Witt's Twaddle

The Gold Rush

Posted in Everyday, Fests, Tech by Witt on December 4, 2010

I had the Gold Rush! SMART‘s Gold Rush The Twelve Thrills of Christmas!

Abbie and I went to the second outing of the “Rush” (the first was held last November 19-21, 2010 at Eastwood City Mall) Rockwell Powerplant Mall in Makati yesterday to avail of the promo for the new Samsung Galaxy Tab. Cool new phones! Free food and drinks too (first day only). Processing queue was crazy long though. I suggest you get there early, line up before the mall opens. Promo runs until Sunday, 5th of December 2010. Be there.

3:48pm, 5 December 2010.

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Saisaki’s Eat All You Can Tempura

Posted in Fests, Food by Witt on August 27, 2010

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Last night, Dads Ultimate Buffet had an anniversary special. The Eat All You Can Tempura. To celebrate Saisaki’s 33 years of existence. Abbie chose to have the regular Saisaki buffet since she is not a big fan of tempura. I, on the other hand is 🙂

For only P330, you’ll get a bowl of soup, a cup of sticky rice, bottomless iced tea & all you can eat tempura. At first, they gave me 3 tempuras & 2 crab sticks. The second round, they gave me 5. On the third, 4 more. And getting oilier by the round. For the last round, 4. On paper, I ate 16. The truth, 14 & a half. After all that, my heart was pounding like a racehorse after the Kentucky Derby. But it was well worth it.

7:52am, 27 August 2010.

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Shanghai Short Story

Posted in Fests, Food, Trips by Witt on June 19, 2010

The family celebrated the 34th wedding anniversary of our parents in Shanghai, China. Here’s a few snaps I took with my Motorola Milestone.

Not very pleasing experience here that I will not be divulging. The Consular Section is at the World Center, 330 Sen. Gil J. Puyat Avenue, Makati City. Come early and take a number. Business hours begins at 9:00am. Requirements: New Visa Applicant – Completed application form, passport with a least six months validity, birth certificate, marriage certificate (if married), NBI clearance, bank certificate with OR and P50k show money. Previous Visa Holder – Completed application form and bring the old passport with the Chinese Visa.

Yes, they have flights to Shanghai. I think they just recently added Beijing to their new destinations. On time, maybe even earlier at times. Cheap. No food.

We arrived at Pudong International at around 11pm. Had some cash changed to Renminbi or Yuan (¥). They can also change your Peso, so you need not have to change it to USD ($) back home. Our chauffeur was there. It took us over an hour to get to our hotel. A series of skyways and flyovers. Simply spectacular. The moment we got out the van, cool breeze. Around 18-21 degrees Celsius. Very nice. Chun Shen Jiang Hotel is situated at East Nanjing Road in the heart of Huangpu District. Where everything is. Food, shopping, everything.

I suggested we eat something familiar for breakfasts so as not to upset our stomachs for the day. They try to be as environmentally sound as possible, no plastics or styrofoam here. No rice though, but they do have strawberry jams for pancakes and ground black pepper packets which I particularly liked.

When in Shanghai, the Oriental Pearl Tower is a must see. Fastest elevators I’ve ever ridden. Don’t forget to check out the Sight-Seeing Deck. 360 degrees of clear walking glass.

Same taste.

The Shanghai World Expo opened on the 1st of May 2010 and will run until the 31st of October 2010. ¥160 for a standard day pass, ¥100 for seasoned citizens. Luckily, we have two. Security was tight. They even held me for some time due to the Starbucks Shanghai City Mug I bought for Abbie. Expo hours begin at 8am and closes at 10pm except for times when there are special activities which can go on until midnight. The park is massive, as in colossal. Like a small town with hundreds of thousands of people. It’s impossible to scan the whole park in one day that’s why they’re selling 3-day and 7-day passes at ¥400 and ¥900 respectively. We just breezed through some. There’s a number of electric cars which serve as free ride in the long “highway” of the park. The longest queue: USA Pavilion. It has three short movies for its presentation mostly themed on saving the environment. Of course, we definitely have to see the Philippine Pavilion but unfortunately it was just a so-so. As we entered, a male vocalist sings Freddie Aguilar’s Anak followed by a lady singing a “kundiman”, a Filipino serenade. Then followed by a DJ… a DJ?! WTF! The pavilion showed the immense influence our conquerors. There is “hilot”, a Filipino massage/therapy, of course with pay. And the only one with a restaurant inside. Filipino food at skyhigh prices. The only thing good about the Philippine Pavilion, Pinoys need not queue. Another thing I noticed, Filipino travelers are one of the snobbish bunch there is. Don’t be like one, smile back. Did I say the park was enormous?  Huge portalets. Food is everywhere. Expo goodies galore. Everything is 20-30% more expensive though. Tip: Wear you favorite, most comfy footwear.

