Wednesday, May 31

Great News For Chocolate Lovers

My Chocolate Walnut Brownie from Starbucks

According to the latest health news I read, a new study hints that chocolate may actually boost brain power. Now, that's something. No more guilt when I indulge in chocolate bars and cakes. Yipee!
While at Starbucks last night, I saw these cute bears on the rack...hmmm, I'm adding one on my wishlist. Wink.

Tuesday, May 30

I Scream For Ice Cream

Today is my first time in ten years of stay in Manila to find one like this right at my doorstep. I was lucky I got home just in time to catch him. Don't you just miss "Mamang Sorbetero" and his dirty ice cream? Got this one for P10/$0.20.

Jairam/Jane's Evil Days

Because Ajay (ang promotor nito) is a good friend, I'm mustering enough guts to put my "Wild Side" list (in my distant past) in print for all to see.
Warning : you will not like what you'll find out here!

I am pierced. Here's a picture of my tummy.

I used to drink occasionally (which was almost everyday, I partied too often) and was a chain smoker.

I ledge danced, I was a party animal.

I didn't finish a formal driving course and turned out to be reckless driver. During my first attempt, I drove a friend's car and hit a lamp post. He was kind enough not to charge me for the damages. Whew!

When I was a kid, I used to bully a neighbor. It came to a point where I threw a stone at him and hit him in the head. (Oh my, I was evil!)

I watched a "male dancer" in a special program held at my gay friend's place. (Eeewww, disgusting.)

As a kid I was a brat, as in! (What Jane wants, Jane gets type of brat.)

At present :
I am a reformed person - a devoted wife and a loveable daughter/daughter-in-law/sister/sister-in-law/friend. (I hope!) Alcohol free, non smoker but still with a pierced tummy and a reckless driver. Am I still evil now?

Flashback On Thailand

A friend from Thailand sent me this delicious tamarind preserve a few days ago and I have been eating since yesterday. It makes me recall the beautiful experience I had in their homeland three months ago...

Great things about Thailand :

  • hospitable Thai people
  • rich culture and traditions
  • beautiful temples; Grand Palace, Bangkok Wat Po (Temple of the Reclining Buddha), Wat Phra Kaeo (Temple of the Emerald Buddha), Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn), Wat Suthat and the Giant Swing
  • spirit houses ( It is Thai belief that they need to allocate a place where the spirits can live, otherwise, the spirits will dwell in their homes or buildings and this will cause troubles to the "living".)
  • Sanam Luang Park and Chatuchak Park
  • Siam Ocean World Bangkok
  • elephant shows and snake farm
  • Chao Phraya River
  • National Museum
  • Floating Market
  • Pak Khlong Talat Market along Chao Phraya River
  • cheap bargains at Chatuchak Weekend Market
  • Patpong Night Market along Silom Road and Suan Lum Night Bazaar
  • the great Siam Paragon Mall also known as the Pride of Bangkok in Siam Square
  • MBK mall
  • Central World Plaza
  • Panthip Plaza (for IT stuffs) in Petchburi Road near Amari Watergate Hotel
  • Bai Yoke and Pratunam Market
  • China Town down Sampeng Lane
  • Skytrain
  • Tuktuk
  • delicious fruits and Thai street food
  • Thai massage
  • super clean wet market and public restrooms

There's so much more to explore in Ratcha Anachak Thai, our four-day visit wasn't enough to go around Bangkok alone. Or conceivably it was the shopping extravaganza (because everything was inexpensive) that constrained our time to tour the city. Wink.

Sunday, May 28

This Guy Is A Day Old

Enough of the balut. If you can't take my previous post and pictures, why not try this one instead? It is a day old chicken deep fried to perfection, crispy and tasty. Best eaten dipped in vinegar with chili. P25/$0.50 for three pcs. Want one?

