Thursday, October 23, 2014

Happy Birthday Connor!!

Yesterday we celebrated Connor's 2nd birthday.

Happy Happy Birthday my little boy!

It seems only yesterday that I gave birth to you, time flies so fast.  You have given me so much joy.  Thank you for your smile, your smirks and kisses.

You will always be my baby boy, Connor!!

I love you very very very much!  (Even if Dada is your favorite!  Hahaha!!)

Love, Mama


This is Connor while listening to the Foo Fighter's Learn to Fly (sad that there is no audio :( ).  He likes music, whenever he hears it - he immediately dances or moves his head to the beat of the song.

Love you!  Love you!!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Truly Asia in Fisher Mall

It has been a while since I last visited Fisher Mall.  I remember being turned off by the mall since they charged for parking and there wasn't a grace period.  I think it was August 1 - and I was very willing to buy movie tickets because I knew that parking was free.  Lo and behold - it wasn't anymore - and they didn't have any grace period of sorts.  So imagine - I just went to buy tickets and I had to pay for parking - and then again when we go to watch the movie, we will need to pay for parking.  Grrrr...

To my surprise there were new restaurants!  And one of them was Truly Asia.  Upon entering the parking area, you'd see ads of Truly Asia and then again near the elevators and escalators.  So my Panget was curious - so we walked around and found it.  I wasn't in the the mood to pick a restaurant so it was my Panget who looked at the menu.  He learned from the host that this restaurant is owned by the mall owners (same as Morita) and so he assumed that it would be okay.  I was doubtful.

When we entered the restaurant, I told my Panget I wasn't confident on the quality of the food, as there were a few diners.  We were given the liberty to choose our table and we got one that was near the kitchen.  The menu was fairly simple - and we ordered a noodle dish, a meat dish and a seafood dish.  I saw that they served Teh Tarik - so I ordered a hot Teh Tarik.

I know it doesn't look much - but man, was it good!  I mean really good.  I was impressed - I told my Panget that this Teh Tarik was the real thing.  My Panget tried it and he liked it too!  I like that I could still taste the tea and it wasn't very sweet.  I said to myself that at least, there was something good out of this restaurant.  A few minutes later, a man from the kitchen went out and was shaking hands with some of the diners - I assumed that he was the chef even if he was dressed so very casually.  On his way back to the kitchen he stopped by our table and introduced himself - he is Alvin (this is what I heard, but I may be wrong) and that he was the chef - and so I told him how happy I was with the Teh Tarik - and he smiled thanking my compliment - I told him that I was really happy with the Teh Tarik because it was the real thing.  The chef is Malaysian and he was telling us that he was making sort of an Asian fusion in this place - he was combining Asian flavors and dishes.  After speaking to him - I told my Panget that I was expecting our orders to be good.  And they were.

This is a really flavorful noodle dish.  I think its called Seafood Hokkien Noodles (I was so hungry that I couldn't remember the exact name.  This was really good because the ingredients weren't scrimped.  See the shrimp?  Yes, there were about 3-4 pieces of them - and they were fresh.   

This is the pork dish that was served cold.  Even if it was a cold - the skin was oh-so crispy!  It wasn't too fatty too!  Kailee loved this.   This dish came with 3 different sauces and OMG they were all so good!  I couldn't help asking for more!

My Panget has this love affair with salted egg- and this dish was Salted Egg Squid.  
I have to say that this is the first time for me to encounter salted egg combined with squid - and it was so very good!  It was different alright, but very very good!  I liked it that the squid didn't taste malansa!  This was my Panget's favorite.

I have to say - I judged the book - and I was so wrong.  So very very wrong.

We enjoyed our meal and all our orders were actually very good!  I would definitely go back to try the other dishes.  At last, there is at least one restaurant in Fisher Mall that I will look forward to.  Yey!  I just hope they will be able to sustain the flavor of the dishes and remain authentic.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Mustela Press Launch

The first ever time I saw Mustela was in Friends.  It was part of the set of Friends' last season .  There were a few bottles of Mustela on the table where Rachel kept Emma's things in the living room.  Here is a screen cap of the scene where Phoebe was signing her *gift* to Emma (right after Joey's heartfelt I'll Love You Forever reading)  It was years (I mean yearS) later that I saw it on our shores - Trinoma to be exact.  I remember being told by my Pedia to try out the product and luckily - they had a stall in Trinoma.

I have an unforgettable impression because for the first time ever - I was told by the sales lady 'Ma'am bili kayo ng container, para mabigyan ko kayo product na matatry niyo sa baby niyo'  I was asking for a shampoo and the Stelatopia line, I told them that my daughter has eczema (Kailee was diagnosed with Eczema at 3months) and they gladly told me this, since their samples were the full bottles.  True enough, I returned to their stall and they gave me some product, they have me a significant amount to try for about 3 days worth.  I was very impressed because they didn't have second thoughts on giving me their product to try.  I mean, let's face it - more often than not, salesladies rarely suggest on getting a container so they can give you some products right?  I was impressed, deep down - I had a high respect for the owners, they knew what needed to be done and was willing to give out samples for customers to try.  They believe in the magic of their product.  We tried the shampoo immediately and it worked wonderfully on Kailee's flaky scalp, this meant that I didn't need to put Elica lotion anymore.  The shampoo worked wonderfully and we used it until Kailee was about a year and a half.

I was invited to the Press Launch of Mustela Philippines and I was so happy to have met the women (yes! Women) behind Mustela Philippines!  These two lovely ladies are the epitome of beauty, happiness and success!  I am so glad to have finally met them, after all these years of wondering who was behind bringing Mustela to the country.  So, THANK YOU Tammy and Shar for bringing to the country, this wonderful wonderful product!!

