Monthly Archives: November 2011

Finding the good in goodbye

A few days after my grandmother was cremated, I posted this photo on Facebook with a long and emotional caption. It garnered a lot of “Likes” than average. I was deeply touched.

But a comment from a former college classmate struck me the most:

Leo, I was afraid of losing my lola, too. When Papa told me she had cancer, I didn’t know what to think or do. I just felt sick in the pit of my stomach and wanted to scream until I can scream no more.

My lola’s condition deteriorated quickly—and so was my religious faith. I was lost. I felt like I was abandoned in the middle of nowhere with nothing to get me by. Everyday was a nightmare –a torturous one.

During those dark times, nothing made sense to me anymore. How could someone so kind be inflicted with such illness? What have she done to deserve this? I was angry and bitter and saw only negativity on all things. Before I knew it, I made no effort to pray or hear mass. I often fronted my happy, perky self but underneath, I had a whirlwind of emotions.

It was extremely difficult to watch my grandmother struggle for dear life. Cancer gave her hell and it took its own sweet time doing so.

When my lola passed away last September 23rd, I was heartbroken. It was inevitable, I know. I should have accepted the fact long ago that she’ll be leaving us sooner or later. But I was in denial because I loved her too much.

Two months after, I’m still on the road to acceptance. I’d like to think that maybe there really is a reason behind her passing. Someday, I’ll find what the reason is. Someday.

Leo, I hope you assure your grandmother that you love her. Find every opportunity to show how much you care.  Pamper her, spoil her.. Make every moment count. Those are just the few priceless things you could give that will keep her spirits high.

Keep the faith,



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Filed under Family, Poignant


Overdue post. Please forgive the writer.


There are two things that surprised me about Steve Jobs’ passing: 1) Because I didn’t know that he was battling pancreatic cancer, and 2) He had a huge following.The latter was the most intriguing. For three straight days, my Facebook and Twitter feeds were flooded with his quotes, copied verbatim from his various speeches and interviews from the past.

Naturally, the first thing I did after learning the news was to log on to Apple‘s website. A black-and-white photo of Jobs’ was plastered on the homepage. Goosebumps.

They couldn’t have said it better.

People close to me know how much of a music freak  I am. I even remember asking my parents for a Sony Walkman for my 11th birthday. At 16, I saved up and bought a Discman with my salary from my first job. I loved both gadgets but the bulkiness and the constantly changing of batteries bit bothered me.

I got my first MP3 player, a 2 GB 2nd generation silver iPod Nano, after college. It was the best gadget I owned EVER. I cannot fully emphasize how great it is, scrunching in 500 or more songs in my pocket. Pure. Genius.

Then I lost it (accidentally left it inside a jeepney) and got myself an 8 GB 3rd generation iPod Nano. Featured the same thing as the first but with video playback. Thanks to this clever little thing, I finished all seasons of That 70’s Show. Also made my long commutes to and from home, enduring.

In memoriam: My 3rd generation iPod Nano looking sassy and smart

Then again, I was mugged sometime on December 2009. Long story. My latest ‘baby’ now is this purple 16 GB 4th generation iPod Nano. Still serving me well like a dependable soldier.

Bottom line is, none of my round-the-clock music fix won’t be possible if Jobs’ hadn’t pushed enough to develop devices like these. He did it. Hell yeah, he did it!

This is the last I saw of Jobs. I think I caught a snippet of this on CNN several months ago. He looked frail, yes, but he still delivered his speech with such enthusiasm like he normally does in his keynote addresses. Great guy. No wonder millions upon millions spend their cash on his merchandise.

Carlo got word that the Power Mac Center at Greenbelt 3 propped up a signboard to commemorate Jobs’ repose. I immediately invited Pixie if she wanted to come along after work and scribble a message there for Steve.

Steve Jobs, my life is beautiful as it is. Thank you for making it a hundred times better with your creations. You will still rock in the hearts of many Apple product-users like me.

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Filed under Music, Poignant

If it was that easy to leave work and be with him everyday, I would.

I love you, Gabriel. Please don’t grow up too fast.

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Filed under Happy

Going through the shelves of Bookay Ukay

After that wonderful lunch at Burger Project, the Nerd Herd trooped a few blocks away to check out Bookay-Ukay before heading home. I’ve been meaning to visit this thrift bookstore long ago but, well.. It’s in Quezon City. ‘Nuf said.

It’s a quaint little shop, far from what I pictured. The store was filled with second-hand books, trinkets, charms, and even shirts up for sale. They also sell brand-new books. Personally, I think selling new merchandise defeats the purpose of being an ukay shop. I don’t mind, though. Leave me inside a bookstore and I can get lost for hours. Books are that sacred to me.

Of course, I had a lovely time going from one shelf to another. If you’re planning to check out the place, don’t forget to bring a hand sanitizer. Most of the books are covered by dust and some, mold. Not cool.

Creatively funny artwork lines a portion of the store’s walls. Can also double as a cool backdrop in photos. 😛

Look! Sweet Valley! Ahh, nostalgia overload. Have to remind myself to get the newest book that was out last March. (I have the teaser chapter here.) I also saw a couple of Goosebumps, Nancy Drew, and Animorphs, but Enid Blyton was nowhere to be found. Where art thou, Ms. Blyton?

