Tag Archive | places

A Bright Holiday

For people like me, whose joys in life depend on very petty things, such as bright lights, free tours and free entrance (hehe), the Meralco Park is definitely a nice place to try. Despite just recovering from a 2-day upset stomach, I mustered up all strength and discipline and mind power to heal myself and be able to take the family to this enchanting bright place last night. I heard their keeping the place up to the last day of this year only, so for all those who’d want to see it, better hurry. 🙂

It was worth it! The moment we entered the Meralco center gate, lights of various colors already covered the ceiling of the pathway. The kids were really amazed it was so fun to watch them. Various huge icons of houses, people, robots, etc, made of bronze or copper wires, I think, were positioned about the grounds for picture taking. Well, that’s mostly the fun you could get from the attraction really, to take pictures and memories.



Not to mention the experience to ride the electronic jeep too, which was what we did next. We lined up and waited patiently for our turns except for Daisy who can’t keep still at one place just like her daddy.


Riding the electronic jeep





And though the park was quite small, we spent hours and enjoyed every minute of it. That’s because the kids kept running to and fro every ornamental houses lined by xmas lights.


















As if our energies were unlimited, we planned to head next to Greenhills to check out their lights attraction too. However, the clouds warned of rain so we all headed home instead. Sure enough, it started to drizzle when we reached home. We were all exhausted after all, nevertheless, happy.

Thank God for a wonderful and bright holiday. 🙂

Meralco: "Maliwanag ang Pasko"

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‘Tis the Season to be Shopping

December’s here again. What a more fitting time to shop! I’m not a fan of shopping or “spending,” in fact I’m a frugal person. But ever since I was a child, I’ve enjoyed giving gifts to my friends and families. No matter how small or inexpensive my gifts were, I’d always wrapped them beautifully such that whoever may be the recipient will be delighted. Well, anyway, perhaps because I can’t get gift-giving out of my system, I’m practically probing around malls and bazaars to look for gifts and there’s one particular place on my mind, the Ynares Bazaar!

Last Saturday night, after the kids had gone to bed, Nilo and I went to Antipolo Ynares Stadium where the annual bazaar was being held. I’ve never been there before but I know what bazaars are like. Usually a variety of items are sold for very low prices, DVDs, dresses, purses, gift items, etc. But I’ve never tried the Ynares bazaar before so I was really excited.

Unfortunately, our night didn’t turn out very happy as I expected. For one thing, the weekend had been rainy so it wasn’t really comforting to walk around the place. It was muddy everywhere. I noticed that Nilo wasn’t so excited. He barely got close to any stalls at all. Unless I pointed out something, he wouldn’t take notice. We spotted an Elmo’s world DVD though and decided to buy it immediately for the kids. Afterwards, we casually walked about until we reached the end where the food stands were. We ate only a little because we’ve just had dinner and then we walked our way back to the stores again. I figured, perhaps he’d be more interested this time.

But he still wasn’t, I sensed. Maybe because Nilo is naturally a patronizer of branded products. Bazaar items are generally new, but usually they’re fake that’s why they’re cheaper. However, the items they sold at the bazaar, we noticed, were relatively quite expensive. Maybe these were the real reasons on my frustration but I had to voice out that I dislike his disinterest and so we ended the adventure with hurt feelings. We decided to go home. I myself lost interest in looking around.

At home, we spent the night arguing and defending ourselves. Usually, our arguments get lengthy because I wouldn’t admit my mistake. But since I did not want to sleep angry, besides, I was getting sleepy so I can’t keep my stubbornness any longer, I offered my peace. It’s really funny to think that I got angry because I wasn’t able to spend. More likely, I’d be mad because too much money had been spent. I realized now, it was my frustration on the place that caused my bad temper and Nilo was just my victim, again (hehe).

