‘Di Porket Walang Sahog ay Hindi na Masarap


‘Di porket walang sahog ay hindi na masarap tulad ng ‘di porket walang make-up ay hindi na maganda. Hindi rin porket walang suot na alahas ay hindi na elegante. Hindi rin porket hindi LV o MK ang bag ay hindi na mayaman.

Inaamin ko naman. Marami akong cooking misadventures pero marunong naman ako magluto. Oo marunong talaga ako (kailangan makumbinsi ka). Marunong akong magluto ng goto, ramen at pork steak, at marami pang iba. Huwag niyo lang akong paglutuin ng sinigang, tinola o nilaga at relleno at kare-kare.

Alam ko naman na ang sagwa. Naturingang HRM grad pero hindi ako mahusay magluto. Pero marami din namang Teacher na hindi marunong magturo ah [Peace!] kaya talo-talo na.

Nagluluto ako nung isang araw ng Penne with Tomato Sauce at ang tanging sahog ko lang dun sa tomato sauce  ay bawang, sibuyas, cherry tomatoes, butter, asin at paminta at kaunting herbs.

Habang nasa proseso ako ng paggawa ng tomato sauce kung saan binubudbudan ko ng asin at hinahalo ang cherry tomatoes para maging sauce ito ay dumating ang isa sa aking mga flatmates (na kulang na lang ay kumain ng glutha para pumuti) at inusisa ang taong bihirang-bihira gumamit ng kusina.

– Anong sauce niyang pasta mo?

– Tomato sauce.

– Pinoy style?

– Hindi. Italian.

– Bakit buong cherry tomatoes yan? Ako gusto ko maliliit hiwa nung kamatis.

– Hindi mo na kailangan hiwain yung cherry tomatoes dahil maliit na ito at magiging sauce naman ito kaya hindi na mahalaga kung hiniwa mo ito o hindi.

– Anong sahog mo diyan?

– Iyan lang. Ganyan naman ang Italian pasta.

– Ay ako yung Filipino Style Sweet Spaghetti Sauce ang ginagamit ko pag nagpapasta ako at punong puno ng hotdog, giniling, carrots saka keso. Ano ba ‘yan kawawa ka naman ganyan lang ang kakainin mo.

Matapos kong magluto ay sumibat na agad ako sa kusina at di ko na siya inalok ng aking pasta. Tinanong ko ang sarili ko kung kawawa ba talaga ako gayong napakasarap ng niluto kong Penne Tomato na al dente ang pasta at mas masarap pa kaysa sa hinahain sa akin ng mga mapagpanggap na Italian Restaurant sa tabi-tabi na malabsak ang pasta dahil sa pagkakapangat dito at sa sauce na halatang ready made na.

Wala sa dami ng sahog ang sarap ng iyong niluluto. Take it from the expert. I thank you. Bow.

This isn’t a travel blog but…


It just happened that I was so unproductive yesterday in the office so I thought of diggin’ out some old photos (to get some inspiration) and clicked on a folder named Maldives. Well,  I just mentioned my unromantic love story just a bit earlier right? The love story was really quite old and I got married last year(already), of course without posting about it but now, I’m not saying that this is the right time to post it but I can’t post about my trip to Maldives without mentioning it.

So, the day I (we) got married last year is the same day that we flew to Maldives. It’s just a four-hour flight from Dubai but because we took a cheap connecting flight, it took us more hours to reach Maldives but anyhow, it is worth the long (waiting) hours.

When we reached Male, we were greeted by the hotel representatives and were escorted to the Seaplane Terminal. We waited for about 20-30 minutes before we got into the seaplane. There are hotels that can be reached by speed boat from Male but we are heading further South so we had to take the sea plane.

Seaplane 1

Seaplanes 2These seaplanes could hurt your ears, they are just too loud. It took us about 45 minutes to reach the resort. Though I must say that the ear-hurt is worth the amazing aerial view.

This is Male, the capital of Maldives.  It looks like a post card, if you’re looking at it from the seaplane.

