Philippines 2012 Day 6 - The Goodbye

Click here for Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4.1, Day 4.2 and Day 5.

It’s our last morning in Philippines and not only will I bring loads of shopping goods and touristy stuff, I will also bring countless of memories from Day 1.


Up to date, this may be the best vacation I ever had mainly because of the love brought onto me. Jhon’s entire family has been ever so hospitable beyond words and I am glad they enjoyed my company too.

Everyone has been nice and respectful to my needs in terms of my faith with no complains. Even Jhon’s grandma who is a devout Catholic.



Other than that, although the weather has been hot and humid, being in Philippines was fun and relaxing at the same time. There were fantastic breathtaking views with delicious food. My diet in Philippines was so healthy that I poop floating light color poo every morning. I know, too much information hahaha but it’s just to show how healthy my diet was even thought there were a lot of sweet savouries.

I didn’t cry when we said farewell. I could’ve had but I tried to be strong and not want them to see how emotional I can be. =P But I did tell Jhon my thoughts and feelings about his family the night before.

I bawled.



Honestly, I have never seen such love, respect and dedication within a family in my entire life. It was as if I was in a dream. I know they had their squabbles and hardships but I kept seeing things that I don’t get to see often.

Actions like both Jhon’s parents doing household chores without nagging, his dad and bro so hands on in helping his mom do crotchet and that I can see his parents sit and talk with love. I have never seen married couples and especially old married couples talked so nicely to each other. Even I don’t talk to Jhon so nicely all the time.



Anyways, this trip was nothing but wonderful and beautiful. It has opened my eyes and heart.

I understand how Jhon always wanted to have his parent’s character and personality and you know what? I do too.

When I reached home, Jhon’s mom told him that everyone missed me. They sort of expect me to go down stairs in their house in the morning to say good morning, brush my teeth and have breakfast together.

Perhaps at this point, everything is lovely because we just met but at least our first impressions of each other were memorable.


Thank you, Tolentino family for having me into your lives. =)


   

Philippines 2012 Day 5 - Tagaytay

Click here for Day 1, Day 2Day 3, Day 4.1 and Day 4.2

Day 5… The last touristy day before Jhon and I leave for Singapore the next morning.

On this day, we went to Tagaytay to watch over the Taal lake and volcano.

Okay, a little prelude. April happen to be my birthday month and Jhon felt bad for not doing anything for my birthday so he decided to have a belated picnic in Philippines. The only thing is that I don’t know when. I only suspected it would be by the beach or by a volcano.

On day 2 and 3, Jhon’s family discussed about their birthday plans for me. They speak in Tagalog but I can pick out some words. They talked about what food should his mom cook, what to bring and even what cake to buy. It was so sweet to see these people I just met planning with full gusto just for my birthday. I don’t get to see this at home. =)

So at 7.30am, Dennis, our driver came by to drive us to Tagaytay. We saw several pineapple plantations along the way.



When we reached the place, it was still early and it was cooling because we were on a mountain. It’s like we were in an air conditioned place. We passed a viewing spot and when Dennis and Jhon's dad heard me squealed in delight, they offered to stop for me to the check out the view even though I could get an eyeful later.




I thought it would be cool the entire day but as soon as the sun rises, it got heaty again.

We were the first few to arrive Tagaytay Picnic Groove so we were spoilt for choice. I was busy juggling climbing up and down the steep staircase, finding the perfect spot and looking at the beautiful view.

[I know, my elbow went wonky. I have weird joints okay? #insecure]






This is the closest I have ever been to a volcano and do you know we can actually trek on it or sail around it??? SYIOK! We didn’t have enough time for that so perhaps next time! hehe So exciting!

My belated birthday picnic started with yummy noodles! Yey! Hehe One of Jhon’s uncle and of course, Dennis, our awesome driver joined too. hehe So far, I feel so lucky to always get awesome, dedicated and sincere drivers whenever I go for a vacation.







The picnic ground has shops and ZIPLINE!! There were 3 types. In a boring cable car, sitting down and SUPERMAN where you lay down and zip line! Lol Naturally, I wanted to go but Jhon was hesitant for me going for my safety but eventually, he gave in! Thank you, mahal ko! I went with his sister, Loi. She is much more adventurous than Jhon. =P

We went superman zip line and came back via sitting zip line. It was a short distance but fun nonetheless.




