Travel Diaries: My Bangkok Birthday Trip – Day 3

TODAY WAS MY BIRTHDAY!

Prior to this trip, I had imagined how this day would turn out..I’d wake up with J singing Happy Birthday carrying a cake or we’d have dinner cruising the Chao Phraya river or clubbing in one of the rooftop bars while giving me a surprise.

Although events did not turn out as I dreamed of, this day was fun and memorable still..because I was with my J!  : )

After breakfast, we went at the hotel’s mezzanine where the travel agency was located.  Joseph and Caloy inquired and decided on a whole day tour the next day.  We called Candy and asked if they wanted to join.

We agreed to take Caloy to MBK.  We decided to take a tuktuk.  However, before we were able to reach MBK, we were brought to different places by the tuktuk driver.  As he said, it was Buddha day and the establishments were giving certificates and/or vouchers for free gasoline whenever they bring clients and more if the customers would buy from them.

We went first to one jewelry store that manufacture there own items.  This store was on the high-end side.  We left and were brought to another jewelry store but on the lower end.  Here Caloy bought a pendant shaped as a tuktuk.  Afther here Caloy was very hungry and wanted to go to MBK already.  Even I was a little irritated already as the driver wanted to bring us in a travel agency after.  With his kakulitan, J and Caloy agreed.  However, the Boss at the agency was a little snob.  As we were inquiring, she told us to return when our friends were already here.

Finally, we were brought to MBK Mall.  The agreement was the ride was free because we went to all the establishments he wanted us to go to.  We tried to ask how much the fare was and he replied.  But we didn’t pay him.  We were just testing him.  Gugulangan pa kami! Hmp!

buwis-buhay on my special day! : )

As Caloy was hungry, we brought him to Fifth Avenue.  After lunch we walked around the mall.  Like us he didn’t see much items that he wanted to buy so we went instead to the shopping center across MBK and which carried the branded names.

brunch

outside Channel V Thailand studio at Siam Discovery

a part of the revolving restaurant

just outside

the Heroes

forever my Hero : )

with Director..forgot his name! hehe!

Caloy showing off his Best Actor trophy

still @ Siam Discovery shopping mall

passing by Siam Paragon, the most expensive shopping mall

see what i mean?!

We decided to walk going to Platinum mall.  As we walked, we passed by the different mall.  We even passed by one temple where J and Caloy brought out the children in them.

temple

@ the temple

: )

trip lang nila! : )

one of the many malls in Bangkok

outside Central World

We rested at Let’s Sip coffee shop where Caloy used their free Wifi to talk to his special friend.  After that, they went on their own while I window-shopped.

We received a message from Candy telling us that they were already in the hotel so went back to the hotel.  Once they were settled we returned to Platinum Mall to eat dinner and for their last minute shopping for the day.

We were discussing whether to have drinks in one of the rooftop bars or go to Henry J. Beans bar but at the end we headed back to Coco Walk.

at the entrance

this time with Candy and Jonnie

our first..my birthday

Travel Diaries: My Bangkok Birthday Trip – Day 2

We woke up early the second day, Sunday, even though we went back to the hotel after midnight.  Other than we wanted to make the most out of the day, we wanted to check out Chatuchak Weekend Market which closed around noon and because we needed to eat breakfast at the hotel.

The plan was to wake up at 6am but we rose around seven.  We took our buffet breakfast at the hotel which was part of our accommodation.  The hotel restaurant served a hearty breakfast menu than I expected.  They even had a separate food section for their Muslim guests.

1st buffet breakfast

We took the BTS train to go to Chatuchak Weekend Market.  We were told to disembark at Mo Chit station.  From Mo Chit station, we had to walk for a few minutes to reach the market.  When we got there, most of the stalls were still closed.  We just walked around and found some items.  Most items sold were for the home.  For the clothes we decided to shop at the Platinum Mall instead.

