Holy Thursday and Good Friday 2011

Had a lot of activities the past two days – some old, some new stuff. The Holy Week holidays are rather busy days for us, but I’m glad Ipe and I have yet to succumb to partying or hitting up the beach on these holy days.
Our friends from the V met up to do our annual Visita Iglesia – now on its 10th year, though I wasn’t part of the original group; I used to do Visita with my family). We visited seven churches this year around Makati and QC, though I only joined for the last three. 

The facade is quite simple; but the interior is very nice
We actually got to do some fun 
stuff – the Padre Pio Chapel in Libis was our second to last stop and we got a pleasant surprise when we saw they were handing out these crosses for you to carry while you do your stations of the cross in their makeshift garden (the stations are in a cordoned portion of the chapel’s parking lot). 

They were also considerate enough to have laminated copies of the prayers so you don’t have to leaf through your booklets; it’s quite hard to do when you’re carrying a cross.

That’s our group carrying our crosses

Jere got the biggest cross – but he will probably kill me for posting this pic: look at the bottom of his cross. See something looking suspiciously like a wheel? 😛
Jere remarked that we had probably gone beyond heaven as we repeated all stations across seven churches – 14 stations * 7 churches! Anyway, all the heat and the literal carrying of our crosses made us all SOOOOOOOOO hungry, Feli and I had to agree we couldn’t care less where we eat.  We were looking forward to some sinigang and sisig and since we were in Timog, we were all set to have dinner at Dencio’s near ABS-CBN – only to find out it was closed down already. We ended up at Buddy’s instead, this one near GMA. 

view from across the street – bright lights
the inside is just as bright; summer seems to be the year-round theme as I recall their Makati branch had the same set-up back in December

Feasted ourselves on pancit lucban, sotanghon, bihon, pork and bangus sisig, longanisa and molo soup

What I love most about Pinoy restos is that they have sago’t gulaman; it’s refreshing quality is very underrated, if you ask me. 
The food here at Buddy’s is perhaps what you would expect to find in a barrio feast at surprisingly cheap prices. Can you believe the pancit lukban good for three people costs only Php 180? Food coma indeed! 😀

Too bad Ipe and I had to go home early since we were already tired (again, my total sleep hours this week probably totaled less than 20 hours – soo not good). 

Good Friday found us at the hubby’s ancestral home in Bay. I like the church here, the San Agustin, which was built in 1804 after the parish was transferred from its previous location near the bay. Sadly, the stone church was destroyed during WWII and was rebuilt in 1953. 

Love how they kept to the antique feel

Ipe and I had been spending Good Fridays here for the past seven years but this was the first time we finished the church service – we didn’t know the parishioners would be making their way to pay homage to the cross ON THEIR KNEES!
I know it was just a couple of meters – but it was on hard cement and I swear every time I crept forward, a capillary would break! I wasn’t able to take photos as I was already having a hard time balancing on my knees, and the ever-clumsy husband bumped on me from behind that I almost fell face forward.
The parish priest right before he went on his knees
The procession this year took longer than usual though I couldn’t tell if it was due to the size of the crowd or because we had several breaks in between. Last year’s crowd was quite huge already and this year seems to be the same number. But it took us two hours to circle the neighborhood and get back to the church.
Yup, that’s our cue to join; it was still bright when we started
…and well after dark when we finished. This pic looks eerie; as if the Santo Entierro’s carosa was glowing and floating on air

The family chapel, the right glass enclosure is where the Santo Entierro is kept on normal days – yes, the room is air-conditioned which is why a lot of people hang out here, aside from the powder which also has full-blast AC 😀
I only ate a measly fillet-o-fish sandwich and a snack the entire day (plus, only a glass of water), so by dinner, I was seriously famished. But we were amply rewarded coz when we got back to the house, this was the feast waiting for us:

Good Friday dinner – no meat! All seafood and veggies. Oops! Does egg count?
We’re supposed to go to the Easter Vigil tonight but I’m not sure I’m up for an all-nighter. Kinda getting old and I’m starting to get chest pains and palpitations from the hunger and thirst (hubby doesn’t believe me when I say this; but then, he doesn’t believe also that I get cold or tired easily – he really should take a crash course on heart and thyroid diseases which makes me a nifty little package). Hopefully though, I have enough energy to celebrate Easter tomorrow! 🙂

