The Month of the Heart of Winter

the new leaf of January is my Month!

Monthly Archives: September 2014

just girlfriends

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It started with that red velvet crinkle-looking cookies Rosette offered me that mid-afternoon, yes my long-time friend Rosette is like that when she needs to ask something, when she needs a little por pabor thing about work, etcetera, she’d offer me something or any that I could hardly resist. She’s just naturally sweet like her favorite sweets. 😀

We had dinner to cap off the week that Friday night, it’s like a little send-off to her forthcoming trip to NZ. And I had to recount that it’s the first time in many years that we’re doing this again, just the two of us, like the old times way back my newbie years at the company. And definitely we’re missing the third person, who’s by now kicking the bucket up high. Hello Minerva!  We’ve been missing you especially during holy hours at work. I miss how you’d lit up the mood with just a simple prank. Anyhoodles, don’t miss us too soon buddy. Hehehe.

Right after work, Rosette and I trooped to our go-to place –Greenhills Promenade. It’s just a stone’s throw away from our office building so that saves us from the horrible Metro Manila traffic and all. She allowed me to decide which restaurant but my being loyal to Ayala Malls didn’t help particularly because my favorite bistro restaurants weren’t in sight, Italianni’s closed down for reasons I don’t know some weeks ago. I was undecided so I asked her of suggestions but her preferred Peri-Peri Chicken wasn’t something on my list that night, I thought I’m having chicken on most days so it’s not a good option. There was a mention of Uncle Cheffy, to my delight, but I already booked it for lunch the following day, Tender Bob wasn’t a hit the first time I dined there so I dropped her suggestion once again. We moved forth to Gloria Maris hoping I’d like Chinese, well, we didn’t walked too far because we ended happily in Wafu for some Japanese fare. 😛

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I’m a big sushi fan but because most sushi’s were made of Japanese rice I can’t eat any better than 3 small pieces, it gets me full fast even before the entrees, so from now on I’ll stick to tamago. I love its sweet taste and its light texture, perfect to eat before the big bowl! Rosette still got us a small serving of California roll which I really liked because it was not the usual California roll with mango, they used avocado and the filling wasn’t the usual crabstick, its one solid roll! We had Don Buri’s each, Rosette got the Oyako Don while I had my usual Gyu Don which I miscalculated, I thought the serving was small for my appetite until I felt really stuffed. I didn’t notice that I already finished my bowl, it was that good and best eaten while you’re engaged in a sensible talk. We even didn’t notice that time had passed by, so quickly.

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Since Rosette paid generously our dinner at Wafu I offered her coffee afterwards. The standard coffee shop was jam-packed so we had to move from one coffee shop to another until we found ourselves pretty settled at Eric Kayser. We both loved the vibes at Eric’s because it was rather quiet and the place was a bit upscale and latte was good, so good that I had to phone Dadi about the milk brand they’ve been using. California Sunshine Homogenized Milk which you can get in S&R. We maintained a wit chat the entire time, it’s like the real old times except that we’re so much grown-ups now and we talked about the workplace, the people at the workplace, my resentments, some more people including that staff of mine which was just coffee-ing also at the nearby Starbucks that time. I’m thankful that we really didn’t get to sit down at Starbucks that night because I’m not in the mood to pretend we’re okay. I want a good weekender and brushing shoulder with people I loathed wouldn’t do any good for me, it’ll definitely ruin my night and my weekend. Le Sigh!

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Rosette and I parted ways at close to 11pm already, Dadi had arrived by then to pick me up and I walked Rosette at the basement parking so I can also get my things at her car. It was a girlfriend kind of date I’d like to do again, I love it that I’m with someone who knew me from way back, someone who can somehow read me and someone who I can trust. ♥

 

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team dinner

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*Sweets overload from Q2’s dinner at Chili’s, too sweet! ♥

I know, I know I’ve been so neglectful of this blog, I hardly had any post when in fact I’ve been juggling in and around of the city most. Actually, I’ve been idle because work had been gruesome the past months, weeks, days, it’s taking all my energy that even before my 6:30pm time-out I’m already dog-tired and heavy-eyed. On weekends when I’m supposed to draft some fresh events, I’d normally end up curled in bed until noon, so I had very little time to squeeze a write-up by then. And by the time I’ll sit by and get myself ready to write, I’ll find myself lost because I can’t remember the whole event that sometimes the pictures were not enough for me to bring forth the better part.

