Monthly Archives: August 2011

Forest Hill RnR

It’s back-to-work Wednesday and it wasn’t a wee bit stressful for me.  Should I be worried?  Maybe it’s just the calm before the storm.  Anyway, no big deal.  I’m feeling quite optimistic about work as of the moment.  I guess it’s good that our boss is in town.  I get to discuss a number of things with him and he seems willing to listen.  (Yey for me!)  And he seems to take my side with the possible changes/adjustments along the way.  Still not looking forward to having a new HR Manager though.  But I’ll live.

I’m still reeling from the long weekend though.  It’s been quite some time since I’ve enjoyed lounging around and taking it easy.  “Chillaxing” as one of my friends would say.  My eyes are a bit tired though.  Probably from all the swimming I’ve done yesterday.  I’ve gotten a shade darker but nothing so noticeable.  Thankfully.  The best part?  No muscle pains!  Quite amazing really.  I usually end up with a sore an lethargic body after spending a day in the pool.  But then again, it technically wasn’t a whole day activity.  One of my officemates invited me and some of our colleagues to go to Forest Hill yesterday.  A sort of last hurrah for the long weekend.  Turns out, it was only me and one of our maintenance staff who were available.

Our sweet hosts

Kuya Don's Humba..

Grilled Chops

Grilled Fish




It didn’t matter though.  The food was bountiful and the ride was free.  I just had to bring my stuff and pay for my entrance and everything else was set.  The trip to Forest Hill was a bit long.  And the sun was shining ever so brightly… communing with the celebration.  But I love road trips.  And even the harsh rays of the sun couldn’t put a damper on my spirit.

Forest Hill

The last time I went to Forest Hill was 1o-11 years ago.  When we got there, the improvements that have occurred over the years were worth applauding.  For one, they’ve expanded their area.  Another, they added a kiddie pool complete with mini slides, fountains, and showers that all the kids and the kids at heart would love.

Kiddie Area

After taking in the changes of the place, it was time to spread out our food.  It really pays to know people who are good in cooking.  The food ate Berlie and kuya Don prepared for us was just perfect for a day out in the pool.  And for a party of 5 kids and 6 adults, the amount of servings was more than enough not only for lunch but for an early dinner too.

With the week starting out at such a positive note, I’m pumped up with enough happy thoughts to look forward to the challenges to come.  But before that, better get some shut eye.

Good night everyone!


My Sunday Around the City

I was feeling quite dejected early last Sunday.  Mom still wasn’t home from her trip and I was getting pretty tired of skipping meals.  So armed with my gadgets and a couple of bucks, I was out on a mission to have my day out in my home city.  First stop?  Breakfast at Jollibee.  Yup, a bit shallow but I’ve been craving for one for their Breakfast joys meal for quite some time already.  And I remember Dad used to buy us breakfast on Sundays at Jollibee once in a while.

Breakfast Joy

My breakfast joy:  Fried rice, a piece of Longanisa, egg, and hot choco.  Just the perfect start to keep me energized.  After debating where to go next, I boarded a jeepney to take me to our city center: City Hall.  I was planning on being able to go into the Museo Dabawenyo (one of the two museums of Davao).  Unfortunately, contrary to what was listed online, they already close during Sundays.  Tough luck.  I did get one good photo of a new addition in our city.  I don’t know what’s it called.  But it’s a clock located in our city center.

The Town Clock (?)

After taking a couple of other jeeney rides around the metro, I ventured off into NCCC Mall.  One of the few malls I rarely get to go to due to proximity issues.  Glad that I went there too.  I finally found where my long-lost-out-of-stock-pined-for shoes have been hiding.  The Adidas CC Modulate W meant for running.  And the exact color that I’ve been crushing on too!  Sad though that I didn’t have money with me.  BOO.  Anyway, here’s the photo of the pair.  As what the saleslady said, it’s for the “elite” runner.  My thoughts… elite-terate? LOL.

For the "Elite" (terate) Runner

It may be an old design compared to the new ones that have come out recently.  But I find this one SO appealing.  And YES, it’s the color.  It just screams ME.  Aside from that, it’s also very light and comfortable for my feet.  With the Adidas fun run coming up this Sunday, September 4, the debate in my mind continued: Resist loans vs. Personal Gain.  Decisions, decisions.

