Friday, November 27, 2009

going green

i just have to share this.

i know my past blog entry was about a fish dish and here i am presenting you with another one *teehee*.

it's just simple fish and shrimps in green curry and although i thought the recipe at first was too daunting what with its numerous variety of spices and condiments and ingredients which i don't really know existed, i somehow manage to concoct something instant yet equally filling.


fish fillet (the lady at the supermarket tells me the variety that they had then was malapad na hasa-hasa, i don't know how it looks like when un-filleted so i didn't bother asking)

medium sized shrimps, shelled except for its tail (for effects i guess)

a tablespoon of green curry paste (which i merely picked up on the shelf)


green apple

chili leaves

green peas

a cup of coconut milk

soy sauce

chili flakes (optional)


saute ginger and curry paste
add fish and shrimps and saute it for about 5-10 minutes
add coconut milk let it simmer for 10 minutes
add in soy sauce, chili leaves and green apples
serve hot

and yes, when i mean hot it's really steaming hot and spicy. i must have eaten too much rice.

adding green apple was a technique i learned when we had this dish at Les Caraibes in Batangas. i'm not a fan of sayote nor cucumber and potatoes seem so ordinary. the crispiness of the apple was a refreshing contrast to the spicy kick of the curry and creaminess of the coconut milk. heavenly!

washing it down with Gilbey's Premium with green tea extract may also be a good idea. happy green friday!

Monday, November 23, 2009

something fishy

the truth is, i'm not really that a big fan of fish dishes. i find it malangsa and tinik ng isda irritates me. i don't mind having grilled or fried fish once in a while though. but frying fish in my tiny home with poor ventilation just gives me headaches. i can't stand the smell. and i don't eat paksiw and only tries out sinigang or tinola once in a while.

but since i'm not really getting any younger, i am slowly cutting down on red meats and now prefer concentrating on fruits, veggies and white meat instead.

i am now on the look out for simple fish dishes. i know i can't just forever have fried fish after all. i am currently a fan of this website and hopes to be able to prepare varied recipes.

here's my first attempt, baked fish fillet with mushrooms:

a few slices of filleted maya-maya
sliced mushrooms
olive oil
salt and pepper
onion powder

it is fairly simple, i seasoned the fish with salt, pepper,basil and onion powder (fresh onions may be used, i can't stand it's smell so i'm using powder instead hihi).
drizzle some olive oil on the pan and arrange the fish and mushrooms on it. bake for 15 minutes (well, i don't have a real oven so i merely plopped it in my oven toaster for 15 minutes).
and just like that, it is done!
you may want to add a zest of lemon and some butter for added flavor.
or some more seasoning, your choice.

if you have any other fish dishes please let me know, but nothing complicated please.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

experiencing summer

watching 500 Days of Summer made me realize that i am really not the pseudo-relationship type of girl. i could well relate with those free-willy, unlabeled, take-each-day-as-it-comes stuff but eventually both of you has to decide as to what the relationship should truly be about.

back in junior year, i learned this kinda big word from Fr. Dacanay for our Theo 131 class which is the "cathexis" from Scott Peck's the Road Less Traveled, it generally means "the collapse of one's ego boundaries". we let another person into our lives. we suddenly become bold and open, brutally frank and honest to this person. we are no longer coy in showing our true selves.

for a while i thought it so alien, so much more of a mystery to this rather proud self.

but you know what, time would come and you do find that person and have that eureka! moment.

you find yourself blushing and smiling by yourself. you would feel that icky, tingly sensations in your tummy. you might deem it as corny, cheesy, embarrassingly giggly but whether you admit it or not, being with the person and sharing yourself with them is just so freakishly wonderful.

but it doesn't end there. it should not end there. cathexis is not yet love.

one needs to decide to love.

love is not that bubble gum-my, strawberry scented feeling.

it involves a conscious act. an informed decision.

do you really want to go on waste each other's time playing and feeling giddy without really giving the other that security as to where it should lead to?

i once thought i could be that all-too modern girl who could feel all those wondrous feelings without having anything to hold on to.

to continue going on with the flow.

to merely allow it to take you wherever it is going to take you.

but labeling, boxing, putting words and tags in to what you have could actually make it feel so much better. you don't need to impose any more regulations, you only have to admit to both yourselves that "yes, i am with you, and i want you to stay with me",

and have that love story you have always wanted it to be.

otherwise, yeah, at some point in time you would have to let each other go and allow that person to find and be able to write the love story of their lives. and in the process, you open yourself up and get to find your own story too.

