May 29, 2012

Missing Lechon

During our recent vacation in the Philippines, we went to visit my father in the province - Madrid, Surigao del Sur. I made sure our visit coincide with the town's fiesta. That way we get to eat free lechon. LOL!

But on the day we arrived, my father already prepared a little feast for us, even if it wasn't the town's fiesta yet. This was waiting for us at home..

Lechon (crispy skin and delicious meat inside), kinilaw na nukos (my favorite), boiled sweet potato, grilled bangus, budbod na kalibre (suman na cassava, also my favorite), crabs, kinilaw na bangus, etc. I couldn't ask for a better welcome than this. My only regret, I wasn't able to eat well because I was tired from the long trip. LOL!

My brother, with his wife and daughter, who's based in Manila came with us. And my sister who's based in another town in Surigao also came home with her hubby and daughter.

Our old house in Madrid unfortunately only has one room with aircon and with three families with kids, it is just too small.

Good thing, my other brother (the eldest) has a beach house in a nearby town that's big enough to accommodate three families. So we stayed there and the kids had a grand time swimming and playing by the beach.

EJ in Tito Jeff's beach house (background).

Kids having a grand time! My other niece couldn't join as she's barely 2 months old. Looking at the pictures, I realized something's missing. Something like this...

A double lounger at Isn't this pretty and comfy? Next time, I visit the province I'd be sure to convince my brother to buy something like this. LOL!

There's really nothing like home. Just writing this post makes me homesick. How I wish I could go home anytime I want to.

Our next home travel is still next year but we might shorten it and go visit home by October or December this year.

My reason?

I hadn't had enough lechon. LOL!

May 28, 2012

Ready for the Big Kids School

We've been back to Phnom Penh for a week now. Things at home have slowly gone back to its own rhythm. I still have a mountainful of clothes to be ironed but at least the house is cleaner now.

At the moment I am busy with other things.

Two weeks from now, EJ's class will end. And he will have to move on to a bigger school. He's ready for grade 1 (even if he's only 5yo, turning 6yo in August). EJ's Elephant teacher concurs.

But the only school that we've applied to for next year has turned us down. They are full. It's too bad because we liked the school and we've heard nice things.

Now, we don't know where to put EJ. There are still other nice schools around Phnom Penh but it's either expensive ($12,000/year tuition fee!!!) or it's a bit far off from the city (and horrendous traffic, I hear).

I joked and told hubby, EJ should just study in Manila. The tuition fee for grade 1 in a private and nice school is only around $2,500 (give or take a few hundred dollars).

Which one to choose? Savings and nice school? Or the family still together?

It's a tough choice but we know that living separately is not a choice. So, we'll be checking out schools this week. I have three lined up and I am praying for guidance. Choosing school did not seem like a difficult thing to do back then.


Anyway, next week EJ's class will have an End of Term Tea Party. I am planning to bring some baked goodies like this one.

Cheesecake and dipped berries from I am sure the kids will love something like this. I just hope I'll have time to bake. If not, I'll probably just buy from a coffeeshop. LOL!

May 24, 2012

Platform Beds vs. Box Springs

When you are shopping for a new bed, you have many factors to consider. For instance, you need to decide what size bed you would like, what material, color and style you prefer, and how much you are hoping to spend. Another possible consideration is whether you want to shop for traditional beds with a mattress and box springs or platform beds, which consist of a mattress resting on some sort of raised platform. If you are trying to determine what type of bed is right for you, comparing and contrasting the two can help you make an educated choice.

Perhaps the foremost consideration is how the bed will look. Of course, traditional box spring beds are available in a variety of styles and designs, from poster beds to canopies to sleigh beds and more. Platform beds have recently come into vogue for their modern, streamlined, efficient designs. The aesthetic aspect truly depends on your taste and point of view, but if you are looking for furnishings that are sleek, clean and minimalistic, you should definitely consider platform beds, such as those at

Some beds offer more storage space than others do. Many platform beds have built-in drawers and cabinets that you can use to store bedding, off-season clothing or sleepwear. On the other hand, some have solid platforms that do not provide any type of storage while traditional beds typically provide space under the mattress and box springs.

You may spend up to one-third of your life in bed, so comfort is a vital factor to consider. If you opt for a traditional bed, you can choose between a number of different mattress and box springs configurations, essentially building a bed that is ideal for your comfort level and sleeping habits. Since platform beds do not use box springs, you need only select a mattress that you like. The wooden platforms are quite sturdy and offer consistent support year after year.

Choosing the right bed is a highly personal decision, but by considering the pros and cons of each, you can easily choose between a platform and a traditional bed.

May 22, 2012

Hello Phnom Penh!

Just a quick post here.

We're back in Phnom Penh! Our 24-day holiday in the Philippines just whizzed by. As always, I left Manila with a heavy heart.

