Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘family life’ Category


It’s cold.

I was hoping I will be able to finish trimming the carabao grass this morning but the garden  is wet from the rain. It rained so early  and according to news report, it is because of ITCZ (Inter Tropical  Convergence Zone). It would probably drizzle the whole day, that kind which we call tigatik or ambon in Tagalog. It’s that kind of weather that makes you long to go back to bed or either stay in a corner and read.  I just ate a cup of Banana and Honey instant oatmeal.  So lazy to cook breakfast. Or maybe, it the perfect time to drink that cup of instant coffee I’ve longed for all week.

Are you a tea or coffee drinker?

How many times have you heard this frequently asked question, “tea or coffee?”, be it in some obscure diners or  some  extravagant restaurants in town. During the past few years, many coffee shops have sprouted like mushrooms in the metropolis which only proves that there is money in coffee. Coffee drinking is synonymous to bonding with friends, closing deals with business associates and simply relaxing in the comfort of your  home while watching a good TV program or curled up in a corner reading your favorite book.

I used to be a coffee drinker, but now I have limited my coffee intake for just once  or twice a week, or when I feel I have the craving for caffeine early in the morning. Just can’t resist the aroma of freshly brewed coffee or a cup of the instant variety. Those of us who drink coffee know about caffeine and its effects. Though tea and hot chocolate have caffeine too, apparently, it is lesser. They say that three cups of coffee is considered an average or moderate dose, but what about the add-on  like cream, sugar and other kinds of sweetener put in a cup to make it more flavorful? There are various creamer mixes like Bavarian mint, Cinnamon spice, Irish cream, Hazel nut, mocha, Amaretto and other flavored creamers. And there are many ways of brewing coffee. Drip coffee makers have a fairly simple, quick and easy way to prepare a cup. Coffee grounds are placed in a filter basket inside the machine which is filled with water. The hot water drips through the ground into a glass carafe to produce brewed coffee.

When I was in college, I met a Japanese friend who taught me how to prepare Japanese green tea. Tried to teach her some  common English words so  she sent me packs of green tea complete with instructions on how to enjoy a cup. That pretty much started my love affair with the beverage. Green tea is dried, not fermented so it produces a lighter flavor. It’s good for colon cleansing.  There are several varieties of tea in the market today – black tea, Earl Gray, Oolong tea, Orange Pekoe and there are varied flavors too just like coffee.There is also bubble tea which are pearl shakes made of Tapioca (sago in our Filipino language). The tea is usually served with a gigantic straw which is just the right size for slurping. Hot tea drinks may come in the flavor of almond , lemon, vanilla, orange, spearmint, peppermint and chocolate mint. I love the brand Celestial Seasonings, Twinings in different flavors and Lipton Green Tea.  There are so many locally produced tea flavors here  too like ampalaya, malunggay tea, banaba and the like. They are all medicinal. Years ago, I bought a tea set, those dainty cups which are so cute and chic and I have been using them until now.

Tea or coffee, anyone?

Read Full Post »


Josef came home last night and gave me a small bag. Inside was a lovely wallet designed like a webbed mat.  He is really that thoughtful. I guess when there is no particular occasion and you receive a lovely gift, you’ll be surprised too. This is not the first time he did this. One time he bought me a thick book at National Book  Store on how to make candles.  He knows that I would appreciate it. Yes, I used to make candles but I gave them as gifts to friends. I haven’t sourced materials for a long time now.  We often eat out when he is around or when I am so lazy to prepare something in the kitchen, we would order a take-out.

Even Nissa always brings something every time they come to visit us. It’s mostly toiletries and body lotions or moisturizer or make-up.  Nate would ask his dad to open the trunk of the car when they get here and he would give me those gifts always with a smile and something like, “We have a gift for you Nonna.”   I am so blessed my kids grew up the way they are – loving, giving and thoughtful.

