Friday, May 30, 2014


My cousin Jeanne's college friend, Dr. Ingking invited me for a night out in Manhattan, and she chose a very interesting place, Serendipity 3 or Serendipity III! (I always confuse it with Serependity!)

What does Serendipity mean?

Actually, my friend Gretch also thought of inviting me to this place if in case I haven't been there.

The cozy place is located at 225 East 60th St. between Second and Third Ave. in New York City, founded by Stephen Bruce in 1954, and this is how it looks from the outside!

Dr. Ingking got an appointment for us at 6:00 p.m. because she knows the queue is quite long if one didn't have that.

Isn't the place whimsical?... and so interesting!

They had a really large menu... and here are some samples:
From Wikipedia: In 2004, Serendipity celebrated its fiftieth anniversary by introducing the record-breaking Golden Opulence Sundae, listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the most expensive dessert, at $1000. It is made with 5 scoops of the Tahitian vanilla bean ice cream,Madagascar vanilla covered in 23K edible gold leaf, drizzled with the world's most expensive chocolate, Amedei Porcelana, and covered with chunks of Chuao chocolate, which is from cocoa beans harvested by the Caribbean Sea on Venezuela's coast. It is suffused with exotic candied fruits from Paris, gold dragets, truffles and Marzipan Cherries and topped with a tiny glass bowl of Grand Passion Caviar, an exclusive dessert caviar, made of salt-free American Golden caviar, known for its sparkling golden color. It's sweetened and infused with passion fruit, orange, and Armagnac. The sundae is served in a baccarat Harcourt crystal goblet with an 18K gold spoon, a petite mother of pearl spoon, and topped with a gilded sugar flower by Ron Ben-Israel. 
We got the Lemon Sole with the Garden Salad on the side...

 And the Seafood Fettucine...

And the highlight is the dessert, which is the Hot Frozen Chocolate!
And someone offered to take our picture... the Filipino young kids who were sitting beside us!

Thanks, Dr. Ingking for a very wonderful dinner topped with the special dessert!

JICA Science 1987: MEETING OLD FRIENDS IN U.S.A. @ 2014

I happened to be in New York for Continuing Medical Education activities for two weeks and the best part was meeting up with old friends.

The first set of friends I met were fellow Philippine delegates to the Friendship Program for the 21st Century, which we participated in last May to June 1987. Our group was the Philippine Science Students and many of us were Medical students (19), Dentistry students (2) and Engineering students (4), with a total of 25 Science students.

We all agree that our participation to the Friendship Program was a surreal experience especially to us, young students then! We had the time of our life with the beautiful places all over Japan that we went to, the cultural exchange and discussions, homestays and of course, long lasting friendships we made with our Filipino co-delegates and Japanese tomodachi, who were our Japanese counterparts!

After 25 years, a few of us met in the Philippines when Dr. Ed Catibog came home and interestingly, Dr. Jon Abaquin was able to gather Dr. Monina Garduno, Dr. Jessica Mateum (from Iloilo now in Manila) and me (from Cebu now in Zamboanga)!

This year, after 27 years, I met three of them in New York, Dr. Emil Tayag (from Pampanga now in Illinois),  Dr. Gretchen Ira (From Quezon City now in D.C.) and dentist, Dr. Oliver Fernandez (from Manila now in San Francisco).

I know how difficult it is to gather us, who now happen to be in different parts of the world and many, with growing kids!

Here are some of our before and after photo collages: 
Dr. Emil is now a Neurosurgeon in Illinois!
Gretch and Emil - - - really didn't change much in appearance!

with celebrity dentist, Dr. Oliver in SF, but has a Sensodyne commercial (nangingilo) spoofed by Michael V. in Bubble Gang!

Gretch and me...we were several pounds lighter then! (LOL)

Dr. Emil looks very Japanese!

another set with Dr. Oliver, who happened to be our leader then...
also saw him in San Francisco!

Emil, Gretch, Oliver and I went around Manhattan:
***from Courtyard Marriot at 30th Street
we have the view of the Freedom Tower from the hotel window!...
the Tower has risen again after 9/11

***to Greenwich Village (Bleeker Street) 
with the Magnoilia Bakery Blueberry cheesecake!
***to Times Square

***to the Rockefeller Center

***to Macy's and Uniqlo at 34th Street and Sixth Ave.
Gretch "obsessed" with Uniqlo!...
Omiyage kudasai!!!
*** to Columbus Circle.

~~~while walking around and also riding the New York subways!

... And the rain did catch up with us!!!

Gretch must find me too weird... taking her "picucha" (picture!)
even if it was really raining hard as we walked back to the hotel! 

Oliver also got caught up in the New York traffic due to the rain with risk of "flash flooding" according to advisory! (credits: Oliver's photos)
What a fun time we had together... just seemed like yesterday!

And then, I was so glad to meet my dear friend, Dr. Karen Cruz in San Francisco, too!

We ate at a wonderful Peruvian restaurant, Puerto 27
at Pacifica, CA until the restaurant closed for the night!

... The 27 in Puerto 27 seems to be timely for the 27 years!

It is indeed fortunate to be given the chance to have a fabulous reunion with old friends you haven't seen in decades, and find out that deep inside, they really haven't change that much in terms of the attitude, zest and enthusiasm for life (no wonder we were chosen Philippine delegates!) together with the success each one has attained in their family life or in their professions!

One day I hope that there would indeed be a grand reunion for JICA Science Students 1987!

Monday, May 12, 2014


A different Mother's Day experience I did have this May 11, 2014 and that was by "exploring Queen's Filipino culinary restos" (to borrow from friend, Randy A.)

Today, I requested my friend, Jason D. to orient me around the NYU Langone area so I don't get lost on my first day there.

Fortunately, I got to see more of New York when he invited me and another friend for lunch at Tito Rad's Grill in Woodside.
Owner Toti was apologetic since they just moved to a newer, more posh and larger restaurant close by last April 30... and that was just a few days ago and begged for understanding for the adjustment period, which also happened to be in time for a very busy Mother's Day!

interestingly, the very kind gentleman who took our pictures, Arty C. also happened to be from Cebu... a cousin of our high school classmate ...and a Nurse practitioner (just like Jason) at that!
It is indeed a small world!

We were so full and satisfied... and forgiving for some little things which we would attribute to the very busy adjustment period! 

Then, we decided to go to another place... another Filipino dining place!!!

No! We didn't come for the buffet!!!

But we did have this!

the halo-halo matches my kaleidoscope dress!
Along the way, we saw these very nice scenes...

It is Mother's Day!

Here are roses and beautiful flowers for all the Mothers!!!

♥♥♥Happy Mother's Day!!!♥♥♥