Monday, July 28, 2014

Mga Kwentong Sinauna: Nung Ma-Deads Si Uncle

Iisa ang uncle ko sa maternal side, and he had Down syndrome. They didn't realize immediately that he had it. Madear said that they were delighted kasi he was extremely flexible nung baby pa, pero medyo nagtaka sila, and only then did they seek a doctor. He didn't attend school, pero he was relatively independent. Mabait yun, although kung minsan, pag tinopak, maghahalo ang balat sa tinalupan. I remember once hiding in the wardrobe with my cousins kasi nagwawala sya. Pagkatapos naman nun, okay na uli. Marcos loyalist yun -- he would spend hours just watching Marcos' speeches. He must have been mesmerized.

Isa sa mga health problems ng may Down syndrome is congenital heart defect. And yun ang kinamatay ni Uncle, pero relatively matagal din ang buhay nya. Syempre, being the panganay, punong-abala si Madear sa lamay. Hindi halos natutulog. Pagod na pagod. Parang adrenaline na lang ang nag-po-propel sa kanyang kumilos. Nung araw ng libing, before ilabas ng bahay ang patay, may padasal muna, led by the oldies, along with Madear and her other siblings, my aunts (umuwi din si Auntie Bebeng).

Salamin ng katwiran...
Luklukan ng karunungan...
Mula ng tuwa namin...
Sisidlan ng kabanalan...
Sisidlang bunyi at bantog...
Sisidlang bukod na mahal na makusaing sumunod sa
Panginoong Diyos...
Rosang bulaklak, na di mapuspos ng bait ng tao ang halaga...
Tore ni David...
Toreng Garing...
Bahay na Ginto...
Kaban ng Tipan...
Pinto ng langit...
Talang maliwanag...
Mapagpagaling sa mga taong makasalanan


Bigla na lang si Madear, while sitting, slumped on the wall against her.

Sigaw ang oldies, "NAKU, SI NENE. INATAKE SA PUSO!!!" Nagkagulo ang mga tao. Nakalimutan for a moment si Uncle. Nakalimutan ang tore ni David, toreng garing, bahay na ginto, kaban ng tipan...

Siguro dahil sa sobrang ingay, biglang tayo si Madear. Nagulat na naman lahat kasi nga, diba "SI NENE. INATAKE SA PUSO!!!" Turned out NAKATULOG lang si Madear sa sobrang pagod.

Heart attack kaagad? Di ba pwedeng exhausted lang muna?

Friday, July 25, 2014

Friday Favorite Five: Anik-Anik Edition

Matagal na pala akong hindi nakapag-post ng Friday Favorite Five. Sobrang busy kasi lately. I have new client, and I'm still not used to their editing requirement. Light editing kasi. As in feather light. I still haven't found the right mix of sweetness, tartness, and saltiness, in a manner of speaking. Plus nagkasakit pa ako ng sunod-sunod. So here I am, and here are my current favorites.

1. Palmolive Olive and Milk Body wash, ~80 PHP. "Infused with 100% natural milk proteins and olive extracts. Olive is known for conditioning your skin for that Ultra Moisture. Its rich formula will leave your skin feeling soft and smooth while its delicious scent lingers."

I wasn't really on the hunt for a new body wash, but I like smelling bath products whenever I'm grocery shopping, and I found this. It smells so good -- not quite Amazing Grace-good, but very good nonetheless. Ewan ko kung psychological yung effect, pero feeling ko my skin was so soft and smooth after, which lasted till the morning. Very reasonable yung price, ~80 PHP, and a little goes a long way. I hope they'd make a bar counterpart with matching lotion and/or body butter.

I just had to add Angel's picture as well. Isn't she gorgeous?
I don't think it is something a body wash, no matter how moisturizing, can give you.
Lest I get into some serious jologs fan war, I must say that I like Marian's beauty too, especially with her sunshiny, happy smile. *Defensive*

2. Giggles Baby Wipes, ~90 PHP. "Giggles Baby Wipes are silky soft and extra thick like a soft wash cloth. With moisturized aloe lotion contents. Alcohol-free. Gently formulated to clean and moisturize baby's delicate skin. Gentle enough to clean baby's face and hands."

I don't know how parents in the olden days survived without this. Seriously. We started regularly purchasing wet wipes when Sharkteeth was born -- she's almost a tweener now, and yet it's already part of our regular grocery purchases. One for each of us. We don't go on any long trip without it. Aside from its use on the body, I also use it to clean my leather bags because it's gentle and mild. Further, it's unscented and hindi sya malagkit unlike other wet wipes. Compared with other reputable wet wipes like Johnson's, Wet Ones, or Nivea, Giggles is the cheapest (per sheet).


3. Fossil Tree Jewelry Stand, ~2000 PHP. "Branch out with our vintage-inspired Tree Jewelry Stand. Use this multi-branched, antiqued brass-tone tree to organize all of your accessories--it's as functional as it is whimsical. Multi-branched brass ox-tone jewelry holder tree with chocolate brown wooden jewelry tray base."

I've been hankering for this for a couple of years na. Yes, ganun na katagal. Nag-sale sa Fossil USA kaso naubusan ako. Still haven't found one, even something similar. Malamang ay idi-DIY ko na lang. I like that it has a number of branches where I can hang rings and other accessories and that it is accented by a charming solitary bird. Update ko kayo pag nai-DIY ko.

4. Bonne Maman Apricot Preserves, ~250 PHP. "Bonne Maman Apricot Preserves glow with the orange-yellow luster of fresh, ripe apricots. Each jar of these 100% natural preserves is filled with pieces of apricot, which add sparks of acidic brightness and refreshing flavor. Deeply succulent, Bonne Maman Apricot Preserves is stimulating on toast and pastries and ideal for enhancing entrees."

