Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Pilipinas holiday

(Super long overdue post)

Wondering what has kept all three of us preoccupied during our much awaited break back home?  Goodness, you cannot imagine how busy we were especially during the week before the little one’s baptism! I was getting crankier nearer the date as I still had loads to finish, but thankfully, it all, ahmmm, went well.  The baptism stories and supplier ratings can be found herehere in case you haven't seen them yet.

One thing I am thankful about our holiday is the fact that it never rained the whole time we were on our vacation.  It did drizzle like twice, and dark clouds loomed for a few days, but we were very fortunate we didn’t experience rain (and the hassles that come with it when you’re in the Metro).  However, we had a taste of Manila’s humidity for 5 weeks -- as in the sticky feeling (plus polluted air) every single day!

We stayed at my in-laws’ place 90% of the time we were in the Philippines.  We borrowed my family’s van to get us around with hubby driving all the time using his UAE license.  Both our driver’s licenses were expired, and I only got the chance to renew my driver’s license the week we were flying out of Manila.  Meanwhile, the hubby couldn’t renew his license because his license was apparently flagged for a traffic ticket issued by the MMDA on Aug 2006.  We had no idea he had a violation because for one, he didn’t receive a ticket from the MMDA officer.  Turns out, a lot of people renewing their licenses also encounter this problem.  We'll just deal with this on our next trip to Manila.

As expected, we feasted on food most of our stay.  Sorbetero ice cream, taho, Pan de Manila pandesal, Jollibee….wow!  We had gastronomic feasts almost everyday.  It wasn’t a surprise that we gained weight after all the eating we’ve done.  While in Manila, we’ve eaten at Max’s, Sinangag Express, Conti’s, Fazoli’s, Sbarro, Metro, Tokyo Tokyo, Pepper Lunch, Sentro 1771, Napoli’s, Via Mare, Pancake House, Mary Grace, Bob’s, Bigby’s, Reyes Barbecue, Yoshinoya, Crustacia & Paseo Uno in Mandarin Oriental, not to mention take outs of Yellow Cab pizzas, Red Ribbon cakes, Emerald Garden siopaos, and Lola Idang’s pancit malabon.

taho & sorbetes -- yummy-ness!

who cares about diet when there's Yellow Cab Pizza

the "simple pero rock" na halo-halo

we missed this oh so badly!

the most delish siopaos we've ever tasted

at Fazoli's Eastwood with my sibs and niece

Oh, have I told you we had Starbucks virtually every other day?  I got 3 planners from all the drinking sprees we had, and even bought one from a fellow blogger (two of these are gifts to friends here in Dubai so they were pretty much put to good use)


The malls we frequented during our stay were Rockwell, ATC, Glorietta, Greenbelt and Bonifacio High Street.  But days before the holidays, all these malls brimmed with people doing some last minute Christmas shopping.  I am so glad we did our shopping of presents in Dubai way ahead so when we got to Manila, the only thing left for us to do was wrap them. We didn’t shop a lot while on holiday because we had to consider baggage allowance, and the fact that we’re traveling with a baby.  We bought a few shirts from Collezionne C2 for the husband and myself, and snagged some Lacoste shirts, which are cheaper in Manila (they cost double in Dubai, and we don’t understand why!).  And because I'm breastfeeding, I got a few nursing bras and tops which I ordered from Fab Naima.  Of course we didn’t forget to shop a few items for the little bear.  Just the essentials, actually.  Mom got him those fancy bling binkies from Baby Company, while I stocked up on his Dr. Brown's bottle brushes & Cycles laundry soap, too. But imagine my shock when we went to Rustan’s and saw how much the Mustela line of baby products cost.  Dang, a bottle of cologne for Php 2,249 (or was it P2,449)??!!  Seriously, I only paid a fraction of that amount for my son’s cologne, and even bought it just for this holiday trip.  I cannot believe how huge their mark up is!  So if you guys in Manila want some Mustela baby products, just let me know, and I’ll sell them to you at a much, much cheaper price (I can arrange for shipping, or if you can wait, i can meet up with you when we come home in July).

So you see, we were always in Makati and Taguig when we needed to shop or just simply get out of the house. We were mall rats, to say the least...hehe!

Meet ups & parties.

Despite having a breastfed baby in tow, we managed to meet up with some of our friends.

me & my HS friends and kiddos at Lex's 1st birthday bash at Museo Pambata

with ex-colleagues

good friends from way back in HS

at BHS still with Lousienne & Ramt

We were also able to attend a wedding of our college friend, Jing to her fellow-lawyer beau, Jes.

from Partypicslive :)

Of course, we didn’t miss our HS barkada’s annual Christmas party.
HS friends get-together

We squeezed in some meet ups with my online chums, too. Nikki, who lives in the northern part of the Metro, was very kind to meet up with us on the 24th Dec.  And she even bought a gift for me & Dade.  Ain't that super sweet?  We also met up with Jacqui & Pat, who were my suppliers for jewelry & all-natural products respectively.  Unfortunately, we forgot to some pics.  Sayang!

with Nikki & Dwayne

The holidays on both our families’ sides were extra special mainly because of one special creature: our dear Baby Dade.  The first time my side of the family saw him they were very thrilled.  It was my maternal grandma’s 88th birthday, and what better gift to give than another great-grandchild na magmamano.  And my grandfather was so pleased to meet our little one who was named after his father (my great grandfather), along with my aunts, uncles and cousins. 

Of course, Ryan’s family was doubly happy.  Dade happens to be the first grandchild so as expected, everyone fussed over him. He got LOADS of attention from left to right, which he enjoyed I’d have to say.  Christmas eve was spent with my family, while Christmas Day was spent in two places – at my Aunt’s place where my grandparents live (morning), and at Ryan’s family house where his maternal clan held their annual Christmas Party (afternoon). Hectic as it sounds,  I'd say we did enjoy the day to the fullest.  In fact, despite the weariness from all the festivities that day, we still managed to drive all the way to 6750 in Makati for a late night coffee at…where else, but Starbucks! :) 

Rudolph's friend on Christmas Day

Meanwhile, New Year’s eve was spent at Ryan’s side of the family.  We had dinner at his aunt’s place where we met up with his cousins from his father’s side.  And then just before the clock struck midnight, we drove back to Ryan’s family house to welcome the new year (and new decade!).  When we got there, we were surprised to see that everyone were in pigtails (even the boys!), and were wearing character t-shirts.  Instead of greeting us happy new year, they were screaming, “happy birthday, Dade!”  Aaawww, ain’t that sweet! My little boy turned 5 months old on the 1st Jan so they prepared something special for him.  His uncles got him a cake and balloon arrangement (my son loves balloons), while his Aunt K organized everything, and gathered all the plush toys to decorate the place. It was the best “month” birthday Dade has ever had because for a change he was surrounded with more loved ones, aside from his Mom and Dad!  Our wedding anniversaries were not forgotten, but my kwentos on these occasions deserve a separate entry.

Dade's 5th month and 1st New Year Celebration


See, our holidays were truly a blast! Thus, for the first time ever, I cried during our return flight’s take off.  I immensely enjoyed our holidays that it actually hurt to leave and say our temporary goodbyes. Well, I guess I left my heart in Manila.  And now I couldn't wait for our next vacay.  Just 3 more months -- that's not a long way to go anymore.


Mich said...

Hey Gracie! Jing Patacsil is your highschool barkada from UST?

Gracie said...

hi Mich,
yup, she's my friend since 1st year HS. classmates kayo sa DLSU?