Month: October 2015

Confessions of a Mom: Three Kids A Plenty

Hi.  My name is Freya. I am 38 years old, working as a Division Manager in a multi-national company. I got married to my sweetheart (yihiii) in 2006 and we have been gifted with three daughters aged 7, 6 and 2.   I feel I have to give a little background about myself so our readers will understand more where this entry is coming from.

Now, my entry – my confessions as a mom of three young kids…

Three kids may not be that many – during our parents and grandparents’ time, yes. But in this day and age when the Moms work as much as the Dads work, three kids can really be a handful.

While I most certainly love my three daughters with all my heart and soul, I would like to confess that:

  1. I get tired – physically tired – taking care of them. Imagine running, screaming, crying, jumping, fighting, etc. etc. constantly… X3.
  2. I feel guilty ALL the time because of the attention, quality time, and affection that I don’t give them. Notice that I used the words DO NOT. It is because there are times that I would rather indulge in me time instead of spending time with them.
  3. And when I finally have my “me time,” I would miss them so much and want to end my “me time” ASAP. Weird? IKR?
  4. I want to be both cool and disciplinarian. Ummm…How???  How the H do I find balance???
  5. I fear the future. Will they be good and morally upright kids? Will they be rebellious? Will they be good contributors to the society? When they are older, will they still love me as much as they love me now? Those and one million more issues.
  6. I oftentimes feel inadequate as a mom (and as a wife).
  7. Yes, I envy other moms who appear to be super moms who don’t get tired, are always cool and in control and confident. Though, to be honest, I know they have their “moments” like me, too.

So in this light, I want to share with you this heartwarming video that I my sister-in-law sent me a few months ago.


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Gyukatsu Motomura

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I’ve seen drool-worthy instragram posts on gyukatsu but the 45 minute waiting time just doesn’t appeal to me. Also, the beef is fried for less than a minute so it’s not suitable for the little girl.

However, when I met up with Kim and her husband on my own (gasp!), we ended up eating at Gyukatsu Motomura 牛かつもと村。We were in line for 1.5 hours though but we made do and caught up with stories while in line.

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The Manila Fashion Festival x Fashion Institute of the Philippines

The Manila Fashion Festival x Fashion Institute of the Philippines

Last October 25, I was lucky to sit front row at the Manila Fashion Festival’s show for the graduates of the Fashion Institute of the Philippines.  Being an alumnus of the fashion school, I have always made time to support the new graduates as they showcase their vision and technical skills for the first time to a well-attended group of fashion editors and press people.  And each year, I am amazed by the new crop of talent that this school manages to produce.  It is real proof that the Philippines is indeed a great source of amazing artists.

The Fashion Institute of the Philippines, for its part, has produced well-known names in the fashion industry – here and abroad – including Francis Libiran, Oliver Tolentino, and John Herrera, among others.

The school’s graduation show has traditionally been held in various public locations such as Resorts World, Greenbelt, and more recently at the SM Mega Fashion Hall.  But this year, with its joining the line-up of the prestigious Manila Fashion Festival, the school has upped its ante and exposed its graduates to a wider audience in the Philippines and abroad.  Although fairly new, the Manila Fashion Festival has successfully produced 2 seasons of shows that have created a lot of buzz with next-generation designers’ ready to wear collections.  It is staged at the trendy Green Sun, a re-purposed hotel and events-space that houses an art gallery, fashion retail stores, and holds digital arts exhibits – definitely a cool place for a fashion event.

The show brings back many happy memories of my taking Saturday classes at the Fashion Institute of the Philippines.  For a full-time corporate rat, the atmosphere of creativity brings a lot of new energy that revitalizes me throughout my pressure-filled work week.  The school is almost a second home to me, and I continue to visit almost every Saturday to work on various fashion projects and meet my “fashion friends”.  I would recommend it to people who, like me, thrive for a little creativity to achieve balance.

