Family, Food, Friends, Fun, Fancy!

On September 17 this year, I was in New Zealand! I still am in New Zealand right now actually and I’ll be here a while because my sister is about to give birth in a few weeks! To twins! :D Everyone in the family is super excited, my dad’s already been here since August, my mom’s coming next week and my brother will come to visit in October. I arrived a few days ago and was really planning on just celebrating my birthday here, but of course my friends had other plans, er, requests.

They knew I was going to leave Manila for a while and before my birthday, too, so they asked if I could celebrate my birthday before I left. And though I normally don’t celebrate my birthday before the day itself, I figured this was a special circumstance and I could give in to their demands. :P

So plans were made, invitations sent, outfits picked out and viola! These are the things that happened:

A Coffee Afternoon

This is the year of specialty coffee! Or, perhaps it isn’t really, but to me it is as this is the year that I started to learn more about it and now of course, I’d like to share it with my friends. So I invited everyone for coffee and merienda at EDSA Beverage Design Group in Greenhills.


I know, I know, it’s a ways from us Southern girls, but I think it’s a cool place what with their handcrafted beverages and nice space. I have to admit that as much as I love the South, there are places elsewhere that are worth going to. And I’m extra touched that despite the distance, my friends made it! M even brought a cake from the South!

I think it was a nice change of scenery for us and I’m really grateful to X for sponsoring our cab ride to get here from ATC, and to M2 for driving us back to the South in the heavy rain.

Since we were all girls, we had a story-telling game of sorts. I wrote some questions that we each had to answer and I gave notebooks to the ones whom I thought had the most interesting answers. M2 and K won for their honesty and because they had the most benta stories. Hehe. I hope they like the notebooks I gave them.

Of course, we also enjoyed the coffee, cakes and other pastries and beverages that we ordered. What I like about EDSA-BDG is that they have drinks other than coffee so even non-coffee drinkers can have a good time, and I think we all discovered something new about how we like our drinks. You find out something more about a person when you find out how he/she takes his/her coffee, I think. And I’m really happy when I get to know more about my friends. :)


A Fancy Dinner Party

We left Edsa-BDG at 5:30 p.m. exactly as right after our coffee afternoon, I had to get ready for dinner! It was only my girl friends who were invited to coffee as my guy friends aren’t at all interested in that kind of thing and would much rather just be drinking alcohol. So I had a different celebration planned for them, and it really stared out as being not much different from our semi-usual Saturday night inuman at my house. Originally, I was just planning on ordering a case of San Mig Light from a tindahan in the village and getting food from the Mr. Liempo at the village entrance, but then I realized that if I just did that, then it would just be just like our semi-usual Saturday night and that it happened to fall a few days before my birthday wouldn’t have made a difference. So I thought that I should do something special to distinguish it from our other get-togethers and I thought of serving drinks other than San Mig Light.

I searched on the Internet for easy-to-make cocktails, preferably ones that had beer as the main ingredient so it wouldn’t be too expensive. But the Internet being the Internet, suddenly I found myself looking at sites that told you which wine to pair with your food and which glasses you should use for a particular kind of cocktail. I told my mom about it and she said that I could use our nice glasses that she received as a gift but never ever used since we never had dinner parties anyway, and then she got all excited about setting the table and using the nice plates and…


I have actually always wanted to have a fancy dinner party like this, but never thought I could pull it off. I thought my friends wouldn’t be up for it, or that maybe it would be too expensive, and I guess it was a bit more expensive than I’d hoped, but surprisingly, I didn’t have difficulty convincing my friends to come to my house in semi-formal attire. And with help from the right people and the right menu, I didn’t have too much difficulty setting up everything else either. :) Thanks to my ate and my mom and Ate E and Ate M who were all ever-so-supportive of my crazy ideas (and also gave me some of their own).

ANTIPASTO. Rosemary olive oil batard, parmesan, mozzarella, salami, prosciutto ham, tomatoes, basil, almonds, cashew nuts, dried blueberries and grapes.

Because we started so late, we ended up eating most of the bruschetta after dinner, but I think we made a nice setup for a makeshift appetizer bar. Special thanks to K2 for slicing the cheeses and placing these ingredients on the plates. I was supposed to do it, but at the time I thought putting on make-up was more important. ;) And K2 likes doing these things anyway.


