1.31.2006

Goodbye Sunway Court


My family has moved into 4 homes as far as I can remember. From Makati then Paranaque then Makati then finally Paranaque again, moving has been second-nature to me and my siblings. When you leave a place that you've been so accustomed to living in, you can't help but get sentimental ---taking more attention into every detail of every nook and cranny of that place you called home. Tired of the old landlady irritating our apartment door for rent money, my Mom persisted to set aside two thousand pesos a month for 10 years so that we can settle into our current home in Paranaque since 1995 which we have known to love and appreciate.

My 5th home was here at a quaint area called Sunway Court. It had two bedrooms and two baths, a balcony facing the inner square containing the lush greenery, and a swimming pool. It was often described as "homey" by our visitors who've stayed in one time or another. It was walking distance from the convenience store, gas station, and the friendly neighborhood Chinese takeout. If you look at the building from the road it's not that splendid but it was enough for me. It was home.




Three years have passed since I last moved in to Sunway Court. It was time for us to move. As many of my visitors should know, there are no lifts to our unit. Since our place is on the 4th floor, I can't help but hide a laugh when I see our visitors walking up the stairs with their heavy baggages on hand, panting all the way up. The missus is pregnant so we thought it would be bad for the baby if she, to borrow my Dad's term, mamanik-manaog often.

Second reason was due to our neighbors. They have suddenly turned to the worst, displaying mala-jolog tendencies: they don't put their trash in the main container, the stairways leading up to our unit was often dirty, the missus had grown tired of some of the ladies swimming in the pool with their shirt AND maong pants on, and that brief episode of robberies in certain units (which later found the gardener as the culprit). The "kicker" reason for us to move was one of the units displaying their "native" culture, apparently praying to the gods that there would be a plentiful harvest of bamboo ---in their apartment.

So we found our new home and it was time to move our stuff. Not an easy task as I was already pondering on how to bring down our Orbi-bike exercise equipment four floors down (I discovered that it wasn't that hard at all as I was able to load it into our car with 3 liters of sweat to boot).

I can't help but be on senti-mode the whole time we were packing as I tried to remember how a certain item came to this house. I was caught between keeping or throwing to the trash bag most of the stuff that seemed to have a story behind it. The missus had coined me as a Sentimyentong Basurero for it. In the end I had to throw some of it away as they'll just end up as useless junk.

We made 4 (or was it 5?) trips back and forth between our old and new home. I swore that everytime we come back to Sunway Court to pick up some stuff, I'd feel that the apartment had a certain sadness, as if it knew that we were not coming back. I too felt sad. As I would sit on the couch and gaze at the whole unit, I'd hear myself say, "Wow 3 years! I've stayed here for 3 long years! How time flies!" (When I first arrived in Malaysia I said to myself that I'd only stay here for the whole duration of my contract which was 1 year. Who would've known that I would stay here longer than that?)

I said my final goodbye last week to Sunway Court when I handed the house-keys to Mr. Lee, my landlord. I scanned every bedroom and bathroom, the living room, the kitchen (that the missus loves), and whispered farewell. It was somewhat heart-wrenching to move out of this place where I called home but I knew it's for the best.

As my Mom used to say, "it has served its purpose." Time to leave the old and bring in the new.


(Part Two: Hello Palmville Resort Condo)


1.29.2006

Spend more time with your kids

Hope I don't become like this father.

1.27.2006

Creative Pinoy Meals


(I didn't realize that the "Adobong Morales" article was my 100th blog 'til I published it. So to all the avid readers of my blog (kung sino man kayo) I'd like to say thank you for spending your precious time to drop by and see what's going on with me. Here's to the next 100 blogs!)

I got this from a forwarded mail by RC. Hilarious! Read on:

CREATIVE PINOY MEALS

Pinoys Favorite Food:
THIS WAS POSTED IN ONE RESTAURANT NEAR NAIA AIRPORT,
so, maybe next time you are around the area, you may
as well dine-in there, and check out their menu; AS
YOU GO ON, IT'S BECOMING INTERESTING AND MORE
FLAVORFUL!!! (this is based on true facts...)

