November 26, 2015

Christmas Countdown

Just like that November is about to end and we are going to start our Christmas countdown next week. Since I will be busy this coming long weekend because my mom would be home for vacation, I finished the Advent calendar and Christmas countdown yesterday. 



Since I have no much time to prepare, I just reuse the DIY Advent Calendar that I’ve made last year. I have to replace the two wrinkled envelopes and listed treats or tasks for 24 days.



1. Today we decorate the Christmas tree 
2. Listen to fun Christmas music.
3. Learn about the Legend of the Candy Cane.
4. Make an ornament or decoration 
5. Read a new Christmas story 
6. Go for a drive to see the Christmas lights. 
7. Make a Christmas card. 
8. Learn about holidays in another culture 
9. Make a Christmas card. 
10. You get to play an iPad game of your choice for 40minutes. 
11. Make a gift for someone special. 
12. Record yourself singing a favorite Christmas song. 
13. Adding one item to the grocery list. 
14. Call someone you love just to say hi! 
15. A Special Christmas treat. 
16. Hot chocolate made especially for you. 
17. Write a letter to Jesus. 
18. Staying up 20 minutes past bedtime. 
19. Watch a special Christmas movie with treats. 
20. Bake Christmas cookies.
21. It’s a family game night. 
22. Playing a game of your choice. 
23. Unwrap one present early 
24. Read Luke 2, 1-20; A Christmas Story. 

Then I printed a Santa Claus Christmas countdown



How about you? Are you ready for the holidays? 

Source: 
Santa Claus Christmas Countdown
Christmas Coupon

November 25, 2015

Abe’s Farm

I’ve been meaning to visit Abe’s Farm for the longest time but it is located in Pampanga so it took me a long time to visit this place. Good thing that there is Abe’s restaurant here in the metro, which we have visited several times already.

Abe’s Farm is not just a restaurant, they also offer room accommodation, spa services and museum. It is like Nurture Wellness Village in Tagaytay but a bigger version. 


We really wanted to eat in Abe’s Farm so even we were hungry already because it is past 12nn, we still went to the farm, tiis gutom na lang. It was a long drive from Dinosaurs Island.




But it is worth the wait because the place is really nice. The house is also the restaurant. It is big and it has different rooms which can accommodate more guests.





The staff gave us the menu, I was surprised to see the menu because they have more choices here compared to the restaurant. Price is much cheaper too, our bill is less than P1k for food and drinks. :) My husband suggested the monggo so we ordered Grilled Liempo P250 and Monggo Bean Soup P95




While waiting for our food, we went out to check the farm. 






We went back after few minutes and they served the food. The looks of the food is not appetizing but don’t judge the look because it is really good. The monggo has few ingredients (smoked fish and chicharon) but it is flavorful, the serving is so small, good for one person. I hope they have big serving, mura lang naman ang monggo. Hehehe! 




We also ordered Leche Flan P75 and Sikreto ni Maria P165 for dessert. The menu will not inform you what is in Sikreto ni Maria so it is really a secret unless you order it. Hehehe! Anyway, this dessert is combination of sticky rice, ripe mangoes, semi-frozen macapuno ice cream and grated panutsa. We liked it.





After eating my husband said that there is also a museum, he asked the staff if we could check it and they said yes. I will share it on my next post. :) 


Abe’s Farm Resort, Country Cuisine and Spa

98 Livestock Village, 
Barangay Ayala 
Magalang, Pampanga 

Business Hours: Open daily, 10:00 AM - 8:00 PM 

For overnight accommodations, pre-booking is needed 
Contact: Phone: + (02) 506-8140 Mobile: + (0917) 808-5187 

Read: Abe 2014

Abe Feb 2015
Abe Nov 2015
Abe's Farm 2017

November 23, 2015

When Plan Fails

I’m a type of person who likes to plan, short term or long term goal. I also love to write list of things to do, things to buy and many more because I want everything to be organized. But sometimes no matter how you plan, you cannot control everything. There will come a time that you feel that everything is not falling into place. 

As early as July, I already knew that Nov 18 and 19 is a special non working holiday because of APEC Summit (NCR). I immediately informed my husband to mark his calendar. But come November, he told me that he needs to go to Singapore for his conference Nov. 19-20. I was really disappointed because he will work on holiday, sayang yung two days. And again because of APEC, there were cancellations of flights and no-fly out advisory so the supposed to be 3 days business trip became 7 days, Nov.15 to 21. He was in Indonesia and Singapore last week. #feelingofwwife 

I also informed him that my son’s Field Trip is Nov. 23 so he can file a vacation leave just in case my son wanted to join. He already filed a leave but unfortunately, the date of the conference (Philippines) moved to Nov. 23-24. Waah! 

