Monday, December 27, 2010

The Planner for 2011!

I blogged about this planner last week

My two girlfriends

Anne and Anna
are ordering the planner too :) 
For more details about this planner visit Witty will Save the World through their Facebook Fanpage or their Multiply site.

Xmas Vacay means being Shopaholic

I'm on two weeks vacay! This is one of the limited benefits I enjoy as a result of being employed in a school. We do not report for work during the holiday break. I've been savoring my two weeks vacation with my favorite lazy activities, TV and movie marathon, waking up the earliest at 10 am, eating, reading, and malling with my two girlfriends, Anna and Anne.

Yesterday, we agreed to meet up to watch a movie. We were suppose to meet at 12 pm but history of histories, I arrived first. While waiting for my friends, I managed to kill time at the Ladies Wear Section of Robinsons Metro East.
While waiting for Anna and Anne, I was able to purchase this Chinese-collared inspired jacket.

I bought this jacket from Robinsons Department Store for only Php 499.75. I love jackets especially those that are inspired by Chinese collars. I almost thought that this was a good buy. But as I am making this blog entry, Nanay told me that this jacket faded even though it was carefully handwashed. Was I deceived by a cheap item? I haven't seen the damage but I'm really disappointed. :(
After watching the movie,we dropped by the nearby Sta. Lucia East Grand Mall. And of course, here comes the shopaholic fever. We entered Guess' boutique because of the red magic four letter word posted on their wall, SALE! Our original plan was just to window shop. But there are a lot of nice t-shirts on display that we can't resist. Each of us were able to find our own shirts. Anne bought a blue shirt, Anna had a black shirt and me? I bought a super girly pink shirt.

My visit to Robinsons Metroeast will not be complete without dropping by Book Sale or Pick a Book. I bought Holly Chamberlin's Living Single and just for month , I made three purchases from Book Sale.

My holiday reads

I still have nine days to savor my holiday vacation. I hope that I will have worthwhile and memorable activities on the next days. But for now, I think I have to cure my shopaholic fever. No more shopping please :)

Sunday, December 26, 2010

My 2010 Christmas

How was your Christmas? I can’t find the perfect words to describe my 2010 Christmas. It was one of those ordinary Christmases, except for some silent realizations.

My family does not really indulge on Christmas Eve dinners. We spent most of our Christmas in the province with my maternal grandparents. Having those bountiful Noche Buena was something I never really experienced. What I remember was my family having those regular dinners with my grandparents. We sleep early then attend mass on Christmas day.

When I started working, I tried to give my family that Noche Buena experience. I would buy a KFC bucket meal or give money to Nanay (mother) to prepare a special meal. This year I decided to purchase a box of pizza for us to share on the eve of Christmas. We also had a sumptuous lunch and dinner. My Auntie's family who lives a door away also shared us a plate of spaghetti, crabs and their famous Chinese Asado. Food overload! My family didn’t stay awake all night. I attended the anticipated Christmas mass with Nanay and had our overloaded family dinner.

On the day of Christmas, I woke up late, sumptuous breakfast from last night’s leftovers and a good news from my Nanay. Nanay told me that Dad woke up early to attend the mass and visit Lola’s resting place.The last time my Father attended a Eucharistic Celebration was during the funeral rites of Lola. 

But honestly, I have been apprehensive of receiving good news and blessings. I had this not so good experience with blessings received and taken away. I was somehow bound to believe that for every blessing I receive, a corresponding misfortune is about to happen. I know there will be a lot of trials to come. But my prayer remains the same. Please give me the strength, courage and understanding.

Switching TV channels brought me to the local airing of Toy Story. Though I admit that I am still very kid at heart, watching movies in cartoons was not my interest. However, I have been hearing positive reviews about the Toy Story. I watched the movie and I’m giving it three words, I love it! It has a shallow plot that ironically touched the kid in me. I now declare myself as an official fan of Woody and Buzz!

After lunch, I engaged myself to a good read. I am currently reading Holly Chamberlin’s The Summer of Us. While reading, I suddenly remembered my paternal Lola. I realized that this is the first time I’m having Christmas without her. Tears went out of my eyes. Dear God,. you know my thoughts and sentiments...

In the afternoon, I visited my paternal Lolo (grandpa) and played with my seven year old cousin, Alexia.

