Saturday, 28 November 2015

Thanksgiving 2015

Christmas music already fills the air and I am reminded of all the things I should be thankful for this year! 

One thing I am truly blessed with is my small kitchen because despite its size, it has everything I need to whip up a feast. 

Ever since I got married and regained access to a functional oven,  I have been more confident in throwing "intimate" dinners at home. Just like when I was still living  in Singapore! Ofcourse, it helps that my brother is a professional chef.  

The rare time I open my doors to a much bigger crowd, I always make sure that the spread is impressive. After all, with the traffic in Manila I need to make it worth the drive. 

This year both my parents and my husband's family  made it to our Thanksgiving Dinner. My parents flew in from Iloilo to witness my brother's culinary skills, the stuff he learned when he interned at the Ritz Carlton Florida. All of which are useless when it comes to preparing traditional a Filipino feast. A western menu is the best way to showcase his skills to my provincial parents.

My 2 closest friends also made it to dinner. So our small home was filled with people. Some had to sit on the floor.  YES! It is that small. It's the price of choosing to live in the middle of Makati! 

My brother single handedly prepared everything on that table, except for the Ube Cake. Joy got that for me. I love Ube!!!

Louie's preparation started the day before, when he brined the turkey over night. The trick to a flavorful turkey is to brine it for atleast 24 hours.

Then he seasoned and roasted the turkey for 6 hours, basting it every 30 mins. Indeed a labor of love.

The outcome was perfection.

He also prepared all the traditional sidings: Mix berry sauce, Gravy, Potatoes, Yams etc. We wanted our parents to experience how to be "Emericans". Copycats lang kami. We just started celebrating Thanksgiving last year. Blame it to too much Television.

I'm thankful my mom flew in because she cleaned up after dinner.  Bonggang-bonggang maid. My brother used A LOT of pots, pans and trays kasi. Kaloka. By 10 o'clock, our kitchen was meticulously clean, thanks to mama!

My friends and I had cake and coffee til midnight. It felt like Christmas!

What a wonderful dinner! Ubos lahat!

The next feast will be NOCHE BUENA and this time, It'll be my turn to cook for my family. Thank God, Filipino food is relatively easy to prepare.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Feeling "Emerican",


Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Help via Mail

I've been sad these past few days. First, I was stressed-courtesy of a cousin, who I have never ever talked to in nearly a decade. Then once the stress subsided, sadness seeped in.

Perhaps, God saw me in wallowing in misery again. When my husband arrived from work yesterday, he brought me a parcel. It was my my friend kaye, the other half of The Bento Mommas (Instragram) and author of

The mail cheered me up! Because for one thing, I love getting SURPRISE stuff via snail mail. It reminds me of my penpal days in High School. And ofcourse, I smiled because the arrival of the gifts could have never been more more timely. 

Believe it not, I never mentioned to Kaye that I am sad, in fact, I only posted yesterday as well.

I got 3 DVDs of Louie Giglio's sermon. Kaye figured, I will like his talks because I am interested in astrophysics and biology. Louie Giglio uses the maginifcence of the universe and the human body to illustrate the greatness of our God.

Then, I got a compilation of Christian music and an album of Hillsong.

God delivers in His perfect time and through other people! Amazing! 

I think I will be back to normal programming in a few days. These things work as fast as the strongest antibiotics.



Friday, 13 November 2015

Celebrating Life Passages in Rituals by Cynthia Baga

During his last visit, papa gave me a book. It's a book about creating and celebrating rites and rituals in the family. The book was written by my psychologist/life counselor, Cynthia Baga.

Cynthia is an amazing, kindhearted and soft spoken lady. I have been seeing her since I was in highschool. The last time I saw her was when I got dumped by my ex-fiancé. That was a long time ago!

Maybe it's because of her profession but I honestly found it easier to talk to her than my parents. When I was dumped, my mom was so hurt that she was so keen to ask questions to help her understand the situation. Because my mom was hurting too, she was going back and forth between condemning my ex and blaming me. I didn't resent my mom. I understood then  that because she loves me and because we are one, she equally felt rejected by my ex. It actually seemed like she was feeling the pain more than I did.

Thursday, 12 November 2015

The Right To Use Maiden Name After Marriage

Last night I read something that made me "praning" and made me wonder if I am LEGALLY REQUIRED to use my husband's surname after marriage.

I consulted my lawyer friend, Atty. Leo Ganzon, and he shared the Article 370 from the New Civil Code of the Philippines. 

Art. 370. A married woman may use:

(1) Her maiden first name and surname and add her husband’s surname, or

(2) Her maiden first name and her husband’s surname or

(3) Her husband’s full name, but prefixing a word indicating that she is his wife, such as “Mrs.”