I love this most with honey yogurt. Not too tart, not too sweet. Just perfect. I will try their grilled apricot chicken skewers, parang madaling lutuin and easy to pack for Sharkteeth's baon.

5. Tory Burch Jelly Reva. "The classic Reva, now as an adorable jelly. Rubber ballet flat with cutout logo disc at vamp. Vents at side. Logo-textured rubber sole."

I almost forgot about my pair na, pero naalala ko because of the recent storm and rain. These won't protect you from the cooties like a pair of rainboots would, but if you're not wading into a flood, they're okay. They have the right amount of pliability, but I had blisters when I first wore them. They dry easily, and if not already obvious, stylish enough to wear even during sunshiny days.

Picture credit to I don't wanna take a picture of mine kasi madumi pa.

Note: In my bid to post regularly, I'm going, or at least try, to post every Friday five of my favorite things. They might be a current or past possession, though others might not be necessarily mine -- could be a wish for my fairy godmother (where are you, by the way?), could be something I saw and found interesting, but it will always be driven by beauty and functionality, hopefully both, but that's a tall order.

Another important note: None of these items are ads or sponsored.  Pero if Palmolive will give me a lifetime supply, o sige, kahit a month's supply, okay fine, kahit isang bote lang, hahahaha, ng
Palmolive Olive and Milk Body wash, I'd be most grateful. *Hint-hint*

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

I Heart DTI

Remember the scarf-dry cleaner problem I hinted at in another post? Well, I filed a complaint at the local DTI. It was mediated today, and unfortunately, I cannot share what happened, as stipulated by the mediator.

Pero para di naman bitin, let me just say this, DTI is one of the most, if not the most, reliable government agency I have ever encountered. In the few times I've asked for their help (*cough* Metrodeal *cough*), they never failed to help in a speedy and reasonable manner.

As consumers, let us not forget our rights, and there are still a number of government offices that we can trust, and DTI is one of them.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Kapag Tumibok Ang Puso

Nung singing lessons ni Sharkteeth last Saturday, she was dilly-dallying sa pag-akyat ng hagdan papunta sa studio. A young teenage boy prodded her, saying "Don't worry, they won't eat you there." Anyway, as there were so many parents and yayas inside the studio waiting for their superstars, I just stayed on the lobby near the stairs and reread Harry Potter. The young boy was also there listening to music.

Siguro around half an hour later, may umaakyat sa hagdan. The young boy briefly looked down the stairs and immediately covered his head with his hoodie, bent forward on his knees, and nagkunwaring tulog. Then a couple of young girls passed by on their way to the studio, briefly looking at the boy, exchanging odd looks.

A few seconds later, he surreptitiously checked kung nakapasok na yung mga girls. Then another girl went up the stairs, and the young boy again did his little farce. When sure that the girl was already inside the studio, he removed his hoodie, and craning his neck toward the studio, checked out the girls again.

Di ako nakatiis. *Chismosa talaga*

TPS: What's that about? Is one of them your crush or something?

AND YET, he kept on checking out the girls in the studio. Akala nya hindi ko nakikita pero he had this little smile on his lips and a twinkle in his eyes. Later on, hindi na nakatiis, pumasok na ng studio and pinanood na nya ang practice nung isang girl. Echosero.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Rant Na Naman?

I was pretty late in having Sharkteeth's uniform made. I was getting desperate too, kasi June na nun. While buying fabric in a local store, thankfully, another mom buying some fabric herself recommended a tailoring shop that specifically sews uniforms. PHP150 per blouse daw ang charge.

When I went there, the guy owner said they can finish it in a week. Eh di kampante naman ako kasi S still has her uniform from last year and kasya pa naman, albeit getting a bit tight for her na. Still, the old uniforms would do for the meantime.

When we got back from Bacolod, nagka-gastroenteritis ako and I wasn't able to pick up the uniforms on the date they specified, June 30. On the Saturday of that week, when I tried to pick up the uniforms, wala daw dun. Wala rin dun yung owner. Hindi ko naman alam kung saan yung main branch nila. When I returned on the next Monday, July 7, andun yung asawa nung tailor, and di pa raw natatahi ang uniform. Jusko naman. Naiwala daw nila yung measurements. I didn't wanna argue anymore 'cause I was getting tired na of arguing with them and with another shop (a laundryshop, another story). I just had S remeasured, and the lady promised I can get two uniforms after two days. Unfortunately, I hurt my back, which restricted my mobility. Long story short, kanina ko lang na pick up.

I was actually expecting the worst, i.e., hindi pa rin tapos. Buti naman tapos na. When I paid, naghihintay ako ng sukli sa 1000, kasi PHP600 ang total, tapos, wala, deadma lang yung lalaking sastre. When I asked for the sukli, wala daw kasi PHP250 per blouse. WUTTTT???!!! I told him na sabi nya sa akin PHP150 lang yung blouse. Sabi daw nung wife nya eh PHP250. But my point is, sya (guy owner) ang kausap ko in the first place, hindi yung wife nya, and he told me na PHP150 per blouse. He was sort of denying na sya ang kausap ko, asking, "Tayo ba ang nag-usap? Parang hindi naman."


No matter how much I promise to avoid cursing, parang the whole of the universe, o sige, the whole of Dumaguete's service industry is conspiring to make me curse, and curse loud. I really tried to hold my temper in check, and I actually succeeded. Pero kung inakala nya na papayag akong hindi makuha yung pera ko, well, he was sorely mistaken. I just told him, despite his protestations that his wife told him to charge PHP250, we agreed on PHP150 and I told him that, in fact, he was the one who first took S's measurements. Eventually, he must have realized I wasn't going away till I get my money and relented.

Pero, grabe, bakit kailangan ko pang makipag-argue? To paraphrase my friend M, why do they have to draw this out of me? I was getting angry, I was close to the point of yelling, and I felt terrible because I was behaving like a bad person, for what, 400 pesos?! I know I could just have let it go, it's just money, but I know I'd get angry at myself more if I let bad services have their way.

