11.27.2010

Freelance Photographers



The husband and I decided to make some money out of our passions, photography. So we have recently launched ourselves as freelance photographers. Yes. It is official, we are photographers. We are now offering photo coverage services for only 3,000 if within Marikina City and only 3,500 if within metro manila. It is super affordable and worth it since for that price, the clients will be getting the services of 2 photographers! It is sort of a 2 photographers for the price of one kinda deal...

Hope venture becomes a success!

Hey, for inquiries, contact (02) 2905711 or 09152868944 =)


visit our site: www.bkpixels.com

11.22.2010

Tablea Chocolate Oatmeal Chip Cookies


Last weekend, I decided to bake chocolate chip cookies. This is definitely a comfort food for me, I am not much of a cake person, but I am definitely a cookie person! When I looked at our cupboard, no cocoa powder was in sight so I used tablea chocolate instead. Here is the recipe:

Ingredients:

1 cup cubed butter
1 ¼ brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
2 pcs tablea chocolate, melted
1 tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
2 cups rolled oats
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup coarsely chopped cashews

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375F and grease two baking trays

In a mixing bowl, cream butter then slowly add brown sugar. Beat until fluffy.

Add egg, vanilla and chocolate mixture and beat until soft.

Combine dry ingredients: flour, baking soda and salt. Add to the batter and mix until blended well.

Fold in the rolled oats, chocolate chips and cashews. It is better to use rolled oats rather than quick cooking oats for better texture and more digestion-friendly fiber.

Drop by tablespoons on the greased baking trays and they put in the oven. Bake for about 15-20 minutes.

The edges would be lightly brown by then. Cool and then store.


Thankfully the whole family loved it! My husband even asked for seconds... and thirds! hahaha!

11.09.2010

Learn the Common Wine Terminologies


We drink our wine and describe the taste as either sweet or sour. Did you know that describing a wine as sour is actually bad and insulting? Saying a wine is sour is saying that the wine is spoiled. How else can we describe the distinct taste? My husband and I are no experts. Here are some of the terminologies wine makers and wine lovers use to describe the aromas, flavors and characteristics of the wines:

Body- may be light to heavy or full. This is the weight and tactile impression of the wine to the palate.

Clean – used to describe wine without disagreeable aromas and taste.

Dry – means there is no sugar or sweetness in the taste.

Acidity – natural fruity acids that gives a tart, crisp taste to the wine.

Fruity – expresses the obvious fruit aromas and flavors.

Bouquet – the aroma from winemaking, aging and bottle age.

As easy it is to get lost in the complicated vocabulary used by wine experts, we should always remember that the wine experience is subjective. The best wine we can ever taste is not necessarily the most expensive one, it can easily be the cheap wine, drank at the picnic while surrounded by people you love. Go ahead and enjoy the wine of your choice, and don’t let any snooty expert dictate your opinion.

11.07.2010

How to Make Moist Brownies


Are you a beginner baker like me? One of the basic baked goodies you need to learn is the moist and yummy brownie. Everybody loves brownies. They are very easy to make and wonderfully delicious to eat. Here’s the way to make them:

Ingredients:
1 cup chopped milk chocolate
1/3 cup butter
¾ cup sugar
1 egg
A few drops of vanilla extract
½ cup all purpose flour
½ cup chopped walnuts

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350F. Spray or grease an 8x8 square pan

Melt chocolate together with the butter in a saucepan.

Remove from heat. Add the sugar, egg and vanilla into the mixture. Beat until the mixture is smooth and free of lumps. It’s better to use a hand mixer if one is available.

Add flour and nuts. Mix really well.

Carefully pour into the prepared aluminum pans and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until done. Be careful not to open the oven too often, you’ll let the heat out causing the brownies to underbake. Use a toothpick and prick the brownies, if it comes out clean, they’re cooked. Do not overbake.

Cut into squares and set aside to cool.

Happy baking!





11.06.2010

How to Make Basic Pulvoron

Pulvoron, made of toasted cake flour, powdered milk, melted butter and sugar, is one of the tastiest Filipino goodies loved by everyone. They are very easy to make and can become an easy business venture by just about anyone interested. Here is the recipe for good old homemade pulvoron:

Ingredients:
4 cups of toasted cake flour
2 cups powdered full cream milk or buttermilk
1 cup sugar
1 bar butter, melted

Directions:
On a non-stick pan, toast the cake flour until brown in color. Stir constantly to make sure toasting of the flour is even. Be careful not to burn.

Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

In a separate bowl, combine all the other ingredients. It is better to use a hand mixer to ensure that everything is mixed properly and that the butter is properly distributed among the mixture.

Shape using a pulvoron mold. There are different shapes available like heart, circle, rectangular and the most common oval. Make sure to press the mixture well so that there will be no loose spaces, this will make the pulvoron crumbly.

Refrigerate for about 30 minutes to allow the butter to set. Then wrap in colorful paper or plastic wrapper.





11.02.2010

A Midnight Trip to the Hospital

A couple of days ago, hubby complained of a toothache. He tried his best to endure the pain however, a few days after, the pain became too much to bear. He took mefenamic acid medicine only to have temporary relief. A few minutes later, the pain was back. It came to a point when the ache was just too much he was literally writhing in agony. Tears formed in his eyes as his face contorted in pain. We tried several homemade remedy like gargling in warm water and rubbing the infected gums with garlic, to no avail. I suggested we go to the emergency room, just so he can be given something to ease the pain, he agreed immediately. This is so not like him. I know he’d rather stay out of the hospital, and for him to agree to go so easily, it must really hurt! Already in our night clothes, we hopped on the car and drove to the nearest intellicare-accredited hospital: the Garcia Hospital , Marikina .

When we arrived there was another patient, a little baby crying his lungs out. Everybody was busy with him. A nurse finally noticed us and asked my husband to lie down on the next bed. Sadly, the said bed was in a miserable state, with blood stains (!) on the sheets. Hubby, who was still in so much pain had to other choice but lie down, but just before his head touched the pillow, he was able to turn it on the side. Hopefully the previous patient’s head didn’t touch that surface.

I tried to explain to the nurse that he was in a lot of pain, and that I am concerned because of his hypertension. They measured his blood pressure, 140/90, pretty high considering he has just taken his hypertension meds. It took us a couple more minutes before they finally gave him a shot of pain reliever. It was just frustrating because I could see the doctors and nurses just milling around, not even pretending to hurry to address the patients complaint. Not even hubby’s thrashin body can push them to move faster.

After what seemed ages, hubby’s face started to relax. At last, the meds are working. The doctor approached us to give us a prescription: antibiotic (3 times a day for 7 days) and pain medication (as needed).

Hubby was still groggy from the shot they gave him so he had to drive slowly. We stopped by the nearby drugstore to buy the prescribed medicines. Then we went home.