After the thrilling ride, we went back to the gazebo to take a breather and CAKE TIME!

Jhon’s brother (who never followed us out but did a lot of behind the scenes work like this) bought chocolate mousse cake! It was really delicious because it was a mousse cake; it’s not so chocolaty and sweet.



High with sugar, we had a ‘wacky-wacky’ shot which is a Pinoy version of candid shot. Hehe Oh wait, the cake box is not opened yet so this is before lol.



I really had a wonderful time and I truly appreciate for every effort made from everyone. Even Jhon’s mom and bro who didn’t always follow us around but I knew they are the ones who bought food and cooked for me. I have never met such a hospitable and loving family.

Since our flight home was tomorrow morning with plenty of time after the picnic, I told Jhon that I still have quite a good amount of pesos left and wanted to take the opportunity to spend on them. I had to promise it was for me and no more for others. =P

So Dennis dropped Jhon, Loi and I at Ever Gotesco Mall at Pasig. I simply love the shirts there, mainly because their fit is awesome as it accentuates my body shape. ;D And it all cost me SGD8 each. Now if Jhon ever goes back to Philippines without me, I would ask him to go to this place to get me tops. Hehe

Oh yeah, Jhon even get to eat at his favourite place, JollieBee.. lol Halal version can be found at Changi City Point Mall at Bagus. Haha



After shopping, I insisted Jhon to take me to watch awesome coconut peeling skills which I saw when we were going to Tagaytay. He was hesitant at first because he was afraid for my safety and his DSLR since we would be at the side of the road.

He eventually gave in after I reminded him he promised me that he would let me see it in action. Lol Click here for a blog post solely on coconut peeling. I am THAT fascinated and amused!


Afterwards, we rode the jeepney. We were lucky because the ride was empty except for a lady so it was fun. Jeepney is a mostly used form of public transport and it can be packed like sardines. Mind you, there is no air-conditioning!



We reached home by 5pm. Jhon and I rested and started packing. There were lots to pack. When we went to Philippines, Jhon brought a large luggage while I had a medium sized one and we ended up exchanging luggage. Jhon did most of the packing because he is OCD about it and he can’t stand watching how I pack which by the way, is quite decent! Hmph.

Oh yeah, before nightfall, yummy food! I want this again please! Mango dipped soya sos with sugar and sugar glazed fried sweet potato. YUMMMY!!!!


And for dinner, grilled fish by Loi. =D


As night time ensues, Loi asked me if wanted to follow her and her dad to a nearby store to buy something. I was hesitant for a second because I had no makeup and dressed for home but I eventually followed.

Loi was so sweet. She knew I was shy and insecure she kept pointed out other ladies who wore home clothes out too to reassure me. We went to 2 stores and ended up to a nearby mall. Just to look for Nestea Ice lemon tea.

Just for me.

It was because I ever mentioned I wanted to buy a large pack to bring home since day one but I forgot.

Jhon and family, why are you so nice! Now I know where Jhon’s nice and sweet character comes from. His parents! I have never been so touched because they were so thoughtful and hung every word I said.

I am going to miss them to the max.

Next and final blog post on Philippines, Day 6.


   

My Attempt at Almond Biscotti

Biscotto is from Prato, Italy which translated as Biscuit, specifically, it is a twice baked biscuit because well, you have to bake it twice. Haha There are many types of Biscotti such as Cherry Biscotti but Almond Biscotti is the original recipe.

The only time I had a taste of Biscotti was at Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf at an airport at Bali in 2011. Ever since, it has been lingering in my mind. Up until now….

My Biscotti!



It looks good but does it taste good? 2 out 3 people found it tasty. Not saying that it’s perfect because I think I should’ve been more generous with my vanilla essence and I find the Biscotti a little too tough when eaten on its own.

Actually, it was meant to be dipped into coffee and when we did, yeah! Yummy! I still need to make a few improvements if I ever want to bake it again.

I find baking Biscotti easy with little ingredients. The only troublesome part was I had to bake it twice. Other than that, it’s easy-peasy.

Here is the ingredients and directions I used. If you wish to follow, I suggest adding more vanilla essence and keep checking the Biscotti while it’s baking.

Ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 cup whole almond, toasted

Directions:

Preheat oven to 175 degrees Celsius.
Line 2 baking sheets with parchment.
Combine dry ingredients and set aside.
Whisk the eggs and vanilla in your mixer until well blended.
Add the dry ingredients and mix until combined.
Dough should be thick and sticky at this point--do not worry, and DO NOT add more flour!
Scrape the dough out onto a parchment lined sheet pan.
Flour your hands and shape into a long flat loaf about 10 inches long and 5 inches wide.
This will be kind of messy, so don't worry about how neat it is, just try to get it in that general shape.
Bake until firm and dry, about 20 minutes until small cracks appear.
Remove from the oven and cool 10 minutes.
Use a long serrated knife and slice into 1/2-inch wide slices.
Lay the slices cut side down on the baking sheet and bake another 10 minutes.
Turn the slices over and bake 10 minutes more, or until the cookies are a light golden brown.

Cool the biscotti on a rack; cool completely before storing.

Good luck!




   

Our Quest for A&W

So one day, I posted this on my Facebook.


Yes, there were 64 comments but mostly nonsense shared between 4 people. Haha

For non-Singaporeans, you may not think it is a big deal but it IS!! A&W was closed since 2003 and up to now, I still don’t get it why they don’t gain profit because as a teen, A&W was my go to fast food restaurant compared to MacDonalds/KFC. I just love those chickens!

Anyways, long story short, Fizah did a research on how to go to the nearest A&W in Malaysia. Up to now, I am so grateful that she did all the research by herself and wanted to go to a spontaneous and adventurous trip when usually, I am the one who has to do all the research.

You see, we have never venture Johor without a car with our families except for City Square by bus. And some of you would know, City Square is just next to the Malaysian check point. That is how far we have been!

Fizah found out that there is an A&W at Bukit Indah and there is a 1 straight bus there from Jurong Bus Station!! Perfect for nervous bugs like us. Of course, Jhon came along too as our bodyguard. Keke

So on Saturday morning, we met at 9am 9.45am and took bus number CW3 via Tuas Link. We had to pay SGD4 per pax in cash.

The journey was rather smooth and there were not many people. It was definitely a less stressful journey.


When we reached Malaysian check point to proceed to Bukit Indah, we had a rocky start with the bus service and passengers. It was complicated to explain so fast forward…

For all we know, WE WERE AT BUKIT INDAH AEON! Fizah and I were jumping for joy like little kids who found candy land. Jhon was indifferent =S What do you expect from a non-Singaporean? Lol



Okay, something happened afterwards. I was half-hearted about sharing this because it was embarrassing but it's what make the quest 'interesting' lol. I will just make it short in hopes to make it less awkward. Lol

All I can say is DO NOT TRUST THE A&W MAP which shows this.



Please take note of the address and not blindly rely on the map.

That is all.




So we finally got our A&W food!! YAHOO!!

  


We ordered Coney dogs with their infamous curly fries and root beer float. BURP!




I also declared that we shall have our dinner at A&W again so I can eat their chicken! Bwahaha!

So after lunch, we roamed around the huge mall. Somehow, we found ourselves an arcade within a department store which was weird but their games where awesome can!? Particularly a pirate game which Jhon and I played. We had Fizah sat in between of us as the person in charge of the token dispenser but it turned out the steering wheel in front of her is usable and she had to help! It was crazy fun! I believe we attracted a lot of kids with our laughter and screams. =P


lol for fun!





After the arcade, we went back to adult business. Jhon got himself a good looking checkered shirt while Fizah bought baby clothes for her pregnant sis and went berserk with shawls which will use as head scarves.

I can’t blame her because they all look great and at great prices!

Me, well…… I bought 2 hair bands. Hahahaha typical me.. I know.. I just come for the food hokay!?

After a while, we got tired so we had our early dinner. The chicken was even more delicious than I last remembered! I want more!


We were supposedly supposed to get waffles with ice-cream before we head back to Singapore but Jhon got too cranky from tiredness so we decided to give it a pass since we can always come back later.

A&W, we WILL be BACK!

Thanks again, Fizah and sorry to Jhon if we pushed you too far until you get too tired. =P