The Month of the Heart of Winter

the new leaf of January is my Month!

Monthly Archives: January 2014

age is just a number…my 40th

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As early as March of last year I had plans already for my forthcoming 40th birthday, I wanted to celebrate it with few close friends and family with plenty of cakes to blow. I was eyeing Tong Yang in Jupiter to be the venue because it’s perfect for the big-eaters, hahaha, seriously I think everyone would enjoy the grilling and cooking plus its limitless offering would be worth every penny. But some things are not meant to happen and everything I initially planned went to scratch, I was upset for a time 😦 but considering too many things in exchange of that little party I just brush it off to let go of the negative feeling.

Soon as January pulls in everyone I know was asking me of my plans on the 14th but I kept mum, I’d rather not say anything, I remained muted and actually planned nothing, I was thinking it would just pass by like any other ordinary day and people would forget it by then. I can take a day off from work as well so people at the workplace would not notice it at all. The thing is I don’t want to toss a single cent anymore after gauging I’m over, over my finances already after the posh Christmas month and yet I haven’t treated myself to a really, really nice gift. I thought it’s not bad to be self-seeking this time besides we’re talking of hard-earned money here. But the generous side of me still won and I splurge a little one last time. 😀

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A day before my birthday I emailed my group, including some really close friends at the office that I will be treating them for lunch, no surprises like last year. I don’t intend to impress anyone and all I wanted is to get over it, period. Maybe that happens when you’re 40, you feel strangely empty and lonely and at times I feel to hit the downhill slide to shabbiness and passing away. Too morbid, sigh!

I was least expectant this year, I don’t really care if my group will give me a surprise something or not, it won’t matter anyway because I feel near the ground, I had issues at work, I had issues at home, what else is to expect. I arrived at my office passed 9am, trying to act as if turning 40 is a good milestone, “coming of age”, etc. Brouhaha. I was welcomed with this,

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…my doting team put forth some effort this time, even if it was the simplest I can still account that they give it a shot.  And I appreciate those little things, need not to mention the flowers, the decors, the scrap-card thing, the donuts, the cake –I suddenly feel loved! ♥

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But my happiness that day was a bit fake, I know I’m beginning to feel emotional yet again not because I feel old and pathetic, there’s just things worrying me and keeping me upset. That I couldn’t tell, that I couldn’t recognize, that I couldn’t pinpoint. They say life begins at 40 and I am lucky that at this point of my life I am mated (to a very uncomplaining one), I am healthy (tho I’m easy to catch flu these days), I am employed and I am sleeping through the night. And this is the time to reinvent myself, to what? Seriously I don’t see myself getting a new job at my age, I don’t like a new career if that’s what reinventing supposed to mean. I’ve always wanted to be writer but my grammar sucks. 😦 I’ve always wanted to be a cook but never really gave time. 😦 So, I’m seeing myself stuck at this old job for the next 10 years unless the husband finally pushes that immigration thing.

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#selfie@40

On a more serious note, being 40 doesn’t really need to change a bit of me. It’s just a number, the face in the mirror doesn’t look 40 at all, hahaha. I may have a few regrets but I have my happy years when I was younger and that being good at being young isn’t awful like what some had misconstrued. I don’t need a younger outlook because I need to embrace the middle age and its complications. I’m fortunate to have reached this age. I just need more sunshine to keep me in the go.

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To all who dearly remembered and sent greetings on my birthday my heartfelt thanks to each of you, you made my special day a truly wonderful one. 😛

 

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18 years and more

Quite a few years even before I turned 40 I long stopped the night life, I long stopped partying and clubbing and well, beer drinking. If you have known me during my 20’s you’d probably see me in a much different way because it’s like every single day I had beer in my belly. Hahaha. I suddenly miss again my telco days –laid-back, youthful, spirited and fearless. I have no regrets about anything right now, I love the present especially my weekend dates with the husband other than once in a while it’s nice to muse over with old friends from way back and be merry and carefree once more.

