koko & everything else

koko & everything else

Sunday, July 31, 2011

WORST DATE EVER: Prestige Dinner Cruise MOA Complex


(DISAPPOINTED LOOK)

It’s been a while since I last posted something in this blog. I just got swamped with work and really wasn’t able to do anything interesting… unless you find a pile of paper work THRILLING AND EXHILARATING!

Well, anyways, since I was always working and got little time to go out with my gf, I decided to surprise her with a ROMANTIC DINNER CRUISE for our 8th month-sary. Cheesy, I know, but it’s just something we, lovebirds do, when we’re in love (Another cheesy remark… I can see my friends reading this and rolling their eyes LOL)

Well that was the BIGGEST MISTAKE!

Okay… I’ll let you in on what I had in mind why I booked my reservation in the first place. First, it was discounted so I just had to seize the opportunity and second (which really made me convinced) was the photo I saw on their AD. It had two wine glasses, fabulous table setting and elegantly prepared meal. Just imagine a love struck couple plus sunset plus good food plus music equals ROMANTIC!

It was the perfect date…. IN MY MIND.

So what really happened? I’ll just write it in a bulleted form so I wouldn’t miss a single disastrous thing….

• I booked our reservation at 6PM, we were advised to be there an hour earlier… and so we kinda did… and ended up standing in front of the empty boat/ship/yacht (whatever that thing was) just waiting for the people to finally let us in.

• Remember the AD I told you about? With the classy dinner set-up? Well guess what, when they finally let us in, we were greeted with monobloc chairs and tables with dirty damp table cloths. And the boat was so crowded that we had to sit near the stairs/exit (just imagine, people kept walking around and bumping your chair while eating)

• And since the sunset was far from happening (since we went there last July 30 and it was raining), we were greeted by raindrops on our table, on our chair and my wallet even got slightly damped. And because we were seated near the exit… we had the privilege to sit on the table which is first in line in GETTING DRENCHED.






• Off we sailed… the view was mediocre… and the scent of Manila Bay sucked. That’s great! Bon app├ętit!

• Eating time! We booked for an Eat all you can buffet treat! Yeah, EAT WHATEVER’S LEFT ON THE BUFFET TABLE. And because the boat was so crowded and they had like one short buffet table… people lined up for so long! And standing up in a sailing boat on a NOT SO GOOD WEATHER meant waves! I didn’t intend to go surfing that day… but I was balancing myself like a pro just to get some food!

• As I’ve said…. EAT whatever’s left… I GOT one half-breast fried chicken, 1 x 1 inch of fish fillet without sauce, some vegetables and pasta noodles in white sauce ( I would like to highlight the sauce… It was white and it had nothing with it… just plain white sauce). They ran out of soup, rice and their desserts… I WOULDN’T DARE TO EAT.





• When I finally survived getting to my table without losing my balance and spilling my half empty plate on someone…. ON FIRST BITE… I realized… I was like eating a frozen dish… IT WAS ICE COLD! For the first time in 25 years of existence… I got to experience what FROZEN PASTA tasted like….

• And since our table got the best location… I had to eat my food as fast as I could before it becomes SOUP… (IT WAS RAINING and literally, my plate was filling up with rain drops…)

• Then the music…. I thought I was going to listen to something instrumental… violin, piano… anything classic… but I ended up listening to a 60 year old guy singing Green Day’s 21 guns. With wrong lyrics and mixed up song titles.

• Oh.. and one last thing… EAT ALL YOU CAN DINNER… they didn’t say you get to drink too…. So if you are dying of dehydration, you can ask for WATER (that they’ll serve after 15 to 20 minutes) or you can BUY soda or any canned drinks… I asked for two cans of SPRITE… worth P75 each… WOW… what’s worse? They will only let you know that you have to pay for that drink after you finish drinking it all up. When I asked the guy for drinks, he gave me choices… WATER, SOFT DRINKS or CANNED JUICE. When I picked soda, he served it after 20 minutes… waited for us to drink it all… then came back to ask for our payments… LOL.. that’s just sad….

So my ROMANTIC DATE ended up at YELLOW CAB with 10inches Manhattan Meatlovers (coz we’re still freakin starving) with damp hair and clothes.. disappointed and apologizing to my GF of the FREAKIN DATE I surprised her with! I felt so bad coz she even dressed up a little… but ended up in a zipped up hoodie like an Eskimo… Good thing she was cool about it and laughing too! =P Thanks to Mall of Asia’s fireworks and Yellow Cab… our date was saved.