The "MAY" in the sentence means it is OPTIONAL. It is not a duty. It is not mandatory to adopt your husband's surname after marriage.

A woman is allowed to keep and continue using her maiden name in ALL LEGAL DOCUMENTS after marriage. 

IMPORTANT: However, if the married woman starts using her husband's surname in her passport, license, SSS and other forms of national identification and/or she signs any legal documents/contracts using her husband's surname, she will never be able to revert to her maiden name until  her marriage is annulled or until she is widowed.

The last part was also confirmed by a friend, who was going through separation. Only until her marriage is annulled by the courts can she start using her maiden name legally again. 

Bottomline is: FILIPINA WOMEN CAN KEEP AND LEGALLY CONTINUE USING THEIR MAIDEN NAMES AFTER MARRIAGE. However, if they plan to do so, they should NEVER use their husbands' surname IN ANY identification, legal documents and legal contracts.



P.S. I'm not a lawyer. I'm a housewife. Don't ask me legal questions.

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

A Short Story About My Parents

This is how mama usually serves mangoes at home...
Always with a flair. 

I grew up in a home where mama and papa did small things with great love. Don't get me wrong, they were both tiger parents, who both believed in "STRIKE THE IRON WHILE IT'S HOT"

They made sure we had memorable Christmases, New Years, Birthdays, you name it. Even PBA GAMES were festive. Somehow, they always made sure they appreciated us through celebrations,actions and words.

Mama never missed a school event, much to my dismay. I would usually not invite her because I don't want her to see me lose in a competion. I preferred bringing home a medal. I never lost a competition,  so all went well!  

I dreaded her meeting my teachers. I was scared of the things that they will report. They usually had something bad to say because I usually did something bad in school.

Papa would go to my school every Valentine's Day to bring me flowers and chocolates. Even as a kid, he made me feel special and loved. 

Even if they were rather primitive/ barbaric in their discipline methods, they gave credit where credit was due.

 I was reprimanded when I did something wrong and I was acknowledged when I did something good. My medals were framed and displayed. And yes, so were the belt marks. If I did something wrong, I also had something to show off.

Thursday, 5 November 2015

Together Forever

When you are trying to have a baby, you and your husband need to be together all the time...

Ideally, you need to have "contact" (do the doodie) every other day too.

Hey! I'm not complaining! 

It's just that...there are days I want to go home to Iloilo and stay there for a month or even more. But I can't because I'm only on a 24-26 day cycle.

I miss...

And this...

Sing with me nalang...

Together forever and never to part
Together forever we two
And don't you know
I would move Heaven and earth
To be together forever with you


Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Chinese Medicine: Deer Horn

My mother-in-law finally decided to use Chinese medicine to cure my husband's fever. In a matter of hours, he is up and about. He just finished eating 3 cups of rice just now.

I am baffled.

My MIL used deer horn. It's literally the horn of a deer. I thought it was just a fancy name for a plant.

The helpers shaved off some parts of the boney material then mixed it with water.  Then my husband drank a glass full. He said it just tasted like water with flour.

(Looks like a weird penis)

While this idea is new to me, and I am quite good in pathology and pharmacology, this medicine has been used in China for over 2,000 years.

I searched online and found the benefits of DEER HORN/DEER ANTLER.

DEER ANTLERS provide the following benefits to your health:
  • Improve blood circulation and increase blood volume.
  • Revitalise your body and give you extra energy.
  • Strengthen immune system.
  • Help to improve sexual disorders in men.
  • A rich source of calcium.
  • Help to improve sore muscles on limbs.
  • Help to improve efficiency of kidney.
  • Source:
Sounds good! After this,  I will get a healthier and an even more "potent" husband. Wink*wink*

Gosh, I still have so much to learn as a Chinese wife. 

Itching to go home,


Suspect: DENGUE

At around 3:45 pm yesterday, my husband told he " I think I have dengue". Since I saw red rashes all over his body the night before, I took it seriously and took him to the ER. 

Thank goodness, we only had to cross the street to go to one of the best hospital in the country.

Upon arrival, he was asked if he had a fever and rashes. POSITIVE. We were both made to wear masks and he was sent to the isolation room.

In the isolation room he was put on IV because he was very dehydrated. He refused to drink water and eat the soup I was giving him the previous night.

We had to wait for 3 hours for the results of his dengue test, platelet count etc. Thank goodness he was cleared.

It is important to note that when you have dengue or is really a battle of your immune system versus the virus. The more stress you are--the more you are prone to getting sick. 

When you are attacked by viruses, you feel too weak to do anything--even eat. 