Balut Fear Is Not A Factor

This post is dedicated to Puplecupcake and Shionge who are curious lot about our local balut.
It can be steamed, fried or cooked the Adobo way but the most popular one is the steamed balut and is available in the streets either by the walking vendor or by the man in a bicycle. Sale starts at around 6:00 pm, and until now, I still haven't figured out why they sell it only during the night. Perhaps because of this, the balut is also a popular "pulutan" (eaten while drinking beer) among the men. The steamed balut is eaten with a pinch of salt or dippped in vinegar, I prefer the latter.
Way before it was popularized internationally through the show Fear Factor the balut is a famous delicacy in all Philippines cities and towns, and I remember well when I was a small kid, a song was written about this fertilized duck egg.
It is a soft boiled egg, and after cracking a small portion of the shell, it's broth is sipped before eating the egg yolk and the young chick inside and a hard white part called "bato" is thrown away. The size of the chick depends on the incubation period, so it's best to tell "Manong" the vendor your preference because there's always a penoy (steamed duck egg, it's the regular egg without the chick).
Our most popular balut producers are the ones in Pateros because of their careful preparation of the product. Mas masarap talaga! (Very delicious!) Balut, anyone?

Saturday, May 27

Ten Simple Bliss

This is a great way to start the day, more so because I'm enjoying this cake while blogging. (Not exactly a healthy breakfast, but what the heck? It's soooo good. I wish I can share it with you.)

I was tagged by Ajay and Ate Bing so I'm playing tag too. I'm tagging Purplecupcake Shionge Ghee Ann Nice Heart Bambi (my most recent links) and the rest of my links who weren't tagged yet.

Ten simple things that make me smile and say "Life is good!"

    1. Dylan's kiss on my forehead. 2. Girl talks over tea and cakes. 3. When someone tells me "Hey, you look great. I love what you're wearing!" even if it actually took me 5 minutes to pull the outfit together (yes ladies, I can do that especially if I'm running late because I was up all night blogging, ha ha!). 4. 150kph at the NLEX without getting caught (speed limit is 100kph, tsk tsk bad girl here). 5. Phone call and SMS from friends I haven't seen for a long time. 6. Haagen Dazs ice cream on a hot day. 7. A good DVD, coke light and chips on a rainy day. 8. Breakfast in bed lovingly prepared by D. 9. A spa treatment on a weekend. 10. Watching the sunrise and sunset on the condo roof reck.

    X-Men Fever

    He's not my favorite character but the picture is so nice I just had to post it.

    After dinner it had to be the movies , Oya and I agreed it should be X-men. Glenda had to go home early because Zia might wake up anytime and look for her (just another small sacrifice when you're a mom already). The movie? Action packed, impressive lights and sound effects, more humanly as the plot dealt with jealousy, love and death, but it was a disappointment...why did Cyplos have to die when he is my favorite? Sigh.

    A Night Out With Friends

    It's been a while since we last saw each other. Glenda is busy being a wife, a mom to my cute 1 year old "inaanak" Zia and a career woman who will be undergoing 7-month long training for for her upcoming promotion (yay, cheers to my good friend!). Oya just got back from Singapore after a week of company sponsored study. And I was busy blogging all the time (ooops, nothing much going on with me, eh?) Tonight is a breathing space for all of us. Work and family affairs have pretty much consumed most of our time that we rarely saw each other unlike before when Friday nights always meant girls' night out.
    I was the first one to arrive at Greenbelt II, so I was tasked to choose where to dine. I headed straight to Fish & Co. because it's the only restaurant in the area that we haven't tried yet.
    Salad w/ Fried Anchovies and Garlic Chips (something different, healthy and delicious)
    Seafood Marinara

    and the house specialty -Fish and Chips

    There was nothing spectacular about the food but we had a pleasant evening. Great conversations with two best friends is more than enough to satisfy your hunger, don't you agree?
    Fish & Co. has branches worldwide - Singapore, Malaysia, in the Middle East, Australia, Indonesia and China. Visit their website at

    Thursday, May 25

    This Week's Food Craving and Malling Experience

    Late last night it was squid balls. We drove around the Makati area and viola! We were lucky to find "Totoy" at Buendia corner Dela Costa street. He said his cart is open everyday at the same spot from 7pm 'till 4am. Wow! And he pays the police P15/$0.3 everyday to keep them away (I'm sure you know what I mean). Whoa! Yummy squid balls, dirty street food never fail to lift my spirits. Will worry about getting sick later, ugh.
    Tonight D and I had dinner at Healthy Shabu-Shabu in Mall of Asia. It seems like this mall will see much of us in the coming days. It's a short 5 minute drive from my office. Ha!
    Before heading home we spent P100/$2 at the Power Station for some video games and my honey's first love - basketball. We had fun especially in the CanAlley and won a total of 145 points.
    Great night. Must do it again. Wink.