We were about to leave store  but I was determined to not go home empty-handed. I think the good ones are already either reserved or up for bids at their Multiply page, that’s why. So I ended up getting this local, new book titled The Literary Apprentice 2009. It’s a collection of essays, short stories, and poems by the members of the University of the Philippines Writers Club.

Scored it for 12o bucks. Good read, finished it two days. I’ll definitely come back and get a legit ukay find from Bookay-Ukay.

BOOKAY-UKAY |  55 Maginhawa St., Teacher’s Village, Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines |  Facebook | Multiply


Filed under Books, Friends, Happy, Relationships

The Nerd Herd at Burger Project

No offense to those who live in Quezon City but I seriously dread going to that place. The hideous traffic and inaccessibility to most sites make it ten times worse for non-car owners like me. Those and the scorching heat do not make a great combo, I tell you.

However, if the purpose of going to QC involves trying out good food, well.. I’ll have to make an exception–even if it’s as sinful as Burger Project.

Make your own burger here!

Ever since I’ve read about Patty’s post, I was up and raring to drag the boyfriend to this new burger joint. Maginhawa Street was alien to us so it was a good thing Pixie, who knew the the ins and outs of the place, tagged along and shared this little food trip with us.

Can I just say? I’m totally digging Pixie’s robot pendant she got from Forever 21. I kept gushing about it while waiting for our other friend, Kesi, to arrive.

A quick and bumpy tricycle ride from after, we finally reached our destination. We were greeted by the staff, who handed us a clipboard with a checklist to fill out. I like clipboards, by the way. They remind me of  fun college days.

What fun it is to fill this out! You can also name your burger, if you wish. I christened mine, “Bacon Love Burger” because I was too hungry to think of a creative name. 😛

The Bacon Love Burger Essentials

Patty – 1 pc. 100% beef | Bun – Poppyseed | Cheese – Bleu | Premium topping – Bacon | Basic toppings – Lettuce, tomatoes | Sauce – Special BRGR Sauce

Once done, we took our filled-out checklists to the counter..

..And got them burgers within minutes! I was so confident that I would scarf my burger in seconds because I was starving. Didn’t happen. These burgers are huge!

Carlo loved Pino’s iced tea just as much as I did. We got another round when we finished our first glass.

Oh, there are fries, too. Though I suspect they are really potato wedges, judging from the fat cuts. One tray of these is good for two already.

Kesi just successfully hurdled her first semester in law school. I believe she’s just relieved to get out of the house and soak in the exquisite sunshine that’s why she came with us (haha, blog pun!). Good job, Kesi dear! Your crazy little circle here at the office is proud of you.

Can’t wait to try out the rest of Maginhawa with you guys!

BRGR: THE BURGER PROJECT  | 122 Maginhawa St., Teacher’s Village, Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines | Facebook


Filed under Food, Friends, Happy, Relationships

Meeting OpenRicers over Cheesesteaks, Burgers, and Drinks

Backposting: One of the hardest caveats when writing about an event that happened ages ago. This post, together with my other pending entries, has been sitting in my draft queue for more than a month now. Boo!

Anyhoots, today’s story is about my accidental experience on meeting ‘OpenRicers’ or the people behind the online dining guide, OpenRice. My blogger friend, Fedhz, sent me an SMS inviting me to this food event at Cheesesteaks, Burers, & Drinks (CBD) along Ayala Triangle Gardens in Makati City. Since I didn’t have any plans for that night, I readily agreed. Besides, who can say no to free good food?

Now, I’ve been to several blog events before–fashion- and beauty-related, to be exact—and I’ve always had this feeling of detachment during such gatherings. But this Eat’s A Date event last September 29, 2011 was different. Everyone was all warm, friendly, and chatty! I was instantly put at ease. It was an intimate affair, kind of like a huge barkada dinner because we just occupied one side of the room.

Because I came unprepared, I didn’t have my camera with me. It’s a good thing Fedhz brought hers. I was very impressed with her digital camera, by the way. It took really sharp images, almost DSLR-like. I kept raving about it. Thanks for letting me use it, dear!

Drinks were served first. This was Fedhz’s cappucino, I think.

Appetizers were next. We had onion rings, potato wedges, and twisted fries.

We were asked to jot down what we wanted off the menu. Check out my cheesesteak sandwich. Doesn’t it look sinful??

Others went for the rice variety. Everyone had such a trip trying out each other’s picks! So fun! Remember when your elementary teacher would say, “Pass your papers counter-clockwise”? It was a similar scenario only this time, food was passed on.

By the time dessert came, I was already too full to take another bite. I didn’t try them out but the pastries looked yummy, nevertheless!

Essel taking photos with his Nikon.

These are Shake and Bakes. You should try it, it’ll make you insane! I especially loved the blueberry flavor.

Met chef consultant, Chiloy Santos. Such an inspiring, down-to-earth guy. We talked about his passion for cooking and how he came up with CBD’s food lineup. His family are part-owners of Tender Bobs Group, as well as Meat Plus (MP) at Subic. I think I was begging him to open a MP branch in Manila prior to this photo. LOL.

Overall, I had a really lovely time with these people. Great food, great restaurant, great service, and great company! I’ll definitely come back here.

Thank you, OpenRice! See you guys soon!

CHEESESTEAKS, BURGER & DRINKS | Restaurants at the Ayala Triangle, Makati Avenue, Makati City | Facebook

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Filed under Blog Events, Food, Happy