Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Tishie's Travels: Hullo from NYC!

I'm in one of my absolute favorite places in the world! Aside from being full of energy and loads of stuff to do and cool, cool air that's absolutely absent from Manila these days, New York is also home to lots of people I love. That's probably the main reason I lurve visiting and why it holds a special place in my heart!

So much going on so will blog in more detail next time. I haven't been going out much because of that chilly wind (no complaints! Better this than scorching heat, but it sure feels a lot like late fall instead of spring!) and, well, things aren't quite as fun without my husband here. But it's not like staying in is a big sacrifice. Check out my digs!

That last pic is a little dark...was so excited that I neglected to adjust the camera settings!

Is that awesome or what? It's located in the midtown-west side. I'm staying here with Carly (he's got the sofa bed), and we simulated an America's Next Top Model walking-into-the-model-house-for-the-first-time moment: "OMG! OMG!" *squeal jump jump*

It's a very spacious one-bedroom apartment. My friends from here say that even New Yorkers don't live like this! I've got a view of our kick-ass office building (a couple of blocks away) and even of Central Park. And sometimes, the unit is surrounded by low-lying clouds! (Or fog? A lady at the office said they were clouds so I'll take her word for it!) There's a nice bathroom, a kitchen with a two-door ref, two TVs, a balcony, free Internet connection, and enough space to do cartwheels.

Those cartwheels will have to wait though. Off to bed. Although I'm not quite sure how soon I'll be able to fall asleep, what with the jetlag and the rush from just seeing Wicked! Woohoo!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Pack (that) Shiat

Today was unbelievably crazy. I had my hands full trying to get all the work done before going home and packing the remaining stuff for my trip. My flight was scheduled for 12:35 pm of Saturday. Then, after coming from a two-hour training session, I receive an email at 4:00 pm telling me that my flight was moved to--wait for it--midnight! Of Friday-Saturday! Holy hassle of hassles, Batman!

I was incredibly upset. OK, so "upset" doesn't accurately describe it. I threw a massive bitch fit. You can't frickin' confirm that my flight is one time, then tell me that, oops, I have to leave 12 hours earlier! It's all the travel agency's fault! And they weren't even apologetic! Dude, if this had happened elsewhere, where service was actually important, I would've gotten a free trip out of it! Instead, all my epic tantrum got me was a 6:00 am flight. Still not the noon flight I was hoping for, but waaay better than midnight!

So that took a lot out of me. But I've since grown accustomed to the fact that I'm leaving six hours earlier than planned. And because that means less time with my husband, I gotta log off now! Check back with y'all from New York!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Manila Ink

I used to watch Miami Ink religiously on Discovery Travel and Living, and I even thought about what tat I would ask Chris Garver to put on me. (Ami and Nunez are kinda cute, sure, but I really liked Garver's body--bodies?--of work.) It's been a while since I stopped watching the show, but I kinda got to see a live version of it...

The new tat's on his inner arm (ouch!). Shiny stuff is petroleum jelly.

Yup, Hamil got another tat, this time by THE Joe Saliendra. And he had it done at a local Miami Ink-esque shop, the newly opened Republic Tattoo Lounge.

Joe with my husband, who's very happy with his new tat!

The brand-spankin' new tattoo shop was opened by a friend of ours and his buddies, and they've got four awesome tattoo artists in their roster: Joe, Butch Bautista, Ding Fernandez, and Butch Rosca. It's the biggest shop in the country, and I hear all the equipment's exactly like the stuff they've got in Miami! Some pics of the place, from their website:

Rarin' to get inked by some of the best artists in the country? Head on over to Republic Tattoo, 2/F Promenade Building, #198 Wilson corner P.Guevrra St., San Juan City, Philippines. You can even have a drink to dull the pain while they dutdut away!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Crazy Busy

Things have been a little hectic lately, to say the least. A rundown of what's been keeping me out of the blogging world this past week:

1. Vitor. I bought a fern for a shoot and decided to keep it. I named it Vitor and have gotten quite attached. My co-workers actually say hello to him when they see him (yes, I say "him" now).

As I was shopping for a fern, I saw a group of imported ferns that were all lush and rich green and glorious. And then I saw Vitor. He was kind of anemic, with pale green (some brown) leaves, the only local fern hanging forlornly in another part of the plant place. I felt so bad for him and figured he was the perfect size for the shoot, so I bought him. Hamil and I don't have kids just yet (wow, that would totally rock our world, in a good way!), and we really can't have a dog (we're hardly home), so for now we have a pet fern!

