Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Revisiting Mang Jimmy's

During my college days, I am one of the many frequent-goers of Mang Jimmy's, an eatery at the MWSS Compound, just at the back of Manila Water.  Our school organziation always opt to eat here because of the Plus One (or two or three) Viand you get for an order of three (or four or five).  Besides the extra viand, the male orgmates loves the place because of the unlimited rice.

After college, I continue eating at Mang Jimmy's because I work at Balara, and it is just a stone throw away.  When me and my batchmates from work celebrate anything and everything, we found ourselves at Mang Jimmy's.  Even with lunch meetings with my team, Mang Jimmy's becomes a venue.

Sir Ray, Roman, Len and Moi

So today, we opt to eat at Mang Jimmy because Tin,one of our team members is a Mang Jimmy's virgin even if she has been a student of UP herself.  It was Tin's request to eat lunch here.

Tin, Mang Jimmy's Convert

Good thing we were early, there's not much people yet.  It usually gets crowded with students from UP, Ateneo and Mirium combined with employees from Maynilad, Manila Water and MWSS.

We are early, no hungry crowd yet.

We are quite disappointed that we will only get only 1 viand free with an order of 5.  I miss the days when you could have a plus 1 starting with 3 orders.  And rice is no longer unlimited but you only have free first batch of rice, the next batch already has a price.  I guess the price hike of food also took the toll on the eatery.  So we got two Tapa Mix, one Sisig, one Tuna Belly and one Chopsuey as our five viands and chose Sizzling Pusit as our free.

Free Soup

I don't like the Chopsuey that much, it tasted bland.  The vegetable is cooked al dente, not too soggy, which I love about in best Chopsueys.  I think, it lacks a bit of seasoning.  The serving for the chopsuey is very generous, large enough for us five.

Chopsuey, Php 100

The tuna belly and pusit were served in a sizzling plate with sauce.  I'm not really a fan of sizzling pusit but it was ok for me.  It is very soft you know it is fresh.  I ate more of the tuna belly because I like it better.

Singling Tuna Belly, Php 100

Sizzling Pusit, Php 100

I love the taste of the Tapa Mix.  I think the taste of the food did not change at all. The meat is soft, you won't have a problem chewing.  Also, it is flavorful, the entertwine of sweet and salty is right. It's a very satisfying dish that your Mang Jimmy's experience will be incomplete without it.  I order this everytime I visit Mang Jimmy's.

Tapa Mix, Php 100

The sisig is nothing but ordinary.  It is served with egg on top, which I like to mix with the rest of the sisig while it is still sizzling.  I forgot to take a picture of it because we are so hungry.  The serving though became little as compared to before.

I think Mang Jimmy's is heaven's sent to big eaters who are in a budget.  It has been a solution for the dry days.  Most of the food is sinful but I don't mind indulging. =P

Mang Jimmy's
MWSS Compound
Balara, Quezon City

Finally Hongkong Disneyland!!!

Right after taking the most expensive shower, Kat and I proceeded to find the bus station just outside the airport.  We took an S1 bus going to the Tung Chung MTR Station.  From there we took the MTR and got off at Sunny Bay Station.  We transfered to the Disneyland Resort line, which is exclusive for the visitors (and employees) of the Disneyland Park.

Disney MTR

I love this MTR for its Disney theme. The windows and handheld are cut from Mickey's face.  There are mini statues of the characters of Disney like Mickey and Minnie, Donald and Daisy, Googy and Pluto, and even the new characters like those from the Toy Story.  You can't help but be excited of what is in store for you at HKDL.
It's like a museum inside

Amidst being at the park very early, it is quite amazing that there are tons of people with their families waiting outside the park for it to open.  Kat and I hurriedly queued to get our tickets.  Ticket sells at 350HKD each.  We waited for awhile until the gates opened.

get ready for the world of fantasy and magic

When the gates finally opened, Mickey and Minnie greeted everybody and everyone was up for a photo with them.  Kat and I skipped this part not to waste our time on waiting.  First thing that we did when we get into the park was to check out the lockers so we could deposit our things and relieve us from sore back muscles.  Lockers are at 60 HKD big enough for 2 backpacks so Kat and I shared it.