It wasn’t a perfectly merry Christmas for other people. But I am still thankful because I was able to spent Christmas with my family.

Whatever will be God’s plans for me on the next years, I entrust it to Him. But for now, I am savoring the blessing of having Christmas with my family, who remains to be the main source of my inspiration, strength and happiness.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Experiencing Banchetto

I learned Banchetto from a feature in a local TV show which unfortunately, I can’t remember. Banchetto is an Italian word for feast. In the Philippines or at least in the heart of the Ortigas Center, Banchetto is a night food market held every Fridays in the entire stretch of Emerald Avenue.

Banchetto showcases food entrepreneurs. If you are really into food trip, Banchetto is the place to go. However, you have to make a little sacrifice in order to experience the market. Banchetto is held on the midnight of Fridays until 11 am of Saturday. In my observation however, Banchetto is best experienced from 1:00 am to 3:00 am. We tried dropping by at 12:00 am but the exhibitors are still organizing their stalls and there are still a lot of empty sheds waiting.  

Unfortunately for me and my friends, experiencing Banchetto was not a smooth sailing adventure. I went to Banchetto with my workplace friends, A, W and T.
Looking for Emerald Avenue was easy because Ortigas Center is relatively small and the streets pass through each other.  We took a walk from Robinson’s Galleria to Emerald Avenue. We arrived at around 12:00 am and as expected, we found empty sheds. We then decided to proceed to our next agenda: to find a place to stay. Edsa Shangri-La, Holiday Inn, Crowne Plaza Hotel and Richmonde Hotel were discarded from our target places. We inquired at The Linden Suites and we were shocked with the rates of Php 6,000 plus per night. Apart from the expensive rates, we were urned off with the not-so-accommodating male front desk officer. He was talking to us not like a service oriented employee and he literally turned his back on us while making our inquiries.  
A was suggesting Go Hotel at Robinson’s Cybergate Plaza. It was the cheapest, decent and nearest hotel. Moving from Ortigas to Mandaluyong gave us a hell of waiting. I never thought that getting a cab from the Ortigas Center would really test our patience.  Most of the taxi cabs that passed were occupied. Worst is that the few vacant taxi cabs were drove by selective drivers. If I were to take things seriously, I could have reported more than five abusive cab drivers to the Land Transportation Office (LTO) that night.   
We reached Go Hotel after an hour. We rested for a while and returned to Banchetto. I thought things will be easy for us. I never expected that Banchetto will be that exaggeratedly crowded! For those who plan to go to Banchetto, brace yourselves from the flock of people.   
I indulged myself to a full meal. I badly need it! I bought a quarter pounder from Monster Burger, potato on a stick and an Oreo cake. 

This is T's quarter pounder. I was too hungry that I forgot to take a pic of my own burger.

Oreo Cake

My mistake is that I failed to recall the names of the stalls where I bought them. I only managed to recall Monster Burger because it would take another experience of eternity to order from them. In fairness to them, the long wait paid off. Their burger tastes well and its serving is commensurate to its price of Php 100. The Oreo cake costs Php 45 per slice which for me is reasonable enough. If I would rate the cake, I'm giving it five out of five stars!

Another problem with Banchetto is the limited tables and chairs it offer. Finding your eating place is an extra challenge for everyone. We ended up sitting and eating at the grasses of the Ortigas Park. 

It's not the fault of the organizers of Banchetto, but this one brings me some disappointment...

I just can’t understand why some people can’t manage to gather their leftovers and throw them away inside the trash bin.. 
We decided to call it a night or I mean a day because it was already 3:00 am. Going back to the hotel again gave us another hell of waiting. After almost one hour, we finally landed to a taxi. Unfortunately, we ended with another abusive taxi driver. 
Tired from our Banchetto experience, we were compensated by the decent facilities of G Hotel. Despite being an economy hotel, their services are way above my expectation. The front desk personnel are accommodating, the lobby is kept clean, surveillance cameras are installed, the elevators are spacious and neat and the rooms are well maintained too.

Though I had a not so perfect experience with Banchetto, I would still recommend the experience. Some suggestions to improve your Banchetto experience are the following, bringing your own vehicle because of the difficulty of getting a decent cab, arrive earlier than 12 am to avail of the limited tables and chairs, bring more patience and brace yourself for the flock of equally enthusiastic food trippers. For more details about Banchetto, visit their multiply site here

Monday, December 20, 2010

Planner Shift!

