Where the raindrops as they're falling tell a story...

Friday, May 30, 2008

My day with David, Nigella, and Harvey

So, I turned 21 yesterday. A friend commented that I was getting younger and younger each year. If he remembered it right, I was 26 last year. Oh well, it's not my fault that the years just refuse to show. (Bwahahahahaa!) Humor me, just for today. :-P

When Mama asked me what I planned for the day, I told her I had none. Thank God for restaurants, you can make one in an 11th hour. (There was no plan for whatsoever to begin with). So we settled at a simple family dinner at Spice Fusion tagging along Xofie who was more than happy to get out of the house after so long.

Halfway through dinner, husband handed me two gift-wrapped heavier-than-their-sizes boxes which are obviously-books-why-did-you-bother-wrapping-it presents. Husband rattles on an apology how he was unable to get a hold of Nigella Express, so he hoped Feast is enough, and as added bonus, David Sedaris' Naked. Or something like that. I wasn't listening, I was ecstatic and imagining David and Nigella greeting me a happy birthday personally. I can't wait to skim through the pages and calculate the me time that I'd be needing burrowed with the books. (Just in case you're wondering, recipe books are listed under my read-for-pleasure category.)

By the time we got home, I was already so conked out I hit the bed without washing my face (ick). Between the pillows hid another Nigella. This time, it's her famous Forever Summer. The husband must really be sorry he missed buying Nigella Express, he bought me two Nigellas instead, I thought. Me being more than happy of his slip, thanked him again and pleaded for him to stop and he better give me the money to let me save it. He's bought more than enough books already.

I bid my goodnight smiling. He insisted the night is not over and there are presents yet to be opened. I was torn between amused delight and the need to be frugal but heck, it's my birthday, let him spoil me! Turns out, another David is hiding between Xofie's stash of diapers. This time, Barrel Fever surfaced out of the wrappers. Are you kidding me?! Excuse me while I recalculate the me time.

By now, I have totally forgotten the self-help book I wanted, Dr. Harvey Karp's Happiest Toddler on the Block. I was so sold out with Dr. Karp's Happiest Baby that I can't wait to get my grubby hands on the Happiest Toddler. Yes, Xofie's turning 1 in a few months and I could use all the help I could get. The sad thing was Cebu Powerbooks never had a stock since they started here. Earlier that evening, I reserved the book and told them to call me right away, whether sold out or unavailable in any other branches.

Husband told me to get dressed ready for bed-something he'd never say at any given night. What a giveaway. So there's more David hiding in the closet, right? Holidays on Ice tucked somewhere, perhaps?

And of course, with the hint he just gave away, I was excited to change for bed. As expected, there's another unmistakably wrapped book lying on top my pile of folded shirts. I excitedly tore the wrappers and this greeted me:

Imagine my sheer surprise! How did he get hold of the book? I'm dead sure Powerbooks Cebu doesn't have it. Where did he buy it? To this, he quoted William Forrester, "The key to a woman's heart is an unexpected gift at an unexpected time." (Aaaaar, he's hopeless! ^ ^)

So, I stopped asking, and collected the treasures I got for the day:

And oh, I'll be coming back to Powerbooks real soon. Office friends gave me this:

Thank you, thank you all, for making this day extra special. Nothing beats a birthday surrounded with friends and family. :-D

Most especially to you, Daddy, for going an extra mile to start the day right. The flowers early in the morning did it already. I did not expect there were more coming. ^ ^

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

When I'm down and blue

I watch this video. This never fails to crack me up and lighten my day. I'm sharing with you the breakthrough performance of my sister and niece. This is what happens when they get bored.

Crazy runs in the family. Nyahahahahaaa!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Daddy's corner

Aeirin tagged me. For the tag, I'd be blogging about my husband. Surprisingly though, with this new blog of mine, I don't remember talking about him (or did I?). Motherhood is a totally new adventure for me and my blogging thoughts are somehow consumed by it. Doesn't mean I love him less these days. If any of you here knew me or my husband, there's no way for me to go but love him more and more each day. I couldn't, for the life of me, imagine my life if I wasn't with him.

In my two previous private blogs though, I talked about him almost every week. From there, I culled out a few. Testaments of how I love this person I came to call as "Langga" or "Daddy". Everytime I read these lines again, those feelings come sweeping me off as boldly as they were fresh. And I have come to realize that it matters not how crazy my world has become, there will always be one constant inspiration to keep on living. Him. He never falters, never questions his love for me NO MATTER WHAT. gets me into thinking that somewhere, somehow, I must've done something good to deserve this.

written 5.18.2004

18. that's our day. our number. we've been together for 41 months. i gotta congratulate myself =p thank you langga, for being so so sooooo super patient with this crazy, stubborn and unreasonable girl that is me. thank you for all the love, the attention, the fun, the fights, the logic, the sweetness, and more love =)

thank you for those days that i thought everything's beyond repair, i see calm and serenity in your eyes. thank you for tucking me to bed everytime i'm too tired to do it myself. thank you for being so patient with my sapot whenever you wake me up coz you need to go already. thank you for trying your best to cook for me whenever i don't feel like it.