We took this photo just before dinner and unfortunately weren’t able to take more we started so late we were so hungry. But the experience was more important than the pictures anyway, and I think we were also able to take some nice ones during and after the dinner itself.

Dinner was fish and chips (to go to with the beer cocktail), roast chicken (to go with the red wine), rice (because Philippines) and cucumber, red cabbage and carrot salad (because health). Lemons to taste.

After dinner, we had cake for dessert. And because it was my birthday, the cake came with a candle and a song. :) I was only supposed to have the one cake, the Frozen Brazo de Mercedes I ordered, but I received one that afternoon from M, K and K3, and another one that evening from J and K4. So I had 3 cakes in all. Hooray!


Mama also wore a semi-formal dress for the occasion, which is good, so she didn’t look out-of-place in the pictures. Although she was just wearing her fuzzy slippers with the dress. I guess I shouldn’t have told you that. :P

Anyway, we had a Cranium-like game of sorts after dessert and it was so much fun my friends are crazy competitive. The winner’s prize was a chocolate bar from Japan. Well, it was a Japanese brand, but really I bought it in SM. Hehe.

Afterwards, we continued to stuff ourselves with food from the antipasto bar, drank the German beers I bought from S&R (on sale!), the wines that M and K2 brought, as well as the Black Velvet cocktail whose recipe I found on the Internet. We sang some songs as J played the guitar and the first people who left didn’t leave until 6 a.m. the next day, which I think is the sure indication of a great party. Yes?

And here’s another picture of us girls just because. :)


A Pasta Feast and a Show

The next day (but really, it was a few hours after the dinner party), my mom woke me up so we could go to Solaire and watch Singin’ in the Rain on stage! We got orchestra tickets at 50% off and it was my first time at Solaire and Singin’ in the Rain is, I think, my 2nd favorite musical (Fiddler on the Roof is first.) so I had a really nice time all the way until we met up with my brother and sis-in-law for dinner at Va Bene Pasta Deli at Bonifacio High Street.

We had black ink pasta, two kinds of ravioli, some soup and some gnocchi. They were all really good and I wouldn’t mind going there again in the future.


The next day, it was time for me to go to New Zealand! I didn’t sleep anymore as I still hadn’t packed my stuff at this point and I needed to leave the house at 6:30 a.m. to make it to my flight. Luckily M and her sister T came to the house at midnight to help me pack my things. Anyway, after making sure all the stuff I had didn’t go beyond my 20kg limit, we had breakfast and said goodbye and my mom and Ate E brought me to the airport!

A Lot of Ribs and a Free Dessert

I arrived at Wellington a little over 24 hours later and a little over 24 hours after that, it was my actual birthday and because my sister is the best sister in the world, she and her husband treated me (and Papa!) to a yummy restaurant dinner! Ribs!

We ate at Lone Star Restaurant in Petone and they have really big servings. We had so much leftover to take away! But it was all well and good because as it was my birthday, I got a free dessert! It was a kind of meringue cake with cream and passion fruit syrup. Yummy!

From Phone

Now it’s September 18 and my 2015 birthday is officially over. I think it’s the best one yet because aside from celebrating it twice with my friends, I was able to celebrate it twice with my family! I should always go to New Zealand around this time so I can always celebrate my birthday with both my family in the Philippines and Ate and her husband. Haha. If only!


Technically, it’s August 31. But if SM can play Christmas songs on their PA system a day before September, then so can I! Except instead of playing Christmas songs on a PA system, I’m declaring that my birth month has begun and now it’s time for my annual posting of my Birthday Wish List! Hooray! :D

For my birthday this year, I hope my beautiful and amazing friends and family will give me some (or all (because epal ako)) of the following:

  • Snoe Products! – Any product! Except for the lip sugar polish as I already have this. Oh, and if you’re planning on giving me any of the powders/tinted moisturizers, please get the Warm Honey tone! :D
  • Desigual Accessories! – I thought I would think it passé as soon as it was already available in the Philippines, but no. I still love this brand! I’ll appreciate anything from it. :)
  • National Book Store GC! – Because bookstores and office/school supply stores are my Disneyland
  • At ang walang kamatayang handkerchiefs – I can never stop losing them, but I will never stop using them! (Parang boys!* ;) )

I’ve a short list for this year because it’s not a cheap list. Hehehe. Well, maybe the last 2 items don’t require much funds, but the first two kind of do. Bright side? You can share! I don’t mind if I get one expensive gift that’s from two or three people who pooled their budget. You see? I care about my community! :D

Happy September!!!