I started having my own planner in my 26th year of existence :) This is my third year of keeping one and my original plan was to avail of the 2011 Belle de Jour (BDJ) planner. I bought my own copy at Fully Booked Gateway for Php 598 as early as October.

I started using the BDJ planner last year because of its chic design and the discount coupons that attract female shopaholics like me.
I thought I was already settled with my 2011 BDJ.

This year, I'm letting go of my BDJ planner for this

The "Relaks, Puso Lang Yan, Malayo sa Bituka" Planner 2011
This planner is produced by Witty Will Save the World Co. They are also responsible for producing the "I Was Supposed to Get That Coffeehouse Planner But I got Fat/Broke on the 10th Frappe Planner 2010."
I first saw their 2010 planner from my cousin. I was amazed with their hilarious and entertaining concept. But at that time I was already contented with my BDJ.  So how did I land on their 2011 planner?  I was browsing the winners of the 2010 Philippine Blog Awards. One of the awardees was Yoshke for Top Post for 2010 and Best Personal / Diary Blog. The blog incidentally featured the planner and I admit that was partly to blame ;)
Here are some of the pages of the planner

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Kid at Heart at 27

The week before my birthday gave me sources of grief and frustration. On the day my most awaited 13th month pay was released, I lost money from a merciless criminal. I don't anymore want to relate its specific details, bottom line is someone ruthlessly stole a significant amount of my hard earned money.

I was trying to organize a reunion for my MBA friends. The thing is, only one person managed to confirm and at the very least, appreciated and thanked me for organizing it. Some of them sent me text messages to finally confirm that they are not available, a day before the date. Worst is one of them almost ruined the day of my birthday. How about that? Sorry, but you almost made me cry on my day. You know that my initiative turned out to be a one big crap yet you kept bugging me about it. It felt like you're insulting me. Maaan, it's my birthday don't you realize it? One of them whom I have devoted my time and efforts to that one big endeavor also aggravated my frustration. I was trying to organize a reunion and not a birthday treat. Now that you're done with your one big mission, I hope I made you happy enough.  I know everyone is too busy with the holiday rush, but a simple word of sorry and grattitude could already suffice me.

Lesson learned: From now on, prepare for frustration if you volunteered yourself to organize gatherings and reunions. Better yet, never make an initiative to avoid having those harsh feelings.

In case my friends are reading this, don't worry guys. Being the youngest in the group, I am just childishly sad. I am not mad.

On the day of my birthday, God still gave me a break and moments to remember...

I almost forgot that the night before my birthday, I had dinner with my college friend, Gracie! I never thought our dinner would push through. I was so thrilled when she confirmed her presence despite my short notice. I was such too busy with other things that I thought would make me happy. Thank you Gracie! Thank you for the cute pouch too. Too bad, I forgot to bring my camera and my phone went low batt. No pictures to post and relinquish.:-( But I believe that  memories stay inside the heart and there would be more dinners and get togethers soon.

On my way too work, I got stuck in traffic and you know what comes next. Late! Though I was late and will be expecting a tardiness memo next year, the people closest to my heart made my day.

My boss treated me for lunch at Binondo. I treated some of my officemates to a box of pizza. While writing this, I just realized that it's my first time to celebrate my birthday in my new department.

And the most awaited part of my birthday, dinner and dessert! 

 Tinee, you're the one to blame for my addiction to Grilled Tomato

Beef Kebab: Tinee's order
I ordered for Beef Keema but I forgot to take a pic :-(

After the Persian meal, we went to Kitchen of Cakes & Coffee (KoCC). Tinee was again the culprit. It was my first time to dine at KoCC and three words, I LOVE IT!

Time for Tea and Cakes!

My Sans Rival birthday cake ;-)

Tiramisu Cake? I'm not sure..
 Cakes at KoCC cost Php 80 per slice. The taste, price and size of the slice are reasonable enough for me.

Days before my birthday, I was mulling when was the last time I had a birthday cake. The last time I had it was when I turned 18.

God perhaps wanted to make me happy after everything...