My husband is a big, strong man, and it seems ironic that a toothache can reduce him to tears. He is still taking his medications. He is scheduled to go to the dentist next week. The tooth is still aching; hopefully the antibiotic eases the infection and eventually the pain. Thankfully, he hasn’t cried about his tooth since that fateful night.

10.24.2010

Berto Likes Mocha, Kwala Likes Latte

My husband and I both love to drink coffee, the only difference is that I can drink all the coffee I want, while the hubby is not supposed to drink any thanks to his hypertension. For the longest time, the hubby was a good boy and stayed away from coffee but when Nescafe promoted the cold instant coffee in a can served cold… just had to try them. Hubby has always been partial to mocha (coffee mixed with chocolate) so that’s what he bought; while I have always latte (coffee mixed with milk), even in Starbucks so that’s what I got.

Our verdict: it was an affordable way to get a yummy coffee fix. Too bad there wasn’t enough caffeine in it though, I didn’t feel the caffeine rush. My advice, the next time you feel the urge to hop on over to the nearest café offering some gourmet coffee that your budget just won’t allow, just go to the nearest convenience store, buy a Nescafe in Can, ask for a straw and sip away as if you’re drinking Iced Mocha or Iced Latte. Tastes almost the same.

10.23.2010

Squid With Oyster Sauce Recipe


Here is one of my favorite recipes from the sexy chef (a.k.a the husband). He cooked it for us during one of his famous Sunday cookout. I just loved it! The texture of the squid was just right and the sauce had the sweet taste of Chinese cooking. =)

Here is the recipe: (i'm sorry I couldn't give the exact measurements of the ingredients)

Ingredients:
squid
garlic
onions

Sauce:
oyster sauce
light soy sauce
Pinch of sugar

Directions:
To prepare the squid, cut down the center of the body, creating rings.

To make the sauce, combine the oyster sauce, soy sauce, sugar. Stir to dissolve the sugar and set aside until required.

Heat the oil in a preheated wok until almost smoking. Saute garlic and onion. Lower the heat slightly, add the squid and stir fry until they curl up.

Pour in the sauce.. Leave to simmer for 3 minutes until thickened. Serve immediately.

10.19.2010

Our Car is a Food-free Zone

Hubby and I have been trying to lose weight for ages. In the nine years that we have been married, we have joined three different gyms, tried a number of diets but unfortunately stuck to none of them. We often end up with more weight than we started with.

Recently I read an article that says that if one is dedicated to change one’s lifestyle in order to lose weight permanently, he or she should delegate the car as a no-food-zone. Apparently, nothing good was ever eaten behind the steering wheel (or in the passenger seat) of a moving vehicle. (I have to disagree, we once ate freshly baked pizza in our car that tastes sinfully good!)

So that is our current thing… we have designated our car as a food-free zone.

Wish us luck. =)

10.17.2010

Tortang Talong for Lunch

We had a sumptuous Sunday lunch again today, courtesy of my very own sexy chef(the hubby). Earlier in the morning, my husband went to the supermarket with our daughter to do their usual Sunday morning bonding session.

When they got home, hubby announced that he is cooking my favorite, tortang talong! Yippee!

Here is the recipe for tortang talong:

Ingredients :

2 to 4 talong (eggplants), average size
2 to 3 eggs, beaten
ground pork (previously sauted, with tomato and seasoned with salt and pepper to taste.
oil, for frying




Cooking Procedures :

1.Broil eggplants until tender (the skins are charred and blister appears).

2.Once cool, peel off the skins of the eggplant and retain the crown and the stem. Gently flatten its meat by using the back of a fork. Set aside.

3.In a bowl, beat the eggs and season with salt and pepper.

4.In a skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Dip each eggplant (pressed down to flatten), one at a time into the egg mixture then top with ground pork. Gently bring the bowl near the skillet and tip, lowering the eggplant onto the heated oil.

5.Fry until golden brown on one side, then turn and brown the other. Drain on paper towels. Keep warm and serve.


10.16.2010

Cafe Lidia, Marikina City

A few days ago, my officemate told me of a little restaurant in Marikina City. Apparently food was so good that they go all the way to Marikina just for some Italian dinner. Last friday (date night), hubby and I decided to try it out, after all it is such a shame that we don’t know of this quaint cafe, we are from Marikina after all.

Directions
Café Lidia is located at #64 Calderon St. Calumpang, Marikina. From Marcos Highway (facing towards Cubao’s direction) turn right at JP Rizal/Dela Paz St. On the right side of the road, once you see a Metrobank branch, turn right. Go along this dark street and you will be greeted by the unassuming restaurant on the right side of the road. They have a yellow signage. There is very little parking space so vehicles park along the road. They have people to guard your vehicles so don’t worry.



From the outside, the restaurant seemed ordinary. After all it was located along a very busy street, with jeepneys plying along the road. But once you go in, you notice immediately that this place is special. The ambiance is cozy, relaxed and inviting. Friendly waiters mill around, ready to assist even when they were obviously busy. We were seated in a booth with a view of the dessert cabinet, making my sweet tooth tingle even before we ordered our entrée.


We ordered buffalo wings, the house pizza and the shrimp in arrabiata sauce. While waiting for our order, they had magazines to while our time away. When our order arrived, it looked sumptuous!

The House Pizza Special - P220.
Pepperoni, ham, bacon, mushroom, onion, bell pepper, pineapple.

Buffalo Wings - P150

Shrimp in Arrabiata Sauce - P165
Fettucine pasta in spicy tomato sauce with spicy shrimp

The verdict: the food was totally delicious and flavorful! After our dinner, we were absolutely filled to the brim. I looked at the dessert cabinet again and literally fought the temptation to order the moist chocolate cake... but then I realized that I consumed enough calories that night to last me 2 days, so instead i opted to wash my dinner down with some latte.
Regular latte 12 oz - P100

Next time I will definitely try the marshmallow and grandma's cake. They come highly recommended. They also have other pizzas, pasta dishes, salads, sandwiches, rice meals and even roast chicken and pan seared cream dory. We will definitely try them when we come back, and we will definitely be coming back...
By the way, let me just mention that the restrooms were very clean too, therefore adding to the wonderful dining experience.
Again, do come and visit Cafe Lidia, it is definitely a place where good italian food, reasonable prices and relaxed atmosphere converge.
here is a map to Cafe Lidia:
Cafe Lidia
64 Calderon St. Calumpang Marikina City
Tel No. 647-7606

10.12.2010

The 3rd Wedding Essensuals 2010

The 3rd Wedding Essensuals 2010
The Art & Business of Wedding Planning and Wedding Celebration
October 16, 2010
1:00 pm to 5:00 pm
Movement Studios
28F Unionbank Tower, Meralco Avenue
Ortigas Center, Pasig City (infront of Metrowalk)


Do you find enjoyment in organizing wedding and other events? Do you want to be a Professional Wedding Planner/Coordinator and earn from it? Or perhaps set up your own Wedding Planning business? Or maybe you are a soon to be Bride/Groom and don't know where and how to start? Then sign up now and explore the exciting world of "Weddings" with us!

