Painting Black

Merry Christmas, everybody!

I still believe in Christmas. Despite my recent harrowing experience (I just had the scare of my life when a rather daring robber grabbed my bag from behind me, and took off to the Podium parking lot, all under the bright christmasey lights of Ortigas. Needless to say, leaving me with literally nothing but my battered company ID in my pocket and nothing else) that left me moping around (and broke!) for days. I am still not out of it but I am determined to make myself a merry Christmas. For one, even though it's hard for me to find any silver lining, I know in my heart that I am still lucky I wasn't hurt. It makes me think I am meant to live long and celebrate more Christmasses with my family. I can still save up for a new phone, a new iPod, a new flash drive, a new wallet, a new kikay kit complete with makeup, a new parker pen, a new bag, and replacement cards for all of the atm/credit/health/club membership cards I lost. Ngarks...I awfully did lose a lot, still I want to believe it was a good thing I haven't withdrew any more money than the P1500++ in my God-forsaken wallet. Hayz.

On the brighter side, days before the robbery, our team won the "Best Performance of the Night" award, which made us P5,000 richer, and I won a portable DVD player in the company Christmas party, which I actually consider a miracle since I haven't won anything major in my whole life. Now I am planning to sell the DVD player so I can somehow feel better buying back everything I lost. I haven't decided yet, but whatever. Also, I realized my teammates value me big time, that upon knowing of my ordeal, they actually went from cube to cube to pool money so they can buy me a new iPod. They even involved our bosses in the US and they emailed their concerns and their willingness to help. It made me feel really special...but I really couldn't bring myself to accept the "donation." A little more coercing and I just MIGHT accept it. Hehehe.

All in all, I still feel blessed despsite the bad things. And I wish to bless all of you back. Have a Merry Christmas, all!

All my love,

Erm...this new version of blogger still wouldn't allow me to post any pics, so until I figured things out, it's going to be all bare postings for me...

And I'm Back!

It's been a while. Mainly it's work that kept me from posting. Tis the season to be busy, so they say. But there has been a lot of goings on since my last entry. For one, everybody's fave college couple are finally getting hitched! So we prepared some sort of wholesome bridal shower for S, knowing her, she would have died if we did something naughty, never mind that she and A have been together for like half their lives. She's still lil miss goody two shoes for us.

Then of course, a former boss came home from the US and it was time for a little get together. We had dinner @ Metrowalk to reminisce about the good old days. It's actually nice to get in touch with the past because of these people. I only spent a good six months with them (since another boss decided to pirate me for another company where I get to see practically the same faces for the next 3 years) but the ties are still strong and it's enough to make you pat yourself on the back for maintaining the bond all these years.

All Saint's Day was celebrated the only way we know - spend it with Nice @ Manila Memorial. My little sister should have been 18 by now. I wonder what it's like to actually have a younger teenage sister...I wonder what it's like to have a Kuya, too...memories...

When we least expect it, Myk gave us a little jolt. He's on his way to Singapore, albeit a little ambivalent. So the Burgoo lunch was darn good...but we'll surely miss the kid at heart that you are. Goodluck, dude!

Where can one easily get P10k-P20k for a simple referral fee? Only at Vf! That is one of the many reasons why I love it here. Unfortunately, I didn't get anything but E and D did. I was simply invited to join in the fun of it all. Karaoke night at Muchos and crispy pata was divine!

Kaya Toast + Kopi Roti

I suddenly mustered the courage to prepare the food that I've been salivating to eat. While in SG, I was facinated by two foodies - laksa and kaya. A couple of days ago, I read from one excellent food blog that Bread Talk in Malaysia serves kaya bun, and then just the other day I read from an equally great blog that kaya toast is being served in Kopi Roti in Mall of Asia. My salivary glands began to work overtime. I could have easily gone to MOA but the adventurist in me affirmed that I can make a good bottle of kaya (wishful thinking). So on an overcast Saturday afternoon, I tugged the bf to the nearby Rustan's supermarket to buy the ingredients - eggs, sugar, salt, and coconut milk.

