Bake day

What was initally bought to bake dog food (for our then bully) has finally produced its first baked “people” food. Thanks to wifey, for the first time she gets to bake something out of it. Her baking training plus her natural talent to cook, successfully created delightful treats that once again made my day.

Fruit tarts for breakfast.

Fruit tarts for breakfast.

pizza for lunch

pizza for lunch

seafoods pizza for snacks & dinner.

seafoods pizza for snacks & dinner.

Hello lola, with the rate daddy is eating, you might not recognize him come christmas time.

Hello lola, with the rate daddy is eating, you might not recognize him come christmas time.

 

 

Disclaimer: The oven never baked dog food as I never had the time to do it. Now  that I’ve got lots of it, the dog isn’t around naman. But hey, those dog biscuits do look good. 

 

Mood: 2/10 Honks! (pizza, pizza and school works)

I also don’t eat utan

Other than enjoying a cholesterol-filled dinner of small-sized crabs (I don’t consider it crablets), what topped off this unhealthy night is this Ilonggo Indie film clip which I saw from one of my Facebook friend’s post. The title alone captured my attention due to a couple of reasons: First, as a kid I hate veggies and even until now I eat it just for health’s sake – if given the choice I won’t touch and more so eat one. Second, the title is in Ilonggo, my native tongue.

So here’s that clip that made me to have mixed emotions as I always have this second thought of seeing animals being slaughtered for food. I’m a meat eater but as much as possible I’d rather not watch that food-to-be’s life taken in front of me. But then again, I don’t eat utan. Tough choice, huh? Anyway, enjoy this clip.

 

***

This reminds me of last weekend while in Batangas. We were in a birthday party when I saw this group of men gathered around a cow tied to a post. Although, I haven’t witnessed a cow being slaughtered up close, I already had the idea what is about to happen next. The gory thought of a poor animal being held helplessly while fighting for his life, no matter how futile, played on my mind.

Then I saw one of the men approach the cow, unsheathed a surprisingly short knife from his waist and point it somewhere on top of the cow’s head. At this point I was thinking, “Uh-oh, this will be messy and bloody.” But I was wrong. In a blink of an eye, literally, the man pressed the knife down, the cow went limp, fell to the ground and became lifeless almost in an instant. That quick.  Well, at least it didn’t suffer. It made me think and hope that this is the case for every meat-to-be in the slaughter houses.

 

 

4/10 Honks (all the bloody thought may get in my dreams tonight) 

 

Chasing sushis and balloon

Just this afternoon, I finally finished another monthly task that I’ve been doing for more than half a year already – family expenses accounting. After learning how to do it from a personal financial planning training, I’ve never ignored a single receipt and have always tried my best to account each expense somewhere around the end of each month – some month’s result were shocking, some were fulfilling, while others (if not most) were challenging. July however was somewhat amusing.

As much as I now value more each penny we’ve got, I still believe that there are things that need to be discovered and that holding back from doing so might come as a regret later. And as much as I’d like to be as thrifty as possible, sometimes the call to experience things is just hard to hold back – like eating conveyorized sushi and buying the first ever balloon.

Last week, after months of eyeing this Japanese resto in the SM’s Mall of Asia, we arrived at the mall just in time for Sakae Sushi’s buffet meal – 2pm. The juice and biscuits we ate for lunch (somewhere nearby) were just enough to keep us full during the drive and well enough to keep us excited about the thought of chasing sushis as it pass by our table.

It is fast...

It is fast...

...but were faster - our emptied plates : )

...but we're faster - our emptied plates : )

A couple of plates later, surprisingly or not, I mastered how to spot the perfect sushi caring less if it’s colored yellow, green or red – If it weren’t for the buffet time, each color has its corresponding prize and one has to be picky if he’s dining on a budget. Needless to say, I enjoyed each time even if my wife and I had to take turns between watching our little boy and “ambushing” the sushis. And it’s either we’re that fast or there’s just a few sushi variety available, but it must have just taken less than an hour for us to taste every sushi Sakae can offer. Well, how can I complain, it must be what’s Php 399/pax is worth. Not bad considering that I get to eat in a place where my familiarity with it was once just because of MTV videos or Hollywood movies.

