Monday, December 19, 2011

Help Sendong victims



Following the tragedy that has happened to our brothers and sisters in Mindanao, I'm really not as festive as I should be. I have relatives in CDO and Iligan and I was worried about them knowing how badly these cities were hit.

Thankfully, they are fine; but my heart breaks to know that a lot of people drowned in their sleep (as of the latest count, there are more than 650 casualties) and many more are missing. 

The plight these people are suffering, and will still have to bear is heartbreaking, so let's extend whatever help we can to the victims of typhoon Sendong.  Donate whatever you can such as clean clothing, drinking water, medicines, slippers, canned goods or give financial aid - whatever help we can give counts. 

I've just finished packing some relief items (pillows, bedsheets, clothes and slippers) for sendoff tomorrow at LBC. For those who want to help, you can send your donations at any LBC branch, check with Red Cross and/or your bank.

A little goes a long way. Let's make them, at the very least, feel the spirit of Christmas by helping them at this time of dire need.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Because nothing feels like it like Love Letters can

Love letters: stash 'em or trash 'em?

I have had my fair share of love letters in my lifetime.  I don’t clearly remember the very first time I got mine. All I know is that it was from a boy whom I really liked in fifth grade. It was scribbled in pencil on a piece of intermediate paper.

I recall with fondness how one cutesy love note bore more cutesy love notes which led to something cutesy – more popularly known as puppy love. Alas, my mother read all the letters stuffed in my school bag and crumpled them into a huge ball of rubbish. Unfortunately I was too young to know the importance of stashing these precious scraps away from queer eyes.

My first boyfriend also wrote me love letters, which he’d usually hand me to my surprise. His letters didn’t say much, but were enough to make me swoon and fall even more in love with him at that time. I still have them, hidden safely somewhere.

My second boyfriend, who was sweet in every way, used to write me love letters with so much passion and creativity. One he had smothered in his favorite perfume, another he had embellished with rose petals and tiny little beads - the works, never mind the bad poetry. (grins) I'd write him love letters too, with the hardest attempts at making mine more passionate and creative than the ones I received from him. I didn’t get to keep all love letters he had written for me, as I burned some of them after a bitter breakup.

I also keep letters from so-called 'admirers'. I hardly ever read these notes but on instances when I pore over them, it never fails to flatter me knowing I have, in a way, experienced what it’s like to be adored.

In a world where everything is just a click away, love letters are seemingly a thing of the past; its beauty nearing a halt. Hand-written confessions of love and affection are being conveniently replaced by email, text messaging and other techie means possible.

However, compared to these modern ways of expressing one’s feelings, the beauty of love letters lies in its surefire ability to draw emotional response. It can make you giggle, swoon, cry tears of joy or even embarrass you. There's always a big difference when you receive an "I love you" message from your significant other when it's handwritten than when it's typed in on a keyboard/keypad.

It's a good thing I got to keep some love letters for me. These documents of confessed passion are a stark reminder of how you became someone’s inspiration. It is a written record of someone who poured his time and effort to weave words out of pure emotion, nevermind if he's not a gifted writer.

I've learned of this  now, as I  happened to come across these letters.  I will always remember and be thankful that at some point in my life, somebody loved me; that I became special in his life and that I was once the apple of his eye -  even if the relationship is gone or the feeling had long fizzled out.

It's been a long, long  while since I last received a love letter. My boyfriend of three years, though sweet and one of a kind, has never written me one yet, ever. But in case he's reading this... :)

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

K-Poppin'


I've long resigned to the fact that I'm a bore when it comes to fashion and I just couldn't go weak at the knees at it. I've always believed in dressing for comfort over fashion. Check out my closet and you'll find that there is nothing much to be excited rummaging into it anyway - most of my clothing pieces are dark and consist of the basics. Perhaps one can say my clothing selections are a cross between safe and boring. I rest my case.

So when KPop (abbreviation of Korean pop) was announced as our office's Christmas party theme, I felt as if I was at loose ends again, thinking of what to wear and how to wear it. You see, I am probably the least person anyone would think of when it comes to fashion. I shy away from wearing bold prints, shun bright colors, get cautious with accessories and ward off trends because frankly, I don't really know if I can pull it off.