To be continued…


Moving forward, I then went to SM City Davao (another mall I rarely go to).  Nothing much to see.  So after going around some choice stores, I went off to ride another PUJ to Gaisano Mall.  With the prodding of my BFF achi Toffee, I went to Abreeza Mall to place a period in my malling.  Half-expecting and half-worrying that I’d bump into my boss and his family, my mind seemed to magnetize my most-thought of possibility.  Upon entering Abreeza, lo and behold!  The first few persons I ran into was my 2 bosses and their daughter.  Oh well… After the pleasantries, I went off to look for a place to grab a bite and rest my back and feet.


One of our office’s Senior officer has been plugging about Hukad and the good food they serve.  So when I was at the 2nd level of Abreeza, I chanced upon Hukad’s open-to-the-public displayed menu.  One of the waitress/cashier came up to me to assist me in my queries.  With my tight budget, I was hesitant at first.  But seemingly noticing my plight, she offered their budget meals to me.  A choice of Budget Meal A: Chicken barbeque, with unlimited rice and bottomless iced tea, plus a serving of soup and a siding of eggplant salad; or Budget Meal B: 3 pieces pork barbeque with unlimited rice and bottomless iced tea, plus a serving of soup and a siding of eggplant salad for only Php 99.00.  The said budget meal is available every 2:00PM to 5:00PM.  Checking with my watch… still 4:00PM.  Hmm… why not?

Budget Meal A

Now “hukad” by definition means to scoop out or if in Cebuano or Visayan terms, to set or to serve food.  The restaurant is aptly named since it specializes in Filipino food.  Next time, when I have enough cash, I’ll try out their other dishes.

Anyway, just to share with you.  I just LOVE the food that I ate.  After eating in a number of restaurants specializing in barbequed food (the likes of Penong’s, Banok’s, Mang Inasal), I never expected to experience a different taste in chicken barbeque.  For one, Hukad’s chicken barbeque was soft and easily removed from the stick.  Juicy and with just the right amount of seasoning.  The soup wasn’t loaded with MSG, and their eggplant salad gave the right touch of “homely” feel of the whole meal.  And to think that I NEVER eat eggplants at all.

I got a kick out of the designs of their lighting fixtures.  Their light was enclosed in “kanin na nasa puso” designs.  “Puso” is another variety of how rice is cooked.  perfect for barbeque foods.

Biko with Sesame Seeds on Top

Aside from my budget meal, I also ordered one of their snack servings.  Biko (Sticky Rice) with your choice of drinks.  What makes this delicacy delicious is that it’s served hot.  And the sesame seeds on top gave it an extra oomph.

Having had my fill of malls, I eagerly walked home.  I do mean walk since Abreeza is just a couple of blocks from our place (especially since I know a couple of shortcuts).

I was still a bit wound up to take a rest and since our office declared that it’ll be observing the holidays for the 29th and 30th of the month, I needn’t worry about staying up late.  I decided to walk off my excess energy and at the same time try out my shoes (Yes, I did get it!) killing two birds with one stone.  I felt so light!  But running was out of the question yet.  My plantar fasciitis still keeps on bothering me.

For a day that started out not so well, ended up to be one of the most fun days I’ve had by myself.  But still, I’m still open for anyone who’d like to join me next time on my self-mapped out adventures. 🙂

Food Trip Friday: Barrio Bistro

Dining alone on Fridays has become a habit. I don’t mind though.  Looking at it as a “me-time” experience. The food’s a bonus too.

This week’s target? Barrio Bistro. It’s a small family-type restaurant located around our neighborhood.  I could even walk to Barrio Bistro if I had difficulty grabbing a ride.

This would be my second time dining here.  The first one was with my “Kuya Consultant” Kjell. Things were pre-tty different since the last time I ate there. For one, it was far less quieter.  Unfortunately, during my second wind (so to speak), the restaurant seemed to have been the venue of a “small” reunion of sorts of a group of friends and their families.  I tell ya, they’d put a marketplace to shame with the noise they make. Sheesh!  But then again, it was fun observing them.

Anyway, sans the “reunion” going on, the place had a comfortable feel to it.  No glaring lights to disturb you. Plus, the place was WiFi enabled. Glad I brought my lappy!  I was first seated at their al fresco area at the back but when I noticed a mother and her son who opted out of the recently vacated table inside (and I was sitting by the table they preferred), I requested the waiter to move me inside and they could get my table.  Win-win.

I ordered their grilled pork chop spiced with choice herbs (I forgot what they were) which I paired with a Pineapple-Orange Juice.  I also ordered pizza to-go.  What’s great about this place is that it serves Buy 1 Take 1 Pizza everyday from 2:00PM – 5:00PM and from 8:00PM – 10:00PM for both dine-in and to-go.  Different from all the other pizza places around the city offering only this promo from 2:00PM – 5:00PM and for dine in only.  I didn’t get to wait too long for my dinner.  10 minutes tops.

