Saturday, December 27, 2008

Last Post for the Year 2008

I'm posting this early because as 2008 bids us adieu, we will be busy with a flurry of activities. We have scheduled a day trip to Tagaytay. We will boldly invade some malls for their year end sales. And most likely welcome 2009 holed in at the condo with bountiful food and a few Dvds to entertain us as the whole country implodes with a very loud and noisy cacophony of firecrackers and fireworks.

2008 was a great year for me.
I was blessed with abundance in all aspects and in every sense of the word.
I am grateful for having supportive parents and a very generous sister.
I am equally thankful for marrying a guy with a big heart.
I am lucky to have experienced out of town trips.
I am amazed I turned 40 years old and not feel my age.
I'm impressed with the places I visited like like the Manila Ocean Park, the Nayong Pilipino and Intramuros.
I am happy that my blog has been publishing for 5 years now.
I am appreciative of the faithful readers of my blog(s).
I've received and continue to accumulate more blessings from the Almighty with the loving support of my family and of course my beloved husband.
It was definitely a year filled with many milestones as well as cherished moments and everything else in between which fill(ed) my little heart with so much love and happiness.

So let me conclude by saying thank you, maraming salamat po, merci beaucoup for your continuous patronage of my blog. Here's to more blogging posts for all of us in the year 2009. =)

Friday, December 26, 2008

'Tis the day after Christmas

It seems like only a few months ago when the TV networks started their countdown to Christmas. It finally came and we celebrated solemnly by hearing Mass at 10pm at St Fr@ncis and got home just in time to prepare the Noche Buena feast. This year we had Pancit Malabon (which we ordered from C0rrie's) together with Puto Binan, Fiesta Ham, Queso de Bola, Chicken Ham (for the parents), Chicken Galantina, my Beef Sopas (it was a huge hit! Yehey) and for dessert we had fruit salad and kakanin (sapin sapin and biko).

C0rrie's Pancit Malabon

Noche Buena feast

We (my sister and I) slept at around 2am after cleaning all the dishes and trying to find enough space in the ref to put away all the leftovers in Tupperware containers.

On Christmas day itself we decided to just stay in after we saw the news reports that massive crowds were gathered at malls. We had breakfast, lunch and dinner at the condo munching on paksiw, fried tilapia along with the Noche Buena leftovers. Then after dinner, we all settled down in front of the TV to watch a bootleg copy of "Tweeeelight". For want of something to watch, really. It was fun though hearing the snide remarks of 5 very critical movie viewers all talking at the same time while the plot of a human - vampire (young) love story was unfolding in all its blurry glory. It was a Captain Jack Sparrow copy, after all. Ho ho ho!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Happy Holidays!

So far, I've mailed Christmas cards to my relatives and closest friends.

I've done the rounds of the tiangges (all in one day!) to do my Christmas shopping. Last Saturday, we went to the Noel Bazaar at the WTC (World Trade Center), the bazaar at Tiendesitas and ended the day at the COD Christmas bazaar in Greenhills. By the way, by shopping I mean I bought new clothes for just me, myself and I!

I've helped D gift wrap the presents for his 7 inaanaks. That was really quite a pleasant activity. Much to my utter surprise, D is a master at wrapping gifts. He even accentuates the wrapper to create those mini folds. Me, I admit I'm really lousy at gift wrapping. There is a reason the gift bag was invented, you know. For lazy people like me to simply insert the gift inside and write on the gift tag. :D

Tomorrow D and I are heading over to the condo to join my family in celebrating the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ. For the first time in my entire existence, I will actually be cooking something to add to the dining table along with the traditional Noche Buena fare like queso de bola, fiesta ham and pancit. I will be cooking my favorite recipe - beef sopas!

Let me end by wishing everyone a very meaningful Christmas!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Another Field Trip

Yesterday, we headed to the Clark Freeport Zone. Zipping through the NLEX which has greatly improved in terms of road quality, readily available emergency facilities and its efficient rest stops (mini mall like ambiance), we were there in less than 2 hours.

Since we had snack at one of the rest stops, we headed straight to the Clark Expo. More specifically the Nayong Pilipino. You can find replicas of some of the famous landmarks in our country like the Barasoain Church and Colonial Plazas. There are also regional houses which were categorized as Ifugao, Kalinga and Kapampangan villages. Sad to say, Nayong Pilipino was pretty deserted and we were the only people roaming around the premises. A quick lunch at a local eatery gave us more energy to continue our itinerary.

Next stop was the Clark Museum which is located right across the sprawling Parade ground. The original site of Fort Stotsenburg which was named after Colonel John M. Stotsenburg, a Captain of the 6th US Cavalry. The massive fort was the location of the first permanent quarters of the American forces in Sapang Bato, Angeles. The Clark Museum which is also known as Museo Kapampangan traces the history of the US military presence in the Philippines, features Philippine military history and has an elaborate Mount Pinatubo exhibit. It also presents Clark as a former US military base and its evolution into a special economic zone as depicted in pictures, dioramas, replicas, murals and artifacts. It was really interesting from a military/historical point of view especially for a gal like me who knows zilch about Philippine history.

Then we hit several duty free shops. With nothing particular in mind nor a list of items to buy, we merely browsed through the Px goods. Mentally calculating the price which was quoted in US dollars, there were some items which are considerably cheaper there than at the malls like Tasters Choice coffee and all those sinful Hershey kisses and chocolate bars!

