kwentongmarathon

6

Hey guys! :)

I have a few posts queued but I probably will not be answering any messages. The past two weeks have been a surreal blur of hospital food, work, daily commute and whatnot. Everything that has happened have a dreamlike quality to it which is mostly due to little sleep and stress. Mom’s been discharged a few times, only to be admitted again. So we decided to have her stay in the hospital until everything has been checked.

A few days ago, I realized how I have actual true friends. Okay.. that sounds weird. But when my mother needed blood (lots of it, really) and I (and the rest of my siblings) turned out to not be compatible (otherwise, they could harvest whatever they need from me as long as it was for my mother - they got a bag of blood out of me for the first time) - a few messages sent to my friends had all of them coordinating with blood banks, hospitals, friends etc. A lot of my family also came together and although I had barely enough sleep due to being the family’s spokesperson (it’s a tough job), it was all worth it.

When I wrote the generic “work well under pressure” in my CV, I have never really proven it. But when you have to decide whether you have to wait for the blood letting to finish, or pick up the reserved blood bags from other hospitals - among other tough decisions you have to make where time is crucial, you find out.

However, it’s not the decision making or the coordination with hospital staff or having to attend to your mother’s whim that is the hardest. It is when my mom starts the conversation with how she feels it’s unfortunate that she may not be able to see her grandchildren, tasking me to take care of my siblings or giving me advice when I have a family of my own.. I have had to hold back tears, laugh and tell my mom to not worry because she’ll be there to witness all of it. I hold on to that belief with all I have, because if I doubt it, I do not think I can smile and give her any more assurance that everything is going to turn out okay.

So far, mom’s vitals are slowly going up. The doctor ordered a cranial scan, and since it’s a Sunday, the results will probably be out by tomorrow. At this point, I have all my fingers crossed that whatever’s wrong is something we can fix. The waiting is what’s going to kill me at this point. Ugh.

Teesh Osita National Holiday

NOT!

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Instead of melodramatic, cliche-ish realizations that come with birthday posts in this blog (like last year’s) and in prior blogs I maintained before this one, I want to start with a fun fact. The perks of having a birth date sandwiched between weekends, events and real holidays (Eid al-Fitr and Ninoy Aquino National Holiday), and on most occasions, the day wherein the storm gathers momentum that even work is suspended, is that my birthday always become a ‘free’ day for everyone.

This year, I wanted to make my own birthday cake. I planned to turn on my baking frenzy mode the day before my birthday and make my ‘dessert table’. It’s a cute idea, you see. Unfortunately, plans changed when my relatives (plus my cousin’s in laws) decided to visit the same day I was supposed to do so. Goodbye dessert table. :(

I had to wake up extra early (and this was the day after Zel’s Wedding) to bake cupcakes for the guests, and help my mom clean and prepare everything. On most days, I wouldn’t mind having my cousin’s in laws come over. He’s the nicest cousin in law I have, and my cousins have never missed my birthday. However, my least favorite household chore is dish washing, so I was a little annoyed. But then, how many people can say that for 21 years, her family willingly frees up their schedule and instead of spending their long weekend else where, instead will celebrate another year with them? It’s as if I haven’t learned anything in my 21 years.

Pork Tenderloin with Quail Eggs

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Chicken Fingers with Alioli Dip

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Callos (Ox Tripe Stew)

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California Maki

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Carbonara

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Sometimes, I wonder what I’ll do when I have guests over in my own home. Imagine, my mom started producing food before 9 o’clock in the morning until the afternoon snacks were done (aside from the pasta since said nice cousin in law is the one who makes exceptional Carbonara) and cleaned up afterwards with our help.

After we had the house cleaned up (around 7 PM), Tin and I rushed to the nearby supermarket to buy some ingredients that were missing. I basically had my salubong decorating my birthday cake with Tin’s help.

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I sent a message to 11 friends (who are usually the same people I invite over every year) I wanted over for merienda and only 6 of them came. It’s ironic how I enjoy social interaction with huge groups but there’s only a handful of people I’ll trust with my life. :p My theme was “Princess Party” and as usual, I got teased for going by a theme more suited for little girls celebrating their 7th birthday. I had one rule, and that was for girls to be in dresses and the guys to be in costume. Funnily enough, Tophy brought a costume which we all goaded C in wearing. But C made me promise to keep all the photos with him in costume for myself. :p

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Mom cooked Chicken Fingers again (and I made the Alioli dip - again)! Even though I never told her, mom somehow figured out that C is a chicken guy, she always cooks chicken for C. She even cooked more Cordon Bleu (no photo available) though we already had Chicken Fingers, and C took some home. :p

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Mashed Potatoes

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Another batch of Carbonara, this time cooked by mom.

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More California Maki, with a variation of crab sticks and tuna.

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And I made Purple Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting (covered with fondant flowers), 21 Chocolate Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting, Cake Pops, and different shaped cookies. :)

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Bakerella made cake pops seem easy! I had Tan help me make them and more than half of our pops fell into the chocolate candy coating. We were supposed to produce 21 of them but stopped short out of frustration.

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Tin was the one who had photos of me printed out and taped it on toothpicks. I felt awkward eating while my photos stared. Haha!

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Even my baby girl (Rox) decided to play with the guests. She went ahead and positioned herself where there are a lot of people. :p 

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Thank you baby brother and baby sister (and mom of course)! Aside from the thoughtful presents, Tin had helped made the cake and cupcakes and Tristan was behind most of the cake pops. :)

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C is either smiling or laughing in photos of candid moments while I need to force him to do so whenever we know our picture is going to be taken.

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Tophy brought a costume and Kim was the designated photographer for the day. :)

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Further proof that C is not sulky at all in candid photos. Although the last one is of him being forced to take some cake.

