Getting Ready For School

29 January 2009

Finally! After months of worrying whether we will be able to find the right school for our son, is over. Early today, we were able to find a nice school located near our place. Its a pre-school, learning and activity area. It fits children from 2-6 years. I have been eyeing at this school for years, its just now, that we're able to inquire. And thank God for this instant blessing. In 2 months we will be enrolling Franky in a summer workshop (at that very same school) he will both learn and play. We thought that it will serve as a form of preparation for school this coming June.

I must admit, it's hard preparing for this new stage in my child's life. Financially, it's not a joke. The standard of living in the city is far different from the rural areas. The cheapest we could find for a pre-school is at P40,000. But then, when it comes to education/learning, it's always a must to give whatever's best for our children. If not something from the top of the list, at least something we can afford and will still give the proper learning we desire as parents.
As what the Directress told us, our son is qualified to join the Junior Kinder circle for this schoolyear. I am really excited for his first day.
I am also happy to finally experience this one of a kind mommy moment ( Hi Chris!) A goal to be reached-soon.

A Walk To Remember

26 January 2009

It is surely a movie to remember...
It's one flick that I love watching over and over again. The movie, that made me love Mandy Moore as an over-all performer. Her breakthrough in the acting scene.
A Walk To Remember is a romance film based on a romance novel by Nicholas Sparks. The inspiration for A Walk to Remember was Nicholas Sparks' sister, Danielle Sparks Lewis, who died of cancer in 2000.The plot was inspired by her life; Danielle met a man who wanted to marry her, "even when he knew she was sick, even when he knew that she might not make it". Both the book and movie are dedicated to Danielle Sparks Lewis.

Everytime, all the time, its impossible I won't get teary-eyed while watching. Especially when nearing the end part...Last Saturday, it made me cry again, the funny part, my son was looking at me. With his facial expression I know he was figuring out why, and I had to explain that it was the movie. The story of 2 highschool kids who were living in 2 separate worlds, was brought together in order to fulfill Jamie's (Mandy Moore) miracle.
"Love is like the wind, you can't see it but you can feel it."
It also includes a great line of songs:
Dare You To Move- Switchfoot
Cry - Mandy Moore
Someday We'll Know -Mandy Moore and Jon Foreman
Dancing in The Moonlight - 2001 Remix Toploader
Learning To Breathe - Switchfoot
Only Hope - Mandy Moore
It's Gonna Be Love - Mandy Moore
You - Switchfoot
No One - Cold
So What Does It All Mean? - West, Gould & Fitzgerald
Mother, We Just Can't Get Enough - New Radicals
Cannonball - The Breeders
Only Hope- Switchfoot

How Do I Love My Husband

23 January 2009

I keep on mentioning over and over how marriage changed me and my over-all perspective in life. I used to be the type of person who would seal herself in a box and view the world on one side. Until I met my husband.
Two complete strangers, with different philosophies and ideologies.
My husband was my brother's schoolmate and bandmate in DSLU. Actually, he was the only person from my bro's circle whom I haven't met during their band days. There were times when he would go to our house, but, it's either I would be sleeping or out with friends. Then there were times when my bro would invite me to join them. But for some odd reason, I couldn't join them.
On my 21st birthday, I invited my brother's friends, sent an invite to Dolf, so I could finally meet him. But during that time, he had a girlfriend and I just got dumped by some guy. When I finally met him, he was very charming and quite a gentleman. 7 months later we met again, I went on a blind date with some goofy guy. It was actually a double date with my bro and his girlfriend. We went to Malate, to watch my brother's band play. And to my surprise("eyes twinkling"), I saw him.... It was Dolf... sitting by the bar. The feeling was refreshing. I was sooo bored with my date and decided to walk over to him and have a quick chat... So, that's when it started for us. The next thing I know, he texted me and invited me out for a movie. It was a very flattering experience. Then, in 2000 we made it official to everybody.
8 and 1/2 years of being together... 4 years married...How Do I Love My husband?
I love him back because he brought out the real person in me
I love him back because he has brown eyes
I love him back because he accepted me for I am
I love him back because he is a very patient person
I love him back for being a God-loving and fearing person
I love him back because he knows my heart's desires even if I don't say anything to him
I love him back because he is a good, responsible, sweet, and loving Father to our child
I love him back because he is full of wisdom
I love him back for being simple and humble about himself and his achievements
I love him back for the hugs and kisses he gives me everyday
I love him back for making me enjoy the luxury of staying at home
I love him back for being "the chef of the day" when I'm sick
I love him back because he plays sweet pranks with me
I love him back for his corny jokes and baluktot tagalog words
I love him back because he knows how to listen or to hear me out
I love him back for choosing me to be his partner and to spend the rest of his life with...

