Raviv’s Wardrobe Diary #27: Raviv in Hong Kong (Sept. 22, 2014)

Walang kwenta ang title ko ‘no?  Hindi pangmatalino, LOL!

Anyway, I would have wanted the title to go something like it’s nice to be young and not know all the troubles hounding your parents, because as you may already know, boggang kamalasan ang inabot namin sa Hong Kong (whaaaat you haven’t heard yet?!?  HERE!)  But since it’s too wordy and I can’t think of a way for that to sound witty, I decided to stick to the boring title above.

Anywho, I realized that it’s been such long time since I last featured Raviv’s outfitey!  The last one was in April pa!  I guess it’s because RAviv really has no penchant to mowdel-mowdel, much to his nanny’s dismay.  Although I console myself with the fact that:

  1. Magkaka-baby girl din ako, and when that time comes, maghanda ang SM Kids’ Fashion, Gingersnaps, etc…at ang bank account namin.  Hehehe
  2. In the recesses of my mind, I don’t want Raviv to grow up vain or a metrosexual.  I honestly want him to be nonchalant about his natural good looks and natural flair in dressing up.  I want him to care more about manly (sports) and intellectual (books, debates) things.

But because he is still my baby and I still do not have a baby girl, wala siyang choice but to be my baby mow-del.

Here’s Raviv’s outfit of the day/wardrobe diary last week on our first day in Hong Kong:

 

  • polo shirt: Guess Kids
  • striped shorts: Levi’s
  • shoes: Florsheim Kids
  • hat: from a store at Festival Mall

 
I am very proud of my boy because despite that he woke up very early on this day (I just shook him and said, “Anak, wake up na because we’re now going to Hong Kong”, he sprang up and even allowed me to bathe him…at 3:30 a.m. ito ha!) and even if he somehow sensed how stressed we were, he was behaved.  Behaved, as in he was not throwing tantrums (but not behaved as in he does not move…asa pa tayo kay Raviv!)  He just bore and grinned when we were running circles looking for places.  Anyway, part of his being relaxed I guess is the fact that he was in his stroller.  I tell you, a stroller in Hong Kong is a must!  Imagine na lang if Raviv was also walking during the two hours we were looking for that darn “Citybus Service Centre” ‘di ba?!?

Lemme show you more of his pictures at Madame Tussuads.  You would notice that it isn’t that many—that’s because at first, he was scared of the wax figures.  I would have wanted him to stand between and against the Brangelina wax figure para kunwari anak soya hung dalawa, but he was scared.

Later, however, we persuaded him to get “inside this Rembrandt painting”:

Look at that smile!  There was even another Chinese tourist who took photo of him and Randy, and in her rusty English, told me that Raviv was so cute.

 

Then little by little, we were able to remove his fear of the wax figures.  Pa’ano?  By checking out the wax figures’…

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Wardrobe Diary #61 (Hong Kong Trip Day 1): Hobnobbing With Celebrities (Sept. 22, 2014)

If you have read my previous post, you already know how depressing this day went.  But since I’ve already poured out my emotions on that blog post, I want to focus on the good side of this day.

Because on this day, I hobnobbed with my fellow celebrities.  Take note:  celebritiES, plural.  And not just starlets but true-blue celebrities.  So buti na lang hindi masyadong halata ang pagka-haggardous versoza and stressed drilon ko!
 
Here’s my outfit of the day/wardrobe diary on our first day in Hong Kong when I met celebs:
 
  • white dress: ukay
  • gold ballet flats: Yosi Samra 
  • red leather bag:  Balenciaga City

At NAIA, I already saw a reporter with a cameraman…inaabangan ata ako, LOL!  Later, I saw Marian Rivera and her posse in the same terminal as we were.  She’s really pretty and her skin was immaculate.  I took photos of her using my smartphone, pero alam naman natin kung among nangyari sa smartphone ko ‘di ba?  Hayst.  Normally, I’d feel super ugly whenever I see celebs in the flesh, but on that day, I didn’t.  Of course, Marian was drop dead gorgeous but I must say I didn’t look so bad, partida at puyat pa ako n’yan!  In fact, look at what my normally later BFF commented on my photo:

 

  Zoom natin ha?

