Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The simple and delightful world of Origami

My good friend Gal is so into origami. She’s addicted to it. She brings with her some great, beautiful colored papers at work and plays with it whenever she can. My other good friend Jessa (who I fondly call “Sang”), gave Gal a surprise birthday present with a collection of origami inside it. It was a superb gift. Handmade and straight from the heart. I on the other hand failed to come up with something for Gal’s birthday. Good thing Sang asked me to gift wrap the gift. I did so with so much pleasure! In fact, I think I worked at a gift wrapping section of a store in my past life (lol).

From left to right: Jessa (a.k.a. 'Sang"), the gift I wrapped, and Gal with her Birthday goodie.

This is only one of Gal’s work of art. Well, I only managed to snag one and hid it under my shirt (lol!), just kidding! I asked her if I could have it. I brought it to my desk and took a picture of it. I really enjoyed playing with Gal’s mouse (lol). I hope you find it cute, too!

This is Gal's Origami.

Kare - Kare Recipe

It’s lunch time here now and I am craving for a hot bowl of my favorite kare-kare. This dish is a bestseller in our family. My mother knows how to cook a lot of Filipino dishes. I, on the other hand, am more inclined to eating than cooking (lol).

I love the creamy, rich, thick paste of this dish. It is so delicious and just so yummy. One mouthful will send your taste buds sky rocketing to the heavens!

I am going to share the recipe of this dish in this post. I found the recipe online. It is pretty much the same as my mom’s (I couldn’t find mom’s so I just look it up in the Internet).

Well, here goes the Kare-Kare recipe:

Estimated cooking time: 2 hours


· 1/2 kilo beef (round or sirloin cut) cut into cubes (for a more traditional kare kare, use cleaned beef tripe instead of beef)
· 1/2 kilo oxtail, cut 2 inch long
· 3 cups of peanut butter
· 1/4 cup grounded toasted rice
· 1/2 cup cooked bagoong alamang (anchovies)
· 2 pieces onions, diced
· 2 heads of garlic, minced
· 4 tablespoons atsuete oil
· 4 pieces eggplant, sliced 1 inch thick
· 1 bundle Pechay (Bok choy) cut into 2 pieces
· 1 bundle of sitaw (string beans) cut to 2" long
· 1 banana bud, cut similar to eggplant slices, blanch in boiling water
· 1/2 cup oil
· 8 cups of water
· Salt to taste

Cooking Instructions:

· In a stock pot, boil beef and oxtails in water for an hour or until cooked. Strain and keep the stock.
· In a big pan or wok, heat oil and atsuete oil.
· Sauté garlic, onions until golden brown, then add the stock, toasted rice, beef, oxtail and peanut butter. Bring to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes. Salt to taste.
· Add the eggplant, string beans, pechay and banana bud. Cook the vegetables for a few minutes - Do not overcook the vegetables.
· Serve with bagoong (Shrimp paste) on the side and hot plain rice.

I hope you'll enjoy cooking this very delicious treat! I am sure your family will love you more for it!

The Pink Panther

I know I’m supposed to do some chores today. But I couldn’t stop blogging. I think my brain is just in a super hyper mode today (lol)!

After posting my first post for today, I continued to sit by the computer, having some coffee while listening to some songs. After which I decided to watch a movie. I wanted to watch something funny and relaxing. I found our Pink Panther DVD. So I guess that made a good choice for today.

I am now sitting by the PC (still), laughing to my hearts content and blogging about Inspector Jacques Clouseau. I find the movie very wacky and chaotic. Where everything and anything that could go wrong goes wrong (lol)!

The part where Inspector Clouseau was learning how to speak English really got to me – so hard I couldn’t stop laughing. I choked, and boy, the coffee was really hot (lol)! Man, how could he not say 'Hamburger" correctly? That really made me laugh so hard, my whole body just couldn't stop shaking (lol)!

Steve Martin and Jean Reno really did justice to this movie remake. It’s really great! Superb! Kevin Kline and Beyonce were both outstanding!

Now! I really must start doing some chores and start cleaning my mess (lol)!

Lolo, this one's for you

My grandfather died when I was in my 2nd year in high school. It was a very painful experience. My cousins loved gathering together every Christmas and New Year at my grandparents’ house. My grandfather was the only link linking all of us. My grandmother… well, she’s just different. She loved gossiping with the neighbors than spending quality time with her own children and grand children. I grew up noticing all these bad qualities that my grandmother has and I have grown to despise people with the same qualities (and I have become an expert at avoiding them too!).

My grandfather was a very gentle man with a very big heart. He was a retired army. A veteran. He also had some medical training and had served at the army hospital during his younger days. He loved dotting on all of us. He had no favorites. All of us were equal in his eyes. We called him “Lolo”. In our dialect, it means grandpa. I remember spending my summers at my grandparents’ house together with my cousins. That was where I learned how to do most of the household chores (I even learned how to cook rice without using a rice cooker!) Birthdays were a big event too. We always had goodies waiting for us all when someone in the family is celebrating his/her birthday. How I missed those times!

