The Month of the Heart of Winter

the new leaf of January is my Month!

Monthly Archives: November 2013

forever uncle mike

To family and friends and to everyone who silently reads this blog I request for huge amount of prayers for my Uncle Mike who had been suffering severe illness from his hospital bed since Sunday afternoon. I know he wanted to stay and spend another Christmas other than he’s human body is deteriorating now and his heartbeat is fading each day. He’s in the most pitiful state if you must ask and only a miracle would possibly bring him back. For days now the immediate family has been in denial of the impending death tho it’s explicable at this time of emotional devastation but my maternal family had to consider difficult questions as well and severe financial consequences. I understand that no one knew what his future might hold but the doctor’s prognosis is not good and the decision to forgo the treatment is for the family to decide this time. We’re in a state of mass confusion and at this dark hour we hope we’ll come up with the right thing soon. May God have mercy on all of us.

uncle mike

Uncle, while you remain in that state of limbo may you enlighten each of us, I know you feel pain but you can’t tell anyone else around. It’s depressing to see you suffer like this, it certainly a fate worse than death but we can’t do a thing either to make you feel comfortable. We’re praying for you as we’ve been challenged everyday seeing you in that vegetative state. Uncle, we love you and we will surely miss your generosity, your thoughtfulness and everything else about you. Rest now if you must… 

Almighty and Everlasting God, preserver of souls, who dost correct those whom Thou dost love, and for their amendment dost tenderly chastise those whom Thou dost receive, we call upon Thee, O Lord, to bestow Thy healing, that the soul of Thy servant, Uncle Mike, at the hour of his departure from the body, may by the hands of Thy holy Angels be presented without spot unto Thee. Amen. {source:}


23 years and counting

I had a wonderful recall of high school life and I fairly had a reputation to boast from being an outstanding student, to class president, an officer of various students org and had the most ideal friends in tow. Back in college things weren’t the same, probably because the university setting was a lot different and grueling and unwelcoming in my case. And I have only few people around 😦 , few friends which made my college days a happy one. 🙂


A week ago a small reunion which I never expected to happen anymore comes down to reality. It was out of the blue without any occasion at all, so when I was told about it I was surprised and excited at the same time, a little jumpy too. M & R are my colleagues at the company for more than 10 years now while D (R’s husband) works for a major client, see it remained a small world for us tho we never really had a time to get together, other than we had our falling-out, our little disagreements and coldness, but none of a big fight or brawling. Maybe the corporate life has change each of us and brought us new set of friends but they say old friends remains old 🙂 and we don’t really need to spend time together everyday, so I’ll consider that our case fell over here.

R, the most girly in our group drove us to Crown Plaza, I couldn’t imagine she has driving skills now which I envy somehow. I suddenly thought of getting serious with my supposed driving classes soon. M and I had a smooth ride arriving the Ortigas area unscratched. Phew!   


R also made the arrangement at 7 Corners for dinner buffet and we got a corner seat which was perfect for the looming long chat I was assuming that night. Imagine the 10+ years we didn’t get to sit down and talk, it’s never been awhile. D arrived while we’re still finishing our greens. He literally came in green while I noticed he’s thinning hair, oh must be sign of old age too and stress and global warming, 😀 much like the lines on my temples it must really be our age. And as expected of D he threw a slight barrage of insult from every possible aspect why M & I got this big. As if he owns a six-pack-abs, hahaha. But hey it’s a pretty normal thing for Pinoy to greet long time friends with friendly-offensive banter, let’s not talk of etiquette anymore.


Anyhow, my party enjoyed the spread at 7 Corners tho I find it sad and empty. 😐 I was expecting more, the likes of Basix or Acaci or Midas with more food choices to savor and desserts to drool over. It’s quite pricey for its limited selection if I may say. But since I’m dining free of any charge, I can’t complain more besides the buffet offering was of less important that evening, I should be focusing on rekindling friendship and connections. The expected long convo went over families, work, personals, assets (?), events, national issues, just anything under the sun. D hardly knew anything about me, about my childless status, about my work, he’s recall of me remains to be the extremist I used to be. I wonder if he’d seen me before on streets bragging about unfair labor practices and wage increase and anything that doesn’t fall right within the bargaining agreement. Those days sounds pun for some but those were the days which made me tougher and shape me to become a better me. Since M, R and me works at the same company we had talks about the recent happenings back at the office, we had our opinions and assumptions, we talked about people we know in common (chismis mode), we talked about the administration (the former and the current), we talked about our humble beginnings at Limketkai, we had a vivid recall of those good old days and it was a nice feel. D was sort of bored probably with our subjects so his focus was more on the food while we babble more. 😀



At the end of our dinner date an evening of long goodbye followed with photo ops here and there. Good thing it’s Friday and we don’t have to worry about the next day only that M lives beyond the city and she had sched dialysis the following morning. Yes, other than the natural signs of old age our buddy M suffered kidney failure some 4 years ago and we couldn’t be of any help except that we pray for spiritual strength and comfort and healing.

