Pining for all those Filipino goodies

With Alan in San Francisco this week, I made sure to text him a shopping list of Goldilocks goodies to bring home.  Plus, I requested he bring home some Bibingka and Puto Bumbong if he could find any.

While we have our share of Filipino eateries and groceries here in New York, it can’t compare to the offerings on the West Coast where the majority of our kababayans are.  In fact, Goldilocks, Red Ribbon, Jollibee, Max’s, Megamelt (to name a few) have franchisees on that side of the US, but none here.  We literally “import” our Goldilocks goodies from the California branches. 

So I asked for ensaymada, mocha vanilla chiffon slice, pinipig pulvoron, and cheese tarts.  I got my ensaymada but Alan said they had run out of the chiffon slice. =(  He got me my Pinipig Pulvoron, but it seems they have stopped producing cheese tarts because although he bought me a bag of assorted tarts, all they had were soft coconut (macapuno), jackfruit (langka), and purple yam (ube).  What happened to the cheese tarts??!!  And he bought me two mini baskets of assorted pastillas, but there were no milk pastillas at all, and for some reason, they were chewey and rubbery and not at all the same as we had gotten used to back home.

I’m not complaining.. my honey was very generous, lugging a friend to drive him to the nearest Goldilocks branch to their hotel and that wasn’t exactly near at all.  But it makes me pine for all these Filipino goodies which folks back home take forgranted.

Oh if you guys just knew how lucky you were!  Forget about the Starbucks goodies, the Krispy Kreme donuts, Junior’s Cheesecake and all that other stuff — give me plain old Goldilocks and Red Ribbon goodies as we know it back in Manila, the yema from Chocfull O’Nuts along with their delectable siopao and cuapao, the Bibingka with Queso de Bola from Via Mare or the more traditional fare from Ferrino’s, the delicious Puto Bumbong of Bon Appetit in Rustan’s!  There’s also the traditional Cream Puff from Dulcinea, the Ginataang Kuhol of Kamayan, the Kare-kare and Crispy Pata of Barrio Fiesta, Pancit Malabon from Pancit ng Taga-Malabon (what else?!), the neighborhood Lechon Manok from Andok’s or even just the plain old sweet spaghetti of Jollibee.. I can go on and on and on.  (I almost forgot the dimsum of Hen Lin with it’s signature chili sauce.) 

So to all you folks back home, savor every bit of these everyday goodies — you don’t know how lucky you are to have it within reach.

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Feedback on Age

Again from Lani:

We”re happy being 39!!!

Baby-face naman tayo, D.

And I so agree!  Most people get surprised to hear I’m actually 39 — a subject that comes along when they ask me if I plan on having a second child now that Angel is a year and 7 months.  I tell them that it’s out of the question given my age.. blah blah blah. 

I don’t take special credit for this but attribute it to the fact that we Asians really look younger than our Caucasian counterparts mostly, I believe, because of our skin composition.  The presence of more melanin in our skin makes it less susceptible to the ravages of age (read: wrinkles), and our diet has a lot to do with it as well.

And I think aging is a matter of perspective as well.  One who can go with the flow and go with age and not against it will manage well through time.

The other day, Oprah featured a bunch of women who defied the laws of nature and looked ravishing for their biological age.  A woman in her 60s looked like she was my age — and this was not because of Botox or other medical intervention, but basically due to how they chose to live their lives.  One must really take care of one’s self to do well.

I don’t really have any special routines except to ensure that my skin is properly moisturized, more so now that it’s winter.  I try to drink more water because I know I never drink nearly enough, and I try to maintain a good outlook on life so that no matter what challenges come my way, I am able to maintain a solid footing to cope.

And yes, we’re happy being 39.. who wouldn’t be?  I have accomplished what I wanted (passed the Philippine Bar), got my title (which means nada here, though — but once a lawyer always a lawyer..), found my better half (or did he find me?) — moved to the greatest city in the world, and now have a beautiful baby.  Not that there’s nothing I can ask for after all that — but all things considered, I know I am truly blessed.  I have the love of friends and family and there is nothing more precious than all that I have enumerated above.

Age is but a number

I’ve heard it said that age is but a number.  I’m one of those people who don’t wince when I say I’m 39 years old.  As I had e-mailed a friend who is turning 40 in a couple of days — It’s how we live and age that matters, not how old we are.  So I think not about how 39 is close to 40, but rather that at this age, I’ve found peace with someone I will grow old with, I’m raising a precocious and very sweet human being, and I’m trying to make the most of life. 

The morning was cold and wet, but the sun came out in full force by noon and I didn’t have to commute home tonight as Alan fetched me from the office.  We’re spending a quiet evening at home where it’s warm and toasty.

It was another busy day but I know I accomplished a lot.  The boss and I had a nice chat online, too, and it was so rewarding to read him acknowledge I’ve been doing a great job and that he was happy.  Just the validation I need after working so hard to try and partner with him as best as I could.

It’s a long weekend for us — Alan and I have taken Monday off so we’re looking forward to a nice weekend as a family.  Just another weekend we want to spend meaningfully even if we don’t really do much like chill at home. 

We’d have wanted to watch a movie but I don’t want to tire Mom needlessly — we can always watch tomorrow late in the afternoon.  Even after 5 years of being husband and wife, we still take the time out to do things as a couple, not just as parents of this growing boy.