Sunday, September 30, 2012

why i love tuloy thursday

someone once asked me, "why are able to commit fully to tuloy but not to *this group*?"

the short answer was easy, "tuloy is different. you can't compare my commitment to tuloy to *this group*." predictably enough, she wasn't satisfied with my answer. and while she doesn't read this blog, i finally thought of writing the entire answer here.

you see, tuloy still is something that makes me want to get up mornings despite having gone home at three in the  morning. tuloy still motivates me enough to get out of bed at 8 in the morning, run to the grocery to buy ingredients and prepare something wonderful (well, hopefully wonderful!) for lunch.

[preparing for lunch!]

tuloy is where i find people i love and respect. i don't know if they feel the same way about me (hopefully they do!) but these are people who i don't only wish to spend time with on specified days of the week, but even times that i don't have to spend with them. we've shared highs (and recently a LOT of highs!) and lows (thankfully not much of those!) with each other, traveled within and outside the country, and fought each other with great passion (wait - as someone pointed out, only KEf and I fight, everyone else is peaceful and loving, haha!). as we realized last thursday, we've celebrated births and mourned deaths, and the only thing missing is a wedding.

i wish i could say i'm working on the wedding part! hahaha. 

[almost time to eat!]

but as we like pointing out to people, perhaps the biggest thing that holds us bound to each other (well, aside from the love for the kids of tuloy!) is the fact that we love eating with each other. dare we say the family that eats together, stays together? 

but lucky me commercial aside, our "famous" thursday dinners started in the form of chips + drinks that ate gracey would bring for us to share after tutorials. then kuya jojo came along and he'd bring real dinner food cause he'd be famished by the time tutorials were over. and when he go too busy to bring us dinner, we started bringing it ourselves. 

then the thursday dinners extended to breakfast/lunch/dinner meetings that we'd have at KEf's house. he'd bribe us into coming by saying "i'm making breakfast/lunch" and the meeting would extend and extend and we'll tell him, "make dinner na din?" and sometimes he would.

and then when i started cooking again, i started pitching in (so that i'd have guinea pigs to taste my cooking, haha!)

[fried fish, sinigang na baboy, and ensaladang mangga for lunch!]

as we've tried explaining (albeit not successfully enough for people to "get" it) it to others in the past, the bonding that began over tutoring kids was solidified by the food that we shared and the travels that we've enjoyed with each other. we've created our own little rituals: regular thursday dinners, weekend meetings at KEf's house, valentine outreach programs, holy thursday bisita iglesia, and a trip here and there. KEf's given us all nicknames. they've learned to put up with the fights that are sure to erupt each time KEf and I argue about a point. the girls have lit (what seemed like) hundreds of blue candles for our "relationships". oh, there are people who've come and gone, but more or less, thursday's filled with people who genuinely love the family that we've built together.

so in reply to my friend who asked why i'm able to commit to tuloy, i could easily list a lot of answers as to why, both the things you expect and the things that you don't. but even as i tried putting it down on *paper* (well ... as i tried typing it down on this blog just doesn't sound right, hahaha) i don't think words were sufficient to capture just how a big place this group has in my heart, in my life, and in my prayers. it's cause of everything above and more. i committed five years ago, and i'm sure i'll be committing for way more in the future, but just like in a making a decision to love someone, it's a daily commitment i make, a commitment i hope i never take for granted, a commitment that has thankfully never taken ME for granted, and a commitment that i hope to be able to make for as long as i shall live.

(pics from yesterday's meeting at KEf's house ... where else?)

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

super fail

i'm lucky. with the exception of singing and losing weight, i usually succeed at things if i set my mind to it. since i love to cook, i'd like to think i'm pretty good at it. well, at least my friends think so. they love my sopas. they really do. i get constant requests to make it for them.

in any case, the recent burst of cooking has had its ups and downs... but mostly ups. the last time i failed miserably was with pad thai. but i've an excuse for that -- most non-Thai people who've tried making it have said the same thing: it's hard to get that lovely balance of sour-sweet.

buoyed by last night's success with sinigang na baboy, i had very high hopes for my adobong pusit. i'm not a huge fan of adobo (so unfilipino, i know!) but for some weird reason, i developed a major taste for adobong pusit about two years ago. every single time they had it in the canteen (at my former job), i'd order it and have it for breakfast AND lunch. when i moved to the MVP universe, i hardly saw it so i forgot all about it until about two weeks ago when i had lunch with the boys and one of the lawyers had it for lunch. since i'd been making my favorites (first embutido, then sinigang), i figured it was time to make adobong pusit.

