Wednesday, February 4, 2015

S & R Shopping Experience

S &R.  I heard it mentioned several times by relatives and friends, but I didn’t take much notice.  Buying imported foods was the catch, but I thought to myself, Mom regularly sends imported foods by balikbayan box and our cabinet was still full of them.  But one day upon a whim, our school friends (our co-parents at school) went to S &R and inquired about membership.  We (Jojo & I) and Dra Jannie ended up applying for a membership and so we all started to shop inside the huge, warehouse-like building.

Items were priced in both US$ and PhpPeso donations.  Many items that I saw reminded me of the brand items in the US.  And it brought me back to the times when we shopped at Costco, another membership warehouse shopping company in the US and in other places around the world.  Items are usually sold in bulk and comparatively priced lower than other grocery stores. Others though were priced the same.  The catch, like I said, is that they sold mostly US-made products, although there were products from other countries too.

It was the pre-Christmas season when we first went and so the place was quite crowded.  Quite familiar was the “patikims” or the “free-taste” tables in different parts of the store.  Not the same was the size of the “patikims”.  I remember that in Costco, the slices were larger, but here understandably with the number of customers, the free-tastes were sized smaller.
Part of the menu selection at the food service section at S & R.
Prices are more expensive than what we're used to but the serving sizes make it all worthwhile

After doing our shopping, we turned to the food section and I was so happy to see familiar foods that Costco also served.  And to add, the serve-yourself condiment section for the ketchup, pickles, etc.  A taste of the hotdog, though I’ve had good hotdog here before, brought me back again to Costco in the US.  Since then, we’ve gone back a number of times, trying the chowder, burger, rolls and pizzas.  The burger, which is double the price that you would usually get from Jollibee or McDonald’s, is absolutely worth it as you can taste the 100% beef.  Plus it’s difficult to finish in one sitting and we end up taking half of it home.

Although there are many items I want to pick up when I go to S &R, I don’t earn dollars anymore and am aware that the prices would be much lower when on sale in the US.  We pick up sale items, which unfortunately, are the items whose expiration is either a few days or 1 or 2 weeks away.  But still worth the price, we have made great bargains with their imported milk, whose original price is P250+ and sale price at a mere P50.  Likewise with jams, salad dressing and ham at 50% off or buy 1 take 1 deal.  We’ve ran out of milk and we’ll be going back there this week to check on the sale of their milk.  I plan to make some cookies this weekend and it will be timely.

The kids have a new favorite in S & R.  Joselyn loves their cheese pizzas, Benjo their garlic and shrimp pizza and chowder.  Since shopping at S &R, I’ve appreciated more the items that mom buys and give us from the US.  Of course, she buys it there at sale prices, while most are at regularly priced at S & R.  So for those who have the chance or is part of a company that provides membership extensions (cheaper annual fees), I suggest you take advantage of this shopping experience. 

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Father Jerry Orbos' words of consolation and inspiration

A column that I usually read every Sunday is Father Jerry Orbos' Moments in the Editorial pages of the Inquirer.  This quote that he re-wrote as part of his article touched and consoled me and hope it does the same especially for those who have recently lost their loved ones such as the families of the fallen 44 PNP SAF members.  The full article can be found in http://opinion.inquirer.net/82195/bravehearts

A prayer for those who have gone ahead of us: “We seem to give them back to You, O God, who gave them to us. Yet as You didn’t lose them in giving, so we do not lose them by their return. Not as the world gives do You give, o Lover of souls. What You give You take not away, for what is Yours is ours also if we are Yours. And life is eternal, and love is immortal, and death is only an horizon, and an horizon is nothing save the limit of our sight. Lift us up, strong Son of God, that we may see further; cleanse our eyes that we may see more clearly; draw us closer to Yourself that we may know ourselves to be nearer our loved ones who are with You. And while you do prepare a place for us, prepare us also for that happy place, that where You are, we may also be forever more.” (Fr. Bede Jarrett, OP)