Thursday, December 22, 2011

SELYA KUSINERA: ANYHOW ROLL

Because my friend slash flatmate knew that I'm a sucker for sushi (my Mom is almost Japanese and often cooked Japanese dish when I was young), she gave me a toy-like sushi maker for Christmas.


It's not the usual sushi maker coz the set consists of moulds of different shapes, like heart and flower shaped ones. There were even instructions on how to make pig sushi, bear sushi and so much more. It's so cute that I wanted to try it right away.


Out of excitement, we planned a Japanese themed party at home. My flatmates aren't really much of Japanese cuisine fan. I think I am the only one who loves it so much that you can leave me in Japan for one month without craving for oily/calorie loaded food such as Pinoy dishes.

Anyway, since I was too excited, I already bought the ingredients for sushi even without looking at the instructions of this sushi maker. I don't usually follow instructions because I believe I'm too smart so I can figure things on my own (Hahah! Joooke! :P ) but when I got home from the supermarket, I realized that this one's too complicated.


I didn't know I still need a bamboo rolling mat before I can go on molding using this toy. I had no time to go to the Japanese store anymore so I just did what I can to at least make some rolls. I used the plastic sheets included in the sushi maker set as my improvised rolling mat. By the way, I also got mediocre ingredients for my sushi coz the only ones available in the supermarket were the roasted seaweeds that are too crunchy (thus, difficult to roll without breaking) so it was really a challenge to make it right. Our knife wasn't even sharp enough to slice the rolls nicely.


Good thing my sushi "students", Lendl and Nheng were patient enough so we were able to pull it off. :) Lendl's 'creativity' was proven when Nheng looked for mangoes (I only bought cucumber, eggs, crabsticks for the filling). Since there were no mangoes, she said, "may peaches pa ata sa ref, pwede na yon." It was such an 'experiment' that became an instant hit coz our flatmates liked it so much. The sweetness of peaches is perfect for the salty taste of eggs and the inexplicable savor of cucumber and crabsticks. :)

Anyway, here goes our product. :)



The following day, while busy Facebooking, Nheng gave me a plastic bag containing these:



Haha! It seems that her first sushi making experience was really that hard. :D


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

SEND A LITTLE LOVE THEIR WAY

I am no saint but I do have a heart. And at this point it's breaking whenever I watch/read the news from the Philippines about the recent calamity that left Mindanao devastated, Sendong.

My heart cries out for those people, not only because they are fellow Filipinos, but I also feel their pain and fears. I can still remember the 1990 earthquake that ruined Baguio and Nueva Ecija where I lived with my family. I was just a 6 year old Grade 1 student banging against the gate of a school while the earth was shaking and afraid that the land might split and eat me alive. Almost 20 years later, it was Ondoy that made me homeless for a couple of weeks. The pain is always about moving on and starting all over again..

As a Filipino who is living a relatively more comfortable life than our kababayans, I feel it is but necessary for me to share whatever I can to people in need. As Ramon Bautista tweets, "Hindi sapat na mag-RT at mag-share lang ng How To Donate, mag-donate din tayo sa mga nasalanta ni Sendong." 

I would really love to volunteer to help in the operations (my friend who works for Red Cross said I can participate by being the kusinera to feed at least 3,000 people in CDO, Bukidnon and Iligan). Unfortunately, I couldn't, because I will only be in the Philippines for 8 days and will be back to work in Singapore by the 2nd of January.

I need not enumerate how I've been trying to help in my own little ways, but I do hope somehow I am able to take part in helping people rebuild their lives.

There are several ways on how to help. They are written all over the web and I don't think I still need to repost them. It's for us to do our research. After all, if it is REALLY in our hearts to help, we will find ways. :)


Monday, December 19, 2011

RECRUITER aka SWEET LOVER

As some of you know, headhunting is more like a sales job. Unlike being a Corporate Recruiter where the job ends in orientation most of the time, a headhunter still has to take care of: (1) the clients for continuous recruitment services; (2) the candidates for future requirements and referrals.  We have to maintain good working relationships for networking purposes and to create more business opportunities.

Since this is the thing, it won't be surprising to know that there are recruiters who develop romantic relationships with people from this business. In fact, I know a few friends who married their client or candidate. In my opinion, there's nothing wrong with it. They're just human who were fortunate enough to find love in a corporate setting. Before it entered my mind that it can happen to me too. Modesty aside, I had suitors from this business who are good looking and had decent jobs (in IT, of course, since I am a Technical Recruiter) but did not result to serious relationships like what happened to my Recruiter friends.

