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A Weekday at Manila



This vlog was basically a three (turned four) day trip to Manila on a weekday. I didn’t take much footage over the course of the trip because I was saving battery life which was probably not a good idea. Our sole purpose on this travel was to watch Phoenix Live in Manila despite the hectic schedule. I personally had this little list where I planned on going and eating but it looks like time and circumstances did not permit me to follow that said list. 🙁

Many of life’s adventures are unplanned.

Day 0 (Travel)

This is travel day. It was a 2.5 hour bus ride from Iligan to Laguindingan. It was longer than usual because of the checkpoints and road reconstructions, plus it was a rainy evening. Checking-in at Laguindingan Airport was a breeze despite the inevitable boarding delays but all in all it was alright. Just make sure you arrive an hour earlier than the check-in time. Another cool thing when traveling to Manila late at night is that there isn’t much hustle and bustle because traffic wasn’t as bad as usual.

I booked my stay via Airbnb. This was my second experience to try it out and here’s the kicker. You can get a huge discount on your first booking if you sign up with this link here! http://bit.ly/2ipT9SX

What I liked about it was that it was very affordable compared to hotel accommodations and the amenities are similar as that to a home since technically, you’re renting out someone else’s house with complete amenities. It’s like a home away from home.

Day 1 (Concert Day)

I made a mental note next time to email the organizers for a media pass if one is to take photos and footage during events such as this one. They were strict with their no DSLR bringing policy so I had to leave it along with the other things in my bag which they kept tucked away at their counter. For one to enjoy an event such as this one, it is best to read up on their announcements. There may be sudden venue changes (like this one) or they may post what items you should and should not bring.

Don’t forget to dress comfortably. I knew this was going to be slightly warm since I was going to sardine myself along with many others in the standing VIP section. I loved every minute of the chaos. The music and spending time with random people who love a band with the same fervor as you, now that’s a great way to enjoy a night.

I still can’t forget about that literal backstage free pass and the crowd-surfing crash. It was damn funny.

Day 2 (Free Day)

Miki led me to a crystal shop in Makati Avenue. I got myself a round rose quartz crystal and a quartz for good measure. It was a good walk going there and we passed along several Korean and Japanese grocery stores. After that, we randomly walked in on adult store which I failed to get some footage of 🙁 but it was quite funny and their merchandise was very…very interesing!

It was Chris’s idea to try out Señor Pollo, a Mexican themed restaurant at Makati. There was a vast amount of tourists at the area it was located. They had the best roast chicken I have ever had in a very long time. The chicken was seasoned to the point that the spices have seeped to the bone and yet the meat inside was tender. It was just so good! Their side dishes were also pretty tasty. We had Patatas Bravas, Colombian Beans, Mac N’ Cheese, French Fries and that Spicy Rice. Their sauces were remarkable as well and you had a lot to choose from!

Day 3 (Re-booking)

One thing this day has taught me was to never ever underestimate the check-in time. This resulted in a missed flight despite arriving with less than five minutes to spare. Also, always do a web check-in next time if you have a feeling that you’re going to be a bit late. Re-booking is a costly thing since its the same as practically paying for another flight. Got to stay an extra day.

With this extra day, I got to meet a not so little french bulldog at La Salle Greenhills named Logan!

Day 4 (Home)

Today was the ideal day to go home. I’m coming back to the peaceful place of 11PM curfew and of course, Martial Law. This I would never trade in for anything else unless its a month long free staycation at somewhere I have never been to.

Chinatown in my Eyes

My ever so sprightly BFF Chris decided to take me to Binondo for a day to soak in the sights and sounds of all things found in Chinatown! First to greet me was the largest and brand spanking new Chinatown arch in the world! It’s now the largest in the world at 3.8-feet taller than the one found in Washington, DC. The foundations of the arch are 30 meters deep to prevent collapse in case of earthquakes. It was said that the creation of the said arch was funded by the city of Guangzhou. DSC_0358

The driver kinda looked at us funny and chuckled just as were about to get off the taxi. We told him prior that we were going to Estero and he wondered why of all places would we want to go there. Hmm that makes it all the more a curiosity for me.

