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Category Archives: Satisfied and Accomplishments

Things I’m Thankful For This 2011

The year is almost over. And as we aim for new hopes and dreams in the incoming year, I look back and list down what made 2011 a year to be thankful for.

1) Gadgets : Who wouldn’t want new “toys”? As the mid-year approaches, I got my dream new Macbook Pro through accumulated royalties from my book illustrations. I also got a new mobile phone. It’s not the iPhone that I wanted but a family friend gave my an old model though secondhand Blackberry for FREE.

2) For my parents: Despite the non-talking relationship, individually they were able to survive and surpass health challenges.

3) Financial ups and downs: Still having problems in budgeting and saving up. I still have debts but here I am surviving, and striving ;)

4) Free out of town trips: Unlike the previous years, I usually travel out of the country at least once a year. But due to monetary constraint, no travels for me this year. But I am thankful for out of town trips invitation by close family friends Ü

5) Tita Julie and Tito Johnny: They are the close family friends we have. I’m thankful that their humility and kindness are shared to me, Nanay and the rest of my family.

6) My work, colleagues and friends from old work, old clients and old school: Who are still there despite my breakdowns and sudden burst of singing (with actions) when being carried away from the songs I’m listening to. Meeting up some once at least a year. Texts or BBM exchanges once in a while. Sorry for my sudden appearances and disappearances. Sorry I can’t always be there for all of you. Forgive my shortcomings, like not replying immediately or not meeting you guys. There are reasons why I couldn’t. But rest assured, I may not be there always but you all guys are in my thoughts, heart and prayers.

7) My virtual boyfriend and best friend, Jose: For still being there and not getting mad at me on my stupidest decisions and actions. We both have dramas and moments in life but it’s been tried and tested… beautiful people attract and stick to each other no matter what.  (Love you, Chong! *hugs*)

8) My best friend from far and away, Annie: We seldom talk, chat and email but when we do it’s just like gold old college times. Distance and time don’t matter. It didn’t hinder friendship, that’s for sure. (Miss you, Annie Banani! Love you!)

9) Chico and Delamar’s (and now with Gino!) The Morning Rush, Glee, The Big Bang Theory,  Happy Endings and Adele: The TV series helped me survive my everyday life and get lost from it once and awhile. The Kikay Barkada: Chico, Del and Gino morning antics are my weekday alarm clocks and boosters for sudden laughs and life’s scenarios to think about. And Adele, oh Adele! Your songs spoke of my “moments” specially this last quarter.

10) That guy, who is well, quite special (and he knows it): Who came, then disappeared, then came back once more. A simple text message, a phone call, and a simple meet up in our old university will overpower all the tears and heartaches I’ve gone through. Stupid, crazy love I guess. We’re not together, we can’t. But we know that we’re there for each other as friends, best friends hopefully.

2011 is not my best year, but it wasn’t bad. I’m hoping that 2012 will be better and brighter. Hopefully I’ll be sharing more stories, ideas and experience more frequently in the coming year.

Wishing everyone, a blessed, peaceful and prosperous new year!

Cheers!

 

Ending, Leaving and (Hopefully) Starting Anew

I can finally say that November 2011 was a crazy month for me. Last year’s was recalling my birthday celebration in Bangkok, birthday greets to my friend Gian and Audrey and a few posts of Peanuts comic strips. I guess the similarities of last year’s November with this years aside from the birthday was being busy with work.

 

But this month of this year is really the craziest I can remember.

  • deadlines
  • weekend out of town
  • get togethers
  • meet ups
  • going home in the province
  • going out of town commuting (for the first time)
  • arguments and debates (and giving in despite arguing)
  • emotional roller coaster in a matter of 24 hours

I’m glad in an hour it’s over.

Perfection won’t be as it is without flaws and deficiencies. I was at my happiest at one point this month and also on my lowest and unimaginable state perhaps. I’ve realized something and chose a path beyond expectations of anyone who knows me and still holding to it despite being attacked and judge.