- The Booming Wedding Industry of the Philippines, An Overview
- Wedding Planning as a Profession and its Benefits
- How to start your own Wedding Planning Business
- What A Wedding Planner/Coordinator Does: A Step by Step Guide from Preparation to the Actual Wedding Day
- Wedding Matters: What Every Bride and Groom Should Know About Their Wedding

Register now and get the chance to jumpstart your wedding planning career with us!

Registration Fee of Php 1, 500.00 inclusive of Wedding Planning Manual and snacks .
Payment should be made on or before October 9, 2010.

For Inquiries:

The Wedding Belles
Mobile No: (63917) 535-3780 - Ms. Tess Lupena
(63922) 865-4660 - Ms. Shasha Vargas

5.21.2010

Let's Go For a Swim!



A few days ago, our country recorded a 38.5 degree temperature. Talk about hot! I keep on wanting to pack our bags, head on out to the nearest swimming pool and jump right in. So far, we already gone on two swimming trips,(one in Subic and another in Club Manila East Taytay) and we're thinking of squeezing in one more before the summer ends. The little one has already gotten over her fear of the water and is now practically an amphibian. I've had to check behind her ears a couple of times just to make sure she hasn't grown gills yet. Hubby and I love watching her cavorting in the water! Ahh! the joys of family bonding!

This picture was taken when we were in Subic International Hotel. Our brave little Bea just learned to lublob her cutey little head! haha!

5.18.2010

Hot Summer Nights

We must be experiencing a heat wave! It has been exceptionally hot, even for a tropical country such as ours. It has been so hard to sleep at nights. Even if a soak in the shower just before we sleep, I would still wake up late at night soaked in sweat. My husband and daughter feel the same way. What’s worse is that we share the same bed! According to the news, this is brought about by what’s called as the El Nino Phenomenon. The temperatures recently has reached record-breaking high and there have been reports of people suffering from heat stroke.

I really wish we have an air conditioner in our room. Maybe I can talk my hubby into getting one the Sharp Portable Air Conditioners CV-P10MX, it is a portable air conditioner I found through an online shop. It provides quiet cooling and has a stylish and sleek design that would make it blend right in with our other appliances. It can be controlled by remote control so no need to get up in the middle of the night just to adjust the settings. Another important feature is the flexible exhaust hose and window adapter kit that allows window installation and venting of the hot air, while keeping rain and insects out, perfect for a tropical setting. I really hope I can talk my husband into getting one, I could really use a good night’s rest.

Our Latest Baby


Hubby and I have always been into Digital Cameras. We just love shooting and documenting important occasions and everyday life. Between us though, he is more inclined to take “better” pictures. I am content as long as I felt I was able to capture the moment, he however, is concerned about the light and the angle and the subject… that’s why I joked once that maybe we should get one of those BIG cameras so he can study photography. Well that joke has become a reality when we finally got our very own DSLR, a Canon 500D.

Right now we are enrolled in a photography class so we can learn how to operate the camera and to compose better photos. Plus this is another excuse for us to bond over an interest we both share… I hope we can absorb everything then with practice, I’m sure we’ll be taking superb photos in no time.

5.17.2010

Remembering Our Wedding

In a few days time, it is already June, and many brides will be able to fulfill their dreams of being June Brides. Aaahh, being a bride, it is the best feeling in the world, besides being a mother of course. I remember our own wedding, the months of preparations and decision making. Right off the bat I knew what I wanted my color motif to be, lilac and silver. My favorite colors. I thought they were feminine and elegant at the same time. My hubby to be was just too happy to oblige.
My favorite part of the wedding preparations was when we were looking for wedding suppliers. I just loved the process of visiting several caterers, florists, bakeshops and of course the printers. I think it was the first major decision we did as an engaged couple, which printer should we choose!

There were many considerations, most important of course was the cost and the quality of service the printers provided. We had very limited budget so we wanted a printer who has reasonable prices. We also wanted a printer who could do High Quality Greeting Card Printing and High Quality Brochure Printing. We planned on getting a lot of materials printed. We wanted our invitations, place cards and even thank you notes to exude elegance and perfection. We even planned of printing our own personalized brochures for menus and program booklets. During the mass, we also wanted to have the mass guide printed so that our guests can participate in the mass proper.

As party favors, we intended to give away CDs that contained our favorite songs and songs that reflected the various stages of our love affair. That is why our printer should be able to do High Quality CD/DVD Sleeve Printing as well.

Looking back, I think our wedding went pretty well. As expected, we went over our budget, but I must say our wedding was certainly memorable, not only to us but among our friends and family as well.


This is a sponsored post.

5.16.2010

Camera Shy


One thing hubby and I have in common is our passion for photograpy. As I've often said, i feel that being a wife and mom, I am supposed to document our family's milestones and journeys. That doesn't mean I can't have fun while doing it.

Thankfully, both hubby and I have no qualms at all about goofing it out in front of the camera. I guess you can also consider it as one of our many bonding moments. =)

Hubby and his Facebook Account

Hubby has a facebook account. Actually I created one for him and I have been maintaining it for him too. Recently he’s been getting some ribbing from friends for not knowing how to maintain his own account (or for letting his wife maintain it for him). When he asked me about it, I told him it’s all very easy. If he needs more help, just google facebook how and this will lead him to a site all about the social networking site. I’m sure after reading he’ll be running his own account in no time.

This is a sponsored post.

Still On a High


Some say that a few years after marriage, a couple wakes up one day to find the honeymoon has already ended. The blinders come off and reality sets in… and eventually fights ensue. In our experience, sure there are fights. Well there have been fights even before the wedding, we’re human beings after all, heck we were even fighting the night before the wedding. we laugh about it now, of course.

But the honeymoon doesn’t have to end. Reality will eventually set in. This is a fact and a necessity, but it doesn’t mean that a marriage has to go downhill.

We’ve been married for a long time and yet we’re still happy. We still have bouts of fighting and shouting, followed by hugs and apologies. Let’s just say that our journey together is far from going downhill, in fact I still feel like I’m on a high whenever I’m with my husband and my best friend. Thank God! =)

5.15.2010

Privacy Policy

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This privacy policy is subject to change without notice and was last updated on May, 15, 2015. If you have any questions feel free to contact me directly here: bertoandkwala@yahoo.com.

