Friday, October 25, 2013

~opposites~

Life changes every minute of every day. 
You lose friends. You gain friends. 
You realize your friend wasn’t ever really your friend, and that person you used to hate can make a really good friend. 
You look for love. You find love. You lose love. 
You realize all long that you’ve been loved. 
You laugh. You cry. You laugh so hard that you cry. 
You do this, you do that. You really wish you hadn’t done that. 
You then learn from that and are glad that you did. 
You have your ups. You have your downs. 
You see good movies. You see bad movies. 
You wonder if your life is just one big movie. 
You look at others and wish you were them. 
You then realize who they are and are glad that you’re you. 
You love life. You hate life. 
In the end you just find yourself happy to be living life, no matter what’s thrown at you.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

September Hooray!

BER months are here! Which means a few months from now, we are all going to wrap up 2013 and say Holla! to 2014. Time really flies so fast and so does my son. A few years back he's just a baby, wanting and needing much attention and now he basically want to do things on his own.

So, what have I done on the onset of BER months? Last September 1, I finished off my Christmas gift list - which I always do however there are few years that I was not so keen in following my list. I even specified now what gifts to buy and all. Pre-ordered some stuffs already so I won't plunge in to sale madness.My goal is to have everything in order as early as November (focus!).

What's next for me: Well, I've been thinking a lot of what could be the things that I can do to further improve myself. I've been doing blogs, reading books, reading current issues and I feel I somehow lack the time of at least doing something physically (exercise!?). Since I worked in a home based job, I feel most of the time are spent in front of my laptop. So for the next few weeks - I'll try my best or not really try but "dedicate" some time to go back to "badminton/running" perhaps.? (fingers crossed)

I revisited my to-do list and seems like a few things I have achieved this year. I will most likely revise it, and align it to something where I can include my family. I feel that my "bucket list" is centered to what I personally want/my own goals and I wanted to revise it and make it a more of like a family-inclined bucket list.

Work-wise, I feel that I have the job that allows me to do these roles - an empowered working woman and hands-on mommy/wife. There are definitely stressed days and sleepless nights. At times, I didn't know where do I get the strength to fulfill tasks that can be a little overwhelming - (unconditional love?) Some people would even think my job is an easy as "petiks" it can be, but heck-NO!. Being in a work environment where it is you- and you alone, you have to make sure that you are strict with your timelines. It is always a double or may be gazillion effort to show your employer that you are worthy for the job and that you are doing your role (or even surpassing their expectations). 

On the whole, I feel that I have captured the essentials and now I have to dedicate (religiously) a time to go back to sports. Health is wealth so they say, and I'll bring back badminton sessions or even running in my weekly routine.  

Have a blast this September! Yuletide season is fast approaching - "Be blessed and Be a blessing to others"!








Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Basketbol

Malaking parte nang aking kabataan ang manood nang basketbol. Kadalasang sa tv lang ako nakakanood, lumaki ako na ang channel sa bahay ay naka-schedule  sa panonood nang basketbol. Tanda ko pa ch.4 pa lang ang PBA noon, at kadalasan ay high-scoring ang mga laro. Madalas na si Ramon Fernandez pa o c "El Presidente" ang best player or di kaya may mga fans na nagkakagulo dahil sa Ginebra ang naglalaro.

Ang aking yumaong Lolo Carding, ay isang panatiko. Tuwing may PBA Draft, nakatutok na iyon sa TV. Isang oras bago magsimula, bawal ilipat ng ibang istasyon. May hawak na iyon na ballpen at papel para isulat ang nai-draft nang bawat team. Tuwing may laro naman, bawal din ilipat ang channel. Magtatampo panigurado ang aking Lolo. Dahil sa laki ng impluwensya nang aking Lolo (at nang aking buong pamilya) lumalaki akong nakatutok sa bawat aksyon sa basketbol - mapa- PBA, NBA, PBL or UAAP.

Noong una, may halong inis akong nararamdaman tuwing hindi ako nakakapanood nang TV pag araw nang basketbol. Ngunit unti-unti, sinasamahan ko na ang aking Lolo sa panonood. Walang bukang bibig ang aking Lolo na si Ramon Fernandez ang pinakamagaling na manlalaro sa PBA. Laging sinasabi ni Lolo na si "El Presidente" lang ang halos may statistics  sa bawat departamento mapa-assists, steals, blocks, rebounds at lalo na sa scoring. Oo nga naman, walang lusot sa statistics kahit pa tignan natin ang PBA Annual book.

