Choosing a Bowl of Clam Chowder

My family is so nutty like a fruitcake!  It has been weeks that some members of my family were contemplating on revisiting and spending the weekend at Okada Manila, the iconic oceanfront integrated resort here in Manila.  We then decided to visit one Saturday.

And while everyone was fixing and getting ready to do the “pasyal” (translation: stroll) everyone were suggesting what to do and where to eat while inside plush and lavish Okada.  That is until I raised the idea of dropping the plan of going to Okada and we should instead go to S&R where unhealthy American food are available.  My nephew Luis reinforced my idea when he expressed that he is craving for some delicious Clam Chowder which Nengkoy also loved and never misses to order every time we dine there.

While we were in the car heading to sophisticated Okada, everybody then decided to do a detour.  We agreed to replace the long-ago-planned weekend destination, that is, from the grand and luxurious Okada Manila to the huddle-filled and unsophisticated food court of S&R membership-shopping store! 

yummy clam chowder and my greasy pizza!
nengkoy waiting for her creamy and savory clam chowder at the food court

I ended up enjoying the Clam Chowder, a big chunk of pizza and two pieces of crispy fried chicken! And since we are there, I decided to buy a tray of huge muffins and a big bag of toilet paper rolls.  While munching on the greasy pizza, I contemplated that my crazy family’s detour to S&R food court was in agreement to Leonardo Da Vinci’s notion that “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication

Krung krung kasi ang pamilya ko.  Dat’s why!

My 2018 Songs

What was your song last year?  What melody, lyrics and tempo fused into one that moved you and can be considered your best representation last year?  What was that tune in 2018 which you would consider your song?

I got two.  One is a song that I personally did not chose until someone told me it’s me.  My sister after we both have watched the concert of Calum Scott in Manila uttered that No Matter What was so me.  “It fits you” she uttered without me asking her.  Those 3 words she said got stuck and will seem to be forever embedded in my wits! 

My 2018 second song is Para Sa Akin.  Fittingly a Tagalog song, which implies a longing for someone, an aspiration and hoping to be lucky that someone will fall, a promise to be good in case someone falls and without tension and strain letting someone’s affectionate heart beats for me.  I am middle aged, yet, finding someone special is still the ultimate thing that I have yet to receive from the heavens.  Thus, Para Sa Akin (translation: For Me) simply befits me. 

 

You what is your 2018 song?

Drama-dramahan ang peg sa post na ‘to… 

2018 Reflection and 2019 Aspiration

We have now reached the time of the year when we start to reflect on the year that was.  The compilations are starting to come out for the best songs, movies, Facebook and Instagram posts, fashion and all other bests for the year. 

It is also the time for reflection on a personal level: new people we met, new food we have tasted, amazing new sites we’ve visited, new skills we’ve learned, virtues we’ve acquired or maintained as well as the surprising circumstances we have encountered along the way.  It is also the time when we reflect how we’ve been as a human being and what we want to be in the next year.

As for me, I guess all I can do is be the best person that I can be to those who need me.  And to those who don’t need me, just wait and see because sometime next year you would realize that you do crave and long for me.  Hahaha!  I may not have a new set of resolutions but I will definitely do my very best to stay out of the treacherous waters that would be swirling around next year. 

It is the end of the year and it feels like a lot of people are tired and need a break.  I hope that next year would be more peaceful, meaningful and fruitful for everybody.  Let us hope for the best! 

happy new yeaar from sweet nengkoy! 

happy new year! welcome 2019!

Happy New Year and lots of love from me and my mother, Nengkoy!

Yumaman sana tayong lahat!

Christmas 2018 at Nengkoy’s

photo taken by rachelle (nengkoy’s executive housekeeper)

Like any other Christian family, my family every year is at the heart of Christmas.  2018 Christmas celebration is no different from the yearly revelry that occurs at Nengkoy’s abode.  This year though is a little different because there is a little additional member of the family, my 8-month old grandnephew Arziolo.

