Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Gourmet(?!) Tuyo In Oil

Madear and Fadear sent us so many packs of tuyo and tinapa, but the former was so salty, medyo naawa ako sa kidneys namin. Ayoko namang itapon. Waste not, want not. And you know me, Ms. Make Do, Ms. Improvise, Ms. I-have-a-solution-for-that. My (delicious) solution? Gourmet tuyo in oil.

1. Lightly fry the tuyo in corn oil. (You can use canola or sunflower or any other oil that doesn't taste nutty). After frying, let the tuyo soak in oil. I did that to get as much salt off as possible. Then I drained the oil.

2. Remove the scales by firmly holding it by the tail and running a knife just underneath the scales from above the tail going up toward the head. If properly fried and soaked, it should be easy to remove. After removing the scales, fillet and remove the bones. Arrange the fillets in a bottle.


3. In a saucepan, add a bit of oil and sauté minced garlic. When the garlic is transluscent, add sun-dried tomatoes, chili flakes, ground pepper, whole black pepper, and olives. You can add capers as well. Be sure to wash the olives to remove the saltiness. Turn down the heat to avoid burning the garlic.  Add half a cup of corn oil, half a cup of olive oil, and one-third cup of vinegar. Let this simmer for a few minutes. Turn off the fire and let the mixture cool.

4. Pour over the tuyo fillets. Let it rest a bit to let the flavor of the oil seep through the fillets.

Et voila!

I was supposed to give away the other jar, pero sorry, masarap eh, and naubos agad namin yung isang bottle and wanted more. :) Soweeee... Di bale, pag-uwi ko sa Bulacan sa April, I'll buy lots of tuyo and make one na pang-giveaway.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Remembrance Of Youth

There's a forest near our home. Actually, "forest"   is too generous a term. It's just a piece of land with a few trees and overtaken by decaying fallen leaves and weeds. Sharkteeth was complaining that we have stopped going to the fields, and when I asked her to go to the forest with me during the Chinese New Year break, she was of course excited. So off we went -- moi, TheHusband, Sharkteeth, and TheDog. TheDog, with this usual bravado, charged ahead of us. I saw a foot path leading to a cacao tree. There are a number of fallen cacao fruits, but most were worm-infested and I didn't dare open them further. There are others that were sliced open and with pods spirited away, perhaps by the noisy kids who visit the forest every so often, collecting dry wood and fruits from the trees. There's also breadfruit tree, but I didn't go anywhere near it. There are lots of decaying leaves around it. In short, takot ako sa ahas. Sharkteeth was agitated because she didn't expect the place to be so littered with dry leaves. And she shares my fear of snakes. So we didn't stay long. Just long enough to take pictures. I was calling out for TheDog, but he was nowhere to be found. After we left the forest and crossed the field, I saw TheDog, waiting for us outside the field. Loyalty-schloyalty. Hmmmppp...

I thoroughly enjoyed going to the forest however short it was. It reminded me of the simple and careless days of my childhood when I would go to the forest near our home, picking up guavas, cashews, duhat...then sitting on a low-lying branch of the old mango tree, munching on my finds. I can still remember when that old mango tree fell. It was a humid summer night, and it made a big, loud boom when it fell. Apparently, the huge trunk of the mango tree was already hollow and gave, and inside, there were numerous bee and wasp colonies. We collected honey and a number of orchid-like plants with flowers. Come to think of it, my childhood was so privileged. I mean, how many can say that they rode a paragos or planted corn and peanuts or got chased by a hot-tempered carabao known to have impaled someone. Well, okay, the last one isn't really a privilege. But let me say this, it has got to be the fastest run I've ever done or ever will. [I'm so sorry, Auntie P, but when that carabao was stolen and butchered, I chuckled a little.]  

Needless to say, I'll be back. Besides,  I'm waiting for a cacao pod to ripen. :) Hopefully, it would still be there when I come back.



I think this is a lantana flower. I think lang ha?

Beauty everywhere, even in decay

I'd like to imagine this as the portal to the forest

Canopy of the palm "portal"

Tree canopy

Orb weaver spider

Cacao tree with fruit

Bread fruit
My faithful steed. Weh? Di nga?

Thursday, February 19, 2015

2015 Feeling PiP Semi-DIY Planner

For the first time in years, I didn't buy a planner. At first, I thought of buying refills for my old planner, but TheHusband implied, or rather led me to believe, that he was getting me a Kate Spade planner. Kasi I manage all our bills, and I saw he charged something sa Kate Spade. So I told him that I already know he was getting me something from Kate Spade for Christmas and I asked if it's the journal I liked. Oo daw. Ako naman, si uto-uto, naniwala kaagad. So hindi na ako bumili ng planner. By the time I realized na hindi planner (it was a Gramercy locket watch, if you're curious), it was a bit late to order refills na, kasi it's coming from Taiwan pa and takes like a month. Although Derdo gave me a mom planner [thank you, Derdo!!!], which I solely devoted to my mommy duties, I still needed something that I can bring along with me everywhere.

TheHusband gave me one of the planners he got last Pasko. I don't wanna sound ungrateful, pero di talaga appealing sa akin ang hitsura nung planner. Sorry. I mean faux ostrich in plastic? So not me. I want it flamboyant! Colorful! Bright! Happy! Not brown. In short, KSP.