American village in Main Street USA

As we walked through Main Street USA, we can't help but be kids again.  Every post where there's a  character's headress, we take a picture with.

I fancy Minnie

 We could not get enough of the houses and the stores too.  It was surely Disney heaven.  We came at a time where it is almost Christmas so the whole park was turned into a Christmas Wonderland.

It's a Christmas world at HKDL

Besides Mainstreet USA, the Disneyland park has four other areas based on theme.  Tomorrowland where the rides, shops and art pieces are science fiction and futuristic.  Fantasyland is themed after the magic and make believe, while Adventureland, is where the jungle, pirates and animals are.  The newest attraction is the Toy Story Land where the rides and display are based from the the animated film, Toy Story.

Because there are numerous attractions in the park I would like to mention they must trys because I enjoyed it very much or that Kat was thrilled about it.


Kat was babbling about Space Mountain even before we entered the park.  She has been to Disney at the US and have tried this ride.  Being a newbie, I just followed Kat's suggestion and we were lining up for our turn.
I dread this ride!

Space Mountain is my greatest regret in the whole Disney Trip.  The rollercoaster ride in the pitch black "outer space" had my eyes shut for about 90% of the ride.  You could not see the tracks, nor where you are heading.  All was left for me is the threat of being trapped in a ride with sudden drops and sharp turns, all packaged from hell.  Pardon me, but I do not really enjoy rollercoaters.  I don't find anything fun in the thrill.

So when I got out of the "space ship", I felt my whole world still spinning.  I ended up at the nearest bathroom vomitting not only once, nor twice but about 5 times! Yikes!  So if you don't have a knack at rollercoasters, this is not the ride for you.

So instead of going for another rough ride, we settled for a tamer photo opportunity.

Astronaut or race car driver?

Other features of Tomorrowland are Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters, Stitch Encounter, UFO Zone among others.

FANTASY LAND The first feature that we came into at Fantasyland is the It's a Small World.  As it is a smooth sailing cruise, my bad stomach was relieved.  But more than that, I think this is one of my favorites because I enjoyed seeing the dolls in all nationalities and in Disney characters singing "It's a Small World" in various version.  And I felt proud seeing the dolls dressed in Baro't Saya with the Bahay Kubo background as they sing the Tagalog version of the song.  It was a cruise I really enjoyed.

Pardon me, I'm just overjoyed with this ride.

Another must try and shouldn't be missed is Mickey's PhilharMagic.  You get to watch this show with 3D glasses but what is amazing is the additional effects like the wind gushing through your face or the water splashing. It was trully a 4D experience, I should say.

ADVENTURELAND  If you have little boys, I think Adventureland would be their sanctuary.  Pirates roamed around this jungle of a place ready to capture you for a photo.  Waterfalls, safari trucks, and big forests trees will welcome you at adventureland.

My most favorite at Adventureland is the "Festival of the Lion King", a musical based on "The Lion King" movie.  The costumes are elegant, the dances are lively, acrobatics and fire dance are truly amazing as they retell the story of Simba and his journey to be King.

The Jungle River Cruise is also a delight.  It takes you on a safari to explore the waters of the jungle and you might encounter exotic beasts, jungle folks and volcanic surprises.  I love the fact that there are a lot options with regards to the language for the tour guides so we understood the whole river cruise.  =)  The sun was already setting during the cruise so I have a hard time capturing  bits and pieces of the cruise because of low light and the boat was moving.

Another notable landmark at Adventureland is Tarzan's Treehouse which is smacked in the middle surrounded with water, the only way to get there are rafts. The treehouse shows Tarzan's sotry and his way of life in a jungle.

TOY STORY LAND  The newly opened play area is themed from the Disney Pixar movie, Toy Story.  Guests are shrunk to the size of a toy making all of the toys of Andy GIANTS.  This is the last area we came into so we were quite exhausted already, all we did was observe.

