Archive for September, 2013


LORD, please grant me the gift of understanding others without being judgmental.

Grant me the capacity to understand all Your plans for me.

And may today be a gift for other people too, that I may also touch their lives in my simple way.


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Thank you Lord for the gift of today. Thank you for a lovely Sunday morning.


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Just watched the heart-stopping game  of the UST Growling  Tigers versus the NU Bulldogs.  And coach Pido Jarencho cried when his boys won over NU. Did you know that the only basketball game  I watch on TV is the UAAP?  The  University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) was established in 1938, hence this is their 76th season.  The last time UST won in the men’s basketball was in 2006, I think.   This season though, they defeated  NU Bulldogs  twice to become the first number four ranked team to reach the finals.  UST gets a crack at the crown when it faces DLSU  in the best-of-three series starting October 1.


It would be interesting to watch two brothers, Jeric Teng from UST and  Jeron Teng from DLSU in the  face-off for the championship round.  There is never a question of the three of us (my son, daughter and I) whom to cheer for because we are all Thomasians,  a win for UST is a win for the three of us. And I’m keeping my fingers crossed  UST will bring home the crown.

Go USTe! Growl 🙂

(photo courtesy of  UST Quadri)

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I remember the time I was updating Nissa’s baby book. There was a part there that asked for the most memorable event coinciding with her birth and I wrote, “Blessed Lorenzo Ruiz”.  He was beatified by Pope John Paul II the year before.  San Lorenzo Ruiz is our first Filipino saint and it’s his feast day today, my daughter’s birthday.

Happy birthday Nissa, I thank God for giving me a wonderful, smart, loving, responsible and thoughtful daughter.  May you always find meaning  in all the things that you do. Be happy always.

San Lorenzo Ruiz, please pray for us!


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Happy Feast Day St. Padre Pio.

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Sundays are spent either reading or laboring in the kitchen. I heard mass at 6am so there is plenty of time to just relax and watch the monsoon rains create puddles in the street.  I always say, as long as it does not create flood, the rain is welcome.

Last week during our rare trips to Pasig market, Josef and I bought a whole head of squash, big enough at P40.00 a piece. I don’t know if squash are in season now because they are so cheap or it’s just that the price of vegetables in Pasig are way cheaper than those we normally buy  in our own place in Cainta. What to do! We’re done with a bit of pinakbet (that delish blend of different vegetables cooked with fish sauce and grilled bangus). I made a small tray of squash flan four days ago and yet, there  was about a third left of  the squash so I made this simple recipe combining 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil,  1 1/2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar, dash of salt and ground pepper for flavoring and about three cups of diced squash. It turned out quite flavorful. A perfect partner to the pork adobo I made yesterday.  Adobo is best eaten a day or two after, when it has absorbed the tartness of  the vinegar. It blends well with any dish.


You might say, “watch out, I am on a diet” because the adobo needs a lot of rice in the bargain but then you can indulge once in a while.

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I am practicing  my macro shots on the recipes/experiments I am doing in the kitchen but they don’t always come out well.  I guess, I need more practice, I tried them with a minimum of light and with flash at different angles.  Anyway, here’s another recipe that you might want to try. Would you believe, it was my first time to bake carrot squares and surprisingly, it was really yummy and  moist.  And you won’t need to put any frosting  because it’s just perfect as it is.

carrot squares

You would need:

1/2 cup low-fat milk

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp. baking soda

2 tsp. baking powder

2 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. salt

1 cup vegetable oil

1 1/2 cups  brown sugar (you can always reduce the amount to suit your taste)

3 eggs

1/2 cup chopped walnut (optional)

1/2 cup  crushed pineapple , drained (I used a 227 gram can)

1/2 cup raisins

1 cup finely shredded carrots (I added  a half cup more)

Here’s how:

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Grease and flour an eight-inch square pan.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt then mix well.

In a separate bowl, whisk together oil, milk, brown sugar and eggs. Pour into flour mixture and stir well.

Stir in walnuts, pineapple, raisins and carrots.

Pour in prepared pan and bake for an hour or until lightly browned.

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Yes…..and they’re  playing Christmas carols. If not for the southwest monsoon  (habagat)  brought about by typhoon Odette, I would say, the cold winds of  December are blowing our way.  It’s definitely windy  and I am thankful Metro Manila won’t be much affected by the typhoon which has maintained its gustiness the past days in Northern Luzon.

It’s 96 days before Christmas. Just excited to make my countdown, that is. Every day, I hear Christmas carols on the radio and it feels nostalgic, exciting and sentimental. I’ve always said time and again, that the Philippines celebrate the longest Christmas ever. As soon the BER months start, you will hear Christmas music.  I guess it’s time to bring out those Christmas CDs once more.  Do you anticipate Christmas as we do? What’s your favorite Christmas song? Mine is the lovely  and classic Christmas album of the Gunther  Kallman Choir.  A trip down memory lane?  I particularly like their Christmas Sing In album. Listening to it is quite an experience.  They’ve been around since I was a kid but it was just a few years back that I was able to have my copy of the CD album. I used to have them on cassette tapes though.

I remember this blog entry I made two years ago and I smile at the thought of Christmas past and the nostalgia it brings.

Time flies, too soon and we anticipate another event which has always been  and always will be so important to Filipino families.  Celebrating Christmas here in our country is probably the most joyous season of all.Nowhere else  can you find a place where it is most celebrated the longest, from the early days of September to as late as February of the following year.  Christmas celebration is the only thing  which I always blog the most.  This morning,  Umagang Kay Ganda, a morning show on TV, featured a Santa Claus collection of  someone whose entire third floor is full of different sizes and designs of  it.  There were unusual fork and spoon shaped like Santa, plates, mugs, you name it, he has more than a thousand Santa features.  I wonder how they keep them clean  and all in shape because  they’re displayed all year-long. Christmas is a very meaningful affair because most Filipino families who are apart during the rest of the year gather together during the Christmas season. There’s  nothing more touching than celebrating Jesus’ birth with the whole family. I am doing my Christmas list. It’s not as if I have lots to give gifts to but I just want to make sure that family members, some close relatives and close friends are included in my list.

And this will be the second Christmas for our baby Nate.  How much lovelier could it be? He’ll be ten months  in two days.

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This comes a bit late I guess,  but I love the weekly photo challenge for this week. It connotes a lot of things,and  I would like to share two shots I took of my favorite places which I still visit every now and then, when  I have time.

Sto. Domingo

I love this clean look of the long corridor of  Santo Domingo Church leading to the  main altar. There was a time when we used to come here a lot to visit my adopted son who is now a Dominican priest.  It is the National Shrine of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary.


And this is Santisimo Rosario Parish, located inside the campus of the University of Santo Tomas where I spent my  high school and college years. For us Thomasians, it is simply called the UST Chapel.  Back when I was a student, I used to attend daily student masses here.



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In this neck of the woods

the quiet is palpable

and I feel at peace….

Note: This is my first post on  the The Cat Says Meow, the Daily Prompt Challenge of WordPress. Finding one’s perspective and finding pleasure in simple things. And there are times when you need to be silent  and just admire the beauty that nature brings.

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