Rent The Musical

I learned a lot from watching the Rent press screening last night at Rockwell:
a) Viva Hot Babe Sheree can sing AND dance live, even songs that would have knocked the breath out of lesser performers
b) Gian Magdangal (Sheree’s real-life baby daddy) is a really good singer
c) There are a lot of better songs in the musical than Seasons of Love
The Story
Rent, written by Jonathan Larson back in the 90’s, is an adaptation of Giacomo Puccini’s La Boheme about a group of bohemian artists living in poverty and coping with AIDS in New York. Much of the story draws parallels from the 19th century work, modernized to depict the 90s: New York replaces Paris, AIDS replaces Tuberculosis, and musicians/performers replace the painters and poets of Puccini’s work. 
It tells the intertwined tales of survival of Roger, a musician who longs to write one last song before he dies; Mimi, a 19-year old dancer who lives one floor down from Roger; Mark, Roger’s independent filmmaker roommate who has yet to get over his ex-girlfriend dumping him for another woman; Maureen, the aspiring performer and Mark’s ex; Collins, a computer genius and Roger’s other roommate; and Angel, a drag queen with whom Collins fell in love with after he (she) rescues him after a mugging; Joanne, Maureen’s Harvard-educated lawyer-girlfriend; and Benny, the trio’s former roommate who now owns the building after he marries a rich woman.
Details from Larson’s own life are incorporated in the plot elements as well, making him almost the unseen main character: his own girlfriend left him for another woman, he lived in impoverished conditions in NY, details of which are depicted clearly in the production – no heater, broken buzzer which means his guests have to call him on the payphone so he could drop the keys to the ground to let them in.

The Cast
Most of the cast reprise their roles from the February 2010 run – led by Gian Magdangal as Roger, but there are surprise additions such as Sheree as Mimi and last-minute replacement Mian Dimacali as Maureen. Known stage actor Lorenz Martinez also joins as Benny.

The show started off on rather shaky ground as I remember thinking some high school and college productions look and sound much better and looking at my watch at the same time, but after the initial awkwardness and off-key songs, I found myself enjoying and didn’t bother checking the time anymore.

Almost the entire cast gave solid acting and singing but I would have to hand down the best and most consistent performance to Job Bautista (Angel) and OJ Mariano (Tom Collins) who played gay lovers with realistic sweetness. I have to admit I rarely cry during live performances but the scene when Angel was dying in the background while Mimi and Roger sing a duet in the foreground got me teary-eyed even though the two of them had no lines or song numbers for that scene. They were the best couple and performers of the production, no doubt.

There were a lot of good duets given last night though, and I thoroughly enjoyed Joanne and Maureen’s confrontation scene singing Take Me or Leave and Mimi and Roger’s Without You and I Should Tell You.This is even more commendable when I learned that the actress playing Maureen, Mian Dimacali, was a newcomer – she could have fooled me!

Maureen’s one-woman act of a story about a cow and a bulldog was my favorite performance of the night – she owned it with the way she moo’ed and coo’ed her way on stage, and providing the sound effects for her act.

Sheree (Mimi) started off sounding off-key in her first solo song – Out Tonight – and I almost feared she would lose her voice any minute as it was so raspy but she more than made up for it with fiery and powerful vocals in the next set. And I must admit her portrayal of Mimi was quite charming and I could almost feel her desperation and longing to be loved. I had very low expectations from her, thinking that she’s nothing but a Viva Hot Babe and FHM cover girl but she surprised me.

Gian though, left much to be desired. While I must admit his singing kept me awake and interested, I find his face devoid of any emotion (or maybe I was seated way too far on the 12th row; but then, I could the others’ facial expressions). He just doesn’t strike me as someone hopelessly in love with a dying person.

But probably the weakest link is Fredison Lo, who plays Mark Cohen. He not only is a bad actor, but sings like he is in his sleep. He seems nice enough but probably the reason the musical started off on lousy footing was because it started with him. He just wasn’t as engaging as the rest of the cast and his scenes were the least enjoyable.