For a while I have not entertained the idea. Honestly speaking, I'm not on the lookout. Probably because I just wanted to prove myself and this liberty from painful relationships in the past taught me to prioritize things and regarded the matters of the heart as something that should be placed at the bottom. I've been dealing with life's challenges alone for almost 2 years and I'm very much used to solitude.

I got busy with work that I no longer have the time to take a look inside my heart and feel the longing. Eventually, a few men from the business tried to get personal by asking me out for lunch, dinner, coffee or whatever. I often tell them I'm quite busy and do not have time to meet up with them unless the agenda has something to do with business.

Just this morning, I received another invitation again for coffee but I told him I need to finish a lot of tasks in the office coz I'm going overseas this weekend and will be back to Singapore in January 2012.  Sometimes I can feel that they would like to go beyond professional relationships.. but I just couldn't give in. I haven't said yes to anyone. EVER.

Yes, sometimes they make me think. They make me wonder about what-might-have-beens.. but still, I couldn't entertain the thought. The idea of opening up my heart alone bothers me a lot. It scares the hell out of me. I'm perfectly fine.. I am single but happy. Of course, I know I could be happier by having someone to be by my side and love me.

I guess it's either I don't like them.. or I am just not ready in its truest sense.

Or I'm just overreacting thinking that those simple invites mean romantically involving themselves with me. Hahahaha.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

CHRISTMAS 2011: ALOHA!

Since most of the Recruiters and support in our company are Filipinos, we will be having some sort of holiday break. A lot of us will be coming home to the Philippines this coming Christmas until New Year (including myself) so we already held our Year End Party last week (we don’t call it Christmas Party coz it’s not really practiced here, plus not all of us are Christians).

While I see pictures of my friends dressed up like Hollywood actors and actresses or cartoon characters, color-coordinated outfits and all other awesome get-ups inspired by movies, TV shows, the season, etc. ours was simply a Luau.

It was held at the Waterside, a residential area in Tanjung Rhu, Singapore where our bosses (Chinese husband and wife) own a unit.

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It was kinda weird when I first heard of it from our HR, I was like why the hell are we going to have a Luau in December when it is already rainy season and we might not be able to dress up as sexy as we should be. Hahaha! But it’s okay, we pulled it off and it was really fun.

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We are only a few people in our office because we are an IT Recruitment firm/Employment Agency so most of our employees are deployed in our clients.

The event consists of:

(1) Lunch. Our bosses prepared a lot of food but each group also brought something to eat. My group requested to have me cook my signature pasta dish.

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(2) Group Presentation. Some of you who really know me can attest that I am not a performer, I hate singing and dancing in front of a lot of people.. I do dance in the club, but you know.. it’s different coz I can only do my siraulong dance moves.. haha!

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Alin, alin, alin ang naiba.. Hahahahahaha!

(3) Games. I was tasked to think of what games to play and also to facilitate the segment. We had reverse charades (1 person guessing instead of acting, the rest of his teammates will act out the word chosen all at the same time), connection game (word suggesting game) and word unscrambling game. You might notice that they are not the usual games, coz my boss wanted complex ones and didn’t like relay-ish type of games.

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(4) Awarding. As always, I was the unofficial photographer (‘un’ coz I am not really a photographer but I’ve always been the one who brings a camera) and I was taking pictures when the hosts called the finalists for the best dressed award. I wasn’t really paying attention to it coz we were already anticipating Jhie to win the award (she’s the one in grass skirt). In fact, I wasn’t expecting that I will be included coz costume or themed parties aren’t really my cup of tea. I’m not creative in dressing up, I even lack the will to look for nice costumes (or probably just too lazy to shop) so I just pulled out a floral dress and added some garlands. But I was nominated and I couldn’t help but laugh. Open-mouthed smile Of course, Jhie won. Smile

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(5) Picture taking. Of course, it shouldn’t be missed. Open-mouthed smile

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(6) Barbecue. Aside from cooking and hosting, I had the task to take charge in grilling so I was really tired and looked like trash (and smelled like one) all night. Hahaha!

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(7) Kris-Kringle. I don’t normally wish for something from exchange gifts like this so I just wrote “Surprise me! Anything except photo album, picture frame and towel.” Hahaha! Luckily, I received a nice Esprit bag from Aley. I felt even luckier coz she put $20 inside the bag (Yey! May pan-taxi na ko hahahaha! Joke!). The price of our gifts should only be $30. Perhaps she went beyond the budget. Open-mouthed smile

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The night ended with lots of laugh, stories and bonding moments. Though it was tiring, it meant so much coz we were able to know each other more, especially my lady boss who I thought doesn’t know the word ‘fun’ yet surprised us with her antics.