The small reunion sends me plenty of realization afterwards, while my colleagues are now well-heeled I remained to be a hunter 😦 , while they talk about raising their own families I was wordless because I had nothing to impart other than I have my four-legged babies whom I dearly love, while they discuss about building a home I was left saying I don’t intend to spend my retirement years in the city and I have a family house to come home by then, name it! north and south we have a comfortable retreat. Hehehe. And while M & R talks about quota and commissions I only have my basic pay to hold, I felt small momentarily but what the heck I love my life, I love what I do, I have no regrets, I have nothing to shame off and if I suddenly die there would be nothing to miss because I live at my fullest every single day. 🙂 I still have high hopes and goals but if those will never happen ever I won’t fall short, the less you expect, the less disappointed you will be. Probably life has taught me so well not to feel envious of my neighbors, life has taught me so well to be contended and live within my means, life has taught me so well to stay on the ground. Well, after this first in many years, we all look forward seeing and dining once more, it’s not too late to catch up and rewind and look forward to something more than meets the eye. Thank you for the dinner treat M, we truly had a great time! ♥



Crowne Plaza Manila Galleria
Ortigas Avenue, Corner Asian Development Bank Ave. (ADB), 1100 Pasig
T. +632 6337222

salcedo community market

Finally, finally we found time to revisit Salcedo Market last Saturday and I was excited like a little kid to wander around.


Salcedo Market or Salcedo Community Market is located in the heart of Makati. It is ideally located at the Jaime Velasquez Park which is airy and bright. I love it there that trees surrounds the whole area and the place do not get overly crowded even if a whole shift of call center people nearby pop in. 😀







The market which brings a wide produce including meat, seafood, bread, pastries, local delicacies, fruits, flower, plants, cooked meals, grilled items, etc. is ideal for early risers and market goers (the sosyal group IMO). I guess for pretty ordinary people like us it’s not sensible to get our weekly supplies here but once in a while it’s nice to rub elbows with the Richie rich group and buy some organic produce, try out international specialties or source some hard-to-find ingredients and eat something new like hard to spell out dishes. Baklava what?


Leoncio and I made at least two rounds before we settle for grilled milkfish (boneless) + rice + grilled Japanese corn. I also bought two pomelos for Nanay. I know our choice was quite boring that day, I was a bit overwhelmed by the many choices and that makes me diverted which Leoncio hates, so when he told me about the grilled fish I nod to give my approval and to end my hunt for something I really don’t know. By the way, there are tents to provide shade for dining patrons or you can simply hang out and people-watch.


For someone like me who loves the outdoors, and mornings and Saturdays included, Salcedo Market is just the thing. I envy those who live nearby and wish we’re opportune as they are. We plan to visit back once again to savor a warm breakfast or brunch, there’s something with the morning vibes and I’m loving the mood out there. ♥



Salcedo Community Market
Jaime Velasquez Park
Leviste cor. Toledo and Tordesillas Streets, Salcedo Village
Makati City

sundate no.17

Crucifix me now for overeating while the people at Eastern Samar continues to plead for food and water and shelter and attention. I’m sorry that this has to happen repeatedly at these trying times. 😐


Nov 17. We’re home again last weekend to check on Nanay and the household and because we’re home and complete, Tatay made our Sunday a super special one. 😛 For the first time in many years he initiated our Sunday activity starting from a hale and hearty breakfast at Bag of Beans. He personally picked the place after he was wowed when I treat them back last September, aside from the fact that Nanay didn’t enjoyed the last time because she was sick, so we’re making a second come back.


We arrived at Bag of Beans past 7am already with only few diners, a pretty advantage to our part. 🙂  Once we’re seated my family didn’t waste any single minute, they start off what is must and fill their plates with delicious breakfast fare. We’re not really big eaters if you must know but we’re more of finicky and complex eaters that’s why Bag of Beans breakfast buffet is a hit for us because we have many choices to choose from.


