Sunday, January 30, 2011

Always Use the Proper Tools and Equipment

The past few days, I've exhausted myself trying to open this tiny jar of vanity. The vacuum seal system is working so well.

When Person A dropped by this afternoon, I requested him to open it  to alleviate the formation of dark circles brought about by chronic lack of sleep.

When the cap refused to budge, he asked me if I have a wrench. 

I did a double take, and confirmed, "wrench?".

Good thing, I keep a toolbox under my sink.

So kids, the important lesson here is to keep a toolbox for fashion emergencies. 

Thursday, January 27, 2011


Ping Pong everyday keeps trouble away. 

However "trouble came my way" while I was my usual trigger happy self earlier.

You see, I like to practice my forehand drive and I actually got the hang of it.

Enough to cause this when the ball hit the opponent's arm.

The ball left a mark on his arm.

I guess my forehand drive comes with a force equivalent to my 90-lb self.

You Are Here

Last night, Person A noticed this information post by the corner of North and West Sts. 


To put it in layman's terms, it is the information post at the Starbucks, 6750 corner. 

Ayala Management is doing a lot of great things lately. Putting up stoplights, pedestrian signals and implementing the jaywalking law. That's PhP 500 on you if you don't cross on the designated pedestrian lanes.

Going back to the information post:

1. It shows where the major landmarks are.
2. It's actually pretty and street art by Philippine standards.
3. It encourages walking. Streets are named and the Ayala Complex is shown in relation to major Makati streets. This should be useful for those unfamiliar with the area.

Ganito kami sa Makati (hindi lang bus bombing, inadequate construction safety practices, and oil spill)! Sana ganito rin sa buong bayan. =P

Sunday, January 23, 2011

11 Goals for 2011

1. Lose Weight. Specifically, lose 3 BMI points which equates to 5 lbs (and I am eating my 3rd piece of chocolate as I am typing this). 

2. Save and Invest 25% of my income. Seriously study stock trading and influence at least 2 people on proper financial management. Tall order. 

Photo from El Nido Resorts website.


3. Travel.
  • El Nido is the destination of choice but it has always been the past 3 years. My preferred travel companion is in the area 2 weeks each month and isn't fond of the beach, hence we agreed that we'll visit El Nido if he's posted back to the office. If you're wondering why we head to the beach each year, I just charmed (bullied him) my way.
  • Swim with the whale sharks in Donsol.
  • Hike the trail to Pinatubo. Loser, I know. This got to happen this year. 
  • Fly and take photos of the rolling hills of Batanes.
  • I could head out and see the world: Borobodur, Angkor Wat, Australia, Japan, Switzerland, Peru... I can even head out to Betelgeuse! Well, I still have to be a "Billionaire.... so freaking bad"

4. Develop and practice a new skill at work. 

5. Pamper the 'rents.  

6. Spend quality time with Person A while cutting down on "date" cost. 

7. Serve in the Community at least 10 times. That's once a month excluding January and December. That should be doable.

Photo from ABC News

8. Go back to school. I am still debating on this. 

  • What's the opportunity?
  • What course should I take? Last time I checked I want to go to Law School. Don't ask me, I have no idea where that come from. Clearly, I need some good direction here.
  • What are my options?

Hopefully, I get to sort this out in 2011

9. Wake up early and live healthy. I wake up at 4:30 on workdays then wake up at 11 AM on weekends. I should let go of that. Groggy or not, I must wake up at 7 and start the day rolling.

10. Cook more edible dishes from scratch.

11. Read more books, visit museums, watch documentaries and foreign films and dine in hole-in-the-wall restaurants. 

What do you hope to accomplish this year?

Saturday, January 22, 2011

10 Highlights of 2010

1.Expanded my circle of acquaintances. I would've opted for the word friends but I value the meaning of the word so I am hoping that I get to be friends with my acquaintances.

2. Ate more Hainanese Chicken (Chef Stevie's and Wee Nam Kee) and Chicken Tikka Masala. I also cut my red meat intake. 

3. Cooked something edible and it took me 25 years to accomplish that. Having the Spanish Sardines Pasta as my signature dish is a great achievement!

4. Went home thrice and actually spent my birthday at home - after 13 years!

5. Visited Bilibid Medium Security area for the first time and hopefully not the last. I also served more this year not only in the SFC community. 

6. Commissioned an entire Controls System. This got to be my career highlight for 2010 (wait, playing the part of "Che-Che" was second to none). I learned tons outside of my engineering comfort zone, enjoyed working with a lot of people, appreciated the adrenaline rush that comes with trouble-shooting, and lost 7 lbs in 3 weeks. I don't mind doing it again, given the chance. "Not all 24-year-olds gets the opportunity to manage the commissioning of a controls system from well to power plant delivery point". 

7. Took Jellybean home. I personally think that I have a good financial sense but one thing I am really weak at is impulsive buying. One fine day in April I decided to get a car, did the rounds on a number of dealerships and 4 weeks later, I was happily "zoom-zooming" Jellybean home. A lot of consideration were thrown in before I made the purchase and I still stand my ground that it's a good decision. My mother thinks otherwise.

