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Sunday Mass and Tour Around UST :)

When Mark was still here in the Philippines, whenever we're together on Sundays, we make sure to spend time with the Lord and hear Sunday mass.

But being in a Muslim country and having only Fridays as their day of rest, Mark admittedly has not been able to do his Sunday obligations in Abu Dhabi as often as when he was still back home.

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So I was very glad when Mark did what he had to do on the first Sunday after he came home. :)

Corregidor 2012


Mark and I took some time off from work last November 1-4, 2012 for some R and R. :) Yup, I know this post is long overdue but there are a lot things during our vacation that are worth sharing so I'm posting it anyway haha! I'll just try my best to share with you as much details as I can remember. :)

While others spent their time in cemeteries, Mark and I decided to visit Corregidor and Tagaytay. I know, I know..the places we chose are miles apart..haha! Blame it on both of us who don't seem to have some skills when it comes to organizing trips. Well Mark was actually the one who planned everything and I just gave the go signal. :p But hey, our vacation turned out to be so much fun! :p




Kenny Rogers Roasters


After our workout, Mark and I went to Robinsons Place to have our dinner. Since we just had our workout, we thought of having something that is healthy but still delicious. With this in mind, our feet brought us to Kenny Rogers. :D

Mark got what he usually gets every time we dine at Kenny Rogers, the Grilled Fish Fillet. :p The dish includes a grilled fish fillet (cream dory I think), a choice of regular side dish, and garlic rice. The grilled fish is well seasoned and is made more delectable with the sauce that came with it. For the side dish, Mark chose macaroni and cheese.

Grilled Fish Fillet - Php195.00

The workout got me all hungry and I wasn't really minding all the calories that time so I got the Burger Steak. :p The dish includes a 1/3-pound grilled beef patty topped with sliced mushrooms and gravy, a choice of regular side dish, and plain rice. I've tried this dish before and it kept me coming back. The beef patty is grilled giving it a distinct, fuller taste. It's juicy and slightly oily but who cares, that's where the flavors are! Haha! For the side dish, I always choose mashed potato with gravy, but that time I was craving for chicken macaroni. :)

Lotus Garden Hotel Manila: Gym and Jacuzzi

We went back to the hotel after our lunch to rest a little and prepare for our dinner cruise. But I guess luck was just not on our side that time because for the 2nd time, our dinner cruise got cancelled. And yes, it was still due to the bad weather. :(

The cruise was definitely out of our itinerary, so we just decided to stay at the hotel and make use of its facilities. :) Mark came prepared with some downloaded movies in his laptop and so that was what we did to kill time. At around 6pm, we decided to hit the in-house gym. We were pigging out since day 1, so we thought of shedding off some pounds. :p


The gym is located at the second floor of the hotel. It is open from 6am-10pm and guests may work out here for free. According to my fitness expert boyfriend, the gym still lacks some machines but at least it has the basic equipment and machines for cardio exercises and muscle toning.

Wok Inn

Sipa - Php 95.00

We stayed up late during our night out and therefore woke up late the next morning. We woke up a little past 9am, freshened up quickly, and then headed to the hotel's restaurant for our breakfast buffet.

Ramen Night and Chill-out Night

After our lunch, we headed to the hotel to freshen up and get ready for our Manila Bay dinner cruise. We were all set, complete with our dinner clothes, just to be notified that the cruise schedules for the day were all cancelled due to the bad weather. The rain has actually stopped but the waters aren't calm and so they had to cancel the cruises. :(

Though a bit disappointed, we still didn't want the cancelled cruise to ruin our long weekend so we thought of an alternative thing to do for the night. We went to Robinsons Place Manila to search for a place for dinner. After a few scouring, we decided to try out Ajisen Ramen.

The staff greeted us in Japanese and ushered us to our seats. After going through the menu, Mark and I both decided to have their house specialty for dinner, no other than ramen! Hehe :p

I was eying for the Ajisen Ramen, but since Mark already chose that, I just went for the Seafood Ramen. We also got one order of the Enoki Maki.

