Street but Sweet


Tuesday, May 27, 2008

I won! I won! (Part 2)

Gasp! It happened again!

This time I won an Electrolux bagless vacuum cleaner at another event. My co-workers said, "Pwede ka nang magpakasal!" Yeah, because I have a sandwich press and a vacuum cleaner-- everything I need for wedded bliss. Haha.

It was a good start to the week. The weekend was pretty great, too. Saturday morning, mumsy and I met up with my bro and his three kids at the Salcedo Market. It was nice just spending time with the family (the very thing I missed doing the weekend before), plus chowing down on some pretty good eats (more on that in an upcoming food blog post).

H picked me up after lunch so that we could attend his friend's wedding. I wore a long, printed dress I bought for a really good price in Bangkok, and got a couple of compliments. Always nice to hear. Hehe. Right after the mass, H and I headed to McDo for a bite, thinking that dinner would be served late. I had me some fries and a super thick strawberry shake! Yum! The snack turned out to be a mistake--once we got to the reception at the Loft in Manansala, cocktails were being served on the deck (lovely as it was nearing was hell on my lugay hair though), and dinner came shortly after! I wanted to pig out, but I had disc (adik!)--didn't want to riddle the San Lo field with chunks of squash soup and steak.

Sunday was the last day of games before the summer league finals. We didn't win, but we came closer than we did before (over quota!), plus we had a kick-ass time. As usual!

Ahh, another good weekend. Life's been good.

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Friday, May 23, 2008

Big Brother is watching

There was a collective scream, and my voice was among the many that pierced through the air. We had just seen a little boy, maybe of about three or four, inexplicably tumble down the two steps outside the mall and land on the driveway, just as a car came to a stop.

I don't know what happened exactly. The boy--not a particularly boisterous type; in fact, he seemed rather quiet--was standing right beside me, accompanied by his mom and his big brother, perhaps about six years old. The mom was on her celphone, I looked away, and the next second, I saw the little one fall forward. It looked like he hit his head on the side of the car. Thank goodness the car had already stopped, and didn't move as the boy, dazed, shaken, got up. Being one of the nearest bystanders, I rushed forward to ask if he was OK. His mom, panicky, was chiding him, "Anak, ano bang ginagawa mo?" more out of worry than anger. All those lined up at the taxi queue were staring and talking, and a couple of guards came forward to make sure that the boy wasn't hurt.

But there's one thing I don't think anyone else saw. Big brother was quiet the whole time. And as there was a commotion going on around him, he silently but firmly took his little brother's arm, and pulled the kid behind him. Kuya was making sure that it didn't happen again, that he was standing between his younger brother and imminent danger. And while the little one's stumble got all our hearts racing, I don't think I'll ever forget Big Brother's protective gesture.

That boy's going to turn out all right.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

I don't know if I've just been majorly PMS-ing, but it seems the universe has been throwing little irritants in my path. Last night, I was so upset over an incident involving Mr. X that I ended up pounding the pavement (or, more accurately, the treadmill). Ran 5K after ages--and at a pretty good pace, too. Stress does that to me. By the end of it, I still felt like I wanted to run. There was still some pent-up frustration raring to be released. I've found that one of the best antidotes to aggravation is just zoning out and mindlessly sprinting. Preferably outdoors, but I'll take what I can get.

I've also been stressing over missed deadlines, and how people can't seem to respect other people's schedules. And I've been annoyed at the fact that people don't reply to a simple text message--how hard is it to type a simple "yes" or "no" and hit send? It's been bugging me. If I didn't care so much (read: If I wasn't too much of a control freak), I wouldn't text at all.

And then today, I heard about friends whose parents have cancer.

It just made me put everything into perspective. There are bigger problems in the world.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

April highlights

Just realized that I wasn't able to make a highlight reel for April. The awesome experiences for the month were:
  • Traveling to Ilocos Norte with H. Our Amazing Race-esque adventure brought us to the lighthouse, the windmills of Bangui, and Pagudpud.
  • I accomplished my main objective for going up north. Will keep it hush-hush for now. But this was a year in the making...
  • The start of our summer league winning streak! But even more awesome than that, I got to play with my new teammates (the Hounds, for example). We've become a stronger team because of them, I think.
  • Dondi and Sarah's wedding. It was cool seeing the Warriors dressed up for a change. And it was crazy that we left at 4:00 a.m. so we could make it to the first day of the aforementioned summer league!
Hmm...I got to go to the beach twice, but didn't spend as much time as I would have liked there. Let's go to the beeeaach!


Tuesday, May 20, 2008

I won! I won!

Two posts in one day?!

What could have happened for me to feel compelled to write yet another entry? Well, I--little miss lucky-in-love, unlucky-in-gambling; the sole person from my mag who didn't win anything at the Christmas party raffle--finally won something! And it wasn't some little gift pack full of stuff that I would just give away. I won an Oster Sandwich Press Grill!!!

