Yesterday, some people probably recalled the painful tragedy at the World Trade Center in New York while Marcos loyalists were celebrating the birthday of, in their opinion, a great man. Meanwhile, my sisters and I were busy planning a dinner for one of the most important men in our lives…our father. Yes, our Papa has the same birthday as Ferdinand Marcos and the day of the famous World Trade Center attack, which is probably why I would never forget it.
I never miss either of my parents’ birthdays because I know I owe a lot to these two wonderful individuals and I make it a point that they know I never forget either of them on their special days. So for my papa’s birthday, I bought him some Beatles albums – he has been muttering about how expensive they were and making sure I hear it when he does, sneaky… hehehe! – while my little sister in Victoria sent some money so that we could all go out to dinner and celebrate the special day. Thanks, Be!
Now, early yesterday morning, I put my gift on the dining table – where I know he’d be sure to see it first thing that morning – and set up the dinner with my other little sister. Yes, yes…I am the eldest daughter. Moving on. I asked my sister to make the reservations at this local restaurant that I have never been to. The place is called Cafe Laguna. I have heard numerous praises about the place and the food, so I was curious about it. However, I had a somewhat limited budget so I asked my sister first if we could afford it. She assured me that we could, and so she proceeded to make the reservations and I called Papa at home that noon to inform him about dinner that evening so he would not prepare anything that night. Yeah, my father cooks.
Six in the evening came, my shift at the office ended, and I hurriedly hailed a cab to take me home. When I got home, I discovered that my sister was late but then we still had time to spare so I was not worried. When my family and I finally got to the restaurant, our food was ready and about to get cold. My sister was fascinated that their service was quite fast. But then we discovered that our table was set up like some rich family’s grand dining table where people could barely hear each other because of the huge spaces between them. So we asked a waitress to put everything on just one table, instead of two, before we settled down to eat. This was the time that I started taking pictures…or tried to anyway. Well, I had a minute epiphany then. I realized why I never seem to get many good pictures whenever my family and I eat out. I have exactly four reasons….and their names are Erin, Sean, Caitlin, and the latest addition Baby Belle. I rarely get good shots because I often end up telling Sean to continue eating, or making Caitlin stop jumping around, or telling Erin to mind her manners and not talk while her mouth is overflowing with food, not to mention I often spy Belle about to fall flat on her face or put some unidentified object in her mouth. *Whew I’m a born worrier and I become more of a worrier than usual when all these little tykes are in one place at the same time! Fortunately, I was able to snap a few shots and I believe they are enough to commemorate the special day. My Papa is not very particular about sentimental stuff – typical guy – and so it fell on my shoulders to make it memorable without turning it into an embarrassing moment for him. I was actually planning to get cake but then decided not to because I didn’t have time to go to the bakeshop before going home. So we just had dinner, and then we went to Pipo’s for ice cream after. Yummy! Ice cream never fails to make me as happy as a kid, especially if it comes from Pipo’s.
Now, about the food. The food was actually not that exceptional. They were delicious but not exceptionally so. The place was nice though. However, my first assumption was right. The place was a little pricey. But then it was a special occasion and it was not solely my money we were going to spend, so it was all right. Well, my family and I had a great time – anything involving food is a great time for any member of my family for we are “eaters” after all, despite what you may believe when you look at us. We love good food and good company, so everything was all right in our world that night.
Happy Birthday, Pa!
[Note: I’m going to use my Papa’s rating here, it is his birthday after all so I think it’s quite apt that he be the judge this time. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to take pictures of all the dishes. So I’ll just be mentioning the rest without pictures.]
Pancit Canton – a must during birthdays [Papa’s Rating: 9/10]
Lechon Kawali [Papa’s Rating: 10/10]
Sweet and Sour Pork [Papa’s Rating: 8/10]
Halaan [Papa’s Rating: 7/10]
Calamares [Papa’s Rating: 7/10]
Pandan Chicken [Papa’s Rating: 9/10]
Baked Scallops [Papa’s Rating: 8/10]
Caitlin the Kulit
Mommy Christine and Baby Belle
Birthday Boy and Erin