My baby’s gender reveal

I was on my 23rd week of pregnancy when I decided to throw a very casual baby shower or rather a gender reveal. It was a little too early but it’s also a way for me finally meet some friends whom I was not able to see for quite some time due to my condition. Besides, I know how excited they are for me.

We went for a congenital ultrasound early in the morning. Guess what? It’s a boy! Wish granted for me, though whatever gender is ok. All we’re praying for is a healthy baby. We hurried back home to cook and prepare for the gender reveal. Our guests came late which gave us enough time to cook and prepare.

Lek helped me do a simple wall decoration and prepared some games. The foods we prepared are more like comfort food. I prepared a potato salad casserole and fruit salad, bought a banana cake and brownies from bakeries and Jayson cooked French fries and Pansit. He also made some home-made peanut butter in case they want some sandwich.

The games that Lek prepared were so fun and so suitable for my Maersk friends. There were four games:

1. Create our Baby’s face – My 8 guests were grouped by pairs. They were given an A4 printout of my face and Jayson’s face and another paper with a baby’s face shape outlined. They had to come up with a baby’s look out of our faces. Best creation wins. For this game, Natz and Era won.

2. Charades – This is a game in which players had to guess the title of a song or movie with the baby word in them from pantomimed clues. We grouped them into 2 and it was Era, Natz, Joy and Rhianne who won the game.

3. Guess the Song title – There’s a team representative for every round who will pick a song title and an animal sound he/she can use to sing some lines from the song. Team members have to guess the song within a minute. If the team members were not able to guess the song, the other team can steal to get a point. It was the same group who won this game.

4. Guess my Baby’s Name – I told my guests to get a piece of paper and a pen. I told them a clue for my baby’s name. Barang who was actually the first one to give me her guess won the game.

Those were all the games that we did. By the way, my best friend’s mom and sister also came. I think I spent almost half an hour to open their wonderful gifts for my baby! It was evening already when we finished and my friends were still full to eat dinner. Too bad my high school friends were not able to come.

An unusual Valentines date

Whenever I think of Valentine’s date, a picture of crowded malls and restaurants is the first that comes to mind. I can’t even remember the last time I was out for Valentine’s day.

Now, I’m back in Manila. Lala and I have been trying to make up for our two years of long distance relationship. We decided to go out and have an unusual Valentines date.

We went to Quiapo, Manila, not to tour around one of the most notorious market in the world for counterfeit and pirated goods but to shop for mountain bike accessories.

Quezon boulevard in Quiapo is one of the well-known places for buying bicycles and accessories. And if you’re up for buying cheap China-made accessories, there are a lot of sidewalk vendors offering a range of products.

Lala bought the following: Bottle cage mount – P80 Bike seat cover – P100 Bike front light – P120 Bicycle bell – P180

For serious cyclists, there are quality products in some of the shops. However I don’t suggest buying bicycles here as it is much cheaper in Cartimar in Libertad, Pasay.

When in Quiapo, don’t eat fastfood at the Filipino restaurants because the place is known for old Chinese eateries. One of the famous restaurants here is Ma Mon Luk.

Ma Mon Luk is named after a Chinese-Filipino chef/entrepreneur who is the innovator of siopao and mami here in Philippines. The eatery is an indoor open space ventilated with huge ceiling fans. The menu, plus framed write-ups and newspaper clips about the eatery hang on their wooden wall.

The place is an image of restaurant settings in Filipino movies during the 80s. They offer a limited selection of food, from mami, siopao, siomai, softdrinks, and bottled water.

We tried the special mami, special siopao, and siomai. The noodles was ok but the mami soup was too gamey for me to eat. Their siopao is good but it has a lot of salted egg inside, making it salty. Their siomai is big and meaty.

The noodles and siopao are handmade and the serving is quite big for me. That’s the reason why the price is not that cheap. It was a good experience eating out in a tradionally old eatery but overall the food there is not something I would crave for.

It was definitely a unique way to spend Valentines Day. It was like a tour in a some ways as I was also introduced to other known eateries in the area.

 

 

a weekend less ordinary..

My friends Natz and Amit paid me a visit, making one of my weekends less ordinary. It was a few days of fun-filled activities; Yo and her family were also part of the happenings. Where did I and Yo brought them? Here are places we went and the activities we did.

• Dinner at Marche – a Swiss restaurant that offers a tranquil ambiance, fresh and quality food.

Savory Crepe

• Amit tried the sport of body flying in iFLy Singapore. It is said to be the largest wind tunnel indoor skydiving in the world. I tried indoor sky diving once in Resorts World Genting and it’s way cheaper there. Check out the indoor skydiving video I made.

• Luge Sentosa which is part go-cart, part-toboggan action ride that’s suitable for all ages. I thought this ride would be boring but if you’ll do it like a race, it’s gets exciting. We did this twice and I won on the first race!

luge sentosa

• Watch Crane Dance – a combination of ground breaking audio and visual technologies, astounding light and water effects.

• Dinner ay Din Tai Fung – a Michelin star awarded and ranked as one of the world’s Top Ten Best Restaurants by The New York Times. It’s all about love for dim sum and dumplings!

