Friday, June 12, 2015

Eyen's 23rd Birthday celebrations! Family time in Manila! May 2015.

 Hello everyone!

I hope everyone is doing good wherever you may be. My last blog was a short blog about Tagaytay and Lake Taal. It was mostly for my memory of things, but nonetheless I hope you enjoyed it!

This will also be a short blog about our remaining few days in Manila before we left for our 12 day adventure excursion around different parts of Pinas!

 We were lucky enough to celebrate Eyen's birthday here in the Philippines! We had a few mishaps on the actual day itself, but we were able to overcome it. (I will make a separate blog post later about how to avoid scary situations while traveling.)

 So, let's get to it! :)

 First things first, we had to get a massage! This is one of the BEST things about the Philippines! The massages are SO CHEAP! This is our favorite place to go. It's called "Vibes Therapeutic Blind Massage" inside of Circle C. It only costs 250 pesos for a 1 hour full body massage. This is equivalent to a little less than $6 USD. Eyen and her family have been coming here since they were young. All the masseuses (both male and female) are blind or partially blind. This establishment allows them to contribute to society while still being able to earn money for themselves, rather than not having a job at all. There are SO MANY massage parlors in the Philippines, but we always come back to this one!
 We decided to have a little merienda (snack) after our massage.
 Happy Happy!

 After we left Circle C, we decided to go to Trinoma (a different mall) and walk around for a while. Lola and I were being goofy with the water toys. :P

 Lola's dinner. Plain, grilled salmon with white rice. We have to watch her salt intake and make sure she stays healthy!

GREENWICH! The best lasagna. I love it!

 Every time we come to the Philippines, I like to get a shirt from a store called "Manila Manila". It's a modern street wear clothing store that represents Manila. Lucky for me, they were having an event in the mall for their 10th anniversary! They actually made my shirt custom for me right in front of me!

 This is Jose Rizal. He is a very influential person in Filipino history. He was executed by the Spanish as a Revolutionary during the war. This was his actual height. (The sunglasses were added by the company. He didn't actually wear these. lol)

 This one is my shirt.

 I always tease Lola and tell her that this is her boyfriend. She has a lot of boyfriends. Jose Rizal, Elvis Presley, etc. etc. hehe

A lot of their different designs.

 Eyen took a selfie with my phone. haha. My very own custom shirt!

Afterwards, we were going to go watch a movie, but we were all very tired. We stopped by Krispy Kreme to grab some donuts instead!
 Eyen got the chocolate hazelnut.
 I, of course, chose the donut with sparkles. Lola got the plain glazed donut. (we scraped off the glaze).

 Donut photos!

 Kiss. MUAH. Coffee goes good with donuts.

 Nom nom nom.

Eyen made this. HAHA. She's too funny!

 Eyen got me these really cool Walking Dead things! They are like little lego figurines of the Walking Dead characters! It's mostly the older cast, but that's ok! The only I don't have is Rick. He was expensive for some reason. haha

 Of course I got DARYL! He is my favorite!
 This was our breakfast on Eyen's birthday! HAHA. Chicharon with Sarsi! (root beer)
 The view from our bed!
 We were ready to start the day!

 For lunch, we decided to go to "Sambokojin". You get to pick your own meat and grill it however you like!

 The birthday girl!

 Of course she had to have lots of prawns! Those are her favorite.

 Here are a few things we grilled up. The plate on the left has veggies and some meat. Then on the right we have prawns with garlic.
 We loved this place because you could request your own prawns. They even peel them for you and marinade them in sauce! Most places won't do this!
 I definitely took advantage of the "all you can drink". It even included the fruit shakes! I had 4 glasses of ice tea plus this mango shake AND green mango shake!
 This is the story of our relationship. "Kate, you eat this." "Opo Lola." haha
 They even have sukiyaki (Japanese soup). Plus, more prawns!
 Now I ordered a watermelon shake! hahaha.

 Birthday selfies. <3 Happy Birthday!
 Lola wanted me to write this and give it to Eyen for her. <3 Eyen's birthday is the 7th, we were just celebrating on the 6th.
 The 3 musketeers.

For dinner, we met up with Ate Nicole's family. (If you don't remember, Ate Nicole is Eyen's oldest brother's girlfriend.) They showed up with Eyen's favorite cake from Red Ribbon!!! Chocolate Mousse!

