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Showing posts from June, 2017

DoorDash: Changing My Food Adventure

I have been posting about new restaurants I try but as you can see, I don't post as much about it. Does it mean I don't try new places anymore?

Not really. Every Wednesday we have team lunch at the office and I get to pick where we order our food. With so many food delivery application and services to choose from, I end up using DoorDash. I did try to use Pandora once but being unable to add your credit card and getting a 500 error is just unacceptable so we stick with DoorDash.

Below is a map of restaurants I am able to try because of our team lunches every Wednesday.



Hopefully, I remember to update this map every Wednesday. Do you have any recommendation on where our team should eat next? Comment below!

Vacation: Travel Back to Canada

I write this in the comforts of my home back in Canada. My mom and siblings are all home and busy eating the Goldilocks goodies I got for myself. It's great to be back in Canada!
Manila I woke up at 2:00 AM (Manila time) on Sunday and I didn't want to get up. I don't want to leave. It's more than leaving Philippines. It's leaving Jomar and my life here. Alas, I had to face the reality that I have decided to immigrate two years ago to be with my family.


As we head to the airport, I was quiet. We hugged just outside Terminal 1. The guard told us that there's a section in the departure area where family members and friends can stay and wait. I asked Jomar to stay there while I check in.

There was a long line and after checking in I was informed by the lady at the counter that I had to go to the travel tax counter. I walked there and they photocopied my Canadian PR card and gave me a receipt. I didn't had to pay anything.


I went to where Jomar was and there is …

Vacation: Seventh Day Back Home

It's my last full day in Philippines and I am heartbroken that I will be far from Jomar again.

Today, we had breakfast in KFC. KFC back here is so much better than the one in Canada. Sorry KFC Canada. I also missed their gravy.


After having breakfast, we went to Salon de Matt. Haircut is so much cheaper here. For $10 CAD, I could get a great haircut plus tip. In Canada a haircut would cost $30. Moreover, the haircut in Manila includes shampoo.


After getting a haircut, we went to SM Megamall. My mom asked us to buy contact lenses for her. I also end up buying her preferred coffee from the Philippines. Lastly, for myself I purchased Goldilocks baked goodies.


We were supposed to go straight to Glorietta for lunch with Ms. Aileen. Unfortunately, we forgot our gifts for her back in the condo. From SM Megamall, we had to stop by the condo then go to Glorietta.


My vacation is now complete that I saw Ms. Aileen and Jay! It just so happened that they also took a few days off from Singapore…

Vacation: Sixth Day Back Home celebrating Life with Friends

Ever since moving to Canada, I have not experienced dipping my toes in salty water. I also know Philippines has the best beaches in the world so I really wanted to experience the beach before going back to Canada.

We decided to go to Anilao, Batangas. Ms. Myna and Mitch arranged the place and itinerary. Mama Chelle prepared a feast because she's celebrating her birthday as well. It's truly a trip celebrating life with friends.

The day started with Ms. Myna picking us up from the condo with Kuya Michael (the fastest driver ever!). We met with Mama Chelle and their van on the other side of EDSA. We quickly stopped by Shell Magallanes to buy Mama Chelle's cake while their van went ahead.

We met again in Jollibee along SLEX for breakfast. It's so great to see everybody! Mama Chelle, Mitch, the kids (Josh, Jarred, and Kaylee), Mama Nancy, Ms. May, and Ate Jonah. Jomar and I ordered the same food as yesterday.

After breakfast, I purchased butter mamon from Red Ribbon and off…

Vacation: Fifth Day Back Home with Best Friend Forever

Ugh. It's my fifth day back home. My vacation is almost over. I can't believe it! For today, I scheduled to meet with my high school best friend, Deci.


Before meeting with her, Jomar and I had breakfast at Jollibee! Yes! Longganisa meal, corned beef meal, and 2-pc Chicken Joy just for the two of us.

That's a 900 calorie meal for breakfast. If that's not enough, on our way back to the condo we saw someone selling taho! Of course, I purchased some and we enjoyed it by the pool area.


After that, Jomar and I went up north of Metro Manila to Trinoma and SM North EDSA. I lived in Quezon City most of the 1st 25 years of my life.

Because of that, my optician is in SM North and I decided to get my eyes checked for free (sorry, Canada eye care is way way cheaper here). I decided to have my lenses changed to one that would turn into a darker shade when it's bright outside (instant sunglasses). It costs Php 2,500 (~$70 CAD) but I had to come back at around 7:00 PM since they s…

Vacation: Fourth Day Back Home with This Lovely Ladies

It was my fourth day back in Manila. I spent it with four different ladies who played a big role in the different stages of my career and life.
Mama Chelle My day started with breakfast at the Google Philippines office with Mama Chelle and Wayne.

I first met Mama Chelle when I was at Orange and Bronze Software Labs, Inc (O&B). She was head of sales and I was a fresh grad Jr. Business Analyst and Quality Assurance engineer. We had not much interaction then, except for that one time where we went to Gelatissimo and I shared my work challenges and she gave me advice.

We became so much closer when she moved to Codeflux because that's when she started helping out with the Google communities. She and Jomar worked closely for the community and since I am Jomar's plus one, I became a volunteer for the Google Developers Group. I helped with registration and welcoming attendees, usually with little Josh (who is now a teenager).



