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. =)

Friday, August 29, 2008

Bonding time with my sister

This was one of the views from our room

at the

These were the toiletries in our luxurious bathroom

I spent my evening soaking in the jacuzzi and sauna room at

Our (room service) dinner. I had Pasta Carbonara with Seafood Chowder. While my sister dined on grilled lamb chops

To cap the day, I slept on this heavenly bed

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Birthday treat
I had written a long post narrating how we spent my father's birthday last Friday (Aug. 22) but it mysteriously disappeared from my drafts folder. Either (a) I was too sleepy to actually save it or (b) blogger was acting up yet again.

I can't bring myself to recompose the entry because I'm already hungry and I'm thinking what to cook for lunch today. Suffice to say, we all had a nice family bonding time celebrating the fact that Dad turned 27 oops I mean 72 years old but hardly looks his age! =) It would have been a great opportunity to announce that he would be a granddad soon but alas the attempt wasn't successful.

Oh well!

I better go prepare lunch, now.

**** Pictures uploaded on August 31, 2008 ***

Dad's birthday lunch at Zhuang Cuisine, Pioneer Street. Yang Chow Fried Rice, Crispy Seafood Noodles, Steamed Lapu Lapu with Garlic Sauce, Mixed Vegetables, Century Egg with Jelly Fish and Sauteed Beef with Bell Peppers.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Hurray ...
... for rainy days.

and the suspension of classes at all levels!


My hubby gets to come home early!

Even if he has to wade through flood waters to reach home.


Isn't it funny how the minute they suspend the classes midday, for some reason the rains suddenly stop its onslaught?

Oh well!

Never mind.

It is still very nice to have this enjoyable cuddly weather.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

2 Memes
I got tagged by 2 fellow bloggers to answer memes, here goes:
This meme is courtesy of PrinsesaMusang

1. When was your first kiss and where?
The first person I kissed was probably my mother. Does that count?

2. When was your first real relationship and how long did it last?
It was ages ago and it lasted for 9 months.

3. What age were you allowed to date?
Well I didn't date much when I was a teenager so I guess this doesn't apply to me hehe

4. What’s the craziest thing you did (for love) when you were a teenager?
As I mentioned above, I wasn't into partying or dating in my teens so I didn't do any 'crazy' things in the name of love.

5. How long is your longest relationship and what’s the secret?
It was barely 3 years. The secret? Well as long as you are happy in every sense of the word and you feel that there is room for growth both individually and as a couple then by all means enjoy and cherish the relationship. But once it becomes such an effort and/or settles into a routine, you better ask yourself is it worth it? If you truly believe there is a fighting chance then stay together. On the other hand if there is even a tiny tinge of doubt, I suggest it is better to end it and find your own bliss at the expense of a break up. For me, it's that simple!

6. How long did you date before you start to settle down?
A year or maybe it is less than a year. Things just went by so fast

7. How long did you know he was the ONE?
It took me a while to be on the same page as him. He was pretty sure I was the ONE for him and although I knew it as well, I just needed some time to commit myself wholeheartedly.

8. Now at what age will you allow your kid(s) to date?
Hmm I think I need to have kid(s) first before I can answer this question.

9. When it comes to your kids dating, will you be a cool parent or a strict parent?
I will be both depending on the circumstances

10. What piece of advice can you give to your child when they start dating?
Don't try too hard, just be yourself!

The second meme is a tag from Kayni

You Would Make an Okay 1930's Wife

You have some of the attributes of an ideal 1930's wife... but you probably didn't intend it to be that way.

You don't buy into retro gender roles, though you do embrace your femininity at times.

A 1930's man may find you passable, but you probably wouldn't want anything to do with him.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Love thy neighbors
If you take into account the tone of my blog posts, you might get the impression I am a highly talkative, sociable and gregarious person. But folks, I'm not! That's just my virtual alter ego in a medium (the Internet) where I can be whatever I want to be without being judged for it.

People who actually know me in real life would attest to the fact I am pretty much a reticent person. In social gatherings, I would sit in my chair and hardly speak. I haven't mastered the art of making small talk. I'd like to say I'm shy but frankly I'm not. The appropriate term would be I am 'suplada', a snob.

I was taught at an early age that I should only talk to someone when I am spoken to. When I engage in conversations, I should talk in a refined manner. I shouldn't raise my voice. I should be polite. I have to mind my good manners and be respectful. I should not ask personal questions. Blah blah blah you get my drift.

But once you know me on a personal, intimate level, I can be quite goofy and dare I say 'likable' as a human being. I am more comfortable on a one to one basis than in groups. There are certain topics that get me talking till I lose my voice. While non interesting subjects will simply get a nod. I promptly shut off my brain and just pretend to listen. I guess you can say I am not a people's person.