My chops..

The chops were a bit dry but delectable all the same.  I prefer more juicy ones but nothing that a little seasoning of soy sauce wouldn’t solve.

The Hawaiian

What really piqued my interest was the raves about the “chewiness” of the pizza crust.  I mean, huh?  What would that taste like?  I decided to try it out.  In the end, it’s still food.  And I could never go wrong with my favorite pizza flavor (The Hawaiian! LOL).

True enough, the crust WAS chewy!  Not bubblegum-type chewy.  But dough chewy.  Ok.  It’s not really a helpful description.  I just can’t think of a particular food that tastes the same… yet.

Don Calzone..

 I opted in bringing home my buy 1, take 1 pizzas.  At least I get to savor it more at home.  They charge an additional Php 10.00 for every pizza taken out (probably to pay for the boxes).  Not bad.

Barrio Bistro

Barrio Bistro is open daily from 7:00AM – 12:00MN.  So they cater for the breakfast crowd up to yuppies out for late night gimmicks.

How to get there?

If you’re coming from J.P. Laurel St. (Bajada), you take a left along McDonald’s along Victoria Plaza and go straight towards Bo. Obrero by Lacson St. You’ll pass two intersections (Porras and Cervantes streets) and you’ll see the bistro on your left before E.Y.’s Tuna. I’m not sure if they’re delivering but their telephone number is (082) 222 3366.

Not actually my best review.  But I hope this one got you guys interested! 🙂

The Perfect Breeze…

It eludes me.

Searching for its presence… words escaping how to describe it.

It teases me.

Rifling through my senses of memories that have passed…
longing to turn time back to simpler days.

It soothes me.

Coming at the most unexpected moments, caressing my face…
exuding comfort and contentment.

Remembering Kadayawan Festivals of Past

As a city girl, celebrations within the metro wasn’t much of a new for me.  When I was still a little girl, my dad would tag me along to catch live the float parade both during Araw ng Dabaw (every March 16) and the Kadayawan Festival (during the 3rd week of August).  With a lot of people in the streets during those times, I was always carried by my dad piggyback so that I could see the dances and floats parading along the city streets.

Dad and I stopped having our “dates” when I was in 5th Grade (I think).  He got contented with watching the festivities on the tube rather than experience it upfront.  I didn’t mind then.  Until now I’ve grown comfortable in appreciating our festivities for the fact that it’s a celebrated holiday within the city.  Meaning, NO WORK.  (That was before though when I was employed elsewhere.  But that’s a different story).  It also meant MORE SALES = EMPTY POCKETS.   LOL.

The month of August has been always special to me.  Aside from it being my birth month, there’s a lot of celebration all around.  When I was still studying, it was always the time for our School Fiesta and kick-off for Intramurals.  Plus the Kadayawan fanfare.

So what is the Kadayawan Festival?

In simple terms, a celebration in Davao to give thanks to the “gods” for the bountiful harvests, celebration of life, and the diverse culture of the city.

Wikipedia would define it as:

The Kadayawan Festival is an annual festival in the city of Davao in the Philippines. Its name derives from the friendly greeting “Madayaw”, from the Dabawenyo word “dayaw”, meaning good, valuable, superior or beautiful. The festival is a celebration of life, a thanksgiving for the gifts of nature, the wealth of culture, the bounties of harvest and serenity of living.

Today, Kadayawan has transformed into a festival of festivals, with a number of spin-off festivals in the region. The festival honors Davao’s artistic, cultural and historical heritage, its past personified by the ancestral “lumads”, its people as they celebrate on the streets, and its floral industry as its representatives parade in full regalia in thanksgiving for the blessings granted on the city. A celebration that interfaces the three aspects: tribal; industrial and; arts and entertainment. The festivities are highlighted with floral floats, street-dancing competitions and exhibits that showcases the island’s tourism products and services.

As I mentioned in my previous post, I wasn’t able to take any photos of this years festivities.  But thankfully, I have a wonderful bff who just LOVES taking pictures.  So, with her permission, I’m sharing some of the photos she took during the celebration.


To the sky...

The Winner of the Pamulak...

You can check her blog here.

Hope you enjoyed!


Thanks again BFF for sharing your wonderful pictures!

