Monday, March 28, 2011

happy happy fun fun weekend!

i wish i had taken more pictures ...
i really wish i did ... cause i had one of the most fabulous weekends ever ☺

saturday morning saw me sprawled in bed. it was the first saturday in weeks that i didn't have to get up early (saturdays in bed are a major luxury for me!!!) so i woke up, turned on the tv and watched one inane tv show after the other. all too soon, i had to get out of bed and head on out to tuloy where we were having a general assembly. at first it was such a drag (cause none of my friends were there) but eventually they came and my team won in the challenges (yipee!). i allegedly won in the raffle, but since i had to leave early for a surprise honoring, i wasn't eligible to get the nice bag i had won. boo!

in any case, after that, it was one mad dash after the other: getting stuff for the surprise honoring, surprising ann at the music min practice (complete with harana, mind you!), hearing mass at st. jerome, running to festival mall to catch the 9:30 pm screening of "catch me, i'm in love (waaaah!!!! and winner ni gerard anderson ... buhay na naman ang fantasy life ko!), then heading on out to visit pazi's lola's wake. since we still had ann's birthday cake, we cajoled her into treating us to mcdo coffee, which she did, and we stayed there till 3 am just going through the various photo albums on facebook (thank goodness for mcdo wifi!).

while going home at 3am shouldn't be a problem since i had woken up late and stayed in bed virtually the entire morning, it also meant spending the entire sunday with almost zero sleep! tita mayu asked me to join them in tito lito's 50th birthday bash with the kids and we were hoping to catch the 8am mass at our lady of caysasay so it meant having my second cup of coffee in four hours. for a non-coffee drinker like me, that was the crazy boost i needed! so while the magician was getting ready, i played a couple of games with the kids and distributed some of the prizes i had in my giant bag. it was funny cause the kids were pretty much ignoring me at first but after the magician concluded his act, they were all over me asking if i still had some stuff up my sleeve -- they wanted more games!!!! i was crazy sleepy on the way home but woke up long enough to inhale this yummy crepe from breton ... i think it was gwenn da hu (okay, it's not spelled that way, but it sounded like that in my mind) which was a lovely mixture of sweet (from the dark cherry thing) and savory (with the raclette cheese). it was a departure from the stuff i usually order (either the one with mangoes or the neptune) and i was proud to be all different and what not. then again, it could just be cause i was crazy sleepy.

got home by six and had a few (too few actually) zzzzzs before heading on out to KEf's house for adobo dinner. it was a lovely, simple dinner with good friends, half of whom have never been to his house so they were oooohing and aaaahing over just how pretty his place is. i've been there countless of times and i was still ooohing and aaaahing. sigh, one day dear house, you'll be as pretty too! it's the start of a new week and i'm still majorly sleepy. wish i could just crash a bit first but i can't. there's dinner care of a new friend tonight which will include bonding with new people. so i'm probably getting home late again tonight, but it's all good.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

retail therapy

"sometimes," i texted my boss, "the good thing with having an awful day is that you have an excuse to shop."

so i came home with this. love so many things about it:

1. it's cheap.

2. it's crazy soft.

3. it fits like a dream.

so i think i can now forget the horrible day i had, and i can forget my frustration with this person. i've new jeans. it's all good from here on.

*on a totally happier note, my dad volunteered to get me the kate spade blackberry pouch as a belated birthday gift! i had been planning on asking tita mayu to order it online for me (i still don't have a credit card) but before we could order it, he asked me for the link and ordered it. it's on its way to him and tita mayu will be bringing it home with her when she comes back from vacation. woohoo!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

my heart wants this soooooo bad

i know it's lent.

and i know i'm supposed to be saving money. i am, really.
but a blackberry pouch is something that i've always wanted, even when my phone was a nokia. and then i got a blackberry and i thought all blackberries (is it spelled this way too when you're referring to the phone?) came with a pouch but apparently they don't. so my blackberry is pouchless. and then i found out that a blackberry pouch is special cause it comes with a magnet that automatically locks your phone when you "holster" it (just like a gun!) and the magnet makes sure your phone doesn't slide out.
then i saw this. and it's only US$25. with free shipping.
i soooooo want this. except (1) i don't have a credit card and (2) i don't live in the US. i wish someone would show me MAJOR love by getting this for me. but since there's no one who could (and would) do that, i am taking matters into my own hands.
by easter, you flourescent pink blackberry pouch from kate spade shall be mine!!!! mine!!!! mine!!!!

Monday, March 21, 2011

savory sunday

my brother's friends know me as the girl who can bake stuff. and my family knows i can cook. as a matter of fact, i remember i impressed my mom once when i was able to make the perfect crispy garlic topping for her arroz caldo.

i don't know if its cause i eventually got busy with work, or because we stopped getting regular water in bf but i stopped cooking. so friends i made recently all think i'm this girl who doesn't know her way around the kitchen and who relies on fast food to survive.

but i'm not that kind of girl, not at all.

in fact, i love to cook. i grew up trying to cook my way through all the recipes in cooking it up with nora. saturday mornings were spent watching nora daza on tv.

so maybe it's cause of all those seasons of top chef that i've watched. or the fact that we now have water 24/7 in bf. or cause i'm nesting. but i've taken up cooking again.

