Does anybody care about the food choices in NAIA?

I’ve been quiet about NAIA for a while. Not because I haven’t been traveling. I’ve just been waiting for things to happen, since a huge budget was supposedly approved for its renovation.
If they have already started, I can’t really tell. I’ve given up using the restrooms there. I just try to hold it in until I’m boarded on the plane.
Last November 1st, I was back at NAIA Terminal 1, on my way to Japan. I didn’t need to use the toilet, thank God. But I was hungry. There is no food in NAIA by the way.
First I checked out the offerings at the Japan Airlines Lounge.

NAIA Terminal 1

All they had were some sad little sandwiches

NAIA Terminal 1

and a this jar of peanuts. And some butter.

NAIA Terminal 1

I decided to check out the drinks. They had unchilled drinks in a refrigerator that wasn’t doing its job (no offence to Coke!).

NAIA Terminal 1

I had 20 minutes till boarding, so I stepped outside in search of food. First stop: Kalayaan Snack Bar.

NAIA Terminal 1

I was craving for siomai. But listen, do NOT order siomai at Kalayaan Snack Bar. I got four hard balls soaked in soy sauce. When I stuck my plastic fork into it, I swear the fork almost broke.
I didn’t eat it. I did return it to the staff and left to look for another option.
I found this bizarre “food court” in a waiting area.
Now check out the carpet. I do hope they allot some budget to remove this unappetizing carpet.

NAIA Terminal 1

Here are your food choices:
1) Bo’s Coffee

NAIA Terminal 1

2) Sweet Ideas Cafe

NAIA Terminal 1

3) Transit Snack (I have no idea why it’s dark)

NAIA Terminal 1

but this is where they sell those banned Korean noodles a cancerous ingredient

NAIA Terminal 1

4) Here’s where I ended up buying siomai

NAIA Terminal 1

It had no taste, but at least it was hot and a squeeze of calamansi made it bearable.

NAIA Terminal 1

5) I have no idea

NAIA Terminal 1

6) Oh, and the darkest eatery had the most people—maybe because they had seating


Meawnhile, check out some of the food I had in other airports, such as Saboten in Hong Kong


Shrimps in salted egg, Hong Kong

Shrimps in salted egg

Xiao long bao, Hong Kong

Xiao Long Bao

Beef Bowl, Narita

Beef bowl, Narita

Tori karaage and fries at Narita

Airport snack

Fried chicken wings and crispy pandan, Bangkok

Fried chicken wings with crispy pandan

Mango and sticky rice, Bangkok

Sticky rice and mango at the airport

Breaded shrimp at McDonald’s Schipol

Fried shrimp at McDonald's Schipol

Hot wings and fries, Singapore

Hot wings and fries

With so many food choices in Manila, why can’t we have some Cibo, Bizu, Dulcinea, Pepper Lunch, or even Jollibee, KFC or McDonald’s inside NAIA?
Don’t you wish the Ayalas would run the airport instead, so it would have restrooms like Greenbelt 5? Or why not hire someone like Malu Pineda to run the show like Powerplant Mall?

To whomever is in charge of renovating the airport:
The airport is the first and last thing a foreigner sees when they visit a country. If a foreigner sees a disgusting airport, it will set the mood for that person’s stay. It will stay in their memory.
You want to make money from tourism? You need to draw in decent tourists with money.
People with taste and money will have no desire to visit our country with this kind of airport. Just look at the people sitting around in the “food court” photos I took—what are they thinking??

Amazing weight loss captured on an iPhone

This October I went on this crazy diet that’s been difficult to stay on. One month later I’ve lost 6 lbs.
I’m not ready to share what I’m doing until I’ve reached my weight goal, which is another 7-10 lbs. to go.
Everyday is a struggle to think about what to eat and say no to things that will contribute to weight gain.
Six lbs. means a lot to my small frame. I feel satisfied when my clothes feel loose and my face looks thinner.
I’m not getting younger so I really need to watch my food, instead of eating to my heart and stomach’s content.

I get even more inspired whenever I see pictures of women who have won the battle of the bulge.
Julia Kozerski is an American photographer whose work explores universal themes of beauty, body-image, and identity. Following her wedding in July 2009, she decided to make a lifestyle change in order to lose weight.
During the year that followed, she successfully lost over 160 pounds. This, she documented in a series of iPhone photos titled Changing Room.


Nearly 200 images were taken, and I borrowed only nine.
Wanna see the rest of it? See the complete series HERE.

Poliform opens in Makati

Time flew. Nine years passed by quickly since we moved into our house.
I’m a firm believer in updating, so our house is in constant renovation. There’s always something that needs to be fixed. I’m running out of ideas.
And now that the older boys are in their tweens, they’re no longer using the playroom downstairs. Who would’ve thought a simple iPad would replace all the toys we had amassed since they were little?