 

Dabaaaah?!?

So anyway, after Marian Rivera, I advanced on to Hollywood superstars, icons and sports stars in the afternoon.  I literally rubbed elbows with them.  Don’t wanna believe me?
Here:
MomsterTeacher giving Prince Charles pointers on how to improve the economic situation of UK… ;)
 
Then I told Führer Hitler how bad the Holocaust was, but if he insists on being a Nazi, there was a good kind of Nazi…a grammar Nazi!
Heil good grammar!!!!

At nagpaka-deep din ako with Gandhi…we were talking about…life.  Hehe

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Familia Ladaga in Hong Kong Day 1: A Series of Unfortunate Events

Helllloooooo! I’m really excited to blog again, yet also sad because I would have to relieve the kamalasan that we had in Hong Kong. :(

Pre-Departure Jitters

The night before our flight to Hong Kong, I was not able to sleep well because I was panicking about our itinerary.  I was looking for more places to visit aside from what I had in mind (The Peak, Disneyland, Ocean Park & Avenue of Stars).  Actually, ganyan talaga ako when I know I need to be up early—mas napupuyat ako being stressed that I need to wake up early!

As I explored where to go and how to go about places in Hong Kong, I saw a promo on the website of Madame Tussauds in Hong Kong:

 
Since it was cheaper, gow gow gow agad ako!  I also saw that the The Peak Tram will be under maintenance on the 23rd of September.  That means we have to be there on our first day in HK, since the 24th and the 25th were off limits because I have already reserved a room and a two-day pass to Disneyland.  Again, I felt like it was a moment of victory for me.  Kebs na that I was only able to rest at 12:30 am and that I had to be up at 3:30 a.m. —basta nakatipid ako at makakasakay kami ng The Peak Tram!

At 4:30 we were already in our van and leaving.  Then about a kilometer from our house, I said:  “Aaaaaaack ang cellphone ko!”  I left my phone on our bed because I was supposed to charge it while I was taking a bath, because I used up its battery the previous night researching about Hong Kong (kasi naman nawala pa ang iPad ko…).  So we returned for it.  That was the first kamalasan (but this was supposedly a blessing in disguise…you’ll find out later).

Imbyerna 1:  Excess Baggage?!?

When we checked in our baggage, the Philippine Airlines ground stewardess said that our baggage was overweight because it weighed 24 kilos.  What the?!?  E tig-20 kaming tatlo, so 60 kilos dapat ang limit namin.  I told the stewardess that, and she insisted 20 raw talaga.  Hindi ako pumayag.  Then she told me that each luggage should not exceed 20 kilos, so if I wanted to fight for my 60 kilos baggage allowance, our family must have more than one bag.  Good thing I was a Girl Scout (from elementary to first year high school), I came prepared:  I packed empty weekend totes in our trolley maleta!  So I just got one of them and threw in some of our stuff there, and voila, no more excess baggage!  I just hoped that the ground stewardess mentioned/clarified/suggested that I stash our other stuff into another bag to avoid excess baggage at the onset.  If I were not outspoken and was just timid, I might have paid for the “excess baggage”.

An Encounter with Marian Rivera!!!

While at the airport, I saw a familiar face.

I: Uy, parang nanay ‘yan ni Marian Rivera.
Randy:  Pati ba naman nanay ni Marian kilala mo?
I:  Kasi ‘di ba fina-follow ko si Marian sa IG?  Eh pino-post niya picture ng Nanay n’ya.

