The Year that was 2015

Dec 31, 2015


My 2015 was indeed very exciting.  I had new responsibilities at work, and got to travel for some of it too.  Some aspects of my personal life were a little challenging this year, but whoever said it was going to be easy, right? And that's what makes it more fun.  Thankfully, I would rate this year a successful one because I would rather count my blessings. So, here goes my review:

January- Went to Japan for work and got to stay at Shangri-La Tokyo. Had a little free time and went to Shibuya Crossing, had authentic Japanese Ramen at Ichiran, some fun dash to Ministop, 7-11 and Family mart, and loved the trains and the stores!

February- Celebrated my 38th birthday, went on an epic 9D8N Singapore and Malaysia tour with the Superfriends.

March-Danniel's elementary graduation, Micko's 7th birthday in Batangas, and first climb of the year at Mt. Pamitinan in Rizal.

April-Went to Batangas for the Holy Week and went to the beach of course!

May- 4-day staycation at Astoria Plaza in Ortigas for Ishi's birthday, went to Fortune Island in Nasugbu, Batangas and family outing in Liliw, Laguna with sidetrip to Nagcarlan.

June-Company offsite planning in Plantation Bay, Cebu and bucket list trip to Batad, Sagada and Baguio.

July-Bagyo in Baguio trip with the whole family and hiked Mt. Malipunyo in Batangas for 12 hours

August-Mt. Daguldol in Laiya Batangas with hubby for the first time!

September-Singapore for work, stayed at Fullerton Hotel and went alone to Mustafa Center to buy watches,

October- Company family day in Enchanted Kingdom

November- Danniel's 13th birthday celebration in Yakimix!

December- Trip to swim with the Butandings and climb the highest point in Cebu with the husband.

Yes, it was indeed an epic year and I am sure 2016 will be even better!


18 Years and Counting

Dec 23, 2015

To my husband of 18 years, you are my greatest adventure! 



Happy Birthday, Danniel!

Nov 26, 2015


Danniel celebrated his 13th birthday last Tuesday, and I now have two teenagers! (and I am now officially ancient, hahaha) For dinner, we went as a family at Yakimix in Podium, and availed of the birthday promo. So we paid for only 4 dining guests.  Unfortunately, they did not bother to sing to the celebrant, and when I asked, I should have requested for it.  And when I ask if he can just get a cake, I was told to just get from the dessert station. Duh! Good thing Danniel really begged me not to make them sing otherwise I would have thrown a fit!

Anyway, it was a fund dinner as it was the kids' first time at Yakimix. There was nothing spectacular about the food.  but the company of loved ones and the reason for the celebration more than made up for it!


Career Day!

Nov 16, 2015

Future Chef
Today is my daughter's career day at school and look at what she wore! Yes, she hopes to become a chef one day.  Good thing, her cousin is studying to be one so a costume was readily available. My daughter is 12 and she enjoys cooking. She prepares sandwiches for us every Saturday as her way of honing her skills. She also knows how to cook Sinigang (with adult supervision, of course) and she knows how to cook rice as well.

I just hope that she really ends up with the career that she will be passionate about. And us parents, we will always try to help her achieve this dream!


Wednesday Happy Thoughts

Nov 11, 2015

Happiness is:
1. Photobooks
2. Chestnuts
3. TWD marathon
4. 500-calorie diet
5. Walking home from work as exercise
6. My new sporty earphones
7. Hugs and kisses from my kids
8. Shakeys Pizza treat from Di
9. Potluck office breakfast
10. Audiobooks during traffic.

To see how this started, click here.


17 and Officially a Driver

Nov 10, 2015

My son got his non-professional drivers license last week.  I will not get into the details on how to get a drivers license because 1) you can find it here and 2) it was just too painful to relive.  Suffice it to say that when you try to teach your kid a lesson by not going through a fixer, you suffer. Yes.  

Anyway, so my son now his driver's license.  His first order of the day was to drive us to Puregold and have dinner at Jollibee. Yey! I now have a driver.  I am not very good at driving manual, hehehe. If only I can trust him already and not have my heart in my throat the whole time!