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Days before my birthday I went out with the P-boys to celebrate two things, one is our post-Christmas get-together and the other one is my birthday. I decided to advance my celebration this year for a change. I had a hard time picking a place foremost because I know they wanted beer in the menu. It’s a must for these guys.

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I personally picked Tong Yang this year, enough of those hole-in-the-wall bistros at the outskirts of Makati CBD. Hehehe, of course I still love Talyer and its neighboring village only that we need a little variation sometimes and Tong Yang is perfect. And since they’re notorious for coming late I asked them to come at 6pm, at least I have an hour before dinner time to wait for them. But being their old self and literally old fellas they came late as is, so I think I just have to live with it. 🙂

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First to arrive was Babu, then George followed, Pel came after and as expected Gem showed up so so late, when almost everyone was capping off. What’s new? And he was partly blaming me because my call time was too early at 6pm, oh God now my fault. But no matter how stubborn, and fierce looking these guys they are extremely soft internally, I should know better in our 18 years of friendship.

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We all had a nice dinner, a filling one because of that eat-all-you-can grilled meat and shabu-shabu, bottomless beer and unlimited scoop of ice cream which they really enjoyed. I guess aging has taken its toll on them too because they now opt for ice cream over beer, a very drastic move for the big guys! 😀

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*No, I wasn’t feeling drowsy here, napapikit lang but because this photo is worth posting and rare it deserves to be here. 😀

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Because we felt it’s too early to call it a night after the hefty dinner, we found ourselves in Rockwell Center chilling and coffee sipping. It’s one of the first times I actually sit down with them minus the alcohol and I’m loving it because we got to talk lightly.

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Whenever we get-together like this I wish we’ll be complete once more, like the old days with Rica, Tata, Ge, Nelson. I sometimes missed those days when we would party until the wee hours; I missed the endless road trips and Tagaytay vacays. I missed the post-mortem sessions; I missed the comfort of just being with them. To my P-boys thank you for the stories, for the laughter’s, for the moral & emotional support, thank you for playing a big role into what I am now.

See you soon!

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P.S. Thank you Gem for the birthday cake 

 

our family get-together|2013

Uncle Mike could be of happier if we made this event while he was still living –Tita Milay. And we couldn’t agree more. Sigh!

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On December 30, 2013 my maternal family had our annual reunion held at Uncle’s house, it’s the yearly thing that we normally hold at the maternals compound other than we changed the venue this year to liven up the mood two weeks after Uncle’s funeral (which I have to blog yet, Wowie ang SD card pls). There’s no Kris Kringle thing this time and like the previous years we asked each families to bring something to eat.

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Of course our family went with the sister’s famed baked mac –meaty and cheesy! 😀 Tita Pearl brought yummy boxes of rice cakes, Tita Gie brought some grilled milk fish and Tita Bebot had Bicol Express, their family’s specialty I suppose (because of its presence in many occasions at their humble abode). I forgot to ask JB’s contribution aside from the comical face which he always carries. Hahaha. But seriously we missed your undying shredded cabbage with mayonnaise a.k.a. coleslaw. Tita Milay and family prepared some staples for lunch; we had a substantial spread which everyone enjoyed.

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Tita Josie, I forgot yours, was it the bilao of pancit?

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Anyhow, the party’s highlight was the boy’s ingestion of beer and their boisterous glee while the girls had their chitchats mostly.

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Other than we made a very simple game plan, why not involved those relatives abroad and ask them for donations. We thought it’s well-timed because they’ve never been home during the Christmas month. I started the convo on facebook tagging three cousins in Dubai and later on tagging three more cousins in Singapore. We had fun as the fund raised to thousands and thousands. The oldies faces was a happy sight and the kiddos, well, they just don’t mind they’re more fascinated with plays.