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I hate putting on page breaks since I know a lot of you don’t click it, but whatevs. This post is way too long not to put a page break on, so Read More for more photos and kwento.

Read More

Chi cerca, trova

As you all know, I changed my “blog title” from The Not So Secret Life to Brown Eyed Perspective. Along with this change, I introduced a header for my blog and it’s been over a year since I last had one. I did like the simplicity of not having one but I’m embracing the change that it brought.

Those changes are a few of the many that is currently ongoing in my life. I am in the process of leaving a phase to start another, from being financially dependent on my parents to getting a job of my own.

Chi cerca, trova. He who seeks, finds.

Right now, I am still searching for the career path that I should be in. There are times I lie awake at night and wonder what I should do with my life. I feel frustrated that I have lived for twenty years and still not know, while there are people like Kim, who ever since we were little kids, kept saying she wants to teach and build a school of her own. That’s what her goal is, and she’s working towards it as she is already a teacher. I feel somewhat ashamed that my goal is simply to find a challenging job.

A fresh graduate shouldn’t be too picky with jobs, but even though I technically haven’t graduated yet, I only sent my CV to companies I really want to be employed in. Even if I am not that passionate about engineering, I might as well be somewhere I am extremely passionate to do my best in, and where I am quite certain that my career will grow. They say you should do what you love, but I always try to manipulate my perspective into loving what I do, hence, doing what I love (see what I did there? :p). Someone hit my head on the wall if I get stuck unemployed due to this. Haha!

I leave you with the photo I attached to my CV. I hope my CV (along with my photo, chos!) at least gets me an interview. *fingers crossed*

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What's on your study table?

Louise tagged me in her What’s in your side table? post, but since I the thing I use as a bed side table is my electronic organ, I decided to just use my study table. :)

Here’s my study table. This is my work space in my bedroom. It may seem messy but this is actually its organized state. When it’s messy, it is messy.

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The view from the window nearest to my study table. From where I live, there’s not much noise at night unless some of our annoying neighbors decide to do an all-nighter with the karaoke. I find it really hard to sleep whenever I stay for the night in a friend’s house in Manila as I feel like I hear every car that passes by or people chatting. I’m used to silent nights.

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A close up on the upper left portion of my study table.

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My necklaces and earrings are stored here. I’m actually thinking of buying a new organizer because some of my accessories doesn’t fit here anymore. I wrap most of my accessories in plastic which is why it’s so crowded.

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The boxes is for thin bracelets. I have another box with all my bangles in it, but it’s not stored here. :)

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I store my rings in an empty cotton bud holder. Haha!

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And my make up container!

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Since I can’t find the make up container that I wanted, I simply improvised the one I own. I put divisions in each drawer using an illustration board. The top row is for my lipsticks, and it is divided into six for each color (red, pink, orange, nude and purple) and the last one for lip balms. The one in the photo below is for the pink ones. :)

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The second drawer is divided into three. The first is for eyeliners, then eyeshadows. The right most one contains my eyebrow pencil, under eye concealer and mascara (not shown in photo).

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The third drawer is also divided into three, for foundation, face powder and blushes, respectively.

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And the bottom drawer contains my palettes, make up brushes and other hair accessories that wouldn’t fit my hair accessory container. :)

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The upper part of my table is for photos. I used to put books there but it somehow feels suffocating.

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Yes, I do have a crucifix. I’m a Christian, I believe in God and I read the Bible, however, even though I was baptized Catholic, I do not really practice much of Catholic traditions.

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Below the photos are these boxes.. The top is the box that comes with a Parker pen, then box for my mini tools (mini screwdriver, mini wire cutter, etc) and the bottom one is for my course cards. Yes, I kept those.

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Mini picture frames

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Some developed photos which I have yet to find a frame, stickers, and my forgotten iPod Nano.

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Disney Princess memo pad, pins, a note from my best friend, and mini greeting cards.

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All my nail polish and other nail related things.

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Moving on to the bottom part.. I keep all my USB connectors in my ELF pouch.

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Pencil case that contains dozens of colored pens and my stock of sticky notes.

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Mini notebooks I use whenever I travel, go to museums, etc.

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My old coin bank. I don’t use this anymore because I forgot where I hid the key. I think there’s still some money inside too.

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And on to the table! Here is my 5-year old laptop. My parents told me that this laptop is the last that I will get from them and I’d have to buy one if I want to replace it.

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Skin care products! I’m a hoarder, okay. The things I use daily isn’t in this basket as I keep it in the bath room. :)

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Lastly, my planner. It got included since I was writing on it last night to avoid forgetting some of the things I need to do.

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And that’s it! I know I have to tag people to do it, so I’ll tag whoever wants to do this too! Don’t forget to send me a message if you did, I want to see what’s on your side/study table! :)

Dad VS Food

Despite the nonstop rain I had to brave today, I still am in a good mood. My sister had this project that required her to bring family photos and the ones who saw the photos told her that I’m pretty. Hihi. One even exclaimed “mukha siyang artista!” (true story), which was such a pick me up after an arduous day that I plan on subtly giving the kids cupcakes through my sister. Hahaha!

I am completely aware that I’m no Georgina Wilson in the looks department, come on, I’m not delusional! But whenever I get compliments with regard to the way I look (amidst the pimples and eyebags), I know that I essentially have my parents to thank for. And half my genes (is this scientifically true? Correct me if I’m wrong or I misused terms etc), I owe to my dad who celebrated his birthday last month (as mentioned in this post).

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Unlike last year where we went on an eating spree he had an entire weekend for his birthday (Friday, Saturday, Sunday), our plans got ruined. Due to his delayed flight, instead of arriving early Saturday morning, he got home by dinner time.

