Browsing Date

February 2010

There is No Such Thing as a Vacation

MOMents By February 27, 2010 No Comments

I am now thinking, did I just have a “vacation” because if I did, why do I feel so effin tired? Yes I feel soooo tired.

Define vacation.

vacation, noun – planned time spent not working

Define work.

work, noun – chore, occupation, business

Define occupation.

Halt right there. Yes I know what an occupation is. What I want is a definition of MY own occupation. Sometimes I like to think of myself as plain housewife, but that is just utterly boring… and inadequate. Besides who wants to have the word “plain” attached to his or her title? Sometimes I like to think of myself as stay-at-home-mom, but seriously?! That is simply unflattering. If I’m going to be stuck with an occupation that is in its truest nature boring, I would rather have a flamboyant title just to compensate.

I’m on a quest for that proper, vivacious title befitting of my work nature; but until then, allow me, the empress to rant.

I have been running up and down, down and up the stairs, all gaga with just about the simplest things. Do this, do that, do this after that, do that after this. I am so overwhelmed I cannot even think!

Going back to the definition of vacation, which is, in its narrowest form, time spent away from work. If my work is taking care of the house and the baby, then yes I did have a vacation. My rant is, I come home to find my work not frozen in time as I had wistfully hoped it would be but multiplied by a factor of three. I come home to more laundry than I care to wash, more dust than I care to wipe, vacuum or mop and more mess than I care to clean up. Add that to the fact that my mind is brimming with little and big ideas begging to be sorted out and hopefully, catalogued for posterity’s sake. I am overwhelmed. Physically, emotionally and intellectually.

If this is what it means to have a vacation, I suppose I’d rather not have one.

The true definition of vacation is, “to delude yourself with activities that are supposed to pamper your mind, your soul and your body… so they can better withstand the increased slash multiplied pressure brought about by piled up work”. Hahaha. The world does not stop for anybody or anything… not for “work” and most certainly not for “vacation”.

After a vacation, I’m supposed to feel relaxed, rejuvenated, invigorated but why do I feel so tired? Not only do I have less energy (not to mention money), I also have more work.

This vacation thing needs serious reconsideration, if not total reconceptualization.


Back to Regular Programming

Musings By February 26, 2010 Tags: No Comments

Fifteen days after gallivanting in Bicol, with a flight to Legazpi from Manila to catch a glimpse of Mt. Mayon and the resort town of Sto. Domingo, frequent trips to CWC, a three-day escapade to the Caramoan peninsula, a flight from Naga back to Manila to recharge, only to embark on a three-day trip to Cebu and the little island of Malapascua, I am now back to regular programming.

That is, if regular programming means a ton of laundry, a messier than usual bathroom, a floor in dire need of a mopping, sinks and kitchen countertops begging for a good wiping and ahem, overwhelming fatigue with simply thinking about the amount of work I need to do. Hah-hah-hah!

To tell the truth, it is good to be back. As it always is. There is something comforting with being back to regular programming. I have a tendency to miss housework when I’m out for a certain amount of time. In fact, it could actually be conjectured that I resented the maid (when we still had one) for the simple fact that she took the housework away from me.

I did, as always, brought home about a thousand photos and a hundred little stories from my nearly two weeks of travel; but they will have to wait. Like any obsessive-compulsive person, I find it difficult to work when things are not in their proper places; meaning clean clothes folded or hanging in the closets, toys and accessories in their respective baskets, trash in the city dump – yes I’m that forward-looking.

This is my way of saying, there will be no new posts in the travel site, no new photos posted to my Flickr account and you will have to watch little kitty sing Happy Birthday again and again (if only out of sheer boredom) until the house is back to what I have determined as the “proper order”. The definition of what is and what is not considered as proper order of things in this house is solely my privilege, after all, I am empress and this is my empire.


