Food and smiles brighten up a dreary day

If you’ve been following my Tweets, or my Plurks (see the widget on my sidebar), you know that I’ve been pretty much under the weather. Okay – a lot under the weather.  And today, well, the visit I’d been anticipating (read my second and third posts down) has already arrived. So there are two things causing my body aches and pains – acute upper respiratory tract infection (it’s not the flu, doc says) and menstruation. Ugh.

So after the doctor’s visit yesterday morning, I walked home. Good thing there was only a drizzle, so my teensy little umbrella gave me enough coverage. I arrived home and found my brother cooking lunch. I had thought he’d have gone by then, but his plans changed apparently. He was cooking an all-time favorite – Chicken Cola. The weather was perfect for having tinola but we didn’t have ingredients for it so kuya opted to make this other comfort food.

Yes, I consider Chicken Cola as one of my comfort foods. We all love it here. Perhaps not because of its sweetness, but because of it brings us back to our childhood. At least it does that to me. No, I don’t have images from the past going through my mind when I eat it, but the feeling is there. The simplicity of life, and the love of family. So when I don’t feel well, chicken cola can help pick me up.

chicken cola

This photo does not do chicken cola any justice. I’m guessing my brother didn’t add enough ketchup to make it redder. It looks quite pale doesn’t it?

Anyway, another comfort food I had yesterday was banana with cheese spread. Ahh. Simple pleasures.  Who does not love cheese or cheese spreads? I mean even dogs love them right? And we’ve had Cheese Whiz on bananas since we were kids. I never get tired of it.

banana with cheese spread

I realize now that the photo has some R-18 likeness to it, sorry that was never intended. Haha.

Eating gave me a temporary comfort, but the headache still came in the evening, causing me to miss out on AJ boy’s birthday dinner. I had all intentions to take photos of his well-wishers, his cake, and all his cuteness. But I slept through it.

I do have a photo of this sweet little boy from earlier that afternoon:

birthday boy

Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Nature Center – Part 2

(Read the first part of this series on our Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife experience here)

Apart from being a park where families can go to relax, unwind, have a picnic and enjoy nature in the middle of a bustling city, the Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife is also a Nature Center.  What this means is that rescued animals are nursed here until they can be set free again.  For those who can no longer be brought back to their natural habitat, they stay in the center and those are the animals that people like us can visit.

I have memories of entering an aviary as a young girl.  A big one where you can see the birds flying around you.  I still can’t be quite sure if this is a memory from a trip to the Wildlife or to Nayong Pilipino ( is there an aviary there?).  I don’t know how many species of birds can be found at the Wildlife, I can’t even name the birds that we were able to see.  The cages are not properly labeled you see.  

I was quite frustrated though that the cages completely ruin your chances of a good shot.  The animals are in cages, then there are railings that keep you more than an arm’s length away from the cage itself.  For a frustrated photographer like me, there’s just too many challenges to think of. Haha 🙂 Nevertheless, blogging about our day at the Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife will not be complete without showing photos of the animals we were there to see.


Sheesh please do not ask me what these birds are called. I’d just tell you that they look like African lovebirds to me. You don’t agree? Well here they are kissing!


There you go, kissing scandal at Cage 27.  See, no labels at all to tell you what you’re looking at!  So even if I wanted to educate Esban on what birds these are, I couldn’t!

According to the boyfriend (who wanted to become a veterinarian, if not for his fear of blood), the birds on this next set are sea hawks.  The last one I’m sure is a hornbill. Or something. 🙂

[svgallery name=”sea hawk”]


Now this majestic peacock was kind enough to hold his pose for me.  But what caught our attention more than his magnificent stance and the beauty of his feathers, was the fact that he shares his cage with turtles.  Ya don’t believe me? Well see for yourself! We even photographed one turtle struggling to get out of his water bath 🙂


[svgallery name=”turtles”]

Didja see it? 😉

Stay tuned for Part 3 🙂

Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wild Life

Now, this post is two weeks late because the event happened two Sundays ago on Mother’s Day.  We didn’t spend it with our moms though – Alfred and I took Esban to the Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife for a photo shoot.
Believe it or not, Alfred has never been to Wild Life before. I can’t believe that they didn’t go there on a field trip when he was in grade school?  I’ve been there so many times, but that was long ago.  I realized then though that I confused some of my Wild Life memories with days spent at the old Nayong Pilipino.  

It was a fun day, but I would have been a happier trooper had it not been soooo hot! Even with the dense trees protecting us from the direct heat of the sun, I was still sweating like a pig!  I was frustrated by many of my photos too, I just couldn’t make it work.  Alfred says it’s because I lacked sleep (I came straight from work, and with only two hours of sleep from the night before because that was the day after the BDP class) and was already irritable.  I think he was just trying not to make me feel bad.

We started later than we had planned so we decided to have Liempo Boy for lunch first, before finally heading to our final destination for the afternoon.


