Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘friends’


“When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives mean the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares.” – Henri Nouwen

Henri Nouwen, another favorite writer has exactly describe what a real friendship is – those moments when just being there for a friend would be enough, those moments when just holding their hands is a comfort in itself.

I meet lots of people at the Catholic page I manage with a priest friend and a lay minister, most of them OFW workers from different parts of the globe. Through the years that I help manage the site (it’s been four years now), I have met a few who have become close to me where we manage to see each other once in a while. When we do,  the day is not enough to catch on with each  other’s news. We share on how life has been but often we  talk about our beliefs and our joy in our journey with God.  Last Saturday is one such day I will treasure in my heart. Visiting Padre Pio Chapel always gives me a wonderful feeling of peace and happiness and it was even more magnified spending it with a few close friends that I treasure.  They call me Ate, Tita, Mommy and Ms. A. I don’t mind really because they are affectionate ways  of telling me I am loved. It’s more  of  sharing and laughter, sometimes we cry at those moments of weakness remembering what we’ve been through, sometimes we laugh our hearts out telling simple stories. We cry, we laugh and embrace each other in a show of faith  and love.

Pho Hoa Vietnamese Noodle House at Eastwood City

Pho Hoa Vietnamese Noodle House at Eastwood City

Pho Hoa is a Vietnamese restaurant that serves authentic Vietnamese food. We tried their Pomelo Shrimp Salad (the best there is) with a simple dressing, fresh spring rolls, grilled chicken and grilled pork with fried spring rolls, noodles, mango crepe with ice cream, buko pandan salad.  I love the banana fritters with caramel.  As if the fulfilling lunch was not enough, we had a quick snack at Yellow Cab Pizza. We laughed at some remembered moments during our first two gatherings at Sto. Domingo Church, we talked of catechism 101 (seriously).

Yellow Cab Pizza, Eastwood.

Yellow Cab Pizza, Eastwood.

Moments of bliss. And when friends meet, hearts warm.

BTW, this is my 1490th blog per WordPress count. Happy Tuesday to all :)

Read Full Post »


And before you think this is about books  again, you’re wrong.

Sorry, I amend that. After blogging about my loot from Books For Less for the last few days, I switched to e-books for a change. Sometimes it is more convenient to read just holding your phone close while relaxing to the beat of some sentimental music, a somewhat low-key means of  spending the time away. I am currently reading The Glass Kitchen and I was inspired by the book thinking of what to bake for a change. Two days ago, I read one of the books I bought at the sale  (a Christmas story) and there were three recipes there for fruit cakes. One thing that intrigued me is the recipe for no bake fruitcake.  I would definitely try that one of these days and I will use locally produced dried fruits and nuts instead of using imported ones.

Banana and Chocolate?

This is my first time to try baking by combining banana and chocolate. I told Josef to leave two pieces of bananas that I could use for today’s experiment. It’s either chocolate (brownies mostly) or banana bread with nuts or raisins. I searched the net for a simple recipe and I found this, a yummy Banana Chocolate Cupcake recipe.

banana choco cupcakes

Banana Chocolate Cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) and place rack in the center of the oven. Line 12 regular-sized muffin cups with paper liners or spray each cup with a non stick vegetable spray.

In a large bowl whisk together the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

In another large bowl, whisk together the egg, mashed banana, water, milk, oil, and vanilla extract. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir, or whisk, until combined. Pour or scoop the batter into the muffin cups, about 3/4 full, and bake for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean.  

Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack. Frost with the Chocolate Frosting.

Chocolate Frosting: Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.

In the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the butter until smooth and creamy (about 1 minute). Add the sugar and beat until it is light and fluffy (about 2 minutes). Beat in the vanilla extract. Add the chocolate and beat on low-speed until incorporated. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat until frosting is smooth and glossy (about 2 -3 minutes).