Dad bought me a Wilton Deluxe Tip Set! Yay, I got to tick off something from my 2012 To Buy List.

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I immediately used it in time to make Dad’s birthday cake. I need to practice more! :) I made the mistake of tinting the rest of the icing green. I realized that when I wanted to pipe different colored icing on the cake. Haha!

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Dad opened our presents and read our collective birthday card for him.

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After opening the gifts, it’s time for breakfast! :)

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Green and white cake (Animo La Salle ang peg? Haha!) for daddy. You can see how sloppy my icing-handwriting is.

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We had two pizzas! It might not show in this photo, but the pizza I made (along with the other one with no photo) is full of meat. It had pepperoni, ground pork, bacon and ham, along with the onions, cheddar and parmesan cheese. I was pretty generous with the topping. :p

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My aunt (since mom’s brother and his wife/my uncle and aunt came - from Guam - in time for Dad’s birthday) made garlic bread from the baguettes we had in stock.

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We always have Carbonara, replacing pancit and spaghetti (a staple in Filipino birthday celebrations). They say one should eat noodles/pasta on their birthday for long life.

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For lunch, uncle and auntie cooked Beef Kaldereta (spicy beef stew?).

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While mom made.. rolls. I really don’t know what kind of rolls we have because we simply call it maki (short for California Maki), no matter what the ingredients are and how it’s wrapped.

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And Kani Salad (?). When my mom learned how to use the internet, our lunch/dinner/desserts selection grew beyond Sinigang, Adobo, Nilaga, and the usual Pinoy cuisine.

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I actually planned on making a Blue Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting since dad didn’t get to taste my birthday cake. I used blue liquid food color from Ferna but it came out of the oven looking more green than blue. And the shade was so similar to a Scotch-Brite pad! Whatevs, it tasted so good that both my siblings brought a big slice with them to school the next day. Tan described his friends’ reaction to the cake by saying “parang nag-feeding program ako sa dami ng gusto kumain!”.

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For our Sunday/Dad’s birthday dinner, we went to King Bee in General Trias. It was a 30-minute drive from where we live, but mom had read favorable reviews of it online and wanted to try it out. When we got there, the two-storey structure turned out to be under renovation so only a portion of the ground floor is available for diners.

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Their genes produced cute babies! Hahaha.

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Yes? :p

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Fish Fillet with Beancurd which tasted bland, in my opinion. I’ve tasted better tofu dishes. I say tofu, because we had a hard time finding the fish fillet. Haha!

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The Lemon Chicken's lemon sauce was served separately. When you eat the chicken without the sauce, the taste of sesame is overpowering. Together with the sauce, the taste balances out.

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The usual Garlic Rice.

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I cannot remember how much the Birthday Noodles cost (and I usually trust MunchPunch for that), but it was okay. Nothing spectacular.

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True to its name, Spareribs with OK Sauce simply tasted okay. Frankly, for the price, you’d do better with the one from Flavours of China (1,2).

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Like I said in a previous post, it was somewhat a disappointing dinner since we all had high hopes for it. I guess our expectations stemmed from all the positive reviews. Fortunately, it’s not expensive for casual dining. :p

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Sorry scammer, you got the wrong number. HAHA!
  • 09062440617:E2 bgong roaming # ko Msta n kau jan,ako ok nman d2. Miz ko n kau jan.My ppdala ako ppakage jn.My gift aq sau dun sa luob ng oakage. Ingat kau jan.
  • Me:Daddy?
  • 09062440617:Dady to.msta kna.pwd m b ako plodn?
  • Me:Daddy, yung pangtuition ko, dapat mo na mapadala this week. Hindi ako makakapagexam. Wag ka magalala, sinangla na namin yung lupa para sa tuition nung dalawa. Yung mga alaga nating hayop, pinakatay na rin namin at binenta sa palengke. Si mommy, umuwi sa probinsiya para umutang kila lolo, kaso lubog na rin pala sa utang sila lolo at lola. Wala na raw yung tv at ref dun dahil wala silang pambayad ng utang.
  • 09062440617:*hindi na nagreply*
  • Me:Daddy, pls reply *sent 50 times*
A Day in the Life

Today marks my second year in my current company - which is also my first job. So I thought it would be fun if people knew what I do from day to day. Do note that the day I took photos for this post was such a relaxed day and does not represent 90% of my working life (slash my life because all I ever do is work - take right now as an example since I am covering my second shift of the day while typing this entry to de-stress). :) If you follow me on Instagram (@teeshue), you would know how I have been transferred to the 6 AM - 3 PM shift.. which have had me waking up at wee hours of the morning.

The thing is - after two weeks of leaving early, I realized that the buses arrive at almost the same time everyday. If I leave by 4:15 AM, I can catch the 4:30 AM bus - and the rest goes on because until 5:30 AM there is a 15-minute interval for the arrival of the buses.

Seeing that this would mean I only have an hour to prepare so that I do not arrive late for work - I try to keep my make up time to 15 minutes maximum. Ta-da! Make up magic!

That day I was unfortunate enough to not catch the 4:45 bus and I was late for a few minutes. :( Whatever - I went to Starbucks, bought my usual cold drink (I have a staple cold drink and hot drink) and ate cashews for breakfast while going through my email and making a To Do list for the day.

I had a knowledge transfer meeting because I’m filling in a new role that requires a specific skill. This lasted for an hour. And yes, my work notes are colorful as it is. I usually only use black/blue pen when signing documents.

I got a cake order while I was in said training. Here is a photo of the cake peg. So excited to make it!

