Saturday, November 26, 2011

An outing este a date pala

For the longest time I've been hankering D about going to Manila Ocean Park to see the Humboldt penguins. As luck would have it, they have this special promo this Holiday season. For the price of 600 pesos, you get a ticket for the oceanarium and the Penguin exhibit. It was D's first time to go to Manila Ocean Park while it was my second time so we might as well take advantage of this promo.

We got there early but I guess not early enough since there were bus loads of kids on field trips all waiting to enter the premises. Luckily they had a separate line but once you get inside, it is a shoving and pushing match for the first one to get a clear view of the aquariums. Total chaos. But since D is tall, I gave him the camera to snap away while tiny me was being crushed by the throes of noisy, unruly kids. It's good that it was my second time so I just breezed through most of them. :D

Some of the shots were blurry because it is difficult to capture a moving target like schools of fish who swim happily in its enclosure. Or it could also be due to the shoving and pushing one must endure for a nice shot of the aquariums.

But overall I had fun! The penguins deserve a separate post.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Optical Illusion

Last May, we were capturing the sunset as it was fading away in a beach resort in Morong Bataan. A side trip during our Subic outing.

Is it just me or does the picture below resemble an ultrasound of a baby inside a womb?

What do you think?

Saturday, November 19, 2011


After almost 2 months of staying with a good friend, my sister was finally able to secure her own flat. Rent prices in that part of the globe are exorbitant so she has to make do with a studio. It is sparsely furnished with the bare essentials but it is her own little sanctuary now.

She told me about her shopping trips to several household items stores to canvass prices for some items she would be needing for her studio. She recounted how she somehow found herself in a shop that sold lights of all shapes and sizes. From mini pendant lights, lampshades, bedside lamps to grand chandeliers, the store was fully stocked.

Since I cannot physically accompany her during these shopping trips, she would send me several photos of items she intends to purchase. My inbox is filled with pictures of electronic appliances, household fixtures and pieces of furniture. She also emails 'before and after' pictures of her flat as she slowly but surely furnishes it to her liking. I can't wait to visit her next year! :D

Friday, November 18, 2011

My reality

Immediately after I posted my previous entry (the recipes), I had to rush over to the condo to take care of my parents who were both stricken with acute gastroenteritis. I tell you it is heartbreaking to see one's parents so weak and hardly able to fend for themselves. It is a reversal of roles when the very persons who raised you since you were born are now the ones who need to be nurtured.

I've always pictured my parents as strong willed individuals who can do anything and everything for us, their kids. But they are in their mid seventies now and they are quite vulnerable to any number of illnesses which can take a heavy toll on their frail bodies. But such is life.

It just puts me in a very dark and sentimental place where I get crestfallen, easily. I was so stressed out (well not from taking care of them) from thinking about their mortality, I gave myself an upset stomach. I kept throwing up every 20 minutes which sort of threw them off the loop. They thought I was infanticipating. Well bad news, I'm NOT. :D

Thankfully, all is well in parents land, now. I'm still quite tired, truth be told. I hardly got any sleep last night because the neighbor's 3 year old brat was having a tantrum fit! He was rousing the entire neighborhood with his loud bawling, howling cries for attention at freaking two in the morning. Gosh, what a lovely way to welcome me back to my own little shop of horrors reality show. A show where I am an unwilling participant. Lord, have mercy!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Recipe finder

I admit I was a spoiled brat. Growing up, my mother would prepare all of our meals and I would just show up at the dining table to eat. :D But I did know how to chop ingredients, boil water, fry meat from canned goods. I was good in tasting though. My mom would trust my palette and make me taste the dishes to see if it needed more seasoning.

I got married 3 years ago and luckily D knows how to cook. He is my top chef, master chef all rolled into one. But he works long hours so as not to starve, I learned to make simple dishes. My mom is just a text message away so I can ask her anything.

The Internet is loaded with informational websites which feature various recipes for dinner ideas. Over at recipe finder, you simply type in a dish and many options show up on screen. It has a menu finder which is easy to use. The recipes come with its own instructional video so you can view how each dish is prepared.

