SC Vivo City Opens in District 7

 photo 20150419_101752_zpsaorwj7hr.jpgBecause I’m Filipino and our country has the largest malls in the world, I think I can pass as a mall expert. LOL.

So yesterday, on a Sunday, SC Vivo City opened its doors to the public. FINALLY! I mean this mall looked finished in December 2014 so we were all scratching our heads when it was taking months to open. Yeah we’re not excited that way. Well, it’s right next to our apartment and we were all raring to go to a mall a cartwheel away.

 photo 20150419_102155_zpsu1pqbav5.jpgIt wasn’t McDonald’s that interest me. As I really am not a fan (but the queue was long, I tell yah!) of their burgers. McPork, anyone? There are no breakfast meals too. But that’s another story altogether. As a Pinoy, I have tired of their menu.

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Aside from the Coop Xtra Hypermart (woohoo!!!),  PNC’s Book Cafe got me doing my happy dance inside.

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The Apple Kids Club and Lego Play is a terrific place to stash your kids away (yeah parang closet lang) while you say go watch an iMax movie. We actually did that yesterday while mom and I were gagging over Fast and Furious 7. However, hubby stayed in the Apple Kids Club with Sam and according to him the place is not that safe. The place isn’t that strict when letting adults get their kids. In Manila, there’s a playplace in SM North where the adult and child’s photo are taken to make sure that no untoward incidents will happen. So stash your kids there at your own risk. According to hubby, it’s 80kVND per child for an unlimited number of hours and 100kVND during weekends and holidays.

 photo 20150419_103714_zpsrn0pvouu.jpgVivo City has a bowling alley inside their entertainment center! It’s been years since I last held a bowling ball so I can’t wait to try it out.

 photo 20150419_103720_zpsfatroypf.jpgRight next to the arcade is California Fitness and Yoga for the health nut.

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And on the roof, is the Sky Park which adults and kids will love! A perfect place to beat the heat. There are showers too so bring along some extra clothes.

 photo 20150419_104341_zpsl92nlz6u.jpgI love the fact that Vivo City has a number of restaurants to choose from. Yun lang on opening day, there were just too many people so you couldn’t eat in peace. :P

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Glad that Pepper Lunch opened their store here. But there were other restaurants to choose from like Sumo BBQ, King BBQ, Hot Pot Story, Koh Thai Bistro, and even Vuvuzela!

 photo 20150419_115943_zps69plm9v0.jpgFor posing with coffee, there’s Starbucks and on the other end, there’s Phuc Long. :D

The men will be happy to know that Harley Davidson has set up shop here. But of course the ladies have everything else. :P I think Crescent Mall’s sales will be affected with Vivo City opening. Most of the shops in Crescent Mall are in Vivo as well (minus Robins of course). Although we have yet to see Western shops, like Diesel, Guess, Gap, Esprit, CK, Aldo and the like in Vivo.

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We visited Vivo in the morning then again in the afternoon to catch FF7.

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The whole place was still packed.

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The iMax was nice. Not!!! Now I remember why I disliked watching 3Ds.  Okay so given we had to sit in front, the screen was just 10 steps away from our seat! So you can imagine, my mom and I staring up the screen watching at furiously fast scenes (gag). Am pretty sure it’s better at the back but seriously, some shows are not for iMax. Yeah yeah. I know am old!!! And I would have hoped that theaters using such technology would consider the distance of seats to the screen. Even if you had to get the front seats, one should still get a good experience! Avengers is up on the 23rd so if you want to book your tickets, do so now at cgv.vn. But as for me, I’d pass up on the iMax. Good ol’ 2D will do it for me.

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Hopefully the crowd will let up in the coming days. Otherwise, I don’t think I’d be frequenting this place as much as I want. :P

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Stalking the Stalkers’ Duo

 photo Stalker-CBS_zps7rzni0hf.jpgSo I realized today that I am a fangirl.

Who else did we ran into during lunch at Hum? No less than American-Vietnamese actress, Maggie Q and Dylan McDermott of CBS TV Series, Stalker.

 photo ea64998c9a879883addb5647c6e59661c5ba43966053376299f7275aa865bb33_zpsqkjc9pg5.jpgHubby actually saw them first as they entered the restaurant but was unsure who they were except that they looked familiar. Over dessert, it dawned on him that the gorgeous lady was Maggie Q of Stalker which we both love!

 photo 1f03de86d7e178ff765b15e46a5da94d1a00f45700a8f9aad853a5a4bb3eb5f4_zpsvobsxdsy.jpgMaggie Q was gracious to oblige us with a couple of photos with of course her fiance and co-star, Dylan McDermott. I think I apologized twice for disturbing their party.  But yeah, I couldn’t let the opportunity pass. :D

Am just glad that I didn’t stutter when Maggie asked me a couple of questions. Startstruck!

This made my day!

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War Within the Walls

If you remember, I met Chau last year while visiting a friend’s place in District 7.