Sample Shots 2---Whatever Catches My Eye

22 January 2009

I am proud to share another batch of images I took, for this month...I honestly don't know how to rate them. The whole month I took shots of whatever that called my attention.
There you go, another reason why I can't go practice photography 100%.
These random photos are taken from different ocassions and time.
Wildflower. It covered our parking space when we were in Laguna. Pretty nice for a parking space. I was thinking, why place this pretty one, where it could only be stepped on or trampled.
Fern plant from my Auntie's Garden. This is literally a lucky shot. I held the camera and faced it down. There were stuff between me and the plant so I had to hold a certain position while taking it.
The wooden bird cage is actually hanging on top of the fern plant. I was after the sun light towards the thing. As mentioned, there were stuff (gardening materials) between me and the plant. (tabingi) (excuses!excuses! he!he!he!)
The wooden bridge was taken from a farm. My son and his grandfather went boating, while I took advantage of the bridge (lol). This is one subject I wanted to shoot. The texture of the wood and how the bridge was made--- very dramatic.
And this drop of water...from my placemat. :)
I might concentrate on these kind of photos, also portraits. It doesn't require so much time and money to enjoy a fun- filled photo session. Still learning!

What's Cookin'---Its Mr. Crabs!

13 January 2009

Just last weekend, my Dad took home some fresh Crabs from the waters of Quezon Province. Fresh---it was still moving with its claws tied up.
As we placed it one by one in a huge cooking pan...Oh boy, these things are fast even without the help of their claws.
The process:

Steamed whole sprinkled with salt.

Perfect with soy sauce & Calamansi...chili (sili) for those who wants it spicy. I added Crab paste to give it a little something-something...
Warning: Take in Moderation
Happy eating!

When I Became A Mom

I was breezing through some old folders when saw an album full of my pictures, with a big tummy, baby Franky still inside momma. I reminisced and found those days super memorable, especially because I was pregnant with my first child. It was quite a journey for us starting a family here in the Philippines. We thought we'll never make it. With, prayers, hard work, trust, patience and clean living, it has been a pretty good 4 1/2 years for us.
I can say, I was well-taken cared of when I was carrying our first child. The first grandchild on my husband's side. The support from both our families was overwhelming.
I miss shopping for baby clothes and baby must-haves. I miss those healthy diets, frequent visit to my doctor, whom I considered to be like a mother to me. I miss the big bulk in front, though its quite heavy, but it's nothing when you know its your little one that's inside. I miss the classical music. My husband would always play classical music when I'm around. Most of all, I will never forget, the process of giving birth.
In a way, my mind was already conditioned. When I studied Nursing, I took care of Moms on labor, to their delivery and up to the nursery where I kept their babies warm. Somewhat, I already know the process, the medicines and the number of injections I will be getting. he!he!he!
It's was still painful, but not as much. It's a good thing that at this famous hospital in QC, each mom was given a Nurse, not only to monitor, but also to give comfort and support, a hand to hold. Literally, the Nurse was seated beside the patient's bed.
It was an experience that officially made me a Mom, "The Mother". A lot changed after. I needed to give up some activities, things and over-all, my single life for a new and better one. The important thing is I am Happier compared to the old life I had. One benefit having your own angel around, everyday, is, to be able to watch him/her grow and develop. The first smiles, laugh, first steps, first solid food (LOL), those bye-bye diapers and feeding bottles. And just recently, our first dance! These are the things that brought Us (me and my husband) the best-ever rewarding experience. I bet the next ones in line is our son's moments in school.
These thoughts Im sharing means a lot to us... a lesson learned...
That the small things a family can share, the simple joys, like a child's smile makes life easier. It's hard and ridiculous when you have everything, but at the end of the day, you still feel incomplete or unsatisfied.
On the other note:
My husband and I are taking it step by step on when to have our next child. With Franky getting ready for school, it's important to have a clear set of priorities. This is when we found the value of family planning, in a sense it does not involve contraceptives. Financially, physically and deep inside.
What I learned on various seminars and from my doctor herself, Natural Method is best applicable to those who have a regular mentrual cycle.
So, if God will permit and give us our next angel (soon)...anytime, we're ready.
Have A Great Day Everyone!!!
Warm Hugs!