    Tuesday, May 23

    In Awe About Sentosa

    I bought combo tickets to go to this place and got a free entrance to the Dolphin Lagoon. With a total purchase of Sing$78 I was able to avail of the following attractions :

    * Cable Car rides ~ from the Harbour Front Centre to Mt. Faber and then back before finally getting to Sentosa.

    * Underwater World ~ enter the world of sea creatures via a moving travellator that gets you through an acrylic tunnel right into the depths of the ocean.

    * Siloso Beach ~ if only I had the time...the white sandy beach was tempting!

    * Cinemania ~ watch two 5 minute movies while riding along the bumps and sudden stops simulating the film's rocking moves.

    * Carlsberg Sky Tower ~ an observation tower which gives you a magnificent view of Singapore. Interesting facts : tower height - 360 feet, viewing height - 430 feet from sea level, lifting speed is 3.9 feet per second and cabin capacity is about 72 persons.

    * Images of Singapore ~ I just had to see the history and culture of the island and it's people.

    Special features include the Warehouse where you can catch the "Golden Wish" as it is summoned, the Jungle was an adventure trail from tiger sounds, monkey tails to snake tugging, the Harbour shows the hard labour of a "coolie" and on the Streets you can hop on the "rickshaw" for that special photo moment.

    * The Merlion and Merlion Walk ~ watch the 5 minute show of how Singapura got it's name and the legend behind the Merlion statue before finally getting to the the top for another city view.

    * Herb and Spice Garden Tour ~ don't fail to buy the sweet and refreshing herb drink for only Sing$1.50.

    * Sentosa Luge and the Sky Ride ~ I love heights and speed! The luge is part go-kart and part toboggan, and it proved to be an exciting ride. On the way back while on the sky ride, I accidentally dropped my luge pictures. The cashier was kind enough to give me another sky ride ticket for free so I can claim my bag. Wow, free ride. Ha ha.

    * Dolphin Lagoon ~ the exotic pink dolphin show. The dolphins are actually born gray but as they age, they lose their color and little by little turn pink. I had to pay Sing$13 to be able to have a photo shoot with Jumbo, the eldest of the group. Jumbo is 25 years old.

    * Musical Fountain Show ~ a must see in Sentosa. Adults and children alike enjoyed the lights, sounds and fountain extravaganza. This magical show introduces Kiki the monkey, Sentosa's mascot.

    * Other attractions ~ (each with an entrance fee)
    Butterfly Park and Insect Kingdom, Fort Siloso Tours, Sentosa 4D Magix, Sijori Wondergolf, The Flying Trapeze and Sentosa Orchid Gardens.
    The area is huge one would need to take the bus or tram to go around. The Sentosa bus rides (blue line, red line, green line and yellow line) are included in the package so there's no need to worry about additional fees.
    Sentosa Island Resort - Sentosa Island, Singapore ;

    Singapore Zoo and Night Safari

    Probably one of the most beautiful zoo set up you'll ever see. The animals are enclosed in a natural habitat and one feels like entering "Tarzan's" jungle. During the day, the visitors can participate in the feeding programs and marvel at the animals in close range. The elephants are one of those that fascinate me, so I had to spend Sing$5 for the feeding basket after watching their show. They call me Jane but I don't get to feed elephants in this side of town, ha ha.

    Great Wonders at the Zoo:
    White Tigers - three of them running around in their own sanctuary unmindful of the tourists who are busy taking their pictures.
    Rift Valley of Ethiopia - a troop of Hamadryas baboon alongside nubian ibexes, jackals, rock haraxes and banded mongoose.
    Elephants of Asia - my personal favorite, watching the elephants bathe and bask in the sun put a smile on my face.
    Wild Africa - find the King of the Jungle, cheetah, orangutan and the kudu.
    Polar Bear - yep, there's one playing in the pool!
    Fragile Forest - go inside and see the fluttering butterflies, birds, arboreal animals and sloths. You will aslso find the world's biggest flower in here.
    Animal Rides and Animal Shows
    Flora and Fauna - the garden with the view, orchid garden and the tropical fruits plantation.
    Great Wonders at the Night Safari:
    A wildlife adventure in the dark, be sure to take a tram ride across the land and discover the odd creatures playing, preying or just sleeping the night away oblivious to the visitors' presence. In the tram, a tour guide rides with the group to assist in the exploration. Though I 'm sure it is a thrilling experience, I didn't go through the walking trails anymore because I was too tired from the earlier tour at the zoo.
    The Night Safari opens at 7:30pm and is a few meters away from the zoo so I suggest you devote half of your day for these tours. Be sure to purchase the combo tickets to be able to avail of the discounted rates.
    Singapore Zoo and Night Safari - 80 Mandai Lake Road, Singapore;