Travel Factor’s UBBE Calaguas

Camarines Norte, Travel Factor By February 4, 2010 Tags: , , , , No Comments

UBBE Calaguas + SURFVIVOR Bagasbas (Apr 17-18, 2010)
Camarines Norte, Philippines

BEACH BUMMING + Surfing + Skimboarding in ONE WEEKEND

P3,900 per pax (ALL IN) – if the group fills 1 bus

– Roundtrip air-con bus: Manila to Daet – Daet to Manila
– Overnight accommodation at Calaguas Island (1 Nipa hut with CR and fresh water + Camping Tents)
– Chartered boat service from port of Daet to Calaguas Island
– Camp meals at Calaguas Island (Day 1:lunch, dinner, Day 2 breakfast)
– Other meals: Day 1: Breakfast, Day 2: Lunch and Dinner
– Guide fees and Environmental fees at Calaguas Island
– Use of skimboards at Calaguas Island
– Half-day room accommodation at Bagasbas tourist inn (for rest & shower)
– Travel Insurance
– Travel Factor Souvenir: ID, Lanyard

Not included:
– Surf Lesson at Bagasbas Beach with surfboard rental and instructor (P400 per pax)

Day 0, Apr 16 Friday
10:00 PM Assembly at McDo Quezon Ave
11:00 PM Departure to Makati
11:45 PM Pick Up participants at Shell McKinley, Makati
12:00 MN Departure to Daet

Day 1, Apr 17 Saturday
07:00 AM ETA Daet;
09:00 AM ETA Calaguas Island
Set Camp, BEACH BUMMING, Explore the Island
12:00 NN Lunch
more BEACH BUMMING and skimboarding
07:00 PM Dinner and Bonfire Night

Day 2, Apr 18 Sunday
08:00 AM Breakfast
09:00 AM Break camp
10:00 AM Depart camp
12:00 NN ETA Bagasbas, Daet. check-in at Tourist Inn. Lunch. Rest. Explore Bagasbas Beach.
02:00 – 4:00 PM Option to Surf or Skim c/o CamNorte Surfing Association
07:00 PM Check out. Dinner
09:30 PM ETD Daet to Manila via bus (travel time: 7 hours)

Day 3, Apr 19 Monday
3:30 AM ETA Cubao

* Deadline of Registration: Mar 15, 2010 (or earlier)
* Book & Buy Policy. First come, first serve basis.
* No regform, No reservation. To reserve, please fill-out registration form then send to

Subject: Calaguas – Registration (Apr 17-18, 2010)
* Then you will receive thru email account details where to deposit payment (BPI). For group reservations, please send your registration forms in one file & email.
* Everyone is required to download and submit registration form
* Please register only if you are 100% sure you are joining. And if after registering you need to back-out, please have the courtesy to notify us properly thru email.
* Full payment must be settled within the agreed timeframe. Should you need extension, please coordinate with Travel Factor
* Non-refundable but transferable to other person. Travel Factor must be notified asap or at least 5 days before the trip. In this case, the “proxy” must fill-out and submit registration form.
* The payments made to us are only refundable if we cancel due to weather issues or fortuitous events.
* Upon payment, you will receive a copy of complete guidelines, including things to bring, itinerary, reminders, etc…

email your concerns to with your name and contact number
Subject: Calaguas – Inquiries (Apr 17-18, 2010)

or contact Travel Factor at 02-359-2434 / 0917-8475341

Recommended for fun-loving & adventurous people who would like to meet new friends while travelling. Be prepared of the long travel time and the ‘wiwi’ moments on public restrooms.

For more information, click on the image or visit the Travel Factor page at Multiply.


A visit to the island of Calaguas is long overdue. It seems to me that I (and Ryan) are the only ones who have not been to the island among all our Travel Factor friends. I know a lot of people in this area and a visit to the island for a day should not be too difficult. I go to Daet often enough. I have a lot of high school friends who have been there and whom I could go with.  I could even organize a trip for the entire family if so desired. My mom keeps saying we should go.