Mum, Can I Have This Dance?

09 January 2009

Swept away by my son's version of Sweet Nothings. Over dinner, my son suddenly stood up, grabbed my hands, led me at the center of the kitchen, placed his right hand on my lower back, reached for my right hand and started sweeping me away with his version of a dance called waltz. I got teary-eyed...its the sweetest thing he has ever done to me, and he is just 4 years old.
It's the most rewarding thing ever since I gave birth to him, my first and our only child. I love him so much...I may not be able to give him all the earthly materials. But surely, I'll pour all the love in the world that I can get....and cherish every moment we'll have forever...

What's Cookin'---Lechon Paksiw

07 January 2009

Christmas 2008 my family celebrated with this Lechon(roasted pig) from Lydia'sLechon. To be honest, this was never included in my list of favorites. It's a pretty big Lechon for families and people looking after their blood presure on Christmas Day LOL.
What happened? left-over galore!
This is somewhat a late food entry. I was fixing my picture folders when I came across this Lechon image. Now, it reminded me to make a post about it.

Lechon Paksiw is a famous Filipino Dish. It is often served during town fiestas and celebrations such as Baptism, Birthdays and it is also best for the Holidays. It is served with thick liver sauce cooked with vinegar, sugar and herbs, popularly called the sarsa (sauce).
We had our fair share of this juicy meat with crispy skin. To preserve the meat, I turned it to Lechon Paksiw. The process was very easy. By the way, you can buy Lechon from any of our local sellers per kilo. Anytime, we can now prepare this meal without buying one whole lechon :)
What you will be needing: Good for 1 Kilo of Pork
1 Cup vinegar (add more if desired)
1 1/2 Cup water(add more if desired)
1/2 tbsp granulated pepper
tsp tip of salt
330g regular Mang Tomas Sauce
1 Cup Lechon Sauce

How to:

Boil pork with vinegar, water and pepper (Paksiw process)
When water is reduced, add the Mang Tomas sauce and lechon sarsa
Simmer on low fire
When sauce is thick add salt to taste
*you can add more water and vinegar to satisfy your taste

It is going to be Sweet, soury and savoury combined...

Happy eating!

What's Cookin'--- Pinakebbet

05 January 2009

Pinakbet is a famous Philippine veggie dish. The name originated from the word Pinakebbet. Which is an Ilocano word meaning, to dry up. One main ingredient that makes Pinakbet different is the use of shrimp paste.
The vegetables commonly used are:
Ampalaya (Bitter Melon)
Kalabasa (Squash)
We add meat (especially the fatty ones) to add more flavor.

With my version of Pinakbet, I don't use meat (to be on the healthy side). I let the Shrimp Paste and other vegetable ingredients (such as some red tomatoes) play with the flavoring.