I was already thinking how I can persuade my son not to join the field trip. Unlike in preschool, parents can still accompany their kids but my son is now in grade school and no chaperone allowed. 

Last Monday, I already received the itinerary and waiver form for my son’s Field Trip. They are going to 

SOS Children’s Village 
Rave of Pasig 
Repertory Philippines 
PAF Aerospace Museum 

Me: Do you want to join the Field Trip? 
Ethan: Yes 
Me: Even without mommy? 
Ethan: How about daddy? 
Me: No chaperone allowed so we can’t go with you. 
Ethan: What is chaperone? 
Me: Someone who can accompany you like mommy, daddy or guardian. 
Ethan: Ayaw, scared ako if no mommy and daddy. How can I go to CR?

I felt sad because my son wanted to join but because of the no chaperone policy, he declined. But I felt relieved because I don’t need to convince him, he made my life easier because he did not want to go. I even asked him the following day just to make sure that he is firm with his decision. 

After school, I asked him if his classmates are joining the Field Trip and he said yes. I asked him, kung ok lang sa kanya na hindi siya kasama and he said yes. If only my husband is available. I will tell my son na susundan namin siya. We can do convoy just to make sure that he is okay and he won’t be lost. Or we can do our own field trip. Yes, I’m a paranoid mom, because I still can’t forget my “Where is my Son?” experience. 

So even I already paid for this Field Trip because it is included in our tuition, I’m happy because I have peace of mind. Today is our rest day because he did not join the Field Trip. 



November 20, 2015

Dinosaurs Island

My son fell in love with the dinosaurs after watching Jurassic Park movie. He was only 5 years old at that time and I don’t understand why he liked it. But we were watching Jurassic Park 1, 2 and 3 for the last two years. So when I learned that there is is Dinosaurs Island in Clark, Pampanga I immediately added it in our bucket list. 



He was so happy when we visited Universal Studio Singapore  last year because there is The Lost World Zone and we rode Jurassic Park Rapids Adventure.

We’re supposed to go to Dinosaurs Island (reward after graduation) last summer but time did not permit us. So when my son told me that he wanted to watch Jurassic World movie last June, I agree with his demand kahit namamahalan ko sa movie ticket. Lol  



We live in South Luzon so planning a trip up north is not easy. We need time and budget, ilang toll fee din yan. Hehehe! Finally, last sembreak we visited Dinosaurs Island. 

Entrance Fee 

P350 regular
P300 students (private school)

The entrance includes Dinosaur Island exhibit, Dino Museum and World of Fun. There was no map, flyers or tour guide so we tour the theme park on our own. You will not be lost because there are signs everywhere. I’ve seen a lot of pictures of Dinosaurs Island but I did not expect that those dinosaurs are moving. It was a different experience because you can hear dinosaurs sound and they are moving. Click here for the video


Dinosaur Island Exhibit

Each dinosaur has its own description so just read, it was funny because my son even remembers some dinosaurs that he saw in the Jurassic Park movie.

Dino Museum 



There is also Feeding the Dino activity.

World of Fun

The park is not that big, I was surprised na tapos na agad kami. The end part of the park is the Mascot Dino World of Fun. You can see dancing dinosaurs here, ito yung aliw na part. Even we know that it is just a mascot, napapasigaw pa rin kami pag lumalapit. Hehehe! 

After the show, I paid another P100/person for the Jurassic Jungle Safari. It was less than 5 minutes ride.

We were done in less than an hour so I find the entrance fee expensive. Maybe if other activities are included in P350, worth it na. But you have to pay extra for Jungle Safari Ride, Wonders of the world and 7d

Dinosaurs Island Clark
Clark Picnic Grounds, 
Gil Puyat Ave, Mabalacat, 
2023 Pampanga 
Mon to Sunday 9 to 5PM

Pampanga Road Trip

One advantage of land travel is you can do side tripping to maximize your trip and to save time and effort. On our way home from Bataan, we decided to drop by at Dinosaurs Island in Clark Pampanga. My son wanted to visit this place and it’s supposed to be our treat when he graduated with an award. But Pampanga is so far from where we live parang nakakapagod if we will just have a day trip. 

Finally, after several months we were able to visit Dinosaurs Island. My son was really excited when I told him that we will go here after our Bataan WWII Museum visit. I’ll share it on a separate post.  



After Dinousaurs Island, we checked the El Kabayo but no one was interested for horse back riding at tirik na tirik ang araw. It was past 12nn so we prefer to eat na lang. 





