Archive for  January 2010

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During the recent visit of my in-laws, we brought them to nearby Solenad at Nuvali to have lunch. We wanted them to see the place as there were new restaurants added since the last time they came for a visit. The kids also wanted them to see the hundreds of koi fish in the man-made lake at Nuvali. My in-laws are not as mobile as they used to be. I probably need to read more information on rheumatoid arthritis to find out what could help them as it has become increasingly difficult for them to walk far.

Crisostomo is one of the latest additions to Solenad, the commercial area of Nuvali along the Sta. Rosa-Tagaytay road. We weren’t quite sure about it because I haven’t seen or heard of it before but since that was the nearest we could find and that was all that two hungry and grumpy old folks could bear, we went in to have lunch. Entering the restaurant reminded me of Maria Clara and old Manila. It dawned on me that the name Crisostomo was probably taken from Jose Rizal’s Noli Me Tangere of which Crisostomo Ibarra was one of the lead characters. I looked around and surveyed the interiors. It was nicely furnished and I particularly loved the old electric fan that you only see in your great great grandparents’ house. Their menu offered Filipino-Spanish cuisine with a twist. I glanced at the station where they had a computer and I saw the name Florabel. I had seen the chef/owner of Florabel being interviewed once on TV so I assumed it was part of a chain of restaurants. A little while later, I think I actually saw the chef/owner of Florabel gesturing to her staff to make sure our orders were taken care of. THAT is a good sign.

We ordered the monggo soup and a salad with green mangoes in it. Then we ordered the mixed platter that had everything on it – barbeque, pork chop, vegetables, oysters, fish etc. It was quite nice and just the right portion for a party of 7. I don’t remember any particular dish that stood out but for me it was enough to satisfy the old folks so it was fine. The service was good and the staff was attentive to our needs. It was a nice little discovery borne out of necessity. There are more new restaurants popping up here in Nuvali. So for all you foodies out there, I’ll try to post our food escapades as they happen.

Ciao or better yet, Chow!

Recently, we had my folks here.  Its just quite sobering to see two people who you considered strong to be weak as they advance in years.  My Dad, who is now 85 years old, suffers from Parkinson’s disease. My 76 year old Mom,  is also not strong as she used to.  Both now require some attention most of the time, though they try to maintain an active lifestyle.  They can longer do the long walks they need to do or take the long trips which were common place in their younger years. It takes a lot of maintenance medicine to keep them healthy as opposed to just taking wrinkle serum.  My prayer is that they don’t go suddenly and that they would be well prepared to face the Lord when the time come.  I desire that they come to the full understanding of the finished work of Christ on the cross and that it is faith in Him that will assure their place in Heaven.

Tes was out today for a photo shoot.  She does the post production aspects of the team (i.e. editing and layouts).    Since the activies started quite early, she had to stay overnight at a good friend’s house close to the shoot location.  In her rush, she almost left her things last night.  Just imagine if she left home without her clothes, dental care items, day cream, etc. Oh my…what a nightmare would it have been for her.  She would have come home to me very grumpy.  Good thing she remembered her things.  The photo shoot went very well also.

With my folks here for a few days things will be quite busy.  It would, however, be a good time for the kids to spend time with Grandma and Grandpa.  Today we went out to eat at the beautiful Nuvali development in Sta. Rosa.  The Folks plan to have us all stay in an Apartelle for a few days.  What a wonderful diversion from the daily grind! It would be like getting Branson tickets or going to Disneyland. I guess Mom and Dad get tired too. So its time for Grandma and Grandpa to step in and spoil the kids a bit?

It was quite an amazing drive today as I was going to the Airport this morning.  Even though it was a Friday, the SLEX seemed to be clear of traffic.  Typically you would have bumper to  bumper conditions when you reach the Alabang viaduct.  In these conditions, you normally would have auto insurance quotes handy. In the past few days, however,  traffic has really been good.  It took me about an hour to reach NAIA terminal 3 from Sta. Rosa.  Don’t really understand this fully but its really really good!

As I was driving today, I couldn’t help but see all the splattered adds of candidates for the Philippine Presidential election this coming May.  These folks come from diverse backgrounds.  One is a former President who was ousted years ago because of massive corruption.  Another is a brilliant stooge of the current corrupt administration.  There’s also the son of a former President who seems to be honest but doesn’t have the personality to drive people to action. You also have the Senator and former Mayor who cleaned up his town for many years, and has the eloquence of an Oklahoma attorney. Another Senator goes about promising good for the poor but is perceived to be unfair in his business.  Finally, there’s the Preacher who is sincere but is perceived   to be giving only “Motherhood” statements in his speeches.  Who do we choose? I guess the Filipino people have pray and seek God seriously about this matter.

I was watching the finale of Season 4 of So You Think You Can Dance today.  It was an interesting show as it showcased favorite routines throughout the season.  Even the judges danced.  Its just amazing how the dancers would execute the leaps and lifts. Such moves would prove to be good testosterone boosters.  My favorite routine would be “Imagine” danced by William and Katee.  An excellent contemporary pas de deux with a difficult a la seconde promenade.   Can’t wait until season 6.

Yesterday. I was trying to follow a dance being choreographed for ACTS Manila.  It was a Singkil inspired Ballet Number.  While it may not be that difficult for the kids learning the dance, I had some challenges as it required sitting on a folded knee.  At times it was difficult to get up.  This afternoon, I also had to do some rolls in the floor that were also taxing to my knees. Thank God, I don’t have arthritis or else I would be suffering from joint pain.  Quite hard when you’re advancing in age and you still have to do this physical stuff.

This week I got back to teaching Ballet and taking classes.  SO GOOD TO BE BACK!!! Another week in vacation and I would likely gain more poundage.  I measured myself the other day and found I gained 6 lbs and 4% fat. After a week of participating in our Church’s annual prayer and fasting, I have 3 more lbs to go and 3% fat more. With Ballet classes, I should be able to build muscles faster thus accelerate getting back to my ideal physique. With exercise that target leg muscles and work stabilizers, muscle develop is optimize.  The stretches also prevent these from bulking up.   Its really about being fit and preventing heart disease.

As I stated in my previous blog, I recently renewed  my car registration.  I was supposed to have this renewed last july but because of many factors, I only got the chance to start working on it last december. When I started working on it, I had the impression that I could just go to any LTO district office and complete the transaction.  So I went to LTO tagaytay to do my renewal.  I started this with an emission test which was quite uneventful.  I then proceeded to the registration window.  The lady there asked me for my insurance, so I showed her my comprehensive policy.  I was surprised to find that I didn’t have Compulsory Third Party Liability in there.  (Isn’t it supposed to be a Comprehensive?).  So I told the lady that I just wanted to buy a policy they had available and waited.  I was waiting for about and hour when I was told that the computer system could not retrieve my record and that they were trying again.  This went on until I said I was just coming back the following day.  The next day, there was still nothing.  The day after that still nothing until I decided to get my papers and renew in an office in Metro Manila.  I also paid for the insurance policy I got (Not the cheapest car insurance for it was double the price!). I didn’t have time to do it anymore before my trip to Davao so I let a friend ( who volunteered )do it for me. She did it in Las Pinas where she encountered similar results.  I finally brought it to the District Office ,where the car was originally registered, in Quezon City.  There they re-encoded the info of my registration into the database and only then was I able to register. Quite an ordeal. I wonder if this happens to everyone who renews their 3 year registration?

We arrived a few days ago from our unexpected extended Christmas holiday in Davao. Our little girl was confined for 6 days due to a severe asthma attack and bronchopneumonia. That’s a whole other story that I might post later on when I’ve gathered my thoughts on it but for now, I’d like to share some of our pig-out adventures in the ultimate adventurer’s eco-tourist mecca down south – Davao. Some might like to talk about online life insurance, but we love to travel and dine. Ü

I am not an expert food critic so these are just my opinions about the places we’ve eaten at this year.

