One of those days..

Remember those days when you just don’t feel you have it in you to be nice? I’m having one of those days.. So there is a lady or two here who might just get slapped silly if they don’t give me some breathing space.

Hormones? Work? Hot weather? Missing Manila? I’m at a loss — I just feel crappy. My fridge is not working again — something we find very strange considering this was delivered to us only 10 days ago. It was working great, and like the one I had replaced, the freezer is doing okay, but the fridge seems to have conked out.

I’m keeping my fingers crossed it just needed to be “rebooted” — we unplugged and plugged it back on earlier. If it doesn’t, I have already scheduled servicing tomorrow. * sigh *

And then as if that wasn’t enough, Alan’s been assigned to “watch over” their San Francisco Hotel because the General Manager had quit. He will be away for two weeks and that’s going to be a challenge as far as bringing Angel to and from home and daycare at Grand Central. Not that we have a say in it. In a sense, it was flattering that the President & CEO had requested it, because that means he has confidence in Alan. I just hope that he gets home before Father’s Day on the 18th… and yes, that I get some goodies from Goldilocks in San Francisco. =)

The day is halfway through. The boss has checked in with me via our system chat software, and his cellphone service up in Denver appears to be spotty. That works well for me because that means it’ll even be quieter.

So I’m not my usual cheerful self — go sue me.

BIZU: They may not be Laduree but they're on the right track

Cross posted on Pinay Francophile’s Blog

I first found out that a pattiserie in Manila had been offering macarons from Toni’s Blog (Wifely Steps) a while back and I had made a promise to myself that I would seek it out and try out the goodies and find out how they fared in comparison to the original Laduree Macarons from Paris which Alan and I so love.

He and I had completely fallen in love with the delicacy that we now unabashedly request his officemates who fly to Paris on business to do us the favor of bringing us home a box (the corporate office on Champs Elysees is literally a hop, skip and a jump away from the Laduree Salon de Te on the same avenue) — and a favorite French friend always brings us a box whenever he is in New York on business.  (And of course when Alan goes to the head office, one of the things he has to be lugging home if he wants to be let into the house is a big box.. LOL)  Much to my chagrin, the grandest of pattiseries here in New York DO NOT offer macarons — (so please do tell me if you are in New York and you chance upon some deli, pattiserie or other, offering this favorite delicacy of mine.)

My girlfriend Demi and I had made a pact to go to BIZU together and she took me to the one on the Promenade arcade in Greenhills since it was closer to my home..  Demi had already been going to Bizu and was intrigued to find out how the macarrons would rate with me.  At P30.00 each, they were rather pricey, but nowhere near as expensive as the ones from Paris which were over £ 1.00 each which roughly converts to almost $2.00 per cookie. 

We tried the Ube and the mango flavors (staying true to Filipion flavors) and Alan and I later tried the Mango and then the Pandan macaron.  They certainly looked every inch the authentic macarons, but perhaps because they were in refrigerated display cases, the texture was not quite the same.  The Bizu macarons were just slightly harder, and so it was crisper than more chewy.  No wonder they wouldn’t vouch for the macrrons surviving a flight without refrigeration when Demi tried to get a box to send to me through a balikbayan couple friend who were jetting back to the east coast a while back. 

Flavor wise — they captured the essence of the ube, mango and pandan without being too sweet or overpowering, which is the essence of the flavoring of macarons.  That is why I say they’re no Laduree but they’re on the right track.  (Straight from Alan’s mouth, I should say.)  But this is BIZU not Laduree, and I commend the Chef behind the macarons from Manila for bringing this delicacy home for Filipinos to savor.

If you feel like having some coffee or tea, an espresso perhaps, don’t be intimidated by the grand interior of Bizu — be it the bistro or the cafe — go in, order your beverage of choice, and try a macaron or two.  Share the joy of knowing that something as heavenly and Parisien is offered right in the heart of Manila.  Definitely worth the experience, and as close as you can get to Paris!


More pictures available at Pinay Francophile

Monday feeling like a Sunday

My Memorial Day went like any other Sunday, except that it was a Monday.  After breakfast, we went to the mall, had lunch and then got a few things here and there and we were home by 7PM.

