by May Dy
I didn’t intend for my “birthday celebration” to become prolonged. I turned 22 a few days ago, last 6 May. But since it was a Monday and I had midterms, I had to wait until the weekend to see my friends (whom I haven’t seen for about two years). This coincided with a meeting/casual talk I had with some fellow poets and preceded Mother’s Day (which in my opinion shouldn’t be celebrated at all, because we’re supposed to honor mothers everyday— even with the annoyances and grievances we have with them).
The friends and the poets both (incidentally) decided to hold the meeting/celebration at Leona’s Art Restaurant, which was right in the street where I lived. (How convenient! All I had to do was to walk a few steps and if I found myself short of money, I could come home, which I did.)
Note that the two groups never knew each other and met, only peripherally, last Saturday.
I didn’t have problems with the arrangement. I look forward to these visits. Because despite being a resident of Teacher’s Village and a neighbor to these “famous” establishments (like Burger Project, Van Gogh Cafe, and Black Soup art cafe), I never really get to visit these places unless I’m with friends.
Leona’s menu consists of Italian and Mexican dishes. They’re famous for their pizza all you can and the buy two-take-three (priced at 500 pesos). They do make excellent desserts, pesto, and soups, too. Actually, in the three years that I’ve known this place, I haven’t encountered a dud in the dishes.
The dinner was followed by a brief walk to look for dessert. M wanted to try the Icescreamist which is famous for its “liquid nitrogen” and crazy ice cream flavors (one of which, G told me, is Guiness as in the Irish drink). When we got there, the place was jam-packed and looked like, pardon for the words, a crack-house or a rave party place with the ultraviolet light and black upholstery.
So we walked on and somehow ended up at a place called Ally’s All Day Breakfast near Dondae and Pino Restaurant. It fit nicely with our comfort food vibe. What I immediately noticed is the generous use of oreo cookies in their dishes. I remember “oreo truffles” and an oreo shake. We ordered oreo pancakes. The crunch of the oreo contrasted wonderfully with the softness of the pancakes. Instead of butter, vanilla ice cream was served on top.
For myself, I ordered a mocktail called “tequila sunset”.
On this one, the marriage of tangy to sweet was just right. Soda added a pleasant tingle to the tongue.
After a good amount of catch-up and gossip, I felt that it was going to rain. G and M walked me back home.
The next day, a Sunday, also Mother’s Day, it was my sister’s turn to treat my mom (and inevitably, me) to lunch. Talk about getting stuffed!
Admittedly, the two ladies in my life were more indecisive than me. At first we wanted to go to Megamall. I think we have this silent agreement that the further the place is from home, the more special it is. (And while I don’t share this kind of thought, I’ve been going along with it). I initially wanted a plain lunch in some mall nearby, since we already have a few good ones around here. But in the end, we drove around 15 kilometers to this gigantic and horribly jam-packed mall to eat at an American style restaurant— the likes of which we could’ve gone to in less than 3 kilometers.
The lunch was pleasant enough but it was the stress of that particular mall crowd that I think spoiled this Roman weekend. (A side thought: why do people walk so slow in malls? Don’t you go there to buy something? And buying has some sense of urgency and purpose. My older sister pointed out that people have begun to treat malls as parks. While malls can be places for recreation— made so by capitalist-consumerist dreams!— it’s certainly not pleasant to be walking behind a slow moving person, what some people call meanderthals.)
On the bright side: the heat of day is slowly giving way to cool, gray skies. Also, pre-enlistment for the first term (of my fourth and hopefully last year in the university) has begun.
Despite some annoyances, this Roman weekend served as a great repose and pace-maker for the numerous tasks ahead of me.