Tuesday, February 27, 2007

sushi and maki at suki market

Those bilao are not for palabok. They are bilao of mixed sushi and maki.

This is where my dentist brought me after my treatment. I was initially planning to go to Quaipo or Ongpin. But she introduced me instead to Suki Market along a corner of Laon Laan near Dapitan. Once during a playdate, she brought one small bilao of califonia maki for only P150 pesos (smallest one on the far right). The biggest bilao is only P700 with 140 pcs of mixed sushi.

The small pack of mixed sushi with wasabe, kalamansi and soy sauce the small picture above cost only P80. Yes, very affordable. I bought one for Amats and he absolutely liked it. The california maki on the lower part cost only P60. There are several stalls inside the wet market selling the same mixed sushi and maki. They all look exactly the same and have the identical price list.

We also bought lobster balls, kani, fish cubes, vegetable clumps, kani and corn balls at the suki wet market. We are both planning to have a shabu-shabu at home. I just hope we can come up with a good soup base. Yummie.

Monday, February 26, 2007

down espana

Going to the dentist seems to be, more often than not, something people always postpone. But today I am happy that I didn't. I realized that having a personal relationship with your dentist really helps to eliminate the doubt and dilema of "to go or not to go". I surprised myself later after my treatment that I actually planned my next visit soon. Another unique thing is that my dear dentist clinic is along Vicente Cruz right in the heart of Manila.

I cannot remember the last time that I was in Espana (Manila hahaha). Honestly, I am trying to recall when was the last time I passed through, but I truly cannot. Vaguely, I think I was there when I was with Kaila to buy those wonderful murano beads in Quiapo. Despite the traffic, I look forward to the possibility of going to Quiapo for its distinct color, pulsating masses and masses of interesting people, and of course the great buys.

I am happily surprised when Rolyn my dentist brought me to Suki Market instead!

Sunday, February 25, 2007

why climb?

This is a continuation of the DWIZ entry. On our way back to Quezon City in the van, Mr. Joey Papa asked the three of us Lillian, Vanessa and I something he wasn't able to ask us on air. He asked "what made you decide to climb mountains?". I can't remember the answers of Lillian and Vans. My mind went double fast rewind to the time that I decided that I want to climb mountains. The answer came quickly. It was easy. I said I was inspired to climb mountains when a friend showed me a picture. It was a picture someone I know on a ledge with clouds just behind him. Oh my! I want that! The rest is history as it were.

I don't have a copy of that particular image but I know somewhere here in the web where you can see for yourself what I mean. If you want to know look at these images of Outsidebound. Look for the image with Mt. Banahaw in Quezon. This is where the picture I was talking about was taken. Believe me, I can still clearly remember the time I saw this for real at Durungawan circa 1994. Breathtaking is an understatement.

Monday, February 19, 2007

a spa resort in Antipolo II

Last Sunday, one of our dear friends invited us to a double birthday celebration and a dedication of their baby. They rented for the wholeday and night Callospa Resort which is located in Antipolo as a beautiful venue and backdrop for the occasion. The dedication ceremony was a solemn event at sundown.

In the morning it was swimming and badminton party, then in the afternoon family and guest can indulge in the luxurious spa which includes chocolate scrub, herbal massage and many more at very affordable packages.

The two large cottage house is Balinese inspired mixed with other warm Asian designs. As you enter the compound, you will be greeted by mist sprays all over the garden. The resort is both intimate and inclusive as it exudes a homey atmosphere. Designs are done in very good taste. Every bit of space is functional yet stylish. No boring white walls. I fell in love with all the unique curtains. The rose bath beside huge windows and bamboos seem to invite anyone for a relaxing time.

Callospa is in the suburbs of Antipolo. Go towards Ynarez stadium, then follow the road up until you reach Unciano hospital make an immediate right and then follow the winding road and you will stumble upon a place that might just be the answer to that aching back.

a spa resort in Antipolo

Kung Hei Fat Choi

Happy New Year! It is the year of the pig. The year of those born in 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995. According to Inquirer Sunday Magazine's article Eat well and prosper: 12 Auspicious Foods. I just learned that one of them is Tikoy! Yehey!

Yesterday we celebrated Chinese New Year with a breakfast of Tikoy. Just P47 for a small box from Eunilane. This tikoy taste well. It is sliced thinly then coated with beaten egg, then shallow fry on a hot pan. Do not let it burn otherwise it wont taste as good.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

radio stars

Yesterday, Lillian, Vanessa and I went to guest on DWIZ 882 to represent UPLKM. I've never been inside a radio booth or went to any radio station AM or FM. My curiosity I guess urged me to join when Lillian extended the invitation. We got the invitation through the connections of Nine Continente who has been volunteering for Ecowaste Coalition.