5.09.2010

So Lucky To Have You

Last week, we celebrated our 9th anniversary. As I always say, our relationship is far from perfect. It’s just that we’re so perfectly imperfect together. We complement each other’s strengths and weaknesses. We have been each other’s best friend. We are often thinking of the same thing, sometimes say things at the same time, and we can finish each other’s sentences. We get each other’s jokes, we get each other’s ever changing goals and aspirations. With you, I have known how it is to be loved unconditionally. With you I know how it is to be accepted for who and what I am. With you I can be honest, be true and know that I will still be loved. With you, I feel I am safe. With you I have a home.

I am so grateful for the years together. I thank God for being blessed with a best friend and husband like you. He knows how unstable I can get, so He sent me you…

Here’s to hoping we get to grow old together. We’ve been together through most our lives and have been journeying and learning together… may we continue to do this till our last breath leaves our bodies… and hopefully even beyond that.

Happy anniversary Berto. I Love You.

4.26.2010

Pancit Canton Nights with Hubby


Instant Pancit Canton may not be very healthy for the kidneys, but it is definitely helps in keeping our relationship strong and healthy!

Some saturdays are our unofficial Pancit Canton nights. Berto would buy 5-6 packages of instant pancit canton and a can of corned tuna (his recipe), cook it and we'd have a cheap but yummy dinner date while watching our favorite movies on HBO.

Who ever said dining with the hubby has to be expensive? What's important is that you get to spend quality moments with you spouse. What's important is that you get to reconnect with him or her and talk about anything and everything to you heart's content.

4.22.2010

How Strong Is Your Marriage?


Looking for a partner in life is hard enough, but it doesn’t mean that once you’ve found your mate that that is the end of the journey, that you can now relax and be complacent. A relationship has to be nurtured and taken care of. It is healthy to look into your relationship regularly so that you and your spouse won’t fall into the trap of routine and boredom. It is good to check on your relationship every so often so that you won’t wake up one day and find that you’ve drifted so far apart that you are now married to a stranger.

Here are some questions that can help you assess the strength of your relationship:

  1. Do you still have the tender feelings towards your spouse like that you once had or has your marriage begun to lose some excitement?

  2. When something is bothering you, do you find it easier to share your thoughts with someone other than your spouse?

  3. Is the desire to be with each other still great or would you rather be with friends?

  4. Do you spend time in recreation together as a couple or as a family?

  5. Are you in church regularly with your family or do you find that more of your weekends are spent elsewhere?

If you answered these questions honestly, you’ll more or less get an idea how your marriage is right now; whether it is still smokin’ hot, cool and managed, or if it has begun to grow cold and stale.

There is no shame in admitting that your marriage needs help. Better to work on it now rather than be sorry later.

St. Luke's Hospital-Global City, Intellicare and Hypertension

These three things definitely don’t mix well. This is a fact we found out the hard way. Last night, on our way home from work, hubby complained of a terrible headache. “From a range of 1 to 10, 10 being the most painful, how would you rate your pain?” I asked professionally. We’ve been down this road before; I know the nurse is going to ask this too. “Eight.” was his short reply. My husband is not the complaining kind, that’s how I know that when he says it’s painful, it’s gotta be PAINFUL! His 8 may be a 12 for me (little weakling!)

My husband is hypertensive. The doctor-declared-should-have-daily-drug-maintenance-but-too-stubborn-to-comply kind of hypertensive. That’s why we don’t treat headaches casually. We decided to go to the hospital.
We were still driving along Kalayaan Avenue in Makati City, so we decided to just go back to Global City where a new branch of St. Luke’s Medical Center has just opened. St. Luke’s in Quezon City has always been our official hospital. It has been our go-to place for relief and treatment. We have tried other hospitals for various reasons, but somehow we keep finding ourselves back to familiar path leading to that hospital whenever we seek medicine and healing.

Back to my story, we parked at the basement of the new hospital. We went in and marveled at the clean and oh-so-white walls. They also had a Starbucks, a Rustan’s flower shop and some other “branded” shops inside. Definitely an improvement from SLMC QC’s canteen and food carts. Polite security guards dressed in civilian clothes guided us to the emergency room. It was my first time to see a St. Luke’s emergency room that wasn’t crowded. There was only one other patient in a wheelchair, having an argument/animated discussion with a nurse. I didn’t mind them my concern was to ease my husband’s discomfort. Hubby was asked to seat down and his temperature and blood pressure was taken. I was tasked with filling up the forms. A liaison officer approached me, “will you be using an HMO card?” Hmmm. I smelled trouble. “Yes, Intellicare”. In QC, waving this magic plastic HMO card meant instant access to medical attention and treatment. That is why we go there even with empty wallets. “Ay Ma’am sorry, but this card is not yet accredited here in Global City.” “But…” “HMO’s accredited in the QC branch doesn’t automatically mean they’re accredited here” he cut me off knowing what I was about to say. Apparently, this is a common problem. In fact, the other patient in the wheel chair was having the same problem with her HMO, hence the animated discussion.

“Are you still going to push through with the treatment?” “How much is the emergency room fee?” (Better ask the million dollar question on the onset, than be sorry later) “One thousand pesos po, aside from the other treatments and medicines that the doctor may prescribe”. Eeeeek! We looked at each other deeply, wordlessly asking each other “Do you have money? Will we push through with the check up?” I looked inside my wallet. Haaaay, empty as a bimbo’s brain. Hubby sheepishly said “Honey, come on. I suddenly feel a lot better!” Hehehe. He assured me he was still ok to drive.

We planned on just driving to Medical City in Pasig, where Intellicare is hopefully accredited, but as we neared that hospital he said that maybe he just needed a good night’s sleep, and that he was honestly feeling a little better. He just drank a pain medication previously prescribed to him by his doctor for his migraine. Didn’t I tell you he was stubborn?

We got home safely. He literally dropped on the bed, and was probably asleep even before his head touched the pillow. The next morning I asked him the same question. “Do you still have a headache? From a range of 1 to 10, 10 being the most painful, how would you rate your pain?” “One”. I whispered a short prayer of thanks and happily went on with my day.

4.19.2010

A Taste of Aklan : Chicken Binakoe



My Berto is such an culinary adventurer. When he sees a recipe that intrigues him, he just has to try it. This is exactly what happened when he saw a recipe for a native dish from Aklan, Philippines. The Chicken Binakoe or Chicken cooked in coconut soup. He asked my opinion and the moment I heard buko or young coconut, I said yes!

Here’s the recipe:

Cooking oil
Pounded Ginger – 1 tbsp
Patis (fish sauce) ¼ cup
Chicken Breast –cut into serving sizes
Lemon Grass – 2 stalks
Buko (young coconut) – 1 pc, separate juice from the soft meat
Salt and Pepper
Sili Leaves
Water

heat oil in pan and sauté ginger. Add patis and then chicken. Sangkutsahin. Simmer till chicken turns white.

Add water and lemon grass, then simmer until the chicken is cooked.

Remove chicken from broth. Place broth is separate bowl and add buko juice. Bring to a boil. Add chicken and buko meat. Let boil, and simmer for a few minutes.

