Birthday 2015

Come -ber months, I already stopped hoping that my birthday this year can beat, be the same, or even come close to last year’s. I just wanted to celebrate the most important day of the year for me. Your birthday may be just a regular day for you, but then again, to each his own.

December 19, I went to Trinoma to meet up with Miko. Then we went to the Church of The Holy Sacrifice in UP Diliman to hear mass. We arrived early, so Miko ate some red isaw, dynamite and hotdogs first at the stall near Mang Larry’s. I didn’t have any because I was still full from the Yellow Cab pepperoni pizza I got from Trinoma.

The simbang gabi was at 8pm and the gospel was about The Visitation. The homily said that we should focus on Jesus being the reason for the season and not material gifts or vacations or other worldly things we now associate with Christmas. I agree. Jesus should be the focus of Christmas. I should be the focus of my birthday. Haha.

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After mass, we went to Good Burger in Maginhawa for dinner. I still wasn’t hungry, so I only had some fries and chicken, while Miko had some healthy burger creation and milk tea from the store beside GB. We talked about work (mostly my career) while eating, so even if I learned lots from his insight, I kinda lost my appetite. Hehe.

We went to Taste of L.A. for my birthday salubong. This was where I also had my salubong last year. I love this old resto in Roces. It has candles and roses and paintings- three things that are on top of my list of favorite things. Instead of wine, I had some whisky. And instead of chocolate lava cake, we had frozen cheesecake. The cheesecake is much much much better than the chocolate cake. Guess what I wished for when it turned 12?

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Dec 20… we went to Galleria to watch Star Wars The Force Awakens. Before that, he hit the gym first and I had my me time at Caf√© Pascucci. Then we went to Toys R Us to get some gifts for his inaanaks. I saw two Care Bears that look like us. Shempre ako si Funshine Bear.

It was my 2nd time to watch TFA and it was his 1st time to watch a Star Wars movie. His reaction after 2hours and 15minutes of watching?

“Ayoko. Walang Ewoks!!!” ūüėā

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It took us almost an hour to get to EDSA Shangri La. Terrible traffic! We were definitely hangry by the time we got to HEAT. In fact, I started eating while he was still parking. :P

I enjoyed the food better in HEAT than in Circles (Makati Shangri La), but I liked the ambience of the latter better. The dishes that I loved in HEAT were the maki with lots of bonito flakes, herb crusted cold cuts, meat loaf, crabs in lemon garlic sauce, roasted lamb chops, roasted angus belly, churros, and blueberry mousse. Miko loved all the meats except their sisig. He also liked the mango cheesecake.

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HEAT has an iced tea buffet, and you need to pay an extra 200php to avail. Also 200php for the unlisoda. And for unli wine, add 700php. I had the unli iced tea and my fave was cucumber lemonade.

The cost of Sunday dinner buffet is P2,200 I think. The original plan was to have my birthday/our anniversary dinner at Spiral in Sofitel, but it was okay that it didn’t push through because of the rain and traffic.

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I quickly fell asleep right after Miko brought me home. I woke up with a little sadness because my birthday was over. It was happy, but there was something else I wanted.

I went to MOA to meet up with my bestfriend Donnie and I already had a feeling that he tried to invite our other friends so celebrate my birthday. I also had a feeling that it was only Jan who could make it. And of course, tama ako.

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I was touched that Donnie and Jan took the extra mile to be with me and arrange a surprise to make me happy on my a day after my birthday. Sabi ko nga, kung kilala mo talaga ako nang mabuti, alam mo na gusto ko ng surprise. Hindi kailangang bongga, basta meron. At alam mo dapat na gusto ko ng cake na may masarap na frosting na may candle.

Nagpa-fireworks¬†pa sila Jan at Donnie para sa akin. May live band pa sa tabi na tumugtog ng Achey Breakey Heart at Nanghihinayang. ūüėį

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Come December 22, I was already on leave. I went home here in Bataan and the first thing that greeted me in our humble farmhouse was that little brown furry cute puppy! It’s my parents’ birthday gift for me! A labrador mix that I named Toshi. It means alert, intelligent and bright in Japanese. Miko suggested that I name it Potpot. So I decided that should be the nickname. I think the puppy likes his nickname better because he wags his tail nonstop whenever he hears it. ūüėú

So that’s how I spent my birthday. It may not be as happy as the one in 2014, but it is still my second favorite birthday of all. Thank you to all those who remembered. To those who didn’t, HU U?

// listening to A Second Chance

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Tokyo Trip – Odaiba

The afternoon we spent in Odaiba was very, very tiring! Odaiba is a man made island in Tokyo Bay. Ang dami naming nilakad! There are several malls in Odaiba and we went inside all of ’em.

