Tuesday, 30 September 2014

FILIPINO-CHINESE RELATIONSHIPS: POSSIBLE?

The topic of race is sensitive. 

Even until now, a number of Fil-Chi (Filipino with Chinese Ancestry/ Tsinoys/Chinoy)  parents still frown upon the idea of their children being relationships with Filipinos.

A "merienda" with an old friend reminded me of the prevalence of this discrimination.

It started when I asked him if will be getting an invitation for his engagement/ TINGHUN any time soon. He paused for a while,then he said..."Malabo pa.."

My heart sank. It has been 10 years and no one has come close to his ex-girlfriend, a pure Filipina.

When I met this friend, he then just recently broke up with his Filipina girlfriend of 7 years. In that 7 years, he never introduced her to his mom and the rest of his extended family. 

He ended it when he was called upon to take over the family business. He is the eldest and the only boy, just like my S.

He left his corporate work. He left his Filipina girlfriend. And He finally agreed to be "KAI- SHAO-ed". READ ABOUT KAISHAO He did everything he needed to do to be a a good son. 

I asked him if his mom likes this Chinese girl he is with now. His response baffled me, he said, "That's the problem...they all love her".

And they loved the other Chinese girl that came before this one too. I can't help but feel that he goes and stays into THESE relationships to make his mom happy.

Our very long merienda made me realize something...

Fil-chi boys who choose not to fight for their Filipina girlfriends are not weak. They are not spineless. They are not dependent on their families' wealth. They are simply trying to be Good Sons. 

The closer they are to their parents...the kinder their parents are...the stronger is this internal struggle.

When I probed further, he told me his mom worked so hard to provide for them. I sensed that this appreciation is the very reason why he is looking for a girl that his mom will like.  Her happiness comes before his. How selfless and yet how sad.

I asked my mom why Chinese parents prefer Chinese partners for their kids. She said, "The culture is so different. In a Chinese family, the parents are the head of the business. Hence, they are incharge of the funds.  In a Filipino family,  the kids provide for their parents the moment they start working. They also provide support to other relatives who may be in need."

 In short, she is concerned that the Filipino partner will get money from the business pot to provide for his/her family. This is a very pragmatic response. I expected this from mama.

I asked my dad and he said that the concept of Saving Face is one of the reasons why parents prefer their kids to have Chinese partners. A bit vague but then papa speaks like yoda. READ ABOUT MY 
DAD.

I asked my other friends, they said it's just a matter of preference. They are just physically attracted to fellow Fil-Chis.

I asked S if he was ever in this position.  He said, he liked a Filipina girl in college and he even sent her flowers. But, he stopped. He didn't want to create unnecessary chaos.

Funny thing though...my relatives and friends  in Hong Kong and Singapore don't  really understand this preference. To them, we are all Filipinos. 

 I deduce that in countries where Chinese people constitute a majority, inter-racial marriage is not an issue at all.

If you ask me, I will base my answer based on sociology...

At its core, a minority group tends to be more exclusive in an effort to preserve its culture and the purity of blood lines.The desire to belong and the sense of pride are also strong driving forces for this norm.  

Unfortunately, belongingness and pride are very primal emotional  needs. They are not easy to shake off.

I mentioned before that I am TSUTSIYA or mixed.  I'm lucky that my parents are not strict but my mom was very vocal regarding her preference.  I was allowed to date anyone and I was in a very serious relationship with a good and smart Filipino boy.  Marrying a Fil-Chi was something that just happened. 


My brother is with a pure and beautiful Filipina. We love her to bits. She knows that the way to our heart is through NAPOLEONES. Haha. And because she is from Bacolod, she is naturally malambing.

I have many friends in our Chinese family association who married Filipinas and I can assure you that they all seem happy.

I don't think marrying a fellow Fil-Chi can assure parents of a happy marriage. I know of one wife, who after a grand tinghun and grand wedding, went back with a black eye to her parents' house . 

In the same respect,  I also know of a Filipino husband,who cheated on his Filipina wife.

I don't believe that a Fil-Chi marrying another Fil-Chi or any race for that matter guarantees marital bliss and prosperity.

I've met way too many pure and mixed couple to know that what  matters the most are the following:

1. God is at the core of the relationship
2. There is love between the couple
3. Both Families have given the couple their blessing

These 3 are the foundation to a strong marriage, not money, not social class, not race.

I told my friend that if he is not sure with his girlfriend now, he should not waste her time. She is
already 32. He said, "She knows my uncertainty and ofcourse, she's not happy with it."

I could sense his inner struggle. I know him and I somehow feel she is not the one. They're just too different.

Unfortunately and FORTUNATELY  his Filipina ex is already happily married. Perhaps, love is not eternal as what sappy novels make us believe. 

