Lombardi's in Shangri-La's East Wing

Friday, May 31, 2013

  This is Chef Davide Lombardi

He's the resident Italian chef of CCA (aka Cravings Group).  Lombardi's Authentic Italian restaurant lives up to its name because - its really authentic.  If you ask me, real Italian food isn't as flavorful - it's quite bland to be honest BUT when you add a bit of olive oil as you eat the dishes - the magical tastes comes out.  And this is why I appreciate Chef Davide's offerings of authentic Italian food.

Many would say that it's not so good because its not as malasa, but believe me - its good, because its subtle and fresh.  I personally believe in this restaurant because the chef is really Italian! What I liked the most with this restaurant is that olive oil is readily available on the table.  For some restaurants, asking for olive oil can cost you an additional charge (which I do not understand

Here were what were served us:

Quattro Formaggi

Frutti de Mari


So, if you're looking for an authentic Italian fare - go to Lombardi's.  They have two branches, one in Robinson's Magnolia and this one at Shangri-La's East Wing.

Update: Oh, you're DIRTY Maynilad!

So yesterday, we were visited by Romy of Maynilad - and he told us that it was IMPOSSIBLE that the debris came from their water pipes because the water meters have a strainer in them.  I then told him that I wanted to see the strainer - but he didn't have the tools to show me.  So he said he will come back today so that he can schedule a visit together with his technical people.

And so at exactly 9:00am today - he knocked on our door and there were 3 Maynilad uniformed people with him.  They then proceeded to take out the meter to show me the strainer.  My there were a LOT of water, a LOT - and they had to turn a certain knob to stop the flow.  They unscrewed the meter and proudly showed me the meter's strainer:

Yes, the meter did have a strainer - but can you see how big the holes were?  I mean, sure - it can trap BIG debris, but what about sand?  The refuted this telling me that it was impossible that the debris came from them.  I then showed them the debris (good thing I kept it!).  They still refused to admit - it was really impossible, they said.  And so, I challenged them - I told them that we can try to pour the debris on the strainer and see if it passes through the strainer.  They then suddenly agreed with me, but the upon seeing the plastic debris - they immediately declared that the plastic didn't come from them.  I had to agree because truly, plastic won't be able to go through that strainer.

So, what came out of this whole thing?  Nothing concrete really.  Maynilad still says that their water is clean and the problem is really with our pipes.  Their solution was just to flush the water out.  Its quite stupid really because even if they flushed the water out - it doesn't mean that ALL THE DEBRIS will come out, right?  Its just a momentary solution to a problem.

I have to admit - I am impressed that they were able to address the problem within just a few days from my post (and sending them a direct email).

Oh, you're DIRTY Maynilad!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

05/30/2013 Update:
 Romy for Maynilad visted us regarding this complain.  He claims that its IMPOSSIBLE for the debris/residue to come from their pipes because they have a strainer in their pipes.  I told him that I'd like to see the strainer - and he agreed, telling me that he will report back in the office so that they can schedule their technical people to do it for me tomorrow.  Good luck!

I've had never ending problems with Maynilad.  You can read them here, here and here..

They constantly repair our street's sidewalks for re-piping BUT then, there is no improvement with the water.  There are times in a month that suddenly - there is no water during night time.  I've said it before - and I am sure a lot of you feel the same way - mawalan na ng kuryente, wag lang ng tubig, am I right?

So the past few days, our kitchen faucet has been spewing a weird type of water.  It was flowing perfectly for the past four years.  I've never encountered any problem with the faucet - until the past few days.  I took out the faucet head to check if there was a rock or whatever thing that was stuck, but saw none.  The water was flowing perfectly without the faucet head.  This made me curious, and the curious cat in me, took it upon herself to detach the head and find our what was really troubling the flow of water (with the faucet head)  I was contemplating on how to detach the head's filter.  Good thing, my mom - who's a handywoman, used a plumbing tool (a mini pipe wrench) to detach the faucet head's filter.

What welcomed my eyes, were this:

Look at the debri/residue!!

I had to clean them right?  But then, look at the filter with the round blue thing - it was destroyed!  And to think that it was - plastic!  Here are the debris - dirt, plastic and all..

What remains of the DIRT.
Can you imagine the dirt?  I mean, its a good thing that the faucet head's had a filter, or else these would be what will come out of my faucet!

I remember hearing on the radio that Maynilad's water was potable and safe for drinking.  I am inclined not to believe because of what I saw here.

So, to Maynilad - please rethink your claim that your water is potable.  Its quite dirty, if you ask me.  I can also imagine the dirt that has accummulated in the water pipes through the years.

I am sending a complaint to Maynilad about this, let's just hope that they reply.  If they ever will.