And as usual, I am the designated person to take photos of the party.  There were so much photos I took last Christmas Eve that I was able to create a short video out from it.  Enjoy watching… 

From Nengkoy and my whole family, let me again greet everybody a very Merry Christmas!  And since this post covers a YouTube video, let me express how vloggers would invite viewers by saying: “Hi guys!!! Don’t forget to press the like button and subscribe in this channel!”  Hahaha!

Mag bayral sana…

Seeing the Lady of Guadalupe Cloak on My Birthday

Last year on my birthday, I went to the Love Valley in Cappadocia, Turkey, and surprisingly met an angel in disguise.  This year on my birthday, I went to Mexico City and saw the cloak of Saint Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin.

My birthday this year was really special because I got to visit the Basilica de Santa Maria de Guadalupe! The basilica that houses the very popular cloak in which the image of our Lady of Guadalupe has been miraculously been impressed and printed so as to authenticate Virgin Mary’s apparitions in the area. 

seeing this was for me a miracle already

amen!

My birthday this year fell on a Saturday yet there was a Holy Mass service held in the basilica when I arrived.  This gave me the opportunity to hear a Mexican Holy Mass and say humongous thanks to the Lady of Guadalupe for the rare travel gift of experiencing the amazing city of Mexico.

The modern Basilica de Santa Maria de Guadalupe is vast and massive complex.  It is the most visited Marian shrine in Mexico because it houses the cloak containing the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe.  It is interesting to know that the new basilica was only completed in 1974.  The old basilica (finished in 1709) on the other hand is just adjacent to it but is already sinking.  Its floor has got some deep slope and its façade has evidently tilted.  It looks like it will dangerously fall and crumble anytime.  

notice how tilted the old church is?

selfie with the Lady! 

My prayer to the Lady of Guadalupe was all about my being thankful that I got to experience Mexico.  I did not asked for any miracle because my seeing and marveling over the beauty and holiness of the cloak during my birthday has been one major miracle for me already.

Santa Maria! Salamat!

Second Time in Istanbul Courtesy of Turkish Airline

I have always thought that airport transits and layovers are synonymous to pain, discomfort and boredom.  Sleeping on benches, agonizing people watching and killing time at a dreadful airport is no one’s ideal cup of tea.  I can still recall the throbbing soreness of my skinny butt during my 10-hour transit in Qatar airport when I was on my way home from Morocco in 2009.  But this preconceived idea I have with me about airport transits and layovers has been erased.

Thanks to Turkish Airline which offers free tour of their magnificent city, Istanbul! On my way to Mexico City from Manila, I have a 9-hour layover in Istanbul’s Ataturk International Airport.  Instead of proceeding to the transfer lane after disembarking the plane and wait for my next flight, I instead proceeded to the immigration line to show my Turkish visa and have my passport stamped so as to enter Turkey.

After which, I proceeded to the Turkish Airline’s hotel desk/counter at the airport and told the staff that I would like to join the free tour of the city offered by their airline.  The staff then simply asked for my boarding pass and asked me to wait for my name to be called.

I was sipping my Starbucks coffee when my name was called.  And, viola! Goodbye airport and hello (again) dreamy Istanbul… 

with the other excited passengers who chose not to get bored

turkish airline is teasing me to revisit istanbul…

this is so turkish…

i miss dining at this kind of an eatery

yummy turkish delights 

my personal favorite, hagia sophia 

inside the famous sultan ahmed mosque

No one wants to sit in an airport for so long but almost all wants to see the world’s greatest cities and save some money while doing so.  This free airline stopover tour offered by Turkish Airlines can be considered one of the best money saving idea for a travel enthusiast like me.  Istanbul stopovers can now be considered a great travel trick for it can further expand a traveler’s destination.

And aside from that, I can now boast that I have been to Turkey twice!  The tour was brief yet Turkish Airline is giving me reason to revisit their mesmerizing country…

Nakatipid, nakalibre, nakagala at nag-yabang!