By 5:30pm we headed back towards the metropolis, catching a fading glimpse of the imposing Mount Arayat as it loomed in the distance. Since we were already hungry from all the walking we did, we decided to have an early dinner at the Mega Station rest stop located somewhere in the San Fernando vicinity of Pampanga. We ate at Razon's which tasted way better than their outlets at food courts in the malls. I had skinless longganisa which is a personal favorite of mine, I could eat it for every single meal for the rest of my life and not complain one bit!

This post would have been a lot more interesting to read if it had captioned pictures to describe my fun filled day. But alas for some strange reason the compact flash memory got corrupted so I cannot retrieve the shots. I am way beyond sad that I cannot recover the pictures. But I am still hoping that I can still get them somehow! But suffice to say, the photographs cannot really capture the memorable moments I had during our family outing. =)

Monday, December 15, 2008

The Chalice: another Wedding anecdote

I've been sharing snippets about my married life since I tied the knot last May 15, 2008 to mark the months as they quickly go by.

On our first month it was Father's day.
For our 2nd month, I recounted a somewhat embarrassing yet funny incident.
My entry for the 3rd month was a meme.
We were physically apart for our 4th month.
I was probably all caught up with my 40th birthday that I totally forgot to write an entry to mark our 5th month.
Last month I posted about 6 random things I've discovered so far about our married life.

Well kindly allow me to narrate a certain Eucharistic ritual during our wedding. For the communion ceremony, the priest approached us with the bread and wine which represents the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. I had to feed D the Host and he did the same. Then I was offered to partake of the sacramental wine. I took a sip then gave the chalice to D. He merely took a sip then returned it to Father Uy@m. But the priest told D he had to drink it till the last drop!

Well you see D doesn't drink alcoholic beverages. If he drinks too much or even merely a sip, he turns beet red and develops some rashes on his arms. I believe he is allergic. And even if he wasn't allergic, he just never took a liking for beverages with alcoholic content. Well unfortunately, he was "forced" to finish all of the wine. As he gulped it all down for what seemed like several minutes, I noticed his discomfort. He suddenly turned really red. I started fanning him and saw that he was starting to perspire. Since we were both kneeling with the cord and the veil around our shoulders, he couldn't sit down for a few seconds to sustain himself. So I just kept on fanning him. I even managed to joke that had I known we had to finish the wine, I would have drank the whole chalice. Yet it would have been embarrassing if he handed the cup back to me to gulp it all down, right? Well, thankfully after several minutes, he regained his composure and returned to his normal charming self and the ceremony proceeded without any hitches.

Today we mark the 7th month of our alcohol free marriage! =)

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Great Gift Ideas

It's the season to be jolly as well as the season to shop, shop and shop for novelty gift items to give our loved and not so loved ones! It is quite appropriate that Pexagon is offering 20% off for their personalized holiday gifts until the end of this year.

Their innovative items include:
Opp-300x300 Personalized Thumb Drives which is available in 14 colors with up to 16GB in capacity with FREE custom laser engraving! You can choose from one of their 32 exciting themes and engrave two lines of personalization text on the reverse side.

Personalized Pens - they offer 3 unique styles, multiple colors and a FREE line of personalized laser engraved text!

Business Card Flash Drives - these are like business cards which have a small USB cable at the back side (huge 2GB capacity) while the front side can be engraved for FREE with 3 lines of personalization text.

And my personal favorites are these really cute wooden USB Flash Drives. They are environment-friendly, wooden design with attached cap and two color choices. Available in 2GB and 4GB capacities with 2-sided custom laser engraving absolutely free.

I love USB Flash Drives they hold all my important files, documents and pictures for backup and storage purposes. Because in this virus prone age, we can never be quite sure nor safe from unscrupulous hackers corrupting our system.


Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Oh Christmas tree, oh Christmas tree

Yesterday my dear hubby surprised me with a few tricks up his sleeves. He came home from work as usual at 3pm (on Mondays). I prepared his late lunch then went up to resume my normal online activities. I could hear him tinkering with something. Eventually I needed to answer the call of nature and that's when I noticed something new on the curtains. There were lights in the shape of grapes adorning it. I was thrilled. I gave him a kiss and went back up. Or rather he told me to go back up. Little did I know he had another surprise. Several hours later it was news time (6:30pm) so I switch off my computer to take my seat in front of the TV.

This is what greeted me downstairs. Our very own "Christmas tree" pasted on the door of our wash area. Cute, isn't it? He shaped the lights into a tree and it even has a star on top. How ingeniously clever and artistic!

This is how it looks like all lighted up at night. Bless him for awakening the Christmas spirit in little Scrooge me! I spent the whole night watching the lights twinkle in the arms of an adorable guy who brings me so much joy. =)

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Passport renewal

Yesterday, I was really excited to get my passport renewed. Yes I know inane stuff like that can get me excited. Go figure!

Anyways, I had everything ready. My 3 passport size pictures with blue background. The application form filled up. The photo copies of the first 3 pages of my old passport. My original marriage contract as well as photocopies. I even availed of their online facility where I was able to set an appointment for the processing of my new passport. I was designated a slot for Dec. 03, 2008 from 3 to 4pm, Gate 2.

So I was all set or so I thought.

