Thursday, March 31, 2011

Mind Boggling

School hunting has become a habit for me and my husband during our free time. Yes, kinareer namin I guess ang endeavor na ito. Anyway, in one trip to a traditional school I got lost while looking for the registrar’s office. I ended up in an area where classrooms are and overheard this in one of the classes (looking at the kids, looks like prep class) :

teacher : O spelling ng bayolet. b-a-y-o-l-e-t, bayolet!

students: b-a-y-o-l-e-t, bayolet!

I was bothered with what I heard (or overheard) that I made a double turn to look at the teacher. The old lady was oblivious of my presence. When we were already in the car I asked my husband, ‘did your school teach you that the Filipino word for violet is bayolet? I know there’s a Filipino term for that just like green is for luntian (or berde)’. Still bothered, I researched for it and violet is LILA in Filipino. But then again, my knowledge of the Filipino term could be outdated.

Does school curriculum now teach violet as bayolet in Filipino?

Pond's Likable Team :)

Guys, help these cutie friends of mine by clicking the link below and like them. They're super likable, promise!

Thanks. Mwah! :)

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

YakiMix Experience

Last Friday, husband and I decided to eat at Yaki Mix. It was a treat after a week of busy busy work. Off to Trinoma branch we go as T. Morato is always full according to some friends. When we got to the mall, there was a waiting list, we were 6th in the list but after 15 mins or less, we got a seat.
I love seafood and Japanese food. I grew up having crabs and prawns for breakfast and fish for dinner so YakiMix was really a treat for me.

grilled bacon on top of tuna to flavor the fish :)
Price of the buffet is P580/pax for adult, excluding drinks. The price is not bad since the selection is wide: Maki, Sushi and Sashimi, Tempura, salads, cooked meat and pasta dishes, soups, desserts, etc. They also have a korean dish selection. My favorite would have to be the grill selections – they have prawns, pork, beef, fish like marlin and salmon and tuna, cuttlefish, vegetables, etc. So much food so little time J By the way, YakiMix Trinoma closes at 10pm and they usually declare last trip to the buffet at around 930pm.

I heard from other reviews that Yaki Mix falls short on the yumminess category but, then again, it’s a price that’s worth our hunger. I practically finished 15 maki and sashimi! Not to mention the tempura. LOL! I also had fun with the grilling since I love cooking. I seasoned, flavored and infused my meat with any available flavor and condiments. Husband was amused kung paano ko kinareer ang grilling J

place bacon on top of the tuna to flavor the fish :)

there is an array of sauces to choose from: bbq, satay, soy sauce, etc. 
my third plate of maki and sashimi. i can't remember their names anymore, there's just so many varieties
 Don’t forget to leave room for dessert. They have ice cream, cakes, mousse, fruits,etc.
desserts. I really had fun with this 
ice cream with a few of my fave toppings

All in all, YakiMix was a fun and filling experience. I will definitely come back J

Watery Wednesday: Where To Dear?

My husband kayaking in Guimaras

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School Hunt: Almost There (But Not Quite...)

 I have been meaning to share this with you as this is one of the most important decisions we (husband and I) will make for our little daughter. There are moms out there that have schooling children and experienced school hunting. I hope you can help me. I have mentioned here that I went school hunting for the most appropriate school for our little girl. I say appropriate, not the best. To be honest, I used to want the best school but after a while I realized, it’s not a matter of what’s best but what’s best for which child personality. Also, I found from one site several months ago that before you go hunting for the right school, write down the 5 most important values that you would want your child to learn from the school. Last year I wrote down these:
  1. God fearing / Place God Above All – I sort of copied this from my company’s mission/vision. This is very important for me that my children develop a personal relationship with the Lord.
  2. Love for Knowledge
  3. Respect/Care for Others
  4. Discipline
  5. Love for Art and sports
Items 2-4 are self-explanatory. For item 5, my husband and I are really art lovers, he for music and writing and me for theatre, dance and sketching. We value being able to express our thoughts, emotions and dreams through art. It’s also a very important tool to destress so we want our children to experience artform in its purest form.