Add salt and pepper to taste. Then add the sili leaves. Cover pot for a few minutes. Serve hot.

The result:
Yummy dish that can serve 6 people. We discovered that a cooked buko tastes so much like papaya. So this dish is actually Tinola with a native flair. Tastes better if native chicken is used.

Fall In Love with Your Husband Over and Over Again

It has been years since you got married and somehow you’ve fallen into a rut. You feel you know everything there is to know about your husband. You know how he takes his coffee, you know what ice cream flavor he’ll order, you’re sure how he likes his steak, you know what mood he’s in on a particular time of the day… in other words, years of being married to him has made you so familiar with him. Here are some tips to rekindle your romance and help you fall in love with your life partner over and over again.

  • Remind yourself how it was during the courtship days. You can not control your present situation, much less the person he’s become, but you can control yourself. So take hold of your reality. Instead of simply existing in your partner’s life, remind him and yourself that you are alive, and you are also the same girl he eagerly pursued years ago.
  • Physically and emotionally reconnect with your husband. Go out on dates, Even a romantic stroll around the neighborhood will do, as long as you leave the kids at home.
  • Think about the people you were when you met each other. When you were together then, what did you like about him? About yourself? Did you laugh a lot? Did you sing a lot? Do you remember the little things he did then that made your tummy flutter and your heart skip a beat?
  • Look for something you used to find so endearing, or still do. Peel off the layers, look hard, believe me, it’s there.
  • Everyday when wake up, be grateful for something about your husband and your marriage.
  • So your prince charming is now a little heavier in the middle and a little thinner on top, but remember that he is still the same prince charming who used to do silly things just to get your attention.

Married life may not at rosy as you once thought it would be, but you can make it a lot easier and more exciting by choosing to be happy and in love with the one you promised to love and cherish till the day you die…even if he forgets to put his socks in the hamper.

4.14.2010

Eat, Pray, Love

This is the title of a New York Times Bestseller by Elizabeth Gilbert. I have seen this book several time before in my trips to the bookstore, and all the while I thought this was a cookbook with a cute title. hahaha. It was only when I attended a Travel Writing Class that I realized it wasn't a cookbook at all. My teachers and classmates kept on gushing about the book and the author, while I sat there with a fake smile plastered on my face pretending to know what they were talking about. Right after the session, the first thing I did was to rush to the nearest bookstore and bought myself a copy.

Now that I've read some pages, I am now officially a Elizabeth Gilbert gusher too! Incredible writing, incredible woman! For the first time, I am savoring her every word. I am not rushing to read and finish the book. I am enjoying her every sentiment. She is so admirably honest especially about her troubled marriage and unsuccessful relationships. I am not yet finished with the book, but I immediately rushed to the bookstore purchase the Eat, Pray, Love Sequel Committed. I still have it inside its plastic package though. I promised myself I'd finish this book first before proceeding to that. A must read for someone in a relationship, has been in a relationship and those planning to be in a relationship. It is a road to self discovery and recovery for those who've been so in love with love, that they've forgotten all about themselves. I love the book so much. It is so fresh, so wonderfully written, and again... so honest.

4.12.2010

Joining the DSLR Craze

Hubby and I have been thinking of buying a DSLR camera for the longest time. We all know that the camera does not come cheap that is why we research about the products first before actually putting down hard earned money. We are down to two options, a Canon or a Nikon. My cousin who’s been using a Nikon D90 has been trying to convince us to choose a Nikon camera. He said that the D90 is much more than a replacement for its predecessor, the D80. It also inherits many upgraded features from its big brother, the D300, making the D90 a formidable contender in the DSLR arena. Being a newbie, I couldn’t understand a word he was saying. Haha!

A Date Night With My Honey

after a super hectic week for both hubby and me, we were able to go on a date, finally! we set a date last friday, he was supposed to pick me up early from work, but due to the terrible friday night traffic jam, he arrived at makati at around 8pm already. (which was actually fine with me since i just finished the stuff i needed to do at work).

he said that edsa and c5 was terrible, so we opted to stay at rockwell powerplant mall, since it was the nearest. we will just wait until the traffic gets better.

when we got to rockwell, a nice feeling instantly settled in the pit on my tummy. aahhhh! rockwell brings such fond memories, of carefree days of yore. hahaha...

hubby and i used to have lunch dates here almost every day. my work load back then was not as horrendous and hubby's sched was very flexible. i would leave the office at 11am and be back at around 2pm (shhhh!)we would watch movies at least twice a week! i would happily browse the yummy smelling books at fully booked, often leaving the store with a purchase or two. aahhhh! the good old days!

back to my story. we arrived and looked for a place to eat. we were feeling adventurous and decided to try the vietnamese place, pho24. i ordered the seafoods noodle soup, hubby had the beef noodle soup and we had a side order of shrimp spring rolls. yummy! at first i thought i was not going to feel full after the meal, but halfway through my bowl, my hunger was satiated. hehehe... yum. we accomplished one thing that night, hubby finally got over his vietnamese food aversion! wooohoo! he got from eating at phobac, but that's another story! *wink*

then we went and bought my fave chocolate oatmeal cookies from the blue kitchen.


fun fun night! i really had a great time unwinding the knots in my head! hahaha! This is just what i needed, a relaxing date night with my honey.

4.11.2010

Pursuing My Dreams of Writing

I have recently decided I will pursue my dreams of being a writer. Thankfully my husband supports me in this endeavor. He understands that I have come to a point in my life where I acknowledge that I am thinking of shifting from a corporate slave to a writing pauper. I have been an accountant for too long! No offense to the noble profession of crunching numbers, but it has never been my interest.

I still didn’t have time and money to actually enroll in a writing class so the first step I took was to purchase textbooks teaching creative writing and essays. Even books can get expensive, so I also tried looking for resources where I can get cheap textbooks. This search led me to the used books online bookstores where there are used magazines and used textbooks for sale. Some copies are badly beaten and dog-eared, but for someone in a tight budget, I can’t really be that choosy. I made do with what’s available and bought a few books that piqued my interest. After all, what’s important is what I can learn from the books and now how they look like.

I have already started reading some of them and I am just giddy with joy! I feel like student again. Hopefully, I can scrounge up enough cash someday to actually enroll to a creative writing class but until then I’ll have to be content with self studying.

A Marriage Based on Friendship

Marriage based on friendship is one that has the strength and power to endure. Passion is important but friendship is strong stuff. Friendship creates a firm security that makes just being together renew your spirit. It’s the place in marriage that’s like a warm blanket on a cold winter night --- a place of serenity, peace, calm and joy. Marriage to your very best friend is the deepest of friendships.

