got only about an hour worth of sleep yesterday since we had to start the day early to pick up my brother from the airport. he was flying in from new york and his flight arrived 30mins early, a rare feat from our chronically late flag carrier, PAL.
my insomnia was still at it at 3am that morning and by 4, my mom came in to my room to inform me that the expected arrival time of my bro's flight was at 530. i decided to just get up and take a shower and just consider this the beginning of my day. there has to be some good that will come out of this, i though to myself.
we got to the airport at about 545am and in no time, was able to collect my brother with no hassle. one thing i'm thankful for with PAL is since you guys have an entire terminal to yourselves, finding ppl don't necessarily take that long. we were out of there in 30mins or so and were back home in less than an hour, thankfully, roads are free on sundays considering it is the holiday season already. it also helped that i was driving at about 630am so a lot of the idiots who will make manila the sore that it is are still asleep.
we went to our church meeting later that day. met all the old faces that i haven't seen in a long time and had the greetings that is expected of a balikbayan. answered a couple of questions and kissed a couple of cheeks, after-meeting hobnobbing i guess. it was nice seeing so many of the same faces again all at once, yet i also saw a lot of new faces, as well as missed a lot of the old faces who were not there anymore. now i think to myself, i have material to last me hours on a get-together meeting with old friends, when that happens...
we had lunch out that day upon the suggestion of my brother at this chinese restaurant my mom recommended. the food was ok i guess, nothing spectacular but definitely filling. again, the activity did not take center stage, rather, it was the people who i was with that mattered more to me. we had cold cuts, hotpot spareribs, steamed hammour, sauteed broccolis, shrimp balls, winter melon soup and the ubiquitous chinese noodles.
after getting home from lunch, my brother wanted to bring me to the mall we frequented every week, back when i was still here, re-establishing old practices i guess. we went to greenbelt just to see what's new. coming from dubai and my brother from new york, two of the hippest shopping destinations in the world, both of us kind of had a good reference to assess if the local market can compete with other places as far as selection and prices are concerned. i'm glad to say we are not that far behind. selection wise, we have almost everything in the market people "are willing to spend on". sure the super hi-end fashion labels are not here yet (Dior, Dolce and Gabbana, Emporio Armani, etc.) but at least, the one's that count are (LV, Gucci, Marc Jabobs, Prada, DKNY, etc.) with the completion of GB5 where most of these brands will be housed, i'm sure the lure will be enough to make these other labels reconsider tapping into the local market and milk these posh snobs dry!!!! hahahaha, ehem. here are the store currently open and will be opening at GB5 (photos courtesy of the fash pack, www.thefashpack.blogspot.com)
we ended our "mall tour" with a nice japanese dinner at Sugi. when i say nice, i mean "eating like there's no tomorrow at a japanese resto since if it's japanese, it's healthy so you could stuff yourself like the binging pig that you are and not feel guilty!!!!", nice. we kinda over-ordered and had too much on our table by the time all the orders came in. instead of having good conversation, my brother and i (mostly I) were busy gobbling down the food so the plates could be cleared for more table space. it was a small 60 x 60 table for two that obviously under performed. my brother told me later that the patrons sitting on the next table beside us were watching us eat. they were 3 on their table and only ordered a fraction of what we were consuming. i guess the have never seen 2 starving orientals before.
overall, sunday was great. i got to spend quality time with family and got to see old places again. i got to see old friends and have a new appreciation of the life that i had before dubai. to cap my sunday off, i got to talk to vikki's sister, who was in the country from HK. we had a blast chatting about life and plans for the future. i remember having great conversations with her last time we met in dubai when she came to visit vikki. she'll be leaving today for HK again and hopes that i can see her in HK before the year end. she promised to take me around!!! :) hopefully, i can take advantage of the promise. have to start getting my life in order!!!!
on a side note. my deepest condolences to frances joy and dennis on the tragic lose of their mom. she was a kind woman and a person greatly loved by all. even in her frailty, she exuded strength and greatly kindness. we all miss her. May the Lord grant your family strength and peace in this time of great sadness.