1. TAPSILOG - Tapa, Sinangag, Itlog
2. LONGSILOG - Longganisa, Sinangag, Itlog
3. HOTSILOG - Hotdog, Sinangag, Itlog
4. PORKSILOG - Pork, Sinangag, Itlog
5. CHICKSILOG - Chicken, Sinangag Itlog
6. AZUCARERA - Adobong Aso
7. LUGLOG - Lugaw, Itlog
8. PAKAPLOG - Pandesal, Kape, Itlog
9. KALOG - Kanin, Itlog
10. PAKALOG - Pandesal, Kanin, Itlog
11. MAALOG NA BETLOG - Maalat na Itlog, Pakbet, Itlog
12. BAHAW - Bakang Inihaw (akala ninyo kaning lamig
ano)
13. KALKAL - Kalderetang Kalabaw
14. HIMAS - Hipon Malasado
15. HIMAS SUSO - Hipon Malasado, Sugpo, Keso
16. HIMAS PEKPEK - Hipon Malasado, Kropek, Pinekpekan
17. PEKPEK MONG MALAKI - Kropek, Pinekpekan, Monggo,
Malasado, Laing, Kilawin
18. DILA - Dinuguan, Laing
19. DILAAN MO - Dinuguan, Laing, Dalandan, Molo
20. BOKA BOKA - Bopis, Kanin, Bokayo, Kape
21. BOKA BOKA MO PA - Bopis, Kanin, Bokayo, Kape,
Molong Pancit
22. KANTOT - Kanin, Tortang Talong
23. KANTOT PA - Kanin, Tortang Talong, Pancit
24. SIGE KANTOT PA - Sinigang na Pige, Kanin, Tortang
Talong, Pancit

25. SIGE KANTOT PA IBAON MO - Sinigang na Pige, Kanin,
Tortang Talong, Pancit - Take out
26. SIGE KANTOT PA HA - Sinigang na Pige, Kanin,
Tortang Talong, Pancit, Halo-halo
27. SIGE KANTOT PAIBAON MO PAPA - Sinigang na Pige,
Kanin, Tortang Talong, Pancit... Take out with Ketchup

28. PAKANTOT - Pandesal, Kanin, Tortang Talong
29. PAPAKANTOT - Papaitan, Kanin, Tortang Talong
30. PAPAKANTOT KA BA - Papaitan, Kanin, Tortang
Talong, Kapeng Barako
31. PAKANTOT SA YO - Pandesal, Kanin, Tortang Talong,
Saging + Yosi
32. PAKANTOT KA - Pandesal, Kanin, Tortang Talong,
Kape
33. PAKANTOT KA HABANG MATIGAS PA - Pandesal, Kanin,
Tortang Talong, Kape, Inihaw na Bangus, Maruya,
Tinola, Ginisang Aso, Pancit
34. SUBO - Sugpo, Bopis
35. SUBO MO - Sugpo, Bopis, Molo
36. SUBO MO PA - Sugpo, Bopis, Molo, Pancit
37. SUB O MO PA MAIGE - Sugpo, Bopis, Molo, Mais, Pige
38. SUBO MO TITE KO - Sugpo, Bopis, Tinola, Teryaki,
Kochinta
39. SUBO MO TITE KO BILIS - Sugpo, Bopis, Tinola
Teryaki, Kochinta, Bihon, Tawilis
40. SUBO MO TITE KO BILIS, HAYOP! - ...same as #39,
minura mo lang yung waiter kasi ang tagal ng order.

NOW, YOU BELIEVE, FILIPINO CUISINE MENUS CAN BE SO
APPETIZING, SERVE WITH SIZZLING LIBIDO... ENJOY YOUR
MEAL, BON APPETITI!!!

1.25.2006

Adobong Morales


I have to say that my vibe prior to the fight was that I thought Pacquiao was going to lose again. I'm not pro-Morales, mind you, but based from the interviews leading up to the match it seemed that Pacquiao's camp was "talking too much" as the ombre from Mexico had mentioned. It would've been better that they shut up and focus on the training, which in duration was quite short (in tradition of our maƱana habit) compared to Morales' 4-month exodus in the mountains.

There was also discussion about the Reyes Gloves. This made me more uneasy. If Pacquiao lost again, he doesn't have any excuse anymore about the gloves. Wonder what excuse he'll say next? Will he curse the First Gentleman or Chavit Singson for bringing in malas to the Las Vegas arena?

But of course, the heavens had a different plot to unravel:

Last Sunday was a day to remember. I've set my phone to alarm at 9.45am so that I'd still have 15 minutes of snooze time before the fight via Pay-Per-View (PPV). This was actually my 2nd time to subscribe to the said service, my 1st being Pacquiao-Morales 1 wherein Manny lost by decision.

Well I should've known. By 10am I've turned on the tube and switched to the PPV-channel. Hmmm....3 fights before the Pacquiao match. Still got enough time to cook adobo.

300kgs of thawed liempo was waiting to be diced and spiced to one of our most classic dish. The missus had learned to cook the said concoction by observing me a la Jamie Oliver some months back. I had the recipe somewhere in my head but I had to confirm the amounts. Thank goodness for telephony! I was able to ask Shangu for the recipe and has since remembered it by heart. I agree with the missus that however you tancha-tancha the soy sauce and the vinegar, it would still taste great. Of course I'd still like to have liempo as the meat since all that greasy taba holding on for dear life between the skin and the lean meat makes me want to forget all that health-crap and just munch away. That Sunday brunch was heavenly tasteful.