I wasn’t really friends with TF people in 2008, having joined my first trip in March (Ilocos) and met Leia, Rex and Cha there among a good number of others there for the first time. I met Ced for the first time in May 2008 in Bagasbas Beach, after they had just come back from an overnight at the island. I didn’t make it to the legendary Calaguas trip slash Ced’s birthday party in 2009. My baby was barely two weeks old then.

This year I hope to be able to finally step foot on Calaguas Island, dubbed by TF friends as the “Happy Beach”. I don’t mind spending extra (because I have been told by my high school friends that it only cost them P1,000 all-in for two days and one night in the island when they went there on their own, though this cost is coming from Naga City instead of Manila) because I will be with the happy friends that is the Travel Factor. The fun should be worth it. I could always come back..


Cocina Juan

Restaurants By February 3, 2010 Tags: , , , 2 Comments

I have been wanting and waiting to blog about Cocina Juan, my favorite little eatery in Teacher’s Village, for so long now. It’s just that every time I was there, I did not have a camera with me or I didn’t have the opportunity or more like the nerve, to take photos. I have to admit that I am quite uneasy about taking photos of restaurants or food. It makes me self-conscious.

What I love about this little eatery along Maginhawa St. in Teacher’s Village is that, aside from its wonderful delicious Central American-inspired food, it is self-effacing. I don’t like crowded, noisy places and this modest place can always be counted on to have free tables; staff that is unobtrusive, polite and efficient; and more importantly, patrons that are nowhere near boisterous. I hate it when people at restaurants like to call attention to themselves.

We went to Cocina Juan twice this month. It was closed for an event the first time so we ended in Tomato Kick, my second-favorite eatery in Maginhawa St. It was open last Saturday though and boy, was I glad, because I was famished after that house-tripping we did in farther-than-Farview Sauyo. I didn’t get to take decent photos still though. Maybe next time as I am sure there will always be a next time.. and next.. and next.. and next, as long as I love Central American food, unassuming quiet little eateries and this place exists.

What is Cocina Juan?

What is Cocina Juan?

(This text is lifted from this site. Click to view original post.)

Cocina Juan is a Central American inspired restaurant, thus the tag line “Inspiration de Centro America, Plato para La Filipino”. The small restaurant started last July of 2008 and was the brain child of siblings Thomas, Juan and Karlo Adviento.

In the beginning, Tom, the eldest among the siblings, wanted to start a Mexican inspired restaurant. The idea largely originated from his trips to the US where the cuisine was first introduced to him. He then related the taste and flavor to his brother, Juan aka “Boogie” (a culinary arts graduate at Café Isabelle), who bought the idea and started researching and developing the very first dishes for Cocina Juan, while Karlo (an interior designer) drafted what he imagined to be a Hispanic interior and design for the restaurant.

Before the end of 2008, Tom needed to travel again for work but this time was assigned for 4 months in a country located in Central America called Nicaragua. While in Nicaragua, he was able to expand his appreciation for the Latin culture and was able to learn and experience the festiveness that was expressed through color, music, language, dancing and cuisines.

When Tom went back to the Philippine, he immediately added what he learned in Nicaragua to finally complete the brand of Cocina Juan. Cocina Juan is not only just a restaurant that offers your Mexican Filipino staple, but is now serving a wider selection of food that comes from different regions of Central America. Examples start with the Chimichurri sauce, a parsley based sauce that originated in Argentina and used to accompany meat (Pork or beef) or fish, another is the Gallo Pinto rice which is originally from Guatemala but is considered as the staple rice in central America, Sofrito is another spanish sauce which is partnered with Fish at Cocina Juan and lastly for dessert is the Sopa Borracha, a Panamanian Dessert which from the word “Borracha” means drunken.

Cocina Juan is a small restaurant located in the heart of Maginhawa St. in Teachers Village, when you walk inside you will feel like you are right at home, colors and music were adapted to the interior to share the experience of the travels to Central America to every Filipino.

