Smile!

Life is too short to spend on worrying and frowning, so smile! if you have to cry or frown, then do so but after a few minutes, try to smile again. We have a lot to be thankful for which is enough reason for us to smile.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Pwede bang mag-Return To Sender ng Asawa?

This morning, after having a fight/argument/heated discussion with my husband, I posted this question on my FB wall: "Pwede bang mag-Return To Sender ng Asawa?" After several long minutes, nobody commented on my status and I thought nobody noticed it. Then one by one, I started getting notifications that a friend liked my post or commented on it. It's actually funny and heart-warming, at the same time, to know their varied reactions.

I know that despite their funny reactions (there are some who want to know too if it's possible), deep inside, they are also concerned about my marriage and the reason for my posting of such message. Of course I could not tell them the reason. I would not want to tarnish my husband's name before them. So it is enough that I vent out my irritation and let people know that I am currently contemplating what to do just to ease my anger at my husband.

But it's true! I really wonder, what if, like mail, spouses can just be returned to their senders (aka parents, guardians or whatever)? This morning I wanted to jinx him, shout "Expelliarmus!" and enjoy looking at him being thrown against the wall. That's how mad I was at him. Yup, mad enough to put him inside an envelope and send him back to the sender.

Too bad, I have no wand, no magical abilities that with a flick of my wrist or a glance from my eyes, I could have sent him flying through the air. I only had words. So I said a few, and left. I wanted to say a lot, nag, and nag a bit more! But i held my tongue. I think it was for the better because he said a few words too, but boy, it's just so frustrating.

I wish The Boy Who Lived would lend me his invisibility cloak for just a few precious minutes so I could don it and smack the man's head really hard and make him wonder who or what hit him (and perhaps put him in a big balikbayan box and return him to sender even for just a day).

Hmmm, that would be extremely satisfying...

Monday, November 22, 2010

ERASERS

When I was a kid, I loved collecting erasers- big ones, colorful ones, the white ordinary ones with the green color on one end, the bi-colored ones (white and gray on each end), and erasers in all shapes and sizes (strawberry, pineapples, monkeys, animals, etc.). I also had in my collection scented erasers that smells really yummy. I tried to to eat one but was faced with the reality that the cute, fruit-flavored eraser tastes like slippers (I don't want to discussed how I know how a brand new pair of slippers tastes like).

Looking back, I could not recall how many of them were lost, given away or traded with another. Come to think of it, I also cannot remember how many erasers from my collection were actually used. They seem so trivial now, but when I was at that age, my erasers were one of my prized possessions, aside from my treasured stationeries and stickers. Each day, I would look at my collection and admire them, looked at them one by one and enjoy its different features and designs.

I also remember how sad the feeling of losing one piece is.

Growing up and getting older, I get this notice the simple joys that life brings to me and my family. Now that I am much older, I ask for a lot a of things to be happy. I have a lot of needs to meet like new clothes, new shoes, better gadgets, more money -- most of them material things. And I realize that most of them do not really matter. Like my erasers, the things I want are not really the things that I need to live or survive. Most of the things I want may be useful, but not necessary. They are just, well, collections, for bragging, displaying and for popularity.

I seem to forget that the most important things in life really are family, friends, spreading love, receiving love and having faith.

Writing this, I realize that I don't even know where my erasers are now. Were they thrown away? Disintegrated for non-use for many years? Maybe, my siblings used it for its real purpose of erasing pencil marks and not just stored them away in those colorful tin pencil cases.

That would be nice- using the erasers for the reason they were created in the first place.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Why I'm Irritated by that Foreign Actress who Tried but Failed to Mimic How Filipinos Speak in English

You have probably watched her poor imitation of how we Filipinos speak in English. For the uninformed, in a tv show, she mimicked how an American, an Englishman and a Filipino would ask for a glass of water using the English language. She dwelt on the pronunciation, and the mispronunciation of the Filipinos and the two hosts laughed their hearts out, thinking it was the best comedy act ever.

I won't even mention her name, and I won't even mention where she hails from. Her name's not even worth mentioning. All I know is that I don't watch telenovelas made from her place. I don't really hate her, I am just plain irritated. Let me tick off my reasons:

First, it was a pathetic imitation. It was not even close to how a lot of us speak in English. If she was really a good actress, she would have done better. But no, it was a poor act. She should get lessons from our talented actors/actresses in comedy bars.

Second, she couldn't even do the American accent perfectly! It was not even amazing and she mixed up her British and American pronunciation. And she thinks she's so good?

