Friday, March 30, 2007

My Secret Spaghetti Sauce

Jomar had 4 servings.

Rico was happy I did not put any ketshup on it.

Markku said, "I hate you, you made me forget I'm on a diet."

Abe and I had to cook more noodles at 2 a.m. and re-heat the sauce on the microwave.

So I think they liked the spaghetti I cooked. Sasha helped me stir! Here's the recipe:

garlic
onions
ground beef
Del Monte spaghetti sauce
black olives
mushroom
cheese
secret herbs and spices! (of course I won't give that away!)

Saute garlic and then the onions.
Put a dash of herbs and spices.
Add the ground beef and a secret ingredient (wink wink).
When the beef's cooked add the sauce. Let it simmer.
Add black olives, mushroom and cheese!

Check out BOBCast Episode 3: Wisik-Wisik in Singapore.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Window to Another World


I was at Makati Shangri-la Hotel the other day waiting for someone. Trying hard not to nod off to sleep I kept myself busy by looking at the hotel's interior and got fixated on the mirror. The photo may not have captured it, but it looked like I was looking at another world altogether (or a Harry Potter photo). With digital frames now slowly entering the market, how long would it be before we "leaf" through videos instead of just still photos?

Francisco's Viaje

Picture perfect photos taken by Google Country Consultant for Colombia, Francisco.

Check out his photos here:






















Wednesday, March 28, 2007

A Crazy Day `Twas

What happens when you play badminton after a one-year hiatus? Have dinner twice in one night? Do a podcast at 2 in the morning at Marc's ehem, er place? And then get home just about the time when the roosters tiktilaok? And then after just an hour you get up for one of the milestones in your son's life? Of course, the lack of sleep would definitely warp everything up. A crazy day `twas.


6:00 a.m.

Scratching one's eyes to clear out the morning dew isn't enough. You still won't see the road clearly.

6:45 a.m.

You get a great parking spot which you'll definitely lose coz you have to rush off for a meeting in the middle of graduation rites.

7:00 a.m.

You fall asleep on your laptop at the school canteen while waiting for the ceremony to start.

8:15 a.m.

Emo as you see your son in their graduation processional. My baby!!!

8:25 a.m.

The fab parking slot is taken even before you exit the area. Urg!

8:35 a.m.

You find yourself in Station 168, an internet cafe in BF Homes and think you must've fallen in a portal coz everyone in the cafe is Korean! I want my mommy!!!

10:30 a.m.

You speed through a red light. Sorry Mr. Policeman!

12:00 p.m.

Just as you munch on some yummy fried chicken, your boss looks for you. Oh noh he's here!

1:00 p.m.

You find yourself strutting in a posh hotel and trying not nod off to sleep as you wait for your meeting.

1:30 to 3:00 p.m.

Nose-bleeding from speaking English too much. LOL.

3:00 to 4:00 p.m.

You end up de-stressing by window shopping at Glorietta. You text a friend to get you out of the place!

5:00 p.m.

Finally home, you just conk out and forget about everything!

9:30 p.m.

Couldn't stop crying over Brian's death (Celine's husband in MSKM hihihi)

11:29 p.m.


Oh no! Where did that new pair of shoes come from?

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

The Best Diet of All

For some strange reason I always gain weight towards the end of February. Last year I gained 7 pounds when I went to Jakarta and Singapore because when you eat at McDonald's the smallest softdrink size is already our largest! And the same thing happened this year, so I really looked like a siopao when I went to Puerto Galera early this month.

Anyway, right after gaining so much weight is Ash Wednesday and me and my Mom go on Lenten fasting. No Coke! Believe me, I think we should be a major stockholder already because of our softdrinks consumption. Anyway, since I was a kid we'd try our best not to drink Coke for 40 days. The first 2 weeks is usually the hardest. Withdrawal!

