Kiki & Lala

Archive for the ‘Oh The Places You will Go’ Category


Posted on: September 5, 2012

I wanted to share with you some pictures from last weekend.  This was the best non-existent sunset ever 🙂

Panoramic view of the beaches and the beach houses.  As you could see, I was “busy” taking pictures…



…While he waited for me by the shore…still hamming it up.  What’s that in his pocket??!!

…Then he asked, and I said Yes 🙂




I had only 24 hours to take the splendor of this city in.  So let me show you what I saw.

The part of Chicago that I was in was a well planned, clean and pristine city.  A perfect balance of old and new.

In my biased opinion, in all of Chicago’s glory…it’s still not New York City! 😉


First post of the month?? Kiki, what’s happening to us??

OK, in an effort to make up for our blog slacking, here’s a post I meant to do at some point over the holidays. Since the Christmas break was pretty much hijacked with Lolo’s passing, I totally forgot about it.

Nonetheless, I’m sure you will be as intrigued as we were by Ryuma Japanese Restaurant in Sta. Rosa, Laguna. The restaurant occupies the entire floor in its wing of the Paseo de Sta. Rosa complex. In fact, there’s also a Ryuma Grocery and Ryuma Clothing Store on that floor. It is all so Japanese and yet so, not.

Here’s what I mean…

The hyper stimulating Christmas decor and rondalla (rondalla!) are so not Japanese but you do get a sense of Japanese quirkiness through all of this. And it certainly wasn’t lost on this kid:

As it turns out, the wait staff in this place are big fans of mi esposo so we were offered the VIP room.

There were three long tables, each with its own giant flat screen TV. Service was really on the ball. We left our shoes outside in a somewhat cluttered state but within minutes, someone came in with our shoes fixed like this:

And they offered us the use of a baby swing or walker!! We went for the walker and someone sure was happy about that.

But what about the food, you ask! We had our hopes up when we saw Japanese chefs milling around and we were not disappointed.

marinated salmon sashimi with seaweed

tuna belly maki

chicken karaage

spicy ramen


While the food here lacked the finesse and sophistication of more high end restaurants, it was authentic and thoroughly enjoyable. Reasonably priced too!

But it doesn’t end there.

FREE toys and ice cream!!!

Shall we try it out when (when??!!) you come?

In between Trick Or Treat activities several weeks ago, the clan made a trip to The Aquino Center in Luisita, Tarlac. Being a hard core Ninoy-Cory fan as well as a closet history nerd made me really excited for this trip.

That Sunday it seemed our clan were the only visitors at the Center. As soon as we set foot in the museum, it felt like we were in a church or some sort of hallowed ground. Everyone automatically spoke in hushed tones. And I don’t recall seeing any “Silence Please” signs.

This is the entrance hall where some very dramatic and iconic images greet you.

There are some nice mosaics too.

The museum takes you through Ninoy’s life chronologically. There are many interesting personal effects on display such as the camera he brought with him while covering the Korean War, various hand written notes and the like but the real highlights are the bloodied bush jacket he was assassinated in and the reconstruction of his cell in Bonifacio.

No picture taking is allowed in the actual museum but this image is from Wikipedia.

You really have to make the trip there yourself to understand the feeling of being near the clothes that Ninoy Aquino was murdered in. It will make your hair stand.

Aside from the obvious, the blood stained clothes do have a story of their own. Only on the day of the funeral were they removed from Ninoy’s remains. Soon after, they were sent to some family friends in the US who were tasked with having them properly, expertly preserved. However, because they were so soaked they were told the treatment would not preserve the suit but rather only delay its eventual decay. The suit was tucked up somewhere in the family friend’s home in the US until Tita Cory asked one of her nieces to bring it back to the Philippines shortly before the opening of the museum in 2001.

The other highlight is the exact replica of the 3 x 5 meter prison cell where Ninoy was kept in solitary confinement from over 7 years.

photo credit:

Aside from marveling at how he kept sane in such cramped quarters, I couldn’t help thinking about how the family managed to keep so much of his stuff – things that I would not think twice about throwing out like his rusty bathroom shelving, old towels and slippers.

The point is, you absolutely come out of there with a whole new appreciation the price Ninoy and Cory paid to precipitate the return of freedom in the Philippines. They don’t make heroes like they used to. But remember:

And if you’d like to visit, here’s the schedule:

Last year I was fortunate enough to watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade upclose.   This year, I got to watch the balloons being inflated and made ready for the following day’s festivities.   I found out that the balloon inflation was done literally next door to me so I walked over to see what the fuss was all about.   Apparently it was worth the fuss.  Check it out.

Again, please pardon the grainy photos.  I still don’t have a camera so these photos came out of my Blackberry (that must also be replaced).  However, I have a feeling Santa Clause will gift me with a camera this Christmas.  After all, I’ve been a good girl…but I digress!

Here is Kool Aid inflated and ready to go…

 …This is the backside of the Aflac Duck.  He’s a popular mascot for the insurance company Aflac.

Here is a popular cat who’s name escapes me.  I’ll just call him creepy cat.  As you can see, he is lying on his side and restrained by net so he doesn’t fly up up and away!

This next one, your son will love or fear…Buzz Lightyear!   I know he is hard to make out because he is faced down, lying on his belly.   Poor buzz 😦


What’s a thanksgiving event without a pumpkin?

Poor Hello Kitty is forced to lie on her belly all night.

Then there was Spidey!

I tried to take a shot of Ronald Mcdonald but only managed to take a shot of his boot.

I had a great time, I felt like a child again driving passed the Anson’s building to watch the Christmas figures.  Remember that?  This was a wonderful way to kick off the holiday.  Since I moved here, this was the first time I felt Christmas this early.   It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

In the middle of tall skyscrapers, historic buildings and the usual New York hustle and bustle lies Bryant Park.   I was there on Sunday for a special reason.

Ice skating! Cue funky techno music reminiscent of Mega Mall ice skating.

There is a glass cafe if you just want to watch skaters zoom around while enjoying a cup of coffee.

Or you can visit the “tiangge” only here until January 8.

Or you can just marvel at the high rise buidlings that envelope the park.

So is this incentive enough for you and your kids to come for Christmas?

My office window overlooks a rooftop playground.   To break the monotony of work, I like to watch the kids play on the playground.   The other day, the playground was gone!  No swings, no slides, no kids.  In it’s place was this.

It took me a while to figure out that they were filming a movie….a Batman movie!

I figured it out when a familiar figure walked into the set….director, Christopher Nolan!

So I was giddily waiting and desperately hoping that Christian Bale would walk into the set.  Fat chance.  😦

Instead I was treated to Joseph Gordon-Levitt dressed as a cop.  Swooooon!  Here he is getting directions from Direk Chris.

And he slowly turns my way.  C’mon…don’t be shy.

That’s it…now look up to your right and wave back at me.

Workin it baby!

Gotcha!  As you can see, he didn’t seem too pleased with me taking a money shot of him.

And just like that, he turned away.


Such an awesome New York moment.   This city never gets old.  Love it!

Tulong Para Sa Rizal

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