No recourse but to DIY the "prettification." I downloaded this charming PiP wallpaper and printed it on a textured low-grammage board. I used a low-density paper because I'm retaining the original cardboard cover of the planner and I don't want the extra weight or bulk. Unfortunately, it can only cover the front part of the planner, but it's okay, I can live with that. I used another piece of textured board for the back cover. I then pasted them together over the planner's cardboard cover using contact cement (rugby). I didn't want to use water-based glue, as it might seep into the paper board and ruin the print. Hayun, amoy-rugby yung planner pagkatapos.*High*

I first mitered the corner of the cover to remove extra bulk, then proceeded to round them out using my ever-trusty Carl corner rounder to go with the rounded corners of the pages. Seriously, it's one of my most favorite crafting tools, along with my hammer-on punchers, super-cheap self-healing cutting mat, and Carl and Fiskars cutters.

I then covered it with iron-on flexible vinyl. It was a flea market find, and I hoped there would be more rolls available. Alas, it was the only one. So ngayon, tipid na tipid ang gamit because I'm reserving the rest for another project. I then covered the inside with another low-grammage board, but non-textured this time. I first folded it into two and cut its sides (except the side attached to the spine), but a bit smaller in dimension (by ~2 mm) than the cover. Then I attached one of the folded leaf to the inside cover. I did the same for the other cover.

It looked bubbly at first, but when I ironed it over, it molded itself to the texture of the paper.

So here's the finished product. I'm so happy how it turned out. Happier still that I didn't have to buy a planner.

et voila!

PS: I promised Baan that I'd post this last night, but I had my annual eye checkup yesterday, and the doctor did a further test, a test that involved dilating my pupils. So for about four to five hours yesterday afternoon till the evening, my eyesight was blurry and the lights seemed to glare harshly. Back in the doctor's office, it seemed okay, but going home, it felt a bit disconcerting. Sus, ang haba ng paliwanag ko. Punta na nga lang ako sa presinto. :)

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Mga Nakaraang Kabanata

Hectic ang lola nyo these past weeks. Stress Oreña-Drilon levelz.

Actually, January pa lang medyo stressed na ako. May book kasi akong ine-edit na medyo sabog-sabog, plus I was preparing for Fadear's 70th birthday party. Nagkasakit aso ko. Then bumabalik ang headaches ni Sharkteeth (stress-related yata). Buhay ang Ebay sales ko nun (kailangan ng moolah eh). Saka may hinihintay akong shipment ng Cath Kidstons. So there.

Happily, dumating naman yung Cath Kidston loot before we left for Manila. The transit time was very long (~25 days), but that was the only problem I encountered. Claiming at the Customs Office was a breeze. Wala ka-proble-problema. "Claiming at the Customs Office was a breeze. Wala ka-proble-problema" -- sa akin nyo lang yata naririnig ang ganyang linya, ano? Kasi when I check comments [rants?] online, seems everybody's complaining about exorbitant and unfair charges, long lines, rude clerks, etc. It's the opposite here. Everyone is polite and walang hidden charges. Everything is above board.

The pink bookbag is mine, in honor of the Cath Kidston sisterhood. [Sorry, Leah and Diane, di ako mahilig sa dark blue eh.] Yung iba, orders nung dalawa and intended gifts. Ang ku-cute! Pero last na ito for a long stretch. Waley na akong pera. 

Masaya yung party ni Fadear. Andun ang mga friends and family. Ang daming food. As in sobra-sobra. May pa-take-home pa sa guests. :) Pagdating ng hapon, puro thandercatz na ang guests. Tumakas na ako sa party. Niyaya ko si TheHusband mag-Trinoma. Got some stuff in Japan Home.

Aside from the Hello Kitty stuff, I got some window stickers and other anik-aniks. I wasn't planning on buying anything, pagdating ko sa counter, 700+ na ang bill ko!!! Anyare?  Daiso happened. Hehehe...

I met with Diane para iabot yung Cath Kidston bag nya. I would have wanted to stay and chat about our own "Charantia moments," pero medyo excited si TheHusband sa Uniqlo sale, so hit and run lang ang siste namin ni Diane. [Thank you, dear Diane, for the pastries. So sweet of you! Perfect medicine for bitterness.] Pagdating sa Uniqlo, wala namang nabili si TheHusband. :( But he bought me a pair of pink patent loafers sa Forever 21. [Thank you, babe!] So comfy ha?! Di ako umasa ng fabulous na quality (because Forever 21), pero I used them for two days straight, walang breaking-in period, sabak agad sa lakaran. Happily, I didn't get any blisters or foot pain. Yay!

When we returned to Manila, Sharkteeth and I had our annual physical exam in Medicard. The process was okay, but some areas can be improved on. After our checkup and checking in sa GoHotel, TheHusband and Sharkteeth went for some [window] shopping sa Megamall. Naiwan na ako sa hotel to work. ♪♫ All by myself...don't wanna be all by myself anymore ♪♫ Hirap na hirap naman akong mag-work kasi hindi ako sanay sa laptop and only finished a chapter.

On the day of our flight, we went to the wake of the husband of our ninang (sa kasal). :( He was only 71. Too young, if you ask me.