Right now we are fixing the roofdeck which has been a problematic source of leaks.
There are termites in one part of the house. Ceiling fans and floors have to be replaced, etc.
Two of the things I really want to change are the closets in our dressing room and our broken kitchen.
Both are falling apart.

Last month, on my way to browse for furniture at the LRI Plaza, I saw this building coming up on Nicanor Garcia Street in Makati.


I knew Poliform as an expensive Italian brand online, but have never been inside a showroom.
Luckily my cousin knew the owners. I was invited to a preview before they opened to the public last week.
I found out Ed Calma was behind the showroom design. Aside from Poliform furniture and closets, it also showcases Varenna kitchens.


Downstairs are the living room furniture and kitchens


The kitchens make me cry because they cost around 6 million to build (read: impossible dream)

Varenna kitchens

The kitchens are so beautiful, they were designed for display—as in open kitchens that are trendy now.

Varenna kitchens
Varenna kitchens

We went upstairs and saw expensive beds.


I asked about the wooden stool, one of the simplest things I couldn’t afford. I think they said Php 80,000++!


Moving along…it was the closets that really made me want to cry.
Back in 2005, I thought these Philux see-through closets were heaven, even though they look ghostly (read: parang may mumu). The thought of seeing my bag collection behind glass appealed to me.

Glass closet by Philux

Now check out Poliform’s see-through closet!


That small section is estimated at Php 900,000! I felt my heart sink as I would need at least three of that to store my current collection. I can’t justify a closet that costs more than my clothes.
They are really gorgeous though, if you can afford it, with other finishes to choose from.


But for me, it’s just a dream to have a closet that looks like a store. And you?


POLIFORM is at 219 Nicanor Garcia Street, Makati City, Philippines
Tel: +63 2 804.2776 • 804.2778

About the nanny

Last night I couldn’t sleep thinking about Kevin and Marina of New York, whose two children were killed by the nanny in their Manhattan home, while Kevin was on a flight back to the city and Marina was taking care of their other child, Nessie.

Marina and Kevin Krim in December 3, 2009 (Photo: Patrick McMullan)

Kevin and Maria Krim had three children: Leo was 2, Nessie is 3, and Lucia was 6.


When Leo was born they decided to hire a nanny based on the recommendation of the nanny’s sister, whom Marina met at her daughter’s ballet class.
Yoselyn Ortega, 50, had been working for the Krim family for two years. She was treated like family, and the Krim family even flew to the Dominican Republic to meet Ortega’s family.
Here’s what happened to them on October 25, Thursday.

Lots of thoughts came to my mind:

1) Aside from the shock I felt as a mom, I also felt relief that the nanny isn’t Filipino. I dread the repercussions on countless Filipino nannies all over the world, if ever the evil nanny turned out to be Filipino.
2) I was trying to think what would motivate Yoselyn Ortega to kill the children. I’ve heard that some yayas (Filipino for nanny) take revenge on their wards whenever they feel resentment towards their employers. This was one of the speculations I read about last night.
3) I thought about some of my friends and relatives who left their careers abroad to raise their children here, where a village can really raise one child. Here there are many arms willing to hold a baby or child.
4) I thought about my own experience with four different yayas who had hurt my children—the horror stories ranged from the pinching to the dunking of the head in the toilet bowl. I don’t know for sure, and I don’t want to know. I don’t want to think or talk about it anymore.
5) Grateful as I am to the good yayas we’ve had, I’m also relieved whenever one of my kids grow old enough not to need one.
6) Yoselyn Ortega was the Krim’s first nanny. I know it’s really hard to get a nanny in New York, unlike here. But there is safety in numbers. It’s better if a nanny can also get relieved by another nanny or maid. I wouldn’t leave my children alone with only one person, that’s why I like to hire many people.
7) If you see many red flags, or if something doesn’t look or feel right, get rid of them. Many witnesses said Yoselyn Ortega seemed cold and distant. Go by your gut feel and get rid of people with bad vibes.
8) Even the best yayas have expiration dates. Some of them start out nice and sweet. You feel so grateful, you treat them like family. You spoil them and raise their salary. You give them many perks. And then after a few years they change. They’re not so nice and sweet anymore to you and your kids. You see the red flags. Don’t be afraid to let go.
9) Listen to your friends and relatives. If one of them hears or sees something wrong with how your yaya is treating your child, take heed. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
10) Countless other thoughts, many of them I can’t write about. I prayed for Marina Krim last night before falling asleep. The Krims will be in my thoughts and prayers in the days to come. I hope they find answers to their questions. I hope justice will be served. I hope they find peace. I know children cannot be replaced, but I do hope they’ll be blessed with new babies.

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