Anyway, I’ll end this post with a message from Lilo:

Mele Kalikimaka me ka Hau'oli Makahiki Hou!!!

lilo

Sunday, December 11, 2011

PHUKET: PATONG BEACH

I’ve always been a budget traveler. I don't spend much on accommodation but I always see to it that I don't compromise eating whatever I want. In short: food has always been my number 1 priority, next is shopping. :D

So for this trip, we booked 2 rooms (for 4 of us) in a guest house called Baan Phil Guesthouse in Patong. My friend, Nheng, found out about this online (coz she always looks for best reviewed cheap hotels online). The guesthouse is relatively new (less than 2 years old, I think) , owned and operated by French guys.

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We got each room for THB1600 per night (around SGD70) so we paid a total of THB6400 (2rooms, 2 nights). They also arranged our airport-hotel-airport transfers for THB1600. A total of THB2500 was paid by each of us for the accommodation and transfers (SGD108). Practical enough, right?

Baan Phil is surrounded by establishments and traditional Thai massage parlors. The air-conditioned room is wi-fi zone, has a balcony, a queen sized bed (rooms with single beds were not available when we went there) and a couch (that can still be occupied by another person).  

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Baan Phil has also its own restaurant (with limited choices in their menu). There is complimentary breakfast but only toast and drinks. Bacon and eggs I think cost THB50. Too bad the waitress/cook didn't know what scrambled is so I just requested for well-done sunny side up (I don't eat raw/half cooked/soft yolks/poached eggs). Nonetheless, I still liked the staff coz they were all nice and smiled a lot. :)

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Patong Beach isn't like Bora where the beach is right in front of hotels and guesthouses. Here, lodges are found along the busy streets of Patong. Baan Phil Guesthouse though isn't that far from the beach, it's just 5-minute walk away.

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Can you see what the guy in yellow is holding?
Near the beach are hawkers that offer Thai food. Food stalls aren't seen much along the shore, I just saw a few snacks stores (sandwiches and drinks only).  Food doesn't cost much in Phuket. I forgot the amount of what we ate for lunch on our first day (photo below) but it's really cheap.

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After eating, we headed back to the beach. We weren't able to enjoy the water much coz it was already dark so we just had our all time favorite beach activity -- photoshoot, particularly JUMPSHOT. 

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Swear, I was really frustrated coz I always got superb shots of them in just one click or two.. but when it was my turn to jump, they always had a hard time dealing with the shutter. I had to jump a couple of times before they finally got a nice shot (not even nice pala coz I looked like a military man trying to let loose here.. haha!). I was really tired and my feet and legs were already numb. I hate my friends for this. Hahah!

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Aside from the beach and the food, there's a lot of amusing stuff that you can see along the streets of Patong.

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Boobies
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I know this ain't funny.. But I really find this cute.

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A cute monkey.. hahaha!
On the way back to the hotel, we stopped by some food carts. Not sure of the prices, but I think each stick costs THB10..

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I also bought from this lady (for THB10 also) coz she was really nice to me. She smiled for the camera and even posed like I did.. Hehe. :D

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Patong may not be the most beautiful beach in Phuket but if you have limited time and cannot afford to go on island hopping, this is just right. Other things that I like about this place are: the food and the people. The food is delicious and reasonably priced, while Thai people are nice. They are hospitable too, just like us, Filipinos. Though they really have a hard time speaking in English, they really try their best to communicate and get the message right.


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

WISE MEN SAY...

... Only fools rush in.. But I can't help fallin' in love with you...

While walking en route to the bus station after work today, I heard this Elvis Presley song playing in one of garments shops along Bugis. It's not really my favorite but this, amusingly, has something to do with some of my favorite things and significant events in my life.

  • That particular line was the first status I posted on Facebook the moment I realized I am already in love with my then boyfriend, Dr. Love, I even made an entry (of the same title, I think) about it in my old blog;
  • I am one proud Anne Curtis fan and this was the theme song of her TV series with Derek Ramsay and Zanjoe Marudo on ABS-CBN (The Wedding). That show, though short lived and wasn't that phenomenal, became one of my favorite series on local channel coz it's cute, funny and just a feel good show;
  • This is the OST of one of my favorite movies of all time, Fools Rush In (starring Salma Hayek and Matthew Perry);
  • I like UB40 and they have a version of this song;
  • F4's (Taiwan) version was played in Lilo & Stitch, one of the cutest animated films for me ever (next to Up and Finding Nemo).
I guess this just tells me I should include this on the list of my wedding songs. Hahah! Dream on! :P

Oh well, this has been playing in my head for hours now.. probably will be singing it in my sleep.. 

Goodnight. :)



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