 And then after just a while, I saw Marian in all her glory.  Tunay siyang maganda, in fairness. :)

During boarding, we joined the long queue.  We were almost at the tail of the line because we did not line up right away.  Then, a nice man told us that there is a separate line for babies/toddlers on a stroller and their companions.  We thanked the man and left.  Ang Randy, nagkamali ng siningitan na linya.  At alam ninyo sino’ng ni-cut sa line?  Si Marian!  I excused us and apologized, but Marian said it was OK (though I said that we will really go to the kids’ line).  So ladies and gentlemen, I officially declare that Marian is nice.  She and her entourage were in front of us in the tube, and I took photos of her walking.  Asan ang pictures?  Mamaya na. ;)

We were on the same flight as Marian and her entourage…apparently bridal shower niya pala sa Hong Kong

 

Imbyerna 2: The Cab Drivergrrrrrrrr

We arrived at the Hong Kong International Airport at around 10 a.m.

Randy asked how to get to our hotel, Residence G (Hotel G) at Tsim Sha Tsui.  We could take the bus or the MTR (train), but either of them would entail lots of walking.  In the end, Randy opted to get a taxi.  We were told that taxi from airport to the Tsim Sha Tsui area would be around HK$ 215 (about Php1,200).  It was a lot more expensive than if we ride a bus or MTR, but Randy thought it was worth it.  There was a dispatcher in the airport who got us a cab and gave us a slip of paper.  Randy handed the piece of paper to the taxi driver when we rode without reading what was written on it.  Honestly, hindi ko bet ‘yung driver kasi puro tattoo.  Call me judgmental (and yeah, I know wala sa tattoo ang ugali ng tao, blah blah), but that’s what I felt.  But because hindi ko pinairal in an obvious manner ang pagka-judgmental ko, gora lang.  My distrust for our tattooed driver heightened when it seemed like he was tinkering his mobile phone while driving.  And then I noticed that at the back of the passenger seat was an octopus USB cable.  I was delighted because my phone battery was running low.  I asked the cab driver whether I could charge my phone, and he said it was OK.  Natuwa naman ako.

 
Then we arrived at our hotel.  The taxi meter read  HK$ 200+++, but the taxi driver was asking for HK$390+++ because of the toll fee. OK fine.

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Da Best of eLBi 4: Beauty and Brain Hubs

Now that we’re finished covering the foodies, let’s talk about the best eLBi establishments that help feed the mind naman, and then my favorite place that make me feel oh-so-pretty and pampered.

Best Antique and Book Shop


Every true-blue tipid mode bookworm of LB knows this: The Practical Shop!  In high school and college, I have frequented this place almost every other day to hunt the next installment of the Sweet Valley High series I was so addicted to.  And whenever I would see a Sidney Sheldon or Judith McNaught book (that is on every starter bookworm’s list), my heart would go thump, thump, thump.  This place was practically a tambayan for me back then.  Because that place was a portal—the books I find there took me to places!


Through the books I bought there, it’s like I’ve already toured Europe and travelled through time and lived during the Prohibition and the Renaissance.  I also had an in-depth glimpse of what it would be like to be a maiden in love with and wooed by a duke, and even the thrill of being an international con woman.  The aroma of old books that wafted through my nose in that place usually signalled that again, I could escape my reality.  It used to give me a high that only my fellow bibliophiles could understand.  That’s why I see the yellowed, worn out books of best-selling authors as precious works of art, especially when they cost only P5, P10, P15, P20, and P25.  Yes, they were that cheap there at Practical Shop, considering that the closest thing was to buy a preloved book from Book Sale, where a similar book costs about P75.


Even if you’re not a bookworm, you’d still love it here!  It is a treasure trove of knick knacks, antiques and furniture that are sure to give your house a “character” and make it feel homier.


But wait—there’s more:  every 15th and 30th of the month, external sellers have bazaars and garage sales in Practical Shop’s, well, garage.  And the products sold are varied: from preloved and new clothes to healthy juices, hair accessories, toys, etc!

