Food Trip

We bond over food. We love checking out new restaurants, just for the fun of it.
Like many of our generation, we click before we eat. Sometimes though, we’re too hungry to bother.
We are not prolific food critiques, we’re just normal people who know good food. :)

Between the two of us, it’s the husband who cooks at home. Maybe someday I will too. But until then, I wouldn’t likely be sharing recipes on the blog. :)

Congrats Bestfriend!

After weeks of cancelling and rescheduling, I finally got to meet up with my bestfriend on Sunday.  We met up, sat down for a snack, and then we stayed there for the next 4 hours.  It was nice catching up, and even more exciting to hear the good news.  She’s getting married next year! 🙂




Preparations are already full swing and I’ll try to help her as much as I could though, for the life of me, I have no idea about these things!

Anyway, we talked about things we’re up to and things we look forward to. It was so nice to feel grounded again; that’s what seeing her does to me.  She’s always a breath of sunshine, you know?  I guess because we’ve known each other so long, and were inseparable when our lives were so much simpler. 

We had spent the afternoon at this place called Secret Recipe at the Atrium in Megamall.  We had no idea what they served, but the cakes on the display just convinced me to step in.  Here’s the cake we shared (to be honest though, I ate most of it!):


See all those alternating layers of chocolate cake and mousse filling? Yummy, I tell you!  And we were so fascinated about the smooth thin layer of chocolate that coats the cake.  Ahhh this cake sparked a conversation on baking too. 🙂  We also talked about my new interest in photography, and my blogs!

But the most important news of the day?  Of course, it’s about her wedding in a little less than a year’s time.  Her fiance is currently working abroad (in Dubai, where her mom also works) and he hasn’t sent over the ring because he wants to give it to her personally (makes sense).  So she’s preparing for the wedding all by herself! Good thing she has a wedding coordinator friend who’s helping her.  And myself? Well, I’ll help in any way I can. Like I said, I have no idea about these things!

Oh well, I just hope we don’t wait another six months before we get together like this.  I’ve missed having girlfriends around all the time. I miss being a friend to a friend, you know what I mean? 

Mangoes and Cashew Ice Cream


Teams are going off on their outing – to the beach resorts or private pool parties.  Families are also going off on vacation.  Me? I get to sleep on the couch and suffer the heat! Haha. 🙂

My dad bought ice cream yesterday and already, the container is almost empty.  Nope, I’m not the culprit, it was more than half full after I filled up this glass.  I just heard my brother comment how fast we run out of ice cream when he was helping himself to some of it.

When it comes to ice cream, I will always go for flavors that include chocolate, and Rocky Road is a favorite.  The kids downstairs?  They love mango ice cream, and I can’t complain.

It is so hot these days, that even the occasional rain showers don’t help cool down the surroundings.  We have two electric fans in our living/dining area (which measures, according to Dad, 35 sq.m.) and it is hardly enough to keep more than two people comfortable in the afternoons.

So I guess it’s perfect timing that my work schedule will be changing soon – I’d have to be in the office in the morning until early afternoon.  And I can stay there until it cools down a bit in the afternoon if I want to, and bask in the cold airconditioning.  Haha.  I remember how many times I complained last summer that I had to report to work at night, and go home with the sun up and bake in the heat while sleeping. I am so looking forward to not complaining this season. 

I may have my offs changed too, which would hopefully mean I could have a full day free with the boyfriend on weekends.  I was kind of hoping to change offs anyway, even with the evening schedule. Friday and Saturday nights off would have been perfect because the boyf and I could be together already as soon as he gets off work on Friday nights, and have the whole day Saturday and Sunday together.  But… we’ll see.

Project 365 updates

My goodness.  I wonder when I’ll ever get updated with P365 posts?  Up at DigitalMe (that’s what I’ve taken to calling my photo blog, Digital Memories), I’ve only posted up to Day 14 so far.  And well, here are the stories behind the photos (clicking the photos will allow you to view them in DigitalMe):

Ahh pantry food.  I don’t think I’ve ever blogged about pantry food.

We are entitled to one free meal per shift at the company pantry.  You get two choices of viands, unlimited helpings of rice, a dessert and a glass of your choice of available drinks (iced tea for me – red, apple, or regular).  I have been working here for almost four years and I’ve come to the point where the tastes and smell of the pantry will stay with me for the rest of my life. Haha.

I don’t eat there as often as I used to.  On the one hand,  it’s not much fun eating alone; on the other, I don’t have time to enjoy a full meal.

