Remembering my grandmother

The 8th of March marks my late maternal grandmother’s birthday. If she were still alive today, she would have turned 77 years old. I wasn’t able to visit her grave last All Saints Day and the last time I went to the cemetery was during her interment. Because of that, I had already decided since January that I would visit on her birthday and good thing it fell on a Friday, when I could comfortable wear jeans and sneakers. New façade of San Juan City CemeteryAfter I had passed by St. Claire in Katipunan, Mon and I met in Farmers Market to buy some flowers. I forgot to bring some candles with me, but as it was raining lightly, they would just be easily extinguished. Cemeteries always give out a somber atmosphere, and the gray skies did not help to alleviate the gloom. Looking for the exact place of my grandmother’s grave, we got lost on the first turn because of the weeds growing around it. She’s sharing the same place as her mother and uncle, as seen in the tombstone (though her mother’s was written separately).

Flowers for my grandmother's 77th birthday

We then heard footsteps approaching us and they were made by a middle-aged lady, who probably followed us from the entrance. It was very annoying to hear her jabber about the state of the grave, and offered monthly cleaning services. I was honestly at the point of telling her off because I was really in the middle of deep reflection. It was difficult to think and concentrate when someone was just talking away and pulling weeds and shrubs. What I couldn’t understand was why she chose to do her cleaning while we were there, having a quiet moment in front of the grave. And when we left 15 minutes after, she was already trailing behind us. >_< So, why destroy my quiet time? The realist, suspicious side of me thought that the lady MIGHT take the flowers away, after we left the cemetery.

Home Made Carrot Cake in San Juan City

My sister will be jealous!

Before leaving the area, I told Mon of this place, which my sister and me has chosen as a de facto landmark since we were little. As far as I can recall, we’ve been watching out for this giant carrot because it meant that we were already near the cemetery. We never had the chance to have a look inside, though, so I took the opportunity earlier to finally visit this homemade carrot cake place.

Price list - Home Made Carrot Cake in San Juan CityEven if their prices were ‘reasonable’, we had no reason to buy a whole cake from them. So we just bought two slices, for the sole purpose of tasting them. Looking at the menu for the first time, I though that a whole ‘carrot cake walnut’ was just Php 185 but obviously I have misread it if I were to pay Php 65 a slice. And speaking of the slice, it was smaller than what I’ve expected, but we still bought some because it was embarrassing to setp out empty-handed. So the verdict: I might not return there for a long time but it was nice to have finally satisfied my curiosity after almost two decades. =D

Colorblind problems: the new Philippine peso bills

It has been raining since last night and I woke up feeling very lazy. I had planned to go on my bike for at least an hour, but alas, the wonderful sight of a pot of tinola and newly-cooked rice caught my attention. Who doesn’t love to eat when the weather is this cold? =D

Helmut Lang textured T-shirt, Bench jeans, brown 8-hole Doc Martens, black Prada nylon and saffiano backpack

No leather bags for today given the rainy weather, so back to my ol’ faithful nylon backpack. I also got to wear another ol’ trusty boots, my good-on-casual-jeans brown 8-hole Doc Martens. In Filipino, this is what we call pangharabas, and I love this pair when it rains.

Sticking out like a sore thumb - SM Blue Residences in Katipunan, Quezon City

I normally do not take the shuttle from Marikina to Makati every Friday because the roads (C5-Ortigas, EDSA, Buendia) are usually more congested than the other weekdays. I took again the long route going to Cubao and MRT. I thought I was going to be late, though, because of the serious traffic jam in Katipunan Avenue and Aurora Boulevard. As we were slowly pacing past the Marikina flyover, I can’t help but look up at this very high building built by SM Residences. I shudded to think how much worse the traffic in that area could be, if this place were to beging taking in residents. And of course, the ground floor will be occupied by establishments, furthermore increasing the number of vehicles going in and out of the area. A very big “GOOD LUCK!” to all of us.

Tea Farm in KPMG Building, Ayala Avenue, Makati City

 

I don't know what kind of plant this is but it looks cuteFinally arriving in Makati with thirty minutes to spare, I dropped by Tea Farm in KPMG Building to buy some milk tea for Mon and I. I have mixed feelings towards the current milk tea obsession happening in Manila now, but I am still fine drinking just a glass per week. Maybe because of the price (averaging at Php 100) or how heavy I feel afterwards with the amount of milk. LOL Well, Mon loves wintermelon milk tea and I needed an excuse to do something about my confusing bills.