The next day, I barely recalled the incident except for one thing that happened. In the afternoon, while the kids were napping, Nilo and I decided to take a look at the apartment where we planned to move. It was just walking distance. On the way, we passed by a Snoopy Bodega Sale! Of course, we went in and guess what luck! We found 4 pieces of clothing for Demi and Daisy which were fairly flawless for only Php500! What we have saved from last night, we spent on something more worthwhile. I observed too, that Nilo wasn’t really boring as a shopping company. It just depends on the items, after all, Snoopy was branded hehe.

That concludes my shopping adventure, for the moment. Truly, what seems like tragic endings may later turn up being blessings in disguise. Besides, all’s well that ends well. If it’s not well, then probably it’s not the end. Hehehe… It’s really not necessary to be profound in this experience. Bottom line is, if you don’t find something good in one shopping, try another shopping place. Most likely, you’ll have good finds in bazaars and sales after all ‘tis the season to be shopping. Happy thrift-shopping to everyone!

NBS, My Life Saver!

As much as I prefer to give gifts that have personal touch, I discovered that I have to give up on this ideal. In my previous post, I said I’ve found the perfect DIY xmas gift, but then I discovered, besides being fitting only for girls, it required much time than I thought. I was able to make 15 but that was all.

With the hustles and bustles between juggling official and personal occupation, plus the fact that we are in the process of new residence hunting, I’m afraid I’ll have to modify my mission on DIY gifts. I have to admit, I overdid my gift-giving this year to make up for the last. The previous year was quite a tight one. We’ve just moved house back then so I had to be extra thrifty. It was our first time on our own dwelling and the money had to go to furnishings. So now I’m playing Santa for at least 90 people and without elves to help me (my husband is willing to help but his flesh is weak on arts, hehe) gift making will take forever.

So far, I have only 20 gifts less to worry about. For the past few days, I’ve been brainstorming about ideas but to no extent. I was becoming helpless already so I decided that a little canvassing would help. I asked permission from Nilo to let me browse National Bookstore (NBS) last Sunday and although he’d let me for a longer time, I promised it would only take 45 minutes or so (hehe). It was weekend after all, family time. Fortunately, I followed this instinct and found answers! Thanks to NBS, it never fails to please me. 🙂

While browsing hastily around the store, I have found these cute little wooden key chains with inspirational messages and immediately hoarded 20 of them for my co-office. They’re perfect for close friends or acquaintances, male or female. For the bosses however, I found the hallmark datebooks more suitable. I was on the verge of tears when there were only 4 datebooks left on the ribbon counter. The saleslady told me though, to check on other counters, which was what I did, and was able to hoard 10.

Since I was at the store already, I decided I might as well think about which materials could be used to wrap the tiny gifts. Tiny self-made envelopes seemed like a good idea plus it will give me the opportunity to add some personal touch on the gifts. The perfect materials? Parchment papers and glitter strings. I felt happy having accomplished my task well plus there’s still ample time. I looked around some more and found another perfect gift for Demi, art and drawing materials in a pink case! She’s a lover of arts like me, and this gift was her personal request. Since it was the last stock, I decided that I’d rather not postpone it for later. I didn’t bring enough cash but there’s credit card. Another life saver. 🙂

Finally before leaving the store, I confirmed my loyalty to NBS by availing the Laking National Card. In a month, I’d be able to proudly present my card at every purchase and gain benefits. Not that I’m asking for more. I’d say, NBS helped me a great deal this time around… again. 🙂

Confessions of a Tiangge-holic

So much has been going on with our lives individually and so Bes and I decided to meet again, catch up and unwind. The venue? Tiangge at QC Circle! I was so excited to see this place promoted by none other than Bes herself of course. The last time we met in October to see their house-for-rent in Binangonan, she told me about this cute dress she bought for only P75! Well cute and inexpensive seem like a good combination so it really excited me to check the place myself. Last Friday, after office hours, she finally took me to this interesting place hehe.