The Mustela Mommies
(L-R) Tin Dychiao, Shen Cala-Or and Nicole Hernandez

These are just some of the Mustela products that I am familiar with.  
There are a LOT more!!

I have been looking for a good sunscreen for Kailee and Connor.  The ones I've tried, I wasn't really *sold* on them.  There's one that was a spray on type, initially I thought this was great but then - my kids developed a rash after a few minutes of application.  There was this other well known brand that I used that didn't seem to work, because Connor had burns on his face considering that he wasn't under the sun too long (maximum of 20minutes).  Then there was this other brand that was so hard to apply on the face and on the body, it was like a hard wax!  I was honestly on the look out for a good sunscreen and I am preparing this early for our annual Subic trip for next year (yes, I plan that far ahead!) because the kids for sure will be bugging us to go swimming at the yacht club.  I like that they have a complete line - from sunscreen to an after sun product.  I won't need to look any further - I can get all of what I need in one place and I am sure that everything will be okay on my kid's skin.

Monday, October 13, 2014

The Urban Food Collective starts October 18!

I love going to weekend markets.  I enjoy walking the aisles and looking at the stuff stall by stall.  It soothes me - even if I leave the market with a dent in my pocket.  Hahaha!

So to the Southerners you have a new market to go to!!  Presenting:

Market starts on October 18 and will continue to run on all weekends until December 2014!  If you're a home baker or have products that you want to sell - this is the perfect opportunity and venue for you to showcase your talent and goodies!

For those unfamiliar with the place, here's a map to guide you:

Note:  Press Release

Thursday, October 09, 2014

Mercury Drugstore: No Return No Exchange

Mercury Drugstore has been the only drugstore in the country for years.  It was only recently that there were new players in the industry.  Before there flooding of The Generics Pharmacy - it was only in Mercury Drugstore that you can buy medicines.  I used to complain that there were so few Mercury Drugstores and that their business hours were only up to 8PM.  When I was younger I used to worry that if an emergency happens, we wouldn't be able to buy medicine elsewhere!  But then a few years ago, I was so happy to see that there are branches that are open 24 hours.  Gosh, FINALLY someone thought of doing that.  It was a long time coming.  A few years after - branches were mushrooming everywhere.  I applaud their desire to serve more people - I thought it was such a great move.  I mean for a pioneer - it was a long time coming.

One of the things that I like with Mercury Drugstore is that they offer refunds and exchanges without question.  As long as you have the receipt with you and it hasn't been more than 7 days - they will give you a refund (if you pay in cash) or give you store credit (which you will use that same time too!)  This was something that makes me patronize them - because with medicines, there are no loop holes.  The medicines you are returning or exchanging should not be tampered with and in the same condition that you got them.  Easy right?  This has been their policy for a long long time.

But now - things have changed.  Yesterday, while I was buying medicines for Connor - the pharmacist who was assisting the lady beside me was asking the lady to make sure that the medicines she requested and will be paying for is correct as they have a new policy of NO RETURN NO EXCHANGE.  I had to but in and so I asked the pharmacist.  She said that it was a new policy of theirs and it just started last October 4 - they were now implementing a NO RETURN NO EXCHANGE policy on ALL medicines and purchases in Mercury Drugstore.  The pharmacist said that you can only return the medicines IF the medicine is found defective (which I don't know how you can prove) or is of the wrong dosage.  I was so curious on this and I wanted to know the real issue (because some times, the frontliners are misinformed - I wanted to be sure)  So I researched and fell short - I tried calling DTI but at 4:35PM NO ONE WAS ANSWERING THE CALL - it was just ringing off the hook.

I then went to the DTI site and clicked the NO RETURN NO EXCHANGE link and this is what I saw:

So that means, it's literally NO RETURN NO EXCHANGE for ALL items because it's quite rare that we get to buy good with defect, unless we weren't able to inspect them.  I got so confused so I called the DTI hotline and was told the same thing.  I spoke to Madel Bacusin - she gave me an example that if I bought an expired medicine - I stopped her right there.  Expired medicine?  Who sells those things?  My, what a wrong example to give!  She then pointed me to the direction of the DTI website again - and this was what she was emphasizing on:

I was not asking for this - she was pointing me to the *written notice* of the No Return No Exchange policy.  I have to tell you - she wasn't listening to what I was asking per se.  I think she didn't understand the question I was asking her.

Anyway - so there - Mercury Drugstore, though they don't have any NO RETURN NO EXCHANGE words printed on their receipts, they openly declare this to every customer that buys their merchandise.  So the concept is the same - all of the items purchased with them cannot be returned nor exchanged.  If you ask me, I find it's quite unfair - because as I said - medicines are hard to be tampered with and I find that there is NO LOOPHOLE with medicines.  And as long as you have a receipt - I feel that you can have it exchanged for something you can use instead of having to be stuck with a medicine you won't be using at all (which is a waste of money and a waste of the product).  I would like to appeal on this policy because I feel it's quite unfair.  You don't just go buying medicines out of impulse right?  You buy they because you need them - and when after a few doses you become well what will happen to the rest of the medicine?  They will just go to waste - what's in my mind is that - those extra medicines that you return - may be sold to another person who needs them.  It's not as if that same medicine will not be sold - it will be for sure.

I remember when I was pregnant, I was given an antibiotic because my colds were really really bad.  My OB prescribed me with Cefalixin - instructed me to buy 10 days worth of antibiotic, but on the 7th day, I complained to her that I wasn't feeling any better - she then told me to get another type of antibiotic.  Since I still had quite a number of the Cefalixin - I went to Mercury to try and have them exchanged for the current prescription - and they did so, without question.  The new antibiotic was able to help me feel better - it was only then that I realized that not all medicines can cure, it's a trial and error to see what your body responds to better.

What do you think?