I thank November for making me realize that I’ve never prayed hard enough. It made me figure out that I’ve neglected God that’s why He gave me a nudge or two. November made me talk to God like He’s just across me. I’ve never prayed and talked to Him that way without realizing I was crying already.

I leave it be. I leave those that happened as November ends in a few minutes. I bring with me realizations November brought me. Big, BIG realization… and action that should go with it.

 

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The Faces of My Daily Morning Dose: The Morning Rush

I’m currently a silent rusher. For those who don’t know what a “rusher” mean, this is a term used or called upon those who listens to Monster Radio RX 93.1’s The Morning Rush. It’s the stations morning show hosted by the dynamic duo, Chico and Delamar.

I’ve been their listener since my college days, hmmm… way back in the late 90’s: when they do their random calls live on air (even dialing another radio station), their segment of Kikoy and Kikay (are my names right?) among the other stints they did. I was staying in a dormitory and sharing a room with 2 other ladies. I believed I’ve influenced these roommates of mine to listen to the show since I’m always the earliest to get up and it became a habit to switch on the radio and tune in. Oh did I mentioned I bought their cassette tape where their famous Goodbye Song is included. The statement I just released, that surely dated me and the show :p

I may not be like the rest of the rushers who’s actively text or call in to answer on their TOP 10. I admire those avid listeners even envy them for they’ve raised their relationship to just being a listener to even a personal friend of the jocks. But considering how silent I was before, I’m more active now. I guess that’s an improvement. I text or tweet once in a while. I even won a Greenwich gift certificate when my entry became number 1. I think the topic has to do with gay quotes if I’m not mistaken. That moment gave me a chance to visit the booth and finally meet both Chico and Delamar in person ^_^

My first (March 2010) visit to RX and meeting the jocks at their old station

Photo above was not quite good for bragging. I guess that’s why I wasn’t able to blog that I just posted it on my Facebook account.

So, yesterday my plans of dragging my cousins who I can proudly say I’ve influenced, to go to the 15th Anniversary of The Morning Rush’s EB was a success. The EB was at Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf in Emerald Ave. Ortigas Center. It was jammed pack so we decided to just wait for the crowd to a bit go and “strategize”.

My cousins, Issa and Lyn with Chico Garcia of The Morning Rush

My turn! Thanks Lyn for taking our photo

We caught Chico (actually, intercepted I think was the right term) on his way to join a group of rushers waiting for them. And thanks to my really old and could be considered classic Canon Powershot G5, we’ve had  a few exchanges of words because Chico recognized my trusty but not rusty camera ^_^

Chico, if you can read this thanks for letting us have that photo op. And I have to say, that colored part hair of yours made my cousin see you from a far. Parang senyales na “Hoy! Nandito sa ilalim ng may kulay na buhok na ito si Chico!”

My cousin with Hot Momma Delamar in her maxi dress (very beautiful with her baby bump)

I'm with Hot Momma Delamar! (She was teased that day for sending a "Dora The Explorer" vibes! Crazy!)

We thought we’d miss Delamar but again, I guess fate that day was nice to us that we again had a chance to do some interception. I think she’s about to leave and heading towards the other direction. But she’s really nice and talked to me and my cousins. I think she recognized me (not so sure though).

If you are reading this Del, thanks for talking to us mere mortals ;) Nagalit yata ‘yung “sumundo” sa’yo, di s’ya nagsa-smile kaya we said thank you naman and sorry for interrupting you guys or baka di n’ya ko narinig.

Now, these photos are worth bragging for ^_^

Honestly, I don’t know how to approach Chico or Del. With my age, my work experience and whatever things I’ve encountered in my life, I can honestly say I’m still starstruck I guess. *blushes*

Let me take this chance to say to my morning companions (and friends, kahit hindi nila alam na friend ko na sila :p)

