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

20 October, 2012

Säntis Delicatessen in Paseo de Santa Rosa

...is now open. It is where the restaurant Poquito Mas used to be.  European expats are probably pleased. They do not have to go to the Alabang or the Silang branches.  This branch seems to have most of what the other branches have.  But the Rockwell branch is still the most inviting, in our humble opinion. Perhaps because it stands in a charming cluster of cafes. Or does it still? I have not been there in three years.

   Anyway...I saw bunches of giant leeks in the new branch. 

18 October, 2012

Transfer your voter registration!


     I've never really looked closely at the logo of the COMELEC before, hmm. 

     Anyway, a quick post to remind kababayans that the deadline for voter registration looms. It is on October 31, 2012.  And like many people, I completely ignored or forgot to do what I had to do until the last minute.  It took the village's reminder, and a realization that I've been in Santa Rosa more than long enough to qualify for a transfer of my records.

     I found an article on the Manila Bulletin published in 2009, when the writer also transferred her records to this city.  She said the process is easy, it just takes a lot of patience.  I know the patience thing from my family, who really suffered the queue in their city. My sister, after standing in line for half the day (and not having gotten to the first step), went home to eat and line up again. I think it even took her two days fo finish. 

    Here are my bullets for you who are also new to Sta. Rosa.

    1.  Go on any day from Monday to Friday. Saturdays they are in barangays.  Saturday October 20 they will be in Bgy. Don Jose.  I don't know what the other schedules are.
    2.  The Comelec office is in the Gusaling Batasan...it is the small building across the town/church plaza, across the huge Christmas tree (which has been there ever since my first trip).  This is the building in a past post, which has a statue next to it. The statue is lost among vendor umbrellas.

          If you have your own vehicle, you can park in the church parking lot.

    3.   Go by 8am.  They hand out small slips of paper on which you write your info. These also have your number, which will be called out by a man at the door. He calls in around ten at a time.  They process around 300 per day. They try to do 150 in the morning and 150 in the afternoon. By 11 am, they stop handing out numbers in order to break for lunch at 12. But when I was there, they had people who were already inside, waiting for the last step (photo/fingerpring capture), leave and come back for lunch.  I was number 161 and one of the last to be processed before lunch. Luck.

         Then again a woman past number 170 raised hell, and so the staff simply switched to finish that batch. She was right to do so---it was only 11:15 and they were already inside, right?!  Funny but the men who took the womens' turns at the computers rushed through everything so that it all went much FASTER.  Eh kaya naman pala eh!  I just hope the info typed in was accurate.

   4.   Bring your own ballpen. or ballpens, to be sure.

   5.   Have your TIN with you if you do not. The form requires it.

   6.   The clerks are actually friendly and cheerful. The MB writer was right thou gh---when the woman says you will need a transfer form--the green one---take it. They know better.  (I told her my name was deactivated per the COMELEC online precinct finder, but she looked at her computer and said it was actually on active status. Odd. So all I needed was the green transfer form).  Thank you Ms. Jane Aubrey Nepomuceno for your article.  I kept that tip in mind. I otherwise might have needlessly questioned the clerk! I am sharing your article. http://www.mb.com.ph/node/226547/tip

   7.   Just fill the form within the room. There are desks around you can use. Do not leave the room anymore.  A couple before me did, and when they returned they did not make it to the lunch cut-off.  I don't know if they filled in the form in the library downstairs.

   8.  Capture is the last step--Voter's IDs are not available for claiming for YEARS after the election.

   9. PWD (persons with disability) and Senior citizens are priority.

 10.  The whole process takes approximately an hour.

   Lastly, THINK, BE SMART when going through the process...also be as courteous as the officers.  This is your right, and the vote is yours.  I say this because I did witness odd things...like men from certain offices, going in and out, escorting or coaching new registrants.  Coaching the illiterate is understandable. The forms, in triplicate, can be daunting. But what was he doing pointing certain guys out to the officers.   Registration of voters is in everyone's best interest---of course they all want people to register.  But do not be naive also...there are of course those who need people who register who will vote for THEM.

   Which leads me to...what's with regularly announcing with frustration, for people to put their cellphone numbers at the top of the form?  Is it to contact us to inform us the IDs are ready? To confirm information? I seriously doubt that.

   With all the crap SMS we already get, are they or certain factions going to send us annoying campaign SMS?  Or is someone getting numbers to send "cash loan" sms?  I could have asked there...but it was lunch time and the clerk doing the reminding was declaring her hunger. 

   All I'm saying is, question, too, things like these. 