Armed with an anonymous recipe from the internet, and another one from Chubby Hubby, I started to follow the procedures by heart, which to my surprise, were so darn easy...or so i thought. The end product of this brave attempt? Yummy, actually, (even my officemates think so, too!) and the taste is reminiscent of the kaya toast we had at the airport, only the texture isn't as good. My kaya never made it to the jam state, instead, it turned into some sort of flan-ish mixture minus the wobbly form. It was like a soft, fluffy, greenish, scrambled egg in texture. What's puzzling to me, though, is the greenish color of the kaya without even a drop of pandan essence, hmmm...At least it tasted like kaya, hehehe...and what better way to serve it than to slap it on a toast with lots of butter, served with soft boiled eggs, and a home made cowboy kopi roti (generous tablespoons of condensed milk + black coffee) to wash down all the carbs, ahhh, life.

Fancy Puto

Puto is a staple meryenda food for Pinoys. I toyed with the idea of fancying it up to mimic a cupcake. You know, like Sonja’s cupcakes that everybody is raving about. I’ve yet to visit Sonja’s at the Serendra in The Fort, but I will one of these days. For the moment, I tried making my own buttercream puto to compensate my cupcake craving. The result, yummy! The downside, buttercream puto can’t be served hot. Anyhoo, this is just okay since cupcakes with frostings aren’t served hot either.

Puto (makes 22 medium-sized puto)

2 cups all purpose flour
1 ½ tbsp baking powder
1 ½ cups milk
1 ½ tbsp vanilla
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
grated cheese
add a drop of yellow food color if desired

Mix all dry ingredients and set aside. Beat eggs and mix with milk and vanilla. Gradually add the dry ingredients until mixture is soft and creamy. Pour into greased muffin pan and steam for 5-10 minutes. Remove puto from the mold and cool.

Buttercream Frosting (enough to lightly cover 22 puto)

½ stick butter
½ cup sugar
¼ cup milk

Beat butter until creamy. Gradually add sugar and milk, and continue beating until mixture forms spikes. If you don’t have an electric mixer (like me) a good old wire whisk will do (with extra effort of course).

random weeks

I've been out of commission for the past weeks because work has been toxic. I've just juggled simultaneous projects (three in all!) and it left me leaving the office at three in the morning, sigh. Two of them were already put to bed, while I'm still wrestling for the last one to see finalization.

A lot has happened since my temporary hiatus. The biggest of them all is typhoon Millenyo. Scary, I tell you. I watched neighbors scamper after their roof and walls, watched my non-functioning cable tv wire frantically wave at me from its harness, watched my front gate gather floodwater decorated with a motley of debris consisting mainly of plastics, tree branches, broken glass, cast iron, and anything and everything that a 200kph howling wind can ever throw out of its course. Even the ten-year old mango tree in our Paranaque home was uprooted and landed on our neighbor's roof of all places. Yeah, a casualty charged against us, huhuhu. But to top it all off, the 3-day total darkness! It was so stone-age backward. I'm glad I kept myself sane and didn't start killing myself in the process. I've got to give credit to all Filipinos for pulling through the rough times as always, as ever. I hope everybody is safe!

On to a lighter and my food trip buddies went wild on a binging spree despite work. Since I've yet to get past my disappointment over Sorabol, I've managed to sway our small crew to favor Korean food instead of fusion (if Cafe Ago-go serves such). We braved Meralco Avenue and headed toward Yedang. It was authentic and filling korean dining for us, and definitely way over the league of my first korean foray at Sorabol. The Bibimbop (P250) was so tasty just as it was satisfying for 2 people. And the bulgogi (P300 -P400) was really a feast of meat for us that it barely fit on our table grill. Not to mention, the greens consisting of lettuce and spinach, were abundant, complementing the exciting miscellany of side dishes that go with the bulgogi. Sadly, no pictures of the food this time as we didn't expect to be food tripping on a hectic work week. We promised to go back, though, can't wait.