Before we went there though, I had to account first the interruptions hehe. Bes is a very successful and busy woman thus interruptions are inevitable. 😉 Not that it bothers me, I actually enjoy having a glimpse of my Bes as Director. She told me that there was a change in her schedule and she had to give some documents to her staff, while tagging me along haha! Believing that this incident is a trouble for me, she voluntarily commits herself to a penalty of Coke Float and Fries! Yum. If only I was a bit more wicked, I’d have acted in exaggeration and get another free Sundae! Hahaha :p

Well as it turned out, it didn’t take us too long. Her staff was a little late but we didn’t mind waiting. At least, I didn’t. Killing time was easy while eating the treats away and before I even noticed, he had arrived. I’d say the boy had to thank for my presence or he’d have gotten scolded real bad (for being late among others haha). Soon afterwards we were making our way to QC Circle.

We noticed that the vendors were just setting up their posts and thought that we were a bit early so we decided to eat first… ok… again (smile). No, we were not being gluttons (hehe just being defensive).Take note: we only ate float and fries so there was still plenty of space. Upon Bes’ recommendation again, we tried out the Coconut House where every dish they serve has some coconut ingredient in it. Interesting! There were so many delectable dishes like Laing, even Barbecue and Pansit, I think, ALL containing the coconut ingredient. Since we were not too hungry, we skipped the rice meals and tried my favorite, calamari with sour cream dip and coconut atsara. We tried but one dish and the verdict? Delicioso! Not that my recommendation matters, after all, the Coconut House had been featured in various TV programs, including Rated K. Right next to every resto is an ice cream station. This should be the perfect dessert complement but too bad, the station has closed. I guess we lingered quite too long over the calamari hehehe.

Yummy Calamari =)

Well anyway, while we were walking the QC Circle grounds, Bes and I were contemplating whether we should wait or just go to UP Tiangge instead. I was hitting for another penalty because of this misinformation by Bes but she wouldn’t let me hehe. By the looks of it, Tiangge proper would be starting by Saturday morning already so we just took a cab and went to UP.

Contradictory in UP, the Tiannge stores were starting to close. 😦 Only a few stores were open. There were hardly any toys I could buy for Dem and Dais nor clothes or the cute dress that all started this Tiangge adventure and I even brought a large tote bag for this! (hehe). I didn’t go home empty though, I had boxer shorts for Nilo and white under blouse for myself. 🙂 But I had to say it wasn’t the shorts that made Nilo happy but the tasty isaw I bought home for him. For the rest of our bonding, we spent the night away eating isaw and sipping drinks over Bes’ profound thoughts (hehe).

Manong Isaw =) hehe

As usual, we had another wonderful time spent together. Her brief sharing of a few business projects in the future kept me excited up to this moment. Well, these projects involve arts and creativity, that’s why. And the journal correspondence we first started in High School? We’re continuing it right now, this time our notebooks were far more expensive such as the one Bes chose. I used to remember that composition notebook with Bananas and Pyjamas on the cover hahaha! I think I still had that notebook with me. Well, it didn’t matter whether I had bought only a handful or nothing from Tiangge just like it didn’t matter whether we had nice or cheap journal notebooks. What mattered was that we were able to share again the events in our lives, bad or good. After all, come December, there will still be more chances for us to go shopping Tiangge! Until then! 🙂

Swimming Party Success

After a few stressful weeks of preparation for Demi and Daisy’s conjoined birthdays, I can’t believe it had finally come and gone and looking back at the memories captured in pictures, I had to smile in contentment and say it was quite a success. With a little help from my friends at the office, especially Rhen who contributed a great deal in transforming the cut-out of fishes from downright simple to remarkably beautiful, all our efforts paid off when the master plan laid out in my mind was finally executed. And the outcome?

Not bad 🙂 Well, the shelf supposed to be for television set made the task easier and the result better than the table I had in mind. What luck! Haha. The design excluding the cake costed only P250. 😉 It was more than I could expect for and so we all started calling it my masterpiece hehe… But I had to admit, behind the simplicity of the final outcome was a series of stressful planning and execution.