Batas Kasambahay

Friday, May 24, 2013

And its official - the IRR (implementing rules and regulations) is already out and will be fully implemented by June 3, 2013.

Make sure to read through the IRR and ask questions on the provisions that confuse you.  I'll try my best to help you in clarifying them.  FYI - I am NOT in anyway connected to DOLE or any PEA.  I am no expert too!  But I am willing to help since I've been doing for a while already.

I know its a big adjustment for some, but luckily for me - I was already giving these benefits to my helpers (I learned it through my mom).

I have a soft copy of the IRR plus the contracts and payslips.  If you want a copy, kindly leave your email address on the comment section, so I can send it to you.  I don't know how to upload a PDF file to blogger.  Sorry!!  Click this link to download the IRR contract and payslips!

If you have questions - kindly leave them on the comment section and I'll try my bestest to answer them.  I am no expert, but I believe that since I have been doing this routine for years, I'm quite knowledgeable on the topic.  You can also send me an email at candishhh@gmail.com

Good luck everyone!! :)

Related Posts on my blog
Kwentong Kasambahay
Yaya Blues: Yaya Mae
My opinion on the Kasambahay Bill

I am MEG Season 2 Auditions

I Am Meg holds Auditions for Season 2

Manila, Philippines – May 2013 – I AM MEG, the search for the next MEG style ambassador, is back with season 2 and this time it’s even bigger and bolder. Do you have what it takes? Join them this Saturday, May 25, 2013, 11AM at the Edsa Shangri-La Mall. This will be another season with more surprises and big opportunities for the next MEG style ambassador. The reality show premieres soon on ETC. For more details and mechanics check out iammeg.ph. See you there!

I AM MEG is a production of TV100 headed by Michael Carandang of One Mega Group, Inc. Like MEG on Facebook at <www.facebook.com/megmagazine> and follow MEG on twitter <@megmagazine>.

Press Release for One Mega Group

Starbucks' Returning Favorites

Thursday, May 23, 2013

And they're baaaaaack!

Two returning favorite drinks!
 The Mocha Cookie Crumble (Chocolate Cookie Crumble - non coffee)

I am very excited for this because the non coffee - Chocolate Cookie Crumble was my favorite when I was still pregnant with Connor!  I was so happy that they had a non-coffee version of the drink (Starbucks was nakikisama)  And can you see the chocolate whip cream?
Red Bean Green Tea Frappuccino

Enjoy the finest green tea with bits of azuki red bean.  Very refreshing right??

Available from Starbucks starting May 15, 2013

Tokyo Diaries: Ichiran Ramen

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Enjoy you ramen in isolation, that is what I thought of Ichiran Ramen.

Its apparently a chain of restaurants around Tokyo - and they serve only ONE dish.  Yes, you read that right - just one dish - and that is the Tonkotsu Ramen.  You can though, make it to your exact liking because they let you fill out a form that will determine the exact outcome of your ramen.

Ordering food in Tokyo was a bit odd, but when you think about it - it makes sense!  They use a VENDO machine to accept all the payments and to get your orders.  This eliminates theft with regards to money - and eliminates one less person to man the cashier.

We queued for about 15 minutes then, you are met at the entrance by a vendo machine where you will pick your order - it will spit out tickets - which you will then give when you are seated:

 After paying for your meals, you are given a form to fill out:

After filling it out, you then wait to be seated.  Mind you - its counter style - meaning groups cannot sit facing each other - rather you'd need to be seated beside each other (if there's enough room) or seated separately.  You will then be led to your 'counter' and there you will hand your form together with your food tickets

 And so, here's my Inchiran Tonkotsu Ramen!

Was it worth the wait?  Yes - because the broth was flavorful!  To be honest, I think we just spent 30 minutes from the time we ordered till when we finished our respective ramens.  I made sure to finish the entire bowl without leaving any broth!  Haha...

Does anyone know what the inscription means?  Does it say congratulations?

My Panget ordered in all extremes - strong, ultra rich and etc.  The outcome was a much more tastier broth!  Wow! :)

Facebook Page GIVEAWAY!!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

I finally had the guts to make a Facebook Page for my blog.

And now, I need your help.

Please like my page?


Since I am asking you guys to like my page, I have a simple token of appreciation.

Like my Facebook Page and get a chance to win these L'Occitane goodies:

Its really very simple, here are the mechanics:

1)  Like my Facebook Page
2)  Share my Facebook Page on your FB page and tag me! (Don't forget to tag me!!)
3)  Tweet this giveaway
4)  Leave your Name and email address on the comment section together with the links of your tweet and FB share

This Goodie Giveaway will run until May 20, 2013
All Philippine residents serviced by LBC will can join!

