Weekend

Good Friday at The Infinity Tower Suites

The Guevara-Apitanas have a family tradition – spending Holy Week at the Guevara home in Jose Panganiban, Camarines Norte and participating in the Holy Wednesday procession of saints with their very own San Andres dressed, lit up, and surrounded by a sea of flowers. I had the privilege of taking the trip with the family and spending the hot but happy few days of Holy Week the summer before we got married, but I have yet to go back. We thought it would be this year, but we weren’t so lucky. Work obligations didn’t permit the husband to take a long vacation so we had to make our own plans. My side of the family also couldn’t get away, so it was really just the two of us. 

Thanks to Deal Grocer, we found a discount voucher for a night’s stay at a one-bedroom suite at the Infinity Tower Suites. All our asks checked out – a pool, separate living area and bedroom, fully equipped kitchen. The hotel is in Makati, which we could reach traffic-free on a Good Friday. I called the hotel before purchasing the voucher to confirm availability on our check in date. I wouldn’t have had to do it normally, but we had a very specific date in mind (Good Friday), and it was four days away when I made the purchase. As soon as I got my voucher number, I called them back and made the reservation official. 

On our way to the hotel, we realized that the vet where we leave the dogs to room and board while we go on vacation was closed for Lent. Even another pet hotel we checked out wasn’t available anymore. The website showed no pet policy so I called the hotel and was gladly informed that they can make an exception for us jut this visit – we could definitely check in with our two dogs! Though we didn’t have to bring our pets after all, it was nice to know that the hotel could make such accommodations for us. That’s a huge plus for the establishment. 

Waze showed us the way to Infinity Tower Suites, although I had to ask the staff out front where the parking entrance was (on the other side of the building). Check-in was a breeze. We were instructed to bring a print out of the voucher but I had no access to a printer and they accepted the digital copy I showed them off my phone. Our suite was at the 12th floor and though the furnishings were quite dated, we loved how spacious the rooms were. Just like every other time we are in hotels, we kept imagining what we’d do with the space if it were our home own home. There were double sliding doors that led from the living room to the bedroom. There was plenty of space for a craft area and computer area before you reach the bed. They could also convert an area to a good-sized walk-in closet. It was really just a very big room. 


Right away, we felt like throwing a party! I messaged my friends saying they were welcome to drop by. I even extended the invite to our family in case anyone could make it. As expected though, everyone else had their own plans and we had the place all to ourselves. 

We reserved the visit to the pool and gym area until after dinner. Good decision, the place was deserted!


Just like the room though, the pool area could use some updating. The pool was only 4 ft deep and the water was very cold. They also probably prepared for a lot of guests because it smelled heavily of chlorine. The water in the jacuzzi was a bit warmer than the pool’s but it too was cold. 

There seemed enough equipment at the gym and both the hubby and I went on the bike and treadmill for a few minutes each. Mostly though, we just had fun. 

The hotel didn’t have a restaurant so there was no room service, but overnight accommodations included breakfast the The Wholesome Table located at the ground floor of the building. Food was good. There is a separate menu for hotel guests so be sure to ask for the regular menu if you’d like to order additional dishes/drinks. The pancakes I had wasn’t enough to satiate my hunger (we were considering it brunch) so I asked if they had fruit or fruit shakes but I guess the waitress misunderstood me because she said no. I asked for a regular menu and ended up ordering a grilled cheese sandwich. I would have just been okay with a fruit shake though, which were apparently available but were on a different beverage menu. So I ended up being very full having had the pancakes, grilled cheese sandwich, and a fruit shake. The husband had a rice meal plus his own refreshing fruit shake. The restaurant deserves its own review. The decor felt very organic but my phone had no battery so sorry, no photos. We also had celebrity sightings!

Overall, it was a good overnight staycation. Just what we needed after months of focusing on just work. We spent the rest of the weekend with friends at another staycation as if one was not enough to recharge for another long stretch at work. 🙂

Impromptu Road Trip

When I ask the husband what he would like to do for the weekend, he would be hard-pressed for an answer. We hardly go to the malls anymore, and we hardly ever go to see movies in the cinema these days. We’ve even missed the Batman-Superman movie, as well as the more recent Civil War.

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Happy with his purchase

Sometimes, he would tell me of an errand he needs done and he would like for me to drive him. Such was the case for Sunday, 15th of May. We were to head to SM San Lazaro where he’s to meet up with a Lego seller, and then drive all the way to Pasay for a brief visit to his parents. I stay in the car for both stops. It’s faster for him to go in and out of the mall with just one objective. If I go with him, we’d be window shopping all over the place. Or worse, we might end up buying something – maybe a snack or something.

