Sunday, February 21, 2016

City of Dreams' Dream Play

I've wanted to check out Dream Play ever since I read about it opening in Manila. I thought it would be a fun place to take kids at. Well, I don't have kids of my own but I do have an adorable godson who happened to be celebrating his birthday in December so I decided to take him and his mom, my good friend from College, Jackie to Dream Play as a gift for birthday and Christmas.

Meet my adorable godson, Jake

Since Jake is only three years old, Jackie and I went as participating adults - okay because we also wanted to play! There's a height requirement at Dream Play - kids must be 100 cm above in order to enjoy all the attractions. Jake according to his pediatrician is already 100cm in height but we were surprised to find out that he didn't meet the height requirement yet when we tried to measure him at the counter of Dream Play. Oh well. So I just paid less than Php500 for him instead of the Php1000+ that I was expecting. 

We met Po from Kung Fu Panda inside Dream Play. Photo op time!

And we tried to get Jake to play this motion sensored type of game. But I guess he was too young. Instead of mimicking what Po was doing, he kept running around and around instead. 

Mommy and son tried this Dino game where the glowing ball needs to be controlled and I think should go into some sort of hole. Not a very successful game for the mother and son duo! For some reason they kept losing track of their ball until it finally hit a road block and before they knew it, it's time up! Ha! Ha!

I quickly found out that my godson can be quite a handful when he's fully energized! Here in Shrek's Swamp Stomp, Jake kept running around and going up and down the stairs. 

Before we went to Gingy's Kitchen, we took a break and had early dinner inside Dream Play. They've got good burgers there! 

And finally we embraced the chef in us when we learned to bake our own gingerbread man at Gingy's Kitchen. 

Tada! Check out our finished ginger bread men! They were delicious to eat too! 

It was a fun day out with my godson and my friend though if you ask me, Dream Play is actually best visited with bigger and older kids so they can go up the stairs, slide down, learn how to fly their own dragon, and whathaveyou. Well perhaps I'll take my other godsons there when they're a wee bit older.  

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Dining at Casa Roces Manila

It's right across the most prestigious address in the Philippines (Malacanang Palace - Casa Roces, a restaurant and cafe located in San Miguel, Manila. I've always wanted to try dining at this restaurant - one of the many places I've wanted to try since I've heard of it - and well a couple of weeks ago, I got the chance to do so after attending the TAYO Awards in Malacanang.

So yeah, I was in the area of Manila because of work. And it was also work that brought me to lunch at Casa Roces.

The restaurant dining area is through these big and wooden doors. Casa Roces is an ancestral home that's been turned into a charming restaurant. 


I'm guessing these photos are the Roceses. Generations of Roceses whom according to their website are a long line of freedom-fighters, pioneer journalists and artists.

Casa Roces is an award winning restaurant as you would see from these framed awards they've received. 

The dining area downstairs. There's a Coca-Cola banner in the area since the place was reserved for the TAYO awardees. 

This wooden staircase leads to the second floor of the restaurant where we dined in.

Galeria Roces - this is where we dined in. And as the name implies, this location host a number of artworks.

On the second floor, there are also a number of private dining room areas.

The menu.

And here are what we ordered. 

I forgot what this is exactly but this is fish with mashed potato and a couple of veggies. Tasted just okay. Nothing special. And not the most enjoyable main dish I've had. Made me wish I picked something different.

This is one I do believe is pakbet.

And I think this was adobo.

My boss is a big fan of desserts so we ordered sweet treats to cap off our lunch.

And I drooled over some more desserts when I went down to pay our bill.
Cakes galore!

So that's my dining experience at Casa Roces. It was a nice lunch. And yes, I would come back to try some other dishes.

Casa Roces
1153 JP Laurel corner Aguado Street, San Miguel, Manila 

Casa Roces Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Friday, February 5, 2016

Landline by Rainbow Rowell

The last book I read in 2015 was another book by Rainbow Rowell. This the third book I've read from this author after Fan Girl and then Attachments.

The Plot:
Georgie McCool knows her marriage is in trouble; it has been in trouble for a long time. She still loves her husband, Neal, and Neal still loves her, deeply — but that almost seems beside the point now.

Maybe that was always beside the point.

Two days before they’re supposed to visit Neal’s family in Omaha for Christmas, Georgie tells Neal that she can’t go. She’s a TV writer, and something’s come up on her show; she has to stay in Los Angeles. She knows that Neal will be upset with her — Neal is always a little upset with Georgie — but she doesn't expect him to pack up the kids and go home without her.

When her husband and the kids leave for the airport, Georgie wonders if she’s finally done it. If she’s ruined everything.

That night, Georgie discovers a way to communicate with Neal in the past. It’s not time travel, not exactly, but she feels like she’s been given an opportunity to fix her marriage before it starts...

Is that what she’s supposed to do?

Or would Georgie and Neal be better off if their marriage never happened?

My 2 Cents:
I initially didn't like the story of this book. Part of me was expecting there would be an answer as to why there was a magical landline - why Georgie's old landline suddenly became magical. Mostly though I didn't like the leading guy again - I seem to be noticing a pattern here! Ha! Ha! I thought Neal was such a miserable guy and it made me wonder what Georgie saw in him! 

Well, I still wonder how she could have been so fascinated with him! But after some reflection on the story it dawned on me - the story is not meant to get readers all tickled pink with "kilig". It's all about choices and priorities. 

Georgie was a strong woman who clearly had quite a successful career. She was also a wife and a mother to two kids. But as the story went, it became quite obvious that Georgie had been too wrapped up in her career that it ate up time that she should have been spending with her family and Neal ended up becoming the one who had to pick up the slack.

So I didn't like Neal - at least not the College guy version. But the family man version? Well I thought he was endearing. He never said a word to Georgie about her shortcomings. He never asked her to choose between work and family. Instead, he just did things for his family. He took care of the kids, he did the grocery and he cooked for the kids and his wife. He did all the husband duties and the wife duties at home. 

And while I still wonder how in the world Georgie ended up having a magical landline, I liked that through her conversations with the younger Neal, she realized what it was she was missing out on because she was too wrapped up with work and made the choice to rectify the situation - finally choosing her family.