15 December 2009

things discovered in macau

1) shaina speaking cantonese..

2) diether crying in cantonese

3) pinoy sari-sari store on the backstreets near largo de senado

4) kawawa naman si piglet sa macau. and you can get full just getting samples of cured pork and almond cookies near the ruins to st.paul!

5) and finally... the "goin' bulilit" kids were in macau! got a picture with nash. this kid is gwapo, he'll probably be the next heartthrob in a few years.

more pics from hk and macau soon

24 August 2009


i never had a grandfather. both my parents' dads died before any of us in the family were born. the closest thing i had to a grandfather was Manong. Manong was a relative of my Randrup grandmother. he took care of my dad when he was a boy and even until he grew up and had a family of his own. Manong used to go to our house every monday, without fail, when we were growing up. his arrival would mean that we get to buy Sarsi, balut, kropeck and sometimes even pinipig crunch (if his favorite PBA team, Ginebra was on a winning streak) at the nearby sari-sari store. Manong always had a small bag that contained his cutting shears (he was a barber) and his notebook that contained numbers to bet on for sweepstakes, the lotto and "ending". we were so happy that he comes to our place because that meant we get extra 5 or 10 pesos to add to our measly allowance.

Manong told me that there is an art to betting in the sweepstakes, in the lotto, and in "ending". it was a weird combination of our names, our birthdates, and the date of a significant event in our family. not just of us, but also of our other Randrup cousins, and we're a pretty big family, so just think about the combinations he was making. i think he won sometimes, but not the "jackpot" amounts, though. and when he did, we were almost always the first recipients of "balato".

Manong's barbershop was in malabon. sometimes, we would visit and get to sit on the old barber's chairs. we always got free haircuts. just a tip: if you have a daughter, please don't subject her to a barber's cut. take it from my elder sister, who, if i remember correctly, got a really "nice" barber's cut which we laughed at when she got home from a visit with Manong. Manong's barbershop was where several old timers hung out. it was there where i learned to play chess and "dama". beside his barbershop was a bakery, where we could buy all the Coke and bread we wanted, all charged to Manong's "listahan".

as we grew up and moved to different houses, Manong still visited, but not as frequently as the earlier years. the barbershop closed, and i think he moved back to the province with his family. occasionally, he went to manila to visit and would stay at my uncle's place. it's inevitable that Manong would grow old. he got old, frail, and hard of hearing that we had to almost shout near his ear.

the last time that i was in manila and he visited the house, Manong was again giving money to the kids, this time not to me, but to the gremlins, who all went rushing to the village store. we played "dama" again, and as always, i lost. surprisingly though, he lost to the eldest gremlin when they played chess. whether or not he deliberately lost the game or not, i'll never know.

when we talked, he was asking about my life in singapore, whether i was going to follow my mom and sister in the states, and when was i getting married and when he'll have an "apo" from me.

i told him that will come in a few years, when i've saved enough. shaking his head, he said: "sayang naman kung hindi ka magka-anak, walang magmamana ng talino mo".

over the weekend, i learned that Manong passed away. my dad said it really was just because of old age. i was too caught up in the practical details i needed to know..the how's, the why's, the when's that the reality didnt' sink in until now. it's strange how we think the constants in our lives will live forever. that's how i thought Manong was. i thought he'd be around a few more years to see my future gremlins. sadly, that's not going to be the case. sayang, i would have wanted my gremlin to be the recipient of Manong's "balato".

Manong never won the big amounts in the lottery, or in the sweepstakes, but i like to think he lived life the way he wanted to. so here's to you, Manong. thank you for taking care of us, for the many childhood treats, and simply for being our grandfather.

18 June 2009

gremlin #6

this is gremlin #6.
as with all the other gremlins, i love her to death. they all have their own (mostly) lovable quirks. as far as i know, we don't have any korean or japanese blood, but she seems to love doing this pose. please explain..

cute, right?

21 May 2009

the skinny bitch

i bought a copy of "the skinny bitch" to look for some more tips on how to tackle the weighty matter that is my body. i was expecting some recipes, exercise tips, the usual things you'd find in these kinds of books. pero this one was different.

i liked the tone of the writing. parang siga yung nagsusulat. it's tough talking, there's no sugar-coating, and funny too. BUT...mahirap yung pinapagawa nya. basically, it's just telling its readers to go vegan. as in, no beef, pork, chicken, fish, dairy products..so basically, no kaldereta, lechon(!), chicken joy, sushi, cake (or anything else na may milk). kamusta naman di ba! for a typical carnivorous pinoy like me, parang sinabihan mo na rin ako na wag na lang ako kumain. i should just eat rice (brown rice, which is fine for me), pero wag na lang ako magulam. i mean, masarap pa minsan minsan ang nilagang kangkong, at okra (yummy with bagoong, right..pero since bawal nga ang seafood, haay), nakakasawa rin di ba.

the arguments may seem to make sense at first (i found myself muttering "oo nga, no!" in several chapters), pero after reading, medyo napaisip ako. i think i need to do a bit more research. consider: they're saying in the book that milk is addictive(parang drugs), and that our bodies really weren't built for eating meat (eh pa'no yung mga cavemen?). so medyo hindi ako sold sa idea.

anyway, if the arguments don't convince you, maybe the description of how they slaughter cows, pigs and chickens will. medyo graphic yung pagkasulat, that the picture in my mind actually made me say "sorry" to all the cows, pigs and chickens i've ever eaten. ok na sana sa akin yon, kaso the authors made a majority of the book a long drawn out ranting on the U.S. meat industry. so medyo parang may political agenda. oh well.

definitely, that graphic description made me refuse to eat meat for a week. kawawa naman yung kasama ko, naging vegan din for a week. then a few days into my "vegan" phase, my friends and i went to this pinoy restaurant in outram park. ayun, nakalimutan ko bigla yung sinulat sa "skinny bitch". e kung may nakahain na crispy pata, sisig, sinigang at kare-kare sa mesa, how could i resist?

i think i'll just stick to the basics for now (healthy eating, more physical activity, etc, etc.). i guess when i read the book for a third time, i'll probably get back to being vegan...until the next party. comes along. we'll see how i do then.

17 April 2009


i just saw the episode where anthony bourdain went to the philippines. then i read the blog entry about his visit. we are number one in hierarchy for the best roasted pork. LECHON, baby! and where did he taste the best lechon ever? CEBU! i had my doubts. because for me, lechon is lechon, wherever it's cooked.

my officemates have been telling me iba daw talaga ang lasa ng lechon sa cebu. no need for mang tomas or gravy. seriously? lechon goes with mang tomas, right? and so i went to cebu to find out for myself. and ooh la la, bourdain is so right! yummiest roasted pork ever. and really, no need for mang tomas. to use the term, it stands on its own. the locals dip it in vinegar (their own kind, of course). too bad the customs guys didn't allow us to bring the bottle. boo!

here's a picture. this was the first meal i had when i arrived. generic lechon pa lang yan ha, meaning yung nasa mall na. the best one i tasted was especially bought for me, and served when we got back from our beach outing. i didn't take a picture of the whole thing because a) although i'm a carnivore, i don't fancy taking pictures of the actual animal i will be ingesting and b) nahiya ako sa hosts ko, baka sabihin i'm a "turista" talaga.

lechon with "puso" at the cebu ayala mall

anyway, it was the best lechon ever. i will be going back for more.

*more pictures from cebu trip later...
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