This isn't the first time I've encountered bad services, kahit saan naman, merong ganun. It's just that sobrang frequent talaga dito. Nakaka-bother na. The laundy incident I mentioned above, it was awful, but I won't talk about it yet 'cause I filed a case sa DTI. Abangan ang susunod na kabanata.

SHARKTEEEEETHHHH!!! Water, please, saka gamot sa alta-presyon!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

My Coño Madear

I took the liberty of editing the translation:

"Oh, [TPS], your dad killed a snake in our kitchen. It was as long as my arms and as big as my thumb. He saw the cat spying on it. What if I was the one who saw it? I can't run. OMG."

The line "I can't run. OMG" really cracked me up. Oh em gee, mother, you're so coño. Clearly, the stroke hasn't dampened your hirits.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Cath Kidston Haul

Remember I bought a Cath Kidston backpack for Sharkteeth last year? I was supposed to purchase a rolling pin as well, but I bode my time hoping for a further discount. When it appeared na wala nang forthcoming na discount, I placed my order, but sold out na. Sabi nga ni Bacon sa Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, "'Too late, too late' will be the cry when the man with the bargains has passed you by." Nakailang sale na ang Cath Kidston after I bought the bag, pero di nila ni-sale yung bagong rolling pin in stock, plus masyadong magastos ang first two quarters of 2014 namin, comatose pa wallet ko, with a Glascow Coma Scale of 2.

A month back, ewan ko ba kung sino sa kanila ang nag-tip sa akin na may sale ang Cath Kidston, either si D or si L -- word of warning: naku, those two, who share my interest in Cath Kidston and other pretty stuff, delikado yang dalawa na yan -- kung ano-ano ang naiisipan kong bilhin dahil sa kanila. Hehehehe, joke lang, Cath Kidston sisters. When I checked, the much-coveted rolling pin was on sale!!! Yay! Agad-agad I got in touch with the two and another CK-obsessed friend. Agad-agad din may order yung dalawa (L and D). Hahahaha! What is "excited," Alex Trebek? We shared the shipping fee, which was pretty steep (20 GBP).

Unboxing. Hindi na ako nakahintay.
I was in Sharkteeth's school to pick her up -- binuksan ko na, took a picture, and IG'd it.
EQ, schm-EQ.

The order took 24 days. Twenty-four days too long, I'd say. Hahahaha! Kidding. Excited lang. When the post office delivered the notification, I went to pick up the shipment on the same day. Like my customs experience last year, it was again a breeze. I know many have had a horrible customs experience, especially in Manila, but the customs personnel here are reasonable, transparent, and very easy to deal with. Considering that I bought breakable merchandise, I was so happy that nothing untoward happened. But then CK packed them really well -- bubble wrap + air pillows. My only regret was that I ordered immediately. The price of the rolling pin was further decreased by a pound after a few days, and last time I checked, it went from 13 GBP to 10 GBP. Oh, well.

Packed and ready for shipping

By the next day, the girls' orders were paid, packed, and shipped, and I hope that as I am typing this, they are already delivered (Abest, your performance has been superb so far, don't fail us now). 

My loot

Till next sale, fellow CK fans. Next quarter na lang ha? Wala pa akong pera.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Mga Istoryang Sinauna: The Mallardog

Growing up in a farm, I had a menagerie of pets aside from the usual cows, rabbits, cats, pigs, and dogs -- and my parents were unfazed when I brought home albino mice, hermit crabs, and ducklings. The hermit crab, eventually, nakatakas. Never to be seen again. Yung ducklings, well, I brought home a pair, naming them Daisy and Donald (napaka-creative and imaginative ng names, ano? hehehe). Unfortunately, my cousin's dog killed the other, Daisy. I was inconsolable for days. The hurt was eventually forgotten, and  Donald grew up and brought us so much fun. I would place him in a huge washbasin where he would swim for hours.

The thing is, he didn't have friends. My uncle had itik (brown ducks), and Donald tried to befriend them -- and tried he did. Susunod-sunod sya dun sa mga itik, like a stalker, hoping to be noticed. Parang kawawang hanger-on or groupie. His efforts were all in vain though. Being a mallard, he looked quite different from the brown ducks -- with a brown body and gray wings with iridescent tips and neck and head that change color depending on the angle. The brown ducks would gang up on him, attack him with their bills, and chase him away, and he would hide behind some bananas, poking his head this way and that, checking if everything was all clear and safe.

Credit to

Finally, he just gave up befriending his "kind." Suko na sya.

Minsan narinig ko panay ang tahol ng mga aso at quack-quack-quack ni Donald. Isip ko, naku, the dogs might be attacking him. When I checked the ruckus, however, he was out there, "barking" along with our three dogs at people walking near our house. The acceptance he didn't receive from his fellow ducks, he got from our loving and accepting canines.

Thursday, July 10, 2014


When I picked up Sharkteeth sa school kanina...

Sharkteeth: Mymy, you know how much E's bank savings is? 36,000 pesos!!!
TPS: See? He knows how to save. You should learn how to save your baon.
Sharkteeth: I think I have a mental illness...
TPS: Hah? What kind?
Sharkteeth: Spend-icitis.


Don't ask me why or how pero na-LSS si S ng Bubble Butt song. I know, I know, but as a mom, I can only do so much, right? Well, that's not really the point of this exchange.

Sharkteeth: Just what is a bubble butt? 
TPS: [being clueless] I dunno. Maybe you should put some soap on your butt then you fart and make bubbles.
Sharkteeth: Maybe I should try that.
TPS: Yes, and I will take a video.
Sharkteeth: Noooooooo!!! Okay, but don't post it on Facebook.
TPS: I won't. Sa Instagram na lang. Hahahahaha!
Sharkteeth: I'll report you to the police. No nudity allowed. Oh, no na lang. They might arrest you and you will get imprisoned. [pregnant pause] But if you are imprisoned, I can go and check out all the stuff you have in your room. Should I or shouldn't I? Hmmmmm...[sabay stroke ng chin]

Tuesday, July 08, 2014


I was asking for my ultrasound results...