The Set

A cinema seems a rather odd choice to have this musical as the lighting and stage is not much suited to a live performance but in the end, I think it worked well as the audience had a more intimate view and the sound is more focused.

And I loved the simple two-storey set as it didn’t distract from the actual stars of the production – the actors.

The Verdict

I’ve heard some negative press about the Manila production from last February, and given that most of the cast were retained, I was expecting to waste three hours of my time. But all else said, it was still an enjoyable show and I would recommend it to my friends and family.

Rent is on for a limited run of eight performances at Cinema 2 of the Power Plant Mall from December 8 – 12 so better get your tickets as soon as you can.

Tagaytay October 2010

It should be pretty obvious by now that hubby and I love hanging out in Tagaytay when we’re stressed; so, we took advantage of the long weekend (well, technically not for us since we both had to work) and prepped for a two-day R&R/foodtrip.
Not the Usual
Hubby and I decided to give our trusted Jessar apartments a rest and looked for a new hideaway. Had initially tried to book at the Country Suites but they were fully booked so we settled for the Boutique Bed & Breakfast, where we got the I Dare room. Each room had a color scheme and ours had a brown/beige motif.
First off, I love that they have their own line of products (shampoo, conditioner, soap and lotion and room scent). This isn’t much of an original concept BUT they do let you choose which ones you like which I appreciated a lot. I chose lavender for my hair and mango for my soap. And, being a bit partial to rose and jasmine, I picked the “Romance” scent for our room. 
Personal care package and welcome snacks
The bed and pillow overload; view from the room and our breakfast spread
Another thing which I absolutely adored is the nightcap – no one gives a night cap anymore! Not even the five-star hotels in the metro. But the boutique gave us hot chocolate and warm, homemade oatmeal cookies. And did I mention that you can borrow dvd’s and game boards from them? I settled for Breakfast at Tiffany’s which I watched while munching on the cookies.
Probably the only downside I can think of is the room size – at Php8,000, I was expecting a roomier place but Ipe and I can hardly walk to the CR without bumping into something. And their bar closes at 10PM which is kinda of sad. Not that we wanted anything to drink but still. Then again, it is a bed and breakfast and guests are probably not expected to drink anyway. However, the lovely view which greeted us when we woke up more than made up for this minor flaws.
THE Food
Since we were delayed a bit due to car problems, we were hungry to eat just about anything when we got to Tagaytay at past 3. But, of course we didn’t travel all the way here to eat at Jollibee! 
Decided to try Army Navy,a military-inspired fast food which offers really nice food worth every penny. I like the theme, including the trash bins. 🙂

milkshake, freedom fries and starving sailor sandwich

Salty and greasy, just the way I like – yup, finished this all by myself!
I agree:
For lunch the next day, we headed off to Tagaytay Highland’s The Peak and had, what else would you order on a cold afternoon – shabu shabu! I know I’m supposed to be on a diet but I can’t really say no to good food, can I?
fruit platter, fruit shakes,chicken wings, and shabu shabu
Animal Lovers
Of course, since we were already there, we checked out the Animal Farm which we haven’t visited in over a year. Now, I’m really amazed at how they maintain this zoo – it doesn’t stink (probably since there’s always a cool breeze blowing), the grass is always green, and the animals don’t look like they’re half-starved to death.
we couldn’t stop gawking at this ginormous pig
the orangutan, with a face like a flat tire
Had dessert at a 50’s inspired diner which had these nice, old posters from that decade:
They even use old-style ketchup bottles!
And what do you know? A jukebox! Dunno if it still plays though.
Too bad weekends like this are hard to come by. And Ipe and I failed to get massages as we originally planned (we opted to sleep instead). Which is why I can’t wait to book us into Sonya’s Bed and Breakfast next time.Til then! 🙂

Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Center

I’ve been wanting to visit this place since I heard of it decades ago but my parents aren’t big fans of going out of their comfort zones, and hubby isn’t big on nature, but one boring weekend with nothing to do, I was finally able to convince hubby to drive us to the park.