On our way to the airport, nasabak kami sa todong traffic, and surprise, surprise, naiwan kami ng eroplano. SO NOT FUNNY! Well, technically, hindi naman kami naiwan, nandun pa naman ang eroplano, but the passengers were boarding na and they didn't allow us to board anymore. :( Sadness, kasi ang mahal ng bagong tickets, aside from the fact that Sibulan's airport has sunset limitation and the next flight to Dumaguete will be on the next day na. We decided to fly that night to Mactan, Cebu, then take a bus going to Liloan, then ferry to Sibulan, and finally, trike to Dumaguete. It was exhausting. Awang-awa ako kay Sharkteeth kasi she really loses her head pag kulang sa tulog or naiistorbo ang tulog. But what can I do naman, diba?

TIPS: If you are in Terminal 3 and your flight is in Terminal 1 or 2, you don't have to go out to get a connecting ride. Dun sa may elevator bank sa right (if you are facing the airport), there's a hallway marked "Transfers," which leads to a PAL counter. After presenting your tickets, they'd fix you up with a van free of charge. It passes inside the airport complex. No need na makipag-unahan at makipagsisikan sa van sa labas, and you can avoid traffic as well. I'm not sure though if it is only available to PAL passengers or there's a different counter for other plane companies. Also, while I rarely fly with PAL because their fares are expensive, for urgent flights, PAL is your best bet, because, as I mentioned in another post, even if you are taking the next available flight, their rates do not change, unlike CebuPac, whose rates increase exponentially as your flight date approaches.

Also, napansin nyo ba, parang mas refined ang crew (both ground and flight) ng PAL -- they are all well-dressed, polite, poised, and proper. Meanwhile, ang dalas kong may nakikitang crew ng CebuPac, huddled together over their phones or what-nots, nakasalampak sa floor ng Terminal 3. Most likely, they have already clocked off, but still, they were wearing their company's colors -- medyo turnoff pa rin. Even the interiors of PAL planes seem better, more spacious, cleaner. Pagpasok namin ng plane, Business Class ang tumambad sa amin. Sharkteeth was so impressed with the wide and plush seats. She thought, or rather hoped, na dun ang seats namin. Crestfallen ang bebe ghel when we were relegated to the economy seats together with the rest of hoi polloi that we truly are. Hahaha! Sus, basta makarating ng maluwalhati sa Cebu, okay na ako. And maluwalhati, it indeed was.

Liloan Pier
You can hardly see it, but the water was so clear that even in the darkness, you can see the bottom.

I like night flights. Manila, while in darkness, is lit beautifully. It's quite a sight. And it brought a certain amount of peace and calm to my cray-cray day. The flight was on time, and it was past 10 pm when we landed at Mactan International Airport. We got a cab to get to South Plaza in Cebu City, where the bus terminals are. We initially thought that the first trip will be around 2 am, but apparently, there are trips leaving every hour, and we were able to leave before 1 am. Ang bilis ng byahe namin going to Liloan, Santander, the southernmost part of Cebu and closest to Sibulan and Dumaguete. Parang past 3:00 am, nandun na kami. But the first ferry ride leaves at 4:30 pm, and we slept in the port terminal. The ferry ride from Liloan to Sibulan was pretty short as well, ~15 minutes. We then rode a trike going to Dumaguete, and after 20 minutes or so, HOME SWEET HOME! Poor bebe ghel and TheHusband, they had to go to school and work, respectively. Meanwhile, moi, ang sarap ng tulog, despite the work awaiting. Mag-a-alas dose na ng tanghali ng magising ako. :)

Ayoko nang maiwan uli ng eroplano. It's so expensive kaya! Plus I'm so thanders na to be doing these plane-cab-bus-ferry-trike transfers all in one night. I'm not even the adventurous sort. Although I gotta admit, I'm proud to say that I didn't lose my patience at all in our "adventure." Admittedly, I was a bit sad kasi nga dagdag expenses, but then, as TheHusband said, we should just be thankful we can afford to buy new tickets. Silver lining, yeah, we should always look for it.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Little Bars Of Happiness And Sunshine

I admit, in the ignorance of my youth, I turned up my nose on lemon bars and other lemon-based desserts. I mean, it's a baked treat, for goodness' sake, why muck it up with tartness? [Silly me, what's sugar for?!] I remember buying a tiny bar in the office cafeteria, you know, try-try lang. Boy, was it SOOOO GOOD!!! So good that I bought four or five more. Okay, fine, aaminin ko na, seven bars! Seven more bars of  happiness and sunshine! But it was pretty expensive for something that was smaller than a matchbox. Fifteen pesos, if I remember it right. I saw a recipe in a local daily and tried it. It is by Crukitchen, and it is so easy to bake, and delicious, of course.

Crukitchen Lemon Bars

2 c all-purpose flour
1 c powdered sugar
1 c butter, melted
4 medium eggs
2 c white granulated sugar
1 tsp baking powder
¼ c all-purpose flour
½ c lemon juice
Additional powdered sugar for dusting

1. Preheat oven to 375ºF. Grease a 9x13-inch baking pan and line with waxed paper. Grease waxed paper. (Or use nonstick baking paper.)
2. Combine flour, powdered sugar and butter in a bowl. Mix until very smooth and evenly yellow in color. Pat into prepared pan. Bake for 20 minutes or until slightly golden.
3. In another bowl, whisk together eggs, white sugar, baking powder, flour and lemon juice until fluffy. Pour over the hot crust.
4. Return crust to oven and bake for 20-25 minutes more or until light golden brown. Let cool on a wire rack. Dust the top with powdered sugar then cut into bars.

