Food: NAIA3 Food Hall

The NAIA 3 is definitely transforming!

The Food Hall is now open and there’s a variety of new restos / fast foods to check out.  And they are still expanding!

All the restos have huge spaces.  The hall is well lit up and with cool air conditioning.

The restos differ in their opening and closing time.

Go to the airport early, there’s so much to do and EAT now.  Avoid the stress of racing against time.

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Food: Cafe Aquatica Manila

Good news for everyone! 

Cafe Aquatica, that famous and relaxing fish shop / cafe in Greenhills, just opened their 2nd shop in Binondo, Manila!

It’s very near my workplace, about 5 minute walk.  This new branch is just a quaint coffee shop / restaurant.  Don’t expect something like their branch in Greenhills.  

It still has those nice aquariums though.  And when you enter the place, it’s like you’re transported out of the hustle and bustle of Chinatown!

They don’t offer everything in this branch. The menu is limited

This is what we ordered.  Take note, we were only 2!

Appetizer: Nacho Cups 

(super sulit – yummy and crunchy – only Php130.00)

Main Dish: Grilled Chicken & Spaghetti Alla Carbonara

Drinks: Almond Shake

They also offer a variety of cakes and I can’t wait to taste them all!

Let’s go to the Aquariums.  

These are Albino Angel Fishes.  They are not available in the market.  

I think the next one is called Mickey Platy because of its inborn black Mickey figure in its tail.

This next one is the Neon Fish.

If you’re in the area, why don’t  you try Cafe Aquatica. We went there for our lunch and it surely took away the stress we were feeling at work.  Such a relaxing place to be in.  With its extraordinary aquariums and soothing music, this one’s really a keeper!

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Food: Amor sBread the Love


Been a fan of this bakeshop since it opened in Binondo.  Was also able to drop by their Espana Branch.

I’d love to go to their Katipunan Branch because it’s huge and looks so good to just chill!  Teleport please?

Their cakes are soooo C-U-T-E!!!  They are Tasty and Yummy!  Plus, very affordable and always available!

Some of the cakes I already bought from them!

What’s nice is that they have promos that takes Php100.00 off the price of a cake! 

Or if you are a VIP Member, you could get a free milktea, pizza bread and cupcake when you buy Php700.00 worth of cake!

Let’s go and sBread some Love!

Some Photos were grabbed from Amor Bakery’s Facebook Page.

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Travel: US Visa Approved!

Throwback to the day of our appointment:

You can imagine our happy state as we walked away from the booth of the consul who said that our passports will be delivered in our address in the application!  My daughter’s got a twinkle in her eyes!

On exactly the 5th day after the appointment, we received our passports with our US Visas! We were all given 10 years! Great isn’t it?

So how did we do it?  Read on.

Be calm.  Be honest.  Two things to live by during this whole application process.  From the moment you fill up your application form up until the time of your interview with the consul, be calm and be honest.

Getting to the US Embassy
Lining Up

We had felt pity on ourselves as we lined up outside the embassy under the pouring rain, with 2 kids in tow.  That feeling was immediately changed as we went through a very easy process inside the embassy. 

Grateful to the staff attending to the lines outside because he gave us sort of like a Fast Pass seeing that we have 2 kids.  

There will be 2 security checks before you actually get to the Consular Building.

Once you get in, you’ll be directed to Step 1, the Pre-Screening.  No lines here.  At this window, the Officer will get your Confirmation Page, your Passport and your 2×2 picture.  Then she will ask the applicant his name and birthday, validate it against the application form you submitted online.  Takes about 5 minutes tops.

Step 2 is Finger Scanning.  There was a short queue for this.  There was also a hand sanitizer and paper towel for you to clean your hands.  Again, only the Confirmation Page and the Passport is needed.  The officer was very jolly and she interacted with the applicants well.  Her voice was loud so you’d think she was angry, but she’s not.  Finger Scanning is only for adults.  She asked us for our names and birthdays, then instructed us to put our thumbs together and had it pressed in the machine.  After the 2 thumbs, all 8 fingers were scanned together.

Last and Final Step is the Interview with the Consul.  We waited and were seated for about 8 minutes until we were called to stand in line.  There was a family in front of us, but unfortunately they weren’t granted the Visas.  

It was nerve wracking because the family before us just got denied.  While waiting in line, me and my husband were discussing our answers in the application form because that is the only basis of the consul.  

When it was our turn, we said hello to the consul and we were asked to wait first as he finished jotting down notes for the application of the family ahead of us. 

Be calm and be honest.

He asked for our Confirmation Page and the Passports.  He asked for our names then continued to interview us.  These are some of the questions he asked us:

  • What will you do in the States?
  • Where in the States will you be going?
  • Where do you plan to stay?  How long?
  • When do you plan to go?
  • What’s our occupation and how long we have been with our respective companies?
  • Who is going with us in our trip?

Right after he asked the questions, he just told us that our passports will be delivered to the address we stated in the application form.  He didn’t ask for a single document.

No fanfare.  No congratulations.  But in my head and in my daughters’ heads, there were fireworks!