{boiling water for the pasta}

{hitting two birds with one stone - boiling pasta and the hungarian sausage}

{finished product - noodle & sausage soup, rosa style}

Sunday, March 20, 2011

ain't no mountain high enough

the dumaguete diaries is interrupted by this special "broadcast": me - the overweight, non-outdoorsy mall rat has conquered mt. pinatubo. see, i have pics to prove it:

here's on the trek on the way up pinatubo:

here's the crater lake:

and here's kuya ef cause i'm on the other boat and just had my picture taken by him. yes, we reciprocate favors of the picture-taking nature. haha:

it was a crazy trip: meeting time was 4:15 a.m. at shell mckinley. since none of us wanted to be late, i started picking people up at 3:00 am: first theo, then che. because i got lost on my way to theo's house (either cause i was still truly sleepy or cause i never really go to his house from the opposite side), it took us almost thirty minutes before we finally got to kuya efren's house. from there, mang pablo the driver took us to shell mckinley and it wasn't long before we were on our way to our weekend adventure.

pinatubo just used to mean a couple of random things for me: a dormant mountain that blew its top, major ashfall in metro manila that lasted for months, displaced aetas, and things that friends climbed. i never thought that one day, i too would be making the trek to pinatubo. but cause i probably now belong to a relatively active action group, it was planned that we'll join dominic's planned trek to mt. pinatubo. okay, i thought, this shouldn't be too hard.

riding the van to tarlac wasn't too hard (i had lucked on sitting on the third row). riding the 4x4 going to pinatubo wasn't too hard either (my group had lucked on the 4x4 with wide benches). going up mt. pinatubo, now THAT was hard. still, i made it. and while going up the last couple of steps were the most difficult (they had made stairs out of cemented stones ... going up the stairs are my major weakness), the view that greeted me as soon as i was the peak was sooooo worth it.

however, as kuya ef pointed it out, experiencing a place always trumps just seeing it, so i'm glad i forked over the additional P350 to go boating around the lake. the boatman we got was nice enough to answer all of our questions, from the typical (is this lake just filled with rainwater? answer - no, there's a spring that fill it up) to the scientific (how deep is the lake? why is it this color?) to the inane (why is that man wearing a bahag?). we got to experience the steaming sand on the other side of the lake, take an inane amount of pictures, and make the most of the trek.

ultimately, the trip there took longer than the time actually spent atop mount pinatubo, and the trip back was even longer. still, it was the absolute best way to spend a weekend. even my achy body will attest to that.

Friday, March 18, 2011

dumaguete diaries part 2: the tsunami, being picky with one's travelmates, and the need to eat somewhere local

on our first afternoon in dumaguete, we all started receiving messages on our phone about the earthquake and tsunami that hit japan. for some reason, life went on as usual in dumaguete, and save for that restaurant where we had our first dinner whose television was turned onto the news, it was as if everything was fine and dandy. as we walked along the boulevard, the waves were crashing against the sea wall, but since it was our first time there, no one really knew if the waves were extra hard or if they were just your usual everyday waves. my boss texted me though and told me that she checked google and we were on the other side of the danger side, so presumably, our vacation would go on as usual.

of course that didn't prevent the sky from being overcast the entire time. as a matter of fact, save for our sunday (which was when we went to apo island) each day brought in major drizzles. it was a trip wherein we were all almost always tired, wet, and hungry, not a great combination for what should've been a summer trip, but considering what japan was going through at that time, i didn't think it was necessary something i should complain about.

what i would complain about, though, is the fact that i went into this trip without really thinking. my fault, really, and as i was relaying everything to people whose opinions mattered to me, it turned out that they were even surprised why i even thought of going on the trip in the first place. after all, it was booked when i was barely a month in this office. i was going to spend four days in a place outside of metro manila with people i hardly knew. in hindsight, i guess the optimistic and friendly part of me thought that the five and a half months would allow me to bond closely with these people, that the five and a half months would reveal people who shared the same values and desires, and that the five and a half months would make us friends, or at least develop a relationship wherein they won't be compelled to call me "ma'am" and "atty." every single time they addressed me.

i thought wrong!

without going into greater detail about the miserable part of my trip, i'm listing down my advice for you (as well as for myself) next time you are lured to book a trip by cheap flights online:

1. select travelmates with care, great care. a trip is stressful enough as it is. you don't need to be stressed any further by the people you will be spending time with.

2. when they say "budget trip", discuss exactly what they mean by "budget trip." does it mean we'll be saving on hotel and cabfares only? or does this mean we'll be eating in fast food places all the time? which brings me to the third point ...

3. i am not paying airfare and hotel to eat at jollibee, chowking, and shakey's, all of which i can find within a five kilometer radius from my house. to begin with, i am not a huge fan of these places, why would i want to eat there when i could be eating sinugba, or at sans rival, or ANYWHERE THAT CAN'T BE FOUND IN METRO MANILA. (oops ... this is turning out to be a complaint, and i promised this would be a list of non-negotiables ... sorry!)

