Thursday, December 12, 2013

Christmas Treats

Christmas is just around the corner, and I thought I'd post pictures of the Christmas treats I made for my mom to give her friends. I actually found the recipe online but had to do some experimenting with the oven temperature and cooking time.

Things I learned from all this: chocolate melts at a much lower temperature than you'd think. Hey, it even melts in your hand. With our oven, the temperature was set at 165 degrees Celsius. Cooking time was 1 minute and 30 seconds. Use your phone as a timer if your oven's timer is busted (like ours is).

I wanted to use round pretzels to replicate what I saw on Pinterest. But that proved quite difficult. Good thing I found a big jar of Christmas pretzels (even better) at S&R (like Costco) for just over US$10.

If you want to use Hugs Kisses, set the oven temperature at 165 Celsius but cut the cooking time down to 30 seconds. Trust me, they melt a lot quicker.




P.S. when you overcook chocolate it doesn't melt. It dries out and becomes powdery. This happened to me.

To salvage the dried out Kisses, I used them to make hot cocoa, and my husband loved it, boldly declaring that it was the best hot cocoa he'd ever tasted!

P.P.S. Don't forget to preheat the oven! ;)

Sunday, September 22, 2013

I Hate Deadlines

The past month or so has been quite stressful for me and my classmates in Thesis Writing 1 Class. The deadline for submission of thesis proposals is uncomfortably close - its face merely inches away from ours, its warm breath fogging up my glasses. Yesterday, a Saturday, I had to secure all the necessary endorsement forms. Last night, after proofreading a friend's report, I had to make some minor adjustments to my proposal, making sure all all the i's are dotted and the t's crossed. My tendency to obsess didn't really help, as it forced me to keep reading the manuscript multiple times, page per page, afraid that I may have missed something. After the constant obsessing, I printed four copies. Thank God I had recently bought a printer that can print thousands of pages without requiring an ink refill. The printer didn't give up on me, and there was no power outage. So I consider myself lucky. Finally, I thought to myself, I can breathe again. Earlier today, I had the manuscript book bound. It took about an hour. My husband said now I can stop obsessing. But knowing me, I don't know if I can do that. 

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Guam Pictures


View from our hotel room.


The San Dionisio Cross


The San Dionisio Church


A day at the beach


Our own private beach. No need to pay. Just park and swim :)


My brother taking pictures


My happy nephew outside the Cathedral


Panoramic view of Tumon, taken from the Bayview Hotel


Yeshua and me


My parents at the Underwater World gift shop


The Plaza


Yeshua and the turtle




Food from Sea Grill



Yeshua and his tatay


Statue of St. Anthony holding the baby Jesus


Fish Eye


Two Lovers Point


My husband and the pandas


Yeshua and Tito Pete at Fish Eye


Beautiful flower at Two Lovers Point





Airport shots

How Close Should a Father be to His Daughter?

While I am probably the least qualified person to explore the subject matter of father-daughter closeness, I can't help but have an opinion on this topic. 

I just came home from Church. I was there fanning myself vigorously, together with other parishioners, cursing the humidity as we sat through an hour of service.  In front me sat a family of four, father, mother, and two young daughters (9- 11 years old). I noticed that the father, who sat in between the two girls, had his arms around his two daughters, while the girls sat way too close to their father. The mother, for the most part of the Mass, sat about six inches away from one of the girls. 

Now I'm not saying, nor am I implying anything about the appropriateness or lack thereof of the father's relationship with his daughters. I don't know these people and I probably never will. My only question is: how close should a father be to his daughter? 

While closeness denotes physical proximity, it can also mean intimacy, the willingness to bare one's soul to someone else. I have friends who remained very close to their fathers until their death, but never behaved in a manner which made the people around them cringe. 

I get that a father feels the need to be close to his daughter, but does it really have to involve constant physical contact? Does it have to mean hugging each other as you sit through the priest's fifteen minute homily, and even well after that?

