Lugang Cafe

This will probably be my last post for the year. In a few hours, we will be welcoming 2012, the year of the water dragon. I do hope it brings more blessings and luck for our family. I am so looking forward to leaving 2011, which brought me to some heart/headaches although there were a lot of good parts, too.

Anyway, to close crazyshopaholic for the year, would like to post about Lugang Cafe. A branch of the authentic Chinese restaurant recently opened at the Mall of Asia, and was dying to try it out since my eye got caught by its beautifully done interiors. Elegant chandeliers and modern furniture adorn the huge area. There is even a mezzanine! But our visit at this time was quite forgettable–we brought Mischa to the office that day to play with other kids of colleagues, then we had to run errands and buy last minute gifts so were very exhausted as the day winded up. But the toddler was not. Her energy was still running high, and I had to keep her from banging on the tables and walls. The ending–I didn’t get to enjoy much the food we had.

Pork and Shrimp Shumai

Crusted Fish Fillet

As I said, my world did not do much for me. Or as I said, maybe I was just distracted and tired. I’d like to try the bistro again soon. Maybe I’ll have more luck with our food.

PMO forever reunion

With all the parties that I went to this Christmas season, this one tops it all. I never laughed so hard in a long time. We so missed each other! But we met, and began talking and catching up like we just saw each other yesterday. Parang walang patlang! Not to compare with the newer batch of Project Management Division (formerly Office, thus PMO) people who are my staff now, our batch is just so different. Maybe it’s because we are all closer in age, and we grew up together professionally. Unlike these new ones, who, while fun-loving, are a different breed from us.

Too bad our samahan was cut short by envious people who find that we’re too happy working and playing together. Bakit nga kaya may mga taong ayaw makakita ng masaya yung ibang tao? I will forever cherish them, and I know that, for some, we will remain lifelong friends. We may all have changed a bit. Most of us have moved on to greener pastures. Some have started building families. But we’re still the same kids at heart.

See how hard we were all laughing the whole time? It was pure, unadulterated fun!

Masquerade Ball

This is a first for our office–the holding of a masquerade ball for our annual Christmas party. We usually spend it at the office with caterers coming in, and the decorations being taken cared of by a Committee. We are normally decked in casual clothes as we celebrate the night away. But now, we all let our hair down, and dressed to the nines! Feels really good to be able to do this once in a while. We should do this more often.



The only downside: my luck during raffles finally run out. Bummer!

Nine mornings

I am still beating myself up until now for not being able to complete the 9-day dawn masses traditionally known in the Philippines as simbang gabi. I tried. I really did. I was so bent on attending all of the nine masses in the belief that the fondest wishes of my heart will come true. I would get up at three in the morning albeit sluggishly to be able to sit through each mass. I would endure the noisy crowd of teenagers who don’t seem to know The Lord’s Prayer from gospel to the Holy Communion. (I know, getting old). They are just so annoying.

But one night of office partying made everything pffft. Sayang! I still continue to hear mass though. I hope my wishes will still come true.

Romulo Cafe

My mother’s side of the family met over the weekend at Romulo Cafe, one of those ancestral-homes-turned-restaurant. It looks nondescript on the outside, being located in a quiet residential area in Quezon City, but has really sleek and chic interiors. I would have wanted to for us to stay in one of their cool function rooms, but alas, none was available as it was Christmas season after all.

Out of the five families raised by my maternal grandparents, only two of us have been meeting in the last couple of years–only the eldest and youngest, and their offsprings now. We have been “estranged” with the second family in the last decade following the death of their parents, and the third due to telenovela types of conflicts. (Don’t all families have these to some degree?). An aunt, however, remains in the United States, where she has raised all of her kids and grandkids. If I were to sum, there should have been five children, five in-laws (one unofficial), ten grandchildren (one adopted), six grandchildren-in-law (one unofficial), and nine great-grandchildren. Whew! I hope the time comes that fate will bring all of us under a single roof.

Anyway, back to Cafe Romulo. As with previous visits, I am beginning to wonder why I haven’t been able to have decent photos of all the food that I had. This time, only photographed the appetizers, as we didn’t want the whole clan to wait while we shoot the entrees.

Pomelo salad

Tinapa rolls

Bangus Pate

And my Romulo favorite, Cool as a Cucumber:

Dining at Romulo’s is always good. Aside from the beautifully done interiors with the black and white portraits, the service is excellent. The Filipino cuisine, which the restaurant is famous for, is wonderfully traditional. Dining room is brightly lit, and the restrooms are just amazing. Always worth coming back to. I was glad we met here for Christmas.

La Scala Cafe

We had our division party (apart from the big, bongga office party) at La Scala Cafe in Malate. It was a little joint tucked between larger establishments along the well-lit Adriatico Street. I immediately took to the place as it brings one back to another lifetime of rock n’ roll. Old fashioned booths take up the larger part of the cozy dinner. Different memorabilia of the 50’s to the 80s club and movie scenes line up the walls. Glass cabinets hold collectibles of every size imaginable. An old jukebox was set up ostentatiously in a corner. It was a great place to be. I wanted to sock the husband for forgetting our camera. We had to make do with a point and shoot, which didn’t do much justice when you want to remember the look and feel of that day.

We reserved one of their function rooms that had a videoke. It was a tight fit for twelve of us but we did okay. We jostled a bit as we belted our favorite songs, and fought our way through the food.

The food was good, too. And while I got enamored by the ambiance and the food, the service was just…bad. As in, in a majorly baaaaad way! Thank God we were all having fun taking turns at the mic. But we could have killed each other over the food. It took all of thirty minutes from the time we placed our orders to their serving. We almost seemed like we have been victims of a food shortage, and we almost pounced on the food when they came.

Nonetheless, it was a fun night all in all. And sort of cheap, too! Aside from a consumable Php3,000 for the videoke room, we ordered additional food, but the bill was still a humble Php7,000 for twelve people. Not bad eh?