And a sneaky photo during the training. Heh. Don’t worry, I am still paying attention. ;)

After the training, I went to the bank to deposit my payment for something I bought online. I actually received it today. Nice.

And aside from bank errands, I went to the nearest 7-11 to buy some super glue.. why you ask.

Because my cheap wedges from CLN (got them on sale) did not only get damaged in one foot, both pieces had a strap snap! Sigh. There is a reason why I usually buy middle range shoes. They are a bit more expensive but they last longer. Can you imagine, I only have had them for a month?!

After gluing my shoes back, I proceeded to do work with my new role. So far - it’s still fun because I learn a lot of new things (unlike the Accounting tasks I have had to do for the past year which is no fun at all because it takes up about 8-12 hours to complete and I always had to do it after my project-related tasks are finished so nay to OT without pay).

I have a feeling that this post is slowly going to turn into a work rant post so let me steer clear away from that! After work, I met up with C in Alabang. He had a meeting that evening and I NEEDED NEW SHOES.

We decided to meet up in McDonald’s in ATC. C was 30 minutes late and within that span of time, my chronic bitch face have emerged. Also, some guys who are total strangers took photos of me until I saw them doing so and shooed them away. How strange. And creepy. And so annoying. I was already on an agitated mode when C came which led to a row in his car. Ugh.

I was so pissed off that I actually thought about walking out - which is why I bought flats so I can run. I did realize once I have calmed down that I have ridiculously silly ideas when I’m pissed off. Haha!

We had dinner at *drum roll* McDonald’s. Hahaha! I recently found out that they now offer Mac & Cheese and Mashed Potatoes and wanted to try it. Verdict: I didn’t like it.

Since C’s sister needed help to get home, C and I went to fetch her at Resorts World Manila. Here I am in the car, with stinging eyes (because - contacts ugh).

C’s sister is an interior designer and she was designing a 2-bedroom condo. C and I actually got to talking while we were there on how we would have designed the place if we were the ones to live in it. :D

C wants carpeted floors while I don’t. Who is going to clean that?! (among some other things we discussed about our future home)

C’s ate gave me a blanket to use in his car! I often voice out that I need a blanket in his car because it gets really cold at night (even when the temperature is set at its’ lowest).

And there are even pillows in the car (which C bought so I can use because I love to sleep PERIOD).

I got home by 1 AM - which meant I will only have 2 hours of sleep before another day begins. And look at what I saw on my phone when I checked the photos.. Hihihi <3

Okay - now it’s 8 PM and I’m still working. I wrote this in between working (when I feel like flipping over tables) but I just cannot work any longer. Ugh. So sleepyyy.

/random post is random. Thank you for reading! :)

Tired

..and I do not even have the energy to elaborate.

(Well, maybe a little energy)

To summarize the past two months, it has been:

Work. More work. Drowning in deadlines.

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Waking up at 5 AM, leaving the house by 6 AM, arriving at the office by 9 AM. And leaving at around 11 PM. Getting home by 12:30 AM and sleeping by 1 AM. Repeat cycle. 6 days a week. I swear, I sometimes think about burning the office down but I know it will only have me working from home (which is more hassle), so never mind.

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Mom’s confinement in the hospital (again). The day mom was confined, I still went to the office to work for 5 more hours after the 3-hour travel from the hospital to Makati. I swear, I just want this project to be over (out of the 3 projects I have remaining yay!) so I can actually attend to my sick mother in the hospital.

And gaining weight due to all the crazy stress eating.

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On a more serious note though, I have seriously contemplated on things I never thought I would think about doing. I am just drained and exhausted. Not having the freedom to take care of my mom is honestly the biggest reason why I have come to despise going to work. I am grateful to have a job in this day and age, but it makes me feel like I failed in what truly mattered in life. I never imagined that I will ever come to a point where I will choose (or else, we will incur breach of contract) work (work not money, because the extra effort is free) I do not even like over my responsibility as a daughter. Ugh. I hate this.

CT^2 and Praybeyt Benjamin

Before anything else, here’s an I am watching you face for all of you. Haha!

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My sister and I had a deal earlier this year that whenever she becomes top of her class (first in academic ranking), I will treat her to one cup of Starbucks coffee. Results just came in earlier this weekend and I have to pay up for two quarters of our deal. Tin decided to convert one of her Starbucks coffee to a cinema ticket for Praybeyt Benjamin and I agreed. =)

Our brother had prior commitments, making it a date with my sister! But I invited C to come along so someone could take photos. Chos! I just wanted to hang out with him too. :)

I have Saturday classes until 9:30 AM so I left Tin at the condo and simply fetched her after class, all the while, C waited at the building’s lobby. Tin and I agreed to watch in Glorietta since we’ve both never watched a movie there. But as far as my good luck goes, Praybeyt Benjamin was not showing until 6 PM in Glorietta and we’d have to go to Greenbelt 1 for it.

Tin was already complaining that she was hungry (it was only 10:30!) and I wanted to eat somewhere we haven’t eaten before. But the two of them simply wanted to eat chicken. WHY AM I WITH THIS TWO AGAIN? Needless to say, we ended up in Shakey’s Pizza.

Wore this dress again, with the flats and owl rings I bought from this haul. :)

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This almost always make me think of old houses.

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C with my owl ring, pretending his eyes are that big.

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My plate! :)

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Tin and C both ordered Bunch of Lunch. I think this was Tin’s plate.

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Basket of mojos!

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As usual, dining at Shakey’s take a lot of time due to the fact that almost all their branches have slow service. But this time, it wasn’t annoying because we were passing time. Haha! And when C got to answer the survey form using Tin’s alias was hilarious! The three of us couldn’t stop laughing at that!

The movie was at 1 PM and we still had time to spare, hence, we went to Timezone and got our photos taken for Php 39 each! Fun!

