Sunday, August 11, 2013

Family celebrations

A couple of days over the last week were spent celebrating some important family dates. Last weekend, my family and I went out to celebrate my brother's birthday. I had a couple of options for our dinner venue but people kind of got stuck in bad traffic. Since my nephews wanted to watch Pacific Rim, we headed to Superbowl in Glorietta 4 about an hour before the last full show would start. As it turned out, my brother and my nephews agreed to just watch the next day. In any case, we all hadn't eaten in Superbowl in a really really long time so it was good for us to enjoy a meal here again.

We passed by Krispy Kreme after dinner so I could get some coffee and because one of my nephews really wanted a Krispy Kreme donut. I ended up getting a half dozen because my grandmother saw the wide selection of donuts and she ended up wanting to try three of the flavors. As if that wasn't enough, I also used one of my Ensogo vouchers to get a New York Cheesecake from Sugarhouse. And since good things come in threes, to round out our dessert take-home loot, my brother also got a box of Gigi cupcakes. I don't know exactly which flavors I got to try but they were good; I definitely wouldn't mind having more of those.

This weekend, since Friday was declared a public holiday, my family got together again, this time to celebrate the birthdays of my mom, my grandfather "Tatay" who passed away more than a year and a half ago, and Mama Guading, who also passed away in 2011 just a few days before her birthday. I was unable to join the rest of my family when they went to the cemetery to visit Tatay since my mom just called me on Friday morning to let me know what the plans were.

Instead, I met up with them in Alba Restaurante Español in Polaris Street in Makati for a really late lunch. We missed the lunch buffet since we got there at close to 2pm. But that turned out to be a good thing because my mom had only ever tried the buffet in Alba so our birthday lunch for her was the first time she got to order a few à la carte items.

We passed by Papa John's along Jupiter Street to get some pizza before paying a visit to Mama Guading's family. My grandmother "Nanay" also brought cassava cake from Don Benito's. We spent some time catching up with Yaya Isot, Mama's sister. She told us that part of the cemetery where Mama's remains are kept was about to be demolished but thankfully it isn't Mama's section so there is no need to move her ashes. We shared some stories and memories about both Mama and Tatay before leaving.

The rest of the evening was spent in Shangri-La Mall which recently underwent some pretty major renovations. A couple of new wings were opened recently: North and East so we spent some time just walking around, checking out the new shops and restaurants. By the late evening, we had dinner in Balboa, an Italian restaurant at the East Wing. I thought the food here was pretty good.

It was a great long week of celebrations and remembering. That we got to experience a few familiar things and a few new things together as a family made our collective experience even better.

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