Monday, January 25, 2016

Socializing the Media

I consider myself an introvert. Back then, it was difficult for me to make friends. Starting a conversation can be quite difficult. When I was a child, I would rather spend my spare time in the library.

Up to now, I can still say that I'm still introvert in a sense that I would rather stay at home rather than go to parties. I've somehow gotten over my difficulty in starting conversations and learned how to approach people but I'm not what you can consider as the life of the party. I'm pretty happy just to stay in the background.

Maybe that's why I found my voice in social media. I've always been better in expressing my thoughts in the written word. That's why when mIRC chats were the in-thing more than a decade ago, I made so many online friends as I can get really chatty (and my 100 wpm typing speed certainly asserted my loquaciousness online). I even started this blog so I have a more permanent avenue to air and record my thoughts (being the forgetful person that I am, it definitely helped me remember things). And when Facebook and Twitter was born, expressing my thoughts in an abbreviated manner became easier for me (thankfully, I still managed not to make text speak a habit).

Relationships also evolved around social media. Case in point, ALDUB.

Maine Mendoza and Alden Richards have their own Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat accounts. Being the fans that we are, we follow them religiously and even have our notifications set to on whenever they post something. Their posts last night set the online world abuzz and probably lead to fans not being to sleep due to a healthy dose of giddiness brought about by the indirect exchange of the two.

At around 7-730PM Sunday night of January 24, Alden posted a video of him Dubsmashing to Boyce Avenue's version of "A Thousand Years". It sent their fans (including myself) in a frenzy as the hashtag used (#whereitallstarted) paid homage to how his pairing with Maine started. Moreover, the song was also used earlier that day during their segment in Eat Bulaga. Just when we thought we've calmed down, a couple of hours later, Maine posted a video of her dubsmashing also to "A Thousand Years" but she made it a point to start off where Alden's version ended. Twitter world was suddenly jolted awake and you could literally hear people screaming their hearts out online. And what added to the excitement was Alden' "liking" Maine's video.


A video posted by Alden Richards (@aldenrichards02) on


A video posted by Maine Mendoza (@mainedcm) on

Screencap of Alden "liking" Maine's dubsmash video

The relationship dynamics have changed since social media came to life. Letting a girl know that you like her was to bring her to school or bring her gifts. Nowadays, a simple "like" even to an innocuous IG post can speak volumes.

I'm still having second thoughts whether such dynamics is actually healthier. It certainly made communication easier and connecting to people you've thought you've lost track of faster. Nothing could replace face-to-face conversation but as of now, seeing things unfold like this makes it so much fun to watch. Definitely looking forward to the next installment to Aldub's twitter/IG-serye.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

My 2015

I initially did not expect much for 2015 as even if it was the year I turned 40, I just wanted to quietly celebrate it and get it over with. Didn't know that life had other plans for me. It was literally a roller coaster but I'm glad I survived to tell my tale of 40.

HEALTH SCARES

1. My Father-in-Law

It started mid-June when my in-laws returned from their US vacation. My Father-in-law (FIL) was not feeling well so my mother-in-law scheduled him for a check-up. He was scheduled for an angiogram and they found out that he needed a bypass ASAP. No wonder he was feeling poorly and it was a miracle that he did not have a heart attack while they were in the US. So on July 1 at 7 in the morning, we waited outside the Operating Room while my FIL had his open heart surgery.

The doctor came out around 6 hours later and informed us that the surgery was a success. There was no touch and go moment and my FIL responded well to the procedure. Breathing a collective sigh of relief, we all then decided to do our own things while we waited for my FIL to wake up. My Mother-in-Law (MIL) went home with my husband while my Sister-in-Law (SIL) and I decided to watch a movie.

In the middle of the movie, our phones started ringing. We were being asked to return to the hospital immediately as my FIL was rushed back to the Operating Room due to excessive bleeding. When we were eventually picked up by my brother-in-law, it was very quiet in the car and nobody was speaking. Getting to the hospital, we immediately jumped out of the car and ran up the second floor where my MIL was waiting. She started crying when she saw us and I ran back downstairs to buy water for her. It was a tense two hours while we waited for the doctor's verdict. When the surgeon eventually came out, he informed us that they were able to trace the source of the bleeding and address it. Our second collective sigh of relief was more pronounced and accompanied with tears.

2. My Sister-in-Law

Around mid-July, my brother announced that his wife is pregnant with their second child. It's a big deal for them as their eldest is already 10 years old and they've been wanting a baby for the longest time.

