The Benefits of Oregano

Oregano (Scientific name: Origanum vulgare) is also known as Wild Marjoram, Mountain Mint, Origanum, Wintersweet and Winter Marjoram.

Hand of Hope: Samuel Alexander Armas

A picture began circulating in November. It should be "The Picture of the Year," or perhaps, "Picture of the Decade." It won't be. In fact, unless you obtained a copy of the paper, you probably will never see it.

Tracey Connelley, Baby P's Evil Mom, Shows NO Remorse

I have never been affected by any story as much as Baby P's story has affected me. Yesterday evening, I found myself sobbing twice! I just can't get over the sheer horror of the story.

Baby P's Murderers -- Why Are They Being Protected?

In my country, it has never happened before that the media and the people have been forbidden to actually reveal the names and faces of TC and SB, the murderers of Baby P.

That Winter The Wind Blows Finale: Did Oh Soo Die?

Over the holy week break, I spent the entire four days just watching the 15 episodes of this Korean show. Yes, I am a self-confessed Korean drama addict. I already have my favorite actors and actresses; albeit, I don’t know their names.

Aug 29, 2009

So, Is It True?

"Have you ever thought of having sex with anyone of my friends?"

This question knocked the wind's off Erbe's sails.

He went red and then he began to blubber, and he finally exclaimed forcefully, "Dai!!!"

"Okay, now I know you're lying. So, c'mon tell me, who???"
"Ano man na hapot yan?!" He answered, and he took on an offensive tactic, "Ba, mapuon ka na naman!"

Anyway, I explained that it's the claim of this article I just read. He shrugged off the article, "Hambog man lang yan kayan!" And so I decided to pick another alleged truth from the same article and I asked, "Is it true that husbands want their wives to initiate sex more often?"

He answered, "Ah, yes!"

"O di kung totoo yan, di most likely totoo man si inot! So, sisay sa mga friends ko?!?"

He did not answer. He huffed in disgust, ignored me and opted to watch Woody and Buzz.

The gentleman doth protest too much, huh? :)

On an Impasse

Migraine is hell. I have this every month, but yesterday's attack which lasted until this morning was pure hell. I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemies - well, maybe I do.

My only consolation is that I did not end up in the hospital this time; although, mamu was insisting on bringing me to the hospital. She just couldn't bear the god-awful vomit-my-guts-out wrenching that I was doing. Fortunately, I have Erbe who stayed with me through it all. He's an angel. How did I get this lucky?

He wasn't an angel the other day though.

After reading my blog and reading a certain person not-so-obviously mentioned, he was pissed off with me. This prompted a discussion about a certain friendship that is irritating the hell out of him. I don't just accept prohibitions though without a fight - or at least a reasonable explanation, one that my brain would accept. So, I argued and argued and argued. I kept asking for a "good reason why not?" And followed this with "it's not like I'm doing anything wrong!" And end this with a killer, "Perhaps, you just don't trust me!"

Anyway, we ended the discussion on an impasse.

That is why the succeeding event was tremendously ironic and a bit humorous.

The next day, Mamu wanted to catch this Tagalog movie. Since I had a couple of hours to kill, I decided to go with her. Although Erbe made a face when I asked him to go with us, he did come. Halfway through the film, one of the lead characters began a dialogue about his wife who cheated on him with her ex.

My thoughts went "uh.uh."

But Erbe did not show any untoward reaction. YET.

The character continued with how the wife never actually loved him and that she's still in-love with her ex. Although, I cannot relate with the wife, I was starkly reminded of our discussion the previous evening.

Again, Erbe did not react.

Until finally, the wife apologized and said that her fault was that she did not tell her husband that she was still in love with (name of the ex uttered at this point).

Well, what do you know?! It was the same effing name!!!

This time, Erbe turned to me and glared at me, and promptly uttered a loud, "harumph!!!"

His reaction was so funny that I began to laugh. Mamu, who was sitting beside me was naturally curious, so I turned to her and told her about the cause of Erbe's irk, and she too began laughing. While the movie's characters were crying, Mamu and I were giggling like a couple of hyenas.

The moment was priceless.