And although the idea of a best-be-overdressed vibe was more of a chore to me, this was a night I felt was too good to pass up without getting hyped up, if at all it would mean a new experience.




So the closest I got to defying my cardinal comfort-over-fashion mantra is to kick it up with killer heels, don chunky accessories and wear explosively bright-colored lipstick.

KPop fashion, or fashion per se, is all about having fun. But fashion and being a fashionista are just not my turf, and I prefer being called a fashion ennuyeuse. Really.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Alone and lonely




The past few days have made me feel like an emotional wreck, nursing figurative wounds I felt I could not get past with, let alone patch. My psyche disapproves, but emotions are a stronger force than that, succumbing to anxiety attacks and a feeling of helplessness - loneliness beyond reprieve. I've been alone for some time but I've never felt this lonely.

I wish you were here. I need you. So he was told. He could wipe her tears dry, chase her blues away. Yet all he could do was stay on the other end of the line until her tears dried all on their own. 

If it isn't distance, it's the pain of being lonely that's killing her. She has been counting the days when he will come home, she will not know when, but she will wait faithfully.

I miss you. Please come home.


Sunday, October 23, 2011

Palawan lovin'


I know, I know. It took me this looong to blog about this. It's not to say that I have had been overpowered by my blogging-delinquent tendencies, I guess I've finally gained enough inspiration to blog, blog and just blog. 

My idea of a weekend reprieve calls for slipping on my trusty pair of Havaianas, wearing my favorite shorts and hopping on that boat or plane to neverland - a getaway to somewhere new and different. 

What I'd give to explore new sights and have a taste of novel experiences, even if it means having barely enough to last me once I get back to the daily grind. Going on a 'pocket vacay' to Palawan with my bee friends was fun and worthwhile, even pumping up my wanderlust more. 

Just arrived!

Lotsa crocs! - at the Palawan Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Center

baby, behave :)


Off to the underground river

I had always dreamt of going to Palawan – the last frontier of an island which I’d often see in tourism advertisements and postcards, it's name I’d always hear good raves about from people who have gone there.

Palawan is an ideal haven when you’re looking to commune with nature, and yet even anyone who’s not much of a nature lover will be in awe with their lush greens, breathtaking islands, highly protected wildlife and well-preserved natural resources.


Lush green




the Palawan Underground River:

I'm still gloating with glee that I have, at long last, visited the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park. No wonder it was declared an official finalist to the search for the New 7 Wonders of Nature.


Just one of the amazing rock formations inside the cave. Our tour guide calls it the 'elephant'

One of the reasons why I wanted to explore Palawan was the enchantment of seeing for myself if schools of fish would really swarm you, as my aunt once told me. And sure it did happen when we we were at Snake Island. I never got to ask the locals why the island was called such but it was a delightful experience to be swarmed by fishes, not veered away from by them. Mind you, I don't think I'll ever get to experience that anywhere else than in Palawan.


Snake Island


I've found that Palawan is one of the cleanest places I've ever been to. In Puerto Princesa, you could actually get fined for littering anywhere, which brings me to ponder that if they have commendable waste management practices, I don't see why other cities in the Philippines just can't do it.

Albeit short, visiting this beautiful place made me, for a while, forget just how crazy this world can get because the place is just so relaxed and laid back. It makes you truly thankful and proud to claim such breathtaking a scenery our own which grant us worthy of bragging rights. It also makes you aware and conscious of preserving the environment (because their locals are bent on keeping it so).

I wonder when I'll be able to satisfy my wanderlust again. Anyone up for another getaway?

Friday, October 21, 2011

Gecko fright

I'm locking myself inside my room because of this gecko hanging around in the kitchen. I had to look it up on Google to know what kind of red-dotted reptile it is, and found that it's a leopard gecko. Out of my huge fear of lizards, I am laughing at myself as I have blocked the small space at the foot of my door with shoe boxes, for fear that the gecko might crawl inside and join me here in this already cramped space I call my room. 