Male 1So, after 45 minutes of ear-hurting and sight-seeing, we arrived at the resort. Angsana Velavaru offered us a lovely In-Ocean Villa,  built on top of the water, with amazing views of the horizon, the sun, the sea and the sky.

The villa has its own pool, verranda or terrace or however you may call it. It also has a 2nd floor which offers you an amazing view of…of everything. You can also have your spa treatment or breakfast or lunch or dinner or barbeques on the 2nd level, your choice.

In Ocean Villa

 

Bed
Inside the In Ocean Villa – Bed

 

Living Room
The living room

 

As I said, the 2nd level offers you the view of everything which includes your neighbors.Neighbors

Neighbors 2

And oops, I think that’s me, the mermaid on the pool.Oh it's me

It is just amazing that even though you are not a professional snorkeler or even if you can’t even swim, you can snorkel. Does that make sense? LOL. Anyway, the thing is, you can just go down from the jetty and walla! You can see all sorts of corals and fish and small sharks. See, that’s my husband on the picture. He can’t swim. He doesn’t even know how to float. But then because the water is just waist-deep and you can borrow the goggles and the life jacket from the resort’s marine center, you can then feel just like a pro. Just sad that our camera isn’t water proof. We could have taken photos of the corals and fish and small sharks swimming around.

Snorkeling

Snorkeling 2

Ok, so the hotel team knew that we just got married so they arranged a Maldivian Wedding Ceremony for me and my husband. They knocked our doors around 3pm, gave me a bouquet and we started walking from our villa to the jetty with some guys singing Maldivian songs to the beat of their loud drums. So all our neighbors walked out of their villas and watched us as we walk through the alley with all these Maldivian peeps walking with us, singing and, making loud noises drum beats.

When we reached the jetty, a speed boat was waiting for us and they took us to the hotel’s main island to do some coconut planting which is also part of the ceremony. They said, the tree will be named after us so when we come back sometime in the future we could see how the tree has grown.

Afterwards, they took us to a private island via the speedboat and there, we did the actual wedding ceremony, the I do’s and I don’ts.Wedding

Sunset Island
breathtaking Maldivian sunset

 

And after the ceremony, the team left us with a chef and a waiter. So basically there were just four of us in the whole island. I felt a little bit like Chuck Noland and Wilson for a few hours.

The friendly chef and waiter served us a nice sunset dinner by the beach.

Juice

The next day morning, we booked for  an early morning fishing trip. We were so excited to see the sun rise and to go out to the sea as early as that. I told my husband “Aria! Walang kakain hangga’t walang nahuhuling isda!’ And we both laughed.

We tried, but we didn’t get any fish. We were sad. The water was so clear that we could see tons of fish eating our baits but not getting hooked up( and how did this sound? *_*).

We went back to the villa with teary eyes but with a conviction that we will try to fish once more in the evening and won’t come back without any fish in our hands.

We spent the rest of the day snorkeling again and had lunch (didn’t I say walang kakain hangga’t walang nahuhuling isda? but we did anyway) in one of the restaurants, Azuro.

Azuro

Seriously, I can sit here, drinking watermelon juice (?!) till the sun sets every day for a week or more…. just like this. Chillin

So, afternoon came and we prepared to go fishing again. We left the island at sunset and reached the middle of nowhere after the sun has set.

You can catch all sorts of things here in the Indian Ocean, really. Emily, the Chinese staff of the hotel went with us and caught a medium size shark, maybe 4 feet long. At first, we didn’t know it was a shark but we knew it was heavy. It took 3 guys to pull it up on the boat and of course in the end, we had to let the poor shark go.

One of the Chinese guests caught something very heavy too. He cried for help. At first we thought it might be a shark again (oh how blessed the trip was!) but then when it was finally pulled up, it was a huge coral reef. I asked myself, just how did his fishing strings reached the bottom of the sea when we were in the middle of nowhere? Could his strings be longer than mine?

So after an hour in the middle of the dark sky and dark blue waters I started to feel depressed. My husband caught 2 fisheses already and the other guests inside the boat also had something on their buckets already but I still haven’t got a single one.