Radio staff: Ano yung ultrasound mo?
TPS: Thyroid and TVS.
Radio staff: Heto. [handing me my thyroid ultrasound results]
TPS: Yung TVS?
Radio staff:  Meron ka bang TVS?
TPS: Yes.
The radio staff disappeared to the next room, presumably looking for my TVS results.
Radio staff: Di mo pa ba kinukuha yung TVS results mo?
TPS: Hindi, kasi walang release ng results ng weekend, di ba? Gusto mo balikan ko na lang tomorrow, hanapin mo muna?
Without replying, she disappeared again, then returned. She handed a piece of paper to me, but she was looking shifty about it. Buti na lang ni-check ko kasi copy lang yun ng thyroid result ko.
TPS: Same lang eto ng thryroid results. 
Radio staff: Di mo pa ba kinukuha ang TVS result mo?

Hehehehe! I didn't actually say that; it was only in my mind. But, gaaaaahhhh, how it would have satisfied me to let that one out.


A similar incident happened before, when we were still living in Laguna. I had a bag and a wallet repaired. I sent the bag and wallet via a courier and just went to the shop in Sta. Ana, Manila, to pick them up. Pagdating ko dun, okay na yun bag, but they couldn't find the wallet.

Shop owner: Di ko makita yung wallet. Sigurado kang may wallet kang pinadala?
TPS: Oho, meron. Pakitanong na lang dun sa anak nyo kasi sa kanya ko ni-address.
Hanap, hanap, hanap...
Shop owner: Di sumasagot ng text si Noli eh. Baka naman nakuha mo na? O kaya pinadala na sa iyo ni Noli?
TPS: Hindi pa ho. Usapan namin ay pi-pick-in ko dito sa shop.

Hanap, hanap, hanap...
Shop owner:  Sigurado ka bang hindi mo pa nakukukuha?
TPS: [please, pasensya, pasensya, pasensya] Hindi ko pa ho nakukuha.
Hanap, hanap, hanap...
Shop owner:  Baka naman nakuha mo na? Wala dito eh.
TPS: Ano ba?! Ilang ulit ko nang sinabing di ko pa nakukuha, tanong ka pa ng tanong? Galing pa ako ng Laguna, sa palagay nyo bibiyahe ako papunta dito para kuhanin ang wallet kung nasa akin na?!! Naiwala nyo ba yung wallet? 

And that time, I really said it. I tried to be as patient as I could, pero, wala, my patience ran thin and snapped, especially since more than an hour na kami sa shop. Long story short, dumating yung anak nya and finally nahanap nila yung wallet.


It's so frustrating when people are all too quick to wash off their stupidity from their hands and dump the dirty water on you. It especially galls me when they insist that, since they couldn't find the result, item, or what-not, I already have it. What kind of logic is that? 

Sunday, July 06, 2014

Bacolod: Ang Pagbabalik

TheHusband was asked to be a principal sponsor for a wedding (cue in the theme from The Godfather, hehehe), his first time to be one (now cue in the theme from Thundercats...joke lang, babe).

I was initially vacillating if I should go or not. I had a particularly bad case of flu, cough, cold, and may sumama pang hypersensitivity, and while I have already recovered, all I wanted to do was rest and sleep for a couple of days to fully recharge. But then, what kind of message am I sending if I let TheHusband go without me, him being a principal sponsor, i.e., a godfather, to the couple? I mean, shouldn't I, the wife, be there to support him? So after much internal debate, ayun, sumama ako, and of course, Sharkteeth.

Simula pa lang, sablay na. We specifically chose the 5:40 a.m. departure kasi aircon bus daw yun, according to the dispatcher TheHusband inquired from the night before. Turned out hindi aircon. TheHusband asked me if we should still go; huwag na lang daw kaya kaming tumuloy...nakita siguro na nakasimangot ako and isip nya eh malamang totopakin ako sa byahe. Naisip ko naman kasubuan na and I should just suck it up. So off we went.


May restroom and food break when we reached Mabinay, kaso natagalan kami ni S sa restroom (gotta wipe our wet? pwet? hehe), and when TheHusband and I went to eat, nakaka-ilang subo pa lang kami ng food eh umandar na yung bus. Sayang, ang sarap pa naman nung beef nilaga na tinda dun sa canteen. I tried to stuff as much food as possible to my mouth without choking. Hahahaha!

 Bearable naman yung trip because it was so cold. Around 6 hours din yung byahe. Zigzag yung road dun sa mountainous area, but the driver was very careful.

We reached Bacolod around 12 noon. We went to the hotel, left our things, and went to the mall to eat.

We ate in The Pastry House of Bob's. Itatanong nyo, Bob's  whom or what exactly? Malay ko. Hehehe!


Yung mag-ama, they liked their respective orders (schublig and Hungarian sausage), pero I didn't like mine (chicken terriyaki). The dessert, however, was sooooo good -- it has two or three layers of chocolate cake with white mousse filling in a chocolate shell and topped with grapes, cherries, slices of kiwi, and other fruits. Sobrang sarap. I like it better than Conti's Mango Bravo or Purple Oven's chocolate cake. Hindi ko naubos kasi it was so filling. Too bad, I don't have a picture of the cake -- it was as delicious as it was pretty.

I fell asleep shortly after we went back to the hotel. Aba, pag-gising ko, alas-siete na ng gabi at wala na yung mag-ama. They went to Starbucks na pala. I followed them there, and after coffee, we went to SM. We looked for a gift for the couple and S went to look for some Moshi Monsters or Squinkies or something -- I swear, I have lost track of all the toys in the market now. Sandali lang kami sa SM, kasi halos closing time na nung dumating kami dun.

