Red Platter

I and some colleagues, during a recent trip to Naga City, dined at the Red Platter. It was recommended by our hotel’s staff as one of the best places to eat in the city. Looking at its interior, with the way it was built, it seemed to me like it was formerly an ancestral house, which was turned into a restaurant. I like entrepreneurs who do this to maximize idle real properties. It even had weathered Machuca tiles that enhanced the 20th century look of the place. The dining different areas looked like they were formerly sitting areas or family rooms. The restaurant is perfect for family style meals or intimate conversations.

And because we were in Bicol, we just had to try the sili-infused meals. Unfortunately, there was no Bicol Express Pasta that day, and that was the one I was looking forward to. Bummer! And my favorite crispy pata is a little letdown. But! This might be because I have already searched far and wide for the best ones, and this version might be good enough for some.

Laing cordon bleu

Crispy pata

Salted egg fried chicken

Sinigang na salmon belly

They also have a bakeshop showcasing cakes and a whole lot of pastries, specializing in pili, a local product of the Bicol region.

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Coffee Table

One quiet afternoon in Naga City, I took my girls out for meryenda. We ventured into a place called Coffee Table in the lifestyle center of the city. It was nice haunt for meetings and quiet conversations. Located in the same building as a hotel, it fairly attracts students, professionals and anyone in the neighborhood looking for a place to unwind.

I was actually gunning for their specialty Bicol Express Pasta, but too bad that it was not available. So I settled for the seafood pasta and the super hot sili affogato. I almost didn’t make it the next day. lol. It was soooo spicy! I must have drunk 2 gallons of water in one sitting.

Sili Affogato

Matcha green tea

Seafood Pasta with Sundried Tomatoes

Tuna pasta

Cookies and cream crepe

Motel One

Before I completely forget, I have to write about Motel One. This chain of hotels has several branches all across Germany and Europe, and I stayed in two of them during my trip. I was ribbing my friend that she was a stockholder because she she spoke so highly of the establishment, and after Day 1, I could actually understand why.

It had me at blue.

But other than that, I would say that staying in these hotels are worth the price. It was actually not so hefty given the range of hotel rates in Europe. Both of them (Berlin and Essen) are very clean and sleek. The outside is very industrial, while the interiors are cool, really restful for an excited but weary traveller like me. Wifi is strong. And the wonderful part of Berlin was we got the best room (I think), which is on the topmost of a semicircular tower, giving us an unobstructed 180 degree view of the zoological garden nearby, as well as the distant Tiergarten. Really, really amazing, especially at night.

The room itself was on the tiny side, with a tiny bathroom, but the furniture and decors were very artsy and tasteful. I liked the organic soap and shampoo! Smart TV was huge, too bad it didn’t have English channels.

Didn’t get to taste food so I cannot judge. But they both have great lounges ideal for coffee or even dinner.

Also both strategically located–in Berlin near the Embassy where we had business and the shopping district of Kurfurstendamm, and Essen, near the central Haupftbanhof and still the shopping district. (Did not do any shopping at all haha)

Berlin Upper West

Essen

Definitely recommending to those travelling to Germany!

Tween reading

Mischa loved books when she was little. However, as any normal kid nowadays, she got hooked on gadgets and of course, toys. So we’ve been kind of struggling between lessening screen time and pushing for more book time. And finally, finally, she seems to be getting the habit back, and I’ve found her nose in books more and more frequently now. I’m glad she’s into novels now, and I’m trying to read alongside her and checking out her books. Still want some parental authority and looking at appropriateness of materials hehe.

Keep it up, anak! Hooray for books!

Essen

To continue my German saga…after that whirlwind few days in Berlin, off we went to the city of Essen. The main purpose of our trip, which is to participate in a gathering of Filipinos, took place in Essen. We took the train from the central station, and the trip took about five hours. We enjoyed the scenic ride as Germany offers a picturesque countryside, but I have no great pictures to show because it was too fast for my phone to capture. It was not so bad at all that the train had wifi, yay!

We mostly kept to the city center, and then at the venue of the conference, which is uphill and kind of isolated, but very gorgeous. While the city is known as an industrial center of Germany, given the limited places I’ve been to, I could only describe it as quaint and charming. And autumn gave everything a burst of colors that, for somebody who comes from a tropical country, is a sight to behold. Fall is becoming a favorite season of mine.

Latina

Because I already took a leave of absence on Maxine’s birthday, I could not come with her during her first United Nations activity in school. Her class was picked to represent the South American region, and I have long bought her costume when I had the chance to pass by a costume store. She looked so pretty as Ms. Venezuela! I let wake up early that day so I dress her up and take her photos. Sorry, anak, hehehe.

Thank God for mommy friends in school and FB pages, I was able to see her performance and other photos while in school.

It’s time to be a hero

Ms. Makulit is now three, yay! I love your kakulitan and your charm more than ever. My day considerably lightens even after a hard day when I come home and see your easygoing and ready smile.

I hope you enjoyed your PJ Masks party in school with your little friends. It also didn’t push through because of a slight snag with the school but all is well that ends well. I woke up early to DIY your small party, and even though I was exhausted by 10:00 a.m., it was all worth it.