Off to UPLB!

It was a fine Monday and we can’t be thankful enough of the overcast weather because we had to go to UP Los Baños and submit the requirements for Lot’s dormitory application. After leaving our things and the office and the collared shirt I would be wearing for work, Mon and I went straight to the Taft area to ride a bus going to Los Baños. To our surprise, the JAM Liner terminal there did not have any bus departing for Sta. Cruz, the route passing by College, to UPLB. One of the drivers there told us to go to Green Star’s terminal few meters away, and we had barely missed the bus because it was already in the highway, about to leave.

Welcome to UPLB!

An hour and a half, we already arrived at our destination. I was really excited to go there again because I haven’t been to UPLB for a very long time. I have extremely fond memories of the place and seeing the familiar environment brought the feeling back. When we were about to disembark, I remember checking the people online on Facebook to see if some of my friends from Elbi were online. Good thing, Russel was available and I messaged her immediately so we can meet up with her. But we first had to go to the University Housing Services to submit the application requirements.

University Housing Services in UPLB

The University Housing Services is located just behind the College of Development Communication, near the Carabao Park just after the university’s entrance. We thought there was a long line of students waiting to be entertained but they were actually queueing for something else. We just entered that door above and was entertained by the lady in charge after finishing a phone call (and from what I’ve heard, I inferred that it was an inquiry in sending the application via mail). If only we were not hoping to secure a good room slot for Lot, we could have just sent her application via mail as well. However, it was a first-come, first-served application and every moment counts. In less than five minutes, then, we were done with our ‘mission’ and we had to do something else.

I called Russel and she was in a library near BioSci, just behind the University Registrar. So we had to walk from the Housing Services and passed by the Humanities building. We also saw a group of people in the Registrar, looking at two sheets of paper containing information about the wait listing process in UPLB.

Oblation in UPLB, in front of the Humanities building

Flow chart of application for wait list and wait list criteria for UPLB for First Semester 2013-2014

 

Then just as we reached the parking area in front of BioSci, I immediately saw Russel waving from a distance and I was so happy to see her. =) She was busy finishing her graduate thesis and was hoping she’d finish it in time, thus graduate this semester as well. Good thing the library was quite lax and did not require us to present our ID. After a few minutes of catching up, we eventually left to walk around the campus because of the impending downpour.

With Russell

 

The nearest attraction was the Pegaraw in front of the Main Library and I wanted Mon to have a closer look at the peculiar sculpture.

On our way to the UPLB Main Library to see the Pegaraw

 

Pegaraw in UP Los Baños

 

 

There were a lot of students walking past and it was difficult to get a good shot with it. We also had to stand behind the sculpture because the sun was shining behind it and we did not want to showcase our silhouette with the Pegaraw. This explains why Mon’s picture below had the bum shown in full detail. LOL

Mon with the Pegaraw - UP Los Baños

 

We then scrapped our walking-for-leisure pace because we still had to travel back to Makati. We wasted no time going to the Freedom Park to have a look around; and we also had a great time having our pictures taken, albeit quickly. Just an hour earlier, we were so worried that it might rain but the moment we set foot in the Freedom Park, we realized that we stressed ourselves out for nothing. In true UPLB fashion, the weather was unpredictable.

Mariang Banga - UP Los Baños

 

Mon  and I in the Freedom Park - UP Los Baños

 

Freedom Park and the Fertility Tree - UP Los Baños

 

In the Freedom Park, with the Fertility Tree and the  Carillon Tower in the background - UP Los Baños

 

Mon also wanted to get a good picture of the Men’s Dorm, which we will be showing to his sister. Hopefully, her application to that dorm gets approved, so we can all cross out the accommodation problem out of the list. If that happens, she will be getting an email from the Housing Services and will have a week to confirm her reservation — and we will accompany her back to UPLB. ^_^

Men's Dorm - UP Los Baños

 

 

We left UPLB at around 4:30 PM but it took us almost 20 minutes to reach Olivarez again, as the traffic was horrendous. Contrary to what I’ve expected, there were also few buses bound for Manila passing by and we had to wait for 15 minutes just to catch one. We rode an HM Transport bus with ‘Cubao’ signboard and we asked the driver if we could get off in Ayala. But to our dismay, they won’t be stopping there so we just opted for the Magallanes stop. We also paid about Php 95 each, more than what we paid from Taft to Los Baños using Green Star liner (i.e. about Php 73 each). But I guess we were still lucky because the bus driver told us an hour and a half after (yes, the flow of traffic from Los Baños to the entrance of SLEX was ridiculous), just as we reached Magallanes, that they would be dropping us off to Ayala instead. Yay! No more MRT!

Kim n' Chi goodness

 

We then had a good dinner at our favorite place in Glorietta’s Food Court, Kim n’ Chi! We were so hungry because all that we had eaten during the whole trip was two pieces of butternut doughnuts, a can of iced coffee, a pack of Piattos and a liter of bottled water. I initially wanted to suggest eating dinner in Los Baños but we would have definitely arrived much later given the slow travel back. Anyway, I’m still looking forward to going back to UPLB next week in the happy event that the dorm application turns out well!

See you again in July!