Sunday, February 01, 2015

Mga Istoryang Sinauna: Ang Alupihan At Ang "Ibon"

Ikinuwento ito kay TheHusband. Hindi pwedeng hindi ko i-share kasi super funny.


Bumisita ang mga magulang ng magulang ni G, i.e., kanyang lolo at lola. Nakapangbahay lang ang kanyang tatay, at dali-dali nyang hinubad ang kanyang shorts at sinuot ang pantalong nakasabit sa dingding. Nagmadali niyang pinapasok ang kanyang mga in-laws.

Di pa nagtatagal sa pagkakaupo ang kanyang in-laws, may naramdaman syang gumagapang sa kanyang binti, sa loob ng pantalon. Sa takot nya, dali-dali nyang hinubad ang kanyang pantalon!

Sa palagay nyo sobrang nakakahiya na hinubad nya ang kanyang pantalon sa harap ng kanyang in-laws?



Sa sobrang pagmamadali nya, di nya napansin kasama palang nahubad ang kanyang BRIEF!!!

Out came the centipede, out came the bird.

Saturday, January 31, 2015


May injury si Kelly, yung aso ko. Quietly moping around the house.

Sharkteeth: How are you, Kelly? Still feeling down?
Kelly: ...
Sharkteeth: Silent treatment, eh? I can play that game...
Kelly: ...

On the way to school, may nasalubong sina  Sharkteeth na Army truck with soldiers...

Sharkteeth:  Oh, no! I've been found.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

2015 And The Promises It Holds

It's almost the end of January, and I haven't done much really other than work. I'm not saying working isn't important, because it puts food on the table and, of course, it can be argued that work gives me the wherewithal to feed the soul, to be happy, if you may. Just that I want to do more in my pursuit of happiness. And this year, this 2015, I promise to be more proactive in pursuing it. Go! Go! Go!

I want to do more arts and crafts, sewing, and DIYs. I have a ton of projects, and I want to finish least one a week. I've already started refurbishing bags again, and I finished two last week. Not bad at all. Slowly but surely. I want to try my hand at dyeing and recoloring bags as well, and Sharkteeth wants a new quilt. Sana.

Another thing that I want, that I've been trying (emphasis on trying) to do for years now, is living light. I want to lessen my frivolous expenses and be in a better financial state. Some of you know that I have a bit(?) of hoarding and impulse-buying tendencies. It's something that I've come to terms with and accepted, but I don't equate my acceptance with justification or a license to continue wanton spending, neither would I contradict it with single-minded thriftiness or extreme frugality. Faced with a potential purchase, I now ask myself the following questions:
1. Do you already have one (or two, three) at home?
If the answer is yes, stop, just stop. Do you want to be THAT relative whom nobody wants to visit because of all your clutter?!
2. If you tire of it, would you be able to sell it?
If the answer is no, put it down. Ang dami mo nang kalat sa bahay.
3. Does it fit you now, not tomorrow, not next month, not after you shed those pounds, now?
If the answer is no, put it back on the hanger and return. Exercise and diet, then let's talk again when you lose weight.
4. Do you have a particular person in mind if you're planning to give it as a gift?
If the answer is no, then don't get it. Buy a gift shortly before sending it.
Of all these challenge questions, it's the fourth that I am having trouble with because I don't like scrambling for a gift. But for the sake of my goals, I will at least try. Try.

Still on the topic of light living, I will be more active again in Ebay, selling stuff. I'll be shooting two birds with one stone: I can clear my inventory and earn at the same time. Cha-ching! Cha-ching! Cha-ching!

I also want to apply light living on relationships. The end of 2014 brought me so much stress, Facebook being one of the sources. There were so much petty, and otherwise, high school intrigues (I know, right?! ) and cliquish behavior that went on and on and on, and I'm assuming, still going on, that I just up and left our FB reunion groups and chats and unfriended tons of high school classmates. I don't have anything against those classmates I removed, but as THE Tina Tagle said, "I just don’t see any point why you’re in my list and we don’t talk. I feel like I’m being stalked." It's one of the best things I've ever done so far this 2015 in service of my pursuit of happiness. I felt so relieved after. Parang pigsa na natanggal yung "mata" -- sorry for the kadiri analogy, but that's the closest I can come up with. Can you just feel the sense of relief?

To 2015 and its promises!  Cheers!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Stress Oreña Drilon

You know it's never good when a call is opened by, along with crying, "Mymy, please keep calm. Don't panic!"

I was on my way to pick up Sharkteeth when she called and asked me to come get her ASAP because she tripped while walking down the ramp and hurt herself. Imagining horrible scenarios, I was screaming and panicking, which made her cry even more. When I arrived at the school, she was alone and crying. She has a huge bump on the forehead and numerous abrasions on her arms. I wanted to bring her to the doctor, but she didn't want to. She's terrified of doctors and hospitals. Lagi kasing nagkakasakit, and her checkups turned to hospitalization one time too many. Si Dr. Mymy na lang ang nag-treat sa mga sugat. Which took, like, two hours kasi takot sya sa Betadine. I was rolling my eyes na. "Mymy! Stop rolling your eyes! Can't you see I'm in pain?!" Soweeeeee....