For his visit home, I also stayed in the car. We have to park a block away from their house whenever we visit. That day, I just parked along the main road, hazard lights on. And this was a quick visit because Nanay wasn’t home. So he just said Hey to Tatay, grabbed a few things, and came back.

On the way there we were already talking about where to head next. Robinson’s Magnolia was a good option – so we could buy a bigger thermos to lug cold water with. SM MOA was another option, or behind it rather, at the bay area, because I really wanted to go somewhere we could just hang out. I have been wanting to go to a park, somewhere where we could relax and I could read or crochet for a few hours. I’ve also been wanting to drive to Tagaytay.

It was 12 noon, and he said yes to Tagaytay.

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There are so many dining options in Tagaytay City, but since I’ve never tried it at Mahogany Market, that’s where we went to eat. It’s the Bulalo capital, so they say. I’m happy to report that the Bulalo is just as good as anywhere else in Tagaytay, the fried Tawilis too. Leslie’s and Dencio’s have the advantage of a nice view, but the many stalls at Mahogany Market offer unlimited free senyorita bananas, and even a plate of chilled pineapples! They even offered free coffee after the meal. That was good coffee too, very tasty.

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After lunch, we wondered where to go next. It is summer and even Tagaytay is hot and humid. We didn’t go to the Picnic Grove for fear that there might be a lot of people there. The husband insisted that there were still places along the highway where you could stop, park, and admire the view for free. I didn’t believe him but we went ahead and drove the length of the highway. We spotted the Sales Office of Splendid, and what do you know? There’s free parking, and people were stopping to admire the view. We stopped there for about an hour, for crochet and a nap.

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On the way home we decided to take a different route, not the Sta. Rosa route, but the Alfonso-Silang road. We followed Waze and was again amazed at the good but narrow side streets of Cavite. This province sure has a lot of small bridges. It’s also nice to note how there are many big, beautiful houses tucked away and hidden from the main roads. When we finally got back on the main road, there was the Sunday afternoon traffic – people are heading home to Manila. It wasn’t too bad though, just slow going at some areas.

We decided not to follow Waze at some point and just follow the road to Cavitex. It meant an additional hour of travel, but it was nice and steady. The husband ended up sleeping for the most part, but I would wake him up every ten minutes or so. Haha.

We are definitely not spontaneous people. We usually talk things through a few times before we do anything, that’s why end up not doing much most of the time! Lol. But it’s nice to just do something like an impromptu road trip. Good for the soul. 🙂

 

The Great Friendship Weekend 

Project Life page - The Great Friendship Weekend

Project Life page – The Great Friendship Weekend

May was a month for seizing weekends. There was the Pacquiao-Mayweather weekend, and then our Staycation at the Rockwell, then I had The Great Friendship Weekend.

May 25th was US Memorial Day and it meant no work for my program. Instead of planning a weekend trip away with the family, I decided to get in touch with friends and see if anyone was up for some no-good 🙂 Good thing, most were in the mood for just that!

The kick-off though wasn’t with friends – it was actually a huge lunch with the family. My Mom and Dad celebrated their Wedding Anniversary on the 24th and we got together for lunch at Saisaki. While waiting to be seated, Amir busied himself with taking photos:

Photographer Amir

Photographer Amir

After the extended lunch, I met up with my College girlfriends at Pauie’s grandma’s wake. It was a sad occasion, but we’ll take any opportunity to catch up on each other’s lives. We weren’t complete, but Yrish came with her husband and kids. Badong couldn’t get over my goddaughter Sab! She was one of our flower girls and she’s grown big in the last 6 months! She is so cute though, and really really adorable. And her brother is such a Kuya.

Sean and Sab

Sean and Sab

From the church, we walked to the nearby UP Town Center for some grub, and a little shopping too. It was soooo hot outside it felt like we were literally melting. It was a short walk but both Badong and I were winded. So unfit, that’s what we are. Unfit. Haha.

The next day, I had two things on my agenda – meet up with the BFF, and then with the Friendships. This is only the second time this year that the BFF and I are meeting up. The first was with his little boy, in between travels, and this one was just before they left again – this time for Qatar where they are hopefully settling down for a long while. They spent a year in Australia but decided to pack up and try their luck in the Middle East once more. Before then, they were based in Dubai. Anyway, we don’t know when we’ll see each other next, I hope I get to fly out to her then! Hehe.

I decided to bring her to The Bunny Baker Cafe and Cake Studio. It’s a cute place and they serve good food. It’s also located in the same building as my wedding reception and I know Jo would appreciate checking the place out. We shared the Ooey Gooey Dessert – a decadent brownie ala mode on a skillet.