But then patience is a virtue. I remembered a book that I have read a longggggg time ago called The Longest Silence which is about fishing and surely from the title itself, you’ll know what it means or what the book is all about.

I felt some movement on my bait. I gently pulled it up and down and up and down and suddenly I thought I would fall off the boat as it pulled me, really hard. I pulled. And it pulled back. It was so heavy and as again I pulled the strings towards me it pulled back harder and my hands got red and the nylon strings started to hurt my fingers. I shouted. Help!

So this kind Maldivian guy took over the push and pull situation that I was in and even he had some difficulties in pulling this thing.

Fishing

And when the grace of the sea finally reached the boat, it was a beauty. I only caught one, but I caught the largest fish of the night.  A huge Red Snapper.

SnapperAnd this is what all of us got for the night. The nice blue fish in the middle was my husband’s catch (and some other smaller ones). Then you might ask what will happen to the fisheses that we caught? The answer is  a nice and fresh seafood meal the next day. Either grilled, steamed, fried, with szechuan or soy or garlic or sweet and sour sauce, our choice.

Catch of the nightI was almost on tears when the staff waved their goodbyes to us and sent us off to the seaplane.

I’m sorry for the unromanticicity of the post but more than the romance, I enjoyed the whole trip because the place was so serene and that I felt very close to the fish nature. This trip could be expensive but trust me, Maldives is worth its price. I am dying to go back again to its clear waters and its laid back lifestyle.

And so at the end of reminiscing and wanting to go back again to Maldives, I found myself so inspired and dreamy that it didn’t help with my productivity in the office yesterday.

 

 

Sunshine Award


I have no idea why ColdChickenSoup nominated me for this award but muchas gracias! So here we go!

 

RULES:

  • Thank the person who nominated you.
  • Answer the questions from the person who nominated you.
  • Nominate a few other bloggers.
  • Write the same amount of questions for bloggers you nominated.
  • Notify the bloggers on their blog.
  • Put the award button on your blog.

 

Q&A

1. What is that one song that turns you nostalgic all of a sudden?

Chasing Cars – Snow Patrol

Endless. A Silent Whisper – Urbandub

Dare You to Move – Switchfoot

Any song of Bon Jovi & Air Supply

 

2. Who is your spirit animal?

Really, I have no clue. I’m not a big fan of animals. Maybe Carebears.

 

3. Are you an old school type of person or a modern/techy type?

I am old school because I am old.

 

4. What do you do when you fail at something?

I laugh and eat ice cream.

 

5. At this point in your life, can you say that you’re completely happy? Why?

Yes I am. No reasons for it, I just feel like I’m always happy (except during PMS times).

 

And therefore I nominate:

M.I.C.H.A.E.L.A.

Renxkyoko (trolololol, please don’t hate me he he)

PinoyTransplant

Sir Plaridel

Pinoy Abroad

 

These are my questions for you guys:

1. If you could turn back the hands of time, when and where would you want to go back to and what would you like to do or change? (As for me I’d like to go back and talk to Jose Rizal and ask him several questions.)

2. What is the your favorite song at the moment?

3. What is your favorite book?

4. If there’s one place that you dream of going to, where is that and why would you like to go there?

5. We all have frustrations in life. We have dreams that never came to life. Do you have any dreams or ambitions that you really wanted to do or to be but fate never gave you a chance to pursue it? If you have what is it? (My ambition when I was a teen was to be a DJ in a radio station because I’d like to talk about music, play music, etc., And this dream, until now is hidden somewhere deep inside my ambitious heart. )

Walk Me Home


Earlier, I posed several questions here as to how to write about love. Several times have I tried writing about it but I just ended up having countless drafts. My piece would either sound so bitter or corny or sometimes it feels like the Russian winter.

