Bi-Monthly Rundown: October & November

It should be a monthly thing but October was one of the busiest travel months for us this year. I totally forgot an October recap.  It was hectic, but it was also full of adventure meaning not enough time, not enough sleep, and not enough everything.  But there was a lot of eating and I think, no, I’m sure I’ve gained about 15 pounds after the trip. I have so much to share these past two months and here’s how it went down.

street art melbourne

I don’t really intend to get detailed here as I have yet to finish writing about our Australian adventure.  I’ve pretty much covered Melbourne and, I think I’m just two posts shy before I can move on to Sydney.  I need to mention here that we traveled with The Gang to Australia.  It was our first trip abroad and I’m sure it won’t be the last.

We did so many worthwhile things together.  There was cooking, lots of drinking, driving, and even a few times when it felt like we were children or teenagers again.  It’s just been over a month since we got back from Sydney and I’m kind of missing the fun.  Truth?  I feel so lucky I have friends I can be myself with.  That I can travel with them is just a bonus.

queen victoria market

bondi beach

If only things can be like this forever.  But as adults, we have to work and make money so we can send our children to school, have food on the table, clothes to wear and have occasional coffee crawls when life gets too hectic to handle.  Sometimes I question myself if this is really the life I want for me and my kids.  I have a big enough house, I have a car, I have money in the bank.  But is that all?  Something’s missing and I can honestly say that travel is what’s missing.  Being out there with reckless abandon, with no care in the world.

melbourne street art

A friend of mine said that I know a lot of things.  Ang dami ko raw alam.  In a way, it’s true. I have never stopped learning.  But the reason behind is I get bored easily.  There was a time I wanted to try my hand on haircutting so I studied cosmetology at one of the more prestigious schools in Makati.  I finished the course but didn’t pursue a career in hairstyling.  Why?  I got bored.  I just needed something new to do at that time.  I have never been good at monotony.

When I moved out of our parent’s house so many years ago, I must have changed addresses 10 times in a span of 3 or 4 years.  I don’t really remember.  Somehow I always felt I needed to move.  But it somehow disappears when I travel.  When I travel, I never get bored.  In fact, the more I travel, the more I don’t want to settle down…the more I want to explore.  It’s dangerous.  Dangerous because I have a family that needs to establish roots.  They’re still young and they need stability and stability should come from the parent or the adult.  But in our family, I feel like I’m the kid and my eldest son is the adult.  We are weird like that.

Have you been in this kind of predicament? For now, I should be content with short trips.  A week here, a few days there.  But it’s not enough.  I don’t know when this wanderlust will pass. I hope soon because it’s not cheap to see the world.  It requires money and a lot of planning.  I have actually entertained staying in South America for 6 months and find out for myself if I can live there.  I’ve also considered Vietnam.  It’s a big move and until now, I’m still unsure if it’s the right “life” for us.

Why do some things seem out of reach?  If only things were that easy…

Anyway, I’m getting ahead of myself.  This should be a recap and not an introspective nor future planning.




As for Australia, we did so many things.  We visited The Great Ocean Road and finally saw the Twelve Apostles IRL.  Got up close and personal with a few Kangaroos and a cute Koala.  Had too many cups of Flat White to drink.  Indulged in far too many doughnuts.  Went caving and while inside, I experienced my first panic attack.  Rode the night train, not our first time but it was different in so many ways. We first rode a train to Bangkok.

sydney harbor bridge

Australia is cold during springtime.  That’s just me because everyone else didn’t seem to have a problem with the cold.  You can see locals wearing what we Pinoys wear on a daily basis.  Shorts. Shirt.  Gawd.  I shiver at the thought of going out without a jacket.  It was a struggle to keep warm because I brought the wrong set of clothes.  But minus the weather, Australia is beautiful.  A bit expensive but I can say matter-of-factly that I can live there.  I have never thought about it before this but am now considering Ozzy as one of the places I can settle and establish roots.

BACK IN MANILA

MG didn’t miss a lot of school projects and lessons.  She actually settled perfectly back to her usual routine.  The teachers were kind enough to update her on past lessons, too.  She misses travel, of course.  We would often catch ourselves thinking of the same things.  For instance, we would often remember things we did in Australia at certain times of the day.  It was 9am Manila time when we both blurted out that it was lunchtime in Sydney.  We remembered how we would eat lunch with the group, each of us knowing our seat assignments by heart.  Little things.

I, on the other hand, have not stopped eating.  Evidence are the restaurants below.  I should run again and soon!

WHAT WE ATE

A lot of new restaurants along Maginhawa Street.  So we tried some of them.  Perhaps it was the two weeks in Australia that made us crave Pinoy cuisine.

Concho’s House of Sisig

This restaurant is located in one of the newer buildings along Maginhawa Street.  I heard that Kean Cipriano, the front man of CallaLilly, is the owner.  This isn’t his only branch.  The first one is also along the now famous eat street of Marikina Lilac Street.

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Verdict: The sisig is bursting with flavors but I prefer mine served sizzling and with a bit of crunch. It’s served with vinegar which is a first for me since I’m accustomed with squeezing calamansi on the sisig.  But it’s different and different is always good.

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MG’s order with everything on it. It has fish fillet, calamares, chili poppers and of course, Sisig.