thank you for accepting the scarred person that i am. thank you for making me believe in myself and thank you for appreciating my efforts as well. thank you for loving my family like your own.
thank you for listening and sticking it through the end with me. thank you for the warm hugs and soothing words. thank you for being the bestest of best friend to me. thank you for accepting my yet another group of unconventional friends. thank you for respecting my choices.

thank you for coming back into my life, again and again, no matter how many times i shooed you away. gawd, i love you more for that...

written 5.02.2006 (should've been my vow had the church allowed us a customized one)

Anthony Vincent, you cushion me from the monsters who are as familiar as the lines on my palm. You tease my worries away. Your words make me braver when things are shaken from its edges. You are a gentle breeze that heals misunderstandings and emotions gone awry. You are the understanding eyes when I throw my opinion like confetti over thrashed and torn fallen leaves. You are the warmth when I move into your arms in a full embrace. You are love; and you stay even when passion, hope and honesty fails. For that and everything else besides, I vow, before God and men, to love you in sickness or health, for richer or poorer, 'till death parts us.

{Start Copy Here}

Started by Mitchteryosa


1) Copy from {Start Copy Here} to {End Copy Here}.

2) Blog Brag about your husband - yes, the father of your child/ren. As I’ve said singles may also join by bragging about their own fathers, or even grandfathers. It doesn’t matter! Of course, Daddy bloggers themselves may also join, but you have to blog about your fathers and not about yourselves, deal? Okay. Good.

3) Add your blog in the masterlist below linking to the post that you just made. Or if you wish, do it as how I’ve done it in my other blog by adding a new page.

4) Leave some love here. Yup. Here. Thanks!

5) Let’s not forget Peppermint Creative for the corner border I used for the badge.

6) Lastly, let’s help each other by copying and updating the list of participants in your post. Come and visit once in a while for the benefit of the late comers who have also joined this meme.


When Silence Speaks
Everything About Deye
Etc Atbp
Pinay Mommy Online
Coffee Cup Princess
Garden of Moments
Aeirin’s Collection
Never Dainty
The Long Journey Of My Life
A Mother Of Yesterday, Today And Tomorrow
Everything That Has Breathe Praise The Lord
Can Of Thoughts
Anything And Everything In Between
No Place Like Home
Pinay WAHM
Only In Silence
Bisdak Footprints
Simply Me, Simple Life
Fun | Fierce | Fab
Confessions Of A Supermodel Wannabe
Embracing Health For Life
Raptured Dreams
Jona Thinks
Points Of View
Beauty Of Life
Hue And Hysteria
Leaf In Deforest
Just Me Eds
Momie’s Space At Momie’s Pace
Juliana’s Site
Purpled Sky
In Love For Life
All About Mye Life
Cookie Jar Of Entertainment
Faery Dancing
The Nambiars
CC’s Online
A Message From My Heart
Me and Mine
Little Peanut

{End Copy Here}

Now, I'm tagging Tash, Faery Rowan (I know you just blogged about your Sor, but I know you still have more to brag about hehe), Pinay Mom in Czech, Zriz, and Mars. This is for Father's day, so you can actually talk about any of the fathers in your lives.

Happy posting, girls!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Yes, i'm here, holed up scrapping

Forgive my absence. It's just that the lure of a super easy to use digital scrapping site, has yet again, proved to be impossible to resist.

Having no time left for filling up Xofia's scrapbook (I'd rather stare at my sleeping baby than cut papers, you know), this presents the answer. I'm still a newbie to this online scrapbooking thing, so don't be surprised if the scrapbook pages change faster than your car's gear stick. Actually, expect them to change faster than my moods (which changes ever so often in an hour). And obviously, the one below is a work in progress. Pages will be added from time to time as that scrapblog serves as Xofia's main scrapbook.

So, if you will, join me here. Do let me know if you've signed up.

And of course, I'd still be blogging. Stopping me from blogging is like stopping me from eating my meals. Blogging just nourishes me. Don't ask me why.


PS: Scrapblog rocks!!!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

For Xofia (Part 1), for when the time you're old enough

to understand this, and young enough before life makes you jaded, these are the things I want you to remember.

There are always people who'd think they're better than anyone else. Whatever they're doing, let them be, but don't get affected by the negativity they put into the world. Be mindful and avoid these people. Don't let their behavior ruin your day. Instead, focus your energy on what you can do and what you can contribute to the community. Don't waste your emotion over someone incorrigible.

Love hard and get hurt. But don't let the hurt ruin you, instead, learn from it, and move on. There are always greater love after the one that's lost. You have to think that with the time unfolding, you can only get wiser. Don't get yourself be buried in all the callousness in this world of hurt. I've known people who can never be truly happy in relationships because they can never let go and let love be. They are prisoners of their own makings in the past. Needless to say, love hard, but always use your intellect when you do. You will soon understand that hormones have a funny way with messing with our feelings.