Congratulations to the 2015 FIP graduates and bigger Congratulations to FIP Director Shanon Pamaong – whose great efforts have made the school stronger and more successful! mff7 mff6 mff5 mff4 mff3 mff2 mff1 mff9 mff8

Much Ado over The Halal Guys

Much Ado over The Halal Guys

The excitement over The Halal Guys has been building up since late 2014 – when some food blogs started to announce the impending arrival of the famous New York City food cart in Manila.  I’ve been to New York a few times but I had always wondered why my sister (who is based there and is a lover of all kinds of ethnic food) has never taken me to try it.  Now I know why…it’s nothing special.

Now, I don’t want to insult all The Halal Guys lovers out there!  So please hear me out first.  My experience was actually not bad.  I had a decent meal of their famous gyro/chicken combo over rice.  The “small” serving was already quite generous and could easily feed 2 people.  It had a good helping of shredded lettuce and tomatoes – making the platter look really colourful while being healthy at the same time.  I also made sure to order extra of their special white sauce, which I always need in any Middle Eastern restaurant anyway.  However, in most Middle Eastern/Mediterranean restaurants in the city, they don’t charge for the extra.  They basically give a whole bottle at your disposal.

So, the gyro/chicken combo over rice satisfied my hunger.  But it failed to live up to my expectations.  I mean, you do tend to expect a lot if the place gets unbelievably long queues.  I enjoy Middle Eastern/Mediterranean food and Manila has so much to offer in this category.  For these cravings, I like to visit favourites like Behrouz and Arya, plus a lot of the cheaper stalls you find all over Quezon City, Ortigas, and Makati.  If you are familiar with these places, then you would understand that The Halal Guys does not match the Middle Eastern/Mediterranean flavours that Manila diners are already used to.  It comes off as a bit bland, in fact.

I visited the stall on its second week so the lines were not as bad – just under 30 minutes for me – so I had no hard feelings…well…maybe except for the order-taker who could not respond to any food question except to say “It’s from New York!”

The Halal Guys is located at the Mega Food Hall, SM Mega Fashion Hall.

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Dessert Stop: Qu’il Fait Bon

Watching tv one lazy day, I saw a pie place in Ginza being featured in the show. I didn’t catch the name though so I tried to google for pie places. Unfortunately, I didn’t find the one being featured. But, I found Qu’il Fait Bon which is apparently quite famous for its fruit tarts.

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Lovely store front!

Continue reading “Dessert Stop: Qu’il Fait Bon”

Dessert Stop: A Tes Souhaits

On my free time, I search the world (wide web) for dessert places. I daydream about the cakes and pastries because… dreams don’t have calories.

A Tes Souhaits has been rated number 1 patisserie in Tokyo so when Jin of Jinlovestoeat came, we decided to go on an adventure and find our way to this little shop in Suginami.
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Continue reading “Dessert Stop: A Tes Souhaits”

Why Miriam Defensor-Santiago Has My One Vote

Disclaimer: The opinion/s of this writer is not reflective of the sentiments of this group. 

Every time I write an entry, it feels a little like kneeling in front of a priest and confessing (except that when you confess to a priest, you know he’s obligated not to judge you. Not quite so when you blog though 🙂 )As with my previous piece on Heneral Luna, let me preface this by saying that this is the first time I am explaining in writing why I have chosen a particular candidate to be our country’s president.

Let me give you a brief history of my voting life. Ever since I became of age to vote, I have exercised my right. I voted for De Venecia (a knee-jerk reaction just because I thought he was most likely to win against Erap). I willingly voted for GMA. I campaigned the hardest, and voted for the Gordon-Bayani tandem. And except for De Venecia, I can honestly say that I stand by my choices, and would vote for the same should I be asked to do it all over again.

In 2016, the Filipino people will once again vote for their president. A couple of days ago, I was getting desperate. The loudest and most popular three (Binay, Poe, and Roxas) were not at all appealing to me. The rest were just nuisance candidates, which while entertaining, was making the Philippines look ridiculous to the world. I was at the verge of telling my hubby that (shudder) I was going to vote for Mar just because there really wasn’t anybody else and he was ‘the lesser evil’ (a reasoning I have come to hate).

Then finally, a few days short of the last day of filing, Miriam Defensor-Santiago announces that she is running. And immediately after, I announce to my world (all 80 of my FB friends-woohoo!) that I am voting for her without hesitation. And here are just a few of the reasons why (not in order of importance).

