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Angels of the Sea: Dolphin and Sea Lion Show at Araneta Center

Friday, December 24, 2010

We were fortunate to have been given complimentary tickets to the show by my friend Nono. I thought the Twerp would enjoy watching the dolphins but we almost went home without seeing the show. The dolphins were slapping their tails on the water before the show started, trying to get people to clap their hands. That is what scared the Twerp. She immediately shut her eyes tight and hid her face in Daddy's chest with her arms around him very tight.

The show began with the Sea Lions as front act for the dolphins I guess. I tried to get Via to take a peek but she just hugged Daddy harder. I couldn't pry her off! No amount of coaxing would get her to take a look. We  were disappointed and decided to leave after the sea lion's performance. As we made our way out though, she got curious hearing the crowd clapping and cheering. It was the dolphins turn. She finally took a look. Daddy stopped walking to see if she would continue watching. She did! So we went back to find seats, not too near so she won't get afraid again. She didn't show too much excitement but at least she watched the whole thing.

The show's highlights were the dolphins "jumping" through the hoops and the "dancing."

Tickets to the Dolphin and Sea Lion Show are available at Ticketnet. VIP tickets are at P742 and Upper box tickets cost P530. The show will run from December 25, 2010 to January 2, 2011.


Mommy and Me

Monday, December 20, 2010

This post is in memory of my mother who passed away 11 years ago. Last weekend was her death anniversary. I still miss her to this day. She's the person I love most in the world and I cannot think of her without getting emotional. I miss her and I wish she could have seen my daughter.

This picture, with a mosque behind us, was taken when I was about 5 years old at Nayong Pilipino. It's a big park that features the different regions of the Philippines with their famous landmarks. It's like a mini vacation and seeing the places without actually going there. There are replicas of places like the Chocolate Hills of Bohol and the Cagsawa Ruins of Bicol. She used to bring me here often. Nayong Pilipino has now relocated from Manila to Clark in Pampanga. It's not very accessible anymore but I hope to bring my daughter there one day.

Mommy and Me Monday at Really, Are You Serious?
Hosted by Krystyn at Really, Are You Serious?


Enjoying the Holiday Season

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Every year when December comes around, I cannot help but think of food, crowded malls and the dreadful traffic. There are times when I dread the Christmas season because it brings about a lot of stress. I have long ago decided against giving gifts for Christmas because I end up tired, stressed, and still rushing to buy gifts at Christmas eve.

This year will be no different. However, we will attend all the parties we're invited to and join in the festivities. I've already been to a couple of parties where food was abundant and games fun. Last Sunday, Via and I attended the Sabbath School Christmas Party. It was a simple affair, potluck and a program where each class had a presentation.

Food brought by parents included pancit bihon, hotdogs and marshmallows on sticks, munchkins, puto, bread, and cakes. Simple fare but enjoyed by all. It was bring your own plates which I forgot. The lady fixing the food on the table kindly gave us plates.

The "Fingerplay" class presented a Frosty the Snowman number. Seeing as most of them were toddlers and below, the teachers prepared the background props and the Mommys got the kids into their costumes which consisted of a hat, scarf and sweater. All the children had to do was look cute which worked for them year after year as they kept on winning first or second place.

There were plenty of giveaways for the children and an exchange of gifts. Via went home tired but happy.


Two Years Old

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

My darling doll turned two last week. The past two years flew by so fast! The first year was a blur of anticipating milestones like holding her head up without support, her first tooth, first solid food, crawling, first word, walking, keeping track of vaccines, and many other firsts that are noted down in the baby book. 

The second year was fun because she started interacting with us and showing her character and personality. 

As she begins her third year, she is able to follow instructions and help out with simple tasks; sing a simple action song; form simple, three-word sentences; recognize objects and animals, able to undress herself though with difficulty, and starting to assert herself. I expect that the coming year will be full of challenges for all of us but we will surely have fun and learn right along with her. 

I have been wondering what to do for her birthday. I didn't intend to have a party for her because she gets alarmed and shy around crowds. What I wanted was for her to just have fun on her special day. In the end, I just made spaghetti and ordered a simple birthday cake. I took the day off from work and just spent the day with her. She did have a sort of celebration at Sabbath School where everyone sang a birthday song for her and we had loot bags for the other kids afterwards.

Happy Birthday Via! I wish you a great year ahead!


I Went Shopping with my Toddler

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

.....and was not able to buy a single item on my list! I knew it wouldn't work but I wanted to bring her along. I took the day off from work to have lunch with my best friend from elementary and do some shopping for Via's birthday.

We took the MRT to Cubao where my friend worked. My officemate gave Via her birthday present early -


a toy cellphone. As I took her picture with my mobile phone, she also "took pictures" with her toy mobile phone.

After lunch we headed to the mall to do some shopping. However, Via kept running here and there every time she saw something interesting. All I did was chase after her especially in the toy store. She loved this piano.

Gives me an idea of what to get for her birthday gift. I hope it's not too expensive. Wasn't able to check the price. We went home tired and accomplished just one thing - buying her loot bags. I will have to make another trip to the mall by myself next time for the loot.