I am just so happy and fulfilled to see her and Josh w…

Vacation: Third Day Back Home with QSR Family

It's my third day back home and it feels great to take a break from my routine life in Canada.
Date with Jomar When I planned my itinerary for this vacation, Jomar requested that we have a date. I moved things around and told him that I would free up Tuesday morning and we could go out then. I asked him to surprise me with what he had in mind.
Manila There is a building along Pedro Gil that look likes a dome. I have been curious about it but didn't thought of checking it out. Apparently, it's the National Museum Planetarium. It was close for so long until recently and Jomar wants us to visit the Planetarium while it's still open. We went there at around 9:00am after having the remaining Kare-Kareng Gulay for breakfast. The exhibit was okay. There was nothing that made me say wow and it was last updated 2009(?) so the information is a bit outdated.

Jomar also wanted to see one of the shows which costs Php 50.00. It was a 30-minute short documentary. For the time we were…

Vacation: Second Day Back Home with Our Third Wheel

For my second day in Canada, Jomar and I spent the morning having our planning meeting. It took us the first 3 hours of the day to discuss our plans. Then, I had "Me" time. I went to Let's Face It to have a facial.

After that, I went to Chowking. I got my first dose of cultural difference between Canada and Philippines. I was in front of the cashier and said, "Hi". She just stared at me impatiently. I gave her my order (Yang Chow fried rice) and she offered toppings which I declined. What's so shocking about the encounter? Well, in Canada, there's always pleasantries and small talk. Always. When ordering, the cashier would almost always ask, "Hi there, how's it going?" or "Hi there, what can I get for you today?". They don't just stand there and wait for your order. It's different. When I was new to Canada I always feel awkward about the pleasantries and small talk but now that I am used to it, I am surprise when it doesn…

Vacation: First Day Back Home

As soon as I boarded my flight to Manila from Beijing, I fell asleep. I did sleep for an hour, watched Sing, then watched The Intern. I was in the last 2 minutes (2 minutes!!!) of the movie and they closed all in-flight entertainment because the plane had landed. I was sitting in the first row of the economy class and I only have my backpack to carry so I am the first person out of the plane (well, first person from the economy class since they apparently, give priority to Business Class).

 I love saying Magandang Umaga! I am home. The Immigration was quick since I was one of the first few people out of the plane. After the immigration, I waited for my luggage which felt like a really long time but no more than 15 minutes.

I went out and walked down the arrival extension area of Terminal 1 and saw Jomar. He booked an Uber and finally, home to my dearest Gateway Regency.  I unpacked and went straight to bed (around 2AM).

I woke up at 5AM and decided to take a quick shower and cook brea…

Vacation: Beijing Layover

I arrived at Beijing a few minutes after 1:00 PM (Local Time). The 10-hour flight was tiring. I remember why I disliked flying trans-pacific. During the flight, I watched The Lego Batman Movie, played in-flight games (Luxor and Suduko), and watched Beauty and The Beast (Emma Watson is so beautiful).
Layover Highlights First, the WiFi access is challenging to get but possible. Second, there's a special line for those in transit. Lastly, the best way to check if you have internet connection is to go to Yahoo.com, yes, Yahoo. All of your Google services, Facebook, and Twitter won't work. Even the GPS of your mobile device will not work.

What I did in my six hours in Terminal 3 of PEK? As soon as I got to the departure floor of Terminal 3, the first thing I did was find the currency exchange to have my limited Canadian dollar changed to Chinese Yuan. Then...
I went shopping around for key chain and fridge magnet.

I had lunch at Tai Hing Restaurant. Expensive food but the roast duck…

Vacation: YVR Departure Area

During my first 12 months in Canada, I visited museums and tourist spots just to get-to-know the country and province a little bit better. I learned about the Aboriginal or First Nations or Native Americans before the Europeans came (the first immigrants). The designs here at the arrival area is inspired by the stories of the First Nations. It reminded me so much of the exhibit at the Museum of Anthropology (MoA) at University of British Columbia (UBC).


This airport and the appreciation and continuous support to remind immigrants on the history of this country is something I really love about Canada and British Columbia.



Boarding is in an hour. In the meantime, I will go back to my Code Academy lessons and I might grab a snack from either A&W or Church's Chicken (can't decide yet). Have a great day or night depending on which timezone you're in!

Vacation: YVR to PEK

I am writing this at the airport while waiting for my flight from Vancouver, Canada to Beijing, China. I have a 6-hour layover in Beijing before my flight to my dearest Manila, Philippines.

I am excited to see friends and of course, Jomar. I am looking forward to all the Filipino food that I miss back home.
A few days ago, Gordon (CEO of Gumstix) asked where I was going for my vacation. I said, "I am going back home." I, honestly, did not expect his response, "But this is your home."
If you've been reading this blog (I doubt people read this but oh well), you would notice that I have a love-hate relationship with Canada and as much as it has become a home the past almost 2 years, Philippines will always have a special place in my heart. I don't know. Maybe this feeling will be gone after a decade of living outside of the country but right now, all I know is I miss home every day.
I read this post from a fellow immigrant (I think she's from India), she s…