Last week I turned a year older, and decided to spend it in Manila for a change.
Weeks in advanced we had most of it planned out, we were going to see friends we havent seen in a while, celebrate with family and of course go on a date night.
We havent been to the capital in a while because of work and extra curricular here in Legazpi. Additionally people have been telling us that the heat in the city has been unbearable due to El Nino experienced all over the country. (We've been lucky here in Legazpi that there are occasional showers, plus being by the sea cools down the concrete jungle a few degrees.) Which is why we havent been to Manila since February. But 2 months away makes you miss the lights, the food and the glamour that you cant quite find in provincial living.
Arrival in Manila was delayed due to air traffic congestion in NAIA. What's new right? But that didnt wane the excitement. We were finally in the capital and excited to get the festivities started!
First stop was an overnight stay in Batangas with Hubby's childhood friends-- some of which were here on vacation from Australia. This meant good company and good food! REALLY GOOD FOOD. We left the traffic behind and it only took us 3 hours drive time to reach Batangas -- with a food stop in Sta. Rosa of course. Upon arrival, we unloaded the cars and headed straight for the beach! Additionally, got a surprise for dinner when they brought out the most delicious moist chocolate cake for me to blow!! The kiddies had to participate of course. :)
Too bad we could only stay one night, but we needed to head back right a way to catch the 8PM showing of Les Miserables. I have been really excited to watch this musical for a very long time because of song favorites like ON MY OWN which I've practically memorized. Also, Les Mis holds a special place in my heart ever since I played Marius Pontmercy in a Grade 6 reproduction. The predominantly Australian cast brought the story to life and left me at the edge of my seat! Rachelle Ann Go (a Filipina) was extraordinary as Fantine!! If you havent yet, please do catch the production in Solaire-- I think they even extended the run because of public clamor.
You cant forget family when talking about Birthdays. Being married has only doubled the people I call family, which also means double the food, partying and cake eating! During the actual day, April 17, I rose up early to attend Sunday mass and was even lucky to be able to have confession and a special blessing from the priest. After which we headed directly to Lola's house for lunch with the hubby's side of the family. We didnt go there empty handed-- I brought one container of my family's special Bacalao Recipe using fish that Hubby salted himself. It was quite a hit with people going not just for one serving but for 2 sometimes 3 servings!! I had to call my lolo, from whom I got the recipe, to tell him the good news-- everyone LOVED it!
Dinner was spent with my family-- which also meant more eating!! We trooped on over to D'Marks a local Itallian restaurant which we grew up on. As kids, it was a special occasion if we could eat in D'Marks, we would have pasta, pizza and their chicken croquettas! The menu wasnt any different this time around: we had 2 pizzas, 3 pastas and 2 orders of the chicken croquettas. Quite a lot to feed 8 hungry tummies. hihi Cake was super delicious too, the cake blowing was shared between us April celebrants namely my bro, his girlfriend and me. hahaha
Before heading back, my last "party" was a reunion with college friends: Lunch with Jocel and Dinner with Mgt Eco blockmates. We had a lot of catching up to do because two of my friends are newly engaged, one is in a new relationship, etc. Haha Too bad I didnt get to take photos of my lunch date so you'll just have to make do with the dinner photos. For dinner our cravings lead us to CYMA for good Med food where we ordered Hummus, seafood platter and their humongous MEAT PLATTER. These catch ups must be repeated soon. hahaha
So yes, turning a year older is awesome. Being blessed with a great family and good friends is all a girl could ask for really. :)
Thank you to all those who greeted me, made me feel really really special! :)
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I have always wanted to write. This will now be a creative outlet-- home to all my arts and crafts. So feel free to browse around my everyday adventures.