First and foremost, the idea of a swimming party came up way back in May when I realized how much the kids enjoyed the Company outing and then the recent love of the kids for Little Mermaid. Looking for resorts and trimming down the expenses required time to visit the places I’ve browsed at the internet. We initially checked Club Serene, but the place seemed neglected except for their very accommodating staffs. We considered Casanjo next, but the place was too small. The kids needed to have a place where they could stroll. Bosay Resort proved to be worth the final choice and although I scowled in the beginning at the expense (VIP rooms required an extra cottage rent), my hesitation faded the minute we visited the place. The resort improved and expanded a great deal since we last went swimming there in 2009. The whole place was neat and the rooms were clean and tidy. Bosay is definitely worth recommending at its current state. 🙂 So one week before the celebration date, we reserved the room thus settling one hassle down.

Next, making the decorations took weeks of shifting from office to deco work. It took time to complete the cut out fishes, from choosing the “right” sketch to print, to coloring, to pasting onto cardboards, to highlighting the edges and finally, cutting and glittering them. Then, there’s the strain of finding the right materials at the lowest costs possible. Good thing, there’s this new party supplies store in front of our village where I got most of the deco supplies (plus a few gift items) for only P94! Again, what luck! 🙂 This step was polished, believe it or not, a day before the swimming itself.

Then there’s choosing the food stuff and cooking them ourselves which needed more than the effort I thought. Here, credits go to my dearest husband, our constant chef. To ate Rizza, too, for offering to cook the hotdogs herself. Hehe.

Finally, the most breathtaking hassle was transporting the cake to the resort room. Because Goldilocks bakeshop doesn’t open until 830am, we decided to bring the cake home the night before. The other problem arose when we realized that the cake won’t fit inside the fridge. To add more anxiety, the storekeeper said that the icing will melt easily at room temperature. Sure enough, the edges at the front were starting to sag in the morning, but that was all. When we finally had the cake at the center of my “masterpiece,” I can’t help but smile and sigh in relief. 🙂

After putting the place in order by 7:30am, ate Rizza, Yanah and I killed time while Nilo picked up the kids who were still sleeping at home. There was so much to explore I could hardly wait until the kids arrived.

Mesmerized by the abs... hehe...

Anacondas!

Beautiful morning sunlight...

Waiting for the kids by the entrance

By 9am, the kids finally arrived to our delight. They still had puffy eyes from sleep but their smiles and joys are not to be missed. Precious and priceless!

When the kids entered the room, it was just as I had pictured out in my mind beforehand: bubbles everywhere, the kids jumping in joy (except that Daisy’s still too young to capture everything that’s going on), and “Under the Sea” playing in the background. There was just one mistake. The bubbles took their attention that I had to highlight the cake and the deco before the kids notice them. I guess that’s the pay-off for overdoing the effects (haha). After settling the excitement down a little, they dressed into their mermaid costumes. Too bad, they can’t swim in the water with their fins on. But rules are rules and at least they got to keep the mermaid tops on. 🙂

All in all we had a wonderful time swimming and strolling around, taking photos at every picturesque corner. Daisy loved the water too much that whenever we took her out to go to another pool, she’d chant “Wi-Ming-Pool” until she’s back into the waters. It was so funny. Demi, on the other hand, didn’t take her nap at all, even when her sister and cousin, ate Yanah, took their afternoon naps by 3pm. When the kids woke up, we took the remaining hours packing up and strolling some more. How time flew so fast when you’re enjoying! Soon afterwards, we had to go home. Although we were still hankering for more, we were all too exhausted to extend so we decided to call it a day. Yup, we were all dog-tired but we all went home happy and contented.

I don’t know about the others, but I’m feeling a little sad. I prepared for this special day for weeks and then it’s over in a flash. This morning before I left home, I teased my husband that I had to be early to cut some more fishes. He just laughed at my usual folly but deep inside, I really meant it hehe. I’ll kind of miss the things I did, stress, hassles and all to make this special day a successful one for the kids.

Meanwhile, I think I’ll keep myself distracted with other projects for the fast approaching holidays. 🙂

Go Fuego!