 So sweet!

 She was so happy!... and playful.
 A table full of food.
 On the left we have Ate Peach (Ate Nicole's older sister), Eyen's best friend Joe, and me! On the right we have Tito Peter and Tita Nida (Ate Nicole's parents), Lola Yna, and the birthday girl! <3
 We had tonkatsu, which is breaded pork cutlet.
 Eating time.
 Shrimp and vegetable tempura.


 The whole table. <3

 Her free dessert for her birthday!

Ate Peach and Joe!

 Everyone as we're leaving. 

We were so happy to be able to spend her birthday with family. Everyone made it very special! 

 The next day was her actual birthday. This was a surprise Ate Cassie gave me to give to her the day we left. I kept it a secret the whole time. hehe.
 Birthday photos!

 For lunch we went to Yaki Mix... or should I say YUKKY MIX! Ugh. We had a TERRIBLE EXPERIENCE! Anyways. Yeah. That's all.

 Family time.
 Posing with some hats. hehe.

 We decided to have some dim sum for dinner! After, dinner we had a very scary experience with a cab driver. I'll make a new post later. 

Unfortunately, the actual day of Eyen's birthday was not as fun as the day before. We ran into a lot of different circumstances that really put us in a mood, regardless of how hard we tried to be positive. I feel really bad because I wasn't able to make this birthday really special for her, like she does for me. Next year, I am really going to have to do it big!

 Eyen bought me new shoes for her birthday.. LOL! She always spoils me! Plus, I got a pedicure. :)

I <3 MY LOLA. 

 For lunch, Eyen and I ate at Project Pie. We heard really good things about it. We really liked it! We of course made our own filled with TONS of meat!
 That night, Tita Nida made us dinner! Or should I say FEAST! We brought Tito Peter a bottle of Jose Cuervo. We bought the Bacardi for us later on.

 Our feast made by Tita Nida! She is a marvelous cook!

 My first time trying red horse! Yes, I look intoxicated on the left, but I promise you I wasn't! That's why my expression is so over the top on the right! haha

 Oh my goodness. Now this was an experience... This balot. (bah-lute). It is a developing duck embryo that is boiled then eaten.. Yes, an embryo. If you get a larger egg, it is more developed. Therefore, you will have a beak, feathers, bones, etc. Luckily, mine was small egg, which means it was less developed. It was very soft. This is a Filipino delicacy. A lot of people like to eat it. It was actually featured on the T.V. show Fear Factor. I still can't believe I ate it...

 Later that night, Joe took us to a club in The Fort called Valkyrie. It is one of the hottest night club in the Philippines right now.


 We arrived a little before midnight. We didn't realize we were early. haha.
 The club was actually filled with mostly foreign people. It was interesting to experience.

The next day, Eyen and I took a food trip! :)

 PotDog! We love the fish balls from here! And, of course, Potato Corner!
 I found a place selling Pop Vinyls! I was hoping to find a headless Herschel, but no luck.

 Later that day, Eyen's high school friends threw a get-together for her birthday along with another friend's birthday. It's what they call a "boodle fight". First you place the banana leaf to cover the table. Then you put your rice. After the rice, you put your meat and vegetables and whatever else you want.

 The finished boodle fight for the night!
 Then you just eat it! You just use your hands.
 We also had mango. Yummy.
 Chocolate Mousse!

 Waiting for our car to go to Greenbelt for Mother's Day!

 We took Lola to a restaurant called Mesa. It is a contemporary Filipino restaurant. We went right after the mall opened. All the other restaurants were EMPTY. This place had a waiting list already!

 Of course we ordered a shake!

 Mother's Day photos!

 Eyen feeding Lola for once. :)

 This was seriously THE BEST tofu I have ever tasted IN MY LIFE.
 Feeding her again.. And making sure she likes it.

 Blue Marlin steak.
 Honey Chicken.
 Chicken with patis. (fish sauce).
 This was one of the best Filipino meals we have ever eaten. We will definitely be going back here again. Lola also received a free cupcake since it was Mother's Day. Unfortunately, the cupcake didn't taste very good. lol. 

Well everyone, that's it for this blog post. 

My next post will be the first of 3 about our adventures across Pinas! 

Stay tuned!

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