Missing Out on the Kadayawan Festivities

Kadayawan Festival, Davao City

Image by Andy*Enero via Flickr

Today was the culmination of Davao City’s Kadayawan Festival. With activities set as early as dawn kicked off by the Phoenix Run Series, then the most anticipated float parade, and a whole lot of other events going on around the city… deciding where to go and what to do would be quite a dilemma.  Add to that the traffic in the key places for the festivities.

I ended up staying at home though.  With all my initial resolve early in the morning to go out and snap a few photos to share, I ended up with nothing.  Nada.  Zip.  Zilch.  I was just too tired from last night’s ball game.  Then there were other pressing matters (of the female kind) I couldn’t just ignore that’s currently causing me discomfort… I opted to slip away into (start theme music: Lazy Song by Bruno Mars) the LAZIES.

The festivities started early this week but my work isn’t exactly holiday-friendly.  Even on a declared holiday, our boss needs us to work.  Darn.  Last Friday was declared as a Special Holiday.  If our inventory ended early, we could’ve gone home by our target time: 9:00 AM.  But noooohhhh… questions and discrepancies had to arise.  And we finished it by 4:00PM.  Too tired to venture out, I went home to rest and freshen up.  It was only by night time that I met up with Macks at her niche in the 1st Grand Kadayawan Bazaar in Davao Convention and Trade Center.  Had dinner together with her family, then simply watched people weaving through the exhibits.

I wanted to catch at least a few of the festivities earlier too.  But no more float parades lay in wait for me.  The street market was still open along People’s Park but nothing fancy or unique stood out for me.  Didn’t even whip out my camera to take photos.  All the while thinking to myself how it sucks being single at times.  Pathetic really.  Seeing people around me walking in pairs, HHWW (Holding Hands While Walking) was quite an eyesore.  But then again, being able to freely walk on my own when I want to has it’s perks.  At least I didn’t have to please anybody but myself.  And I had my constant companion with me… my iPod.  LOL.

That’s all guys.  Did I waste your time?  Not exactly something worth sharing.  But hopefully next time, I’ll get to be more active.  I’ll post a link soon on photos taken by my bff once I get her approval.

Good night!

Food Trip Monday: Tia Nina Pizza and Pasta

Better late than never!

 Payday on a Monday and I felt like celebrating after the week of mixed emotions mostly stemming from my birthday.  I was craving for pizza then so when clocking out came by, me and one of my good friends decided to have dinner at TIA NINA PIZZA and PASTA.

 I got first taste of their pizza when we were doing our inventory in the farm.  I didn’t have my much-wanted fill of their pizza then (probably because of the loads of work that came along with our inventory), so this would’ve been my self-brandished first time.

 We went to their Guerrero branch and, though quaint and a bit small, the place had a homey and comfortable ambiance with it.  It was probably a bit early for the dinner crowd to start bustling in when we arrived and that suited me fine.  At least I get to bask on the “feel” of the place.  The staffs were quite accommodating and knew when to come over rather than just hover around like vultures.

The entrance from the inside


The countertop


Paintings all around..

 Our food order consisted of 2 1-piece greaseless chicken with rice, 1 Regular Hawaiian Supremo Pizza (I just LOVE Hawaiian-flavoured pizza!), and a pitcher of iced tea with a total bill of Php 260.00.  Not bad for a post-celebration expense!

 The wait wasn’t too long since the only other customer that time was already served his meal.  So in a couple of minutes, our chicken meal and drinks arrived, followed by the pizza.

The Greaseless Chicken Wings


The Pitcher of Iced Tea


Regular Hawaiian Supremo Pizza

All in all, my whole Tia Nina experience was gratifying.  The greaseless chicken was affordable and delicious, their pizza was thin but had lots of toppings that every bite you took was truly satisfying, and the place was just arranged in such a way that it’s easy to feel comfortable with.  I’m looking forward to eating out with my bffs there some other time.

Tia Nina has two branches in Davao.  One at 575-C Guerrero St. corner Sta. Ana (in front of SKS Hardware).  The other one is at Felcris Supermarket, Toril Davao City.

For more information, you can check their Facebook page here.

My [What A]Day

My day started out pretty gloomy.  No breakfast set on the table, no steady chants of the “Happy Birthday” tune from Mom or Dad, no presents by my bedside.  Waking up early wasn’t too appealing… but I slept early and oversleeping would have caused unwanted headaches.  Not a good thing to carry the whole day.  I wanted to take a leave of absence (even an unpaid one) but there were a number of pending workload at the office.


I longed to be serenaded “Mañanita-style” – early morning singing from a group of friends to start my day.  But, so far, I haven’t had the privilege of that activity.  The more traditional greets I get are the midnight texts (and calls!) from a few of my closest friends.  2 people greeted me that time.  Tol and my ex bf.