My metabolism used to be so fast! I was just 85 pounds when I graduated and now, um, er... never mind. Anyhoo, I realized that the best diet I've put myself into is - no softdrinks! And I've influenced some of my friends with Winnie the Pooh tummies not to drink softdrinks anymore. And it's working! Oh! And complement this diet with less rice, you'll be ready for the beach in no time.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Meet Pork and Beans

I didn't realize it's been a long while since I had a pet. You see I have this problem of getting too attached to my pets. And when they die (gulp) I end up mourning till I'm literally blue from crying. Oh well, sometimes we just really don't grow up at all.

It's been 4 years since Oscar, my Oscar, died. Snakey, the snake fish, soon followed and my Mom just dumped Johnny, the janitor fish, in the creek behind our house because he was the culprit in Oscar and Snakey's death. I then had Ham and Egg, hamsters, but they got away while I was cleaning their cage and then Pork & Beans, black mollies who fell in the sink in the office (waaaaah!). Sigh. I then tried with Lucky, my fighting fish inspiration behind Luk4, but the janitor overfed him when I went on Christmas vacation. After that I thought it was too much to have a pet. Sigh.

Anyway, since it's been a long time already, I thought it's about time I get another pet. So I'm starting with the basics - 2 fighting fishes! Meet Pork and Beans -
















I guess Pork and Beans wouldn't be intriga at all than displaying someone's photo on my desk.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Travel Blog: Davao and Cebu

Picture this.

Soft, cool sand going between your toes

Salty, tangy wind blowing… whipping…

Small waves crashing through the shore

Sun rays streaming through a tree

And nothing else but the wide blue horizon in front of you.

Oh yes! I’m at the beach tap-tapping on my laptop (now belly-top).

Are you now itching to go to the beach? It’s summer! Go!

The past few days have been a blur of activity. I spent the weekend in Davao to attend the Davao Blog Party organized by Blogie, Andrew, Jun, Marc and countless others. Abe, Jayvee, Abe and Janette also came from Manila to attend. It was a huge success with a hundred percent more attending versus target. After the party we had durian coffee at Blugre Café (with free wifi!). Oh! And we stayed at Casa Leticia, the hotel with free wi-fi and the most number of electrical plugs I’ve seen in one hotel room (I managed to charge my laptop, 2 phones, Ipod and PDA all at the same time!).

We all wanted to go white water rafting, but wasn’t able to plan for it. Rex, a Davao-based friend was kind enough to bring Abe, Abe, Jayvee and me to Costa Marina, Samal Island. Costa Marina’s a really cool place. It just took us less than 15 minutes to get to the dock and a five minute jetty ride to the resort (at PhP12 each!). We all just chilled the whole day, napping, eating and taking photos. Wanna know how much fun we had? What Abe’s really cute dance (hihihi).

In the evening, Dennis invited us to his “house that Adsense bought” (more of Adsense paying for the rent). There was so much food! I liked the kinilaw best and the “clams” (too bad Abe and Jayvee are allergic to seafood! So I ate their share haha). After dinner, Abe and Jayvee did some jamming. Watch the videos here.

Jack’s Ridge, a place overlooking Davao City, was still very much beautiful. Rob, a college friend brought me there two years ago and I thought that the first timers would have a grand time at the place. We ended up at a cozy bar and did some videoke. Watch Abe as he sings a love song.

We had an interesting time at NCCC Mall. Who’d have thought of naming their stores “Juice Ko Day”, “Wear Else” and “We Make Scents”? Crazy isn’t it?

I would love to live in Davao. Aside from free wi-fi all over the place, where else could you eat three barbecues with unlimited rice for only PhP25? Buffet at “Buffet Palace” (the best in Davao) for only PhP200 (and buffet at PhP75 to 99 in other places). Everybody is so easy to speak with, no hassle whatsoever! The place is as clean as Singapore. Not crowded. And the best thing? The beach is just 15 minutes away!

Click on the photo to see more pictures.