BFF Ooey Gooey

BFF Ooey Gooey

After saying our goodbyes – I went grocery shopping for my next stop – The Friendship Send Off for Rico. The gang was already at a rented condo unit at the Eastwood and I was getting more supplies. No kitchen duty for me – God forbid – but I did bring the videoke!

food for the weekend

food for the weekend

It’s a good thing my friends are talented cooks. All I had to do was bring some stuff, and then sit back, and relax. But that night wasn’t just about eating and drinking, and not even just videoke. We actually got some serious talking done – about work, life, and relationships.

I love having different sets of friends and that I got to see most of them this weekend. I would spend a lot of time regularly with all of them if I could, I am just so happy that even time apart isn’t reason to drift apart. There are still friends I need to setup dates with and it’s good to know that there just out there somewhere. Honestly, I didn’t think I would make friends as an adult so I am so thankful to have found my tribe at work and that our relationship has gone deeper into friendship. Now that I’m in a different program, I don’t see them everyday anymore but the bond is stronger than ever.

Yay to friends!

Saturday Night at BHS

April 26, Saturday, gave me another chance to spend quality time with my now-grown-up nieces. Thru Facebook, I had learned of Satchmi’s Vinyl Day event at the Bonifacio High Street, and I really wanted to go. It would have been a good opportunity to checkout their latest turntable – the Motorino II, and a great way to immerse in the local indie music scene.

It took over an hour to drive from QC to BGC on a late Saturday afternoon. Parking wasn’t a breeze, either. When we arrived at the concert venue, we’d learned that Up Dharma Down had already performed, and that they were actually the opening act. I didn’t know any of the other bands that followed, but I did enjoy the music and have a revived interest for the band scene.

We had an overdue pregnant momma with us so we decided to get dinner out of the way early. The girls had a hard time picking the restaurant, and we ended up at Chelsea in Serendra. I knew from word go that this dinner was going to cost an arm and a leg, but what the hey. YOLO!

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We ordered stuffed pumpkin flowers for starters and it was delish. There was ricotta and something else in it. Problem is, it felt friendly warm on the outside, but was still actually piping hot on the inside. I seriously burned parts of my mouth! So if you ever try this (and you should), just be extra careful.

For the main course, we shared a whole grilled rosemary chicken with vegetable sidings. I thought it wasn’t going to be enough for us, but NOT ordering an additional dish (or pizza) turned out to be a wise decision.

For dessert the girls chose two slices of their bestselling cakes. It was a very good pairing – one was Toblerone overload and was really sweet, while the other was a more laid back and refined dark chocolate cake.

Back to the concert grounds after dinner, we encouraged Ms. Preggers to walk around a few times. She preferred going up and down FullyBooked because of it’s A/C. They also got us a huge cup of Froyo to share. It was perfect for cooling off, and provided temporary relief to my burnt upper palate. Hah!

As for me, I found a comfortable seat not far from the stage and just hung out. I encouraged the girls to register for the event so we can maybe win a Motorino II starter kit. I would so love that. We were there until the last act, but didn’t actually finish the program. There was also a queue to listen to sample music from the turntables they had prepared, so we didn’t get to try. I could have waited for my turn but I was so afraid I’d end up buying the thing as soon as I heard how beautiful it sounded. Seriously.

I had a good time. Not sure if the girls did, but I sure hope so.

Oh, and Ms. Preggers is now Little Miss Mommy. She gave birth on the 29th to a healthy baby girl.

Family Bonding: Watching a Boxing Match

The truth is, I could live without watching any of Manny Pacquiao’s matches. I would rather enjoy the traffic free streets of the city (although today was the exception, or so I hear), but when your entire family stays home for the Live show via Pay-Per-View, you stay put.

Oh yes you stay put lest you miss out on this:

Three generations – Grandpa (my Daddy), Amir (aka Beloved Prince), and Vlad (aka brother bear, or Amir’s Daddy). This was before the match started and we were patiently watching the undercard. Or just hanging out. Or singing and dancing to whatever Amir was singing or dancing to.

And then when Pacquiao was finally being introduced to the crowd, Amir had quickly changed into his Manny P shirt, but refused to pose for pictures:

Oh he was playing with us. His dad placed him in front of the TV and he just kept laughing! He then posed with his hand raised showing Number 1, but he was right next to me and I couldn’t get his arm in with the photo.

Though Amir wasn’t watching so much as looking at the TV from time to time, he sure knew how to cheer on with the rest of us – he echoed most every “Oi!,” “Sige pa!” “Go, go, go, Manny!” At the end of the match – he celebrated too. “He’s a winner!”

It was so cute. Haha.

So what I’m trying to say is that, boxing fan or not, I’d still stay home to see the match if it meant bonding time with the family. And I still couldn’t get through a match without thinking of my grandfather who was the certified boxing fan.

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