Anyway, Erbe and I are still on an impasse. I am willing to give up anything and anyone for him - but only with a very good reason. So far, he has not given me a good one. In fact, he has not given me any reason! So, there.


Aug 28, 2009

Top 15 College Memories

They say that High School life is the best. I beg to disagree. Oh, it wasn't anybody's fault but mine. Those were my Joey Potter days. Do you know that scene when Dawson first saw Jen - and Joey was just livid with jealousy , pain and anger? Well, I was stuck in that Joey Potter moment . I was freaking miserable. Geeze. Looking back, it was rather pathetic. I don't know how many times I'd beg off from going to school by pretending I had diarrhea!

I had to report to the comfort room repeatedly just so Daddy would not doubt the truthfulness of my lie. :) I figured diarrhea as an excuse was way better than migraine. Why? Well, with diarrhea, I was able to watch TV and read pocketbooks without raising suspicions. :)

Anyway, aside from the fact that I had great friends - I wasn't too happy with High School.

Now, college is another matter. I loved College. It was fun. I was having so much fun I failed Accounting 101! My friends and I all did, but it was inevitable. We were cutting classes to watch movies for god's sake! Anyway, after we were forced to take the subject again, we became fairly good students. I have really good memories of College. Of course, some memories stand out more than the others. Here are my top 15 - and oh, yeah, Jinx and Tinapay, I'd like to read about yours as well. So, here's my list -

1. Falling off and rolling on the stairs from the third floor to the second floor of the JH Building. Practically hundreds of students watched me literally fall from grace! After rolling off the stairs, I laid on my back, absorbing the humiliation, staring up at everyone looking down at me, and then I turned to a friend who said, "O, Tere, anong ginigibo mo dian?"

2. Acting as emcees with Bes - and Bes kept giggling in front of everyone inside the UNC gymnasium. It was the awarding ceremony of the INTER-OFS. Everyone was there and she kept giggling!

3. Commerce graduating class retreat and my feet smelled like a thousand dead rats! I almost died when we were asked to remove our shoes. I used to have sweaty feet, so sue me!

4. Preparing the stage design for Sounds and Sights and someone threw a stone at us (probably because we were very noisy at 2 o'clock in the morning while painting in the middle of the street) - and the stone hit me!

5. Preparing for College Debate overnight and failing miserably during the actual debate. The AS Department really kicked our ass.

6. Bessie's 18th birthday and we all went to Tabaco.

7. Bigg's Diner with Bes after we completed all our PE subjects. We celebrated! No more 7:30 classes and crazy PE teachers. The memory is so fresh - I can still taste the Bigg's fried chicken we each ordered that day!

8. Isarog hiking with the fellows during my last year in college. It was one hell of an experience! That was not hiking! That was effing rock climbing sans the ropes!

9. Sleepovers at Sussette's. We didn't really bother with sleep. though. We just talked and talked and talked about boys - stupid boys mostly. :)

10. Bes and me at P's apartment - probably one of the most painful moments in my life. I bet he doesn't know this.

11. Late night talk marathons with Ryan about life and love

12. Effing humiliating kill-me-now field demonstration where I was forced to wear an excruciatingly stupid neon-colored dress and dance to the sound of cha-cha-cha

13. March 19, 1999 - That first - ah, what did we call it then? ah yes, Sixpence.

14. My I-can't-live-without-you-drama with Bes

15. And lastly, an unexpected evening under the biggest tree in the whole university

So, now guys, it's your turn!

Maybe, Tinay, you can end your list with your grand graduation ceremony! :)

Full Circle

Do you know that thing they say -- that you would only understand your parents when you become a parent yourself -- yes, that thing? I finally understand what people mean when they say that. And it's true. It's very, very true.

As you probably know, we didn't have our mamu around while growing up. When we were little, she'd only come home for a month-long Christmas vacation. So, whenever she was home, I'd insist on her sleeping next to me. I hated it when I would wake up and she'd be gone, or sleeping next to my sister or our father.

I wouldn't come to bed until she'd lie down herself. I often irritated the hell out of my father. I also insisted on using her arm as my pillow, so I'd be able to really scoot next to her.

Fairly natural, right?

I used to see it from my point of view. Now, I also see it from her point of view.