Davao


See Davao Blog Party photos here (click on the photo please):

Davao Blog Party


After Davao I hibernated in Cebu for 48 hours. Managed to go to the beach with my best friend. In the evening we went to 22nd St. (they have branches in Las Pinas and Malate in Manila), a comedy club. We had a hilarious time and basically laughed the whole night. It was a good thing we didn’t push through singing on stage. I can just imagine going through the “interview”. I would’ve probably been so embarrassed and would’ve probably died on the spot. Well I left Cebu crying again because parting with one’s best friend is never an easy thing to do.

Click on the photo to see more pictures.


Cebu

Sunset for a Sunrise

Endings
have to be done
to make beginnings

You have to say goodbye
to welcome a hello

Bid farewell
to move to a new path

And the sun sets
for another sunrise.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Off to Davao!

I've been so busy the past few days I haven't been able to blog! The past few nights my muse has been bugging me to do some writing, but I've just been to tired to get up.

I'm off to Davao in a few hours for another adventure... err work! I'm excited to meet up once again with the Davaoeños in the coming days (ooops I mean in a few hours). Left my friends at a gimmick at Serendra to catch up with my mail and pack for my trip. Oh well... bahala na si batman!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Thought for the Day



I grabed this photo from Anne's cousin (Dumbo - he made the image). You can never really expect a person to change. It's either you accept him as he is or be miserable if you expect him to change. That's supposed to be love, but I think you should never compromise your values in the process. So... make the right choice. Ahem. ~Nuff said.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Achooo! Kill that Virus!

I have been a bit sick the whole week. My tonsils have been sore and I've been a bit feverish. It's because of the heat and probably overfatigue from work and the short vacay I had last weekend. I haven't been completely cured, but the few doses of meds I've been taking the past few days have helped. That's the virus in me. Achooooo!

I've been lucky with my PC so far. The last time I got a virus on it was when my friend used it to check a few ahem, ahem websites. I didn't know! A few days after that my computer crashed and off I went to have my PC doctor, Ting, fix it. Good thing he managed to recover all my files and put my PC back in shape.

I haven't seen my PC doctor for quite some time now. He's been busy and the anti-virus software he installed a few months ago expired already. I've been scouting for a new one to try out and a good friend told me about NOD32 Anti-Virus System. I hope it's going to be good or else I have to hunt down Ting to check up on my PC soon!

The Twisted Wedding Planner

Uhhh... that's me (not in the wedding gown silly!).

Sasha and I have been trading wedding kwentos for the past few weeks since she also blogs for My Filipino Wedding. She asked me to blog about my wedding coordination adventures and I declined at first since:

(1) I don't do it for a living
(2) I get freaked out about the thought of getting married (sorry Janette... okay, okay trying not to anymore! Breathe in, breathe out, breathe in, breathe out...)
(3) I'm quite busy with work and all
(4) I feel I'm so much of a scatterbrain to sound "organized"
And then she planned it all... the title (The Twisted Wedding Planner) and some stuff I should storytell and the motivation -
Over YM
Sasha: kasi with the way you blog serious pero funny
Sasha: tapos kayang kaya mong i-present yung details

Okay, fine fine... so to start it off, I'm re-embellishing an article I wrote for our parish newsletter, "How to be a Professional Abay".

Tambay

One of the things I enjoy in my work is being exposed to other cultures. I remember a few weeks ago I was on break with the other CCs and we were all on the phone. One was talking in Thai, the other Urdu, then Vietnamese, Malay and I was wailing to my best friend in Filipino. A few months ago we used to put our calls on loudspeaker and we'd try to decipher what the conversation is about. I usually understood Francisco's LQ with his girlfriend in Spanish.

One of the things we talked about is "gimmicking". In Thailand, Vietnam and Malaysia it's basically the same with what we do. Friday night after office drinking sprees or weekend dinners with friends at a resto or home.