4. if the information is not forthcoming, do not hesitate to ask. not everyone will be as OC as you (ehem, as me pala) and flood people's inboxes with information about flight schedule, trip schedules, etc. some will keep the plans all to themselves and "surprise" you with the itinerary for that day. in this case, i found myself riding a motorcycle in a dress (thank goodness it was a roomy dress), being woken up at 4:30 to hear mass, only to find out that the departure time isn't until 7am, and majorly hungry in a place where there is no food that's readily available.

5. manage your expectations. it's soooooo easy to build up a "fantasy vacation" in your mind. while i've always been fairly lucky in the past, i wasn't so lucky this time. the best way to deal with disappointment is to NEVER have expectations in the first place. then, when something amazing happens, you're in for a surprise and you end up uber-happy. okay, this is easier said than done, especially if you're shelling out money for a trip, but it won't help to keep it on the list, right?

6. think twice, or thrice even, before saying yes. while it's especially exciting to go out of town on a whim, especially when the whim won't cost you an arm and a leg, sometimes, saying yes to the first thing that comes along leaves you unable to say yes to a better trip later on. case in point: the friends i traveled to vietnam with are going to siquijor and dumaguete in may. it's going to be a fun trip, cause i am good friends with almost everyone on the trip, except that i can't go anymore since i've consumed leaves on this trip already, and i've several more leaves to be consumed when i go to cebu in july. i, of course, feel bad to be NOT going to dumaguete/siquijor with them, but i feel especially bad since i had a miserable trip.

7. ultimately, it's just airfare you'd be losing out on if you decide not to go. in this case, it would've been P1,400 only. at least i would've saved two days of vacation leave, as well as the P5,500 i spent in dumaguete. plus i wouldn't have been so miserable, and that my friends, would've been priceless!

i'm sooooooo sorry for being all negative and what not in this post. but it was a truly horrible (okay fine, there were highlights, and i did get to go to apo island and see dolphins on the way) trip that didn't exactly make me jumping up and down with joy (notwithstanding all the jump shots i did) so, i figured, before i write all the other posts that i'm planning on writing about dumaguete, i should get all the bad vibes out first.

so there. goodbye negative thoughts! stay tuned for apo island, biking around dumaguete, and the famous sans rival.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

dumaguete diary, part 1: the best ten pesos i ever spent

they were accusing me that i had balat sa pwet. it was our first day at dumaguete and our first meal, sad to say, was at chowking. we then boarded a trike going to the jeepney terminal, and then a jeep bound for valencia. our goal was to see casaroro falls after risking our lives riding motorcybles without helmets.

of course en route to valencia, it started to drizzle. by the time we got there, it was drizzling more, and worse, we were swarmed by motorcycle drivers all offering to bring us up to casaroro. the group hadn't really discussed what we were going to do; in fact, we were all relying on thina to tell us where to go, what to do, and how much to pay. so when she turned to us to ask if the deal she was brokering was okay, none of us could give an answer. we asked the motorcycle drivers to leave us alone, just so we could meet, but they wouldn't let up.

so in the end, we decided to ride a tricycle and just go to forest camp instead.

on the way to forest camp, we spied what seemed like a resort. there were pools behind chicken wire fences on either side of the road, and there were cabanas around the pools. one pool was fed water from a man-made waterfall composed of several levels, while the other one was below street level. it was pretty, and given the rain, the cold, and the difficulty we were going through, i'd be very glad if we could just stay there and swim.
however, since we were on a trike, and i couldn't exactly jump out of it, i stayed inside the trike until we got to forest camp. entrance was P80 and while that was affordable, the place didn't seem enticing. so we just decided to have our pictures taken in front of the sign, and then we made a beeline for the resort we passed by earlier.
turns out, it was the municipal pool. the entrance fee? you guessed it right: P10 pesos.
i loved how it wasn't chlorinated water, but cold water from a stream that they simply channeled onto the man-made pools. there was a "drain" on the pool on higher ground, and with the water passing through the tunnel beneath the road, the pool on the lower side was being fed as well. we swam even if it was raining, even if we were "overdressed" (or should i say underdressed since we were the only ones in swimsuits -- most were in t-shirts and shorts, one was even wearing jeans!), and even if it wasn't exactly what we had planned for the day.
later on, we were surprised that a lot of the places we would visit would only require a P10 entrance fee (except apo island!), but this remained to be the best P10 we ever spent.
note: the place is actually known as tejeros resort or banica swimming lagoon and it is fed by banica river. to learn more about valencia, here's the wikipedia link.