Great! Now I have no excuse to stay away from the kitchen. There's what I decided to cook for tonight's dinner: Beef Mechado.

If you could only have one ....

I got tagged by Toni from Wifely Steps to do this meme. Here are my answers! :D


1. Condiment: Mayonnaise. I have it with everything from hot dogs, tuna sandwich, dumplings, pork chops to fish.

2. City to live in: Paris, France. I've visited this city of lights several times but it would be utterly lovely if I could inhabit there. I would get to converse in my (now) rusty French and get an apartment where I can see the Eiffel Tower from my window, all the time!

This picture was taken circa 1998. I was 30 years old and several, several, several pounds lighter! I had a manual camera hanging around my neck in the days of yore before every gadget became digital. Ah yes the good old days!

3. Place to vacation to: Italy. A country blessed with a very rich and colorful history, great cuisine and peppered with many cities. I sure would love to go back and revisit all of them.

4. Colour to wear: Any shade of blue. This means I can wear jeans all the time without feeling under dressed!

5. Celebrity/Character crush: Johnny Depp He happens to live in the south of France so I just might go pay him a visit at the drop of a hat!

6. Dessert to eat: Ice cream. Who doesn't love ice cream?? I can eat different flavors each day.

7. Book to read: This is a bit difficult since I make it a habit not to read a book again once I'm done with it. But I'd have to say "The Global Soul" by Pico Iyer. There were some chapters in that book which had some deeper meaning so it would be interesting to interpret them.

8. Television series to watch: The Amazing Race. A great 'travel' show with massive dosage of realism (thus it is a reality show) coupled with a good insight into the relationships among and between the racers. They say you only truly get to know someone once you have traveled together. What more if you are traveling under pressure and with time constraints? That's when the bickering starts. Game on!

9. Cartoon character as a roommate: Tintin. So I can go on numerous adventures with him. Not sure I have that much energy, though.

10. Type of food to eat (assuming that we can sustain ourselves easily off of one thing): Clam Chowder. It is a complete meal. It has soup, veggies and seafood.

Monday, November 07, 2011

Beanie bean

Ah yes the old reliable Mr bean is truly one of life's simple pleasures. The picture was in reference to a tiny stall which sold numerous varieties/flavors of the soya bean beverage. When I saw it in Singapore I thought it was the cutest thing ever. You notice how the bean has tiny legs and a grin that suggests it is savoring something delicious. Well the signage is cute not the drink, itself. I tasted it once and I almost threw up with disgust. Yuck, me don't like! Hehehe.

Well this post is about beans, specifically kidney beans as a key ingredient to some of my favorite recipes. These includes my version of flaming hot chili con carne, my mother's own soup recipe which consists of kidney beans with pork belly and the good old pork and beans (although lately you might need a magnifying glass to find the pork!).

But even though I love to eat kidney beans, it does have its disadvantages. It gives me gas and it makes my joints (specifically my knees) ache! The latter probably has got to do with genetics and my advancing age. :D Ergo, I only partake beans in moderation.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011


A couple of days ago, we visited my father in law's grave at the Loreto Church in Bustillos, Manila. Unlike the images you see on TV of the throngs of people at the public cemeteries, his crypt is enclosed in an air conditioned sanctuary. You can sit down and reflect in the silence of your heart. We stayed for about an hour.

Then we headed to Trinoma for a very late lunch. I wanted Japanese food so we ate at Teriyaki Boy. We were quiet as we practically gulped down our food. I was starving! Then D noticed that the texture of the table was the same as the one where we had our first date. You see our very first date was at a branch of Teriyaki Boy in the old Greenbelt area. It was also his very first time to eat at this Japanese eatery. Since then it has been our favorite 'dating' place. A place where we celebrate important occasions in our wedded life.

Towards the end of our meal, I lamented that the Teriyaki Boy branch in Greenbelt has been torn down and replaced by another restaurant. I sighed as I told D that most of the places where we celebrated our 'firsts' were no longer in existence. He retorted by saying:

"Never mind, those are just places ... What's more important is we are still happily together".

I couldn't agree more! A rare romantic side of my hubby surfaced that day. He is growing wise(r) in his old age! :D