Tuesday, December 20, 2016

... Tis the most wonderful time of the year ...

... And dare I say ... it is also the most stressful time of the year!

Alright I don't want my last post for 2016 to focus on the negative, hehehe. 

I know that despite the stress and the toils of living in a highly urbanized city where Edsa traffic is a daily nightmare, waiting for hours just to find a tiny parking slot at very overcrowded malls + the worries about the hubby's highly demanding job ... I am extremely grateful for the abundance of blessings that embrace me and my family.

My original plan was to do an extensive 'year-end' report kinda post, but as usual I am running out of time. Just taking a short break from packing to write this post from my smartphone putting random thoughts together to form paragraphs that hopefully convey my state of mind.

Yes, D & D are off tomorrow to the land of dimsum and dumplings to join my parents (they went ahead) and sister for the Yuletide holidays. 

I'm excited and really looking forward to this trip which I booked really last minute as I wasn't sure about D's erratic schedule.

Let me end by wishing everyone happy holidays and may 2017 be another wonderful year!!! 

Friday, November 04, 2016

Ayala Museum, Greenbelt Makati

I love museums. I remember when we were based in Singapore, I would drop by this tiny museum after a long day at work and just sit and reflect on the art works. It was a calming experience. Ah the perks of being single and free to just do anything I wanted. I miss it, more than I care to admit, frankly.

On the second day of October, my sister turned 45 years old and after a sumptuous lunch at Sentro 1771, she wanted to do something different. 

She expressed a desire to go to the Ayala Museum. I couldn't agree more. But by the time we were done with lunch and some window shopping around the Greenbelt complex, it was already 4:30 P.M and the museum was only open until 6 P.M

The lady at the lobby though said we had ample time if we went directly to the 2nd and 4th floors. So we had a quick look see through the Crossroads of Civilizations which exhibited the Gold of Ancestors on the 4th floor. Photographs were not allowed in this section which displayed the brilliant gold jewelry of ancient tribes. 

Then to the 2nd floor to see the Diorama Experience. 60 panels in chronological order that are designed to be a comprehensive visual approach to Philippine history.

It would have been better if we had more time but it was a pleasant experience, nonetheless. They are open from Tuesdays to Sundays 9 AM - 6 PM. Different tickets prices depending on what sections you want to visit. Senior citizens can enter at discounted rates. While members of the academe + one person are free of charge, simply present your school ID card. 

Monday, October 24, 2016

I'm back

My sister's two weeks vacation was hectic, as usual.  We spent it at her doctor's clinics for her post surgery follow up check ups. All her lab results were good, thank God for that.

We were able to complete our pilgrimage tour of 5 Jubilee churches (will blog about it soon) and also sneaked in a quick visit to the Ayala Museum (post coming up). 

Naturally we also spent it eating, eating and eating. We celebrated 2 birthdays, my hubby (Sept. 28) and my sister (Oct. 2) and on the eve of her flight we also celebrated in advance mine (Oct. 19).

We had Filipino fusion food at Sentro 1771, in Greenbelt.

Pancit Palabok, Catfish, Fish and Tofu Torta

Chinese food at HK Chef along Macapagal Avenue.

Steamed Fish and Peking Duck

Americana at Tony Roma's in Glorietta 4 and Chili's, Megamall

Baby Back Ribs (Tony Roma's)

Quesadillas (Chili's)

Thai food at Mango Tree Bistro, Greenbelt 3

Phad Thai, Chicken Rice and Spare Ribs

Filipino cuisine at Barrio Fiesta and Abe, both at Megamall

Barrio Fiesta's Famous Kare Kare and

Crispy Pata

Our usual order at Abe are Pork Humba, Laing, Rellenong Alimango
with Bamboo Rice

Japanese Katsu at Kimukatsu, Edsa Shangri-la

Seafood Set and Edamame

Persian cuisine at Arya Persian Restaurant at Edsa Shangri-la

Grilled Platter and Pilaf and Basmati Rice

The highlight was our buffet at Spiral located at the Sofitel Hotel to celebrate the birthdays of the hubby and sister dearest.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Presenting ... the crispy pork belly!

I admit I am NOT a pork eater. From 1995 to 2001, we were based in Dubai and I reckon that is when I 'removed' pork from my diet regimen. It was more for health reasons than anything else. 

On the other hand, my sister simply loves pork! She consumes it a lot. When we are in HK, she takes the liberty to order whenever we dine outside. A staple dish in most, if not all of our sorties is the very delicious yet sinful crispy pork belly.