Monday, March 14, 2011

there's no place like home*

i'm writing this old school -- with a bunny-tipped ballpen that i discovered in megamall years ago and have bought countless copies of since then for its smooth glide-on-paper technology. i can spy what seems to be taal volcano from the window, although i can't really say. over the PA system, they're signalling for the crew to get ready.

now, i can see metro manila's intricate road network. i've no doubt that it'll be traffic when i meet with friends in megamall and i'll probably miss the get-everywhere-in-five-minutes travel time in dumaguete. i don't care though. i'm bound for home -- where there's an SM mall every ten kilometers, where good friends are just a text away, and where it's all good. ☺

*the original post was written on a notebook as i was flying home from dumaguete

** if you actually watch the video (yes, it's a bit boring, i know), you'll notice it was a pretty smooth landing. it was actually the smoothest landing i've ever experienced, so kudos to the pilot and first officer!

Saturday, March 12, 2011


Friday, March 11, 2011

dumaguete love!

day one ... day one went okay.

Our hotel turned out okay -- anji amd i share a room while the three others occupy the family room. We had brunch at chowking, had an aborted trip to casaroro falls, and found the best way to spend our ten pesos on. the boulevard was great, although the quest for the grilled dried pusit was a major fail. Will post pictures and details when i get back :)y

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

leaving on a jet plane

on friday, i'll be on leave for my first trip of the year. compared to 2010 (where by this time i had already gone on a week-long "working trip" to bohol and had booked a flight to vietnam with friends), 2011 is a bit slow, as well as low-key. still, it doesn't make the upcoming trip to dumaguete (a place that i relate to siliman university and to that sans rival that everyone keeps on asking me to get for them) any less exciting. if at all, i'm mighty excited, as can be exhibited by the numerous shopping trips to get outfits and what nots for a four-day vacation.

let's not even begin to harbor ideas that i'll be packing light for this trip. to my mind, there's a reason why we get a 15-kilo baggage allowance.

so far, here's my stash:

1. new timex watch -- it's crazy amazing when you put your mind onto something, write it down on your "nice to have" list and then, four hours later, find something that works, is within your budget, and is almost exactly what you need/want. i say "almost exactly" cause i would've preferred this watch to be in pink, or red, or orange, or some other "hot" color. but for the price i paid for this watch, green works for me.

2. swimsuits -- these are the ones i got from bohol last year unplanned. i had packed everything (including a whole lot of shoes), only to be told by my companions that we were going to squeeze in a trip to the beach. me? i was all business -- boo! so i had to find something that was (1) within my budget; (2) fit me; and (3) something i wouldn't mind wearing again. i had lucked on this top from sassa and this bottom from speedo.

3. new outfits - i had posted about some of the stuff i've gotten (a top and shorts and two dresses in one day, and another dress on my birthday), but i haven't written about a Php250 steal from robinson's pioneer. i was early, and was killing time, when i spied this tunic/shirt/dress (i don't actually know what it is, but it's long enough to be worn as a dress. either that, or i'm just really short!) on sale. i wanted it in dark blue (slimming!) but they only had it in my size in hot pink. well, since i don't m ind the color (okay, fine, i LOVE the color), i got it. and then i told myself no more new clothes. i'm just going to be there for 4 days!!!

4. random stash -- sunblock (cause i promised frances i'd take care of my skin after that burning incident at calaguas), razor, organic shaving oil, shower gel and lotion + bath lily (birthday gift!!!). what can i say -- i'm trying to be more "girl" by being more prepared in the toiletries department.

5. banig bag -- another birthday gift. i'm not sure how serviceable this bag would be, but it's in there ... for now ☺

6. ... and the rest of the stuff: board shorts, more suits, more dresses, more tshirts and short. as it is, my little maleta is full. and i still have to fit in the rest of my toiletries, various chargers and electronic equipment, shoes, and my snorkeling gear.

how do i manage? two words: group check-in ☺

Monday, March 07, 2011

34 more things

1. roses from the legal girls. of course they pretended it was sent by love of my life but still, made me smile big time!

2. black forest cake + pineapple juice surprise dessert the day after my birthday. since i was on leave on my birthday, it happend right after lunch on march 3. they'd been teasing me that since i'm the person who conjures up surprises, i should've texted them exactly what i wanted so that i could get the surprise my heart desired. i didn't, so the day i went back to work, they were all "o, anong hinahanap mo sa desk mo, surprise? naku, wala." right after lunch, as i was busy preparing the invitations for my goto party, they arrived, in the dark (the lights are turned off during lunch hour) with a cake and a pink candle. it was LOVE.

3. since the legal girls were trying to make me upset by saying that they weren't able to prepare a surprise for me, anji gave me a pink heart shaped pillow. it was one of her "extra" gifts last christmas and it had been in the legal filing cabinet since december. when i got back thursday, she was like, hey, here's my surprise for you. funny cause it was she who got surprised when i opened it and it turned out to be pink, rather than the red she had expected. not so funny on "paper" but funny if you were actually there.

4. change in numbers. while crazy tedious, sometimes it's fun to inform people of changes in your contact details cause all of a sudden, people you haven't talked to in ages (but still happen to be in your phone book) would reply and ask how you are. and, since it was my birthday the day before, they all followed it up with a belated happy birthday greeting. did i time the change in number near my birthday? probably. wait, knowing me, most likely! hahaha.

