Archive for the ‘ family ’ Category

An advance birthday gift!

I just arrived at home from work (yes, I worked on a holiday – All Saint’s day!) and was greeted by my sister, Maricar who arrived from Batangas this evening. She was already half-asleep and told me not to get cookies from our kitchen which she bought from Bizu .  Just hearing the word Bizu, in a few seconds, my face transformed from excitement to disappointment  for she told me she bought the  cookies for a friend.  She knows I have been craving for some cookies in Bizu.Even as sleepy as she was, she laughed at the transformation of my face! Hahaha!  Oh well, I can’t describe how that was.  LOL.

Cookies she bought for a friend. Hmm, I wonder to whom.

Until finally, I learned she was only kidding me and she told me I have a pack of 8 different flavors of  macaron de Paris!!!  She laughed again as my eyes sparkled of her news and told me it’s her birthday present.  I immediately checked her present and was ecstatic seeing these beauties in our refrifgerator:

Aren’t they beautiful?  I was too excited to munch them!  LOL.  Make a guess which I took first.

After about a minute or two, this is what was left. Hahaha! Talking about being ravenous…of sweets or of macaron de Paris to be specific. LOL.  I started with my favorite – Pistachio flavor, followed by Blueberry and Vanilla.  As of this writing, I only have three left as I already finished the mango and raspberry. Darn, I can’t help it!

The truth is even if I was disappointed as the quality deteriorated, I could still finish all 8 flavors in one sitting.  That’s how addicted I am with this French cookies.  I fell in love with them 5 years ago.  It started with reading too much about these cookies from the blog of  “The Girl Who Ate Everything” when she was still studying in Paris.   Then it progressed to visualizing how they taste like until I got my first bite from Bizu’s branch in SM Mall of Asia before it closed. That didn’t stop me there. When I learned there was a class offered by Chef Vicki Villanueva at Heny Sison Culinary School, I immediately signed up and took it. Unfortunately, I didn’t practice what I learned for I didn’t even try to bake a single cookie for I find them complex to make.

I hope one day I will have the courage and confidence to bake them.  I wish too that I will have the chance to go to Paris to taste the authentic ones from Laduree, Fauchon or Pierre Herme!

***Gracias, Maricar for the sweet treat!!!  😀

 

Nice to know facts from Wikipedia:

macaron is a sweet confectionery. Its name is derived from an Italian word “maccarone” or “maccherone”. This word is itself derived from ammaccare, meaning crush or beat, used here in reference to the almond paste which is the principal ingredient.[1] It is meringue-based: made from a mixture of egg whites, almond flour, and both granulated and confectionery sugar.

The confectionery is characterized by its smooth, domed top, ruffled circumference (referred to as the “foot”), flat base, mildly moist and easily melted into mouths.[2] Connoisseurs prize a delicate, egg shell-like crust that yields to a moist and airy interior. The macaron is commonly filled with a buttercream or jam filling sandwiched between two macaron cookies.

Macarons can be found in a wide variety of flavors that range from the traditional (raspberry, chocolate) to the new (truffle, green matcha tea).[3] Since the English word macaroon can also refer to the Coconut macaroon, many have adopted the French spelling of macaron to distinguish the two items in the English language. However, this has caused confusion over the correct spelling of the cookie. Some recipes exclude the use of macaroon to refer to this French confection while others think that they are synonyms.[4]

 

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A great post by my cousin!

I was at work when my sister, Mau sent me a message telling me about a note in an answer/defense to the accusations of “buying votes and being rich” that my cousin, Katrina posted in Facebook.  My uncle is running for re-election for Barangay Chairman and his opponent’s daughters who are actually 2nd degree cousins of ours are making accusations of our uncle or rather family.

I was not able to read it at that time as I was still busy and already wanted to go home for it was beyond my shift hours.   So, when I got home , I immediately logged in to Facebook. It was admiration and pride that I felt while reading it of cousin,  a truly educated person

Here’s the note that was posted on his brother’s account for she’s not a friend in Facebook of  the people she wanted to talk about and be heard:

The other side

by John Francis Eli Padua on Wednesday, October 20, 2010 at 1:58pm

People may think of me as a reserved person, one who does not care. But, I DO. I just don’t do a lot of talking. I weigh things first. I do a lot of thinking rather than blabbering tons of balderdash words. Well, let me tell you my story.

