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Saturday, December 30, 2023

Breakfasts & Dining Out in Glorieta

Aloha Everyone,

Our healthy breakfast was compromised by more interesting assortments of Asian cuisine in the Glorieta neighborhood. One of my favorites is a popular and delicious bitter melon called ampalaya. Prepared with scrambled eggs, they’re healthy as long as you don’t consume too much rice.

J.J. wanted to have a light dinner so we stopped by the Nathan’s Hot Dogs booth. The two of us also walked to the Metro Dental office to set up our appointments for Tuesday, January 2nd.

Aloha -- Cathi

Friday, December 29, 2023

Nokia Cell Phone

Aloha Everyone,

The process of getting a cell phone to use while we are in the Philippines requires 3 documents for US citizens.

1.  Copy of the U.S. passport
2.  Receipt from our hotel
3.  Actual airline tickets showing flight information including the departure date.

We purchased a simple cell phone mainly to send and receive texts to local numbers. Following the salesman’s suggestion, we installed 2 SIM cards for 2 main phone companies. Documents were needed to register SIM with the government. Entire process took about an hour.

J.J.’s laptop hasn’t been working well. We stopped by at a repair shop to see if malware diagnosis could be performed. The technician told us that the only solution is to reboot. J.J. decided to purchase an USB port and save the data. His laptop seemed to be at the end of its lifecycle. He will purchase a new laptop once we are back in California.

Our next stop was the Metro Dental office. They found our records from a year ago. We made appointments for Tuesday January 2. This is one day prior to our 4 days trip to Baguio.

Finally, J.J. was able to order an extra pair of reading glasses. An extra pair of distance glasses will be next on our list of things to do.

Another busy day heading towards the final days of 2023.

Aloha -- Cathi

Thursday, December 28, 2023

Laundry Day

Aloha Everyone,

This morning our mission was to take our clothes to an independent laundry service located in the Asia Tower building adjacent to the Asia Institute of Management. Asia Tower is an old apartment complex. Originally constructed with individual washing machines installed in each unit, the machines were removed after several flooding incidents. A laundry service was on the 4th floor. J.J. and I appreciated the service and sent our laundry on a weekly basis when we stayed at this condo. Charge is based on weight.

Holiday Inn Express has laundry service. But they charge per piece. For example, the cost to do J.J.’s polo shirts:

Laundry: 340 pesos 
Pressing: 300 pesos 

We paid 450 pesos for a bundle of light-colored clothes and a second bundle of dark colored clothes including J.J. and my jeans. Total weight was 4 kilos. As we walked pulling our smaller luggage on narrow sidewalks, we recalled a similar experience in Guadalajara, Mexico.

We had an early lunch at one of our favorite Chinese restaurants before a short nap and returned to get our professionally cleaned and folded clothes :-)

A great day! J.J. walked 4.2 miles and I finished 16,216 steps or 5.6 miles. 

“What you do today can improve all your tomorrows.”
—Ralph Marston

Aloha -- Cathi

Wednesday, December 27, 2023

Tickets to Cebu from Philippines Airlines

Aloha Everyone,

All went smoothly. Our hotel concierge gave us excellent walking directions to the Philippine Airlines ticketing office. Just as he explained, it took 10 minutes walking at a leisurely pace. 

Our wait was over half an hour before we were served. All the transactions, we were told could be handled online. But I’m glad we personally met with a customer service agent.  He was knowledgeable, made photocopies of our drivers licenses, ascertained that we have received credits for our recent trip as well as the complimentary air miles for our malfunctioning TV monitors.

The total amount for Business class tickets Manila-Cebu-Manila came out to approximately US $500 each which we paid using our air miles credits. 

We celebrated our good fortune of getting “free” tickets by going to Wholesome Table, a health food restaurant.

Aloha -- Cathi

Tuesday, December 26, 2023

Trying New Restaurants

Aloha Everyone,

Favorite restaurants we frequent are also popular with local residents and visitors.

Simply Thai had a welcoming statue of a Thai Buddha in the namaste mudra with a plastic garland. J.J. thought the menu at the entrance door was interesting and worth a try. We were immediately given a seat. 

This might be a new-style Thai cooking, but J.J. and I prefer traditional Thai food.

Thai vegetarian salad (steamed vegetables) was passable. However, when our main dish Chicken Pad Thai was served, we were not at all impressed. There was a bird nest like wrapping and when J.J. served me a portion, its appearance was not at all appetizing.

We thought of dessert but decided to skip. Compared to other Thai food restaurants in the Ayala Mall, their pricing was 25% higher.

For dinner, we tried OOMA Bold New Japanese restaurant. This entity has been around, and it is always full. However, luck was on our side, and we were seated at once.

Our fried mushroom appetizer, my steamed soybeans and J.J.’s tempura soba weren’t good enough for us to return.  Crowded interior, bright colors posters on walls were not for us. So the two restaurants we chose for this holiday weekends at least served as an interesting collection of photos for our blogs.

Aloha -- Cathi