My husband knew that there is one restaurant that I’ve been meaning to try in Pampanga so at last, I was able to cross it out in my bucket list. We are frequent diner of Abe’s restaurant so I was glad that I finally visited Abe’s Farm



After eating we also checked the Abe’s Museum, unfortunately it is no longer free. According to my husband, free lang daw dati nung last visit nila, now P30 each. 



Pampanga is not only known for Hot Air Ballon Festival because there are more places to explore. I want to check the zoo and revisit Nayong Pilipino, maybe on our next side trip. 

November 19, 2015

Bataan Historical Site

Bataan is a province which is rich in history, it is known for World War II and Bataan Death March. It is sad to know that there were lots of people died in that war but we should not forget their courage to fight and defend our country.

There are so many historical sites that you can visit in Bataan, I have visited some of the sites last year when we had a Bataan Road Trip. We were able to check the Mt Samat, Zero Kilometer Death March Marker and Philippine-Japan Friendship Tower.  


Last sembreak, we stayed in The Plaza Hotel in Balanga, Bataan, which is the capital of the province. I searched for possible places that we could visit in Balanga, Bataan for our side trip. 

1. Bataan World War II Museum 
2. St. Joseph’s Cathedral or Balanga Cathedral 
3. Surrender Site Marker 
4. Tortugas Bird Site 
5. Flaming Sword 
6. Balanga Nature and Wetland Park 
7. Bataan National Park 



Due to time constraint, we just visited three places. We were lucky that the St. Joseph Cathedral is just in front of our hotel. This church was used as an artillery emplacement during the Japanese invasion. It was renovated by Bishop Celso Guevarra, the first bishop of the Diocese. 



Then we went to Balanga Elementary School where the Surrender Site Marker and Bataan World War II Museum is located. This school served as the command post of Lt. Gen. Homma at the time of Bataan’s surrender. 



At the back of the school you can see the Surrender Site Marker, this marked the exact spot where surrender terms were negotiated by Major General Edward King with Japanese Colonel Motoo Nakayama (who represented Gen. Homma) on April 9, 1942 after three months of relentless siege by invaders. 



We waited for few minutes because the Bataan World War II Museum was still closed. The museum was opened last February 2014, it was just a small museum where you can see pictures, war artifacts, doll diorama of Death March and 9 minutes video during World War II. Picture taking is not allowed. 

Entrance fee: P50 adults P20 students P40 senior citizens 
Operating Hours: Mon to Sat, 9AM to 4PM 

Even the museum is small, there's a tour guide that will tour you so you will learn new information and personal stories of World War II which is not written in history books. 



Before we left, the tour guide informed us that the Torture Chamber was also inside the school. This is used by the Japanese to torture Filipino and American Soldiers. 

After I took this picture, my husband asked me.

Hubby: kinunan mo ng picture? 
Me: Yes, bakit? 
Hubby: Wala lang, parang nakakatakot mamaya may lumabas sa picture. Dami namatay diyan. 

Honestly, natakot ako and parang ayaw ko tingnan picture. Isa kong matatakutin pa naman so sa biyahe namin napapaisip ako then I realized na bakit sa cemetery, marami din naman patay pero pag dumadalaw mga tao nagpapipicture. Hehehe! 

Bataan has fallen, but the spirit that made it stand- a beacon to all the liberty-loving peoples of the world cannot fall. - excepts from a radio broadcast from Corregidor.

November 18, 2015

Max's Junior Art Master Birthday Party

When I was planning for my son’s 7th birthday, Max’s is one of my choices for birthday party because they have Kiddie Chef Package and I won Little Chef Party Kit too. Ok na sana but my son doesn’t want to have chef party, I already showed him the photos of Max’s birthday party but he was not interested. 

But when he saw the chef party kit, he agreed to have little chef party but it was too late to prepare for Max’s birthday party so I told him that we will just have mini party at home with family. 



Last Saturday, we attended a Max’s Junior Art Master birthday party and it was our first time to attend a Max’s kiddie birthday party, of course it was very different from my mom’s 51st birthday in Max’s. Hehehe! 



My son enjoyed the party and parang gusto na niya ng Max’s party next birthday niya, kasi Art Club member daw siya. Well, let see matagal pa ang next birthday niya. 



Max’s has 4 Kiddie Birthday Package that you can choose from. 