I get there by 2:45pm and go straight to Gate 2. I wait for my turn and sit on one of those long white benches. You know where there are a bunch of people sitting and you end up wiping the bench with your behind as you inch your way towards the counter. Naturally at situations like these, you end up scrutinizing the person next to you, even manage to strike some polite conversation. It turns out the guy beside me has been there 3 times. He came all the way from Bulacan and always by some stroke of bad luck got stuck there by 5pm thus the numerous return to the DFA. It is funny how when you start making conversation you hardly notice that soon enough it is already your turn at the counter.

So I give the lady my documents. She checked her list to see if I was really scheduled for that day. Then she proceeded to verify my documents. I was asked for the original copy of my marriage contract. I hand it to her. She tells me it isn't the proper MC. It should be a MC on a secure paper authenticated by the NSO or a CTC (Certified True Copy) of the MC from the Civil Registrar Office of the city hall where I got married. I was puzzled. I told her that is the only MC, I was given by the Church. And that I have only been married for a little over 6 months. She politely tells me it has to be authenticated by NSO. Either that or I can apply for a new passport using my maiden name. I was disappointed. But rules are rules and I couldn't really argue with her. She is merely doing her job.

So my excitement turned to disappointment! I just shrugged my shoulders and hurriedly left the building. Useless insisting they issue me a passport if my documents are incomplete. Oh well.

I'm just thankful I can apply for it online. I don't exactly cherish my NSO experience last year when D & I applied for the CTC of our birth certificates and for the CENOMAR (certificate of no marriage). It is really such a waste of time, day and effort to cater to these bureaucratic agencies.

Now after reading the NSO website, apparently there is a time frame of 2-4 months after the wedding before you can apply for an authenticated Marriage Contract. Well it has been over 6 months, hopefully there is already a record of our marriage somewhere in the archives of the NSO. Or else I hate to think of the hassle of going to the Quezon City Hall, visit the Civil Registrar office, get the document and go all the way to the NSO to have it authenticated. Phew just typing about the procedure is giving me heart palpitations. Hopefully (keeping fingers crossed) our MC is already at the NSO.

Here I thought I would have a new passport before this year ended. I guess not!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Rude Awakening

It is difficult enough I have to put up with the incessant din of my neighbor's noisy children especially when I am trying to compose an entry or write a film review. It was still tolerable because I could always put my headset on and listen to Josh Groban croon.

Now they decided to give me a free wake up call! At the unholy hour of 5:30 AM,I am suddenly jolted out of my deep slumber to the sound of Mik3 Enriqu3z or Joe T@ruc's booming voices reading the news during their early morning radio show.

But let me explain that (1) I have nothing against AM radio shows. I understand that in the provinces, the transistor radio is still the preferred method to gather information. (2) I am fairly tolerant of other people as long as they don't verbally or physically attack me.

Yet for the life of me, I cannot comprehend how people can be so utterly inconsiderate of other people's peace of mind.
I don't understand why the neighbors need to listen to their transistor radio at full blast right in front of our window.
I don't understand why they need to spill out of their tiny apartment and have loud conversations right in front of our front door.
I don't understand how 9 people can squeeze themselves into a tiny two storey apartment. I would absolutely go ballistic if I had to share such a small space with 8 other individuals.
Alright given that rents are expensive in this part of the city but how about some freaking privacy?

Well anyways my main concern is for D to get enough sleep as he has been really busy lately juggling several things at the same time - his work, additional projects for his work and his graduate studies. But it seems that my concerns however valid were not really an issue with D, he can sleep easily even with the lights on and blaring loud music.

I guess I'm the one who has to continue suffering this rude awakening!


Saturday, November 22, 2008

This is an interesting theory

There is a beautiful and convincing explanation given by the Chinese why your wedding ring is worn on the 4th finger:

Thumb represents your Parents
Second (Index) finger represents your Siblings
Middle finger represents Yourself
Fourth (Ring) finger represents your Life Partner
the Last (Little) finger represents your children

Firstly, open your palms (face to face), bend the middle fingers and hold them together - back to back

Secondly, open and hold the remaining three fingers and the thumb tip to tip (as shown in the picture below):

Now, try to separate your thumbs (representing the parents) - they will open, because your parents are not destined to live with you lifelong, and have to leave you sooner or later.

Please join your thumbs as before and separate your Index fingers (representing siblings) - they will also open, because your brothers and sisters will have their own families and will have to lead their own separate lives.

Now join the Index fingers and separate your Little fingers (representing your children) - they will open too, because the children also will get married and settle down on their own some day.

Finally, join your Little fingers, and try to separate your Ring fingers (representing your spouse). You will be surprised to see that you just CANNOT, because Husband & Wife have to remain together all their lives - through thick and thin!!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

For your eyes only

Next month I'm due for my ophthalmologist appointment. I was advised to get my eyes checked every 6 months since I use the computer a lot which can strain my eyes. My taste in prescription glasses are usually the boring, functional, no frills type like this basic black/green frame:

A glimpse though at the Holiday Glass Frames From Zenni Optical showed me the wide range of edgy eye wear now making waves in the market. The popular online eyeglasses shop also offer $ 8 Complete Rx Eyeglasses for their budget conscious customers. An affordable price to pay for high quality, trendy eye wear.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Case of the Missing Ring