BTS line. Ratchatewi station

on the way to Chatuchak Weekend Market

We felt we covered the entire market so we decided to return to the hotel.  We took again the BTS train.  On our way back we were discussing whether to return to the hotel or eat lunch.  The final decision was to check out MBK Mall, the low-end and biggest mall in Bangkok.  We decided also to eat lunch there.  From Ratchatewi station to MBK mall, the walk was quite looooooooong.  When we reached the mall, we had to eat immediately.  We went up to the their food court but they served mostly Thai food.  We thought we would end up in McDonalds but when we went up another floor, we saw the Fifth Avenue.  

posing at the flyover

Fifth Avenue was like a food court but more on a classy end.  Upon entering you will be given a card. As you order, your card would be swiped and store the items and prices of your purchase.  Payment was upon exit.  You had to give your card to the cashier where they would again swipe your cards so they would know how much to charge you.

The stalls were scattered everywhere.  They served a fusion from Thai to Chinise to Indonesian to Japanese and French and Greek.  With so much choices J and I found it hard to choose.  He ended ordering Chinese food and while I chose Japanese.

across Fifth Avenue @ MBK Mall

some of the food choices as a backdrop

my Japanese ramen

J’s Chinese seafood platter

J paying our meals

After that late lunch we checked out the stalls.  Though J was able to purchase a couple of items, we didn’t much appreciate the mall.  We were quite biased I guess with Platinum Mall.  Haha!

My feet were really hurting so I asked J that we take a cab or tuktuk.  When we asked, we were offered 100Baht.  We found it expensive so I agreed to just walk.  At the other entrance, though, we were offered 80Baht.  We grabbed it as we felt it more reasonable.  The ride though was ‘buwis-buhay’.  The tuktuk drivers were super fast!  Sinasalubong talaga ang kabilang lane!

riding the tuktuk

We were resting when we received a call from Caloy, J’s friend.  He already arrived and likewise resting in his room, the same hotel we were billeted.  He asked whether we saw the note he left for us informing us of his room number.  We said, ‘No’.

J and Caloy decided to went out again to shop.  We went to his room and checked out his purchases.  I had heard so much about him yet it was my first time to meet him.  He was nice and funny naman.  I felt at ease din easily.

We went again to Platinum Mall.  J and Caloy enjoyed window-shopping and shopping.

We returned to the hotel to rest and refresh.  At night we went to Coco Walk, a place where some pubs and bars were located.  We stayed at Loud Lue.

J’s friend Caloy, aka Marky Lopez

clubbing at a local pub

J&L on my first birthday as a couple

We welcomed my birthday there.

Travel Diaries: My Bangkok Birthday Trip – Day 1

Last year I told myself that I wont leave town on my birthday.  That was after I went to Cebu on my speacial day with my friend, Cat.  I just wanted to tick-off one of my to-do’s (travelling on my special day) and went ahead for the experience, not to mention, of course, my need to rest and the desire to bond and travel again with my bestest of friends.

But this year I did it again.

The trip was my boyfriend J’s birthday gift to me.  So tell me how could I say No?!  As you all know I love to travel and this would be my chance to travel out-of-the-country again after ten years.  And hello, for free?!  That was a no-brainer!

The trip was set from June 16 -20 in Bangkok.  J invited his other friends Caloy and Candy with her boyfriend Jonnie.

J booked around March for our flight and around May for the hotel.  We were all busy that was why there was no prepared itinerary.

Our flight was at 7:20AM.  Since we need to check-in atleast two hours before, J and I travelled going to Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (DMIA), or more known as Clark Airport, on the night of the 15th via Philtranco’s last trip to Clark.  Initially, we thought there was a 2AM trip to Clark but when we inquired, there was none anymore.  We thought it was okay since we could stay and sleep at the airport instead (like those we’ve seen at NAIA 3).  We arrived at Clark around midnight and we went straight inside.  But we were shocked to see that there were only a number of seats so we were resigned to sleep the night sitting down.  But shockers of all shockers, we were asked by one security personnel to wait outside because they would close at 2AM.  The same man even questioned how were able to pass through the entrance when our flight was the next day (guess, their SOP was not to allow passengers through whose flight was after 2AM).  We told him we just went straight ahead inside.  How could we know?  He was doubtful and said that we might had passed through the side gate or we arrived after 12mn.  We told him again that we went inside through the main gate and around 12mn but he insisted otherwise.  At the end we gave in and went out.  What pissed me off in this situation was not really us having to go out to wait but the fact that he insisted that we either passed through the side entrance or we went in after 12mn.  We were made to look like liars when the real truth was he was not doing  his job right.  If he were at his post and watching everyone going in and checking their tickets, he could have intercepted us.

