Oct 29, 2007


In the Philippines, once the "ber" months start, it also signals the start of Christmas time. Radio airwaves start playing Christmas songs, people start thinking of cleaning their holiday decors and get ready for another round of decorating their homes. Offices and department stores are also expected to don colorful ornaments recognizing the onset of the merry holidays.

I just noticed that buildings in business districts are not as lavish with their decorations for the past...what, four or five years. As years go on, the lesser their display of Christmas lights and ornaments. Signs of the times. Overhead charges are so expensive for these activities that will only last for two months. Companies would rather spend them on bonuses and holiday parties.

This gold and green Christmas is at the upper level of Trinoma mall's park. I like the color combination. Easy on the eyes, add to that the effect of the dancing fountain along the walk way.

***I will be doing my WS rounds later when I get back home. :)


Mood: Okay.
Music: 4 in the Morning, Gwen Stefani

Oct 17, 2007

Something's Gotta Give

A colleague has been "pestering" me to join her and the rest of the gymn buddies. We are doing the "Lean and Mean" activity among my circle of friends. The main goal is to keep fit in spite of our busy schedules. We created a game out of it, the highest percentage weight loss wins the cash prize. We shell out X amount twice a month for this. I almost signed up this morning but backed out of the gym sessions. I declined also the badminton (I know, this is so two-three yeas ago...) training one organized with a professional trainer. I'm still in the "Lean and Mean" sans the formal workout.

"But it's just time management". I know that and that is what I am doing. I opt to work smart, let the clutter go and delegate properly. I have learned not to sweat the small stuff. Sometimes that still happens but I am more in control now.

Prioritize, again, that is what I am doing. If not, everything might just crumble in front of me.

Just looking at it, I am spending more than fifty percent of my time juggling the different roles/activities that I have. I am a working mom, there's church-related activities, my graduate school (plus our group meetings whenever there are presentations and that is almost every week), am an admin assistant to my husband too, ad nauseam. :D

If I get some more, that would mean getting more time from my family, from my daugher especially. I attend school twice a week and I get home around ten in the evening. If I do the gym thrice a week, it means I won't be home till ten pm on weekdays. I wouldn't like that. My daughter would be sleeping by the the time I get home.

For the time being. I'd be content with our weekend joggings and my husband's treadmill. I meet with my friends but there are times I forego because it's usually at night after work or during weekends. Twice I have postponed taking up photography class because I can only do it on weekends. Some things one has to give up or skip in the mean time.

A balanced life is great but I don't mind if the scale tilts to the side of my


Mood: Still so awake at 12:16 am
Music: Chasing Cars, Snow Patrol

Oct 13, 2007

Photo Hunt 37: Smelly

Today's hunt is anything "smelly". Let me post something which has a strong, fishy odor. What do you know, it's a fish. Others do not like the smell of this specially while it's being cooked. They find it too strong and the smell lingers and sticks to one's clothes long after the frying is done. Me, I like the smell of cooked dried fish. It wets my appetite.

My favorite part is the head. Eeeeww, I can hear some of the readers saying that :D But well, that part of the fish is the most tasty. I don't have any scientific explanation why.

One of the traditional breakfasts of Filipinos are scrambled eggs, milk/coffee, sinangag (fried rice) and tuyo (salted dried herring). Tuyo is the Tagalog term for dry. There are many kinds of dried fish but tuyo is the most popular for breakfast. I am familiar with tuyo variants such as tonsoy and lapad which I buy in packs in supermarkets. Mind you though, there are pastas which use dried salted fish flakes as one of the main ingredients. My husband loves tuyo in olive oil, garlic and some chilies.

Healthy lifestyle is popular nowadays and that is good. There's fresh fruits, oatmeal, wheat bread for breakfast. But generally, Filipinos are rice eaters that even during breakfast, expect a plateful of rice in most households. And expect tuyo to always be a part of a typical Filipino breakfast.

Oct 8, 2007

Left Overs

I was in Baguio for two days last week. As expected, I bought Baguio goodies, primarily vegetables. I bought them thinking of cooking chopsuey. I was able to do that but there were still left over broccolis and cauli flowers.

We still have the pansit bato I bought during my trip to Bicol a month ago or so. A pack of Chinese sausage is sitting on the ref which is supposed to be for Yang Chow. But I was not able to prepare Yang Chow because there was no available frozen green peas at SM Supermarket when I dropped by. A great idea from hubby is to make pansit bato for merienda and use all these ingredients. So that's what we had Sunday afternoon. Brilliant!

Pansit bato got its name because of the place where it is sold - Bato, Camarines Sur. I am not really sure what difference these noodles have compared to other noodles sold in the supermarket. The hubby says there is no aftertaste unlike most noodles. It is also very affordable at twenty five pesos per kilo (roughly .56USD).

Pansit is very easy to prepare and very quick. Saute garlic and onion. Put in bits of pork until golden brown. A little water (depends on how many kilos of noodles you have) and then goes the noodles. My husband puts in shrimp puree as he calls it to create a seafood taste. He squeezes the head of the shrimp to get the juice and pour them in the pan. Put in salt according to taste. As soon as the noodles are tender, put in all the other ingredients - patola (sponge gourd), Chinese sausage, shrimp and last, cauli flower.

