The Month of the Heart of Winter

the new leaf of January is my Month!

Monthly Archives: January 2014

hey 2014!

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Because our resident cook for the last 30 years or so had to retire even before the Christmas month (because of poor health and other signs of old age, peace ‘Nay), my sister and I became the official cook of our kitchenette.

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And as customary we visited Divi market beforehand to bargain fruits and veggies other than my extended holiday break after Christmas didn’t advantage because we still have to make the trip on the early morning of Dec 31, ako na ang super busy with plentiful of events left & right. 😀 Since my sister and her two kiddos tagged along we made a really quick round even before the place gets too crowded, made a side trip to Ongpin for lunch and went to S&R in Aseana before we finally head home.

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We had a bountiful of everything from appetizer to main course to dessert; I calculated that if it’s our family only we might have until the second week of January. Actually, we really intend to over stock and be more festive and surpass the previous year other than S&R ran out of Butterball Turkey and we have to think of other alternative. I should have bought my bird days ago before the New Year. Sigh!

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Anyhow, our Media Noche is happening even without a Turkey to carve. And sister and I made sure our menu will be a feast to everyone’s eyes, we’re naturally born to cook and to please your palate. I’m not bragging here, probably one must become our house guest first to attest how appealing our spread can be, I tell ya we’re going to be chef someday soon. 🙂

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Back at our Media Noche spread, since we had baked mac all throughout the season, my oven was like telling me “enough and tell your sister to stop baking & roasting”. Hahaha. But my sister’s culinary expertise improved a lot including her famous baked mac recipe which became an instant favorite potluck food to gatherings. So to save the night and remove the “suya” factor we discard the baking part and made the old-style spaghetti recipe minus the ketchup. We thought it’s perfect for our Texas Style Bar-B-Que Ribs and boy it was!

Here’s a sneak peek of our New Year’s Eve spread,

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The son-in-laws pork barbeque & grilled pork belly.

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I was trying to copy a friend’s potato salad other than the candied walnuts available at S&R was so expensive so I have to do it without nonetheless my version was palatable.

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Oven Baked Ham

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My cheese platter! ♥ I am so in love with that Tillamook All Natural Sharp Cheddar Cheese. I also had Brie and Queso De Bola, and Kirkland Ancient Grain Crackers, walnuts na lang talaga ang kulang sa cheese platter ko to make it good damn perfect! I promise to get a pack next year. Hehehe.

We don’t have any crustacean unlike the previous years at least we have large shrimps, I wonder how much it would cost me those Alaskan King Crabs I spotted in S&R the last time, I wanted that chili and sweet, next year maybe. During last year’s we also had a whole steamed Lapu-Lapu, my idea, because I read somewhere that it symbolizes prosperity and surplus other than this time we happily had two gigantic yellow fin tuna. Thank you Kuya Romy for those fresh catch!

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Ube Halaya or Purple Yam Jam was cooked overtime, just in time for New Year’s Eve.

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SAM’s very own Palitaw (called Palutang in my hometown).

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And our ready to eat barbeque ribs from S&R which we oven baked with baby potatoes. 😛

I didn’t splurged on buying a premium cake this time especially that last year’s was a failure because Purple Oven’s Merry Torte collapsed even before I took a decent photo of it, blame the lack of space on the fridge during this occasion, so, this time I only got us Sansrival from Goldilocks, to be safe only to find out that the it suffered the same fate of our cake last year. 😦 I forgot that it was frozen, and it had buttercream, oh my! I’ll be getting a chiffon base cake next time around or better yet get a bigger fridge this year. Hehehe

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And a million more random pics I shoot while waiting for the strike of 12 midnight.

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We’re welcoming 2014 with thanksgiving tho the last part of 2013 wasn’t a pleasant one we’re still hopeful that 2014 will be a better & healthier one. I am personally wishing that it would be a year of new things, new beginnings, new learnings, more work, more opportunities, overflowing love & happiness and world peace. 🙂

 

a very merry Christmas|2013

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I don’t remember a time I dislike Christmas (just skip the year 2003 😦 ), I love Christmas and every year I look forward celebrating it with my family back in Cavite. It’s the time of the year to be joyous and thankful and generous, well in my case I overspend too much this season but I’m not counting anymore. And tho we faced too many challenges this year nothing is stopping us from welcoming this merry occasion.

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Since my sister’s family is back home at our old house the spirit of Christmas is very much felt because the kids were very excited to open gifts on Christmas Eve other than we extended their anticipation a little bit and asked them to sleep early. We told them that Santa won’t come around if they would stay awake late. So before midnight my sister and I wrapped their Christmas presents, I could almost imagine the sparkle on my big B’s eyes soon as she sees her giant box. She’d love me a million more times. 😀

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So on Christmas morning, the kids were all gorgeously dressed and spirited as each of them opened their Christmas boxes, they received at least 2 boxes each. Merry Christmas kiddos, Ninang is so broke with all your gifts! Hahaha.