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Mango Sago. Nothing fancy here but  I like it. After eating pork, it’s nice to cleanse the palate with something sweet and refreshing.

 

HAPAG HERITAGE CUISINE

Also located in the same building as Concho’s.  It was way past lunch when we visited and there were just 3 tables with customers. I like that service was fast and the waiter knew what to recommend as we had a hard time choosing from so many dishes.  In the end, we chose Pochero and Bistek Tagalog.  Both were good but the meat in the Pochero could use more time to stew as it was tough. Too bad I don’t have a photo of the Bistek Tagalog.

Hapag Heritage Cuisine

The resto has a different twist on this classic Pinoy dish. Instead of tomato sauce, squash serves as the base for this dish. It works but I still want my regular Pochero.

 

We also craved Japanese.  We went to our trusted Japanese buffet in Quezon City because Tanabe is too far and traffic is horrendous this time of the year so a visit there anytime soon is never going to happen. And we visited an old favorite.

ZENSHO

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You cannot eat at Zensho and not try these oysters on steroids.  That’s not really the name.  It’s Oyster Motoyaki and these are great for starters.  We always ask for 3 orders outright because one is never enough.

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I like that Tempura here doesn’t pretend to be big.  I mean, the shrimps are not covered in thick batter so they would look big.

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Of course, there should always be sashimi.

KAMAMESHI HOUSE

Last time we ate here was a decade ago.  Changes are to be expected.  The Kamameshi Rice wasn’t the same but is still good.  I just remember it as superb rather than just good.  The place looked the same, just older.  But I was glad that I got to eat here again and just happy at the thought that the resto survived and would be here to stay for another decade I hope.

kamameshi-house-1Tempura and Gindara Teriyaki

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Kamameshi Rice

JET’S BISTRO

Best of the month is this new restaurant/bistro at the far end of Maginhawa Street called Jet’s Bistro. It’s actually not easy to spot if you’re not from around this part of QC.  But since I pass by this street almost everyday, I immediately notice new additions  Again it was way past lunch when we went here.  We were the only customers.

You would instantly come into conclusion that Jet’s Bistro is different from the many restaurants that line Maginhawa.  You can even say it’s upscale and I even thought prices were kind of steep. But all that will go away once food is served.  Oh my, they don’t leave any details to chance.  Our orders were beautifully plated.  So beautiful, you’d think twice about eating it.  But it had to be done.  And that’s the best part.  All the dishes we ordered were topnotched.  And I especially loved the mussels.  Actually MG and I both enjoyed that dish so much.

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You don’t just cut into this bowl of soup and not feel a bit guilty for destroying something beautiful.

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Our favorite is this Bacon, Andouille and Mussels dish served with Toasted Sour Dough Bread.  I love dipping the bread in the beer and herb broth.

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I also love this Organic Crispy Chicken Leg Confit.  The serving is for two but we couldn’t even finish one leg.  Perhaps we were full from the Mussels we ate prior.

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Brown gravy is poured once served on the table.

WHAT I WROTE

Hello from Australia — Find out which city I love more.  Is it Sydney or Melbourne?

Queen Victoria Mini Guide — I love this open air market and for so many good reasons and one of them is American Doughnut Kitchen.

Doughnut Coma in Melbourne — I had a brief love affair with doughnuts while in Australia.  It’s only Springtime long.  Missing them terribly everyday.

Explore Melbourne’s Street Art — Ever since Penang and Hong Kong, Melbourne had been on my street art radar.  It was a dream come true for me the minute I set foot on Hosier Lane.

The Great Ocean Road Mini Guide — It was one whole day but I felt it was very brief as there’s so much to see along this iconic road.

Sydney Eat List — If you’re wondering how the food scene in Sydney is like, my Eat List would definitely give you an idea.

Bohol on Video — Of course, I had to throw in something different.  Watch the video I made about a trip that happened last year.  Brings back fun memories.

WHAT WE WATCHED (and still watching)

Dexter — I just subscribed to Netfilx and the first series I watched was this.  I followed this series when it was first shown.  I was sad when it ended.  I love Dexter’s character so much.  He was hilarious and relatable.  I think there’s a Dexter in all of us.  It was nice to watch again and you know what, it was even more hilarious the second time. I also love Deb and Masuka.

Survivor — Oh my, I do think this is one of the best seasons only because it’s Gen X versus Millennials.  I’m a GenX-er of course and it’s obvious who I’m rooting for.  I hope Ken or David wins.  And please, Sunday, go home already.  You’re just too out of place.  I was sad when Jessica went home.  She deserves to be there more than this Sunday person.

VIDEOS

I’ve decided to edit and produce videos once again.  I forgot how I much I enjoyed editing and watching the final product.  I may not have the best gadgets and equipment but I do what I can with what I have.  Subscribe to my Youtube channel, pretty please!

Bohol Video Diary

iPhone Edit – shot purely using an iPhone (duh)

That’s about it! It was busy, tiring, and rewarding all at the same time. Wish we could travel again soon. For now, I’ll be writing about our Australian adventure. See you soon!

Not fond of DIY tours?  You can join one of these tours, and don’t forget to compare hotels, vacation rentalsrooms, or even homes for your trip before you go. And never leave home without Travel Insurance!

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