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Praybeyt Benjamin was.. the usual mainstream comedy film. To fully enjoy it, you’d have to switch off thinking for a while and simply laugh as the film unfolds. There’s no use to critique it, really.

After the movie, we went to Caffe Ti Amo (I wanted gelato!) but it was full. I wanted to seat so it won’t do. We went to Cafe Mary Grace next, but it was full too. Gah! We ended up just buying a drink from Starbucks Coffee and walking to the bus stop with it. :(

Here’s my sister with her first Frappuccino. :)

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We waited for a while before the bus arrived and we were already finished with our drinks by then. Tin and I had fun during the bus ride home while C slept through it. Haha!

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I think I got fatter this day, as my mom even prepared grilled chicken (I kind of asked for chicken every time C comes to visit. Haha!) and shrimps with quail eggs for dinner. We also watched some reruns of New Girl before C went home.

It’s really nice to have the people you love the most eating in one table. :)

24 March 2012: My Sister, the Valedictorian

After my long hiatus, here’s a sister appreciation post!

I have heard over and over again that your grades in school does not define who you are as a person, but how good you were in school. However, seeing my sister work so hard for this, I do believe that her grades show how hardworking she is and I am so proud of her.

Mom would always say that me and my brother gets above average grades without having to exert much effort, however, my sister works so hard for her grades. While Tristan and I cram for projects and survive through procrastinating, Tin does everything before the deadline. Aside from academic excellence, my sister also participates with extracurricular activities.

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My little sister isn’t so little anymore. She’s growing up very nicely and I see a fine young lady now. :)

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Mom, Tan and I took turns putting on Tin’s medals. It’s actually funny when she tripped on stage! I kept laughing so hard the whole time.

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Aside from being Valedictorian, she also got other awards and one of those was topping the assessment test since she got 99%! :)

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My sister’s valedictory speech. She was so nervous, she froze on stage for 5 minutes. I am so proud of you little sister! :)

Congratulations to the graduates of 2012! :)

My supportive family
  • Mom:Bati na kayo?
  • Me:Yes!
  • Brother:Narinig ko yun! Kailan kayo nagbati?
  • Me:Uhm, kahapon?
  • Brother:MONEY DOWN MOMMY!
  • Me:Ha?
  • Brother:Nagpustahan kami at ang bet ni mommy, weekend pa kayo magbabati!
231211: Choi Garden for Tin's 12th

Hey guys! I hope you all had a great time during the 25th (or still having a great time), whether you acknowledge Christmas or not. I tried my best to greet each and every one who follow me, and I’m wishing whoever is reading this to have a Merry New Year. =)

December have always been a month of celebrations with Christmas parties here and there, family reunions everywhere, and the time to give back.. and birthdays! (okay, that came out of nowhere)

One of my siblings’ biggest gripes is about their birthdays. More often than not, we celebrate Christmas Day together with both their birthdays as it’s only within a week. This year, after much whining from my brother, we held two different celebrations for it.

We had a near identical birthday cake for my sister. =)

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While my brother loves pizza and pasta, Tin nurtures an affinity with Chinese cuisine just like our mom, which prompted me to research for a place that has authentic Chinese cuisine. Mom asked me if I could find somewhere within Greenhills since she wanted to drop by, and I remembered a certain post from Flavors of Manila regarding Choi Garden. There were only a few reviews of it online but mom still made a last minute lunch reservation.

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Red lanterns. For lunch during a weekday which was not a holiday, the place was packed!

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Tunnel entrance. Brother: Cool!

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Tin enjoys going to ladies’ room of different establishments. She says that nice establishments always has nice wash rooms. Haha!

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Birthday girl!

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Complimentary peanuts

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..and house tea (which is Chrysanthemum tea).

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Before we ordered, we asked the server assigned to our table (whose name is Daniel), whether the viands in their hard bound menu with glossy pages (very heavy, I tell you) can feed more than one and if they have an available set menu so we could try their recommended dishes. When he handed us their list of set menu, we were so shocked to see the least expensive one at Php 6000-8000 (not sure, Tin and me is still debating over this. Haha!). Oh my!

Don’t get fooled by that though. Most of their dishes are on the affordable side, and you get more serving than from other restaurants in the same price range. You get an option of getting the dish in Small, Medium or Large, and the Small one is for 4-6 people already.

Birthday Noodles - Small (Php 320). This one’s not in the menu, and Daniel only told us after we told him that we’re having a birthday lunch. It’s loaded with shrimps, quail eggs, and vegetables.

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Fookien Rice - Small (Php 320). I now believe why Brian of Flavors of Manila loves this! I never even knew this existed (and it wasn’t in the menu too) until I read it from his blog, and I’ll probably always look for this one every time I eat in a Chinese restaurant.

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Steamed Fish with Garlic - Small (Php 400). I’m not much of a fan of fish recipes, but the birthday girl devoured this!

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Beancurd Stick with Black Fungus - Small (Php 400). I was hesitant in eating “black fungus” (who wants to eat fungus?), but when the dish came, everything in it was something I have already eaten one time or another. What I love most about this dish is its’ sauce, as it is super tasty.

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Fried Pork Ribs with Salt and Pepper - Small (Php 350). This one is a tad too spicy for my liking, especially with the dip that comes with it. I can’t say it didn’t taste well, it just happened that I do not like spicy food.

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We found this on the Birthday Noodles. Cool! =)

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A photo on the “tunnel”!

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It was my first time in Greenhills, and it wasn’t as awesome as I thought it was. Haha! However, the night market and the Christmas special made up for it. The story line of their Christmas presentation left something for me and my brother to diss, but since it’s for kids, I won’t do so now. :)

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Did any of you guys experience any firsts lately? =)

2012!