Sir Caps said Uminom ka muna ng Sprite…, Wannie said Try mu ilagay yung sarili mu sa sitwasyon ng iba and Sir Plaridel said subukan mo lang. kami mga fans mo ang magsasabi kung ok o hindi. I did try to follow the suggestions except the first one :P

So I told myself, maybe I have to start writing down my own experiences and see how far I can go. And so here is the saga of Aysabaw’s not so romantic love life (who cares about my boring love life anyway? duh?).

-o-

Love didn’t come easily to Plain Janes like me. It was like waiting for a train that will never come. It was like trying to see the end of the horizon.

When I was in high school, I envied my friends and classmates who experienced young love. I envied those who received love letters and flowers and chocolates and stuff toys during special occasions or even on any random dates.

During  school fairs which usually falls on the week of Valentines, the prettiest girl in school gets the most number of roses, the most number of dance invitations and the most number of wedding ceremonies in the marriage booth while I was always standing afar, amusing myself at the events unfolding before me, feeling excited for friends  chased by the crew of the marriage booth and thrilled by seeing them getting married.

Back then, I hoped that someone would also appreciate me. Send me love letters,  sing a song for me, invite me for a dance or at least walk me home. But none of these ever happened.

I used to follow my high school crush on his way home, at least half way. I would walk a few meters behind him while drinking the two peso-worth palamig, chew the red and green sago and imagine that we are chatting while he’s walking me home. But the moment he crosses the narrow street leading to their house, all my fascinations are gone in an instant and I’ll have to continue walking myself home.

When I was in college, I thought of following the cliché, the best way to a man’s heart is through his stomach so I gave my college crush the very first cake that my group baked. Well, I gave him my part of the cake and realized it was a bad idea. The cake was as tough as a cold bread.

At this time, majority of my college friends and classmates already have partners. They all head to SM Sta. Mesa after the classes and hang out at the food court till after the sun sets. As for me, I belong to the Single Since Birth group who immediately heads home as soon as the class ends.

Back then, my love life was like infinity and beyond multiplied by zero.

I have undergone several fake love and real heartaches during my mid-twenties, but after that I became in demand. My heart fluttered at the thought of getting a lot of attention because I yearned for it for so long. ‘So this is how it feels,’ I told myself. I looked at the mirror several times to check if something changed but except for some weight loss, I saw the same girl that I have always seen, the one with the thick eyebrows, short eyelashes, kinky hair, flat nose, protruding bugs bunny teeth and pale skin.

So, this is not the case of the ugly duckling turned into a beautiful swan. Life is no fairy tale. It’s just that there was a big demand of single women of my age at that time, at least within 40 kilometer radius of the demarcated area.

I started receiving notes, a shorter, much modern version of love letters and these notes were on my desk every morning. It felt like an achievement. As if receiving love notes was an accomplishment that I  worked hard for.

I felt happy that at least, before my age surpasses the days in the calendar, I experienced how it is to be chased rather than to chase. I felt that my existence mattered and it did matter a lot to some people.

The sensation of getting sought after thrilled me at first. But then later on I realized it wasn’t as fun as I thought it would be.

Sometimes fate has a way of playing with us. It gives you what you wished for only for you to realize that it wasn’t really what you want.

I closed my door for a while and pondered.

But then after closing my door someone came and started knocking.

He came late on our first date, if that dinner can be considered a legit date. He did not send me letters or flowers or stuff toys. He did not ask me for a dance.

He wasn’t very romantic and he hated surprises. He did not like going to fancy restaurants, he preferred simpler ones.

At first I was sad for the unromanticicity of the relationship but later on I thought maybe this is just how it should be.

So I accepted my fate and spent our days of  togetherness as simple and as common as it could be.

We sat and drank the bitter coffee in McDonald’s and watched the passersby on cold winter nights and bought fresh mango juice in the Shawarma shop on summer evenings.

We were both poisoned by the stale shrimp on the palabok that we ate one night. We both felt dizzy and our stomachs were so upset.

We went to a theme park and spent a stupid amount just to get photos of ourselves wearing Mafia attire and headed to Magic Planet and shot zombies dead.

