Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Christmas Eats: Friends' Get-Together

Last Saturday I met up with my college friends for our 10th or 11th Christmas party (I'm not sure). We rented a function room at the second floor of Dampa Cubao within the Farmers' Market. Evidently, being inside the market, the venue was not posh but decent enough. The function room was clean, spacious, well air-conditioned and has its own sink for hand washing. A videoke machine is available for entertainment. Just drop P5 coin per song.

Dampa is set-up ala food court style but ingredients are freshly bought from the market and cooked according to your liking. Although seafoods are the specialty, you could get chicken and pork as well. We had SIS serve us the following dishes:

  • 1 Kg buttered shrimps
  • 1/2 Kg crabs in oyster sauce (3 pieces of large crabs)
  • 1/2 Kg shrimp tempura
  • 1/2 Kg kinilaw na Tanigue
  • 1/2 Kg sinigang Tuna
  • 14 cups of rice
  • 3 x 1.5 L Coke
  • 1 Barrel of San Mig Light
I highly recommend the buttered shrimps and the shrimp tempura! The sinigang wasn't as sour as I hoped it could have been, but it was still good. The amount of food was just enough for our group of 13 persons. Beer, I think (although I'm no expert!) was a bit diluted.

For average earning people (like us), cost is a big criteria for choosing a venue for a get-together. So, how much did this Dampa gig set us back? Consumable fee for the function room (for 10-15 persons) was P1,500. Actual rent was P300 for the first two hours and P250 for every succeeding hour. We stayed an extra hour so the total room rental was P550. For food and beer, we spent a total of P3,100 (tax inclusive). Waiter's tip was P100. (Only 1 waiter will serve you, Josh of Sis is a very accommodating chap!) Each of us chipped in P300 for the total bill - not bad I should say! Food was excellent and the venue was a good place for us friends to catch up with each other's lives.

The biggest let-down of Dampa are comfort rooms. There are no comfort rooms. You have to use the CR from the market. The toilet wasn't very clean, there are only two cubicles, only 1 working sink, and they charge P10 per use! Tsk tsk!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Holiday Spending

It’s that time of the year again when money comes and goes really fast. My husband and I received our Christmas bonuses last November. He spent most of his as deposit for the new apartment we just moved into. So, he decreed and I agreed (I don't know why I did!) that I be the one spending for most of our Christmas expenses… ouch! Just the thought is making my head spin…

My basic expenses during Christmas are gifts for others and gifts for myself. Gifts for myself are those things that I really really want and rightfully deserve after a year of hard work… such as those beautiful comfy shoes from Clarks, a laptop, a WOW magic sing mic to hone my singing talent (which I admit to not having), or those cute accent furniture pieces from Umbro.

What I'm dying to have is a new sofa set for our new apartment.

My husband wants a laptop.

I think I could squeeze a sofa set within my Christmas budget. I saw a sweet cheap one at SM the other day that could work with our living room space. Maybe not a laptop... but there are a lot of shops that offer 0% installments. Since we do need a good computer at home... maybe we can settle for a desktop or even a reasonably priced laptop.

Everything really does look swell for this Christmas... until my husband announced that we need to go to Davao City, his hometown, before the year ends! Oh dear! I’m not sure how I’m going to budget a trip and all the Christmas shopping we need to do!

I guess we won’t be having a new sofa or a computer. Oh well, we just have to spend within our means!

After all the help and support we got from our families during our wedding last august, Christmas would be the best time for me and my hubby to show how much we appreciate and love them. I’d rather splurge for them than for anyone else. I want to give them something they really want and make them happy! Those doesn’t have to be expensive… right?

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Money! Money! Money!

When I was in college I pictured myself filthy rich by 28. I figured since I studied really hard, and I graduated from a very very good university, companies would be fighting over me and offering me tons of cash. Well, I'm 28... married... and living paycheck after paycheck! Grrrr!

Its just frustrating... (sigh!) But I have to stop sulking and turn the tables around. There's no use regretting over bad choices now. Its high time to save (and make more money)!

I've read from MSN about the Women In Red. Its a message board started by MP Dunleavy which actually created an on-line community to help Americans in financial crisis. Here, in the Philippines, money is rarely talked about. It would be too tasteless if you admit that you want to be rich. Bwah!!!

Anyway, I'm starting this blog to help me save and even earn some extra pesos. I just want an avenue to proclaim how I manage to save P10 in a day, or rant at my boss for not paying overtime, or rave about the shoes that I soooo long to buy but can't!