Done it + Seen it

Mont Albo Massage Hut

Alfred and I are trying to establish Mondates – Dates on a Monday. We’re both off on Sundays and Mondays, and after sleeping through the better part of Sunday, it looks more and more like Monday is when we could actually go out and have our date. Not that we don’t always eat out.

Last weekend, Alfred went on a Boracay trip with his colleagues. They were due back on Monday afternoon so I was assured that I would still have plenty of date time available, hehe. When he came home though, I was still in a sleepy stupor (Monday Snooze Fest). But I still suggested a movie date – Safe Haven is showing and it seemed interesting enough. While getting ready, I realized there may be other things I want to do instead.

So off to dinner we went, with plans to see the last full show of Safe Haven at Robinsons Magnolia. We ate at Chocolate Kiss, Roces Avenue branch because I wanted some pesto pasta (it was the fault of Carlos of Kitchen Boss who prepared yummy pasta on his show). During the course of dinner we decide instead to get a massage.

Mom purchased these coupons for discounted services of Mont Albo Massage Hut, so we decided to swing by the house to pick them up en route to the spa.

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We called the Tomas Morato branch and asked if we could avail of their services right then. It was already 850PM when we called so it was nice that they didn’t refuse considering that terms of the coupons include calling in to make an appointment. Well, we did call in, technically, 10 minutes before we arrived Smile

The place isn’t so big. I didn’t notice how many beds they have but we were led to the last two that were adjacent each other. There was a male therapist for Alfred, and a female one for me. We both got the Hilot – traditional head to foot massage. It lasted an hour (or so) and was very soothing. Because I had a nagging headache, I actually wanted more, but it was enough. As with other massage sessions, I told the therapist not to go too hard on my left back side because of my slip disc. All was good though and I don’t feel any negative effects of the massage.

They also placed heated leaves on our backs at the end of the session. I think those are supposed to suck in the cold from our bodies.

The place smelled nice and clean, and the music was calm and soothing. The curtains were thick enough to give us privacy. I didn’t notice though that they had anything for sale (website says so), not even at the front desk. Maybe I was just too sleepy by the time we left to notice anything else.

At the end of the massage they brought in hot teas and hot towels. Nice touch.

Alfred liked the experience and prefers it to our Nuat Thai massage from several months ago. He wants to go back next week, and with the savings that mom’s coupons gave us, we probably will go back. We used the Buy 1 Massage, Take 1 Massage coupon, and there are four of those left. So for this pampering session, we only had to pay P380 pesos.

Mom got the coupons for around P350 from a sales agent that visited her office. It comes with one free Hilot with Bentosa, 5 buy 1 take 1 massage coupons, 5 buy 1 take 1 body scrub stubs, and a 50% off on any body treatment (1 coupon). A lot of good value – as long as you actually use them.

Where do you get your regular massage?

The Mont Albo branch nearest us is located in:

186b Tomas Morato Avenue, Quezon City.

(02) 416- 41-54 / 0908 863-0252

They have other branches too and you can check them out at their website: www.montalbomassage.com

Brunch at Pan De Amerikana

I’ve been to Pan De Amerikana twice this month already. Last week, I took my team there for breakfast, and just this morning, Alfred and I had brunch at the restaurant famous for its Pandesal, and upside-down fun theme.

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We had a full brunch, and it was very sulit! They serve Pinoy everyday food. Snacks, breakfast, lunch/dinner, even dessert. Each dish is priced very reasonably so we actually bought a dish each, plus a plate of sisig to share. I also ordered pumpkin soup, and we both had dessert of ginataang bilo-bilo. The melon shake was also very refreshing, but it comes in a small glass. To take home, we got their big pandesal and ensaymada. All the food we got only cost us 622 pesos.

The food wasn’t exceptional, but it was good enough. And for the price, it’s really no wonder people keep coming back.

The décor was really something. Outside, the place looks like an upside down house. Inside, you’ll see the baby grand piano, dining and sala sets up hanging above your head. I bet everyone who comes for the first time cracks a worried joke about the entire thing falling straight at you. But it looked like they were fastened securely by bolts. It’s like you need special tools, or delrin levers, to take them down. We were definitely safe sitting right under them Smile

It’s a one-floor affair with a high ceiling so it was quite cool inside even with just a few industrial-sized fans. The place looks really good, it made us think about what we would love to replicate in our future home.

Before leaving I used the comfort room and was delighted at the Gramps and Granny figures they used to mark His and Hers CR (see Granny on the collage above). Behind the beautiful colored glass door, you’ll find a clean functioning CR with an interesting wall! They put old plates or dish covers as a design element. Fun and whimsical. Smile

Anyhoo. I just thought I’d share a restaurant post, and not have a bunch of food photos to go along with it for a change. Winking smile

What did you have for breakfast/brunch today?

Road trip

As I write this, we are 3 hours into a 12-hour road trip home. Perhaps it was about 6 years ago or so, my colleagues from Asia ACTs and I took a road trip across the Cordilleras. We rented a van, and wove our way through Banawe, Sagada, and then Baguio. Then back to Quezon City. On the way home we stopped by Joy’s family home in Tarlac.

I don’t remember now how long it took, probably 3 or 4 days. It was fun because we took our time and there was much chatter on the road.

