Thursday, September 8, 2011

A Letter To My 15-Year-Old Self

Caveat: This is what happens when my silly mind starts rewinding. I write down things that can surprise my serene self. Several hours after drafting this hilarious letter, I felt good. Really, really good! 

Dear 15-year-old self,

Hello there, slim lady! Smile, don’t be scared. This is your 30-year-old concerned self speaking to you. Yes, from the near future.   

You should smile often and let that inner confidence come out. Don’t fret, you may look geeky and boring and nerdy with that skinny figure of yours, but there’s a little tiger growing inside of you. Don’t worry, that little tiger isn’t a scary beast at all. It’s just a little tiger, more like a cat. It symbolizes your feline self, your domesticated self that may growl as loud as you can when angered.   

You may be surprised how your calmness will turn and develop into informed strength or bitchiness (that’s how they call it in this present generation).

Continue filling yourself with junk foods and cups of rice. You’re gifted with the fastest metabolism until you reach your mid-20s. So rejoice and be a pig! Don’t feel guilty if you think you eat way too much fried stuff because your endless reading can actually burn up the lard sitting in your guts. 

Speaking of reading, don’t ever ever believe Mama that you’ll become blind before you finish college!  You’re one lucky girl as far as 20-20 vision is concerned! You’ll continue to enjoy it till you finish reading all the Nancy Drew series, Sweet Valley High and University series (and some Kids edition in between), some of those Sweet Dreams & Love Stories and what have you. 

Indulge in high school freedom, dear! Be silly with your choice of readings. You, my sweet quinceañera, like that and I, your mature version, like that too! Bury your nose in silly paperbacks and teen romances till you ran out of breath catching up with the mushy and shallow story lines. Enjoy it while you can. Be guilt-free and read in reckless abandon. Enjoy these lightweights as you're bound to open heavyweights in the near future. As in heavy lines, heavy topics, heavy books!

Don’t feel guilty whenever Mama knocks into your room to check out whether you’re studying your textbooks or not. We both know that a no-brainer paperback is safely tucked inside that boring textbook of yours. Your secret is safe with me though. Mama doesn’t know your little secret, unless she reads this. 

And hey, lady, never ever think that that tall and hunky Mass Com senior is the ultimate love of your life! That’s completely absurd and horrid! Pout all you want when you read this but that’s the truth. Flush that idea in that vandalized toilet in the ground floor of your pink-painted learning institution, will you? Never will he become yours forever. Never will he become the Prince Charming that will sweep you off your feet. Never will he become the guy who will give you that diamond ring and marry you. Never will he become the father of your kids, the kids who will tug at your mini-skirt (yes, Mama knows best!) waiting for the next batch of chocolate chip cookies to pop out from the oven. Blame the wholesome family sitcoms you’ve watched through the years. Never! Never in a million gazillion years! 

I won’t reveal your happy ending in the love department because that might ruin your happy destiny. You may breath now.

You know what’s the happy good news? You’ll fall in love again! Wait and you’ll see, lady. Wait and see. Relax and just go with the flow. But here’s the catch: there will be more heartbreaks after that. Just weep till you can’t weep no more and watch silly movies to regain your silly self.

And the happier good news?  You will survive them all! 

And you know what’s happiest good news? Your Prince Charming will arrive when you least expect it.  When you really really really least expect it! But, I assure you and I swear this in Shakespeare’s grave, that he’s bloody hell worth of a wait! 

You just made me happy, sweetie!

Smiling until now,
Your 30-year-old self

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Dearest Anna Sophia

Dearest Anna Sophia,

From the very minute I saw you, I was in awe! You are the most cutie patootie baby I've ever seen in my entire life! Okay, we do share similar genes, so I may be biased. Really, as your one and only official aunt, I'll never get tired of singing praises for the breath of fresh air and high levels of cuteness you've brought to our house. I wish that you will live a grand life which you truly deserve - a life fit for a little princess!

May your cheeks stay as plump and red as they are on day you were born! Just kidding!

 Carry on that aura of calmness and freshness forever!

Kidding aside, my dear Pia, make us proud someday! I don't want to elaborate on the key elements to greatness because I know that they are within you already. You are born to be great, remember that! You are born to be gracious (Anna) and wise (Sophia). And if you happen to read this blog, your dear aunt (that's me!) is just so extremely happy and emotional and hopeful for you. I know, a medley of human emotions! One thing's for sure, dear Pia, I love you! Big, big words that you can surely count on, sweetheart! 

