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Saturday, January 31, 2015


So after a day of gratuitous shopping and lollygagging, we were all pretty starved. Growing up in a Filipino-Chinese family, eating a 9 course Chinese dinner (or a Lauriat/lao diat as it is properly called), isn't something new. In fact, I actually quite enjoy it more than the typical ham and mashed potatoes. Heh. We met up at Gloria Maris, and had a table reserved for all 14 of us. I grew up eating at this restaurant and I think it was just recently that they renovated this place. 

Grandpa or Gua Kong's name at the top. Pretty cool how he's lucky number 8 also. Chinese superstitions with numbers is always so interesting. 

I seem to have a huge obsession with light fixtures. The more minimal, the better. 

The first course is always my favorite. Cold cuts if I'm not mistaken. I'm a huge fan of the jellyfish. 

 This beautiful duck came out next. Vegetarians/Vegans, look away! 

Then our friendly waitress began to carve the duck. I lied, this is my favorite course. 

 This is served with a white thin pancake, you put the skin and meat on it, a leek, and slather on some hoisin sauce, wrap, and eat. So unfortunate Vegas doesn't have something like this, and if there is, please recommend it to me! 

Noodles that I clearly remember taking forever to finish. 

Crab fried in salted egg. Bad for your cholesterol, good for your tastebuds. 

My family. We would've been complete if my dad were with us! 

I miss you two so much huhuhuhuuh. :C 

He can't hold still for a picture. Fun fact, the shirt he's wearing belonged to me when I was his age :) 

More pictures, heh. 

Afterwards, we all went back home to open gifts. It's so nice to see an outpour of boxes and bags under the Christmas tree. 

Uncle PJ and Tita Lei brought their dog Bruno!! Bruno and I have a weird relationship. I don't know if he likes me because I like terrorizing him sometimes. But he licks my face a lot so maybe he does like me? 

This is the end of the Syd in Manila blogs! Thank you for keeping up and reading them! 

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for Syd in Tokyo, coming soon.

Saturday, January 24, 2015


I've been making it a habit to deconstruct these posts in two segments. I figured, if I kept all these pictures in one blog post it would be such a drag to read! I'm nearing the end of my Manila vacation posts, right after however, I've got a ton of my Japan trip coming up. I do hope you all don't mind reading about stuff I don't normally blog about, heh. I made myself a promise, that this coming 2015, I won't just blog about my travels and the food I eat, I'll blog more about my style, art, and whatnot. Look out for it! 

To me, whenever I think of Christmas as a whole, I think of the Philippines. This is coming from an extremely biased point of view so don't take my word for it. Spending Christmas in the US is fun and all, but it's pretty lonesome. I don't feel the Christmas spirit there as much as I do whenever I'm back in the motherland. As much as I'd like to spend Christmas in the US, I'd rather be back in Manila. 

One thing I always remember growing up is that as soon as September hits, all news stations in the Philippines have a countdown for Christmas, you can really feel the spirit of the season when you go out in public. 

We headed out to Rockwell in Makati which essentially, is the business district. I love being in this particular area because of the bustling city life and the gigantic sky scrapers. As a kid I had always loved tall buildings. A few posts back I talked about the extremely unpredictable weather in Manila, today was one of those days. It was raining a bunch when we drove to Makati, but as soon as we got there it stopped, then started again, lol. Lunch was the first thing on the agenda, my aunts took us to Mamou. 

It was my first time eating at Mamou, quite interesting seeing the fusion dishes on the menu. I wish I could've tried the Kurubota Sinigang though. I think for the weather, that dish would have been perfect. 

There's something about placemats with writing that I really do like. Both aesthetic wise and functionality wise. I remember always getting bored waiting for my food, so it was nice to sit down and read some stuff. I sound so boring, reading menus to pass time, ha. 

We sat outside. Normally, sitting outside is a no-no for me because of the heat and all the pollution, but the cool weather the Philippines had been experiencing then, coupled with the rain made it a lot more bearable. 

Tita, Ninang, Mom, and my Sister. 

