Jan 31, 2013

Still a Long Way to Go

January just whizzed by. And in a few weeks, our second son will join the thousands of fresh high school graduates, a significant percentage of which is hoping to continue on to college while a part will enter the workforce. For this family, we consider it truly a blessing that despite these tough times, we are able to send our son off to pursue a degree. Very soon, we will have two college boys. :)

On another note... At the thought of our middle son joining the eldest at the university, I sometimes shake my head in disbelief. Grabe, (tu)matanda na talaga kami! There's no stopping us getting old. Lol. Yun lang pala ang issue? :)

The one reason that (still) makes us feel like we're young parents is having Jake, our (almost) 9 year old grader. We care for him like we did his A-hia and Di-hia. We attend to his school activities with the same gusto like it's the late 1990s, until we see the parents of Jake's classmates and reality hits. We are visibly the "seniors" among the bunch of proud and excited moms and dads. Oh well... Haha.

Seriously, with one son in college and another to follow, putting aside the near "empty nest", age and generation gap issues, we're glad Jake still has a looong way to go...

More Reason to Convince Hubby

Not that I want hubby to look like Adam here but for hubby to be convinced that yoga is not just for the women. :) See, Adam Levine swears by the benefits he has derived from doing yoga.

Today he joined me for an early vinyasa session. That pic of hubby on the upper left is how he looked, with hair standing on end, after a relaxing savasana.

Jan 27, 2013

Giving In to Lobsters and Lechon

today's #lobster and #lechon for #lunch with extended #family at the #stoniño village #fiesta

Flaunting My Cheap Find

Black Terranova top for PhP395 paired with low-rise jeans and accessorized with a 2-year old faux leather CLN tote...

Jan 24, 2013

Throwback 2004

2004-04 065
According to age: Matt, Kyle, Jaymes and Jake

Nostalgia mode

The photo above was taken eight years ago, a month after I gave birth to our youngest son, Jake. The boys' cousin, Jaymes, was then visiting from Australia.

We used to live in Guadalupe, in one of the first condos in Cebu. And this was in the boys' tiny room. It was so small we used 2 sofa beds for Matt and Kyle that we folded away and which doubled as couches during the day...

With Jake outgrowing his cot in our room, we eventually commissioned a carpenter to build a custom-fit trundle bed with storage to accommodate 3 young boys.

Boys' bedroom
The boys' messy room... How do you like this bed for 3 which I designed?

Eight years may seem like yesterday but so many things have happened... A lot have changed. The list is long but the one that stands out is the fact that the boys have really grown!

Here are more pics of the sleepover in 2004
2004-04 070

2004-04 063

And a couple of recent ones last Christmas with some of the cousins (photos from J. Yu)



Pre-Sinulog Frenzy

Right before our weekend schedule got crazy due to the annual Sinulog Festival, we were school-bound early Saturday for the card distirubution. All our 3 boys were with us.

Jake's grade 2 adviser said that a number of students in his class were not able to maintain their class standing as the trend for the third quarter shows, but he was happy to announce that Jake was still in the top 10 having garnered an average that qualified him for second honor.

That was very good news considering that Jake is known to be easily distracted and sometimes careless in his school tests. For that we were kidding him that he deserved a lechon manok as a reward for his work because his favorite pork lechon is only for when he is first honor. Haha! Karinyo brutal!

For our graduating boy, Kyle, the story was different. Most of his grades went up by leaps and bounds, enough to pull his average even higher than the previous quarter and be in the top 10 again. He made it to 4th in class, however, he was not able to meet the minimum grade in one subject to qualify for the honors certificate... a first in his academic career, if I'm not mistaken.

I was ready to badger him as to why, of all subjects, his Filipino caused him not to make the cut. He got grades in the 90s range for the more challenging Physics, Advanced Algebra or Trigonometry, but Filipino... I know how Rizal's El Filibusterismo could twist one's brain into curlicue... Still... Filipino??? To humor ourselves, hubby asked where we could buy ngo-hiong for Kyle's reward.


I let it go only because he has already passed his college entrance tests for DLSU and Ateneo. Thank heavens! I saw how some months back he prepared and answered the reviewers I bought him and even dabbled in answering sample gmat questions... I thought of giving him some slack... Why not? Oh, but the karinyo brutal will continue...

Jan 19, 2013

Pit Senyor!

After a quick early dinner at Luy's, we braved the snarled traffic to Radisson Blu Hotel to view the fireworks competition at the nearby SM Mall. Jerry requested for valet service knowing that a lot of people would be there and finding a parking slot would be impossible.