Beverly LaHaye
The Joy of Marriage God’s Way


I just wanted to share this wonderful portion of a book I am reading. Friendship in a marriage is truly a must, though sadly not every marriage is blessed with it (though according to the book, it's never too late to cultivate our friendships with our spouses). I thank God that He sent hubby my way. I mean, who would've thought two entirely different people, with different sense of humor, (when we first met, we didn't get each other's jokes, hehehe) can now share guffaws over of some corny private joke or a trivial anecdote ... I am blessed I now realize. I am blessed with the fact that through God's grace I married my very best friend... =)

Our Daughter is a Mover


We are proud parents of a mover. Our daughter had her Moving Up Day a couple of weeks ago. We are so proud of our her. It is true that children are like jewels in a parent's crown. It makes us feel like we did something right... =)

Except for her grandfather, the whole family was there to support her. She received several awards and medals, and she was "most cheerful", now that's the understatement of the century!

From toddler school, she's moving on up to Nursery School. We're all psyched up about it!

Sometimes late at night, when I'm talking to my husband, we still marvel at our daughter. We often gush how our baby is what we've got to show for almost 10 years of marriage. She is our contribution to humankind, so humankind get ready! hahaha...

4.10.2010

pork steak disguised as a beef steak... our adventure at kerby's resto

post transferred from my other blog dated 6/9/07

last thursday, hubby and i had lunch at marquinton. after having been on a diet for months now (did i mention he's lost so much weight!... as for me... no comment), he is craving real food. so we decided to try the new resto Kerby's. their sign said that they are offering steaks for as low as P59!

i had the grilled chicken steak which was P59 if you chose the smalltime size and P119 if you preferred the bigtime size. needless to say, i chose bigtime =) although i regretted my decision when my order arrived. my order consisted of 2 pcs of chicken steak, and 1 pc would've been enough for me.

hubby ordered the pork barbecue steak, P179 for bigtime size. both orders came with java rice, soup and salad. we also ordered a grilled chicken salad... a salad with lots of iceberg lettuce and chunks of chicken. yummy! the funny thing was when hubby's order came, it surprisingly looked like beef... and tasted like beef too. we thought that the waiter heard us wrong when we ordered. but when the bill arrived, we were billed for a pork steak. now, we're really not sure if their pork steak was really that good... or the cook made a big mistake... big coz the price diff is pretty big! well, it wasn't our fault.=) anyway, hubby said it was scrumptious! and cooked just the way he likes it, medium, without him even telling the waiter. my husband was really satisfied.

in fairness, their food is good. the soup, the veggie salad, the java rice and the main dishes... the only problem is the dessert, the salad that came with the meal. it was literally a spoonful of fiesta cocktail served on a platito. =) i must admit it was pathetic looking, of course we still ate it. =) dessert is still dessert =)

in the end we were satisfied with our venture to the Kerby's resto, yummy food that's easy on the budget, and easily reached since it's right in the heart of our city, marikina ;)
we're planning to come back again soon =)

a love so amazing... it's definitely meant to be

I transferred this entry from my original blog, dated 4/22/07...

warning: mushy declarations of undying love ahead!
sometimes i still get amazed, i am with my soulmate, married to him for almost six years. (now we're on our ninth year!) i belong to him! i still feel butterflies in my stomach when i think of him and the things he does to make me happy! the sweetness is still there after all these years. ifn fact, our relationship now is similar to how we were when we were still boyfriends and girlfriends. (all 8 years!).

pls don't be mistaken, ours is not a perfect love affair. so imperfect... that it's perfect... get it?
i can attest that it is possible. soulmates. it wasn't just luck that brought us together. he is the one God meant for me to be with. he accepts my weaknesses (which i have to admit is hard, coz i'm a pretty complicated (bratty) person), and i accept his... no matter how difficult! even after shouting matches, and flying celphones (don't even get me started) he still is my best friend and my lover. my prince charming. he's my lobster.

4.09.2010

Thursday Thirteen: Things I Found Out on Our First Year of Marriage

A former classmate recently got married, and she was gushing about how wonderful married life is.... this got me thinking about my discoveries as a new wife nine years ago... Discoveries about my husband, my role as a wife and married life in general:

1. My husband snores.
2. He is not a morning person, he hits the snooze button a thousand times before getting up. He still does.
3. Nagging works.
4. Pouting and sulking works SOME of the time.
5. He is not big on gifts.
6. He is not too good with hints.
7. Soul mates are real.
8. Having known him for a long time before we got married is definitely an advantage!
9. Life is not perfect, but we can choose to be happy.
10. It makes him smile whenever I refer to him as my ex-boyfriend.
11. He is a better cook than I am, but he still lets me cook when I am in the mood, I cherish this moments because it makes me feel to wifey.
12. He hasn’t accepted the fact that a debate/shouting match with me can lead to one end and one end only, me winning.
13. The honeymoon stage doesn’t necessarily end months after the wedding.

Come and join the Thursday Thirteen meme!

3.25.2010

Thursday Thirteen: 13 things about Berto (aka The Hubby)

  1. He is the eldest among 3 brothers.
  2. He has weak ankles. He’s sprained them so many times! Basketball and any sport that requires running and jumping around is a no-no.
  3. He is a technophobe. He’s never turned on the laptop except when he has to use the word processor. He has never surfed the net on his own (I have to give him the evil eye just to “force” him to email his mom and aunt) and Excel downright scares him!
  4. He loves cars. His work has something to do with cars. The only time I see him reading is when he’s reading an article/book about cars. He dreams about cars. He breathes cars.
  5. His handwriting is beautiful.
  6. He is enamored with majestic old churches.
  7. When I met him in high school, he is the type of person whom I would least likely be interested in. (We’ve been together since 4th year high school!)
  8. He abhors reading, refer to # 4
  9. He is a wonderful cook.
  10. He has a magnificent singing voice. I am his biggest fan!
  11. Except for his wedding ring, he doesn’t wear any jewelry.
  12. He cries when someone dies in the movies. He is so affected; I can’t even talk to him immediately after the movie.
  13. Did I mention he loves cars?

Come and play the Thursday Thirteen Meme!

3.24.2010

Visiting the Noynoy Aquino Volunteer Center

One thing my husband and I have in common is that we like Noynoy Aquino.

Everyday, we pass by houses and establishments with yellow ribbon lanterns hanging by their doors or gates, especially the houses in Loyola Grand Villas. We admire them for being so upfront with their political leanings. They have chosen the presidential candidate they will support this May 2010 elections and they are not shy about it at all. One day, we passed by the Noynoy Aquino Volunteer Center in Katipunan Ave. and we saw a sign saying “Yellow Ribbon Lanterns-Ilaw na Dilaw Available Here”. We got so excited! We decided to pass by on our way home and inquire about the yellow ribbon lanterns.

That night, we were delighted to note that the sign saying they were open was still up, but when hubby knocked at the door, only the security guard came to the door. Apparently, they were already closed, they just don’t take down the sign…ever.