5. sun cellular prepaid stash. while it took forever at the sun shop to get my phone line cut, once it was, i made a beeline to the cashier to get my stash of prepaid stuff - a P29 sim card, a P20 prepaid card for my new prepaid sim, 4 P25 3-hour internet card, and 2 P50 one day unlimited internet browsing card. last week i had run out of these internet card things and was horribly upset when i found out you couldn't buy them from just anywhere. thank goodness for dek who not turned out to have a P100 three-day unlimited browsing prepaid card, but also was generous enough to send it to me. my friends -- GB notably -- are the best.

6. thursday kaberks party. it's a staple -- we celebrate birthdays on the thursday nearest the celebrator's actual birthday. in my case, i shared my birthday with kuya benny who brought a whole lot of food (on your birthday you actually get "treated" ... in this case, kuya benny balked tradition by bringing most of the loot!) and we ended up with two cakes, one of which i got to bring home "unscathed" and bring to work the following day.

7. special mention to the cake i got to bring home. in a bout of pseudo creativity (hahaha!) KE "decorated" my cake with a single white rose. it was sweet -- i remember two birthdays ago he also brought a white rose to give me on my birthday.

8. picking the first pasalubong. since it was sort of still my birthday, i got to pick the first bag from the stash my boss brought home for us.

9. foot everything courtesy of ann. enamored with ensogo, ann treated us all to an evening of foot spa, foot scrub, foot massage, and pedicure at this place in qc. the experience -- v. v. horrible -- left much to be desired, but i appreciated the bonding time with the legal girls outside of work.

10. realizing that my katarayan is nowhere near my boss' ability to stare people down. i'm in good company, i tell you.

11. the ability to fly from qc to alabang. i was planning on being absent from the prayer meeting because of the legal girls' bonding activity, but ate ketty asked me to do the sharing. i said i was going to be late, but i didn't figure i was going to be THAT late. thanks in part to my ability to drive my tiny car in speeds way above its limit, as well as the traffic gods smiling down on me, i actually made the 34 km drive, on a friday evening, in an hour.

12. a sharing that touched a heart. i knew what i wanted to share but between all the mini-celebrations and work, i never really got to put down on paper my thoughts. i must've had a maximum of five sentences typed down. i believe the holy spirit was at work that night cause i had verses, i had honest-to-goodness realizations that came only right there and then, and my heart was swelling with joy. it was a good night.

13. saturday morning it was raining, and then it stopped, and then it was raining again. by 10 am, i was crazy worried that it was going to rain the entire afternoon. guess what ... it didn't. or at least it didn't rain until i didn't matter anymore whether it was raining or not. why was i worried? cause it was ...

14. my goto party! or, more accurately, my goto-tokwa-mami-pares party. it was eat all you can (or eat as much as my budget could afford). funny cause i tried reserving the place and the people there were like, why? hahaha.

15. theo's conti's surprise. thanks to theo, the waiting time for food was made better cause of the conti's goodies he brought to the party. so i may have had my party in a hole in the wall gotohan place, but at least i had conti's dessert. hahaha!

16. getting *slightly* drunk at central. yes, i may be almost twice as old (if not already twice as old) as the kids who frequent the place, but once in a while, my friends go visit to get *slightly* drunk and just have fun.

17. okay, fine, this time, i got really drunk. i blame erick. i'm usually the person who refills glasses when we go out. this time, it was he who did the refilling. so i kept drinking, and drinking, and drinking ...

18 ... but was thankfully able to get home safe and sound. i drove really slow.

19. drunkeness notwithstanding, i still went online and ended up chatting with friends. so my answers may have been fuzzy weird (and they apparently noticed, haha!).

20. new sheets!

21. relaxed sunday morning ... doing chores, like cleaning the bathroom and the laundry!

22. cooking brunch at home -- tuyo and brown rice ☺

23. trip to phase 1 supposedly to buy a usb port but couldn't find anything that i liked, so i ended up buying yet another mouse pad. so what if you don't really need mouse pads anymore, it was CUTE! i ended up just buying food for my AG -- popcorn with cheese powder! at least homemade na yung merienda na i-se-serve ko. hahaha.

24. "me" time at an undisclosed location. hahaha!

25. free service + 15% discount at undisclosed location since it was my birthmonth. yahoo!

26. getting a call from shy at undisclosed location. "where are you" she asked, "i'm a little bit early and i'm here in front of your house now!" told her i'll be done in ten minutes. when i got home, i was surprised that my entire AG was there already. apparently, they planned on surprising me and ended up being surprised themselves when i wasn't there!

27. more food! and, since my AG knows me really well, while they all had versions of tapa, they got me tuyo! wonderful!!!

28. my 4th birthday cake. i am LOVED!

29. my birthday honoring. right there and then, i realized that people actually watch my every move, that they see me do things and form opinions about what i do, and that my smile makes people happy. again -- i am LOVED!

30. 6:30 pm mass with my entire AG, minus faith. i especially appreciate how faith left the hospital for a bit (she was on duty! thank goodness she's 4th year resident na.) just to be at my surprise merienda.

