The Month of the Heart of Winter

the new leaf of January is my Month!

Category Archives: on the road

a merry christmas|2014

And so it’s Christmas

christmas2014_1

We were home in Cavite on Christmas Eve even if the 24th was already a holiday, you know that last minute Christmas rush, the holidays wouldn’t be complete and happy without it anyway. Say that we even managed to have dinner at S&R Macapagal despite the store closing early that night, I feel so Christmas already with clam chowder, so babaw lang! 😀 And for a moment I thought we’d spent Christmas on the road once again because the husband ran out of gas, it’s a lesson learned, never take chances because most gasoline stations closes early on Christmas Eve and I bet it’s the same on New Year’s Eve. Arriving home, we had to rush wrapping some more gifts so it’d be ready in the morning. We forced the kids to sleep early so dear Santa can finally drop off his presents, the bigger kiddo a.k.a. SAM was snooping the entire night. Well, I think she’s at that stage right now where she just needs to believe to old Saint Nicholas so she can get her wish without any tough ordeal.

christmas2014_2

christmas2014_3

Like the past Christmases, we need to be up early for the traditional gift opening, well, the kids of course were the star of our Christmas and their huge and expensive gifts.

christmas2014_4

And what do you know, Santa was extra generous this year because I got a box too, for the first time in many years my Christmas present came just in time for Christmas Day and my smile was ear to ear. 😛

christmas2014_5

I also got the kids initial gift (?), so I’d expect a grandeur one from the “Mom & Dad”?

christmas2014_6

christmas2014_7

Definitely not our Astro Boi…Big Boi or Pompeii? 

And because I became busy during the last few days of work I had so little time to check the mall for the big B’s gift so she ended up helping Ysabel unwrap her huge box. But my big B had her early Christmas gift as early as November –that three new handsome looking pups was more than enough to make her Christmas a merry one.

christmas2014_9

Margarita Ysabel, our little miss ♥

christmas2014_8

Gian Paolo, our still baby boy ♥

christmas2014_10

Samantha Angela Marie, our fine lady ♥

And what is Christmas without showing off the kiddos new collection, I know it’s too lavish these days especially that some kids doesn’t even have a decent tee to wear or totally with nothing on but we’d just like the kids at our house to experience the same thing we did when my sister and I were growing up –new clothes, new shoes, new toys, etc.

christmas2014_11

I know my parents were a bit spoiler the reason why we never really felt deprived, and tho it may look extravagant and uncalled for to some, well, haters gonna hate and losers gonna lose more. Sorry, but it’s the season of the year to dress up and be merry and make the kids super happy, so, I think splurging quite this one time shouldn’t draw too many questions and raised eyebrows. 🙂

christmas2014_12

So, I wouldn’t list anymore what the kids got from Santa, everything is lurve, that’s it!

christmas2014_13

And like the previous years we have visiting cousins and nephews and nieces on Christmas Day.

christmas2014_17

We had a decent spread to feed guests even tho we didn’t really observe the customary Noche Buena.

christmas2014_18

Leoncio and I were able to squeeze a late lunch at Mahogany Market on Christmas Day, first-timers to sample what Mahogany is famed for. We had an order of Bulalo and Caldereta, I’ll give a thumbs up for the flavorful Bulalo from Alegre’s Canteen (as recommended by Jewel during her visit to Tagaytay) other than the Caldereta was a far cry of my very own concoction, love your own, hehehe. We didn’t stay really long at Mahogany, we’re actually there to buy B’s “ulam”, our special treat to her for Christmas –beef ribs for a soupy meal at home.

christmas2014_20

christmas2014_21

christmas2014_22

christmas2014_23

By eve, we drove back to Tagaytay for the annual coffee feast with the maternal. Traffic was heavier and annoying, even the alternate Mahogany Drive was clogged with too many Christmas goers. I was estimating the time because Leoncio had work the following day and seeing the horrible blockage and all was enough for us to make a turn. We’d probably won’t enjoy too because the favorite coffee shop would be jam-packed, seats would be too hard to reserve especially for a bigger group like us, and coffee would be bland and warm. 😦 I assumed we made a good turn because we ended up to another favorite spot in Tagaytay, thank you Bag of Beans for accommodating us and our last minute requests.