She's okay now.

I'm not. Napakahirap maging nanay. I don't think I would ever stop worrying about her. Every little cut, every little bump, every little sadness hurts me hundred times over. If only I can kiss away the hurts like when she was a baby. And she's not exactly the dainty sort. One time I kept looking for her around the campus grounds but couldn't find her. Then across the basketball court, I saw a kid at the back of the basketball board. I thought, "Naaaah, it can't be Sharkteeth...that board is too high for her." It was Sharkteeth. Hay. I will always worry. 

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Ang Papa, Mga Papa, And Everything In Between

May papal high pa ba kayo? Ako, almost back to normal programming na. (Ang Rappler, parang hindi pa. Hehehe.) I only watched the youth encounter ('cause, you know, I'm young, hehehe) in UST and the pope's, and his entourage's, departure, which brought me a tinge of sadness, dunno why.

It's remarkable how the visit of the pope, which brought millions of people together, unwittingly became an object of discord. After a former colleague posted some particularly biting criticism about the arrival of the pontiff, the Internet bit back (which is an understatement) and gave him the equivalent of electronic fire and brimstone.

Honestly, I wasn't surprised naman sa sinabi nya, in fact, when I saw the screencap of his infamous statement, I just shrugged my shoulders. Although, I admit, kahit nakakahiya, at the start of the brouhaha, I did have some "fun" about it. Alam naman siguro ng lahat how I love, ehem, "information" (read: gossip -- naku! magagalit ang pope sa akin), and pinag-chismis-an talaga namin ng mga friends and former officemates ko. Pero as the day, and the weekend, progressed, palala na ng palala -- it got posted in a number of websites, including Fashionpulis and PEP. *Shudder* Hateful Facebook sites were made for him as well. *Double shudder* There were death threats and ugly words. *Triple shudder*

Like I said, it's the Internet's version of fire and brimstone.

I guess, along the way, he rubbed some people the wrong way, whether coworkers or friends, and some did get some joy over his difficult situation. Schadenfreude. It's something I completely understand. We're humans, we have our frailties. If my enemies would derive joy from my difficulties (and, boy, one/some really did, LOL!), I would understand. Surely, it will both sadden and anger me, but I will understand and perhaps even respect, however grudgingly.

But you know what I don't understand? The people who posted their vitriol in the comment sections -- people hiding behind their anonymity, with not enough balls to tie a name to their [hateful] message. People who know not a thing about him yet passing judgment about him. People making fun of his weight. People who wished for his misfortune, his death, his downfall. Those indignant people, thumping their chest, contradicting his, daresay, hateful message with the same level of hate, if not more. Those who passive-aggressively implored for prayers for his soul yet said hateful words in the same breath. Good mother of ironies! What a great study on society and morality this could be.

I hope the pope's message of mercy and compassion, along with his humility, makes an impact not just on the millions of people who sacrificed and sweated to see him but also on bashers and cyberbullies. Admittedly, cynicism brings out the worst in me, making me bitter and critical, but seeing his humility and his bravery in accepting that there are things he doesn't comprehend either reminds me to be gentler to myself and others. 

Uuuuuuy, serious. Hehehe.

On lighter news...have you seen the very "papable" papal contingent? Teka, meron pa bang hindi nakapansin sa kanila? If hindi pa, go, head over to Chuvaness' comprehensive list. LOL! All that dizzying pulchritude. Whew. However, it's a travesty, I tell you, that the pope's interpreter wasn't included in that list. Msgr. Miles, the interpreter, is just so easy on the eyes! And with the perfect voice to match. How many languages does he know, by the way? Ma-review nga uli ang Spanish ko. *Perdóname, padre, porque he pecado...*

Dreamboat much, Msgr. Miles? JOWKE!!!
Source unknown
Isama pa yung mga Swiss guards. Papahuli ba yung UST seminarian? Guapo na, talented pa. Teka, para naman akong cougar. Also notable is Father Felloni, who serves in Caloocan and can give some models a run for their money.

Again, forgive me, Father, for I have sinned. *And babe, mas guapo ka dun, all of them combined.*

Oh, napansin nyo may UST lanyard and ID ang pope?

From News Around the World
You know why? Aside from UST being a pontifical university, strict ang guards dun. Talagang "no ID, no entry"! Hehehehe.

Friday, January 09, 2015

Mga Istoryang Sinauna: Commuter Queen

I miss riding jeepneys. Mostly trikes kasi ang usual public transpo dito sa Dumaguete. Back in my mid-twenties, I was working in Parañaque. So everyday, Mondays to Fridays, kung minsan pati Saturdays, Bulacan to Parañaque ang kino-commute ko -- north to south and south to north. Bus/jeepney-LRT-FX. I had a flexible schedule, so there were times I leave home very early or kung minsan naman I get home very late. 

