Monday, March 20, 2017

#CessieEats 4

1. Late lunch at Kap's Tapsi. Mamoosh, Nathan, and I had late lunch at Tapsi two weeks ago. Mamoosh was disappointed with the sizzling bangus. Fried daing na bangus lang kasi na nilagay sa sizzling plate lol. The kare-kare tasted good pero sobrang konti lang laman, puro sabaw lang. Hay, wala naman kasing ibang makainan dito sa area namin maliban sa fast food restos.

Mamoosh lost her senior citizen ID card after eating there. Twenty pesos lang ang na-save namin pero sobrang nahassle pa kami sa pagpapa-replace.



2. Kap's Tapsi's Palabok. I ordered palabok there for the first time. Mukhang di masarap pero ok naman pala. Sana magka-pancit malabon din sila (yung may matabang noodles).


3. SM Food Court Dinner. While waiting for the printing of her ID pictures (para nga sa replacement ng senior citzen ID card), we had our dinner at the food court. Syempre di mawawala ang Master Siomai.


4.  Goldilocks Butter Macaroons. Ngayon lang uli ako nakakain nito. I remembered my good friend Mylene (from Edmonton) tuloy. Favorite niya ang macaroons.


5. Monde Baked Puto. I kept on seeing this sa commercial kaya I eventually gave in. A pack of ten pieces costs Php91. Hmm. malagkit ang texture niya. Pero mas lasa siyang suman kesa puto lol. Sayang, I wanted this to be delicious pa naman talaga para makapag-uwi ako sa Canada.


6.  Cheese-Flavored Dirty Ice Cream. This is the dirty ice cream flavor that I eat. Ang sarap-sarap naman kasi. Gusto kong bumili ng isang tub nito at uubusin ko talaga. Around Php1k lang siguro yun. Someday.


7. Tapsilog. I will miss this pagbalik ko sa Canada. Yung pagkatulog ni Nathan eh magmo-motor ako at pupunta sa tapsilogan.


8. Jollibee chickenjoy. I am thankful kasi may 24-hour Jollibee na malapit sa amin. Pwede ng mag-chickenjoy anytime. I've gained more weight in the past four months that I am here in Pinas. Isa si Jollibee sa salarin.



Sunday, March 19, 2017

Pricey kiddie haircut

One "disadvantage" of raising a boy is the countless trips to the barber shop. Magastos! Since toddler pa lang ang anak ko at "maiyakin," we have to bring him pa to kiddie salons para "sanay sa magulong bata" ang maggupit sa kanya. Kaso nga, sobrang mahal naman.

This was actually his 4th haircut. The first was when he was one year old. The third and fourth were on June and October of last year (2016).


Two (or three?) other kids were having their haircut when we arrived at Cuts 4 Tots in Trinoma Mall. Nathan instantly panicked and wouldn't want to enter the shop. I had to forcibly sit him down in one of the 'cars.'


Thank goodness he calmed down matapos malagyan ng cape ni Manong Barbero. He was still sobbing though and just wanted to hold my hand. Manong Barbero was very good in calming him, magaling siyang mambola syempre.

video

Ahh, I spent Php400 for a 15-minute drill. Haircut is Php360 plus Php40 tip to Manong Barbero. Haha, masama pa rin ang loob ko. Mabilis pa namang humaba ang buhok ng anak ko.


In consolation, at least merong two "free" cars si TanTan courtesy of Manong Barbero.


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If you will ask, we spent around $23-24 (including tip) for Nathan's haircut in Edmonton and Surrey. May coupon pa yung sa Surrey ha. Sobrang namamahalan ako kaya I am tempted to learn how to use a shaver para ako na lang ang kakatkat. Maraming gumagawa ng ganun sa abroad kasi nga ang mahal ng salon services doon. Siguro when Nathan is a bit older, talagang pag-aaralan ko na.

I noticed that many boys in North America have long hair. Could it be because of haircut costs? Probably. Kaso mas gusto namin for Nathan ang short hair kaya di kami makakatipid on this aspect.


Tuesday, March 14, 2017

#CessieEats 3

Tapsi's pancit canton + bonete from Francisco bakery. Perfect merienda na sana kaso me bad news akong dinatnan pag-uwi ko. Di ko tuloy na-enjoy.

