Sizzling Sisig and Halo-Halo : Comfort Food After the Run

The past weeks has been crazy busy due to complex activities both from kids and us parents.  The housekeeping that I skip doing the previous weeks piled up and are now screaming for my attention.  Blogging that coincides with me hosting a giveaway.  Then culminated to a Sunday out of town run on hubby’s birthday.  My of my!

To my dear readers who habitually read my “Sunday Quote and Photograph” post, please forgive me if there was no post last Sunday.  We were on the road by 3:00AM to catch hubby’s half marathon gun start at 4:30AM in Sta. Rosa Laguna (we’re coming from Manila). Probably some of you are wincing why we are doing this to ourselves.  The answer is “we don’t know and we are always like this". LOL.  Let;s just say that this is why this blog is tag with the word "hustle and bustle".

Actually we were so stressed out the whole week that we consider backing out from the run, but… who are we kidding?  We knew better too that we are not the kind who back out on any run. So off we go to Greenfield City in Sta. Rosa, Laguna and killed ourselves and run the 21K and 10K respectively.

We were half dead after the run and need to drive back home to Manila on a freaking hot Sunday and we know there’s just one thing that can rejuvenate our over stressed human body – FOOD!  The fast food chains lining up along the way are unappealing.  We have the same food in mind when we are passing this area, something unique that will definitely sooth our over stressed body.  Alas we spotted one – Binalot!

Binalot restaurants serve Filipino foods (adobo, etc) that are wrapped in banana leaf, served hot and usually paired with tomato, salted (red) eggs, achara, calamansi or other appetizers.  It is also usually served with calamansi and red chili pepper.

We both ordered sizzling pork sisig. It is topped with fresh egg, paired with (very few) strips of camote fries.  The cost is PhP89.00 (US$ 2.12).  The sisig is crunchy enough and nothing to complain about its taste.

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Our desert – Halo-Halo!
The price is PhP 49.00 (US$1.17).  I think the price is fair enough for the size.  It’s not too big, just enough for me but not for hubby’s appetite.It has all the key ingredients that you will look for in Halo-Halo. There’s Sago, Gulaman, Banana, Langka, Pinipig, Nata de Coco, Ube Jam (Halaya) and Leche Plan.   The taste is just good enough also but the crushed ice are not fine that makes it not perfectly enjoyable. I still prefer the Halo-Halo from the popular Chinese fast food chain.

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Feeling refueled from these two foods and refreshed while drinking our energy drink from the run, I noticed one funny thing.  The restaurant is not the original “Binalot” (the more popular chain) where we usually eat.  This is another chain with the name of the owner prefixed in the word "Binalot", like “Balut’s Binalot”.  Oh boy our hunger and tiredness deceived us LOL! Well you can’t blame us, the foodie concept is almost the same with the original even the menu display.

Anyway at least we’re not crazy hungry anymore and we now have the power to drive back home and check our plan for the day for hubby’s birthday.

Oh yeah, we still have plan after this tiring run. Watch out for more food!

10 Sunglasses from Firmoo Optical Store for Giveaway


We all enjoyed my previous guessing game fun here even without prices at stake and I really thank you all for that!  You are all truly awesome.  Now it's time to move to another level of fun and this time there will be prices at stake!  Welcome to my first ever giveaway hosting, please join the fun and excitement!

Summer or not we definitely need that daily eye protection.  I’m sure everyone is continuously looking for that comfortable, fashionable but affordable pair of sunglasses.  You need not look further because right here is your chance to win one perfect pair of sunglasses that you are looking for!

The world’s most popular online eyeglass store, Firmoo.com together with my two blogs, Balut Manila and Run! and Keep on Running is giving away TEN (10) eyeglasses! Yep you read it right TEN it is!

Before we go to the mechanic details let me give you a gist as to where your prices will be coming from.  My awesome sponsor,

Firmoo.com is the emerging global online optical store of prescription eyeglasses and prescription sunglasses. Years of expertise in optical industry enable Firmoo.com to offer varieties of prescription eye wear to the consuming public in high quality yet at extremely affordable prices. The low prices in Firmoo.com never compromise the quality of eye wear while treating the quality and services to consumers as top priority.
Firmoo.com's mission is far more beyond providing refractive corrections for their customers. Their product portfolio offers wide varieties of most stylish frames for both budget- and fashion-conscious wearers. Firmoo.com will help you realize your dream of creating your own eyeglasses wardrobe!
I myself own two Firmoo sunglasses so far and I’m planning to own more styles.  While you, my dear readers and followers, will have the chance to have this stylish sunglasses for FREE! So here’s how to join.