I said work these days was gruesome, for reasons, I have a senior staff which I need to monitor from time to time, I have trainees that need my one hundred million attention and I have a grumpy staff whom I need to tone down. Life at work has never been this demanding way before, it used to be less taxing and less evil I count. But actually those challenges were the ones adding a lot of spice to my 15-year old career, without those, life at work would be monotonous, it’s like a senate hearing without Miriam’s poking. 😀

Anyhow, I’m trying to get by everyday even it means I have to hold my anger and be still. Even it means faking a smile or a convo which I’m not very good at. I can’t be tactless and pointless. I can’t be unsympathetic. I can’t be the real me when I’m really irate. But I’ll willing to trade off and forget about my own gripe and sanity (?) for a while if the opposite will mean harmonious relationships all year round, let me just take one step back and roar… I’ll be okay after, seriously, I can go with the flow and pretend like were bestfriends everyday. Hahaha.

Because I can live like antagonism isn’t an issue here, I can co-exist with them even after work. And because I’m a “pleaser” and a good boss (ehem), if it just means rewarding people for their hard work, I had this team dinner approved by the big bosses so the team can go out once in a while and taste a little bonus even if it’s not yet the Christmas month. I know this is too small to brag but let’s take baby steps now, there’ll be bigger opportunities and breaks for people who can wait. After all in most cases those who can patiently wait always bring home the bigger slice of the cake.

These were team dinners during the first and second quarter.

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This was how we fared during Q1 (January-March). The first of the many dinners to come, hopefully!

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Q2 (April-May) dinner was more relaxed and progressively delicious that’s why we had more photos to count…

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Now that we’re almost ending Q3, I’m hoping for the best despite of all the postponement and delays, hello to port congestion, and thank you Mr. Mayor for lifting the truck ban, finally you made something right! 🙂

 

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Ma Rica and family went on a short vacay last August and despite her very busy schedule while she was in Manila, she spent most days in her hometown Sorsogon, she never forgot to squeeze a date with us. It was a short meeting over dinner and so “bitin” other than we had fun the entire night.

Whenever friends would come home from abroad it’s me whom they’d contact right away, that even prior to their arrival they’d ask me to set a get-together with people close, those we had a very long affinity. I don’t know If it’s flattering that way or overwhelming that at least these people think I’m always the best person in town to do the job, that they trust me and my resources and even, well, my choice. Choice here means two things –people and place. It’s like I know better who to send invite and ask to go and secondly, they bank on my choice of restaurant to gather around. Nobody complained so far so I’m guessing they loved my preference in the past. 🙂 I set the meet up that Tuesday night, yes on a work day, Ma Rica left me with no choice because she was scheduled to fly back in California the following day. No one can’t say no of course, except for Pel who initially confirmed attendance but eventually had to excuse because he was hold back in the south, at the comfort of his Ayala Alabang abode. Anyhow, my invitees arrived not really on the dot but it was fine, thank you guys, just in time with Ma Rica and family’s coming in.

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*photo belongs to Mesa

Mesa Filipino Moderne at SM Megamall’s Atrium was the venue I picked that night, foremost because I thought the family was craving for Filipino dishes, and Mesa’s wide menu choices from appetizer to main dishes would be great. Mesa also had a function room which was ideal for dining groups like us, it offers extra privacy and well, we can laugh our hearts out without being set in spotlight. I was assigned to do the ordering part like the usual, it always works that I checked reviews ahead of time because that saves time from browsing the menu and best is I had recommendations of what to pair with.

