Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Amid The Pressure Cooker Whistling

A pressure cooker whistling is my music while I'm clicking the keys.

The pressure cooker is still whistling, whistling more, some more till I think it will blow up to the ceiling. In fact, it's noisy. But I don't mind at all.

And now I'm wondering what's inside the pressure cooker. It better be delicious. It should be, just to compensate the laborious throbbing of my eardrums.

Whistle, whistle, whistle. Whistling while tenderizing meat. That's precisely its main job. It clamors endlessly to the whole house, making its main job known to the household. The pressure cooker is multi-tasking, and I am too. I'm blogging while I enjoy the music - whistling pressure cooker.

If only this pressure cooker ain't hell-hot on the surface, I'd probably do a high-five with it.

My Thoughts Exactly

I'll hit 30 next year. 

I wonder if  I have already reached the "end of the line"?  I guess not. Because if I have, then I wouldn't have to wonder, I would just know.
I'll just enjoy the ride, and I am going to enjoy the same. I will think of positive thoughts while on board. I will not even entertain a hint of remorse why I have chosen this ride. I will go my own way. It's my life, and what I think of myself is my choice. 

I used to wish I'm 30. Next year is my year. 30 is the age I've been wanting all my twentysomething life. When I was still a 23-year-old courtroom drama fan, I imagined how ladies in their 30's got to do things with confidence and without hesitation. Oh man,  ain't that cool?
One thing I learned in this lifetime is that even with the purest intentions I have in my heart, I am still to blame for every screw-up in my simple yet dramatic life. And just when I think I couldn't possibly sink any lower, I go ahead and surprise myself.

At this point, I bid adieu to my doubts, hesitations and to all repulsive beings out there who will jeopardize my noble thoughts en route to success.

And, God forbid, if all else fails, age is but a number.

My heart goes out to Jenna Rink! :)

I am tempted to make this blog entry longer, but decided to behave like a grown-up. (big grin)

Monday, December 28, 2009

When Boredom Strikes

Silent nights like this and knowing that my loved ones are sleeping peacefully make me emotional. Very emotional that I could not stop my tears from brimming in my eyelids. I can feel them now, ready to fall, and I'm not stopping them. They say that tears can literally clean your eyes and soothing for your soul, provided they voluntarily and willingly fall.

I now begin to ask myself why. I feel blessed and I'm truly happy. That's what the tears are all about. I happily blame the spirit of wellness of the holiday season.

I'm happy that my parents are supportive of me all along and even happier that they are both in good health. There were times in the past that I'd bargain with God my share of happiness and success in exchange of my parents' good health. I just couldn't afford to see them sick. It breaks my heart whenever I see my father tired from field work or my mother complaining of her migraine. God knows that, and I'm grateful that He hears this unselfish prayer.

I'm happy that I get to spend time with my siblings, despite our mood swings. We have always been like that way back our younger years. My two younger brothers (one of them is now married) are my loyal allies ever since the three of us outgrew childhood. My youngest brother though is the moody of us all. Back when all my demands/rules were followed by my two younger brothers, my youngest brother represents the axis powers. I never understood the concept that the youngest should be treated well, loved well and that we should all give in to his whims and caprices. Long before he (the youngest brother) came, I felt I was the center of attention. I was the only girl then, and I'm the most behaved one among the pack. And then the only sister was born, and I really felt my entire world was then turned upside down. She's the little princess, and we're at her mercy. When she cries in our arms during her baby days, it will be our fault. Hahaha!

I'm happy that I have a boyfriend whose major goals match with mine. Just when I almost got tired of searching for a partner and at the brink of giving up, God gave him to me. All in all, he's my incentive.


I acknowledge what and who I have and I thank God for that.

I think of the pointless war in Iraq and the millions of lives lost and affected by it, I think of the poverty in this country and the poor people who suffer because of corrupt politicians, I think of the families affected by recent calamities, natural and man-made, I think of those who no longer have the chance to experience pain and happiness and suffering and joy. When I think of these, I realize I'm truly blessed and my own petty worries do not even measure up to the problems of those who literally live in pain and sorrow every day of their lives.

I'll sleep now.

Counting Till I Finally Say Cheers to 2010

San Miguel showing off his balls (no pun intended)

I aim to drink cans of SML when countdown to year 2010 begins. When I say "cans", I mean a minimum of three and a maximum of eight. Peeing is always an option, just to strike a balance between sanity and hallucination. It's my way of bidding goodbye to the Year of the Rat and ushering in the Year of the Tiger. Rawrrr!

Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right. 
~Oprah Winfrey

Advance cheers to you, Oprah! 

Here I am, imagining things which will make my life meaningful next year. Meaningful in what way? Too vague. Or it's too safe. I'm still imagining things. Rough, few, too much glitter but true. Oh Lord, it's MC's flop movie I remember. I'll rephrase then. Too much images of grandeur. I'm a word player, you see. And I don't apologize for that. It's F-U-N.

First, rough. Needs polishing along the way. It's more realistic that way. Hey, hey, did I just say "Dream big" the other day? Hmmm. Strikethrough rough.

Second, few. Few is better than more, I guess. When you have so many things and plans, some of them might end up in a waste basket.

Third, too much glitter. Substitute "images of grandeur" for "too much glitter". Stand by.

Last, true. Need I say more? Why bother faking it? 

Few, images of grandeur and true. Perfect.

No tinge of sadness, ill feelings, no mean words, no heartaches whatsoever. Shooo!

I love my life too much to let it get sidetracked by heartache, longing, and daydreaming. So let's sleep.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

We Better Watch Out!

Please tell me I'm dreaming.

Rambling while gobbling

Peace out to my diet!

Edible, adj.:  Good to eat, and wholesome to digest, as a worm to a toad, a toad to a snake, a snake to a pig, a pig to a man, and a man to a worm.  ~Ambrose Bierce

I'm back. Let's get ready to ramble while I gobble up.

I remember Joey Reyes of Powerspeak saying that one of the secrets to stay happy and positive throughout the day is to avoid reading the newspapers. But I love newspapers, e.g. broadsheets and tabloids. He further said that the daily newspaper is composed of more than a hundred bad news. I totally agree. More often than not, the bad news outweigh the good news. 

I scanned today's The Philippine Star front page, and one story gave me a jolt.  The news heading is this: Al-Qaeda link seen in failed try to blow up US airliner. It happened on December 25, 2009, Christmas Day, but this is the first time I read about it. I hooked up with my fling* once again and found Time Magazine's feature Terror on Flight 253: Does it Fit al-Qaeda's Pattern?  When will the acts of terrorism end?  No one can tell. What made the story stick to my mind is the fact that the airline  and airport involved are Northwest Airlines and Detroit Metropolitan Airport (IATA code: DTW), respectively. The airline responsible for my first trip abroad and the airport where I experienced the freezing cold air of Uncle Sam.

BTW, I learned something new today. Polvoron has an English name which is native shortbread cookies. According to, polvoron refers to a very crumbly shortbread biscuit. Plus, it's a masculine noun. Weird. I thought anything which falls under the field of pastries is feminine. Hahaha!


Rough Draft of My 2010 Life List

I do not know how to start my blog entry right now. I'm just clicking the keyboard, click the letters which compose the words in my mind. It's downright funny, and I'm serious. My fingers are clicking the keys as I think. So this is what a perplexed mind is all about. I can't think of any serious thoughts, life-changing thoughts, ideas, concepts, images that will make my 2010 a real deal. See? Is there a fake deal? Words escaped me right now. Too much thriller novels and Pacman mania killed my sane self. Allow me clarify, Pacman mania refers to the mindless munching of anything edible found in the kitchen and fridge, similar to the yellowish round cartoon who gobbles everything circa 1980s.

This is supposed to be my rough draft of my goals for 2010, but my mind is still on a Bruce Willis mode. Three action-packed thrillers in two days did this to me. Guns, threats, betrayal, sarcasm, jury, trial, cops, intelligence reports. This is a new genre for me, so please bear with me. I'm used to slow pacing of love stories. I practically grew up with the latter.

I still do not know how to start my life list. I'm hearing Spongebob Squarepants on the background vis-a-vis Regina Spektor's song "Laughing With". A fellow from Bikini Bottom just said that ice cream is frozen cow juice. Hahaha! Cartoons sometime make sense, but for now I don't.

My current thoughts are focused on clicking the keyboard, what's for lunch and should I continue typing random stuff as it pops out of my mind.

I ought to focus NOW. Time's a-wasting, damn it.