To make the story short, we were able to shortlist the schools that we think is right for our daughter. Both are progressive schools. School no. 1 scheduled her assessment one Saturday morning. It was your typical progressive house-turned-school. We were requested to wait in the office while the teacher and teacher assistant gave her skills test in one room. Basically, the test covered alphabets, numbers, colors, shapes and basic questions in information and social awareness. The verdict: with her age and skills, she can start at kinder level. She can skip nursery but they suggest that she take a summer class on reading/writing readiness in order to prepare her on her first year in school. She kinda fell short on writing but aced the shapes and colors tests. I was happy with the result and most importantly my little girl felt at home immediately in the school and with the teachers. She’s the type that doesn’t warm up easily to strangers, suplada kumbaga, so I was relieved to know she likes it there.

We decided to try another school just to see how it will go. We wanted to get a second opinion, in a manner of speaking. So off to school no. 2 we go. This is a much bigger school compared to school no. 1 since they accept students until grade 6. Sophie was whisked in a room while we stayed in the lobby. After half an hour (or less), the teacher already called us to discuss the result of the exam.
Based on the age, she is already qualified for Kinder but based on the assessment, she needs to start with Nursery + summer class. Their Kinder level requires children to be able to identify number words up to 50. They should also be able to write well already and can copy some words and assignments on the board. Plus, I was expecting an assessment on the other skills like in school 1. Apparently, my daughter was only assessed based on her knowledge of reading, writing and numbers. I was surprised by this and slightly saddened. I felt that school 1 gave a more holistic assessment. 

Everytime I share this experiences to my friends, they are equally surprised at the expectations of school no. 2 to kinder level. Now, I don’t know if school 1 is just too lax in their curriculum or school no. 2 is too much? I would also like to know if I have been too lenient in teaching my kids the basics of education like reading and writing? Both my children love books, they love to write on their blackboard, love to paint, draw and color.

I was even bothered to know the news about the two gifted kids in the commercial years back. Remember the kid that can memorize the solar system,etc? Until now she has no college degree. According to some friends who are her batchmates from college, she could not decide what course to take. At some point, sadly, she somehow just got burned out from studying. That’s a sad story that I don’t want my children to experience. Another friend was sad because her child doesn’t like to continue her ballet and piano anymore. This kid got in school at age two. She attended ballet, piano, guitar lessons and other extra curicular activities since she was a toddler. Now she’s in gradeschool and only wants to practice her guitar. The others she just dropped out, got tired according to the parent.

Right now, I am willing to give progressive school a try as I have been receiving good reviews but one lingering question on my mind is: when these kids from progressive schools become adults, how will they fare in terms of critical decision making and high level stress in college and the real world? 

Gosh, am I over analyzing this? 

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Today is Tuesday and I want to share a breakfast recipe for you. I'm tempted to title this as Paella Janaki (as my husband coined it) but I will just name it something less tacky :)

Weekend Breakfast Skillet

4-5 cups left over rice
1 can Swanson chicken broth
2 chinese or spanish chorizos, cubed
4 slices luncheon meat or sausage, cooked ahead of time
2-3 medium-sized eggs
1 small carrot, sliced thinly
1 onion, coarsely chopped
1 tsp. chopped garlic
1 bell pepper, cut into strips
salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp. oil

How this is done:

  1. Saute garlic and onion in oil. Add in chorizos, carrots and saute until half cooked. Chorizos (or sausage) add distinct flavor to the dish. You can use a either spanish or chinese version.
  2. Add bell pepper, leave some strips for topping. Add in rice and mix well. Pour the broth, sprinkle salt and pepper to taste and mix some more.
  3. Bring the fire to a small flame so as not to burn the bottom part. Level the rice on the skillet and make indentation for the eggs. The number of dents will depend on how many eggs you want to put. Make sure the dents are deep enough to keep egg white stay within the dents. Carefully put egg on each dent. 
  4. Place the meat or sausage in between the eggs. Add bell pepper and carrots on top and cover. Cook slowly until the egss are done.
  5. Garnish with chopped parsley.