Choose your friends. You may not agree right now, but friendships do have limits. You can not let someone who's behavior you do not approve of come into your life. Even to the most guarded, they are bound to influence your behavior as well. I am not saying that you can not trust yourself, you just can't trust some people. And remember that no matter how beautiful the world or life is, there are always people who do not share the same enthusiasm. Get away from these people, you don't need to experience burning to feel how a burnt skin feels. But if you find someone who's worth it, stick to them. Treasure the friendship. Nurture the relationship. If you're lucky, they might be one of the few that lasts a lifetime.

Be true. Hypocrisy never earns you the trust of the people around you. If being true gets you outside the circle of the people you thought mattered, then guess what, those people don't matter after all. Be true and know yourself well, and find the grace to be comfortable of the person that you are. That's what matters most.

Know your priorities. There may come a time when you feel like all that matters is what your peer thought and their opinion of you. Remember that they come and go, but your family is the one constant thing in your life. Learn to know the difference and appreciate that.

Appreciate the value of money, but understand that money doesn't buy everything.

There is no surefire way to be happy. But I've got one sure thing that can bring happiness to your life. Contentment. Be contented on what you have, what you are, where you are, who you're with. There are always jewels worth treasuring tucked somewhere between the pages of our lives.

Nevertheless, dream big. There is no limit to it. Let that be your refuge. But be wise enough to know the difference between dream and reality. Keep your feet planted on the ground, but let your imaginations soar high. If the dreams fail, so what, those are just dreams, you can always dream again.

XX: this is part 1 of n things I want you to remember by while growing up. Lessons Mommy learned in her almost 3 decades in this world that she wants to share with you, Xofia.

Mothers who hurt their kids don't deserve to be mothers

I was at the ticketing office this morning for three hours. Quite frankly, I did not expect I'd be waiting that long. Anyway the first two and a half hours of which was spent window shopping and actual shopping. The last 30 minutes, I stayed inside the ticketing office. It was there that I witnessed a scene. A mother hitting her daughter.

I was trying to enjoy Mr. Bean silent movie when out of the blue, I heard a thud, followed by a raised voice. She kept on hitting the daughter, who's probably around the age of 8 or 9, who apparently didn't do anything. From what I heard from the woman, who seemed to announce to the world what shameful act her daughter did, the girl asked for money. The girl got hungry and asked for money for some food. This irked the woman, shouting to the girl that it's not her (mother's) fault that she did not eat at the house before they went out. And don't she dare touch the money inside the purse or else. She went on and on with her litany and every time she wanted to stress a point, she'd hit the girl with her bare hands.

I'm not sure if this was hormonal, but my reaction surprised me. It's not that I don't usually react to abusive parents displaying their abusive behavior in public like it's something to emulate, but I was actually about to cry right there and then. It was all I could do to stop myself from coming over to them and get the girl away from the woman's wicked clutches. I stared at the woman, and if looks could kill, she'd have died several times over. I actually "shouted" for her to stop but judging from how she was so engrossed at her own emotion, she never heard me. Fearing that I'd cause a scene in a seemingly decent place, I held on to my seat, and silently prayed for karma. Personally, there can never be enough explanation for hitting a child. It's just unacceptable.

For one, that baby never asked to be born. It was the grownups' decision or indecision that brought her out to this world. Secondly, a child is helpless. They can never hit you back as hard try as they might. They can never defend themselves. Isn't that enough for irresponsible adults to stop?

Grownups should have lived long enough to know that once that child come to age, she will never remember the reason for the physical punishment. All she'll ever remember was she was punished, she was hurt by somebody she loved and trusted; and that she can never recall why. Oh, she'll remember that she was embarrassed in a public place. One way or another, she will grow to resent that person. She will learn to hate that person, because, hell, she was given a reason to. That child will grow angry. Granting she won't get over it, she will form the notion that hitting is OK, and she will do the same to her children. Like any other abusive relationship model, it is a vicious cycle. Violence will never end.

There are a hundred and one more reasons why violence is never an answer. I know I haven't lived long enough to say that I've been there, still this I know: talking to a child calmly, especially those that are already old enough to understand, is way better than inflicting physical harm to get your point across. Spanking will only hurt the child, and certainly will never make you feel good about yourself afterwards (unless you're some kind of perv). Otherwise, you are never fit to be a parent to begin with.

Friday, May 16, 2008

PEXLINKS: Love three times over

I consider myself a neophyte to this "public" blogging world. And, like most bloggers out there, I want to maximize my experience. I used the blogosphere as an outlet in my otherwise corporate world that drones on and on. A private blog was then born. Then my girlfriend Laurie preached about blogging ang actually getting paid for it. That piqued my interest. But hey, I'm a very private individual, am I ready for the world to read my life in the web? Quite hesitantly, I began surfing for blog templates. Then linked my first few blogroll. Needless to say, I was hooked. I got addicted! It was actually fun collecting friends online!

