Bicol Express for the Grateful

Friday, May 18, 2012

I am trying to condense the fact that I am super grateful these past few days and a recipe blog post, hence the title. :)

Things I am mega-super-duper grateful for:

1) We have been yaya-less (ate Conching is on 10-day annual leave) going 6 days now. Life is very busy with lots of manual labor but it just gotten extra sweet because I got to spend all these time exclusively with my son.

2) MOMS. I am super grateful for my mommy. She's lovely, sweet, funny, cooks very well, and is a lot like me! Thank you mommy for being a great example on how a great mom should be. And also to my second mom. Mommy Gay, you raised an awesome son. Thank you for loving me and Elijah dearly like your very own.

3) I can finally tick it off my bucket list: Be featured in a newspaper. Well, it was not exactly a full-on-feature. There were four of us that Marlet interviewed. The article title is "Four Young Moms Find Fulfillment at Home and at the Office." This was published in the lifestyle section during Philippine Daily Inquirer's Mother Days special last Sunday. So bonggels right?

4) I lost our iPad. And realized just how much hubby loves me (read it here). I also learned my lesson to be more mindful of the items I bring.

5) We lost our iPad and found it again. Thanks to a kind soul named: John Bill Chua. He e-mailed us the same day he found the iPad with his contact details and returned it the day after. Got so inspired by his niceness and honesty.

6) Oh, and have I told you? We are having baby number 2! Yes, Eli will be a kuya already. JP was giddy with happiness. I was, umm... speechless. Hehe.

Anyway to my second topic. I cooked Bicol Express for a good friend. Michelle is my mentor, confidante, soundboard and all around LDBFFL (long-distance-best-friend-for-life).

I love her. So when she told she wants me to cook Bicol express before she goes back to Bangalore (India) -- her flight was later that afternoon, I happily obliged. Woke up very early that day to buy the freshest ingredients from the wet market (of course, coconuts are sweeter if the milk is extracted that very same day). I have to warn you, this is so yummy. Make sure you have lots of rice.

What you need:
3 big coconuts (will produce 5 -6 glasses of coconut milk)
1 kilo pork, cut into strips (choose the kasim part so it's tender)
1 small bottle of shrimp paste
1 tbsp garlic, minced
6 pieces Thai chili pepper (siling labuyo)
3 cups long chili or jalapeno peppers (siling green)
½ cup ginger, grated
1 large onion, cubed
2 long chili pepper
2 tsp cooking oil
salt and pepper

What you need to do:
1. In a bowl of water with salt, soak chili peppers for 30 minutes then rinse and strain.
2. Sauté the garlic, onion, and ginger
3. Add the pork and continue cooking for 5 to 7 minutes
4. Place the shrimp paste in and cook for 5 minutes
5. Add the Thai and long hot pepper followed by the coconut milk
6. Mix all the ingredients well and simmer for 30 to 40 minutes
7. Add salt and pepper to taste

Pictures to show you:

Some of the ingredients:
grated ginger, onion, garlic and two kinds of peppers

Porkies simmering happily in the pan

Close shot of the finished product

What it looked like from afar

Our simple table setting.
Lots of rice is a must!

What we had for dessert.

Family picture

Since we live in a condo and technically we only have one floor
Eli was so excited when he saw the stairs.

So excited and happy.

He really reminds me of my husband.

 Try the recipe out.

Also, try to be a little grateful for almost everything. =)

The World's Best Husband

Monday, May 14, 2012

I promise to keep this short. I just want to tell you and the rest of the world that I have the world's best husband.

Why make such declaration? What if you don't agree? This is me you see, and what I feel and believe is the truth for me. Therefore, he is the one. The best husband. There is.

Who looses a bulky Ipad2? No one right? Except when you are as, hmm.. how shall I put this mildly... dumb and careless like me. I hate myself. You should have seen me in the car sulking, hating every bit of me. Until now I am suffering.

Throughout this agony hubby was quiet. Pensive even. I was ranting and spilling all my guts out. I was toxic.

Then after he heard me whine, he said:

The husband: Let it go Love.

Me: That's it? Hate me please? I can't stand it.

The husband: This is a lesson learned for you. It's going to prevent you from loosing more valuable stuff in the future because now you know. And now, I can even think of so many reasons why it is a blessing that "we" lost the Ipad. For one, I will be less distracted (because of the games) so now I can spend more time playing with Eli.

Me: I am in anguish babe. Please hate me a little.

The husband: I can't hate you so let it go.

First of all, he said "we" when it was all completely my fault. Second, you should know that this is not the first time I lost something and yet he didn't reiterate that.