  1. She is a proponent of the Anti-Dynasty Bill

In the Philippine political scene, you will be hard pressed to find someone who doesn’t have a relative in office. Miriam is probably one of the handful of people who can push for this bill because she follows and believes in it. In fact, it is one of the reasons Miriam clashed with Binay because he is strongly against this, although it is clearly stated in our constitution.

  1. She takes her work seriously

Probably the most prolific senator in terms of law-making, Santiago has filed a total of 1,007 bills and resolutions, as of December 17, the last session day of Congress in 2014 (and this was while battling cancer). Among the most important bills Santiago sponsored or authored since her election in 2004 were the: Reproductive Health Act; Biofuels Law; Renewable Energy Law; Sin Tax Law; Magna Carta of Women; Anti-Photo and Video Voyeurism Act; Philippine Act on Crimes Against International Humanitarian Law, Genocide, and Other Crimes Against Humanity; Cybercrime Law; Seatbelt Law; Exact Change Act; Philippine Standard Time Act; Motorcycle Helmet Act; Kasambahay Law; And the Anti Bullying Law. Just to give a comparison, during Noynoy Aquino’s stint as a senator, he passed a staggering 1 bill.

  1. Great writer, confident speaker

Before the best selling Stupid is Forever, Miriam had already authored books on law and the social sciences. She is a favorite speaker of universities because not only is she eloquent, she knows how to inspire passion. A wide reader, she is also known for having a thirst for knowledge. Again, allow me to reference back to Noy whose SONA always, always manages to make me feel empty and cold (my opinion, obviously).

  1. She knows International Law

In 2012, Miriam became the first Filipina and the first Asian from a developing country to be elected a judge of the International Criminal Court. For those who don’t know (myself included), the International Criminal Court (ICC or ICCt) is an intergovernmental organization and international tribunal that sits in the Netherlands. The ICC apparently has the jurisdiction to prosecute individuals for the international crimes of genocidecrimes against humanity, and war crimes. This might come in handy especially since China is closing in on some of our islands.

  1. The girl has a sense of humor

Read Stupid is Forever to get a glimpse of the funny woman that she is.

While she can shoot off her mouth at times, who wouldn’t blow their temper once in a while if you’re always surrounded by the likes of Lito Lapid, the Estradas and the Revillas? If anything, I applaud her for her restraint. I don’t think I can control myself if I were within close proximity of these people most of the time. And yes, I admit that she can be very feisty, and a tad bit over-the-top in some circumstances, but c’mon guys, this is politics. You wouldn’t be here if you didn’t have a penchant for grandstanding.

Bottom line is, whoever you’re voting for this coming elections, the least you can do is to get to know your candidates objectively. Wait, I change my mind. The least you can do is register and actually vote. I still believe my one vote counts, and I am wholeheartedly giving it to Miriam. Now, as for Bongbong, that is a different story altogether.

Note: Data has been sourced from GMA News, Wikipedia and Political Blogs

Must Love Dogs

Must Love Dogs

I love dogs.  Just love them.  All kinds.  I am that weird person who would chat up anyone walking a dog through the park, follow dog celebrities on social media, and happily spend lazy summer afternoons in Bonifacio High Street just to make friends with strolling dogs.

So…enough about me!

Let’s talk about this super amazing café, Barkin Blends Dog Café, which houses 23 resident dogs for the customers’ snugly-wuggly-huggy sheer pleasure!  For weirdos like me, it is really a great place to unwind and just feel happy.

Let’s be honest, people don’t come here for the food.  But what they serve is pretty decent.  You may opt to take a full meal at the “human section” first.  Otherwise, for P190 you can opt to go straight to the “dog section” with a choice of coffee or tea-based drinks.  That gets you 2 hours of non-stop happiness!

I already miss Robin, Smile, Julia, Skye, Bonnie, Milo, and all the other well-behaved and friendly animals I met at the café.  Can’t wait to see them again!

Barkin Blends Dog Café is located at 91 Rosa Alvero Street, Loyola Heights, Quezon Citybb7 bb6 bb5 bb4 bb3 bb2 bb1