I went to Malaysia!

Hey everyone!

This seems as good a time as any to tell you all that I actually have a travel blog!

Now, I am aware that I have entries on this blog that are about the places that I go to, so you might be wondering why I have a separate blog that is supposed to be for the blog entries that are about the places that I go to. The reason is: Because I can. :P

Also, because I was supposed to take travel writing seriously, except most of the time I feel more like writing about personal/mundane things, so instead of putting entries in my travel blog, I put them here where things are more informal and comfortable.

Anyway, I spent August 9 – 12 with my best friends in Malaysia and I wrote all about what we did here: 3 in 4: My Trip to Malaysia

I hope you all visit and leave a comment. :D

Girls’ Day Out Again

It was X’s birthday yesterday! Happy Birthday X! :D

To celebrate her birthday, we decided to go to Ace Water Spa in Pasig.  We’d planned it months in advance so I was able to take a day off from work. Strangely, even though we went there in the middle of the day on a normal weekday, there were still quite a lot of people in the spa. The number of people was almost the same as when I first went there, which was on a Saturday. I guess they’re busy all week long. But it’s fine. There were enough lockers, showers and dressing rooms to accommodate the many guests, so I’m not complaining.

It’s prohibited to take any pictures inside the spa (understandably, as everyone’s in swimsuits (which is basically intimate apparel) and it’s not a beach/resort (and honestly, you wouldn’t want to take photos anyway haha) as you’re supposed to just relax and enjoy the massage and herbal pools, so we didn’t take any. But you can see a bunch of pictures at their website: Ace Water Spa

Anyway, we were there from around 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. We could’ve stayed longer if we wanted, our Metrodeal vouchers allowed us 4-hours use of the spa, but we decided to leave after 3 hours because we were already hungry. :P

I had to look at the map when we were on our way to the spa. We are both from the South so Pasig is a strange land to us. Anyway, that’s how I discovered its proximity to some of the many interesting places to eat at in Kapitolyo. I was just there a weekend ago with my former officemates for a Food Workshop ;) wherein we ate at Egg-it and Silantro Fil-Mex Cantina. This time, X and I decided to go to Milky & Sunny.

It’s a really cute, kind of artsy little restaurant with turquoise walls and if we weren’t so hungry we’d probably have taken more pictures. Anyway, they serve breakfast all day, so we ordered two of their breakfast specialties: Strawberry Cream Cheese Pancakes and the Big Breakfast (corned beef, sausage, bacon, (scrambled) egg, bagel, hash brown). For drinks, X had the Moroccan mint tea and I ordered the chocolate milk shake.

I have nothing but praises for everything we ordered, except for the chocolate milk shake. It’s too sweet for me. But no matter, there are many other drinks to choose from, so it’s not a reason for me not to return. :)

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An even more likely reason for me not to return is the distance, really. It takes at least an hour and a half for me to get there, and there are many other all-day breakfast places I can go to in between. But I would definitely recommend it to anyone who doesn’t live as far away from it as I do. :)

One of my Favorites in Italy

So late last October to early November, I went with my parents (and sister and brother-in-law) to Europe. We went to Norway, Germany and Italy, but we spent most of our time in Italy. In Italy we spent most of our time in Rome and on our last day there, we went to Parco degli Acquedotti.

It’s a public park that’s near a residential area, a cinema and even a train station so I suppose to the people there it’s not a big deal anymore. We saw some picnic tables and people who were jogging, too. Just like you would see at a regular park. Except, it’s not a regular park. It has some of the most beautiful aqueducts in existence.

I didn’t even know what aqueducts were until we got to Rome and my friend J, who is an architect, told me that I should find them. I don’t think they’re something that most tourists normally include in their itinerary. In fact, we didn’t see any other tourists when we were there, which I guess is a good thing because we felt like we had the park all to ourselves, but also kind of a shame, because that meant that so many people miss seeing it. And when we went there it was almost sunset so the aqueducts were bathed in light.

Nowadays, because of how far camera technology has come and how easy the Internet makes it to see amazing photography, it’s hard to find a place that is still breathtaking even after you’ve seen a version of it under perfect lighting conditions in ultra-high definition on a big screen. But Parco degli Acquedotti, is almost otherworldly.

I only wish we could’ve spent more time there.

