Last week in the Philippines.

Sunday F.B. and I checked into the 5 star, Manila Hotel. We had a coupon for a free overnight & a coupon for a 2 night stay at a discounted rate, so we decided to stay 4 days 3 nights for our 1st monthiversary of being married.

Our Room:

The chocolates left for us after housekeeping made up our room:

We had another TV in the bathroom in our room. The one night F.B. had to call the front desk though because the remote died. They thought it was just the batteries, but it turned out they had to replace the whole remote control.

F.B. happy the TV in the bathroom was working again!

We also had a coupon for free buffet for two at one of the café’s in the hotel. Normally it costs about P1,000 per person. ($20). They had a lot of good food there, dessert was especially good. F.B. had mango cheese cake (We got one to take home to his parents from the bakery- its amazing!) I had mocha cake and a fruit tart, cream puff, etc. Yummy!

Picture of the dessert:

On the 18th we hung out at the hotel all day and relaxed. For dinner F.B. went out and picked up Yellow Cab pizza. We tried the Barbeque Chicken Pizza, yum! I just checked out the website & there's now a Yellow Cab in the USA in Ohio! If they can just come a little further to Philadelphia, I'll be in heaven! Maybe someday soon!

December 19th, was our monthiversary so we went to Saisaki Buffet at Mega Mall for dinner. When you order an iced tea there they give you a stuffed animal. Here’s our animals!


Dog-a-pillar?! LOL!

We checked out of the Manila Hotel on the 20th and spent the day at Robinson’s Manila in the afternoon. We tried Pancake House for lunch. It reminds me of IHOP. If you want you can get meals with pancakes and fried chicken, etc, lol! But they also have breakfast stuff too. I ordered a ham & cheese omelet and pancakes. (Everything was so good, we actually ate lunch again there today, lol!)

Taking billboard pictures while in traffic on Wednesday:

We spent the evening at Mall of Asia on the 20th and had dinner at Chow King. We also decided to have ice-cream at ‘Haagen Dazs’. They have actual ice cream parlors over here. At home Haagen Dazs is just always in the freezer at the supermarket. It happened to be the most expensive ice cream we ever ate too, lol! I know a pint costs like $4-5 at home but how about it cost us P700 ($14) for each of us to get 2 scoops of ice-cream with one topping and a cup of coffee! Yikes! That’s like what we spend when we go out to dinner around here!

We stayed close to Manila all day on Wednesday because we wanted to pick up the mango cheesecake for my in-laws as a thank you gift and we didn’t want it to melt! When we got home that evening F’s room was decorated with streamers and the mirror said “Happy 1st Monthsary”.

My cute mouse jewelry box from Robinson’s Manila. F.B. got it for me!

One of F.B.’s aunts got me this glass rat from Bangkok, Thailand! I’ve gotten sooo much mouse/rat stuff on this trip in the Philippines!

Pictures from Pancake House on Jan 21st:

Today (Jan 21) we went out to Market Market for lunch and also checked out some stores. F.B. got me a copy of Photoshop, now I have to figure out how to use it, lol! (I already use Fireworks & Paintshop Pro.)

When we got home I did most of my packing. Friday we’re just going to hang out at home and relax before I leave on Saturday. We will probably leave for the airport around 8am. My first flight to Shanghai China from Manila is around 12:20pm. I’ll arrive home around 12am on Sunday in Philadelphia. It’s going to be long days of traveling… wish someone would just invent a teleporting machine! I'm trying not to think about leaving just yet... trying to enjoy my last few days with my husband before I have to go home...

More Adventures in the Philippines

I’ve been in the Philippines 7 weeks now. Saturday starts my last week here. Last Sunday F.B. & I stayed 5 days 4 nights at the Best Western Astor Hotel in Makati City. We’ve stayed there every year I’ve visited. We didn’t really take too many pictures during our stay. I was recovering from a cold and so was F.B. so the first 2 days we just stayed in at the hotel and rested and relaxed. There was a 24 hour Wendy’s across the street from the hotel so F.B. went out and got take out one night for our dinner. We did get to check out Glorietta Mall and Greenbelt. We got to explore Greenbelt 5, which is a new addition. And we finally had dinner at Chili’s, which was superb! Also Robinson’s Manila which is one of my other new favorite malls now, besides Robinson’s Galleria!

While out driving the one day we saw the neatest coincidence. There was a car and a bus in traffic ahead of us. The beginning of the car’s license plate was: NEO. The bus company was called: Genesis. For those of you not familiar with the beginning history of our relationship, F.B.’s user name on the forum we met on was “Neo-Genesis”. We thought it was really neat the car and bus were aligned in that way!

To check out our last 3 stays in Makati City click the links below:

Makati City December 2006
Makati City January 2008
Makati City October 2008

While at Robinson’s Galleria one day we finally got to try the Pizza in a Cone stand! It’s a neat snack type food. It reminded me a little of a ‘Hot Pocket’, but way better because the cone was actual pizza crust and inside was cheese and meat. I had a pepperoni pizza cone and F.B. had one with sausage, pepperoni and mushrooms. Definitely recommend ‘Pizza in a Cone’ if you’re looking for a yummy snack!