The name? For a time, I wanted to name our son Vito. I must have been in my Puzo phase. Hamil, however, preferred Vitor, after this guy. And since there is no way I am naming our kid Vitor, I gave the name to our plant. I'm tempted to get another fern and call him Georges. I just don't know if it'd be wise to get another plant though. I barely have enough time to water Vitor! (Poor kid.)

P.S. It's awesome having a husband who puts up with my silliness!

2. That new job. Gracious. It's a big adventure and I'm so happy to be on board and all, but man, it's totally disrupting my sleep pattern! I used to be able to leave the office and turn it off--you know, stop thinking about work stuff. But now, it's on my mind 24/7! After coming down with a cold and a cough (from stress) and getting barely any zzzs (from thinking and planning), Hamil told me, "You have to figure out how to compartmentalize." Sigh. I'm normally rather good at it. But right now, while I'm just plunging into this thing, it's totally occupying my thoughts.

3. My best friend's wedding. I have three best friends, one each from grade school, high school, and college. My college best friend (whom I've known since grade school) is Madhuri. And she's getting married next month!

It's an Indian wedding, which means it's not just one ceremony. For one of the events, there's a big production number. I'm in charge of choreographing one of the dances, so I've been busy coming up with steps and teaching them to a fairly large group during my rare spare time. I've also been helping out with the whole bachelorette party planning. Unfortunately, I'll be missing the party because of...

4. That trip to NY. I'm finally leaving this weekend! And I am constantly checking the temperature to figure out what to pack. How I wish I were traveling in late spring so that I wouldn't have to worry about coats and all. But at least I'm not traveling in winter!

5. Summer league. It officially started last weekend. We won one game (I scored back-to-back points, yay! But my handling sucked. Damn you, wind!), lost one game. And I foresee my freckles making a comeback. That sun is relentless!

I'm kind of out of breath just typing everything! But I'm not complaining. I'd rather be busy than bored!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

A Timely Surprise

It was date night tonight (a weekly thing--more on that in a future post), and Hamil and I had dinner at Poco Deli. Funny how the deli's shelf had this book...

Because that's exactly what my husband did! He presented me with a little gift...

Gee, what could it be?

A sporty watch in go-with-anything white that I've been wanting for ages!

I first saw a similar watch on a friend, who happened to be endorsing it.

Photo from Meli. If you look near my shoulder, you'll see a hint of the watch on D's wrist. Sorry, it's the only pic I could find with him wearing it!

And then, Hamil and I saw The Blind Side, and my eyes zoomed in on Sandra Bullock's watch!

Image from here. There's a scene where she puts her watch on after Michael spent the night for the first time. That's when I first noticed the watch!

After that, Hamil casually asked me if I preferred silver or gold numbers on it. And then tonight, ta-dah!

Aside from the watch, I'm also wearing Hamil's small-ish undershirt in this pic. I have a thing for guys' V-neck undershirts. Maybe I got it from my dad, who normally wears it as pambahay!

I'm planning to buy an additional strap (still rubber but shaped like links), but as is, I lurve lurve lurve it. It's perfect for my trip. I'm really going to need a watch to help me keep track of the time as I navigate my packed sched!

Hamil says it's his congratulatory gift.* "You deserve it!" he told me. But what did I ever do to deserve such a wonderful husband? Watch or no watch, I lurve lurve lurve him so!

*If you found this blog through Frances's, you probably know why. I haven't really made a formal announcement or anything...

Monday, April 12, 2010

Recipe: Crispy Bacon-wrapped Dory with Caramelized Onion-Asparagus Salad

One of the things I cooked over the long weekend. It seemed to get a lot of "Likes" when I posted it on Facebook, and a friend even asked for the recipe!

I was looking for something to do with some extra dory that I had, and based this dish on a recipe by Rachael Ray, Crispy Prosciutto-wrapped Sole.

Crispy Bacon-wrapped Dory with Caramelized Onion-Asparagus Salad

Olive oil (or extra virgin olive oil)
Half an onion, chopped
Asparagus spears
1 tomato, chopped
2 tsp Dijon mustard
Fresh thyme (I used the dried version though)

2 to 4 strips of bacon
1/4 kilo cream dory fillets
Salt and pepper

1. Saute onions in olive oil until brown. Sprinkle with pepper. Remove from heat.
2. In a saucepan, boil about 1 inch of water. Place asparagus, sprinkle with salt. Cook until tender. Remove from heat, drain.
3. Mix onions with mustard and thyme.
4. Mix with asparagus. Set aside.