Hey everyone! I hope everyone could still type with all their fingers, and have kept all their body parts intact by not experiencing any firework mishap the other night. =)

After reading through 134 Dashboard pages (my emotions went from “Wow, I missed a lot” to “it is a LOT” to “WTF I DON’T WANT TO READ ANY MORE PLEASE SAVE ME BUT I COMMITTED TO THIS NO I CAN’T STOP”), I see that most of my friends in Tumblr have already posted recaps of the past year, their resolutions, goals and whatnot. I just had to join the bandwagon and make a quick recap of my 2011.

2011 kicked off with job hunting, as I badly needed an internship by the second week of January. I think that’s what pushed me to move outside my comfort zone (aka places I could reach easily). Travelling from Cavite to Eastwood City, and vice versa every single day made me realize I could seriously go wherever I want to go. And I’m saying that literally and figuratively. I got to be more adventurous with my food choices, and made time to go to places I always wanted to go to but never did, even if I had to do it alone. I learned that with the right state of mind, my life doesn’t have to be a bore, I could love the things I do, and I’ll be happy and content.

Sure there were ups and downs, and for a few times, I thought that my world is ending. But I guess life’s that way, and you just got to take the laughter and the tears together to balance it out (It is definitely cheesy, but no, I did not steal that from a song or a quote). Although I learned a lot about myself, the people around me, and life in general, I know that I still have more to learn and I hope that I continue to be blessed this year.

Also, this blog have been conceived December of 2010, but I only ever started posting my own stuff last year. Fortunately, I got a few readers and friends through it and I hope to meet more this year. =)

Now that I got to do that 2011 bit, time for the part about how we welcomed 2012, starting off with an obligatory family photo in our dining area. Mom always buys 12 different round fruits for good luck. Unlike previous years, we only had Sushi, Honey Glazed Ham, brownies, fruit cake, real fruits and hot chocolate for Media Noche. We were all too tired and mom realized that all we get is a bunch of leftover afterwards. By the way, my family’s outfit scheme was red for that night which ruined my plans of wearing a blue dotted top.

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It was funny how our family, along with our neighbors (not all of them, just the neighbors that I’m actually friends with. Haha!) didn’t buy any fireworks. We relied on our sosyal neighbors and those who live at the super posh village adjacent to ours to provide our fireworks display. They didn’t disappoint! However, I was always doing something else whenever it lights up the sky that I was always fumbling at my camera too late. Haha!

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Mom almost always sponsors the prizes for the games in our street party, hence, I got a Chupa Chups lollipop without having to play. Haha!

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So maybe I do need a resolution after all. I have to put on make up during New Year’s eve. Mom would always scold me about how I own a lot of lipsticks but I end up looking too pale on photos.

Angel, Aubrey and Kim

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..and with Tophy in the photo.

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With Kim, Tophy and my sister. I curled my hair, but as you can see, half of it already straightened up. Haha!

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Group photo! I welcome the new year with them for as long as I can remember. =)

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We also celebrate Nica’s birthday after jumping up and down while screaming Happy New Year! I can’t believe we have been doing this for more than 15 years already!

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After eating in a table set up on the street, I went home to pee. As usual, Kim and Aubrey went to fetch me since I always fall asleep when left alone. If other people find it hard to sleep, I don’t. I could practically fall asleep in any given place. Haha!

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We played Monopoly Deal.

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..and drank red wine in tea cups. I remember one New Year’s Eve when we were younger, wherein we all got a glass of red wine. All the “kids” watered our plants with it. Haha!

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We then played UNO, and I won all the rounds. *evil laugh*

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I went home by 3 AM as I still have to catch some more zzz before we head out to mom’s ancestral house, where we always spend New Year’s Day. Sometimes I wonder how the holidays could be joyous and tiring at the same time.

Have a blessed 2012 everyone! =)

The Question, Book Tag and Random Facts About Me

I get tagged a lot even if I’m not really active so thank you girls for tagging me. Sometimes I even get tagged twice.. and by Liza nonetheless! :)

The Question: Work

When did you start working?

Does selling all kinds of stuff count? Because if it does, I started a long time ago! But my first legit internship was for three months in 2011. :)

What was your first job?

My first job after college is for a European IT company. I was hired as a Management Trainee where you do all sorts of stuff from IT-related tasks, project management tasks, administration tasks, HR tasks.. even Finance tasks!

What is your current employment?

I’m now a Systems Analyst at the same company.

What is your dream job?

My ultimate dream is to own a bakery and bake for a living! Next would be becoming a Broadway singer which is unattainable because I’m as tone deaf as they come. A host for Mythbusters is also an option for dream job as long as I get to blow things up FOR SCIENCE.

The Question: Places

What country do you come from/What country do you live in?

I was born and raised in the Philippines.

What’s good or/and bad about the place you live in?

Good: there are a lot of nice places to visit locally, it’s not a boring place to live in, I have most of my family and friends here, things are relatively cheap. Bad: corrupt government, it’s not advisable to walk the streets at night/narrow alleyways even in daylight, pickpockets, there is a mall in nearly every corner, for some reason whoever is in charge of development tends to not look ahead and implements temporary solutions for everything (damaged roads, floods, heavy traffic, etc), extreme social classes.

What is (are) your favourite places to go to?

Hmm, I don’t have a favorite. I just happen to like to get away. (my answer does not make sense)

Where is your dream place to live?

London - but only for a year or two. :)

Where do you want to be right now?

Somewhere, anywhere, far enough to forget.