Thankfully, the “manong guard” was very accommodating. He answered hubby’s queries. He said the small lantern costs 250 each while the big one costs 1,000 and it is bundled with 2 small lanterns. Pretty reasonable prices. Too bad he wasn’t allowed to sell the lanterns so he just asked us to return the next day. He said the last volunteers leave at around 7pm. Hmmm… sadly, we’re still traversing EDSA around that time.

We didn’t leave empty handed though. The friendly "manong guard” gave us some yellow ribbon stickers (although we already have one stuck on the car’s rear windshield) and some Noynoy Aquino calendars.
Maybe we’ll just come back on a Saturday.

3.17.2010

Thursday 13: Quirky Things About Me (Kwala)

This is the first time for me to join the Thursday Thirteen meme. So I think it is only apt for me to introduce myself to the Thursday Thirteen players. What better way than to list down 13 quirky things about me:

1. I am afraid of heights.
2. When I have to eat alone, I need to read.
3. My favorite color is purple/violet/lilac and I feel the extreme necessity to surround myself with all things purple/violet/lilac.
4. When I see a bookstore, I need to go in; and when I go in a bookstore, I need to buy something, anything.
5. I dream of being a published writer.
6. I am a world-renowned singer…in my head.
7. Unlike other women, I feel no joy in shopping for clothes and shoes. I feel it’s a chore. I only go shopping when I have to. (as in nothing fits me anymore)
8. If I were in a room with another person, mosquitoes will most likely bite me more than the other guy.
9. I am partial to Sony and Sony Ericsson brands for my gadgets.
10. When I eat, I need matching utensils; otherwise, I can’t enjoy my food.
11. I have crooked fingers, they arch so far back, they freak my husband out.
12. I hyperventilate at the sight of blood, but I hide it pretty well.
13. I’m a recovering coffee addict… who recently happily went on relapse.

3.15.2010

Come and Participate in Earth Hour 2010


You have been hearing growing concerns about the sorry state of our environment and mother earth, but you feel the problem is just too big, too complicated or just plain hopeless. Here is a simple way any man; woman or child can make a stand against climate change. Participate in Earth Hour 2010.

In 2007, in an amazing feat, some 2.2 million homes and businesses in Sydney turned off their lights for one hour to show their concern and stand against climate change. After a year, it became a global sustainability movement with more than 50 million people across 35 countries participating. Global landmarks like the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco and Rome ’s Colosseum stood in darkness for an hour. They became symbols of hope for a cause that grows more urgent by the hour.

Last year, 88 countries participated in Earth Hour, and I am proud to say that the Philippines ranked first in terms of scope of public participation with some 647 cities and towns switching off their lights. Last year, we were in Morong, Bataan having our summer vacation. We sort of participated in Earth Hour, although involuntarily. Even before the scheduled time came, our resort was already blanketed with darkness. There was a black out (sigh).

This year though, hubby and I have already talked about it. We will join the rest of the world on March 27, 2010 in sending a powerful global message: “It’s time to take action on global change!” From 8:30PM to 9:30PM, we will join more than 6,000 cities and towns worldwide in a symbolic act of switching off the lights. Guess what? You can join us! Come take part in this global initiative!

1.Sign up now (www.earthhour.org) to become part of the Earth Hour movement.

2.On March 27, 2010, Saturday, you can show your support by turning off your lights from 8:30PM to 9:30PM. You can do this whether you are an individual, a business, a school or a city.

3.Spread the word. Add an Earth Hour banner to your blog, tag your tweets and update your facebook status. Tell your friends that you’re supporting Earth Hour 2010. Encourage them to do the same!

Let us support Earth Hour 2010!

3.13.2010

Restaurant Style Fried Chicken

We had yummy Sunday lunch today courtesy of the husband. What did we have? Crispy home-cooked fried chicken.

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I remember when I was a child, my mom prepared fried chicken too but the breading was never crispy. Often it would be soggy by the time it reaches the table, still yummy but somehow she just couldn’t duplicate the way restaurants prepare their fried chicken.

Thankfully, there are a lot of commercial products available now with this purpose in mind. Hubby was able to find a Restaurant Style Fried Chicken Mix by Del Monte. It's one chicken recipe that's very easy to follow. One pack is good for ½ kilos of chicken. It contains four packages inside:

• A marinade mix
• A batter mix
• A breading mix
• Gravy mix

The crispy fried chicken was done in 4 steps:

1. Dissolve marinade in 1/3 cup water. Marinate chicken for an hour, turning occasionally.

2. Dissolve batter mix in ¼ cup water.

3. Dip marinated chicken in batter then coat with breading. Deep fry in hot oil for 12-14 minutes then drain excess oil.

4. Dissolve gravy mix in1 cup water until free from lumps. Bring to a boil then simmer for another 3 minutes, constantly stirring. Serve with fried chicken.


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Voila! Yummy fried chicken from your very own kitchen! Yup, no need for delivery.

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Our complements to the very sexy chef!

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We all loved our home-cooked feast as seen here: notice the little girl's wide smile. We also had pork and mushroom soup and some baked potatoes to go with our crispy fried chicken.

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Burp! How about you, what did you have for lunch today?

Photo hunt:Spiral



This is my photo hunt entry for this week, ornate antique (old and dusty) candle holders stacked on top of each other to showcase their spirals. I was getting frustrated in looking for a spiral to take a picture of when i felt the urge to look up Lo and behold the candle holders looking down on me from our lofty altar.
This is one of the benefits of participating in photo hunt, you give ordinary every day objects a second look and actually get to appreciate their beauty.

3.12.2010

A wedding at St. Andrew the Apostle Church in Makati


Last December, we were all surprised when our cousin announced that he was getting married. We always thought of him as our baby since he was the youngest in our batch of cousins. I guess he is not that young anymore really, he is 31 years old after all.

The preparations took only less than 3 months. Before we knew it, a date has been set, and we were informed that our darling daughter will be part of the entourage. We were all excited. This is only the third wedding in our family, the first being ours.

The day finally came. It was a particularly hot Monday afternoon. We arrived at the St. Andrew Church, Makati an hour early, as requested. It was ok with us since it also gave our little girl enough time to feel comfortable with the place and the other flower girls. The couple’s chosen motif was gold. Thankfully, the church was air conditioned, so we were all comfortable even while waiting. The priest was very hand on with the wedding. And when I say very, I mean VERY hands on. He acted as the events coordinator at church, planning the arrangement and “choreography” of the sponsors and entourage. He was very particular with the positioning, which aisle they would come from, what they should do once they reach the altar (shake hands with the groom), where they should seat after. During the wedding he also asked the bride to be part of the offertory, something different. I remember my cousin telling me that the reason behind that is because the church itself was really small. Unlike the big churches where the bride and her entourage gets to walk along a long aisle, doing this elaborate choreography was meant to showcase the elegant and expensive dresses, to make all the effort and preparation more worthwhile. How considerate. He was also the director for the traditional picture taking after the wedding, calling on the family of the bride/family of the groom/sponsors etc.