Menu Front

Menu Front, you may click on image to view larger version.

I got these photos of the menu from their Multiply site a long time ago. A site, which according to Multiply and Google, does not exist anymore. I wonder what happened. Have they canceled their Multiply account? Good thing they have a Facebook page. Click to view and maybe, be a fan, just like me. 🙂


Menu, you may click on image to view larger version.

This is Lia very much enjoying her meal of Nokia 5630 Xpress Music phone, with her foot propped up on the table. Feel-at-home much?!


And these were Lia’s very-own-Cocina-Juan-play things. I like that plate right there. Actually, I had my D80 in one hand and a climbing-on-the-table Lia in the other, so taking photos was like, “Yeah, yeah, click, click, whatever. Composition? What dat?”


The place is empty on a mid-Saturday afternoon, just the way I like it. We always take the outdoor tables even if we have Lia with us. I don’t know why. Maybe because.. “I love the outdoors”? *straight face*

This is actually our favorite spot, when we don’t have Lia with us. I like hiding. 🙂

While we were waiting for our orders, our red iced tea and lemon iced tea were served. I love their iced teas. It was followed by a basket of their complimentary nachos.

Ryan ordered pesto con aligue pasta…

While I ordered my favorite, quesadillas. This time I ordered Hungarian sausage quesadillas, for a change. I’ve had almost all the others except the sausage, because I don’t really like sausage.

…and this is what Ryan recommended I eat. He said it’s what he ordered last time we were there and I liked what he ordered more than I liked mine and that we switched plates. He says this is Chicken Chimichurri.


This last photo is a random shot of, “Whose bike is this?” resting by the wall, right next to the Cocina Juan signage, which is right next by the door, that at that time we were there though may not be there now, has a big native parol hanging on it. 😉


To read what Anton Diaz has on this place, as well as see more photos, click here.


Cocina Juan

100 Maginhawa Street,
UP Teacher’s Village Quezon City
Telephone Number: +632 434 3911;
+63 916 317 8935


Dalawang Dula Para Kay Juan, Uncle Sam at The Moled One

Theater By February 2, 2010 No Comments

WATCHOUT for The U.P Repertory’s twin-bill production:

“HELLO PHILIPPINES!” (One Act Musical)
TITSER’S ACT (Voters Education Play).

HELLO PHILIPPINES is viciously funny and holds nothing sacred as it skewers the “call senner lifestyle”, a life cycle born out of fast money and desperation, twisted dreams and tainted principles, shifting body clocks, and too much coffee, beer and cigarettes.

From semi-electronic polls to mass killings, they dish out their conflicting remarks on each controversies served in a plate of wit & sarcasm. TEACHER’S ACT TAKES US TO THE SHOES OF THE ONE PERSON WHO HAS SEEN ALL THE ACTION & (MIS) ACTIONS DURING ELECTIONS—THE TEACHERS.

PLAYDATES: feb 2, 4pm and 7pm at the College of St. Benilde Black Box
feb 13, 15, 20 3pm&6pm at the U.P Diliman, Eng’g Theater


Having trouble reading the text on the poster?

Dalawang Dula Para Kay Juan, Uncle Sam at the Moled One

sa pagsulat ni Albert Cruz

sa direksyon nina Dax Carnay, Albert Cruz at Albert Konrad de Luna

Pebrero 13, 15 at 20 3 p.m at 6 p.m.
U.P. College of Engineering Theater

For tickets, contact 0915-349-7607 or 0915-485-8246


The 52nd Grammy Awards Winners

Music By February 1, 2010 No Comments

So, I’m running a little late on this one but I absolutely have to note this down, err I mean, blog this down (in my little online notebook) because…

… I am a music lover, just like all of you. 😛

….I am an admitted fan of Lady Gaga no matter what people say, and so is Lia.

