27 October 2006

Guess what day this is?

One of our bosses dropped by my table a few moments ago and asked for updates on some tasks he requested the group to do. After that, I decided to update him too on some other activities we were doing. After less than half an hour he left. Pauline, my cubicle neighbor, remarked: "he forgot to greet you Happy Birthday". Ah, well.

So I'm writing this so you'd know and send a greeting my way (hehehe!). Thanks to my friends, relatives, wife, baby Jo-Lo, blogkadahan, for the greetings as yesterday!

Advanced "thank you!" for the greeting, and have a great weekend ahead!

24 October 2006

Have your fish and eat it too

Here's a different dining experience. Go to the wet market, purchase your seafood of choice (with a bit of beef of pork too!), have it cooked, and dine on this sumptious feast fresh from the ...er... market!

The fish is indeed fresh, with their clear, bright eyes staring at you while the clams squirt water every once in a while in their tub.

Here's a photo of the wet market. Ummm... it's right behind these pretty ladies. Negotiate your way between the sellers who vie for your attention by calling out to you and announcing their fresh produce and what you can do with them (shrimps for tempura! Clams for soup!). Don't forget to haggle for discounts!

Next, go to the dining area where your purchase is weighed, asked what you want to be done with it, and you choose your cook for the day.

The cost of cooking is prominently displayed here. After this task is done, you finally sit down at the airconditioned dining area and wait for the hot and tasty food to arrive!
Expect your food to start arriving in about twenty minutes time. The clam soup arrived is usually the first to arrive. Yum yum! Sarap!

Soon enough, talk was replaced with silence as each savors the feast laid out before them. Galit-galit muna!

Ever had seaweed salad before? Though Baguio is located atop the mountains, we have seaweed in the market regularly and we love it with chopped tomates and sprinkled lightly with salt.

Remnants of clam shells and tuna bones pile up on the extra plate. Hey, that's not only from my plate!

This is truly a seafood feast that you'll love. Don't forget to order steamed fish! Absolutely divine.

Dampa has many branches. This one's in Libis, Quezon City.

Going ... going ... gone!

20 October 2006

Advanced Christmas greeting

The spirit of Christmas arrived early in our office today. My share of postal mail contained a Christmas card from a fellow blogger and friend. Even though we have not seen each other personally, he thoughtfully sent me a card with greetings to Jo-Lo as well. My first Christmas greeting for 2006. I'm so happy!
Merry Christmas to you and your family, Tito Rome! Merry Christmas to my blog visitors as well! Happy weekend!

19 October 2006

Parent's Instinct

I had a difficulty sleeping two nights ago. I tossed and turned, got up and turned off the fan, then got up and turned it on again, then drank water, only to find myself still staring at the floor or at the ceiling.

It was really strange. I normally do not have a problem getting sleep. I get deprived only when I'm on the road. But other than that, I just find a comfy position and doze off.

Sleep finally arrived at around 2:30AM. I'm one of those regular guys who need 8 hours and so I woke up late, the alarm clock's ringing at 6:30 a futile attempt at going to the office on time.

I exchanged SMS with my wife later that day and told her about my sleep deprivation. It entered my mind that something might be wrong at home, and I guess it did not help with the sleeplessness. My wife then told me that Jo-Lo fell off the bed at 12:30 in the morning! He sustained a bump and bruises near the left eye.

We're having rubber mats placed on the floors. Jo-Lo is becoming increasingly boisterous these days. Thank goodness he's ok now.

Would you call that a parent's instinct?

17 October 2006

Adobe and Pizza

I started the week with a whole-day seminar for Adobe InDesign CS2 with Pauline and Kenneth (our web designer). I also attended the session when CS2 was launched last year and it was a blast! Fun and educational at the same time! Their seminars are really more like workshops. They teach you tips and tricks that you can use in your own environment. Last year, they focused on PhotoShop and Illustrator. This year, they dabbled with InDesign (for desktop publishing). It was indeed a whole day well worth it.