Now, you know (just from reading this blog) that I am bad at so many things. I am a worry wart. I talk way too much. I over analyze everything. I am tactless. And I loose so many freaking items (translation: burara).

How a person can love me in spite of all these is a mystery to me.

Bee, I love you, thank you for completely accepting me flaws and all. I promise I have learned my lesson.

PS: Real men change diapers. And that's you. That's why I am very proud of you. And sorry for everything.

Thomson Reuters Summer Outing 2012: Palm Beach

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Hello mga muthers, baklang muthers (like me) and mga bekkis. Your resident muther has been neglecting this blog again.

Sunod sunod lang my out of town trips. Hee hee feeling artista. Not really yah know.

Isa lang masasabi ko, ang itim ko na (kelan ba hindi?!). And this is just the beginning, I have 6 more out of town trips lined up. Ako na right?! Ako na already.

Hindi ako mayaman ha. I just have a lot of friends. Hee hee. Anyway, these trips are part of my 2012 blessings. And there's more to come I bet. International tours soon. With God's grace it will happen. Yihee. Thank you na Lord, in advance. =)

So, I went to Davao last week (check it here). This week my company went to Laiya, Batangas.

Palm Beach is a beautiful resort. In pictures it is. In reality you need aqua shoes. One little rock decided to reside sa aking talampakan. End result, madaling araw na self operation, with hubby holding flash light, me holding a nipper and a lot of cursing and howls involved (by me). You get the picture.

The staff are nice. And they have nice facilities. I loved the jacuzzi and infinity pool.

Anyway, to say that I enjoyed myself is an understatement. So shala talaga my company. Very sushal and the food felt like overflowing. Although since punong abala ako that day, I didn't get to take as much pictures so I made nakaw some of the pictures from my good friends Chris and Jenny.

Okay here they go. Sorry if the pictures are in a weird order ha. I didn't have the chance to re-arrange them anymore. (read: tamad)

Ang aming bus ay may chadelier sa loob.
Anong masasabi mo? Hehe

Ang baklang muther feeling artista.

I took a picture of other people taking pictures =)

Girls making chicka inside our cabana

Taray ng aming beach body competition.
In fairness lahat sila may K.

Nag kayak ako mga friends. #sowhat

Here's what the resort looked like from above.

The beach looking shala.

The beach! I love you beach!

Dito ako nasalubsob ng coral sa aking talampakan.
Again #sowhat

I love you pool!
I never wanted to leave.

Our lootbag includes t-shirt and towel with our company logo.
Sushal no?

The stage set up

Andaming food promise.
Sira ang kinabukasan ng diet.

I call this super BICO.
Ang sarap!

My team! We are the best!!!
We bagged the championship prize of P10,000.
In fairness pinaka konti kami but we were the most competitive kasi.

Kudos to my company, the committee, and everyone who participated in the event. Everyone went home a winner I am sure. :)

Charbert and Reign

Friday, May 4, 2012

Chartbert and Reign they just click. You can see when they are together their love tank is full. When I look at them I just can't help but smile. Because they are happy.

I am saying this in a totally unbiased way (yes kahit inaanak ko pa sila sa kasal).

It was a truly lovely wedding. Simple, elegant, and it was heartfelt.

I will post pictures here to give you an idea how lovely that day was.

This was during the wedding rites.
Everything is so white. I love.

See how elegant the white feathers thingy are?

This is the principal sponsors shot.
See me and hubby? Felt na felt!

Since sundalo ang kinasal kailangan one-man carry palabas ng church.

Brave men in white.

Here we are outside the church.
We were given one balloon each.

The couple kiss before the release of balloons.

Yellow balloons. Green tree. Blue colors.
Who doesn't love colors?

There was a children's corner.
They have these activity books for kids.
And also small trinkets of what-nots that the kids can play with.
How thoughtful.

Ang ninong.

Madame butterfly. #feeling

I cannot help gushing on how beautifully the place was styled.

See diba it is nice?

Couple's first dance is always my favorite part of the reception.
That and the eating part. Hehehe.

Table setting.

Shala ng wine parade.
Sarap pala ng Chamdor.
Iinom kame ni hubby neto.
Tag-isang bote.

This naman is one of my most favorite shot.
The newlyweds are watching their photo montage.
The groom cried. It was a really sweet moment.

Dove release.
Lekat na dove yan muntik pang dumerecho sa fez ko.

Cupcakes. Cutie patootie.

The newlyweds with us next day.
Shot on location in Samal islands, Davao.

Congratulations Charbert and Reign.

May God grant you many, many years of bliss.

Read the rest of our Davao adventure here. =)

Davao, Serendipity, Laughter, Love

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

For lack of any creative thought process I just decided to use random words as a title to this post.