Wednesday Happy Thoughts

Nov 5, 2015

Happiness is:
1. Stay at home for the long weekend with the kiddos #teambahay kasi walang kotse, walang pera at walang pakialam, hahahaha!
2. Remembering my dearly departed father and mother-in-law and all other relatives and friends who are now with our maker.
3. The Walking Dead series from Ehms due to my first born's insistence. Now we are hooked!
4. My Inay for her unwavering support. I love my Inay, however kulit she can be.
5. My first born's new driver's license (despite the hassle of getting one!)
6. My renewed driver's license. I wish for a new car! Sana tumama na ko sa lotto!
7. My favorite series: IZombie, Quantico, Flash, How to Get Away with Murder, Scandal, Mr. Robot, Limitless, Supergirl and now TWD! The list is getting longer, hahaha. More time to waste and not look at that thesis, wahaaaahhhhhh!
8. Cancelled meeting with prospective thesis adviser. Was that a sign?
9. Sumang Dapa from Batangas, Chichacorn from Ilocos, Chocolates from Dubai, Peanut kisses from Bohol and more chocolatessssss from the Halloween trick or treat.I love my sister and office mates!
10. Planning a new climb, yey!

To see how this started and for credits on the image, click here.


Remembering our Dearly Departed

Nov 2, 2015

Today, we remember our loved ones who have died and gone on to heaven where we all long to go someday.  And we, the living, can only say our prayers and wishes that they still look after us in this earth.  This year, I was not able to visit my father's grave in Batangas.  I can't actually remember when I was there to visit last.  But he is always in my prayers.  My dad passed away when I was just in high school, and my husband and kids didn't have the chance to meet him.  Still, he is a part of our lives.  My eldest child was born a day after my dad's birthday, and my second son was born on his death anniversary.  He is always remembered.

My mother-in-law who passed away last year is buried in Ilocos. And it is with a very heavy heart that we were not able to pay our respects on her grave this day. If I am sad, I can only imagine how my husband feels.  But such is life.  There are things that are better left unsaid.  I am sure that wherever she is, my mother-in-law would understand what happened.  After all, she is one of the most selfless person I know. If I am even just half of a mother that she was, then I am a good mother.  She will always be in my prayers, and I wish she would pray for our family too.



Wednesday Happy Thoughts

Oct 14, 2015

Happiness is:
1. Great Taste White Coffee
2. Brixton burger and fries.
3. Harry Potter movie marathon
4. Audio books!
5. Deciding to go to Cebu this December
6. Nasal spray
7. Blogging
8. First attempt Kare-kare. A fail, but an attempt nonetheless.
9. My Chicken 1-2-3 was a hit with the kids!
10. Coffee and cheese. Weird combo, but it works, hahaha.

To see how this started and for credits on the image, click here.


Fabulous Rebond at Envy Me Salon

Oct 12, 2015


So, it has been a year since my last rebond and my hair was looking worse for wear.  And we were attending a conference and I looked so gulo. So I searched for a nice deal for rebond, and I saw that there was a nice deal from Ensogo for a Fabulous Rebond at Envy Me.  I already tried their rebond before so I didn't hesitate from buying the deal again!

I actually called before purchasing the voucher and asked the girl if I can have a slot that day itself. Initially she said they are fully booked for the day, but when I asked if I can have a slot at 12, she relented and slotted me in! So I bought the voucher (P899) and went to Envy Me Salon in Robinsons Galleria at noon. I was done a little after 3pm! 

I love Envy Me Salon, but unfortunately during my session, there was no wifi signal.  Good thing I had a tablet so I just read the whole time.  I especially love the girl who shampooed my hair ( I gave the counter a tip for her) because she was very careful.

Envy Me Salon is located at the 3rd level of Robinsons Galleria.






Define Hellish Week!

Oct 2, 2015

I cannot wait for this week to be over! Last Tuesday and Wednesday, I had my comprehensive exams for my MBA, and consequently, I have been cramming with reviewing all the lessons of the past two years. We also had a family birthday that weekend (super fun, btw) that we attended and I had to review in the car and at midnight and in between meals. Not fun, I tell you. And then work is as hectic.  So the exams is over, and the deadline is over, and yesterday, I had a migraine attack.  I had it coming, I know, but the migraine was so bad I had to take a leave off work. Good thing it is Friday today and the week is almost over!