Their ramen all have the same imported Japanese ingredients in their soup and noodles, each one just differs with the main ingredient that come with it. According to the menu, their ramen has Ajisen oil which enhances the taste of their white pork broth, Okinawa natural seasalt, Ajisen powder which gives their ramen its unique flavor, and finally, the ramen noodles which are made out of 100% whole wheat which is cooked to an al-dente texture.

Ajisen Ramen - Php 235.00

The Ajisen Ramen has pork barbecue, leeks, boiled egg, cabbage, and fungus. The Seafood Ramen has assorted seafood (shrimps, crab sticks, fish balls), fungus, and cabbage.

Dining at Lotus Garden Hotel Manila

Aside from the clean and cozy rooms, Lotus Garden Hotel also boasts of its in-house restaurant and sports bar where guests can enjoy Filipino delicacies while unwinding and relaxing over a variety of drinks.

The Cilantro Restaurant provides guests with a fine dining pleasure while savoring a choice of Filipino dishes. Our accommodation at the Lotus Garden Hotel comes with a breakfast buffet for two per overnight stay. And since we booked the room for 3 days and 2 nights, we got to have breakfast buffet at the Cilantro Restaurant for two days! :D


The buffet opens at six in the morning. Breakfast stubs are claimed at the reception.  On our first breakfast, we arrived a little after nine and so we had to wait a little for seats to be vacated.  On our second breakfast, we came in earlier around 8 am and got the liberty to choose our seats. :D

Lotus Garden Hotel Manila

After our lunch at Pan de Amerikana in Katipunan, we went to Manila to book for a hotel. We didn't have any reservations and so we just searched over the net for hotels while we were having lunch.

We were supposed to book a hotel at BGC in Taguig but since a Manila Bay dinner cruise was also included in our itinerary, we thought that it would be practical to just stay in Manila since there are a lot of hotels there anyway.

After surfing through different hotel websites, Mark and I finally agreed to stay at the Lotus Garden Hotel in Manila.


We were greeted by the hotel guard as we alighted the cab and he ushered us to the reception.  The receptionist that accommodated us was all-smiles as she answered all our queries and handed us the leaflet with room rates.

Bistro Ravioli

After my MOA adventure with Mark, we headed to Robinsons Place to meet with his mom for dinner.

After going to and from every floor of the Midtown Wing in search for a place to dine, we finally agreed in trying out Bistro Ravioli. We were all first timers, so Mark and I just took charge of the orders. Ravioli was not in our choices that time, maybe because of our bad experience on raviolis at Spaghetti Factory. But I still remember how much I loved Red Coconut's ravioli though. :p

Now back to the orders. :p Mark's mom wanted to have chicken for dinner and was insisting that we get the Diablo wings, but being not so much into spicy food, Mark just ordered their herb chicken. The dish comes in 3 chicken wings fried to perfection with fries and gravy. The dish may look ordinary but the chicken wings were just flavorful and large too. I enjoyed munching on the chicken wing even without the gravy.

Herb Chicken - Php 235.00

Mark wanted some pasta and was looking at the pasta choices when he asked me what to get. We both went adventurous that day and opted for the Chicken Pesto Spaghetti. The pesto spaghetti was just like any other pesto, what made this dish stand out was the grilled chicken. The generous amount of grilled chicken chunks were juicy and tender to the bite and were made more delectable by the tomato salsa...perfect match for the pesto. Mark and I both loved this dish. The dish also comes with garlic toasts.

Chicken Pesto Spaghetti - Php 370.00

Another hit was the Italian Sausage and Bacon pizza. The 12-inch thin crust pizza was brick-oven-baked, making it more delectable. The crust was crispy yet still managed to be soft and chewy on the inside. It also had a spicy kick because of the chili flakes.

Italian Sausage and Bacon Pizza - Php 365.00

For the spicy food lovers, like Tita Juliet's friend who were with us, this will surely be an eye candy. :p

Habanero Pepper Sauce and Chili Flakes

We all enjoyed our dinner. Aside from the good food, the service is also commendable. Our first time at Bistro Ravioli will definitely not be our last! :)

BISTRO RAVIOLI, Robinsons Place - Manila
Midtown Wing, Robinsons Place,
Pedro Gil cor. Adriatico St., Ermita
Manila, Metro Manila
Philippines
(02)523-7565

kriskamarie

SM Mall of Asia: Zipline and MOA Eye

After our breakfast at Pan de Amerikana, we headed next to the Gateway mall for lunch and then went straight to SM Mall of Asia. We don't usually frequent SM MOA since it's very far from both Mark's and my place, and so seeing the theme park at MOA along the Manila bay was a first time for us. :)

Mark and I were excited to try the MOA Eye as we have heard lots of raves about this new attraction at MOA. We can already see this big Ferris Wheel while we were approaching the theme park area.