Another first that day, was buying our little boy his balloon. After coming out of Sakae Sushi resto, my wife, having mother instinct was able to easily locate one stall that sells a dizzying selection of floating balloons that our kid was pointing aimlessly (and screaming like one crazy Beatles fan) until he steadied his tiny index finger to a recognizable square yellow figure that even I was suddenly attracted to its bucktooth-smile the moment I saw it. A few seconds of exchanging Php 105 with the seemingly irresistible Sponge Bob, I saw our kid beaming with satisfaction of having his first ever cartoon character balloon.

The selection, the pick, the moments.

Soon, he was running around in one part of the crowded mall as if he’s the only one who has it (but I’m quite sure that one kid somewhere nearby was feeling the same thing). Sponge Bob, though still smiling, got all the abuse from his tiny fan. It was pinched, pulled down, yanked, at one point trampled over and was blamed for a couple of stumbles. And just as his tiny fan decided to bring him home, he somehow was able to cut himself loose.

I was walking ahead of my wife and kid when I heard the desperate call. I knew I froze for a sec when I look back and saw Sponge Bob bobbing up and down the mall’s ceiling. I couldn’t believe smiling down on us is a hundred-peso balloon which immediately reminded of the Filipino nursery rhyme: Ako ay may lobo, lumipad sa langit…sayang ang pera ko, binili ng lobo. Kung pagkain sana, nabusog pa ako.(I had a balloon, it flew to the heavens…it was a waste of my money. If only I could’ve spent it for food…).

So even if I was surprised after diligently typing expense details and to see that we’re “in the greens” , next month, I hope to see improvements in our spending. In fact, I have already told my wife one clear instruction: no more balloons for Marcus. Hopefully, he won’t hate me for this. Ti abi.

 

ref: lobo lyrics

 

Mood: 3/10 Honks!

Personality traits and another farewell party

“At least you’re a happy bum” – from my Managerial Accounting professor

 

Exactly 1 week ago during our TSLEADER class, we had an interesting topic about Enneagrams. For those who don’t know about it yet, it is just among the many tools that identifies and classifies an individual’s behaviour. And while our professor was discussing about it and each of the nine personality traits it comprises, I began to remember my previous co-supervisors and scribbled names according to his/her dominant trait.

Each trait in the Enneagram is indicated by a corresponding number and each are grouped according to how and where the behaviour most likely originates from. (It also tells which personality one isn’t aware of and might be able to develop through self-awareness.) For example trait numbers 2,3 and 4 belongs to the heart; numbers 5, 6 and 7 belongs to the head; while 8, 9 and 1 personality traits coming from the “gut”. Here are the names that immediately came to mind for each trait numbers.

 

Heart people

Personality Type

Type Description

Fears

Name

2. Helpers

Likes to help others

Of own needs

Cris (that’s me)

3. Performers

Craves for success

Of failing

Dave

4. Artists

Considered unique and creative

Of being ordinary

Edna

Head people

5. Thinkers

Always see the need to understand the world

Of being overwhelmed

Amor

6. Skeptics

(or Questioners)

Range from reserved to outspoken.

Of being abandoned

Jojo

7. Enthusiasts

Happy and open to new things

Of being deprived

Rix

Gut people

8. The Boss

Strong character. They usually don’t care as long as things gets done

Of being weak

Lie

9. Mediators

Avoids confrontation that’s why they’re also know as the peacemakers.

Of separation and conflict

Cocoy

1. Reformers

They like everthing done the right away. Also called perfectionists.

Of being imperfect

Lei

 

***

By some strange coincidence (well, I consider it that way) last Thursday, I was called by “The boss” informing me about a hotel dinner with the rest of my ex-colleagues. Other than the immediate appeal of the word hotel plus dinner, I soon felt excited at the thought of seeing once again the faces behind the personality traits. I said yes without further ado just before I hung up the phone.