Last year, I also saw friend and blogger Ginno but was not able to talk to him. I was expecting to see him at this session too. Lo and behold. He was indeed there! We caught up with old times during breaks. I also saw Azrael (a friend from my active anime days) and chatted about how life is treating him. Seems like everybody's gaining weight these days.
Was there a blogger's EB yesterday I wasn't aware of?

Anyways, I'm all excited to apply what I have learned on those sessions. Marianne and Tim Cole (the resource speakers) were hilarious! And so learned.

We are about to revamp the Company Guidebook and this seminar really came in at the right time. I'm all fired-up.

At lunchtime, we went to A Veneto Pizzeria Ristorante at Glorietta (this is with the Tower Records row). Pauline ordered pasta and pizza and some finger food. We were already halfway with the pizza and almost done with the pasta when I exclaimed, "blog material!"

Too late for the pasta. But I was able to take a shot of the wonderful seafood pasta. Shrimps, clam, octopus, with pesto served on thin crust. It was absolutely scrumptious. So flavorful it was that we had the family size but each got two slices each, on top of our pasta and potato balls and crab meat sticks. Yum yum.
Their seafood pizza is highly recommend! Family size costs 460 pesos. Chicken pesto at 360 pesos. Veneto family platter (with crab meat sticks, potato balls, and french fries) at 210 pesos, bottomless lemonade and iced tea at 60 pesos each.
I'm looking forward to the next Adobe Conference (and lunch with friends).

13 October 2006

A golfer's paradise

About a month ago, we went out on a road trip that took us to golf courses south of Manila. Nope, we weren't there to play golf. We were the occular inspection team for our company's business planning venue on November. A considerable number of our management team plays golf, so it pretty much dictated the choice of venue for the planning. Plus, we also had to check out other sporting activities that can be had in the area such as badminton, tennis, bowling, and such for the others.

Going to these places made me realize just how dedicated golfers are with their game. With vast expanse of land spared at no expense to create the perfect course. I am also being encouraged to try this game out but I really cannot see myself playing golf.

They say that golf is not an expensive sport. But what about memberships to country clubs, purchase of golf clubs, and everytime you play, you pay for the green fee, caddy fee, golf cart fee, and you need to be properly attired for the sport of course. And these pristine golf courses! They aren't there for free, that's one thing for sure.

I enjoyed our trip, though, because of the nice scenery, the opportunity to step into clubhouses, and the team imagining that this were ours and our maids were out in the greens driving golf carts and playing during their free time. Hahaha!

Choose your golfer's paradise!

Tagaytay Highlands in Tagaytay (duh)
Offers a magnificent view of the Taal lake and Volcano. Photo below is the clubhouse. Area in front is where actress Claudine Barredo had her wedding.
I like their sunken living room . It faces a roundish fireplace. Very cozy. There's Pauline taking a breather with me.Malarayat Golf and Country Club in Lipa, Batangas
I like their lofts with a view. I've always wanted to have a house with a loft.
Canyon Woods, Batangas
Canyon Woods has a number of cottages for rent, and there are lots of family-based recreation that can be had here on weekends like fishing, boating, bowling, tennis, badminton. Photo below is the indoor swimming pool. I've always wanted something like that for our house. Hey, daydreaming has no charge, right?
Ayala Greenfields, Calamba, Laguna
The architecture is Japanese-inspired. And yes, I always wanted something like that for our house.
Summit Point, Batangas
This is the main lobby. Too aristocratic for me, I suppose. Although Dessagirl can imagine herself standing at the balcony while her guests wait below and she announces that they can play golf while tea is being prepared after the front 9.
Welcome to my home!
Owwww! I bonked my head! All my delusions of grandeur.... gone!

Gotta work hard to reach our goals and dreams, right? Happy weekend everyone!

11 October 2006

Pickled ginger madness

I have blogged about Yoshinoya some time back (make that last year... how time flies!) and was particularly engrossed in their pickled ginger which - as I learned from the comments to that post - was actually an appetizer.