For dinner, once again, I gathered the available veggies from my crisper and made Pinakbet our grub for the night.
What you will be needing:

5 cloves garlic minced
1 medium onion chopped
3 red tomatoes cut into quarters
2 eggplants sliced into desired shape
10 pcs. okra chopped
1/4 part squash sliced/chopped
2 tbsp. shrimp paste
2 tbsp olive oil
salt & pepper to taste
1 Cup water
a bunch of Kangkong (Water Cabbage)

How To:

In a pan heat up olive oil
Sautee garlic until medium brown
Add onions and tomatoes (simmer for 30 seconds)
Add Shrimp Paste
Mix for a few seconds
Add chopped squash
Add water, simmer until squash is half cooked
Add the Okra, add water if necessary, simmer until okra and squash are cooked
Add eggplant, simmer again until all veggies are cooked
*Ampalaya would be a nice vegetable to add*
Salt & pepper to taste

I like my Pinakbet with Kangkong tops. Makes it look more healthy.

Happy Eating!

Filipino Ingenuity-edited

How will you define Ingenuity? It is a skill or cleverness in devising. Early today, I accompanied my husband in the heart of Metro Manila--- Morayta! We took the train (lrt2) going to Legarda and from there, rode this sidecar. (see pic from google images) But ours was orange. I noticed that it has a small, fisherman's boat- like motor attached to it, and off we went. Not as fast as the typical tricycle. But it's better than the "padyak" (ordinary tri-bike). It's obvious that our Filipino brothers improvised from old bicycles and left-over motor scraps.
Now, they have this thing called "job". It is still better, than doing nothing at all.

To be honest, I got excited. It was our first time to ride and see this kind of pedicab. It made it easier for us to get to our destination. Minus the traffic. Plus the fact that we (my family) enjoyed feeling like we're touring the busy streets of Manila. Another reason why my love for this country keeps on getting stronger.

If you're visiting Manila, try riding one of these bikes.

note: Stay Safe

Big Warm Hugs!

Left 4 Dead

04 January 2009

What kept this mom busy this holiday season?Left 4 Dead did. This Mom Is A Gamer! Our friend introduced it to us. It's a 4- player co-op game. Zombies? , Apocalypse? you got it! Not only that... it's zombies and apocalypse combined. Worse situation you don't want yourself to get into.
From the makers of Counter Strike and in celebration of HalfLife's tenth anniversary. Developed by Turtle Rock Studios. The game pits four survivors of an apocalyptic event against hordes of zombies inspired by some modern flicks like 28DaysLater. A five-minute trailer was released on Halloween. A playable demo was made available on November 6 for pre-purchasers and on November 11 for the general public, and was closed on November 18, 2008. The demo contained the majority of the first two chapters in the "No Mercy" campaign, and was playable in both single and multi-player co-op. December 2008 it was released here in the Philippines. Data Blitz sells the game for P2000.

The game is composed of 4 playable human characters:

Zoey- College Student/ horror movie enthusiast
Francis- Biker
Louis- Junior System Analyst/ IT
Bill- Vietnam Veteran

A time is alotted to the team players to load guns, grab first aid kits and ammunition. Killing the zombies is easy, no need to blow their heads out. But the rage and aggressiveness may beat you. A list of villains were made to make it more exciting.

Here are my favorites
The Horde of Zombies. Meet the zombie horde: eerily fast, sensitive to loud noises and movement, and able to attack in ravenous waves.
Witches only want to be left alone so they can enjoy a good cry. They hate flashlights and loud noises, but what they hate more than anything is being shot at. If you hear the Witch's tell tale sobs, turn off your flashlights and try to sneak around her. If she starts to get angry, her growl will let you know she's close to attacking.
The Hunters are a mutated breed of zombie—faster, fiercer and far more dangerous than common Infected. Keep your ears perked—a shriek from the darkness means a Hunter is near, and ready to pounce in for the kill.
Mutated through infection, the Tank's only strategy is brute force. Find the Survivors. Pummel them to death. Repeat. Healthy Survivors can run slightly faster than you. Try to trap them in tight areas, or use a thrown chunk of concrete to stun them.
The Hunter's Way

Available on PC and Xbox 360
The Zombie game is back!Even better.

visit: for more info

some notes from wikipedia