Die hard San Miguel Fan ang lolo ko, samantalang Ginebra fans ang mama at tito ko. Ang papa ko naman, dahil sinasabi niyang kababayan at malayong kamag-anak si Vergel Meneses - Presto o di kaya paglaon ay naging Swift at Sunkist. Ang saya sa bahay kanya kanyang kampihan. Syempre, ang kinakampihan ko noon ay ang team nang lolo at mama ko.

Pag tagal nang panahon at lalo na nung lumalaki na ako- isa sa mga unang tumatak na player sa akin e si Wes Matthews import nang Ginebra. Madalas na tuwing naglalaro kami nang basketbol ng nakakabata ko na kapatid , at nakatira ako o sya nang 3pts, madalas kong nasasabi ang "Wes Matthews, 3 points". Maaring iyon din ang naging simula bakit ako naging panatiko nang Ginebra.

Nagdalaga ako. Grade 5 or 6 - palaging sweep ang Ginebra sa Purefoods or Alaska. Manalo man nang isa, sabihin tsamba. Noong panahon ding iyon, naghari ang Chicago Bulls sa NBA , Stag sa PBL at UST sa UAAP. Nauso ang scoreboard magazine, bumibili ako palagi noon - nag-a-abang nang write ups sa mga paboritong team at basketball players. Dahil hindi pa laganap ang internet- doon lang ako nakakakuha nang clippings at pictures. Tanda ko pa, nag-gu-gupit ako madalas sa Tempo, Abante at Philippine Daily Inquirer noon.

Sino ang makakalimot sa "Hot Stuff", kahit replay na ang ibang episodes, sige pa rin sa panonood. Dahil iyon ang nagbibigay nang opportunidad makita natin ang buhay nang mga players sa labas nang basketball arena. Third year HS ako nang magchampion ang Gordon's Gin. Grabe ang saya, nagiisip pa kami na pumunta sa victory party nila. Ibang klaseng import si Chris King at collective team effort nang Gordon's Gin.

Kaya siguro malaking impluwensya din na sumali ako sa sports club noong nasa HS ako. Oo, basketbol ang laro ko at volleyball. Pero mas tumatak talaga ang basketbol. Hanggang ngayon, may isang kaklase ako noong HS na hindi niya makalimutan ang attempt ko na mag - tapboard. Kaloka. Bakit ko nga ba ginagawa yun. Influence.hehehe. 

Unang panonood ko sa Araneta Coliseum ay playoffs nang Ginebra at San Miguel. Kalakasan pa ni Danny Ildefonso at Danny Seigle. Natalo man ang Ginebra, ayos lang. Doon ko mas na-appreciate ang laro at natutong uma-appreciate nang laro nang kalabang team.

Nasundan pa iyon nang maraming panonood. Ang paghabol namin sa championship game nang ginebra vs red bull noong 2004. Nagmamakaawa kami sa Prof namin sa Guidance and Counseling na i-cut short ang klase dahil hindi kami aabot. Pumayag naman. Dali-dali kaming sumakay nang mrt, ngdadasal na sana umabot kami. Kahit naka-puting uniform pa. Ayos lang. Makapanood lang. Nagpumilit kaming dalawa ng kaibigan kong si Pong noon na makapasok sa dug-out. At oo nakapasok kami, maaring namukhaan nang isang guard ang aming uniform, at sabi nia "Uy, taga-Manila Doctors, lagot kayo kay Dean Minda", - opportunidad. Hahaha!. Kaya nakiusap kami, at nakapasok naman. Unang bumungad si Erick Menk - wow- hanggang waistline lang ba talaga kami? Ang tangkad. Sumunod si Andy Seigle, pagkatapos si Coach Siot. Ang ganda nang sinulat na dedication message sa notebook ni Coach sa akin "Arn, Follow your dreams" medyo nalungkot naman ang kaibigan ko kasi nakasulat sa kanya " Goodnight, Sweetdreams". Sabi ko at least sweet si Coach..