   There. Hopefully I get to vote in Sta. Rosa city next month.  And before then, I hope to post on the city mayor's website...

   to ask her please naman

   1. the CR (comfort room, restroom) in the Gusaling Batasan is horrible. There is no door handle, just a smashed in hole, with a string, and the door won't even shut.  The floor muddy, wet, toilet rust/brown tinted.  The only good thing was that there was water and a pail to flush with.
Oh, one more tip:  bring a companion--my husband had to guard the CR door for me! 

  2.  We can ask people to donate books for the students in the library who hungrily grabbed at the few children's books in there.  The library is on the ground floor of this building.  The CR is right across it.  It takes just that kind of CR to uninspire and even discourage those students.  How can we expect them to keep clean, with an environment like that. What are we teaching, really?

       I see them, and then the beggar children within the church's parking lot...

       Where is their hope?

15 October, 2012

Dance lessons

Logo taken from the Institutes Facebook page.  Hope they don't  mind that and the free publicity.
   Speaking of recreation, there are excellent quality dance and exercise programs offered in the area. Well, this is actually in Silang again...but it's in the neighborhood and is really a good place, so there.

   I believe we are very very lucky to have this as THE dance school here.  Students must take advantage of this opportunity not just for recreation, but for health, professional training, and serious studies.  

    There is another such school, which includes ballroom dance, in Sta.Rosa itself, at Laguna Bel-air.  I don't know about it. If you do, feel free to let us know.


Republic Wake Park

    So I'm not a fan of the politician founder...but this may be a good recreational park. It's a wake boarding park, and it's found deep in Nuvali.

    I've got video clips but will have to edit and upload them onto here some other time.

Cecil's Cafe in Silang

      ...is next to a Korean Restaurant.  But this is in Silang, a short drive past Nuvali, Barangay Sto. Domingo Sta. Rosa.  It is right before the Adventist University's grassy lot along the Santa Rosa-Tagaytay highway.

     Just as we have met owners and or chefs in the area in the past, we met Cecil, the amiable owner who was busy cooking and serving along with two other friendly women.  Her place is a good, shabby chic styled cozy place to stop by on your way to or from Tagaytay.  Good fresh food and tempting cakes and pastries too.



14 October, 2012

Vietnamese Restaurant

     My husband keeps hoping the Thai neighbor will open a Thai restaurant in the area.  She cooks her Thai food at home so well, but is not inclined to selling it. She is in fact, returning to Thailand, back to a career put on hold by her husband's posting here.  A big loss, we will miss her cooking...oh, more than that, the pleasure of her company, of course.

     Attention, restaurateurs....there is NO Thai restaurant here. None that we know of anyway.  We are happy with places like Songkran Thai street food in BF Paranaque. That's the sort of place we seek.  We are certain we are not the only ones.

     There is also, strangely, just one Korean restaurant in Paseo de Santa Rosa. And none in the surrounding areas. We like Umni, a nook hidden in Paseo.  On our most recent time there (last night), the two ladies who wait tables, cook and roll kimbap ,greeted us happily.  Oh, they know us already!  A comfort, in this time of "growth" in the city.  

    Just the other day, the Rustan's express cashier also greeted me cheerfully, asking about my family.  Where has your husband been?! She asked. He was there so frequently before.  Well...of course, I replied, it's that other place at the corner...(the big South Supermarket).  Rustan's is far being the "little bookshop" of Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks' "You've got Mail". But it still is the little neighborhood sari-sari store that's lost customers to the big guys.  Not for long, though...Shopwise is happening soon.


     Back to the subject. In Alabang Town Center and in BF Paranaque, there is Xoi Vietnamese Kitchen.  Again, I am no food blogger. I will just say, we enjoyed the food. It was delicious. You know, in the way that my first bite's transported me to "Asia".  It's when the flavor's essences (lemongrass, hoisin, peanut, fish sauce...) sort of travel through my nose and I remember random times and places in Southeast Asia.  Plus I have been drinking black G7 Vietnamese coffee for breakfast everyday for a couple of months now..so I was happy with Iced coffee (with condensed milk). 

     We also tried it for the first time. It was dinner, and for lunch I had wanted pho in Pho hoa Ayala Triangle. The last time I was there was last Christmas. It was packed, there was a wait list. Today I saw it had closed down, covered with a tarpaulin sign saying Bread Talk will open there soon.

Dinosaurs Roam South of Manila

   A sighting in Filinvest, Muntinlupa.

      I gladly zoomed in to oblige this worker who waved frantically for a shot.  I'm still trying to get a print to you, kuya...are you fencing the dinos in?