The universe likes SPEED. Don't delay, don't second-guess, don't doubt.
- Rhonda Byrne, The Secret

Now I'm becoming impatient. I'll try.
  1. Focus.
  2. Procrastinate less.
  3. Eat right.
  4. Re-review your immediate goals. The prefix "re" is on purpose. I do not intend to make a rehash of my immediate goals. It's perfectly settled somewhere at the back of my mind where no one (not even my guardian angel) can tap on it.
  5. Apply for a foreign study grant or a short course.*
  6. Save money.
  7. Travel to rejuvenate my soul.**
  8. Pray more.
  9. Learn a new hobby/sport. Swimming perhaps? I need to conquer my fear.
  10. Make this list more detailed. I am hesitant to do this as I have learned my lesson, or maybe I'm a Doubting Thomas. Far worse, maybe it's the typical Libran trait speaking. I learned that whatever your wish/es is/are, just keep it/them to yourself. Some will secretly wish they will not come true, and others won't even care. 
I'm very, very random. This list may change in a few days. I should have drink coffee first, you think?

Dream big, as they say. I constantly remind myself to do just that. I did on several occasions. Big, colossal dreams. Rockets to the moon! But there were a few times my rockets ran out of fuel, burst on mid-air. Nonetheless, I'm lucky to be alive. When everything else seem to be big question marks, I pray. I'm really, really blessed.

Cheers to a happy year ahead! It will be. The Universe will speedily guarantee that to us.

* Actual details still to be pondered upon.
** It seems conflicting with # 6, but I'll surely resolve it.

Missing Someone

I terribly miss him. I really do. We have never been physically away from each other for more than two days. It's almost four days that I haven't seen him, and yet it feels like a century. I am not exagerrating. It really is.

I terribly miss him. And it's getting difficult as days go by. Difficult beyond words. Maybe the holiday season's the culprit. Cool December air. Mushy songs in my playlist. Facebook. Friends asking me how things are... and, voila! The bottomline, where is he? Why are you not together this Christmas? Blah-blah. I'm tired of answering questions, or maybe, I'm plainly lazy to type classic replies. I don't know. I miss him. That's the hard fact.

I'll bet my half-month's salary if all the singles out there will not say that I'm luckier than them. I tried jogging my memory of my single days, and all I could remember is that the feeling of loneliness is almost the same, whether you're single or in a relationship. Looking back to my single days, I was then hoping that Mr. Right would come and will totally sweep me off my feet. Oh yes, blame the romance novels I have read through the years. And now that I'm in a relationship, I still feel lonely when we don't see each other for, say, two days. SMS and calls are no help at all. The least they could do is to somehow lessen the feeling of being lonely. I miss him. Now I'm rambling.

A part of me is happy for him.  He's with his family. When he's happy, I'm happy too. Okay, now I admit. Maybe I'm too selfish. I want him all to myself. I'm screwed if I continue harboring this selfishness. Maybe too much attachment makes me selfish. But I do know that attachment may soon become an issue. I have to detach myself from him, little by little. He needs to grow, and I do too.

I'm really a mushball. Maybe this is just an upshot of reading a love story yesterday. James Patterson's novel Sam's Letters to Jennifer still haunts me until now. Brendan's advice to Jennifer is to enjoy life, share and enjoy things with your special someone "everyday from the crack of dawn until we can't keep our eyes open one second longer."

More ramblings. I could go on rambling till the sun shines, but I'd better stop. My point is crystal-clear: I MISS HIM.

I terribly miss him. It's like an illness that should be treated, otherwise... God only knows what.  The only cure is to see him SOON.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Feeding Frenzy + JP Novel = Happiness

Lazy afternoon goodies

It's one day after Christmas. No work, obviously, since it's Saturday. I'm too lazy to go out and watch any of Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) entries. So as a bookworm/foodie, I found my little corner of the world with another James Patterson book (Judge and Jury this time) and some yummy treats for my own feeding frenzy. As seen in the random shot, I had a bit of  the following:
  1. Royce Black Chocolate. It's supposed to be my gift to Mama, but the latter gave her go-signal to devour the choc'lit.
  2. Shamrock's Otap. Pasalubong from my lolo. Shamrock's truly the home of Cebu's finest otap.
  3. Super cold Del Monte's Fit and Right (Four Seasons is my favorite!)
  4. Goldilock's Fluffy Mamon.
All smiles! Never mind the bulges!

