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Summer vacation, no deadlines to meet what better way to celebrate than have a party with friends. Finally after a couple of weeks of trying to match everyone’s schedule a date was set – and today it is! I was supposed to meet everyone (Hanh, Akiko, Kaishi, Jaja) 2 PM in front of Kawana Station but for some reason or another we ended up meeting at around 3 PM (shades of Filipino time although they all have valid excuses which everyone invariably has).

Anyway, we did reached my place and everyone were all smiles. I prepared halo-halo (perfect for a hot sunny afternoon) and ordered a large scrumptious pizza (I’m working under the assumption that if the halo-halo fail to satisfy them then I have a sure bet with pizza). Perfect!

In the photo (clockwise) Jaja, Akiko, Kaishi and Hanh

I also made leche flan beforehand to add to the wonderful halo-halo that you see in the picture and although it’s a bit burned it did not however affected the taste. To quote everyone – OISHII! And yes girls, I prepared halo-halo for them although prepared is a bit presumptuous a word to use in this case. Okay… okay… I admit I bought prepackaged ingredients for halo-halo. And by prepared I mean I put the ingredients in the bowl. But in my defense, I did prepare the leche flan from scratch which for some reason everyone thinks of as a cake.

Anyway, the object of the get-together was just the usual chikahan among friends but then Akiko brought her hakama which she used when she was in highschool when she studied kyudo (archery). Of course we all have to try it!

In the picture: the ScRibbLeR wearing hakama which is originally men’s traditional clothes and was later adapted by women. Nowadays, everyone can wear it especially during graduation or while participating in kendo and kyudo. The ScRibbLeR on the other hand feels just like one of the characters in Samura X. uh… Kenshin? Is that you?…

Well it was so much fun that I had to unearth my kimona set (not to be confused with kimono) and malong for them to try. Then my maxi dress which is in a wonderful orange color. Everyone wanted to try it on but unfortunately can’t coz it won’t fit them. We were all laughing at this point when Hanh remembered my still unused yukata which she helped find a matching geta for. Before I knew it it’s cosplay time!

In the photo: Jaja and Kaishi. Two Chinese girls hiding under a malong. Will they pass muster as Muslims I wonder? hmmmm….

In the photo: Akiko (in the left) and Hanh (right side). A Japanese and Vietnamese girl. Akiko somehow was able to squeeze herself in the dress although we kept on insisting she remove the shirt so it’ll have a better effect. Hanh on the other had looked just like a true-blue Pinay. All she needed is a pait of bamboo for tinikling. ūüôā

In the photo: Hanh posing like a muslim dancer… cute one Hanh!

In the photo: Presenting Kaishi wearing my beautiful yukata and the exceedingly cute geta. I wonder when I’ll be able to wear it… Kaishi was posing so cutely and insisted none of her cute poses be put to waste. Picture! Pronto!

A truly lovely and fun day was had by all. It was so much fun we have to do it again this time at Akiko’s place. But we have to wait by the end of September to do it when Hanh gets back from Vietnam.

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Hi peepz,

You know who you are. I know I haven’t been keeping in touch with you lately and it’s been some time since I last posted anything. Sorry about that. Let’s just say I’m having my period of introspection… hahaha! Salve and Sherma, if you were here you just might get the dreaded text message or maybe not. Maybe I’ll just hunt you¬†guys down since I just need someone to cheer me up. Or maybe I just miss hugging you guys. Sigh! Luvy and Mae, can you believe me existing without hugging anyone? (point of clarification: I only hug girls my really close girl friends).¬† Or Missy Ai, I just might drag you to yet another session of i-max screening with food tripping interspersed (I just hope we don’t get jinxed yet again!).

Point of the matter is… it’s December. This will be my second Christmas here and I’m not there. I just feel so alone and so out of touch. I can hardly feel that it’s the holiday season which in hindsight is a good thing since I just might burst into¬†tears during class… I can just imagine… (so not cool!)

So I figured since I’m so down and all why not make a list that will make me even more melancholic. I guess it’s one way of confronting a problem right? maybe if¬†I have a really good cry I can get it out of my system… so here it is – the things I will miss this holiday season:

  • I will miss the Christmas decorations one sees on the streets, in the mall and in every house from the most humble to the richest. Especially the parol (a Filipino Christmas lantern shaped like a star which is constructed using bamboo sticks and colorful paper).

  • I will miss the blaring Christmas songs over the radio in the jeepneys, tricycles, buses, malls¬†and¬†from the house of my not quite so deaf but might as well be deaf neighbor (in my case the neighbor is actually a relative).

  • I will miss the puto bungbong (a purple colored grounded and glutinous rice cooked in bamboo tubes and placed in a special steamer. Once cooked the resulting sticky rice cake is often topped with butter, sugar and grated coconut.) that one can buy after¬†simbang gabi (shameful admission this might be, that was one of the reason why I attend simbang gabi not to mention the wish you can make when you complete it).

  • I will miss karoling– kids going house to house to sing Christmas carols for some coin.