Come last week of July, we learned that my SIL's pregnancy was ectopic. She had to be operated on immediately. Since I know my brother would not be able to afford the hospitalization bill by himself, I went to the hospital to use my card to pay a certain portion of their bill.  It's a big blow for them but we've accepted that it's really not meant to be and that there are other plans for them.

3. My Dad

On August 2, I was having a quiet Sunday evening when my phone started ringing incessantly. I was in the other room so I didn't hear my phone. My husband brought my phone to me and it was my brother on the line. He said that our dad had a heart attack and was at the ER of Makati Med. I quickly dressed and Leo drove as fast as he can to get me to the hospital.

I initially started crying when I called my stepmother who was with my dad in the ER. The doctors were asking me to make a decision if they are to proceed with the medical procedures that they intend to do. Unfortunately, it would involve a huge amount of money which my dad, nor I, have. Taking a deep breath, I agreed to their proposal and they whisked my dad off for an angiogram and later on, an angioplasty.

The surgeon was very nice in a sense that he spoke with us before, during and after the procedure. He gave us a short Heart 101 lecture and showed us where the infarction happened and how they inserted the stents which propped up the veins. It was a tense evening but my dad pulled through. He was kept in the ICU for a couple of days and was eventually moved to a regular room.

Since as previously mentioned, my dad did not have sufficient cash to pay for his medical bills, I had to shoulder most of it -- through credit. My sister and mom helped out but it's still not much. Who knew that a small piece of metal such as a stent can cost P100,000? And they had to use two on my dad.

DEATHS

I once jokingly said that in 2015, if I was not in the hospital, I was in a funeral home. I think I visited funerals at least five times last year. One of them, was for a dear friend which I posted about here. But if I'm not mistaken, I was in Loyola Memorial Chapels over at Guadalupe 4x, and once in Manila Memorial. It was definitely draining but it is the cycle of life.

JOY 
(edited)

You need bad days in order to appreciate the good ones.

Probably one of the joyful highlights of my 2015 was when I discovered ALDUB. You might probably scoff at that but it literally changed my life. I wrote about them also here.

It is not my habit to watch noontime shows nor to idolize celebrities. But since a dubsmashing girl smiled shyly at a bedimpled young man on live TV, I got hooked. It went to as far as me joining the multitudes of people that filled up the 55,000 seating capacity of the Philippine Arena just to watch them dance and exchange hugs. The joy that I felt then was indescribable and one that I will treasure in my lifetime.

From then on, seeing them filled me with happiness and it translated to whatever it was that I'm doing. I became more sweet towards my hubby and was actually more patient at work. I also went out of my way to go to Alabang Town Center just to see them shoot their movie (well, it was not out of the way as it's just outside my village--but nevertheless, it's still not my character).

Of course, another joyful memory was my 40th birthday.

A few weeks after my dad's operation last August, my mom contacted me and asked if I wanted to go to Vegas on my birthday. I was hesitant at first as I was cash strapped due to my dad's angioplasty but she said she'll take care of it. Next thing I knew, my plane ticket was in my inbox. I was due to leave for LA on November 26 and will arrive on Thanksgiving. The best thing was that I was going to surprise my twin sister who had no idea that I will be joining them in Vegas.

I arrived in LA where my aunt picked me up at the airport. Being the social media savvy person that I am, it was so difficult for me to stay quiet online as I could not give my sister any idea that I was in the US. Unfortunate circumstances however (aka, a death in the family) forced my mom to tell my sister of my whereabouts and I almost flew to the East Coast. However, we still pushed through with Vegas where we had a blast celebrating our 40th birthday.

2015 was definitely a year that I will remember and a great way to mark my 40th year. Here's to 40 years more.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Cerebrally ALDUB


I was a late fan. In a sense that I became a serious fan only after their second meeting (yes, the kidnap episode). I've known of Aldub ever since their inception as I closely follow Maine Mendoza during her Dubsmash days. Back then, I was there just for her and paid her screen partner, Alden Richards, little mind.

But my perception changed when I saw real "kilig" in Alden's expression during their "kidnap" episode. He suddenly became more handsome before my very eyes and he continues to change as the days passes. Here's a youtube clip of what I mean (go to 1:26). That smile is now known as one of his kilig smiles.



Much has been said about their tandem and how far they have come this last four months. I was there during Ang Tamang Panahon at the Philippine Arena and it was one of the most powerful and intense events that I have ever witnessed.

