Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Home At Last

Going back to my hometown is always a thrill for me. I only get to see my brothers and sisters once a year. It was hard for me to be in this kind of set up. I know, for once, they hated the idea of me living far away from them. I missed special occasions like their birthdays, Christmas, New Year, our Dad's death anniversary and so on. I know I've missed a lot and I truly regret that. During our anniversary last February, there is only one wish I had in mind--to go back home, even if it's only an overnight stay. 

February 9, Jan, Tri and I left the city at around 7am. It was a Monday and I expected heavy traffic, but I was wrong. In 30 minutes or so, we reached Sta. Lucia Mall where we took a short jeepney ride to the main road heading to Rizal and from there we took another ride but this time, it's the long trip to the south. 

I've never been that too excited the way I felt during that 1 and a half hour winding ride. Tri fell asleep hugging "bibi"--his pillow almost the entire time. The smell of the summer sunshine mixing with the acacia leaves dancing in the air brought me to a trance. My childhood memories flashed back in rapid succession  until I did not notice it was time for us to get off the jeepney. 

We took our last ride in a tricycle with Tri still sleeping. It was the day after the town fiesta so there are still some "banderitas" hanging, men pushing their carts selling ducklings and colored chicks for pets, "palabunutan", cotton candy, coconut juice etc--every little corner of Morong looked alive. We arrived about 10am and we were welcomed by my beloved youngest brother. We had a lot of fun chatting (specially me and my Kuya). My eldest brother--who I used to work with--immediately asked for the latest news in the office (gossip is the right word, actually). He resigned from our company about a year ago due to some conflicts. Tri, at first felt different, waking up in an unfamiliar place but later on started playing everything he laid his eyes on.

Here's Tri at the garage playing tag with Uncle Jao (my youngest brother)

 Tri listening to our chit chats.

We also made sure to drop by other relative's house where Tri showcased some of his "talents"--which I was very proud of! hah! lol.

Before going to sleep, I said my prayer, scanned the entire house, and told myself: "there is no other place like home".

I rushed to the bathroom, locked the door and I cried. Not because I felt sad. Not because I realized I missed a lot. But because after all the pain we've been through as a family, after all the hardships we had after my Dad's death--his spirit is still living within us. We are still connected as brothers and sisters. 

I woke up the next day looking at this:

It was the most beautiful sun rays I saw beaming on the plants. It made me feel welcomed--once again.

I thanked God for giving me the opportunity to reconnect with my family and to my Dad for giving me two brothers and two sisters who are all as brave as he was when he's still alive. I promised them we will visit more often. 

Friday, April 16, 2010

Today's Menu...

Ginataang Sitaw at Kalabasa (String Beans and Squash in Coconut Milk)

This is one of my family dish that we often serve with fried fish typically at lunch time. I hope you'll like it, too.


4 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 medium size onion, chopped
1/4 part of a small-sized squash, sliced about 1cm thick
string beans, cut about 2in in length
pork belly, sliced in bite size
1 cup of coconut milk
salt and pepper


For the pork belly:

1.) Wash the meat thoroughly.
2.) Heat about 2 cups of water in a sauce pan and let it boil then put the meat.
3.) Do not cover. Wait until water evaporates leaving the meat cooking on it's own fat. 
4.) Take the meat out of the pan when it is already tender.

For the dish:

1.) Heat the oil on the pan.
2.) Sauté garlic until golden brown then add onions. Cook until onions turn transparent. Add the pork. Cover the pan and let the meat absorb the flavor of the garlic and onion.
3.) Add the squash and string beans.
4.) Add the coconut milk and let it simmer for a while. 
5.) Adjust the taste by adding salt and pepper. A little amount of vinegar (about 2tbsp) can help give the dish a little citrus-y, acid taste to break the overwhelming creaminess of the coconut milk. 

Serve with a fried tinapa or round scad and hot plain rice. Makes 4 servings.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Who Ya Callin' Big, Huh?!

If there is one topic I don't really want to discuss, THIS IS IT.

Weight. Weight. Weight. More weight.

Fat. Chubby. Obese. Oversized. Plus-sized. Large.

Oh--yeah, they are jargons, aren't they?

I hoped they were jargons ever since the fist day I started school. Weight has been an ongoing issue for me. I remember how my grade school classmates would call me names, or compare my food intake or look at me like I am a piece of crap they need to face everyday. I've cried so many times but crying didn't make me thin.

My dad would tell me: "So what if you're chubby? Look at them! They are skinny and gangly--they look neglected! And you're only healthy but not chubby, they are skinny so as their brains!"

And that is why I love my Dad. :)

After grade school, I worked hard to have a "normal" built. I played volleyball and badminton and ate less. By the start of sophomore, I was as normal as I can achieve. I wasn't contented with volleyball alone so I got myself a tae-bo workout video so I can contour my body at home, before and after school. That was the peak of my glory! And damn--were there boys calling me at home!

Of course, my Dad hated the idea that I am stressing myself too much of achieving the body I want. He said, me being skinny looks like "a drug addict he once knew".

I was able to maintain that until I got my current job.

Things changed around December of 2008. People have been noticing a change on my figure months after I gave birth. And I was like, "nothings changed...just the depo jabs I'm getting" and I thought my normal life will remain the same.

The worst arrived 2009.

I felt like I was back in grade school. People are teasing me, calling me names, laugh at my figure...but unlike grade school, I can shrug things off now.

Because I AM A MOM. I believe that moms have the right to gain weight during, while and after pregnancy. I see my weight as a symbol of my responsibility to my son. My weight is not a hinder for me to achieve the other things I want. My weight cannot stop me from loving my family and most of all--hating the people who kept pulling me down ever since day 1. I am a much stronger person because of what I am now.

As hubby once said: "Do not hate what you look like. Tell me, how do you become like that? You got pregnant, got busy taking care of me and Tri, took the responsibility of choosing contraceptives that you know would make you bloat just so we won't have unexpected pregnancy. Hating your body tells me you hate our SON. Because that all happened when he came to our world, right?" (of course this was stated in Filipino but a lot more cornier version so I had to translate it in English).

Now, I have these extra pounds (I even joke I can be match for sparring for pacquiao!), I have all these arms flabs, stretch marks everywhere and the belly pouch...depression came to me, people even made fun of me...but that wont let me down.
I am a mother and my weight symbolizes what I became to be after my son was born. mischief

Monday, April 12, 2010

The Wife from Hell is Back!!!!!

Woooh! The past few months have been like a--what!--a roller coaster ride. And well, I'm still in it. 

Personal problems have gotten into my blogging mood, which by the way made my writer soul walk away. Glad I found my soul back! Oh don't you dare walk out on me like that, soul!

I am back to wearing my commitment band. But it doesn't mean that I've forgotten everything. Its' just me showing I'm ready to patch things up. Over the past few weeks, I've learned my own lessons. Whatever that lesson is, for sure your own destiny will teach you 'em. *sniff*sniff* Oh--well, let's start the week with a good ol' recipe! 

PS: to everyone wondering whatever happen to my page renovation, I'm down to two choices. I'll make up my mind anytime soon :) Sorry! And Jenny, don't ya worry, all of those three award you gave me will have their special place! Thank again, sis!