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The highlight of our Christmas Day is always the Christmas morning –priceless giggles and wows from the kids!

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I made sure everyone had a box to open including the regular kids at home (my second cousin’s) and my godchildren and helpers and everyone whom I wanted to extend my thankfulness. It’s the season of giving after all.

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Happy that some of my maternal cousins dropped by to greet, and eat our simple Christmas spread.

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And this time, our Christmas tradition took place once again. Another yearly thing on Christmas night –the whole gang joined the multitude in Tagaytay. We took whatever chance we have as we trooped the traffic highway and full house Promenade, all for the love of a Christmas drink. 😛 For high-spirited creatures like us nothing will disappoint even that would mean lining up for an hour or even if we’ve run out of a favorite drink or even if waiting to be seated gets too throbbing.

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And when we conquered everyone around, it’s purely happiness sitting side by side with my favorite people in the world. Tho Joel, Jenna & the kids didn’t make it we had a fun night with the Eyaya teens that came so uniform with their Christmas outfits.

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Adoy, Dodong and Buknoy claim the future of Eyaya clan. 🙂

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We’d love to stay late but because I have work the following day and the teens seemed to have another engagement to attend we called it by 10pm. I had a merry Christmas notwithstanding the loss of a family member on Christmas time and Nanay’s illness and all. I look forward celebrating another Christmas Day with all these wonderful people around.

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Hooray to us! 😀

 

ei’s send-off

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On the second Friday of December we bid goodbye to a colleague at the work place, it was a send-off I organized in behalf of the boss.

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Ei was one of my original teammate during PMG’s time, when M still stands for “Management”. Tho I was ahead of her by two years or so in the company we became friends eventually other than we didn’t started it right because she was so “bratinella”. A recall of our early beginnings, there was a time she approached me and invited me to share a cab with her, of course I declined and sarcastically told her I’m riding the bus in Edsa so she’d stop bugging me about going home together. I secretly hated her. Hahaha. But we became friends in the long run and we started going home together when we’re still both Makati residents. She used to drive an old Mitsubishi Lancer that time.

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Ei was smart and pretty even from way back with wavy hair, thick glasses and braces but time made wonders and magic and transformed her into a stunning angel. Naks! O ayan for the first time I’ll call you an angel. 😀 Probably not really an angel because she can be at her meanest –a little que horror with her egotism, that’s why we had fights. Small fights and big fights that lasted for more than a year. But honestly my life at work was quite and trouble-free when we’re still having that big fight. Hehehe.

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Ei, tho it’s quite too late already when we became closer I value the trust you gave me. Like you, I hardly ever trust anyone because there are too many fake people around trying to make friends with. There are too many who just wanted to fish out infos and gossips, I wonder what they get from doing that. Ei, I admire your guts for doing the right thing, not many will understand but always remember that at the end of the day you and your decision would still count. I know you’ll make it bigger outside Limketkai. I believe in you. I look forward bumping with you around. Btw, I hope the simple lunch surprised you really. 🙂

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Some people come and some people go, it’s a repeated cycle if you must know other than I feel sad everytime an old employee will go. It’s not that Management isn’t supportive but there are too many issues going around which I really find annoying and insignificant for an organization like us. Ei maybe just one of the top talents the reason why she was let go but I hope it’s never too late for the company to realize that top talents isn’t just driven by money and power, but by the opportunity to be part of something big, and for which they are really passionate.

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I guess at the end of it all, top talents doesn’t want being “jerked around”.

 

that yearly thing –staff party!

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One of the Christmas gatherings I always look forward every year is the one with my team and former staffs and some close friends from the software unit. It’s one of the best occasions they all look forward too because it’s no-fuss, just super cool party by our own, meaning no super boss or big boss around so we can talk of them freely. Hahaha. Just kiddin’, the party is nothing but over a shared meal of fresh seafood’s at Dampa in Home Depot. It’s a yearly thing and we’ve been doing this for the past four years now. And despite the physical separation of some from the company they still give time to this event and I appreciate that really.

We plot the date on Dec 23 initially but some have prior commitments already so we moved it a bit earlier, on the 20th to be exact with one absentee only. Lisa M was already scheduled to go home in Baguio for Christmas so she herself declined attendance right away. The whole gang missed her presence this year.