When dining alone, I like sitting by the window.  This was something I’ve been doing since back when the pantry was located at the 6th floor, facing the MRT.  I used to imagine what goes on at the MRT station, watching the comings and goings of the trains.  When the pantry moved to it’s current location at the 4th floor, the window view drastically changed.  It’s not as conducive for musing while you eat, but it’s not so bad…

Alfred and Vanette were my frequent lunch dates in the past two to three years.  Now that they’ve left the company, I find myself sitting here again.  Today though, I had lunch there again with Edsel. 


Now this here for Day 13 is a rare photo.  By now you should be familiar with my office window right?  Well, on a few rare nights back in January, the console and TV were set right next to my station and my agents were able to enjoy playing video games while we were in a meeting.  Some of them hogged the controllers so they could play while on avail time.  Now that’s not the reason why this is a rare photo.

These two guys I was able to capture on my camera phone are no longer with the team.  They have already left the company.  Had I a choice, I’d have kept them.  To be honest, the high attrition rate for my team in the past four months is really alarming and something that really frustrates me.  I have sent out SFC (separation) notices more times in the last four months than I’ve had to in the previous year.

This attrition is actually a direct result of our high absenteeism – something that I thought I was already able to handle and finally address, but it keeps on recurring every couple of weeks.  Before moving to this current account, I already knew that absenteeism was one of their pain points.  I used to think that it won’t happen to my team, but well, guess what?  I was wrong.  I’ve ran out of ideas, now I’m prone to believe that the team name I inherited from their previous manager is jinxed! 🙂


There are days (and nights) when I just crave for a Mister Kebab meal.

No, I don’t actually order their Chelo Kebab because my favorite is the Keema with Eggplant, with yoghurt sauce on top, with buttered rice. Oohh buttered rice. Almost good enough to eat without the Keema. Haha. 🙂

I first had a taste of Mister Kebab when we had a family dinner at the original location along Quezon Ave, near the corner of West Ave.  We had seen it featured on TV and decided to meet up there one night.  It’s not your typical family restaurant.  That night many years ago, the place was full! We had a small table for the four of us (mom, dad, kuya and myself), and we tried out different dishes.  I liked the food but didn’t like the place much – it was too dark and stuffy for me.  Now – I love the new place and how cool and open it is.

It’s one of our favorite breakfast places now (or dinner for us since we go there after our shifts).  It’s very affordable and the portions are just right for us. Oh, and it’s open 24 hours so it’s very convenient for when our shifts end at 5AM. 🙂


Anyway, I’m not sure if anyone else cares about these stories but they serve to remind me of many things and that’s why I write here.  The photos are not very pretty though since they were captured using my camera phone and at the beginning of the project…

Winning streak

Remember how I’ve never won any blog contests or giveaways, or even real-life raffles ever before? And then all of a sudden I won the pre-party at Mammadawg’s, right? Well a few days after that, I received notification that I won another bloggy giveaway! What are the odds, huh?

I won David Baldacci’s Divine Justice audio book from This Book for Free! What’s even more surprising is that I never intended to enter the drawing, I was just commenting on the post because my dad reads Baldacci and I know he doesn’t have that title yet. I wasn’t entering because they only ship to US and Canada addresses. Since I won though, I decided to have the prize sent to my ninang (godmother) who now lives in California. I hope she enjoys listening to it 🙂

I wonder if this is the start of an exciting winning streak for me, or if it would be too much to ask to win in more contests and giveaways. I guess I’ve been blessed to win those draws because I joined without really expecting to win. So that’s what I’ll do in other contests too. 


Business ideas

Dad and I were casually talking about business ideas on Sunday morning – coming up with businesses we could venture into and have a chance to succeed in. Of course I told him he’d have to buy me an oven finally. He says he’d happily support a baking business if I would really put my heart into it. That he would support me if it was for business rather than just for hobby.

I also pitched the idea of getting a franchise of this yummy siomai stands that Alfred and I have taken a particular liking to. I tasted them first on our latest Quiapo/Divisoria excursion, and then again in Greenhills. Those dumplings are so addicting! They surely taste better than HenLin’s, hehe. The key would be to find the best location, and I’m sure it would be a hit. I was initially thinking of checking how much space would cost at the front of our office building at Mo.Ignacia, but Trinity would probably be an even better location.