I closely follow their episodes and have bought all the magazines that has featured their tandem. A friend knowing of my fascination with the couple even had a fan sign made out for me (see picture at the top of this post).

Friends are puzzled over my fascination over their love team. I myself am wondering why I'm going gaga over them when I was never like this while growing up. Even when my favorite actors or celebrities are in town, I won't exert the same amount of effort that I'm giving for Alden and Maine. Other than the hardship that we encountered just to get to Bulacan, I also went out of my way to visit them at Alabang Town Center just to watch them film their movie.

Maybe it's because I feel happy whenever I watch them. Maybe because their chemistry blurs the line between real and reel. Maybe because they look good together and they're actually falling for each other--and watching that love bloom is something beautiful to behold. Whatever the reason, I hope to still be here when/if they end up together and even if they don't. Both of them are such humble people and I do not regret giving them my support and adoration.

My ultimate fan dream is to have a picture taken with them. Of course, I would also want them to end up with each other but who are we to dictate their feelings? But if the behind-the-scenes takes are to be believed, then that is not far coming. Never have I wanted for two people to end up with each other as I do with Maine and Alden.

US 2015 - West Coast Edition

This is my third time in the US since I got married 8 years ago. The first time was in 2011 when I visited with my husband. The second time was just last year when we attended the ordination of Leo's cousin. This time around, my visit was to celebrate my 40th birthday with my twin sister at Vegas. This was totally unplanned in a sense that my mom and I only put everything into motion three months ago. Usually, our US trips are planned almost a year in advance.

Initially, I was supposed to surprise my sister at Vegas (she's supposed to go there on the 1st with my mom for a convention). But due to extenuating circumstances (a death in the family which almost lead me to go NYC instead--which I was not looking forward to since it's SO cold there), my mom had to inform my sister which ruined the surprise. We ended up still pushing thru with the Vegas plan.

I'm now in California staying with my mom's brother and his family. The last time I was here was almost 30 years ago when I was 11 years old. I remember my mom just putting me in the plane from NJ and my Uncle Dan just picking me up at the airport where I stayed with him and his family for two weeks. I don't recall much about that visit except a visit at Universal. This time around, I was able to visit the tourist places and even had my first taste of Thanksgiving, US version.

Will post more when I am able to download my pictures from the phone.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Farewell, Michael

Me with my friend, Michael

I am not a fan of farewells, unless I'm saying goodbye to something awful (like this August 2015). But it's hard to say goodbye when it's something that made a difference in your life. That difference is my friend, Michael.

Almost twenty years ago, my family transplanted from Paranaque to Mandaluyong. It's only a mere 20 kilometers away but it felt like a different world. Growing up in a city of open spaces and manicured gardens, we transferred to a place where you can hear your neighbors argue and it was the first time that I saw people trying to kill each other. It was a big culture shock for us but we kept to ourselves and tried to stay out of trouble.

A few years into our residency, I joined Singles for Christ with my sisters and from there, I was invited to also serve at Villa San Miguel (Archbishop's Palace) as part of their choir. Singing was an accidental talent for me as I never thought I had one but I was encouraged by my friends to join, so I did.

Even if I was an outsider, I felt like I belonged and was easily befriended by the community which comprises of mostly people living near the church. It was also there that I met the Juyad siblings. I was so fascinated with them because their whole family was serving the church in different capacities (choir, altar server, lector, reader etc). They're also a close bunch which made me admire them more. Michael made an impression because not only was he friendly, he was also quite funny and livened up our practices with his antics and Mark Logan impersonations. His bass voice was also very distinct and when he and his brother joined forces, it made us sound like we're close impressions of the Madrigal Singers (in our dreams)! :)

Probably my most memorable moment with him was when my family was going through a rough patch. I remembered that it was an Easter Sunday and we were seated outside the chapel after mass. I can't recall what we were talking about but I suddenly started crying. He just offered his shoulder and let me cry it out and gave his words of wisdom. It was one form of kindness that I could not forget and one I could never repay. 


When I paid my last respects earlier at Loyola during my lunch break (same place 4 months ago where I personally offered my condolences when his younger sister died and 2 years ago when their mom passed away), I started crying when I opened the door and saw two of his siblings. His youngest sister immediately approached me and gave me a hug. I found it so touching when I should be the one offering comfort but his family ended up comforting me instead. I could not approach the coffin yet as I knew I would not be able to stop my pitiful sobs and I needed to be strong for my friends. So I sat down and listened to their stories of Michael's last moments as well as updating them of what has been happening to my life for the past 10 years. When my lunch break was almost up, I knew I had to approach the casket to say goodbye.

