Monday, April 20, 2015

Family that eats together, gain weight together?

Yes, it has been a week since my sister went back to where she works. 

Yes, we ate a lot during her visit. We went to her fave restaurants as well as tried new ones. 

Yes, there were times we were so famished we forgot to take pictures of the food and ourselves.

Suffice to say, we were filled to the rafters. And as proven by these pictures, we were all smiles and had so much fun doing what we do best ... eating!

Barrio Fiesta, SM Megamall Atrium Wing

 The Francos @ HK Chef, Macapagal Avenue

ABE, SM Megamall Fashion Wing

These photos also prove how much weight I've gained so it is best to moderate my hunger pangs and eat less. As 'exercise' is not part of my wide vocabulary, I guess I have to thank the hopelessly warm, humid and very hot climate as I sweat profusely nowadays. 

Heh! I never thought I would openly admit to 'liking' this terrible weather. Truth is, I am miserable and definitely loathe this sweat inducing climate that has made its hot and sunny presence in full blast in our beloved nation. 

Ugh, time to take my second shower for the day!

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Lenten Break

Despite the long holiday for Lenten break, I am staying put in Metro Manila and watch as the bus terminals, the airports and the port area are crowded with travelers off to their provinces, or going out of the country.

I was brought up in the era where the Holy Week meant going to mass, visiting churches for the adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, listening to the 7 last words, reciting prayers at the Stations of the Cross. So I always feel so darn guilty when I find myself 'enjoying and having fun' during this sacredly solemn period.

But we are in the year 2015 now and time has evolved and people have also adapted new rituals and traditions during Holy Week. It is just fine for me as the going goes 'to each his own'.

But I'm a traditionalist so I'm sticking to my conservative beliefs and values. Besides, the sister dearest is flying in tonight so I have the perfect excuse to stay in Manila. 

Let's all have a significantly meaningful
Holy Week 2015.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Peek a boo @ The Peak

On this last day of March, the sun is scorching hot. The weather app on my smartphone says that the current temperature today at 4:26 PM is 33 degrees Celsius! But they say that the tag-init season has not yet officially started. So expect it to get hotter in the coming months. Nice, NOT!!!

So I'm using reverse psychology and thinking of cooler places I'd rather be right now, this very instant as sweat beads form on my forehead and my back is soaking wet from perspiration.

I'm posting pictures of our visit to the Peak in HK on the third day of this year. The Peak is a favorite place of mine to visit. It has a fantastic view of the whole city state. The climate is very pleasant. It can be reached through different forms of transport like buses, taxis and its famous Peak Tram. 

On our way up we decided to take a double deck bus, boarded on the upper level and enjoyed the long and winding road to reach our destination.

Once you reach The Peak, there are many attractions that will divide your attention. You can dine at the numerous restaurants, you can go shopping at the The Peak Tower mall and you can go to the several viewing decks to admire and soak in the gorgeous view. 

The climate was quite chilly but it did not stop us from going further up to the Sky Terrace 428 Overview for an even picturesque view of HK.

Once there you can avail of the Hong Kong Sky Tour which is an interactive touch screen audio tour. It is free for Sky Terrace 428 ticket holders.  You can listen to an audio tour that explores the architecture, cuisine, culture and history of the state.

As the sun was setting for that day, it got really cold up there so the parents decided to go down and have coffee at the mall. We stayed behind but it was time to don our beanies and gloves to protect from the chilly wind.

Eventually it was too cold for comfort so it was time to descend and say farewell to the Sky Terrace.

To warm our tummy from the cold weather, we all had really yummy hot wanton noodle soup.

With our stomachs full, it was time to join the very long queue to board the Peak tram. It was freezing cold by then as the evening air enveloped us but I totally loved it!!!

Friday, March 20, 2015

Flashback Friday

Yesterday at around 1 pm, I got a Whatsapp message from sister dearest along with this picture: "Back in London after 20 years!"

This image of WHSmith was taken at London's Heathrow Airport Terminal 5.

Yes, she is correct. It has indeed been 20 long years since we stepped on UK soil. Yet I remember it quite fondly. 

November 1995 - my parents and I were based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. While my sister worked as an associate editor in a travel magazine based in Singapore. She was sent by her company to cover this huge travel trade fair in Earl's Court, London. So we decided to meet there.  Dad stayed behind in Dubai since he was working so Mom and I flew to London via British Airways, I believe it was a six hour flight.

It was my first time in London. My mom and I explored the sights then would meet up with sis for dinner. After the trade fair was over, she took some days off. It was freezing cold but we all had so much fun. We watched "The Phantom of the Opera", "Miss Saigon" (Monique Wilson as Kim) and "Sunset Boulevard" on West End.

It was a short visit but packed with exciting adventures, good food and happy conversations.  Just enough to add to our warehouse of well cherished and pleasant memories.

