Ending the year right

Hello 2015! 2014 was a rollercoaster of emotions for me. I had so much difficulties with my pregnancy and at work. But it was also the year I received a beautiful gift wrapped in a 5 lb. package. So in all, the year was quite good to me.

And we chose to end the year right by offering our baby girl to a lifetime of service to our Lord.

Another soldier joins His flock.

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It was a simple, happy celebration of love and faith. We are grateful to our family and friends who spent Maxine’s special day with us.

Happy also with our suppliers.

I super love the baptistry of the Shrine of Jesus, the Way, the Truth and the Life. Baptism fee was a little more expensive than in other churches, and they strict about letting only the immediate family and godparents inside the baptistry. But it made the rites more meaningful and solemn unlike in mass baptisms.

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The reception venue was a repeat of my dad’s 70th birthday celebration last year. Alba’s spanish restaurant was not our first choice but we could not find another that fits our liking, and more importantly, our budget. Still, one couldn’t go wrong with Alba’s. Food was great (and overflowing), set up was nice that we didn’t need to dress up the place and service was excellent. I like dealing with them all the time, very hassle-free.

The invitation, as mentioned in a previous post was designed by someone on Etsy.com. Then we had them printed and given to the godparents and some of our relatives. Majority of our guests were invited via Facebook.

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Souvenirs were cakes in jars ordered from Bake my Day by Mariane, an online baker found on Instagram. Finding suppliers nowadays is easy as a pie given the advent of small entrepreneurs who makes use of social media to sell their wares. No more going to actual business areas, everything done in a click. Of course, one has to be very careful about dealing with scammers and those who want to make easy money by duping innocent people. Thank God, so far, I haven’t fallen prey to any of them. Anyway, back to the giveaways, these cakes, in chocolate and red velvet, were really yummy. I wanted to keep some of the jars as keepsake, however, after washing them, the prints faded so to the trash they went.

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Photobooth services were taken cared of by Ninong Mico, who by the way, had an out of the country trip planned so he couldn’t make it to Maxine’s baptism. But I only had to deal with The Faceplays Photobooth when I had to provide them the concept, approve the layout then send Maxine’s photo. The turnout was perfect!

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Tarpaulin design was done by Mischa’s Ninong Troy.

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Outfits bought from a major mall chain.

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Thank you again for being part of our second princess’ special moment.

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Surprise, surprise

My family has got to be the most predictable unit ever. You can almost always be sure of what we will do next. Surprise celebrations are almost unheard of. But it is what I decided and planned for my Dad’s 70th birthday. He really thought that it would only be us, his kids and grandchild, and of course my mom, who would be celebrating with him. He was in for a big surprise when we brought him to a restaurant and had our relatives, his step family whom we all haven’t seen for a really long time, and his former colleagues greet him and give him best wishes. I asked my brother who is in media to put together a simple audio-visual production for him.

I am glad he was so happy that day. My brother and I seldom do this for our folks. They are really very simple people, and it takes us for them to experience “life” outside their home.

Happy birthday again, Dad!

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Of Spanish food and lifelong friends

Saw an old friend today whom I thought I lost. Before I lament on what happened, I want to say that I enjoyed the food and the ambiance at the new Alba’s Restaurante Español at the Prism Plaza in the Mall of Asia complex. While the hubby and I have made MOA our second home (hehehe), it was my first time to set foot in this irregularly-shaped building. It reminded me of the alfresco dining level of the Hongkong Museum of Art. It overlooks Manila Bay and I am so sure that the sunset here would have been a spectacular sight.

Alba’s, of course, is as traditional yet modern as it could be. We took advantage of their dinner buffet, which cost Php750++. I always feel lugi when I have buffet since I don’t eat much in one sitting, but I guess what we paid for was the variety. Mmmmm…writing now and looking at the photos making me crave for Spanish food.

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Tapas – Pizza with anchovies, Croquetas de Jamon, Mariscos, Tostadas with 3 spreads (Quezorizo, Tomate, ajo and aceite de oliva, and Espinacas), Salchichas con Champignons (which is my personal favorite!) and Mejillones al Tigre

Also available were Tabla de Embutidos, which I planned on going back on but was too full so regretfully was not able to taste, and ensalada with different dressings.

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Paella Valenciana, spicy shrimp pasta, pescado ala vizcaina in homemade tomato sauce, pollo ala king, steamed vegetables, escallopines ala pobre, and house specialty, cochinillo, and costillas de vaca al vino rojo

I would have taken and eaten more of everything if the stomach had been willing. Alas, only the mouth was. lol. Everything was just rich and sumptuous just the way I like them.

I didn’t get the callos and lengua as I have a thing about innards.

For dessert, I had canonigo, which was as near to heaven as I could get, maja blanca and mango squares. Because I was too full by this time, I let go of the mocha cake and fruit salad.

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The restaurant had the right amount of light and sounds. Not too bright, not too dim, not too loud. Perfect for family gatherings, quiet get-togethers, and even dates. Now, I’m thinking I want to hold a small party here for my Dad’s upcoming 70th birthday. We’ll see.

Over the good food was a lot of catching up. I missed my very dear and good friend for about six months. I feel happy anyway that she chose to reach out this time. I thought we broke up. She had so much going on in her life that I felt hurt when she wallowed instead of taking advantage of my shoulder to cry on. I would have thought that I was as special to her as she was to me, and it just felt wrong to me that I was lumped together with the rest of the things and people she was getting over with. I felt so disappointed that after years of confidences, food trips, kids, tears, heartbreaks, parties, hangovers, out of town trips, and whatnots, I was on her speed dial and top five list of go-to people. Save for about less than five text messages within that span, there was basically a sea of silence that I wondered if I was the only one affected. Clearly, whatever the things she was going through was beyond our friendship.

But oh well, maybe it is time to move on and grow up. It is true that things really change, and that you can either go with the flow, or get out of the raging water. I know that we would still be friends but to my consternation, it has taken on a different form. It is on a whole new plane now, and I just have to get used to it. Our roles in each other’s lives have titled at different angles. But I’ll take whatever we have.

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