I wonder though if they have the tabing kalye chill. The band of bloggers were at Markku's birthday bash last night. It was a typical Pinoy birthday bash with Markku's friends, Markku's brother's and and sister's friends, friends of his parents, relatives, neighbors etc. There were many, many guests so Abe, Jayvee, Sasha, Rico, Marc, Sharms, Gail and husband Marc, and I took over the frontage for some very Pinoy tambay gimmick.

Photo taken by Rico using Abe's cam:


Saturday, March 10, 2007

10 Things You Didn't Know About Me

Okay, I've been tagged by Sasha! And since I'm just chilling with Miguel... here it is:

10. I'm allergic to citrus. This developed just a few years back and now I can't drink and eat oranges, pineapples, lemon, pomelo (my fave!). My tonsils close up.

9. I can't drink powdered drinks. What's weird though, powdered iced tea is agreeable, but the others, especially Tang, makes my nose bleed. Ugh.

8. I like crafts. Yeah, little `ol nerdy me spent summers being taught by my Mom how to sew, crochet, create stuff out of basura. I have a huge collection of beads waiting for me to have time to bead again.

7. My best friend is a guy. Yup, he's been my best friend for 15 years already. Our friendship is a cross between "My Best Friend's Wedding" and "Will and Grace". Go figure.

6. I buy curtains when I'm troubled. Weird eh? Well aside from the usual, clothes, shoes, bags etc., curtains bring me back home :)

5. Recently changed my colors from pink to red. I had my basement re-painted recently, all white. My room, all white, but I had the whole closet side painted bloody red. (Which incidentally freaked-out my Mom).

4. I love data. One time when I was still in the YP, I spent 3 weeks in my room just analyzing UAI data. Lolo Ned forced me to do it, but I didn't know I'd enjoy it. Eeeek, nerdy!

3. I'm a licensed lifeguard from the Red Cross. Well, when I was 10 years old that is (I still have that ID somewhere). I used to spend summers at the Shell Depot in Tabangao, Batangas where my Ate was an engineer. She enrolled me for swimming and diving lessons, jazz and hawaiian dance lessons. Geezzz...

2. I used to be the resident horrorist in DLSU. Most of the short stories I published for the Malate Literary Folio back in college in DLSU were horror stories. I haven't gotten around to writing another ghost story again. My latest one is here. Awwwoooooo...

1. I'm like Mentos. Go figure. If you can't, look for my best friend :)

Now I'm tagging the following:
Jay
JM
Jozzua a.k.a. Ely
and Jomar

Google Summer of Code

I wish I was a programmer. I learned quite a teeny-bit when I was working for a content provider, but without practice I've forgotten it altogether. If I get more time maybe I should try again, but I'm sure I'll drive whoever it is who's going to teach me crazy. Oh well...

Heads up for computer science students and professors and open source fanatics!

Do you or your organization have what it takes? Join the Google Summer of Code!

Google will start accepting student applications beginning March 14. Until then please check out http://code.google.com/soc/ for more details.

Don't know what this is? Find out more here.

Friday, March 9, 2007

Noon Time Jologs Break

Up early for several telecons, online meetings ekekekek.

So stressed.

Tired.

Dismantling.

What's worse... my muse, I think I left it somewhere in the channel between Galera and Batangas.

Coughing through my telecon, my boss said I should make sure I get sleep and a weekend. Weekend? What's that? Oh... a weekend!

Everything's been crazy the whole week, so fever, cough and all I took off during lunch with my neighbor, Jaja, to watch Sam Milby-Toni Gonzaga and Zanjoe Marudo's (that Bench hunk) "You Got Me".

I do like watching Pinoy movies. I think I got that from my Tita Olive who used to drag me to the sinehan when I was a kid. Most of my friends will just give me raised brows whenever I tell them that I watched the latest John Lloyd-Bea Alonzo movie. That or roll their eyes when I tell them about the latest MSKM episode. My best friend and movie buddy, Darwin, unfortunately lives in Cebu now. He used to drag me to watch Hollywood made movies 2 to 3 times a week. Oh well.