1. Write a blog entry about Firmoo.com.  Be sure to mention about this giveaway and include in your blog post the image (logos)  below.  You may also include a link of the Firmoo glasses design that you would like to win, you can choose the style from here.

giveawaypic1
add this logo in your blog entry

2. Post your blog article on your Facebook account and tweet about the blog entry

3. Leave the URL/link of the blog post, Facebook status and tweet in the comment box below.

4. Use the Rafflecopter form below to cast your entries.

There are more ways to earn additional entries so have fun doing all of them. The more entries you cast, the more chances of winning.  However, please note that the main ticket for you to win is to follow instruction numbers 1, 2 and 3.

Giveaway is open worldwide where Firmoo ships. Winners will be notified by email 48 hours after the giveaway ends.

Good luck everyone! May the best eyes win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Watch Out For My Upcoming Giveaway!

This is one of those moments where I am crammed up with the daily “going-ons” and yet blessed enough that I am able to deal one task at a time.  To relieve some stress, clear some mind webs and as a preparation as well to my run this coming weekend, I did what I usually do – I run. 

Good thing it’s a great weather out there, not too sunny or windy just some little drizzle.  By the time that I am done with my regular 6K run, it looks like it’s about to rain.

And speaking of  “looks like about to rain” the same thing is happening here in my blog.  One of the reason of this random post is I am so excited to give you this heads-up - I am hosting my FIRST ever GIVEAWAY soon!

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Yey true!  It’s gonna rain with GIVEAWAY here soon so keep hanging on folks!

Sunday Quote and Photograph: On Being Prepared

“There were six penalties

and I went the right way all the time,

and saved three,

so I was well prepared”.

Petr Cech – Chelsea FC Goalkeeper
 
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Photo Credits: Lawrence Griffiths/Getty Images (bleacherreport.com)

Blogger Balut is a big football fan thus today’s quote and photograph, but not actually a fan of Chelsea FC but of Manchester United and Liverpool.

Photo is from the 2012 UEFA Champions League Final game between FC Bayern Munchen and Chelsea FC.  Cech saved a penalty in extra time, and two penalties in the subsequent penalty shootout resulting in the first UEFA Champions League win for Chelsea (Chelsea win the UEFA Champions League 4-3 on penalties).

Churches: Our Lady of Victory Chapel - Malabon City Philippines

I call it the “church in the woods”.

Our Lady of Victory Chapel in Malabon City, Philippines - the first church I visited during my Vicita Iglesia for this year (2012).  I promised to make a separate post for each beautiful churches that I visited so here's the first installment to start with. 

It was a real BIG surprise finding this church in the heart of one of metro’s busiest city.  The perfect adjective to describe the place and the church is “serene”. 

The view of the church with the belfry partly hidden by the thick green plants and trees.  This shot is taken diagonally across from left. 
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Closer shot of the belfry.  Unlike old churches where the belfry is usually built as an extension part of the main church and in tower-like structure, this belfry is built separately and is rooted from the grounds.
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Green vines, an old-fashioned designed lamp post and a tree intertwined together, created a beautiful arc in the pathway leading to the church main entrance.
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The church’s door adorned by dried vines and twigs complimented the “church in the woods”  concept of this church.
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That’s me with the view from the right curve.
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And me again at the front walk way after passing the arc, then wandering in the left wing.

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Unluckily the church was still close when we were there because it was still very early in the morning.  It was where I prayed and meditated the “first station of the cross”.  So I was not able to see the insides of the church.  I searched for it and I’m sharing what I found from Google images:

The Altar (photo from Google images)
wedding_176 - ALTAR

Our Lady of Victory Chapel (OLVC) is privately owned by the family of the founder of Gregorio Araneta University Foundation, the late Don Salvador Araneta.  This is where his remains were buried in the 80’s and also the remains of his wife Doňa Victoria Araneta.  They also owned the whole Araneta Village.

The church is famous for wedding venues.
Now, if you haven’t been here but lit ooks familiar to you, it is because this church is also famous for wedding scene venues for Philippine television series.   Some of the television series that were shot here are “Lobo” starring Angel Locsin and Piolo Pacual and “Pangako Sa’yo” starring Kristine Hermosa and Jericho Rosales.

OLVC in under the Diocese of Caloocan.  It is located at R. Magsaysay St. Victoneta Park, Potrero1475 Malabon City, National Capital Region, Philippines. Telephone Number 361-3753.

Sunday Story and Photograph: I Held You Till Your Last Breath

Her only wish is to see her youngest daughter march to the high school graduation stage.
The youngest one whom she's not able to fully take care of  because she's been sick since she was seven years old.
Often times in her sick bed she would talk to her daughter and always reminds her that even without her, 
she needs to be okay for the rest of her growing years and for the rest of her life.
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The graduation wish did not happen,
One cold December night, some few days before Christmas, an angel came to take her
Before she took her last breath she looked her youngest in the eyes and asked for assurance that she will be strong and will be okay
In the midst of fear and pain while holding her mother in her fourteen year old arm, the daughter promised.
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I’m not only strong “Nay” but I’ve been TOUGH. 
I’m not only okay but I believe I’ve managed to be my BEST.