8. Conquered SCTEX, NLEX, SLEX and EDSA. I am a probinsyana driver with minimal road experience, and I am not used to aggressive driving. I still can improve a lot but the good thing is in 7 months, I never figured in a road mishap and I just dented the bumper once, because the elevated sidewalk refused to move itself out of my path.

9. Palawan, Palawan. If you want moderate adventure, PP is one of the most beautiful places you can head to. The Underground River is one place one should visit in this lifetime. A whole day of snorkeling with real, big and colorful schools of fish spells paradise. Four days of relaxing in a beautiful place is more than I could ask for.

10. Baguio, Baguio. This again is an eenie-meenie-miny-mow destination and when you add Person A and I together, it's safe to say that we can make the most out of anything. Stayed at the "Baguio-est" hotel in Baguio (The Manor, is definitely worth the splurge) for 4 days. Slept early and woke up early to walk around Camp John Hay. Ate more than I can digest. Visited a museum, a village and merely taking the road less traveled. We lived the retirement life, at least for a few days.

10.1. Also worth noting: 
a. Being with the animals in Subic and staying at the lovely boutique hotel.
b. Played bowling for the first time.
c. Visited Aliguay for the first time.
d. Climbed Mount Samat for the first time.

Can't hardly wait for my 11 Things for 2011.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Marcia Adams: A Slice of Tuscany or Something

When a place has no signboard, yet majority of the online community is raving about it, then it must be worth the trip up the highlands of Tagaytay.

One can easily miss this wooden gate with a door knocker that hints you've reached the beautiful abode of Neil and Marcia Adams.

The wild garden with brick walkway is just so pretty.

Is it Tuscan enough?

I have no idea. I've never been to Tuscany but the ambiance of the place is just lovely that I am at a lost for words to describe it.

We were seated at the rustic restaurant with pretty wild floral arrangement here and there. Neil Adams warmly welcomed us and gave a rundown on the menu. Filipino hosts should learn a thing or two from this man.

The set menu is a straightforward 3-course meal which is priced at PhP 700 - 900 a person.

I wasn't able to take a photo of the appetizer but the thick pumpkin soup and amalfi prawns (prawn with breading on thin wafer) are worth the try.

The tanigue kebab is light and tasty, good with couscous.

While the aromatic grilled pork is a gourmet rendition of the classic inihaw na liempo.

We shared dessert and started off with the fried banana with dark chocolate dip. The dip is nutella and my mind keeps mistaking the banana for french fries.

The seared orange with vanilla ice cream is surprisingly a light touch to end a tasty meal.

I generally get by with water but Neil is right, the drinks are not overpowering and pair well with any of the dishes.

Person A had Ginger beer. It is brewed ginger hence it doesn't taste like beer at all. I suspect this will be up and running as my drink of choice.

Their house Lemon-Lime-Bitter concoction is also a good choice since it's made of dalandan (my guess) and soda water.

In Summary
1. The price is value for money given the portion size and nice ambiance of the place. The food could do a little more so that you can write home about it. Still, I'd choose Marcia Adams any given day.

2. They don't accept credit card. Since we had no cash between us, we had to drive back 4 km in heavy traffic because the nearest ATM is at the Mendez junction. Don't make the mistake of driving to Nasugbu - it's 30 km away!

3. The place is good for a romantic dinner, catching up with friends and a hearty meal with family. The rustic restaurant would feel more complete if there are kids running around.

4. I'd like to come back late afternoon to witness the famed sunset at the lounge and enjoy the wild garden.

P.S. There's no intent to make this entry a food review. I am bad at it.

J.P.Rizal St.
Sikat, Alfonso 

Sunday, January 9, 2011


One of the many reasons I love going back to Dipolog is this space I call “MY ROOM”

It pales in comparison to a 5-star hotel in terms of amenities (read: my ma doesn’t buy > X00 threadcount sheets) but for its lighting, the knick-knacks and its 20-year smell, it just spells home.

Such a Disaster: January Sale Edition

A portion of last year's casualty

This year's casualty

The verdict: I am improving.

But then again:

1. It's still January 8, the end of the sale season is still 23 days away.
2. I had my first "kill" a couple of days ago (good thing I did not take any photos of that)
3. I haven't bought anything I "need" yet. And as Person A puts it, my KPI (Key Performance Indicator) is only 25%. "Needs Improvement" is oh so mighty next to my 25%.

I am such a disaster (financial management-wise and discipline-wise).

Then again I am happy and I didn't shop for 7 months.

His and Hers

 Because I am so small and he's a bit tall, this is our his and hers

Since we're also cheesy, we had matching outfits (and watches) last Christmas 

And wore matching shirts this afternoon 

We also commemorated our first Disney trip together with our official travel watches

Told ya, we're really cheesy.


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