Anyways, we waited at the waiting area just across the airport.  The airport closed and there were no one outside except those airport personnel.  Due to fatigue I was able to sleep for about an hour despite the uncomfortable seats and cold breeze.  I woke up so J could take his turn.  However, he couldnt sleep anymore.  When I woke up, there were a couple of passengers also waiting.  After a while passengers kept on arriving.

waiting outside the airport

Past four in the morning the airport opened and we checked in.  There was a slight hesitation when we were on queu at the Immigration.  Although we were really tourists and ‘clean’, the stories about passengers being questioned and not being allowed to leave were playing in my mind.  On our turn, I handed our passports.  The counter was a little high for me so I needed to tiptoe to talk the Immigration Officer properly.  While he was checking the passports and disembarkation cards, he asked who I was travelling with.  I replied and his next question was where I was working,  I answered San Miguel and he asked for the company ID.  Upon showing him, everything was a breeze.  He just made a followup question while stamping our passports where J was working and then we were allowed to go.

While waiting for our flight, J & I were able to steal a few minutes of sleep.  After a while we woke up and waited patiently for our boarding time.

We boarded on time and I was shocked to learn that we were flying via SeaAir.  I knew perfectly well that we booked via Tiger Airways.  Anyways, I just had to pray hard.  And hard I prayed as we encountered a few turbulence.  I always wanted to travel and fly but I was never a fan of flying especially with an Airbus or those other small aircrafts.  I tried to sleep just so I couldnt feel those turbulence.

We arrived in Thailand on time but our plane was made to wait for 20 minutes because of airport congestion.

When we disembarked we were conscious of our exit because J was told that Suvarnabhumi International Airport Bangkok was quite big and we might miss our correct exit.  We were amazed at how big the airport.  We were walking quite a while when we started to doubt whether we were taking the right direction.  Our co-passengers were walking ahead of us, straight ahead.  But when we saw an Immigration counter on our left, we asked the ushers/airport personnel if we can take a line there.  They said yes.

After our passports were checked and stamped, our next dilemma was the correct exit.  We decided to take the Airport Rail Link going to our hotel.  After a few minutes of hesitation and doubt, we asked a couple of information desk and we were asked to go to the airport’s basement where the train line was located     .  Next problem was what station to disembark.  After a few analysis and questioning, we were asked to disembark on the last station, Phayathai.  It took only 30 minutes or less to reach our destination.

for one-way ride, instead of cards, tokens were used
Airport City Link Train

my J checking out Bangkok map

We didn’t know where to go after but my recollection of one government agency being near our hotel made our decision correct.  The walk was neither long nor short.  But I guess carrying a luggage was a feat in itself.  I felt tired but I didn’t want to start complaining.  I didn’t want to spoil our trip with my kaartehan.

We reached our hotel, First Hotel, and checked in.  There were a couple of bad  reviews about the hotel so I was a little hesitant.  Good was we were reserved in their main tower (as the reviews said that the extension wing was worse).  When we went in, the room was clean and big.  The first thing I checked was the bed because the worst review I’ve read was the bed having bed bugs.  Surprisingly, it was immaculately clean.  Next I checked the bathroom, it was also clean and big, with a bathtub.  The toiletries were also complete.  The only thing I didnt expect was that there were only a few channels.  Not CNN, no HBO but there was one English channel.