Best served on a skillet for that casual weekend feel. Bon appetit! :)

Friday, March 25, 2011

Mommy Moments - White

Mommy moments theme today is White :) The color signifies purity, kindness.
Strictly speaking, white is not a color, but the manifestation of the presence of all color - the complete energy of light. It stands for wholeness and completion. In many cultures it represents openness and truth. White has a cold quality. It can provide clarity as its energy is complete.(from

 Here is my share for this week:
These are my nephew Keene and niece Princess who were my ring bearer and little bride respectively during my wedding.
I treat Keene as my first born. He calls me Nanay and cried when I became pregnant with Sophie because he thinks he's not my baby anymore. 

The two gwapitos Miggy and Keene in their barong

The white team :) Taken during Sam's christening

The ever smiling Sam :)

Sophie in her white backless dress with her unicorn friend

See more mommy shares in :
mommy moments

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Earn and Redeem: Love It!

We love to spend some bonding time with the family or with the hubby outside the house sometimes. A movie here, a dinner there or some recreation activities that the whole gang will enjoy. But let's admit it, an activity like that can cost some moolah, and times like these it'll make you grab the calculator first and see how much a little outing to the mall will cost you. 
So Stephen and I were pretty excited to have found a way to go to the movies or go bowling (which I love) without shelling out a single centavo. We went bowling one night and found this on the counter, 

We spent our rewards points to pay for our bowling games. 1 point is equivalent to P1.00. Our bill for two games was P694 and our BDO rewards points paid for it all :)

Just a couple of weeks ago, we charged our Red Riding Hood movie tickets to our Rewards card. Nice, right? 
So if you've got lotsa lotsa points earned from doing your grocery at SM or from gassing up at Petron, might as well put that to good use and see a movie or go bowling or buy something from SM dept. 

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

All Star Kapuso Fun Run

O takbo na tayo sa Abril 3 kasama si papa Richard Gutierrez. Mura lang ang registration fee sa bawat category. 
Ito na malamang ang unang fun run ko sa taong ito. Kita kits! :)

Kitchen Surplus Shops

A few weeks ago, my MIL was looking for square burner for a 2-burner gas stove. The burners were missing for some strange reasons and since square burners are quite rare here, it's a challenge to find replacements. 

Anyway, I remember that Cartimar shopping center has a store that sells spare parts and other kitchen utensils, appliances and other cooking knick knacks. They usually carry imported brands but they also have a line of local brands. I used to frequent that area since its a 5-minute walk from my parents' house (near Taft Ave., Pasay). Its like a surplus shop for kitchen stuff. A piece of heaven for me since I love to cook :) 
In the north area, I passed by a store that also carries kitchen gadgets/appliances but I haven't checked out the store yet. It's along EDSA and a few walks away from North Avenue. I intend to check out the place one of my free days. 

Monday, March 21, 2011

A Prize We Have to Pay

In my entry on Go Negosyo here, I mentioned in the last part that I won in a raffle hosted by A.Venue. I was so excited for obvious reasons. We got to their hotel in Makati to claim my prize and as soon as we entered the restaurant we immediately figured, uh-oh, it was a time sharing scheme. We stayed anyway thinking we spent gas and travel time for that. It's the same scheme that Astoria has been calling me for months but I didn't really mind because I'm simply not interested. When we found out that A.Venue is with the same group affiliation as Astoria, Stephen chided: 'They finally got to you'.
To make the long story short, we didn't avail of their offer at it's not something that we are prioritizing right now. As I mentioned to the sales agent, when we decided to purchase a house and a car, recreation and travel were the two things we had to give up since it's the least important of all. Plus, we have friends who got into timesharing but really can't make the most out of it.
Anyway, they still gave us the hotel accommodation prize voucher but it's what I would consider as a 'prize you have to pay'. Apparently, when I called their office to simply inquire and possibly book the available dates of the hotel, it's peak season and the voucher is only good for 3 months. I was informed that we have to pay a booking fee of P5,000.00 before they can provide any detail or info. Duhhh! What's free in that? Although the 5K is refundable after your vacay, it's still money you have to spend. Another thing is, since they won't give us even just the available dates unless we pay, we don't really know if we are available on their free dates, right? I asked, 'what's happens to the 5K booking fee if we can't avail of the promo due to conflict in schedules,etc'? The girl on the other line said it's refundable naman. The heck with refundable! They've been giving me misleading information from the time they called me to say I won. 
I understand the marketing and sales promotions and strategies that companies have to make in order to earn money. But c'mon! Let's just try to be honest and upfront here okay? Don't give deceiving or misleading information to people because it's frustrating and irritating to spend valuable time over these hullabaloo. 

