Highlights of our Manila Trip

Please welcome a new addition to the family,
cousin Rafael Luis [August 1, 2007]

Patricia's happy face when she opened her gift from us...
A Nintendo DS light in pink color. [August 8, 2007]

Patricia's birthday celebration continues at the driving range.
Kids having fun despite the heavy rain.
[August 8, 2007]

Pandan Island, Puerto Princesa, Palawan
[August 13, 2007]

A male mushroom?
St. Paul's Underground River
Puerto Princesa, Palawan [August 14, 2007]


Another daring ride for Patricia!

As always, we were on the front row!

Space Shuttle, Enchanted Kingdom

Patrick's first attempt at Go-Kart
Enchanted Kingdom [August 27, 2007]


  • The food was always overflowing, every single day... I think I gained 10+ pounds already! I didn't really want to check my weight! ^-^

  • The kids had lots of fun playing and swimming at the beach in La Luz, Batangas and snorkling at Honday Bay, Palawan.

  • I had 3 body massages! I would recommend the body massage at Marrionaud, Mall of Asia. Thanks to Liz for her generous gift certificate which I enjoyed to the max!

  • I had fun meeting Rach [who travelled all the way from Batangas to Makati just to meet me] and Liz at Friday's Glorietta! Rach and I are excited to try earning a little money with our blogs. Thanks to Liz for info! Now, if only I can find the time to start it. It was great to finally have met some nice and down to earth bloggers.

  • Special thanks to Lam [a college friend] and Espie [my best friend in grade school] who both lives in HongKong for coming to Manila just to meet me and our other friends.

  • With hubby's short 2-week vacation in Manila, we were not able to go out on dates! His sched was just too hectic! On the days that we go out by ourselves [without the kids], we meet friends... and when we go shopping, we go our separate ways too, just to save time.

  • I was able to watch 3 movies while I was there [though not with hubby] -- A love story [Aga Muhlach], Rush Hour 3 [Jackie Chan] and Bourne Ultimatum [Matt Damon]. I missed watching movies in a big screen!

  • Patrick had his circumcision done in the Philippines. He was in pain the day of the surgery, but after that, he was his normal self... though he was only able to walk properly a week after his surgery. Hence my plan for a trip to Cebu had to be cancelled.

  • After weeks of avoiding driving a stick shift, I was left with no choice when we decided to go to Enchanted Kingdom with my inlaws... There's just not enough room for all of us in a car. And I didn't want to burden my FIL to drive for us, so I volunteered to drive! And I made it! It was hard the first few minutes but once we were on the highway, it wasn't bad anymore.

  • Our overnight stay at Canyon Woods, Tagaytay was a total rip off! Check in time is 3pm and check out is at 11am. We checked in Thursday about 3:30pm, and later on found out that everything closes at 5pm! We initially ask the receptionist for the free use of the pool, which she "unwillingly" gave us coupon for and neglect to inform us that the pool closes at 5pm! There was basically nothing to do there! It's a good thing I have my magic sing, so we just sang our hearts out! But only up to 10pm, house rules. Friday morning, we availed of the pool and that was it... it was time to check out and hit the road. Prices are quite ridiculous!

  • I got ripped off my 2 crocodiles [policemen]. I didn't really want to go to LTO to claim my license, too much hassle. So I ask them if I could just pay for my penalty so I will get my license back and get a receipt from them. They said "yes" I can do that... so I ask how much? They say P500 for turning left on a no left turn road. [I honestly didn't see a no left turn sign]. So after I gave them the P500, they say that they cannot issue me a receipt there, but that they will give me back my license.

Other updates:
~ Manila Update #5 - Things that I missed
~ Manila Update #4 - Random things
~ Manila Update #3 - Navigating the busy streets of Manila
~ Manila Update #2 - Pampering myself
~ Manila Update #1 - Changes

Photo Hunters: Happy

My nephews...
AM's happy to play big brother to baby AP!

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Hello Blogpals!

I had a chance to meet Liz and Rachel at my daughter's birthday party. You can see our group picture here, courtesy of Rachel.

But being the host of the party, and having guests whom I haven't seen for 5 years, I didn't get the chance to chat with them [and most of my guests] very long. We do have plans to meet this coming Saturday at 3pm for coffee/snack at Glorietta.

Anyone else care to join/meet us?


Here's some pictures from my daughter's birthday party at Jollibee!

Photo Hunters: Two

Patrick at age 2

Patricia at age 2

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Manila Update #5

On our way to Bantangas and Tagaytay, I never realized how much I missed these scenery...

Canada may have thousands of lakes, but they are not the same as our white sand beaches.

La Luz, Batangas

Canada may have thousands of pinetrees/evergreens, but it doesn't have any coconut trees and banana leaves... and Calgary is not as green as the Philippines!

And where in the world can you see a Volcano in the middle of a lake?