I. Freewill

Like my father, I abhor politics. It is such a dirty stuff. I am a private person. And I love to keep privacy to myself. That is why I never added Quinoy before here in fb to protect that privacy. However, I cannot forever set my self in silence. After reading so many babbling, I cannot contain the reasons unceasingly bugging my head. Mahirap manahimik if you know other people enjoy trampling your name.

I am blessed with a mind that can think rationally. And for me, I have the obligation to enlighten others with the perspective I am blessed with. Leaving these thoughts to myself, I think, is selfishness. And so I decided to stand and speak. Let my voice be heard.

I respect older people. They have more wisdom than I have. They have experienced more things than I did. But somehow, sometimes, a new perspective from the younger generation is a good source of a new direction, I guess.

I am a youth. And I hope, I would be able to speak in behalf of them.

This obviously is a campaign material. I do not deny this fact. But, no one had asked me to do this. Let me put an emphasis that I did this on my own will.

But, let me say that I would try my very best not to trashtalk the other party. I do not like that kind of game. It’s just not my cup of tea. Besides, I have confidence in my uncle’s ability, so bakit ko kakailanganing manira ng ibang tao? The strengths of my uncle are enough to persuade voters. I need not to strike the other candidate’s weaknesses. And I would not like to copy their tactics, I might be called a copycat. I’m afraid. *shivers. I am educated. And I would not yield to ways that would degrade my personality. Such routines of lying to get the sympathy of people.

II. Nobility

I am proud to say that we came from the lineage of a noble man, Eliseo C. Ronquillo, Sr. I believe that everybody will agree. I hear so many stories about my grandfather and I am so proud of him. My grandfather’s visions are definitely outstanding. He planned the streets of barangay Quirino. People back then ridiculed him because the roads were too wide. But he said to them as according to what I heard from Lola , “Hindi naman para sa atin ang mga kalasadang ito kundi para sa mga anak ng ating mga anak.” See. He visioned the future. Who benefit from these roads today? Hindi ba tayo din? It is of no secret too that Lolo donated land for a high school, for a Catholic church and others. See again. Because of the land, many were inspired, many got education, many had a new way of seeing life and many became victorious in life. Who would have thought of donating a land for the benefit of many?

Even before my grandmother and my mom have told me that Lolo shared 1/3 of the purchase price of the lot for barangay Quirino, I already knew it. There is a bookshelf in our house in Quirino and because of my fondness of books, I have found a piece of yellow paper wherein a simple history of the barangay is written. I have told my mom about it when she told me the story and she said that that piece of paper is written by my grandfather himself. I am so proud that I had a grip of a great man’s handwriting. Unfortunately, the books seemed to be thrown already. However, I hope, the story will never die. And that the nobility of my Lolo will never be forgotten by the people whom he loved and will be told to the coming generation. My Lolo is generous. And I can hear many attestations to that. Hindi lang galing sa mga kamag-anak, pati na rin sa mga hindi kamag-anak. If my Lolo would just like na sarilinin ang kayamanan, why would he worked so hard when he would just freely give a part of what he had worked for? Isn’t it a proof of genuine care for others? He never hoarded too much for himself and his family. Whenever I’m slacking, mom always tell na nung sila ang nag-aaral ay kailangan nilang magpitas ng kalamansi at iyon ang ibyabyahe sa bus at ang napagbentahan ay yun ang allowance nila. Kung they are selfish, eh di sana they kept everything for themselves. They never stepped on anyone to gain the lands they own now. They never stole it from anyone. Why am I retelling this story? Because I want to show what the background of the person whowould like to serve people is. My uncle was bred in a family that knows how to share. And I believe that our task, bilang tagapag-mana ng dugo ng aking Lolo, is to preserve the NOBILITY he has passed on us. And he, uncle, has a part on the task. Not to boast what we have,  but to be as living reminders that whatever we have, we have the task to share. Because in sharing and blessing others, they will be in thanksgiving to the Lord who has entrusted us these things. And that is not glorifying our name, rather, glorifying God.

