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Friday, August 16, 2013

5 things I learned about mountaineering

I was supposed to write this post in straight Tagalog for my post to have a patriotic vibe but I realized that I'd be a freaking hypocrite because I have never done that before so the most that I can do is do it in Tag-lish. Mali na kung mali, eh sa hindi swak kung purong Tagalog eh :P

Why write about it though, you might ask? I have been a mountaineer for five years so 5 is a pretty symbolic number right now. Technically, I started mountaineering in Feb 2013 but pregnancy hormones sucked all the mountaineering related creative juices and all I could think about at that time were cribs, mittens, diapers, labor milk and whatever pregnancy and motherhood related topic you can think of. Kagabi, para akong bida sa teleserye as I fried meatballs I wouldnt even eat- prepping for hubby's overnight climb this weekend(na hindi ako kasama) *sniff sniff, strokes of inspiration came by my brain that was getting fried together with the meatballs.hehehe


1.Lahat masarap sa bundok

You can either be a victim of this or benefit from it. Andami kong natikmang pagkain na ang sarap sarap sa bundok tapos nung kinain ko ulit sa "baba"(AKA normal circumstances within 10km radius of my beloved original recipe KFC) amfanget na ng lasa. Paninirang puri man sa kanila pero ang pinakamalala up-to-date, San Marino Tuna Embotido na pagkasarap sarap ng kainin ko sa campsite ng Mt. Gulugod Baboy pero nakakayamot ng kainin ko sa bahay namen.


2.Lagi kang may nakakalimutan

Pag sinuswerte ka, pwedeng wet wipes lang yan or ung extra trail food mo. Pero kung minamalas-malas ka, pwedeng ung undies mo o jacket mo sa Pulag climb mo ng December. Nung Tarak climb namin nakalimutan ko pala ang bigas kaya ayun, surprise surprise, gutuman nung lunch namin ng day 2. Buti nalang ung team lead namin may bigas pa from his previous climb, tawid gutom din.

circa 2009, Tarak Ridge, Bataan
busog pa kami sa kanin kaya happy faces pa ^_^ 

3. It's always your first time

To quote Gideon Lasco, you never climb the same mountain twice. Being with different people, climbing at a different time of the day and climbing at a different season, iba-iba talaga. I have been to Mt. Batulao 4 times- first in 2008, again in 2009, in 2010 and in 2011 pero iba ibang experiences talaga. I still plan on coming back because I'd still find it just as fulfilling as the first time around.

Unica Hija Batulao climb in 2009
Ze hubby and I nung chummy chummy magjowa palang kame, both also in Batulao

4.Twice a mountaineer, always a mountaineer

Not once, but twice. Nothing can prepare you for your first climb and you can either jump for joy or swear you'd never do it again. For me ang marker nun eh one year-if within the year you have another climb, aakyat at aakyat kana in the future pero kung hindi, ibig sabihin may bagay kang hindi nagustuhan sa pagbubundok- pwedeng ung gastos pwedeng yung mga nakasama mo o pwedeng yung obvious na obvious na dahilan na hindi lahat ng tao trip pahirapan ang sarili nilang maglakad ng ilang oras para lang uminom sa taas. hehehehe

L-R: Pico de Loro 2008, talikod keme keme pa ang peg ko
Pico de Loro January 2010(aha, nakapagsummit nako!) pose
Pico de Loro Oct 2010- Lasheng na lasheng sa The bar at Lambanog kaya parang tumira ng shabu sa picture
 5.Walang kadala dala!

But to rebuff the previous numbers, kapag mountaineer kana, wala nang atrasan yan. Kahit 2 oras lang tulog mo, akyat pa din. Kahit ung nanay mo sinasabutahe na gamit mo( "Ay hindi ko nakita yung tent mo, baka naitapon na ni (insert yaya's name) kasi akala di kailangan"), kahit halos gumapang kana nung huling socials dahil sa kalasingan, excited kanang umakyat ulit. Madalas sa socials palang ng huling climb pinaplano nyo na yung next climb, ganun kayo kaexcited.
clockwise: Anawangin/Mt Pundaquit, Mt Pulag, Mt. Timbak and Osmena Peak, significant climbs to date
Siguro may iba pa pero para sa akin yan ang mga pinakamatimbang. And how ironic that I decided to write this when I havent set foot on a mountain for seven months. Or maybe it is not ironic since I miss hiking a lot and as they say, absence makes the heart go fonder. Di bale, 3 months na ang bebe boy ko and sometime soon, I'll climb another mountain with him, his first of many hiking trips to come.


Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Binyag/Baptism Supplier Review: 2kh foodhouse

Peso Power: 150/pax for 4 dishes(1 pork, 1 fish, 1 chicken, 1 veggie) + rice, dessert, bottomless iced tea
use of buffet table, cake table, chafing dishes, utensils, plates and glasses
*tables and chairs not included
Website: https://www.facebook.com/2KHFoodHouse

Rating: 4/5

Side Kwento:
I wanted to get a caterer pero sobrang limited lang naman ang budget namin kasi we have a huge guest list of 100(mostly my relatives). Prior to coming across 2kh, I almost accepted na magluluto nalang kami but after hours of scrolling across ads in sulit.com.ph, nakita ko sila. Thank God, hindi na kami namalengke, naghiwa, nagluto at naghugas ng pinggan.hahahaa. Nakakatuwa pa kasi they're literally in the next neighborhood kaya ang dali lang ng meet up

Chicken with mushroom: For me, this dish was a cross between Chicken Pastel and Potato Salad- mas maliit kasi sa Pastel ung hiwa nya and aside from the mushroom, it was creamy and had bite size potatoes. I liked it because it was creamy, milky and created a nice balance with the other dishes.

Pork Teriyaki: It was okay though it was not exceptional for me. Lagi kasi kami nagluluto nito and we like it very sticky- ung matagal nakasalang sa pan tapos halos manikit na kaya malagkit talaga. Nonetheless, their Teriyaki was very tender which was good.

Fish Fillet with Tartar Sauce: I was pleased with this one kasi malalaki ung fillets, almost the size of a patty, I was expecting them to be bite size kasi, parang fingers lang. The tartar sauce was also good, not too rich though mejo malapot.

Buttered Vegetables: Nothing much to say though for me, mejo kulang sa butter but the vegetables were cooked well- hindi nasobrahan sa luto pero hindi rin naman hilaw.

Coffee Jelly: This was a hit among many guests especially with the kids. I think they found the idea of coffee jelly very rebellious while my sister who has tried coffee jelly before said she liked it because it tasted better than another version she sampled before.

1. Sobrang Mura
ito talaga yung deciding factor why we booked them. Imagine, we could have fed 100 people with just 15,000 pesos whereas most suppliers charge 300-500 for the same menu.

2. The serving was fair
There were last minute fallouts so we estimated that only about 80 guests(90 tops) came. Naturally, there were left overs and with managed servings, it can actually feed 10-15 people.

3. The presentation was okay
I set my expectations low kasi we had no prior experience of their service and sobrang mura lang naman. Sabi ko, basta okay yung food, okay nako. Thus, I was pleasantly surprised with the iced tea tower, kala ko jug lang gagamitin nila for serving. hehe. I also liked it that they served the coffee jelly in shot glasses, feel na feel tuloi ng mga bata na umiinom sila ng alak. It was also a bonus that they had spotlight for the food kasi shempre dagdag effect din ^_^

Our picture of the actual setup. Notice the coffee jelly in the far corner. Spaghetti are our own(not included in the package)
4. Accommodating staff
Mababait waiters nila and professional. At 2:30, nobody was getting food anymore but since the contract said service time was until 3pm, hindi pa sila nagpack up and I was the one who told them they can pack up. Our ice was stocked in a different place pero when guests requested ice for the beer, they were generous even though hindi na dapat un included sa kanila. We also added some of our food and they washed some of our dishes.


1. Tables and Chairs are not included- this is a disadvantage if you want a real hassle free preparation because of course, you'll be talking to more suppliers but for us, it was an advantage kasi sa bahay ung party. Caterers normally prepare 1:1 for food and chairs meaning 1 chair is rented for every meal that you book. The disadvantage with that is you pay for all chairs even though you dont need them all. In our case, we had existing monobloc chairs and since sa bahay ung handaan, we assumed people will move around and need less chairs. We only rented 30 chairs and 4 small tables for 490 which means we only paid 4.9 pesos per guest for the chairs and tables, kaya 155 lang total budget namin per pax

2. They were a bit confused with their things
When we talked to Mrs. Marquez(shocks, tama ba?), she mentioned that we can request additional equipment at no extra cost. Come baptism day, wala ung table na nirequest namin. Luckily, their place is near so nakabalik agad for the cake table.

Also, before they left, one of the waiters approached me to ask about plates- kulang daw kasi ng dalawa. Initially, we couldnt find the plates. When they've left already, we found one plate(not two) , three shot glasses and two drinking glasses. We were just puzzled why they didnt look for the shot glasses and the drinking glasses.