To those who are struggling in their FILIPINO-CHINESE/ Tsinoy-Pinoy relationships, please don't think your partners are weak. It is a very tough decision to make. They are choosing between their own happiness versus their family.  You are their happiness.

To those who are making their partners wait, understand that there are many things we can buy in this world....time is not one of them.

READ: When To Give Up!

I wish you all LUCK.







Still On Pause,


Send your own love/tragedy stories: meonpause@gmail.com

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

I Hate Coach Bags

I couldn't rationalize my dislike. Finally a writer was able to sum up the way I feel about the brand.



Coach is more expensive than most bags but still...

I'm off to YOGA with my favorite utility bag, my DWELLSTUDIO MADISON DIAPER BAG.





Next on my list is this BUILT Bag which I still don't have. Bagay for Yoga.




Unfortunately, I'm not that yaman  to use LV as a utility bag. I do use it when I go to church😄


Still on Pause,

L

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

WIFE FIRST

So, it's a Tuesday morning and I'm at home. Why shouldn't  I be? I'm a housewife afterall. Sometimes I forget.

A couple of weeks ago, I started working with my husband. True to form, I looked at financials and made a strategy and pushed for growth. That's how we roll in Unilever.

Problem is, the person who needs to execute everything is my husband. 

 I eventually found myself talking a lot about work to the point that it even became a bedtime topic. And trust me when I say that discussing work is not sexy at all.

It was the first thing I talked about it the morning over breakfast. I started slacking off on what I prepared. My menu fell from a rice meal set to just a plain toasted bread. I also didn't have time to make dinner. And yes, it was the same topic over dinner.

In Unilever, we called this PASSION. Apparently in a marriage, it is called a RECIPE FOR DISASTER.

Finally, he couldn't take it. 

He told me that he wants me to be a WIFE first. He wants to come home and have dinner waiting for him. He wants to be able to open up about his problems and not have someone process the situation and make him prepare a one pager summarizing the issues and ending with a number  of OFIs (opportunities for improvement) . Of course I didn't make him do this! But verbally, it was very close.

 He just wants a listening ear. He doesn't want a lecture on the 6Ps of marketing- particularly promotion!

And so now, we have decided to reduce my office time. I need to learn how to be a wife first. Business will come later...


Monday, 15 September 2014

Dishes with Funny Names

When I was still working in the food service industry, Chef Joan taught us how to write SEDUCTIVE MENUS.

A simple  kamote dessert can be made enticing if written this way: 
    
      "Locally grown sweet potatoes stir fried, drizzled with caramel and sprinkled with roasted sesame seeds."


In Shanghai, medyo next level ang seductive menu nila na. Infair medyo na-confuse ang lola nyo.

1. Have you ever eaten an eggplant that looks like a dancer? Cge nga!


2. Are you open to the idea of eating something that seems to have gone through cost cutting?


3. Is this dish good for your belly? Explain...



4. Have you ever tasted trans-specie pork? The pork that wants to be a fish.



5. Eto daw favorite snack ni Chuck Norris. ACTION PACKED!


6. This is the best. I love this girl named Millet Pepper. She knows what she wants and she is not ashamed to tell the world.


Who doesn't like big cock? Huy green minded ka! It's just a big chicken noh.



Still on Pause,

L


To learn more on Menu Development visit www.ufs.com



Sunday, 14 September 2014

Day 209: FLU, FOOD, FUN

After 2 weeks of the flu, I finally had the strength to go back to yoga and not just any yoga class ha. I attended the global mala with my wedding coordinator and friend, Abbie! I also met up with another friend, Chef Len.



After our ashtanga yoga, I went to attend one of my favorite classes, KUNDALINI.  Kundalini is like a mystical yoga practice that aims to release the energy trapped in our spine by awakening the chakras.

The class was taught by a yogini named, MADONNA ENGLISH (yes, that's her real name). She's a student of my former kundalini teacher, Marissa.  Both of them are really good! 



The poses remind me of the moves of the  kecak dancers in Bali. They look funny but they are so effing hard!!! Super pagod talaga after flapping my arms for 4 mins!

After yoga, I was so hungry and tired. HAGARDO VERSOZA!! When I got home, I was so glad  to see my brother and his girlfriend cooking in the kitchen.


We had a wonderful dinner, starting with canapés and white wine.


For our main course we had, steak, potatoes and roasted capsicums. We enjoyed the steak with a bottle of Shiraz.


Our guest Mark, brought blueberry cheese cake for dessert. It was super good! 



It was a wonderful dinner that ended very late. Louie went home 12ish and Mark went home around 2 am!



I love entertaining in our home. I just love love it! Ofcourse it helps that my brother is a chef! 


Still on Pause,

L





Friday, 12 September 2014

MOON CAKES AND DICE GAME MECHANICS

Two weeks after the end of Ghost Month, Chinese all over the world celebrated the Mid-autumn festival. In some countries Sept 8, Monday, was declared a holiday.