Taal Volcano

Manila Update #4

Random things --

  1. Most of my friends have 2 cellphones! One from a reliable network provider and the other is from Sun, who provide unlimited calls and texting within Sun users. A very good deal indeed! So for those balikbayans, get a SUN cell once you get here. It will definitely saves you a lot of money!
  2. Night life in Manila have shift to the morning... due to the numerous call center located in Metro Manila, beer drinking is now being done after their shift, which means you can see people drinking as early as 7 or 8am.
  3. There's limited free parking space anymore! I've been spending an average of P50 to P100 on parking alone everytime I go out.
  4. Shopping in Tutuban/168 mall can really put a whole in your pocket. Para siyang gripong tumutulo. But it is where you can find the best bargain.
  5. I also notice that the sizes here have shrunk a lot... My size in Canada is Medium, here, its either XL or DXL. It felt embarrassing asking for a DXL size. This is especially true for the clothes they sell at Tutuban/168 mall.
  6. One of my friend bring about P10,000+ cash with her on a daily basis! Is this normal??? She said she's not into using credit card very much.
  7. My niece and nephew leave home at around 6am for school and doesn't get home till about 7 or 8pm. Another friend of mine has almost the same sched. I remember I used to wake up at 6:00am and be at school at 7:30am and go home at 4:30pm.
  8. People here can compose a text message even without looking at the keypad. Me, I can't even text when I am walking. I have to stop on one side to answer a text message.
  9. My kids love the fact that they are allowed to sit in the passenger seat... and that they are not required to wear their seat belt at the back... but I still ask them to wear their seat belt all the time. Better to be safe than sorry.
  10. My grocery bill for our first 7 days was approximately PHP 6400 [CDN$ 152]! I'm sure this isn't normal, right?
  11. It's nice to be a balikbayan because all my friends are treating me for lunch/dinner, even for spa/massage... they also pay for things that I wanted to buy like Pinoy CDs and books and clothes... :,) They also spoil my kids with ice cream and other goodies. Ain't I lucky to have friends like them! Thank you gals!
  12. Prescription medicine in Canada can be bought over the counter here in the Philippines. So I didn't need to see a doctor when my son wasted all of his eyedrop.

Patricia turns 7!

Milestones --

  1. She climb up the Great Wall of China the month she turned one with the help of her Ninong/Tito [Godfather/Uncle] Ritchie. She actually travelled from Manila - Canada - Manila - Beijing - Canada in one year.
  2. A flower girl at age 5.
  3. She loved Canada's Wonderland and was very daring to try new rides. A first for her!
  4. She finally said "yes" to have her ears pierced [November 2006] just before we moved to Calgary.
  5. She participated in the celebration of Ash Wedesday's at school. She actually read passages from the readings in front of the whole school. [2007]
  6. Tried her first rock climbing at the School fair. [June 2007]
  7. Cooking lessons: she made Banana Muffin and Baked Mussels.

Through the years --

to my little girl!

B is for Boss

The youngest brother of my MIL is Francis. He is 47 years old and we all call him Boss. Even my kids call him Lolo Boss. He has down-syndrome, being born during the menopausal year of their mom. My MIL is the oldest child, hence, she is the one taking care of Boss.

Boss loves to eat! It's his weakness. He loves coke, he can drink a 2L coke in half a day! He has no control of his consumption. He loves sugar free coffee! He loves menthol candy! He can eat a pack of candy in 1 day too. He also loves to scribble and would always ask for used paper and black pentel pen to write with. He doesn't use pen or pencil or crayons, just black pentel pen!

He is very thoughtful when it comes to remembering people's birthday and even anniversary. He is present in all party! And the party wouldn't be complete if he doesn't sing and dance.

He calls people up in the morning just to say "good morning" and "I love you"... and then again he calls the same people up in the evening to say "good evening or good night." His phone calls would last 1-2 minutes only, but its a routine for him. If he gets a busy signal, he will try and try again until he said his "good morning or good night." He is very friendly and loves meeting people.

He spent his day eating, watching TV and napping/sleeping... he wakes up middle of the night just to say "welcome home" to me and the kids or to any balikbayan.

With his share from the property that was sold, he was able to travel to HongKong, see the Great wall of China, and has even travelled all the way to the USA. He said his next stop would be Canada.

He goes to church every saturday night and on his birthday, by himself. [The church is one block away from the house.] He even wakes up at 3am to attend the Simbang gabi mass every year. He would always sit on the 3rd row, just behind the choir. Making him part of the choir because he loves to sing.

Boss has a world of his own, and yet he makes the life of people around him very happy and thankful that he is a part of their life. There is no reason for this post, its not his birthday or anything... I just thought I'd blog about him and his thoughtfulness and friendliness.

La Luz, Batangas

Manila update #3

I am very poor with direction. I would always get lost especially at night time. I could even get lost inside the tiangge at Greenhills/Tutuban mall.

On my first day here in Manila, we went to the doctor [Makati Medical Center] then to Glorietta. No problem going there, but I did had problem coming home.

The streets seems to be familiar with me, but with so many changes, it was just hard for me to recognize my turns. And there are not enough street signs to guide me.

It all started with me missing my turn from Edsa to South Super Hway, I was in the wrong lane, the lane going to Baclaran. I told myself, no problem, I'll just take the route to the airport then Sucat road. But then, I couldn't see the street to turn, so I ended up in Roxas Blvd on my way to CCP. Duh? So a quick u-turn led me back to Roxas going back to Baclaran [again]. And then I found myself in Sucat Road, but by then, it was traffic already due to El Shaddai's followers.

After that, I would always ask for direction before I go somewhere. I need to see the picture of the roads in my mind. That way, I would know if I should stick on the right side or the left side of the road. Hehehe...

Yesterday, I went to Chinatown in Binondo then to Eastwood Mall in Libis... and I didn't get lost [technically]. But I used up most of my load making calls to get direction! hahaha.... This is actually my second time in Eastwood Mall. The first time was with hubby who does the driving in 2002!

It was difficult for me to drive again... I couldn't understand why other drivers do not stick to their lane, not only that, they are driving in the middle of the road divider, which means they are occupying 2 lanes! Arrrgh. A 2-lane road becomes 3-lane road! Anyway, I don't want to whine about this. The mere fact that I was able to drive in Edsa, Roxas Blvd and South Super Hway on my first day here is a good sign already! Eh?!

Next on my driving list is going to Tagaytay. Wish me luck!