More 2015 Memories (Part 2)

Just as planning for something makes us hopeful, looking back can also make us feel grateful for what we have done and overcome in the past. Have I mentioned (enough) that 2014 ended viciously?  Here were some of my lifelines last year:

Live Concerts

It was pretty much chick music that I grooved to, and it was what just I needed.

2015 concerts collage
Heard Patti Austin, Colbie Caillat, Christina Perri, Ingrid Michaelson, Belinda Carlisle and Oleta Adams (no photo). How much more estrogen can you take?

My mom celebrated her 70th birthday, my dad his 72nd, and their 43rd anniversary.

Meron po akong pinagmanahan 🙂

Getting back in the saddle


Life is like riding a bicycle — in order to keep your balance, you must keep moving. —Albert Einstein




It is still a journey to get to a good place most of the time, sometimes a trudge. But I feel like I’m better.

I Read It: Essays in Love by Alain de Botton


In “Essays in Love”, Alain de Botton writes about the progression of his relationship with Chloe, from the meet cute at the airport to the phone tag in scheduling the first date, to the first kiss, the first argument, the dilemma when (who first gets) to say “I love you”, meeting the parents, the friends, the first trip together. As with most heady romances, it eventually becomes tempered by the mundane nature of everyday seeing, talking, being with each other. Doubt sets in, then a domino-effect which just left me thinking “well, that escalated quickly”.

It is only with a quick Google search that I find out that this is de Botton’s work of fiction. One that he wrote at 23 years old! (He’s 46 years old now).

De Botton is very quotable. He is, after all, a philosopher. Every chapter was a joy to read, even when the love affair devolved. I especially liked the chapter where both lovers, who though definitely feeling it, could not get themselves to say the 3 little words. The male character, de Botton I assumed, came up with a safe word, “marshmallow” that to them “seemed to capture the essence of my amorous state with an accuracy that the word love, weary with overuse, simply could not aspire to.”

Many times before, while listening to my friends’ love stories and having none of my own, my friends would say, “you are lucky, you have not felt love yet, because it is difficult, it is hard work, it is painful.” And to that, I would always reply, “I do not care. I just want to feel how it is to love and be loved.” (Romantically, I meant. I have a lot of love in my life. Heh.)

Flash forward to today… I still feel the same way.



I MADE IT: Thai Coconut Chicken and Vermicelli

Cooped up at home because of Blizzard Jonas, was a good enough reason to abide by my resolution to cook my own food.

What caught my eye was a cooking pack courtesy of Fresh Routes. The cooking kit included most of the ingredients (save for the perishables) and the recipe. It was very easy to follow and no-fuss.

I like that it saved me some time sourcing and figuring out the ingredients, something that gives me a lot of anxiety — have I bought the right one, the correct portion/size/quantity? Cooking kits are a gateway for cooking beginners to more exciting culinary adventures.

Viola! The finished product is tasty! It was already good if you follow the recipe but I tweaked it a bit according to my taste (put in fish sauce and more lemon juice). Yummy in my tummy! And there was enough for my lunch tomorrow, though not too much that I was stuck eating it for the whole week.

Cooking Kit: WIN!

WATCH: Something Rotten on Broadway


I love it! I love it! I love it!

Something Rotten tells the story of two brothers, Nick and Nigel Bottom, and how they developed and produced the first musical (ever), as an alternative to Shakespeare’s iambic dramas. There is romance, intrigue, codpieces, deception, rock stars, tap dancing, a usurious Jew, woman-power, dream sequences, a soothsayer, feathers, pilgrims, puppets, eggs, music and laughter, and more! It is shameless in its eagerness to seek the audience’s approval — putting in everything that constitutes a good time, short of throwing in the proverbial kitchen sink.


That said, I could not rant enough how some people do not know, or simply do not care, how to watch a play.  I wanted to say any live performance, but watching a play or a classical concert is definitely different from watching a live band or group. It all depends on the venue.