Proper decorum should take precedence over one's desires - whether it be the desire to pick one's nose, scratch one's ass, or hug excessively. No one is exempted. 

We live in what I'd like to think of as a civilized society, and our only responsibility is to live educatedly. Chit Roces Santos in her essay titled The Educated Heart, which can be found in her book Personal Space and Other Essays, quotes her grandfather Rafael, "Educacion es consideracion."  Education is considerateness. Being educated does not necessarily mean having a college degree, an MA or a Phd. A person's educatedness is measured by how he treats other people; it is measured by how he lives his life, knowing that the way he lives, the way he behaves in public, affects the people around him. 

Some fathers with daughters might not like what I wrote. But as a member of society, as an observer of people's behavior, I am entitled to my own opinion.


Saturday, August 31, 2013

Rude Awakening

Whenever someone points out our flaws or inadequacies, we take offense, for though we believe ourselves imperfect, we don't want anyone rubbing it in. Just tonight, my best friend mentioned in a private message sent through Facebook, that she's turning forty very soon. And even though I'd always known that our days as thirty-something were numbered, the reminder still came as a mild surprise. 

I'm not saying being old is a flaw. Nor am I saying that being forty is old. I guess the point of this rant, is that the truth, no matter how benign or amoral, hurts at times. Like when an innocent child makes a guileless remark about someone's weight (my nephew, in our recent trip to Guam, asked my dad "Lolo, how many pounds are you?" - a big improvement from "Lolo, are you pregnant?")

I still have a couple of months as a thirty-eight-year-old, and I will definitely imbibe my thirty-eight-year-oldness for as long as I can.  Next year, though, I will turn forty. It is inevitable. But it doesn't scare me one bit. Yeah, the joints become a bit rusty with each passing year, and I store fat as if my body were anticipating a famine, but my face remains crease-free even without the help of age-defying creams. 

I am still at that age where plastic surgery is not an option. And looking at my youthful mother, I don't think it ever will be one.  Having a much younger husband doesn't hurt either. ;)

Friday, August 2, 2013

I, Sisyphus


It has been almost a month since my lifestyle changed.

McDonald's and Jollibee are right outside our subdivision's gate, so it had become a habit of ours (my husband's and mine) to go to either one of those fast food restaurants (most of the time it was McDonald's) to get a bite to eat. They are called "fast" food restaurants for a reason. The sheer convenience of driving through the narrow drive-through alley, and talking to a box sure beats dicing, and slicing, cooking and then cleaning up after. So let's go back to a month ago.

About a month ago, I started exercising and making healthier eating choices. Three weeks ago, I started measuring my food intake, and just last week, I started walking for an hour, on days when I don't go to the gym. The first two weeks were the hardest. Every time I stepped on that digital weighing scale, it was like I was being judged for being fat. My weight fluctuated during the first two weeks. My husband knows this oh so well, as he sat there smiling just so, as I bitched and moaned to him about the futility of my efforts. "I'm starving myself to death! And for what?" I felt like Sisyphus trying so desperately to roll that boulder up a hill, only to watch it fall all the way down.

Down... that's exactly what I was feeling those first two weeks.  I had to give up sauces, and condiments, salt, sugar, processed foods, etc. And my weight still fluctuated. And then... I started losing weight. All of a sudden, I felt my efforts had not been for naught. I no longer have breathing problems, no more GERD, no more headaches, no colds.

I have my friends, my family and of course my husband to thank for this "newish" lifestyle. Without their love and support, this would have been a more arduous ride.

I have lost a total of 8.37 pounds in less than a month. I am extremely pleased. This IS the only way to do it. Like what my friend Joy said, "Slowly but surely, Ate Katy." ;)

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Diet, Diet


Photo taken from

So after a week of listing down everything I ate (no restrictions yet), I met with the nutritionist. She said my average caloric intake was about 1,100 per day, which was not bad. The problem was that there were days when my intake was less than that. Our goal now is for me to have an average intake of 1,100 a day, but that I would need to eat at least five times a day: something that I still have to get used to.