In the photo are Lillian and Joey Papa host of Bangon Kalikasan. I told them that I will just be the official photographer of the event haha.

The radio program lasted for an hour. The conversation was light and easy. In the van, we were told that the listeners are the "masa" thus we should keep the discussions light and funny. Otherwise they will either turn their dial in another station or lower the volume.

Questions were the common ones like "what do you get from climbing a mountain", "where do you pee?" ahahha "Did you have problems getting permission from your parents" and "what mountains you've climbed.

There were also some serious questions like "what are the projects that Lakay have?" and some discussions on waste management and low impact climbing.

this post to be continued.... we have to go to Callospa today. Yehey!

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Al Fresco with the UP Madrigal Singers

Last Thursday, the Liwanag family picked us up to watch the UP Madrigal Singers. We were there early before the show started at 5:15 pm. We've been planning this since we saw the schedule at the Arts Hub. I haven't seen the UP Mads in any performance. But I know that they've won several awards and have toured most of Europe. We made sure we didn't miss this free performance. It was great. Acapela music al fresco. It was both intimate and inclusive because of the vanue. It is amazing to listen to a group of Filipino singers performing Swedish, German, Spanish and Korean songs. Of course they sang Filipino compositions as well. Powerful voices that makes your hair stand as they sang Lead Me Lord. Amazed us with their interpretation of Man in the Mirror.They made us laugh with their rendition of Bahay Kubo and Sitsiritsit. We gave them a standing ovation. For their encore they sang "Let it be".

We enjoyed the performance together with the superb food that Rolyn prepared for us.
Nothing can beat this. World class performance enjoyed in the company of good friends with great healthy food!


Salamat sa mga pagbati!

To everyone who sent their love (you know who you are). Thanks you so much. I want to thank specially Lingkod brothers and sisters-- even though we haven't been with you all for the past couple of years, you all have continued to send us your love in so many ways. Thank you also to Lakay people. You all really made my day truly special with your words of affirmation. Thank you for the prayers, well wishes and gifts. My love tank is full to overflowing with the blessings.I guessed Amats did a text brigade ahhaha :) thanks for responding with prayers, greetings, well wishes and all. May God bless you all indeed in everything that you do, everyday of the year.

We went to a thanksgiving mass at UP as a family-- the 3 of us. Then in the afternoon I had to renew my lincense-- I will share in another post how funny this experience turned out to be. Then in the evening we had a family dinner at DonHen with my sister's two kids, together with the lolos. Here's my nephew Juluis with the huge pizza.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

expecting the un-expected

Today I started counting how many valentines there has been in our lives together. This year is the 5th year that Amats and I spent Valentines together. Three years as a married couple. Wow! 5 years is half a decade (tama ba to?). We do not really celebrate Valentines day that is why I don't remember that we ever really had a Valentines day dinner or celebration. But there was a couple of times that I was surprised with a heartshaped donut or two haha!

I love to be surprised with unique ideas and simple things. During Valentines Day, I really do not expect any flowers but I would joke around that "Oh were are my flowers? Hahhaa!" Too bad we are not in Laguna where we can pick kampupot or santan in the garden. Giving flowers during V-day seem to be an obligation that has been conjured by the media or commercial businesses. Not that I do not want to receive flowers. I do. But receiving flowers on any other day even makes it more special as the giver is not really influenced by an occasion. There was a time that I received a bunch of red gumamelas
(hibiscus) when I was in the islands. I guess that was one of the most memorable bunch of flowers I received and un-expected because there was really no occasion when I got it.

love languages

It takes so little to make me happy. You don't need to have a lot to be able to express your love. Some imagination and lots of creativity will go a long way.

The book The Five Love Languages of Children, it was identified that these love languages are: physical touch, gifts, quality time, words of affirmation and acts of service. This list is not only for children but it also applies to the grown-ups. I haven't read the book. But it is in my "to-have" list.

Physical touch. A hug can go a long way. It can bring comfort and affirmation at the same time. Cuddle time is very important for children as well as adults. Holding hands while walking (pa-sway sway pa) are simple comforting expressions of affection that can fill anyone's love tank.

Gifts. You do not need to have lots of money to buy gifts to express your love. One can make a simple card (not an e-card) with heartfelt words of love is a priceless gift. Know what your significant other really like and make an effort to show that you care by presenting them gifts that they need and want. This year I gave the hubby a huge jar of prime quality peanut butter. I know that he loves the stuff. He would take lots of time on the peanut butter aile in the grocery store. Since we have limited grocery budget we just buy ludy's or any low cost but good ones. He looked like a little boy while enjoying this gift for breakfast.