I also got tagged twice in a book challenge by Laurel and Rizalyn

10 Books that have stayed with me for years (which is not necessarily in order)

  1. All the Harry Potter books by J.K. Rowling
  2. The Chronicles of Narnia books by C.S. Lewis
  3. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
  4. Lemony Snicket’s Series of Unfortunate Events
  5. The Sandman (it’s a graphic novel okay) by Neil Gaiman
  6. Veronika Decides to Die by Paulo Coelho
  7. Matilda by Roald Dahl
  8. All the Ramona Quimby books by Beverly Cleary
  9. To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  10. Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Random Facts About Me (thank you Jessa for the tag)

  1. I queue my posts in its’ draft state and it usually gets published without being edited.
  2. ..and I only ever remember it once Tumblr notifications are displayed on my phone. Haha!
  3. I usually lose track of all the tags I get tagged in. So if you’ve tagged me recently - please just comment in this post and I’ll get back to you on that.
  4. I am torn between spending too much money on clothes and makeup or just save the money.
  5. I usually burn said money on food or on trips.
  6. I am in charge of my brother’s allowance.
  7. My parents never required me to but I like the responsibility.
  8. I sometimes fantasize about shooting certain people in the head.
  9. I have never been in a gun range.
  10. But I have had experience in using a real gun. Once - to shoot targets marked on paper.
  11. I like going to nail salons.
  12. I wish I look polished all the time.
  13. My current favorite TV show is How To Get Away With Murder.
  14. I do not feel comfortable with any physical contact from people I do not feel close to.
  15. I like sleeping.
  16. I love baking.
  17. I have an opinion about almost everything. I just keep my mouth shut about most of it.
  18. People usually get the impression that I’m submissive. I’m stubborn yet I happen to pick my battles.
  19. I have really vivid dreams that I sometimes wonder if it actually happened in real life.
  20. I do not plan on buying a car for myself in the next three years.

Again, thanks for tagging. I hope you guys enjoyed this! :)

Avril Lavigne: The Black Star Tour 2012

We all have that one friend who is always updated with the concert scene. In my case, that friend is Sheela. Sheela bought her patron seat ticket for the Avril Lavigne concert last month, and I looked forward to hearing about the experience from her.

Last wednesday (the concert was last thursday night), Shee and I were in our thesis room when she casually asked me if I wanted to watch the Avril Lavigne concert. She then proceeded to tell me that Close Up Philippines is holding a giveaway for 3 pairs of Lower Box seats (a Lower Box seat costs Php 5000++), a pair for three different winners (it did turn out to be for 7 different winners later)! All you have to do is send in an entry about how much you care for someone and I made one about how much I care for C. :)

I didn’t expect to win though, and my day went on without thinking much about it. We spent the night in Sheela’s house as we needed to be done with our thesis paper by Friday. Around 11 PM, I was notified that I received an e-mail and I was so thrilled to receive this!

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I then went to their Fan Page, and saw that it’s real. C and I will be going to the concert! I jumped up and down, before managing to send C a message that I won and we’re seriously going to see Avril Lavigne and hear her sing live! =)

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However, I only had three hours of sleep before going back to the university. We were rushing to finish the paper, as we still had to have all three copies in a ring bind. Shee told me to go ahead to claim my tickets since my plan was to go to Ortigas to pick up the tickets before going home in Cavite so I could leave my overnight clothes and laptop, freshen up and change. C and I would then go to Makati before heading to the Smart-Araneta Coliseum, just in time for the concert.

Unfortunately, there was a heavy downpour on my way to Ortigas and I got stuck in traffic for two hours! I was in a state of panic since I wouldn’t be able to follow the schedule I made for the day. C called me up and told me to relax, and he’ll be the one who picks up my clothes while all I had to do is wait for him in Makati. Yes, this is the dynamic of our relationship. It’s always either one of us is the one who’s panicking/annoyed/angry/sad/etc and the other is calm and relaxed. Normally though, it’s C who is the calm one. Haha!

Once I got the tickets, I convinced myself that I’m rich enough to afford the cab to Glorietta. I honestly don’t ride a taxi if I know where I’m going and how to get there. However, I was too tired to take the train or the bus and I had two bags with me. I was tempted to grab me some coffee while waiting for C, but since I already paid half the amount I will spend on CBTL’s large cup of Ice Blended Macha Tea Latte, I decided to go to Landmark instead and sat at the shoe section. Haha!

We went to Tita’s office (C’s mom) and ate Bie treated us to Soms Noodle House. Everything we ate there was delicious, as it was a mix between Thai and Filipino cuisine. :)

ON TO THE CONCERT! C and I got caught in traffic within the vicinity of Smart-Araneta Coliseum. Kuya Jun simply drove around the coliseum while we change in the backseat. Hahaha!

We missed the front act, but there was a 15-minute break before THE Avril Lavigne came out. Someday Dream was the front act, and Sheela said they sang three songs.

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Both C and I’s haggard faces. Have I mentioned that this is the first time we went to a concert together? Although we did go to a Lea Salonga thing two summers ago, but that doesn’t count because it was a fundraising event (labo haha).

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The lights dimmed and everyone started screaming. Crazy, I tell you.

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When the opening notes of Black Star started playing, everyone started screaming louder (me, included)! It was crazy. Some of the people in the lower box area even started to stand (and by some, I’m talking about the woman in front of us).

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Watch both videos below to see how it went. I watched it and even if I was there, it still gave me goosebumps.

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I’m With You just showed how the jam-packed coliseum was filled with people who know her songs. Avril stopped the band from playing and all everyone could hear is everyone else’s voices singing the chorus. Wow.

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C even bought me a battery-operated glow stick in commemoration of the first concert I went to, wherein I acquired the tickets myself (won it!) and wasn’t forced to come. All the other times I went was either mandatory, or someone invited me and had a free ticket.