———-

To Chico and Delamar,

You guys surely have read and heard this over and over again, but I have to save my own thanks to you both. My work day is not the same when I don’t hear you guys in the morning :( You guys have shared my mornings more than my family I guess since I’ve been leaving independently and away from my family from high school days till today. Your voices are like my alarm clocks and time indicators in the morning (kasi ever 15th of the hour ‘yung news then every 30 mins ‘yung Top 10). It tells me if I’m staying too much in bed when I should be pulling myself up already or if I’m staying too long in the shower or CR (sorry too much information). You are like vitamins that I should take in the morning. If I didn’t catch the show, there’s something missing in me that day. Parang kulang kapag di ako nakatawa ng malakas sa umaga :p  Weird as it may sound but you guys are like friends to me that gave advice, shared jokes and laughs, even those moments in just merely playing songs that pushed a certain button in me that sudden there’s waterfalls of tears coming out from me. Without you knowing it, the morning craziness you broadcast fills not just my room but myself as well ^_^

Thanks again to both of you. I’ll try to come back on EBs or visit your booth when it’s possible. But I assure you, if I can’t be there physically like the other rushers, I’m always listening, sharing the laughs and crying those tears too. Thanks for the 15 years and wishing you another 15 more or so together in the show, as morning partners, as best friends and as kumare and kumpare (Del, are you getting Chico as ninong or si Jacky Chanak?).

Thanks guys.

Cheers! (Coffee ‘yun, decaf ‘yung kay Del) ^_^

 

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That Happiness Came From A Box

Been busy the past month and yes, it still is this month. But there were good and bad things that happened. But like every storm that comes, a sign of hope arrives.

It started from the crashing incident of my work iMac. Then a few days later, Lucky (The Survivor), my lolo Powerbook gave signals of breaking down. Well, all its innards are still intact and kicking. It’s just the monitor that flickering and suddenly turning black. But the thing is, since it’s “ancient” parts are already faced out :( But then came the blessing: an email from my book publisher. My long forgotten royalties from the children’s book I illustrated accumulated to let’s just say enough to pay my rent for a couple of months, a few bills AND a new MacBook Pro ^_^

I’ll just make it quick. Since this had been announced more than a month ago and has already been posted in Facebook, next will be the series of photos that once in a while I look back and smile with my head shaking. Thanks to Myles for capturing and sharing with me (and who by the way, is also excited that time as well) these moments…

Pulling out the box from the box (See! The box has my name on it. Its mine... MINE!!!)

Ummmm... the smell of good new Apple computer. Its been more than a decade since I first smell that crisp, "new" scent.

Whooohooo... My Happiness in a box of Apple

Thunder, thunder, thunderbolt... hooooooo!!! (Corny!)

Before I remember Myles captured my happiness smile because of another box: a box of J.Co Donuts which I also blogged almost the time last year. I guess happiness for me always comes from a box? :p What could be my next happiness box? Could it be that tiny blue box? Nah. That’s impossible! Hahaha :p

———-

Oh. I do have a habit of naming my favorite things. But a week had passed and I haven’t given it a name yet. For less than a week I called it Mac•Kee but it was too common as pronounced. But thanks to Milan, Myles’ eldest daughter and my inaanak or god-daughter it became Sparkee Ü

 
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Posted by on April 15, 2011 in Satisfied and Accomplishments

 

A Friendly Reminder to Brand Owners and Marketers

I’m a fan of marketoonist (marketer + cartoonist) Tom Fishburne as to how he draws issues about brands and marketing in an editorial (and funny way sometimes) for us to understand and imagine what he is talking about. It’s both a reminder and a learning he’s passing on. Like for instance, I’d like to share his latest post about marketing brands with social media…

He is right that brand owners and marketers tend to jump and join the bandwagon of being in the social media without even thinking of its risk(s). Risk to mention one is that it’s should be kept alive, interactive and there should always be something new. It’s time-consuming and it needs attention and dedication. These are what we’ve always been telling our clients even before social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc) came in the picture. These reminders have been posted since the introduction of websites. Yes, websites. There are reasons of building and having a website and for heaven’s sakes websites should be updated!!! Specially if it’s intended to have such “community-building” intentions. Mr. Fishburne is right: communities are not built by the brand but it’s the consumers who believe if it’s worth to be built for and around the brand.