Quality time. This is a must. You must make time for your loved one. You really do not have to spend to do this. I for one love long walks be it in a park or just a trip to Eunilane. The important thing is that you are spending time together just enjoying each others company. A warm cup of tea or coffee in the kitchen with lots of conversation. There are many ways to express this love language and it doesn't have to cost a cent.

Words of Affirmation. A note written with much love will be treasured forever. Remember those old shoe box moments in vintage films and even in CSI episodes? There is always the well kept love letter. It is kept with the most valuable of things and stored for posterity. This is one of the common and easiest way to express your love. Simple words of affirmation as long as it is sincere and from the heart will be well remembered.

Acts of Service. Preparing your love one's favorite meal, drink or snack. Driving your loved one to work. Cleaning up the camping gears yourself while you let your partner rest. It can be as simple as opening the door for someone else. The giving of one's self to the service of others especially your loved one. Being malambing and masikaso ranks high in most people's list of essentials.

All of the five love languages can fill to overflow anyone's love tank. All you need is time and a little imagination. All of these can be expressed even without a single cent spent.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

riding a bike

"Its like riding a bike, you'll never forget it". Last sunday, after a very very long while, I was able to ride a bike again. At first, I thought I forgot how to balance, control and steer. Our mountain bike appears to be really heavy for me. It took me a while to regain my balance. I can't even remember how many times I tried to pedal and sit, but it was a while before I was able to get up and go. Medyo nahihiya nga ako na magbike sa harap ng mga bata sa UP dahil I was stumbling in a way.

Eventually after a few minutes of un-poised re-learning. And Walahhhh!!! I am flying again Whooohoooo! I just love it! I was cycling up and around, doing circles around the area. Yes. I didn't forget!

It was really liberating to experience the re-learning part, it was hard even for a short while. There was a time when I thought, "oh my I might have forgotten...this bike is very heavy... I will scratch myself again and ride onto a tree." But when I trusted my balance again, everything worked! It all fell into place. I was cruising.

Letting go is such a liberating experience.

Monday, February 12, 2007

festive mood

During last sunday's playdate, we had this great background music coming from around the Carillon just outside the UP theater. We later discovered that the area was transformed into an Art Hub. This group played fantastic jazz music. The audience are a mix of UP bohemians, cyclist and families with children of all ages. This week the UP Mads will be performing. I can't wait to watch them for free. The best things in life aren't things.

These pictures were taken just after sunset. I wish I was able to come earlier and hopefully able to take more photos. There is this vibrant energy that emanates from this community in UP.

Around the perimeter of the art hub were these beautiful lamps. Also there was this huge pinata that will greet you. I love this photo of Hannah showing just how big the red horse is. Louis think it might just be a Trojan.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

hot off the grill

For the longest time, I've been contemplating to have a food blog. I believe I've written several entries that talked about some of our treks, travels and food. A few other blogs like Market Manila and Sassy Lawyer's inspired me to start one of my own. Since I love the great outdoors and enjoy good food, I decided to finally have my own take at the culinary joys of outdoor cooking.

Visit my new blog Pinay Mountain Chef.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007


Yes, tatay na po sila. From left to right are Louis and Baby Toni, Amats and Baby Isay, Rodney and little girl Hannah. This was taken by Nina during our playdate last Sunday afternoon at UP at the back of Quezon Hall. No need to explain the close resemblance of the girls to their tatays. "Tatay Karga" one of the reasons for that well defined biceps to Rodney. Isang sakong bigas na daw si Hannah now 3 years old. Last time I saw her was at a Lakay cookout of batch 16 without those long locks yet. Toni is one year and 2 months old, she was wearing this nice squeeky shoes. She enjoyed walking around without anyone holding her in a happy feet kind of way. Isay is 7 months old. She doesn't know how to walk yet and kept kicking her shoes away. This shot is a rare gatheirng of Lakay fathers proud to be holding there baby girls.

We've been planning for the longest time to get together and finally this one pushed through-- a playdate with the babies. We've been spending the Sunday afternoons enjoying bonding time with friends and family. When Nina and I had a chance to catch up, we talked about how we all want to bring our kids to the enjoy the outdoors and climb mountains in the future. What best way to start introducing them to the outdoors, than to regularly play with them in place where there are green grass, lots of trees, open space to run around, tumble on the ground and sometimes just lay there staring at the clouds. We decided to make this a picnic-playdate a regular Sunday afternoon for all of our families. Rolyn, Hannah's mom kept saying lets to this again, lets do this again. She was a bit late to arrive. Thus she is not here in this photo of the Nanay's and the babies. Another wonderful thing that happened is that we saw the Zabala family and invited them to join us for the rest of the afternoon.