MOA Eye

We were a bit early for the MOA Eye which starts its operation hours at 4pm, so we decided to walk around the theme park. We saw the Zipline on our way and Mark insisted that we try it out. I've never tried a zipline and I don't think I ever will since I'm afraid of heights. And the thought of having to fall off from the harness really adds up to my fear. But Mark was insistent so I had no choice. The staff also assured that their harness and cables are safe. I was already screaming as we were being harnessed more so when we took off! Good thing I didn't look scared at all and was still able to smile in front of the camera. :p


IMG_2795We're flying! :p

MOA Zipline Rates:
Php 150 per person for a one way ride
additional Php 100 for one photo souvenir with frame

We saw that the MOA Eye was already moving so we headed there next. Here are a few photos while we're on our way. Although the MOA Eye didn't seem to be so inviting during daytime, I was still amazed by the huge ferris wheel. I've seen other MOA Eye pictures and it looks a lot gorgeous at night when it is all lit up.



The MOA Eye is by far the biggest Ferris Wheel in the Philippines. It has 36 air-conditioned gondolas, 6 of which are VIP. Each gondola can accommodate up to 6 persons. Each person can ride the MOA Eye for Php 150.00, and this is for one complete revolution which is roughly a 10-minute ride. The VIP gondolas cost Php 200.00 per person and may also be rented for special arrangements like dinner dates. :)


I wasn't able to take a lot of pictures because the slightest movement causes the gondola to swing. Haha!


A view from the MOA Eye

While Mark was comfortably sitting and enjoying the view, I was nagging at him telling him not to move as I get scared every time the gondola swings haha! Notice how I can't let go of the railings? :p


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But I must say that my MOA Eye ride was a lot less scarier than EK's Wheel of Fate. I think the ride was kind of smooth maybe because of the enclosed gondolas. Just imagine how scary it would be with the heavy cool wind blowing if the gondolas weren't enclosed!

Aside from the Zipline and MOA Eye, the theme park also houses different rides which most kids will enjoy. There were also a lot of food stalls and a nice park which you can roam around with on board this motion activated scooter. :p


Motion Activated Scooter - Php 120.00 for a 15-minute ride


kriskamarie
         

Healthy Shabu-Shabu


After the pre-judging event in the competition that Mark joined in last Sunday, we headed to Robinsons Place Manila for lunch.

Mark got exhausted from all the flexes and poses that he felt really hungry and wanted to eat badly haha! We were considering a lot of restaurants until Mark suggested that we try it out at Healthy Shabu Shabu.

Not having the slightest idea of what to order, we opted for 2 individual sets of shabu shabu, one fish fillet set and one beef tenderloin set. A few minutes later, the waiting staff poured a hot soup from the pot and handed us a small bowl of broth, an egg, a saucer of garlic, chili, and spring onions, and a small saucer of alamang (shrimp paste).

Then came 2 plates with corn, tofu, mushroom, noodles, meatballs, crab sticks, and vegetables.

We were then served with a plate of fish fillet and beef tenderloin slices.

Knowing that we still have to cook our food and since Mark is really hungry but still needs to retain his shape for the competition, he suggested that we get one rice topping.

Since I know how to cook, I took care of the shabu shabu, while Mark took care of eating, immediately after the rice topping was served haha!

The dish was served with a generous amount of bite sized chicken breasts with sunny-side-up egg on top of Japanese rice. The chicken was tender and goes well with the teriyaki sauce.

We also got 2 glasses of bottomless iced tea, which Mark drank immediately even before I could take a picture of it. :P

The shabu shabu was ready when we finished eating the rice topping. Mark and I both opted not to put the alamang. I then added in the egg for the final touch. Both dish looked pale but tasted so good!

