Dinner at 22 Prime Discovery Suites

“Roses are red, violets are blue. We’ll treat you to dinner tonight at Prime 22.”

Toblerone cheesecake from Coffee Bean + calligraphy (c/o my sister, Camille)
Toblerone cheesecake from Coffee Bean + calligraphy (c/o my sister, Camille)

Two weeks ago, our parents celebrated their 30th anniversary. Because it was a very special occasion for the family, my siblings and I prepared two surprises for them that day. The first one was an invitation for our parents to have dinner with us at 22 Prime (Discovery Suites), one of the best steak restaurants in Manila. While, the second surprise was an email account filled with greetings and messages from more than 100 people, including family and friends. Yay!

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By God’s grace, our parents enjoyed the surprise celebration! We spent the whole night talking about their marriage, what they have been learning from their experiences, and how God has been so gracious to them and to our family for the past 30 years. (You can read more about it here: http://encouragingtreats.com/secret-30-years-marriage/)

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We usually don’t eat at hotels because of our budget. But, every now and then, it’s fun to try something new with the family. When we arrived at Prime 22, the staff warmly welcomed us and guided us to our table. They even offered to pull and push our chairs as we sat down. Love it! The place had dim and soft lights all over the place which helped create a cozy and relaxing atmosphere. Throughout the whole night, the waiters also stood nearby and attended to our requests. Even without us asking, they re-filled our glasses with cold water – a simple and thoughtful act that I truly appreciate as a customer whenever I dine out.  Moreover, while waiting for our main dishes, we were given two, refillable baskets of complimentary bread with spreads. The spreads offered were: Herbed butter, Feta Cheese in Olive Oil, and Sun Dried Tomatoes.

For our main dishes, we had the ff.:

LOBSTER BISQUE (Php 395) – Fresh lobster, micro greens, and tomato herb croutons. Although this soup was a bit salty for me, it still had a rich seafood taste and was very smooth and creamy.

Lobster Bisque at 22 Prime
Lobster Bisque at 22 Prime

PRIME CEASAR SALAD (Php 360) – Fresh bacon, six minute egg, and shaved parmesean cheese. A simple and refreshing salad. It helped balance the strong flavors of the soup and steaks.

Prime Ceasar Salad at 22 Prime
Prime Ceasar Salad at 22 Prime

SURF N TURF (Php 1,450) – Grilled Angus ribeye steak, jumbo prawns, twice baked potato, and grilled asparagus, zucchini, and cherry tomatoes. The 200-gram Angus steak was perfectly tender and juicy. It had a tangy gravy on the side, but even without it, it was already full of flavor. I just hoped that the steak and prawns were bigger though. But overall, it was a delicious dish. You can never go wrong with ordering steak and seafood. Well, for me, at least. It’s one of my favorite combinations!

Surf n Turf at 22 Prime
Surf n Turf at 22 Prime

WAGYU HANGER STEAK (Php 950) – 200-gram grilled hanger steak, baked tomato, and herb mashed potatoes. I like how the steak was perfectly grilled without having any hint of bitterness. Even if it had charred marks, it was delicious, juicy, tender, and flavorful. How did they do it? Haha! The mashed potatoes also complemented the steak well. It had the right amount of salt, butter, cream, and herbs.

Wagyu Hanger Steak at 22 Prime
Wagyu Hanger Steak at 22 Prime

OYSTERS PLATEAU (Php 1,200) – A tower of oysters served with a cocktail sauce, mignonette, and horseradish cream. THIS DISH WAS THE HIGHLIGHT OF THE NIGHT. We made sure to order oysters because we were celebrating the pearl anniversary of our parents. :) Aside from its lovely presentation, this tower had 3 kinds of oysters (broiled, baked, and Rockefeller) which was perfect for our family since we have different taste preferences. My personal favorite is the classic oysters Rockefeller (with lemon juice squeezed over them). My other siblings liked the cheesy baked and broiled oysters more.