Omid, our cousin on Jerry's side, said the hotel was cancelling their poolside buffet because it started to drizzle. Fortunately, the light rain stopped before the fireworks started. And we, together with the Iriberris' extended family, were able to get seats at the lobby as well as at the poolside.

As expected, the fireworks display of all the participants were awesome! And the kids and adults alike were ohh-ing and ahh-ing at the sight. Indeed, a fitting signal to the Sto. Niño Feast.

Jan 18, 2013

Fontana di Trevi


I remember that day... we were doing the "touristy" thing of having our pictures taken, when a man in his 50s sat next to us. We could see he was with his family. Hearing us speak in Filipino, he began talking to us. It turned out that he and his family were Filipinos based in the US and they were on vacation.

For whatever reason, meeting other Filipinos by chance in places outside the Philippines always fascinates me. It makes me feel at ease knowing that somehow there is something common there...

We were glad to bump into this man and his family. And then the part of the conversation that stuck to my memory was this:

Man: Saan kayo nagtatrabaho? Where do you work?
J/Me: Sa Philippines po ... (we were visiting my brother and sister-in-law in Switzerland at that time and this was a side trip)
Man: Ah tourists din kayo. Ang babata nyo pa. Oh you're tourists. You're both young.

Maybe he thought we were in Italy because of work... or maybe he was wondering why we were there at all. His statement could be interpreted in different ways. Who knows?

I chose to just throw a coin over my left shoulder and made a silent wish to return to this place someday. :)

Good Cool Morning

Jan 16, 2013

Cool and Windy

I'm loving the cool temp these days... It's actually more Christmassy, hehe.

Not for the furball mascot though...

Our little Bo prefers to hide under his bed to keep warm...

Right Before Hitting the Books

One Jake is already a handful... but FOUR?!?! lol

Caption This :)

L1: This weather calls for a moto jacket no?

Not So Healthy

I'd rather give Jake cheese sandwich or banana for snack but he's picky. And the little that he likes, sadly, are mostly junk food. I compensate by buying him banana-cue, siopao, siomai, or steamed fried rice in the afternoon.

For his morning recess, he brings cookies, a sandwich, a slice of cake (without nuts or raisins), ensaymada, mamon or in this case, a pack of cereals.

We rotate the items to make sure he doesn't have it often because I've read from one site that some sweetened cereals contain a lot of sugar, about 1 in 3 parts. Sugar rush!

With the sudden burst of energy, I could imagine my hyper son right after recess...

Jan 14, 2013


Time to buy a bigger car? LOL

Piqued Curiosity

It took a while before I was able to convince hubby to join me for yoga. I actually had better success with my teenage sons who were game and who didn't have qualms about being in a predominantly female environment.

I guess hubby's curiosity got piqued when my sons started joining me. What better way to find out about it than be there himself as well. Though he was reluctant, he managed to attend a session with us during the Christmas break.

After that first time, he said he actually liked it and the overall good feeling at the end of the session. Coming from him who prefers sports and gym workouts, this was a big deal.

These days, when he's in town, he goes with me. I'm thinking there's a possibility that this is for the long haul, because he hasn't renewed his gym membership to date. So... yoga=1 gym=0.


now he likes it so much he attends one session twice! j/k


Good morning from hubbies 1 and 2!

Jan 13, 2013

Cheat Day Now

After our yummy lunch at Canvas Bistro, we had this (Mochiko) for dessert to celebrate our niece's birthday.

Yesterday While Waiting...

Taken while we were waiting for son #2 and our meals at Mother's Fried Chicken at Ayala Center Cebu.

Jan 12, 2013

A Bonus Blessing

Grateful is an understatement. This family is humbled by the Lord's generosity... Passing DLSU was what Kyle needed and yet we are blessed with another notice of acceptance, this time from ADMU.

Thank God, Kyle's work was not in vain.

XLB Fix at Luy's Classic Tea House

Jan 11, 2013


Here at the mall with my second son, Kyle, our incoming college boy. He kept me company while hubby and eldest son Matt were on a hunt for a charcoal grill (for use tonight). Youngest boy, Jake, was checking out the toys section.


Jan 10, 2013

Is All That Matters



Of the three schools son #2 applied at for college, De La Salle University's results came out first. It felt like I've just won the grand prize or something when I saw his name online. Kyle is going to college! Haha!

I've been refreshing my browser several times the past few days like a rabid senior just to view DLSU's website. Why the anxiety? To be honest, I was apprehensive. I felt his preparation wasn't enough, so in my mind, I was gearing for plans b, c, or d... Shhh...

