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.


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.


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

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.


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.


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.


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...


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.


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!
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