Third, she didn't sound like a Filipino at all. It was more like from another Asian country, and I won't say which one or why.

Fourth, if she thinks that we sound funny, didn't she realize that quite a number of her fellowmen do not even know how to speak in English or even understand it. We don't really need tutors for us to understand and speak simple English. If she was laughing at us, she was laughing more at her fellowmen!

This is what irritates me most - I am not sure if it was the host who told her mimic how the Filipino teacher speaks in English. For someone who believes that the noblest profession of all is teaching, an attack or even an attempt to make fun of a teacher is really an attack below the belt. And to think that a lot of Filipino teachers go out of their way to impart to them our English skills which, compared with other non-native English speaking countries, is quite commendable! Her laugh after her "smart" joke really grates on my nerves!

A lot of Filipinos who saw the clip would probably be up over the wall fuming over her mimicry of us. But in introspection, we even do that kind of insulting imitation to out fellow Cebuanos, Ilonggos, Ilocanos and all those non-native speakers of Tagalog/Filipino. We laugh at their mispronunciation of the "e" sound which sounds like an "ee" and of the "i" sound which becomes "e" and so on. We outcast those who are promdi-sounding (sounding from the provinces) and who have a distinct punto (accent). But we are much affected if someone from another country tries to copy how we talk.

Not all of us do speak impeccable English, whether in an American or English accent. Not all of us could even speak it, hell, there still are Filipinos who could not even speak in Filipino! So why are we really affected as if our reputation was besmirched?

Maybe it's because we have this notion that it is better to be insulted by one of your own, than be insulted by another who is not really from your place. There really is a different tie that binds us Filipinos from the rest of the Filipinos all over the world. In other words, "maigi nang mapula ng kapwa Pilipino, kesa ng taga-ibang lahi."


For some of us, this may probably be the reason for the negative reaction. As we often say,
"blad is tiker dan water."

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

My Top Five Reasons For Loving Facebook


For a few years, Facebook (FB) has changed the way we view social networking. It has become a potent tool for communicating with long lost friends and family. It has also changed the lifestyles of a lot of its users because of its unique and sometimes addicting features. Here's why I love Facebook.

1. WHERE ART THOU, MY FRIEND?

I am in my early thirties and the last time I heard about my elementary and high school friends was during our high school graduation day. Since I rarely attend reunions, I had no idea where my other friends have been especially when, during our teenage years, the internet was still an unknown frontier. Imagine my surprise and joy when I saw them on FB!

2. GAMES! GAMES! GAMES!

Mafia Wars, Restaurant City, Cafe Life, Cafe World, Market Street, Bejeweled Blitz. These are but a few of the games I play here. I would have played more but I just don't have enough time in my hands to play and level up each game I play! The games are a good reason to meet new friends who play the same games as you. Caveat: ADDICTING!!!

3. BIRTHDAYS AND EVENTS REMINDERS

I am terrible with dates. I don't even keep track of events! With FB, I get a daily reminder of who's celebrating his/her birthday. My friend even used the events application of FB to confirm the attendance of her family and friends to her son's baptism and birthday party.

4. PHOTO/VIDEO SHARING

Need I say more? It's nice to share photos and videos with friends. What's even nicer is that you can share the links of photos and videos to your status. No need to upload if you're just getting it from a different website. With this, you get updated with the events of your friend's life. Some are even enterprising enough to use this application to display their goods and offer the same for sale to their FB friends.

5. THE ADS

Let's admit it: Ads really help a website survive and become better. But A LOT of the FB ads are really helpful ads. I especially like those ads for contests (since I have won twice already in two different contests).

What are YOUR reasons for loving FB?

The Top Five Things to Buy With 20 Pesos If You Are In the Philippines

1. a Big Glass of Taho from the Magtataho.

Cost: about 20 pesos ( US$0.25) Taho is a mix of soft tofu, brown sugar syrup (arnibal) and small sago (the local pearl tapioca. Every morning, the local magtataho (vendor of Taho) walks around in the neighborhood to sell this nice comfort food by the cup.

2. a Pack of Suman.

Suman is a rice cake made from glutinous rice, sugar and coconut milk, wrapped in a banana leaf and steamed for less than an hour. A pack of 4 plain suman usually costs 20 pesos.

3. a Newspaper

It helps to know about the goings-on in the country. Some news on politics are not only entertaining but can be humorous too - if you are sarcastic like me.


4. Cellphone Load

Connect with everybody with a click from your cellphone. With the arrival of unlimited text promos from cellphone networks, with just 20 pesos, you can text your heart away to your family and loved ones located anywhere in the country.