Going back to the Facebook, I found out the difference between “Like Us” and “Friend Us” about mid-year of last year. Those pages that has to be liked are fan pages and for those to be added as a friend it’s like taking it as a person or a friend. I don’t know it this methods came in at the same time or one after the other. I just find it funny if a brand is treated as a person just for the sake of having more “friends” to have followers. Isn’t it suppose to be consumers becoming fans of it and liking the brand then community is being built with the responsibility of the brand to sustain it be giving it’s “fans” reason to love it more and keep on coming back? I remember an illustrator friend of mine being told be another friend to build a page in Facebook for she has fans and from which she will be followed there. She finds it weird and quite self-serving if she will created her own fan page account. “Like I’m creating my own fan club”, that what she said. She preferred to have a personal FB account.

Ok, I have to admit that it’s irritating for me when brands suddenly have FB accounts specially when it’s not updated. I fear that Facebook will become Multiply that it will end up being a “selling” or “store” website. I just wish brands, their owners and marketers will ALL be responsible enough with this FREE media they are using. Like what Mr. Fisburne said: Brands lose interest because they run out of content, get distracted by other priorities, or expect immediate unrealistic results. The result is a negative social media experience, which is worse than no social media experience at all. It’s a warning. A FREE warning. Please take it that way.

Consumers are wiser nowadays. They can tell if you’re just sucking them or if you are true.

To Mr. Tom Fishburne, you did it again! *applause*

For the actual post of Mr. Fishburne check his post here.

 

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Happy 2011 Everyone!!!

My last entry for the year. Really been busy these past few days since Christmas. Been my Nanay’s assistant in getting the groceries and her sous chef. It’s just know that I get the chance to be online and… even shower!

I have no list this time. I know 2010 brought me some laughs and tears plus a few challenges on the side. But thank heavens I’m still here. Me not yet dead… (sorry to those who wished I was, ha!) So I guess what didn’t kill me should have made me stronger.

I am still hopeful of course for better days to come. I hope and pray that 2011 is better than 2010 to me, my family, my dear friends and most specially my colleagues-friends. HOM guys, like the Phoenix we’ll rise in 2011!!!

Ok, my Nanay is calling me. I need to end this now and yes, start 2011 later with great hopes in my heart. Let’s leave 2010 behind, specially the bad ones that had happened for…

Peaceful and bountiful 2011 to all of us!!!

Cheers! ^_^

 

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Odd Friendship

This image has been in my head for quite a while now. Either I was too lazy to draw it or I’m load up with work but now no more excuses! So I grabbed the Bamboo Wacom and here’s what came out of it…

In the real animal kingdom it’s not feasible to see this scenario. Who cares?! This is what I had in mind, bite me… (sorry, I’m really sensitive these days…. be warned!)

It’s a start of the last month of the year. I have to admit this year’s not the best and this December is quite a heavy month for me. The search for reasons to smile even for just awhile and to relieve not so happy moments continues. I’d say (with pride and hopefully no one contradicts) I’m proud of this quick illustration I did over Adobe Photoshop for a couple of hours. A good reason for me to smile…

Gian, I finally drew it!!! This could be Austin and Pansy Pang Pang ^_^ I’ll give you this drawing ha? It’s not as grand as the one I retouched and emailed you awhile ago but THIS illustration I’m proud to say I’ve made it and giving it to you. Belated happy birthday (ulit!) ^_^

 
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Posted by on December 1, 2010 in Drawings, Satisfied and Accomplishments

 

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Photo Splurge: Bangkok, Thailand

Just to share the sights you could be missing if you don’t drag yourself off your chair and head for Bangkok, Thailand ;)

Grand Palace (from the gates)

Inside the Grand Palace

Purple Water Lily, inside the grounds of the Grand Palace

A part of the Grand Palace grounds

Closer look

A Grand Palace "Guard"

The Buddha's Head at Wat Pho aka The Reclining Buddha

Full view of The Reclining Buddha

Entrance to the re-opened Central World

A part of the Central World Mall that was burned is still being renovated. And part of the renovation are these graphic signs that are brilliantly thought of. Amazing.

