My Intimate Baby Shower

when one of my closest friends, K, learned that i am pregnant, she immediately told me she’d host a baby shower for me. yes, i have the sweetest and most thoughtful friends. we decided it would be a small one, just a couple of our closest friends, and i gave her the names of my other ilonggo friends so she can contact and invite them herself.

a week before the baby shower, we opted out of the usual dinner-at-a-restaurant event since we wanted it to be more personal. then we thought of A, who has a really nice and quaint cupcake shop, the cupcake theory, and asked if she’d be willing to have us on that day. btw, you all should visit the cupcake theory if you haven’t yet. i loooove their red velvet cupcake and A’s new warm brownie cup is worth a try. thankfully, A said “yes” so we all trooped to the sweet-smelling venue one sunday to celebrate my baby bump.

we had pizza, K’s special spaghetti and R’s bulgogi chicken and ordered cupcakes to our hearts’ desires. nothing beats home-made dishes, especially when they’re specially cooked for you. we have very little pictures of the get-together as we had too much fun eating and talking. thank you again, K and R, for all the love.

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the whole gang. thank you, everyone for coming and celebrating with us!

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a pair of cutesy nikes from Tito C, Tita K and Tita R

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feeding bottles from Tita J, so mommy and daddy doesn’t have to buy a lot

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i feel so blessed to know that my family and i have sincere people who truly look out and support us

The Phantom of the Opera and then Some

i am still on Phantom high (case in point: my only LSS are songs from the play.  i find myself humming “think of me,” “angel of music,” and “all i ask of you” since thursday night until this morning.  OA na, i know).  the trip to manila to watch the most popular musical was a spur of the moment decision, thought of and finalized in just a day.  i didn’t expect that i’d be able to see Phantom because 1) i was strapped for cash; 2) i just couldn’t find the perfect date to be able to skip work and leave the children.  but then i said, eff it.  this only happens once in a few years (who knows really when they would be back again?),  might as well see it when i can.

i must say the 2-day vacation leave (my last two for this year!) + plane tickets + play tickets + pocket money were all worth it.  the Phantom of the Opera left me teary-eyed, speechless, breathless and in awe.  it was actually the first stage play (of its magnitude) that i watched and now i have made a promise to myself that if i can, i should watch more and expose the children to musicals, as well.  my most favorite scene would have to be the “masquerade” with all of the elaborate costumes and dancing.  second and the one that took my breath away would’ve to be the first time the phantom brought christine with him to his lair.  i would like to know how they made everything (floating and dancing candles on stage, wispy fog kissing the lake water) work.

since i was already there in the capital, i scheduled meet ups with friends and family.  i am thankful that they all took time out of their busy weekend to hangout with me.  this is the part where i bombard this post with pictures.  LOL.

face of the night

truly worth the trip to manila

with my fellow EA and fan, C

the stage

chanced upon atom araullo during the break so go sa photo op!

Day 2

KBL (kadyos, baboy, langka) from aracama. winner!

the chocnut ice cream of my dreams.  tara and i had a food fest that we forgot to take pictures of us! *groans*

with the blooming soon-to-be-mommy, dea, and M who’s also inlove. LOL.

day 2 was spent with online friends.  we missed you, carina!  after a heavy lunch and early dinner, i rested for a bit then met helga and tin for drinks.  since i am on medication, i only had choco milkshake in stackers then iced tea (yes, i know, how pathetic) in jack’s loft.  by 1AM, i can hardly keep up with the conversation.  i was too tired and spent (one of the side effects of the anti-vertigo treatment med) so i had to excuse myself to go home early. i felt so bad for leaving helga and tin but i don’t want to be a party pooper by being my exhausted self.  i’ll make bawi next time, girls! :)

day 3

sunday was spent with my awesome college friends, T and C.  we were in greenbelt the whole day.  T even accompanied me to watch The Mistress (thanks again, Tara dear, for our tickets!).  then i met my longtime friend A for dinner with her hubby and super cute daughter.

as if all the eating in the mall wasn’t enough, we had to go to midnight mercato to indulge again!

street food, anyone?

crunchy belly FTW!

then Lauren and marco followed and we gorged again on merry moo ice cream and they shared their chorizo paella and fried ice cream.  pardon my greasy fez.  

day 4

day 4 was all about family as i spent the entire day with my cousins A and D and their little boy, A.  we had homecooked lunch then they brought me to the airport

all in all it was a pretty fun and relaxing weekend.  i travel to manila at least once a year so whenever i visit, i try to meet as many people as possible.  till next trip!