5. Fishball, Squidball and Kikiam

- the best street foods ever! Fishball is a ball of flour, fish flavor and other favorings, deep fried and put on sticks. Squidball is the same but the main ingredient is squid. Kikiam is made with ground pork and veggies and flour. These are cooked in the streets (but some malls offer them nowadays) You have usually three sauce options- vinegar with soy sauce and chili, sweet chili sauce, or the sweet sauce. With 20 pesos, you wold get your heart's delight! Yum!




Posted also in:

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Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Top Five Things I Want to Do before the Year Ends

With just 57 days before 2010 ends, I thought of the things I would really like to accomplish before 2011 steps in.

1. Get a really nice job.

I want something that pays well in an organization that truly appreciates the importance of its employees.

2. Buy really nice Christmas gifts for my loved ones.

Take note: nice is not equal to expensive
Oh the list is long! So before I can do this, I have to get a job first.

3. Have a nice dinner date with my husband.

The last time the two of us had a date was in September and I am looking forward to having a nice date with him soon.

4. Get a dog.

My two pet dogs died last September because of a virus. They're old, alright, about 6 and 7 years old in human age. But I still cried. They are not even pets; they're family! To lessen the grief, I bought a more affordable pet - a rabbit- which died a week later. Arggh!!!


5. Watch Harry Potter the 7th installment!

I've read the Deathly Hallows many times and I can't wait to see how Fleur's wedding will go. hahahaa (after all the action in that book, this is what I am waiting to see!)

What about your list?

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Civil Servants from the Underworld

My experience in working in various organizations has exposed me different type of workers. It always amazes when I think of the kinds of faces that people show whenever they show up for work. A lot of people claim that working in the private sector is much harder as against working the government. The reason is that private companies are much stricter with punctuality, absences, company policies, nepotism and benefit grants, among others. For me, I'd rather face those strict policies that wake up each morning and go to work with civil servants who report directly to the devil himself.

Yes, I have worked with civil servants from hell!

Here, let me give you a short profiler on these people:

1. Vampires- These are employees who suck out the blood out of its co-employees. Consequently, while sucking blood from their victims, they raise the victims' blood pressures with their irritating habit of rumor-mongering, tarnishing people's reputations, and spreading lies. Their poisonous venom lasts even after the sun is up! (Side note: They are not as beautiful and gorgeous as the Cullens either)

2. Voldemort wannabes- Equally evil as Voldermort, their only dream is to conquer the whole department, bureau, agency or office and make other people bow before their feet. Never mind if they use other people to pursue their evil schemes. Their only desire is power, and for them, the words 'friend, family or love' do not exist in the dictionary.

3. The Death Eaters- Yes, they have their own Voldemorts, who they worship till the end (of power). These are employees who are born with evil minds, who believe that tagging along with someone powerful (no matter how evil that person may be) would ensure their high scores in the regular performance rating reports. They are only loyal to those who they believe they could turn to for some (or a lot of) pulling of strings and other personal benefit and of course, a semblance of power.

4. Friends of Chuckie, the evil doll (and his bride) - You think they are cute, but wait till you look them straight into their eyes and you will see evil emanating from within. Don't be fooled by their cuddly appearance and their sweet dolly talks because once you turn your back to them, they'll stab you repeatedly at the back with anything they get their evil hands on.

5. The Dementors - They suck out all the happiness and peace in the office. For whatever reason, they are the epitome of doom. They cannot be touched, cannot be approached because their mission in life is to spread depression and doom within the walls of the office.
6. Poltergeists - These are invisible beings with the power to move objects. You don't see them in the office but you feel their presence all the time, leaving traces of destruction in the workplace. They have the power to control gullible workers if they want to and they can move objects (example: they can fill out daily time reports even without having to report to the office and they are able to get their salaries from the vaults of the office without need of personally stepping inside the office premises.
Oh, there's lots more and I think I cannot write any more down since I might have nightmares tonight.
Just a friendly reminder, when there's something strange in the neighborhood... who you gonna call? Ombudsman?Naaaahhhh!
Call your family and friends and vent out those frustrations. Otherwise, you might lose your marbles and just accept these creatures as normal.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Food Trip!

I LOVE FOOD...


... But I'm a picky eater. How's that?!

Despite my being a picky eater, I'm still a couple of pounds overweight (Now, don't react, it's my article! I can be slim if I wanted to since I'm writing this. Hehehe.)