This delicacy consists of deep fried pork belly cubes/squares with a very thin and crispy layer of skin and tender meat.

It usually comes with a mustard condiment. This gives it a sort of bitter, tangy taste but I personally prefer to eat it on its own.

The way the pork belly is cut gives it an equal amount of fat and meat. Believe it or not, it isn't oily at all.  I guess they have a special technique of cooking it.

I've grown to love eating the crispy pork belly but no longer on a daily or every other day basis because I value my health. But, surely now I have something to look forward to on our next visit.

Monday, September 12, 2016


Over a week ago we landed in Manila around 9 PM and mind you ... it took us longer to get home than the actual flight. Gosh, The flight time was 1 hour and 45 minutes and we even landed ahead of our estimated time of arrival by 5 minutes. Then traffic was terrible even for a Saturday evening so 2 and a half hours later, we stepped into our house,  really tired and hungry. 

I stayed at my parents for one week 'decompressing'. You know the way astronauts who return to Earth do after they spend days on end in the vast outer space. I was tired, fat (I gained 5 kilos just from this two weeks trip!) and quite lazy to do anything. I slept most of the week away just getting out of my room to have meals then cozy up back in bed, reading or watching films on my laptop. I wasn't sick or anything ... I felt fine physically but mentally I was zapped. I can't really explain it.

But the biggest surprise and I guess quite embarrassing to admit is that my elderly parents were and still are perky, hyper and energetic! I really admire their stamina and their endurance level is quite amazing. I am in awe!

We had a lot of fun ... it was mostly a food trip. We didn't visit any tourist attractions. It was all about dining out, tasting different cuisines. Most of the restaurants we visited are the places which my sister who lives alone wanted to try. She even made a (long) list of all these restaurants she wanted to eat in. It was really a gastronomic feast as she would order all those delicious dishes which were very flavorful and such a delight to experience. I had a great time!

So now I'm back home with the hubby. The place is still standing as expected but it does need a feminine touch so I should stop being lazy and just do it. But first on the agenda tomorrow morning is to walk away the pounds and resume my exercise regimen. These extra 5 kilos need to disappear .... ASAP! They aren't welcome anymore! :D

Friday, August 05, 2016

August na!

I'm really glad that the month of August is upon us. Hopefully in two weeks time I will be seeing this amazing structure yet again well if we can squeeze it into our agenda. But what is certain is we will be celebrating my dad's milestone birthday with my sister in the land of dumplings and dimsum. =)

It has been barely a month since his promotion so D cannot take vacation leave so unfortunately he cannot join us ... I'm sure he can manage.

2 weeks away from this constant noise pollution from the public utility vehicles (jeepneys) that have invaded our once quiet neighborhood isn't too much to ask, is it? I am a person who highly values peace and quiet ... sometimes to a fault! I am a taciturn individual who prefers the sound of silence, I don't do well in crowded and loud environments ... but I need to adjust or else I would go bonkers!

My nerves are already frayed from lack of sleep (probably not the PUVs fault!) and a general sense of malaise which I can't seem to get rid of even if I accumulate huge amounts of endorphins from exercising 6 days a week.

Tata for now .. I'll be back in September.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Friday night thoughts

So time says it is 11:56 PM on this relatively cooler Friday night. The rains earlier this evening must have lowered the temperatures.

The dog in the house across the street is barking for no reason, as usual. While the neighbors in the apartment adjacent to ours is watching some movie with the volume on full blast.

I don't know if they are deaf or perhaps since it is Friday they assume they can just relax and make some noise since they don't have work tomorrow.

But the thing is D does have work tomorrow.  Ever since he got promoted, he is on call like 7 days a week. Last weekend, he spent it at work and slept there in his office as there were several delegations in town.

In times like these when I find myself having dinner by my lonesome self, I have this mantra I like to keep reciting to myself which is Voltaire's quote: "With great power comes great responsibility."

But I guess all this ranting of mine is pretty one sided because truth be told ... D has been snoring away beside me for the past 2 hours now ... completely oblivious of the noise from the blaring TV and the barking dog.

Oh right ... I'm the light sleeper in this household.  I need complete silence to get a good night sleep ... and lately it has been my main problem ... sleep or the lack of it.

End of rant!

Saturday, July 09, 2016

Life as I know it

I feel lighter and leaner from all the hours I spend exercising. From 3 times a week I have progressed to 5 days a week now. I am amazed at how focused I have become ... I guess the joint pains pushed me to my limits. It is difficult to be in pain all the time so I resolved to be healthier. I admit there are still some aches in my joints but it isn't as severe as previously experienced. Hurray!