Oysters Plateau at 22 Prime
Oysters Plateau at 22 Prime
Oysters Plateau at 22 Prime
Oysters Plateau at 22 Prime
Oysters Plateau at 22 Prime
Oysters Plateau at 22 Prime

CHOCOLATE GODDESS (Php 360) – Double chocolate mousse, melted dark chocolate, topped with candied pistachios. This dessert was amazing. Even after two weeks, I still remember how rich the chocolate flavor was. It also had a smooth texture which was very delectable. When I go back to Prime 22, I wouldn’t mind ordering this dessert again.

Chocolate Goddess at 22 Prime
Chocolate Goddess at 22 Prime

Before we left the place, the staff and waiters of Prime 22 were gracious enough to help us surprise our parents one last time that evening. Just before serving our dessert, they brought in a complimentary slice of chocolate cake with a dedication (made out of chocolate ganache) written on the plate. They also brought out the bouquet of flowers that we bought for mom earlier that day. Yay! Thank you, Prime 22, for the special treat!

22 Prime
22 Prime

As we were on our way out, our dad shared that his heart was so full and overwhelmed because of the love and grace they experienced that day through the surprise gifts and greetings. It was also a very encouraging experience for the whole family and we can only thank God for this privilege and for His grace.

This is the day which the LORD has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it. –Psalm 118:24

 

Until our next special night out! :)

 

PRIME 22

22nd floor, Discovery Suites, 25 ADB Avenue, Ortigas Center Pasig City.

For reservations, call  7196822  or 7198888.

www.discoverysuites.com

The Secret to 30 Years of Marriage

My dad and mom were supposed to split up during their first year of marriage. Back then, my parents had opposite personalities and they came from different family backgrounds which triggered the tension, arguments, and emotional and physical hurt between them. But, by the grace of God, He used one of my dad’s best friends to share Jesus and the Bible to my parents and it turned their lives around! Last night, our family celebrated their 30th anniversary and we thanked God for His goodness and grace in their lives.

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During our family dinner, my siblings and I took turns in asking our parents about the memorable experiences they’ve had and the lessons they’ve learned since they got married. It was an encouraging time with the family because we got to know their hearts more as they opened up about their past. They shared about some of the mistakes they’ve done and how they were encouraged by God to keep on learning and improving for His glory. They also recalled how God changed their hearts and allowed them to grow in their relationship with Him, which greatly influenced the way they dealt with the hurdles and calamities that our family encountered these past years.

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However, if there was only one thing that I could take home from our celebration last night, it was our parents’ emphasis on the grace of God. It was because of God’s grace, that our parents were able to honor God and be faithful in their relationship throughout the years. After attending Bible studies and knowing Jesus more during their first year of marriage, they realized that they were just living their sinful lives for themselves. They understood that they needed our Savior, Jesus Christ, and by His grace, they placed their faith in Him and accepted Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior.

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It says in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

God desires that we spend an abundant life with Him for eternity because He loves us so much. However, because of our sins, we were separated from Him. In Romans 6:23, it even says that the penalty for our sins is death – and this death refers to us spending eternity in hell; being separated from God forever. But, the amazing thing about God and His Word is that we always have hope in Him. God already made a way for us to be reconciled and to spend eternity with Him in heaven by sending His one and only Son, Jesus, to die for us and to conquer death when he rose again after three days. It is only through Jesus that we can have eternal life.

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Three decades ago, my parents came to know Jesus and experienced Him in a personal way. This radically changed the way they lived ever since. Their desires for sin lessened and their love for the Lord grew. And because of the overflowing love and grace that they received from God, they were encouraged to share Jesus to each other and to others too, including us (children), relatives, and friends. Whenever they are tempted to sin, to be bitter towards each other, or to dwell on their mistakes, they would be reminded of God’s love, grace, and forgiveness and their hearts would be changed.

What was the secret to their 30 years of marriage? It was experiencing God’s grace and sharing it to others.

My dad and mom still have arguments and still get hurt by each other every now and then, but by God’s grace, they continue to trust in the Lord and choose to honor Him in their marriage.