Trying on hats in SM. Bagay naman, diba?


Sunday was very hectic. We woke up late -- what's new? Hahahaha! After we had our breakfast, we bought some wrappers and books for S, and when we got back to the hotel, 11:30 na! Eh 12 noon ang checkout. Jusko, we had to pack, shower, and dress up in 30 minutes. I was wailing, "pa'no ko na lang paplantsahin ang buhok ko?" Di ko naman nakita, but I assumed TheHusband and S rolled their eyes. Hahahaha! In fairness, photofinish naman kami! Saktong 12 noon, naka-checkout kami. I just did my makeup in the lobby restroom; wala nang plantsa-plantsa ng buhok. Wash and wear. Hahahaha! I was planning on going to the salon, but with a 2-pm call time, I didn't have time to go anymore. 


On our way home, hindi na naman aircon yun bus.  We couldn't wait for the 10-pm trip or postpone the trip the next day because TheHusband had to be in the office early for some visiting clients. Turned out the aircon (or lack of it) was the least of my worries. Grabe yung driver. "Fearless" is an understatement. Parang may death wish! He wasn't afraid of going fast over the zigzag roads and hairpin turns. I used all my reserves of self-control not to have a mental meltdown, 'cause I tell you, I was starting to freak out. I tried to sleep it off, rationalizing that should we fall into the ravine, I'd be asleep. To show you how fast our trip was, we were home in 5 hours.

Sadly, may pabaon pa ang Bacolod sa amin. S and I had a bad case of gastroenteritis. It was awful. At least I lost weight. Hehehe. I don't know what we ate, but TheHusband wasn't hit. S wasn't as badly hit either, but I was almost crawling from the weakness. The sight of food made me nauseous. Turned out TheHusband's other officemates were hit as well, with one ending up being hospitalized. I'm okay now, thankfully.

Easy Cheesy Scallops

It's a Sunday yet I'm so busy catching up with work, kasi naman after nung Bacolod trip namin, nagka-gastroenteritis kami ni Sharkteeth and 2 days din akong out of commission, as in nanghina ako ng todo (bright side: I lost weight! hehehe!), then may client call nung Wednesday that I prepared for, so I only had Thursday and Friday left to get on with my work. I had a checkup yesterday, Saturday, and tons of home-mama responsibilities -- I tell you, ang hirap mag-freelance. So here I am, working on a Sunday, basically against the ten commandments, my work principles, mission-vision, so on and so forth. Hehehehe!

What's my point, you're asking? Well, my point is, I don't have much time left for cooking, and I want to avoid processed food like hotdogs and cold cuts, so I have to look for easy recipes that I can cook in 30 minutes or less.

Here's one easy and delicious recipe that you can cook in a pinch. 

Not yet baked
  Easy Cheesy Scallops

1/2 kg scallops (pre-cleaned; half kilogram yields about 15 medium-sized scallops)
3 tbsp olive oil 
1 tsp chili flakes
ground pepper
salt (konting-konti lang, maalat ang cheese)
1/2 cup of  grated cheese (I used cheddar)
1/2 cup panko
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
Chopped green onion  stalks
1. Lay the scallops on a baking pan.
2. Mix the oil, chili flakes, ground pepper, and salt. Drizzle on the scallops.
3. Add grated cheese on top of the scallops.
4. Mix the panko with the Parmesan cheese and then add to the scallops.
5. Add some chopped green onion stalks.
6. Bake on a 350ºC oven. It will bubble a bit, and once the edges brown, it should be cooked in a minute or so.

Ang sarap! Kaya lang bitin. Akala ko marami na yung half kilo. I should have bought a kilogram na. Saka ang mahal naman kasi, PHP250 a kilo! Pero sulit naman sa taste department. I bought this sa Robinson's, but I bet it's cheaper sa wet market.

Naalala ko tuloy, when I go to the grocery and nagpapalinis ako ng fish or seafood, I just tell them how much I need, shop for the rest of the groceries, then come back for the cleaned fish. Eh minsan nakalimutan ko. So binalikan ko the following day. Obviously, the girl who cleaned the fish remembers me kasi nakasimangot sya when she saw me. When I asked for the fish, aba, parang galit yung tono nya sa akin, and she said, "itinapon ko na." WUUTTTT?! I understand that she might be pissed kasi di ko binalikan yung fish and I might have gotten her in hot water because of it, but why the heck would you throw a good pack of clean and fresh fish?

Waste not, want not.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

The World According To Madear

Warning: There are things that you might deem TMI. You've been duly warned.

"Huwag mong kamutin ang sugat mo. Pag lumaki yan, lalabasan ng kabayong potro."
Para may lumabas na kabayo from a wound, no matter how large the wound is, is scary enough, gawin pang kabayong potro ("potro"* sounds so scary, ha?), ay naku! Pag di ka naman natakot, ewan ko na lang.

*UPDATE: Apparently, potro is Spanish for foal, and foals are so cute! Had I known then, kinamot ko nang kinamot ang sugat ko till a kabayong potro came out of the wound. LOL!

"Kailangang matanggal lahat ng kuto mo; kung hindi, ililipad ka nyan sa punong kawayan."
 Jusko, ang taas kaya ng kawayan. Opo!!! Ubusin nyo ho lahat ang mga kutong 'yan!

"Huwag kang kakain sa madilim. Sasaluhan ka ng demonyo."
Ang daming masamang tao, bakit kaya di sya dun sumalo sa pagkain?