  
Mc Donald's Fish and Fries. I love fish and chips and I am glad that Mc Donald's came up with this, albeit for a limited time only (hanggang Mahal na Araw lang yata). Bitin nga lang kasi one piece lang (I am used to eating 2 pieces haha). Masarap naman in fairness, medyo mahal nga lang. Php149 with drinks. Personally, I'd rather order 2-pc chiken mcdo kesa dito kasi mas mabubusog ako.


Royce Chocolate.  Raxie gave me this bar last Christmas. Hindi pa ako nakakatikim ng Royce ever pero parang hindi naman ako interesado haha. Naalala ko lang kainin ito a couple of days ago, halos maeexpire na. My verdict -- so so lang. Hindi ako impressed. Nanghinayang ako sa Php350 pesos niya, si Joannie lang ang umubos haha.


Nips. Ito ang type na type kong lapangin lately. Ahh, chocolate of my childhood! I remember, lagi akong bumibili ng tatlong small packs nito sa tindahan ng kapitbahay naming si Aling Fely noong bata pa ako. I've grown pero mga simpleng chocolates lang talaga ang gusto ng panlasa ko.


Jollibee hotdod breakfast meal. This is my favorite breakfast in the world. Seriously. Sarap na sarap talaga ako kahit na nabibitin kasi maliit lang ang serving. When I was in college, ito lagi ang breakfast ko sa Jollibee Philcoa. How I wish I could wake up early para makakain lagi nito. We are going back to Canada in a month, dapat samantalahin ko na.

 

Sapsap. Do no underestimate this kind of ulam. Super expensive yan ha! Thank you, Mamoosh! Ang sarap po talaga!


Tokyo Tokyo's Pork Tonkatsu. Sa wakas nakakain din uli ako nito. Puro kasi KFC ang gustong kainan ni Nathan kaya na-deprive ako. Buti na lang me katulong na uli ako sa kanya kaya nakatakas ako para kumain nito (habang nasa Kidzoona sila). Ito yung gustung-gusto kong kainin sa Edmonton when I was pregnant eh. Kaso wala naman kaming natagpuang tonkatsu noon. Php160 na ito, without drinks. Kakain ako uli ng isa pang beses bago umalis.
 



There are no Purefoods hotdogs in Canada

For the record, THERE ARE NO PUREFOODS TENDER JUICY HOTDOGS IN CANADA.

Kailangan kong isulat ito kasi napansin kong ito ang pinaka-popular kong post so far. Katulad ko dati, marami ring gustong makaalam kung saan puwedeng makabili ng paborito ng lahat na tender juicy hotdogs.

Again, Canada won't import meat products from the Philippines. Very strict kasi ang standards nila, takot sa mga sakit na puwedeng madala ng mga karne from other countries. Kaya I doubt it kung magkakaroon man ever ng processed meat products sa Canadian grocery shelves (kahit nga canned sisig man lang sana).

Anyway, when we were still in Edmonton, Filipino-style hotdogs became available in the market. Gawa ng mga Pinoy na taga-Calgary. I was so happy, kasi talagang mahilig nga ako sa hotdogs. Pikit-mata akong bumili ng one pack noon kahit na around $20 siya sa Lucky Supermarket. Kaso  hindi ko nagustuhan ang lasa. I wasn't expecting naman na maging kasing-sarap siya ng Purefoods, pero hindi ko talaga type eh. Kahit yung asawa ko hindi rin gusto. Ni hindi namin naubos yung pack kahit na nanghihinayang ako. Sabagay, to each his own naman yan. But heaven knows, I really wanted "us" to work (lol!) kaso di talaga swak sa panlasa ko.

When we moved to British Columbia, ayun solved na ang problema ko. I've heard that Seafood City (a popular Filipino supermarket in the US) now carries Purefoods Tender Juicy Hotdogs. We now live 20 minutes away from the Canada-US (Washington) border (plus around 2 hours more to Seafood City) so we could go there anytime to hoard the yummy hotdogs!


I've forgotten the exact price of a pack of ten hotdogs (kasi walang naka-display sa shelf) but it was only US$2-something (naka-sale yata). I'll check again next time. Basta mura siya for me. There were many other Filipino-style hotdog brands din kasing available (like Martins which I also like) kaya may competition.


The drawback though is that these Purefoods TJ hotdogs were made in the US and not in the Philippines. Licensed lang sila kumbaga ng Purefoods Philippines. Look at the turkey ingredient.


The hotdogs don't actually look like their Philippine-counterpart. Medyo pale ang color at iba ang texture ng balat.


