Thursday, March 02, 2017

Marching on

The month of March is upon us, obviously!  The first two months were fairly pleasant, weather wise. The whole nation was embraced by this really cool to the point of being cold climate. My kind of weather, perfect, really!

Appropriate weather to stay in bed a bit longer in the mornings all tucked in with many pillows and kumot (light blanket). I've been catching up on my long list of movies to watch, rekindling my passion and also updating my other blog where I get to put on my 'movie critic' hat. This reminds me why I started a blog in the first place .. to fuel my love for the art of cinema and sharpen my writing skills, kuno.

Being a practicing Catholic, the first day of March marked the start of the Lenten season with Ash Wednesday. So yesterday, D and I heard mass and 'got crossed'. Lent is a time of profound reflection and fervent prayers to atone for our sins. It is also a time for sacrifices which can take the form of fasting and abstinence (abstain from eating meat on Lenten Fridays).  Ever since I was born, our family has followed this tradition so surely I will adhere and conform. Besides it (not eating meat) can do good for one's health regimen. 

Speaking of diet, I'm glad to announce that I have managed to stick to my exercise routine of working out 5 days a week. Yet I am not obsessed to the point that I weigh myself constantly. In fact, I have no idea what my current weight is but I feel lighter,  more energetic and it helps brighten my disposition ... so I'm marching on. =)

Saturday, February 18, 2017

"A Lorcha": a Portuguese cuisine experience

We have been going to Macau for several years now and I have grown to appreciate the place for various reasons. The fancy hotel stay, the tempting lure of the casinos, the accessibility of the different hotels through their free shuttle bus service, a few historical sites, the perfect mixture of the traditional landscape with  modern architecture as exemplified by the luxurious hotels. Of course, it goes without saying that there are all sort of cuisine available to satisfy one's craving.

Macau is a former colony of Portugal. A country which I unfortunately didn't have the pleasure of visiting when we were still based in Europe. Aside from the preserved heritage of tourist attractions, the 'conquerors' of Macau still make their presence felt through the numerous restaurants offering Portuguese food.

Our usual haunts include a restaurant named Madeira which is located within the Venetian Macao complex and Moa Besa, an intimate place that serves authentic culinary delights situated within the tiny alley of Senado Square, the main plaza in Macau. 

My sister was recommended by her work colleague to try A Lorcha, a famous restaurant that serves Portuguese dishes. So armed with a picture of a calling card of said restaurant, we boarded two cabs (Macau taxis only take 4 passengers) to have lunch. 

It is VERY difficult to communicate with people there as they don't speak English.  D and I took the first cab, once we traveled over the long bridge, the taxi driver pointed at some decrepit place and insisted it was "A Lorcha". I had done my research the night before on Google map and I was certain that wasn't the correct address.  After walking for several minutes, we reached a taxi stand and thankfully the lady driver knew the place so we made it like 12 minutes past our appointed time of 2 P.M.  Luckily, our table was still reserved and not given to someone else.

Judging from the facade of the place, you cannot tell it is a famous eatery. The area itself is off the chosen path and not easily accessible through the free shuttle buses of the fancy hotels. You really need to take either a taxi or know the specific bus which stops near the place.

The interiors are simple yet exude a cozy/homey vibe. Now I understand why you need to reserve as there are very few tables and even if it was already 2 P.M. it was still full and a bit cramped. The service staff were predominately Filipinos, some of them have worked there for decades. They were polite, friendly and not really 'overwhelming', if you know what I mean.

Note: be sure to make reservations as it is always fully booked.

Now on to their dishes, we ordered their specialties which has a distinct taste. Flavorful and delicious, quite rich though so make sure you drink plenty of water. 

Clams soup

Prawns Thermidore

Grilled African Chicken (spicy)

Char grilled Portuguese Chorizo

Seafood Rice
(milk and cream pudding with crumbled biscuits)

It was a pleasant dining experience in a nice place with good service. The food was different but full of flavors. So we are all smiles! =)

Saturday, February 11, 2017

A Slice of Paris in Asia

A side trip to Macau is always part of our Hong Kong visit. A mere hour away by ferry, the tiny city state is always a buzz with new hotels sprouting like wild mushrooms on every other block.

The newest hotel to mark its European presence is The Parisian Macau. I believe it had its soft opening September 2016. So when we visited in December it was fully operational. But unfortunately, the Eiffel Tower was closed for maintenance so we were not able to climb to the top for a panoramic view of Macau.  

Oh well ... maybe next time!  In the meantime, here are some photos from The Parisian, Macau.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

... Tis the most wonderful time of the year ...

... And dare I say ... it is also the most stressful time of the year!

Alright I don't want my last post for 2016 to focus on the negative, hehehe. 

I know that despite the stress and the toils of living in a highly urbanized city where Edsa traffic is a daily nightmare, waiting for hours just to find a tiny parking slot at very overcrowded malls + the worries about the hubby's highly demanding job ... I am extremely grateful for the abundance of blessings that embrace me and my family.

My original plan was to do an extensive 'year-end' report kinda post, but as usual I am running out of time. Just taking a short break from packing to write this post from my smartphone putting random thoughts together to form paragraphs that hopefully convey my state of mind.

Yes, D & D are off tomorrow to the land of dimsum and dumplings to join my parents (they went ahead) and sister for the Yuletide holidays. 

I'm excited and really looking forward to this trip which I booked really last minute as I wasn't sure about D's erratic schedule.

Let me end by wishing everyone happy holidays and may 2017 be another wonderful year!!! 

Friday, November 04, 2016

Ayala Museum, Greenbelt Makati

I love museums. I remember when we were based in Singapore, I would drop by this tiny museum after a long day at work and just sit and reflect on the art works. It was a calming experience. Ah the perks of being single and free to just do anything I wanted. I miss it, more than I care to admit, frankly.

On the second day of October, my sister turned 45 years old and after a sumptuous lunch at Sentro 1771, she wanted to do something different. 

She expressed a desire to go to the Ayala Museum. I couldn't agree more. But by the time we were done with lunch and some window shopping around the Greenbelt complex, it was already 4:30 P.M and the museum was only open until 6 P.M

The lady at the lobby though said we had ample time if we went directly to the 2nd and 4th floors. So we had a quick look see through the Crossroads of Civilizations which exhibited the Gold of Ancestors on the 4th floor. Photographs were not allowed in this section which displayed the brilliant gold jewelry of ancient tribes. 

Then to the 2nd floor to see the Diorama Experience. 60 panels in chronological order that are designed to be a comprehensive visual approach to Philippine history.

It would have been better if we had more time but it was a pleasant experience, nonetheless. They are open from Tuesdays to Sundays 9 AM - 6 PM. Different tickets prices depending on what sections you want to visit. Senior citizens can enter at discounted rates. While members of the academe + one person are free of charge, simply present your school ID card.