Our photos when we went to Puerto Galera for our family reunion -  April 17-18, 2010.  Hubby and Migs did not come with us.  They stayed home to feed Maxine, the family cat.  <Manang, the housekeeper, did not come back on Thursday as she promised.  In fact, she's not coming back anymore.  So guess who's replacing her... me! >
Car ride to Batangas Pier including horrendous traffic --- 2 hours

Waiting time at the pier --- 1 hour

Boat ride from Batangas Pier to Puerto Galera --- 1.5 hour

And that was just the one-way trip going to the family reunion in Mindoro.

But I was so happy I got to meet my parents, aunts, uncles, cousins.  Include the fact that Puerto Galera is a nice, and very very summery place.  The kids enjoyed the beach, hotel stay, interesting people roaming around, food and shopping for t-shirts and summer dresses.

Going back home the next day --- that is tiring.

No housekeeper for a week now.  And I'm the designated cook.  I cook 3 dishes every night so that the kids will just reheat them for breakfast, lunch and dinner the following day.  Gaaad it is so tiring.  But so far, they're loving my pork adobo, chicken adobo with lemongrass and chicken stew.  I also had the usual sinigang and nilaga.  As for the other dishes -- well, they're all experimental... and not all experiments turn out to be a success.

By the way, thanks to the internet for the recipes, particularly this site: http://www.pinoycook.net .

Manang, I miss you.  I hope you come back tomorrow as you promised.  Not like the other manang who just left us, along with her loans from the neighbors.  Aargh.

I woke up today with mixed feelings.  Shall I get up now because I am actually raring to go to the office after a four-day holiday.  Or stay in bed because I have been used to waking up and getting up late.  Spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.  Nevertheless, I used the power of my mind over matter and practically dragged my body to take a shower.

It has been a very relaxing four day-break for me.  Actually, my other household help, who's been with us for barely three months, left us without warning.  Of course, it caused me a bit of stressful moments but I didn't want to ruin my vacation so I didn't dwell much on it.  Stress leads to more wrinkles.

Four days of vacation led me to do these:

  • Watch DVDs, and I realized that a movie with big named stars in it doesn't mean that the movie is good.  *Old Dogs* and *From Paris with Love* both star John Travolta.  Old Dogs is comedy and John's co-starring here with Robin Williams.  From Paris with Love is an action film.  Verdict:  They're both corny!  Incidentally, I watched these 2 movies one after the other, and Travolta's characters in both movies is named "Charlie."  Can't american movie writers be creative enough???
  • Read and finish the book "The Lost Symbol" by Dan Brown.  I liked this much better than "The Da Vinci Code", just because it doesn't drastically change my religious beliefs.  Actually after reading 'da vinci code' a few years ago, I resolved not to read any of his books again.  But then I was able to watch the movie adaptation of his book "Angels and Demons" and it kinda changed my way of thinking towards him.  So after finishing "The Lost Symbol", i have no regrets.
  • Yesterday, I bought swimsuits for my 3 daughters.  I didn't realize they have grown so big that the Speedos I bought them years ago don't fit them anymore.  And yes, this left me with a big hole in my pocket. 
  • Hmm, what else did I do?... aha!  eat... sleep... eat... sleep...

It's the Holy Week.  For most people, it means a long holiday, time to hit the road and go out of town for a relaxing vacation.  But for me, I will just stay home with my family.  Rest.  Read a book.  Do some soul searching.  It would be nice to do so while listening to this music.

My youngest daughter Andy, who's 9 years old, is such a huge fan of Taylor Swift.  I am so glad because from what I have been reading on her, this girl is a good role model for kids.  And I'm also glad because Andy used to be a tomboy telling me before that she's "half-boy, half-girl", but now, she's looking up to Taylor.  Andy is also into Lady Gaga, who I find uhm.. rather weird.  But that's ok, it just may be a phase.  Lately, Andy is watching the musical series "Glee" over and over again.  Singing along with it.  And with the correct lyrics. 

I'm playing Taylor Swift's White Horse now.  Nice message.