Completely enamored with you,
Aunt Jaja

Monday, May 23, 2011

Out With The Old, In With The New!

Last Happy Hearts Day, my baby left me. It was painful, heartbreaking and sad... enough to make me whimper in utter disbelief. My then BF (now fiancé) just proposed to me and we're about to have our celebratory lunch.

Ooops, gotcha! When I say baby, I'm referring to my Canon Ixus. My baby and I met in March 2009, a week before my flight to the US. Out of pure excitement, I've searched far and wide for my baby. I did this so I can capture lotsa photos of mommy (that would be me!). Right there and then, I discovered that I'm a  camwhore myself. I even started a blog because I was inspired by my baby! I clicked and clicked and clicked away! But my baby gave up on me. My baby got tired, I guess.

Au revoir et merci beaucoup, ma bebe!

And the good news is, my fiancé gifted me with a new baby to love! Say hello to my newfound love!

I can't wait to spice up my blog with good photos! And to you my dear fiancé, my sincere gratitude and love!

Friday, April 22, 2011

I'm Bad This Lenten Season Because...

May the Almighty forgive me for I have sinned a thousandfold this season of Lent. Instead of penny pinching, tummy trimming and soul cleansing, I indulged and fell victim to my earthly cravings. But before you judge me with my wicked ways, allow me to defend myself. And please pretend that this is serious.

1) Because I ate beef! I dread having anemia (heaven forbid!) and poor memory (oh no!), so I need to stock up on vitamin B12. And for me, the most tastiest beef meal is beef chelo kebab meal!

2) Because I ate a fat burrito! I think I need calories and fiber to survive the daily grind. Believe me, I think I can survive without cheesy tater tots and nachos but the cashier insisted they're part of the meal. So I blindly said yes. I also think I helped make their cash register ring that particular moment.

3) Because I've been eating juicy mangoes, plump avocados and sweet bananas nonstop! I want to nourish my body with vitamins and minerals, so I ate a lot of delicious fruits. Summer time is the time of delicious tropical fruits. Lenten season always falls on summer.Okay, you get the picture.

4) Because I spent a precious hour admiring future Her Royal Highness Princess William of Wales. That's only because I love the British Royal Family and the fact that fairy tales can happen to real people. And oh, since it's fiery hot these days, I almost devoured this tub of heavenly chocolate ice cream.

5) Because I ate half of that meaty pizza! I badly need protein. It's a fair share, after all. I skipped lunch that day just to have that pizza I badly covet.

6) Because I ate pizza fries! For analogous line of defense, see # 5. I love pizza fries. Never did I love any kind of fries, only pizza fries. Even that flavorful twirly fries that entice the Mcdo Republic once a year, I abhor. 

7) Because I couldn't resist eating a plateful of spaghetti! Tomato sauce is a tremendous source of lycopene and I need all the antioxidant properties to endure our present unhealthy environment!

I know I'm bad. But not bad bad. Just this Season of Lent.

I may have transgressed the teachings of the Catholic Church regarding fasting, but I still thank the Almighty for all the blessings I have received. My cup of gratitude is overflowing at this very moment. Holy Week reflection doesn't have to entail supreme sacrifice on your part. I live by the Golden Rule and I always try my damndest to follow the commandments. That's all that matters! :)

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Goodreads Loot

I consider myself a bibliophile.

When I'm too lazy to stay at home (read: do household chores) or in a so-so mood, I always rush to a bookstore. My lazy or so-so day won't be complete without scanning the bookshelves, picking up a book, reading the summary at the back (if there's any) and scanning to check whether the text and font are friendly to my peepers. Yes, I'm that picky. But I can always adjust to the genre or writing style of the author. Weird eh? :) I even influenced fiance with this by hanging out at Booksale every now and then.

So when I saw a white card on our mailbox  telling me to claim a package at Window 37 from Q.C. Central Post Office, I was beyond happy. I went there immediately, paid Php 40 as customs inspection fee (not so happy about it) and got this. What a happy Holy Monday it was!

 From Arcata, California to Philippine Islands (sounds pre-war to me) with ♥

My first Goodreads loot. Hoping for more giveaways.

 Hmmm... must be one of the reasons why the author picked me.

Short & simple

I'm addicted to you, Goodreads. I vow to update and post my own book reviews soon. I swear by placing my hand in my own copy of Mostly Rapscallions. So help me God.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

The Ring!

This is the ring that:

  • makes me giddily happy while staring at it;
  • makes my heart skip a beat while staring at it a bit longer;
  • makes me apprehensive when I commute (go figure);
  • makes me feel I'm Citizen Kate of his life (blame the media hype!); and
  • makes me think that I must have done something good that God rewarded me with this kind of happiness!
Uber cheesy? Pardon my silliness! I'm just happy sharing the good news to you! :)

Eat-All-You-Can Hainan Rice @ Hainanese Delights!

First week of March
Robinsons Galleria

I know, I know. It's a serious mortal sin to stuff yourself with scoops of rice during dinner. In my case, I had four (4) scoops of rice that fateful day, excluding breakfast & lunch. I can give construction workers a stiff competition when it comes to Hainan rice.

Blame Hainanese Delights. It was relatively new when we dined here at the LGF of Robinsons Galleria. They serve delicious Hainanese chicken with rice till you burst!

Would it be too much to say that I love their Hainan rice? I do. So so so much. So, I had two servings. Pffft, gone!
So I asked the server to gimme two more cups. Oops, the chicken looks untouched. Okay, I lied. That's fiance's chicken. Hihihi. BUT the rice was all mine.

The secret weapon to my rice frenzy - ginger & chili

So there goes my rice adventure. And I ain't gonna repeat it again. Not too soon. Give me a couple of months to shrink my waistline a wee bit. :)

T.O.S.H., UP-Ayala Technohub

Last week of March
UP-Ayala Land TechnoHub

Even with the extra pounds I desperately want to shed off, I still give in to my cravings once in a while. This time around, I obeyed my pasta craving at the most convenient place near our new home (oh, yes!).

Appetizer basket (calamares, chicken fingers & onion rings)  ~Just something to tide us over.

Methinks my love affair with pasta started when I first learned how to cook spaghetti. And this oh-so classic spaghetti with meatballs failed to satisfy my craving. First, I want Italian spaghetti sauce and not the sweet spaghetti sauce. There's a big difference between the two. Second, I want my meatballs to be -what else but - meaty! So I just comforted myself with the fact that I can make excellent spaghetti than this. Flatter thyself once in a while, you know. :)

Spaghetti with meatballs ~ The taste didn't impress me. But I got impressed with my ability to finish this order!

Spaghetti  with seafood alfredo sauce ~ Fiance loves anything seafood. 'Nuff said.

Now, lemme check if I still have that big can of Italian style sauce. Hmmm...

Yummy Dinner at Pizza Hut Bistro!

2nd week of March, I think.
SM Megamall

Mere mention of Pizza Hut evokes not-so-delish pizza memories. But when I heard that it has added the word "bistro" to its name, I figured out that maybe this pizza parlor did some upgrading. It actually did and I'm definitely coming back! Below are the delicious items that captured my picky taste buds. :)

Oops, not this. I took a picture of their condiment caddy because I find it simple yet classy. :)

Then the yummy dinner items...

 Strawberry salad ~ I heart this salad! I never thought that strawberries make a delicious salad! I think this salad is being offered only this Lenten season.

Buffalo wings ~ Now, who doesn't love crispy chicken wings with midly spicy sauce? Not me!

Bistro paella ~ My fiance and I shared this dish and we found it flavorful with an interesting hint of lime. Nice presentation also.

Since I'm still hesitant to whip up my own strawberry salad as good as Pizza Hut Bistro's, then I think I'm destined to visit PZB again and again... PZ peeps, please make it the whole year round! :)

Monday, March 21, 2011

Another Busy Weekend

March 19-20, 2011

Believe me, this ain't my typical weekend. Weekends prior to our vow to togetherness (there goes the silly word again!) were always spent at home doing DVD marathon etc. Laid-back, slow weekends are the best so when I uploaded these pictures, I suddenly miss the art of doing nothing. But for now, I suddenly miss this native pancit from the north. Oh yes, before we proceed to our home improvement project, we must abide with rule # 1 - eat breakfast!

We had breakfast at the weekend market at the QC Circle early in the morning. I therefore conclude that alarm clock is one of mankind's greatest contributions to productivity.

My first time to eat this pancit...

That's why I took extra effort to take a picture of this...

... and this. Now I know.

Super special pancit batil-patung with chorizo, beef, liver, lechon kawali and egg! Looks and tastes yummy!

Sidekicks: chopped onions & calamansi (soy sauce & vinegar joined the mix later) and the soup (not necessary, IMO)

Just when I was about to give up walking along the entire food section of this weekend market, we found shrimp okoy! This was my favorite circa HS days.

Shrimp okoy for breakfast? Why not?

So crispy and so oily (which translates to unhealthy?)

And that ends our breakfast/food trip. So off to home improvement project we went. 

Home improvement thingies

Trying hard to decipher the closest shade to the granite counter top we already had

Then the part where my ear drums almost gave up because of too much noise.

The noisy

the noisier

and the noisiest!

Fiance didn't mind the noise.

So, Toonie & I went outside of the room to escape the noise...

... and celebrate life

while drinking Coke to escape the scorching heat and noise (the reason I stepped out of the room, right?).

Etcetera, etcetera...

Ain't it funny?

Waiting for one whole month ain't funny. But to have the most durable furniture in the land, I wouldn't mind waiting.

Somewhere in Commonwealth

Say hello to the "national" seat!

Too common design. That's why we didn't get this. LOL

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Home Improvement + Food Trip + Wedding Expo = Helluva Busy Weekend!

March 12-13, 2011

While writing this entry, my leg muscles are certainly painful as a result of a lot of walking and more walking. And yes, I am also certain that this is just the beginning of helluva busy weekends ahead. My fiance and I are really active participants of this journey to - pardon the silliness - togetherness. So, we started this togetherness by making the necessary improvements in our future abode. And this is where I truly internalized that I am indeed an adult! Bye singlehood, hello marriage! 

On the eve of our first busiest weekend ever, I took a picture of my fiance who bought some food for the workers. My heart goes out to blue-collar workers of this godforsaken country.

A Leyteño-Samarnon will always make sure that his fellow Leyteño-Samarnons are properly fed. Hahaha!

March 12, 2011, Saturday
Flourishing Villa (invented by yours truly)

We arrived at the Flourishing Villa at 7: 30 in the morning. I refused to let my migraine ruin the day. Waking up very early sometimes gives me migraine.

So we waited until the admin office opened. Decaf coffee didn't help AT ALL.

Home improvement permit and the workers' IDs are all ready. No choice but to follow THE rules.

Then we walked to some hardware store to get the ceramic tiles we ordered a couple of days ago. Hello morning sun and jeepney and bus fumes! Argh.

Instead of complaining, I looked around for some amusement. In a hardware store, yes!

I don't know with you people, but I really find this sign funny. Dear owner, we can't speak Chinese so say it in Filipino.

Ceramic tile installation 101, you just enlightened me.

And because we're not superheroes and fiance is no Samson also, we hired the deluxe transport called...

... tricycle! Hahaha!

Manong driver of trike # 313 is our Samson that day! 425+ kilos imagine that.

 To counteract further sleepiness, we had our first meal of the day at the nearby Puregold Supermarket. I didn't mind the excess grease since I was really hungry.
 That's the home improvement permit up there. Okay, you're now permitted to improve your home.

Bye vinyl, hello ceramic!

Wiping off the excess cement (the foreman is barking orders like a drill sergeant)


And because I can't tolerate the smell of newly-painted cluster stairs, I went down to the clubhouse of this community. Let's welcome the scorching heat.

These kids didn't mind the midday heat at all. Amazing. My migraine's killing me at this point.

Green, green grass of (future) home... Ready to go home at last!

March 13, 2011, Sunday
Wedding Expo Philippines

We got complimentary tickets for this wedding fair. But before heading to the area, we got stranded at Onesimus for a while.

Uh-oh, someone's so excited for 062411.

And someone's getting hungry from all the walking and walking. Next stop: Karate Kid.

Beef gyudon for me and me alone. Fiance's got his own bowl. 

To support my healthy food campaign, I had tofu furai (fried tofu) as side kick, er, side dish.

And he's always partial to california maki.

Japanese cheesecake as dessert. Yum.

Wedding fair time!

Not as crowded as we thought, yey!

I fell in love with the wedding gown in the middle. Again, I fell in love with the design and not with the hefty price tag. Honor thy budget.

Taking pictures inside the area is prohibited as it violates the intellectual property rights of the exhibitors, unless one is a member of the press. Good thing no one caught me violating the rules with the wedding gown above. Bum. Mer. So we walked and walked and walked around the whole wedding fair area in search of good deals and bright ideas. When we could walk no more, we decided to exit (duh) and only to find out that we walked out with our pockets intact. What a relief! Hahaha!

Honor thy souvenir freak (that would be me). Keep the name tags & the free loot bag full of colorful ideas.

Lastly, honor thy sweet tooth. Have some hot fudge sundaes before going home.

I'm looking forward to more busy weekends like this one. And that's the adult in me speaking.