The Food Scene:

  1. Tsuru’s – One of the favorite Japanese Restaurants my in-laws frequent in Davao. You can find it right in front of People’s Park. We had a little incident where the waitress (she was new) didn’t write down a couple of our orders and thus didn’t inform the kitchen. I had asked the husband if she repeated the orders and he said she did only to find out later that she really didn’t write it down. So we ended up waiting for something that wasn’t really going to come. Unfortunately, it was the order of our Australian guest. How embarrassing! Muy disgusto! The maitre ‘d however saved the day. She was quick to soothe our ruffled hungry tummies. She told the kitchen to serve the forgotten orders and told us that it was complements of the house.  Whew! For that quick response, I’d still recommend this place. Tsuru’s is located right in front of the People’s Park in Davao. It also has a sister restaurant serving Vietnamese cuisine called Hanoi.
  2. Bistro Rosario – This is an all-time favorite. Owned by Lola Charito, Bistro Rosario is part of a chain of restaurants in Davao which include Harana, Sarungbanggi and Peter Pan Bakeshop.  We were in search of the famous Wagyu beef so we dropped by Harana to sample it out. Wagyu beef is Japanese beef well-known for its juiciness and tenderness due to the intense marbling of unsaturated fat throughout the meat. Unfortunately, we arrived too late for the lunch hour so we transferred to Bistro Rosario since they serve Wagyu as well. While there, we sampled the clam chowder soup, the fresh lumpia, the sinfully delicious buko pandan dessert and of course the surprisingly, affordable Wagyu beef! Everything was delicious and the beef was worth the wait.  We also had a chance to chat with owner, Lola Charito. She told us the story behind her restaurants. She has been operating her business for more than 40 years and it was really inspiring to listen to her. If you want to try affordable Wagyu beef you can order them at Harana, Sarungbanggi or Bistro Rosario along Torres Street in Davao.
  3. Chippens Garden – Owned and managed by the Chippens restaurant, this one is located just outside the gate of my in-laws house. It’s usually booked for special functions and occasions and is neatly tucked away right in front of the house in Davao.
  4. Piccobello a Ristorante Italiano found in the old Gaisano mall. I am a pasta girl and so when we eat out I prefer to have my pesto pasta fix and this is one place I’d like to come back to. They have an authentic wood burning oven where they cook their pizza (which is also good, btw). The pesto was great and so was the carbonara. yum!
  5. Bigby’s – was a pleasant surprise. I liked the interiors because there were old world maps on the walls and we had fun guessing the names of the countries while waiting for the food. I also noticed the ceiling lamps were done using old magazine clippings and newspaper articles-really creative way to recycle stuff. The husband and I ordered steak and the portion was just right. My in-laws split a baby-back ribs rack and the kids had chicken in a basket while our Australian friends had pasta. It was definitely a nice meal altogether plus the service was definitely good. They have a unique little buzzer that you press if you need anything else. I’ve seen other restaurants have their own little signals to call the waiters, this was my first time to see something like this. Check them out.

After all that eating, I think I’m going to look for the best fat burner out there. LOL  We’ve eaten at many other places before that are not in this list but I will update this one as soon as I have time. Meanwhile, if you are in Davao check out these places to dine and discover for yourself the many flavors of Durian country.

A strange thing just happened to us as a couple of hours ago.  We heard a strange noise in a room adjacent to the living room.  It was a scratchy sound, just like someone trying to break in through the window blinds.  When I got to the room, lo and behold, a black cat just jumped through the window! So I took a broom and tried to scare him with it.  Fortunately it worked as he jumped on the bed and eventually out the window.   I guess the window has to be always closed even when were aroud!

I was on my way today to LTO Quezon City DO in Cubao  to have my car registered.  The office was in P.Tuazon, so I planned to take a route through white plains.  Driving without a Garmin GPS, I ended up in EDSA instead.  Its actually been than 10 years since the last time I went through this route.  So I had to turn right at Santolan, left at one of the side streets to get to P. Tuazon. Anyway, the great thing was that I got to the LTO office and completed the transaction.

In our recent visit to Davao, I just realized that our family home is quite old.  Its been 40 years since its construction and it requires  a lot of repair or upgrades.  For one, a part of the house would constantly have an electrical trip off.  This suggests the need for rewiring ( or maybe a closer look at home insurance quotes).  Plumbing also needs to be revisted as a lot of faucets give trickles of water.  Significant work needs to be done in the coming months!