Yesterday D comes home.
He changes into his 'house clothes" while I prepare his lunch.
He eats his late lunch at around 2:30 pm.
I go up to resume my online activities.
He comes up as well to get his reading materials.
He asks me if I brought his wedding ring up.
I say no.
He usually puts his ring on top of his cellphone.
We go down to search for his wedding ring.
He distinctly remembers removing it from his finger.
I don't recall seeing it on his finger.
We search everywhere.
I was sweating like crazy.
I give up the search.
He tells me he will continue to look for it.
At this point, I wasn't angry.
Nor was in the mood to continue searching.
I go up to log online again.
After a few minutes, D comes up.
He gives me a tight hug.
He tells me he is very very sorry.
In his words "hindi ko pinag ingatan ang singsing"
I notice a tinge of sadness in his voice.
He is visibly distraught.
It was my first time to see this side of him.
I tell him it's ok it isn't his fault.
Maybe he lost it in the taxi.
Maybe the ring fell when he got his wallet.
Who knows.
I like to reiterate I wasn't angry at all.
I know that these things happen.
I tell him to get on with his readings.
He leaves.
A few hours later I go down to cook dinner.
By this time, D had fallen asleep.
I woke him up twice for merienda.
He didn't budge.
By 7pm I finish cooking sinigang na hipon.
I go up to wake D again.
Before I take my regular evening shower.
After my shower, D is awake.
Yet he is really quiet.
Still very upset over the ring.
If you know D, this silent behavior isn't his usual mood.
I just let him be.
I didn't want to harp on something I knew wasn't his fault.
I go up to dry my hair.
He comes up and sits beside me on the bed.
He is again truly apologetic.
He tries to assess the situation.
Me with my standard "it's ok" line.
He goes down to cook rice for dinner.
I continue drying my hair.
He calls me from downstairs.
Then he rushes up the stairs.
He runs into the room.
Then jumps into the bed.
He holds up his left hand with his wedding ring on his finger!
We end up laughing.
He tells me he is relieved.
He thought I got angry with him.
I told him I wasn't mad at all.

Here's a photo exhibit of where the ring invariably wrapped itself around thus causing stressful moments of panic for both of us. More so for my loving husband than yours truly!

This is a mentos chewing gum pack. Our wedding ring is of white gold variety. Or silver in color. So we didn't notice it conspicuously wrapped around the mentos gum which incidentally has a silver packaging. The picture isn't clear because there was a shadow of my hand taking the picture. But believe me unless you check closely, you won't notice there is a wedding ring attached to that mentos gum.

All's well that ends well in the Fr@nco household with my hubby bright and cheerful again just as I want him to be! =)

Saturday, November 15, 2008


Today marks our 6th month as a married couple! Here are 6 random things I've discovered about myself, my husband and our marriage in general.

1. I have learned to cook healthily. Well, it's not like I ever cooked on a daily basis before I got married. But nowadays, I don't use MSG, Patis nor Pork in any of our meals. I have also stopped drinking diet sodas. I make sure I boil ground beef first before I proceed with the recipe. I also take out the 'seeds' of tomatoes before I use it to saute the viands.

2. My hubby tends to snore when he sleeps on his back but the minute he turns on his side, he stops. At first I was quite alarmed when he stopped snoring because I thought he stopped breathing as well.

3. I am still not comfortable sleeping in his arms. That sounds strange, I know. But after a few minutes of cuddling and saying good night to each other, he tends to fall asleep right away. That's when I untangle myself to get to my side of the bed and sleep without any encumbrance.

4. I miss my family more than I care to admit to myself. More so when my sister relocates to Singapore early next year for her career boost.

5. That it is possible to love my hubby more and more each day.

6. That getting pregnant is a lot harder than I ever thought possible!

Monday, November 10, 2008

I'm a happy trooper

(1) Last Friday evening, I watched "Quantum of Solace" for free! My sister had 2 invites to the latest Bond movie at the Sh@ng Cineplex c/o of her insurance company. I loved the movie!

(2) I spent Friday night at my former residence. More sister bonding time.

(3) I finally tasted currywurst again. While shopping for an appropriate dinner takeout at the Glorietta food court, I chanced upon this tiny stall selling German sausages. Lo and behold, it also sold currywurst! Woohoo.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Curry Wurst

Last Saturday, we did the usual rounds of cemeteries to visit our dearly departed relatives. Our first stop was at the Loyola Memorial Park in Sucat, Paranaque. Since parking is a major problem, we usually drop off my parents near the entrance which is close to where my Lola is buried. While I was helping my parents carry things out of the trunk, I noticed there was a stall selling German sausages near by. A big sign with all their products was prominently displayed and I noticed they had currywurst!

I remember fondly when my sister and I were in Berlin way back in 2001, we ate currywurst all the time. We ate it for lunch, snacks, and dinner. We usually bought them at those little stalls with wheels parked at corners along major streets in Berlin. We ate them every single day, we were there. We ate them like it was going to be wiped out of the face of the earth in a couple of hours. We really gobbled it up. The sausages are grilled to perfection with its skin nice and crispy. Then it is cut up into small pieces and topped with the correct blend of curry mixed with ketchup. It was really delicious.

So when I told my sister they were selling currywurst at that stall, we couldn't contain our excitement. We were anxious to find a parking space as fast as possible so we could once again savor our Berlin delight. Luckily, we found parking at the mausoleum section of Loyola and walked all the way to the entrance. I told her we should drop by the tombstone first to say our prayers before we avail of the much missed currywurst.