My childish wish was fulfilled! Unfortunately, I forgot to make a wish before blowing the candle. I was thrilled with the fulfillment of a birthday cake. Though it was just a slice of cake, I don't mind. After all, this 27 year old grown up still remains to be very kid at heart.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Stressful but Bountiful

I always look forward for Saturdays. It is only on Saturdays when I am able to do my favorite grown up past  time, zzzzzzzzzleeeep. But I have to forgo my sleep day today.  I have to conduct make up classes with the sections that I am handling.

I forcibly dragged myself out of bed at 6 am. Prior to waking up early, I slept late last night to rush and review my lectures. So as you can see students, your teachers have their own cramming moments too. Yours truly is very very guilty! Well to make some excuse for myself, I am actually not a full time teacher. Teaching is an additional assignment given to me. I still have an eight hour job to fulfill. Hence, it is only at home when I managed to read and prepare for my lectures.

The lesser traffic is just one thing I love when reporting to work on a Saturday. My travel time to work is reduced to like 30 mins. during Saturdays mornings only. The train is likewise less populated over the weekends, lesser rush and lesser stress.

I initially thought that my students might ignore my effort to do classes on a Saturday. After all, it's their rest day too. But a number of them really took time to come on time and attend my class. The attendance was low, but I still continued with the lecture. To all of my students who came, thanks a lot. You paid off my efforts.

While I was having my lecture on my Microeconomics class, a sudden realization came to me. I never thought that I still know my Microeconomics. I was shocked when I started talking about real life applications of the Elasticity in Demand and Supply. I never prepared those things last night, I swear! Those things just came out of my mouth. Because of this, I now believe that "stock knowledge" is true. Stock Knowledge were terms I used to abuse back in College and Graduate School. When I fail to review for a examination, I usually tell my classmates that stock knowledge will save me. Well, I can now attest on it's real existence. Stock Knowledge is true people!

After conducting two straight classes, I felt something rambling in my body. I am hungry and I want a heavy lunch. Though the school canteen is open, I chose to endure my hunger for 30 more minutes in exchange for a full meal at Taco Bell! Moments like this makes me forget those lbs. I'm tired anyway and I think I deserve to pig out! Agree or agree? ;-)

My craving for a Taco Bell plate plus a take home from Bread Talk made my day. But my day is not yet complete, I have to drop by Ms. Ortho for my monthly check up. You read it right guys, I am a 20+ grown up who wears those metal wires.

I thought my afternoon activities would smoothly push through. But the holiday traffic disrupted my plans. My travel time from Gateway Mall to Marikina was 2 and 1/2 hours of eternity! I just left my things at home and headed directly to Ms. Ortho. Another point of waiting came my way, I waited for 1.5 hours for my turn. My original plan was to have a haircut and attend the anticipated mass after my check up. I like to squeezed in these activities today because I want to rest and stay home the entire day tomorrow. My plan failed! I want to blame the holiday rush. But I realized that this is always part of the season. If it is not traffic, if people don't seem to be busy and rushing, then I might as well not feel the Christmas atmosphere.

My long wait to Ms. Ortho however paid off. Dra. Lovi finally removed the braided silver wires in my brackets. I now return to those colorful rubbers. My teeth now wears blue green and I love it!

Finally arriving at home sweet home gave me some simple happiness. God perhaps knew how to make me a little happy. Sorry I still can't help mentioning my dilemma over that ruthless criminal. But to relieve this tiring day, I found favorites and some new favorites,

Butter Finger!

Ironically, I am not a chocolate lover! I eat chocolates but I don't crave for them. I have a limited picks for chocolate and one of them is Butter Finger. A family friend who came from the States gave this to me as pasalubong! Thank you ma'am!

Mister Donuts

Nanay bought this after spending a day at Trinoma with her golden aged girlfriends ;-)! Mister Donut calls it Pabuenas doughnuts. It's doughnuts inspired by Puto Bumbong, Bibingka and Buko Pandan. At first I thought it would be too sweet. Oh well I forgot to remember that since Nanay bought it, it is therefore not intended for people with sweet tooth. 

Matahari Carrot Chips

They are chips but they are not junk foods. This chips originated from Indonesia. Matahari sells healthy chips made from casava, carrots, etc. These are carrot chips and I can attest that it tastes like your regular junk chips. This product is a testament that delicious eating could also mean healthy eating!