***

 

Team 2 in Renaissance Hotel

Team 2 in Renaissance Hotel. Front (L-R) Edna, Rix, Rhia, Lie, me. Rear (L-R) Tammy, Alfred, James, Cocoy, Nedie, Amor, Lei.

 

And so as planned, yesterday night I find myself together with most of the Team 2 supervisors and our manager (with her hubby Mark). We started the reunion with a buffet dinner at the Renaissance Hotel’s M2M area wherein the group’s exuberant demeanor and excited exchange of stories and laughter dominating the warm and elegant place.

 

Merk with Monday nights performer Silk & Steel

Merk with Monday night's performer Silk & Steel

 

Stuffed after almost tasting every variety of food from the buffet tables, the group decided to have some beers at the nearby Greenbelt 3 mall. We settled at the Merk’s Bar Bistro where we caught the acoustic band Silk & Steel playing. We also must have been lucky last night because we saw the actor-comedian-owner Richard Merk. According to him, it’s been almost five months since the last time he dropped by the place.

After a couple of hours getting entertained by the guitar trio, where Merk joined and rendered some great songs as well (I never knew that he’s a good singer until last night), we capped the night (or early morning) by having coffee at the Starbuck’s coffee shop along Macapagal Avenue where sobering up with a hot Americano before the trip back to Cavite became a regular routine for several night outs I have attended since then.

 

Now you know why his personality trait is 7.

Now you know why his personality trait is 7.

***

Last night’s gathering was actually a farewell party for those leaving this time as part of my ex-company’s (funny, but I still haven’t got used to writing the prefix ex) third retrenchment phase. Despite always feeling and talking as-a-matter-of-factly about the whole retrenchment thing, frankly, I find it really sad to see more people going out thus leaving fewer employees behind until the next phase and until the (ex)company finally ends its Philippine operation this year. Well, that’s life, huh?!

 


 

Mood: 3/10 Honks! (TSLeader class cancelled today)

 

 

 

 

Sweetest email

I’m sure this is the sweetest email I’ve ever received. A contact forwarded an email prior to this with the subject: Krispy Kreme and with an invitation to click on this link: http://www.chocolatekarnival.com/register.php . I don’t know but if there’s one good way for a virus to infect my PC, it probably would be through a link that I just can’t resist like this. It is during this time that my sweeth tooth takes over my discernment and rationale. *LOL*.

—– Forwarded Message —-
From: Krispy Kreme <info@chocolatekarnival.com>
To:
Sent: Thursday, June 18, 2009 6:05:05 PM
Subject: cris, here’s your Krispy Kreme Chocolate Glazed Doughnut and Signature Coffee
 
Hi cris,

You have been GLAZED! Print this email and head on over to the nearest Krispy Kreme store to claim your Krispy Kreme Chocolate Glazed Doughnut and Signature Coffee. If the image of your coupon doesn’t show up in your email, please click “Display images” or “Load images” from the page.

 
 

To GLAZE more friends, click HERE.
And you can view the rules
HERE

.
Verification Details:
________, with registered email address _________, you are closest to SM Mall of Asia.

cris, hope to see you soon and remember to bring a valid I.D. and a printout of this e-mail.

 

 

Mood: 2/10 Honks!

 

Turon for the frustrated me

Turon

Originally uploaded by Marcus Can

A snack intended to cool off my frustrations. Well, it was effective. These turon, or what I prefer to call “turonitos” because of its small size, were made from just 3 bananas. If I hadn’t known that, I’d be stuffed and guilty…and be more frustrated. Hahaha.

Note: From now on I’ll start posting home-cooked foods, of course, all cooked by wifey.

 

 

Mood: 3/10 Honks!

Let’s buy pork!

 

Everyone is panicking right now because of this swine flu virus. It’s been in news for days and it’s sad that this virus has killed so many people in Mexico where it was suspected to have originated. Of course the Americans, being paranoid by nature, has made all the necessary efforts as well to contain this virus from spreading especially that the risk is so high considering the high influx of people coming through the Mexican borders, legally or illegally.