Stumbling into Pinay Mommy's PEXLINKS TRIPLE LOVE PROJECT got me all excited. I couldn't wait to join! Participants get to have
  1. lots of technorati fans,
  2. boost RSS subscribers, and
  3. regular EntreCard droppers.
How can you not join with such brilliant way of making friends and upping your blog's hits at the same time?

And the main deal? You get to have more friends in the blogosphere! Your limit is up to 300. How awesome is that? So enough yakking. Come and join us now!

Hope to see you there <3



How are you feeling today?

And another tag! Got the tag from Pinay Mommy. Like her, and I think most women would say "amen" to this, it's hard for me to describe how I am feeling with just 6 words. Yet, here I am, trying :-)


1. List 6 things that describe yourself today.
2. Add your blog to the list. Feel free to add all your other blogs.
3. Tag other online friends you know.

*1. Full! >>>>>>> I just ate a plateful of spaghetti and cake after having a full lunch of rice, dinuguan, and 2 empanada. It's getting harder to breathe.
*2. Excited! >>>>>>> To go home and see baby. It's about this time of the day that I get like this.
*3. Going down with something! >>>>>>> I kept sneezing. Must be common colds.
*4. Cold! >>>>>>> The A/C is at it again.
*5. Tired! >>>>>>> The eyes, that's what. It's no joke staring at a monitor the whole day.
*6. Relieved! >>>>>>> For finally figuring out why I can't find a certain file in the folder we're currently working on.

Links: Creative In Me Little Peanut Me and Mine Pea in a Pod Sugar Magnolias A Slice of Life Simply Jen Jenny Said So This and That We are Family Mommastuff MoMieSpace Being a wife & mom ChatnChill moms..... check nyo A Simple Life Mommy's Little Corner My Life's Rollercoaster Ride My Inner Thoughts Revealed MOMEMO Pinay Mommy Online Purpled Sky

I'm tagging chitgoks, oinked, mars, darlene, and reanaclaire. Go guys, articulate those feelings! :-)

Link Love: Spread the Love

I've been tagged by Faery Rowan, and I'm hoping I'm doing this right. I'm still new to this tagging thing. But hey, you just follow the rules, how difficult could that be? :-) Here goes.

* start copying here *

Join the Worldwide Link Love!

Benefits of Worldwide Link Love!
1. Make new friends around the world.
2. Feel the Link Love.
3. Gain new readers and subscribers.

1. Copy from ~* start copying here *~ to ~* end copying here *~ and paste it on your blog.
2. At the end of the list, put your name and the country your in, it doesn’t matter what’s your nationality just put the country where you are publishing your blog. Don’t forget to put links at your name.
3. If you have many blogs, you can link all of it, just make sure you post the same on each blog.
4. Tag your blog friends.
5. Tip for blogspot users: make sure you copy and paste the code in Compose mode.

Worldwide Link Love! Participants

Julia (Philippines)
Catherine (Malaysia)
Mitch (Philippines)
Hailey (Philippines)
Sexymom (USA)
Liza (Philippines)
Geng (Philippines)
SunnySideUp Foodie (Singapore)
Caramelcorn (Singapore)
Constance (Singapore)
Hainankia (Malaysia)
Read my Mind (Philippines)
joanjoyce (Philippines)
Mckhoii (Philippines)
Gelestrada (Philippines)
Coatable Coats (Philippines)
Faery Dancing (Philippines)
19. Purpled Sky (Philippines)
20. (YOU!)

* end copying here *

I'm tagging caffeinated-muse and divawearsnada. Go, girls! Spread the love :-)

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Xofia is 10 months old today

Xofia turned 10 months today. Aside from the 4 incisors cutting through, there are a few starting to appear on her upper set. Also, she has acquired the 3:00 am habit of waking up and crawling about, waking both me and her daddy on the process. Worry not, Mommy, she'd go back to sleep at 5:00 am and won't wake up until 6:00 am. If you see dark circles around my eyes, don't ask me about it. Here's a picture I took today after her daily morning bath.

Now, who would not love that little cookie? She's simply adorable. And she does more than that. She magically melts my worries and troubles away with her cute and funny ways. This one was taken 5 days earlier:

I am utterly in love. Again.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Missing a mentor and friend

These are the times that I get to miss him the most. Nope, not talking about some guy who I'd arbitrarily pined for in the past. For whatever it's worth, I never miss those guys, thank Heavens! I'm talking about the person I look up to when it comes to leadership. The only one I've come accross so far who never preached about him being the servant of his people, because he simply did his job, lead and was there when needed, provided support even unasked. Carried our voices when ours were too tiny the higher ups can barely hear. And this is talking figuratively and literally. His is a voice that commands attention.

My short 9-month stint with X did not end with pure regrets. It was there that I met him. It was there that I was introduced to this person, who at first, I thought to be intimidating. No, he didn't talk much during our training, but when he did, everybody listened. Maybe it's delivery, maybe it's image. But I sensed authority there. Authority which I later found comfortable with irregardless.