I found a copy of  The Godfather by Mario Puzo. The first time I read it was way back in college and  I already forgot the details of the story except the name Don Corleone and the Italian  mafia. Over the years, it turned into a classic with two more film sequels. I haven’t watched it though but I found a full movie on YouTube. Gonna watch it after I finish re-reading the book.  This is my 130th read on the 2017  reading challenge. Twenty more books to go until the end of the year.  Hooray! After this maybe I’ll go back to memoirs and contemporary books.

Have a lovely week ahead.

Read Full Post »


I had a good short chat with my doctor today.  I told him I am a survivor. He asked how long ago it was. He told me to forget about it. I have survived more than five years. What is important is that I am well now. Yes, I said. Health is wealth. He advised me to avoid stress as much as possible because it is the number one cause of illness. I do agree. It’s a good thing my blood pressure is now normal and my blood sugar has been consistently normal for the past four months since my first visit the last week of  January. I have to keep on the maintenance though, it’s for life.  He said to always be happy and look on the brighter things. Everyone of us has problems to overcome.

I suddenly remember one of our favorite topics before on our page at Facebook. Which is more important, the journey or the destination?  The journey would always be difficult somehow but then there is a certain kind of joy when we reach our destination. Maybe our attitude towards reaching our dreams counts a lot.The road maybe sometimes rough and treacherous but we carry on. We want to take a glimpse of what lies ahead.

Can’t believe it. My son is turning thirty-three tomorrow.  Seems like only yesterday when we would walk together to the next street in our subdivision, he, to go to school and I, to wait for my FX service in going to work.  We had adopted this ritual of listening to a fifteen minute Bible reading and reflections in one of the FM stations on radio by a Dominican priest.  It was aptly called The Sounds of the Soul. Along the way, we would discuss what we heard and learned. Those were the days that I miss.  The program is gone now replaced by morning news. Until now, my son and I still go together to attend mass on Sundays. Sometimes,  he attends one in the morning with me and one in the evening with his girlfriend.  He never forgets our Sunday obligation.  Looking forward to a simple birthday celebration. He’ll be on vacation leave for a few days.

I am into memoirs now, a two-series books by Susan Cutsforth, a journey of taking risks, living an extraordinary life in a town somewhere in France. I can’t help but compare the writings with that of Peter Mayle’s trilogy, memoirs about his stay in Provence. I love the latter’s works. He is a British author

How was your weekend?

 

Read Full Post »


My daughter Nissa brought my four-year old grandson to her office the other day. He was there the whole day and enjoyed the office atmosphere with Nissa’s office mates.  Yesterday, Nissa came home after work and they had this somewhat innocent conversation:

First thing Nate said when I got home:
You forgot to bring me, Mom!
Me: Where?
Nate: To the office!
haha, nawili ang bata.

I laughed while I read this short post.  Nate is a very friendly kid. He always has that ready “Hi” for everyone.

Nate at Nissa’s office. The only time he was quite behaved was when he watched his favorite cartoon movies.

The joy of being a child. Every day is happiness.

Read Full Post »


Maybe those old songs that I played on YouTube triggered it. I don’t know but those times when we were kids seemed so vivid in my memory.

My two brothers and I lived in the province when we were growing up until we graduated in grade school when Dad decided to transfer us to the University of Sto. Tomas where we finished high school and  college.   During our younger  days, Mom used to go to Metro Manila to be with Dad and we were left in the care of my maternal grandmother and my unmarried aunt.  We lived in their old ancestral house with two older cousins.   My aunt just visited our house every day to water the plants and to feed  the chickens in our yard. Those were the days, I could recall them now.

I wonder what’s with Royal True Orange and crackers. I remember that when we get sick, we would have a bottle of Royal True Orange and  crackers by our bedside.  Back then,  the doctor in our town makes home visits.   I wonder how he managed to divide his time between those home visits and caring for other sick people who visits the Municipal Health Center.  There is always a ready tube of Liberol Ointment when we get colds. I wonder if it is still in the market until now but it was very effective for chest and back rub for us.  It’s been decades since I saw a tube of that liniment.

