Archive for January, 2010

31
Jan
10

CHUBBY CHEEKS

Now that Gabby is turning 6 years old in 9 months time, I and Tina miss his old self.  Yes, he’s still that lovable and smart kid but the way he looks now seems like he’s BABY-NO-MORE!

   

Yesterday, I was browsing our family photos in my files and I found these…

taken at tagaytay highlands when he's 3.

gabby at 3 years old taken at subic

We miss his chubby   taba-chingching cheeks ! 
We love him so much and he’ll be our BABY-FOREVER! :D
29
Jan
10

LEVEL UP!

This is a quick post about something I really want to share (aren’t all my entries intended for public viewing? LOL).   So allow me to cut my usual blogging about my wife, Tina our son, Gabby and I  on family, food, family, food, family with this little something.

May I ask you ? 

:) What do Kris Aquino….

:) Boy Abunda

:) Coco Martin

:) Derek Ramsay

And :) ME have in common ?

N-O-T-H-I-N-G !

ABSOLUTELY NOTHING EXCEPT THIS…

My humble post (like the others that aren’t sponsored) about my experience as a one-time-judge in a bloggers cook-off conducted by Century Corned Tuna which can be read  HERE, was published with consent in the company’s newsletter.

BTW, that’s blindfolded-me=in-black  in a game called “Guess the ingredients/condiments” during the event last year held at The Stock Market at BHS, The Fort, Taguig City.

Being invited to grace that occasion was already a big thing for my blogging but I was so glad to receive requests via e-mail for my blog entry about it  to be publish as one of the articles in their newsletter.  Imagine, almost all bloggers present there had shared their experiences in their respective sites but only one was chosen to be part of the paper. *grinning* 

They even delivered a printed copy to my doorsteps. :D

To the people behind this magazine and to their company, thank you so much and more power!

28
Jan
10

HOLIDAY LEFTOVERS

More than a couple of weeks ago, I’m already done taking down our Christmas tree and some decors.  But to our delight, the fridge has still few traces of the recent holiday season…

Although personally, I favor 2 local brands : Purefood’s Fiesta Ham and Excelente Chinese Cooked Ham which I think can only be bought from their store in Quiapo, Manila ( have you tasted Excelente Ham?)  my wife, Tina and I couldn’t say NO to this HUGE blessing….

Not to mention that we’re extra frugal these days so this leftover is actually a life saver! :D

It was hand carried by my dad-in-law from San Leandro, Ca when he came home few days before the year turns 2010.  Believe it or not it almost weighs 9kg!  I can still remember my reaction when my in-law asked me to put it in the fridge from his duffle bag; I said, “Whoa!”  I was truly surprised with its humongous size! Plus, what made it different from the local cooked hams that I am familiar with, it’s already spliced in spiral from its core.

It has that usual ham-taste but with distinct tenderness.  I want it just fried without brown sugar glaze that comes in package.  

Sliced to and around the bone, FARMER JOHN® Premium Spiral Sliced Whole Hams are ready to serve hot or cold for any occasion and season. Slow-cooked for ideal tenderness and consistently sliced every time. Comes with a special spice packet for excellent color and robust flavor.

:D  Do you like ham?  What is/are your favorite brand/s ?

:D  Do you still have fruitcake leftovers from Christmas?

I’m craving now for a double decker ham sandwich with generous spread of mayo! :D

25
Jan
10

10 YEARS MORE TO A CENTURY

:) FAMILY + FEAST + FUN = Sundays never get better than this! 

Yesterday, January 24, just before the clock strikes 12 noon, my wife, Tina with our son Gabby and I were already at the venue to attend my paternal Lola Tentay’s 90th birthday celebration with almost all of our relatives from my dad’s side.

Yes, there was the queen of the Pinoy feasts ~ lechon (roasted pork), courtesy of my cousin, Dr. CSM from New Jersey and a simple lunch buffet to everyone’s delight.  Check out my glutton’s plate, lol :D  (click photos to drool more  enlarge)

My dad got the lechon plate for us to share :D  Nevermind the cholesterol content; a reunion like this doesn’t happen on a daily basis!

Our Tita/Ninang Glo with her husband, Tito George who both came home from LA, Ca sponsored and provided us color-coded T-shirts with embroidered logo for the occasion. Yellow for all apo (grandchildren) and mga apo sa tuhod (great-grandchildren) and red shirts for all of Inang Tentay’s children.  The venue :  Calumpang Gymnasium in Marikina City. 

Who would have thought that this gym was deluged few months ago by the unforgettable Typhoon Ondoy (Ketsana)?  The Calumpang gymnasium is located literally along the Marikina River…

The simple spread was provided by a relative-caterer, Martha’s Plate.  The feast was unpretentious; nothing fancy but deliciously satisfying! :D

 

There were Chicken-Shrimp Sotanghon, Fresh Lumpia, Fish Fillet, Chicken Pastel, Beef Morcon, and of course, a cake!  Everyone had Buco-Pandan for dessert (which I forgot to capture).

After lunch, our balikbayan-uncle hosted the program with more than greetings and well wishes for our Lola but fun parlor games too! There were games for everyone!  Even the guests participated and all had nothing but cheers and widest smiles!  BTW, Gabby had his share on stage with his 5-stanza poem that garnered applause. Tina and I are so proud of him! :D

 

The reunion-birthday party could have been happier if all our love ones abroad could come home especially my mom in UAE; and our relatives whom we visited in NZ before but now all living more comfortably in Melbourne.  Nevertheless, it was indeed another family gathering to remember. 

We all went home with similar wishes for our good Lord to bless our Lola Tentay with more years to be with us.  

:) Aren’t you proud as a Filipino that we value family and family-ties?

Till our next family-bonding moments!

23
Jan
10

FIELD TRIP 2010 : PART 3

After a wonderful animal-encounter at Ocean Adventure in Subic, the 5 buses of preschoolers (Gabby & his batchmates) with their parents (including me and Tina of course) and teachers trooped to Clark, Pampanga and had a brief exposure to Filipino history & culture.

 

We already heard few years ago that NAYONG PILIPINO which was previously located in Pasay City near the airport, is now in Clark, Pampanga but we only got to see it last week.  This TEMPORARY RELOCATION of the famous replica of most tourist spots of the country was done to give way for the building  of the 2 Ninoy Aquino International and domestic terminals.  And the latest we’ve known from our trip,  plans have transpired to push through with the new construction of Nayong Pilipino near the SM Mall of Asia area.  Have you heard of this news?

First stop : the replica of church in Bulacan imprinted on Philippine Ten Peso-Bill.

 

MALOLOS CHURCH served as venue for so many Philippine Constitutional Conventions.

Then there’s also those WALLS of  INTRAMUROS and what appeared to look like a river however, there was no running water but a rock bed.

The Nayong Pilipino guide informed us that this Clark’s version is divided into 2 parts : Precolonial and Post Colonial eras.

At the Precolonial area, the simple Pinoy lifestyle before the Spanish regime is depicted. We were greeted by an Ifugao native dance…What a warm welcome for all of us!

The short performance of the natives was a fresh sight to the kids who were used to gyrating pop music. 

The simple and creative way of living of Filipinos long before we were under foreign rules were shown in these huts built without a single nail or screw and amazingly can withstand any typhoon.  I guess these native shelters truly represent what early Pinoys were – imaginative, resilient, simple.  Do we still have these qualities at present ? :)

“Movable Ladder – Walang Akyat-Bahay! Ang galing ng ating mga katutubo!” (click the picture to enlarge)

Weaving of textiles with intricate and colorful patterns was also demonstrated.

Panggatong, anyone ?

This is a replica of an upscale Muslim house that’s suited for a Sultan or Datu, the village chief in Maranao, Mindanao. It’s called TOROGAN.

The Torogan House has colorful and intricate butterfly-like end beams that protrude in front of the house; apparently gorgeous Maranao artwork! 