Then I got to working closely with the man. I was the tech writer of the team which was composed of a graphic artist and a copywriter. His leadership did not end with that small team. We're all part of the bigger Sales and Marketing team, the rest of the team member looked up to him as somebody they can depend on. He exudes that kind of image. But of course, he wouldn't be anywhere near where he was if he didn't know what he's doing.

He genuinely cared for his people. On issues that us and the higher ups won't be agreeing, he'd fight tooth and nail with us. And even though we won't win the battle in the end, the most important thing is that he stood by us. He made us feel secured. He made us feel we mattered.

When it comes to mastery of the craft, you can't help but admire the man. He guided and mentor with such mastery that made you wish you'd known him earlier. He's quick to praises where they're due and delivered criticisms constructively. Corporate politics has no room in his leadership style.

Most of all, he has become a treasured friend. Maybe it was the situation that we were in that provided the opportunity for deep friendship to blossom. Maybe because unlike the rest of the managers, he listened and actually did something about it. Maybe because we felt secured knowing he's with us all throughout. Maybe because it was so easy talking to him about things that really mattered. Maybe because he was the best mentor I've had about life choices and their consequences. Or maybe it's because of all that.

I've grown super fond with the man that when he told me he's resigning, tried as I might, I wasn't able to hold back the tears. Apprehension and loss. I grieved! It's probably how birds feel when their wings are cut off from them. OK, so I cried in front of him making him all uncomfortable with his manly PMA background (so uncool of me to do). I thought he'd up and run not wanting to see the tears streaming down but he held his ground. He stayed and comforted me until I was able to collect myself. That was big of him to do, and I thanked him for that.

No longer feeling the loyalty he fostered, and knowing that the company was never loyal to my needs to begin with, I left soon thereafter. But the impression he made on my life, on my career stayed with me. So much such that we asked him to be one of our principal sponsors on our wedding. And now, here's hoping that along the long and winded road of my career, I'd be blessed enough to meet a leader like him.

Here's to my most treasured mentor and friend, leader and ally, Ninong Nimrod. It was an honor meeting and really getting to know you, Boss Nimrod. You remain an inspiration. Carry on! :-)

Steamed lapu-lapu in dark sauce

So we have another batch of grouper from Ormoc. My father-in-law made the nanny brought some when she came back (YAY SHE'S BACK!!!). We had inun-onan (paksiw) the other day-- which we had Mama cook. When it comes to paksiw na lapu, I humbly pass the throne to Ma. I have yet to taste a lapu paksiw dish that could surpass hers. You'd think she used loads and loads of spices but all she ever used was a couple cloves of garlic, some ginger, and 3 siling haba. And oh, it was my husband who requested for her to cook the paksiw, which she more than willingly complied. My Ma loves the hubby more than me, her own daughter, I'm telling you.

For this batch, I decided to make my steamed version. I have never been wrong with the combo of hoisin and oyster sauce, and this is not the first time I attempted the dish. The worcestershire was only added for extra oomph. I want my steamed fish loaded with flavors and a bit sweet on the outside and all the natural goodness on the inside. This technique does just that.


  • 2 medium sized lapu, cleaned and gutted
  • 2 tbsp hoisin sauce
  • 3 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 4 tsp worcestershire sauce
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 2 thumb-sized ginger, peeled and minced
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 1-foot length tinfoil for wrapping
  1. Mix all the dark sauces: hoisin, oyster, worcestershire. Set aside.
  2. Score fishes twice both sides.
  3. Place in tinfoils individually.
  4. Season with sprinkling of salt and pepper.
  5. Sprinkle minced garlic and ginger, and put some in cavities.
  6. Pour over sauce.
  7. Wrap tinfoil tightly and fold ends to secure. Make sure you don't have holes in the foil. You don't want the sauces dripping as you steam.
  8. Steam for 30-40 minutes at 175C. I used my turbo broiler. You can use your convection oven if you have one, but if all you have is the the traditional steamer, that will do just fine. It's a steamed dish after all.
If anything, this dish is almost hassle-free. You just leave the broiler do it's thing. I am actually typing this while the fish cooks. When that timer goes off, chow time!

Serves 6. If you're serving to a party of less than six, cut the recipe in half and use only one medium-sized fish.

Take me to HOME COOKING tab

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Organizing the storeroom

The first time I laid eyes on that very small maid's room in our unit, I immediately told myself that I can never allow somebody to sleep there. Aside from it being situated right next to the downstairs bathroom, it only has one 2'x3' window allowing an eyeful to the laundry area. I did not exactly measured the place, but a bed can barely fit in giving the would-be occupant about 1½ feet clearance to do his/her thing. Ah-huh, worse than the prison's 4x6 cell. Drab, drab life.

So it goes that the househelp and the nanny are now sharing an upstairs room. A room as big (or as small) as our guest room. They have a double-deck bed which maximizes the space, and they have the whole regular-sized window unit all for themselves. And the junk that the household came to accumulate through time claimed their un-rightful place in that small maid's quarter.