    Monday, May 22

    Mall Of Asia And IMAX Rocks!

    My in-laws received special invitations for the grand opening the other day. But because I just got back from Singapore, D and I went straight home. I was too tired from the trip. Too bad.
    So this afternoon, with enough strength for another "lakwatsa" we took time to visit the mall and the IMAX of course. The mall and the cinema rocks to the max!
    There were two movie choices - Everest and Nascar. D and I share the same passion for car racing so we opted for the latter 3D movie. And boy we had fun, fun, fun!
    Dont' forget to check out the Coke Chill Station and the view from the cinema's exit, too. What are you waiting for? Go visit the mall and enjoy.
    Mall Of Asia is in Pasay City, Reclamation Area. Just remember to take note of your parking slot and the entrance from there because the alleys can be quite tricky.

    A Bird's Eye View Of Jurong

    From the hotel, I walked throught the park and took the MRT Outram Park Station going to Boonlay Station, and then rode bus #194. I enjoyed the ride and was at the park in a breeze.
    The brochure says Jurong Bird Park is one of the world's best in the conservation and display of over 9,000 birds in natural settings. And with more than 600 bird species, it took me hours to go around the area and take pictures!
    I got there early so when I entered the World of Darkness, I got scared a bit. Ha ha. I was alone in the dark and all I heard was the owls' noise. Spooky!
    My favorites :
    Jurong Falls - measuring about 100 feet; is the tallest man-made waterfall in the world. It creates an ideal environment for the birds, fishes and plants within the area.
    Flamingo Lake - has about 1001 Flamingos in the area. Pink is my favorite color, makes sense?
    Scarlet Ibises and Spoonbills - anything with a touch of pink!
    Parrot Paradise and the Macaw Courtyard - colorful birds and everything nice ~ picture perfect!
    Before I left, I watched the All Star Birdshow at the Pools Ampitheatre which started at 11:00am.
    A must see in Singapore! Visit the Jurong Bird Park at # 2 Jurong Hill, Singapore. For more details check out their website at
    Oh, I suggest you take the panorail ride. You'll be charged an extra Sing$3.3o but it's worth it. After all, you are a tourist.

    I Conquered Singapore In 2.5 Days

    Unlike my trips to Hongkong and Thailand where I shopped 'till I dropped (Oh, how my bank account cried!) I promised myself that my trip to Singapore will be devoted to sight seeing, and that's exactly what I did! What's there to love in the Lion City? A lot actually, but my tours would say...
    - the friendly and helpful people
    - a small room with a comfy bed and delicious buffet breakfast at the Copthorne King's Hotel (special thanks to my best friend Oya, my sponsor for this one)
    - Jurong Bird Park, Singapore Zoo and Night Safari
    - Sentosa Island and all the attractions that go with it
    - Siloso Beach
    - the view from Mt. Faber
    - Outram Park and Fort Canning Park
    - Singapore River
    - Orchard Road for the shopping centres and the night life
    - Bugis Village
    - Bugis Street for great shopping bargains (take a peek inside the Consex Shop, naughty he he and taste the Gourmet Bakkwa in the neighboring stall)
    - MRT and the buses
    - Raffles Hotel
    - Chijmes
    - The architectural designs of Central Fire Station, MICA Building, Stamford Court, the City Hall, Parliament House, Singapore Management University (the building looks more like a shopping center than a university) and Bugis Junction
    - Singapore Art Museum
    - Singapore Botanical Gardens
    - Clarke Quay and Boat Quay
    - Esplanade Bridge, Read Bridge, Coleman Bridge and Elgin Bridge
    - Trishaw rides
    - Boat rides
    - Cable car rides
    - China Town
    - Little India and the Zhujiao Centre
    - Arab Street
    - places of worship (churches, mosques, temples,synagogues)
    - Esplanade Theatres
    - Fountain of Wealth in Suntec City
    - they have Manila Street
    - Changi Airport (especially the Nexus Lounge, sunflowers, orchids and yay! free internet)
    - Hmmm...another visit?

