The Month of the Heart of Winter

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Tag Archives: the maternals

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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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! 

 

send-off for the viado’s

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Because I grew up with a very close maternal family it makes me very sad everytime someone has to go, not including the early demise of my older folks, it’s a different story you know. My maternal family isn’t that big, average is 2 or 3 siblings for each family, some married cousins also has 2 kids each so you can do a roll call easily and in a quick look you can spot the absentees during gatherings.

At count now, 2 married and one unmarried cousin are now Singapore-based, one is based in Dubai with his family and just recently another one left for Canada with his family as immigrants. I don’t know but the recent send-off was sad, maybe because they’re going away to a far-away land and the chances of seeing them once again might take longer because of resident status issue and the like, say two or three years the minimum, I felt missing them by now especially that Christmas is coming too soon. 😦

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A week before the family left we gave them a send-off at their abode, in the midst of clutter because they’re packing and selling all their stuffs that time. It was a simple lunch joined by the maternals and it was like flashback of last year’s dinner –same time, same house, and same faces minus Nanay’s heart attack. It was a bit sickening to remember what happened last year and the sudden commotion that almost took the life of a dear one. Anyhow, the send-off was the like the usual family gathering with food and booze, the mood was happy despite the looming goodbyes on the sideline.

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I know occasions wouldn’t be the same without you guys, we would miss you JB because you’re totally the life of the party. But as you step forward and begin another journey we can’t dissent anymore this time. Enjoy the snow pile, embrace the cold winters and be merry until the spring arrives. 🙂

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And here’s a toast to a new beginning for your family. Be well, live free and enjoy life to the fullest. Hope you’ll get to start easily a new chapter of your lives to your new home, new job and new friends. Everything awaits you now so hurry up and give your best shot because only a lucky few get to live their dreams and daydreams.

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We’re all green-eyed now with your White Christmas! ♥

 

revisiting uncle cheffy

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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. 🙂

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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
 

sundate no.30|nanay’s 62nd

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A week of planning, a day of preparation, a morning of speedy cooking and a witty & bright connivance put together a perfect belated birthday surprise for the matriarch, on a sunny Sunday, it was all labor of love. ♥

Nanay had the blues during her birthday because there was no celebration at home. When I tried to call, her mobile phone was unable to receive my call because the speaker was malfunctioning. 😦 I texted her to ask what she’s cooking, the response was a gloomy “none at all”, I thought she had plans of going out with Ate SAM that day but it didn’t happen for reasons I didn’t bother to ask anymore. I cut my very short convo with her that day thru text because I felt I was adding more injure to her disappointment by then. Little did she know we’re up to something? 🙂

The following day, ze Saturday, after attending Mjane’s wedding Leoncio and I drove hurriedly to Cavite. We need to catch whatever there is at Mahogany market or else we’re dead. On our way I was surprised to receive Che & SAM’s text that they were at Little Soul’s attending the anticipated mass, how come? Tatay was supposed to invite Nanay to Sunday mass so we can freely prepare the morning spread. Now what? Nanay had no idea I was coming home that Saturday night so when she learned about my coming home, she sensed something already. The more when we had to stay very late in Tagaytay, but the truth, we’re just at my sister’s house rushing the preparations. Our only dilemma that time was how we’re going to send Nanay out in the morning so we can set up everything. We had only one person left in mind who’s credible enough to do the extra fun.

Ze Sunday, the 1st of June, I woke up at past 5am already which was an hour late from the original supposedly “call time”. I caught Nanay at the kitchen, wide-awake and preparing macaroni soup for breakfast. I avoided a convo with her and immediately made my way at the bathroom. Tho I know she wondered my bathing so early, I kept mum, besides I really need a good shower after a long day at the wedding, my hair was still gluey from too much hair sprays and I stink after sweating buckets while chopping and cooking the night before. While at the shower I overheard a very familiar voice, the plan must be working, oh yes! But when I stepped out of the shower mother dear was still at the kitchen, naku paano na? We were running out of time, and then the visitor went back again, I was relieved. Finally Kap B (our barangay captian) was able to convince Nanay to go with him to check on something. We told Kap that we needed at least 2 hours so he needs to divert Nanay and go somewhere else.

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Soon as Nanay and Kap went out our challenge started out, I had to cook three mains at the same time, the sister had to perfect her pancakes, the BIL had to chop whatever was needed, SAM worked with the drape and set up and P had to look for baby Ysa. The house help later on continued the frying.