Buddy here is the biggest baby of them all with his mom who just arrived from Zamboanga that afternoon. Sobra ngiti namin lahat when we realized this.

Monday, February 05, 2007

butanding up close

Up close and personal with the whalesharks of Donsol, Sorsogon. These are the spots of the whalesharks locally known as "butanding". A bonus in this image is the remora eel. This was not planned but such a wonderful addition to the composition. I took this photo with a Canon A70 with an underwater housing. This was taken a couple of years ago when I went to interact with these gentle giant fish. I was with Elnora and Aimee at that time.

It is almost whaleshark watching season again. We were so lucky to have about at least 12 sightings when I last went there. The first time with Melo, Melo's father, Jas and Mirac we saw more than 15, I guess mostly full grown and some juvenile. We also went firefly watching the night before. We had each individual small boats as we paddle down a river at 9 in the evening. Magical to see those fireflies. I wish I can experience this again soon.

I will never forget the first time I saw the huge tail in the murky dark brown waters. It just rained that time. Also we were behind the team and it was so fast the first interaction I got was that I almost got hit by this caudal fin which seems longer than my own body. Like an image from Jaws-- but in reality these are really very gentle creatures. Although there seems to be a moment that I hesistate but the feeling after each interaction is awesome!

Sunday, February 04, 2007


I was watching Oprah last week and chanced upon that the guest was former Bond girl Teri Hatcher. I knew it was a replay but the first time I saw it I click the "off" button early on the show. But good thing this time, I was able to watch the whole segment and about her book Burnt Toast.

What really got my attention is the concept of why many mothers like she and her mom eat burnt toast. Why do they have this self-sacrifice syndrome. I saw myself at a time when I just scrape the burnt area and continue to have breakfast. I didn't realize that this will be feature in a book. Why do we do what we do?

I haven't read the book yet but I read some excepts on the website. It was also recommended by Oprah giving very generous compliments which she doesn't do to other book writers.

This is one of my "to read" books. I hope I can find a copy somewhere.

food and what nots

When I was a young girl, when at the end of the meal I still have food on my plate, my lola would say "mabubusong ka". This means that I will have sort of bad luck, that I will not be able to receive food in the future because I did not respect the food that was provided for me, by not showing respect to the food and eating it all. In my mind, I silently thought, I really cannot finish all of the food, otherwise I will throw up. But I cannot say this out loud or I will be scolded for not respecting my elders. The lesson is "do not get more than you can eat". But if I remember it right, I know it was someone else who put all these food on my plate in the first place. I think these days I've learned my lesson not to take more than I can chew. Para hindi masayang. But there are days that the actual person is not the one who put things in one's own plate.


"to make holy or sacred, to sanctify or consecrate, to venerate"-Wikipedia

I looked up the meaning of hallows because I am really excited for the last book of J.K. Rowlings Harry Potter. It was announced Feb 1 that the release would be on July 21st.

Recently, I've been thinking about our past lives. How sometimes these memories though in the past, seem to be still alive in us when we remember them. This morning I was struck again by the idea. As if some part of our lives are there in a horcrux. A poem, a song or a place seems to still hold those memories. These tangible and intangible object represents some sentimental value. Why do certain waterfalls and mountains remind us certain part of our lives?

Anyway, I really cannot wait for the last book in the series.

Friday, February 02, 2007

frost in the cordi

News Central on 23 last night reported about the thick frost in Benguet province. They said that the temperature in Baguio in the past week remained below 10 degree celcius and in Benguet at 6 degrees. This eventually caused the frost in the vegetable farms. We can expect that the cost of carrots, cabbage and other veggies from the north will increase due to low supply. The crops were spotted sort of frostbite for veggies. There has been talks that a calamity in Benguet will be announced soon.

In an unrelated event(or is it?), a week ago I was going to write about the ice storm in Texas, I was chatting with Bay who said that she didn't go to work due to the thick ice and the roads closed. This is in Mission, Texas. She said this thing hasn't happened there in the past 10 years. We had a day-after-tomorrow chat that early morning.

For those who climbed the Cordillera this time of the year, you can imagine how cold it would be in Sagada or in Mt. Pulag. Tagirgir.

her little red shoes

The past weekends we spent our Sunday afternoons at UP carless oval. We just walked and played and played and walked around. For Tatay and Nanay it is time to get that much needed exercise. For Isay it was time to start enjoying the outdoors, see the grass and trees, stare at the clouds. Interact with cousins. See different kinds of dogs. Living in our small cubby hole, there is not much room to move around. We look forward to seeing friends and family during the weekends.

In this picture she looks really big. Thanks to Myka for the outfit and Tita Tess for the red shoes. I love these red shoes. It has a small snowflake on the side.

Isay have a Cinderella story but will post it in a separate entry.