Yaku Japanese Grill

Friday, November 26, 2010

A friend at work is migrating to Canada and our lunch group had it's farewell lunch for her at Yaku Japanese Grill at the 3rd floor of the Podium. It was a happy affair with lots of reminiscing and laughter. This was my first time to dine at Yaku and I was pleasantly surprised that the food was good and the prices reasonable. The servings were small but there was enough for everyone to have a taste. The best thing is we felt full but not stuffed after.

Enoki Bacon


Aspara Bacon

  Ebi Tempura

Ankake Tofu

Rice with beef toppings (I forgot what it's called in the menu)

Yakimeshi Rice

Yasay Itame



A photo to remember our farewell lunch taken at Segafredo where we had our coffee and dessert. We all had identical orders: Coffee with Frozen Braso de Mercedes.


Wordless Wednesday: First Taste of Ice Cream

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


Cajun Red Rock at Robinson's Galleria

Monday, November 15, 2010

Saturday night we had dinner at this new restaurant called Cajun Red Rock, which replaced Cafe Mediterranean, in Robinson's Galleria. It's near the theaters. P was craving for ribs at Rack's but it's such a long walk to El Pueblo.

We were given a plate of popcorn as soon as we sat down which I immediately devoured. I was so hungry. When I remembered to take a picture, this is all that's left.

We had for appetizer, Tower O'Sesame rings (onion rings) and comes with 3 dips.

I had the Jack Daniel's Ribs. Had a hard time finishing it, very big serving. It comes with 2 side dishes of your choice. I chose Cajun Saffron rice and country potatoes (for the Twerp).

P had the Supreme Espresso Ribs. Looks so dark cos this was taken with my mobile phone. He said it was good. His sidings were plain white rice and crispy mojos (the mojos in Shakey's were better though).

The Manager made this for Via.

The food was good overall and service was great. The prices were reasonable too. I would eat here again in the future.


2011 Starbucks Diary

Friday, November 12, 2010

Started collecting stickers for my 2011 Starbucks Diary today. I got the Peppermint Mocha (love it!) and my friends, who donated their stickers got, Americano and another Peppermint Mocha. I don't have pictures of the diaries but they were on display. I like the one with the red velvet cover. I hope I get more sticker donations. There's a Starbucks in the library at work and if I hang around there I just might complete my sticker requirement with minimal cashout  :)


Toddlers, The Great Imitators

Friday, November 5, 2010

Toddlers learn a lot by imitating and trying out new things and it's amusing to see. I found these photos on my mobile while deleting files. They made me smile.

Playing doctor to her stuffed dog Chao Pai.

Buying groceries with Mommy.

Looking all grown up.

Children like playing pretend. Since their social circle is limited at this point, they mostly imitate Mommy, Daddy and other people in the household. It  forces the adults to be on their best behavior by being good role models. The child's personality is becoming more evident as she learns more of the world she lives in. Providing a good example at this stage will make it easier for the child to be disciplined later on in life and grown ups get to learn from their children as well.


It's All in the Accent

Thursday, November 4, 2010

I work in an organization where employees are of different nationalities. It's fun and interesting because it's not the usual workplace. Although English is the language used at work, the different accents of people make it very interesting if sometimes challenging.

A consultant from New Zealand once asked me, "Are you hippy today?" I replied that I was not a hippy. Then he said that he would like to take a picture with me because it was his last day. Ohhhh....I realized then he was asking if I was HAPPY that day.

Then there's the boss from mainland China who was asking me to change some data in an excel spreadsheet. He kept saying, "vanish it, vanish it." Huh? It took a while for me to figure it out. He wanted me to use the VALUE SHEET.

It's been especially challenging to take minutes of meetings. Hard enough that sometimes attendees have already discussed issues by email before the meeting and seem to continue the email discussion at the meeting, but to deal with the different accents (Indian, French, Australian, Italian, Singaporean, etc.) really drives me nuts.

It all just makes each day interesting.


Beef Rendang

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Been trying to learn Indonesian dishes for P so he wouldn't be too homesick for food. He's been subsisting mostly on fried chicken, KFC, Jollibee, McDonald's, Inasal, etc. He's tried them all. Most of my experiments have not been too successful though. Either the recipes were not good or I wasn't following it correctly or I did not have the right ingredients. Still, I keep on trying. My friend Karen got a Singaporean cookbook which had a lot of Indonesian and Malaysian dishes in it. I decided to try out the Beef Rendang although the recipe confused me a bit because it was not specific enough. I had to look up other recipes on the internet. So this is a combination of many recipes.

