FRIDAY—Met up with Sayoko (L), her son Yu, and her friend Junko (R) for lunch in Shibuya.

Sayoko and Junko

Meet Yu Hokazono.

Yu Hokazono

Sayoko always takes me to the most unexpected places with the best food.


This is Galali, a little two-story restaurant with a charming, rustic design using recycled wood.
This is downstairs


And the view from the 2nd floor, where we were seated.


This is Yu with the manager, Yohji


Specials of the day: I chose beef shabu-shabu


Waiting for food pics





Appetizers, rice, and miso soup came out fast


Then the most tender boiled beef on a bed of greens and dressing, topped with grated radish, sesame seeds and spring onions


Yohji brought out this book when I asked what the greens were called


So cute


Check out the greens called mizuna (do we have this in Manila?)


Wish I could eat like this everyday.


Yu ate this


And we’re done.


Seriously, one of the best meals I’ve had. Thank you for lunch!!


The Peninsula Tokyo

It’s my first time to stay here. I was really excited because its bathrooms are ranked as one of the World’s Best Hotel Bathrooms. We arrived at night

Hotel Entrance


Peninsula Tokyo

Checking in was a breeze


The rooms are amazing!!! I have a walk-in closet


A dresser


This is my mom’s dressing room


My room



Expresso Machine


Wanna see my bathroom?

Deluxe Room Bathroom

Listen, they weren’t kidding when they called it “world’s best.”


I love that shower seat


It has two sinks on opposite sides (not side by side). The one on the left


The one on the right. This is why I like counter sinks. Clean and simple. I really hate fancy bowl sinks.


And tonight I need a bath. With mood light, hehe. I can’t tell you how good this smells…

Bathroom Detail

Hello Tokyo!

I was supposed to be in Singapore with my boys. I was supposed to watch Chris Botti at Ayala Triangle. But when my mom mentioned Tokyo, I had a sudden change of plans.

My bags

Narita is an old airport, but thanks to upkeep and renovations, it’s not that bad. More functional than anything, but busy, busy


Spotted: Indian version of Pan Am.


Every public toilet here has extra rolls. Sana tayo din.



Had a quick snack while waiting for my sister to come out of interrogation (don’t ask)


At Narita your luggage can go up and down the escalator (just like Shopwise). My sister was shocked it could do that.


Even the public smoking areas are enclosed here


Waiting for the shuttle. Oops, one of my bags has bagteria :(


That’s my mom


(To be continued)

Uncle Hans

Our Dutch uncle Hans died yesterday in his home in Driebergen. He was 67.
I first met him in Holland in 2000, before Jeroen and I got married, when Jeroen’s mom passed away and he delivered a eulogy during Mass.
He was crazy, funny, lived life to the fullest, and loved to smoke and drink.
He made Jeroen’s mom laugh so much while she was in the hospital.

Uncle Hans

He first came to the Philippines in November 2000, for our wedding. After that we would come often and stay with us.
He would cook Jeroen’s favorite dish, hachee, whose smell drove me insane when I was pregnant.

Dutch Hachee with mashed potatoes
Dutch hachee, pronounced “ha-shay”

He loved coming to the Philippines and hanging out with Jeroen until he contracted a mysterious disease on his leg, which they couldn’t figure out in the Netherlands.
He thought he got it in the Philippines and was afraid to come back. But I didn’t think so. I wanted to bring him back here and have him treated and taken care of at home, but he never made it back.
I cannot remember the last time I saw him. Maybe it was 2005. This was taken in Kimpura.

Thinking of Uncle Hans

He was devoted to Our Lady. I gave him a beautiful statue of Our Lady, which he took home to Holland. On one of his trips he also brought back a Christmas parol to Holland.

hans huis
Uncle Hans (L) in his home with Opa

I woke up this noon when Jeroen came home for lunch, and he told me that Uncle Hans had died in his bed at home.
He didn’t die from the skin disease, but basically poor health.
I truly wish he had died in his sleep and that Our Lady and Jeroen’s mom welcomed him to heaven.
It felt like Steve Jobs all over again, just a dark feeling of gloom and sadness. Jeroen and I went to the 6 PM mass today where I cried for Uncle Hans as I want to say I’m sorry for my shortcomings. I’m sorry I cannot hug you and hear you say “ik hou van jou.” But most of all, we miss and thank you for all the help and love you gave our family.

Ano daw?

I’m not laughing at the beauty contestant. I’m laughing at KC Montero, who tries to keep a straight face while the beauty contestant struggles with a very difficult question (hell, even I couldn’t answer it). Kawawa naman si KC!!


So, so sorry!

Dear kind reader,
I was able to fix my comments counter by myself. It took hours of trial and error. But God is good. I prayed and He helped me.
During the process, I discovered just a few hours ago that I had hundreds of pending comments that I had never seen before. I was able to approve up to 30 days only. The rest are probably gone. And all I can say is, sayang.
There were days I wondered how come not much comments were coming in, when all the while they were there, hiding under a “pending” button I had never bothered to click before. And for that, I am so, so sorry.
I’m sorry I didn’t see your comments, but I’m more sorry for myself because sayang ang comments.
The Disqus commenting feature seems to be more complicated than it looks.

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