He is smart (a consistent academic medalist), but he can be very complacent about anything that I tend to nag him to get things done. Yes, I nag, sometimes a little too much that I worry he might resent me for it. Anyway... This sort of gives a visual why, to me, admission at DLSU is such a big deal. Praise God!

Though we are still waiting for the results from UP and Ateneo de Manila, I say the wait is done and over with. I have nothing against these 2 great schools (hubby is a product of UP), but Kyle prefers to go to DLSU, the same uni as his elder brother's, which happens to be my alma mater too.


Jan 8, 2013

Easy Navigation

I'm not sure if it's just me or if there are other women out there who, sort of, enjoy going to the home depot or hardware. When I go with my husband, I find it fascinating to see a wide variety of items being sold - from outdoor gardening or deck furniture and supplies to indoor fixtures down to the nuts and bolts. (Incidentally, I've been eyeing their bamboo screen for quite some time now).

The one we go to in Cebu is huge such that one could easily get lost inside if not for the organized displays where you could easily pick up what you need. Because of it's sheer size, I usually make a mental note of where stuff are located for when we happen to need something in the future.

That is pretty much the same type of navigation we like when checking out products online. The simpler and more user-friendly the website is, the better in keeping the attention of potential clients. It pays to have an uncluttered layout where one could easily get the needed information. One example of such a website is www.radiall.com which cleverly uses icons on its main page. The company's products may be too technical for most of us to understand but they made sure to include ample description about each one. It is iPad-friendly and the use of just the right amount of color and images of families make browsing their site a pleasant experience as well.

Going back to the home depot we go to, I might just visit it again soon. Aside from wanting to buy the bamboo screen for our lanai, there's one notable thing about the store. They also sell one of the best tasting fish balls in this part of town. 😋

Jan 3, 2013

Dear Me, There Is Hope!

The househelps were given Dec 31- Jan 2 for their holiday break. We felt this was enough time for them to go back home to their hometown to welcome the new year with their loved ones. The day before they left, they did a general cleaning of the entire house. Bless them for making our lives a lot easier.

Because they would be out for a few days and we didn't want to spend the eve and New Year's day cleaning after our mess (doing the beds, cleaning the toilet, cooking meals and washing dishes, etc), we redeemed 2 rooms for 2 nights at Quest Hotel.

The days went by smoothly as planned until we got back home on January 2. The girls were not back yet as scheduled and texted they wouldn't be home until the 3rd. Oh... no...


A gamut of thoughts began running through my head... And the biggest concern was who would take over the cook's role? Jerry was out of town. With 0-skills in the kitchen, certainly not me! Embarassing as it is, I could excellently clean the toilet, do laundry, press clothes or wash dishes than cook. And Ma and Pa were no help either.

And so IT (what I thought was impossible in this lifetime) happened... I fumbled my way in the kitchen while my sons stood ready to help. Out came the canned goods. Haha! Although I abhor MSG-laden preserved breakfast items, these saved the day.

Soon we were ready to eat. I furtively glanced at each one to see if they would dare taste the food before them. My Ma chose to eat apples instead and bottled sardines with rice (hmm, o...kay... that was some encouragement :P).

I quietly sat there reminding myself not to let both girls go at the same time in the future. Maybe one of them during Christmas and the other during New Year. This way, there wouldn't be a repeat of this awkward scenario.

I was lost in my thoughts in between spoonfuls of rice and spam when 8yo son, Jake, finished his breakfast and exclaimed: "That was delicious, Ma!"


Jan 2, 2013

Canvas Bistro

New Year's Day dinner was at Canvas Bistro, owned and operated by my SIL and BIL. As usual, the spread was wiped out before I could take a snap. LOL. I guess you just have to take my word for it that the following are excellent: pork medallion, herb encrusted salmon, corned beef, osso buco, battered fish and chips.

Here are pics of our extended family post-New Year's Day dinner...

at Canvas

right outside the bistro

Oh, and last Christmas Eve, we were here too for lunch... I guess that says much about their food, huh.

lunch last Christmas Eve

Jan 1, 2013

Only Today

I mentioned in a recent post that when reading the newspaper, I'm more inclined to look at sale ads than the headlines. And so I came across Dong Juan's anniversary promo where they give 50% discount on all their burgers on January 1.

Perfect timing for the famished boys. Today is the 1st of January and they are on a hunt for a filling snack (/late lunch). Jake ordered calamares and rice while the rest of us shared the mushroom cheeseburger and the double d burger. What would have cost us about P650 at regular price became about P400. Pretty good savings there.

Here is the double d minutes before it was totally wiped out...
Taking Advantage of 50% Off on All Burgers

And the family with happy tummies...