Sunday at Ayala Center (and Other Musings)

10:41 pm PHT

I spent Sunday lunchtime over at Ayala Center in Makati to attend the baptismal reception of Evan Andre, the son of my cousin. The lunch was at one ballroom of the New World Renaissance Hotel. Well, Jun Capulong, the husband of my cousin is rich. So I guess they can afford to throw a grand celebration.

But before the lunch party, I went around and exercised my consumerist behavior. I went to Glorietta and bought a prepaid Internet card. This time I tried Pacific Internet’s Surf Maxx (4 pesos per hour) instead of the usual Tri-Isys’ ISPx Bonanza (4.17 pesos per hour). While ISPx Bonanza’s speed is good enough, it’s extremely hard to connect to them, except early in the morning. So I went for the cheaper Surf Maxx and so far connecting is a breeze.

Afterwards, I went to SM Department store and bought myself a Thermos mug for use in the office. The office recently did away with the disposable cups and encouraged everyone to bring their own mugs. This reduced the trash somewhat and saved the company a few thousand pesos in expenses every month.

The new SM is actually quite relaxing. I thought that their facelift was only on the outside, but apparently the inside was also renovated. There’s this central atrium that feels as if you’re inside a classy airport. And the feel of everything is more conducive to shopping, unlike the hustle and bustle of the department store of SM Megamall or The Landmark.

One thing I’ve noticed is that the niche dining places around Ayala Center seem to be popular despite the lack of ambience, like Via Mare Café at the second floor of The Landmark, the French Baker on the bridgeway between The Landmark and Glorietta, and Delifrance in SM. (Although I did take out a delicious chocolate croissant from the latter.) If I’m going to eat a meal or a snack, I would’ve chosen to eat in a more relaxing setting, like Greenbelt. But I guess, with the nice ambiance also comes expensive prices and service charges.

The lunch at New World was quite good. (It better be, since New World is a five-star hotel.) There was more than enough food to go around so my mom got to take home some beef and vegetables for dinner. Evan, the baptismal boy, is really cute, but slept most of the time during lunch. However, most people’s attention were on Christian, the son of another cousin, who had his first birthday two weekends ago.

After the party, I swung by Music One to finally get myself an audio CD (the second I ever bought) of The Chillout Project: House Sessions O2 by Anton Ramos. While the album was produced here in the Philippines, the price is comparable to foreign albums (455 pesos) since all the songs came from outside the country. I’ll write up a review of the CD one of these days.

It was a Sunday nicely spent. What would’ve made it even better is a trip to the cinema (I want to watch Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events!) and a lazy afternoon chatting with friends over coffee at one of the cafés in Greenbelt.

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