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Before heading to Odaiba, we passed by the Nippon Television Tower and saw this yellow thingie that Miko called PIKACHU. No kids, that is not a Pokémon. I have no idea who that is. :p

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Odaiba was initially built for military purposes in the 1800s, and  expanded as a seaport district in the late 20th century, and has developed since the 1990s as a major commercial, residential and leisure area

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One of the most popular things to see is the Rainbow Bridge. This is the bridge by day–

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The first mall that we visited (because it’s the closest to the train station) was Decks. Ang ganda. Mukha talagang decks with its wooden flooring. :D

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We had snacks at Anchors,

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just some assorted sausages, juice, and cola.

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But because my newbie legs and feet were aching from all the walking, I begged Miko that we stay a little longer and we had more refreshments. :P

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When I got some of my strength back, we went to Aqua City

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and we saw a replica of the Statue of Liberty. According to Wiki, The French Statue of Liberty came¬†to Odaiba¬†in the late 90’s¬†in commemoration of “The French year in Japan”. Because of its popularity, in 2000 a replica of the French Statue of Liberty was erected at the same place.

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I don’t remember if LEGOLAND is inside this mall, but we decided not to visit it anymore, because there was still so much to see in the area. Like this Hello Kitty Store.

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Akalain mong pati dried fish at dried squid meron si Hello Kitty?

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Look at this Kitty Geisha! Ang cute cute!

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In Diver City Plaza, there’s¬†the¬†famous 18 meter tall Gundam statue!

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Katuwa kasi even the locals seemed excited to see the humongous robot.

 

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There’s this golden structure of some sort that caught our attention. Don’t know what it is, but it’s just magnificent.

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Here’s a better shot. Better kasi may sunflowers. I love sunflowers! :D

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And there’s a kiddie program being shot in the area. No, babe. That’s not Mojacko. :p

 

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And this architectural masterpiece is the Fuji television Headquarters. The building was designed by world-renowned Kenzo Tange. he also designed St. Mary’s Cathedral in Bunkyo. (I’ll be blogging about that soon.)

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Walang pinipiling lugar ang Minions. Pati pala sa Japan, popular sila!

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Hello there, Stuart, Bob and Kevin!

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Here’s our family portrait. Charot! :p

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Of course, Dragon Ball is popular here.

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And lucky cats.

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And this blue dog that’s called LAUGH THE DOG, No, baby. Hindi siya si Snoopy na nalubog sa asul na jobos. :p

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Miko looked for Tekken, but didn’t find the game in the arcade. (Naging successful naman siya when we went to Shinjuku a couple of days after.)

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And look! There’s Astroboy again! Ang sarap iuwi at isabit sa kwarto ko!

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Do you remember the Monchhichis? They used to have an animated tv series in the 80’s. Ang tawag ko nga sa kanila Ewoks. Hahaha. Eh baket ba, pareho naman silang furry.

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Saw this shop that stationery, fans, toiletries, etc. I took a photo of it because I like the store name. Wabi-Sabi is a Japanese concept that deals with  one of beauty that is imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete. It is also a noodle shop at The Collective. :p

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Then finally, darkness fell and we saw the lights of the bay and the Rainbow Bridge.

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Unfortunately, we didn’t see the bridge’s¬†rainbow colors, but the view was still stunning. The towers supporting the bridge are white in color, designed to go with the skyline of central Tokyo. Lamps are placed on the wires supporting the bridge, which are illuminated into three different colors, red, white and green every night using solar energy obtained during the day.

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The rainbow lights we got to see were from the Daikanransha, located at Palette Town. It is one of the biggest ferris wheels in the world. The wheel is brightly lit by neon tubes programmed to display multiple patterns in over 100 colors.

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Hay Odaiba, nakakapagod kang galaan! But oh so fun!

Next stop– Shibuya!

*featured image from Wikipedia

// listening to Adele – Hello

Marufuku Japanese Restaurant – Ortigas Center, Pasig

I wanted grilled wagyu cubes, so I thought of eating at Izakaya Kikufuji with Mikmik, but with the terrible traffic caused by APEC, we were stuck in Ortigas and ate at Marufuku instead.

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Marufuku is one of the most popular restos in Pasig and Miko has always liked their sashimi.

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It’s tucked in San Miguel Avenue, near Pearl Drive. It kinda has a hole-in-the-wall feel. The place wasn’t too crowded and service was quick and friendly.

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They have dozens of choices in their food and drinks list, including Japanese whisky. :D

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We had fresh and juicy Norwegian salmon sashimi (P480),

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sweet and spicy anchovies as appetizer,

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the colorful and enjoyable Chirashi Don that’s served with miso soup (P650),

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the disappointing Tonkotsu Ramen (around P350) with pale aji tamago and indistinct broth,

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tender but bordering on bland Wagyu Beef Cubes and Wagyu Beef Tongue,

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grilled asparagus wrapped in glorious bacon (all 3 grilled are around P100 per stick)

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and the highlight of our dinner, the delectable Black Sesame Ice Cream (P180/scoop).