III. Defense

I have read a lot of comments about the fiesta. People saying fiestas and parties are not the measure of success. Indeed, they are not. But can you agree with me that they are somehow a reflection of hope and a drop of booster for the people? To those criticizing the money splurged during the fiesta instead of just spending it on a more productive one, do not worry. Before you all emerged, I was the first one to criticize that spending. But I realized that people need to broaden their horizons. How can a community progress if they are locked up in one idea? Kung may masayang fiesta, wouldn’t people think na kahit madaming problema,there still is a reason to celebrate the wonder of life? That there still is hope? Na let us strive to be able to have a bountiful harvest and aim to have excess to put one happy fiesta again next year. Let us work hard for this community to progress. Fiesta, an icebreaker amidst the heat of politics. It was the time for the people to enjoy. That is why spa and other recreational activities were invented. To have a break. Take a sip of wonderful life. Then, if you’re ready to go, stand and work hard again. Bakit, was the page in Quinoy got filled with thanksgiving to those people who contributed much? Hindi naman ah. Natadtad ba ng negative comments ang Quinoy, a fan page which is supposed to be unbiased, when the pictures did not give much of a justice to those who worked hard for it? Gaya nga ng kasabihan, “Ikaw ang nagsaing, iba ang kumain.” Did you hear anything from my uncle or my mom sa Quinoy? No. Because the happiness of the people they intended to share the blessings with is more than enough to pay off the hardwork and the money spent. Gaya nga ng point ko kanina pa, kung ang iisipin lang nila ay ang mga sarili nila, they should have spent the amount on theirselves di ba?

They say walang nagawa si tito sa kanyang termino. Then you must have covered your eyes for you not to see the things he is working at. He got so many things for the barangay. The multicab, the dumptruck, everything that is in the barangay hall and the projects for the people. People must be eyeing for the unfinished covered court. He is working on that. Hindi nyo ba naappreciate that sa dinami-dami ng barangay sa Aurora, nabibiyayaan ng napakaraming projects ang barangay natin? Progress is not a one-shot process.

People are blabbering about this mahirap vs. mayaman thing. This is hilarious. I find it funny and annoying at the same time. When I looked backed at the past, who stepped on who? Sino ang nanlait kanino? Sino ang nangikil kanino?

They call us mayabang. Pinangalandakan ba ng mommy ko na wala kaming utang? Marami kami nun. Teka lang, I am getting confused. Is it my mom running or my uncle? Hahaha. ‘Coz they seem to be striking the wrong person.

I am proud of my uncle. Who can step out and say that he used his position to his advantage? Ninakawan ba nya ang kaban ng bayan? May nakita ba kayong mga acquisitions nya simula nung nanungkulan sya? Gumanda o lumaki ba bahay nila? Nagkaroon ba sya ng magandang sasakyan? The answer is no. Instead, ang barangay ang dumami ang acquisitions and improvements. And hindi namin pinagdadamot ang tulong namin sa ibang tao. Even private na sasakyan at gamit namin ay nagagamit sa paglilingkod sa mga ka-barangay.

IV. Hardwork

Whatever God has blessed us with now, it is all a product of hardwork. Lahat makakapagpatunay na ito ay pinagpawisan at pinaghirapan. Again, have we stepped on anyone? Have we resolved to stealing? No.

And to those saying na mayabang at mapagmataas kami. I am brave to say that we are otherwise. We experienced hardships as much as you are or even more. So why should we look down kung sino kami before? My mom is a farmer. Blessed she is that she can tilt her own land but she handed soil. She got dirty. We did. Have you tried to eat na bagoong at sibuyas lang ang ulam  sa loob ng isang linggo? We did. Have you experienced to do all the chores since you were grade 2? We did. Have you tried to wake very early in the morning to harvest coffee or calamansi everyday? My mom and uncle did. Hindi kami nanlalait ng mahihirap because we have experienced what they are going through. And I believe na pahiram lang ang lahat kaya we do not have the right to boast. During Christmas and New Year, we share the same table sa mga nagtratrabaho sa bukid namin. During birthdays, lagi silang imbitado. For fools and jealous people, sharing is boasting. But for wise, sharing is an act of generosity and kindness.

V. For The Youth

I myself has a vision. Kapag nakikita ko yung mga maliliit na bata na anak ng mga nagtratrabaho sa bukid namin, I always hope that they will not end up doing this kind of thing forever in their lives. Being a farmer is a noble thing, we are farmers. But what I’m trying to say is for them to open their eyes to other things. I always hope that their parents through us would have a new way of looking at life. That they will get inspired at hindi inggit to the point of they will say things against us even though hindi naman totoo. Tapos they will work hard to be able to send their children to schools. And these children who have broaden their horizons will be the pioneers who will revolutionize everything. With rational, ambitious and diligent people, a progressive community is on its way.

I never thought of getting super rich. What I always wanted is to have a peaceful life. And a peaceful life includes a peaceful and progressive community. I always think to myself kung maimumulat lang nila ang mga mata nila sa ibang bagay na pwede nilang makamit kaysa sa i-contain at limitahan ang mga sarili nila. I am thankful enough that I have parents who are not self-contained, who have visions and who are hardworking.

I believe every individual is packed with potentials and capabilities. As youth, we truly are the hope. If only an effective catalyst can unlock these potentials within us.

Here is a secret that I’ve been keeping in my head. You know why instead of the youth showing signs of hope, they seem to be walking the other way? I guess because they have no good examples. Leaders corrupt, leaders steal, leaders lie, leaders think only of themselves. What do you expect the product would be? That is why the change must start now. And that is why we need a responsible leader. A good leader who can lift our visions to a higher perspective. A firm leader who will support us and who will guide by setting as a good example of unselfish leadership. Less talk, more actions.

Who needs a leader who believes in hearsays and reacts uneducatedly? Who needs a leader who says one thing then contradict what just have been said? Who needs a leader who says one thing then acts the other way? None.

What we need is a leader who inspires. We, the youth, are so fed up with the negativity of life. We need someone who can uplift our morale and give us hope. We need someone who has so much that he can share rather than someone who claims to have nothing then steal.

Youth, time for you to make your stand.

WE NEED NOT A LEADER WHO WILL DO EVERYTHING FOR US. IF THAT IS WHAT WE ARE ASKING FOR, WE ARE ASKING TO BE TAUGHT HOW TO BE LAZY. WHAT WE NEED IS ONE WHO WILL INSPIRE AND CAUSE US TO MOVE.

VI. Final Stand

Para sa akin, ang isa sa mga main reasons kung bakit ninanais ng aking tito na mahalala bilang punong barangay ay upang ipagpatuloy ang pangagalaga sa mga taong unang minahal ng kanyang ama. Hindi upang pangalagaan ang kanilang pangalan. Hindi upang magpasikat. Hindi upang makilala. Hindi upang magkaroon ng political dynasty. (Besides, sino ba ang may political dynasty?) Kundi upang ipagpatuloy ang nasimulan ng aking Lolo. Upang manguna sa pag-angat ng kalidad ng buhay. Upang makapag-bigay inspirasyon. And that I guess is a mark of a good leader. A leader do not all the things by himself, he shows directions.

I pray that whatever the outcome of the election is, it will be for the benefit of the people. People always complain about the government officials in the national level. Hindi ba nila naisip na nag-umpisa ang lahat sa barangay level. So, if you have not chosen good barangay officials, what then is your right para magreklamo? You had the privilege of choosing a right leader for your benefit, but you failed to use it.

I know that when this is posted in Quinoy, I’ll get lots of trashtalking. But criticisms are good, they make me a better person. Pero kung mapadpad man ito dun, at least, I know I have laid my stand educatedly. I have stated my propositions without making up stories. I would like to say na hindi ako naghahanap ng kakampi. But, with what I did here is just to express the other side. (Because people just hear one side most of the times.) As my professor said na hayaan mo na tirahin ka ng tirahin because at the end of the day, a lot of comforters will be with you. And as by not talking too much, he added, you dignify yourself and prove that you are educated. At least now, I’m relieved na nailabas ko na ang na sa loob ko. And with a verse I’ll end this note.

A false witness will not go unpunished, and he who pours out lies will not go free. Proverbs 19:5 

NOTE: This article was posted under John Francis Eli’s (Katrina’s brother) account in Facebook for Katrina is not connected with the Quinoy account where all the blabbering were posted.

Happy Birthday, Apu!

Today is my paternal grandmother’s (apu) 79th birthday.  There was  a small celebration of food that was bought by  her grandchildren.

My grandmother, Apung Biling is a great cook.  As a kid,  I would watch her cook everyday.  She was my mentor for my mother is not into cooking.   Being the eldest in the family, I was tasked to prepare meals daily.  Thus, at an early age of 9,  I asked my grandmother to teach me how to cook “Torta” (ground pork with potatoes, carrots and green peas sauteed in oil, garlic, onions, tomatoes and achuete extract) from scratch.  The result was a delicious dish that I was proud of at that age.

From then on, I would always sit next to her while she concocts different dishes particularly during fiestas. Her specialties are Kare-Kare, Caldereta, Tamales and Kalamay to name a few.  I inherited this for I know without her techniques and teachings, I wouldn’t able to cook delicious meals these days.

Aside from cooking, I know my sisters and I got the “kakikayan” from her.  I was able to convince myself this was true when we had our first and last trip with my grandmother to Davao two years ago.

While traveling, she was wearing heels, while I was with flip-flops even if she was having difficulty walking on them. Hehehe!

Doesn’t she look “kikay” here?  She’s wearing a maxi dress!

She’s brave enough to hold and wrap this snake around her body when all of us including men in our family didn’t try it.

The two of us.  Check the way she stood and held the kikay bag I gave her.
It’s sad that she can no longer walk since she had a stroke last year.   With that, she also lost weight.  Look at her picture now.  She was to attend her brother’s funeral march on this picture and I “prettified” her for I know she’ll enjoy it which she did.
Happy Birthday, Apu!  I know you have few years left in this world but please wait for me to get married and see even one great grandchild from me. Heheh!

Sentro 1771 @ Greenbelt

This actually a continuation of the previous date.  After watching the movie, we walked to the Greenbelt Chapel to pay respect and then checked on some boutiques at Greenbelt  while looking for restaurant where we can have our early dinner.

My sister, Kei was looking for a restaurant that serves Filipino food while I am not in the mood to eat a heavy dinner as I was still full with the lunch I had.  I was suggesting Bizu as I just wanted to buy French Macarons but then Kei was insistent on looking for a Filipino restaurant.

So when we reached Sentro, she got excited as this is where she was thinking to bring us.

What did we order?

This is my favorite.  Tomato Kesong Puti Salad @ 180 pesos.  The dressing was so delicious and the cheese not so creamy.  The croquette cheese was also very yummy while the tomatoes were sweet.  Overall, I’ll give this dish a perfect 10!

Specialty of the House – Sinigang na Corned Beef.  For sharing is at P595  while the solo is at  P310.  I never thought that corned beef can be cooked this way. Well, the same thought I had that Lechon can’t be cooked in the same soup as this.  Very innovative and delicious.  By the way, the soup is customized the way you wanted its sourness.

Dinengdeng (Vegetable Potpourri) on the right @ P220 and Crispy Boneless Trotter at P550 on the left.  The dinengdeng is not that good.  The ones at Ilocos restaurants are still the best.  The crispy  pata is very tasty and the sauce is just right for the dish.  If I am not mistaken, they used a special vinegar for this.

Enjoying the food.

After the meal.  Very full!  We didn’t have desserts as we were all thinking of having Lavazza coffee at my sister’s place.

I will definitely go back to Sentro 1771 for the salad and to check their other dishes.

Sentro 1771 is located at Level 2, Greenbelt 3, Ayala Center, Makati City.

http://www.chateaugroup.com/

A Monday date with my family @ Greenbelt

Yesterday, I got another date.  This time it was with my father, mother, my two sisters – Kei and Manel and Manel’s friend, Tin (who is considered part of the family as she’s always with us on any of our family events…hehe).

We watched Expendables at Greenbelt 3, Cinema 5 at past 2 pm.   Prior to that,  we had a heavy lunch at my sister’s place which is just a few minute walk from the mall.