Can't Smell, Don't Care

Sep 24, 2015


I have been suffering with chronic sinusitis for some time and coupled with allergic rhinitis, life has not been pretty. Especially during seasons like this when my allergies are so bad, I can go on days with a stuffy, red, running nose, sneezing all-around (yeah, you can sing it like a Christmas carol, hahaha).  So I once again went to my doctor and asked for options.  He gave me new allergy meds but they don't seem to be working yet.  And I need some more nasal sprays. Ay, what else is new.

Of course, surgery has always been on the table.  I had my first Functional Endoscopic Sinus Surgery in 2003 and it has been an option in 2012 and again today. Unfortunately, my company health card will only cover partial of the cost and I haven't decided if I can have it done, given the budget consideration. So I am currently shopping around for options, and I hope that I can find a) a nice hospital that does FESS cheaper (than Medical City) or b) postpone it till I have a budget. Or, just continue with my current medications and hope that my symptoms don't get any worse than they already are.

I can't smell but I do care. 


Wednesday Happy Thoughts

Sep 23, 2015

Happiness is:
1. Ishi is Top 2 in her class! Wooohooo!
2. The good news: approved to take the comprehensive exam for my MBA. The bad news: I am not yet ready! hahahah!
3. Too busy at work. Too thankful to complain :)
4. Zumba!
5. S&R pizza
6. Final Destination movie marathon.
7. My husband for cooking breakfast twice in a row!
8. Re-reading Harry Potter (when I should be reviewing, hahaha)
9. Our President said he knows me! Yeah, we are a company of 25,000 employees so that is an achievement. Hahaha! #babaw
10. Closing dinner at Edsa Shangri-la. Lakas #makasoshal

To see how this started and for credits on the image, click here.


How to Register For First-Time Voters

Sep 14, 2015

My eldest son is turning 18 on March next year and he can already vote in the coming May Presidential election. Last Saturday, a roving van in our Barangay informed us that there will be a satellite registration in Robinsons Magnolia. So I asked my son to inquire whether there is an ongoing registration in our area. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that they can bring us to our district's local Comelec office.  So we went there with 6 other registrants and it was fast because there was nobody else there!

So the two requirements for first-time voters are:
1. A valid ID that has your address (School ID, SSS, Passport, Drivers License, Senior Citizen ID etc). A barangay ID or cedula is not a valid ID.
2. A photocopy of your birth certificate.
Step 2 of the process is filling-up 3 copies of the form. Then a Comelec personnel will check the form, take your picture and have your fingerprints taken. Then you will be given a claim stub. Then you are done! It took us less than an hour for the six of us to be  processed.  I changed my status from single to married and I only had to show a copy of my marriage contract and a government ID. The other registrants on our batch are either new registrants like my son, change of status like myself, change of residence (proof of residence is required, i,e, a government-issued ID with new address) and validation (wasn't able to vote for 2 consecutive elections). 

If you are not sure whether you need to have your biometrics taken, you can check with your Barangay office because they have a list (or at least our Barangay did).  



A Home is Made of Hopes and Dreams!

Sep 9, 2015


Ever since I was a child, I have always wanted my own home.  Maybe because I was shuttled between and among relatives and never really had my own personal space.  But for whatever reason, I know that I want our own home for me and my family.  We were actually able to buy one but unfortunately, Typhoon Ondoy rendered it impossible for us to live there, so we are now renting in a small house in the city. But owning a home has always been a dream. And that dream is always something that I know will happen! So I usually check out listings and try to check if today is the time for us to realize our dreams.  Browsing at Property24.com.ph made me make plans for finally making this dream come true.  

