a september to remember

September went by so fast; I can’t catch up especially on this blog because ever since August I tried to lure myself to more work to keep me occupied. In a way I felt I succeeded in distracting myself, I felt relief despite the many issues creeping around and I felt sleep was always available without too much effort this time.

ihop_1

Anyhow, this was how I started and ended September. ♥

ihop_5

A good brunch to commence the first week of ber months. We’re all first-timer at IHOP, the famed US restaurant for its breakfast plates and pancakes. At past 10am on a Sunday, the place was already packed; I believe most were joggers and walkers around BGC. I was a bit sick that morning because my tummy hurts, so despite the many offers at IHOP I limited mine to omelette.

ihop_2

Create Your Perfect Omelette –Spinach and Jack (cheddar cheese), it’s a huge omelette! I’m guessing three eggs all in, how’s that? Hello cholesterol! I missed the last part which says, plus one delicious side so I was served three buttermilk pancakes. I’d like to ask, is it the default side if the customers do not have a specific request or they’d assume I like pancakes better than hash browns, toasts or fresh fruits? Had I known the choices I’d go for toasts or fresh fruits. Well, there’s always a next time.

Ze husband dearie went to order from the Filipino breakfast meals, Pinoy’s favorite silog meals in short. He had Beef Tapa (apology for the absence of photo but you can check his IG), very generous serving of tapa with garlic rice and two sunny side up eggs. I love his plate other than I’m really controlling myself not to fork any from his plate, oh beef!

My sister Che was our brunch date that time, she had Sunday work so before going on her 1pm shift she spends time with us. She got herself the Breakfast Sampler; I’m assuming dinner would be the next meal after her big plate.

ihop_3

Breakfast Sampler. Says two is the magic number! That’s two eggs, two crispy bacon strips, two pork sausage links, two piece of ham, two fluffy buttermilk pancakes and golden hash browns. Pancakes again?

ihop_4

Had I known we had many pancakes already I should have skipped ordering another one for…dessert. 😀 Strawberry Banana Pancakes that looks luscious however, it would have looked better if the strawberries were fresh. I have to say my honest opinion about their pancakes, not the best in town though especially that my standard of a good pancake is that of McDonald’s only –slightly chewy, well it’s me.

ihop_5

IHOP wasn’t really that impressive based on my first time experience, prices were a bit overrated too other than ze husband and I would still welcome a second come back, maybe soon after?

13sep2015_3

*Moi obsessing to paella nowadays 😛

Then, a month after Tatay’s passing away we squeezed a family day out at Josephine’s, one of his favorite restaurants in Tagaytay. Read here.

dads_resources

dads_resources_1

Mid month my consolidator from SG visited Manila and invited us over dinner at Dad’s Megamall, it was nice seeing Mr. Tay once again and his pretty daughter, Clara. Guess what? I’m visiting him in return tho it may delay because of the current changes at the workplace; I know it’d turn out fun and exciting, I can’t wait! 🙂

happybirthdaymel_1

happybirthdaymel_2

Back at the office, we had a staff birthday, Mel is part of the new bitches este batch I’m currently training. Happy Birthday Kelly! just because I thought she has this big resemblance with the charming and beauty Kelly Misa.

We also got to observe Tatay’s 40 days last September; a simple merienda cena was prepared for the neighborhood and relatives. Took this opportunity also to attend to legal matters and other proceedings including the unfinished house. I still miss Tatay everyday, his unselfishness and even his grumpiness. Sigh!

leara_1

And because September 25 was declared a holiday I was able to make time with my high school girls, the two boys were extra just don’t mind them, hehehe, peace Greg and JMV. We visited Alma after her recent open surgery plus it became a belated birthday surprise for her. I miss the girls and the chitchats, and tho we’re all settled and been living differently now we still hang out like yesterday because I’d like to believe that we’ve invested a good amount of faith to one another. We don’t mind the distance, the shortage of time spent and even if we don’t do meet ups regularly, we’re assured that we’ll always have each other’s back.

leara_2

leara_3

Thank you for the friendship LEARA (Lecel-Elna-Arlene-Rosavilma-Alma), I love you girls! ♥

maternals_at_mcdo

Holidays also became the avenue for the maternals meet ups and get together and because we have regular bingo games at home (after Tatay’s death), it’s not so hard to pull everyone together especially if there’s a pledge to eat out later on. So we did, one time at McDonald’s Taal Vista at midnight after the black out game. Hmmmnnn, Mer-Ben Tapsilog next or let’s do a repeat of 7-11 order-all-you-can.

maternals_at_711

*random weekend night at 7-11 

On the last Sunday of September, we’re able to squeeze a day out once more with Nanay, Che and the kids had a party to attend then. After Sunday mass at The Little Souls we visited The Dining Room at Gourmet Farms. I thought the second time’s a charm, not in all occurrences I assume now.

