after all the christmas happenings, my mom decided to spend some quality time with her grandchildren. she booked two rooms at the westin philippine plaza hotel. of course, she can't be expected to take care of 5 kids on her own so the whole family went with her. this was going to be my first stay in that hotel and i've heard so many good things about it, even if it wasn't as new as most of the hotels in the area were. i had very high expectations when we checked in and by the time we checked out, i promised myself not to stay on that hotel again, more so, i wouldn't recommend it to anybody else.

i dunno if it was just me, but i think they prefer foreign guests more than the local guests. when i saw them dealing with a foreign guest, they were ever so courteous but when dealing with local guests, the smiles were a little forced. but then again, maybe it was just my imagination...i really hope so. when we checked in, we requested for adjoining rooms with a connecting door. they said we had to wait coz they were still cleaning the rooms. so we waited for an hour only to find out our rooms didn't have a connecting door. so my brother and i requested for a transfer. after waiting for a long time, we were finally given adjoining rooms. ok, so maybe the hotel was packed that was why they were a little slow in doing things.

finally, we were inside our rooms. the first things i look for when i'm in a hotel room are the bathrooms and the closets. i knew the hotel was old but i didn't expect the bathrooms to be shabby. there were no toothbrush and toothpaste set and when i looked inside the closet, there were no slippers either! good thing my own toothbrush and toothpaste were always with me. but i thought it was a standard thing for a hotel, especially, a 5-star hotel to provide such simple things. hmmm...maybe i was over reacting. maybe they just forgot to put it there so i call up housekeeping. they told me they charge extra for a toothcare set, slippers, extra towels, extra blankets, extra pillows and everything else you could think of.

the thing is, i've stayed numerous times in other hotels, both the new ones and the not so new ones. but they didn't charge extra for everything unlike in philippine plaza. in fact, they were more than happy to provide extra pillows and extra blankets because that would mean a juicy tip for them.

oh, and when my sister-in-law claimed her car from the valet, the passenger seat was wet! our theory was, somebody slept in her car, turned on the airconditioner, opened the window a little, to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning and forgot all about it. whoever slept in the car wouldn't have been discovered had it not rained the whole night. talk about service!

on our second night, my mom asked me if i wanted to extend our stay for another night. i said no way! i would rather go home and play sims2 than stay there...unless we transferred to another hotel. hehehe



From my family to yours...

*** thanks to f.r.i.e.d.w.a.t.e.r for sharing this site. =)


a wedding...

a wedding...

my good friend from highschool, C, got married to her long-time beau, A. their love story started while they were still in college, and experienced the ups and downs all couples go through. after 13 years of friendship, ten of which they spent as a couple, they decided to take their relationship to a higher level. it was about time!

C was the picture of a very happy bride. she was glowing from within and very pretty (even prettier than me! =P) as she was walking down the aisle. the groom, A, started crying the moment he saw C walking towards him. those were not tears of regret, but most probably, tears of joy that finally, they would seal their relationship under the eyes of God. i noticed that at the end of C's march, almost everybody was misty eyed. haay...

i dunno what it is exactly about weddings that make me cry. the moment i see a bride walking down the aisle, my vision would start to cloud with tears. but i've also noted that this would only happen when i'm personally close to the couple, more so, to the bride.
i guess, like with most people, i could sense the love surrounding the couple that i would be overwhelmed with joy, hence, the activated lacrimal glands.

a funeral...and curlytops

...a funeral

the day after the wedding, i went to the funeral of a dear aunt. she was my mom's sister-in-law and though i wasn't very close to her, she would be remembered with fondness. when i was young, everytime tita R went to visit us, she'd bring a box or 2 of curly tops chocolates for me and my 3 siblings, to be divided equally. i would always anticipate her visits since it was my only chance to eat that brand of chocolate. i think at the time, it was one of the expensive local chocolates available and i could not afford to buy it with my small allowance. whether it was somebody's birthday, christmas or a social visit, she always had something to give us. if it wasn't curly tops, it was some other chocolate one could buy only in sari-sari stores. but for my sweet tooth, the brand didn't matter much.

it was only when i was a little older did i realize how my tita R and her whole family stood financially. they weren't well off, in fact, they were so hard-up that the usual reason she would visit was because she would ask my mom for some help. and all those times, all i could think of was the curly tops she would bring! my mom would even reprimand her for giving us gifts coz she knew how difficult life was for them. but she never stopped bringing us those chocolates, until i was well in my teens, not minding my mom at all. and i love her for that!

...and curly tops

when the funeral date was set, my older sister called me up. she said she wasn't sure if she would be able to attend coz she lived around 3 hours drive from manila and still had to see her patients before she could leave her place. actually, it was alright for her not to attend the funeral since our family would be represented by me and my mom, plus she already paid her last respect a few days before. but then i could not help but ask her, "ate, remember the curly tops she used to bring us?"...

i didn't need to say more coz the mere memory of those curly tops, and tita R's generosity was enough to make her come and say goodbye to our dear tita R, for the last time.



i'm back! after a two-week absence (not by choice), i can blog again! definitely, sims2 wasn't the cause of my prolonged absence, rather it looked like it was a conspiracy against me perpetuated by unknown forces (in short, malas lang talaga!). it all started when our phone line went dead, which took a few days before the pldt guys came over and fixed it. not long after that, my external modem suddenly stopped functioning, probably because of old age (7 years) or could be due to the innumerable times it fell, dropped, and shaken. i was reduced to checking my mail using my cell phone. i wouldn't be surprised if i get an angina attack when my next phone bill arrives.

as much as i want to get a dsl connection so i wouldn't have modem problems, i still can't afford it yet. i had no choice but to get a new modem. so now, i'm back in business. haay salamat =)


"oh where, oh where"

something has been boggling me these past two weeks. about 2 months ago, i bought a pair of janitor fish in a pet shop to help "clean" our aquarium. the pair was of the albino variety, so-called because instead of the usual black color, they were somewhat whitish with red spots. i chose the smallest pair since we had an experience before wherein once the janitor fish were bigger than the goldfish, angelfish, etc, they tend to fight or run, oops...i mean, swim after the smaller ones. so i thought, getting the small ones would take some time before they really grow.

our aquarium's other inhabitants were a pair of small redcaps (a variety of goldfish), a pair of goldfish (the regular type), a pair of angelfish and a giant redcap which was the oldest one in the group. the others were bought a week before the janitor fish. and so the peaceful co-existence of the janitor fish with the other fish went on for about a month. they were fed regularly, although at times, a little overfed when my nephews and nieces come and visit. the cleaning part was courtesy of the janitor fish...which they were doing nicely.

now, the part that has been boggling me. about two weeks ago, as i was watching the fish while feeding them, i couldn't see the pair of janitor fish. i know they usually hide in the sands or in between rocks
so i tried to look at every nook and cranny my eyes could see. but still, i couldn't find them. i asked everybody if any of the fish died and took them out, or if anybody had cleaned the aquarium yet. the answer to both questions were no. so i asked our helper to clean the aquarium to really find out if they were just hiding somewhere. they weren't.

my brother told me they could have jumped, and so i looked around the area of the aquarium, still no janitor fish to be found. another said, maybe the giant redcap ate them. hmmm...i thought this was possible but somebody told me janitor fish' skin were too hard. good point. and i suppose, if they were eaten, there would be some debris left?

just like how P's favorite song goes...
"oh where, oh where did the janitor fish (little dog) go?
oh where, oh where could it be?"
naglahong parang bula!

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