It was OK at first but it got to a point where I can no longer find the things I wanted amidst piles and piles of junk. The turning point was when getting in there completely ruined my day. I swore then that something has to be done and turn the room into a proper stockroom with open shelvings and wire racks. So, that's what I've been doing the whole weekend. And on spare time that I get to be online, Globe Broadband gets on its usual hiccups and choked. So if I weren't bloghopping much during the weekends, always, always blame it on my internet provider. They simply suck :-P

Here's my maid's quarter cum storeroom:

No, I did not do the drilling and the carpentry, I had someone do it. I merely told them what to do, physically demonstrated what I want to happen (err that doesn't sound right), and even used my preschool drawing skills.

Here's the wire rack for hanging things that need hanging. Pretty useful!

And no, my storeroom is not classy, not even finished in a fashionable paint that blends with the rest of the room, so not Martha Stewart quality. But you bet I saved loads of counter and cupboard space with all these kitchen appliances here. See, I even have room for an extra folding bed and a sack of rice. Me love organizing. :-)

To all the moms out there: YOU ROCK!!

zwani.com myspace graphic comments

I've been tagged by Faery Rowan and Pinay Mommy. Not that without the tag I won't be greeting the mothers on their day. And I do hope I'm not super late doing the tag. Truth is I only have a handful (but growing) blogging friends. Unofficially, this goes to all the mommies out there. Tag along, everybody's welcome :-)

So anyway, here's the rule:

1. Just choose any mother’s day graphics from Zwani to greet the mommies you know.
2. Add your blog to the list. Feel free to add all your other blogs. )
3. Tag other mommies you know.

bloggerhappy berryscrappy A Sweet Taste of Life Me,Myself+2 Confessions of a Supermodel Wannabe Fun.Fierce.Fabulous When Silence Speaks Everything About Deye Etc Atbp Hailey's Domain Hailey's Beats and Bits MOMEMO PM's DigiScrap Pinay Mommy Online Faery Dancing Purpled Sky You're Next Here...

I'm tagging Tash, the super cool mom of Athalia. Here's to the bittersweet journey of motherhood. Happy Mothers' day!

To those who are not yet mothers, go give the moms in your life a hug. A warm hug always turns anybody's day around.

And oh, it's no joke typing with a 10-month old kickie in your lap trying to grab the keyboard as you type. Gotta go, motherly duties...

Friday, May 9, 2008

Kinamatisang buwad

or dried fish in tomatoes

My 4 year-old nephew (who lives in the US) thinks dried fish is the most despicable food in the whole world. They were vacationing and staying in my house last February. One morning he woke up with the smell of the boneless danggit cooking. He cried running to his mommy while covering his nose wailing “Let's go home, Mommy! I don't like it here! THEY COOK STINKY FOOD!!!” We never had danggit the whole duration of their stay.

I cannot imagine going through a month without a whiff of the heavenly salted dried fish. Again, food is a cultural thing. Foreigners do not understand our fascination over the smelly fish in the same way that you cannot make me eat kimchi and live baby octopuses.

I don't know about you, but in our house, this particular appetizer is such a hit that dinner is already complete with just this and rice and nothing else. Sinful and yes, appetizing – you can't help but eat cups after cups of rice. Tempting and evil, this will do nothing to your health except perhaps deposit more cholesterol to the already clogged veins. But hey, it has loads of tomatoes, and tomatoes is anything but bad. Caveat though, if you're dieting, steer clear of this dish.


  • 2 large katambak dried fish, washed and sliced
  • ½ kilo ripe tomatoes, cut in wedges
  • 2 cups vegetable oil


  1. Wash the whole dried fish in running tap water for about a minute each before cutting. This makes the fish less salty – and well, it cleans out whatever's in the surface. Drain in paper towels.
  2. In a frying pan, pour enough oil to fry the dried fish. Undercook the pieces by half the time you usually cook a dried fish. Don't worry, we'll cook these darlings again later. You don't want a hard, crispy exterior of the fish, you want to make room for the tomato flavor to get infused with the fish meat.
  3. In a heated wok, pour the remaining oil.
  4. When in boiling point, add the tomatoes and cook until the meat almost separates from the skin.
  5. Add the precooked dried fish.
  6. Let the fish soak in the boiling tomato-oil mixture for about 2 minutes.

My husband said this dish is a perfect pair for young plaintain or saba bananas. I have yet to try that pair, because for me, nothing beats a moundful of rice slathered with the tomato-oil combo, then topped with a hefty serving of dried fish.

Darn, my mouth's watering just as I'm typing this. If you ever happen to make this dish at home, I hope you had the same mouth-watering experience as I did.

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Tuesday, May 6, 2008

How Xofia came out to this world

I haven’t really talked about my childbirth here. But if you know me, I’ve been whining about it every time the subject comes up. Yes, it’s still that vivid and fresh for me. So if you’re willing, journey with me back to goosebumps and intense labor pains.

