food and bonding-filled birthday

I woke up Saturday morning with Hubby and my daughters still sleeping beside me. Since I didn’t have work that day, I just lay in bed, cherishing the early hours of the peace and quiet of the morning. After a while, my youngest stirred and soon she was on her tummy giving me a wide gummy grin. My husband followed shortly, and within a few minutes all of us were wide awake tickling each other and laughing just like the day before. By 7:30am, we started getting ready to go out.

We attended the 9 o’clock mass (celebrating Palm Sunday) at St. Mary’s, then we went to Ansar Gallery to pass away the time and because Yaya Juliet wanted to buy some things. A little after 11am, we headed to Asiana Hotel. I know I gave a not-so-good review about La Mesa here 2 years ago, but a lot of our friends and colleagues still enjoyed themselves, so we decided to try out their brunch.

The restaurant had expanded...meaning it became physically bigger. There was no more stage in front; in its place was the counter of salads, breads, sushi/maki, siomai and siopao, eggs, waffles, and I forgot what else. Behind that was a separate dining area for big-group diners or those celebrating special occasions.

I found the food pretty good this time (or maybe it was because I didn’t have anything for breakfast and I was really hungry. hahaha!). Mama and my sister were with us as well, and they also liked most of what they ate. There was creamed corn for soup, pansit canton, fried chicken, garlic rice, steamed rice, bangus (yay!), pork hotdogs, sisig, and crispy pata. Ate Ning kept returning for crispy pata every so often. I swear, if they allowed take-home, she’d bring that. Dessert was buko pandan, maja blanca, mango cheesecake, leche flan, and a few other sweet stuff. I didn’t get to taste the leche flan but Mama and Ate Ning said it was “hindi masarap” and “disappointing,” maybe because they were comparing it with Mama’s own recipe (honestly, she makes the best!) or maybe it was actually crème brulee? Drinks were included in the buffet, but only the coffee, tea, iced tea, pineapple juice and orange juice. All this for Dhs79 per head (Caila was still free). It’s good to know that even though they expanded, they didn’t increase the price.
family pic (without Caila)
masyadong madilim lang yung lighting sa La Mesa kaya hindi maganda ang picture
all girls
After lunch, since we were all so full and sleepy, we went home.

In the evening, Hubby and I went out. Mag-date daw kami at PF Chang’s in Dubai Mall. I know I said that the food is really delicious at PF Chang’s but I felt it was too soon to eat there again, and in my opinion, Dubai Mall was too far. When I asked him why that restaurant and why at Dubai Mall when there were other nearer branches, he replied “Gusto ko lang.” Ayos! ‘Di ba birthday ko? Ako dapat ang pipili ‘di ba? Nevertheless, since he was going to foot the bill, I agreed.

As we were walking towards the restaurant, I saw Ces (one of my SFC babies) standing near The Waterfall. She was talking in her mobile, but when she saw us, she immediately ended the conversation. And that’s when I felt there was something going on because as we were walking towards her, she kept looking at Hubby with a “Hala! Paano ‘to?!” look in her eyes. It had been a long time since we last saw each other, yet she was anxious to say goodbye. I didn’t want to spoil whatever they were planning so I just acted as if I didn’t have a clue.

As we were nearing the restaurant, Hubby said he needed to go to the washroom...and he took a long time. Yun na. Obvious na talaga. Less than 2 minutes lang yan mag-CR eh. And as I suspected, there WAS a surprise. He had organized a dinner get-together for me with my SFC babies and their significant others (unfortunately though, Carol’s fiancé and Joanne’s husband couldn’t make it) at PF Chang’s.

It was so good to see them again! I really missed those girls. They’ve all grown up so much since they were just members under me. Joanne, Leih and Mitch have all gotten married; Leih is expecting to give birth to her first baby in August, Mitch is a leader in SFC, along with her husband, and they’re members under Joanne and her husband. Carol is a leader in her chapter in SFC...which is amazing because when she was still a member, she rarely attended activities if they were held on Fridays. And Ces is becoming prettier and prettier, receiving gifts from suitors kahit nasa ibang bansa sila!
the hubbies
Another buking moment happened during the dinner. I was listening to what Carol was saying when I noticed she kept looking at the top of my head. So I looked behind me and there was our waiter with a huge slice of Great Wall of Chocolate, struggling to light the candle stuck on it. Inis na natatawa ang mga kasama ko dahil na-spoil ko uli yung surprise nila.
my birthday cake
Naturally, we had a great time of laughter and keeping up with each other’s lives. The food was delicious as expected, although the cake was a bit too rich for our taste.
gandang household
The entire day of my birthday was filled with food and bonding...with God in the morning, with my family in the afternoon, and with friends in the evening...at La Mesa and PF Chang's.  A great way to spend my special day.

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