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I got them Hito Flakes on Spoon to start our plush dinner, followed by Baked Scallops with Garlic Butter and Seafood Bean Curd Wansoy Soup.

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Everyone loved the Baby Squid in Olive Oil and Sigarillas (wing beans tossed in coconut milk and shrimp), we also had Crispy Boneless Pata and their famed Crispchon served 2-way. We all enjoyed the latter because it’s like eating cholesterol the healthy way, that Crispchon in pandan crepes was love! ♥

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Ma Rica’s kids were a bit picky eater now maybe because they’re used to American platters, the older kid (TP my godson) was even insisting that we dine at Chili’s but later on he settled with that order of Garlic Chicken, which only placed second to Gerry’s according to the little man. I’m impressed how kids these days can really compare taste and quality, really smart huh.

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The rest of the evening was non-stop chitchat, it feels good to have these people around, it feels good to recollect our good old days and I felt 20 pounds lighter as well. If only Ma Rica wasn’t leaving so soon we could have planned a mini-getaway and so.

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As we bid goodbye to Ma Rica and family that night with hugs and kisses, we thanked her as well for the wonderful dinner feast, we’ll be missing her again but not for long because she’s flying back in summer and we’re looking forward to more bonding and quality time and eat outs and fun. Until then, see you again my dear.

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By the way, thank you for the pasalubong, you really know me well. 😛

 

 

Mesa Filipino Moderne
2F Mega Atrium
SM Megamall, Ortigas Center
T. +632 4704660
 

B’s day out at the dog café

I’ve been following the lady chef behind Whole Pet Kitchen way back her Food Styling Manila blog, I was a fan and a regular reader, and what really got me hooked was that post about feeding dogs at the animal shelter in Mandaluyong one morning. I admired the lady more for that. 🙂 It’s one of my reveries up until now to do the same because my heart cries everytime I see stray dogs rummaging garbage for food. And tho at present we have two semi-adopted Aspins whom we supply sawdust from the supermarket, I learned it’s a healthier option rather than the regular pellets, I still look for the day I can do the same kindness Giannina did.

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Giannina Gonzales now the lioness of Whole Pet Kitchen had come so far after the opening of the first dog café in the Philippines and Wishbone a.k.a Jack had been headlining newspapers and TV shows, the duo had been the prominent sight of my IG feeds and facebook and I can’t wait to meet them both. If you’ve been reading the blog (this nameless & shiftless blog) you’d know by now that my baby B turned 7th last July but because we’ve been into a busier schedule we skipped giving her a grand party, we just brought the big B to Army Navy Tagaytay few weeks after her birthday. We thought she loved the burgers there better than anything else, and just because they had al fresco seating it can’t get any way fur-pect to spend a leisurely sunny afternoon with my loves. ♥

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I’ve known to be someone who makes plans and trips and promises, and everytime I’m home to my big B I’d always give her something to look forward to. It’s like promising your kid a new gadget when she makes it good in school, for my big B it’s more like getting a McDonald’s trip or a new collar or a new toy as a reward for not peeing on the second floor. 😀 But because any 7th birthday is important and significant I want hers to be memorable, something she’d recount over because she was with Momi and Dadi and with the kids and Lola.

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The trip to Whole Pet Kitchen happened almost three weeks ago by now, so pardon me if there would be lapses here because my memory isn’t sharp as before anymore. I remember us arriving at past 2pm, and that Sunday afternoon we were the first to arrive. We got the best seat by far and for a while we had the entire store by ourselves. I was looking for Jack when one of the store assistant told that he would be arriving later that day. I scanned the menu and asked my party to choose their pick, not too heavy I reminded them because we’re eating decently after at BHS. I asked recommendations from the store assistant while ordering B’s food, finally I settled for an order of Jack’s Lasagna and Banana Oat Muffins for her to munch later on. I got her Yogurt Cooler too, which she didn’t enjoy really. I forgot my baby B doesn’t loves much the cold drinks and prefers to drink water only.