1 cup (200 grams) granulated white sugar

1 cup (130 grams) all-purpose flour

1/3 cup (35 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder (regular or Dutch-processed)

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 large egg

1/2 cup (120 ml) mashed ripe banana (about 1 medium sized banana)

1/2 cup (120 ml) warm water

1/4 cup (60 ml) milk

1/4 cup (60 ml) vegetable or corn oil

3/4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Chocolate Fudge Frosting:

3 ounces (90 grams) unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped

1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature

1 cup (120 grams) confectioners (powdered or icing) sugar, sifted

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

 

 I didn’t bother with the frosting since it tastes so good even without it and it was moist inside.  I made  twenty mini cupcakes. The recipe was lifted from the joyofbaking.com

Try it, you won’t be disappointed.

Read Full Post »


Oh, the comfort – the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person – having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but pouring them all right out, just as they are, chaff and grain together; certain that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and then with the breath of kindness blow the rest away.”
-  Dinah Maria Mulock Craik

I’ve been a lazy bug lately. No, don’t get me wrong. I am just resting my weary body from fatigue. The last few days, I was so busy that I was not able to check my blog and post something.  Finally, I found time to sit here for a while  and update my blog. When you haven’t been blogging for a week, it seems as if you’re starting all over again.

It’s all worth it though because our little potluck  lunch party was a success – lots of food, laughter and sharing. Those precious and priceless moments that only friends can enjoy together, something worth-reminiscing and the thought of it makes me smile.  We were joined by two priest friends, Fr. Tacky, a Franciscan and Fr. Boy, a Dominican. Not that it matters that they belong to different congregations because  they both studied in Rome and met there.  We took lots of pictures of course, what’s a party without those wacky poses and shots that make us laugh. We even have to use a tripod so we could all fit into the frame. There is this picture window  at our house that never fails to attract our friends and visitors to have their pictures taken there. Believe me, it has become some sort of trademark for the members  of our Catholic community  who drop by when they are on vacation.

1507909_728506633828278_1895296794_n

We had an exchange of gifts just for fun. Imagine the laughter we had when we simultaneously opened them and found things like a roll of tissue paper which Darlene said she will take with her on her trip back to Abu Dhabi, a small bottle of efficascent oil from Reena  which Matt got, packs of marshmallows  and so many more. What do you think, the gift should only be worth P30 and what can you buy with P30?  Reymon, aside from bringing three whole roast chicken gave us individual bags of gifts from Bench.

IMG_5573IMG_5591

They were surprised to learn that eating green mango with the skin on is the best way to eat one. I asked Joan to bring me some and when they saw me eating a slice, they all tried it  except Matt :)  Endless laughter!

pic18

We can’t get enough so the party extended on to early dinner with ice cream, Fuji apples  and suman na pinipig (the best  suman I’ve tasted) for desserts. And they all said, “sa uulitin”.  Until next time guys.

One of the best gifts that we could ever have is the gift of friendship.

Read Full Post »


Call me a little OC when it comes to entertaining but as much as possible I see to the tiniest details that are sometimes overlooked when one is a bit busy in the kitchen. This morning, I made a list of the things I need to do and posted it where I could check everything before my friends arrive tomorrow. Earlier on, we have decided on a potluck lunch and merienda  but I will prepare baked macaroni with meatballs and marble potatoes with ham and cheese spread.  I was busy the whole day despite an occasional headache that makes me rest after each task that I finish. They say they are okay with disposables – paper plates, plastic spoons and forks and whatever you can use to save on washing later. I am not used to it though so I washed two dozens of china ware, several Pyrex  trays, three dozens of spoons and forks  and lots of drinking glasses.  Never mind that there will be chaos when the party is over, I just don’t want to balance my food precariously on a delicate paper plate, one wrong move and everything topples over.  Neither do I want using plastic spoon or fork that sometimes breaks  in the middle while you are eating.  I think that’s more practical when you are attending a children’s party or a pica-pica type of food, when kids can’t handle a big plate nor hold a glass safely in their hands.

I’m looking forward to meeting all of them again.  Hopefully, this would be a success. There is always a certain kind of joy in meeting friends, kindred souls who would make you smile even if they tell  and share with you the ugliest anecdotes , repeated stories that become longer with the retelling.  At least four of them are coming here for the first time.

I am excited.

Read Full Post »


One of our members from Rome sent this pic to our group. I simply love it.