When we finally got there, the lady told us they had run out of currywurst! Oh no ... no ... noooooo! Apparently it was such a big hit, it was sold out by 7 in the morning. We were truly disappointed. It was such a big letdown. I wonder when I will be able to taste and savor currywurst, again.

Moving from one place to another can be a daunting task. It is a major hassle to sort out everything which needs to be packed, labeled and shipped. I should know I've had to move residences several times in my lifetime. But it doesn't have to be such a tedious chore.

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But they go beyond merely dealing with the logistics of helping people move. They have a special section on their website which provide free mortgage quotes. They also give you a comparison of mortgage quotes from different companies.

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Surely with, you will have a hassle free moving experience.

Monday, November 03, 2008

I was tagged!

Let me do a couple of memes before I lose my mind! I believe it is sem break for the neighbors kids who like to spend their free time shouting at the top of their irritating voices. Gawd, have mercy!

I was tagged by Wil to do this meme but I won't be tagging anybody.
Here's the rule: Remove 1 question from the list below, and add your own personal question to make it a total of 20 questions. Tag 8 people, list them out at the end of this post. Notify them in their chat box that he/she has been tagged. Whoever does the tag will have blessings from all.

1. At what age do/did you wish to marry?
Actually I didn't want to get married at all. But I guess fate has a strange way of intervening with our best laid plans

2. What color do you like most?

3. If you can have a superpower, what would it be?
The ability to teleport myself to different places

4. If you can travel anywhere in the world, where would you want to go?
Places I haven't been to like Australia, Cambodia and Egypt

5. Which part of you that you hate the most?
My tiny feet because shoes don't fit me!

6. When you get sad, what do you do?
Lately, I would pray the rosary

7. What are you afraid to lose the most?
My family

8. If you win $1 million, what would you do with the money?
Oh you know the usual - buy a house, set up a Jollibee franchise, travel around the world, the rest will be saved for all the expenses that go hand in hand with maintaining a nouveau riche lifestyle

9. What do you love the most last year (2007)?
I met D

10. How did you get your name?
I was named after Daphne du Maurier, the English author. As for Laura well she was the saint du jour

11. What is the moment you regret most?
That I didn't join my friends when they visited the Pyramids in Egypt. But the thing is they traveled with a person I wasn't really comfortable with so I don't think I would have really enjoyed that vacation

12. What type of person do you hate the most?
People who are inconsiderate of other people's feelings and their surroundings

13. What is your greatest asset?
Hmm that's not for me to say

14. If you had one wish, what would you wish for?
To be blessed with a child

15. How did you celebrate the New Year?
Stuffed myself with food and red wine to the sound of loud fireworks lighting up the sky

16. Name the one body part your hubby or significant other tells you she adores.
You better ask him, I might not get it right hehe

17. It's 2008. What are you looking forward to this year?
2008 is drawing to a close. So I'm just going to enjoy the remaining days of this year

18. Anything in your life that you wish weren't so awful?
That people would stop asking me when will I be a mother?

19. What's the shallowest thing you intend to do this year?
I can't think of anything

20. Describe the current state of your life, this very moment.

This one I caught over at Toni's Wifely Steps blog
About My Man
1. He’s sitting in front of the TV: what is on the screen?
Either Video Zonkers, World's Funniest Home Videos, or the news programs

2. You are out to eat: What kind of dressing does he put on his salad?
He doesn't like anything on his salad

3. What is the one food he doesn’t like?
Food which have high uric acid content like peanuts, beans, monggo

4. You go out to the bar: what does he order?
He doesn't drink so I doubt you will find him in a bar

5. Where did he go to high school?
A high school in Pasay City

6. What size shoe does he wear?

7. If he were to collect anything, what would it be?
Books about history or Jose Rizal

8. What is his favorite type of sandwich?
He isn't into sandwiches

9. What would the husband eat every day if he could?
Hmmm rice

10. What is his favorite cereal?
He doesn’t eat cereal

11. What would he never wear?
Earrings hehe

12. What is his favorite sports team?
He doesn't have one, he just watches all type of sports

13. Who will he vote for?
2010 is still too far away :D

14. Who is his best friend?
That would be me!

15. What is something you do that he wishes you wouldn’t do?
Nothing, I'm perfect that way :D

16. How many states has he lived in?
He has never been to the States, neither have I for that matter

17. What is his heritage?

18. You bake him a cake for his birthday: what kind?
I don't bake, period! :D

19. Did he play sports in high school?
Well not in high school but in university, yes

20. What could he spend hours doing?
Reading history books

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Gift goodies

This year my family gave me really great and practical gift items for my 40th year on earth. My darling D surprised me with this slick device. I say surprise because he has never given me anything since I've known him well except for his unwavering love ... but that's different! hehe :D


The first film we watched together on our brand new DVD player was the horror musical, Sweeney Todd. Our TV is located downstairs (because I refuse to have it in the bedroom - it will be a big distraction) so while watching we had to contend with a series of irritating distractions. The din of passing tricycles and vehicles, the never ending chatter of our neighbors and all kinds of ambient background noise. I thank the person who suggested putting subtitles to DVDS because his clever suggestion made the film viewable enough for us without losing our sanity ala Sweeney Todd.

My family wrapped up this gorgeous bag and filled it with more gift items (perfume, hankies, a dolphin brooch and gift certificates galore!) inside to warm my heart.

