Feedback on being Pinoy

Darryl responded to my response in a blogpost in relation to his recent visit here with:

Dinna, I’m flattered that one of your blog topics has been initiated by my comment to you. My trip to the Philippines was wonderful and my daughter was able to connect with her heritage. I am so proud of her since she was proud to be Pinay even before this trip. That is the great thing about extended family that is such a big part of our culture.She spent a lot of time being babysat by my Mom so her Pinay roots are firmly grounded. I’m sure Angel will be respectful because of his grandmother and mother’s influence. She even proudly tells her friends at school that her favorite food is sinigang and shares her lumpia shanghai with them. Her friends are from all races caucasian, indian, afghani, iranian. I can tell that because of her Pinay pride they all think that being from the Philippines is cool. She proudly proclaims that Apl from Black Eyed Peas and Nicole from Pussycat Dolls are part Filipinos. I wish I could take credit for this but growing up as a teenager I wanted to fit in therefore being different was not cool. So even though it looks really bleak right now, there is a chance your stepson will find the right path. Hopefully as my daughter gets older peer pressure won’t affect her. By the way, my wife is going to Paris next month for her annual shopping vacation. One thing I asked her to bring home are the macaroons from Laduree. This request is also due to your blog’s influence. I did try the macaroons at Bizu in Manila and actually it was pretty good, so I can’t wait to taste the best from Paris. Thanks for the blog and take care.

To which I replied: Darryl, thank you again. You have been mentioned in other posts in your absence, specially during that time I felt my blog was under siege from some undesirable elements spreading negativity all over the blogsphere.  But that’s a closed issue now.

I still find your earlier comment on growing up a teenager here in the US insightful even if it hasn’t really helped make the situation with the stepson any better.  But there is always the so-called light at the end of the tunnel — he will soon be eighteen.  (Counting the year and so many months with bated breath..)

Let me know how you found the Laduree goodies.  You really should sit down in their Salon de Te over at Champs Elysees.  They have around 5 branches around Paris, I believe, but this one is one of their “grander” branches.

If for some reason or other you find yourself in the big apple, please, please make sure you let me know way ahead and pencil me in!


All wiped out

I like weekends but Sundays always find me so exhausted — even more exhausted than a usual workday.  I guess it’s because I tend to do more things at home, and between finishing weekend errands like doing the grocery or getting sundries, we squeeze in time to have some fun with Angel or go out for a movie date.  It’s what makes me wish we always had 3-day weekends!

My Korean Beef was a success — and this despite the fact that I actually doubled the quantity of the marinade/soup base in which my short ribs were slow cooked in.  I didn’t just double everything automatically but instead observed the same proportions, eyeballed most of the condiments and adjusted to taste.  I used this recipe with just a few tweaks.  I ran out of ginger so I skipped that altogether but it still tasted yummy.  I used a little more beef broth as well and saved around half a cup on standby in case I had to adjust the seasoning later.  Instead of black sesame oil, I used pure sesame oil but tried to be sparing about my measurement — and voila!  Everyone was happy.

Thanks to my slow cooker, the meat fell off the bones.  Unfortunately slow cooking is not a practical alternative back in Manila because the high price of electricity.  Imagine plugging an appliance to cook for 8 hours!  Although I imagine the actual consumption is rather low, still, with the high cost of electric maintenance, it is best to either pressure cook the meat or slow cook via LPG perhaps. 

It was a marathon Sunday with barely any breaks.  I had to get a few necessities (read: Jasmine rice and some “Asian” veggie staples at the Chinese grocery) and then we had KFC for lunch (which was a big relief to me because if I had to cook breakfast, lunch, go out and then prepare dinner, I usually end up cooking the next meal the moment I put away the dishes from the last one!).. After lunch, I would’ve loved to to go the Central Park Zoo this afternoon but there was heavy traffic on the LIE (Long Island Expressway) going into the city so we decided instead to go back to Jones Beach and bring Angel to one of his favorite playgrounds. 

Were it not for the giant lamoks (mosquitos) which gave me a West Nile Virus panic attack (much like the Dengue scare in Manila), we had fun in the playground then moved on to the boardwalk.  On the way home we had to do the groceries, and upon getting home, it was back to the kitchen.  I finished off the dish, cooked some baby carrots as a side, (thank God Mom set the table), and because I didn’t want Mom washing the dishes, I took that chore, too. 

And the evening did not end there.  I had to give Angel a bath (as always), clean the tub after Alan put him to sleep, then back to the kitchen to put away everything else like the food on the stove, etc.  I finally lay down at 10PM.. and here I am blogging.

Tintin, by the way, stopped by and left a comment which keeps reminding me about one of her blogposts about a yaya leaving.  I wanted to tell her I so envied her because she had a yaya — even if she was leaving then.  Then I get back to the reality of my situation and realize that not having one has helped me to be closer to my son.  I know every nook and cranny of his body and am always the first to understand what he is trying to say while others cannot decipher his babytalk.  I can put together his baby bag without missing his baon and his usual toiletries.  Even when he cries, I know if it’s because he’s in pain, just plain tired, or in one of his moods.  Of course I’d give anything to have someone else wash the dishes, do the cooking and put away the laundry after Alan does them.  I don’t know if I’d entrust the bathroom (at least MY bathroom if we had more than one) to anybody else — but there are really days when I wish I wasn’t in New York, so that I could have help to do all the other chores.

While Tetet and I are praying that we win the lotto so we can just go and travel — I think even if I won the lotto, I’d still take care of Angel myself.  I’d get an “all-around” or as they call them here, a housekeeper, to do the rest.  Alan and I even have it all planned out.  We’d get a brownstone in the city, bring Angel to school, go about our business during the day — maybe pursue some interest or business from home — pick up Angel after school, then just relax during the evening.

We might even have a personal chef every now and then.  (Talk about dreaming big! LOL).. but that’s AFTER we win the lotto.. and a big pot at that!  Okay, back to reality now..

Father and son on the boardwalk after an afternoon at Jones Beach