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Found this at the base of another welcome arch. Are you a lion or a dog?

DSC_0368 Binondo is a district in Manila and is referred to as the city’s Chinatown and is the world’s oldest Chinatown. Its influence extends beyond to the places of Quiapo, Santa Cruz, San Nicolas. It is the oldest Chinatown in the world, established in the 1594 by the Spaniards as a settlement near Intramuros but across the Pasig River for Catholic Chinese, it was positioned so that colonial rulers could keep a close eye on their migrant subjects. It was already a hub of Chinese commerce even before the Spanish colonial period. Binondo is the center of commerce and trade of Manila, where all types of business run by Filipino-Chinese thrive.DSC_0367

What an excellent day to go out for a stroll…. make that brisk walking. It wasn’t that warm and the wind was alright.  Busy busy streets and this one was a holiday! Hello Ongpin Street. DSC_0369

Sugar cane like it’s nobody’s business by the street. I used to nibble on these when I was a kid while watching TV. The first of many nice things to see and hopefully try out?

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This particular shop at Ongpin St. caught my attention so I definitely had to go in!

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To which I did not ever regret! Check out this post for more photos and a whole lot of stuff to see and what exactly happened while we were in the premises. DSC_0414

We wandered around for a bit looking for the spot that served frog legs. Looks like we already passed by it since it was nestled by the side of the bridge. This place is popularly known as the “Estero Fastfood”DSC_0401

Situated right beside an “Estero” – a spanish word for Creek, which held an array of meats and seafood! The one to the far right piqued my interest.DSC_0405

Hi Chris! Looking pretty spiffy today dearie. I wonder what’s in store for us after this.

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This was what they call Bamboo clams, some call them Razor clams. This one was cooked Adobo style and it was my first to try them out. The texture was that of the usual rubbery chewy soft clams you use for soup. It’s taste though was slightly stronger and had an almost fishy essence to it.

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Frog legs! I haven’t tried them before but I daresay there’s always a first! It wasn’t so bad once you get over the image of what used to be a kicking live frog. There was a millisecond though where I thought of marshy areas and croaking. Tastes absolutely like fried chicken! The meat was less oily too. It was best paired with the soy sauce and calamansi combo!  Lunchtime.

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We got to do some more strolling and Chris definitely knew I was up for a bit of fruit shopping!

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This my friends is a Longan. A close relative of the Lychee and far chewier than it. They were so easy to peel and yes I had to buy some of these. DSC_0417

Lychees! It’s the real deal you taste from juices and jellies! They kind of looked like naked Rambutans. Very juicy.

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*inserts Fruit Ninja related humor* Dragon fruit!

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There were a lot of roads to choose from and we were headed to Lucky Chinatown mall, this here is Benavidez St. Too bad I didn’t get to check Wai Ying. As you can see the area had a lot of fruit and vegetable stands.

While waiting for Chris to finish his little chitchats I was silently observing this group of people in a table and I find out they were doing free portraits!

One of them obliged me to take a seat and yes I will show you what the finished piece looks like at the end of this post.

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Chris was next. I can’t believe how they totally got his features!

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Ending our visit with grilled oysters yum. It has been generously sprinkled with garlic and loads of butter. Delicious. They’re selling  these like hotcakes!

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….and here is the art piece you’ve been waiting to see! TADA! This will serve as a reminder as to how I will look like after 50 years or so. But hey, it’s free!

Street Food: Have You Tried A One Day Old Chick?

one day old chickI know it doesn’t look that appetizing for those who are unfamiliar with the one day old chick.  It’s fried poultry but it tastes surprisingly good if you closed your eyes while not thinking of it as…

a carcass of a dead chick

It’s a Pinoy street food they call the “One Day Old”. It’s  made from you guessed it right, chicks. More specifically, rejected male chicks from poultry farms. It was served to us in a cup with sticks poured in with a copious amount of sweet and sour vinaigrette sauce. We were a bit hesitant to try it since it looked slightly unsettling. With our eyes closed we bit into it.  A couple of chews later we realized it tasted pretty good for something that looked quite grotesque.