The simple joys of life. You Got Me is a formula movie. You'll get all the kilig moments you want with a bit of action (see Toni traversing the metro on a huge bike!). I did cry a bit during touching moments - especially when Moe's father died because he got hit with a buko. LOL. Toni was really into her act, as usual. Sam was his usual loser, loser! role (watch MSKM for better reference). Ooops, sorry I mean he was his usual cute self and played the nerdy-IT policeman role well. Zanjo's acting was way better here than when he was a superhero at Super Inggo.

Relax, de-stress, laugh a bit. Watch the movie without any expectations and you'll surely enjoy.

Monday, March 5, 2007

Bloggers Raid Puerto Galera

It was yet another adventure. A few weeks ago I posted an invitation for a short vacay in Puerto Galera. Early morning Saturday we met up at Petron South Super Highway and pushed forward to the Batangas Pier while munching on Jollibee burger type pancake with longganisa-egg-and cheese. Weird? Try it, it's good especially with ketchup (sorry Rico, I'm a ketchup person).

We felt like celebrities being adulated by crazed fans. It was just a feeling... more like being annoyed by pesky shipping line salespeople. Marc even got tapped on the head. The fastcraft wasn't available and we were forced to take a bangka to White Beach. The ride was okay, the long wait before leaving the pier wasn't.

Arrived at White Beach around noon and we had quite a hard time finding 3 rooms in one resort. Abe took up the cudgels of finding the rooms. He got the 3 rooms that were beside each other, but the warm, fuzzy feeling was soon exchanged with fear because he realized his camera bag (with his really expensive camera and filters) was missing. We were all quiet for a few minutes worried that he might have lost PhP100K worth of his gadgets. Good thing he found it in one of the resorts we were checking out. Whew!

After lunch we proceeded to the resort... until Abe realized he forgot where it was. We were all joking that he must've cleared his cache and lost all the cookies. Lucky day it was, the person who helped him find the room suddenly popped out of nowhere. Since it was too hot we settled in our rooms for a nap and then spent the rest of the afternoon by the seashore getting massages and taking photos. It unfortunately rained and we had to proceed back to the room (Marc's balat Sharms said).

After dinner I met up with an old friend and got lost. I never thought finding your friends in Galera would be so difficult. Smart's signal was bad (and most of the bloggers had Smart phones), so I had to wait for someone to call me and tell me where they were. I think we went around at least thrice before we found them in front of one of the sowsi hotels. The mindoro sling looked like it was working wonders. Everyone looked buzzed, but they were all talking about blogging! Aaaargghhh...

We just chilled the next day by the beach and had a bikini photo shoot (sorry it won't be posted!). Tried to get a tan, but then one day isn't enough. I didn't take any photos! I did bring my idiot cam, but with Jayvee, Sasha and Abe and their Canon toys who needs to take photos? Check out their blogs for the fab photos they took. (Photos posted here were taken by Abe).

We took the last boat ride back to Batangas. It was packed, but the nice sunset and the full moon made up for the discomfort. We had two stop-overs. One at Petron at the Star Tollway for a bladder break and then dinner at Cafe Via Mare at Total SSH. And then we bid our goodbyes and went home.

Thanks to Jomar and Jay for being my wireless chaperones. Haha.

Here are photos from the weekend (click on my photo).



Next stop: Davao! My sched is here.

Postscript: Updated costing (here it is Annalea)

Gas (Manila-Batangas-Manila) - Rico loaded up about PhP1,000
Batangas Pier Parking Fee - PhP200 for 24 hours + PhP10 for every additional hour
Tollway Fees - PhP200 max.
Bangka to White Beach - PhP340 two-way (for group of 10, PhP280 coz you get 1 additional free ticket)
Room - PhP1,500 for 4 people
Food - PhP150 max per meal
Massage - PhP200
Mindoro Sling - approx. PhP300/pitcher

I didn't buy anything, just food. I must've spent about PhP1,600 only coz Rico paid for the gas (thanks Rico!!!).

