Texas Roadhouse

Texas Roadhouse offers both American and Mexican comfort food. Its servings are large, typical of restaurants of this caliber in the Philippines, like Chili’s or Burgoo, but also rather more expensive than usual. The taste of the food is a bit so-so but the kids loved it (they have got to be the most unadventurous eaters next to my mother) so no complaints here. Even at the most critical lunch hour on a Sunday (I consider it the Family hour), the restaurant was not that busy. Decided to try it anyway. Their specialty I think is steak but we stuck to the regular offerings.

Kinder City

There’s a new hangout in town, and the kids had a blast! The Kinder City is an indoor playground right at the heart of Evia Lifestyle Center. Php300 or Php500 gives you a pass for 1- or 3-hours of fun inside the facility. Kids and kids at heart would definitely be blown over by booths, slides, pools of plastic balls, etc. It comforted me too that I watched a video on Evia’s official Instagram account how they regularly disinfect the whole area. I think it’s best if you go in the morning when everything is fairly clean. After all, germophobe or not, it is better to be safe these given the kinds of diseases that abound that are transmitted by hand, mouth and nose.

But all in all, smiles of the kids are pretty priceless as they enjoyed the moments spent inside Kinder City.

Ningnangan Funnside

Hooray for this new paluto restaurant just a stone’s throw away from home! One of the oldest concepts in Filipino dining is the offering of fresh catch, and requesting the restaurant to cook it any way you want to. For seafood, although it varies, the most common requests are grilling, frying, sinigang (stewed in sour broth with vegetables), roasting with salsa stuffing, etc. There’s also pork and chicken, which you can usually grill or roast (liempo is the best!!). It’s a market to table kind of thing.

So this is what we actually had (getting hungry thinking about it again).

Lantaw Marbel

We dared to come to this place despite it being rocked by a really strong earthquake the night before. Situated over a bluff overlooking the city, the restaurant offers comfort food, and entertainment at night. Though the view is spectacular, I could only imagine the terror induced when a 6-point-something earthquake struck. At the time of our visit, it was lunch time, was sweltering, but the food was good despite not having the best plating. I especially liked the lechon kawali.

One should not miss going here when in Koronadal.

Little owl’s 5th

I thank our Father for the gift of Maxine!

You are my miracle warrior. You and Ate have changed me in countless ways that have stretched my limits. I often look at you and remember why I exist in the first place. From those early, hard and uncertain days constantly on the edge for fear of losing you, you keep on reminding me to keep fighting and holding on because you need me. Thank you for being my anchor. I love you so much, anak!

I pray that everyone else find their own Maxine so that they too, may live with love, and hope they find someone who calms their heart and spirit like this little girl does.

Happy 5th birthday, Maxine! ❤️❤️❤️

Shaking it up in South Cotabato

It was my first time in the capital city of Koronadal, in the province of South Cotabato, one of the southern most areas of the Philippines. And this trip literally rocked my world. After doing our official business of meeting with migrants and families of migrants, while we were having a great dinner of delectable and fresh seafoods, a very strong earthquake shattered the otherwise quiet evening. It was shocking to say the least! I really think this was the strongest quake I’ve experienced my entire life. It also felt like it went on forever as we scampered out the door. Whew!

We didn’t want to return to our hotel rooms immediately since there were still tremors following the main quake. So we sat on the sidewalk in front of our hotel, and gorged ourselves on the local fruit, durian, which was actually a first for me as I had only previously just eaten the candies. I liked fresh durian despite its awful smell that sticks to your clothes and walls, and turns off most people.

What an experience!