Eto na nga, maya maya dumating na ang pinakakahintay ko- Wahhhh,, JayJay Helterbrand - for real! Sayang, wala pa akong camera phone, wala pa din akong digital camera. Sayang, nanghihinyang ako. Pero ok lang nahawakan ko naman ang biceps nia. Forever na yun nakatrademark sa utak ko. Siyempre kasama din niya si Mark Caguioa. Pero yun nga- si JayJay talaga ang gusto kong makita. So sobrang saya talaga. Haii, wala nang tao, nakauwi na lahat. Pero ansaya nang feeling. Yikes, panatiko na nga. 

Nasundan pa iyon ng mga maraming panonood - kasama ang mga kaibigan, pamilya, boyfriend now asawa at yumaon pati anak ko kasama na din. So ang saya. 

Ang basketbol, sabihin man nila na pang matatangkad na tao lang, ang naibibigay nito na saya sa bawat Pilipino, hindi mapapantayan. Sabihin man nilang, may ibang sports na puwedeng pagtuunan nang pansin subalit ang Basketbol, hindi mawawala sa Pinoy. Mula sa impluwensya nang mga nakakatanda sa atin, hanggang sa mga makabagong henerasyon- hindi na maiaalis ang Basketbol. Panigurado sa isang kalye malapit sa inio, kahit maliit na basketball court meron. Ganyan kalaki ang impact  nang basketbol sa Pilipino. 

Kaya ngayong nakabalik na nga sa "mapa nang basketbol" ang Pilipinas, gawa nang katatapos pa lamang na FIBA Asia Cup 2013, napakalaking kagalakan ang naidulot nito sa bawat Pilipino. Dati-rati, Boksing ngayon Basketbol na.  Ang supporta natin sa mga kababayan natin, walang makakapantay. Kahit san ka pa o kung sino ka pa - basta Pinoy na ang nasa spotlight panigurado sabi nga nila "suportanta ka".






Saturday, July 27, 2013

A glimpse of my survival and not-so-vanity kit

After leaving corporate world, the bits and pieces inside my kit have lessen. I look at it in a positive way because that means I am saving?!?, being cost effective?, yay! -  or basically I've learned to purchase things that I need rather than I want (naks!).  I usually follow make up bloggers to keep myself updated with new make ups, skin care, hair care, etc., I would often check all other related blogs to that specific product before I make the final verdict whether to buy or not to buy. And so, when I started working in a full time home based job, I still follow and read blogs; however, unlike the hay days - I can go to the nearest mall to see the actual product which therefore heightens the temptation to buy. Ineffective decision making, err. 

Now that I'm home based I get to filter stuffs which are staple part of my kit. You see being home based you still need to prettify yourself and prepare (at least) like you are basically going to work. For me, I think this sets your mood and especially your mind that you've got a job to do. So, what do I have inside my "home-based inspired survival/vanity kit"  whenever I start a day at home:







Daily bread/ Francis Kong book: The ones I have are from 2012. It may be outdated but still works for me. Daily bread have the version online too. Reading a phrase that is positive, frees the mind and at the same time feeds the soul. Francis Kong's One Day at a Time  is truly an inspirational book. I've got the 1 and 3 edition. Very helpful and keeps you going. Great way to start the day.






To- do List: Very helpful. You can think of the things you need to do, write it down so you can reflect and check those that you have accomplished and see what are those that are still pending.







A dose of Music. Yes, for me music is almost-always related to what our mood is everyday. So something that can perk up my mornings is very important. On the days I need to work more faster than the usual, I always needed to at least have something on my playlist that will keep me going and keep my senses on track to finish my tasks.








After taking a nice bath, Moisturize!. This will provide nourishment to skin, prevents it from getting dry despite whatever tasks I need to do for the day. I either use Cetaphil moisturizer or Celeteque (depends whether I use cetaphil or celeteque as my facial wash).



Sunblock: A good way to avoid wrinkles/early aging apart from moisturizing is to wear sunblock. SPF 50 at least according to my dermatologist. Nivea is the one I trust for this. For me, this is a very light, non greasy sunblock perfect for everyday use.  This keeps my skin moisturize and protected from harmful sun rays as I always accompany my kid to school. 








Trusted Lip Balm. The ones I have is from Snoe, - Beso Balm. I like this lip balm because it keeps my lips from getting dry,and chapped. Very affordable and reliable lip balm.




So there, those are the basic stuffs I have on my everyday survival go-to kit. 