1. Super Race Package 
2. Princess Palace Package 
3. Kiddie Chef Package 
4. Junior Art Master Package

November 17, 2015

Peri-Peri Charcoal Chicken and Sauce Bar

Last Saturday was the opening of S&R Nuvali so we decided to do our grocery there since we will be attending a party in Arcadia Paseo de Sta Rosa. But after wasting almost 2 hours in traffic and falling in line, we realized it is not worth to wait. Honestly, I’ve never experienced that long lines during Member’s Treat. 



So to kill our time we went to Solenad 3, it was my first time there and I was happy because it has more stores and restaurants compared to Solenad 1 and Solenad 2. It was time for lunch, my husband suggested Peri-Peri Charcoal Chicken and Sauce Bar, his officemate said na masarap daw dun. 

Actually, I was hesitant at first because we will be attending a birthday party in Max’s so chicken na naman. Pero tamad na kami maghanap pa so we tried it, we were lucky that there was available table for us kahit sa labas na lang.

We browsed the menu, since the name of the restaurant is Peri-Peri chicken we ordered chicken. We ordered 3 Bahia which includes 1/4 peri-peri chicken + 1 side dish P180 + SCThere is soup and beverage all you can at P99 with a minimum food purchase of P250. 



I was surprised to see the chicken kasi ang liit niya and ang dami ng java rice. I find it expensive considering the serving, rice is considered as side dish and no drinks included. 



In fairness, the chicken is good, it is different from other roasted or grilled chicken that you have tasted. It is tender and flavorful. According to their website, Peri- Peri Chicken is trimmed of excess fat and marinated 24 hours using best African-Portuguese mix which is from Africa for fuller flavor, inside and out. It is spit-fired over charcoal to bring out its smoky flavor and complemented by sauces derived from Peri-Peri. 



They gave us this plate of 3 sauces, I can’t remember the name of the sauces but my husband like the middle sauce.  Peri Peri or Piri Piri refers to African bird’s eye chilis that they use for their sauces. 

November 12, 2015

Why Do Filipinos Love to have Lechon During Parties?

Lechon is indeed a popular pork dish in some parts of the world including Philippines. The word lechon came from the Spanish word which means "roasted suckling pig". Two to six weeks old whole pig is seasoned and roasted over charcoal for several hours. Yes, it takes time to cook this pork dish but it is really worth the wait. 


Filipinos love lechon; honestly aside from the vegetarians I haven’t met a person who doesn’t like lechon. I personally like lechon, it was love at first taste. It is not a secret that I’m a self-confessed meat lover and diet is not my thing. If you’ve been a regular reader of this blog you already knew that I love this national dish. 

Love at First Taste 

Speaking of love, would you believe that my ex-boyfriend now husband used to live in La Loma Quezon City. I’m pretty sure that you know that this place is famous for lechon and they even have a yearly parade of lechon. As expected, we always eat lechon in one of lechon restaurants there.



I really missed our lechon dates because when we got married, we moved to South Luzon which is really far from Quezon City. 

Why Do Filipinos Love to have Lechon During Parties? 

It is not surprising that Filipinos love to have lechon in any occasions. It seems that celebrations is not complete without it. It is always present in birthdays, festivals, reunions, wedding, parties or any other occasions. 


Lechon in our wedding in Pangasinan
Being a lechon lover, of course we had lechon in our wedding and every time my husband’s has reunion in Pangasinan, I always look forward for lechon. But there is one lechon that I really like to taste; Cebu’s lechon has been in my bucket list for the longest time.

Cebu’s Lechon

Four years ago, I revisited Cebu to celebrate my birthday and I did not leave the place without tasting the famous lechon. One bite of lechon made me realized why Cebu’s lechon is really famous, it is true that you don’t need a sauce to enjoy this dish. 

I have to agree with Anthony Bourdain’s statement, “Best pig ever!”. Since then I always get excited whenever my husband has business trip in Cebu because I know that he will buy lechon for me. Yes, I don’t ask for danggit, dried mango or otap, all I want is Cebu’s lechon. You can check here the different lechon that I’ve tried in Cebu. And as of this writing, I’m just waiting for my husband’s pasalubong from Cebu. :) 

Manong’s Lechon Cebu 

Cebu is far so it is really sad because we can’t have it any time we want. But fret not because I just discovered last October 25, when I attended Blogaplaooza event that there is Manong’s Lechon Cebu here in the Metro. I was so happy when I saw the lechon and we immediately fell in line to sample it. 



Waah! It is really Cebu’s lechon that I really like, it was tender, juicy, flavorful and no sauce needed. We loved it! And because of that, we left Blogapalooza early to eat our lunch. #nagutombigla Sayang, sana nagdala ko ng rice, hahaha!