"Mag-iingat ka pag Byernes Santo. Pag nagkasugat ka, hindi gagaling."
Have I mentioned that I was (still am) a stubborn kid. Talaga namang yun pa ang pinili kong araw para mag-bike ng paulit-ulit dun sa matarik na lugar na may sharp turn. Miss the turn and mahuhulog ka. I really tempted fate that time. Di ako tumigil hanggang hindi ako nahuhulog. Thankfully, gumaling naman ang sugat ko.

"Huwag kang maliligo pag Biyernes Santo. Patay ang Diyos."
Sinunod ko talaga eto. Kaso minsan nagpunta kami ng mga cousins ko sa Baguio. Di kasama si Ma-Dear. Hayun, I got my chance and naligo ako ng Biyernes Santo. 

"Pag nagka-regla ka na, ipahid mo sa mukha mo para kikinis balat mo."
Kadirs!!! Buti na lang di ko kasama si Ma-Dear when I had my first period. But then, baka iyan ang dahilan kung bakit di ako makinis.

"Huwag kang maliligo pag mag mens ka. Baka maloka ka."
Kaya siguro... Hahahahahaha!

"Huwag kang matutulog ng basa ang buhok. Mabubulag ka."
I accidentally fell asleep with wet hair during college. Nung nagigising na ako, I remembered na basa ang buhok ko when I fell asleep. I was so afraid to open my eyes and check if I was already blind.

"Pag may tiktik, may aswang. Pag may aswang, ibig sabihin may buntis sa malapit."
Paniwalang-paniwala naman ako. Uto-uto eh. Poor tiktik got the bum rap.

"Pag nanaginip ka na nabubunot ngipin mo, may mamamatay. Kumagat ka sa halaman para hindi mangyari."
Kung makikita nyo lang ang halaman naming palmera. Tssskk...

"Pag pinakagat mo sa tutubi (dragonfly) ang nipple mo, matututo kang lumangoy." 
I was left traumatized, but I bet not as much as
that poor, poor dragonfly...


Most of my mom's anecdotes are scary, and I'm guessing it was meant to be that way, i.e., to scare me into submission. No wonder I grew up with various phobias and fears. I was already an adult when I dealt with my phobias, and sometimes, when I dream of a tooth falling off, I still feel a twinge of fear.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Mga Istoryang Sinauna: Calesa Ride

As every Thomasian knows, the University of Santo Tomas becomes an island during the rainy season. Alam ko naman yan -- I was (still am) just so darn stubborn. I used to live in a dormitory a block away from the university, para madali akong makauwi after classes, especially in the event of floods.

Minsan, classes were cancelled around 9 am kasi may bagyo yata or lumalakas ang ulan. However, it was my friend's 18th birthday and she invited us to her house for lunch. I think almost everyone in our section was there. Ayaw pa sana naming umalis kaso tumataas na ang tubig, but like ankle deep pa lang naman. My classmate, itago na lang natin sa pangalang Coco, was staying in a dormitory near mine so nagsabay kami pabalik. Kaso walang kaming masakyan. No jeepneys or cabs or trikes. Seriously, who in their right mind would leave their house? So naglakad kami ni Coco. Mahirap maglakad sa baha. Ang dami pa namang mga missing manhole covers. We mostly stayed sa gitna ng kalsada. Eventually, nakasakay kami ng cab, pero di pa nakakalayo, pinababa na kami ng taxi driver kasi malalim yun tubig and he decided to turn back. At least dun nya kami ibinaba sa may España. Balik na naman kami sa paglalakad. Ang bilis tumaas ng tubig. We left around 11:30, and around 12:30, mid-thigh na ang tubig. We didn't have any choice but to go on.

Pagdating namin sa isang kanto, eeeewwww, may lalaking umiihi!!! Nagtatakbo kami ni Coco palayo. Ang arte pa namin eh kung ano-ano na kayang dumi ang na-encounter namin before ang lalaking umiihi na yun? Hahahaha!

Ganyan ang hitsura namin. Hindi kami yan, hello, sepia!

Around 1 pm, may nakita kaming karitela! Yay! First time kong makasakay ng karitela. Excited kami. After a couple of kilometers, biglang, SWOOOSHHH! We were all thrown forward. Coco and I suddenly scrambled to recover our things and our bearing. The poor beast's knees gave way and he fell forward -- ALONG WITH US!!! Sabi ni mamang kutsero, "di pa kasi yan kumakain." Ay, kawawa naman. I don't remember why hindi napakain -- kung wala bang dalang pagkain si manong or ayaw nyang mabasa ang paa nya ng baha. Our valiant steed segued on. Ilang meters na lang malapit sa dorm ni Coco, nadapa na naman ang kabayo! Kapit na kapit kami sa loob. Nahatid na si Coco, ako naman. Thankfully, nakarating sa dorm ko nang hindi na nadadapa si dear horsey. I wanted to hug the horse. Anoba, hindi si mamang kutsero, binayaran naman namin sya. Si dear horsey lang.

Pagdating ko sa dorm, pinagalitan ako. Strict kasi dun, mga madre ang nag-o-operate nung dorm. Kesyo daw cancelled ang class pero di ako umuwi kaagad. Jeez. As if it wasn't enough na mukha akong basang sisiw, kailangan pa talagang sermonan ako. Haaayysss...

Lesson: Pag baha, umuwi kaagad.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Here We Go Again: Update

Chugi na si Simang. Sino si Simang? Si Helper 14. Kasi laging nakasimangot.

Pero bago ang lahat, I'll relate muna one thing I noticed sa aking dalawang helpers, si Helper 12 and Helper 14 (si Simang). Whenever TheHusband's home, they would become suddenly enthusiastic about cleaning. As in.

Si Helper 12? Ay naku, kulang na lang ay maglambitin sa sapot ng gagamba kakalinis.