I was eyeing the indoor George Foreman-esque grill, but hey, I ain't complaining! I am so excited. Just a couple of weeks ago, I whipped out our ancient Imarflex sandwich maker. For lack of anything to eat at home, I made some grilled ham and cheese sandwiches for me and H (after giving the ol' hunk of machinery a scrub-down). I think it's about time that the old-timer retired. be replaced by an Oster Sandwich Press Grill! Which I won!!! (Did I mention that already?)

I was so excited, I actually looked for pressed sandwich ideas online--chicken and apple, ham and onions, cheese and Dijon mustard. Looks like I'll be having sandwiches a whole lot from now on!


A good weekend

I realized that I like it when we have games on Saturday instead of Sunday, because I need the next day to recover. Often, I find myself dragging my aching body to work come Monday!

There was none of that yesterday. Both our summer league games were held on Sat--and even though we didn't win (and, in effect, ended our glorious winning streak), we still had fun! Let us not forget--this is the Warriors' primary objective!

After our own games, we watched an awesome Pool A game, before claiming an unused field and playing 10-on-10. It was absolute madness--with so many players, you couldn't tell who your teammates were (especially if you were drunk. Ahaha). I discovered what grass stains were, and managed to tear a hole into my jeans (now I've got me a distressed pair. Must buy new jeans). BUT I had such an awesome time! A couple of times, I actually just collapsed on the field in laughter (di ba, Gladys? Nice pass to Lawee Boy! Hahaha).

We then headed to Congo Grille, where we chowed down on our free crispy pata, as well as sisig and all the other bad stuff you could think of. I particularly liked the sisig--nice and crunchy. (As H said, I am not a fan of "authentic sisig"--the chewy kind.) It was cool just hanging out with the team, and great fun seeing some people--who shall remain unnamed--rather inebriated. (Di ba, Lei? Hahaha.)

Then I headed home and, even though all I wanted to do was stay in bed with my big fat book, had to get ready for a night out. First stop: The Penthouse at Tektite where Jun had a thanksgiving dinner to celebrate his passing the bar exam! Woohoo! Good job, dude!

Second stop: Hai for after-dinner drinks for BFF Chingy's birthday. Met some new people, and had a couple of drinks which surprisingly didn't affect me at all. Malibu pineapple, I love you!

Final stop: At 2:30 in the morning, we ended up at Piedra. Last time I was there at that hour, the place was packed. This time, there was lots of space to move around...people must've been at the beach, soaking up the...rain. I didn't dance much though--the heels weren't made for dancing, plus I had to take care of a certain friend who had a bit too much to drink. Nooneenoo.

Next day, I woke up early, but Hamil didn't, so our plan to go to mass at Gesu didn't push through. But it was cool just chillin' with him the whole day--it was just what I needed to recharge.

If I had been able to spend time with the family, it woulda been a perfect weekend. But as it was, it was pretty awesome.

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Monday, May 19, 2008

These boots were made for gawking

Two of my co-workers excitedly did a show-and-tell of the boots they bought at the Topshop sale. The Kate Moss babies were originally P7,595, but were now on sale at (drum roll please)...P599!!! They were flat, knee-high boots made of distressed black leather, with a couple of buckles. "May natitira pang size 37!" they said, as they urged me to buy my own pair. (All three of us share the same shoe size.)

"But where will I wear them?" I asked.

"Who cares? They're P599!"

Oo nga naman. This was like the best deal ever.

So over the weekend, I was trying on my P599 Kate Moss knee-high boots with a few outfits. Thank goodness I work where I work, so the boots won't even raise eyebrows. But now I'm even more inclined to take a trip out of the country around October, just so I could wear these black beauties with an autumn ensemble. Haha.

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Monday, May 12, 2008

I dragged my beat-up body and sniffly nose out of bed so early this morning so that I could get to work two hours early. The plan was to type out an article before anyone else arrived at the office. It's much easier working early mornings or on weekends, when there aren't a lot of distractions.

And then I realized I left my handwritten notes at home. Olats!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Global warming, is that you?

Instead of joining a fun run, I ended up with a runny nose. Damn this weird weather--showers in early May? Extreme heat outside before I walk into a freezing office? Sigh.

My mom was iffy about my intention to join the 5K fun run Saturday morning, expressing her concern Friday night. "You're pushing your body too far," she said. I was in bad shape, with the beginnings of a cold, and I suppose the memory of my injured back a few weeks back was still in her head. All those hours at the gym and dance class were taking their toll. "Tapos may frisbee ka pa!" she tsk-tsked.

I brought it up while talking to H. "My mom doesn't think I should run tomorrow," I said as I blew my nose. "Maybe you shouldn't," he replied.