Because it's the season to remember loved ones who live far away, my parents and relatives sent over mooncakes through the mail.


I saw the pictures Aunty Lina posted on her FB wall. It made me wish I could celebrate the hols with them. In Hong Kong and in most Chinese communities, Lanterns are usually everywhere during the this festival.

When I was in Singapore, I used to go to Chinatown and watch the kids parade their hand-made lanterns.




But here in the Philippines and in Xiamen, it's all about the Dice Game!

We normally have family reunions either with our relatives or with the association and it's here where we play DICE. 

The game is fairly simple. You need the following:

1. 6 pcs of Dice


2. 6 kinds of Prizes. It could be anything! Hopia is most common prize for the 6th and 5th place.

But  my sister-in-law and I  opted for junk food! Bad!



Here's the instruction. I printed and posted on the wall using some of the stuff from the wedding.



It's very easy but I realized later on in the game that it requires some memory work. 

The person who gets the zongguan, first place, is predicted to be the luckiest person for that year. I got one! My MIL got 2! 

I loved that everyone joined and best of all...EVERYONE WON!

The boyfriend of my sister in law was there. The helpers joined too. Even Sidney, the dog, got to rub the dice for luck!


Next year, I plan to make some changes in the mechanics. I think the prizes should be shots! Haha. I'll update you on how that'll go.

6th prize: 15ml light beer
5th prize: Vodka Sprite
4th prize: Juice
3rd prize: 10ml Red Wine 
2nd prize: Coke
1st Prize: Water


Still On Pause,

L

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

GOOD BYE MANDARIN ORIENTAL PHILIPPINES

In a few hours Mandarin Oriental will close it's doors after 38 years of operation.

As I write this post, they are currently serving their last buffet. The next breakfast will be served in the year 2020 in a different location and by a different group of chefs and wait staff. 

This post is hard to write. This hotel served as my home when I couldn't make it back to Iloilo during Chinese New Years and Mid-Autumn Festivals. It was always fun to listen to Master Chau share his fearless forecast for the year ahead. The place was filled with people. It helped made me forget that I was alone in the big city.

Later on my brother trained here for a couple of weeks before he left for The Ritz Carlton Naples.  In those few weeks, he managed to meet lots of friends. He told me that the  chefs and commis of Mandarin Oriental are very down to earth and approachable...always happy to teach.

It was also in Paseo Uno where S and I celebrated our First Valentines' Day.

Sigh...

This hotel  holds so much memories that I feel so sad that it will be closing in a few hours. 

Originally, I planned to attend today's breakfast but given my history of crying in public, I was advised not to go there alone. So I went with S for dinner last Saturday. The chocolate fondue that made them famous many years ago was not as abundant as it used to. They were just depleting what they have left. No more time to re-order. 

Sure, Mandarin will open it's doors again in 2020 but I will miss the people. I don't know them by name but some of them have been with the hotel ever since it opened 38 years ago. I loved seeing their familiar faces every time I visit.


Because my brother believes that people and ambiance are part of a hotel's spirit, he couldn't resist to take pictures. He got teary eyed that they all seemed very happy. Perhaps, they are looking forward to their package (which I was told is very generous) or maybe they are just being professional. As they always say in this industry: SERVE WITH A SMILE AND WORK WITH PASSION NO MATTER HOW TIRED YOU ARE.









And as we walked out of Paseo Uno, I remembered  all the happy memories and I felt very grateful to this hotel that helped made those happen.




To the team of Mandarin Oriental, THANK YOU VERY MUCH.


Still On Pause,

L


Photos by: Chef Louie Chua

Saturday, 6 September 2014

Femme de MĂ©nage

Uy!!!!! I learned a new term today! 

Femme de MĂ©nage is French for housemaid.  Bonggangbels!!!!!

Ka-level ng bonggang Spanish-inspired breakfast that I prepared for my husband kaninang morning.

Tostada con Tomate y Aceite de Oliva


Or 

Toasted Bread with Kamatis and Mantika :p

Oh di ba!!!! You can make anything and everything sosyal. 

Eto ang breakfast last weekend. 

WAGI!!! Ham and egg lang yan ha!




Pag sosyal na ang mga breakfast mo, pwede ka na maging femme de ménage tulad ko.

I believe MONEY CAN'T BUY CLASS! Chaks



Still on Pause,

L


Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Marriage Market

The ratio between male and female is not really as disproportionate as one may think. 

Sure, there are numerically more boys than girls but nett of same gender preference, my gut tells me we are bound to find a suitable mate within our locale.

And yet, I find that majority of my friends are still single.  And we are talking about amazing and beautiful girls here! 