A message and reminder not just to the local Thais but to everyone!

Another message from our Thai friends and I BELIEVE these messages... I just missed the last one though ;)

Bangkok's simple yet lived tagline

There are still a more places to see and visit just in Bangkok. Plus a few more famous place in Thailand’s provinces like Ayutthaya and Chiang Mai to name a few. Chiang Mai is my next target to hopefully fulfill my longed for mission: the elephant encounter.

You can check my other photos from my previous trips starting here and here. And my lessons in my first travel to the Land of Smiles here.

Oh! I forgot to share in my previous post… the FULL view from our room’s balcony during daytime…

Bangkok Skyline from State Tower (photo stitched), click to enlarge

So, when are you planning to go have a Thailand experience for yourself? ;)

 

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Thailand and their food

Vacation won’t be complete without eating (well, that’s for my view of vacation). I have my favorites and even with this shortest Thailand trip, I shouldn’t miss the chance to eat authentic Thai food!!!

Let’s start with the drinks:

McDonald's in Thailand serves Cha Yen: Traditional Thai Iced milk tea

My new favorite drink: Lemongrass Ice Tea

A new (yet late, I know!) discovery of mine was their version of lemongrass ice tea. I so of fell in love with it and now my favorite cha yen has its competition! It’s sweet yet refreshing. For those who are lactose intolerant, I recommend this one ;)

Now for the real carbo-loading yet healthy Thai meals…

Pad Thai or some say Phat Thai is one of Thailand's national dishes: this version is with glass noodles ("sotanghon" noodle in Tagalog) instead of the usual flat rice noodles

Out of my love and among may favorite food here in Thailand is Pad Thai or locals may say or call it as Phat Thai is a dish of stir-fried rice noodles with egg, fish sauce tamarind juice, red chili pepper plus any combination of bean sprouts, shrimp, chicken or tofu, garnished with crushed peanuts, coriander and lime. This is also one of Thailand’s national dishes (definition lifted from Wikipedia). I tried cooking this dish to my friends and yet nothing beats the original and authentic dish!

 

Simple yet tasty: Crispy Egg Omelette with shrimp

 

This crispy egg omelette with shrimp is not a fancy food. Simple rice topping yet it’s tasty and my trip won’t be complete if I don’t eat at least a meal of it. I always eat this at the Siam Paragon’s food court, which I consider a haven of food… soooooo many to choose from: Thai, Japanese, Korean, etc.

 

Cute and small yet sweet and spicy: Thai sausages

Sticky Rice

 

I say it’s a simple and yet best combination of Thai meal if you’re in a hurry: Thai sausages and sticky rice. Never underestimate the size of those sausages because its spiciness bites! I always pair it with rice (no spoon or fork needed eating this kind of rice). In Siam Paragon food court, they give you blanched raw veggies when you buy a set of Thai sausages Ü

 

Thai dessert

I forgot the name of this Thai dessert (again). The bread is like a crunchy cone, same as the consistency of sugar ice cream cones but smoother and the white part is a thick and sweet icing and the orange one are shredded sweetened coconut (I think) for the topping. If you have a sweet tooth this one’s what I recommend that you shouldn’t miss.

 

Let’s now go for the “branded” food in Thailand… I mean food chains that’s available or started in Thailand.

 

The Pizza Company's Tom Yum Pizza

 

Even though I missed out eating Tom Yum Goong soup, I won’t passing this one up. Authentically it’s from and only in Thailand: Tom Yum flavored pizza from The Pizza Company. The said pizza chain in known to be creating flavors or combination of flavors that some might find weird. You might find this flavor weird on a pizza but I like it (yes, i know, I’m weird!). The pizza chain by the way offers combination pizza flavors in one pan ;) I think we got there a pizza flavor with crab sticks and pineapple (I forgot the flavors name, sorry) and Tom Yum, for my request ^_^

Before I tell you the next brand, let me introduce you to their mascot:

 

MK Mascot with my cold house tea that I like too ^_^

 

