Ten and Counting

There’s no stopping time as Marcus turns ten. He’s become smarter and continue to be more expressive. He now knows what he wants and if he had his way, he wants things to happen.

Color of the day.

Even before 2018 started he was already specific with his plans for his birthday this year. He asked if he could celebrate it in Acacia Hotel Manila with just the three of us–introvert parents breed introvert kids, don’t we? Wifey tried to offer other choices but Marcus has made up his mind. Must be the pool or the rooms or maybe it’s the hotel’s proximity to Festival Mall or ATC, his comfort zones since then. Or maybe it made a mark on him when we almost lost his favorite plush Frankenbob toy the last time we were here but staff found and returned it. Whatever, he just loves the place no doubt.

Acacia pool, Frankenbob, Elmo

His affinity for this place in Filinvest Alabang over the others seemed to prove worthy once again. A grand welcome greeted him when we stepped in our room which would be our home in the next three days and two nights. Staff prepared the room for Marcus with balloons and a whole chocolate birthday cake. It was the most number of balloons he ever had. Staff spoiled him more with complimentary desserts they delivered to our room in the evening.

This birthday would have been a whole lot better if only we could promise to give him his special wish he made the morning before we set off on our staycation.

“What’s your wish?” we asked him before blowing his Homer cake–a pink sprinkled Krispy Kreme donut wifey designed as a cake with one birthday candle in the middle. Still in his pajamas with his ruffled newly dyed golden hair, he said, “That I could walk and a PS4.” I smiled and cheered but I know that wifey too silently wished and felt the same thing I did as I finish the video recording. It was something we both expected our son would say but one of it just won’t happen in this lifetime however hard we’d want to. A miracle is all we could wish for.

Happy birthday son, we still love you, we are here for you.

***

Marcus skipped his therapy this week but he left his physical therapists some pizza the other Friday to celebrate this birthday.

Marcus and wifey with staff and interns of St. Frances Cabrini PT center.

***

Mood: 3/10 Honks! (Hope Marcus doesn’t catch the bug. Wifey and I got the sniffles.)

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The Starbucks Planner Dilemma

Some people by now have already started coming in and out of Starbucks stores. Some in a rush to complete their sticker booklets while some to redeem their own Starbucks planner. Well, not me but however late it may be, this time I seem to reconsider the idea. The dilemma ‘to planner or not to planner’ strikes once more.

That’s because I just realized that after a long time, this year appears to be the year when I should’ve had a planner of some sort.  Stuck in my car last Friday and having finished a heavy rice meal right after I parked at work three hours earlier than usual, I found myself pondering on things that have happened this year. Everything was overwhelming since 2016 started.

Events came in faster than I would have imagined. Marcus got his US visa against all odds; we transferred house on a tight budget and in a short timeframe; I unexpectedly got a new role at work; and everything else—good or bad—in between. It was like a smorgasbord served in front of me all at the same time and the no leftover rule applies. (Ah yes, not close to any Japanese buffet but it’s like the pack of lauriat I found in the backseat that my sister was supposed to take with her when I dropped her back in Alabang. Everything in the paper bag was cold by then but good enough.)

That Chowking meal made me last until the end of the day’s training. A training that had me cancel a vacation I planned long before I got myself in this new account, in this new culture. Oh, and a plane ticket to be rebooked in the process. I now owe wifey Php 6000 more.

So maybe yes I need a planner this time. Maybe I should start using one again to take note of schedules, list of people I need to meet (and avoid), and maybe to doodle while stressed in the parking lot. Assuming I spend a venti everyday until the 30th I think could still get it. But then again that’s almost 2000 pesos for a planner so maybe not—not until I start to realize that I actually need to plan an itinerary in the weeks to come. A cheap notebook seems more appealing for now.

From the PAL office to Acacia. We dropped by to say hi and take a dip in hotel’s pool.

***

Mood: 6/10 Honks! (Rebooking sucks.)

Living in an Acacia for Two Days

When I was a little boy we lived in a place that has this big acacia tree. It was the landmark of that place from which we’ve heard stories about a kapre living in it who would take children who are nearby when nighttime falls. During daytime we would play under it but we have to watch out for the seasonal hairy caterpillars that could give anyone a bad itch that stays for days.

Years later I would find myself at an acacia again. This time it is taller, bigger, and a lot different from the one I used to know. This acacia neither has any hairy caterpillar dangling from it nor does it have scary folklores. It is the acacia where I would want to be at anytime. It is the Acacia Hotel Manila in Alabang.

The acacia sans the hairy caterpillars.

Thanks to online promos, and wifey’s knack to find one, we once again got a good deal from dealgrocer.com that allowed us to be closed to the Lawsons who were then booked in Bellevue. The deal landed us a discounted accommodation in Acacia Hotel which I say must is one of the most strategically located hotels in the area.

On Saturday, June 6, we got a room that has something the previous ones do not have. The sparkling blue water peeking in through the wide glass window immediately got our attention. Marcus loves swimming pools so the fact that there is one right outside our room on the third floor was a welcome sight. With our bag unpacked halfway, Marcus and I were on our swimsuits in no time.

Because Spongebob is a stuffed toy so he got Batman in the pool instead.

Looking down from the pool area I confirmed the hotel’s proximity to other establishments. From there the new Commercenter (that recently opened its cinemas) is a few steps away with its Yellow Cab Pizza Co. branch clearly visible. Right across on the other side of the Acacia Hotel are McDonalds and IHOP restaurants. And anyone who needs some medicines, like I did due to a nagging toothache, the Mercury drug store is just right behind the hotel. At the same area are banks that you could use especially if your account has more than enough to purchase an Audi which by the way has nearby a showroom. Another car dealership along Commerce Avenue is BMW. (I haven’t been inside any of it but I dreamt about entering one. If only dealgrocer.com offers car discounts that we can’t refuse.) The Acacia Hotel is also in the middle of two popular malls in Alabang. The Ayala Town Center is located about a kilometer away and on the opposite direction one would find the Festival Mall.

Night at Acacia Hotel Manila
Busy night traffic shot from the pool area.

Dining at the Hotel Acacia Manila is definitely something to look forward to. The dining area is surrounded by glass windows with a high ceiling that isolate anyone from the noise of traffic outside yet at the same still get the hotel guests see the activities of the commercial district while they enjoy a romantic dinner or a sumptuous buffet breakfast.

Breakfast at Acacia Hotel Manila
Buffet breakfasts never fail to make us smile

The friendliness and service of the staff are also remarkable. Worth mentioning is the pool attendant who checked if there is something he can do to help when he saw Marcus trip in the pool during our nighttime dip. And then there’s the teamwork of the hotel receptionist and room service who made sure that they find Marcus’ Spongebob stuffed toy which we forgot to pack on our last day. You never know how your gestures made our two-day stay something that we will remember.

The breezy pool area did not stop us from taking a night dip.

***

The initial plan was just for an overnight stay but we soon learned that my sister and family aren’t leaving for Bacolod on Sunday. It was a good thing that wifey found another discount through dealgrocer.com that made us avoid paying P8K plus for another day. She made the deal using the HP Envy she got from the Lawons. Thanks!!!

Incidentally, we checked out Monday, June 8, which was exactly a week after we had Marcus’ EMG/NCV session at Asian Hospital and Medical Center.

***

Mood: 3/10 Honks! (I am hoping that these inquiries about our house will translate to a sale soon.)