I was getting curious at how the dish would taste like if I put the alamang so I placed a small amount of it on my bowl and guess what? It made the dish more delectable! Hahaha! What we both thought of as alamang was chili sauce all along! Hahaha! And so I put all of the sauce in the pan of soup and brought it to a boil.

I'm not a fan of spicy dishes but this one was just right for me.

Mark and I both loved the dishes. We also enjoyed our experience and will definitely try out other shabu shabu restaurants. :)

HEALTHY SHABU SHABU
Level 3, Midtown Wing
Robinsons Place Manila

kriskamarie

Cheat Meal with Mark ^_^


Last Friday, Mark and I went to Cash & Carry in Makati to buy some of the things that we'll be needing for our trip this coming Saturday. I've also been wanting to buy a VS weekender bag, which are all sold out in online shops, so even if going to Cash & Carry means that I will have to deal with all the hassles (especially in the MRT), I just gave in to Mark's suggestion since there are a lot of VS products and other imported items there.

But guess what? I really just can't stand all the hassles of having to transfer from one ride to another (not mentioning the volume of people there, the heat, and everything) and I think Mark already knew that I was starting to get pissed off, so, even if we were just a few stations away from the Araneta Station, we went off and took a cab to Makati instead. Haha! :P

We were able to buy the things that we needed, expect for my bag! :( And so we just decided to have lunch. I asked Mark what he wanted for lunch and as always, he just gave me a you-already-know-the-answer-to-that-question grin! Lucky me, there aren't any World Chicken restaurants in Cash & Carry! Whew!

Mark & I are both on a diet so I got really surprised when he said that he wanted to have rice for lunch and suggested that we eat at Reyes Barbecue. At first I thought he was just kidding, but no, he really wanted to have rice for lunch! Hmp!

Mark explained that our body has its own way of adjusting to our food intake. And being on a strict diet for a long period will not yield to good results at all as it will just eventually slow down our metabolism. So even if you're on a strict diet, having a cheat meal at least once a week is still recommended. And well yes, he got me all convinced! Haha!

Mark ordered their Boneless Chicken Barbecue and I got their 2-piece Pork Barbecue. I haven't tried out other meals at Reyes except for their pork or chicken barbecue.  Both meals come with java rice, atchara, and their trademark peanut sauce.
Quarter Chicken Barbecue - Php 120.00

Though not so extraordinary and a little charred, I can say that both taste good. I like how the peanut sauce gave the barbecue its distinct sweet taste. But if you're the type who would usually prefer vinegar for barbecue, their atchara is perfect as it gives the meal a tangy kick. :)
2-piece Pork Barbecue - Php 110.00

Reyes Barbecue
Level 2, Food Circle
Cash & Carry, Makati City

We also ordered fresh buko shake from Buko ni Fruitas to neutralize all the fat intake haha! :P
Fresh Buko Shake (around Php 50.00)

I somewhat felt guilty of having eaten rice for lunch, and since I still want to have something healthy, I ordered Buko ni Fruitas' fresh fruit salad for dessert.. ^_^ They have a variety of salads and halo-halo, but I love their fresh fruit salad the most!

The salad contains fresh fruits like melon, apple, mango, banana, watermelon, pineapple, and coconut, just to name a few, mixed with milk and coconut juice, and served in a coconut shell. There is also no need to put in sugar because of the natural sweetness of the fruits. Now who said that desserts are fattening? :P
Fresh Fruit Salad (around Php 50.00)

Buko ni Fruitas
Level 2, Food Circle
Cash & Carry, Makati City

We then arrived at the Gateway mall in time for dinner. And just when I thought that I have already been spared from Mark's World Chicken addiction, I found myself, eating there again! Hahaha!

Mark opted for baked potatoes, mashed potato and grilled chicken with gravy.
Grilled Chicken with Gravy, Mashed Potato, and Baked Potatoes - Php 152.00

Since I ate too much during lunch, I just opted for cheese muffin instead of fettuccine; potato salad, and grilled chicken with gravy.
Grilled Chicken with Gravy, Potato Salad, and Cheese Muffin - Php 152.00

World Chicken
Level 3, Food Express
Gateway Mall, Araneta Center
Quezon City

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