My oldest aunt (Mom’s side) had a sari-sari store in the barrio where we lived before.  Fancy having those Vicks candies with free plastic rings inside. My girl cousin and I would collect different colors and put them on our fingers. The world of kids. I also remember those crunchy but hard biscuits  my aunt used to sell per piece. They were shaped like bracelets.

I also remember this – madre  cacao. My dad used them as perimeter fence in our property there in the province. They produce lovely flowers  during  the summer months and we would use the young stems to curl our hair and make them wavy.   We had annatto seeds  to color our lips even if the fresh seeds are pungent.  Back then I didn’t even know that the dried seeds and extracted annatto oil  were used as food color.  I only knew of their use when Dad introduced me in the kitchen.

When we were kids, my oldest brother and I were fond of climbing trees in our backyard. We had guava trees, star apples and tamarind trees.  We would gather  ripe cashews and  save the seeds which contain the nuts inside.   We would roast them and eat the hot nuts.  We sometimes eat the ripe yellow fruit, slice it thinly and put a little salt on top.   Duhat fruits or Java plums are plenty during the summer months.  There will always be a duhat tree in the backyard or at our neighbor’s which we used to climb back then. Locally, the fruits  are called lomboy.

Ah, the times we enjoyed those early years and I am right here reminiscing.

Read Full Post »


A friend once said, “time does not walk, it runs”.

Yes, time flies! And before we know it, the month of May will be gone.  Time does not tarry, it just goes on. Yesterday was another lovely day of celebrating. We opted to eat out for lunch to celebrate Mother’s Day a week after. It was the only time Nissa’s family was available.  How nice to dine at Savory Restaurant after almost three decades of  going in one of their branches.  They have a new branch at SM East Ortigas Mall so we tried it. The price of  the food is still reasonable after all these years.

I discovered this lovely quaint shop called Miniso, a Japanese store. It’s one of Nissa’s favorite stores.  It has been there since SM Ortigas opened last December but I didn’t notice or maybe it’s because I  seldom go window shopping. They have skin care and beauty products, food and drinks, kikay kits, hair accessories, jewelries, head phones, phone holders, keyboards, clothing etc. You name those small things dear to a woman’s heart and they are all displayed there. They have more than a thousand branches worldwide since they opened back in 2013. I told Nissa that one of these days, I would go back. I bought a face mask, so different from the ones I usually buy at Mercury drug stores. You can even choose a design to your  liking.  I don’t go out without face mask on. The air in Metro Manila is not safe and healthy. Pollution from cars, buses, jeepneys and what have you are things you encounter if you are a daily commuter.

It was also one of those weekends that I was inspired again to bake cookies. I made a whole lot of chocolate raisin cookies. Nate said it was yummy. I reduced the sugar by half since the raisins and chocolate baking bits are  already sweet.  We still have some left, just perfect for those cups of tea or coffee.

The joy of discovery, the joy of baking, the joy of bonding with family….another priceless weekend.

Read Full Post »


Last Saturday, Josef and I chanced upon fresh guavas in the market.  They were a bit costly though because I think guavas are not really in season now. But I was longing for sometime, Sinigang na Bangus sa Bayabas.  You may call sinigang fish stew or soup which may be flavored with sour ingredients like tomatoes, tamarind, vinegar or what have you.  You add green pepper for the taste. Bayabas is guava in Tagalog. Wow, it tasted simply wonderful.

I paired it with  crunchy fried zucchini as appetizer. What a lovely Saturday lunch we had.

I heard  Nate  shout over the phone “Happy Mother’s Day Nonna, Happy Birthday” early morning yesterday I laughed.  Maybe he equates mother’s day with celebrating birthdays too. We were not able to see  each other yesterday because Nissa’s family had lunch with her in-laws. That’s okay though because we will have a late family  celebration  Saturday next. Nate just finished his one-week kiddy training workshop at McDo last Friday and he was awarded a certificate being The Best of the Best. I had it on a separate blog post here. So proud o him. He did it on his own.

I so love weekends.  Family bonding is still the best.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »