Thursday, January 31, 2013

The Little Things Matter Most

I've always thought I was lucky for having a boyfriend who always anticipated my needs and my wants.

 I  felt lucky not because I always got what I wanted but because I knew he wanted me to be happy.
Now that we are married, things haven't changed (and I hope they never will).

This afternoon, I sent him an sms message telling him that I have just arrived home and that I was craving for something sweet and cold.

He arrived three hours later with some ice cream for me!

Am I lucky or what?

As a bonus, I even got two packs of squash seeds which he knew I have been looking for a couple of days ago.  Isn't that sweet?

I'm such a sucker for sweet little things like this.

Actually, come to think of it,  the sweet little things people do for us  are the ones that remain in our hearts.

What happened this evening reminded  me of one of my favorite songs.  I have borrowed a video of it from youtube so that you can all enjoy it.

It's going to be a happy February!

Monday, January 28, 2013

This Weekend, I...v. 8

It's a happy Monday today because we didn't have work.

We went to work last Saturday and yesterday and since we were all entitled to one rest day a week, the school gave us this Monday off.

I'm a actually sad at the moment because Monday is almost over and I'd have to go to back to work tomorrow.  I also have to stay up to 7pm in school since we will be having our first stage rehearsal for Beauty and the Beast.  If it weren't for the classes I'd be so excited about tomorrow.

Anyway, for the recap of my weekend, I'm linking up again with Sar and Syndal for another This Weekend, I...

This weekend I, took pictures of our field demonstration.
during the parade...the kids represented different island nations in the Carribean

This weekend, I  enjoyed these a lot!  Yum!

This weekend I, played with my nephew.  I was able to make him smile more than a couple of times and I kept him awake for two hours!!!  Precious time!

And that's my weekend.  How was yours?

Saturday, January 26, 2013

You May Hate Me for This...

Here's my two cents' worth on  Les Miserables the movie....

I first met Jean Valjean in high school when I listened to the original soundtrack of Les Miserables.  That was  when I first fell in love with the musical.  My sister and I would always listen to it in the car during long rides.

When I was in college, I read the novel and got to know and understood each of the characters in a different and deeper way.  I fell in love with Victor Hugo.

Since then, Les Miserables has always been my favorite novel, Victor Hugo has always been my favorite author and Jean Valjean has always been my favorite hero.

I fell in love with the musical for the second time when I watched the 10th anniversary concert sometime in the late 90's.  I watched it over and over and the more I watched the deeper I fell.  I thought that Schonberg and Boublil were geniuses.  The melody of the songs captured the sentiment of the novel.  The words were perfect for the thoughts and feelings of the character for each scene.

Everything was perfect except the character of Marius.  The play made him a likable character which he really wasn't.  He didn't care for Eponine at all, even as a friend.  He did not comfort her when she died which was contrary to what was shown in the play as evidenced by the song, A Little Fall of Rain.  Aside from that, it was his fault that Jean Valjean died in the end.

But for me, that was just a minor and forgivable flaw because the musical was just so good.

I fell in love with it again when  I watched the 25th anniversary concert last year.

However,  I watched the movie the other day and honestly, I got bored.  I am always on some kind of "high" whenever I talk about Les Miserables or whenever I listen to the songs but this time, there were parts where I got bored.  I actually fell asleep towards the end of the movie and then woke up again to see the ending which I was able to appreciate greatly.

Some people I know who really do not "know" the musical or who have never read the novel had rave reviews.  I was skeptical about it but I tried watching.

But this time I didn't fall in love again.


I really can't explain.  I think the novel was just too BIG.  When you know the characters deeply, when you know their backgrounds and their thoughts and everything they've been through, the characters get really "large" and they can't fit in the screen.  I don't know if you know what I mean.  But I don't know how to explain it better than that.

So, because the story is just too deep and just too big, and the characters are large, you have to feel the energy that you can only feel from a theater performer performing the songs live.

In theater, everything should be magnified, every expression, every movement exaggerated, everything is big.  I think that's what Les Mis needs.

At least, that's my analysis.

Of course, credit is due to Jackman for a wonderful performance.

Amanda Seyfried was perfect for her role as the beautiful Cosette.

Anne Hathaway's hair should have been dyed blond or gold.  She should have been prettified even when she was working in the factory.  Fantine was a very beautiful lady  and actually that was what made the women envious.  They despised her and hated her for being beautiful.  So forgive me if I just couldn't see Hathaway as Fantine.