Not until this holy week (April 16 onwards) did summer come this year nevertheless, it’s very much here and it’s saying, it’s never too late to visit the beach! I may not be an avid fan of beaches and pools or swimming as a whole, but this year, I decided to go to our Company swim outing at Punta Fuego which was held last May 7, not for my sake really but for the kids. 🙂

The beautiful Punta Fuego


Thanks to God for the Company’s generosity, married employees like me could take 2 family members for free plus kids below 7 years old. So I was able to take my husband, the kids and ate Edna too. The minute I told them about the outing, Demi was so excited and her cheerfulness was so contagious it got into me and Dear in no time. We got the kids floats and beach toys: We bought them swim suits too, while I sewed matching beach skirts (with really long slits at the side) 🙂 Weeks before the outing, we were almost ready except for one problem… What am I to wear?

Basically, this is the trouble that makes me back out with swimming. But I can’t back out without bursting the kids’ bubble so I spent the remaining time canvassing for the most proper beach wear. I can not show too much skin, but I want to fit in with the place. If it was with the brethrens, I’d have no trouble wearing t-shirt over beach pants. This is not the case though because resorts have certain restrictions. It was quite a task but I managed to find the perfect wear I couldn’t even describe before hand haha!

The complete get up consisted of a white cover-up over a blue Y-strapped (?) blouse and pair of shorts that’s covered with sarong (the whole time I was out of water). Special compliments to Jhen for providing and teaching me how to use the sarong. 😉 I tried on the clothes a day before while we were packing things up. Excited? Haha, considering I wasn’t feeling too well that time.

Counting down until it’s zero hour and off we go to Punta Fuego!

We arrived punctually by 5am at the office lobby and while waiting for the final announcement on bus arrangement, Demi and Daisy allowed themselves to be mesmerized by the flower horn fishes next to the reception desk.
It didn’t take long before they finally designated which bus is which. Ours was Bus D and our coordinators were kuya Resty (Sangki) and sir Mike. My dear friend Ethel was at the same bus with us. 🙂
At exactly 5:30am, the buses left for our destination.

It was a long drive and the kids tried several ways to amuse themselves. From eating chips and Jollibee (provided by Philex), to singing bahay-kubo, and Demi’s trend setter lyrics of “sigarilyo at mani,” both of them managed to get sleep during the travel.
Kuya Sangki and sir Mike distributed the bandannas with colours showing our team. Ours was blue (Bluetooth later on hehehe…). As we neared the destination, the kids woke up in good mood, refreshed and ready for action. Excellent!

We arrived at the resort by past 9 and among group cheers, welcoming remarks (by SVP-HR sir Garcia), and breakfast of oven-baked macaroni with garlic bread and iced tea, we finally got to swim by 11am. 🙂
First we tried the pool. There’s this “watch-man” who was so strict about clothing he asked everyone with cover-ups to remove them. Most was pissed off of course and decided to just go to the beach. I, myself would have opted too, except that this was for the kids and so I had to be obedient. Fortunately, the only people around were kids and women save my husband and that watch.

Then we tried the beach where the water was a lot cooler. It was enjoyable but the kids were getting tired which spells B-A-D-T-E-M-P-E-R. Dear splattered the kids with wet sand which sent them hollering in protests of disgust (Demi was practically screaming “kadiri, ayaw ko ng lupa!”).

Soon, everyone’s attention was to us, embarrassing as it was. Nothing beats my Dear’s talent in teasing them. I took this as a signal to take them out of the water. Not to mention that it was 12 noon and way past their morning nap.

At almost 1pm, we had completely showered and changed clothes. We went back to the Function Room for delectable lunch of sweet & sour fish fillet, grilled pork liempo, chicken ragout, vegetable teppanyaki and lechon. I devoured the fish fillet (partida pa, I was holding Daisy on one arm for she was sleeping by this time), Dear and Demi consumed the lechon while ate Edna’s favourite was the liempo. To seal the hunger, we satisfied our tastebuds with the creamy leche flan, which sweetness was just exact. Now I’m feeling sorry for having to forget taking pictures of the glorious food 😦

By past 2 in the afternoon, the games officially began. For most of the games, Bluetooth won, that is, during the trials only hahaha! As for the actual, I think we won the group jump rope and one round of the sort-of-charades. The Pink Archers was the champion though.


