Now for the more “eventful” part of my trip where I got to spend time with more family, as well as the little ones from my Garcia side.
Day 6: Family time
This was dad’s only full day in his very, very short trip to MNL. His two other siblings and my Lola were all complete for lunch at Sumo Sam in The Block, SM North Edsa. To be honest, I am not a fan of Japanese food – perhaps because I’m not into sushi but their Ebi Tempura was not bad at all. We also ordered Kisu Tempura which if I remember correctly, was fish tempura. Their Miso Soup was really good too! Well I’ve never really been disappointed with any Miso soup. We also enjoyed Beef Teppan which was medium rare – the meat was quite hard I’d have to say but good flavours. Also headed over to Gigi’s Custaroonery stall near the Cinemas of SM North Edsa which was what we gave away to our HK family back home.
Day 7: Manila traffic and delicious food!
Dad was set to leave today but before heading off to the airport, I accompanied him with some final errands. We went to visit my Lolo. It does make me sad that I never got to meet him and I know so little about him… Soon after, dad decided to make a spontaneous trip to Estrel’s Caramel Cakes Bakery in Diliman to bring a cake back to HK. It then started to pour so we headed home for a quick lunch and decided to head to the airport early, anticipating traffic. And boyyyy were we right! We were on the road for maybe three hours? Crazy. After we got to the airport my Titas, cousin and I headed to Powerplant Mall where we did some window shopping! Then had a lovely dinner at Via Mare to treat ourselves from that drive! I honestly really enjoyed the food at Via Mare. It’s a Filipino restaurant (yes! Filipino again!) and pretty affordable I’d say. We ordered: Tuyo Fried Rice (dried fish flakes and scrambled eggs) – real good!, Oysters Rockefeller (spinach, bacon and 3-cheese!) – pretty good but to be honest, not a big fan of oysters., Pinalutong na Tilapia (Crispy Tilapia (fish)) – loved it! and Crispy tapa (beef sirloin) – also good! Later that evening I treated the boys to a late night Starbucks session at Tomas Morato (credits to my Tita who acted as our chauffeur haha). Got to try their Toffee Nut Latte Frappuccino (not the best to be honest) but was nice spending time with the boys.
Day 8: Drama and the largest milkshake ever!
Rough start to the day with family drama but I’d rather not elaborate on that! Original plan for the day was to have lunch at Casa Verde and head to the mall afterwards with my aunt for some shopping but because lkahsg disrupted our plans for the day, we only went with lunch plans. We headed to UP Town Center – particularly liked the vibe here and tons of dining outlets to choose from! Lacking on the retail outlets but thats fine by me! There was Cotton On – where we spent over an hour while waiting for our table at Casa Verde. And I also managed to snatch a knock off version of Toms in cream lace! Casa Verde I’d assume would be a Filipino restaurant but to my surprise was a very American-Westernized place! With “The Milky Way” – the largest chocolate milkshake ever! Which by the way was VERY good – unexpected considering its size! “The Mighty Ton”, a 12-inch, 1 kilo, bacon mushroom cheeseburger looked too much it almost looked a bit sickening to me! I mean I am no burger fan to begin with so that might be why. “Brian’s Ribs” was a set of ribs and fries for just PHP250! Really cheap for what it was – and it wasn’t bad at all! Overall a very good meal despite the looooooong waiting time.
Day 9: Cronuts and Little Ones
Got up bright and early as I headed over to stay with my cousin and her family in Greenhills for a couple of days before heading back to Hong Kong. We headed to The Podium, more of an upscale mall in Mandaluyong – basically the business district of Manila. Had lunch at Wildflour Cafe + Bakery where I FINALLY(!) got a taste of cronuts. It’s been a while since this was a craze in the Manila but I never got to try it. I particularly liked the Maple Bacon Cronut (yuuuuuuum). Also tried the Dulce de Leche Cronut but wasn’t a huge fan. For lunch, my cousin and I split a lasagna – not too bad as well but the cafe was on the pricey side. Also visited Greenhills later that afternoon and did a teeny bit of shopping and got to see my pamangkins (niece and nephew in English in case you were wondering!). Had dinner at Kimpura, a midscale Japanese restaurant. Again, not the biggest fan of Japanese food but not bad. Also got to see the annual Christmas story at Greenhills where a display was set up of the nativity story directly in front of a Christmas bazaar with lots of street food as well.
Day 10: Shopping and pamper afternoon
Began the day with some shopping at Greenhills – take two! Shopped a little more today but practically circled the same area three times! Clearly not the best at directions!! What I like best about Greenhills is I can shop cheap and no one back home in HK would even know how affordable I got that top for hehehe. Had lunch at California Pizza Kitchen then it was pamper afternoon! Finally got that haircut and hot oil I was longing for. Went a little shorter this time and am honestly quite happy with it. Decided to go ahead and get a manicure too because why the heck not, it’s not like I get my nails done in HK! We later had dinner at Barrio Fiesta, a Filipino restaurant (yup! again).
Day 11: Crepes, Politics, Traffic and Departure
Last day in Manila! Scheduled my flight to be later in the afternoon so I could still enjoy a little of the day. We headed back to The Podium for lunch to pick up the cronuts I was bringing back home and had lunch at Cafe Breton, a quaint little cafe but does great with their crepes! I had their Galette Rustique (okay fine it was a Galette not a Crepe – potato, potatoh! same thing). It was a “galette” with smoked bacon, tomato provencal, mozarella and sunny side up egg – really, really good! Too bad I didn’t get to snap a photo of it. After that, we faced the traffic and headed to the airport – honestly, our trip was not as bad as when I had gone to the airport to drop dad off a couple of days before but was still not an easy breezy drive – typical Manila. I was at the airport a lot earlier than my scheduled flight – better early than late! Decided to get an iced coffee as I was beginning to feel a little under the weather. Look at my effort to become a coffee drinker. Still haven’t conquered hot coffees though! #2015goal The journey back to HKG was a little tough with heavy delays on ground and a little delay on air but was finally back at home by 10PM that evening.
Overall my Manila trip was very worthwhile especially after not having been back for over a year. What was important was that I got to see my relatives and that’s all that matters. Really hoping I can make more of an effort to visit my family in Manila.
So sorry this post has been so delayed! So so SO delayed that my Christmas post overlapped but I had some trouble uploading the photos into the post but I’m on my laptop right now and told myself I needed to get this up before 2014 ends! I honestly haven’t been feeling the best since I’ve gotten back from my trip which was almost two weeks back. Been suffering from what I assume is a nasal allergy attack but woke up yesterday feeling a thousand times better (or it could be Sinutab working its magic) so I hope this keeps up.
I had originally intended for one more post to go up before the year comes to a close but I have an early start tomorrow with work and then NYE Party preparations all afternoon so we’ll see. If not, it could just be a look back at my 2014 once 2015 hits. Till next time xxx