D, on the other hand is fairly good at making conversation. Yet he isn't the loud mouth type of person, either. He has a comforting friendly tone to his voice when he converses with family, relatives and friends. Yet he can modulate it to a more stern authoritative tone, especially in his job as a professor.

Then he married me.

You know the snob. The one who took after her mother who doesn't like to chit chat with neighbors either. That's my father, the ever gracious ex diplomat's task. But my mother is far more sociable than I will ever be. I am not even ashamed to admit I am a snob. It is just the way I am, so deal with it alright? I am marvelously fine with it. Thank you. =)

So nowadays my hubby has been assigned the unpleasant task of hobnobbing with our neighbors. Neighbors # 2 is a young family with 2 kids plus a bunch of relatives also live with them. Neighbors # 3 are an older couple with 2 grown children. Neighbors # 4 well I'm not sure who they are. They aren't around much. So D being a polite person, he exchanges pleasantries with our neighbors in the pathway which connects all the apartments. But as much as possible, D doesn't really loiter. He isn't comfortable with the situation, either. He is a private person, a homebody type of guy. During his day off, he is either doing some work on his computer or he is reading some textbook to revise exams for his classes.

When he's at work and I'm all alone at home. I am upstairs in front of my computer. I hardly make any sound. Except for the clanging of the keyboard. I usually have my earphones on to listen to my mp3 to shut out the din with some pleasant music.

Our neighbors are loud. As in they bang their doors close. They manhandle the gate causing such a ruckus. They also talk pretty loudly. They would talk about all sorts of things. Taking prime decibel spot is the incessant chatter of young kids. They are frequently screaming at the top of their lungs. Day in and day out I am woken to the voice of the mother shouting at her 2 year old precocious daughter to wear her slippers. Or to stop playing with the stray cats (there are several of them just lounging around!). Or always berating the young child for some misdeed. I swear I could hear her piercing voice 3 houses away when we go out to catch a cab.

The only time there is some semblance of silence are in the afternoons (but that is not always the case). Probably they are taking their afternoon siesta while the kids are in school or something. Otherwise for some reason, they are always making 'tambay' outside their doors like it was de rigeur (the norm) to loiter.

During weekends, (more often than not) they have guests over for a night of drinking, bingeing and out of tune karaoke. D works on Saturdays and he comes home pretty late. He would be greeted by a whole group of people enjoying their weekend with liquors and songs. They would invite him to join their drinking session but he politely turns them down. His standard line of reasoning: he is allergic. The truth is he simply doesn't drink (fortunately!). Late at nights when we are reading in bed, we would eavesdrop on their conversations. Not that we can really shut it off like the TV. It can be heard several houses away. We call it our 'analysts' night since they would give their highly opinionated views on a wide range of topics at the top of their inebriated voices.

The one issue I have with them stems from something that isn't done by good law abiding citizens. But somehow we got ourselves involved in the situation simply for the sake of good neighborliness. Me, personally I would never do such a thing. I hate to impose on other people and put them in compromising situations. I don't think it is appropriate for me to discuss it on this blog. It might get us into trouble. But suffice it to say, it isn't sanctioned. I'm deeply troubled about it. D and I talked about it, several times. But he has no choice really. In local parlance it is called "pakikisama".

But hey my neighbors are not bad, evil people. They are friendly. They have given us pancit on special occasions like their birthdays. They receive our mail when we are out. But just don't ask me to make small talk with them, alright? I just don't do that, period! Because I'm a snob.

Friday, August 15, 2008

My Man Meme
In honor of our 3rd wedding monthsary, I hereby answer this meme.

1. What is his name?
Mr D. P. Fr@nc0

2. Who eats more?
He does. He needs more sustenance for a healthy stamina.

3. Who said, “I love you” first?
He did. My silly response "Thanks!"

4. Who is taller?
He towers over tiny petite but cute me.

5. Who drives most when you are out together?
We don't have a car.

6. Who is more sensitive?
I guess we are both sensitive in our own ways. His sensitivity manifests itself in little things such as making sure people won't trip over the umbrella in church. Me, I'm more emotionally sensitive.

7. Who does the laundry?
Right now we rely on the nearest laundry shop for our clean clothes. But for small items like hankies and underwear we both do it by hand separately. Meaning he washes his items, I do mine. Sometimes when I'm not lazy, I wash them for him and he says "thank you" like it was some major chore! That's so funny.

8. Who sleeps on the right side of the bed?
If we are both in bed then he sleeps on my right side. I prefer to be closer to the door so I can get up during the night to answer the call of nature.