christmas2014_19

We had bottomless brewed coffee, hot mocha, caramel cappuccino, white mocha, pancakes, lasagna, pizza, burger and their signature raisin loaf and shepherd’s pie.

christmas2014_24

christmas2014_25

christmas2014_26

It was indeed a merry night despite our decreasing number every year. One day we’ll celebrate Christmas in complete attendance once again, I’m dearly hoping.

christmas2014_27

A Merry Christmas still ♥

 

Advertisements

so, where were we here?

happy birthday sista

Oh the sista’s 30 something birthday. Uhm, during her birthday weekend we went to Divi Market to rally around like the throng of Pinoy shoppers who loves bargains, huge discounts and what else the happiness of shopping spree without selling your kidneys. 😀 But because it was a Saturday, almost always a market day for everyone, the crowd was like a nightmare, there were people everywhere and you can’t even get something out of your bag readily. You’re pushed to walk and walk giving you not much time to lurk over pieces of those P20 items or those 3 for P100 items which in a way can pass as a nice Christmas present with the right paper wrapper and ribbon. We didn’t really stay long at Juan Luna even if Nanay felt like spending more time, after haggling for fruits and veggies we headed right away at the comfort of the air-conditioned Lucky Chinatown Mall nearby, besides it rained that day so we had no choice but to cover and feed ourselves because we’re famished with all the sweats and stinky smell of the surrounds, don’t get me wrong I love Divi by all means but not during this season.

happy birthday sista_1

So, the supposed Chinese-y lunch was discarded and we went to Max’s for some comfort food –spring chicken, lumpiang ubod, sizzling tofu, macaroni salad and tocino, yes, SAM and I didn’t let the chance go by without sampling the breakfast fare, our favorite breakfast chow to be exact.

Going home that day was the next challenge, Leoncio was supposed to pick us up but seeing the horrible traffic I panicked (ok, a bit only), it would be a waste of time and energy and gas. So, I thought that GrabTaxi was the only savior that day, thank God for zero booking fees. Wee! 🙂 It wasn’t too hard to grab one because it didn’t took long for me to get a unit, however, it took us like forever waiting for him when in fact he’s already at Jones Bridge and we already walked like halfway of Quintin Paredes St. so we could meet halfway. Traffic was that horrible and annoying. Don’t mind to ask how much it cost from Divi to Mandaluyong, it was like more than double because it was clogged everywhere, even the side streets. I somehow pity the cab driver especially that he remained calm the entire trip despite the bottleneck. Arriving home, we felt drained so instead of getting ready for our next activity we slept the entire afternoon. Good thing that the weather was colder now because they didn’t complain much about the humid Manila weather.

happy birthday sista_2

Next, by 6pm we’re heading to Ayala Center, we stopped at Rustan’s Supermarket first to have a quick snack but ended eating a lot of sushi, sandwich, salad and fresh fruits. Rustan’s Gourmet-To-Go is Love!  ♥

chuck taylor 2014

I needed to buy the kid’s Chuck Taylor because I’m running out of time. The next few weeks will be even busier with commitments here and there. And because I felt a bit generous or I maybe I just thought it’s always nicer to give than to receive , I bought 4 pairs of that old-school Chuck Taylor for SAM, Pao, Ysa and Che. I almost fainted seeing the bill because it means I have to cut some of my personal luxuries for the coming weeks. Hay! Kayo na ang naka-terno ng shoes this Christmas…we didn’t skipped the recently opened H&M in SM Makati, the 3rd branch to open this year and most likely would be my most frequent branch amongst. I was supposed to buy Ysa’s dress but the styles were so-so, we ended up with that denim blue overall which was too perfect for our little girl. I got her a hooded jacket too. And Nanay a knit-sweater to appease her gloomy mood because she had no size of that studded sandals. And some few pieces of gift item for my goddaughters. I’m almost penniless that day after exiting the mall, it was like I was robbed but what money can’t buy was the happiness of those people close to my heart. They’re happy I know. 🙂