You see, I have never seemed to overcome 'scoliodentosaurophobia', or fear of lizards, myself still quaking in my boots up until now every time this reptile is close by. This is the same feeling I get with frogs, ranidaphobia as it is called. Either of, or both these phobias may be an affront to my thankfully clean bill of cardiac health, the psychological a different aspect, of course.

But no matter how many times I try to tell myself that lizards are generally harmless, it simply just doesn't cut it. Heck, I cant even post a picture of a happy gecko even because it still skeeves me. 

Although it may still take a lot of convincing to be able to conquer this fear not uncommon, I still have reasons to feel a lot luckier knowing I don't have the weirdest of weird phobias, like the fear of gravity reversing itself, for example, or fear of being drowned by peacocks. I'm not even sure how I could even begin to deal with such a grotesque fear on the uptake. 

Meanwhile, I'll just lock myself up a little longer in my room and wait 'til the gecko's gone. What do you expect a lizard phobe to do anyway?

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Welcome to the world, Yoseff!

It's official. I'm now a godmother - a proud one at that.


Meet my first godson, Yoseff IƱigo Castro Fabia.

Welcome to the world, little one! I couldn't be happier to be your ninang. 

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Plod on


Yesterday was a horrible rainy day. I got stuck in the rain for what seemed like eternity, myself wondering about, and wishing for things scattering my brain like rain showers and thunderstorms. It was actually my first time to experience the brunt of getting stranded because of flooding in the streets, and the lousy part was that I could only do so much. 

You wait helplessly to get a ride not knowing whether or not you can, and while you do, you see right before your eyes how worse it could get when you can't do anything about the angry rain, not even the flooding. 

But then, you're not too sure if there really is nothing you can do but just sit and wait for a miracle to happen. When I think about it, this seemingly inevitable a headache, no matter how I abhor it, happens perhaps to make me see something more profound.

Life's tough. Plod on.  

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Of beauty pageants and boo-boos


Well done, Shamcey. You've made us proud.

Yes. Shamcey Supsup did very well in the recently concluded Ms. Universe 2011. I was confident that she was going to take home the crown. After all, she had the looks, the confidence, the grace and the intelligence. I was one amongst the crowd in fever pitch hoping she was going all the way for the win.

But no, she only made it to the 3rd spot. Eyebrows raised as to Ms. Angola getting the crown, or why Supsup ranked lower than the two other contenders, and then reactions came in different sways.

Our high hopes falling short, people stoop into making snide and sarcastic, even stupid remarks, a normal inclination that may qualify as bitterness because we knew our bet fared so well in the first place. If it wasn't showing support for Supsup with great fervor, I don't know how to put it.

Perhaps this could be brought about by all that hype that many Filipinos have with beauty pageants. Yes, I watch them whenever I get the chance but I have never been a fan of them. I have always thought of beauty pageants as a root of insecurity to some and a source of entertainment to many - not so much with substance if we're really talking about real causes and issues, if you know what I mean.

People seek and expect perfection, but ironically take delight in spotting imperfections at the expense of others. Now what does that speak of a person? People are made to believe that it is acceptable to quantify beauty through physical appearance and intelligence through the hypothetical and plain rhetoric.

But looking at the other side of the spectrum, I'd like to think that the public's blind fixation on beauty pageants stems from it's ability to bring about some sort of 'escape' from the harsh realities of everyday life. People want to be fascinated, and in a way, find fascination by the glitz and glamour often associated with beauty pageants. They delve into this realm where 'beauty' is highlighted, showcased, more so glorified, making it their own. After all, who doesn't like beauty and want to be surrounded by it?

So there are remarks from some who talk about the pageant's results in unsensible, distasteful fashion, poking fun at race, skin color and even the lack of, or inability to answer in English. I say, stop the bitterness. Beauty is relative and it is never defined by what you are, where you're from or the language you use.

Shamcey Supsup may not have taken home the crown but she made us all proud. She may not have won the title, but she outshone the rest of the candidates and was a crowd favorite. She may not be Miss Universe 2011 but many believe she deserved the crown and should have won.

Now isn't that something we should all celebrate? 
Image source: http://goo.gl/zwl8L

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Well hello, Singapore!