9. Who pays the bills?
He does. But I'm the budget officer. I hand him the bills and the cash when he pays at the bayad center because he is taller and me being a shortie I cannot reach the counter. :D

10. Who cooks more?
Without a doubt, he is the king of the kitchen.

11. Who is more stubborn?
I admit I am more stubborn yet in an endearing way not in an annoying manner, ok?

12. Who is the first to admit they are wrong?
He does because I am never wrong. :D

13. Who has more siblings?
He has 1 older sister and 1 younger brother. I have only 1 (younger) sister.

14. Who wears the pants in the relationship?
Well, of course he wears pants. I am more prone to wearing jeans. Seriously we both discuss every aspect thoroughly before we make our decisions.

15. What do you like to do together?
Lately it has been cooking. I am now his assistant in the kitchen.

16. Who eats more sweets?
Me! I have a very sweet tooth.

17. Guilty Pleasures?
He is a homebody pretty much satisfied with tinkering whatever needs to be fixed so he doesn't spend much on 'luxuries'. On the other hand I like to occasionally indulge myself with hair treatments, movies, concerts, plays and dining out. All activities which luckily I can rely on my generous sister to cater my fancy whims.

18. How did you meet?
You all know by now how and where we met!

19. Who asked whom out first?
I did. I was the persistent one!

20. Who kissed who first?
Would you believe he actually politely asked me first if he could kiss me?
My silly response "where?"

21. Who proposed?
I guess he did but it wasn't really a proposal. He just kept mentioning the M word which made my skin crawl since it was still early in the relationship.

22. His best features and qualities?
I like his towering frame, his steady posture, his long sturdy arms and his firm shoulders. His sense of humor is his best characteristic. Other people might find his jokes corny but I would be the one who will laugh the loudest even though I have heard them over and over again. I guess I can be pretty shallow because it doesn't take much to amuse me.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

The street where I live
Due to dad's career, I have lived in various places around the world. Most of our residences have been in high rise buildings. In short, condo style.
In Brussels, our place was on the 2nd floor of a nine story apartment building located on a major avenue. During winters, my view consisted of a picturesque snow filled avenue. In Singapore we were on the 12th floor of a HBD (government housing complex) with a clear view of the MRT snaking in and out of our area. In Dubai, our cosy residence was on the 5th floor of a centrally air conditioned building nicely situated at the corner spot of a major street. I could see rows of cars caught in heavy traffic during the rush hour from my bedroom window. When we returned to jolly old Pinas, my sister and I ensconced ourselves in a loft located on the 12th floor of a condominium. Fortunately our unit was located at the back side of the building so we were spared the endless traffic noise emanating from the front street. Instead we settled for a view of the Pasig area environs and the majestic Pasig river.

So clearly I was used to being 'isolated'. It was just me and my little corner spot, safe from the prying eyes of nosy neighbors and from ambient background noise. Everything I ever needed was contained in the unit. Trash were disposed through garbage chutes. Newspapers were at the front desk lobby ready to be picked up at my own time. Mail were neatly tucked into mail boxes. It was all such an organized and orderly lifestyle for me for several years.

Then I got married. Teehee!

Now I live in a 2 bedroom, up and down apartment with my nurturing husband in the heart of a city named after a former president. It is a four door compound. Our place is the first door located nearest the gate and the street level. The area is mostly residential but far from the quiet neighborhood I expected it to be.

You have vendors peddling all sort of items. From taho, balot, dirty ice cream, vegetables, fish (bangus, tilapia and even talangka), pizza to people selling appliances on an installment basis (I kid you not!) My favorite vendor is this ingenious fellow who sells pails, basins and tabo. He pedals his wares around on a pedicab with a clever marketing strategy. He has this microphone which loudly announces his items.

Then you have all sort of vehicular traffic. The taxis and tricycles which ferry people to and from their houses. The occasional PUJ which for some reason passes by our street when his route is clearly out of the way. The pick up trucks which deliver LPG and the filtered water supply all competing with the handy pedicabs which pick up people's laundry. Every Mondays and Thursdays, you are awaken by the loud horn of the garbage truck doing its rounds to pick up the trash. The mailman also drops by and knocks incessantly on the gate to deliver your snail mail.

Plus lately there have been diggings courtesy of Maynilad drilling ferociously into the paved road. It would create muddy puddles on the street which stick to my newly bought shoes like glue so I am relegated to wearing flip flops and bear the agony of having mud on my toes.

Most of all you have n-e-i-g-h-b-o-r-s!!! Gosh this topic merits a separate long rambling post to be composed as soon as I gather my thoughts amidst this noise.