My head is still spinning. Legs are still jelly. Tummy still full of tuna. And my heart is full of love.

I loved this weekend at Davao. It was so epic that things just aligned themselves like magic. Like I am in a reality show or something. Like I feel words are not enough. But I will try my best. And I will try to be brief. I will post a separate entry for the wedding itself (which was very lovely, by the way). Because it definitely deserves just that.

Okay so first things first, we were late during check-in by freaking three minutes! Sorry for the language. I wasn't really mad when that happened. Hubby thought our flight was 30 minutes later. These things happen. The H felt really guilty about it. And seeing him sad like that vanishes all my inis away.

Yaya started throwing up like there's no tomorrow. She didn't stop until the next morning. Wowa naman. I made sure she stayed hydrated and gave her isang baldeng bonamin.

So we booked the next flight which was 10 hours later! Good bye city tour, Eden Nature Park. Even the Philippine eagle was already expecting me. Also I was supposed to meet tita Punay (mommy of my good friend). God had other plans I guess. So we went with the flow.

Our flight was moved to 6:50pm. Flight got delayed by 2 hours. What the hey! Our co-passengers were harassing the front desk representatives already, I decided to go to the higher management. Long story short, they gave us a refund! Hubby said, he really likes me. Haha.

Daddy and Eli waiting for our luggage

Arrived in Davao at midnight. Ordered the very vapid and unhealthy McDonalds meal.

I can still feel the chicken nuggets in my thighs

Morning came. Orchid and I decided to explore our happy place, palenke (wet market).

We rode "Kaputian" taxi, which parang nakaka-sakit dahil alam naman namin hindi kami "kaputian". Haha.

Eto kami hindi "kaputian" fine.

We went to Bankerohan Plaza. Asked for free taste na sa dami ay pang himagas na. Harassed tita seller to give us libreng pomelo and mangosteen.

We realized it was already three hours before the wedding ceremony and we still do not have a make-up artist. So we asked around. My gulay tinuro kami sa kaloob-looban ng palenke. Parlor only had manicurist and "mangkukulot". Hello pagoda cold wave lotion. I told Orchid, di ko bet.

So we changed strategies and asked for a "Beautician", tinuro kami sa Barber shop. Nakanang!

Just when we are loosing hope already may nakasalubong kaming dalawang beks (short of "bekki" "bakla" "gaylalu"). Orchid asked: "Day, do you make-up?". I followed-up, "marunong kayong mag suklay ng magulong buhok?". Sabi nila "sure ma'am!". Whoah. Talk about serendipity. They just came from a wedding where they did all the make up for the bride and entourage of 18! Pakak sa bannga mga ateh!

Sabi namin, o sumama na kayo samin. You need to beautify us! Imagine us stinky, sweaty, looking like war veterans parang mahihirapan sina ate.

Ang ending teh! Winner muk-ap. Pang Oscars. No wait, MMFF lang pala. Choz! One of the best risks we took during the day.

They turned Orchid into Anne Curtezz. While me ang peg, ninang-mudrabells-sushaling-mayomon! Hehehe.

Dress from my mudra's closet of course.

Ayan na, grand entrance na kami. So many soldiers in white uniform I love!

Winner kayo inaanak!
(Yes, ninang na ko. I am old.)


Then off to reception (will expound on another post). Then me and hubby with the rest of our friends decided to explore Davao at night. Went to Jack's Ridge, which closes early pala. Drank some really strong gourmet coffee. We wanted to sing our hearts out at Tapas Bar, but kuya na may hawak ng microphone was still busy singing "25 minutes" for the nth time. For the fear na mabaril kame ni kuya if we dare to interrupt him, we decided to go to another place.

We went to a place called "Tourist" and all we can hear are tugs-tugs-tugs (repeat 50x). We were not in the mood for hard core party so we decided to look for another place.

Went to the aptly named Barbeque Boss. Kumain ng isang baldeng pork and gizzard barbeque. One big slab of tuna belly. One pitcher of blue margarita. Our waiter's name was "Rechard". Then we're done for the night.

Hit the sack then the bride woke me up early morning because we were going to Samal island. We traveled by land and sea. Saw my friend who was there for a toastmasters event. Ate crispy pata, masarap na bihon, pakbet, and crispy chicken downed with cold beer plus sweet corn ice cream for dessert.

Eli was not too fond of the sea. Or the water. Or the air near the water. So after like 15 minutes of wadding, we're out.

I went back to my favorite place Bankerohan and hoarded tuna.

Met with tito Ephraim at the airport and received another box of pomelo.

Prayed the rosary as the plane took off. Arrived home safely and left a little bit of my heart in Davao.

We are definitely going back.

Tell me now, how could I not love my life.? =)