Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Post birthday celeb

This year my father's birthday fell on a Thursday. But even though the storm had left the PAR (Philippine Area of Responsibility) it was still raining heavily and flash floods still hampered our mobility.   So this weekend,  we had a belated birthday lunch to celebrate his 77th natal day.   Our go to resto for milestones and celebrations serves tasty yet affordable Chinese food.   

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Habagat (Monsoon Rains) 2013

The rainfall started at a frequent rate last Saturday.  I was at a health clinic to get my blood tested for my cholesterol levels. Oh this reminds me I have yet to get my test results but I haven't been out due to the stormy weather.   

Sunday, we heard the 11 am Mass by then the downpour got really heavy so we rushed home after grocery shopping to stock up on supplies.  By evening, the precipitation got heavier along with strong winds which kept banging against the window panes.  Class suspension announcements were made by the various local government units.  

So D slept in Monday as the storm became stronger, causing massive flooding across the National Capital Region and neighboring provinces.  Every time the volume of rainfall got bigger, this was the scene outside our doorstep.

These were taken from the second floor of our apartment.  Kids just appeared out of nowhere and start playing in the massive 'swimming pool' on our street.

Yet every time I start to panic and think the flood level will increase and start seeping through our door, the rains took a break and it would quickly subside and the street was dry yet again.

I know I am lucky as I watch the news and see the devastation the storm Maring (along with the monsoon rains) caused on people living in low lying areas across the metropolis.  Wet, shivering and probably quite hunger, they are evacuated in rubber boats by rescue personnel.  At the local schools which are converted into evacuation centers, they have to contend with the crowded surroundings, common bathrooms and the lack of relief goods to alleviate their hunger.  

Tuesday saw the same cycle all over again. Heavy downpour with strong winds. Once again the capital was at a stand still as mobility was hampered with flooded streets, stranded commuters lined the streets as traffic jams prevailed.  It was total chaos.  Classes as well as work were once again suspended.  Miserable conditions all around. 

By the way, here are important phone numbers we should all have posted in our homes, and saved in our cellphones. 


Today August 21, 2013 is a regular holiday here as we mark the 30th death anniversary of President Aquino's dad.  Weather wise the rains are still quite heavy but less frequent. Some roads are now passable while some towns still remain flooded.  It is really quite bleak as we haven't seen the sun in five days now. 

As I type this post, I got these advisories c/o Twitter:

ADVISORY: Classes in PUP Sta. Mesa, Manila are suspended until tomorrow, August 22, following Mayor Estrada's announcement.

Yellow Rainfall Advisory No. 28

Weather System: Southwest Monsoon (#Habagat) enhanced by
Tropical Storm “#MaringPH
Target Areas: #MetroManila
Issued at: 04:30 PM, 21 August 2013 (Wednesday)

Moderate to heavy rains is expected over Metro Manila, #Bulacan, #Pampanga, #Rizal, #Cavite, #Bataan and portions of #Laguna, #Tarlac, #Quezon, #OccidentalMindoro and #Zambales and most likely to continue for the next 3 hours.

• FLOODING in low-lying areas may still prevail.

• ALL are advised to MONITOR the weather condition and watch for the next advisory.

Let's all hope and pray there will be an improvement in the weather. God help us, all.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013


We were stationed in Brussels, Belgium from 1978 to 1982.   30 years ago but there are many memories from that period that stay in my memory warehouse. Naturally the feel good ones, for certainly there were some moments (i.e racial discrimination and bullying) I've long buried and hope I never get to experience again in my lifetime. 

During this rainy weekend, I caught a cooking show on TV Monde 5 (The French Channel) where the contestants were tasked to cook a dish from the tiny nation of Belgium. With a current population of 9 million citizens, the country is divided between the Flemish (the Dutch speaking populace) and the Wallons (the French speaking portion).  Its capital is Brussels and it has 3 official languages namely French, Flemish and German.  

My elementary schooling was in a Catholic institution where I studied, talked and even dreamed in French. But I was excepted from taking Flemish because I was a foreigner.   Belgium is famous for the Mannekin Pis, its waffles, Brussels sprouts and Moules et Frites (Mussels and Fries).  

Moules et Fries is one of my fave dishes.  I remember we would eat at this restaurant called "Chez Leon". It's quite famous for its wide varieties of cooked mussels.  You can order their steamed with white wine (my fave),  au gratin (baked with cheese), with tomato sauce or the classic steamed mussels.  It is normally served with a basket of thick potato fries and slices of bread which you can dip into the sauce.  Delish, I'd tell you.

So one of the contestants decided to cook her version of Moules et Fries. She mixed the shelled seafood with white wine and celery and her presentation was quite elegant.  And lo and behold, she won that category.  

It has been 30 years since we lived in Europe but on the few occasions my sister and I were able to re-visit Brussels and Paris, we always ate at "Chez Leon" for most of our meals.  To the point that if you prick us, our blood would be streaming with white wine mussels. :D

Just last year in HK for our Yuletide holidays, my sister had a surprise for us.  She took us to this restaurant near her office called "Frites" and it serves Belgian fare.  My parents and I were ecstatic as we feasted on mussels and fries while reminiscing about moments that occurred 30 long years ago.

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Darkness falls

Last night while we were doing our usual online after dinner routine, the power supply suddenly went off.  Good thing I wasn't composing anything important because I wasn't able to save it. I was merely playing Candy Crush on Facebook as I'm still stuck at level 147 for almost 3 weeks now.  Grrrr!

So there we were fumbling in the dark, I reached for my cellphone so we could have some faint light to guide us through the room.  We got our always ready rechargeable lamp and switched it on so we weren't completely in the dark.

Last night was quite balmy (unlike the previous nights when the precipitation lowered the temperatures) and without an electric fan, my very active sweat glands were working overtime and I was sweating buckets + it is the 'time of the month' so perspiration galore for little me.  Not fun, quite unpleasant, cringe moment all rolled into one. 

By then it was already past 11pm and I was getting quite sleepy.  My ever loving hubby who knows I'm Miss Sweaty (not Miss Sweetie) took charge and starting fanning me while we were lying in bed.  Even though I felt like a lechon (roasted pig) being roasted, I'm just very grateful I'm married to a guy who understands my needs and my wants without any prodding from my part.  Thus no nagging needed!

Either I am that predictable or he is simply such an awesome hubby.  I believe it's the latter, don't you agree?