Colorblind problems --- the Php 20 bill is the same as the Php 500 bill - I see no difference

 

When I was about meet Faye and Ikle last month in U.P., I rode a jeepney going inside the campus and paid Php 20 for the short trip — or what I thought to be Php 20. I was to pay for something in the Cashier when I’ve noticed that I was missing a Php 500 bill. I was racking my brain how on Earth did I lose my last Php 500 bill, then I recall handing out a yellowish bill. I gave it to the jeepney driver, instead of the 500 one. I had a lot of close shave with this kindof  mistake eversince the government started issuing the new Phillipine bills. I had no problem with Php 20 and Php 500 before, as the latter was on the very dark, golden side (notice how I describe colors? It’s usually bright or dark of a notable color LOL). But the new bills made distinguishing between Php 20 and Php 500, as well as Php 100 and Php 1000 more difficult.

Due to that costly mistake (I was given Php 12 change, instead of, uhm, Php 492), I then learned to keep any Php 500 or Php 1000 bill in a separate compartment of my wallet, far from where I usually keep the other bills. How I wish they made the Php 500 bill darker than the Php 20, I would then have no problem distinguishing one from the other. That small security fiber strip was cleary not enough.

Back to reality

It is a Wednesday and we are officially back to reality and must go back working. Before leaving the house, I thought that it would rain but barely 20 minutes off from home, I was cursing under my breath the humid weather. For a start, I’ve decided to pair again my khaki pants with these Red Wing boots because I think they were a perfect combination. Besides, I know that I should be more smart and stop spending on clothes and there’s nothing wrong with repeating to wear the things you love over and over again. =D

Checkered shortsleeves polo, skinny khaki pants, Red Wing 875 boots, Prada nylon and saffiano backpack - Manila, Philippines

I arrived in the office and saw that Mon was wearing almost the same thing as me again. However, his was on red while mine was on… whatever color mine was. It was not the first time that such thing happened because last September, we had the same thing on. He also began wearing his glasses because of astigmatism. And again, we have the same style of frame but in different colors.

And we got identical glasses

Of course, just like everybody elese, I had to drag myself to work because four days of rest seemed very short. =D Not that I wanted to start the year off in the office marred with laziness but I just can’t stop thinking of my bed, our dining table and our fridge. LOL In all fairness to me, I was able to exercise for an hour by riding my bike again, and even gave our two dogs a bath. I think I’m off to a good start because I seem to start shaking the lazy bug off and get a move on with the things needed to be done.

Winter in Seoul – Day 1: Testing out the winter breeze

*extremely picture-heavy post

So, here starts the strenuous “Winter in Seoul 2012” series. As earlier mentioned, I will not be doing the typical day by day account of our trip, rather complement it with thematic and specific posts that can’t be elaborately explained within a ‘daily’ post, and that will include the breakdown of our budget for the trip (note: like all-in-all, with the tickets, accommodation and dues we paid in the Philipine airport, I have personally shelled out less than Php 25,000 for the whole trip. =D)

Our flight to Incheon International Airport wasn’t until 1:30 AM but we were already in NAIA Terminal 3 before 10:00 PM. When the check-in counters opened by 10:30 PM, we immediately rushed to present our itinerary ticket and paid for the Php 1,620 travel tax. The staff manning the counter also weighed in our baggages to check-in and even if they were already quite heavy, we were still almost 7 kilos short of our combined 30kg limit as we have already paid for 15kg each. It was actually our first time to check-in luggages because since we started travelling together, we only have two carry-ons each and has been used to travelling light. But as we were obviously travelling to a wintery place, our usual baggage won’t cut it.

Mon and I waiting for check-in at NAIA Terminal 3 for our flight to Incheon

Mon and I waiting for check-in at NAIA Terminal 3 for our flight to IncheonAt around quarter to 1:00 AM, we decided to head for the boarding gate. Going there, we had to first pay for the terminal fee, which was already lowered from Php 750 to Php 550. Then next to the immigration officer who had to take a look at our passports and ask questions on how long we will be out of the country, as well as our employment record. It took me only three minutes to finish the whole thing over, but Mon took a longer time. The immigration officer even mistook him for a Korean and immediately talked to him in English. LOL One more thing, they no longer made us remove our shoes, which wasn’t the case when we travelled last year. Good thing because I was already unknotting my laces when the security personnel stopped me.

Cebu Pacific weighing our check-in baggages and we were almost 7kg short of the combined 30kg limit

Cebu Pacific weighing our check-in baggages and we were almost 7kg short of the combined 30kg limit

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