Friday, March 18, 2011

Purple is today's color on Mommy Moments and here are my share:

Sophie in her purple birthday gown which I bought from, oh, Purple Candy :)

 Getting photographed for a magazine cover? Nah, just our Ericsson phone app. Shirt from Lolo Tito 

Sam holding on to a purple ball-een (his version of balloon)

Sam getting a foot stamp, he was just a few minutes old here. He makes me one proud mommah :)

mommy moments

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Sophie with the fountains during the day
For today’s Watery Wednesday, I took some photos of Bonifacio High Street’s water display. I don’t frequent the area as this is quite far from where we live but for my parent’s anniversary, we decided to have dinner at Clawdaddy in the area as it is near my parents’ house. It was also the first time that Sophie and Sam visited this place so after dinner we walked around to check out the stores and play areas. Both kids had a blast! Sam kept chasing after the dogs and the other kids’ balls while Sophie chased after Sam. We intend to bring the kids again here, maybe not on a really crowded weekend. 

Monday, March 14, 2011

Meat Curing The Natural Way

For those who are vegetarians, please skip this entry. Sorry.

Inspired by one of the US Deli  featured in Food Network channel, I made my own  version of cured meat. The program showed a step by step process on making a pastrami and it was just mouthwatering. Taking in some tips from the show, I gathered all the spices I can find at home: salt, pepper, basil, rosemary, thyme, cinnamon, sugar, oregano. Bought also some more spices like cayenne pepper, cumin, peppercorn and coriander. I added also vinegar, a natural preservative. The show used I think about 18 spices but they won't reveal everything so I just experimented on some spices. Hope it works.
Got a kilo of kasim (pork shoulder). I'm still trying to figure out the tagalog word for pastrami or what meat part is I used for it so I used kasim (shoulder) for now. Any help on what's the best meat for curing?  

For now, I will have to delight myself in my new experiment. 

Day1 of meet curing (Mar1):

Day 12 (Mar 13):

Five more days to go. I plan to smoke this on Friday and serve this on Saturday, my birthday :)

Go Negosyo: Babae Kapuso Ka ng Bayan

My husband and I attended the Go Negosyo exhibit and seminar at World Trade Center in Pasay City last March 5. We dropped off the kids at my parents’ house near the area, attended a short family affair in Sucat and went to the exhibit. With all the activities we had that day (and the horrendous traffic in QC!), we got to the exhibit aorund 4pm already. Before we got in we filled up a raffle coupon and paid a registration fee of P50/pax. Fee includes snacks already. We tried to check out as many booths as we can with the time we have left and found some interesting business ideas: novelty items, clothes and shoes, food carts for franchising (there are more of these than any other businesses), skin care and toiletries, herbal and organics products and even appliances. The choices were very diverse, some new and some are already in existence for decades. Aside from checking out the business opportunities, I was also able to buy some goodies, the 50% discounted Maybelline products and the pair of outfit for Sam for only P50 were such a steal!

a guest tried out News reporting at a GMA booth

This is one of my best buy so far, a Gold Star English Workbook. It contains a cd and workbook, teaches kids basic english words, spelling. There are also exercises for the memory, logical thinking, counting,etc. This is only P195 and is such a big hit with Sophie. She was able to stay on for hours (without complaining) on the computer doing different activities. 