For the past few years that I've been visiting funeral homes, I barely know the people who were laid out in those steel (or even wooden) boxes except that I'm friends with their respective families. But this time, it's different. It was a person who had so much life and was a big source of inspiration to a lot of people, especially his students who all seem to love him (basing on the multitudes of posts on his Facebook wall).  I stood there for several minutes, saying my last goodbyes and fortunately, drier-eyed. Like all people in death, he did not look like the way he was when he was still alive. He was thinner due to his illness and of course, the added make-up did not help at all. In my mind, he was Michael, a person full of joy and happiness and that is the Michael who I will remember for the rest of my life.

When I said goodbye to the family, we started crying again and they expressed their thanks for my presence and for keeping in touch throughout the years even if I live so far from the city (with the traffic, it really feels like a hundred miles away). I could barely stutter through my words of condolences as my tears were clogging my throat.

Goodbye, Michael. Know that you are very much loved by those whose lives you have irrevocably touched. May you be an angel like your namesake and watch over us until we meet again.


MICHAEL E. JUYAD
November 3, 1978 - September 9, 2015

Friday, January 30, 2015

Nakikiramay Ako


January 25, 2015 was one of the bloodiest days in our Philippine modern history. 44 Special Action Force (SAF) troopers were killed in a deadly encounter with militants belonging to the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). They were killed at Mamasapano, Maguindanao after conducting an operation where they eliminated a known terrorist bomber.

When the news came out last Monday, I ashamedly ignored it at first as the Mindanao clashes are already common news. But when stories started trickling in my FB feed and I read the accounts of what happened, I knew I cannot be apathetic to it no longer. Being a fan of NCIS, I am familiar with how fallen heroes should be honored and the SAF 44 are no different.

courtesy of rappler.com
These SAF 44 served and protected our country and they should be honored as heroes. We are safe because of their efforts. We enjoy moments of peace because of their sacrifice. They should never be forgotten and justice should be served for their violent deaths.


What really made me weep today was when I watched the eulogy of one of the SAF 44's widow. Her words were so true and she uttered one of the best quotes, "Behind every brave SAF trooper is a strong wife." From everything that I know of soldiers, being a spouse of one requires a degree of bravery more than your soldier. Everyday, you would watch your husband leave your house without knowing whether he will be coming back to you alive or in a coffin. Her bravery, as well as that of the other wives, are admirable and heartbreaking.




I pray for all the fallen heroes and the families that they left behind.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Diet 2015

I'm at it again. This will be my nth attempt to lose weight. This time around, I'm more adamant and steadfast in doing so as I am turning 40 later this year. I want to say that I lost a significant amount of weight before my birthday--some sort of bucket list.

I started my diet last Wednesday with the help of my sister based abroad. Thank God for Viber and Facebook because it's so easy to get in touch with each other. Hopefully, I will get to sustain this and eventually lose the much unneeded weight.

If I'll be successful, I'll definitely blog about it as well as the supplements that I'm taking.

Friday, January 02, 2015

Cooking Mama (Part 2)

It seems that it's only during Christmas season that I get to practice my cooking skills. (As proof, it was in Christmas also of 2012 that I was able to cook as much which I wrote about here.) I've cooked and learned to cook several dishes last month and I'm so proud that I was able to get the taste right. Here are the dishes/pastries that I was able to make:

1) Chicken Afritada
Chicken Afritada
 The chicken afritada I was able to cook a few days after Christmas when our cook and back-up cook (who also happens to be our driver), went on vacation. My mother-in-law asked me to make something for dinner and after scrounging around in the freezer, I found chicken and other ingredients for afritada.

I cheated a little by buying afritada mix and using that as the sauce base. With a little help from Google, I managed to come up with an edible and tasteful dinner. The potatoes and carrots were softened just right and the chicken was cooked to the bone. I think I added tomato sauce to the afritada mix. I seasoned with salt and pepper to taste. The sauce tasted the way I wanted afritada to taste.


2) Carbonara
Carbonara
The spread on the right is part of our Christmas Day lunch. It was potluck so different members of my hubby's family brought the rest of the food.