They made a statue of US!
The tourists come and stare at us
The sculptor's momma sends regards
They made a statue of us
and it's contagious
and it's contagious

Us (Regina Spektor)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Filipino Time

i hate waiting. i know it's a seemingly simple act but i do find it excruciating. i am generally patient with life but i simply hate it when i have to wait for something or someone.

i remember a long time back when we had a staff meeting but we could not start yet since one of the staff has not arrived. we all sat uneasily inside my boss' office, sat in silence and waited. then my office mate came in panting and apologetic but my boss seethed and said, "you don't do that again! have you no respect for other peoples' time?"

that just struck me. and i would remember it each time i have to wait up for someone.

respect for someone else's time... in meetings with friends or even for business meetings, we don't really have an exact time schedule right? we don't say 8pm instead it's dinner time or 8ish or between 8-9. and yet some people would arrive at 10pm, lol!

did you know that a year ago, Pres. Arroyo actually came out with an order that says November should be the National Consciousness Month for Punctuality and Civility? yes, there is such an order. maybe it's really about time we try to be punctual and not have to make people wait up for us unless we give advance notices. what's the use of mobile phones anyway.

i don't know why it has be on November. must be because the days are extra colder and it becomes such added effort to get up earlier? or maybe because DST in other parts of the world starts to take effect. whatever.

i am a bit guilty of being late too especially during mornings which is exactly why i don't like making appointments in the wee hours when my senses are still asleep. otherwise we have alarm clocks to SuperPoke us silly just for us to get up, don't we?

anyway, here's something from Lourd De Veyra which i caught on the news weeks ago. by the way, i am also currently hooked on ABC 5's TEN, i find their news bits more interesting and their discussions and commentaries more engaging. ;)

Saturday, November 07, 2009

finding our own piece of heaven

i was browsing the net and asking people around for resort suggestions in the Batangas area for our staff retreat and felt stressed out after having been given so many, many choices. i had to draw a matrix, listed down the ideal resorts based on the location, price and amenities. i had to work on a low budget but i also didn't want to compromise quality. i finally chanced into one resort called Les Caraibes (pronounced as lei cara-ee-be) in San Juan, Batangas. it had the most competitive price, we had the option to cook or just order ala carte meals from their restaurant and it shares the same stretch of beach in Laiya with all the other resorts. i deemed it good enough and all i needed to do was hope their website and good reviews and the erratic weather work on our favor.

after about 4 hours of travel from QC passing through SLEX, Sto. Tomas, and finally San Juan in Batangas we reached the resort. we passed by Kabayan, Coco Grove, Blue Coral, Acuatico, Sabangan, Tivona and Tiramindu. farther down the beach stretch is La Luz Resort. it was drizzling a bit but the place looked calm and serene. we had a reservation in their cluster room which has 4 bunk beds and could accommodate 8 people but we saw the nearby kubos and just fell in love with its rustic, simple style. it was nearer the beach too. the kubo cost us 4000 for 2 nights and could accommodate 4 persons per room. it had a nice veranda too which served as a perfect venue for our retreat sessions.

i was initially apprehensive with the food because of the prices but it proved to be all worth it. their website after all boasts of their in house French Chef Philippe and so yes, each meal was an experience in itself. the food is delectable and truly well-prepared with all the flavors, spices, garnish and all.

these are some meals we had:

this is grilled blue marlin with lemon zest. it costs 800 but is good enough for 8 persons even more.

this pork sinigang costs 350 pesos and is said to be good for 3-4 pax but of course it was enjoyed by all 8 of us! it's not your usual maasim na sinigang sa sampaloc. we don't really know what the chef added their but it had a lot of pepper and some red spices and a lot of vegetables. it was perfect for my hangover!