The features of Toy Story Land are Toy Soldier Parachute Drop, which gives adventurers the feel of being a  soldier in a parachute drop.  Take hold and pray for your life, its a great mission to take!  Another ride most guests seem to enjoy is Slinky Dog Spin.  Mimicking crazy dogs who chase their tails, Slinky Dog spin gives its  riders a crazy and helluva ride just like a mad dog.  RC Racer gets guest's adrenaline on the fast lane.  A 27 m-high U shaped coaster, RC zooms riders around at full speed!

Main Street USA Besides the stores and houses that gives you the look and feel of an American village, Main Street USA is where the famous Disney Parade is.  Around 3PM the sidewalk of Main street USA gets swarmed with watchgoers waiting for their favorite Disney Characters as they appear one by one in a parade that had me in tears because I was overwhelmed of the whole experience.  I felt like I was transformed into a kiddo again!

The theme of the park was already Christmas when we were there and so in celebration, they had Christmas Illumination, a ceremony to light up the big Christmas Tree.   Right after that there was artificial snow everywhere, it was quite amazing.

The last and a best culmination is the fireworks display at the famous Sleeping Beauty Castle.  This signals the end of your Disney experience is about to end.  The spectacular fireworks are synchronized to the music of famous Disney films illuminating the skies with exciting pyrotechnique. It last for about 10-15 minutes which is the cherry of your whole Disney experience.

The whole Disney experience is exhilaratingly fun in itself.  Time and time again, it reminded me of how great it is being a kid.  And how big this opportunity was to be at Disney and to be a kid again.  It opens up the world of excitement and imagination. My big smile never left my face the whole time.

Hongkong Disneyland

P.S.  I'll finish up with posting the photos soon.

Hongkong Airport, our Home for our HKDL Adventure

During our Hong Kong Disneyland trip, Kat and I decided not to find a hotel or a hostel to stay for the 2 nights we are at HK.  We decided that Hong kong Airport will be our home giving us the experience and the basic comforts on a budget.

The benches served as our beds. The toilets our answers for the call of nature.  Restaurants, our source for  food.  A lot of clothing, shoes and bags outlet answers our shopping hunger.  What else do you need for a home? Oh yeah, a place to take a bath, PRIVATELY.  Hongkong Airport has an answer to that as well.

Airport Lounge offers the comforts of lodging, dining and shower.  The moment our alarms took off, we collected our belongings and went to the Lounge for the most expensive baths we have ever taken.

Inside the Plaza Premium Lounge leading to our private bathrooms

For 150 HKD, we were lead to a high class bathroom complete with towels, toiletries, dryer, shave etc.  They even provided toothbrush and toothpaste, a comb and ear buds.  Haha!

Bathroom filled with toiletries  

Toilet and Bath

I took my time bathing and enjoyed every moment of it.  I used everything I could.  Because I brought my own toothbrush and paste and hairbrush, I brought home the toiletries that are unopened.

Serving meals any time of the day

Internet ready to update your family and friends.

After a refreshing bath, Kat and I headed towards the bus stations outside the airport all ready for Micky and Minnie, Pluto and Goofy, Donald Fauntleroy Duck and Daisy Duck. =)

Plaza Premium Lounge
Hong Kong International Airport
Hong Kong

HKDL: Touchdown and Tour at the Hong Kong Airport

Kat and I boarded the 7:10 PM flight to Hong Kong with only one small bag and a  lady's bag.  With only 36 hours in Hongkong, we unfold the craziest idea we have ever imagined: to spend a day in Hongkong Disneyland and go home.

We arrived at the Hong Kong International Airport and immediately got into the passenger arrival service train to bring us to the Terminal 1 for the Immigration.  Our actual fear is not able to declare a correct place to stay as we intend to sleep at the Airport.

At the airport service train

So upon reaching the Immigration, I handed over my passport, my ticket and my arrival card together with Kat's.