I didn’t bother anymore to take photos of my plates because it’s all the same only that we’ve missed the bacon this time but nonetheless the generous spread was a treat of its own.






And my family was a picture of a happy one, a solid and cherished one amidst the storm that recently challenged us. 🙂




Following our breakfast splurge we drove to Monte Maria in Alfonso to attend Fr. Suarez healing mass. Many have been healed and their stories were all inspiring, we believe Nanay will be healed and that all we need is a stronger faith and loads of prayer. The healing mass despite the many devotees remains to be solemn. And despite the crowd, people from walks of life trooped here to seek healing and spirit once more. We’re very much like them, a family praying as one, a family hoping for a miracle to happen.


We left Monte Maria at around 1pm and drove to Summit Ridge, it wasn’t my idea really or my sister’s or the kids but it was Tatay who insisted that we should have lunch there before going home. So, even if we weren’t famished yet we gave in to his request, an odd occasion we shouldn’t miss.


Tatay requested that we pick a restaurant where Nanay can eat something healthier. We mutually decided for Classic Savory because the choices were varied, we made side orders from Razon’s because Nanay wanted halo-halo and SAM craves for sisig. So, even if we don’t really feel hungry yet we pretend we do so as not to disappoint Tatay’s mood. It’s very unusual of him to spend a day out with us without getting annoyed of our activities, he’s not the outgoing type, he’d rather spend the day at his small fruit farm or lounge at home with his drinking buddies. Well, I suddenly remember our much younger years during Christmas season at Harrison Plaza, we would simply left Tatay near the old fountain for hours so we can do our shopping splurges without the kontrabida 🙂 , that’s how we see him really, foremost because he hates the mall ambiance, he hates the crowd and the overly expenses of course. But talk about dining and eating, he wouldn’t mind the extra charges at all, he’s all out and supportive and never failed to remind us to eat. Now, you know the reason why we got this big, we’re just so obedient to the patriarch’s order to that matter. Hahaha. 


Yet this sundate was one of the best Sundays ever and I look forward spending more Sundays with the family this time. I’m just happy to be home. 


family dinner at Tong Yang

Guilty as charge but I have reasons and everything is well-founded if I may say. 😐

Last Wednesday Nanay went to another check up after we got a kind referral from another doctor friend, this time she was brought all the way to Taft Avenue to see the cardiologist, Dr. Antonio Dans. Since the son-in-laws sched are far more permissive that the biological daughters the two accompanied Nanay that day while the little P tagged along. The checkup gave us hopefulness because this time Nanay don’t need to undergo the coronary angiogram right away. Dr. Dans evaluated her case and as told the angiogram should have been completed while she was in ICU probably to see if there was a plaque that narrows the coronary arteries and thus reduces the flow of oxygen-rich blood to the heart. And because the heart attack had been more than a week already he further told that it may no longer be necessary, he rather recommends a stress test for Nanay first. Upon hearing all of this I was sort of relieved, at least he’s getting into the smallest details of Nanay’s condition. The stress test will happen on Nanay’s next appointment this December and I’m positive that Nanay’s response to this would be as normal as before. Faith heals!    

Right after her checkup the group surprised me at my office, my sister joined them after her shift. It was a heartfelt surprise because this happen very seldom, and because I cannot contain my excitement I went out earlier than my supposed off to join them for dinner. It was a challenge to pick a dinner place because we need to make sure Nanay will have something to eat that is not oily and fried, that is not cholesterol loaded and is healthy and delicious additionally. I had this vegetarian café in my mind but I don’t want my party to forgo this chance of having a wonderful dinner treat so we had one and only option that night.

Tong Yang Shabu-Shabu & BBQ Restaurant in Jupiter was the perfect spot because Nanay can enjoy a bountiful of vegetable and fish which is her new food bestfriends right now. And the gang likewise will have a sumptuous dinner, see nobody gets deprived, it’s a win-win situation here but we’d very much willing to give up our palate for Nanay’s sake.


I’d like to think that we ate a healthy meal despite the innards and beef belly we generously consumed. 🙂


The little boy was delighted with the ice cream buffet that he had it first before anything else.


For a while we thought of Tatay, he would probably enjoy the spread and the bottomless beer. 😀


I know lavish eating these days is forbidden especially that many do not still have a decent meal to eat back in Tacloban but this occasion is rare for us. This doesn’t happens everyday and we wanted Nanay to enjoy life, we wanted her second life be more blithe with no-worries, with no-regret, I think it’s high time that she retires from tedium, responsibilities and unpleasant chores and be reminded that life is too short to not live to the fullest. And that we need to spend more time with her because we don’t wanna miss any at all, each moment we fritter away is a moment we will never get back, ever.

Life is short as is and I’ve always believe that no amount of money can buy back whatever you’ve missed from yesterday.



Tong Yang Shabu-Shabu & BBQ Restaurant
34 Jupiter cor. Planet St. (near Edsa)
Bel-Air, Makati City
T. 02-8993388 / 02-8974148

sundate no.16

Nov 10. While most of the netizen was glued to the Donaire-Darchinyan fight (late) telecast on national TV, Leoncio and I took that opportunity to drive around our favorite Makati. I’d love to stroll around by foot only that our dream sneakers is still a dream in progress, hahaha, so we have no choice but to use our ever dependable 6 year-old car.


Since we don’t have any specific place in mind, we drove around Salcedo Village first, I wanted to eat something extraordinary, I mean not the usual fastfood food so we tried our luck. But being Sunday, most restaurants were closed so we cross over the neighboring Legaspi Village. I read somewhere about Rodic’s Diner and its famous tapsilog but because the eatery is within the vicinity of offices it’s no surprise that it’s closed when we got there. Sunday kase, sigh! But Sunday is my favorite day and nothing can hamper my spirit from enjoying what is good and what is yummy. 🙂


From Legaspi Village we drove towards Greenbelt where choices are plentiful but we quickly and mutually agreed what we wanted for our late lunch. I can’t help but rave about the layers of crunchy wafers filled with choco mousse, cream and mango cubes, certainly a slice of heaven!


Conti’s Bakeshop & Restaurant at Greenbelt 2 is spacious so we got to seat right away despite the many diners that day and because we’re famished already we sort of over-ordering our food.


New Zealand Mussels & Mushroom Pasta P230. Fettuccine noodles toasted in sautéed New Zealand Mussels, mushroom and garlic with creamy white sauce. Served with garlic bread. It’s honestly creamy and generous and tasty. The mussels are huge and fresh. I gave two thumbs up for this new pasta dish! ♥


Garlic Sotanghon P95. Its looks plain boring right but it’s flavorsome. And Nanay would surely approve its taste.


Hearty Club Sandwich P260. Double decker sandwich of crispy bacon, sliced ham, chicken salad and cheddar cheese on French toast bread. Served with potato chips. I can eat my sandwich anytime of the day and I love it tho I wish Conti’s version is not on French toast because it tends to be oily and unhealthy.


Probably because I’m hurrying to eat dessert we wolfed down our food at once, evidence were my amateurish shots which I took quickly and away from Leoncio’s fork.

And with so much anticipation, my most-awaited dessert…


Mango Bravo P155. Layers of crunchy wafers filled with chocolate mousse, cream and mango cubes. Mouth-watering goodness in every bite!


Black Velvet Cake P90. Layers of moist velvety chocolate cake with cream cheese filling coated with cream icing and sprinkles of dark chocolate. We have to order an extra dessert because I’m not sharing my Mango Bravo with anyone, not even with the husband. Hahaha.


We were offered coffee at Conti’s but I refused because I cannot give up another love, so after giving our sweet tooth a go we settle later that day at the favorite coffee shop and spend the rest of the evening lounging and musing and rambling on what recently hit our mother land.


We’re saddened just by the thought of it and even more every time we see hungry and tired souls begging for help on national TV, it’s pitiful to see kids and the old ones especially, and every time a local will discover a body of a relative it’s heartbreaking. I cannot withstand the teary-eyes of my fellow Filipinos and it’s making me guilty big time that while they’re having the dooms of their life I’m just sitting pretty normal and carefree of what had happen, I look carefree yes but deeply I wanted to send help, I wanted to send a little help for those who needs it the most other than I have to save for some family emergencies as well. Now, I’m thinking of saving a portion of my supposed church donation due this month, I just hope those people I made commitment earlier would understand my reasons. At this time I think it’s more important that we share food and water rather than build the house a God.


We’re praying for Yolanda victims and we repeatedly pray that our country be healed from all of this. I am sending a smile to make everyone feel a little better and heal a little faster. 🙂



Conti’s Bakeshop & Restaurant 
Greenbelt II, Makati City
Space 11 & 12 Greenbelt II, Esperanza Street, Makati City
T. +632 7560047 / 7560327 / 7560105
M. +63922 8473063 / +63917 5951302