this is called Moroccan chicken, it is grilled and added with orange slices, garnished with eggplant and bell pepper, parsley, etc. and added with flavored tortilla. they say it's an authentic Caribbean cuisine. it costs 800 for 8 people but we had a lot of left overs we were able to have it again for breakfast the following day.

meals cost us 1600 to 1800 for all 8 of us, it reached a whopping 2600 though on our final dinner when we had three main entrees and drinks and ice cream dessert. the price is all worth it though and we were all sated.

the sun shone brightly the following day that we were able to enjoy swimming and sunbathing. the water was cold but clear, the sand was fair, a bit coarse but not that rocky.

all in all we had a truly perfect experience. the sand may not be as powdery fine as Boracay and all those other white sand beaches but this one is good enough. and it is much nearer to Manila. the staff are all warm and accommodating, the basic amenities are well thought of and provided for. and their bar is open for 24 hours! they have great music selection too from rock, alternative, house and old blues and sounds.

given the chance, i would not mind going back and enjoying the place once more. their website is at and can be contacted at 0920-9706985.

Friday, November 06, 2009


there is no such thing as an accident.

a few days before our scheduled staff retreat, i was quite in a quandary since all of the retreat masters i've asked politely declined one after the other. plus the long weekend came which made it more difficult for us to contact anyone. i did not want to give up. i didn't want to not have any retreat taking place. i have asked for this and was granted and i could not even organize it well? argh! a day before the retreat, i was advised to just ask for a written guide and use it for us to help each other out in the process, in short, no retreat master was going to accompany us but ourselves.

out of desperation, i chose 7 topics from what the Center for Ignatian Spirituality gave me (salamat po kay Fr. Cel Reyes, SJ) since there was 8 of us including my boss. i cut out small papers, labeled the topics and ask them to pick out a number. i was a bit ashamed when i told them i'm giving them an assignment for the retreat and they were supposed to present each process in their own way. thus, each one of us was going to be the retreat master. thankfully each one received their tasks with open hearts and open minds.

we proceeded to the resort and was greeted with a truly heavenly place. although the skies were a bit overcast, it actually contributed in giving us a more relaxed and attentive disposition. and i was more amazed at how each one was able to deliver, show their creativity and help bring out the emotions and the real feelings. i'd like to say it was the true guidance of the holy spirit. we were able to share ourselves and at the same time listen to each other.

on the first night after the first two sessions, i asked them to have a couple of drinks and continue with our sharing maybe and just relax. the resort's bar is open 24 hours btw. we ordered a pitcher of sex on the beach, the cocktail drink. there were 5 of us sharing the drink, while the two guys ordered beer. one son of the owners was there and he offered us sisig as a freebie, he jammed with us and even asked for song requests. we had such a great time. before we were supposed to call it a night he offered us another pitcher this time it was margarita. waah! but such freebie was so good to pass up eh? we finished the drink, talked, shared some more and finally crawled back to our cottage at past 3am! and my boss-pari who retired ahead said he woke up at just before 4am hehehe...

tried it once and never again.
ayoko na po ng sex on the beach kahit kelan!

i woke up with such a bad hangover. i was puking and feeling faint each time. one of my officemates cursed me for letting him drink haha! it was such a bad feeling i thought we could not go back into the retreat process anymore.

my boss-pari was laughing at us after hearing how much we've shared and opened up to each other. in vino veritas indeed. amidst headaches and some kremil-s and Filter's Take a Picture running in my mind that entire morning, i eventually felt better and washed the hangover with the piping hot sinigang we had for lunch. salamat po, Lord.

and the sun came out and we were able to take a stroll on the beach, take naps, went back to the sessions, reflected, prayed, shared, cried, and cried again.

we were a bit exhausted each time that we most often vented it out on food. ang sarap kumain! but then food at the resort was exceptional. each meal was and experience. we would always have to savor and relish and guess what kind of ingredient or spices the food has. even the sinigang had several flavors our taste buds could recognize.

on our last day, the sun continued to shine brightly that we were able to swim and enjoy the waters. it was a fun relaxing feeling.

to end our retreat, we had our simplified mass and more sharing on impressions and evaluations. everything came out well. as our boss said, the best retreat master is indeed ourselves and our Maker. what we needed was some guidance and everything just flowed freely and meaningfully.

it was a different kind of retreat. we were on the beach, we could enjoy to our heart's content, even allowing alcohol to serve as balms. we directed each other and learned from the other's life stories and realizations.

it was unorthodox and unconventional alright but the results proved to be more effective and caused more impact.