So yes my isolated, cushy pampered lifestyle has turned into a chaotic but I like to say still tolerable existence. Because sometimes on a rare day like today, a Saturday - a certain calmness reigns throughout the neighborhood. Nothing but the sound of the wind ruffling my curtains can be heard. So even for a very few minutes, my mind settles down enough for me to compose a blog entry before I ransack the pantry to prepare tonight's dinner.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

The key to a happy marriage
Yes I know I make it sound like I've been married for a long time when it has only been barely 3 months of marital bliss.

But indulge me, OK?

So the way I see it (so far) the trick is to let your husband be the man of the house. Alright before you feminists out there start clamoring for my head, hear me out. I better paraphrase that statement. You must offer to help, insist if you must but gracefully give in after three attempts to avoid petty arguments. All of this 'arguing' must be accompanied with many giggles and done with a good sense of fun.

Let me explain:
Case # 1 - last week I noticed that our bedside table's drawer was a bit crooked. I distinctly remember assembling the said table from scratch so I figured I can easily fix it myself. I get the hammer and proceed to realign the drawer with the rest of the table by banging away at the nails and screws. Yes I caused quite a ruckus. D who was in the other room doing some work at his computer immediately comes to the bedroom and asked what I was up to. I told him the side table drawer was lopsided. He immediately took over even though I insisted I was truly capable of fixing it myself. He won't let me. He hammered away with gusto and gave our bedside table a new lease on its shelf life.

Case # 2 - D has pretty much been independent most of this life. He has lived alone since his family migrated to the US several years ago. So he does everything. He cooks. He cleans. He tinkers with appliances. He fixes leaking faucets. He does carpentry work. He paints. In short he is very self reliant. So he is set in his ways. He likes to do things a certain way.
In this household, we have a game which begins after each meal. It consists of seeing who gets to the sink first - to do the dishes. Since he is taller and much bigger than me, he almost always wins the game. So even though I insist or I offer to help, he won't concede. So why argue, right?

I know and I truly realize that D is truly the exception to the rule. He isn't like the average male specimen! The sort of guy who works all day, comes home to park himself in front of the TV then hogs the remote control. He then expects a hot meal to be ready when his stomach grumbles. He gets up and goes back to the TV not even offering to clear the dishes nor wash them. You know what I'm talking about ... they are in abundant supply in households all over the world.

But surely you must get my point. You should let your man feel like he is needed for various purposes. It will make him feel important as a partner who contributes to the overall upkeep of the household and thus ensuring a stable and happy marriage.

By the way it works both ways too. D isn't tech savvy so he consults me when he has trouble dealing with the technical aspect of his computer. So yes I contribute once in a while and it does make me feel important too. But I admit most of the time I am spoiled rotten by my husband. Bless him! =)

Friday, August 01, 2008

I'm beginning to dislike Fridays
I don't know what it is about Fridays but traffic jams are really really horrific. Now throw in it being the first day of the month, pay day, gimmick day and First Friday then all hell breaks loose. I wish I stayed home instead of venturing out on a day when all the reasons I mentioned above converge on a single day.

But since I am a First Friday mass devotee I had to get up early, make myself presentable to go forth into town. Our modus operandi is for D to drop me off at my former residence then head off to work then pick me up after he's done with his classes. By dropping me off I mean taking a taxi since we don't have a car.

We were already in the Ortigas area when the accident happened!

Our taxi was approaching a busy intersection when a FX rammed straight into us. Our driver abruptly swerved to the left and hit at full speed a no left turn sign post. The FX hit the front right side (passenger side) of our taxi. D's side! But luckily D was seated at the back beside me. He was able to cushion the impact with his stretched arm. Me on the other hand, I didn't see it coming so my whole body jerked forward and I slammed the left side of my face against the driver's seat. My eyeglasses were flat against my face (What a day to be lazy to wear my contact lenses!). But I managed to sit back and didn't really hurt myself that much. We got out, paid the driver and left him there on the street to argue with the FX driver. We managed to get another taxi to reach our destination(s). It was only when I got home and told my parents and sister about the accident that I realized I had a slight dent on my cheekbones on the left side of my face which was promptly 'iced' to relieve the swelling. Very minor swelling. It isn't noticeable at all but it is a bit sore when touch it. Later in the evening on our way home we got caught in really horrible traffic on Edsa. It took us 2 hours to get to Project 8! Ugh!!!

The only good thing about today is I heard First Friday Mass. I was even chosen to bring the offertory to the altar. Thus I received a blessing from the officiating priest. I thanked the Lord almighty for protecting me during the accident.
I was thankful the accident was 'minor'.
I was thankful the taxi didn't swerve to the opposite lane where we could have been hit by oncoming vehicles.
I was also thankful I didn't hit my head against the window.
I was also thankful that D didn't get hurt at all.

I am still a bit shaken but nonetheless simply very very thankful!