November 10, 2012

A Break From My Sedentary Lifestyle

Fine Saturday morning to go out and sweat.

I did a pretty good job at pretending that I also have a long weekend. Why not? My shift ended at two in the afternoon on Novembers 1 and 2 so I had the rest of the day to catch up with the holidays. Instead of going home to my dorm, I went home to Taguig every afternoon. After the “Halloween party” on October 31, we spent the afternoon of November 1 shopping for Christmas decors. And although there was not much action on November 2, I was well-rested for another day full of firsts.

November 9, 2012

Grilled Ribs and The Long Weekend

These ribs are ready for grilling.
I belong to an industry that is irreverent of holidays. Unless you are among the privileged demigods or just lucky that a holiday falls on your day off, there is really not much of a choice but to work and command your mind to think of better things like double pay (if it is); no bosses (if they are good enough not to show up); and a lighter work load (though not guaranteed). But for someone like me who would rather bask in the sun, play in the shores, be home with my family or be somewhere else with my friends than be stuck inside a claustrophobic’s nightmare, no amount of positive thinking could keep my mind from wandering, wondering what my family or friends have been up to.

One effective way of distracting myself is by creating activities which do not require me from being absent. I know it will never be at par with other people’s trip home or out-of-town/country getaway, but at least I won’t kill myself in bed, thinking of the fun everyone is having except me.

Since November 31st fell on my day off, I decided to stay with the R’s for a “Halloween party.” Don’t get me wrong. We did not have decors or costumes at home. We just had dinner and watched “The Healing”. To that Baby R commented: Is this it? Is this already a Halloween party? [HAHAHA] I couldn't blame the kid. She was already disappointed because she prepared goodie bags but the children who went trick or treating seemed tired to go all the way to the fifth floor. Anyway, at least I didn't have to deal with my wild imagination alone in my dorm and I had the chance to play in the kitchen again.

October 16, 2012

Savory Discovery from Mann Yann

The days are headed towards the end of 2012 and I have nothing better to do but browse the photos that have accumulated in my hard drive throughout the year. I have not been too keen on documenting everything this year unlike the previous year. I don’t even see much random “artistic” shots unlike last year. Some photos even remain "un-uploaded". No matter how few [note: few here is very subjective (wink) ], I think I have snapshots of memorable occasions and of food that have impressed me.

One album that caught my attention was our dinner in Mann Yann at The Link in Makati. I am pretty sure that it was in Mann Hann and not Mann Yann that I have been to before though the latter is familiar because we used to pass by its branch in Glorietta 1 before it was closed for renovation following the Glorietta 2 explosion in 2007. But I guess these restaurants, plus Mannang, are owned by the same company. Whether I have been there or not, what’s important is that this year’s visit to Mann Yann left me with a fond memory of a new dish.

October 10, 2012

Sisig Overload

Photo from
Sisig has surprisingly made its regular appearance on the dinner table when my parents, sister, aunt, and grandma were here late last month. Except, of course, for that dinner in North Park, which obviously does not serve this dish, and that dinner at home during my parents’ 31st anniversary celebration. I admit I have underestimated the taste buds of the rest of the family and categorized them under “picky” and “unadventurous”. They eat innards. I don’t. They eat any fish dish while I have my own list of “edible” fish. They stuff themselves with more greens than I can tolerate. So, who’s picky?

As you may already know, sisig is made of a pig’s cheeks and is often mixed with liver and what have you. The first time I saw it, it was as if I was seeing in reality my mental sketch of a human brain taken out of a skull, chopped finely, and cooked. I may have gory imaginings sometimes but that sisig still looked weird and scary to bits. But the innovative Pinoys devised a way to make it friendlier to the less adventurous segment of the population.

October 5, 2012

Sweet Treat From Estrel's

Many of us take comfort in sweet food. Have you ever wondered why? I have read somewhere that people innately gravitate towards sweet or salty food and whichever flavor of comfort food we prefer is influenced by our genes, environment, and experiences.

After reading that article, I came-up with a not so scientific and maybe not so original theory that most people love sweet comfort food because we have always been treated to candies and chocolates as rewards when we were little kids. Of course, there are more scientific reasons like, for instance, chocolates, which according to studies boost the production of serotonin, a chemical that averts depression.

As for me, I find comfort in sweet food because it refreshes my mouth, especially if followed by a glass of water. I may have a sweet tooth, but my tonsils cannot tolerate very sweet desserts. It’s fine with me, though, because very sweet treats leave a bitter aftertaste.

I think the key to comfort sweets is striking the balance. And this is what Estrel’s has perfected over 66 years of baking.

October 1, 2012

My Parents’ 31st: Family, Food, Fun

Tatay and Mama’s wedding has become a running joke in the family after relatives from my mother’s side got no invites. That’s because they eloped and got wed secretly by Ninong Ben (Msgr. Ben Sabillo) in my father's hometown following the elders’ disapproval of their marriage.

During their 25th wedding anniversary, my father jokingly said in his speech that they decided to have another church wedding for the benefit of the uninvited relatives to witness what they have missed 25 years ago. And six years after their 25th, my parents still obligingly do the cake and wine ceremony done during wedding receptions.

Here’s why we celebrated their 31st wedding anniversary here. J

September 30, 2012

Keepsakes and the MIBF

Books fall open, you fall in
Delighted where you’ve never been
Hear voices not once heard before
Reach world on world through door on door
Find unexpected keys to things
Locked up beyond imaginings
-David McCord

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