Waiting for lunch to be served@Liempo Boy

Upon entering the park grounds, we were welcomed by this rubber tree.  We told Esban what it was, and encouraged him to go ahead and pose in front of it.  Little did I know that this tree’s brothers and sisters were going to have an even bigger role for the day!


Can you see him? Right there in the middle… Here’s a closer look at his wacky face:


Still can't see his face? Click on the image for a larger view

Okay, I’m testing the WP-SV Gallery Plugin that I just installed. The previews are smaller than what I want them to be, but please go ahead and click on the link at the bottom of the box to see a larger view of the pictures in each gallery. 

[svgallery name=”Rubber tree very pretty”]

I’ve always been fascinated by root systems, so these did not escape me:


Now, Alfred told E that Lastikman got his powers from a rubber tree .  Now, I preferred the alien version myself, but Esban’s imagination was definitely stirred by what he was hearing.  Here he was looking for a cozy nook to simulate how Lastikman must have been trapped inside a rubber tree!

[svgallery name=”Esbantree”]

Fine, he doesn’t look trapped, he’s really just enjoying himself.  But you know what he really wanted to try?  Swing from tree to tree a la Tarzan!  We were laughing so hard the whole time. We were sweating, not because it was hot, but because we were having so much fun already!

[svgallery name=”Like Tarzan”]

He enjoyed swinging so much that he refused to go home without stopping by another tree and have another go at it. Problem was, we couldn’t find the one that had vines that would suit his purpose!  In the end, he agreed to leave because he was tired, and he had somewhere else that he needed to be at. 

We took photos of the birds and monkeys too. I’ll share those at a later post, this took way loooonger than I had anticipated. Thanks for sticking it out till the end 🙂


It’s day 1 of our 15 day trial with Sky Broadband. It’s hi-speed Internet cable. I was subscribed to this maybe two years ago but we decided to switch to PLDT DSL because of the savings we’d get for it (since it’s bundled with the phone service).  But their service has been so disappointing, so in two weeks or less we’ll make a decision to finally get rid of it or else just endure the inconsistent service we’ve received.

So far – I love it! My downloads are done in two or three minutes at a time. Sweet! 🙂


I thought I’d be at the mall today, shopping for slippers and some supplies for our Baler trip.  I guess it’s a blessing too that we didn’t go, or else I would have had to practice a lot of self restraint while passing through the section for women’s shoes.  I certainly do not need a new pair, but when I see beautiful comfy footwear, I just can’t help it sometimes 🙂


Pens of Hope

 I can’t remember when or how I first stumbled about this lady’s effort to help out the young school children of her hometown, but I knew from the get go that I wanted to help. What she described in her blog is something I have witnessed too – there really are kids who, even when they have no pencils to use or paper to write on, would still go to school because they so desire to learn. There are children who would launder their uniforms everyday after school because they only have one pair of blouse/polo and skirt/shorts that they could wear. And how many kids go to school barefoot because there’s just not enough money for slippers?

For sure, pencils will not solve their impoverished situation, but I agree that it will give the children another reason to hope and work for a better future.

How much does a pencil cost?  Surely less than ten pesos for the regular yellow ones (yes, I am referring to Mongols).  I intend to buy pencils (and a couple of sharpeners that the teachers can make available for the students) and send them over before the end of May.   I hope to get the boyfriend in on this project, and maybe encourage my team at work too.  I’ll ask mom and dad, my brother, and even all the kids here who take their own pencils for granted.  I won’t force anyone to donate with me but I don’t think it would be difficult to convince them to participate.  I mean seriously, how many pencils are the equivalent to the current costs of a pack of cigarettes? Or a can of coke?

The badge will take you to the Pens of Hope HQ so you can learn more about the project, it’s instigator (:)) and where you may send your donations to (all in kind).  And if you do decide to help, let me know too so I can thank you myself  🙂

The girls back then…


In my previous post I briefly mentioned sponsoring two of my nieces’ camp fee. Well, these are those two. Chicki and Shanti.  They were born a few days apart, with Shanti coming out in August 30, and Chicki on September 2nd.  But this is a scanned photo from many many moons ago.  I’m pretty sure I took this photo, it was back when we lived inside the Seminary compound and I spent a lot of time with both of them.

I hope they’re having a grand time at camp, and that they’re able to vent out their pent up emotions about their families.  Looking at their smiles here, don’t you just see all that they can become and all that they can achieve?  They’re in highschool now, already at an age where the decisions they make can determine the course of the rest of their lives.  

I hope that they remember how loved they are, and that they still feel that love, and be guided in their future decisions.

Anyway… I don’t believe I displayed my current desktop here yet.  The photos in the template by Heather Ann Designs are of my nephew Esban and my Dad, taken during his birthday celebration, March 31st, which was also his sister’s grade school graduation (she’s the one at the bottom picture):


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