31. coffe at starbucks BF with the forever 20% discount courtesy of ann ☺they did tease me about the frap light i ordered, but with whipped cream. bakit ba, birthday ko. hahaha.

32. swapping stories, anecdotes, and blatant hirits with one another. we must've been the rowdiest group there. i pity the girl beside us who was doing her thesis. (how did i know? i am curious that way. okay, fine, i am nosy that way. hahaha!)

33. a new crush!

34. the realization that i had four birthday cakes, one free dinner, four (3+1) roses, three surpise parties, one not-so-surprise party, threw my own birthday party, and countless of presents in a span of six days, not to mention sweet heartfelt greetings, the occassional phone call, hugs and kisses, and precious alone time on my 34th birthday. feeling ko artista ako sa ka-bonggahan ngayong taon na to.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

partying ... but not really like it's the end of the world

i have a secret goto place.

once in a while, when i'd be assigned to bring food, i bring my magic goto. when K.E. got sick, i brought him ascof lagundi (yes, product placement! love my job) and the magic goto.

pazi learned all about the magic goto and started eating magic goto too. and bit by bit, i've been introducing magic goto to people. when i need a favor, i immediately offer up bottomless goto in exchange (and if you're really special to me, bottomless tokwa as well!) -- it's an offer that has been taken many times over.

so while i'm not exactly the party-throwing kind of person, the pretty invitations i got from gourdo's were begging to be used. so i said to myself, maybe it's about time i throw myself a party. i asked some of my friends if they'd be willing to go to a goto party at my secret goto place and they said yes! so my post birthday bash was on -- a bottomless goto - tokwa - mami - pares bonanza.

i tried "reserving" the place, but the girl only gave me a weird look. i then realized how it crazy it would sound to her that i was having a birthday party there so i said, "uhm, there's going to be a lot of us here later. will that be fine?" her reply? "eh di umupo kayo diyan." classic.

in any case, the party started at five and thankfully the seating area i wanted to reserve was free of other diners. people started trickling it one at a time, and since it was a self-service place, theo and KE helped me to take down orders, relay them to the counter, and serve the food to the people. needless to say (a totally unnecessary phrase, according to jason), it was a success. people ate, people enjoyed, pictures were taken, seconds were requested. so what if we ran out of goto ten orders into the party, and so what if it started raining after an hour and a half -- the goto place had the best music (which, surprisingly enough converted into 90's jologs when most of the guests left) and people were just chilling in the cool weather and warm goto/mami in front of them.

will i do it again? for P1,740 pesos to feed roughly 30 people all the goto-mami-tokwa they want to eat i would!

p.s. special thanks to super uber great friend theonoski who (1) ferried some friends from alabang to the goto place (2) brought conti's as appetizers (yes, it was supposed to be dessert but turned out to be appetizers when the orders took a while to arrive) (3) served as official order taker/waiter/busboy. i am blessed to call you friend/brother/kuya.

p.p.s. thanks to KE too for the tissue!

p.p.s. i wish i had more pictures to post, except that i forgot to bring my camera! tama ba yun? hindi. pero ganun eh.

Saturday, March 05, 2011

about a lovely pink bag, neon pink nails, and tackling the 31km drive on a friday night in one hour

i really ought to be sleeping -- i'm expected to be all lawyerly authoritative with a master's in education genius tomorrow at 9 -- but before i crash, i just need to say that:

♥ winner boss came home from vacation with the perfect hot pink bag. thank goodness it was my birthday, therefore i had first dibs on bag selection (she was giving all of us bags and we get to choose which one we get). it's the perfect hot pink bag that i've always wanted, and reminded me of my last pink bag which i used and abuse till it just gave up on me.

♥ a fashion tip: never ever pick an iffy nail color if the nail salon has mood lighting. what seems to be the perfect summery pink nail turns highlighter neon pink in fluorescent lighting. crap :(

♥ while i can reasonably expect to get to work in an hour if i drive instead of take the train, getting to alabang on a friday evening in under an hour is a miracle. guess what -- tonight i experienced a miracle. and just exactly when i needed it!

goodnight universe. i have to be up early *later* and i still have to figure out whether the local mayor has the jurisdiction to appoint principals. crap. i know i'm a good lawyer and i'm a smart teacher but right now, google's the only place i can think of looking for an answer to that question.

Friday, March 04, 2011

weekend report

i know that the weekend is supposed to be for chilling out, relaxing, and ditching the schedule. but, when it comes to schedules, i am OC by heart (just go ask my boss who caught me "doodling" schedules on the margins of my notebook during one meeting). plus, i am a certified list maker -- my office desk is actually littered with post-its of various lists i've made: list of how much to withdraw from the atm and the breakdown of where the money will go; list of things i want to check at trinoma over lunch; list of stuff i have to do within the day ...

