You are currently browsing the monthly archive for March 2006.

Both my parents love to cook.  My mom was a Home Economics major in college and my dad learned how to cook from his mother.  When they were starting out in their married life and money was hard to come by, they turned to cooking to augment their income.  They would cook siopao and piaya (a Bacolod delicacy) to sell to their friends.

It was no surprise, therefore, that we were raised in the kitchen and taught how to cook at an early age.  Since my mom loved to bake, she taught me how to make cookies, cakes, and other goodies.  I didn't like making ulam, but I loved baking.  I was about 10 or 11 when my mom taught me how to make meringue, which I would sell to my classmates for P1 apiece.  I remember my sister and I would bake cookies almost every Saturday, and I had a childhood friend with whom I also cooked.  We would take turns baking in each other's homes.  While other kids were out playing patintero, we were in the house baking – and eating, of course – our goodies. 

My dad worked as an engineer in a sugar central where we also lived.  We had a huge lawn which was surrounded by many fruit bearing plants, such as santol, indian mango, and bananas.  There was a time that we had an unusually huge harvest of bananas (the green kind), and since we couldn't eat them all, my mom taught me how to make banana cake.

After my first few failed attempts, I finally got the recipe right, and pretty soon, I was cooking banana cake for birthdays, specialy occasions, and every time we had an oversupply of bananas.  Eventually, my siblings got tired of it, but my mom would always ask me to make banana cake.  Now, every time I see a banana cake, I am reminded of a happy childhood and the warmth of my mother's kitchen.

Here's the recipe to my banana cake:

Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups flour

1 2/3 cups sugar

1 1/4 tsp. baking power

1 1/4 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. salt

2/3 cup butter or margarine 

2/3 cup buttermilk

3 eggs

1 1/4 cups mashed bananas (4-5 medium sized lakatan)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl.  Add shortening and half of the buttermilk.  (To prepare buttermilk, place 2 tsp. vinegar or calamansi juice in a measuring cup.  Add milk to make 2/3 cup.)  Mix until flour is moistened.  Add eggs, bananas, and other half of the buttermilk.  Beat until smooth.  Pour into greased and floured muffin pan.  Bake for 35 minutes or until done.

Now that I have 2 kids of my own, I can't wait to teach them the joys of cooking… maybe in a few years when they become taller than the kitchen table.

I received an email from Iska today, inviting me to join Lasang Pinoy 8.  This time, the theme is Kusinang bulilit, lutong paslit! To those who don't know what Lasang Pinoy is, click here.

Since this is my first time to be invited to this event (feeling ko tuloy certified blogger na ako when I got this invitation!), I'm very excited about it.  I've been thinking of how my parents taught us how to cook at a very young age.  I still have to arrange my thoughts, though, so this is not going to be my entry.  I'll write my entry later, when I'm not so busy and my mind is not so cluttered.

Anyway, I just wanted to thank Iska for the invite.  I hope I can do justice to the invitation. 🙂  Thanks again, Iska!

When I was still single and very active in the Catholic renewal movement, I read the Bible and reflected on God's word every day.  I would write my reflections in a notebook.  Some of them would be in the form of love letters to God, while others were written as realizations.  In whatever way I wrote, these reflections drew me to a very close relationship with God and strengthened me in my daily life. 

Nowadays, however, I find it difficult to read, much less write my reflections, about God's word.  With 2 kids to take care of and many other responsibilities at home, I just can't find the time to do my reflections.  I know, I know… I'm just making excuses because I can even find time to read a pocketbook or watch CSI marathon episodes, but I can't find time to pray.

Since I can't seem to do my prayer time at home, the first 30 minutes of my day at the office is usually spent reading the Bible.  Sometimes I write my reflections, sometimes I don't.  Today is one of those times that I feel like writing down my thoughts.

The first reading for today is taken from Isaiah 49:8-15, and one verse struck me: 

Sing out, O heavens and rejoice, O earth; Break forth into song, you mountains.  For the Lord comforts His people and shows mercy to His afflicted.                                                 Isaiah 49:13

We all know that we are God's people.  That is easy to believe in when everything is sunny and bright in our daily lives.  But when we are afflicted by sickness or problems, we tend to believe that God has abandoned us.  This is usually the case for me.  When trials come, I feel that God has turned away from me, which is why I experience testing.  But this verse from Isaiah struck me because God tells me that I am HIS, even when I am afflicted. 

It struck me that the verse went this way, "For the Lord … shows mercy to HIS afflicted," when it could have been written this way, "For the Lord … shows mercy to THE afflicted."

This goes to show that even in our afflictions, we are still God's chosen ones, and He will never abandon us because He has carved our names on the palm of His hands. 

My prayer for today:

Lord, I thank you for reminding me that I am your child, regardless of the circumstance I am in.  When I start to feel all alone again, please wrap your arms around me and let me experience your love.  Amen.