I love you ‘Nay… 
I HELD you till your last breath, 
I will LOVE you till my last…

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY

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The ordinary roses and home plants remind the young daughter of her mother who loves to grow them around the house in pots or just any space with soil.  The daughter is now a mother and shares the story to her children and to other kids so they will be reminded of the importance of a MOTHER.

When you lose a mother the mourning never stops. 
You just learn to live with it.

Amana Waterpark Philippines. 2011 Summer Adventure with Good Old Friends

This is the second installment from my previous post, Water Parks Within and Nearby Metro Manila, Philippines.  Amana Water park - the venue of my two “Sunday Quote and Photograph” guessing game posts:

1. The Justice League


2. The pool of people – King Kong is at the front end of the pool where the giant waves are coming from.

This is the main attraction in Amana Waterpark, the 3,500 sq meters wave-pool that produces the biggest (Diamond) wave.  Claimed to be the biggest wave pool in the Philippines that offers 13 different magnificent gigantic kinds of wave.


The other main attraction is the (over 100) life-size characters scattered all over the resort.  They also offer horse back riding, picnic grove, souvenir shop and cottages made from local materials.  Their website says a Zipline is opening soon.

If it wasn’t for the great photo opportunity with the different life-size characters, our summer memories at Amana Waterpark will be remembered as a “not so fun” experience.

The first thing we noticed during our visit is that the resort is not yet totally finished.  The walkways and  parking areas are still dusty roads.  Most dressing rooms. shower rooms and toilets still lack the necessities.

The Hulk – he’s just around the parking area.


We were unlucky to visit Amana Waterpark in the summer of 2011, during the week when they were currently having massive television campaign. I assumed their campaign was such a huge success because there were so much visitors during our visit. It was way too over crowded that they need to stop accepting visitors. They also failed to satisfactorily addressed the visitors needs and concerns.  It was chaotic in the cashier's area.

Darth Vader, Jar Jar Binks and a smaller King Kong version standing nearby the cashier’s area.
I almost memorized the scratches and marks of their structures because we waited too long in this area.  We were early but I guess the local people in the area came earlier than us.  The line at the payment/registration is too long and when it’s our turn, there’s no more available cottage. 

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For several times we were given choices of the available cottages just to be cancelled later telling us that it is no longer available.  In the end, we were provided with a collapsible umbrella as our cottage in a not so pleasing location with a not so pleasing smell in the air.  Also, the umbrella itself is dirty that we need to call a resort crew to clean it first.  The collapsible cottage umbrella comes with two free chairs only and we need to pay every piece of extra chair aside from the cottage umbrella.  Our group is composed of  fifteen people so the total we paid for this uncomfortable cottage is almost equivalent to one decent cottage.

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The cave-like main entrance is supposed to be amusing but it failed to amuse us because of the hassle we experienced in the cashier/registration area.    
We didn’t try the big pool with the giant waves.  There were so many people and we felt that it will only further “annoy” than freshen us.  We just took lots of photos in the big pool with King Kong.  But they do have Jacuzzi style and kiddie pools with sprinklers.

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Shrek and Family.  One of the cutest life-size characters located near the kiddie pool. Behind this is their home where visitors are allowed to touch the huge Ogre household items.
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Since our “cottage” is so uncomfortable and the pools are too crowded, we decided to pack our things early and put them safe in the car, then spend the rest of the day exploring the resort.  The life size characters scattered all over the wide resort is entertaining. At least it erased the not so pleasing experience that welcomed us in the resort.

Most of the routes are grassy and still under developed but at least it adds to the exploration thrill.
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I like the concept of this water park.  The owner may have something specific in mind but not yet fully executed during our visit.  One friend from this group of friends of mine suggested this water park because it was in the news at that time.  We want to entertain two “balikbayan”  friends who were both on a hectic vacation schedule.  We have no option for other days for this sort of reunion.

I am sharing some photos individually, then some of the other photos are in the album at the end of this post.

One of my vacationing friend Elvie with the Madagascar Characters
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My big boy captured by King Kong while the whole gang screams in the next photo.

This is far above from the wave pool shot.  See the (steep) ladder at the back of King Kong? That is where my boy climbed to reach King Kong to have his photo taken as if he was a capture.

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My boy this time with Jack Sparrow (Johny Depp) , The Thing and Gandalf
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The girls at the Lord of the Ring signage and with Gollum
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Elvie with Marilyn Monroe and the big boy with Elvis
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The gang with the Dragonball Z gang


More photos and the larger version of the small photos on this album.