1/2 kilo beef brisket cut into cubes
1 cup grated coconut, lightly toasted
1 cup thick coconut milk
3 pieces dried tamarind, sliced thinly
Salt and pepper to taste
2 pieces kaffir lime leaves
1 piece turmeric leaf
1 piece salam leaf
1 cup cooking oil

Blend the following into a paste:
1 medium onion
6 pieces large garlic cloves
1 teaspoon minced ginger
a handful candlenuts (I used almonds as candlenuts were not available)
1 piece shallot

Add these to the blended paste:
1 teaspoon coriander powder
1 teaspoon chili paste
2 teaspoon cumin powder
1/2 teaspoon turmeric poweder

Season beef cubes with salt and pepper and marinate for at least an hour.

Heat 1 cup cooking oil (in medium heat) in a large wok and fry the blended paste. Add the kaffir lime leaves, turmeric leaf and salam leaf and continue stirring until brown.

Add the sliced tamarind. Once the oil separates from the paste, add the marinated beef and cook in slow fire for 2 hours or until beef is tender. Stir once in a while and add a little water if the paste starts to dry up.

Add the grated coconut when the beef is almost tender and stir until well mixed. When the beef is tender, add the coconut milk. Mix well. Add salt and pepper to taste. Once oil starts to float on top, it is ready.

Serve with steamed rice.

This time my experiment worked out well. P said it was good and I brought leftovers to work to have my friends taste it and they liked it too.


Finding Comfort

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Just like adults, children have their own ways of finding comfort. Adults may find comfort in food, shopping for clothes, or going to a spa for pampering. Children have their pacifiers, stuffed toys or baby binky.

When Via was an infant, I bought her a soft, red, stuffed puppy intending for it to accompany her in bed when she gets older and provide her comfort. Since then she has accumulated quite a few stuffed toys as gifts and one by one they became the favorite until a new one comes along. This stuffed sheep became her favorite for a long time until Elmo came along.

None of these stuffed toys, however, became her comfort when she goes to bed at night. When she was a few months old and still unable to hold her milk bottle, we held it for her while she held onto our fingers. As she got older, the habit stayed with her. Now when she goes to sleep at night or takes her milk in the bottle, she has to hold onto my hand until she falls asleep. Lately, it's more than hand holding. She would put her arms around me or Daddy until she fell asleep. It's really so sweet but when it's time for her to have her own bed, I imagine we will have a hard time during the transition. For now though, I'm enjoying those little chubby arms around my neck.


The Young and Old

Monday, October 25, 2010

My 96-year old aunt who lives in the province has been asking me to visit her since my daughter was born. She came here in city around the time of my due date because she wanted to stay with me in the hospital. Imagine that at 96! However, I gave birth 2 weeks early so she saw Via at 2 weeks old and hasn't seen her since then. We finally got to visit her last month which made her very happy to see her grand niece. I'm glad she saw Via at 21 months. I hope we can visit her again soon.

Mommy and Me Monday at Really, Are You Serious?
Hosted by Krystyn at Really, Are You Serious?


Quality Time

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

I have had very little time to spend with the Twerp lately because of work which brought "quality time" to mind. Many busy parents try to spend "quality time" with their children with what little time they can spare from work commitments.

But does quality time really help? Or are we just comforting ourselves by saying we spend quality time with our children even if it's just half a day on weekends?

I'm trying to make the most of the time before I go to work, having breakfast with her and after work playing a little. Daddy is also unable to spend much time with her since he has hospital duty. It helps that my office is walking distance from where we live but still, I feel that it's not enough and this is when she needs our presence most. She's learning and discovering new things everyday. I feel it's vital that we are there to guide her. In my case it's just two months out of a year during the peak season at work but how about parents whose schedules are busy all year round? Do children really benefit from "quality time" of maybe a few hours on a weekend when they spend the rest of the week with caregivers?


Swimming is Fun!

Monday, October 18, 2010

The Twerp's first dip in the pool was at one month old. Just a quick dip. She didn't mind the cold water at all. Since then, we let her play in the water to get accustomed to it. This picture was taken when she was one year old and she thoroughly enjoys "swimming."

Mommy and Me Monday at Really, Are You Serious?
Hosted by Krystyn


Is It Too Early?

Saturday, October 16, 2010

The Twerp is almost two and it's amazing how quickly she learns mentally and physically. But how about manners and proper behavior? I've been thinking about it because this is the way she prefers to sit. This is at Sabbath School and she's sitting in front, not really paying attention to the teacher but doing her own thing. See how she's sitting with her back to the others, the board and the teacher there in front. And she likes sitting  in the chair like that, like a boy.

I just let her be. There's time enough later to teach her these things or else she'll pick it up from me or other females and little girls. I enjoy watching her and everything she does, why she does them. Kids are just really amazing.


A Plane Ride

Monday, October 4, 2010

The Twerp's second time on an airplane at 21 months. She enjoyed looking out the window at the clouds and the islands below. The plane ride was only about an hour.

Her first time on a plane was for a longer trip. She was 1 year old then. We did not have any problems as she asked for milk on take off and fell asleep. Same thing on the flight back.

This time, aside from looking out the window, she kept busy looking at the magazines and check out the seat, the tray table, the window shade, just about anything she could get her hands on.

Mommy and Me Monday at Really, Are You Serious?
Hosted by Krystyn at Really, Are You Serious?

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