Alfred’s 29th Birthday – June 8

This is Alfred’s Photo Mosaic. He gave me his answers to the questions and I ran the search and picked the photos from Flickr.

He turned 29 yesterday – Happy Birthday babe! πŸ™‚

We spent the entire day with his family yesterday, something that we’ve never done before ever. So his birthday was also the day I got to meet his entire family (including cousins and nephews and nieces).

On my way to their home in Pasay, I bought a cake (ube, by their request) and my dad was kind enough to drive me to the store and then to the train station. Alfred was supposed to pick me up at the Taft station and we would walk to their house but he wasn’t there yet when I arrived. I called him and I got the feeling there was going to be an entourage coming to pick me up. I wasn’t wrong.

His two nieces, Ena and Pauline were there, plus his nephew Lance whom I’ve met and spent some time with before. So I met the two giggly girls and they were really nice sweet ones. At their home, I met his two older brothers and the girls’ mom. They were all really warm and welcoming.

So we had lunch (his mom cooked Bulalo, Dinuguan, Hamonado and Pancit – all were very very yummy, no wonder he has a tummy like that). The plan was to have lunch there, and then go our own way after. But since I felt like they went out of their way to spend time with their Uncle Dodong and to meet me, why not spend more time with the kids? I asked if they wanted to come with us and see a movie – they did! We went to SM Mall of Asia and saw Kung Fu Panda. It’s a hilarious movie, comparable to Shrek! Haha πŸ™‚

After the movie, we headed back to their house because a cousin was there waiting. I met him before but that was the first time I met his girlfriend. Later on, this cousin’s older sister, her husband and two teenage kids (boys) came along too. It was a full house, literally.

There were lots of laughter and cases of beer. I drank with them too though I’m not a real beer drinker. There were lots of stories to share and to catch up on. We ended up staying until midnight.

I know he’s very happy, and I’m happy that he is.

Credits for the Mosaic photos:
1. King Alfred’s Tower, 2. Chicken Adobo Bento, 3. My Old School, 4. one headlight, 5. Kianna Dior @ AVN Expo 2006, Las Vegas, 6. beer belly, 7. Paradise, 8. Leche Flan, 9. flambΓ©, 10. “Norouz” is coming!…, 11. These little piggies, 12. Blue Devil

What an awesome kick-off for a long weekend!

A colleague from work, Kiss, wrote a very flattering review for the choco truffles I’ve been making. I love getting comments about what I make, because it affirms it for me. You know what I mean? I make them not so much because I want to make money out of them, but because I truly enjoy doing so. Knowing that they are appreciated is really the icing on the cake. πŸ™‚

I’m already thinking of variations to the Oreo Truffles. I will be trying some things out during my long weekend, which officially started at 4AM.

Yes, I have a long weekend – 4 days – ahead of me. I usually have Sundays and Mondays off work but I volunteered to go to work this Monday since one of my colleagues was on vacation (and she still isn’t back). To compensate, I’m off for Saturday. Then my regular off is here – Sun-Mon, and then I availed of a one day vacation for Tuesday so we can also attend a book launch.

The downside is that I have all this time, but I’m not going anywhere. I really was looking forward to finally going to Bolinao with friends. We’ve been planning a vacation for the longest time but it hasn’t materialized yet. This time last year, we were in Sagada exploring the cave and going up and down mountains just to see the waterfalls (I wanted to provide a link to my Live Space album but the site is down). Anyway, the vacation may still become a reality, as long as everyone’s still interested. There’s still some sun left.

I have not been blogging much lately, and that includes blog-hopping. Part of it is because my PC is sick. Sick, I tell you. Just today, it took me almost an hour just to wait for it to boot up properly. I had to turn it on and off countless times.

Boyf has a pretty good idea what’s causing it but we’ve been delaying dealing with it because I didn’t want to spend for the computer again when I haven’t even paid for the monitor in full. Since I received my leave conversions though, we’re thinking of using some of that money for this. I was hoping it would be for our vacation though (specially since our birthdays are coming up fast).

