Still Grateful

The results are out! I did not win the DCF photo contest but I am happy that friends made an effort to vote for me. Thank you to all who voted!



Source: via kat on Pinterest


Maybe there is another wonderful thing planned for me. Who knows?



Actually, I already got a sweet reply for sending that entry. I got an email from Lori!  I;m blushing! (Fan girl mode!)

I still have a long way to fulfill that dream. For now, let me eat cookies. 😀

Want the recipe? Just put marshmallows on a cookie and bake it until the marshmallow expands. Then remove the cookie from the oven and put another cookie on top. Cookie S’mores!

I can exceed my limitations!

My father loved sports. He would watch basketball, tennis, bowling, billiards, boxing, cycling, golf and others on TV declaring that sports is the only honest thing on TV.  “The news can be sensationalized”, he said, “but sports rely on physical and mental strength and skills.”  In his youth, he dabbled in basketball, tennis and bowling. Proof of which are the number of trophies in our shelves.

Because I had no choice but to watch with him, I eventually took some interest in watching what he was watching. There was one night when I could not sleep so I sat with him trying to watch a tennis match. The great thing about my father was that he could answer whatever question I threw at him. My tennis knowledge was limited to tennis greats I was familiar with like Andre Agassi, Pete Sampras and Michael Chang. (Kids, he is not the Glee character.)  My dad introduced me to Roger Federer (Not personally! I wish!). He just told me how amazing the guy was in court. Just when you thought that he won’t be able to return the ball because it looks the opponent is going to kill it, there he was returning the ball with a powerful backhand.


Source: via Maxime on Pinterest


The most memorable Roger Federer moment for me was the finals of 2009 Australian Open. He was playing against Rafael Nadal. I remember rooting for him and I saw that both of them were playing hard. Both wanted to win. Roger Federer wanted it so badly because if he wins the finals, his grand slam record would match that of another tennis great, Pete Sampras. Rafael Nadal wanted to win because it would prove that he good in the other surfaces, too. (He ruled the clay court.) They were playing tennis for more than 4 hours, drenched in sweat, no one wants to give up. Eventually, Rafael Nadal won.  And I saw Federer cry, not because he was a sore loser but out of frustration, I guess.  He conquered his 14th and 15th Grand Slam title in the same year.  Actually, the photo above is dated. As of this writing, he already won 17 Grand Slam titles. Some people might have given up after that huge loss. Some people might have rested on their laurels after already conquering an amazing feat like 14 grand slams, perhaps. Not Roger.



I think athletes took a lot of “never give up” pills. It is amazing what the human spirit can achieve.  I remember watching gymnastics in 1996 Atlanta Olympics. The US gymnastics team wanted to win in this Russian-dominated sport. To win in the team competition, they must earn the cumulative points in different events. Gymnast Kerri Strug fell in her first try on the vault. Enduring the pain because they needed the point, she gunned for another try on the vault enough to land on one foot , to pause and smile at the audience, earning a high mark for her team. Few seconds later, she collapsed on the floor and had to be carried out to be treated for injury. The US won the gold for team gymnastics.


Source: via Andrea on Pinterest


It is amazing what people can do when there is great motivation in their spirit to achieve some unimaginable feats.  The triumph of the human spirit is beautiful to witness.


Source: via kat on Pinterest


I think this is what drove a lot of people to try and beat Coach Rio’s record in #BeatCoachRio by Safeguard Active. Watch how some people push their limits by taking on the challenge.

In physical activities like running, one major concern of many is body odor. It can be a distraction in the quest for exceeding one’s limit. Thanks to Safeguard, achieving your personal best is possible. Safeguard Active won’t let bad hygiene distract you from exceeding your athletic limitations and in beating your personal best!

Sometimes we have to push ourselves outside our comfort zones.


Source: Uploaded by user via Pat on Pinterest


*This is an entry for Nuffnang’s Safeguard Active Sport Contest.

Let’s Move & Let’s Love

I just celebrated my 35th birthday last week. Two friends and I had a joint celebration. It was a simple dinner with friends. The night was full of laughter as we tried to catch up with each other’s lives.  It is during birthdays that I feel a renewed sense of hope and love.



A birthday, for me, is a gift- another year and another chance to do things better.  To do things better is to do things with love. Little acts of love matter.  Sometimes we think we are insignificant specks in the universe. We are not. Think about the Higgs boson particle. Too nerdy? How about a mosquito?



Acts of love do not have to be grand gestures. In my case, I enjoy the little things like the after-dinner conversation and laughter with my aunts, a hug from a pet, sharing an entertaining video with my cousin or a simple, touching message from  a friend.  It is in the little things that people (and animals) share with me that I feel loved the most.


Source: via kat on Pinterest


Because a birthday is a new year for me, I commit to spread love through good vibes, positive attitude, warm smile and good food. The foodie in me had to say that last bit.