  • I will miss the cacophony of sounds produced by their improvised musical instruments usually made of bottled soda caps, pebbles and tin cans (which may not be harmonious but nevertheless charming).

  • I will miss the kids singing their thanks after you gave them their coin – “thank you, thank you, and babait ninyo, thank you!”

  • I will miss writing down “The List” – names of people that¬† I will be giving gifts to.

  • I will miss trying to remember the name of my latest inaanak then failing that writing the description of their progeny instead i.e. daughter of Ate Baneng’s sister, son or daughter of some aunt or other, etc.

  • I will miss the buying frenzy in the mall for Christmas gifts but most especially the trips to Divisoria where¬†I usually¬†end up lugging a sackful of goodies.

  • I will miss scouring the malls and every nook and cranny of Divisoria for that perfect gift for one of the people in my list.

  • I¬†will miss the gift-wrapping mania that takes over me¬†after¬†I bought all the gifts and making some sort of system to monitor whose gift is which.

  • I¬†will miss the manito-manita. The series of gifts one gives and receives¬†before the big day according to theme – ¬†circular objects, long object, soft objects, etc..

  • I will miss the office Christmas parties which is most often than not a costume party so everyone ends up wearing the weirdest of ensembles and everyone will think it’s cool.

  • I will miss receiving the Christmas bonus and the various freebies the company gifts to its employees.

  • I will miss giving the gifts I selected for each of my friends and of course receiving¬†gifts¬†from them as well. Hehehe…

  • I will miss the feeling of buying a round-trip ticket home for only 2,000 pesos mainly because¬†I bought it weeks before I go home.

  • I will miss the feeling of packing all the gifts to take it home for the holidays.

  • I will miss the feeling of anticipation one gets when you know that in just an hour or so you will be home with your family to celebrate the holidays.

  • I will miss the feeling one gets when you see your family outside the airport.

  • I will miss the hugs and kisses, the laughter and the bickering – just the feeling of togetherness with my family.

  • I will miss grocery shopping for noche buena.

  • I will miss preparing the one and only dish I know how to prepare which unfortunately my younger brother can’t eat –¬†¬†chicken macaroni salad. He is forever asking me to learn a new dish to prepare one he can actually eat, hmmm… maybe next Christmas ūüôā

  • I will miss my mom’s barbecue, gelatin, special meatballs… my younger brother’s spaghetti. Sigh…

  • I will miss the noche buena with my family.

  • I will miss seeing first hand the expressions in my family’s faces when they opened their gifts.

  • I will miss¬†sending text messages to friends¬†on Christmas and new year’s eve.¬†Actually, trying and persevering are the operative words, since everyone has the same idea as you so the lines are naturally busy but by persevering and patiently pressing the resend button one eventually gets through.

  • I¬†will miss¬† receiving consecutive text messages from those same friends some unexpected all¬†returning your greetings.

  • I will miss my niece’s shriek of laughter and kakulitan, my mom’s kalambingan, my dad’s excitement for his garden, my younger brother’s kakulitan and¬†his updates about the latest anime, video games and such, my kuya’s stories and my sister-in-law’s bungisngis.

  • One thing I will¬†NOT miss though – my flight back to work, back to the grind and to the smog, pollution and traffic of the metropolis.

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hmmm… I am currently enamored with this dessert that I would usually prepare it whenever I feel like it. I like it so much that I made sure that my fridge stocks the essentials for it. hahaha… yes girls I prepared this dish on my own. It’s just so easy to¬†make and after which you have a delish dessert to savor.

Here’s how: I peeled the banana (from the Philippines, of course!) and any fruits I might¬†want to add to it. Then cut it to half or diced it (whichever I might prefer at the moment). Then I sprinkled sugar on the fruits. After which, I heat up the pan and melt¬†a spoon of butter (any butter would do but I was thinking Anchor butter would taste even better though I haven’t tried it yet). I fried all the fruits for a minute or so just enough to coat the fruits with the butter and melt the sugar on it. Then I poured everything on a dish, cooled it for a moment and put a dollop or two of ice cream (mine’s vanilla but whichever flavor you prefer would do of course). And voila! your very own dessert perfect for a hot summer day.

Happy eating everyone!

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This is especially addressed to vinz… wish you were here but since you aren’t I ate everything on my own. You would have loved it. Promise we will find a Japanese restaurant that serves a decent Ramen when I go home. But for now just content yourself with the pic. ūüėČ I ate this somewhere in Mie-ken with friends.

I learned about the anime character “Naruto” from Vinz. He kept on nagging me about the story until I just had to give up and watch the anime and later read the translated mangga. And since my brother is so fond of food it was not surprising that he got fixated with Ramen – the noodles that Naruto loves to eat.

Ramen is a Japanese noodle dish of Chinese origin. It is served with a variety of toppings such as sliced pork, seaweed, kamaboko (steamed fish paste), green onions and even corn. It is so widely spread in Japan that almost every locality or prefecture has its version.

(more…)

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