Going down my list (Reminders to Self for the just concluded trip to Manila)

Sixteen days before we left for Manila, I wrote the list below and here’s a point for point follow up on each one:

1. Soap dishes/pH Strips for GP – procured them and actually managed to meet up with Gina twice.  Discussed some business possibilities and while the soap and VCO distribution shows promise, we’ve agreed to focus elsewhere which isn’t a problem for me either.

2. Special tea for Ms. L – Turns out the tea I wanted to get was not available in Target where I last saw it available.  What’s more, Ms. L and Ms. I were two people I didn’t get to see (part of a long list of friends who I had hoped to find the time for but didn’t get to say hello to… more on this later.)  There is always a next time, I say.

3. Gimmick shirt for R – Managed to meet up with Reggie although a Disney shirt for him to use at home was the best I could do.

4. Fridge magnet alphabet for Art – We received a LeapFrog Fridge Phonics® Magnetic Set from a friend for Angelo for his first Christmas and we’ve found it a very valuable tool in introducing him to his alphabet so I vowed I would get this for my almost three year old nephew, Art.  Got it and he is really enjoying working with this very educational tool.

5. Burn Scrapbook CDs for V -  I knew seeing my former batchmates beyond Gina would be a tall order but I failed to even burn the scrapbook CDs for V, although I think I’ll do this in the coming weeks and have Gina give it to her.

6. Get 2G memory card for self – never quite got down to doing this, but there is time.

7. PSP + games for Nikky – I did get Nikky’s bundle but the Dragon Ball Z: Shin Budokai game was out of stock.

8. Dual voltage hair dryer – Found one and used it while there then left it with Dad.

9. Salt & Pepper pack for hotel – Done

10. Pack away USB keys – Packed away 2 cute ones from the company but didn’t get to meet up with Jher and Jerome (again).  =(  I am missing quite a bunch of them but managed to give one to Abril.

11. Get usual meds: Aleve, Sudafed, etc. – Brought my stash though didn’t really have a need for them, and picked up my own stocks from good old Mercury Drug to bring to New York.  (More on this later).

12. SPF 45 Sun tan lotion – Picked up a generic bottle from the neighborhood Rite Aid store and was quite happy with my pick because it truly protected me from the sun when we were in Laiya.

13. Umbrella for Mom (her choice of brand) – This was out of stock before we left but I’m hoping to pick it up in the coming weeks.

14. Garbage, Ziploc bags – Got the ziplocs but not the bags

15. Mother-in-law’s decaf instant coffee – CHECK

16. MiracleGro for Mom – brought it but left it on the kitchen counter.  (Wise, I know.)

Coffee talk in Manila

Okay, before the coffee afficionados out there go up in arms against me, I deeply regret not having picked up my usual stock of Figaro Barako coffee as I usually do.  Totally my fault.  Hoping to get the freshest batch, I postponed getting my coffee beans just before we left, and the only branch we found ourselves in didn’t have any in stock, promising a fresh delivery the following day when I just completely lost myself in last minute things to do.

I did manage to grab some Kape Vinta from Starbucks during my last breakfast with Gina in Greenbelt 1, along with two other coffee blends, Muan Jai (from Thailand) and Arabian Mocha Java.  I haven’t quite tried the two other blends which were P100 and P200 more than the local favorite, but they show much promise.  It might be a while until I can brew a cup, though, because one of Alan’s friends had given me quite a huge stash of coffee beans from Kalinga (presumably Apayao) and Baguio.  Since the latter were not commercially packed, I want to start grinding them first when my present stock is depleted.

I was also overjoyed to find that there was a new Starbucks Manila mug.  (It’s about time!)  Another special addition to my collection, I picked up one of the generic mugs on the shelf to add to my “babies”.

This is a priced addition, and I’m glad that this edition doesn’t fall short of the usual size nor quality of the regualr Starbucks city mugs collection.  Sadly, I can’t say the same for the original issue of the Cebu Starbucks mug.  I’m happy.  Over and above any new city mug, a mug from “back home” will always have a special place in my treasure trove of Starbuck mugs.serveware.

The barrista asked me how many I already have.. that got me stumped.  I haven’t quite gotten beyond trying to catalogue my collection as I keep adding mugs every few weeks or so.  I really should do this before summer’s over and try to figure out a way for me to display all of them on the top shelf of my kitchen shelves where only around 2/3rds of the whole collection sit.  My guess is it’s in the area of 50-75 mugs.

With the diet in mind and knowing I had my bibingkas and puto bumbong to indulge in, I decided to stay away from the ensaymada this time.  My mug more than made up for all the other goodies I missed at Starbucks in Manila.