But I got so hooked into the pickled ginger that I mix it up with my rice and beef gyudon! And that's not all. Officemate Francis also developed a taste for this appetizer; we'd dump generous amounts into our bowls.

We consume almost half of a box of ginger after a meal!

I haven't seen this being sold in supermarts. Where o where can I buy some?!

09 October 2006

Thai Goodness at Oody's Express

When you are left to fend for yourself, you have to be creative sometimes. Either that, or you take whatever's thrown at you and make the best of it.

We found ourselves in the latter situation one night as Harry and I looked for a place to have our dinner. Since we were in Glorietta, we decided to go to one of our favorite places, Tokyo Tokyo (rice all you can!).

We didn't realize it was already late, and many of the menu items were either unavailable already, or it will take 15 minutes to prepare. For hungry folks, 15 minutes is an eternity.

I don't know why, but we have been avoiding the food shop right next to Tokyo Tokyo. That's Oody's Express. But looking like we no longer have enough calories to search for another place, we soon found ourselves being seated by the waiter and handed their menu selection.
\Oooh. Thai food. Didn't they popularize the bagoong rice? Hmmm... we tried to be more "adventurous" and ordered for other items on the menu. Harry chose spicy pork and I chose chicken, both rice toppings. My memory eludes me right now on what the names were. So let's see the photos instead, shall we?
The bowl at right was mine. Some green mangoes were on the side, along with chopped pepper. Wow. I'm not much of a spice person so I mixed just a little bit of the pepper and all of the green mango strips into the rice.

We also ordered chicken satay with cucumber dip. And a dish of cucumbers.
Amazingly, we found Oody's Express a welcome change from our usual dinners. The cucumber was sweet and crunchy. The satay and dip blended well. And as for our rice toppings, it was grrreat! I soon found myself mixing in all the chopped pepper into my rice because it was not so spicy after all.

Even our drinks were out of the ordinary. Harry ordered the Thai iced tea. While I cannot quite place how the tea tasted, I loved my lemon grass tea. We got quite confused whether this was the same as the pandan leaf, then the waiter informed us that it was called "tanglad" in Filipino. We still didn't get it. Harharhar. But I knew I found another drink I'd love to have again.

Damage: 350 pesos for two.

Try Oody's Express at Glorietta for a different and satisfying food adventure and I'm sure your plate will also end up like this:

06 October 2006

Very superstitious...

An officemate just returned from a 4-day leave as she attended the wake of her uncle. And just last week, we watched a local movie called "Pamahiin" (superstitions), a suspense movie about what can happen when superstitions and beliefs are not followed, especially in funerals.

The last time I attended a funeral was as a guest of Sarah. That was months ago. And the last time I attended a funeral for a relative is even years ago.

I thought about our Pamahiin in funerals and as an early All Soul's Day post, decided to make a list here. Please feel free to add or correct me. Thanks!

For Halloween
1. When a butterfly enters your house, it means a relative who's passed away is visiting you and your family so don't shoo it off (applicable not only on All Soul's Day).
2. In the evening when the cemeteries get filled with relatives honoring their dead (and having a family get-together in the process), those left at home should light candles around the house and in the rooms. This will enable the spirits who wander off at this time of the year to see where they're going and not linger at your house.

At Funerals
3. When the wake is being held at home, the relatives staying in the house should not take a bath for the duration of the wake. (Do you know why this is so?)
4. All mirrors should be covered with cloth in the home of the dead person because if you see the dead person reflected in the mirror, you will be next.
5. When coming from the house or place where the wake is being held, do not go home directly or the spirits will follow you.
6. Do not let tears fall on the casket or death will visit once more and take a family member.
7. Do not let the names pinned on the casket be buried with the dead.
8. Before the dead gets buried, all the younger generation (grandchildren, nephews, nieces) present should pass over the casket (usually carried from one person to another on opposite sides of the casket).

Hmmm... that's all I can think of for now. I think the most difficult part is item 3, though this is easier done in Baguio because of the cool climate. Harhar.

And as you sing the song "very superstitious", I wish everyone a Happy weekend!