Simple rule: When you are dehydrated, you are weak. When you don't eat, you are weak. When you are weak, your immune system can't fight the virus.

That's why when infants/kids have dengue, it is very dangerous. It's because they can't force themselves to eat and drink. That, and their immune system is still pretty weak. To be safe, if an infant has a fever of 39 to 40, better bring him/her to the hospital. A fever is just the body's way of announcing there is bacteria or virus. The fever itself is not the problem.

So, now we are in New Manila again. Our inlaws picked us up. I was made to go with them so that my husband can rest without worrying about me being home alone. I had to bring all my gulay and leftovers so that they won't go bad. I looked like a member of the "akyat bahay gang" went I left my home yesterday.

I'm feeling lethargic. I wasn't able to sleep very well last night. Probably, NAMAMAHAY.

In sickness and in health,


Ps> he was taking pics and sending it to me! while he was in the isolation room. And complaining na masakit ang IV

Monday, 2 November 2015

Comfort Food: Arroz Caldo

So...I don't know why my husband is back home. He did come home with meds but he still has a slight temperature and has no appetite.

had to quickly change my dinner-for-one (me) to dinner-for-the-sick. Thank God for my well-stocked ref.  I made Arroz Caldo. Easy Peasy but it took me  an hour to make.

Here's the simplified recipe. No measurements kasi that's how housewives cook, "pacham" or pacham ba-chamba. Hahahaha

Minced Garlic
Minced Onions
Julienned Ginger
Cooking Oil
Hard Boiled Eggs
Turmeric for color
Knorr Chicken Cubes
Fish Sauce

Sauté Onion, Garlic and Ginger in Cooking Oil
Add Chicken and "brown" sides
Add 1 tsp of Fish Sauce
Add Knorr Chicken Cubes and melt into the chicken 
Add 3 cups of water
Add 3/4 cup rice
Stir every 5 minutes
Add 1/2 tsp of turmeric

Garnish and Serve

Mommy Duties,


Sunday, 1 November 2015

Thank God For Mommies

We never really stop needing our moms. We grow up. We think we can do it on our own. Wait til you get sick and you'll realize you need mommy again.

Today my husband finally got sick; chills, headache and all. 

Since I am also sick, I had to call his mom for reinforcements. She came over around 5 in the afternoon. She brought food for me and fruits for him.

After evaluating the condition of my husband, we both agreed it is best if she takes him home. I am pretty sure he needs to go to the doctor tomorrow. Since I can't drive him and it's unwise for him to drive himself, it is best that his mom takes him instead.

Aside from that, my husband and I need to be quarantined from each other. Otherwise, the circle of sickness will never end. 

Most moms worry that they will no longer be needed once their kids get married. I disagree, I actually think moms will get an additional person to take care of. Especially, if her kid marries someone like me. 

In my 13 years of being a domestic goddess, I still need mama to remove difficult stains on my clothes. When I go home to Iloilo I always bring her my labada. Then, I remind her no one can do it but her. And I mean every word! Instead of getting annoyed at my pile of laundry- believe it or not- she actually takes pride in doing it.

When I'm sick, I call mama. When I'm scared, I call mama. When I'm angry, I call mama. Geez, when we fight, my husband calls my mom to tell on me!

I realize- We never outgrow our moms.  

...And just as I'm about to end my post, my mother-in-law vibers to check up on me. She now has 2 kids. 

Still sick,


Appreciate Your Spouse

I have been quite sick these past few weeks. To say that I am just "Under the weather" is an understatement. Even my parents had to come over.

The good thing is, my husband has been taking very good care of me. Last night he woke up at 2 am to prepare my vaporizer because my nose were stuffy and my head was palpitating.

Over breakfast, I told him...

"You know ever since we first met, you have never made me feel that there is anything I lacked. Everything I want and need,  you always found a way to give me. You always make things easier for me and you put my well being before yours. Thank You."

He just said...

" Duh. Ofcourse. And I never ever make you tipid. I always tell you, 'You can buy whatever you want.' You never buy anything. You're so barat even if it's not your money."

So, okay, that wasn't a very romantic response to my appreciation. Sometimes Most of the time, my husband says things that ruin the moment. But that's him. We both agreed that when "Life Happened", it took some romance away and he is still running after "Life" to get it back.

No marriage is ever perfect. It's really up to you to find that little nugget of good in your husband or wife. If not, you will be terribly dissatisfied and unhappy.

I genuinely believe there is always something good in everyone. You just have to force yourself to find it. And when you do, acknowledge it.

Please pray for my quick recovery. Everyone is up and about and I'm stuck at home.