Monday, January 26, 2015

Yamaha Tricity Grand Launch at the MOA Concert Grounds

January 25, 2015

Patrick was invited to the Yamaha Tricity Grand Launch at the MOA Concert Grounds and we went along with him.

The Yamaha Tricity is built with a revolutionary design called the Leaning Multi Wheel or LMW. "This system allows two front wheels to deal with changes in different road surfaces while keeping both tires in contact with the road as it leans. It provides a unique experience during each ride that is felt in every turn; any angle; surpassing the standards of style, performance, and technological innovation. "

We saw it in motion at the Test Drive Area and it was exciting to behold on the road :)

We arrived around lunchtime and the test drive was underway.  We were offered free lunch at the nearby Savory restaurant.

There wasn't much of a crowd by the time we returned probably because everyone was either still having lunch or avoiding the harsh sun.  It was perfect for us as we went around and took pictures because we had the area to ourselves.  At first, we simply took pictures with the bikes as the background because we weren't sure if we're allowed to ride them.  The kids loved the London and the Louvre Museum backgrounds :)

Now, when we were sure that it's safe and okay to ride on the Yamaha Tricity motorcycles on display, we took a few more pictures :)

We stood and watched the on-going presentation they had on the revolutionary engineering and design of the Yamaha Tricity motorbikes.

To quote the presentation, "Its function is perfected because of the harmonious integration of 2 key systems:

*A PARALLELOGRAM LINK, a system that allows the parallel leaning of two front wheels and separate functioning of independent suspensions.

*A CANTILEVERED TELESCOPIC SUSPENSION for the two front wheels with unique machine dimensions and geometry.

It also has a displacement of 125 cc and is available in all Yamaha 3s shops nationwide with the suggested retail price of PHP 146,000 and comes in matte red or white."

How I wish I were able to test drive it but I don't have a driver's license hahaha But it really looked cool to drive.  It looked especially balanced and comfortable too.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Trying out the Nail-a-holics Nail Salon & Spa

January 21, 2015

So today, I had a real itch to get out of the house (I don't know why).  Since I had to get out anyway and pay some bills, I thought I'd make the most out of the day and do everything I need to do at once.  So, Dylan and I made our way to SM City San Lazaro.

Our plan was to pay the bills first so I am sure that I won't be spending that part of the budget on frivolous things but when we got to the Bills Payment counter at the SM Department Store, we were only able to pay for the PLDT Bill because Maynilad was offline which meant we had time to kill and we went directly to the Nail-a-holics salon at the LGF of SM City San Lazaro.  The only reason why we headed there was because I was aware of it from previous trips in the area.  Also, the times when I passed by the salon I usually saw that it was full so I thought the next time I needed to go to a nail salon I would definitely try going there.

It was perfect timing that when Dylan and I went there, there were no other customers but us.  Three foreigner guys were just paying their bill when we arrived so I felt good that the attendants wouldn't be in a hurry to finish their work since there's no line of customers.    I asked how much the foot spa with pedicure was and the receptionist immediately replied P420 which when you look at their menu of services was for the "Water Drift Spa Pedicure".  Quoting from them, the Water Drift Spa Pedicure was described like so:

"Fall in love with our indulgent all-natural treatment that helps bring life to sore, tired feet.  Reveal beautiful skin with hard skin removal and thorough exfoliation using sea salt and virgin coconut oil.  Finish off with a nail shape, cuticle tidy and nail color of your choice."

With this description in mind, let me tell you why I was disappointed with the service that I got.

* It wasn't as indulgent as I thought - Yes, the couch was comfortable.  Yes, the decor in the salon was appealing.  But I was surprised by the "palanggana" (huge plastic basin) that they brought out to soak my feet in.  Now, in some salons they have built-in sinks or foot tubs but I wasn't prepared for the "palanggana".  That was a turn off especially for a pricey salon.

Liked the Lighting
* It wasn't as thorough as I expected - I have had my share of foot spa pedicures in other salons, from high-end ones to your friendly neighborhood salon.  I got better treatment from them than at Nail-a-holics.  The thorough exfoliation didn't happen.  The attendant merely applied the sea salt on my feet and legs then rinsed it off.  It wasn't used for scrubbing or exfoliation unless it wasn't meant to then that was my misinterpretation.  I was also expecting a longer massage.  In my previous experiences, massages usually took between 15-30 minutes.  The massage I had was closer to 10.  The whole service for me took between 30-40 minutes, including the waiting time.  At the other salons, treatment time was usually an hour.