On the days, I am out with my family, the usual, very basic things I have in my bag are:




Camera: Yes, I know having a camera phone is already handy but nothing beats having a good point and shoot camera to capture moments. 











Maybelline BB Cream and Maybelline 2-Way Cake: Maybelline has been my holy grail. I think I've been using Maybelline since 2005. The Maybelline BB cream is part of my routine since 2010. A friend introduced this to me and being a Maybelline user for quite a while, I did give it a try. I've used other BB creams such as Snoe BB cream. Snoe being a organic BB cream has good coverage but does not last the way Maybelline did. So -Maybelline is still on the top  of my list.






Of course - Snoe Beso Lip Balm.







A good pair of ponytail elastics - always handy when you have a very active kid. it helps to have my hair in place.





Prokids Baby Wipes- this is light scented. not too strong and does the job.




Enfant Hand sanitizer: My son has been an enfant user ever since - powder, lotion, shampoo, oil and even the baby clothes washer. Enfant is not "uber" expensive but it leaves a very nice "amoy-baby" smell, does not irritate my son's skin and very much available almost in all department/baby stores.






Green Cross Hand Sanitizer:  For me, this is by far the best sanitizer just because it doesn't dry out skin and yet it really leaves a very clean feeling.






Aside from the obvious things I have inside my kit such a towel, a mini-towel, comb, and kids stuff - these are the very basic things that I make sure that are always present in my bag whenever I go out.



How about you, what's on your list? Mine are very basic yet essential things I consider, which will always be staple things inside my kit. 


*Images aside from my to-do list are grabbed from google images.




Saturday, July 13, 2013

WANDER ENCOUNTERS : The Mountain Hikes and Euphoria

Ok, so this activity happened not so long time ago but a few weeks back after my son mentioned something while watching a TV news program, I suddenly felt the longing, and the push to probably set this event again this year - Mountain Climbing/Hiking/Trekking (whatever you want to call it (",) ).

We were having dinner and the TV flashed the news about Mt. Pulag. My son just got really excited and exclaimed "Mommy, mountain - WOW!". So I asked, "Gusto mo, punta tayo diyan (referring to Mt. Pulag)". Then, without any further questions or comments he said "Gusto ko 'yan,". And so the nostalgic ME sets in.

It was after college graduation - era of 2005 when me and the rest of our Psychology class decided on having a get-together, more of trekking and beach galore before every one of us will become busy looking for jobs, getting into med school, etc. Since my boyfriend, and now- husband has a friend who have climbed mostly all of the mountains here in the Philippines, we asked him what level- or more of what mountain beginners like us can conquer. Initially one of our batch mates' mentioned Mt. Makulot but then our mountaineer friend disagreed saying Mt. Makulot  is a bit commercialized already. So he suggested - Mt. Manabu. 

Mt. Manabu is considered to be a minor climb, perhaps level 2 for trail class.  Situated in Batangas (Sto. Tomas? can't recall) this is a perfect location for a trekking (overnight) and getting into beach/sands after. So, we planned everything, bought stuff we really need - water (i can't remember but 6 liters may be the standard amount for a hike), rice, canned stuffs, camping gears, trekking outfit, etc. We rode a commuter bus in Lawton and once in Batangas, we hired a jeep to get us into the jump off site.  The travel going to Batangas was really exciting and seeing all the good stuff nature has to offer really got us more excited. 

The trek to the peak lasted about 3 hours and the more we are near we are to the peak, despite the sweat and the exhaustion, the more we are so thrilled to see the view from the top. It was past midday when we started trekking and we really are looking forward seeing the sunset from the top.  And so we did. The majestic view from the peak really gave an almost teary moment, just seeing the most beautiful, simple, calming scene ever in my life. The cool breeze, the fresh air is therapeutic and healing. I felt that after our tedious thesis and defense, dreaded exams, meeting our deadlines for requirements and OJT- the entire experience of this climb is a great way to end the college journey as we embark ourselves to the real world.  

We rest for a bit, set our tents, before the sun sets in, took photos (too bad, fb, instagram not yet around that time plus digi cams are still using AA batt, SLRs??) and prepared everything we need to cook dinner.