I think my boss is trying to ease me out.  Two things happened last week that led me to this realization.  First, I found out through a friend that he was trying to revise an old evaluation instrument for the new faculty manual.  To do this, he asked the help of one of the high school English teachers here.  I felt really slighted because he did not even mention that he was revising the instrument and he did not come to me for help.  Perhaps you would think I'm very conceited, but if you knew what my Master's degree is, you would understand (it's MS in Educational Measurement and Evaluation).  Developing and revising instruments is what I do, and he knows that because I have revised and developed several questionnaires being used by the school.  But, no, he asked help from an English teacher when he knows very well that when it comes to a task like this, I would willingly do it – and there is no other person more qualified than me in this school when it comes to this.

At about the same time, I found out that he is planning to bring in other people to help us in the office.  Again, he made no mention of this, while other people already know about it.  Since there are only two of us in this little office, I would naturally expect that I be told of such an important decision which also affects me. 

Now, I'm just trying to be bato, not to feel anything, not even anger, because I don't want to be affected and get stressed out.  I'm not a stupid person and I'm pretty good at knowing how people feel about me.  Oh well, I have decided not to wait for that time that he will tell me that I'm no longer wanted here.  I will still leave this place even if I don't get accepted to where I applied – but I'm really, really hoping that all things will fall into place. 

I’m thinking of working out today.  My body is begging to go to the gym because I started on a new program last Monday and I need to follow through on this new routine.  My thighs are aching and the only way to take away the pain is to subject it to more pain! Does that make sense?  Anyway, I really want to go to the gym, but then I’m thinking of the work I need to do.  I need to finish some overdue tasks (really overdue!).  Hmmm…what to do, what to do? 

Dean isn’t here this week, he’s in Iloilo again and I don’t have someone to kulit about what I should do. Hehe.  I MISS MY HUBBY ALREADY! And he only left yesterday and will be back on Saturday pa.  😦

Okay, I still can’t make up my mind…although I did bring work out gear. Maybe I will just do cardio workout… just so I can sweat it out.  I need a fresh rush of endorphins so I would feel good.  As usual, my day at work was a day of agony for me. 

But! Here’s good news!  I followed up on my application and I was told that they are SERIOUSLY considering me for the position, BUT they can’t give me the final decision yet because their hiring board still has to meet and decide on my application.  But they were quite positive that they want me. I just have to submit some documents and take some psychological tests.  So there, maybe my luck is turning after all.

And oh, Hubby will be going to Manila this Thursday (that’s tomorrow na pala!) for a panel interview.  I guess this is for his promotion na.  I do hope he gets promoted.  I know he’s been dying to get this position for sometime now.  And he’s been working hard for it.  So blog friends, I need your prayers for me and my hubby.

Lord, please give me that job… and please give Dean his promotion, too! 🙂

I’ve been getting errors from time to time when I log on to WordPress and I’ve been thinking about moving to Blogger.  Last week, I was so pissed with wordpress that I created a new blog.  I found out that, unlike in WordPress, I can change the template of my Blogger blog.  I’m tinkering with my new template and it’s not quite finished yet.  I tried to insert a shoutbox, but it end’s up in a spot where I don’t want it.  I don’t know anything about html programming so I’m just tinkering with it.  Any suggestions? 

When my Blogger blog starts to look the way I want it, then I’ll move out of WordPress.  Till then, I’m sticking with this url – and putting up with the server problems of WordPress.  Grrrr! >(

The schoolyear is about to end so I’m up to my neck with work. I’m finishing up the evaluations of ALL non-teaching staff, deans, and office heads.  It’s something I don’t really want to do but I have no choice about it.  I put this responsibility upon my shoulders and I will not shirk from it.  Ever since I came into this office, I have taken it upon myself to do the annual evaluations, even though this wasn’t assigned to me by my boss.  Because of this work, I get to see what everyone in the school has to say about their subordinates as well as their immediate supervisor.  Let me say that it hasn’t been pretty. 

I was talking to a friend earlier and she was telling me about the different kapalpakan here in school.  Can you imagine being enrolled in two different subjects which are on the same time schedules?  When something like this happens, the sensible thing to do would be to drop the other subject, kasi conflict nga di ba?  Pero dito, okay lang.  Even the Registrar approves it.  She’s actually teaching one of the subjects, and if she doesn’t allow it, the students might withdraw, the subject might get dissolved, and she could lose her load altogether.

There was also this teacher who complained about her proctoring schedule.  She was handling major subjects for graduating students.  Normally, graduating students are given their final exams a week ahead of the undergrads.  She had already finished giving her exams to her graduating students and was “looking forward” to checking papers the following week.  She was taken by surprised when she received a proctoring schedule for undergraduate students during the regular exam week.  She complained about it, but the one in charge of scheduling the exams either could not understand her or just refused to understand her situation.  In the end, she had to proctor the undergrad exams assigned to her.  Now she’s as frustrated as I am.