At syempre hindi talaga 100% na kalasa. Around 80% lang sa tantya ko. Pero sobrang ok na rin. Satisfied na ang craving ko for Purefoods! Seriously, isa ito sa mga naging considerations ko sa pagdecide na mag-move kami sa Surrey haha.


How I wish magkaroon na rin nito sa Canada, tutal made in the US naman. Kaso mukhang malabo. Di bale na nga, cross border lang naman ang katapat nyan.

Oops, by the way, the Canadian border authorities are not strict naman pala with grocery purchases from the US. Pinapalampas na nila ang food at hindi na usually tinatax-an kahit less than a day ka lang outside Canada. Basta i-declare mo lang para hindi ka magkaproblema.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Passport Renewed!

We've been here in Pinas since November 8, 2016 and one of my biggest mistakes was not booking a schedule for passport renewal early. I forgot that I had to renew my passport (as it is expiring on November 2017) and only remembered it after Ford has left.

I immediately took my laptop and went to the DFA website. Getting an appointment online isn't new to me as I have done it before. However, that particular night, I encountered so many errors that I wasn't able to secure one. Maiyak-iyak na ako talaga. It must be the internet connection, napuputol-putol kasi. Ang haba ng fini-fill out tapos hindi naman "makakapasok." In every attempt, palayo ng palayo ang date na available. Puro last week ng March na.

January 5, 2017
I tried again the following day and  was able to get a March 20 appointment in Marquee Mall. But because our flight back to Canada is on April 16 already, I cancelled it. Alanganin na talaga even if ipa-express ko. Province pa kaya mas matagal. Tapos magho-holy week, baka mabitin pa.

My solution was to walk-in na nga lang in Robinson's San Fernando. The problem though with walk-ins is that you have to be there as early as 3 am to be able to secure a slot. I have no problem with that as I have a car, kaso si Nathan. Ayaw niyang humiwalay sa akin eh, magigising yun at iiyak kapag wala ako. Sobrang kawawa naman kapag isinama ko ng madaling-araw tapos ang tagal pipila.

I can still fly back to Canada with my current passport since sa November pa naman ang expiration but I don't want to renew my passport there. Bukod sa mahal, matagal kasi. Ayaw ko ng idea na hindi ako makakalipad anytime. What if may emergency? Wag naman sana.

Anyway, I was about to lose hope (haha) when my husband Ford checked again the DFA website. Luckily, he found a February 24 slot. Yun nga lang, sa Robinson's Novaliches. Bago lang yata ang DFA passport renewal center dun kaya hindi pa ganun kadami ang nagre-renew kumpara sa iba. Saka nga hindi strategic. No choice, we had to grab it. Si Ford na ang nagpa-appointment sa akin because he has faster internet.

February 24, 2017 (Friday). My appointment was at 1pm but we left the house at around 8:45am to be sure. We didn't have a kasambahay back then so Joanne (our ever loyal secretary) accompanied me and Nathan. We just relied on GPS to get there. Thankfully, we arrived safe and early.

We proceeded to DFA and I checked with the staff at the door if my name's on their list of people with appointment. I said my appointment's at 1pm, she said yes and told me I could go back at 12noon.

We had 1 1/2 hours to kill so we ate and went around the mall. Luckily, there was a play area for kids where I can leave Nathan and Joanne. Solved na ang problem ko kay Nathan kasi tiyak malilibang siya doon and he wouldn't look for me.

I was back at DFA 10 minutes before 12 and they let me in without asking for my appointment time. Grrr, I realized that they are not particular about the time pala! Basta nasa list ang name mo, papapasukin ka na. Tsk, sayang ang oras na nagpalakad-lakad kami. It was a busy day Friday so mas maganda kung makakauwi kami ng maaga kasi may mga trabaho pa si Joanne.

Anyway, I was hopeful that I could get it done in less than an hour. The first steps were fast, saglit lang talaga. Kaso sa last step nagtagal -- kung saan ka kukunan ng picture and finger prints. There were only 2 active staff that time, lunch time pa rin kasi. You'll be given a number and you have to wait for it to be called. One hour akong naghintay.


By the way, I chose "Express" processing for Php1,200 (regular is Php950). Seven working days daw. Kelangan ko kasing magsigurado kasi nga baka magkaproblema pa eh me flight ako ng April. I had it shipped to me for Php150.

After being a bit worried because I was expecting it to arrive sooner, I finally got hold of my new passport last Saturday, March 11. If we start counting from Feb. 27 Monday (because I renewed in the afternoon of Feb. 24 Friday), it took 10 working days before it landed on my lap.