Hmm.. Blogger now has a blogroll feature and I am going to give that a try in a bit. My blog list and blogroll are both getting longer and longer I’m not sure I want to keep both on the sidebar looking that way. I do like seeing the blinkies though. Oh well.

My dad just woke up and apparently, we’re going swimming today! My mom’s office has an annual summer outing and they get to take their families. This year it happens today. They didn’t tell me beforehand probably because I’m supposed to be working Saturdays.

This means I won’t be getting any significant sleep this morning, I don’t really mind though! My nephew – if you know me or have been reading up on my blogs, you would be able to guess which one – Esban is of course tagging along.

Okay, I gotta stop and get some blog-hopping done before I take a shower or a quick nap.

Hearing Mass. EcoWise at ShopWise. and a Boodle feast – Part II

So hearing mass was the first part of the Sunday night. After the priest dismissed the congregation, Alfred and I parted with Joy. I would have wanted to take Joy up on her invitation to her new apartment and have some pasta that she prepared that afternoon. We had to turn her down though, for two reasons: Alfred really really wanted to eat at a particular restaurant, and we had some grocery shopping to do.

We’ve been to ShopWise several times already, mostly when we needed to buy Pedigree or Alpo for Zune. There was a also a time that we bought vegetables and fruits there for my week’s diet. I’ve seen the banners and adverts they have regarding their reusable eco-friendly bags and always thought that that was a fantastic idea. I never bought one before because we had no real intention to make ShopWise shopping a regular activity. Last night, we decided to buy the bag because, well, as it turns out, we do visit ShopWise almost every other week.

I took pictures of the bag but I’m having a hard time uploading using my mobile phone. Argh.

So we got the bag and the cashier started filling it up with our items (it’s a big bag) and then I read about the reusable bag and their double points promo. For ShopWise card holders, much like SM Advantage, you get points for your purchases. For people using the bag, they get double points for all items that fit in the bag. So the reusable bag has three purposes : 1) reduce the amount of plastic used by Shopwise customers; 2) have a sturdy big bag for your grocery items; and, 3) earn double points for your Wise card.

I really just bought the bag for it’s eco-friendly purpose. I’ve also been declining plastic bags from Ministop, often just carrying or pocketing the stuff I purchase. I also wish they would allow us to bring our own canvas bags when shopping at SM. Or perhaps SM should have their green bags available for clothing purchases, etc., and not just for use in their Supermarkets and with conditions at that.

Anywho, we’ve been really conscious about plastics and waste lately, it figured in quite a number of our recent conversations. I’ve mentioned that the Choco Oreo Truffles ala Bakerella are a big hit and people are actually ordering it from me now. I can’t help but think about how wasteful the packaging is. Yes, you’ve guessed it, it is plastic. So Alfred and I were thinking of alternatives and paper bags just don’t seem a good idea so we got the microwavable plastic stuff (more expensive than the ones I’ve used) and then we’ll just put tags on it to encourage buyers to reuse the container or give it back to us to take a small amount off their next purchase. We’ll see how that goes.

Finally, we could sit down for dinner after running around that massive grocery store. Alfred originally wanted to eat at Hap Chan but I wanted a Boodle feast at Seafood Island. Either way we would be spending around 500 pesos for the meal. Just as before, we thought about how gluttonous we looked ordering a feast for 3-4 persons, while there was just 2 of us. We looked at a family of about 3 adults and 2-3 kids who also ordered one of the boodle feasts. Are they having the 3-4 version, or the 5-6? Hopefully the latter. In fairness, they had additional orders.

Sunburn, waves and water proof paper!

I feel like I’m on vacation right now but I’m just on my regular weekend off. I had such a fun day yesterday – water fun under the sun! I had the best company ever – boyfriend, my friend from work Vanette, my niece Dalnes and my nephew Esban.

Vanette loves swimming. She’s gone to two swimming courses in the three years I’ve known her. We’ve been talking about taking a dip for the whole month of April but didn’t get to go then. Oh when we finally got to go, the sun was really on it’s brightest and hottest! Yesterday seems like the only day in the past week that didn’t have rains in the afternoon. There were threatening rain clouds at around 4PM but they didn’t blow over Taytay (the municipality where the resort is at), and even when it started drizzling as we were on our way home, it was just brief like the wind just blew them over there.

