Friday, September 21, 2007

Falling In Love All Over Again - My Love Affair with Gardening

For a month now I've developed a love for gardening. It started one long weekend last August when Erwin and I decided to do our own landscaping of our garden. We initially wanted to have it done by a professional but the cost was too high (for us) - P30,000! Erwin, myself, and Raffy (a neighbor who helps us with the dogs and the garden) did the landscaping ourselves. We started by collecting soil from a vacant lot in the subdivision - of course, with the permission of the subdivision's caretaker. Luckily, the caretaker, Noli, made his own black soil made of dried then burnt leaves mixed with soil. He happily offered this to us, which we also happily accepted. This actually saved us P5,000, which is the cost of an elf of garden soil. When the garden was all soiled up, we went to Silang and bought a few plants at Avion Plant Store - our suki in plants.

This is a renewed affair with plants for me. When I was young someone told me that my hands were too hot for them, thus, I would never successfully grow any. Somehow, I believed this. I had some attempts but they all failed - maybe because I was already expecting them to die on me. I felt sad because I knew my Dad had a green thumb, why didn't I get that too and not just his temper? Just kidding, Daddy.

Some shots of the garden after our first weekend working on it. Every week the look changes because of rearrangement or additional plants.

We have a few hanging plants. As of this picture, we only had around 3. The one on the right most side are some orchids courtesy of Ate Mylene, Raffy's mother. Erwin wrapped them around an abaca pole. Creative huh!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


This was forwarded to me by a co-worker through email. It's worth sharing some more.


A man is getting into the shower just as his wife is finishing up her shower, when the doorbell rings. The wife quickly wraps herself in a towel and runs downstairs. When she opens the door, there stands Bob,the next-door neighbor.
Before she says a word, Bob says, "I'll give you $800 to drop that towel." After thinking for a moment, the woman drops her towel and stands naked in front of Bob. After a few seconds, Bob hands her $800 and leaves.

The woman wraps back up in the towel and goes back upstairs. When she gets to the bathroom, her husband asks, "Who was that?" "It was Bob the next door neighbor," she replies. "Great!" the husband says, "did he say anything about the $800 he owes me?"

Moral of the story: If you share critical information pertaining to credit and risk with your shareholders in time, you may be in a position to prevent avoidable exposure.


A priest offered a Nun a lift. She got in and crossed her legs, forcing her gown to reveal a leg. The priest nearly had an accident.After controlling the car, he stealthily slid his hand up her leg.

The nun said, "Father, remember Psalm 129?" The priest removed his hand. But, changing gears, he let his hand slide up her leg again. The nun once again said, "Father, remember Psalm 129?" The priest apologized, "Sorry sister but the flesh is weak." Arriving at the convent, the nun went on her way.

On his arrival at the church, the priest rushed to look up Psalm 129.It said, "Go forth and seek, further up, you will find glory."
Moral of The Story: If you are not well informed in your job, you might miss a great opportunity.


A sales rep, an administration clerk, and the manager are walking to lunch when they find an antique oil lamp. They rub it and a Genie comes out. The Genie says, "I'll give each of you just one wish." "Me first! Me first!", says the admin clerk. "I want to be in the Bahamas, driving a speedboat, without a care in the world."

Puff! She's gone.

"Me next! Me next!" says the sales rep. "I want to be in Hawaii , relaxing on the beach with my personal masseuse, an endless supply of Pina Coladas and the love of my life."

Puff! He's gone.

"OK, you're up," the Genie says to the manager. The manager says, "I want those two back in the office after lunch."

Moral of The Story: Always let your boss have the first say.


An eagle was sitting on a tree resting, doing nothing. A small rabbit saw the eagle and asked him, "Can I also sit like you and do nothing?"

The eagle answered: "Sure, why not."

So, the rabbit sat on the ground below the eagle and rested. All of a sudden, a fox appeared, jumped on the rabbit and ate it.

Moral of The Story: To be sitting & doing nothing, you must be sitting very high up.


A turkey was chatting with a bull. "I would love to be able to get to the top of that tree," sighed the turkey, "but I haven't got the energy."

"Well, why don't you nibble on some of my droppings?" replied the bull. "They're packed with nutrients."

The turkey pecked at a lump of dung, and found it actually gave him enough strength to reach the lowest branch of the tree. The next day, after eating some more dung, he reached the second branch.

Finally after a fourth night, the turkey was proudly perched at the top of the tree. He was promptly spotted by a farmer, who shot him out of the tree.

Moral Of The Story: Bull**** might get you to the top, but it won't keep you there!


A little bird was flying south for the winter. It was so cold the bird froze and fell to the ground into a large field. While he was lying there, a cow came by and dropped some dung on him.

As the frozen bird lay there in the pile of cow dung, he began to realize how warm he was. The dung was actually thawing him out! He lay there all warm and happy, and soon began to sing for joy.

A passing cat heard the bird singing and came to investigate. Following the sound, the cat discovered the bird under the pile of cow dung, and promptly dug him out and ate him.


1. Not everyone who poops on you is your enemy
2. Not everyone who gets you out of poop is your friend
3. And when you're in deep poop, it's best to keep your mouth shut!

This ends the 3-minute management course.

Monday, September 17, 2007

My Own “Kung Ako Ikaw” and “Day Off” Experience

No, I was never a guest in any of the two shows. I’m sure that people behind these shows do not even know I exist. For those who do not know, both shows have similar concepts – celebrities experience the work and life of whoever they decide to feature. I’m more familiar with “Day Off” and I actually watch it regularly. While with “Kung Ako Ikaw,” unfortunately, I haven’t had the chance to watch one episode in its entirety. Only bits and pieces since I find the timeslot too late.

My own “Kung Ako Ikaw” and “Day Off” experience happened when the workers we hired to transfer a dump-truck of soil to our backyard did not show up. When the “panambak” was delivered, it was dumped right in front of our house. It was delivered on a Monday and had been occupying half of the street for six days. We scheduled the workers for Sunday since that was their only free day.

Sunday came and no one showed up. We were expecting the workers by 7am. By 8am, I told Erwin that we had to start working. Yes, WE as in Erwin, myself, and Raffy (a neighbor who has been helping us around the house). The other option was to wait the next Sunday but I was afraid the neighbors would already complain.

The “before” backyard.

Ate Fiona was visiting. We called her the “contractual laborer.”

More than being tired, Irvin had a lot of fun. I initially called him “the assistant manager” because he kept on giving instructions. Before the day ended, he was demanding for a promotion already. He said he should be manager and not just an assistant.

Around 11am, Raffy (in the middle) was able to get two of his friends to help us out.

Erwin (in blue) and Raffy were the main laborers – together with the two other boys, they were mostly responsible for transferring 75% of the soil to the backyard.

And then there was one… there used to be three big piles of soil in front of the house. After the very tiring, and (skin)darkening experience, all that’s left is just one. We’re still deciding what to do with it.

By the way, Manager Irvin also demanded for a back massage, which he got before he went to bed that night. We also have a CEO - my eldest, Renmund. He was in his "office" the whole day :)

Monday, September 10, 2007

Coffee, Cookies and Cherry Tomatoes

After the heavy lunch of bulalo and fried tawilis, we were off to Silang. We made a quick stop at Gourmet's Cafe to try their coffee. Also, we heard that they had organic herbs being sold.

Erwin had a cup of brewed coffee, while I had latte (less than P100 per cup)

We also tried the Gourmet's Dark Chocolate Cookies. Yummy and so cheap at around P100-P130 (can't remember the price anymore) for a 10-piece pack.

Service was also good. I asked one of the servers if it was ok to pick the cherry tomatoes that had already fallen on the ground (there are cherry tomato trees at the parking lot), he said it was ok. Before we left, the server handed to me a small bag with some cherry tomatoes and said that I didn't have to pick anymore. So nice!

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Steamy, Hot Bulalo - Perfect on a Rainy Day!

Erwin and I had another impromptu trip to OUR favorite Tagaytay. The plan really was to go to Silang to do some plant shopping - that will be a totally different story later on. We reached Silang by 11am. We decided to have lunch at Tagaytay, which was just 10 minutes away. It was a cold and rainy afternoon so we decided to have Bulalo.

We've been eyeing a bulaluhan along the road going to Mendez. However, we missed the place by a few meters so we ended up eating at a place called La Trobada -the one just beside the other buhaluhan we wanted to try out.

At first glance, I found the price of the Bulalo pricy at P350.00. The waiter said it was good for 2 only so I thought it was a bit on the expensive side. Anyway, as i said before, price is relative. We ordered Bulalo and fried Tawilis (another favorite of mine! When in Tagaytay have Tawilis!). We wanted to have Sizzling Sisig but I was afraid we'd over order. Since there was just two of us so we didn't order it anymore.

I like the way the Bubalo was served. With the fire under, it kept the soup warm. More importantly, the heat kept the sebo from forming. I've had Bulalo at 3-5 different restaurants in Tagaytay and so far it's only La Trobada that serves it this way. There were 3 really big chucks of meat and a few veggies. At P350.00 it was worth it after all. It's not, however, good for 2 only, as the waiter said. I think it could feed 4-5. Just one comment though - I found the broth salty. With my Bulalo, I want to have "room" for my toyo-calamansi-sili sauce. Since the soup was salty I had to improvise by just squeezing the calamansi directly onto the soup. The meat was just right - not tough but right to the bite. The other problem with Bulalo sometimes is it gets over cooked and the meat falls apart. I like my Bulalo with visible meat, like chucks, and not just fibers of the meat found at the bottom of the bowl.

Bulalo is not Bulalo without the marrow.

I just love Tawilis. The more popular preparation is fried. Inihaw na Tawalis is also good, they just don't have it in the menu. With fried, though, it's easier to eat the whole fish because it's cruncky. When I say whole that's from head to tail.

I also love veggies in my bulalo. This had a few leaves of chinese cabbage and some baguio beans. Our homemade bulalo/nilaga has corn, potatos and saba.

The place is spacious and the view of the Taal was not bad. They have treehouses, too.

They also have a roving band. Something I just don't really generally appreciate.

On the menu, the other specialty is Paella. I'll definitely return to try that. Next time, will bring the kids with us.