I picked up a ton of cards at TARGET.  (Not exactly your regular place for mushy lines but I was tired of the usual Hallmark selection.)  Birthdays, Father’s Day — I didn’t realize I had that many on my list.  I have always been one to send a greeting — I am sure my absence in Manila has markedly affected Hallmark sales in National Bookstore.. (yeah right.. LOL)  That’s the demonstrative part of me — I have always been known to speak my heart and mind, even if I sometimes ended up putting my foot in my mouth.  I suddenly realized as I was writing this post that I need to pick up at least three more cards.. okay, I’m going to Hallmark for that one. LOL

The asthma has gotten way better — I am hardly coughing.  My cold is very thin now, but I still feel a congestion in my head.  It’s just so nice that my health cooperated when I needed it, even if there were times I felt like I was ready to faint in the midst of watching Big Bird and Elmo dancing onstage.  (Anything for my boy..)  It’s getting really warm in New York, and barring any more rainfall, we’re all set for summer!

It’s going to be a short week with the boss away so I’m all set.  Angel’s been confirmed for back up childcare all week so Alan and I need not worry about someone having to work from home on any given day.

I feel blessed.  I have my boys, my family back home, and I’m looking forward to another week doing work I actually look forward to as my weekend ends.  (Can you see the smile on my face?)


Another Long Weekend

I like the weekends.  But I love long weekends even better.  It’s Memorial Day on Monday so we’re all up for an extended weekend.  I have a date with Elmo (going to Sesame Place with the tyke) and then I’m hoping to get some rest at home to help with the asthma.

Weekends are never really long enough.  You always end Sunday wishing it were Sunday again the next morning.  I hope to accomplish some tidying up in the house this particular weekend and hopefully prep the attic for the cardboard walling I hope to put up.  Then maybe I can start putting things away in my little corner again.

Or I can just sleep and sleep until the asthma is gone.  Wishful thinking, I know.  I’ve lived with this mild asthma for so long it is no longer a burden.  I’ve learned to live with it.  That’s why I’m going to Sesame Place tomorrow..


Lagundi tablets, anyone?

One of my discoveries in Manila this last visit were Lagundi Tablets.  One of my bestfriends, Gina, even recommended it as a good herbal remedy for colds, asthma (!), and other bronchial ailments.  So I bought a box of the stronger dose and forgot all about it until this morning when I found the 6-tablet pad I had put in my bag “just in case”. 

Do I feel any better?  Asthma, unfortunately, is not like a headache that can just fade away.  It takes some time to leave my system and like always, I’m riding it out.  But I am going to take a second dose later, and a third — at the very least, I know I’m taking something organic.  At most, it might actually do me some good.

Working from home

Despite my asthma, I would’ve been at work.  Asthma never really kept me at home because I couldn’t stand lying down anyway with the heaving and coughing.  Instead I’m home taking care of Angel.  (He’s engrossed with Stanley’s show… refusing lunch even.)  I decided to have some chicken sotanghon for lunch.  I hit two birds with one stone with that — a light lunch for my mother-in-law and me, and dinner or lunch for Angel later. 

The boy has suddenly gotten picky with his meals.  He refused the rice mixed in with his chicken soup.  Instead, he decided he wanted some of my chicken wings without the broth. He’s gotten very finnicky about what he eats which is not easy on us.  I’m thinking we have to start him on vitamins again lest he miss out on important nutrients.  I’ll know later after our doctor’s appointment.

I have been fighting the urge to nap.  With just 2 hours to go before the workday is over, I think I’ll make it.  I just wish this is the last of my asthma attack between now and the next winter.  Wishful thinking, though.  At least I was able to stock up on my Ventolin rotadisk from Mercury Drug.  I’m good for at least 2 asthma attacks, and I’m having Mom bring me another 3 disks anyway.

I wish Mom would come back home soon.  She promised me June.. it’s just around the corner anyway.



A Gem of a find for P88.00

I had already written about this earlier but my phone cam connection went crazy on me so I wasn’t able to post the accompanying photo.  What’s a recommendaiton without the graphics to support it?  Highly recommended by the Pinay New Yorker! 