Bless them!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

E-See Club Reminder

Last year for my birthday, my generous sister gifted me with an E-see Club membership. This card allows me to accumulate points every time I watch a movie at the Sh@ng Cineplex. However during that period last year, I was already busy planning my wedding so I hardly had time to see a film. Nowadays, I live too far away from that specific mall to merit a visit at the drop of a hat.

Last week, I received an email which states:

Dear Ms. Qxxxxxxxxx:

Our records indicate that you have not used your E-see Club card over the past 90 days. As you know, your membership will expire after 90 more days of inactivity.
We have several very good releases up, among them TROPIC THUNDER, THE STRANGERS, MAX PAYNE, IGOR and BODY OF LIES .
Hope you can visit the Shang Cineplex soon so you can enjoy the perks and benefits of your membership. See you at the Shang Cineplex soon!

I didn't realize it has been that long since I watched a movie, well at the Sh@ng Cineplex. The last time I was there was for the Cine Europa run but admission to those films were free of charge thus I didn't have to use my E-See Club Card. A quick check on their website reveals the current bunch of movies showing there don't appeal to me, one single bit.


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Field Trip (kuno)

The usual SOP for my past birthdays was to have lunch, watch a movie followed by dinner then partaking of any cake to cap the day. This year I wanted to deviate from the norm.

I wanted to explore Fort Santiago.


Funny idea I know. But ever since my sister told me that it has been renovated and made more appealing to draw in tourists, I was curious about the place. The last time I went there was ages ago. I was merely 4 years old and my sister was still wearing diapers. I don't recall it at all but my parents would recount with fondness our pasyalan there after hearing mass at the Manila Cathedral. So after that filling lunch at Shanghai Bistro, we headed to Intramuros for our field trip! :D

The Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe

Rizal monument



The Dungeons

We explored every nook and cranny of Fort Santiago. From the shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the dungeons, the Park and the fountains. We also walked on those brass footsteps which traces the path Rizal took from Fort Santiago where he was detained all the way to the now Luneta Park where he was executed by firing squad.



Almacenes Reales

The most interesting part for me was at the Rizal Shrine. A three storey building which encloses his clothes, his writings, his detention cell, his sculpture pieces, pictures of his family as well as his urn. I learned more tidbits about our national hero from my dear husband who teaches "Buhay, Gawain at Kaisipan ni Rizal" at the university.

Rizal Shrine

Mr and Mrs Fr@nco goofying around

So even if I sweated enough perspiration to flood a small African village and my feet were aching from walking all over Fort Santiago, it was worth it. I had so much fun reliving a part of my past as well as exploring an important landmark, a testimony to our rich cultural and historical heritage.

By the way, entrance fee to Fort Santiago is P50 per person. But by November 1, they will be charging P75. Do wear comfortable shoes and please watch out for horse excrement while walking around the park area!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

My Birthday Lunch

Days before I turned a year older, I still couldn't think of a place where to treat my family for my birthday lunch. For some strange reason, I wasn't as enthusiastic about celebrating it compared to my previous birthdays. I simply had too much worries on my mind, I didn't feel like making such a big fuss over turning 40 which is a milestone but well you get my drift.

Anyways the eve of my birthday I was still wracking my brain for a suitable place. Then as I was sorting through some documents, it dawned upon me to simply go back to the place where I hosted my wedding lunch, 5 months ago. After the 11 am mass at the Edsa Shrine, (yes, where I got hitched) which I haven't visited in 5 months and really miss because it is airconditioned, we proceeded to the Sh@ngh@i Bistro at the Eastwood City in Libis Q.C.

We feasted on

Sweet Corn with Crabstick soup

Yang Chow Fried Rice

Beef with Broccoli

Crispy Seafood Noodles

Stewed  Bamboo Shoots with Mushrooms

Steamed Fish Fillet with Black Bean Sauce

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Happy Birthday to Me

A beauty product ad says "It is ok to be 40 just as long as you look 30."

Well guess what?

Today I turn 40! =)

This is what I looked like when I was 30.

This picture was taken at the Ist Olympic stadium in Athens, Greece.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Capella University
With the proliferation of online universities, it is important one is armed with detailed and relevant information about these higher education institutions which offer a valuable school mba program.

Capella University ( is an accredited and fully online university. Capella University which was founded in 1993 offers graduate degree programs in business, information technology, education, human services, psychology, public health, and public safety, and bachelor’s degree programs in business, information technology, and public safety.

They have just released their latest Inside Online Education podcast. It features Beverly Enns, Capella’s faculty chair for reading/literacy discussing their status as the only online university offering a master’s degree program with a state-approved specialization in reading and literacy. The online university currently serves more than 23,400 students from all 50 states and 45 other countries.

They also feature regular pod casts interviews with Capella students, faculty and staff who share their online education experiences from a personal point of view. These pod casts are usually about 15 minutes long and are available at They are also available via subscription from iTunes.

Capella University, 225 South Sixth Street, Ninth Floor, Minneapolis, MN 55402, 1.888.CAPELLA (227.3552),

“This blog post was based on information provided by Blogitive. For more information, please visit”

Thursday, October 09, 2008

M for Meme
Toni of Wifely Steps tagged me with the letter

Here are 10 things I love which begin with this letter:
1) Movies - you all know by now how much I love to watch movies.

2) Magazines - I used to read the Time Magazine from cover to cover but I hardly have time for it nowadays. I only get to browse magazines when I'm having my hair treatment at the salon.

