I'm just a small fish in a small corner of this big Laguna, and this is how I've been swimming it

19 May, 2011

I heart Earth?

    A friend in another village found 6 copies of this brochure in her mailbox. I received mine electronically a week earlier. 6 pieces of glossy color paper. She says she received around 4-5 brochures for the Xavier school before.
    So much for loving the earth.

     Would love to attend something, but my schedule does not permit. Anyway, weekend traffic on the highway to Nuvali is a deterrent, and the crowd on the Solenad is getting too uncomfortable for me. Traffic jam is probably still not as bad as Metro Manila's, but it's enough for us residents to stay away.  Road improvements and corresponding advisories have begun, to Ayala land's credit.

Great Camp Out

12 May, 2011

McDonald's Laguna Bel-air

   This branch, at the corner of Laguna Bel-air's entrance and the Sta. Rosa-Tagaytay highway, used to be such a landmark and stopover for those heading to Tagaytay.  Well, it was for me at least, a pitstop (pee-stop) if we didn't stop by any of the gasoline stations along the SLEX (South Luzon Expressway).

   It is a cute and friendly little branch with a "Playplace" inside.  It is therefore also a party place. One drawback is the street boys selling sampaguita in the parking area, beggars, and pirated dvd vendors.  It has still retained most of its charm as a little neighborhood branch. Somehow, it feels more homey and cozy than those in Metro Manila in there.

   I'm trying not to consume too much of this fastfood too frequently, and try not to have the kid enjoy it too much too.  Thankfully the kid does not really look for it but just enjoys it when it's there.  I would rather avoid character themes for kids' birthdays, much less in fastfood joints whose philosophy is the louder the PA system, the better. I concede however, that having a themed birthday party in McDonald's is not too harmful and young celebrants really enjoy mascot costumes.  I would compromise and review the hosts' plans for music and games though.  McDonald's I guess finally realized that the original Ronald clown scared many kids and that young children are attracted to the baby-faced character with a big costume head and big eyes.

   Searching their corporate website for birthday party packages is not too helpful to the many moms searching. So I'm doing this out of compassion for mothers (because it's the mothers who usually prepare for this) who have to go out to the branch just to get ballpark figures and details.
  The party themes listed are not updated, there are no rates, and no contact numbers for branches.  So, here is some price information about the current packages in this branch :

   Themes aside from Ronald and the Gang:   Php 3,000
            Mickey Mouse Clubhouse
            Disney Princesses
            Toy Story
    Themes include gifts, invitation cards, party hats, traymats, balloons, giveaways, game prizes, a character appearance (choose between Baby Ronald and Birdie)

    Food packages (minimum 30 pax):
            1. Php 135   (with toy)
            2. Php 150  (with toy)
            3. Php  160 (with toy)
            4. Php 155

    There's also a "birthday partipid" promo until June 15, 2011, with freebies for food bills beginning at Php 5,000.
            Director's Chair, Pinata and Inflatable Bouncer

     Unlike Jollibee however, this McDonald's branch does not have a lunch hour party schedule.  The party times are 9-10:30 am, 1-2:30pm, 3-4:30pm and 5-6:30pm.

04 May, 2011

Services, shops and schools in the area

     Now this is what I really originally intended to do:  provide information, directions, a directory, and my own experiences with the shops and services around the area.  So far, with all the children of both expats and locals around, it is education and schools I am frequently asked about.  I have strong opinions about this (everyone does) which I prefer to discuss in another blog. So in this one, I will gather names and locations of schools/learning centers.  Philosophies and beyond will be in the other blog.

  I am quickly becoming a resource for expat wives who are not allowed to work and are therefore staying home.  Might as well post information I have been sharing with them, on this blog.  Soon.