Indeed He has His own ways of unraveling His graces and most often we get to discover it in the most uncanny circumstances.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

the e-passport

i have just applied for the e-passport after dilly-dallying on it for a while. the last time i had it renewed was through courier service since i really hate those long queues and the travel all the way to DFA in Pasay.

this process however proved to be quite a more convenient experience. here are the quick steps:

1. make an appointment by signing up at the DFA website click on the e-passport and fill in the data. you will automatically receive an email in your account confirming your application. after a couple of days, you will receive another email detailing your schedule.

2. prepare your requirements, this will consist of a print-out of your letter/email, an accomplished application form which you can also download in the website, a photocopy of your passport details (front and back info page), recent stamps/visa (if any), your old passport/s, and your fee. rates are at Php950 for 14-working days, Php 1300 for an expedited process (7 working days). photo taking will be done during the process so wear your formal shirt with collar.

3. come to the appointment early, proceed directly to Gate 3 and Window 28. vehemently ignore the fixers, they could become totally annoying. look for the guards if you need questions and directions. at the Window 28, you need to submit all your requirements. you will be given a voucher and will have to pay at the cashier where you will be given a receipt. then proceed to the second floor for the picture taking and biometrics (thumbmarks and signatures and basic information). once this is done, then you are done! it was over in less than 30 minutes.

4. you can opt to avail of their courier service in case you don't want to go back anymore to pick up your new e-passport. proceed to the basketball court (yes, there's such a court in our DFA office!) and search for your chosen courier service providers like aboitiz 2go, DHL, LBC, etc. rate is at Php99-100.

now for my bloopers and anecdotes .


i thought i had it all figured out, my appointment was for 9-10am so i thought of leaving the house by 7:30 and just take the LRT2-MRT route which i hoped will take me to the DFA by 8:30. but yay, the MRT was jampacked! i waited for 3-4 trains and i could still not squeeze my tiny self in! it was almost 9am so i had no choice but to retreat and hail a cab instead. napamahal pa tuloy ako, oh well.

-i say vehemently refuse those fixers, i almost fell into one haha! imagine there was this girl who approached me as i neared the gate who introduced herself as a "guide". she told me i should get into this place where i'm supposed to get my "priority number". i almost went inside but took a second look, my it was a mini carenderia. although there was a table and a guy sitting behind it, there was no one else there. i hesitated and eventually left the place and walked away fast haha! i saw a guard farther up who was holding a megaphone telling all those fixers to stay away. and i finally saw the tiny gate with an obscure DFA sign, yehey!

- there's a dizzying alley that leads to the main doors and i finally felt safer as guards abound and those fixers were no longer allowed entry.

-there was no one in line at Window 28, it was past 9am but i was only applicant number 19.

-there is a separate cashier for e-passports as well and i was served in no time.

-i had my picture taken at the second floor, if you are lucky and there's no one next to you could actually request for retakes till you are satisfied with your photo. hey, this is after all your passport for the next 5 years! if you could help it though, ask for an afternoon appointment. you really can't go there and smile wearing your just-woken up face, or have that look of someone who just had an all-nighter. haay, i looked like an old haggard woman in my picture. or maybe i'm really just getting old already. i've got creases, wrinkles on my face, sigh.

-i chose aboitiz 2go to deliver my passport, it says though that i'm only getting it by Nov. 20. matagal din pala. but at least i'm done with the process and all i can do now is wait.

-before i left the DFA area, i went back to that mini carenderia and took a photo, heto po siya:

imagine, i'm supposed to get my "priority number" there daw? lokong mga yun ah!