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Public Service: Modus on Parking for US Visa Applicants

Our scheduled appointment was 8:45am.  US Embassy wants you to be there at least 15 minutes before your schedule. 
Together with the kids, we left the house at 630am.  We got into the tail of traffic at Quirino Highway so we decided to take another route.  Fortunately, the longer route wasn’t as jammed as the previous.  We arrived at the US Embassy area around 730am.  Well, at least we have enough time to spare. 

We looked for a parking space on a side street because all the service road parking near the footbridge was full already.  (The footbridge is the only way to cross Roxas Boulevard to go to the Embassy.)  

When we found a parking space, an ate from the parking bureau immediately assisted us.  When finally parked, hubby rolled the window down, the ate said, “Embassy Sir? 100 po.” (She said parking is 100 pesos if you are going to the Embassy.)  Shocked of her announcement, we said “why 100? Holdap ah?” (We asked why 100 pesos for embassy goers, we asked her is this a hold up?)  She answered, “matagal kasi interview dun.” (The interview takes time.)  We tried to argue with her and she discounted the rate to 70 pesos.  

What a shocker really!  The ticket’s print says that it’s just 30 pesos for the first 3 hours, then 10 pesos for every succeeding hour.  Even if we stayed until noon there, our parking should have been just 50 pesos.

And since we finished about 930am.  The 70 pesos we paid was just for 2 hours of parking.  A clear kickback of about 40 pesos. Grrr…

Funny thing is, when we were leaving the parking space, Ate was just standing there and not assisting.  Maybe she’s afraid that we will call her out with our parking fee if she gets near us.

Lucky her we were too happy with the result of our interview, we just let her be.

So guys, beware of these parking attendants.  If you don’t have a driver, make sure you don’t get hold upped by these attendants.  If you have drivers, better let them drop you off in front of the embassy and just let them know where to wait for you.  

Good luck with the parking!

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Lifestyle: Wired

Stumbled upon this concept store in U.P. Town Center’s Tiangge last weekend.

I love anything personalized and customized so this really caught my attention!

The MAIKala Wire Concepts offers a wide variety of handmade stuff, from keychains to bookmarks.  Their items are made from wire.  All for a practical 100 to 200 pesos.

Being a collector of key chains, I had a keychain made.  I waited for a few minutes while the artists strut their stuff. 

Pretty little thing huh?

And while I browsed through their FB Page, MAIKala Wire Concepts, I found all these artworks.  I so love them!

All the following pictures were taken from MAIKala FB page.  

Credits to the owner.

Read on to find out how they started.

Know more about MAIKala Wire Concepts by visiting their website!

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Food: Hot Hot Hot


This post is nothing like my previous posts about food.  Be prepared to get fired up as we talk about this cool store we found at Ayala Malls Serin in Tagaytay City!

The Original Hot Sauce Store is the first of its kind here in the Philippines. 

Definitely caught our attention!

Upon entering the store, displayed in the middle is the Hottest Chili Sauce in the World!  

Smokin Ed’s Carolina Reaper was awarded by the Guinness World Records for being the hottest chili last 2012.  It is grown by The PuckerButt Pepper Company (USA).  It rates an average of 1,569,300 Scoville Heat Units according to tests conducted by the Winthrop University in South Carolina.

Check out this Periodic Table of Scoville Heat Units.

The Reaper is Number 54! A long time ago, Philippines’ Siling Labuyo was the hottest of them all, it’s now ranked at 38 with about 100,000 Scoville Heat Units.

These sauces may not be for us but it’s definitely a nice thing to give to those who love hot sauces!

Look at these cute names and packaging!

The owner gladly assisted us and discussed the different kinds of chilis and the many many variants of sauces.  

We bought 2 bottles to try.  It was in a simple white fabric bag with a bag tag attached to it.

An additional bag tag was also given to me! Yippee!

Check them out on Facebook, 

Original Hot Sauce Store.

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Travel: Our “Almost” Daj Suites Stay

Thankful to Waze that it guided us through an hour of travel from Manila to Tagaytay.  

Since it’s lunch time already, we ate first before going to Daj Suites.  Around 1:30pm, we decided to try if we could check in already.

Driving up a narrow path from Aguinaldo Highway, the Daj Suites greets us.

On the other side of the lobby entrance is an entrance going to the Dining Area.

The Lobby

As you could see, the place is a bit dark because unfortunately, there is no electricity.  Their electric line was hit by the ongoing road widening construction by the main road.  

We checked in thinking the electricity will resume in a few hours.  

Went up the 2nd floor and walked through an all white hallway.

The room’s nice and big.  Complete with the basic amenities such as Flat Screen TV, cabinets, Fridge and a King Sized comfy bed with white linens.  

The bathroom has a Shower Cubicle, a Bath Tub and a spacious sink.  It was too dark so no pictures.

After about 2 hours, it started getting dark in the room so we went out to go to the mall.  We went to the new Ayala Serin.  Strolled the mall and discovered this cool store!

Headed to the Diner’s to grab some dinner.  When we went back to the hotel, we were hoping that electricity’s back.  However, it still wasn’t so we decided to just refund and go home.  

The receptionist was kind enough to offer the refund even before we requested for it.  They even offered us a discount for our next actual stay!

Not much to say but we will definitely find time again to visit Daj Suites, with the lights on!

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