Here in the Philippines, the Department of Health together with other related agencies is already in high gear to prevent this disease from entering our country. And while watching the news tonight, I learned that the price of pork has gone down at a very steep rate because people have avoided buying it. This one made me smile – evil, maybe – because all of a sudden I remember that it is during times like this that it is actually perfect to do just the opposite of what most people do. Let me explain.

I read some time before (when the news of the recession first came out) about Warren Buffet encouraging investors to buy stocks while the rest are trying to sell theirs with the hope to save what is left of their plummeting share values. The moment after I read about that radical idea, I realized that it complements some of my similar thoughts:

  1. It is safe to ride airplanes days after one has crashed because every airliner at that time will be taking a closer check of its fleet;
  2. And for the same reason, it is also safe to board ships days after one has just sunk.
  3. It is safe to visit the malls days after one has been bombed (like the Glorietta incident) or vandalized because every security guard will be on its feet and will surely pay more attention with the way they conduct their inspections.
  4. It is safe to buy vehicles of the same brand after a recall because the manufacturer will make sure that the present problem doesn’t get out of hand and that its sales won’t be affected any further.
  5. It is safe to eat at a restaurant after a fly has been found taking a leisurely dip at the soup because most likely management will be on the lookout not only for flies but other things that a customer would hate to be in or on his food.

The above stated advice of course should be followed only after careful considerations of several factors that may affect the decision making process. Like one should check if the Airline Company, mall, car manufacturer or restaurant involved is reputable otherwise they might just not even care even after something bad has happened. It is also of course highly and always recommended to check WHO gave such advice in the first place. Hahaha. So do you think you’re going to buy pork now?

 

 

 

Mood: 2/10 Honks!

Tagaytay Adventure

Just when I thought that another of our Tagaytay trip will be spent in any of our comfort zones – Starbucks, Carlos Pizza, Yellow Cab or just feeling the chilly wind in People’s Park – I was so happy when another idea came into the picture. We thought why not bring our baby boy to Residence Inn for a change. It will be his first and ours have been several years already since the last time we visited it.  Besides, being inside the mall on a Sunday is already starting to be a bore for all of us.

The plan turned out to be better than expected. Coming from La Salette after hearing mass, my wife remembers that foods are not allowed to be brought inside the place so we decided to have lunch before coming in. After discussing where we’ll have our noontime meal, we choose to stop over at Bag of Beans. We were here for almost a year already and that time we only had a quick coffee since it was late in the evening. This time we tried the rest of their menus.

Its no Starbucks, but believe me it may even be better.

It's no Starbucks, but believe me it may even be better.

Sunrise breakfast. Php 275.

Sunrise breakfast. Php 275.

Filipino breakfast. Php 185. I got this one and I think its worth it.

Filipino breakfast. Php 185. I got this one and I think it's worth it.

After the hearty lunch (although we ordered breakfast menus) that made us more ready and eager to burn the collected calories, we headed straight to our main destination – Residence Inn’s zoo. Upon arriving at the place, the parking seems to be a letdown because I can’t exactly remember if I parked our car several years ago inside (or near the inn’s entrance) or it’s been this way that parking for visitors is just along the road side – left entrusted to the delicacies vendors. Another surprising thing we soon discovered was that the entrance fee has already soared from just around Php70 before and is now at Php199. Ti abi. Despite feeling ripped, I paid for two (no fee for 2 years old and below) and proceeded.

The sulky feeling though quickly dissipated once we got inside. Seeing our little boy wide-eyed at the white lion just at the start of the trail cheered me up in an instant. And sooner as we went along the other cages in the zoo, I forgot all about the parking and the pricey entrance fee. My wife and I felt like small kids as well.

Inns entrance. The people shown here are picking free foods for the animals and birds.

Inn's entrance. The people shown here are picking free foods for the animals and birds.

A parrot welcoming everyone to the inn. This guy must be the most photographed among other birds and animals.

A parrot welcoming everyone to the inn. This guy must be the most photographed among other birds and animals.

Youll need at least an hour to complete this route.

