I'm Single and I'm Happy

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Good Food and Good Friends

My dear friend Charity made an unexpected call yesterday for a dinner invite. I know she's toxic with work she can't even have a birthday leave so I thought we'll just see her during our usual Friday get together. But since she really wants to spend her special day with us what kind of friend am I to let her down. Never mind if it was raining cats and dogs that day and that except for her and Pau, Lai and I have a nasty cough and cold.

She was even kind enough to fetch us from our workplace just to make sure we won't get rained on. Our venue was Cafe Ysabel in the heart of San Juan which is actually a 1927 ancestral home furnished with period furniture, frescoes and wooden ceiling fans in a glass-enclosed porch overlooking a garden. Too bad we forgot to take a photo of the facade and the interior of the place. Renowned filipino chef Gene Gonzalez is in the helm of the said restaurant with a premoninantly spanish cuisine.

We started our meal with hot, freshly baked foccacia bread which we dipped in a mixture of olive oil, balsamic vinegar and parmesan cheese. The bread was so crusty and tasty we ate it with gusto forgetting that we still have to save some space for the other food ordered by the birthday celebrant. Soup was the house specialty Sopa Ysabel, their own version of clam chowder and was followed by a huge serving of ceasar's salad and another kind whose name I forgot to write down.

When the main course arrived ~ halibut encrusted in almonds with a pesto dressing beautifully plated, we just have to shoot a photo for a more visual blog entry.

You kind of wondered if I can still manage to eat dessert when I'm busting in my seams from all those food but the huge slice of tiramisu and chocolate cake is just too hard to resist.

I really felt so full that when we checked out a coffee shop near the entrance of ABS-CBN (a television station) compound I opted for peppermint tea while my friends had their fancy coffee. Another hour of easy talk and we finally called it a night.

photos taken by my friend pau(www.bandstalker.com)

Friday, June 23, 2006

Garfield’s Words of Wisdom On Gaining Weight

“We all get heavier as we get older because there’s a lot more information in our heads. So I’m not FAT! I’m just really intelligent and my head couldn’t hold anymore so it started filling up the rest of me! That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Life's Simple Pleasures

I've beent tagged by fellow blogger Ji-in in one of her entries and since I enjoyed reading her response I'm sharing my own list here.

"Instructions: Name 10 of life's simple pleasures that you like the most, then pick 10 people to do the same. Try to be original and creative and not to use things that someone else has already used."

1. A cup of coffee in the morning - There’s something about the smell of a freshly brewed coffee that perks me up instantly, and since I hate waking up early it’s a must for me. It’s also a perfect nightcap while watching TV, reading a book or just chatting with a friend.

2. Massage – Preferably a full body massage after a very tiring day with the smell of lavender oil permeating the air.

3. Letters - Gone were the days when we actually to the post office to send cards and letters to friends and loved ones. Now most of the time messages are sent through email or short notes through our mobile phones sms features. I have a bag full of all the letters, cards and short notes with the oldest dating back to my elementary days from my Fil-American best friend Aimee Harris.

4. 80’s music - My memories of my high school life will never be complete without the music from that era. Be it from our local singers to those foreign icons like Madonna and M.J. I can even remember the lyrics of those songs when they play it over the airwaves during the week-end.

5. Nestles Crunch – my all-time fave chocolate bar. I like hearing the crunch as you take a bite. Too bad I’m now watching my calories so I’m limiting myself to just one bar a month instead of one bar everyday.

6. Books - Good thing I come from a family who loves to read so it was easy to pick-up the habit. Try looking under my pillow and most likely you’ll see a paperback, a magazine or the latest issue of Reader’s Digest.

7. A Walk in the Park - I love the leisurely walk in parks early in the morning or late in the afternoon. Just looking at the greens relaxes my mind from the stress of everyday life.

8. Minsok Restaurant – I’ve met and developed a bonding with a group of wonderful people while eating in this Korean barbeque Restaurant. Walking inside is like being transported to Korea with majority of the people eating being Koreans now living in the country and the spices are not toned-down to suit the Filipino taste. And it never hurts that the couple who owns the place always welcome your presence with a genuine smile.

9. Chicken Arrozcaldo – My favorite comfort food! I crave it especially when there’s a heavy downpour or when I don’t feel well. Compared to the other porridge served by the Chinese, arrozcaldo has a more intense flavor from the yellow ginger and the chicken.

10. A long hot shower - I live in the tropics so yes having a shower is heaven for me. In fact I can stay there forever during the summer months. I love the smell of soap clinging to my skin just before hitting the bed.

That wasn't so hard, now my dillema is who to tag since I'm not sure who among my blogger friends actually visit this page. So guys and gals be a sport, it's your turn to share something about yourself.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Getting Hooked!

I grew up watching basketball because it's a filipinos favorite sport. I'm part of our university pep squad during high school and even played the game in my college days. Second on my fave will have to be volleyball and then billiards. I'm one of those who stay awake late in the night just to watch finals of world championships. Now another game is added to my list... football.

I knew how the game works from a childhood friend whose part of his schools varsity, and I've watched some games of Brazil and Man U because of my daughter who roots for the said teams but I did not take it seriously until this years World Cup in Germany. Ok maybe since my fave k-stars have been campaigning for the active support for the Korean Red Devils that I made it a point to monitor the games.

My cable provider did not include this seasons live feed in their free service so if I want to watch the game I have to shell more money or I can watch it from select restaurants and bars. I chose the latter since its more enjoyable to watch a game with a crowd than alone in my home. So I made a date last night with some friends to watch Korea's first game vs. Togo.

At the National Sports Bar and Grill. The inside is already jampacked with Korean supporters wearing red shirts.