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To be fair and just, we gave the kids an equal share, we just don’t want another kid crying because his name was not called, and raffled those for the grown-ups. Everyone was hopeful to brag a prize even me of course. 😛

And the real winners not in order here, drumrolls

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JB, SAM, Joycee, Tita Gie, Che, Tita Pearl, Dodong, Jheck, Bok, Eina, Alice, Nanay, Ryan

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The grandest winner was Kuya Romy which Irish receives on his behalf. 🙂

Our special thanks goes to the generous sponsors –Jojo, Che, Grace, Michelle, Liit, Jacq, Kuya Romy, Jena & yours truly (ehem!).

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There’s still sadness in the air and that we can’t cover up despite the smiles, the fun, the merriment but it definitely was one occasion we all look forward doing again.

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Blood would always be thicker than water no matter what. ♥

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And that my Eyaya family is a bunch of handsome fellas! 😀

 

an open letter to D’ Banquet

D’ BANQUET
Aguinaldo Highway corner
Arnoulduz Road, Tagaytay City

 

Dear Madam:

I’m writing to inform you about the negative experience at your restaurant, D’ Banquet, in Tagaytay on January 19, 2014. My official receipt number is 3707 for your reference, and the person who handled my order was named Angelo Arrojo and the manager on duty was Mr. Chito Anico.

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First of all, I recognize that you, as the reader of this letter, are not responsible for my bad experience, but I am still upset about the situation and would like to ask you as the restaurant owner how a customer complaint should be handled and addressed.

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My party and I arrived at the D’ Banquet at passed 1:30pm, due to a friend’s recommendation we even braved the traffic coming from Monte Maria. And since the restaurant itself claimed “fine dining” ambiance I highly expect from the SETTING, FOOD and SERVICE of course. At the onset, I feel good that the restaurant had a lunch buffet but with its very limited selection I felt bad that my P300 wouldn’t be worth of good food. So, my party decided to order ala carte from its menu. We had your famous Binagoongang Boneless Crispy Pata, which isn’t really boneless; it was cut into portions to make it look as if boneless and far from the regular Crispy Pata with very visible knuckles. We chose to separate the bagoong per se so the kids can enjoy it minus the pungent fish (or shrimp for that matter) pier scent. We also had Pinakbet, Sinigang na Salmon, Sisig and T-bone steak. It wasn’t a long wait really before our orders came in and for that I’ll give two thumbs up for your very efficient kitchen staffs. As our wait staff, Angelo, started to put our orders in our table he accidentally poured the whole salver of bagoong into my bag sitting just behind me. I felt really upset and panicked at the same time for my six-month old Longchamp Planètes, it may not be a luxurious designer bag comparable to LV, Gucci, Prada, etc. but it remains pricey for a regular worker like me. I hope you get my point here. My blouse wasn’t spared from bagoong spills as well but my attention was focused on the bag which by that time was quickly taken from my seat by Angelo, he tried to wipe the spills with a cloth with hot water while saying his endless apology. But the fact that it’s bagoong, despite his hard attempt to wipe the residue he failed, the strong odors remains as is on its zipper and on its leather trim and on its canvass body. While my party started to eat lunch I was left in one corner worrying how my bag can be restored –stain free and all.

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My party convinced me to eat first which I obliged, it was very hard for me to swallow my food, I can’t focus on what I am consuming hence I cannot really attest if the food is good or not. Because my party ate ahead of me it is very obvious that they finished earlier, thus the second incident happened. Half of the party was still eating with me when another waiter approached and started clearing out plates even without asking me or anyone from my party. I was observing him and waited for him to come near my side of the table, I evenly told him that I am still eating in which he shy away. While it became a norm for some restaurants, upper-end restaurants, to clear out plates even before the rest of the diners finished their meal this protocol remain to be rude and offensive. And though this may be well-intentioned it conveys the not so subtle message for an already annoyed customer like me. I can feel my nerves shaking of a looming dispute by now and the worst had happen thus, incident no. three.

While we were still half discussing the second incident, Angelo approached and handed me the bill. You have to take note that I was still trying to finish my plate that time. I asked my party who requested it first, nobody gave affirmation, I guess even without me asking them they would not make the move because foremost I am paying here other than I want to validate Angelo’s claim that somebody from my party truly requested it. They say third time’s a charm but not here not this time –this one is STUPIDITY! I’m not sorry for the word, it’s very discreditable for a restaurant who promises an exceptional journey and spellbound and what else? FAILURE.