You'll need at least an hour to complete this route.

This is also my first time to see a white lion...but Im not letting my son notice.

This is also my first time to see a white lion...but I'm not letting my son notice.

Anyone can have his photo taken while feeding the tiger.

Anyone can have his photo taken while feeding the tiger.

For Php 50 you can have your photo taken with this playful cub.

For Php 50 (per head) you can have your photo taken with this playful cub.

A camel in Tagaytay? No kidding.

A camel in Tagaytay? No kidding.

Spikey, stinky and cute porcupines.

Spikey, stinky and cute porcupines.

Stopping to check the overlooking view.

Stopping to check the overlooking view.

There used to be a pot-bellied pig in this cage. I dont know if the lion has something to do with its disappearance...

There used to be a pot-bellied pig in this cage. I don't know if the lion has something to do with its disappearance...

Fans of this inns pot-bellied pig will be delighted to see that theyve multiplied already.

Fans of this inn's pot-bellied pig will be delighted to see that it has multiplied already.

Checking one of the aquariums.

Checking one of the aquariums.

One of the snakes on display.

One of the snakes on display.

 

Whats going on every Sunday.

What's going on every Sunday.

We spent more than an hour roaming around the whole zoo. Our baby boy, although being carried all the time, has already fallen asleep right after the last stop at the aquariums. But little did we know that the best of this trip is yet to come. We will be visiting the Paradizoo farm and a coaster will take us from the inn – all inclusive from the entrance fee we paid earlier. Not bad, huh? If they would have made this clear in the first place, I would not have complained.

Free turon for everyone. You may get as much as you want - nice way to get the most out of the Php 199 entrance fee.

Free turon for everyone. You may get as much as you want - nice way to get the most out of the Php 199 entrance fee.

The ride from Residence Inn to Paradizoo took us approximately 15 minutes. The moment we arrived at the farm, we were immediately greeted by a guy who we soon learned will be our tour guide as well. I never thought that the farm visit will be this organized as I was thinking that we will be dropped off and will be left on our own to discover what’s in it and just to be picked up after an hour. Gladly, another of my assumption and expectation that day came to be wrong once more.

The farms flow of the tour. And to enjoy it best, I suggest that visitors come during Saturdays & Sundays at 3 PM to be able to see the animal parade which is being held only during this time.

The farm's flow of the tour. And to enjoy it best, I suggest that visitors come during Saturdays & Sundays at 3 PM to be able to see the animal parade which is being held only during this time.

A very accommodating tour guide.

A very accommodating tour guide.

The diversity of animals in this farm is unbelievable. Shown here is just the first stage of the tour.

The diversity of animals in this farm is unbelievable. Shown here is just the first stage of the tour.

A Dromedary camel up close.

Goat breeding area.

Goat breeding area.

The farm is littered with signs, directions and reminders. This is one of them.

The farm is littered with signs, directions and reminders. This is one of them. I just don't know if this is addressed to the passing goats.

This is a plant called Mickey Mouse due to its shapes resemblance to the famous Disney character. This by the way belongs to the eggplant family but is only used as an ornament.

This is a plant called Mickey Mouse due to its shape's resemblance to the famous Disney character. This by the way belongs to the eggplant family but is only used as an ornament.

A farm personnel orients visitors regarding the honey production process.

A farm personnel orients visitors regarding the honey production process.

How I wish this is my own back yard.

How I wish this is my own back yard. This is the farm's vegetable garden.

Farm visitors watching as a herd of sheeps parades in front of them.

Farm visitors watching as a herd of goats parades in front of them.

Greyhound dogs were also participants of the parade. However, instead of marching around they were made to race against each other for just a lap. The farm breeds and sell them.

Greyhound dogs were also participants of the parade. However, instead of marching around they were made to race against each other for just a lap. The farm breeds and sells them.

A 5-legged bull joining the animal parade.

A 5-legged bull joining the animal parade.

A group of Llamas that participated in the parade.

A group of Llamas that participated in the parade.

The farm also has a souvenir shop (right) and a cafeteria (left).

