Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Happy Birthday Lia .... in Boracay!!!!

Yes!!!  Finally ...  my real birth day!  No other place for me to celebrate with my sister but in my favorite happy place called, Boracay!

 I have been waiting for this weekend for months.  I went to mass almost every day of August just to pray for a fun, safe and sunny trip to Boracay.

God did not disappoint me!  God is good, God is kind and God is merciful!

On the day I was leaving, it was the height of typhoon Mina.  When I was about to board the plane, the rain stopped.  I liked Seair because the trip was short, about 40 minutes only, business class seat size and free transfer up to Boracay port and vice versa.

Speaking of ports ...... it is the Habagat season .. which means the winds are coming from the west.... very strong winds at that.  The usual Caticlan jetty port can not be utilized by small sea vessels, had to use another one on the farther side of the city.  When we got there, it was low tide and the boats could not dock near the shore.  They made an improvised gang plank!

Sheets of plywood on top of plastic barrels to keep them afloat.... and everybody had to cross to get to the boat!!!!  I do not think the senior citizens can handle it because it was swaying while we were walking on it!

Some parts did not have hand rails!  I asked my porter to hold my hand.  The boat ride only took 7 minutes.

When I got to my destination, it was not sunny but at least it was not raining!!!  I could not ask for more.  I was already happy.  It was very cold, the wind was strong and chilly.  I had to wear my windbreaker... still... I felt cold.  I had to put my beach bag behind me to protect my back from the wind.

Our hotel was Two Seasons, beach front and accessible from the main road. This is very important because when you get tired of walking and walking and walking along the white beach, you can just take a tricycle going back.   It was a nice mid-range hotel... same price range as Boracay Regency, Astoria and the likes.  It was clean, service was good and the staff was pleasant, always greeted you with a smile.

We arrived in the mid afternoon and had not eaten lunch yet so I brought my Ate to my favorite Japanese restaurant at the southern end of the island, Nagisa Coffee Shop, Station 3, Angol Point.  We did not want to eat a full meal since it was late afternoon, we just shared an order of my favorite Mixed Tempura and Ate  shared the Gyoza with me.

Tempura is the only thing I like to order in that resto.

We walked all the way to station two to try the batchoy of Decos.

LOL  I told my Ate we should not eat a lot because we will not have space in our stomachs for the food we would like to eat.  It was perfect for the cold windy weather.

For the late afternoon dessert, we tried the Baked Cheesecake of Cafe del Sol.

Hahaha  soooooo... it was eat... walk.. eat.. walk... then eat again.

It was too far to walk back to the hotel, we just rode a tricycle.  I have already eaten all the must try food in Boracay, except at Kasbah and True Home Indian food.   Still waiting to crave for it, so far... have not called me yet.  On this trip, I only wanted to eat what I want and not what I should try.

So dinner was just at a nearby restaurant, Bama Grill.  We ordered the Pork Sinigang ... I loved it!

I am a Pork Sinigang fan and this dish is 9 out 10.  The best is the recipe of Mariger and this comes second.  They used fresh tamarind as opposed to the sinigang mix and hugas bigas that was why it was foamy on top! With lots of vegetables and tender liempo.

Ate ordered grilled tuna belly.

It was grilled perfectly, it was moist and flavorful.  Very hard to grill tuna, sometimes it comes out tough and chewy.

No more energy for clubbing or midnight snack!  An early night for us. 

Happy Birthday, Lia!!!!!  I woke up at 9 in the morning!!! The sun was out! Yay!  Thank you God for the perfect birthday gift - bright and sunny day in Boracay!

Breakfast was served buffet style at the restaurant of the hotel facing the beach.  I just got tapa, sardines, rice, red egg, waffles

ham-cheese-mushroom omelet and toasted wheat bread.

Time to hit the beach.  The waves were huge as usual at this time of the year.

 It was wonderful but I was prepared. Even if it was out of fashion to wear a one piece suit in Boracay, I did!  Hahahaha I did not want to get undressed by the waves again, which happened last year, several times because I was wearing a 2 piece tankini suit.

I felt the waves were excited to see me as in... Welcome Back Lia!!!! Every time a wave would hit me, it was like ... Nice to see you again! ... We missed you!  No wardrobe malfunction this time.  There were other people in the water, most of the women were wearing 2 piece string bikinis... I was waiting and waiting for the waves to untie the stings but nothing happened!!!!!  Why... why... why!!! Then it dawned on me that maybe the waves only chose round people! hahahahahahaha.

My birthday lunch was at D Talipapa.  I have been dreaming of eating there again.  It is an ordinary place, I could cook better than them but still .... it was where I wanted to eat.  We bought in the wet market the female crab, sea water prawns and oysters.

Butter Garlic Prawns.... Ummmm Yum!!!  Margarine galore!  Hahahaha.  Loved it.

Grilled Oysters

Green Mango Salad

Chili Crabs... with lots of aligue... the crab was so sweet, succulent and fresh!

Fresh because it was easy to remove the shell, the meat did not stick to it.

We ordered Garlic Kangkong because we needed to equalize the bad with the good. 

My birthday fell on a Sunday and we heard mass at  Our Lady of the Holy Rosary Church.

I asked the little girl to write my name on the sand, I wanted to have my picture taken!  Hahahah Cheesy!!!  I know!  But I loved it!

I was kneeling for quite a while when the little girl asked:  You only want to kneel. (Hmmm my question mark key is not working.)  I answered NO!   Then I said: Ate!  Give the girl my camera.  hahahaha  Well, I thought it was a funny story.