We went to the jewelry shop and bought our engagement rings. There was no flash mob proposal,  no candlelight dinner.  There was no violinist nor guitarist nor singer to serenade me, there were no flowers or chocolates and he did not kneel down to ask ‘Will you marry me?” Instead he put the ring to my finger, held my hand and smiled. We started walking. Our walk was initially an outburst of laughter at the thought of the casualty of the engagement then later on it  became a walk of silence.

In the silence I thought, ‘he might not be the most romantic person on Earth but I’m sure he’s the one that I could spend the rest of my life with.’

We walked and walked and walked that night until we reached home.

 

P.S.  unromanticicity is a word that is not available in the dictionary. I just thought its cute. :P

Writing To Escape


I open my eyes to the sound of the alarm at around 6:20am, click snooze, doze off once more and wake up at the annoying sound after 10 minutes. I usually hope for a great day during those first few seconds of staring blankly at the ceiling in the mornings but I can’t even think […]

Diyalogo LB vs RB


Right Brain: ‘ku! Magsusulat kaya ako tungkol kay Veloso?
Left Brain: Para ano pa? May magagawa ka ba?
Right Brain: Wala (simangot)
Left Brain: Bakit ka pa magsusulat? Dahil OFW siya? So kailangan makialam ka kasi OFW ka din?
Right Brain: Hindi (taas kilay)
Left Brain: Eh bakit mo pa naisip magsulat?
Right Brain: Nakakalungkot eh.
Left Brain: Bakit ka nalulungkot? Kasi OFW ka din? Feeler ka!
Right Brain: Wala lang ang tanga lang kasi.
Left Brain: Alin? ikaw?
Right Brain: Pag di ka tumigil diyan bibigyan kita ng piso para pambili ng kausap mo.
Left Brain: (Zinipper ang bibig).
Right Brain: Ikaw kaya malagay sa sitwasyon niya? May maiiwang mga anak. Mananagot ka sa kasalanan ng iba, ng mga taong walang konsensya. Mga walang budhi.
Left Brain: (pinapaikot ang eyeballs)
Right Brain: Tapos ilang taon ka na nakakulong, kung kelan ilang oras na lang bago ka bitayin saka pa aapila ang gobyerno
Left Brain: (di na napigilang magsalita) Eh bakit mo pinoproblema ‘yan. Bakit di ka na lang magflaunt ng curves mo at magpictorial sa beach? Nakakaloka ka!
Right Brain: (tumingin ng masama kay Left Brain)
Left Brain: O kaya makipagpustahan ka na lang sa fight of the century (tumingin sa kisame si Left Brain at sumipol-sipol)
Right Brain: (nagsasalubong ang kilay)
Left Brain: oh kaya mag Bora ka or Sagada or Palawan. (pahina ng pahina ang pagsasalita ni Left Brain bago pa siya tuluyang nanakbo palayo kay RIght Brain na umuusok na ang ilong)

The choices we have to make


I was chatting with a friend just a few hours ago, catching up about our lives. She’s a mother of two cute/naughty little boys now, one is already in pre-school.

She is an ex-OFW, an ex-colleague of mine, one of those people that I used to admire.

We both moved to Dubai in 2006 and that was our very first overseas job. She just turned twenty and I was just turning twenty one that time. I was a fresh grad of a four-year HRM course and she just completed a two-year hospitality course.

While her confidence and wit impressed the big bosses on the first few days of our training, my introversion and incompetence led me to extended training days, reading the sequence of service, memorizing the menu and observing the trainers and the ‘advanced’ trainees move around the floor during the restaurant dry-run.

Not even a month at work, the bosses have already decided to include her on the list of prospective Trainers. Enlistment is almost an assurance of promotion.

After a month at work, I was still polishing cutleries at the back of house and was still being guided by our trainers and supervisors.

Not only did she excel at work, but in life matters as well. I thought I had enough hardships earlier in life to make me grow to what I was at that time but all my self-proclaimed maturity looked so childish compared to hers.

We all had the same amount of salary and we all send money back home but she always had extras. She, at that point, already had her own concept of saving money, investing, etc., which I have not realized till not so long ago.