Bread Talk's Coffee Almond Bun

I don't know the exact name of this bread. But just to describe it, this is a coffee bun showered with all those almond bits on top. It's the almonds that gives me the thrill in eating this bread.

At the end of the day, lbs! lbs! lbs!

Dear God,

Though I am still laden with that problem you gave me, I still thank you for giving me this simple happiness. My only wish is that I will be able to surpass this test. My silent wish is that someday, I will get back on my track and experience better things ahead of me...


Friday, December 10, 2010

Watch, Listen and Sing!

I am posting this video the third time! The very kid in me can't help but appreciate how Jason Mraz sang with the gang of Sesame Street. I just wished that Sesame Street did more of this back when my age still suits watching this.

Watch, listen and SING!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Dream Blouse No More

I fell in love with this blouse the first time I saw it in Kamiseta's website.

I even wished that this will be my birthday blouse.

I searched the nearby Kamiseta stores and found noting. I am about to give up, not until last Saturday came. Though I'm still tired, sleepy and carrying a heavy backpack from an overnight swim, I dropped by Kamiseta's Gateway branch. Eureka! I found the blouse and excitedly tried it on.

Unfortunately, the blouse is to good to be true. It appears to be a mere photogenic piece. It has a lousy fit on me. It's a dream blouse no more.

To relieve my sadness, I ibought my first pair of Kamiseta skinny jeans. I found a perfect fit and my holiday Kamiseta tin can.

I'm almost perfectly fulfilled not until I became undecided of when I should wear my first ever Kamiseta jeans. Should I wear it on Christmas or on my birthday? Should I buy another pair of jeans? Uh oh, please keep me away from doing my second option.

Kamiseta Tin Cans are back!

The Kamiseta Tin cans are back!

For a minimum purchase of Php 1,000 from any of their regular items, Kamiseta will wrap your purchase in this pretty and useful tin can

Jackets, blouses and shirts are my usual purchases from Kamiseta. This time, I’m treating myself to my first pair of jeans.

Kamiseta started giving away this tin can last year and as expected, yours truly also acquired one.

Treat yourself for a nice Kamiseta piece this Christmas and grab your own tin can too! :-)

Monday, December 6, 2010

I'm back at Blogger

I started blogging here. If I'm not mistaken, I started three blogs in this platform. However, with a not so good experience with Google Adsense, I was forced to close my account and try other blog hosting sites. 

I am currently maintaining two blogs, one is from Wordpress and the other from TumblrI discovered Wordpress as a result of mere internet search. I was looking for other sites that provide free blogging opportunities. I initially found the tools and features of Wordpress hard to decipher. I find it not as user-friendly, relative to Blogger. Wordpress on the positive side has useful features not present in other blogs. It has this Site Stats menu where you could monitor the number of times your site has been visited. It even includes the web sources of your hits. Blogger I believe does not have this feature before it became a member of Google's family. It also has a wider choices for template designs. What further inspires me to continue blogging at Wordpress is the chance to be featured in their global dashboard. Wordpress features articles of bloggers that are timely and very interesting.

Tumblr however is the extreme opposite. Tumblr lives to its claim of blogging made easy. New blog features such as liking an entry and reblogging (similar to retweeting in Twitter) were pioneered by Tumblr. However, I feel that Tumblr is more fitted to photo, video, music bloggers. It doesn't match bloggers who are in writing. Tumblr follows this strict rule that when you upload a text, it's limited to a text. If you want to insert pictures in your text entry, you have to host it from other sites. Direct uploading of photos in entries chosen as text is not permitted. You can insert photos by simply adding up the exact URL. However, uploading of photos, video, and music in Tumblr as a blog entry is fast and better. For some reasons, I find uploaded pictures in Tumblr with better quality and resolution.

Why am I suddenly returning to Blogger? An unsatisfied customer would definitely look for an alternative. Tumblr has been down since yesterday. I am in blog mode and Tumblr has been suppressing my fingers to type and release those thoughts. Although I have my other blog at Wordpress, I prefer to have separate blogs. My Wordpress account is intended for serious writing. Tumblr houses my light, informal and everyday writing activities. 

I just hope that my return here in Blogger would not bring me another source of frustration. I hope Blogger won't let me down again.