Yesterday, I bought a small weighing scale just to make sure I'm not cheating myself. I found out that 35 grams of anything is tiny to say the least! That's all I'm allowed to eat, 35 grams of fish, 35 grams of beef, 35 grams of chicken, and lots and lots of veggies. No condiments, which is hard, since we Filipinos love our sawsawan (sauce). No fries, pizza, burgers. Ayayay! Oh well, that's life. With half a cup of rice, fruit and water it's more than enough to fill me up.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Thesis, a necessary evil

Last Saturday, after perpetually crossing my fingers, and offering my personal intentions at every Sunday Mass leading to that fateful Saturday, my thesis proposal was finally approved. I wanted to shout hurray! from the mountaintops, sadly, there are no mountain ranges in geologically-challenged Manila. I was able to share my ecstatic state with my good friend, Anne though, who happened to be there, and whose last class had been cancelled due to the professor's absence. We celebrated by going to the nearest fast food restaurant, ordering, and eventually devouring extraordinarily unhealthy processed food, which, sadly, I had been prohibited to eat by my nutritionist. Oh well, I was hungry, having brisk- walked back and forth from one building to the other. I have only written about 11,000 words so far, and am in serious panic-mode. I guess I'll be praying to St. Francis de Sales for inspiration. (I wince and hold my breath in anticipation of divine inspiration.)

Monday, July 8, 2013

Can't Wait


When my nephew left for Guam in October 2012, I felt like I lost a limb. He was so much a part of our daily lives, that not having him around felt like I had been transported to an alternate universe filled with nothing but eerie silence. Gone was the tiny voice asking if it could have McDonald's chicken nuggets for dinner. There were no more tiny hands, tugging at my mother's blouse, coaxing her to buy a "medium-sized" Lego. His absence hit all of us hard. Especially my father. My nephew was his favorite person. He could do no wrong in my father's eyes. He missed his kakulitan, his watching the same movies over and over, his singing the same songs over and over, and eating the same food over and over. I cannot really speak for my brother, for he knows how to hide his pain. But I know he would move heaven and earth to get him back, if that's what's best for him.

Recently, thanks to Viber, my nephew has been calling us a lot. Now we know he's okay, so we're all happy with that. When it comes to children, adults have to put everything on the back burner - our pride, anger, resentment, and everything else that weighs us down. It's the children that matter. Their happiness, safety, and well-being.

In August we will all travel to Guam to see my nephew. I wish the clock would tick a bit faster. We love and miss you, Yeshua. See you very soon.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Rubber shoes


Nope, these are not expensive shoes. I think I got them for just over USD25 at the New Balance outlet in Hong Kong last October.

I decided to post this picture to pay tribute to the shoes that cushioned my ankles (especially the right one) when I missed a step coming out of the gym's bathroom. And this was before my workout. Thank God no one saw me.

So, thank you right shoe. Hope there won't be a next time. Ciao!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Happy birthday to my hubby


Picture taken in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia April 2013

Like what I posted on Facebook, happy birthday to the bestest hubbyest everest ( to the nth power!) Mahal na mahal kita! Bow!


Yesterday I took a big step. I made a very big commitment - a pact, if you will, with myself, to be healthier so I don't die before turning forty. My friends, Jamie and Joy (husband and wife) had helped convince me that now is the time to commit to a healthier lifestyle. So yesterday, I met with doctors and a nutritionist at a weight management center, to discuss how to go about losing the unwanted LBs. After meeting with a cardiologist, a rehab doctor, an endocrinologist, and a psychiatrist, I proceeded to spend about two hours at their gym. The whole program is for three months, and is about the same price you would pay a personal trainer for a month at the nearest Fitness First. It's not bad. But of course now I'm a bit sore, since my body had not exercised in a long time. I'm now keeping a food diary. There are no restrictions yet, apart from sugar, condiments, sauces, instant noodles, chips, nuts, and processed foods. (Yikes!) But, this is what I have to do to become healthier. So help me God.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013


Image Photo by

Yesterday, I wore the perfume you gave me.

