Razon's + Wendy's + Leonardo's Antipolo: Fried Chickens, A Nipa Hut and the Girls I Love

Sunday, June 30, 2013


PROLOGUE

Woohoo! Hooray for Lalawigan ng Rizal! 

Aaaaanyhow...

Here's another not real-time installment of Celineism. I think I need a tablet or a smartphone to make things much easier. Alas, budget constraints. If anybody asks, I want those for Christmas. :)


THE PRELUDE

The decision to take a Master's degree was something that I had not (and would not) regret. I get to learn things and get to meet lots of really cool people. 

Ate May, Ate Gina, and Ate Mel are three of those really really cool people I was resolved to remain friends with even after we stopped being classmates. These trio introduced me and my Kapatid Nikki into experiences of gastronomical and comedic proportions.

The last time the five of us went out was... Hm. I think it was at some Spanish resto at Morato where we had a buffet dinner. It was so far back I forgot the when and the where. Anyway, these past couple of weeks, we were trying (and failing) to organize a get-together. There were far too many failed attempts that I started calling them KJ and barbero and the whole affair a lokohan. Of course, I didn't mean the things I said. Pangungulila does that to people. 

Fortunately, the fete finally saw its peak, thanks to Ate May. 

It was Friday night when I received a text from her that goes a lot like this:

"See you tomorrow sa Cubao. 3pm."

I didn't have any more text credits to reply but I think she knew I'd be there. I had this feeling we all were. So just like that, we were all set.

IN A NUTSHELL

1.) I went to school. As luck would have it, I was not yet enrolled. So that Saturday, I went to NCBA at around nine in the morn to scratch “enrollment” off of my list. I arrived after a dragging hour-and-a-half jeepney ride and finished the enrollment process after roughly 30 minutes. Seeing that I had a few more hours to spare, I sent Ate Mel a text message asking if I could come over to her place. She lived near the school, you see. I suggested we go to Gateway together. Alas, she wasn't able to answer my text because she was, as she had later explained, busy. Fortunately, Ate Rose (another one of the really cool people) was also there for the enrollment. I told her about the rendezvous with my Ates + Nikki + Dr. Pradil and the dilemma I am in at the moment. She suggested we go to Gateway and have our lunch, which we did. Ate Rose treated me to a tumbler of Pearl Milk Tea (the first time I ever got to try the popular drink, poor me)and a KFC Streetwise two-piece-chicken meal. Yay! After our lunch date, we went around Gateway to have her wristwatches’ batteries changed, as well as to grab a loaf of bread from Bread Talk. I then came over to her house (which was a cartwheel-and-three-kembots away from the mall) and spent the hours-before-three there.

Ate Rose and our humble lunch. :)

2.) Razon’s and Reasons. After receiving a text from Ate May saying that she was on her way, I packed my things and left for Gateway. Ate Rose was kind enough to walk me to the highway where I could catch a ride. As soon as I sat on the jeep, my sturdy Nokia 1202 rang—‘twas Ate May. She said we’d be dining at Gloria Maris. I was adamantly against it since I kinda hate oriental cuisine and am deathly allergic to crustaceans and mollusks. Ate May said we can order other things, duh? OK, I said.
So I meet up with Ate May only to find that Gloria Maris transferred to another site somewhere in the mall and had to close down for renovation. I did a little dance. Hahaha.
While trying to think of another place for grub, we spotted Dr. Pradil—in her velvety avocado-green leggings, no less—ascending the moving stairs. I urged Ate May to call up our good professor on her cell, lest she’d wander farther out. To my relief, Dr. Pradil joined us after being informed by Ate May where we were. Unfortunately, we were still in a situation: we didn’t have any place to eat yet. Dr. Pradil, bless her, suggested we go to Ali Mall, so we got going. 
As we ambled our way towards Ali Mall, I teased Dr. Pradil, "Ma’am, bakit ang dami mong dala?”  The good Doctor was, aside from her shoulder bag, carrying a green cloth bag. “Akala ko kasi sa Tagaytay tayo pupunta,” Dr. Pradil replied. (Hold on, the plan was to go to Tagaytay but this idea was unceremoniously flushed down the toilet for some reason.) Ate May and I shared a look. We found out that Ate Gina had told Dr. Pradil that we were going to Tagaytay, and that it was no problem because Ate May had a driver. Ate May said the driver was elsewhere, leaving her driverless. We stopped walking and decided to phone Ate Gina (who was on her way to meet us) and convince her to lend her driving skills and Thirdy (her Mitsubishi Adventure) so we can go to Tagaytay. We told Ate Gina that Dr. Pradil needed some cheering up (long story) and that taking her to Tagaytay was the least we could do. “Sige pero sagot niyo gasolina at ilibre niyo ko” was Ate Gina’s stipulation. Dr. Pradil—who later told us that it was her dream to go to Tagaytay—did not buckle down. Our professor agreed, adding that Ate Gina’s demands were no biggie. So right there and then, we were geared for Tagaytay!
The rest of the girls were not yet around upon finishing the phone conversation with Ate Gina and—surprise, surprise—we found ourselves in front of Razon’s. It was only right that we please our taste buds with some of Razon’s famous Halo-halo! Woohoo!