Mapunta naman tayo kay Simang. Nung Wednesday, may sakit ako, so TheHusband was the one who picked up Sharkteeth. He brought her home, ate dinner, and went back to work. Eto naman si Simang, after breakfast (the busiest period in House KoKo), wala nang ginawa kundi manood ng TV and lounge around. Aba, pagdating ni TheHusband and S, biglang kuha ng mop at biglang naglinis ng floor.

I was teasing TheHusband that he should file a leave muna sa office for a couple of days, and surely, our house would be spic and span by the end of his leave.

Sooooo, let's go to the primetime show.

Pagdating pa lang ni Simang sa bahay, I was immediately taken aback. Not only was she unsmiling, she was scowling. Bigla tuloy akong napaisip, have I encountered her before, i.e., na-okray ko na ba sya? Nireplay ko in my mind ang mga taong inokray ko dito:

Guard sa BPI na bastos sumagot? No, lalaki yun.
Nanay sa school na sumisingit sa pila? No, mas matanda yun.
Babae sa hospital na sumisingit sa pila? No, mas matanda rin yun.
Babae sa McDo na sumisingit sa pila? No, mas matangkad yun.
Crew sa McDo na hinayaan ang isang customer na hawakan yung fries para i-check kung mainit pa then returned the pack along with the rest of the unsold ones? No, mas mataba yun.
Tatamad-tamad na tindera sa Lee Plaza? No, maitim yun.

Meron pa ba? Parang wala naman na. So more or less, na-eliminate ko na sya from those I have okray-ed. So bakit parang galit eto?

After we showed her to her room, I asked TheHusband bakit ganun yun. Eh alam naman ng lahat...between the two of us, TheHusband is more understanding, and he said na baka hindi people person. Hahahaha! Understatement of the day.

Nung unang gabi nya sa bahay, I heard something break and I asked S to check it out. Nabasag daw ang cover ng cookie jar. So bumaba ako, hoping she'd tell me about it. When I checked it out, may cover naman ang cookie jar. Yun pala, maabilidad sya: pinagdikit nya ang cover ng cookie jar para mukhang ayos, pero in truth, broken pa rin. Hahahaha! Panalo. Deadma lang si Simang. Nary a word.

The busy hours in House Koko are from 5 am to 7 am. Breakfast time kasi for S. After that, kanya-kanya na kaming work. Or so I thought. Si Simang, hayun, nakaupo lang. Nanonood ng TV. Like I said, I was sick, and I couldn't give her some training, but I was hoping she'd even try to tidy the place up a bit. But no. As on now, dusty shelves are still dusty; dirty clothes are still dirty; wrinkly clothes are still wrinkly. But she mopped the floors (see above). Hehehehe. When she couldn't understand my instructions, she just flatly gave up and returned to watching TV. What a piece of work.

Eto ang clincher:

Me: Simang, punta ka ng grocery. Alam mo yung Hypermart? 

Simang: Oo.
Me: Bili ka ng duha na [two] bangus and 10 na chicken drumsticks. [I gave her a list, just to be sure.]
Simang: Oo.
Pagbalik ni Simang, may dalang dalawang bangus. PRITONG BANGUS.
Me: Bakit ito binili mo?
Simang: ...

Me: Isoli mo ito at bili ka neto [giving her the list again].
Simang: Di na lang [no].
So naisip ko baka nahihiya na isoli yung pritong bangus.
Me: O, sige, dinner na lang natin eto, pero bumalik ka sa grocery at bilhin mo etong nasa list.
Simang: Di na lang.
Me: Kailangan ko yun.
Simang: Di na lang.
Naisip ko baka hindi alam kung nasaan ang bangus at chicken sa grocery, minonstra ko kung nasan.
Simang: Di na lang. Di na lang.

Sabi nga ni Tsokoholik, "blur-blur."

Para saan pang may helper ako if she wouldn't help. It was so frustrating.
Ang sama na nga ng pakiramdam ko, ang sama pa nyang tumingin. It was like having one of those scary paintings whose eyes follow you around with their sharp gaze. Creepy. Kaka-stress. Si Helper 13, nakakainis lang kasi utang ng utang at absent ng absent, pero naman, pag busy ako sa work, pinagpe-prepare ako nun ng lunch at dinadala sa work area ko. Si Simang, wala.

Long story short: She was let go na yesterday. And House KoKo is bright and shiny again. Still messy, but the pall of gloom is gone. Para akong nabunutan ng tinik. Hay.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Here We Go Again

May helper ulit kami. I'm not sure kung tatagal sya. Or tatagal kami, i.e., ako. After all, we'll be together the whole day. Am having reservations kasi parang napipilitan lang. And given my family's track record pagdating sa helpers, good luck naman. Let me give you an overview of [almost] all the helpers we've had.

Helper 1: Di marunong magluto. Kaya kong pagtyagaan yun kasi may vetsin dila ko. Sablay ang fashion sense. Minsan dinala si Sharkteeth sa office: floral skirt, striped blouse, polka-dotted sock. Galit sa prints. Hehehe. Still, kebs lang. Madaling i-correct. Nahihilo at nasusuka sa kotse. Di na lang namin masyadong isinasama sa mga byahe. Eventually, pinauwi ng asawa kasi wala daw nag-aalaga sa sariling anak. Ironic, right?

Helper 2: Devil incarnate. Nabuntis ng village electrician. At dun pa pala nya pinapakain sa bahay ang electrician pag wala kami. Kaya pala ang bilis maubos ng groceries namin. No, di ko sya pinaalis. Naawa ako eh. Tapos nung umalis, binigyan ko pa ng mga baby stuff and additional money to tide her over. After umalis, nalaman ko na kinukulong sa cabinet si S. I hate her. I rarely hate anything or anyone. Intensely dislike, yes; hate, rarely. Pero I HATE HER. S remembers her and her bad deeds.

Helper 3: This one's okay. She only took the job because she was planning to study and was just trying to save some money. She sucked at house chores but was utterly nice to S. I can live with that. She's bright as well, and when the scholarship she was waiting for materialized, she left. S cried a river.

