Friday, January 26, 2007

Amici di Don Bosco

We finally got to eat at the Blog-famous Amici di Don Bosco in Makati. I went to school just beside that place when it was still a yucky cafeteria that served overcooked and bland spaghetti. Then my brother went to school in Don Bosco, too but we never ate there.
Fortunately, Jon's birthday came up and we wanted to try someplace new. And I'm glad we did! It's still a cafeteria style place but it's larger and better now. Apparently, an Italian priest took over the kitchen and decided to fill the menu with authentic Italian cuisine. At about P120 ($24) a plate it's cheaper than our usual restos but too costly to try everyday.
The place is always packed on weekdays when yuppies in ties fill up on either the pizza and pasta specialties or the Filipino rice meals which are always changed. I was surprised one Friday afternoon when I checked the place out. It was way past lunch but the place was still full!

Top to bottom: Pa's order, Montanara; My order was the Lasagna al Forno; Jon's was the Spinach Canneloni which he wasn't too happy with as it had no meat; Twink's order--the Seafood marinara. They all tasted good but the winner for me was the seafood pasta as the shellfish was really fresh. Jon also ordered a thin crust pizza. I had creamy tiramisu for dessert and they had the sinfully divine gelato/ice cream in hazelnut flavor.Mmmmm! So good I forgot to take a picture. (Nakalimutan ko ang pangalan ko sa sarap)

They also sell Italian chocolate and bread and panini. Unfortunately they are closed on Sundays.


Here's a magic moment my sister captured while I was at work on New Year's Day. Reminds me of Gob from the short-lived comedy 'Arrested Development'. He kept on saying 'I'm not a magician, I'm an ILLUSIONIST!'

Friday, January 12, 2007

Christmas in Pasay

Boring holiday , man!
I don’t know when it started, but Christmas with my father’s side of the family has always been a bit weird. There’s a reunion and lots of food and all but we do NOT open our gifts on Christmas Day! I think it was started by one of my uncles. He probably decreed that he wouldn’t be able to get his salary till the end of the month and so everyone else should also give their gifts on New Year’s day. It was so exasperating for me as a kid to see all those gifts bearing my name but I couldn’t even open on Christmas Day! I had to wait for a whole week while all the normal kids would be playing with their toys! Fortunately, ma and pa let us open their gifts to us but we’d always sneak a disgruntled glance at the shiny pile of boxes in the corner.
Naturally, this practice put a damper on the holiday and made New Year’s day seem like a more important celebration which really messed us up. Eventually, the other families started to wise up that there would be no toys given out on xmas so people who actually came to the reunion got fewer and fewer and the result was a rather corny xmas for kids.
New Year’s day meanwhile was a big event at the Rodriguez house. Aside from the opening of the gifts, there were raffles and paagaw (where my aunts would toss lots of coins in the air and we’d scramble to get as many as we could) Lately, however, even that event was getting a bit lackluster. Maybe it was because we weren’t as rich as before, or maybe because of some family drama, or the migration of some of our loved ones. But this year , I thought, should be fun again. I remembered how Tito Rene, who had just come home from Saudi then, enticed us to sing by promising a cash prize to the winner. So, I brought our dvd player which had a karaoke function and told my sister that there’d be a P500 prize for whoever would get the highest score. I had to go to work that day but my mom said it was one of the most fun holidays in years!

Like every typical Filipino family, ours loved singing! It lasted all the way to dinner time! That dvd player was worth every penny!
It’s really too bad I had to go to work. I missed some funny scenes. Usually, the kids get wrapped gifts. The teens get cash. When you graduate and start working, you stop getting gifts and it’s your turn to start giving. My cousin Arvin was giving out money to the kids in line when his daughter Anjeline cried out “Daddy tama na! Mauubos na pera natin!” (Stop Dad! We’re going to run out of money!) Another year, an older cousin didn’t have time to buy toys for the kids and gave away cash. His 2-year-old nephew, Angelo, didn’t know what money was and with a face filled with all the disdain an infant could muster, threw the bills back at my Kuya Monching!

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

thank you 2006!

A much delayed(thanks to that earthquake in Taiwan which slowed down asia's internet access) look back at the year that was.
-Finally went to Boracay
-learned Illustrator
-Spent more time with my Canadian relatives
-started blogging (and reading other people's blogs which is so time-consuming!)
-said goodbye to inaanak Gela, Francine, Keana and inaanak Kevvin :(
-Finished that humongous clan drawing(1 year in the making!)
-upgraded to a dvd-burning computer set up
-watched my first Imax movie
-lost some officemates to France and Taiwan
-discovered Dampa!
-went on a walking tour of Intramuros
-became a sleep-deprived commentator for classmates' wedding
-supertyphoon milenyo drenched all our plans for the reunion and showed us how dependent we are on technology
-surprised by all the gifts i got at xmas!

got my picture with Mau.YEY!

All in all it was a good year. Special mention must go to the time I spent with my tita chuchie and tita luday. Since Carlos Celdran of the Intramuros walking tour was away, i did my best to recreate the whole experience for my tita, though she did pose some tough questions i was unable to answer! So much to be thankful for! Ilook forward to a better year ahead brimming with endless possibilities!


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