Exploring Singapore for just three days wasn't easy and yes - bitin, needless to say. Checking out what this fine city had to offer constituted lots of walking (expect muscle cramps!) and catching buses and trains in between taking deep sighs from marveling at Singapore's splendor. No matter how pressed for time I was, it was well spent and enjoyed. The best part of it all: winding up back in the arms of my boy, who's based there. 

There are just so many things I am amazed with in Singapore. 

1. The city is generally clean and clutter-free.

2. You can easily get around the city. Getting 'lost' does not really scare you that much, especially if you're a tourist.

3. Traffic flow is 'liquid'. Motorists strictly observe traffic rules and have a full understanding of what a pedestrian lane is. 

4. People don't spit. Because this is one of my major peeves, I've found great relief here. 

5. Safe. The only thing I actually ever worried about while touring Singapore was if I could still walk (what with all that heavy walking), not my bag getting snatched or getting poked from behind by a stranger inside a packed train. 

Travel tip # 1: Dress for comfort. Your body will thank you for it.

Travel tip # 2: Bring water at all times. Water is quite expensive in SG too, FYI

Travel tip # 3. Wear protection. Sunblock and sunglasses a must.

Travel trip # 4: Have earphones. Will travel.
 
Travel trip # 5: Bring a map. It always helps.

Singapore is pretty much a small city but there's actually a lot to explore and discover. I'm amazed how this city has flourished from its humble beginnings as a fishing village to a fabulous and bustling cosmopolitan hub, its rich cultural diversity making it a popular destination.

the famous Merlion

Fantastic view of the city at night aboard the Singapore flyer

When in Singapore, try hawker food. Tasty, local food for cheap.

Checking out art at the Esplanade

All that walking, to the point of getting cramped that I could no longer seem to walk was a shame when I realized I've only explored parts of Singapore's beautiful whole. Blame it on time constraints. But then I can always go back there, perhaps discover there's something bright, bold and new that awaits me. I feel lucky.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Love, after all

My most unforgettable experience in Singapore:

Tired and cramp from a fun day at Universal Studios, I fell almost face first in front of many people at the bus stop in our attempt to catch the bus. Bruised and embarrassed, Cyril took me into his arms, wiped my tears, hugged me tight and nursed me the entire night, not minding that he, too, was cramped and even more tired than I was. 

I am the most blessed girl in the world.

Not lucky, only blessed.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Debugging

Girl settles at a table and waits for her pasta chicken order when guy approaches and sits next to her.

Girl: Yes?
Guy: I just want to talk to you.
Girl: uh, about what?
Guy: You know, youre really looking hot these days.

Girl’s brain shoots up 360 degrees but manages to contain herself despite wanting to break the guy's neck. FYI, girl doesnt like being called hot.
Guy: Your hair’s great. And what a cute shirt you have on too.
Girl: (starts doubting guy’s sexual orientation) I know. Tell me something i dont know.

FOOD ARRIVES
Guy: Can i have your number.
Girl: No.
Guy: Why not?
Girl: Coz i dont want to. If you want my number, find my number. But im not giving it to you.
Guy: Why are you being so stuck-up? I just want to know you more.
Girl:  Im not interested, alright?
Guy: Are you really like that to all the other guys?
Girl: Ummm…no. Can you please leave me alone? Im hungry and i want to enjoy my meal.

Guy doesnt leave and continues blabbering. Realizing that his attempts at getting into a conversation with her are futile, guy’s presence undergoes a state of sublimation.

Girl is oblivious, too preoccupied twirling spaghetti with her fork.

This girl tells you, guys in particular, to cut it out when she’s not interested, especially when she’s hungry. Cheesy pick-up lines and trite conversation startup pieces dont work for her, and she knows when you, (guys in particular) are trying to pull it off.

Try a little harder, though, unless you want yourself forked, turned-over and become toast.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Going brave, going bangs!

Undecided for months and months as to what I was going to do with my hair, which is ideal an example of boring and lifeless, I finally mustered enough decisiveness to just go straight to the salon to get a hair makeover.