Ok, to be honest, I don;t know if it has a name or if it’s even really the shabu-shabu restaurant’s mascot. But it’s always in every table and every branch of MK restaurant that I’ve eaten at holding a pen and I think that’s a mobile phone on the other with some toothpicks and comment card oh! and tissue inserted on top or back of it. Branding I say :p

 

Veggie Platter Set at MK

 

Like what I’ve mentioned, it’s a shabu-shabu restaurant where in you’ll be cooking your food. they do offer meals that are already prepared but it’s their signature I guess on the “cooking your own food” part. And for those readers who knows me as a non-veggie eating person, I did eat this meal. I eat veggies, but not all kinds of vegetables. Just a selection, a few of the kind. I’m picky you know!

 

Cooking the veggies in prepared broth

 

It does take time in this kind of restaurant but at least you have a time to have some chit-chat with your food buddy ;) Meanwhile, you can pair it up with one of their noodles in which my favorite is:

 

Jade noodles with garlic flakes

 

You can eat the noodles as it is or dip it in MK’s special spicy sauce. Or you can place the sauce in the serving of the soup you cooked…

 

Veggie soup meal: with Jade noodles and MK's special spicy sauce

 

And a proof that I ate veggies…

 

Jade noodles anyone?!!!

Hope I didn’t make you guys hungry or crave for Thai food ;)

 

 

 

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Veggie Pasta?

 

Veggie Pasta? Could be ^_^

 

Too lazy to go down my building to grab lunch yesterday so I opened my cupboard and checked what I can make of what ever I have stocked here. What I usually keep in stock are instant noodles, tea, coffee, canned tuna, pasta sauces and pasta. Since I’m just by myself, no good neighbors to share my simple home-cooked meal, I can’t a can of tuna and pasta sauce. I have no refrigerator by the way if you are thinking I can keep the leftovers. So, this is what my “imbento” pasta is made of:

 

from Oishi's website

 

• a handful of veggie pasta twist (or any kind of pasta will do)

• olive oil

• an egg

• pinch of pepper flakes

• ground black pepper (for a few more kick of spice), AND

• about a handful of (Oishi) Marty’s Baconette Strips, crushed but leave a few whole ones for garnishing ;)

You might be reacting with the last ingredient, but hey! It really does taste like bacon mind you! I so happen to have an opened bag of it so why not put in my pasta? So how do the “imbento” pasta is prepared?

First, cook pasta as indicated. Drain it. I was advised that you put oil and salt on the water so the pasta already has some flavor. After draining, don’t rinse it. Set aside.

In a deep wok or pan (but not the frying type or your have flying pastas all over later when you mix the ingredients), heat a little bit of oil for the egg. Fry the egg there and scramble it with the turner. Make sure it’s broken in pieces just enough to be seen with your pasta. Throw in the drained pasta, add a little more olive oil if desired. Sort of stir fry it. Sprinkle pepper flakes (but not too much ok?) Stir and toss. Add in the crush (Oishi) Marty’s Baconette Strip. Stir and toss again. Add the ground pepper (I like seeing black spots, like dirty on my dishes or soups, sort of making me sure it has that peppery kick of a flavor). Place it a dish and garnish. And that’s it!

‘Lo and behold, my INSTANT Veggie Pasta!!!

 

My "imbento" pasta: Veggie Pasta with (Oishi) Marty's Baconette Strips!

 

I believe it’s still vegetarian. I just checked the ingredients and it says there “nature-identical bacon flavor”. Well, I’m not a vegetarian but I do hope it’s really just a flavor-like bacon and not bacon-fat or something like that. Which makes me thinking now: could I (Oishi) Marty’s Cracklin’, their version of vegetarian chicharon as an ingredient substitute to another “imbento” meal?

Hmmm…

It’s for me to know and find out  ;)

Till next “imbento” meal (or should I name it “lazy” meal?!)

———-

By the way, this blog is not a paid advertisement of Oishi. Just so happened that I like their products and support them (by buying their other goodies as well). And besides, it’s a Filipino company ^_^

 

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