At my 7th month, I was already huffing and puffing and waddling my way through everything. All physical tasks, even the simplest ones like getting up and walking just seemed too heavy for me to be doing. All I wanted to do was lay in the couch where I can turn to my sides whenever I need to with an airconditioner positioned right in front of me. Most of all, I already wanted to give birth and get it done and over with.

“But we want the baby at her optimum health,” the doctor reminded me. What is another 2 months? She’d add. That’s actually the only thing that kept me going during that heavy and long two months of bloated-ness. Here we go, full-term it is!

On Thursday morning two months later, I noticed a drop of blood with my pee. That was 8:30 am. My husband panicked. I was ecstatic. Finally, this is almost over! My OB-GYN ever so calmly told me not to panic and that it could just be because I a couple of days before, I underwent an IE stripping my membranes; and just to feel secured, I can have myself evaluated in the hospital. If ever I give birth today, she won’t be around because she’s in Manila attending a conference. Right. What a perfect timing! Good thing we have a backup OB-GYN.

We decided to wait it through, and stayed home the whole morning. I got bored taking down notes and timing my contractions the whole time that I suggested we both report for work in the afternoon. I felt like I might be wrong, that the baby will not be getting out anytime soon after all. The contractions were still few and far between.

So I went to work, went back home and cooked dinner. At around 10:00 pm, when I was plopping myself in the couch with my feet raised infront of the TV, I felt the pain started from the front and traveled to the back. Okay, so I’ve read the books, and I remembered the books saying labor is not true labor if the pain stays in front, it has to include the back.

Very calmly, I told my husband that I might be having true labor now, and that I thought it was time we check with the hospital and have myself evaluated. No, I don’t have the intention of having myself admitted; I only want to know what is happening in there. I even told my husband to bring the luggage back to the car. He insisted we bring it with us just in case.

At 11:00 pm I was ushered to the IE room. The resident told me I was still at 1 cm. “OK, so can I go home now?” “Let’s check the status of the baby first, Ma’am,” she implored.

After like hours lying in the labor room monitoring my baby’s heartbeat and shushing to themselves, the interns called my doctor and reported the test results; which I was not allowed to be privy to at the moment.

“You are getting admitted,” the intern told me while hurriedly preparing IVs.
“What? Why?! I thought I was only at 1 cm still.” I got up and looked at her.
Your baby’s heartbeat is not what we hoped for it to be. It’s fluctuating. You have to be induced.”
I just blinked and lied back down. I patted my stomach and attempted a talk with the little one. “Hey, you there. Don’t make this hard for Mommy, OK? You hang in there and be strong. I’m gonna be seeing you in a while.”

The painful contractions started at around 2:00 am. Must be what they used to induce my labor with. It was far between for like an hour, and I was just keeping to myself oblivious to the whimpers and labor cries all around me. I was busy keeping my mind somewhere else and focusing on my breathing just like I practiced.

At 3:00 am, I started daydreaming how wonderful it could be if I went through this pain-free. I wanted and epidural! The pain is increasing and the contractions are getting closer from each other. I started to shout for my doctor’s name.

“She’s on her way,” the interns would assure me.
“At least give me something to help with the pain.” I cried.
An intern came up to me with a shot of Demerol.
“Oh, thank you! Will that lessen the pain?”
“No, Ma’am. It will only allow you to sleep in between contractions so you can rest. We can’t give you an epi without your doctor.”
I was only being sedated. In between contractions. I can still feel the real beauty of true labor pains. Nice.

At 5:00 am, I was ready to crawl all the way up to the ceiling. I felt like it was the only thing I could do to ease the pain. I asked God if He still wanted me to do this and if this is not a cruel joke of His. I went on and demanded a dialog. If He’s going to claim my life today, He better see to it that my daughter is in the best hands. But please, if possible, just don’t kill me yet. I wanna see my daughter grow up and see if she’s gonna look like me. All I got was a smile and a reassuring wink. Guess He already knew I could get through it epi-free.

My OB-GYN arrived at 6:30 am. At last! I cried for epi. Please give me my friend epi! Please!

“Yes, we will. We’re still waiting for the anesthesiologist,” she reassured me while holding her morning cup of coffee. I should have checked if she meant it. Turned out she was only killing time up until I was fully dilated. She had no intention of giving me the epi after all.

I was at 6-7 cm. By this time, I have lost count how many times I was IEd. From time to time, a bored intern would come over and massage my hips which was a welcome treat.

Then the contractions came one after the other. I’d hit the wall and pull myself up with the bed railing. The pain was just nothing I’ve ever experienced before. There was just nothing like it. Nothing I could ever compare it with. Not even the worst dysmenorrhea I’ve ever had. The pain ebbed and surged with the contractions. If the pain goes on continuously without pause, I most certainly have died hours ago.

By the time I was 8-9 cm, the doctor ordered a rupture. They’re going to break whatever it is they need breaking. A wheelchair was placed near my bed, ready to transport me to the Delivery Room.