Started in the 70’s under the name Philippine Parks and Wildlife, it was renamed to its present title during the Cory administration. Yes – it has been around that long but you rarely hear of it. I myself only knew it because I always pass it going to UST back in college. (it’s located along the Quezon Memorial Circle). It was recently the location of a cover shoot for a magazine with Andi Eigenmann, and admittedly, it was that incident which pushed this park to the forefront of my consciousness (the pictures were kinda nice and I was curious that such a place existed in the city).

I was in for a bit of disappointment though. While the park may have been quite nice in its heyday, now, it’s a mess of rundown buildings, strewn with garbage and graffiti. There’s a mini aviary but there were only a handful of breeds inside and you could barely see as the trees and hedges are overgrown.

There is a viewing deck near the lagoon which would have been a nice picnic spot but it has since been closed to the public, probably due to safety reasons.

I did find this scenic spot which sort of reminds me of the Hundred Acre Woods from Winnie the Pooh. I don’t know why, maybe it’s the concrete fence overlooking the lagoon.
I wish this park would be renovated and brought to its former glory now that the son of the man it was named after is our president. There are cottages dotting the banks of the lagoon and with just a bit of sprucing up, these can be rented out to tourists looking for a bit of respite. You can even go fishing and boating!
There’s also a pavilion at one end of the lagoon, supposedly a venue for mini-conferences and gatherings, a bridge leading out halfway into the lagoon itself. I was thinking: if this park was just maintained well, this spot would have been a perfect wedding reception venue.
So yeah, calling on PNoy – please have someone look into this. It’s a lovely place in dire need of attention.

Perfect Weekend

Weekend relaxation has become few and far between for me, what with work interfering almost 90% of the time that when my boss told me to go on leave, I knew I had to grab it. 
Friday was spa day for me – got to explore the spa at our condo and try their peppermint foot spa. It was good and my feet felt cool for hours after – even after the four-hour videoke with my team (well, the other half of my team, since I now have an extended team at the office). The videoke almost didn’t push through since I forgot to make reservations earlier and only remembered it three hours before the event. Good thing, Platinum at Polaris isn’t as popular as it used to be and I ended up getting the room for twenty, fifteen minutes before our meeting time. 😛
Platinum is actually my choice of videoke, if money weren’t such a big factor – they have better songs, better acoustics, bigger rooms, and well, better service. Except that it’s about a third more expensive than the nearby Music 21, since you pay an hourly room rate and must order a certain amount of food and drinks, unlike the latter where you can get a package for ten with food and drinks for only Php 3,000!
Anyway, was a bit disappointed though, as some of the songs I used to sing there are gone – must be of copyright infringement. Even the music videos featuring supermodels are gone (no more Heidi Klum-pre baby). 
Still, good company more than made up for my missing repertoire. 😛
Saturday was family day. Ipe and I decided to take the little kiddo to Avilon Zoo – it’s one of the most convenient hang outs for us as it’s less than 15 minutes away. Plus, it’s a covered zoo, and not too crowded so it gets additional points for us. It’s quite small too, so you can go back and forth your favorite animals without getting blisters – they have tigers (including a white one), bear, gibbons, lots of birds, fish, snakes, goat, sheep, rabbits, fish, tortoise, turtles, eagle owls, donkeys, horses, puma, lion… I even summoned enough nerve to carry a snake around my shoulders. It big, heavy and slippery!!!
Joey and I enjoyed feeding the carps, tortoise and the rabbits, but I think his favorite are the rabbits – we bought carrots (the zoo sells  fresh veggies and other animal feed for a minimal amount) and he gets into this box while the rabbits gather round him. It’s cute and Joey kept saying, “Mom, look! I’m a farmer!”
Later, went to the waxing station to have my eyebrows done (it’s one of those things I have learned to “outsource” since I can never get the hang of it) Ipe and I met up with his highschool barkada for a super late dinner at Kirin, and what do you know, another videoke sesh, this time at Music 21. Feasted on chili chicken, hakao, and steamed fish. Seriously, the chili chicken felt more like chili with a bit of chicken – we had to dig through the red chili before finding the chicken bits. 
Sunday was spent lounging around the house with the little boy – reading a new book bought the previous day at Fully Booked, and watching Cars for the nth time. 
Now, if only all weekends could be like this. But that’s wishful thinking. Oh well.

