Joy in Gardening

I have been busy. Busy in the sense that my days have been filled with activities at home that do not just include work.

One of these activities that has surprisingly been very enjoyable for me is gardening.

My Mother and her Father were avid gardeners. They both had green thumbs and would tend to the lushest of gardens. Before my Mother moved back to Bacolod, she lived with us for a few years and the places that we’d lived in (we moved quite a lot) always had the greenest and healthiest plants.

Except to compliment her on her work, I never really bothered to observe what she does or how she does it. Which is why it was such a surprise that I started going into gardening when we moved into our new place. I do admit that I had attempted to care for basil before but that was it – just an attempt – as I lost interest just as soon as I purchased the plant. They say basil does not need much attention, but it still didn’t last long. Read more ›

Posted in Garden

Pergola and Deck Project

It’s been a month since we moved to the new place and we’ve been pretty busy sprucing up one area of the lot. This was how it looked. Before we moved in, a truckload of gravel was laid on top of the muddy soil to keep things clean. This is the season of rain and we didn’t want to risk getting our stuff dirty.


before2 Read more ›

Posted in Life

Giving an Old Bed a New Old Look

As soon as we made our final decision to stay put in Manila and move to a bigger and quieter space, I immediately thought of giving an old bed a new old look, shabby chic-style. We have one of those iron beds with wooden posts and it literally was the last remaining piece of bedroom furniture that I hadn’t restored yet. Thank heavens for my husband who indulges me!

Armed with an allen wrench, I set out to dismantle our bed and lift the really heavy queen-sized orthopedic mattress. I didn’t really lift it off so much as slide it to the side and push the other side to rest against the wall. I then took the bed pieces downstairs to the open garage and laid them on pieces of packing paper.

I had white spray paint and primer for both wood and metal waiting, as well as sand paper – all bought from Handyman at the Robinsons.  The only thing I had forgotten to buy was a mask. Read more ›

Posted in DIY, Life

The Miracle of the Beef

Our helper is very simple and has had no education, but is really hardworking and trustworthy. I had learned the hard way not to entrust tasks to her that might prove too complicated, like going to the market.

One morning, she asked me what she would be preparing for lunch like she usually does. I told her to bring out the pork and make adobo. After about 45 minutes, when I asked her how she was doing, she replied, “Ma’am, I’m not sure what happened but the pork turned into beef while it was cooking.”

I couldn’t react because I wasn’t sure if she was joking! It was so ridiculous but I couldn’t bring myself to get angry at her. The look on her face was that of someone who really believed something unnatural had happened. It didn’t occur to her that she must have pulled out the beef from the freezer instead of pork.

That was the first time I tasted beef adobo.

Posted in Life

My Mom’s 80th Birthday in Bacolod

We celebrated our Matriarch’s 80th birthday last August 8 in our hometown of Bacolod City. My ten (10) other siblings came home from the US, Australia and the Middle East so we can all gather again for this special occasion. The last time we were together was in 2006 during Dad’s passing.

family-moms-80th Read more ›

Posted in Life, Love, Music, Travel

Shipping A Vehicle Via 2Go

My Mom had been living with us here in Manila for the past 4 years, and she had recently gone back to Bacolod to be in familiar surroundings. With that, we arranged for her things to be shipped as well as her car. 2Go seems to be our only option so we had her stuff shipped last week via sea, and had a booking for her car to be shipped. This is my experience (almost) shipping a vehicle via 2Go.

Typhoon Henry had just left the country, trailing after Glenda, and we found out that another one was coming in named Inday that day. Undaunted, husband and I made our way to Manila North Harbor at Pier 2 to deliver the car. 2Go Rolling Cargo requires that the vehicle to be shipped must be brought to the pier 24 hours before booking. We had already called for booking a week before as advised by their Customer Service people who were very helpful.

We were already familiar with the area as we had gone there at least 4 times before – 3 times to drop off and pickup our helpers who came in from Bacolod, and once when we almost saw the Manila Galleon exhibit (The queue was too long that we decided to just eat at the nearby Shakeys instead. LOL!) .

It was raining on and off but we were thankful that there was ample parking although the entire garage was muddy (“kaka-semento lang po kase”, explained the person there. I did not see how that accounted for the mud but meh). We were already worried about getting home from the pier because there was no public transportation at all from the inside so we would have had to walk a kilometer to exit the area and hail a taxi outside. In the rain!  Read more ›

Posted in Review

Is Tragedy The New Normal?

Devastating news everywhere. I learned just this morning that another Malaysian Airlines airplane went down somewhere over the Ukraine. There is speculation that it has been shot down by pro-Russia separatists, killing all 200+ passengers onboard including 3 Filipinos – a mother and her 2 kids.

This happens barely 4 months after another Malaysian Airlines plane went missing over the Pacific and still nothing is heard of the passengers, making every waking moment unbearable for their families, I imagine.

And a strong typhoon hit the country again, a big one for Metro Manila just two days ago, leaving a lot of casualties and thousands homeless. We lost power until yesterday and are still experiencing fluctuating electricity. We are more afraid of typhoons now because of the devastation brought about by Typhoon Haiyan that left the Visayas struggling to bounce back even until now. Read more ›

Posted in Life

Steveston Pizza at UP Town Center

The husband and I were on our way back to Pasig from the new house in QC one morning and we were taking the usual C5 route along Katipunan. It was already lunchtime so we decided to drop by the UP Town Center. Ayala’s newest mall along Katipunan boasts of new restaurants, one of them Shrimp Bucket that we have dined in twice already. This time we opted for something else.

The sight of prosciutto from a window poster made me convince him to dine at Steveston Pizza. I love prosciutto! It always reminds me of those vacations I took long ago in Hongkong Goldcoast. My sister would take home pizza from the local restaurant and the pizza was divine because of the saltiness of the prosciutto. When I asked my sister about it on my next visit, she said the place had shut down after a drug bust. After recovering from shock at the news, I had since been on the hunt for the best prosciutto pizza. I have not found it yet and it’s been years.

So there we were at Steveston (the name is a little tricky to pronounce)  and there was nothing on the menu but all kinds of pizza. Oh, and cesar salad and chicken wings. I liked how you can watch them put the pizza together at the bar next to the cashier.


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Posted in Food, Review

Takashi Japanese Restaurant at Pioneer Center

We love Japanese food (and I, particularly, ramen) and within the Kapitolyo area, we are big fans of Ramencool. We have also tried Cafe Juanita’s Haru. When we saw the newly opened Takeshi Japanese restaurant at Pioneer Center we decided to have our early dinner there.

takashi4 Read more ›

Posted in Food, Review

To Everything There Is A Season

The past two weeks were truly agonizing for me. I won’t go into much detail, but suffice to say I had screamed and wept and groaned and punched things.

A couple of days before everything just went awry, the song “Turn! Turn! Turn! (To Everything There Is A Season)” by The Byrds suddenly played in my mind. The lyrics were taken almost verbatim from the book of Ecclesiastes.

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Posted in Life

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