Halo-halo. Woot woot!

Moments later, Ate Mel arrived looking utterly exhausted. She said she hadn’t had time to eat eversince that morning because she’d been downright busy at work, PLUS she’d been stuck in NCBA for more than an hour because of the flawed enrollment procedure. She was reluctant to have the Halo-halo at first, fearing that she might end up with an upset stomach. But we insisted it was no problem. We’re fantastic friends who care not whether you eat Halo-halo on an empty stomach or not, you see. She did eventually gorge down the meryenda. It was irresistible, after all.


3.) The little boy who made my day. Ate May suggested we go grab some snacks for the road trip. I went with her to Wendy’s where we ordered Biggie Fries and a party pack of fried chickens. (I had waaay too much fried chicken that day.)

Snacking on chicken and fries

While we were waiting for our take-out, Ate May’s mean-girl side went front and center because one of the managers in the counter had a hairline that would put PNoy's to shame. “Baka akala nila ‘yun yung chicken, tinanggalan nila ng balahibo,” she said with a straight face. I chuckled. Haha. Tears were welling up because I was trying to stifle my laughter—and failing. Hahaha! After that remark, my phone rang. Saved by the proverbial bell! It was Ate Gina calling to tell us she was already there and waiting for us. Thank goodness our food arrived after that call.
So we hurried back to Razon’s. On our way back, as we approached Red Ribbon, I saw a little boy of about six to eight years old. He had a cute cherubic face and the mamula-mulang skin of a well-off kid. I swear, his face brightened up when he saw me. He started, much to my astonishment, waving at me. Haha. I was going to wave back but my hands were full of bags of fried chicken and fries. I told Ate May what happened as I wasn’t sure if she saw it. “Baka akala artista ka,” she said. “Kasi naka-blush on ako?” I offered. (Ate May teased me earlier about this as I rarely wear make-up.) We giggled. Who knows why that boy waved at me but I felt a little prettier.

4.) Tagaytay? Sort Of. We rushed back to Razon’s and announced to Dr. Pradil and Ate Mel that Ate Gina was already waiting for us in the street corner. We had one problem though: Nikki. Nikki got there on time but told us she won’t be coming along because she and her boyfriend had a date or something. We didn’t have enough time to convince her to come with us, unfortunately. Because of this incident, I coined the phrase, “Tawag ng laman bago kaibigan.” Hahaha. We just left her with the Halo-halo Ate May ordered for her, wished her well, then set off towards Ate Gina.
After we boarded Thirdy, Ate Gina said it’s alanganin to go to Tagaytay. (It was around 4PM.) So we ended up, much to my and Dr. Pradil’s disappointment, at Leonardo’s in Antipolo.
It wasn't bad, really. I mean, it wasn’t Tagaytay but it was close. We had a view of Manila with its bright lights, a dose of cool weather, and a karaoke. We had a nipa cottage to ourselves and ordered a bunch of comfort food.

The chicharong bulaklak was awesome.

Dr. Pradil sang a lot. I mean a lot. She was a songstress and we had a good laugh over her choice of songs. At one point, while she sang Bakit Ang Sabi Mo Binata Ka, our waiter (whom we started calling Pablo) came to our cottage. We made him very uncomfortable by telling him, “Bakit daw ang sabi mo binata ka pa?” Dr. Pradil didn’t help alleviate his discomfort by singing to his face, with conviction, I might add. We alsoharassed him to take photos of us. Haha. That’s how we roll.

Candids. :)


THE BOTTOMLINE

Truth is, I don’t really care where we go because I just wanted to spend time with my girls. I missed them. The hearty laughs, the good food, the passive-aggressive inside jokes and the countless photos more than make up for the long wait. Thanks, Ate May, for taking one for the team! (If you know what I mean.) Hehehe.

 

Next time, Nikki will be with us and we’ll conquer Tagaytay and make Dr. Pradil’s dream come true.

Cheers to the next adventure!





Originally posted on June 11, 2013. Reposted from Facebook.

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