 

Best Beauty Parlor/Salon

The services of my favorite ever beauty parlor in town are relatively cheap, but every time I’m there I feel like a million bucks!

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Da Best of eLBi 3: Dew the Cheapskate’s Favorites

Hi!  Sorry for the late follow-up—(not-so)Super Typhoon Mario caused us to have no electricity yesterday when I was scheduled to write this post.  Anyway, here’s the continuation of my eLBi favorites.  This time, I’m featuring my favorite establishments to satisfy my ka-cheap-an cravings.  As I ever so carefully cultivate that I have a touch of class, truth still is that I crave for kwek-kwek and isaw more often than i crave for caviar.  Oh wait, I’ve never craved for caviar pa nga pala.  Hihihi.  So, let’s begin?

(Note:  This is NOT an advertorial.  The restaurants I am featuring did not ask me to write about them, nor did/will I ask something in return for this.  I just really want to share their yummy foods to my readers)

The Best Isaw

As a child, I was forbidden from eating this because of the obvious reasons (Salmonella, anyone?).  But when I entered college, there was no stopping me from buying isaw during tipid days that I wanted to have heart-to-heart talks with my best friends.  And so began my isaw-hopping. After tasting them all (this includes out-of-LB isaw), it seems that no one could still beat the isaw of Kuya Ferds.  Kuya Ferds used to have a mobile and small puwesto in front of the now-defunct Agrix (that’s now Los Banos Centtro for you youngsters) by the street.  Randy and I used to call him “Isaw Man”, because his isaw is really the best-tasting isaw we’ve ever had!  randy thinks that that his isaw is expensive because they’re a lot smaller that the other isaws sold, but I remain loyal.  I guess I’m not alone because business seemed great for him—Kuya Ferds now has at least two isaw carts!  O diba?!?

The Best Kwek-kwek

Preparing kwek-kwek is not exactly rocket science.  The procedure of cooking and its ingredients aren’t also a secret.  However, I’m a kwek-kwek snob—that is, I’m difficult to please when it comes to kwek-kwek, because my suki at Vega Arcade (near UP Gate) set the bar high.  Whenever I buy kwek-kwek at other kwek-kwek-ans, including the ones inside malls, I would often complain and can’t help but compare it to my suki at Vega Arcade.  The Vega Arcade kwek-kwekan’s kwek-kwek is always freshly cooked, unlike the others’ obviously cooked and recooked and recooked kwek-kwek.

The Best Siomai

I’m sure my choice would raise a lot of eyebrows among eLBizens.  Because ladies and gentlemen, Papu’s is only second on my list.  My favorite siomai is the siomai of Siomai Snack Haus, whose branch is also along Grove.  I can’t explain its difference from Papu’s, but all I know is that I prefer Siomai Snack (or is it Food) Haus’s siomais.

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Da Best of eLBi 2: My Favorite Restaurants in Los Banos

It used to be that I thought of myself as someone who prioritizes yummy food the least.  Back in college when I was scrimping on my allowance so I could buy the clothes I covet, I used to scoff at people who wear dowdy clothes but spend so much on food.  I thought, “Duh, itatae lang din naman nila, dun pa nila inuubos any allowance nila!”

But I surprised myself when I found myself saying that I’d rather not eat if I don’t like the food, or losing appetite simply because the food bores me.

And then it hit me: during college, I was just blessed to be surrounded by restaurants serving delicious foods that still allowed me to save some of my allowance for clothes.

Fast forward to 2014:  I am already working, and I could even afford to eat in fancy restaurants in Metro Manila.  But you know what?  I often feel foolish for shelling out thousands of pesosesosesoses for foods that are actually a fraction of the cost of their counterparts in eLBi.