Well the 3 matches had passed and it was time for the main event. The Philippine national anthem was sung dramatically and heartfelt by Jennifer Bautista, except of course, by that last note. I even thought her pahabol cheer of "Go Pacman!!!" would've jinxed it. If Manny had lost, I would've asked my friends in the US to have a search-warrant for her on the grounds of jinxing through kakikayan.

Yes it was a truly dramatic scene: Jennifer singing in a red baro't saya, Philippine flag waving at the background, a quick-shot at Manny trying to hold his tears, and that old guy lifting the championship-belt (who's he btw?). I suddenly felt, "Hey! I think we're just gonna win this one."

But then, on the 8th day, God created Jon Secada.

It was dejavu-ish as I remember the missus and I were tirelessly trying to remember his name when we heard "Just Another Day" being played on the radio midway last year. We were having a hard time I tell you. It was the first time that the missus, a contestant to their "Name That Tune" competitions during engineering week in UP, had missed it. Who would've thought that he would be singing for Morales' corner? Good thing Morales was not Puerto Rican as the missus would've surely switched teams if Ricky Martin was in Jon's place. Btw, the missus' heartbeat was literally running like a horse in San Lazaro ---note that this was only during the national anthem. I advised her not to watch but then I got a "Whaaaaat???" for my diagnosis. Yup, dumb move to make her not watch what could be one of the greatest fights of the year. Jon had sung both Mexican and US national anthems, a la Johnny Mathis. Well it's a good thing to see that he still has a career singing in the ring as there are a lot of Mexican boxers out there. So anyway....

"LLLLLLLLet's get ready to rumbleeeeeeeeee"

I've seen the two fight before so I was wondering what their respective strategies would be going into the fight. As you may have seen, Morales had developed this "laser fast left jab" that Manny just could'nt get enough of ---note that Morales is NOT a southpaw. You could see from the slow-mo replays that Manny's head just swings back after that laser-jab. This new arsenal would've caused Manny to lose with all the head-shots he was taking.

Manny's fight tactics had improved vastly. His swift-combo-punches and powerful left (and right) were pounding Morales from Round 1. There were nerve-wracking moments as it seemed that he almost got clobbered by Morales' combos but he always found a way to escape ---same too with Morales on the other end. It was an evenly fought match wherein NO ONE had the upperhand. The missus didn't know what to do: whether to indian-sit on the sofa or spread her legs over the coffee table ---both while covering her mouth with her trusty bimpo. It was killing me I tell you.

All changed by Round 6.

The fatigue-factor had crept to Morales while Manny suddenly had a rebirth. Inside sources also said that Morales may have tired his eyes from reading all those ads on Manny's shorts: Motolite, Cafe Puro, NoFear, etc. Ahhh yes Philippine ad-media will never be the same. It was like Manny had taken a power-pellet lying in the ring and it seemed to have weakened the Morales ghost. The Pacman was out to eat El Terrible alive. It was like every Pacquiao combo was chipping away Morales as every round breezed by. The sure sign of fatigue was the last 10-seconds of round-9 when Morales decided to jog around the ring to wake himself up, much to the boos of the crowd.

There was this PPV-commentator who was obviously pro-Morales, trying to convince the tv-audience, and himself, that Morales is "one tough ombre" who can get out of any sticky situation. During the broadcast replays I was able to confirm this as he was able to translate the communication on the Morales corner in-between rounds. He certainly speaks Mexican. Hmmm...he must've been watching a lot of Marimar in his off time.

It was all over by round 10. Morales' punches could not connect. He was like trying to control an unruly mob of Noranians trying to get his autograph, swinging pitifully in the air. His feet were obviously wobbly. It took only a trademark Pacman-right to finish him off, hitting him in the left-cheek and kneeling to the canvass. I could vaguely hear the PPV-commentator shout "Morales is down! Morales is down!" as it was overpowered by me and the missus shouting and clapping in the sala. The referee, a near-semblance to Danny Glover, was in the 7th count when Morales stood up.

Game on!

The Mexicans must've thought there was a resurgence. Nosotros ombre esta vivo!!! <---tama ba?

But no.

You know that feeling when you first get off from bed in the morning after a full 7-8 hours of sleep? It's that state between dreaming and waking up? THAT was what Morales must've felt when he stood up. He just took a few steps and when he got his focus back, there was Pacquiao right in front of his nose. Another Pacman-combo against the ropes, and Morales was down again. Mr. Glover went to check on Morales ---it was like those old films when the doctor takes a tap of his stetoscope to the patient's chest and says, "He's not gonna make it." Dr. Glover waved his arms in the air (like he just don't care) and took off Morales' mouth-piece. Simulatenously, Pacquiao went to the neutral corner and knelt in prayerful gratitude, as his corner comrades went into the ring to celebrate this famous win.