... you get the point.

in any case, i've a list of stuff to do this weekend. officially, it'll be another 363 days until my birthday comes rolling again, but as far as my list is concerned, i'm still celebrating ☺☺☺

Thursday, March 03, 2011

a good friend remembered

we interrupt regular (translation: shallow and narcissistic ramblings) in this blog with me remembering one of my closest guy friends, chio.

chio passed away unexpectedly on 3 march 2004. i skipped work that day since i got home late from my birthday dinner the night before and was rudely awakened by a text message from him.

prior to that eventful day, he had surprised me with a text message on 24 february, telling me he was home from jeddah, and asked me if we could meet up. i was on a bus bound for cabanatuan; there was no way i could go back to manila at 9 in the evening. i told him that he could either take a bus bound for cabanatuan too or we could meet when i get back. he opted for the latter.

when i got back, though, he was somewhere -- ilocos or something like that. he told me he was okay. the day before my birthday, he sent a great number of text messages, once more frantically asking if we could meet up. i was on my way to a date, i told him, and tried to set up a meeting on the third instead. he told me, he would be flying back on that day. maybe tomorrow, he offered.

i didn't hear a peep from him on my birthday. or if i did, it was a perfunctory happy birthday text message. nothing like what i've come to expect from the person who'd drive all the way to UP on tuesdays just to hang out, or the person who played chess with me notwithstanding my non-existent skills. certainly this wasn't the same person who did everything in his power to revive a friendship i tried killing just cause i was uber-pissed with him over something crazy shallow.

so back to 3 march. it was around 6:30 a.m. he was texting me stuff that forced me to wake up and text furiously back. "let's meet, now!" i told him. he assured me he was on his way to taal, and that his sister was on the back seat, sleeping. he told me he was on his way home. he told me he was going to be fine. we must've exchanged billions of texts that morning. his last message: i'm home now. thanks for everything.

i didn't realize that when he used the word "home", he meant a home not on this dimension.

a little more than six hours later, i got a call that changed my life: chio, my best bud, was gone.

to this day, no one really knows what happened. the girl refused to talk about it, and fed us the line that they were fine. chio's last instruction to his sister (in an email he apparently sent before they left for taal) was to take care of the girl. chio's last words were posted on his blog, in a post i read after i was informed by his sister that he was already gone. the post basically said the same thing -- it wasn't her fault, it was his fault cause he was too weak.

i can't imagine him weak. he was my confidante, my big brother and my baby brother rolled into one. he was someone who knew me inside out. once, he loved me so much till i said no, and once i loved him till he said no. at the end of the day, we realized we were better off as friends, although we had a running joke that no one would be better for him than me, and no one would be better for me than him.

seven years later, i still don't think i can forgive the girl who caused him so much pain and misery. in my most evil moments, i wish that she'd continue to suffer guilt each and every single day of her life. i stumbled onto her blog once, reading how she coped after he left, except that the posts stopped after a bit. maybe she moved on, i wish she didn't though.

i pray that chio got to ask for forgiveness before he left this world, and i pray that chio is in a better place now. in good times, i imagine chio riding around heaven in that blue green toyota corolla that's coding on tuesdays, driving to heaven's version of ilang-ilang residence hall, waiting for the time when we could bond once more over inane movies, flat tops, and ghosts.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

34 reasons why my 34th birthday was fabulous fantabulous

1. waking up naturally -- no alarm clock, no need to quickly jump into the shower to get to work on time. just a leisurely morning, which included ....

2. breakfast at home! wait, to be more specific, home-cooked breakfast at home. i had tuyo from tapa king (one of my most favorite things in the universe), garlic rice, and tomato omelette.

3. PvZ ... yes i've finished the game before, but i've reinstalled it and it's still bliss to play it all the time!

4. the couch at kamiseta. if i had something like this at home, i probably might never leave!

5. being able to do my errands. was actually able to do everything except 1!!!

6. lots and lots and lots of text messages from good friends! god bless those who chose to spend a peso on me rather than simply posting on my facebook wall. you guys are the absolute best!

7. new friends to celebrate this birthday with -- new friends from community, new friends from work.

8. the surprisingly cool weather! made it easy for me to do my errands. and while it rained, each and every single time i had to be out, the rain would just stop and allow me to get around even without an umbrella.

9. my superga rubbershoes that allowed me to get everywhere quickly and pain-free. the best P500 i ever spent on a pair of shoes!

10. the blackberry finally arriving. technically i was supposed to get them today, but they released it to me yesterday cause i wasn't going to be at work.

11. being able to tell people "it's my birthday" as an excuse/reason/basis for everything. case 1: bought a jelly case + screen guard for my blackberry and when the girl won't give me a discount, i told her, "but it's my birthday tomorrow!" and she relented! case 2: when they won't release the blackberry (for a whole lot of reasons), anji whipped out the birthday card in my behalf, saying, "sige na, birthday naman niya tomorrow."

12. people who actually called, rather than texted, to greet me happy birthday!

13. yet another outfit to add to my dumaguete wardrobe.

14. said outfit coming in my absolute favorite color -- hot pink!

15. said outfit in eyelet! (i just looooove eyelet fabric)

16. paying only P50 (plus tip ☺) to get my hair blow dried. i truly love that "cheap" parlor.

