favorite breakfast chow to be exact.

Going home that day was the next challenge, Leoncio was supposed to pick us up but seeing the horrible traffic I panicked (ok, a bit only), it would be a waste of time and energy and gas. So, I thought that GrabTaxi was the only savior that day, thank God for zero booking fees. Wee! 🙂 It wasn’t too hard to grab one because it didn’t took long for me to get a unit, however, it took us like forever waiting for him when in fact he’s already at Jones Bridge and we already walked like halfway of Quintin Paredes St. so we could meet halfway. Traffic was that horrible and annoying. Don’t mind to ask how much it cost from Divi to Mandaluyong, it was like more than double because it was clogged everywhere, even the side streets. I somehow pity the cab driver especially that he remained calm the entire trip despite the bottleneck. Arriving home, we felt drained so instead of getting ready for our next activity we slept the entire afternoon. Good thing that the weather was colder now because they didn’t complain much about the humid Manila weather.

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Next, by 6pm we’re heading to Ayala Center, we stopped at Rustan’s Supermarket first to have a quick snack but ended eating a lot of sushi, sandwich, salad and fresh fruits. Rustan’s Gourmet-To-Go is Love!  ♥

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I needed to buy the kid’s Chuck Taylor because I’m running out of time. The next few weeks will be even busier with commitments here and there. And because I felt a bit generous or I maybe I just thought it’s always nicer to give than to receive , I bought 4 pairs of that old-school Chuck Taylor for SAM, Pao, Ysa and Che. I almost fainted seeing the bill because it means I have to cut some of my personal luxuries for the coming weeks. Hay! Kayo na ang naka-terno ng shoes this Christmas…we didn’t skipped the recently opened H&M in SM Makati, the 3rd branch to open this year and most likely would be my most frequent branch amongst. I was supposed to buy Ysa’s dress but the styles were so-so, we ended up with that denim blue overall which was too perfect for our little girl. I got her a hooded jacket too. And Nanay a knit-sweater to appease her gloomy mood because she had no size of that studded sandals. And some few pieces of gift item for my goddaughters. I’m almost penniless that day after exiting the mall, it was like I was robbed but what money can’t buy was the happiness of those people close to my heart. They’re happy I know. 🙂

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And as if we’re contended of just spending the next day at home, we drove to Paseo de Santa Rosa in the afternoon to beat another traffic jam and to shop whatever was lacking –shoes for Leoncio, dress for Ysa, pants for Pao and to delight my eyes with all that gorgeous looking tops from the favorite outlet shop. Found It! But was too hesitant to take home that Christmas-white top because it was way my budget but I really love it and I’m hoping someone could get it for me, please, my size is 16. We didn’t have too much time and we have to skip the Christmas bazaar near Nuvali, after a quick dinner at Kenny Rogers we drove home. All I was able to take out was the corn muffins and Japanese corn, I feel so deprived and kawawa! 😦

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Even our “special pup” at home is looking forward to Christmas Day! 😛

The following work week was gruesome and will be more gruesome especially that year end and Q4 is nearing, there were also issues hanging around but hey, no one is stopping Christmas and the rush and all the preparations, and parties and get-togethers, and more expenses. Christmas would always be that one time of the year when I feel so energized despite of all the chaos (counting here the ominous atmosphere at the work place) that may pop in.

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By the way, we were home again last weekend, we had coffee on Saturday night, Tagaytay was so cold already. The following day, Leoncio and I went on some we-time as we hit Tagaytay by ourselves alone, no rush Sunday –coffee, Mahogany market, cheap gas.

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Also, I went to SGAAA (alumni association) on Saturday to see my groupie and to plan more for our very own batch Christmas party. It was nice to be back at the alma matter only that the alumni activity was quite sickening for me because I find it disorganized, I hope they’ll be able to pull out a good team soon because the grand alumni should be seamless and all.