Where was I? Food. I love food that I have slowly learned my way in the kitchen, literally from scratch. Before, I tried cooking pakbet (veggies sauteed in shrimp paste) without sauteeing the garlic in oil. I sauteed it directly on the pan and I wondered why it was burning!!! Before, I couldn't bear to touch fresh fish or meat because they were so icky. During my "unenlightened days", I try not to directly handle fresh meat. If necessary, I used touch, wash, clean, cut or chop those bloody things with only two, or at most, three fingers in each hand.

I used to jump, look for a shield or panic when the bubbling oil starts to pop from the pan. And I used to think that waiting for rice to be cooked is a real waste of time.

Good thing I followed the light and saw the kitchent! I realized that cooking is not only fun, it is therapeutic and if done with love, the joy and warmth emanates from the food you are serving.

What I do is that I search for recipes (from cook books, newspapers, internet, ask people who have been cooking for decades, or wherever) and tinker with them. Sometimes, the first try is a hit, then at the second attempt, the taste is a lot different from the first time, or the texture is not the same, so I for a third attempt and so on. Every cooking experience is a learning process; that's what I have realized.

Here are a few of my experiments:

1. PUTO




Ingredients: flour, egg whites, baking powder, salt, sugar, butter, salted eggs

(Thank you, Google, for the recipe)
Calories: Unknown








2.FISH FILLET IN BEER BATTER AND FRIES





Ingredients for the fish: fish fillet, salt, pepper, flour, egg, baking powder, beer
For the fries: potatoes, salt and pepper, cayenne pepper, oregano, marjoram

(Special thanks to Videojug for the recipe)

Calories: A bit high because of the batter and because it is deep fried.
The use of canola oil lessens the guilt a bit.



3. SPAGHETTI IN BACON AND MUSHROOM WHITE SAUCE


Ingredients: Spaghetti noodles, bacon, mushroom, butter, garlic, cream of mushroom, all purpose cream, thyme, rosemary, oregano, marjoram, salt, pepper, fresh rosemary (cream cheese optional)

Yum yum!!

(Thanks, Margaux, for giving your recipe for this. I tinkered with the ingredients.)

Calories: DON'T ASK!!!


4. SHRIMP KEBABS




Ingredients: Shrimps (marinated in kalamansi, olive oil, butter, garlic, dill, thyme, rosemary, salt and pepper), onions, green and red bell peppers.

Calories: I ate them all before I could count the calories.

(My own invention...)





To be continued on a future blog...

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Tanong lang?

Mahilig kasi kami kumain. Kung sino man si "kami", basta kami na yun, ewan ko kung kasama ka sa "kami." Minsan, kumain kami sa isang kainan sa MOA (Yun yung Mall na may malaking globe sa gitna. Tama ka dyan, kay Henry Sy yun at hindi kami ang may-ari nun). Lutong Pinoy ang inaalok nila. Mukhang masarap ang luto nila, base sa mga litrato sa napakalalaking mga poster nila; mura pa!

Ang menu nila ay nakasulat sa isang pirasong laminated paper. In fairness, glossy naman to at may kasamang pictures. Masarap kasing mag-order na ang pinagbabasehan mo ay yung picture ng mga pagkaing nakalagay sa menu. Ang hirap kasi imagine-in yung mga pagkain na kakaiba ang tunog tulad ng...

Bangus ala Pobre - Pang mahirap ba ito kaya pobre? O mahirap yung nagbreed ng Bangus kaya pobre?

Chicken ala King - May korona ba yung manok pag hinain kasi King? Ibig sabihin, may palong pa siya? Mahal ba ang per order nun kasi baka pang mga royalty lang ang pwede makakain nun?

Sizzling Gambas - Ah, eto, nung una kong nakita ito sa isang restaurant, napabalikwas ako ng tingin kasi akala ko nagseserve sila ng insekto. Hindi naman pala. Wala daw kasing "arrive" kapag sizzling hipon lang ang nakalagay sa menu eh.

Vegetable Au Gratin - Naku, spelling pa lang nakakatakot na kainin, paano pa kaya ang lasa? Yun pala gulay lang na pang-chopsuey na imbes na osyter sauce at toyo ang sauce eh cream ang nilagay. Kaya nga ba kailangan ang picture eh.

Hay, ang dami ko pang example pero pupunta na ako sa "experience" namin nung kumain nga kami dun sa isang binalot restaurant.

So, after naming magtingin-tingin sa picture sa menu, napag-isipan namin na ang gusto ko ay lugaw at lumpiang shanghai. At dahil marami pang mukhang masarap sa picture, balak kong umorder uli pagkatapos kong matikman si lugaw at lumpia.

