Riding the LRT Line 2

I haven’t taken the LRT for a few years now.  The last time I took the LRT for my daily commute was when I was still having my classroom training in BDO in the year 2008. 

Here’s how an LRT Station looks like when empty.

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Photo taken on LRT Line 2 Pureza Station

I have the chance now to ride the LRT going to and from work.  Riding the LRT can be very convenient and fast, my usual 1hour trip on a jeepney is only about 20minutes on an LRT. I want to share some LRT reminders for commuters to keep in mind.

1) Wear a body bag, a knapsack or any bag that you can sling onto yourself. Always put your bag in front of you. Keep an eye on all your belongings.

Here’s a bag I use for commuting. Its size is just right. Not too big and bulky, not too small either. It has a long sling so I could wear it.
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As much as possible, your bag should free your hands to hold the following:
– hold the handles when you’re not lucky enough to get seated. You won’t be swayed around by immediate brakes or stops.
– hold your tickets if you don’t have pockets. That way, you won’t need to open your bag to scramble for your ticket.
– hold a fan and fan yourself. That leads us to number 2

2) Bring a fan. It could be hot and humid during the commute. A fan will be a delight to have as you fan yourself out of the hotness. Some trains would have busted air conditioning systems, and sometimes, even the best airconditioning systems could not cool a coach cramped and full of people.

Take a look at my cute fan.
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3) Buy a Stored Value Ticket. Instead of lining up for around 10minutes or so just to buy a Single Journey Ticket, you could save a lot of time and effort with a Stored Value Ticket. Imagine passing the long line of people buying tickets at the ticket counters, and you going straight to the platform, ain’t it a breeze?

These tickets are sold for only Php 100.00! If you think you’d be taking the train for multiple times, these SVTs could come handy. Don’t fret, these tickets have a long life too. They could last a good 3 months or so.

On top of this, you could also get an almost free ride with your SVT! Even if your last remaining balance is not enough to cover your fare, you could still take your last ride. No hassles whatsoever, the ticket counter will just eat your ticket when depleted of balance.

Take a look at my old and super scratchy ticket.

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Let me in you on a secret. An SVT of LRT Line 1 could be used in Line 2! It works the same way! And, instead of being charged Php13.00 or Php 14.00 as your regular fare, it will only charge you Php 12.00. I think LRT Line 1 charges this amount. You could buy a cup of coffee with those Php 1 you save.

4) Stay awake and alert! Whenever commuting, regardless if these are trains, buses, cabs or jeepneys, do not sleep! Be mindful of people around you. Be observant and stay focused. Be aware of your surroundings. Always be ready for whatever that could come your way. When you are asleep, you can’t be prepared for what may come.

5) Position and Get Ready. There will always be passengers who can’t wait to get on the train. Just a simple reminder, if you are getting on the train, wait for the passengers to alight the train first. The guards are looking and they will give you ample time to board. They won’t just close the train doors.

If you’re the one alighting the train, before the train stops to your station, position yourself near the door and get ready with all your things. Excuse yourself when people are blocking your way. Announcements are broadcasted over the speakers, they usually announce what the next station is. Though if you ride the train everyday, you’d probably know what the next stop is.

There will always be passengers who don’t follow proper protocol and are rude. There’s nothing else to do but to push them away if they are blocking you and won’t move and let you pass.

These are my personal experiences and I hope you’d learn a thing or 2. Feel free to comment and share your experiences as well.

Thank you for reading and happy LRT riding!

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The Shang Palace Experience at Makati Shangri-La Hotel

When: September 1, 2012

Where: Shang Palace at Makati Shangri-La Hotel

What:  Set Menu. Dinner 

Price: Php 8,500.00 per person

Shang Palace

In my previous post, I have mentioned that our company is hosting private dinners for valued clients. Like the one I had with Inagiku, here’s another experience I might remember for the rest of my life.  Just last night, I had a great dinner at the Shang Palace, a Chinese restaurant located at the 2nd floor of Makati Shangri-La Hotel. 

For this night though, since there were a few groups of clients and their families, we didn’t join them for dinner anymore.  Instead, together with my Branch Head and an Officer from the Head Office, we had our own private dinner just outside the VIP Rooms.

 Here’s how the Shang Palace VIP Room looked like.