SO MAY THIS BLOG POST SERVE AS A WARNING… Dinner cruise at PRESTIGE CRUISE is not for the faint-hearted. IT WILL NEVER BE ROMANTIC… I guarantee that….

BY THE WAY... if you wanna see the AD i was talking about... it was the one with two wine glasses... Search for it in Google Images and type in PRESTIGE DINNER CRUISE

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

MUNCHING AT MIDNIGHT MERCATO




PHOTOS BY: Haz

I’ve been a food lover for decades… and my pal, Maiers is a living witness. During the earlier years of my life, I can eat all day long but now, I mellowed down a bit. But having heard of this food heaven called Midnight Mercato, I JUST CAN’T RESIST… I needed to get there… ASAP!

Last April 30, 2011, since I was invited to the christening (or should I say to the reception afterwards) of my friend’s son at Paseo de Magallanes… Mai, Haz and myself decided to go to Midnight Mercato after the party.

But since, Midnight Mercato starts at 10PM and the party ended around 6PM (or earlier), we had a few hours to spare. So, of course, we ended up killing time at the nearby Starbucks.

Our journey to Midnight Mercato started at around 9:45PM. I, being the designated driver… Haz as the passenger and photographer and Mai, as my trusted navigator or my HUMAN GPS!

We GOT LOST.

Well, not entirely. But we kinda lost our way to the spot. And later on figured out that the Mercato Tent moved to another location… It was kinda my fault since I remembered reading it in their website but forgot to mention it to Mai. Since, I really have a brain of a 2year old when it comes to location finding, my companions were already used to it and just asked our way to the place.

When we got there, the place was packed! And it starts with the parking slots. You have to line up just to get a decent parking spot and the sad news is, there were a lot of jerks trying to cut in line. And although I would totally go berserk with that situation, I just held my breath and prayed to God to bless me with patience.

And the fact that I needed to GO (as in nature is calling, in short, I needed to take a leak) I was extra patient that night and just excite to get in and find a decent restroom.

But the bad luck just came pouring in. When we finally got in, the only restrooms available were two portalets (one for girls and one for boys). But still, even though I don’t normally use portalets, I just gave in. There I was, standing behind two girls, waiting for my turn… things just needed to get worse than it was. SOMEONE DROPPED A BOMB. and that moment one, I wished I had an actual bomb and threw it at that GIRL… but then… I shouldn’t be too inconsiderate… she needed to release it… poor girl (I just wonder how she cleaned up afterwards since there was no WATER, not even for flushing LOL)

Anyways, forget the long queue in parking and the LACK OF RESTROOMS. I still can say that I had much fun at Midnight Mercato. Too bad though that I was full from earlier activities, coz if not, I would have eaten so much more!

But for that night, we decided to try our luck with some cakes, sausages and nachos.

Cakes were mediocre. It was dry and no WOW factor. But then, it was cheap… so I think I got the quality for the price I paid. And the nachos was no different. It was the regular nachos I can get from mall stalls.

But the Hungarian sausages were quite good. I got the regular and spicy ones. And I just couldn’t complain.

I also tried that Non-alcoholic fresh fruit champagne which really tasted like Cali (but not better). But the “sago’t gulaman” Mai got, was really a total waste of money. MAS MASARAP PA YATA BUMILI NG PALAMIG SA KALYE and you can just pay 5 or 10 peso for it.

























To sum it all up, BITIN AKO SA MIDNIGHT MERCATO trip. And I am really planning to go back and try more food. But hopefully, I can get to pick the right ones coz some of them were really not as superb as I expected.

To know more about MIDNIGHT MERCATO, just go to their website, or better yet, try it yourself. The trip is worth it! They promised a LOT OF FOOD CHOICES and I think they kept their promise on this one. You just gotta be more careful which ones to try and which ones to run away from! LOL!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

A Road Less Travelled: Visita Iglesia de Malate (or Manila)



Holy week for me was all fun and adventure… that was the usual getaway. Sand, beach and more sand!

But this 2011, I decided to change my course. It’s been a while since I last attended a mass, so maybe, a little sacrifice for God is what I needed to do to make up for it.

Visita Iglesia. Or simply church visit. But to give it a little twist… we visited 7 churches on foot. Yes, we walked the whole time.

So our Journey started… but to make it more interesting, we decided to focus our church visit to a few spots in manila or specifically Malate that was less popular. Instead of going to big cathedrals and churches like that in Baclaran or Barasoain, we opted to get to know a few hidden churches that are totally and unbelievably alive and still existing.