Of Wedding Bells and Flower Goorls

i love weddings!  and i am one of those who get all teary-eyed while the bride slowly walks down the aisle as everyone gapes at how lovely she is.  i may never have the chance to take this walk myself (yes, i never did, for the curious cats out there) so i try to breathe in the experience from every wedding (and believe me, i can’t even start to count how many weddings i’ve been to since i am old enough to become a flower girl) i have the wonderful opportunity to witness.

a former officemate and friend tied the knot yesterday with his longtime girlfriend and i must say that their wedding is one of the nicest events i’ve attended so far.  it has their signature all over it (he used to be our events organizer here in the office. haha).  he chose our ananda celine to be one of the flower gooorls (that’s how ananda says girls, FYI) and i’m so proud of my little girl, despite her teeny-weeny tantrum while marching (i had to hold her hand halfway through as she got frightened of the crowd).  she didn’t cry, she was just a bit flustered.

here are several snapshots i have taken using my iPhone.  i’m sorry, i barely bring a camera even during special occasions.  i just cannot be bothered.  hahaha.

 

andi, naughty as she is, can be quite moody at times

she knows she’s cute, yes, she does

finally consenting to have her picture taken

with G and D

cute and sweet little boys and girls

a picture, finally, with the newlyweds

congratulations and best wishes to Nino and Chaj!  thank you having us :)

 

Of Road Trips, Detours and Sunburn

for the working class (at least in our company), we’re enjoying six long weekends this year, baby!  and as early as now, my barkada, the #tropangsober (yes, the hashtag should never be forgotten!) has been planning how to spend those weekends.  we started the year with a very fun outing, on the very first long weekend, in oslob, cebu.

oslob is a town down south about three hours from cebu city. the plan really was to see the butandings (whale sharks) thus the place.  but as you may discover later on, we ended up sunbathing and swimming instead, and not even with the friendly giants.

one of the nicest things about this trip, aside from the company of my awesome friends, was that we didn’t spend so much because a) we just crashed the house of A’s family friend; b) we didn’t have to take the bus because we just fit nicely in our friend’s APV (and hurray, i didn’t even have to drive!); and c) we our amazing guy friends manned the kitchen and fed us homecooked meals the whole time.

now, i’m gonna bombard this entry with photos while narrating along the way.  i hope you don’t mind =P

we arrived in oslob around 330PM.  after resting for a bit, we went to visit the town cemetery, which has a wonderful view of the ocean, and the plaza with a sea wall conducive for those afternoon rendezvous. oo, mag date ba sa plaza.  LOL.

after a sumptuous dinner of ginataang munggos with buwad and maskara (roasted pig…er, face?  LOL.), we visited this videoke bar at the back of our headquarters to get the night’s dose of booze and ehem, karaoke.  then we passed by the beach on our way home (this is not a beach like, resort, okay, this is just a public beach, as our friend’s friend’s house is very close to the sea already) to just enjoy the sky-full of stars and the gentle crashing of the waves.  and of course, we just have to dance underneath that blanket of twinkling stars.  this is penthouse, oslob branch, y’all.  LOL.

we were supposed to wake up really early the next day to secure our passes for the whale watching but knowing how langayan we can get, we arrived at the area around 830AM already.  and…we were the 133rd group for that day.  and…the last banca leaves at 1:00PM.  there was no way we would be accommodated.  so…to make a long story short, we didn’t get to see the butandings but instead, rented a banca, and trooped to sumilon island.  which was, i think, one of the best decisions we have ever made as a group, ever since we coined #tropangsober.  LOL.

OMG!  the place was just so beautiful!!!  white, smooth sand.  crystal-clear waters.  the sunburn we all suffered afterwards was soo worth it.  LOL.  i was in the water 75% of the time, under the raging heat of the sun (ohmy, i forgot to mention how perfect the weather was that day).  the last time i swam that long was when i was what, 10???  so now i’m at least two shades darker than my normal skintone.

all in all, it was a super exciting trip with friends.  something that i haven’t done in quite a long while since i am always either alone or with family when i go out of town. i plan to bring raf and andi here during the summer break.  we’ll just bring food so we don’t have to rush going back to the mainland.  the kids will surely enjoy it.

till the next #tropangsober trip! :)

photo credits: @soul_allan and @radj

to those who want to do the same escapade:

