Goldilocks Megamall Needs Improvement

Whenever I am eating at a fast food restaurant I expect that (1) my orders are served quickly and (2) the restaurant staff will treat me nicely. These are just simple expectations but there are fast food restaurants that fail to fulfill these expectations of mine. One of such restaurant is the SM Megamall branch of Goldilocks.

My beloved wanted to have dinuguan for dinner so we went to Goldilocks. I noticed that there are two queues inside the restaurant. One queue is for those who are ordering Goldilocks cakes. The other queue is for those who are ordering the Goldilocks meal.

The queue for the Goldilocks meal is quite long. The reason for this is that there is only one cashier and only two employees assembling the orders of the customers. Another bad thing is that customers had to wait on line while waiting for their orders to be assembled. The result is that customers became impatient, which made them nasty. The impatience of the customers also affected the staff of Goldilocks. Maybe that is the reason why the cashier is not smiling when she served our orders.
Goldilocks Dishes

Goldilocks is like a big carinderia and this image is reinforced in the way they present their dishes. However, I find the restaurant’s Filipino image weird because the name Goldilocks is so American. 

Goldilocks Dinuguan

In fairness, Goldilocks’ dinuguan tasted good. It is no surprise that this dish is My Beloved's favorite. We also also ordered the Veggie Lumpia but it is too sweet for our liking.
Goldilocks fresh lumpia

What I ordered for dinner is this:
Goldilocks Karekare

This is Goldilocks’ kare-kare, which just tasted OK. 

My advice to Goldilocks is that they improve their system of getting orders from their customers. They should copy the system of other fast food restaurants like Jollibee and Mang Inasal. Customers are given numbers so they can leave the queue and go to their seats. It is the restaurant staff that will bring the ordered dishes to the customers. This will reduce the number of impatient customers and un-smiling cashiers.


Photos of pork dinuguan and veggie lumpia came from Goldilocks website.

How about you Dear Reader? Did you dine in Goldilocks Megamall. What is your experience on their service? Let us talk about it by leaving a comment.

Waterworld of España Boulevard

I was both amazed and baffled last Monday night when I looked at Taft Avenue from the platform of LRT – Pedro Gil Station. The whole stretch of Taft Avenue is submerged in floodwaters! My great dilemma was the fact that I have to go down the LRT station and brave that ultra-mega-super-filthy flood.
Flooded Taft Avenue

I left that area of Taft Avenue with my sock soaked with disgusting floodwaters. Even my beloved and her sister, whom we fetched from the nearby Robinson's Mall, were not spared. They also braved the flooded Taft Avenue.

The rains and floods that Monday night is just the beginning of the calamity brought by the “habagat” winds. I woke Tuesday morning just to see that major parts of Metro Manila were submerged by floodwaters. People from low-lying areas were evacuated. Many people died by electrecution,drowning and landslide.

I decided to go back to work on Thursday even though many areas are still flooded. Employees, like me, were forced to go work because the government didn't suspend work in government and private offices.

I knew something was amiss when the bus conductor told us that they will be cutting their trip at Blumentritt Street. It only meant that España Boulevard is still flooded. I was not wrong.
Stranded Passengers at España Boulevard
Stranded passengers at Blumetritt corner España Boulevard

I was forced to go down Blumentritt Street because the bus driver didn't want to brave the flooded  España Boulevard. Passenger vehicles are rare so I decided to walk the remeining stretch of  España Boulevard despite the flood.
Flood in de la Fuente Street
Thigh high flood along De La Fuente Street.

There are a lot of people who waded through the flood of  España Boulevard. Most of them are workers who didn't to be late for work. Fortunately, the flood along the side of the boulevard was just as high as my thighs. I might have turn back if the flood rose higher than my hips.

The trains of Philippine National Railways (PNR) continued its operations. Passengers of PNR are fortunate during that day because of it.
PNR at flooded España Boulevard
Flooded España Boulevard and the train of PNR.

I saw some buses that passed through the floods of  España Boulevard. I am dismayed when I saw those bus. The bus that I had ridden earlier should have braved the flood for the sake of the passengers. The operator of Universal Guiding Star is such a chicken.
Florida Bus braving flood along España Boulevard
Bravo Florida Bus Lines!

I know that my ordeal is about to the end when I reached the University of Santo Tomas (UST).
UST fence
Walking beside the fence of UST.

UST is one school worst hit by floods. According to news reports, Floods entered UST Hospital and many patients had to be transferred to the upper floors.
Flooded arch of UST
Flooded arch of UST

Morayta is the last part of my journey. I climbed the footbridge to see the extent of the flood. Here is what I saw:
España Boulevard is flooded
España Boulevard is totally flooded.
Morayta Area
Morayta Area.