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And what do you know, even before our orders were served Jack and Giannina made an entrance already. B was fuming like a mad dog after seeing Jack behind the glass doors, and for a while the duo stepped back from entering their own store. I had to calm down B and told Dadi to let her, she’d eventually love Jack and I was right. I don’t want to it label it aggression but B at times had this mood to dislike other dogs maybe because of the dominance she always had back at home. But she is now way dangerous okay; she’s never been into fight and never attacked any dogs to date. She was the one being attacked in the past, by a black lab, and we assumed it’s one of the reasons why she hated the black ones.

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Anyhow, back at the café, this was how B and Jack greeted each other, Jack was so handsome, a real furball!

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Mr. Jack, can I take you home na? 🙂

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Not long, a German shepherd arrived with her humans, B made loud woofs once again but was intimidated by the size of the new guest. To pacify her I went on spooning her lasagna, she loves restaurant meals by all means and she’d  ate it with gusto if you’d feed her like a kid. Ambisyosang frog!

By mid-afternoon more visitors began to arrive until the place was packed, the rest were even advised to wait at the dog park near Café Ysabel. Since the dog café is limited at the moment because of the little space, I suggest you come earlier with your pack or schedule your visit on weekdays. I’m doing the latter on our next visit or rather block the whole café so my baby B can freely strut and wiggle. Tita Elaine is sponsoring anyway. Hahaha.

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And if you’d care to know what we had from the Pet Love’s Menu, take a peek.

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Triple Chocolate Milkshake for the kiddos P148. This is quite big and I was telling the kids that they should have shared the drink because Kuya P finished only 1/3 of his.

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The kids got Woofles each, the Double Choclit ala Mode P208. Chocolate and warm waffle topped with vanilla ice cream, a bit expensive for its size.

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We also had two orders of Lalalasagna P258. Layers of Bolognese meat sauce, spinach, cheese and pawsta.

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I only wished it wasn’t swimming on that meat sauce, thank you.

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And an order of Sammie, Piggy in the garden Sammie P228. A unique BLT with sautéed onions on a waffled baguette, amongst our orders this was the one I enjoyed, big portion as well.

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And this was the princess’ Doggie Meal,

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Jack’s Lasagna P88. Semolina lasagna sheets, organic VCO, pork liver, beef, carrots, homemade yogurt, swamp cabbage, tomatoes, basil, cheese. Now, that sounds too healthy and organic! There’s no doubt that my own furball loved this to bits, next time will have to double the order. Beside was the Yogurt Cooler P48. I forgot to capture the muffins but it looked good and B loved its flavors as well.

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A closer shot.

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Our bill almost hit 2k with just that, quite steep I know, but it’s not happening everyday or like every weekend, birthdays are always special and anything for B is endless. ♥ Oh, we totally forgot to buy her a small Paw Cake because the crowd was already overwhelming then and the mini-dogs beside us were making noises by now. It was a bit uncomfortable already that I missed to even have a decent photo with Giannina and Jack, or even a small chat. We’ll be back but not sooner than I can only hope for, because the big B lives south with the parental as you all know.

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Whole Pet Kitchen: Pet Deli & Bark-ery
349-D C.M. Recto St., corner P. Guevarra Street
San Juan, Metro Manila
www.facebook.com/wholepetkitchen
www.wholepetkichen.com
 

about the long pause

I haven’t written for a while not because I’m losing the drive or anything, it just that August passed by too fast and before I knew it, the “ber” month is already here. I wish I have a droid to take charge of this blog while I’m out and getting too many things on my hand. Sigh!