the_dining_room_1

I love The Dining Room’s because of its all white walls, high-ceiling, big windows, wooden fixtures; it’s everything I love into dining spaces. There’s this feel of quietness and nostalgia, overall pleasant in my opinion.

the_dining_room_2

Menu was limited, so we thought we made a good choice and started with their Salad Buffet. Tho a bit pricey for Tagaytay’s abundant harvest of fresh greens if I may say. At P400+ for this plate, I can have too many greens already at the supermarket.

the_dining_room_3

Oh, thank you for the complimentary lettuce chips and dip.

the_dining_room_4

Nanay had a warm rice meal, Herb Baked Chicken, a pretty entrée.

the_dining_room_5

While ze husband and I each had a pasta plate –Classic Carbonara and my favorite Vongole.

I don’t know if it’s just us, we even jokingly assumed that the chef that day must be on his day off because both our pasta dishes were salty to our palate. The carbonara was permissible because of its generous bacon however, the Vongole was a different story.

I had to silently return the plate because I can’t stand the saltiness; it was like biting my tongue. The replacement came after a few more minutes, still salty but tolerable this time. I didn’t finish the plate tho, al dente is far different from uncooked, I fear my stomach will hurt later on.

I don’t know if the instances that day was an isolated one, probably a miscalculation other than I think The Dining Room which is synonymous to Gourmet should be very cautious on food preparation because they need to live on what they preach, freshest, finest and healthy eats I guess.

the_dining_room_6

Anyhow, I’m apt to make a comeback sometime and try their pizza, let’s see how they’ll fare.

Oh September, you’ve been a busy one. October went by so quick yet full of treats as well. And yes, it’s November now, it’s Christmas Day in a few weeks time, while everything is happening so nippy there’s this rip of sadness I can’t always cover up. How can you celebrate Christmas without the happy colors this time eh?

 

 

P.S. Our Astro Boi is turning a year old this month, he’s been a healthy pup and adorable and obedient to Momi and Dadi.

astro_boi_1

His disability was never a concern because he’s a happy pup, we’re wishing him a life long filled with happy memories only. 🙂

 

IHOP | Fort Bonifacio W. Global Center, 30th St. cor. 9th Ave., Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City, 9th Ave, Taguig, Metro Manila | T. +63 2 6875611

The Dining Room | Km. 52, Aguinaldo Highway, Buho, Silang Cavite | T. +63 46  8651064 Look for Fernan or Albert

 

Advertisements

a month after

Tatay’s death was so sudden, after that life changing episode of our lives I thought days and months would be lengthy, I thought everything would slow down to a year or so because that’s the expectation other than we need to keep going while still mourning because we have to. There were legal matters to clear up, issues to fulfill and a project to pick up again. And whether it’s a choice or not I have to involve myself this time, I’m expected to lead being the eldest. And this time there are too many things a lot easier said than done.

At a loss. At times I caught myself staring in blank, and then there were random things that will flashback and as if these recurrences weren’t enough there will be flash-forwards that would flicker. I wanted to stop so I’d lure myself to sleep, into a deep one, sometimes, never wanting to wake up. No, don’t get wrong I’m no suicidal by any mean.

Why I am so tired? I feel I have too many on my hands right now, the issues keep coming yet none has been nearing closure yet. There were too many issues back home and yet I was not spared from work, my patience is thinning and yet I have to behave while waiting for things to get better. Sometimes I’d like to believe that I’m made to battle many storms. I’m no immortal please.

Today, I pray for strength and guidance. I pray that during this difficult time the Lord will bless me extra strength to endure all pains and sufferings and to continue ahead. Please bless me with inner strength to find the blessings and all the lessons it contains. Likewise, please calm my heart and take away all my anxieties.

13sep2015_1

A month after Tatay’s death we went out once again as a family to one of his favorite restaurants nearby, I was holding back my tears and tried to keep the mood light but it’s hurting because he’s no longer around to remind us not to indulge much on crispy pata. The food seems to be very cold that afternoon and I can’t help but be reminded of the last time we were together, it was Palm Sunday.

13sep2015_2

Our little dollet seems so happy with her slice of chocolate cake; I envy her spirit and her cheerful smile. Ysabel would be our forever reminder of Tatay and her love for the patriarch that will never die.