The monsoon rains are upon us and wow it really pours. So far, classes have been suspended twice and we are told to expect more inclement weather in the coming months. This drastically lowers the temperatures which I'd say is a welcome break from the brutally hot summer we had this year.

Speaking of welcome break, D is due for a promotion. I am excited and also a bit apprehensive as it is a rather sensitive position. The added duties (aside from his usual teaching load) involves long hours and he might also get assigned to the different branches of the institution. I am really proud of him and will continue to pray for his success, always.

That's all for now ... time for me to walk, walk ... walk away the pounds! =)

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Week 2

This is the second week since I started taking meds for my high uric acid levels. I wonder if it is effective because my joints still hurt like I was in a boxing match.

Yet I am happy to announce that I've also been exercising for 3 days a week now.


Last year after my sister's major surgery, she was referred to an endocrinologist by her surgeon so she could control and maintain her weight. The doctor recommended an easy to follow exercise regimen called "Walk at Home" by Leslie Sansone. You basically walk away the pounds by doing a good cardio workout right in the comfort of your home. I googled the program on YouTube and found several videos which are easy to follow and based on your own pace.

I would never, ever enroll myself in a gym since I'm shy and don't like to work out in public in plain view of other people. Besides those gym membership fees cost a fortune, no?

I'm determined to keep doing it even if I collapse from sweating up a storm and from fatigue. The first day I tried it .. I only managed to go 1 mile until I slowly but surely progressed to the 3 miles mark.

I'm proud of myself ... here's keeping my fingers and my tired toes crossed that I stick to this effective regimen of losing weight and getting my cholesterol and uric acid levels within the normal range.

This is not a sponsored post!  =)

Monday, June 13, 2016

Crunch time

This weekend I spent it in a clinic waiting for doctors and for my lab results. Actually it was D's annual check up time (which is a prerequisite before classes start - which incidentally is today!) but I tagged along.

For a week now I had this terrible shoulder pain which spread down to my left arm. I drank the painkiller which our pambansang kamao endorses, this really strong pain reliever. Yet 4 days later I was still in pain. I had to fast for 10 hours so they could check my blood chemistry which consist of 3 letter words. 

Of course as expected my triglycerides, cholesterol and uric acid levels were way high! I was prescribed meds to control my uric acid levels for 30 days. I was also told to diet and exercise and come back in July to re-check if there is any progress.

Now I HATE to exercise since I don't like to sweat, at all. A naturally active sweat gland has me perspiring even when I just walk down the stairs of our rented apartment.  


It is time to take better care of my health so I won't feel any more discomfort as I enter a new phase in my life - the dreaded M word. I will keep a positive attitude and motivate myself so I can conquer this condition with flying colors. 

As the doctor said as I was about to leave her clinic - Good Luck! I do need all the luck in the world as I walk away the pounds towards a better ME. =)

Friday, June 03, 2016

HK: Wong Tai Sin Temple

We had already been to most attractions so I decided to google for more places to visit in HK. I came across the Wong Tai Sin Temple located in Kowloon Island.

According to the Discover HongKong website:
The Sik Sik Yuen Wong Tai Sin Temple's claim to 'make every wish come true upon request' might have something to do with its popularity. Home to three religions (Taoism, Buddhism and Confucianism), its natural setting and beautifully ornamented buildings make it as much a scenic attraction as an important religious centre. The temple commemorates the famous monk of yore, Wong Tai Sin who was born in the 4th century and became a deity at Heng Shan. In 1915, Taoist priest Liang Ren-an carried a sacred portrait of Wong Tai Sin from Guangdong in southern China to Hong Kong. The temple is where worshippers pray for good fortune through offerings, divine guidance and fortune telling.
Sister took the afternoon off from work, we met her at the Silvercord Mall in Kowloon for lunch at this yum cha place aka dim sum place. Our bellies filled to the rafters, we deemed it would be more practical to just take a taxi since the MTR would mean transferring to several stations before reaching our destination. A no-no if you are traveling with elderly parents.


We all had a great time while exploring the vast temple grounds. It was nippy cold so it was pleasant to be outdoors. The temple does have a lot of steps and stairs so certain parts were not accessible for my parents to roam about but the visit was worth it. Observing a completely different way of worship of another religion is a great cultural experience. 

I was surprised that adjacent to the Wong Tai Sin Temple with its rich cultural vibe is a very modern mall with the latest amenities to satisfy your cravings.