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Encore! It was funny, because Avril already said “Thank you, etc” after I’m With You and the whole band already disappeared from the stage. The people started chanting (again, me included) “we want more! We want more!” and I could literally feel the whole coliseum vibrating with the people’s voices. 

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Sorry for the lack of photos guys! I was trying to take nice photos, but in the end I thought WWALD (What Would Avril Lavigne Do?) and I’m pretty sure she’ll say “What the Hell, I’ll enjoy the concert and bask in her awesomeness”. :)

Set List:

  1. Black Star
  2. What The Hell
  3. Sk8r Boi
  4. He Wasn’t
  5. I always get what I want
  6. Alice
  7. When You’re Gone
  8. Wish You Were Here
  9. Unwanted
  10. Girlfriend
  11. Airplanes/Happy Ending
  12. Don’t Tell Me
  13. Smile
  14. I’m With You

Encore: Push, I Love You, Complicated

Again, thank you Close Up Philippines for this! Hearing Avril Lavigne sing live and sharing that experience with C was a truly marvelous one. :)

Follow Close Up Philippines on Facebook for updates as they have a lot of giveaways! =)

191211: Not so little brother

Merry Christmas everyone! I’m making this post while waiting for my family to fix themselves so we could finally go out and eat our Christmas lunch. We got invited to a last minute party, hence, our previous plans for lunch will probably push through some other time.

Also, I’m trying to send a message to all my Tumblr friends and the people who tirelessly follow me. I have to wait for a little while to send some more messages, though. It’s been one year since I started blogging (or as I see it, writing in my online journal) and I’m sincerely grateful that I have found at least a few who appreciates it. I hope to make more friends here and meet more in person within the following year. :)

On to my brother’s birthday! Although we already celebrated Tristan’s birthday in advance, mom still wanted to hold a simple dinner at home. My brother just asked for pasta and shrimp, letting us decide what we want to do with it.

I am usually tasked to do desserts. It’s probably as it’s the only thing I have the patience in doing. Here’s my Peach Fridge Cake for my brother! :)

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Camaron Rebosado for the shrimp dish.

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..and Carbonara.

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Can’t miss the birthday cake!

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Happy birthday, my 5’8” brother. No matter how tall you grow, you will always be my baby brother. :)

More than Two Decades of Friendship

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I was supposed to put in “Kim at 22” as a title, but that sounds a little cheesy and overused, so I replaced it with something much cheesier. Haha! Kim is the oldest friend I have in this lifetime, and I doubt anyone could replace her. We have been friends ever since we were in diapers and I mean that literally. Our families were among the first ones to move to the once secluded village surrounded by an orchard, and we were each other’s playmates until people started moving in. We grew up together, studied in the same schools, were in the same class (except in high school), took up swimming lessons where Kim almost drowned me.. Close distances doesn’t really guarantee a friendship, but being less than twenty steps apart helped too. :p

We celebrated Kim’s 22nd birthday on a Sunday, and my golly, I forgot how crowded malls can be during weekends. It was already 2 PM but still, almost all the restaurants in Alabang Town Center is full. We roamed around looking for a place to eat while our stomachs grumbled with hunger. We settled with Brooklyn Pizza since Kim was craving for pizza, and it was one of the few restaurants where we didn’t have to wait to get a table.

Kim, her cousin Erika and sulky little boy in the background. Coincidentally, they were both wearing stripes.

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Me and Aubrey, coincidentally both clad in floral dresses.

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Complimentary Garlic Bread which wasn’t garlic-y enough for me, but hey, it’s free.

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For some reason, we also received an order of free Buffalo Wings. 8 pieces of spicy chicken wings for free (I love free stuff, okay, don’t judge)! It was a little more sour than spicy, and overall not one of those buffalo wings you’d need a pitcher of water for. At least it had 8 legit normal-sized wings in it *ehem Manang’s ehem*.

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Brooklyn Pizza’s Pasta serving is good for two people (or a hungry one), so we ordered to pasta dishes. Spicy Shrimp Pasta which I loved due to my recently acquired affinity for spicy food and the abundance of shrimp in it. It wasn’t too spicy, but spicy enough for me (I don’t think that made any sense, too, haha).

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I’m a big fan of pasta although I’m more biased when it comes to oil-based and cream-based ones. However, I enjoyed the tomato-based pasta more than I did with this Bacon and Mushroom Pasta. This dish was a little too salty for me, and that’s coming from a girl who drowns her rice with soy sauce.

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Now to satisfy Kim’s craving, an 18-inch thin-crust pizza, with four different flavors in it. We asked each quarter to be sliced into four so all of us gets to try every flavor.

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Deluxe consists of Italian sausage, ham, pepperoni, bacon, black olives, green peppers, onion and mushrooms.

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White Pizza with three different kinds of cheese: mozzarella, parmesan and ricotta, was everyone’s favorite.

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Pepperoni and Mushroom had.. you guessed it, pepperoni and mushroom.

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Lastly, Italian sausage, ham, pepperoni and bacon for Porko.

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If you don’t believe me at how big the serving was, here it is with me for a size comparison. Hehe.

Kim took a photo of me taking photos of food.

Left over! Kim had the rest of our food wrapped up since we were already full.

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Whenever I am with Kim, we have an obligatory wash room mirror photo. Haha!

Kim took a sneaky photo of me, because I told her I didn’t want to have my photo taken. This was after we chanced upon an empty table in Gong Cha and drank milk tea while catching up on gossip. Hahaha!

While on our way home, Kim insisted we should continue eating (and watch a movie).. in our kitchen. Okaaaaay.

All in all it was a good day with friends. Happy birthday Teacher Kim! :)