Business class

I just got back from the Big Apple a few days ago. As always, I will blog about it in the days to come, but this one here deserves a separate post. Yay! For the first ever, I got an upgrade from Cathay Pacific to Business class! I wished that I got the upgrade during the long haul flight from New York to Hongkong so that I got to travel more comfortably, but I will take this any day. I was really so giddy the whole time. Who wouldn’t enjoy the pre-flight champagne, 18-inch LCD screen, huge legroom (though I have short legs, lol), upgraded menu, and much much more personalized service.

I could get used to this. I loooove Cathay Pacific, and have travelled with them on my first international flight to London, then to Canada, then to Cambodia (through Cathay Dragon), and now to New York. If at all possible, I will always use them for all my trips abroad. It can also be said that I totally dig transiting in the Hongkong airport, absolutely one of my favorite airports in the world!

Parmigiano Pizzeria Ristorante

We seldom get to go out anymore as a nuclear family. Usually, we have my parents in tow. So despite being tired from a day out with the kids, we took this opportunity to dine out one fine day. We were surprised as we went around Molito Lifestyle Complex in Alabang! The area has grown since the last time we set foot there. A dozen or so new specialty restaurants now line up what used to be just a handful of stores. Now it is a great place for families, couples, even individuals out on a cool afternoon or night. We’ve seen dogs being walked, and lots of people just milling around and relaxing. Great place to hang out now.

We chose the Parmigiano Pizzeria Ristorante, one because it was very conspicuous and two, we were attracted by the waft of Italian. The restaurant was very cheerful and inviting. Half of the restaurant has a mezzanine that looks over the other half, which with its high ceiling, creates breathing space even though the tables were a bit crowded at the main part of the restaurant.

There was a whole variety of pasta, pizzas and other Italian goodies. It was so hard to choose, but we decided on the following: some salad, six cheese pizza and a creamy carbonara, all kids-approved! There was the ubiquitous bread basket to start everything with. All were a little pricey, but for good reason, they were just delish! For the pasta and pizza, the cheesy and creamy taste was just overwhelming, perfect for our taste buds.

Mischa’s 9th

I cannot believe she is 9! No matter how I ask time to slow down, there is no stopping that growth spurt, and all things that go with it. Give it another six months or so, and I think she’ll outgrow me vertically. Ayayay!

I didn’t get to spend the whole day with her since I had work but we had a rare family dinner with both sets of families around. Hooray! (We are currently staying at my brother’s house). Also, she got her dream gifts – phone, hamster and her favorite books from Thea Stilton. She is one happy kid.

We love you much, anak! I pray for nothing but the best, good health and constant happiness for you and your sister. I will celebrate your life for as long as I live.

Sip & Gogh party

We joined a different kind of birthday party than the ones we are used to. Izzy, daughter of a friend, turned 8, and hosted a painting session for mostly her friends. Our kids were invited by default by her mom. Hehe. The party was held at Sip & Gogh in Alabang, a paint and sip studio where you can join painting sessions, which also includes snacks. Izzy’s party was a private affair, and the parents of the kids were encouraged to leave them due to the limited space in the studio. We stayed because we had to look after the toddler in case she gets bored and runs amok. lol.

It was actually a lot of fun, as I said different, and quite a novelty for us. Each kid was given an easel, a choice of painting from the gallery to copy, enough oil to begin with (you can ask for more later depending on your painting), and a handful of teachers roaming around to guide the would-be painters. You are encouraged to deviate from the original painting, and put in some creatives on your own. I would want to do this in the future for one of the kids’ parties too. One thing though, there was little food included in the package. And there was no way for the adults to socialize, which is a “must” for our family every time we have a party to throw
to be able to catch up with each other. Oh well, we really enjoyed ourselves, even the Daddy who had a slot all to himself since Mico was absent. I want to do this again!

Essential oils

In a bid to improve the health of the kids, Ninong Mico gave us some essential oils. Essential oils are basically essences of plants that have various uses, in this case, we are after their healing properties. This is a great alternative for commercial medicines, which could be potentially harmful for the body in the long term.

There are dozens of variations of essential oils, and for beginners like me, this can be a little daunting on what mixes work for specific ailments. Good thing that the starter kit Mico bought has been pre-mixed, and specifically targeting sniffles, germs and the immune system. If you know our family, you would be aware that we are predisposed to pulmonary diseases, such as allergyrhinitis and asthma. So these three are all good. They’re kid-friendly, and the application to the kids’ bodies at night gives us additional bonding moments because of all the touching. The room even smells like a spa afterwards. Really hope they work.

Hundred Islands

This is sooo late, but better than never right?

So last Holy Week, we brought ourselves to Pangasinan so we can try something new. The highlight of our trip was the famed Hundred Islands. Mischa has been dying to go here because it has continuously cropped up in her lessons, mostly in Social Studies, and one of the major tourist destinations in the Philippines.

We set out very early because we knew it would be so crowded given that 90% of the workforce is on holiday. Thank goodness we had a wonderful host, and Mommy Ann, being a local of Alaminos, pre-arranged everything for us, including our boat ride. We had to spend some time at the port, which was teeming with people of all sizes, ages, gender, etc. on that Holy Friday. The local government requires all visitors to register with them first prior to venturing out to sea plus pay a minimal amount for the continued maintenance of the islands and its surroundings. Since we were a large group, we had to be in two boats.

We just got off one island-Marcos Island-and stayed there for lunch and of course, beach frolicking. You wouldn’t believe how clear the water is and how semi-fine the sand. It is a bit rocky near the edge of the beach though.

Afterwards, we went around the area and just viewed all the other islands from our boat. Almost all the beaches were occupied. Most of the bigger and dock-able islands are named. It is noteworthy that those that we went to or seen even from afar seemed to be impeccable and well-maintained. Good for the people and environment, as well. I am not sorry we came here at all.