So guys, lemme share with you my favourite restaurants that are proudly made in eLBi:

(Note:  This is NOT an advertorial.  The restaurants I am featuring did not ask me to write about them, nor did/will I ask something in return for this.  I just really want to share their yummy foods to my readers)

 

1. Faustina’s

 
Faustina’s Restaurant opened in July 2010.  It is actually an homage to the owners’ late grandmother, the Habitos’ Lola Faustina (thus, Faustina’s) who left them with such good memories of family love and food.  With the help of the Habitos’ Interior Designer friend, Rinelle Villareal, they were able to conceptualise and include their Lola Faustina’s memory into the details of the restaurant.

 
I first started to get curious about Faustina’s when of our teachers at Brain Train was raving about the dishes of this quaint restaurant along Raymundo Gate.  He loved it so much that whenever there’s a reason to celebrate or whenever any one of us would muse out loud as to where to eat, he would always say, “Faustina’s!”

And then one evening, my friends and I found ourselves at Faustina’s.  I asked what the bestseller was, and the waiter suggested the silindro ribs.

 
It was love at first bite for me!  Everything was perfect—from the grilling to the barbecue sauce to the sukang pinakurat (I love vinegar on barbecue!)…and most especially the price!  This meal that is a symphony to my taste buds only costs P210.  I remember the time when my friends and I decided to have lunch out of the blue.  We went to this restaurant and when we saw that a similar viand cost almost P400, we just looked at each other and knew we were leaving and heading for Faustina’s.  Hahaha!

When you’re craving for something sweet naman, you should order Faustina’s blueberry cheesecake.  I’ve tried it (the silindro ribs was filling, but my appetite swore to me that my tummy still had space), and I loved it!

 
Other bestsellers (which I have yet to try—I can’t NOT order these two every time I go to Faustina’s eh!) include Faustina’s Pepperoni Pizza, Aussie Beef and Lamb Pies (trivia: the owners grew up in Australia), Spaghetti and Meatbombs, Creamy Shrimp Pasta, and Banana Choco Hazelnut Crepe.

Faustina’s Pizza

 

Faustina’s Creamy Shrimp Pasta

 
Truly, Faustina’s is a gem in Los Banos!  But seats at Faustina’s are just like the rarest of gems—Faustina’s is almost always jam-packed, sigh!  (Celine, palakihin n’yo ang restau n’yo please!)

 
(Faustina’s Restaurant is located at Lola J’s Building, 10278 Ruby St., Los Banos Subdivision, Los Banos Laguna.  Call them at 049 501-1509.  They are open everyday from 11am-8:30pm)

 
 

2. Gastronomeats

 
I have discovered Gastronomeats only recently.  I used to pass by it almost everyday, but I did not give it any second thoughts.  It looks very simple and plain, so I took it for granted. In fact, when my friend Zaira (the same person who brought me to Faustina’s) told me that our next dinner destination would be at Gastronomeats, I had to bite my tongue to keep myself from complaining.  And so there we went.  My doubts about the quality of food was heightened when I saw that even inside, everything was just so simple.  So I was not expecting anything, really.

I ordered their Oompa Liempo:

 
I was surprised that it actually tasted great!  I was expecting it to taste like our regular liempo at home (which also tastes great, by the way), but no, there was really an “oomph!” Hehehe.  Since it was my first time there and since I was also dining with my closest friends, I tasted what they have ordered.  And I loved them even more!

This is what my friend ordered:

 

Slabbed (Bacon Steak with eggs and fried rice)

I loved it!  The mild, smoky flavour of the bacon is perfectly complemented by the mild saltiness of the sunny side up eggs and fried rice.  My friend Zaira says it’s her favourite at Gastronomeats.  So the next time I went there with my friend Irvin, I ordered this as well.

However, when I tasted Irvin’s order—spicy liempo—I told myself that it, too, was delicious!

And so I ordered spicy liempo when I went there with Randy and Raviv.  Randy ordered Slabbed (which I got bits and pieces from), and ordered Sausage Fest for Raviv.  Just when I thought I was already confused with what to order next, I also loved Raviv’s Sausage Fest.  Waaaaah!!!

Three visits to Gastronomeats made me realize this: the owners really needed not to overwhelm its patrons with any kind of decoration—heck,  there wast even a tinge of the usual colour red that is said to whet people’s appetites—because the flavours of their meats would cover just about everything!

(Gastronomeats is located along Lopez Avenue, Los Banos, Laguna.  It is just in front of Centtro Mall.  Its contact number is 09175105215.)

 
 

3. Bonito’s

I only fully appreciated Bonito’s when we dined at Bonito’s and then at Abe and at Crisostomo only days apart.  That’s because when we dined at Bonito’s, Randy had their Kalderetang Batangas combo meal.  And he loved it a lot.  He was surprised to see that what he had—scrumptious beef “stewed for a long time in a garlic-onion-liver sauce” served with rice and iced tea/lemonade cost only P140!  Yes, P140 only!

 
Dishes such as this at Abe and at Crisostomo would be well over P300!  And when it comes to taste, Bonito’s is definitely not lacking!

Aside from this caldereta that I am raving so much about, Bonito’s also serves these mouthwatering dishes that I have yet to try (all images lifted from Bonito’s Bar and restaurant Facebook Page):

 
The best thing about Bonito’s is that it is spacious (relative to other restaurants in eLBi) and can accommodate lots of people.

 
However, food service is kinda slow.  I guess the staff get rattled because of the volume of people and of the orders that they receive.

(Bonito’s Bar and Restaurant is located at Oregano St. corner Lopez Ave., Demarses Subd, Los Baños, Laguna.  They may be contacted through 049 536 3255 or 09153154521.)

 

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I know that there may be other restaurants in Los Banos that are worthy of being featured here, but I may have not tried eating there yet…feel free to suggest where I should eat next time!  I would surely hate to miss out on anything that proudly made in eLBi!

 

Next Feature: My favourite street food joints in eLBi!

Da Best of eLBi 1: LB Love

It’s Los Banos Day on Wednesday.  Don’t bother knocking at our doorstep para makipiyesta. Aside from the facts that there will be no classes on that day and you will see a band on parade, no one would ever guess that we are celebrating our town feast.
 
Image lifted from www.lagunatravelguide.com

 

I am not really a fan of town feasts, but I feel like celebrating Los Banos Day this year.  At least on this blog (sorry, no handa pa rin.  Hehe).  I love eLBi and I really consider this my home even if I was not born here.  Actually, I realized that that is the only milestone in my life that Los Banos was not a part of.  Well, that and my grade school graduation.  For everything else, Los Banos was a witness: my high school and college days, my first love and first heartache, my (first and hopefully my last) marriage, my hits and misses on parenting, my growth as a teacher…and many more!  In fact, I don’t think Los Banos was just but a witness—Los Banos actually sculpted me to become what I am now.  It sharpened my previously shapeless edges, softened my previously jagged surfaces…and it still continues to hone me.

 

Randy would often remind me how blessed we are to be in a quaint community with the majestic Mt. Makiling looking over us.  And I don’t blame Randy—as an intellectual and a tree hugger, Los Banos is just perfect for him.

 

Pili Drive.  We pass by this every morning as we bring Raviv to his school.

 

 

But nature (literally) isn’t just what’s great in LB.  Nurture, too.  I often rave that the quality of our schools here are at par (or even better) than the expensive schools in Metro Manila—that’s because Los Banos is a highly academic community (thanks to UP), and people here put a premium on education.  Thus, bulok schools have no place here.  Academic excellence is the name of the game in Los Banos.  I guess that’s also the reason why the best ever high school entrance and UPCAT review centre was born here, ehem.

