February 14, 2018. We went to Malolos after lunch because I promised my balikbayan aunt-ninang that I will help her fix her SSS pension that was stopped in 2014 pa because she failed to update with SSS. But before we left, we Facetimed Daddy for our mandatory VDay family picture lol.
I haven't been to Malolos (my father's hometown) in a long time. The last time I visited was in November 2013, a few days before I migrated to Canada, to say goodbye to my grandfather. That was the last time I saw him because he died three weeks before I gave birth to Nathan. I deliberately avoided going there na after because of some familial issues. I chose to stay away because I wanted peace.
Hindi ko lang talaga matiis ang ninang ko (who's been so good to us when I was still a baby) kaya bumalik ako to help her. Kaso hindi pa rin namin naayos ang SSS niya kasi ang dami pang kailangang gawin. Hay, bureaucracy!
After going to the SSS, ayun simula na ng drama. Sabi ko na nga ba magkaka-issue na naman. My cousin kasi is getting married in church this February 25 (kaya nagdadatingan ang mga balikbayan kong kamag-anak from the US) and I opted not to attend to avoid some people. I don't want to be put in an awkward situation sa event na dapat happy happy lang. Basta ang seryoso ng sitwasyon kasi. I explained myself to my cousin and asked for his understanding (which he gave naman when we chatted). Pero ayun, isyu pala sa tito ko. Basta me dramahan pang nangyari. Napunta pa sa "invitation" issue kasi hindi nabigyan ang nanay ko. But I am glad I was able to air my side. Bahala na sila dun.
Before going home, we dropped by another aunt's new house beside my grandparent's. Retired na yung tita ko na yun (pati asawa niya syempre) sa California kaya pabalik-balik na lang sila sa Pilipinas. Among all my aunts and uncles (my parents included), they are the luckiest. They have lots of money (and houses!), their 4 children are all educated and successful, they are in good health, they have inheritance, they have so many friends, and they love each other dearly. Napaka-ideal talaga. #Relationshipgoals kumbaga.
My aunt (the one I helped with SSS) just recently divorced and is in currently in limbo on what to do with her life. She said the formula for my lucky aunt's good life is that he found a good and responsible man who truly loves and adores her. That's my opinion, too. Madaling maging successful ang marriage ng Pinoy kung devoted ang lalaki kasi culturally, hindi naman magloloko ang babae kung maayos ang pamilya niya (although this trend is probably changing na rin haha).
We went home a few minutes before 5pm at nagsisimula ng maging busy ang paligid. Valentine's Day nga kasi. When we reached the Bocaue exit (of NLEX), I called Mamoosh and asked her to get ready because I wanted to eat out to celebrate the day. Haha, like what I keep on mentioning on this blog, I like all occasions to be celebrated kahit simple lang.
And because of traffic, I was afraid to go far na. Puno na rin ang SM Marilao for sure kaya ayaw ko ng makipagsiksikan. Ayaw ko rin naman mag-Jollibee o McDonald's kasi umay na umay na kami dun. I am glad there's a newly opened diner sa kanto namin (along McAurthur Highway), pwede na dun. Super lapit lang niya, lalakarin nga lang haha.
It was only past 6pm so hindi pa gaanong maraming tao when we came. Marami pang vacant tables. Self-service pala sila.
Medyo malaki yung diner (dati itong bar) at may segregated areas. My booths sa gilid, merong parang pang-Japanese style na upo lang sa sahig, merong bar-type tables, at meron ding 'normal' tables.
I realized, sana may ganito na 2 years ago when we threw a grand party for Nathan's baptism and first birthday. I would seriously consider this place for reception kasi nga enclosed, may aircon, at may play area pa ang kids. Ang laki pa sana ng natipid namin.
By the way, meron din silang area for kawaii merchandise. I was surprised kasi ang cheap ng items nila. May pagka-Korean fanatic yata yung dalawang girls na may-ari ng place.
Here's their simple menu:
I find the prices ok, pero syempre dito sa probinsya eh mahal na yan hehe. Lalo na kapag di ka sanay kumain sa labas (like my Mamoosh lol).
My mother let me do the ordering. And I made bad choices.
I order calamares (na favorite ko)...
Sweet and sour pork...
And fried chicken (because di ko matiis na hindi i-order si Tantan).
Waaah, puro may balat! Yung 3 dishes na yan plus 3 cups of plain rice and 1 can of coke zero already cost us Php930. Mahal kasi di kami nabusog haha! Sana nag-Kenny na lang kami (kaso nga lang malayo at punuan).
The diner was self-service so I paid right after I ordered. Mano-mano lang sila (parang soft-opening pa lang kasi sila) and I forgot to ask if they honor the senior citizen discount.
The owner-cashier handed this to me together with my change. Oh at least nagka-flower pa rin ako ng Valentine's haha.
Mamoosh and me.
I made the greatest mistake of ordering fried chicken. Php365 for 10 pieces. Small pieces lang talaga sila na may makakapal na breading na sobrang tigas.
Hindi rin gaanong nakakain si Nathan because he was so distracted. He wanted to go back to the play area na.
Failed man ang food, at least happy naman ang bata! This play area was actually the main reason why I wanted to eat there. Nakikita ko kasi palagi sa labas.
Seeing them like this gave me so much happiness. I love my mother and my son dearly and equally. Sabi ng marami, ang pinakamamahalin mo raw na tao sa mundo ay ang anak mo. Ewan ko, pero parang pantay ang pagmamahal ko sa kanila, I swear.
Pero dahil sya ang bata, every occasion is now for him.
For his happiness.
Buti na lang may batang sobrang likot na dumating at natamaan ng balls si Nathan sa ulo kaya when Mamoosh told him (Nathan) na aalis na kami, dali-dali namang sumunod ang bagets. Ayaw niya ng batang magulo eh haha. Si Mamoosh naman medyo "napikon" din sa kalikutan nung bata kaya ayaw ng pag-stay-in pa dun ang apo niya.
By the time we left, sobrang punong-puno na ang diner. May mga umalis na nga rin dahil wala ng tables. Konti lang ang servers nila so sobrang ngarag na sila (wala pang tip kasi nga pay as you order nga). Wait time for food was at least an hour already. Marami talagang nagse-celebrate ng Valentine's hehe.
I ordered mocha frappe pero paalis na kami ay wala pa rin. I cancelled na lang. TanTan was expecting it so I just suggested that we buy ice cream at Jollibee na lang (nag-drive thru kami). Gustong-gusto kong magpunta sa Starbucks kaso nga ang dami namang tao siguro.
I texted my husband that night and demanded that they (he and Nathan) give me gifts na next Valentine's. Mahirap na lumaki si Nathan na hindi ako nireregaluhan haha! Sayang kasi nga dalawang Valentine's Day na kaming nagcelebrate dito sa Pinas. My husband jokingly said na dapat may gift din ako sa kanya. I argued na girls lang naman usually ang binibigyan ng gifts sa family. Uso lang bigyan ng gift ang lalaki pag bf-gf pa lang. Pero as I observe sa FB news feed, puro wives, mothers, sisters, and daughters lang naman ang may gift from their family members.
We were about to sleep na when I realized na wala pala kaming selfie ng favorite boylet ko. Game na game talaga siya sa peechuran. =)
And just like that, natapos na naman ang isang araw ng mga puso. Pang-apat na Valentine's Day ko na ito with TanTan. =)