So we opted to wait for the live feed at the tables set-up outside al fresco style. They even added a projector screen and four televisions positioned at different angles so nobody will miss out on the action.

Even Alfred came along to watch the games and served as our mascot. Look he's wearing a red shirt too. And since we're having beer might as well give him some so he can get into the spirit.

Togo made the first goal for the game and it really dampened our spirits for a while, here is moi feeling sad doing a Samsoon pose. Maybe the Koreans are feeling the pressure after all the expections for them to win is very high. I can't even imagine them losing to a newbie team even if some of the players are from professional euro teams. Their defense is weak and one of their star players Park Ji Sung is well guarded. One of my fave player Ahn Jung Hwan was not fielded during the first half. Good thing Lee Chun Soo evened out the score 1-1 after a successful penalty kick which made us all jump from our seats giving each other high fives. Now we're in high spirits again.

Their coach Dick Advocaat must have heard our pleas because Ahn Jung Hwan was fielded during the second half and boy did he deliver. He made a stunning kick that sealed the game for them 2-1.
Junjin of Shinwa and some of the soccer kids from Shoot Dori cheering Dae Han Min Guk!!!

What a way to end the night for us, and it totally made up for my bad day at work and my slight hangover this morning. I hope they can win their next game against France on Sunday. Red Devils fighting!!!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

My Japanese Name

Your Japanese Name Is...

Nanami Watanabe

Friday, June 09, 2006

Just Another Day With Friends

Last night I was supposed to meet the Macanese visitor of my friend Pau who is currently staying at a hotel a few meters away from where I work. But because she already spent a few hours checking out the shops near the hotel she was ready to call it a day when I left to join them. I ended up having dinner instead with Pau, Cha and another sis at Min Sok.

Rizza, I took a photo of your fave side dish and ate it with relish while thinking of you.

We ordered our usual meal of bibimbap and grilled beef.

The only new thing we did was having our coffee at Tiendesitas along C5 going to Libis instead of our usual Starbucks. They even have pandesal with kesong puti and olives, yummy. The only thing weird about the whole thing was having your breakfast before going to bed.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Alfred's Cousin

Seems I'm getting a lot of bears lately, meet the newest addition to my furry family, Alfred. If you ever came across the korean drama "Goong" a.k.a. "Princess Hours" then you know that the male lead Prince Shin has a bear that has a striking resemblance to the gift I got. He's so cute I'm tempted to dress him up in a red shirt so we can cheer for the Korean Red Devils on Tuesday.
Dae Han Mingook!!! clap*clap*clap*clap*clap

Monday, June 05, 2006

Just To Make You Smile

I got two sms messages yesterday that made me smile so I'm keeping it here for you my friends to enjoy.

Birds of the same fearther are the same birds Do not do unto others what you can't do.
An apple a day is not an apple at night.
When the cat is away, the mouse is alone.
If others can do it don't help.
Tell me who your friends are and I'll tell you mine.
Better late than pregnant.
Early to bed and early to rise makes you sleepy in the afternoon.
No guts no glory, no ID no entry.
When all else fails, just follow instructions.
When it rains it floods.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

A Week of Good Food And Company

My week long birthday celebration started last Sunday when I met fellow bae sis and good friend Mariz for lunch and presented me with a bunch of beautiful roses I've mentioned a few postings back. Then we did what we love to do, go to Divisoria and check the latest korean movies and drama series and then do some more bargain shopping of whatever caught our fancy. She's the best companion to have because she knows every nook and cranny of the place and is familiar with some merchants so I was able to get a big discount.

TuesdayMay 30 - I got a call from Flor asking if we can meet after office so I said yes and then called up Charity if she's near the area. Lo and behold she's available too and happens to be craving for samgyupsal "korean barbeque" so we ended having dinner at our regular place. We had 2 orders of the barbeque and a bowl of ramyon aside from the numerous banchan accompanying a korean meal. The menu was updated and I did not let the moment pass without sampling their bibimbap. My dear ajumma did not disappoint me, it was yummy! We were so full we ordered some tea to applease of stomach (bad, bad, bad, I forgot my diet again).

On the eve of my birthday, Charity invited us to attend a soft launch of a medicine her company Roche is introducing to the Philippine market. With a promise of good food and entertainment as one of the posh hotels along Ortigas we all trooped to the place. Since almost the entire V team is present, I joked that it's my birthday treat for them and they gamely went along and thanked me for a wonderful dinner as we enjoyed an eight course continental dinner. The affair ended two hours before midnight so we waited it out and had coffee at along Podium. They did a countdown and sang the birthday song in korean for me. Soon after sms messages started coming in. I guess I'm really well loved or my friends are insomiacs like me so they were able to send their messages first hour of June 1.

On the day of my birthday I treated my co-workers for lunch and then a birthday cake came later in the afternoon courtesy of my boss. A beautiful fireworks display greeted my arrival home. Nope, it's not for me but my birthday happens to coincide with Makati Day. It was a sight to behold so I'm not complaining. My family is craving for pizza so I just called in and ordered Pizza Hut's Promo Package..... sigh more calories piling in.

My birthday cake

Then to top it off, last night nine friends of mine went back to Min sok for another round of korean barbeque, bibimpap, egg jhim, ramyon and then off to Starbucks for some cake and coffee.

What a week and I can't even look at myself in the mirror cause I can see the pounds showing. I must, I must exercise........

Thursday, June 01, 2006

I Feel Blessed

To my family and friends,

As many of you know today is my birthday, yes I'm turning another year wiser.
I would like you all to know that you have really touched me with your birthday greetings! From the flowers, e-mails and sms messages I've been receiving since Sunday. I believe wealth can be measured in the quality of life we live, and by the friends we have. Your birthday wishes makes me feel humbled and made me realize that I am a very lucky.

Thank you so very much.

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