Kei bought us something to munch at the movie house even if we were still full .  There were not much choices near the cinema so we settled @ Muscle Beach where popcorns and lemonades are sold.  She bought popcorns and lemonades of course.  I got the Lime flavored Lemonade (isn’t that redundant? lol).  It was too sour for me.   Popcorn doesn’t go well with lemonades as I expected.  It will forever be popcorn and Coke for me.  😉

My parents while waiting for our orders.

We all liked the movie especially my father as he is fond of action flicks.  I remember when we were younger, my sisters and I used to watch Rambo movies with him and we enjoyed them a lot.

Here’s the official trailer.

And for more information about the movie starring and directed by Sylvester Stallone, you can check Wiki here.

My first Frutti Fro-yo experience

My sister, Azha was in Manila while my parents and I were on our way to Manila for a dinner treat at Spiral in Sofitel which deserves another post last week.  She sent me messages that we  have to meet with her  first before we head to the dinner for we need to try this fro-yo which she told me our parents would surely love.

True enough, they loved it!  Our family is addicted to frozen yogurt (fro-yo).  We all had our first taste of this “healthy ice cream” with our very own, Cold Spoon Frozen Yoghurt located at Sunset-Friendship road in Angeles City. Frutti Fro-yo is different however!  WHY? Let the pictures speak for themselves.

Upon entering the place, you get to be greeted by a signage giving you  instructions.  Frutti Fro-yo has 8 different flavors – Taro, Banana, Apple, Peach, Chocolate, Vanilla, Blueberry and Original.

Yes, everyone was excited in choosing the flavors, toppings and syrup.

Look at my father’s face!  Just like a kid who can’t wait to taste his customized fro-yo.  LOL.

I was the last to choose.  My sister suggested I try the Taro flavor and I did.  I also chose the Vanilla and Original flavor.  I don’t want flavors to be mixing so I was careful in putting them on my cup.

My customized Frutti Fro-yo!  I loved the Taro flavor.  I wished it was all that I put in my cup.  The original flavor was sour as compared to Cold Spoon’s and White Hat’s.  The vanilla flavor wasn’t distinct, so I know now what flavor to choose the next time I visit this place.  The toppings were just right.  I love them!  The blueberries, strawberries and mangoes were made of syrup (not the store-bought ones in can).  I added mixed nuts which neutralized everything.  NOW, I am craving!

Did we enjoy it?  Well, just look at the picture below.  Hehehe!

Thanks, Art for the treat.  He spent about 900 pesos for the five cups.  Not cheap though but worth a try!

Btw, did you know that this dessert is spelled with 3 variants?  Often it’s spelled with yogurt, but it can also be yoghurt and yoghourt.   =)

Today…

Inasmuch as I want to have fresh posts (that is, one that happened during the day) in my blog, due to time constraints and my full-time job, I can’t .

Today is an exemption.  Yay!  So without too much babbling, here’s a story of today.

My mother, my sister (Azha) and her friend visited my other sister, Kei in Makati whom we haven’t seen for more than a month as she was on a holiday vacation to visit her parents-in-law in Spain.  She hadn’t had time yet to visit us in Pampanga as his husband is still busy with work, so we took the chance to meet her while they are in Manila.

We were glad to be welcomed with a delicious lunch that  she cooked.  She was proud of it as she told us she learned the recipe of the Spanish Paella from her mother-in-law.

Kei while preparing the dishes. She doesn’t want to have a picture taken of her so I took this one instead.  She kept on saying she gained weight particularly now that she ate a lot from her last vacation but the truth is she is still as slim as the time she left for the trip.

Her version of Spanish Paella.  It was very tasty but we all made the same comment that the rice wasn’t cooked well.  She told us though that in Spain it is cooked that way.  We never contested that and just enjoyed the dish and loved it!

It’s funny that she wanted us to enjoy the meal she’s serving us,  that’s why while enjoying her Paella, she grilled steak and served it to us with Pimientos and french fries. What a heavy lunch we had!  I regret that I am really having difficulty resisting food now.  So, help me!  LOL


It’s cool that the foods she cooked are far better than the ones we normally have in other restaurants.  Good cooking really runs in our blood. Hehe!   Orange juice and Coffee was served after.  We had Turrones for dessert.

Thanks, Kei for the lunch.  The food and the “chikas” we had compensated my canceled appointment. 😉