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Looking for Pie in Tagaytay

I read somewhere on the Internet that the Puzzle Mansion’s coconut cream pie was “the best buko pie”. Because I want to dispute everything (don’t we all?) and firmly believe that Lety’s Buko Pie is the best buko pie ever, I asked my friend R to come with me to Tagaytay City. She agreed, and then we figured that since we were already going to Tagaytay, we may as well eat Bulalo and do other Tagaytay things like, buy pineapples.

We met up at Festival Mall to take the shuttle that takes you straight to Tagaytay City. It’s outside the mall entrance/exit that’s near Goldilocks and it costs only P75 per person. I must say, it’s the most convenient way to commute to Tagaytay City if you’re from the south (I don’t mean Cavite/Laguna, of course). The only problem is that you have to wait for the shuttle to be filled before it leaves. We waited for about an hour so I’d say that it’s not the best option if you’re on a schedule. Still quite convenient, though. :)

We arrived at Tagaytay an hour after the van we were on left Festival Mall. We got off at the rotunda and crossed the street to ride the jeep. Our first stop was Green ATS Bulalohan. It’s along the Aguinaldo Highway, but make sure to take the jeep that’s going to Nasugbu because the other ones turn right somewhere before you reach the area (R and I learned this the hard way, unfortunately.) Anyway, here’s a link to Google Maps: https://goo.gl/maps/yMtNM

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We ordered their special bulalo (for 2), 2 cups of rice and 2 bottles of soft drinks. It cost us around P250 each, which I think is reasonable. Especially because we had this to look at as we ate:

Taal volcano and lake

#nofilter

Tagaytay wasn’t as cool as we expected, but the breeze was still nice and sunny days make the best pictures. :) I’ve seen this view about a hundred times what with Tagaytay being relatively close to where I live, but I still love it. Because it’s beautiful! Diba? :D

Anyway, after eating bulalo, we were in the condition to have some dessert so that’s when we went to the Puzzle Mansion. We had to walk just a little bit from Green ATS Bulalohan to get to the corner where you take the tricycle to Puzzle Mansion from. A tricycle and (very) short jeepney ride later, we were at the Puzzle Mansion. It costs P100 each to see the gallery/museum, so we just went straight to the restaurant. It’s not that I’m not interested in puzzles, I just really really wanted to try the coconut cream pie at this point. :P

R and I tried a slice each first. It’s P50 per slice and P350 a box (8 slices). And we had iced coffee, too. Iced coffee isn’t in the menu, but you can request to have the brewed coffee served iced. The people in the restaurant were really nice. :) And the coffee was really good, too. :) And the main event? Really, really, really good. :D

coconutpie

My craving, nay curiosity, was satisfied. The coconut cream pie isn’t just delicious, it’s also quite different from anything I’ve tasted. I do have to say this, though: It’s not the best buko pie ever, because it’s not buko pie! Simple as that!

I’m not even sure if it can be called a pie in the first place because by definition, a pie is “a food that consists of meat, vegetables, or fruit cooked inside a case of pastry or below a layer of it.” Inside or below, it clearly states, and the fruit in this case is above a layer of pastry (crust) and below a layer of cream. As well, pies are traditionally hot, and this must be served cold. If you were going to compare it to something, I’d say it should be compared to cheesecake. Or, fine, key lime pie. Except that those are tart, and this is sweet and creamy.

Well, semantics has always been a tricky thing. But I still think “best buko pie” is such a misrepresentation of this. Either way, it tastes great, and I’d say worth the trip!

After we finished eating the slices we ordered, we got a box each to take home. Outside the Puzzle Mansion, before reaching the highway, there were some ladies selling pineapples and because it almost wouldn’t have been a Tagaytay trip if we didn’t get any, R and I bought 2 large pineapples each. (Also, our mothers asked us to buy pineapples. Oh, mothers. :P)

Before heading back to Manila, we wanted to pass by Bag of Beans, supposedly just to buy some coffee beans or raisin bread, but we ended up indulging ourselves and having breakfast for (early) dinner. :D

bbbeans

eggs benedict, signature coffee, country breakfast

Yum yum yum. We would go home with our stomachs thicker and wallets thinner, but I have no regrets. I mean, look at that bacon. #nuffsaid ;)

We managed to catch the last trip of the van back to Alabang and arrived at Festival Mall just a few minutes before 9 p.m. A few minutes after 9 p.m., I found myself getting a hair spa at David’s Salon. But that’s another story. I hope you all enjoyed your weekend!