I could go on and on, but I think you get the drift.  There are just too many things that need changing and systems that need to be overhauled.  But it’s not going to be easy because the first thing that needs to be changed here is the way people think.  If they stick to their culture of mediocrity and believe that pwede na ang “pwede na,” then no amount of evaluation or planning will change things here.  I think the situation is hopeless, that’s why I’m really hoping that I can get out of here before I start accepting that being average is great.

I woke up late again today.  Why?  Because I was up at 11 pm, 3am, and again at 5am to feed Evie.  On the first two times she woke up I was able to put her back to sleep again.  But at 5am, she was wide awake and was in a “play with me” mood.  I tried swaying her back to sleep but it didn’t work.  She would close her eyes for a few minutes and then she would struggle to be in an upright position.  She doesn’t like be carried with her body almost parallel to the floor.  You have to hold her with her upper body at an angle.  A very difficult position, I tell you!

To make matters worse, Enzo heard her crying and he woke up, too!  He told me to let Evie lie down beside him.  And so the three of us played and cuddled at 5 in the morning while their daddy was fast asleep!  We did this for about 30 mins.  Evie was playing with Enzo’s blanket, while Enzo was asking me why I didn’t put a clip on Evie’s hair (it was standing all over since she just woke up).  It was a bonding moment for me and my kids and I’m happy to have that chance to spend quality time with them.  But!  It was 5am and I was still freaking sleeeeepy! 

I knew I had to put Enzo back to sleep again, but I couldn’t do it with Evie wide awake.  I had no choice but to wake up Evie’s yaya.  Thank God for yayas!  And so I was able to get another hour and a half of sleep.  I only woke up when my hubby’s phone beeped (It was mom-in-law greeting her beloved son good morning! She does that everyday, by the way!).  Of course, I was late for work. Again.

Time flies so fast!  My baby girl is now 5 months old.  The past five months have been a blur for me.  My child is growing before my very eyes and I was too busy earning a living to really witness every moment of her growth.  😦  I sometimes feel guilty that I haven’t given enough of my time to Evie.  But I try my best.  With another kid also demanding my attention, it’s not easy. 

My time with Evie is usually in the morning when Enzo is still asleep and I can play with her and cuddle her without someone else tugging my arm or doing whatever antics to get my attention. 

I have noticed that Evie has developed (physically) faster than Enzo.  When she was only about a month old, she could already lift her head when she was placed on her stomach.  At 3 months, she would smile and coo and react to people around her.  At 4 months, she would hold her bottle and, when placed on her stomach, would already turn on her back and vice versa.  Now that she’s 5, she already struggles to sit up on her own.  When we put her in the stroller, she doesn’t want to be placed in a reclining position and she insists on sitting upright so we have to prop her with pillows.  She is such a darling, this little girl of mine.  I just love her soooo much. 

I am so scared that the stress I went through towards the end of my pregnancy would have an effect on her, so I just want to shower her with all the love I could possibly muster.  Before we had her, Dean and I were talking about our fears that we might not be able to love her as much as we love Enzo.  I personally felt that I had given all my love to Enzo and I didn’t know if there was enough to give to another child.  But when we finally had Evie, the love just multiplied – it wasn’t halved at all.  Now, I can say it, It really is possible to love your children equally.

*Crossposted in my Friendster blog*

I’ve taken Bo Sanchez’s advice to heart – I’m trying to get into the buy and sell business.  I’m not really a business-minded person.  In the past, there were a lot of opportunities for me to get into some sort of business.  Relatives from Manila would send Divisoria goods for me to sell here in the province.  I managed to sell some, but I would also buy a lot of the goods so I ended up spending all of my profit.  I have always been more of a consumer rather than an entrepreneur.  This time, though, our money situation has left me with no choice.  The easiest way to augment my salary is to sell something, and so I did!

I have a friend who grows oyster mushrooms (they really taste good!) and since hers is a backyard industry, she has no established distribution channel yet.  So I proposed to her that I would help distribute her mushrooms to my friends within Bacolod and in Iloilo since Hubby goes there every other week.

Last week I started selling to my friends and, so far, my goods have been sold out and customers are asking for more.  I tell you, the mushrooms are really good!  We can’t get enough of it ourselves.  It’s great for soups and stir fry dishes.  I have also asked for orders from friends and relatives in Iloilo since Dean will be going there next week.  Not bad for someone who claims to have no business sense, no? 🙂

Aside from the mushrooms, I am also selling shirts, bags, and bracelets, which I get from my friends who are also into business.  Last night, my sister told me that our aunt who is in Jakarta wants to send some batik stuff to sell here.  For me, that was an affirmation that I am in the right direction – this is how the Lord wants to bless me.  I just hope that things will work out fine. 

Before, I didn’t want to sell things because I thought it was demeaning.  But now I realize that there is dignity in selling.  After all, I’m selling good quality products that I myself use and what I’m doing is honest work.  I’ve realized now that I actually enjoy selling.  🙂  I never knew this entrepreneurial side of me before.  I think I quite like it. So, meet Tintin, the budding entrepreneur. 🙂