One thing I took a mental note on was that the city of Makati is home to a whole ton of expats. I think that's why I like the city so much, there are so many westerners that I feel as if I'm back in the US. 

Rare photo of AeroDynamo, LOL. I wouldn't be surprised if my readers forget what I look like sometimes. 

To start things off, we ordered I think a Dalandan shake? I don't know what the English name of the Dalandan fruit is, but it's got green skin with an orangey-yellow pulp inside. Super refreshing!

 Afterwards our main courses came. First was this amazing Truffle Cream Pasta that I still dream about to this day. I know my sister can easily make it at home *hint, if you're reading, make me some.*

I think a person's diet should always include a dash of truffle. Truffle makes the world go round. 

Cooked to perfection. Vegetarians/Vegans, I'm sorry. (no i'm not). 

If there's one thing that bothers me when people eat their steak it is when they slather an unnecessary amount of steak sauce on it? I think it attributes to the fact that I'm not a fan of steak sauce myself and even if I do decide to use some, I only ever do use a little, and on the side. Don't let a perfectly good steak be ruined by sauce!

They also served us mashed potatoes and creamed corn on the side, but it wasn't at all spectacular so they didn't deserve to be photographed. 

After lunch we went inside the mall to do some shopping. I blogged about Rockwell before on my initial Syd in Manila posts from last year. Upon entering, I was greeted again by the same old kitschy Christmas decor I love. The animatronic polar bears that I wanted to take home were right up front. 

I actually like how the decorations strayed from the traditional white/red/green lights. Orange gives off the warm colour, but at the same time I feel like if it's abused it can come off as Halloween decorations. Rockwell did it right though. 

 I saw the little fruit market again! You all know that I upgraded to a Canon 6D so it was nice to zoom all the way from the upper floor and get a detail shot of the fruits. 

So my aunt and I separated from the rest of the group because we had to do some last minute shopping. We went to Toys R Us to get a few toys, I only snagged this photo. I thought of Nikki and Mac, who love One Piece. 

I love how at Toys R Us they have a bunch of Anime figurines. Is it only in Asian branches of Toys R Us that they have this, or have I not been to a toy store in so long? lol. 

After getting the gifts we went inside my favorite store, and it's the nth time I'm blogging about it so do forgive. Muji will always be my favorite store because of many many reasons, that of which is too staggering to write and blog about. 

I promised myself that when I do get a flat/apartment of my own most if not all my furnishings would come from Muji. Also Muji Coffee? Really good. I just wish they sold it on their website. 

There's just something so visually appealing about Muji's simplicity that I fawn over. If I could, which I probably would, I'd go ahead and just stare at the contents of the store and pretend to be furnishing my own place, lol. 

I can see my friends Keita, Sabrina, and Nikki rocking all these outfits. 

I was just bummed that after searching for the elusive Muji brush pen, they didn't have it. 

And of course, a little something for myself. 

After Muji we went to  Marks & Spencer. The English department store is strict with photos, so I only took an ootd before scurrying away. 

Top from Urban Outfitters, shoes from Converse, pants from who knows where. lol 
See this is why I need to do more ootd posts/lookbooks. I need to learn how to go and write about clothes!

After our escapade to Rockwell we drove down to Greenbelt to have a quick look-see. 

I thought the giant pinecones were a great type of Christmas decor. 

The only reason we went down to Greenbelt was to check out this store called Typo. They recently opened, or so I've heard. 

In a nutshell, Typo is a store with various do dads to fill up your home. Think of it as if all of the apartment decorations and books from Urban Outfitters were put in one store. I was a big fan of the ceramic sculptures. 

I wanted to buy the ram skull(?) on the left and the skull on the right. Kinda regret not buying it, what stopped me was that it could've shattered in my luggage on the trip going back home. 

Some diy stuff. 

The store itself was very cramped, so as they shopped I stood outside and waited. I took that amount of time to go to Bleach, another favorite store of mine and do some browsing. 

Scratch that, if I were to furnish my home it would be 75% Muji, 25% Bleach. 

Thank you for reading this edition of Syd in Manila! Stay tuned for Christmas Eve Part 2, and the Japan posts.