    Saturday, May 20

    There's Always A First Time

    My recent trip to Singapore was memorable in a lot of ways not only because I had a great time but because it was full of "firsts".
    It was my first time...
    - to travel abroad alone.
    - to book a flight on-line.
    - in Singapore.
    - to go abroad without a travel package so I had to go around the city on my own.
    - to use a city map and found out that I am good in finding places!
    - to ride the MRT and a bus in a foreign country.
    - to walk alone in the streets at night without worrying of being robbed.
    - to travel abroad without shopping. *sigh*

    Now Blogging at Changi Airport

    Free internet. Woohoo, I just had to try it, lol. In a few minutes I'm boarding my plane back to Manila. Can't wait to post my stories and pics about the trip!

    Tuesday, May 16

    Leaving On A Jet Plane

    Yay! All my bags, (well, two bags actually) are packed and I'm ready to go...
    Be back in a few days, so will post when I come back. Wink. That is, if I can help it, he he. The hotel is fully equipped so I can blog from there, if I'm not too tired from all the tours. Ha!
    Okay, I'll bring "pasalubong" if I can.
    Bye bye for now.

    Sunday, May 14

    Free Trial Workout From Fitness First

    Because of the typhoon, I wasn't able to push through with my original plan of going out-of-town for a spa treatment. Who would want to go to Tagaytay on a rainy day and miss checking out the magnificent view of Taal Lake? Definitely not me.
    Somehow, someone up there was kind enough to give me a replacement for the lost fun ~ Mercy of Fitness First Robinson's Manila called me to confirm my appoinment for a free trial work out. Ooops, I forgot that one! Good thing we didn't have plans for the day, so D and I made it to our 6:00 pm schedule.
    The whole experience was a blast! A wide screen for movie watching at the exclusive treadmill room, the disco themed cycling room complete with mirror ball, disco lights and sounds, yoga group sessions, belly dancing, hip hop, body jam group classes, a membership kit (body bag, towel and water jug), steam bath and sauna room, top of the line gym equipments, diet plan from the nutritionist, free body assessment and 2-day personal trainer for only Php2,190/$44 per month. We almost signed up for the membership right away if only we were bringing our credit cards and some checks. The on-going promo offer of waived joining fee is good until tommorow only (hey, make that today!).
    Thing is, it seems we changed our minds already. I mean, I'm not really a health buff plus we have a gym here in Heritage and all officers can avail of it's services for free but I seldom visit the place. And Dylan has regular basketball games.
    Oh well, maybe the free trial is the first and last of our Fitness First.

    Saturday, May 13

    A Day in The Neighborhood

    One of the perks in staying in our place is the accessibility to public transportation, hospitals, universities, spas, a hotel and our favorite...ahe he eating places galore. A lazy housewife I am so I promised D I would treat him to lunch instead of cooking. Ha ha!
    He was of course expecting a fancy place like Kamameshi but much to his surprise, we stopped right in front of Sosing's Carinderia. He can't believe his eyes when he saw the place and uttered "YOU eat here? How did you find out about this place?" Hmm...I was assigned in Casino Filipino - Pavilion when I discovered the place. During one of our executive meetings (Yes, our naughty Building Administration Officer made us eat food from the carinderia! Until now, the Senior Branch Manager doesn't know that, he he.) I tasted the most delicious Mechado and Bicol Express ever so I traced the roots. I was told that it was home-cooking and bought from a carinderia. I made a mental note to visit the place, but it was only today that I got the chance to do so. And gladly, my loving hubby was with me to savor the experience in eating at a carinderia after so many years of not being able to. We ordered beef caldereta (no mechado today), bicol express, ginataang puso ng saging and 3 1/2 cups of rice. Boy, it was a feast. Ang sarap! And the best part was that the bill is as expected ~ cheap.
    A few more steps and we reached Becky's Kitchen, a bakeshop famous for their chewy chocolate crinkles and perfectly baked fudge brownies. We ordered a slice of Swiss Chocolate Cake and three pieces of crinkles.
    And our lunch, no, our day was complete!