The one that I cooked was carbonara (refer to the red arrow). I also cheated here by using ready made carbonara sauce but I mixed in all purpose cream as well as cream of mushroom. I also added pasta cheese while it was bubbling away. Afterwards, I sprinkled bacon on top and it tasted really delicious. It was cheesy and creamy. It must've been really good because it was gone in less than an hour.

3) Chocolate Chip and Peanut Butter Cookies
Chocolate Chip and Peanut Butter Cookies
 The cookies on the left are actually my signature cookies. I've been baking them for as long as I can remember. I baked them again this Christmas so Basti can give them away as gifts to his classmates. I made the mistake of letting my son help and turning my back on him as the dough suddenly turned out to be really hard. I don't know if he put in more flour or if I overmeasured. I had no choice but to make another batch and that was enough for his 20+ classmates.

I changed the recipe this time around by substituting the one bag of choco chips (I use 2 12 oz bags in my recipe) with Reese peanut butter chips. It was a successful experiment as I love the additional taste of peanut butter in the cookies. Hopefully, I'll be able to replicate them again soon. I just love cooking for my son and this is one of his favorites.


4) Chocolate chip cupcakes
My top team gifted me with a Martha Stewart cupcake recipe book on my birthday. As I have never baked cupcakes before, I guess it's time that I learned how to do so and with the long break (which I wasted 3 days on bed because of my bum foot), I decided to test the recipes out.

Chocolate Chip Cupcakes
The chocolate chip cupcakes were my first attempt. The taste was spot on however, there were some flaws with the result. For one, the choco chips sank to the bottom. I checked the recipe again and it DID say to roll the chips first in flour before adding them in the batter. I skipped that part and just dumped them in mixture.

Next, the icing was too soft. I wanted to use my new piping tips but the mixture was too soft. I didn't dare add any more confectioner's sugar as it was too sweet already. I just slathered them on and they still tasted decadent. Next time, I plan to get the Ghirardelli's chocolate buttons for that really yummy Belgium chocolate taste.

Another flaw was that I mixed the vanilla with the flour. As such, the vanilla formed little flour balls which you can taste with the cupcake. I don't know if I misread the recipe but I'll definitely will not do so again in my next attempt. 

One thing about the cupcakes, I finally was able to melt the chocolate buttons the way they were supposed to be melted. I always see them in cooking shows and how the bakers melt the chocolate. It absolutely looked wonderful when I did that. Unfortunately, I was not able to take a picture.

5) Kalabasa with Sitaw
Kalabasa with Sitaw
 The picture on the left is Kalabasa with Sitaw. I originally wanted the one with coconut milk but I did not want to risk it as I have never cooked with gata before.

My mother-in-law asked me again this morning if I knew how to cook kalabasa (squash). Again, thanks to Google, I was able to find a very easy recipe.

One thing I like about the recipe was that it taught me how to render the fat from the pork. I initially let the pork boil in 1/2 cup of water until all the water evaporated. When the oil came out, I took out the pork and used the same pot to saute the garlic and onions. It smelled absolutely delicious!

I then added the shrimp and the pork that I cooked. After letting it saute a little bit, I added the kalabasa and sitaw. I then added water and let the squash soften. For additional taste, I threw in a shrimp cube and salt and pepper. I initially wanted to use the shrimp heads in lieu of the cube but the helper threw them away before I could give the instructions. The recipe also asked for patis but I forgot to buy and we do not have any in our pantry.

6) No-Bake Cheesecake
No-Bake Cheesecake

The picture on the right is my no-bake cheesecake. I got the recipe from my friend, Johanna, and asked her to teach me how to make it. There were no exact measurements on the recipe and the reason why I'm so proud of it was that I got the taste just right.

The sweetness was just enough as I used sugar on both the crust and the cream filling. So I made sure not to overdo the sugar. I made the mistake of not using enough Knox Gelatin but it still tasted divine. My son said that this is his new favorite dessert and has not stopped asking for it ever since I made it.


7) Red Velvet Cupcakes
My red velvet cupcakes are more successful than my chocolate chip cupcakes. In fact, it's easier to make! It took me less than an hour to make this while the choco chip was so labor intensive.

I also got the icing right in terms of consistency and taste. I want to put it everywhere! However, I need to get a bigger cupcake tray as I want them bigger. The molds that I got were so small.

Hopefully this new year, I'll have more chances of cooking again and have more opportunities to learn new dishes.

Last Year as a 30-Something

I rarely enjoy my birthdays. In fact, I don't go to work during my actual birthday. I usually just go to mass, stay at home or go to the spa. Afterwards, have dinner with my family. Nothing spectacular. Just something to mark the occasion.