Tagaytay Weekend Get-away

What with all the stress lately, hubby decided to take me for a weekend off in Tagaytay (yeah, loser me works on weekends now) to de-stress. Given though that hubby isn’t good with the planning thing, it was my job to ensure all bookings and reservations are done as I don’t want my me-time ruined by mundane issues. 🙂
I usually dislike driving up to Tagaytay because of the weekend crowd but surprisingly, there was hardly any traffic, even in the city itself, and we were there in less than an hour. But I’d still avoid it on long weekends and holidays – as there is only one major road, all cars pile up. 
Number one on the agenda: Lunch! I’ve never been to Antonio’s, partly because a couple of people had warned me of the price and some have told me the food wasn’t worth it; but since they opened the smaller-scale and affordable Antonio’s Grill, I knew I had to go there  first before I decide whether to try Antonio’s itself and find out if all the hype is true.
Sinampalukang Manok (Php 415, good for 2-3)
We ordered the Sinampalukang Manok and Liempo. Now,I have been wanting to cook sinampalukang manok since forever but I can’t find fresh tamarind leaves so I was very eager to try this dish. But, while it was good, I can’t help feeling disappointed – I have a high standard for this dish as I’ve tasted heavenly sinampalukang manok cooked by my papa and it was nowhere near it.
Liempo (Php 255, good for 2-3)
The liempo though, could have tasted a lot better. For a place being run by the same guy who is famed for his grilled food, it was a big disappointment. I found the liempo too oily and fatty, although it was a visual treat. 
So what’s my verdict for Antonio’s Grill? Undecided. Since it was our first time here, I want to try it again in the future – they serve Filipino food and there are a lot more I want to try on their menu. Besides, it can’t have gotten its reputation in the first place if it was no good so I think it deserves a chance to redeem itself in my taste buds.
After lunch, we headed to my favorite retreat this side of town – Sonya’s Garden. I promise, I can live there just smelling the garden full of bright flowers in full bloom and herbs and vegetables growing freely everywhere. The place itself is the main draw – if a fairy tale could be bottled in a fragrance, it would have smelled like Sonya’s.  And I love that the garden doesn’t look contrived – it’s like Sonya just threw seeds around, not bothering to think what kind of flowers they are as long as they grow.  And the result is just picture perfect. The fact that the place serves a mean salad and adobo is just a bonus.
Little treats like this fountain are strewn along the walkways
Anyway, our agenda for this visit is not the food but to pamper ourselves.
Foot Spa area
my hideous feet soaked in warm water with dalandan
Hubby slept through the entire process while I spent the first half examining the bowl of flowers floating around in rosewater in front of me:
I slept halfway through the massage. 😛 It was very good, and I loved the oil they used (can you guys tell by now that I am enamored by this place?). After the massage, we were served delicious hot tea (I can’t recall the leaves right now though).
It’s only now that I discovered they also sell rosewater spray – I have always been a fan of roses, even as a child and if you’ve been to our house, you’d know it almost always smells like roses. So, naturally, I bought some to take home with me. 🙂
The biggest and prettiest yellow gumamela I have ever seen
pantomine duo outside Pancake and Starbucks
Oh, and on the way back to our room, we stopped to have comfort food for dinner – Pancake House. Now, this place has been by go-to shelter when under a barrage of issues back at my old company and it still brings back those moments. We almost missed it though, as the sign is blasted and could not be seen from the highway. Good thing we were set on eating here (well, this trip was to de-stress and Pancake House reminds me of just that so it was imperative that we eat here).
After that, it was time to snooze off. Or in my case, I ended up curled in bed, reading a good book. We stayed at Jessar Apartments. Now, we have been loyal customers of this apartelle – it’s cheap but doesn’t compromise on service and facilities. The rooms are very clean with a queen sized bed (you can have an additional mattress for extra charge since the room is quite big), have hot water and toiletries, cable TV, free wifi, and free breakfast for two – all for Php 1,600 a night.
A relaxing day which I can’t wait to do again. I’d say, mission accomplished!