Russell Crowe is a great actor but he did not fit the bill this time.  He was not able to capture the spirit of Javert  and maybe his features were just too soft.

I also feel that some of the lyrics of the songs were changed, like "I have bought your soul for God"
was changed to "I have saved your soul for God."  The original was a lot better.  The bishop, in a way, really bought Valjean's soul.  He paid for Valjean's soul with the only silver he allowed himself to have.   That was one of the most beautiful lines in the song or in the whole musical.  I wonder why they had to change it.

As I remember correctly, Fantine lost her front teeth.  In the movie, she still had her front teeth when she died.

In the movie, John Valjean stole a lot of silver.   The Bishop of Digne didn't have that much silver in his house as he just lived a humble life.  The only luxury he allowed himself to have were some silverware and his two silver candlesticks.

Those are just some of the inconsistencies I noticed while watching the movie.

And though this movie still pales in comparison to the novel, it is indeed a far cry from the movie they made with Clare Danes as Cosette.

So, did I love it? No.

Did I like it?  Yes.  For me, the movie had its moments and a copy would be a good addition to any movie collector.

And that's my two cents.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Roses and Thorns v. 1


It's Friday and that makes me happy.


I have to go to school tomorrow and on Sunday for our university fair, and field demonstration.  That just sucks.


We finally finished preparing for our yearly exhibit.  We had the ribbon cutting ceremony today, preceded by the blessing of the exhibit by our resident priest.

This year's theme is "Faith Is Completed in Works."

That's me with the camera. I was the official photographer for the event. However, the pics I have posted are the ones I took using my phone.


I am still tired from all the work we did this week.

Here are the teachers setting up the exhibit.

Here are other pics  taken last night before we opened and today after the ribbon cutting.

These are the angel projects of the third graders. They used Coke bottles for the bodies and newspapers to cover the bottles.

            The following are preschool projects.   I thought they were so cute.

Here are some of the kids and parents who visited the exhibit this afternoon.

Let me end this post with another rose.

Since we have to be in school tomorrow and on Sunday, our university president gave us Monday off.  I plan to just stay in bed all day.   I haven't done that for a very looooooooooong time.  It would be so nice to do it again!

Monday, January 21, 2013

This Weekend, I... v. 7

Is it possible for a person to gain more than five pounds in just two days?  That's how I feel.

This weekend, I ate too many ripe mangoes. I also made mango float ref cake and ate too much, made some again and ate too much again.  If you'd like the recipe, click  here.

This weekend, I attended the christening of my nephew, Manuel Emilio.  It was a very nice and meaningful  ceremony.

That's my sister, holding the baby.  And that's my scalp there...hahaha!

My sister, her husband, my baby nephew and the priest

It was followed by an expensive celebration at Chili's Greenhills.  There were 150 guests. Chili's had to close its doors to other customers  to give way to the party.

the buffet line

pretty cake for a cute baby

from left to right: Dad, my son, Mom, my sister, Ruel, myself and my sister's grade school friend

I actually ate too much, I had no more room for dinner.  I went to bed with my stomach not feeling so well.

So, that's pretty much how my weekend went.  How was yours?

Friday, January 18, 2013

A Taste of Heaven

When I was in high school I learned to make crema de fruita refrigerator cake using canned fruit cocktail. 

Six years ago, my sister and I experimented on using Zambales mangoes instead of the fruit cocktail.
It was pure heaven!

    I have always used Zambales mangoes ever since. 

  I made a tray of it last night, after dinner. There's not a bit of it left now and I have to make another one. 

Anyway, while I'm chilling the cream, I decided to share the recipe with you.  I call it, Heavenly  Mango Float Ref Cake.

 What you need:

seven ripe mangoes 
Graham crackers
 500 ml of Nestle Cream (two boxes of 250 ml)
 1 can or 3/4 can of Milkmaid Condensed Milk (depending on how sweet you want it to be)


1.  Chill the cream for an hour.
2. Slice the mangoes like the ones in the picture below.
2. Mix the cream and the milk in a bowl.  Be sure to mix well.
3.  Grease a 1 1/2  or 2 inch pan with the mixture.
4. Cover the pan with a single layer of crackers and cover it entirely with some of the cream and milk mixture.  
5.  Arrange some of  the sliced mangoes in rows on your first layer.
6. Make the second layer by laying crackers on top of the mangoes.
7. Pour some of the cream and milk mixture on the crackers.  Arrange some of the mangoes on top  of the crackers.  
8. When you make your third layer, pour the remaining cream and milk mixture.  Make sure your crackers are well covered and  lay most of the sliced mangoes on this layer  to make it look pretty.
9. Chill the refrigerator cake for at least three hours then serve cold.