"Itaguyod and bandera ng Bluetooth Team!" - We were all winners says Atty. Ike hehe 😉

Before calling it a day, snacks of empanada and iced tea were served. Afterwards, we fixed the duffel bag which got heavier because of the wet clothes and waited outside (and took advantage of the natural light which was perfect for pictures!).

The shuttles took us back to where our buses parked. At 5pm, we were hitting the roads to get back to Manila. Demi was the first to sleep before Daisy.

We were home sweet home by 9:30pm… 🙂 What a wonderful way to celebrate summer, and who knows? I think I’ll be planning another swimming escapade this year because I’m beginning to like the water. 😉

Rainforest Adventure

As a sequel of our anniversary celebration, we treated the kids out the next day, April 30, 2011. We wanted to bring the kids to some place new because it had always been at the Playroom (we particularly like the one in Sta. Lucia East Grand Mall), and some place not too distant. It proved that the Pasig Rainforest Park best suited the description so off we went!

First off, it was free entrance 🙂 The park has three attractions, the Butterfly Garden, Mini-Zoo, and the Train but you have to pay for tickets to get in. Fees are very cheap though, that is Php5 for adults and Php1 for children if you are residents of Pasig, and Php20 for adults and Php5 for children for nonresidents. They also have a pool but I heard it’s always crowded with people despite its considerable size so I wasn’t interested much to try it, much less, to know the entrance fees (sorry :D).

We secured tickets for all the attractions but the vendors told us the train wasn’t operational. My husband and I were a little disappointed, nevertheless we decided it will have to do next time. We toured around first to plan the itinerary. The Butterfly Garden closes at 10am and re-opens at 2pm so we decided to go there first, since it was quarter to 10 already. However, Nilo decided to buy a few chips first and took him longer than he planned such that when he got back, the garden was closed. 😦 So, we went to the Mini-Zoo:

The Mini-Zoo:

Demi showing off the mini-zoo stamp on her hand:

Although the zoo was quite small, it took us a long while to see everything, especially since the kids took time to play with the other children they saw at the zoo. Plus, I wanted to capture every scenic view, not to mention force the kids to be part of the pictures, hehe. We ate lunch and changed the kids’ clothes afterwards.

And then we went to the rainforest playground.

After that, we saw several teenage boys running and playing at the grassy open area right beside the train terminal. The lawn looked inviting especially for the kids, so we went there too and discovered that the boys were playing with a “salagubang,” throwing it as far away as any one of them could. I didn’t know if I’d laugh or cry for the salagubang’s sake! Anyway, the place was very cool, so I began to wonder why not too many people went there.

Right beside the area was the desolated train station, which was closed. 😦

A few minutes later, the security guard came and excused himself saying that the place is restricted for the time being because they were letting the grass grow. Figures, haha! It was okay, we had taken enough pictures already. 😀

Next destination, we decided to try the Senior Citizen’s Park. Upon entering the Seniors’ park, we noticed again that it was empty, except for a maintenance woman who was sleeping on the seat enclosing the round covered veranda. We went in nevertheless and walked barefooted over the pebbly area, which I think has some health purposes. It was for the old people after all. This was my husband’s favourite place (he’s getting old hehehe).

The kids were starting to get cranky so we decided to just wait for the Butterfly Garden to re-open for the last stop before heading home. But then we saw the train! It was operating! Immediately, we went to the station but the guard said it was just being tested. Several people complained though, since they have bought tickets to the train already. So the guard went to the ticket booth to inform the vendors to stop selling tickets. To appease the clamors though, he said to accommodate everyone who had tickets already. We were able to ride the third batch. 🙂

Soon we were all tired and though it was just 3pm, we called it a day, took a cab, and went home, exhausted but definitely happy. 🙂 Next time, we will try the Butterfly Garden, too… God willing, of course. 🙂