Bench Fix in Ayala has always been my choice whenever I needed a hair fix, thanks to bad haircut experiences with other salons. Their rates can be higher compared to most salons here but at least their stylists know what they're doing and yes, I'd always get out of the salon not wishing I had chopped the stylist's ear. haha. 

Here's a photo of me pre-hair makeover. 


I instructed my stylist to please trim the ends of my hair but make sure the length was maintained as much as possible. I wanted bangs to go with it as well. After several snips (he thought I was better off with side bangs just below my cheekbones to complement the shape of my face), he asked if I wanted to make my bangs shorter. 

"Can you make it shorter? Like up to my brows? I know it doesn't really suit my face shape but daugon ra nako sa confidence."

The stylist chuckled and proceeded to chop it shorter. 

Lo and behold my new look. 





Oh okay, well maybe the look isn't totally new.
I sported bangs in 2007 - DIY, fyi.
Guess I'm just brining back the look

The cut was still good the following day, although it didn't give the exact same look (I could probably maintain that 'bagong labas sa parlor' look if I had a blower same as theirs.). It didn't worry me much though, as I've but long kept a mental note to myself - it's actually what made the stylist chuckle. And mind you, it pretty much works. 

Because really, no matter what hairstyle you sport, or the shade of lipstick you wear even, or the outfit you don, it all and always boils down to one thing: Confidence. 

Going beyond the topic on getting bangs now, I ask, what's stopping you from trying something new, if at all interesting at the least? Be brave, be confident, be you. :)

Sunday, June 12, 2011

From Maria Ressa to me!

Thank you, dear, for this pleasant surprise! :)

Boyfriend approaches Maria Ressa.

Boy: Hi, can I have a picture with you?
Maria Ressa: Sure. (smiles for the camera with the boyfriend)
Boy: Can I have your autograph?
Maria Ressa: Sure, after photo ops.
 

Boyfriend waits till Maria Ressa is done with her photo ops. Approaches her again.

Boy: Can I have your autograph?
Maria Ressa: Sure, what's your name?
Boy: Can you put the name of my girlfriend instead? She's a big fan of yours. She's an aspiring journalist.
Maria Ressa: Wow! What's her name?

Boyfriend says girlfriend's name. Maria Ressa scribbles in notebook. Boyfriend thanks her. Sends pic of autograph to girlfriend. Girlfriend is surprised and ecstatic. So ecstatic!

Boy I sure have the best boyfriend in the world! 

Monday, June 6, 2011

Bee, Tea and Me (Bubble Bee Tea House)


I don't know what it is with the middle of the month, this time at work when my brain gets overworked and  my hormones are raging badly enough to trigger anxiety and panic attacks. 

When all the dirty work is done, I seem to have always made it a point to purge all that stress off me. Whether it's going to the salon for a diamond peel or getting a massage at my favorite spa or having a drink or two with friends, it's amazing how these simple indulgences can actually keep me from being on the brink of insanity.

After heaving sighs of relief following the end of reporting day, me and my girls went to Bubble Bee Tea House for some chillaxing. It was actually my first time to visit the place and boy I was not disappointed - it really makes for a nice place to just sit back, relax and unwind.



 

I especially love Bubble Bee's interiors - soft, warm lights, soothing colors, cushioned chairs that bring out your 'lazy' side. The cafe's style spells fun, quirky and very laid back.

Couldn't help but stop and stare at 'em cutesies!

that's the Bubble Bee logo right there

Davey getting cozy with tiger

Rhea and her milk tea

Bubble Bee Tea House isn't just all about aesthetics, too. Their tea drinks are actually a great alternative to coffee, and are delicious, I actually had a tough time deciding which drink we ordered was better, if not the best. 

If you're not into tea, they also offer fresh fruit slushes too.  Whether they serve beer or any other liquor, I'm not too sure - the waiter said they weren't serving beer but then I saw a beer bar alfresco (which is which?)


We all gushed amongst ourselves "Bitaw noh, nice diri noh?" Drop by and you might as well be saying the exact same thing. 

Post Script: 
My gizmo doesn't really take good photos. =) 

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Why, thank you, BB cream

During my most recent diamond peel session, the attendant remarked that my skin was looking better than before, saying that it looked brighter and smoother. 

