Being a mother is learning about strengths you didn’t know you had. And dealing with fears you didn’t know existed.”

While it is my intention to avoid as much as possible the places I’ve been to when my dad is still with us. There’d be times it is inevitable.

Originally, we eyed an Italian restaurant somewhere in Alabang to dine-out on my son’s birthday. Due to some reasons, a slight change of plans took place, we had to switched at the last minute, and ended up at Ho Chai lai.

ho  chai
courtesy of:

It is an authentic Chinese restaurant in Muntinlupa City, a few minutes away from Susana Heights exit to and from SLEX (Southern Laguna expressway). My father used to bring us here, several times. For some of you who might want to know, my father’s father was born in Macau. The choice of foods at home is basically of Chinese cuisine.

Ho Chai Lai is one of my father’s favorite places, if he doesn’t feel like cooking for us, he will bring us here. This has been thriving here for more than 10 years I guess. I haven’t seen the place not jam-packed especially lunch and dinner time.

When we arrived around past 7 in the evening. There are a few vacant tables left. We chose the 6 seater, even if we’re just four. Me, my son, his dad and Jen, our family friend cum foodie/ travel buddy.

2 us four
Foodies altogether!
mag ama
Father and son…
Three’s a crowd! lol!

jasmine tea

chili sauce

If you’ve been with me for a while, you’d instantly know the first thing (or two) that I will order from a Chinese restaurant. Both of which my son acquired the liking. And so we ordered for a broccoli this time with scallops.

This was less exciting for me because part of me enjoying it is removing the meat from its’ shell..

And certainly, I ordered for Hakaw too. However, they do not have it at that time, but the attendant recommended an option. The steamed seafood roll.

seafood roll
In silky sotanghon..

I was a bit surprise to have found that what they used to roll the voluptuous seafood filling is steamed sotanghon. Lots of it with a mild thick sauce almost like a birds’ nest soup. It is distinct and the four of us liked it too. It was more of a surprise since I got used to sea food rolls from Binondo Dimsums which resembles fried lumpia, it’s just that instead of chopped veggies inside, it is chopped shrimps, fillets of fish, crab sticks, squid on the inside. It is deep fried and coated with panko breading I guess. To bring them together, they include mayo on it. Voila!

On top of the two dishes mentioned, the dad (tatty – short for tatay<filipino word for father>) ordered spare ribs in orange sauce for the birthday boy,

spare ribs
Spare ribs in orange sauce…yummy!

stir-fried canton for long life,

Pancit is a tradition for Pinoys during birthdays.. so we ordered for one..

and his personal “it’s a must” – chicken feet.

chicken feet

And of course, yang chow rice.

2 bowls for the 4 of us.. =)

At first glance, it might just seem the usual Chinese food. But since it is my son’s birthday, all the details were fun. You will realize that it is exactly the cozy kind of dinner that you expect in lauding a special person’s birthday.

Again, another plan to watch movie was aborted too, but we compensated all the aborted plans into a nicer activity. Shopping! I’m not the birthday girl, though I went home with 2 blouses, a blouse for my mom, for Jen’s mom, a gift for a niece, and some stuff for the birthday boy and his tatty.

We concluded the celebration with slices of cakes and four glasses of “don’t count the calorie pleeease” iced coffee, all of which are frap from Gloria Jeans.


mag ama ulet

Gloria jeans..

It was fun trying everyones’ choices. I had my Creme Brulee, Echo had Cookies and cream (it is his favorite cookie since a kid), Jen took Caramelatte (Ms. Caramel) and tatty had Macadamia.

bb gone in minutes
Blueberry cheesecake hone in a few minutes..
us four
Sweets for my sweets!

Of all four, tatty’s Macadamia got the nods. Echo’s choice is the least favorite. Ahaha! He kept on convincing the three of us to exchange ours with his cookies & cream and no one would like to swap. Though, I am sure, he adored his blueberry cheesecake. It was gone in a few minutes. It was an addiction he got from me. Another junkie is Jen, her cake is cheesecake in caramel sauce as well on top of slurping caramel flavored coffee drink. Oh well! Mine is an apple muffin. I’ve always loved the combination of coffee and cinnamon flavored pastry. =)

It was a simple yet fun and happy birthday for my son, my hopes are high!

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-An only daughter. A mother of a 22 year old son. Passionate with so many things. A lover of life itself. First of which is to write. Then, sing (I specifically love the stage), read, cook, travel & take beautiful pictures (photography) and scrap booking, all of which are my own way of coping with life's challenges. Lately, I have been enjoying quilting and crafting with beaded fabrics. Friends usually associate me with the color violet. I love this color so much! However, I love pink, red, teal, orange, yellow as well! Coffee is my water and my happy food is cheesecake topped w/ blueberries, frozen yogurt, sansrival and cream puff. I mastered fettuccine carbonara because that is one of my favorite food along w/ broccoli with prawns and mushrooms. Of all the International cuisines, Japanese food is on top of my list. Secretly, I love "Stitch" - that grinning indigo pup. =) Seriously, I dream to become a philanthropist (starting off by providing shelter to street children in our country) and a famous author someday. I'm just waiting for God's time for my first book to be published.- It took me years to decide to blog, more so to write and have it out in the open. I started writing even as a child, I just keep them on file. It was my outlet. Approaching the year(s) they say where life begins, or If I may say, the sweeter life. It was a year full of emotions. As I lost both my parents already, the unfathomable sadness prompted me to pour them out in my writings and share them to the world, hoping it might lighten the heaviness of my heart. I live now with my son as a mother and as a daughter (as a friend and a sister), this has made me be ready to finally do what I am meant to do. Even If there's a lot that I wanted to do. This came first, like a first love that occupied a special place in my heart. It's a looong process, tiring, frustrating, exciting. The best part? is the happiness it brings. Even if things around seems all so wrong. It's like having my own place under the sun. My own safe and happy rainbowed world. At times, there's guilt as well, for I strongly believe, writing (like singing) is a talent God has gifted us. We ought to use it and maximize it, in our littlest way, share it to mankind, for His glory. I just had a few distractions over the years and to realize that it is never too late to be who we ought to be, I have this very strong feeling, now is the time. All my life, I have decided on things that made me happy, this is one of those. I may never be a winner of those best blogs that have been awarded to talented writers/ bloggers and I don't mind, there are strikes of being envious, but according to my father, there are two kinds of being envy. There's envy that is negative, it'll hamper you from doing good and there's an envy that makes you happy for others' success, or seeing yourself in their shoes, I think, the kind of envy in me, is the latter. Like celebrities who missed an Oscar, while the film was watched by the whole world, she/he did not mind, it's like knowing what counts best, and it's the capacity to share your talents to anyone who wants to receive it, without asking anything in return. Expressing what's in my heart and mind on every occasion (which happens to be daily) and being happy about it is like a prize already. Happy reading!(--,)

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