Things started to change right after his death. My ever notorious grandma had a lot of things changed. She had the house changed (she took the store out and replaced it with a tiny, weeny room that had poor air ventilation. I honestly don’t think a mouse would survive a night in there!). She got rid of most of my grandpa’s belongings (we couldn’t find any of his tools anywhere!). Then my aunt died – to which my grandma failed to attend both the wake and the funeral. She purposely didn’t show up during her own daughter’s wake and funeral! Can you imagine that?!?! Oh well… have I told you my grandma was just different? Well… now you know.

I miss my grandpa so much. I miss my Lolo Julian. Sometimes I wish it was grandma who died and not him. I know it’s a bad thought but that’s how I feel. Now, our ancestral home (my grandparents house) is about to be taken away from us. My grandma thinks and believes she needs to give it to charity – even when her own grandchildren, who lives right next to her house, my late aunt’s family, badly needs a house of their own! Wow, my grandma is really a one of a kind. Don’t you agree?

Well, enough about my grandma. This post is supposed to be about my beloved grandpa.

Lolo, wherever you are right now, I know you are looking down at us. I know Aunt is with you. Somewhere. In a place we cannot follow. I will be seeing you again – but not yet. This one’s for you:

For the brave things you have done
Serving the country at times of war.

For the gentle way you have loved us all
Looking back surely would make us all cry.

For the many wonderful things in life you have showed us
Thanking God for each blessing sent our way.

For the many ways you have guided us
Our mothers have become the best because of you.

For the many wonderful memories you have left behind
I keep yearning for more.

For all the wonderful things you have instilled in us
I thank you for being the best grandpa in the whole world!

We miss you.

I love my Crocs!

Time flies when you’re having so much fun. And that’s true for me specially after having my first pair of Crocs shoes. I was born with ugly, big and long feet. I remember my mother’s frustration when it was time for me to have new shoes. It was very hard looking for one that will fit me. My growing up years has been so full of sad memories when it comes to foot wear. When girls my age were wearing cute, sexy and strappy sandals, I was forced to wear “uni-sex” foot wear that looked like it were men’s shoes! I had to endure that all throughout my highschool life. When I was in college, I preferred rubber shoes (atleast, uni-sex rubber shoes doesn’t look too “manly”). But still, that didn’t hide the fact that I wanted to wear sexy, strappy shoes. I was very envious of girls who had cute, small feet.

When I started working, I began to invest in really good shoes. I love Rusty Lopez’s shoes. They have big sizes too! But, it wasn’t as durable as I want them to be. Being a clumsy walker, I trip and stumble most of the time. And I always have to worry about broken or torn foot wear. Then my officemates started wearing these colorful rubber shoes. I got so curious about them that I started checking it.

(These are the ones I already have)

I finally bought 2 pairs of Crocs. And after 8 months of rain or shine weather conditions, I am glad to announce that it still looks brand new. The soles have not thinned out, my feet are so comfy in it and they look sleek and stylish too!

Hmmm, this Christmas I know what to get for myself. I have been eyeing the Red Alice shoes by Crocs. And oh, I want the brown, the violet and the blue one too! Geezz… looks like I’m really addicted to it now (lol)!

Me and my poor eyesight

I broke my glasses a few months ago. I just had it repaired recently. I bought a pair of contact lenses too – but, silly, careless me lost one of it. So right now, my glasses are in good working condition (hehehe after having the lenses and nose pad replaced, it looks like it’s brand new!).

I started wearing glasses when I was in my senior year in college. After getting tired of sitting at the back in the classroom (because I am taller than the average Filipina, I am expected to sit at the back to give others a clearer view of the board), squinting to see what my professor has written on the board and borrowing my classmate’s notes, I finally went to have my eyes checked. That was when I found out I was near sighted with myopic astigmatism (I hope I got the term correctly).

When I started working at the call center, I upgraded to wearing contact lenses (of course, I was earning more than what I did with my past job, lol). The only problem? My eyes got too dry and sore. I had to make sure I apply my eye solution every now and then. But I must admit, wearing contact lenses made me feel so FREE. For the first time, I felt like I had perfect vision! It felt so great having the perfect vision I have always dreamed about. And then, I lost one of it. Right now, I am planning on getting myself a new pair of contact lenses. And this time, I am going to be very careful and not lose one of it!

Just another day

I just woke up a couple of hours ago. Slept long and well. Finally had the sleep that I have needed so badly. Working early in the morning is really just not for me. I am not a morning person. I hate getting out of bed in the wee hours of the morning. I just hate it. Period (lol).

Since today is my rest day, I have a lot of things in mind. I just hope I can accomplish them all before the end of the day. Among the ones on my priority list is to re-arrange my room (it’s my mini jungle right now lol). I am also thinking about going to the cemetery to light a candle for my late relatives. Maybe I’ll call my cousins so we could all go together. The more you are, the merrier you will be (so they say! lol).

So, I better get going now. Maybe have some tea ( I think I better have a cup of hot coffee to really wake me up right now lol), and then do my chores. Hopefully, everything gets done by the end of the day.

Wish me luck!