Okay, so maybe getting a diamond peel regularly has helped, alongside my doctor's prescription for my acne-prone skin. It's just that she repeatedly remarked how good my skin looked, (I'm not sure if that was her way to get me to tip her big, haha) That's when I realized I should give BB cream part of the credit too.

What I'm using

I first learned of BB (blemish balm) cream in my desperate attempts to find that one product that would best suit my skin - the perfect example of imperfect. And because I am not really into wearing makeup, I wanted to find that one product that could give me the 'no makeup' makeup look, if only to stop my well meaning friends from telling me to put some glow on my otherwise pale face. 

Lucky I found these things and even more in a BB cream. I've been using this wonder cream for four months now and I've been so hooked - in fact, I don't leave home anymore without applying it on my face. Why do I love BB cream? Let me give you my top five reasons:

1. Conceals imperfections. Think blemishes, dark spots and uneven skin tone. BB cream's got them all covered. BB cream instantly brightens my skin, giving it that nice, noticeable glow.

2. Protects from the sun's harmful UV rays.

3. Moisturizes my skin. Who says oily skin should skip moisturizer?

4. Lightweight and goes on easy and natural on the skin. Unlike foundation, it doesn't feel thick and is non-comedogenic.

5. Time-saving. Because BB cream all comes with coverage, moisturizing and protection properties, I'm usually all set and good to go after application.

I guess this explains why BB creams are such a rave among women, especially Asians. And if you ever wonder how many celebs, for instance, Korean stars, possess impeccably good skin, that's because they use BB cream too. I'm currently using Maybelline BB cream - the product works well on my skin although I know there are other better brands out there which I might want to try when the tube runs out. 

Now you see why I am smiling more confidently now. See the difference?





BB cream could also stand for this too - Be Beautiful.

Monday, May 23, 2011

You're invited! Jollibee Kids Convention 2011


Dubbed as the country’s biggest expo event for kids, Jollibee is all set to hold the Kids Convention on May 28-29 at the SM City Cebu Trade Hall.

Open to all kids, both JKC (Jollibee Kids Club) members and non-members alike, this two-day event comes with a full slate of exciting activities that are sure to delight kids and even the kids at heart. Among the highlights of this expo include mall parade, mini concert featuring Jollibee Kids Club talents and photo op with your favorite Jollitown friends, plus a toy exhibit showcasing Transformers action robot figures and Barbie doll collectibles. 

Not to be missed is the first ever Barbie Cosplay Contest. This competition highlights a one-of-a-kind fantasy experience for kids, with cash prizes at stake. 

Cool freebies will also be given away to the first 500 new JKC members as well. They may even get a chance to win a Jollibee Kids Party Package for free. This event makes for a great venue for parents who want to clue in on the latest kids party ideas as well. 

The Jollibee Kids Convention aims to bring together kids in one big, spectacular event. This will feature a lot of cool and exciting stuffs everyone for everyone to enjoy and remember. 

Mark your calendars and be a part of the biggest expo for kids this year.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Nothing but memories

My grandparents' two-storey house - now demolished.

I am sad. This is what my late grandparents' house looks now, a far different picture from that cozy and lovely home where I used to spend summer after summer back when I was a child. 

This used to be my playhouse. To the little girl that I once was, my grandparents' humble abode was like a house made of candy - simple pleasures that make for my once unadulterated joys. There were times when I didn't want to leave.

This was once a house that was so full of love and happiness. And that was so because my grandparents showed me love and cared for his grandchildren so much. Now nothing is left of it but memories of my happy childhood with Lolo Ating and Lola Tinay. 

Back in my childhood days, I'd wake up in the morning and rush downstairs to find lolo in the kitchen preparing my milk. He wouldn't mix it with coffee the way he did with his drink because he said coffee was bad for children.

Come dinner, he would knowingly ask what we wanted to eat. He knew we wanted him to pull out corned beef or canned paksiw from his sari-sari store, with softdrinks to boot. He'd tease me about just having sardines and then laugh when I'd wail. When it comes to food, lolo spoiled us to bits. He was an excellent cook, and I'd always finish his plate full and happy.