I used to put her to sleep with the album playing when she was so much littler. And then she learned how to dance (really) from too much listening to The Fame, and that’s how she learned how to bob her head up and down, and then later, bend her legs down to the music. I remember when she was also littler and the television bored her to death but she watched intently when Lady Gaga was being interviewed on CNN, up until the end of the interview. I was so amazed.

… because I am a fan of Taylor Swift, only because she is so damn cute and I love listening to her album when in transit. Yes, I am a big country music fan. It doesn’t matter if its country pop or not. I love country and I have always been and will always be a fan of country music. I have never been ashamed to admit to anyone that I listen to country and enjoy it immensely.

… because I am totally in love with Jason Mraz, from the moment I first heard “I’m Yours” back in 2007 (back when I never went online on Yahoo Messenger without my Yahoo radio playing). Prior to that, I could care less. I have since acquired all his older albums and have the most recent releases. I don’t have to say I love “Lucky” and “A Beautiful Mess” and “Live High”, from which this blog site is named after. Come on, people. Hahaha! Some days I listen to his albums uninterrupted on loop from morning until I close my laptop for the night.

… Ok, I’m not a big fan of Beyonce. Though I did buy her “Dangerously In Love” album when it came out because I loved dancing to her music. If not for Glee, I would not love Single Ladies. I do really, only because the image of those football players dancing to it just crack me up.

… and no, I am not, never was and never will be a fan of Eminem. Even if he introduced me to Dido. Thank you Eminem anyway.

… oh and yeah, thank you to Jay-Z for making me more aware of Auto-Tune. You and Glee share credits on that one.


(Credits to this site for this list.)

Beyonce and Taylor Swift are the big winners in the just concluded 52nd Garammy Awards!

Beyonce won six awards, including song of the year for her hit single “Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)”. Beyonce made history by winning six awards as the most awarded female in one night in the history of the Grammy awards.

Taylor Swift on the other hand won four awards including Grammy album of the year for “Fearless”. Lady Gaga won best dance album and dace recording.

Here are the list of Winners…

Best Female Country Vocal Performance:
Taylor Swift, “White Horse”

Best Male Country Performance:
Keith Urban, “Sweet Thing”

Best Country Performance By Duo or Group With Vocals:
Lady Antebellum, “I Run To You”

Best Country Song:
Liz Rose & Taylor Swift, “White Horse”

Best Rap Solo Performance:
Jay-Z, “D.O.A. (Death of Auto-Tune)”

Best Rap Performance By A Duo Or Group:
Eminem, Dr. Dre, 50 Cent, “Crack A Bottle”

Best Rap Song:
Jay-Z, Rihanna, Kanye West, “Run This Town”

Best Rap Album:
Eminem, “Relapse”

Best Female R&B Vocal Performance:
Beyonce, “Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)”

Best Male R&B Vocal Performance:
Maxwell, “Pretty Wings”

Best R&B Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocals:
Jamie Foxx & T-Pain, “Blame It”

Best Traditional R&B Vocal Performance:
Beyonce, “At Last”

Best R&B Song:
Beyoncé, “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)”

Best Contemporary R&B Album:
I Am…Sasha Fierce, Beyoncé

Best Pop Collaboration With Vocals:
Jason Mraz & Colbie Caillat, “Lucky”

Best Male Pop Vocal Performance:
Jason Mraz, “Make it Mine”

Best Song Of The Year:
Beyonce, “Single Ladies”

Best Country Album:
Taylor Swift, “Fearless”

Best New Artist:
Zac Brown Band

Best Record of The Year:
Kings of Leon, “Use Somebody”

Best Dance Recording:
Lady Gaga

Best Electronic/Dance Album:
The Fame, Lady Gaga

Best Female Pop Vocal Performance:
Beyonce, “Halo”

Best Rap/Sung Collaboration:
Jay-Z, Rihanna & Kanye West, “Run This Town”

Album Of The Year:
Taylor Swift, “Fearless”