Shang Palace VIP Room

And here’s how their table setting looked like. Gold Plated plate. Wine Glasses and complete cutlery.

Same drink list from the previous dinner at Inagiku.  But since this is a different resto, there’s a different Menu.

Shang Palace Dinner Menu

For a closer look at the Menu

 First of the list was the appetizer, Chilled Sliced Lobster with Fresh Fruits Salad and Fried Taro Puff.  One will just have to read the name of what’s to be served, and you’ll be drooling already.  There were a few slices of lobster on top of the fruit salad.  On the side was the fried taro puff.  The taro puff was crisp on the outside and so soft on the inside.  The fruits and the slices of lobster matched perfectly. Can you spell yumminess?  And it’s just the appetizer / salad!

Chilled Sliced Lobster with Fresh Fruits Salad and Fried Taro Puff

When eating at a Chinese restaurant or a Chinese event at that, the soup will never be missed out.  It’s like part of the whole lauriat meal.  This soup is a mixture of different types of mushrooms, dried scallops (both of which are staple of chinese cuisines), some asparagus and of course, fish lip.  Oops, before you react, it isn’t literally the lip of the fish.  It’s a part of the fish where all the vitamins are located.  So when you eat that part, you’re getting all the nutrition from the fish.

Dried Scallops with Asparagus, Fish Lip and Mix Mushroom Soup

 Just the salad and the soup made me so full already. However, we’re not about to stop there.  This is, after all, a SET dinner.  So let’s continue.  Up next is one of the 3 main courses, Stew Pork Ribs in “Mosiak” Style.  I’m not so sure about this “Mosiak” Style, I tried to search it on the Internet, but I didn’t get any hits at all.  Maybe, this is the Chef’s own style of cooking.  Since the pork ribs was stewed, the meat was already very succulent.  It has this melt on your mouth feel.  The sauce was kinda sweet tasting (but not too sweet).  Maybe because almost half of the slab was mostly fats, the natural oil from the pork already mixed with the sauce.  The mixed pickeles on top of it also made this kinda sour-y taste to complement the sweet taste.

Stew Pork Ribs in “Mosiak” Style

 After the very meaty experience comes another main course, this time a healthier choice.  My favorite fish of all time, the Lapu Lapu.  Again, the Chef cooked the fish in another style, the “mui choy” cantonese style.  According to http://original-chinese-recipes.blogspot.com/2009/08/chinese-recipe-steamed-mui-choy-with.html, “Mui choy is preserved (pickled) chinese cabbage that has undergone a fermentation process. It is a traditional preparation method used to preserve food after the harvest for winter months and consumption at the later time. It is commonly used in braised dishes (such as pork belly) and other Chinese dishes.”  “There are two types of Mui Choy, one is salted while the other one is sweetened…”  I’m not so sure which of the 2 types the Chef used.  All I remember is that the fish tasted really good.

Steamed Lapu-Lapu Fillet with “Mui Choy” Cantonese Style

After the fish, I was so full already that I had to take the next course home.  The beef itself is a task to take, what more the sticky rice with some sausauges and mushrooms.  I will have to ask my husband about the feedback on the food.

Pan-Fried Beef Fillet Bed on Glutinous Rice with Chinese Sausage and Mushroom

Since I didn’t consume the last of the 3 main courses, I was able to breathe for a while and get ready for dessert.  There’s one problem though, the original dessert on the menu has some XO Liquor on it, take a look.  I asked my boss how it tasted.  It was yummy!  Hmm.. too bad…

I asked the server who was gracious enough, to serve me another bowl of dessert.  For a safe choice, I choose the Mango Sago.  Fortunately, it was yummy too!  The juice was made of Fresh Mango Shake and there were a lot of fresh fruits under the bowl, aside from the many many tapiocas floating!

Another night to remember, one to charge to experience. I thank my company for the opportunity.  Not only was I able to taste great food and experience great service, I was also able to chitchat with some of our most valued clients, and on a more personal note.

If you’re looking for a Chinese restaurant, Shang Palace is definitely on top of my list!  Never mind the bill to come, it’s definitely worth it!