The sari-sari store was another favorite spot of mine in the house. It was so stuffed with goods they had to put up a bodega to stock other supplies there. My eyes were always on  those colorful assortments of candy placed in glass jars. I always craved for them; and when I'd be tempted to get some, lolo always knew when to quell it.

Whenever he was tending to something else, I'd sit at his table and fiddle with his abacus, even when I didn't know then how to use it, or what it was for. I'd get to play little cashier every once in a while too. I never liked it one bit, but it was my way of helping them out. 

They had a spacious living room as well, which could accommodate a good number of people at one time. The mood was always fun and festive whenever we'd all gather after a meal and the elders would make the kids dance while they sang in chorus. All I'd hear was laughter and happy chatter.

the shack, where we used to gather and lounge around.

Lolo and lola also had a big backyard, where lolo built a tree house for me and my sister to spend  lazy afternoons in. Their backyard was also where I would run around with the other kids, play games and even chase stray chicken too.

Lola grew a variety of plants, flowers and fruits as well, to which lolo would cut sugarcane, pick buungon (pomelo), among others, much to our delight. Lola would gather cacao for me to eat, and  then I would help her make tableya out of the leftover seeds the next day. She also often warned me not to go further out into the backyard because of the presence of tungaw or red mite which could be extremely itchy to the skin. And when I wouldn't listen to her, she'd treat my poor, rashed skin expertly without the proverbial "I told you so" remark anyway. 

Their washing area was my most favorite spot in the house. It had a tub which I loved soaking into and just playing with cool water that seemed to be running non-stop.The last time I visited their house, I'd find that the tub appeared to be way smaller than it used to - I must have become all grown up now.

The house was already barren the last time the family came to visit. I barely saw a hint of lola's once well manicured garden. Lolo's sari-sari store was nothing but an empty, dusty space; the backyard looked as if it hadn't been tamed for ages, and the tub was dry out of water. Now all that is left are just remnants of nothingness. Who knows, although I'm not sure, that maybe if the house were kept to stand still, it would have been a lot less sad for us. 

Nothing is left of it now, I know; but the memories will always live with me. I will always be thankful to my lolo Ating and lola Tinay for making my childhood the happiest days of my life and I will always remember how they helped raise me to become what I am now.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

TOSH is LOVE

The Old Spaghetti House is always the first that comes to my mind whenever I think of pasta. Call me exaggerated, but TOSH gives me these unusual cravings, like an addiction to something I must satisfy if only to keep me from going insane. True.

My most recent dining experience at TOSH was pleasant, as always. I had a tough time deciding what to have, although I wanted to try the pasta dish my boyfriend had the last time we dined there. It was surprisingly nice to know that he, the one I know who'd be the last to eat pasta, would actually finish his plate of sun dried tomato pesto with grilled chicken, and remark that he loved it. 



Mirror, mirror on the wall!

I love dining at places where there are mirrors. The self-confessed narcissa's logic is that you'd forget everything if you're enjoying good food, and that includes looking in the mirror all the time. It's like humoring myself to check out what a monster I become when I'm chowing. lol

Bolognese spaghetti

Ordered Bolognese thinking this was what my boyfriend had when we last dined here. Turned out it wasn't what he ordered. But still, it was good, really good.

Chicken and mushroom spaghetti

Rhea ordered chicken and mushroom spaghetti, it's taste close to that of carbonara. Forked into her plate and loved the dish too. 

more garlic bread!

Trio 8 - Golden Oreo cookies

Trio 8 - Funnel cake

Trio 8 - Mud Pie is to die for

For dessert, we ordered Trio 8, which consists of deep fried Oreo cookies topped with ice cream, funnel cake and mud pie. We just couldn't get enough of the mud pie - it's simply divine. So what if it's laden with calories? We're ditching our diets for this. 

filling out the customer survey form

and the respondent says...

One for the road! Stuffed and smiling!

It has been yet another pleasant dining experience at The Old Spaghetti House what with it's no doubt delicious food, cozy resto ambience and of course, juicy conversation with a dear friend. 

Post Script: 
Thanks to Rhea's Nikoy for the shots. ;)