3) May - is the month I got married and when we celebrate my mother's birthday.

4) Mother - The person who molded me into the woman I am today.

5) Magic Crackers - my fave snack item.

6) Mineral Water - I drink this all the time.

7) Mail - I love receiving snail mail.

8) Mayonnaise - my condiment of choice.

9) Milestones - I love celebrating milestones. It doesn't have to be a grand affair. What's more important is we remember what the day stands for. I will be celebrating my own milestone in 10 days time, I will be turning 40 on October 19. =) For the longest time, my original plan was to visit New York on my 40th birthday. But life does have a way of intervening with our plans, doesn't it?

10) Because I got married! My Marriage well so far so good. It is made extra extra special with the fact that I married a very lovingly nurturing man. New York can wait! hehe

Sunday, October 05, 2008

I'm back home after I spent two nights (Thursday & Friday) at my former residence. Reason: Pelikula, the 7th edition of the Spanish Film Festival is currently ongoing at the Greenbelt 3 Cinemas.

Last Thursday (October 2) was my everdearest sister's birthday. We had Chinese food for lunch at HK Chef located at HK Plaza in Macapagal Avenue. Then we watched a Spanish film at Greenbelt 3. D joined us for dinner at Restaurant Pia y Damaso, a Spanish themed eatery situated at the posh Greenbelt 5.

Friday was my pamper me day (waxing and hair treatment) after I heard first Friday mass at Megamall. Then last night D picked me up after my sister and I watched 2 Spanish films at Greenbelt!

Obviously this family loves to eat and we have the expanding waistline to prove it!

HK Chef: Chopsuey, Yang Chow Fried Rice, Beef in Black Pepper Sauce, Seafood Noodles for long life!

Special request from my sister: Steamed Crab and Lapu Lapu with Garlic Sauce

Dinner at Pia y Damaso: Lengua, Pumpkin Puree Soup, Chicken Pastel and Rellenong Bangus.

Note: We were all wondering who Pia was. It turns out she is the mother of Maria Clara. Information c/o of my husband who teaches Rizal.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

I guess I was wrong
I've always believed that my husband wasn't the romantic type of guy.

But yesterday he surprised me.

First of all he came home early. A bit too early that I was still taking a shower so the deadbolt lock was still closed. I had to rush out of the bathroom all soapy and wet to let him in.

Secondly he had a pasalubong for me. Jollibee's 2 piece burger steak. The previous day when we went out for grocery shopping, I wanted to have lunch at Jollibee for some strange reason. He told me that it would be too crowded and service would be slow. Besides he said I didn't fit in the Jollibee crowd whatever that meant. So yesterday he passed by Jollibee for takeout.

Thirdly, he had another surprise in the ref. A regular size Zagu (chocolate flavor), one of my favorite beverages. He must have sneaked it into the ref when I resumed my bath. I discovered it when I opened the frigo for a glass of water.

So yes he has a romantic streak in him, after all. A streak which manifests itself in pleasant surprises from time to time. Although I have to add that he still continues to amaze me everyday with his relentless energy to do house chores - even after a long tiring day at work and much against my wishes! But hey alright I won't complaint nor insist if he wants to do the dishes - so be it! =)

Monday, September 29, 2008

Birthday Fun
Yesterday we managed to reach Binondo Church just in time for the 10am Mass. It was the feast day of San Lorenzo Ruiz. He is the patron saint of seafarers. As well as the saint du jour for September 28. The day my beloved husband was born a little over 4 decades ago. I'd like to add that it was an auspicious day. If he wasn't born then I would have never met him. Hence I'd still be signing documents using the name I was born with.

It was also a nostalgic day for my parents. My mother was baptised in that church. My parents used to work in some building (now sadly decrepit) in the Escolta area. So they were pleased to be reliving their past but lamented the fact that the area has deteriorated in many ways. A far cry from their glory days.

After doing the rounds of the Escolta, Binondo and Santa Cruz area by car courtesy of my ever patient sister who drove us around, we ended up having lunch at a seafood restaurant. The UNO Seafood Wharf to be exact, located in the Escolta area. The restaurant seemed relatively 'newer' compared to the ones located in the Binondo area. It also had ample parking spaces in front. It was actually full but we managed to find a slot. We settled to celebrate D's birthday by feasting on mouth watering dishes. The standard pancit for long life taking center stage on the table.

The next stop was at the fast developing area of the Fort. D hasn't been there so I thought it would be nice to show him around the place. From the overcrowded Market! Market! and the posh surroundings of Serendra to the over ostentatious Bonifacio High Street, it was a pleasant stroll.

We ended the evening with dinner at the Power Plant (Rockwell) branch of Banana Leaf. The restaurant was pretty full because it was a Sunday family night out. The staff were frantically trying to accommodate every customer. It was really hectic, I forgot to take a picture. They were always in a hurry to clear the plates the minute you took that last piece of Chicken Pandan. In their haste, the waiter even spilled some sweet and sour sauce over D's sleeves! It really spoiled our mood but thankfully not our appetite, we filled our grumbling stomachs with Thai cuisine. We all had a good time.

My husband was happy and for me that's all that matters, really! =)

Friday, September 26, 2008

Pearl jewelry are the safest and most classic fashion accessory you can have in your wardrobe. It goes with anything you wear, anytime of the day or night for any occasion. They are also great gift items to give yourself or that special someone in your life.