Which made me ask myself...How can a single girl find a suitable partner in this day and age?

I met S through KAI SHAO. His cousin is my friend and he introduced us.  In Ilonggo we call this RETO. The only difference is, Kai-shao is more serious in the sense that background checks are done by the person introducing lest he/she loses face as a result of a bad match.

Some of my friends met their partners online through chat, Facebook or dating sites.

Recently, a friend of mine in Singapore participated in Speed Dating.  She is currently seeing an Italian guy, who looks like Jesus. 

Then, my more  interesting friends find potential mates through apps like GRINDR (gay) and BLENDR (straight).

The lucky ones met their partners in a more conventional setting: either they went to school together or they met at work. In reference to the latter,  I have learned the hard way, that it's not smart to shit in your own backyard.

The moment a girl hits 28, her parents and relatives take it upon themselves to find her a match. Whether she wants one or not, is not really their concern.

Honestly, I don't know why girls should get married. I believe it is perfectly okay to be alone if that's your thing.

I completely respect everyone's living preference. 

Me? I can't be alone. I can't reach most of the stuff in the cabinet. I'm scared of the dark.  I also can't fix electrical stuff. I need S in my life. But that's me.

But some parents are just so obsessed with the idea of marrying off their kids.  Like these parents in Shanghai.




A couple of months ago, I went to Shanghai with S and his sister.  We visited this "Marriage Market" in People's Park. 



Apparently this is a weekend thing much like Salcedo Market but instead of selling organic gulay, they try to trade their children's credentials.



It is quite simple really. A parent will say, "I have a girl". Another will say, "I have a boy". They lay out their "specs" and if they find that it could be a suitable mate, they trade numbers.


It is worth mentioning that many parents go to this venues and give out their children's contact details without their children's consent.


Most of the "searchees" have daughters. This is interesting given that statistics show that there are more boys than girls in China.

Look at this man and all the moms flocking around him.



While S was looking around, a mom inched towards him but she was apprehensive when she heard him speak in a foreign language. When she finally hard the courage to chat him up, he walked away. Haha.

S is insecure with his mandarin.



It really amazes me, the extent by which society will go through to pair everyone up.

 If this is such a universal need...I may just consider mounting a similar "market" in one of the parks in Makati. Hahaha.

Who wants to join me?


Still on Pause,


L















Monday, 1 September 2014

Normal is Good

Recently, I've been feeling quite sad and agitated for no specific reason. Perhaps these negative feelings came about because of the gloomy weather.

The same way I fight flu, I am trying to fight against my unhealthy emotions.

I have a few happy drugs in my stash....YOGA, RUNNING and CHURCH. Church is by far the most effective if them all.

Yesterday, I attended a service and Hayden Kho spoke about his redemption. His sincerity echoed in the room despite the restraint in his voice.

While Hayden was speaking, I couldn't help but start crying. I was worried that S would  poke fun at me. He thinks I cry too easily.  Thankfully, he kept mum and just held my hands.

While I never had anything near to what Hayden went through, I could empathize on how hopeless he must have felt during those times. I understood why he attempted to take his life. 

When I got dump ( and trust me when I say it wasn't just an ordinary break up) it was like watching a movie that I couldn't fast forward to the happy ending. For someone who reads the movie synopsis before watching, this dark chapter of my life was something I wasn't prepared for. 

I felt terrible during the day. Pain manifested itself in a more physical way. My chest was heavy. It was as if someone decided to put brick on top of brick on top of my chest. I slept hoping I would wake up and find out that everything that happened was merely a nightmare but I woke up to where I exactly left off. 

Life is like that, I guess. Ups and Downs. Mountains and Trenches.

After his talk, it I felt guilty about my negative feelings. When I was sad, I prayed for God to bring normal back. Now that normal is here, I complain to God that I am bored.

I am an ungrateful child of God. 

After Hayden's talk, I was reminded that I control my own happiness. 

My now is being a housewife. There I said it. I hope that by saying it often, I will eventually take pride in my new role.

In the same respect that Hayden could not erase his past, I can not just erase my now. AND I SHOULDN'T!  Many people in office wish they are at home. In fact, an officemate messaged me yesterday sharing that she resigned and will now be a full time mom.

I should be happy where I am. God gave me what I prayed for. He gave me a normal and stable life. And this won't be forever. 

Problems will come. My loved ones will get sick. There will be difficulties for sure. But for now...everything is normal. 

For now, everything is okay. 

And with this , I am deciding to change the course of my emotions by training my mind to spot and be thankful for the simple joys in life.

This monday morning, I made pancakes for my husband and we had a nice breakfast. 





The sad truth is life is not always good. I'm starting to see that life comes in this ratio: 

50% normal, 15% joy, 5% extreme elation, 30% challenges. 


Normal is good.Simple is good.


Still on Pause,

L