Work plus these activities is equals to cumbersome. Though touring friends can be fatiguing, the experience is simply priceless.

a swim and a missed opportunity

After a tiring day at work, I went for a swim with my former housemates. I plunged in the pool as soon as I get there. Jon agreed to teach me how to swim making me do frog kick for my first lesson. Anne brought with her her Cybershot TX10 which is an underwater camera so we took a lot of underwater photos though it is not allowed. The activity was followed by a sumptuous dinner at Anne and Laurence’s house after, bessie’s Caldereta satisfied our appetite.

the gang me trying to swim

Missed opportunity – Yesterday I confirmed on a brochure modeling shoot for tuesday. Part of the details given is that I would pose like I’m patiently learning how to cook which I think is with other models of different races. I’m cool with all the details given and was so excited about; the agent texted me this afternoon that the client want to move the shoot date. Sadly, I am working on all the date options they gave me.

After the charity project I did early last quarter of 2012, I haven’t earned from modelling and photography yet, making my charity fund zero. Nevertheless, like what the bible says in Philippians 4:19, ‘But my God–so great is His wealth of glory in Christ Jesus–will fully supply every need of yours.’

New Year wish ball

I’m feeling happy that I am flying to Manila today. Though I’m still at the train right now and hoping that I can check in on time, im having all good vibes. I was also able to write something in a wish ball. It’s gonna be floating at Marina Bay starting new year. I hope I can get a photo of that some time.

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Art for Charity – the actual

My first day of vacation in Manila was tiresome yet fun and self fulfilling. I don’t have enough rest yet til now. I arrived last saturday and woke up early the next day to visit Virlanie Foundation. Some friends from modeling were not able to join thus me and my sister end up asking my cousin and mom to come with us and they happily did so. Lhia who is always joining my charity activity also came and tag Tina along (both college close friends.

Cath my model turned chef friend started cooking for lunch and teaching the staff to cook while waiting for us. My sister Lek started the activity with a prayer. I wondered what are the religions of the girls in this foundation. Anyway, nobody opposed with the opening prayer. Drawing a Mandala is the first activity of the day. Mandala is a sanskrit word meaning ‘circle’; a Buddhist and Hindu sacred art. Some don’t find this activity cool but still all end up doing their circle art except the busy chef. Even my mom drew a Mandala. I don’t know where me and Lek got this artistic/creative gene for art. I only saw my mom doing art when she’s at 40’s already. Her mandala is cool and well patterned. After almost three hours the girls still want to delay their lunch to finish or do another Mandala.

lek conducting the workshop
Lek conducting the workshop
girls doing their artwork
The girls doing their artwork
one of the art work
One of the girl’s art work
one of the artwork
One of the girl’s artwork
one of the art work
One of the girl’s art work
one of the artwork
One of the girl’s artwork
my cousin's artwork
The all favorite, my cousin’s artwork
my artwork
My Artwork which one of the girls arbor
mommy's artwork
Even my mom participate in drawing a Mandala

Cath cooked Spaghetti and garlic bread for lunch. We were thinking of cooking Carbonarra but some kids would probably won’t like white sauce pasta so we end up with this one. We made it a healthier version of Filipino style spaghetti by adding grated carrots and mushrooms aside from bell pepper.

When everyone satisfied their hunger, a few more minutes for break is given so that Cath can prepare the ingredients and the others can finish their art work. Some were also busy posing and taking photos using my camera.

The girls like our chef so much that a lot volunteered to be her assistant in the Baking Class. They’re very lively and talkative while Cath is making a demonstration. I asked them if they can remember the steps and one even told me that she can even teach me (*confidence in it’s finest). We decided to do the judging for which artworks are the best while waiting for the brownies to be baked. Cath and the house parents were the judges.

Some of their artworks
Some of their artworks
Some of their artworks
Some of their artworks
Chef Cath
Chef Cath with her baked brownies

We thought that we can leave on time which is 3PM but the girls did a dance no. for us and end up making us dance. My youngest sister Em who just came in the afternoon jived well with the girls. Anyway, that’s what I like about her; she’s smart, full of energy and confident. We are all surprised when some girls challenged her to dance and she dances like she’s in a stage. All of us visitors were so tired though we still manage to visit the cute toddlers 😀 Most of the kids last year are still there. We were able to play with them for a few minutes as it’s already time for their story telling activity.

At the end of the day we manage to attend a mass at MOA then eat dinner. I am so thankful for the help of my friends who helped me make this activity successful than the previous years; especially Cath and Lek who co-organized this event with me and for my friend who donate money so that we can buy them things that they can use.

Just when I was thinking If I can find these kids some sponsors for dental check up and treatment as a lot of them already lost an incisor and some have decayed teeth, Cath told me that her dentist sister and friends want to do a dental mission for this foundation. Awesome, god works in mysterious way. Another door for opportunity to help opened 🙂

I hope this blog entry of mine inspire others to reach out for people who are in need. What I like about this organization is that they shelter and take care of the kids well. The kids are happy to see visitors as well and the location is accessible. You can check Virlanie Foundation’s website for more info.