August was supposed to be a slow-down being it’s the ghost month but I’m no Chinese, so while the chinky-eyed community took most of their day off this rainy month I was out and around trying to make a difference. I went on a five-day vacay in Cavite after a workday was sandwiched with two holidays, so technically I was on leave for a day only. However, I did not go on a real break rather I was out on most days talking to people, doing a lot more of volunteer work this time for the batch reunion I’m spearheading (ehem). My high school batch will mark its Silver Anniversary by May of next year so we’re down to only 9 months of preparation. Tho there were previous meetings and gatherings, I noticed that I kept seeing the same people because the same people were the ones religiously doing their part, they’re the ones committed and easy to work with. That despite of the circulating negative issues about some of them, insert personal issues here, I remained mum about it because they’ve been of help, big help in fact to the group so why would I dwell on the unhelpful concerns. Besides, we’re ll grown-up and I guess pointing my finger on them would just mean an intrusion to their private lives.

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August 21, our Oplan Katok started to roll around town, it was the pet project of AP commencing the reunion campaign. It was a day out to pay a visit class members, say hi and hellos once more, and to keep the spirit of our batch buzzing in prep for the grand day. Actually, the target were those mostly living in the countryside, and those we can’t find online, mga di-fanatic ng facebook. 😀 We started the day early on day one beginning at Tambo Malaki off to Pulo, Carasuchi, Guyam, Lumampong, Tambo Kulit and Tambo Balagbag where we stopped over for a quick and hearty lunch. In the afternoon we trooped the neighboring barangay –Daine and Tambo Ilaya and later on drove to Barangay 4 in Poblacion, Calumpang Cerca & Lejos and Kayquit. It was an exhausting day other than we never really felt that way, we had a great day despite the scorching heat of the sun, despite the dusty road and all and we’d like to believe as well that we succeed in a way because of the awe-inspiring feel of being young and excited.

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This was how we fared on day one, all smiles despite the stinky smell and hunger. We send our thank you to those who were kind enough to serve us water and soda during our flight. May God bless you all a hundredfold. 🙂

August 22, I personally ordered a rest day for the group because it’s obvious we’re no more teens, we easily gets tired and at times burned out when doing things continually. The team needed a break and I want to give them time as well to attend their own personal errands, and family. Besides some had work that Friday so after sending my thank you note, I was surprised to receive a “who u?” reply. My God! At this time and age it’s funny when someone would ask me who am I because I don’t text strangers, if it’s the first time to text the person I would readily introduce myself at the onset. So, I therefore conclude that he didn’t save my second number. If I were a bit younger I might had tripped up this guy and pretend I’m his future but I don’t have the luxury of time to fool around, I have to say it straight. Kung kaharap ko nga lang baka nabatukan ko pa!

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GL was a friend from the time when we were just freshman. He was one of the rowdy boys in our class aside from his very deafening tone of voice. Siya yun tipong parang nasa giyera lagi o kaya ay nasa  sabungan, hyper and all. I had a short exchange of sms with him that morning and because I needed someone who could drive me around for free, well, what do you know his schedule was perfect that day.

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By mid-afternoon we were in Tagaytay, it’s the usual day out with the kids and Nanay, and probably because we came in early, Summit Ridge was empty. I love. I treated them over pizza and pasta at Shakey’s and later on we moved to Starbucks to get our coffee fix. A trip to Tagaytay would never ever be complete for the kids without that coffee experience from the favored coffee shop. I had to work a bit and go online while my party was enjoying the comfy seat and lounging, sipping their hot brew like a big shot. Kuya P had that out of the blue tantrum and Ate SAM’s drink accidentally spilled out at her white shorts, despite these hard lucks we ended the day well. We got home safe and sound and all in one piece, thank you G for the smooth ride. Next time ulit ha pag wala kaming driver. 🙂

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August 23, it’s day two of our Oplan Katok. I thought we could cover the remaining barangays already in half day, so we started the day at past 2pm.

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The group was rather small and behindhand this time other than what we thought diminutive still turned out a happy and fulfilling one. We completed the barangays of Alulod, Kaytapos, Mahabang Kahoy Cerca, Mahabang Kahoy Balagbag, Buna Lejos and Barangay 1 & 3.

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We caught AVR off guarded, and since he owed us too many because of the many promises of attendance and help, he had no choice but to treat us over dinner. It became his belated birthday blowout following his August 21st birthday. Belated happy birthday still and thank you for the Chicken Joy, thank you for making our Sabado filled with love and blessing.