* SUPER JOKE LANG. If anything, it’s the other way around. :cry:


“Don’t settle,” they said.

And by “they” I really mean “everyone.” If I had a nickel for every time someone said to someone that he/she shouldn’t settle on a relationship that they think “isn’t good enough,” I think I would be a rich person.

I’m not saying I don’t believe in this philosophy. It makes total sense. Who wouldn’t want the best? Given that we’re insatiable as a species, it’s already difficult for us to be content with someone we really like. So imagine how much harder it would be if we forced ourselves to settle on someone we only kind of like.

So don’t settle. Keep on looking for “the one” that’s best for you. There are 7 billion (?) people in the world, it’s highly likely that there’s someone out there who’s everything you’re looking for and more. So don’t settle on the first guy/girl you meet who shows an interest in you. Set your standards as high as you like, be very discerning or even discriminating when picking a partner. Look for someone who exceeds even your wildest dreams.

And then hope against hope and everything else you believe in, that they settle for you.

I Have Access to Your Twitter

You didn’t even bother to ask if you could borrow my phone. Or, okay, you did the first time. But mostly it was to ask how to use it. Not, if it was alright that you did. Not that I minded. You were surprised my phone didn’t have a password, that’s how much I didn’t mind. And it was not the first time you took something personal of mine and looked at it. You’ve looked at the business and identification cards that have accumulated in my wallet before. As well, in the past, I have looked at the receipts in your wallet and changed the color scheme on your phone. You changed it back immediately, but that was just the kind of relationship we had. So when I went into the living room and saw you sliding your thumb on my phone’s screen, I didn’t think anything of it.

It’s not a big deal to use someone else’s phone. If you ran out of credit and had an urgent phone call to make or text to send, asking to use someone else’s phone is normal, even necessary. So it’s not a big deal either that you checked your social media accounts on my phone’s browser and watched some music videos on my phone’s YouTube app. Even though those aren’t necessarily urgent matters.

But you didn’t log out any of your accounts. And you didn’t clear the search history. I suppose you just forgot. I don’t do those things either (Then again, it is my phone.) so I didn’t think anything of it. At first.

But now YouTube is suggesting I watch JPop music videos, because you didn’t log out of my account to access those. And now YouTube thinks we’re the same person. One’s search history is a very intimate thing, isn’t it?

And if I were so inclined, I could theoretically ruin your life, I just have to post something using your Twitter account. Can you imagine my surprise when I was expecting to check my Twitter account and saw your profile picture instead? I thought I made a mistake, but it was your Twitter alright. I was able to read the tweets of all the sports personalities you followed and everything. And that’s another thing. Sure, we follow each other on Twitter so it’s not like it would be difficult for me to find out about who else you followed. But it felt a little strange going through a Twitter feed of people that you were following, information that you were interested in. For a moment, it felt like I was in your head somehow, being able to read your thoughts, and I was able to find out interesting information about you, that you wouldn’t normally reveal or talk about unless someone asked you specifically about it.

Don’t get me wrong. I didn’t find anything embarrassing or blackmail-worthy in your tweets or on your feed; I suppose that’s why you’re so careless about logging out. But even just seeing all the things you’re interested in reading about online, in one feed like that… It felt like I was looking into your soul. Or, perhaps more accurately, it felt like I was looking at the world through your eyes.

I should log out of your account, shouldn’t I? That’s the right thing to do. The truth is, I’m not even interested in reading your Twitter feed. It’s all just about sports and video games anyway and what do I care about those, really? And no, I didn’t go so far as to going to your friends’ personal Twitter accounts and reading their tweets. I don’t have the time. So yes, I definitely should log out. Especially so I can check my own Twitter on my own phone. That’s what I should do. That’s what I will do. That’s definitely what I will get around to doing. Soon. I promise.