Because Angelo can no longer respond to my questions I asked for his Manager. Chito Anico looks reliable maybe because of age, I assume he had a more collective and substantial word of wisdom but lo and behold. I first went telling him the three incidents –the accidental bagoong spills on my bag and on my blouse, the rushed clearing of plates and the advance bill, it’s like we’re overstaying and we felt everyone wanted to rush us out. I have to mention here that there is no waiting customer for a table; likewise because it’s already mid-afternoon the diners were already numbered. Mr. Anico simply says sorry for the damage bag even without checking how bad it was nor he offered further cleaning, I assume he doesn’t know that leather trim oxidize with water and so and how bagoong stinks even after days. Go figure. He continued telling my party and me that the wait staffs will not clear the tables without our go signal and the worst he told me that the bill will not be in anyway advanced if no one requested it. This time Angelo pointed my six-year old nephew requested it, yes my six-year old nephew was the culprit of it as he claims in which Mr. Anico even repeatedly assert. Sensing that Mr. Anico had no people skills at all for a manager and was not apologetic in the slightest, I even don’t remember how the conversation with him ended. I paid fully but did not left the restaurant at all. My sister and I approached the counter, Mr. Anico was there and pretending to be busy probably to avoid us. When my sister requested for a log book Mr. Anico confidently says “wala pong problema” in which my sister sarcastically told him, “meron po kaya nga we are logging this incident”, my sister further asked the cashier who reviews the log book and was told that it was the owner. At this time, I presume you are still clueless of the incident or worst yet simply don’t care.

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At the end I know things happen, it maybe all unintentional as that of Murphy’s Law, people can be careless in general but hey no one gets automatic pass.

To the MANAGEMENT of D’ BANQUET, Ms. Virgie Malipol and Ms. Amira Malipol, I would not propose any on how you would fix this because I believe the basic of customer service remains to be in general form.

Never lose a customer. Resolve customer complaints immediately, take ownership of the issue, satisfy the customer, and record the solution.

To MR. CHITO ANICO, you should know better! A six-year old kid is capable of paying a restaurant bill thus your claim. I hope you’ll further research about Besa’s bag spa, just in case it will happen all over again at least you can offer to pay for its cleaning and maintenance otherwise if you feel generous and bragging you can actually replace the damage item instantly. I would have appreciated your breaking in even from the outset of this sickening incident.

And lastly, I am sending my apology if my party had offended in any way some of your wait staff, it was not our intent.

 

 

Yours sincerely,

ELNA ESCALANTE-LEAL

 

january 14, 2014

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*Blog post to follow soon 🙂

 

happiest birthday ‘ney

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Sometimes I know you find me annoying and boring and worst –pain in the ass, but hey that’s me even from wayback other than you didn’t tried to change me, you didn’t push me to become the perfect other half. Di ka din naman kase perfect di ba? Hahaha. Nobody is! 😀

‘Ney I know ours is not picture perfect, we’ve been through a lot but as the saying goes sa haba-haba man daw ng prusisyon sa simbahan din ang tuloy, and all ends well for us. We defeat whatever demon on land that tried to break us apart because we shared the same faith, we held the same trust and we chose to stay in love. As you marked your 40 something birthday again, I don’t have too many wishes around (because na-wish ko na un nun Christmas & New Year), this time I only wish you good health so we can still treat ourselves with lechon and other fatty foods we love. I wish you good eyesight so we can still go on road trips even at night. I wish you remain sexy even with that big belly around, I know ang ultimate wish mo wag sumikip un favorite jeans mo na F&X because you look slim on that pair. Seriously, we had tons of targets to accomplish, I hope 2014 and your birthday today will send good luck and new beginnings.

“A husband like you is the frosting on the birthday cake of life. Now let’s have some cake and eat it too. Happy Happy Birthday ‘Ney! “

 

–Love, Momi ni Bei ♥