My dear doctor has forgotten my epi. I thought sadly. Being heavily sedated and tired I retreated and accepted that I am having this epi-free thinking the worst is yet to come.

When full dilatation was achieved (because of their own machinations, mainly), I was wheeled to the DR. It hurt to sit up much more bring myself to sit and transfer to the wheelchair. I was half-carried mostly. All the time I was drenched in cold sweat and groggy from the pain and natural anesthetics. The next thing I knew, I was spread-eagled lying on my back on the delivery table.

The instructions were given, and a handful of interns surround me ready for whatever emergencies there may be. I silently hoped they had the operating table prepped and ready as well. An intern climbed and stayed at the top of the table. If I was in a different situation, I’d be looking questioningly at her and demanded for her to climb down. At this point, I was in total surrender to the people around me, so I let her be. They’ve done this countless of times already; they must know what they’re doing. I don’t.

When it was time for me to push, the girl on the table pushed my stomach down and poof came the baby’s head. So, the girl on the table has some purpose after all. The next push, she joined with me, and together, we got Xofia Enia out. At 8:58 Friday morning. With cord coiling around the neck and arm! I am now a true believer of miracles.

The first time I heard my baby cry was nothing short of pure bliss. So this is how it feels. I got up and reached for my baby. The nurses told me not to hold her, everything’s sterile, and my hands weren’t. I was only allowed to kiss her in the forehead. I kissed my baby, blood, goo and all. It was the most beautiful thing ever.

They had to wash and bring my baby to the nursery. I needed time to rest and recover. The realization hit me. I no longer felt the pain. I thought getting her out would be the most painful, but hey, it was the best part of the whole experience. I felt such relief washed over me. I didn’t even feel anything when I expelled the afterbirth. I felt light and sleepy. Finally, I no longer look like a stressed blowfish without the spikes.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Tenderloin tips

Since I've moved residence, our dinner will also be posted here. I haven't got the chance to take a picture because by the time I was done, everybody was so famished all we could think of was dive in. Will post this again with the picture, soon.

This dish is fast and easy. You don't want to overcook tenderloin because they will lose the juice and will turn rubbery. Most importantly, you'd want to sear the meat in super high heat. You can opt to use oil or wine in searing, I used butter because it's what's available in the pantry.


  • 1/2 kilo pork tenderloin cut in 1/2 inch bias
  • 3 tbsp toyo
  • 1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
  • juice of 2 kalamansi
  • butter
  • 3 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 2 onions, sliced in rings
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch dissolved in
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3 siling haba (optional)
  • black pepper
  • salt


  1. Marinate the tenderloin in toyo, worcestershire sauce and kalamansi for at least 15 minutes.
  2. Sear the meat in hot butter, set aside. Set aside the remaining marinade and mix with conrnstarch water.
  3. Saute garlic in butter. When done, cook onions.
  4. Add in seared meat.
  5. Cook for 2 minutes.
  6. Pour in cornstarch/water/marinade mixture. Mix until thick.
  7. Add in siling haba. If you want a zing, cut open some. I mainly added siling haba for color.
  8. Season with salt and freshly-milled pepper.

Serves 4-5.

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Friday, May 2, 2008

The giggly Xofia is back

Xofia's OK now. The whole time she was under some kind of medication, we saw to it that either me or my husband made it home every lunchtime and check on her. She's back in her usual giggly and bouncy ways, thank God!

But the nanny is still MIA. Still waiting for her to resurface, which we never doubt, actually. She just needed time off to settle a property her family is planning to sell. Once that's over, she'll be back. We're quite confident on that. In the meantime, I have a Registered Nurse for a nanny. Mommy-Auntie Han :-)

It occured to me that if I were to choose a baby to babysit on, I'd choose Xofia. This peanut hardly ever makes a fuss. Just pop her a Barney or Blue's Clues DVD and you can leave her quite contented. Just don't forget to strap her to her seat, though. After she bathes and eats, she'd wanna sleep. Just put her in her rocking chair and when she's tired enough, she'll doze off to sleep. Eating has never been a problem, she'll open her mouth at a sight of her pink spoon. And you get the complimentary smiles and giggles thrown your way every minute or so. She loves taking a bath and has never complained when her face is washed. Careful with the mouth though, she opens hers when she thinks her face is about to be splashed with water. She wanna taste her bath water--as to why, I'd never know. The only thing that alarms me is her utter fascination on everything fibrous-- from stuff toy hair to human hair to cushion strings, she just wanna taste all. She is one happy child -- and I am one lucky mommy.

Now that I'm on the subject of babysitting, I think I might just as well talk about the prospect of probably getting a new nanny. Nanay is 60+ old already, and Xofia will soon be in a stage where she'd want to crawl and practice walking all the time. I cannot subject Nanay to such physical task of going after her! But I need someone I can trust my life with, someone I can rely to take care and love my Xofia the way Nanay does. If you happen to know of someone, please let me know. I'm an excellent boss :-P


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