WH Smith was the bookstore of our youth. When we were based in Brussels, Belgium in the late 1970s, we bought all our books (Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew classics) from that store. Seeing that image brought back fond childhood memories for me and it seems for sister dearest, too.  

Wednesday, March 18, 2015


This is a continuation of the previous post which basically expounds and lauds D's new found skills. He has also dabbled into creative art and this includes photography as a hobby. Besides, isn't everybody into taking photos, nowadays? But he has a keen eye and tend to 'compose' pictures from an alternative angle than the usual images. And I am not just saying that because he is my hubby, other people have commented on it. :D

He has also mastered the use of Corel Draw and has come up with banners/posters which come in handy in the course of his work. Case in point, he is the one who designed this banner from scratch (mind you!) for their recent photo exhibit at the Adamson University Art Gallery.

Last Sunday, I was beaming with pride when we attended their photo exhibit. The main theme was the province of Marinduque but it also featured other photos and art works by eight faculty members of PUP. 

He composed the "Artists Note".

It is a small gallery and the crowd who visited were just a handful but it is a start. A passionate hobby that has captured his dedicated heart. He can be quite meticulous when he puts his whole heart, body and soul into a project. I should know because I tend to take a back seat and can only offer my unwavering support.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Pride and Prejudice

Let's see so this year (in May), we will be marking our 7th year of wedded bliss. But up to now, I still discover certain things, qualities and abilities of my hubby which surprise and amaze me. Heh! I know seven years is not a long time but still. Now don't get me wrong, it isn't disparaging at all. The discovery is pleasant and fills me with pride and dare I say prejudice.

Of course, back then I knew he was (and still is) a jolly, kind-hearted and God fearing person. And also physically he is attractive so that is an added bonus. He teaches history at the collegiate level so naturally he has the brains, too. I can say that handling 9 classes composed of 40+ students per classroom is no mean feat. You should see him when it is grading time, all those class records with almost 400 students to check, mark and record their grades - it is chaotic. But he is used to it by now, I just stay out of his way!

December 2013 he decided to embark on a self imposed 'challenge' to come up with a daily 'article' about Jose Rizal, for one year. He diligently researched, composed and wrote from the heart, each day for one whole year. 365 articles! It was quite a challenge! I saw that it took a toll on him because he hardly slept just to meet the deadline of posting each article before midnight for 365 days.

Yet he managed and all of his hard work paid off, he finished it January of this year. His writings are facts and similes about our national hero. D's vivid imagination came to fore and they are all well written. My only role was to edit here and there for them to be concise. We are currently busy working on the manuscript and hopefully have it published in book form, soon.

What I'm trying to convey in this post is how I am in awe with how D uses his God given talent to excel in everything he puts his heart into. I mean I knew he was smart et al, being a professor, you know. But I never knew he was this good!

I guess I should be ashamed I am admitting this out loud here in a public blog, because you see I was under the impression that his forte was writing in the vernacular but once I started reading his daily compositions, I was impressed he can write equally well in the King's language.

Just as I mentioned above, it is a pleasant surprise and I feel nothing but immense pride that I married such a talented guy!  Mind you, I didn't say 'perfect' because he has his flaws and his shortcomings but I'll just keep that to myself. It's nothing I can't handle. Ako pa?! :D

Saturday, February 28, 2015


Chinese New Year was celebrated in HK on the 19th of February. Prior to that I was a bit confused which Chinese zodiac animal was being ushered in. Some say it is the year of the goat, others say the year of the sheep or ram.  

My sister asked a colleague of hers at work and according to her Chinese co-worker, the word that they use in their language is the same for both animals. So it could either mean it is a goat or a sheep based on how they pronounce the word.

So that still didn't answer my question but based on the displays at the malls, it seemed they couldn't distinguish it either. You judge for yourself based on these pictures I took. :D

This is definitely not a goat nor a sheep.
Some giant cat whose relevant is 
completely lost to me.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015


I got back Monday, Feb. 23, 2014 after two weeks of lovely cool climate, loads of eating out + 3 days of being totally sick with intestinal flu (horrible because all 3 days, I vomited every time I ate something!). 

Then Chinese New Year, the Year of the Goat came and all the stores, dining places were closed for 4 days (from Thursday to Sunday!). Apparently, I wasn't aware that the whole of HK closes down for CNY. Neither did my sister since this was the first time she spent CNY in HK.

But I was still happy because I spent it with my sister and we just stayed home and watched movies while eating microwave popcorn. Thankfully by then, my tummy was cooperating so I could take in some solid food without throwing up. An upgrade from surviving on crackers and Pocari all day.

As usual as I type this post, I'm sweating profusely.  Blah! Even though according to the local weather bureau, RP is still being visited by Amihan, strong winds from China which envelops our beloved nation with cool winds. But it seems it would all change by next week when the 'tag-init' season sets in. Phew!

I can't really complain because there is really no place like home! =)