Final Verdict:
We'd book them again for simple gatherings especially birthdays, when you just to celebrate and not worry about the food. They're also highly recommended for intimate office/company functions when you have ready tables and chairs.    

Until the next review!

Monday, August 5, 2013

Cakes by Cianelli: Binyag/Baptism Cake Supplier

Peso power: 1,000 2 layer all edible cake with petal icing design

bottom cake: 9" diameter Chocolate cake with Vanilla Buttercream, chocolate chips, and chocolate sauce 

top cake is 7" diameter Vanilla Chiffon with cream custard filling

*DISCLAIMER: This is a pretty lengthy post.. pasensha na... ^_^

Good points in dealing with the supplier:
It was easy talking to her and I found that the cake was a good deal for its price. Personalized Cakes at the mall cost double. Also, she lives within the area so getting the cake was hassle free for both of us.She was prompt in answering queries plus she was on time on the agreed upon pick up time.

Side kwento about The cake:

We stored it at room temperature because 
1. Viands occupied our fridge space and there just wasnt enough space for a two layer cake
2. We were going to display it at room temperature the next day so I wanted to know if it would hold up until the celebration is over

The cake before I added personal touches, photo taken by the supplier

I added cut outs para personalized pa din ung cake ng anak ko kahit hindi sya fondant :D

Chocolate Cake: I liked that it was super moist at sobrang sarap nya, but in a sad way. I wanted to eat more pero one regular slice was enough, mejo nalungkot ako na hindi nako makaulit.hehehe

Super moist...The icing has been ruined but it was due to the fact na ilang beses na sya naglakbay sa ibat ibang mesa ^_^

Vanilla Chiffon: I wasnt sure if it was meant to be that way o dahil the next day pa namin kinain pero I could taste the custard in the cake itself which I liked kasi kapit ung lasa. It wasnt the ordinary chiffon na nakakahirin at kailangan eh may katabi kang baso ng tubig, which was a good point dahil moist sya.

The Vanilla Chiffon was the top cake and note that the icing was still presentable after 26 hours, though slightly melted upon closer inspection

The Icing: I am no expert in the subject of icings but I think this cake's icing is buttercream. I loved that the petal design was done very well and even my sister who is very OC and a cake savant was satisfied. I was also impressed that even though the cake was stored at room temperature, hindi sya bumigay during the party. Of course, it looked different dahil nga natutunaw na pero ung integrity ng design, na-maintain. We actually ate the cake 26 hours after it was delivered so more than one day na sya nun. But even when it was melted at the time na kainin namin, it still tasted okay and hindi "fluid" ung lasa.

I wonder if would have tasted better if we ate it on the day of delivery. i dont like butter very much kasi ^_^

Final verdict: We would definite order again in the future! :) Please do visit her page 

Side Kwento why we booked this supplier: 
Ordering from her was kinda a last minute decision because I actually had three "failed" suppliers before I contacted Cianelli.

Failed supplier 1: A supplier from Navotas I'd rather not name
I actually had a voucher from groupon/beeconomic for a 6" fondant cake + 20 individually wrapped cupcakes with tags pero naloka ako sa supplier. I asked if nagdedeliver sila sa fairview, hindi daw so I said sige, for meet up nalang sa Trinoma as indicated in the voucher. Pagkasabi ko nun, she said na may delivery fee na 300 sa trinoma(which was not indicated in the deal) but I agreed kasi Navotas pa sila galing. I said the date when we need the cake and sabi nya she'll check her schedule kasi from what she remembers, fully booked na ung date and she'll send me a text message. She never did so I just cancelled the deal.

Failed Supplier 2: Brownies Unlimited
They sell round and heart shaped fudge cakes for only 175 so I thought it would be a cute idea to put two cakes on top of one another with their cupcakes. To test if my idea worked, I pre-ordered them in time for Reese's 2nd month para matest ko. Come the day for pick up, only the cupcakes were ready. Ang sabi sakin, wala daw ung cakes kasi "seasonal" daw yun. I wanted to curse right there and then. What is the point of ordering kung seasonal din naman pala? They shouldnt have taken my order kung nakadepend din pala sa kanila yung availability. It was a good thing that I was only going to test it, kung hindi walang cake sa binyag ng anak ko.

Failed Supplier 3: Another cake maker
-This one didnt do anything actually, we exchanged a few messages pero hindi ko lang nafeel na at ease ako sa kanya.hahaha. Ang arte lang.

Buti nalang talaga I came across her page kung hindi, nauwi kami sa Goldilocks.hahaha. Until the next thought bubble!