30nov2014

And as if we’re contended of just spending the next day at home, we drove to Paseo de Santa Rosa in the afternoon to beat another traffic jam and to shop whatever was lacking –shoes for Leoncio, dress for Ysa, pants for Pao and to delight my eyes with all that gorgeous looking tops from the favorite outlet shop. Found It! But was too hesitant to take home that Christmas-white top because it was way my budget but I really love it and I’m hoping someone could get it for me, please, my size is 16. We didn’t have too much time and we have to skip the Christmas bazaar near Nuvali, after a quick dinner at Kenny Rogers we drove home. All I was able to take out was the corn muffins and Japanese corn, I feel so deprived and kawawa! 😦

bullseye_2

Even our “special pup” at home is looking forward to Christmas Day! 😛

The following work week was gruesome and will be more gruesome especially that year end and Q4 is nearing, there were also issues hanging around but hey, no one is stopping Christmas and the rush and all the preparations, and parties and get-togethers, and more expenses. Christmas would always be that one time of the year when I feel so energized despite of all the chaos (counting here the ominous atmosphere at the work place) that may pop in.

6dec2014_1

6dec2014_2

6dec2014_3

7dec2014_1

7dec2014_2

7dec2014_3

7dec2014_4

By the way, we were home again last weekend, we had coffee on Saturday night, Tagaytay was so cold already. The following day, Leoncio and I went on some we-time as we hit Tagaytay by ourselves alone, no rush Sunday –coffee, Mahogany market, cheap gas.

sgaaa_1

sgaaa_2

Also, I went to SGAAA (alumni association) on Saturday to see my groupie and to plan more for our very own batch Christmas party. It was nice to be back at the alma matter only that the alumni activity was quite sickening for me because I find it disorganized, I hope they’ll be able to pull out a good team soon because the grand alumni should be seamless and all.

Oh and before I forgot, someone came at the parental house last Saturday morning, swear to God that I didn’t recognize him, I thought he’s someone from the barangay who’s asking for financial support or whatever, you know my Nanay is becoming the savior of these pesky people who’s thinking is we have this money tree of sort that anytime they need to they can easily run to her. When all but my sister and I assumed he’s just one of them, we were very wrong! I know I haven’t written any of him here because he was part of my past, naks! 25 years ago? Let’s go back a bit of high school, he was my one and only crush because he was cool and stylish, talk about new wave and he’s everything it! 😀 I even remember attending Sunday mass regularly because he’s there. And because he knew I crushed him he even sent me a letter way, way back, ok not the love letter I expected, it was sort of a friendly letter only, which I kept for years. Though for sometime it kept me wondering also that maybe some of my friends forced him to do it.  Even after finishing high school, I still find him cute? I still crush him until I found some cute college boys at the university. And by the time I landed a decent job in Makati I’m completely over him because I was crazy infatuated with Ely B. But what puzzle me now, what happened to him? What happened to the boy I crushed for a long time? Of course, he became a man, he became a husband and a father, only that life wasn’t too friendly for him, maybe because he too has his own time lag, he let go of the good opportunities, if ever there were. Maybe he made none-sense of his life during the early years and wasted too much on something, maybe he didn’t treasure people around him that’s why he’s left alone now. Really, I have no idea of what had happen to him and I’m no longer interested to know as well but it bothers me a bit because he looks so old and grimy, no trace of his being in good shape before. I somehow pity the guy this time but I leave everything to God now, may he find his soul back on track. Well, on a side note, I wonder now if he feel a bit of regret after seeing me, bakit naman kase naka-pajama pa ako when he saw me eh, he should had seen me in my boyfriend jeans and my newly ironed-curls later that day, I bet he’d feel more sorry of himself. Ikaw kase eh! Oh well, life is roller coaster and the world is very small so the chance of bumping with people in the past is very probable. He left soon after Nanay handed him a little cash, what a shame? 😦

So what do you know, this forthcoming weekend is very special, Leoncio and I will be marking our 9th wedding anniversary. There is one solid plan to date and I hope it would push without any holdup. And just in case I won’t be able do the anniversary post because I’m busy and drained by then, here’s something for you my dear husband.

