Chocolates and Birthday Donuts

Having munched on the last of the jelly beans from little Aedan’s birthday, it was quite a stroke of good luck that I was able to get my hands on something else to nibble on — a bar of schokolade and some birthday donuts! *dances a jig*

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Leftovers at Neo Neo; Jenny’s Late Birthday Bash

This is about another birthday. No, I’m not talking about mine again. Sheesh! Why would I do that?! (LOL!) I’m talking about the birthday of a good friend. Jenny. She had her birthday last November 11, but it was not until the 25th of that month that she agreed to celebrate her birthday. LOL! Anyway, Jenny decided to celebrate her birthday dinner at this relatively new place near Gorordo Avenue called Neo Neo. (I bet the one who named this place has a huge crush on Keanu Reeves’s character in The Matrix that he had to mention the name twice. Peace! Whoever you are. )  I remember this place used to be in Juan Luna formerly known as San Jose dela Montaña Street in Mabolo. I don’t know if it’s still there though. Anyway, this dinner was a bit unplanned, on my side at least. I actually heard that Jenny was planning to have dinner that week and that she planned to have it on Tuesday, which was perfect because it was our payday. However, whether it was due to my forgetfulness or my incredulity over Jen’s invitation, I was not able to bring my camera to work with me that morning. And so I had to go home after work and was so embarrassingly late for dinner. Everyone was actually just finishing their dinner when I arrived. : -(  I was way beyond tardy! But I just told myself that the food was probably too delicious for everyone’s self-control that they were not able to wait for me and my camera before they attacked everything that was edible on that table. LOL! Well I, at least, was able to take pictures of the leftovers. Woohoo! And I actually was able to scrounge some of the leftovers to have some smidgen of a dinner when I got there too. Frankly, I didn’t mind. I wasn’t that hungry at that time anyway and I was more preoccupied with taking pictures to concern myself with the lack of food. Moreover, it was obvious that everybody liked the food, which was the second most important part, right? Right!

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Teriyaki Boy and I

Celebrating birthdays are entirely fine with me…as long as they are not my own. Yes, I don’t like celebrating my birthdays. And no, I didn’t have any traumatic experience during any of my past birthdays that discouraged me from organizing shindigs to commemorate the day that is supposed to be one of the most important days of my existence. I am just used to not celebrating it. If my Mama were not celebrating her own birthday on the same month, I’d probably forget it altogether. Also, I am not used to celebrating anything involving little old me. (Emphasis on the “little” and “old”…LOL!) The only celebrations I could remember I had were my grade school graduation, which was organized by my over-enthusiastic Mama, and my 19th birthday, which was my sisters’ delayed attempt at celebrating the birthday previous to that.  Moreover, I never really minded that I didn’t have birthday parties. I didn’t even mind that most people in my family often remembers the day over a week later. I never demanded any party or even a cake to celebrate it. However, occasionally, my parents do remember it and would buy ice cream. And I would grab at any excuse for my parents to buy ice cream that I didn’t mind that bit of “celebrating” then at all.  But that was it, the whole enchilada, as they would say. So, there you are. I’ve grown so used to “not” celebrating this day that the thought of celebrating it kind of makes me go, “Eeeck!”

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A Birthday at Cafe Laguna and Dessert at Pipo’s

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]

DSC_2772 by you.

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Back at Bigby’s!

“Please, sir! I want some more.” Oliver said in Charles Dicken’s second novel, Oliver Twist. Man! I can certainly sympathize for I have been an avid fan of food for as long as I can remember. Hehehe! Seriously! This is why I don’t wait for my stomach to issue a protest before I go looking for good food. (My friends say that I don’t actually have any preference. They claim that as long as it’s edible, I eat it. FYI, I vehemently deny this. LOL!) And good food was what I absolutely found tonight – well technically, it was yesterday night – at Bigby’s! Vet was quite happy about being back there, Leylan was excited at the prospect of me treating him (again!), Jenny was just being Jenny and I was surprised to realize that I miss Passion Fish. The food was good, and the company was even better. (Ows!) If only no one were celebrating their birthday, it would have been perfect (The waiters shrilly sing to birthday celebrants and they offer them ice cream or something. If you were there, it would’ve grated on your nerves…or maybe I was just grumpy. Or maybe…if Cel were there and those guys could have humiliated her in front of several diners…Hhhmmm… Kidding Cel!) Well, my companions and I enjoyed our food – except for Ley who ordered chops with yucky-smelling greens on top of it. And as usual, it got a little hard to breathe before I stopped stuffing my face. Hahaha!

The Menu

 

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