Without thinking what I was masticating on, I could say it tasted like the yolk of a boiled egg combined with spicy fried chicken. The crunch to it were the bones, beak and other things you shouldn’t dare think about while eating it.

 

Midnight Buffet at Somethin’ Fishy

I could never be the most happiest food lover at 12AM a couple of days ago when my friends and I decided to wait for Somethin’ Fishy’s Midnight to Morning Buffet from 12 midnight to 10am. At the price of 199php for an Eat-All-You-Can affair now it is definitely a steal!

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We arrived there at around 11:30 and there were people already seated inside the premises. The area was spacious and the ceilings were high but the rows of long tables wasn’t too hard to miss. There were some that have already been reserved. I recommend you do that if you don’t want to have a challenging time looking for seating. The ambience was nice with theirSome hearty conversations and several minutes pass by and they ring on the buffet bells and a crowd of hungry eaters arise.

All the kerfuffle made us hungry like ravaging lions from a month long starvation period! Everybody wanted a piece of this and a scoop of that. Empty trays were bussed and refilled. We were caught up in the rampage. A good tip to keep in mind is to always look behind before taking a step. You might never know there would be someone or something you could bump into while in a frenzied state.

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I took a little bit of this and that and proceeded to what I thought I would be dining peacefully with a glass of margarita at the side. Nevertheless, hunger overpowered us and we devoured what was on our plate and took off for another round of food.

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There was a lot to choose from since they served over 40 types to choose from. The table started with different breads and spreads which moved on to the meats ranging from beaf, chicken and ham!

The salad table was abundant with….greens of course! and dressings. They also had the pancakes, waffles and french toast which I drizzled with chocolate syrup and sprinkled some chocolate chips and mini marshmallows. A heavenly treat.

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There was something about the margarita mountain that made it a game to drink. Everytime I sipped, it fills itself to the rim. You really had to drink it at a fast pace or it might flood your table silently! It costs 50php only.

I wasn’t able to take photos since the crowd of people didn’t even up until we left the place! It was pretty tricky holding a camera steady with people pushing at each other and grabbing food off the trays.

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We ended going home at about 2AM since we were checking out of our hotel early. Here’s a master list of the things that can stuff your tumtum…

Starters: Pandesal, Loaf Bread, White Bread, Waffles, Pancakes,French Toast, Lumpiang Shanghai
Eggs: Spanish Omelette, Scrambled Egg, Egg Sunny Side Up,
Beef: Beef Tapa
Chicken: Chicken Pringles, Chicken Adobo,
Pork: Tokwa’t Baboy, Baked Ham, Bologna,  Pork Adobo, Pork Tocino, Sweet and Sour Pork, Pork Siomai,Cheesedog,Longganisa
Fish: Sardines in Oil, Daing na Bangus, Sardines in Tomato Sauce
Noodles: Beef Mami, Chicken Mami, Pancit Palabok, Pancit Canton
Porridge: Arroz Caldo, Champorado

Dessert: Puto Bumbong, Bibingka, Biko, Palitaw, Maja Blanca, Gelatin, Banana Fritters
Rice: Garlic Rice, Steamed Rice, Chinese Fried Rice

somethingfishy0Somethin’ Fishy

Location: Eastwood information center, Citywalk 1, Lungsod Quezon, Kalakhang Maynila, Philippines Contact no. +63 2 421 6412

They Sell: Eat-all-you-can midnight to morning buffets from 12AM-10AM and lunch and dinner buffets and even Birthday Buffets. I hope to try the Seafood Dinner Buffet at 569php when I come back.

Price Range: 199 for the Midnight Morning Buffet and a 50php margarita.

 

(All food photos courtesy of the Somethin’ Fishy facebook page)