Our 9th year came too fast, I was like doodling and dawdling and before I knew it another 365 days of our married life went by. I have many things to thank God this year, foremost, because He gave you a new job at the start of the year and He continued to bless me everyday at work despite the challenges, despite the frustration everytime I’ll receive my paycheck. But despite that little earnings this year, we never felt deprived, we were able to shop to our heart’s content, we were able to dine at our favorite restaurants and we were able to make short distance travels by and by. I thank God that we remained hale and hearty except to some flu and gastric disorders. I thank God that we survived the journey, even childless at this point, we never felt incomplete and miserable.

happy 9th_1

‘Ney, I know in my heart we have a long way to go, we have too many more battle to win and we have too many roads to travel. And let me take this chance to say sorry for the many times I yelled at you for no big reasons at all, for the many times I ignored you, for the many times I acted egotistic, for the many times I excused myself doing the laundry and the dishes and for the many times you felt I put you down. You just don’t know how much I love you and how I value us, that waking up with YOU everyday is my only bliss. Happy Anniversary ‘Ney and may God continue to shower our marriage with trust, faith, loyalty and constancy. 

 

date nights|ucc, starbucks, rustan’s

date nights_1

As a couple for the last 8 years the path we crossed was not always a smooth one and free of disagreements, we have difficult times but that’s part of married life, the real one that is not fictionalized. We’re not perfect and nobody is and at this time and age when some of my friends remained alone and single, some were already at odds with their spouses, some have financial and marital issues and some had lost their partner naturally, I feel luckier that despite the many imperfections we still have each other to wake up each morning.

date nights_2

*excuse the messy hair

And there’s no real secret to it because we’re just choosing love everyday, we still go on dates like it was the first few months of being together, we goof at coffee shops –we enjoy the little things that’s it.

Ssshhh, it makes a little perfect if you have the same sweet tooth and love for coffee and Chinese food and cheese and chocolates!

The truth, I just want to make way for these foodie pics! 🙂

ucc_1

UCC Iced Cafe Mocha

ucc_2

UCC Hot Cafe Latte

ucc_3

UCC Mixed Fruit Crepe

ucc_4

yang chow_1

rustan's supermarket-5

cheese shopping ♥

starbucks_rustan's supermarket

Have a lovely Sunday folks! 😛

all saint’s day 2014

The weather was good the entire day of All Saint’s Day, that’s why despite the lack of our own tent we survived the afternoon. Really, thanks again to the neighboring family for shading even just half of Ninang Elo and Ina’s graveyard. The paternal graveyard nearby on the other hand was well-shaded as usual.

all saint's day 2014_1

By now, I have a very little recall of the event last November 1 at the cemetery. My recollection wasn’t the same as before and I have to do more off the cuff stories to make this a bit worth reading for, at least to my silent reader. Hello you! 😛 Like the previous years, visiting our dead was like a mini-reunion of our families because we get to see almost everyone who drops by. It was like a get-together at the memorial with food and drinks and loads of conversation. It’s that one time of the year when most of us really go on break from everything and go on a vigil and light candles and offer short prayers for our dear departed ones. I wish the whole maternal kin would be completed one day. And that the paternal relatives would somehow give time at least on this one occasion. Hay!

all saint's day 2014_2

Anyhow, we left the memorial park around 8pm this time. From last years’ the crowd was lesser this time probably because it wasn’t a long weekend, there weren’t too many people loitering around and traffic was bearable as well, thank goodness for that because we made it home easily.