Oh yes, we don’t need to pay shipping charge or we don’t need to fly to Cebu just to eat Cebu’s lechon. For your Cebu lechon needs, you may contact Manong’s Lechon Cebu at (632) 475-6875, 0932-8805600, 0927-7839920. They even deliver door-to-door within Metro Manila.

November 11, 2015

Cafe Kyoto

We stayed in The Plaza Hotel in Balanga, Bataan two weeks ago and the only restaurant in the hotel is Cafe Kyoto. A Spanish inspired building has a Japanese restaurant inside. There is Jollibee at the ground floor and there is Max’s beside the Balanga Cathedral but of course we want something new so we decided to have our lunch here. According to their website, the lunch and dinner is prepared by their Japanese Executive Chef. 



We went to the restaurant at 10:45AM but we were advised that 11AM is the opening time. So while waiting, we browsed the menu to save time. The staff went to our table at 11AM to get our order. We ordered Chicken Teriyaki Bento + Miso Soup P320, Mixed Tempura P320 and Rice P50





They have big serving of bento meal, chicken teriyaki is just ok for my taste. Mixed Tempura includes shrimp, squid, fish, crab stick, okra, onion, eggplant, okra and bell pepper. I enjoyed my ebi tempura and my husband ate the rest.



The following day, we had breakfast in the same restaurant but we chose Filipino meals. :) 

Cafe Kyoto 
3rd Flr The Plaza Hotel 
Plaza Mayor de Ciudad de Balanga, 
Balanga City, Bataan, Philippines

November 10, 2015

Staycation: The Plaza Hotel in Balanga

Two weeks ago, my husband told me that he will have a business trip in Balanga, Bataan. It was just an overnight trip and he told me to check for hotel. I immediately suggested The Plaza Hotel because I’ve seen that in Deal Grocer and I like the Spanish inspired building.



The business trip was just in time for sembreak so we joined his business trip. This was the very first time that we joined his trip because most of the time, we have classes. We left before 5AM because it was our coding day and we need to be in NLEX before 7AM. I know that 2PM is the standard check-in time so on our way to Balanga, I was checking what are the possible places where we could stay while waiting for 2PM. 



We arrived past 8AM and it was really nice to see Balanga, Bataan. Though I’ve seen some pictures pero iba pa rin in person. It seems that they had urban planning in the area because the adjacent buildings are also Spanish inspired. The hotel is located in Plaza Mayor de Ciudad de Balanga, where you can see the City Hall, the 18th century Balanga Cathedral and Galleria Victoria Mall



We went inside the hotel, the reception and restaurant is located at 3rd floor. My husband asked if we could check-in and they allowed us. Yehey for early check-in. My husband reserved Plaza View Deluxe P4000 but they had promo that time and we got it at P2990. You have to pay P1000 for incidental deposit.



Let’s have a tour. 





The room is clean except for the shower curtain that I think they need to replace. I also notice that some stuff are missing like there is only one teaspoon in the coffee set and there is only one bathrobe in the cabinet. 



We had lunch at Cafe Kyoto, the only restaurant in the hotel. They serve Japanese food at reasonable price. Will share it in my next post. 



Since there is no playroom or swimming pool, my son and I stayed in the room while hubby was working. Yes staycation kaming mag-ina. 



The hotel is located in the heart of the city so the place is really busy, I enjoyed watching the fountain in front of the hotel. There was a program in the plaza “A Night of Saints” so you can really hear the noise inside your room. Good thing it was finished early so I was able to sleep after watching On the Wings of Love, #otwol 





The following day we ate our breakfast at Cafe Kyoto, the room rate includes two complimentary breakfast so we had additional order for my son. The breakfast price range from P145 to P299, but for Hungry’s Man Tapa P225 and Japanese Special Morning Bento P299, you have to add additional fee. We ordered Longganisa and Tocino Combo P195, Balanga’s Own Tinapa P185 and Buttered Pancake with Bacon P185. The breakfast meal include coffee and juice. 



We checked-out after breakfast.

Like 

1.We like the location of the hotel because it is near mall, church and city hall so it is not really hard to find. There are different restaurants around the area so you have a lot of choices. 

2.They allowed us to check-in early. Imagine our travel from Cavite to Bataan, it was really long so at least we were able to rest. 

3.Free wifi though there are times that the connection is slow.

4.They do not have swimming pool but at least they have bath tub. 

5.Service is good. 

Dislike 

Not really dislike but things to improve. 

1.I think they need to replace the shower curtain. 

2.Please make sure that all items in the room are complete before the guest check-in. 



The Plaza Hotel in Balanga 
Plaza Mayor de Ciudad de Balanga, 
Balanga City, Bataan, Philippines