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August 24, I reserved this day for my big B after missing a grand party in celebration of her 7th. We thought she’d love it better that we go out as a family once again like the old days when she was growing up.

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A day out at this now celebrated dog café in San Juan made her 7th exclusive and wonderful. After a charming mid-afternoon snack and meeting the café resident golden retriever named Jack we drove to BGC to meet more furry friends. I won’t talk about much of the dog café for now, a separate post for that is a must. 🙂

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If you must know, the big B had changed her preference of playmates over the years. She prefers now the two-legged playfellow rather than the four-legged of her kind. She loves it especially with kids who’d pet her and hug her and kiss her like a little pup. ♥

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After a little shopping at SM Aura we ended over dinner at Italianni’s, another first for the kids and I’m happy that they enjoyed the pasta and pizza and the complimentary Tuscan bread. 🙂 We drove home past 8pm already, our passengers including the big B was dog-tired and slept during the entire trip back to Cavite. I love it when days are carefree as this one, when there’s no need to think about going to work on Mondays. The following day was another holiday, thank God for that long weekend break, we spent it freely and laid-back with people that matters most.

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August 25, I finally had the time to rest well and feel the holiday mode. I spent the entire day with the big B while Dadi gave them bath in the afternoon. My Boi had been behaving nicely these days and we hope to unleash him in no time. Yehey!

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Tatay had been busy with his rambutan fruits, he’s picking the last few pieces when we’re there that’s why we had some take home when we went back to Manila that night including the sweet Bangkok santols. And tho the house including the household remained in mayhem because of the helper issue and clutter everywhere, wanted long-term yaya for Ysa, we remained a peace-loving family, we remained full of beans and I pray for healthiness alone.

Back to reality. After five days of vacationing in Cavite I was back to work shortly, there were plentiful of issues as usual, I actually expected it because it normally happen following long breaks, especially when you have someone in your team that skips her homework when the boss is away. Hahaha. But thankfully none that I can’t fix so far, none that I can’t vindicate, I always thank the former mentor for instilling in me the values of how to be a good leader, of how not to be a double dealer by all means. So, I’m living the corporate life with issues here and there, and there’s no color to it when at times I’d babble and feel lazy, I love it at work nevertheless and I’m only human entitled to feel weariness and sickness once in a while.

That Friday we’re home bound once more after a quick dinner at our favorite carenderia in Palanan, Makati. It’s good that the following day was Dadi’s off so even if we arrived so late at home I don’t have to worry about him getting too little sleep. Of course the big B was the happiest, she’ll have Momi again over the weekend.

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August 30, the day has come! What’s makin’ me occupied was this high school reunion thing, since I’m  on top of the organization and everything else –solicitation, mobilization, logistics, paper works, etc., I haven’t been hanging out with the maternals lately. I am on a busier sched when at home in Cavite because aside from this batch reunion, I’m also part of the Grand Alumni Homecoming happening next year. The Alma Mater will turn 50 on 2016 and by June of 2015 the year-long celebration will start already. So you imagine the loads I’m having outside my procurement career, the more I need vitamin C to evade the common flu and keep going. Bawal magkasakit!

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Anyway, the grand meeting last August 30 was a huge success. I can say now that we’re on our way to getting it done, we’re on our way for the Silver Anniversary and all we need is just a little more push. The attendance was overwhelming and the feedback was heartwarming. I can’t thank enough the group’s effort during our two-day Oplan Katok, it paid off really well. Kudos to my errand boys –AP, GL, HE and to the only rose amongst RA.

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Now, I hope this very looong post explains the silence for a while. I have tons of backlogs and I haven’t figure out where to start, the very least I guess but that would still require time and energy and ambiance. I’m staying at the city this weekend (I’ll be missing home and the kids) and will check around how the “ber” month is making headway. The Greenhills COD started its construction a week back so I’m feeling the season and Christmas is coming soon whether you like it or not! 😛