Pero ang nakakapikon, titingnan ko pa dapat yung menu, kaso kinuha na ng waitress ang menu at ibinigay sa bagong dating na customer. Bakit ganun? Ang daming kayang restaurant na ganun, excited bawiin yung mga menu nila, para namang iuuwi ko! Iaabot ko naman sa kanila kapag ayaw ko nang magtingin ng picture. Hmph.

Atat na atat silang kunin ang menu eh namimili pa ko ng next course eh. Pano kung gusto ko pang mag next round, or mag dessert, o gusto ko pang magwaldas ng pera at tikman lang ang lahat ng nasa picture!? Eh kinuha na nila!

(Pero buti na din kinuha na nila, kasi di pala masarap yung luto nila, di ko naubos yung maligamgam na lugaw. Yung lumpia, hindi ko na halos nginuya para lang malunok ko na agad at maubos na. Sayang naman kasi eh gutom pa naman ako.)

Sana nag print na lang sila ng maraming menu diba? Nakakainis tuloy.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

What's in a baby's toothless smile?


















... A piece of heaven and God's love.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Luli

In the middle of nowhere between the seas separating Leyte and Cebu, there stands a tiny island that we called "LULI" island (short for lulubog-lilitaw). This tiny island which spans about a hectare or so gets submerged under water during high tide and displays its breathtaking splendor during low tide.

My aunt and uncle, who lived in Toledo knew about the island since they live nearby. The first time we went to Luli island was sometime in 1997. The travel to the island took about 15 to 20 minutes depending on the waves and we were so excited to see for ourselves an island that literally disappears from time to time!

And wow, did our mouths hang dry just taking in the view and the waters. Imagine this- 360 degrees of clear blue waters around you teeming with marine life. You do not even need snorkelling gear or diving gear. Just put your head in the water and fish will literally swim right at your face.

So, each visit to Cebu is incomplete without going to Luli island. I bet there are some other islands all over the Philippines that also disappear when the tide comes in and I bet you also have memories of your own in your paradise islands.

Words could never really approximate the beauty of the island so here are photos of Luli for you to enjoy.



Approaching the island...



Enjoying the scenery... Goofing around paradise.



Enjoying family!



View from the banca...



See the irregular shape of the island? That is because high tide is coming soon!




About a third of the island...



Goofing around with goofs :)



These are just a few of the starfish found in the island. (Don't worry, we returned them to their homes!!!)


Cousin of Patrick... You don't know Patrick? Ask Spongebob.


On our way back...See the island? What remains is just a thin strip of land.

My Baby



It's amazing how this tiny new life could change your world tremendously.


A few days into the world and this little nugget changes your whole life - your sleeping habits, your eating habits, your shopping views and even those tiny glands that operate your tears suddenly loosen up and anything would easily make you cry now.


But those are welcoming changes. And each small sigh, smile, and tinkling laugh would totally erase any ache and tiredness in you because the warmth of love that emanates from a child can never be equaled by any.

OH MY CHICHARON!






One of the most popular cholesterol-ridden foods is the chicharon. For those who came from outer space, chicharon is seasoned pig skin (sometimes with fats still attached to the skin) and deep-fried in oil (how many times? That I don’t know). Though a few pieces of this treat will raise your blood pressure to the dangerous level, each succulent bite would make you want to thank that you were born in this world and given this opportunity to savor such a gustatory treat.

Of all the chicarons that I have tasted, here are my top three favorites:

1. RL Lapids- Their chicaron is really crunchy and tasty. Though at times, it gets a bit salty ( “maanghang na suka” would balance the saltiness though) I love the puffiness of the skin and the balance of flavors in each bite.

2. Chicharon from Bulacan (Ninja’s and BJ’s stand out) – crunchy but each little piece melts in your mouth- it actually sticks to the roof of your mouth. Each bite is heavenly (you would surely reach heaven early if you keep a regular diet of chicharon).

Side note: My brother used to buy this chicharon peddled by his officemate that’s also made in Bulacan. The packaging has no name though. It’s so good that just looking at it would make one fat already. The skin are puffed to perfection and each piece has some “laman” attached to it. Too bad his officemate stopped selling them because their other officemates have started to have headaches and high blood pressure.

3. Carcar’s chicharon- I keep on forgetting the name. But relatives from Cebu bring us packs of these when they visit us and the “laman” attached to each chicharon is so good, that you can make this as your ulam any time of day!

So if you’re not a vegetarian and you want to indulge in something that would clog your arteries, try one bite of chicharon. It’s not just a staple for pulutan, it can be your ulam too, your snack and your any day, every day comfort food.