I ordered Hickory Spareribs from The Chocolate Kiss Cafe for my seminar from Food Panda last Saturday.  I chose this because I knew the serving was huge as I eat this all the time at Chocolate Kiss. This is what I got.

The spareribs was half the size of what is served in the restaurant, the corn is about 1 tablespoon in amount,   and the packaging is not the same as the Chocolate Kiss packaging. Why is this so?
I am embarassed at this small  serving that I served my guests.  It is as small as the cup of rice.  Please explain.







On Recital Etiquette

Today, my daughter had her recital at the UP Abelardo Hall, at the conclusion of the UP College of Music Extension Program for Piano for First Semester 2015-2016.  Around 24 kids performed  and they were all amazing. But this blog is not about the kids. It’s about the parents…

Typically, there were parents armed with cameras, positioning at the best angles to get the best possible memento of the occasion- a video or photo that they can share the world . This is all very admirable.

What is saddening is that, on each of the many recitals that I have attended for the past few years,  some moronic parent never fails to embarrass himself / herself by disrespecting other performers in favor of grabbing the best video angle for his  “Why my Kids Are The Best” collection of videos.

Last year, a couple had continuously taken flash photography of performances, even those not of their kids, for whatever reason.  It gave those of us at the back headaches, as well as disrupted performers and ruined video recordings.  A baby cried during the performance, while  yaya told him to hush, repeatedly,  making the situation worse,  when yaya  could have easily just brought the baby outside.

At the recital today, a particular family hogged the place as if nothing else mattered but their family members’ performances. Three of them were performing: father, daughter and son. Mom had the camera and had one or more companions, but  I do not know how many.

During performances, the said mom walked  across the front row  in order to fix the camera that she attached to a tripod , which  she had placed permanently  in  front of the first row .  She went back and forth repeatedly,  for whatever reason , I truly don’t care. She had her head and body down slightly  but was still very much visible to the audience. She coughed at many different times , conversed  with her kids at the middle aisle , her companion walked  in and out of the auditorium ..all while other kids were performing.

It made me sigh when I caught the shadow of her head and body on my camera and on the two other cameras my kids had used to record my youngest child’s performance at different angles from our own seats.

In between performances,  and after I have had enough, I told her how she had ruined my video and those of others and she said sorry, with a straight face.  It’s all frustrating that I see this family on the same recitals and they still haven’t learned the proper decorum. Daft and rude.

To this parent, I would like to present to you, the Etiquette for Recitals, so that you wouldn’t have to ruin another recital again.happy1


Etiquette for Recitals

  1. Do not be late. It  would be best to arrive a little early.
  2. Do not wear strong smelling perfumes.
  3. Sit quietly and listen to performances. This includes no talking, loud whispers, no continuous coughing, no wiggling or walking about. Remain seated. If you have to take a video in front, be very discrete and do not block the view.
  4. Go to the bathroom before hand. If you really have to go, wait for the current performance to finish before standing up and walking out.
  5. Do not use  flash photography.
  6. Silence your cell phone or turn it off.
  7. Attend the entire recital. Leaving in the middle of a performance is rude.
  8. Clap at appropriate times.
  9. Dress appropriately.
  10. Enjoy the music.

It’s a subject that many  women, married or separated, would like to talk about but couldn’t , for fear of being criticized as materialistic, disloyal, or un-Christian.  It’s the subject of money, property or ownership, or lack thereof, that women have to deal with once a marriage comes to an end.

I think it’s time that women , whether in a relationship , or out of a failed one , get the proper guidance when it comes to securing their finances.

Perhaps many women would find themselves in the same shoes as my friend Mira:

“I thought I had finally met my dashing prince when I married my college sweetheart, but we did not live happily ever after.

We got divorced after two children, 16 years of marriage, and a move halfway around the globe. While the reasons for our divorce don’t matter now,  suffice it to say that I wasn’t prepared. Who prepares for divorce anyway? I should probably have left him earlier,  but having grown up in a predominantly Catholic country, I thought that the stigma associated with divorce was unnerving and shameful, at the very least. It gnawed my conscience for so long. I thought I had failed my parents, my in-laws, my friends, my upbringing, the nuns at the Catholic schools  I attended, and the priest who married us.