all saint's day 2014_3

Because it was Saturday night and we felt it’s a waste to just stay home and watch horror flicks we drove to Tagaytay to kill time, to have coffee and fries, to do nothing but sit for hours. I’m a sucker for occasions like this because it’s my very idea of loosening up and taking everything slow. You know how my work day sucks back at the office so even it’s just a few hours of break I’ll grab every chance.

all saint's day 2014_4

We love the outdoors at McDonald’s across Taal Vista, it’s like hitting two birds at the same time –eating our favorite junks while embracing the cold, wind-chilled temperature that night. And because social media is too epidemic you can’t hide from people within your network, they’d find you right there and then. Location is on that’s why. So after a few sips of my coffee, some maternal cousins arrived and joined us. They were at a tea house earlier. And since JB and family was scheduled to leave a week after that it became the start of the merry occasion cum despedida for them.

I know I’m just missing one of the favorite cousins by now that’s why this post is somehow dedicated to him again. Seriously, you can’t tell maybe in a few years time Leoncio might consider the greener pasture and decide to go other than I’ll probably have mixed decision because I fear to start at zero once again besides the parental are already old and I guess they’ll need more of me one day. I don’t know with you but committing to living and working abroad never crossed my mind even before, I always felt that it’s all about money and the good life ahead but let’s admit it that not everyone who choose the battle abroad succeeds, they have their own fair share of failure and despair. To each his own, it’s a matter of choice and my life is here.

Well, it was indeed a happy All Saint’s Day! 

 

revisiting uncle cheffy

uncle cheffy_6

The first time we dined at Uncle Cheffy was the day my eldest Winnie met her fateful accident, and the dining experience wasn’t a wow as well, so I thought it was really a bad day then but as I said beforehand I’m giving the restaurant a second try. I was considering that maybe we picked the wrong set the reason why I wasn’t impressed with all the food we consumed.

The second visit happens unexpected while my cousin Rheena was on her second business trip to Manila. She was checked in at F1’s in BGC, so during her recent stay we scheduled another dinner, had two dinner dates with her and Tita Pearl during the first trip but I lost account –the first at Italianni’s and the second in Elias. This time we were joined by another maternal cousin who actually planned this meet up. The original plan actually was to drive all the way to Las Pinas to head bang with 19 East live performers but on a weekday we had to consider work the next day and the possible hangover of alcohol.

I was at first thinking of trying out a new restaurant around Burgos Circle that night, say Barcino or The Distillery but the two seems to be upscale and I don’t want to burden my paying cousin besides I was  thinking of splitting the bill with her. Anyhow, because Uncle Cheffy’s al fresco dining looked inviting that night we all mutually decided there, plus factor was they had beers so we don’t need to hop to another bistro later on for booze.

This time around I made sure I got the right set of food so I won’t regret any later on and impress ze cousins in a way. 🙂

uncle cheffy_7

First to arrive on our table was their famed brick-oven Panizza, I was telling Tita Pearl that it’s very much like the Dear Darla pizza, tho Uncle Cheffy’s version was a bit different because arugula was replaced with lettuce. For the second time, the panizza remained to be a disappointment for me. Sorry but C’ Italian’s version remained to be first on my list. I never liked my pizza or panizza so thin.

uncle cheffy_8

I got us Grilled Prawns and Pomelo Salad, I thought it’s nice to have a good crunch of greens. And it made me really happy, the grilled prawns were juicy and huge and its roasted sesame vinaigrette dressing made its overall flavor. And the serving was generous, two thumbs up for this salad!

uncle cheffy_9

For our main, I ordered 1000g of BBQ Pork Ribs, the order came with Asian Fried Rice which ze cousin Wowie enjoyed. I think it paid well that a second visit is a must because this time I have named Uncle Cheffy’s pork ribs next to Friday’s Jack Daniel’s Ribs, my all-time favorite fall-of-the-bone baby back ribs! ♥ And the price was surprisingly cheap.