17. my "parlor girl" being there to blow dry my hair. she's the nicest -- always smiling, and is smart enough to blow dry my hair with the ends tucked in, rather than what i usually get these days -- trying to blow dry it really straight which makes my hair totally flat and limp looking.

18. getting to eat at yakimix ...

19. ... for free! thanks gay. i super owe you for this one!!!

20. catching up in real life! while gay and i realized that because of our blogs, we're pretty much updated about each other's goings on, it's still different seating across each other and just chatting and chatting.

21. realizing that the "vocabulary" you share with friends, if they're really good friends, don't change. it was as if we picked up from where we left off last and just went on and on and on without having to explain, or give a back story.

22. knowing that there'll be yakimix again on sunday, this time with my action group!

23. a surprise party on the eve of my birthday. so what if it was late, and it was raining, and they all have to go to work today -- they made time! thanks paz, anto, jc, theo, nina, kiko, ariel, luke, chacha, and shy.

24. receiving lots of presents during my surprise birthday party. my language of love is presents so you can just imagine how loved i felt yesterday!

25. the upcoming birthday party at my goto-and-tokwa place.

26. sharing my birthday with dr. seuss and (born on the exact same day) chris martin.

27. birthday leave!!! it's my first time to enjoy the benefit and i LOVE the concept.

28. while the bus i rode to NAIA started breaking down in pasay, it got as far as the ayala MRT station ... exactly where i meant to go to renew my driver's license!

29. spending only a little more than an hour to renew my driver's license. (and most of the time was spent at that cramped drug testing place.)

30. looking pretty acceptable in my driver's license. (that P50 trip to the parlor totally paid off! hahaha!)

31. the Today Show being shown on local cable once more. thanks, talk tv! (while i totally perked up upon hearing the theme of doogie howser, md. monday morning, it's not enough to make me want to forego my Today Show every morning).

32. reading this when i got home. i spent the entire night with her and she didn't blow the surprise. how cool is that?

34. having the gift of another year. not everyone makes it to 34, and i'm thankful God chose me to be one of those to continue on.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

i'm getting ready ...

today i ended up going shopping for clothes for my dumaguete trip. a bit of a background: i'm not the type who actually shops before a trip. in fact, when i went to bohol for the first time, i packed at 1 am (after coming home from a prayer meeting + fellowship that ended really, really late) and left the house soon thereafter. as with all of my trips, i rely on friends who pack light since i end up with overweight baggage due to the fact that i just stash anything and everything i could think of and keep my fingers crossed that i had packed okay for the trip. and, notwithstanding having overpacked, i always end up not having the exact kind of clothes i want to wear. i think the only time that i ever lucked on packing perfectly for a trip was when i went to puerto princesa with friends and i totally hit the jackpot the afternoon before when i did last minute shopping at robinsons manila and sm sucat. ☺

i've always envied this girl i know who just looks so put together all the time. i found out from her sister-in-law that she's a MAJOR planner. for example, weeks before she and her then-future hubby flew to bacolod for their pre-nup, she carefully shopped (and not all at the same time!) for her outfits -- some from her existing wardrobe and some from the malls -- and planned each look in great detail. another girl i know is almost the same thing and packs outfits, not individual pieces, so there's no guesswork when she gets to her destination.

so, inspired by gay -- a friend who recently channeled her inner goddess-diva and shopped her heart out before her trip to kota kinabalu -- and by emily -- an apparently uber-famous who i stumbled onto because of apartment therapy -- i did a bit of shopping to prepare for dumaguete.

i was planning on getting this brown floral dress -- similarly styled, but sweeter looking and a bit more expensive than this -- but this just fit perfectly. it's actually longer than the dresses i usually wear, but it's bright yellow color is just l♥ve! i love the ruching in the boob area (not itchy at all!) and how it's sexy and yet modest at the same time. perfect for those places where you don't exactly have a place to change in. slip it off for a dip in the ocean and slip it back on for the trip home ☺☺☺

as you must know by now, i have a thing for multiples of the same thing. at least this dress isn't exactly the same, although the genetic material is: tube dress, with a tie that could either be a bow in front or be tied around the neck for "security". i love how its tiered and how it's sort of like denim but with a lot of other fabulous colors and prints. the ruching isn't as generous as the yellow dress, but it was too lovely to pass up.

i've always loved the combination of a blouse and shorts. it just feels so luxurious to my (limited, at least fashion-wise) mind. when i saw this silky top, i just had to have it and imagined how the soft material would billow gently in the breeze while i'm aboard a banca getting to some tiny island with gorgeous white sand. the zipper in front could be opened up to reveal a gorgeous suit underneath, and the long-ish sleeves can protect me from unwanted sunburn. it was too short to wear as a dress (although i had hoped it would be long enough, boo!) so finding shorts that don't make my thighs look like sausages was just the best thing in the universe.

shopping loot = ♥ ♥ ♥

now if only i could lose the sausage around my waist, life would be perfect.

... or at least this vacation would be.
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