i’m 18 with 26 years experience

How times flies is so gasgas but I can’t think of a more appropriate catchphrase to say how fast a year can be. I turned a year older again, something that only some super powers can stop from happening every year. At forty-four, I’m not so proud of what I have become. I wish I can turn back time at 25 and rearrange my life, I wish there’s a way to be young again so I can work harder and grab all the opportunities that passed and probably did not commit those countless mistakes in the past. Yes, I have regrets, too many disappointments and an unhappy soul. But I’d like to think that at this point I still have time, and I wouldn’t be the person I am now if I haven’t gone thru all those dark phases of life. Each has his own life lessons and I’m still learning everyday, I’m lucky on so many counts!

So, last month I blew another candle and marked another birthday. Because my birthday fell on a Sunday I had lunch for my maternal family. It was timing because it was also the last weekend of my cousin and fam who were vacationing from Dubai, it was our last hurray to end the eventful holiday season.

While I want the occasion to be an exclusive family affair, little did I know that my closest girl friends were invited by Nanay. It was sort of a surprise that didn’t turned out well because the breakfast congee was cancelled at last minute. Not as good as my planning skill, hehehe. Anyhow, the lunch we prepared was simple and enough to satisfy the post-holiday cravings. Thank you fam for coming to celebrate our birthdays (it was ze husband’s too a day before mine, remember?).

Thank you also to Vi and Mayora for coming, I’ll promise to hook up this Feb when all the ganaps are over.

Thank you also to my team back at the office for the healthy breakfast spread, you guys never failed to surprise me every year and I’m still not giving up on my silent request until you thought of it one day –why not a Kate Spade inspired party! 😛

And to my dear husband, please get me this party ⇑⇑⇑ when I rock the 45th. 🙂



Dear Lord, I praise you with all my heart and ask you cleanse me once more. I know I’ve fault you time and time again and many times I thought I know better, forgive my shortcomings. Thank you for the year that was and for the years ahead. Thank you for my health, for making me well in 2017 because I feel healed and whole. Thank you for the gift of family and friends. As I face the new year, I pray for better opportunities so I can provide for the family. I pray for inner peace and strength to survive all the mishaps of life and lastly please extend all blessings and guidance to my family. These I pray in Jesus name, Amen.



reflections at 43


I recently turned 43 and had a lot of realisation even before turning a year older. I dunno with you but I really don’t mind getting old each year, I worry less of age because it’s just a number and what really matter is the impact you have made to yourself, to family and friends, to your community, to your country and what made you as a person. Okay, I won’t dare talk of being a partisan, hehehe, let’s leave those articles to Mocha Uson and her counterparts. 🙂


In the past, especially of last year I celebrated my 42nd birthday with a blast, I had a number of celebrations bec I thought I needed that outlet, I needed to be surrounded by many –for what? A smug satisfaction perhaps? I really do not know what I am trying to prove the reason of my extravagant celebrations. Way of saying thank you? It was my lame excuse because I felt I owe them something. When in fact the real thing, I’m always the giver, the pleaser. And many times in the past I felt I’m taken for granted because who cares? Who truly cares? I can name a real few. Sigh!

Sometimes when you’re at age like me you came to a point, mostly on slow days, you tend to recollect things in the past and everytime it happened I’m saddened, there’s obvious fakeness in everything that surrounds me. But then, I can’t change people and events, I can’t preach sincerity, it’s not easy to deal with falseness and beyond. So, I guess for me it’s either you win it or lose it, I have to be true to myself and discard the rotten tomatoes in my basket. So there, let my drama series take a close from here, for now.


Happy happy birthday ‘ney! 


My birthday fell on a Saturday and my girls at the office gave me an advance party on the 13th. It’s ze husband’s birthday by the way but we really didn’t celebrate, I remember us having la paz batchoy at one of our favorite stop after he blew his birthday candle at home, thank you Darwin & Rosette for the chocolate cake.


Back at the office, my girls go overboard this time and decked my post like I’m James Reid’s number one fan. I’m a fan but not a die-hard one, nothing compared with my fangirling to Ely Buendia during Eheads stardom. Uhm girls, I appreciate all the effort you put in making that James Reid daydream look in your eye, other than I might be too old for this, whachathink? 😀 Next time, next year, can you please tone down to a lighter theme? Say Kate Spade inspired? That classy black and pink visuals? Go at Pinterest for some inspiration, please. Of course, I didn’t tell anyone that I’m a bit uncomfortable of the James Reid banderitas, I silently requested one of the utility boys to neatly remove the decors after everyone left that day. Sorry girls, I’m not really complaining but this is too much hype. Hahaha.