Backtrack to Easter Sunday in Charlottesville

Actual date of 2009 Easter Sunday is April 12, and I was still in Charlottesville, Virginia during that time. It was a refreshing experience to celebrate Christ's resurrection away from the traditional setting in the Philippines. Here, Roman Catholics celebrate Easter almost like Christmas. Since after a week-long penance and having a no-pork diet, we truly deserved a feast with our families.

Mary Jane Divine and Deborah Rose, members of LexisNexis Statutory Code training team and who went to the Philippines last February to March, invited us* to hear mass at the Saint Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church. The church is located at 401 Alderman Road, adjacent to the University of Virginia. As we all know, most Americans identify themselves as Christians (not necessarily Roman Catholics).  Deb and her husband Benjamin fetched us at the Marriott Residence Inn. I still think that those two gracious ladies (and Deb's husband too) were kind enough to go out of their way to accompany us in a Catholic Church. The celebrated Southern hospitality is simply amazing.

Inside the church

 A sight to behold - Mamy Mary with fresh, colorful blooms beneath

 Outside the brick walled church

 MJ took off her dogwood flower earrings and told us that dogwood flowering tree is Virginia's official State tree.

 Saint Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church

Deb also invited us to lunch at her house in Riverbend Condominiums. How nice of her, huh? While we were marveling at Deb's digital photo frame that displays her Manila pictures, she served a deli tray full of.. just see the pic!

 Deli-cious tray of cheese cubes, cold cuts and olives and fresh strawberries

Deb's father, daughter and granddaughter also came to join us for lunch. Too bad I wasn't able to take pictures of Deb's homecooked meals.

 Post-lunch pic

After lunch, Deb invited us to take a stroll in the Old Mills Trail, just beside the Riverbend Condominiums, to check out Rivanna River. Really, when she said there's a clean river (I guess it is, compared to Pasig River), I was almost surprised.

The hikers (I switched to comfy sneakers from ballet flats during mass.)

Forward, march!

The dogwood flower

To my right is the Rivanna river (no sign of garbage, really) and, OMG, a huge rock! What the hell was I thinking then? Hahaha!

Riverbend Condominums

Goofin' with Deb's granddaughter (FYI, she's only 11 years old. Big kid!)

Back at RI: With our Easter loot bags from MJ

*The Fantastic Four

Friday, December 25, 2009

Random Cheap Finds for Nikki

I'm a firm believer that looking good does not mean one has to buy expensive clothes at the mall. My sister Nikki has been bugging me for new clothes. And what better way to fulfill a teenager's simple wish without digging deeper into my wallet? Go to Divisoria!

Aside from Greenhills and St. Francis Square, Divisoria is a cheap shopper's dream. It's where you can find random cheap finds without ruining your budget. All you need is a talent for haggling and keen eye for chic yet inexpensive clothes. Just wanna share the cheap treasures we found in the heart of Divisoria. My sister gamely posed for me. Hahaha!

Purple party dress with sequined top (P170) with fancy heart-shaped bronze necklace (P30)

Tri-colored party dress (P170) with fancy bronze necklace (P50)

Purple tee with silver lips print (P75) paired with checkered gray mini-shorts (P65)

Baby tees are pretty cheap in Divisoria, 2 for P150. Also, mini-shorts are 2 for P130. Amazing! I love simple, shallow things.

Gray-striped fitted dress (P170) with fancy bronze necklace (P50)

Fancy necklaces (P50 & P30 only)

Total cost for Nikki's clothes is only P730. Instant happiness!

Merry Christmas!

Maligayang Pasko! Merry Christmas! メリークリスマス! Fröhliche Weihnachten! Feliz Navidad! Joyeux Noël! Buon Natale! Feliz Natal!

As of this writing, I'm still feeling bloated from noche buena's cholesterol-laden dishes. Since time immemorial, Christmas day is family day in our household. It's our Christmas tradition to stay awake till the clock strikes 12 midnight and to partake of noche buena fare.

My paternal grandfather joined us all the way from Cebu for noche buena. He's already 87 years old, but he's still physically strong to travel. He flew here via PAL at 4 p.m., but he arrived  nonetheless at around 7 p.m. on the doorstep. Blame the Christmas traffic for his 3-hour travel time from the airport to Cubao. Lolo did not even bother to forewarn us that he's coming. Surprise, surprise! Life's indeed full of surprise!

