Rustic Romblon

So the hubby went away a couple of weeks ago to do our annual anti-human trafficking drive. This year, he and his team were sent to Romblon, a tiny group of islands down Southern Tagalog. On the side, of course, being the amateur photography buff, he took a lot of shots that captured the rural beauty of the province. There’s just something about an undeveloped parcel of nature that captivates the senses even if it is a far cry from the comforts of urbanity that one is used to. The soul would benefit from this kind of living from time to time.





















Crisostomo

Last Saturday’s lunch brought us to the Newport Mall at Resorts World Manila. I’ve only been here a few times since this was out of our usual way, and I find it a cool place because it wasn’t too crowded. And I couldn’t find those loud, young, grunge-y mall-goers so added points in my book (must be getting old). The lower floor has a huge casino, designer boutiques, as well as a performing arts theatre. The second and third levels contain the higher end restaurants, but the center of which has a huge skylight with water fountains beneath. Children were playing and running endless, with nannies and mommies chasing after them.

From among the restaurants available, Crisostomo beckoned, partly because it was only one of a few that I haven’t tried yet. It was well-lighted even at high noon. The general theme is turn of the century, Spanish period, the setting of national hero Jose Rizal’s revolutionary novel, Noli Me Tangere. Furniture and fixtures, and even the paintings, were definitely Spanish although modern-looking. There were faux cobwebs on the paintings and lights for effect.

Somebody’s excited to eat:

The food served at Crisostomo is Filipino comfort food. These can actually be found all over but the taste and quality sets them a little apart. I also liked the way their dishes are names, which are after the book’s numerous characters, including the protagonist, Crisostomo Ibarra. This was of course done with many twists and word plays. I couldn’t remember them all now, except for what we had, which I consciously took note of.

Protacio's Pride (Baked New Zealand Mussels)


Don Rafael (Crispy Pata)


Munggo de Mariano (With chicharon and tuyo fillet)


Kare Kare ng Kura


Binan (Grilled Tuna Belly)

Anybody who knows me knows that these are my absolute favorites, especially the crispy pata. So I just almost died as soon as I got my greedy fingers and mouth on it. Very flavorful, and the tastiness goes beyond the skin. We had leftovers, which we had doggie-bagged, and I was surprised that the skin maintained its crispiness even during dinner. The munggo was a little so-so, as with the tuna belly. The kare-kare was also good, and what I loved about it is the main ingredient was beef, not ox tripe. And as I hadn’t had mussels in a while, I almost finished half of the whole thing, which is totally disgusting of me I know. We all had native fruit juices-guava for me, boring mango for the hubby, four seasons for the grandma, and malunggay for the grandpa.

Shelled out almost three thousand for all of these, which was a little high but sort of worth it.

Oh, and we saw Daphne Osena-Paez (with her family), who is just one of my biggest idols! I have been religiously following her blog. Would have loved to say hi, but was too shy, and not to mention, starstrucked. So I just tweeted her, and she replied! Yay! lol.

Kudos goes to the very prompt and efficient servers. All in all, I give this restaurant four stars.

Of the hubby’s absence

I was not able to do a blog entry on my pining for the hubby as he went away last week for a business trip to Romblon. He got back Saturday, and then left again for an overnighter in Cavite for the same purpose. Both of us do this at least once a year, and I am lucky enough to be spared from it this year. Last year, I contracted pneumonia when I went to Misamis Oriental and Camiguin so I wasn’t too keen on doing it again. Plus, of course, my separation anxiety from Mischa would kick in. It might be just coincidence but she really has a knack for getting sick whenever one of us has to be away for a week or two.

So anyway, it was the hubby’s time, and I greatly missed him, in large part because I had to commute to and from work. Damn! Where is justice in 3-hour travel times? It usually just takes us an hour when we take the car.

Anyhow, as I am still not allowed to drive yet, the whole family had to pick him up from the domestic airport. As the major airlines do not service the Manila-Romblon route, their team had to do away with taking Zestair. And boy, the experience was not good at all! To sum up, they annoyed the shit out of everyone. From the original schedule of the expected arrival of 7:40 a.m., the plane finally landed at 11:45 a.m. Great, just great. The toddler was a little cranky, and of course, sweaty by then. Thank God for chocolate biscuits to keep the tantrums away. We made it up by going to nearby Newport Mall at Resorts World, and binging on food. Ended the day up really good!