After the pansit, a little dessert capped the snack time. My favorite ube (yam) jam straight from the City of Pines. Tantamco's is the most salable brand next to Good Shepherd. Its sweetness is just right and the bits of whole yam are easy to chew. I love it!

Check out other Weekend Snapshots entry here. The guidelines are here if you want to join.


Mood: Geeky.
Music: The Sweet Escape, Gwen Stefani

Oct 6, 2007

Photo Hunt 36: Curvy

I missed Photo Hunt for two weeks or three. I was out the past weekends. It's good to be back in this Photo Hunt meme. This week's theme is Curvy.

I'm sharing the view of Kennon Road, also knows as the Zigzag Road. It is a 32 kilometer highway going to Baguio City. This is one of the routes leading to the Philippines' summer capital. Some people prefer going this way since it is faster but it is not so safe during the rainy season. But the view as one goes up the mountain is simply majestic.

There's also the famous lion's head which doubles as a view deck. A lot of motorists stop and take pictures here, like me and my daughter. :)


Mood: Energetic.
Music: Missing, Everything but the Girl

Oct 5, 2007

Blogging Feast

I may not be blogging everyday or as often as I want but I have to say blogging relaxes me. There are some blog sites that I go to whenever I am online though mostly just through my Bloglines feeds only. It's easier to read them that way than jumping from one tab or window to another. :) I only go to the sites when I want to comment or the feeds don't show the whole post. I do blog hop sometimes when I am in the mood to do so. It is a joy to discover very engaging blogs from different countries. Ironically, I quietly lurk in blogs that I enjoy reading most.

What kinds of blogs am I inclined to read? Slice of life, stream of thoughts, food blogs especially those with great pictures. Blogs which are written like no one will get to read their thoughts. Free-flowing. I like happy and funny blogs but I also enjoy reading blogs with enough sarcasm and wit. As long as I sense they are for real, I continue reading them. I roll my eyes and close the window when I encounter blogs which are too preachy, holier-than-thou, know-it-all. Yawn.

I thank Maiylah for giving me an Egel Nest Award Blog Award. Love begets love. :)

I went to the site where the award originated. There aren't much explanation about it but it's obvious that you just pass on the award to a blog/blogger you love reading. I know that there are bloggers which are not quite into these blog awards for some reason. I respect that but what the heck, just let me show my appreciation on their blogs. Spread the love around. So let me share this with the following:

Judy, a loving mom who never tires to cook for her children. :) Her entries are fun to read because she tells them like they are happening real time. I know I already gave her a Rocking Girl Award. What can I do, I love her posts. :)

Chats, I met her already but looking forward to more meetings. I like the way she chronicles her life as a WAHM and how she wonderfully supports her hubbyness. It's her 1st blog anniversary, my blog is three months older than her blog. :)

Rachel, the most awarded blogger I know. :) She deserves every recognition she gets. Like Chats, we've met and looking forward for more EBs. :) She is naturally sweet especially to her little mister sunshine, Yohan. Check out her sketches too, she's very creative.

Mimi, for her passion in blogging about world peace through her Blog Blast for Peace and Peace Globe posts from participants she invites.

Eastcoastlife, most of her blog posts are funny. The lady is funny and witty. If you want a good laugh, read her posts. She's really passionate about her blogging.

Manila Metro Bloggers, for giving their time and dedication in posting in our very own city blog started/sponsored by Sean Bonner. And this reminds me to polish my posts in my drafts and contribute. I have been a delinquent member. I get updated sometimes with their posts on events and everything-Manila.

There are a lot of great blog reads out there I am sure. I just have to blog hop more often. :)


Mood: Thoughtful.
Music: Bella Luna, Jason Mraz

Oct 1, 2007

Going Green

It's Pinoy Moms Network's monthly photo sharing once again. As the logo on the left says, we are going "Green" for October.

I actually have a lot to share for the green theme. Let me post these pictures taken at Caliraya Recreation Center, Lumban, Laguna. Our family spent two days there about a year ago. It's two to three hours drive from Manila. It takes about a five minute boat ride from the parking/entrance area to Caliraya. From the recreation center, one can have a grand view of the man-made lake surrounding the resort.

The place implements a no-smoking policy, not within the immediate vicinity, not within the room. Smoking is allowed only some meters away from the recreation center. There's a one thousand peso fine for anyone caught violating the rule. How stiff, huh. :) But one's got to respect well-meaning policies. The place is also popular among retreat groups as well as for team building activities. There's fishing, boating, swimming, horseback riding.

Nice view from the resort's building's window.

I took a picture of some guests enjoying their "mudslide" under the sun.

So green.

Once in a while it's nice to stay away from the hustle and bustle of city life, breathe fresh air and have a pleasant and relaxing view of lush greeneries.

Here are the mommies who opted to be Green:
Julie: Environmental Responsibilities
Analyse: The Colors of Burgundy
MegaMomGreen Thumb
Mitch: On Nature
Noemi: Luijoe's meadow
Rachel: My boy in green
Vicky: Green
Lynn: Going Green
KK: I love green
Lisaflor: My little alien boy
Raqgold: Green sofa
Mommy Chi: The Green Room
Cookie: Go green!
Auee: What is your green rating?


Mood: Hungry.
Music: Flood, Jars of Clay