Behold the pics of our family's Christmas eve:

My nephew Dave & Nikki

BTW, two thumbs up for Mama for making Dave believe that Santa Claus really exists! Good timing and seemingly believable fairy tale-like story are the major factors. Hahaha!

Cakes galore

Lazy Susan ain't complaining: Cardboard boxes with aluminum foil with yummy food (dinuguan & puto, paella and beef caldereta) are definitely tell-tale signs of CCME Homemade Foodstuffs. Plus, Mama made her well-loved chicken macaroni salad which is synonymous to Christmas and New Year. We're the silent proofs that her salad is a hit way back my toddler days. I'm the eldest, just so you know. Do the Math.

Christmas won't be complete without queso de bola and red wine (Nikki's favorite).

The gang

The gang and the ole ranger

Santa baby (Oh well, she's the famous camwhore in the brood.)

I'm looking forward with wide-eyed anticipation for New Year's eve. That's all, folks! Merry Christmas, everyone! 

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Blue Ridge Mountains & Blue Ridge Pig

Still on the same day (April 11, 2009), we went to a mountain farmstead in the Blue Ridge Mountains.  Did you know that this massive land form binds eight states of Uncle Sam? These are the states of Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Maryland, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, West Virginia and Virginia. Googles's the man! Click  here for more of Wikipedia's enlightening narrative.

I got some info from Wikipedia, and I quoted it below.

"The Blue Ridge Mountains are noted for their bluish color when seen from a distance. Trees put the "blue" in Blue Ridge, from the isoprene released into the atmosphere, thereby contributing to the characteristic haze on the mountains and their distinctive color."

The famous bluish haze of Blue Ridge

Uber cold!
Oh wind, take away our sorrows...

Fall has just ended...

Looks like in the old bygone movies

We walked through the self-guiding trail through a mountain farmstead. I learned from a signage that it was originally a Land Grant tract dispensed by the Commonwealth of Virginia to induce pioneers to settle the Blue Ridge Mountains and establish the border of the Western Frontier. Later it became known as the William J. Carter Farm. The original buildings have long since disappeared, but were replaced by other authentic structures moved from nearby.

Walk-a-thon starts now!

HRH Minnie, Don (the boyfriend) and moi

Goofin' in the logs

Knock, knock, knockin' on log cabin's door

Little house on the prairie

Lemme out, y'all!

Reenacting the bygone tradition of lynching... Hahaha!

My own postcard shot (ehem)

I just found a deer!

Walking through the self-guiding trail of a farmstead was truly a learning experience. I felt like I time-tavelled to the early days of American pioneer and frontier life. On hindsight, it was truly a man's instinct that he needs to seek greener pastures and build his own family while trying to survive the atrocities of his government and environment. Don't we all love freedom? We, Filipinos, are no strangers of that fact. Up until our liberation sometime between 1944 and 1945, we have forever struggled for survival and freedom.

Holly Eldred, another trainor from LexisNexis, recommended a quaint and rustic resto named Blue Ridge Pig in Nellysford. Click here for this famous pull'd pork barbecue resto's review. I saw that pulled pork is spelled as "pull'd pork" in their menu, and the price is just right -$8 to $10. It must be the South American English, y'all! The resto crew (owners) spoke to us in a heavily-accented English.

Piggin' out in the Blue Ridge Pig

We ordered the house specialty pull'd pork barbecue sandwich with two side dishes: macaroni salad and potato salad. If you're going to ask my most honest opinion, I'd rather eat Mcdo value meal. Why? It was quite a turn-off when we saw how the pork meat being pull'd (whatever) into shreds by dirty hands. Let's just say that maybe he was digging up some potato plots before he pull'd. Totally unhygienic. Ew, sorry. Plus, I never did like onions in my potato salad. I heard it's an authentic recipe -good ole Southern potato salad, but I'm no onion lover.

Staring at his calling card which he proudly inserted in the ceiling

Cute pink pig lantern (Noticed our take-out styro boxes? We barely finished the pull'd pork barbecue sandwich.)

The sign says: "Rustic... Sophisticated... Smoked" - Meats and Sandwiches, The Washington Post"

It somehow impressed me when I saw The Washington Post's review in the resto's road marker. Wow. I consulted my fling* once again and found this: "The Washington Post is Washington, D.C.'s largest newspaper and its oldest, founded in 1877. Located in the nation's capital, The Post has a particular emphasis on national politics. D.C., Maryland, and Virginia editions are printed for daily circulation."