 

P.S. Monday blues 😦

 

family weekend | palm sunday

palmsunday_1

My family loves Sunday lunches because it’s the only time of the week that we’re complete and could eat together like the old times. I remember we used to eat together during the much younger years because my grandparents would oblige us to join them, I remember as well that we used to sit together on that long wooden bank seat and old dining table as we savor my Lola’s pinangat (as if I was eating the dish, hehehe). Tho life was tougher way back that time, we have lesser issues and troubles then. Life in a broad-spectrum is easy. Anyhow, I believe there’s nothing wrong with change and the changes we had had 3 decades ago.

palmsunday_2

On Palm Sunday, Tatay treated the fambam to lunch at Josephine after Sunday mass. It’s one of the usual lunches only that this time we’re partly celebrating Tatay’s retirement from his beloved office of more than 30 years. I wish I could retire like him, with pride and money, and celebrate the same milestone.

palmsunday2015_3

palmsunday2015_4

palmsunday2015_5

When Tatay is treating we absolutely go nuts because its means order anything you like and he’s paying. Hehehe. So we really indulge, to the max!

palmsunday2015_6

We had Crispy Kangkong first while waiting for the mains. Water spinach covered with a light tempura batter and deep-fried to a crisp served with mayonnaise or spicy vinegar.

palmsunday2015_7

Baked Talaba (Oysters). Oysters topped with finely minced garlic, butter and cheese.

palmsunday2015_8

Followed by the family’s all-time favorite Crispy Pata. Pork legs and knuckles, after hours of gentle simmering with spices, are deep fried to a crisp outside and juicy inside. Served with garlic vinegar.

palmsunday2015_9

Two orders of Crispy Pata seem not enough to fill our hungry fangs, so we had another Crispy Pata, this time Kare-Kare style. This time sautéed in homemade ground roasted rice and peanuts, garnished with a variety of native vegetables and served with our secret bagoong (shrimp paste).

palmsunday2015_10

We also had Sinigang na Hipon (no good photo to share), Pan-grilled Squid and Hito. Hito is the fresh Philippine Catfish, a native delicacy which can be enjoyed inihaw (char-grilled) or fried to a succulent crisp. One of the best ways to enjoy this fish is the Filipino way, adobo. The catfish is marinated in vinegar, spices and garlic prior to long hours of gentle simmering in its own oil. By the way, this is Tatay’s favorite so naturally he didn’t share; he wolfed the whole fish by himself. Hehehe.

palmsunday2015_11

As if we’re not yet satisfied with all the food we ordered the big kiddo got herself an order of Vongole, fresh sweet clams sautéed in olive oil, garlic and parsley tossed with pasta.

palmsunday2015_12

And we got a small order of Seafood Paella, traditional Spanish Paella slow cooked the old-fashioned way using the Paellera, and topped with the day’s catch. We had fresh Buco to wash down everything.

palmsunday2015_13

palmsunday2015_14

palmsunday2015_15

Its one serious habit that we love overstaying at the dining table, except for Tatay we’re all slow eaters, we love chitchats while eating because it delays us from getting a chock-full feel. So while Tatay and the little kiddo was exploring the place, we had our time, we’re like glued at our comfy seats.

palmsunday2015_16

palmsunday2015_17

Can you guess who the new darling of the grannies is?

palmsunday2015_18

By the way, if you’re visiting Josephine don’t miss to get a cone of their version of dirty ice cream, it’s creamy and one of the best ice creams in town.

palmsunday2015_19

palmsunday2015_21

Before we left Josephine we had tons of photo, obligatory photos for this blog of course. 😀

palmsunday2015_20

Thank you Tatay and Nanay for the lunch treat! 

palmsunday2015_22

Everytime we’re home I wanted to maximize my time –go somewhere else, discover something new, bond with the kiddos, get fresher air, eat something deli, I want to push myself to the limit because I want to do things while I can and able.

palmsunday2015_24

So, to cut the dramathon, we drove back to Tagaytay in the afternoon to date the two girls.

palmsunday2015_23

Our favorite coffee shop has branch out anew at Twin Lakes, and was dubbed as the most beautiful Starbucks in the Philippines, so we couldn’t miss. We decided to dine al fresco because the weather that time was so inviting and the landscape was so serene. Since it was newly-opened and a bit far from the heart of Tagaytay diners was numbered that time, everything seems so perfect on this side.

palmsunday2015_25

palmsunday2015_26

palmsunday2015_30

We stayed until sundown and the place simply transformed into a romantic spot –rustic, homey feel, bricks, softly lighted a reminiscent of a classic European setting. I LOVE.

palmsunday2015_27

how time flies? no longer a baby but will forever remain a kiddo to me…glow with grace Ate! 

palmsunday2015_28

and our darling little kiddo naturally shine in the presence of many ♥

palmsunday2015_29

We can only wish it wasn’t Monday the following day so we could spend time longer  –January & Leoncio

 

 

Josephine Restaurant | Km. 58 Gen. Aguinaldo Highway, Maharlika West, Tagaytay City | T. +63 46  4131801

Starbucks Coffee Twin Lakes | Tagaytay-Nasugbu Highway, Alfonso, Cavite