Sunday, May 24, 2015

Back to Manila! Food and Family time. May 2015

We finally made it to the Philippines on May 2. (which is May 1 in the U.S.)
The time difference is 13 hours from central standard time. So if it's 6 p.m. here in the Philippines, then it's 5 a.m. in Houston. 

 We were super excited to be back in Manila! Eyen's childhood friend, Joe, picked us up from the airport. Of course the first thing on the agenda was FOOD!

 Our first stop was Shakey's pizza.

 Bff's reunited!
 They were really happy to see each other. :)

 One of the things I missed the most about the Philippines... BOTTOMLESS ICED TEA! Omg. Heaven! This is not "southern" ice tea, which I dislike.. This is like a fruit drink tea! And it's amazing!
 Mojo Jojos! Just potatoes with dipping sauce!
 We're excited, can't you tell?!

After we ate, Joe took us to Bulacan to suprise Lola Yna! Bulacan is about an hour or so from Manila.

Here is the video of us surprising her. Hopefully it uploads correctly.

 These are some of the kids in Bulacan. They get really excited for visitors especially the ones who bring "pasalubong" (gifts). Of course we spoiled them with candy!

After we picked up Lola, we headed back to Manila to have dinner. 
Since we were staying near SM North, we decided to eat at Tim Ho Wan. If you were following my blog two years ago, we actually ate at this place in Hong Kong. They added one in Manila in those 2 years we were gone!

 The group. <3

 Lola Yna! She was wearing my transformers jacket since she was cold. hehe

 These are the BBQ Pork Buns. They are SO GOOD! This is what they are known for.

 Healthy greens for the Lola.

 Steamed spinach dumpling and steamed shrimp ball. YUMMY!

As I said earlier, we were staying near SM North Edsa. It was a condominium called "SM Grass". It was really nice because it's walking distance from the mall.

 This is the view right from our door! We were staying on the 35th floor, so we had a really good view of the city!

 Our kitchen. It's small, but we don't need much. Lola Yna with her special snacks. :)
 We packed light... HAHA

 The next day we went to watch Manny Pacquiao fight Floyd Mayweather. We all know the outcome (disappointing), but we couldn't miss it! Of course, we had to eat while watching! I had Chicken Ala King from French Baker!

Eyen had fish balls and pizza sticks!

After the fight, we decided to walk around the mall. You already know what that means... MORE FOOD!

 Another thing we really missed... KING CORN!

 We found this little place in the mall where local people were selling their local goods. Eyen decided to try Ube flavored Taho! Ube is a purple potato and Taho is a soybean delicacy.

 I tried a Chocolate Hazelnut ice cream bar! 

Later that night, we were invited to Tito Peter and Tita Nida's house! Tito and Tita are the parent of Ate Nicole. Ate Nicole is Kuya Dylan's (eyen's oldest brother) girlfriend. 2 years ago I mentioned that the terms "Tito and Tita" are used for "Uncle and Aunt". Ate (ah-tay) is used for older sister and Kuya (coo-yah) is used for older brother.

Tita Nida made Pancit Malabon. (pan-seat mal-a-bone). Pancit is a Filipino favorite. There are all different kinds: Pancit Malabon, Pancit Canton, Pancit Bihon, etc. There are A LOT! Pancit means "noodles". There are different noodles and different ways of preparing them. 

Smiles. :D

 This is green mango with binagoongan. (bin-a-go-o-nyan) nga in Tagalog is really hard for me to pronounce therefore it's hard for me to try to tell you how to say it. :(
 Family photo! Tito Peter, Lola Yna, Tita Nida, Joe, myself holding my bff Niko, Ate Peach (Ate Nicole's older sister), and Eyen!

We had a lot of fun being in Manila again. We were able to enjoy some of the things we missed while being in the states. 

My next post will be about Tagaytay and Lake Taal! This is an active volcano in the Philippines. :)

LET THE TRAVELS BEGIN! Stopover in South Korea; May 1, 2015.

Hello, everyone!

I hope you are all doing well. This is my first blog from our Asia trip! 

For those who do not know, Eyen and I are currently in Asia visiting her grandma and brother. We have been here since May 2, but I am only just now able to update. We have been going non-stop ever since we landed!

This first blog is about our stopover in South Korea! We were only there about 15 hours, but we still tried to do what we can in that time!

We flew with Korean Air. We have heard good things about Korean airlines, so we decided to try it. Also, this specific flight didn't have a first leg that stopped in the United States, so we flew straight to Korea from Houston. I thought I would like this better. Turns out, I was much more comfortable having a first stopover in the U.S.! Oh well.

 Here's our plane!

 We were so excited!
 The airline provides you free water and blanket. You can't take the blanket with you. :(
 I'm so glad I got us these neck pillows! They really helped for the 15 hour flight!
 We always call the airline and request the "special seafood" meal. It is usually better than what they serve on board. This time we had salmon with potatoes and mixed veggies.

 We discovered that this airline offers free beer and wine! We had 2 glasses each... Actually, I had 4 glasses because Eyen doesn't drink. haha
 Our second meal was white fish with rice and mixed veggies. I will say the only downfall to having this meal is that everyone else gets a brownie while we get fruit. -___-

Once we landed, we went straight to our hotel. We stayed at the GoGo House near Incheon Airport. It was neat! It's on the top few floors of an office building. I was worried it wouldn't be clean or have A.C., but it perfect for our stay.

 It even had a couch as well as a refrigerator. It was also clean.

 The view from our building.
 It looks like the countryside.
 Everything is in Korean (duh, I know). If you don't know the currency, you would think it's expensive. 7,000 Korean won equals about $7 USD.

 At the bottom of our hotel, there were lots of places to eat. We decided to have Korean BBQ!
 Korean Coke.
 We decided to get the whole experience, so we opted to take off our shoes and sit on the floor pillows.

 We had beef... or pork. We aren't really sure. It comes with kimchi, veggies, etc.
 The ladies working were really nice, even if they didn't speak or understand English. They were helping us cook our food and smiling at us.
 Our receipt! All in Korean except for the numbers.

 I'm still not quite sure what was happening here. If you look closely, you'll notice that all the trunks are open! The cars are parked, and the drivers aren't inside, but the trunks are open.

 Our evening trek through the Korean forest...
 Actually, its just some trees on our way to the mall. It's literally about 4 feet long. haha
 The forest.
 E mart. aka EYEN Mart!

 This is our favorite! Chocolate almond covered sticks. YUMMY!
My Korean pick-ups. Honey and Apple chips, chocolate with almonds, strawberry chews, peanut candies, and Korean coffee. At least, I think that's what it is!

Although we didn't have much time in Koera, we still enjoyed it! We were up at 3 a.m. wandering around since we had jet-lag. It was a cool place. I would love to go back and be able to explore more. 

After our Korean stopover, we made our way to the Philippines!