Friday, December 21, 2007

Manila Ocean Park at Kilometer Zero

The opening of Manila Ocean Park was moved from December 2007 to February 2008.

Manila Ocean Park 1

I'm excited to go there to visit the oceanarium and walk inside the underwater tunnel to see the diversity of marine life from all over the Philippines - sharks, dolphins, stingrays, wow! Kahit wala pa yong mall at hotel na second phase ng project, ok lang. Me and my wife enjoyed visiting Sea World (separately when we were younger and haven't met yet). It would be great to share this experience with Hannah right here in Manila, near Luneta, near the Philippine Kilometer Zero mark where all kilometer posts refer to (the big flag pole near Rizal's monument).

Manila Ocean Park 2


Visit, there are awesome computer generated pictures of Manila Ocean Park there like the photo below. See the bigger pictures there.


Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Bibingka ang Puto Bumbong

After almost a year since I had one, I had a sudden craving for Bibingka yesterday at the office. A friend told me to try the Bibingka of Via Mare. So I left work quickly after the 5pm bell then headed straight for the nearest Via Mare. From Laguna Technopark, the nearest Via Mare is in Total gas station in South Superhighway, between ABI/Greenfield Exit and Santa Rosa Exit.


Bibingka is prepared just as you order them so you have to wait around 12 minutes for them to make your order.


Then this is what you'll have.


They have two kinds of bibingka. This one has itlog na pula (salted duck egg) and quesong puti (local white cheese) then topped with butter - PhP 100 each.


This one has quesong puti and queso de bola then topped with butter - PhP 110 each.


You can also order a super special bibingka that would have all the toppings above. All bibingka are served with fresh grated coconut on the side.

While there I also bought puto bumbong. You'll get two pieces with grated coconut, cheese and panutsa.


Yummy treats for a Pinoy Christmas.
Merry Christmas!!!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

EncounterS with MMDA Traffic Officers

My wife and I went to Mandaluyong to settle some stuffs. With the mushrooming of SM Malls and other gimik places down South (Alabang, Paranaque, Laguna and Cavite), we found little need to go to Metro Manila except for trips to MOA and in this case, buying the property rights of a house and lot that we want to convert into a five star apartment (apartment na may limang parol sa harap, hehe). So off to Mandaluyong we went.

Careful no to be caught violating traffic rules, I drove along the middle lane of EDSA all the way from Magallanes interchange to Shaw Boulevard. I want to turn left in Shaw but left turn is not allowed there so the plan was to turn right in the intersection of ESDA and Shaw then use a U-turn slot not far ahead. I continued driving along the middle lane of EDSA so that when I make a right turn in Shaw I would not be caught swerving. But driving in the middle lane near the intersection of Edsa and Shaw spelled disaster (for me at least). Apparently two of the three EDSA lanes there (67% of EDSA) are only for buses, taxis, etc. so all private vehicles should merge and squeeze in the leftmost lane (sadly, the remaining 33%) - which I did not know due to the lack of signs to guide promdi motorists like me. After a long discussiong with an MMDA officer, he gave me a 500 PhP fine for driving in the bus lanes. Then I asked his about my plan to turn right in Shaw then make a U-turn and he said it was OK.

But after the u-turn and while crossing EDSA along Shaw, another MMDA officer flagged me down. "Now what!?" I asked. He told me that all vehicles in the left lane should turn left and I did not so now I'm in trouble - again. With my blood pressure rising, my ears red and my nostrils fuming I showed him my "mainit-init pang violation ticket" and told him, how can I not take the left lane after the U-turn when traffic is at a standstill and the middle and right lane are full of cars. He even advised me indirectly to just cut into those lanes (which if I did I need to do rudely and quickly because the U-turn slot is very near the intersection). And if I am a driver in the other lane I won't be happy when a car cuts in. But apparently its the right thing to do. With my ears red I asked the officer to get in the car so I can "demonstrate" how bad it is to make a U-turn and immediately cut into the middle lane where my car's length would easily stop the traffic in 2 lanes. He then would have to back me up if the drivers in those lanes get angry. But he did not get in the car and just let me drove by with my ears still red. Grrr!

I hope you learn from my experience and take the correct lane near the intersection of EDSA and Shaw. And if you get caught, pay your fine in any Metrobank branch anywhere in the Philippines within a week from when your ticket was issued. You have to go personally to the MMDA office in Manila if you want to pay later than that.

Huli Ka