Sunday, May 15, 2016

Philippines Vacation - Days 11, 12, and 13 (Rod Marfil, Tim Ho Wan, NKTI, Auntie Fermonaira, Auntie Faida, Tes Marfil

Dinner with Auntie Faida
Day 11 – Rodrigo Marfil then Dinner at Tim Ho Wan           
Thursday, Day 11 - The day after checking out the condo in Cubao, my brother Larry was off from work and he drove me around Quezon City to show me where places I knew used to be. He also took me to an area with high rise condos and shopping centers way past Ateneo de Manila University. The name of the location escapes me now. He brought me there because Ninette mentioned the previous night that some of her colleagues may be moving and selling their condos. Nice location but I had already made up my mind about not buying.
Rod Marfil at FilMar Auto Trends
We then visited one of our cousins- Rodrigo Marfil at his automotive repair shop. I didn’t recognize him at first because he had lost so much weight. Apparently, he got sick a few years back and never gained his normal weight back. Last time I saw him was in high school where he was the bass and snare drummer for the Notre Dame of Jolo Boy’s Department band. His claim to fame at the time was that he was never absent from school from elementary all through high school. After reminiscing briefly about our days in Jolo, we bid him goodbye. Interesting note: Rod and all of his brothers and sisters have been single all their lives.
Tim Ho Wan dimsum
Larry and Ninette had planned on doing some grocery shopping in Trinoma, another shopping center a few miles away. I thought we were going to do that, then go home to have dinner. I asked them if we could find a place for a snack between then and dinner but they said that we were going to have dinner at a place called Tim Ho Wan, a Michelin Star awardee. Larry went to do the grocery shopping while Ninette and I went to SM (Shoemart) so I could buy more pastillas to take back to the U.S. 
Afterwards, we proceeded to Tim Ho Wan and was seated shortly thereafter. While waiting for Larry, we checked out the menu and Ninette told me what their specialty was. The award they received was mainly due to their meat bun (bao or pao or siopao) which instead of having a soft covering, had a crusty one. Larry was stuck in the grocery store so we ordered ahead. Larry arrived a few minutes later. I had been hankering for congee for a while now, so I had that for starters. We ordered the meat buns, chicken feet, and others that I no longer remember. If I find the receipt later, I’ll just add it to the list. I had to agree that the crusty bun was very good and it was the first time I’ve tried what they call Adidas (the chicken feet). Well, that was indeed a great meal and while I’m no foodie, I think the Michelin star was well deserved. We brought home some of the meat buns for the others who weren’t able to join us.

Day 12 - NKTI & Lunch with Auntie Ferm
On Friday, day 12, we took Pilaring (Ninette’s mom) to see a doctor at the National Kidney and Transplant Institute for blood tests and an X-ray since she had been having an ongoing cough. NKTI was where Larry had his dialysis and kidney transplant 2 years ago. Ninette is his donor. While Pilaring’s tests were being done, I did my workout by walking along the perimeter of the hospital and even ventured out in the traffic of East Avenue. Then I went inside the hospital to look for Larry, Pilaring, and Vangie.
Lunch with Auntie Ferm and Alain
For lunch, we had arranged to meet with Auntie Fermonaira Carpizo Labiano at a Thai restaurant in SM Aura. Auntie Ferm is a retired nurse from Abu Dhabi who now lives near SM Aura. She is a very animated woman whose walk reminded me so much of her mom, Lola Taram. A few minutes later, one of her sons, Alain, arrived and joined us. Auntie Ferm seemed to know everyone in the mall and joked with the owner of the restaurant and the servers, and did the same when we later went for coffee at another restaurant. She cooked and brought us a special Tausug dish called pianggang which we took home afterwards. Thank you so much for the pianggang Auntie Ferm, as we rarely get the chance to eat it anymore.
After saying out goodbyes, we went to pick up Robynne from her school in Makati, then returned home.

Day 13 - Early Dinner with Auntie Faida
On Saturday, Day 13, I pretty much lost track of what I did in the morning, but in mid afternoon, Larry and I drove to Maharlika Village in Taguig to meet with Auntie Faida Carpizo, an older sister of Auntie Ferm. She was going to serve us more Tausug food along with another cousin, Tes Marfil who lived with her. She first served us daral for snacks and when Tes came later, she had the satti and pastil. They also had cucumbers and sambal, plus more pianggang cooked by Auntie Faida this time. Our cousin Farid, who owns the house came home shortly along with Alain whom we met the previous day. I haven’t seen Farid since he was a little boy and still living with his parents in Quezon City back in the early 70’s. With smiles all around, photos were taken and the food was enjoyed by all. Thanks for the feast, Auntie Faida, Tes, and Farid.
Satti, pianggang, pastil, and sambal

Meanwhile, Larry was getting phone calls from home about Pilaring having some sort of medical episode, so we had to leave Maharlika Village and head back to NKTI to meet with Ninette, Pilaring, Robynne, and Vangie at the doctor’s clinic. Pilaring’s lab results and X-ray indicated pneumonia so she was ordered to stay at home and rest. She was none too pleased with that since there were plans to go to Tagaytay the next day.

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