What did we have for dinner? Adobo, moondish canned laing - best tasting laing or was it because I was so hungry? I tried buying moondish a week after the trek and it didn't taste the way it tasted when we were at the climb. We also had of course - canned tuna, pork and beans, and spicy sardines. It was a hearty meal served with rice. Good thing, our mountaineer friend has a complete cook set and this made our lives easier. 

And so the night went by, and during the wee hours- it was completely cold, totally icy cold. We cannot even sleep because the wind that's blowing in our tents is too strong that we felt, it may even tore our tents apart. I felt that there's a huge animal within the campsite. I thought I was paranoid or something but my fellow batch mates felt the same way too. We survived the very cold night, the eerie imagination and the dawn of the new morning is about to rise.

Morning came; of course we are up early to have a fantastic view of the sunrise. The phase before the actual sunrise is the most breathtaking. We saw the actual -sort of "morning dews" forming in some of the plants around -Awesome! Then, we had some coffee, and decided on just having a light breakfast before descend. Our mountaineer friend mentioned that he knows a bahay-kubo located somewhere descend where we can spend some time while he cooks spaghetti. Yup - SPAGHETTI.  Cool!

I cannot count how many times one of our friends slip, slide, and fall. Though we didn't want to really find it funny- we cannot help ourselves and laugh. There was like a minute or 2 of interval and he will slide in a pile of plants (balance issues, perhaps) but it was fun, and takes away the exhaustion and length of time we are taking while trekking from the peak.  And we reached the bahay kubo. 

Our mountaineer friend didn't fool us - he really cooked spaghetti for everyone. Though he used canned corned beef instead of the usual beef it was so tasty. One of us made chopsticks out of the bamboo stem that is easily found around the hut. After a hearty meal comes a very inviting moment to - sleep. Yay!. So we took a couple of hours for a quick nap.  Then down to descend. 

We headed to the beach, I just forgot the name. Overnight again, eat a good food. Unfortunately one of our batch mates had an injury (which was a recurring injury already in the shoulders, which may have been aggravated by a super harutan in the beach). So the last stop we had was at the hospital. 

This is truly a memorable experience.  A very nostalgic one. I've got another mountain climbing adventure to tell, and this one is the mountain we climbed in Bataan but I will share that in a separate post since this one seems to be lengthy already.  That particular climb is also a story worth to tell with all the eerie/weird scenarios we have been. To be continued.. 




Photos below: (I am about to scan other photos but seems my scanner is having those days again, will add pics once scanner is back on track)


nap time inside the bahay kubo.. 

at the beach (bf-gf stage pa, yihee!)

On our way to the summit



At the hospital. Bandaged.

Campsite - tired but all smiles



Monday, July 8, 2013

iBLOG9 Summit: Experts and Bloggers Unite

May 31, 2013
Malcolm Theater, UP College of Law

Attending the iBlog Summit is a whole new experience to me.  I do have a personal blogsite but I never really place a really serious touch to it except that I am more like using it to express my insights, and quite like my very own online diary. So therefore, coming to this event I am very excited knowing that I might meet people behind the blogs that I follow. I came here, exactly with a mindset that I need to build network, possibly get CVs of those who are interested to work for us (Writers and Sr. Graphic Artist) and basically get an insight on what are the profiles of the bloggers here in the Philippines.

I came in early, around 8:30am and this gave me the privilege of at least scouting people. I got my registration kit, food stub and raffle stub (which really got me excited, because I feel I will have a moment to win a prize). Upon entering the Malcolm Theater, there aren’t many people yet; few people who are rather seated a row apart which got me thinking that a lot came here alone. 

Around 9am, seats are occupied, groups of people came in. Probably these people know one another by their blog sites or have met in small blogging forums/meet ups.  The summit started with the introduction – each blogger/participant is given an opportunity to tell something about themselves, their blog site and what is the nature or subject of their blog sites (food, travel, beauty, tech, business and finance and etc.). 

The first speaker was late so we started with the second speaker – Ben Francia.