There are also monuments inside Nayong Pilipino to honor Philippine History and Literature…

On the left is  Ang Alamat ni Malakas at Maganda… And on the right is Lapu-lapu, the chieftain of Mactan, pardon the pun, appeared to us as depressed in his stance… (click photo to enlarge) I believe Lapu-lapu deserves to be depicted victorious having been considered as the country’s first hero.

There are also monuments for Philippine Folklore’s goddesses – the likes of Mariang Sinukuan and Maria Makiling; but I didn’t take photos for I personally didn’t like how they were created. Imagine a statue of a women who look distraught complete with a dress-slit nearly up to their inguinal areas!

Moving on… The Post Colonial Era…

As far as I recall, there are replicas of houses of Filipino heroes – Apolinario Mabini’s, Jose Rizal’s and others’ that played significant role in Philippine History.

Note the features of houses during post colonialism greatly evolved and was then inspired by Spanish architecture. 

As parents, Tina and I are always trying our best to be well-rounded with Gabby. We appreciate joining his field trip for we know that there’s more to life that kids should learn outside the corners of their classrooms and beyond reading their books.

We left Nayong Pilipino at around past 5 in the afternoon to head for our last pit stop : Puregold Duty Free for some shopping.

Another family fun-bonding time enjoyed. :D

PS :  Because we as a family have experienced being in few amusement parks abroad, Tina and I wish that local authorities would exert more efforts in putting up and maintaining quality and cleanliness in our very own tourist spots. 

23
Jan
10

SIMPLE THINGS

One of the singer-songwriters I like is Jim Brickman.  You could just imagine how glad I am to stumble upon a music video on where else but youtube, of one of the songs he beautifully wrote.

I believe God is reminding me of these simple things. :D 

This, I am dedicating to the 2 most important people in my life : my wife Tina and our son, Gabby! :D

Now, kindly do me yourself a favor to brighten up your mood -click the video and sing along loudly, OK?

21
Jan
10

FIELD TRIP 2010 : PART 2

Still under the Subic sun, we queued to claim our lunch. As you know, amusement parks like Ocean Adventure prohibits patrons from bringing food inside; good thing that Gabby’s preschool had availed of the packed lunch inclusive of the tickets for all of us.

Breaded Chicken Fillet + Rice + Brownies = Not bad, actually…

But when we got in the bus, our baon prepared by my wife was so much better! :D

While most of his classmates were holding forks with hotdogs, we’re eating unusual field trip baon. :D

Home-cooked Kani Tempura was Gabby’s request; we even brought the entire bottle of tempura sauce! And it could have been a complete experience if we didn’t forget the chopsticks!  *grin*

Before we munched those crab sticks, the last feature we enjoyed at Ocean Adventure was their newest show called WALK ON THE WILD SIDE..

Rescued forest animals that serve as environment ambassadors are the main attractions shown in their newest venue ~ Eco-Theater.

My brother who’s a private pilot by profession had experienced Jungle Survival Course in Subic as part of their curriculum before he got licensed.  Now, Ocean Adventure had incorporated bits of that course in their show, Walk on the Wild Side….

Before animals and trainers were seen on stage, a true-blooded Aeta demonstrated the amazing ability to build and light a fire without matches but using only one grass : BAMBOO!  :D 

Can you do this ?

The indigenous Aeta named, Bruce (yes, Bruce!) also taught us how to boil rice and cook Sour Broth (Sinigang) using 2 different bamboo poles simultaneously prepared under one fire!  Kuya Bruce also showed how to make utensils out of what else but bamboo.

Then presentation went on with some of the animals that may be encountered in a jungle.  Winged creatures like owl, bats, and eagle were featured with reptile, cat, dog and some mice.

If there’s one important thing that I, Tina, Gabby and the rest of the kids, parents and other guests should always remember from Ocean Adventure trip, it’s the thought “LET’S MAKE EVERYDAY, EARTH DAY!” :D

We left Subic at around 2PM and headed to Clark, Pampanga…

To be continued…




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