    An Action Packed Friday

    No matter how tired and sleepy I was, when D told me we were going out to watch MI 3, I immediately jumped out of bed. I'm not missing any movie of my all-time crush since high school, huh!
    The movie was superb! As always, Tom Cruise never failed to flash his signature smile at his best angle of course, making me want to scream "I love you TC!". lol.
    There was the usual face and voice imitation, the scene where Ethan Hunt suddenly drops and then halts suspended on air a foot from below before finally touching the ground and the high-tech gadgetries from beginning 'till end.
    There was one disappointment though, they didn't show how he got the vial which supposedly contain the "rabbit's foot".
    After the movie, while drinking at Dencio's, D had to listen to all my blah blahs...kept saying I can't imagine anyone else playing Hunt's part and how TC moved so gracefully you'd think he is real, etc, etc. Not drunk but star struck!
    It is my favorite movie of the year. Unless of course, another Tom Cruise movie shows up this year, he he.

    Friday, May 12

    Puerto Galera, A Paradise

    My first visit to this place was seven years ago and a lot has changed since then. I shared the excitement with first timer D as we hopped out of the Gorgonilla boat in White Beach.
    Perhaps because it was a Wednesday, a few people were on the island and until we left, we enjoyed the serenity of the place.
    We had our lunch at Myra & Medelaine's Place and the owner was kind enough to suggest that we leave our things with her since we were not getting a room as we were going home the same day. She even allowed us to take our shower (for free) at their place before heading home. The next locals we met were just as hospitable, making us feel like we were home.
    The usual stuffs are available by the shore - bars, souvenir shops, the henna tattoos which D & I tried, the Php200/$4 massage which lulled us to sleep for a few minutes, turon, banana-q and halo-halo stands, camping supplies and diving gears for rent and speed boats/jetskis/flying fish/banana boat rides at super low rates.
    Our last activity for the day was the banana boat and surprisingly, this time we enjoyed the ride and the fall!
    We could have gone island hopping and snorkeling (which Manong offered at a very cheap price) but time didn't allow us to. We had to take the last 4:30 pm trip to make it just in time for my 10:00 pm shift. Sayang.
    Total expense (bus/ferry/terminal fee/f & B/tattoo/massage/banana boat) for 2 pax was Php2,700/$54. Isn't that cheap or what?
    We are definitely coming back for more of this island!

    Thursday, May 11

    Thursday Morning Conversation

    Went like...

    At home, about 4:30am..
    Me: B, wake up. I'm thirsty please get me a glass of water. Takot ako lumabas, madilim pa eh.
    D: *Yawns* Okay. *absentmindedly goes to the kitchen*
    Me: *Gulp* Thanks B. Ang aga natin nagising. *Giggles*
    D: Ikaw diyan e.
    Me: Alis tayo. Out of town pero huwag na tayo dala ng car para exciting.
    D: Cge, let's ride the first bus we see.

    At around 6:00 am we took the first bus going to Alabang. In Alabang we saw a bus terminal and a sign that said Batangas Pier. We didn't want to waste time so we boarded the first bus to leave.

    On the bus..
    Me: Saan tayo bababa?
    D: *confidently says* Sa pier.

    On the pier..
    Me: Ngek, B this is the Batangas Pier! *a little nervous* Do you know where we're going?
    D: Hinde. Pasok tayo.

    We rode the first boat bound for Puerto Galera...

    Tuesday, May 9

    Good Morning ?

    This is my 4th night shift this week and I dread it. It upsets me not only because I have to work at unholy hours when everybody is expected to be asleep and enjoying their fluffy pillows, (for normal people that is, as for me, my nights are spent glued on my laptop, enjoying our airconditioned room and surfing non-stop!) but also because I welcome daylight with awful sights on my way home. This morning I took a few pics to share with you, please bear with me. I have nothing against our country, but who wouldn't think twice about leaving the Philippines for good if this is what you see every single morning?!?

    Who am I?

    • I'm j
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    • beach babe
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