1. Lay bacon on a flat surface.
2. Pat dry dory before laying on the bacon. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
3. Wrap dory with bacon.
4. In a pan, heat olive oil until it ripples. Drop bacon-wrapped dory and fry about 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Be careful not to overcook.
5. Transfer to plate and serve with salad and chopped tomatoes on the side.

Makes 2 servings.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

The Doctor Is Out

This three-day weekend, I reeeally wanted to head on over to Cebu for Ultimo Abril, or to Bagasbas for the Summer Surf Festival. But given all the stuff I had to gather (plus my expenses!) for the upcoming New York trip and the packed week ahead of me, it just didn't make sense. I needed as much time and money as I could get to prepare for the trip, and to rest up before a grueling week ahead. (Neither of those local trips promised much sleep!) Instead, I spent the weekend cooking and baking, shopping for trip-related stuff, choreographing and teaching a dance, going to disc training, and participating in an ambush birthday party/despedida for our teammate, Doc Jerome.

That's the birthday boy, second from left.

Doc, the olde--er, wisest member of the Ultimate Warriors, is leaving the country in a few days. We expected to see him at training, and when he didn't show up, we figured that we didn't want to miss our chance to wish him a happy birthday and a safe trip. So we bought chicken and liempo from Andok's then headed over to his house! Thankfully, he was home! Haha.

After chowing down (we were all famished after training!), we settled into Doc's living room for a screening of...

...the original Clash of the Titans! The film was released in 1981, so you could imagine the effects were rather crude, at least compared to the 2010 version's. (I dare say the older one was better though.) But we joked that the effects of Titans 1981 are similar to those of Pinoy movies of today! "Okay Ka, Fairy Ko," as teammate/scoring machine Kring described it!

Afterwards, we played a bit of poker--I didn't win but I did clean out Enteng! Ha! No senti speeches for Doc...I think he was trying to avoid anything emotional so the whole evening was just light and fun, like a typical Warriors get-together. But really, Doc is worth getting emotional over. So I'm doin' it here!

The team, sadly, is losing one of its most rambunctious players. Doc brings a whole lot of fun wherever he goes because of his quick wit and loud hirits. The best thing about him? He doesn't BS anyone. And he can certainly back up his mouth--whatever he says behind someone's back, he can just as easily say to his or her face. That kind of honesty sometimes makes me anxious, but in some weird way, it's pretty refreshing. Between people like him and people who whisper rumors behind your back while being pretend-nice to your face, I would definitely take Doc! Er, just make sure you don't tell him who you have the hots for. He might just march right up to the object of your affections and tell that person, as another teammate discovered about a year and a half ago!

Doc, you will be missed--your medical advice (both solicited and unsolicited! Haha), your in-depth analysis of anything from disc to Everything Else, your boisterous laughter, your funny antics, your honesty. The Warriors will always, always have a place for you. And Mundz will always be ready to huck that disc to the endzone for ya. ALL THE WAY!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Recipe: Poseur Jack-a-Lean Omelette

One of my favorite places to eat in Boracay is Real Coffee. Love their cookies, calamansi cupcakes, French toast, iced choco, and their Jack-a-Lean Omelette! The last, I've tried to replicate at home, although I realize now that I haven't been using onions. Hey, it still works!

Poseur Jack-a-Lean Omelette

3 large eggs
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 can tuna flakes in olive oil (the calamansi version gives it a bit of a kick)
2 heaping tsps pesto
Quick-melt cheese, grated
  1. Saute the tomatoes over low heat.
  2. Add tuna and pesto. Mix thoroughly. Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. In a bowl, beat the eggs, adding a bit of salt.
  4. Pour eggs into a non-stick skillet. (A poseur non-stick skillet goes with our poseur omelette though, so I normally have to use a bit of vegetable oil.)
  5. Cook over low to medium heat until nearly done (mostly solid).
  6. Spoon tuna mixture over half of the eggs.
  7. Sprinkle cheese over tuna.
  8. Fold other half of the eggs over to form a half moon. Remove from heat.
Serve with toast. Good enough for two! Hamil and I normally share this for breakfast. An easy, yummy way to start the day!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Fight Night

While the rest of Manila was busy watching Timba and Justin (how was it, by the way?), I was busy watching this...

While we watched the fights, Hamil and Mike kept buying everyone Colt45. At some point Ward put his cup down, declaring, "Baka mag-tap out ako!"

...Half-naked, grown men beating each other up!

This was the first time I ever got to see a mixed martial arts (MMA) event live. The Universal Reality Combat Championship (URCC), which presented the event, is like the local version of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). If you've heard names like Randy Couture, Chuck Liddell, and Georges St-Pierre, then you probably have an idea of what UFC's all about. And yup, there's a local version!