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I knew Chau is a star but didn’t know he is a SUPERSTAR until early this week, producer, Jerry Franck, got in touch with me and shared their short documentary film of Chau called War Within the Walls. It is currently being shown at film festivals in the U.S. and aims to bring awareness to the drastic effect of Agent Orange.

To know more about this documentary, head on to their Facebook page.

Here’s the trailer:

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Food Trip: Vuoc Quong Tom

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Sorry for the out of focus shot.

Today’s food trip brought me to Vuoc Quong Tom along Le Quy Dong just behind the Reunification Palace.

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It’s a shrimp place we definitely had to try the shrimp. We were first served with the salted shrimp which was presented in huge silver cauldron.

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I love shrimps but when eating with other people like today (with officemates), it is definitely a challenge. How do you not lose poise when opening a shrimp? But this was well-worth losing your poise for.

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Next, we had the sweet and sour calamares. Definitely filling and delicious!

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My favorite was the fried and crispy chicken joints in lemongrass. You have got to try this one!

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Soft and chewy, the beef barbecue with sesame seeds  did not disappoint.

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We were served fried rice and vegetable rice. I enjoyed both but the veggie rice is a winner. The veggie rice was mixed with  veggies (of course!), egg, and pork.

I finally remembered to ask my Vietnamese officemate why rice is served towards the end of the meal. The answer? Well the answer was not too clear but my officemate said that traditionally, rice isn’t served first in the Vietnamese culture.

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And yes, hotpot came in last! Why is soup served last? This totally goes against the dining etiquette I grew up with.  :P

 photo 20150406_130120_zpsq06nmm0u.jpgBut who cares, right?

When in Vietnam, do as the Vietnamese do.

Vuoc Quong Tom
13 Le Quy Don, D3, HCMC

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Where to get documents authenticated?

 photo 20150326_151421_zpssk0ra4ad.jpgSo where do you get your documents authenticated? The Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

It’s been a while since I last visited and the authentication department has moved from Alexander de Rhodes to 184 Pasteur St. — which is basically the same compound but the entrance is at a different street.

I found the new system a bit cumbersome than when I did transactions a couple of years ago. Before, I could just wait for number, pass my papers along with the photocopy, pay and be done with it.

Now, after having your papers photocopied, you’d have to go to the workstations at the right of the entrance. Fill out a transaction for online. It’s in Vietnamese and English so it’s easy enough but lately, the computers don’t work at all. You can go to the office next to the counters and ask someone to help you input your data for you though, which is a plus I guess. And they speak exceptional English, so that helps a whole lot.

After having the transaction filled up, you wait for your number to be called to pass your documents for authentication. Remember to bring a valid ID and for foreigners, that means BRINGING YOUR PASSPORT.

After which, you’d have to pay for the transaction which starts for 30,000VND per document. As always, you’d get your authenticated document on the next working day.

Just a bit surprised that there are more transactions going on these days than when I first did a couple of years ago.

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Special Mass with Archbishop Arguelles

 photo Arguelles-Ramon-C._0_zpsxuz79ymq.jpgArchbishop Ramon Arguelles of Lipa, Batangas (Philippines) shall be officiating a special Mass for the Filipino community in Vietnam on April 16, Thursday, 4PM at Daughters of Charity at 42 Tu Xuong St., District 3, Ho Chi Minh City.

See you there!

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Food Trip: The Workshop

 photo 20150319_174649_zpsm5zju1mk.jpgThe Workshop has been open for some 6 months according to the staff who was very chatty with us when we visited last week.

 photo 20150319_182151_zpsmsh7ofo6.jpgFound in one of the old buildings along Ngo Duc Ke in District 1, I couldn’t believe that there’s a haven on top of the steep, rickety stairs. I literally huffed and puffed my way up lugging my archaic heavy laptop.

 photo 20150319_182139_zpslvkk2tbw.jpgI love the seemingly antique heavy furniture of The Workshop which again reminds me of L’usine.

 photo 20150319_182131_zpsix5npihh.jpgWe came in early evening and the place had lots of customers mostly busy with their laptops. It’s a workshop after all. :P

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More heavy furniture inside.

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The place reminds me of warehouse with all the trusses and industrial lights —

 photo 20150319_175833_zpsnltgw4fx.jpgOf course, you just had to order coffee here. And you can choose between Vietnam or Laos Coffee — all Arabica.

 photo 20150319_182052_zpsyzl58tih.jpgThe place also partially looked like a laboratory with all the different flasks for preparing coffee.

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They have pasta and sandwiches. I had the ham and cheese sandwich while hubby had the burger. They were both delish!

 photo 20150319_175026_zpskqbrhsfc.jpgHere’s a close up of my sandwich. :P

 photo 20150319_180139_zpswaxytjgk.jpgAnd hubby’s mouthwatering chicken burger with basil.

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If you just wanna hangout and chill or work, the crowd in The Workshop is pretty decent. Highly recommended!

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