Friday, December 30, 2011

Takara Tomy Toys

I bought this Takara Tomy train station as a Christmas gift for my son during the Toy Kingdom MOA sale in September.  I failed to blog about it then because I had to strategize a way to purchase it, have it wrapped and hide it from my son who was with me the entire time.  The salesman conspired with me and we got my son to believe that I was leaving the item with him for storage.  The salesman told my son that he still lacked points, the equivalent of 10 perfect scores in school exams for me to be able to claim the gift from Santa Claus.  It was a very effective way to motivate my son into studying well as he indeed aimed to get a perfect score for his exams.  Anyway, with the help of my stepmom, we were able to get the large box into the car without Ethan seeing.  When he saw it in the car we just told him its Tita Nanet's gift for her inaanak's birthday, it just looked the same with his box we were suppose to claim.  We stored the item away successfully until Christmas Day.  Good job to me and Tita Nanet!!!

Monday, December 26, 2011


Since the 14th of December I have already been having a hard time figuring out what to blog about for Christmas.  I caught a cold which eventually turned into a cough and last night I was struggling for breath and had a really bad asthma attack.  Woke up this morning still with wheezes, so I guess we would be spending the day here at home while hubby goes off to work because December 26 was not declared a holiday.  We spent an hour last night researching if there is any announcement of December 26 and January 2 being a holiday, unfortunately wala!

Anyway, here is a photoblog of what went on these past few days with me and my family towards Christmas.

Dec 10 (10am-3pm) - Christmas shopping at Festival Mall, Alabang

Dec 10 (7pm)- Parade of Lights at the MOA.
We had to see this before Ethan's exam week.

Dinner at KFC MOA after the Fireworks.
Uncle Dong's treat!!!  Kita sa pinagbentahan ng yero.

Ethan waiting for his KFC Chicken. Yummy!

Dec 21 - Ethan's school Christmas party

With classmates  Ethan keeping his gift tightly secured.

With friend Kali.  Ready to go home.
Kali led the girls for their presentation while Ethan led the boys.
Sorry no pics for that, I was too busy wrapping prizes for the games.

Ethan test driving his gift from Kris-Kringle .
Dec 22 - Ethan claims his new PSP 3000 from Ninang Kathleen.
Dec 22 - Jay attends the choir's Christmas party and comes home with this cute cupcake
Dec 23 - Ethan plays with other kids during Jay's office Christmas Party

Dec 24 (9am) - Jay and Ethan goes to Duty Free with Uncle Dong and the gang.
Thanks Uncle Dong for these treats!
Dec 24 - While everyone was at Duty Free, took the chance to fix the Christmas tree and take a picture.
Our 2 special Christmas gifts for our unico hijo.

Dec 24 (8pm) - Jay with choirmembers for the 8pm Christmas mass
The Heartstrings Choir during the 8pm Christmas mass.

At the Agustin's residence for Noche Buena
Matthew with the delicious Elar's Lechon

These drinks caused an explosion of the English language during the party.

My niece has earned her fairy wings.
These wings flutter with lights and music .

Ethan and Nimrod tries out the new addition for the train and the airport

A closer look at the Fastlane International Airport from Papa Jay.

December 25 - Nanay Arcing and Nanay Clarita prepared this Thai glutinous rice cake for merienda.

December 25 - The lechon last night is now lechon paksiw.

December 25 - Tito, Creez and Ethan. Just relaxing after the other guests have left.
Still at the Agustin's house, Grabe kami mangapit-bahay ano?

Happy Holidays Everyone!!!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Recycled Gift Wrapping

A few days ago I was tasked by my husband to wrap his gift for Monito-Monita (Kris-Kringle).  What was challenging about the gift wrapping part was that we have to recycle materials from trash and not use gift wrapping paper.  This is what my gift wrapping challenge turned out to be.

I used Robinson's paper bags that was just lying around, reversed it and applied some basic gift wrapping skills and origami for the the star.

I decided to braid the ribbon for this gift and attach a star to add some flair.  A gift does not have to look drab just because its wrapped with a plain paper bag.  Overall, I was impressed with my work, and hubby was too.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

The Hunt for the Christmas Lechon

Our next door uncle from the Netherlands (well, he is not really my uncle) is planning to have lechon or roast pig for Christmas.  They asked where’s the best place to order lechon from as they do not want to order from our neighbourhood roaster.