Some of the best authentic dimsum I’ve tasted are found here at the Shanghai Tea Houses near the Yuyuan Garden, center of the Old City. My favorite, the “Soup Siopao”. You stick a straw in it and sip its juices, tastes like “balut” soup. Yum!

The nearby Yuyuan Shopping  City is the “Divisoria” of Shanghai. Haggle-fest! Sub-story: Dad and the rest of us had a miscommunication on where to meet up after an hour of shopping. Hence, we waited and searched for him for four hours. We even summoned the assistance of the police. Tin went on the PA system which was funny-cool. Later he claimed that we’re the ones who got lost 😀

Boxing Cat Brewery‘s Knockout Stout. Two of this and you’re done. Crazy soccer hooligans pack the place at the time of the World Cup mania. Located at the French Concession, 82 Fu Xing Road West (Near Yong Fu Road), Xu Jia Hui District.

Xintiandi is a small district in Shanghai where old China and new China meet. The best restaurants can be found here. One is XinJishi Restaurant located at Building 9, Xintiandi beili, No.2, Alley 181 Taichang Road. The tofu is my favorite.

The vacation would not be complete without a trip for the faith. St. Peter’s Church is situated at 270 Chongqing Nan Lu. English Mass at 5pm every Saturday and 12noon on Sundays.

Free. ‘Nuff said.

Before flying out, I had a bowl of beef ramen from Ajisen Ramen at Pudong International.

To end, Shanghai is a beautiful megacity. You cannot capture it using a Motorola Milestone. Do not be discouraged if the locals turn you away when you ask them for directions or what not, they just do not speak English. Shanghainese are kind, welcoming people. Would love to go back and have more fun.

7:52am, 19 June 2010.

Ultimate Taste Test 4.0

Posted in Fests, Food by Witt on May 15, 2010

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Hands down, the best P200 spent ever!

Over 40 food choices from main dishes to desserts to drinks packed in NBC Tent at The Fort last Friday, 14 May 2010. Hundreds of amateur food tasters, including Abbie and myself, queued up to savor new and familiar delights in town.

Favorites:
1. Lattize’s Lengua Sulipena and Corned Beef
2. Dulcelin Gourmet’s Angus Short Rib Steak
3. JAM Food’s Angus Beef Tapa
4. Crave Burgers
5. Pellegrino’s Roast Chicken
6. Cambeli Patisserie’s Dulce de Leche Cheesecake

Sign me up for Ultimate Taste Test 5.0 in August!

9:24am, 15 May 2010.

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Nuestro Padre Jesus Nazareno de Quiapo

Posted in Fests, Trips by Witt on January 9, 2010

The feast of the Black Nazarene held on the 9th of January is considered one of the most glorious religious events in the Philippines. Every year, thousands to millions of devotees from all walks of life flock to the district of Quiapo in Manila to take part in the procession as a way of strengthening their faith and fulfilling their “panata” (vow) to the Lord. The life size image of the Black Nazarene shows a black Jesus Christ carrying a cross. The statue has been housed at the Saint John de Baptist Church in Quiapo also known as the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene since 1787.

Courtesy of Willie De Vera

The celebration begins as the huge doors of the Basilica opens and the image of the Black Nazarene is within sight. The ocean of devotees start to yell “Viva Señor” while others wave white towels and handkerchiefs in praise and respect. Devotees on their bare feet, as sign of humility, grab two long ropes and pull the carriage to start the procession. The closest to the image will attempt to touch the image, others will throw their white towels and handkerchiefs to the protectors to have it wiped on either the cross or the statue itself. Touching the Black Nazarene during the procession is believed to bring fast healing and good fortune.

On a sad note, two devotees died today. One of cardiac arrest, the other had multiple injuries. Close to 400 others were provided first aid treatment for various health conditions ranging from dizziness to foot injuries. The image of the Black Nazarene reached the Basilica shortly before 11 pm, more than 12 hours after it left Quirino Grandstand at around 8 am.

11:47pm, 9 January 2010.

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