For this trip, we’re taking public transportation and you either entertained yourself with your own gadgets, or sang along whatever music the drivers and their conductor played. On the way up to Sagada, we slept for the most part of the trip. That was easy, the bus left QC at 830pm and we hasn’t slept since the day before. Now going down the mountains, the trip starts at 3pm. So it’s not so easy to fall asleep, or to stay so for long.

Most people would rather do something else than travel 12 hours to the mountains. I say it’s time well spent when the destination is Sagada. 🙂 Besides, 12 hours of sleep is a gift! Now the time it takes to get back to life, hmm. Well, it’s another gift of time. One can read, or watch movies.

So that’s what I’d been doing the past 2 hours – I watched a movie! That means that this weekend I’ve done quite a lot really:
1. Witness a childhood friend’s wedding
2. Cover a wedding as official photographer
3. Give my niece Shanti another memorable experience before she turns 18
4. Watch 2 movies: The New Adventures of Alice in Wonderland and Rachel Getting Married
5. Get a massage (which I said I should have weekly or at least twice a month)
6. Tried a new diner in Sagada (as opposed dining at all the old familiar places only)
7. Walked everyday in the past 3 days until I lost breath.
8. Met a charming little boy (I must share a photo of little Seth)
9. Say hi to old friends
10. See some of my favorite Baguio boys

And the weekend’s not even over yet!

What have you been up to? 🙂

Time check – it has been about 20 mins since I started writing this post and just when I was about to attach a photo of the mountains taken when we were on our way up, I lost network connection. When I do get to post this it will still be thanks to the mostly excellent Globe 3G signal on my iPhone. No, Cable Tours does not have wifi on board.

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Tagaytay

We went on an impromptu road trip on Sunday. Nothing too grand, just a quick drive up to Tagaytay City and back. This was our map:

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It was the first time I drove that far and without a guide. Fun!

Everything still looked familiar, and yet new, all at the same time. Funny how they were familiar sights, but I’ve not been to many of those happening spots around the City. And on this trip we again went to an old familiar place for their famous Bulalo, and spectacular view: Leslie’s.

The view, captured through my camera phone:

tagaytay

It was a nice and windy afternoon, with scattered rainshowers. I wasn’t too worried about the rain spoiling our day. Come to think of it, I didn’t bother checking the weather forecast. I probably would have if we actually planned the trip.

Yep. This was an impromptu roadtrip. We were supposed to just go see a movie when I suggested a driving adventure instead. Alfred took me up for it, surprisingly. Smile Imagine, we’d been together 12 years and this was the first time we went to Tagaytay together. Haha!

Alfred toted Deena around and snapped some photos too. I haven’t looked at them yet. Here’s another one framed with my phone:

tagaytay leslies

I wish we had used that hut! What an amazing spot, no? I thought you had to pay extra to use it but as it turns out, you just have to request for it at the front desk. Maranaw 16, I think. Next time, we’ll try to eat bulalo from this spot. And maybe have a drink or two (not for me, I’m driving). Or doze off even? Haha!

But the next time we drive up, we probably won’t be eating at Leslie’s or at least we’ll try not to. There are so many other good places there that deserve to be tried at least once, so I hear. Or we’ll take our own baon and have a picnic at the park. Someday. One day. Smile

Oh and checkout this photo of us, from this trip too. Smile

The MOA Eye

On Tuesday last week, February 21, 2012, I took my first ferris wheel ride. Yep, it took 30 years before I would step in on a ferris wheel gondola. I’ve always just chickened out. SmileI shared the moment with the boyfriend – who almost didn’t get on. It was also his first time!

Who's afraid? Not me!

It was a week day and we both had work but we went to the Mall of Asia anyway to meet up with Alfred’s parents, his older brother Andy, and little cutie Alphonso, his nephew. We were there for a birthday dinner to celebrate Tatay Fred’s 70th birthday!

Here’s the boyfriend’s parents inside the roomy gondola:

Alfred's Mom and Dad

The rest of them had been at the Mall hours before because little Alphonso who’s only 3 years old wanted some play time. I arrived home from work at past 2pm so Alfred and I were only out on the road at past 3pm en route to the MOA. Traffic and wrong turns made our travel time longer – must have been 430PM already when we arrived at the MOA.

We hung out at The Creamery while Phonso cooled down with his favorite ice cream cone. Then we headed out to the bay side restaurants to get dinner. While Alfred and his brother went to market to buy the seafood we would have cooked at one of the restaurants, I took these shots of the MOA Eye –purportedly the biggest ferris wheel in the country today at 180 feet tall:

MOA Eye from afar

MOA Eye Closer

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Alphonso was excited and really wanted to ride. It wasn’t difficult to convince Nanay and Tatay to go. But it was a challenge to convince Alfred that this was the day we would finally get on this ride. But convince him we did, and he even paid for it – PhP 150 pesos per person, even for the little 3-year old boy.

Each of the 35 gondolas is air-conditioned, and seats up to 6. There are a few VIP gondolas that offer more privacy – you can’t see inside. They aren’t in use yet and will cost extra. I don’t see the point though. People are too busy either getting scared of being so high, or admiring the view, they won’t have the time to check out the couple next door.

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As for me, I was busy being scared. I didn’t move around much and only took a few photos.

 

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The ride only took about 10 minutes. It wasn’t shaky at all. I felt quite stable actually.

I’d like to ride again, maybe at night so I can see the lights all around.

For now, I am just proud to say that I no longer fear the Ferris Wheel! Smile

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