Ben Francia started blogging through business and content marketing. He basically helps small and medium businesses in terms of marketing needs. He is also a life coach and currently has his own consultancy with 7 staff. I was able to talk to Ben during the break, and came to know that we have a common friend who was a former colleague in an advertising company.  His topic is interesting in the sense that it focuses on the blogging as an effective content marketing tool for business and he highlights the efficacy of the blogging as follows:

1.       Communicates without selling
2.       Non Interruptions
3.       Provides Value
4.       Rewarded with Customer Loyalty and
5.       Trust

He also mentioned that a good content marketing should cover the following:

1.       Provide answers and solutions
2.       To be personal
3.       Tell your story
4.       Use videos
5.       Be remarkable

Understanding the Blogger’s Psyche is also a topic to note. Jonel Uy is the speaker for this topic. Jonel is about to launch bloggers circle website (focuses on digital marketing) wherein he will have a pool of bloggers to basically work for him in specific projects/PR needs.  Based on his talk, he summarized the key behaviors of bloggers:

1.       Bloggers are opinionated.
2.       Bloggers are critics.
3.       Bloggers are passionate.
4.       Bloggers are a varied lot.
5.       Bloggers are people too.

Generally, his talk is short but sweet and cited that bloggers do blog – because of a trending topic, paid marketing/PR sponsorship or lastly because it is their passion.

Third speaker was Jeoff Salas, a part time teacher and digital marketing consultant. His topic focuses more on how usually bloggers are tapped for marketing /PR Stuff, how much would you expect to pay bloggers for a project and also how the “blog posts” effectiveness are measured. In a nutshell, he discussed that typically bloggers are paid from the range of Php 5k and above per project.  However, the price is basically also dependent on several factors:

1. Statistics: based on viewership , these can be obtained through Social Baker, Google Analytics, Alexa Page Rank,
2.  Number of posts / followers / testimonials/ awards/citations that could justify credibility of the blogger.

Jonha Revesencio’s topic is well suited for PR/Specialists who may want to tap bloggers to write about startup companies, SMEs, etc.  She was able to point out quality keys in getting bloggers as influencers:

1.       Tap into their specific readership / specific demographics.
2.       Third Party Credibility
3.       There are countless ways you can work with them.

How to reach out to bloggers:
1.       Tailor your message
2.       Don’t copy paste
3.       Keep it short
4.       Be honest
5.       Be polite
6.       Be accurate

She also mentioned specific websites where to tap specific bloggers:
1.       PitchPigeon – specific to tech bloggers.
2.       Presspassme – directory of journalists
3.       Buzzstream-  link building and digital PR Tools


As the summit ends, the last speaker is Ms. Janette Toral – whom a lot of bloggers considers as “The mother of all bloggers” since she basically started the advocacy in uniting all bloggers, took initiative in setting up digital boot camps in order to educate bloggers or future bloggers.

Ms. Janette Toral is also the mind behind the E-commerce boot camp in the Philippines, founder of DigitalFilipino, manages blog network and also one of the key people in setting up a certification program in Ateneo De Manila - Certified Blog and Social Media Entrepreneur Program.

The summit ends with a raffle and as I predicted – I really had a moment. I won a shirt but apart from winning the shirt, the valuable experience of being with topnotch bloggers – those who are experts in blogging industry of the Philippines. Gaining new friends, and expanding network.  I was able to speak with at least 3 speakers – Ben Francia, Joeff Salas and Joney Uy. 

The profiles of the bloggers who have attended the summit today are basically full time employees who do blogging on the side. Very few are full time bloggers and they are maintaining 2 to 3 blogs for their business.  Some of the bloggers are actually writers before who are converted to bloggers.

On the whole, iBlog summit is a very good experience for me not just for what my purpose really is in attending this summit but more of learning from the experts, gaining new friends and at the same the motivation to pursue blogging. Not only for my own personal use but also to share my own insights, for a better cause/purpose.

my iblog experience - memorabilias



see I was there - jotting down notes _ pony tail




credits to iblog 9 photo album c/o official fb page of iblog








My Kitchen Wannabe: Pantry and all the good stuff

What does being a mom and wife entails? Apart from nurturing and taking care of stuffs at home, I believe "cooking" is one of the skills that has to be mastered. Not really on the "masterchef" level but more of really providing nutritious at the same time delicious meals. So, this post basically highlights to what I really want to have in the future. I crave to have these:

A white kitchen


image c/o enterny.com
A wide-selection of pantry



c/o of google images



Spice Rack - ala Mccormick






A complete cooking set (image c/o google)


By looking at these photos, I can just simply imagine how fun it will be to cook. Having all these good stuffs to work with, is simply a haven for moms who really devote time to cook meals for their family.  