 

No, seriously.  I proved this further yesterday as we were saying our farewells to our students enrolled at Bonifacio Global City.  They—the students who  from Ateneo de Manila High School, Poveda, and La Salle Greenhills—could not leave without telling us how much they love Brain Train.  They told us how glad they are that they chose us, because they enjoyed learning (thus they had an easier time actually learning).  They got even more convinced that they went to ze best because when they talked with their friends who went to “others”: while their friends ranted about the other review centres, the Brain Train babies would rave about us.  Even Dodong told me how his heart was bursting with pride to be a part of an institution that is this loved by its clientele.

 

 

So anyway, now that we have established once again how great Brain Train is (ahihihihi), I want to tell the cyberworld, too, that aside from Brain Train, Los Banos has other gems.  Actually, Los Banos is a treasure trove of establishments that offer great services but at a fraction of its usual cost.  How come?

 

Here’s the thing:  because of UP, Los Banos is full of smart people who are relatively well-traveled (because many students are from other places, too).  But since most of the Los Banos populace are either students or are merely working at UP or its sister research facilities, (read: most of us are not businessmen or executives of multinational companies), we find it difficult to part with our money over overpriced food or stuff.  Especially those that are not worthy of our (or our parents’) hard-earned money.

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A Weekend in Cebu

Happy Wednesday everyone!

I’m down with a serious case of coughs, and the only consolation I’m looking forward to is that the “explosions” would be like crunches to help tighten my ever expanding midsection.  In short, I hope that in its own teeny, tiny way, my coughing would help me lose weight.  Because, my goodness, I’m gaining so much weight again.  Waaah!

Anyway, as you may already know, I was in Cebu during the weekend sans my boys.  Irvin and I went there for Brain Train’s Intensive ACET and DLSUCET Review.

We left on Friday morning, because prior to going to the airport, I took care of two more tasks.  First, I went to White Label Bridal on Yakal St. in Makati.  My friend Irvin is getting married in November and I am one of the bride’s maids (I have just emailed them my gown pegs and I’m so excited about them!  Thus I really need to lose weight!)  Next, I went to the office of Maid Provider to return a yaya and get a new one.  Raviv’s most previous yaya (Yaya Gigi has already left…it’s a bit saddening, but I’m more thankful because, gravity, sumasakit talaga ang ulo namin sa pagiging malilimutin n’ya!)  The first yaya I got was OK at first, but after a few days she started to get weird.  I heard from our other new helpers and Yaya Isay that they saw her hitting and shouting at Raviv.  Of course, I can’t have that.  So I called the maid agency and told them I’ll be replacing the yaya.  Thankfully, the new yaya I got seems nice.  She speaks English a lot (o diva?!)  and used to work as a teacher’s aid at a toddler school.  Raviv seems keen on her.  That’s great, of course.

Anyway, Irvin and I arrived in Cebu at around 3 p.m.  Irvin’s friend picked us up from the airport and brought us to our hotel.  We rested a bit and then proceeded to Ayala Mall at 6 p.m., because Allan and Karen Medalla—Brain Train Cebu’s franchisees—treated us to dinner.  We had a nice chat over a delectable set of food at Chikaan.

Dinner at Chikaan sa Cebu in Ayala Mall

After dinner with the Medallas, we were picked up Jessie.  Jessie was a colleague when both of us worked at Tanggol Kalikasan, an environmental law office.  He was one of my closest friends there, even though he was assigned in Pangasinan while I was assigned in Quezon Province and Quezon City.  He and Atty. Nelia Lagura (now Prieto) would graciously host my stay in Pangasinan whenever I was there.  The last time I saw him was in 2005 pa—almost a decade ago.  So when we saw each other again, it was chikahan galore.  We greeted each other with shouts of “Mama Jessie!!!” and “Oy Mama Dewmaine!!!”

And then kumustahan.

I:  San ka na work ngayon, Jess?
Jessie: Provincial Manager ako ni Cong. *****
I:  E si Mama Nelia, saan na?
Jessie:  Hay ang lola mo, lawyer sa Office of the Ombudsman ditto sa Cebu!
I:  Ano sya dun?
Jessie:  Aba ang Lola Nelia natin ay Graft Investigator na!!!  Sabi ko nga sa kanya, “Huy Nels, ‘wag mo kaming imbestigahan ha!”