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Few days before the “staff party” I asked Josh to check rates at Justine’s Paluto where we held last year’s, I remembered also that they have VIP rooms which would be perfect for our group. The rate per person is at P499 (if I remember it correctly) inclusive already of unlimited seafood and three hours use of videoke.  It’s a steal! Plus we no longer need to buy our stuffs at the wet market but we lost the slot because we phoned in reservation too late. Sigh! I wonder why they have to wait for me to give the go signal when in fact they can initiate this thing, one of the things I loathed –the lack of initiative. 😦 So with or without a reserved seat the Christmas party happened anyway with big smiles, with high-pitched speeches and talks, with never-ending laughter, with precious tokens (sorry Jennie for my effortless gift), with simple but wholeheartedly donated items which were raffled. Christmas isn’t about tag price and brands. Christmas isn’t about counting. Christmas is giving. Christmas is love. And I love these people dearly.

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The juniors (L-R): Mjane, Josh, Geneve, Belinda, Janet, Kathleen, Jennie and Rojane

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The seniors (L-R): Moi, Catalina, Jingky and Rojane again (excuse Rojane’s confused age that’s why she joined both groups, hehehe)

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The spread we heartily shared. ♥

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Our yearly “staff party” is all about fun and get-together with no expectation at all. I’d like to pass on the good wishes to everyone –it’s been another year of friendship, more to us! 🙂

 

a small deed for a big cause

For the very first time in 35 years the company I worked for decided to cancel the company-wide Christmas party to empathize with Haiyan victims, it’s one of the best move the company had ever made because it’s sensible and I feel proud forgoing something despite its being traditional with the intention that many will benefit from this. In lieu of the grand Christmas party each department was given a nominal budget to make merry the simplest way. The boss requested me to make the arrangements for the entire Product Marketing Team, she especially mentioned a simple dinner, so, without asking anyone or even getting the group’s consensus I decided that the party would be as follows: Christmas Dinner to be held at the office Penthouse on December 6, 2013 at 6pm. Period. No buts, no ifs. I emailed everyone a save the date invite a week before the event and I assume easily that nobody was opposing because nobody dared to email me back or even ask questions about it. Probably they sensed anyway that I’m a Hitler-wannabe. Hahaha. Oh no, I’m not, it’s just that because we were a big group I thought it would be too hard, probably a big headache if I’ll ask everyone for suggestion and even if we agreed to a common ground I was thinking that reservation would be another pain in the ass by then. It was so close to December already when the company announced these changes so it’s no good that we join the multitude partying father than the office.

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But lo and behold, I made sure that everyone had a wonderful dinner that night. I made sure everyone will burp in flavors. It wasn’t really a simple dinner, I disobeyed the boss, because I ordered food more than what we can actually consume. Honestly, I don’t want anyone to feel any deprivation at all other than I wish to bring them the hotel dining experience with all the good food I personally picked from 8 Spoons. Anong sinabi ng buffet sa mga pipitchuging hotels?? The food overflows and appetizing even from the looks of it.

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The Christmas Dinner Menu

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Chicken Caesar Salad P950

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Spicy Buffalo and Barbeque Wings P1100

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Spinach Lasagna P950 (I got two trays of this healthy pasta)

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Baked Salmon with Cream Cheese P1500 (two trays of this succulent dish)

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Baked Ribs in Barbeque Sauce P1100 (another two trays of this fall-of-the-bone ribs)

Herb Rice Pilaf P450 (i missed to take a photo of it 😦 )

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Fresh Fruit Crepe Roll with Nutella Glaze & Chopped Pistachios P580 (and two trays of this delectable dessert)

We finished just half of the food but it didn’t go to waste because we raffled it soon as dinner is over. It’s all fun like the old days, read PMG Salo Salo, we used to do this in the past. And everyone got a Christmas themed Toblerone as token this year. During last year’s, I was able to buy them Pringles and Raisinets and we have some GCs and wrist watches to raffle. In fact I won one if you remember. 🙂 This year was a lot different because we have to scrimp those optional. On the contrary, one of our VP dropped by and generously gave me a thousand bucks to raffle, I regret not informing him earlier, he must have set aside more than that for us or even prepared red packets. But even with the very little amount everyone was thankful of his gesture, kudos to WYC for the cash!

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The simple party ended past 8pm and everyone went home happily with their stash of spinach, baked ribs, salmon, salad and crepe. It may not be extravagant like the others but all ends well, I suppose, and everyone was buttering up the delicious spread, even the boss. 🙂 For this, the boss should give me another high five on my performance appraisal, I should be able to surpass 2012 and get entitled for fat bonuses yet again. I’m obedient you know. Hehehe…

Just so you know the company donated P400,000.00 to Haiyan victims, it’s nothing compared to donations from multinational companies as quoted by our company president during his Christmas message but what matters is that we are able to lend a hand —this is reason enough to be happy and content this season. 😛