You see, Paige is exactly like me. She wouldn't go to sleep unless I'd lie next to her. She'd insist on using my arm as her pillow and my other arm wrap around her. It'd take 30 minutes or more before she'd be able to go to sleep. She'd do a lot of fidgeting and talking. Trust me, if you would try this position - and with a scoliosis to boot - you would not feel your arms after 30 minutes or so.

Needless to say, I have come full circle - from being a daughter to being a mother. Now, I appreciate mamu more for her willingness to bear with numb and painful arms just so I'd be able to go to sleep. :)

Well, I'll be Damned!

I find this very, very, very interesting.
Can I grow another husband?
One that does not fart????
Hey you - well, you know who you are! Can you buy me this one the next time you go to Malaysia?

Aug 26, 2009

She's Learning Fast!

On the phone talking to Che, I was barely paying attention to Paige who was watching Madagascar and eating cereals from the box.

When suddenly she appeared beside me and earnestly asked, "Mama, love mo ako?"

I turned to her and answered, "Suuuuuuuuuuuuper!"

Her face then took on an I'm-so-sorry-mama look and then she moved aside and pointed at the cereal box and all its contents dumped on the bed, "Hilingun mo mama o."

It was only then that I realized what she did. Wise girl. I couldn't get mad then. After all, didn't I just say I love her super? :)

Aug 25, 2009

Iggy's - Singapore's Best Restaurant

Working online, I get to write all sorts of articles for various websites. I once wrote a series of articles covering the best chefs and restaurants in the world. The articles included video clips, recipes and reviews. So, basically, I completely immersed myself in El Pellegrino World's 100 Best Restaurants list. I drooled over recipes and pictures of world-class cuisines.

Overtime, I developed a gnawing desire to visit all of these restaurants. I wanted - and still want - to dine at Ferran Adria's El Bulli and try the cuisine at Fat Duck's.

Now, being in Asia, I knew that there is much ado going on about Singapore's Iggy's. It has been named as Asia's Best Restaurant, and aside from Les Creations De Narisawa of Japan, it is the only restaurant in Asia that made it to El Pellegrino's World's 50 Best Restaurants list. That's definitely something else! You do not mess with El Pellegrino's.

For chefs and restaurateurs, this is the ultimate achievement. Well, aside from the Michelin Stars of course. But you do not get into El Pellegrino's if you do not have at least one measly Michelin Guide star!

Anyway, after a lot of nagging, my friend finally conceded to eat at Iggy's. If you are a foodie, you do not turn your nose up at world-class cuisine. This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. After all, the price of the food is not a joke.

If you are a cheapskate, however, who doesn't give a flying shit about good food, you would not understand. Forgive me, but having a chef for a boss has certainly changed my opinion about fine dining. After all, he's not your average chef. He is the executive chef at Mission Hills Golf Club, the biggest golf club in the world.

Needless to say, I'm freaking green with envy when my friend sent me pictures of Iggy's and their food. Well, he certainly has come a long way - and I am certainly happy for him. He used to treat me to Bigg's dinner for menial and demeaning tasks like writing notes for him. Now, he's dining in world-class restaurants. I intend to nag him to dine at other world-class restaurants in Asia. :)

Anyway, here are his pictures of Singapore's Iggy's.

Discovering Dan Fogelberg

I heard Leader of the Band earlier this evening. It prompted me to check out other Dan Fogelberg songs. After all, all I knew was this song and his famous Billboard topping song, Longer.

I like his cover of Rhythm of the Rain. Check it out.

And this song, Same Old Lang Syne - it's bittersweet. If you have someone from the past that you still need to do the good 'ol "closure" with, you will like this song.

Same Old Lang Syne
(Dan Fogelberg)

Met my old lover in the grocery store,
The snow was falling Christmas Eve.
I stole behind her in the frozen foods,
And I touched her on the sleeve.

She didn't recognize the face at first,
But then her eyes flew open wide.
She went to hug me and she spilled her purse,
And we laughed until we cried.

We took her groceries to the checkout stand,
The food was totalled up and bagged.
We stood there lost in our embarrassment,
As the conversation dragged.

We went to have ourselves a drink or two,
But couldn't find an open bar.
We bought a six-pack at the liquor store,
And we drank it in her car.