Immigration Officer:  What's your purpose of visiting Hong Kong?

Reg:  Hong Kong Disneyland Sir.

Immigration Officer:  Is this your first time?

Reg:  No sir, we were at Hong Kong last year for vacation.

Immigration Officer:  So you're going again to Hong Kong Disneyland?

Reg:  We were not able to visit Disneyland last year that's why I want to go there sir.

Immigration Officer:  Enjoy Hong Kong Disneyland!

And he gave our passports a new tattoo. Nice!

We are to sleep at the airport so Kat and I decided to take a tour of it looking for the most comfortable spot.  Starting with the departure area at the 7th floor.

First airplanes of the Wright brothers hanging at the ceiling?

We found Cebu Pacific check-in is at Hallway D! At least we are now prepared when we go home and would not have a hard time just like when we were at South Korea.

They have a list of all the airlines and which hallway are they situated for Check-in.

That's our hallway.

And there's always a Customer Service counters for your questions.

Since there are flights departing Hongkong round the clock, 7th floor is always alive and kicking so Kat and I decided to go back to the arrival area because people seem to get out of the airport right after they arrive so people come and go. They don't hang out at the benches where we intend to sleep.

Arrival Area seen from the 7th Floor.

I felt hunger, or I was just craving for fries all of a sudden.  Burger King answered my calling because there's one in the middle of the airport.  It is somewhat expensive though. =(

BK!  Answered pravers for my cravings of fries.

Spicy Chicken Burger with fries and iced tea, HKD 42

After eating, we proceeded to the toilets to clean up and then we went back to the benches and hit the "sack" excited knowing in a few hours, its Hong Kong Disneyland!

Hong Kong International Airport
Lantau, Hong Kong

Monday, November 28, 2011

Tip: Commuting to the NAIA Terminal 3 Airport

I always travel outside Manila with only a backpack, so I always see to it that I commute to the airport and avoid the taxis.  I come from Quezon City and taxis to the airport costs me about Php 400, that is without traffic.  With some directions and loads of ample time, I could totally save on taxi fares.

So how do you go to the airport with minimum costs? I would like to share with you my route coming from work because I usually schedule vacations right after office work to maximize .

Coming from main office at Balara, take a MRT Ikot jeep at UP (Php 11) going to Quezon Avenue MRT.  This jeep drops you off at the U-turn area in front of McDonalds to avoid the long walk.  From Quezon Ave, ride MRT to Taft Station (Php 15).  At this point, you would exit the side of Metropoint Mall.  Cross at the other side of MRT (where the passengers enters Taft Station).  Exit MRT and you would find McDonalds. There's a bus terminal at the back of McDonald's, where you will find NAIA Terminal loop.  This goes directly to Terminal 3 for only Php 20. I usually allot an hour and a half for travel time for this route.

So for only Php 46, I have gone to the airport and ready to enjoy a vacation!  So for your next destination, if you only have a backpack, and still have time to spare, save on taxi fares for more pocket money.

P.S. No work on Wednesday! Where would you be?

Friday, November 25, 2011

Countdown to The Happiest Place on Earth

In less than 2 hours, I will go undertime at work to go to the airport as Kat and I are going to another adventure.  We are going to Hongkong Disneyland!!! ;-) I'm all smiles here, excited and giddy.

Photo from www.disneylandhongkong.info

I have been frantic, printing anything and everything we have researched about for this trip: how to go, where to stay, what to see, maps, tickets and our itinerary.

February 2010:  Jiji, Icile, Kat and I, travelled to Hongkong.  Our trip was 4-day short which already included a visit to Macau.  It was my first time to go abroad and I see to it that our trip was maximized. This was also a special trip as this was the first trip abroad, our group of friends went to. I remember staying up late chatting with  Kat just to plan out the itinerary.  It turned out to be jampacked and the sad part was not able to set foot at Hongkong Disneyland because we lack funds, time and we had aching feet from all the walking.

And so I promised myself that I would be back to Hongkong and get the "happiest place on earth" off my bucket list.