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Dearest Dad and Mom,

I want to take this time to honor you and appreciate you both. Thank you for being faithful in your relationship with the Lord and with each other. It is inspiring to see you reach this milestone despite the many bumps you’ve experienced along the way. Indeed, it is only by His grace that you are still happily married and serving the Lord together. Hehehe. I pray that God would continue to touch your hearts and help you grow more in love with Him each day. Thank you for constantly sharing Jesus and His word to the people around you (e.g. during birthday parties, wake services, casual meals, vacation trips, and at different church activities). Thank you for encouraging us to always seek the Lord, spend time with His word, and honor Him by discipling others. Thank you also for giving us practical tips on how to manage the resources that God has blessed us with. May the Lord continue to use you to be a blessing to the people around you. I love you, guys! Happy 30th anniversary!

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Encouraging others one treat at a time. :)

The Squid Ate a Fish

“Aaahh! Guess what?! The squid ate a fish! The squid ate a fish!!” I ran around the house with a lifeless, baby fish on my hand and told my family about the awesome moment I had with mom.

While I was helping her prepare our dinner last night, she casually told me that she found a baby fish in the belly of the squid. Before I could even react, she immediately threw the fish in the trash bowl near her. “Mom! Why’d you throw it away?” I said. “Hahaha. I want to see it!”

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So, she got the fish and placed it on my hand… and I couldn’t believe it. It was amazing!!! I was so amused by it that I had to tell everyone about it. I went back to the kitchen with the baby fish and asked mom why she wasn’t surprised or excited about it.

She told me that it wasn’t her first time to see a fish in a squid. And when I asked her how many times this happened before, she couldn’t give me an estimate. They were too many to count.

“What?? Hahaha. That’s funny. I’ve never seen a fish in the bellies of the squids I’ve cleaned before. This is so cooool, mom.” I replied.

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That simple moment with my mom reminded me of the privilege of freely spending time with my parents and learning from their experiences and wisdom. They know so much more than I do — and even if I, sometimes, am tempted to think that they don’t, I trust that God will continue to work in and through them as they speak to me and lead me. Besides, God doesn’t make mistakes and He certainly didn’t make a mistake in choosing them as my parents and making me their daughter.

Proverbs 1:8 – “Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.”

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If I didn’t spend time with mom in the kitchen last night, I would have missed out on a rare opportunity: to see a baby fish in the belly of a squid. Woohoo! But, God allowed it to happen and I really enjoyed it! By His grace, I pray that I will continuously make an effort to spend time with my folks as much as I can. :)

“Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.” –Exodus 20:12

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Encourage yourself one treat at a time. :)

My Parents Asked Me Out on a Date

Early this year, Dad and Mom expressed their desire to spend more time with us, kids. One of their action steps was to schedule a “Date Night” with each of us. Alright! Free food! Hahaha. I’m just kidding. But anyway, I recently told them how much I appreciate it because making time for family really is a blessing, especially since we only get to see each other early in the morning, late in the evening, and on weekends. Not much time is spent on getting to know each other and building each other up. But, thankfully, my parents initiated this family project and last Thursday night, they asked me out on a date. Woohoo!

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We had dinner at Lee Hak Korean restaurant, along Pioneer St., Mandaluyong city. The place was huge compared to the other restaurants nearby and the food was really good. Every time we eat at a Korean restaurant, I always enjoy a bowl of hot and spicy noodle soup and a lot of meat and vegetables for grilling. Yum!

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My parents and I spent the rest of the night talking about random things like how I was at home, at work, at church; any struggles I’ve dealt with and am currently dealing with; dreams I have been praying for; goals; my relationships; guy friends; and other family matters. It was a privilege for me to hear insights and encouraging words from my parents and at the same time, share with them what God has been teaching me lately. There were also times when I cried while I was sharing to them what was in my heart. But, I saw them listen attentively and it really blessed my heart and encouraged me to be more open to them.

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I praise God for the heartwarming date night that I had with my folks. They weren’t stingy with kind and sincere words and I saw how they truly wanted to honor God by spending time with and mentoring me (and my siblings on their date nights with them).

My dad and mom aren’t perfect, but I am humbled to see them walk closely with God and am truly blessed to witness them lead us closer to Jesus too.

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Proverbs 22:6 says “Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.”

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Thank you, Dad and Mom! ‘Til our next date! :)

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They treated me with a Banana Mango Frapp from Starbucks too!

Encourage yourself one treat at a time. :)