Mom, I can do it all by myself!

Time really flies. 
A few weeks ago, Joey and I were at the Kids’ section of Fully Booked. Before, he would ask for my help when he wants to look at some books.  As I was watching from behind a shelf, I saw him try to reach a book the the topmost ledge, realize that he couldn’t reach it, and proceed to get a little chair:
And often, when I try to help him, he tells me: Mom, I can do it all by myself!

I was happy and sad at the same time. Happy, that he is growing up to be a resourceful little boy and sad because soon, he will outgrow my hugs and kisses. 

TGIS: Agave and Cafe Via Mare

Celebrated our friend’s birthday at Cafe Via Mare two Saturdays ago:
fresh lumpia
tortang talong – my all time favorite!
good ole’ Tapsilog
another must eat for me: oysters (or mussels if they have)
We all came from UST that Saturday and we were walking aimlessly around Morato so we decided to just go in the first place that wasn’t full and got the birthday boy to treat us to an impromptu birthday dinner. Too bad we ended up at this place because the food isn’t all that great. 😦 But that doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate the treat!
Last Saturday, we were all craving something different (meaning, not our usual haunts) so we headed to Agave for some Mexican food.
nachos galore
sampler, which was more than enough to feed three hungry guys and one girl
I must say though, that all this food tripping with the guys is making me downright fat as Ipe had pointed out. That and the fact that work-related stress is driving me nuts – even more nuts than I was before, unfortunately. I really need to eat properly and hit the gym, otherwise, I’d be hitting 130 lbs before I know it.

TGIS: Zao

my bottomless Jasmine iced tea
Pigging out on Saturdays is becoming a regular thing and with good food, good company and my favorite Starbucks drink later, I must say, I like! 😛

We were supposed to hit Mamou at Serendra last night but as all our outings are spontaneous, none of us made reservations and we ended up next door at Zao.
And as this night, there were five of us instead of the usual four suspects (three guys and moi), we ordered a feast, authentic Vietnamese food being one my absolute favorites. 
  

crispy spring rolls
One of my friends and I both love spring rolls and we couldn’t decide if one order would be good enough for the two of us so we ordered two to be on the safe side. Turned out to be a good decision because the rolls were a hit.










Next is the pomelo salad. Honestly, I don’t like the fruit, but since I tried pomelo salad at another resto, I’ve been hooked. I still don’t eat it by itself, though.I like this version with the onions and vinegar – makes the pomelo the star as it offers you a sweet alternative to the tangy and sour taste of the sauce.



As for the main course:
Zao bowl

chicken rice
lemongrass chicken
Saigon fried rice
We all wanted soup which is why we ordered the Zao bowl, but realized too late that it wasn’t soup at all; so to appease our friend, we agreed to get the Zao Pho to end our meal, which was big enough to feed four guys and a girl.
The price was not so bad – our tab came at around Php 2,600. The bestsellers of the night were the spring rolls and the lemongrass chicken.  However, while the food was okay, I must say it doesn’t come anywhere near authentic. Three of us in the table have all been to Vietnam and we all agree that Zao’s offerings don’t come anywhere near the taste of  the local food in Ho Chi Minh. So I was mildly disappointed. Still, if you’re just after good food, I won’t mind dining here again.

Cats in Manila

I have to hand it to Lea Salonga – she is really a great singer. She doesn’t have the biggest voice or hits the highest notes but she gave me goosebumps and made me cry the entire time she was singing . 
Got to watch Cats last Friday (orchestra tickets part of hubby’s birthday gift to me). It runs till mid of August so I recommend that you guys try to catch it if tickets are still available. 

I Love Manila

Ipe and I have a lot of differences but if there is one thing we both have a passion for, it’s history – and by extension, we both love museums, old structures, antiques, research, and old books. So one sunny weekend when we found ourselves with nothing to do, we decided to hit Intramuros, the center of all things old in the area.
Of course, before we started our excursion, we had to stock up on energy first so we had a late lunch at Cafe Adriatico:
 
local hot chocolate drink, salmon, and moist chocolate cake
First stop, Fort Santiago:
 
Honor Roll: List of all the prisoners held at the Fort
Enlarge the photo and you’ll see a lot of familiar names on the tablet. 😛
mini garden at the left part of the Fort has become a picnic place for families looking for a quiet alternative to Luneta
Cross marking the hundreds, maybe thousands, who died at the Fort during the Japanese occupation
Dungeons, where the prisoners are kept and gunpowder are stored, run under the Fort. Too bad though that it has now become unsafe to have them opened to the public. I would have loved going inside one – a little eerie maybe but still, you get to experience what those POW did. Mystics and psychics would have a field day if these were opened.



adada
Bridge and moat leading from the Plaza to the Fort
entrance to the Fort
See those bronze footprints? They trace Rizal’s path from his cell to Bagumbayan, where he was executed by firing squad
This little gate here is where the British escaped during their brief occupation of the Philippines
A new attraction at the Fort is the exhibit of Rizal’s family’s furniture, which were taken from their house in Calamba. I wonder though, what they could still be exhibiting there if almost everything is here? 
Anyway, it’s located near the Pasig River side of the Fort, in a formerly unoccupied decrepit structure, which, I’m surprised, is still actually in good condition. 


Rizal’s old bed
the family’s dining table
Of course, what sightseeing would be complete without my picture? 😛
dress, Plains and Prints; aviator shades, Rayban; bangle, bought in Singapore
View of the Pasig river and Escolta