I was so sleep-deprived that I'd instantly fall asleep once I sit down in the FX, LRT, or jeepney. Minsan, sa harap ako ng jeep nakasakay, and just about 8 kilometers from my home, naisipan kong pang i-bundle up yung windbreaker ko and use it as head cushion...I thought I wouldn't fall asleep because the music was blaring and the gaudy lights were shining so bright. Next thing I know, "Miss, gising na. Nasa terminal na tayo." Haaaaaa??? Buti na lang the driver was on his way home and malapit lang sa amin ang bahay nya. Otherwise, baka pagsakay ko pabalik eh makatulog na naman ako and end up sa Monumento where I started.

I like riding in jeepneys the best because the manner of seating forces you to look at other people, and what better way to while away the time than to study (and speculate/judge?) other people. Iba-ibang klase talaga.
  • Merong masungit, kahit anong paabot mo ng pamasahe, deadma. Kung pwede lang akong maging si Lastikman.
  •  Merong chikadora, kayang makipagdaldalan kahit kanino. While admittedly madaldal, ayokong may kasabay at kausap sa byahe. I consider it my me-time and the perfect moment to contemplate on existential thoughts. Meganon?!
  •  May lovey-dovey. Nagsusubuan pa ng mani, butong-pakwan, butong-kalabasa, itlog ng pugo, shingaling, fish crackers, chicharon, and what-nots. Syempre inggit ako. NBSB pa ako nun eh.
  •  Kung may lovey-dovey, may kadiri. Minsan ba naman, may couple, uber-PDA talaga. The guy grinned at me lasciviously, clearly showing off that he was fondling his girlfriend's breast in public. Juskopo. 
  •  Kasamahan pa yan ng mga manyak na nanghihimas ng boobs, braso, hita, [insert body part here]. Spell P-A-T-H-E-T-I-C naman.
  •  Mawawala ba ang mga nag-ro-rosaryo at novena sa mga byahe? Syempre hindi.
  •  May nakasakay naman ako, kadiri. Kumakain ba naman ng lanzones tapos tinatapon sa floor yun balat and seeds. Uggghhh...
  •  Merong antukin (*ehem*). Pagdikit ng puwet sa upuan eh tulog agad. Magigising na lang tumutulo na ang laway or leaning on the shoulder of his/her [visibly irritated] seatmate. *Sorry sa mga nasandigan (or natuluan ng laway? eeeewwwwww) ko dati. And thank you na rin.*
  • Merong mga babae na mahaba ang buhok na di man lang maisip na itali ang buhok nila, every strand flying to her seatmate's face. Kainez. Sarap sabunutan. Masama pa nyan eh you're wearing your very pretty lip gloss, tapos madidikit sa lips mo yung buhok nya. Kadirrrrssss...
  • May mga masipag na estudyante na nag-aaral.
  • Of course, may mga mandurukot at holdaper. Thankfully, di ko naranasan yan. Although minsan, sa bus going to Laguna, may nakasakay na akong sindikato. Yung isang group ng lalaki, lahat sila eh nakaupo sa seats na katabi ng aisle, LAHAT SILA AY NAKABUKAKA. Buti na lang nagduda na ako kasi pagpasok ko ng bus nagulat ako sa hitsura nila, kasi nga lahat sila ay nakabukaka. I was thinking, "What's up with that? Are they trying to, uhmmm, aerate their private parts?" Then pagdating nila ng Buendia station, bumaba sila sabay-sabay. Yun pala, kaya sila nakabukaka eh para you'd have trouble maneuvering your way, and all the while, dinudukutan ka na nila. 
  • Marami pang iba...

Minsan, I was sitting across a guy -- good looking and neat, mukhang disente. Halos puno na yung jeep, but there was still a space on his side of the jeep. Then may sumakay na girl -- pretty and very modest, parang girl next door. I don't know if he knew her before then or yun ang first time na nakita nya yung girl, pero the moment she stepped in the jeepney, I immediately saw that he had been hit by what Sicilians call the "Thunderbolt." He kept on discreetly (or so he thought) looking at her, who was three seats away. All throughout the time she was in the jeepney, he kept on looking at her. Kung napansin ko, napansin din syempre ng ibang passengers. So ang lolo mo, nagkunwaring tulog, nakasabit ang kamay sa ceiling bars, his head leaning on both his arms, pero huwag ka, pasilip-silip. Nung pumara na yung girl, disappointed yung guy, and as the girl was getting off the jeepney, you can see the longing on the face of the the guy. By that time, I was really rooting for him to gather enough nerve and get off as well and introduce himself. In retrospect, good thing he didn't, kasi, aside from psychos, sino ba ang susunod sa iyo sa madilim na kalsada para lang magpakilala?

Sunday, January 04, 2015

Holidays, Holy Days, Crazy Days: Part 2

I mentioned in my previous post that we all got sore eyes last Christmas, right? It screwed up our holiday plans in more ways than one. We were planning a Cebu-Bohol-Siquijor trip, but with the delay in our departure, we had to scrap the Bohol part. The thing is, Typhoon Seniang hit Cebu and sea trips were cancelled. Oh, but I'm getting ahead of my kwento na. 

We left Dumaguete around 10 pm of the 27th via M/V Zamboanga. The trip started a bit bumpy, but it was soon smooth sailing and I immediately fell asleep. The vessel was slow, and it was almost 6 am when we reached Cebu.