When we got back from our Makati City stay, we found F.B.’s door to his room had been vandalized, lol! My name is permanently on his bedroom door now, bwahahaha!

F’s aunt also got me this cute mouse/rat tote purse. I’m getting quite a collection of mouse/rat collectibles here in the Philippines!

This past Sunday we went to Mall of Asia and had dinner at ‘Burgoo’. It was something new to try. It’s sort of like a Friday’s or a Chili’s. And around the same price too. Though definitely not as good as Chili’s! I had blackened salmon & a pina colada; and F.B. had country style pork chops. The tablecloths there are paper and they give you crayon’s to draw with while you wait for your food. You can see our lovely artwork below, lol!

Of course Tuesday we picked up our marriage certificate and you can read about that debacle here!

I found these neat toothbrushes at Robinson’s Galleria in the supermarket. I guess they are like “best friend” toothbrushes. There’s a heart and it separates so each toothbrush has a half. Anyway it was an impulse buy because I thought they were cute. F.B. and I are going to take them when we stay at Manila Hotel for our 1st month of being married and use them, lol! We’re so corny!

I also found this bag of limited edition orange flavored M&M’s! I think they were made in Hong Kong. But it also lists Malaysia, Singapore and Australia on the back of the package. They were pretty good. Orange flavored chocolate. It reminded me of the Chocolate Orange my family used to get at Christmastime.

F.B. got me a “Louis Vuitton” wallet to match the purse he got me last month. Love it!

Thursday we headed off to Enchanted Kingdom Amusement Park. We went last year, but we got lost on the way and it started raining so we didn’t get to ride many rides. This year we left the house around 10am and arrived up in Tagaytay around 12pm. We stopped to check out Taal Volcano for a little while. The weather was really windy and very cool (cold) for the Philippines!

Pictures of Taal Volcano up in Tagaytay.

We had lunch at Chow King after checking out the volcano. We had fried rice called ‘Yang Chow’ and these neat pastry things filled with meat called: ‘Siopao’. They are about as big as a burger. The bread or pastry part is white and really soft and chewy and there was shredded pork meat inside. They are so yummy!

We got to Enchanted Kingdom around 2pm. The line outside the place was really long. A lot of kids were having class trips there. (Did anyone else’s school ever have a field trip to an amusement park?! Because I only remember museums and the zoo for my field trips and I wasn’t home schooled until 6th grade!)

The lines for the most of the rides inside the park were not that long. We stayed almost 4 hours at the park and got to go on 7 rides. We rode a small roller coaster, the swinging ship. Then I begged F.B. to let me ride the biggest roller coaster in the park. He said he had been on it before with his cousins and it always left him dizzy for the whole day, but I still begged so he agreed to accompany me on it. It was a pretty intense coaster. It starts off going the right way and goes around in loops then it takes you completely backwards on the loops. Needless to say afterwards I had a fierce headache and yes F was dizzy. We got something to drink and sat for awhile after that coaster.

The Coaster:

F.B. feeling dizzy after ‘Space Shuttle Max’.

Later we got to go on the Ferris Wheel but it was really windy up there, I had to hold onto my hat when it started going around.

Pictures from the Ferris Wheel:

We also checked out the theater. They were playing a clip of the ‘Speed Racer’ movie. The seats moved in the theater to make it feel like you were driving. It was okay. After a trip to the gift shop. (I got a bubble gun and some light up pens to take home.) We went to the 4D Theater. You had to pay P60 to enter (A little over $1). They had a short movie of ‘Journey to the center of the earth’ with Brendan Fraser. You also had to wear 3D glasses:

See how dorky we look?!

Why was it 4D? Well… the seats moved on that ride too, but also there were these things in front of all the seats- so that when there was air or water in the film- you actually got misted with water or blown with cold air. It was pretty neat, but I certainly wasn’t expecting to get wet during a movie! The last ride we went on was those old fashioned swings that spin you in the air. The park closed at 7pm and we left around 6:30pm.

On the way back home we stopped at a rest stop and had Cinnabon and Starbucks. It was around 9pm when we got back to Cainta. We had dinner at the 24 hour Burger King. Whoppers, Onion Rings & Chicken Tenders. We had a really nice day out.

To check out last years trip to Tagaytay & Enchanted Kingdom click here!

Sunday we’ll be checking into the Manila Hotel for 4 days 3 nights. We have a coupon for discounted rates so we decided to go there for our 1 month anniversary of being married on January 19th. I think we are also going to go to Saisaki Buffet on our anniversary.

Of course next Saturday I’ll be going home, I’ll be leaving the Philippines around 12:30pm. I won’t be arriving in Philadelphia though until Sunday around 12:30am. It’s going to be a long day of traveling. I’m trying not to think about it.

After I get back home, I start work on January 27th. I also have to contact our lawyer so we can begin our immigration process. I think everyone that’s been reading my blog knows, that we are taking a year off traveling in 2010, so we can save money and work on our immigration process. I also have to get a new passport and change my last name at a million places.