 

LOLS!  Typical Jessie.  We further our chika over coffee and green tea latte at Starbucks at IT Park.

 

 

The following day was Day 1 of the Brain Train Intensive ACET and DLSUCET Review in Cebu.  Our host school was Sacred Heart – Ateneo de Cebu.  That same day was card giving at this school, and there were lotsa parents.  One thing I noticed was that there were so many fashionable moms carrying to-die-for bags.  If only I were not shy, I’d have taken snapshots of the fasyon moms. ;)

Anyway, most of the Cebu kids were sweet, and gwapo ug gwapa pud!

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Missing My Man, Mainly :)

[Draft written on Saturday, Sept. 6 in the evening]

Greetings from Cebu!!!

It’s my second day in Cebu, and I’ve just finished a Skype conversation with Randy and Raviv.  Man, I miss them so much!

 

I missed Raviv all the more after I saw him on Skype.  He’s just too cute for words!!!

 

I think this is the first time I am without any one of them at an unfamiliar place.  Although I admit that I also like these alone times with just myself, it’s palpable that I miss them both terribly.

So since yesterday, I have been double tasking:  I was drinking the sights and sounds of Cebu, while also drowning myself in thoughts of Randy and Raviv.But surprisingly, I find that I miss Randy more, actually.  Although I love my son so much, I’ve made no secret of the fact that I also long for us to travel together, alone.  Thus I keep on thinking of my husband while being on “foreign” land.  Yiheee!!!And here comes another surprise:  the thoughts I have of Randy aren’t romantic-romantic…actually, it’s his trademark sarcasm.  And as I reviewed our recent conversations, here’s what I realized about my husband:  Randy secretly loves bursting my bubble!  It’s like he knows the answers I expect of or hope from him, but then he would say something else, either because he’s unbelievably clueless or just because he want to piss me off.

To illustrate, here:

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Terrific Tuesday: I Evaded Corruption!!!

Hey hey hey hey!!!

I’ve been bursting with news since Tuesday morning:  after a super duper Manic Monday, I had a Terrific Tuesday!

So last Tuesday was an important day for me, because I was scheduled to lakad our permits.  Remember my “new baby” about to be unearthed in November?  Well, before the world sees it, I’d first have to get past something:  to secure a building permit.

While this may not exactly that difficult to do, Randy and I dreaded this so much.  Why?  Because before summer when we have already planned to build an extension to our structure in Sta. Rosa City, we faced a major hindrance: some people demanded a huge amount of money as pampadulas, that cost over P100,000!  Gravity, I know!  To think that that pampadulas was not even penance over some rule violations—wala lang, it was just this group of people’s way of saying that they want to rob us blind.  At that time, Randy and I were enraged when our contractor told us that.  So enraged that we decided to delay the construction of our extension indefinitely.  We just don’t want to encourage these people’s corrupt practices.

 

Image lifted from thoughtsofaindianteenager.wordpress.com

And yes, because we are also kuripot.  Hehehe.

Anywho, for our new venture to push through, it was a must to get that dreaded building permit.  I myself went to the city hall to process the papers.  It was such a relief when the person who was originally asking for the P100+ thousand just signed without a hitch!  As in!  We were prepared for the worst and I was thinking of ways on how to make an honest person out of him/her/them.  Grabe, when I went out of his/her/their office, a huge grin was plastered on my face and I was thanking God profusely!

At the end of the day, the building permit was granted, hallelujah!  I called our building contractor and told him, “Let the construction of the second floor, begin!!!”  Well, of course I didn’t say it like that.  Hihihi.

 

The construction of our second floor is now in full swing!  Lord, let it be finished waaaay before November 22 please!

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