*If the page reaches 100 likes - I'll give consolation prizes!  Yehey!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tokyo Diaries: Tsukemen in Akihabara

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

My friend Sherilyn asked us where we wanted to eat when we met up at Ueno Zoo.  She gave us three choices:
a)  a Ramen joint (called Ichiran) that serves only one dish - Tonkotsu ramen
b) a Tsukemen joint - dipping noodle place
c) a place that serves good tantanmien

My Panget and I picked the Tsukemen joint because it sounded different.

Sherilyn then led us to Akihabara, where that particular place was located.  We rode the subway and within minutes we were there - apparently the joint is near the exit - to be specific, just a few steps away from the exit.

Tsukemen apparently is a different type of ramen in which the noodles are separated from the broth/soup and you eat it by dipping the noodles in the hot broth/soup.  This particular restaurant just serves this kind of ramen and we knew we had to try it!  Hahaha... :)

Here's what it looks like:

Oh my, it was heavenly!  The broth was thick and really tasty, the noodles were just the perfect firmness (for me) and the meat (on top of the noddles) was so soft it literally melted in my mouth!  I didn't need to bite so much!

It was a different experience altogether because I had to dip the noodles and meat into the thick sauce before eating it!  I was too excited to consume it but I had to be patient since the dipping will add more flavor to the dish.

Here's the calling card of the place courtesy of my friend Sherilyn:

Thanks Sherilyn for bringing us here!

There was a small construction going on next door - and the construction workers were also eating in the said restaurant.  So I guess price wise - it was not bad!  She also mentioned that a lot of businessmen/office workers come to eat at this place and that its usually packed with a long line outside.  Good thing, we went a bit early and it was a Saturday!!

Tokyo Diaries: Asahi Kotsu Car Service

Friday, May 10, 2013

This is my first time to travel with kids thus, I thought to myself - that I didn't want to go through the hassles of airport transfers with kids in tow.  Plus, we were arriving mid evening, and I thought - I didn't want to wait a 120 minutes to get to the hotel.

In Tokyo - the usual mode of transport to and from the airport is via their limousine bus - but since we had kids in tow, and the fact that my Panget has a recurring back problem - I decided to try my luck in looking for a car for hire that can take us to the hotel privately.

I searched the web and found a lot of sites.  I think I made about a dozen of more inquiries on the rates for a van that can carry 5 adults and 3 kids.  The first replies I got were frustrating because they said that they can only accommodate 4 adults and 3 kids, they then offered me a much higher rate for a vehicle that can carry up to 9 people.  I argued that I have a two year old toddler that can just sit on my lap, but they still insisted.

I was already discouraged and resigned myself to the fact that we were really going to take the bus to our hotel.  Then, on my last attempt - I came across Asahi Kotsu.  I browsed their site and saw that they had a Hi-Ace van that can accommodate 9 passengers.  I immediately sent an email to request for a quotation - and the next day, I got my reply.  Their rate was the cheapest from all that I inquired from.  Their rate was already inclusive of toll fees, parking fees and taxes - plus, I didn't need to pay online to get the reservation.  So I booked it immediately.  The prices was not as bad as I thought - it was actually almost the same plus - you'll be in our own private vehicle and you won't need to stop at every single bus stop to bring passengers to their respective hotels.

Our flight to Tokyo was delayed - and I sent an email to Asahi Kotsu to inform them.

And this was who welcomed us at the Narita Airport!

And true enough - the exact same Hi-Ace in the picture was what picked us up!  The Hi-Ace was really clean and very well maintained!  Mr. Driver even helped carry all of our bags!

Travel time was about an hour as compared to the 120 minutes if you take the Airport Limousine Bus.  Plus - its private, no one else with share the car with you!  No one will give you an evil eye when the kids are rowdy or noisy.  More relaxing, right?

Image is taken from Asahi Kotsu website

This too was what took us to the airport.

I am so very happy with the service that I got from them thus this blog post.

So to those traveling to Tokyo in a big group, consider hiring Asahi Kotsu for your airport transfers, they're very accommodating and reliable!

Payments can be made in CASH or Credit Card when you reach your destination.  This simply means, you pay per way and not all together - cool right? :)

Ken Tajima

Yummy Eats 2013

Its that time of the year again!!

Yummy Eats 2012!

Join in the fun and madness!  And this time, you can buy your tickets online!  Cool right?

See you there!! :)

Yeyness! :)

Kailee's First Plane ride!

Thursday, May 09, 2013

She was knocked out in a few minutes - mainly because the flight was delayed for 2 hours I think! :)

So there...

More stories to come!

Plus a blog giveaway!!