We are planning on F.B. visiting me in the USA around Sept-Dec 2011. I know that’s a little over a year, but since I’m seasonal at the Dept. of the Treasury, I’m not usually working around then and I would want to spend as much time with him as I could. Those are our plans for now, they may change, who knows. We’ve been doing this long distance thing for almost 6 years now and we still have at least 1-2 more years to go, while doing immigration. At least we are getting closer to the end, now that we are finally married!

Keep an eye on my blog. I will be doing a giveaway of some Philippine Souvenirs once I’m back in the USA, and I’m also planning on doing a snack blog of some of the snack foods I’ve tried while here in the Philippines!

Legally I was married Dec 18!?

So today we were finally able to go to the Cainta, Municipal Hall to pick up our marriage certificate. It didn't take long, when we got back to the car to look it over we discovered it said our date of marriage was December 18th, 2009 instead of December 19th, 2009! We went back to the building to find out why it had the incorrect date. Turns out because December 19th was a Saturday it is not considered a working day. So they take it back to the last working day, which would be Friday December 18th. Needless to say I'm a little upset about this. So even though technially we were married on Saturday, December 19th, 2009 at the mayors office. In the eyes of the law, legally we were married December 18th, 2009. It's like they erased my wedding day. I don't know why they just didn't marry us on that Friday instead. Why do a wedding on a Saturday when it can't be filed as a legal date?! So now when we celebrate our anniversary every year on December 19th, legally that is not the day we were married. When I fill out any legal paperwork in the future, it will have to have the December 18th date. All I can say is blah.....

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Wedding Photographer's Photos

We got our photos back from the Wedding Photographer a few days ago.

You can view the on Facebook by Public Link Here.

Or on Photobucket Here. (Starts Page 3).

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Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

F.B. & I have been married two weeks now. We got to spend our first Christmas & New Years together as husband and wife.

Christmas Eve day F.B. & I went to Robinson’s Metro East early in the morning. We hung out at a net café for a couple hours while I uploaded more wedding photos, etc. Afterwards we had lunch at Wendy’s in Sta. Lucia Mall. (Baconator…mmmm… deadly, but delicious! Hehe!)

We stopped at an electronics store after lunch so F.B. could get me a Christmas gift. He got me an 8GB USB Flash Drive. Yay! We also stopped at the Guess store again… I have a bad addiction with that store in the Philippines! I’ve gotten 4 t-shirts from there already, and it’s not exactly cheap. They were all around P800-P1300. ($17-28 USD).

Christmas Eve we went to church around 9:30pm. The church was packed with people. When we got back to F.B.’s house we had ‘Noche Buena’ around 12am. We exchanged Christmas gifts with the family and took pictures. We had dinner around 1am and didn’t get to bed until around 3am Christmas Morning.

Christmas Day we stayed home and relaxed. Around 6:30pm we went to Mega Mall to Saisaki Buffet to have dinner with F.B.’s family & relatives. Afterwards we had Starbucks.

Christmas Photos:

F.B.’s aunt got me this cute wooden mouse pen and wooden mouse toy for Christmas.

Mugwort eating in the kitchen:

December 28th we had a free overnight stay at the Malayan Plaza Hotel in Pasig City. It was a gift from one of F.B.’s aunts. It’s just around the corner from Mega Mall and Robinson’s Galleria in Pasig City. Our hotel suite had its own little kitchen, with a microwave, stove and full fridge. There was also a DVD player, but we didn’t bring any DVD’s with us!

Our Room:

Our Kitchen!

View from our hotel room:

We wanted to go to the IMAX Theater at Mall of Asia, but it was still packed with holiday shoppers, etc so we ended up going to Robinson’s Manila to spend the afternoon there. I got another cute keychain mouse/rat to add to my collection! We also checked out Fort Santiago but it was really hot that day so we didn't stay long.

New Years Eve we headed to church around 9:30pm. We got back home around 11pm. It was pretty loud with people setting off firecrackers and fireworks all over the place. At 12am we had dinner. F.B. & I had Spongebob necklaces that light up from Ate Malou’s daughter, Jenny.

New Years Photos:

With Jenny:

I also got to call home to my family on Christmas & New Years. My ratties are doing well while I'm away. They even got banana chips as a Christmas Gift from my Mom. Hehe. Here's a photo of Saffy they sent to me, she's wearing a Santa Hat!

Sunday we are headed to the Best Western Astor Hotel in Makati City for 5 days, 4 nights. We check out on the 7th. We also still have to pick up our marriage certificate sometime soon and we are also still waiting on the professional wedding photos. We want to head back to Tagaytay one day this month too. For our first wedding “monthiversary” on January 19th, we are going to go back to the Manila Hotel.

The 23rd I will be heading home. I've already been in touch with our lawyer. I will be contacting him when I'm back in the USA, so we can start F.B.'s immigration process. It's estimated to take 1 year to 2 years at the most. We are doing a longer process on purpose because it will save us money in the long run and F.B. will be a permanent resident when he finally steps off the plane in the USA.

NOTE: Our lawyers Peter J. Gonzales & Shanna Stanton have changed firms. They are no longer with Kahiga Tiagha. They are now with Green and Spiegel LLC, but still located in Philadelphia. 

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