  • take a bus to oslob.  we drove on the way there so i can’t really give you the exact details.  travel time on a private vehicle is around three hours.
  • get off at the area where they have the whale-watching.  it’s actually a long strip of small resorts/private resthouses.  what we did was walk a few meters away from the part where the butandings are, where there are bancas for rent.  just ask for any of the manongs there who can ferry you to sumilon island.  boat rental is around P2K for 8 people, extra person charge is P150/pax.
  • this is just a sandbar, okay, so there are no cottages, no tables, no areas where you can cook.  so i just suggest you bring food, picnic blankets, etc. so you can leisurely eat while enjoying the island’s unspoiled beauty.  there are big rocks where you can hang out.  and oh, there are no rest rooms *sheepish grin*
  • for more questions, clarifications, feel free to leave a comment and i’ll try to answer them as best as i can ;)

New Year = More Friends

i love how january ushered in a lot of changes in my life.  in my case, it’s really new year = new life.  not all changes are happy ones, still, i believe that things happen for a reason and that we just have to make the most of what we have today.

one of the nicest things that happened to me this month was meeting bloggers whose websites i’ve been following for quite sometime now.  not only is it fun to meet new people, but it’s awesome to be, you know, face-to-face with the person whose thoughts you read almost everyday.

you all know i met maricarl janah and noe mae during the dollface makeup workshop i attended last week.  aside from them, i also got to trade blogger stories with eden of chic in the tropics.  vanessa east and mac were supposed to join us that day but they had to take care of some family concerns so they missed it.  anyway, i know vanessa from our previous company and mac and i saw each other in the MAC event last december.  we’ll hang out some other time.

photo grabbed from dollface cosmetics’ facebook page

then just this weekend, i got to spend time with lauren who’s here with her mom and sister for the sinulog festival.  i first met her in manila, when helga brought me to cubao x the night before we flew to malaysia.  we initially planned to meet up last saturday since she wasn’t doing anything.  we had dinner in ilaputi (hurray to the stroganov) then had some yummy crepes (mango sushi and banana hazelnut, i know, we eat a lot. LOL) at east, west.  she went home to manila just today so we i was still able to show her around tuesday and wednesday.  tuesday dinner was in everything yummy (the ribs and chorizo and corned beef are a must-try!) then drove up to marco polo to have a taste of their heavenly choco lava only served at the blu bar and grill.  for her last dinner in cebu, i brought her to ocean garden (seafood galore).  then we went to alejandro’s to catch trivia night with kristine and decided on dessert at la marea in it park.  tin’s cousin, A, joined us and before we knew it, it was almost 12MN and the shop’s closing.  LOL.  we had so much fun sharing stories that we moved to mooon cafe for a couple of drinks until all the mosquitoes made us decide to call it a night.  hahahaha.

can you tell we love instagramming?  :D

it’s always fun to meet new people who share the same interests as you.  2012, you may be a bit stressful but good job in sending all these new friends my way :)

Sinulog 2012

may i just say that this is my best.sinulog.celebration.ever!  i haven’t done sinulog in what, seven years, because i was kinda traumatized when we went out during my first and second years here (hint: walking around in uncomfortable shoes and stampede galore).  hahaha.

i don’t know what made me decide to celebrate this year but i’m glad i did.  who knows when i can chant “pit senyor!” again?  my brain is still on “loading” mode so i will just bomb this entry with pictures :D

image grabbed from radj’s twitter account

started the madness with lunch (and dance central to banish the calories brought about by eating too much lechon. LOL) at the chua’s then trooped to mango avenue to supposedly watch the parade but ended up only catching the last contingent while being drenched in the rain.  so we headed to the baseline area where all the crazies (in a good way!) were and had a few bottles of beer while people-watching.

after braving the crowded streets and beer showers (yes, we went from point a to point b by walking), we had dinner at charcoal restaurant as it’s the nearest to our headquarters then hurriedly changed clothes to catch ayala’s fireworks.  one word: awesome :)

then what happened after was a blur of beer bottles, cocktails, dancing, hugging new out-of-town friends, getting pissed and finally a one-hour body massage. i know, malabo.  hahaha. nevertheless, it was one sinulog celebration for the books.  especially that we’ve started partying a few days before the highlight. hahaha. thank you to all my friends who made this year’s event special. and maybe, just maybe, i won’t be chicken enough to go out again next year.  hahaha.

viva pit señor!