• Andi Dela Torre- Griffiths

Catching Up with the Girls

Last year, we were able to visit Manila and catch up with loved ones. I missed my family so much. I'm thankful we got to spend the holidays with them.


I also had the chance to see some friends who were available to meet before going back to the sunny region of Ilocos (where I’m currently based). I only met with four, but that's fine. I’m just glad the trip pushed through because it's been stressful being away from everyone (isolation is harddd). Now, here's how it went:


My (not so) Little Sister/Twin


I come from a small family of five (now four, because our youngest sister died), so I value family time, but there are also moments when my sister and I want to be on our own; that’s why Betina was the first person I bonded with. There are certain things that I only divulge to my sister. Namiss namin ang chikang kapatid. Nothing toxic, mga updates at katatawanan lang ganun. We went to the mall (The Podium) for lunch. We don't know what's gotten into us that we ordered hot noodles on a hot day at the al-fresco area. Super nag crave siguro kami ng sabaw. Kaya ayun, mainit na yung pagkain, mainit pa yung mga ulo namin, literal hahaha. We had a great time, though, and that’s what’s important. As you grow older, you learn to value your relationships more because you realize that in the end, it's what makes life meaningful. 🌼


The Podium Roof Deck Garden | A Lifestyle Blog by Andi

On a side note, being in that mall made me feel nostalgic. That's where I took summer classes from Trumpets Playshop back when I was in high school. I was shy then, but those were fun times. I remember how we'd go to El Pueblo for McDonald's burgers, because at that time, the food options inside The Podium were expensive. It wasn't practical for us 15-year olds to spend 300-500 pesos on food. Di pa kumikita waldas na agad haha. But anyway...Ngayon, kung magutom ka dun, you can go to The Corner Market Food Hall for delicious and affordable meals. Maganda at malinis pa. Or kung talagang tipid ka, may mga kainan sa grocery area sa baba.


The Frazzled Cook Restaurant in Quezon City

My sister and I continued going out to make the most out of my stay. We also spent quality time with mama dear.

Tablo Kitchen Cafe in Quezon City | Beautiful restaurants in Metro Manila | A Lifestyle Blog by Andi | Philippines

Lulu


Next, I met with my good friend Lulu. Feeling her excitement the moment she knew I was back in Pasig made me happy. I was touched. Our friendship is something I’m thankful for because it’s built on the right foundations and has stood the test of time (more than 10 years and growing).


We saw each other twice! The first one was brief- we spent less than an hour together since we had other things to do that day. Sa Tiendesitas kami nagkita para malapit saming dalawa. Mabilisang drinks lang. For our next meeting, we went to Crisostomo in BGC for dinner since it was the only restaurant that wasn’t packed. She said they serve good food and I trust her taste, so we agreed to go there. Lulu ordered ginataang kuhol, while I had lengua. Masarap nga! Try nyo din.


Crisostomo Restaurant in BGC | Krispy Kreme Tiendesitas | Filipina girls smiling for a photo

After eating, we strolled around the area, bought iced coffee, then celebrated her new milestone! She's finally pursuing her graduate studies overseas and is also on scholarship! Lulu is embracing independence with a brave heart, and I’m so proud of her.



Medyo naging emotional din kami. Dati kasi pinag-uusapan lang namin yun (pati yung ibang mga bagay na gusto namin makuha) tapos ngayon, nangyayari na. Praise God talaga. Just to share with you, she's a kind-hearted soul. Lulu's not vengeful even to the people who wronged her. I can’t wait to see her again and talk about our new manifestation stories. It amazes me each time. 🔮

Jessy


Jes is still as pretty and industrious as she was back in college. She’s one of my former roommates and was also my org-mate. She’s competent and gets things done. Di ko alam kung paano sya natutulog nun. Kung hindi sya nagsusulat ng papers or gumagawa ng presentations, nag-oorganize sya ng meetings for our org. Masipag talaga. She reminds me of Blair Waldorf from Gossip Girl, but friendlier hehe. She’s also thoughtful and stylish, not to mention entrepreneurial. Jes has a lot on her plate on top of her day job, but she makes multi-tasking look easy.


Two Filipina girls | Las Flores, The Podium | A Lifestyle Blog by Andi | Philippines

We met in Ortigas after lunch for snacks and drinks. I enjoyed a bowl of Chicken Pad Thai from Easy Tiger, she ordered Salmon from Las Flores, then we both had coffee at Craft. We had a nice conversation that I wish lasted longer, but she had to leave early because she brought her vehicle and the car number-coding scheme was in effect. Luckily, we were able to maximize the time that was available (around three hours, I think). We took turns in updating each other. After ko dumaldal, short pause, tapos sya naman haha. Pero bitin parin. We had a few more things we wanted to share but weren't able to do so due to time constraints. We’ll just continue where we left off the next time we bond. It was great seeing Jes. Our other roommate Dana was supposed to come, but she was busy with the kids. Hi Dana!


Thea


Thea is the epitome of someone with a no-bullshit personality. She says things as they are and doesn’t sugarcoat anything. It's either she likes you or she doesn't. Akala ko nung una masungit, pero hindi naman, pinaunlakan naman nya yung mga oras na yaya ako ng yaya mag CR haha. We met at work a few years back when we started as research analysts at a valuation company. We got along quickly after chatting, and that’s how we became pals. I’d ask her almost every morning to go with me to Emerald Ave. to get food or coffee. Maganda kasi mag muni-muni bago umpisahan yung araw. It clears the mind.


Two Filipina girls smiling for a selfie | Glorietta 4 Foodcourt Birdhouse | A Lifestyle Blog by Andi | Philippines

It was around 4PM when Thea and I reunited. We wasted no time and went to the food court in Glorietta 4 right away. I suggested that we get chicken from Birdhouse because I’ve always had a good experience dining at their Corner Market Food Hall branch. Meals were always fresh and hot. Sadly, the Makati branch didn’t deliver as expected. The rice and the dip tasted the same (yummy), but the chicken was rubbery. We only finished half of what was on our plates. Medyo nasayangan ako sa food, pero di nako nag reklamo. Wala din kasi masyadong tao sa food court nun, kaya baka hindi sila as active. I’d still want to order their chicken anyway, just not from this location.


Filipina girls posing for a photo | Glorietta 4 Foodcourt | A Lifestyle Blog by Andi | Philippines

Our bonding session ended at around 8PM. The place remained almost empty the whole time. You can have a full production number at the activity area, and there would still be plenty of space. It's the first time I've seen it calm and quiet. Yung ibang nagbabantay natutulog nalang or naglalaro ng games sa phone. Going back, Thea and I are seeing each other again when I return. 🌼


Glorietta mall, empty during the pandemic | A Lifestyle Blog by Andi

That would be all for today. If you finished reading the post, thank you for your time. I look forward to meeting my other friends and acquaintances next time. Stay safe and well.


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