I  had two young children,   a few part-time jobs and  a mountain of debt, courtesy of my ex. I was beyond overwhelmed, but I decided to trudge on…”

Suddenly Single Women’s Guide to Finances: From Struggling to Secure Single, at any Age , written by  Mira Reverente and Tracy Marcynzsyn , is a  must-read book for  women  who are looking for  creative  yet  practical  financial advice that will help them pick up the pieces after a failed relationship.  Drawing from the authors’ personal experiences, the book is engaging as well as informative. Hear from the remarkable women who have been through the post-marriage financial jungle  and survived. Buy the book from  Amazon.com.



A poem I wrote


The blood that runs through my veins
The unlikely friend that walks with me
Daily since my youth

I tried to escape
Counting my blessings , feeling the warmth
Of my children’s tight embrace

I tried to quell
As I look back at the beautiful life
That I live with my loving husband by my side

I thought I killed
When I reunited with the fire
Of His unconditional love

But Sadness haunts me
Draining my soul
I have nothing more but death
To set me free

pepvidAfter the first runner up in the 2014 UAAP Cheerdance Competition was called tonight, the University of the Philippines Pep Squad remained in their places, for probably the most difficult 3 seconds of their day, unable to mask their disappointment, before finally standing up to accept their prize. Earlier in the ABS-CBN broadcast, a team member that was interviewed was in hopeful tears to bring home the elusive title. Little did he know that his team would receive something much greater. Tonight, the UP Pep Squad earned deep respect and admiration among the UAAP community , not simply for their stunning performance, but mostly for their message of equality and the symbolism of woman supporting man in a stunt that sent goosebumps to the 22,000 strong crowd who witnessed the creative and unique routine. After the competition, as the rainbow flag that the UP Pep Squad paraded around as a symbol of equality for all was passed around the coliseum, across the different teams, a sense of pride and unity awakened among these rivals. It was a sight to behold, an act that one would expect from a typical UP student who only wants one simple thing – to change the world in a grandiose manner. During the performance, twitter had been flooded with UP Pep Squad’s message of #equality, #pantaypantay, #equaliteam,#Equality4All and other related terms. Congratulations flowed in, and the performance undoubtedly put a smile on the faces of all UP students and graduates across the country, including myself. The vision of equality is both  universal and timely. Equality requires change, and there’s no better time to start but right now.   777px-Gay_flag.svgAnyone who says that equality exists in this country had probably never been a victim of domestic violence, discrimination, or skipped a meal to save some money. Everyday, regular people do great things. But not many care. The young couple who picked up a stray cat along EDSA as it avoided the oncoming vehicles, the dancing policeman who cheers motorists everyday, the metro aide who risks his life picking up garbage along EDSA – their kindness is never celebrated in magazine or television. Yet society glamourizes celebrities and politicians, whose photoshopped faces are a mainstay on media, despite their shameful lives and the undesirable message that they send to the public. That’s inequality, advertised blatantly,  for the shallow soul in all of us. I am saddened , however, that this university student , totally missed the point, as evidenced in his tweet.   peptwit

Filipino, this is your country. Our ancestors’ actions in the past have molded the country into what it is today. Vision is what makes things happen. Have one today. To the UP Pep Squad, the sight of your sad faces tonight broke my heart. Please send the UP community a big smile, because you have brought the UP spirit into center stage today. You may have lost the crown, but the glory is all yours. Please remind yourselves that you have achieved the greater prize.

How Daddy inspires me


My daddy, Rafael

How daddy inspires me



When I was 2 ,  he would sit me on top of his shoulders and carry me about, and it made me feel like I’m on top of the world.

As a kid, that wavy curl on his forehead reminds me that he is the “man of steel”.

When I was 4, I was specially fond of his “deep pockets”, and always chose to hold his hand when we went shopping.

ourladyofatimachurchbulacanov19771967He had that typically ’60’s clean cut hair and  neat sense of fashion that inspired me  to marry someone with that same cool vibe.

He has a smile and a charm that works wonders, and masterfully crafted words that convinced my mother to marry him.

His infamous photo with the ex dictator inspires me to be a great …photobomber!

marcosScan10125He makes me proud to be his doppelganger ,  even if it means I look like a guy.

He is intelligent and loves to make smart jokes, and my mom would take a few seconds to think before she laughs.

He loves his family more than his beer.

mar68blavanisland1975He’s a tough guy with a soft spot for his kids and a huge spot in the backyard for his chickens.

He loves to travel… it inspires me to work harder to get an AmEx card one day.

london1998london98cHis cooking skills challenge me to go beyond that can of corned beef and Spam.

He loves home-cooked meals …a lot more than doing the dishes.

He has a liking to all things barbecued, and made a killer marinade and barbecue dip–probably why Eco is a barbecue guy and Oz is the sauce king.

He takes risks and loves it…he took a chance on me when he paid for my studies in London…even if it meant years to get a return on his investment.

20000719-170938Scan10110He went to my graduation with a full smile, a huge camera and that contagious flu. It inspired me to take my vitamins everyday .

He shows us discipline , love , and a sense of strength. Today, it’s handy in the presence of an all you can eat buffet.

He is a generous friend and a completely honest person who always fulfills his promises.

20000721-131329IMG_3058He always tries to understand , even if we are making no sense.

He tells you what you need to hear but he always listens to what you have to say.

No matter how much he argues with you, in the end, he is proud that you had the guts to do so.

He gives you all the freedom to make mistakes, no matter how much money it costs…

20000807-13170020000807-132207He inspires me never to grow old ….that’s why I love my night cream.

He loves his home and repairs it every single year.

He trusts his kids  completely, even if we don’t always deserve it.

He’s a child at heart and  likes to play with his grandchildren, and they all think he’s cool.

Everyday, he still makes me feel like I’m on top of the world.

Happy Father’s Day, Daddy! I love you!




Upstage 2014 programme


Since watching the hit musical , “Wicked” at the CCP theater in March of this year, my 15 year old daughter , Gabrielle had become fascinated with  theatre arts.  After searching through all available theatre workshops on the web, we decided that Dulaang UP’s summer theatre workshop, Upstage 2014, is the perfect fit for her.


Since it is only offered once a year, we dropped everything, including her much anticipated voice lessons at the UP College of Music , and her dentist’s appointments, in order to be part of this program.


“Doon Po Sa Amin”

Gabrielle in "Doon Po sa Amin"

Gabrielle in “Doon Po sa Amin”

This year’s 17 session workshop includes introduction to theatre, acting , voice for the theatre, movement, props-making, puppetry, and technical theatre. The  41 (estimated) workshop participants include successful applicants to the Certificate in Theater Arts program for 2014, and theatre enthusiasts, including kids above 10 years old. Instructors include UP faculty and guest theatre artists.

"Palanca In My Mind"

“Palanca In My Mind”

The workshop required full commitment from the participant , as it involves late nights and physically and emotionally demanding rehearsals.

"Mga Santong Tao"

“Mga Santong Tao”

On May 16, 2014 , Upstage 2014  held its  final showcase  at the Wilfrido Ma. Guerrero Theater at UP Diliman.  Under the artistic supervision of Dr. Alexander Cortez, it featured segments from Rene Villanueva’s  “Ang Mahiwagang Ibong Adarna”, an adaptation of Thorton Wilder’s  “Our Town”, “Doon Po Sa Amin”,  Job Pagsibigan’s “Palanca In My Mind”, and  Tomas Remigio’s  “Mga Santong Tao”, and dance numbers from the musical hit-comedy Hairspray’s “You Can’t Stop the Beat” and “Nicest Kids in Town” , and Pink’s “Try” .

Pink's "Try"

Pink’s “Try”



“Nicest Kids in Town”


“Nicest Kids in Town”

The show is capped off by the awarding of certificates to workshop completers.

Prof. Alexander Cortez, PhD with workshop participants

Prof. Alexander Cortez, PhD , Artistic Director, Dulaang UP, with workshop participants

Both Gabrielle’s hard work and my nightly hour-long waits  at the parking lot in front of Palma Hall, waiting for rehearsals to end, paid off big time.  Gabrielle’s excitement and  that  big smile on her face at curtain call gave away the fact that we made the right decision to pour all our energy and patience into this summer workshop. Gabrielle –  that shy, soft spoken girl who had numerous inhibitions ranging from riding a carousel to dancing and singing in public, had broken out of her shell.

For more information on Dulaang UP’s summer theatre workshops, visit  https://www.facebook.com/DulaangUnibersidadNgPilipinas   , contact them at 9261349 or inquire at the Dulaang UP office, Palma Hall 136 , UP Diliman .