The lechon during my mother in-laws 75th birthday
last October 2011 at Basilan.
We initially thought of ordering from Basilan where the Tolero’s usually get their lechon from.  Its home cooked so to say and the pigs are grown in the backyard.  Lechon or roast pig has always been a part of the Tolero's celebrations: birthdays, Christmas, anniversaries or even regular Sundays when the family is craving for the sumptuous oily treat.  It would have been great to fly a beautifully roasted lechon from Basilan, but there had been trouble with flights to and from Zamboanga the previous months and we worry that the lechon would not arrive for Christmas on time.

I decided to ask around particularly from friends who know their way around food and came out with interesting findings.  I have always thought that when it comes to lechon, Aling Lydia’s and Mila’s lechon would be the name that would stand out.  But in the year 2011, this is no longer true.  From the foodie friends of mine and some research, these are the names I discovered:

One Mango Avenue Bldg (032)239-5697
Mactan International Airport Pre-Departure: (032)340-2486 local 3304
Escario Bldg, Escario St.: (032) 583-5699
Capitol Site: (032) 254-7342 or 0917-6274761

My friend Suzanne gave me this name saying that it is by far the best Lechon ever.  Checked out its website and was amazed that it was in fact the one that earned the distinction of being the best lechon in the world thanks to world renowned food critic Anthony Bourdain.  We would love to order a lechon from them for Noche Buena but the PAL flights are not so reliable and we might end up eating the lechon for Christmas Day instead.  We are reserving the opportunity to taste a Zubuchon lechon much later unless of course someone from Cebu can send us some as a Christmas gift…he! He!

      CNT Lechon

1377 V. Rama Avenue
Guadalupe, Cebu City
Tel (6332)254-4249, (6332)254-6641

This is also a well-known name when it comes to Cebu lechon.  According to my friends however, someone in Cebu has to arrange for its freight since they do not have the same service as Zubuchon’s.

General's Lechon

3 Guillermo St., Ramos Compound,
Sun Valley Drive, Parañaque
4086850, (0917)8532466

They boast of having the Negros style lechon which is stuffed with garlic, lemongrass and other herbs and spices before being roasted.  I stumbled upon this Lechonero online at and was impressed by the review made on them.  I believe they were also featured at Yummy magazine  Since this is the closest to us here at Las Piñas, we decided to call them first.  It turns out that they are already fully booked for December 24 and can no longer take in orders for that day.  We pleaded, we used our charms, nagpaawa effect pero no epek!!!  They courteously refused to accept our order as they were really booked to the max.  In fact, they even told us that one woman called the night before saying that she would be fired by her boss if she would not be able to successfully place an order from them - Biro mo yon!!!  General's Lechon must really be good to be fully booked for that day.  So its true that foodies out there are indeed craving for this lechon this part of Manila.  We decided not to pressure them any longer than we already did and jokingly told them that if we'd have guests flying in for Christmas next year, we'd order as early as January just to be sure :)

Loring's lechon
6 J. Eustaquio St. San Juan
Tel 725-2580, 7242867

My foodie and blogger friend Wyatt Belmonte gave me this information and said that Loring’s is Erap’s supplier of lechon in San Juan.  We tried calling them up but their phones do not seem to work.

Elar’s Lechon
151 Quezon Ave. corner Speaker Perez St., Sta. Mesa Heights, Quezon City
Tel. No.:731-7551
Borrowed from

Eto ang supplier ni Imelda said Wyatt.  According to food critics, the sight of Elar’s lechon can make you drool with delight.   It is one of the few lechoneros that can roast a pig perfectly with a nice orangey hue.  The lean meat is said to be tender and moist with a slight tinge of saltiness. 

Drum roll please!   Tan-ta-tan!!!  Since we were successful in contacting them and they were still open for booking for the 24th, our Christmas lechon will be coming from them.  Yehey!!!  Finally, a lechon for Christmas! The only problem is that they unfortunately do not deliver and would be closed at 6pm on the 24th, which means we need to pick up our roasted pig and brave the traffic after that.  Hoping the lechon will still be hot and crispy once it reaches the buffet table.  Wala ng joy ride, joy ride ha!