The day continues…

I didn’t really know what to expect.  But with the numerous birthday greetings I got in Facebook, plus the personal greets (and off-key singing) from my office mates, it was hard not to feel a tinge of warmth inside me and cause a breakout of smiles.

Here are a few simple surprises that made my day:


Flowers taken from a decoration at the office given by 2 of my teammates/officemates


Rocker Girl’s Gift (For my basketball days)

A bouquet of flowers was also delivered in the office from a secret admirer (not really, let’s just pretend to make it more exciting! LOL).  I’ve always wanted to receive a package of that kind.  A truly heartwarming experience.

My day became quite hectic in the afternoon.  My scheduled interviews pretty much took up my time.  I was feeling a bit guilty not being able to provide, at the least, light snacks for the office.  But I had no choice.  Being broke is such a stressor!

I wasn’t too eager to go home and celebrate by myself.  Thankfully, bff Toffee told me her sis wants to meet up with me.

Maybe Ate MM will be giving me the souvenir she promised from her trip! Weee!

Bff Raisa was also coming along to meet up.  A welcome company.

Surprise, surprise!!!

Ate MM, came along with 3 boxes of Cello’s Donuts & Dips (as per instruction of her younger sister/bff Toffee).  Definitely unexpected.

I still miss the numerous personal greetings from people I know but this one sums it up.

DSC01478  DSC01479     DSC01480


Thank you BFFs Toffee and Raisa!  Thank you, Ate MM!  Thank you for making this day special for me.  I guess no matter which part of the country we are (or the world for that matter!), going the extra mile, being able to put a smile in our faces and uplift our soul, will never be a problem.  I’m still a bit sad for a couple of things, but It’s not much of a big deal now. Smile

Thank you.

Birthday Thoughts and Memories

Tomorrow I’ll be a year older (and hopefully wiser).  But somehow, celebrating it doesn’t hold any thunder like it did before.  No sense of excitement… rather, with a tinge of foreboding.  Maybe I’ve finally become jaded.  After years of half-expecting and half-wishing something special will happen – surprises around the corner – I’m putting my foot down in being realistic.  Daddy wouldn’t be waking me up early in the morning to greet me a Happy Birthday, no midnight text barrages from my circle of friends and then some…, no more personalized greeting cards or group cards with all the birthday wishes from classmates and colleagues, etc…  Even Mom is out of town.  Somehow, I’d just wish it were an ordinary day tomorrow.

My office mates are dropping hints asking what will I be preparing for them on my day.  And for once, I’d like to be just greeted without being asked to throw a party (or shoulder the food and drinks) just to make it FEEL special.

I miss school life.

Those were the days that my closest friends would surprise me with just the simplest of things.  Too bad though that I often catch them on their plans.  But it’s the thought that counts.  I miss getting letters and little notes from them.  And frankly, those unexpected surprises always put a smile on my face.

No more of that though.  As an early present, I had to terminate one employee this afternoon.  Then tomorrow, another labor case to attend to.  A Happy Birthday to Me! Quite a gloomy backdrop.  It’s not easy to be unaffected.

Another reason not to celebrate?  Funds.  Payday’s a few more days and I’m low on budget.  Plus there are a number of debts to pay up on.  SIGH…  Let’s skip this one.  Sort of depressing to linger on.

How I wish… a LOT of things.  Like, to be greeted, to be remembered, and to have some things to smile about.  I’m trying to think positive… Hakuna Matata, No worries, Everything will be alright.  My mantra’s not working.

I seem to end up down these days.  Being alone sometimes sucks.

Anyway, I’m perking myself up listening to Allstar Weekend’s Not Your Birthday.  Catchy. Here are a few stanzas.

Every clock is ticking faster
Taking trips around the sun
Another year, another chapter
5 and 4 and 3 and 2 and 1

Drop your calls, lose your keys
Before the night is gone
Get yourself out your seat
Oh, oh

Quit complaining, move your feet
Until the break of dawn
‘Cause nobody really cares about
The day that you were born

Except for everyone who ruins your birthday
You gotta party like it’s not, party like it’s not
This song’s for anyone who is having the worst day
You gotta party like it’s not, party like it’s not

Party like it’s not, party like it’s not
Like it’s not your birthday
Party like it’s not, party like it’s not

Party like it’s not, party like it’s not
Like it’s not your birthday
Party like it’s not, party like it’s not

Weekly Photo Challenge: Mountains

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