Source: via kat on Pinterest



Clearly, my mind wanders around food. Ha! Today is my uncle’s birthday. We had a simply lunch with family. I cooked two dishes. I may not have the money to buy him an expensive gift but I do have the time and energy to cook Fried Wontons and Crispy Shrimp Pasta.

Our tummies are filled with good food (and love).

How about you? What simple acts of love do you want to commit doing?

Benetton encourages you to move and love. Check out

I love Pinterest, DCF, baking and good food

Pinterest is a cool website which allows users to compile (“pin”) all their favorite photos from the Internet.  Before, whenever I see photos that I like, I save them on my drive. Pinterest organizes your favorite photos from the Internet without the risk of increasing your disk space.  It is the site where I compile all my favorite quotes and recipes from different sources.

It is where I found this cake design idea.

Source: via kat on Pinterest

Just like before when I tried to replicate another cake idea, I had trouble with the frosting.  (I guess I never learned.  haha)

This is how my cake turned out.

I know. It looks different from the design inspiration.  I came prepared. I bought sprinkles for plan B.  Can you see how the frosting looks like it was melting?  I shared this on Facebook saying I am giving up frosting another cake. One friend asked if it was buko (young coconut) on top. Haha! However, my baker friends came to the rescue by giving me tips on how to do it better next time.  I guess I’ll give it another try.

This experiment came at the right moment when my favorite blogger, Lori Baltazar of Dessert Comes First (DCF) sponsored a blog contest.  It is a photo and caption contest asking readers why they love DCF.  This is my entry:

This is a voting contest so I asked my relatives and friends to vote for me. Many came to my rescue. Touching. This is the letter I wrote to them hoping that their votes will be enough.

On the first day of voting, another contestant already got three-digit votes. I knew I have to manage expectations. However, I already started this quest. I might as well give it my best effort by asking my friends from BCBloggers to click on this link:  DCF Photo Contest and click on the thumbs up sign under my photo (5th row, 2nd column).  Thanks!

I meant what I said that one of my dreams is to have Lori review (and like) my own cake creation. I might not be able to achieve that soon given that I always practice effortless baking (baking from a cake mix). Two days I ago, I baked from scratch with recipes from Kevin and Amanda  and My Mom-Friday.

This afternoon, I also made bread pudding with a layer of mango which I called “Baked croutons softened in creamy custard with slivers of mango”. haha Pretentious. 😀 This has yet to be taste-tested by my own highly-discriminating critic, my aunt. The other aunt has already given it a good review.

Right now, I am looking at another food experiment. 😀


Source: via kat on Pinterest



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Masao Sunday

Last Sunday, my cousins and I went to the beach. Masao is the closest beach to the city. We brought the dogs along. This is not the first beach trip with the doggies but this is the first time I brought my camera with me.

The last time we went to the beach we had Joaqui on a leash at the back of the vehicle. At the first street corner from our house, he jumped off which prompted us to allow him to sit beside me inside the vehicle. His fur was all over me and my shirt looked like I rolled on the dirt. He moved from one window to the next, enjoying the ride.

This time around, my cousin volunteered to accompany him at the back. He seemed to be enjoying the ride.

 This is one of my cousins’ mini-pinschers. He’s cute.

 This is Joaqui’s favorite spot while the vehicle is moving.

 But when we met a tricycle carrying a girl on its roof, Joaqui took notice.

Only in the Philippines.  We really do not put importance on passenger safety. In this photo above, there are three things that are not allowed in other countries.  Riding at the back of pickup-type vehicle like we were doing, riding on top a vehicle and riding (and driving) a motorcycle without a helmet.

If these people have to apply for a driver’s license in the United States, they will have to unlearn whatever they have learned from driving in the Philippines and they will need to check out practice test. It is a quick way to review the key concepts for a DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) test.  I say that it is a quick way because the DMV driver handbook  is over a hundred pages! Oh my!

That said, we arrived safe and sound. This is Joaqui and I with the Magellan monument at the back.

Masao, Butuan was where Magellan landed to celebrate the first mass in the country. Although history books told us it was in Limasawa, Butuanons refute that claim based on Pigafetta’s account that they landed on a place called Masaua (with coordinates that point to Masao).  My father said that an earlier historian made a footnote that it is probably in Limasawa in Leyte. Historians, thereafter,  removed the ‘probably’ and declared Limasawa. But we know the truth. 😀

Enough with the history lesson, let us just enjoy the beach.  The dogs (and  the people) did.

Joaqui  got tired with all the swimming and had to rest on the sand. 😀

Oh, the sunset was beautiful. What a way to end a trip to the beach!

It was a nice Sunday afternoon.


Source: via Bonnie on Pinterest

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