So that was that. I decided not to run. Next scene, my mom to H: "Buti sinabihan mo siya na huwag nang sumali bukas!"

I wonder if they were in cahoots the whole time?

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Bangkok: Day 1

I don't want to mar this entry by writing about my horrid time at NAIA (maybe in another entry...), so let's move on to the good stuff!

We landed at around 12:30 am Bangkok time, then took a cab to Soi Lang Suan, where Mikki's flat was located. Unfortunately, she had to go to Manila while we were there, but she graciously let us stay at her lovely serviced apartment. What luck! H and I surmised that we were in the sosy part of Bangkok, a la Legaspi Village, where there were serviced apartments lining both sides of the street. Plus, it was pretty accessible, walking distance from two Sky Train stations.

The living room of our lovely Bangkok "home"

We did more than our fair share of walking, which is probably why I don't think I gained any weight despite the way we were eating (rice for merienda, a second dinner one evening, ice cream every day...H, on the other hand, gained four pounds!). On day one, we woke up mid-morning and decided to just walk around the neighborhood. H wanted to get his bearings with map in hand, charting the train stations and different landmarks. Then my cousin, Kuya Rogi, his wife Ate Bing, and three of their kids (my niece Celine, nephew Andrew, and godson Robin) picked us up from a nearby Starbucks before taking us to the Jim Thompson House.

Playing around with my cam's color-accent function at Starbucks

Jim Thompson House

We had an awesome lunch at the cafe (more on that in my other blog) before going on a tour of the house. Jim Thompson was an American who pretty much single-handedly revived the Thai silk industry. According to the pamphlet, he gained further renown for his house, which combines six teak buildings elevated off the ground in the traditional Thai style. Other Thai elements can be seen in the house: red paint on the outside walls, low "barriers" on doorways (according to our guide, this was both to prevent babies from crawling from room to room and to keep spirits from coming in--Thais believe that spirits can only travel on the ground, so they can't really lift themselves to pass through a doorway). There were centuries-old Buddha statues and porcelain, and even a "mouse house," a doll house that served as a maze in a glass box; in the old days, children would put a mouse inside and watch as it wandered around for hours. "It was like their TV," our charming guide explained, "but only one channel!"

H and me with my niece, Celine. In fairness to me, she was wearing heels that day
and I was in flats...

Sadly, we couldn't take pictures inside the house. I did love the living room which opened up to the terrace, and would love to have something like that in my future house.

Muay Thai Gone Pfffft

H and I wanted to watch a muay thai match while we were there. Our hosts took us to a stadium where regular matches were held. Their driver, Kun ("Mang") Ananta, asked how much tickets were to the special fight Friday night. "2,000 for non-Thai." How much for Thai? "200." We asked how much watching a regular match would cost. "1,500 for non-Thai." How much for Thai? "200."

Our trusty Time Out guide had prepared us for this--it said that Thais generally charged foreigners more, and that we should just get over it. We actually found it kind of cool, because in a sense, it showed some sort of Thai pride. I couldn't help but compare it with Pinoys, who treat foreigners like gods, and their own people like second-class citizens sometimes! Sigh.

The Evening

We proceeded to Kuya Rogi's place, where we chilled for a bit before having a scrumptious, home-cooked meal. My two other nephews, Kevin and Rocky, joined us. Afterwards, Kuya Rogi, Ate Bing, H, and I headed to the Suan Lum Night Market, just so we could get a feel of the typical night market in Bangkok.

A hurriedly taken photo of Suan Lum Night Market

After doing the rounds, our hosts brought us "home," where we rested to prepare for the next day's touristy-but-not excursion to some temples.

Monday, May 05, 2008

I didn't expect to fall in love with Bangkok.

Will write a more detailed post soon, but for now, suffice it to say that I was surprised and utterly charmed by the city. I didn't expect much from a place my friends described as being "not pretty at looks like Quiapo." But it's just been a few hours and I miss it already.

My top five Bangkok experiences:

1. Ditching the typical group tours and opting to take the train and boat en route to Wat Pho and the Grand Palace.
2. Seeing the fantastic malls--Manila's got nothing on 'em when it comes to malls, so I can't say that the Philippines is Mall Country.
3. Being amazed at just how polite everyone was.
4. The food, an entire experience unto itself--will write in my food blog about it.
5. Sharing the experience with H.

My top five worst experiences:

1. NAIA. Our airport sucks, I tell you. Plus the sungit people made me wish I were back in Bangkok!
2. Our delayed flight. I often say that I love traveling but I hate being in transit.
3. Stepping in a puddle of ick as I walked the Quiapo-like road from Platinum to Central World.
4. Bickering with H over the right route to take. Actually, I did the bickering coz I'm such a brat. I should've just shut up though coz I have the worst sense of direction, and he was like the Map Master.
5. That it had to end.