March 26 2011:  Kat shared a crazy idea of going abroad for a day after reading an article from Philippine Daily Inquirer of a group of friends who spent a day in Singapore.  I find it crazy as well. And money is a problem too! See our conversation below:


Crazy right?  Because maybe, we are as crazy as this idea.  =)

June 8, 2011:  I was up late in the wee hours browsing at random sites looking for sales.  And surely the heavens opened its gates and poured tons of blessings.  There was a Php 0 fare promo from Cebu Pacific not only for domestic but also international flights.  So I was like a loon, texting friends and family who might be interested while my other hand was also as busy browsing the web.  I checked on Hongkong for the last weekend of November hoping to get a sale.  The plan is to take a work leave for 2 days and have a 5-day trip because November 30 is a holiday in the Philippines. But the next zero fare available was after November 30 which I could not afford to take because I know I won't be allowed to be away from work that long.  After finding seatsales for the weekend (November 25-27), I texted a follow-up message and said, "Let's go Hongkong Disneyland for a day!!!"

It was only Kat who replied...blame it on the late hours of maybe around 1-2AM.  Who is up at that time from the province?!? Tsk!

And so I booked our 2-way HK tickets for only Php 3766 all in. That's already for the both of us.  It's like Php 941.50 one way for one person..this amount is similar to going home to Bacolod without seat sales!


Now:  So this is it folks!  I'm done with work, I have placed all printouts in my small bag, my pocket money in USD stashed in my wallet, and my passport ready.  I'm catching the 7:10 plane to HK bringing me to Hongkong Disneyland.  We're going to live the crazy idea.

I'll post about it as soon as I return. =)

Lunch at Moshi Moshi

Today we just received our year end bonus and our end of month salary all in one day.  We felt rich for the day so me and my team was up for a good feast and decided to do away with food from the canteen and the cafeteria.  We decided to eat at the new building at Katipunan Avenue beside KFC.  It houses Banco de Oro, Fully booked, a variety of food restos like Bon Chon, Brother's Burgers Mom and Tina's and a lot more. I think open spaces and condominium are also situated in the upper floors.

Because I want something new, I suggested Moshi Moshi. I guess, my palate is craving for Japanese food, I'm having it for 2 consecutive days.

Moshi Moshi

Upon entering the restaurant, you will be welcomed by a counter with their menu placed above it.  After giving your order, one will be given a funky number, that comes a torch with liquid and glitters which lights up.

I like the ambiance and vibe of the place.  The theme is green or lime which gives a cool feeling.  Also there are 3 kinds of seating at Moshi Moshi:  Cafeteria Sitting, Diner Sitting and somewhat a Cafe Sitting.

Lights at the Diner side

The Cafeteria side

Cafe Sitting

I got Chicken Mayo Don with 4 pc California Maki while my 3 officemates, Sir Ray, Len and Tin got a bowl of Gyudon.  Sir Ray added 8 pc California Maki to share with everybody.  If only I have known, I would have not ordered Cali Maki.  =P

The Chicken Mayo Don is breaded fried chicken breast cut into strips with shredded cabbage placed on top  of rice and smothered with special Japanese mayo.  I love the taste of this because the mayo gives the taste an extra oomph.  Their rice is short grained and not sticky which gave me a hard time using the chopsticks.

Chicken Mayo Don

Gyudon is beef with onions.  It doesn't come with egg just like a typial gyudon but you could order it separate with an additional Php 25.   According to my teammates, it tasted flavorful, their only problem is that the oil from the beef goes to the rice which I think does not taste nice.  The beef is very soft and tender yet there are lots of fatty parts.

Beef Gyudon

I love their California Maki.  It was a typical cali maki but it tasted just right and hits you in the spot.

California Maki

All in all, Moshi Moshi is the next best thing you can find in Katipunan Avenue.  With the generous serving, reasonable price, good ambiance, and fine tasting Japanese food, I will surely be back. =)

Moshi Moshi
Katipunan Avenue
Quezon City
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