We rested for a while and then went out for a late lunch.  We passed by a number of malls and fast food chains.  We were deciding where to eat.  We wanted to immerse ourselves but quite hesitant of the street foods.  Neither did we want to eat at KFC and McDonald’s.  So we ended up at A&W.

wala sa Pinas nito! hahaha!

first time kumain ng fried chicken! hehe!

And then the start of the ‘exploration’!

infront of our fave mall!

his fave mall as well

one of the outside temples near Central World

after exploring three different malls, it was coffee time!
left a message to Mom via FB using the shop’s free WiFi

After resting we were trying to look for a bar.  The place recommended to J when we checked was far from the City.  We decided to walk again to see if there were any bars nearby.  After an hour and so and without seeing any bars, we decided to go back.  The feet then were really hurting, I wanted to give up.  I felt hot as well after that long walk.

So I asked J for a cold drink.  The only open store then was McDonald’s.  J bought coke and fries.  I rested my feet and I felt a little relieved.  We were about to return to the hotel when we passed by Henry J. Bean’s Bar and Grill located at Amari Watergate Bangkok Hotel (also along Petchaburi Road).  As J wanted to experience night life in Bangkok and since I didn’t want to deprive him of a couple bottle of beers, we went inside.

at the entrance of the bar

other foreign tourists partying inside

J checking out Competition
San Mig Light was a bit pricey in Bangkok

couple alone time : )

Tiring but super fun first day.

I was so happy as J’s excitement and enthusiasm were contagious.  This was his first out-of-the-country so I wanted him to really enjoy and remember this trip.

Birthday Bash with Family!

Cant get enough of my birthday posts (and expect more!) because this year had been the longest celebration I’ve had.

Since I was out-of -the-country on my birthday, I wasn’t able to celebrate with them. Though I promised not to be out on my birthday again (last year I was in Cebu with my bestest of friend and a couple of other friends), this year was a birthday gift from my partner, J.

Getting back in the office after a long vacay and other ‘celebs’ in the office and with friends, I was only able to schedule my celebration with them on the last day of June.

My sister asked that I just treat them out for lunch or dinner in Yakimix or other eat-all-you-can buffet. But I wanted to celebrate my birthday with our extended family and I wanted to celebrate at home. And this was the first time I was shouldering the expenses (hihi! it had always been Mom!).

I wanted everything ‘sourced out’ so we wont get tired preparing.  We ordered pancit and lenggua from Mommy G’s (concessionaire of   San Miguel’s EDR and the one J’s mom was managing).  But J requested for Shobe’s caldereta and so I asked Apple to cook for me.  I also wanted buttered shrimps and J cooked it for me.

The dinner was set at seven in the evening.  At around noon, we went to Megamall for some last-minute groceries and primarily to get the food from EDR.  Mom also bought cakes.  After we picked up Shobe at Cainta.

And because Yui was only a couple days away from his third birthday, I shared the party with him!

the celebrators : )

my birthday cake..again! from J’s Mom

Yui blowing his cake!

just a simple, private dinner

with J at the ‘cake station’

with family

as usual the Capistranos were late so they were missing from the group pic

June Happenings!

The month of June is my second favorite month after December!  Why June?!  Nah, I never dreamed to be a June bride nor because its the start of the rainy season!

Well, as my family and friends very well know, it is my birth month!

I was born June 18 a few decades ago (yes, thats how old I am!).  But this post is not about my special day, atleast not yet, particularly my birthday trip (more on that later..).  I will just summarize those happenings (well now that I think of them, most are related to my special day! hihi!).

EJ’s Birthday

It has been a yearly thing to celebrate my sister’s dog, EJ’s  birthday.  His actual birthday fell on a weekday so Shobe decided to hold it on a weekend.  But due to work, health and other reasons, only my Mom, my boyfriend J, and cousins were able to come.  We had lunch and after merienda in their house.

The Bosses’ Treat

The Bosses here at the Warehouse (Operations and PD/QA) received their Annual Incentive bonus in the first week of June.  And because we were able to hit the sales budget last year, they received the maximum benefit.  We had our buffet lunch in Sambokujin Eastwood.