Got a chance to catch the last two talks for that day, too. The one is entitled ‘The Beautiful and The Rich’ by Lisa Pamintuan, a young entrepreneur (and a UST grad) with a gift for public speaking. Sometimes it’s not only important to know what you’re talking about, it’s also important to capture the audience and interest them in what you have to say. So I have give it to this lady for being able to do just that. She talked about the advantages of women in the business, of changing the mindset and having the guts to go into business, on how to choose the right business for you, etc. It was a short talk but very enlightening. The next speaker (sorry I missed his name) discussed franchising business and how to know whether it is a good for a certain individual or not. 

All in all , I would say it was a successful event, very well attended and organized. Congrats to Go Negosyo and it's sponsors and event partners!
Thank you too to Antel Global for making me win an accommodation for 2 in their new Boracay resort. Yipee! :)

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Watery Wednesday: Periwinkle

For this week's Watery Wednesday, I'm sharing photos of my periwinkle plant. She looked so hydrated after the rain. This was taken a couple of months back.

And this is (or was) her last night :( Seven naughty naughty caterpillars ate all the leaves and found refuge in her . Oh well, I guess my only consolation is the fact that they will turn into pretty butterflies eventually. 

See more WW entries here:

Monday, March 7, 2011

This is a late post for Vday but I am wont to share this anyway. This is for my parents who have been married for 36 years now and recently celebrated their wedding anniversary on… oh yeah… February 14. Until now I can’t figure out what went through their mind, getting married on Valentine’s Day. Cheesy, wouldn’t you say?

Because of that, I never got on a date on Feb 14 since it’s always a celebration of their wedding anniversary. They have always been our date ever since :0 No worries, I’m not a romantic anyway. I’ll leave romanticism (and cheesiness) to my parents. 
That’s not to say that their marriage was made in heaven. Hardly ever, if I may say so. 

They have their share of ups and downs, misunderstandings, trials left and right. I have been witness to that but I believe in the end their natural love for each other and their children kept them together after all these years. I just know that their love for us, their children, and their constant effort to give us the most normal and most sane life as best they could keep them together. We kept them bounded I guess, and they kept bounded for us. I adore my parents, both papa and mama and I will always be grateful for them for the many things - tangible and intangible – they have given us. I guess most especially how they taught me the commitment every parent should make in order to make a marriage last a lifetime and to keep the family together and how to place God in the center of every relationship.

p.s.: I celebrated Vday differently, I'll share that in a different Post. 

Friday, March 4, 2011

Mommy Moments - Orange

Here are random pics with orange, my share for this week's mommy moments. Glad to be back :()

  Sam in his orange tie-dye shirt

A candy house Sophie, Sam and I made from clay. Sam helped roll the clay into balls while Sophie and I made the more complicated shapes :)

Sophie in a shirt with touch of orange. The photo was taken in EK on her first Rio Grande ride. She loved the ride but doesn't like it anymore when she got wet

mommy moments

Thursday, March 3, 2011

New Toy, Such a Cutie :)

My new phone :) Got this last month through Smart Wireless SM North Annex.
It pays to be a postpaid subscriber because for one, you can avail of free phones with subscription renewal every two years. I think this is my 5th or 6th free phone from my monthly subscription, the other I paid minimal amount so I can get a higher end unit that's not totally free with my plan. All I have to do in order to get my new unit is to update my payment.
What I love about this phone: it's a touch phone which helps me get oriented with this technology. It's user friendly, with icons for Google, Apps and you can switch between QWERTY and keypad. I haven't used a regular keypad for 2 years now so it's QWERTY for me. What I'm not so hot about this phone: it's a basic phone, 1.3 MP camera, no office apps like Word, Excel or PowerPoint for my reports which is what I love my Nokia phone. But I'm not complaining, this is a a welcome blessing :)
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