Well, nothing’s final yet and I don’t really know if we will end up doing business, and if we will, if it will be in the food industry. I do love the idea and am excited about it. 🙂


Green lunch


The greens looks so green don’t they? I chopped these veggies up, and am proud of it, haha! Alfred cooked up a good sinigang, if I say so myself. He’s mighty proud of himself he blogged about it. Though he enslaved me and had me chop chop chop, I didn’t mind it so much 🙂 Lately we’ve been cooking lunch rather than calling for delivery/takeout. Saves quite a bit of money, I reckon. Healthier too. I wonder what it’ll be next week…

Happy Birthday Daddy!

Today is my Daddy’s 55th birthday.

Happy Bday Daddy!

Happy Bday Daddy!

Growing up, I always thought that I was my daddy’s favorite, and my big brother was mom’s. Of course that couldn’t be true, I really was just daddy’s little girl. I grew up with my dad telling me stories of his own childhood – he would do so at bedtime, or sometimes at the dinner table with everyone gathered ’round. Later, when I was a little older, he would tell us stories of his time in the revolutionary movement. For those who don’t know yet, yes, my dad was in the militant movement in the Martial Law years.  Both he and my mom were. I have always been proud of that fact – proud that both my parents were former political detainees. 

In recent years, celebrating my dad’s birthday meant buying KFC, or having lunch/dinner out, and then ice cream and cake for the kids. Two years ago, Zune came home on dad’s birthday. So there was a celebratory mood all around because the kids were also in the house not just to welcome our little tiger (uh pup), but also to have cake and ice cream. Last year was the same, except there was lunch at Steak Town too. Alfred and I didn’t make lunch though. He had work, and I, well, had an accident at work.

Dad was a boy scout and he really encouraged us to sign up when we were kids. His scout master in Torres High School was the legendary Sir Rudy. He was also the scout master at Trinity College during our time! I was mighty proud when during one of our recognition days for scouting one year, Sir Rudy acknowledged my dad. He remembered him! Because dad worked at our church as the national development officer for over a decade, he worked within five minutes of our home. That meant he was home everyday for lunch, and that he was the logical choice to attend PTA, or school programs, and pick me up after school too. I’d frequently drop by his office for a variety of reasons. I could do that because their office was at the center of the community – right by the basketball court.

I was already alive when my dad went back to school to get a degree. But what I remember is already the time he took a Master’s Degree in Development Management at the Asian Institute of Management. He managed to get himself a scholarship and a year off work to concentrate on studies. No, he wasn’t out of work, he was still working for the church but he didn’t have to be there everyday.  I was in high school at this time. He read tons of papers and wrote tons of them too in that year. We were all so proud of him when he graduated with distinction. That really opened more doors for him. 

Since working at the church, he has since worked in the fair trade industry, heading an NGO called APFTI; he worked for a few months in Mindanao, with his base in Cotabato City, with a UN project (UNIDO); he then moved on to work with UPLIFT; and now he works with the Manila (and Davao) office of the Catholic Relief Services. He’s had consultancy jobs here and there too over the years.

He travelled frequently when I was a kid, so did my mom. I was used to either one or both of them being away. But I specifically remember him having to go abroad for a meeting/conference but he didn’t leave just before my birthday even when it seemed that he had to. He made sure that his flight was either on the night of, or the day after, my birthday. I felt so special 🙂

Anyway, back to his birthday…

We had lunch at Tempura (something) over at the corner of Roces Avenue and Tomas Morato. We were complete: mom, dad, brother bear and his girlfriend Diane, me and Alfred. It was a filling lunch and good company. Dad wanted pictures taken, but for some reason, we didn’t get a group picture. I snapped a few photos of the food though. He’s out buying ice cream for the kids as I type.

We didn’t get him anything but now I’m thinking that I should just buy him the sleeve for his laptop computer. We saw one at Fully Booked that would be perfect for his notebook. He already bought a knapsack for it but found it too big and bulky. He found this nice sling that he prefers to use but it isn’t a proper laptop bag and has no cushion. A sleeve would be just the thing it needs. Yeah, maybe I’d get him that.

Oh well, I really just wanted to say… Happy birthday, Daddy! I wouldn’t have picked a different father if I was given the chance to. Thank you (to both you and mama) for raising us the way you did, and for providing for all of our needs, and most of our wants. I don’t say this out loud anymore, but I do love you 🙂

Esban took this picture in the first week of the year, he and dad brought out almost all of dad’s toy car collection and E snapped away. I am writing this birthday post for my dad though he probably would never read it. My blog is public and I make no effort to hide my identity, but I don’t exactly advertise to my family and friends. I’m not so sure why…

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