There is a website which offers genuine Akoya pearl necklace and freshwater pearl necklace jewelry sets at wholesale prices. Their pearls are appraised by a certified IGI Graduate Gemologist and are guaranteed 100% genuine.

They offer a wide range of exquisite jewelry from pearl necklaces like black pearl necklace to earrings and bracelets at reasonable prices. The earrings are adorned with 14K gold and come in different pearl varieties like pink, grey, lavender, white or black. While the bracelets come with either 965 silver or 14K gold beads and you can choose between a single strand, two or three strands of pearls to suit your taste. There is a special section for items under US$100. All their products are well detailed with clear images of the items for sale. A pearls expert is on hand to offer free advise on all sorts of inquiries to make you decide which items to purchase.

Plus you will receive instant savings if you join their Pearls Savvy Buyers Club. You'll receive a 5% discount code immediately when you sign up. There is no obligation to buy and you may cancel your membership at any time. Joining is 100% free! Simply enter your email address at their website to subscribe.

The best feature of this online shopping network is that provide free shipping worldwide for all their items. One of their conditions is a money back guarantee. This states that if you want to return the item for no reason within the first year of purchase, they will issue a 100% refund.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Birthday gift
My hubby will be turning a year older this week.
Sunday, September 28 to be exact.
He will be 4 years old oops I meant 44.
Last week I bought him a sensible gift.
The Nokia 2626, the most basic no frills cellphone I could
find in the market to replace his really.old.cellphone.
Now before you guys tell me how cheap of me!
Let me explain.
D has simple taste.
He doesn't like flashy gadgets.
I'm sure he will berate me for spending too much on him.
Then he will say his really.old.cellphone still works.
No it doesn't!
I'm fed up with hearing that "user cannot be reached" announcement
everytime I call him.
His really.old.cellphone. has this nasty habit of switching off
whenever incoming calls come in.
So no more excuses!
Oh I ripped this picture off the internet.
I forgot to take a picture before I wrapped his gift.

Our plans is to hear mass at the Binondo Church with my family.
It has been an annual pilgrimage for D to hear mass at that church during his birthdays because San Lorenzo Ruiz is the patron saint for September 28.
Then we will have lunch somewhere in the area.
So if you can recommend a decent place, it would be much appreciated.


Friday, September 19, 2008

"We are on our way back to the 'Projects'"
That is what I texted my sister last night who was out on one of her appointments. D and I were in the taxi on our way back to Project 8 from Mandaluyong.

I spent 3 nights away from my husband in the nurturing arms of my family. 3 days enriching my mind with 5 European movies at the Cine Europa. This year, my sister and I watched films from Denmark, Italy, UK, France and Spain during the afternoons. We re-bonded over meals at restaurants I've been craving for quite some time. I had animated conversations over dinner with my parents discussing the crisis of a relative. A family crisis that is causing so much stress for my dear mother. At nights, my sister and I talked nonstop nicely nestled within the comforter of an air conditioned room - until we both fell asleep - in the wee hours of the morning.

I had a great time because I really miss my family a lot. But of course I did miss my loving hubby too. And he did miss me as well. A loving husband who is so self reliant. I was pretty confident he won't starve without my cooking. That I won't come home to a messy place. Basta he managed pretty well without me. Hehehe.

Now excuse me as I have movies to review for my other blog, audio tapes to transcribe for my sister, monetized reviews to compose as well as recipes to cook, undies to clean ... oh you get the picture! I'm out of here. :D

Monday, September 15, 2008

I only realized ...
... just now as I am typing this on my sister's laptop ... that today nga pala is our 4th month as a married couple!

I won't even be spending the night with the hubby!

My sister and I are going to camp out at the Shang Cineplex to watch some CineEuropa films, today and tomorrow maybe even on Wednesday. So instead of commuting back and forth, I decided to sleep over here at my former residence.

Not that D and I really celebrate our monthsaries. I'm the only one who even mentions it like it is some important holiday. While D thinks that everyday together is enough cause for celebration. I concur!

Well never mind I made sure that I performed my "wifely" duty this morning so that should be enough for the time being.

Friday, September 12, 2008

If you check my online log activity this past week, you will notice that I did a lot of reading on Female Urinary Tract Infections. Thank God for the internet and its wide array of information on medical conditions.

I was in a state of discomfort the whole week, running up and down the stairs to answer the frequent call of nature. It wasn't pleasant to say the least. So despite the howling winds and the heavy downpour yesterday, we (D and I) managed to hail a cab to pay a visit to my doctor. Well, I was actually due for another check-up so we killed two birds with one stone, so to speak. My pap smear results are due next week. This morning I called my doctor and she said my urinalysis is normal. I should just drink plenty of fluids to wash out the impurities.

The good news is I don't have UTI.

The bad news is I'm still not expecting. Ay naku!

“This announcement was paid for by Epocrates.”

Sunday, September 07, 2008

In case you are wondering

No I haven't faded away into the sunset

There isn't anything bloggable (is there such a word?) enough right now in my life to merit a post.


Don't worry I'm sure something will come up, sooner or later.

Till then, take care!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Day 2 of bonding time with my sister and Mom

Mom joined us for breakfast at Spiral's extravagant buffet spread

By noon, we checked out from Sofitel

We spent the afternoon admiring these sea creatures


I like to thank my kind husband for allowing me to 'run' off once in a while for some sister bonding moments. =)