Friday, August 2, 2013

Post Partum Depression aka Baliw-baliwan after manganak

I never thought I'd have Post Partum Depression for one simple reason: Reese was, is, and always will be the greatest blessing that God has given us as a couple. Before getting pregnant, I actually feared that I might never bear a child. My weight then was borderline obese and there were months when my period would skip- when there's too much stress or a major change that happened. My OB actually asked me to lose weight to increase my chances of getting pregnant and after five months, Reese came into our lives.

Even while it was happening, it was hard to admit that I was depressed. However, when it came to a point when I refused to talk to my husband and I cried every time I got up to feed Reese at night, I had to admit that I needed help, or at the very least, needed to let somebody know before it got out of control.Basically, there were three categories that caused my depression: Taking Care of Reese, My Husband, and My Support Group

1. Taking Care of Reese
One of the hardest The hardest thing about taking care of Reese was getting up despite the fact that I was so sleepy. Before pregnancy, my body wanted at least 7 hours of sleep and so if I sleep for less than 6 hours, I consider myself puyat. In the final stretch of my pregnancy, however, sleep was very elusive and of course, it did not improve after giving birth because I had to take care of a growing baby. There were days when I was so groggy that I'd stare at his milk for seconds as if I am unsure what to do. Also, my cs incision still hurt up until 7 weeks after I gave birth and there were days when I wished somebody would take my place, where there is a magical place where we can leave kids ala package counter if we wish to since I was also recovering from the operation.

Somebody turns very very red when milk gets delayed. :P
2. My Husband
Though others may deny it, marriage involves a love and hate relationship and in those times when I was feeling down, it was more so than ever. I felt like my husband was going into extremes- there were days when I wanted to scream at the top of my lungs because I felt like he had no idea what I was going through and there were days when he was overprotective (and he didnt need to) and annoying. In the first few weeks, I was the only one who got up at night and I was angry and hurt emotionally. I felt like it wasnt fair since we are both parents and it was even harder for me since I just went through the operation. I also feared that the same set up would continue once I work again and I thought it was unacceptable- I work just as hard and we should share the workload and hardship of getting up at night. My self esteem was also at an all time low- I was never slim and since a few pounds added up to my already heavy body, I feared that he'll be unfaithful and I suspected everybody and I mean everybody- from our son's yaya to other people we know to random people I see on his Facebook account.

3. My Support Group
Let's define my support group as my family, my relatives, in-laws, my friends and acquaintances who interact with me after becoming a mom. To wrap it up, I felt like each person was a nosy, know-it-all, annoying, insensitive person who didnt understand what I was going through. I felt like they asked too many questions that I wasnt willing to answer. However, there were also instances when I felt like they were being insensitive and should give me more credit for what I went through. I felt like they gave too much advice- some of which I agreed with and some which I didnt. I felt like they were judging me for my choices as a mother.  

Which brings me to my next point... How did I overcome 'em all? All the craziness, paranoia and negative emotions?

1. I had to accept what I was going through and that I needed to discuss it with someone-either my husband or my mom. 
One Friday afternoon, I finally burst into tears after not talking to my husband all day. I think he never fully understood what I felt and just said "Huwag kana kasi masyado mag-isip" but just letting it all out was enough to make me feel loads better. Since then, he also shared the task of getting up at night and though he still leaves up the task of changing dirty nappies to me, it was loads better than having to do everything by myself.

2. I had to remind myself that it was still the hormones talking
All the craziness of pregnancy- higher blood pressure, extreme swelling, being too emotionally sensitive and unstable didnt subside until the 4th week after I gave birth. I gave birth on the 38th week so technically it was two weeks after my due date that my body started to realize that the hormones- and all the craziness that came with it should go away. I literally felt loads lighter emotionally when it happened and it was amazing.
I feel loads lighter after coming to terms with myself. Motherhood is fun!

3. I had to be kinder to myself.
Honestly, half most of the things that brought me stress post partum were caused by my paranoia and over thinking. I had to remember that though I had to take care of Reese, I had needs of my own that I needed to address. I had to remember that the people around me only had the best intentions in whatever they said. I had to remember that my husband married me because he loved me and it would take more than a few extra pounds and a cs scar to change his mind.
Eight Years and Twenty Pounds Later since we became a couple, We're happy parents to a chubby baby boy ('',)

Lastly, taking loads of pictures of Reese was fun...and made spending time with him extra special.It felt like if I blinked, he'd grow a full centimeter and I'd miss it. :D
Hard to believe that these are pictures of the same boy
Left: Reese at 2 weeks and Right: Reese at 10 weeks
Until the next thought bubble comes to life. Tah-tuh!

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