Manam

If you are looking for traditional Filipino food livened up with a twist, then Manam is for you. The restaurant is an ideal place for families or a group of friends sharing a hot meal, or even couples of bffs chilling out or plain relaxing. Each of their dishes come in three sizes: small, medium or large, so you can order according to the size of your party or your heart’s desire. You need not worry about ordering too much or too little.

You can start off with drinks concocted with ingredients that you would not think are possible together:

Banana melon sago

Camias with lemongrass

Papaya with black pepper

For the main dishes, there were so many to choose from. If I had my way, I would have gotten their bestseller sisig and the sinigang na corned beef sa watermelon. But as I was with hypertensive and people watching out for their sugar levels, we opted for the safer though still yummy dishes.

Batil patung (famous in Cagayan where the husband is from)

Braised then fried pork and chicken adobo (a hit with Mischa)

Gising-gising

Binukadkad na plapla with buro

Sinigang na ulo ng salmon sa guyabano (a hit with Maxine)

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Sundrops

Having our tired feet and legs pampered is slowly becoming a bonding activity for us girls. Especially now that Mischa is becoming a tweener, we often bring her with us to salons and spas. Recently, we got to try Sundrops, a day spa inside a mall we frequent during weekends. As we (Mischa and I) are suckers for anything girly, its feminine decor and vibe beckoned us in. Thumbs up for their clean interior, nice couches and warm lighting. I’ll tell you that I’ve been getting quite particular with couches since there is one day spa I used to go to regularly, but haven’t been to lately because I got turned off by the ever darkening couches. It seems that while their service is great (their pedicurists are good with in-grown nails and dry skin in the deep recesses of my toe nails), they haven’t been paying attention to the stains and grime accumulating in their sofas. So I’ve been on the market for a better place.

Sundrops offer a wide range of nail, hand, foot, arm and leg care, including nail art, however, we just opted for their Mint Mademoiselle package, which includes footspa with massage, pedicure and basic polish. And since we were early, we had fresh hands who took care of our feet and nails. I like that they have “light” hands, and were careful with the nails and cuticles. In general though, the service was just okay. Not a place I would go back to in the near future.

Full circle

Lolo celebrated his 74th birthday last weekend. We are thankful to the Lord for the second chance at life. We know that both he and Mama are feeling every bit of their age, as various aches and signs of wear and tear are surfacing more often now. As a daughter, I don’t want to admit it, but I have been negotiating with our dear God for more time. Every high blood pressure, every headache, every dizziness that come about forces me to face mortality. I don’t think I will ever be ready, and I want to do everything in my power to ensure that they stay with us longer.

So now we come full circle, with the children now taking care of their parents. They still do take care of us, mostly their grandchildren. But it has fallen on our shoulders to ensure that their needs are all met. I don’t think they will ever stop caring for the grandkids, and so it rests on us to make sure that they are in the pink of health.

Happy birthday Lolo! More happy and healthy years for you and Mama. We love you!

Seton recognition

It was our first time to come up onstage for the recognition program at Mischa’s school, and I know this wouldn’t be the last (claiming it, thank you Lord!). The award is actually for last school year’s achievement, where our beloved little big girl is awarded the silver medal. We got the good news sometime last summer, and now, we again beamed with pride as we placed that medal around her neck.

I’ve always said that Mischa is not the industrious type, and I am happy more than anything that she is smart, and can make it in the real world because what she knows are things beyond the books and test papers. And anak, maybe it’s the gold medal next year, if you try to be more serious with school work? No pressure though 🙂

I love you and bunso beyond words! Congratulations on this feat!

Classmates and friends since pre-school

Agos

We tried this ship-inspired restaurant in Mall of Asia for dinner with the whole family. When we looked initially at their menu, we saw that their specialties are Filipino dishes as influenced by the Spaniards. I really don’t know the story behind the restaurant, but it looked to me that the food looked like heirloom pieces, maybe passed on from grand- and great-grandparents.

And as we are just coming off medical check-ups for the kids and the seniors, and the seniors have high blood pressure, our fare consisted of relatively healthy dishes so as not to further add to the high levels of cholesterol. The food was good enough in general, but I was like, 60% happy with it, owing to the lack of meaty goodness that my tummy was craving for. And it was a bit more expensive for the quality and taste. Service was great though.

Agos salad

Cheesy tortang talong

Paella Fiesta Filipina

Mahi mahi in spicy coconut cream

Monggo

As I said the whole thing looked like a ship. The little girl had fun going up and down the mini stairs.

Back to back Buwan ng Wika

Because of several days’ rain, school activities of both kids were pushed, and incidentally were held at the same time. Just my luck that both of them would hold the culmination activities of their respective school’s Buwan ng Wika. Both of them needed to bring native Filipino dishes that are not normally within my cooking range. So I cheated a bit and used instant mixes hehe. Still, I had to get up at an ungodly hour to prepare and cook because I couldn’t do it the night before for fear that the food will spoil.

For Ate Mischa, she was picked to bring Ginataang Isda (whose kids eat ginataan??)

Maxine, on the other hand, was supposed to bring palabok.

They were not bad really. But why couldn’t have gotten paper plates, or disposable utensils. lol.

We didn’t get to go with Maxine because I’ve been on leave for several days because Mama was sick (more on that later). But we were able to go with Mischa before the Parada ng Lahi of students in their native costumes started. And while I see her everyday, I still marvel everytime at how fast she is growing! What happened to my baby??

With her friends and classmates: