29 May 2009


We love spicy food that's why we're overjoyed by our recent fast food discovery: Peri-Peri at the SM Annex North Edsa. Their Peri Hot roasted chicken (there is a mild version) is so good! Just make sure you order a large drink. Their special ingredient? Peri-Peri -- African bird's eye chili of the extremely spicy variety. Meals (chicken, rice plus your choice of side dish) range from P120-200.


Last Sunday, we had lunch at Antonio's Grill along Aguinaldo Hi-Way, Tagaytay. We took our officemate's tip and ordered the Pinakbet Rice. It was a winner! One serving worth Php550 is good for 2-3 people. Even the tables near us were raving at the sight of it -- "Parang masarap!" and "Sana nauna silang umorder para nakita natin yun!" The lechon kawali was very tender, the bagoong was not too maalat (salty), the vegetables were cooked just right.

Date idea: regular weekend lunches in Tagaytay just to try everything in Antonio's Grill's menu! The Grill is the more casual, more affordable resto of Chef Tonyboy Escalante. Five years ago, we tried his "by reservation only" Antonio's in Brgy. Neogan, Tagaytay -- pricey but worth it!


Coffee is not our cup of tea.

During our recent Starbucks nightcap, over my green tea and his iced tea, we discussed how 2009 is turning out to be a milestone year -- we're finally moving to our new home (after a 3-year wait), my family's moving to another country (so excited for them), my sister and I are finally seeing Disneyland next week (it's been on our dream list for so long), J and I are planning to fly beyond South East Asia within the year (I'm keeping my fingers crossed!). The year's turning out to be really eventful. And to think it's only May!

I wonder what else is in store for us? I can't wait for life's beautiful surprises!

Photo: Mine


Yes, we were part of a "group date" -- last week's office outing to wakeboarding country Lago de Oro, Calatagan, Batangas.

a boat by the mangrove
Photo: J's

I'm J's favorite model/subject (blush! blush!).
That's him taking my picture. A scene captured by Rolly.

Me by the South China Sea
Photo: Rolly's

Our margherita pizza sunset date.
Photo: J's

I'll try wakeboarding one day soon...
Photo: J's

20 May 2009


We recently spent a four-day weekend in Davao for my college friend's wedding. It was my first time and J's second visit in the city (he has climbed Mt. Apo, the country’s highest mountain).

The following won’t make it to my list of Davao Delights: the weather (too humid that even the locals agree, iba na ang init ngayon); the infamous local fruit durian (not even as a candy, ice cream or shake); the seafood did not wow me (they were OK); the suha (one vendor sold me dry, bland pomelos – I feel cheated).

Delight #1: Couple Time!
We'll always love long weekends, vacations of whatever shape & form. This picture was taken right after L & F's wedding ceremony where we stood as cord sponsors.

**My dress got so many raves!
Another proof that you need not spend much to look stylish!
Nasa nagdadala yan.

Delight #2: A Well-Deserved Break
After a very stressful project (been on it for 5 months!), I knew I needed a break. My now too tired body, my too toxic mind, my very weary soul was yearning for some time away from everything. I needed to live my own press release – Love Life!

**Babu Santa, Samal

Delight #3: Love Nature
Even if I failed to snorkel (was too scared!), I still loved the sights, sounds and smell of the Samal island-hopping. This is the Wishing Island. Guess what I wished for!

Delight #4: Love Friends
My dear friends from UP. Most of us have been together for 15 years!

**Liway, Alwin, Grace, Les & Flo, Moi & Coy, me

Delight #5: Love my French Experience
We had a French cheese & wine party while island hopping in Samal. L & F had more than 20 French guests who flew in for the wedding and brought treats from France – bon appetit!

Delight #6: Love Pinoy Hospitality
The French were so vocal about how much they’re amazed and touched by L’s family’s generosity & hospitality. Iba talaga ang Pinoy!

Delight #7: Love Food Trips
Thumbs Up for Davao's very affordable meals (everything is almost 50% less than Manila's price!). Our faves: Blu Gre cafĂ© (Their cheese rolls and oatmeal dessert are divine!); the Lechon Cebu from the wedding reception (Very tender & flavorful!); Claude’s (Promising! But since we wanted to have something light, we only tried the schublig – yummy! The Red Pomelo juice was unfortunately unavailable); Majid's Kebab (Yummy and very cheap!).
Top of the list: the island-hopping lunch picnic (pancit canton, fried chicken, fresh lumpia, etc.) and the home-cooked Sunday dinner at the Casiano's (adobo, seafood inihaw, etc.) There's nothing like simple lutong-bahay prepared with love.
**Davao Tuna, Chicken Inasal, Balbacua at Banok's

15 May 2009


The future is no laughing matter. And yet very few seem to understand why we are childless by choice.

J and I don't have the heart to gamble on our child's future. Unless we can promise him or her the world he or she deserves, we're not taking chances.

Our child deserves better, see the scary statistics at the end of my entry (warning: it's not for the faint of heart).

We've taken the road less traveled. It's a rough road that's often marked by people's discrimination, insults, suspicions, pushy questions, unsolicited advice, stupid world views, unbelievable pakikialam. But I have come to a point where I no longer ask for understanding. I've accepted that very few people are open-minded & progressive enough to comprehend.