Property24.com.ph is the fastest growing property portal in the Philippines.  They provide an effective online platform for leading Real Estate Developers, Agencies and Brokers that allows them to showcase their property listings to a wider audience of qualified prospective buyers, like me. 
#PerfectHome  #Property24  #Property24PH

Here are just some of the properties that I am looking at:
1. This 3-bedroom townhouse is just perfect for us. It is a few minutes drive to Mindanao Avenue, Trinoma Mall and SM North EDSA and is accessible to supermarkets, malls, schools, hospitals and other major establishments.  The price may be a little steep for now but checking out a sample computation (which is very conveniently provided!) makes me think really hard about this one!

2. Another 3-bedroom property in Quezon City is my next bet.  It is relatively newer but smaller. It is 10 minutes or less drive to Ever and Shopwise Commonwealth  and our favorite park, the Quezon City Circle. 
3. This next property is what I call aspirational. As of the moment, the price range is not within my budget. Based on the sample computation, I will not be able to afford the monthly amortization YET. But you know, I might get a promotion, my kids might get a scholarship or my husband may land a better job. So, this is aspirational for now, but hey, we are talking dreams here! 
4. This next property is my favorite so far.  It is located in Antipolo and is a new development. I can already see my family living here. It is near Antipolo Church and is a 20-minute drive from Ortigas where my husband and I work.  This is actually perfect. Target turnover of this project is this 3rd quarter already. 
5. The last property that I looked at is also another favorite.  It is a foreclosed property in Pasig.  It is near Greenpark and even nearer to my work. The only concern that I have in this house is the flood.   

I really enjoyed browsing all the house and lot listings in Property24.com.ph. I began taking down notes and making computations on monthly amortizations, equity and interest rates.  These things are just some of the information that one should know when seriously looking at buying a home.  I hope that this home, this dream, will become a reality soon!





Hello Singapore!

Sep 1, 2015

I am currently in Singapore for a conference and the Merlion and the view of Marina Bay Sands are just across our hotel. Last February, my husband and two of my bestfriends were just here. While I am staying in an expensive hotel, nothing beats being in a place with the person you love.

I hope to able to get around Singapore again on our last night here and maybe write about it here.


2016 Philippine Holidays

Aug 27, 2015

Plan your vacations for next because here are the holidays for 2016!

source: www.gov.ph


Wednesday Happy Thoughts

Aug 5, 2015

Happiness is:
1. Fantastic Four screening tonight! Thanks for the tickets, boss!
2. My niece and nephew Nikka and Micko where at the house last weekend. So siempre,ang saya pero ang gulo! Hahaha!
3. Lumpia from Little Store. Namiss ko to!
4. Filed my application to take the Comprehensive exam for my thesis. Whew, muntik na di ako umabot!
5. Zumba!
6. Suits, though I am slowing down from watching it since I want to sue everybody when something's wrong, hahaha.
7. Turon
8. Ginataang Tulinga. My guintaang tulingan!
9. Fries party with my pamangkins!
10. My husband for doing some of the chores when I had a bad headache.

To see how this started and for credits on the image, click here.


Project Pie: Artisan Pizza

Aug 4, 2015

For my boss' birthday treat, we went to Project Pie in Eastwood.  It was my first time so I didn't know what to expect.  But ordering at Project Pie was easy: You either order by the number (P245) or build your own (P285).  We opted to build our own.  
First step was to decide whether you want white or red sauce on your pizza. Then you choose from the type of cheese that you want. I choose all, except for blue cheese.  Then for the toppings: you can have as much as you like. I choose tomatoes, green bell pepper, ham, bacon, pepperoni, and I forgot what else, all for P285. It was the best pizza ever!
We also had dessert: I choose the raisin oatmeal cookie chocolate ice cream sandwich. The sandwich was too chewy but I loved it anyway. Drinks (P65) comes with free refill.

So, will I come back again? Definitely! 

Project Pie
Eastwood Mall, Orchard Rd, Libis, Quezon City
234-3809
Budget P300-500/pax



Sambo Kojin Buffet: Not All Buffets are Created Equal

Aug 3, 2015

Last week, our friend Rona, who was gone for 8 months to study abroad and who had her birthday last July 19, treated us to dinner at Sambo kojin. The rate was P749 per adult for dinner, and the celebrant gets to eat free 3 days before and 3 days after her birthday. So we had 3 hours of food and catching up to do.
The conversation was light and funny and it was as if we were not away for 8 months.  That's just how true friends are: you don't need to see each other everyday to know that you have each other's back the whole time. 