This is pure heaven!

Note:  There are many varieties of mangoes.  I read somewhere that there are over 400 of them.  For this recipe, I am talking about the Zambales Lamao and Sweet Elena  varieties.  I am not sure how the recipe  will work with other varieties.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Pickled Mangoes

I remember  I promised to share with you all our recipe for pickled mangoes.

Today I am going to make good on that promise.

What you'll need:

some salt
half a cup of water
a cup of sugar 
three green mangoes


1. Slice the mangoes like this:

2. Mix some salt with the mangoes. Make sure that you mix well.
3. Set aside for at least 8-10 hours or overnight.
4.  Wash the mangoes and drain well. Set aside.
5. Heat 1/2 cup of water and 1 cup sugar in a pot. Let the water boil and allow the sugar to dissolve before stirring.  Once you see the water and sugar turn into syrup, take it out of the heat and let it cool.

6. Meanwhile, arrange the mangoes in a dry glass container.
7. Pour the syrup into the container with the mangoes after the syrup has cooled.
8. Store the mangoes in the refrigerator for a day before eating.

I hope you try this because it's really a good appetizer. Just don't be like me, I always end up almost eating the entire thing before eating the real meal!

Happy eating!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Some Mango Cheer

This is just a happy weekend. 

Yes, I had to check formal and informal themes and do other  teacher stuff , play the part of wife, mother and daughter, which means I was as busy as a bee.  

Nothing can take the smile off my face!

Because of these!

kaings of mangoes from the mango farm we inherited from our grandpa
 We have mangoes from our family's mango farm!  After selling the majority to the wholesalers, we have eleven kaings left.  Yes, that's eleven kaings of pure heavenly goodness!  They are Zambales mangoes and to me, no other variety is sweeter! Everytime I eat our mangoes.  I thank God that I am alive. Really, no kidding.  They have that effect on me.  I always think I'm so lucky I could eat them!

So, I am just excited to eat them just as they are when they are ripe and I am excited to make a mango float refrigerator cake!  Ooooh! Yummy!  I sing every time I make it.  It's just pure happiness for me!  I think I have to replenish my stock of Nestle Cream and Milkmaid Condensed Milk!  I'm also excited to make mango jubilee, that's ripe mangoes with nata de coco and cream and milk!

Now that the mangoes are still green, my mom and I were just so excited to eat some pickled mangoes!  We pickled some of them today! Our recipe is just sooo good.  I promise to post it soon.

Don't worry friends, I will be sharing with you the recipes for the pickled mangoes, mango float ref cake and the mango jubilee.

Meanwhile, I'll see if I can eat mangga't bagoong!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Happy Thursday

It's Thursday night once again, just a night away from Saturday! And that my friends, make me very happy!!!

Today turned out to be a happy day. Schoolwork was light. I finished a lot of things that I needed to finish for the computation of grades (though I still have a long way to go).

I was able to leave work at 4:15! Our official time is from 7:15 - 4:15 but we seldom get to leave before 5. Sometimes we stay in school till 6, or 7, sometimes even 12 midnight! Well, anyway, that is why being able to go home early is such a big deal for me.

What made this a happy day was the fact that Ruel, Toots and I got to spend time with my parents, my sister, brother-in-law and my baby nephew, Emilio. Emilio is one month old today and this was enough cause for a small celebration.

My sister invited us to a simple dinner. She cooked pasta, ordered pizza and bought a Contis cake.

He is always asleep when I see him. What I usually do is to say, "Emilio" in a  loud sing-song  voice which makes my mom (she helps my sister take care of him) put her index finger on her lips to silence me. They don't want him awake because he always looks for milk.   But Aunt Claire can't be silenced!  I always succeed in waking him up....and they always end up giving him milk after a few minutes. 

So that's my Thursday.  How was yours?

Monday, January 7, 2013

This Weekend, I... v. 6

I'm linking up again with Sar and Syndal for another round of This Weekend, I...

This Weekend, I cooked cream dory with ginger sauce and it was yummy! I had to force my son to stop eating and leave some for my parents who were here that day with my baby nephew.

This Weekend, I "played" with my baby nephew.    Ruel had a blast changing his diaper. Haha!

This Weekend, I enjoyed gelato with my son and Ruel.  I don't know what's happening to me... I've been eating a lot of ice cream lately.

