Two weeks

It was a busy two weeks and I am still catching up with my backlog.

Alumni homecoming is a big deal in this city. Three high schools had their homecoming in one day.  The thing is, I did not graduate high school in any of these schools so whenever May comes, I am always stuck at home while everyone else went to their high school reunion. My aunt celebrated her golden jubilee and I joined her this time so that I would experience it at least once in my lifetime.  (Mama was not able to reach her golden jubilee.)

The day started with a motorcade. It is was a pretty morning.

Lunch was in Banza in a private venue. Lunch was served in a boat. Cool!

The menu was composed of local delicacies like pao. Pao is a root crop similar to camote (sweet potato) and it is usually dipped in latik (caramel sauce made of coconut milk and sugar).

The venue was idyllic.

In the evening was the grand celebration.

Giselle Sanchez was the guest performer and there were no dull moments with her performance.

A week after was fiesta time.

We had guests so we prepared food.

My aunt took care of the presentation. I think she did a good job.

When the guests were all gone, my cousins and I decided to go out of town and check out the swimming pool in Cabadbaran.  The sun was already setting.

  There was a pool area with a huge slide.

This was a mini-reunion of sorts. My cousins and I seldom get together. It was also our little boy‘s first out-of-town trip. He loves the water.

By Sunday, we are too tired to do anything. We ate leftovers. This is the photo of the leftover salad I had for lunch that day which I shared on Facebook.


My cousin, who is a wonderful photographer, enhanced my photo. Now it looks like this.



I was supposed to checkout the annular solar eclipse last Monday but I went to church early in the morning because it was my mother’s 7th death anniversary.  I can’t believe it has been seven years and I still miss her dearly.

I was not able to witness the eclipse. Besides, I do not have the special viewing glasses. I took the photo of the sun at 6:30 AM using my phone’s camera.  The sun was so bright. No eclipse. (Or maybe I just did not see it. )

It was a good two weeks. Now I wish for this one.



My ZALORA Wishlist

Online shopping is here in the Philippines! I know. Online shopping has long been in the Philippines but I think this is the first website that sold thousands of items  in different brands.  I wanted to test its service so I ordered my first item. I found this cute top for only P136.50 and shipping is free! I like that I was able to use Paypal to pay for this item.

Actually, I was looking at a short-sleeved top but I think somebody beat me into ordering so I end up with a sleeveless top. I was worried that the top might not fit me because the model looked thin and there is only one size of this product.

This came in the mail this morning.

This is the top I ordered. Thank God it fits me!

My first online experience with Zalora was a success so I made a wishlist.

My wishlist consists of the following:

1. Athletic shoes. I walk the dog in morning and afternoon. That is my form of exercise. I want to up the ante by choosing a longer route and incorporate some running. Walking will be a lot of easier with good shoes. With our hyperactive dog, it is uncomfortable to run with flipflops.

2. Tote bag. I am partial to shoulder bags but I learned from traveling that I can only pack a few items in it. I need a bag that is roomy enough to carry the essentials and some shopping.

3. Tankini Top. I am quite conservative when it comes to swimwear.  My love for good food is reflected in my body size. (Ha!) Thus, it limits my choices. With summer almost over, we hit the waters recently and I found myself wearing a tight fit shirt for my swimwear. (Very lola! No offense meant to lolas) Suffice to say, I need a decent swimwear.

4. Board shorts. I need something to pair with the tankini. It does look like the tankini and board shorts do not match. I have no choice. Zalora’s items are selling fast! The board shorts I was spying on sold out.

5. Comfy flats. Whenever I travel, I wear slippers so it is easier to slip in and out during airport check-in. Slippers looked too casual, I must admit. I often say that no one deserves the horrible sight of my big toes so comfy flats are my solution to such an unpleasant sight. 😀

I also have another set of wishlist in terms of Zalora’s services.
1. I hope they expand. I hope they will have books, records and toys in the future.
2. I hope they will have a reseller program where entrepreneurs can sell their products through Zalora.
3. I hope there will be an affiliate marketing program for online marketers.

What is on your Zalora Wishlist?


I found this in one of my mother’s album. This was taken in 1967 during the inauguration of Crown theater. Why do we have this photo? My grandmother baked this cake.

My grandfather worked in the theater. He checked box office receipts to be submitted to international film studios.  I grew up in the 80’s and my grandfather had long retired from the “checker” job yet his previous job still allowed the family some perks- free movie privileges up to the last member of the family (including grandchildren). No passes needed for entry. Just our faces. We watched movies every week. It was a simple life.

The movie theaters we enjoy no longer looked like the one in that cake.  I scoured through my files and these are the movie theaters of my childhood: Crown and Empress.

In the past decade, the movie theaters no longer operate.  The building was converted into commercial spaces rented out to different businesses.

Yesterday, May 9, at around 3 AM, fire broke in the building. From my house, I can see smoke billowing from the building that was a fixture of my childhood.

This is the video of the fire from youtube user mrhimp.

There were 17 people who died in that fire.

My city mourns.

Flag is at half-mast.

The Best Lechon

I just found out that Twitter has an “embed this tweet” option. I used to screen capture the tweet and add the captured photograph as an image to blog post. Now there is an option to just embed using some html codes. Cool! Travel Time posted this question on May 2.

Travel Time agreed.

Truth is, there were only a few occasions where I tasted non-Butuan lechon and I forgot how they taste like. The lechon I enjoy most is the one from our suking lechonero.  The skin is crispy and tasty. I can taste the spices in the meat (garlic, salt , pepper, lemongrass).  Our lechon does not need any sauce although I prefer to dip it in vinegar with salt and garlic. The non-crispy part of the skin (tummy area) is not tough; it is soft like lechon paksiw.  Yummy!

When I wrote “the best”, it is based on my own experience and preference.  I am not inciting argument with other regions who are also known to have a good recipe for lechon.  This is just my love for my hometown showing (or my love for good food). I search through my folders of photos for lechon and I found the photos where some parts of it were already eaten.  It only shows that we cannot resist lechon. This is the only decent lechon photo I have and there is a flower vase blocking it! The safest thing to say is: The best roasted pig is found in the Philippines!

Source: via Anton on Pinterest


5 Secrets of Happy People

Although I have my moments of sadness, I always have a happy disposition. I have the advantage of being an only child. I can easily amuse myself even if I am alone. While I enjoy the happy solitude, I also treasure the company of other people. Good conversation over good food and the laughter that ensued never fail to warm my heart.

I found this article online.  So let me share the 5 secrets happy people know and what I know.

1.  Be grateful.

For this week, I thank a thoughtful aunt for these yummy treats.

2. Novelty keeps the life fresh.  I  am still as curious as when I was a kid. I am willing to try anything new.  (Wag lang buwis buhay.)  I learned to cook baked mussels this week inspired by Connie Veneracion. (cook? bake? redundant. pagbigyan niyo na. hehe)

We also tried making these: iced coffee jelly, ginataang bilo-bilo with mais and ube jam.

3. Set humble goals. I am content with what I have but I do admire people with big dreams who work hard towards achieving them.

4. Go with the (fitness) flow. I remember one of Reese Witherspoon’s line in Legally Blonde: “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don’t shoot their husbands, they just don’t.”

I do not have an exercise regimen but I do walk the dog morning and afternoon everyday (when the weather is good). I fear I might grow bigger muscles in my right arms because it takes a lot of strength (more like resistance) to control our hyperactive dog.

5.  Share the wealth.  I do not have much material wealth to share to begin with. What I do have is time and big smile (kita gilagid). Both I am willing to share. If you find it hard to smile, just look at this adorable photo.


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