Random walking

The draft of this post has been languishing for some time now. Been trying to finish but things always get in the way. Thought I had finally found the time but the toddler woke up so…

Anyway, this is about a random event that happened a few days ago. Tuesday morning didn’t start out two well for the hubby and I. We haven’t covered much ground yet when we were disturbed by a loud clanging of the car. Our hearts sank as we saw that it was a flat tire. We were already running a bit late, and the car was under the number coding scheme. Shoot! Then we had to SOS my dad, and call one of his reliable mechanic friends because the tire jack wasn’t even working.

Of all days to get a flat! Even if they did manage to change tires, we would not be able to run because it was running close to 7 am (the cut off time for the number coding). We realized we had to sit out a couple of hours and wait till the scheme lifts at midday.

The good thing, though, was that the incident happened only a few blocks away from the house. As soon as the men started working, I decided to walk home since I wouldn’t be of much use anyway. I was just standing there, starting to sweat, and letting whatever makeup I have on slowly melt in the rising sun. So off I went and began a quarter of an hour walking to home base through the side streets of our village.

As I trudged along, oddly enough, I was transported back to my childhood. While I didn’t spend my formative years here in Cavite (grew up under the care of grandparents in Batangas), I did spend the school age years with my parents until they day I moved in with hubby in 2008 before we got married. It just felt good and a little nostalgic as the transformation that has taken place in our own part of the universe unfolded before my eyes. The place looks old and new at the same time. I saw the renovations undergone by some of the villagers as they try to keep up with the times, while some houses retained the basic bungalow look they have sported since the 1980s. Passed by homes of former childhood friends, and wondered where they are now. Haven’t really kept in touch with them. Moving along, I watched as the streets stirred, and people began keeping pace with the rising of the sun. Fresh produce are out, enticing passersby to buy. Stores started to open with keepers bringing out their wares, and peddling them. Students and professionals were lining the streets, either briskly walking to their destinations or waiting for rides. Mommies and nannies with babies were basking in the sunlight. Retirees and exercise-enthusiasts were jogging or biking. Some were walking their dogs. It was a typical suburban day. There was no rush like those found in Manila or Makati, but people were purposely doing their own thing.

I reached our house in no time. I don’t know but this walk really gave me a lot of things to think about and to thank for. It made me appreciate again the good life my parents gave me, and the home, while not perfect, they created for me. I also thought about how the good Lord has put me where I am now. I might be searching for a lot of things but He knows that this is the right place I have to be at the moment. So I am going to make the best out of it.

Nail-a-holics

I have been dying to try out the services of Nail-a-holics for as long as I could remember. I would pass by their salon after doing the grocery, and the bright lights would always seem to beckon to me to come in. I could see customers looking so relaxed as attendants did their stuff on their hands and feet. I almost feel envious with the way some of them had heads lolling gently to the side as they drift off to a blissful nap. But as I seldom have time for “me” stuff, and that I have a suki pedicurist in a another salon, I ignore the urge to come in and just sit. Until finally, the hubby and I managed some time after Sunday mass to avail of their services.

Since we went there at opening hours, we had the whole salon to ourselves. I choose the comfy sofa in the middle so that I could take the ambiance in. I am such a sucker for all things blue, particularly shades of aquamarine. The first thing the manager did after we sunk into the plush couches was to give us pillows for our neck and arms to rest on. Magazines were also abundant. They offered us tea, which I declined and later regretted. Drinking something hot would have been nice.


I chose the Waterdrift Spa package for both of us, which included a foot spa, pedicure and foot massage. I just noticed though that they didn’t have a regular machine for the foot spa that gently massages the soles of your feet as they soak. Instead, there was just a basin with soapy water that softened the calluses before they were finally rubbed off.

On the whole, I was happy with the results. My attendant really did a good job, especially with the pedicure because the sides of my toenails more often than not bleed if pushed too hard. That’s why I love my suki because she already knows how to handle my feet. Good that this new one didn’t nick anything yay! A wee bit talkative, which isn’t really a good idea with me because I prefer to do stuff on my phone, read ‘zines, or just snooze whenever I go for these kinds of things. But I liked her anyway. She must have gotten the idea soon enough that I wasn’t into small talk. She gave my footsies some looove.

This is the price list according to their website:

Come visit them (I don’t get paid to advertise, I just really liked their service). They can be found in most SM malls round the metro.