after all, most of the blogs which had the recipe said it was pretty easy. gisa this, don't cook the squid too long, just a couple of minutes, and very few ingredients. i was CONFIDENT this was going to be a walk in the park.

turns out, i was TOO confident. my adobong pusit was watery, and was too sour, and the squid shrank to tiny little things (although i think this was to be expected). adobong pusit + rosa = super fail.

maybe i'll try the one with gata so that the sauce will be thick. or maybe i'll just eat at the Landmark foodcourt whenever the desire to eat adobong pusit hits. i heard PVL has a yum yum version. a hundred bucks isn't such a bad deal when the trade off is preserving my cooking ego. ☺

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

changing the game*

*this posts for you, Chel, who tweeted me how she dislikes checking this blog only to see the same youtube link still :)

it's almost a year to the date since i left my old job, and while i will not pretend that i am crazy in love with working for MVP, i'm thinking there's a lot more in my life that's changed aside from my job. maybe it's cause i'm 35 and old (not just older, but OLD!), or maybe it's cause for the first time in my life the people (literally - i work with them, i eat with them, i hang out with them) closest to me are married, and having kids, and paying for mortgages and it's made me re-assess my life more than once in the past couple of months. maybe it's also cause i've finally fully embraced crossing that barrier between "alone in a house with no parents" to "i'm claiming this house as my own cause it's highly unlikely that my parents are coming back to live here" and have committed to being an adult full time. i really can't put a finger to it. but let's just say that things have definitely changed.

earlier today - in between trying to check if the other party has finally made the changes we've been asking for and figuring out how to finish that never-ending memo the SVP asked me to write - i realized that with the change comes a sense of going back to the basics for me as well. am i making sense? well, if not, here's the ME that i'm enjoying with now ... maybe making a list will make things clearer.

1. i'm cooking ... again. i used to cook and bake a lot when i was younger. it started when my mom visited my dad and left us with tita mayu for *almost* an entire summer. oh that was a glorious summer - it was filled with afternoon cooking lessons, good food, bugging tito lito, and experiencing normal things in a different way. so while my mom abhorred the kitchen, i loved it. my saturday mornings were spent watching nora daza on tv, and my saturday afternoons were spent recreating stuff from her "let's cook with nora". somewhere along the way, i stopped cooking, and me eating take out food, for some reason, was interpreted by some friends that i don't know how to cook at all. i don't know how they jumped to that conclusion (maybe cause they don't cook?) but by now, i guess they already know i do. my sopas is amazing, and i've recently added japchae, vietnamese spring rolls, tortilla roll ups, and chicken embutido to my line-up. tonight, i cooked sinigang for the first time, and i'm making plans to learn how to make adobong pusit. oh yes, i'm cooking again.

2. i'm enjoying my home. oh, i've had a love-hate relationship with this house. part of me resents that i was left with the responsibility and the muebles, as one of my friends love to call my furniture. it feels too big for one person to handle by herself, and yet i enjoy the freedom of  having so much space (which translates to having space to hold all the stuff i want!). a couple of years ago, KEf taught me that the only way i'll be able to embrace this house was if i spent more time in it, learned to entertain, and made it my own. years later, i'm agreeing. i've so many plans lined up that it'll take me years to accomplish them all, but it's all good, i tell you, it's all good.

3. i'm cutting back. i wish i could say i'm cutting back on food, but since i've been cooking up a storm, what i'm cutting back on are things that don't make my spirit soar with happiness. i'm learning to say no to things that won't bring a smile to my face. and i'm learning to make space in my day - space in terms of time to just stare out and let my mind wander instead of having to rush to get from one place to another. oh, this is difficult for me still -- just last saturday i did a marathon drive to qc - one hour SD session - drive to dapitan - marathon shopping at dapitan - drive to alabang - meeting - dinner/grocery/friend time before finally crashing at home but i'm sure in time i'll be less go-go-go and more this-not-that.

hopefully, i can say i'm writing again. but surprisingly, even with the internet at home, and the wonderful things swirling around my life, it's been difficult finding time to write. soon, i hope. soon.
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