Oh and before I forgot, someone came at the parental house last Saturday morning, swear to God that I didn’t recognize him, I thought he’s someone from the barangay who’s asking for financial support or whatever, you know my Nanay is becoming the savior of these pesky people who’s thinking is we have this money tree of sort that anytime they need to they can easily run to her. When all but my sister and I assumed he’s just one of them, we were very wrong! I know I haven’t written any of him here because he was part of my past, naks! 25 years ago? Let’s go back a bit of high school, he was my one and only crush because he was cool and stylish, talk about new wave and he’s everything it! 😀 I even remember attending Sunday mass regularly because he’s there. And because he knew I crushed him he even sent me a letter way, way back, ok not the love letter I expected, it was sort of a friendly letter only, which I kept for years. Though for sometime it kept me wondering also that maybe some of my friends forced him to do it.  Even after finishing high school, I still find him cute? I still crush him until I found some cute college boys at the university. And by the time I landed a decent job in Makati I’m completely over him because I was crazy infatuated with Ely B. But what puzzle me now, what happened to him? What happened to the boy I crushed for a long time? Of course, he became a man, he became a husband and a father, only that life wasn’t too friendly for him, maybe because he too has his own time lag, he let go of the good opportunities, if ever there were. Maybe he made none-sense of his life during the early years and wasted too much on something, maybe he didn’t treasure people around him that’s why he’s left alone now. Really, I have no idea of what had happen to him and I’m no longer interested to know as well but it bothers me a bit because he looks so old and grimy, no trace of his being in good shape before. I somehow pity the guy this time but I leave everything to God now, may he find his soul back on track. Well, on a side note, I wonder now if he feel a bit of regret after seeing me, bakit naman kase naka-pajama pa ako when he saw me eh, he should had seen me in my boyfriend jeans and my newly ironed-curls later that day, I bet he’d feel more sorry of himself. Ikaw kase eh! Oh well, life is roller coaster and the world is very small so the chance of bumping with people in the past is very probable. He left soon after Nanay handed him a little cash, what a shame? 😦

So what do you know, this forthcoming weekend is very special, Leoncio and I will be marking our 9th wedding anniversary. There is one solid plan to date and I hope it would push without any holdup. And just in case I won’t be able do the anniversary post because I’m busy and drained by then, here’s something for you my dear husband.

Our 9th year came too fast, I was like doodling and dawdling and before I knew it another 365 days of our married life went by. I have many things to thank God this year, foremost, because He gave you a new job at the start of the year and He continued to bless me everyday at work despite the challenges, despite the frustration everytime I’ll receive my paycheck. But despite that little earnings this year, we never felt deprived, we were able to shop to our heart’s content, we were able to dine at our favorite restaurants and we were able to make short distance travels by and by. I thank God that we remained hale and hearty except to some flu and gastric disorders. I thank God that we survived the journey, even childless at this point, we never felt incomplete and miserable.

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‘Ney, I know in my heart we have a long way to go, we have too many more battle to win and we have too many roads to travel. And let me take this chance to say sorry for the many times I yelled at you for no big reasons at all, for the many times I ignored you, for the many times I acted egotistic, for the many times I excused myself doing the laundry and the dishes and for the many times you felt I put you down. You just don’t know how much I love you and how I value us, that waking up with YOU everyday is my only bliss. Happy Anniversary ‘Ney and may God continue to shower our marriage with trust, faith, loyalty and constancy. 

 

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! 

 

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 😀

 

B’s birthday day out

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We haven’t yet really celebrated my big B’s 7th birthday tho during our visit 3 weeks ago we gave her a day out bonus. It’s the usual fare with the kids minus the whole fambam because I want it to be minimal, and I want B to have all the attention this time. Before we drove to Yellow Cab I told husband to drop me off first at Savemore supermarket so I can buy B a simple birthday cake. No birthday is complete without a birthday cake, right? So when I spotted a caramel flavored one at Iko’s which B could also eat (chocolates are no-no for dogs) I paid for it right away. I thought it’s nicely done considering its cheap.

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At Yellow Cab we picked the outdoor sitting so B can sit freely tho it had its disadvantages because B gets distracted from people passing by. We could have dined at the semi-outdoor area but the climate was quite humid that afternoon, not so good for our birthday girl. And like the usual, the kids ordered to their heart’s content, we had pizza and pasta, and quesadillas from the neighboring Army Navy. We skipped ice cream despite their pleading, I told them that we’ll grab one at the supermarket later that day –the salted caramel  flavored one.

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My B of course enjoyed her Classic Burger from Army Navy, she ate only half of it and took home the other half for Boi. Yes, we’ve thought her well the value of sharing. Dadi forked her some bites of pizza as well. While B radiates a happy aura that day she was feeling sick inside and we had to give her antibiotics soon as we got home. And for the past three years, it may just be coincidence or just my being paranoid at times, B gets sick and gloomy whenever the birthday month is nearing and Momi isn’t happy about it any more. 😦

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We dropped by at Summit Ridge so B can make the most of this day out, on her normal grind she loved to wander around the open space other than this time she really felt weak and tired and preferred to lie down on his Dadi’s lap while they watched the performers that night. She even ignored our ice cream fight and doesn’t even asked a single scoop. My Poor baby! We decided to drive home before 9pm so she can fully rest.