White Horse Lyrics

Say you're sorry
That face of an angel comes out
Just when you need it to
As I pace back and forth all this time
I honestly believed in you
Holdin' on,
The days drag on
Stupid girl
I should've known, I should've known

That I'm not a princess
This ain't a fairytale
I'm not the one you'll sweep off her feet
Lead her up the stairwell
This ain't Hollywood,
This is a small town
I was a dreamer before you went and let me down
Now its too late for you and your White Horse,
To come around.

Maybe I was naïve,
Got lost in your eyes
I never really had a chance.
My mistake I didnt know to be in love
you had to fight to have the upper hand.
I had so many dreams about you and me
Happy endings;
Now I know

I'm not a princess
This ain't a fairytale
I'm not the one you'll sweep off her feet
Lead her up the stairwell
This ain't Hollywood,
This is a small town
I was a dreamer before you went and let me down.
Now its too late for you and your White Horse,
To come around.

And there you are on your knees
Begging for forgiveness,
Begging for me
Just like I always wanted,
But I'm so sorry

Cause Im not your princess
This aint a fairytale
Im gonna find someone, Some day
Who might actually treat me well.
This is a big world,
That was a small town
There in my rearview mirror,
Disappearing now.
And it's too late for you and your White Horse,
Now its too late for you and your White Horse
To catch me now.

Oh whoa whoa whoa-oh
Try and catch me now
It's too late
To catch me now.
It's supposed to be the more trusted one of our cars.  It's supposed to be healthier, for chrissakes, it's just 3 years old!  But just 2 weeks ago, while driving along the highway, it suddenly won't accelerate fast enough.  I was in a cruising speed of 100kph and in a matter of seconds, the speedometer was slowly going down to 60... then 40.  Good thing I was still able to reach home.

My husband took it to Toyota repair shop and 10 days passed and they still didn't know what's wrong with it.  Then a while ago Toyota called my husband and told him they would have to change the catalytic converter -- to the tune of 60,000 pesos!

I don't get it.  Catalytic converters are just below 20thousand pesos, what's so special with their cat converters anyway?  I smell somehing fishy here.  We talked to an officemate whose brother is from Toyota so I hope he can help us with this.  Otherwise, we just might ask for a second opinion, from people not from Toyota.

If worse comes to worst, my family vacation budget is on the line.


Click to enlarge
It's summer!  The kids are off in school now.  I don't have to worry about going home early to check on their homeworks.  No more late night reviewing.  Now I can watch tv or read a book or solve sudokus 'til the wee hours.  But then... it is kind of boring.

How I wish I could take a vacation SOMEWHERE.
Birthday Doughnuts
I took the afternoon off yesterday to personally pick up my son Migs from school.  Why? Because it's his birthday!  I was planning to take him to the mall, buy him something, maybe a shirt... but he requested that we just go to Paseo de Sta. Rosa, which was just a few blocks away and eat at Jollibee. 

While we were eating I noticed that he badly needs a haircut and I told him we'd go to the barbershop afterwards.  He didn't want to.

"My hair is fine.  Tita said it looks good on me.  My classmates also think my hair is nice.... even the girls..."

"But what about your teachers?"

"Well... Miss Jude said my hair looks good on me... but she said that according to the student handbook... it's not."

So we made a compromise to keep his hair this way for until a week.  Next weekend, I'll bring him to the barbershop.

Yes, my favorite (and only) son is slowly having decisions of his own.  Coz I didn't realize, he's now eleven.

Happy birthday sweetie.  Momma loves you.

He had the usual birthday ice cream... but asked for doughnuts instead of cake.  Peculiar.
Sometimes I just get a craving for Mcdonald's.  Even in the middle of the night.  So there was one time when my daughter Alexa and I were really hungry and we wanted to have some burgers delivered at home.  Well we live in Laguna (a province.  Far from the main city.) but we have McDonald's right at the entrance of our subdivision.  We checked online whether they would accept online orders and deliver.  Lo and behold - they get online orders and do deliveries in Laguna, but only to our place!  Hooray for that!  I love Laguna Bel-Air.
Click to enlarge pic.