Though she was the youngest in our team, everyone looked up to her, even the older ones. During those days she seemed like she’s going to have the brightest future ahead of the rest of us. I always thought that she had always been the tiger, while the rest including me were just mere stray cats.

But her bright looking future became bleak when she indulged herself into an illegitimate relationship followed by pregnancy.

She was forced to go home as she can’t give birth in Dubai without providing a marriage certificate. She used up all her savings, sold the land that she bought and ended up being buried deep with mountains of debts.

She took another overseas job, just like all the ex-OFWs do. She left her first born and headed once more to the Middle East with her partner and after two years, she’s pregnant with her 2nd child and she had to go back home again.

This time, she can’t leave the country anymore. Two kids are too much for her ageing mother to take care of. Her partner resigned as well and left his job in the Middle East as soon as she had given birth to their second son. He said he wanted to be with his two sons as they grow up which I thought was not the smartest idea at that time. They haven’t saved anything, or maybe they just have enough to cover her maternity expenses.

She was really broke to be desperate enough to ask money from me and from some of our ex-colleagues but we can only help her to a certain extent.

I felt sad for her but also a bit irritated by the way she had led her life, a complete turn from how she used to live. A complete opposite of what we thought she would be.

It was ironic though that we became closer at the time that we were apart. I used to admire her as a colleague but we were not the best-est of friends. We don’t even talk that much at work as I found her very intimidating.

A point in time came when I questioned her for all her wrong decisions. I pointed out her mistakes as well as her partner’s. I blamed her for all the opportunities that she missed and for choosing her illicit relationship over the decent life and job that she had. I blamed her for having kids when she knew that she won’t be able to support them financially. And I was really flustered when she told me ‘andiyan na yan eh wala na tayong magagawa.’

Earlier today I inquired about her well-being as well as their small street-food business and she said she was struggling to make ends meet. The business is at break-even. She’s just covering her costs. She wants to leave the country once more because her meager earnings won’t be able to support them further. She said, ‘magdasal na lang tayo.’

As she mentioned her daily life struggles, I remembered my mom. I actually saw my mom in her. I remembered the days when our debts were higher than we can imagine and our small RTW shop didn’t really do well. My mom had to deal with debt collectors every single day thinking of reasons after reasons to tell them as to why she can’t pay them on time. She had to deal with the debts as well as the collectors while finding ways to send her four kids to school. My mom used to ask my Tita, not her blood sister but a childhood friend, for money to pay our debts. Tita was living a decent life because her husband was working in a cruise ship back then. I just thought, did Tita ever blame my mom for choosing the life she led? Did she blame my mom for having 4 kids instead of just 1 or 2 knowing that she would not be able to support them? Did she blame her for selling RTW clothes in the public market while she could have chosen a more glamorous job? A high paying one? Did she blame her for sending her kids to private school knowing that she couldn’t afford the tuition fee?

I realized how mean I was to blame my friend for all her decisions. I was very ruthless and I thought I became so full of myself. I looked down at her and criticized her during the time when maybe, what she needed was motivation and encouragement.

Later on I thought, maybe her decisions were not really wrong. Maybe they were just made at the wrong time and a bit carelessly. Maybe they weren’t wrong decisions but poor choice. Or maybe what I thought was a wrong decision, the best choice at that time or maybe the lesser evil.

What makes me mad with myself more is the thought that I judged her and her decisions according to my beliefs, according to my mindset. But then, who am I to tell her what to do when I have not even walked in her shoes?

We all have different circumstances in life and we always have to make choices. And what’s wrong for someone could be the best choice for someone else. I always thought I’ve had enough hardships in life to make me and my temperament a lot better than the rest but I was wrong. I learned a lesson that I should have learned a long time ago and I learned it at the expense of a friend who is in a rough state.

To admit my mistake is easy but to apologize is difficult. All I can do for now is hope and pray for her well-being as well as her family’s and to at least be there for her at times that she needs me the most.

*sorry for the English. I’m panic.