The whole event was called "Reckoning," and the main event featured SEA games wushu champion Eduard Folayang, who had greatly impressed my husband in previous fights. He battled Korea's Dooje Chung, a Brazilian jiu jitsu dude who was also a former member of the Korean gymnastics team. (That explains his showboat flip before the fight started!) Out of the ten fights we witnessed, it wasn't the main attraction that impressed me. (Folayang won, pretty easily at that.) The fights I remember most were the one featuring a 42-year-old doctor who beat a 28-year-old (ahh, experience!), and the one featuring a 20-year-old Alvin Ramirez beating an older opponent in 21 seconds flat (the vid only shows 19 seconds of the "fight" though)!

With Cheng. We went with our husbands and our teammates Czar, Ward, trainer (and my one-time teammate) Xtian, and his girl after disc training.

So how was it, seeing this thang live? Well, it felt like what it must have felt like watching gladiators. I half-expected lions to be released after the first bout! It definitely wasn't easy seeing all those punches and kicks and blood. And it was painful to see the look of disappointment and frustration on the losers' faces. But the thing is, after a while, you kind of get desensitized. (Whether that's a good thing or a bad thing, I haven't quite figured out!) I guess I just had to tell myself that these guys chose to do this. And they knew that there was a big possibility that they would get beaten to a pulp.

My husband used to train for these things, and I think his coach wanted him to fight--but this was right before our wedding, and we didn't want him to have a busted lip as we exchanged vows! I did find the idea exciting--me cheering for Hamil as he battled it out in the ring. But after seeing fights up close and personal, I'm not sure I can handle seeing him up there. You can get desensitized to many things--but not to seeing the love of your life get hurt!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Easter Outfit

Like I previously mentioned, I love Easter, and I think it's one of those occasions that call for something a little special. My outfit for the day:

White dress from SM (I'm not kidding!), tan sandals from CMG, bag from Aranaz

I bought this chic white dress a couple of months ago but hadn't had the chance to use it. I figured Easter was a great day to wear it--it's church appropriate, and as my mom calls it, "pustura" (one of the words that I will forever associate with mumsy. That and "class"!). The fabric's a bit see-through though so I had to wear some nude underthings. But still, I think I'll be getting a lot of mileage out of this dress!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter!

I looove Easter! It's just a day that's full of hope and joy! And I think my happiness is evident in this photo...

Apart from having Easter-induced endorphins, I was also giddy from having iced tea again! Perhaps I was also giddy from having a breakfast date with my husband at one of my most favorite cafes, Banapple!

I had the longganisa while Hamil had the beef tapa with rice and creamy scrambled eggs (about P150)...

After breakfast, we went to mass, before going to my family's house for...

More food!

The kids had an Easter egg hunt while the grownups just sat around and talked and were entertained by the little ones. Then for dinner, I prepared a simple cream dory dish, using a recipe from Marketman.

A Sunday stuffing myself silly and spending time with my family? Now that's a pretty good day--even though it was scorching hot!

Happy Easter, everyone!:)

*206 and 225 Katipunan Ave., Blue Ridge, Quezon City
*2nd level Il Terazo, Tomas Morato cor. Sct. Madrinan, South Triangle, Quezon City

Thursday, April 1, 2010

What's Blue, Red, Pink, and Silver All Over?

Tito Butch and Tita Meng's 25th wedding anniversary!

Me with the other secondary sponsors. The bride in--what else?--silver!

My dad's brother and his wife celebrated a quarter of a century together with a renewal of vows. I was the veil sponsor (a particularly inept one at that--pinning that thing is tricky when the gown is heavily beaded!), and I was asked to wear a royal blue gown.

With my dashing husband

...while my sister-in-law Rita and my niece Marga (a flower girl) were asked to wear turquoise. As luck would have it, they had matching turquoise gowns! (Other flower girls were asked to wear pink.)

My brother's family walked down the aisle together since Marga wouldn't walk alone. Rita was a bridesmaid, Iggy was a groomsman, and my nephew Diego...well, he was there to support his little sister and hold her hand as she marched down the aisle. Awww.

My SIL and I were given hats and gloves to wear. The feathered gloves didn't quite go with my outfit, but I totally loved the hat.

After the church ceremony, we headed over to White Space for the reception, catered by my fabulous caterer, Kaye Cunanan.

Happy anniversary, Tito Butch and Tita Meng!

Twenty-five years of dancing together