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Needless to say, we’d stick to sashimi and ice cream if we do go back to Marufuku. For grilled meats and veggies, Kikufuji‘s yakiniku still costs less expensive and tastes better. For ramen, Yushoken is still our favorite. Marufuku is a good Japanese restaurant, but there are better restos with the same price range.

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Marufuku Japanese Restaurant
Ground Floor, Crescent Building,
29 San Miguel Avenue,, Ortigas Center,
Pasig, Metro Manila
(02) 570 3989

// listening to Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace

Se√Īor Pollo – Poblacion, Makati

Weekends are for cheat meals. So one weekday that Miko went to Makati to meet up with me for lunch, we went to Se√Īor Pollo to have some enjoyable, healthy food.

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It’s a street away from it’s sister resto, El Chupacabra. We went there around 2pm, so there were only a few customers. It tends to be crowded during dinner time.

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Se√Īor Pollo is known for its Latin Chicken. There’s fried and roasted pollo. We had the latter.

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As we waited for our food to arrive, we can’t help but notice the artsy, colorful walls. Kudos to whoever did these paintings. :)

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No idea why they chose this excerpt from Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s masterpiece, Love in the Time of Cholera…

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The food was brought to us after 5 minutes upon being ordered. Miko and I both had a quarter of a chicken with 2 sides. I had mashed sweet potato and a fresh salad. He had 2 cups of salad kasi mas nagda-diet siya. Hehehe! :p Pero nagCoke siya. Ako, watermelon shake.

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Everything was delicious and we only spent around 600 pesos. The chicken was roasted to perfection and tasty inside-out. Loved the sauces especially the chimichuri. Other sides that you might want to consider are their fried plantains and jalape√Īo mac n cheese. Oh, and they have wagyu bacon fries!

Se√Īor Pollo also has a branch in Quezon City.

UPDATE:

We had dinner in Se√Īor Pollo last week and Miko had the same dish- roast chicken with mashed sweet potato and tossed salad. He really loves the simply vinaigrette they use.

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I tried their spicy fried chicken with macaroni salad and fried plantains as sides:

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The macaroni salad was bland. It has bell peppers, olives and lettuce and there was barely any mayo or cream. The chicken was crispilicious and really spicy. Thank goodness for the ice cold Brew Kettle that helped me get through the meal. Hehe

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For dessert, we had the Flan de Naranja. No choice, because this is the only dessert they have. Buti na lang, masarap naman. :) It’s leche flan with mandarin oranges at the bottom.

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Se√Īor Pollo
5767 Ebro Street,
Poblacion, Makati City
+63 977 142-9273

F7 Bldg , Sct Rallos
South Triangle, Quezon City
+63 917 833-1033

// listening to Constantine (2005)

Dinner and Drinks in Forbestown Road, Burgos Circle (Tipsy Pig and Reserve Gastro Tavern)

I liked Tipsy Pig’s Salted Caramel Beer so much (had it when we were in their Capitol Commons branch) that I was intrigued to have some of their chow too.

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We went to Tipsy Pig in BGC for some light dinner. Yes, light. I had a plateful of bacon, eggs and toast while I was waiting for Miko to pick me up, that I wasn’t my usual HANGRY self when we went out that night. :p

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I had a piglet of salted caramel beer (around 120php) and Smoked Salmon Pizza (425php). I would have finished the pizza had I not been still full. Loved the smoked salmon with cream cheese. Dill isn’t my favorite herb but it really works well with salmon. The beer-crust wasn’t bad either.

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Miko had the Six-Hour Beef Shank (595php) that’s beeh shank braised for six hours served with tomato-basil jus, mashed potatoes, and marrow toast. The¬†beef tasted like a sosyal version of mechado x asado.

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Tipsy Pig dishes that I’d like to have next time are Belly Goos Sisig Nachos, Jack and Coke BBQ Ribs, and Boneless Crispy Pata.

Much as we wanted to stay at Tipsy Pig for drinks, there were no available tables in the smoking area so we transferred to Reserve which is just around the block. We had several rounds of Hoegaarden, Stella Artois, cucumber mojito, and this yummy cocktail called Toblerone. A regular glass of imported beer costs around 150php. Prices are a bit higher for cocktails.

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I liked the ambience– with the tall shrubs and candlelight and 90’s music (hehe).¬†A chill¬†spot to just drink and talk. Will see¬†soon¬†if we’ll get to like their food.

Tipsy Pig
02 7013719

Reserve Gastro Tavern
02 8329897

Forbestown Road, Burgos Circle,
Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City

// listening to Constantine S01E07