The whole day was spent polishing my thesis proposal, sorting out journal articles, making sure I had filled out the evaluation form correctly. I also read more journal articles about cyber relationships, the effects of cyber cheating on offline relationships, writing a memoir, the actual truth and the truth as one remembers it.

And then it was almost five pm. In an hour I was to go to Church to hear Mass and to pray for you. Everyday, for the whole month of July, our parish will be praying for you.

So at about five-thirty, I decided to take another shower. It had been a long, hot, humid day. The humidity made me wish for rain and typhoon. But guilt came soon after my mind had already released my wish out into the universe. Good thing the universe had not been listening.

After a quick shower, I opened a small cabinet in the bathroom where I keep all my perfumes. And there it was, the perfume you gave me some years ago, when you didn't really have to give me anything. I have always loved that perfume, using it sparingly since its scent calls for a specific mood or occasion. But every time I wear it, I love it. And it reminds me of you.

Yesterday, my husband created videos of this simulation game that he likes. Armed with a one-dollar microphone he had bought from CDR King, he recorded them while commentating. He told me to like the video, which I did, of course. I even told my friends about it.

When he turned on his tablet to check YouTube, he was so surprised to find out that he had opened your account instead. The last time he had opened YouTube using his tablet was when we were in the States a few months ago. And somehow, he had logged into your account. We looked at each other in disbelief. And then we felt sad.

Yesterday, I wore the perfume you gave me.

Sunday, June 30, 2013



"I don't care what my teachers say, I'm gonna be a superhero." Here I go again, singing the wrong words. Earlier today, I chanced upon a blog entry about five super powers one might wish for, and it reminded me of this photo of me and my husband taken last March. We had ordered these snuggies on Amazon, and were silly enough to put them on and agree to be photographed wearing them. For a few minutes he was Batman and I was Wonder Woman... I'm glad to be back to being just Superwifey to my Superhubby.

My hubby, the blogger


My husband recently joined the blogging bandwagon. He was never into blogging, blaming dyslexia for all his spelling errors. When I read what he wrote, though, I was so touched because  of the sincerity of his piece, sincerity that people so concerned with structure, and grammar, and sounding witty seem to have already lost.

I find myself guilty of that sometimes. At times I tell myself to use big words so that people will know I'm smart. The ability to use big words means one thing and one thing only, you know how to read the dictionary, or even worse, right-click on a word on the Word program and look for its synonym. I recently came across a video that my friend Anne shared on Facebook. It is a video about language and the grammar Nazis who can't seem to get with the program when it comes to language evolution. It was made by the English actor and TV presenter Stephen Fry. I just might post it here, if I can figure out how to do it.

Yesterday, a friend of mine told me she'd written something that she wanted to share on Facebook. She had wanted me to check the grammar first, before posting it, but we had never had the chance to talk. I told her that it didn't really matter because her Facebook friends would not be nitpicking her sentence construction and grammar. They would just appreciate the meat of the message.

There is a proper time to be grammatically correct. Even Stephen Fry thinks so. I can't help but be grammatically wrong sometimes because I am not a native English speaker, and that's okay.  To use the wrong preposition, or to say "there's lots of...", I find totally forgivable. I wish we were this strict in implementing Filipino grammar rules. But I feel like some of us are proud that we can't speak Filipino properly. As if there's a stigma attached to the ability of speaking the local tongue. How unfortunate.

Ayayay. Let's bother with grammar when we need to. Until then, let's sewerage the whole freaking Philippines, for God's sake!

Happy birthday, Daddy


My dad, and the three chefs haha. My brother and his friends were thoughtful enough to cook lunch for us.


My brother Jun, Myq and Budoy


Mom and my sister Grace


My brother's girlfriend Anne and Myqee

It's always great to spend with family, and the fact that we don't get to do it often makes me appreciate moments like these even more.