Sharkteeth on her bunk with her eldest and youngest

After we checked in, we left for, guess what, Ayala Mall. Hahaha! Mall rats, that's what we are. Syempre, pumunta ako sa Daiso. How I love that store. Hindi ka lalabas na malungkot, well, unless ang goal mo is to NOT buy anything. Look at what I got! Kate Spade-ish trash bin and notebook, Ellefar Princess powder foundation for mother, belt tape, and tiny sauce bottles. So happy with the sauce bottles -- I can bring patis na anywhere. *Prepare for the stink* :) There's also a cute pink trash bin for Sharkteeth (not in the picture). Grabe, so, so happy talaga with everything I got sa Daiso. I'm sure mother will be happy with the powder as well. Kung ano-ano na nabili kong powder for her, laging may reklamo. Kesyo maitim sa kanya, nangangati sya, di maganda sa skin nya, etc. Sa Guerlain lang yata walang reklamo, wala naman akong mabiling Guerlain. I too like this powder kasi may very tiny glitters. Hindi flat sa mukha. And the packaging is so cute, parang Anna Sui. I had to restrain myself kasi ang daming cute Sanrio and floral Cath Kidston-ish items.

We went to Rustan's and I swooned. So many beautiful porcelain and kitchen wares. Lenox, Royal Albert, KitchenAid mixers of many macaron-like colors, all lovely, all [very] expensive. Must be nice to be rich and be able to buy such beautiful things without having to pause and think how to pay it.

I espied a cute floral saucer and TheHusband urged me to get it. But before long, I was looking at the matching shallow soup bowl as well. "Bilis! Bayaran mo na 'yan! Baka kung ano pa makita mo," he said [in panic?]. Hahahahahaha! Sige na nga, binayaran ko na. Sharkteeth was a bit worried when I told her to use the bowl. Baka daw mabasag nya. Kasi, a few years back, she broke my music box and a cute oversized coffee cup and I freaked out in both instances. But recently, with my fondness for cute breakables, I've decided to be detached about it. Sure, nakakalungkot pag may nababasag, but I don't want to be too affected by it -- they are just things, napapalitan. Hehehe, kinu-kundisyon ko sarili ko kasi napansin ko na may hairline crack na ang aking favorite teacup. Oh well, it's just a cup. 

Another thing, I always enjoy shopping, window or otherwise, sa Rustan's. Generally speaking, their staff are polite, knowledgeable of their products, and discreet. It doesn't matter kung magkano ang binili mo, whether 100 pesos or 10,000 pesos, they serve with a smile and are very helpful. And like I said, they're discreet. Hindi yung buntot ng buntot sa customer. Compare that with Etude House salespersons. Hay naku. They trail you around, either blabbering about the product you're touching or making you feel like a shoplifter about to make a kill. Is it just me who feels that way sa Etude? I love Etude's products, don't get me wrong, but their salespersons are simply ill-trained in the manner of sales.

Syempre, mawawala ba sa itinerary ang SM? LOL! Kelan ba naman kasi magkakaroon ng SM dito sa Dumaguete? Sale! Sale! Sale! Pero I just bought some basics, well, okay, I also bought a so-trendy-two-years-ago Lucite clutch! Ang cute eh. Saka mura na.

Sa SM kong minamahal

Whenever we go to Manila or Cebu, we try to eat at our favorite restaurants. Pero this time, we also tried an ihaw-ihaw, The Original AA BBQ, near the hotel. I don't know kung dahil ba nagsawa ako sa Pancake House at iba pang usual food staples namin or dahil ba rainy weather and sinigang+grilled food+steaming rice seem an appealing match, but we really enjoyed the food. Ang mura pa (less than 500 PHP). Yung sinigang na mamsa (talakitok in Tagalog; jack in English) ang pinaka-winner for me. Tamang-tama ang asim. Pati grilled seafood and chicken BBQ, tender and succulent. Naka-dalawang meals din kami dun. Kung pwede lang doon kami kumain ng iba pang meals namin...kaso baka mag-rebelde na si S. Babalik ako dun even just for the sinigang. It's in front of the University of Southern Philippines, along Salinas Drive. Kaya lang napakaraming tao pag gabi, but it's not as crowded pag lunch time.

As I said earlier, inabutan kami ng bagyo. Sea voyage was stopped, and we had to rebook our trip. When trips resumed, wala naman kaming makuhang trip back, leaving us no time to proceed to Siquijor anymore. :( Traveling by bus was an option, albeit an unappealing one, kasi it takes very long (>3 hours), and S has the bladder of a mouse. Plus, a bridge in the southern part of Cebu fell, so kailangang mag-transfer pa. We considered it and thought that we can just go to Oslob for whale shark watching instead, but our swimming gear was at home. Hays, kelan ko ba makikita ang mga whale sharks na 'yun? We waited and got a trip back on the evening of the 1st. Daresay na medyo malas ang trip namin, ano? Sore eyes, rebooked trip to Cebu, bagyo, rebooked trip home...medyo inalat ang December ko, diba naiwan ako ng eroplano?

Akala nyo ba eh nakapunta kami sa tourist spots? Hindi! Mall pa rin. Hahahahaha! Well, we went to Sto. Nino Church, if you can call it a tourist spot. Then again, ilang beses na rin naman kaming nakapunta sa Cebu City, so we've already covered most of the interesting spots. They're renovating Magellan's Cross and there was scaffold inside. I didn't take pictures of the cross anymore.