The farm also has a souvenir shop (right) and a cafeteria (left).

I never knew that our Sunday will be like no other Sundays we had. And likewise, I never knew that somewhere in Tagaytay are two better places than the pricey coffee shops or pizza parlors. Being closer to nature and seeing the animals at the zoo are more exciting and educational than being inside the air-conditioned and over-crowded noisy malls.

 

 

 

Mood: 2/10 Honks!

Let’s eat cake

 

It’s been 3 days already since I’ve been eating the chocolate roll that we had for noche Buena. My diet since then has been on leftovers and thankfully, it looks like this day will be the last – unless our refrigerator reveals another Tupperware with foods still waiting to be consumed.

Did I mention that theres puto, too?

Did I mention that there's puto, too?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At least the good thing about having a wife good at cooking is that the leftovers get to have some twist during every other meal. Like yesterday, the embutido meet up with the excess spaghetti sauce and presto, instant new spicy recipe that went well with rice for lunch. The dessert though, was still the enduring chocolate cake. Actually, it was coupled with a peach-sago salad. Not bad.

I’m not sure yet, if what’s happening right now inside my body as the last time I had an intense activity – outside our house – was when I joined a badminton dual-meet 2 weeks ago. After that whole day of flexing, jumping and smashing, I was on all out calorie collection as if some polar bear stacking some body fats for hibernation. Now, I’m trying to avoid stepping on the weighing scale. I’m now convincing myself to remember the saying, “what you don’t know won’t hurt you.” And I might as well add another inspiring line, “round is a shape.” Ti abi.

Oh calories, my calories. How can I resist the sexy shrimps.

Oh calories, my calories. How can I resist the sexy shrimps.

Frankly, I don’t know if I can fit some real cardiovascular activities among some other plans I have during this vacation period. The nearest I can get some sweat out is by doing household chores – involving lots and still lots of clean up to be done, detailing the car (which I already did from 7-12 noon yesterday), and a couple of house fixes that are already on my to-do list.

Some fitness gurus say that what matters most with each person’s well being is that you look good and feel good about yourself. Well, I think I’d prefer for now feeling good about myself. Let’s worry about the looking good part next year while I compete with those running the treadmill at the gym. Hahaha.

Let me leave this blog with the following quotes:

Eat well, not many.” – crisn (that’s me)

People are so worried about what they eat between Christmas and New Year, but they really should be worried about what they eat between the New Year and Christmas.” – unknown.

Once again, we come to the holiday season, a deeply religious time that each of us observes, in his own way, by going to the mall of his choice.” – Dave Barry

 

 

 

Mood: 3/10 Honks!

Breakfast Man Smiles Again

Just a couple of hours after the sun beams peaked out of the clouds and I’m declaring my day complete already. Why? Because I just had a great breakfast courtesy of wifey. It’s been a whole week of patiently waiting for this moment and today she did it again.

Although, wifey is not known to be a morning person and often times I’d give her a couple of minutes to move after I purposely jump out of bed to wake her up. But she must have some Garfield blood that makes her stuck unto the pillows despite any disturbance and even if the sun beams penetrate the curtains.  But it was with the pledge, “for better or for worse” (I always keep that in mind) that I learned to adapt to it somehow – or still trying to.

The good think though about this seemingly act of hibernation during her day-offs is that it enables her to store energy to cook and a very good one at that. She’s like a wind-up toy that once released goes on and on (well, sounds more like the energizer bunny) until its kinetic energy is spent up ready for another winding.

This morning she’s into it again. It was like watching the Rachel Ray show but with the difference that this one doesn’t have any takes or cut. This live cooking talent demo by wifey is spontaneous. Once in the kitchen, she can prep up the stove and pans, slice and dice the spices and eventually come up with a good meal – usually just within a 30 minute time frame. Today’s breakfast preparation, I guess, can make UCC Cafe or Pancake House a run for their money. Two thumbs to you wifey. You really know the way to my heart…

Olives omelet by wifey. Cheap yet tastes nice.

Olives omelet by wifey. Cheap yet tastes nice.