FIRST STOP: SANTISIMA TRINIDAD PARISH
LOCATION: Estrada Street, Malate
LANDMARKS: If you happen to know the road to Angelo King (College of St. Benilde) from Taft Avenue, just go straight. It’s the little white-painted church on your left side. You can also go there via SLEX (But you gotta be careful coz you might miss Estrada Street from there)
COMMENT: I’m fairly familiar with this place coz we used to hear mass every Sunday at Santisima when I was a kid. So re-visiting it now seems like a trip down memory lane. It felt good to see the church again, but now, along with unfamiliar faces.




SECOND STOP: ST. MARTIN DE PORRES CHAPEL
LOCATION: Pasaje Galvan, Leon Guinto Street, Manila
LANDMARKS: It’s along Leon Guinto. Between San Andres St. and Estrada St. It’s a bit hard to find since you got to go through this small road (Esquinita) to get there. The best thing to do is once you see the old hotel called Kanumayan, ask for directions!
COMMENTS: It’s really interesting to see a chapel in the middle of a residential and crowded esquinita (or narrow road). And what’s more interesting is, it’s located at the second floor of a residential house. The church’s a bit small and tight but once you get it, it’s really holy inside.







THIRD STOP: ST. ANTHONY DE PADUA PARISH
LOCATION: San Andres St. Manila
LANDMARK: Jollibee on its left. Nearby 7-11. It’s surrounded with different shops, fast foods, and street vendors. It’s totally crowded.
COMMENTS: This is our parish church back when I was in Elementary and High school. It’s our school’s church actually. So it’s really nice to be back there. I remember our First Friday masses and our recognition days… This is a church full of memories.





FOURTH STOP: ST. PIUS X CHURCH
LOCATION: Neptune Corner 7th Street, Manila
LANDMARK: If you are familiar with the streets of Manila, you might be aware of the street called Onyx. From south super hi-way (northbound) turn right to San Andres, then you’ll come across a fork, take the left street (Diamante St.) then. Go straight, and then you’ll get to an intersection (Onyx Street), turn left. At this point, you’ll be driving (or walking) a fairly long road. On your left side, watch out for the 7th street. Once you turn left (again) you’ll never fail to see the church from there.
COMMENTS: When we got there, the church was under renovation and scaffoldings where all over the place. But even with all the stuff, the church is alive with lots of people hearing the night’s mass. I wasn’t really able to get inside coz I didn’t want to disturb the people.





FIFTH STOP: PAROKYA NI SAN FERNANDO DE DILAO
LOCATION: Paz Street, Paco, Manila
LANDMARK: You can never miss it at night, since its smacked right in the middle of the market area of Paco, Manila with colorful lanterns hanging from tree branches.
COMMENTS: For so many years that I’ve stayed in manila, it’s my first time to actually get inside this church. I used to dread the idea of going to Paco since it can get real messy with the public market on site. But that night, it was fairly quiet compared to its usual craziness. Church-goers flocked and were even excited to get inside the huge church.







SIXTH STOP: NUESTRA SENORA DE GUIA PARISH
LOCATION: MH Del Pilar corner Flores St. Ermita
LANDMARK: Ermita park and 7-11 just across the church. You can never miss it, especially if you are a regular malate-goer
COMMENTS: This place was where my mom went to school during her elementary years. It was kinda old, and surrounded by night clubs and bar. It’s actually ironic that there is a church in the middle of this night district. We all know what’s really going on with those night bars. Maybe it’s a way to reach out to those who are lost and confused. Or maybe it’s plain coincidence.








SEVENTH STOP: CHURCH OF OUR LADY OF REMEDIES (aka MALATE CHURCH)
LOCATION: MH Del Pilar Street
LANDMARK: Easiest way to get to Malate Church is via Roxas Boulevard (Baywalk Area) then when you see Aristocrat Restaurant (you can’t miss it!), just turn right. You’ll see Malate Church in an instant!
COMMENTS: For our last stop for our Manila/Malate Visita Iglesia, we chose to get to the famous Malate Church. Actually, it’s a memorable place for me since this is where I was baptized 25 years ago. It’s amazing that it is still existing and much patronized by people. I just hope that in the next 25 years of my life, I can still go back to this place and be able to reminisce.





NOTE: Really sorry about the blurry pics. I forgot to bring my camera... tsk tsk.. so its my phone that saved the day...