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The maternals arrived even before we set up the breakfast table so it added pressure to us and chaos to the household, Hay! I was moving double time and after one long breathe tada! We’re down and ready! 🙂

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When everyone is around it’s too hard to make a decent photo, right?

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So excuse the bad angles here. 😀

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I asked everyone to come in their favorite shade of pink so I don’t know what happened to those who did not comply, color blind ba? Ooops sorry for my photo bomber baby B.

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Moki’s very own version of PINK 😀

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Nanay and Kap were back at 8:30am, soon as she stepped-in the garage I know she felt a sudden jump in her heart. She was at her happiest with all the greetings and singing and of course the buffet spread. 😛

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I don’t know what happened next, the maternals were all hungry and they care less, they need their breakfast fix.

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To date it was my best sundate ever, one of the best breakfast spree I had and one of the most memorable and exciting event to count. ♥♥♥

When I was little I didn’t get to celebrate birthdays with party and food all the time, I could only remember the 7th perhaps, the 18th wasn’t that biggie, the 25th was more of a family reunion, and my 40th was nothing at all. After my 40th I somehow felt the lost of relevance in marking any birthdays, I was a bit disappointed that my 40th birthday didn’t happen and no one really pay heed to even cook pancit for me, the least they could do. Sigh! 😦 I was decided to ignore all the upcoming birthdays too, it’s just a day and it will pass quietly like any other day. But maybe I was really that gentle and emotional, I can’t stand not to celebrate or do something when their birthday comes. They’re blessed to have me. 🙂

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Birthdays are great reminders of the importance of life, its preciousness and all. I always believe that every birthday should be fêted because time is ticking, our life is passing and before you know it you’ll rotten and old.  Everyone needs to celebrate birthdays because it’s simply worth celebrating, make life as exciting as you were younger because your life has value apart from what you have done. Don’t feel old…

“Do not regret growing older. It is a privilege denied to many.” – Anonymous

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Nanay, don’t worry about the gray hair or the blurred eyesight or the knobby knees nor the visible wrinkles and discolored skin, it’s way beyond normal still. As you marked another birthday, we thanked the Lord for the blessing of life. We can’t ask for anything more other than good health and a sound mind and body. Thank you for your caring everyday and we all look forward in celebrating more birthdays and Christmases and New Years with you. We love you! ♥

I hope you liked our little suprise and Bea’s gift to you 🙂

 

P.S. Before I bid goodbye to this week, let me thank all those who helped us with the preparations and to all who came to celebrate with us last Sunday, thank you for making Nanay very happy on her 62nd. Leoncio missed the event because of his pestering work which I’m beginning to loathe. You’re missing a lot ‘ney! 

 

family weekend|may 24-25

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Yet, I was fortunate to spend another weekend again with the fambam last May 24-25. I had a good excuse to come home because I needed to fit my gown for Mjane’s wedding. The husband had work on that particular Sunday so we decided to squeeze a night out on Saturday eve so as not to waste the weekend itself. And the thought that my cousin Irish needed a breather from all the clamor of marital challenge, well, none that a box of pizza can fix. Hehehe

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We went to our default go-to place even if I wanted to try a different resto that night, we had the favorites –Roasted Garlic & Shrimp, Chicken Alfredo, Shrimp Alfredo and Cheese Quesadillas. It was an early dinner because we can’t stay too late esp that we had kids in tow, Irish’ kiddo in particular. Tho the get-together was some sort of quick we had a good time, they enjoyed my monopod to bits. 🙂

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what keeps us alive at around 2am #mrsfieldsicecream #diybananasplit

Back at home, we stayed very late until past 2am, we were already planning for Nanay’s birthday at that time –the breakfast spree which everyone enjoyed last Sunday. And well, because it was fun and at the same time momentous I’ll try to blog about it right away. Next…

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The following day, the Sunday, seeing that the temperature will just bore me to death I invited Nanay & the kids to SM Dasmarinas so we could go around and at the same time buy the kids school supplies. School is nearly opening and yet they don’t have even a piece of pencil yet, bad Ninang I should have given this priority since I’m accountable for these school supply things yearly.  We look through National Bookstore to buy all the notebooks, and pens, and art materials, and SAM’s not-so important, relevant school items. I remember our time, Che and I fancy those scented pens, notebooks and erasers, we even have a special glue roll-on which the classmate once thought a roll-on perfume. Hahaha. We used to own King Jim notebooks because they’re stylish and neat to look at. The parents assured we have the best so we won’t feel sorry just because the classmates were the rich and famous then.