Friday, March 2, 2007

Kwentong Kutsero: Stir or No Stir?

I woke up a bit harassed, tired and not feeling well this morning. I would've wanted to take the day off and get some rest but I had a scheduled speaking engagement at DLSU (my alma mater!) and I had quite a number of deadlines to meet. Still a bit groggy I got out of bed and dragged myself to take the 7 steps to my study room (look Ma still in PJs!).

The one hour I had wasn't enough to go through all my mail and I had to rush off to DLSU for my lunch with college buddy and thesismate, Jingo Badillo (who's DLSU's marketing director now). I scheduled a lunch with him to confirm his announcement that he's quitting his job to enter "Ang Bahay ni Kuya". Ever the prankster... stir or no stir? A definite stir!

Since I was running late for lunch with Jingo (everyone calls him Jingo, but I call him Johannes) I was forced to take one of the private car cabs outside our village. Exiting the Nichols tollgate the driver asked me what year I was at DLSU. I was wearing a white blouse and jeans and a white headband and was carrying my backpack office... he thought I was still a student! LOL. Now that's what you call stir.

The driver went on and divulged his love story to me. Why? I don't really know. Anyway, he said back in 1967 he accompanied his girlfriend to Manila from Batangas. When he arrived back in Batangas he was forced to marry his current wife. The marriage was arranged from birth. He didn't have much choice he said. His grandmother was formidable and at that age you really couldn't do anything he said. Eventually he fell in love and courted his wife and had 6 kids. All of whom are very successful managers and businessmen. And his ex-girlfriend? He said he still thinks about her since they never had closure.

That story, what was quite disconcerting was his kwento about giving his son a van for his daily transpo to school, shelling out 5K every week to his apo based in Bacolod, buying his granddaughters PhP250 worth of merienda everyday, giving PhP200 allowance to his first year high school apo everyday. If he was that rich, why was he driving me to DLSU? Stir or no stir?

Oh well... what a weird, weird world.
The doughnut (yes that's the real spelling of donut according to my grade 3 teacher), is the yummiest donut I've tasted ever. It's got almond chips on top and can be found at J.Co, a coffee and donut shop, in Jakarta.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Coke Withdrawal...

I’m running out of bubbles. It’s probably because I’m on a Coke diet – my ultimate sacrifice for this Lent. Imagine how I end up hyperventilating after opening our ref. Mom had a party last Saturday and there were quite a lot of leftover bottles of Coke. Addict? My name is Aileen… I am a Coke addict.

So, I guess without that much sugar in my blood I’m going through withdrawal symptoms and becoming melancholic, moody, and fear-of-all-fears, boring! I really need the break and need some sun, sand and fresh air. This weekend!

On more serious thoughts...

Mr. Filemon Berba, Jr., Former CEO of Globe Telecom in his talk about “Creative Thinking: Imagination and Innovation in this Technological Age” at the De La Salle Canlubang shared that he has this poster in his den for 30 years with this message:

3 kinds of people
Those who make things happen.
Those who watch things happen.
Those who wonder what happened.

After our speaking engagement I had lunch with Mr. Berba, Mr. Nestor Dolina, Hoops Donuts owner and Mr. Joel Yuvienco, Director, School of Management and Technopreneurship of De La Salle Canlubang. Mr. Berba is definitely someone who makes things happen (he still does!). Aside from being CEO of Globe Telecom he has managed to turn-around several companies and most notable among all the accomplishments he shared was the building of the Caltex and Shell pipeline from Batangas to Pandacan (at the age of 29) - something that has definitely affected all of us in a good, good way. It was a great story to hear - the details, the hardships, the conquests - something I think should be featured on Discovery Channel. Grabeh... idol!

Sana paglaki ko... I’d be someone who would make things happen.

Which kind of person are you?