I was not really into cooking before, I usually jot down recipes and enjoy watching cooking shows however what amazes me is how simple ingredients and a few herbs/spices can really elevate the flavors of a single dish. So probably, in the future I will post some entries which feature the meals I will prepare for my family. Being budget and time conscious, I will share some of things I usually do to prep meals. This may also be a good way to pay tribute to my late grandmother who is really a good cook and lucky for me she left some really good recipes to try. 

I have a 4 year old son who is very much energetic and loves to eat chicken, noodle based meals, pancakes, and fruits. What I usually do is to make a meal plan. This planner is very useful in setting up menu for each day, to ensure that I am giving him healthy and balance meals.


So there,  I hope to share a thing or two about the recipes that I will try to recreate and share with you the joys of preparing meals for your own family.







Friday, June 14, 2013

Lola "Yaya" Martina



"Life is not too short or too long. I believe, that time is the ultimate blessing that was given to each one of us and as long as we have maximized our time, lived our lives to the fullest, shown our love and care to the people that really matters the most, then essentially time will just be a number and memories are the ones that will linger on".

I posted this status on facebook a few weeks back inspired by my Lola. Since February of this year, she was already bedridden due to enlargement of heart and she has suffered from severe pneumonia. Born January 30, 1919, our 94 year old Lola Martina is definitely an epitome of courage, positivity and faith. Before this, she religiously completes the simbang gabi. Never in any year until last 2012 that she failed to complete it. No rain or bad weather can ever hinder her in attending the mass. Not just the simbang gabi but also the every Sunday mass, holy week, and all other special and regular activities of the church - she will definitely be present.  She has a special seat in the church, she would always seat in the first row, corner right of the long chair. Her devotion to our church is definitely evident in a way that she wouldn't want to leave her very own hometown because of her faith to our patron - Sto.Rosario.

I've had tons of memories with Lola. My brother and I were literally raised by our Lolo and Lola since our parents are both working. When I was in Nursery, she would always accompany me in school. She makes sure that my hair is in place - she keeps it long either braided, pony tailed or in pigtails. I would always be praised how neat I look because of this.  She would even be the substitute for my mama or papa during recognition days, book fairs, field trips, releasing of class cards, and all that. I remembered that I was once assigned as tiger lily in one of our book fairs on 2nd Grade. I did my own make up and Lola braided my hair for the book parade. We were late, so we did try to catch up. We walked a couple of kilometres and unfortunately we are unable to catch up. My lola never complained and she actually cheered me on that I can still make the appearance on stage. And I did. 

I can tell a lot of stories for my Lola but one thing really exceptional on her skills is - Cooking.  Her sopas, mechado, and adobong baka are unmatched. She has very specific ingredients and I am glad she was able to pass on the recipe to us. However, no matter how hard we try to recreate it, the taste is still a little bit different. My Lola's passion and love is definitely the secret ingredient in all the meals she cooks. 

I also admire my lolo and lola's marriage. They were able to reach their 50th anniversary last 2003. Throughout those years, I have never seen them fight, or raised voices to each other. Their marriage is simply one of a kind. And truthfully my lolo and lola are one of a kind as well.

One thing I can describe about Lola Martina, is that she is definitely positive, no matter how heavy the problems are, or how people may have hurt her she never hold any grudge to anyone. She values her family more than anything else. She kept her faith to her family because when all else fails, and when anyone turns their back against her she know that her family will always be there to support her. 

I have not seen anyone as brave as her, that she is willing to endure physical pain rather than the emotional pain of leaving her family. We can see how much she suffers now but she doesn't want to let go because she says she still wants to live and see all of us together. That for me is truly admirable. 

This is just one of the many lessons in life I am still learning from her. A lot of us may just simply quit jobs because we are too fed up with workload or we are getting low salary. Some may just quit trying just because they can no longer endure pain. And my Lola, she would never quit- she will keep the faith because she believes in the goodness of people. She believes that at the end of any suffering is a silver lining. 

I belive that God may have given each person their own hour-glass, we don't know when will be the time that the hour glass runs out of sand which will eventually say "time is up". I know when this happens finally lolo and lola will be reunited to take another journey in a life where there is no end. 

We are very thankful for our Lola Martina. We wouldn't be who we are today without her insights and values. We will continue to stay on lola's side on this battle, but when she raises the white flag, i know that it is her will and ultimately God's will to let her physical suffering end.