We went to Club Manila East, a resort that’s about 35-45 minutes away from here. This was the same resort that Vanette and I went to 3 years ago with 3 of our other guy batchmates from work (who are all no longer in the company). This visit was in stark contrast to the first one: we were practically alone there on that Friday afternoon while we shared the resort yesterday with hundreds of people! They have more pools this time around though so it didn’t really feel very crowded, except perhaps in the Beach Waves pool.

As my dad drove us in to the entrance of Club Manila East (CME), we were overwhelmed by the number of people hanging around at the gate and the vehicles that filled the parking lot. Thankfully, the queue for tickets wasn’t that long so we were in after about 5 minutes. While waiting, Alfred lifted Esban to see the people on the kayaks. We also saw the sign for surfing lessons up front. At first we wondering, how could they do it? Surely, the artificial waves wouldn’t be that strong. Later in the day, we learned just how possible it was to really ride those waves!

The only thing that kept me from really enjoying the trip to the max was that I caught a cold the night before and it’s just no fun swimming with colds. I also couldn’t stand the intensity of the sun’s rays. It was really awesome that one of CME’s maintenance guys put up our table and chairs about five feet from this pool that had the least people in, and right under a mango tree! Shade! We had the coolest spot ever and we only had to pay 100 pesos for it. Before we got that spot we wanted to rent a hut or a cabana but all of them were already taken. That turned out to be a blessing in disguise really.

The kids really maxed themselves out swimming, it was fun to have them because they could both swim already so we didn’t always have to fuss about them. All we had to was just make sure we had our eyes on them. They did venture out on their own to the Kiddie Pool on the other side of the resort. Dal is very capable to watch her brother though so I didn’t worry too much. They came back in less than 15 minutes.

The first pool we checked out was Beach Waves. Of course, within 5 minutes of our arrival, the kids were on there. Good thing too because the waves just started. Us three adults didn’t get to experience the waves yet in the morning, it’s like the waves went on break or something. So we checked out the other pools and found our awesome shaded spot.

When our pool (yes, I claimed it) was closing at 5PM, we decided to go back to the Wave Pool. Vanette and I would not leave without getting a taste of it (not literally okay). Alfred and the kids went there after lunch so boyfriend already knew why Esban just couldn’t get enough. So off we went and WOW, those are some waves. The whole time I was thinking, real waves are more forgiving! Haha. We stayed for like three cycles, the last one were just at the “shore” where the waves break. It was so much fun. I kept worrying about Esban though because as violent as the waves were, he kept taking them on and pushing forward! I had Alfred and Dal alternately chasing after him. Near sundown though, he was the one who said we should go – he was hungry and looking forward to going to SM Taytay!

The shower rooms weren’t crowded as I though they would be. Thank God. There wasn’t much hassle getting the kids cleaned and dressed up. Esban even came back for me asking me to hurry – that’s just because we thought it was going to rain. We had to take pedicabs to the main street as the shuttle was no longer available (too bad, we were looking forward to taking a ride on those). And then we took a jeepney to SM Taytay. We really just wanted to check it out a bit and maybe find something other than Jollibee to eat, but we ended up eating at McDonald’s! I figured it would be easier to get a cab from there too. Okay, it wasn’t easy, but we did get a cab that agreed to take us home.

Esban fell asleep on the ride home, just as expected. He came up here after lunch to tell me he liked it at CME and wants to go back. That’s just as expected too. I want to go back too sweetie πŸ™‚

Any regrets on the trip? I guess only that I didn’t borrow Edsel’s camera pack to get the digicam water proofed. Another would be that we didn’t ask other friends to tag along. There’s always a next time. πŸ™‚

Oh, this has turned into a long post and I haven’t even mentioned the water proof paper bracelet they make you wear upon entrance. No worries, I’ll have another post on this later with pictures! I’ve just transferred them from the camera and checking them out!

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