04 October 2006

Simple pleasures

I'm not particularly fond of spas and massages. Perhaps it's because I would rather spend my money on movies and food :-).

"You need to pamper yourself every now and then, buy things that's worth more than you would normally shell out money for (like clothing and electronic gadgets)," says good friend Francis while we looked around for a pair of shoes at Glorietta one afternoon - I think he buys one every quarter). "You deserve to pamper yourself," he added. Good point.
Well, there's this Barber Shop near our office. Bruno's Barbers is what it's called. I usually get my haircut at Evangelista in Makati where it costs only 80 pesos plus tip. But one day I really wanted a haircut so bad I decided to try out Bruno's. Hector attended to me and I guess they're trained on how to make the customer satisfied with their visit. At barber shops, you get a complimentary massage after your haircut. Back in Evangelista, my barber massages my shoulders and back. At Bruno's, your chair gets reclined and you get a face and head massage, and then a back massage.

Last night was the third time I visited Bruno's and asked for Hector to do my haircut. It's great to have a regular barber because you don't have to explain at each visit what you want. It's not like I have to do a lot of explaining to do for my haircut, but it's great to just take your seat and get things done.

This is the interior of the barber shop. Spic and span. And look at the chairs! It's like sitting on sofa! So comfy! When the chair reclines, the footrest adjusts as well, and the neck gets a nice, solid support.
That's Hector. Nope, that's not me getting the haircut. I was actually trying to get a photo of the services they render. Most amusing is ear cleaning (150 pesos). People really request for such a service? Hmmm...
They also have massages (350 for half hour, 450 for an hour), hair treatment, etc etc. Haircut costs 150 pesos plus tip. Yup, it's about twice the cost of my Evangelista barber.

While waiting for my turn, I sifted through their magazine rack, and was surprised to find these! Wow, I haven't read Archie's for the longest time! What a treat.
Soon I was on the chair and after my haircut, Hector applied a menthol lotion on my face and did a face and head massage, shaved my 5:00 shadow, and massaged my back longer than usual.

The massage actually felt great! I was all smiles when I left the barber shop. It was so relaxing! I'm thinking of trying a massage service soon. My friends already have a couple of shops in mind (they said 350 for half an hour is too steep).

At any rate, I now alternate my haircut routine between Evangelista and Bruno's. And though a bit more expensive, I now find myself looking forward to my visits at Bruno's. Simple pleasures!

(When I was telling my friends what a nice time I had at Bruno's, Beth asked "Why do men get massages after their haircut? Why not for ladies too?" I don't have an answer to that, unfortunately. Massages are replaced with gossip exchange?)

02 October 2006

How to enjoy mouth-watering chopsuey

1. Buy fresh vegetables. when the veggies are crisp and fresh, it takes little seasoning to make this simple dish really delectable. The sweetness of the carrots, the unique blend of cauliflower and broccoli, the crunchiness of the sweet peas, pechay, and baby corn, and the mild spiciness of the bell peppers make this a truly perfect companion to fish and meat, or all by itself! Add button mushroom if desired.
2. Wash the veggies. Chop the onions and garlic. Rid the sweet peas of its extra stems. Skin and chop the carrots. Separate the cauliflower and broccoli blossoms into manageable portions. Chop the carrots. Remove the seeds from the bell peppers and cut into strips.
Invite your guests over and let them help with the preparations! Chat about fun times while you're at it!

3. Cook your ground pork in water in the frying pan over medium heat. The water should partly submerge the pork. When the water has evaporated, the pork will release its own oil. Set aside. Put in additional cooking oil if necessary and saute the onion and garlic. Put back the pork and continue cooking. Next, add the carrots and the baby corn. When these are quite tender, add the broccoli, cauliflower, pechay, green peas, bell peppers. Mix, then add water to partly submerge mix.
4. Add a bit of salt to taste.
5. Enjoy the dish with friends and family!
Reminds me of the good old college days when we had cooking sessions whichever home we found ourselves in and play cards and chat the night away. *sigh*
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...