Sunday Quote and Photograph: Summer is Here for Sure Today

“Summer is here for sure today.
The sun is shining from a clear blue sky, and there is  no wind at all.
Summer, after all, is a time when wonderful things can happen to quiet people. for those few months, you’re not required to be who everyone thinks you are, and that cut-grass smell in the air and the chance to dive into the deep end of a pool give you a courage you don’t have the rest of the year. you can be grateful and easy, with no eyes on you, and no past. summer just opens the door and lets you out.”
  flood of people

The “phrase” and the photograph are somewhat conflicting I know.  I just feel like sharing the anti-thesis of life. 

The phrase about summer is from a Norwegian blogger friend Roffee who talks about summer with much anticipation and yet in a peaceful mode, while the photo taken from a water park here in the Philippines looks chaotic.  Also, just even before I can finish this post, Roffe’s summer is gone.  The snow came too soon and he posted that winter is back.

While in Manila, Philippines, we have been suffering from the unforgiving summer heat for months now.  The temperature reaching as high as 36.6°C so far.  Everyone is wishing that summer be over soon and looking forward for the rain to come.  Aaaah… the world is really estrange

Now, ‘care to join another guessing game?

The photograph is taken in the same water park in the Philippines where the Justice League photo is taken.  If you notice, the people in this “pool” are looking in one direction - at the head front of the “pool”.  It is where the artificial waves are coming from and that’s what these people are waiting.  Aside from that, there’s a huge “monster” sitting where the artificial waves are coming.  What/who do you think is the monster? Clue - the monster is very famous.

Have fun guessing people! Happy summer!

We’re on Page Rank 2 – Thank You Very Much

Two months ago I was so happy announcing that this blog went on Page Rank 1 after seventy one (71) days of blogging.  Today, exactly after one hundred fifty seven (157) days of blogging, I am in high spirits to announce that WE ARE ON PAGE RANK 2!

PR2 Balut

Again this achievement is reached out of pure hard work  - no fancy paid marketing strategies, just pure passionate writing and blogging.

THANK YOU to the high and mighty One for this blessing, to my family and friends who have always been supportive to my writing and blogging passion.  Thanks also to Google for the ranking, and most of all THANKS TO YOU my dear readers and followers for patronizing, reading, appreciating and following my blog.  EXTRA THANK YOU to my very supportive blogger friends (you know who you are).

I am more driven to blog passionately, entertainingly and responsively. MARAMING SALAMAT  po!

thank you

For those who want to check your page rank, you can check it from here.

Our Summer Fun at Club Manila East in Taytay Rizal, Philippines. Part 2

Part two of two from this post.

The Kiddie Pool with water falls and fountains.
Very safe for kids, the water measures just below the knee. I enjoyed just staying under the mushroom-shaped fountain feeling the water wash over my face while watching the little one having fun with the water falls and play with other kids.

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The Adult Pool with a giant 3-looped slide
This is one thing I always look forward in water parks – SLIDE! I love trying on giant slides.  I tried a lot of water slides and I could say that there is nothing extra ordinary in this one.  My all time favorite is from another water park which is called “Magellan’s Drop”.

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The Zip Line
We didn’t tried the zip line.  We came here to swim so we’re totally not interested in the zip line.  There weren’t many people trying the zip line when we were there. As you can see in the picture, the line is passing over the boating area.

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The Shaded Pool
A relief when the other pool’s water is turning into “lukewarm” temperature.  The water is cool.  You  can just stay in this pool and do lazy swims, do some laps like a pro or practice swimming. 

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The Lap Pool and Bean Pool?
I’m really not sure which is which (lol).  But they are both great places for quiet swimming and just sitting by the pool.

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The website says this is seven hectares so there’s a lot more to see.  I’m really not sure if I photographed every corner.  There are villas where you can stay overnight, activity centers, cute spaces and a lot more.  I am particularly amazed at the coconut tree-designed shower.

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So this completes my post for Club Manila East, one among the water parks I featured from this list.  Again, this is not a paid post (lol).  I  am posting this so people will have another reference to compare with the water park’s website.

I’m not an expert in giving ratings so I will not do that as well.  But I will give my personal commendation that CME looks well maintained and really neat and tidy particularly on their shower rooms and toilets.  I can also share some things that you should take note of when going to CME. 
  • Bringing of food and drinks is not allowed. There are several fast food and restaurants that cater inside.
  • Proper swimming attire is strictly observed.  No cotton.
  • Ba careful in taking photos at the left or right side of the beach wave pool because the waves sometimes are really big and may catch you – happened to me and my camera got wet Sad smile 
Do you think we enjoyed our time at CME? Well check-out these photos. It seems we are “Let’s volt in!” for another visit.

Fam Pic CME (1)

And yes we stayed until sun down and this is how the Beach Wave looks like at sun down.
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So who’s going? I’m ok to be a tour guide as long you will treat my whole family Smile with tongue out.

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