Today is Mon and I’s 4th year and 5th month together and a few minutes after the clock had struck 12, he gave me a piece of paper with a note and a drawing of the Eiffel Tower and some French macarons from Max’s. =D First of all, I did not even know that these are called as such, and I initially thought that there was a mistake with the spelling (i.e. macaroons). The irony of a French major not knowing French food.

French Macarons from Max's

We had a plan to meet up with Ikle today because he is going back to China tomorrow until the semester ends in July. As it is still winter there, I decided to just give him one of the trench coats I bought last November online. I was in such a hoarding phase that I bough two black coats, with this one in the smaller side. It fits me snugly, but coats are not supposed to be like. It should have a little room for the clothing to move nicely and coat’s purpose is just for cover. I had thought that he would love it.

Black Zara Man double breasted trench coat

Ikle wearing the Zara Man trench coat I gave him

So Ikle arrived in Makati at half past 4PM, tugging his suitcase back for China. As he already planned to stay in the house of one of his friends he met in China until his flight tomorrow, he already brought all of his things with him. Over coffee and some pastry, we talked about what lies ahead of us in the coming months, and possible plans when he finally returns in July.

Coffee with Ikle before he returns to China

Ikle, Mon and Gina

Ikle, Gina and I

Ikle and I - Purple polo shirt, H&M black v-neck sweater, brick pants, Red Wing boots

I actually felt sad to see him go again, but his return in July is definitely a shorter wait than the year and a half when he first left. LOL It was so weird to see time fly so fast, as we all felt that he arrived just a week ago rather than three weeks. See you again, Ikle, and don’t forget to eat properly but avoid greasy Chinese food as much as you can!

A few hours later, Mon and I had our late dinner at Tempura Japanese Grill right across Ayala Avenue, from our office building. I was still admittedly full but it was already late and we can’t put off dinner for another hour.

Tempura Japanese Grill

Waiting for our food to arrive

We did not order much but we still had a little difficulty finishing everything off: chiken roulade, mixed tempura, agedashi tofu and kaisen raisu.

Chicken roulade, mixed tempura. agedashi tofu and kaisen raisu - dishes from Tempura Japanese Grill

We barely finished eating the rice and tempura, and I was already gasping for air. I was really full. I honestly felt bad leaving something on the plate, as my siblings and I grew up being told not to leave even a single morsel. It eventually showed in my face and Mon had to ask me what was the matter. LOL All in all, it was a good day, even if it meant saying goodbye again to my friend for a few months. Happy 4Y5M again Mon! <3

My personal Masterchef!

I had barely woken up when Mama handed me out an envelope from BDO. First, I thought that it was a pre-approved credit card. I had no intention of having one, even if I was already called by several agents trying to woo me over the benefits of owning one but to no avail. When I opened the envelope, this was securely plastered on the paper:

BDO's Emerald Rewards card, which can essentially function as an SM Advantage card

Over breakfast, I read the accompanying letter and with the help of Google, I found out that what they sent me was essentially an SM Advantage Card, the BDO way. =D Interestingly, in one of the get together’s I have attended last December, Marcial gave a thorough explanation over the benefits of an SM Advantage Card and I was genuinely interested in having one. So after eating my food, I immediately registered the card and it was already ready for use.

Purple V-Neck shirt, brick jeans, Red Wing 875 boots, Gucci microfiber messenger - Manila, Philippines

Since last month, I got accustomed to wearing a comfortable cotton top (preferably, a T-shirt) on my way to work and just change in the office because until now, I still feel a bit uncomfortable. But two months from now, summer will officially start and I plan to buy lots of cotton T-shirts and polo shirts to prepare for the blazing heat. I also plan to go back to the tailor who made my favorite pair of black pants to have at least two more pants done: khaki and navy blue. But unlike last year where we bought all the way from Kamuning’s famous fabric market, we will just buy it in the Public Market of Marikina. Even if the fabric costs less per yard, it was such a hassle to go there again. Besides, the fare alone already made up for that supposed-discount.

Since the start of the year, I made a personal pact to continue with my quest to bond with my stationary bike. I was also fortunate enough that I no longer have to make this effort clandestine to Mon and he was supportive of whatever it was that I wanted to do. We’ve been trying to eat healthy as well, with occasional cheat days. I’m also very grateful that his cooking skills has been more apaprent because he has been cooking our snack at home more frequently.

Mon's herb and garlic pasta

Mon's herbed marble potatoes

Mon prepared this light cappellini aglio olio and marbled potatoes with a strong garlic flavor, which I absolutely loved. Both were cooked in olive oil and I was very fast to finish my share. He admitted that all the marathon watching of Masterchef US since last December has inspired him to cook and cook more lately. =D I also learned how to cook before. When I was in grade school, I remember my mother teaching me how to cook some dishes because she had to go and work abroad again. Well, as my othe siblings were more adept at cooking, I just let them do the chore and I was perpetually relegated to take care of the dishes after (and that continues until today). My brother even has impressively perfected and improved my mother’s baked macaroni recipe. Her fiancée was also good at cooking (they have prepared lunch for all of us last Saturday)! Good thing that between the two of us, Mon can cook quite well, or else we’re doomed to takeaways!

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.