Many people used the flood to earn some money like the people who made this bridge:
Makeshift bridge

It is good that the classes are suspended. I am sure that students of Far Eastern University (FEU) will be horified to see this:
Flooded Morayta

I am glad to see that there is no flood at Lerma Street. I am so happy to walk on flood-less street.
Lerma Street

The underpass under Recto Avenue became another big swimming pool. The water in the underpass was gone when I passed yesterday morning.
Flooded Recto Underpass

Walking along the flooded  España Boulevard is a great experience for me though I will not do it again in the future.

Cagsawa Ruins and the Dark Side of Daragang Magayon

Daragang Magayon is the most beautiful maiden in the whole Bicolandia. She is even praised for her goodness. Aside from beauty and goodness, Daragang Magayon is also a cruel woman. She buried people, houses and whole communities in her fury.

The ruins of Cagsawa Church are the testament to her cruelty. Daragang Magayon buried people, houses and whole communities under lahar and rocks in her fury. The ashes that covered the surrounding towns gave ancient Bicolanos a hard life.

I praised the beauty of Mayon Volcano in the previous post. This volcano is famous for having a perfect conical shape. Tourists around the world visit Legazpi City just to get a glimpse of Mayon Volcano. Seeing the perfect cone of Mayon Volcano is one my goals during my visit to Legazpi City. Another goal for me is to visit the famous ruins of Cagsawa Church in the town of Daraga.
Map of Mayon Volcano, Bicolandia
Map of Mayon Volcano and its vicinity.

Mayon Volcano has a diameter of 6 kilometers. The volcano is divided like a pie by the towns of Daraga, Camalig, Guinobatan, Malilipot, and Santo Domingo; and the cities Legazpi, Ligao and Tabaco. Cagsawa Ruins is located at Barangay Busay in Daraga.

My companion and I left Legazpi City for Cagsawa Ruins by riding a jeepney bound to Daraga. We don’t know the location of Cagsawa Ruins. Fortunately, the jeepney driver helped us to find the place where we should alight. Our walk to Cagsawa Ruins began with a cemented street until we reached the river.
River crossing the Cagsawa, Bicolandia

I got excited when I saw the “untamed” crossing at the river. I thought that I will embark into an adventure that entails us to walk along trails, climb dangerous cliffs and swing from one tree to another. The thrill of adventure ended when we reached the other side of the river. I discovered, to my dismay, that the road to Cagsawa Ruins is made of well-paved concrete.

“Where is the adventure!?” I complained. “The path to Cagsawa Ruins is too tame.” I complained again. I kept on complaining until I saw this:
Ruins of Cagsawa Church, Bicolandia

I was awed by the remaining bell tower of Cagsawa Church. This is the only intact part of Cagsawa Church that remained after the 1814 eruption of Mayon Volcano. I only see this bell tower on the old 10-peso bill and postcards from Bicolandia. I am glad that I can finally see and touch the ruins!

An old photo shows that the façade of Cagsawa Church is still intact. Unfortunately, the passage of time and neglect caused the destruction of the façade. I wonder how long the bell tower of Cagsawa Church will continue to stand.
Walls of Cagsawa Church, Bicolandia
Remains of the main church of Cagsawa.

Only the broken walls remained of the main part of Cagsawa Church. What angered me are the people who vandalized the walls as shown in this photo:
Vandalism at Cagsawa Church, Bicolandia

It is sad that many Filipinos don’t value their heritage.
Bell tower of Cagsawa Church, Bicolandia

The first Cagsawa Church was built in the 16th Century under the jurisdiction of the Parish of Camalig. The Dutch, which was then the enemy of the Spanish Empire, ransacked the towns around Legazpi Bay and burned Cagsawa Church in 1636. Another church was built after 1724 by Fray Francisco Blanco OFM. The church was then buried by lava and rocks during the eruption of Mayon Volcano in 1814.
Image of Lord of Divine Mercy at Cagsawa Ruins, Bicolandia
Image of the Lord of Divine Mercy.

The latest addition to the ruins of Cagsawa Church is the image of the Lord of Divine Mercy, which was dedicated during the 2007 Divine Mercy Convention. Cagsawa Church is still part of the Catholic heritage despite the fact that it is now being managed by the local government of Daraga. I am glad that Daraga allowed the image of our Lord to be erected inside the Cagsawa Ruins Park.

Stalls selling pasalubong can be found within Cagsawa Ruins Park. This is the best place to buy souvenirs and sweets. I suggest that you haggle with store owners so you can get the lowest price for their products. What surprised me is the presence of a swimming pool near the ruins of Cagsawa Church.
Swimming pool at Cagsawa Ruins, Bicolandia

I hope that no more swimming pools or resorts are built in the area. The place is already too tame for adventurers and the presence of resorts will just tame it more.

Mayon Volcano is hiding during my visit to Cagsawa Ruins Park. Is she ashamed of what she did to the people of Cagsawa? Possibly not because Mayon Volcano continues to be an active volcano. She is just waiting for the right time to spew her anger to Bicolandia.

Until her next eruption, let us marvel to power of this volcano and pray to all people buried under lava and rocks, which are now covered by green grass.
Green grass of Cagsawa, Bicolandia