We’ve heard of the cellphone that ruined a symphony by ringing in the middle of the concert. Benedict Cumberbatch could not contain his annoyance of people taking photos on their cellphones while the show was going on. My peeve during “Something Rotten” was something less tech-driven. My theater experience was not complete because I was disturbed by the relentless PDA the couple in front of my seat was displaying. Now, I am all for showing affection — one of my favorite kikay songs this season is Selena Gomez’s “Hands to Myself” — but when your constant smooches and face touching block my sightlines of an exhibition of talent I paid good money to see, you have basically given me a cause to kick your seats all throughout the play.


This is Where I Want to Be (Part I)

Another 366 exciting opportunities to explore!

Before January ends, let me look back at 2015. (I apologize in advance for presenting you a deluge of photos. This is what happens when you only post at the beginning of the year!)

I wasn’t in the best frame of mind when it started and most of the time I was just coasting and trying things so I can somehow smooth some mental and emotional snags I had been going through.

2015 was a year I fell down repeatedly…


Somehow I still got going.

I got to go to San Francisco to be with one of my best friends:

Auey takes the best pictures! Everyone she takes looks so happy. 

to (attempt to) find my balance

yoga sf

and to soak in the sunny disposition of the city. I only stayed a weekend in SF but got so enamored with the weather, I forgot I was going home to negative temperatures.

Went to Chicago on a solo trip


FotorCreated chicago 2

FotorCreated chicago 3

Went home to the Philippines — “staycationed” in Laguna

Made like a beached whale on the shores of Puerto Prinsesa, Palawan

Inspired by a Filipino TV soap to explore Baguio and Benguet

Back in New York, I continued mini-adventures in Tarrytown

Pretended I was a Rockefeller, surveying my domain

Waited for the sunset, while grazing on cheese and sipping wine in a Long Island Winery

Projecting our doña fantasies on the lucky ducks who had tables in the Hamptons.

Enjoyed the perfect day in Montauk

Took advantage of the laid-back vibe in Fire Island

(To be continued)


The Martian and other Worldly Concerns

Matt Damon The Martian alone on Mars
Image from,manual

R and I agree that The Martian is an immensely satisfying movie. It is entertaining, smart, and hopeful. However, since I could not fully confirm it, I am hesitant to say realistic, but what the heck — it’s realistic! R is going to pick the movies we watch from now on.

Takeaways from The Martian:

  1. I wish I paid extra attention to my science and math classes and science-d the shit off my studies!
  2. I like Kristen Wiig but why is she in this movie???
  3. I would like to see more of Chiwetel Ejiofor on film and TV. (Now IMDB-ing his projects).
  4. Disco music is motivating. It pushed Matt Damon’s character to hurry out of Mars, even if it is because he would like to already escape it. Although, I would not mind a well-timed “I Will Survive” while I am planting patatas.
  5. R reminds me of Matt Damon.
  6. The movie has inspired me to take up journaling again.

And that’s what I’m doing. Even though my journal is not as exciting as Matt Damon’s character’s, at least I am not writing it from Mars.

Hello 2015

To ward off the bad juju of the past year, I decided to spend New Year’s eve differently than I did last year.


I’ve had invitations from well-meaning friends to celebrate the incoming year but there was a chance to see how they party it up in those downtown art spaces, so I went.

Our host and lead singer


Because this year started unconventionally, and learning from the lessons of how my seemingly peaceful 2014 progressed, I am hopeful that 2015 will be loads better.

Goodbye 2014

2014 was a heart-wrenching year. And to think it started peacefully.

Spring was characterized by run-jog-walks in the park, lovely dinners, wine tastings in barren vineyards. After telling somebody that my favorite food was dinuguan, I was impressed when dinuguan was prepared and served from scratch.  One of my best friends and my sister came to visit and provide ample diversion.

dotie da who

I didn't realize they had the same hairdo.
I didn’t realize they had the same hairdo.

Summer was balmy, perfect for road trips.

Ocean Grove Tarrytown Montauk  IMG_1011 IMG_1088


I wished those sunny days would never end. But they did. They always do. To make way for the fall. Which quickly became winter.



I thought that I would see the time when I could swing on that hammock one summer.