*minimal choice for nail polish - For P420 , you would expect to see Orly products like in other salons instead, they were offering regular nail polish, the brands I wasn't even familiar with.  To get Orly or some other special nail polish you have to add P40.  All the available regular nail polish was bright and neon, which I wasn't into.  But I didn't want to spend any additional for special polish so I just picked out a "Rose" colored polish.  Both my kids didn't like it (which I agree too because it made my feet and toes look darker)

Looks better in the light ;) 

On the PLUS side, I appreciated that the staff wasn't noisy.  At one point, the receptionist/head attendant even had to call out one manicurist for reclining on the couch with customers present which to me meant they wanted to project a better and professional image.

Looking back at my experience, I can't say that the service applies to all other branches since I've only tried this one. I may have just been unlucky this time.  But if you want value for your hard-earned money, it may be more worthwhile to find another salon, like Hot Nails in Hemady or California Nails and Day Spa.  Even our neighborhood salon that charges P160 for Foot Spa Pedicure had better services in my honest opinion.

Oh well, that's how you learn from and distinguish among salons.  You just have to try and experience them.  

Food: Marikina Burrito Brothers and Crepeman

January 19, 2015

When I blogged about eating at Tamagoya's here, Patrick shared it on Facebook and my friend, Lily, saw it.  It was the trigger which caused us to set a date to meet up in Marikina when we come to get Stanley back from his parking in Stevie's house.  Lily mentioned so many food choices through text messages as we were trying to figure out where to meet.  She also told me to Google "Marikina Food Tour/Trip" to get an idea of what I want to eat.  The results were enough to make me drool hahha Finally, we limited our choices to Lilac street since we're already familiar with the location of Tamagoya.  Lilac Street is where you'll end up if you follow the B. Soliven Avenue where Tamagoya is.  Well, the date came and we first met up at Burrito Brothers at #69 Lilac Street, Marikina.   

I didn't know what to expect so I was pleasantly surprised when we got to the location because the place seemed cozy.  Patrick was a bit worried because there was really no parking space in front of the location though.  Anyway, we got inside and saw Mother (we call her that because of a movie producer called Mother Lily) and it was like we just saw each other yesterday and not years ago.  It was a great feeling!!

We moved to a bigger table and we browsed the menu while chatting and catching up.  There were a number of choices of Mexican fare: Steak/Chicken burritos, Chicken Flautas, Tacos and Taco salads, Nachos, Chicken Fajitas, Quesadillas and more.  Patrick, Dana and Mother ordered steak burritos, I ordered the chicken flautas, Dylan had the Quesadillas and we ordered Nachos and Grilled Chicken Fajitas to share.  While we were waiting for our order, Patrick got up, took the poncho and hat from the hanger on the mall and put them on.  It was hilarious.  Since I wasn't sure if it was allowed, we asked the gyuys at the corner if we can fiddle with the costume and they said it was okay. :)  Patrick took the smaller set and put it on Dylan.  What do you think? hahaha

Mother and I have been friends for more than 20+ years and this was such a heartwarming reunion.  It was perfect timing that it was the holiday because of Pope Francis' visit otherwise we probably wouldn't have the time.  We picked a great spot to eat too because the food was great, it was reasonably priced, the place was clean and airy, and at that time there weren't too many people around yet.  

Our next stop was at Crepeman because the kids wanted something sweet for dessert.  Since Mother already told me about it, I said "Why not?" since we're already in the vicinity.  So we drove down to Crepeman which was about 5 minutes away on the left side of Lilac street (if you're coming from Burrito Brothers).  We were the only people at the store probably because it was still off-peak hours.  The kids watched Kuya make and assemble the crepe.  They were quite excited about it.

If I remember correctly, the kids ordered the Ferrero which was crepe with Nutella and Nuts (P90).  Patrick ordered Mango which was crepe with sliced mango, chocolate spread, whipped cream and kisses (P90).  I ordered Peaches which was crepe with peaches, choco spread, whipped cream and kisses (P90).  Lily only had coffee.

Here are the pictures of their menu:

I really liked the crepes because they're crispy ! Of course when you have something like peaches or mangoes, they will naturally soften the crepe so you have to eat it fast.  But the texture of the crepe complements well with the sweetness of the chocolate and the tangy taste of the peaches.  It was big enough to satisfy sugar cravings too :)  I liked the setup because it was small but practical and they have a clean bathroom too :)

I don't think this will be the last time we'll visit Marikina for a Marikina Food trip.  I think the trick is to go on the off-hours to appreciate the food without worrying about parking. AND, you have to be hungry when you start out :D