As a homemaker, I have always had an eye out for useful gadgets to use in my tiny home.  Anything to make my life just a wee bit easier.  On my first week in Manila, I spied this corner at the Rustan’s Express Supermarket in Greenbelt which had a sign saying “Everything Home for P88”.  They had some interesting gadgets and two things caught my eye — one is a multi-compartment container which now houses my accessory finds in Tiendesitas and Greenhills, and second was this perfect container for my condensed milk.  I don’t know about you but my little boy and I cannot take oatmeal without condensed milk.  And being that I need to transfer the milk eventually to another container after opening the can initially, it has been such a struggle finding a suitable vessel that will allow me to pour the milk without making a mess as we are wont to do when we deal with gooey and viscous stuff like condensada. Ta dah!  Found it and imported it all the way here.  Now it has its place inside my ancient ref — and I cannot be happier!

Yes, Boyet CAN sing.. but I knew that already..

My CD strategy this trip to Manila was to shove the ones I thought Alan would like onto Alan’s pile and I made him buy it.  That way, the only ones I had to shell out money for were those CDs he wouldn’t be caught dead buying.  (I did get Christian Bautista’s CD only because I had already passed on half a dozen to him.. LOL) 

I read about Christopher de Leon’s album a while back when it was released, and when I scoured the OPM racks, I had to pick it up.  What convinced me to grab a copy was the fact that “Bituing Walang Ningning” was part of its playlist.  (One of my ultimate favorite songs of all time.. I don’t care who sings it, it’s MY song.. feel na feel ko na yun ang buhay ko at yun ang pinili ko.. ang maging bituing walang ningning..)  I already knew that Boyet could sing because I caught his one and only film with Kuh Ledesma entitled “Tinimbang ang Langit” where he played a composer/record producer to Kuh’s (what else?) singer character, and their love story spun off several songs, one or two of which Boyet sung in.  I liked this duet they had which was very light on the heart: “A little bit of Suicide” which essentially spoke of love as being that: a little bit of suicide.  I even bought the soundtrack cassette of that film but lost in through the years.  Beautiful songs were part of that movie.. indeed!

Christopher de Leon is no Martin Nievera or Gary V, but his voice is easy on the ears and the songs in the album will take you down memory lane and bring back good memories. 

Indulge me this Guessing Game

Okay, I know I’ve been way behind posting about my (mis)adventures this homecoming but I thought I would upload these three pictures and ask you folks out there if you know where they are.  Except for one picture which is pretty obvious, the two are a mystery.  All three photos were taken with my phone cam so don’t look for high quality, but you can’t miss out on these three if you’re truly gala (a wanderer) in Manila.  (Click on the thumbnails to see entire picture and hit your “BACK” button to return to the blog)



The first picture was taken as my friend Reggie and I were trying to find our way to another side of a shopping complex no thanks to the rain that started pouring.  The third picture was literally taken while I was walking past this chapel without as much as stopping to take a good shot.  The third was taken while we waited for my brother to drive up and fetch us.  Start guessing!

Coming down with something

Is it asthma or just the flu bug I probably caught from Angel?  I really don’t know.  I thought I had left Manila with a stash of Neozep but I cannot find it right now so I’m back to Advil.  I also missed out on getting my supply of Tuseran Forte and Amoxycillin.  Talk about self medication!  (Something we Pinoys are so good at.)

It was a chilly but beautiful morning that we had today.  I left the house late as I stayed home and watched Angel while Alan brought my mother-in-law for her regular blood test at the lab in preparation for her next doctor’s appointment.  Since we didn’t get a slot at back up childcare today, Alan’s working from home.  I’m going to make my own pitch to the boss to do that tomorrow myself, since I have to be here on Thursday because he’s back.  The things we must do to make adjustments… that’s Parenthood, New York style for you.

It’s one of those days when I wish I were a Rockefeller as Alan would put it — or as people in Manila would say, an Ayala.  It would be such a blessing to be able to stay home and just enjoy Angel.