    This weekend, Ruel, Toots and I had lunch with Ruel's family to celebrate the 71st birthday of my father-in-law.  We ate at Hap Chan. I specially loved the shrimp with brocolli!  

That's my weekend...oh...and I forgot, I also had to check 100 test papers!  No fun at all but I had to do it.  I just had to remind myself that soon it will be summer.

How was your weekend?

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Wishing It Was Still Christmas

Christmas is over. We won't be putting away the trimmings and decorations till the Feast of the Three Kings but all the excitement of the Holidays has definitely gone down.  Christmas has come and gone and I didn't even feel it.  It makes me so sad!  This is my favorite time of the year, and every year I always stop to feel Christmas.  This year,  I didn't feel anything!  To think, it should have been so much nicer this year!  I was expecting it to be so much nicer because this was my first Christmas with my husband.

I usually start feeling Christmas in November. I usually put up the tree on the second week of November.  This year, I was busy planning my wedding which was held on the second of December.  After the wedding, one would think I'd have the time to "feel" Christmas.  No, the series of events at work, the crazy time I had trying to adjust to my new situation, the things I had to do to fix our home topped by the fact that my sister gave birth on the tenth of December (this made everything even more crazier) made me numb to all of the festivities all around me.  In fact, I think it was only on the 21st of December when I realized how near Christmas was.

I only put up the tree on the 16th of December and only shopped for Christmas presents on the 22nd!

I don't want Christmas to be over but it is and I have to wait another year to feel that different kind of happy feeling one gets every Christmastime!

Today Ruel, Toots and I went to a mall in Makati to do some shopping and I was just so happy to see so how beautifully it was dressed up for the Holidays! I just had to stop and take pictures!

so pretty!

They had these moving pandas in one part of the mall,

... moving tigers
...and moving polar bears.

  The highlight of the shopping trip was not the shopping at all.

   It was finding this!

     Who could say no to some good old gelato?!

          Definitely not my two boys!

     And certainly not me !

So basically, that's how I spent my afternoon today!  Looking for clothes, eating ice cream and wishing it was still Christmas.

I know, you probably think it's weird. All the other bloggers have moved on to a new topic and I'm still talking about Christmas! Well, got to be me!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Hopes and Resolutions

Two nights ago, Filipinos welcomed the new year with our tradition of family gathering around the table for the media noche after the midnight mass, and superstitions like putting 24 kinds of round fruits on the table for prosperity, filling a glass with salt up to the brim and another glass with cotton, putting pineapple on the dinner table, wearing polka-dotted clothes, jingling coins in one's pockets when the clock strikes 12:00, making noise to drive the bad luck away, or jumping high (for the kids) when the clock strikes 12:00.

Everyone is looking forward to a great year.  Here's a list of things that would make my year really great.  I have listed them in no particular order since many of them are as important to me as the others.

 1. good health and the safety of myself, my family and everyone I love
 2. less stress, fewer deadlines
 3. my son's emotional healing
 4. financial comfort
 5. weaker typhoons
 6. less floods
 7. no natural disasters peace
 9. a baby girl of our own flesh and blood
10. happiness of my loved ones
11. Ruel's personal fulfillment
12. job satisfaction
13. more real friends for my son
14. money to buy a house
15. new television set
16. more time with my loved ones
17. more time to do the things I want to do
18. inner peace
19. a just and peaceful resolution of the Scarborough Shoal conflict
20. a new DLSR camera
21. travel
22. more blog readers
23. puppies

And now, I would like to share with you all my resolutions for the year.  Listing them down like this would hopefully make me more responsible in keeping them.

1. spend more time bonding with my son
2. enjoy a sport with my son and Ruel
3. be more affectionate towards my parents
4. be more organized
5. learn new recipes
7. bake more
8. manage my time better
9. bond with my new nephew
10. complain less, appreciate more
11. meet deadlines - boy, this is hard!
12. spend quality time with my dogs
13. read more
14. watch more movies
15. find a balance between work and my personal life
16. eat healthier
17. make healthy meals for my family
18. get even more closer to God
19. love more
20. less impulse purchases

I think that's about it. I trust in God's goodness that He would give me what I want for this year, and that He would help me do the things I have resolved to do.

I took this after the midnight mass on New Year's Eve.

May the joy that only the Christ Child can bring stay with us all throughout this year.  A safe, prosperous and happy 2013 everyone!  God bless us all! Cheers!