LRP’s Midyear Treat

Like the Bosses, we also received a bonus last month, our midyear gratuity pay.  LRP, or Lianne, Rap & Pen, treated them in another buffet-style dining, this time at Don Day.  Don Day offers Korean food.  We enjoyed eating something called Samgyeopsal, or pork/beef wrapped in veggies with their own sauce.

Penny’s Despedida

On the day I returned to work after my vacation, we had a Despedida lunch for our QA Assistant, Penny.  Pen is migrating to Canda with her family so she has resigned.  We had lunch in one of the company’s favorites, Yakimix Podium.  We enjoyed the lunch what with the bantering amongst our side of the table.  And Pen being the Mom, she was delegated to cook our food.

our small group pic

the entire SMSCCI Team

the wacky-ish side of the Team

My Post-Mini Celebration @ the Warehouse

Our third-party toller, BMirk, surprised me with my favorites, Chippy & Coke, and a cake!

all-time faves

this year’s first birthday cake

In the morning of my first day back after my vacation, they were supposedly to surprise me with the above!  But I believe, I surprised them instead!  While they were all smiles and excited to give me their surprise (as I was later told), they were shocked not to see me in the office.  Well, I was already at the Warehouse and their Boss even saw me but I received a text message from my Superior delegating me to attend his AM meeting at Ugong.  And so the element of surprised vanished just like that! Hehe!

After our despedida lunch for Penny and stopping-by for a while at JMT, Rap, Kuya Jacob and I went back to the Warehouse.  We we got there, Aris also received a bilao of pancit from one of the truckers.  And so we had our mini celebration that afternoon!  Before I forget, Aris and Philip also contributed Ice Cream for me!

on our post celebration

I was really touched and grateful to my BMirk family for this treat.  Although I am not as mabait to them, I felt their love for me! : )

the wacky side of my Team

Mayang’s Birthday

The next day was Mayang’s, our Toller’s Warehouse Supervisor, birthday! Again, it was a happy day for us.  Mayang brought in her dad’s and grandmother’s specialties, estofado and lumpiang sariwa & empanada, respectively , while it was also our Inventory Count, Ian shared grilled chicken.  For merienda, Ms Cleo gave Mayang pancit habhab from Buddy’s.

LP’s Treat

Well, it has been a tradition in the Warehouse office to treat the Team on your birthday.  For this year, though, Penny shared with me as her despedida treat.  We just bought food from outside (such as daing na bangus, papaitan and grilled liempo).  We asked Ate Vicky to buy shrimps from Pasig Mega Market and we asked the canteen to cook it in butter.

Penny’s Despedida Part 2

This time, the despedida lunch was exclusive for the Warehouse team, a treat from Ms. Cleo!

We had lunch at Comida de China (formerly Panciteria de San Jacinto) at Ugong.  As the name implied, we partook of a Chinese food.

QA/PD and Supply Chain departments

without me : (
working as the official photographer

In the afternoon, BMirk gave Pen a surprise.  They prepared a presentation for her, showing her collage of pictures with Thanks To You by Andrea Martin as the background.  The toller’s office people after sang Thanks To You(the common song, cant remembert the artist).  They also gave her a board with messages of the production people.

Pen was really moved so she shed tears..

crying Pen! : )

Of course, this would not be a party without food!  Rap and I bought BBQ and ice cream.

Hanz’s Birthday

The third stop on this day was Hanz Fhrellie’s birthday dinner at their house in Taguig.  Except for Effer and of course the Bosses, everyone were present.  It was the first time for Hanz to invite us at their house on her birthday and first time for the SMSCCI family to go to the other’s house.

It was a fun night..

the birthday Girl blowing her cake

SMSCCI Team

the highlight of the night! hirap daw kaming i-entertain! : )

June birthday girls

These were the happenings and parties in June!  It was indeed a happy month!

There was another and final happening in June but deserved a separate post..

July 2012
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