We also tried the now famous JT's Manukan (of course the initials stand for Joel Torre, the actor) at Granada corner Valencia Streets in Ortigas Avenue, with Mr. JT himself seeing that his customers eat well. I may be too tired to even notice how special JT's inasal is, as I munch on my pecho with a dash of chicken oil, but my foodtrip buddie, Ercel, swore that it was the best chicken she's tasted so far...compared to Chicken Bacolod's, anyways. No picture again, as we were too busy with our spoons and forks (and bare hands!) to even use our phone camera. Just this for now, back to work :(

Happy W-Day Erwin and Tin!

This is one of the nicest, most adorable, ideal weddings I've attended. I fell in love with the motiff, the church, the ambiance...and the looong buffet table, haha!

First off, I can't believe we can actually change clothes at the Holiday Inn (former Galleria Suites) without so much fuss about reserving a room or ordering from the bar or anything, hehehe, nice. But still, we arrived late at the St. James The Great Parish Church in Ayala Alabang even if Pencil drove wildly like he's rushing us to the hospital. Too bad we missed Erwin's march. After a solemn ceremony and the not to be missed photo sessions, we went to the reception at the Palms Country Club and got entertained by the couple's emcee. Officemates say she's DJ Crystal from one of the local FM stations, erm...I really can't recognize her...Anyhoo, The couple looked
perfect together that we can't help but adore them and smile all through out the program.

I am beginning to love weddings!


I know very little of Korea and seen very little of Korean novellas to be interested in Korean food. But after watching "Attic Cat" on DVD, I was suddenly intrigued by Bulgogi and Bibimbop. It certainly sounded way more sophisticated than kimchi and instant noodles, which I used to have at a Korean convenience store during my Trends stint in Globe Tower.

And so, after Gabby lost interest in arcade rides and games at Worlds of Fun in Mega Mall, and after almost having dinner at McDonald's (due to Gabby's prodding), I convinced Leo to try a Korean resto called Sorabol at the lower ground of Mega B. Sorabol (named after the capital of the Shilla Dynasty in 57 B.C.), established its first outlet in the San Francisco Bay Area in 1979, and then some more in Southern California before it reached Manila.

Naturally, we ordered what already sounds familiar to me - Bulgogi and Bibimbop. I was never a fan of anything pickled, so I let Leo feast on Kimchi while I contented myself with the bean sprout appetizer, which they served free of charge. When our orders arrive, they didn't make much impression on me.

Bulgogi is thin slices of seasoned beef usually cooked on charcoal grill and served with lettuce, spinach or other leafy vegetables. We ordered a variation of Bulgogi that includes squid, pork, and chicken meat apart from the usual beef, which we were told is good for 3-4 persons (P250+). However, there were scarcely meat on the hot plate when it arrived. To boot, the meat were all pre-cooked, hence, there was no table grilling for us (we should have asked first!). We were also waiting for the greens with which to wrap the meat before eating, but not a lonely leaf ever came. I'm not sure if the greens weren't included in the whole shebang or the waiter just plainly forgot about it.

Dolsot Bibimbop (P180+) is rice with mixed vegetable, beef and egg. It wasn't much of a let down since the waiter was honest about the serving being good for only two persons. Although I actually expected a little more veggies and beef.

Yes, Gabby had a great time with the chopsticks, but all in all, Sorabol is just another one of those forgettable fastfood, or at least in my experience. There was a little scrimping on ingredients here and there, and it was just too obvious to go unnoticed. Even the bottomless iced tea tastes bland.


Once in a while, its fun to gorge on sweets than keep a desperate watch on losing the inches. Well, it may sound as an act of defense to cover up a shameless gluttony, but I don't really give my two cents in it. In other words, I am guilty of greedily wolfing down an innocent lot of chocolates. Bwahaha!

This is what I get from reading food blogs. Lori's blog, most specially. Her entry on chocolates fed sublimimnal messages to my brain that I had to visit Rustan's supermarket to satisfy my rabid craving.

My current favorite is M-azing Peanut Butter bar - a yummy milk chocolate infused with M&M's peanut butter minis. Unlike Reese's, the peanut butter minis aren't overwhelming. The fusion is heavenly, just perfect. Only, although adorable, I don't dig the extremely cute M&M mascot figures embossed on the chocolate. Maybe it's there to make you feel guilty for biting the daylights out of advice though, don't fall for it! :p

Painting Black

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