I am so happy to have my passport renewed! I just do not like my picture hay. I  heard that soon, Philippine passports will have 10 years validity na, which is very good especially for Filipinos living/working abroad. Sayang nga lang hindi na ako umabot.

This could be my last Philippine passport as I will be applying for Canadian citizenship once I meet the residency requirement. It'll be a sad day, changing passports. But to be honest, I am excited too. A blue passport is a powerful passport. It will mean mobility. No need to apply for visas and all.


Sunday, March 5, 2017

Hello, Miniso!

I "discovered" Miniso in Instagram where one blogger I follow posted something about it. I instantly stalked Miniso's IG account and learned that they'll be opening soon in SM Marilao. Bigla akong nabuhayan ng dugo. Sa sobrang boring ng buhay ko dito Marilao, a store like this is very welcome.I love love love kawaii things! Kaya nga sobrang fan ako ng Daiso / Japan Home, Dollarama, Dollar Tree, Target Dollar Spot, etc. Yan ang mga tipo kong tindahan talaga.

So yun nga, for so many days, I waited for the opening of Miniso. Sobrang excited ako. Php99 daw mostly ang products. Mas mahal kumpara sa Daiso pero naisip kong keri lang kasi nga "Japanese designer brand" naman daw.

February 28, 2017. Nathan and I were there at around 6pm and I was shocked with the crowd that greeted me. Nagkakagulo ang mga tao, grabe! Akala ko pa naman hindi gaano considering that it was a Tuesday. Pero suweldo rin kasi kaya maraming tao sa mall.

Nathan was on a stroller and I was tempted to leave right away. Ang sikip nga kasi ng store (stores in the Philippines are not stroller-friendly). Pero nanghinayang naman ako sa effort ko na pumunta doon. Saka low EQ talaga ako, parang di ko kayang mag-antay pa ng ibang araw lol.


Sa sobrang dami ng tao at sikip ng space, hindi ko talaga na-enjoy ang first Miniso visit ko. Idagdag pa ang isang batang makulit. I wasn't able to inspect the commodities one by one (haha, seriously) but I noticed na relatively "konti" lang ang 99-peso items. Mas marami pa nga yatang 149 eh.

Just for the sake of buying (at dahil gusto ko ng souvenir sa unang punta ko ng Miniso), I bought these:

Chicken stuffed toy -- Php149 / Kid's backpack -- Php299 / Coin purse -- Php99
I super love their stuffed toys! Ang lambot kasi tapos mura pa. I am contemplating kung bibili ako ng mas malaki. I also like their water bottles / tumblers, super cute kasi ng design.

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By the way, we went back the following day and without a stroller na. Nathan was literally pulling me out of the store, na-trauma yata sa experience namin the other day haha! Buti na lang napilit ko rin.

Their toys are reasonably priced.


 Again, super daming tao sa store. I realized na hindi lang pala ako ang adik sa mga kung anik-anik.


I think Miniso in SM Marilao is "small" as compared to other branches. Parang ang konti lang kasi ng plushies.

I only bought a blusher (ang ganda kasi ng case, may mirror and brush pa sa loob) and a paper sticker set nga pala. Ang gusto ko na lang balikan dun ay yung cute hand towels.

Php99 each
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Anyway, because I was sad to leave another "nice" store here in Pinas, I did some research and found out na magkakaroon na rin pala nito sa Canada.

It's sad though because they were not able to open up a store last December 2016.

I am keeping my fingers crossed. Kelangan ko ng additional entertainment pagbalik ko sa Canada.

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NOTE: As of now, I like Daiso more. More cutesy items eh. 


Monday, February 27, 2017

This is love

A lot of people are wondering why I am staying in Pinas for so long. Nathan and I have been here since November 8, 2016. We are scheduled to return to Canada on Easter Sunday (April 16, 2017).

This is my answer.


Mamoosh is the sole reason why I cannot fully live in Canada. She's living alone here in the Philippines at hindi ko siya matiis. Right now I have two homes -- one in Canada, with my husband and son, and one in the Philippines, with my mother.

I am grateful for an understanding husband. He is willing to sacrifice his own time with us (me and Nathan) so that I could be with Mamoosh.

I pretty have everything right now. My only wish is for my mother to have a longer life so she could see Nathan grow up. And I need her, I will never stop needing her.