Read Full Post »


I am sure you’ll either laugh or just find the title a bit ridiculous blogging about new year when it is not even December yet.  It’s actually the eve of my birthday and I vividly recall what a friend told me before that having another birthday is also a new year of celebration in one’s life.  I could not begin to describe the happiness I felt the past few days when some friends chose to celebrate my birthday early.

Tuesday was one of those days I’ll never forget. I’ve finally met Odette, an online friend  who is also a member of our Catholic page at Facebook. She came over together with two more members of our group. I haven’t seen them for more than a year and it was such a joy to reminisce and talk about, what else, but  our online apostolate. We touched on  the early days of AFCC when Fr. Louie and I were just busy inviting members to join our page. As they say, the rest is history because after more than two years , we now have almost 11,000 members – people who share the same faith and love for God.

I am now a proud owner of a dozen books most of which are on my wish list, six thick journals for my writing (with matching pens to boot)  and other lovely gifts which they brought with them. It is so overwhelming to be showered with all these blessings. I guess those books deserve another blog. I don’t even know which to read first because I like them all.

The day was not enough for all the “kwentuhans”. Just imagine a group of friends just enjoying  each other’s company with home-cooked food to go. It really was a lovely  early birthday celebration.

The following day, we trooped to Saisaki/Kamayan/Dad’s  at SM Megamall to have lunch with other members invited by Odette. We all enjoyed the buffet lunch of course but the company was even better. It felt like we haven’t seen each other for such a long time. We had games  and sharing initiated by Fr. Louie and it was fun. Even Fr. Louie’s mom was game enough to join us.

Fr. Louie and Odette seeing each other at last. See the joys on their faces.

And this sketch of St. Therese is an original artwork by Paul (in red shirt),  professional artist/painter/photographer  in our group. It’s a gift for Odette who is based in the US.  And if that is not enough, he also gave Charlene another sketch. Charlene is a St. Therese devotee so it was really a welcome gift for her.  When they give, they truly give with their hearts.

Here’s one of our group pictures,we were not complete here since some of them haven’t arrived yet.  The highlight (at least for me) was when the group at Saisaki sang a birthday song and two Beatles songs. We were all smiling  when

they could not even recall the exact lyrics of the songs. It was part of the fun though. I didn’t know that Odette bought a birthday cake for me with matching candles to blow. I was so touched I was teary-eyed. Well wishes for health and happiness, I could not ask for more.

And to think, my birthday was two days away when we had our lunch at Saisaki. This is one of the most fun-filled birthday celebrations ever.

Look at our happy faces. Fr. Louie said, “make a wish, make a wish“. I did of course, why not, wishes do come true right? Much as we want to linger and have more fun, the buffet lunch was only open until about 2:30pm. It was all worth it though, seeing each other again was such a blessing!

This is not goodbye, it’s more of “till next time”.

And what a way to celebrate a birthday :)

Read Full Post »


And I’d rather call this album, the language of cats. We used to have three  cats in the house. They multiply rapidly so one time I even thought of having them neutered. We never got the chance to name them properly except that  they were called  Uno, Dos, Tres.  Not very original I guess, but the easiest to remember.

Yes, they were all females  and they all answered to the name Miming. They are all gone now, they just upped and left, one by one. I wonder why, in all the years that we had cats as pets, we never saw them die inside the yard. An old friend said that if they fall ill, they  leave the house and stay somewhere else. All we have now is an all-white kitten which my mom adopted a month  ago when we saw it lodged near our overhead water tank, crying and probably looking for food.  I have around fifty pictures of them, taken at different days but I love the following shots when they were not just sleeping or staying in a corner at peace with the world but busy  climbing our ampalaya trellis and exploring.

What’s in there?

I am all alone here, they won’t see me….

Then there were three. This is a favorite place, our concrete garden set where I sometimes read and update my journal.

Looking for what?

And she said,  “better make it good” when she saw me with a camera.

Don’t disturb, can’t you see I am having a nap?

Oh no, don’t….I am camera shy!

This is my space…..

Ah, the adventure begins!

Uno said, I can do it…I can climb too, better than you can….

Tired finally and the cats’ day out is over.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 864 other followers