One great thing about the delay was that we celebrated New Year in the hotel, away from the smoke and firecrackers. We watched the fireworks show from the window of the hotel and enjoyed it thoroughly. Oddly, I kinda miss the smell of firecrackers on the morning of the New Year. Growing up in Bulacan, my parents manufactured and sold firecrackers, and New Years were always noisy and smoke-filled.

Pagdating namin ng Ayala on the first day, S immediately bought some books. So naubos na nya yung mga aguinaldo sa kanya. Kasi I told her to halve her money, half for spending and half for saving. By the third day, nabasa na nya lahat ng books. Umutang pa kay TheHusband so she can buy another. So may tagahugas kami ng pinggan for one month. Yay! Well, Happy New Year to me. LOL!

Our trip back was uneventful, via M/V Georich this time, and I was happy to be home. I picked up the dog from the pet "hotel" and we were both ecstatic to see each other. When we got home, he immediately bound toward the nearby field. He must have had a bad case of cabin fever in the pet hotel. 

2014 has been spotty, with aviation tragedies and natural calamities, but it's over and done. I'd rather focus on the bountiful blessings I received last year. I hope our 2015 will be filled with more blessings and graces along with more friends, love, happiness, wealth, and as always, the best of health.  


Saturday, January 03, 2015

Holidays, Holy Days, Crazy Days: Part 1

We're at the tail end of the holidays. Everything is winding down. Nabuksan na ang mga gifts. Napagtaguan na ang mga inaanak. Naubos ko na LAHAT ng chocolates.

I don't know what is it about the Christmas season that makes me crazy for it yet turns me literally crazy as it approaches. Case in point:

Yes, dear readers. That happened. Not the first time, actually. This time I realized it while hurriedly walking. I briefly looked down and saw my right foot wearing my patent pink flat, fully knowing I was wearing my floral one on my left. I shrieked a little, making Sharkteeth jump. Hahahaha! Good thing we were going to the grocery. When I asked the nice saleslady for some flipflops, she ushered me to the rack displaying Fitflops™ -- jowsko naman, pinakamura ay 1.8K, kasya nang pang-Noche Buena yun! I repeated myself, "Miss, flipflops, thongs, yung de-ipit." Understanding dawned, and with that she relegated me to the back of the grocery, and there I found flipflops. Flipflops, fifty pesos. Being saved from embarrassment, priceless.

I was so stressed last December because I took a brief time off work to attend my high school reunion. It's a kwento worthy of its own post pero I don't want to anymore. May mga nega parts kasi, and you know, new year, new beginnings, iwas nega. Suffice it to say, avoid nega people. Kung kelangang mag-deactivate ng Facebook, do so.

After I came back from the reunion, I got a bit under the weather and wasn't able to work for a few more days. Must be from all the late nights, bad (yet oh so delicious) food, and sleeping on the cold airport floor. So piled up na naman ang work-work, home-work, and Christmas-work ko. 


These were just about a third of all the gifts I wrapped for Christmas. Token ni S sa classmates nya. May dagdag na gifts pa for her close friends. Meron pa sa teachers. Saka for TheHusband's officemates and friends. For nephews and nieces. It was endless. There, let me see, 35 for her classmates, 12 for her friends, 7 for her teachers, 25 for TheHusband's officemates, and 7 for TheHusband's nephews and nieces. For my friends, family, and relatives, wala nang balot-balot. Yung ibang gifts, I brought with me when I flew to Manila. I thought baka pabuksan pa sa akin sa airport, masira lang ang balot. Paper bag na lang. Yung iba, I shipped. Up to the last minute, nag-si-ship pa ako. P for procrastination.

December 24 na when I was finally able to clean up the house and set up the decor. Yes, December 24. Nakahabol pa. I fought valiantly! Hahahaha! For the longest time, ang daming kalat sa living room. I was able to breathe a sigh of relief nung medyo maayos na ang living room.

Thank you again, Sheryl! So lovely.

One of my favorites
This is our white Christmas tree's swan song. Some parts developed rust and I covered them up with fake snow. It looked great at first, but the fake snow aggravated the rust and now it has creamy patches. Bye-bye, Christmas tree. You'll be missed.

I got inspired by Leah's roast chicken and made one for Christmas eve. But instead of Italian sausage, I used Hungarian sausage. #Rebel. Hahahaha! Seriously, I just used what I found in the ref. Cheddar and quezo de bola? Sure, why not?! Various unidentifiable leaves and herbs? Join in! The more, the merrier. Before cooking, I soaked the chicken sa milk to keep it juicy. I wasn't able to add yogurt sa stuffing kasi S made a bowl of fruit salad and added the yogurt by mistake. It turned up yummy and golden. Sayang, walang picture, kasi we were so hungry na.

With the exception of our gifts to each other and to Sharkteeth, most of the gifts had been opened na before Christmas eve. Alam nyo naman, low EQ. So many gifts! And talagang pinag-isipan. I don't deserve my friends, sa totoo lang. They are all so very nice and thoughtful. Thank you all so much.

My gift to myself

Come Christmas day, may sore eyes si Sam. Then the following day, si TheHusband naman and ako. The gift of Christmas. Falalalalalalalala!