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The Inagiku Experience at Makati Shangri-La Hotel

When: August 28, 2012

Where: Inagiku at Makati Shangri-La Hotel

What:  Private Teppanyaki Dinner. Set Menu 

Price: Php 8,500.00 per person

Our company is hosting private dinners for very valued clients and their families until next month.  I was lucky enough to have had the chance to dine with one of these very special clients and her family and at a very classy restaurant!

Inagiku is a very pricey Japanese restaurant located at the 2nd floor of Makati Shangri-La Hotel.

Have a look at my table setting.

Setting

Here’s the Drink Menu made specially for our clients.

I wasn’t able to try any of the specialty drinks since I’m preggy and I can’t drink any drinks with liquor in it.  I opted for the Pineapple Chilled Juice and it was nothing special.  Well, they said the white and red wine were great. So, it was just me who didn’t enjoy my drink.

Here’s our Set Menu for the night and it did look yummy the first time I read it.

Teppan Course Menu

Let’s start with our appetizer.  The meat under the green beans was smoked duck. Under that was like Egg Jelly with Tofu on it.  On the little saucer was Mushroom in a Jelly.  The fried fish with crab roe on top sits beside the beans.  I liked the smoked duck the best.  The others were just so-so for my taste.

Appetizer

Now, the Green Salad was just that, Green Salad. The whole bowl was full of chopped greens.  Though the crunchy stuff on top of it made the texture different and the dressing tasted yummy.

Green Salad

Before the main course was served, the Teppan Chef started his Teppan cooking.  By the way, this was how the room looked while it was still unused.

Teppan room

The Teppan Chef made some entertaining moves when he cooked the fried rice with beef. He shaped the fried rice into a heart, and he made the heart beat with his pan.  He also made some sounds using the seasonings. But that was it, after that he just kept on cooking the other food.  I had a chance to dine at a Teppan Resto before (but it’s closed already), and the Chef there was much entertaining.  Well anyway, the smell of the butter and the oil mixed with the fried rice made the whole room smells good.

Beef Fried Rice

After the Rice, we were served our Miso Soup. I just had a taste of it, the smell’s very strong.  I can’t take it.

Miso Soup

Here comes one of the best parts! The Seafood Plate. Panfried Salmon, Tiger Prawn and Scallops.  The Teppan Chef  flamed the prawn and the salmon to have that smoky taste.  The Salmon’s very fresh, it doesn’t have that fishy taste.  The Scallops’ yummy also! The size is not so big, not so small.  Tender and juicy.  And last but not the least, the Tiger Prawn tasted so good.  It’s just too bad that it’s only 1 piece.  Bitin much!

Seafood Plate

Oh, I forgot to mention that they made this special seafood sauce also.

 

Scallops

And now we’ve come to the Super Main Course.  The US Kobe Beef. I’m not much of a fan of beef, but I must say, this Kobe Beef really tasted differently.  We asked the Chef to cook it Medium Well, but we all thought he overcooked it.  Some bites were just right, some were chewy.  But since it’s US KOBE BEEF. We couldn’t complain more, right?

US KOBE BEEF

After that very satisfying beef meal, comes our dessert.  It was supposed to be a choice between Fruit in Season Jelly, Coffee Jelly and Ice Cream.  But the server forgot to ask our personal choices, he served the Fruit Jelly for all of us.  We complained that we wanted a different dessert.  So he willingly obliged and asked us our personal choices.  I wanted to try the Green Tea Ice Cream and the Coffee Jelly, but I can’t.  So for dessert, I had Fruit in Season Jelly and the Red Bean Ice Cream.

The Fruit in Season Jelly is nothing special.  The watermelon even had some seeds.  The jelly didn’t taste anything.

Fruit in Season Jelly

The Red Bean Ice Cream however tasted good.  The Ice Cream was Vanilla Flavored, mixed with some red beans., which you almost couldn’t taste already.

Red Bean Ice Cream

Overall, the Inagiku experience was good. The whole menu would make you really full, especially if you will consume the whole bowl of fried rice!  The Seafood Plate and the Beef would make up for the whole set.   The server and the Chef made sure that we got what we need.  The service was really great.  Come to think it, it should be as we are dining inside a very pricey Japanese restaurant in a 5star hotel.  If you’ll ask me though if I would be willing to pay Php 8,500.00 for that meal, I definitely would not think twice, I would not pay that much.  I just don’t think spending that much money for a meal is worth it.  But if you have the means and the moolah to do so, why not?

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