It was all over. The pro-Morales PPV-commentator was distraught, "collapsed in his chair" as his colleague had aptly put it. There was only the Philippine flag and banners waving with the hiyaws of the Pinoy crowd illuminating the tv-screen ---except of course for the 1st Gentleman and Chavit Singson in the ring. Ahh yes, a Philippine victory ---be it in sports, music, or elsewhere--- will never be complete without a cast of clowns around.

Pacquiao's English totally undermines his boxing skills. Only Jimmy Santos could be proud.

Asked about his improved right hand: "Ah yes yes my right hand is improvement! My right hand is improvement!"

About his tactics: "I’m careful to his head. I can take his power but I’m lucky to survive that."

About the Reyes gloves: "Using my gloves…cause that’s my gloves!"

To his defense, Manny thanked everyone ("Americans, Mexicans, and Filipinos") who support the sport of boxing. Even during this proud moment, he was still humble and diplomatic to thank everyone. 100 pogi-points to him.

Morales walked the dark alley back to the locker room while Manny was still in the ring throwing kisses to the crowd ---obviously only the Pinoys had stayed behind.

In the end it was a memorable Sunday. Morales was diced and spiced by the Pacman, adobo-style.

1.17.2006

Pacman checklist

Pork adobo for Sunday lunch (walang lalabas ng bahay!)......CHECK!

Chichirya....CHECK!

Coke-Light....CHECK!

Pay-per-view subscription....CHECK!

Yup, I'm all set for this Sunday....GO MANNY GO!!!


1.13.2006

My Top 10 Albums for 2005


It's either playing in my car or my mp3 player, these are my
favorite albums for 2005:

10. 5-Man Acoustic Jam (Tesla)

9. X&Y (Coldplay)

8. Light, Peace, and Love (Bamboo)

7. Tears Roll Down Hits 1982-92 (Tears For Fears)

6. Wave Sessions (Paolo Santos)

5. Jagged Little Pill (Alanis Morissette)

4. Strike Whilst The Iron Is Hot (Orange and Lemons)

3. Hale (Hale)

2. As The Music Plays (Bamboo)

And my top album for 2005:

1. Ultraelectromagneticjam (E-Heads Tribute Album)


1.09.2006

Relief Goods


Here's a list of goodies we brought back from Manila:

Flat-Tops Chocolates (100pcs)

SkyFlakes (2 bags containing 20 bags each) ---bilin ni boss' boss, a Malaysian who used to work in Manila

Choc-Nut (48 pcs) ---pasalubong for my officemates; turns out there's an exact equivalent here in Malaysia

Chippy

Taquitos

Clover Chips

V-Cuts

Spanish Sardines in can

Spanish Sardines na naka-garapon

Corned Beef

Sisig in Can

Sinigang Mix

Of course there are the other stuff: Safeguard, Closeup, Divisoria clothes, paper-stem cottonbuds, atbp.

Ahh yes, there are some things you can never leave home without.



1.03.2006

A trip to the Ob-Gyn

We went to the obgyn yesterday. As we have decided not to have the missus give birth in Malaysia, it's important that she met with her obgyn here in Manila. I brought along one of my sis who was fortunate enough to see the baby jumping/somersaulting about in the missus' womb under the ultrasound. Hmmm, I guess the somersaulting feat must've been genes from the athletic father (ehem!).


The doc even had a doppler-microphone so we were able to hear the baby's heartbeat. It's amazing, really, as I was like sucked into one of those Discovery-Channel programs that me and the missus often watch.

***

Dr.M, her obgyn here in Manila, was comparatively more accomodating than Dr.T, her Malaysian obgyn. The latter we have aptly nicknamed "Baby Tsina" for her resemblance to Vilma Santos ---20 years from now.

I remember on our 1st visit to Baby Tsina, the baby still didn't have a heartbeat. She said we return after 3 weeks to check if the situation improves. She said, matter-of-factly, that if God had meant the baby to live then it is meant to live. If not, then it was not for us to have in the first place.

How's that for a RM200+ diagnosis? At least she's Christian. Hehe.

Our visit to Dr. M yesterday was quite, well how do I put it, sooo worth-it that the P500 consultation fee did not give her justice. She was kind enough to answer all the missus' inquiries, although I was disappointed with the "no contact" policy she advised during the whole term.

Doc: "Pwede naman iexpress through other ways. Kissing, halimbawa."

Me: "Naku doc. Mabibitin lang ako sa kissing."

Doc: "Ay ganun ba?! Mahirap palang mag-asawa kung ganun!"

Yep the doc is single. No issue really. As long as she does her job well, no problem with us.

Just leave the "contact" part to me. Hehe.