Today, I only wish for respect. But sometimes, even that is too much to ask (sigh). It's another sad fact I've come to learn – only a handful have the humanity to respect another person (or in our case, another couple) for being “different.”

J and I have long accepted that we're unlike most couples. We don't necessarily live by society's standards. Aside from getting married but not wanting a traditional family, we don't fight – we discuss; we don't have issues about toothpaste and toilet seats – a supposed clichĂ© of married life; we love walking over driving; my husband doesn't mind shopping with me; we love kids but don't want our own (the irony: we're both kid-magnets); we actually enjoy being together 24/7 and have no issues about each other's Me Time; we'd rather live an enriching life than a rich life.

Happiness is living the life you want. If you want kids and you have them, great. If you don't want them and don't have them, perfect. Imagine how it is for a couple who wants kids and can't have any – must be depressing. And what about those who have them only to realize they don't like being Mommy & Daddy after all -- disaster!

It helps that J and I are clear about what we want. We actually talked about being childless on our very first date. I brought it up during the supposed “blind” date 9 years ago. We laid down our cards early in the relationship. No games. The result? We're one of the happiest, most loving married couples we know. And our happiness is not a result of not having kids – I hope that's clear. We are happy because we're living the life we want.

We know it's no joke to raise a child, see the Scary Stats:


  • 150 people are added every minute, or about 6.6 million people every month.
  • Overpopulation is clearly the root of most of our environmental problems -- from wildlife habitat loss and water shortages, to congested roads and suburban sprawl.

Global Warming by the Numbers:

  • 15-37%: Amount of plant & animal species that global warming could wipe out by 2050.

Poverty Statistics:

  • 80% of humanity live on less than $10 a day.
  • 25,000 children die each day due to poverty.

Crime Statistics:

  • One Aggravated Assault every 34 seconds
  • One Property Crime every 3 seconds
  • One Violent Crime every 22 seconds
  • One Murder every 34 minutes
  • One Robbery every 1 minute
  • One Rape every 6 minutes

14 May 2009


We're both book lovers. My titles: fashion, chic lit, Oprah's Book Club selections, best sellers, Anthony Bourdain. His titles: Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Ayn Rand, Sun Tzu, history, magic realism, leadership, art, architecture, interiors, the classics, biographies, mountaineering, health, psychology, even reference books. Our common titles: travel, advertising, poetry.

This common passion results in book dates -- sometimes in coffee shops (over cake and tea – we're not coffee drinkers), sometimes in book stores, often in bed. We'd both be silent, engrossed in our current read. But whenever we come across an extremely interesting quip, story, information, we'd excitedly read the line or paragraph to the other. An example of simultaneous Me Time and Couple Time.

Currently, I'm into Elizabeth Gilbert's “Eat, Pray, Love” while he's into Wilfred Funk's “Word Origins.”

Gilbert is readable and funny. Her sharing is so honest, so raw, so real I sometimes find myself thinking “I understand. I have been there. I am there.”

I think people have children for all manner of reasons – sometimes out of a pure desire to nurture and witness life, sometimes out of an absence of choice, sometimes in order to hold on to a partner or create an heir, sometimes without thinking about it in any particular way. Not all the reasons to have children are the same, and not all of them are necessarily unselfish. Not all the reasons not to have children are the same, either, though. Nor are all those reasons necessarily selfish. (From “Eat, Pray Love,” 2006.)

The excerpt is a prelude to my very personal next blog entry.

06 May 2009


J and I have a constant travel companion – a bulol (Ifugao rice god) whom we named, well, Bulol. We try to photograph him in every place we visit - an idea inspired by one of our favorite films, Le fabuleux destin d’ Amelie Poulain (remember the garden gnome who got to travel the world?).

But sometimes, we must admit, we forget to bring him along, hehe (senior moment!).

Bulol's window seat

Bulol at the Batu Caves, Malaysia

Bulol at the Merlion Park, SG

Bulol at the Starfish Island, Honda Bay
Puerto Prinsesa, Palawan

Bulol in Boracay

Bulol inside the Sumaging Caves of Sagada

Bulol by the Sagada Bell

Bulol at The Manor Hotel, Baguio

Bulol at the Burnham Park in Baguio

Bulol at the Bell Tower, Vigan, Ilocos Norte

04 May 2009


My favorite piece: the living room's huge lantern.
When we saw this in a stall near Asian Finds-Galleria, it was love at first sight!

our sofa's throw pillows

Chinese Man candle holder and a few of our chopsticks

one of our photo boxes

our pantry's tassels
(The pantry was designed by J.)

wardrobe tassels

pretty fans

one of our dining chairs
(The dining table & chairs were designed by J.)

Monk Artwork: a steal from one of Bangkok's Night Street Markets!

Thai Dancer from Chatuchak (we got it for less than 100 Baht!)

Some people have plates, we have bowls.
Here are a few of them.

one of our pretty asian-themed plates

In a few months, we're saying goodbye to our first home -- our cozy Asian-themed one-bedroom apartment -- and moving to our very own condo unit! Over the weekend, I couldn't help but feel a little sentimental while taking photos of our lovely pieces (most of which are great bargain finds!).