uncle cheffy_10

We had a night cap with two bucket of beers and pork sisig and baked mussels, a light convo about families, about careers, just about anything less the drama, less the intrigues, less the issues within the kith and kin. I love days like this when everything seems too normal and fall into place. No family is perfect. There may only be gloomy days but in the end when everything goes like hell, the people who’ll stand by you without flinching remain to be the family. And Uncle Cheffy, you won me this time! 🙂

 

 

Uncle Cheffy
Unit C, Bellagio II, Forbes Rd. corner Burgos Circle, Forbes Town Center,
Bonifacio Global City, Taguig Cit
M. +632659 8030 / 659 8031
 

“ber” month

Counting to less than 50 days before Christmas by now and yet I haven’t done any post about the yuletide, the happenings bound to come, the shopping events, the wish list and so on and so forth, I’m too lousy and lazy because work life had been challenging this time, always in a hurry that’s why blogging took a setback. My sundate series almost stopped because I’m losing the oomph to go out on Sundays, above all the early Sundays for the breakfast series too. I’m getting older day by day. And Christmas seem to be sad at this blog… 😦

What the heck? I may be old and grumpy and hollow to some but that doesn’t mean I’ll stop believing about Christmas, I’ll be forever in love with the season no matter how grayish my hair would become, no matter how blurry my eyes will get and no matter how challenging it is for me to listen in Christmas carols in time. Excuse my thoughts but I’m really this, emotional as ever as the season of love and giving draw nearer and nearer. Sigh!

bermonth_3

Anyhow, this year I’m trying to be budget conscious, that’s rule number one, oh well, I think every year it’s basically the goal other than I always end up breaking the rule and spend lavishly during the occasion. Ang sarap kaya mag-shopping! 😀  But I had enough of the previous years, I’m hating the feeling and the aftermath of the holidays especially when there’s nothing left on my birthday. Poorita ang dating! 😦  So, I’ll be firmer this time and I’ll stop going to the mall by the second week of December, which means I have only three weeks to complete my Christmas shopping for family and friends. I hope the fund will be credited this soon so I can take advantage of the less crowded mall.

bermonth_1

*unique, multi-purpose designer papers featuring watercolor drawings from swathe manila 

No worries, I started gifting the family as early as October, the major gifts and my favorite people in tow. I also started buying for my grown-up godchildren and for Leoncio’s side of the family, now I’m down to hunting for unique items for my girls back at the office. If only I had enough fund to buy everything as early as tomorrow morning, hehehe, kidding aside, shopping always gives me that certain feeling of happiness and accomplishment and I bet you also had that same feeling –feeling mayaman! Hahaha…

And seriously, Christmas to some maybe like any ordinary day and to many including me, Christmas would always be the favorite time of the year to be merry, to be thankful, to be generous and to be charitable. It’s the time to get-together, I’m excited to bits only that it worries me a bit that I’ll have little rest and sleep despite the forthcoming long break, I’ll be busy with things left and right certainly, but despite that I’m jumpy to share bed with my big B the entire holidays. Momi can’t wait!

On the lighter side, it’s Friday tonight and I’m blogging somewhere after the ever-unfailing chicken dinner. Tomorrow would be my first rest day after a gruesome work week, this week is awfully argh! I’m trying not to complain but sometimes it really gets on me because it’s tiring, very tiring that it ends me up eating rice on dinner and the sinful barbeque last night, well, at least it makes sense –a good excuse per se to cheat on my meals because I need a pick-me upper! The second rest day for sure would be our date time, over an Italian lunch to conclude the very short weekend.

bermonth_2.1

Oh wait, my breakfast tomorrow would be a repeat of the last two Sundays. Monge bread with homemade ham and emental cheese! ♥

bermonth_4

For now, happy Friday folks and may all of you have the soundest sleep tonight! 😛