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Right after that exhausting shopping spree for school supplies I demanded that we should have some good food, some real food for dinner. And since we still have SAM’s Pancake House GCs we thought it’s time to make use of it. Yipee! Finally, I’m not so paying a thousand bucks for dinner. 😀

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Nanay and I shared the Golden Tinapa I’ve been raving from the time I got a taste it. Glad that it didn’t disappoint Nanay’s very picky palate, in fact it won her heart. She even considered it cheap because of the serving size and its inclusion. I got an additional order of taco because I’ve been reading good things about it other than my judgment is unalike, probably not the best taco in town for me.

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Sam had an order of Bacon Waffle which I didn’t get to taste because I was really full from finishing an order of rice, btw, the little boy had the Slice ‘n Shine from the Kids Menu. It was pan seared meatloaf slices, sunny side up egg and plain rice. I think he enjoyed it despite its being plain and boring because he almost finished it.

We were home by 8pm, I rushed to prepare our things because we’re scheduled to drive back to Manila that same night, it was tiring yes but it was rewarding at the same time. At my age right now, I easily get tired so staying at home and sleeping during my off was far more gratifying but I’m not trading anything, time is flying so fast so I want to make the most out of it, I won’t pass up on things I can enjoy and do today, tomorrow maybe too late for me to realize what I have given up.

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These, I don’t want to regret when I’m too old and gray…

 

sundate no.27 + moki’s 25th

If I can find the same opportunity back in my hometown I’ll probably think twice this time and consider living in the south, for good. Maybe it’s the added consequence of being old; you want to spend more time with the family and with people that matters most including the unfriendly neighborhood. Hehehe. Seriously, I always look forward to driving home on weekends other than the husband’s work schedule is not permitting us this time. He works 6-days a week and holidays are not spared, so every time we’re home we make the most out of it no matter what.

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Apr 13. The kids love it when I’m home because Sunday means going out, and eating out, and coffee dates and if there’s extra budget our little big boy can laze at Timezone or Sky Ranch and play. During Palm Sunday, we brought the kids at McDonald’s for a nice change from the usual Starbucks routine. Tho they’re more accustomed to Jollibee, because Jollibee’s store is nearby, our love affair with McDonald’s remains big even if we have to drive a little far off more. McDonald’s has always been a good stop, my family loves McDonald’s including my two B’s.

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Timely to our visit was McDonald’s newest offer, the BFF Bundles which was basically designed for sharing. If you have seen the commercial, you’d probably raving and loving it by now. It’s one of those McDonald’s commercials that’s worth seeing and hearing over and over again. The #BetterTogether campaign was a nice move from McDonald’s and Coca-Cola because it promotes happiness, friendship and shared moments in the real world, meaning minus the gadgets and everything digital that makes us busy during meals.

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We got the BFF Burger Bundle because we all heart burgers ♥, and our personal choices were the Big Mac (for Kuya P & Leoncio), McChiken for Ate SAM and McDouble Deluxe for me. I don’t know with you but the two huge serving of BFF fries were too much, I think. We ended finishing one only.

Its P599 price (bundle for 4) is value for your money ONLY if you’re all getting Big Mac under the BFF Burger Bundle, apart from it I don’t find its worth to stuff yourself with fries. Nakakalunod ang fries, promise! 😀

The day before this sundate with the kids, I had a busy day off.  But despite the many errands and activity that day I enjoyed every minute of it because I was home and around.sundate no.27_5

I was able to spend time with my adorable B, I had the chance to do her bathe again after missing it many times. The househelps had been doing the odd job ever since B started living with the parentals, tho occasionally the husband would take turns doing this when we’re home. B loves the water but hated being bathed and that explains her unhappy face when these photos were taken. My big baby is going to be mommy again, oh my!

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My cousin Moki was celebrating his 25th also that day so we went at their house to celebrate in the afternoon.

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I love occasions with the maternals because it gives me that sense of belonging. Tho we have issues and small rifts at times it never put any scar to the close knit we have. Blood remains to be thicker than water for us and I wish it would stay that way forever and ever. 😛

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It’s a habit also that when there’s an occasion we’ll squeeze a little after party of our own. The birthday boy wasn’t able to join us because he still had visitors at home and we ploy them also that we’re going Las Pinas, that far that’s why even my cousin Irish didn’t bother to join up. 😀 Little did they know we’ll just laze around Tagaytay and have coffee and a little fun?

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My dearest cousin JB went with us. JB is one of my closest cousins in our pack because we’re just of the same age (ehem) and we grew up together and he’s ever comical persona makes a perfect company at all times. Seriously, he’s presence will be missed once they totally migrated to the land of milk and honey. Aw!