The food at Sambo kojin was Japanese and Korean.  I love Japanese food but I don't have a particular fondness for Korean dishes.  So I loved their Sushi and Sashimi, and their Ramen, but I didn't get to try any of the Korean cooked dishes.  
We loved the yakinuku dishes, especially everything with bacon.  I tried the Ramen and it was good, although it took forever to be served to our table. 
There was nothing spectacular about the desserts.  The blueberry crepe looked yummy, and it tasted okay, not spectacular.  Same with the chocolate cake and the tarts.

I have tried Yakimix, Dad's, City Buffet and Seven Corners, so will I try Sambo kojin again? The answer is no. For the dinner price of 749, I think I would rather go to Yakimix. The atmosphere and the service that I have experienced in Yakimix was better than in Sambo kojin and there is nothing here that stands out for me: not the food, not the service and not the price.  


Sweet Ecstasy Burger

Jul 30, 2015

I am a burger person. But I also like pizza. And buffets. Oh well, I just plain love to eat.  So when one afternoon friends asked what I wanted for lunch and I said burgers, we drove all the way from Ortigas to Makati to eat the burger they were raving about: Sweet Ecstasy.  And it did not disappoint.

Below is the counter with the menu.  The food is cooked as you order so waiting time is around 10-20 minutes. 
I very much enjoyed the walls with the quirky posters and movie references.  Love it! They also have adult shakes, which I didn't get to try because I had Coke instead. Maybe some other time.

This is what I ordered: the cheeseburger (P170).  And it was delicious.  Truth be told, I was kinda 'bitin'.  It was so good, I wanted more.  But I didn't, hahahaha! (good job, you)

Of course, there are other burgers out there, some better, some worse.  This is definitely one of the better ones.

SWEET ECSTASY
10 Jupiter Corner Asteroid Street, Bel-Air, Makati City
No credit card, no wifi
Outdoor, serves alcohol




Wednesday Happy Thoughts

Happiness is:
1. Suits. Why didn't anybody tell me it was this good?
2. Great Taste White Coffee. I don't like Starbucks, what can I say?
3. That Mt. Malipunyo climb last Sunday
4. Zumba
5. Fresh langka fruit
6. Inay's 61st birthday dinner
7. Driving around with my family in Timog looking for a place to have dinner, then ended up eating in KFC. Fun times.
8. Sweet Ecstacy burger.
9. Judging a Karaoke contest
10. Chowking's halo halo espesyal


To see how this started and for credits on the image. click here.


#Lola Problems

Jul 15, 2015


I have been on therapy for my metatarsalgia on my left foot and meniscus on my right knee for the past weeks now.  Doing this for 6 sessions and I am currently on my fourth.  The pain on my knee started last February during our epic Singapore and Malaysia tour.  We walked too much until my knees gave away, hahaha.  But the metatarsalgia was a surprise because the cause was said to be wearing of ill-fitting shoes but I can't remember doing this.

Anyway, I think this is one of those #lolaproblems that we encounter as we age.  I will just try to manage my activities so as not to impact my knees and feet any more than necessary.

But this won't stop me from climbing those mountains nor running those fun runs :)


Wednesday Happy Thoughts!

Happiness is:
1. Blogging.
2. My therapy at Medical City for the foot and knee injury
3. Baguio this weekend!
4. The upcoming holiday!
5. Reading again.
6. Buffet lunch at Seven Corners
7. Planning a dayhike again!
8. Coffee
9. Great friends that you can text anytime so that you can avoid making a fool of yourself.
10. Payday holiday weekend. I just hope the weather cooperates!

To see how this started and for credits on the image, click here.


A Buffet Lunch at Seven Corners, Again

Jul 14, 2015

Thanks to the Citibank 50% promo, we had lunch at my favorite restaurant, Seven Corners in Crowne Plaza Galleria. We paid only P884 for a great lunch experience! Of course, I had two plates of my favorite steak and lambchops, 2 plates of the Japanese spread and 2 servings of ice cream for dessert. Yep, gluttony is one of my favorite sins!