We could not eat dinner anymore even if we wanted to because we were still full from our late lunch.  We just had a snack at Epic.

Epic Nachos

Ohhhh did I tell you... Wriggly went with us!!!!

Hahahaha NOOOO he was just a Wriggly look alike.  The woman brought along her pet.

Another tiring day.... no time for clubbing ... LOL... so we went back to the hotel at around 9.  Our goal was to eat the burger at Ambassador in Paradise for midnight snack.  We liked it the last time but there was simply no space.  All Seats Taken.  Standing Room Only!!!! (Hehehe...  in our tummies.)

I loved the breakfast the next day.  Bacon!  Lots and lots of bacon!!!  I had bacon with rice and red egg,

I had bacon, waffles and fried egg!

I also tried their molo soup.

I asked the cook what brand it was, it sounded something like, Belcrest.  Will have to google it and find out.

The waves were really huge that day.   Even more so than the day before.

I was standing on knee high water but the waves were over my head.  I was still on the look out for a wardrobe malfunction from the girls in sting bikinis but it never happened.

We enjoyed the crab at the D Talipapa on my birthday so we decided to eat it again! This time, just steamed crab.

Also got grilled liempo

and BIG clam soup.

A visit to Boracay is not complete if one does not wait for the sunset.

It was really beautiful.  I have seen several sunsets here but each time was different.

I read in some blogs that the Lemon Chicken in Ariels House is a must try, so we had it for our appetizer,   Ummm with rice.  hahahaha.  This was the only must try food I ate.

The Boracay craving of my sister was Aria.  The last time we were there, our next table neighbor had the Caesar Salad... soooo also we ordered one.

It was her turn to choose the food, she got Spaghetti Puttanesca.  I was still full from my Chicken Lemon,  I just split the pasta with her.

The dessert was Mango Cheesecake from Cafe del Sol.

My Ate loves all kinds of cheesecake.

Clubbing time!!!   Hahahaha  Noooo.... back to the hotel by 9pm.  Too tired... clubbing hour starts at 11 or 12.  No more energy... all we wanted to do was lie down and rest.

Breakfast on our last day was just so so ... I only got the tocino, fried egg, tuna flakes, rice, pancakes and omelet.

Last day to take a dip in the ocean.  Waves were not as strong as the previous 2 days... I do not understand why people jump when they see a wave coming towards them.  Well ... I followed what they were doing  and it sure felt fun!!!  And Silly!!! So....  why not!

I wonder ... why is it that I stayed 4 days in Boracay and it still was not enough for me.  I did not want to leave yet....  so many things I still wanted to do, so many food I wanted to try but not enough time to eat my way in Boracay!  Hahahaha.  Good thing I already booked my November trip!

It was a wonderful birthday present from my Ate.  She also enjoyed herself. 

Ate was saying: Do not take my picture yet!!!!

Thank you!  Thank you!! Thank you!!!  Until next year!

Friday, August 26, 2011

A couple more birthday celebrations

I swear, I must have gained several pounds over the month!!!!  I was whining to my friends earlier that my shorts do not fit me - about 3 inches gap! I could not button it anymore. But then they said ... never mind Lia, it was Happy Birthday everyday!!!!

Tita Portia and I had lunch at Lili, Hyatt Hotel.  We had the dim sum buffet, our favorite.  She asked me where I wanted to have my birthday treat.  I was thinking of Passion at Resortsworld but I have not tried it yet, so I just stuck with something I am more familiar.

They gave us a card and we wrote down the number of pieces we liked.    They did not let it sit on counters or carts because everything was made after placing our orders.  It was a long list!

Roasted Pork Belly - crunchy skin and tender meat.

Steamed Dumpling, Shanghai style (sio long bao)

I just tried one steamed fish dumpling.


Deep Fried Sichuan dumplings

Steamed Pork and Shrimps Sio Mai with Quail Eggs

Chicken Feet with Black Beans

Steamed Char Siu Bun

Ham Suy Kok

Steamed Pork Spareribs

Deep Fried Taro Puff

Radish Cake

Baked Barbecue Pastry - our all time favorite!!!!

Wintermelon soup

Taro Cream dessert

Masachi Balls with White Chocolate Filling

I did not over eat this time! Just mostly the steamed dim sum.  Hahahaha  I know ... the food seemed a lot but believe me... I used to eat more!!! But now I know how to control... well ... as much as I could.  I do not like eating fried and greasy food.  My stomach is not used to it.... anymore.

This birthday treat was my celebration with Tita Portia.

Yesterday, I celebrated with my nephew, Renzo, who is five years old  and  my niece, Soph, who is 12.  Celine and Mona were also with us.  It was a "kiddie" birthday party.   A simple one but delicious just the same.

My friend, Tin, has been cooking my Children's Sweet Spaghetti and I also wanted to make my own.  The menu was really for a kid's party.

A simple affair of Spaghetti

Hotdogs with Marshmallows

Selecta Rocky Road ice cream and

Cake - Barangay Bel-Air gave me a small Costa Brava Caramel Cake

Hahaha My kind of food.  I love attending children's parties more than adults parties.  It brings out the child in me.

It was so much fun celebrating my birthday almost everyday with special people I love.  My friends would greet me in FB all the time... one even sent me an email and asked:  Lia, when is real your "birthday"????   Hahaha  I accepted the greetings and thanked my friends  even if it was not yet August 28  because it was Happy Birthday Lia Everyday!!!