We drank a toast to innocence,
We drank a toast to now.
And tried to reach beyond the emptiness,
But neither one knew how.

She said she'd married her an architect,
Who kept her warm and safe and dry,
She would have liked to say she loved the man,
But she didn't like to lie.

I said the years had been a friend to her,
And that her eyes were still as blue.
But in those eyes I wasn't sure if I saw,
Doubt or gratitude.

She said she saw me in the record stores,
And that I must be doing well.
I said the audience was heavenly,
But the traveling was hell.

We drank a toast to innocence,
We drank a toast to now.
And tried to reach beyond the emptiness,
But neither one knew how.
We drank a toast to innocence,
We drank a toast to time.
Reliving in our eloquence,
Another 'auld lang syne'......

The beer was empty and our tongues were tired,
And running out of things to say.
She gave a kiss to me as I got out,
And I watched her drive away.
Just for a moment I was back at school,
And felt that old familiar pain .........
And as I turned to make my way back home,
The snow turned into rain ..............

Aug 23, 2009

Sunday's Secrets

Sometimes, I can just relate to Sunday's Secrets.

Like this one -

I had this problem when I was in High School. I especially hate this during mass when people have to hold hands for the "Our Father". Excruciating.

And this one - it speaks to me. This is exactly what is in my heart. It's not really a secret.

Now, this one makes me so sad.

Just Effing Rambling

This has never happened before.
I'm so pissed.
And worried.
Damn worried.
I hate this.

Aug 22, 2009

Sheer Idiocy

Erbe and I slept at god-knows-what-time - I guess 4 or 5 in the morning. At exactly 9 o'clock in the morning, I woke up to a severely stifling heat and a lot of sweat. My first thought, "Pucha. Mayong kuryente."

Pissed, I grabbed the phone beside me and called Casureco. (As you know, I have a long history with Casureco).

But I was even more pissed off when I heard the answer, "Scheduled brownout po yan, ma'am. Hanggang 5 PM po yan."


Scheduled??? Why weren't we informed?! Another work day delayed. *sigh

Anyway, I decided to get up and go downstairs for breakfast. Paige was with her Yaya eating her own breakfast. I gave her a grumpy morning kiss and grabbed a cup of coffee. I then sat down in front of the phone with the intention of calling Cheryl just so I can ask her if I could go to her house - and sleep there.

But before I was able to, Paige's Yaya spoke up.

"Ate, pano daw po ni si baby?"
That caught my attention, I turned and asked moodily, "Tano?"
She answered, "Tulong aldaw na po baga makulog ang payo ko."
WTF?! What does that got to do with Paige, I thought. So, I snidely asked, "O ano?"
With my tone of voice, she should have known that I was not in the mood for an asinine answer, but she opened her mouth and continued, "Baka po mahawa po sako."


You could just imagine my reaction. If looks could kill, she would have died right there and then.

Imagine. The pure idiocy to suggest an infectious headache. WTF?!

Yep, I said something scathing, biting and mean. But I don't want to go into that anymore. :)

All I can say is that you don't mess with a sleepy, grumpy woman at war with the electric company. Seriously, sometimes, I feel like that freaking company is singling us out. Is it because we're outside Naga City and bordering Afghanistan? Difungal talaga.

Aug 20, 2009

A Letter for Kris

Dear Auntie Kris,

I so, so, so love make-ups!
I love lipsticks as well!
Can you send me everything you have there?
I am soooooooooooo like you!
We'd get along fine when I'm in my 20's and YOU'RE OLD and still wearing a cake of make-up. tee..hee..hee..


Remembering Da Vinci Days

I found a couple of my old, old paintings.

I miss it - creating things with my hand.

I miss the way it used to make me feel.
I miss the place I go to when I draw or paint.
I miss it.
It's a very peaceful place. There's nothing there - no pain. Just a blissful state of nothingness.

Drawing/painting was my release when I used to feel bad.
Now, I blog, scream and get lots and lots of hugs from Erbe.

One of these days, I'll create something. I wish I have the time. *sigh*

Now That's a Farmer!

You should have seen how this looks like before.
She cleared it.
Bravo Mamu!
Now, let's start the Banana War!