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Back at home, the kids were excited of her cake and they blew the candles on B’s behalf. B was already in deep sleep this time and we don’t want to interrupt her dreaming as she made quivers and leg twitches. I wonder what her dream was. Well, I hope it’s not a fight with a dream burglar bunso. 🙂 And yes, we’re still celebrating her birthday this August. We’ll bring her soon at this dog café so she could sample a real restaurant meal cooked rightly for her. I hope we could bring Boi as well only that I fear he might broke everything around. Sigh!

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Still, we wish you a happy birthday Bunso, i wish you more healthy years and fun days to wiggle about. ♥

 

sundate no.32|tatay’s 63rd

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Jun 29. A month after Nanay’s birthday weekend we marked Tatay’s birthday this time, it was another belated celebration because his birthday fell on mid-week and everyone had work except the celebrator of course because he had a valid birthday leave, the additional perks of a government employee. I somehow regret the opportunity I had before, probably if I did pursue my pre-mature career in the bureau I’m now in a more secured post and just the same expectant of a good retirement pay by the time comes. But all because I’m young and eager that time, and the government scene wasn’t yet in my terms I flew back to the city to try my luck. After 18 years I can’t say I won my battle, not yet, I still have a lot of chasing to do.

Back at my Tatay’s belated birthday celebration, we drove to The Little Souls first to hear mass in the morning. I love that Tagaytay’s weather is gradually picking up, the cold breeze is definitely there even at mid-morning. Actually the temperature didn’t go beyond its 24°C daily mean even during the peak of summer that’s why I don’t get it when someone went home disappointed about Tagaytay and complained about how humid it was. Maybe she went on the wrong side of the ridge or probably her normal is way beyond the 37 °C body temperature, I thought I was the only one born in Alaska for that matter (that’s how my friend Minerva always tell me esp when everyone else at the workplace is chilling and yet I’m no way wearing my coat). I’ve been telling it in the past, I love everything in Tagaytay, and one feels solace and quietness particularly if you’d discover isolated places within the city. The mass offered at The Little Souls is one of the things I always look forward when coming home, the homily is solid without any stain of political issues and I guess it’s just right because that’s the very essence why there is a separation of the church and the state. I hope my town folks would realize that.

I just wondered why there’s no healing at The Little Soul’s right after the mass, probably we missed the announcement. Right after the mass we trouped at Josephine’s for lunch, it was a communal choice between my sister and I especially that we haven’t dined there as a family. We were supposed to dine at the upper dining area when everyone else’s order ala carte dishes but we were all taken shortly soon as we checked the Weekend Lunch Buffet. It was a sudden feast to our eyes and we all bet it’s pretty worth it –seize the chance, we’re big eaters so you know!

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Josephine’s Weekend Buffet Lunch is definitely grill and more, they had grilled tilapia & pork liempo, hot dishes includes kare-kare, pork binagoongan, glass noodles, steamed mussels, blanched veggies (lady fingers, eggplant & water spinach), fish spring rolls, pork sinigang. There’s a DIY salad station for the healthy eaters and a dessert corner for your sweet fix. Fruit juice is overflowing if you’d ask. The rate is P550+ per head. But since we had two senior in tow, we got theirs discounted and another round of discount because we had a social contact who works at the restaurant and this was the second time he extended his employee discount to us. Thanks Itoy!

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We even requested the restaurant crew for a surprise birthday greeting with candle blowing and all. Tatay was surprised of course but being the natural party pooper he is, it was like “fine” and “thank you”. That’s the obvious reason also why we didn’t took the effort to give him a surprise party like Nanay’s, because he don’t have that whoop it up personality unlike us who love the merrymaking and partying. Nonetheless, we love him still and we all look up to him and thank you will not be enough for everything he had done for the family.

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Happy Birthday Tatay! 🙂

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Sundays and family are synonymous, if only I have the energy and the mean to drive back home every week I’d love to go because I feel belongingness and I’m at my peacefulness whenever I’m home. ♥

 

 

Josephine Restaurant
Km. 58 Gen. Aguinaldo Highway, Maharlika West, Tagaytay City • © Josephine Restaurant 2010
 
Manila Landline: (02) 871.5627
Tagaytay: (046) 413.1801
Mobile: 09159856711
Fax: (046) 413.1802
Email: josephinetagaytay@gmail.com