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.

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

Museum Hopping

Went culture shopping in where else but historic Intramuros? 

First stop was the National Museum – our main purpose: to see Juan Luna’s Spoliarium as Ipe has never seen it in person (I, on the other hand, had seen it many times before as I’ve been visiting the museum since high school). Now, for those who don’t know, Luna’s masterpiece won a gold medal in the Exposicion Nacional de Bellas Artes in Spain; it was actually a payment to the Ayuntamiento of Manila who provided him with a scholarship in exchange for a work of art.

But as an added treat, the Assassination of Bustamante by Felix HIdalgo was also there (this one, I can barely recall, since it doesn’t have that much of a ring in my memory). This painting has a bit of a colorful history as it depicts a rather forbidden topic. But the genius behind the painting cannot be denied and it deserves its rightful place in the museum:

shirt, Promod; shorts, Kamiseta;taken outside the Museum steps 

Now, most of Hidalgo’s prize-winning masterpieces are on display at the Bangko Sentral’s museum, so we added that to our itinerary as well. You might want to check out Las Virgenes Cristianas Expuestas al Populacio (Christian Virgins Exposed to the Populace) and La Barca de Aqueronte (The Boat of Charon). The former won a silver medal in the same competition as Luna’s Spoliarium while the latter won a silver medal Exposicion Universelle in Paris and a gold medal International Exposition of Fine Arts in Madrid. 
Intramuros holds a special place in our lives since we got married there four years ago, in the oldest Catholic church in the country, and one of four baroque churches in the country listed in the Unesco – The San Agustin. So far, we’ve visited three out of four, although the last one in Iloilo is a bit far fetched since if we do go there, it would be the sole reason for our going (so friends, if you can recommend anything worth visiting/doing in Iloilo, drop me a line). 
The Manila Cathedral and the Pieta (which was cast from the same mold as the original):

The old finance Central Bank which was gutted down by fire many many years ago, and the status of King Philip of Spain fronting it:
The Archbishop’s official residence:
The Post Office:
For those who don’t know, the city of Manila was actually patterned after Washington DC by renowned American architect Daniel Burnham (yes, the same man who gave his name to Burnham Park in Baguio) – so you can consider it a miniature version of the US capital.
There are a host of other museums in the city of Manila, and other historical landmarks to visit but a half day is obviously not enough so I’ll just take you there on another blog post. 😛
* Spolarium and the Assassination of Bustamante from Google Images

Hotel Weekend: New World

Spent the weekend at the New World Hotel. Joey loves staying at hotels. But I’m glad he still prefers home – shortly before check out, he was already asking me to go home. 🙂
 Top: Joey at the hotel lobby in Guess jeans and Gingersnaps shirt; bottom: Joey at the elevator lobby of the executive lounge
The first thing Joey does in a new place is test the bed. We have a pretty nice mattress at home and big fluffy pillows so I guess he looks for the same whenever we sleep in a new place.
While New World isn’t at par with The Peninsula, it does have a nice view (at least compared to the room we stayed in the Pen):
 view of the San Lorenzo Village from our room

view from the elevator lobby: Greenbelt on the left side…
….and Makati Avenue on the left side.
I was expecting a lot more from the hotel since I usually stay in hotels from the same chain when I go on business trips (I’ve tried the Renaissance in Seoul and Ho Chi Minh and I liked both), but other than the buffet breakfast, I didn’t find anything spectacular about it. The hallways smell old and the rooms are a little too ordinary – the towels are even threadbare! 
I also find their service rather slow – particularly at check-in/out. And I have a separate incident checking in for someone from the office and it was a customer service nightmare – even up to now it is unresolved.
But their bath robes and slippers are super soft and the staff are very friendly and helpful.  Plus, it’s right across from Greenbelt 3 so if your looking to shop til you drop, then this place is perfect. 🙂

If rate are equal, I probably won’t be staying again at this hotel if I am in the same area. But, New World, I think, is the cheapest hotel in the Makati CBD so I guess that’s why it’s a favorite of business travelers who are scrimping on hotel charges.