Thankfully, the little girl played her part to a tee, slowly walking along the aisle, gracefully throwing flower petals on the floor…. Simple adorable!

After the wedding we proceeded to the reception hall at the Makati Park and Garden . It was again thankfully, properly air conditioned. Sumptuous food was provided by prestigious Tamayo’s Catering, whose waiters even provided some entertainment when they danced during the food parade. They went ahead with the usual tradition during a wedding, the cake slicing, the ceremonial toast, the bouquet and garter game, the only tradition they left out was the letting out of the doves. Actually, I’m not sure if they forgot or if they purposely left it out.

All in all, the wedding was a success. The whole ceremony and the reception exuded simple elegance. The bride was simply glowing; her bridal gown impeccable, the groom in his suit was simply handsome. The joining of these two hearts was also the joining of family and friends celebrating the new union.

contact information:

St. Andrew The Apostle Church
N. Garcia cor. Neptune sts. Bel-Air II, Makati
Tel No. 890-1796; 897-7743

Makati Park and Garden
J.P Rizal ext Brgy. Pembo Makati City
Ofc: Makati City Hall 2F Mayors Ofc
Tel No. 899-8915; 899-8994

Tamayo’s Catering
Ground Floor, Plaza San Luis, Gen. Luna St., Intramuros, Manila (across San Agustin Church)
Hotline: 526-2222 or you may also call 536-8895; 400-7161; 5367682-Fax
Email: info@tamayos.com


If by any chance you are looking for affordable packages for photo and video coverage,
come and visit BK Pixels Photography. 290-55711 or 09152868944

We also rent out a Photobooth to may your event more fun and memorable:
BK Pixels Photobooth


3.11.2010

Our Experience at Marikina Valley Medical Center

The other day, on our way home, hubby felt a bit dizzy. We blamed it on his hypertension. Excessive climate change can trigger reactions like this and lately, the Philippines has been on the verge of a heat wave. We decided to stop by Mini Stop, a convenience store, to buy juice. We couldn't find a parking spot so we just stop by the side of the road and turn our hazard lights on. To avoid being reprimanded by traffic enforcers, hubby tried to walk really fast towards the store. Bad decision. The dizziness caught up with him and he lost his balance. He tried to regain his composure and placed all his weight on one foot, to no avail since this too buckled. The result: a sprained ankle. When he finally got in the store, he also bought some ice so he can press them close to his ankles as a sort of cold compress. He kept a brave front, but I knew he was hurt.


The next day, he just couldn't get up. His ankle hurt too much. The said ankle had ballooned, too swollen to hit in his shoe. I talked him into going to the hospital. Initially he just wanted to go to the nearest one, but I argued that we should go to one that has complete facilities. I immediately thought of Marikina Valley Medical Center.


We arrived at the emergency room at 7:00 am. There were no other patients. The room was dark, and the nurses, probably already sleepy from their night shift, were slow to approach us, despite seeing hubby miserably limping in. We were greeted by an eager, friendly, smiling nurse. He made me sign the papers, and then he took hubby’s blood pressure. 140/90. hmmm… I seriously doubted the accuracy of this reading since hubby’s pressure is usually 150/100 on a good day. After waiting for some time, the nurse prepared a cold compress.

            

He filled a rubber glove with ice cold water and asked hubby to press it against his ankle. After some more waiting, we were told that hubby was going to be x-rayed and he was rolled off to the nearby room. After a few minutes, we already have the results. Thankfully, no fracture. We were guided back to the emergency room. More waiting. After some time, I was called to the reception area, the Intellicare (HMO) officer wanted to talk to me. She wanted to know if hubby was under the influence of alcohol during the accident. Of course I said no. (as any person with the right mind would answer) Then more waiting…. all the while, we were being attacked by giant mosquitoes. (I noticed there were no warnings or write ups posted on the walls about dengue. How could they when their hospital was harboring hoards of mosquitoes, even the lone mosquito killer at the far end of the room couldn't do help.)


The doctor finally approached us with the prescription bearing medicine we should buy:Arcoxia 120mg for the pain (P70+) and Myonal which was muscle relaxant (P20+). I asked shouldn’t hubby’s ankle be wrapped in elastic bandage as a sort of support? The doctor thought for a while before finally saying ok. She instructed the male nurse to put a bandage on hubby’s ankle. We were waiting and waiting and waiting, until I finally asked what was taking them so long. The nurse said that they were still waiting for the approval from our HMO…again, for some bandages! Argh! Why didn’t they request for that in the first place? Wasn’t that part of their S.O.P treating sprained ankles? I went to talk to the cashier and told her that we’re willing to pay for the bandages ourselves if this is the only cause of delay, when finally the approval came through and the eager, smiling nurse came bouncing back in the emergency room with the controversial bandages. He bandaged the ankle a bit too tightly, but hubby pretended not to mind since this will surely take some more time to undo and redo again.


We finally left at past 9am. It took more than two hours to be treated at the “emergency” room for a mere sprained ankle! And the hospital wasn’t even bustling with other patients at all!

So after that experience, what can I say about the Marikina Valley Medical Center ? Let me start with the positive. They are accredited by several HMOs, Intellicare included. The personnel, doctor and nurses were courteous and polite. The facilities were new and readily available, like the x-ray and the results were available immediately. They had available medical supplies like rubber gloves and elastic bandages. 

The negative: The emergency room is a mosquito sanctuary. It is dark and depressing. I sustained 6 mosquito bites, yes I counted. There were 2 people manning the reception/information area but only one of them knew how to process the health card transactions. That caused further delay in our transaction when the one familiar with HMO transactions had to do leave and the patients’ health card transactions were just left there unprocessed on queue. They x-rayed hubby first before getting the approval from the HMO, if the transaction was declined, we would've been made to pay for his treatments. (This actually happened to us before, but that's a different story)


Update:

I have been receiving lots of comments with this blog post, some positive, echoing my not-so-great experience in this hospital and some negative. I'm assuming they are somehow connected to the hospital (staff or admin) since they kept on defending the hospital. Please understand that this is an old post, but this is what hubby and I experienced then so this blog post is about that experience. I didn't write this to bad mouth anybody or any institution. I am just sharing my experience with the hospital. 

By the way, I was back again last year but this time as an outpatient with a dermatologist. I know, I know. Why come back when I was unhappy with their services before? Well the hospital is near our place, and it had great facilities. I'm not one to hold a grudge and I wanted to try the hospital again, believing it has improved since our last visit. Sadly, I had a horrible experience with the dermatologist and but will not go into details since I believe the bad work ethics of one doctor does not necessarily reflect the whole hospital's quality of service. It was very frustrating though.

That's that =)
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