My first plate of steak and lambchops. Grilled medium rare, with a side of mint and gravy. Yum!

2nd plate of steak and lambchops and some salmon, with the gravy on a separate plate and mint jelly on the side.  These 2 plates alone made the cost of the buffet worth it!

My first sushi plate.  I didn't get anything else anymore other than the tuna salad which was so good!

The shrimp cocktail was divine too!  Too bad I was too full already after those steak!
I just had to try their pasta, and the penne in carbonara sauce and extra bacon was yummy!
My salad plate with some feta cheese and some more tuna salad. 
And my desserts! I had a total of 3 scoops of teppanyaki with lots of nuts and some cheese and a small cake.  I was too full already by this time!
And to cap off the delicious lunch, a pot chamomile tea is just what we needed.
I really loved eating at Seven Corners. Good thing there are promos so that we get to save some money, and that we do it only once a quarter! But still, it was so worth it!






Wednesday Happy Thoughts!

Jun 24, 2015

Happiness is:
1. That epic Batad- Banaue-Sagada-Baguio trip!
2. Seeing the rice terraces up close and personal.
3. Sinigang and extra rice that fueled me during all the walks.
4. My husband for bringing me and for fetching me for this trip. And for taking care of the kids while I was gone.
5. Meeting new cool people and learning new things!
6, Witnessing Begnas, a cleansing ritual in Sagada.
7. My travel buddies Ehms, Vangie and Janeth for being such great companions.
8. Buwis-buhay cave connection! One for the books.
9. Birthday dinner at Mang Inasal. We missed this! Had 2 servings of rice, hehehe.
10. Crossing off items on my bucket list!

To see how this started and for credits on the image, click here.


Be At Peace

Jun 18, 2015

Plantation Bay, Cebu


Burger Night

Jun 5, 2015

My two younger kids are on vacation at my sister and there are just the three of us adults at home (my eldest is 17). Nobody wants to cook so we just went out for burger. The burger was good, and the conversation was even better.  We had a very relaxing dinner over nice conversation. We miss the two young ones! We realize that each of us has a responsibility at home and with the family and when we are not complete (even temporarily), each one is terribly missed. 

Back to the burger, the joint is called Brixton Burger.  For P60, the beef cheese burger with cheese was really a steal.  The potato wedges were good too, except that it was too little for the price of P30. They also do not serve meals and each item had to be ordered separately.  But it was still good. And I think we will be coming back again.


Wednesday Happy Thoughts!

Jun 3, 2015

Happiness is:
1. Health is wealth so I had check-ups and tests done today.
2. my company-issued health card.
3. successful 500-calorie a day diet
4. back to using my Iphone
5. the kids are on vacation in Taytay with my sister
6. gym
7. torrents, hehehe
8. burger and potato wedges
9. happy news at work
10. thinking of topic for my thesis

To see how this started and for credits on the image, click here.


Wednesday Happy Thoughts!

May 13, 2015

Happiness is:
1. That 5-day staycation at Astoria Plaza.
2. Ishi's 11th birthday celebration.
3. Mother's day and all the sweetness that comes with it
4. My husband and his cooking chores.
5. Crossword puzzles
6. Shakey's Pizza
7. Calamansi muffin
8. swimming
9. gym
10. Avatar Korra. Don't judge me, hahaha.

To see how this started and for credits on the image. click here.


My Third Adsense Payout

May 12, 2015

I have been blogging since September 2008 and today makes it 2,415 of blogging over 7 blogs. Since then, I have received two adsense pay outs, monies from writing gigs and paid posts, several prize winnings from contests, products, freebies and free movies.  All in all, blogging has been both fun and a great sense of passive income.

Last end of April, I got my third pay-out for Google Adsense after reaching again the payment threshold. The first payout was in May 2009, then second April 2011 and then today. 

Not bad, considering that I only do this on the side and have not yet seriously considered doing this full time. Yet.



 

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