At NAIA. Smiling, eventhough my heart was aching. LOL!

This particular vacation was stress-free. We were able to do all the errands on our list plus we get to chill majorly.

My laundry is up to my neck but I couldn't attend to it right away as I need to blog first. LOL! I miss blogging, for sure.

Will settle to our routine this week and hopefully get back to bloghopping soonest.


May 10, 2012

Grab the Girls for a Shopping Break in London

London is one of the world’s best cities for shopping, so why not grab the girls and indulge in the ultimate retail therapy?

You can book group accommodation at one of the 30 Travelodges in London, leaving you plenty of cash to splash in the shops.

Oxford Street is a great place to start your shop-a-thon, as it boasts over 300 shops. Try Selfridges for everything under one roof designer shopping, or head to the world’s biggest fashion store, Topshop, for some seriously cool shopping over three floors.

On Regent Street you’ll find iconic London stores such as Liberty and Hamleys – two great places to find gifts for your loved ones at home.

Nearby Carnaby Street has some fantastic smaller designer boutiques, as well as some atmospheric cafes and restaurants where you can enjoy a quick pit-stop.

Those who have some serious cash burning a hole in their pocket should head to Bond Street for upmarket, designer boutiques including Louis Vuitton, Tiffany and Co and Burberry. Alternatively, the swanky department stores of Harrods and Harvey Nichols are to be found in posh Knightsbridge. Don’t forget your credit card!

Covent Garden is a good place to find unique items such as handmade jewellery and rare sweets. You can also stock up on cosmetics, fashion items and shoes while enjoying the atmosphere of one of London’s prettiest shopping areas.

If it’s smart tailoring that you’re after, Saville Row is the place to head. You’ll also find the flagship Abercrombie and Fitch store for those who prefer to dress casually.

For a change from the shops and stores, Portobello Market is an unrivalled open air shopping experience. Pick up one of a kind items such as vintage clothing, antiques, jewellery and books on the market, and in the surrounding shops of trendy Notting Hill.

Making group bookings with Travelodge couldn’t be easier. Simply fill in the online form then dust off those flats ready for some serious shopping.

Stress-free Vacay

This is probably the most stress-free vacation we've had in the Philippines. All we do is shop and eat, shop and eat. LOL!

Seriously, it's hard to resist a little shopping when you are surrounded by malls and they go on sale every other week.

Last weekend, Megamall had a three-day sale. Prices went down to wholesale clothes level. Unfortunately, it was difficult to shop during the sale with a kid. The mall was swarming with people!

In our 13 days here in Manila, we've already done everything we needed to do and eaten in restaurants we wanted to eat in.

Furnish the condo - uncheck (but we found a tenant instead)
Banking stuff - check
Haircut - check
Visit Nido Science Center - check
Jollibee - check
McDo - check
Wendy's - check
Kenny Roger's - check
Banana que - check
Turon - check
Halo-halo - check

LOL! No wonder, we've ballooned quickly.

Tomorrow, we will be flying to my home town together with my brother, SIL, and niece. We will stay there for five days. It's going to be doubly fun because we are in time for our town's fiesta.

Oh, I can hardly wait!

May 2, 2012

Lunch with the Fam

Last Sunday, we had lunch with my family at Yakimix, Greenbelt. Three of my siblings are based in Manila. Only one is based in Surigao. Yup, I have a big family. I have two brothers and two sisters!

A few years ago, when we gather for a celebration, it's just us the adults. Now, we have four little cute kids with us (and one more in the province). It's chaos but it's always fun!

We joked that we are really getting old. Someone said, we need to have professional liability insurance pronto. LOL!
Lunch at Yakimix. Buffet costs P660/person (drinks not included)

Iya, EJ and Sam (Ice was to shy to join.)

Still at Greenbelt, after lunch.

It is so great to be back home and to see my family again! Next week, we'll be flying to Surigao. I can't wait to go island hopping, eat kinilaw and meet my other niece.

A Pause

I have been saying here that we're going to furnish our condominium in Manila. That was the original plan and it was what we really intended to do until yesterday.

Since we arrived here, we've checked the furniture and electronics shop. It has been overwhelming and frustrating because we're trying to make our standards meet with the prices. It's difficult but somehow we've made our choices.

We wanted a contemporary and modern look for the condo, somehow similar to this picture.


Black couch, some yellow from the throw pillow, wooden center table, gray and white rug. I was planning to add some rustic furniture for accent.

We were ready to buy the things yesterday. Then suddenly we received an email that someone was willing to rent our unfurnished condo.

That made us pause. If someone is willing to rent the unit again even if it's unfurnished then we're willing to wait for another year to furnish it. And besides, hubby wanted to repaint the place and renovate some parts.

Let's see if the client will push through. In the mean time, we're busy shopping and eating out.