Helper 4: Favorite ko eto. Cooks well, masinop sa bahay, mabait kay S. may inner serenity. Chos. Hahaha! You know what I mean. Walang mga issues, confident yet not bossy. She was planning to go to Hong Kong. I don't mind. But she left after a month. Her mom, who was taking care of her two kids (again, the sad irony), cannot cope and asked her to come home. We were sad when she left.

Helper 5: Weekly ang off. Okay lang. I actually encourage helpers to take a weekly off. Pero eto, winner. Aalis yan ng Friday night. Nung una, babalik sya ng late afternoon ng Sunday. Then Sunday evening. Then late Sunday evening. Then Monday morning na. Then Monday afternoon na. Then Tuesday na ng umaga. Wala man lang pasabi. Kung maka-text sa iba, parang naka-unli, pero para magsabi na di sya makakabalik agad, waley. Napikon na ako, sabi ko huwag na syang bumalik. Iniwan ko na lang sa guard ang damit nya.

Helper 6: Was recommended by a Girltalker. Lagi kong naririnig na sinisigawan si S. Kahit nasa bahay ako, ha? Paano na lang pag wala ako sa bahay. Wala pang isang linggo, pinaalis ko na.

Helper 7: We called her Lobelia Baggins. Malikot ang kamay. Ang hilig mag-uwi ng gamit. Maliliit na bagay lang simula. Nalaman na lang namin later that she had a young lover, a village carpenter, whom she gifted with TheHusband's tools. Goodness gracious. I was so angry minsan kasi I went home early, tapos pagdating ko, shortly, hinatid na ng school bus si S, and the helper wasn't there. Chugi right then and there. Theft is one thing; neglecting S is a totally different ballgame.

Helper 8: I liked this one. Again, she has inner serenity. Pretty and charming. Matalino pa. Kaya lang sakitin. Eventually, nag-resign and umuwi muna sa province. Nagpagaling muna sya dun. She brought Helper 9 bilang pangpalit sa kanya.

Helper 9: Pwede nang pagtyagaan. Not too bright, pero naman, asa pa ba ako. Like I said, kayang pagtyagaan. Kaso minsang gabi, pag-uwi ko, makita ko may lalaki sa likod ng bahay namin. He was trying to get in. Apparently, nanliligaw sa kanya or boyfriend nya. He was drunk and making a scene. I had to call village security. Ang unang story is ex-boyfriend nya stalking her. Later I learned that she was pregnant (by another guy) and she was roping this guy into marrying her. I cannot feel safe with her (and her boy and baby issues) around.

Helper 10: Ayoko sa kanya. Sobrang tigas ng ulo. I specifically told her not to use the landline to call mobile phones or long distance, nalaman ko na lang >8K na ang bill namin sa PLDT. Eto pa, on the same night na nalaman ko na ang laki ng phone bill namin dahil sa kanya, earlier that day, she was accosted by the village guards kasi she tried to go out, bringing with her a huge plastic bag of clothes. When the guards checked with my MIL, who was visiting that time, yung mga lumang clothes na ipapamigay ko yung dala-dala nya. I don't mind na sa kanya mapunta yun, but I would have preferred that she asked. After ko syang sermunan tungkol dun, nakita ko ang PLDT bill namin. Ay naghalo ang balat sa tinalupan. Galit na galit ako. Imagine naman, >8K ang bill. Pano ka namang di magagalit. To think, sinabihan ko sya na huwag gamitin. And I even bought her a cell phone para personal use nya. Ay naku, drama-rama. Nagsisisigaw ako. Pinalayas ko. Binawi ko syempre yung cell phone. Dun ko nalaman na kung sino-sinong lalaki ang ka-text and mini-meet pag day off. May asawa etong iniwan sa Bacolod, ha?!

Helper 11: Naku, ayoko sa helper na eto. Sobrang daldal. [Hehehe, pot-calling-the-kettle-black moment]. Pero sobra talaga. I was working freelance na nun and I was always at home, in the room. Basta lumabas ako ng room, she would accost me and make daldal. I had to politely chat. Mga love life travails nya. Mga boylets nya. Mga exes nya. Etc. Saka di yata marunong mag-toothbrush. Super yellow at nangangapal ang food remnants sa teeth. Kadirs. Nakataas pa ang binti sa chair pag kumakain. Eh sabay-sabay kaming kumain. Naaalibadbaran ako. She stole my MAC eyeliner pa. Hehehe, bitter pa ako till now. Pati yung cardigan and skirt na gift kay S nung birthday nya, ninakaw. Bwiset. Coincidentally, gumaling na si Helper 8 and wanted to work again sa amin. Hayun, na-chugi ko na finally si Helper 11.

So balik tayo kay Helper 8, who at that time got married na. Kaso a couple of months later bumalik yung health problem nya and had to stop working again. Oh well.

When we got here, we had part-time helpers who would clean the house and wash twice a week.

Helper 12: Pwede na. Di masipag. Di rin gaano kalinis sa bahay. Pero pinagtyagaan na lang namin. Her daughter got pregnant and she had to take care of her grandchild. No love lost. Hehehe.

Helper 13: On her supposed to be starting day, pumunta, a-absent daw sya that day and the next day kasi may aasikasuhin next town. Okay. On her actual starting day, umutang ng pera.  Okay. Kaso on the second day, umuutang na naman. At ang laki nung inuutang na amount. Then absent na naman. Every week na lang, absent. Every week na lang, umuutang. Ang hilig pang manghingi ng mga damit. Eventually, di na bumalik. May utang pang naiwan. Again, no love lost.

Which brings us to our present helper. Ayan na, while writing this entry, may nabasag na sya. Here we go again.

Sharkteethhhhh, pakikuha nga ng paracetamol!!!