On my last year as a 30-something, I decided to go to work on my birthday. Because one, I've already ran out of leaves and second, I wanted to take my birthday leave somewhere near Christmas.

Good Morning!

The morning of December 3 started off somewhat disappointingly. I woke up at 430 in the morning because I got home so late the night before. My body clock is so weird that if I sleep past 11PM, I end up waking up one hour earlier than my 530AM wake-up time. I did my usual bathroom ritual and when I checked if my son was up, my son's yaya started giving me some crap about lost toys etc. I just shrugged and let her be. What made it more craptastic was that my son did not even greet me happy birthday! To be fair to him, he's only 5 so I won't expect him to remember those things. But I expected that his yaya or his dad should've prompted him the night before to greet me. They did it in the past so it shouldn't be any different with my birthday.

I then drove to church to hear mass and spent time ruminating about my birthday and I was so tempted to slip into depression mode--which is my usual penchant during my natal day. But I fought the feeling because I believe that happiness is a decision and I will not let a bad start influence how my day would turn out.

I went back home to change as I remembered I scheduled our department pictorial on that day. I surely do not want to appear in the pictures wearing an all black outfit. I changed into something lighter (if you would consider gray, lighter) and started the drive to work.

During the drive, a former colleague texted and her greeting made me cry. It's a quote by William Barclay: There are two great days in a person's life -- the day we are born and the day we discover why. I know already found my reason for living and my calling but on that day, it somehow made me doubt everything. I blame the melancholy for that.

While I was ruminating about the text, I received a voice call from another former colleague. Hearing her voice lifted my spirits and furthered my resolve to make the day the best ever!

At the Office


At my workstation with my top team
Since I attended mass, it was almost 9AM when I reached the office. I was surprised to see my workstation decorated as such. Though a part of me acknowledges that I somehow expected it considering I'm a boss, it was still a pleasant surprise.

My top team also gave me a book filled with cupcake recipes. I don't know if they are aware that baking is already a hobby but I appreciate the gift. I had them write their dedications to me on the book and I will definitely test the recipes out during the long break.



with my November celebrants
I was quite harassed that morning as I had to do a lot of updates considering I was out of the office the previous day. At lunch time, I had a scheduled lunch with my November celebrants as they invited me weeks prior.

During lunch, they surprised me again by having the waitstaff of Max's sing Happy Birthday to me. It was embarrassing to have everyone look at me while I was being presented with a cake but I truly appreciated the gesture. Little did I know that the surprises will keep on coming during the day.

Best Surprise

with my cakes presented by 2 members of my staff
When I got back to the office, I remembered that some of my staff scheduled a meeting with me to discuss our Department Christmas party a couple of days after my birthday. I was not even able to brush my teeth yet when they called me to the conference room.

They started discussing some problems when one of my team leaders entered the room. He said that he scheduled to use the conference room when the rest of my 50-strong department came inside with a couple of cakes. After blowing the candles on the cake, they said that they have another surprise for me. They then showed me the AVP that they made below.


Most of them are inside jokes but some skits are rather funny. I was touched by their gesture and the effort that they exerted to have this done. In fact, I was crying and laughing while watching the video. When they asked me to make a speech afterwards, I was barely coherent.

Like the past couple of years, we had merienda at the 3F where I treated them with my usual pancit, puto and lumpia.

with my son
Back home

Earlier in the day, I shared my disappointment with my hubby on how my son did not greet me. When I got home, he certainly made up to me by presenting me a bouquet of roses. I could not resist not to have a photo op.

I usually have dinner with my family on this day but my father in law was not available so we resolved to just schedule it on another day. 

Other Celebrations 

The next day, I had lunch with my top team at K-Pub, a Korean Barbeque restaurant a few meters from our office. I was again surprised by the singing waiters.

That weekend, my family and I stayed overnight at Crimson. My son loves hotels so it was a treat for him as well.

We were supposed to meet up with my college friends that same weekend but we were all under the weather so we met up a couple of weeks later.

I also had lunch with my bestfriend, Kay, over here at Acacia. She also had the waiterstaff surprise me with a birthday song.

Overall, it was the best birthday ever. It's the right way to celebrate my last year as a thirty-something because next year, life will definitely begin. I didn't have to throw a party to celebrate with my family and friends and I prefer it that way. The individual lunches and dinners made it more meaningful and I get to spend quality time with all of them.