Nonetheless, thank you team for making my birthday always a merry one. 🙂


Anyhow, I was treated to lunch by the team. We had the traditional cake blowing, I got two Sansrival cake just bec it’s my all-time favorite. Hey, I also love Mary Grace and Contis and Costa Brava or Hizon’s, why not Estrel’s? I only wish they could read this blog so it’d be easy for them to prepare, hehehe. And because I don’t want to splurge anymore this year to extra celebrations I just ordered meryenda chow in the afternoon –pancit, mini-sandwiches and chicken lolly. I also don’t want to extend the celebration come Monday that’s why I also advance my birthday blow-out. Simple.


We’re already home during my birthday but ze husband had to drive back to Manila at 7am so I was left again, and like what I initially planned I will just sleep on my birthday. At almost noontime I was surprised to wake at the smell of pancit, oh somebody cooked for me, of course it was Nanay. She also cooked the classic spaghetti, I bet ze husband requested this because I was nagging him the other night about neglecting my birthday. Really, it’s been long since someone make an effort at home, I can’t even remember the last time.


By mid-afternoon the sister’s fam arrived and some cousins –pabebe boys, they all stayed until dinner time so the house was like in festive mood again. Ze husband and I were supposed to go out for coffee that night but sensing that he’s tired already I stopped myself from being brash. After all, his weekends are never really all about resting bec when he’s home the fur kiddos are on ultra-hyper mode, all three wanted his attention.


Sometimes you really questioned yourself what makes you happy, and what makes me happy is home. I always look forward to coming home and spending my weekend break with ze husband, with my maternal fam, with the fur kiddos. I love the crisp morning air and cottony clouds. I know every year would be a different story and every year I might have a different realisation and thoughts, but every year I’d turn to look at this blog and remember how blessed I am despite of all the misfortunes. Thank you Lord for the gift of life. ♥



mama lou’s italian kitchen, solenad


Home-cooked spaghetti vongole while recuperating from anemia at home…


When two dear friends from high school celebrated their birthdays back in July I was a day out only at the hospital following that serious anemia I never imagined. I was on leave a few days after and was jaded at home because ze husband was not giving me go signal yet to go out. He worried about relapse and other complications so I had to stay back. Following Friday of that week and the end of my torture at home I invited few friends and the celebrators over late lunch. Their little celebration was a good excuse for me to get a breather and eat Italian. 😀


Mama Lou’s Italian Kitchen at Solenad has been on my must-try restaurants other than everytime we’re at that side of the city we’re always in hurry and our main concern were outlet shops. So, I think a separate food trip is really necessary minus any form of shopping. We’re all first-timers at Mama Lou’s but if you know me I have this system of checking the restaurant’s menu days prior to our visit, I read recommendations, bestsellers and most importantly I check the pricelist. I don’t want to be in trouble just in case my party won’t go dutch and if in case we’re splitting the bill at least I’d know if it’s reasonable or not. And because I was the one who initiated this group date I took care of the ordering part.


I had us Poutine P160 for appetizer. Glorious French fries topped with smooth brown gravy, and mozzarella cheese


We had 2 kinds of pasta and both were good –Spaghetti Meatballs P295. Spaghetti with mouthwatering homemade meatballs. The meatballs were huge.


Linguini Vongole P295. Linguini pasta with baby clams and garlic.


I also got an order of Risotto Tartufo Funghi P325. This is wild mushroom and truffle cream. I’m slowly loving this Italian recipe but then I always find it more satisfying when shared. There’s umay factor when you try to finish an order by yourself, I think it’s the heavy cream.


And pizza, Mama Lou’s Special Large 14” P450. Tomato, mozzarella, prosciutto, mango, arugula and balsamic cream.


Added Pizza Bianca P375 because it was well-recommended by the wait staff. This one in cream, mozzarella, bacon and mushroom.


Their pizzas are oven-bricked and crispy thin, served with alfalfa sprouts and arugula. You can roll it or eat as is. Pizzas are similar to C’ Italian’s.


And because we’re dining Italian and we’re celebrating Greg and Renzy’s 40 something birthdays, I thought it’s fancier if there’s a bottle of wine, I thought it’ll help increase my red blood cells in a way. On the contrary, I learned that tannins in wine are not really good with iron deficiency issues. But believe me there was no diet restriction on my home instructions from MMC.

Back at Mama Lou’s –resto is pleasant, be sure to reserve the table close to the wine racks. I insisted us be seated there because it’s a bit distant from other tables apart from its really picture worthy.


Anyhow, we had a good convo all throughout our meal, I love this pack because topic can go anything under the sun and I can stay a listener or go hysterics even at the shallowest jokes. You see I have a very small number of real friends but I’m not in any way saddened about it, in fact I always consider it as a blessing because too many people in your life can be just hazardous at times and troublesome. Be picky with who you invest your time in. 🙂



Mama Lou’s Italian Kitchen | Solenad 2, Nuvali, Santa Rosa – Tagaytay Road, Don Jose, Santa Rosa | T. 049 3020752